Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NYT 3:44 (Amy) 


WSJ 7:14 (Jim) 


BuzzFeed 3:13 (Ben) 


Jonesin' 4:53 (Derek) 


LAT 3:57 (Derek) 


CS 9:14 (Ade) 


Xword Nation untimed (Janie) 


Blindauer 7:52 (Matt) 


I hopped from a link Deb Amlen posted on Facebook to Noah Veltman’s list of the “Crosswordiest Words” in the 1996–2012 New York Times crossword. The frequency of the crossword entries (excluding proper nouns and multi-word answers) were measured against the Google Books Ngram for the same time period, and entries that appear more often in the crossword than in books have a higher score. So if I include ASEA, SMEE, SNEE, ALEE, EGAD, STET, ALIT, OLEO, CEE, ASPS, APER, ALP, EMOTE, OLIO, STYE, ONER, SLOE, ARF, RANI, STENO, and ESSES (and so on, and so on!) in the lists of entries I didn’t like in various puzzles, there’s data supporting my contention that these words are pretty obscure in common usage.

Brendan Emmett Quigley and Joel Fagliano’s New York Times crossword

NY Times crossword solution, 11 3 15, no 1103

NY Times crossword solution, 11 3 15, no 1103

Do you like KenKen number puzzles? I did for a while, but haven’t done one in a couple years. This crossword includes some completed portions of a KenKen puzzle, but with the numbers spelled out as words, which strikes me as odd.

The theme consists of 47a KENKEN and the shaded/circled squares containing spelled-out numbers and in the leftmost/uppermost square of that shaded section, the clue number is followed by a math symbol. ONE and TWO hide in GONE/TWAY/ONZE (may I just say that TWAY and ONZE are kinda tough for a Tuesday puzzle?), with a “2÷.” TWO divided by ONE is 2.

The next section has “5–” for NINE and FOUR; NINE minus FOUR is 5. THREE and EIGHT get added together for “11+.” And “42x” is what you get if you multiply SIX by SEVEN.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing thematic here besides the 6-letter name of the math puzzle and the entries that contain the number pieces, placed in specific spots to accommodate a clue number that works as an arithmetic answer you’d get from the spelled-out numbers. Given my lack of interest in KenKen, there was not much entertainment in this theme for me.

What else? There’s plenty of iffy and/or difficult-for-Tuesday fill: ONZE, ECARTE, REE, EGAD (see top of today’s post!), SWALE, plural EHS, SPRIT, dated pop-culture OXENBERG, clunky IN A NET.

Three more things:

  • 19a. [Christmas feature?], SILENT T. See also: Invasion of retail settings before Halloween even arrived.
  • 4d. [Bad thing to cry over?], EYELINER. That clue seems weird to me. People talk of mascara running. Does eyeliner run just as much? I don’t wear eyeliner, so I don’t know.
  • 41d. [Betty Crocker product], CAKE MIX. The world keeps telling me I need a cake.

2.9 stars from me. If you love KenKen, your mileage may vary.

Theresa Schmidt’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Splitting the Vote” — Jim’s write-up

It’s Election Day 2015! Are you casting a vote today? We are, in Theresa Schmidt’s WSJ puzzle. But it’s a close one!

We’re told in 54D and 55D to look for a [Vote found in three other answers]. Those votes are AYE and NAY. So, we’re looking for those three-letter patterns in a total of six theme answers.

WSJ - Tue, Nov 3, 2015 - "Splitting the Vote"

WSJ – Tue, Nov 3, 2015 – “Splitting the Vote”

  • 17A [How often we change the clocks] TWICE-A-YEAR
  • 27A [Act the raconteur] SPIN A YARN
  • 41A [Reef residents] MORAY EELS
  • 53A [Beldar Conehead’s portrayer] DAN AYKROYD
  • 3D [“Family Ties” co-star] TINA YOTHERS
  • 24D [Bearer of a check] PAY ENVELOPE

The four Across themers are all solid. TWICE-A-YEAR is a little iffy, but just enough inside the acceptable window to be okay. The rest are good or great. The Down themers on the other hand…

Tina Yothers from “Family Ties”

TINA YOTHERS? This is a theme answer on a Tuesday? That’s digging deep, especially when 1A [A bunch] could easily be TONS (which is what I put in) instead of LOTS. I ended up with NINA YOTHERS, which seemed as legit as anything else (until I saw that 1D was TEGO instead of LEGO).

I mean, I remember Michael J. Fox and Meredith Baxter-Birney from that show, but beyond that you’re really stretching for it. When you look up TINA YOTHERS on IMDB the most recent thing she is “Known For” is a completely forgettable 1990 film “Laker Girls” which doesn’t even have an image associated with it. And the most recent credit listed is a “Perry Mason” film in 1995. Ouch. Nothing against her, but she’s not exactly a household name to build your puzzle around.

And I call a PAY ENVELOPE an ENVELOPE. Who receives their salary in a PAY ENVELOPE? *insert sound of crickets here* Maybe sweatshop workers? I don’t know.

While we’re on the subject of less-than-good things in the puzzle, let’s look at 15D MY BOY clued as [1975 hit for Elvis Presley]. Really? Now, I’m not a huge Elvis fan (that’s my sister), but I have never, ever heard this song. I know that doesn’t mean it’s not a legit clue, but maybe it’s not Tuesday fare in 2015.

So that’s the bad stuff. Here’s the good stuff: Each theme answer is paired off with its opposite. 17A has an AYE, while 53A has a NAY. 27A (NAY) goes with 41A (AYE), and 3D (NAY) goes with 24D (AYE). I’m convinced the themers were deliberately paired this way. Very elegant.

Also, six themers is a lot to fit into a grid and usually requires some sacrifices, but I’m hard pressed to find any clunky fill. OPER, G-MEN, and DR K is as bad it gets, which is to say it’s a remarkably clean grid. There’s not a whole lot of sparkle aside from SCENARIO; the themers take up most of the real estate. But the grid itself is so finely-polished. Perhaps this is due to the generous offering of “cheater squares”; but I’ll take a clean grid with “cheater squares” any day over a clunky one without them.

So, a nice grid, well-executed. But it suffers from very questionable themers. My vote: NAY. What say you? Cast your vote in the comments.

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 231), “World Series”—Janie’s review

CrosswordNation 11/3 (No. 231)

CrosswordNation 11/3 (No. 231)

Finally—we bid adieu to “the boys of summer” (who are really the boys of late winter, spring, summer and mid-fall…). So with Sunday night’s last MLB contest, how appropriate to mark the end of the season with this aptly named puzzle. The best part: you don’t need to know the first thing about baseball to appreciate or solve this! (Well, maybe one thing: that A-ROD was the [Yank who kissed a mirror during a photo shoot], but you could get that from the crosses.)

No. Really the best part? Where to start? This puzzle has four of the best, liveliest, freshest themers any one puzzle could ask for. No kidding. And: each one spans the grid. And: the challenge of grokking how the theme works has been upped, something I savored. There’s no reveal today, so the “aha” of it all may be (have been) slower in coming. I solved without first looking at the title and (both during and after the solve) darned if I had any idea what unified the themers. Then I looked at the title and… darned if I had any idea what unified the themers. But then, very slowly, the light dawned. The first word of each of the them is one that can precede the word “world.” Cumulatively, they’re a “-world” series: fantasy world (presumably this; not the kind that’s nsfw…), first-world, Old World and Sea World. Perfect. And just look at the phrases they EMERGE from:

  • 17A. FANTASY FOOTBALL [Gridiron game played with dream teams]. How “ecumenical,” no?
  • 28A. FIRST-TIME CALLER [Radio talk show newbie].
  • 44A. OLD AS METHUSELAH [Antiquated, like a joke]. I mean, is this a beauty or what? And then, with the best saved for last, we get
  • 57A. “SEA OF HEARTBREAK” [Rosanne Cash duet with Bruce Springsteen], because you know it’s those same waters the Mets feel they’re navigating right about now.


[Hot pods]. “OOH,” baby, and how!

And I’m equally keen on the remainder of the puzz. We’ve got those fine open corners and it’s a joy to see them AWASH IN the likes of RENOIRS and PETALS and CHILIS; SWAHILI, ATLASES and SOLDER; PLATEAU and ADD SALT; MARSALA and MEMORY and, most aptly, “I LOVE IT!” This is great fill and makes the solving experience most satisfying. And that pleasure further OWES TO the centrally aligned OFF-RAMP stacked above those PT BOATS.

We also get a healthy serving of peppy and/or colorful and/or image-conjuring cluing. Among my faves today:

  • [Dove bar?] for SOAP and not GOOD HUMOR FOR THE ONE PERCENT.choc dog
  • [Gob of Bubblicious] for WAD (of gum…).
  • [Flower girl’s basketful] for those PETALS.
  • [Chocolate dogs] for LABS. Because really, my first thought went not here, but here ⇒.
  • [Rosemary or thyme] for HERB. Why? Probably because of its proximity to ADD SALT in the grid—and when I came upon it, all I could think of was how much better it would probably be to forgo the SALT and ADD instead a couple TSPS of an HERB or two.
  • [Frosty flakes] for SNOW (and not [Frosted Flakes] for CEREAL]…).
  • [Holders of world records?] for ATLASES. And not World Series-winning baseball teams (and the like).

And that, folks, will do it for today. We’ve had a lot of strong pun puzzles in the last several weeks. So it was particularly refreshing to see a different kind of theme, and then to see one that was developed so thoughtfully. And playfully. Hope you were as pleased with this one as I was!

Mel Rosen’s guest crossword at PatrickBlindauer.com: “For Henry Hook” — Matt’s review


The venerable Mel Rosen writes the first-ever guest crossword at www.patrickblindauer.com this month. It’s a commemoration of the late, great Henry Hook, with an interlocking H.H. cleverly serving as the central black square pattern, and with H.H. theme entries all around it:

17-A [48 times per day] = HALF-HOURLY. Not a phrase I’ve heard before, though it makes sense.

62-A [Rare breed of Greek dogs] = HARE HOUNDS. Also unfamiliar, but cat person here.

3-D [Best Actress of 1997] = HELEN HUNT. This one I know.

8-D [Unpleasant digs] = HELL HOLES.

34-D [Sixty-three gallon measures] = HOG’S HEADS. Another one I didn’t know, but great word. Does a hog’s head really hold 63 gallons?

36-D [Show some affection] = HOLD HANDS.

Note this very beautiful touch: in addition to the H.H. black square pattern, the six theme entries also form an H.H. of their own. See solution diagram — cool, eh? Distorted, but there. Almost gives it a ghost-of-Henry-emerging-in-the-grid aspect. Very, very nice, and I have to assume it was intended by the constructor (if you’re reading this, Mel, let us know in comments).

Some good and bad in the fill, but the theme is the point here so “whatever” as even adults say now. But I do like SCOOB, PINOCCHIO and AS YOU WERE.

A subtle and sweet tribute to a legend. 4.50 stars.

Doug Peterson’s Buzzfeed crossword, “Resist!”—Ben’s review



I loved the theme on this week’s Tuesday puzzle for Buzzfeed – it felt like something you’d potentially see in the NYT, but with just enough differences in the fill/cluing to remind you of where you’re solving.  It’s all about modifying some familiar celebs to get their lesser-known relatives:

  • 17A: Shorter brother of the Emmy-winning actor who plays Tyrion Lannister? — PETITER DINKLAGE
  • 27A: Guy who fixed a bunch of his brother’s spelling errors in the lyrics to “Thinking Out Loud” — EDIT SHEERAN
  • 49A: Actor who absolutely has to play Iceman’s brother in the “Top Gun” remake? — VITAL KILMER
  • 63A: Fight back against authority…and a hint to this puzzle’s theme — STICK IT TO THE MAN

I would have liked this a little more if 49A had been a celeb that’s been of more recent note than Val Kilmer (and I say this as someone who dressed as Chris Knight from Real Genius for Halloween) – it would have gone a little better with the other two theme clues.  On the other hand the list of male celebs where adding “IT” to their name produces another word may be more limited than expected.  Still, very nice theme entries.  Looking over the rest of the grid, there was some nice cluing for some otherwise basic fill – 14A‘s PIER had the snicker-worthy “Short site of a long walk that could end in a fun swim!” and 23A‘s HATS managed to ask the question I’ve had on my mind for some time: does Pharrell have multiple versions of that hat, or just the one?  And while I can see 41D‘s SELF LOVE crossing 70A‘s SEX irking some solvers, I think it’s nice that the Buzzfeed crossword isn’t forcing itself to the breakfast table standard.  If it’s not your cup of tea, good news!  There are lots of other cups of tea on the internet for you to choose from!

Buzzfeed is still working on the lengths of its clues, although it feels like they’re not falling as flat as they were.  I though that 21A‘s “New wave group whose most famous video features a ranch owner whipping the clothes off a woman, which was based on a true story they read in Dude magazine” was a smidge too long for the answer DEVO – you could have left off the bit about Dude magazine and it still would have been figureout-able.  Is it an interesting fact?  Sure.  Is it essential to solving the clue?  No.  Similarly, 45A‘s clue for YES, “Response to a dress that a certain TV show might encourage you to do” felt a little clunky – there’s one too many logical steps that you have to take to parse the clue for it to work smoothly (although the attempt to find a slightly challenging way to clue “YES” is appreciated).

Clue that sent me down a YouTube wormhole:1D‘s mention of PUPS as “Stars of some unbelievabley cute YouTube videos” sent me down a wormhole of watching Boston Terriers have trouble with snow boots:

4/5 stars.

Bruce Haight’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 7.29.55 PMIn a puzzle where the theme is explained in an entry that appears much later in the puzzle, I like to just enjoy the solve and get to the end and see what cleverness awaits. It’s similar with me when I watch a movie. I am not the type of moviegoer who says, “I KNEW she did it!” On rare occasions it is fun to try to figure that out, but mostly I like to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

In this puzzle, however, early on I found myself saying almost out loud, “These entries have the initials H.D.!” Sure enough, I was right about the theme. Here they are:

  • 17A [Just swell] HUNKY DORY
  • 21A [Serious romantic outing] HEAVY DATE – I was thinking of the late rapper Heavy D before I had more letters in, … and saw the clue!
  • 28A [Pursue and catch] HUNT DOWN
  • 37A [Stylist’s appliance] HAIR DRYER
  • 49A [Yosemite granite formation] HALF DOME
  • 56A [Sitcom with Richie and the Fonz] HAPPY DAYS – Literally just heard TODAY that Al from this show , the cook at Arnold’s where they all hung out, passed away. HIs name was Al Molinari. He was 96!
  • 62A [Lowe’s rival] HOME DEPOT
  • 71A [How many TV shows are shown, and a hint to the seven longest across answers’ common feature] IN HD

Yes, you counted right: a whopping 7 theme entries in a daily size grid. That feat alone will garner 4.4 stars from me! No, it is not too challenging of a puzzle, but it is tightly constructed, and again, as is becoming a staple of these LAT puzzles, virtually no garbage entries!

I liked BANFFTEA URN (because it stumped me for a bit; I thought I had a letter wrong!), CORFU, BABYFACE, NO DUH, APTLY PUT, and HAM HOCK. Conversely, as mentioned earlier, no entries that make your brow furl! I am beginning to to enjoy Bruce Haight puzzles! Can’t wait until I see his byline again!

Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Turn it Down” – Derek’s write-up

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 7.02.41 PMI think I just reviewed a puzzle last week with a very similar theme. This puzzle, as indicated by the last theme entry, has long answers that all contain an anagram of LOW. Handily denoted by circled letters, I might add. Here are the thematic entries:

  • 17A [Amazed] BOWLED OVER
  • 26A [Topping in a tub] COOL WHIP
  • 34A [“That’s so sweet] HOW LOVELY!
  • 48A [Like Goofy but not Pluto] TWO-LEGGED – Don’t they both have four legs?
  • 54A [Showtime series of the 2000s] THE L-WORD – Never seen it. I like other Showtime shows, though, so it must have been good.
  • 70A [“You’ve really outdone yourself at sucking,” or this puzzle’s theme?] IT’S A NEW LOW

Nicely done. In a slightly different take from last week’s LAT which used the letters in DAY, it seems as if these anagrams are actually in a neat, logical order! That may be a minor thing, but it seems … tidier to me. In usual Matt fashion, the puzzle seems fun and light, with a lively sense of humor. 

A few notes:

  • 15A [Pipe cleaner brand?] DRANO – Nice clue.
  • 45A [Oregon Ducks uniform designer since 1999] NIKE – Nike is based near Eugene, OR, in Beaverton, OR, a Portland suburb. The Ducks are legendary for their numerous uniform combinations, because their jerseys come in green, yellow, black, white, and grey. Imagine all of those colors available also for the helmet, pants, socks, wristbands, and you see why the Oregon fanbase needs a guide on how to dress!Oregon what to wear
  • 30D [Like one leg of a triathlon] SWUM – This is my personal goal for 2016: to compete in a triathlon. It may be a small one, but I will do it!
  • 65D [___ Vista (onetime search engine)] ALTA – Boy, I remember this! Am I that old?? What did they do wrong that Google did right?!

Again, a fun Jonesin’ this week. 3.7 stars. I will keep you folks updated when I do that triathlon!

Patti Varol’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Flower Girls”—Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 11.03.15: "Flower Girls"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 11.03.15: “Flower Girls”

Good afternoon, crossword fans. I hope you’re doing very well. Today’s crossword grid was created by the very passionate – and very friendly – New York Mets fan, Ms. Patti Varol, and it’s a surprise that there is no reference to anything Mets in this puzzle. In the grid, each of the four theme answers are fictional and/or animated ladies whose first names also happen to be a type of flower. 

  • DAISY BUCHANAN (20A: [Jay Gatsby’s love])
  • ROSE NYLUND (32A: [Minnesota native on “The Golden Girls”]) – If only this grid also had the fill of “ST OLAF.”
  • PETUNIA PIG (41A: [Merrie Melodies character with black braids]) – I had totally forgotten about this character until just now!!
  • VIOLET CRAWLEY (52A: [“Downton Abbey” matriarch])

So not only is this grid about women (even though they’re all fictional), there’s the entry of WOMAN as well, and that’s a pretty nice touch (10D: [John Lennon love song]). The only entry in which I did a double take was PETREL (45A: [Low-flying seabird]), with that entry being much tougher for me when I had “pool” instead of POLL for a couple of minutes (41D: [Sampling of opinions]). I also noticed the high number (at least I think it’s high) of quote substitutions as fill in the grid, including GET BUSY (5D: [“Why haven’t you started yet?”]), IT’S YOU (23A: [“I knew I recognized that voice]) and LET GO (60A: [“Unhand me!”]). I have absolutely no problem with that; I just noticed that I saw that type of clue a number of times in one grid, which I usually don’t come across. Maybe on a Sunday-sized clue is where you might come across that number of quote substitution clues/entries. Maybe I’m absolutely wrong…and that’s definitely a possibility as well!

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: TORRE (16A: [Yankee manager before Girardi]) – Shame on you for actually believing me when I said that there’s no clues in today’s grid that has ties to the New York Mets! Among many stops that Joe TORRE made during his Hall of Fame baseball career was Shea Stadium, where he played his final three seasons as a player with the Mets, between 1975 and 1977. In 1977, Torre was briefly a player-manager with the team before retiring as a player and becoming the full-time manager. Torre couldn’t manage a winning season in those five years as a manager, as he was fired in 1981. His managerial career with the other New York baseball team, the Yankees, was much more fruitful, as we all know.

See you all at the top of the hump for Wednesday!

Take care!


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17 Responses to Tuesday, November 3, 2015

  1. David L says:

    I did the puzzle in AcrossLite, so evidently I didn’t get the full experience. Probably that’s why I don’t understand the significance of the theme entries. Do the results of the implied arithmetic calculations have some significance? They just seem like random numbers to me.

    That INANET ONA XAXES section was pretty dire. And REUNES? Please — the last time that word was used for real was in the Des Moines Register in 1876.

    On a technical note, I am getting the mobile version of crosswordfiend even though I am reading this on my ancient desktop computer.

    edit: after I posted my comment the regular web site appeared

    • hirschho says:

      The results of the calculations are the numbers in the box where the arithmetical signs are located. In AcrossLite you do not see the signs and you have to read the note that accompanies the puzzle.

      • David L says:

        I see, sort of. I read the AL note (after finishing the puzzle) — it told me that there were arithmetic signs in the other versions, but it didn’t say where they were and I couldn’t be bothered to look.

        • hirschho says:

          The note did say in which box the signs were located.
          “In the print and web version of this puzzle, four arithmetic symbols appear in the grid following certain clue numbers (2÷, 5-, 11+, 42x).”

    • Gary R says:


      In a Kenken puzzle, you start with an n x n grid with sets of contiguous squares outlined with bold lines. In the upper left corner of each of the outlined sets of squares, there is a “result” number and an arithmetic operator (+,-,x,/) and you need to fill in the squares with numbers between 1 and n that yield that result when you apply the indicated operator to them. The challenge is to complete the grid so that the numbers 1 to n appear exactly once in each row and column of the grid (ala Sudoku).

      So, in printed versions of today’s puzzle, the square numbered “5” in AcrossLite showed up as “5-” and the numbers, NINE and FOUR, spelled out in the circled squares yield the indicate result: 9-4=5.

      I sort of like Kenken puzzles, and I thought this was an interesting concept, but probably too hard to execute cleanly.

      I was going to complain about REUNES, too. Would also like to throw the singular GALOSH into the list of “not in the language” answers.

  2. anon says:

    Not seeing today’s WSJ on the website. From where did our reviewer get it?

    • anon says:

      WSJ: OK, it’s on the site now, but showed up pretty late today (11:25 ET).

      • Jim Peredo says:

        Yes, usually the website gets it before the iPad app, but the past two days they have been very late in getting it up on the website. Not sure what time it showed up in the app, but it was there when I got up this morning (UK time).

  3. ktd says:

    For me, I recognized the KenKen concept immediately, and it was fun figuring out how the numbers were going to emerge in the shaded squares. It would’ve been nice to have a FIVE worked in somewhere since in KenKen all nonzero integers have to be used once per row/column and they were able to spell out 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 in the grid.

  4. john farmer says:

    So if I include ASEA, SMEE, SNEE, ALEE, EGAD, STET, ALIT, OLEO, CEE, ASPS, APER, ALP, EMOTE, OLIO, STYE, ONER, SLOE, ARF, RANI, STENO, and ESSES (and so on, and so on!) in the lists of entries I didn’t like in various puzzles, there’s data supporting my contention that these words are pretty obscure in common usage.

    I think the Veltman list is hardly conclusive on what is “obscure.”

    Also high on the list is SOHO, ALAMO, NOEL, LENO, GERE, UFO, EMMA, ALAN, CIAO, and on and on, none of which I would define as obscure. I think what the Veltman list shows is that crosswords have a very strong tendency to favor 3-, 4-, and 5-letter words, and many of them in greater frequency than we’re likely to find outside of crosswords (if Google Books Ngram is a fair guide for usual frequency). That’s something we already knew.

    You could argue that none of the words on the “crosswordiest words” list is likely to add much pizzazz to a puzzle, but the same could be said for any words on the “most common answers” list. (Btw, Xword Info keeps an updated list on the most popular words.)

    Some of the words on the crosswordiest list ought to be avoided, but many of them are perfectly fine to put in a grid. I would suggest a fresh clue when using them, and open up the grid to limit how many short words you need. There are only so many 3- to 5-letter words, new ones don’t come along too often, and after you’ve solved a lot of crosswords, they all seem overused.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      Most of the entries I listed, though, are pretty much shite. You go ask 100 people who don’t do crosswords to use each word in a sentence that shows they know what the word means, and I’m pretty sure that a great many of those people will be stumped on most of the words.

      • john farmer says:

        Some of them, true.

        My point was that it’s a judgment call. A word shouldn’t be avoided just because it’s on the Veltman list. If you ask 100 people to use the words I listed, I don’t think they’d have a problem.

        Frequency isn’t everything. I’d rather see words like UFO, MOE, or ARF (to pick one off your list) in a crossword than words like THE, AND, or FOR, which are as common as you can get outside of puzzles but should be in a grid only when needed.

      • john farmer says:

        Btw, since Veltman uses Google Books Ngram to gauge frequency, that leads to a certain bias and may be why names like LENO and GERE that I cited are considered uncommon. They didn’t appear in lots of books, but anyone reading/watching media knows they are popular. Veltman is probably a better guide for the regular words in your list like ASEA, ALEE, ONER, etc. In 2015, I hope we’re seeing a lot less of them than in the 1996-2012 period.

        • hirschho says:

          Do all words that the reviewer think are shite always get mentioned or only if they exceed the reviewer’s tolerance?

        • Amy Reynaldo says:

          John: Maybe you noticed that I didn’t include the contemporary “overused” names in my list. SMEE, yes. But not LENO and GERE, because those are fine and familiar to today’s solvers.

          hirschho: If there are only a two or three (maybe four) such entries in a puzzle, they don’t much affect my solving experience. But far too many puzzles include 10+ junky entries—crosswordese, obscurities, prefixes, fragments, awkward abbreviations, strained plural names, plural abbreviations. Those puzzles, I quickly develop a strong dislike for.

  5. Sarah says:

    The theme crashed and burned for me, but it did at least try something new.

  6. ajuli says:

    I printed the across lite version and didn’t see any math symbols or notes. For future reference, what should I have done to find them. I thought the puzzle very clever and quite an ambitious theme. Enjoyed doing it although I wasn’t able to appreciate how it tied to KenKen until I read the write-ups.

Comments are closed.