TUESDAY, Nov. 3 2009 — Gila woodpeckers nest in them / What Fred Ott did in first movie to be copyrighted / Flu fighters Abbr

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Constructor: Barry Boone

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: Election-day puzzle = a quote from MARIO CUOMO (1A: With 73-Across, former New York governor): "YOU CAMPAIGN IN / POETRY, YOU / GOVERN IN PROSE"

Word of the Day: Gila woodpeckers (17A: Gila woodpeckers nest in them => CACTI) — The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a medium-sized woodpecker of the desert regions of the southwestern United States. They range through southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. [...] This woodpecker's habitat consists of low desert scrub typical of the Sonoran desert. They build nests in holes made in saguaro cacti or mesquite trees. Cavities excavated by these woodpeckers in saguaro cacti are later used by a variety of other species, including the Elf Owl. There, they typically lay 3-5 white eggs.


Good that this ran on an off-year election day, because it's pretty forgettable. I've heard the quote before, though it took me a while to get enough crosses to figure it out. It's a virtual cliché by now. It's not a terribly insightful quote. The politician is bygone. But it would be a decent puzzle anchor, I suppose, if the rest of the fill were good, which it's just not. Has a strong autofill feel to it. You have to wrestle with your software, not acquiesce to its first suggestions. Words like TOWLINES (39D: Water-skiers' holds) and RAREE (30D: _____ show (carnival attraction)) suggest not a lot of effort's going into making the fill tight and interesting. These are convenient answers that a computer offers up, not words anyone's likely to want or come up with on their own (despite their not being particularly obscure). Never mind the avalanche of abbreviations and the ridiculous FIFTEEN (15) fill-in-the-blanks (incl. at least three partials). What in the world is "Gimme DAT ding?" Is that supposed to be Brooklynese? I will give the puzzle dis ding — it's more wide open, with more 7+ non-theme answers, than you usually see on a Tuesday. But for what? Not a lot.

Stuff you wouldn't want in your grid if you could help it (i.e. less than ideal short fill): KPS, ATA, CUZ, A DRY, YOS, UAR, IN RE, ENE, DAT, PFC, PDQ, DE LA, FEU, plus crosswordese like EDO, SLOE. You know who likes all these "words"? OOXTEPLERNON! (he is the God of Bad Short Fill, and he approves this message). Wish I had a rubber stamp that said simply "OOXTEPLERNON" so I could stamp it on puzzles. Might have one made.


  • 26A: What Fred Ott did in the first movie to be copyrighted (sneezed) — Love this clue. I really wanted answer to be SNEEZE, though. Can't explain exactly why the past tense feels weird to me, since the clue has "did" in it (which indicates the past ... what DID he do? He SNEEZED ... seems unimpeachable).
  • 2D: Flu fighters: Abbr. (AMA) — really? The AMA is fighting the flu? In that they are doctors and therefore are theoretically fighting Every disease, OK, but this is a bad fit. Pun on "Foo Fighters" no payoff here.
  • 12D: "Beware the fury of a _____ man": John Dryden ("patient") — again, I don't get why there are so many fill-in-the-blanks today. That said, this is a cool quote. Ditch CUOMO, put in DRYDEN.

Get out there and vote. Or not. Whatever. It's a free country.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]



Gimme Dat Ding

Rex Parker 7:44 AM  

Hmmm, dat's Innnnteresting. If it's a song title, why isn't "ding" capitalized in clue?

Whatever. OOXTEPLERNON is well pleased...

Brendan Emmett Quigley 7:50 AM  

Just asking: how do you pronounce "Ooxteplernon"?

Kurt 7:55 AM  

I thought that the puzzle was good. But I thought Rex was great. I'm lovin' Ooxteplernon! And I'm glad that he is well pleased!

Doug 7:56 AM  

Have to confess this was a very easy puzzle for me. Started with MARIO; next CUOMO; and it was only a couple of words later that I filled in the complete quote. (I was a speechwriter for Mario during his last administration.) In the hierarchy of the last four governors of New York, you must admit he was probably the best of them.

Elaine 8:11 AM  

I would love to get out and vote, but we do not have anything to vote on, here. Shoot.

I found this puzzle Easy, but since I do Blanks first, I had an early, "Wha the..?" reaction. Def want Barry Boone to work harder than this! (Warning to Barry: this blog is not made up of Patient People.)

RAREE was new to me (and boring) and I haven't heard the quote before (but like it.) On with the day!

Dough 8:17 AM  

I thought the puzzle was a fine Tuesday. Kwanzaa is a nice entry. There was a X and a Q and two Z's and a couple of words ending in U. Elsinore and Antonia are nice literary longies, which I prefer to tv actors and pop singers and the other ephemera that passes as "fresh." And, I do agree that Mario Cuomo was probably the best governor of the last 50 years.

dk 8:28 AM  

Quote of the day "Beware the fury of a puzzling man": Ooxteplernon.

Outside of yow for YOS this puzzle went down as easy as a SLOE gin fizz.

Get out and Vote. Remember there is a Palin in the wings who would GOVERNINperversity.

joho 8:31 AM  

@Dough ... and this puzzle is just a "J" short of being a pangram.

I liked it a lot better than Rex. Having never heard the quote before I found it interesting and liked that it ran on Election Day.

I had disdain before DISGUST and EXILES before EXPATS for a brief moment ... breezed through the rest.

My favorite slogan with who is WHO DEY?"

@BEQ ... I don't know how Rex pronounces it but in my head it's OxTEPlernon. Cool word.

Thanks Mr. Boone!

Karen from the Cape 8:34 AM  

Is EXPATS a full word, or does it deserve an abbrev signal? It's clued as 'Ones living abroad'.

I thought it was a good Tuesday puzzle. It fell on the medium scale for me.

yes I am voting today in NJ 8:36 AM  

I vote for ooks-te-PLER-non.

I liked having QUELL in there. it's a lovely word.

Stan 8:46 AM  

Ooxteplernon (Incan deity)

First syllable rhymes with 'Gadzooks'; accent on second syllable.

flyingpig 8:57 AM  


ArtLvr 9:03 AM  

Gila woodpeckers? We learn something new every day here! The name sounds like something left over from Halloween, though the photo isn't very scary.

@ Doug -- I adored master wordsmith MARIO CUOMO -- how neat to hear you were a speechwriter for him! Any insight as to why he'd never lift a finger (metaphorically speaking) to give his son's career a boost? Some people were prone to hint that there was something shady lurking. My take was that Andrew was a good EGG -- and that a father's firm integrity can be tough to live up to!


slypett 9:04 AM  

Nice turnip, Stan, but OOXTEPLERNON was originally pronounced oh-ox....
It was "americanized" early on by the first Germanic settlers in Oaxaca. OOXTEPLERNON, you see, is Aztec, not Inca. Originally, he was the god of poor sowing.

I found the puzzle easy and inoffensive, blah more than meh.

Jim in Chicago 9:09 AM  

Disquieting Tuesday for me. It wasn't particularly hard, but other than Mario and Cuomo I couldn't get a good toehold. And, that alone made me grumpy since I had the first and last word immediately. I like to work my puzzles so the answers are contiguous - I don't like hopping all around the puzzle, which this one made me do - I had random words filled in all over the place, but nothing much tied together.

But, once I got a critical mass the rest just sort of filled itself in - all those three letter words I guess.

Oh - I find quotation puzzles ODIOUS, as I need to sit at my DESK and NURSE them along. At some point the quotation just SWEEPs into place, but usually after some necessary AMENDments to WACky first attempts. They try my PATIENCE, until I finish them with DISGUST.

ArtLvr 9:13 AM  

p.s. re our friend EERO as in Saarinen -- did you hear that we are selling our 600-room London Embassy that was designed by him? Since it has historic status and can't be modified on the exterior, we are practically giving it away. The buyers? A real estate development arm of the crosswordy Qatari government! Go figure.


Frank Price 9:16 AM  

I thought 25A (MUM) was one of the better 3 letter fills that I've seen in a while. Also liked QUELL, ZEROG, and ELSINORE.

Leslie 9:20 AM  

As joho points out, this puzzle is just a "j" short of being a pangram, which has me unreasonably annoyed. I mean, why not go that ONE EXTRA STEP and make it a pangram? You couldn't stuff a J in there anywhere??

That said, the Cuomo quote was new to me, so I really liked that.

I kind of winced at "Gimme dat ding," knowing that significant numbers of solvers would probably never have heard it/heard of it. A little obscure, seeing that--as Rex pointed out--there were other ways to clue it.

ArtLvr 9:20 AM  

p.p.s. Further real estate note of the day: a quote from Doug Cass -- He bought a toaster oven the other day and got a free gift along with his purchase. What was the freebie? A bank.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

I get the impression, day after day, that Rex hates crosswords, so why does he bother?

retired_chemist 9:33 AM  

I liked it - sort of. better than meh, not a rave. Nice Cuomo quote. 9D was HAVE A FIT initially. ZERO (no G) accidentally correct letters in that one, so it was SACKed quickly.

IN RE other details: There was a cuter way to clue RHEA, it being above EGG. IONIA was a gimme. All this means that I do too many puzzles.

Agree the 3 letter fill is not stellar.

Elaine 9:37 AM  

Sorry Xman....I stand with Stan on ooks-TEP-ler-on (long OO)....even though I hate to agree with a Rutabaga. The Aztec pronunciation is archaic (thanks to Cortez,) and the god's name is now officially Americanized. Unlike rutabagas.

Oh, and since I understood the lyrics to be, "Gimme dat thing," I thought "ding" in the clue was even more DISGUSTing than the original tacky song.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:40 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle.

As a disinterested party, living in New Jersey, I always found Mario Cuomo to be pleasant intellectually, but couldn't really say how good he was as a Governor.

As joho did, had DISDAIN before DISGUST.

@Karen from the Cape - In travel literature etc. I have often seen references to "the expat community" etc, so I think the word can stand on its own.

Ulrich 9:42 AM  

As far as quote puzzles go, I can take them only, if at all, in a 15x15 grid, which makes the guessing game bearable. Today's quote didn't even need much guessing since the quote became obvious from a few crosses even for guys like me who didn't know it. And since I, like artlvr, very much like Mario Cuomo for his love of language, and since it is election day, I'm fine with the puzzle.

A trip down memory lane: Lana Turner's daughter stabbed her mother's lover to death--it was one of THE scandals in Hollywood of the 50's, made the more memorable because of the guy's name: Johnny Stampanato--you couldn't make up a better name for a guy like this even if you tried!! And that's how I remember Lana...

Glitch 9:45 AM  

If 25A were clued "Queen ____ (Brit.)" we could have 16 fill-in-the-blanks.

OOXTEPLERNON should never be spoken aloud lest he be provoked to smite the next puzzle.

Oh well, at least the theme appeared on the appropriate day for a change.


PS: @Anon 9:31, probably for the same reason you post that comment.

deerfencer 9:47 AM  

Found this a fun challenge for a Tuesday. Agree with fhp on liking QUELL, ZEROG, and ELSINORE, and would add KWANZAA. Also liked the visual of POETRYYOU as the puzzle's center. Most of the short fill seemed perfectly ok to me. Looks like Boone and Shortz both dropped the ball on not capitalizing Dat clue.

Election-wise, our local slate here in SE Dutchess County NY has one interesting race: a contentious three-way battle for Highway Superintendent. May the best blacktopper win! Lord knows our roads need him.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

For Karen:
'Expat' is short for expatriate. But why use 4 syllables when 2 will do? Expat is common enough to stand on its own these days. My dictionary labels expat as chiefly brit although I'm not sure I agree with that.

Doug 10:29 AM  

Postscript to ArtLvr: MMC does help his son, Andrew, quite a lot. But it is behind the scenes and not public, which MC thinks would abhor the public. Andrew has had to revamp his image, after his first disastrous run for Gov. He's done a good job of learning patience, which is old man has undoubtedly taught him. People forget: Cuomo was the Lt. Gov for the entire Carey years. Talk about being in the waiting room! And NYers think Carey was a terrific Gov -- one of the architects of rescuing NYC after it was abandoned by who can forget "Ford to City: Drop Dead."?

Earworm 10:34 AM  

Benny Hill's comedy chase sequences featured a four-song medley using "Yakety Sax," Beethoven's "Für Elise," "Mah-Na, Mah-Na" and "Gimme Dat Ding."

mccoll 10:35 AM  

Easy! I had few hesitations and no Aha! moments. I had not heard the quote but it certainly applies to Pres. Obama. He is running afoul of the Devil in the details at every turn. There aren't many poetic solutions to the current problems.
Thanks all. Fun write-up Rex.

Laura 10:41 AM  

Sometimes, I shake my head at myself. It took reading the comments to realize that zerog, which I thought was some odd thing I'd never heard of and rhymed with Hertzog, was actually zero g. I could only get it with crosses and a hopeful guess.

Still, finished quickly. Smiled a bit at the quote. No problems.

Unknown 10:57 AM  

@ Doug: I think that you a forgetting Mary Anne Krupsack. Carey's first lt. gov.

Two Ponies 10:59 AM  

I liked this one better than Rex did. The short answers didn't bother me and it took longer than a usual Tuesday so I'm happy. I forgive all of the three letter words because of rhapsody, stencil, and Elsinore.
How did I know the Fred Ott clue??
I was hoping raree would be the word of the day. That's a new one for me.
I thought the song was Gimmee Dat Ting.
Thanks for the LOL Cat.
No elections today in Sin City.

JannieB 11:03 AM  

I _____ this _____ had too many ______. But enjoyed the _____.

Jeffrey 11:03 AM  

OOXTEPLERNON (which must always be in all caps) is also a great lover of quote puzzles, where he (she?) frequently does the most damage.

It is always pronounced in 3 letter segments OOX/TEP/LER/NON.

NJ voter again 11:10 AM  

@Gramatrick: just wondering: how do you shake your head at yourself? Sounds anatomically, well, complicated, if not impossible.

Howard B 11:14 AM  

OOXTEPLERNON prefers it to be pronounced as "ghoti", i.e. "fish", for confusion's sake.
So I've heard.

___S___B 11:25 AM  

a: Crosscan misunderstands gods, they are above gender, and
b: Crosscan is definitive in the parsing of the pronunciation.

jeff in chicago 11:37 AM  

I'll give this one a B-. I knew the quote, so lots of squares were filled right off the bat. How appropriate that my last letter was the Z!

I'm OK with quote puzzles, and like Ulrich I prefer them in my dailies rather than Sundays. This quote breaks in funky places, which takes away a bit of the shine.

And feh on FEU!

archaeoprof 11:38 AM  

I know not what course others make take, but as for me, I will go out and vote.

PlantieBea 11:53 AM  

After entering DAT ding, I was rubbing my eyes. Day two at the eye doc, and I thought I needed to be the patient. I entered FAREE (thinking fairy) and parsed the the atmospheric cross as ZE FOG.

Definitely three letter breaks in the pronounciation of OOXTEPLERNON.

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Re: "bad short fill"

I don't think there are very many "good" three-letter words. If so, the obvious way to avoid the "bad short fill" would be to keep three-letter answers out of the grid.

imsdave 12:03 PM  

I am lucky enough to have something to vote on - my little town (Ellington CT) is trying to preserve a gorgeous view on 99 acres - it's absolutely stunning to look 30 miles north and see Mount Tom (in the Metacomet Ridge) for a mere $1.7 million.

OK puzzle, DAT - digital audio tape, yes I'm old enough to remember dat.

Rex Parker 12:12 PM  

["True _____ / Double true!"]

Ulrich 12:14 PM  

@anonymous at 12:02: "mum" is the word!

Van55 12:23 PM  

I rather despise quote puzzles. And a completly despize puzzles that resort the compass direction between two random cities as a clue.

I'm with Rex on this one. It's a cliched puzzle in too many respects. RAREE is crosswordese -- usually clued as "Street show."

mexgirl 12:28 PM  

Agree with Stan @ 8:46, as incan deity it should read:
And since I'm just an alien here (though legal) I can't vote :-(

mac 12:38 PM  

I voted early this morning, before getting a flu shot and a tough Pilates class - I'm relaxing with the puzzle. We had more voting to do than ever, two pages!

I like quotation puzzles only when I like the quote, and I like this one. Here's another fan of Marion Cuomo. It pained me, but for a few moments I had "Rudie" in 1A....
I liked seeing the YY in the middle of the grid, and zero G, stencil, quell, sweep (:-(), cheerio and Kwanzaa were great. I've noticed in London "cheers" is now used instead of "thanks".

@Artlvr: interesting about the Embassy; I've spent a lot of time there over the years. We were expats in Germany and England, and all nationalities temporarily living in those countries are called expats. You get to know many people when you have a child in the International School.

It's funny when people write disparagingly about 3-letter words; I'm always surprised when I try to do a Dutch xwp, they allow 2-letter words, and there may not even be a rule against 1 letter.

mac 12:43 PM  

Really funny typo.

ArtLvr 12:47 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 12:48 PM  

Ms Marion Cuomo?

ArtLvr 12:50 PM  

@ Doug and Robert -- thanks for the trips down Memory Lane. I hope Andrew tries for Gov, asap.

@ mac and all who are voting today -- good for you! I'm tempted to stay MUM for the first time ever, just because the constant robo-calls from all sides have been so annoying this past week, with my call-screening machine kaput. They wreak havoc.

Now I need a joke about Warren Buffet buying the Burlington Northern RR... Latest from the Sage of Omaha is "Let the market do its thing, then tax the hell out if it!" Gulp. Those Odd Gods will overhear.


Doc John 1:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rube 1:00 PM  

I'd like to object to TOWLINES. The correct term for water skiing is towropes. A towline is either used at sea to tow a barge or it's a transformer.

Doc John 1:00 PM  

Maybe Ooxteplernon is like Superman's tormentor, Mr. Mxyzptlk- if you say it backward it makes the puzzle go away!

Rube 1:04 PM  

Who's taking bets on when OOXTEPLERNON makes it into the Urban Dictionary? I say 4 weeks.

Sfingi 1:14 PM  

I wasn't even going to join in today. 2, maybe 3 people are OTR (3-letter fill).

However, depending on the religion, gender of gods can be very important. Consider the various fertility gods and the shenanigans of the Greeks. There're some mighty sexy goddesses and poses in Dravidian religious art. The ideal of women sure beats our present androgynous one.

Utica used to be called the Sin City and Little Chicago in the '50s. Native Annette Funicello referred to it as such in one of her songs. Since then, the population has gone from 114K to 59K. Being punished?

Just voted. Make sure not to miss the little propositions and amendments. We had one about allowing high voltage lines through the (forever wild) Adirondacks. I voted NO.

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

@Rex: Sorry, but your critique of the quote is illogical. If this saying wasn't insightful originally, then it would not have become a cliché over time. Not to mention, as others have noted, its obvious applicability to our current President.

----> Joe in NYC

Unknown 1:30 PM  

more about OOXTEPLERNON. totally give the puzzle dis ding, rex man. voting rocks.

andrea dat michaels 1:33 PM  


No three letter words??!! I'd have to kill myself!
(Then again I just realized that last sentence I just typed has (damn!) no three letter words...

chefwen 1:36 PM  

Not too fond of quotation puzzles, esp. political ones, so I'm voting meh on this one.

Never heard anyone say gimme DAT ding, I'll go for Ting but not ding.

No voting in this nape of the woods today so I'll stay home and bake up a batch of Bialys. Winter has arrived as it is rather blustery and cool.

slypett 1:48 PM  

chefwen: I would give up something valuable for a really good bialy like I used to get in NYC. Alas, no longer! I don't know why they went out of "fashion". Oh, you can still get what are called "bialys", but they are not even ghosts of the genuine article.

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Loved the quote; liked the two RH words, and zero g; found no flow with the rest of the puzzle. Never even heard of RAREE.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

@XMAN: Gen-u-ine bialys can still be found at Kossar's, Grand and Essex Sts. I dont know if they do mail order.

------> Joe in NYC

Max Bialystock 2:13 PM  


bookmark 2:26 PM  

The Mario Cuomo quote is similar to the one Vaclav Havel made years ago. I finally found the excerpt from the October 1990 Harper's magazine in my quotes journal. Havel said in a speech after his election that he arrived at work the next day and felt profoundly depressed, without energy or exhilaration. He said that many of his colleagues felt the same way. "We realized that the poetry was over and the prose was beginning."

Anonymous 2:45 PM  


"which MC thinks would abhor the public."

BZZZZT! I'm sorry, but the Usage Police have issued an Arrest Warrant for misuse of "abhor." The public might abhor MC's open involvement, but your construction does not convey the message.

Hobbyist 3:01 PM  

Puzzle, shmuzzle. I want to know if William e Emba exists or is an OOXTOPLERNON or a droid. Just love the moniker but question its reality. Who goes by that sobriquet? Maybe a Mensan...

Glitch 3:22 PM  


My significant equal considers herself "Queen of the 3 letter words".

It gives her a foothold that lets her complete the ones I struggle with. (grammarians need not comment).


Anonymous 3:41 PM  

@rube - I had towropes at first seemed logical and you're right about towlines.

@anonymous - so glad the grammar police abhorred the incorrect usage of abhor!

Did not know the quote but it became very obvious quite early on.

Clark 3:53 PM  

I say, 'ding', da clue for DAT doesn't need to be capitalized. The clue need not be quoting the title of the song. It may be quoting a line from the song. And even if the writer of the song capitalized DAT in the published version, I don't think that binds the rest of us. It is a matter of style. If the writer of the song dotted her letters 'i' with smiley faces would the NYT be bound to follow suit if it quoted the song?

David from CA 4:25 PM  

Since gods tend to have notorious issues with anger management you seem the ideal one to ask about the correctness of "GET ANGRY" as an answer to (9D: Blow One's Top). WTF? I, for one, get angry fairly often - like when devisors intersect proper noun answers (blessedly absent in this puzzle), but I rarely blow my top at such times. Seems the latter always comes after the former.

And my brain is mush - what's the 3rd "R"??? Reuse, Recycle, ....?

db 4:29 PM  

duce is first. cycle is third.

as for ooxteplernon, it's OOSHT-AY-LUR-NOWN. the p is silent.

JustAskin 4:51 PM  

@Rex - Question regarding yesterday: As Andrea mentioned that the inclusion/omission of the indefinite article THE in the theme clues was a major concern of hers in this puzzle, am I correct in assuming that the apologies for posts chastising you for focusing on that were handled off line?

PlantieBea 4:57 PM  

@David from CA. There are actually 5 R's: Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Respond, and Reject.

Ruth 5:07 PM  

When I was younger it struck me that romances start with poetry and end in prose. At the beginning, stars in the eyes and joyous discovery of the things you find delightful in the new object of desire; but eventually, it comes down to how strongly you disagree on whether you need to put the cap back on the toothpaste (and other things too fierce to mention). Elections are the start of the REAL part of the relationship.

sanfranman59 5:23 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 9:38, 8:39, 1.11, 77%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:56, 4:26, 1.11, 80%, Challenging

A quote from Harvard's political theorist Michael Sandel in Thomas Friedman's Sunday op-ed piece: "Obama needs to energize the prose of his presidency by recapturing the poetry of his campaign."

Rex Parker 5:27 PM  


Well, of course not, but you knew that.

Didn't expect it. Don't really care. But I appreciate your noticing.


PIX 6:27 PM  

Cuomo was a pseudo-intellectual who continued NY State down the path of bankruptcy, all the time presenting himself as a later day Thomas Aquinas immersing himself in deep, deep thought. An intelligent man that was a complete disaster as governor. But a New York Times kind of guy.

21D Cuz…should have been clued as a Shakespearean reference to any family member; not just what we would call a cousin.

AMA as flu fighters is just dumb…they are not on the front lines fighting the flu…love them or hate them, they are very busy doing other things…

This really kills me, but I agree with everything Rex said about the puzzle…lots of bad short fill…lame quote from a lame ex-gov.

mac 7:24 PM  

@sanfranman59: good catch!

@PIX: my AMA connected PG couldn't get met a flu shot.

Anonymous 7:32 PM  

Say what you want about Cuomo, the guy was a great Doritos salesman.

Patricia Shepard 7:39 PM  

Rex, would you consider adding a poll feature for people to vote on whether they thought each day's puzzle was Easy, Easy-Medium, Medium, Medium-Challenging, or Challenging (for its day of course)? I think it would be really interesting! It was hard, for a Tuesday, and I agree, a bit blah. Fun quote though.

dk 7:56 PM  

@Ruth, we have instant run off or rank voting here in Mpls. I think that kinda kills the romance aspect.

@JustAskin, sometimes you find a hand on your back and other times a hand on your throat... justsayin :)

Off to my anger management class... I am ABD (all but discipline).

@chefwin, dat ting is what I know from David Lindley

PIX 8:12 PM  

@Mac...you can have my flu shot.

mac 8:31 PM  

@PIX: so nice of you, but we found a way. In fact, my upper arm is pretty sore...

Sfingi 9:23 PM  

@PIX - my Sicilian husband's family does not differentiate among cousins, nephews, etc. The words cucine (koocheen)or nipote are applied indiscriminately. For someone who spent her childhood vacations going to cemeteries and ancient relatives, this seemed sacreligious. WASPS have 100 words for relatives (and a few for snow).

NY is not on the road to bankruptcy in the sense that CA is, but Mario did some very strange things as Gov. (3-letter fill) many aren't even aware of. He was no Carter - more of a Jesuit in his complexity, which can be impressive or frightening.

chefwen 10:01 PM  

@dk - Love your new spelling of my name, I might have to adopt it and take in on Iron Chef America.

Geometricus 11:18 PM  

I think that db has it closest to correct:
OOX = "oosh" like other Central American deities
TEP should be pronounced with an ancient Egyptian accent (refer to your favorite mummy horror flick)
LER should be uttered with a thick Celtic brogue
NON should be forced through the nose with a decidedly Gallic whine

If pronouncing the deity's name correctly doesn't help you fill in those pesky three-letter bad fill words try this chant for four letter fill:
repeat over and over faster and faster...

The King and I 7:50 AM  

@Geometricus --

If that doesn't work, one could try




Nullifidian 2:14 PM  

Writing from syndication-land:

The most deadly thing to solving a puzzle with a quote theme isn't being ignorant of the quote, but "knowing" it.

Here, I thought the quote was "You campaign in poetry, but govern in prose." This hung me up because I couldn't figure out how GET_N_RB resolved into "Blow one's top" or what "Former mideast inits." TAR was supposed to represent.

Personally, I didn't find anything to dislike about TOW LINES. If anything, I'd say water skiing is considerably less obscure than John Dryden.

Aside from the write over of BUT to YOU, this puzzle didn't cause me much difficulty, though I would say that it shades more to the difficult side of a Tuesday puzzle.

Paul 2:22 PM  

Any puzzle I can complete in one sitting is easy. I liked the quote, didn't recognize it, but knew enough that Cuomo was more articulate than most and so there ought to be some, what's the word, symmetry. So poetry and prose were among the last answers I got, helping my lack of knowledge of things (star) trekky. Never, ever heard of a raree show.

Paul 2:22 PM  

Any puzzle I can complete in one sitting is easy. I liked the quote, didn't recognize it, but knew enough that Cuomo was more articulate than most and so there ought to be some, what's the word, symmetry. So poetry and prose were among the last answers I got, helping my lack of knowledge of things (star) trekky. Never, ever heard of a raree show.

Paul 2:26 PM  

I forgot to mention, Dat Ding. I got it cuz I was a child when the novelty song came out and those kind of songs get etched in your head. Being forever wrong about lyrics, I always sang along, thinking the words were gimme that thing.

Anonymous 10:25 PM  

This puzzle was frustrating! Monday's was a very easy fill for me, seemingly every answer right there. Today, all seemed two or three or four thoughts away. Many of the clues/answers were just out of my knowledge zone.

I also wondered what a zerog was!
Believed expats should clue with an abbr.
Odium, ionia, antonia, elsie, wac, raree among the other frustrations of today.

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