Friday, 3/4/11

NYT 9:47 (!) 


LAT 4:52 


CHE 2:57 


CS untimed 


WSJ 7:24 


Joe Krozel’s New York Times crossword

3/4/11 NY Times crossword solution 0304

I leave it to others to know the scoop on quadruple-stacked 15-letter answers in crosswords. Have Frank Longo and Kevin Der already done the pair of quad stacks? Has Joe Krozel? I couldn’t tell you.

The regular Friday solvers who find Saturday’s puzzle to be too daunting will be gnashing their teeth over this one. They say that even when a themeless puzzle that has visual oomph or breaks a record is insanely tough, Will Shortz will run it on a Friday so more people will see it. Well, those “more people” may have a struggle on their hands. This was a good bit tougher for me than most Saturday puzzles. The rule of thumb that grids with 15-letter answers tend to be easier because getting a single 15 breaks open a whole swath of the puzzle? Well, that doesn’t hold true if not a single one of the 15s is a gimme. Especially if the stack’s short crossings also aren’t obvious. Yow!

Notes on the answers and clues:

  • 16a. “I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT“? Yes, that does pretty well encapsulate what one is thinking when the decision is made to not tackle that task just yet.
  • 17a. Good gravy! [Last of Nordhoff and Hall’s “Bounty Trilogy”] meant absolutely nothing to me. Eventually the crossings brought together PITCAIRN’S ISLAND, and that mutiny-on-the-Bounty business had something to do with Pitcairn Island, right? No idea what the apostrophe-S is doing in the title, though.
  • 18a. SATELLITE STATES—super-boring letters but an interesting phrase.
  • 23a. Anyone else have WITCH’S HAT before WIZARD HAT? See, this is where 17a’s apostrophe-S wanted to be.
  • 39a. A WINE GLASS is a [Port terminal?], the place you pour your bottle of fortified wine.
  • 43a. CTNS are cartons, as in cigarette cartons that hold a lot of packs, or “pks.” I was trying to decide between “parks” and the blah “peaks” for what “pks.” stood for.
  • 46a. Oh! Should’ve guessed this one sooner. AFRICAN-AMERICAN is a [Term popularized by Jesse Jackson].
  • 55a. Know why one has A LOT ON ONE’S PLATE? Because one keeps saying I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.
  • 57a. Another ONE’S phrase in the same stack? Not so hot.
  • 4d. No hint in the clue of ENCEINTE‘s Frenchness.
  • 6d. Partial A FILE has friends at 28d: THE X and 53d: A TIE. And 51d: ME ON.
  • 7d. GERI Jewell just wrote her memoirs. Not only was she the only disabled actor on Facts of Life, but she’s a lesbian. Go figure—the actress who played tomboy Jo is straight.
  • 14d. [Point of eating?], TINE of a fork. My first answer in the grid, and boy, it really didn’t unlock those crossing 15s for me.
  • 15d. [Regular things: Abbr.] are STDS, because the clap is pretty ordinary. (And “standards” can also be abbreviated as STDS.)
  • 25d. [Depth finder?] is a cool clue for the Z-AXIS. When I had the T from WITCH up there, I sure didn’t know how to complete 37a (DEI).
  • 45d. MESNE is one of those legal terms that isn’t a friendly crossword answer for non-lawyers.
  • Less savory short fill includes, -ILE, EPH., DEI, CTNS, MEA, ADIA, STDS, HEARN (who?), APSOS, and AAHS.

Pancho Harrison’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Memoirs”

Wall Street Journal crossword solution 3/4/11 "Memoirs"

Pancho has crafted a light and entertaining literary pun theme, slightly changing the sound of a famous novel title to transform it into some make-believe person’s memoirs. Where this theme excels is in the puns themselves: rather than having a mixed bag of sound changes, six of the seven change a single consonant sound and one merely changes the spelling. Pun themes that include both consonant and vowel changes in no distinct pattern can drive me nuts. So I say “Well played, Pancho!” Here are the theme entries:

  • 23a. [Memoirs of a film noir director?] clues ART OF DARKNESS (Heart of Darkness). He’s not the first to use this phrase, but I don’t think it’s been presented as the memoirs of a fictitious noir moviemaker before.
  • 29a. [Memoirs of a sadistic cleaning lady?] clues GRIME AND PUNISHMENT (Crime and Punishment). Cute! I did hours of spring cleaning today because I don’t want to anger the new cleaning lady. Safety first!
  • 48a. [Memoirs of a hockey legend (with “The”)?] are LORD OF THE RINKS (The Lord of the Rings trilogy). I’m glad there was no ORR or ESPO wedged into this one. This is the sort of pun that hockey sportswriters have also figured out.
  • 66a. [Memoirs of a relaxed fly fisherman?] clues AS I LAY TYING (As I Lay Dying). This pun’s got almost no Google footprint at all, except for a disgruntled young necktie fan trapped in a casual workplace. Perhaps there’s something about Faulkner that repels punning?
  • 87a. [Memoirs of a sponging farm worker (with “The”)?] clues CADGER IN THE RYE (Catcher in the Rye). I ws mentally trapped beneath the sea where sponges are harvested, having recently seen that done on Dirty Jobs. Oh, mooching sponging, not sponge sponging.
  • 100a. [Memoirs of a harbor master?] is the bitter-tinged PORT NOISE COMPLAINT (Portnoy’s Complaint). This is the one without much of a sound change at all.
  • 114a. [Memoirs of an angry French chef (with “The”)?] clues CREPES OF WRATH. You ruin this pun if you go all Gallic and pronounce it “creps.”

While a “with ‘The'” tag isn’t wonderful, I appreciate the consistency in always dropping “The” from the theme entry.

Terrific-looking grid, too—I like the eight zones filled with 6- and 7-letter answers. The EMBARGO/VALIANT/ALUMNUS and ALLEGRO/LEAGUES/LE MONDE corners are particularly lovely. Oh! And their 10-letter crossing answers, BLUE HAWAII and SMOKING GUN—those are both fantastic entries.

Nina Rulon-Miller’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Spokeswomen”

Chronicle of Higher Education crossword answers "Spokeswomen"

Super-easy puzzle for 35a: [Women’s History month], MARCH, no? (Or maybe it just felt easy because there are a lot of proper nouns, and those fall quickly for me.) The other four theme entries are the names of the noted women responsible for the quotes in the clues:

  • 20a. [She said, “[A] woman must do the same job better than a man to get as much credit for it”]—AMELIA EARHART.
  • 27a. [She said, “Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case”]—SONIA SOTOMAYOR.
  • 43a. [She said, “Ain’t I a woman?”]—SOJOURNER TRUTH.
  • 51a. [She said, “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman”]—VIRGINIA WOOLF.

I appreciate the diversity: three Americans—an early-20th-century white aviator, 21st-century Latina Supreme Court justice, and 19th-century black abolitionist and women’s rights activist—and an early-20th-century British novelist.

Five more clues:

  • 38d. [One who’s at home in Germany?] is a HAUSFRAU, which is German for “housewife,” a woman who provides unpaid labor in the home.
  • 45d. And 38d will JUGGLE a lot of responsibilities, or [Handle, as various tasks].
  • 44d. [Inner Party member in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”] is O’BRIEN.
  • 5d. [Fish plates] clues the fish’s SCALES, not a fancy plate for serving fish.
  • 15a. To CAVIL is to [Nitpick incessantly]. Do you know anyone who does that?

Updated Friday morning:

Bob Klahn’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, “Family Figure Heads”—Janie’s review

This is vintage Klahn with so very much to appreciate in it, so let me get right to it. Once again we have an “addition” gimmick. Dons head up many Italian families and Bob has added DON to the start (“head”) of three very familiar words and phrases. The results are fresh, unexpected and funny. It’s there as a combining unit—not a word/name on its own. And oh, boy, does it combine. And re-combine. In all cases, DON +

  • 20A. derailment = DONDER AILMENT [What kept Santa from setting out with his full team?]. Sweet, eh? And look at the nice company Bob has given Donder as he recuperates. It’s a visit from his cousin, the HART [He’s a deer] and even [John Deere’s deer, for one] LOGO. (These last two entries are clued sequentially, btw. But don’t forget to notice how, in the SW corner, logo sits atop the rhyming POGO [“We have met the enemy and he is us” speaker].)
  • 35A. keypad = DONKEY PAD [Place for a party animal to crash?]. Think Democratic party here… Then look at the clue for 34-Across: [Hinny or ninny]. That gives us ASS, which is also another word for donkey—this time of the four-legged variety.
  • 57A. taskmaster = DON’T ASK, MASTER [Genie’s caution about a possible fourth wish?]. In the words of Molly Shannon as joyologist Helen Madden, “I LOVE IT!” [“This is great!”]. See what I mean about the unexpected re-combinations? There’s a minimum of theme fill today (only 35 squares), but it packs in plenty and couldn’t be improved upon. Imoo… Oh—and how wonderful that 1-Down brings us ALADDIN [Legendary rubber] (of the lamp… with the genie…). Nice when it all comes together like that.

Then there’s the non-theme fill (and cluing). And the grid with its triple 7-columns NW and SE. Plus lots of long fill throughout. Starting with some fave fill, there’s:

  • FIELD DAY [Picnic, informally]. Different use of the colorful term, but do elementary schools still sponsor field days for intra- and intermural sports?
  • WENT APE [Popped one’s cork]
  • GOOD EGG [Decent chap]
  • VOODOO [Island magic]
  • STARTLE [Shake up]

Then, starting with some fave clues (and trust me, there’s nuthin’ second-rate about the fill either):

  • [Also-ran’s demand at times] RECOUNT. Ouch.
  • [Mythical meltdown victim] ICARUS. Ouch again.
  • [“Fruit salad” of the uniform variety] MEDALS. This is a beaut. Great new slang (for me) and nice, misleading use of “uniform.”
  • [Produce produce] FARM (the sequence here is verb, noun).
  • The repeat word pair of [Snatch, so to speak] and [Snatcher’s cry] for KIDNAP and “I GOTCHA!” (But I don’t wanna think about the scenario these suggest…)
  • [Dada papa] for Jean ARP.
  • [“Captain Underpants” creator Pilkey] DAV. Captain Underpants?!?! Yup. No fruit salad on his chest…
  • [Cheap shot?] BBS.
  • [A lot to live on] ACRE (that’s “lot” as in “piece of land”).
  • [He had a hunch about the lab] IGOR (as in “Walk this way“…)
  • [The dish’s running mate?] SPOON (“…and the dish ran away with the spoon“).
  • The sleep-pattern sequential pair, [Sacked out] and [Get out of the sack] for ABED and ARISE.

This is one jam-packed puzzle, so if I didn’t cite your fave(s), have at!

Matt Matera’s Los Angeles Times crossword

LA Times crossword answers 3/4/11

Today’s puzzle took me longer than most Saturday LATs to unravel. Was it tough for everyone, or was I just solving past my bedtime last night? The theme is puns incorporating breakfast pastries, and I kept waiting for Pop-Tarts and Eggos to appear but they steadfastly refused. Here are the theme answers:

  • 20a. [Halloween breakfast pastry?] turns a creepy crawler into a CREEPY CRULLER. A cruller is a kind of donut. We’ve got a vowel-sound change here.
  • 33a. [Lone breakfast pastry?] plays a CRUMPET SOLO (trumpet solo). Consonant change.
  • 42a. [Cherished breakfast pastry?] turns “the one I love” into THE BUN I LOVE. I tend to think of buns as bread rolls first, cinnamon buns second. Consonant addition this time.
  • 56a. [Ones hooked on breakfast pastry?] are THE SCONEHEADS, who apparently are “hooked” the same way potheads and cokeheads are (playing on SNL’s Coneheads). Another consonant change/addition.

As I was saying in my Wall Street Journal write-up, I do find it more satisfying when a set of puns are formed with the same type of sound change for each one. I know this isn’t an issue for many people. Maybe I’m the only one?

Tough spots—mainly clues that slowed me down:

  • 4a. [You might need to watch yours] clues your STEP.
  • 16a. A FAKE I.D.? [It may involve an exaggerated age]. It’s been so long since I thought of exaggerating an age upwards.
  • 48a. [Got for nothing] clues SPONGED.
  • 1d. A MARCH can be an [Orderly movement].
  • 6d. I don’t know why [Boarding pass generator] is giving agency to an E-TICKET. You generate the boarding pass, or the airline worker does, or the website and printer, or the kiosk. The E-ticket isn’t doing a dang thing.
  • 29d. If you have [Cross words] with someone, you’re having a SPAT.
  • 31d. [Big gun or big cheese] is an example of SLANG.
  • 34d. [Clinton Treasury secretary] was Robert RUBIN. Not Robert Reich. I always get those two mixed up.

Don’t think I’m complaining here. I appreciate challenging clues. I was just surprised to find so many in a Friday LAT.

Loveliest entries: DERRING-DO and UNSCATHED.

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39 Responses to Friday, 3/4/11

  1. joon says:

    there were things i enjoyed about this puzzle (WIZARD HAT, GO COLD, the clue for WINEGLASS), but there was a lot more that left a bad taste in my mouth. none of the stacked 15s did much for me. I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT is probably the best of the bunch, but i found the rest of them either boring or strained.

    on the bright side, there’s a new “some assembly required” over at a-frame games today.

  2. ArtLvr says:

    I lucked out with HAMILTON, ONTARIO after the AAHS in the SW corner, and was able to fill in most of the bottom two-thirds fairly quickly from there, with the same hitch as Amy at Witch’s hat for WIZARD HAT for a while. In the upper four lines SATELLITE went in and out a couple of times, as did AGREEMENTS, until I was able to use both to finish. I doubt anyone tried Mensch for MISTER, as I did? Really loved ENCEINTE but sympathize beaucoup with those not familiar with the French. A Wow, Joe!

  3. Brian says:

    Sorry Joe, but I didn’t like it. To me, none of the 15s felt like crossword-worthy phrases (maybe AFRICANAMERICAN, but I had no idea with the clue). And I found the downs to be so obscure that there was absolutely no joy in attempting to solve this.

    Thirty minutes, I had six right answers and seven wrong answers. I was done. And after looking at the solution, all I realized was that I should have gone to bed thirty minutes ago.

    Quad stacks are cool, but you’ve done them before, and done them better.

  4. rick says:

    At times I haven’t been able to fibish a puzzle. This is the first one I couldn’t start.

  5. Matt says:

    Quite a bit tougher than your average Sat. puzzle, though the entries themselves don’t seem to include a lot of obscurities– so it could have been clued on a Friday-er level, one would think. Did you know that HAMILTONONTARIO and HAMILTONNEWYORK have the same number of letters? I do now.

  6. Rex says:

    That’s the easiest CHE puzzle I’ve ever done, by a mile. Monday NYT time. It would have been nice if the puzzle honoring Women’s History Month had a little more … teeth. Pretty sure women could handle it.

  7. Anne E says:

    Hmmm… in a minority here it seems… I did like today’s NYT. I liked the long entries, I liked that they weren’t immediately gettable, and I liked the unusually tough short down entries. (I was stymied for quite a while by not only having WITCHSHAT, but also ORE for 20A – ugh!) This was one of those puzzles that looked like it would never fall, so it was satisfying when it did. Krozel is almost always a very difficult constructor for me, and today was no exception, but I thought it was nice work.

  8. Evad says:

    Hey folks–about to start some critical WordPress update to the site, if it all goes well we’ll be back on line before you even notice we were away.

  9. Evad says:

    And now we’re back! Let me know if anything seems awry.

  10. Howard B says:

    Tried the Times late last night, probably should have attempted it more awake. I could not do anything with the top portion, and with the crossings now I can see why. 2 of 4 long answers were unknowns to me (SALES… and PITCAIRN’S, though the first is inferable). Many of the vertical crossings were also nasty (GERI?).

    The rest of the puzzle fell in a Wednesday-like time for me, and I liked the quad-stacks. Anyway, sleep caught me before I cracked the solution. But that upper-half would have been much better with a few tweaks to the clues. The rest of it was due to my dog-tired state. Lesson learned :).

  11. Karen says:

    I was surprised at how few of the answers were easily google-able. That’s a skill in itself. Needless to say, I bombed on this puzzle.

    Jan, you looked awesome on Millionaire yesterday, calm and composed and smart! I’m looking forward to the second part of your game.

  12. sbmanion says:

    I grew up in Niagara Falls and my absolutely-had-to-be-correct first answer was LEWISTON, NEW YORK. Several hours later, I finally gave it up and inserted Hamilton. I thought this was a great puzzle.

    Steve, the Masochist

  13. Gareth says:

    NYT: First answer: socialistSTATES. Second answer: WIZARDHAT (after trying WIZARDS and backing up…) Seem to have had an entirely opposite experience to everyone else though: I got the rest of the puzzle without too much trouble, for a Friday, but seeing that “socialist” was wrong took a lot of doing! I even spelled 4D ENCieNTE to make sure it wouldn’t budge! I want to rate it like a non-quadruple stack puzzle, and by that standard it doesn’t hold up TOO badly some of the long answers were quite nice, several stinkers, but they didn’t stink the place up TOO much… The two ONES at the bottom bothered me a little too, not a lot though.

  14. Jeffrey says:

    E-TICKET used to be what you used on the headliner Disneyland rides and is still a slang term for them. Speaking of the Mouse, I confidently put ANNUAL for “Like some Disneyland passes” instead of TWO-DAY and that messed up the whole NE. Wishful thinking.

  15. John E says:

    There are so many more beautiful parts of the Niagara Escarpment to choose from, why did steel-mill-and-slag-ridden Hamilton have to be the location chosen? Haha – hopefully no one here is from there!

    Amy, I find your comments about the NYT’s difficulty to be true of just about any Friday I try – it is interesting how a more experienced eye can make a differentiation.

    The top-half of the puzzle had me utterly baffled, but was able to fill in most of the middle (except I had CELLO and could not figure out what starts with WONEG….).

    @Jeffrey, I remember going to Disneyland when you bought a whole book of lettered tickets that were used for all different rides – must have been the mid-70’s (gasp) – brings back memories.

  16. *David* says:

    To John E’s point, my first look on this blog is Amy’s solving times even before I sometimes do the puzzle. since there is a ridiculous consistency based off of difficulty of up to 9.5 of 10 on the hardness scale. That top .5 is where Amy’s solving time can swing the way a regular posters does but is typically academic for me. I immediately know what I’m in for based on (AT) Amy time and never get frustrated when I’m working on a puzzle that I thought should be easier.

  17. Daniel Myers says:

    I liked this puzzle and found it quite a lot of fun (Z-AXIS was smashing!) but – and perhaps I’m just not with it here – can anyone find me a citation or even come up with something of her/his own where “RETAIL AT” means “Go for.” I mean, I get the idea, but has anyone ever seen it used this way before now?

  18. John Haber says:

    I rather admired it. I found it easier than a Saturday, though hard for a Friday, only because I lucked out. For no good reason I remembered PITCAIRN’S ISLAND from being made in junior high to suffer through the trilogy. (Z AXIS took me a moment to break mentally into two words.)

    I was still staring at the bottom stacks and any squares in the east below ERASE (except for the end of APSOS) for quite some time. Besides that none of the long entries down there came straight to mind, I didn’t know ColorCube, Ken Hilson, the “La Cage aux Folles” cast, MESNE, or “mesi” (though I should have guessed), and the cross-referenced pair (always a mild annoyance) made things harder. I guessed A TIE and AAHS, but still stared. Once I got FLAT, feeling I really should have got it much earlier, the rest fell all at once.

  19. Jamie says:

    @Daniel Myers: I had no problem with “retail at.” I’ve come across it umpteen times, perhaps because I like to look at discount sites. “These UGH boots, which normally retail at $$$$, are available here for one day only for a mere $$.” It’s definitely in the language, to me.

    OTOH, Can I? does not mean May I? Please! May I try to do the puzzle faster than Amy? Permission granted. Can I? Fat chance.

  20. Daniel Myers says:

    Ah, I see, many thanks Jamie!

  21. SaveDaveMcKenna says:

    ENCEINTE w/o a French hint? Is no hints a new rule for Fri/Sat? I don’t remember that having been the case in the past. New trend?

  22. Andrew Ries says:

    NYT kicked my ass today. Thirty minutes…it’s been a while since that’s happened! I spent a good 20 of those minutes on the top alone. Hand up for WITCHSHAT, which stalled me, and more disastrous, I thought ANEYE was an unimpeachable answer (turned out to be AFILE). Amy was right — no gimmes in those 15s and the crossings were brutal. Good challenge, though.

    On the bright side, ELI (Broad) was the first answer in the grid today. Learned about him during research for my Michigan Crosswords book — there’s a building named for him on the U of M campus, if memory serves me right.

  23. Jamie says:

    I had no problem with enceinte – it was the first word that occurred to me. If you’re pregnant, I don’t think the NYT is going to go with “bun in the oven.” I read too much Wharton, where enceinte is the posh way of saying preggers.

    However, you are right in your gripe. Has anyone in 60 years announced a pregnancy that way in English? It should have been clued with “Fr.” or “c.1912.”

  24. Daniel Myers says:

    Have awakened from much-needed nap and see now how simple the RETAIL AT = GO FOR association is. Thanks to Jamie again for even deigning to answer me! It was the last answer to fall for me in the puzzle and my mind was obviously more than a tad drained. I feel like a complete, hm, jabbernowl for even bringing it up here.

  25. Jamie says:

    “It’s been so long since I thought of exaggerating an age upwards.”

    You have to love Amy.

    I just say my age, but it seems exaggeratedly old to me.

  26. Jamie says:

    @Daniel Myers: Haha! I was in no way “deigning” to reply to you, just helping out. Nobody ever replies to me on this blog unless I raise the question of how much the constructors are paid, which is less than most valet parkers. Then I get some responses.

    Speaking of non-responses, when did “Can I?” substitute for “May I?” Second time mentioning this. I see Rex also mentioned it. It’s bad grammar. It doesn’t belong in the NYT Xword.

  27. Amy Reynaldo says:

    At some point, the “Can I?”/”May I?” battle will end with a truce, and the expanded meanings of “can” will be more broadly accepted by people (and not just by dictionaries that already include “be permitted to” as a sense of “can”). Just because your parents or grandparents drilled it into you as proper usage doesn’t make it a natural law!

    And where the crossword clue is concerned, five gazillion kids say “Can I?” to mean “Please?” The substitutability is indisputable, even if traditionalists think only “May I?” is appropriate usage.

  28. Jamie says:

    I politely disagree. My parents didn’t drill it into me, but there is a substantial difference between “May I” and “Can I.” Five gazillion kids (you know five gazillion kids? Wow.) being wrong does not make it right. I’m a big fan, Amy, but don’t presume to tell me what five gazillion kids learn from their parents. I have 16 nephews and nieces and everyone of them knows the may/can difference. Of course, they can’t approach the five gazillions you know in numerical terms.

  29. Amy Reynaldo says:

    And yet when my own child asks me “Can I?,” I let him. I suppose I’m going to hell for that?

    Check all your dictionaries. New Oxford American includes the permission meaning for “can.”

    MW’s Collegiate 11th has a usage note: “The use of can to ask or grant permission has been common since the 19th century and is well established, although some commentators feel may is more appropriate in formal contexts.” This is the dictionary of record for the NYT crossword, so it really cannot be said that the clue is wrong. Since the 19th century! I don’t understand the fierce resistance to the usage.

    I haven’t checked RHUD but I’m guessing it, too, includes the permission sense of “can.”

  30. Jamie says:

    Amy, I never suggested you or your child was going to go to hell over English Usage. For your crossword solving times, I could make a case out of pure utter jealousy. Good Grief.

    I was brought up on English English, which may be more formal, and I am from the sort of middle-class background that gets their knickers in a knot over this sort of thing. Relax. I’m the kind of pest who cavils at people who say “Between you and I.”


  31. john farmer says:

    ENCEINTE: not just French but the Queen’s English.

    “I positively think that ladies who are always enceinte quite disgusting; it is more like a rabbit or guinea-pig than anything else and really it is not very nice.”

    Hey, Victoria, we are not amused.

  32. Ladel says:

    Cavil about this, most of the people who use “between you and I,” also believe that the hoi polloi, are some sort of upper crust folk.

    That’s why between you and me, I never cut a day of classes. Now it’s almost time for Washington Week wherein those wise folk will sort out the World mess.

  33. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Jamie: Well, “between you and I” is just WRONG. I really like that Bodeans song, “Good Things,” except where they sing “See I can see good things for you and I.” All they had to do was rhyme “you and me” with “see I can see” instead of the previous line’s “pass me by” and they could’ve had a lovely, grammatically correct chorus. (Well, aside from “see I can see.”) But no.

  34. pannonica says:

    I always got the BoDeans and the dBs confused, except that I knew Sammy BoDean memorably sang backup on Robbie Robertson’s “Somewhere Down the Crazy River.”

    (My comments seem to be getting farther and farther afield, doing nothing to further the conversation.)

  35. Jamie says:

    @pannonica: Your comment was welcome to diffuse the tension, although I have no idea what musicians you are talking about. I’ll bet you are great at BEQ puzzles though!

    @Amy: I’ve been thinking it over and you are correct. I don’t care what the dictionary says – I don’t own one; I just mean in usage. I realize that I too use “Can I” in the sense of “May I,” particularly in informal moments. Now that I think of it, “May I” would sound stilted in a lot of circumstances. Thirty years in the States, what can I say ;)

  36. Amy Reynaldo says:

    There you go! Assimilation is complete. :-)

  37. pannonica says:

    Mightn’t I?

  38. Jamie says:

    @amy: I had to check the spelling of assimilation (online of course). I thought it might be a dig at me. I can’t believe BEQ hasn’t found a use for this excellent word before. Of course, it would lead to a complete morass.

  39. Jan says:

    The CS by Bob Klahn is my favorite puzzle of all time so far! Not only is it chock full of delightful Klahn-style clues and solutions but it was just right in terms of difficulty level for me – not too easy and not too hard. Bravo!!

    I’ve just bought The Wrath of Klahn Crosswords that came out last year. I can’t wait to get started!

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