Playmate of Tinky Winky Dipsy Po / MON 9-19-11 / Annual celebration on 9/19 / Immature egg cell / California-based oil giant / Onetime money in Spain

Monday, September 19, 2011

Constructor: Julian Lim

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: TALK LIKE A / PIRATE DAY (27A: With 44-Across, annual celebration on 9/19) — pirate-themed bonus answers include:

  • DAVY JONES' LOCKER (17A: Where plank-walkers end up on 27-/44-Across)
  • SHIVER ME TIMBERS (57A: "I don't believe it!," on 27-/44-Across)
  • ARRR (1A: Common interjection on 27-/44-Across)
  • AHOY (65A: Hello, on 27-/44-Across)
  • AVAST (25A: "Hold it!," on 27-/44-Across)
  • BOOTY (46A: Treasure on 27-/44-Across)
Word of the Day: John RHYS-Davies (4D: John ___-Davies of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) —
John Rhys-Davies (born 5 May 1944) is a Welsh actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah in the Indiana Jones films and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in which he also voiced the Ent, Treebeard. He also played Agent Michael Malone in the 1993 remake of the 1950s television series The Untouchables, Professor Maximillian Arturo in Sliders, King Richard I in Robin of Sherwood, General Leonid Pushkin in the James Bond film The Living Daylights, and Macro in I, Claudius. Additionally, he provided the voices of Cassim in Disney's Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Man Ray in SpongeBob SquarePants, and Tobias in the computer game Freelancer. He is also the narrator for the TV show Wildboyz. (wikipedia)
• • •

Was sure I'd done a "Talk Like a Pirate Day"-themed puzzle before, and sure enough, I was right. Three years ago, Alex Boisvert crossed TALK LIKE A PIRATE and SHIVER ME TIMBERS in the middle of a Friday grid. I consider this one of the stupider "holidays" on record, and don't know anyone who "celebrates" it. The idea was funny the first time anyone heard about it, which, by my watch, was five years ago or so. (wikipedia says this "holiday" was created in mid-90s, but so what? Just 'cause some guys say "this here's a holiday" doesn't make it so). Please, those of you out there thinking of the "Talk Like a Pirate Day"-themed puzzle you'd like to do, I beg you, throw it away. It's done. Done and done.

Grid is a mix of crosswordese (of which my most hated is OMAHAN) and cool longer answers (POKE AROUND, CLOSE IN ON, LOSE NO TIME). Just heard a BASSOONist on my classical music station this morning talking about the BASSOON repertoire. NEC (43A: Asian electronics giant) is one of those initialisms that I simply never remember. AEC, NCR, NEC, bah. Michigan trounced EMU yesterday, just as the Lions trounced the Chiefs today. Good day for southern Michigan, is what I'm saying.

Weirdest word in the grid is OOCYTE (37D: Immature egg cell), but it's one I've seen in puzzles before, so once I saw that initial "OO" sequence, I knew what I was dealing with. I am always a little shaky on the final vowel in PESETA (8D: Onetime money in Spain). For some reason, PESETO sounds right. PAC-MAN figures prominently in the new novel "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline (as well as on the book's cover design). If that book isn't a movie inside of five years, I'll eat my hat (44D: Dot-chomping character in a classic arcade game). I didn't know ARCO was still a "giant" (55D: California-based oil giant). Once the ARCO Arena in Sacramento was renamed the "Power Balance Pavilion" (ugh), I figured ARCO was on the downslide. They've been a subsidiary of BP since 2000.

If you haven't yet purchased PENGUIN Classics Crossword Puzzles (ed. Ben Tausig), which came out at the end of last month, you really should, not least because I have a puzzle in there (38A: Bird in a "tuxedo"). Many top constructors contribute their work to the collection, including Brendan Emmett Quigley, Tony Orbach, Joon Pahk, Will Nediger, Lynn Lempel, Matt Gaffney, Deb Amlen, Sarah Keller, Andrew Ries, and Patrick Blindauer. Speaking of Mr. Blindauer, I was fortunate enough to attend his wedding to Rebecca Young this past weekend in St. Louis (or very nearby, at any rate). Ceremony was out on a deck at a vineyard just after a rain. Very lovely, and a formation of geese even did a honking fly-by *just* after they said their vows. It was very funny/magical. I'd watched the geese take off a bit earlier and they were headed away into the distance. Apparently they circled back. There was a nice contingent of crossword folk there, including Angela Halsted, Andrea Carla Michaels, Tony Orbach (a groomsman), Steve Salitan, and Peter Gordon. The only down side was that it was Freezing (for St. Louis in the summer, that is). Oh, and we got stuck in Detroit on the way out, which I've gotten over, apparently. Delta held up our flight for a crew that was needed in Detroit (i.e. not our crew; just *a* crew). Why the crew wasn't at the airport on time, why the airline held the plane knowing that nearly everyone on it would not only miss their connections, but (in our case) miss their last plane out, why we weren't given prompt, courteous explanation of all this while we waited, I don't know. But there it is.

One thing Delta, and anyone else who does *business* in the Binghamton, NY area, might want to do is teach their employees how to pronounce "Binghamton." Gate attendant stared right at the name and said "," and then flight attendant later said she hoped we would all enjoy our flight to "Birmingham."

Binghamton (rhymes with "gingham-ton"), as you may know, was devastated by floods last week. "Devastated" is not an exaggeration. Many businesses will not be coming back and many homes have been heavily damaged, if not outright condemned. We drove through an area today that had clearly been under about 7 feet of water (you can see muddy high watermarks on buildings and foliage all over town). Immediately after the worst of the flooding, MacArthur Elementary School looked like this:

The school lost nearly all its equipment and supplies and is now desperately trying to replace what it lost. The school district is now accepting monetary donations in the form of a check or money order payable to: "BCSD / MacArthur Flood Fund" and mailed to: BCSD / MacArthur Flood Fund, Binghamton City School District, 164 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 13901. This is not exactly a wealthy area of the country, and schools are generally underfunded even under optimal conditions. Please consider making a small donation if you are at all able. Thank you. (Some teachers have individual wishlists—for more information, please see the Binghamton City School District's website and scroll down just a tiny bit)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


syndy 12:25 AM  

ARRG not much pirateese here I needed a bigger pay off to overset fill like-SLA TSO ANDI ATAD NEC AKIN HER .I did like LAALAA (which one had the purse?)I wanted a little DIVINE MISS M shiver me timbers but R NEWMAN is allways good!

The New Girl 12:48 AM  

I liked this one - kinda. I think if you're going to do this theme, you have to go way overboard. (har har) Use more pirate sayings and not as many individual words. Walk the plank! Swab the decks!

Some un-Monday fill with words like OOCYTE, but that's a cool word to see. LAALAA? I could go for a long while without seeing that one.

Overall not a bad start to the week I suppose. Like the mental image of 12d. Peacock's walk. STRUT they do.

Arrr, mateys!

Tobias Duncan 1:08 AM  

As a Pastafarian, I take "Talk like a Pirate Day" very seriously. I thought this puzzle was wonderful!
FSM be praised and may you all be touched by His Noodly Appendage!

lit.doc 1:18 AM  

I am soooo freaking easy. Yeah, ok, I’ll grant that it’s one of the stupiderest of the “Hey, kids, let’s put on costumes and have a party!” excuses ever concocted, but it was still fun.

Talk-like-a-pirate anecdote. I’m sitting in the Alamo Draft House in Austin a couple of years ago, waiting for one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to start (Alamo is a small chain of full-bar/full-kitchen theaters). The Draft House always has about a 45-minute pre-show to encourage consumption, and part of this one was a series of pirate-movie trivia questions.

When the “What is the most common MPAA rating for a pirate movie?” slide came up, the by-now grog-enabled audience sent up a rousing chorus of “Arrrrrrr!”s, of course, thinking (kinda) that an R rating was a gimme. All felt as clever as amused.

Turns out it’s PG, so parents can take the kiddies.

Next big idea: National Talk Like a Crossword Geek Day. Imagine the party.

lit.doc 1:25 AM  

@Tobias, being a Pastafarian (may blessings and Alfredo be heaped upon thee), perhaps you can help me with this one.

Before the FSM swoops in with Its Noodly Appendage and starts any sort of ritual touching, inquiring minds want to know: is it al dente?

arrrrrrr carrrrrrlaalaa michaels 1:38 AM  

Really liked it!
What with 8 theme entries and lots of hard words (LAALAA, PINKEYE, OOCYTE, RHYS, NIE, MAGOG (!!) = Total Tuesday. If not, ARRRR!

But it was perfect for getting something timely on the actual day!

I like the partial ANDI from "I've fallen...___ can't get up!" over actress MacDowell, )even if she is another Andrea).

But my god, MAGOG???!!

Also lovely range for folks from all eras...
RAVI, ABBA from mine; PACMAN from the next...RHYS, RON from this. Good to see that kind of range.

ARCO is indeed a giant here (and the cheapest gas).
And I love the word and concept of KISMET.
Wait to go Matey!

chefwen 2:54 AM  

Loved it! Had to call my friend who has a four year old who thinks he is a pirate. "Captain Jack Plank", filled her in with a lot of pirate terminology. The kid will go to school tomorrow with one foot in a wellington (his peg leg) and another in a rubber slipper, toting his CUTLASS, and will be a total pain in the butt, he sure is cute though.

Fun start to the week.

Hungry Mother 6:13 AM  

I used to list oologist on my vita after developing a mathematical model for bird eggs.

Glimmerglass 7:32 AM  

Clearly, Julian Lim doesn't know how to spell (or pronounce) AARRGH. TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY is not a holiday. Going to work is the best thing about it. Good Monday puzzle, a little harder than the usual Monday, which is a good thing.

jberg 7:39 AM  

Ahoy, Rex! It is good to have you back, and in fine form - your fill-ins were perceptive and funny, but all good-humored and tolerant.

I did enjoy this one, though I agree it would have been nice to have more theme entries, maybe some downs. My only problem (other than not knowing the names of any Teletubbies except Tinky Wink) was that I wanted a G or GH at the end of 1A, so I did have a writeover.

I liked the peacock STRUTting through the EMU, since I'm a birder.

M07S 8:00 AM  

@Glimmerglass: (From Arrr! - This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrr!" can mean, variously, "yes," "I agree," "I'm happy," "I'm enjoying this beer," "My team is going to win it all," "I saw that television show, it sucked!" and "That was a clever remark you or I just made." And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

Z 8:06 AM  

Fun Monday. Any day that starts with two references to FSM in the comments has to be a good day.

DavidB 8:19 AM  

As a fairly new NYT puzzle solver, I thought Mondays were supposed to have common words. Oocyte,Laalaa, peseta, etoi, and kismet seem rather uncommon to me. And it gets harder throughout the week?

efrex 8:52 AM  


Stick with it. You'll see some hard words in every NYT puzzle, but difficulty can be very subjective (with my background, KISMET and MAGOG were easy answers, and short foreign words like ATOI are regular fill words). This would probably have been more of a Tuesday puzzle were it not for the need to get it published today, but you'll see that sometimes.

Got the theme straightaway, and got a nice chuckle at the answers. No, I wouldn't want to see this theme done every year, but every few years is about right. No writeovers, thanks to my resisting throwing in any "G"s in ARRR.

I'll stand Mr. Lim a pint of grog any day for a nice start to the week like this.

John V 9:16 AM  

Just stared FOR EVER at 18D which I had as JELS, so 27A was reading TALKSIKEA, which naturally was a WTF moment(s). Finally saw it as the number 4 pulled into 14th Street, which made for the the slowest Monday in, oh, decades, for me. Just one of those puzzles where I couldn't get on the wavelength.

Overall, me no likey. Think I'll take a stab at an, ANNOY LIKE A SOFTWARE ENGINEER theme. Now THAT will clear the room for sure!

captcha -- courg: what a pirate has? Help!!!

jackj 9:20 AM  

ARRR? I’ve only ever seen AARGH but, for Talk Like a Pirate Day, it can be whatever we say it is, I suppose.

With such pirate friendly entries as OOCYTE, LAALAA, MAGOG and PINKEYE, there was hardly room for much ahoying and avasting but Julian did manage to squeeze in SHIVERMETIMBERS and DAVYJONESLOCKER to cement the piratical ties and confirm he knew how to talk like Johnny Depp.

If he really wanted to sound like one of the boys, he would have included that most dreaded bit of pirate talk, “woolding”. Woolding, per an article in yesterday’s Boston Globe, is “the grossest piratical word” and is a torture “by which the eyes were forced from their sockets under the pressure of a twisted cord.” Charming, no? Makes the Mafia seem like choirboys.

This was a superb puzzle, which we certainly needed to appropriately honor this very special day; who cares if some of the answers would have been a better fit in a puzzle later in the week.

jesser 9:30 AM  

Loved the puzzle, but Rex eclipsed his own writeup with his morning Facebook post from 18 minutes ago, which reads: "I have the chipmunk trapped behind my bookcase. I'm alone, and at a loss. Anyone in Binghamton area is invited to come Help Me."

This is an image I must savor. Happy Monday!

chefbea 9:35 AM  

Fun puzzle but I did have a Natick..the c in nec and oocyte.

Now to go to google and see if Talk like a Pirate's day is celebrated in the logo!!

tptsteve 10:07 AM  

A fun Monday. Had to get 34A from the crosses, all I could think of afterward was "Muttering magogs of minimalism."

@RP- ironically, EMU's team name is the Eagles.
Go Blue

joho 10:10 AM  

Loved the dense them and the whimsical holiday its celebrating. What better day than Monday to be silly?!

I also added BASIN, DEMON, STRUT, ROAR, MEDALLION AND CLOSEINON as piratisms -- some more of a stretch than others.

BOOTY is funny all by itself.

Thank you, Julian, for such a fun start to the week!

Sfingi 10:11 AM  

What do pirates have to do with pasta? This better be good.

Since I didn't do the other pirate crossword Rex mentioned, this was cute.

@Syndy - sorry, Randy Newman is never good to those under 5' No, he's never forgiven. What do short people make? Key those words into Google and find that what they make is less money. So, it's no joke.

quilter1 10:12 AM  

I like Talk Like a Pirate Day, not as a holiday but as an excuse to be goofy. This puzzle was fun and easy. Got the theme right away, but also wanted a "g" at the end of 1A. I liked all the less common words others did--MAGOG, PINKEYE, OOCYTE.

Now for LAT and BEQ. Go to BEQ's site for a very cute pic of him and his red haired baby.

joho 10:14 AM  

I forgot to thank @Rex for including the beautiful and touching photo of the newlyweds.

Also I never fly Delta unless I have no other choice for the very reason @Rex stated. I have suffered some terrible times flying with them!

archaeoprof 10:17 AM  

Fun and easy: must be Monday.

MAGOG is a little bit out there, isn't it.

So was LAALAA, for me at least.

evil doug 10:20 AM  

Just count yer lucky stars that Delta even flies to Brigharbor or Bughumper or Bilgewater or wherever the heck it is. And I'm guessing that's Delta Connection rather than mainline Delta, flown by pilots who often qualify for food stamps---the crew pronunciation of your town should be the least of your concerns....

At least you weren't going to Tucson....

evil doug 10:21 AM  

...or Xochimilco....

Tobias Duncan 10:26 AM  

I was just about to pray to my savior to assist Rex with his rodential predicament(sounds a lot like a "This American Life" episode called "Squirrel cop")but it occurred to me that FSM might take the chipmunks side, so better to let this one play out without divine intervention.Rex, do NOT risk a frontal assault...

@lit.doc, To know the doneness of His semolina appendage is to know the mind of God.Any answer a mere mortal gives you is pure speculation.You will find that our church does not pedal easy answers and that can be most unsatisfying.I am sorry.

@ Sfingi,we believe that pirates are "absolute divine beings" who can mitigate global warming.You should take the morning off and jump down the rabbit hole.Trust me, its good.

chefbea 10:33 AM  

Forgot to mention.. I already have my copy of Ben's Crossword puzzle book. Am saving it for our cruise in November. At least for the plane ride there and back. Thank goodness it's not Delta

CoffeeLvr 10:48 AM  

@Rex, I was so upset about your comment regarding the Lions trouncing (my) Kansas City Chiefs that I couldn't post last night. However, the team does get props for a lot of fund raising and hands-on (alright, photo ops) support for tornado ravaged Joplin, MO.

I am okay with a silly theme on Monday, and with tougher fill to support a timely theme.

Two Ponies 10:49 AM  

Another Pastafarian here. I thought this was a fun Monday.
Never heard of Magog but as a follower of the FSM I don't care.
I love silly holidays.
Thanks Julian.
Delta screwed me over this summer too in a very similar way. Sorry to hear they make their employees miserable too.

Mel Ott 10:55 AM  

Hand up for ARRRRRRRGH.

Crosscan 10:56 AM  

@jberg: "your fill-ins were perceptive and funny, but all good-humored and tolerant."

Not true. I am good-humoured.

I am waiting for the talk like Donald Duck puzzle.

archaeoprof 11:01 AM  

For thoughtful Pastafarians:


Sfingi 11:05 AM  

@Evil - Very funny. What would they do to East Jesus or my husband's favorite, Jardooville?

@Tobias - Just because pirates are divine, they are pastafarians? Or does it work the other way - Pastafarians eat divine food. Pirates are divine. Therefore, they eat pasta?
Or does logic have nothing to do with it?

hazel 11:18 AM  

I remember this pirate business somehow from last year, but not the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which has really tickled my funnybone this morning. Familiarizing myself with its dogma has overwhelmed my recollection of the puzzle. Did like seeing OOCYTE though.

@Syndy - Tinky Winky carried the purse, much to the outrage of some religious conservative ( Pat Robertson?) who felt it sent an ambiguous (bad) message to our children about gender stereotypes.

I gave my husband a TinkyWinky doll many years ago which used to sit on his computer monitor, but now sits on his desk. Every time I see it, I want it back (I'd settle for @Crosscan's Youppi) - there's a bit of "TinkyWinky takes on the world" in its cheerful expression and fey red purse that's kind of empowering.

quilter1 11:50 AM  

How about Talk Like Sylvester the Cat Day?

chefbea 12:10 PM  

or Talk like Elmer Fudd day?

joho 12:11 PM  

@Crosscan & @quilter1 ... has somebody done a "talk like Elmer Fudd" theme?

joho 12:12 PM  

@chefbea... LOL! 3 and out!

mac 12:16 PM  

Very fun Monday puzzle. Thought oocyte would earn WOD, but I guess it has shown up too often.

@Rex: glad you got the little critter out of the house!

@Tobias Duncan: try throwing the pasta against the tile backsplash. When it sticks it's done.

Stan 12:24 PM  

Nice theme development even if some has been done before. I found it Monday-easy despite the longer phrases. OMAHAN timely with the "Buffett Rule" in recent headlines.

archaeoprof 12:37 PM  

Talk like Mr Rogers Day?

3 and out...

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Walking through the Times Square area (42nd and 7th by the subway entrance) today I saw a bunch of people dressed like pirates (probably promoting a store or, I dunno, an energy drink or something), so it seems someone actually knows/cares about this "holiday."

paul 1:05 PM  

Thanks for the shout out for South-East Michigan. We need all the help we can get. Our Tigers also had a good day on Sunday.

Rex Parker 1:26 PM  

Chipmunk=returned to the wild ... of my front yard. I managed to get it into a box. Not pretty, but it happened. Took him outside and he bounced out of the box and was nibbling on some seed or leaf or something almost instantaneously. Then he made a beeline for my house! But he (and his kin) have lived in our bushes and under our front steps for ages, so no worries. If he gets in again, though, I can't promise to be so humane.


medium height 2:48 PM  

@Sfingi (Re: Randy Newman)

sat·ire Noun/ˈsaˌtī(ə)r/
1. The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

chefbea 2:50 PM  

@joho great minds think alike...and at the same time

fergus 2:53 PM  

Thanks for the link to that FSM. Imagine me thinking comments were somehow dealing with the Free Speech Movement.

Last time TLAPD turned up, all the HS students were on to it already.

retired_chemist 3:25 PM  

I had not heard of the "holiday" and had not seen the earlier TLAP puzzle. So, I enjoyed it.

Question the clue (64A) for NEON, which sounds like the gas spontaneously glows. It doesn't. Needs a high voltage to cause a discharge. Ans lots of other gases do that as well under similar conditions.

Thanks., Mr. Lim.

Karen R. 3:33 PM  

Some of us actually LIKE the's a fun way to add humor to an otherwise drab workplace :-)

Sfingi 3:41 PM  

@Tobias - but not all the spaghetti; just one noodle. Otherwise, you won't be able to eat any of it.

This year I had, under my front steps:
1. A cat and 6 kittens. I contacted 2 institutions, The Humane Society and Spring Farm Cares, but they were full up and would charge and then release them back at the same place. Then the cops came and yelled at me. Luckily, a fellow from Pratt rescued them and took them to his farm. I gave him a "reward."
2. A skunk. This time I contacted an exterminator who said it would cost a minimum $600. And you need a wildlife license to transport them yourself. So, I stapled wire mesh over the holes, open on the bottom, so he got out and couldn't get back in. We still sniff him occasionally, but farther away.

@Medium - so, is being short a vice, or just a stupid thing to be? By the way, I blame it on WWII.

quilter1 3:55 PM  

We had raccoon problems for years. They are very destructive and loooove to live in attics. They are also filthy and stink. My husband set live traps and over three years got 32, which were released near a lake 30 miles away. They finally gave up and we haven't had them for a year or so. That's me done for the day.

medium height 3:56 PM  

@Sfingi being short is fine, as is being black, gay, or any number of other arbitrary qualities that some people stupidly express bias over.

Being oblivious to satire can be an indicator of stupidity, but sometimes even smart people make that mistake due to personal issues.

sanfranman59 4:06 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 7:26, 6:51, 1.08, 81%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:52, 3:40, 1.05, 78%, Medium-Challenging

retired_chemist 4:24 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
retired_chemist 4:25 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
retired_chemist 4:27 PM  

Where we live critters are common: squirrels, rabbits, armadillos, feral cats, turtles in our pond, and in fall and winter mice come in to get warm. A never ending battle.

Worst home invader by far was a harmless 3 ft. grass snake, which eventually worked his (her?) way into the wall of the master closet under the sliding door. And we had week old puppies at the time - snake might have thought them tasty. But $600 and one sleepless night later all was well. I was out of town so non-puzzle wife managed this by herself. Brave lady!

captcha waness - mispelled has only waness so it is misspelled.

jackj 4:59 PM  

45 down has that old bromide, "What there's no "I" in" for TEAM, but Hillary Price, clever and thoughtful author of the comic strip "Rhymes With Orange", in a recent strip, offers this admonition from a pictured football player, "But, Coach, there is an "I" in win."


skua76 5:03 PM  

ARRRR! An error on Monday! The first thing I saw was the theme, next I threw down Argh for 1A. Then I noticed RAVI so I changed things to ARRg. 4d never jumped out at me.

Welcome back Rex! Sorry to hear about the Delta debacle, I've flown into DTW a number of times from Charlottesville VA but then I wasn't connecting.

Anyone else notice/dislike the way Blogger is now handling the puzzle grid and other images? I do guess it is a Blogger thing, since it just started happening. Over the weekend I attributed it to the folks subbing for Rex, but I just looked at the syndicated puzzle and it works the same way. At least the videos still work as they used to!

mac 5:17 PM  

@sfingi: thanks for the advice to Tobias. I should have been a little more specific...

JenCT 6:21 PM  

@Sfingi: good solution to the skunk problem!

@Rex: my cats have a fondness for chipmunks - once, when one got stuck under the radiator, I tried to pull it out by its tail, which immediately came off. I didn't know they could eject them! Since then, I just try to shoo them out the door (IF they're still alive...)

I'll send a donation Binghamton's way...

Thought the puzzle was okay, if slightly hard for a Monday.

I thought it was spelled LALA.

hazel 6:23 PM  

tom waits' shiver me timbers just randomly played on my shuffling ipod.

@whoever is in charge of this holiday - make this its national anthem!

Sparky 6:39 PM  

Had ARRg but the HYS changed that. Knew MAGOG, don't know why.

Sounds as if this Pirate day growing like the big Santa day. Last year there were hundreds of Santas outside my window. Didn't spot any Pirates today. Interesting phenomenon; sort of like flash mobs but not as organized.

Enjoyed the solve. Welcome back @Rex. @Tobias. I'm off to read up on Pastafarianism. May the sauce be with you.

Stan 8:50 PM  

I have hand-carried chipmunks back to the wild many times (they don't bite) but Rex's shoebox approach seems equally good, or better.

In general, it's pretty easy to get rid of any critter inside your house by throwing a towel over it then grabbing and escorting out. Wash hands and towel thoroughly afterwards.

galileo galilei 10:08 PM  

@ retired chemist....and yet it glows

retired_chemist 10:20 PM  

@ gal-gal - and yet IMO it doesn't. The dictionaries all seem to imply that a glow is a spontaneous thing, which emission of light from a neon lamp is not. You need to supply energy. That was my point.

PurpleGuy 11:56 PM  

How about "Talk Like Educated People Day" ?

or "Think Before You Speak Day" ?

sanfranman59 12:22 AM  

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 7:26, 6:51, 1.08, 81%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:51, 3:40, 1.05, 75%, Medium-Challenging

pk 12:35 AM  

I suppose that "Talk Like a Pirate" Day is harmless enough, but what I mainly used my printed out copy of the puzz for was writing down the contestants' numbers for voting on DWTS's. To each his own.

@Ret_Chem: I guess the snake-in-the-house is a Texas thing. We had it a few years ago. Started with birdseed in the house, then mice eating birdseed in the house, then snake hunting mice in the house. Ended with a glue trap. Not pretty, but snakes don't really get to live in the house.

Am sending a donation to Binghamton - hope y'all can get dry and warm soon.

Waxy in Montreal 11:55 AM  

From the syndicate: Robert Newton who starred in the Adventures of Long John Silver TV show (1955) to me was the archetype of the pirate speak hono(u)red five weeks ago. Not sure anymore what his famous "shiver me timbers, Purity" line addressed to his female co-star was really all about but seemed like great fun at the time. According to Wikipedia, "A West Country native where many famous English pirates hailed from, Newton is credited with popularizing the stereotypical West Country "pirate voice" by exaggerating his West Country accent. Newton has become the "patron saint" of the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19." Aaaarrrrg.

Anonymous 3:58 PM  

Now see, the Randy Newman connection for me today is "shiver me timbers", which makes me think of "jiggle me tenders" from my favorite episode of Monk.

Talk Like A Pirate Day is the greatest holiday ever. No gifts, no relatives, no mattress sales. Just silliness. Of course, every day is Talk Like A Pirate day for my neighbor, who talks like Roberto Clemente.

Deb @ 8:07 PM  

I smiled and thought "Oh, fun!" when I saw the pirate theme, but am I the only one who sometimes wonders why pirates are so romanticized? I've read a few gruesome news articles over the years about the handiwork of real pirates that makes them easily as frightening as terrorists. I don't mean to be a killjoy, but it's a puzzle.

Dirigonzo 9:05 PM  

@Deb - so I guess you won't be joining the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster anytime soon?

Hmm, I see my previous post, including the latest chapter of RPDTNYTCP on this date 5 years ago, has disappeared - have I offended our host, do you suppose? Have I broken some blog rule? I'd really like to know. Rex?

Anonymous 11:49 PM  

Spacecraft here. One of my all-time favorite single-panel cartoons is of a pirate, complete with eyepatch, in the optometrist's chair, about to read the eye chart. Naturally, the large letter atop said chart is...
well, you know.
Clues I'd like to see:
1. Jake and Elwood's first stop (PENGUIN)
2. Yahtzee variation played with colored dice (KISMET)
3. Typical Mummer's gait (STRUT)
Agree that there's some unfortunate short fill--but interesting longer stuff. I also like the way words in some of the lines go together: BOOTY on one's ANKLE; OVERSEE with a PINKEYE. (Did Kinks' Lola TALKLIKEA HER?)

No kidding, the captcha today was sunarer: a fair-weather pirate!

Dirigonzo 8:13 PM  

ARRg, indeed. Otherwise, liked the puzzle, enjoyed learning about FSM (Iwill study up on it more later) but could have done without reading about "woolding".

From RPDTNYTCP on this date 5 years ago:
- Solving time: 6:40 (or 5:40, I'm not sure) "I timed myself on an analog watch (my beloved Tintin watch, which is super hot but which also ticks louder than the Tell-Tale Heart so can't be kept anywhere near the head of the bed). Anyway, I started at precisely 9:30 pm last night, but when I looked up after finishing the puzzle and checked my watch, I honestly couldn't tell if the minute hand was between the 35 and 36 minute mark or the 36 and 37 (cursed artsy watch with no numbers or minute interval markings!). So I'm erring on the side of slow, since that's more in keeping with past times. But it's possible that this was my fastest Tuesday time ever." Early-Rex needs a new watch.
- "Apparently nobody told the good people of the Economic Development Association of Minnesota that their acronym is a cheese. Somewhere nearby, Wisconsin is snickering." After inducting EDAM and STET into "the Crossword Answer Pantheon (CAP!)"
- "Man, the things people will say to avoid saying "bullshit!""Occasioned by Fiddlesticks! = PSHAW
- " So brava, Gail Grabowski! You Go Girl. (I just said that for the "G"s - the only reason ever to use that horrible phrase anymore)" Early-Rex liked the alliteration of the constructor's name.
- "I chose this only to lament the demise of a perfectly good phrase. Thanks, Taco Bell, for turning "good to go" into a phrase that makes me want to kill people." A link to the offending commercial makes it very clear.
- "I'll take hot assassins over lumpy dictators (or most Elton John songs) any day."
- There were 10 comments including one time-traveler from the future, and this from Rex: "I like to think of "anonymous" as a single person whose opinions about me vary Wildly from day to day."

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