Simon of opera / FRI 9-7-12 / Speed Six maker / Azadi Stadium setting / Currency taken out of circulation 1953 / Great 18th century ruler / Bait fish for pike angling / Like joule watt-second

Friday, September 7, 2012

Constructor: Martin Ashwood-Smith

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: William DEMAREST (20D: William of "My Three Sons") —
Carl William Demarest (February 27, 1892 – December 28, 1983) was an American character actor.[1] A veteran of World War I, Demarest became a prolific film and television actor, working on over 140 films. He frequently played crusty but good-hearted roles. [...] He started in show business working in vaudeville, appearing with his wife as "Demarest and Colette", then moved on to Broadway. His film career began in 1926 and spanned the decades up to the 1970s. Demarest worked regularly with director Preston Sturges, becoming part of a "stock" troupe of actors that Sturges repeatedly cast in his films. He appeared in ten films written by Sturges, eight of which were under his direction, including The Lady EveSullivan's Travels, and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. His most famous TV role was in the ABC and thenCBS sitcom My Three Sons from 1965 to 1972, playing Uncle Charley O'Casey. He replacedWilliam Frawley, whose failing health had made procuring insurance impossible. Demarest had worked with Fred MacMurray previously in the 1935 film Hands Across the Table, the 1945 filmPardon My Past, the 1948 film On Our Merry Way and the 1955 film The Far Horizons and was a personal friend of MacMurray. (wikipedia)
• • •

Not much to say about this one tonight, both because I am tired and have already spent valuable blog-writing time watching the President speak at the DNC, and because the puzzle is really good. Stacks often drive me nuts because, typically, at least one of the longer answers feels forced and several of the crosses are just painful. But except for ECH, ASLOPE, and maybe A DEAD, I don't see that much to complain about, which is especially remarkable given that the central 3-stack is really, through its nine-letter center, a 5-stack! Plus there are great bits of fill all over the place, like COLD SWEAT and FAKE IT. Oh, I don't know what DACE are (6D: Bait fish for pike angling) ... and there's some bygone currency I've never heard (RIN) — and yet I'm not inclined to hold these little answers against the puzzle, especially considering how good the grid is overall. I NEED A VOLUNTEER (30A: Statement resulting in hand-raising) and LET THERE BE LIGHT are really golden grid-spanning answers.

Quick start with ALECS at 1A: "The Black Stallion" hero and others and LOTTS at 2D: 1990s Senate majority leader and family. (I just realized that that's two plural names in one tiny little section, which is ... less than good)  EELS, TAD, and ESTES (once a mystery, now a gimme; 14D: Simon of opera) got me into the NE. LOW-COST AIRLINES (11D: Options for reduced fare) took me down into the SE, which fell pretty easily, but the center was harder to get into. I started with SO I instead of I'LL at 30D: "___ see", so that didn't help, but at least I had the good sense to ditch it quickly when it didn't mesh with the next two answers I got, which were adjacent: NEE and EAT. Managed then to get LET THERE BE LIGHT (37A: First commandment?) off just that initial -ET, and from there brought the rest of the center into light.

There was a bunch of stuff I didn't know at all, but the crosses made them easy to sort out—stuff like IRAN (50A: Azadi Stadium setting) and EZIO PINZA (a name I know *exclusively* from xwords) (55A: Lana Turner's "Mr. Imperium" co-star, 1951), and BENTLEY (25D: Speed Six maker). I've heard of "TEEN ANGEL"(57A: #1 hit song that asks "Are you somewhere up above?"; isn't "hit" redundant here?), but the only song I can call up with "Angel" in the title at this point is "Earth Angel." Or "Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton. Or "Johnny Angel." OK, I can call up a lot if I sit here in try. I just can't hear "TEEN ANGEL" in my head. So I'll hear it now:

  • 13D: Mimic Mae West (TEASE) — odd. She did some teasing, I guess. But there are so many other things she did (not to mention so many other ways to clue TEASE) that this clue just felt like an awkward fit. 
  • 43D: Player of TV detective Spenser (URICH) — watched "Spenser: For Hire" a lot in the '80s. My mom thought Robert URICH was handsome, a feeling I respected a lot more than her fondness for a certain *other* P.I. named Magnum.
  • 44D: Auxiliary memory for fast retrieval (CACHE) — nice modern clue on this one.
  • 53D: Currency unit taken out of circulation in 1953 (RIN) — Ew, bygone currency. Didn't even see this one. I'd've gone with ["There's no ___ 'team'"]. Just makes more sense.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


joho 8:33 AM  

Yikes, where is everybody?!

I really liked this one. Just kept plugging away with one little aha moment after the other. Very satisfying in the end.

With DIETPLATE already in place I confidently wrote in LOWCaloriemeals and thought what a great cross! And EAT is in the puzzle, too!

That was corrected without too much trouble as were beret before TOQUE and inLUCK before BYLUCK.

Thank you, Martin Ashwood-Smith, for a great Friday!

Evan 8:37 AM  

Easy-medium for me. I had PAD THAI on Thursday night so that was quite a timely answer. About the only thing I didn't like was the triple abbreviation stack of ENG/ECH/RET crossing the big 15s, but at least those 15s were all good.

Fun fact: Robert URICH was the host of a 1996 FOX TV special called "When Animals Attack." That was how I first learned about him, back in the day when FOX ran a lot of exploitative bullshit shows with a title template of "When [Nouns] [Verb]."

lawprof 8:50 AM  

Glad SOMEBODY found this easy. As for me, I kept going through the list -- Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island -- which one am I missing? In the end I just ran out of time, so I put it down and came here for a quick peek. Sorry I did, because I might have enjoyed it if I'd had more patience.

Loren Muse Smith 9:08 AM  

I can’t believe I knew DEMAREST. That, ONZE, and LET THERE BE LIGHT were my toe holds. Then pretty much nothing for quite a while. This was a struggle for me.

The early INES for “reduced fare” had me completely committed to “cuisines” or “routines.” What a great misdirect – it even crosses with DIET PLATES, yielding the LOW. Nicely done, Martin.

“Gets one’s feet wet” unfortunately fits for CUTS ONE’S TEETH ON, and “head count” fits for VOLUNTEER.

I like KATIE crossing CATHERINE.

My Mae “tempted” before she TEASEd.

“Buzz” before DING gave me the two Z’s to cause me to write in “Ruth Buzzi” as Lana’s costar, thinking, “Wow. The things you learn in crosswords. Who knew?” Jeeze Louise.

This puzzle was nice and chewy – definitely no DIET PLATE. Thanks, Martin.

jackj 9:11 AM  

King of the triple stacks, Martin Ashwood-Smith reels in his natural tendencies and limits himself to just one triple stack, (hopefully, crossword DT’s didn’t ensue), but, in spite of that or maybe because of that, he has given us a true gem of a Friday puzzle.

The Mississippian LOTTS have probably never said “SEZ” but they quickly cozied up to each other for this puzzle and confidently sent me off to pick out a DIETPLATE, work up a COLDSWEAT and dial up some AREACODES.

Then, putting in DEMAREST as a gimme, things were really looking rosy for a speedy solve until the “Bowery boy” didn’t know whether he was an EASTENDER or an EASTSIDER and that second “Option for reduced fare” clue wanted to be LOWCALORIESODAS. Grrrr.

So, for a time, the EZIOPINZA(s), PADTHAI(s) and TEENANGEL(s) looked nice but didn’t mean much until NOSES confirmed EASTSIDER and BYLUCK said “forget food and try LOWCOSTAIRLINES, you doofus” and the triple stack opened as smoothly as time lapse photos of blooming roses and the puzzle was complete.

Thanks Martin; it made my day!

GILL I. 9:39 AM  

I just could not get started in any direction and when I did, my DING was a dong, KATIE was Sadie, LOW calorie lunch wouldn't go away, LOTTS?? STUTZ (who he?) DEMAREST??
I put it down, came back and was so happy to get LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Kept picking, picking and was able to fill in most of the blanks. Came back later and realized I couldn't get SEZ up in that top corner.
Even so, my favorite British sounding author provided a good romp in puzzledome. He could have left out TEEN ANGEL though....That is the most depressing song I ever heard.

jberg 9:40 AM  

Hey, I know I'm old, but you don't have to rub it in - "TEEN ANGEL" was a gig gimme, as was EZIO PINZA once I had ONZE. I can't say I liked DOZY much, but otherwise a great puzzle - just hard enough, but a nice smooth solve. And all those Zs!

I was too sick to finish yesterday, but feeling much better now, and this puzzle certainly helped with that.

Jim Walker 9:46 AM  

A very nice puzzle indeed. Couldn't see FACET as a creation. Didn't know Black Stallion so had PUTSONESTEETHON for way too long. Even as a teenager I hated TEENANGEL. Somethings never change.

hazel 10:02 AM  

First, i finished it, which is sort of a miracle given the great swaths of white I had for the longest time. Uncle Charlie and Catherine the Great (both initially misspelled) and dead heat were it for awhile.

I'm predisposed to like it because (1) a miracle occurred and (2) i had to completely empty the puzzling tank to finish it. But, when i finished, i felt more relieved than satisfied. Looking back, there was just nothing inherently interesting to me - it was, in fact, completely forgettable. I'll blame society and not the puzzle, though!

Listening to TEENANGEL did not improve my mood!!

chassie 10:16 AM  

No r-in team? Isn't it no i-in team?

jae 10:24 AM  

Medium-tough for me, but watching the convention while doing the puzzle may have had an adverse effect.   Mostly though, I just went down too many wrong paths.  Like @joho,  off of DIETPLATE I decided to go with LOWCALORIE...for 11d which made me erase ABODES and messed up the pretty impressive middle 3 stack.  I also tried at least three different spellings of DEMAREST, had AMAS before AMAT, and briefly went with DOLES for 2d.  Last entry was the Z in SEZ.   Got it all straightened out but it took a while.

Oh, and me too for SOI

Very solid Fri.  Liked it a lot.  Thanks MAS. 

Evan 10:26 AM  


The joke is that there is no R IN team either.

Sir Hillary 10:27 AM  

Didn't love this one. Maybe this is too harsh, but when you are forced to have ENG, ECH and RET next to one another, shouldn't you try something else? ILL, NEE and EAT are at least full words, but not too interesting. The longer entries are pretty cool, although LEASTRESISTANCE suffers from, as Rex might put it, the "ANTLERS" problem. At first, I thought LOWCOSTAIRLINES was random -- like, say, LOWCOSTFISHFOOD. But it's a searchable term on Google and has a Wikipedia page, so I guess I was wrong on that.

OK, having written this, I grant that this was a nice construction. I just couldn't get into it. Too much crosswordese for me.

Carola 10:40 AM  

Every word of TEEN ANGEL is deeply etched into my memory CACHE ("They say they found my hiiiiiigh school ring/ Cuh-lutched in your fingers tight") and that saved me in the lower tier.

Super Friday! But definitely a DOoZY for me. I had to build from the top and bottom toward the middle, hoping I'd get enough crossing letters to have the 15-ers leap out at me. Took a while!

I have an image of a 1920s flapper cutie wearing a TOQUE in a STUTZ Bearcat.

@joho - Same here on the beret and the low-calorie meals.

Thank you, Martin Ashwood-Smith - I really enjoyed figuring this one out.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:44 AM  

Great Friday puzzle!

I came thisclose to giving up, but took a short break, came back, and finished, no write-overs, all correct.

Re: ENG/ECH/RET: Had they been at the beginning of the stack, they might have been bad news indeed, but since they came at the end, they pretty much filled themselves in (and they really aren't that bad, IMHO.)

GenJoneser 10:48 AM  

Please think Merrilee Rush when you think
"Angel of the Morning" Love that raspy sound
and originals are usually better.
(Alien & Aliens excepted!)
Happy weekend all!

John V 10:50 AM  

Medium? Really? Worst Friday DNF in quite some time. ALEC, STUTZ, ASLOPE, etc, etc. Way to much trouble to bore everyone; mostly white space when I put down the pencil.

It's just me, I guess, but, as I look back on Martin Ashwood-Smith's recent Friday and Saturday puzzles, I'm reminded that it's common that I most often don't get on his wavelength. Not the constructor's fault; just the way I'm wired.

quilter1 10:51 AM  

Almost ten a.m. and only 13 comments? The DNR must have worn everyone out.
Solved from the bottom up and made lots of the same mistakes/corrections as others. TEENANGEL is a dreadful song, but a good answer as were all the central and vertical long answers. While I worked hard in places I really enjoyed the experience.
Now to put on my 225 readers and prove I'm not a robot.

Two Ponies 10:59 AM  

I had no idea what a Speed Six was. It sounded like movie sequel or maybe a video game. I was much happier with the Bentley/Stutz pairing.
Even at the time, I hated Teen Angel. You died trying to save a friggin' ring? Step on up for your Darwin Award you idiot.
Nice grid Martin, Thanks.

Sparky 11:07 AM  

DEMAREST a gimmie. Then EVERT. Downhill from there. 28d-beans, 30d-soi, etc. @JohnV: same here. Thanks JohnV for being generally helpful always and for pointing out the DAD thing too.

Have a good weekend one and all.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Hi folks,

Thanks the great feedback today. As for the "ECH" part of the grid... it's more of the "YECH" part of the grid! I would have avoided it if I could, but unfortunately it would have meant scrapping pretty much the whole puzzle. So it was essentially a trade off: one crappy 3-letter word (OK, three crappy 3-letter words) for a nice open middle section. Hopefully the trade off was worth it :)

-Martin Ashwood-Smith

chefwen 11:21 AM  

Woo Hoo! A Google free Friday, it doesn't get any better than that.

Started out with PAD THAI, one of my specialties and favorites. On to the dreaded DIET PLATE, boring! Each time one of the looong ones fell was cause for a mini celebration.

Thank you for stopping by and a BIG thanks for a fun Friday puzzle Martin Ashwood-Smith.

Carola 11:30 AM  

@Two Ponies -
Love your Darwin Award! Another contender could be "Johnny get angry, Johnny get mad... I want a brave man, I want a cave man...."

Cheerio 11:35 AM  

I love this one. Thanks! I had the experience of @joho where you could figure answers out as you went along. That is puzzly heaven.

What is ECH anyway? I looked up its acronym meanings on Wikipedia and still don't get it.

Sandy K 11:36 AM  

Medium in difficulty, medium in substance...

To NAMENAMES, I liked conjuring up memories of the Bowery boys, EZIO PINZA, Robert URICH, CATHERINE the Great, and William DEMAREST- LOTTS!

Was not AMUSEDBY the hitherto mentioned RIN, RET, DOZY? DACE? ECH!!

Had to FAKEIT with PADTHAI...

Half and Half with my DIETPLATE today.

Car Guy 11:36 AM  

Love the car collection. With Z in SEZ in place, combo of Speed Six and rival clues led to BENTLEY/STUTZ. Stutz Bearcat sticks in my mind. Some slow going along the rest of the way - nice workout on a Friday. Thanks, Mr. Ashwood-Smith.

Still looking for NINE ELEVEN TURBO as grid-spanning answer.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:45 AM  

@Cheerio - I believe ECH = echelon.

joho 11:47 AM  

@Cheerio ... I took ECH to mean ECHelon. And, yes, this solve was really fun!

And, yes to you, Martin ... the trade off was definitely worth it!

chefbea 11:59 AM  

Got some of the puzzle but DNF. Googled and came here. I'm old enough to remember Ezio Pinza and William Demarest.

Milford 12:10 PM  

Tough Friday, but finally finished with some google help. Enjoyed it in the end.

Somehow I initially came up with William Frowley as the actor for Uncle Charlie, and was thus completely confused why it would not fit. Where does my brain store this stuff?

I had 6A as bluePLATE at first, and was sad I had to change it to the blah DIET. Also had flopSWEAT before COLD. I should keep track of my average number of writeovers on a Friday or Saturday. It's got to be pretty ridiculous.

As @lms stated before, the KATIE/CATHERINE cross was a nice touch!

OISK 1:19 PM  

Never heard of Demarest, and had Fakery instead of Fakeit for the longest time, until Pad Thai leaped into my consciousness. I ended up missing one square - I guess "Dozy" is a word, and there is a question mark in the clue, so that was fair enough. Went through the alphabet one letter at a time, but never tried the "z", or I would (I hope) have seen that "zeal" was completely apt for "Fire". My fault. Very good Friday puzzle.

mac 1:40 PM  

I had gong before ding, and a whole of unknowns and blankness, but I finished the whole thing without help!

My favorite kind of puzzle. Thank you Martin!

jaesmin100 1:45 PM  

Thanks Sway, I like puzzle toddler puzzl,ebaby puzzle, this puzzle too as it needs logical thinking to be able to complete. Will you be trying this out on your pupils?

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toddler puzzle
baby puzzle

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

I think 47 across should have been "dory" and 49 down "real." 'Dozy" seems a stretch to me.

Merle 2:39 PM  

Googled my way through. I thought this was a tough puzzle. Stuff I don't know about. Heard of Spenser, never watched it, so Urich would never come to mind. Except in the future, now that I've been Spenserized. Easy answers -- Catherine, Ezio Pinza, Teen Angel. Rex, you left out "Angel Face" in your list of Angel songs. My Angel song frame of reference is from the 1950's -- in the 1950's I was given the nickname Angel, because boys sang Angel Face and Earth Angel when they saw me. I had my 15 minutes of fame in 1959, when I was voted "Miss Beatnik 1959" by judges at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, and was known as "Angel, Queen of the Beatniks" -- "long long time ago, your mother would know...." Stutz is before my time, Bentley early in my time, but I heard of them. Dace was a gimme -- I don't fish, but a four-letter word for fish wouldn't be pike, since that was part of the clue, didn't think of worm as bait until just know -- dace at the time seemed like a good choice. And it was. Other clues and answers are beyond my knowledge range -- Evert, winner of seven French Open -- okay, must be a race -- bicycle? I dunno. "My Three Sons" William? My era, but who knew, who cared? Not me. What's an ETA -- what's football? Don't care. Never read/saw?? "The Black Stallion". Real cool clues and answers were the Dead End Kid - East Sider; pillbox -- toque; first commandment -- let there be light. The long answers were really fun throughout. I love Google. Otherwise I'd own up to the fact that although I used to zip through every NY Times puzzle once upon a time, back in the day, my get up and go has got up and went, I don't zip any more, I get stymied and Google.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

William Frawley, who is famous for his role as Fred Mertz on "I Love Lucy", originated the role of Uncle Charley on "My Three Sons".

William Demarest replaced Frawley "whose failing health had made procuring insurance impossible".

Sounds like he cudda used some Obamacare...

Lewis 2:57 PM  

I was thinking PUPPY LOVE for 57a, now I realize the line from that song is "Is the answer up above". But Puppylove fits, so that slowed me up.

It felt smooth, and not many Googlable answers, which I like.

Solid Friday puzzle.

Stevlb1 3:49 PM  

It took me a loooooooooooooong time!

Joe The Juggler 3:56 PM  

Yeah, DOZY was a doozy.

Anonymous 4:27 PM  

Hand up for soi before ILL see, but after seeing enough at the end of 30A to make out ___VOLUNTEER, I initally put in 'anyone', but that did not work with the statement part of the clue. Finally got it all though.

Some other false starts:

ASLidE before ASLOPE
RIo before RIN

Had something else in 11D leading to LINES, but I did such a good job writing over on my dead-tree puzz when I finally dropped LOW COST AIR-, I can't make out what it was before.

Really tough one, but well worth it, and always nice to hear constructor chime in.


ANON B 4:30 PM  

Will someone please explain:
1)PCS-they get booted
2)The joke about "no r in team"
and what in the puzzle it
refers to

Davis 4:34 PM  

This was an odd puzzle for me. I struggled with it as I had my morning coffee, then finally put it down one-third done while I took a shower. Came out and everything suddenly clicked, and I cruised through the remainder. I guess I just needed time for the caffeine to kick in?

Anyway, I'll add to the chorus of voices expressing pleasure with this puzzle. I really enjoyed this one — interesting fill, not too much crosswordese. The one dark spot for me: this is the first puzzle where I've come across EZIO PINZA. If you don't know that name, then the cross with RIN comes down to picking a random vowel (I had gone with A). Rather than play the game of trying every vowel until the app gave me the all-clear, I just went ahead and looked up our friend EZIO on IMDB.

michael 4:44 PM  

Nice puzzle. I did this early because the Obamas and the Bidens are speaking right outside the building where my office is in a few hours and the building is on lockdown all day. I stayed home, did a bit of work, and then went to the puzzle, which had a lot of ahas.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  


Personal Computers get booted.

You'll have to ask Rex about the no r in team...maybe no republican in team? (He was watching the DNC)

JFC 5:53 PM  

@Anon B - There is no "I" in "team" is a more common expression but read "R" as OUR, each a slogan for teamwork over individual play, especcially in basketball. Michael Jordan would say. "But there is an I in WIN."

Take care, Nate....


JDM68 6:03 PM  

Dozy is one of the worst in quite a while. The rest = excellent.

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

What's wrong with DOZY?

ANON B 6:28 PM  


I know all about no I in TEAM.
But what has "R" being the same
as "Our" to do with any clue or
answer in the puzzle or any of the above comments?


What's right with dozy?

Anonymous 6:32 PM  

Can make KATIE feel a TAD COZY,
But give her RET and ENG and ECH
and she'll be feeling...DOZY?

Anonymous 6:39 PM  

"Mairzy doats and DOZY doats
and liddle lamzy divey;
A kiddley divey too,
wouldn't you?"


GLR 6:40 PM  


I took Rex's "no r in team" comment to mean that the actual clue/answer in the puzzle was so obscure that the never-heard, but equally accurate phrase he suggests would have been just as good a clue.

Anonymous 6:44 PM  

I agree with @GLR

Anonymous 6:46 PM  

What's right with DOZY?

Um, it's a word. Google it, look it up in the dictionary, or whatever. It's hardly obscure.

JDM68 6:50 PM  

I did not mean it is not a legal word. It is. It is just a horrible word...

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

Darn those horrible words! Always slamming doors, having loud parties. Horrible.

JFC 7:59 PM  

@Anon B - GLR is probably right. Who knows? I doubt even Rex knows....


atlantasolver 8:38 PM  

What is a rin

Wikipedia 8:57 PM  

The rin (厘?), an obsolete unit of Japanese currency equal to ⅟1000 yen. Due to the drastic devaluation of Japanese money after World War II, the rin was eventually taken out of circulation at the end of 1953

Amusedby Coldsweat Michaels 9:33 PM  


so two wrong squares...thought RAN. Might be a form of RAND.
Loved the puzzle, how DOES he do it?
Or should I say, how DOZY do it!?!?

Those four Zzzz were snazzy!!
I added two more as my DING started out as BUZZ.
Buzz to goNG to DoNG to DING!!! Times up, indeed!

Fab-u-lous, 'cept ECH. yecch is right!
Of course I loved NAMENAMES, but what was with the BY and BY crossing?

TEENANGEL, my first answer, transported me back to Camp Tikvah, Aitkin, Minn circa 1971?1972. my first overnight summer camp and the male counselors dressed up as Sha Na Na and sang TEENANGEL...
"I'll never kiss your lips again, They buried you todaaaaay"!
Wow, talk about morbid...but I fell hopelessly in love with all of them, but I was 11, big glasses, and invisible!
Buddy Cohen, Larry Pumpian...where are you now?!!

Zwhatever 9:36 PM  

Old people for whom TEEN ANGEL, EZIO PINZA, and STUTZ Bearcats are gimmes get a little DOZY listening to yappies talking about rebooting their PCS because they needed to empty the CACHE before syncing their cell phones. Personally, I just FAKE IT because that is the path of LEAST RESISTANCE.

Tough for me. HTG.

sanfranman59 10:04 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 6:12, 6:48, 0.91, 15%, Easy
Tue 9:38, 8:57, 1.08, 73%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 13:15, 11:48, 1.12, 80%, Medium-Challenging
Thu no data
Fri 25:02, 24:35, 1.02, 55%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:41, 0.99, 49%, Medium
Tue 5:46, 4:39, 1.24, 97%, Challenging (6th highest median solve time of 167 Tuesdays)
Wed 7:41, 5:55, 1.30, 96%, Challenging (7th highest median solve time of 164 Wednesdays)
Thu no data
Fri 13:49, 12:12, 1.13, 73%, Medium-Challenging

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

The correct answer for 30A (Statement resulting in hand-raising) is "stanD And delivER".

I'm sorry the puzzle had the wrong answer. 7:00 AM  

@ACME - The Great By-and-by.

Matt 11:36 AM  

This is a week late but I just finished this one and I had to express my frustration with clinging to "deceit" in 39A where FAKEIT belonged. Boy, did that screw things up. I had a feeling it might be wrong when I couldn't think of a single word for 40D that might start with "ema-", but I couldn't let "deceit" go. Was forced to look up both ONZE and KATIE to finally hack my way through the SW. Not one of my better puzzles.

Late Jim 4:10 PM  

Um, there are only 5 area codes in New York City.

Spacecraft 10:35 AM  

I guess the tilt toward old-time trivia helped me out a lot today. With DEMAREST (didn't we just have him? Let the poor guy REST!) and TEENANGEL (such a sweet tenor voice on Mark Dinning--and right underneath EZIOPINZA too!) as starter gimmes, I whipped through this one fairly quickly.

I had a bit of a hangup in the NE with "Skosh," which I would pronounce as rhyming with "slosh." New word to me. Then after crosses revealed it to be TAD, I recognized the problem. Since the clue word is one I've always heard pronounced with the long O, i assumed it was spelled "scoche." THAT I've heard--and used--often.

It also took a bit of stretching to come up with DIETPLATE, a phrase not commonly seen, at least in my experience. But then, BLUE wouldn't fit.

And now I'm feeling DOZY (?), so I'll end this before I fall ASLOPE (?).

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

An excellent Friday puzzle, and thank you Mr. Ashwood-Smith! Only one Google so I'm feeling proud of myself, even if nobody reads this message. 10:10 AM 10/12/12
Ron Diego (Ron from San Diego)

Your Local NSA Agent 2:46 PM  

@Ron Diego - Fear not, Citizen. Every word you write is read . . . and analyzed . . . and filed.

Solving in Seattle 3:18 PM  

I had to wrestle with this one. Because I was ATSEA with ATSEA I did not complete the puzzle correctly. I had ASLOPE at first but told myself it couldn't be. I ended up with AToss for 1D ("Thrown"). So, the Pacific Northwest was half wrong, inspite of starting off with ALECS.

I grew up reading Walter Farley's books about Alec and the Black Stallion superhorse. I wanted to stow away on a freighter to Saudi Arabia and go find my own black stallion.

Never could spell EZIO's name correctly, but I fortuitously correctly finished the rest of the puzzle. Good Friday solve, Martin.

BTW, Paul Ryan my not have a future as a model, but his wife could. Just sayin'.

DMGrandma 4:33 PM  

Figured was slow going for me. My first toeholds were AMA_, waiting for the final S or T and OLA. Not much, but I slowly found a letter here and there, dropped in DEMeREST (amazed me, as I never watched the show) and slogged on. Had to give up Mae's "drawl" and "come clean", but despite having no idea what a Speed Six is (was) and where Azadi is, I managed it all except the NW corner. couldn't remember the boy's name, reused to put in TOQUES because of the Q and my learner usedONESTEETH. Ah well, it was a fun romp, and I'm pleased with what I did manage.

We just had our first rain of the season. A headline making event in this droughty region. Its so beautiful and fresh smelling outdoors. I love it.

Ginger 4:36 PM  

I actually did a little better than usual for a Friday, but the triple stack was hidden by nonSTRESsSTAtes, through the center. And, I've never heard of PADTHAI. On the other hand, with some effort, and some false starts, I got the North and the South.

@Ron from San Diego - This syndilander welcomes your comments, and yes, they will be read.

Anonymous 2:09 AM  

NYC area codes are 212, 347, 646, 718, 917 & 929 = 6, this was my starts since I'm an area code nerd.

NW was last for me since I had DOLES for LOTTS for a long time. Sneaky. And I had COMECLEAN too until the N didn't work.

It looks like DMGrandma is from San Diego too or at least SoCal; yes the rain was nice and if we are lucky is enought to stop any fires this year.

Dirigonzo 8:41 PM  

I tackled this after work on Friday and had it only about one-third done when I threw in the towel. A quick look this morning (Saturday) produced exactly one more answer.

Weekend puzzle partner came over when I got home from work and we started with the (prime-time) Saturday puzzle, which we blew through in record time (for us, about an hour; Rex finished in 5:39) so we took a fresh start at this one and managed to get 'r done in fairly short order.

Sadly, TEENANGEL was a gimme for me, but EZIOPINZA needed every cross (with a lucky guess at RIN). I had a question mark next to the clue for DOZY, and I learned that a joule EQUAL(s) a watt-second. Biggest groaner was Informal states = SEZ. It was well worth the perseverance it took to finish the puzzle.

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