1983 Woody Allen mockumentary / TUE 2-11-14 / Autonomous part of Ukraine / Two-time loser to Dwight

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Constructor: Matthew E. Paronto and Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: LAUNDRY LIST (55A: Extensive enumeration … or what's formed by the ends of 17-, 23-, 34- and 48-Across) — ends of those answers are laundry-related verbs: WASH, DRY, PRESS and FOLD

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Say that neither side benefited (CALL IT A WASH)
  • 23A: Strand (LEAVE HIGH AND DRY)
  • 34A: Start being printed (GO TO PRESS)
  • 48A: Join a community again (RETURN TO THE FOLD)
Word of the Day: LON Chaney (55D: Chaney of the silents) —
Lon Chaney (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930), born Leonidas Frank Chaney, was an American actor during the age of silent films. He is regarded as one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema, renowned for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with makeup. Chaney is known for his starring roles in such silent horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). His ability to transform himself using makeup techniques he developed earned him the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces." (wikipedia)
• • •

Turns out I get LON Chaney confused with Peter Lorre, despite their looking nothing alike. I guess "old-timey actor" + "Lo- name" => brain scramble.

This was a solid, if fairly rudimentary and old-fashioned-feeling, effort. Last words have something in common—that's a pretty common theme type. Not sure why the revealer clue didn't have a "?" at the end of it, since, WASH, DRY, PRESS and FOLD do not constitute a "laundry list" in the normal sense in which that word is used. In fact, I'm not sure what a "laundry list" is. I mean, I know that it just means "a long list," but I wonder what it was supposed to mean, originally. A list of the … things to be laundered? Grocery list, I get. LAUNDRY LIST is less self-evident to me. Anyway, there's no great fill here and no answers that couldn't have been in the puzzle decades ago (except maybe YAO). Fill isn't terrible, but it is somewhat stale. Best stuff is the theme stuff. Grid-spanners are both nice. Not sure why there are cheaters*, but there are. Not sure why SWED (!) is clued [Nor. neighbor], when the absurd four-letter abbr. answer really calls for an equally absurd four-letter abbrev. in the clue (yes, Norw. is, miraculously, an accepted abbrev. and has been in puzzles before; many times).

I flew through this pretty quickly, though stumbled at USAFB, which just didn't compute. Thought Edwards or Andrews, e.g. referred to names of people. I see that they are (famous) Air Force Bases, but the abbr. (again with the abbrs.) is not common in crosswords. AFB on its own, common enough. USAFB, much less so. Much much less so. In fact, never before in the NYT (not in recent memory, anyway). So overall, this was adequate and a bit hoary. Hoping for more exciting things in the days ahead.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*black squares that do not add to word count and exist solely to make grid easier to fill (today, the square above 15D and below 49D)


Steve J 12:12 AM  

Nice theme that was nicely executed. (Although, I too don't know a laundry list is in its non-idiomatic sense. I'm assuming a list of things that need to be washed. Why a list needs to be made for that, I have no idea. Whatever's the laundry basket gets laundered.)

A couple good bits of fill, like IMPALES and BAD EGGS, but most of it fell into the solid-but-unspectacular camp. Outside SWED and NEH, nothing to complain about.

Went through this quickly, finishing in average Monday time.

jae 12:19 AM  

Medium for me.  Amusing zippy theme/reveal with not much dreck.  Liked it! Better than the average Tues.  Nice debut Matthew.

wreck 12:23 AM  

It was actually a little longer than my Tuesday times -- but I liked it. I shudder to think about what will happen if a "perfect" puzzle ever appears.

... here's hoping the spambot has moved on!

Jisvan 12:30 AM  

Maybe a laundry list is a receipt for the things you drop off at the laundry, or the hotel staff collects from that bag in your room. How many shirts, briefs and pairs of socks, etc... A tedious accounting of the unmentionables! (I always do my wash in the hotel sink. Different travel class.)

Unknown 12:43 AM  

Fastest Tuesday in my (largely) google-free era. Not even a typo. That doesn't happen often

I'll be the spoiler: Andrews is not a USAFB. It used to be, but with base closures and consolidations of 2009, it is now called Joint Base Andrews and shares its digs with the Navy Air Reserve. Sorry. Edwards is a USAFB, proper. Still.

Otherwise, Crimean autonomy is nothing I've heard of before. Will google further. NTH degree is a term from rhetoric, right? Certainly not math, where NTH order would be preferred. Also, are OILERS the same as transoceanic oil tankers? I don't know that term. I do remember Bum Phillips and Billy White-Shoes Johnson, Warren Moon, and EARL Campbell. Now those were Oilers. BTW, Bum Phillips given name was OAIL. Nyezzz. Keep that one in mind.

Anonymous 12:52 AM  

If I'm not mistaken, there was a crossword in Newsday with nearly the exact same thing: parts of the laundry cycle, also in order. So this was a little bit of a letdown.

chefwen 1:05 AM  

I can go with the easy/medium rating. Had no write-overs, but this one seemed to require a little more thought than your basic Tuesday. Kept looking at 14 across wondering what a MODELA was. Oh, MODEL A, DOH!

Never heard of ZELIG. Sounds like our little buddy Woody Allen has found himself in more hot water.

Liked the JAIL/JOINT crossing.

Jon had a tough time with 4A, when he finally did get it he let out a DOH of his own because those are his favorite.

Good one Matthew and Jeff, it was above PAR.

Adlai Crimea Modela 1:18 AM  

The theme is a bit straightforward but there are five long themes... and little classy touches...
Triple 7s in the corners (seriously, that is hard to do in an early week puzzle)
and some interesting answers like OSSIFY, ZELIG, JOINT/JAIL cross and HERESY.
I like
...and I especially like that Jeff Chen offered to help newbies and has done a fantastic job, making so many new voices heard.

His Dog-face puzzle in the LA Times last week (with his wife) didn't get the PRESS and raves it deserved for cuteness and fun!

Synchronicity lite:
DATEABLE while "The Bachelor" is on in the background... Juan Pablo! (sigh)

JTHurst 1:49 AM  

Dateable, datable, debatable! The Swed - Nor. took me forever to decipher. I particular liked the Andrews or Edwards runways from my past and the egg crossing the nog.

Numinous 2:00 AM  

Wow, Laundry List. What a flash back. In the OLDE days, if you lived in an urban setting, say, a city, there weren't coin operated laundromats and mostly folks didn't have their own washing machines, They lived in apartments and rooming houses which didn't have them either. So, what would one do? They'd take their dirty clothes to the "No Tickee, No Washee" Chinese or otherwise laundry where clothes were washed and suits dry cleaned. When the clothes came back, they were wrapped in blue paper tied with string. Attached was a long narrow piece of usually pink or yellow paper with two columns that listed every imaginable item to be laundered. Next to the applicable items was a number; how many shirts, how many shorts, how many t-shirts etc.. When you took your clothes in, the person at the counter would sort through your stuff and check every item off, tossing it into a basket reserved just for sorting your clothes.

When I was a little boy, that's how my and my mother's clothes got clean. Every Saturday, we'd take the dirty clothes around the block to the laundry and pick up the clean ones. I was eleven or twelve before a laundromat opened down the street and I was assigned the task of doing the laundry myself.

So, a Laundry List is an exhaustive list of your stuff, and by extension, a list of your dirty stuff.

Boy oh boy, the stuff y'all don't know!

Numinous 2:12 AM  

Oh, yeah. Women would wash their intimate items by hand in the bathroom sink and hang them on a line rigged one way or another over the bathtub to dry over night. No self-respecting lady would trust her lingerie to a stranger.24992228 10

Danp 5:07 AM  

Rex, I think you get Peter Lorre and Lon Chaney Jr. confused. Lon Chaney Sr was the silent actor, and nothing at all like Peter Lorre or his son, Lon Jr. It's well worth seeing "The Unholy Three", Chaney Sr's final film and the only one in which he has a speaking role.

Amy 5:23 AM  

Just want to cast a vote for the fill here being great! Glazed hoarder teeter heresy plus solid theme entries. I really enjoyed it! All the other stuff, even if not exciting, was very "in the language" as you all say so came easily, I thought.

I am on a very brief visit to Naval Station Rota, which has a large Air Force presence as well. Probably all the military types around me, but USAFB came pretty quickly once I realized "bases" couldn't work because of the "or" in the clue. Military is great for acronyms that may or may not be logical.

Jesse White 6:14 AM  

When you go to Hotels, they typically have a Laundry List.

I've never used it, too expensive.

Anonymous 6:29 AM  

Stuff that fits (and I fell for two of them):
Leave in the lurch/ leave high and dry.
Call it a draw/ call it a wash.


GILL I. 6:56 AM  

I actually enjoyed this one but do agree with @Rex on the old timey feel. Other than that, the 7 downs were impressive I say.
@Numinous: I'm imPRESSed with your knowledge of women's intimate items!! I do remember the hanging nylons over the shower days though. Thank god I don't wear them anymore....
Good job Matthew and Jeff...

Mohair Sam 7:14 AM  

Very nice Tuesday puzzle. Fun theme - we fell into the easy/medium group.

Thanks for the definition @Numinous - we shoulda remembered, but didn't.

Same mistake as @chenwen. Who is this Modela Ford? And what else has she appeared in? In addition we filled CRIMEA with the downs and then wondered, until we read the clue, what a "crime a" was.

Glimmerglass 7:31 AM  

I don't remember that a laundry list had to be long. It was sometimes modified by "long." The point was that it was a list of complaints or accusations. So it was a list of dirty laundry. Hotels, dry cleaners, etc., had such lists. It was not, the puzzle notwithstanding, a list of laundry steps. Good Tuesday puzzle, however. Clever theme and interesting fill.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

It certainly came to have the connotation of being a long list, though, I'd say. At least that's how one hears it used around these parts for just about as long as I can recall.

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

A caller in Hamburg, Germany, wants to know where we got the term laundry list. Grant explains that it derives from a time when people of a certain class sent their laundry out to be cleaned. It’s usually associated with a collection of things that are routine or involve drudgery or something negative. Funny how no one ever offers a laundry list of compliments. This is part of a complete episode.

Fun puzzle by Matthew and Jeff!

A Nonni Nonny 8:15 AM  

What Numinous said. 'Not getting' LAUNDRY LIST might just mean relative youth...or it could mean a failure of imagination. 'Laundry list' now has connotations of being a string of sundry items: "He came up with a laundry list of demands that had to be met before he could approve the disbursement."

Whenever I see Jeff Chen's name with an unfamiliar constructor's byline, I figure it's yet another debut. I thought this was a pleasing puzzle and enjoyed solving it.

I had LEAVE IN THE LURCH (which fit just fine, darn it) and CALL IT EVENoops then A DRAW, and had to give both up. That always lets me know I had a good time--couldn't do the puzzle on autopilot. Thanks!

AliasZ 8:16 AM  

DATEABLE? I guess people pleasant enough for eyeing are eligible for dateing, thus they are DATEABLE.

This puzzle was nice and easy, no SWED figuring out the theme. There were some entries that elicited a NEH, like ITD, ELI, ETA, ASKA, NTH, OPIE, ORCA, ORSO, but I GLAZED right through it.

Cute theme, but somewhat depressing. It reminded me of my LAUNDRY day, which is (totally arbitrarily) Wednesday. Why not Wednesday?

What a gruesome sub-theme though! The inquisition IMPALES many BAD EGGS who FELL OUT of favor for being accused of HERESY, which was considered CRIME A in the DARK AGE. Never mind leniency, or a GLAZED donut or JOINT in JAIL. Weed was not known in those days. No AMOUNTS of MEA culpa helped either. And there were HAIRS in their soup served as their last meal OF SORTS. In those days defenestration was also practiced whereby heretics were gently coaxed near a high window in the castle and by golly, they FELL OUT, barely giving them a chance to PREPARE to meet their maker.

YEE, YAO, off to work I go.

joho 8:21 AM  

I thought the theme answers were fresh & fluffy which made up for some of the flatter fill.

My take away today was: I hope that my HIP JOINTs don't OSSIFY and leave my hula dancing days behind me.

Congratulations, Matthew! And thanks to Jeff for helping yet another newcomer!

chefbea 8:37 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Had return to the hood for a while and thought…what does a hood have to do with laundry?

Love glazed donuts and I love to do laundry..but the first step Is SORT - that should have been included

Unknown 8:43 AM  

Cute theme, and very smooth and easy fill. I liked it!

jberg 8:45 AM  

I used to take just 2 or 3 of every item of clothing and wash them out in the sink every night, no matter how long the trip - got through 3 week trips that way. (Hint: roll your shirt up in a towel, then stand on the towel - that a cotton shirt dry enough to be completely dry in the morning.) This worked particularly well when I walked the Cotswold Way for 9 days, staying in a different B&B each night.

Nowadays, though, I'm lazy; so when I spent a week away in late January, I took only half the changes of clothes I needed, and had the hotel wash them -- which compelled me to use their LAUNDRY LIST. In my experience, these are always what @numinous describes, pre-printed lists with everything you can think of on them; so the list itself is long, even if you are only checking off 3 items.

As for the puzzle: I loved it. sure, NEH wasn't great, but TEETER, ADLAI, JAIL! My only quibble was the clue for 59A -- every ORCA at every Sea World is called Shamu, so the tag "for one" is wrong.

Captcha seems to have gone back to the letters - guess they learned yesterday.

pmdm 8:57 AM  

Chefwan: I suppose before taking sides one should read Mr. Allen's response published this past Sunday in the NY Times (in the print edition on the page before the editorials). [I'm not implying you have taken a side.] The problem is what I call the [Lance] Armstrong Factor, which some might call the ARod factor (although Alex isn't nearly as good at it). What we learned from Mr. Armstrong is how credible a liar can be and how persuasive a liar's argument can seem. I suppose we've always been made aware of that by politicians, but Mr. Armstrong brought the credibleness his cover-up to what I consider an unsurpassed level. It is so sorry that there is no good way to resolve who is the liar and whose account is faithful to reality, the father's or the daughter's. The son's testimony, while informative, doesn't settle the issue infallibly. What we do know for sure is that the daughter is afflicted with a tortured state of mind, and that is truly tragic.

Not really relevant to the crossword, but relevant to your comment.

Unknown 9:01 AM  

I first heard of laundry lists in an essay called "The Metterling Lists" in a Woddy Allen book- "Getting Even". I think anyone who has endured reading, or written a paper exhaustively analyzing any art form might enjoy this pastiche of literary analysis :)

Unknown 9:03 AM  

@numinous ah, and so the requirement to own 14 pairs of underwear, tee shirts, etc. That was wisdom I received from my family growing up in DC in 60s and 70s, but we had a washing machine, so it didn't make much logistical sense. Hampers were never big enough for 14 days, nor were the bureaus, etc.. Still: 14 days!


Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Re: Oiler ...

Interesting that Dictionary.com has no mention of a ship in it's enumeration of definitions.

Anyway, I always thought that Oiler as a ship was one that refuels other military ships while underway at sea.

While this type of ship does operate in the Persian Gulf, "tankers" are far more prevalent.

Given this imprecision, I would have clued this with a Houston and/or Edmonton reference.

quilter1 9:24 AM  

@numinous I knew that even though we always had a washing machine.
My joints are OSSIFYing, hence physical therapy twice a week. Dang old age. But that made the puzzle easy for me, yet enjoyable with the words others have pointed out. Clear memories of my folks wanting ADLAI to win both times.

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

I call sort-of BS at LON / NEH. Both are crossword-common, but neither is anything-else-common, and the cross is uninferable. Why not go LOM / MEH? Is one old-timey actor (LON) really that much better than another (LOM) that is justifies NEH (ouch) over MEH? Meh...

Carola 9:52 AM  

I thought it was an unusually nice Tuesday, with a clever theme and plenty of other good entries. I liked the sequence FELL OUT - LOATHE - AVENGE, with IMPALES at the END O' the LIST.

@chef bea - Your comment made me realize that SORT is there, hidden within OF SORTS, and crossing WASH.

@Quilter 1 - I had the same thought about parents and ADLAI.

OISK 9:54 AM  

Nice puzzle. Just right for a Tuesday, no pop trivia, amusing theme. For a Tuesday, this gets an A from me.

RnRGhost57 9:58 AM  

Numinous, thanks for the nice reminiscence.
Jeff and Matthew, thanks for a pleasant Tuesday puzz.
Did anyone else initially write FLIES for "unpleasant discoveries in soup"? That would have been a Monday answer I suppose.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:07 AM  

Good Tuesday puzz.

Got me, in the form of one write-over: Plunged ahead where I should by now know to wait: 56 D, HEE-haw before YEE-haw.

lawprof 10:31 AM  

This was pretty much an archetypal Tuesday puzzle: lively theme; just enough resistance; minimal dreck. Nice job Messrs Paronto and Chen.

One nit: The classic complaint is, "Waiter, there's a fly [hair] in my soup." Never heard of, "Waiter, there are flies [hairs] in my soup." The former is bad enough; the latter, over-the-top disgusting.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

Do banks really offer IRAs (53A) with a percent yield? Maybe CDs or money mkt accts but an IRA?

Two Ponies 10:51 AM  

Nice Tuesday.
I enjoyed that wash, press, and fold are used in a non-laundry meaning.
Hairs in the soup didn't really pass my breakfast test.
Congrats on the debut and kudos to Jeff Chen for being a mentor.

Notsofast 10:51 AM  

A nice enough puzzle. I liked ITD, but thought USAFB was a stretch. Go figure.

Z 11:04 AM  

Why would anyone consider a slang term (meh) as preferable over a book of the Bible (NEH). HERESY.

A fairly presidential puzzle with FDR's POLIO, wannabe ADLAI and his opponent GEN Eisenhower, ABE. Surprised that Kenya didn't make the puzzle.

Beer Rating - Negra MODELo.

Lewis 11:51 AM  

I liked all the theme answers, which gave oomph to the puzzle.

Last to go for me was the southeast. A four-letter season, what could it be but fall, I asked myself. Sorted it out soon enough.

I see the soap opera portal has vanished...

Masked and Anonym007Us 12:11 PM  

My laundry list also includes MISSINSOCKHUNT, more often than not. Sometimes there's enough extra lint in the filter, that I figure one mighta sorta spontaneously disintegrated. Mystery of the Universe. But I digress.


fave weejects: NEH & HON, symmetrical-like.

@Bob. K: Am workin on buildin a 7x7 puz what is more than worthy of yer considerable solvin skills. May take me a while.

Agent 007-U will return, in "Dr. Neh"...


Mayaleo 12:29 PM  

Dateable was in the movie Frances Ha, as in "not dateable", meaning no one would date you.

mac 12:35 PM  

Good Tuesday puzzle, enjoyed it.

Last week, staying at a hotel in London, I considered for a moment to have some knee socks and unmentionables laundered, but the prices were so high I saved money by buying new stuff.

The laundry list, WASH or DRYCLEAN, just press, fold instead of hangers for shirts, made me think of hotel living.

Dateable is almost funny. Isn't it eligible?

gringa 12:50 PM  

In all those old 19th century novels with great manor houses, there were always laundry lists that were scrupulously maintained and reconciled. X number of dress shirts , Y number of petticoats, etc..

In this age of super cheap Chinese manufactured items that are thrown away without thought and/or easily replaced, it is hard to imagine the seriousness of a theft/loss of something so trivial as a handkerchief.

In the book "Scourge, A History of Small Pox," Jonathan Tucker mentions a diary account of early germ warfare in US history in which soldiers "give" the Indians blankets and handkerchiefs infected with the small pox virus.

At the end of the diary entry, the writer details the reimbursement amounts for each item. Unfathomable!

Unknown 12:51 PM  

The Mrs. and I are taking spring break in her land of fractional ethnic origin EIRE and (at a similar fraction) mine CYMRU. Which leads me to ask constructors, could I get a little CYMRU, please?
Diolch, as the Cymry might say.

seano 1:44 PM  

Agree with Anonymous above, IRAs do not "have" a (especially guaranteed) percentage yield. You can put IRA money in things that guarantee percentage yields, like CODs. That's what I had first.

Also, was I the only one who had UTIL in 31D? First RAIL, then UTIL... Thrown off because the IL fit so nice.

Numinous 2:00 PM  

I briefly gave flies serious consideration but having IMPALE and DARKAGE in the NW and LOATHE and ADLAI in the Rockies made LEAVE HIGH AND DRY imperative. So, HAIRS it was.

RAIL first but rOINT made no sense. Had a hard time remembering what's on the Monopoly board.

I thought this was a fine puzzle. I don't mind the three letter weirdnesses. In fact, I think it's usually clever that people can come up with plausible ones to tie stacks together. The often elicit groans but I really enjoy "stupid jokes". My step-daughter and I used to collect and trade them.

Matthew, Jeff, terrific job.

Loren Muse Smith 2:22 PM  

First, congrats to Matthew and kudos to Professor Chen. Nice work!
I thought “piano” meant to play sweetly? Or was that a taco sandwich that was sweet maybe?

@M&A – I blew your first best favorite cross and thus had a dnf. I had RAIL/ROINT. I really did. I never take trains anywhere, so I just vaguely thought, “Who knew?” @seano – that was after I erased “util.” I never play Monopoly.

My “pull on” was “don” before TUG.

Yeah – those pesky “flies” (doing the backstroke) were in my soup before HAIRS. Finding a HAIR in your soup is one thing, but HAIRS? Think they were TEASED UP first? Ick.

@chefbea and @Carola – I had the same thought immediately for the SORT. I, personally, never SORT, and I’m alive to talk about it. I mean the jeans go in with the white socks. HERESY.

Speaking of socks, @M&A – I know, right? (I love saying that.) Every single load I take out of my dryer has at least one odd sock. Every. Single. Load. So I’m struck dumb when one of my son’s friends comes over with this lone sock and says, “My mom says this is yours.” Seriously? She’s such an accomplished laundress that she not only never has odd socks but can spot an interloper sock? Wow.

OSSIFY. When I went to Paris for a summer study abroad, I lived in a hall and had my own room with a small sink. I had just bought a pair of Levis - not pre-washed – those really dark, really stiff new ones. After a while, I decided to wash them, and being afraid of the French washers and not understanding them, I tried to wash these jeans in my little sink. Har. And then rinse them. Right. Two and a half weeks later, they had dried, and, I kid you not, I stood them in a corner like a Levi Statue. Talk about becoming inflexible. Sheesh.

Matthew – I’ll look forward to more from you! Jeff – see you in Brooklyn!

chefbea 2:40 PM  

@Loren love picturing your statue. LOL

chefwen 3:06 PM  

@pmdm - I would never take sides unless I was "in the know". I was merely mentioning that he gets more than his share of bad press.

M and Also 3:31 PM  

@muse -- I am always suspicious of visitors bearin odd socks. I have cousins whose levis I swear could probably stand up in the corner on their own, tho.

ROINT is one tough dnf. U had RAIL as a Monopoly square? ooftah.

@Bob K. Got 'er done. May need to publish another puz along with it, so other folks won't hurt themselves tryin to do yers.


sanfranman59 4:11 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 7:57, 8:15, 0.96, 37%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:04, 5:12, 0.97, 38%, Easy-Medium

Dave 4:31 PM  

For whatever reason, I was thinking 31A was the electric company ("UTIL") and was temporarily stumped by "UOINT" and "TPP" for 31 and 32 down.

Pretty straightforward once I got the them and realized 17A wasn't "call i a draw".

Loren Muse Smith 5:44 PM  

@M&A - you know what's worse than having ROINT in your "finished" grid is not even questioning it and thinking maybe it would be the word of the day. It's growing on me, though. It's like Scoobyspeak.

Loren Muse Smith 5:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen S 7:21 PM  

@Loren, it's kind of late in the day for our Shakespeare scholar to dig up the reference to "rOINT, but I think there was one. It was a curse. Something about "roint [or roynt?] and runyon [or runion?]" A Merry Wife of Windsor, maybe. And, FWIW, I never SORT, either. White socks in with levis all the time. Once every 10 years I do a load of white and add some bleach. Or actually, not that often More accurately, "once."

My mother voted for ADLAI both times. I was moritifed because she never picked the winner. I can't really remember if I had figured it out by the second time (I was only 9 in 1952), but some people never do. "Oh, you're going to vote for him? He can't possibly win." Well, if nobody votes for him, sure.

And -- @anon and @seano -- I have several IRA CDs, with fixed interest rates, from banks. Fraction of a pct. would be more like it, though. But they're insured and everything.

Google 7:41 PM  

Deucedly dificult to get a clear definition of "roint" in Shakespeare, so this will have to do:

aroint W(fe.':avaunt, begone Mac. i. iii. 6, Lr. iii. iv,
127. ^ Cf. the north-counti-y ' roint ' or ' rynt
tliee' = get out of the way.

and BTW, it would be fair to think of an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) as an envelope, and the CD (Certificate of Deposit) or whatever other investments one has, as the document that goes in the envelope. There really is a difference, but it is often overlooked.

Masked and ArointomoUs 7:54 PM  

@Ellen S:
"And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!" -- King Lear, III.iv
Similar quote, in Macbeth, I.iii, methinks.
(Did a dash of research.)

Aroint is the grandpappy of skeedaddle, I reckon. Witches got about as much respect, back then, as U's.


sanfranman59 1:28 AM  

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 6:00, 6:20, 0.95, 24%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:01, 8:15, 0.97, 40%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:44, 3:59, 0.94, 17%, Easy
Tue 4:47, 5:12, 0.92, 18%, Easy

spacecraft 11:27 AM  

@anon 9:27pm: Hand up for changing sq. 62 to "M." Then 62a would describe my reaction to this puzzle. The theme just didn't do anything for me. The final words pretty much mean what they mean in a literal "laundry list." Well, maybe excepting FOLD.

The fill is certainly not Chen-worthy; I'm a bit surprised he'd settle for so many awkward abbrs.--including the leadoff: ITD SWED USAFB NEH and the ugly partial ASKA. C'mon, Jeffy, you're better than that. Two THEs didn't help. The whole thing left me high and dry. How could you go to press with that stuff?

Okay, there were some flashes of brilliance: GLAZED/ZELIG is great, and the 7-stacks are nothing to sneeze at. I guess overall I'd CALLITAWASH.

And now, Mr. Syndicated coordinator...HEY! YOU! Yeah, I'm talkin' to you! WAKE UP! You're still stuck on Sunday! You keep falling asleep on the job, you soon won't have one. Capish?

Boat, 5's over 3's.

DMG 1:46 PM  

A cute puzzle. Did have to change lovEABLE to DATEABLE, which I find hard to believe is a real word, But, the change was forced when I realized nobody ever mentions their old MODELo!

Four 6's.

Dirigonzo 2:49 PM  

The fill may have seemed "stale" to Rex but for syndi-solvers CRIMEA could be taken directly from the headlines so it seemed fresh enough to me.

ADLAI had to wait a while because I mis-remembered his name as something like Adelaide, which obviously wouldn't fit - it turns out I was recalling the name of the mother of a friend from a very long time ago.

As I look around my house I wonder if I am becoming a HOARDER OF SORTS. I think it's time for a yard sale (after the snow is gone, which doesn't look like it's going to be any time soon around these parts).

I fine offering from a constructor making his debut appearance - I liked it.

444/33 - good for nothing.

rain forest 3:05 PM  

Eschewing my usual laundry list of complaints about this blog, including the extremely tedious task of trying to find the puzzle for we syndifolk, I liked this puzzle, old-timey or not. Hey it had ABE Simpson in it, and HOARDER, which is au courant in terms of modern disabilities/neuroses.

Nehemiah is a fine book of the Bible, I think. Never read it, though. Would it be better to have the full name of various books of the Bible?

@Spacey - thanks for leading off the syndi comments so reliably.

Indecipherable capcha looming...

I was right. Next try...

strayling 7:02 PM  

CRIMEA?! If only we could figure out which crossword answers are the ones predicting the future.

Or used to pass on secret messages in the past, like the British did in WW2. Good thing they didn't have syndi-land back then or the Allies might not have won.

Coincidences aside, I loved this theme and the difficulty was spot on for a Tuesday.

strayling 7:05 PM  

The captchas are easy compared to finding the page. That often takes me longer than doing the puzzle.

Ginger 7:38 PM  

Hot spot this week, CRIMEA, and Putin doing his best to push the West's buttons, brought this cute puzzle into sharp focus. With so much relevance, I jumped right to Syndiland to comment. Doubt that Matt and Jeff had any idea that their PRESS date, plus 5 weeks, would be so timely.

That said, I got a kick out of the puzzle. Though my LAUNDRY LIST rarely includes any PRESSing. If it needs ironing, I don't buy it.

@DMG, The Men's final at Indian Wells was a great match, except that I was pulling for Fed. He almost pulled it off. IMHO he's a real class act. Did you see his twin girls watching their Daddy? So cute! Unfortunately, the Women's final match was not well contested by an injured Radwanska. Makes you wonder how she got as far as she did.

2 little pairs, I FOLD,

Joshua 8:14 PM  

CRIMEA is certainly relevant to today's headlines, but the clue went out of date between original publication and syndication. "Autonomous part of Ukraine" no longer seems to apply. Either it's not part of Ukraine anymore ... or it's not really autonomous anymore.

Dirigonzo 9:22 PM  

@strayling - when the syndi-button fails you can use the archives (on the right side of the page) to click on the date of the puzzle you want (which is the puzzle number for synilanders) or google "rex parker mm/dd/yy" to go directly to the puzzle, Easy-peasy.

strayling 7:43 PM  

Thanks. The trick is, figuring out the date is a puzzle in itself. I'm not really complaining anyway - I've got so used to hunting down the syndi-page that I almost enjoy it.

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