Legendary firefighter Red / TUE 2-12-13 / Singer 1975 #1 hit Before Next Teardrop Falls / Focus of phrenologist / Office computer linkup for short / What blind man mistakes for snake in fable

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: car parts — theme answers end in words that are parts of a car (though they appear in the theme answers with non-car meanings)

Word of the Day: Peter YARROW (45D: Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary) —
Peter Yarrow (born May 31, 1938) is an American singer who found fame with the 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow co-wrote (withLeonard Lipton) one of the group's most famous songs, "Puff, the Magic Dragon". He is also a political activist and has lent his support to causes that range from opposition to the Vietnam War to the creation of Operation Respect. (wikipedia)
• • •
Feels like a puzzle from 20 years ago. I'd be stunned if this theme (or something very close) hadn't been done many, many times before (looks like Matt Jones had one a while back that included "BOYZ 'N THE HOOD" as well as DALE BUMPERS and BAR AND GRILL). It's highly adequate, but there's not a lot here to enjoy. HYPHENED (8D: Like Olivia Newton-John's last name) was painful to write in, as ... you say "hyphenated," right? And by "you," I mean "one," as in "everyone." I balked at FORTY-YARD DASH, but then remembered that sportscasters talk about guys running "the 40" in however many seconds, so it's definitely a standard benchmark. I flew through this baby pretty quickly, with only a few little missteps. Wrote in FIFTY instead of FORTY. Didn't know NOVA was a kind of lox. Couldn't come up with EDIFIED (43D: Spiritually uplifted) until I had most of the crosses (I don't think of the word as spiritual). Could only sort of partially remember Pete YARROW's name—the race car driver Cale Yarborough was running interference.  Had TIFF for HUFF (36D: In a ___ (indignant)). Otherwise, not much to see or comment on here. My favorite part was seeing singer Terence TRENT D'Arby's name; his period of fame was brief but memorable for me, as it coincided with my first year in college.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: 1991 film that earned John Singleton a Best Director nomination ("BOYZ 'N THE HOOD")
  • 29A: What a blind man mistakes for a snake, in a fable (ELEPHANT TRUNK)
  • 44A: Test at a football tryout (FORTY-YARD DASH)
  • 54A: Singer of the 1975 #1 hit "Before the Last Teardrop Falls" (FREDDY FENDER)
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:03 AM  

    Easy-medium for me too and easier than yesterday's,  but not as zippy.

    Erasures : unI for TRI and snit for HUFF

    Possible tough area:  TYNE, TRENT, YARROW crossing FREDDY FENDER

    Reasonably smooth grid.  Ho-hum theme, e.g. standard Tues.

    Evan 12:05 AM  
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    Evan 12:06 AM  
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    Evan 12:07 AM  

    Easy puzzle. I didn't even notice the theme till I was finished, which made it hard to feel comfortable with entering FREDDY FENDER (never heard of him) or NOVA (also didn't know of its lox-ness). I first wrote in BOYZ IN DA HOOD, not remembering that the slang spelling comes with 'N, not THE. Only other initial mistake was AT MOST instead of UTMOST.

    (Third typo correction and I swear this is it!)

    B. Donohue 12:20 AM  

    Quick Tuesday puzzle.

    However, the proper names in the south TYNE, YARROW, FREDDYFENDER, ADAIR, and TRENT seemed more appropriate for late week puzzles. I hadn't heard of any of them, but TRENT, ADAIR sounded a little familiar and FREDDYFENDER worked with the theme and sounded appropriate.

    Pete 12:21 AM  

    Just this evening I heard someone say 'conversated'. I sat there wondering what sort of idiot prefer conversated to conversed. Turns out, I'm that idiot. I use HYPHENatED to HYPHENED.

    I'm sure there's a way of looking at that where my preference is right in both cases, but it's late, I'm tired, so I'll just live with being an idiot for the time being.

    Gill I. P. 12:26 AM  

    This wasn't that difficult but it took me a while to get the theme. The double letters in each theme answer made me a bit TESTY. I didn't HUFF but I sure as hell went OH OH OH GEEZ.
    Wow, NOVA lox - you don't see that too often; it's always smoked salmon but you still need the capers, cream cheese and red onion on (sorry New Yorkers) a good toasted rye.
    I liked this more than @Rex. ELEPHANT TRUNK is just the UTMOST...
    Thanks Dan...I feel EDIFIED.

    syndy 12:40 AM  

    I have wasted many days and nights listening to FREDDY FENDER but TRENT D'Arby is new to me. Hand up for wanting HYPHENated.A bland medium tuesday. Are NOVA lox from Nova Scotia?

    Argyla Cragla Makels 12:41 AM  

    Yay Dan Schoenholz...shows his range with the Sunday German puzzle last week and already back today!

    I also got excited that BOYZNTHEHOOD might be followed by lots of rap-spell answers. ..
    (Maybe will try and think of one myself!) instead of just car parts, but FREDDYFENDER made me chuckle.

    I thought a blindman might mistake an ELEPHANTstail for a snake, so messy.

    Shocked HYPHENED is a word, right there with ya, @Rex!
    But the NOVA thing slapped me back into reality (even tho I started with NOsh) and reminded me how shocked I was that @Rex continues not to be Jewish! ;)

    When I first joined the blog 4? Years ago, I felt so in sync with this @Rex Parker person, he articulated everything I've ever been thinking, making the references I would make...made me laugh and stunned me that someone said my thoughts outloud.
    I literally thought, well, me must be a male version of me, in his late forties, Jewish, from the midwest...
    Then we met at the ACPT and he was ten years younger, WASPy, Californian who was totally into baseball and a speedsolver to boot! So funny!

    We've grown so apart over the years, tho there is always one moment, one clever remark, one super clever video reference or double-entendre that makes me smile...today was the reminder that NOVA lox was a foreign concept to some folks!

    I do have to say that any one of the theme entries seem like a cool seed entry for a totally different theme...

    OHOHOHneeds a "Mistah Kotter!" attached.
    Right, Horshak lovers?

    Anyway, looking back over, verrrry smooth grid.

    Elle54 12:44 AM  

    Hahaha. I thought the theme was double letters.
    FreDDy, elephanTTrunk,fortYYarDDash.
    This posed a problem with BoyzTThehood

    Acme 12:55 AM  

    Ps should maybe be noted that John Singleton was the youngest person AND the first African American to be nominated for Best Director for "BOYZNTHEHOOD", like one year out of USC film school! Remember it well!

    chefwen 2:43 AM  

    A very emotional puzzle as Gill I.P. has stated. We have the TESTY dude in the NE, must be sick of the snow. Someone in a HUFF on the west coast next to someone in love, AMOR. We have a few rowdies that want to ELBOW, FRY, HAS AT it, let's just throw in DEAD for good measure. The car parts were secondary for me.

    I'm sure @joho could make a stellar story out of this one.

    loren muse smith 6:02 AM  

    Like @Evan, I didn’t see the theme until I had finished and looked hard. Even then I resisted because DASH is inside whereas HOOD, FENDER, and TRUNK are outside.

    FORTY YARD DASH for some reason came easily to me. I recently saw something about OJ on tv and thought, “Didn’t he run the FORTY in 4.4, and didn’t that used to be fast?”

    @ Rex - HYPHENED surprised me, too, but once I got orientated to an alternative form, I shrugged and moved on. I’ve never seen it, though. If I know the people who commentate here, then I predict that we’ll conversate about that one! @Pete ;-)

    Liked the bonus automotivey-feeling BUS, NOVA, UHAUL.

    Thanks, @Acme for remindinating us about that recent Sunday by Dan.

    Danke, Dan. Es hat mir gut gefallen.

    Anonymous 6:37 AM  

    Oh! There was a theme...thanks, rex, I never saw it..just flew through it without much thought.

    OTD 6:38 AM  

    OK for a Tuesday. About like yesterday's puzzle for me. Didn't even check out the theme, as I usually don't pay much attention to that aspect of the puzzle. Had some trouble with BOYZNTHEHOOD for a while, but that's because I'm OTD.

    Also don't like HYPHENED. Sounds more like a word made to fit in a puzzle.

    Z 7:00 AM  

    HYPHENED makes perfect, simpler form, sense yet sounds so wrong that I paused and considered a rebus. Only other "slow down" was wanting HashES for my yard separators. Shrek corrected that. Didn't time yesterday or today, but I'm pretty sure I was faster today.

    I wanted a Horshack reference, too, but I think it would have to be spelled OO-OO-OO. And @Argala - I think it's been more than four years.

    Mark Tucker 7:21 AM  

    Too easy, even for a Tuesday, and too many DDDDD's

    MetaRex 7:23 AM  

    I like the way in which the four thematic answers or at least the first three have a "big and don't mess with them" implicit theme...BOYZ N THE HOOD makes me think of the rapper from N.W.A. who's in the movie (Ice Cube I'm thinking but I may be suffering from my usual Maleska-era limitations here wrt hip-hopsters)...an ELEPHANT is a big and powerful critter ya gotta be careful around...the image of a 300-pound lineman huffing comes to mind for the third answer. It all makes me think that maybe FREDDY FENDER, whom I don't know, is built more like Ahnuld than like Freddy Mercury.

    More musings at Rex's Times

    Glimmerglass 7:27 AM  

    "Next," Rex. "[I'll be there] Before the NEXT Teardrop Falls." FREDDY FENDER often sang, as he did in this one, a chorus or two in Spanish. His name crossing Peter YARROW might present a problem for young solvers, though the common R is inferable. Both are right in my wheelhouse, as was everything except BOYS N THE HOOD. Definitely easy for geezers who are folk and country fans.

    Milford 7:27 AM  

    Easy Tuesday, my Magmic timer tells me it was almost exactly the same time as Monday. Cute theme, actually helped me with the FENDER/NOVA cross. Like @lms, the DASH threw me for a moment, being inside the car.

    HYPHENED feels weird, but somehow I would say the word "siphoned", no problem.

    @Rex - I have always guessed that we were around the same age based on your reference points, but your Terence TRENT D'Arby comment today made me realize that we are exactly the same age.

    Like the picture of Vincent and Jules, too.

    Rob C 7:31 AM  

    Fairly easy. I created a problem for myself when I confidently plunked down fEncES instead of HEDGES at 47D. 40 yard dash fixed that quickly. Same thought at HYPHENED-it just looks wrong b/c it's not used, but a legitimate word nonetheless.

    evil doug 7:38 AM  



    *head*light *bulb*
    *Alamo* rent-a-car
    *RolEs*-Royce (and makers of the *Trent* *aerIE*plane engine)
    *renew* a license
    *evade* the cop cruiser
    wheel *Yarrow*
    dealer *testy* drive
    *lan*d rover
    Chevy *ess* *ess*


    webwinger 7:39 AM  

    I’m shocked, shocked that regular readers (users?) of the NYT are unfamiliar with NOVA. Rex, that should have been word of the day! The rest of you need to get into the city more. When you do, go to Ess-a-Bagel on Third Avenue and enjoy a nova and cream cheese sandwich. Don’t order the regular lox—it’s too salty for today’s palates. Otherwise I found this puzzle quite enjoyable, though the theme didn’t do much for me. Gave it a thumbs up right off when I hit ARGYLE, one of my first fill-ins. Didn’t even notice OHOHOH until I came here, but that answer and clue both very nifty. I too started with “fence” for HEDGE, then after getting crosses failed to see the obvious and changed it to “henge” (couldn’t Stonehenge have helped make good neighbors?); didn’t know FREDDY FENDER from Freddy Fenner, so ended with a one-letter error.

    joho 7:42 AM  

    @chefwen, I wish I had the time today!

    @elle54, I, too, was fixated on the double TT's, YY's and DD's but saw it wouldn't work with BOYZNTHEHOOD.

    The theme wasn't familiar to me and I really enjoyed it. Because it was much easier than yesterday, though, it seems we had another Monday/Tuesday switcheroo.

    Great comments today already!

    Thanks, Dan!

    Tita 8:02 AM  

    Guessed the theme with HOOD & TRUNK, but then had pASs, and wondered...

    Naticked at TREN_/ASE_. Thought I was looking for a synonym for the fairly complete phrase "I hate to break up...". (Saw dots - not a dash.) So kept wanting A something or AS something.

    @Acme- me too on 'tail'...

    Would have been funner if the car parts were in order, HOOD, FENDER, DASH on the inside, TRUNK at the end.

    NOVA LOCHs? Lox are LaCHs auf Deutsch, oder? H. Schoenholz - you also have EAT and ESSe... a near-German mini-theme?

    All-in-all, was fine - even a bit crunchy.

    DBlock 8:04 AM  

    Not sure if this was answered but the salmon that is smoked for nova at some point did come from Nova Scotia but with all the farm raised fish now, not sure what the term actually covers.
    Re Peter Yarrow, his daughter was a student in the school where I taught back in the 80s and he was a wonderful presence.

    Anonymous 8:25 AM  


    But "siphon" is a verb, so it's not odd to see it inflected as verbs are inflected. I don't think "hyphen" is a verb (yet). Would someone about to be married say she was going to "hyphen" her name? I don't think so.

    dk 8:33 AM  

    DBlock and others, Peter YARROW started a radio station in Blue Hill ME: WERU. You may stream it. More important send them $10. Even better go to Blue Hill. You may love it and come to know it as one of the last best places.

    My grasp of this theme can best be summed up by the fact that it took me a few minute to find the car part in FORTYYARDDASH.

    🐘🐘 (2 Elephants) A quotable line from the one porn movie (Allah the Lustful Turk) I ever saw (sophomore in HS) was "Make the cobra sing little girl." The girl was blindfolded and Allah was….never mind. OHOHOH -- there was an elephant outside the tent whose role (think of the trunk, the aforementioned cobra and a blindfolded maiden captured from a caravan) can easily be imagined. Ah the days of 8mm.

    Carola 8:37 AM  

    Liked it that today we had some parts that could belong to yesterday's cab. Saw the theme after HOOD and TRUNK, which made it easier to get the DASH and FREDDY FENDER (wasn't familiar with him). Surprised at seeing HYPHENED in Rex's write-up - I thought "HYPHENatED" but filled it in from crosses, never saw there was no room for the -at. As far as zipppy or not, I saw AMOR in action with OHOHOH next to COME - I know, not very EDIFIED.

    loren muse smith 8:41 AM  

    @Evil – Hah! Yes, if you look carefully, it’s all about cars.

    driver’s sEAT
    licENSe plate
    riDE Off
    jUMP Start
    motoR AREa
    rEVErse gear
    meter mAID
    ford prONTO
    road TRIp
    car sicknESS

    And anythING Else I missed. . .

    jackj 8:44 AM  

    Dan Schoenholz recently gave us a fun Sunday puzzle, the one that featured English words with a German birth certificate.

    Now we get another burst of creativity from him though this time we’re given some basic auto parts, HOOD, TRUNK, DASH and FENDER but without any instructions, so we’ve got the beginnings of a junk yard with pieces that are about as useful to us as road kill is to a 4-star chef.

    Maybe we can revive that wonderful Johnny Cash song, “One Piece at a Time” and put together something resembling a Pontiac pastiche or as the Cash “car” became known, a “psychobilly Cadillac”, (bearing in mind that his car took 24 years to construct).

    The theme entries are serviceable with two of them being notable, BOYZINTHEHOOD and FREDDYFENDER, while the fill was a boring mix of crossword standards, UTE, LYS, SNL, EVE, ENS, etc, etc, etc and some $5 words that needed a bit of thought like EDIFIED and HYPHENED (though something seemed to have eaten its ATE).

    Other goodies, like that high-end deli offering, NOVA; today’s answer to yesterday’s HISSYFIT, “In a HUFF ”; UTMOST, (that was nicely parried by LEAST) and the excited third-grader pleading OHOHOH, “Call on me!”, were all winners.

    Just goes to show ‘yah that even with a rather humdrum theme we can still be presented an enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks, Dan!

    Susan McConnell 8:46 AM  

    Didn't see theme (d'oh!).
    Stuck seeing double letters.
    Definitely wanted a Mr. Kotterrrr clue for OHOHOH.
    Didn't see BOYZNTHEHOOD, but did read Boychicks In The Hood.

    I thought this was about the same level of difficulty as yesterday...so, not very. Only pause for me was with ADAIR, which was easy enough to get from crosses.

    Morry A. 9:15 AM  

    Those thaat don't know its "Novy on a bagel with a schmeer" are doomed to order "pastrami on white with mayo and a glass of milk".

    Milford 9:15 AM  

    Good point. I was just thinking of a similar-sounding word, not considering part of speech. Although, HYPHEN may someday be a verb - kids now use "verse" as a verb, e.g. " We versed that team in football". I'm not even kidding.

    Eric NC 9:16 AM  

    @Rex, @Pete, Googled hyphened as it just sounded plain wrong. Gets around 39,000 hits vs hyphenated at 2.9 million so I guess just over 1 in 100 of us use it.

    John V 9:20 AM  

    I finished with FORTYYARDPASS, which sounded okay, crossing EPIFYED, which sounded okay, crossing SEDGES, which, too sounded okay. See how that ended up? A rare Tuesday mistake.

    The fill felt more medium-challenging for a Tuesday.

    Hyphenated is in the language; hyphened, not so much. Nice, consistent theme, with all the car parts at the ends of the the theme answers.

    Good one, Dan.

    orangeblossomspecial 9:31 AM  

    54A FREDDY FENDER had several hits back in the 70s.

    45D Peter YARROW co-wrote "Puff, the magic dragon".

    The Peasall Sisters sang 47D "In the highways, in the HEDGES" in 'O Brother, where art thou?'.

    chefbea 9:31 AM  

    Easy Tuesday. Got the theme right away. Love any kind of Lox...on a bagel, with cream cheese and a few capers!!!

    Rob C 9:37 AM  

    @Milford and Anon 8:25am

    Hypened has an entry in Amer Heritage as a transative verb of hyphen. So it's a legit word. Not so much in the language though.

    My 11-yr (<--- OH OH OH, look a HYPHENED word) old daughter uses versed and it drives me nuts.

    efrex 9:47 AM  

    Had OOHOOH before OHOHOH, which made the grid a bit messy. Thought I'd see more venom for HYPHENED, but I guess we've all mellowed a bit as we've aged. Not really the most fun solve, but Tuesdays are always the red-headed stepchild of the NYT puzzle world, so I'm not going to get too TESTY.

    Thanks, Mr. Schoenholz! Did much better on this one than your last Sunday puzzle.

    jberg 10:00 AM  

    Versed as a verb? What does it mean - nothing to do with rhyme, from the example. Does it come from 'versus'?

    Anyway, hyphen is not a verb, so you have to add the ate, or Mr.Fowler will come looking for you. Still, it was obvious; the pASs/DASH thing less so (maybe they have you throw passes different distances, you know?) I was willing to toy with the idea of dividing yards with plantings of sEDGES. But FREDDY FENDER saved me at last - though I never saw the theme, I'm ashamed to admit.

    I have seen Blue Hill Maine, though - we try to spend two weeks in Stonington every summer, and go into Blue Hill when we want some more urban shopping.

    quilter1 10:22 AM  

    I also object to HYPHENED, and you guys are making me hungry with all this talk of lox and bagels. Otherwise I liked this puzzle, did not see the theme and coming here discovered I made a mistake. I never heard of the movie and so had BOYiNTHEHOOD. Dang!

    Milford 10:50 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Milford 10:55 AM  

    @jberg - yes, it's from versus, presumably, and it means to play or compete against. When I challenged my 15-year old that it was BS, she quickly showed me it was indeed a word ... on Urban Dictionary. Oh, please.

    Rob C 11:05 AM  

    @Milfor & jberg

    My 11-yr old needs no proof that it's really a word. If her friends use it, it's as good as gold. The fact that it's in Urban Dictionary is just a bit scary. I wonder what else...oh boy, can't go down that road

    Anonymous 11:08 AM  

    Versed (in that sense) comes from well versed, as in having been taught a lesson. We versed them on the field means we taught them a lession, not that we recited 'Invictus' to them as we whipped their communal asses.

    Barb 11:24 AM  

    No one else disliked this puzzle?! Geez, guys, I'm all alone out here! Did it quickly, it was easy but crunchy...crunchy like stale potato chips. Crunchy because of all the short, easy, & crosswordese answers. I am grateful for the lack of hockeyball clues (forty yard pass/dash was a hitch for about 10 seconds), I agree that edified does NOT reference spirituality, & Freddy Fender came 2 seconds after Mr. Mercury wouldn't fit. Not smooth. I want Tuesdays to be smooth. Or lyrical.

    Old Pope Benedict 11:32 AM  

    From Merriam-Webster: Edify-to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge

    Sparky 12:10 PM  

    Wanted 's on the ELEPHANT which stalled me briefly. Then decided to ignore the theme. ADAIR used to show up a lot. @Barb is right re crosswordese though I enjoy a walk in the park because I am often slammed by Friday and Saturday.

    Thanks for the verse as verb definitions. "When I use a word," Humpty Dempty said..."it means just what I choose it to mean..."--Through the Looking Glass.

    Sparky 12:17 PM  

    @Morry A. My pal Shelly would say "ask for Novi," which I did at Balducci's. Worked for me. Is it okay to have a Fox's U-Bet Egg Cream with it or should I order a Dr. Brown's Celery Tonic?

    Sparky 12:19 PM  

    That's Dumpty. Sorry.

    Nancy in PA 12:37 PM  

    Re: hyphened vs. hyphenated...one of my bugaboos is "orientated," which people surely get as a backformation of orientation. And as for "verse," my kids think vs. stands for "verse" rather than "versus." And if everyone says it that way, they think it's correct. Grrr.

    Anonymous 12:49 PM  

    HYPHENED - First usage; 1965

    ". . . and as the hatred of the hyphened Americans (the Italian- and German-Americans) for the second-class citizenship imposed upon them . . ."

    As an aside: I generally think that it's silly for people to hyphen their identities. Is multiple hyphening next?

    MaryandPaul 12:56 PM  

    I find it hard to believe people never heard of Freddy Fender or Peter Yarrow.

    mac 1:02 PM  

    Easy-Medium puzzle, and I'm ashamed to say I didn't look for the theme.
    Ashamed because this morning I did a puzzle in The New York Times International Weekly and told my husband it wasn't a real NYT one because there was no theme....

    Davis 1:04 PM  

    I'll add my distaste for HYPHENED. Just because it's in the dictionary doesn't mean it belongs in a crossword grid. We're stuck with enough crosswordese already, let's not feel the need to create more.

    I'm a bit bemused by folks trying to compare "hyphenate" to "orientate" or "conversate", when there's a clear difference: "hyphenate" is in common usage in American English, whereas "orientate" is only common in British English (according to the OED), and 'conversate" is still nonstandard in most dialects of English (though I can imagine using it humorously). Trying to rely on logic rather than speaker usage patterns for analyzing your English usage is a sure path toward driving yourself mad.

    LaneB 1:11 PM  

    When I can do them relatively fast, they must be easy--but challenging enough. A good Tuesday.

    Anoa Bob 1:16 PM  

    I often see the portrait of the late FREDDY FENDER (1937-2006) that is painted on the water tower in San Benito, TX (pop. 24,000). (I live in near-by Port Isabel.)

    He was born Baldemar Garza Huerta, and from a young age had success singing and playing Spanish/Tejano music locally and across the border to the south. When he decided to cross over to Norteño, i.e., American, music, he thought a more gringo-friendly name was in order. He choose FENDER in honor of the guitar brand and then went with the alliterative FREDDY for his first name.

    Bird 1:45 PM  

    This went down easy and I enjoyed the solve. Hand up for HYPHENatED.

    Write-overs were AND before TOO and CAB before BUS.

    So it you’re young and agile, you’re not SPRY?

    TRI-city? I get it, but don't hear/see it much. not nearly as much as TRI-state.

    I love solving the Sunday puzzle with a cup of coffee and a New York bagel with NOVA lox schmeered with cream cheese, red onions & chives.

    @efrex – I would have entered OOHOOH (as in Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter) if not for some of the acrosses already filled in.

    Oldactor 1:54 PM  

    Thanks Anoa Bob for the San Benito reference. I'm a native of this town and Freddy was our favorite son. He's buried here under an impressive monument.

    I never met him as I was living in NYC eating NOVA with a shmeer while he was growing up.

    Sat next to Red Adair on a flight once. He gave me a gold stick pin with his logo on it.

    Lots of TX in this puzzle. "Remember the Alamo"

    Lewis 2:30 PM  

    @m&a -- not great but respectable u-count

    Felt workmanlike to me -- no great spark, certainly the theme included. But it felt good to solve.

    Nova is infinitely superior to regular lox. If you've never had it, it is worth going after.

    Charley 2:44 PM  

    You have to be from NYC & preferably Jewish to know Nova. It's in my genes.

    I've never heard of an Ntest. Atest. Htest, but not N.

    Kim Jong-un 3:43 PM  

    We just performed an N-Test near China. Needless to say, they are not happy.

    Bird 3:48 PM  

    @Charley - I'm not Jewish, but my Danish genes love a good Nova open sandwich with capers and dill on Rugbrød. I'll wash it down with some Aalborg Akvavit. Skål!

    sanfranman59 4:30 PM  

    Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

    Tue 7:12, 8:28, 0.85, 8%, Easy

    Top 100 solvers

    Tue 4:32, 4:54, 0.93, 19%, Easy

    Sfingi 4:55 PM  

    HYPHENED might be an improvement for me. Always hated orientate.

    Second puzzle today where I didn't notice the theme. @Loren -clever.

    Never heard of D'Arby or rather, Sananda.

    Georgie W 5:25 PM  

    @ Charley

    Ntest is for Nucular!

    John V 5:34 PM  

    @Bird: right there with you on the Danish openface, but we had it with herring in Aarhus and Copenhagen (don't know how to put in those fancy marks, let alone do a decent job pronouncing the Danish :)

    Melodious funk 5:35 PM  

    Lets get serious about lox. In New York residential circles amongst us Jewishers, we serve platters of lox (not Nova, too blah, need salt) each slice separated and twirled nest-like. On the platter will be lemon wedges, capers, thin-sliced red onion, maybe some greenery like cress or chive. On another platter are the warm bagels, and a large pot of softened or whipped cream cheese - unadulterated! And a pepper mill.

    Nova is reserved for thems with dietary restrictions.

    Don't forget the coffee.

    Anonymous 7:15 PM  

    "And if everyone says it that way, they think it's correct. Grrr."

    If everyone says it that way, it is correct. Language evolves. The Grammar Nazis fight mostly already lost battles.

    Melodious funk 7:53 PM  

    Right, anonymous. Grammar nazis are verdreht, a dying breed. Woe is I, says the famous book. I love neologisms, and they turn up in the puzzles once in a while, drives the nazis crazy. Tickles me.

    OISK 7:54 PM  

    I agree with Barb, who disliked it. @MaryandPaul - Who the heck is Freddy Fender? And why is he crossed with another pop star I never heard of "Trent" D'arby. And why are you surprised that someone never heard of Fender or Yarrow, (although I knew Yarrow)? I was surprised that Rex never heard of Eddie Cantor, and thought that Thais was obscure. Never heard of Boyznthehood - as a film, - but heard of the expression, so I got it from "Geez." I don't like it much. We all have our preferences, and my own excludes most pop culture. I loved Mr. Schoenholz's Sunday puzzle, though, so I have no problem with him. Like many others, did not notice the theme until after I completed the puzzle.

    Davis 8:51 PM  

    @Melodious funk -- But the problem is not that the word in question here, HYPHENED, is a neologism (I personally love it when neologisms become part of the language). It's actually an oldish word: according to the OED it goes back to at least 1814. The problem is that it's a word that nobody actually uses.

    Going through the dictionary and pulling up any old word you find there, regardless of usage patterns, is a surefire way to generate some awful fill.

    sanfranman59 10:07 PM  

    This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 6:43, 6:08, 1.10, 86%, Challenging
    Tue 7:07, 8:28, 0.84, 8%, Easy

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:59, 3:40, 1.09, 84%, Challenging
    Tue 4:25, 4:54, 0.90, 13%, Easy

    Bird 11:26 PM  

    @John V - I copy and paste the fancy letters from Word, Pages or the internet. My mother was born in Copenhagen and my father was stationed at the US Embassy there while in the Air Force. I've been there 5 times to visit the grandparents. Love the city and the people.

    Every once in a while we have smørrebrød. Lots of fish (curry herring being one of my favorites), Akvavit, Tuborg and singing. Great times.

    Anonymous 12:08 PM  

    Yes, Nova Scotia salmon a k a lox.

    Spacecraft 11:49 AM  

    So, we say "hyphenated" but not "elephant's trunk?" I mean, without the 's ELEPHANTTRUNK looks a lot like green paint to me. Also, there should have been some kind of revealer entry, like CARPARTS or something. Even AUTOZONE.

    That said, anybody who can put BOYZNTHEHOOD in a grid and make it work is OK by me. Not a lot of dreck fill, and pretty easy for a Tuesday. Of all the ways to clue NOVA, that one got me (I don't like fish). Luckily it filled in on crosses.

    DMGrandma 2:39 PM  

    Just one error for me. I had aTESTand never changed it. The only other slow spot In this sea of unfamiliar names was starting with fEncES, but getting Shrek's alter ego solved that. I also join those who thought the theme was double letters. Got to learn to pay more attention!

    Anonymous 5:11 PM  

    Yesterday's was far easier

    Solving in Seattle 5:19 PM  

    Well, this Tuesday CW taught me a few things: HYPHENED is a word, and LYS is an alternative spelling to LiS, as in fleur de.

    Liked the CRIBS/BOYZNTHEHOOD crossing.

    No ospreys yet.

    my capcha: sucpar. and, yes, I suck at making par.

    strayling 7:19 PM  

    No wonder I didn't get the theme. BOYZNTHEBONNET, ELEPHANTBOOT and FREDDYBUMPER don't work in any dialect. Although that first one might make a good band name.

    Anonyrat 9:43 PM  

    Well, it's official - I'm too old to do the NYT Puzzle anymore. DNF'ed Friday and today with one wrong square each - had PREs instead of PREZ Friday, and BOYs instead of BOYZ today. Evidently someone neglected to forward me the memo that Z has now replaced S in the "English" language. But I get it now. I just pried the S key off my keyboard, threw it in the trash, and replaced it with the Z key. Unfortunately that will not help me with the puzzle though, zince I ztill zolve it on paper.

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