Murray of silents / SAT 1-22-11 / Gothenburg's river / Glenn Miller's real first name / Storied Bronx station house / Spot follower

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Constructor: Victor Fleming

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Ally SHEEDY (4D: Ally of New York City) —

Alexandra Elizabeth "Ally" Sheedy (born June 13, 1962) is an American film and stage actress, as well as the author of two books. She is best known for her roles in the Brat Pack films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. (wikipedia) ["... of New York City???" You can clue actors by where they live?]
• • •

It's rare that I say this about a Saturday puzzle, or any puzzle, but this one was too easy. I'm sure my skills are improving, but I really shouldn't be able to do a Saturday puzzle in just over 6 minutes—without racing. A leisurely 6+ minutes. And that's with an initial wrong answer (LOANER for MASHER, 1D: Advance man?), a failure to turn the corner at 10D: Declaration of determination (I CAN — I had I'M IN), and a serious stall in the SE as I tried to figure out what was on the other side of AUDIO and MAIN — I had FILE and TOPIC instead of the correct CLIP and THEME at first. But the rest of it?—blew through it like it wasn't even there, esp. the SW and NE, which went down like Tuesday/Wednesday corners. I'll admit to having a slight edge over many of you because I happen to own the Blu CANTRELL song in the clue 13D: Singer Blu with the 2001 hit "Hit 'Em Up Style (Ooops!)," but besides that, there's nothing even slightly off-road here (except small stuff that you can blow right by).

Got "I'LL HAVE THE USUAL" off the "I'LL" and got WOMAN OF THE WORLD off the -OFTHEW-, which was there before I ever looked at the clue. OK, maybe Glenn Miller's real first name is weird, but I had ALT- and -ON seemed like (and was) the only way to complete it. And the "Die Fledermaus" maid? Once I had AD-, I knew she was ADELE or ADELA, and from context I could see it was ADELE. Overall, I love the intersecting 15s, and the FORT / APACHE team-up worked out nicely (25A: With 43-Down, storied Bronx station house), but the rest of it is a little dull. In particular, it's a little RLSTNE-heavy. "Wheel of Fortune" letters everywhere. Nothing too snazzy.

Not much else to say—straight to bullets, then.

  • 27A: Like Russ., once (SOV.) — this "S" was a bit scary for me. Had no idea what -OV or the cross, -NO, could be (27D: ___ Mountain (Pennsylvania ski resort)—SNO). Then: "Ohhhh. SOViet. That's an abbrev??? OK."
  • 28A: Eaves lounge chair feature (SWIVEL) — could've been tough, I guess, but I had the "SW-," which gives you just one option as far as I can tell.
  • 11D: Murray of silents (MAE) — OK, this is kind of obscure, but I never even saw the clue. Tough stuff doesn't really matter when the crosses are super-breezy. This method of solving, where crosses do all the lifting in a potentially tough clue, happened again at ONO (55D: "Walking on Thin Ice" singer) and again at OTTOS (60A: Physics Nobelist Stern and others).
  • 40A: "In My Own Words" missionary (TERESA) — I mean ... it's a missionary. You need only a cross or two, if that, to guess who it is.
  • 53A: Gothenburg's river (PLATTE) — And again, tough, but I had the "P" and PLATTE was the very first, and only, thing that occurred to me.
  • 24D: He was declared dead in absentia in 1982 (HOFFA) — guessed this one before I ever saw the clue. H-F-A? What else? Sorry, broken record, but it was one of those days.
  • 25D: Spot follower, perhaps (FIDO) — well, they're both dog names. I guess one could "follow" the other...
  • 31D: Neighbor of Loire and Ain (RHONE) — No idea what "Ain" is, but it doesn't matter because "Loire" provided the only context I needed. Too easy.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


syndy 12:18 AM  

got swivel without any letters just what do chairs do?6 letters? Nice sulid puzzle not as much in my comfort zone but no arexia

jesser 12:18 AM  

Wonderful vacation over. And so I return with a big ol DNF.

At 10A, I had IpAdS, and pAE at 11D was unknown even to a 52 year old, and dANTRELL looked fine for a rap star.


The rest of it was kinda like Rex said. I had a bit of trouble in the NW after hanging on for Far Too Long with shakES at 19A. It eventually became untenable. STEROL would have been my WOTD. WTF?

Otherwise it was great fun, and it's cool to be back among friends!

Daton (no, I went to Hobbs, NM, not Ohio) -- jess

Ulrich 12:38 AM  

A whole week w/o googling--what joy!

And here's the real Adele, obviously from Vienna!

chefwen 12:54 AM  

Welcome back jesser, we missed having you here on a regular basis.

Of course it was rated easy, I was actually able to finish, unlike yesterday. The southeast was my sticking point, I had dubber in at 44D which really messed me up for a while. Last in was PLATTE because I just couldn't get Sweden out of my head with Gothenburg. Expand your horizons little one. Final BELL at 15A didn't help either. Anyway, I finished, I'm happy!!!

Go Pack!!!

andrea carat michaels 1:15 AM  

Had seR for "delivered piece" (as in sermon) for way too long.

First time I have ever done a puzzle in pencil, just in case, and was glad I did.

I really liked ILLHAVETHEUSUAL, tho not trickily clued, at all...
but it was like this big long toehold. Really a foothold.

I guess I don't know what a MASHER is...sounds Yiddish...but I thought to MAStER something might advance man(kind).

And just now got "Gold finisher": DEE as in the letter "D". uck.

May have mentioned before, saw Ally SHEEDY (I tried Kirsty which is misspelled and MCBEAL(!) first!) in a reverse sex roles casting of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" off-off-off Broadway. Most miscast thing EVER and she got a standing O (led by her mom, I think).

She's well-known to be a NY City kind of gal, so I suppose it's like cluing "Frank of Hoboken".

FORT APACHE the Bronx...great film, must see for you young'uns out there.
Odd, I totally remember Al Pacino in it, but just looked it up and it's 1981 Paul Newman, Ed Asner, and the disappeared-from- crosswords Ken Wahl!

jae 1:31 AM  

More medium for me. Lots of little missteps in NW slowed me down (@Andrea - hand up for McBeal). Second the solid Sat. comment, but not as lively as yesterday's. Very nice crossing 15s. Anyone else try SSR for SOV?

nerdvs maximvs 1:36 AM  

I HATED the clue for STEROL. A sterol is an alcohol. Yes, it can be esterified into a sterol ester, and I'm assuming that's what this clue is hinting at, but "sterol" isn't a kind of ester. "Sterol ester" is a kind of ester. "Sterol," again, is an alcohol.

Cluing sterol with "Kind of ester" is like cluing whale with "Kind of shark." You can tell what it's going for, but it's just way, way off.

I skip M-W 3:07 AM  

Mostly, I have to say, Rex is right (or Rexia). Platte was a bit tricky, and the clue for 12D was enjoyable, but Ono again, and Sov and then Glenn Miller's real name? gong from simple to ridiculous.
@Andrea, a masher is one who makes unacceptable advances to women, not Yiddish as far as I know.

I skip M-W 3:09 AM  

I meant "going" not "gong".

r.alphbunket 4:06 AM  

I thought the judge was letting us off easy until the NW refused to fall. It was like sitting in solitary confinement looking at a blank wall. Finally had to look up the meaning of refluent and then everything fell into place.

Refluent reminded me of Davy the son of a friend of mine. He was born in Israel and lived there until he was five when he moved to the US and forgot his Hebrew. Ten years later his mother found a video of him taken in Israel that showed him speaking fluent Hebrew. So the 15 year old Davy had a chance to watch a younger version of himself speak a language he did not understand. Wouldn't that be a great experience to have! And, of course, if Davy ever learns Hebrew he wii become refluent in it.

My mother told me that as a child I  said "oye" instead of WAWA. 

jae 4:11 AM  

@Andrea - I Skip is correct. The term was 40's/50's slang for a wolf (which is also slang). I haven't seen it used in decades except in crosswords. BTW my IPAD wont let me lower case the a in Andrea.

ArtLvr 5:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 5:43 AM  

Lovely to see ART LOVER right away, and like Rex I zipped along without major hitches except for thinking hockey fans' highlight should be a Score, silly me. MELEE was amusing, as were the longest entries, I'LL HAVE THE USUAL and WOMAN OF THE WORLD.

AT THE BELL for the close of the stock market hit home too. However, the PLATTE River was a just a good guess off the PL__, since I wasn't at all aware of Gothenburg in Nebraska, but I did know there was a Platte farther west besides the one in Michigan where I used to canoe!

Thanks to the Judge for a Saturday outing to sail through, for a change...


imsdave 8:04 AM  

Not too hard, except that I may have set a personal record for erasures. I think I had every single mistep that has been documented do far. Add BRAWL/FIGHT to the list for MELEE and NOEND for ONEND.

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

"Masher" - Learned it from Bugs Bunny. All while the rest of you were actually learning something.

Glimmerglass 8:56 AM  

Congrats to Rex and all you other geniuses who aced this one. Once in a while one hits a puzzle where everything clicks and the solver is inside the head of the constructor. For me, this wasn't one of those days. Like most Saturdays (and some Fridays), I surveyed the puzzle, saw all the things I didn't know (or didn't think I knew) and was sure this would be a DNF. However, like most Saturdays, I picked at the parts I did know, made some guesses and some inferences, and eventually got it right. But this wasn't easy for me -- call it "medium."

SethG 9:08 AM  

Finn got a new brother OTTO this week; I met him yesterday. Odin had a sister yesterday; I'll meet her today. At the Australian Open there's a Margaret Court Arena, which presumably contains the Margaret Court Court.

I had a pretty easy time today, but not as easy as yesterday.

mitchs 9:33 AM  

Easy yes. "Too" easy? I'll take it after yesterday's fiasco in the NW. The SE was the most time consuming because of all that Rex mentioned. Might be a record time for a Saturday - probably because the longs were so gettable.

OUCH! 9:43 AM  

Anyone notice a blast (sound bite?) of Bob Dylan when loading the blog?

Perhaps a tribute to 14D 38A?

Most annoying, especially to other family members still (but no longer) asleep.


PS: Happening on more than one computer.

jackj 9:49 AM  

Much, much too easy for a Saturday.

No one who is a hockey fan has ever called the sport's occasional contretemps a MELEE (admittedly, those hockey fights aren't called "contretemps", either).

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

@I Skip M-W - Never missing a chance to nit pick, a MASHER is not a man making "unacceptable" advances to a woman as much as a man making "unwanted" advances. Mashers are not necessarily bad as much as they are annoying.... Personally I prefer the golf club....

Lindsay 10:02 AM  

Exactly what @jesser said. Ipads for Imacs. PAE didn't look too good, but if the name was easy to clue, we wouldn't be rummaging around in silents, right? And Dan Trell could be somebody. Couldn't he?


PuzzleNut 10:06 AM  

Yes to the Bob Dylan snippet. Had a major viral infection on my computer yesterday and almost lost it entirely. Was certain that it was back when I heard Bob for no apparent reason. Relieved to hear that it wasn't just my computer.
As for the puzzle, I'm in the "really easy" camp. Half my usual time. Being a Saturday, I entered some answers lightly, assuming my first guess could be wrong. To my surprise, 95% were dead on. IpAdS for IMACS, Eatat for ERODE and fight for MELEE slowed me down, but not terribly. Had the same thought as @chefwen on Gothenberg being in Sweden, but since I didn't know any rivers there, I ignored the clue and got it all from crosses.
Now to do some chores for the hour I usually spend on the Saturday puzzle.

quilter1 10:09 AM  

Got everything easily until the NW. Could not think of a single Ally. Did not know STEROL and would not give up the final BELL which, in reality, is the closing bell. Like others stared and stared and finally gave up. Dang, I was feeling good about it up til then.
Gothenburg is the home of the Pony Express and has a nice museum. Sadly my MIL died in the hospital there on her way to Las Vegas.
I had not one, but two Uncle Ottos!

joho 10:11 AM  

I liked the shout out to @andrea carat michaels at 44D. And I also had seR for way too long. Finally seeing ARTLOVER (another great shout out) fixed it.

I wondered how the OTTOS and LEOS were getting along together.

Yep, this was easy but it's always fun to finish a Saturday. Great way to start the day ... thanks, Victor Fleming!

JaxInL.A. 10:22 AM  

@jae, about capitalizing, or not, on the iPad: 
look at the shift key. If the arrow is a blue outline, that signals an auto-caps function. When you actually select "shift" in other situations (as opposed to it coming on automatically), the arrow is solid blue. To undo the cap for that letter, tap the shift key.

The default settings will capitalize each line and after periods, and you can't get rid of the cap by erasing it as the machine will figure any letter in that position should be a cap unless you tap that outlined blue arrow to tell it to quit.  

BTW, I found it very helpful to go into the Settings > General > Keyboard and enable the Caps Lock so that I can type with ten fingers and still follow the convention here of placing answers in caps.  Otherwise you have to hold the shift key while typing the letters with the other hand.  While in Keyboard, you can change other default settings as well if you like.

Matthew G. 10:28 AM  

I sailed through the NE, SW, and center — including getting the 15s with almost no crosses — but the NW and SE gave me real trouble. The problems began when I guessed EARL instead of RELY for {Count}, which led me to guess MCBEAL instead of SHEEDY for {Ally of New York City}, and I also had FIGHT instead of MELEE. Disaster. In the SE, I guessed AUDIOFILE instead of AUDIOCLIP (and I don't like the correct answer, because you can just as easily have a clip on a tape as in a data file, so the cluing is so-so), and MAINTOPIC instead of MAINTHEME.

Never, ever knew that there was a movie about a Bronx police station called FORT APACHE. That clue was bewildering to me, as a long time NYC-area resident who was pretty sure there was nothing in the Bronx by that name. And hey, there isn't. Whew. Just a movie that used the term metaphorically. Okay.

Never heard of Blu CANTRELL either. But got that from the crosses.

So I can see how someone could find this easy --- I certainly did for about three-fifths of the grid. But where I ran into trouble, it was usually big, big trouble. Worse-than-usual Saturday time here.

chefbea 10:46 AM  

Tough for me. Googled a lot and still DNF

@joho wanted Andrea instead of titler

welcome back Jesser

Leon 10:55 AM  

Fort Apache was the nickname of the 41st Precinct from 1971 before the movie made in 1981. After the precinct moved ,it was known as The Little House on the Prairie.

JaxInL.A. 11:10 AM  

I'm with @glimmerglass on this one.  Serious negative arexia. It did go down a bit more smoothly than most Saturdays, but not extraordinarily so.  

@joho, I, too, loved the shootout to @andrea (name provider: TITLER) and @ArtLvr (gallery fixture). TITLER actually made me smile very big.

Just now understood 13 religious heads: I thought 'what religion, and how am I supposed to know their astrological sign?'  Wondered briefly if there were 13 of those head carvings on Easter Island.  Finally I get there have been 13 Popes named LEO.  

Started in the SE, got the long central down answer off the UAL, then worked my way around the corners counter-clockwise.  I had LEPer for the one wished a long life overseas and thought it a bit harsh, but crosses fixed it in the end. Finished with that L in LEOS.

Board meeting this morning for the 24th Street Theatre, a local pioneer. Better get going.  Happy weekend everyone.

Two Ponies 11:32 AM  

With two inside jokes it felt like His Honor was writing this for us!
"Big price tag" wouldn't fit for the Eames clue so I had to settle for swivel. They don't all swivel.
Too easy for a Saturday but my tougher areas were the opposite of Rex's.
I'm arexual today!
Welcome back @jesser.

Stan 11:42 AM  

I was having a PINT at LEO'S when the dame walked in. She was a WOMAN OF THE WORLD in classy ATTIRE: sleek black dress and 14-CARAT earrings. "I'LL HAVE THE USUAL" she told LEROI, the bartender. A loud guy in the back came up and put his HAND on her arm. She SWIVELed around and said "Beat it, MASHER!" He looked STARTLED but didn't move away. I said "You heard the lady, make like HOFFA and disappear!" He came at me and I knocked him ON END with a BELT to the jaw. Soon the whole joint was a MELEE...

Mel Ott 11:48 AM  

I thought it was easy except for the NW which I found very challenging. I was able to throw down I'LL HAVE THE USUAL with few crosses and WOMAN OF THE WORLD put up little resistance, all of which helped.

The clue for 1A threw me because I read it as exclusive (some kind of synonym for PRINT MEDIA) rather than the inclusive MASS MEDIA.

The corner finally fell when I got MASHER which was already archaic when I was young and I'm on the north side of 70.

Mel Ott 11:52 AM  

Oh, and @Jackj is right. No hockey fan I ever knew would call it a MELEE. Reminds me of an old quip: I went to the fight last night and a hockey game broke out.

archaeoprof 11:55 AM  

Easy for me too, but lots of writeovers, including:


Re 40A: in class one day last semester a student referred to Mother Teresa as "Mama T."

Sparky 11:56 AM  

FORT APACHE my first entry. Picked away and solved all but NW. Had eLTON then decided A was plural. Tried epheremra at 1A but too short. Schubert for the ally NG. Final in, SHEEDY out. (Her mothter and I worked at the same ad agency back in the day.) SHEEDY back in, final out. had BELL and STEELBELT, gave up, came here. Welcome back Jesser. Good weekend to all.

No BS 12:03 PM  

Whadabout "prorexia" as an antonym?

Sorry, how is Titler a shoutout to Andrea? (kind of a newbie, here) I get (with a bit of re-reading of the blog) Artlover.

I don't time my puzzling (although my GF and I race Monday through Wednesday), so my rating scale is subjective. This one felt so hopeless at the beginning (Fort Apache saved my bacon, but only thanks to Netflix) but I finished it without cheating. To me, that means medium. Easy is filling out a form. Hard is DNF which includes errors. Well aware that Rex's method is objective--comparing his time to his average for that day of the week. That's why arexia (though certainly I experience it) is kind of an irrational response--he's just reporting the facts, ma'am.

David L 12:09 PM  

This would have been exceptionally easy for a Saturday except that the NW remained blank for a while. Finally I figured out STEELBELT and then, to my surprise, came up with Sheedy from the E alone (I know who she is, but I had no idea she was renowned for being 'of New York'). MASHER was the last to go -- it was in a Sunday NYT puzzle a few weeks back, I questioned it here and received enlightenment. If crosswords are good for anything, they're good for me keeping me up-to-date with antiquated slang.

Oh, and I put down FIGHT before MELEE, but then I'm not a hockey fan so don't know the correct terminology.

mac 12:44 PM  

Medium for me, since the NW was nearly impossible to crack. I had loaner and lender for 1D, couldn't get "deke" out of my head (after it took so long to get it in..) and the Dee got me.

So frustrating to have ----media and -----bell and not knowing what to put in front.

I had ser instead of ltr for a while, as well, and I'm in at 10D.

Not nice to hear on your birthday that when you age you get "saggy"!!

jae 12:54 PM  

@JaxInLA -- thanks for the help. I'm still exploring my Christmas present.

Masked and Anonymous 1:14 PM  

@jesser... Poot, indeed. Also had IPADS up top. I feel your pain. Darn crossin' names. Neeever heard of 'em.
@44... I hear yah on the overall difficulty. Needed a couple extra sneaky clues sprinkled here or there, or somethin'. Assume the two 15-letter center jobbers were the seed entries? 15-letter stuff usually makes the puz easier to get.

Happy birthday to the Apple Mac. (1984)

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

i taught reading at a jr.high in the fort apache section of the bx for 13 years. very challenging. one day an intruder came into my classroom and threatened my life. as the principal did nothing, i called the police. two came and the rookie went into the classroom so that the more experienced cop could take my description. after a short time the rookie exited, his hat awry, all dishevelled and said, "Lady, I don't know how you do it!" when i returned to the classroom the students wanted to know why i had called the police on them,"We were good," they said.
my nephew won a mother's day contest by starting his essay,"My mom ain't no mother Teresa," going on to extol his mom's virtues.dnf but got more than usual for a sat.

Anonymous 1:35 PM  

This is the second puzzle this week where the constructor's name has something to do with movies. Pete Mitchell was the central character in Top Gun and Victor Fleming directed Gone With The Wind and other noteworthy films. I can't tell if we are dealing with pseudonymns or coincidences.

So today we have a huge cross with I'LL HAVE THE USUAL with WOMAN OF THE WORLD and what does that INFER? It tells me that drunks, like blondes, have more fun.

@Chefwen - Well done! A true Packer fan says Go Pack! I saw one post elsewhere that said Go Packers and knew that was only a fair weather fan. Speaking of fair weather it is going to be 16 above, cloudy and little wind for the game. I do not have a good feeling about this game but I didn't have a good feeling about the 2nd game in 1963 that was played at GB, the last game I recall between the two that held this kind of significance.

@Rex, pardon the digression but I read so much on this site about food, cooking, knitting and other such activities that seem far afield, that a little football talk seems timely....

Go Bears . . . Da Bears

chefbea 1:35 PM  

@Mac - A big bunch of beets in honor of your birthday. Have a great day!!!

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Anon@1:25 - One of the best posts I've seen here or anywhere ever....

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

anon@154- wow! thank you so much.

OISK 2:59 PM  

Have never had two DNF's in the same week, so was very worried after yesterday's fiasco. But I pretty much sailed through the puzzle today - about a half hour, which for me is very good for a Saturday. Enjoyed it very much, nice to see one of my favorite operetta characters get a mention.

Only disappointment is that Rex called it "easy"!

Jainesy 3:26 PM  

Agree w RP. Too easy. I also had MAIN TOPIC and AUDIO FILE at first in the lower right.

Doggedly stuck with IPAD instead of IMAC for who-knows-what-reason until the bitter end, about 45 min. after I started, which for me is a fast Sat. finish.

chefwen 4:00 PM  

@Stan - Great story!

matty lite 4:00 PM  

Sheedy was the first Ally to enter my mind. In fact, I guess she never left my mind since I first fell in love with her Breakfast Club character.

Very easy except a brief hitch in the SW where ENO instead of ONO had me questioning the writers', then my own, knowledge of the romance languages.

Anonymous 4:10 PM  

It must indeed be a very easy Saturday puzzle if I can get over 80% percent of it correctly without any help.
For me the only problem area was the NW corner. I had for too long LENDER or LOANER for 1D. Also had OLEATE for 3D and WHITE WALL for 17A. So naturally I could not fit HIREES, ERODE and RELY to the grid. I never heard of the word MASHER as clued in the puzzle.
I don't like the clue for STEROL since STEROL is an alcohol and not an ester. So I think the clue was a bit deceptive if not altogether wrong.
All in all I enjoyed this puzzle very much.

Sonata 4:11 PM  

Did no one else have maKELOVE at 36D- Court on the court??
I thought that was rather clever...and kept that corner elusive, since it was my first entry there...

Greene 4:38 PM  

I too thought the puzzle was on the easy side, which meant I did it in 32 minutes as opposed to my usual 3 hours.

I loved seeing the shout outs to @Artlover at 12D and @Andrea at 44D. Such a pleasure to see WAWA clued without the reference to SNL too.

I feel fairly certain that I first encountered the word MASHER in The Music Man during the song "Piano Lesson" where Marion and her mother argue about the suitability of newly arrived con-man Harold Hill, who has been following Marion all over town with unwanted advances, as an acceptable romantic partner for Marion:

Do you think that I'd allow a common MASHER--
(Now, really Mama!)
I have my standards where men are concerned,
And I have no intention--

Mrs. Paroo:
I know all about your standards
And if you don't mind my sayin' so
There's not a man alive
Who could hope to measure up to that blend'a
Paul Bunyan, Saint Pat and Noah Webster
You've got concocted for yourself outta your Irish imagination,
Your Iowa stubbornness, and your liberry fulla' books!

It's clever writing and quite amusing in the context of the show.

And finally: a big, fat, happy birthday to chum @Mac. Hope you and Charlie have a special day together.

chaos1 5:04 PM  

More Medium for me. The NW took the longest.

Loved FIDO for 25D. It brought to mind a favorite poem from my youth. I'll share, but apologize beforehand if I offend anyone's dog:

The dogs once held a meeting.
They came from near and far.
Some came aboard a Greyhound,
While others came by car.

But before inside the hallowed halls,
They were allowed to look,
They had to take their assholes off,
And hang them on a hook.

Hardly were they seated,
Each mother son and sire,
When some dirty yellow sonofabitch,
Began to holler FIRE !

Out they rushed, all in a bunch,
And had no time to look.
So each at random grabbed,
An asshole off a hook !

Well, they got their assholes all mixed up,
And it made them pretty sore,
To have to wear an asshole,
That they never wore before !

So that is why, you will see,
As you walk down the street,
Each dog will stop and swap a smell
With every dog he'll meet.

And that is why a dog will leave
a nice fat greasy bone,
And stop to smell an asshole cause,
He Hopes He'll Find His Own !!!

joho 5:11 PM  

@Stan ... that was fun!

@No BS ... Andrea is a namer ... that's what she does for a living and, as you can imagine, does very well!

@mac ... I wish you a very happy birthday!

Anonymous 5:32 PM  

Sorry, @Chaos, but Anon at 1:25 still has the best post....

sanfranman59 6:15 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 7:28, 6:56, 1.08, 78%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 11:30, 8:56, 1.29, 99%, Challenging
Wed 10:40, 11:44, 0.91, 31%, Easy-Medium
Thu 19:29, 19:00, 1.03, 64%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 29:58, 26:14, 1.14, 81%, Challenging
Sat 24:51, 30:30, 0.81, 9%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:57, 3:42, 1.07, 83%, Challenging
Tue 5:29, 4:35, 1.20, 94%, Challenging
Wed 5:13, 5:46, 0.90, 30%, Easy-Medium
Thu 9:16, 9:09, 1.01, 63%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 15:52, 12:52, 1.23, 88%, Challenging
Sat 13:59, 17:22, 0.81, 12%, Easy

chefwen 7:01 PM  

@Mac - Happy Birthday, hope you are having a GREAT day!

michael 7:07 PM  

zoome through this until getting hopelessly stuck in the nw. I even sort of thought of Ally Sheedy but then overthought it, wondering what she had to do with New York City. Ok, she's from there, but so are a whole lot of other people. Of course, it didn't help that I was convinced that her last name was Shields.

Ulrich 7:14 PM  

@sonata: Clever, yes (have you been watching too much Australian Open lately?)! I think it never occurred to me b/c I always found making love on court harder than it sounds...

Anonymous 7:17 PM  

Thanks for all the nice comments.
The puzzle was about my wife: I’LL HAVE THE USUAL WOMAN OF THE WORLD, which is she.
ArtLvr, U R welcome! It was, of course, just for you!
r.alph, I was letting you off easy. This was supposed to be a Wednesday puzzle!
Has no one yet raised the old Rodney Dangerfield joke? “I went to a melee last night and a hockey game broke out.” Maybe it was a fight he went to.
Keep that eraser sharp, imsdave! It comes in handy, doesn’t it?
Glimmerglass, There was not room for you inside my head today—too many others in such a small space.
Jackj, Evidently, Will calls hockey game breakouts melees, since that clue was his.
Joho and allycarlamichaels, Yes 44D was for you-know-who!
Jax, The religious heads were LEOS? I thought they were LOOS, like in the Church of England. Will must have edited that one in.
FYI, the puzzle was submitted quite a while back—May 2008, to be exact, when there were no iPads on the market yet (and my vocabulary was much smaller then, too).

chefbea 7:42 PM  

@vic- why do you have to be an anonymouse???

Stan 9:55 PM  

Thanks to @joho (your puzzle narratives are the best) and @chefwen (now that the Patriots are out, go Pack!)

Strangely for me, platte are Swedish pancakes, so I never noticed that the river might be in Nebraska.

"Arexia" should not be confused with "antirexia" -- it's opposite should be "rexia" (adj. "rexic") and signal something like "on the same wavelength."

@mac: Happy birthday!

@Sonata: Excellent wrong answer.

/vic: Thanks for dropping by. It's just so helpful to get a little bit of the inside story behind a puzzle.

mac 11:06 PM  

Thank you for the good wishes! I had a wonderful day.

Marc 5:47 PM  

I have to rate this as easy, for a Saturday. I finished without too much difficulty, although as always the NW was the toughest part. Still, I finished it in under an hour with nary a Google.

However, I wouldn't describe it as a breeze. Believe me, Senator, I'm no Rex Parker; this one took some effort and so for me it was an enjoyable solve.

I did have to look up "refluent" in the dictionary.

Is looking a word up in the dictionary less "cheating" than looking it up via Google? I suppose.

SharonAK 9:32 PM  

@Stan Loved your story from the puzzle. Best post among several fun ones.
You may never see this comment since I'm in Syndiland, but wanted to say thanks for the fun.

Stan 11:53 PM  

@SharonAK: Thanks so much! I'm really flattered.

Please keep on posting.

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