Reinvest some funds / MON 2-7-11 / It offers flexible support for women / Quantity picked by Peter Piper / Perpetually dirty kid in Peanuts

Monday, February 7, 2011

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: Morning movements (!) — theme answers begin with STIR, WAKE, ROLL OVER, STRETCH, and GET UP, respectively

Word of the Day: PECK (1A: Quantity picked by Peter Piper) —

  1. (Abbr. pk.)
    1. A unit of dry volume or capacity in the U.S. Customary System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 537.6 cubic inches.
    2. A unit of dry volume or capacity in the British Imperial System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 554.8 cubic inches.
  2. A container holding or measuring a peck.
  3. Informal. A large quantity; a lot: a peck of troubles. (
• • •

I have no idea how difficult this was, as I did it on paper, on the couch, in front of the TV. I do know that I had a few write-overs (PVT for PFC, WOW for YOW, SHAPE for SOLID, etc.) and said "What?" several times. First "What?"=ROLL OVER A CD, one of the ugliest theme answers I've seen in a long time, especially on a Monday, when I expect the theme answers to be silken. About as coherent as EAT A SANDWICH. I had the entire answer in place before I knew what I was looking at. ROLLOVER ... ACcount? ACT? What the? It's godawful. Almost but not quite as bad is STRETCH BRA, which I'd never heard of. Checked with wife—also never heard of it. How is this different from the (far far far more in-the-language) SPORTS BRA? Or the (quite a bit more in-the-language) JOG BRA? I tried to find a definition of STRETCH BRA but couldn't. I assume it stretches ... ? Good theme idea, poor execution.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Cooking in a wok, e.g. (STIR-FRYING)
  • 24A: University in Winston-Salem, N.C. (WAKE FOREST)
  • 37A: Reinvest some funds (ROLL OVER A C.D.)
  • 51A: It offers flexible support for women (STRETCH BRA)
  • 58A: Pep (GET UP AND GO)

Not much else to say about this except that I time-traveled and put KATIE Couric on NBC (4D: Newswoman Couric) (5D: 4-Down's network), largely because of this recently viral video:

  • 13D: Perpetually dirty kid in "Peanuts" (PIGPEN) — Comically, impossibly dirty. Would never appear in a contemporary comic; someone would have to call child protective services, stat.
  • 27D: Dance to Donna Summer's "Last Dance," e.g. (DISCO) — do Not like "DISCO" as a verb (though it's legit ... dated legit, but legit).

  • 55A: Lines scanned by a supermarket scanner, in brief (UPC) — glad I never saw this clue, as I'd surely have botched the abbreviation. UPC, CPU, PFC, CFC, CBC, LMNOP ... I can't keep these things straight.
Last I checked, Green Bay was up, but barely.

Have a fine Monday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Anonymous 12:08 AM  

At DAYBREAK I STIR, WAKE, ROLLOVER, STRETCH and GET UP AND GO to the bathroom and then crawl back into bed....

Did not know UPC but got it with the crosses....

Congrats to Chefwen on her Packers....

As for the game Christina Aguilera totally screwed up the National Anthem and the Black Eyed Peas should have won the MVP....

foodie 12:20 AM  

The theme idea is really cute, although I take your point Rex re the uneven execution. But I really appreciated the rest of the fill, being very clean.

DOTE! That's what I do for my grandchildren. I think every child deserves one person who does that at some point, no?

I'm thinking this was Easy...

syndy 12:23 AM  

finished 8.07 (onr finger) did not see the theme or the stretchbra(have one but never heard it called that!was expecting to roll over an ira but did not have room.monday and the pack is back!

retired_chemist 2:11 AM  

Medium here. Not a lot to say. Nothing irksome, nothing to rave about. A few writeovers: SCAN => SKIM, WOW => YOW, ELIDE (my bad) => ERASE. Theme - not apparent until I came here.

KATIE Couric did a cameo on the Glee shown right after the Super Bowl.

captcha mantr - can I buy a vowel, Pat?

Steve J 2:24 AM  

Surprised you could find the Today show clip with KATIE Couric (whom I also put back on NBC). The Peacock network has been trying frantically to take it down and fired whoever released it. Proving that, 17 years later, NBC still does not get how the internet works.

As for the puzzle: mechanical Monday for me. Didn't notice half of it. Still, finished slower than normal (around 6:30 instead of my typical 5 for Mondays). Not entirely sure what slowed me up, but something clearly did. And that's probably the biggest problem with this puzzle from my point of view: it was completely unnoticeable, even for a Monday.

Octavian 3:11 AM  

Very cute, perfect early-week puzzle. No crosswordese, super-breezy, Lynn is obviously the Monday Master.

andrea chalkier michaels 3:23 AM  

word for word for word what @rex said. Ms Lempel is the real Miss Monday, but on this one, no GETUPANDGO for me (except to bed). YAWN.

CHALKIER = Blech, tho offset later with ERASE.

Oh wait! I liked the 15A clue "Snoozefest" and that she snuck in an extra theme (which makes 6!): 39D DAYBREAK!
That semi-tho not really- justifies the ROLLOVERACD answer!
ROLLOVERANDPLAYDEAD or ROLLOVERBEETHOVEN are more realistic tho way too long...

Anonymous 4:03 AM  

What do the Super Bowl and the NYT puzzle have in common?

Greene 4:10 AM  

Like @Foodie I would rate this as an easy Monday. I just filled the whole thing in without hesitation. I didn't even notice the theme until I went back over the answers and noticed the weird ROLL OVER A CD and the even weirder STRETCH BRA. Strech pants, okay, but STRETCH BRA? Weird.

I still don't really know what the internet is, much less how it works. My daughter made me watch a really funny episode of "South Park" recently where the internet mysteriously vanished and Stan and his family travled to California (in a black and white sequence which paid tribute to "The Grapes of Wrath") because they heard there might be some internet there. It was exceedingly silly, but served to underscore how much John Q Public (read me) depends on a technology he doesn't really understand.

Finally, I'm still giggling about Rex's comments on Pigpen. Quick, somebody call child protective services! Although, if memory serves, Pigpen always waxed philosophic about his filth and would go on about how he carried the dust of ancient civilizations and such.

Anonymous 6:00 AM  

Roll over a CD. I believe CD means cash deposit, in account where some interest is paid.
From Bangna/Bangkok

Unknown 7:53 AM  

A CD stands for Certificate of Deposit - definition below:

noun pl. certificates of deposit Abbr. CD or C/D
A certificate from a bank stating that the named party has a specified sum on deposit, usually for a given period of time at a fixed rate of interest.

dk 8:02 AM  

Flaunts instead of FORONCE trimmed a second or two off my fastest Monday in a long time. This one was easy for me.

Today I started with the downs.

As I soon may be a WI resident: Go Packers.

** (2 Stars) As always: I agree with Andrea

Rex Parker 8:10 AM  

I know what a C.D. is.


r.alphbunker 8:20 AM  

Mondays would be more challenging if Across Lite gave you a way to visit all blank answers first, then all answers with only one letter filled in by a cross, then answers with two letters filled in and so on. It would give the pattern recognition area of your brain a workout.

Grandparents are great. My grandmother would talk to me when I was young. I still remember some of the conversations we had.

mmorgan 8:24 AM  

I enjoyed it (despite the dreaded EKED.) Just enough to make you stop and think for a sec here and there. I thought it had lots of fun fresh stuff -- but I never saw the theme till I got here.

Rawdietfordogs 8:32 AM  

Stretchbra? :(

r.alphbunker 8:34 AM  

And my grandmother did crossword puzzles. I may even have learned what a crossword puzzle was from her.

efrex 8:52 AM  

Even a lesser Lempel puzzle provides much enjoyment. Missed out on the theme, but can't complain about any of the anwers other than ROLLOVERACD, which had me scratching my head for quite some time ("what the heck ends in 'RACD?').

Recently learned TVA, but still don't like it in the puzzle. Remainder of the crosswordese fill was pretty inoffensive, and thoughts of PIGPEN bathing in an ESTUARY provided for some amusing moments.

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

Rex I think that people like you who solve the Saturday puzzle in under 10 minutes cannot truly assess the difficulty of a Monday puzzle or a Tuesday puzzle for that matter. So often your ratings for the start of the week puzzles are off base as far as I am concerned. Perhaps you have addressed this issue before but I would like to hear your views on this in one of your write-ups.
This puzzle is a case in point. I solved this puzzle completely without any help and without much hesitation in slightly under 11 minutes. Since it takes me 5 or 6 minutes just to read the clues and process them in my brain I cannot see how I can ever go under 10 minutes even for a Monday puzzle.
So for me this was a super-easy puzzle. The only hesitation was in 13D. I don't know Peanuts characters but it was easy enough to guess with only the second P missing.
Oh and by the way I did not realize there was a theme to the puzzle until I got to the Rex's blog.

Sparky 9:06 AM  

Well, we are off on a GNU week with our old friends ARI and Olive OYL walking to the STY in our clodhoppers. Easy and full of crosswordese. Though, if you are a beginner these would not be familiar to you.

I enjoyed it because I feared my brain was fried after such a dismal last week. I thought clodhoppers were shoes not people. Have a good week.

Glitch 9:25 AM  

@Steve J

Your comment on the Internet clip is simply wrong.

The clip was shown on the Today Show, with humorous comments by the hosts, and is still available on their web site.

And as a former NBC employee, I can state from personal experience, your concluding statement is also way off the mark.


Rex Parker 9:29 AM  


He's right that the guy who leaked it got fired. But there appear to have been other reasons besides that one leak.

quilter1 9:32 AM  

Easy for me. I did not see the theme at all, just filled in the blanks. Agree that stretch bra is not a thing. It probably would not be effective. I have a CD maturing in Nov. I will take the money and run not rollover.

Doting is a grandparent's job description. Although I have one who resists doting except when chocolate is involved.

John V 9:36 AM  

Nothing to add, save for rating, which I found exceedingly easy. I also did not notice much of the puzzle as the mostly this one was write in the acrosses.

ArtLvr 9:47 AM  

Very nice puzzle, with fresh fill to start off the NW, like ESTUARY and CHALKIER, and that aperture FSTOP heading the NE. I had the one misstart for PFC like Rex, but I corrected it easily as WAKE FOREST sounded familiar, and one misspelling at first with GAUGES.

i didn't watch the Super Bowl but somehow caught all the highlights in the POSTgame recaps. A new Aaron clue is undoubted in the offing one of these days. It's amusing to recall hanging around with Bart Starr's sister for a while in Albany -- she was amazed to meet someone who'd never heard of the CHAP!


joho 9:51 AM  

I thought this very easy with a fun theme except for the actual theme answers being less than stellar as already mentioned by many.

Lynn Lempel is one of the best for sure but ROLLOVERANDdie is maudlin but better than ACD and STRETCHpants definitely beats the BRA.

Still, very Mondayish and fun.

OldCarFudd 9:54 AM  

Enjoyed it. Didn't balk at ---ACD or stretch bra; I just assumed the latter must exist. No? Oh, well.

I did balk at the clue for radio. A transistor is, I believe, a solid-state diode that replaced the vacuum-tube diode in radios and other electronic devices. But the clue is equivalent to "steam, e.g." for train, or "acoustic, e.g." for guitar.

CaseAce 9:55 AM  

The Pack is back! Go home Big Ben and take your Steel City teammates wid ya!
Being a (slightly?) embittered NY Jet fan, I rejoiced at the outcome of yesterdays Super Bowl.
As for Lynn Lempel's pretty puzzle on this lovely day after, I found it very rather UPLIFTING, thanks to 51A being hooked up.
In parting, I love that gal at 54D, infact, she's my NECTAR that I "Drink to thee only with mine eyes" (Taking poetic license here with apologies to "Oh Rare Ben Jonson)
Have a good week, my Parker Pen Pals!

David L 10:05 AM  

Took me a while to see the ACD bit at the end of ROLLOVER, but otherwise a nice Monday puzzle. I have no idea whether there's such a thing as a STRETCHBRA, but I bow to the constructor's superior knowledge on such matters.

@OldCarFudd, yes, the transistor is the little solid state device that replaced vacuum tubes, but in my youth new-fangled transistor radios were commonly referred to as "transistors."

I think the plural of OAF ought to be OAVES...

treedweller 10:06 AM  

I liked it. I enjoyed the progression through the morning. Now I must GETUPANDGO.

archaeoprof 10:06 AM  

Perfect theme for a Monday morning.

My favorite part in "A Charlie Brown Christmas," is when Charlie Brown says PIGPEN "might be carrying soil that was trod upon by Nebuchadnezzar."

And PIGPEN responds, "Sorta makes you want to treat me with more respect, doesn't it!"

Lindsay 10:07 AM  

Easy-peasy to complete, but couldn't understand why Will was running a themeless on Monday .....

The video clip reminds me of a conversation I had with my broker in the early 90s. She was trying to sell me on a technology stock, which involved explaining the internet concept. All I could think of was the Star Wars (SDI, to solvers) era cartoon that showed a scientist standing in front of a blackboard covered with arcane mathematical formulas connected by a fairy and magic wand in the middle.

So of course I told the broker no way was she allowed to invest any of MY money in such a hare-brained concept ;~(

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

What's this bandwagon thing about stretch bras? One person objects to the phrase and everyone else here seems to respond that she never heard of it. Google the phrase and you'll find a million for sale. The phrase is very familiar to this woman and apparently is still being used.

Cathyat40 10:19 AM  

From the Title Nine catalog, two product descriptions that indicate STRETCHBRA might not be such stretch:

Luxurious is not a word typically used for a bra but Hanro has just raised the bar for the bra. Seamless, stretch, molded, microfiber double lined cups. Plush underwire, adjustable straps. Simple design, simple beauty, simply unrivaled. 32-38 B-C

Short of running the AC up your shirt, this bra & undie combo is the best thing to keep us dry and well-ventilated as we race from board room to locker room. 360-degrees of a dense, stretch mesh make sure the air keeps flowing and the moisture keeps wicking. Double layer stretch mesh cups. Inset adjustable straps. Nylon/poly/spandex. Bra: 32-40 B-DD; Undies: S(4-6), M(8-10), L(10-12), XL(14)

Cathyat40 10:20 AM  

Oops, I meant to say "such a stretch."

fikink 10:23 AM  

This was a sweet theme, imo, very typical of Lynn Lempel.
@Rex - like that you expect Mondays to be "silken" - nice word.
Love PIGPEN, always have.
(There are images of CEE LO GREEN - whom I expect to see in a crossword puzzle soon - with PIGPEN's cloud of dust around his potty mouth.)
@r.alphbunker, @foodie, grandparents seem to be even more critical to children's lives these days, and VERY necessary.
Everyone needs to be DOTEd on once in a while.

This puzzle? I liked it. " 'Sochoot [captcha] me.' "

My fave 10:26 AM  

Charlie Brown's(?) description of Pigpen:

"The only kid that can raise a cloud of dust in a rainstorm."


Two Ponies 11:01 AM  

My attitude on Mondays, now that I have become a regular solver, is to consider how new puzzlers might find them. I would think this one to be a satisfying experience.
No problem whatsoever with stretch bra. It's a very real thing.
I liked the cluster in the NE of farm, sty, and pigpen.
Get up and go looks great in the grid.

SethG 11:01 AM  

You can google water bra or elegance bra or dream bra and find just about as many--whether it's a part of some company's marketing language or an actual thing is different, and I haven't found any bra shops or other sources where "stretch" is a classification.

With that and the cd, this was weird.

retired_chemist 11:10 AM  

There seems to be little support for a STRETCH BRA.

When something like this drives Rex's blog there is usually little to say about the puzzle itself.....

captcha gruffi - how Steeler fans feel today.

The Reverend Spooner 11:23 AM  

Was in Dallas yesterday, and couldn't find the rally for those of us who support the president's attempts to create millions of clean energy jobs (we call ourselves the "green pay backers." Also disappointed that the entertainment was not provided by what I assume is a burlesque troupe from a small town in Germany who call themselves the Sitzbberg Peelers.

Look Up Guy 11:31 AM  

Google Stretch Bra = 1,640,000 hits. This includes pages containing Stretch bra, stretch, and bra.

Google "Stretch bra" w/ quotes = 198,000 hits, all containing the phrase.

The latter adds support to the validity of the answer (apologies to @R_C for stealing his line) ;-)

Be careful what you ask for.

Look Up Guy 11:33 AM  

Make that Stretch Bra, Stretch, OR Bra

Bob Kerfuffle 11:51 AM  

I thought this was a cute little puzzle, nice for a Monday.

I was quite ready to admit that I stared at ROLLOVERACD quite awhile before I parsed it correctly, but all the negative comments directed at it seem overblown to me.

I believe that all the theme answers follow the desired crossword principle of using the same letters to form two words of different meanings, i. e., the STIR in STIRFRYING is not the same as when we STIR in bed; the WAKE in WAKEFOREST is not the same as to WAKE from sleep; even the GETUP in GETUPANDGO is part of an expression meaning "vigor", and is not the same as when we GET UP out of bed. Therefore, the figurative meaning of ROLLOVER in ROLLOVERACD is different from rolling over in bed, in a way that ROLLOVERANDDIE or ROLLOVERBEETHOVEN would not be.

Jess Sayin 11:52 AM  

AFAIC, bras come in two categories, ones where I can undo the catches, and ones I can't.

hazel 11:57 AM  

@anon 9:04 - the FAQ at the top of the page talks about puzzle difficulty ratings. It may give you all you need to know. At the very least, you will learn that yours is a FAQ.

I really really liked the theme (and Pigpen too - great quote @archeo!), but the ...ACD was jarring, enough to mar my otherwise pleasant outing.

For everyone complaining about STRETCHBRA, where were you on SAturday with the way more aggriegious SILEX and Speedy's ASCOT for chrissake???? Maybe w/ this 2nd rant, I'll be able to let it go!!!!

mac 12:19 PM  

Very nice Monday puzzle. A stretch bra seems to defeat the purpose (and a double-lined cup will not stretch much), but it wasn't really a problem. "Yow" was my least favorite entry, it seems as if these constructors can just put in any old letters!

I like the "getupandgo" in the grid as well, and estuary, postwar and library.

Simple but pretty dense (5) theme, it worked.

P.S. I finally got wired and wireless today!

Masked and Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Witness for the defense (mostly) here:

1. Excellent theme idea. Gotta go with it, even if one theme component barks a little bit.

2. Debriefed the wife, and she Has heard of STRETCH BRA. She also threw in: "most bras stretch". Plus, as the lovely Acme points out, then you get yer crossin' DAYBREAK. Nice. Too bad that its sister entry CHALKIER couldn't have been SLEEPIER or SNOOZIER, or somethin'.

3. Now we get to the "bark" part: ROLLEROVERACD. Gotta have ROLLOVER in the theme mix. It makes the puz positively sparkle. -ACD part did make wife's engine light come on, tho.

Is ROLLOVERira anything? Sounds familiar. Would mess up DAYBREAK, tho. How 'bout ROLLOVERLUD? (LUD bein' short for Ludwig van such-and-such.) Nah. Still barks.

chefbea 1:03 PM  

Very easy puzzle. Didn't get the theme at first til I said them all out loud
Will probably stir fry all the left over veggies I have from all the dips yesterday.

Clark 1:17 PM  

I think the information provided by @Cathyat40 resolves the whole Is-'STRETCH BRA'-a-thing question. It's been around since 32-38 BC.

deerfencer 1:17 PM  

Sweet and easy Funday puzzle IMO. Not sure why so many got their nipples in a twist over STRETCHBRA but I took it as a legitimate generic reference to a common clothing item (see stretch pants). Thanks Lynn Lempel for a fun solve!

Re the Super Bowl, the right team won IMO in a great, gritty contest. Big Ben & the Steelers have had plenty to celebrate in the recent past, and I don't think they were particularly graceful losers last night. Who cares? The trophy goes to where it belongs--Green Bay and its class-act QB Aaron Rodgers!

Masked and Anonymous II 1:34 PM  

P.S. @44: Interesting "(!)" punctuation spurt, following Morning Movements, in theme description. You rascal.

JenCT 1:39 PM  

Same solving experience as @Rex.

Loved ESTUARY - great word.

Can EKED be retired, please?

Go Green Bay! The end of the game was nail-biting.

I thought the choreography of the halftime show was great, but the sound seemed poor to me.

ragtimepiano 2:10 PM  

Hello Rexword NY Times Puzzle Community,
I am new to the joys of doing the Times Crossword, introduced to the pleasure by son-in-law, a newly minted neuro-science PhD. I'm wondering which approach you prefer?
(1) Do the across clues, filling in what you know, and then the down clues?
(2) Do the puzzle by areas, alternating up and down clues?
I started out with the first way, but have discovered that the second works better for me, as the theme emerges faster and makes the puzzle
I'm interested in the opinions of everyone else. Many thanks!

Stan 2:11 PM  

A witty and self-reflexive Monday morning puzzle from my second-favorite early-week constructor.

Besides DAYBREAK and "Snooze" (as Andrea pointed out), we have ARISE at 7D. And for me, Couric will always be associated with early morning TV (but that may be a STRETCH).

Howard B 2:42 PM  

1) @ragtime: An efficient way to solve most puzzles is to enter your first answer, then solve clues building off that answer. Each correct letter filled in makes the remaining letters in connected words easier to solve. Continue until the puzzle is complete. For more difficult puzzles, this may take more time and practice, and may require multiple starting points due to the difficulty of the clues. If a puzzle seems too easy, then solving across or down clues only may provide an extra challenge.

For easier puzzles I try to start at the top-left, connect words from the first answers, and 'flow' through connected words until completed. Depending on the grid design, this may take a number of paths, and there is no one ideal way to solve. The connectivity of answers is the most helpful thing.

- Note on Google hits: Be careful about judging the validity of an answer on Google hits alone. That's just frequency of those words used as a phrase across Internet usage, but not as the harder-to-judge "in the language" cohesiveness of that phrase.
Maybe in the past when there were less sites and random static to serach through, it had slightly more validity, but now it's hard to tell.
For example, right now of the top of my head (and because I have a sweet tooth at the moment), I Googled "strawberry cupcake" and the result was 281,000 hits. But unless you had a 17x puzzle with a theme that fit this perfectly, it's not a stand-alone phrase. Similarly, the completely random "green bird" gets 217,000 hits.

Last Silver Bullet 2:46 PM  

Welcome, @ragtime. Have fun.
(2) works pretty good for M-WPuzs.
(1) is a good start for TH-SATPuzs. Then toss in some (2), from time to time.
Other possibilities:
(3) Talking to self
(4) Phone a friend
(5) Nap

@44: Given your rascaliness today, you shoulda included "AND GO" in your uptop theme list. (See 58-Across) M&A

mac 3:12 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
chefbea 3:12 PM  

@Ragtime I agree with @Howard B. Thats How I solve.
Welcome to our world

Clark 3:20 PM  

@ragtime -- I just want to throw in that for me, a good way to start a really hard puzzle is to go through all the acrosses first. That way I don't start building off of a wrong answer. I get in all the acrosses I can (which may not be many), and no single across will be influenced by any other wrong word in the grid, because they don't intersect. I then find it easier to pick out the right answers. They are the ones that connect up more easily with their neighbors. Just a thought.

chefwen 3:25 PM  

Yeah Team!

Did this one last night while rejoicing with a bit 'o the bubbly. Looking at my printing with sober eyes this A.M., it may have been a tad bit too much, but I really did have to get my heart back to a normal rate. WHEW!

Filled it in rather quickly but did not get the theme 'til I got here. Must have been that fuzzy brain of mine.

Thank you Miss Lynn for a fine Monday puzzle, I think.

fikink 3:43 PM  

@ragtime, provocative question to a wonderful mix of speed-solvers and word-mullers! I guess one's approach really depends on the pleasure you derive.
Not a speed-solver, I do the puzzle as if I were making one of those woven potholders children make at camp, weaving the grid warp and weft.
A really smooth puzzle leads, maybe, to Rex's "silken" Mondays; the more textured puzzles at the end of the week results, for me, in a nubbier fabric. Often, by the time Saturday arrives, I have to resort to macramé! ha!
(sheesh! Block that metaphor!)

Nighthawk 3:55 PM  

I thought this was a fun and breezy Monday.

I really had no problem with either STRETCH BRA or ROLL OVER A C.D., though I agree, both are not exactly "everyday" words for most folks.
From least to most generic, I think of jog bra --> sports bra --> stretch bra, but it's the same general idea. Rolling over a CD, or several of them, in a group of CDs staggered throughout the year over similar maturities is a fairly standard way to invest a portion of an investment portfolio aimed at safety with some return, so I just don't see the "obscurity" issue with that. Yeah, it isn't the easiest to parse in the grid, and in fact, my last fill was the 3D/37A R, and even then I had to stare at is a second for its meaning to click. But I liked the "aha!" moment of it. And, frankly, one of the few in the puz for me. So, I guess, to each their own.

cavityp: Eek! A reminder that a TSA "close search" could be worse!

Steve J 3:58 PM  

@Glitch: Reports last week about the firing also mentioned that NBC had been trying to pull the video down from various sites. Whether the reports are correct or not, I admit I don't ultimately know.

As far as the "not getting the internet" comment: it was a bit of a joke (fully acknowledging that adage that if one has to explain their joke, it's probably not a very good one). That said, if they did indeed try to take down as many instances of the video as possible, there would be some truth to not getting it, since trying to remove content from the internet is like trying to remove a particular grain of sand from a beach. There's just no way to get rid of it. It wasn't a comment about NBC's online strategy writ large.

sanfranman59 4:04 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Mon 6:18, 6:54, 0.91, 20%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:41, 1.00, 52%, Medium

I too had trouble parsing ROLLOVERACD, but it's a perfectly reasonable phrase. I think most financial institutions automatically rollover CDs into a comparable product (in their judgment) when they mature unless the owner chooses a different option. To those of you who didn't like that clue/answer combination, what's the objection?

Sfingi 4:32 PM  

Easy, didn't notice the theme.
Everything by crosses.

Wondered what FORONCE was, Now, I know BeyONCE and FORagE- Oh, FOR ONCE.

Wouldn't know which network Katie is on, since I never know what network I'm watching, nor what product an ad is pushing. I'm glad I'm immune to all that.

@Ragtime - I fill in the blanks and do the 3-letter words. Then I go from bottom to top, since the theme clue is usually toward the bottom. If it's toward the end of the week I put Xs next to words I might need to Google and are Googleable, i.e., factual, not phrases. No speed-solver here.

If by STRETCHBRA you mean athletic bra, they aren't to0 supportive good up at the higher sizes.

I bet PIGPEN had no allergies.

I'm fascinated with comparative words - and their superlatives, always trying to imagine the 2 or 3 things that can actually be compared for the particular quality. "Now, we have 3 chalky things. Which is the...."

captcha - phifydis - word for a half-Greek rapper.

Anonymous 4:50 PM  

Well, most Triscuits are eaten, but EAT TRISCUITS as an answer for [Snack on some Nabisco crackers] would be lousy. While a cd may be rolled over, "roll over a cd" is just not a phrase.

It does get 6,270 google hits, though.

PuzzleNut 6:04 PM  

@clark gets my vote for best comment with his reading of @Cathy's information.
Why anyone quotes google hits is beyond me.

Glitch 6:43 PM  

@Steve J

Out of couriosity, I checked further with a friend still at NBC and learned that Rex's link more accurately reflects the "firing".

The "pull down" effort was part of the daily routine of a unit, that all networks have, that monitors "unauthorized use" of their copyrighted material.

So, it appears neither were solely related to the actual clip, but you link's spin makes for a juicier tale.


quilter1 6:49 PM  

@ragtime,welcome to this unique community. Enjoy!
I do the puzzle pen on paper and usually run through the clues until I find one I know and proceed from there.
I just received a gift of a CD (the music kind)of rags written by women called Ruffles and Rags. Have also visited the Scott Joplin house in St. Louis.
captcha: ariensin,bad stuff done by white folks.

Two Ponies 7:36 PM  

@ ragtime,
Like @sfingi, I scan the clues and look for fill-ins and obvious answers first. I also do not time myself as I like to savor my puzzles. Mondays and Tuesdays can be pretty automatic so starting at 1A usually works but esp. on Fri & Sat I approach with more caution. I am a paper and pen solver.
I also like outdoor bistros and long walks on the beach. Just kidding and seeing if you are paying attention.

sanfranman59 10:01 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 6:29, 6:54, 0.94, 26%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:41, 3:41, 1.00, 52%, Medium

fikink 11:27 PM  

@TwoPonies, you are such a gas! (I was paying attention.)

David Pearce 10:09 PM  

Thanks for your info about Leslie Howard, Rex!


Sonata 9:13 PM  

Yes, Mae West, there IS a stretch bra! Are all female puzzle-solvers well-endowed??

I buy stretch bras - they are comfortable!
And, they fit great- for those of us who don't have to worry about sag as we age, stretch bras are often the only ones that fit!!

BTW - did anyone here, including Rex, google the term????

Dirigonzo 3:48 PM  

Five weeks later I had the exact same write-overs as @Rex did - this fact should bother him a lot more than it bothers me.

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