Sunday, 9/18/11

NYT 8:00 (joon—paper) 
LA 10:43 (Jeffrey) 
WaPo untimed (Janie) 
Reagle 13:22 (pannonica) 
BG 11:53 (pannonica) 
CS 7:33 (Sam) 

Josh Knapp’s New York Times Crossword, “Don’t!” – joon’s review

NYT solution 9 18 11

hey, folks. joon here with the rest of the scooby gang while our fearless leader is away. i found josh knapp’s sunday NYT to be a fun, breezy solve, quite a bit easier than last week’s brain-bender. the theme clues are all just {Don’t …!}, with these continuations:


all were fun except maybe the first one, but i especially liked QUIT YOUR DAY JOB, and not only because it has a Q and J. it’s kind of cute how bart’s catchphrase HAVE A COW, MAN shares its initial H with D’OH, clued as {Homeric cry?}. father and son united in the crossword—how touching.

with such a straightforward theme, i blazed through the grid. i think the only totally unknown fill answer was {Camera operator’s org.} ASC—an ugly abbr i’ve never seen in the grid (or in the wild, i expect). what does it stand for? probably the C isn’t camera, because camera is in the clue. american society of cinematographers? yeah, i’ll go with that, and i dare you to prove me wrong.

clever clues:

  • {Group working on a plot} is a CABAL, not a cartographic society. this one didn’t fool me—dropped it right in at 1a and sprinted to the finish.
  • {Opt for the window instead of the aisle?} clues ELOPE. this is, i’m pretty sure, the third time i’ve seen this clue. definitely the best ELOPE clue around, but it’s so memorable that you just can’t get away with recycling it, i think.
  • {It’s not good when it’s flat} clues SODA (although i tried COLA first because i always get this wrong). what are some other things that fit the clue? BASKETBALL, JOB GROWTH, OBOE, …
  • a {Skirt chaser} is a TOMCAT. i don’t think i was familiar with this usage of TOMCAT, but when i got there with __MCAT staring at me, i worked it out. yeah, i know how impressed you all are.
  • {Puts words in the mouth of?} is DUBS. okay, sure. i tried CUES, but this might be better.
  • {Org. for some guards} is NBA. could also clue NFL.
  • {Famous Georgian born in 1879} is STALIN. yeah, it’s never that georgia, is it? i didn’t know his year of birth, but i know he died in 1953 on the same day as sergei prokofiev. well, at least i remember it that way.
  • to {Start without permission?} is to HOTWIRE, at least if you’re talking about a car. great clue—best clue/answer pair in the puzzle.
  • {Rogers on a ship} are AYES. i kind of thought this was going to be somebody named rogers.
  • {Now or never} is a classic (but not {iPod type} CLASSIC) cluing trick for ADVERB.
  • {Liquid, say} is a tough clue for IN CASH.
  • {Poor character analysis?} is DYSLEXIA. loved this clue, too.
  • {Ones with crowns} are TEETH.
  • {Hacking tool} for VIRUS? eh, i don’t think that really holds up to scrutiny. hacking means gaining illegal access to a computer system, and a VIRUS just wouldn’t help you do that. (a trojan might, by stealing passwords or something.) so i didn’t love this clue.
  • to {Look down} is to POUT, with “down” meaning “sad”. nice clue.
  • {A big flap may be made about this} clues TENT. a stretch, definitely, with this use of “about”. but okay.
  • {Banks on a runway} is TYRA—nobody falls for this one any more, right?.

other stuff:

  • {Hurricane of 2011} is IRENE. hey, topical. i usually don’t like hurricane name clues, but this one is still pretty fresh.
  • {Advanced sandcastle feature} is a MOAT. here’s a tip: instead of making a zillion trips to get one pail of water at a time to fill your moat, just dig deep enough to hit the water table.
  • {30, for 1/5 and 1/6, e.g.: Abbr.} is kind of an odd clue for LCD. usually this is liquid crystal display, but today we have least common denominator. aren’t you glad will gave us two fractions relatively prime denominators, instead of, say, 7/10 and 5/6? well, i guess it didn’t matter, since you didn’t have to work out the math anyway.
  • {Possible result of a defensive error in soccer} is an OWN GOAL. double ouch for arsenal fans who watched today’s implosion at blackburn, but i love this as a crossword answer.
  • {Harry Potter’s girlfriend} clues GINNY, but i have to say, i don’t love this clue. she’s his girlfriend for the end of the 6th book only. she’s not really even in book 7, except for the epilogue where she’s no longer his girlfriend but his wife. it’s okay, i guess, because at one point she was his girlfriend so the clue is technically right. i was more miffed when peter gordon clued TEENAGER as {Potter, for one}, since he is 1 at the beginning of the series and 37 at the end.
  • {Trick out, as a car} is the verb PIMP, as in “pimp my ride”. nice sidestep with the cluing.
  • {Mawkish} is SYRUPY, and i just love the word mawkish.
  • {AnÌbal Cavaco ___, Portuguese president beginning in 2006} SILVA. did you know this? i only knew it because one of the other teams in my imaginary baseball league consists of european heads of state.
  • {Kind of keyboard} QWERTY. heh, suckers.
  • {Model used for study or testing} is a MOCKUP. good entry.
  • {Large ___ Collider (CERN particle accelerator)} HADRON. woot, physics! hey, have you guys found the higgs yet?

that’s all for me. good puzzle—3.8 stars.

Pawel Fludzinski’s Los Angeles Times Crossword, “Idiom’s Delight” – Jeffrey’s Review

Los Angeles Times 9 18 11 crossword solution

Theme: Contradictory Sayings

Theme answers:

  • 23A. [Great minds think alike, but …] – FOOLS SELDOM DIFFER
  • 38A. [Ignorance is bliss, but …] – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
  • 95A. [Birds of a feather flock together, but …] – OPPOSITES ATTRACT
  • 110A. [Two’s company, three’s a crowd, but …] – THE MORE THE MERRIER
  • 16D. [Don’t judge a book by its cover, but …] – CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN
  • 33D. [He who hesitates is lost, but …] – LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP

I’ve seen these types of phrases before, somewhere in a joke book or a comedian or something. That took the “ha” out of the “a-ha” for me. If the joke is new to you, perhaps your enjoyment of the puzzle will be greater than mine.

Other stuff:
28A. [Al __] – DENTE. Sanders didn’t fit.
31A. [Home to the Ibsen Museum] – OSLO. According to crosswords, OSLO is a magic place that only has museums.
47A. [Doesn’t just lurk, website-wise] – POSTS. I post. You either comment or lurk.
48A. [Like some silences] – AWKWARD. [ —–]
52A. [Sharp-tongued talk] – SARCASM. You never get that around here.
54A. [Pro __] – BONO. If you are Pro-BONO, you will be watching “Dancing With the Stars”.
55A. [It’s been proven to grow hair] – SCALP. My mirror has an issue with this one.
62A. [Split differently] – REAL LOT.
65A. [Mess with] – KID/66A. [Some whistle blowers] – REFS. You can KID with the REFS, but don’t mess with them.
70A. [Rink feint] – DEKE. It’s hockey, just remember.
79A. [Like some microbrews] – MALTY. Any -ALTY that isn’t salty is falty.
83A. [IV tripled] – XII. As a Roman, I object to the clue. It should say IV III times.
87A. [“Another __ Paradise”: Phil Collins hit] – DAY IN
89A. [Vibes] – AURA. I bought an AURA and they closed Saturn down. Coincidence?
91A. [Puts on a happy face] – SMILES. Here’s Dick Van Dyke singing Put On A Happy Face last month at Disney’s D23 Expo.
102A. [“My Way” lyricist] – ANKA
106A. [Nursery buy] – MULCH. Babies love MULCH.
1D. [Post-WWII feminine flier] – WAF. No, it is not WTF.
5D. [Former U.S. pump sign] – ESSO. We’ve got your sign if you need it.
10D. [Oasis visitors] – CAMELS. Do they call for reservations first? How does that work exactly?
14D. [Folk legend Pete] – SEEGER
30D. [Down’s opposite] – ACROSS. I thought up was the opposite of down. Where is ACROSS the opposite?

Minitheme alert: SERA/SER/SOR

63D. [Break points at Wimbledon?] – TEA TIMES. Fooled ya! See Wimbledon is in England where they take tea breaks at different times.
74D. [Government demand] – TAX. I prefer to consider it a friendly request.
77D. [1987 All-Star Game MVP Tim] – RAINES. Never heard of him. Checking. He played for the Montreal Expos. Never heard of them.
92D. [Glucose and fructose, e.g.] – ISOMERS. I bet you screamed “Why doesn’t SUGARS fit?”
96D. [Most in need of a doctor] – ILLEST. That word needs a doctor.
25D. [“And So __”: Billy Joel song] – IT GOES
122A. [Doesn’t go on] – STOPS

2.9 stars for the theme, bonus 0.5 for that RAINES fella, 3.4 stars overall.

Patrick Berry’s Washington Post crossword, “Post Puzzler No. 76″—Janie’s review

WaPo Puzzler No. 76 • 9/18/11

Hey, puzzle fans—as Amy mentioned, I’m back. Today, at any rate—and nice to be here!

Partial to the Sunday Post? I sure am. While I don’t have the Fiend’s knack for polishing it off in no time flat, it’s one puzzle I love to sit down with and savor. Which is what I have to do with all the themeless puzzles I endeavor to solve… But the rewards are many—and today’s 68-word Berry is no exception. I did have rather a lopsided time of it, however. While I worked pretty smoothly through most of the grid, the SW sector eluded me for quite some time. I was also thrown by several of the clues, which felt strained and/or were difficult (for me) to parse.

Highlights? Just look at how open that grid is, allowing for the triple-stacks of eight in the NW and SE, and those fabulous triple nine-columns NE and SW. Plus two 11s running across ’em. Even better is what Patrick has used to fill those squares. I especially like that NW stack of ATM CARDS, QUEEN BEE and AT NO TIME. Down in the SE, was less taken with UMPIRING, but it combines quite nicely with REUNITES and allows for EDNA BEST to appear with her full name, thank you very much (plus a clue that provides a tidy bit of movie trivia).

Speaking of full names, it’s not often that Harvey playwright MARY CHASE gets her due; and see how well she’s bolstered by ADDED UP TO and N’EST-CE PAS. All of which makes for a fine NE. Down in the SW we get PTARMIGAN (!), HIBERNATE and “IN” BASKETS. That [Bird also known as a snow grouse] gets avian company with VIREOS, [Yellow-throated birds] I know only from crosswords… (And no, VIREOS doesn’t rhyme with STEREO, but I still like the way they cross each other. I’m easy that way…)

Best of all, those west-to-east connecting 11s: “IS IT SOUP YET?” and INK BLOT TEST. Enjoyed the misdirection of the clue for the latter: [People taking it might see strange things]. Nupe. Not a drug reference. Figured as much when …TEST emerged, but couldn’t figure out how I was going to get RORSCHACH to fit. Simplify, Jane, simplify!

Other happy-making fill included the appearance of the thematically-connected LAWMAN (link will give you a backgrounder of the TV show of the same name) and TIN STAR; ditto the beverage-choice pairing, by way of NESTEA and MOCHA.

As I mentioned, I found a good bit of the cluing problematic. [Instanter] for ASAP? Really? Feels kinda cutesy, drawing too much attention to itself (imoo…). [Reacted to a snub, maybe] for SEETHED? Overreacted, I’d say. [Jobs at Apple, e.g.] for CEO took me aback as Steve Jobs recently stepped down in that capacity and is now Chairman of the Board of Directors. Yes, I gottem eventually, but had to work hard at parsing [Address oneself to a packed house?] for MOVE and [They have work to do] for “IN” BASKETS. Not that I don’t like a challenging clue, mind you. To wit: [Stop shooting] for WRAP (think “movie-speak”) and [Beat] for PULSED. Not only is beat a verb here and not a noun here, it’s a past tense verb. That one got me good—and also gave me a great “aha!”

How was your solve?

Updated Sunday morning:

Bruce Venzke’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Sunday Challenge” – Sam Donaldson’s review

CrosSynergy / Washington Post crossword solution, September 18

We have a very nice 68/37 freestyle puzzle here–it’s an enjoyable solve and a pretty grid to look at. The puzzle is anchored by the four longest entries, two 15-letter answers and two 13-letter answers. The 15s, SMALL PRICE TO PAY and PRIVATE PROPERTY, are fine, but I really like the 13s, KLEPTOMANIACS (with the nice clue [Steady lifters?]) and LOTUS POSITION.

Mr. Happy Pencil would have appeared at least 90 seconds earlier if I hadn’t mistyped DOGES, the [Bygone Vatican magistrates] as DOBES. When MHP didn’t pop up after I typed a letter into the last square, I kept thinking I had made an error in the southwest, as CWT, the [Hundred pounds, for short], wasn’t a persuasive answer to me.

Random observation time:

  • AVONLEA is the [Setting of “Anne of Green Gables”], and I managed to plunk that down even though I’ve never read the books and have seen many 45 minutes of the mini-series. My girlfriend from law school was really into it, so I picked it up by osmosis. Further evidence that we all learn things from our past relationships.
  • [Place to live and learn] is a great clue for DORM. I was a dorm rat in college, so this came easily to me. Another nice clue is [It’s found on a lid] for STYE. The clue for WHEELIE, though–[Biker’s show of power?]–seems to be trying a little too hard to be cute.
  • VONAGE is the [New Jersey-based phone company]. I am aware of Vonage but not of its history.
  • Tie for worst fill between SECS, the [Pts. of time], and PLS, an [Abbr. of politeness] (it stands for “proper level of sanitation”).

Happy Sunday!

Merl Reagle’s Philadelphia Inquirer crossword, “Maim That Tune!” — pannonica’s review

Reagle • Philadelphia Inquirer • "Maim That Tune!" crossword • 9/18/11 • answers

“Log – 18 September 2011 – Acting Captain Pannonica – Crew has reported sightings of bizarrely mutated creatures with anguished (courtship?) calls. Investigation would seem advisable.”

– from The Voyage of the Reagle

This week’s offering sees the titles of seven songs run through the Merlerator 3000, resulting in punny versions:

  • 27a. [Song popularized by Ethyl Merman?] WHAT KIND OF FUEL HAVE I? (“What Kind of Fool Am I?”) From the musical “Stop the World – I Want to Get off!” First recorded by Anthony Newley in 1962; both Tony Bennett and Sammy Davis, Jr. had higher-charting contemporary versions. Wish I could find that old Kimble Mead cartoon from The Four-Star Puzzler.
  • 36a. [Love song about an inveterate card player?] I CAN’T STOP BLUFFING YOU (“I Can’t Stop Loving You”). Most famous version is Ray Charles’, from 1962’s landmark “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music”. See also 77a.
  • 59a. [Baby’s favorite song?] I LOVE IT PUREED (“I Love a Parade”). Written by Harold Arlen, the almighty internet is not telling me when. I’m thinking late 1920s or early 1930s.
  • 67a. [Love song to the less-than-slim?] JUST THE WEIGHT YOU ARE (“Just the Way You Are”). From Billy Joel’s breakthrough 1977 album, “The Stranger”.
  • 77a. [The low (really low) self-esteem song?] OH LOATHSOME ME (“Oh Lonesome Me”). Don Gibson (1958). Coincidental bonus: b-side was “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (36a).
  • 96a. [Song about going a little too far to get a crime-scene photo?] STANDING ON THE CORONER (“Standing on the Corner”). By Frank Loesser, one of the cleverest songwriters ever, for the 1956 musical “The Most Happy Fella”.
  • 108a. [Song about a .44 magnum store] WE’VE ONLY JUST BIG GUNS (“We’ve Only Just Begun”). Popularized by The Carpenters, their 1970 version is a staple of weddings everywhere.

These elicited a typical range of grins and groans from me; your smilage may vary. Perhaps because it provides the most absurdly vivid image, 96a was my favorite. I don’t perceive a more specific unifying theme to the original titles or the transmuted versions. Ballast fill is good and flows relatively well, considering that the grid contains such long themers (2×20, 3×19, 2×13). Hardly any sparkly entries, mostly forgettable stuff. Encountered a lot of crosswordese; in fact, the CAP Quotient™ was on the high side. I spare both you and me by refraining from listing the offenders.


  • 1d [Grumpy colleague] for DOC. Cute clue, but it’s probably a well-used one.
  • 31d [Junior whoppers?] FIBS. Liked that one. Silly.
  • 63a QEII. As has been determined earlier on this blog, the proper rendering of the ocean liner’s name uses the Arabic numeral, so as not to infringe upon or be confused with Her Royal Highness. I believe, however, it’s a firmly established crossword trope and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
  • 49a [Come back, to a Parisian] REVENIR. Not knowing any French for real, the infinitive of the verb was very obscure for me. [Au] revoir is a much more familiar conjugation.
  • Seems like a lot of the celebrity references and clues (e.g., Richard EGAN, FLOrenz Zieglfeld, James ARNESS in Them!) skew older.

Overall, I found this crossword tepid. Not much to either love or hate in the regular fill, so I suspect one’s general opinion is contingent on how one feels about the theme, and puns are notoriously polarizing.

Henry Hook’s Boston Globe crossword, “The H, You Say!” — pannonica’s review

Boston Globe crossword • "The H, You Say!" • 9/18/11 • Hook • answers

HH drops the H-bomb into entries beginning with T to invent new phrases, which are then appropriately clued.

  • 23a. [Fencer’s parries?] THRUST BUSTERS (trust busters).
  • 28a. [Baste?] THREAD LIGHTLY (tread lightly). Very good, both clue and answer.
  • 46a. [Rubik’s Cubes, e.g.?] THINKER TOYS (Tinkertoys). Tinkertoy was a charter member of the Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 1998; Rubik’s Cube has not made it yet, but would seem to be a shoo-in.
  • 64a. [Straightjacket, so to speak?] THRASH COMPACTOR (trash compactor). “Compactor”? Hmm, seems a bit of a stretch. And it’s right in the center, too.
  • 87a. [Gaunt grunt?] THIN SOLDIER (tin soldier). Really liked this one, especially for the misdirection in “grunt.”
  • 104a. [Barnard, Lister, and DeBakey?] THREE SURGEONS (tree surgeons). Joseph Lister (1827–1912) is known as “The Father of Antiseptic Surgery,” Christiaan Barnard and Michael DeBakey were both world-renowned cardiac surgeons.
  • 114a. [Means to see through shrubbery?] THICKET WINDOW (ticket window).
  • 46d. [Very fierce fighter?] THUG OF WAR (tug-of-war). Liked this one too. Number three on my list.

Quite a lot of theme content, mostly very good, a few exceptional. One bit of inconsistency: with a theme of this type, the constructor is tacitly obliged to avoid non-theme entries that could in any way be seen as overlapping or construing the themers. TH appears in sequence in two answers: 69d DARTH and 92a THEE. The former may be ignored because the -TH appears at the end of the word. THEE is more problematic, since the TH- is not only at the beginning, but worse, it forms another word without the T: TEE.

Robust, lively ballast fill. Not super-Scrabbly, but entertaining.


  • When a constructor or editor uses clues that echo each other—not necessarily cross-referenced—it helps to pull the whole thing together, to strengthen the structure, and makes for a more enjoyable solving experience. Some examples from this puzzle:
    • 45a [Conan of NPR] NEAL; 49d [Conan O’Brien’s new home] TBS.
    • 1d [Volt-ampere] WATT; 80a [Juice] POWER; 98a [Purely physical] BRUTE.
    • Having 82d [Two cups] ONE PINT in the puzzle somewhat offsets the too-common-in-crosswords TSP., 61d [Fraction of a fl. oz.]
    • The loose, spoken quality of 56d [In a sense] SORTA and 120a [“__ who?”] SEZ, neither of which is advertised as such.
    • 12a [Shape shifter?] BRA; 95a [Foundation garment] SHAPER. Sometimes the practice goes too far; in this case it violates an unspoken taboo about repetition of salient words from clue to answer.
  • Did not care for the “roll-your-own” quality of SOLER, RETAME, and—by unfortunate association and proximity (it crosses SOLER)—the normally passable RELIT. “A Rose SO RED” in the bottom right visually echoes that SOLER.
  • Ugliest fill: CONC. (as in concentrated orange juice); I IN [“There’s no __  ‘team'”]; GT. BR. for U.K.—by far the least appealing of the various abbreviations, trailing far behind UK, GB, and GBR (the Olympics code for the nation).
  • Spiffy -AH symmetrical pair in 38d and 67d: ELIJAH and PARIAH. Honorable mention to 5d & 75d, SASHAS & KASHAS.
  • Favorite clue: 68d [One who called a spade a shovel?] ROGET.

Above-average puzzle.

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21 Responses to Sunday, 9/18/11

  1. Howard B says:

    Joon – you might want to put a Harry Potter spoiler warning in there for the 5 of us out there who haven’t completed the series yet or seen the final movies ;).

    By the way, the Times puzzle had some of the most enjoyable fill I’ve seen in a while. Kudos and stuff.

  2. joon says:

    hey, will shortz didn’t put a spoiler warning in the clue. also, darth vader is luke’s father. :P

  3. Martin says:

    “She’s no girlfriend, she’s my wife.”


  4. seahedges says:

    Ahem: As dotting iotas and crossing taus is critical to our cruciverbal pastime, please allow me to point out that the plural of bon mot is properly bons mots, meaning that 85-Down is clearly misspelt. Earlier this week we saw M&Ms with a green grocer’s apostrophe: M&M’s.

    Two mistakes in a single week: Omigosh!

  5. Matt says:

    A good puzzle. Zoomed through most of it, but got stuck at the end at FAVRE– I had STARR instead, which, lexicographically, is a long distancd from the right answer.

  6. Duke says:

    Liked the puzzle. I really wish the PIMP was dropped from use. I just find it offensive.

  7. Howard B says:

    Re:plural of bon mot: Technically correct, but you will also see ‘bon mots’ used in common practice; it’s what we like to do in this language, we fold, spindle and mutilate foreign words and phrases to fit.
    If the Times puzzle were the arbiter of grammar, they would not permit such colloquialisms as ‘DESE’, ‘YALL’, etc. And yet they exist to spice up the puzzle. And so it goes.

    Now the grocer’s apostrophe is a commentary for another time. Don’t get me started there :).

  8. Bit says:

    The green grocer’s apostrophe on “M&M’s” may not be a mistake; I didn’t see it as one right away. From Harry Shaw’s “Punctuate It Right”, p. 44, 3.3.a Plurals: use an apostrophe and s to indicate plurals of alphabetical letters: Mind your p’s and q’s, dot your i’s and j’s. 3.3.b. Use an apostrophe and s to indicate the plurals of some abbreviations: How many C.O.D.’s did you receive. I know that some style manuals now approve of dropping the plural apostrophe on acronyms like CEOs, but there once was an acceptance of the plural apostrophe, particularly for a construct like M&M. Not saying the Shaw work is definitive in any way, but it does show that there is at least some historical debate over the correct situations to use a plural apostrophe on letters and abbreviations.

  9. Martin says:

    Actually, “bon mots” is technically correct too. We do it because it’s so much fun to watch the French sputter.

  10. Bit says:

    I just checked my pantry, and on the actual bag, it is clearly spelled “M&M’s (R)”, both in logos and text, with an apostrophe. So perhaps the constructor/editor was defaulting to the manufacturer’s spelling, regardless of any punctuation rules.

    I would be quick to condemn the plural apostrophe, but then I’m afraid that I’ll feel like a hypocrite for still wanting the “serial comma” :)

  11. Jeff Chen says:

    Wait – DARTH VADER is Luke’s father? Nooooooooooooo!!!!!

    Uuuuoooommm! (Wookiee groan)

  12. ArtLvr says:

    Re aspostrophes: we could also play with hyphens? Anyway Jeffrey, the answer to 62A in the LAT is re-allot or reallot, not REAL LOT! As for the theme, best of all was the title — Idiom’s Delight!

  13. pannonica says:

    ArtLvr: I think Jeffrey heeded the clue and split it differently!

  14. Joan macon says:

    I rarely do the LA Times Sunday puzzles, but today I was bored so I did it; it said Merl Reagle was putting in an oldie because he was working on the Brain Game Challenge. OK. So I finished it and looked here for the grid, but no, it isn’t the LA Times, it’s the Philadelphia Inquirer. Is this like the NYT, making it be weeks later than the original publisher? And only on Sundays?

    I find all of this confusing but fascinating.

  15. Jamie says:

    @pannonica re Reagle, venir (come) and voir (see) are two entirely different verbs. The conjugation has nothing to do with it.

    You still post times about 5x faster than I. So there’s that.

  16. kludge says:

    Enjoyed the weekend’s LEAVING LAS VEGAS mini-theme and the way the Sunday Times theme was prefigured in the Saturday Stumper’s SE corner.

  17. pannonica says:

    Jamie: That makes perfect sense! I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, I obviously know what I was thinking, just not how I could possibly think it. Thanks!

  18. Amy Reynaldo says:

    @Bit: This blog officially embraces the serial comma. Any Team Fiend representatives who don’t use it are running the risk of having their pay docked.

    @Joan: The syndicated L.A. Times crossword runs in newspapers nationwide, but not in the L.A. Times itself (only on that paper’s website). Merl’s now got the only puzzle in the L.A. Times’ Sunday Calendar section (he used to alternate weeks with the late Sylvia Bursztyn). The Across Lite version of the puzzle many of us access is made from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s version of the puzzle, but Merl’s puzzle runs in assorted papers across the country (San Francisco, Arizona…a bunch of places). He may edit the clues to fit local style preferences—so the LAT’s version might have minor differences from the Philly Inquirer’s. But it’s essentially the same crossword.

  19. Howard B says:

    @Jeffrey: Hey, OSLO also gets Frogner Park occasionally. Ribbit.
    – The Expos also reportedly used to play against a team called the Mets. Rumor has it a man named Rusty Staub claimed to play for both teams at some point, but I think that’s just idle speculation.

  20. Jeffrey says:

    @Howard: what is this Met you speak of? And who would call their kid Rusty?

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