Theme music for TV's Dating Game / MON 6-30-14 / Dismissive term for chronic fatigue syndrome / Handbag monogram / Dashing Flynn of old films / Thin Man pooch / Great Expectations boy / Stimpy's TV pal

Monday, June 30, 2014

Constructor: Ed Sessa

Relative difficulty: Medium, leaning tougher than usual (3:09)

THEME: FL-+ — vowel sound progression, from long A to long U:

Theme answers:
  • BOBBY FLAY (17A: Celebrity chef and host of the Food Network's "Boy Meets Grill")
  • SPANISH FLEA (25A: Theme music for TV's "The Dating Game")
  • TSETSE FLY (39A: Insect that causes sleeping sickness)
  • TRAFFIC FLOW (55A: It's typically slow during rush hour)
  • YUPPIE FLU (66A: Dismissive term for chronic fatigue syndrome)

Word of the Day: COROLLA (48D: Flower part) —
The petals of a flower considered as a group or unit and usually of a color other than green; the inner whorl of the perianth.

[Latin corōlla, small garland, diminutive of corōna, garland. See corona.]

Read more:
PERIANTH — n.The outer envelope of a flower, consisting of either the calyx or the corolla, or both.
[French périanthe, from New Latin perianthum : Greek peri-, peri- + Greek anthos, flower.]

Read more:
CALYX — n. pl. ca·lyx·es or ca·ly·ces (kl-sz, kl-)1. The sepals of a flower considered as a group.2. A cuplike structure or organ, such as one of the cuplike divisions of the pelvis or of the kidney.3. A collecting structure in the kidney. (
SEPAL — n.One of the separate, usually green parts forming the calyx of a flower.
[New Latin sepalum, perhaps blend of Greek skepē, covering and Latin petalum, petal; see petal.]

Read more: 

• • •

This is a nice little vowel progression puzzle. Three of the five theme answers are quite fresh and lovely (1, 2, 5), and the others are just fine (3, 4). The trick with this simple concept is to make sure your theme answers don't just fit the pattern, but charm, amuse, and entertain. If they're not fresh and interesting, then your progression comes off as a sad little yawny exercise. The fill here is a net plus, with the banks of biggish words in the corners providing something in the way of unusualness, and with not a lot of terrible short stuff gunking up the grid. There is some tepidity here and there (USERFEE, TOPSEED, SERENER), but surrounding fill more than makes up for it. Any time a Monday puzzle takes me more than 3 minutes, that means it's leaning tough for me. Today, the longer Downs (which required a few crosses in most cases) were enough to ensure a little slowage, and then there were some clues that seemed less-than-straightforward. [Flower part] was vague enough that I had to cross it many times to pick it up. Had to think about both "Dating Game" clues (what a weird, wonderful little clue pairing that was). [Disentangled] didn't get me to UNDID without almost all of the crosses. I don't (readily) think of a "You Are Here" MAP as a "Poster" … But overall, it evened out to normal Monday difficulty level. Solid stuff. Thumbs up.

Enjoy the hot week ahead (at least in the NE). I will be spending my days in library coolness, except when I'm yelling at soccer, but at least then I'll have my friend beer.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


JFC 12:07 AM  

@Rex, nice review. Sometimes you are agreeable and sometimes despicable. But always lovable.

Moly Shu 12:32 AM  

Yikes. Exact opposite reaction to @Rex's. Seemed like every go-to crossword entry ended up here. ELAL, MOMA, SSTS , ANISE, ISP, TSETSE, ASTA, AFROS, DELE, TSPS. I'm sure there are more, just got tired of noticing. Where were eel, wsw, RRN, and obi? The theme answers were fine, the rest just sucked the joy out of it for me.

retired_chemist 12:47 AM  

Liked it. Medium-easy. Didn't find the crosswordese obtrusive, and the theme was fun. A nit: 66A was the only theme answer for which the long vowel sound actually came from the stand-alone vowel. Would have preferred consistency on this point and there are alternatives: FLUE, FLEW,.....

With the World Cup in Brazil, nice to see the shout-out at 26D. Even if it isn't in the center...

Solve was remarkably overwrite free. Even for Monday.

Anybody else get a feeling of déjà vu from this? I thought I had seen the first five across answers in the same order somewhere recently.

Thanks, Mr. Sessa.

jae 1:49 AM  

Easy-medium for me too and pretty much what @ r_chemist led off with. Top easy, bottom a tad crunchy for a Mon....COROLLA, PIP, FARO, UNDID...  The theme answers were mostly fun/amusing which is why I liked it a lot. 

chefwen 2:21 AM  

I just finished a plate of homemade Strawberry Shortcake infused with dark rum and whipped cream, so I have got nothing bad to say about anything.

Puzzle was easy for me, not so much for Jon. I don't know what cave he has been residing, he's never heard of Ren and Stimpy. I guess when you only have four legged kids, cartoons are not in the forefront.

YUPPY FLU was a new one for me, achieved only from crosses.

You can't even get close to the Cooking Channel without tripping over Bobby Flay, not to mention Guy Fieri (sp?) Please, mix it up guys.

Anyway, a fine Monday romp, thank you Mr. Sessa

chefwen 2:54 AM  

After rereading my first sentence I believe I need to go back to English class. Maybe @Rex can knock some sense into me.

Lewis 5:41 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
GILL I. 5:54 AM  

Please someone, tell me I'm not the only one who without hesitation, plunks a "C" instead of a "K" at the end of Noah's boat! I mean I went to an Anglican Church school for 8 years, told God all the awful things I did and was even an angel in our annual Christmas pageant and yet I can never remember how to spell ARK!
Really liked the puzzle...especially that pretty boy FLOYD and dashing ERROL share some room with PELE and ANITA and that rascal PIP sneaks in as well.
Speaking of Pups cry and YUPPIE, did you know the Del Coronado has a YAPPY hour every Sunday? The 4 footed ilk yupped the day away here in San Diego where it's a balmy 70+. Poor Sacramento is going to fry at 100+...[sigh]
Oh, and did anyone else have SPANISH eyEs?

Lewis 5:55 AM  

A very nice puzzle for newbies, and plenty of niceness for me to enjoy too. I liked MEN/TEN/REN and YUPPIEFLU (haven't heard that in a while), as well as AMBIENT, LULLED, CRYPT and LOONIES. I did wince at SERENER (is it not correct to say "more serene"?). But I agree with Rex -- solid stuff. Good one, Ed.

POST PUZZLE PUZZLE (PPP™): Which answer, in a way, is far from our shores? (Hint: It's not obvious like ELAL or LIRA.)

If you wish to post an answer, so as not to give it away, just write the answer's third letter.

Gareth Bain 6:10 AM  

"The trick with this simple concept is to make sure your theme answers don't just fit the pattern, but charm, amuse, and entertain." - amen!37

Anonymous 7:28 AM  


Anonymous 7:30 AM  

FARO, really? The card game isn't even the first entry for FARO on Google. On a Monday, why not make ARK into ASK and turn it into FASO, as in Burkina ____? Much more accessible clue.

Leapfinger 7:36 AM  

I enjoyed this vowel-homonym run. Very sprightly, and it just growed on me, like TOPSEEd.

There was some nice non-Mondayish fill, like BELFRY, CRYPT and OBTRUDE, and even the worst of it reminded me of the pleasure in the first Sophia Loren film I ever saw: YEST, Toda and Tomo.

Also liked the nod to the little '79 COROLLA I drove for years, till someone T-boned it for me. Great little car, but couldn't put the petal to the metal like the little Celica coupe. In that one, I remember taking an uphill curve on an on-ramp, hitting 55 smooth as you please, when I realized I was still in second gear.

I'm probably not the only one who thought of yet another finish for SPANISH ___, but O NIL SOI qui mal y pense.

PIP, PIP, and stay SERENER.

AliasZ 7:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
AliasZ 7:53 AM  

As vowel progressions go, this was one.

I also noticed a progression from LIMP to STIFF, which raises the possibility that SPANISH FLY crossed Mr. Sessa's mind as a theme entry. Then PRIX and OBTRUDE - oh, never mind.

SOSPADS lead me to Étude de concert No. 3 by Franz Liszt titled "Un SOSPiro" and to SOSPiri Op. 70, an adagio for strings, harp and organ by Sir Edward Elgar.

But let me finish with some Blue SPANISH Eyes.

Caution: you may need TISSUES.

Happy Monday.

Leapfinger 8:01 AM  


Glimmerglass 8:06 AM  

@leapfinger: SPANISH FLEA is a bouncy little tune, absolutely suitable for filling time while a contestant thinks. It was also a top-40 instrumental. I always thought (honi soit, me) its one-vowel-sound-away similarity to Spanish fly was intentional irony.

dk 8:09 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 MOONS)

Charming, Amusing and Entertaining. And, I am just talking about my inner 12 year olds reaction to 20A.

As a joke we used 25A as our break tune (college pick up band in the old days). Who knew the Hamlinites would love it: got real sick of it. Side story: I asked my classmates why any one would name a college after a town that reniged on a piper who then stole all its children -- most did not know the story of the Pied Piper. These are just two of my college expereinces after moving from Manhattan to St. Paul -- do not get me started on 3.2 beer.

On to Longmire season 3 vis-a-vis iTunes

Loren Muse Smith 8:17 AM  

Easy here. I saw the vowel progression really early, so, @Gil. I.P., I knew it had to be FLEA, but I didn't know that was the name. Glad they didn't name it SPANISH FLY. HI, @Leapfinger, @AliasZ, @Glimmerglass.

@Gil I.P. – I always pause a brief second at ARK, but I think I have that one down. But what about "manuscripts?" For that abbreviation, how many letters can you choose to go after that initial M?? I had to let the cross give me that second S.

Yeah – NIL, PELE. Given two of the games yesterday, don't let yourself get LULLED into thinking it's over, right?

ACHOO is muffled by a handkerchief? I wish. Muffled by a pillow, maybe. When I sneeze, it always sounds like I haven't sneezed since third grade. Sheeze.

And speaking of handkerchiefs . . . in my vernacular, TISSUES are "Kleenexes." Even when I used to slip the bride a cocktail napkin during the toasts (they absorb tears ten times faster than anything), I always whispered, "Quick. Here's a Kleenex. Don't let your mascara run." Also – I always SAY "hey," knowing full well that lots of people will judge me, dismiss me for being a southerner. Or so I've been told many times. Joke's on me and all that, I know.

@Leapfinger – your "YEST, toda, tomo" reminded me of a guy I knew in grad school, Tomo, who had come to school here from Japan only to marry an American – he told everyone this. Having no luck meeting a girl, he decided the problem was his hair- too straight. So he got a perm, which unfortunately ended up just being a big AFRO. Poor guy. It had the shape of an SOS PAD. Or one of those dandelions you blow on as you make a wish – TOP SEED, and all that.

@M&A – dispatched that one in 3 minutes! Maybe I'm learning, but I found the acrosses pretty easy, too! I wouldn't have caught the SPANISH/French thing.

"If they're not fresh and interesting, then your progression comes off as a sad little yawny exercise." This certainly wasn't the case today. *And* four corners with triple 7 stacks. How do they do that?

Ed, you really did do a nice job here. Kudos!

jberg 8:21 AM  

@moly shu, there is a RRN, it's just reversed, at 31A.

Nice enough puzzle, even for those of us who know our flower parts but have never heard of BOB BYFLAY (what I thought at first, honest!)

Now I'm getting out of here before the debate breaks out over whether flU or Uniform is the proper long-u sound.

Arlene 8:26 AM  

Hmmm - I never heard of SPANISHFLEA or YUPPIEFLU or OBTRUDE or FARO. But I still finished rather quickly - so I guess it's really Monday.
I have heard of Spanish fly, though - but that's for another day.

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle and finished, but can someone explain to me what a "deem" (future judge) is? I'm sure I'm being obtrude here...

Mohair Sam 8:39 AM  

@chefwen - Strawberry Shortcake infused with dark rum and whipped cream at 2:00 AM? You know how to party. Please post recipe. Thanks.

Enjoyed doing this one with daughter-in-law who "discovered" crosswords yesterday watching my wife and I do Sunday's. Pretty much agree with Rex on this one, but @Molly Shu has a point - I kept saying - "Get used to ELAL . . . ASTA . . . SSTS . . ."

Anyhow, the young lady finished the puzzle with a minimum of help - Shortz may have hooked another fish.

joho 8:39 AM  

Perfectly charming Monday!

It was nice to see the Y instead of I for a change.

Also great that today PELE isn't old at all but very timely.

I hope the one suffering from the YUPPIEFUL didn't end up in a CRYPT!

Thank you, Ed Sessa, this was a great start to our week!

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

Re: previous comment. I'm an idiot, please ignore.

Mohair Sam 8:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leapfinger 8:49 AM  

@GlimmerG, I agree. Enjoyed the variation on the theme. You don't happen to know the chef sous FLAY?

Speaking of sneezes, the ones that intrigue me are the ones some people produce (okay, some women) that sound like a truncated squeak. Can't provide much relief. btw, @Loren, that's 'Kleeneces', right? Remind me never to try to top you; I'll just say that when my hair was a certain length, the humidity here would turn it into a HebRO. I described it as a BrilloPAD, my chief resident had another body-part descriptor. That has quieted down with time, as has the rest of me.

[Pretty early to hit #3]

John V 8:51 AM  

A really nice Monday. I especially liked the 7 stacks, with a Monday word count and crosses into the corners kept accessible. Theme was good, but thought the grid was top dollar.

mac 9:17 AM  

Lovely Monday puzzle. The only jarring anser, to me, was YEST. No big deal.

Bobby Flay is in the building. Spanish could also have been used for FLU. I never heard of the Yuppy Flu, cruel but funny expression.

chefbea 9:23 AM  

Good, easy, kitcheny Monday puzzle. Knew corolla would be the WOD...Just got a new one last year!!

I have a great salad recipe using faro!!! Think I'll make it today

Sir Hillary 9:56 AM  

Nice Monday, although YEST and SERENER are truly cringeworthy, IMO. The triple 7's in all four corners made it more interesting.

BOBBYFLAY recently opened a new restaurant in Manhattan, and word is that he's in the kitchen pretty much every night. So, hopefully his Food Network appearances will taper off a bit.

Can't tell you how many hours I spent as a child -- and continue to spend as an adult -- listening to vintage Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass. Never fails to make me smile. I believe that their song "Whipped Cream" was also used on "The Dating Game" when Jim Lange introduced the three hidden bachelor(ette)s.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

Man, the next week is going to be great - We've got a built in excuse for absolutely everything.

"Sorry honey, I couldn't put the garbage out ... Why? Because Fútbol"

"No, I really didn't get anywhere on my 1923 research today,... Why? Because Fútbol"

RnRGhost57 10:05 AM  

Bobby Flay furiously flailing away while filleting fresh fish for faro afficionados.

Sorry--too much coffee.

Unknown 10:10 AM  

Loved it. It's fun saying the theme answers out loud. Try it.

r.alphbunker 10:14 AM  

BELFRY would be a theme answer for languages that don't have an L sound.

@M and A

TI {It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's all messed up.}

TI {Short father's day present}

TI {Almost pi}

One more 10:23 AM  

TI {One quarter of an Andean lake}

AliasZ 10:38 AM  

I came face-to-face with BOBBY FLAY once, our faces not 12 inches from each other. No, it was not because he stepped on a cutting board once.

On my way to work on the R-train one Friday morning about 10 months ago, I stood up near my stop, the Downtown 23rd-Street station, and moved close to the door staring out through the window waiting for the platform to come to a complete stop. As it finally stopped, I saw a guy outside the door looking straight at me, also waiting for the doors to slide open. It was none other than BOBBY FLAY.

Judging from the expression on his face, he was in about as good a mood as I was, so instead of pointing at him and asking him, "Hey, do you know who you are?", like all good New Yorkers, I politely ignored him and went along my way.

And once while working at a rental company in NYC in the mid-80's, I had the privilege to help a gentlemen inquiring about some film equipment. His name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

No, I never met ERROL Flynn, Pretty Boy FLOYD, ANITA Baker or OSSIE Davis, but plenty of LOONIES.

Z 10:38 AM  

I liked the vertical pairs. AMBIENT SLANDER, otherwise known as election season (which is now always); THRILLA USER FEE, what Six Flags charges; TOP SEED COROLLA, we have had enough floral biology already this morning; SOS PADS TISSUES, Preparation H alternative (I am so sorry, but I couldn't resist); SERENER LOONIES, Jack Nicholson et al post Paxil. Fun, Fun Fun. Who cares if I cringed a little at SSTS or a RRN clue.

Numinous 10:49 AM  

I found this one pretty easy, maybe one of my fastest Mondays yet. I flew through it barely noticing the vowel progression until I looked over the finished puzzle. Not a lot of dreck either.

Monday is Runtday, so, here:

Lewis 11:19 AM  

@numinous -- I LOVE the title to your runt, and your puzzles are becoming less opaque to me. I am still getting used to the periods in your clues, and I am confused on this puzzle because 8D doesn't seem to follow the theme you established at 1D, 3D, and 6D.

Andrew Heinegg 11:23 AM  

In some ways, I imagine it is harder to construct a good Monday puzzle than later in the week. Yes, you can some standard crosswordese answers like sst, etc. but, the rest of your fill needs to be interesting but not mindbendingly difficult to solve. This is a good one although I do think it is a lot easier than the RP rating. Oh the shame of taking more than 3 minutes to solve a puzzle!!

Carola 11:28 AM  

Agree with @Rex all the way on this very fine Monday.

Thanks to @joho for pointing out the cross of CRYPT and YUPPIE FLU - I happen to have 66A and appreciate the gallows humor! Looking again at the theme entries...FLAY (SPANISH Inquisition), FLEA (carrier of the plague), TSETSE FLY, and (SPANISH) FLU, I see a deadly FLOW: STIFF, ICE, EMBALMS, CRYPT. Somebody send an SOS!

jdv 11:33 AM  

Med-Challenging. Tough Monday for me. Usually, I can get the theme answers with only a few crosses in place. Not today. Only one I was able to get was TSETSEFLY. Never heard of BOBBYFLAY. I've noticed a lot of TV chefs in crosswords recently. Five letter Actor Davis clues always give me fits BETTE, GEENA, OSSIE, ESSIE probably some others. Better than average Monday.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:51 AM  

A fine Monday puzzle from Mister Ed Sessa.

@Gil I. P. - I found your confusion over ending AR with C or K echoed my hesitation in putting a T or a K at the end of DUC (46 A). A link I posted the last time this entry came up showed that the original name of the product was DUCK TAPE.

@Anonymous, 8:30 AM - Even though you retracted your question, it was interesting to me in two ways. First, your phrasing of "future judges" - where did that come from? Oh, I see - "judges to be"! LOL! Are you brilliant, or just lucky at coming up with that alternative interpretation?

But also, a friend of a friend of mine had some legal trouble on the Isle of Man, and in reading about the case online, I was amused to see that the legal authorities in that jurisdiction are called Deemsterrs.

BTW, what comes between LA and D'OH!? TI.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:55 AM  

Sorry, "Deemsters".

Numinous 11:56 AM  

@Lewis, your point is well taken. In retrospect I could have fixed that but I was too attached to 16A. I appreciate comments as they all help me learn to be a better constructor. I'm considering creating a RuntPuz blog to foster discussion.

Woody Guthrie 11:59 AM  

If you'll gather 'round me, children,
A story I will tell
'Bout Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw,
Oklahoma knew him well.

It was in the town of Shawnee,
A Saturday afternoon,
His wife beside him in his wagon
As into town they rode.

There a deputy sheriff approached him
In a manner rather rude,
Vulgar words of anger,
An' his wife she overheard.

Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain,
And the deputy grabbed his gun;
In the fight that followed
He laid that deputy down.

Then he took to the trees and timber
Along the river shore,
Hiding on the river bottom
And he never come back no more.

Yes, he took to the trees and timber
To live a life of shame;
Every crime in Oklahoma
Was added to his name.

But a many a starvin' farmer
The same old story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little homes.

Others tell you 'bout a stranger
That come to beg a meal,
Underneath his napkin
Left a thousand-dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City,
It was on a Christmas Day,
There was a whole car load of groceries
Come with a note to say:

"Well, you say that I'm an outlaw,
You say that I'm a thief.
Here's a Christmas dinner
For the families on relief."

Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

OISK 12:33 PM  

My wife watches "Throwdown" all the time, so Bobby Flay is very familiar to me, and I have eaten at two of his restaurants. I fondly remember Tijuana Brass as well, and can hum "Spanish Flea," but I hardly ever watched "The Dating Game" so it was not a "gimmee," as I tried "Spanish Eyes" first. (Is it really true that most of the contestants were men? I recall that there was usually one man choosing among three women - that would give women a three to one edge. Or did the three alternatives not count as contestants?) Never heard of Ren and Stimpy outside the crossword universe, but since I have seen it there often enough, no problem. What slowed me up, and it is surely a sign of impending senility, was "___hear." First of all, I read it as "____here." so I wrote "see here." But "tessue " was obviously wrong, which left me with Cerolla, and Sei here. No good, so I settled on Corolla, and soi here. "SOI?" (pronounced "SWA" in my enfeebled mind) What can that mean? Why am I spending 7 minutes on a Monday puzzle? What is wrong with me! WAIT! The clue says "hear" not "here." SO I HEAR! OH! Smack head hard. OH! Smack head again...

Anoa Bob 12:41 PM  

Spiffy vowel sound progression with a nice touch here and there, like AMBIENT, OBTRUDE, CRYPT & KWAI.

In other areas, especially the corners, my eye was unfortunately DRAWN to how many plurals were needed to get 'er done. In all, nearly one third of the fill (24 of 78 words) relies on them. Don't know as I've ever seen that many in one puzzle. For me, that makes the grid POC-marked.

AliasZ 12:59 PM  

@Numinous, enjoyed your runtpuz, but agree with @Lewis about the inconsistency at 8D. At times it may be better to divorce yourself from an entry even if you are in love with her. I would've also enjoyed it if the missing word entries alternated between start-of, middle-of and end-of words. LUSTER and SING-OFF come to mind. 2D: Cute!

Masked and Anonymo5Us 2:02 PM  

This fine puz had me at YUPPIEFLU. Always room for any theme with FLEAs, of course. Like @63, was mcluvin them corner 7-stacks in my MonPuz. Feisty yet mild. Tough balance to maintain, when caterin to the moo-cow Monday beginner crowd.

Best weeject: SOI. Gotta be French for something, also, surely. Pick a letter + OI = French word. QEDOI.

Best moocow-MonClue: "Equivalent of a Roman X" = TEN. Reverse RRN entry with a twist, from the piked position. How else could the judges score it?
Moo-less-MonClue: That wild thing used to try to get YEST to fly. har. Desperation. There is no substitute.

@r.alph: Double Dang, dude. My TI clue clearly left U wantin more. Just wait, til U see this next runtpuz!

***Spoiler Alert, on next runt-paragraph***
@Numinous: Primo lil puz, today. Randomly spewin ex-lax! Really groovin on yer little signature unchecked squares feature. Extraquisitely annoyin... keep it up! (Me, I'm experimentin with an unchecked clue feature, lately.)

The second installment, in my Daring Runtpuz Experiments Week [D.R.E.W.]...


AnonyMoses 2:20 PM  

Ever think we ought to be drawin' at least minimum wage for beta-testing all these newborn runtz?

Any day now, I'll be dippin' into my soup with a runtzible spoon.

Bob Kerfuffle 2:28 PM  

M&A - Failed my runtpuz pop quiz - didn't know 3 D or 9A - got hung up on (a) a pyramid and (b) total ignorance.

r.alphbunker 2:40 PM  

@M and A

17A: A double (??) with matching blanks!!! This has never been spotted in the wild before!!

Leapfinger 2:41 PM  

@Numin, always happy to see the penguin, but given 23A, I was hoping for Bill the Cat.

Agree that 8D joining the others would have been elegant, but I like keeping the thing a caboose. The alternate suggestion is, I think, a horse of a different fire department

Lewis 2:53 PM  

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™) solution:

The answer is DELE, which is overSEAS.

@anon 7:28 -- WTG!

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

@Gill I.P., I think the Russians hace the same problem with ARC/Kangel, or is that Paul Anc/ka?

Arc/kangel, Arc/kangel,
Puhleez by mi-hine.
My darling dear
I love you all the ti-hime.

GILL I. 3:21 PM  

@Saltadedo is that you upstairs at 3:00?
We're off for lunch and then to the beach to fly some kiiiites. Thinking of you @B. Kerfuffle.

Numinous 3:40 PM  

Ok, y'all. I revised that puz and will ask r.alph to stick it up for me. The center and almost the whole eastern seaboard have changed.

sanfranman59 3:46 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 5:59, 6:02, 0.99, 45%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:23, 3:55, 1.12, 88%, Challenging

Numinous 4:24 PM  

As promised:

Thanks @r.alph

M and Also 5:43 PM  

And another thing... Liked havin both FLEA and FLY in the themers. FLU is also a bug, so that puts em in the majority, there.

Can't help wondering, if Pink ____ might be better known than Pretty Boy ___? But, then, I had no idea who BOBBYFLAY was, anyhoo... so, kinda hard for one at the level-four dingbat rating to make all these calls. I mean, if it was my puz, i'da probably wanted a -FLUM themer, instead of a -FLU one, to ice the cake. Which would not have excited Anna Shortzmeister enough. But I digress.

@r.alph: U will be seein some more runty stuff that'll be sorta debut-like, this week. Better lay in a supply of vodka and cinnamon rolls.

@BobK: Sorry about yer slight DNF-dinger, on my latest. But it was all in the name of advancing runtpuz science, for all mankind.

@AnonyMoses: har. I like the way U think. From now on, I be sharin all my runtpuz profits with U folks.


***Numinous Take 2 Spoiler Alert***
@Numinous: Cleaner themers, but U musta been real desperate to have that there V at 7-D. Lots of ways to avoid... wait... what the #@&% am I sayin...??!... this is a runtpuz! Looks great. Never mind.

AnonymAaron 7:16 PM  

Moses had to take 2 tablets and lie down, he asked me to tell @M&A he cain't wait to stock up on runtzible spoons.

Both on us agrees that 9D was a high price to pay, but 5A was a hit, a mos rilly big hit.

Questinia 7:26 PM  

I like Whipped Cream better than SPANISH FLEA. It's that opening "ba-bum" signaling the woman to come out looking like a far-off Bambi all teeth and flipped hair, a hyperbolic ingenue who seems like she has never seen a man before and whose first words one would expect to be "Kiss? What is kiss?".

Agree with all on the puzzle's charm.

chefwen 8:57 PM  

@Mohair Sam - 2:30 A.M. posting time is only 8:30 P.M. here, so I am not the party animal it seems, but I could try, might be fun.

sanfranman59 10:14 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 5:54, 6:02, 0.98, 38%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:11, 3:55, 1.07, 81%, Challenging

spacecraft 11:53 AM  

Contrary to OFL, I was underwhekmed. Okay, the theme answers aren't something you run into every day--and I never even HEARD of anything called "YUPPIEFLU--" but in the end it's YAVP: Yet Another Vowel Progression. Yawn.

The seven-stacks would be more impressive if they didn't have to include so much fill junk. Even the leadoff hitter, ELAL, is fast becoming tiresome. Add your SSTS, MSS, SOI, PXS (shouldn't that be "PXES?") and TSPS and it begins to build up like a hairball in a cat's throat.

As tiresome as TSETSE is, at least this time we have the whole FLY. There are a few goodies about: gotta love the THRILLA. Re the STIFF/LIMP duo...I won't comment.

I found it mostly easy; needed some crosses for that YUPPIEFLU deal. I'm surprised OFL mediumed it. (And never mind about completion time: don't get me started.) I meant easy by MY scale. I'm feeling SERENER (ugh!) than usual today, so I'll give it a C.

3160: oops, overshot! I'm out.

DMG 2:02 PM  

I like this kind of Monday puzzle. Some interesting words, a pause here and there (OBTRUDE), and a successful solution. Gears me up for the week. What did creators do before those fancy, passé jets existed?

308, 1 better than @Spacecraft!

Dirigonzo 4:56 PM  

Well, I never heard of Bobby Flay but, you know - crosswords. I suspect sufferers of CFS, if there is such a malady, would object to the derisive YUPPIEFLU. While I finished the puzzle with no mistakes/writeovers, I completely missed the vowel progression in the theme answers - I spent half a minute trying to make something out of the combinations of the first letter of the separate words but that obviously led nowhere. I would not be the TOPSEED in any xword competition.

1277 yields and 8, I think?

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