Animal House beanie sporters / TUE 6-1-10 / Hobbyist's knife brand / North-of-the-border grid org / Movie pal of Stitch

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Constructor: Sarah Keller

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: B[vowel]D — clues for five theme answers are, in order of appearance, BAD BED BID BOD BUD

Word of the Day: ALAN LADD (22D: "Shane" star) —

Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 – January 29, 1964) was an American film actor. [...] Ladd began by appearing in dozens of films in small roles, including Citizen Kane in which he played one of the "faceless" reporters who are always shown in silhouette. He first gained some recognition with a featured role in the wartime thriller Joan of Paris, 1942. For his next role, his manager, Sue Carol, found a vehicle which made Ladd's career, Graham Greene's This Gun for Hire in which he played "Raven," a hitman with a conscience. [...] In 1946, he starred in a trio of silver screen classics: the big screen adaptation of Richard Henry Dana's maritime classic, Two Years Before the Mast (for which he also received critical acclaim), the Raymond Chandler original mystery The Blue Dahlia (his third pairing with Lake), and the WWII espionage thriller, O.S.S.. [...] Ladd's played the title role in the 1953 western Shane. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (wikipedia)

• • •

Not much to this one. Familiar conceit — though often vowel progressions occur within the fill rather than the clues, and most repeated-clue-themed puzzles actually have the same clue for all theme answers, rather than slightly altered ones, as we see here. I'm trying to give the puzzle credit for being, perhaps, slightly innovative, but it's hard. There's just not much here to love. It's easy and it's adequate. Monday Monday. Oh, wait. It's Tuesday Tuesday. Memorial Day has me turned around. Didn't like BAD=MISCHIEVOUS, though I guess they're roughly parallel. BAD on its own seems more "evil" than MISCHIEVOUS. Liked FUTURE BLOOM best of all the theme answers — most interesting, and also hardest to get (for me). Had to work for the FUTURE part. Fill is mostly familiar stuff. No real interesting words or unusual combos or crosses or ... anything. OPHELIA (5D: Shakespeare character who goes insane) is the one answer that kind of dances. BLURT (49D: Say without thinking) is entertaining, as five-letter answers go. There's really no need to call GRETA (31A: Van Susteren of Fox News) a HOER (36A: Weed whacker), though. She's just doing her job.

Theme answers:
  • 37A: BID (OFFER)
Weirdest moment of the solve was pausing for what felt like eons (probably just a second or so) at the crossing of ASIA (2D: Province of ancient Rome) and SAY (20A: Two cents' worth). Neither clue made *any* sense to me, especially the former. That is a crazy way to clue ASIA. Not incorrect, I don't think, just nuts. ASIA = "province" = Does Not Compute. Merlin OLSEN (6A: Late football star and FTD pitchman Merlin) played Jonathan Garvey on "Little House on the Prairie," a show that also featured a character named Nellie OLSEN, only I just found out that her name is actually spelled "Oleson." Still, that's an odd coincidence.

Just a few missteps today: the ASIA/SAY thing, FINK for SING (33D: Rat on the Mob), the trouble with FUTURE, and then CFA for CFL (32D: North-of-the-border grid org.).

  • 15A: Sluggo's comics pal (NANCY) — I really love this strip. Bushmiller's cartooning is fantastic, with many "NANCY" strips featuring zany, almost surreal humor.
  • 39A: Movie pal of Stitch (LILO) — Should add that to my list of "21st Century Crosswordese" if I haven't already.
  • 44A: "Animal House" beanie sporters (PLEDGES) — just saw an ad for this DVD, right before re-re-rewatching "Sixteen Candles" on Saturday.

  • 64A: Hobbyist's knife brand (XACTO) — many (if not most) X-words in puzzledom are brand names. XEROX, XBOX, XGAMES, XTERRA, exetera.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Vincent Lima 12:22 AM  

I actually got stuck for a long time at the HOER-PEEN crossing. That doesn't usually happen on a Tuesday.

BTW, I didn't care for PERSON'S BUILD. It's funny to get stuck with such an uninteresting theme answer because the clue has to be what it has to be and you can't think of anything better to clue as BOD.

XACTO brought a smile to my face. To think that there was a time we had to cut and paste typeset text and photos instead of shifting them around with a mouse....

Steve J 1:15 AM  

I never got the theme on this one. Now that I see the explanation, I think I'm more confused than I was when I was oblivious to it. What's with the all-caps on all the clues? None of these were acronyms, which is the American English convention for all-caps words.

This fell into the category of easy and uninteresting for me, as opposed to some recent early-week fare that has been interesting but easy. Theme didn't grab me, and there's not much in the fill I found noteworthy, either.

Am I alone in arguably excessive NIT picking with being mildly bothered by the treatment of "state" as a proper noun in 10D?

andreo carlo michaels 1:25 AM  

oops, mistake! Had XACTa/PUERTa. Drot!

Would prefer to see the BAD, BED, BID IN the puzzle so I'm going to get to work...

I made 103 mistakes...
who knew that OtHELlo and OPHELIA are so similar...
HAMUP instead of EMOTE, wow, could I have been more wrong?

lit.doc 1:25 AM  

This is one of those nights I really look forward to Rex’s post. Finished in 10:31, which is kind of “mard Monday” at this point, with no slow downs except SEIZE/USURP and OVOID/OVATE, neither of which was surprising or very time consuming.

But then I printed my grid and circled the theme answers so I could see what the theme was. Or not. Heavy on the not. I can only hope that it’s not too painfully obvious when I finally figure it out.

Oh crap. It’s in the clues, not the answers. Vowel rotation. Ouch. If this has been done before, I do hope this is the last time, as it didn’t add an iota of interest to the solving of the puzzle.

Now if the theme answers had exhibited some sort of sequential rotation as well, then it would have been hugely clever. But interrelated clues sans interrelated answers? No thank you.

CoolPapaD 1:25 AM  

Clever puzzle, I thought, with one of the best clues in recent memory (Weed whacker)! Greta, Roger Ailes's top hoar, got pwned this past week by her "fans."

Rex - For the longest time, I thought the pic of the girl in your write-up was Cindy Brady, played by Susan Olsen!

Good LORD - Sixteen Candles is such an amazing movie. John Hughes is a genius. Period.

lit.doc 1:28 AM  

@Steve J, no, you're not alone. I've seen this clue/answer form before, and it annoys the hell out of me. "NY" is the damned abbrev. for the state, period.

PurpleGuy 1:49 AM  

I agree with @Steve J and @lit.doc that the abbreviation for New York State is NY. New York City is NYC. I was born and grew up in New York, and I have never seen the abbreviation as NYS. A very big nit pick.
Otherwise, the puzzle was fun and easy for a Tuesday.
Any puzzle with ALAN LADD as an answer is XACTO by me.
FUTUREBLOOM over OVATE seemed nicely placed.
POTROAST crossing ABNORMAL and PERSONSBUILD brought a smile to my face.

This was a hard Holiday for me. Would have been my oldest sisters 78 birthday. She died in '98 from complications from Diabetes. This was rough for my mom(102 yrs) since no parent should have to bury a child.
@Tinbeni - she toasted you with her Signature Dewars. Of course I had a martini.

From this VietNam vet, I hope all had a wonderful Memorial Day.

Great write up, as usual Rex.

syndy 1:53 AM  

Not too bad-thought ute-uva-lvi-tvi so close together a bit of a toad.Lena to Greta to elke had a nice teutonic ring next to the oder!

chefwen 3:36 AM  

Made a few of the same mistakes Andreo Carlo made, similar minds think alike, although her mine is a lot more clever than mine. Othello before OPHELIA, PUERTa before PUERTO, and damn it I've been there twice (and loved it.) This might explain why a couple of days ago I had to look up KILAUEA in the phone book. There is a KILAUEA/Hanalei mile marker a few hundred yards before the turn in to our driveway, I awarded myself the PATHETIC PERSON OF THE DAY award for that one. Jeez!

snemi - my next cat name

Clark 5:55 AM  

I really liked the clue for ASIA. When I got it, I figured that ASIA really was one of the official provinces of Rome. Turns out it became a province in 133 BC. It lay roughly where western Turkey is today.

NYS is a fairly common abbreviation for the state of New York in the NYS legal community. A number of state agencies use it.

Rex Parker 6:46 AM  

The NYS Department of Labor, for instance.


joho 7:06 AM  

@andreo carlo michaels ... I feel like an idiot! I also ended up with XACTa/PUERTa. I know it's an "O" because I'm very familiar with the knife, but think because XACTa is a type of horse race (isn't it?) it sounded right. Or at least like a word.

I did not like the theme and agree with @lit doc that this idea should be permanently retired.


The Bard 7:46 AM  

Hamlet > Act IV, scene V

OPHELIA: [Sings]

You must sing a-down a-down,
An you call him a-down-a.
O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false
steward, that stole his master's daughter.

LAERTES: This nothing's more than matter.

There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,
love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.

LAERTES: A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.

There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue
for you; and here's some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
a difference. There's a daisy: I would give you
some violets, but they withered all when my father
died: they say he made a good end,--


For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.

fikink 7:50 AM  

Isn't EXACTA a type of bet?
NYS gave me pause.
@Clark, thanks for the ASIA backstory.

dk 8:25 AM  

Rex I went (of course) in the same direction with 36A and share your appreciation for Nancy and Sluggo.

I liked the plug for x-words with the Wordplay clue. On the whole this puzzle is just fine, in a beer by the pool way.

** (2 Stars)

vhwalihi - the way @chefwen wants to spell KILAUEA

Dorothy Biggs 8:35 AM  

esai, esai, esai...why is it i can never remember that name? every time it shows up in a puzzle i swear i won't forget it next time. but, alas, it won't stick. i want it to be erin (as in erin moran) or esau or enos or...or...argh. luckily the crosses pretty much spelled it out for me.

i agree with the poster above who felt the all caps clues were a little misleading. maybe an asterisk instead?

and who here hasn't said the word, "mischievious" before? how did people even come to pronounce it "mischievious?" heh...irregardless...

a pleasant tuesday.

chefbea 9:04 AM  

Easy Tuesday, tho I never heard of Asia as a provence of ancient Rome.

Can someone explain Indie for word play????

Henrietta Beltway 9:14 AM  

Indie, as in Independent Film...pretty lame, if you ask me!

dk 9:18 AM  

@Chefbea, it was an independently (not a major studio) produced film.

@fikink, xacta-mundo is a slang term for right on the money. And, I think xacta may be when you pick 8 horses in 8 races and in some way bet on the outcome. It has been a long time since my last trip to Vernon Downs..... "their off and trotting"

Van55 9:27 AM  

I thought this was a perfectly acceptable Tuesday puzzle. I enjoyed the inversion of the usual theme with letter progression to theme answer letter progression.

Easy romp for me.

ArtLvr 9:31 AM  

My only hesitation was at the 42A clue "River pair" for BANKS. I suppose it's been used before, but my thoughts wandered through otters et al, or the two Rs in the word River. ELKE set me straight.

BELABOR and BLURT were favorites, along with 44A's "beanie sporters". The theme of clue/answer reversal was okay by me..


twangster 9:53 AM  

One thing that redeems what seems like a lame idea is that there are relatively few 3-letter combos like this where all 5 vowels get you a common word. I keep thinking of examples where only 4 out of 5 work (e.g., PAN, PEN, PIN, PON, PUN).

Bob Kerfuffle 9:58 AM  

Nice little twist.

Not much to say; just a good excuse to listen to 7 D, La Vie en Rose.

Ulrich 10:19 AM  

ditto re the CAPS.

Since Wroclaw is the Polish name for the city that used to be called Breslau and Odra the Polish name of the river that flows through it, I had ODRA initially at 25D, b/c a cluing convention is that If a clue contains a word in a foreign language, it's an indication that the answer will be in that language--and then I discovered that the German name for the river was called for after all. I've complained about this before and was told that in English, the river is still called Oder, but the city Wroclaw. That may well be true, but it doesn't mean that ODER has to be clued in such a clunky, inelegant way--why don't constructors use the fact, for once, that "oder" means "or" in German?

mac 10:23 AM  

Decent Tuesday puzzle for me, with only a minor delay in the SW where I had ATV for UTE, erased "risen" for "alive", then had to erase the whole area and start again.
Love the clue for pen.

Yeeeew, Rex, you are joking, right? Exetera may be my main pet peeve!

retired_chemist 10:25 AM  

@ twangster - BAT BET BIT BOT BUT, if you allow the neologism BOT.

Liked the puzzle OK, didn't love it. Felt easy, time was medium.

Writeovers: flip-flop on UTE/SUV @ 60A, PAGE @ 22A, ASTI (as in spumante) @ 2D, ABO @ 55A, OVOID @ 62A. Other than those it was pretty much a fill-in-the-blanks-as-fast-as-you-can experience. Plenty of easy downs to get enough crosses in each theme answer to make it obvious.

LOL at "Ladd began by appearing in.... small roles .... - Ladd was quite small, which in part cost him a slot at the Universal Pictures school for actors (also Wikipedia).

Tinbeni 10:30 AM  

I knew about the part of Turkey that was in the Roman Empire ... but 2D, Province of ancient Rome, ASIA implies that the whole continent was included.

Not a problem with NYS since 2 letter answers aren't allowed.
GRETA over HOER makes a political statment.LOL
LILO, Stitch's bud, damn I knew this. How?

@PurpleGuy: Cheers to you and your Mom.

Two Ponies 11:00 AM  

Not much sparkle in this one.
I liked the symmetry of the long theme answers with "offer" then stuck in the middle.
@ Ulrich, thanks for the Oder info. I had no idea where Wroclaw was but it did sound Polish.
I was hoping weed whacker might be narc.
I knew the puns from hoer would be irresistible.
I found Puerto Vallarta a very depressing place. The beach facade of resorts and t-shirt shops hide the poverty that exists barely 100 yards inland.

foodie 11:14 AM  

What was notable, in my view, was neither the inversion (which makes it more interesting) nor the caps (I agree they're a bit annoying)-- it was the nature of the theme answers. The most plain vanilla possible definition of the words. BED: PLACE TO SLEEP? I would have loved to see a fun, unexpected, secondary meaning used for all the answers. I mean BOD is evocative of all kinds of attractive people, and "Personal Build" does not make my heart sing or turn me green with envy (depending on the gender of the bod). Or check it out in Urban Dictionary (BOD = Black Out Drunk, e.g.)

Sorry if I'm sounding grumpy. May be because I had to get up early and get on a plane to LA (this is coming to you from the skies over the Mountain States).

Back to work!

Sparky 11:21 AM  

Yup, I worked for the NYSDOL for 21 years. Aargh. Loved Alan Ladd when I was a kid. Went to see "Lucky Jordan" 6 times. Easy puzzle which I like. Tripped on CFL; threw in CFA first, also Othello/Ophelia. One of these days I'll have to watch "La Bamba." At least this year Memorial Day was treated with some respect and not just as a shopping day. My sister and brother-in-law are buried at Calverton. Anyway, have a good day.

Unknown 11:42 AM  

Rex, I can't believe you made no comment on 11 D "Wordplay", the movie about Will Shortz & the NYT crossword!

Jeane, Paris

dk 12:03 PM  

Bored with my own research writing so:

You pick the first two horses to cross the finish line in exact order in a single race. ($2 minimum wager) "$2 Exacta on #4, #7" Cost: $2

Exacta Box: (Also called a quinella)
You pick the first two horses to cross the finish line in either order in a single race. ($1 minimum wager) "$1 Exacta Box #2, #6" Cost: $2.

Sigh, back to work

r.alphbunker 12:04 PM  

I like this theme for subjective reasons. I walked about 2 miles to school when I was a kid and I would often entertain myself by trying to think of words made from the same base except for different vowels. My goal was to use all five vowels and I recall that I rarely succeeded.

hazel 12:17 PM  

Big fat yawner for me. Could be because everything seems dull in comparison to my new iPad. And the braves are in 1st! Hard to concentrate, I suppose. MISCHIEVOUS and BUSY took forever! Just couldn't get buck out of my head, which doesn't even make sense.

fikink 1:50 PM  

@dk, "xacto-mundo" sounds like something Ed McMahon would say. "You are right, Sir!"

@foodie, BOD sounds like a female bot.

Okay, Fat Tire downed, back on the tractor...a lovely day here on the washboard

Stan 2:19 PM  

Liked POPUP next to RISEN (the Pillsbury corner of the puzzle).

shrub5 2:29 PM  

Re 23D: Slow-cooked beef entree: at first I had POT-AU-FEU (which I've never had) before realizing it was just good old POT ROAST.

I agree with @Foodie that the answers could have been a little zestier -- nevertheless I still liked this puzzle. As a kid, I loved the comic strip Nancy. I remember cutting the strips out of the newspaper and pasting them into a scrapbook. Wonder what ever happened to that?

Used to enjoy Greta Van Susteren when her program dealt with legal analysis and current crime stories but not so much now. Sigh. Her husband serves as an advisor for Sarah Palin.

Steve J 2:51 PM  

@Clark: Thanks for the NYS info. I guess it's one abbreviation that doesn't make it outside the state much, compared to NYC. (Add in the fact that I can be quite pedantic about such things: It irks me at times to see "city" used as a proper noun with New York as well, since technically the name of the place is simply New York. But I'm enough of a pragmatist to let that one be my private quirk rather than insist on "New York city" for disambiguation reasons. Ditto "Washington state".)

@Ulrich: You're right that ODER passes since it's the English name for the river as well. However, "Wroclaw" always bothers me, as American publications' refusal to use diacritical marks renders the pronunciation miles off the correct pronunciation. (In Polish, it's Wrocław, which turns the L into a W sound: so, "Vroh-kwav", rather than "Ro-claw".)

Enough pedantry for me for one day, I think.

And I still don't get the use of all-caps in the cluing.

fergus 2:54 PM  

Just a little slang and you get MAD, MED, MID, MOD, MUD. Just saw MID in that other puzzle.

retired_chemist 3:27 PM  



BAN BEN BIN BON BUN, allowing a proper name and a French adjective.

RAT RET RIT ROT RUT, allowing a crosswordese term for softening hemp and a brand name.

and @ twangster: PON = Polski Owczarek Nizinny, Polish for Polish Lowland Sheepdog, as well as a Yukaghir deity. I knew the first, Wikipedia gave the other, as well as several other abbrevs.

I thought this would be harder than it actually is....


archaeoprof 3:55 PM  

It's Tuesday in CrossWorld, and we're all a little disappointed.

May I add that this puzzle had no references to country music.

Glitch 4:04 PM  

Friendly warning to @SteveJ

This site could ruin your whole week ---

Visit NYCgo for official NYC information on travel, hotels, deals and offers like Restaurant Week, and the best restaurants, shops, clubs and cultural ...

It also suggests:

If you'd like to explore the rest of New York State while you're in the area, visit, the official website for New York State tourism, for information about attractions throughout the state...

Note: I'm not saying your position is wrong.


sanfranman59 4:06 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 8:31, 8:49, 0.97, 45%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:42, 4:31, 1.04, 69%, Medium-Challenging

CrazyCat 4:12 PM  

Easy Tuesday puzzle, but had a few bumps along the way. Many the same as others.
Othello for OPHELIA, Ham up for EMOTE. The worst was Zit for NIT - eew... But that made INDIE Inzie. Fixed it all up quickly enough. Liked FUTURE BLOOM. Hoping I will have many of those in my newly planted garden.

Joe 4:20 PM  


In real life, everyone uses "ovoid" or just "oval."

XACTO isn't bad.
Unless you think it's spelled EXACTO.

Tinbeni 4:22 PM  

I surmise the themes were all-caps only because they are such little words, in more ways than one.

What about the Young Frankenstein (or is it
"Fronk'-en-steen") that takes place in Transylvania ... Igor ("EYE-gor") got the brain that was AB(by)NORMAL?

Country Music ... Victoria BANKS.

CrazyCat 4:26 PM  

@Joe I agree about OVATE. I also had OVOID.

PIX 5:28 PM  

Essentially, a themeless Tuesday. Not much fun.

JenCT 5:29 PM  

Had FUTUREFLORA begore FUTUREBLOOM - talk about thinking too much...

Speaking of NIT picking, the NYTimes had a good article on a non-toxic treatment method involving Cetaphil Cleanser (March 24, 2010).

(I wasn't able to put the link here - anyone care to tell me how to do that?)

joho 5:49 PM  

@foodie ... you stated Xactly what was wrong with this puzzle to me. And I don't think you're cranky. I don't like to criticize, either, but sometimes, like today, the theme answers just were lying there ... in BED ... a PLACETOSLEEP.

Citizen Dain 6:06 PM  

The theme answers were so flat, and unrelated to each other, and figuring out the theme offered no clue to the answers. I might be wrong, but doesn't this defeat the purpose of a theme?

Am I the only one who thought "hoer" was a terrible clue/answer? I was looking for a brand name for a while, and I had no idea what an AGHA was, so I just guessed with a "B" and hoped for the best. A thing that whacks weeds is a HOE. Is a person who uses such a tool really called a "HOER"? What about a shoveller, or, a hammerer? These look more ridiculous, but what's the difference? Even if we take HOE as a verb, HOER is just a terrible word. Maybe I'm the only one. And maybe I'm just bitter because it was the only square I got wrong in the whole puzzle.

Ulrich 6:20 PM  

@Steve J: Now I know what that crossed l means--thx. The issue is somewhat more than academic to me b/c the Flemmings, my father's side, came from (upper) Silesia (Schlesien in German), which is traversed by the Oder. Don't get me wrong--I harbor no irredentist sentiments whatsoever--one just latches on to those aspects of a puzzle that have some personal resonance.

Noam D. Elkies 8:14 PM  

A bit unusual to have the central theme answer only 5 letters long. Yes, the clue for 2D:ASIA was trickier than I'd expect for a Tuesday (though I did guess correctly it was a Roman name for something much smaller than the whole continent). Outside of that, and the rare appearance of 22D:ALANLADD's full name, not much to say here.

Other possibilities besides b?d can be found in one line of Unix incantations:

grep '\<.[aeiou].\>' words | sed 's/./&?/;s/?./?/' | sort | uniq -c | grep 5

The extent of the output depends on how big the wordlist "words" is,
but besides b?d at least b?g, p?p, p?t seem unimpeachable. Similarly

cat words | sed 's/[aeiou]/?/' | sort | uniq -c | grep 5

also yields b?ll, l?st, m?ss, m?te, p?ck (plus derivatives like p?tting and m?ssy), and best of all (though well known) bl?nder.


Rick 8:30 PM  

Is it bad that I initially included in the puzzle "BALD" for "Like the proverbial beaver"??? Freudian slip indeed.

Sfingi 9:12 PM  

@VincentdeLima, LitDoc, SteveJ - New York actually uses NYS in much of its stuff. For instance, I worked for NYSDOCS. It means New York State Department of Corrections. Perhaps to differentiate from NYC. Rex works for SUNY, in which the S goes to the beginning - State University of NY, as opposed to CUNY. Guess ya gotta be there. (P.S. Retiring form NYS is sweet.)
My sister who's lived in MD for most of her life now, also hated the I love NY symbol and called it the iheartny.

@LitDoc - started to write OVoid, but thought what if it's a TOAD instead of a "frog"? How about OVish. Too much like oafish. OVlish.

This reminded me of an exercise my Dutch teacher would give us. She would say a series of words that differed only by the vowel, and we had to write them. It's hard for English speakers, since there are more vowel sounds, and subtler in Dutch.

I think I'll leave HOER and whack (with off) alone today. No, I didn't!

River Pair - the otters floating on their backs holding hands - and OPHELIA on her back - maybe I can put the 2 pictures together. OPHELIA in the middle holding a little paw in each hand.

fergus 9:17 PM  

HOER may be the way they pronounce the paid lady of the night in New Jersey. Or that's how it sounds on the 'Sopranos.'

In more rarefied climes it rhymes with bore, as in forging one's way through a tunnel.


[oodomoba, hard to resist]

Mary Candace 9:20 PM  

I've always thought Wroclaw was pronounced "Vroh-tswav". Does the C sound like K or TS?

fergus 9:23 PM  

DAN, DEN, DIN, DON, DUN is a fairly complete array as well. (Don't like the proper noun though, as common as it is.)

Noam D. Elkies 10:58 PM  

@Fergus: d?n looks fine to me; DAN could be either "tribe of israel" or the Scrabbly grid-spanning "jiujitsu ranking".

Forgot to mention: 10D:NYS didn't trouble me because 30 years ago there was an annual high-school math contest the New York State Math League, probably to distinguish it from the NYC league which was a once-every-few-weeks circuit of interschool meets. The statewide contest's acronym NYSML led to parodies such as DYSML and ABYSML. I see that both NYSML and the NYC contests are still going on a generation-plus later.


a guy 11:17 PM  

The advantage of P?T and N?T is they can take the Y as well...

fergus 12:34 AM  

For a while I had forgotten that we enthusiasts were geeks. Sometimes it happens when the world seems to fit your form.

Steve J 2:38 AM  

@Mary Candace: You're right, my mistake. I always forget the C in Polish is the "ts" sound. So you're correct that it's "vroh-tswav".

retired_chemist 2:38 AM  

@ NDE - nice to see you back here. Nice grep.....

golfballman 6:27 AM  

great puzzle

Ali 6:27 AM  

Sank you! cool post!

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