Farewell Vladimir / MON 12-16-13 / Unmemorable low-budget film / Wrestler's wear / Weapon for reindeer / Chairmaker's strip / Candy heart sentiment

Monday, December 16, 2013

Constructor: Greg Johnson

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: GOODBYE (34A: This puzzle's theme) — theme answers are phrases meaning "GOODBYE," in this and other languages:

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "I'm outta here!" ("SEE YA LATER!")
  • 6A: "Gotta go!" ("CIAO!")
  • 11D: "Godspeed, Bruno!" ("ARRIVEDERCI!")
  • 24D: "Farewell, Vladimir!" ("DOS VIDANIYA!")
  • 50A: "Adios, amigo!" ("HASTA LUEGO!")
  • 58A: "Cheerio!" ("TATA!")
Word of the Day: SINGLET (38D: Wrestler's wear) —
wrestling singlet (or simply singlet) is a one-piece, tight-fitting, colored uniform, usually made of spandex/lycra, or nylon, used in amateur wrestling. The uniform is tight fitting so as not to get grasped accidentally by one's opponent, and allows the referee to see each wrestler's body clearly when awarding points or a pin. Unlike judo, it is illegal to grasp an opponent's clothing in all styles of amateur wrestling. (wikipedia)
• • •

Startlingly unambitious theme—the kind of thing that feels old-fashioned in the worst way—but thankfully the constructor didn't put all his eggs in the theme basket, so this puzzle was actually reasonably entertaining to solve. But as for the theme—I don't know why a theme like this was approved. Super-straightforward, while also strangely off-kilter. The theme answers aren't even all from different languages. They're just … some phrases in English, some not, all of them meaning, vaguely, "GOODBYE." Loose, inconsistent, weird. Also, it is absurd to have some of the clues refer to a person's name (i.e. "Bruno" ???) where the others don't. I get that you are trying to tip the language there, but names for all or names for none. I mean, the name thing isn't even consistent for foreign-language phrases—We get a Bruno and a Vladimir, but not a Juanita? These inconsistencies wouldn't rankle me so much if the clues weren't clearly *going* for consistency, with all of them being quoted, spoken phrases.

Puzzle had weird moments of brief difficulty. SMILE clue is massively un-Monday (21D: "Peace begins with a ___": Mother Teresa) and the spelling of DOSVIDANIYA was half-guesswork. Crazy-looking. Never seen that phrase written out before today, that I can recall. Also, I'm seeing it spelled "DOSVEDANYA" and a bunch of different ways on-line. Had no idea there was a conventional spelling of this phrase in English. No big deal. Still picked it up fast from crosses. Just one more thing that feels slightly off about this puzzle. Fill is pretty good, I think. Not the slop-fest we've been seeing too much of in recent months. I like AC DUCTS and SKI SLOPES and B-MOVIE, though I totally disagree that a B-MOVIE is "Unmemorable" (25A: Unmemorable low-budget film). The Lord of the Rings movies were unmemorable. Kiss Me Deadly, however, is scorched on my brain forever. Elitist nonsense, that clue.

See you tomorrow,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


retired_chemist 12:26 AM  

Medium. Enjoyable solve. Nice fill, decent theme.

Thanks,Mr. Johnson.

captcha gin for W - I thouhgt he was on the wagon?

Steve J 12:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve J 12:34 AM  

I guess I didn't notice some of the inconsistencies in the theme as I was solving. It's somewhat uncommon that I notice themes as I'm solving Mondays anyway. Nevertheless, DO SVIDANIYA was really the only one that bothered me in any way.

I realize anything from Russian is going to be a transliteration, which leaves spelling a bit flexible, but even within that, it seems misspelled. In Russian Cyrillic, it's spelled До свида́ния. The и character is usually transliterated as the letter I in English; it can be transliterated as Y when the vowel sound is sharper, such as when preceding another vowel. But there's only one vowel sequence at the end of the word: ya, not ee-ya. This spelling struck me as both redundant and inaccurate, since the spelling in Russian does not have the extra vowel.

Yes, that's geeky. Yes, that's thinking about it too much. Yes, I was quickly able to infer what the puzzle intended.

Thought the fill overall was quite good for a Monday. Particularly liked TEN PINS, B MOVIE and SINGLET.

I also intensely disagree with the clue for B MOVIE. Some of the most memorable movies ever are B movies. Who can possibly forget the likes of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Barbarella and anything from Russ Meyer? The most spectacularly B of B movies are far from unforgettable.

Unknown 12:53 AM  

Het up?

Anonymous 12:57 AM  

Echoing RP, today's offering seemed a bit inconsistent in theme cluing, and had some tough spots for a Monday. Still a fairly fun one.

Yesterday's puzzle by Jeff Chen was great, but I preferred this take on the idea:

pdf: bit.ly/JpalBn
puz: bit.ly/18PokKk

jae 1:17 AM  

Pretty tough for a Mon.  I knew all the phrases, but @Rex and Steve J spelling was a different story for the Russian and Italian downs.   Then there was SockS for SLUGS, leotard for SINGLET, DOdo to DOlt to DOPE... So, like I said, a tough Mon. for me.

 @Steve J - never thought of Barbarella as a B Movie.
Dense theme, not much dreck, liked it!

chefwen 1:19 AM  

@Carola - Is your heart still in your throat as mine is? Hoo Boy, what a game.

Liked the puzzle a lot more than @Rex, but, then again, I am easily amused. Had a few write-overs. YAkS before YAPS At 10A, ShIny before SLICK at 21A and HoT before HEP at 50D. That's a lot for me on a Monday. Anyhoo, a good start to the week.

Arrivederci Coder Mascots 3:27 AM  

Theme was 4, 10, 7, 10, 4, 11, 11 = 57 theme squars!
SEVEN themes for a Monday!!!!

Yes, cluing was slightly ragged and no one should have to know how to spell dosvedaniya on a Monday, or know those tricky clues like LONG E... Or 2wds with abbrev like ACDUCTS.
Those three rhings, plus seven themers is not a usual Monday.

Little heavy on YA, YOU, YOURS
But how can I not like a puzzle that sneaks in a Beatles clue at 1Down.

Starting out with LAPIS I think this was the hardest Monday ever!

DOUBLEDUP was sophisticated and SKISLOPES literally cool!

Anonymous 3:31 AM  

Unambitious...? Hardly. Seems to me that the author was simply trying for a simple puzzle that was "reachable" for the audience who might attempt a Monday.

If you understand the theme in general(without nitpicking about alternate spellings) then I think mission accomplished. After all, don't we want to pass on the joys of crosswords so they do not fade?

Just my thoughts, thank you.

Glimmerglass 7:17 AM  

Why was this theme approved? Because it's Monday. Why are some clues names and others not? Why not? I've quoted Emerson here before: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Spell DOSVIDANIYA on a Monday? Which of the crosses was so hard you couldn't fill in a problem letter? The theme was easy; some of the fill was a little harder. A decent Monday puzzle.

Unknown 7:27 AM  

Ditto @Glimmerglass...this was a fine, fun Monday. That hobgoblin has really been pesky lately.

Tita 7:36 AM  

This was a fine Monday - not the best ever, but I enjoyed solving it.
I also threw in DOSVeDANYA. And tried unsuccsessfully to spell ARRIVerdicci or some such thing. In spite of working for an Italian company, nad being there occasionally, I haven't grokked when to DOUBLEUP on the consonants.

We see LUEGO again, as well as SLAKE, a word I love to say, although I only get to say it when I see it in a puzzle.

And last night I was wondering how I would segue in to discussing our own @LMS's oeuvre, when, I see HISS and BMOVIE as fill!!!
So, here goes...
I saw "SNAKESONAPLANE" in the TV lineup yesterday, and since I had heard so much about it during the discussions here, I recorded it.
OMG! There is very little dreck, movie-wise, that I can't continue watching, but I had to turn it off... It was hilariously terrible!

Anyhow, thanks Mr. Johnson! Oh - I also like the word CHINK and its clue.)

dk 7:40 AM  

Oddly entertaining.

I have returned to the Shire and while peeved that i have no paper.... This puzzle shall not be the dog I kick.

For want of better clueing as Rex points out.... This would have been a much better puzzle still...

I echo the words penned by anon-o-mouse 3:31am.

** (2 Stars) jusqu'a demain

Tita 7:44 AM  

Oh - and if anyone was watching Sunday Morning and saw the piece on the 100th anniversary of the crosswords, starring the usual suspects - WS and Dan Feyer...

Did you see the story anout the guy who proposed by getting a puzzle published?
As I was watching, I called my friend to tell him his friend's story was on - well, turns out the folks that were shown yesterday were NOT the first - it was this couple back in 2008...!

r.alphbunker 7:53 AM  

Is this Will Shortz's way of letting us know that he is going indy? Rumor has it that he will be passing the torch to David Steinberg on Dec 21.

And for those of you still using pencils: how to sharpen a pencil

jberg 7:58 AM  

I too thought DOS VIDANIYA was wrong, but it is actually right - a letter-by-letter transliteration (redundancy for clarity) of До свида́ния. Contra @Steve J, the last two Cyrillic letters there are vowels, commonly rendered 'i' and 'ya.' So it's right.

Yeah, the theme was a little sloppy - if 50A had been English slang to match 17A I'd have liked it a lot better. Not sure what language TATA is. OK, though.

But what's with the almost-totally unconnected grid? I try to work from crosses, and got stuck in the NE when SKI hills wouldn't fit. No problem really, but odd on a Monday.

Good point: getting the clue for 27A correct.

Zwhatever 8:01 AM  

A little crunchy for a Monday. Three long foreign phrases are certain to cause a problem or three. HASTA LUEGO, BABY (speaking of misquoting B MOVIES).

What caused me the most problems, though, was SKI resort. Yikes. I haven't had that messy of a section on a Monday in a long time. OOPS.

Best line of the puzzle: Marvin GAYE, EMIR of ESSEX. How's that for visual, Marvin singing love songs to the Queen. Maybe "Sexual Healing." That would be an immemorial B MOVIE.

Winter has arrived with a vengeance here in the mitten. Played Ultimate yesterday in 8" of snow with 21° temps and 20 mph gusts. Not an IOTA of a sub for my team, which is just as well since no one wanted to sit on the sideline for even one play. Today will be a good day to hang out on CHAISE lounge and having a Young's Double Chocolate Stout.

Loren Muse Smith 8:02 AM  

Well, heck. My first thought with a Monday like this is "poor Dad." I haven't talked to him yet, so I may be surprised, but one of the biggest CHINKs in his armor is foreign language. And he *so* looks forward to Mondays and Tuesdays. I have to say, though, that recently he has surprised me with how far he's gotten on some puzzles.

Dad and foreign language – he grew up in Charlotte, the youngest of five. In high school one year, he enrolled in Spanish I. Back then, you had to purchase the text book, so he was the proud owner of a Spanish I text book – kind of a big deal for a family with not a lot of disposable income. On the first day of class, the teacher walked in and said, "Buenos días, clase." In those days before TV, lots of immigrants, Taco Bell, Dad had never heard a foreign language. So he got tickled and started laughing. Dad is plagued by that phenomenon where you just can't stop laughing once you start. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree – it's a horrible feeling when it happens.) To make matters worse, his sister, Carolyn, enrolled in the same class a couple of days later. So now his family had purchased two Spanish textbooks. He and Carolyn were close; of course they laughed uncontrollably for a few days before they were both thrown out of the class. So his family owned two Spanish textbooks, and all Dad ever learned was "el burro."

@Tita – I didn' t even make the HISS, B MOVIE connection! Hah!

@Rex, @Steve J, @Tita – yeah, the spellings of DOSVIDANIYA and ARRIVEDERCI were just guesses , but gettable with the crosses, so I'm not complaining. I've already completely forgotten how to spell them now though.

Considered "onesie" before DIAPER. And "ssss" before HISS.

SKI SLOPES crossing OOPS. Yeah. The few times I've been skiing, I have had to use those embarrassing short, fat skis for beginners and still. . . OOPS.

I don't care how CUT you are, once you put a SINGLET on, you just don't look as good. Sorry in advance to all you wrestlers, but seriously. . .

I keep seeing CHAISE LONGE. (By the way, I was hoping for "schwa" there before I saw the cross-referenced word, ERIE. LAMA, IOTA, URSA, TETRA, MESA – TOTAL schwa fest.)

@Tita - SLAKE again! Right! I forgot to try that word out at Planet Fitness (someone has pointed out that I always accidentally call it Planet Hollywood. GGGGG.)

SÉANCE – in Chattanooga, at slumber parties, we always had elaborate SEANCEs and invariably "called back" William Frawley, the actor who played Fred Mertz, because he was the only famous person we were pretty sure had died. He never showed up to moan or rap on anything.

Greg – I clicked on your picture before printing this out, and it seems this is your NYT debut. A fine job! I loved the foreign language! Too bad Japanese shitsurei shimasu, "good bye" (but literally "I'm going to commit a rudeness") is too long. Oh well. じゃまた!

Zwhatever 8:08 AM  

A quick little internet research suggests that TA TA is chiefly British, which counts as a foreign language, I suppose.

Jon Hilgers 8:26 AM  

You hit the b-movie nail on the head, Rex.

Anonymous 8:27 AM  

so wanted it to be "Bunny hill" as the site of T-bars

Anonymous 8:38 AM  

Yep, Ta-ta is British.

-MAS (ex-Brit)

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

Am I the only one to take exception to 46 across, the vowel sound at the end of GOODBYE? It's not a long-E, it's a long-I. We don't say good-bee... we say good-BY, the sound of which is long-I. Yeah, the LETTER is an E but we don't pronounce it that way.

joho 8:48 AM  

Hello, Greg Johnson! Welcome to your debut!

I was impressed by the dense theme and got a kick out of discovering CIAO and TATA long after I finished ... fun bonus answers.

I was surprised to learn that there's an "I" before the "Y" in DOSVIDANIYA. So I learned something and got to speak Russian this morning!

@Tita, me, too, regarding CHINK.

We're off to a great start!

Dorothy Biggs 9:00 AM  

For some reason the Mother Teresa clue/answer set two ear worms off and running in my head...and I don't really know why. By typing them out here, I hope to exorcise them...ugh.

First, the tag to the Kay Jeweler's commercial, "Every kiss begins with Kay."

Second, from the show "Annie," "You're never fully dressed without a SMILE."

Not an ear worm, but the quote reminded me of a way of saying someone is nekkid: dressed with only a SMILE.

Wow, I either need more caffeine, or I need to step away from the coffee for a while...

Otherwise, my *only* complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a more international flavor to the theme answers. Evidently GJ toyed with including sayonara and au revoir. Those two are very common words that should've been included, IMHO...poor fill be damned.

Dorothy Biggs 9:05 AM  

Oh, and one more thing...

The "B MOVIE" is, by definition, a second tier movie and so *should* be relatively unmemorable. How it works out in life, however, is different. There are people who do nothing but watch BMOVIES for the very fact that they're supposed to be "unmemorable." Have you seen Troll 2? That'll stick with you for a while...

@anon 8:39...I believe you are right. or maybe your are reet?

OOPS 9:06 AM  

@anon8:39 - the clue says "39-Across," which is ERIE, not 34-Across.

oldbizmark 9:07 AM  

ski slopes too me the longest time. i thought they were looking for a red light district type answer for T-bars. thought that was a bit risque for the NYT especially on a Monday. For me, this played very difficult (for a Monday). DOSVIDANIYA is not a well-known word, in my opinion and definitely not Monday fill, but I like it. good puzzle. just need to get my head out of the gutter and learn some Russian.

Carola 9:09 AM  

I thought this international "GOODBYE" puzzle was elegantly done and fun to solve. Having been studying Italian for a while, I now have the vowel and consonant line-up in ARRIVEDERCI down, but DOSVIDANIYA had to reveal itself from crosses. Fun(?) fact: "Wiedersehen" has the same number of letters as those two.

I liked the mirroring of I'M YOURS and ESPOUSE, in its meaning "to marry." The couple might call each other HUBS and BABY.

SINGLET came right to me as I'd just seen Trapeze: when Burt Lancaster as a trapeze artist is getting fired from the circus, the owner tells him to "Take off that singlet." @Loren, if you have a chance to see the movie, see if you might revise your opinion of how guys look in SINGLETs :)

@Rex - Agree entirely about B-MOVIES in general and Kiss Me Deadly in particular.

@chefwen - Tell me about it!

chefbea 9:21 AM  

What a great puzzle..and easy. Never heard of singlet. Loved having ciao over Rome.

AliasZ 9:50 AM  

Quite an ambitious NYT debut puzzle by Greg Johnson today. Besides the admirable theme density, the flow of the fill was quite smooth in this uncluttered grid. It is unfortunate about the two culs-de-sac in the NW/SE. A more experienced constructor would have opened up one or two escape routes from these corners. However, of the four entries that tie the three mini-puzzles neatly together, two were the best non-themers today: SKISLOPES and DOUBLEDUP.

@SteveJ, let me respectfully disagree. The Russian letter я all by itself is the ya sound, as in "yard." The и before it in до свидания is the e sound, as in "me". The и becomes a short i (or the y in yes), only when it is crowned by a ˘ breve, as in здравствуйте. So yes, at the end of до свидания the e sound precedes ya and is transcribed as DOSVIDANIYA. No redundancy or inaccuracy here.

But enough of this. Let me say AUF WIEDERSEHEN or VISZONTLÁTÁSRA with Mario Lanza.

quilter1 9:57 AM  

Easy for me. It went too fast. I liked it, though and many of the answers were rare enough. Knew the Mother Teresa quote also.

RIP Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine. The crossword puzzles and solvers salute you.

Sandy K 10:10 AM  

Very entertaining Mon-puz!

Liked the 7 ways to say GOOD-BYE.
Didn't notice the clue inconsistencies til Rex pointed them out.

@AliasZ and @Carola- auf wiedersehen and viszontlatasra were staples in my household long before I'm outta here- which I hear now...

Kelly RIPA just mentioned that she "was honored" when her name appeared in the NYT puz.

Laters, BABY!

GILL I. 10:40 AM  

Fun Monday puzzle with lots of SLICK words. I gauge a Monday puzzle on how easily I can put together a story. This one is full of UTIL words and I'd do one but I'm running late.
Waaaa Peter O'Toole.....

Steve J 10:52 AM  

@jberg and @AliasZ: Thanks for the correction. I made a stupid mistake, which is to read the я as an а. Dumb mistake, proving what I've long said about my abilities with Cyrillic: I know the letters' pronunciations just well enough to embarrass myself.

I hadn't noticed that the puzzle was nearly bisected, with only single entries into the NW and SE. Between that and the spelling challenges, I wonder how average times will end up looking today, and I wonder how early-week solvers will fare. Still, the constructor did a really good job of crossing the difficult-to-spell parts and lone entry points, making it easy to pick things up.

In fact, the more I look at this one, the more impressed I am by it. It's very well put together.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:19 AM  

Has already been said, but my first thought at seeing the grid was, "Three puzzles for the price of one."

But they were three good puzzles.

Miss Sunshine 11:22 AM  

I'm so excited to finally be writing on this blog. I am a newcomer and have often wanted to get into the conversation but, I usually don't finish a puzzle until a day or two after it appears. However, I finished it easily today. I am not good with foreign languages but, I got those answers from the crosses. I think I am probably in a class with Lauren's dad. I love reading the blog and feel like I know all of you, especially Lauren.

Miss Sunshine

Milford 11:38 AM  

Didn't feel hard, exactly, just slow to fill in here. Didn't mind the easy theme, but thank god for crosses to fill in DOSVIDANIYA. Also helped with correcting my ARRIViDERCI.

Also liked the CIAO over ROME, and the crossing of SLAKE/SLICK. And onesie before DIAPER, too.

Agreed that B-MOVIES are not, by definition, unmemorable.

@Z - even though I grew up in Michigan, my blood is too thin to truly enjoy this cold weather with outdoor sports. My youngest is the total opposite, and will literally spend hours outside, as she did this weekend. Thankfully there are plenty of kids around us that share her love of the snow.

Nice Monday.

Benko 12:03 PM  

Troll 2 used to be my favorite movie in high school. my best friend's parents owned a video production company and we would use their equipment to make cheesy horror shorts.
I tried watching Troll 2 recently and found it totally unwatchable, though.

Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:22 PM  

Welcomes all round to the deb6Ut constructioneer and to @Miss Sunshine. 4-Oh is kinda Mr. Sunshine, so feel like the set is finally gettin complete.

MonPuz theme was at the appropriate moo-cow level. Big suspense part was, of course, how to spell the SEEYALATER themer. Fewer moo-cow easy clues than normal, here. Usually a body can just walk into some random spot and start swingin. Had to pick yer fights more careful, today. Example: "The U of U.S.S.R."...ahhhh. Nicely done. Nonexample: "___ lazuli"...yeowch.

4-Oh has a solid beef with that whole B-MOVIE/unmemorable discussion. I watch about 2.1 of em every FriNite with the bro-in-law. I'll admit that after a few years over the dam, some of em do blur together a mite. Some, tho, are totally unforgettable.
Examples (yer results may vary):
* Sharknado. Defies credability to the point of mind etchin.
* Manos: The Hands of Fate. U will remember the movie name, at least. Defense mechanism.
* Feast. And Feast II, even more so.
* Army of Darkness. This had two prequels. What were they? Anyone? You will impress m&e, if you know.
* Chandu the Magician. Very atmospheric. But not in a fartsy way.

Happy Holiday viewing,

mac 12:29 PM  

Good, thoughtfully constructed Monday, I enjoyed it.

I just had a problem with "doubled up", which I know to be used with rooms or beds. Doubled over with pain, I think.

Tot ziens!

xyz 12:51 PM  

Pretty easy Monday trying to be harder with some lame (to me) fill. Any Monday I can do with multiple distractions with no errors and no real long pauses is still easy, even for Monday.

Commenting only because I commented on Sunday, feel free to ignore, unless you think I am snarky and then I say HAH! :-)

i am not a robot 1:21 PM  

This puzzle, I think, falls under the RP category of "elegant" more than people - or, maybe even the constructor - realized.


24 D and 11 D - symmetrical, 11 letters

6 A is appropriately over 15 A

17 A and 50 A - symmetrical, 10 letters

30 A (DOUBLE...) 38 D (SINGLE...)

4 D "IM YOURS" - symmetrical with 39 D "ESPOUSE".....

Etc.....In short, there seems to be a great deal of subtle and elegant construction going on...imho

Bird 1:32 PM  

Meh. Even for a Monday. Theme application was inconsistent. Why isn’t 6A clued in Italian when 50A is clued in Spanish? Plus there’s no zip or spice - the revealer has gotta be better.

Other nits . . .
I thought 22A are called AIR DUCTS
I don’t know about you, but if I’m DOUBLED anything in pain it’s OVER and not UP

I do like the long downs, though.

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

Item #27 of things my worthless father never taught me, or maybe he did but I always thought he was worthless so never paid attention:

Never, ever, cut short an outdoor task to come inside to "warm up". You never actually warm up, all that happens is that your muscles cramp up and you greatly dread going back out to finish the job.

ahimsa 2:03 PM  

Kudos to Greg Johnson for a fun puzzle! And many congrats on the debut!

This was a fun puzzle to solve. The theme seemed just right for a Monday. I enjoyed a grid packed with all those different ways to say GOODBYE. I did not care in the least that some had names and some did not or that 50 A was clued in (*very easy*) Spanish.

The spelling was not easy, but all the crosses fixed any errors quickly.

I also liked I'M YOURS and YOU LOSE.

I do agree that the clue for B MOVIE was weird. Some B MOVIEs are quite memorable and some high budget movies are not.

MaharajaMack 2:17 PM  

Were Rex within arms reach and were I to be holding Glamdring, he would be begging this white wizard for mercy for that B-Movie comment.

Acme 2:44 PM  

I'm YOURS, YOU LOSE ... Sounds like someone with low self-esteem issues!

That wm Frawley detail is hilarious and you can't make that up and you should definitely consider writing some childhood memoir short stories Southern Erma
bombeck-style. You have a unique and hilarious voice.

Since AUREVOIR/SAYONARA are both 8, that would've been interesting to have all the goodbyes not in English. I feel like I've either tried to make that before or have solved it. But I'd never have been brave enough to include Russian.


Acme 2:45 PM  

GOODBYE, Mr Chips :(

Benko 3:31 PM  

Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, of course!
I've seen those movies maybe 100 times. Read Bruce Campbell's memoirs about making them, too.
My favorite of the 3 is Evil Dead 2, although Army Of Darkness is hilarious.

Benko 3:34 PM  

Also, since we're doing foreign goodbyes, let me include my relatives' native Polish, which is similar to DOSVIDANIYA:

Do Widzenia!

In Denmark we say 4:13 PM  


sanfranman59 5:04 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 (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 7:10, 6:13, 1.15, 93%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:34, 3:49, 1.20, 97%, Challenging (8th highest ratio of 208 Mondays)

ahimsa 5:19 PM  

@Acme, funny! I didn't even see that low self-esteem interpretation.

Namaste! And Phir Milenge! (We'll Meet Again)

M and Also 5:27 PM  

@Benko-- U rule, dude. Also have good taste in movietime well wasted, btw.

p.s. Another memorable flick, supposedly made on a budget of $7 grand: "Primer". A time travel movie so brain-bendin, you'll need to watch it about 100 times, to convince yerself that you understood what just happened.

Makin a Merry Christmas puz. There may be a quiz in it, on some of these here B-movies...


sanfranman59 10:11 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 7:08, 6:13, 1.15, 93%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:30, 3:49, 1.18, 95%, Challenging (11th highest ratio of 208 Mondays)

August West 11:31 PM  

I was just not on this puzzle's wavelength. It took me 6:58 to complete, which is more than double my usual Monday time. Thinking 24D was spelled DaS VIDANY()A was the least of my troubles, spawned chiefly of: a) failure to grasp the intended meaning of several clues that just seemed off to me, and; b) dropping "gimmes" in places that turned out not to be gimmes, after all.

There is a game known as TEN PIN bowling. TENPINS? No. Like @ Bird, I'm DOUBLED over, not UP. I just don't think of a quiche as a PIE. I get it, but not...getting it...caused me plenty of early stare time. Ditto "Jabbers." I couldn't stop thinking what four letter word might equate to "boxers." Dropped TATA in 6A out of the gate. Infant's wear was confidently deemed a "onesie." They're AirDUCTS, thank you very much. I didn't think of advocate as a verb and, so, took a long time to drop ESPOUSE. Many have commented on the arguably misleading clue for BMOVIE.

None of this is a knock on Mr. Johnson's fine debut. My fits and starts were mostly self-induced, although I don't know that a puzzle that opens with LAPIS lazuli is, really, a Monday.

Seth 1:56 PM  

To me, saying the Lord of the Rings movies were unmemorable is Elitist.

NM Robin 9:44 AM  

Where are all the Syndiland solvers?

I completed the puzzle but it took me a heck of a long time. I would definitely call this one challenging. I don't know how to spell ARRIVEDERCI or DOSVODANIYA. I did get CIAO as that is often in puzzles. And HASTA LUEGO is no problem but is not used in this neck of the woods much. ADIOS is much more common.

@r.alph...I use a pencil but now days who sharpens a pencil?

spacecraft 11:26 AM  

With early-week puzzles I start in the NW and try to guess the theme off the first long answer. So when I saw SEEYALATER (10), naturally I thought of ALLIGATOR (9), AFTERWHILE (10) and CROCODILE (9). They'd have been out of order in a symmetrical grid, but could have been augmented by BILLHALEY (9) and THECOMETS (9).

And if that starts an earworm, dude, you're OLD. Like me.

I agree with OFL that this has pretty clean fill, minus the unfortunate LONGE. Interesting discussion on BMOVIEs. Typically defined as low-budget and devoid of top-tier casting, many still carve out a place in cinematic history. "The Blob," introducing Steve McQueen, comes to mind.

Theme cluing did seem, as OFL mentioned, inconsistent,but overall, cleanness of fill tips the thumbs "UP" (not "over").

I'm amassing a vitrual armada here: another boat, 5's full of 3's.

DMG 2:35 PM  

Enjoyed the puzzle, but had a one square DNF. Couldn't guess the penultimate Russian letter, not helped by a crossing from Motown. As always, I am impressed by the variety of knowledge found among cruciverbers (cruciverbalists??), tho I doubt the Russian spelling/phonetic discussion will stay with me.

Only one pair, 3's. I fold!

Waxy in Montreal 3:18 PM  

Had Bruno pegged as a German so originally tried to shoehorn Auf Wiedersehen into 11D.

Syndi-synchronicity again today as Marvin Gaye is in the news, his estate claiming modern day singer Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” infringes on the copyright of Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up”.

Congrats to @SiS and the rest of the west coast solvers on the Hawks' thrilling win yesterday. And condolences to @Diri - too bad about the Pats.


Dirigonzo 3:51 PM  

Brian ENO appears in the grid so often that yesterday when he showed up in the Premier Crossword I decided to learn a little about him - let's just say that his musical style is not my cup of tea.

@spacey - 'The Blob' is my favorite horror movie ever; well, that and 'Creature from the Black Lagoon'. I saw them both several times in the theater and came away scared s@#&-less every time. Good memories.

It appears my four 8s wins the pot?

rain forest 4:24 PM  

This was decent Monday puzzle, in my opinion. Sure, the theme is bland, but caused a bit of angst with the spelling of the Russian word, accompanied by the unnecessary demonstration of translation pedagogy. All gettable, of course, along with some extremely nice fill. I guess no one really says "I'm playing TENPINS", but ask me if I care.

Way to go 'Hawks. Classic SB coming up.

Solving in Seattle 5:48 PM  

The puz - loved your debut, Greg Johnson! Clean as they come. Maybe my fav Monpuz.

Fav BMOVIE is The Predator. RRRRnold is just great in it.

@Waxy & @Rainy, thanks for the Hawks shoutout from my Canadian amigos. I don't have any fingernails left. And I love Richard Sherman. High school salutatorian, Stanford grad, and not afraid to speak his mind.

@Diri, also sorry the Pats lost. Woulda been fun in XLVIII.


Capcha hand - Threes over fours. Diri takes the pot.

Go Hawks!

Ginger 6:02 PM  

This reminds me of the old Paul Simon song, '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover'?

Fun puzzle, which other than the spelling of ARRIVEDERCI and DOSVIDANIYA, I found quite easy. But, I usually have problems with spelling. Seven, count 'em, seven theme answers, that's high theme density on any day. Smooth fill, elegant (if unusual) grid.

Hawks and Broncos, from the only 2 states to have legal pot. Theme song of the SB? "Rocky Mountain High". GO HAWKS

Dirigonzo 6:31 PM  

@Ginger - Hah! Those two teams do bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "Super Bowl", don't they? Thanks for picking up on that theme - I missed it completely (too busy crying in my beer to notice).

strayling 7:05 PM  

*groan* at the pun. I was going to write something similar but you blunted that notion good and proper.

Ginger 7:06 PM  

@Diri Those two teams do bring..... Yes they 'do'...the 'Doobie Bowl' (groan).

Sorry about the Pats, maybe next year?

full house, 3s and 2s. Still think deuces wild would be nice.

strayling 7:10 PM  

I liked this one. An easy-going theme and a few unfamiliarities in the SE to keep things interesting.

Spot on for a Monday.

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