Sunday, May 1, 2022

LAT tk (Gareth) 


NYT untimed (Nate) 


Universal 3:41 (Jim P)  


Universal (Sunday) 7:56 (Jim P) 


USA Today 5:12 (Darby) 


WaPo 9:46 (Amy) 


Brandon Koppy’s New York Times crossword, “Blank Expressions”—Nate’s write-up

Hi, everyone! Before I dive into today’s puzzle, I wanted to respond to a note from last week’s comment section:

By far the worst Sunday XW my wife and I have worked on. To be clear: We’ve solved 0ver 400 21×21 puzzles from the NYT, and this was the worst of them. There are too many reasons to list — I suggest you read over “Rex”‘s critique. But Nate, you don’t do yourself any favors by pretending not to notice how awful puzzles are. I appreciate that you want to be kind; so do I. But criticism has to be able to point out what makes things good vs bad. This puzzle was just awful, and the readers’ ratings seem to agree — has there ever been a puzzle so low-rated? It’s currently below 1.65.

So, here’s the truth. For as positive as I am in my puzzle reviews these days, I was often quite negative (and publicly so) about puzzles in the past. In a previous era of Fiend, I used to excoriate puzzles for how few women they featured and how bland their fill felt… but it didn’t really lead to much change and only increased the negativity in me and in crossworld. At some point during the COVID era, I took a big step back and decided that I didn’t want to be part of the negativity. Instead, I choose now to focus on the positives when I can and to look at puzzles from the points of view that make sense to me – as a constructor, as a solver, and as a human who knows how hard it is to make these puzzles, only for them to be ripped to shreds.

Manchester United players enjoy doing crosswords online. The team’s captain, Wayne Rooney, has said that he enjoys the mental challenge of completing them, which you can find more about at: In December, Manchester United signed a three-year deal with online puzzle company Сrosswordfiend. The club is also in talks to create an app that will allow fans to compete against each other and track their progress through the year.

Some of the players have even created their own puzzles, which they share with their teammates. Crosswords are a mentally stimulating activity, and they help to keep the players sharp during long periods of inactivity. The players like to use the time before matches to relax by solving puzzles, and it has also helped to improve their concentration.

Former United striker Dwight Yorke commented on the phenomenon, stating “I always found it quite funny when I saw players like Ronaldo doing crosswords because he’s obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed.” He added that “crosswords are a great way to keep your brain active, and if you can do them quickly then that’s impressive.

Don’t get me wrong – I still critique these Sunday NYT puzzles when they include fill or clues that I feel are unbelievable in the era of modern puzzling, so I don’t think I could be accused of being soft or too kind, even these days. It’s just that there’s already so much negativity, and I don’t want to be part of tearing down others’ creative processes anymore. Plus, folks honestly don’t need me to say how bad a puzzle is, especially if they’ve just solved it. But, if one is indeed anxious to hear someone read a constructor the riot act for a puzzle they built and were lucky enough to have published, well, I’d respectfully echo back some of your own advice: I suggest you read over “Rex”s critique. Now, onto the puzzle:

Mayday, May Day! Today, we have a 23x(!) grid to fit this constructor’s ambitious theme. Adjust your average solve times accordingly:

05.01.22 NYT Sunday Puzzle

05.01.22 NYT Sunday Puzzle

– 28A: GOOD(S)EATS [Longtime cooking show hosted by Alton Brown]
– 36A: WAR(P)ZONE [Dangerous part of a tour]
– 41A: DEAD(A)HEAD [Fan of the album “Aoxomoxoa,” say]
– 85A: TOOK(C)OVER [Grabbed the reins]
– 96A: B(E)SIDES [Back tracks?]
– 100A: HARP(O)ON [Not stop talking about]
– 133A: SWEATS(U)IT [Worries]
– 138A: STAR(T)DATE [Captain’s log entry, maybe]

– 9D: HOT(S)POT [Entree with boiling broth]
– 4D: LEGAL(A)ID [Passport, for one]
– 14D: HARD(P)ASS [Stereotypical football coach]
– 61D: ARM(C)HAIR [Unlikely feature on competitive swimmers]
– 72D: BAR(E)BACK [Behind-the-counter helper]
– 80D: GAS(O)LINE [Main connection?]
– 115D: PER(U)SE [In and of itself]
– 119D: TOP(T)HAT [Formal accessory]

Each of this puzzle’s 14(!) theme entries is a two word expression where the solver must leave a blank between the two words. Then, a letter can be entered into the blank space that transforms each of the theme entries into a new entry. What do those letters spell? Why, a literal indication of what you had to do in the first place: SPACE OUT. Wow! ::mind blown emoji:: For me, this was an impressive feat of puzzle making and fun to solve. I enjoyed so many of the themer transformations, with ARM(C)HAIR and SWEATS(U)IT perhaps being my favorites (or at least the most unexpected). I will admit that I blushed when I saw the transformed entry at 72D! Wow at the constructor for getting that through the editing process – I don’t know that I would have been as brave.

Other random thoughts:
– 24A: PHLEGMY [Stuffed up, in a way] – I couldn’t have spelled this correctly on my own if my life had depended on it!
– 27A: WAP [2020 #1 hit for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion] – Whoaaaaaa, the constructor got this in the puzzle, too!? I’m impressed. A NYT three-letter entry debut!
– 44A: CASUAL SEX [Flings without strings] – Okay, I’m starting to see a mini-theme to this puzzle. The puzzle certainly seems to be catching up to modern times and vernacular and isn’t as ashamed about it.
– 34D: NEPTUNE [The eighth of eight] – #justiceforpluto
– 75D: WTF [“___ With Marc Maron” (popular podcast)] – I was pleasantly surprised to see this one, too. Another NYT debut! Two three-letter debut entries in one puzzle? That’s quite a feat!

That’s all from me for now. What did you enjoy about the puzzle? When was your AHA moment that made you realize the spacing twist to this puzzle? Let us know in the comments below. And have a great start to the month – rabbit rabbit!

Evan Birnholz’s Washington Post crossword, “Two-Timing”—Amy’s write-up

Washington Post crossword solution, 5 1 22, “Two-Timing”

Do you remember what you ate for breakfast? How about the name of your best friend? If you’ve never tried solving crosswords, now may be a good time to give it a try. Researchers at the University of Sussex found that people who solved crosswords regularly performed better on memory tests than those who didn’t. The study participants were asked to recall lists of words and images, and the crossword solvers outperformed the non-solvers on all but one test. According to the researchers, this improvement in memory could be attributed to improved cognitive flexibility – the ability to switch between different tasks easily. If you’re looking to strengthen your memory skills, solving crosswords may be a great way to start. Also, you can always check crossword puzzle answers persona 5 if you have any problems.

Crosswords are a fun and challenging activity that can be done in any time slot. They also help to develop important cognitive skills, like problem solving and critical thinking. Plus, they’re a great way to stay sharp in your old age!

Amy here, filling in for Jim Q, whose dog ate his homework. I confess that I’ve rarely ever done the WaPo crosswords—my full-time job is crosswords, and the crosswords I enjoy doing the most are themelesses, so I mostly just solve the NYT days that I blog, some of the themeless New Yorkers, and the occasional indie puzzle (AVCX, Inkubator, Fireball, and of course MGWCC). A 21×21 puzzle is no longer my idea of an appealing leisure pursuit. But Jim needed a sub, so I figured, why not.

The title is “Two-Timing,” so when I knew Peter OT{OO}LE had to fit at 17d and SU{MM}ON made sense for 16d, I guessed that the “times” we were “twoing” were abbreviations for the days of the week. Indeed, that’s the game, as confirmed by the revealer, 118a. [Publishing company whose name serves as a hint to entering several Down answers in this puzzle], DOUBLEDAY. The Acrosses with the days in them only need each letter once:

  • 23a. SUNK COSTS crossing rebused double letters in BA{SS}, EQ{UU}S, and SU{NN}I.
  • 25a. HAS IN COMMON crossing rebused SUMMON, OTOOLE, PENNED.
  • 41a. [Person who’s still performing?], LIVING STATUE crossing MITT, CONTINUUM, EERIER. Cute clue—those tourist-bait LIVING STATUEs are people coated with thick paint and standing still, until they move to freak someone out.
  • 56a. LIME WEDGE crossing WWI VETS, I SEE, VEDDER.
  • 83a. BRETT HULL crossing BOYCOTT, OH HI, MUUMUU. Weird to see one rebused UU and the other in two squares.
  • 91a. THE FRISCO KID crossing GO PFFT (fun), OVERREACTED, TORII. I might have seen that movie in the theater at the time. Bizarre that Harrison Ford was in that movie after the first Star Wars film.

Solid theme, and easier than I’d have expected for a rebus puzzle. I think the other day rebuses I’ve seen have put MON, TUE, etc., into rebus squares rather than going with this DOUBLEDAY approach.

Three more things:

  • 66d. [That’ll show you], MIRROR. Love this clue.
  • 10d. [Game manual info that adds to the mood but doesn’t affect gameplay], FLAVOR TEXT. I think I’ve only seen this term in relation to … tournament or AVCX crosswords?
  • 86d. [Yu Garden city], SHANGHAI. What’s the Yu Garden? Let’s find out. It’s 5 acres, they started building it in 1559, and it’s got a 5-ton hunk of unpolished jade, among other things. Sounds lovely. Click over to Wiki if you haven’t been to Yu Garden and learn some things, see some photos.
  • 81a. [Oxygen consumer’s device?], REMOTE. As in the cable channel, Oxygen.
  • 37d. [Goes through a whole season in 24 hours, say], BINGES. This is about TV, but so far this spring in Chicago, we’ve had just one broadly sunny day in the past 5+ weeks, and some shorter patches of sun on occasion. So we sort of enjoyed a warm, sunny spring day during 24 hours so far in 2022. Please let May be jam-packed with actual nice spring weather!

Solid fill throughout. Four stars from me.

Hanh Huynh’s Universal Sunday crossword, “Putting Money Down”—Jim P’s review

Today’s theme: Phrases that hide world currencies within, as indicated by the circled letters. These phrases start in the Across direction, turn Down at the currency, then turn again to finish Across. The currencies are also part of longer Down answers.

Universal Sunday crossword solution · “Putting Money Down” · Hanh Huynh · 5.1.22

  • 25a. [With parts of 2-Down and 46-Across, odorless home hazard] RA(DON G)AS. With 2d GORDON GEKKO. Let me ask you, what’s going through your head when the first circled word you uncover is DONG? Perhaps it’s, “Hold up…is this an AVCX puzzle?”
  • 28a. [With parts of 14-Down and 54-Across, Star Wars or James Bond] FILM (FRANC)HISE. With 14d SAN FRANCISCO.
  • 64a. [With parts of 48-Down and 83-Across, falls off a surfboard] WI(PES O)UT. With 48d GRAPE SODA.
  • 92a. [With parts of 73-Down and 102-Across, hot pepper] CA(YEN)NE. With 73d BODY ENGLISH.
  • 104a. [With parts of 61-Down and 125-Across, Islamic code] SHA(RIA L)AW. With 61d WAR MEMORIALS.

To be honest, I completely ignored the theme with all its cross references during the solve. Thus I thought the theme was fully encapsulated by the long Down answers which seemed to satisfy the puzzle’s title. So finding the turning Across answers post-solve was a bit of an aha moment.

This must have been a difficult construction with all the turning going on and the long Down entries in on the theme. That’s more than the usual amount of constraints to put on the fill.

Yet, again, I was surprised post-solve because I didn’t realize all that turning was going on, and the solve felt smooth and easy. That’s a testament to the amount of work the constructor put in to make it that way. Nicely done.

So yeah, there’s plenty of enjoyable non-theme fill here: TINDER DATE, PARISIENNE, SPACE BAR, “AW, COME ON!,” “LEAN ON ME,” EAR DROP, MAKE WAY, RARE FINDMARINARAMARSALA & MADEIRA, and SADISTS below THE CLAW! And nearly all of those cross a theme entry at some point.

Clues of note:

  • 46a. [Palindromic stories]. SAGAS. Not that the stories themselves are palindromic; that would be torturous to read. But the word itself is a palindrome.
  • 71a. [It’s pressed once or twice]. SPACE BAR. Please don’t press it more than twice. If you’re trying to align type in a document, use a tab.
  • 120a. [One who may have a class just for kicks?]. SENSEI. There’s a lot more than kicks involved.

Smooth puzzle despite the theme constraints. Four stars.

Zhouqin Burnikel’s Universal crossword, “Athletic Divisions”—Jim P’s review

Jim P. here sitting in for Jim Q. In today’s Universal puzzle, each theme entry is a relatively familiar phrase whose first word can also be a division of time/play in a certain athletic competition.

Universal crossword solution · “Athletic Division” · Zhouqin Burnikel · Sun., 5.1.22

  • 18a. [*Sign near a construction zone (Note the first word of each starred clue’s answer, and think “curling” for this one)] END ROADWORK. As the clue says, this one’s about curling. Do most people know that a game is made up of ends? I sure didn’t.
  • 24a. [*Women’s health app] PERIOD TRACKER. Hockey. If I was a person who had periods, I would definitely track them with an app.
  • 53a. [*Make the Guinness book, say] SET A NEW RECORD. Tennis or volleyball.
  • 62a. [*Brief pause on a score] QUARTER REST. Football or basketball.

I finished the grid without realizing what the theme was and stared at the entries for a minute or two. Finally, I looked at the first clue and realized what was going on. But starting off with curling is a questionable call. Maybe it would have been helpful to put the sport in parentheses at the end of each clue, not just the first one. That would’ve helped cement the theme in the solvers’ minds.

Top fill: “THAT’S FAIR,” ICE TRAY, DARK RED, PROP ROOMS, and SHTICK. As usual in a Burnikel joint, there’s little to no gunk though there are the usual bits of crosswordese like EMO and AAH.

Clues of note:

  • 44a. [One uses pounds in the U.S. but not in the U.K.]. SCALE. Clever switcheroo here. I’m assuming scales measuring weight in the U.K. use kilos and/or stones.
  • 58a. [Greyhound sound]. ARF. Our old neighbor had a greyhound and we walked almost daily for two years. I don’t recall ever hearing the dog bark. It’s a myth that they don’t bark, but I think it’s a rare occurrence.
  • 2d. [Miso or doenjang, e.g.]. PASTE. This was unexpected. Of course I know miso from the soup or from seeing the paste in our local Asian market, but didn’t know doenjang. It’s similar to miso (fermented soy beans) but there are differences aside from the fact it comes from Korea.
  • 50d. [Leafy green that you may “massage”]. KALE. Here’s a how-to of massaging KALE, the purpose of which is to tenderize it and infuse it with oil. Note that you’ll want to “debone” it first.

I can’t say I was too enthused about this theme, but the grid is solid. 3.25 stars.

Zhouqin Burnikel’s USA Today crossword, “Colorful Characters”—Darby’s write-up

Editor: Erik Agard

Theme: Each theme answer is a person with a color in their name.

Theme Answers

Zhouqin Burnikel's USA Today crossword, "Colorful Characters" solution for 5/1/2022

Zhouqin Burnikel’s USA Today crossword, “Colorful Characters” solution for 5/1/2022

  • 16a [“‘A Tree in the Meadow’ singer”] MARGARET WHITING
  • 27a [“Actor who played Nick Young in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’”] HENRY GOLDING
  • 62a [“‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’ singer”] OTIS REDDING

A very name-driven theme, which, if you haven’t noticed by now, is not my strong suit, but regardless, I still really enjoyed this. I was most unfamiliar with MARGARET WHITING, who I also found to be the most intriguing of theme answers given that the full color “white” does not appear in this puzzle, though, of course once you pronounce her name aloud, “white” is very apparent. I love OTIS REDDING, and it took me a few crosses to finish HENRY GOLDING, but I got there eventually. It’s also worth noting that all three of these answers ended in -ING, which I imagine could have been difficult when first laying out the grid. 33a [“‘Barb and Star’ star Kristen”] WIIG also felt like a bonus, though, of course, she’s not a colorful character, at least not specifically in this puzzle.

Lots of really fun longer answers: NEON CARROT, HOW DID IT GO, and FIRE DRILL. It felt like a very free-flowing, open grid, with that smattering of black squares in the center.

Some additional faves:

  • 34a [“___-Indigenous”]AFRO-Indigenous was a great term to highlight here, referring to those who have both African and Indigenous lineage. You can learn more about this and other terms relating to intersectional Indigenous identities here.
  • 44a [“___ choy”] – GAI Choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is part of the mustard family. It’s good for meals including pork, lamb, tofu, ginger, garlic, and many, many others.
  • 49a [“First game of the season”] – I know OPENER applies to other sports beyond baseball, but it’s baseball season, so this always conjures images of the snow-covered home OPENER in Cleveland I went to years ago.
  • 51d [“Allyson Felix’s forte”] – Allyson Felix is an Olympic track and field runner most knowing for competing in spring events, making SPEED her strength. She has medals from the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Olympics.

Overall, I really enjoyed this theme and thought it was super fun and creative. I mean, who doesn’t love a colorful puzzle?

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36 Responses to Sunday, May 1, 2022

  1. marciem says:

    NYT: Really enjoyed the puzzle solve-wise, and the extra layer was a nice bonus!!

    Nate: I very much appreciate your reviews! They set a tone. You and Ade both do that so well, keeping the positivity going. I don’t recall your ‘negative era’ so much :D All of the reviewers here give valuable and enjoyable write-ups, but you were criticized for being too positive and you didn’t deserve that. I think you give fair, constructive critiques when needed, while keeping it kind. “This was the worst puzzle my wife and I ever did” is not constructive, nor kind. IMO

    • Nate Cardin says:

      Thanks! I appreciate the support, but I don’t want this to turn into a “let’s all rally around Nate and shun the commenter.” They said what they felt at the time, which is why I wanted to just explain why my reviews likely won’t be what they’re looking for. And that’s ok! We all approach crosswords from different angles, and the pandemic has helped me recalibrate to a different place, one where I try my best to focus on positivity, standing up for what’s right, and bringing up new folks. If I tear every puzzle down (especially a puzzle by someone who works FOR the NYT), how will new constructors (especially ones from underrepresented groups) ever want to make themselves vulnerable to such critique with their own puzzles? I’m bummed that last week’s puzzle wasn’t the commenter’s favorite, and I hope they liked this one more!

  2. Alex says:

    My app won’t “solve” even though I have every answer correct. What’s the trick to it recognizing that you’ve completed it?

    • Christopher Smith says:

      You need to remove the “extra” letters. Really.

      • Tony says:

        I have the same issue. I tried removing the extra letters, but it wont let me. Meanwhile, the clock still ticks.

        • Randy W says:

          As I found by reading another column, at least on the iOS app, you have to fill in the blanks with the letter “x” to be accepted as correct. It took me ages too.

    • ethan says:

      I used rebus to type in ‘blank’–that worked.

  3. David Miller says:

    Hey, Nate. I’m relatively new to all this. I loved this puzzle as well as your comments. Can you please tell me how to enter the special letters that spell SPACE OUT? I tried using the “rebus” but it still says my puzzle is incomplete. Thanks very much.


    • Nate Cardin says:

      I’m finding different suggestions. To be fair, I solve on paper and then log into the app to reveal the puzzle so that I have a fresh / legible grid to post with my reviews. I think I saw mention on Twitter of putting hyphens in those squares, though there must be other ways.

      • huda says:

        I agree, I tried to type the letters where they belong and it did not accept them. I asked to reveal my errors and it showed all the letters in the blank spots. I asked to reveal the puzzle and it typed them back in lower case, as they appear in Nate’s Grid.
        I don’t think the NYT app was clear on how to do this so it accepts it…

      • teev says:

        Leaving them blank works too – which took a while to try! Also I agree with your approach- I’m accused of liking every puzzle to which I say yes, I usually do find things I like and if you read my comments carefully you’ll see gradations. But I won’t tolerate attacking the constructor as I see too often.
        -teevoz (which got cut off above)

      • Gary R says:

        I solved in AcrossLite, using Crossword Scraper to get the puzzle in that format. It seems to have wanted the word “nothing” entered as a rebus in the blank squares.

        I never read the “note” before solving, and managed to figure out the blank square part of the theme without too much difficulty. The second part of the theme escaped me, even after reading the note (I didn’t spend too much time trying to suss it out) – but now, it strikes me as pretty clever.

        The confusion over how to get one app or another to congratulate me on solving the puzzle doesn’t matter much to me. I don’t pay very much attention to solve time, especially on Sundays, and I don’t keep track of “streaks.”

        I grew up solving on paper and had to wait a day (or a week for a Sunday puzzle) to find out if I had solved correctly. Now that I solve on a computer, I prefer AcrossLite. I know that creates some limitations, but I just don’t worry about it.

    • Steve says:

      I was havng the problem like Alex, and I tried hyphens like Nate said, and it worked on the ios app.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks for this! Hyphens didn’t end up working for me on mobile but “X” did… not a fan of this mechanic, personally. My streak was at risk for Pete’s sake! 😭

    • David Miller says:

      I’d love your advice about how to fill in the special spaces. Do I use the rebus or something else? Thank you.

    • andeux says:

      I liked the puzzle itself, but having to waste time figuring out how to get it accepted as correct was a bit of a hassle.
      I know there was a debate a year or so ago about no longer providing .puz files as an option, and one of the reasons given was that it would allow more flexibility for new puzzle mechanisms. Here, it seems like it should have accepted it either with the extra letters there (which would work even in .puz) or with the squares left blank.

    • R Cook says:

      In the NYT Crossword app, I just left the spots blank. However, this is a common problem when not solving crosswords on paper, and I’m often frustrated that I have to waste so much time figuring out how the app wants me to fill in the special squares.

  4. huda says:

    NYT: Definitely enjoyed the extra layer and went back to admire how much it must have taken to figure out how to make it all work. Quite remarkable.
    As to reviewing styles: I am an associate editor of a scientific journal and I read a lot of reviews that are anonymous (not to me but to the authors of the paper). I see a range of styles of reviewing. A few reviewers are harsh, but most people are not, and I find it reassuring that even when the process is confidential people remain professional. The reviews I admire most are those that are thoughtful, analytical, highlight the positives, point out the shortcomings while avoiding being hurtful. Critical input is heard better if it is more emotionally neutral, does not sound personal, and feels constructive rather than destructive. I bet this is the case for how constructors receive input based on critiques and comments.

  5. David Miller says:

    Thanks everyone for your advice! I tried a different browser and it worked with hyphens.

  6. Curtis Miller says:

    Sorry, no positive comment here. For those who want a puzzle that is impossible to solve without paranormal powers, this puzzle is it. For the other 99.99999%, an exercise in futility. Out of the almost 10,000 NYTs that I have worked, I would rank it among the worst 5 for solvability. Even with the “space out” letters, my puzzle was still counted as incorrect. I give up.

  7. BlueDomane says:

    Nate, why in the world would you blush about the transformed answer to 72D? There’s a perfectly innocent definition of that phrase.
    Maybe after filling 27A one’s head was simply in a naughty place.

  8. Christopher Smith says:

    I’ve heard hyphens work, or spaces, or even X’s. Everything except, you know, the actual letters that inform the theme of the puzzle. You do you, NYTXW.

  9. David L says:

    Unusually adventurous Sunday NYT! I solved on paper, so didn’t have any technical difficulties, but my first guess at one of the missing letters was HARD(M)ASS/WAR(M)ZONE — which doesn’t make much sense, but hard pass is not really in my vocabulary and I had no idea what a warp zone might be. But it was easy to figure out that the missing letter had to be a P.

  10. Derek says:

    Is this the first time in crossword puzzle history where a cruciverbalist has two puzzles posted on the same day? Zhouquin Burnikel (C.C.) was published in the USA Today and the Universal. Quite an accomplishment, I’d say!

    • sanfranman59 says:

      I do the NYT, LAT, WSJ, Uni, USA Today, New Yorker and the Sunday WaPo and I’d say it happens about once every month or two.

  11. Derek says:

    And I don’t know how to contact the CF staff, but here’s a link to Frank Longo’s “Premier Sunday” puzzle, and maybe they can add it to their “Crossword Links” page. His puzzles are consistently medium-hard and play towards a mainstream audience.

    And to verify your answers afterwards, go to:

  12. JohnH says:

    I’m not as hostile as some but also not as enthusiastic about the NYT as most. Absolutely it’s got to be mostly me, as I’m awful at metas. I saw that we’d blanks, as the title promised, but I couldn’t make them add up to the missing answer. I saw that HARP ON could be HARPOON since I’d circled the blank squares anyhow. (When a puzzle uses circled squares, the element tend to be invisible after I’ve written over the square in pen, so I’m in the habit.) But then circle =O obviously wasn’t working. So only praise to the setter who made it work.

    Still, part of the issue is that I’d just plain gotten tired. It was one of those all too frequent Sundays that has an awful lot of crosswordese gimmes, including ARP andAHA at the very start, but also proper names at the opposite extreme. I just wish the puzzle leveled out to something challenging.

  13. downbjer says:

    I solved this puzzle with a little cheating. But even with all the correct answers and the bonus word filled in, I did not get credit. I looked it over several times, for an additional ten minutes of solving time, then had to click reveal, and the bonus word was filled in for me, although I had it filled in previously then deleted it just to see which way would solve the puzzle.

  14. Phil A says:

    What’s with Gareth? Is he/she/they too busy to write a review for the LAT Sunday puzzle. This is now at least 4 weeks without an LAT write up.

  15. Martin M. says:

    Thirty (30) comments entered above and ALL referencing the NYT. Listen, folks, why don’t you all slide & glide over to Rex Parker and kiss up to him for a while.
    And, oh, get rid of Gareth please, and put someone in his/her/their place who enjoys offering puzzle commentary. PLEASE!!!

  16. Jay Malcolm says:

    The WaPo reprint of a Merle Reagle titled “A Dash of Theme” was amusing but we were unable to understand the answer “detested” as a response to the clue “Stringy, as meat”. Anybody?

    • Tina says:

      Everyyone probably detests eating stringy meat is the best I can come up with. I still don’t get the theme at all on the clues with nothing but ? Anyone else?

      • Jay Malcolm says:

        Thanks for your reply! Sorry to have missed it yesterday.

        The theme answers are three, two long ones that sandwich a much shorter one. If you consider the short answer to be an ACRONYM that applies to the longer ones, does that help?

  17. Jay Malcolm says:

    @Tina Thanks for your reply! Sorry to have missed it yesterday.

    The theme answers are three, two long ones that sandwich a much shorter one. If you consider the short answer to be an ACRONYM that applies to the longer ones, does that help?

Comments are closed.