Norwegian P.M. Stoltenberg / SUN 7-14-13 / Lacoste offering / Rock Roll Hall of Fame inductees from Texas / Bully's coercive comeback / Instruments played with mallets / Womb jocularly /Faunus's Greek counterpart

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Constructor: Daniel A. Finan

Relative difficulty: Medium


NOTE: I couldn't get AcrossLite to make a "¢"k symbol, so instead I have used ... a spider.

THEME: "Show Me the Money" — theme answers have dollar signs or cents signs in them, which means an "S" or "C" crosses an "I" (so the crossing letters form the dollar or cent symbol when letters are drawn together in same square). All theme answers are money-related. Theme revealer is DOLLAR$ AND ¢ENTS (65A: Money ... or a hint to how six crossings in this puzzle are to be represented, superimposing one letter over another)

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Investing in a growth company (GOING LONG) / 3D: Some liquid assets (CASH ON HAND)
  • 25A: High-risk investments (PENNY STOCKS) / 16D: Spot on a demand curve (PRICE POINT)
  • 62D: With 58-Down, financial topic of 2012-13 (FISCAL / CLIFF)
  • 110A: Quotation sources, once (TICKER TAPES) / 70D: Key business figure (BOTTOM LINE)
  • 112A: Unrecoverable investment expenses (SUNK COSTS) / 73D: AA or AAA (BOND RATING)

Word of the Day: JENS Stoltenberg (34A: Norwegian P.M. Stoltenberg) —
 Jens Stoltenberg  (born 16 March 1959) is the Prime Minister of Norway and leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. Having assumed office on 17 October 2005, Stoltenberg was also Prime Minister from 2000 to 2001. (wikipedia)
• • • 

This is a home run. Says who? SAYS ME! (71A: Bully's coercive comeback) This thing just kept unfolding new and better layers of goodness. The I/S and I/C crossing thing, I've actually seen before. Somewhere ... some database hound out there will be able to tell me where [update: turns out Brendan Emmett Quigley did a very similar theme, two years ago, in a 15x15 grid]. Anyway, I floundered a bit in the NW and then finally got the "$" thing at GOINGLONG. Then thought "ho hum." I did not yet realize that ALL the answers involved in the symbol intersections (Across and Down) were financial terms—super impressive. I also had not yet encountered some tremendous fill, the highlights of which (for me) were FISCAL / CLIFF (split, themed, brilliant) and the self-abutting NYMPHO/MANIACS (standing ovation there) (88D: Crazies / 94D: Lead-in to 88-Down). There are only six "rebus" squares, but you could hardly call that a small number given the whole Across AND Down angle. I don't think the clue on the revealer needed to be sooooo explanatory. You should be able to figure that superimposition stuff out your own damned self. But that's a minor quibble. This puzzle is Stunning. I'm going to pretend I didn't see ASHINE (44D: Glowing) and give this one an A-plus.


I had some trouble getting started with this one, and then struggled a bit in other places because I didn't understand that the four non-central "rebus" squares would be at the intersection of long, themed answers—which is to say that I couldn't find the $ or ¢ squares down below for a bit. In fact, I didn't know there *was* a ¢ square for a while. I found a $ and figured all such squares would be $ squares. Thus TICKER TAPES took me forever (again, I wasn't thinking fiscal theme at all, so "quotation sources" was just not clicking for me). Also thought there was another ¢ in the SE, specifically in the "C" from the Down ONSPEC (86D: Without a contract). So sorting out that mess took some effort. Never heard of KICK as 95A: Beef. Not sure how that works. Also never heard of the Norwegian P.M. Otherwise, everything else was pretty familiar and neatly clued and just a whole lot of fun. Of course, I did solve it while listening to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" on repeat, so that may have primed me to have Very Good Feelings about this puzzle, but I think I'd've liked it anyway.


Bullets:
  • 13A: Heckle or Jeckle of cartoons (MAGPIES) — Aargh. I could see their damn huge heads/beaks, but I could not figure out what the hell bird they were. They're black ... orange beaks ... bah! Needed many crosses.
  • 81A: Request from a guest over an apartment intercom ("LET ME UP!") — a bit demanding as a "request," but as a creative bit of colloquial fill, I like this.
  • 106A: Instruments played with mallets (MARIMBAS) — did not come quickly. Brain first wanted MARACAS :(
  • 5D: Lacoste offering (POLO) — so confusing, as I grew up thinking of Lacoste's IZOD and Ralph Lauren's POLO brands as rivals. But the shirt style is indeed POLO, so clue is fine.
  • 28D: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees from Texas (ZZ TOP) — running this answer through the similarly double-Z'd DIZZY is just another example of this puzzle's great sense of fun. A "Z" party, totally unforced! Great stuff.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

88 comments:

jackj 12:04 AM  

I wouldn’t call this puzzle difficult but I sure would call it fun and it certainly does give one their money’s worth!

For business people like me, this was an unexpected pleasure to find MANY of the terms we deal with daily like MINIME, PENNANT, PFFT and LETMEUP!

I’m surprised that, with a theme geared to the corporate world, the Wall Street Journal didn’t swoop this one up; their readers would be salivating over the likes of PENNY$TOCKS, BOTTOML¢NE, F$SCAL CL¢FF and SUNKCO$TS. (But we can enjoy them, too, no drooling necessary).

Parts of the fill and its cluing were a bit aggressive, with such as “Womb, jocularly” for OVEN and the split entries that combined to give us NYMPHO MANIACS, but then Daniel calmed down and no more OYS were needed, though I suspect many solvers will conclude there was no jocularity involved in that round of cluing.

But there were also OBOLS and we can just imagine Socrates making a demand of Plato at the beginning of a school term for tuition that amounted to 4 drachmas and 3 OBOLS with Plato pleading for a Pythagorean grant to cover his fees. (Apparently they worked things out).

Lots of additional highlights in this puzzle and sorting through them, FROSTS, ONEDAY, PLACEBO and ZIPIT are among the standouts, with the best of all being that absolute executive necessity for rapid corporate advancement, the POWERTIE.

A wonderful puzzle that earns Daniel his crossword bones; hopefully he’ll be back soon with “DOLLAR$AND¢ENTS, the Sequel”.

Anonymous 12:15 AM  

Real shame the WSJ didn't get this. I'm very disappointed in that. They might have ponied up the cash (if not officially). Great crossword, though.

.................................

Would like to have seen cooler cluing. They just wasted NYMPHO MANIACS. Would have preferred something like: 94D "Slut" paired with: 88D "With 94D, super-slut"

syndy 12:18 AM  

I got that the Ses were Ies but that cent thingy dues not scream I . Had no earth idea whar PRCCEPOINTS was; which C and WHY?so I just when with crosses. Not that I have a KICK coming I'm just being grumpy.I had a lot of wrong answers so not being sure what the frick was going on made this a struggle.BUT NEITHER $ or spiders is an I so there!

Anonymous 12:21 AM  

" I don't think the clue on the revealer needed to be sooooo explanatory. You should be able to figure that superimposition stuff out your own damned self."

Ynaldo said something similar earlier this week. The Smart People don't get how many of us . . . aren't.

Einat 1:01 AM  

I like the theme but am confused. Rex said the theme answers read as "s or c in the across and I in the down" but the down answer "cash on hand" is the other way around. What gives?

Questinia 1:10 AM  

Thought the explanation on what to do with the dollar and ₵ cedi sign was necessary.

The answers were mostly second solution medium ~ ie they weren't the first things that popped into my head but generally the second. Pulled the fill down the grid like a shade ending on [SIC].

Nice construction.

Ellen S 1:20 AM  

@einat -- so Rex was wrong. In the theme answers, an "i" will cross either an "s" or a "c", making either a cents-sign or a dollar sign.

I complained at the beginning of the week that constructors had reached the point of desperation; inventiveness had been drained dry; the puzzles would all have a sleeve missing instead of creatve design. Wow, was I wrong. The last three days have been splendid, clever, delightful. (Yesterday was crushingly hard, as others noted, but still delightful.)

That said, I was not so fond of NYMPHO/MANIAC, and less pleased that Rex gave it a standing ovation. (Well, maybe some guys, those are the only girls they can get.) So what's the male counterpart of a nymphomaniac? Eliott Spitzer? I'm just sayin', 21st century and a woman with a strong sexual appetite is still a slut.

Liked the whole rest of the puzzle a lot, though. (@LMS - in case your intern takes a lunch break ever, I have attempted to further streamline my instructions on how to embed links, showing ret_chem's illustration with the real brackets. Just don't try to follow the instructions in Rex's FAQ because they are wrong.)

Anonymous 1:23 AM  

Great puzzle, but still, on Bastille Day, did they have to position their most capitalist puzzle ever on this day?!

- Billy (Guillaume)

Vijay 1:31 AM  

Rex, great to see you excited about a puzzle again! I enjoyed reading your discussion of the puzzle itself rather than your speed-solving experience.

jae 2:43 AM  

Impressive tricky Sun.  Rebus producing money related crossings with some zippy fill made for a fun solve.  Easy-medium for me.  Liked it a lot!

Anonymous 5:06 AM  

I can't figure out how to get the Crossword app for iphone to accept my answers. Tried "prioritizing across over down" (e.g. FSCAL/CLCFF), tried using dollar signs where I could (F$CAL/CLCFF), tried SI/CI rebuses... Feeling rather lamblike. Help?

Bob Kerfuffle 5:54 AM  

Wonderful puzzle!

Is it necessary to note that the four rebus crossings in the corners are perfectly symmetrical and the central revealer has the dollar sign in DOLLARS and the cent sign in CENTS!?!

Two write-overs: 81 A, LET ME IN before LET ME UP, and 85 A, SWORE IN before SWORN IN.

Was puzzled by 61 A, Mrs. Capp and others, only got FLOS from crosses. After finishing, had to Google to find that it was Mrs. Andy Capp and not some mysterious Mrs. Al Capp as I had been thinking.

Glimmerglass 7:48 AM  

Great Sunday puzzle. a quibble: To KICK is to complain (verb). A "beef" is a complaint, unusual as a verb. One doesn't say "I have a kick about that," or "He beefed about the price." I agree with @vijay

Mitzie 7:50 AM  

Excellent puzzle, glad to see it was treated to the most laudatory writeup I've seen in months - it deserves it! My only gripe is that the iPhone app can’t support the true solution. I’d say that, as a constructor, if you’ve done something that the app can’t support, then you’ve probably done something awesome.

@Ellen S:

Interesting, I never knew that NYMPHO/MANIAC(s) was gender-specific. This might be a detail that is lost on most people born after 1975 or so (I say that without knowing when you were born :)). I certainly grew up thinking I could apply the term to males or females.

With that perspective, I had no problem with it. Now, after looking into it, I'm not sure if I do or not. If I saw SLUT in a puzzle, how offended would I be? Probably a lot - and yet it has appeared in a couple of other publications. We've seen BIMBO, HUSSY, TRAMP, JEZEBEL, TART, TROLLOP, and VAMP. I could probably double that list if I kept looking.

I’m really wondering how much these entries bother me. They really don’t, personally. But when I think about the angst-ridden 14-year-old girl who, in the midst of navigating her freshman year, sits down to solve the Times puzzle and is confronted with TRAMP after having just been called one the day before, I’m a little put-off. I guess I would feel the same about NYMPHO, when it comes down to it. I dunno.

OK, I’m done. Thanks, Daniel!

chefbea 7:53 AM  

Fairly easy puzzle but didn't get the $ and c thing tip I got here. I saw that there were a lot of SI and CI but didn't realize that meant dollars and cents.

Hopefully no rain today and we can be outside!!

Elmer the Bull 8:07 AM  

@Glimmerglass - What are you beefing about? Of course BEEF is a verb. It darn well better not be a noun, I mean, you know . . .

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

can someone tell me why "Popsicle" in 15D is capitalized?

Z 8:54 AM  

@anon 8:31- Popsicle is a brand name.

jberg 9:07 AM  

Ah! Like OTTER POPS! Who knew?

Same here for SWORe IN and LET ME in. Also ROughER before ROCKIER, hAlf before MANY, and mAke ME before SAYS ME, ZIP 'em before IT. All easily fixable. The boating set may complain about 107D, since a ship's BEAM is very different from it's keel -- but the keel IS a BEAM, so that's an acceptable misdirection.

Brilliant construction, I have to agree. I didn't even notice that the theme answers were all money-related until I was fiished, nor that they were symmetrical -- both of which facts would have saved me some trouble. And the title is very appropriate, since you show the money visually when you write in the crossed letters.

As for the NYMPHO, it's clued non-suggestively, although it is a little edgy in the same puzzle with those MALE electrical plugs.

retired_chemist 9:11 AM  

Popsicle is a brand name,no?

@ Ellen S - is "satyrs" an adequate male counterpart to NYMPHOMANIACS?

Enjoyable puzzle - finished with an error: SAME@ 118A, not quite spot on for the clue but as close as SOME IMO.

Saw the dichotomy in the rebus squares well before I saw the reveal. Used IS and IC for what the reveal showed to be the $ and ₵ signs (thanks, Questinia, for the latter) and then tried to insert the proper signs to see about getting Mr. Happy Pencil. Could. Not. Get. a ₵ any more than Rex could. Settled for the crescent in AL's symbols list. Irritated me, which says more about my psyche that it does about the puzzle.

Tried NOVIA for 42A, S'POSAin" the Italian and Spanish words might be the same. No.

Wondered now I was supposed to know Al Capp's wife. Again no - Andy.

Lots of good stuff,so I'll leave it at what everybody else said.

Thanks, Mr. Finan.



JHC 9:14 AM  

I did not like the WKRP/ILER crossing. Two television proper nouns -- one 30 years old and out of syndication, and the other premium cable? And practically any letter could fit? Seriously -- run the alphabet. Any letter could finish ILE_ (okay, maybe not J or Q, but otherwise), and a radio station gives no help. I had an a there, which is perfectly plausible.

Susan McConnell 9:42 AM  

I was so glad to see Rex loved this...I did, too and if he dissed it I would have been bummed. I knew something was up when I looked at GOSNGLONG in the NW, but CASHONHAND had to be right.

I agree that the "superimposing" phrase in the revealer clue was unnecessary. I also needed all the crosses for MAGPIES whilst seeing the two of them cackling away on a branch. Didn't they wear hats?

I associate no particular gender to NYMPHO/MANIACS, but maybe I am naive.

Jeff 9:45 AM  

Didn't like how the $ meant s-across/i-down in the the lower right and the opposite in the top left, especially considering how the cents sign is oriented the same way in both its spots,

joho 9:55 AM  

@Rex, I love how your write-up started out with , "NOTE: I couldn't get AcrossLite to make a "¢"k symbol, so instead I have used ... a spider." Very funny!

I also loved that you loved this spectacular puzzle (please see the esses and cees in spectacular as dollars & cents!)

The use of the symbols was super inventive and elegant and the fact that all theme answers are money terms adds a whole' nother layer to this delicious cake!

I didn't figure out the theme until FISCAL/CLIFF which is great because I had to work for it.

NYMPHO was the last thing I expected next to MANIACS and I was pleasantly surprised when it showed up.

A Sunday to remember for sure, thank you, Daniel!

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

That's 'iPhone'

August West 10:04 AM  

This one reminded me of the old commercial with the tag line, "...but the Mazda go, 'hummmmmmmmm.''"

Just an easy, smooth ride with some nice scenery along the way. Gimmick quickly nailed via CASHONHAND/ GOINGLONG; PENNYSTOCKS/PRICEPOINT.

Smile inducers: MINIME, ZZTOP, PENNANT, OWIE, PFFT, ZIPIT, FOSTERS, NYMPHO-MANIACS, POWERTIE. Groan inducers: FROSTS (No one says it; didn't like it) and ASHINE (Oh, no, you didn't!)

Like Rex, vexed by just what kind of birds H&J were. Ravens? That don't fit. "Hon?" "No, they're not crows!" Needed crosses for the "But, of course!" moment.

Only do-over: ROCKIER for ROughER. JACKASS took care of that.

Nice job.

mac 10:24 AM  

Good Sunday puzzle, had to leave a few squares open before I figured it out at penny stocks.

Interesting question, what is the male equivalent of nymphomaniac (which I always thought was just about women). I think satyr comes closest.

The only clue/answer I found really odd was the "that's nuthin"/Pfft combo.

Milford 10:24 AM  

Actually finished the puzzle before I truly got the theme. But then I was delighted to see the visual of the SIs and CIs as $ and ¢ - days like this I wish I solved on paper!

Good fill all around, as noted. Checked with Econ major hubby on a few terms (e.g. SUNK CO$TS).

(Hmm, don't dollar signs sometimes have 2 slashes through the S?)

Some writeovers, but far less than usual for a Sunday. I just may be getting better at this!

Milford 10:30 AM  

Hmm. The Magmic app on my iPhone took the across entries and gave me a "well done". It may be that you have another error elsewhere?

Wikipedia 10:37 AM  

NYMPHO MANIA for women and "satyriasis" for men.

Z 10:43 AM  

@Wikipedia - Gives GOING LONG a whole new meaning.

Gill I. P. 11:02 AM  

PFFT, I PASS SAYS ME.
ZIP IT SAP...GLAD to JACKASS...

joho 11:03 AM  

@mac, how about "horn dog?"

Questinia 11:06 AM  

How to actually superimpose and the description of how to superimpose were clunky. Perhaps I was being lazy, but I think it was the most inelegant aspect to the puzzle.

Re NYMPHOMANIAC and gender. Satyriasis (as retired_chemist writes) would be the male counterpart.

It seems there are generally more negative terms for a man than a woman- from schmuck, villain, rogue and rascal to roue, knave and cad. Probably because men, historically, have interacted in more aspects of the external world, and with both men and women. Women have words more or less limited to descriptions of sexual or emotional "dysfunction", like whore and bitch. Even more modern tems like bridezilla relegate women to a restricted sphere.



Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Contrary opinion - did not enjoy it at all, even after figuring out the theme. Had a bad taste in my mouth right from 1D. A BB gun shoots BBs; a pellet gun shoots pellets. That sounded alarms that the cluing was going to be loose.

Along with a few others that have been previously been noted, here are a couple more that bugged me -

"Bully's coercive comeback?" - where's the coercion in "says me"? was looking for something along the lines of "Make me"

"Corp VIPs" - Managers are no more VIPs in large companies than sergeants or lieutenants are VIPs in the army. VIPs are CEOS, Executive VPs, generals, etc.

evil doug 11:15 AM  

The term 'nymphomaniacs' was created to identify the small portion of the female population that suffers (or enjoys?) that mindset. There's no true male counterpart to that term since essentially all men are sex crazed and therefore such a label would be redundant....

Evil

evil doug 11:28 AM  

There are words limiting women to a restricted sphere? You're obviously hysterical, Questinia....

Evil

Questinia 11:41 AM  

@ evil doug. As you probably know, you just made my point!

Anonymous 11:45 AM  

Just wonderin'... 117A - certain/some?

evil doug 11:48 AM  

Don't get your panties in a bunch. Are you on your period or somethin'?

Evil

Sir Hillary 11:53 AM  

The clue for 13A reminds me of a hilarious non-sequitur from the mid-1990s. A linebacker for the New England Patriots was asked about his team's tendency to play brilliantly one week, then dreadfully the next. He replied something along the lines of, "Yeah, we kinda have two different teams here; we're like Heckle and Jeckle."

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

etymonline.com



nympho (n.)
1935, short for nymphomaniac (see nymphomania).



nymphomania (n.)
1775, in English translation of "Nymphomania, or a Dissertation Concerning the Furor Uterinus," by French doctor M.D.T. Bienville, coined from Greek nymphe "bride" (see nymph) + mania "madness" (see mania). Perhaps influenced by earlier French nymphomanie. Defined as "a female disease characterized by morbid and uncontrollable sexual desire." Cf. also nympholepsy.


Oh, I do love this quote!
nympholepsy (n.)
"frenzy or rapture supposed to take hold of a man upon gazing on a nymph," 1775, coined by Richard Chandler, in "Travels in Greece," from nymph, on model of epilepsy, with second element from stem of Greek lambanein "to take." Especially "an ecstasy or frenzy caused by desire for the unattainable." Ancient Greek had nympholeptos "caught by nymphs." Related: Nympholept; nympholeptic.




retired_chemist 12:08 PM  

So may we presume that narcolepsy (n) is "frenzy or rapture supposed to take hold of a man upon gazing on a narc?"

evil doug 12:23 PM  

Sorry. I guess I've been a real douche bag....

Summer's Eve-il

Gill I. P. 12:37 PM  

Hey @Ellen S - looky looky
Is this what you mean?

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

Bunnyhead

I did amazingly well with this puzzle- I agree w/ Rex on the brilliance of Nympho maniac- love your wit!

heathcliff 12:51 PM  

Magmic users: ignore dollar and cents signs. As it says at the start, prioritize the across answers. So PENNYSTOCKS crosses PRCCEPOINTS.

August West 1:00 PM  

@ 11:08 Anon: Actually, many BB guns also shoot pellets. See, e.g., the venerable Crosman 760, every suburban dad's favorite muskrat killer.

Steve J 1:05 PM  

Enjoyed this one greatly, even with some stumbles that left me scratching my head (mostly due to typos, which made the I/S/C thing even more perplexing early on). I've come to really appreciate themes that incorporate the downs; they're left themeless far too often, and I would venture a guess that we've all become too accustomed to just assuming the long accrosses are automatically and perpetually the theme answers.

I had one quibble with the puzzle's execution regarding the theme: I think it would have been considerably cleaner had there been no other money-related answers or clues involved. KRONER and OBOLS should have been left out (I'd prefer not to see OBOLS even if the theme were about puppies), and the clue for 69D was also financial in nature (that one in particular irked me, since I recognize the answers could have presented construction difficulties, but there are bajillion ways to clue ORES that have nothing to do with banks). But, as I said, it's a quibble, and a minor one that doesn't really detract from the fun this was.

(Btw, for those using the Magmic iPhone/iPad app who are commenting that they prioritized accrosses over downs but are still not getting a complete: Check that you don't have mistakes elsewhere. I had the same initial reaction when I got the message I had correct answers but verified I got the crosses correct. Turned out I had a simple typo elsewhere.)

Rob C 1:07 PM  

Just wanted to add my praise for this one. Loved the visual it created in the rebus squares. Liked the quote from ACTS at 14D as a bonus theme answer.

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

Thank you, Milford, for your response. I had inadvertently changed another letter in the puzzle while fooling around with trying rebuses, etc. Once I fixed that error, just putting in the across answers worked.

Questinia 1:57 PM  

@Summer's Eve-il
Odd how men can be douchebags. Women can only be old bags or bag ladies.

B Donohue 2:00 PM  

Great puzzle! My first Sunday NYT in a while. Am glad that Rex liked it.

Lots of fun with the simple theme, cool revealer, several current answers, and all of the "z"s. I admit to having to look up "confab" to figure out a small section in the SSW.

jae 2:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
stanbutterfly 2:22 PM  

29a. Ltd. in Lille. Actually, the correct answer to this clue should be Limitee. The Cie is short for Compagnie, which is not the same as Ltd.

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

You can't spell FINANCIAL without Finan.

Anoa Bob 2:44 PM  

Couple of minor points, not intended to detract from this fine puzzle in anyway:

NYMPHOMANIACS and nymphomania were, from the start, largely the product of male wishful-thinking. The actual existence of it, or the supposed male counterpart, Don Juanism, was never supported by any reliable empirical evidence and both were dropped from the American Psychiatric Association's official list in the 1980 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-III.

The clue for 48A PLACEBO, "It should have no effect." is backwards. A better clue, I think, would be "It can have a strong effect". Experimenters have to use control groups so they can parse out the placebo effect from the true experimental effect. Future physicians are taught in med school about the power of the PLACEBO effect.

On the detract-a-tad side, this had a ton of ESSES (18D) and POCs galore. Still a fine puzzle.

Questinia 2:51 PM  

@ Anoa Bob. Agree with the placebo clue. A better clue would read "It should have no effect after a few weeks". Placebos seen to be effective for around three weeks.

retired_chemist 2:55 PM  

A PLACEBO should not have a strong effect. The placebo effect is not due to the placebo per se but instead has to do with factors extrinsic to the placebo, which is the point of placebo use in control groups. "It should have no effect" is correct IMO.

furpurrson 4:06 PM  

Couldn't get the cent sign on my iPhone ... help!

Evan 4:13 PM  

Not much more I can add than what's already been said. I'm with @Steve J that it would have been nice if both OBOLS and KRONER had been left out, as I think it's better when the theme answers are the only entries that share the defining theme characteristic (in this case, money-related answers). But other than that, I thought this was awesome.

I guess one possible place some people could trip up is if you thought the S in the SAYS ME/OBOLS crossing was one of the rebus squares -- because OBOLI sounds kinda reasonable as an outdated form of currency. But then, since that would make the rebus asymmetrical, you could probably rule it out.

Annie Longley 5:21 PM  

Am I the only one who thought this was a bit desperate? I was just put off by it; there were some good clues here & there, but on the whole, disappointing.

Questinia 5:40 PM  

@ retired_chemist you're talking about double blind placebo testing. If a person is given something they are told will have a desired effect then the person can have a vigorous response which decays with time. That's why tests run over a period of time ... to overcome the placebo effect. The placebo in itself is inert and the effect comes from the person imbuing it with healing properties.
I guess it's a question of no effect in the long term vs no effect at all.

Z 5:50 PM  

@questina - there's a three post limit here.

Three and Out

Anonymous 5:53 PM  

Yeah, isn't that more like, well not exactly like, the opposie

chefbea 6:24 PM  

Just saw who the constructors are for tomorrow's puzzle. Looking forward to it...but I won't do it tip tomorrow

chefbea 6:25 PM  

til

retired_chemist 6:29 PM  

@Questina - you actually prove my point. It isn'the placebo that has the effect, it is the person's expectation/hope/whatever.

LaneB 6:51 PM  

Too tough for a Sunday, particularly the strained cluing and the so-called directions of a65.. Never did get the "superimposing" business. Big fat DNF and bad taste in mouth.
Also forced to watch my Giants getting slaughtered. Should have gone to the gym and not wasted my time on Show Me THe Money. Do I sound FROSTed?
The acrostic much more satisfying.

Anonymous 8:14 PM  

Giants don't start for three weeks."

Oh! That. That's just baseball.

Not a sport.

Bud Selig 8:34 PM  

Anon8:14 - Committee Meetings followed by brief moments of violence - yep, that's real sports.

Carola 9:40 PM  

Chiming in late to add my "wow" on the construction. Really had to work at this one but enjoyed the struggle. Needed the symmetrically placed theme squares to finish the NE.

Ellen S 12:13 AM  

@Evil, I think you got it the most right: "There's no true male counterpart to that term since essentially all men are sex crazed and therefore such a label would be redundant...."

I didn't want to be the one to say it...

@Gill -- YES, You've got it!! I trust you meant it to go to generic YouTube rather than a particular video--ID EST, it was just a demonstration. Selecting and copying the address does not seem to be a problem for people.

Anonymous 2:13 PM  

This solver is sick of the misuse of nautical terms, whether in crosswords or other print media. I protest 107-D, BEAM for "Ship's keel, e.g." If you're going to couch the clue in a nautical setting, then stick to nautical usage for the answer! As a naval archaeologist, I can say with complete confidence that the term BEAM means only an athwartships structural member, usually employed to support a deck. A fore & aft deck support is a CARLING. A KEEL, running fore & aft, can never be a BEAM. The term KEEL has no proper synonym, although if it's a steel ship it could be fairly described structurally as an I-bar or a T-bar. Standard nautical and shipbuilding terminology was devised centuries ago to avoid confusion, and this need is every bit as necessary today.

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Ur a fuddy duddy. Lighten up

Chris 9:39 AM  

Not really sure what "some" has to do with "certain".

Anonymous 7:05 AM  

SOME people liked this puzzle. CERTAIN people did not.

rain forest 1:49 AM  

Absoutely brilliant puzzle! Normally on a Sunday, I will put the puzzle down two or more times before deciding to "go for it". On this one, I wanted to stay with it on one try, it was so much fun. I left the first two rebus squares blank, but kept thinking about them, wondering how I could make S and I work in them both, until it hit me that we were talking $ and er cents. Then came the revealer. Then came the realization that all the crossing theme answers were of a financial nature. Then came the observation that the rebuses were symmetrically placed.

Along the way were many entertaining clues and answers that added up to one tremendous puzzle. It didn't FROST me. I can't KICK about this one. And all the nice things everyone else has said.

Note: there is no overt or implied gender to the inferred term NYMPHOMANIAC. Some people just cannot relax.

BedfordBob 12:28 PM  

At the first run through, I thought " oh boy this is going to be tough". I finally got going at the bottom and worked my way to the top with a lot of "Aha!" moments. I got the rebus is and ic but didn't get the significance till I got here.

It was a great puzzle but I missed the typical Sunday puzzle with delightful plays on words that make me laugh out loud and run inside to tell my wife the funny answers.

I do the syndicated version and felt a lot better after missing the entire NE and NW part of yesterdays.

BedfordBob 12:30 PM  

One other comment. I desperately wanted Battery something for AA or AAA but loved the theme related BondRating

Spacecraft 12:44 PM  

As I write this, Phil Mickelson has just posted a rousing 66 in the final round of the Open Championship. Will it be enough?

To the puzz. I will fall short of praising it to the heavens, though there was much to like. I agree that the theme entries, and especially that dreaded FISCAL CLIFF, deserve an attaboy--though I've never heard the term "PRICE POINT." But for me it was a slog. Lots of tricky cluing makes for a hardish Sunday, and there were plenty of traps: ROughER for ROCKIER, Sure for SOLD ("convinced"), gETMEUP for LETMEUP. The latter is fine, but I'd rather involve our bully of 71a in the clue, as what his victim might say. As for 71a itslf, I agree that something like "MAKE ME" is more bullyish (bullish? Back to the theme!) than SAYS ME.

I do echo OFL's admiration of the "Z" ZANINESS. That was well done. KICK as "Beef" and SOME as "Certain" are borderline. I guess they're OK, but it was no fun getting them. Never heard of OBOLS or CIE.

spacecraft 1:39 PM  

P.S. Yes, 66 was enough---by 3 shots! WTG Mick!

Also forgot to weigh in on the 94d/88d issue. I have an expression for this type of thing. While others use words like "inappropriate" and "P.I." I just say "unfortunate." Or as Valentine's cellmate in "Trading Places" might put it:

"It's not cool bein' such a jive turkey this close to Thanksgiving."

Dirigonzo 4:17 PM  

WPP and I had the grid mostly filled in but just couldn't get several crosses to work - it took a long time to figure out the "superimposing" part of the note so we could make all those S and C crossings into the appropriate monetary sign with an I. BOTTOMLINE: we loved it. And of course seeing ORONO in the grid always makes me happy!

Anonymous 11:59 PM  


Re: NYMPHOMANIAC, yes, it's definitely a gendered term. I don't see any evidence that it is used for men.

On the other hand, it was not nearly as bad as ASIAN FLOOZY, a theme entry clued with something like "Promiscuous lady of the Far East?"

I'm sure it was meant as innocent wordplay. I don't fault the constructor (folks get caught up in playing with the language patterns and forget about the meaning behind the words). But it was not very fun to run into this phrase while solving a puzzle.

Some might say, well, floozy is an old fashioned word. No one uses it any more! Nope. Just do a quick google of ASIAN FLOOZY. Result? Lots of porn sites.

On top of the gender issues this phrase has a layer of racial issue due to stereotypes/fetishes surrounding Asian women. So that adds to the problem.

So, yeah, as rainforest said, let's just say that these kind of entries are, at the very least, unfortunate.

Anonymous 12:03 AM  

I meant to credit spacecraft (who said that entry was unfortunate) and not rain forest (who said some people just cannot relax).

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

for the some and certain question: I took it to be mean't as when one might say, "some people..." or "certain people..."

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