Cornice Support — TUESDAY, Dec 29 2009 — "__ on parle francais" / Mythical lecher Songwriter Novello / Parker products

Monday, December 28, 2009

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: Hidden Birds — Theme answers have the names of types of birds hidden in them.

Theme answers:

  • 16A: *Did a dog trick (ROLLED OVER)
  • 22A: *One who's often doing favors (MISTER NICE GUY)
  • 36A: *Affordable, as an apartment (LOW-RENT)
  • 38A: *Tugboat rope (TOWLINE)
  • 46A: *Aldous Huxley novel (BRAVE NEW WORLD)
  • 57A: *Bar patron's request for a refill (ANOTHER ONE)
  • 46D: Things hidden in the answers to this puzzle's six starred clues (BIRDS)
Word of the Day: IBOS (2D: Nigerian natives)
Igbo people, also referred to as the Ibo(e), Ebo(e), Eboans or Heebo are an ethnic group living chiefly in southeastern and south Nigeria. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects; today, a majority of them speak English alongside Igbo as a result of British colonialism. Igbo people are among the largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria. Due to the effects of migration and the Atlantic slave trade, there are Igbo populations in countries such as Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, as well as outside Africa. Their exact population outside Africa is unknown, but today many African Americans and Afro Caribbeans are of Igbo descent.

Hi there, everybody. PuzzleGirl here doing a very quick rundown of Tuesday's puzzle for you. Got a message from Rex earlier today asking if I could fill in for him because he's having too much fun with his family. Or something. I'm actually in Chicago right now for a wrestling tournament, which means I'm in for a long day and can't really spend a lot of time on this puzzle. I hope that doesn't hurt your feelings. I swear you all are very important to me, it's just that it's very cold here, and we're staying at a hotel that's kind of far away from the venue, and we're trying to do this trip on the cheap by taking public transportation, and my point is — I have enough problems tomorrow without also having to deal with lack of sleep (which tends to make me ... a little cranky). So. The puzzle.

I liked this puzzle quite a bit. It was a smooth solve for me, right around my average Tuesday time. I did end up with a mistake though. I threw ASU in where KSU belongs (Arizona State is Wildcats too, right? Crap. No, they're the Sun Devils. University of Arizona are Wildcats though. At least I got the right state. Although I guess it wasn't really the right state since it was the wrong answer). Anyway, I didn't check the cross to see that JERA didn't make any sense where JERK was supposed to be. Oh well. I probably won't lose any sleep over it. God, I hope I don't lose any sleep over it. I already explained the issue with the sleep, right?

Couple things:
  • 10A: Yank's foe (REB). Entered MET at first which is really dumb because even though I don't know which teams are in the American League and which are in the National League I do know that the Yankees and the Mets are not in the same league.
  • 15A: "A ___ bagatelle!" (MERE). Is this a thing? I'm guessing it's a popular culture reference that I missed. Let's see ... Nope. I'm totally wrong. And do you know why? Because I don't actually know the word bagatelle and I just assumed it meant baguette. Can you believe I admit this stuff publicly?
  • 33A: Fancy dresser (FOP). Fop is a great word. PuzzleHusband is something of a fop. At least he thinks so.
  • 51A: Hawkeye State native (IOWAN). Go, Hawks!
  • 66A: School attended by 007 (ETON). Also attended by 46A's Aldous Huxley.
  • 12D: ___ Wetsy (old doll) (BETSY). PuzzleDaughter has been talking about the "Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo Doll" recently. Can you guess what the "Whoopsie Doo" refers to? Let's just say it does more than wet. Ugh.
  • 42D: Part of P.E.I.: Abbr. (EDW.). For all of us non-Canadians that's Prince EDWard Island. See also 59D: Neighbor of Que[bec] (ONT[ario]).
So that's about all I have time for. You guys go ahead and have at it in the comments. With any luck, Rex will be back tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl


Steve J 12:35 AM  

Breezed through this one, but in the process I made a mess of the center. Had RPM instead of RPS, which left my final unsolved crosses as -UMSIE and -NCON. Had figured AUSSIE would be the answer, but RPS never ever occurred to me instead of RPM. Only thing I could think of for -UMSIE was MUMSIE, but that made no sense at all, either. And I knew there was no way I was going to figure out -CON.

Also, the cluing for MERE and BETSY was a borderline Natick for me. Never heard of either Betsy Wetsy or a Bagatelle. ERITU didn't help me out in there, either.

Those two hangups caused what was an easy puzzle for me to become a bit of a challenge. So, spot-on with easy-medium, at least for me.

PurpleGuy 12:45 AM  

OK- I would rather go with Betsy Wetsy , rather thanBaby Alive Whoopsie Doo ! I really don't think I want to go there. Breakfast Test anyone ?

Absolutely loved your write up. Really made me laugh.
I have 2 degrees (BAE & MED) from ASU, so I knew that was not the answer. The Uof ASz Wildcats are not in the Big 12. Here's my ignorance- are they in the Pac 10 ? I also went to the Univ.of Colorado(Buffaloes) and Hofstra Univ. in NY. That explains (I hope) my lake of conference placements.

Puzzle ? Lots of fun.Not overly difficult.
Never heard of ANCON. Anyone ?
I would say easy, for me.
Liked alDENTE over SATYR (LOL).
I guess that makes me no more MISTER NICE GUY.
Oh well, I'll face the BRAVE NEW WORLD and wait for ANOTHER ONE.

Thank you Peter Collins for a fun Tuesday.
Hats off to Puzzle Girl for a fabulous write up.

Bob C.

Bill from NJ 1:27 AM  

Ah, PG, I graduated from Arizona State in 1969 and it has been a long time since I saw that logo, not being an active alum. I transferred from Delaware State College in the middle of my junior year and never had much feeling for what I suppose is, technically, my alma mater. Personally, I feel more attached to Del State but my FIL was a rich - and supportive - ASU alum and pulled strings to get me a scholarship out there so he could be close to his only granddaughter. I remember a T-shirt my wife and I bought for "his" grandchild that read I'm a Little Imp from Arizona State. Probably too much information, but I haven't thought of these matters in, like, forever.

It's my guess that more than one person had *NCON/*UMPSIE as a head-scratchin' single empty square spang in the middle of their puzzle, wondering what kind of Australian ended in umpsie.


retired_chemist 1:33 AM  

Nice writeup. PG. May I call you PG? No, better not, that has another connotation.....

Also a nice puzzle. Easy, not verging on medium.31D ANCON was a WTF, I suspect for quite a number of us. But all its crosses were straightforward, so its added spice is fair game even for Tuesday IMO.

Minor quibble - I prefer less crosswordese. Note EBON, AT IT, ASTI, ETON, ERI TU, and UTILE.

John Hoffman 1:47 AM  

Northwest corner (starting corner for most of us) was hard for me. Also I never heard of an ancon.

andrea awman michaels 2:47 AM  

Is there a prize for the most V's and W's ever? (like 6 of one, almost half dozen of the other)

I liked JIVE being the first word, tho I had to run thru the alphabet to get JER_!

Have only heard of MISTERNICEGUY in the context of NO MORE Mr Nice Guy.
But whatever, 6 hidden birds + BIRDS + NESTS makes Peter Collins, Peter Collins. Total respect AND a Mr. Nice guy.

New meaning to Satyrday Night Fever. Is that an old joke already?

ICI, ICIEST. Most present (in French class)?

Who is this Connie Bailey Rae and what has she done to Comedienne Martha and Tommy Chong's daughter?

chefwen 2:50 AM  

Boy PG, you certainly are a trouper, did I spell that correctly, or should it be trooper???

Started out a little shaky but it all fell into place quickly. Only write over was 3down VOLUME TWO over volume one. Can't believe they couldn't fit A & B in one volume.

Cute theme, a little easy, but good.

Mykl Bykl 3:03 AM  

I played bagatelles when I was eight. But wasn't familiar with a "mere" bagatelle. Now I'm hungry.

Elaine 5:15 AM  

I agree with Easy, though I, too, tried RPM (then started wondering right away: "Paul Hogan? Sea Trout?") Also tried CANNY before CAGY, AXES before RAMS, PLUS before ELSE...but all of these were easily corrected, and I like it when multiple possibilities exist to lead us astray. I could not find a hidden word in the first long clue I wrote in, wasted some time hunting; so I just finished the puzzle, and did word-find from the bottom up.....and that time all was plain to me.

BOTH hands up for ANCON as new word. (IBO, not so much.) I would have thought ANGLE IRON or POST or COLUMN or even SILL.... I just hate when we have to look things up for ourselves, she sniveled.

Looks like a LOT of folks are having sleep issues! Hope Puzzle Girl is not one of them. Going to Chicago in late December....hmmm...
See you later!

Greene 5:26 AM  

Northwest corner really held me up for a time. Got JIVE and JERK pretty quickly, but was held up by the EBON - IBOS cross. Looks like it's back to Crosswordese 101 for me.

I actually never even saw ANCON until I got here (which is just as well). That just fell into place with the crosses.

Hand up for VOLUME ONE at first, but easily fixed. Loved all the hidden birds (thank God there were no circles). Fun that NESTS was tucked into the grid as well.

For a theatre geek, I have to confess that I know shockingly little about IVOR Novello (other than his name). I just read his Wiki page and I don't know any of his songs or shows. Well, I guess I've heard of "Keep the Home Fires Burning," but I couldn't hum it for you.

See PG? You're not the only one who admits this stuff publicly.

Elaine 5:43 AM

So far, not an ANCON in sight!

Oh, almost forgot: trouper was correct. TROUPE--cast of actors; "old trouper" "real trouper"
But when one thinks about it, TROOPER could work, too. I am of the opinion that the OU was the original word....

Jeffrey 7:23 AM  

Go away ANCON. You belong on Saturday.

David 7:33 AM  

A mere bagatelle near the end of the year.

Thanks PuzzleGirl for the breeze through on short notice!

chefbea 7:52 AM  

Fun puzzle. Never saw raven. Saw ene instead (or should it have been eme?)

The Corgi of Mystery 8:40 AM  


I guess the sad thing was that LOW RENT and TOW LINE are both xxWxxNx so there wasn't even any switching them. Also, maybe I'm imagining this, but in early-week puzzles ugliness seems to be better tolerated by editors in the downs than the acrosses, since they're often polished off without even being noticed.

The Concierge 8:53 AM  

...But you won't find him there... he's up on the roof with his boids. He keeps boids. Dirty... disgusting... filthy... lice-ridden boids. You used to be able to sit out on the stoop like a person. Not anymore! No, sir! Boids!... You get my drift?

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Enjoyed the writeup, breezy and fun. Good luck with the tournament and public transport. I'm one of those folks who used to take public transport when I went places and generally went to wrong places first.

Geezer 9:11 AM  

PG, Rex is fortunate to ask on the EVE of the puzzle, someone as adept as you to be ANOTHER ONE ready step right in to ROARS of our approval and thanks. Seems like you just ROLLED OVER and were skilled enough in ICIEST Chicago and LED us to much enjoyment today!

Geezer 9:15 AM  

My quibble with clues was 9D. Are we to assume that umps aren't really saying "You're out"?

joho 9:16 AM  

Thanks, PuzzleGirl!

I found ERN, not TERN. But both are birds, right?

Didn't see NEST until coming here, thanks @Andrea!

@The Corgi of Mystery ... glad to see you didn't like AWMAN either What is that?!

I thought the puzzle was easy and fun ... thank you Peter A. Collins for a solid, not goofy, Tuesday!

fikink 9:29 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle as I try another re-entry into puzzledom.

@Ulrich, I bet you could fill us in on ANCONes.

PIX 9:35 AM  

Fun puzzle...just right for a Tuesday.

edith b 9:52 AM  

If I remember my old movies correctly, W C Fields used to use the expression "A mere bagga shells" to refer to something inconsequential.

A nice little theme, elegantly expressed, with some nice long fill and very little junk fill although I was a little disconcerted when I glanced at 18A and it didn't pass my personal breakfast test.

and I agree with both Andrea and Bill from NJ.

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

Puzgal, your ability to admit to shortcomings and even ERRORS refreshing? typical of your sex?
If Mr. P. is having too much fun with his family, does that make doing his blog work?

Greg Clinton 9:55 AM  

My sisters played with Betsy Wetsy. This also brought back memories of Chatty Cathy and the Kennedy family paper dolls.

ArtLvr 10:00 AM  

Aw, WITTY Andrea -- SATYRday night fever? Give us ANOTHER ONE! And there is one more of the BIRDS in plain sight at 28D LOON, the "nut case"...

IBOS was a gimme, as the other Nigerian tribes are too long to fit. (LOL-L)

Thanks to Peter, MISTER NICE GUY, who resisted cluing RAMS as some team or other. And to PG -- in Chicago for wrestling? Good luck with that!


CoolPapaD 10:14 AM  

Fun Tuesday. Great right-up and fun comments! The only ANCON I know I know is the guy who played Potsie on Happy Days.
Comment of the day: ACME - ICIEST!

OldCarFudd 10:18 AM  

Easy and fun. Hand up for never having heard of ANCON. Only writeover was RPS for RPm, trying to figure out who in Oz I'd ever heard of named __MSIE. I'm surprised there's been no discussion yet of EINEN, masculine singular accusative. Deutsche sprache, schwere sprache. I've known the expression MERE bagatelle forever, but my wife (who also knew the expression) just asked me: "What's a bagatelle?" I told her the blog was full of that question today, and that I didn't know either. It's apparently: a trifle (which would make mere bagatelle redundant); a game with several variations; or a short piece of music.

@PG - Loved your write-up; now get some sleep!

foodie 10:26 AM  
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foodie 10:27 AM  

Also messed up the northwest corner... wound up with MSU and JERM!

This was generally easy but with enough tricky corners that I bet it's a medium in SanFranMan's stats.

A BAGATELLE (in the original French) is a trifle, something of little importance... it can be something that costs very little, or a very light piece of music, or a form of entertainment that's rather superficial, or a goal that's easy to reach, or a knick knack or a tale that's not serious. An in Canada I believe it's a light pastry... Great word!

Van55 10:31 AM  

I found a lot to dislike in the fill today.

SSN is as lazy as SSTS.

Oh no! Not ONO again.

ANOLD in the same puzzle as ROLLEDOVER


Never heard of ANCON or comice.

Worst of all is AWMAN.

Rex Parker 10:36 AM  

Sitting at Gate B32 in Denver until 1pm EST (11am local). Stop by and say hi.

Joe 10:36 AM  

Did anyone else have an issue with AL DENTE as a pasta "order"? As in:

Me: "Waiter, I'll have the pasta."

Waiter: "How would you like that prepared, sir?"

Me: "Usually I like it mushy, but I think today I'll go with AL DENTE!"

Just seemed a little odd...

Stan 10:39 AM  

Enjoyable Tuesday with a nice theme--not at all obvious until the explanation.

I also do not know a baguette from a baguatelle or an ancon from my elbow.

Rex Parker 10:43 AM  

ANCON is reprehensible for a Tuesday. Jeez louise. Still easy, but ...

Don't like when the "hidden" answers don't touch all words in theme phrase. I blame Patrick Berry, who once criticized one of my puzzles for that very reason (constructively, politely criticized — he's dreamy).


Two Ponies 10:46 AM  

Thanks for standing in PG.
I sometimes make notes on the margins of my puzzle or circle certain clues. Today my paper looks like a grocery list of things that make you go "Huh?"
Arlo and Ono make for two Olafs in one puzzle. Do I need all of that info? No.
Hinge holder?
Who are Ivoc and Rae?
Hand up for ascon.
I mean, all of these were easy to get from the crosses but very odd for a Tuesday.
22A Brought to my mind Alice Cooper and "No More Mr. Nice Guy."
I remember Betsy Wetsy, Chatty Cathy, and Nancy Nurse dolls even though I never owned a doll in my life.
As for Ibos, well, let's just say I've had enough about Nigeria for one week and four letters was not nearly long enough for my first impulse.

Geezer 10:49 AM  

@Joe, AL DENTE is indeed the way pasta is ordered / served in Italy

PlantieBea 10:55 AM  

@Joe: I, too, have never been given a choice about my pasta cooking. You get what you get, which is usually close to mushy.

I'm also glad there were no circles. Heron was the hardest bird to find. Overall a fun Tuesday with some unusual fill for a Tuesday.

For a really good read about (in part) the IBOS, try the collection of short stories, "The Thing Around Your Neck", by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

@PG: Thanks for the write-up, but that's one disgusting doll. Blech.

Can somebody explain JERK clued as so-and-so?

slypett 11:02 AM  

A bright! peppy! little puzzle, followed by bright! peppy! commentary by Puzzle Girl (and the rest of you). If I get any more buzz from this, I'll be in satori.

Edith B.: Jackie Gleason (as Ralph Kramden) used to say "A mere bag of shells."

ancon, (L. from Gr., the bent arm, the elbow, a bend) 1. Anat. The elbow. 2. Arch. A corbel supporting a cornice.

coyote 11:05 AM  

I really liked this puzzle. Thanks Peter and nice write up Puzzle Girl. I plan to attend the tournament in Brooklyn in February for the first time. Hope to meet many of you there.

C.W. Stewart (Carolyn)

Not a gamer 11:07 AM  

I used to buy goat cheese from Amir Bagatell.

fikink 11:10 AM  

@PlantieBea- thanks for the recommendation. "The Thing Around Your Neck" has been added to my Amazon order.

Glitch 11:13 AM  


"You stupid so and so"
"You stupid JERK"

[This is an example, not an observation ;-) ]


Ulrich 11:14 AM  

@fikink: Thx for the expression of confidence in my knowledge, but I must disappoint you--until last night, I had never (consciously) come across the term. I little clicking provided an explanation (from the Classical Encyclopedia):

ANCON (....), the anatomical name for "elbow"; "ancones" in architecture are the projecting bosses left on stone blocks or on drums of columns, to allow of their being either hoisted aloft or rubbed backwards and forwards to obtain a fine joint; the term is also given by Vitruvius to the trusses or console brackets on each side of the doorway of a Greek or Roman building which support the cornice over the same. A particular sort of sheep, with short crooked forelegs, is called "ancon" sheep.

i.e. the term doesn't refer to any old cornice, but a very specific kind, that over a door (or window?); in other words, it's super-duper-specific. I know what the things look like, but didn't know that there was a specific term for them (considering Vitruvius a colossal bore didn't help, of course--I never got through his books)...

...I mean, if we can spend half a day on the disc vs disk issue, we can certainly contemplate ancon sheep...they're actually kinda cute.

Ulrich 11:18 AM  

... and here's a picture.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:23 AM  

Apologies to edith b, but I thought 18 A could have been starred as a theme answer. After all, it does contain a perfectly good bird name, our old crosswordese friend the Tit, contained as a span over two separate words in the complete answer, ATIT.

PlantieBea 11:56 AM  


"You stupid so and so"
"You stupid JERK"

Uh, thanks :-0! I guess it's the so-and-so that's giving me trouble. I've never heard it used in a negative way, unlike JERK.

Alas, says "Noun 1. so-and-so - a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible; "only a rotter would do that"; "kill the rat"; "throw the bum out"; "you cowardly little pukes!"; "the British call a contemptible person a `git'"

The things you learn here...

Steve J 11:57 AM  

@Geezer: Indeed pasta is served al dente in Italy, but does one actually order it that way? It seems to me that that's just the way it is prepared. Ordering it as such would seem to be akin to ordering it cooked. It's going to come that way regardless, and therefore would be a bit redundant to order it as such.

Joe 12:19 PM  

@Steve: Yeh, that was where I was trying to go with my comment.

Squeek 12:32 PM  

Is this a crossword or a word search puzzle?
You know you have a bland puzzle when the conversation centers on ordering pasta while admiring your cornice.
Not everyone enjoys chewy pasta especially in America so if you want it chewy you might be wise to specify.
@ Ulrich, I meant to ask yesterday about the jelly donut/JFK myth. What's up with that?

jeff in chicago 12:33 PM  

Easy, but a little dry for me. Had to guess at the MERE/ERITU cross. Got it right, but several letters seemed possible.

Enjoy your stay here in Chicago, PG. Sounds like you'll be busy, but any chance of meeting for a trice?

Some dolls for little girls are very strange. On the other hand, I think I had a GI Tract Joe as a kid.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:36 PM  

@PlantieBea - For a use of "so-and-so" which is rather less offensive, but which still suggests that you would be a jerk in the sense of being foolish, here are a few words from Frank Sinatra. (Warning! This video is rather loud!)

foodie 12:48 PM  
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foodie 12:50 PM  

I remember being in a restaurant in Italy and being asked if I was OK with the fact that it will be cooked al dente. So, may be one can specify? Or maybe they only ask this of the dumb foreigners?

When I first moved to the US, I was struck by the questions about egg preparation. In response to " How would you like your eggs", I said "fried". There was an annoyed-sounding follow-up (as in "could you be a little vaguer?"): "Would that be scrambled, over-easy, sunny side up?". I had no clue! Most immigrants I know have confessed to being befuddled by the specificity of egg choices here.

mac 1:00 PM  

The nest gave it away! I hadn't figured out the theme yet when I got that and 49D. It would have been tough to find the theme without these hints. @Artlvr and @ Bob Kerfuffle, great additional bird discoveries.

Never heard of the Betsy Wetsy but I could figure that one out. I think I had a doll like that. Wouldn't take it any further though.

Welcomes to Fikink and Carolyn! Missed CrossCan and Foodie for a few days, too. @Foodie: I liked it when I found out about those egg terms! Nothing as cute in Dutch.

@Ulrich: you're not upset about "einen"? I though it very odd.
When I clicked your link I expected a cute Ancon sheep....

I forgot to tell earlier, but I found a small container of "Aha" body lotion in my Christmas stocking!

Now to brave the bitter cold in NY. Unfortunately MOMA is closed today, I'll have to come back next week.

retired_chemist 1:02 PM  

@ foodie -

I have been baffled in more restaurants in foreign countries than I can shake a stick at. My personal favorite was ordering rognons du (de?) veau in Paris, thinking it was veal smothered in onions (oignons). Should have noticed rognons sounded like "renal." Needless to say I do not like organ meats.

xyz 1:08 PM  

Thank heavens for crosses in the NW. NE a bit better. Loved the theme, cute with snappy & clean answers.

RPM/err RPS was a small eww, but knew BETSEY Wetsey (what does that say about a 58 year old guy?)

Had to work at this one a bit esp. for a Tuesday.

Karen 1:11 PM  

I'll admit to being sleep deprived also so could someone explain 34D to me. As I racked my brain it seems to me that most cashiers I encounter keep the ones in the right-most slot - or have I misunderstood this clue (entirely possible!)?

xyz 1:14 PM  

OTC meds in both NYT and LAT today

@Karen, I think it is where the Georgies do go, I thought it was left, could be wrong ... In my billfold I keep them on top - another potential clue-ing!

miguel 1:14 PM  

@foodie, I, too, ended up with egg on my face when ordering eggs a la American. I wanted them many choices, who knew?

I recall bagatelle from a song from Le Miz.

I have had pasta al forno, al dente and al gommoso and once in Serbia, al fritto.

chefbea 1:15 PM  

@Karen I too think ones are kept to the right.

PlantieBea 1:18 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: Thanks for the Sinatra link. Perhaps my breakdown in understanding is twofold. First, I would understand "so-and-so" to be the neutral name of someone whose actual name cannot be recalled, like a thingamabob or something-or-another. Second, (and my husband and I have had disagreements on this) is the negative connotation (to me!) of the word "JERK". For example, I would only use JERK for the guy who cut me off on the dreaded local interstate. That "so-and-so" and "jerk" were synonymous just didn't register.

Steve J 1:21 PM  
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Steve J 1:23 PM  

@foodie: I was born in the US, and I've lived all but about one of my nearly 40 years here, and I still don't know what all the different egg cooking levels mean. To me, you only need two types of fried eggs: soft yolk or hard.

@mac: I'm not a native speaker like Ulrich, but I do speak some German. Since German does not have a single indefinite article, from my perspective any one of them (ein, eine, einer, einen, einem, probably more that I'm forgetting about) would be appropriately clued as a German indefinite article.

retired_chemist 1:25 PM  

@ PlantieBea et al. - so-and-so has both connotations in my dictionary. Also ones could be on either side of the till, to my recollection.

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

I am a fan of the mystery writer Reginald Hill and now understand why Detective Constable Shirley Novello is nicknamed "Ivor" by Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel.

Ulrich 1:34 PM  

@mac: this is just for you!

Re. EINEN: I am not the one to be upset--indef article, sing. (there is no plural), male, accusative--piece of cake for me (e.g. Ich treffe einen Freund heute abend--"I'll meet a friend tonight"). It's youse guys who should be upset.

What cracked me up most about egg orders when I came here was that they were called "style"--I was used to the term with somewhat loftier (and more profound) connotations--gothic, baroque etc. To see "easy over" put in the same league was a surprise. Later one, I was told that "style" in English simply refers to the way in which things are done, be they eggs or cathedrals.

Anonymous 1:52 PM  

@Karen: Absolutely correct! The ONES are always in the right-most slot in every cash register I have ever operated or seen.

And it also seemed strange to have ONES and ANOTHERONE in same puzzle.

------> Joe in NYC

bluebell 1:53 PM  

I'm still puzzling over RPs. Revolutions pers? What am I missing?

I now know what an ancon is, thank you everyone. Of course my brain won't hold it until next time.

A pretty easy Tuesday solve. Volume two was easy as an answer because I still have my kids' 1978 World Book Encyclopedia set, and when I don't want to walk through the house to the computer to Google, I still look things up there. Amazing what info a 1978 set has that is still applicable.

Tinbeni 2:04 PM  

NYT puzzle that starts with JIVE, well I knew I wasn't going to say ONO.

@PG thanks for the word of the day, IBOS I have not seen in a long, long time. The info on the Igbo was nice to learn.

Cluing for 15A (mere) was obtuse, but 33A (fop) very cleaver.

Also enjoyed the three other bird references, Loon, tit & nest.
A complete avian theme.

Jim in Chicago 2:08 PM  

I was glad to see other comments on the order of bills in the till (hey, that rhymes). I've always put the ones in the right hand slot - who knew there was an official order.

I just love the word UTILE for some reason. Always reminds me of a place where even Catherine Winkworth, the astounding translator of German Chorales into English, got stuck and came up with the line "Oh how futile, how inutile......"

I always chuckle when eating pasta in Italy, where it is perfectly cooked to my linking. When a restaurant in the US says they cook it Al Dente you just know its going to be crunchy, nothing like what they serve in Italy! And, the pizza in Italy (and all of Europe for that matter) can't hold a candle to the pizza from my storefront dive across the street from my condo, which in its own right is only so-so by Chicago standards.

Total aside - I receive a pasta extruder attachment for the Kitchaid for Christmas. I was skeptical, but we had "pasta night" on Sunday, made 8 kinds, and it worked perfectly. I don't want to figure in which decade the machine will pay for itself vs. buying fresh pasta at the store, but it is entertaining and the pasta we tried did cook up wonderfully.

joho 2:19 PM  

@Ulrich, thanks for the sheep link! I, too, like @mac, thought your first link would lead to the cute animals, not the cornice.

I'm getting hungry with all this talk about pasta!

Meg 2:21 PM  

@Bluebell: Revolutions Per Second, not per minute as I put in initially.

@ Andrea: Corrine Bailey Rae is a lovely singer. "Put Your Records On" was played frequently in my favorite Starbucks.

I liked this puzzle. Just right for a Tuesday. AWMAN reminded me of BEQ, and I wondered if maybe cluing in the NYT is loosening up a bit.

I think I may have had a Betsy Wetsy. That's something I would only admit here on this blog where readers are so sensitive and non-threatening.

Thanks for the PEI explanation. I'm sure I'll see that one in another puzzle.

Great write up, PG!

archaeoprof 2:35 PM  

46D was my last answer, so I didn't see the theme until the very end. Delightful Tuesday; thanks, Peter Collins, now an official MRNICEGUY.

RPS/rpm was my only writeover today.

Had never heard of ERITU before entering CrossWorld. Probably should listen to it one of these days...

chefwen 2:36 PM  

I would like mine over medium please.

Ones always on the right and always the first to run out.

George NYC 2:42 PM  

@edith b and @darkman

When I got BAGATELLE I remembered a long ago discussion as to whether it should be BAG OF SHELLS. Remembered the phrase but not where I had heard it. I was hoping it would come up here, and I wasn't disappointed. Thanks!

Joe Green 3:00 PM  

(That's my American name.)

@ archaeoprof -

You want "Eri tu," you got "Eri tu," served al dente, of course.

Clark 3:33 PM  

I started out liking my eggs sunny side up. Then I graduated to Over easy. Now I like them Over medium. I figure, asking that your pasta be al dente is a bit like asking that your vindaloo be hot. It's the way it should be, but not everybody likes it that way, and it never hurts to ask.

@Ulrich -- thanks for the pictures. After reading your description of an ANCON I went looking for a picture of it, cut the search short as I am in a bit of a hurry, then found your picture. And, could those sheep be any cuter?

@PG -- Welcome to Chicago. Enjoy the crisp air and blue sky.

mac 4:57 PM  

@Ulrich: thank you for my sheep!
I thought you might have a problem with "einen" exactly because "accusative" was NOT in the clue.

@Tinbeni: I have no idea why this is so, but "a mere bagatelle" is a normal term for me.

For dinner we're going to "Lupa" in the West Village. Don't think I'll ask for my pasta to be cooked al dente.

A. Cooper 4:58 PM  

I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me
I opened doors for little old ladies
I helped the blind to see
I got no friends 'cause they read the papers

They can't be seen with me
And I'm gettin' real shot down
And I'm feelin' mean

No more Mister Nice Guy

Sfingi 5:03 PM  

@Stan - for truthiness sake I misreferenced the quote. It was Mort Sahl. Hope your back gets perfect!

@Andrea - funny. Could MELD together and be Corinne Bailey RAE Dawn Chong.

@Edith - hope it's true. The only bagatelle I knew was the music kind.

@Joe - I agree. You would order a "well-done steak," or "farfalle al dente." It's adjectival and means there is still a little feel to the teeth, not mush and not raw.

@Kartoffle - love that scene.

@Plantie - Would say, "You dirty so-and-so," to someone's face, but not ask, "What's your face?" That would be rude.

Waited for a while to get the last letter of EINEN because of the many grammatical inflections of our favorite secondary language. Thank history that Dutch and Anglo-Saxon dropped that stuff. Sorry, Ulrich. It's one of the reasons why German is no longer a world language.
Lost my wonderful HS German teacher this week. She was 99, and still teaching in Rochester.

Got the nice theme right away.

Had a total, personal Nattick at IBOS cross KSU.

Had no problem with cash drawer. I don't know my right from my left,
and in a car, I ask, "Your side or my side?"

Did not know, but they fell in: ANCON, PEDRO, IVOR.
As for IVOR, it's a Welsh name, and I checked out the fellow. He was born Ivor Davies in Cardiff. As for PEDRO, hubster wouldn't wouldn't tell me. Said I should try some common Spanish names. I asked him if the Spanish aren't doing the same as the Italians - naming their kids Evan, Kevin and Sean. He said he hoped not.

ERI TU from the Masked Ball is not as well-known since it is a baritone's, and the tenors get all the attention today. Check out YouTube for various versions.

Betsy-Wetsy sued one of the other wetting doll companies and lost, since drinking and wetting was unpatentable since it was basic. I have 3 Tiny Tears, which differed From Betsy in that they had (cw creaters note) Caracul/Karakul/Persian lamb wigs. But how natural is urinating out of holes in your butt?


Which is a better abrev. for Social Security Number - SSN or "ssno" ?

Is ENL common?

Sorry I'm ANOLD grumpster today. The wind chill is -12. I knew a computer salesman who thought it was windshield factor, and that your get it by measuring the temp of the inside of your windshield. That was in the late '60s.

Elaine 5:13 PM  

I guess we are all feeling we've gotten a vocab boost with ANCON...and I can tell you it was not easy to find the link I posted above (which did NOT contain the word, but should have!)

@Jim in Chicago
You made eight batches of pasta? Just how big is your kitchen???
I use half semolina flour (Bob's Red Mill) and half unbleached King Arthur flour for my pasta. Dry lasagna noodles a couple of hours and go ahead without precooking (honest!) Comes out perfectly al dente (NOT crunchy or chewy)...
So, we had to put a limit on how often I made noodles, etc. We were gaining too much weight. sigh

Just say the word-- I have a terrific recipe for lamb kidneys...or for steak and kidney pie. If you don't like it, you can always feed it to the dogs....

Jim in Chicago 5:23 PM  


Technically the space is enormous since its all part of one big loft. We didn't quite have pasta hanging from the Chandelier but it was close. We mostly made the smaller shapes - macaroni, fusili, etc. - so they didn't require quite as much drying space as spaghetti would.

treedweller 5:47 PM  

My niece begged for and received the . . . doll. It was never put to the test since it arrived at someone else's house, but my impression was that the only difference between number one and number two was food coloring. Of course, the real rub for the parents is that you get the food coloring from official "baby juice" packets (wouldn't want to see that juicer . . .) and remove it in official diapers. The old "give-away-the-razor-and-sell-the-blades" trick. Though, of course, they did not give away the doll. Insidious bastards.

I found the puzzle pretty easy, though I had some of the same sticking points already mentioned.

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

As someone who got his start in NYT crosswords during French class in high school (I could fold up the paper just so and have it on my desk without Mme Simon noticing), I always like it when I get the "French" answers and clues like ICI and BAGATELLE since it retroactively justifies my priorities in those days.

Breezed through most of the puzzle but came acropper in the NW for the most infuriating of reasons. At the risk of overburdening you all with more autobiographical information, I lived in Nigeria during the Biafran War, when the Igbos rebelled against the Federal Government. A bad place and time. Anyway, I immediately rejected IBOS since I don't think I have seen it spelled without the G. Ran through every other tribe I could think of with no result, then grudgingly tried IBOS which landed me with the *SU problem others had.

Nonetheless a lovely puzzle (and write-up) with the added bonus of bringing back memories from a long-forgotten part of my past.

PIX 6:23 PM  

#Anon (5:47PM) Great story...but you make an observation many people have made before:namely, knowing a whole lot about a subject(you certainly know a thousand times more about Igbos/Ibos than the person that created the puzzle)doesn't really help in this game...the puzzle requires a specialized vocabulary that is somewhat independent of reality, as you yourself just demonstrated...

Ulrich 7:13 PM  

@PIX: Amen

@Stan: You made my grammatical points before me--forgot to mention this.

@Sfingi: Yes. But don't forget the fact that the Nazis practically killed the great German academic tradition in math and physics--to this day, in my opinion, the German universities have not recovered from the blood-letting. It used to be that a mathematician or physicist had to be able to at least read German--no more (people more knowledgeable than me in this regard may correct me here). These days, German scientists not only have to be able to read English papers, they have to be able to write them. (Speaking for myself, I couldn't even explain what I did in my research in German!)

Elaine 7:37 PM  

You left out Medicine--esp research medicine!
Book recommendation: ARROWSMITH. It's been on this blog....

Elaine 7:40 PM  

My children and hubby still refer to the event in which they arrived home (I had the new pasta extruder) and I had done a DOUBLE batch of noodle dough.... there were noodles hanging from the rafters, and we didn't have rafters. Hilarious!

Stan 7:43 PM  

@sfingi: Not to worry -- all is AOK with me now. Also, I like the idea of Corinne Bailey Martha Rae Dawn Chong. Hope she appears more in the puzzle.

@Ulrich: I would have like to have made those grammatical points, but I think it was @Steve.

edith b 7:47 PM  

It sure seems like more than one person used the expression "a mere bagga shells" to express a trivial amount. I DO remember Ralph Kramden using that expression in "The Honeymooners" as well as W C Fields using it in "The Bank Dick".

It wouldn't be an unusual occurence for more than one comedian to use the same material as Jack Benny was involved in a mock feud with Fred Allen over "stealing" material and constantly was accusing Milton Berle of the same thing.

edith b 7:47 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 7:54 PM  

I have been away and reading this blog tonight reminds me why I missed doing puzzles and why I have my reservation at the Brooklyn Marriott for the ACPT. Thanks guys, you are great.

I didn't get too far away from puzzle people though. I had coffee and a wonderful chat with Foodie when I traveled up to Ann Arbor.

foodie 8:05 PM  

@Ulrich, even in the history of psychology, the Germans had a huge influence... and several great neuroscientists I know are either German or Austrian born and left because of the Nazis. The loss to Germany was great, no question.

Nevertheless, the Max Planck Institute has many wonderful scientists. And a look at the Nobel prizes shows that Germany continues to produce great leaders in the natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)-- including a woman, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard in 1995.

@mac, I agree that once you get the egg system, you realize that these nuances make a difference in the taste and it's good to have the terms-- the sunny part being the cutest.

@RC, yeah, rognon is not for everyone! I'll try almost any organ, but I can no longer manage to eat cervelles (brains) even though I had them as a child. A case of too much info.

@Andrea and other puzzlers, a propos of nothing except the love of words-- my niece got a game of Bananagrams in her stocking-- a sort of free form Scrabble. Lots of fun, especially for speeders. I got to use TUN which they questioned and then were impressed to find out it was legit!

@Philly, this is amazing, I was just about to write that you and I met when I saw your post! It was really fun to meet you in person!

joho 8:16 PM  

@foodie ... your post just brought back memories I had suppressed of my mom serving me and my brother brains and eggs for breakfast!

He thought them delicious, I did not!

archaeoprof 8:53 PM  

@Joe Green: Thanks! Now I can say that I have heard Eri Tu.

It sounded pretty good. Wonder what he was singing about.

sanfranman59 11:02 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:40, 6:55, 0.96, 46%, Medium
Tue 8:51, 8:45, 1.01, 57%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:41, 0.99, 53%, Medium
Tue 4:34, 4:29, 1.02, 62%, Medium-Challenging

As Foodie predicted, pretty much a Medium Tuesday puzzle. As I've said before, with Monday and Tuesday puzzles, the median solve time for the top 100 is doubtless skewed by a floor/ceiling effect (i.e. a human being can only read clues and type in the answers so fast).

Sfingi 11:04 PM  

@archaeoprof - look up Masked Ball Verdi in Wiki and it will tell you what you need. This one is an unrequited love triangle ending in unnecessary murder - very soapy.

In the old days everyone had a copy of Milton Cross, Stories of the Great Operas. If you go to the best appointed opera houses, they'll have the words in English on a little screen on the back of the seat in front of you.

@Mac thanx for the info. Around here people check out the Dutch on the old church records, usually for genealogical info.

@Ulrich - just kidding - many other reasons besides the grammar. My favorite Germans are the most fascinating and world-changing triumvirate of non-practicing, even atheist Jews - Marx, Freud and Einstein. In particular, I think Wien/Vienna must have been a marvelous place a century ago. If I ever get to visit that time and place...the philosophers, artists - I would just love to float around.

Ulrich 12:13 AM  

@sfingi: Yes again. BTW The most concrete whiff, here in the US, of what Vienna was like can be had on the 2nd floor of the Neue Galerie, kitty-corner from the Met in NYC (the Sachertorte in the cafe below sucks, tho, if compared with the real thing).

where am I, binary-wise---111111?

retired_chemist 12:19 AM  

@ Ulrich, Elaine, et al. -

When an undergraduate, I took a course in German because it was recommended for chemistry majors. As a grad student in the early sixties, I had to pass reading comprehension tests in French and German (could have done Russian instead of one, but didn't). At that time one could not say one knew the literature of any field of chemistry by reading only that published in English.

andrea lol(l) michaels 1:53 AM  

@Joe Green 3pm
Your American name!
Ha! I just got that!

Megygelt 8:42 AM  

Yeah! Go Hawkeyes!

Glitch 10:19 AM  

@r_c & @Ulrich

In my under grad years (mid '60s)at an "Engineering Institute", I took (the recommended) several semesters of German, one of which was "Scientific German".

Same explaination as r_c's, English alone was "not sufficent" in the scientific "community".


Anonymous 12:15 PM  

Great minds think alike! This Tuesday puzzle resembles the classic "Nestlings" published in the Sunday NYTimes, Sun 8/21/1994
which was constructed by Ted. Fulton. The title was a double entendre since the names of the bids were "nested" in longer words as in this recent puzzle.
It was republished in The New York Times Sunday Crossword Omnibus Volume 7: 200 World-Famous Sunday Puzzles from the Pages of The New York Times (Paperback) ~ The New York Times (Author), Will Shortz (Editor)
and in The New York Times Supersized Book of Sunday Crosswords: 500 Puzzles (New York Times Crossword Puzzles) (Paperback)
by Will Shortz and Eugene T. Makeska
As a Sunday puzzle, Nestlings was bigger with more birds, and IMHO more fun! If you wish to try it, it can be found by Googling the words Nestlings and Fulton.
From the constructor's wife, R. Fulton.

Waxy in Montreal 6:49 PM  

Those folk not familiar with pre-WWII Welsh composer and singer IVOR NOVELLO might like to see the great 2001 Robert Altman film Gosford Park (2001) in which a somewhat fictionalized Novello is played by Jeremy Northam.

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