Trading center during Klondike gold rush / SAT 6-26-10 / Colliery access / 1960s-'70s Citroën / Baltimore neighborhood that includes Marble Hill

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Constructor: Robert H. Wolfe

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: NERI (39D: St. Philip of Rome) —

Saint Philip Romolo Neri (Italian: Filippo de Neri) (July 22, 1515 – May 25, 1595), also known as Apostle of Rome, was an Italian priest, noted for founding a society of secular priests called the "Congregation of the Oratory". (wikipedia)
• • •

Not that exciting, especially after yesterday's whimsical affair. This one was just a slog—typical Saturday difficulty, but no Saturday joy. As far as I can tell, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" (56A: "Seriously?") is the only reason for this puzzle to exist. Maybe I'd extend that compliment to "SOMETHING'S FISHY" (17A: Rat smeller's words). The rest was either plain or overly commonplace, and the cluing was obscure rather than playful (despite the onslaught of "?" clues). In a 70-worder, why is there so much weaksauce? NERI? ALOW (27D: On a deck beneath)? ANISES (31D: Members of the carrot family)? ASI/ASA? OCTA (5D: Prefix with -valent)?! ERY (14D: Green attachment)?! And what is with the out-of-left nonsense cluing on DAHL (6D: Gary who invented the Pet Rock), AMI (7D: 1960s-'70s Citroën), ELK (47D: Pennsylvania's ___ Mountain (skiing area)), NOSE (12D: A hook might give it a hook), TATA (28A: Heathrow takeoff sound?), etc.? I get it, it's Saturday, things are tough all over. But the AHA in this grid (38D: Brainstorm outburst) is a cruel reminder that I didn't exclaim that word once while solving this (well, not in joy, anyway; maybe IN ANGER 44A: Way to look back?). I did like the grid shape—unusual, though it increased the amount of short fill, which inevitably increases the amount of crap fill, sadly.


Lots of trouble getting started today. I've been doing late-week puzzles on paper (instead of on-screen) lately, and it's really a major change. Feels like wading through mud, and my eyes don't seem to know where to go. On-screen solving has conditioned my brain, eyes, fingers—going off-grid (as it were) is putting me a little off balance at the moment. Anyway, I started in the middle of the grid (almost never happens when I'm solving on-screen), with "EAT IT" (massive gimme—34D: 1984 hit with the lyric "Have a banana, have a whole bunch"). Got IN AGNER, AHA, and STEN (35D: 9-mm. weapon) from there, but didn't get much further—that east coast, with its ANISES and NERI, was opaque to me for a while. Poked around in the NW, but didn't get much. Ended up getting first real toehold in the far SW, with ABA (56D: Grp. concerned with precedents) and ARAB (50D: Many a dinar spender) leading to BARREL (60A: Crude container) and then up out of there to my first grid-crosser, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Grid construction thwarted easy movement from section to section. Fragile, narrow, one-square connections everywhere you look.

Plunked ADIT down as soon as I saw the clue (11D: Colliery access). Ditto DYNE (42A: Unit in an erg's definition). Those are some olde-timey Maleska-era repeaters.

Don't have much more to say about this one. It was a Saturday. I struggled, then I finished. The end.

  • 19A: Roll (PEAL) — Total guess on the "-AL." I assume this has something to do with thunder? Can't tell you how Wrong OCTA- looks—that's why I balked at PEAL.
  • 41A: Trading center during the Klondike gold rush (WHITE HORSE) — Entertaining the possibility of ORLON (where ARGON ended up — 29D: Composition of some plasmas — ????), put the "O" after the "H," which made WHITE HORSE jump forth, despite the fact that I don't know anything about it and couldn't have told you where it was located before I started this puzzle. To me, WHITE HORSE = heroin.

  • 62A: "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" singer in "The Sound of Music" (ABBESS) — noooo idea. Don't think I've ever seen the whole movie, actually. Pretty inferrable, though. I knew there were nuns involved. Nuns and Nazis.
  • 25D: Baltimore neighborhood that includes Marble Hill (UPTON) — a Baltimore neighborhood? And I thought having to know Minneapolis suburbs was bad. Appearance of Baltimore in puzzle gives me an opportunity to plug the new John Waters' memoir, "Role Models," once again. Read it in about a day and a half, which is *fast* for me. The essays are fascinating and funny and — best of all — I never had any idea what was coming next. Zigs and zags. Johnny Mathis to the Manson Family to Tennessee Williams to "Outsider Porn" to the joys of book-reading. Truly outrageous in parts. He's fantastic.
  • 51D: Dinar spender (SERB) — One of those quirks of currency naming: DINAR is the name of currency in nine countries across three continents. So ARABs and SERBs both spend them.
  • 57D: Semana segment (DIA) — one of the grid's half-dozen or so gimmes.
  • 58D: Chain-sporting star (MR. T) — in looking for the episode of "The Simpsons" on which MR. T appeared, I found this choice bit of Krustyiana, which reminded me why I love the show so much:
[Krusty is infuriated, because he doesn´t have a star on the Jewish walk of fame.]
Krusty: Why don´t I have a star?! I´m much better than... (squints) Chaim Potok?! What is he,a Klingon?!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Wade 12:18 AM  

"One more episode . . . Okay one more. . . Okay, this is the last one tonight . . . What time is it? Okay, we can watch one more." And so it goes when you get hooked on "Friday Night Lights" streaming on Netflix, and in less than two weeks you've watched the first 35 episodes (only two more to finish out Season Two.)

But we finally called it off tonight and I thought I'd see if I had time to do the puzzle before my wife finished flossing her teeth, which she does every night and which I did one time in the summer of 1987 and I think that piece of floss is still stuck in there. I did finish it, which is not that impressive because it takes my wife hours to floss her teeth. But I'd count it an easy puzzle , though I had OVERTAKE instead of OVERCAME, not being up on Citroen models or on whatever that word was that should have started OCTA. Otherwise, pretty much same reaction as Rex. Nothing bugged me about the puzzle much and nothing jumped out as snazzy. SOMETHINGS something was blank for awhile as I considered "wrong" and "amiss" before finding "fishy," which is the best choice.

I think I'll go sneak in one more episode of FNL. Gotta find out what happens between Landry and Tyra.

syndy 1:32 AM  

I had "Neri" from somewhere,"dyne","asa",and "are you kidding" and had to get to work but by the time "wades "(doen't go swimmingly) crossed" wrath" all Icould think was BITE ME!Too much work for such crappy answers I must have used up all my good humor yesterday-speaking of Thanks Again all who replied -tryed it!!! coolll!

Greene 3:06 AM  

Found this one kind of easy compared to yesterday's killer diller which just crushed me and took far to long to complete (never did successfully navigate the SW). I did love yesterday's puzzle, however, which was just beautifully crafted. Today's is something of a letdown replete with three and four letter words, crosswordese, and arcane cluing. I really did like those three 15-letter answers spanning the grid, though. Almost made the puzzle enjoyable, but not quite enough.

My first entry into the grid was quite naturally ABBESS (after I realized Patricia NEWAY from Broadway and PEGGY WOOD from the film weren't going to work). Oh, you want the character's name? Got it. Basically built the whole grid from bottom to top off that one entry. Guessed well with ARE YOU KIDDING ME and DON'T DO THAT AGAIN, both filled in with just a few crosses. SOMETHING'S FISHY took quite a bit more detective work.

I am apparently finally learning my crosswordese (thanks Rex and PG) since ADIT, STEN, and DYNE just popped right into the grid.

@Rex: Thanks for the heads up on the Waters memoir. Just ordered my copy from Amazon. His work didn't really appear on my radar until around the time of Polyester and Hairspray in the 1980s. As you might guess, Cry-Baby is my favorite of all his films. It was unsuccessfully adapted for Broadway a few seasons back with a much expanded score and a slightly altered story. Unfortunately, the critics found it flavorless and synthetic and it died in about 3 months. Frankly, I didn't understand what all the carping was about: it was a terrific adaption of the source material and even though you can't really replace Johnny Depp, the whole piece felt significantly truer to Waters' cheerfully subversive original than the sentimental and bloated Hairspray musical that played for years, got made into a really terrible movie, and earned piles of money for all parties involved (including Waters who wisely avoided taking any creative credit for either project). Anyway, I hope Waters at least touches on his stage adventures at some point in the book.

andrea yenta michaels 3:45 AM  

John Waters pops up here now and then on the cable car. It's always interesting to note he goes completely unrecognized in the Nob Hill/foreign tourist crowd, tho I'll bet he gets swamped in the Castro.

This puzzle took me over an hour.
Got the bottom half in about fifteen minutes and the top sat empty, even tho I kept dismissing my first instinct of SOMETHINGSFISHY and FIANCE (I will count that as a bleedover from yesterday's masterpiece, and what the heck, I'll count ABA too!)

Then I thought I should always go with my first instinct, but that would not be true 9 times out of 10 for me on a Saturday.

Hats off to you for always finding some video titled whatever the first entry is in the puzzle! Who knew there was a song called "NOTTODAY"?! I guess you did!

Moment of synchronicity, like watching "Cheers" trying to get SAMMALONE last week...I would never have gotten EATIT if all these Michael Jackson tributes weren't wafting out from the TV in the other room.

Bad day in Black Rock/WHITEHORSE when Wade doesn't even notice or comment on WADES being featured so prominently!

I liked the ARAB/SERB pairing. And the TATA clue. But not so crazy over TREE, that felt like a letdown instead of an AHA.
OCTA seemed super-random (I had Omni forever) and I couldn't decide if Elvis was an NCO or a pvt.

Put in all sorts of names that I didn't actually know, so couldn't tell if I would come here and find out I was totally wrong...DAHL, FISKE, NERI, WHITEHORSE, UPTON.

As usual, something felt off to me about the Bar Mitzvah clue. LAD feels wrong for a little Jewish boy/man. Seems like that is only for a Scottish kid.

TEARGASGUN also felt funny...I think of it as a spray, like pepper spray, so I thought the cops used a hose or something, not a gun.
(Very touchy topic here in SF these days with the taser/Bart murder verdict any day now...)

jae 3:57 AM  

What a difference a day makes. This was on the easy side for me. Only real misstep was STINKS for SFISHY.

The three fifteens seemed like a sort of one sided conversation.

I'm also iffy on the Roll-PEAL connection.

Ditto andrea on DAHL, NERI, UPTON..???

dk 8:07 AM  

2 things

1. Guessed the F for the 9s. Playboy was the only college guide I remember.
2. I had timeout and I reluctantly corrected it as I remember take five. 2120 was the tune we played in the late sixties before a break.

A few rambles

Rex, please note that in my Minneapolis neighborhood I live between Upton and Thomas. Thus all you need to know about city environs can be found in the Mini-apple. St. Paul has the ICEPALACE in which some wag always encases a Walleye.

College friend had a Citroen AMI. Riding in the back seat was like floating on a cloud. But that could have been the result of...

Finished this one with a guess so perhaps the puzzle curse is broken.

*** (3 Stars) Thank you Robert.

Leslie 8:08 AM  

Rex, why have you changed to the dead-tree format for your late-week solving? (It's how I always do them, so I'm just curious.) The "wading through mud" feeling must be because you can type in answers so quickly, maybe?

What an odd theme--"Cranky answers?" "Things I want to say to my students?"

EAT IT made me laugh, because of course I knew it, but just couldn't bring it to mind until crosses gave it to me. In fact, this whole puzzle reminded me of how I lose words as soon as I don't need them anymore. FISKE? Pffbbbtt. Our younger daughter's going into her senior year, don't need to know that word, so buh-bye!

One I liked and was surprised by was LIGATURE. Obviously I expected the answer to be something to do with car traffic, but no--this time "artery" meant "like the ones in your body." Sort of a triple-cross clue, then.

Today's word: "meawky"--how a sick kitten feels.

redhed 8:11 AM  

Was certainly able to get more of this puzzle than yesterday's. But while I felt pummeled after the Friday match, it was much more entertaining. Like others, I think "peal" for "roll" is iffy. Rather than an understanding "Oh!" I get a "Huh?" Otherwise, I agree that the clue for tear gas gun was pretty clever, and I liked the double hook reference (12D). Happy weekend all!

JayWalker 8:32 AM  

Yep - I too struggled thru this one, but after yesterday's debacle, it felt like a breeze. Did not get even one correct answer until ABA, Barrel and Abbess at the bottom and then had to build up from there. Lots of erasures today. Rex: I've always been a Mudder. Hate solving on-line. Makes me feel not in control of my thinking. Isn't THAT weird? Also - why is Lad an answer for Bar Mitzvah? I'm not Jewish - are they synonomous? Didn't make sense to me except in the broadest interpretation.

Zeke 8:48 AM  

Colliery is a pretty high-falutin' term for a Coal Mine. The word itself brings to mind an upper class, 19th century French ladies garment shop, not the pits of hell, which is what a coal mine is if you've never actually seen one.
I would have disliked this puzzle had it not been the only one came even close to completing in the past 3 days.

retired_chemist 8:51 AM  

Medium except for the NE, which killed me. Did. Not. Know. FISKE, COHN, and also had SOMETHING STINKS. Had SEANCE @ 9A and TAKE TEA @ 20A among my missteps.

Had OVERCOME/DOHL instead of OVERCAME/DAHL. WHITEHORSE YT was familiar from Sergeant Preston of the RCMP, A RADIO serial in the late forties/early fifties. Remember radio serials? Thought not.....

Everything else was straightforward enough, but I'll second Rex's comment on obscure yet not playful cluing.

captcha = whorite, a mineral that... that..... OK YOU fill in the blank.

foodie 8:51 AM  

The design of this puzzle looks like a room filled with expensive Italian furniture-- Horizontal, low slung, modernist. I expected gorgeous.

But the content was quite snarky, as it LAYS INTO you, IN ANGER: SOMETHING'S FISHY, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? DON'T DO THAT AGAIN! I see a theme: Pissed off in a lovely setting...

I did great at the top and bottom and got stuck in the middle- I had DONT followed by a few random letters and could not decide what came after, and the downs were useless. I thought Bar Mitzbah was the event itself not the young man, ALOW took forever to invent, and CHI????? ARGON finally saved the day.

But my battered ego is healing a bit after the last two days. So, thank you Will and Mr. Wolfe.

Zeke 8:55 AM  

@JayWalker - This one got me last time, when it was GIRL for Bat Mitzvah. Turns out, a Bar Mitzvah isn't the ritual, it's the actual person, when a Jewish boy or girl is old enough (12-13) to be responsible for their own actions, they become a Bar (Bat) Mitzvah, a Son or Daughter of the Commandments.

Van55 9:31 AM  

Commenting on yesterday's LAT puzzle, I came up with a neologism: "mensanize" meaning "to add artificial erudition to a clue for a relatively simple answer." The word applies to this entry. Let's see if it catches on.

Examples: "Heathrow takeoff sound;" "They're not positive;" "Anhydrous;" "Phoenix construction."

SOMETHINGSTINKS held me up for far too long.

If I were WS, this would have been published on Thursday this week pushing the others back to Fri. And Sat.

joho 9:47 AM  

Anything had to pale in comparison to yesterday's exquisite beauty. Definitely a hard act to follow.

I got AREYOUKIDDINGME right off the bat and the bottom followed pretty quickly. The rest took a very long time but I did finish with no mistakes which always makes me feel great on a Saturday.

I must be in the minority but what's not right about a PEAL of thunder matching up with a roll of thunder? They're the same to me.

Oh, I had "tomorrow" forever before NOTTODAY. Really slowed things down on top.

I enjoyed it more than most it seems. Thanks, Robert Wolfe!

David L 9:49 AM  

Bottom third -- easy-peasy.
Middle third -- slower.
Top third -- slo-o-o-o-w!

Had EQUIvalent for a while, eventually settled on that OCTA/DAHL/PEAL mess with no great confidence -- couldn't think of anything else plausible and was pleasantly surprised to find they were all right.

Whole thing was kinda blah...

retired_chemist 10:24 AM  

@ Van55 - I like mensanize. The clue "anhydrous" for 21D ARID, rather than being mensanized, is simply incorrect. Anhydrous means NO water. Arid refers to land or climate, and means little or no rain, but truly anhydrous land is AFAIK impossible. At least on Earth....

Cuteness and obscurity can make for interesting challenges, but they should take second place to accuracy.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

could someone help me with 50A (court cover-up?) ASPHALT? i can't think of a sense in which you would cover a court (basketball, tennis, regal, or otherwise) in asphalt. i used to live on a street called "sherman court." it is a cul-de-sac. but...that doesn't seem right.


also, 33D (loop setting, briefly) CHI? i don't know what that is "brief" for...

i didn't like "engagement party" as a clue. ick.

Ben 10:43 AM  

Found it quite tough, but that is what I look for in a Saturday.

"A hook might give it a hook" ... I liked that one.

nanpilla 10:52 AM  

@rolin mains: The loop is in CHIcago.

With three snarky "theme" answers, I think this puzzle jumped the snark.

Two Ponies 11:08 AM  

I breezed through the lower two thirds like a champ but the top, esp. the NE made me say Something stinks!
Ligature and White Horse were the only answers that caught my eye.

Tear gas gun? Really?
Barrel - don't remind me.
Overtake, overcome, override, whatever.
I'm glad @ dk knew the Citroen. I wonder if anyone else did with confidence.

Again it's one of those days that are only redeemed by Rex's write up and all of the comments. Hi Wade.
Like Andrea I wondered if you would mention seeing your name.

Terry Gross recently interviewed John Waters on NPR about his new book. It was very funny and I'm going to buy the book.

Rex Parker 11:09 AM  

Re: The Waters book — it's also just a beautiful book, physically. Elegant and quirky at the same time. FSG does good work. Knopf still rules, but FSG isn't shabby.

And yeah. Hi Wade.


Yuck 11:19 AM  

@rolin mains

In my neighborhood park, the BB and tennis couts are covered (paved) with asphalt.

Not a pleasant surface for either, but cheap to maintain.

PuzzleNut 11:26 AM  

Thought it was a fine Saturday. Tough enough to make me wonder if I'd ever finish, but ultimately solvable.
Very similar experience as @David L. Wanted AMBIvalent, but held off for some crosses. OCTA/PEAL was my last fill.
Never heard of the Citroen AMI, but certainly a reasonable answer. Had ????AGENCY and was drawing a blank. Finally had that "oh, of course" moment and the top came together. Glad to learn that bar mitzvah is the person, not the rite. Never knew that.
captcha: recort - lay on a new coat of ASPHALT.

ArtLvr 11:36 AM  

@rolin mains -- CHI is short for Chicago, where the heart was settled within walking distance of the Loop stations of elevated trains, or els, converging there from suburban areas to the north, east and south. Els are often seen in xwords too.

Court was originally an outdoor reception area where arrivals converged, before or inside walls around a building or inside a building with interior open space. A driveway was sufficiient to let passengers from carriages descend at the doors of their destination. Then more space became needed for modern vehicles to park, so the courts had to be paved over... Nothing to do with games except by analogy: enclosed spaces. Pay court to, for example, meant showing up at the door.


R. McGeddon 11:48 AM  

@Rex, thank you for the picture of Mr. T & Nancy Reagan. Truly one of the more bizarre images in the history of journalism, right up there with Nixon-Elvis.

I also had Dohl/overcome. If the clue had been about a chocolate factory, fine. But Gary Dahl???

Mel Ott 12:01 PM  

Also started with TOMORROW at 1A, but the YENTA cross corrected that. SOMETHINGStInks was corrected by the greenERY cross.

Had PEAL but did not make the connection with thunder until coming here. Tried to think of some connection with bells.

Urban kids are used to courts that are covered with ASPHALT: basketball, tennis, handball, etc.

ArtLvr 12:04 PM  

p.s. I live on a dead-end street with Court in the name too. It provides access to about a dozen homes...


Anonymous 12:06 PM  

Saturday,under 30 minutes, no googles. A combination previously unheard of in this house! I liked it.

Loved the mixed metaphor, if that's the word I want, of rat smeller's SOMETHINGSFISHY.

Where I grew up, tennis was either played on cracked concrete or asphalt. Thought that was normal until well into my teens.

Note to self: obtain the Waters book.

Still can't remember my password,


JMack 12:10 PM  

Surprised that Rex had no complaint about obscure proper noun (Pet Rock inventor) with "beat" since overcOme fits equally well with overcAme. True, nobody's scoring, but that's an xword no-no in my book.

chefbea 12:17 PM  

Much easier than yesterday but still had to google a bit.

Think its time to get food back into the puzzles

shrub5 12:19 PM  

This took me close to an hour. Got the 15's fairly easily but got stuck in the NE. Since I had CAHN at 13D and didn't remember the crosswordese ADIT, I just couldn't see INDOOR, so a DNF there. I had CHAIN before correcting to CHEST for "Jewel holder." That made the Pennsylvania ski area ALK Mountain. No, that has to be ELK. For 30D, I thought of TEARJERKER -- a movie that would make folks cry after it was shot -- but I had a few other letters (Gs) in place that made that wrong.

Think I'll go use my Borders Bucks on the John Waters book today.

son of dad 12:44 PM  

Way easier than yesterday's terrible puzzle, and easy for a Saturday as well. It helps that I got two of the long answers off the first letter of each. Overall it was a pretty boring affair, though, with little standing out in my memory.

I agree with Daddy Mack about Dahl crossing overcame. I had Dohl/Overcome at first, but changed the o to an a since Dahl is a last name I'd actually heard of. One of those two clues should have been clearer about the toss up vowel.

Masked and Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Got goin' at ABA/BARREL. Finished at OCTA/PEAL. Flew by pretty quick, for a SatPuz. Scanned the clue starts for secret msgs. Glad to see no divorce announcements. No IDONT rebus. No JQXZ's, either. zzzzz.

Maybe they shoulda left out some common letter, just so somethin' woulda been goin' on... Remember one lately, where there weren't any C's.

SethG 12:59 PM  

Maybe Wade didn't comment on WADES because there's only one Wade.

This was my fastest Saturday ever. By a lot. It's almost two minutes faster than my fastest Friday ever.

Clark 1:44 PM  

While Climb Ev'ry Mountain was sung by the ABBESS, played in the film by Peggy Wood (as @Greene pointed out above), her voice was actually dubbed by Margery McKay. (Film trivia brought to you by semi-puzzle partner, who, until checking today, had always believed the urban myth that the real Maria von Trapp had been the ghost singer.)

Charlie B 2:22 PM  

Barrel: Crude container (60A) is a constructor's/editor's error.

Crude oil is measured in a unit called barrels, but it is not - and never has been - stored in actual barrels.

A better clue might have been, "There's cash on its head."

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

@Charlie B - Not in the past 100 years maybe, but certainly not "not ever". See wiki for complete details.

jesser 3:31 PM  

No writeovers. It was a good day. Now, the desert is calling, and Wild Hair the Jeep is not of a mind to let the answering machine pick up.

Sparky 5:55 PM  

At first I was just going to dump it because it was too hard but the bottom third worked out and I stayed at it. Had "stinks" like many others. DNF as stumpped by NE. Didn't have Tata because wanted a U there as those plants are umbelliferae. Thanks to the blog all is clear now. So, if you say "Congrats to the Bar Mitzvah boy" you are saying boy boy? Something misssing in there. Have a good Sunday. Summer has arrived. The streets are packed with people clutching streetmaps.

sanfranman59 6:05 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 6:41, 6:55, 0.97, 45%, Medium
Tue 7:58, 8:48, 0.91, 23%, Easy-Medium
Wed 9:40, 11:47, 0.82, 10%, Easy
Thu 28:00, 19:16, 1.45, 96%, Challenging
Fri 39:54, 26:36, 1.50, 100%, Challenging
Sat 26:48, 30:37, 0.88, 23%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:36, 3:41, 0.98, 43%, Medium
Tue 4:08, 4:30, 0.92, 23%, Easy-Medium
Wed 4:55, 5:47, 0.85, 12%, Easy
Thu 12:55, 9:13, 1.40, 94%, Challenging
Fri 21:49, 12:56, 1.69, 100%, Challenging
Sat 15:57, 17:25, 0.92, 34%, Easy-Medium

Anonymous 6:29 PM  

anyone still out there?

For the life of me, I cannot understand: "a hook might give it a hook"

Please explain!


chefbea 6:39 PM  

@anonymous 6:29 a hook might give you a hook nose.
And no one answered my question of yesterday... what does DNF stand for??

joho 6:50 PM  

@chefbea ... DNF = Did Not Finish

@anon 6:29 ... as in boxing -- you throw a hook to somebody's nose and it might hook!

mac 7:17 PM  

I'm finally back! Had no power (where it counted), AC, cable so no computer. I swear I missed coming here more than the air
conditioner.... Missed out on the fun with yesterday's puzzle (congratulations, Byron, and much happiness, Robin), and I sure needed a couple of shoulders to cry on.....

Today's puzzle was smooth and medium/easy for me. Some good guesses (including the last two letters, AL for peal) and some good words. Colliery makes me think of Wales.

@Wade: We're in the same boat with Mad Men.

What a great model name for the Citroen: we'll take mon Ami to the beach.

foodie 8:29 PM  

Welcome back, @Mac. Yesterday, all the shoulders were wet...

I agree with you re the Citroen name. Nice and friendly. Why do cars all have to sound macho?

@ChefBea, you did get an answer yesterday, and they accused you of bragging, not knowing what DNF was :)

chefbea 8:47 PM  

@foodie I got the answer yesterday but didn't undrstand about bragging. Now i know what DNF means and will try to remember to use it.

Went out to dinner tonight and DNF

michael 8:47 PM  

Much easier than yesterdays. But I guess the marriage of the Friday composers took place on Friday rather than Saturday and perhaps the days had to be reversed. But you'd think that there would be another Saturday-level puzzle in the queue. (There are probably a number of them.)

Martin 8:51 PM  


I've been told I'm needed over here. One sense for "anhydrous" in the OED is "waterless, sapless, dried up." One citation is "the sterile and anhydrous region of the central desert."

Admitedly, I've only used the term in chemistry where its technical meaning is quite specific. But those sloppy right-brainers got to our perfectly good word and blurred it. What can you do?

retired_chemist 9:26 PM  

@ Martin - I take the point, but I still don't like it.

foodie 10:17 PM  

@Chefbea, in your example, the not finishing sounds volitional. But I think DNF has tragic connotations... I don't recall who coined it, but it could have been CNF (Could not finish, hard as I tried). And because it feels shameful to say so, we need to hide behind an abbreviation. Better a DNF than Harakiri :)

@Martin and Retired Chemist, I had the same reaction to the definition of ARID as did RC- WRONG! I appreciate learning how anhydrous might be used in a nonscientific context, but the term is so clear-cut and specific, it's a real shame to water it down.

PS. I don't do Captchas, but "mistypn" is a weird one to have to mistype.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:47 PM  

Did this one at the beach today. Now it is late, so will just note two write-overs: the (apparently) common OVERCOME/OVERCAME, and my own 23 D, Face reddener, had BLUSH before WRATH (that's what happens when you *think* you have a gimme.)

Also, @nanpilla: "Jumped the snark" -- LOL!!!

retired_chemist 11:22 PM  

@ foodie - water it down - good one!

eva 5:44 PM  

I think bar mitzvah technically refers to the child himself, but in everyday usage it more commonly refers to the ceremony. Still, kind of a deflating answer.

ejaz14357 9:58 AM  

I've only used the term in chemistry where its technical meaning is quite specific.

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

Rex's comments - My sentiments exactly

Unknown 2:52 AM  

I like Dinar.and its revaluation of currency.

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