BOAC destination in song / FRI 5-13-11 / Popular Sporcle subj / Pitcher Jim 16-time Gold Glove / Island name means literally main land / Berne burn

Friday, May 13, 2011

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: FRI. the 13th1A: [See blurb]; blurb reads: "Every length of answer from 3 to 15 letters - except one - appears in this puzzle. Some people might have a 1-Across about that." Answer: SUPERSTITION.

Word of the Day: USFL (25D: Defunct sports org. with the Denver Gold and Chicago Blitz) —

• • •

I am doing this write-up offline because Blogger (my blogging host) has been down for god knows how long now, and I have no idea when it’s coming back. Blog is stuck on Wednesday (!) right now. [And ... now it's unstuck]

So ... FRI the 13th (27A: Day associated with an unlucky number: Abbr.). I don’t care about this theme. It’s not really a theme. It’s a themeless that’s been compromised by a geometrical consideration that adds no value to the solving experience. SSSSSNSST...

Top half was a piece of cake, bottom half more Friday-normal. Had the most trouble at the INDEFINABLE / EX-ENEMY / FIXED STARS nexus. Couldn’t shake INDEFINITE, and couldn’t even come close to coming up with EX-ENEMY because the “X” was hidden in FIXED STARS, which I’ve never heard of.

Best answer by a mile is INSTANT POTATOES. Best clue: 42D: Made Berne burn? (PUNNED)

  • 46A: Island whose name means, literally, “main land” (HONSHU) — largest island of Japan. Until just now I was thinking, “... wait, which Hawaiian island is that?” This is what happens when I’m dealing with technical / computer problems beyond my control. Brain melt.
  • 2D: BOAC destination, in song (USSR) — as in “Back in the —.” Listened to Beatles 1967-70 (on vinyl!) this week, so that song’s been through my head recently.

  • 35D: “Author! Author!” star, 1982 (AL PACINO) — the only explanation I have for how I knew this right off the bat is that 1982 is the year we got HBO, and we watched the $#@^ out of that (single) channel. Mostly I watched “Midnight Madness” and anything R-rated with nudity that I could get my eyes on, but I think “Author! Author!” must have been on at least semi-heavy rotation back then.
  • 47D: Connector with a pivotal role (HINGE) — if your HINGE is covered with TINGES of ERNE ... well, there has been a horrible wildlife accident.
  • 49D: Pitcher Jim who was a 16-time Gold Glove winner (KAAT) — nearing the end of his career just as I was starting to collect baseball cards. His stats are borderline HOF-worthy, but he’s not in there yet.
  • 51D: Popular Sporcle subj. (GEOG.) — I feel like the puzzle likes Sporcle more than the general public. I would never have known about Sporcle were it not for my puzzle-loving, Facebook-using friends. I had this answer ending in a “J” at first because I had LOST ONE’S MOJO at 58A: Wasn’t quite as great as before (LOST ONE’S EDGE)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

PS I'm told the paper version of this puzzle didn't have a Clue #13. As you can see from my grid, my version did. Yet another NYT puzzle fail. They can't get the puzzle up at the right time. They can't format the puzzle correctly in the electronic versions that 10s of thousands of us subscribe too. There is software out there that allows proper formatting of puzzles. Sadly, it is not AcrossLite.

PPS if videos aren't showing / playing for you, once again, just like the Blogger meltdown earlier today, it's Google's fault. They're falling apart right now. I blame Tyler Hinman.


jesser 1:17 PM  

No writeovers for me. Unusual, but I'm ok with it!

I'm not ok with DEFANGS as 'takes the bite out of.' A defanged lion or tiger can, I'm sure, still put the serious chomp on a body.

I liked it, and I think it's weirdly appropriate that of all the days Blogger could have died, it was Friday the 13th!

I love the word MAUS!

Pladmoun! The Scottish moun, of course) -- jesser

David 1:19 PM  

glad you're back up and running, Rex! I took some time while failing to reach today's blog to comb thru the site, and really enjoyed the FAQs. Now I understand what a Natick is!!

I flew thru this one - I timed myself two Fridays ago at 12 minutes, by far my best ever, and I may have beaten that today. As a long-time soccer player and fan I am ashamed to have initially typed in NASL (North American Soccer League) for USFL at 26D, but otherwise really zoomed. Also wanted INDEFINITE at first, but luckily the crosses toward the ABLE side were pretty easy.

The 12s, 14s and 15s at the top and bottom flowed very nicely, and 1 ACROSS was the gimme. Had a slightly tougher time with yesterday's.

retired_chemist 1:23 PM  

The dead blogger comment file already has 2 comments and I guess we may need to check both files today.

Enjoyed the puzzle - sorta daunted by all the white space but it all came together OK. I agree with Rex's Medium rating.

Fun fill like most of the long ones was somewhat balanced by EX-ENEMY and MMDC. Also DENTAL SURGEONS seems forced - they're called oral surgeons, no?

Liked HONSHU, smiled at PUNNED, and an glad Mr. HP emerged in a reasonable time. Thanks, Mr. Krozel.

Masked and Anonymous 1:24 PM  

Far out! My comment was there, and now it's gone! How's Friday the 13th goin' for You Guys today?!?

Maybe they oughta call it "Clogger". Better put 'er on statins.

Liked the puz a lot. As I said Before, superb long stuff. And got yer SST, SSN And SSS! And no clue #13; cool.
Thumbs up.

David L 1:32 PM  

Top half super easy, bottom half somewhat harder, but this still ended up on the easy side of medium for me.

FIXEDSTARS: this would a current term in astronomy if you were, say, Ptolemy or Aristarchus. In ancient astronomy, the fixed stars were those that remained always in the same pattern on the sky, as opposed to interlopers, only later identified as planets, comets, asteroids and what not, that cruise about the sky in a more idiosyncratic fashion. If you went to an astronomy meeting today and proposed to give a talk on the fixed stars, you would be regarded as quaint, to put it charitably.

jae 1:33 PM  

Very easy for me (faster than yesterday's) and, like jesser, no missteps. I somehow knew FIXEDSTARS so there were no problems in that area. This one seemed kinda meh. Didn't love it, didn't hate it.

BigSteve46 1:38 PM  

Not sure what Rex is talking about with the statement, "I'm told the paper version of this puzzle didn't have a Clue #13." I thought that not having the no. 13 was part of the point of this Friday the thirteenth concept. In fact, the numbers shown on Rex's answers are all one off from the newspaper. And as all of us traditionalists know, the puzzle printed on the actual paper/dead-tree newspaper is the REAL and AUTHENTIC one.

syndy 1:40 PM  

wanted instant pancakes (UGH) before potatoes-so nice to get the pancakes too.Also put enemies for 36 across while thinking "well not so much anymore;france being so far up germany's butt these days"but mostly I've forgotten anything I wanted to say 'cause its been so long! blogger get well soon!

Pete 1:42 PM  

@Rex - I don't know satisfaction you get out of doing this, but to that you can now add the level of frustration I felt that today's post wasn't up until now.

Supremely easy puzzle for me, i.e. I did it. Unfortunately, I did it so long ago that I can't remember any highlights or lowlights.

treedweller 1:44 PM  

Once again, I am reminded how much Rex and I have in common. My dad was the first person I knew to get cable (after their divorce) and the least likely parent to object to me watching R-rated movies, so I watched a LOT of boobies (anyone remember "H.O.T.S."?) between 10pm and however late I could stay awake.

And, yes, "Author! Author!" was on about every two or three hours.

This is 13th line of text so skip

Puzzle was done in fits and starts, but I still finished somewhere near my fastest Friday ever. Liked the thought of a BUSINESS DINNER with INSTANT POTATOES. Did not like A LIAR.

efrex 1:46 PM  

Krozel's wide-open grids are usually a major bugaboo for me, but I did pretty well. Didn't know the crosswordese HOD, and just couldn't work out EXENEMY even with everything but the X filled ("EL ENEMY? that makes no sense; wouldn't the French call them LE ENEMY, or something like that?")

DEFANGS came out with no crosses, kicking off a fast run across the top. Had IBMPC before INTEL; otherwise, nice straightforward solve.

Never heard of Sporcle before - kids these days...

treedweller 1:47 PM  

doh! should have realized the text would format differently once posted. Skip that "line 13" crap.

jberg 1:49 PM  

Once I gave up trying to fit TRISKADEKOPHOBIA into the top line (or rather, trying to remember how to spell it) the theme (or non-theme) did help with the solve, since so many of the other long acrosses could have been many different things. My favorite thing about the puzzle, though, was that the clue for 16A seemed to fit INSTANT PancakES better - and then one of those PANCAKEs did appear at 49A (or 48A online, I guess.) Couldn't decide between OPTICAL and digital SCANNER at 55A, though, until the crosses gave it to me. Wanted AFB for 44D, since APO doesn't refer to a particular base, just means the mail should go to the Army's postal system.

As for those dentists, I think the degree they get is the DDS, Dr. of Dental Surgery, so I'm OK with 58A

Blogger died yesterday just as I finished reading all the comments, so I couldn't post, and won't bother now. I'm really glad I can stop checking the blog every 5 minutes, and can now go back to work!

jberg 1:50 PM  

Oh dear, I was the 13th comment!

John V 1:50 PM  

Medium/Hard for me, but finished with no errors, always good for me for a Friday.

Re: no #13 in the paper edition, @Rex that is true. Had not noticed it until I came here. I'm not a constructor, but is the convention that across and down clue numbers are to be an uninterrupted sequence? Hey, I know!! How about a puzzle with Fibonacci sequence for numbering: omitting the first two, we'd have 1,2,3,5,8,13 ... 144, 233, etc. :)

JenCT 1:50 PM  

Tried LOSTITSEDGE for 58a first, couldn't see HINGE or KAAT - so close to finishing a Friday!

Really liked the puzzle, by the way: RENEGINGON, INACORNER, ONTARIAN, SUNY.

santafefran 1:54 PM  

Frustrated that I couldn't access the blog yesterday afternoon. Wanted EVILDOER to be EVILDOUG. :-)

So it was Google who said "Out, damned blog?" Curses on them.

Today's puzzle was mostly doable for me--not the usual Friday. The top half was easier for me as well.

Had INSTANTPANCAKES before INSTANTPOTATOES, so a malapop when PANCAKE showed up later

Happy Friday the 13th all!

Two Ponies 1:57 PM  

I enjoyed the concept and execution today. No thirteen letter answers, no clue #13 and superstition at the top. Love it. At first glance I thought it would be tougher than it was. Only write-over was -ene before I realized beer had nothing to do with Wall Street.
I am almost embarrassed at my panic to find Blogger in a mess.
This site is as big a part of my morning as my coffee.
There is no 13th floor of the building I am in right now. Does naming the 13th floor 14 negate the bad juju?

william e emba 2:08 PM  

This started off easy, and then slowed down to medium. Well I figured out from the blurb what the theme was and got 1A instantly, I was simply disappointed that it had no further role beyond FRI. (I solved on paper, and did not notice 13 was missing.) As seems to be usual, I simply do not understand Rex's dislike.

No comment about ENATE?? I'm surprised. It's certainly grand classical crosswordese. Curiously, the OED thinks ENATE has only a medical meaning, regarding something which grew out of something (like an ENATE projection on a bone). Yet the OED recognizes the paternal cognate "agnate".

I don't know about DENTAL (versus oral) SURGEONS, but the related phrase "dental surgery" is common enough. Indeed, a DDS is a "Doctor of Dental Surgery".

While I got FIXED STARS easy enough, I had uNDEFINABLE, which slowed me down a bit.

I had two hiccups in the south. For a "Pool need", off the C-- I guessed "car", not CUE. And I was very surprised to learn that SSN is a passport application datum. I have never applied, but still, I thought SSN's were meant for tax purposes only. Checking around online, I see it is indeed a required item, and it does say it is for IRS reporting purposes. I'm unclear what that actually involves.

I've never heard of Sporcle.

Is it dead football league month at the NYT?

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

Rex is working off the Across Lite version. On the PDF and print versions there is no 13A. In those versons it is 14A (part of the Friday the 13th theme, like floors not numbered 13 in office buhildings. This would give Rex another opportunity to criticize the NYT for not being uniform in its xword versions, except he's having technical problems of his own.

Captcha is polyp (aren't those found in colons?)

thursdaysd 2:24 PM  

I actually finished this, although it took a while, and involved a lot of guesses, plus a quadruple write over at MAUS/USFL. I wanted Instant Pancake or Pudding, and Potatoes went in late, as did the second parts of Business Dinner and Optical Scanner.

Never heard of Sporkle, may have to check it out.

retired_chemist 2:25 PM  

I thikn it's a draw re DENTAL SURGEON. Dental surgery, yes, but it is done by a dentist. Googling "Dental surgeon" gets you the article on dental surgery, and searching on the word "surgeon" turns up nothing. Seems as quaint as FIXED STARS....

jackj 2:31 PM  

Much, much too easy for a Times Friday puzzle.

Having no 13 letter answer is a non-event, not something to be crowed about in the Notepad.

Glad to see things are back to normal; thought I had been declared persona non grata.

M07S 2:45 PM  

Where was the BLURB in the Across Lite version?

Doc John 2:46 PM  

Glad you got the blog working again, Rex.
I breezed right through the puzzle today (VERY rare for a Friday) and expected to come here and find you had rated it Easy. I always get a bit more satisfaction when I have an easier time of it than you!

I also tried "tristadecaphobia" at first. Good thing it didn't fit because I was spelling it wrong anyway!

conomist 2:52 PM  

Beware sporcle. Plenty a sleepless night...

You've been warned

Karen 3:00 PM  

Maybe leaving clue #13 out of the paper version was intentional....ya think? :-)

Sparky 3:06 PM  

Blogger was out around 10 last night. I boo hooed when today came up Wednesday. Then got message from Blogger.

Anyway, did so poorly yesterday ashamed to comment and overjoyed that I finished today. Found top easier because of so many downs. Had to work harder on lower section. Had delete at 20A, cooperates for 30D for a while. Agree with @jberg re APO. I've seen Sporcle before but forgot.

So happy when I came on just now and saw Rex up and at'em. Yippee. Oh, 28A also part of "theme." Happy weekend.

Anonymous 3:25 PM  

All right, am I the ONLY one who had frenemy for ex-enemy at 37A? The two consecutive F's in 31D made it look incorrect, but had to leave it in until I figured it out.

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

@M07S - Just below the menu bar, to the right of the date, you'll see an icon which looks like a little yellow pad. Click on it, and it will give you any notes for the days puzzle.

Stan 3:28 PM  

"My hotel doesn't have a 13th floor because of superstition, but people on the 14th floor, you should know what floor you're really on. If you jump out the window, you will die sooner than you expect."

--Mitch Hedberg

chefbea 3:42 PM  

Wondered why the numbers on Rex's puzzle were different than mine. So there's no thirteen letter word? Is that the point of the puzzle.

Two of my daughters have blogs and they were screwed up also!!!

MikeM 3:46 PM  

Easy Friday. Although I had Hawaii instead of HONSHU for too long. Normally I have much more difficulty with Fridays, but this was doable.

Jim 4:18 PM  

Anonymous @3:25:

NOT the only one. I abandoned it...eventually (although frENEMY is a MUCH more apt description than EX, even today). Got the E and could get neither the X, nor the D from HOD (huh?). So, two missing letters on an otherwise breezy Friday puzzle.

Liked RENEGINGON and...that's about it. Hmm...maybe pancake.

we so excited 4:19 PM  

Rebecca Black video is much better than the puzzle. Nuff said.

Glitch 4:21 PM  

@BigSteve46 -- amen
@treedweller -- ya noticed
@jberg -- actually you came out #14 in MY online display.

AcrossLite offers a *reasonable* approximation of the dead tree version, but the *dumbing down* error checking prevents skipping numbers.

For 20x the cost, a dead tree subscription available (not cost effective if you dismiss all but the puzzle).

PDF available w/o a clue #13 on line @ the premium site. Makes you pull out the manual writing impliment of your choice tho, and you have to keep time yourself, if required.

The online image of the Mona Lisa can be [arguably] stunning, but much better in the original (and much more expensive to do so.)

[For illustrative purposes only, The NYT puzzle is not in the same class.]

Rex will probably say that the analogy is *stupid*, but, you get what you pay for, IMO.


Bob Kerfuffle 4:30 PM  

Pure carelessness, I had put in LOSE ONE'S EDGE before LOST ONE'S EDGE. Of course that gave me 50 D, Pitcher Jim KAAE, who played on a pick-up team at the Paris Opera with Christine DAAE.

Corrected before I started looking for the lost blog (and found Rex's comment on Orange's site.)

Anonymous 4:42 PM  

Sorry, but I still don't get the answer 'superstition.'
How does it relate to Friday the 13th? Can someone please explain. Thank you.

Glimmerglass 4:42 PM  

Didn't see the notepad until after I'd finished the puzzle, inferring SUPERSTITION from SUPER**I*I*N. If I'd seen the clue (in the notepad), the top wouyld have been super easy. As it was, it was a typical Friday.

ANON B 4:55 PM  

Quite often I see complaints about
a themeles theme or a dull theme.
Maybe it's because many of you are constructors and I am not.
When I do a puzzle like today's, I am amazed at the difficulty of
making a puzzle with 12 different
answer lengths.
Earlier, the puzzle with "Stolen
Identity" as the theme was even more amazing. To find phrases of
just the right length which could
take on different (silly?)
meanings by taking out"id", "en"
and so forth.
I couldn't do that in a million

quilter1 5:00 PM  

I am not superstitious but this a.m. I had to reload Firefox to get online, Blogger died and since I didn't get the blurb I just plain cheated and looked. Boo. I was afraid to start sewing for fear of machine breakdown or slicing off my finger.
So, the puzzle. I found it easy on top, too and harder on the bottom. Saw no theme and didn't care. Now the question is, do I dare to turn on the stove?
Gosh, I missed the daily conversation.
@JaxinLA: because of Blogger's problems I don't know if you saw my post about having coffee.
intsolyp: what you get from a sassy child

Anonymous 5:14 PM  

Dental Surgeons seems spot on to me, because my Dentist has DDS after his name, as in Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Tobias Duncan 6:25 PM  

Second fastest time ever for me and I come here to find Rex has rated this a Med when I was sure it would be another easy.Happy DAY! I feel like Will has helped boost my confidence and up my game a bit by giving us a few weeks of soft pitches.
Uh oh Control F tells me that lots of you found this easy as well...perhaps I will find that the soft pitches were no help.
So Rex says that there are tens of thousands of us solving online.Where are these people?
After the TED NYT appearance this week I started a TED conversation about Crosswording and got no love.
Not one single response.There are some bright folks over there, I expected a lot of crossover.

pizzatheorem 6:54 PM  

Finished it, so I liked it, even though the fill was bland. Thought the difficulty was easy-medium. Do agree with jesser about MAUS. I always imagine hearing it in Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice. Happily dropped in the slightly esoteric crosswordese ENATE, HOD and SUNY this time, so my every day solving is paying off. Had no trouble with EXENEMY and was pleased with the paucity of proper nouns. I was only unfamiliar with ORSON Bean and Jim KAAT. Liked the cluing for MRS [Certain ring-bearer: Abbr.]

Alan 7:53 PM  

Rude sounding term for today's theme, friggatriskaidekaphobia, and today 's complaint friggablogaphobia,

andrea 13 michaels 9:02 PM  

I think @Rex took down Blogger so we'd appreciate what it was like not to have his blog up for a day!
I know I went thru withdrawal!

Like others, malapancaked today...

and in my moment of synchronicty, saw a young HIspanic girl reading MAUS on the subway today and that raised many many questions in my mind.

Thought about frENEMY but are people allowed to use that term if you are not a 16 yr old girl?
And certainly not for such a complicated relationship as France and Germany has had for low these many years! And ARE they really exes?
Do they split custody of Belgium on weekends?

Speaking of Germany, our freunde alte Ulrich is off celebrating a rather grosse Geburtsdag, so ich send him Liebe!

Noam D. Elkies 9:37 PM  

Neat theme for Friday 13. Didn't notice the missing #13 until coming here - thanks. Yes, it's also a Fibonacci number.

Misread "Blogger is dead. RP" as "Blogger is dead. RIP"! Glad to see that it's emerged from that euphemistic "peace".


mac 9:39 PM  

Talk about withdrawal! It was as if I was checking on a sick puppy every few minutes last night and this morning!

I enjoyed this puzzle, not so much the theme but a lot of the fill:

Asked my husband: ever heard of a pitcher called Kaat? Yes, he said, they called him Kitty.

For Mrs. I had Mr. T for a moment, doesn't he have rings in his ears or nose?

Same experience as Rex: I know of Sporcle because of Xword friends' comments (Hi, Orange).

I wrote in "hod" right away (and enate too), but had a hard time imagining the soupy mortar on it instead of tidy stacks of bricks.

Frenemy would have been fantastic.

@Bob K: LOL!

Chip Hilton 9:43 PM  

My early HBO years memory movie is 'Stay Hungry' with Jeff Bridges, Sally Field, and Arnold. Must've watched it a dozen times (and not just to see Sally's bottom).

Like most responders, I found this to be an easy Friday thanks to the giveaway at 1-Across.

Jim 'Kitty' Kaat deserved all those Gold Gloves. Guy really handled the leather.

Here in CT, it's all about James Tate and the prom. I see no chance of the headmaster backing down. Silly....

mac 11:17 PM  

Isn't it funny to find only one comment on the "older post" for Wednesday? It's Evil Doug!!

SethG 11:19 PM  

I also had FRENEMY. My fastest Friday ever.

Anonymous 11:24 PM  

Loved this because I finished it. I also got to see the Oval Office on a tour this evening. 2 nice things in one day!

Pete 11:37 PM  

@Glitch - Your comments re the virtues of the dead tree version, and how we should quit whining about our paying $40/year for the puzzle without get the full puzzle seem to have some merit, but they lose something by being posted on a blog. Perhaps if you sent each of us snail mail, with a more detailed statement of your position, you would achieve maximum effect.

You can send mine to

Pete Rogers
123 Main St.
Hartford CT 02034

Glitch 8:57 AM  


You have a point.

Although my *electronic* comments provide a fair representation of my opinion, spending a few bucks on stamps would enable me to better explain my position to those who provide a real address.

Ideally, I could spend the money to visit each of you personally, perhaps bearing a small gift, to put forth my views with all the nuances only imparted in person.

Alas, I must make due with the limitations of this free forum.


PS: Never used the word *whining*.

oldbizmark 12:36 AM  

medium? this was one of the easiest fridays in a long time. is it just me, or is the puzzle getting outrageously simple?

Lurking, Just Behind You 1:24 PM  

Its five weeks later and I cannot believe that @Tyler did not swing by to defend himself.

etrifun - great times on the East Coast of Africa!

midj 1:59 PM  

From syndication land... My first Friday finish, ever! Took hours but finished with no Googling! Thought I'd come here and see it rated *easy*. Glad to see it wasn't easy for everyone. Woo hoo!

Red Valerian 3:42 PM  

It's not Friday the 13th out here in syndi-land.

I think the puz must have been easy. I finished it, no googles, only three writeovers--had DEFraGS for DEFANGS (no, I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, but something to do with bytes???) ONTARIoN for ONTARIAN (and I should know better, but the province is, after all, Ontario, not Ontaria), and BoAR for BEAR (something subliminal, no doubt). Never heard of Kaat, but that didn't hurt.

Anyhow, enjoyed it (and glad I missed all the angst about the blog being down!)

Anonymous 4:38 PM  

(would love to see some of these 'word verification' words in puzzles)

"Having no 13 letter answer is a non-event, not something to be crowed about in the Notepad."

Perhaps, but in this case it serves as the clue to 1a. That said, a cleverly worded 1a clue would have been preferable.

After first determining that there was no 13-letter answer I started in on the clues. The USSR fell right off the bat, and U alone gave me SUPERSTITION. Things went pretty quickly from there.

Found the bottom to be easier than the top, finished pretty quickly for a FRI, and my one error at the end was as a result of my terrible lack of GEOG knowledge. Let's just say I assumed Berne must've been a wrestler.

Eastsacgirl 5:28 PM  

Hi from syndi-land! Was also sure this was going to be rated easy because I finished pretty quickly.

Found the top easier than the bottom except for 59A which was my first answer. After I figured no 13 letter answer, had 1A right away, then pretty much just worked my way down.

Was craving pancakes though after this puzzle!

Either I'm getting smarter or the puzzles easier because I finished yesterday's too.

Dirigonzo 8:55 PM  

It pained me to see a reference to those grotesque lobster BIBS that local restaurants strap on the tourists as they try to figure out how to attack the dead crustacean lying on the plate in front of them. Sure, they're messy to eat but come on people, being sprayed with lobster juice by the person dining across from you is part of the experience! The bibs don't help anyway, they just put them on you for the entertainment of the natives.

Red Valerian 9:04 PM  

@Anonymous 4:38. You write "Let's just say I assumed Berne must've been a wrestler." I'll bite. What was your answer to 43D?

And, hmmm, a puzzle of captchas. That'd be challenging. Actually, it'd be too easy! Who's to say that something is not a legit captcha??!?

I give you "doxyl." The surgeon is ill-disposed...?

Nullifidian 10:02 PM  

In from syndi-land:

I thought the puzzle was fairly easy for a Friday. No write-overs and I did it in under an hour while listening to an audiobook (I'm one of the people who never try to finish quickly). I thought the idea was clever, but so abstract that I solved it as a themeless.

Bruckner's 7th Symphony being IN E was actually one of my gimmes this time, although I started solving the puzzle in the south with INTEL. That led me to guess A LIAR, and then APO, LAPD, and AL PACINO fell in short order.

As such, the theme word SUPERSTITION was the last thing I ended up solving.

Dirigonzo 10:07 PM  

@Red Valerian - I'm guessing that anony 4:38 had PiNNED at 43d, which is better than the PaNNED that I stuck with.

My captcha for this post is "unwists" - how are you going to clue that?

It's great to see so many syndi-solvers commenting here today!

Waxy in Montreal 10:24 PM  

Yet another syndi-solver weighing-in, @Dirigonzo. Have to echo earlier comments that this was way too easy. Came home tonight tired after a rare day on the golf course just to eye the puzzle and ended up with it solved in less than 30 minutes. Defanged Friday fare methinks.

Red Valerian 11:24 PM  

Thanks @dirigonzo! All I came up with was "punted." which made no sense either A or D.


Put it in the recycling.

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

@ Dirigonzo & @Red Valerian -

"I'm guessing that anony 4:38 had PiNNED at 43d"

Correct. So the crossing of a geographical clue with a geographical answer did me in. As far as I'm concerned, HONSHi is a fine name for an island, and Berne is a fine name for a wrestler.

Red Valerian 8:10 PM  

Fair enough! 'Optical scanter' would have been very silly.

captcha: femiha... dismissive chauvinist

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