Ljubljana dweller / MON 2-20-12 / Some reddish-orange caviar / Big supermarket chain / White-feathered wader / Dish marinated in sweetened soy sauce

Monday, February 20, 2012

Constructor: Samuel A. Donaldson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

 THEME: PRESIDENTS DAY (52A: February occasion, some of whose honorees can be found in the answers to the five starred clues) — theme answers hide five president names
  • 18A: *Some reddish-orange caviar (SALMON ROE)
  • 23A: *Major road (TRAFFIC ARTERY)
  • 31A: *Nancy Pelosi was the first person ever to have this title in Congress (MADAM SPEAKER)
  • 40A: *Parliamentary procedure (RULES OF ORDER)
  • 60A: *Really hunger for (LUST AFTER)
Word of the Day: ARIAL (15A: Sans-serif typeface) —
Arial, sometimes marketed or displayed in software as Arial MT, is a sans-serif typeface and set of computer fonts. Fonts from the Arial family are packaged with Microsoft Windows, some other Microsoft software applications,[1] Apple Mac OS X[2] and many PostScript 3 computer printers.[3] The typeface was designed in 1982 by a 10-person team, led by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders, for Monotype Typography. (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm stunned that there has never been a Presidents Day puzzle—or at least not one with the answer PRESIDENTS DAY in it (according to cruciverb's database).  Hide some president names in some answers—seems about as basic as "hide some country names in some answers" (see yesterday's puzzle). Despite the slightly awkward placement of PRESIDENTS DAY in the penultimate theme answer position, and the awkward/redundant TRAFFIC ARTERY (a major road is simply called an "artery"), the puzzle worked fine. MADAM SPEAKER is a nice, original answer, and combining TAFT with lust is a stroke of genius. I like imagining him as a heavyweight lothario. I had two weird sticking points. The first was in the SE, where 69A: Show of overwhelming love just Did Not Mesh with my idea of SWOON. "Show" implies some kind of intent, and no one has ever set out to "show" love by swooning for someone. Plus, I've been reading Dante, and that dude swoons a lot in the beginning of Inferno—mostly from terror or pity, which, I guess, is a kind of love ... anyway, that threw me. So did MONDO—I had MUNDO (66A: World, in Italian). Later, I got weirdly hung up on SEE PAST (42D: Purposely ignore), which I couldn't SEE at all. SEEPS AT? Something AT? I just couldn't read it right. Similar problem with RULES OF ORDER. The "FOR" in there kept causing me to misread it as RULE ... FOR ... something. Also imagined ORS was ERS (because I kept thinking it had the 30D: Hesitant sounds clue that I'd actually seen earlier). All of that was, of course, self-imposed nonsense.

  • 1A: Patriot Allen with the Green Mountain Boys (ETHAN) — that *really* sounds like a bluegrass band. 

  • 47A: Big supermarket chain (KROGER) — I know this chain well, as there are KROGERs all over Michigan, but I didn't know it was widely known outside the midwest.
  • 10D: Ljubljana dweller (SLOVENE) — I always want to pronounce this place "Jub-Jub," because I sure as hell can't pronounce it like it's supposed to be pronounced. 
  • 11D: Dish marinated in sweetened soy sauce (TERIYAKI) — before I started eating sushi, I'd always order chicken TERIYAKI any time we went to a Japanese restaurant. Tasty.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Tobias Duncan 12:07 AM  

Really thought I was gonna take this one down in record time but had a bunch of really silly slips ups just like Rex described.
Love the Civics nerdiness of this puzzle. I feel like Sarah Vowel would just love it.I think I will email a copy to my civics nerd aunt.

Anonymous 12:17 AM  

Fun Monday puzzle
best answer : LUST AFTER
provocative answer like that merits this puzzle's rating PG -13

FearlessK 12:23 AM  

Liked the foreign language bits: ARF MOO MONDO TIERRA BASIC. liked the cluing for SWEEP. Otherwise just kind of meh for me but it's also been a really long day. Maybe in the morning I'll love it more.

retired_chemist 12:40 AM  

My actual time was about a minute longer that it felt. Just typos that took that minute to find.

Nice puzzle with a good theme for today. Want to parse 18A as SAL MONROE and 48A as ONE ILL. Agree SWOON could be clued better.

We have KROGERs in our part of Texas. Lots of them.

Thank you, Mr. Donaldson. Any plans for a similar All Saints Day puzzle? It's Thursday this year....

Mighty Nisden 1:04 AM  

Fine but for KROGERs. None out here in Northern California. So that hung me up, but I have heard of them somewhere.

Good puzzle and solve overall.
Happy PRESIDENTS DAY. Glad to have it off.

Arial Carell Madams 1:06 AM  

So glad @rex thought this was nice, or i was going to have to fly across the country to kick him(lightly) in the shins, because i think this puZzle is FANTASTIC!

68 themed squares! Hidden presidents!!! Six theme answers! Fabulous phrase like MADAMESPEAKER!
No circles, let's us discover!!!

A lesser person ( probably me) would have been content to have the phrase PRESIDENTSDAY across the middle, with four presidents of equal length, just their real names!
But Sam Donaldson has them all hidden, crossing both parts of the answer!!!
9 13 12 12 13 9 !!!!!!
Does everyone understand how hard that is?
And to construct where it isn't even show off-y but equal pleasure to solver and constructor!

And altho really Tiesday-esque words (CARELL, LAREDO, SLOVENE, NAS) manages to get them into a smooth and fast Monday!!!!
AND contemporary with SIR Mixalot and NAS and Steve CARELL thrown in with your old ETHAN Allens!

PLUS ETHAN Allen and BOMBS bursting in air, TIP ONEILL...both first and last name!!! AND LYNDON Johnson totally adding to the whole President's Day atmosphere...
Even ONES as dollar bills with a prez on them!
(And I'll bet ORAMA was originally ObAMA! Sam?)

Tis puzzle is just all kinds of WOW to me!

chefwen 1:15 AM  

Didn't have any write-overs but it seemed to be a little more tough than your usual Monday.

When I got SALMON ROE I got a little pumped up thinking this was going to be another food puzzle. Not so!

Got PRESIDENTS DAY pretty early on and that helped with the solve.

Thank you Mr. Donaldson for a nice, timely, puzzle.

Anoa Bob 1:40 AM  

Forget the usual 5-star rating scale we usually see for xword puzzles. I think we have one far more nuanced and sensitive in Acme's Exclamation Point Scale! Looks like Mr. Donaldson's offering pegged out the needle on the EPS meter at a whopping 31 !'s. WOW indeed. Gonna be a tough act to follow.

On a more mundane note, got my Social Security card while working as a sack boy in a small town Tennessee KROGERs afternoons after high school and weekends. Long ago and far away.

Anonymous 1:53 AM  

I saw on the Fiend site that you and Amy are about to announce the Oryx Awards again. Yay! Is there a link to previous award winners posted somewhere?


Noam D. Elkies 1:56 AM  

Don't be scared off by the pair of unlikely-seeming LJ digraphs. Just imagine each of those j's is a y: Lyublyana. Or make believe you're Italian and say Lubiana, dropping the first j and second l.


foodie 2:49 AM  

Cool puzzle!

although it did not make me SWOON, a la Andrea. I appreciated her points about elegant construction, but I only got how well done it was after reading her post.

The puzzle felt very DC, with not only PRESIDENTS, but senators, speakers, RULES OF ORDER, and their TWO CENTS, ETC, ETC..

My favorite intersection: SEE PAST, LUST AFTER, with SLEPT, TORSO and SWOON lying near each other.

Also loved the SALMON ROE/TERIYAKI interaction.

Clark 3:52 AM  


jae 3:56 AM  

Excellent medium Mon.

Only nit is that ramps slope down if you are standing at the other end.

Loren Muse Smith 7:35 AM  

What a lively fill! More power to you, Sam. This was not so much a hike as a breezy sashay, especially with the likes of WUSS, LUST AFTER, I DUNNO and SWOON. (@Rex - "show" for me can absolutely be involuntary sometimes, so I didn't mind the cluing.) I liked the playful style. Really enjoyable.

Z 7:42 AM  

This one put up stiffer than usual resistance for a Monday. Only write-overs were ARIeL and CARreL, but I actually had to work the north a little bit, which isn't typical for Monday. I had the same issue as @RP with the FOR in RULES OF ORDER. I did avoid the u/o confusion in MONDO by leaving it for the cross to decide.

All in all a nice solve. I would not give it a 31 on the EPS, but there are very few activities that would get that rating from me at 7 in the morning.

John V 7:45 AM  

From the tarmac. Fun, easy, great theme. Same hitches as @Rex.

Off to Charlotte.

Sue McC 7:55 AM  

Was fun. Loved MADAMSPEAKER. Had same thought as Ariel re: ORAMA originally being OBAMA. Thought TIP ONEILL was a nice touch too.

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

The TORSO is not the part of the body above the waist - it's the body minus head and limbs! Didn't that def bother anyone else?? - Nit Picker

evil doug 8:07 AM  

Carter? Ford? Taft? Not exactly the guys I think of on Presidents Day....

Speaking of 'bombs bursting in air': 50 years ago today John Glenn was sitting atop an Atlas rocket, which nearly half the time in tests failed in dramatic, explosive fashion. I met him in a gate house in Cincy's airport about 10 years ago, and that was one of the things he seemed most eager to talk about. The booster was a rickety stainless steel shell---he called it a 'gasbag'---that relied on the precise pressure of the fuel load to maintain its integrity for launch. They nearly aborted with just a few seconds to go for that very reason---the pressure wasn't 'nominal'---but the director pressed on with the countdown.

I guess Will had to choose---or maybe he didn't, if nobody saw this anniversary coming---but I'd have gone with the once in a lifetime 50th of a legendary life over an annual salute to, ahem, Jimmy Carter....


DESievers 8:07 AM  

I suspect the word "show" [of overwhelming love] was used in the sense of "manifestation." Nice Monday puzzle--I never saw or even thought about the names embedded in it ... manifests how thoughtful I am.

Anonymous 8:58 AM  

@ anonymous, yes that def bothered me, and I was looking here to see if anyone else had mentioned it, or I would!

TORSO's ok 9:05 AM  

The TORSO may not be the part of the body above the waist, but it certainly is a part of the body above the waist, and the part of the body immediately above the waist.

Tita 9:07 AM  

Wanted better presidents...how about embedded presidents of yesterday's embedded countries...;)
ALso, if all answers were politics or history related, rather than 2.
With LUSTAFTER, SLEPT, TORSO, SWOON, coulda been the Valentine's Day puzzle.

@Acme - thanks for the constructor's perspective.

@Evil - thanks for your Glenn story. I would've liked to see the same theme...

Liked the flippancy of DON'TKNOW / DON'TCARE and IDUNNO.

jesser 9:08 AM  

I had fun with this one. My only writeover was a doozy, because I tried to fit MADAMeSPEAKER where only MADAMSPEAKER would fit. Otherwise, what everyone else said. I loved it. Of course, I also love(d) President Carter.

The cruise was terrific. Key West is charming. Grand Cayman is stunning. Jamaica is weirdly beautiful and simultaneously terrifying. I will let you fill in the blanks. :-) Those of you who do the Facebook thing can look me up via this email address: crucescollier@gmail.com and send a friend request. In your request, send the word REX and I'll add you. There are 106 pictures of me, son Daniel, and six wonderful friends as we navigate the adventure.

Man, it's good to be home!

Tita 9:11 AM  

re: r.alph's conjecture re: capcha...
Just now, I entered only 1 word - the word with the blotch...because the other word was so tiny it was impossible to decipher...

It accepted just the single word.

So maybe, we can all get away with typing only the blotched word.

Rob C 9:12 AM  

Great that Sam Donaldson, whose namesake was ABC's White House correspondant for mant years, is our President's Day constructor.

As for the puzzle, great construction as @acme points out, but agree with @evil that these are not the guys you typically think of on President's Day. So the final tally is middle of the road.

chefbea 9:16 AM  

Got the theme right away and thought...just like yesterday.

Had to open my cubbard to find the correct spelling of teriyaki.

Shout out to me at 12 Down.

Happy presidents day all.

quilter1 9:19 AM  

I liked this one as much as Acme did. Mondays are usually kind of boring, like the puzzle in the classifieds, but this one was fun and had lots of good answers we don't see everyday. Loved MADAM SPEAKER, TORSO usually clued as sculpture, so this was different if not exactly correct.

@evil: agree about Glenn. Weren't those first years of space travel exciting? I have photos of my then 3 y/o girl in front of the TV as we watched the first moon walk. When did it become ho-hum?

Lindsay 9:31 AM  

MADAM SPEAKER jumped out at me immediately, so of course I concluded that the theme was baseball hall-of-famers, who must be inducted in February.


mac 9:32 AM  

Very thoughtful, jampacked with theme answers Monday. I enjoyed it! One more day of sun and sand and I'll be home again.

jackj 9:45 AM  

Does it matter that there is no legal federal holiday known as “President’s Day”? I thought not.

Nevertheless, forging ahead, Sam, “not that Sam”, Donaldson delivers a strong Monday offering which honors six and one-half former U. S. Presidents, (Adams, pere et fils, Monroe, Taft, Ford, Carter and half of LBJ, as we get LYNDON only).

Being presented with this random assortment of C-in-C’s is like being presented with a tyro chef’s first time presentation of amuse-bouches. Some should be singled out as possibly being “harmful to one’s health” while others seem a gourmand’s delight.

So too, our elected leaders; the good, the great, the ordinary, the bad, the ugly and the irrelevant.

Happy “Washington’s Birthday” to all and a “thank you” to Sam for a solid offering.

Rudy 9:45 AM  

Apropos comments on so so President's cited: Maybe that was part of the design to embed average Presidents and one Tip Oneil who was legendary for backroom maneuvers. I think MONROE may be the only one who was not a one-termer among the galaxy FORD CARTER TAFT ADAMS..

But was perplexed why 52a should not be ALLSAINTS?DAY and of course tripped on every intersection.

Good puzzle!

Wood 9:46 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith: OMG, you did it again! ROOSEVELT? EISENHOWER? ULYSSES S. GRANT?! Genius!

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Dear Acme,

That was a fascinating analysis of this puzzle from a constructor’s point of view, particularly from the master of Monday’s. But most of us chickens are not constructors, merely solvers, people who seek to escape from life’s more stressful events into a world that presents either some benign challenge or quirky, clever twist of fate. This puzzle, to me, was merely a truncated version of Sunday’s puzzle with different names dispersed throughout. Evil’s point is well taken. This holiday was originally two, honoring Washington and Lincoln on the anniversary of their birthdays, consolidated to make room for a holiday honoring MLK, Jr. It is, in short, a completely fabricated excuse for a holiday and this puzzle, ironically, as Evil notes, highlights the mediocrity of what we are honoring today. So instead on honoring the President who was our founder and the President who preserved the Union, we honor the likes of William Henry Harrison (the first Whig president) who made a two hour inaugural address in the cold rain, caught a bad cold and died thirty-one days later from pneumonia (a century before penicillin would have saved him as it did me). Maybe we should have another holiday honoring the Speakers of the House, as this puzzle has as its subtheme. Just image what a constructor could do with that one. Not only could the names be hidden, they would be so obscure as to be truly hidden. This puzzle was merely a Monday challenge in terms of difficulty and lacked any real twist or pizzazz that sent a tingle down my leg. As for the timeliness for President’s Day, we could have had hidden names of cars, since this is traditionally when car dealers have their big sales. Other than that I liked it, but not as much as you….


PS. Evil forgot to add that Glenn is still alive at 90 and only one of two of the original astronauts who are alive. And he’s a Democrat.

Rudy 9:53 AM  

... and is it not fitting that the constructor Samuel A. Donaldson is the namesake of that feisty reporter who made life difficult for FORD and CARTER

evil doug 9:53 AM  

"...sashay, especially..."

Well, Loren actually did get Rutherford B. in there....


boteagan 9:56 AM  

Longtime reader, first time poster. @Loren -Fillmore, Hayes, Tyler. Did you do this on purpose?

Anonymous 9:58 AM  


And he is a Democrat.


evil doug 10:02 AM  

Yikes! Missed those (and yesterday's for that matter), boteagan. Loren's ability to craft her hidden words in her natural conversational style really covers her tracks. Loren: I think it's time for you to become a constructor....


joho 10:15 AM  

Incredibly dense theme throughout the puzzle puts this way above average to me.

@Rudy, everytime I see Samuel A. Donaldson at the top I think of the "other" Sam Donaldson.

Nice President's Day puzzle, Uncle Sam, thank you! (Pardon me if you aren't an uncle!)

archaeoprof 10:18 AM  

I'm with @Arial Carell Madams on this one.

And I'm betting that ORAMA was originally Obama.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

@JFC - thanks. Exactly...

Loren Muse Smith 10:34 AM  

@ED, Boteagan (welcome), and Wood - thanks for decoding my post. It's tough to resist playing around a little with it after seeing the theme. Since, unlike a constructor, I can use regular sentences, it's really not too hard; ingenious it's not!

David 10:37 AM  

Fun puzzle, a couple of tricky theme answers (I've never put SALMON and ROE together), and RULES OF ORDER required a few extra crosses, but really a fine Monday offering.

Kroger has over 2300 stores throughout the country, with no presence in the Northeast. Many of their chains aren't known by the Kroger name: Ralphs in SoCal, Fred Meyer in the Pacific NW, QFC in Seattle, Fry's in Phoenix, King Soopers in Denver. They have a huge division down in Atlanta that competes size-wise with most of their entities in the Midwest.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

this nyc girl heard of k-mart not k-roger.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

Kroger stores originated in Ohio and are in many Mid-south states as well as the Midwest. They've expanded with gas stations, super-stores that have furniture and jewelry, etc. Yep, a diamond from Kroger--just what a lady wants for Valentine's..

boteagan 10:50 AM  

@loren - Ford, Taft, Harding. Cool.

Speaking of grocery stores, I read that Dolly Parton is buying Big Star, Piggly Wiggly, and Harris Teeter and merging them into one store. She's going to call it Big Wiggly Teeters.

evil doug 10:54 AM  


You think he's gonna tell you the diamond is from Kroger? Put it in a nice little blue box, and voila! A lovely gift from Tiffany! Somebody's gonna get lucky tonight....

You might also be under the misapprehension that the wine he brought in the expensive bottle is legit instead of a 3-Buck-Chuck refill job. "I already popped the cork to let it breathe," right? What a sweet kid you are....


chefbea 11:07 AM  

@Boteagan LOL love your new supermarket.

@Quilter1 When my oldest daughter was 4 months old I sat her, in her infant seat, in front of the TV so she could see Alan Shepard.

JenCT 11:15 AM  

Fun Monday puzzle - liked I DUNNO, WUSS, SWOON.

Okay, I'd like to be in on the @loren hidden meanings, but I'm not getting it - explain, please? (I've had my two cups of coffee, so I can't blame my fogginess on that...)

Z 11:22 AM  

@JenCT - What a lively fill! More power to you, Sam. This was not so much a hike as a breezy sashay, especially with the likes of WUSS, LUST AFTER, I DUNNO and SWOON. (@Rex - "show" for me can absolutely be involuntary sometimes, so I didn't mind the cluing.) I liked the playful style. Really enjoyable.

I agree with Evil D - time for LMS to try her hand at constructing.

JenCT 11:25 AM  

@Z: thanks!

WesIsland 11:39 AM  

And how about the Tiara crossing with Tierra......brillant!

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

@JFC. Washington's birthday has been a federal holiday for over 100 years, and still is. There is no federal "Presidents' Day". There never was a federal holiday for Lincoln's birthday. The holiday has been celebrated on the third Monday of February since they made all holidays on Mondays or Fridays, it was never moved, officially renamed, or combined with any other holiday.

NOT impressed 11:42 AM  

I thought this might be a Kindergarten Contest Puzzle Winner given all the dross (WIKI def 2) in this puzzle.


Too bad 60A answer wasn't the clue and then yield CARTER or CLINTON "thought v. action"

PELOSI indeed deserves to be called a MADAM rather than Madame

Presidents? Want Presidential material?
Just think we might face the prospect of SANTORUM v. OMAMA-ORAMA the next NOV round - HIL v. RAM or Hideously Ineffectual Lib v. Reactionary Ape-Man

Indeed - what a puzzle, remarkable yes the crossing and use of both words for presidents' names but with so much patter as to make one go UGH (notably missing from the three-letter ZOO).

See what too many rules gets you?

And why do ramps slope only UP?

Tita 11:46 AM  

At a friend's wedding several years ago, his (younger) friend asked how I knew the groom.
Story I told was that our family went next door to his house to watch the moon landing, as they had color TV.
Her response: "Wow - so cool that you remember the advent of color TV"

She simultaneously trivialized one of the greatest events of humankind and made me feel ancient!

Mel Ott 12:03 PM  

What more could we ask for a Monday holiday. Nice puzzle. Great clue for MADAM SPEAKER.

I pick up my NY Times at a KROGER in NC when visiting my sons. Don't think we have them in the Northeast.

@Jesser: Missed you in Key West. We left there a week ago today. Caught some nice Jack Crevalle on the flats.

Masked and Anonymous 12:27 PM  

Can't help wonderin' at this point, how many president's names have countries hidden in 'em.

jberg 12:28 PM  

@jackj - You mean this holiday is a (shudder) ILLEGAL?

I enjoyed the puzzle, and the theme density - and I can appreciate the desire to throw in some extra political entries, but having a non-theme president is a little off, only forgivable because it's his first name, and the themes are surnames.

Best I can do is "there is en - how - er - why not em in Arial?" (I think it really has both, though.)

quilter1 12:38 PM  

@Tita, I used to tell my college students that I was older than frozen pizza and panty hose. They were astounded. Another young lady could not believe I had worn contact lenses since 1957. The young believe they have invented everything.

Two Ponies 1:11 PM  

My family was on a camping trip during the moon landing. It was quite a moment to watch it outside on a TV set on a picnic table while the moon was shining above us.

Nice Monday puzzle.
@ jesser, I wanted to email you but your address has disappeared.

Lewis 1:22 PM  

@loren -- bravo!

Will, if you ever read these pages... aren't you a little embarrassed that the NYT puzzle page still has the answers to the October puzzles from the meta-week?

I can see why Acme loved this puzzle -- it had the same bright bouncy feel that her puzzles do.

Masked and Anonymous II 1:23 PM  

Dang. So far, only found one...

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

Anon at 11:41 am – Yes but federal holidays are only for federal employees, which in another four years might be all of us. There is a pretty good discussion of all this confusion between President’s Day and GW at the following site if you are interested:


Cathyat40 2:15 PM  

So, I Googled TRAFFIC ARTERY and it seems to be pretty commonly used.

Banana Man 2:21 PM  

@M&A: U.S. Grant?

Unknown 3:08 PM  

Nice one.
Except: KROGER (don't know, don't care). All we have here is Safeway!

Happy president's day!

sanfranman59 3:44 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Mon 7:27, 6:49, 1.09, 83%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:05, 3:40, 1.12, 91%, Challenging

Sfingi 4:18 PM  

Nice puzzle.

Whenever I drive to Syracuse the slow way, Route 5, I pass one of Grover Cleveland's homes in Fayetteville. Another nowhere pres.

Kroger's is not around here, but it turns out that Littman's Jewelry is part of their "family'"

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

Pleasant to solve. Five names plus two extra first names. Not bad.

Have been having trouble with new format. It takes my comment, then hours later it's gone. What am I doing wrong?


acmeofepitome 5:54 PM  

Publix is eating Kroger's lunch, so to speak, like a virus from Florida spreading northward into Georgia and Tennessee.

mac 6:20 PM  

@Z: do you think Loren put in Ike, twice?

Anonymous 7:13 PM  

Bravo LMS! You clearly have too much time on your hands but that also takes some kind of genius....


PS I also see how many IKEs you have. You must like IKE.

Anonymous 7:56 PM  

How about TIARA crossed with TIERRA?? I really enjoyed that as well as the theme in general.

Shamik 8:20 PM  

Far better than average Monday...very enjoyable puzzle.

Had a great lunch with ACME yesterday here in Phoenix. Makes up a wee bit for not being able to make it to Brooklyn. She's as funny and lovely as she seems on this blog.

Bob Kerfuffle 8:52 PM  

It seems the hidden Presidents found lie all across the spectrum. Another would be impossible to find!

Tita 9:21 PM  

@Bob K - Not impossible...why, there is Truman just waiting to be found...
(And maybe more, but I'm not very good at this...)

@quilter - we all have those apparent yawning chasms... in my 20's, I was gobsmacked when my then boyfriend (a shocking 8 years older than me) said that he remembered I95 being built...

He might as well have said he remembered the break up of Pangaea - to me, the highways were as timeless as the very bedrock...

sanfranman59 10:10 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 7:34, 6:49, 1.11, 91%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:05, 3:40, 1.12, 91%, Challenging

r.alphbunker 10:53 PM  


For some reason, I don't remember I-95 being built but I do remember the Huntington Expressway being built. It went right through my house. Google indicates that it eventually connected to I-95.

Bob Kerfuffle 3:51 AM  

@Tita - Perhaps we should call Interpol. Kings, queens, popes and presidents who go missing are their specialty.

Bob Kerfuffle 3:59 AM  

@Tita - High officials everywhere must be on high alert. I have heard that a nomad is on a rampage somewhere in Terra Incognita.

(And if this seems a bit silly, the truth is that I am trying to master the new sign-in system.)

Boring me to death 5:37 AM  

So last night I'm watching an old episode of "Mannix" on an obscure cable channel. He's got to go down to see about a body that turned up at the pier. (Cement overshoes were popular then.) He can't afford the bus; he's got to walk. It starts to rain, hard, in great sloppy bursts. So he throws his well-worn poncho over his shoulders. There's already a cop on the scene, with a bit of symbolic lint on his uniform. "Do we know anything about the stiff?" "Ha! Yes, he's the brother of that mug who turned up dead in a sugar field in North Dakota last month. Beets, that is, not cane." "Well, I guess he wasn't so smart. Hurry up this job and let's get out of here."

I thought it was really cool. I'd get more episodes if I could, but for now I'll stop with 10 "Ninas."

You're Bored? 8:12 AM  

Have you ever tried eating carob, a massively over-hyped substitute for chocolate? Now that's boring!

Wood 12:58 PM  

@LMS, evil, boteagan -- Ha! The joke is on me. I was just spoofin' and what do you know, she DID put some presidents in there. I am really bad at seeing those, I guess -- the sentences seemed un-contrived enough that I just assumed she hadn't tried the same trick in this post. I will stop trying to be clever now.

Solving in Seattle 2:02 PM  

This was a very enjoyable puzzle that, with a little expansion, could be a Sunday. Crammed with theme answers. Being from syndyland we miss out on the President's Day relevance by a month - oh well.

My only hangup was having dEf for 46D instead of RES.

Dirigonzo 4:54 PM  

@Solving in Seattle - apparently we also missed out on playing the comment game of hiding presidents' names in non-sensical sentences. Al teast, that's what I think they were doing. None of the pretenders were as good at it as loren muse smith, who seems to have a real knack for that kind of thing, and I agree that she shoud try her hand at construcitng a puzzle - maybe she could collaborate with @acme!

And @jesser described his heart throb - a man with a tan (sorry, I couldn't resist).

Red Valerian 9:19 PM  

Well, I had fun, wrong month (and wrong country) notwithstanding. And out here in syndi-land, our puzzle yesterday did not include embedded countries, so this didn't feel so, well, yesterday. (Hmmm, guess that'll be this weekend--oh, well, I'll probably forget anyhow.)

@LMS--hilarious! @Wood--even MORE hilarious! Nice of you to 'fess up. And nice of @Z to do the translating again.

Having not (yet) read yesterday's (in non-syndi-time) blog, I don't know what @LMS did then! But I do recall the elegantly crafter *$!#%*! post.

My only gripe (and it's a small one) is SEE PAST for "Purposely ignore". I see that it works (I see past @Rex's occasional bursts of over-crankiness), but the phrase works best for me as meaning that one has better understanding, not just willful ignorance (I see past the sophistry and illusion of current political debate...). Actually, I just talked myself out of my gripe.

Never miiiiiiiiiind.

Captchas are slightly easier to read--no blotches. I hope progress is being made on the email alert issue!

Spacecraft 11:49 PM  

Come on now, guys, how would we hide the good ones? Lessee...

Date turndown re hair: IMWASHINGTONIGHT
Consult the hero of Kwai: CALLINCOLNICHOLSON

A bit unhandy, no? And I defy you to come up with one for JFK without using two guys named KEN and NED. Yield, as they say, to the logic of the situation.

I'm in agreement about the general niceness of this entry, though ETCETC makes me wince. Shouldn't one of those be enough?

Out here in Sin City Kroger's is BKA (better known as) Food4Less.

Dictionary.com 6:37 AM  

@Spacecraft - "kenned" - Run with it!

   [ken] Show IPA noun, verb, kenned or kent, ken·ning.
knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one's ken.
range of sight or vision.
verb (used with object)
Chiefly Scot.
to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (a person or thing).
to understand or perceive (an idea or situation).
Scots Law . to acknowledge as heir; recognize by a judicial act.
Archaic . to see; descry; recognize.
British Dialect Archaic .
to declare, acknowledge, or confess (something).
to teach, direct, or guide (someone).

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