1970 Freda Payne hit / TUE 11-20-12 / 51 ufologist's interest / Weekend publication since 1941 / Sampson of the 1980s-'90s NBA / Deputy Terrytoons character / Cannonball of jazz fame

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Constructor: Allan E. Parrish

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: (The Macy's Thanksgiving Day) PARADE — first words of theme answers are all associated with a PARADE

BALLOON PAYMENT (20A: Provision for ending many a mortgage)
FLOAT PLANE (35A: Aircraft with pontoons)
BAND OF GOLD (42A: 1970 Freda Payne hit) 
PARADE MAGAZINE (53A: Weekend publication since 1941)

Word of the Day: Cannonball ADDERLEY (38D: Cannonball of jazz fame) —

Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley (September 15, 1928 – August 8, 1975) was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s. // Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single "Mercy Mercy Mercy", a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band. (wikipedia)

• • •

Unless I have the theme wrong and it's actually about the *last* words of the theme answers. Maybe a drug-smuggling puzzle (where MAGAZINE refers to the ammo-holding part of an automatic weapon)? But no, it's parade season (starting Thursday), so let's just stick with PARADE. This puzzle feels like a very sturdy, serviceable effort from 1987. I guess AOL (23A: 2011 Huffington Post purchaser) would have to put the puzzle somewhat later, but not much later. Let's say 1991, the year of Chris ISAAK's one big hit (which I will always associate with David Lynch's "Wild at Heart," because that's where I first heard it).

[26D: Chris with the 1991 hit "Wicked Game"]

Wait, I don't think Suze ORMAN was famous in 1991 (8D: Financial adviser Suze). OK, I take it all back—this puzzle is Totally contemporary.

I think the puzzle might have been slightly on the tough side for a Tuesday (though my time was pretty normal). I have heard "BAND OF GOLD" many times in my life, but that clue was gibberish to me. Freda Payne?! Weird that that name totally escaped me for, let's see, 42 years. I think I got it confused with "Wedding Bell Blues" by The Fifth Dimension (which was #1 on the day I was born—there's some Rex trivia for you). Anyway, between that clue and wanting TOOLA or LALAS or god knows what for LOORA (39D: Irish lullaby syllables), I had a slight slow-down in that AREA (2D: ___ 51 (ufologist's interest)). Everything else in the grid seemed like very standard crossword stuff—you got your ESTES and your EFTS and your ICE-T (and that's just the SE corner). Nothing offensive, nothing to write home about.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:09 AM  

I did this on paper in about my usual Tues. time, but only because I have the crosswordese pretty well ensconced in my head.  I mean CBGB, GELID, ISAAK, ARARAT, COZENS, ICET (as clued),  ESME...do not seem like Tues. level answers.  Do most early week only solvers know this stuff?  Throw in ORMAN,  ADDERLEY and RALPH Sampson and, like Rex said,  this one could play tough.

Liked the puzzle.  Nice Thanksgiving lead in.

Is Deputy DAWG still on TV somewhere or is that clue going to be a problem for solvers of say Evan's age?

Random puzzle related thought:  I was never sure if Andy married Helen.  Now I know.  Thanks Allen.

Charles in Austin 12:48 AM  

Here's a link to Cannonball that actually shows his amazing talent:


Davis 12:48 AM  

Bland as a Thanksgiving Turkey. But somehow it also felt just as traditional, with all those classic crossword entries.

Evan 1:08 AM  

It's a rare occurrence when I can say that I've never heard of any of the theme entries. But none of the four are familiar to me at all. Which means I had to work them out almost entirely from the crosses. I'm just not that up on my mortgage terminology, Freda Payne hits, and whatever on earth a pontoon is. The only thing that helped me by the end was understanding the PARADE connection between the first words. Even beyond the theme, I got slowed up by less-than-Tuesday-friendly fill like GELID and COZENS, to say nothing of all the outdated pop culture terms.

Strangely, the puzzle's old-timeyness had a certain charm to it. It's time to watch our favorite stepson OPIE and the loveable scamp Deputy DAWG on the television set! Now let's listen to Mr. ADDERLEY's lively tunes on the radio broadcast! Time to read about Mr. Salinger's adventures with ESME! And don't look now, citizens, but ESTES Kefauver has an important message about the world of tomorrow, today! Twenty-three SKIDOO!

(@jae -- I can report that I know of Deputy Dawg, but I can't tell you how. I've never seen the original cartoon, so I probably picked up some reference to him from a more recent show.)

So yeah, today was an old-timey sorta time. If the NYT really wanted to screw with the solving audience, they would have thrown in a super-modern clue or two to balance the old-fashioned ones out. Like "'Yo ___' (popular internet meme involving rapper Xzibit)" for DAWG, or "Greg the Weather ___ (Family Guy meteorologist)" for MIME, or the double shape-shifting Marvel characters COPYCAT and MORPH, or anything involving RALPH Wiggum.

chefwen 1:41 AM  

Sure didn't help when the first thing I entered was sweat for 1A. CAPRI takes me back to Laura Petri, speaking of old-timey.

Other than the NW it was pretty easy for this person of a certain age. 1D CBGB I remembered from a puzzle a few months ago, I think. It looked odd, but seemed familiar. Got BRIAN 14A from crosses after I corrected my sweat pants. Husband helped with AREA 51.

Throw me in the liked it column. Thank you Mr. Parrish

Apex Capri Morphs 2:13 AM  

Got off to a slow start... SMARTY pants? CArgo pants?
Makes me want to combine them somehow and have PAIROFPANTS be the reveal!

Old timeyness made up for with lots of crunchy corners with that Q , Z and 3 Xs and a couple of Ks.

I'd argue that Lemony Snicket is more contemporary than ARARAT.
Also opportunity for a fresher clue for RAPLH than an 80s NBA player, but maybe he was an idol of Allan E. Parrish's and it's some sort of private joke/shout out. I'm all for that!

COPYCAT is super fun and makes me want to create a puzzle around that too... So solid and maybe slightly dull considering the theme, but it's inspiring in other ways, so that's good!

Breath was held at Apex...ah me.

syndy 2:43 AM  

Had a little trouble in the midwest. "Trite" didn't help at all!Eastern rim was interesting-EXTTEXTSEFTS-and a new OLAF is always acceptable.

Doris 6:12 AM  

What devil was't
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?

Hamlet, Act III, scene iv

As usual, W.S. has most of the answers needed, especially in Hamlet.

Rex Parker 6:36 AM  

[___ pants] = FANCY

Z 7:01 AM  

I really wanted the clue fro 14A to be "composer Eno." Totally appropriate for today's puzzle.

I also have to wonder if it is safe to preach and text. I'm pretty sure I've seen a PSA advising against such reckless behavior by pastors.

I, too, paused wondering if 19A would be APEX or Acme.

Off of CBGB I went with CArgo pants. Only write-over for the day.

Being of a certain age, apparently, this was easy for me.

OTD 7:09 AM  

Went with FANCY for 1A and that made the NW the toughest part. Other than that I sailed through this one even though I didn't know the pop references. Did those with the crosses and guesses. Lots of crosswordese in this.

The Bard 7:22 AM  

All's Well That Ends Well > Act IV, scene V

LAFEU: 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.

Clown: Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.

LAFEU: They are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.

Clown: I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much skill in grass.

LAFEU: Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?

Clown: A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.

LAFEU: Your distinction?

Clown: I would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.

LAFEU: So you were a knave at his service, indeed.

Clown: And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.

evil doug 8:00 AM  


Laura Petri was a dish.


Tita 8:15 AM  

@Evan - you probably know Deputy Dawg from the Daily Show - ST Senator Joe Lieberman is usually portrayed as Deputy Dawg.
Never heard of BALLONPAYMENT? Where were you during the mortgage meltdown?

I wore fAncy pants at 1A.

FLOATPLANES are a common sight here at Candlewood Lake - for some reason, many pilots live here. Funny to be sailing along and seeing a plane coming towards you. Though I've always called them seaplanes, this term sounded fine.

This was a hardish Tuesday for me - plenty of write-overs. Liked pig'tail feature clue and answer. Pig's tail sounds funny, instead of pig tails.

Thanks Mr. Parrish.

joho 8:26 AM  

Yes, definitely oldtimey which was exactly the reason I could get the things I didn't know with the familiar crosses. Very comforting ... like Thanksgiving dinner and this nostalgic parade theme. Makes me think of the opening parade scene in the original "Miracle on 34th Street" ... one of my all-time favorites.

PUPU platter always makes me smile.

Thanks, Allan!

Unknown 8:29 AM  

Fun. Did feel medium for a Tuesday. Didn't see the theme until I was finished then looked it over and thought, Awww :-).

Can't wait for Mom's stuffing!

dk 8:30 AM  

Tobias and now evil d. Ahh home for the holidays.

Mornings spent at The Love Muffin in Moab. A great spot.

Son is busy building structures for Barbie and Ken's last stand and guns will be cleaned a prepped today.

The puzzle. I, like Andrea, thought with hope in my pen acme would be in the grid. BANDOFGOLD popped into my head. I think she was on Shindig.

The rest was as Rex and Lincoln Hayes would say: solid
*** (3 Stars)

GILL I. 8:31 AM  

How many proper names does it take to make a Tues. puzzle? I didn't know half of them!!!
That whole BAND OF GOLD/ADDERLY section was a mess...SKIDOO LOORA? Misspelled COQ of all things and PUPU dish could have been popo for all I knew.
This did feel Maleska(y) but I guess ORMAN took care of that....

John V 8:43 AM  

This solver of a certain age had a Monday/8 miler experience, solving on the bar car this morning, in the company of non-puz wife. Nothing quite like a bar car on the New Haven at 6:50 a.m.

Never heard the term ufologist but the crosses for 2D were dead easy, so no foul.

COZENS? Whatever. What @Rex commented re: ____pants

Nice theme, pretty obvious at PARADEMAGAZINE.

Dead easy puzzle for those of us who actually remember ESTES Kefauver.

WA 8:49 AM  

My first cozen Howie, is really not a bad guy.

jackj 9:02 AM  

Allan Parrish has been feeding the hungry Times crossword monster since 2002 and logs in today with a rather pedestrian theme but some interesting fill.

Theme-wise, putting together a celebration with only a BALLOON, a FLOAT and a BAND sounds like East Overshoe scrimped on their celebration budget this year but rumor has it they are splurging by adding a Folding Lawn Chair Drill Team to their PARADE next year.

Allan slowed me up at his first opportunity, at 1 down, that was certainly going to be COPA but quick crosses of BRIAN and GELID (nice word) reminded me of the place where punk was rumored to be born, the now defunct CBGB, ( C ountry B lue G rass B lues club), in the Big Apple.

Some fun along the way with “Hard-to-take person” giving us PILL (isn’t that a word spoken only by teenage girls in the 1950’s?), BANAL, LOORA, that continues the Irish lullaby that began with TOORA from Liz Gorski last week, COZENS which is a wonderful sort of slimy word that sounds as if it is onomatopoeic (or wants to be) and, finally, QUAY, a favorite word for the way it looks and the way it sounds.

A solid effort from a steady hand; thanks, Allan.

mac 9:32 AM  

Let's call it a classic puzzle. My only write-over at 1A, where I made kakhi (sic) work with all the downs for a while.

Some pretty words: banal, helix, gelid and fondues.

It's rutting season, obviously; our lady deer are being chased by a male with puny little antlers right in our yard.

Milford 9:38 AM  

Chewy Tuesday, with the NW and the SE causing most of the hang-ups. Never heard of COZENS, so that would be my WOTD.

Love FONDUE. Didn't like the one time I tried PUPU, but it was part of a buffet, so it may have not been the best preparation.

Momentarily thought the Big Ten powerhouse could be mSU, but then I came back down to earth with OSU.

All the scrabbly letters had me thinking we were going to have a panagram, but it's short by a JV.

No risqué words today, but we did have COQ, does that count?

jberg 9:39 AM  

Welcome back , @Evil Doug!

I wasn't thinking of Macy's until I read Rex, so I was wondering what a 4th of July puzzle was doing here in November. Up here in Boston we have Thanksgiving road races and Thanksgiving football games, but no parades. Now I understand, so it's OK.

Why is ERNS - without its E, even - getting no love with all the ESME talk? So good to see an old friend.

Andrea, we all held our breath at 16A. Don't take the snub too personally, he just wanted another X.

I have to admit, though, I finished with an error. I had CLOt instead of CLOG early on, notice that BAND OF tOLD didn't make much sense when I filled in DAWG, but forgot to go back and fix it. Boohoo!

On the other hand, I was saved from the fancy pants temptation by wanting "smarty," so I left it blank until the I revealed the correct answer.

chefbea 9:44 AM  

Yummy puzzle...coq au vin, fondu, biscotti!!!
Plopped down acme right away...but had to change it.

what is CBGB??

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Fun puzzle. Was on my way to a solid time, but CoiL for CURL lost me precious seconds (I can't be the only one). Not a breezy Tuesday by any stretch.

JC66 10:02 AM  

Anybody else, like me (old) throw down Copa before CBGB?

Boo Hiss 10:05 AM  

Almost 1/3 of the answers are proper names, many of which I did not know of or care about. At a certain point (about 2/3 of the way slogging through the puzzle) I just got tired of the struggle. I don't find puzzles like these entertaining at all. One of the worst I can remember.

JFe 10:06 AM  

@chefbea...New York City Club

@evil doug...welcome back!

Carola 10:17 AM  

I liked the blast-from-the-past feel of this one very much, from the fashions to foods to TV characters to the 50's playground insult "Copycat!"

Knew CBGB from reading Patti Smith's Just Kids, which I recommend. Only got slowed down by misreading ufologist as urologist and wondering what they were interested in besides PSA tests.

@Evil Doug - Glad to see you. I've been wanting to thank you for your Joseph Kanon recommendation - have enjoyed the books a lot.

OISK 10:21 AM  

I agree with "Boo Hiss". I would be really pleased if "Opie" never again appeared in a puzzle. Some of my all time least favorite clues, such as "Bee's charge" and this time "Helen Crump Taylor's TV stepson" yield "Opie." Of course, now, whenever i see a four letter TV character I see whether Opie fits, and it did, so I had no trouble finishing the puzzle. Took me much longer than an average Tuesday - same thing happened last Tuesday, so I wonder whether there is a stiffer Tuesday trend.

chefbea 10:36 AM  

I too put in Copa..

Welcome back Evil Doug

Two Ponies 10:43 AM  

Tricky Tuesday with all of those names.
I do remember Deputy Dawg but I did not remember that Andy ever got married to Helen after how many years?
Liked the clue for erns. Cute.
Estes who? Certainly not a Tuesday clue. Estes Park maybe.
Hi @ evil doug.

Sparky 10:53 AM  

I liked that the revealer, PARADE, was part of the PARADE. I think Seymour Glass is the hero but ESME is not a heroine. @Evan: now that you are a married man, mortgages and BALLOONPAYMENTS will loom like those BALLOONS in the PARADE.

@Tita: seaplane coming at your wee boat? That's scary.

Have a good day. Off to shop for Thanksgiving takeaway at Citarella.

Masked and Anonymo4Us 11:16 AM  

[___ pants] = KHAKI

Ellen S 11:33 AM  

@Acmemamie, re yesterday: Robert Benchley is too so Nathaniel's daddy and Peter's grampa.

Today, maybe I have undergone my own devolution... If it weren't for my old friends the ERNS, EFTS, ICE-T, etc, I'd have been lost.

ESTES Kevauver was a gimme (old politician, ran for veep with my homey Adlai Stevenson, plus watched his Crime Commission hearing on TV, with those handsome Kennedy Boys, so I triple know him). Plus ESME (I've read the Salinger story so she's real, unlike EFTS), ARARAT and BLOC were easy; misspelled COZENS a few times until the crosses worked, though I knew it (old word, right in my wheelhouse along with the othe fossils). But had no idea, none, about any of the sports or pop culture references--I never know that stuff unless it's BRIAN ENO, or Mel Ott, who are possibly fictitious Crossworld people for all I ever heard of them outside of puzzles.

And yet I'd call this easy anyway. I finished it quickly last night (I don't time myself; usually it's do I finish before the next one comes) with no hints, no reveals, no waking up my son-in-law to ask about the athletes, or asking my daughter about rock groups from when I was young.

M and A also 11:34 AM  

p.s. Drivin' me nuts. Got it in my head that "Band of Gold" was sung by some dude, with harmonica solos in it. Did Freda have a really deep voice?

p.p.s.s. Hey, @Mr. e.d. Relieved to see you weren't doin' another 3-year hiatus cycle. Happy Thanksgiving.

Strongly approve of the puz's "who needs a stinking revealer" theme . But don't seem like a parade, without The Masked Man on Silver. And the cleanup guy with a shovel.

miriam b 11:42 AM  

I've always thought that Freda Payne would be a great name for an anesthesiologist.

Notsofast 11:42 AM  

I also wish it had started with "FANCY" pants. I breezed through with kind of a bored look on my face.

John V 11:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
John V 11:46 AM  

@M and A:

Band of Gold

baja 11:55 AM  

Welcome back evil doug!

Gareth Bain 12:18 PM  

Since everyone is doing it, my pants were HAREM pants...

chefbea 12:29 PM  

@MiriamB good one

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

I was not friends with the northwest corner. I've never heard of "gelid". I happen to be one of the 303 million Americans that don't happen to live in New York City, so I had no hope of dredging up "CBGB". I've also never encountered the word "vituperate" so I couldn't come up with "RAILAT". The rest of the puzzle was fine.

syndy 1:46 PM  

HI e.d. popped in short pants-no hesitation!!!!!

Lewis 1:58 PM  

Hand up for FANCY pants. Happy to see you, e.d. Theme seemed weakish; a clever reveal would have helped. But thinking about parades does get me into the holiday spirit.

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

I wanted to change FLOATPLANE to FLOAT A LOAN, giving the ends of the first three theme entries PAYMENT, A LOAN, GOLD, and finally have MAGAZINE transformed into something relating to Black Friday.

I failed. It would have been a better puzzle if you had the parade followed by the foolish rush to waste money, i.e. our national holiday. My bank account would also be better if the money fairie put another million or so in it.

Evan 2:15 PM  


C'mon. That's like saying, "You've never heard of the Consumer Price Index? Where were you during the fiscal cliff negotiations?" As someone who has never owned a home nor dealt with a mortgage of his own, BALLOON PAYMENT is an incredibly specific term that I don't recall reading before, and I read about politics all the time during 2008. Even if I had heard of it, BALLOON PAYMENT would definitely not be the first term that comes to mind when I recall the mortgage crisis. Foreclosures, housing bubble, credit crisis, stock market crash, and even sub-prime lending are far more more memorable terms to me.

And I think Joe Lieberman was parodied on The Daily Show as Droopy -- though I can see how one could mix him up with Deputy Dawg. Droopy often played a western deputy in some cartoons.

My first pants were CARGO. In the puzzle, that is.

Bird 2:40 PM  

Meh. This puzzle does nothing special for me. And it was a near DNF as the west side was the last to fall. I do not know who ADDERLEY is and TOO RA resisted change. I don’t consider FONDUES as dishes, as in lasagna or a casserole. Yes, you dip your food in the melted cheese and place it on a dish, but I still don’t consider FONDUE a dish. Surprised they let PARADE MAGAZINE in the grid as it is published by a rival newspaper. Too bad ACME didn’t make it to the party.

Write-overs at 1A (CARGO), 60A (COIL) and 29D (BULLS).

How is Freda Payne contemporary?

I still don’t understand how a puzzle can be offensive. And how would you ask for an apology?

Evil Doug makes a cameo!

@Evan, @Tita – Sports teams also make BALLOON PAYMENTS (at least they did until union contracts got renegotiated) to certain athletes. As a NY Knicks fan, I remember Patrick Ewing receiving an $18 million dollar check at the end of a contract.


Tita 2:56 PM  

@Evan...thanks for the clarification on the Cartoon Dog - you are quite right!

Though I will argue back that I have never studied law, or been sued, but could suss out the terms in that legal puzzle. I never had a balloon mortgage, but they were among the many culprits referencd over and over as examples of how banks would convince susceptible buyers to buy overpriced homes they couldn't afford.

There is of course an endless supply of topics where my cluelessness will stymie others, so while I remain agog that this one stymied anyone, I know that I will be humbled on a regular basis by the collective knowledge in this community!

C'mon - Rex tells us all the time about all the stuff that should be a given for any sentient being. Oh wait - I know - I'm no Rex Parker...!

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

Unfortunately I'm in the same camp as Boo Hiss regarding this Tuesday's offering. The plethora of proper names and obscure references to "things-that-only-an-American-would-know", made this puzzle no fun for me; a person who is of a nationality other than Amerikan and has never lived in the good ole US of A.
T'would be nice if the NYT would someday consider publishing puzzles that are not so USA content specific. ie. in order to appeal to their wider global audience. :-)

GILL I. 3:28 PM  

@Anonymous 3:03. Actually, there have been several puzzles that weren't USA specific.
One I remember was by Randolph Ross. It was a Sunday and it was A Trip Around the World type theme. I really remember that one because I don't think even Mister @Rex was able to solve it?? Another one that had everyone crying "Cockamamie" was about Canadian Provinces.
Anyhoo, they do pop up and we learn words like PUPU and LOORA....

BigSteveSF 3:39 PM  

I have a quick Chris Isaak story.
There is probably an entire generation that had some really great foreplay/sex to Chris Isaak songs. Or used it to get going ... like Johnny Mathis or Frank Sinatra of generations before. The souful beat, the videos, the wailing voice.
But I can't use Chris Isaak for sensual/nefarious purposes ... Why. Not? You ask.
Because my girlfriend, now wife used to date a guy in his band!! We also couldn't watch his show. So I'm denied access to one of the greatest aural (!) aphrodisiacs of all time.
We've been making out, and had I had to change the radio station, in mid-smooch. Hint:extract tongue first.
We were just laughing about this, because our good friend Katie used to date a guy in Foghat. Who my wife saw many years ago at a county fair for $5.
Moral: be glad your significant other didn't date someone in the #1 sexy songs list.
captch "droouhl"

sanfranman59 3:44 PM  

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

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

Tue 8:07, 8:57, 0.91, 26%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:49, 4:41, 1.03, 62%, Medium-Challenging

Using just the previous 13 weeks median as the standard, this puzzle rates Easy (17%) and Easy-Medium (24%) in the two groups. The relatively large difference in the Top 100 group is because the median median solve time for the past 13 Tuesdays is 5:06 (i.e. quite a bit higher than that for all 166 Tuesdays in my database).

John V 3:51 PM  

@Anonymous 3:03, one of the very best puzzle in recent times was Gareth Bain's Thursday 1/12/12 puzzlewhere the rebus answers were the two letter postal codes of the Canadian provinces. A spectacular one!

Quit your complaining 3:52 PM  

@Anon 3:03 - The paper is called the New York Times, not the World Times.

Ferme ta bouche 3:55 PM  

@Anon3:03 - There is also the debacle of a Sunday puzzle with all French running through the whole damn thing.

Pete 4:25 PM  

Man, the dialog in the Wild at Heart clip is god-awful. Inchoate thought verbalized, pregnant pause, second unrelated inchoate thought, ...

Did David Lynch outsource that scene to a NYY "Intro to script writing" class?

R. McGeddon 4:32 PM  

"When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat,
Yet fool'd with hope, men favour the deceit;
Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay;
To-morrow's falser than the former day;
Lies worse; and while it says we shall be blest
With some new joys, cuts off what we possest.
Strange cozenage! none would live past years again;
Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;
And from the dregs of life think to receive,
What the first sprightly running could not give."


Anonymous 5:08 PM  

I love it when someone references something and ten minutes later someone else comes in and does a repeat. Is that called douche et vous?

Huh? 6:40 PM  

@Anon5:08 - What are you talking about? Be specific.

sanfranman59 10:58 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 7:08, 6:46, 1.05, 76%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 8:18, 8:57, 0.93, 37%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:09, 3:41, 1.13, 91%, Challenging
Tue 4:41, 4:41, 1.00, 56%, Medium

Apex 11:16 PM  

Best to ignore...

I stand corrected!!! How bizarre to once again learn something i thought I knew my whole life! I didn't even google Benchley and his relationship to Nathaniel! So sure was I!
Strange, makes me wonder about all the things i "know". What next? Will I find out Tom Cruise marriages weren't contractual?

Ginger 8:51 AM  

Today I'm breaking a personal rule not to blog until puzzle is done, and all posts have been read. However, this syndiland community is important to me and I want to wish you all the Best of Holidays however you celebrate. So...Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza.

See ya later

Dirigonzo 12:09 PM  

CB_B could have been any random letter as far PP and I know, but I finally dredged GELID up from the deep recesses of my mind and the day was saved.

@Ginger - right back at you, and to everyone else, too. I just came from a Christmas Day parade of sorts so the theme still applies (there were BALLOONS but no BANDS or FLOATS).

NM Robin 12:23 PM  

@Ginger: Same to you. You got the holiday greetings in before I could. I read all the posts first.

Everything I did not know I got from crosses. A good puzzle.

Spacecraft 2:24 PM  

Back atcha all, Syndilanders! Rejoice! And now to puzz.

1d filled in CBGB on crosses. OK, if you say so. Ne. Vah. Heardofit.

Also NHOI: FLOATPLANE. It's a seaplane, folks. FLOATplane, what an awkward-sounding moniker. Whoever would even dream up such a name is beyond me.

The rest of it is serviceable; not gimme-easy, just about medium as OFL said. I like that the revealer is contained in the final long theme answer. Scrabbly crosses are relatively painless--even to the Q in the SW corner!

I was surprised that I was able to pull BANDOFGOLD out of the air just by seeing Freida Payne's name. Guess it helped that it was a one-hit wonder.

I assume ____platter refers to some kind of food; if it's really PUPU--and it's to be eaten--I think I'd opt for a renaming. Bigtime.

Gotta go help fix holiday dinner; we're having neighbors over. Once again, merry and happy times to all!

DMGrandma 5:47 PM  

Getting older meaning having time to do the puzzle on Christmas morning while someone else tussles with the wrapping paper mess! And a holiday puzzle at that-even if it is a different holiday. The best of the season to everyone!

Anonymous 6:15 PM  

Doesn't the clue "Irish lullaby syllables" require a plural answer...as in: looras rather than just loora?

Dirigonzo 6:49 PM  

@Anony 6:15 - Loo-ra, 2 syllables.

Ginger 12:58 AM  

Folks have gone, wrappings are picked up, tummy is full, and I finally have a few moments for the puz., then maybe another piece of pumpkin pie.

My first entry was ADDERLEY, and worked around and up from there. Rigger for ROADIE slowed me up a bit. The NW was last to fall. Got CBGB from the crosses, but I don't get it, even tho someone already answered the question.

Anonyrat 6:14 AM  

Got CBGB off the first B. Guess it helps to be an old punker rather than an old hippie. Had no idea about Freda Payne/Band Of Gold - never heard it or heard of it. Needed pretty much every cross.

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