Sunday, 5/29/11

[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="NYT" anchor="ny"]11:38[/time_hdr]
[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="Reagle" anchor="mr"]7:21[/time_hdr]
[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="BG" anchor="bg"]7:47[/time_hdr]
[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="LAT" anchor="la"]7:00[/time_hdr]
[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="WaPo" anchor="wp"]untimed (pannonica)/7:20(ALR)[/time_hdr]
[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="CS" anchor="cs"]6:20 (Sam)[/time_hdr]
[time_hdr postdate="2011/05/28" plug="sunday-52911" puzz="NYT Second Sunday" anchor="nt"]untimed[/time_hdr]

Jeremy Newton and Tony Orbach’s New York Times crossword, “You’ll Get Through This”

NY Times crossword answers 5 29 11

I don’t know about you, but I gave up on the after-puzzle maze/quote business. Luckily, Patrick Merrell did a lovely job illustrating the whole gimmick. I see from Patrick’s picture that the correct order of the circled letters is “Every wall is a door.”—EMERSON. Oh! So each chunk of fill that looks like a separate room is a separate room.

But I get ahead of myself—a whole bunch of clues go with not only their answer, but also the word DOOR and then the subsequent answer. Neat trick, isn’t it? For example, 25a: [Done for, finito, kaput] clues not just DEAD AS A but DEAD AS A {door} NAIL, and that NAIL is also clued as [Execute perfectly].

The other DOOR answers are POWER {door} LOCK, WIN A {door} PRIZE, HOLD THE {door} OPEN, HOTEL {door} MAN, TRAP-{door} SPIDERS, FOUR-{door} SEDAN, BACK-{door} DRAFT, HEATED IN{door} POOL, ARCHED {door}WAY, CLOSED-{door} MEETING, FRONT {door}STEP, and NEXT-{door} NEIGHBOR. Possibly I’ve missed one or two in this list.

Interesting theme, funky never-before-seen gimmick. I wish the “go through the doors from room to room” maze concept had hit me, but it just wasn’t sifting out of my head. I was trying to trace a route through the {door} answers and that wasn’t getting me anywhere.

Overall fill and cluing quite good. I give it 4.75 stars. (Docking it a quarter star for the mystification of the maze aftermath.)

Merl Reagle’s syndicated/Philadelphia Inquirer crossword, “Fast Food for Thought”

Merl Reagle crossword answers, 5 29 11 "Fast Food for Thought"

Merl skews toward McDonald’s by adding a “Mc” to the beginning of key words in a story, changing the spelling as needed to make the new word into an actual “Mc—” surname that a famous person has. I’ll list a famous McPerson for each:

  • 1a. Actors Chi and Danny McBRIDE = bride.
  • 18a. ’70s “Convoy” singer C.W. McCALL = call.
  • 19a. ["'Golden' is one of my favorite __"] gets you author Carson McCULLERS = …cullers? Oh! Colors. Different vowel sounds for me. The Golden Arches are from McDonald’s.
  • 24a. McFARLANE = far lane. Don’t know a famous one of these; Seth MacFarlane’s a Mac.
  • 38a. McGINNIS = Guinness. Joe McGinniss with two S’s is more famous than any McGinnis.
  • 48a. Actor Ian McSHANE = Shane.
  • 52a. Baseball’s Tim McCARVER = carver.
  • 57a. TV’s Ed McMAHON = man.
  • 68a. Actor Gerald McRANEY = rainy.
  • 71a. ’70s TV series McCLOUD = cloud.
  • 76a. Author Frank McCOURT = court.
  • 88a. Uh, painter James McNeill Whistler’s middle name McNEILL = kneel.
  • 92a. Singer Brian McKNIGHT = knight.
  • 96a. Actor Steve McQUEEN = queen.
  • 109a. Pol George or singer Maureen McGOVERN = govern.
  • 121a. No household-name McCRACKEN = crackin’.
  • 131a. Singer Clyde McPHATTER = fatter.
  • 134a. Cruciverb.com’s Kevin McCANN = can.
  • 139a. Marshall McLUHAN = cluein’.

The story and the puns work all right. Nineteen short theme entries sure is a lot. Despite the theme answers blanketing the grid, the fill didn’t feel as constrained as you might think. There were two Roman numerals, though. The first was kinda ugly: 17d: [This clue squared, plus itself] gives no hint that you need to go Roman and makes you do a lot of math. (17 x 17) + 17 = 289 + 17 = 306 = CCCVI. At 132d, CXC is the Roman equivalent of [190], no arithmetic to be done.

Five clues:

  • 79d. [Mao's top army commander, Chu __] clues TEH. “Teh” has also become a snarky online word in its own right thanks to the frequency with which there are typos in “the.”
  • 24d. [Ars __ (sorcery)] clues MAGICA.
  • 27d. [Primrose, e.g.] clues PATH. I don’t like this clue, as “primrose path” is an old phrase but primrose is a plant, not a path. Why not [Primrose __]?
  • 11d, 50a. [Play parts] does double duty, but should have been made singular for ACT as only SCENES is a plural answer.
  • 8d. On Happy Days, the Henry [Winkler role] was THE FONZ. My favorite answer in the whole puzzle!

Three stars.

Henry Hook’s Boston Globe crossword, “Grape Expectations”

BG answers, "Grape Expectations"

We’ve got a largely successful pun theme this time out, with a grab bag of phrases tweaked to include a type of wine:

  • 18a. PEAS AND CLARETS (carrots)
  • 22a. LIFE IS A CABERNET (cabaret)
  • 48a. MY SHERRY AMOUR (Cherie). Why did Stevie Wonder use “My” instead of the corresponding French “Ma”? Because this hockey trophy person, BYNG? Could’ve been BANG for all I knew.
  • 54a. BLUSH WITH GREATNESS (brush)
  • 66a. SAVING PRIVATE RHINE (Ryan)
  • 80a. MADEIRA WATSON (“my dear Watson”)
  • 107a. RIESLING MATCHES (wrestling)
  • 111a. ASTI AND HARRIET (Ozzie)

I like that a lot of the theme answers played on pop culture.

Favorite answers; ANIMANIACS, the KOOSH ball, GANYMEDE, the MAPLE LEAFS, SUPERMAN

Four stars.

Patrick Blindauer’s New York Times Second Sunday puzzle, a diagramless

My printer has been psychotic ever since I got my new iMac last fall, and sometimes it decides it just doesn’t want to use any toner. And so it was that when I went to print out Patrick’s diagramless from Across Lite (because Crossword Solver and Black Ink tend to freak out when you open a diagramless and show you the diagram), boom, plain white paper, no puzzle. Why, why, why does the New York Times now offer PDFs of the daily puzzle but not the Second Sunday diagramless and cryptic crosswords. Why? It makes no sense. Plan C was to print out some graph paper (this 19×25 grid PDF with 1 cm boxes is perfect) and work from the clues in Across Lite on my computer screen. Hey! It worked all right.

So the grid’s got standard crossword symmetry and its pattern actually looks much more like a standard crossword than the usual NYT diagramless. The exception is the visual element in the middle, a chunky capital H made of black squares. Six theme entries each have two words starting with H: HAMMER HOME, HEAD OVER HEELS, HAS THE HOTS FOR, HIS AND HERS, HAUNTED HOUSE, and HEART TO HEART. Good stuff. Fill highlights include JIM DAVIS, SHOWTIME, LAH-DI-DAH, HASHISH, and ZONK.

4.5 stars.
Updated Sunday morning:

Mike Shenk’s Washington Post crossword, “Post Puzzler No. 60″ — pannonica’s review

Washington Post Puzzler 60 answers 5/29/11, Shenk

Just what I needed this morning, a sturdy themeless chock full of chewy fill and challenging clues! Even though I only had a measly half cup of reheated coffee while solving it in the wanlit early hours of the morning, this puzzle brought the sunshine.

Very little frass and dross in the grid, just a couple of crosswordesy crutches: Israel’s LOD airport and he’s-not-Agee INGE.

What truly elevates this puzzle is the cluing. It’s as if constructor Shenk and editor Gordon peeled the dull layer of an onion and exposed a radiant new one, gently translucent and slightly refracted. Fresher, trickier, more oblique.

Some highlights:

  • Solid stacked nines in the NE and SW.
  • Full names ELLEN PAGE, RENÉ CLAIR, FORD EDGE.
  • Unusual words CALDERA, TOWN CRIER, RAG DOLL, LEONINE (not pair-clued with ASLAN), EREWHON, LOW RIDER, GLORY ROAD, etc.
  • Examples of the great cluing:
    • 18a. I AM LEGEND referencing not the recent Will Smith movie but the original novel and the cheesy ’70s Charlton Heston incarnation, The Omega Man.
    • 25a. LINEN as a [Mummy wrap]
    • 29a. HASTE clued simply as [Dispatch]
    • 30a. ELEPHANT as [Animal that killed Chuckles the Clown]. I don’t even know what the reference is, but it isn’t boring and is probably not overly obscure.
    • 34a. Boring old STRAPS clued as [Feed bag parts].
    • I could keep going, but I’d only end up slavishly retyping and recounting  60–80% of the clues.

Really, I have nothing bad to say about this puzzle. Okay, well here’s something: I’m annoyed that I couldn’t remember the name of the actress who played Juno MacGuff (ELLEN PAGE) and didn’t know the 2006 film with Jon Voight (GLORY ROAD), but only because it slowed me down in the southwest corner. In good conscience, I couldn’t claim that it makes the puzzle bad or unfair.

Eight million stars.

Matt Skoczen’s syndicated Los Angeles Times crossword, “For the Record”

LA Times crossword answers, 5 29 11 "For the Record"

Back in the day, a record album was commonly called an LP, or long-playing record. The answers in this rather dry theme are things with (roughly) L.P. initials: LAME-DUCK PRESIDENT, LABOR PAINS, “LET’S PRETEND,” LUCKY PENNY, LANDSCAPE PAINTERS, LIMERICK POETRY (wha…?), and the LARAMIE PROJECT. Pretty straightforward, no wordplay, no trickery.

82a is outdated and unimportant pop culture, but a total gimme for me. ["Soap" actor Robert] MANDAN shares his name with an American Indian tribe/language and a North Dakota town. Ah, Soap, how I loved you.

Less outdated but unfamiliar pop culture: 11d: ["Veronica Mars" actress Thompson], or TESSA.

Favorite new animal: 34a: TEA RAT. It’s the most genteel of all the street-dwelling rodents, and likes watercress sandwiches. What? You say it’s [Rip into] and TEAR AT? You must admit that a TEA RAT would be awesome. (Consider also 130a: PEE PAT.)

Favorite fill: COP OUT, “HEY, YOU,” WRAPS UP next to LAID UP (the extra UP doesn’t bother me the way a surfeit of INs and ONs does)

Three stars.

Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Flight Pattern” – Sam Donaldson’s review

Where’s our usual Sunday Challenge? Looks like it’s out enjoying the long weekend, too. Instead, we’re treated to a fun themed puzzle.  Ross finds ten words that can precede both the word FLY and some other word:

  • 1-Across:  The [Can opener] is a POP TOP, and a “pop fly” describes a baseball that’s hit very high into the air though not very far forward from home plate.
  • 17-Across: The [Washer and dryer maker] is MAYTAG.  Can’t say I like this one much, as I’ve never heard of a “mayfly.”  Wikipedia says that mayflies “are aquatic insects whose immature stage … usually lasts one year in freshwater. The adults are short-lived, from a few minutes to a few days depending on the species. About 2,500 species are known worldwide, including about 630 species in North America.”  I suppose that means I have seen mayflies but just didn’t know it.
  • 18-Across: The ["American Idiot" band] is GREEN DAY, a tres cool band.  (You’re welcome, three readers who get that reference.)  Is there such a thing as a “green fly,” or is this a reference to someone with the name Greenfly?  I found internet support for the latter, and not so much for the former.
  • 35-Across: The [Place to buy hot stuff?] is a FIRE SALE.  “Firefly,” certainly, is common enough.  It’s both an insect and the title of an underrated science fiction television series.  Is it appropriate to use wordplay for this clue when none of the other theme clues use wordplay?  I vote no, as I think the clue style for all theme entries should be consistent.  But maybe I’m hyper-sensitive to that sort of thing, having had innumerable crossword submissions rejected by editors for lack of thematic consistency.
  • 45-Across: The ["Purr-fect" pet] is a HOUSECAT.  Since MAYTAG is also a one-word theme entry, this one can’t be tagged as inconsistent with the others.  The “house fly” is quite common; Wikipedia says it accounts for “about 90% of all flies in human habitations, and [is] indeed one of the most widely distributed insects, found all over the world.”  The other 10% of flies are found on trousers.
  • 64-Across: The [headless Washington Irving character] refers to the HORSEMAN.  I knew horse flies could bite, but I did not know this tidbit from Wikipedia: “Adult horse flies feed on nectar and sometimes pollen. Females usually require a blood meal for reproduction. Males lack the necessary mouth parts for blood feeding. Most female horse flies feed on mammal blood, but some species are known to feed on birds, amphibians or reptiles.”  Why do I suddenly have a case of the creepy-crawlies?
  • 66-Across: The [Watering hole on wheels] is a BAR CAR, a term I know only because my father was a long-time employee of a railroad.  My dictionary says a “bar fly” is “a drinker who frequents bars.”  As opposed to frequenting churches?  Anyway, I’m not so sure about this theme entry, not only because I suspect many solvers are unfamiliar with bar cars but also because “bar” has the same meaning in both the theme entry and the “fly”-related term.  But I guess that’s also true of HOUSECAT, so maybe it’s no big deal.
  • 73-Across: The [Certain winner] is a SHOO-IN.  When I think of “shoo fly,” I think first of the song, “Shoo Fly,” and second of shoo-fly pie.  Before now, I never thought of my dictionary’s definition: “a coarse South American herb grown for its blue-and-white flowers followed by a bladderlike fruit enclosing a dry berry.”  Ah, the bladderlike fruits, none of which, curiously, begin with “P.”
  • 11-Down: To [Traipse] is to GAD ABOUT, and a “gadfly” is one who goes about disrupting the status quo.  A 2001 article in The New York spoke of corporate gadflies, “those people who show up at annual meetings across the country to ask annoying questions about what the managers are up to.  The most famous gadfly, Lewis D. Gilbert, started his career in 1933 at a Consolidated Gas meeting and hectored corporate executives for the next sixty years. Another legend, Evelyn Y. Davis, appeared at a G.M. annual meeting dressed in a bathing suit and once said to John Reed, the Citibank C.E.O., ‘Let me tell you something, my dear. I’ve got you by the balls.’”
  • 41-Down:  To [Fawn over with flattery] is to BUTTER UP.  And I don’t need to tell a reader as bright, distinguished, charming, and good looking as yourself what a “butterfly” is.

Ten theme entries of any size is impressive in a 15×15 grid.  Ross goes the extra mile with some nice nontheme fill like ROAD RAGE, WHO AM I?, and, ["Certainly"], TO BE SURE.  I look forward to the Sunday Challenge and hope to see it back next week, but this was an interesting, ambitious, and ultimately successful alternative.  I just wish BUTTON YOUR LIP and FRUIT PUNCH had made the cut as a theme entries.

Oh, and OSU should have been clued as [Beaver's sch.], not [Buckeye's sch.].  Just sayin’.

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35 Responses to Sunday, 5/29/11

  1. Erik says:

    Wow. I figured out the maze concept right at the bat with DEADASA in the first corner, but you still managed to beat me by a good four minutes. This is my favourite puzzle of all time.

  2. pannonica says:

    Yes. You omitted RING/DOOR/BELLS and OUT/DOOR/GAMES

    Despite the door connectors, didn’t this seem like sixteen mini-puzzles?

    Loved Patrick Merrell’s title; I had been thinking along the same lines, but hadn’t arrived at such a clever permutation.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Where’s EPCOT? Oh, I get it, this is the Haunted Mansion.

    So with the Tausig this week when SUN was in the black squares and now today DOOR can be found in the black squares, is black the new white?

    4.92 stars.

  4. Karen says:

    I really enjoyed this. I did get stuck in the third room…the heart monitor goes BIP? I’ve always heard it as a beep. But both BIP and BOPS are constrained by two theme answers.

  5. Howard B says:

    This may be one of the most original crosswords I have ever done. Wow. I was figuring out the fill, the maze, and trying to keep track of the quote all at once and loving it.
    Right up there with the Patrick Merrill rat maze, the Clinton/Dole puzzle, and the other classic twisty themes. This one had the added bonus of seeing the grid and initially thinking, “This _can’t_ be right.”

  6. George NYC says:

    Loved it in all regards. Some great clues, e.g. “Rice pad” for dorm. And the crazy grid is even symmetrical!

  7. joon says:

    what an amazing puzzle! definitely crosses the line from “i wish i’d thought of that” to “no way in a million years i would’ve thought of that.” five stars, easily.

  8. pannonica says:

    Wow. I’m definitely in the minority. While I appreciate the cleverness of the overall construction and some winning clues, as a crossword I thought it was a Balkanstein’s Monster.

    If I did the rating thing, it’d get no more than two stars from me.

  9. Blanche says:

    I’m thunderstruck and speechless. Never have I seen a puzzle with so many levels as this one!

  10. Howard B says:

    Well, no right or wrong opinions on this; puzzles like these often tend to polarize opinion. I did like the inclusion of fill such as NEXT[DOOR]NEIGHBOR, which couldn’t have been easy to fit naturally under the constraints.
    I can see how it might feel a bit claustrophobic in a sense, and that the cellular design could cause a bit of a solving clog in spots. Just depends on your personal experience. Personally, I had fun, but puzzles of these sort usually provoke a lively discussion :).

  11. Gary says:

    I’m with pannonica – didn’t care much for this at all. It took me a while to solve, and that’s okay, if the solving is fun/interesting. I just didn’t find much in these 16 mini-puzzles that fit that description.

    As for the theme, I caught on to the “hidden doors” idea pretty early on, with DEAD AS A door NAIL, but it doesn’t really work the way it should. The note says you “follow a path” through the “rooms.” You can follow the hidden doors through the first six rooms in a logical way (current room answer – “door” – next room answer) but then it breaks down and you have to start going through doors “backwards” (OPEN door HOLD THE).

    The other part of the theme – the quote – doesn’t really add anything and, in the end, doesn’t fit the puzzle. The quote says “every wall is a door,” but in the grid, it’s not true that a wall IS a door – rather, a wall CONTAINS a door. And only SOME of the walls contain doors.

    I’m not a constructor, and I can only imagine how difficult it was to put this puzzle together, but as a solver, I just don’t think it was worth the effort.

  12. Doug P says:

    Early favorite for Puzzle of the Year. 5 stars all the way. Bravo, Jeremy & Tony!

  13. ArtLvr says:

    DEAD AS A ? was a giveaway with (door) NAIL next door, but I worked it all out including the order of circled letters before going back to figure out the hidden doors from room to room. Yes, a very ingenious gimmick, and well executed — but this was more like two separate puzzles than one! Still, it’s much more satisfying than simple word ladders with one-letter substitutions and has final phrases that may be unique, like RING DOORBELLS. Throw in oddities like manipulative people like Hoover and Nixon being QUAKERS, plus the Hadj variant HAJJ, and it’s a wow many times over!

  14. pauer says:

    Brilliant, Jeremy and Tony. Pure genius.

    For more diagramless action, check out my free June puz at my website (patrickblindauer.com). PDF and puz file only.

  15. Evad says:

    Another maze lover here, such a unique idea executed flawlessly. Great job!

  16. Gareth says:

    Definitely puzzle of the year material! Although I was completely at sea for basically the whole puzzle, not reading the blurb: I got the hidden DOOR part with TRAP(DOOR)SPIDER, but had to come here to fully grasp what was going on. Blown away! What Joon said is definitely true!

  17. Matt says:

    I guess I’m between the warring camps on the NYT puzzle– As a pure crossword, meh… but as a variety puzzle, it’s a fine one. The weird grid, the three layer structure (crossword -> maze -> quote), and the various lexical complications are all classic variety puzzle properties, and I’m happy with all of that.

  18. John Haber says:

    An easy one, but quite wonderful. I did have trouble deciding between PADRE/DORP and MADRE/DORM, since Rice could be a university, but then I couldn’t get over the feeling that a dorp as a hamlet might apply to an actual rice paddy, too. I also didn’t really understand the Seinfeld joke.

  19. Meem says:

    Put me in the five-star corner. Thanks to the constructors for a delightful Sunday workout.

  20. John E says:

    Wow – what a puzzle. Very strong concept and very well executed!

    My only confusion was similar to Amy’s in that phrases like HOLD THE DOOR OPEN read left-to-right, but to follow the path of the maze, you actually have to move from right-to-left to move from one room to the next.

    4.93 stars

  21. sbmanion says:

    I did W, Th., F, S and Sunday puzzles today as I have been very busy of late. I think I was puzzled out by the time I got to Sunday’s and as a result found myself more anxious to get it over with rather than admiring of the obviously superb craftsmanship. I was frankly not crazy about the glut of 3-letter entries.

    3.5 stars

    Steve

  22. Ed says:

    How could you leave out Martina McBride. I never heard of Chi or Danny.

  23. AV says:

    Tour de force, and clearly a favorite for POTY (if there were such a thing). Got the theme immediately, and wandered off to find two doors to the intermediate rooms (skipping the non-theme answers)! Loved the added quote (went back and filled in the non-door answers with circles) and in finding Emerson in the last room.

    Very cool! 5 stars.

  24. joon says:

    odds & ends:

    {Play parts} is a legit clue for ACT (as a verb) or ACTS (as a plural noun). what do actors do? they play parts.

    sam, i got your frank edwin wright iii joke, but no, i’ve never heard of a green fly (or greenfly) either.

    i watched every episode of veronica mars, which admittedly isn’t saying much. i do not recognize this TESSA thompson. after reading up, i can barely even recall her character (who appeared in 12 episodes). not one of the, say, six most notable cast members from that show.

    i wanted to love shenk’s puzzler because the cluing was typically shenkian, but there were frowny faces all over the fill for me. not the short stuff, which was all clean except for LOD, but many long answers i hadn’t heard of: RENE CLAIR, FORD EDGE, GLORY ROAD, GENESEE. oh, and PYNE, which i guess is short. also, can somebody enlighten me on the FOOTAGE clue? i started with YARDAGE and then FOLIAGE, both of which make a kind of tortured sense, but FOOTAGE still makes none to me.

  25. pannonica says:

    joon: The daily shoots on films, viewed the same day, are called rushes, presumably because (in the pre-digital era) they were developed and printed in a hurry. Film, as you know, is also called FOOTAGE, even in today’s digital world. Then again, we still dial telephones and carbon-copy e-mail recipients.

  26. Tuning Spork says:

    Re: Reagle

    11d, 50a. [Play parts] does double duty, but should have been made singular for ACT as only SCENES is a plural answer.

    I see that Joon has already pointed out that “play” is a verb in this clue, so [Play parts] works fine for the verb ACT.

    The only McCracken I can think of is guitarist Hugh McCracken. He had a very distinctive guitar sound back in the day that he used on Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Double Fantasy” albums, to name two famous examples.

    (And just for shiggles, Phil McCracken ranks up there with Holden McGroyne and two of my favorite gag names.)

  27. jamie says:

    This is not a 5-star NYT xword. A five-star had to be something you will remember and talk about all year.

  28. pauer says:

    Well, I’m gonna talk about it for *two* years, but there is no 10-star rating. ;)

  29. Amy Reynaldo says:

    My take on the Post Puzzler (jotted in the Notepad this morning): Tough, especially the NE corner. Eminently satisfying. Excellent fill with lots of fresh phrases/names/titles. Tough clues. Not a false note in the entire puzzle. A worthy challenge.

    One of my favorite Post Puzzlers of late.

  30. pannonica says:

    That’s it! I’m going to start writing my puzzle reviews as if they were wine tastings! Brilliant!

  31. Dan F says:

    I’m in the 5-star camp for the NYT puzzle. Kudos!

    I notice the Saturday and Sunday CS puzzles weren’t posted in the Forum – Janie certainly deserves to take a weekend off, but is there another way to get files that I’m missing?

  32. joon says:

    thanks pannonica.

    there was a mediocre baseball player in the late 90s-early 00s named quinton mccracken. i remember alex boisvert mentioning some sort of “release the mccracken!” joke popular among certain nerdy fans.

    dan, you can download the CS jpz directly from the wapo website at http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/WashingtonPost/Content/Puzzles/Daily/cs110529.jpz (with the appropriate date in the filename).

  33. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Janie was in fact taking the weekend off and I spaced on posting the CS files. Whoops! They’re in the Island of Lost Puzzles now.

  34. Lois says:

    Re Reagle: Another McCracken was James McCracken, a formerly well-known or even famous tenor. He died in 1988. As for whether his was or is a household name, well, it would depend on the household.

  35. JaxInL.A. says:

    Well, a day late, so not as satisfying to post, but I LOVED the NYT maze puzzle. The crowd over here skews more positive on that one than the posters at Rex’s place, which made it mildly less rewarding to rush over there than I had expected. Shoulda checked here, too.

    The satisfaction I felt on completion was augmented by having resisted many strong urges to give up before I tumbled to the theme. Once I did, though, WOW. If I smoked, I would have wanted a cigarette afterward.

    Matt Skoczen’s LAT was perfectly serviceable, and Merl’s McPuzzle was fun (thanks, Amy, for mentioning Chi McBride, who is hysterically funny in Pushing Daisies), but all Sunday puzzles this week paled by comparison to the Newton/Orbach tour de force. I felt sated and didn’t even want to do other puzzles for some time afterward. That’s saying something.

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