Saturday, September 28, 2013

Newsday 9:09 
NYT 8:07 
LAT 3:53 (Andy) 
CS 6:15 (Dave) 

Joe Krozel’s New York Times crossword

NY Times crossword solution, 9 28 13, no. 0928

Huh, a 64-worder from Joe Krozel, and as far as I know, the grid breaks no records and attempts no stunt.

I’m sleepy, so let’s move straight to bullet points:

    • 1a. [Clemson Tigers logo], PAW PRINT. I had lots of crossings and tried WARPAINT. Whoops.
    • 17a. [Mimosas and such], ORNAMENTAL TREES.

Not an ornamental tree, but a vine I saw today. Porcelain-berry. Nutty fruit colors!

  • 28a. [Sauce often served with oysters], MIGNONETTE. No idea what this is.
  • 38a. [Coeur ___], D’ALENE. Ugly entry. So is the more common [Coeur d'___].
  • 40a. [Angry Birds or Tetris, e.g.], TIME SINK. Lively phrase.
  • 46a. [2013 women's singles champ at Wimbledon], BARTOLI. Marion Bartoli! And then she retired rather than making her name (plus her first name) more and more perfect for crosswords.
  • 5d. [Release a claim to, legally], REMISE. Never, ever ran into this word before. You?
  • 7d. [Marxist Andrés and writer Anaïs], NINS. What?? There is another NIN out there? I had been wondering if Anaïs made up her surname since I’ve never seen it elsewhere. Pop quiz: How is “Anaïs” pronounced?
  • 13d. [Woodenware], TREEN. Etymologically related to trees, which makes this a semi-dupe with ORNAMENTAL TREES. Also? Never, ever seen this TREEN before.
  • 23d. [Occupy opponent], BIG BANK. Is this truly in the language?
  • 29d. [Plastic that can be made permanently rigid], THERMOSET. O…kay.
  • 30d. [See red?], TURN A LOSS. *nose scrunched up in disapproval*
  • 33d. [Braggadocios], BOASTERS. Huh? I thought braggadocio was boastING, not a boastER. Can we get a ruling on this? Also: BOASTERS is a kinda ugly entry. +ER, +S.
  • 39d. [Ones above military heads], BERETS. Can we all agree that this use of “ones” in a clue is dreadful?
  • 42d. [Former Israeli president Katsav], MOSHE. Dang, another Moshe? I know my Moshe Dayan but don’t know this Katsav fellow. And he’s recent! And was charged with rape! Surprised his name is note more familiar.

3.33 stars.

C.C. Burnikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword—Andy’s review

LAT Puzzle 9.28.13 by C.C. Burnikel

Hi all! It’s good to be back! Thanks to everyone who picked up the slack while I was on my televised sabbatical.

Can I just say how much I loved the AARON BURR / LLEYTON HEWITT crossing? They both begin and end with double letters (I’m going to assume it was intentional and let C.C. say otherwise), and they’re interesting people to boot.

The rest of the grid isn’t terribly interesting, in that there’s no other entries longer than 8-letters, but there are a lot of fun entries nonetheless:

      • 8d, BAYWATCH [Show known for its slow-motion shots];
      • 15a, ON A TOOT stacked on top of 17a, PALOOKA;
      • The SILENT I in “fruit”;
      • DAY SPA;
      • JUST NOW;
      • YES OR NO!?;
      • IN DRAG;
      • LA LA LA!

“Hey, C.C.! Nice crossing!”

Just to name a few.

In the minus column: OPA, PELEG, ARTUR (sort of), USG, THE A (but I like the New York train clue, actually), MDL, ‘OME, SOPORS, I COME, FRAS.

Overall, not too challenging, but probably not a Saturday I’ll remember much past October. 3.2 stars from me. Until next week!

Jeffrey Harris’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper”

Newsday crossword solution, 9 28 13, “Saturday Stumper” by Jeffrey Harris

I solved this puzzle after reading the DIALOGUE between Gareth and Newsday crossword editor Stan Newman. (Thanks for avoiding spoilers, Gareth!) I will agree with both Stan and Gareth. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for such oblique clues, and it can be unpleasant when a whole section of the grid is nearly impenetrable because of all the tricky clues crossing each other. But indeed it is vanishingly rare to find a lousy entry in the Newsday puzzles (the answers that were dinged in the NYT and LAT reviews are not typically found in the Stumper), and the odor of unfairness creeps in only when there is a perfect storm of oblique clues piled up in one corner, and you can’t make headway. I rarely am unable to finish a Stumper, though—it just can’t be done as quickly as the other themelesses. It requires a lot of flexible/lateral thinking, considering all of the possible meanings of a word and discarding the meaning that comes to mind first because it’s a trick.

On to the specifics in this puzzle, which was indeed more challenging for me than the other freestyles this week:

  • 19a. [Stir], JAIL. Noun, not verb; I started with JOLT.
  • 20a, 54d. [Take in], EAT and CON. I hit 54d first and put EAT there, but it didn’t end up working with the crossings. I was surprised to find EAT elsewhere!
  • 25a. [What brats might crack?], WISE. I hadn’t ruled out bratwurst here.
  • 30a. [Its flag depicts a beehive], UTAH. My one flat-out factual gimme.
  • 32a. [Like this clue], SELF-REFERENTIAL. Love it!
  • 45a. [n look-alike], ETA. Really? I had no idea. Clearly have not memorized all the upper and lower case Greek letters.
  • 54a. ['70s fad], CB RADIO. “Breaker 1-9, breaker 1-9 … 10-4, good buddy.” Trucker chic. I also considered MACRAME and PET ROCK.
  • 57a. [2013 Golden Globe host], TINA FEY. Amy POEHLER’s last name is also a 7.
  • 6d. [A couple of things in common], EMS. The letter M appears a couple of times in “common.”
  • 10d. [Popeye's rival], KFC. Factual error! The restaurant chain is Popeyes, no apostrophe.
  • 13d. [I, for one], welcome our new robot overlords. I is a LETTER.
  • 14d. [Pro players], DEEJAYS. I tried THE JAYS, pro baseball players.
  • 19d. [He had a hand in educational television], JIM HENSON. Literally—a hand inside a puppet.
  • 22d. [Accroaches], USURPS. Today’s vocabulary word is accroach. It’s one of those unabridged dictionary words that isn’t in common use. It means usurp, appropriate, assume.
  • 23d. [Metaphorical theft victim], PETER. “Rob Peter to pay Paul.” Who is this Rob Peter guy, anyway?
  • 33d. [''Know Your __'' (heart.org page)], FATS. Olive oil is all right, isn’t it?
  • 35d. [Exclamation of exasperation], I’VE HAD IT. What some Stumper solvers say after banging their head against the cluing wall for a while and not making much progress.
  • 36d. [Lives on shelves], AUTOBIOS. A much less common word than “bio,” no?
  • 44d. [If necessary], ALWAYS. Okay, I don’t understand the link between clue and answer here. Anyone?

4.25 stars. Meaty challenge with some sparkle in the longer fill.


Updated (better late than never) Saturday afternoon:

Randall J. Hartman’s CrosSynergy / Washington Post crossword, “Calvary Call” – Dave Sullivan’s review

Apologies to constructor Randall J. Hartman; life got in the way today and I was unable until now to write a commentary of his CrosSynergy offering today. We have 4 entries whose first word can precede HORSE:

CrosSynergy / Washington Post crossword solution – 09/28/13

  • I love when a short clue is used for a grid-spanning 15-letter entry, and this one was no exception: [Kaput] was DEAD AS A DOORNAIL – don’t you just love the English language? A “dead horse” is something you idiomatically beat if you belabor something.
  • I’ve never heard of [Kraken] which is some type of SEA MONSTER – other than Nessie, I’m lost. A “seahorse” is a typical aquarium denizen. I think we once tried to “grow” them from some type of crystals you could order through the mail, but maybe I’m not remembering how this all worked.
  • ["The X Factor" heavy metal band] was IRON MAIDEN – is this their house band? I think this is the new Simon Cowell vehicle, but I’ve never seen the show. I think an “iron horse” is some type of torture device (nope, I did finally check, and it’s a term used in reference to steam locomotives that powered trains), but I’m taking a no-Wikipedia pledge today, so I’m just going on memory here. (Always a dangerous proposition!)
  • Another great phrase, [Like someone requiring a lot of attention] was HIGH MAINTENANCE – a “high horse” is something someone is on if they are affecting airs. “Get off your high horse” is something you tell someone who is acting more important than they really are.

Fun theme and entries. The puzzle itself took me a bit longer to solve than normal, but maybe it’s because I had been wracking my brain trying to solve Matt Gaffney’s weekly contest puzzle (and ultimately failed with an incorrect submission. Le sigh.) My FAVE was the paired clues [Coolidge and Hoover] for both DAMS and NAME. (The second clue had an “or” instead of “and.”) Wasn’t as happy to see both ERAS and EONS in the same puzzle; one “really long time” per grid puh-leeze!

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40 Responses to Saturday, September 28, 2013

  1. Martin says:

    Mignonette is the little container of red wine vinegar with minced shallots and cracked pepper that comes in the center of a dozen oysters. I ignore it and use a little lemon. Not an oyster fan?

    • Stella says:

      Yeah, I love oysters so that one was no problem for me.

      The 33A/23D crossing of BIG BANG/BIG BANK, however, I have a problem with!

      • Dan F says:

        But… those were obviously the seed entries! It’s interesting that Will ran two mini-themed themelesses back-to-back. [I, for one] would like to see more in the NYT.

        It was awesome watching Bruce N. Morton destroy all comers in the ping-pong portion of last night’s Westchester tourney! The top 3 crossword champs were Bob Mackey, Jeffrey Schwartz, and Glen Ryan.

        • Brucenm says:

          Thanks, Dan for the comment. I would gladly trade it, though, for a little more quickness and quick-wittedness at the solving end.

  2. Davis says:

    I’m a lawyer, and I’ve never run into REMISE. Dreadful fill.

  3. RK says:

    Wow, wow, wow the NYT puzzle was really difficult for me. There was not one knowledge based answer I knew besides DALENE which made this more of a beast. I somehow finished with the exception of the “N” and “E” in SAONE/PLATENS/REMISE as I didn’t know these. I’m surprised I got through it and while I feel somewhat triumphant :) I can’t say I liked this puzzle at all.

    “Marion Bartoli! And then she retired rather than making her name (plus her first name) more and more perfect for crosswords” made me laugh!

  4. Andrew says:

    This was bad. ITISNTSO is so bad on so many levels. NINS, TREEN, REMISE, BOASTERS, and MOSHE are all non-starters. But the worst was Will S. stating that, even though some of these were among admitted “compromises” to the fill, the crossing of BIG BANG and BIG BANK was not only passable but, in Shortz’s mind, two of the “great entries” of the fill. In my mind two entries that share the same root (or even more so, the same first word) should not be acceptable. See also the ugly SE with CERT and CERTAIN, essentially being the same thing, as well as TREES/TREEN, too. I don’t rate puzzles here, but feel free to count this as a one-star rating. A joyless solve all around.

    • Gareth says:

      I wouldn’t include MOSHE in that list. Although, like Amy, I hadn’t heard of this Moshe, he’s perfectly crossworthy, as is MOSHE “eye-patch” Dayan that again Amy mentioned.

    • pannonica says:

      Though I have a generally low opinion of partials and quasi-partials, I thought IT ISN’T SO—despite its common-letters-on-the-bottom-row situation—was thoroughly redeemed by the excellent clue: [Words after "say" or before "bad"]. In fact, it turned out to be one of the highlights for me.

      • Andrew says:

        Well it is an eight letter, three word partial, and the clue is essentially embracing that. The NYT style sheet explicitly states to avoid partials over five letters long. With all the other problems with this puzzle, this is not the sort of “envelope pushing” that I’d like to see more of.

        • HH says:

          It’s only a partial if the clue says it is. The same entry appeared in a 2011 puzzle with the clue ["You're wrong!"]

  5. Gareth says:

    NYT: I appreciate the fact that this puzzle was more difficult! Though I do wish the difficulty was attained through less Saturday Stumper vagueness and more trickery. A few nice answers TIMESINK (clung to SUCK for far too long!), BARTOLI (to be fair, it’s was an incredible last-ditch effort overcoming chronic injuries to even take that Wimbledon title!), BIGBANG, PAWPRINT, BISCAYNE (which I could see for too long, because I was anticipating something Indian like Okeechobee. On the other hand TREEN, BOASTERS, PLATENS, REMISE, and THERMOSET are pretty sere as longer answers go and kind of sucked the life out of things…

    LAT: I think this is Zhouqin’s Saturday debut? If so, congrats! Lots of great answers as Andy said. I especially enjoyed seeing so many fun medium-length answers – INDRAG, DAYSPA, LALALA, PASSGO, WESTEND and PUTUP. I wouldn’t include PELEG in my negatives column or ARTUR (I hadn’t heard of him, but he seems legitimately notable, from post-solve reading). On the other hand, unlike Andy I’m not fan of SILENTI or the clue: I don’t see how that “i” is specifically silent or indeed ever specifically silent.

    • Stan Newman says:

      I must respectfully, but vigorously, disagree with Gareth’s characterization of my Stumpers as “vague”, as if I am the only editor utilizing the natural ambiguity of the English language as an aid to make Saturday puzzles difficult, and as if that is undesirable, and as if it is not “trickery” of just a slightly different kind.

      I invite him, or anyone else reading this, to make an analytical comparison of a Stumper on any particular Saturday with the other themelesses, or over several weeks for more reliable data. I daresay my themelesses have as much trickery (by anyone’s definition) as anyone’s.

      As Gareth must surely know, what will not be found in Stumpers, nor in Newsday puzzles any other day of the week, are Will has called “uninteresting obscurities”. And I have pointed out here before, I don’t allow answers in Stumpers that cannot be clued in a difficult manner without obscure factual references (JAI, OTT, etc.)

      In addition, factual clues and answers in Stumpers are highly nuanced, so that they require only general knowledge to understand and appreciate, even if the answer or clue itself isn’t familiar. A quick case in point: the recent AIR TAHITI answer, clued something like “Its magazine had a recent article ‘The Polynesian Ideal.’ ” That wasn’t my puzzle, but it was my clue.

      I have numerous other “picky” requirements that annoy some constructors, such as that brand names must be fully national, which is why EDY’S and ARCO are taboo. [I'd be glad to point out more of those rules here upon request.]

      Gareth, I invite you or anyone else reading this to take a good look at Stumpers either minutely or from an overall-solving-experience standpoint. It is my objective every Saturday to have the Stumper be a “pure” intellectual crossword challenge of the highest order.

      Based on what I read here and in the emails I receive directly, I believe that standard is nearly always met. And that it why the solving times posted here on Saturdays are nearly always the longest for Stumpers.

      Stan

      • Gareth says:

        One of the best things about your puzzles is certainly that there is far less “uninteresting obscurity”. Whenever I get emails or have other interactions with people starting to solve crosswords I refer them to the (early-week) Newsday puzzles – they’re easily the most beginning-solver friendly puzzles around (The Celebrity Crosswords will fit the bill too for younger, more pop-culture solvers)!

        I’ve solved a lot of Stumpers over the years, though not with any regularity for a good while. I dislike the kind of one-word/short phrase clues that aren’t really in any way interesting and could go a hundred ways. While I do know full well that these types of clues are employed by almost all constructors and editors, and that I do use and have used them myself, I found that often the Stumper took this device to excess. I had a brief run through the clues of today’s puzzles, and there are quite a few to be found – [I'm not going to discuss a puzzle that Amy hasn't yet blogged])

      • RK says:

        How about changing your format to Flash like most other places. Java is virus friendly. Thank You.

      • Bit says:

        I don’t know; to me, today’s Stumper 44D “If necessary” being ALWAYS is pretty vague. When I change the battery on my car, I clean the cable clamps, if necessary, with sandpaper. Does that mean I “always” do it? Not at all; sometimes the clamps are completely spotless, I don’t need to clean them–it wasn’t necessary. In fact, to me, “if necessary” means the exact *opposite* of “always”. The clue would have been more useful to me if it had said “Not if necessary”. When the clue can make more sense being negated, that’s pretty tricky. But I mean that in a good way :)

  6. Mark M says:

    I don’t mind difficult if there is at least an aha moment. I had AIG bank for a long time because I couldn’t believe big bang and big bank could cross. Two stars and I am only posting a comment at the request of our host who asked that we post when giving one or two stars.

    Always appreciate the effort of a constructor, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

  7. Brucenm says:

    Mignonette sauce is the only condiment-flavoring I will allow within 10 feet of my oysters. It’s hardly even sauce — just a little vinegar with very finely minced shallots and pepper. Stir up the shallots; put a *small* quantity on the oyster; make sure the oyster is fully cut from its moorings and is sliding around, then slurp it right out of the shell. Truly the food of the gods. Much better than gloppy, sweet red cocktail sauce, towards which I have the same attitude that Martin H. has towards mint jelly on lamb, which I confess sheepishly (haha) I rather like.

    But this was not my favorite Saturday either. I too found many of the entries not fresh and original, but rather, awkward and forced. But my *least* favorite entry, by far was “timesink”. HUH? What the heck is that? Time? Sink? What’d they do, change the rules to make life easier for constructors by allowing one entry to consist of a meaningless random letter collection? Not all *that* difficult, though. For one thing I could picture the Clemson paw prints.

    Lake Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful site, with a very nice resort hotel at the base of the hill at the edge of the lake. It’s funny. For years, I had seen Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on maps, which I mentally pronounced as in French, and heard people mention Cordelaine, Idaho, but it was amazingly late in life, when I first went there, that I put the two together.

    • Gareth says:

      Huh? What rule is that? There’s a rule against using current phrases? Why wasn’t I informed of it? A simple google search of “time sink” will confirm that it is really used by a number of people…

      • Brucenm says:

        The word “rule” was intended to be a mild attempt at humor, not to be taken literally. I *did* google “timesink” perhaps too superficially, (which is probably the way I google everything), and didn’t immediately find anything relevant or helpful in suggesting what the expression was supposed to mean. (Though, on second thought, It’s possible that I googled “timosink,” since I originally had “I do” for 36 down, and later corrected that.)

        • Gareth says:

          Sorry if that was brusque; as has been long established, there is ample opportunity to misconstrue what people mean on the Internet…

          • Brucenm says:

            No offense taken, and I think that I *did* google “timo” thinking that maybe it should be “tivo” (the video recorder) and thinking that maybe “tivo” had something to do with video games. Or maybe not. That would explain my reference to “random letters” which fits “timosink” but not “timesink.”

  8. Animalheart says:

    Interesting comments thread today. I wasn’t a big fan of today’s NYT–my least favorite answer was TURNALOSS–but it’s got an undeniably cool grid. On the other issue, I really enjoy the fact that the Sat NYT and the Stumper are often difficult in different ways, though I do understand Gareth’s point. But both puzzles give me so much pleasure that I’m happy to urge both Will and Stan to keep on doing what you’re doing, as the Roches say…

  9. Amy L says:

    I too didn’t like the NYT, for all the reasons everyone else had, but I accepted two things. I thought of the BIG BANG and BIG BANK crossing as a mini-theme so it was okay, but barely.

    I also know TREEN because I worked at a fine art auction house. It is used for wooden spoons, knives, forks, and other such stuff. They’re called treenware and a spoon would be described as a treen spoon in the auction catalogue. But even there, it is very rare, as wooden implements don’t last long.

    • ahimsa says:

      Sorry for the late question. Feel free to ignore it if you’ve all moved on to the next day’s set of puzzles. :-)

      Can anyone explain why BIG BANG crossing BIG BANK is a mini-theme? Is it simply that they repeat all the same letters (and none are common letters) except one? Or is there something more to it?

      I do realize that a lot of what makes a puzzle fun for the solver is subjective. But I feel like I’m missing something important that would help me appreciate this puzzle more. I still might not prefer that choice myself. But I’d like to understand why others, including Will Shortz, think that the central crossing is a highlight of the puzzle. Thanks!

  10. Daniel says:

    I agree NYT had a lot of flawed entries, but I will say it was a good workout. Not exactly pleasurable in the usual way, but it forced me to just keep hacking at some of the answers even after I had a bunch of crosses. This puzzle is consistently in the margins of colloquial English and culture trivia, so once I saw its personality I could be patient with it.

    Like going to the gym, it felt pretty good once finished.

    (On the other hand, “treen” is hard to forgive.)

  11. Byron says:

    Trip Payne used LLEYTON HEWITT crossing AARON BURR as part of a full-blown theme back in the NY Sun. Other theme entries were EELINESS and MMDCLXII.

  12. Byron says:

    On BIG BANG/BANK crossing. it’s not like that was some incidental oversight. That surely was the genesis of the puzzle. And for better or worse Will has always been willing to allow such dupes when there’s a good reason for them. It’s just not the same thing as an unchecked letter in the Times. But I wouldn’t be surprised if even Peter who rides herd pretty hard on such things would have accepted it as a minitheme. For me, since Joe always wants to push the puzzle as far as he can take it, I would have liked it even more if he had BIG BAND in the grid as well — maybe staggered on the three middle rows with the other two.

  13. Brucenm says:

    Treenware is at least more familiar to me than a most of (what I call) the 3 – R stuff that gets inflicted on us daily. As a lawyer and civil procedure professor, “remise” in a legal sense is incredibly obscure. I’m not sure whether I would have recognized it or not.

    But in my youth, as an aspiring young foil fencer in the French lycée, (all French boys in the lycée in that era were aspiring foil fencers), a “remise” as distinguished from a ‘riposte’, (pronounced in French — Remeeze, with a French ‘R’), was where your first lunge had been parried, and before your opponent launched a riposte, you pull your arm back and deliver a second, purely arm, thrust. It scores, if you still have the right of way. (Disquisition redacted on the complex right of way rules for the three disciplines, foil, saber and (the more familiar here), épée. I guess this post is a candle stein way of sounding out whether there are any closet fencers here.

    Incidentally, I was delighted to meet Janie last night in Pleasantville.

    • janie says:

      hey, bruce — how sweet of you to say! and: was mightily impressed by your ping-pong performance! who knew?! loved that whole component of last night’s event!

      ;-)

  14. sbmanion says:

    I went to an excellent high school football game last night here in Phoenix, featuring Mountain Pointe, my son’s high school (is that called alma mater after you graduate?) and perennial state champion Hamilton. The teams are ranked one and two in the highest division in the state and featured several five-star recruits. Hamilton’s nickname is the Huskies and all the Hamilton girls had painted themselves with paw prints. I know the Clemson counterpart is Tiger Paws, but somehow PAWPRINTS came immediately to my mind and triggered a pretty easy solve.

    Sports enthusiast that I am, I could not remember BARTOLI until I had several letters.

    My son loves oysters and orders two dozen whenever we go to a restaurant that serves them, but he only uses horse radish and Tabasco. Neither one of us had ever heard of MIGNONETTE.

    Steve

  15. sbmanion says:

    For Davis and Bruce,

    You guys should be ashamed. How can we lawyers in private practice ever expect to overcharge clients by saying everything in triplicate if even our own brethren dis our favorite words?

    I now say simply QUITCLAIM when I prepare a quitclaim deed, but I have in my files copies of still acceptable deeds saying “I hereby REMISE, release and quitclaim…..” It’s a really important word.

    Steve

    • Brucenm says:

      Hi Steve,

      Well, I accept your point with my head hanging in shame. I guess I’m more of a proceduralist and Evidence specialist than a Property teacher, though I do remember holding forth in class on the subtle distinctions between a quitclaim deed, a bargain and sale deed, and a deed which warrants against grantor’s acts. But I’ve conveniently managed to forget most of that since my retirement from teaching in 2011. (Don’t tell my former students.)

  16. bananarchy says:

    ASOCIAL was a nice entry to see in the LAT. It is, for whatever reason, a seemingly little-known and certainly seldom-used word. The psychology undergrad in me seethes every time somebody says “antisocial” when they mean “asocial.” Although there is a bit of overlap if you generalize their definitions as much as possible, they connote very different things.

  17. Gene says:

    I still don’t get ALWAYS for “If necessary” and I’m glad others didn’t.

  18. Evan says:

    I think I figured out the “if necessary”/always connection. Think of the sentence, “If plan A doesn’t work out, we can always try plan B.”

    • Bit says:

      I think that’s got it. Personally, the reason the Stumper is my favorite puzzle of the week is precisely because of the tricky clues–I consider them a good thing. The vaguer and obliquer, the better :) It’s not often you get a clue so tricky that its opposite sounds just as meaningful as the clue itself (other than obvious self-antonyms like resign/re-sign). The Stumper is the only puzzle I work where regularly instead of a entering a word at a time, I insert *groups* of words at a time. I’ll often stare at a corner for 2 or 3 minutes, running through combinations in my head until I get the right one, and then fill in the entire corner in one fell swoop, so to speak.

  19. Bit says:

    “The X Factor” is the name of an album by heavy metal legends Iron Maiden. I believe it was their tenth (hence, roman numeral X), and the first with Blaze Bayley on vocals. Even as I filled it in, I was wondering how many people would be tricked by the seeming modern TV show reference…

  20. Zulema says:

    My take on the NYT puzzle is not at the same level as most of yours, erudite crossword people. It gave me a workout but I solved it much more happily than last Saturday’s. I may be the only one here who mostly liked it.

Comments are closed.