Batman portrayer of TV film / SAT 10-12-19 / Request softener / NyQuil alternative / Bongo president of Gabon for 42 years

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Constructor: Andrew J. Ries

Relative difficulty: Easy (6:19 on a weirdly oversized grid (15x16))

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ILENE Chaiken (6D: "The L Word" creator Chaiken) —
Ilene Chaiken (born June 30, 1957) is an American television producer, director, writer, and founder of Little Chicken Productions. Chaiken is best known as being the co-creator, writer and executive producer of the television series The L Word and is currently an executive producer on the hit television series Empire. (wikipedia)
• • •

Bizarre solving experience. Ridiculously easy from the NW thru the center and (eventually) down into the SE (with ELLEN instead of ELLIE being my only hiccup on that entire cross-grid journey) (37D: Woman's name that sounds like two letters of the alphabet). But then I tried to go into the N/NE part of the grid and ... well, it was mainly the N that was the issue, and I forgot ILENE's name and had no idea what kind of -ODUCER was the [One who runs the show]—I thought INTRODUCER, at one point; also, I thought the "show runner" ran the show. ANYhoo, add in the uselessly clued WIDTHS (5A: Halves of some measurements), and that section was a minor timesuck. Things were somewhat worse in the SW, where [Sound around a cradle] made no sense to me (it's an awful, awful stretch to say the DIAL TONE happens "around a (telephone) cradle"; it has nothing to do with the cradle, and cradles don't even exist any more, what the hell). Further, ADVILPM, yikes (40D: NyQuil alternative). I think I tried to make this UNISOM at one point, but it came out UNIISOM (?). I forgot the Big Ten even had "east" and "west" divisions, so I kept reading the clue as having to do with the Big East ... instead of the Big Ten, which I'm very familiar with. I got my Ph.D. from a big Big Ten school. Ugh. DATE NUT, whatever (42D: Kind of bread with chopped fruit). Had to hack at that (spent a good 5-10 seconds trying to think of the answer I wanted, only to have that answer be FRUITCAKE :( Lastly, I had ___ FILTER and while I initially went with LENS, failure to get any of those letters (except the "S") to work made me reconsider. I honest-to-god had SANS FILTER in there at one point (59A: Screen for a shooter). Still, even with all that nonsense, and with an oversized grid, I still came in under average.

Loved the clue on COMMAS (28A: Characters in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"). I had CAMEOS at first! I did not get the clue on NO PRESSURE when I first solved it (33A: Request softener). I was reading it as a verb phrase—the equivalent of "Ask for Downy" (i.e. request a (fabric) softener). But it's a phrase that softens a request—makes it less urgent. Cool. Forgot Brandon TEENA's name, so I had to steer around that, but as I said, not much trouble getting coast to coast through the middle of this grid. No idea who the Bongo guy is, but OMAR is a name, and it worked, and sometimes that's good enough (67A: ___ Bongo, president of Gabon for 42 years). Nothing in this grid is exactly eye-popping (except SERENA SLAM! 34D: Tennis feat named for the athlete who achieved it in 2003 and 2015), but it's heavy with solid phrases and very low on dreck. I'll take it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:04 AM  

Always glad to learn new stuff. For example, today I learned that a SERENA SLAM (34D) is not a breakfast offering at Denny’s.

jae 12:18 AM  

Easy. Not as much fun as yesterday’s, but smooth and solid. Liked it.

okanaganer 12:34 AM  

2 days, 2 favorite singers: yesterday was EMMY LOU Harris; today TORI AMOS.

But so many names!! The quite gettable TORI, SERENA, ADAM WEST, and SERGIO Leone...okay, fine. But then the annoyingly obscure isolated first/last names: ISAAC, JLAW, EMERSON, ILENE, TEENA, ELLIE, OMAR. That just spoiled it for me. (Combine that with my most hated type of clue, a random 3 or 4 letter answer clued by some US college/uni sports team. At least the clue didn't mention a mascot/nickname; thank God.)

A rare occasion that I liked a puzzle less than Rex.

puzzlehoarder 2:19 AM  

A good challenging Saturday. It started easy in the NW but my COMICS /COMMAS write over set up a roadblock.

RUN and INTENTS got me restarted in the NW. After some SUCCESS up there I ran out of steam again.

With ADD and DIOCESE in the SW the third start was the charm. From there I back filled the rest of the puzzle. That north central section briefly held out but with a little creative thinking it fell too.

I didn't start this puzzle until after midnight. I'm in the midst of one of those take over your life DIY projects. The solve was worth staying up.

Solverinserbia 2:22 AM  

Went golden in 16:15 which is well below my Saturday average.


I ended in the south which maybe would have been a breeze if I had remembered the crossword-y ARARAT.

Anonymous 4:31 AM  

Re WIDTHS: There are two measurements for area - length and width, so half of the equation could be either. Enjoyed clue for COMMAS, too.

Klazzic 4:59 AM  

Couldn't get this out of my head after solving GREEN GIANT:
"In the valley of the Jolly...ho, ho ho .....SI-ERR-A CLUB."

Hank 5:45 AM  

I think seeing the answer to 51D helped me solve 5A.

Lewis 6:52 AM  

So, here's the complete package, with obvious exceptional care given to every answer and clue -- beauty everywhere!

Specifically, gorgeous answers like PET PROJECT, NO PRESSURE, DEGREE MILL, SERENA SLAM, and BONANZA. Saturday tough vague cluing and smile producing word-playing clues like those for ARF, DIAL TONE, RUN, COMMAS, and AROMAS, shifting those answers from the every day to the sublime.

A puzzle glimmering with such beauty can't help but be a most lovely solving experience, and thank you for that, Andrew. What a ravishing piece of work!

AmandaPup 6:56 AM  

I am clarly out of the loop. Have been for ages but who refers to the Washington Post as WAPO?

QuasiMojo 6:57 AM  

I couldn't believe this was the Saturday puzzle as I rapidly filled in all the boxes with nary a stumble (ILENE who? JLAW?) and it was over in half my usual time. COMICS before COMMAS. ABODE before AREAS. I liked the clues for Creamer and Intents. I recall the Dial Tone as being very much around the cradle. My old MaBell phone weighed as much as an anvil and could have been used as a murder weapon in CSI (I guess, since I've never seen it.) There was a small metal wheel on the bottom of the phone that turned the volume up or down. Off to Newsday, I guess, to get my challenge fix.

pabloinnh 7:59 AM  

This was mostly smooth sailing, got hung up in the top central trying to remember WAPO and ALEVEL exams. Didn't help that I don't think HEREboy should have a comma. Do you take that pause when calling your dog? Nobody does.

Quibble with ICESAWS. We live near a lake populated by ice fishermen in the winter and the tool of choice is an ice AUGER , preferably gas powered. The allure of this "sport" escapes me but there are people out at 6 in the morning staring at holes in the ice. I suspect it has something to do with getting out of the house and/or alcohol consumption.

We still have two telephones with cradles and dial tones. Life in the country.

Mostly fun with a couple of clues trying too hard, and more Friday than Saturday, but appreciate the effort, so thanks AJR.

Suzie Q 8:05 AM  

I got it done but I can't say it was easy. Quite a few names that were unknown to me. I considered Seles something-or-other until dial tone set me straight. Lots of good Saturday misdirection today.
I also heard "In the valley of the Jolly..." It kinda makes me mad to know that ad men have gotten inside my head like that.

GILL I. 8:17 AM  

Yikes...or should I say ARF. Tre difficult for moi. You start me off with a boatload of names I don't know and I flunk the A LEVELs. Funnily (at least for me) entries that didn't include a proper name were gettable. My goal in life is to finish a Saturday not saturated with people and products I don't know. NO PRESSURE? Yeah, right.
I've seen WAPO in the wild but I'm thinking there must be a ton of newspapers that also feel democracy dies in darkness. Wish Fox News would make that their slogan...HAH!
So we have SECRET CODE sitting on top of DEGREE MILL. Both make me sad. There's a conspiracy lurking here. Hmmmmm, Trump University and learning how to flip houses. Maybe that's the "lousy teacher" Bill Gates is referring to? The AROMA is smelly.
Let's see. What did I like? The cluing for CREAMER. That was good.

Twangster 8:20 AM  

Only stumble was that I had SOMINEX and XED and thought that had to be right for a while.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

I agree. I’m 68 and read the NYTimes every day and never heard of WAPO in reference to The Washington Post. It made me discard today’s puzzle.

Z 8:36 AM  

Sub 14:00 which puts in the very easy for a Saturday category. This despite not knowing what a SERENA SLAM is or who TEENA is. Only real slow downs were guy before BRO and having to wait on crosses for some names. I’m guessing this has a high PPP count.

I don’t much like SECRET CODE. Sure, there are non-SECRET CODEs, but that’s a whole separate meaning of the word CODE. SECRET CODE just hits my “repetitive redundancy” button.

Z 8:40 AM  

@AmandaPup - Uh, just about everyone. Put WAPO in your search bar and see what comes back.

IrishCream 8:47 AM  

If you read any blogs like Slate, Gawker, New York Magazine, etc., you’d come across it! It’s pretty common, I thought.

RooMonster 8:49 AM  

Hey All !
A LEVEL tests, huh. I went with IrENE for the name, and wondered what ArEVEL (read as one word) tests were. Dang. Almost There! message. Checked, R crossed out, then head slap at how I didn't see the L.

Puz was rather easy, my time says 22 minutes and change, which is blindingly fast for me on Saturday. I don't go for speed, and SatPuzs are usually approaching the Hour range, so this accordingly had to be easy.

Liked the consruction feat of the center stack of four tens, with many long Downs crossing them, and long Acrosses crossing those long Downs, with little dreck and no made up words/phrases. Tough to do. And an F fest in NW. Three of them!

Didn't notice 16 long grid, so thanks for hat Rex. I'm thinking Andrew had all these good answers that he didn't want to give up simply because he ran out of room, so he said, Why not add another row?

Was trying to think of what kind of acting Characters were in Mad Mad Mad Mad World. COMMAS, har. Nice.


Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Tore through the top two thirds of this puzzle. I'm an old phone guy so I got the cradle reference however had ringtone instead of dial tone. Also stumbled on ellie. Had ellen.

mmorgan 8:50 AM  

Well made and challenging Saturday puzzle with lots of stuff I didn’t know and I finished it fairly easily anyway so it’s an absolutely wonderful puzzle!!!

I never hear the word WAPO spoken, but I do see it in written quite often.

Nancy 9:26 AM  

FANFIC? FANPIC? FANZIC? FANTIC? I went for a second F at 1D, because at least FRI (20A) was an abbrev I'd heard of. (Yes, it's based on a Norse goddess instead of the usual Roman god, but those people who name days of the week can always pull a fast one.) My guess was right, as were my guesses on the I in TORI AMOS and on all the consonants in ADAM WEST. And so a correct finish. Yay, me!

Why isn't "uni" capitalized (15A)? Is an "A LEVEL" exam the same as the SATs? The LSATs? The MCATs? Is it an actual term or is it Green Paint?

Yes, WAPO -- "Democracy Dies in Darkness". How true. So then why, on those rare occasions when the internet brings me to one of your articles, DOES MY BLOODY SCREEN GO DARK BEFORE I CAN EVEN BEGIN READING IT????? Inconsistency -- that's what I call your blackout policy. Don't you know that I've subscribed to The New York Times for 47 years AND THAT I WILL NEVER BE UNFAITHFUL TO THEM? NEVER! To paraphrase Clint Eastwood: They will have to pry the NYT out of my cold, dead hand.

Found this very tough in spots, but thoroughly engrossing.

mathgent 9:35 AM  

Nice piece of work. I needed to look up TEENA to finish. I reminds me of the time a few years ago when I would need ten cheats for a Saturday. Lately I've been able to solve them clean. Probably the only thing the old me is better at.

I thought that it had to be ELSIE. Looking back now and running the alphabet gives Elbie, Ellie, Ellen, and Elvie.

KarenRackle 9:37 AM  

Solved it without a single Google ... so no complaints from me. Have a wonder weekend.

Petsounds 9:46 AM  

Much to enjoy here (CREAMER, NO PRESSURE, DEGREE MILL, AROMAS), but I agree with @okanaganer about the heavy use of names. Just too many for one puzzle.

Rosie 9:57 AM  

I think Serena Slam must be like Tiger Slam in golf, i.e., winning four consecutive majors but not in the same calendar year. Need all four in the same year for a Grand Slam.

ghostoflectricity 10:01 AM  

Near-natick with ILENE and ALEVEL (don't watch much TV and forgot about the Brit academic achievement tests until I had all but the "L"- then felt stupid). Also wanted "COMICS" once I had COM for "Mad, Mad World...," but had AMPED already, then figured out COMMAS. (BTW "IAMMMMW" is one of my LEAST favorite films of all time, a gargantuan, overblown waste of money and talent and time in very poor taste, IMHO). Otherwise a pretty easy Saturday.

Crimson Devil 10:24 AM  

Exc Sat puz, good cluing for AROMAS, COMMAS, and MEDICATE.. Too many proper names N/H/O. FANFIC ?

ojairanchgirl 10:31 AM  

Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Buddy Hackett, Sid Caesar? Am I the only one who confidently filled in COMICS for 28A? I just remember laughing through out the movie.

Carola 10:33 AM  

An enjoyable "medium" here: easy in the corners, slower through the middle, a brain-racker in the center top - until I remembered WAPO.
@okanaganer, AMEN. about the names.
@Anonymous 4:31, thank you for explaining how WIDTHS works.

QuasiMojo 10:40 AM  

@Nancy, haha, you made me guffaw today. I think it was Charlton Heston who said that about his chilly bony hands.

Lewis fan 10:45 AM  

Have stress related blood pressure issues, so followed my doc’s advice and now go to this blog to read Lewis’s comment and nothing else. Feel much better now.

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

Fun to have LGBTQ sub theme!

Molasses 11:07 AM  

@Nancy, probably someone who knows more than me already posted info on A-levels, but I just wanted to say thanks for sending me down that interesting rabbit hole, which oddly provoked a bit of anxiety for me, decades after my own SATs. They're definitely real, and probably more equivalent to AP tests here. I'm guessing the O-levels (ordinary, or OWL in Harry Potter world, another fun thing to think about this morning) are sort of equivalent to all those state tests kids have to take these days to graduate.

I enjoyed the puzzle, solved with only two Googles (for ILENE and ISAAC) which is pretty darn good for me on a Saturday.

deerfencer 11:16 AM  

I see Wapo used all the time on the web

AmandaPup 11:22 AM  

Yes, I see that if you search WAPO you get Washington Post, but we are working in the other direction; and I was comforted by a couple of us who never heard/read or saw the expression. I guess we are the no one to your everyone, Z.

Anonymous 11:29 AM  

A LEVEL is, in my experience, heard in Brit TeeVee/films.

Ngart1954 11:35 AM  

Right in my wheelhouse. Fasted time ever for a Saturday. As Rex said, very little dreck and as Jeff Chen noted, puzzle has a good flow.

PHV 11:35 AM  

"Diploma mill"!

Z 11:49 AM  

@AmandaPup - “just about everyone” was a bit overly broad, but big newspapers are commonly referenced by shortened versions of their names, the Freep, the Trib, the LAT. WAPO is seemingly ubiquitous if you follow much political news on the interwebs. In case you don’t recognize those other papers, they’re from Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I know “trib” has made xword appearances.

@Nancy - I think WAPO let’s you read 6 articles a month for free, so maybe it’s time to add an online subscription. No need to let the NYT know you have a side pony.

Masked and Anonymous 12:06 PM  

yep. That there 5-A North puzsection was a virtual nanosecond buzzsaw. The solvequest saved that puppy for last at our house, cuz it just had that look of a triple-tough tussle. Even after I (successfully) filled it in, I wasn't totally confident of anything except WIDTHS & maybe HERE.

But … Shoulda been far less confident about FANpIC at 1-D, which yielded a nice DNF, or FWOE, if U prefer to be positive.

Wanted NOBIGTHING before NOPRESSURE, to False-stART up the midsection. Luvly SERGIO immediately straightened that lil mess out.
@RP: yep. Great COMMAS clue.
Kinda actually also admired that DIALTONE clue, tho … a definite step up from she-baa meat.

staff weeject pick: RSS. Has a look of Ow de Speration that just won't quit. Also noteworthy: ADD & ADA.
And for more Tales of Weejecta: DET wins the medal today for most write-overs. Cuz U always try yer guessy stuff out at the weeject-level (WLEVEL) first, when dealin with them dread mega-feisty puzsections.

Thanx for really pourin the heat on with a 15x16 extra-deep challenge, MysteRies. Many extra cinnamon rolls were lost, in the struggle. [That's ok]

Masked & Anonymo4Us


David 12:23 PM  

Ha. My very favorite clue was "sounds around a cradle" and yes, there's still one in my house. I'll tell you why: it's the only line that we could use after 9/11, it's the only line we could use after Irene, it was the only line we could use after Sandy. We kept the phone longer and then Verizon, in its infinite wisdom, got rid of our lifesaving copper wires because, you know, computers and cell towers will never fail. Ha! Next disaster we'll just have to hope our friends and family know we've survived when they can't get hold of us.

Fast for me. I also had the most trouble up there with width and a level.

Second Z on a Wapo online subscription, I have 5 newspaper subscriptions and a few magazines so I can read a lot about the same stories and separate the reality from the chaff.

What? 12:29 PM  

Completed except FANPIC, whatever I thought that is.
COMMAS belongs In Misdirection Hall of Fame.

jberg 12:31 PM  

Er, @Rex, I'm not sure what you mean by "No idea who the Bongo guy is," since that information is given in the clue, which you quote. He was succeeded by his son Ali Bongo, who is still in office. I'll admit I had an unfair advantage -- a friend of mine studies the politics of oil in Africa, and has been fairly critical of the Bongo dynasty's tyrannical rule, as a result of which he is no longer allowed to live in that country.

I knew about A LEVELs, too -- but no idea about ADVIL PM, and although I did know that Penn State had been admitted into the Big Ten, I went with the more traditional oSU crossing ADVILoM --- a combination of straight Advil and meditation.

You're right about show-runners, though; there are PRODUCERS in TV, but they don't run things. Also, I'm pretty sure they're referred to as 'producers,' so the answer is giant green paint, as is LENS FILTER.

This one was really slow for me, because of all the names and tricky cluing, but the struggle was fun despite my ultimate failure.

Teedmn 12:33 PM  

Waah, DNF on this easiest of Andrew Ries' themeless puzzles. The north central was bracketed by WAPO, SLOP and PET PROJECT and I couldn't get 5A or 15A to save my soul. atT at 7D and a strange blank at 8D (co-PRODUCER was all I could come up with) and not knowing ILENE totally stymied me. Plus assuming that "halves" in the 5A clue meant we were looking for something similar to "pints" for "Quarts" or "cups" for "pints". I was wracking my brain for some obscure British unit of measure W_aTHS. Oh well.

Besides ringTONE before DIAL TONE and Abode before AREAS for "quarters", I filled this in like ABC. I was rather abashed at blanking on TEENA when I just read an article about "Boys Don't Cry" in the NYT on its 20th anniversary. My bad (memory).

I've noticed recently that many websites won't let you read them if you are in "private" or "incognito" mode - they want you to register first. If I go out of incognito mode, then I can read it. Not sure what that change betokens. Possibly a response to the new online regs in Europe? WAPO is one of those sites.

I like the little extra fang on the jaws of themelessness in the grid (hi M&A).

For all INTENTS and purposes, I should have SERENA SLAMmed this puzzle but instead Andrew Ries got me again. Nice Saturday puzzle, Andrew.

Newboy 12:37 PM  

Done in today by the 1d/20a clueing that just spun endlessly coupled with the mOMMAS in that mad world at 28a. I still loved the clueing as @Lewis noted above and agree wholeheartedly with @Nancy’s “Found this very tough in spots, but thoroughly engrossing” assessment. The humbling experience is a perfect way to ready me for a day of leaf raking!

Nancy 12:52 PM  

Right, @Quasi -- It was Charlton Heston! Sorry, Clint, to have besmirched your reputation.

I see -- both from this blog and from Wordplay that A LEVEL is a test in England. Which is why I didn't know it, natch.

Thank you for DIPLOMA MILL, @PHV. I knew something was really, really bothering me about DEGREE MILL, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was.

Joe Dipinto 1:30 PM  

Jude Law is trans now?

That top middle section took too long, mainly because, like Rex, I first thought 8d was INTRODUCER, but unlike Rex I wrote it in and let it sit there for an untold width of time. CREAMER is not something I might need, thanks for offering though.

A lot of answers in this grid were nifty – LUGE TEAM, SERENA SLAM, DATE NUT, FAN FIC, BONANZA, DIOCESE. Along the way I entertained the idea that promethium was the SCARIEST metal and that Bill Gates thought ABSCESS was a lousy teacher. I despise the "sounds like letters of the alphabet" clues, I wish Shortz would stop foisting them on us.

For today's playlist you get to choose between this and this. Or you could choose neither. No pressure.

Phil 2:31 PM  

DIY PROJECT with ATY was a block too hard to overcome. had that 9 cell DNF, rats.

Phil 2:35 PM  

Remembered the beatnik’s MOMMA in MMMMM World and could only guess FANDOM. But did finally get the tricky comma, aha.

Georgia 2:55 PM  

Rex introduced it to me here, when recommending Evan Birnholz puzzles.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

Such strange quibbles about TV PRODUCER. First, it's not a redundancy -- Broadway producer, record producer (yeah, they still say that), movie producer. Also, has anyone ever seen "Show Runner" in the credits?!? It's not a title, for crying out loud.

Joe Dipinto 3:11 PM  

Oh I just realized 19d is Jennifer Lawrence. I misread it as "'Game of Thrones' actress" and assumed it was some Brit I'd never heard of.

Hungry Mother 3:42 PM  

DNF, on WIDTHS. Tough enough without the fail.

Anonymous 3:48 PM  

" A showrunner is the leading producer of a television series. In the United States, they are credited as an executive producer, and simply as a producer in other countries, such as Canada or Britain. A showrunner has creative and management responsibility of a television series production through combining the responsibilities of employer, and in comedy or dramas, typically also character creator, head writer, and script editor. In films, the director has creative control of a production, but in television, the showrunner outranks the episodic directors. "

the wiki. It's the most important title for a TeeVee show, but it's an inside joke.

Unknown 4:58 PM  

Why did you mostly whine because you found it hard. You also whine at rhe trivial. If you forgot the big10 east you are missing a lot. Amazing this year...just finished while watching wisconsin wallop my team. Admit it was a nice puzzle. Period.

ACC Gal 7:25 PM  

@unknown - He usually complains that the puzzle isn’t fresh and caters to old people. We get a current clue, Big Ten East sch., and he complains that when he went to a Big Ten school a hundred years ago, there was no such thing as Big Ten East. You can’t make this stuff up.

Marc Z 7:46 PM  

Too easy for a Saturday came in under ten minutes (yes, I know it’s not a sub two hour marathon) . Liked the Big Ten East clue. Fresh. No such thing ten years ago.

Z 9:05 PM  

πŸ‘†πŸ½πŸ‘†πŸ½πŸ‘†πŸ½Not meπŸ‘†πŸ½πŸ‘†πŸ½πŸ‘†πŸ½

@Teedmn - Incognito/private mode allowed people to evade paywalls, so now sites with paywalls prevent access to browsers in those modes.

@Joe Dipinto - If you hadn’t said anything almost everyone would have thought you were jesting.

Joe Dipinto 9:16 PM  

@Z – well, either way I was certainly jesting about Jude Law. So everyone would have been correct.

Art 9:40 PM  

My guess is that Andrew Ries is 55.

Unknown 1:58 PM  

Loved this puzzle but for the one square I filled in incorrectly at fanfic crossing fri—an obscure informal version of a word crossing an obscure abbreviation of a word. Not fair!

Paul Statt 3:22 PM  

I thought that the German "abitur" was pretty obscure, but it was a Saturday after all. Never thought of A LEVEL; I guess I think of "uni" as a German word.

kitshef 9:31 PM  

Didn’t understand the clue for WIDTHS, and having read the comments, still don't.

Had a lot of trouble in the south, where ADA, RAE, AREAS and ARTS all range from ‘cross your fingers’ to ‘huh?’.

Anonymous 10:41 PM  

Does anyone understand WIDTHS?

What is it half of?
A width is not half of an area.
I don't even think one could seriously say that the measurement of a width is half of the measurement of an area.
I suppose the measuring of a width is half of the measuring required to compute an area. Is that the idea?

A width is half of . . . a wider width.

JC66 10:53 PM  

@Anon 10:41

Length times WIDTH = area

so WIDTH is half of the equation.

spacecraft 10:56 AM  

DNF: Natick cluster in the north. No idea what went into sqs. 5, 7, or 15. WAPO???? Is that supposed to be the Washington Post? Never heard of such a ridiculous abbr. And I echo the above sentiment on WIDTHS (@anon 10:41). I was torn between fifths and ninths, although they didn't make any sense EITHER.

It's a shame, too, because I was accumulating tons of triumph points on a puzzle that can't possibly be called easy. Plus, it had a shout-out to my beloved PSU Nittany Lions--whose game I am shortly going to the sports bar to see.

I'm not familiar with the term DEGREEMILL, though I guess it was inferable from the clue. NATTER always reminds me--unfortunately--of Spiro Agnew. I do not wish to become a N. N. of N., so I'll name SERENA the DOD and leave the scorecard blank.

Diana, LIW 3:29 PM  


Diana, LIW

Burma Shave 4:18 PM  


with the INTENTS of an A-LEVEL Hall-of-Famer.
NOPRESSURE then with AMOR, I guess,


rainforest 4:23 PM  

Well, I'd been successful all week, and I guess SUCCESS actually is a poor teacher because I DNF today: FANpIC at 1D. Didn't even consider FRI and thought that pRI was some institution I should know. Har.

Despite today's failure, I enjoyed the entire week even though I don't think I commented before today. Busy, busy.

In an earlier puzzle, Lady Di queried about curling, or some such. I played and enjoyed the sport for 40 years until a bad ankle and knee did me in. Great game.
Liked this puzzle despite the DNF.

leftcoaster 4:35 PM  

Way too many unknown PPPs producing Naticks and other problems that spoiled the fun. DNF and DNC.

rondo 6:52 PM  

Inkfest in the N central. I think I finished, hard to read it.
JLAW a yeah baby gimme.
Enjoyed the puz a lot more than the hours of running scans and diagnostics to fix my email. SUCCESS was a good teacher in this case.

J.S. Mill 4:19 AM  

first of all—WAY too easy for a Saturday. When I saw the unusual size I thought I might see something groundbreaking in the puzzle—but alas...
Of course I'm familiar with DIPLOMA MILL, but DEGREE MILL doesn't roll of the tongue..

This puzzle felt really dated.Could have run it in the 1970's. Saigon, Adam West and Bonanza on tv. Only Tori JLAW and Serena bring it into this century.

AMPED = Performance Enhancing Drugs you take when you wake up.

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