W.W. I's longest battle / MON 3-19-12 / Spanish-language newspaper that brings light to its readers / Pedantic quibble / Object retrieved on Apollo mission

Monday, March 19, 2012

Constructor: Jeremy Horwitz

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "THE GODFATHER" (53A: Academy Award-winning film released in March 1972) — theme answers are the title character VITO CORLEONE (46A: Academy Award-winning role for both 20- and 26-Across) and two actors who won Oscars for playing him, ROBERT DENIRO and MARLON BRANDO (both clued as [Academy Award winner for playing 46-Across])

Word of the Day: The Battle of VERDUN (9D: W.W. I's longest battle) —

The Battle of Verdun (FrenchBataille de VerdunIPA: [bataj də vɛʁdœ̃]GermanSchlacht um VerdunIPA: [ʃlaxt ˀʊm vɛɐdœŋ]) was one of the major battles during the First World War on theWestern Front. It was fought between the German and French armies, from 21 February – 18 December 1916, on hilly terrain north of the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France.
Verdun resulted in 698,000 battlefield deaths (362,000 French and 336,000 German combatants), an average of 70,000 deaths for each of the ten months of the battle.[5] It was the longest and one of the most devastating battles in the First World War and the history of warfare. Verdun was primarily an artillery battle: a total of about 40 million artillery shells were exchanged, leaving behind millions of overlapping shell craters that are still partly visible. In both France and Germany, Verdun has come to represent the horrors of war, like the Battle of the Somme in the British consciousness. The renowned British military historian Major General Julian Thompson has referred to Verdun as "France's Stalingrad". (wikipedia)
• • •

Hey there, everyone. Fresh back from my NYC travels, which were half amazing and half disgusting. Spent my first few days in the city seeing old friends, eating lots of fantastic food, and playing with a painfully adorable 2-yr-old. Got to eat the "Best Doughnuts in NYC" at Dun-Well Doughnuts (stunning). Got to see the Cindy Sherman exhibit at MoMA (stunning). Then the Crossword Tournament happened. I went out for a nice dinner, came back to the hotel, socialized a bit, headed back to the room to sleep, and shortly thereafter got very, very sick. The kind of sick that necessitates your sleeping on the bathroom floor, partly because you don't want to be far from the bathroom and partly because you just don't have the energy to make it back to bed. And so, I missed the tournament. Entirely. My wife brought me puzzles in bed. By Sunday morning, I'd recovered significantly, but still elected not to stay and watch the finale. I just wanted to be in my own home with my own bed and my own TV and my own dogs. Fantastic experience at Port Authority (a statement I doubt anyone has ever made before). Zipped straight home in clean, quiet bus, greeted by sunny, 74-degree weather. And here I am. Feeling about 80%, which I'll take. As for the results of the tournament, they can be found here. Short answer: Dan Feyer won. Again. It was hardly a rout, but in the end, that hardly matters. Oh, and the "Dr. Fill" software program came in 140-somethingth. There were two trick puzzles that just took "him" out at the knees. Read Ben Zimmer's write-up here.

Today's puzzle is beautifully executed, but the theme is so straightforward that it borders on dull. It's a kind of anniversary / tribute puzzle upon which the Letter Count gods were smiling. 12, 12, 12, 12. Remarkable. But not terribly interesting. The fill is lively for a Monday, or at least not dull / stale. Liked MOON ROCK quite a bit, even though I completely misread the clue (10D: Object retrieved on an Apollo mission) as starting with the word "Objective." Me: "'Objective?' I doubt we went there just to get a rock." And later: "Oh..." Also liked VERDUN (as much as one can like a brutally violent battle) and the sassy little clue on TiVO (42D: What may give pause to couch potatoes?). "EL SOL" I've seen before, or that might have given me more trouble than it did (13D: Spanish-language newspaper that beings "light" to its readers). Bold, oddly timely clue on ORAL (16A: ___ contraceptive), and interesting approach to SCHWA at 32A: Either the first or last vowel sound in "Alaska"), which I can't believe wasn't tied somehow to 39D: Politico Palin (SARAH). Overall, no real quibbles, pedantic or otherwise (45A: Pedantic quibble = NIT).

[Dogs, wearing their new neckerchiefs—a gift from "Jen from CT"]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


foodie 12:09 AM  

Welcome back, Rex! Glad to hear that some of your NY adventures were great, sickness aside.

I agree, easy, clean puzzle. Felt like a light sherbet, a palate cleanser after yesterday's major dish.

I need to remember IONE and BRUNO in case they pop up again and the crosses are not as kind to me. Love the lack of random 3 word fill. So, no WHINing from me. Nice start of the week!

foodie 12:19 AM  

PS. Are we going to be seeing the tournament puzzles? If so, then spoiler alert in the Dr. Fill article! --although I don't know which puzzle is which, and I can rely on my brain to forget the whole thing exactly at the moment it might have helped...

pk 12:31 AM  

Welcome home! What a great looking pack! The Lab looks a lot like my own BBD (big black dog/baby boy dog) - altho yours looks more brown in the pic. Ya know, they don't give a rat's ass whether you can solve a xword or not, they are just glad you are home.

Agree about the puzz - it came up at like 6:15. I threw in Borat for Bruno, but fixed that quickly, otherwise, smooth sailing.

Anonymous 12:45 AM  

Sorry to hear about your illness during the Crossword Tournament.
I'm glad to hear Dr Fill did so lousy.
like this Monday's puzzle anniversary for
THE GODFATHER premiere on March 15, 1972.
Part 2 was good, but I didn't like the flashback structure.
Part 3 should not have been made.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

Sucks about the sickness, Rex.

Thought your shirt said PENIS for a second.

Have a good day.

chefwen 1:24 AM  

So glad you are feeling better Rex, we were all very concerned. One needs ones own bed when ill.

Enjoyed today's offering and am looking forward to the complete wrap-up of the tourney with pictures (I hope)

jae 2:37 AM  

Nice smooth easy Mon. @pk -- Me too for BORAT.

Glad you're feeling better Rex.

Z 6:34 AM  

The Godfather rates a puzzle? Well executed puzzle on a subject not worthy of being memorialized. Sort of like the movie.

dk 7:26 AM  

Solid Monday. Moe Green would have loved it... not.

🌟🌟 (2 Stars)

I wonder if SARAH will become the new ELO.

Shared the Dr. Fill story from NYT with my city mates and they began to hum John Henry.

Back to work after a week with son from NOLA and major kitchen destruction and construction not to mention weather in the high 70s. Suffice to say ski season is over.

In case you were wondering Dr. Fill is an emissary of The Borg. I can only hope that you tourney participants did not sit close by...

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

An easy one for me and I liked the tribute. Glad your feeling better--sounds like food poisoning. Where did you have dinner????

John V 7:48 AM  

From the tarmac. Wanted RUBIC. Otherwise, easy. Sorry for the ills, @Rex. Sucks.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

I roared through this one and hardly stopped to think. And when I was done the timer showed a time slightly under 11 minutes.
It is beyond my comprehension how some of you can finish a Monday in a quarter of the time. I once typed in the answers from a solved puzzle and it took me over 5 minutes.

orangeblossomspecial 8:57 AM  

I never could speak a word of Greek, I never could boo boo pa doo, but I can Wah Hoo, Wah Hoo, Wah Hoo. From the Hoosier Hot Shots.

Pete 9:03 AM  

The Godfather movie era was right in what should have been my movie going wheelhouse, but I know nothing about them. I spent quite a while trying to find the cross-reference for what movie DiNiro was in, as I was convinced that he was never in any of them.

Kind of what @Z said.

efrex 9:05 AM  

Never saw any of the Godfather movies, but still breezed through this one without any groans. ELO seems to be the worst piece of crosswordese, and there was a lot of fun cluing and fill everywhere. SCHWA is a bit tough for Monday, but I'm not throwing any MOON ROCKS at it. Nicely done, Mr. Horwitz!

OldCarFudd 9:09 AM  

Sorry about your illness, Rex. I've had food poisoning, and it ain't fun.

Well constructed, easy puzzle. I enjoyed the first Godfather, never saw the second.

Verdun is still appalling, even after all this time. Joan and I were doing a bicycle trip in France about 30 years ago, and I wanted to see it, so we rode there. The things people do to each other over a trivial piece of real estate!

Sue McC 9:10 AM  

Fun, easy, and super fast...just what my ego needed after yesterday's puzzle :-)

chefbea 9:12 AM  

Easy Monday. Noticed the shout out to Rex at 6 across.

I met Emeril once and have an autographed copy of one of his cook books.

@Rex glad you are on the mend. Cute foto.

Tobias Duncan 9:26 AM  

The food poisoning Rex experienced was part of a very complex Skynet plot that went off without a hitch.If anyone knows Matthew Ginsberg well enough to quiz him about his past, I think you will find he has been replaced with a T-X and the software he was so proud of is long gone.

dk, ski season is far from over in Taos.I just woke up to what looks like close to six inches here in town.That should translate to at least a foot or two up on the mountain.

jesser 9:57 AM  

Rex, that sickness part of the story sucks, but glad to hear you're feeling better. Critter kisses will heal nearly anything!

I hit some rough patches with this one, most notably wanting don CORLEONE, which wouldn't fit and had me doubting momentarily if I knew how to spell CORLEONE correctly. It all came together.

@Tobias Duncan: That snow is one of the very reasons I live in southern N.M. these days, where the forecasted high today is a tolerable 46. Saturday was north of the 80s but we've got a system moving through. We may get some moisture, but no snow, and I'm way OK with that!

I think a GREEK HDTV MAZE might be fun to tackle!

Ulrich 10:01 AM  

My grandparents on my mother's side came from two villages on the Moselle River some 100 miles E of Verdun. They told me they could hear the cannons from Verdun at the time...

@foodie: I like your culinary comparison.

@Rex: Best wishes!

jberg 10:01 AM  

I'm adding IONE Skye (or is it Skye IONE?) to my list of ridiculous pseudonyms actually used by real people in movies. That doubles its size, as up to now it has consisted only of Erica Heath. (Former is two island in the Hebrides, latter the scientific and common names for a group of shrubs). No doubt there are more.

Fine puzzle, though. Rex, I'm glad you're feeling better, hope you hit 100% very soon!

mac 10:07 AM  

Nice puzzle, only hesitation at tivo, thought tvad. Obviously I thought bathroom or fridge break.

Glad you are feeling better. Food poisoning and hotel rooms or other people's guestrooms do not mix, I have found.

quilter1 10:26 AM  

Yeah, it sucks to be sick in a hotel as we found following a Bahamian seafood festival.

I liked the puzzle, though I never sw the movies. They are embedded in the culture enough to be knowable. I enjoyed the freshness of the fill. I have a little quibble with MAZE for labyrinth. I walk a labyrinth frequently and have walked in two MAZE, including the one at Hampton Court. A labyrinth is really just a very winding path to the center of the design and then back out. A maze has blind alleys made to deceive. But there are few other words that could indicate a MAZE, none of them four letters.

Recaulking my tub enclosure today, yahoo!

Tita 10:27 AM  

Got back late last night from ACPT.
I am only at 75%, and I did NOT have food poisoning. Rex - so sorry for you, and for we your loyal followers who were looking forward to getting to know the flesh-and-blood you.

At least I did get to briefly meet you and your wife.

@OldCarFudd...as you say, Verdun is frightening, and incomprehensible.

I need to catch back up to the real world, but also need to post pics and musings about the truly spectacular and surreal events of this past weekend.
Great to meet so many of you, and so many constructors.

@JenCT - thanks Jen for all the great judging, even though it was clear that you could NOT be bought!!
And yes, you can thank me for making mine easier to judge by leaving so many squares nice and clean and empty... ;)

I hope to post pics later today.

This puzzle was a breathe of fresh air, with no BIG RED DIGITAL CLOCK 30' away, and little trickiness. (Though the movie does nothing for me, it's in the culture enough that I knew all the refs.)

Thanks Mr. Horowitz!

(So glad there were no capchas at ACPT!)

archaeoprof 10:31 AM  


@Foodie: I like your analogy too.

@Rex: glad you're feeling better.

Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

Nice Monday puzzle with some good fill. Salvo, runic, tedium, and errant didn't seem like the usual Monday fill so I liked those.
Glad you're on the mend Rex.
Unseasonably cold here in Vegas with new snow in the mountains and rain in the valley. Watch out Tobias and jesser, you're next.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

@archaeoprof - No need to shout. DINERO was clued as playing Don Corleone, it never said anything about which movie.

joho 10:52 AM  

@Rex, great pic ... but where's your neckerchief? I join all the others who are happy to hear that you're feeling better.

This was a fine Monday puzzle but the theme wasn't all that exciting to me ... almost too much of a list. Or maybe I'm just not turned on by "The Godfather."

Can't wait to see pics from the tournament!

Tita 10:59 AM  

Oh - I need to update my Epic Wrong Answers Hall of Fame with a few from the tourney that Will read out.

Only one I remember now is one of Dr. Fill's:

Real answer doesn't matter - he was not even close - what was hilarious, and blush-inducing (can Dr. Fill blush?)
Is that answer was smack-dab center-of-grid, highlighted in yellow, on the big screen as Matt Ginsberg gave us his analysis of Dr. Fill's performance.

I will post pics and more on my blog in the next day or so.

Calling all ACPTers...help me update the Hall of Fame... any other funny answers that Will ready out, post here or email me...thanks!

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Glad to see OUR GODFATHER's back
And not sleeping with the fishes
Next time you're in Brooklyn, Rex,
Leave the gun and take the knishes!

Sfingi 11:10 AM  

To those who've never seen the GODFATHERs, I've been subjected to them by Hubster, a Sicilian whose family came from Bagheria. The train station indicates that name. Years befor the movie, his dad told him, "Never go to Corleone."

DeNiro played the young Vito.

archaeoprof 11:13 AM  

@anonymous 1045am: i wasn't shouting. i just capitalized the answers from the puzzle. :)

Lindsay 11:14 AM  

Rex, I am very sorry you missed the competition. Your little mutt is very cute (though not quite as cute as mine).

As for today's offering .... enough with movies! Enough! Enough! Tournament puzzle #4 had a movie theme. Puzzle #6 had a movie theme (and a very ugly Yiddish/proper name mash-up in the SE corner). As for puzzle #5, I learned there is no movie called "The Deft." That's not a spoiler, right? Because it's wrong.

I very much enjoyed meeting some of you, and look forward to next year.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Glad you're feeling better--nothing worse than being sick while traveling.

This puzzle certainly makes up for yesterday! I breezed thru it so quickly I never even saw the theme answers.

Mighty Nisden 11:38 AM  

Nice monday only real trouble was not knowing 58A. I guess that TEDrUM is not really a word but one that sounds like it should be.

Mel Ott 11:42 AM  

@quilter1 is right. I've walked the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. You don't get lost in a labyrinth as you might in a MAZE. But I guess in popular usage the words are pretty much synonymous.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:43 AM  

@jberg - You might add Gale Storm. She still shows up every once in a while.

@Tita - One word - Aretha!

Had a great time at the ACPT, wonderful to meet again with all the Rexites there, special tip of the hat to imsdave, so sorry Rex could not compete.

For next year, save the date, ACPT will be March 8 - 10.

May post some pictures, if they are any good, once they come back from the drugstore.

Nice enough Monday puzz, even if Dr. Fill could probably do it in 19 seconds.

Lindsay 11:44 AM  

Forgot to mention that I drove south to New Haven, then took Metro North into the city. I now have a whole new appreciation for John V's feat of solving on a moving train. My rail-based rating system would involve not number of stops, but how far out the intended square each illegible squiggle snaked.

John V 11:49 AM  

@Lindsay -- There is that jiggle factor on the New Haven, for sure!

Lindsay 11:52 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle --- "Aretha" hits a little close to home. My SUPREME SOUL wanted to be Diana Ross, but I couldn't shoehorn her in.

Good to see you this weekend.

Third post, so hasta manana everyone.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:57 AM  

P.S. -

I had said I intended to defend my 200th place standing at the ACPT.


Finished 230th, out of about 600.

Since this may not be the place to discuss the puzzles, will just say that I missed perfection in one by the cross of a foreign name and an onomatopoetic word, and was absolutely killed by another puzzle which I failed to understand even the first time I saw the correct solution.

JenCT 12:06 PM  

Great fun at the ACPT - I enjoyed judging the puzzles, instead of trying to solve them!

Very, very nice to meet so many familiar people (hope I don't forget anyone): Rex and his wife, imsdave, nanpilla, Tita, Bob Kerfuffle, Merl Reagle, Will Shortz, Tony Orbach, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Jane S., Andrea Carla Michaels, Patrick Merrell, Victor Fleming, Elizabeth Gorski, Sam Donaldson, and more that I'll think of later!

Thanks very much @Rex for posting that adorable picture with your pooches! So sorry that you were sick over the w/e.

So where can I post pix from the tourney?

Oh the puzzle - breezed through it (it's Monday.)

jackj 12:09 PM  

Foodie nicely compared today's puzzle to a palate cleansing sherbet. My take is a bit more pungent.

Although the puzzle seemed perfectly adequate for a Monday, it was like getting a serving of matzohs with lunch when you were yearning for a bag of red hot spicy bbq chips.

Welcome back, 31*.

Frank Lynch 12:25 PM  

Sorry you missed the tournament. At least you were in Brooklyn, and not Manhattan.

I blinked over MOON ROCK because I thought an "object retrieved" meant something that had been left behind, e.g., a data recorder, a golf club...

JaxInL.A. 12:48 PM  

I was so sorry about two things this weekend: Rex didn't compete, and there was no news of ACME. I don't see her name on the list of participants or judges, and hope we get to hear her take on things. Thanks, @JenCT for letting us know Andrea was there and doing fine. Hoping to hear from her here soon.

Seems like a fairly high U count in today's puzzle, no, M&A?

Rex, SethG and treedweller did a great job while you were out. Thanks for making sure that we still have this space even when you are gone. Welcome back.

chefbea 1:08 PM  

@Joho Rex has a tissue box cosi which could have been in the foto!!!

Loren Muse Smith 1:13 PM  

First @Rex – being so sick you have to camp out on the bathroom floor. Been there, done that, got the T shirt. It was unspeakably horrible, and I’m so sorry you missed the tourney.

Also @Rex – unbelievable how all the theme fills were 12’s. Beautiful.

I usually struggle a bit with proper nouns, and though this one was full of them (23 maybe?), I didn’t have any trouble. Loved KIMONO, ELSOL and EMERIL. @chefbea – I haven’t met EMERIL, but I ate at Le Bernardin and met Eric Ripert. (He gave me a Zagat’s book.) He was utterly charming and very bashful.

SCHWA. I was thrilled to see it in a puzzle. I could hijack this blog today with my many SCHWA stories, but I’ll spare you.

Evan 1:17 PM  

Checking in post-ACPT:

I had an absolutely wonderful time in Brooklyn for my first tournament. I met and talked to a lot of cool and interesting people, though it's unfortunate that I didn't get to meet the blogmaster himself (feel better soon, Rex).

After it was all over, Ellen Ripstein approached me and asked, "So, was it everything you had hoped for?" My answer was a resounding yes. I finished 277th (not too far behind you, @Bob Kerfuffle), and while I'm still kicking myself a little bit for the mistakes I left in the grids, I was mostly sad that the experience came to an end. It's been a tough year for me, but the opportunity to spend a little bit of it with others who are just as enthusiastic about crosswords as I am is something I won't forget.

One funny story from the tourney: I was chatting with Dan Feyer after he won when Mike Nothnagel, the co-creator of yesterday's challenging Sunday puzzle, walked by. I said to Mike, "Oh, by the way, your puzzle today was beastly." Dan's mother, who had been in attendance for the final, then said, "Today's puzzle is hard? Oh, SH*T!" Nice to meet you too, Mrs. Feyer!

I also have an incredible picture on my phone of me and Will Shortz. He was leaning in and pointing right at the camera so he could confirm to his long-time ACPT photographer Don Christensen where to look when the picture was snapped. But because Don said he's not very skilled with cell phone cameras, he took the picture anyhow at that very moment. The end result was Will getting right up in the camera's face, looking like Uncle Sam, and demanding the public to register for the tournament.

John V 1:34 PM  

No reports yet of the CONGALINE. So?

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

You threw up so hard your hair fell out?

David 2:04 PM  

@Rex, I'm glad you're doing better, so sorry you missed out on the puzzles and other tournament fun! This was my 1st ACPT, was hoping for top 50% (there were about 600), and I ended up 215th.

Could have cracked top 200 were it not for an idiotic error on the final puzzle (tho many can make the same comment about a puzzle along the way). Puzzle 5 was indeed brilliant and a killer, and Puzzle 2 was just wild, proving that it helps to read the theme right away, not 3 minutes into the solve.

Maybe I'm juiced up from being around such crossword royalty, but I broke my Monday record today with 3:16. Nah, it was the four theme gimmes from having watched The Godfather too many times (tho I did start to write DON for VITO).

JenCT 2:07 PM  

Oh, a couple more: Sparky, Tom Pepper (of the infamous GO COMMANDO puzzle we had recently), Howard B., Helene H., Dan Feyer, and Anne Erdmann.

@John V: I conked out before midnight; not sure if the conga line ever happened...

Evan 2:08 PM  


Some funny errors at the tournament, from unnamed solvers:


"You might get a kick out of it"
nUN --> GUN

"Oil transporter"

And the best error of all, in my opinion, was from Dr. Fill (though I can't remember the clue):

dO the boyS --> GO BANANAS

Bird 2:25 PM  

Happy to hear you're on the mend Rex. I feel you pain - I once spent a few days of a vacation in the bathroom. My meals were water, crackers and Pepto Bismal.

Anyway, this puzzle was a nice gentle breeze. I love Godfather Parts 1 and 2 and watch them at least once a year. I watched Part 3 once. And only once. What a shame. Someone should have made Ms. Coppola an offer she did refuse.

I don't get SCHWA for either the first or last vowel sounds in "Alaska". Can someone enlighten me? Thanks.

Double captcha "meastali ndaligno" morphs into "A Misaligned Talon"

Loren Muse Smith 2:27 PM  

@Bird - the schwa is the most common vowel sound in the English language. It's the "a" in "sofa."

imsdave 2:31 PM  

Solid Monday. Wish I had time to chat about the ACPT (will try tomorrow), but when I take a day off from work, it just means I have to double up the next day.

Bird 2:49 PM  

@Loren - Thank you.

sanfranman59 3:36 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 6:14, 6:49, 0.91, 16%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:38, 3:40, 0.99, 49%, Medium

Doc John 3:48 PM  

Glad you're feeling better, Rex. I think anyone above a certain age has had a similar experience and never wishes to again!
So when will we see "somethingth" in a puzzle?

Lewis 3:55 PM  

Welcome back, crossword adventurers. Sounds like a terrific weekend for most of you, and Rex, glad you're feeling better. Thanks for the links, fun to read.

JaxInL.A. 3:56 PM  

Hey, Rex, you and Sandy should definitely check out today's L.A. Times puzzle. Sandy should feel right at home.

Thanks very much, @imsdave, @BobK, @JenCT, @Evan, @Tita for telling us of your adventures at ACPT. Keep it coming, and please jump in anyone else who was there!

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

Another great movie in this puzzle is "Blazing Saddles" with any memorable quotes - "Excuse me while I whip this out.", "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges.", "It's not *Hedy*, it's *Hedley*. Hedley Lamarr."

Tita 4:02 PM  

@Evan - thanks!! (I really need to create a separate page for this growing list...)
It was great to meet you, and a nice surprise. I didn't know you would be there.

@JohnV - no CONGALINE! :( Unless they snuck into some other venue to do it...behind our backs...
@JaxinLA - Our beloved ACME was indeed there, and was an absolute delight! Everything one expects about her and more... I have a great picture of my personal "King and Queen of Mondays" - Tom Pepper and ACME.

I really MUST get on with work so I can upload pics!!!
(3rd post, I think, so ttfn!)

Anonymous 4:59 PM  

Loved my first tournament. I accomplished my goal of not coming in last. And, finally got to see for myself that puzzles really can be solved in several minutes. Hats off to all of you speed puzzlers. I'll come back next year with the goal of getting into the 400s....

Nancy in PA 5:20 PM  

Rex, we missed you! I've only had food poisoning twice in life--each time from restaurant mussels. Needless to say, I never eat them anymore.

Had great fun at the tournament and managed to keep dropping in rank for the 4th time in a row. @BobKerfuffle, I am right behind you at 231! This means I squeak from Division D to C, so I am happy.

Very nice easy puzzle today..easing back into real life.

poc 6:02 PM  

Just to be pedantic, GMT hasn't been a world time standard since 1972. The current standard is called UTC.

Anonymous 6:26 PM  

It took me over 30 minutes to do a Monday puzzle because this is all new to me. So be happy you did it in 11 minutes! There are people out there way slower than you. Just call me tortuga!

Masked and Anonymo7Us 9:28 PM  

@JaxinLA: Yep. 007 of 'em. Shaken, but not stirred. Thanx for noticing. Kinda surprising count, since none were in the theme answers. M&A

Sparky 11:53 PM  

This went just fine. Wanted Al Pacino after DeNiro but too short. Had STeed before STAGE. One of these days I'll have to actually listen to ELO. Yesterday a total loss. Tired after ACPT and couldn't see the grid. The solution just looks too busy.

The tournament such fun. I am not telling my score but it's better than I feared before the event. Great dinner put together by imsDave. Thanks. Folks above said most. @Evan, I looked for you. I was that strange lady staring at name tags. Glad you had such a good time. @JenCT. The scarves so cute on the pups. Good to see you again. I could natter on forever. It was terrific.

Glad you are feeling better @Rex. @quilter1--the very phrase Bahamian Seafood Festival makes my tricky gut do a little dance.

sanfranman59 12:34 AM  

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

Mon 6:15, 6:49, 0.92, 17%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:30, 3:40, 0.96, 31%, Easy-Medium

Z 3:28 PM  

@poc - Who you calling "pedantic?"

JenCT 5:24 PM  


DMGrandma 2:06 PM  

Thank goodness for Mondays like this. They make me feel a lot less dense. Only write-over was Bruno for Borat. And I walked through the Cryptoquote and the Suduko! Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket today while the gods are smiling?

Spacecraft 2:38 PM  

Easy? Oh yeah. But look at the fill, folks. Remarkably clean. No Roman numerals! No "silent" letters! Well, one SCHWA--but that's a legitimate word. No vowel "buying!" No partials! The name is Jeremy Horwitz, students. Watch and learn! Well done, sir!

Hand up for STEED: the crosses even work, except for "LUE." Hmm. Comic Anderson after a diet?

@Rex: you didn't actually drink the water, did you? Man, I can relate. The illness is rotten enough, but that it made you miss a really looked-forward-to event, that doubly sucks. Get 'em next year!

Solving in Seattle 2:43 PM  

The Godfather is one of my favorite reads, and the movie did it good justice. Agree that GFIII should never have been made. Also agree with @Frank Lynch that 10D was a little misleading. Retrieved, to me, applies to something left behind. Otherwise, easy but enjoyable puzzle. Nice Monday, Jeremy.

Capcha: sminMan. Nick Charles' brother with a speech impediment.

Solving in Seattle 2:53 PM  

Blog mystery. My comment of a few minutes ago erased. @Spacecraft, didn't this happen to you last week?

Comment was...

The Godfather is one of my favorite reads, and the movie did it good justice. Agree that GFIII should never have been made. Also agree with @Frank Lynch that 10D was a little misleading. Retrieved, to me, applies to something left behind. Otherwise, easy but enjoyable puzzle. Nice Monday, Jeremy.

Capcha: sminMan. Nick Charles' brother with a speech impediment.

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

I'm new to the NYT puzzles - about a month or so. So I am very thrilled to say this is my first finish with no cheats. No Googles no peeks at @Rex - nothing. No writes overs even. And in about 20 minutes. So I was not surprised at all to see it's an easy rating! There isn't a SUPER easy rating?

Dirigonzo 5:10 PM  

We syndi-solvers have now been treated to two movie-tribute puzzles in a row and I hope that is the end of the streak - unless there's one on "The Blues Brothers", which would be fun I think.

I thought this puzzle had some extra chewiness (in a good way) for a Monday so was surprised to see the rating. I know of Borat but needed all of the crosses for BRUNO.

@Solving in Seattle - there have been a few instances of "disappearing comments" lately - perhaps Rex is playing with his "Delete Comment" button just to mess with us - or maybe (more Likely) Blogger is still experiencing technical difficulties. But "sminMan" - really?

@Anony 3;50 PM congratulations on your first finish! Sounds like you are well on your way to becoming an accomplished solver.

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