Stuffed sole stuffing / 8-9-10 / Actress Mimieux of "The Time Machine" / "Delta of Venus" author

Monday, August 9, 2010

Constructor: David Poole

Relative difficulty: I don't know

THEME: I'm glad there are only four theme answers — Theme answers are familiar phrases that describe actions beginning with a word that can be related to eating (but isn't in this particular phrase).

Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here with you today while Rex is traveling back home. Sorry this post is a little late going up. I didn't realize I was on for today and I was out kinda late last night listening to ghost stories at the Stanley Hotel (the big, creepy hotel where they filmed "The Shining"). It's in Estes Park, Colorado, where the PuzzleFamily is on vacation this week. We heard about the ghost story thing and thought the PuzzleKids would really enjoy it. Unfortunately, the Hour And A Half (!) long program could have been boiled down to roughly 20 minutes without losing any of its entertainment value. Oh well. The hotel is pretty cool. We'll try to go back during the day sometime this week to get some pictures. So far we just have pictures of the glorious outdoors (and I mean that sincerely — this place is heaven).

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Accept an inevitable hardship (BITE THE BULLET)
  • 27A: Ham it up (CHEW THE SCENERY)
  • 43A: Fall for a flimflam (SWALLOW THE BAIT)
  • 51A: Understand what's happening (DIGEST THE NEWS)
As is typical with a Monday puzzle, I was rolling through this one fast enough that I didn't fully grasp the theme. I recognized that the phrases were "[x]ing the [x]," but that was as far as my brain could take it while I was busy with the rest of the fill. It was only afterwards that I realized the "[x]ing" words were related. In any case, cute Monday theme idea with solid, colorful phrases. Well, except for DIGEST THE NEWS. I had to think about that one for a minute to understand its common usage, which I believe is "It took me a minute to DIGEST THE NEWS — the elderly couple on the landing were actually Mr. and Mrs. Stanley!"

  • 5A: "Hannah Montana" star Miley (CYRUS) — My daughter is nine so, yeah, this one was no problem.
  • 10A: Height: Prefix (ACRO-) — I actually started with ALTI- so that northeast corner was the last to fall.
  • 48D: Site of many Chicago touchdowns (O'HARE) — I have to admit this one fooled me for a quick second. I'm going to say it's only because I have a friend who writes for NBC Sports in Chicago and she's been tweeting a lot about Da Bears lately.
  • 56A: "How could ___" (I NOT) — Ooh. Clunky.
  • 65A: Alternative to a convertible (SEDAN) — Raise your hand if you started writing in T-TOP but ran out of letters before you ran out of spaces.
  • 3D: Stuffed sole stuffing (CRABMEAT) — This was a total mystery to me. I don't eat seafood so a dish made of seafood stuffed with other seafood isn't exactly on my radar.
  • 44D: Conestogas, e.g. (WAGONS) — Nailed this one. It's been in the LA Times puzzle twice in the past couple of weeks and the first time I ever even Heard the word was at last year's Lollapuzzoola tournament, in what I refer to as the "Conestoga Incident." By the way, I hope you all are coming to Lollapuzzoola next week. It's not too late to register.
  • 55D: Cry made while cracking a whip, maybe (WORK) — Whoa. I'm only coming up with some pretty horrifying circumstances where this clue actually makes sense. I think I might have gone in a different direction here.
That's enough outta me for today. The great outdoors awaits. You all have a great Monday and, with any luck, Rex will be back tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter]


Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Thanks for taking the time from vacation for the write up. Nicely done, and a nicely done puzzle as well.

We were at the Stanley for a wedding about 6 years ago- great setting, just spitting distance from RMNP.
Enjoy the hiking and the mountains, PG.

chefbea 10:17 AM  

Really easy puzzle today..Very easy to digest...All about eating - what more could you want??

Two Ponies 10:20 AM  

I liked the theme today.
It follows the natural order of a meal. You bite, chew, swallow, and then digest. The missing theme answer is the last stage of the process and perhaps not breakfast-worthy.
Plenty of crosswordese but still OK. Fun to see Ms. Nin's full name.
Thanks for sitting in PG.
What or who is in the lake behind your daughter?

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Hi Puzzle Girl,

Small world! I'm in Estes Park, to get my daughter from camp. My hotel is a mile down the road from the Stanley Hotel, which reminds me of the Grand Hotel in Mackinac. Great area.

Dan from Northfield, IL

jesser 10:25 AM  
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Bob Kerfuffle 10:26 AM  

Nice puzzle; nice write-up.

I was thinking ELEV before ALTI before ACRO. ACRO seems a few millimeters above Monday level.

jesser 10:26 AM  

I thought the cluing was pretty unMondayish, but I rolled through it with no write-overs. Only pause was at 33A, where I considered caNS before TINS came into view via crosses.

I'm certain Tinbeni will have something to say about the Cutty Sark. I doubt it will be kind.

Nice write-up, PG! Better late than never! :-)

Beatr! (that to which all the wanna-be TRs aspire) -- jesser

Glimmerglass 10:27 AM  

I agree this was a very easy puzzle, even for a Monday. But I liked the theme (and did not notice the progression until Two Ponies' comment). The only real clunker was 55D. If "cracking the whip" is a metaphor, then no one will "cry" the order to work. If it's not a metaphor, we're talking Simon Legree here, which is borderline offensive.

Unknown 10:36 AM  

"Chew the Scenery" was a new expression for me, I'm embarrassed to say. And 'hoosegow' threw me as well.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

I didn't catch the order of the meal until I read the comments here.
I also went for cans vs. tins.
I didn't much care for the whip.
Since I'm pretty new to the puzzle world, I do not usually succeed past Thursdays, although I thoroughly enjoy reading the write-up and comments all week.

Thank you, Puzzlegirl.

Ulrich 10:39 AM  

@TwoPonies: I think the reason we don't have a fifth theme answer is that EVACUATE THE PREMISES is too long. But even without this, the puzzle was refreshingly unconstipated. (this comment is addressed at all the self-confessed 12-year-olds around here)

joho 10:49 AM  

Loved that the theme progressed in the natural order of eating.

@Ulrich ... LOL. Is there a phrase with POOP in it?

Saw at Wordplay that this is David Poole's debut and I have to say, IMHO, it's a really good one. The shape of the grid makes for some short, kind of awkward answers i.e. WDS, but CRABMEAT,ANAISNIN are lovely. And CHEWTHESCENERY brought a smile.

Fun Monday! Thank you, David and you, too, PuzzleGirl. Your daughter is adorable. And what IS that in the lake?

dk 10:53 AM  

PG, one word: REDRUM. Love the Stanley Hotel. The bar and restaurant give me the creeps in a fun way.

We used Ms. Cyrus as a target for the step twins 14th b-day. It seems adolescent boys have a love/hate relationship with Hanna.

Jesser and twoponies, both better than me.... I misspelled ANAIS giving me Swallow the Bnit... sigh.

** (2 Stars) Good one Mr. Poole.

2 news items:

There is a swirl of controversy around hot dog eating. And speaking of dogs.

Isn't it a great world when the CEO of an iconic brand can be brought down by his lust for a soft porn star. I thought stuff like that only happened to Presidents.

Miss Fleas from Saturday. Thank you for the drink ideas. The drill is the mix must be made from scratch. It truly changes the drink. A sloe gin fizz becomes a nice balance between tart/sweet etc. A simple example is take some dark rum, add cola sweetened with cane syrup (or make your own cola as it is not that hard) then squeeze in the juice of a half a fresh lime. The result is a cuba libre and you will never look back.

Sparky 11:03 AM  

Nice puzzle. I spotted the theme as having soemthing to do with the mouth by the second one. Saw the progression after I finished. In England at a pub you can order stout, lager, bitter, that funny suff that's a soft drink. So why is ale the crossword pub quaff? Lovely Monday. Thanks Puzzle Girl for the write up and the prety pictures.

nanpilla 11:03 AM  

Like that the theme answers progress logically. David Poole should be FLUSH WITH PRIDE.

Zeke 11:03 AM  

@Two Ponies - great minds...
67A: "What you do on a bad blind date?" DUMPTHELOSER

Zeke 11:05 AM  

Oops - @Nanpilla has the early lead, and by a wide margin.

Tinbeni 11:11 AM  

PuzzleGirl, Excellent write-up.

The Florida heat doesn't bother me, but after a while I'm ready for some COOLER weather.

@jesser: Cutty Sark is for SOTS.
Pinch is sipped, slowly!

@dk, I always laugh that just by adding a squeeze of lime the Rum and Coke becomes a Cuba Libre.
Boy that lime has some power!

Liked the theme progression and personal shout-out TINS.

At the LAT we had to spell out CONESTOGA.
Here WAGONS, what a challenge ...
Damn, I forgot the ALAMO.

Both grids reminded me I'll need some ALOE later.

Two Ponies 11:12 AM  

@ Ulrich, The only common phrase I could think of was
"shoot the sh$t".
Not enough letters and perhaps too graphic when taken literally. My inner twelve-year-old can't resist.

Sfingi 11:15 AM  

@Jason - Your "profile is not available," but I'd guess I'm old enough to be your granny. Those terms are oldsters.'

This, like the LA was a very nice and easy puzzle.

ULEE, which I've seen a lot lately, made me wonder what ever happened to King UBU, or UBU RE.

Minitheme - TEL, TELE, from different languages.
This puts me in mind of the argument that words like TELEvision are unacceptable because they are made of a Greek and a Latin root, thus mongrels or hybrids. Who was it that was so against that?

So, let me suggest for the 5th clue, "To be extremely surprised and frightened": S--t a brick.

foodie 11:26 AM  

The missing last theme answer is:

PG, I love Estes Park. Beyond the great beauty, the air feels different. And I agree with the analogy to the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island. And thank you for a great write up, as usual.

@Ben, I meant to comment yesterday on how cool it is that Rex was a TA for your class when you were an undergrad at the U. of Michigan! Small world.

Rex Parker 11:30 AM  

Mea MAXIMA culpa—I had two "tentative" guest hosts lined up for today and apparently neglected to tell PuzzleGirl she was the one I'd chosen. Irony: I had an email from the other tentative guest host yesterday, repeating his offer to do today's, and I was like "No, thanks, PuzzleGirl's got it." Ugh.

Liked this theme OK, though the theme answers get increasingly weak/wobbly as you descend the grid. First two rock solid, third ... eh, OK ... fourth feels very forced.

Finished in under 3, so that's gotta be on the easy side. Only issues were ALTO (?) for ACRO and a blank on STREW until I had four (!) crosses.

Jim 11:48 AM  

First let me say fun puzzle. Fun theme and largely well executed. But I must object to the consensus that this was easy and, if Rex was around, I believe he would classify this as an unequivocal'Challenging' and liken it to a typical Tuesday or, for me, even a Wednesday quality.

1A said 'head' and an immediate writeover bespoke trouble; the kind of trouble that would plague me in the middle and the SW.

Cluing was unobjectionable for a Monday, but it has to be admitted that OVULE, SOTS, UTNE (and the downs were worse!) was simply too much, too often for a Monday to be anything but a slog.

To say nothing of my only real gripe with this puzzle: cluing STREW as if it is a legitimate active-voice verb. I've never in my life seen or heard it be anything but passive voice (with the -n of course, which is why it had to be crowbarred in as it was).

I love the idea of this blog as a way of sharing our experience and, hopefully, reminding Wil he's being watched. But that fails when we all try to demonstrate how brilliant we are (it was SO easy, etc.) Rather than give a rational assessment of the puzzle based on standards it itself encourages. This is what Rex does so well and why I anxiously await his return.

hazel 12:03 PM  

@PG - you are indeed in an awesome area of the country. And I have a book rec if you have any interest in history/memoirs. A friend lent me this book that I had ABSOLUTELY no interest in (I even told him so - but he mailed it to me anyway!); it sat on my "guest" bookshelf for maybe a year and a half until something piqued my interest, and I started reading it - and found it practically un-put-downable-fascinating. Its called A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Bird, and through letters, tells of this woman's trip through the Rockies in the 1870s, mostly on horseback. Very interesting.

The "thing" in the background of your cute daughter picture kind of looks like a zombie.

As to the puzzle, solid Monday fare. Well inside 2 sigma for a Monday puzz in terms of my time, expectations, etc.

Dickswart 12:05 PM  

Re: The Shining: Exteriors are Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood, Oregon

Ruth 12:10 PM  

The "thing" in the lake looks like a fisherman in waders to me. Estes Park in summer is too pretty to go for creepy explanations. ("Run kids--run for your life!")

Anonymous 12:24 PM  

i'm not much of a puzzle solver (can't do anything later than a wednesday one) and i don't know the ettiquette of this blog regarding clues and the like but, as a student of history, i have to quibble about 10 Down in today's puzzle: churchill's predecessor and successor.

the answer is ATTLLEE for clement attleet who replaced (succeeded) churchill as prime minister in mid 1945 and who was in turn replaced by churchill in 1951. had the clue read "churchill's successor and predecessor" it would have been historically and chronolgically correct. reading as it does, it is not wrong but it is impercise and not quite accurate. (appologies for lower case. i always type this way online).

Moonchild 12:26 PM  

Very nice debut puzzle and write-up.
That thing in the water creeps me out. It looks too far off shore to be someone standing there. I hope it's just a buoy and not a zombie.
I love all of the suggestions for the fifth theme.
@ nanpilla, I think you nailed it!
Your suggestion is even 14 letters.
I didn't mind the clues for "work" or "strew".
Acro- took a moment but then I thought of acrobat or acrophobia so all was well there.
@ Jim, I cannot say that I agree with you at all. This seemed like a normal (at least lately) Monday.
I also don't really think anyone is merely "breaking their arms patting themselves on the back" when they say a puzzle was easy.

jesser 12:31 PM  
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SethG 12:42 PM  


Next thing you know, someone other than PuzzleGirl will claim to have solved this with PuzzleHusband...

Doug P 12:45 PM  

That's actually a picture of PuzzleSON, not PuzzleDaughter. What a picture! Gorgeous scenery and a handsome kid.

I agree with everything PG said, especially the part about coming to Lollapuzzoola. Hope to see many of you there in a few days.

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

@Dickswart- It was the mini-series of The Shining, not the feature film, that was shot at The Stanley. (even though the hotel's closed circuit tv plays the movie in a loop).

@Moonchild- didn't notice the thing in the water the first time. Looks like a guy in waders

inabil-- unable to complete

syndy 12:57 PM  

@ sparky,as Americans we don't consider neither stout nor bitters potable.Lager is what WE drink and Ale is what YOU LIMEYS drink. Having been a construction foreman cracking the whip while hollering "WORK, YOU DOGS" seemed natural,inspirering the troops is what you do.sardine can flows off the tongue and isn't a strew more of a drop than a toss?

syndy 12:58 PM  

@ sparky,as Americans we don't consider neither stout nor bitters potable.Lager is what WE drink and Ale is what YOU LIMEYS drink. Having been a construction foreman cracking the whip while hollering "WORK, YOU DOGS" seemed natural,inspirering the troops is what you do.sardine can flows off the tongue and isn't a strew more of a drop than a toss?

John V 1:16 PM  

Actually had to solve for spelling of 5A, as my children are adults and know nothing of Hannah Montana.

I'd go for "Gunman Wyatt .. EARP" as the 5th theme answer.

Easy as a Monday can be. Will show it to my wife who is an aspiring puzzler.

marmie 1:24 PM  

How about poop deck?

ArtLvr 1:26 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 1:28 PM  

Lovely puzzle from David Poole, though the quibble about the Attlee clue is justified! Attlee was leader of the Labour party from 1935, but Prime Minister only after Churchill, under whom he served as deputy PM in the WW2 coalition government.

The theme adhering to the normal progression in the digestive system was highly amusing, since I just got back from the tedious but necessary final step of total evacuation in the routine of an exam by colonoscopy every few years. All seems to be well, thank goodness. 'Nuff said, except please do it in timely fashion if medically recommended!


PIX 1:29 PM  

Acro can also refer to an extremity of the body. Acrocyanosis is cyanosis of the extremities.

I thought it was challenging for a Monday.

retired_chemist 1:34 PM  

What everybody said. Tossed a coin on TINS vs CANS and won. ALTI => ACRO had to be fixed in the checking.

Well under 5, my best Mon ever, so easy here. Strategy: zip through the horizontal gimmes, do as few crosses as needed to get the theme answers, fill them in, then mop up.

Thinking more about needing crosses for long answers - per Rex on Sat, everybody does, but it is a matter to me of how many. For an easy theme to figure out, like this one, just a few worked. I think about 4 did the trick. I bet other, better solvers might have done with fewer.

I'm thinking there may be a rough algorithm for the value of crosses. Each correct cross effectively reduces the equivalent difficulty of a long answer by two. Means a 14 (like today) becomes about as hard as a 6 if you have 4 correct crosses. Each incorrect cross effectively increases the equivalent difficulty by 2. At least that's more or less how I think it works for me, absent a precise study. Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous 1:35 PM  

@syndy, I am an American and enjoy stout as well as ale and lager, though mostly that famous stout from Ireland. Also - have you ever tried bitters and seltzer? Very refreshing.

Great puzzle David Poole - looking forward to your next submission.

Nice write-up PG and you've planted a seed for the next family vacation.

retired_chemist 1:49 PM  

FWIW I think STREW as a present tense, active voice, transitive verb is not a problem, even for a Monday. Googling "strew flowers" gets:

"'Ten thousand scimitars flash in the sunlight, and thrice ten thousand dancing-girls strew flowers.' The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Dickens, Charles"

"American Girls Strew Flowers On Prince of Wales at Dance."

"And do you now strew flowers in his way. That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?" (Shakespeare)

Googling the word STREW gets you only dictionary definitions on the first page, so it must not be common per se.

feman - not gonna touch that one....

Tinbeni 2:07 PM  

I think the "long answers and how many crosses" are needed falls into whether the phrase or expression or whatever is "in your wheelhouse."

Sometimes it just works that way.
Like today's BITE THE BULLET.
I think I had it off the clue and the 'B' from CRABMEAT.
And like you with the cans/TINS today, I was lucky.

Other days, I sometimes wonder where the 'grey matter' has gone when I need practically all the crosses to get one.

FWIW: I doubt I have ever looked at an answer like STREW and wondered is it "a present tense, active voice, transitive verb."
After the crosses got it, I thought: "Looks good to me" and moved on.

deerfencer 2:17 PM  

How about DOWNLOADDONUTS as the final (missing link) answer?

Never heard the phrase CHEWTHESCENERY either--guess them actors can be a hungry bunch.

Overall a fun Monday jaunt. Thanks, puzzlegirl, for the nice photos and writeup!

D_Blackwell 2:21 PM  

Good eye on the ATTLEE clue. I knew the answer, and knew that Churchill was PM twice, but didn't catch that the clue was thus backwards.

Ulrich 2:37 PM  

I hope this will not be seen as a wet blanket thrown by me: Every theme answer, missing or not, has to follow the pattern

(verb) THE (noun).

THAT's the challenge!

Two Ponies 2:48 PM  

@ Ulrich, Exactly. That's why my lame attempt *almost* worked. Just not long enough although as the odd theme answer it might have worked.
Just not in the NYT.

Go the distance?

3 and out

The Big E 3:06 PM  

@ulrich - not sure about a fifth "phrase," per se, as you suggest. But, depending on what you've eaten for your meal throughout the first four phrases, you may wind up with something 63 Across (RIPE)!

All in all an easy puzzle here too. Thanks for the good write-up, PuzzleGirl.

I also had trouble with ALTI vs. ACRO.
Fun (albeit quick) puzzle for me too!

Sparky 3:07 PM  

@Sydny. Thanks for the reply. I am an American and ordered lager on my visits to England and Ireland. I was trying to say ALE is a form of crosswordese where the clue always has same answer. @Anonymous. I drink one bottle of Guinness on St. Patrick'day. For the record, I am an old lady, an exBrooklynite, who fled to Manhattan.

Steve J 3:10 PM  

@Ulrich: You're correct on the form. And the only things that are coming to mind are things that would need to appear in the Onion's puzzle, not the NYT. Although Zeke's is good.

@Sparky: stouts and bitters are ALEs, inasmuch as they use ale yeast rather than lager yeast. But, yes, ALE is actually a somewhat rare term in actual usage in the UK, at least in my experience.

This puzzle went quickly and easily for me (one of my 3-4 fastest Mondays since I started noting times). Never have heard of CHEWTHESCENERY, but DIGESTTHENEWS was familiar (e.g. "I need some time to digest the news"). Theme answers easily gettable from crosses, and a clever progression.

Liked the relative dearth of crosswordese (I actually hadn't seen ULEE for a while until one of the weekend puzzles - maybe not NYT; can't recall - so it gets a pass), and I liked some of the clever cluing (like site of Chicago touchdowns).

Agreed that the ATTLEE clue (I always stumble on him because I forget the double T and think it doesn't fit) is in the wrong order. That would have been an easy thing to fix; surprised that made it through the editing and quality checks.

Appropriately enough, it's now lunchtime for me. Time to run off and find something to bite, chew, swallow and digest.

Van55 3:10 PM  

I can't believe there are no Bronx cheers over TRAS -- plural singing syllables. Ghastly.

Van55 3:18 PM  

Oh, and "Chew the scenery" is a frequently used clue for "EMOTE" in my experience.

mac 3:23 PM  

Good puzzle, to me a little tougher than a Monday. I too had elev. instead of acro, and needed 3 crosses for "strew".

Thanks, PG, enjoy the rest of your trip and see you Saturday!

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

Sorry if this is something that has been mentioned already (haven't read all the posts) but does anyone know why the NYT puzzle is one day ahead. Yesterday had Monday's puzzle and today has Tuesday's puzzle.
WHAT IS HAPPENING? I usually like to time myself and see how I do against others but can't because of this weird date thing.

Anonymous 3:54 PM  

Oops. Never mind. I see that they say
'today's puzzle' AND they give you the next day. I didn't look carefully. Please ignore the previous 'anonymous' comment.

chefwen 3:54 PM  

Thought this was super easy even for a Monday.

Only one write over, someday, I don't know when, I will finally learn that it is DAIS nor dias. Maybe I will now remember as I have bared my ignorance.

Thanks for the write up PG.

Masked and Anonymous 3:58 PM  

Always thought the phrase was "CHEW up THE SCENERY", but phrase without UP got more Google hits. So as usual, I don't know nothin'. Well, I DO know it's good to be back. And the puz has 5 U's!

Meeting Notice 4:08 PM  

To all:

The next meeting of "Will's Minions" will be under the full moon on the grassy knoll in Dallas.

PS: Don't tell Jim

Masked and Anonymous 4:22 PM  

Almost forgot... I give the puz a mild thumbs up. If for no other reason than it didn't have one more theme entry after the DIGEST one.

U're friend 4:33 PM  

Masked if you LOVE U's check out the LAT

D_Blackwell 4:48 PM  

Anonymous @3:54 prompts me to ask WTF is going on over there? Answer codes have been posted quite early for the last several days, and the next day's link has been available early for at least the last three, and varying as to when. I've already done the Tuesday puzzle.

They aren't very communicative at the best of times, so really oughtn't get away from being consistent to whatever the S&P is supposed to be.

Problem or Feature 5:37 PM  


If you go to the site at the *usual* time and the puzzle is there, what's wrong?

I agree, the puzzles have been showing up early, (Tuesday's has been up a while), but I fail to find that a problem demanding an explaination.

Unless of course, you're the type that stands in line for days to be first to get the latest "whatever" being released at midnight.


Ulrich 5:49 PM  

@Artlvr: If it's any consolation: I have to go through this every year--love that all-clean-inside feeling!

@SteveJ: Agreed!

@foodie: In didn't know that meaning of FATTEN...

D_Blackwell 6:03 PM  

I'm no fan of lines. Being first is nice, but otherwise I'm happy to kick back and be last. The middle of the pack is way too much hassle for my tastes.

I don't like haphazard. I especially don't like it with people and organizations capable of better. (I actually have considerably more tolerance of mediocre from people that can't do better or choose not to; it's not worth caring about, so I run up the white flag quick.)

joho 6:13 PM  

I LOVE that the Tuesday puzzle just became available to me. I thought I had to wait to 10. What can possibly be the problem with an earlier release of something I've paid for and want to have access to before 10 PM?

PuzzleGirl ... I learned again today to never assume. Your SON is adorable.

Anonymous 6:19 PM  

a final thought on the attlee clue: its position in the puzzle, 10 Down might be for 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official residence.

dk 6:22 PM  

@tinbenni, what is even funnier in these days of premium rhums, is that coke and lime were intended to disguise the rank taste of the rum. Thank god they were never needed that with scotch ;)

PG and Rex, My LOL moment this morning was coming to this site and seeing no Monday write-up. My first thought was: Heck if I knew I could do nothing I would have volunteered... course Rex wouldn't have picked me.

d(Old Sheep Dip)K

Tinbeni 7:05 PM  

When I venture down to Jamaica I enjoy their aged dark rums a lot.
And I drink it NEAT!
(Trying to remember what it is I drink on the rocks.)

Hope the crab boil was a blast.
Waiting to see your 9yo niece's sign for "dk's bar."

Clark 8:07 PM  

I thought this was a weirdly challenging Monday, but then I have had very little sleep in the last three days. Getting from Ha’ena, Kaua’i, to Chicago takes a long time -- especially if you have to make an unscheduled landing in Minneapolis because of weather, as we did. I confess to having never heard of the Right Honerable ATTLEE (or maybe to not paying attention when I was hearing of him).

On Kaua’i there are secret beaches and secret surfing spots -- places you don’t want anyone to know about because you don’t want them overrun by crowds. Well, Rexites, keep @Chefwen’s place under wraps. We had dinner with her and her husband on our last night: tender, delicious osso bucco. Yum! Two dogs and a cat, lying about, being sweet and beautiful and making the place feel so much like a home. Warm breezes coming off the Pacific. A few rounds of Apples to Apples. Wonderful company. Get yourselves to Kaua’i.

Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I STREW,— 
O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones;— 
Which with sweet water nightly I will dew, 
Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans. 
The obsequies that I for thee will keep 
Nightly shall be to STREW thy grave and weep.
(Paris. Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, scene 3.)

chefbea 8:09 PM  

So how can I get the next day's puzzle early???
I just go to NYTimes every morning and print out the puzzle.

Anonymous 8:44 PM  

Possibility for the final clue --

What the king does : SITS ON THE THRONE.
(euphamism for commode)

Glitch 8:59 PM  


Just go to the site (same place) earlier.

When I checked this evening (6pm Monday), Tuesday's was already available, and judging from the comments, had been there for a while.

In general, the puzzle is suppposed to be available at 10pm, but for some reason, has been posted earlier the last couple of days.

Being a dead-tree-over-morning-coffee solver I don't usually pay attention to the site, except as a backup or when traveling.


Sfingi 9:02 PM  

@Anonymous1224 - and duz you allus spell bad on-line?

@Clark - I do hope to get to Hawaii, birthplace of President Obama, before I die. And I knew someone would find the active case for STREW in S. Almost made me cry.
(Also @RetChem)

@Ulrich - like yours am besten. I wonder if Mr. Poole knew we'd all be so adolescent, and is chortling in his rum. We suspect there will be no NYT puzzle devoted to a theme of all #5 entries. Or is Poole testing the waters and/or looking for suggestions?

I know nothing about booze(s), but are we all aware the Cutty Sark means short skirt? Check out Burns' Tam O Shanter.

My captcha is stuph. Sometimes a drop of that (sans H) can help the DIGESTion.

@Jim - it's always a point of interest to me how some find a puzzle easy or hard. Some of it is age and some of it is topics (sports and French can still throw me). Much is experience. I used to find themes difficult to detect, but no longer. My motto, again, "One sees what one brings."

In The Language 9:29 PM  

@Sfingi, Don't you think it is #2 entries the Times is avoiding? ;)

(OOH, did I say "voiding"?)

Anonymous 10:26 PM  

Pinch the Loaf ...

Late Night 10:39 PM  

OK, this is strange. The following comment appeared in my gmail inbox, but it doesn't seem to have made it to Rex's comments!:

sanfranman59 has left a new comment on the post "Stuffed sole stuffing / 8-9-10 / Actress Mimieux o...":

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 6:56, 6:58, 1.00, 54%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:43, 0.98, 42%, Medium

Hmmm ... my midday post disappeared ... anyone else have this problem today/

Late Night 11:56 AM  

@sanfranman59, Out of curiosity, I looked at my trashed email from yesterday, and your midday post was there at 3:25 PM, between mac and Anonymous. But obviously it is not in the comment string here. I hope you can figure this one out -- we missed you while you were on vacation and have enjoyed having your reports again.

syndy 1:30 PM  

Myself i like a Quiness or even a black and tan or a good dark german i'm just saying in crosswordese all english drink ale-From Alfred the great to the neighborhood pub Ale drinkers all;was not denying americans constitutional right to drink whatever they can get down,thank you

Anonymous 8:31 PM  


Love your posts. Keep 'em coming!

Waxy in Montreal 1:26 PM  

Churchill on Attlee: "A modest man, but then he has so much to be modest about"!

Dirigonzo 3:56 PM  

Not much to add from 5 weeks later (but that won't stop me.) Made the same mistake as @PG and others with Alti, which produced a very legitimate looking lOckup for "hoosegow" and that just totally pooched the northeast until BITETHEBULLET produced COOLER and all was well with the world. Oh, except for the toss-up between caNS and TINS where I guessed wrong (as usual - if I have a 50-50 shot an something you could get rich betting against me.) Favorite clue: Site of many Chicago touchdowns = Ohare; football season is underway here in syndication-land so the misdirection was maybe a little more persuasive than when this puzzle was originally published in the pre-season.

Solid puzzle with a tasty theme - nothing wrong with that.

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