Friday, October 16, 2015

NYT 5:45 (Amy) 
LAT 4:33 (Gareth) 
CS 7:16 (Ade) 
CHE untimed (pannonica) 
BuzzFeed 14:12 (Jim) 

Kameron Austin Collins premiered his biweekly crossword series Thursday. Not too late to get in on this! The debut puzzle’s a 60-worder that took me something like 8:28 (longer than a typical Saturday NYT), with excellent fill. And it’s free! Receive his puzzles via email on the 1st and 15th of the month by signing up here.

Joe Krozel’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 10 16 15, no 1016

NY Times crossword solution, 10 16 15, no 1016

Joe’s riff on New Ideas week is a 56-word grid with 17 blocks in the middle and another 30 blocks around the edge, making every letter touching the edge an unchecked letter. What makes it not an unfair deviation from the rules is that each of those unchecked letters is an unduplicated letter of the alphabet—so if you’re stuck on a few, you can rule out all the letters that already appear on the perimeter. (The Notepad even spells this out, so if you don’t notice on your own that there sure are a lot of uncommon letters around the edge—because they sure as heck don’t spell anything out—you can still get there.)

I miscounted the letters in OOPS…I DID IT AGAIN and tried BABY ONE MORE TIME instead, but then the crossings didn’t work. Pop quiz! Can you name any other Britney Spears songs that embody the concept of repetition? (I have no idea if any exists.)

Now, I know what you’re coming here for confirmation of: your NIPA/PEAK crossing rage. I happen to know that 45a. [Long-leaved palm] could be NIPA because nipa leaves are a traditional building material in the Philippines (read about nipa huts here), but hey, if you don’t know that, the P was tough to get because PEAK‘s clue was so tough. 46d. [Where people are drawn to scale?] should be parsed unnaturally as “place where people are attracted because they want to scale it.” If you haven’t figured out by process of elimination that the last letter is a K and you have NI*A crossing *EA*, you’re probably ready to have Will Shortz fired.

Top fill: The Spears song, TECATES (though my last cerveza was an XX Amber), OPEN PRIMARIES, TAVIS Smiley (though he’s clued too toughly as simply 25d. [First name on PBS]), Dad BOD, and RAISING THE BAR.

Not so keen on FAILING STUDENTS, DAY RATES clued by way of hotels (Google suggests there are primarily oil drilling and service industry applications), and the roll-your-own MOANER.

Vocab word of the day: VISCID, 11d. [Sticky]. Oxford American dictionary tells me it means “glutinous, sticky,” and gives a sample use: “the viscid mucus lining of the intestine.” Oh! Too much.

It’s not all that fun to eyeball a bunch of squares to try to figure out what letters aren’t there (this is more of an issue for a speed solver at the keyboard than for a leisurely on-paper solver, I suppose), but before many of the perimeter squares are filled in, you do have to be better at figuring out answers without having confirmatory crossings. Good skill to have when you encounter tough crossings. Four stars from me.

Paolo Pasco’s BuzzFeed crossword—Jim’s write-up

The end of the first week of BuzzFeed is here! What did you think? Me, I think there might be a few things to polish up, but all in all, it’s been a good week of wild puzzles.  Keep ’em coming!

Today’s finale comes from youngster Paolo Pasco who, at last report, is 15 years young with 3 major publications under his hat.  Nice!

As for me, having started life with a severe handicap (being born in the 60s), I’m not in the BuzzFeed demographic.

So it’s hard for me to understand kids these days with their hippin’ and hoppin’ and their hahas and lolz and their urls and irls! I’ll try to throw some of that lingo into this post to make them feel more comfortable. Lolz! (Did I get that right?)

This puzzle was totally radical! (Wait, that’s 80s.) It was phat. (Nope, 90s.) Sick? (00s). Dammit!

Good! It was good! Do they understand good? (Yes.) Ok, then. It was good!

BuzzFeed - Fri, Oct 16 2015

BuzzFeed – Fri, Oct 16 2015 by Paolo Pasco

What with your FLAVOR FLAV and IT’S A TRAP for your old farts and your TEAM JACOB and ALI G SHOW for your medium farts and your I CAN’T EVEN and CHRIS PRATT for your new farts haha. Plus HEARTBREAK, MEAN GIRLS, INDIE GOGO, LOVE POEM, STILETTO, FIREWATER, SEPIA TONE, JEGGINGS!

I <3 that SW corner with GREAT DANE, I CAN’T EVEN, and NOT SO FAST (with lively clues on those last two). The bottom right corner was pretty fly, too. (No.) Tight. (No.) Kick@ss. (Just stop.)

The story of the LOVE POEM and HEARTBREAK actually had me laughing for a bit, altho to be fair to Becky, that was a creepy start to a poem (please don’t use that poem on anyone else haha).

Being an old fart, I wasn’t sure I would finish, but the cluing was just enough to get me to the end. I have to say that I don’t purport to be a speed solver so I don’t mind long clues as a rule, but I can see how they might bug some people or they might grate after a while.  But for the most part, I liked today’s clues; the voice that came through felt genuine. With puzzles like this, the future of PuzzFeed looks promising. 4.25 stars from me.

Still, there’s this…

Clues that I still don’t know what the fuck they’re about: 16A [Website where “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum” was funded], 18A [Movie that made “trying to make ‘fetch’ happen” happen], and 1D [#squad___]. (Look I said fuck. In print. I’m cool and modern!)

Now get off my lawn!

Joanne Sullivan’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Contents Redacted” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 10/16/15 • "Contents Redacted" • Sullivan • solution

CHE • 10/16/15 • “Contents Redacted” • Sullivan • solution

From caveats issued by editor Brad Wilber, I knew to expect something different (a dubious term, perhaps, considering this week’s NYT lineup) with this puzzle. In fact, I should have relayed the warning ‘above the fold’ in today’s post. Apologies.

Heedless (and for convenience) I nevertheless solved in AcrossLite (XWord, actually), which turned out to be not  so bad, requiring just a little extra mental projection. Between the various answers that were too long for the apportioned squares, the long theme answers, and the title, it was fairly easy to figure out the gimmick, and  then see the payoff.

  • 3d [Hidden] OUT OF SIGHT. Great Elmore Leonard novel, with an excellent film adaptation, directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.
  • 30d [Hidden] UNDER WRAPS. Identical clue.
  • And then, working its way across the midriff: 41a/38a/35a [ … Hidden] BEHIND | THE | SCENES.

Everything’s all symmetrical.

And then, the gimmick. Fill that suggested—required, really—letters to be ‘uncovered’ (recovered?) from behind black blocks in the grid, as if they’d been redacted by opaque marker or some other obscuring technology. These held true for across answers (three letters in a row) as well as downs (more forthcoming, just one letter apiece). Rather than reproduce all 16 (or ~18, if you didn’t use the PDF; see clue numbering discrepancy between the versions), let’s just bring up the ‘deredacted’ solution grid, kindly provided by B Wilber.


As is now abundantly clear, the three-letter strings are the acronyms of government agencies known for their secrecy and such: the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency (for a long time—when it really was very secret—jokingly referred to as ‘No Such Agency’), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. That last is unquestionably the least well-known of the bunch, but is just as valid.

I suppose arguments could be made for inconsistency: three agencies and one bureau, relatedly: three ostensibly foreign organizations and one domestic, and perhaps others. But these seem minor compared to the points of similarity: three letters each, all US entities (SIS would be easy enough, but try finding something reasonable for KGB or NKVD!).

lesgrâcesnaturellesI confess that 53a [Indian pets named for their plumage] LEAF BIRDS seems obscure at best, and perhaps dodgy. Anybody know which species this refers to?

update: It seems to be LEAFBIRD—oneword—the monogeneric family Chloropseidae, endemic to Indomalaya.

We get a little tangential seasoning with 6d/26d [007, for one] SPY, AGENT. Perhaps also 27a [Synthpop duo who sang “Chains of Love”] ERASURE.

Overall, the fill is pretty clean despite the constraints. The aforementioned LEAF BIRDS and Arrested Development‘s ISLA Fisher are the clunkiest to  be found, with a side-eye cast at the insubstantial 33a I AGREE.

9781596915916An inspired crossword theme, as I’m sure there’s a significant overlap between puzzle solvers and espionage fans. The only further criticism—and again a very minor one—is that it would be slightly more elegant to have the three-part answer shift top-to-bottom as well as left-to-right, but I assume that that was a practically unworkable construction, otherwise it would have been done.

Very clever and enjoyable crossword.

nb: Clue numbers in this write-up conform to the .puz version.

Mark Bickham’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times 151016

LA Times

Okay, sorry, but abbreviated post. Awful day at work, followed by pleasant, if tiring kuiertjie.

The puzzles theme is slightly off-beat. Phrases are in the form >dimunitive< THING. The diminutive part doesn’t change its meaning, but the word following it does, making wacky phrases. The resulting answers were pretty fun to work out: [Hummingbird feature?], SMALLBILL; [Foothills?], SHORTRANGE; [Hot Wheels Volkswagen?], MINIATUREGOLF; [Potty-training tool?], LITTLEJOHN; [Mouthpiece for a Lilliputian horse?]. Bonus points for using “Lilliputian”. The only author I know who was fond of that word and its counterpart Brobdingnagian was Gerald Durrell…

The rest of the puzzle featured a number of colourful answers, both large and small, tempered with a few shorter clunkers, though well within acceptable limits.

[Type of hippo], PYGMY is a nice introductory clue, though I’m not sure its relation to the theme makes it problematic… Also in that area, I’m not sure [Everyone in Mississippi?], YALL is correct; isn’t that ALLYALL?

3.75 Stars

Randall J. Hartman’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Wet Blanket”—Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.16.15: "Wet Blanket"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.16.15: “Wet Blanket”

Good day, crossword lovers. Can’t stay too long due to other responsibilities, but definitely wanted to pop in here to quickly talk about today’s grid, brought to us by Mr. Randall Hartman. Nothing too flashy about the theme, as each of the four theme answers end up “splitting” the word “wet,” as the first letter(s) of each them answer start with either “W” or “WE,” and the end of the entry ends with either the letter “T” or the letters “ET.” 

  • WELCOME MAT (17A: [Sign of hospitality])
  • WEATHER FORECAST (26A: [Cloudy with a chance of rain, e.g.])
  • WAREHOUSE OUTLET (42A: [Discount shopping destination])
  • WALL STREET (55A: [1987 Michael Douglas film])

Nothing really jumps out in this grid, especially with the theme, though the 15-letter entries in the middle of the grid make up for it a little. Initially wanted to put in “ulnas” or “ulnae” instead of RADII (1A: [Arm bones]). Throughout all of my years at school, I missed out (if you can call it that) on ever taking a class officially titled HOME EC (10D: [Sch. class originally intended for young women]). I probably just missed that last generation where many schools had classes as such. I definitely grow my share of facial hair, but, funny enough, I’m not much of an AFTERSHAVE user (28D: [Brut, for one]). Why? It’s probably because I always hesitate using blades on my face and rather just use an electric razor/shaper instead. (Blades have always led me to get those unsightly razor bumps.) Have told myself in the past that I was going to start using a single-blade razor at home, but he time has never come. Maybe next time.

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: PEARL (22A: [“The Good Earth” author Buck])  – College basketball coach Bruce PEARL is currently heading the men’s basketball team at Auburn University. Pearl, at one time the mascot during his undergraduate days at Boston College, has taken two schools to the Sweet 16: the University of Wisconsin-Mikwaukee in 2005 and the University of Tennessee in 2007, 2008 and 2010. After being fired by Tennessee after recruiting violations and Pearl initially lying to NCAA investigators about his contact with a recruit and his family, Pearl became a college basketball analyst on ESPN, prior to his current job at Auburn.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Take care!


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58 Responses to Friday, October 16, 2015

  1. huda says:

    NYT: I liked the way it looks! And I imagine that there are a lot of constraints in constructing it given the long entries and the need to represent all the letters in the periphery (but what do I know?).

    Yeah, that NIPA/PEAK was the last to fall, and I put the K in by a process of elimination, and then stared at it for a while before the aha moment re the clue.

    TECATE- VISCID Crossing was also tough for me (not much of a beer drinker) but I guess VISCID based on viscous and am happy to learn a new word! Yay!

    Why is Roll in the clue for SIX when there’s ROLLOVER as an answer? Is this one of the taboos that are no longer so?

    • ahimsa says:

      Another non-drinker, here, so I had the same problem at TECATES/VISCID. I also guessed C based on viscous. :-)

      On the whole this seemed to be easier than most Friday puzzles that I have tried. I don’t time my solves but I’m pretty sure I solved this much faster than yesterday’s puzzle.

  2. Martin says:


    Continuing from yesterday:
    HELLO, HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS THING CALLED TRANSGENDER? There are women with XY chromosomes.
    Yes, I rather believe I have heard of them. Thus my comment about clue exclusivity.

    Another way to put it is that you would seem to desire a single definition for something as complicated as gender. Of course, if that were the case I could understand wanting that definition to be as encompassing as possible.

    But I don’t think that is possible. It makes much more sense to me that there are multiple senses to a word like “male.” “Having testes” should not be the only one, but you are implying that it is offensive for that do be a definition for “male.” That seems preposterous to me. And if one accepts such a definition, among several, the clue is justified. The fact that there are non-males, using other designations, carrying Y-chromosomes shouldn’t matter. That is what I meant by clues not being exclusive.

    Being able to donate sperm and having the right to use a men’s room are characteristics of different kinds of maleness. I’m fine with that. It makes way more sense to be than saying only one is valid.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      This conversation doesn’t belong on the Friday post, but I guess you want as many people as possible seeing you making your points.

      No reason to go chromosomal on a MALE clue when there are countless other ways to clue it. There are plugs and connectors. There are boars and colts and pregnant seahorses. There are phrases like “male gaze.” There most definitely are transgender solvers doing these crosswords and reading the blog, Martin. Put yourself in their shoes. Is a chromosomal clue for gender not going to come off as dismissive or hurtful? Is it necessary to focus on chromosomal definitions of maleness when there are so many other routes for cluing?

      This is a trans-friendly site (as well as antiracist, antisexist, and antihomophobic). Anyone who finds that bothersome can start their own blog to talk about these crosswords.

      • ahimsa says:


        Thank you for remembering, and standing up for, the T part of LGBT (or QUILTBAG, etc.).

        • Amy Reynaldo says:

          You’re most welcome. My T friend has pointed out that T really is entirely distinct from LGB—who you are attracted to is an entirely different matter than who you are at heart.

    • PhilR says:

      Each and every cell of my niece’s body contains an X and a Y chromosome. She spent decades of torment, several operations, and a small fortune correcting her “maleness”. Her daily life continues to be filled with tension and conflict – will the next person sitting next to her on a train be bigoted? Her next potential employer? To argue in any way that some care, some thought about not having a simple crossword clue deny her femaleness is absurd. Yes, it can be argued that the clue is not technically incorrect, but in no way can one argue that it is not patently offensive to many and thus, given how easily it could be avoided, should be avoided.

      Oh, she currently works in a restaurant that serves “10 varieties of lox”. She likes it there because people speak clearly.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        Phil, thanks for bringing a personal story to illuminate the issue.

        That’s the whole thing about “political correctness.” People whine about it as if it is a huge burden to simply be thoughtful and not hurt people’s feelings, and as if the “right” to say thoughtless stuff is something that must be protected at all costs. (Yeah, yeah, First Amendment. You have the right to be a jerk, but we have no obligation not to call you on it.)

    • Martin says:


      I put it here because I thought it would be more convenient for you, that’s all.

      I’m just trying to point out that a clue like “Showy shrub” for AZALEA doesn’t offend us because there are other showy shrubs. Similarly, cluing one kind of male (chromosomal) doesn’t imply to me any denigration of others.

      I am no more denying the difficulties of transgendered persons than I am unappreciative of spireas. It just seems to me that choosing to interpret the clue as implying a rejection of trans males, rather than recognizing that such clues never mean “only” is somewhat odd.

      I recognize that spireas don’t solve crosswords but people do. But that doesn’t change the logic of “x is a kind of y” used as a crossword clue.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        Showy shrubs don’t have feelings. People do. I really wish you could understand why I’m choosing to value people’s feelings over mere factual “could be correct”ness. You seem to give humans no additional consideration here. For you, it always seems (at least in your crossword blog comments) to be all about the facts, and “can I justify this clue as correct.” There are far more important things in the world than proving something is correct. Being considerate about other people’s feelings, for example.

        Also, the clue is offensive to transgender *women*, who have a Y chromosome but are female. Not just to transgender men who don’t have a Y.

        • Martin says:

          I agree I tend to view clues as correct vs. incorrect and not good vs. bad so much. I believe the disregarding of human feelings you claim is just an example of that. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation.

          And while I don’t fully get it (for example, you cite boars and colts but the clue doesn’t say anything about humans — if “pig” or “horse” were inserted into the clue would that make it ok?), I’m appreciative of the perspective. As I said, I missed these earlier conversations and was mainly interested in the reasoning. I have no need to justify the clue (it’s not even a NYT puzzle) but do appreciate the dialog.

        • john farmer says:

          I think you can be sensitive to the feelings of others and still not think the clue is inherently offensive to trans women.

          Fwiw, here’s a passage from Wikipedia:

          The Y chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes (allosomes) in mammals, including humans, and many other animals. The other is the X chromosome. Y is the sex-determining chromosome in many species, since it is the presence or absence of Y that determines the male or female sex of offspring produced in sexual reproduction. In mammals, the Y chromosome contains the gene SRY, which triggers testis development. … The Y chromosome is passed only from father to son.

          Maybe people will find that offensive, but in the context it’s written I don’t think so.

      • john farmer says:

        Strange but true, I think of myself as a solid supporter of LGBT rights and yet I don’t find anything objectionable about the clue.

        Even when they’re a little too showy, I have no objection to azaleas either.

  3. Papa John says:

    What’s up with the CHE? When I click on the link here and at Kevin’s site, I get a text page of what looks to me like gibberish.A little help…

      • Phoebe says:

        Since the Acrosslite version recommends doing it on paper, I found the link to the print version here:

      • Jeffrey K says:

        I get the same problem with this puz link.

        • Amy Reynaldo says:

          Brad recommends using the PDF, but if you’re set on the .puz, maybe try clearing your browser cache? The CHE links did change in the last week or so.

          • Brad says:

            I can get to the Across Lite version of the CHE puzzle “safely” from the Fiend Today’s Puzzles page and from You may also want to bookmark:


            I have heard from a few people that access has been a problem (a few people appear to be getting a text file of the puzzle?). If you are also having trouble getting to a usable version of the puzzle, please feel free to e-mail me anytime at If the .jpg of the puzzle at the above link doesn’t have ideal resolution when you print it out, I can also send you a pdf.

            I second the recommendation of clearing your browser cache and seeing if that helps.

            We are considering offering a non-Across Lite version of the Chronicle puzzle – either every week or for puzzles where it would especially improve the solving experience. I don’t have the final say, but if that’s something you would especially like, e-mailing may make a difference.

          • Papa John says:

            No luck with clearing cache.

      • Zulema says:

        Dave, no it doesn’t work, and I (we) would like to know how it works for you. It calls up a text file, not a .puz file or even a PDF that can be printed. Brad and a CHE editor are trying to find out how to correct the problem. Meanwhile Brad has been e-mailing me the puzzles, beginning the week before this, when their format changed. We need to have it back the way it always was.

        • Amy Reynaldo says:

          The link changes came about because the CHE replaced its system, and we’re just trying to work with what the CHE has on its end.

        • Gary R says:

          Might be a browser issue (or maybe an issue with whether your browser knows what program to open a .puz file with). Both Dave’s link and the link under Amy’s “Today’s Puzzles” tab work for me in Firefox 41.0.1 (my usual browser).

          When I tried the link in Internet Explorer 10.0.31, I get something that looks like the text file you describe.

          • Papa John says:

            Okay, here the poop, ala Dave: That is the Across Lite text file that you’re all seeing. Save that to your desktop. Open Across Lite and open that saved file, using Across Lite. It will miraculously pop up as a grid, just like usual.

          • Evad says:

            Yes, thanks for spreading my poop around, PJ!

            It’s got to do with the MIME type that Brad’s server is sending along with the .puz file. It should be “application/x-crossword” and your browser should associate that with Across Lite. More from the AL help page here.

          • Papa John says:

            Interestingly, I’m running Fox Fire, too, only because Micro Soft won’t upgrade Outlook in Vista.

    • loq says:

      Hope this might be of use to some of you who could not get the rebus/picture puzzle online that is still under discussion here, I now use Puzzazz for paperless solving. Puzzazz showed the grid with the images correctly placed and I enjoyed solving it online. I have been wishing for something better than Across Lite for online solving because I disliked their Apple app so much I stopped solving with the Apple app and used the PC version for xwords. OTOH, Puzzazz, on either system, is so flexible and has all kinds of bells and whistles like multiple letters in a square, other puzzle types like Rows and Gardens, mazes, and more, that I am a huge fuzzann now. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Puzzazz in any way other than a casual acquaintance with the company founder.

  4. ruth says:

    I don’t like this kind of puzzle. I don’t like teaser puzzles. Stick to crosswords

  5. Winnie says:

    I will be so glad when this week is over. I’m sure for all the whizz kid solvers these are fun, but for me they are awful and no fun. I hope the NY Times only has one gimmicky puzzle a week from now on. I agree with Ruth.

  6. CC says:

    I found the first KAC puzzle to be pretty difficult, but I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more. I hope you folks write them up here.

  7. David L says:

    I liked this one. At first I thought the letters around the edge were going to spell out a secret message, but I quickly saw the light and yes, I had to work through the alphabet to find the K in PEAK and then work through the alphabet again to get the N in NIPA.

    With this puzzle, unlike yesterday’s, the trick gave the solver something else to think about and provided a way of finding those last answers. That’s the way it should be.

    FAILINGSTUDENTS = “one measure of a school’s success” is strangely phrased. Sounds as if a successful school is one that fails more students.

    • Papa John says:

      I think the “success” of a school is more attuned to fewer students failing. The strange phrasing is an attempt to mislead the solver, no?

  8. Gary R says:

    Enjoyed the NYT, but thought it played pretty easy for a Friday. I didn’t read the note, but it became evident pretty quickly what was going on with the unchecked letters.

    Unlike some others, PEAK jumped right out at me from the *EA*. My mental block was 23-A – had to run the alphabet to get the “X,” the last letter for me. Had not heard of dad BOD, but that seemed like the only reasonable guess.

    VISCID was also new to me – thought for a while that maybe VISCus was a variant spelling.

  9. sbmanion says:

    I was left with the X in SiX and the K in Peak.

    I thought it was slightly easier than an average Friday. The only answer I didn’t like was ROLLING OVER AN IRA. ROLLOVER IRA is certainly in the language, but turning it into the phrase doesn’t seem right to me.


    • CoffeeLover says:

      I agree. The most common usage I see is “rolling over a 401K into an IRA.” You can call the resulting investment a rollover IRA, but I don’t know that any further investment changes are considered rolling over the IRA . What would you roll an IRA into?

      • Martin says:

        There are several kinds of IRAs. The normal one you set up at work is a Contributory IRA. If you leave that company and wish to leave the funds in an IRA, you open a Rollover IRA and transfer the funds. The contributory and rollover IRAs cannot be combined.

        I’ve rolled both IRA and 401(k) funds into both standard Contributory IRAs and SEP IRAs. The rules are complicated and if you don’t do it right, you can get socked with a huge tax bill.

  10. Dave S says:

    On the CS, 57d, the clue “Sac fly result, often” implies that there are instances when a sac fly does not result in an RBI. That is incorrect.

    • lemonade714 says:

      Excellent point though confusing, as why a positive action is not rewarded in the air but is if you bunt. THE RULE

      • Gary R says:

        The sacrifice fly is rewarded – the batter gets an RBI. He also isn’t charged with an at-bat (so batting average isn’t affected), although it does reduce the batter’s on-base percentage.

        A sacrifice bunt only occasionally results in an RBI (on a squeeze play). Like a sac fly, it doesn’t reduce batting average, but unlike the sac fly, it doesn’t reduce on-base percentage either.

        I assume the difference has to do with intent. A sacrifice bunt is made with the specific intention of advancing a baserunner, while a sacrifice fly occurs most often (if not always) when the batter is attempting to get a hit.

  11. Joanne Sullivan says:

    panonica, Thanks for another insightful review. Once again, you’ve described one of my puzzles better than I could have myself and found aspects that I wasn’t aware of. It didn’t occur to me that ERASURE fit the theme. I needed you to uncover that tangential seasoning from my subconscious.

    • pannonica says:

      Thanks for the fun crossword. See if you can find a copy of that novel; you might find it interesting.

      • Joanne Sullivan says:

        Will do. I don’t remember hearing about the novel or the movie. I wonder how such excellent work flew under my radar.

    • Jim Peredo says:

      Just got around to completing your puzzle. It was really enjoyable. (Looks like the first one from you that’s not geologically related!) I love the concept behind it; it makes such logical sense. Well done!

  12. Papa John says:

    pannonica: Like you, I couldn’t identify a LEAF BIRD and, like you, I thought of Magritte’s print but couldn’t remember its name. Do you know it?

    • pannonica says:

      It’s a theme he revisited quite a number of times in his paintings. The particular iteration above is Les Grâces Naturelles (The Natural Graces).

  13. Joshua Kosman says:

    Just weighing in to say how much I loved Paolo Pasco’s Buzzfeed puzzle (and I’m even older than Jim). Week 1 of Buzzfeed has been pretty swell all around (kudos to Caleb and the crew) but the Friday puzzle just knocked it out of the park — terrific fill all around, and clueing that was funny without getting too manic about it as some of the earlier puzzles did. Bravo!

    • Jim Peredo says:

      I agree with everything you said. I cannot believe the lower star ratings this puzzle received up at the top of this page. Probably people annoyed by the long clues. Dunno. The puzzle was undeniably fantastic. But don’t just take my word for it. The folks over at New Grids on the Block are loving all over it. And Paolo’s just 15! I can’t believe we can’t generate more than one comment on this blog.

    • Sarah says:

      I’ll chime in as well and say this puzzle was pretty awesome as well. Definitely looking forward to the weeks to come.

  14. Gareth says:

    A relief to solve a Krozel where the fill wasn’t completely sacrificed on the altar of some “big” concept. The T and V of TAVIS were my biggest problems – I knew NIPA cold.

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