Alternative name for abalone / FRI 9-14-12 / Big multilanguage broadcaster briefly / Hayshaker / Guyanese capital / Father-and-son prophets in Book of Mormon / Figure on 5000 EE savings bond / Sci-fi knight

Friday, September 14, 2012

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none (or BEATLES—see JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE, and RINGO in the corners; I did the write-up thinking there was no theme, and I'm not changing it; if I consider the theme, I have to a. hate the theme (weak, sparse) and b. hate the fill I hated even more because now I know it's there only because of this weak theme (this is esp. true of the worst word, ORMER); so: themeless)

Word of the Day: ORMER (39A: Alternative name for abalone) —
n. Chiefly British
An abalone, especially of the species Haliotis tuberculata, found chiefly in the Channel Islands.

[French dialectal, from French ormier, short for oreille-de-mer, translation of Latin auris maris, sea-ear : auris, ear + maris, genitive of mare, sea.]

Read more:
• • •

A very nice puzzle, for the most part. I'd tear a grid down to the ground before I ever let something like ORMER sneak in (truly terrible), but in this grid, at least it's an outlier (LER and ALMAS are also pretty bad, but slightly less so) (31D: The Once-___ (Seuss character) + 21D: Father-and-son prophets in the Book of Mormon). The marquee answers, on the other hand—the four 3x10s—are all very clean and interesting, and, unless any one member of the ORMER LER ALMAS trio really held you up, odds are you're not going to have been troubled by them that much.

I found this one mostly very easy, though there were a few little hold-ups and hiccups along the way. Took way longer to get JOHN DENVER than I should have (1A: Colorado state song composer). I grew up on his music, and to this day I can't get properly in the Christmas spirit until I've heard "Please Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" at least once. I had JOHN and *still* needed crosses to figure it out. Shameful. Also shameful—it took me many beats—several seconds—after getting STERN to understand how the clue fit (41A: Bow's counterpart). Me: "Isaac STERN ... used a bow ... I don't get it." I get it now. I don't feel nearly as bad about not getting PAUL REVERE right away (58A: Figure on a $5,000 EE savings bond).

Got [Liberty League school] pretty easily, only because I had the "V" in place. I still think of VASSAR as a single-sex school even though they've been co-ed for like forty years and the only person I know who went there is a guy. I also got SMELTING very easily (23A: Coke user's activity)—brain gets very good at rolodexing misdirective words. "Coke: beverage (no), drug (no), coal ... yes."

Never seen the word [Hayshaker], so HICK was all from crosses. Thought [Guyanese capital] would be something exotic, but it's straight-up English and very familiar (GEORGETOWN). First thought for [Players who made a historic touchdown in 1964] was GARY, but his last name is actually just Player and apparently golfers don't actually make touchdowns and anyway GARY didn't fit. This from the brain that also wanted [What "burns, burns, burns" in a hit country song] to be "DISCO INFERNO." I really wish I could hear "DISCO INFERNO" played as a "country song" right now. To give you a sense of how improbable such a song would be—try to imagine Merle Haggard singing this:

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:05 AM  

Zippy but very easy for Fri.  More like a Wed.  SE was the toughest area, but not Fri. tough.  Clever BEATLES theme however (check out the corners and Amy's blog). Maybe that was why it was so easy. Also not a fan of ORMER/INTER.

Only erasures were  OcA to OPA and fra to STE.

Other music oriented stuff...BARRE,  MOTLEY, SNOW, STERN, REED, FISHER...and, if you add or subtract an S..PISTOL, REEVE, ALMAS... Have I missed any?

Nice fun clever grid Peter, just not quite a Fri.

MoTown 12:19 AM  

Peter - Michigan welcomes you back as being worthy of the name Michigan. That's with the understanding that, from time to time, we still think of Michigan as being a place where good work gets done.

Anonymous 12:45 AM  

Don't forget the JOHN / GEORGE / PAUL / RINGO / BEATLES theme.

syndy 12:51 AM  

very easy for a wednesday---oh it's a friday? ORMER I got from crosses ditto ALMAS otherwise it would have been a favorite answer was APPLECORES-crunchy ones

syndy 12:53 AM  

@ anonymous dude (or dudette) I totally missed that-all is forgiven PC you're genius!

Evan 1:07 AM  

Wow, I hadn't noticed those corners at all until others pointed them out, but that's really clever. A good theme-within-a-themeless trick. Peter has been on a mini-BEATLES tear lately -- he did a recent Monday with seven Beatles titles written by Lennon/McCartney as the theme. A small quibble would be that RINGO is an outlier since his name spans across two words unlike the others, but that's easily forgivable since, well, how many other RINGOs can you name?

I didn't know DECAPITATE passed the breakfast test! I'm glad it did, because that macabre answer has such a great clue.

The ROD/ROLL crossing was actually somewhat surprising to me, not because it's unfair or because the clues are bad, but because I expected a crossing letter with a higher Scrabble score, like maybe POD/POLL. I would have thought that the NYT would opt for the letter with the highest possible Scrabble score if it can replace a lower-scoring one like the members of the R, S, T, L, N, brigade, but they went with R on this one. Not really a big deal at all, just not what I expected.

dk 1:18 AM  

Err... And Apple was their label.... And ASCAP.... Never mind I am belaboring the obvious

JOHNDENVER found out that a coke user should not fly a plane. He did not hit the ground silently.

Very easy Friday but fab none the less. Entertaining a 2 year old this trip so even the Dr. Seuss clue worked pour moi.

€€ (2 Euros)

Travel notes: It turns out Sanary was a refuge for members of the French resistance and a haven for Thomas Mann and others during the early days of WWll. Off to Bandon for a winery tour later today

kyle 1:24 AM  

Interliner? Inner liner maybe...?

Apple Coconutoil Methods 1:26 AM  

BEATLES in the house and I totally missed it!!!
Love love love love love's eeeeeasy!

How tricky then to have LET IT be ALready was really GO. Earlier draft with BE or just coincidence?

Started with JOHNDENVER and didn't stop..but gotta remind everyone he got his statrt in Minnesota...not exactly rocky mountain high.

Was held up with coke SnoRTING (didn't know the Seymour ref so it could've been REEVo for all I knew.
But NOTLEY seemed NOTLikeLY.)
Couldn't believe Will had let both DECAPITATE and coke SnorTING in the same puzzle. Turns out he didn't !

My Ghost had to transmorgrify into Ghoul before it became a GONER. And I Ranted and Raved till I ROARedAT. But otherwise I'd say again, it's eeeeeasy.

love is all you need!

Fabulous Peter and thanks whoever noticed and posted about the Beatles for doing that! Reason 847 to read the comments too. Maybe the constructor's name is a nod to PETE Best!!! Maybe STL started off as STu?!

OHMYGOD, now I'm noticing APPLEcores...and INON is an anagram of I ONO!!!!!!!!
HEY Jude ...what ELSE?!?!?!

And did everyone read that article about Tim Croce who submitted a puzzle in 2001 when he was in highschool and it just got accepted NOW!!!!!
I predict that crazy factoid will become legendary and quoted now in every article from here on out!!!

Acme 1:32 AM

Here is the Tim Croce article

Almas Cutsinla Mondes 2:42 AM  

Oops, INON is not an anagram of I ONO.
My bad. I blame it on BEATLE mania.

jae 3:02 AM  

@Andrea -- that would be me who somewhat cryptically pointed out the BEATLES theme in my initial post (this is about puzzles right?). Credit, however, goes to Amy whose blog I almost always check before coming here.

And, that would be Jane Seymour who starred with the late Christopher REEVE in the clued movie.

Anonymous 5:14 AM  

how in the world could anybody miss this theme? the word BEATLES is right in the center of the puzzle! and then you have to literally write out 'john' 'george' 'ringo' and 'paul'

Cathelou 6:14 AM  

SnEezING also works as an answer for 23a, Coke user's activity. Held me up for a while. Loved the puzzle!

Milford 6:48 AM  

Well, I will also admit to not seeing the Beatles theme (even if it's inconceivable to anon). I will chalk it up to: 1) it's Friday, so I wasn't looking for any theme, 2) BEATLES was literally the last answer I entered, and 3) I solve at 10PM, often with an adult beverage in hand (last night it was an Oberon).

I had the same coke misdirect progression as Rex described, plus the touchdown reference led me from football, to pilots, to finally the BEATLES. Very cool to have to work through all that!

Technically DNFed due to having INnERLINER/NnS, but no complaints from me. Great puzzle overall!

@Z - I am amused by your tally marks for captchas.

jackj 7:53 AM  

When one first looks at the puzzle and sees JOHNDENVER and JEDI as obvious answers to 1across and 1down, it’s hard not to think “this is going to be a breeze” and it is.

Cluing for most of the long entries seemed deliberately soft, with such as “The main characters are usually introduced in it” clearly asking for EPISODEONE, FLATRATE was the certain entry wanted for “It’s the same for all customers” and if Family Feud asked for a response to “Acts rudely at a supermarket, say” there seems no doubt that the number one answer would be CUTSINLINE.

Not all the 10 letter answers were quite as easy though as APPLECORES and DECAPITATE were cleverly clued and gave a nice mini-“Aha” when sorted out and ORGANDONOR made a bravura appearance (and, hopefully, reminded some of the easy opportunity to become one).

Not being familiar with Dr. Seuss, a Wiki look gave a quickie summary of the environmental tale “The Lorax” with the evil, greedy Once-LER providing the tension and eventually the moral of the story, but it seemed rather sophisticated for ages 4 to 8 and seemed equally iffy as a crossword answer, (though better than the usual Maleskan era clue of “Celtic sea god”).

Peter has given us a lively Friday puzzle that, (despite the clever inclusion of the Beatles), would have been much more enjoyable had it been sprinkled with a generous dose of devious dust.

Sir Hillary 8:28 AM  

Easieast Friday in ages for me. Fourteen 10-letter entries, and all of them pop -- very nice! Love of Johnny Cash and Dr. Seuss gave me a couple of helpful footholds.

Hands up for SNORTING coke -- does that make me a bad person? Also wanted CHAPTERONE. Thankfully, I never wrote either of those in.

Agree with jackj that this one could have been a real beauty with some crunchier cluing, although the 56A clue is wonderful.

Totally missed the four BEATLES in plain sight until I came here.

Loren Muse Smith 8:48 AM  

I rate this one medium challenging –compared to yesterday, it was more of a struggle and for a while, I got nowhere. Man, ORMER was tough, and I knew it would be the WOTD. If I fell behind early, it was because of “tel” instead of TOV and the OPA, CPU pair. The whole due south had me thinking, “Help!” As I type “are APPLE CORES delicious?”, I’m guessing it means “red delicious APPLES? I was able to get back on a ROLL once I saw SISTINE for Raphael’s lady Madonna.

“Taxman” for ASCAP. – nah. Doesn’t fit. For “hits the ground silently” I thought, “Please let it be SNOW” and it was! Love that clue. @Sir Hillary - I, too, had “chapter one” for EPISODE ONE, thinking paperback.

Writer of state songs DENVER – he wrote “Almost Heaven” I think for western Virginia, but it’s our state song and is always the last song played here at a wedding reception – everyone, invariably, will come together in a circle and sing it at the top of their lungs, eyes closed, heads turned upwards. Really. Every. Single. Time.

Andrea is right – a reason to read this blog is to see the mini theme. I would have finished the puzzle and gone on with my day never noticing the BEATLES names. Think of the thousands of people out there who will do just that. Pity. I’m so glad this blog exists. This place is really something.

Sly, sly Friday, Peter. Thanks for the kick-off of a good day; sunshine again and low humidity!

joho 8:50 AM  

Loved the BEATLES theme! The added layer so unexpected ... and welcome ... on a Friday. Easy, yes, but fun!

Like @Milford I had an error at INnER but HEY, it didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this puzzle.

Thanks, Peter!

jberg 9:19 AM  

@Rex now mentions the Beatles-in-the-corners thing at the top of his post,so I guess he edited it after commenters pointed it out. Fair enough, since he then comments on it. But I guess the themeless-on-a-Friday rule isn't really one.

ORMER was in a clue a couple of days ago, or I'd never have got it. Fortunately, I dredged up the memory, so my only problems were that I'd never heard "hayshaker," so figured you must shake hay in a rICK, and that therefore the CO state-song composer must be Jared somebody. Also variEd before MOTLEY, but that didn't last long.

I had APPLE CORES long before I understood it - kept saying, "but they don't really taste that good, how can he call them 'delicious.'" Then somehow it dawned on me.

I don't think the ? marks were necessary for 16A and 36A, especially the latter.

Happy 9:40 AM  

Gee, the blogmaster is sure feeling grumpy today. An amazing number of theme words in today's puzzle. Could apples cores be a play on apple corp.? Don't know if the Beatles were affiliated with ASCAP or BMI. Anyone know?

Some other musically related answers. Some of the Beatles recordings include a 12D as an instrument (organ). If you are dancing to a Beatles song with a partner, someone else might want to 11D (cut in). And perhaps I'm going a little too far when I say that some of the Beatles songs include violins in the instrumentation, but 41A was never included in the orchestra (Isaac Stern(.

The right side of the puzzle was VERY easy, perhaps a Tuesday level. If you got John Denver (which shold have come to mind if you got 1D 0 Jedi) , the NW corner was fairly easy. And if enough crosses suggested 25D (Ring of Fire), that corner was pretty straightforward. Easy but enjoyable puzzle even if you did not realize (as I did not) that this puzzle was one of the few themed Friday puzzles.

No problem at all with the quality of the fill, since I'm used to much worse. The difficulty level was probably due more to the cluing than the fill, and for that Shortz ultimately gets the blame.

And about ormer. I don't mind odd words, in fact I enjoy odd words much more than obscure names. Perhaps the clue should have been "What some Brits call abalone."

Nitty Griddy 10:02 AM  

Note to constructors - one way to judge a themeless puzzle is by how good the 3-letter words are. Yes, 10-letter stacks are nice, but 3-letter words count too. I see this way too often in puzzles, where constructors seem to think that 3-letter answers can be total crap as long as the 10s are interesting. The true test of such corners is that the 3s are words as well. In today's puzzle, 8 out of 10 of the perimeter 3s are crap entries - NTS, INO, NSA, VOA, ENT, OPA. CPU, and TOV. Only COG and ERR are common words. That percentage needs to be increased and by a lot. Constructors should view 3-letter entries as real words and not just crutches made of crud.

Matthew G. 10:03 AM  

Overlooked the theme until I came here, for the very simple reason that I don't look for one on Fridays. Just thought I was doing a super-easy themeless -- this was a Friday record for me, and it wasn't close.

This was pretty excellent -- only the SW was annoying, with the repulsive ORMER and the not-sure-that-sounds-quite-right INTERLINER. That crossing pretty much had to be R, so I got it correct, but still, yuck.

Everything else was pretty much gold, though. Now that the theme has been pointed out, I disagree with Rex, and I quite like it. It's a "light theme" for a reason -- it mostly allows this to play like a themeless (my preferred kind of crossword) while having an easter egg at the end. It's something fresh, despite the stink of bad tuna.

chefbea 10:04 AM  

What a great puzzle. Glad the Beatle theme was pointed out.

We have delicious leftovers all the time!!! what a great clue

retired_chemist 10:12 AM  

Enjoyed it. Did not see the Beatles skulking in the corners, because a Friday is themeless, no?

Hand up for SNORTING coke (thought it was pretty edgy for the NYT), for disliking LER more than ORMER (for which @happy made a good case), and for ARROW as bow's counterpart.

The J from JEDI gave me JEROME KERN instead of John Denver, which crosses soon straightened out. But how come Colorado didn't have a song well before John Denver was born? It has been a state since 1876. Or did they just disrespectfully ditch the original?

APPLE CORES' deliciousness is, I suppose, a matter of taste.

Does OPEN NET mean undefended, as in basketball or hockey? A headscratcher here....

Lots to like about this, little not to. Thanks, Mr. Collins.

quilter1 10:19 AM  

I concur with others that this was a fun and interesting Friday puzzle. I also had fra before STE and wanted chapter ONE, but the JEDI wouldn't let me.

Just FYI, I have sewn many garments including coats and the interlining is used to give structure to the collar, front facings and sometimes cuffs. It does not add warmth. I agree with @kyle that inner lining is more technically correct. But this is my only nit to pick and I suspect Mr. Collins hasn't sewn much.

Sea Otter lexicographer 10:21 AM  

We call abalone EEKAS. Seems as fair an entry as ORMER.

John V 10:28 AM  

Got stuck in the middle, kept wanting SNORTING, couldn't get MOTLEY/RIO. Otherwise medium. Didn't look for/didn't see Beatles theme.

Beautiful day in CT.

For The Record 10:30 AM  


Colorado's (your?) State Song is "Rocky Mountain High", "Almost Heaven" is indeed about W. Virginia.


On March 12, 2007, the Colorado General Assembly declared

That we, the members of the General Assembly, do hereby designate John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" as one of the official state songs ranking equally with "Where the Columbines Grow".

chefbea 10:33 AM  

@Retired chemist Doesn't mean the apple cores are delicious.... think the name of the apple...Delicious, and what is left over??

Two Ponies 10:34 AM  

Loved the puzzle but hate myself for missing the theme. Oh well, just wasn't expecting one on a Friday.
I'm a fan of Brit-speak so I'm glad to learn a new word.
Thanks @quilter1 for confirming interliner as a real, if inaccurate, word.
@dk, Thanks for the travel updates. I'm envious.

WA 10:37 AM  

I thought the theme was drugs. Rocky Mountain High, Beatles, John, George, Ringo, and Paul, snow, cuts in line, pure, and dopier, so I naturally had snorting coke but boy that ormer really threw me off.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:37 AM  

I found this puzz to be super-easy; I caught on to the theme early enough that I could put in PAULREVERE with no crosses.

But I finished with a wrong letter: Another hand up for INNERLINER and not noticing that NNS didn't make sense.

All those who bemoan the appearance of LER, however clued: Beware the wrath of Ooxteplernon!

retired_chemist 10:43 AM  

@chefbea - thanks. I am used to prefacing Delicious with Red or Golden so I missed the point of the clue.

Carola 10:48 AM  

A pleasure of a Friday - loved it even before coming here and discovering that the BEATLES are hiding in plain sight, along with their record label and ASCAP. Very neat. Thanks to all who pointed out the connections.

@ WA - I also was thinking SnorTING, which would have fit with SNOW, but totally overlooked all that other vocab!


Thank you, Peter Collins. The only thing wrong with this one was that it went by too quickly.

RI Squasher 10:49 AM  

I haven't finished today's puzzle yet so I can't comment on it. Instead this is related to the Aug. 16 puzzle which included the clue "twist tie" and the answer "BAG CLIP". This led to a bit of a discussion with some people mentioning those little plastic square things that close a bread bag. Today I was reading a blog devoted to sports uniforms (as I'v mentioned I'm a sports geek) and there's a very interesting piece about those little plastic squares that I thought would be of interest.

Sandy K 11:09 AM  

I'm with all those who did not expect a theme on Friday.

Was pleasantly surprised when Rex revealed the Beatles theme...very cool!

Thought I had 100% but INnERLINER done me in!

Enjoyed Mr. Collins METHOD of tricky cluing for Beatles and 'Delicious' leftovers...ORMER- not so much.

HEY JEDI, don't make it bad...

Evan 11:18 AM  

@Nitty Griddy:

It's a fair point -- legit 3-letter words make for a much cleaner grid than one that has way too much crosswordese and less-than-common abbreviations, and it's good to reiterate their importance to the puzzle. It's probably also fair to question whether this grid has too many 3-letter entries (22 of them). Having said that, I don't agree that all of the ones you listed are bad: NSA is a very well-known government organization, and TOV would otherwise be completely recognizable if it were not given a Friday-level clue but were instead "Mazel ___!"

(On the other hand, if we also count 3-letter words in the interior, LER can certainly be added to the crap mix. But, if we're going by percentages, I'd count 12 of those 22 3-letter words as real, non-obscure, non-abbreviated words and names. It could perhaps be better, but I don't think it's as bad as you suggest it is here.)


Yes, it's a hockey reference. When a hockey team pulls its goalie to put in an extra player on offense, that leaves the team with an OPEN NET.

hazel 11:26 AM  

Wow. Loved it - also clueless about the theme and i got BEATLES fairly early on. Interesting how so many of us are creatures of habit - (and i never ever think of myself in this way!!) not looking for a theme, i completely overlooked the obvious. As my mom would say, if it had been a snake, it would have bitten me!!

Very cool puzzle.

Matthew G. 11:28 AM  


Although the more commonly used term is "empty net," not "open net."

JFC 11:37 AM  

What's wrong with bow being the font of a boat and its counterpart STERN being the rear of the boat?

Or is that one of Rex's jokes?

Liked the puzzle....


KRMunson 11:41 AM  

I so wanted 55 across to be "reel" - ("stick by the water") to complete the fishing sub-theme along with 46 across ("rod") and 45 across ("fishes"). I don't personally fish, but it just fit. Anybody else notice this omission?

retired_chemist 11:44 AM  

Thanks, @Evan and @Matthew re OPEN NET.

And earlier I forgot to thank @ForTheRecord re the Colorado state song. Events subsequent to 1977 make the original song, with Columbine in the title, distasteful to say the least.

Milford 11:55 AM  

FWIW, I took the OPEN NETS as referring to soccer, when the keeper is out of position and a shot on goal is eminent. Then again, my daughter is a goalkeeper and this is where my brain went...

heathcliff 11:57 AM  

Interliner is not a word.

GenJoneser 12:20 PM  

Ok gotta set one thing straight: The West Virginia song is titled
"Take Me Home, Country Roads" not "Almost Heaven".
Those are the first two words of the song which was CO-written
by John Denver (aka Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.),
Bill Danoff & Taffy Nivert
(the latter two became members of the Starland Vocal Band
whose records were released by Denver's label Windsong.

Yes did that mostly from memory.
I was a HUGE Denver nerd as a kid.
Alright had to look up the proper spelling of Deutschendorf.

Sue me!

Happy Friday all!

syndy 12:35 PM  

Apparently one can Interline for warmth instead of structure using lambswool or thinsulate this material in inbetween the coat and the innerlining. It is a real thing!I googled Coat Interliner and got someones cool blog on sewing coats.

Anonymous 1:44 PM  


interliner, innerliner?

Just love your name!! From my favorite movie of all time...

Numbers Guy 1:58 PM  

found out today that if you put cocobutter in your hair you'll never get it out. and if you dont get it out you'll never finish the SE corner.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

Pretty easy; it seems I came across "ormer" recently in another c/w. "Interliner" and "hayshaker" were new ones on me, but easy to get with the cross clues. Didn't see the Fab Four theme until I was done. Sept. 14 is not a particularly auspicious day in Beatles history as far as I know- it is none of their birthdays, or the anniversaries of John and George's deaths, or the date of the release of any of their significant albums, or of the dates of their 1964 U.S. arrival/appearances on "Ed Sullivan," etc., or of their last paid concert (Candlestick Park, SF, 8/29/66) or of the "rooftop concert" at the Abbey Road studios (1/30/69). So not sure why this theme, today. Fridays and Sats. are usually themeless anyway.

Anonymous 2:04 PM  

P.S.- I've always been much more of Rolling Stones fan anyway.

fergus 2:23 PM  

GOLEM stuck me with PAUL MELLON.

Also CHAPTER ONE; OPENING ACT considerations.

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

Applecores is also kind of an oblique Beatles reference, no?
Completely missed the Beatles theme - and after playing the Social D Ring of Fire video, went to All You Need is Love because the missus just isn't a punk rocker.

quilter1 2:56 PM  

@heathcliff: once again, interlining is a real thing. I have used it and currently own a yard or so. See @syndy's comment above also.

Stephen 2:58 PM  

I just started laughing when I saw @rexparker's comment about Merle Haggard singing Disco Inferno. Mostly because Ring of Fire was Johnny Cash. Good job.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 3:22 PM  

thUmbsUp for theme on Fridays. Kinda fun to have the long themers on the edges. Don't see that much. Also fun to have a potential revealer in the middle, but the wily Shortzmeister just "let it be". APPLE (record label) also a nice extra credit item.

Fave clue: "Head off?" Scary that I got it with very few crosses.
Fave fillins: INTERLINER. Never heard of this. Something to keep you ORMER, evidently?

mac 3:41 PM  

Easy Friday, but I never looked for a theme and found out about the Beatles here. Looking over the puzzle, now, I think the drug theme is even stronger. Even SNOW!

I also had chapter one slowing me down, and "speeding" for the coke clue. I don't know about drugs. I had a hard time realizing Seymour was a female, with Philip Seymour Hoffman staring at me above the puzzle.

For warmth, you put in a LINER, which you never put on the outside when you are sober, and your use interlining in collars, cuffs etc. for body.

OK, back to packing for the late evening flight to Holland.

Lewis 3:48 PM  

I don't see this as a weak theme, with the BEATLES in the middle and the four stars in the corner.

The puzzle wasn't easy for me, but easier than a typical Friday...

sanfranman59 4:07 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)

Fri 18:37, 24:33, 0.76, 13%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 10:38, 12:12, 0.87, 33%, Easy-Medium

JenCT 4:11 PM  


Hand up for SNORTING.

(sigh) These puzzles are never as easy for me as the rest of you say they are...

I liked HEN, of course.

Pete 4:30 PM  

I've become resentful about being quizzed on the Book of Mormon, and characters therein.

retired_chemist 4:36 PM  

@ JenCT - if it's on the decapitatee's driver's license.

captcha has an a and t together positioned so they look like the lower case Old English edh. WTF - how do I type that was my first impression.

luisa massim 11:05 PM  

I agree that bow's counterpart is stern and not the Isaac variety. If it was meant to be musical the wonderful Isaac wouldn't really be the counterpart, would he?

Zwhatever 11:51 PM  

Writing from Versailles OH. Cornfields are everywhere.

APPLE CORES are now made by Intel.

Loved the puzzle, although the SE took me forever.

Glad that at least one person likes my captcha counting.


Stephen 10:38 PM  

It had a theme. wooah. It's a good thing I have Rex to tell me what I missed. duh.

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

Great puzzle, Mr. Collins, thank you for a fun hour. Take this from an old man: Disregard the small minded nitpickers and compainers. They'd have something negative to say about finding a 100 dollar bill on the street because it was wrinkled.
Ron Diego 8:10 AM, PDT

Ginger 1:46 PM  

I can't believe I finished a Friday with out Uncle Google, only to discover NNS is wrong. GRR

The clue for 10-D refers to one of my all time favorite movies, 'Somewhere in Time' Soooo romantic..well worth looking up. And guys...great 'date nite movie'.

John Denver died in an experimental 'kit' plane that he crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Apparently there was a problem with switching fuel tanks.

@Numbers Guy 2:03 you had me snorting my coffee.

I wanted twEakING for 23-A, which would have fit with the drug theme.

Really enjoyed the workout, Thanks Mr. Collins

DMGrandma 2:02 PM  

First impulse was JOHNDENVER was too obvious, but tried it anyway,and the puzzle unfolded. There were words I didn't know, OMER and INO come to mind but it worked out. Was really helped by getting PAULREVERE off just the "a" and "r". How,I don't understand. Must confess I totally missed the theme. Also wondered what one did with APPLECORES, as leftovers at my house means you'll see this again in some form. Tonight the last of the chicken will appear as enchiladas. Ole!

Spacecraft 2:26 PM  

My experience was the exact opposite of @Happy's. The west--especially the NW--fell in like a raw recruit. The NE came after MONDE and ORGANDONOR (I am one). The center was tougher, and held a near-Natick for me: was it a POSTBALLOT or a LOSTBALLOT? Never heard of the Seuss guy; this must have been in one of his lesser-known works. Luckily, I picked the L.

Then the SE. I stewed in this corner for awhile before coming up with 49d: what ELSE could it be? I thought 44d might be GOLEM, as this word seems to be a favorite among constructors. Then the aha! of the meaning of "delicious" in the 56a clue put it all in place.

Finished with no errors or help, but still had no clue about the theme till I read Rex's blog. Far from denigrating the "thinness" of it, I applaud summa cum laude any theme that is so well hidden. It is absolutely seamless! There didn't seem to be an ounce of strain to include any of it. That is an unqualified triumph to this solver. Kudos Peter!

Solving in Seattle 3:47 PM  

I have to echo @Spacecraft - really a fun, clever puzzle by Peter Collins.


It took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to give up on COCObUTter, making the SE the last to fall.

I didn't see the theme until coming to 31's blog. How intricate. A delicious CW.

Still fuming over the 49ers kicking Seahawk tail last night.

Waxy in Montreal 3:51 PM  

Fortunately had read The Lorax to a couple of grandkids over the weekend so Dr, Seuss became a gimme. Had the same GOLEM goof for 44D as @Spacecraft which slowed up southeast solving significantly. Even though the puzzle is at best Wednesday-worthy in terms of toughness, loved the hidden Beatle theme - a sydibonus is that it's exactly 50 years this month since they released their first single, Love Me Do, in October 1962.

Dirigonzo 7:39 PM  

Who knew there could be so many possible wrong answers for the "coke user's" clue? Finally seeing SMELTING was an "aha" moment for me. The only section to put up much resistance was the SE, until I realized the Delicious is a type of apple and the leftovers became obvious. Does Intel really make CPUs? I know they make the chips that go in CPUs ("Intel inside") - what am I missing?

Finished with NnS in my grid, and never saw the theme so there's still much room for improvement in my solving skills - I guess I'll lurk and learn (hi, @Ginger) here a while longer.

Anonymous 11:54 PM  

May have been the easiest Friday ever for me (usually they're DNF or take a couple days) and fun though I missed the theme entirely in not expecting one.

Anonyrat 5:48 AM  

DNF thanks to INnERLINER.
RINGOFFIRE was my first entry, although I have to admit it was years before I knew it was a country/Johnny Cash tune. Would have liked it if Rex's write-up had included a link to the video ( Wall Of Voodoo performing it, instead of the Disco Inferno video. Saw WOV live at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Hollywood in 1981. They ended the show the same way - walking off the stage and leaving the synthesizers playing themselves.

Unknown 2:55 AM  

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