Company that produced Twister Candy Land / MON 3-14-11 / Hershey's vatful / Antianxiety drug with palindromic name / Area west of Bowery

Monday, March 14, 2011

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: MALT to MULT — a vowel progression puzzle, with theme answers all starting with M-LT and the "-" being a different vowel in each case: A, E, I, O, and U, respectively.

Word of the Day: CIVET (21D: Spotted cat) —

A civet (pronounced /ˈsɪvɨt/) is a small, lithe-bodied, mostly arboreal mammal native to the tropics of Africa and Asia. Civet may also refer to the distinctive musk produced by the animal. (wikipedia ... which says nothing about the civet being a "cat," though it does say CIVETs "have a broadly cat-like general appearance")
• • •

A bouncy little Monday puzzle from the Other Divine Miss M. This one felt slightly thornier than her usually offerings, perhaps because she went with a 76- rather than a more typical (for a Monday) 78-word grid while also throwing down some high-value Scrabble tiles. My time was pretty average for a Monday, but I felt like I was working somewhat harder than I normally have to on a Monday — not a bad thing. There were some weird things about this puzzle. First, it seemed like its theme was sweets—60% of the answers either are or refer to sugary treats. Then there was the fact that two of the M-LT words were very nearly synonyms of one another (MELTING, MOLTEN), with both words having chocolaty contexts. Slight feeling of repetition and redundancy. Lastly, I was mildly UPSET (4D: Overturn) with MELT IN ONE'S MOUTH, since that phrase is taken directly from M&Ms' slogan, and thus (in my mind) should be quoted perfectly, i.e. MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. That is what they do. That is what the ads say they do. Nothing about "ONE'S" in the ads. I'm happy to have constructors fudge the ONE'S/YOUR distinction generally, but in the case of a direct quotation, not so much. Still, this glitch did LITTLE (3D: Wee) to diminish my enjoyment of the puzzle as a whole.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Fountain treat (MALTED MILK) — I don't know that I've heard this phrase. A MALTED MILK shake, I've heard of. "MALTED MILK" appears to be some kind of powder... but maybe in some bygone era this phrase was totally normal for the "fountain treat" in question.
  • 23A: What M&M's do (MELT IN ONE'S MOUTH)

[What the...?]

  • 37A: Company that produced Twister and Candy Land (MILTON BRADLEY)
  • 50A: Hershey's vatful (MOLTEN CHOCOLATE) — I assume this refers to some imagined vat at their factory... we live very close to Hershey, PA, but have never been.
  • 56A: The "3" in "6 x 3 = 18" (MULTIPLIER) — ugh, I tripped over the final letter. Somehow couldn't process what the clue was asking for, and the cross just didn't help at first — clue on RES. feels weirdly redundant; RES. is an abbrev. for "home." "Phone number" part just confused me. For a few seconds, anyway.
Normally don't have to deal with detritus like CIS, MELO, and ABAA in Andrea's grids, but again, I think the tradeoff — theme density and Scrabbly letters — is worth it.

  • 5A: WWW letters (HTML) — one of those either/or clues: is it HTML or HTTP?
  • 17A: Jamie Foxx's "Yep ___ Me" ("DAT'S") — again, very un-Andreaesque, this kind of non-word. I do like the clue, though. Don't know the song. Let's hear it.

  • 55A: Antianxiety drug with a palindromic name (XANAX) — always strikes me as a name better suited to an anti-gas drug. I think I've been conditioned by GAS-X and MAALOX.
  • 27D: ___ Reader (eclectic bimonthly) (UTNE) — not much you can do with a U--E set-up (which the theme answer arrangement puts in place). ULEE. UTNE. URGE may be your best bet there. But UTNE is a solid, if crosswordy, choice.
  • 44D: Pre-cable TV adjunct (AERIAL) — "adjunct" threw me slightly, for reasons I don't quite understand. Also, is there any difference in this context between ANTENNA and AERIAL?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Madama Michaels 12:20 AM  

HA! I put MELTINYOURMOUTH too when I solved it and agree with your comments 333%

foodie 12:24 AM  

Yes, I agree, Rex, it's bouncy and fun.

A classic Andrea in that the puzzle makes you smile as you stop to think about language... I loved the gradual morphing of MALT to MULT and the bouncing in and out of chocolaty goodness. And the scrabbliness of the puZZle was the cherry on top!

What were the XANAX people thinking? That they'd have you so relaxed you wouldn't know whether you're coming our going? Loved that clue!

Tobias Duncan 12:27 AM  

Monday through Wednesday I print out a bunch of puzzles for my friends at the local coffee shop.If its a puzzle I think people will really like I print our more in hopes that the strays will end up creating a few more puzzle fans.As soon as I saw Andrea's name I doubled the stack!Her puzzles are gems that are perfect for getting new people excited about crosswords.
Thank you so much Andrea, I hope you continue to focus on Mondays and Tuesdays because in some ways they are the most important puzzles of the week.

Mother's little helper 12:28 AM  

Ah yes, reduced anxiety = totally friggin stoned!

DJG 1:04 AM  

Thought the theme was sweets oriented, as well, so I was thrown off course (by Monday standards) by MULTIPLIER.

Even the clue for MILTONBRADLEY has a sweet undertone with Candy Land making an appearance. I would have preferred "Bat-shit crazy slugger who kinda sucks now" as the clue, but that's just me.

Fine puzzle overall.

SethG 1:31 AM  

Instead of the imagined vat, they should have gone with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. One thinks some of that was molten.

Agree about the weirdness of the three sweets, and the four with Candy Land. One assumes Andrea's initial clue _was_ baseball for MILTON BRADLEY, and basketball for MELO, football for HEIDI, and hockey for DEVIL.

chefwen 2:09 AM  

Yeah, it's an Andrea puzzle was the first thought that jumped into my brain. Not too easy, not too tough, just right. I loved all the chocolaty goodness that came with it. Now I need a piece of my Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bar that I hoard like a junkie.
Malted Milk Balls are another favorite that I let MELT IN my MOUTH before I crunch. Hungry now, time for snack.

CoolPapaD 2:15 AM  

Loved this one! Did it on-line, which I almost never do, and didn't see the constructor's name until coming here. I'll echo @Tobias with his praise for quality early-week treats.

Thanks, @DJG - I didn't know that Milton Bradley was also a ball player. Once again, post-puzzle (and post-Rex) Googling taught me a few new facts (the guy clearly needs some help). Anyone know if there are brothers by the name of Parker in the major leagues?

Elaine2 3:43 AM  

Hi --

to all -- the "vat" at the Hershey factory is NOT imagined, or at least it wasn't many years ago (MANY years ago!) when I went there as a little girl. A HUGE vat of liquid chocolate being splooshed (no better word comes to mind) back and forth. I still remember it VIVIDLY -- it was quite a sight.

Greene 4:26 AM  

Forgot to look at the name of the constructor when I started, but I wasn't 1/3 of the way through before I knew it was an ACME puzzle. Just smooth, breezy fun.

Hand up for the MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH error. Stubbornly kept YOUR in place until the end of the solve too. I got a chuckle from my error because it makes me reimagine the M&Ms slogan as if it were written for the British aristocracy. Imagine the Queen Mum saying "Yes, I just adore M&Ms. They melt in one's mouth, not in one's hand." Ha, I think I like this better than the original.

I see AKIRA Kurosawa is back. I was really surprised last week when more than a few commentators mentioned they had never heard of him. Not sure how you can do crosswords regularly and not have more than a casual acquaintance with this name.

@Elaine2: Oh dear, please don't use the word sploosh in that context. Urban slang has entirely hijacked the meaning of this word. Either that or I'm a complete and total moral degenerate. Time for more XANAX.

chefwen 5:33 AM  

@Greene - Oh why, oh why, did you make me look that up. Save some of that XANAX for me!

Chocolate dreams are now fading.

Anonymous 6:41 AM  

5A: WWW letters (HTTP) — one of those either/or clues: is it HTML or HTTP?

Um, in this case it was actually HTML and not HTTP.

imsdave 6:42 AM  

Plopped in MILTONHERSHEY with no crosses (seemed appropriate at the time). Hand up for INYOUR, but when I got to the undeniable MILAN I thought there might be some trick. With MALT in place, I hesitated about filling in the EDMILK until I worked out the gimmick.

Fine Monday fair, tilted toward the challenging side due to my own missteps.

Thanks Andrea

joho 7:53 AM  

I absolutely LOVED it. Just like you can't see a great actor acting you also have no sense of Andrea constructing such a super smooth, fun puzzle. Perfect for a Monday.

Much good stuff has already been mentioned to which I'd like to add HEM and HAW.

I wonder, is 42A "Libra's symbol," SCALES a bit of a signature?

We're off to a great start!

r.alphbunker 7:57 AM  

A quality puzzle. I like the fact that the vowel progression involved only the beginnings of answers rather than the whole answer. It would have been even nicer if all the m*lt prefixes were not words. Here we have malt, melt and molt which are common words and milt and mult which are not. Note: Google claims that milt is fish sperm.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Don't suck up to her....normally great puzzles but today PU...the m&M misquote made today unsolvable for me without checking your grid.

efrex 8:27 AM  

One more for the MELTINYOURMOUTH writeover. Definitely a bit more junk fill than I'd like, and some oddball foreign variations (MADAMA, ROI, ITALIA - all fine, but not generally Monday-ish). Liked the theme a lot, though. Between Sunday's puzzle and today's, this week is off to a nice start.

mitchs 8:29 AM  

Hand up for YOUR and HTTP, which made this a longer than normal Monday. But more fun than normal, also.

I came to the Z in AZTEC and thought: "Andrea will like that!"

Have to start checking constructors...

mmorgan 8:45 AM  

Yay, Andrea! Yummy Monday indeed!

I was zipping along at warp speed, but... another hand up for HTTP and YOUR (which does seem closer to the actual slogan -- but that was "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand" -- but still not exactly the same). These two banged my knees up a bit.

After Malted Milk and Melt in your Mouth, I thought the theme would be "M-M" -- my initials -- but it was not to be. Another day, perhaps...

Didn't see the A-E-I-O-U progression til I got here. Nice touch, that!

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot. This is a great one to introduce novices into the crossword solving community. Went pretty smoothly. Had HTTP for 5A instead HTML. That slowed me a bit or otherwise I would have crashed through the 10 minute barrier.
A nice start of the week after my Friday/Saturday/Sunday debacles.

Cissy Strut 9:06 AM  

"Malted Milk" is also a Robert Johnson tune. If it's out of mind then it's surely worth a listen...pour yourself a cup and check it out.

chefbea 9:15 AM  

@Andrea thanks for a yummy puzzle

Hand up for HTTP and your.

@Rex You should go to Hershey. Went years ago with the kids. Driving thru town is the great aroma of chocolate!!!

Sfingi 9:19 AM  

Yummy theme with vowel sequence.

Akira Kurosawa included Martin Scorsese in his film, Dreams, as Van Gogh. Scorsese plans on doing a remake of Kurosawa's High and Low.

Make that all 5? 9:20 AM  


I'll see your milt and raise you a mult:

•Mults - Roll slitting, also known as log slitting, is a shearing operation that cuts a large roll of material into narrower rolls. The log slitting terminology refers back to the olden days of saw mills when they would cut logs into smaller sections. ...


GILL I. 9:21 AM  

This was a MELTINONESMOUTH perfect Monday.
Simply FIGlicious.

jesser 9:28 AM  

Saturday kicked my butt. That is all I have to say about that.

This was a fine Monday puzzle, but I too was trapped by wanting 'your' where ACM wanted ONE'S. Other than that, no other writeovers. Like Rex, I liked that it was crunchier than Mondays normally are. Like crisped rice in dark chocolate!

Back to work now. C'mon Powerball...

Brati! (What a gal had to do behind her back before the bra people discovered snaps) -- jesser

skua76 9:43 AM  

I too remember the Hershey tour many years ago, but nowadays there is only an amusement-park style ride through a simulated factory. Ahh progress...

fikink 9:45 AM  

Nice docking of Venice CANALS next to Venezia, ITALIA. And DRANO and NBC crossing MILTO N BRADLEY, flanked by the OLINS and ALEC Baldwin makes for a nice congestion of capitalism.

As always, Andrea, you launch me laughing into another week. Oh the places we will go!

slypett 10:00 AM  

Andrea, I just don't know... Yes. Yes. Fine puzzle and all that. I liked the occasional bumps (which I've often complained are missing on Mondays and Tuesdays). It's just that I had MELT for DRIP. I thought that was dandy, and it went well with the mini-theme. Maybe I'm just a poor sport. Maybe I'm as nutty as Charley Sheen. You be the judge.

roozoint: a new treatment for the skin condition rooz.

PuzzleSister 10:04 AM  

Lovely puzzle, although I fell for all the traps (HTTP and YOUR, also had MADAME and ABBA for the rhyme scheme, and it took me far too long to remember that ADDAMS has two Ds). Oh, and I had never heard of a civit.

I read the UTNE Reader for years, so it doesn't strike me as Crosswordese, but perhaps that's because I was in Minneapolis.

Love ACME's cluing THEY as "The Y." And BLURT is just a great word!

Like Rex, I found this more challenging than the usual ACME puzzle, but enjoyed it as much as usual (which is to say, a lot).

Thanks Andrea.

Skip Young 10:05 AM  

Ah, I miss those days when we'd hang out at the malt shop with with Ricky and David Nelson. Why even Ozzie would stop by sometimes.

Lindsay 10:11 AM  

Atypically started in the 1 across corner, and was shocked to see a MELT theme jump out first thing, as I was reading about Japanese nuclear plants with my free eyeball. Melting chocolate is much better than melting fuel rods!

Many writeovers for a Monday: the much-mentioned your MOUTH > ONES MOUTH, HTtp > HTML, also UPend > UPSET and ABAb > ABAA. That's a RRS (random rhyme scheme) for sure.

Have a good Monday everyone.

mac 10:12 AM  

Good Andrea puzzle! Had a hard time starting in the normal NW, somehow, the rest was typical Monday speed. I guess I didn't know the exact ad line, because "ones" slipped in effortlessly.

Not only Canals and Italia pairing, but how about Marie and roi? Pretty.

Matthew G. 10:23 AM  

I came here this morning planning to praise the puzzle with the exception of the use of ONE'S instead of YOUR, and prepared to challenge all comers on the importance of breaking the crossword convention of changing all possessive pronouns to ONE'S when there's a corporate slogan involved ... only to discover that Rex and most everyone else already think the same thing.

So I'll just praise the puzzle. Great work, Andrea -- a meaty Monday that I found Medium-Challenging but very satisfying.

quilter1 10:29 AM  

I made all those same missteps with your and http but MILAN and the OLINS straightened me out.

Loved the vowel progression, the chocolaty sweetness that made me hungry, sweet memories of playing Candyland last summer with my grandson. I appreciated MADAMA over the often misused Madame. In Iowa we generally say just malt for that treat, if you can still find them made anywhere.

All this has made me hungry. Hmm, I have a recipe for a chocolate hazelnut tart that uses Nutella.

mullat: pondering a tough clue

c w stewart 10:30 AM  

Nice smooth puzzle that's just perfect for a Monday. Thanks, Andrea

Jim in Chicago 10:31 AM  

A perfect decent Monday puzzle, ruined by a mis-quote on "Melt in ones mouth". Too bad.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

On the distinction between AERIAL and ANTENNA -- see the wikipedia article:

The first paragraph of the Terminology section explains the (comparatively) minor difference.

jackj 10:38 AM  

ACME goes all tricky to remind us that attention must be paid if you want to solve one of her gems.

To wit, HTML not the expected HTTP; MELTINONESMOUTH when YOUR was what you knew should be included; UPSET over UPEND cancelled that date with Jamie Foxx; and then there was a brilliant touch to remember with THE Y.

Queen of the Mondays has come down to "Andrea or Lynn" but for me it's a draw. And we're all better for it.

Two Ponies 10:45 AM  

Like @ mac I smiled at Marie crossing roi.
The Ohio section of my grid is a mess of write-overs so tougher than usual for a Monday. Okay by me. I'm anxiously awaiting the back story of this one when Andrea shows up. @ Greene, you cracked me up with the Queen Mum. As for the misquote I'd say Andrea has some splaining to do.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

Since solving this last night I've been obsessed with the dim memory of a John Gielgud type deriding M&Ms, then realizing their attraction and saying, in the Queen's English, how they Melt in one's mouth.
I'm probably making this up.

Stan 11:00 AM  

Sweet puzzle, with a theme not obvious at first, but perfectly logical.

Nice subtleties pointed out in the comments. I liked the balance of ACLU and LSAT.

'One's' as opposed to 'your' doesn't really bother me. It's just one of those grammatically correct formulations (like 'his or her') that people don't really say much out loud.

I put in METAdrama without hesitation -- shows I was educated in the '60s.

John V 11:12 AM  

What all said about Melts in your/one's mouth. Actually had to put the puzzle aside for 10 mins and come back to see that. Can't remember that happening on a Monday since grad school, back in the late 1800s. So, that patch with its crosses, were Monday challening, the balance Monday easy. Fun puzzle, Andrea. Sorry you had the same issue with 23A. Xanax is your friend, in this case.

Shamik 11:22 AM  

Love Andrea. Love chocolate. Only sad part was how easy it was and over too soon. Sigh.

Arundel 11:23 AM  

Personally, I really enjoyed this one for the lack of Monday over-simplification. There's usually a real let-down on Monday, having to work up again to a bit of a challenge.

This also contained some very mellifluous word sets - Olin/Milan, aerial/Italia, and the crunchy detox/Xanax/sexist. Then there's the lovely hem and haw, which seemed perfectly clued for a Monday.

Good one all around, Ms. Acme!

archaeoprof 11:38 AM  

@Tobias Duncan is right. We all start out on Mondays, and constructors like ACME make it irresistible!

mmespeer 11:42 AM  

@Tobias Duncan...Wish your coffee shop was in my town!
I filled in Malted Milk Shake right away. I'm going to really date myself, but growing up in the '50's, the soda fountain was a real treat/ritual. And, am I dreaming this? or do I remember? that you could buy "Coke syrup to go" as a remedy for upset stomachs. I loved the puzzle.

nanpilla 11:46 AM  

Bikini Island is not an example of an ATOLL. Bikini Island is one of the islands in the Bikini Atoll.

Having lived on Kwajalein Island in the Kwajalein Atoll, this bothers me.

Otherwise a delicious start to the week!

JaxInL.A. 11:52 AM  

I liked the way answers pair up some of the answers, like @Arundel noted. Fill here as cool as the theme.

@Lindsay, quite an observation with those dual-focussed eyes! Yes, Japan is very worrying right now.

I think my general puzzle caution, which kept me from filling in MELT IN your MOUTH without some confirming crosses, will also keep me from ever being a speed solver, but did this in regular time.

I just know Andrea tried very hard to get in that last J and Q, but when they didn't fit, she didn't force it. Makes for a fun solve.

Thanks, Andrea.

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

please make sure you use the apostrophe with "its" and "it's" correctly. like it's theme - from your blog - is not correct. Like its theme - is correct.
I agree about the "melt in your mouth" !

ad out 12:01 PM  

Any puzzle that leaves a commercial jingle ringing in my head loses three stars immediately--especially when it's from a huge theme answer. Otherwise, I liked this one fine.

lit.doc 12:06 PM  

@Rex, you really put finger in, er, on the only problem I had with the puzzle. When I did it last evening, I was (with the usual “for me” caveat) effing blazing. I’m sitting there typing like a squirrel on meth, watching the clock, thinking oh, yeah—here comes my first sub-six puzzle.

Except that I had reflexively entered the “correct” slogan—“Melts in YOUR mouth” [cue deflating balloon sound effect].

Having a few times now attempted (vainly, to date) to fill a grid without resorting to pig-Martian, I have to wonder if Andrea didn’t start with the “correct” answer and the downs just wouldn’t cooperate.

Whatever the case, it was a fun solve and a solid Monday offering.

Am I missing something? 12:57 PM  

I don't find anything in the M&M clue that makes ONES wrong.

Its not what many seem to have expected, or preferred, but I find no refrence to slogan other than assumptions stated in the blog.

Much like HTML are not strictly WWW letters in the way HTTP are. That simply rated a "ha ha, got me".

OTOH, I have it on good authority that ACME would have preferred YOUR, or I would have termed it intentional misdirection ;)


fikink 12:59 PM  

@mmespeer, you did not dream that at all. I have been accused of making up the coke syrup remedy, too.

@lit.doc, "typing like a squirrel on meth" - I saw it.

@Arundel, as @JaxinLA noted, good ear on the X factor crunch. and @Stan, good eye on the ACLU/LSAT positioning.

Andrea, if all of these weavings were conscious, you need to think about contributing to string theory! :)

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

The problem is if it's not a reference to the slogan then it's not an in-the-language phrase. Would you accept MELT IN HOT BUTTER? They probably do, but that's not what anyone says about them.

ksquare 1:23 PM  

After reading all the above, I agree that this was a deliciously sweet puzzle and it had more in it than I
originally noticed. andrea must be a very UP person!

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

@P>G> - On better authority than what ACME said in the very first post here? Where she agreed 333% with Rex's point?

Two Ponies 1:58 PM  

I, for one, was not sure that was Andrea in the first comment. It was uncharacteristically brief and she usually creates a three-word name.
How does one put a wrong answer in a grid you constructed?
I'm confused.

doug5574 2:00 PM  

I must join the ranks of those crying foul on Melt in One's Mouth, and also I would submit that HTTP are more properly the WWW "letters" for the vast majority of the webgoing population--who are no longer forced to type them into the address field as frequently (if ever) as in days of yore, but the fact that the typical webgoer would ever type them at all qualifies them (in this solver's mind) to be called "web letters," as opposed to HTML which refers to the programming language with which many (most?) webgoers NEVER have cause to interact. The acronym is simply not construed by most people as "letters" but as the NAME of a programming language. Hence, I cry foul!

syndy 2:17 PM  

I dunno, that civet thing looked more like a hyena than a cat to me! Bikini atoll had me thinking nuclear catastrophe right away-led into melt down.(another distinction between what one says and what one does!)Frankly I frequently had dye rub off in my palm which I felt uncalled for!Loverly puzzle Andrea carla

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

Civet cats responsible for the most expensive coffee in the world.
Kopi Luwak comes from beans after beind "digested" by the civet cat.
tastes like crap.

acme 2:22 PM  

Hi Hi!
Yes, yes, of course I tried MELTINYOURMOUTH when constructing and could NOT get the crosses to work...
With five theme answers, and having the vowels have to be in order, etc. etc. and a dozen other constrictions, I finally "fudged" the answer and made it ONES
(Fudge, mmmmmmm) with fingers crossed that I was sort of describing the slogan, not quoting it...
but maybe I should have put "Like buttah!" or something.

I don't even remember when I submitted this, so when I solved it last night, I too put in YOUR and would have screamed bloody hell, till I noticed the name of the constructor! ;)

(I also tried Couga and Cheeta...)

Also, I'll have to dig up the original, but I doubt I can take credit for the definition of THE Y, as I'm not that clever!

Plus I ALWAYS think I'm making a TUESDAY puzzle (once again, five themes, words like MADAMA, ITALIA, AKIRA, XANAX, UTNE) yet le ROI always publishes them on Monday!

Anyway, despite the one anonymous@8:10 thinking you are all sucking up, I wildly appreciate the positive comments.

It's been a tough go, with the one-two punch of putting my constant companion 16 yr Koko to sleep (a civet-like Siamese), followed three days later by my father's death...these past 2 weeks have been surreal.

Normally I wouldn't share something this dark on the blog, I prefer to keep my public persona (actually my private one too) sort of light and airy, but I bring it up to say that what has kept me going has been the extraordinary outpouring of support and condolences from old friends, new friends, friends I have never even met face to face, and of course, this blog, which has woven itself into my life in a way I never expected.

The crowning cap is that there is still more sickness in the family and I was going to be unable to get back to NY yet again and of course not be able to attend the ACPT this year, when the angel aka Ashish, a fellow crossword collaborator, sent me an airline ticket... unsolicited!!!

SO, I will be popping in and out this weekend at the ACPT...I still look and feel like molten lava, but I would love to meet and say hi or share a non-virtual hug with anyone from the blog.

chefbea 2:34 PM  

@Acme WOW!!! what a nice angel.. I got teary reading that. Enjoy New York and all the Rexites. Wish I could be there.

Sparky 2:35 PM  

Had trouble spelling ADDAMS at first. HTTP for me. Left the final vowel on Butterfly blank on first pass through. Predicted two Ms in theme answers. What a workout for a Monday. Liked it very much @Andrea. Finished it fine.

@mmespeer & fikink. I, too remember Coke syrup as stomache aid. @Rex. Ahh Soda Parlors. You could order a Chocolate (or other ice cream flavor) Malted or a Chocolate Frosted. The frosted had no malt powder in it. And a milkshake had no ice cream in it. What's the point in that? This was Brooklyn in the 40s and 50s where everything was done bass ackwards.

Tasty start to the week.

william e emba 2:36 PM  

To all those nitpicking ACME's use of MELT IN ONE'S MOUTH, it's in the dictionary! It goes back to 1693 according to, and more generally "melt in XXXX's mouth" as part of the phrase "look like butter would not melt in XXXX's mouth" is even older according to the OED.

It was not a phrase invented by Mars for their advertizing! And you'll all very kindly notice that the clue in no way said it was quoting their slogan.

In other words, this was simply the Best Evah Monday-level Misdirection in the history of the NYT. You should all be clapping, not crapping.


And yes, I was fooled too.

(As a programmer, I wrote in HTML automatically. I actually know better, and should not write in the last two letters without the crosses. Luck.)

(Third try, I think the included links were fatal.)

Am I missing something? 3:24 PM  

@Anon 1:36p

Today, ACME's first comment agreed 333% with Rex, which if you read carefully, was an opinion falling short of calling it wrong.

As far as my "I have it on good authority that ACME would have preferred YOUR, ...", I believe she confirmed this in her 2:22p post.

I stand by my previous post.


JFe 3:44 PM  

This is such a nice blog...I love to read the comments!

Clark 3:44 PM  

Sometimes I come down with DNF-itis at the end of the week. Then when the new week gets started I look forward to trying again, but Monday is often dissatisfying because it is too easy, a little boring, whatever. So after some major DNF action on Fri and Sat this week, I started the Monday puzzle not expecting anything much -- It was just Monday after all. But low and behold, this puzzle had some substance, and wasn't too easy, wasn't boring. It took me in and smoothly soothed my aching and bruised puzzle self. It was like slipping into a puzzle jacuzzi! (Oh heck, !!!) I didn't see who the constructor was til I checked into the blog. Nice job Andrea!

Let me add to the defense of MELT IN ONE'S MOUTH. "Melt in one's mouth," "melts in your mouth," "melt in their mouths" -- these are all different versions of one thought. We are able to recognize a house as the same thing even as we walk around it and the image we have of it changes constantly from our corresponding change in viewpoint. Similarly, a thought about melting in mouth is recognizable as the same thought even as we adjust it to fit into different circumstances. If it were otherwise we would not be able to fit our thoughts to the world. So I say it is a fair answer the way that a jeopardy answer (question) is judged correct even if it is slightly skewed from what was expected.

Moonchild 4:10 PM  

Nice one Andrea!
My favorite clue was for egg.
If I had not had Xanax in place already I might have tried rehad instead of detox.
I'll accept one's for your to make the puzzle work but it made me realize how deeply ingrained that slogan is.

R. McGeddon 5:23 PM  

I actually like having "ONES" instead of "your." The slightly pedantic tone makes a play on the slogan.

Also hope that Andrew Breitbart doesn't try to shut down the NYT puzzle for failing to clue 1A with "Gang of Muslim-loving terrorist sympathizers."

Alan 5:45 PM  

Andrea, Thanks for a delicious puzzle and for being the first constructor to be the first to blog, not to mention the first to post YOUR/ONE'S disclaimer. Thanks even more for sharing your darkness. You've shone so much light into this corner of the blogosphere, it seems only fair.

CoffeeLvr 6:31 PM  

thank you, Andrea, for a fun puzzle! Sending my sympathy your way, and ongoing support for the continuing illnesses. Takes me back to August, 1989.

@Jesser, reading over the blog and comments sent me to my stash of dark chocolate with crisped rice! Oh, the power of suggestion. Now there are three bitesize wrappers on the desk top. Well, not that the wrappers are to be eaten . . . to much trouble to rewrite properly.

Oh, after not knowing "Akira Kurosawa" last week, this time I remembered.

XANAX crossing DETOX, yes, this is why my psychiatrist won't prescribe me a true anti-anxiety medication. Addictive personality and all that, but no true addictions! Save Xwords. Oh, my, TMI.

quilter1 6:59 PM  

@Andrea, what a very thoughtful and welcome gift. The chance to receive non-virtual hugs will surely ease your heart. Thanks for a good puzzle, very satisfying.

Tomorrow, chocolate hazelnut tart--got in ingredients. I'll let you know.

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

So, I got curious about the M&M's controversy and found the M&M'S(R) website. Turns out the tagline, introduced in 1954 is "melts in your mouth, not in your hands," so if you really want the answer to be true to the product's advertising, you also need an "s" on MELT.

For my part, I thought the constructor's cluing was just fine.

Anonymous 8:09 PM  

If it's not Acme is not a Monday. Condolences on your father.

Unknown 8:39 PM  

I enjoyed the puzzle at first, but two things really set me off on a downward spiral. First, the MELT IN ONE'S MOUTH. I was already irked by the change in verb from base form to third person singular, but ONE'S mouth? That upset me almost as much as my trouble with the coffee pot this morning. Then, there was no clue to the abbreviation of ukulele to uke for 57D. Did no one else find this troublesome?

JenCT 9:15 PM  

@ACME: I blame you for my chocolate attack after this puzzle...

Condolences on your recent losses. See you at the ACPT!

sanfranman59 10:00 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 7:04, 6:55, 1.02, 62%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:40, 3:41, 0.99, 49%, Medium

Anonymous 1:03 AM  

Obviously, this constructor is a friend of the blog. There is no other way to explain the accolades for such a poor puzzle. The your/ones exchange is inexcusable for the reasons set forth by 44, and this deficiency, together with the others he noted as well as those set forth in the comments, would normally send this puzzle to the showers. Instead, I am experiencing a cloying saccharine praisefest substituting for a fair assessment. A Monday to remember.

JaxInL.A. 1:43 AM  

@Anon 1:03am
All you have to do to confirm your complaint that the constructor is a friend is to read the blog, though many echo your dislike of the impure M&M slogan. It's a pretty varied crowd.

But clearly the constructor is a valued (if virtual) friend to many here. If you are or become a regular you, too, will find people you value, and you may choose to celebrate (or mourn) with them as the occasion demands. Really, that's more important than one opinion or another about a puzzle.

andrea crazes michaels 3:46 AM  

What a nice day. Thanks, everybody!
Favorite best friend had to point out to me that her initials are M*LT!!!!!

sw 10:37 AM  

From Syn land: Another one hung up with M&M phrase. But can't believe (now) how I was stumped by "C is" for Cookie and "The Y" for a place to swim and play b-ball. They were there, but I couldn't see them.

Dirigonzo 4:24 PM  

I second all the love bestowed upon this ACME creation by the prime-timers. Since I solve at a very leisurely pace I can always wait for a cross or two to resolve dilemmas like HTML/http and ONES/your; speed bumps are not a problem if you go slowly to start with. My only problem was thinking that the spotted cat might be a Coati, which left me to ponder how M & Ms could melt *on* one's mouth, but the CIVIT came along and resolved that quandary.

I find it troubling that "urban slang" has hijacked perfectly lovely words like @Elaine2's "splooshed" and turned them into something repulsive.

I find it more troubling that the *melting* theme conjured up by the puz still applies to Japan's crippled reactors, more than 5 weeks later.

Captcha is emingan - clearly something that melts somewhere other than in one's mouth.

Anonymous 9:54 PM  

I have heard of SOHO in NEW YORK but I have never heard of NOHO. I agree with you also M&M's


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