SUNDAY, Oct. 21, 2007 - Brendan Emmett Quigley

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: "Set Your Mind at Ease" - short "E" sounds in familiar phrases are changed to long "E" sounds, creating wacky phrases, which are clued

One of the least pleasant solving experiences in recent memory. Some of it was my own fault - trying to solve right after a meal while half-watching TV. But most of it was just the puzzle, with its uninspired theme and too-clever cluing and slew of absurd and obscure words. If you love cute little plays on words, you probably loved this theme. It just made me groan. A lot. I have about a dozen frowny faces written on my puzzle print out right now, possibly more. There were amusing or clever answers here and there, but not nearly enough of them.

Theme answers:

  • 23A: Organization of easily frightened people? (chicken league) - "chicken leg" = weak original phrase
  • 40A: Result of not wearing rouge? (blank cheek) - no, even as a joke, this phrase seems untenable
  • 13D: Bundle of pies? (pastry sheaf)
  • 16D: "Mr. Cowell, grab that 'American Idol' contestant!"? ("Simon, seize!") - I almost like this one
  • 72D: House Un-American Activities Committee event? (Red hearing)
  • 65D: Bully turned Samaritan? (a good meanie) - ugh, no. The way you've phrased the clue, he's not a "meanie" any more. He's a former meanie. A GOOD MEANIE is a paradox. This answer was near the heart of all my problems with this puzzle - specifically, in that corridor from "Oregon" to somewhere around "Oklahoma."
  • 97A: Strict Jesuit? (hard priest)
  • 117A: Smart fowl? (educated geese)
Let's start right in on the problems, in no particular order. One Roman emperor is enough. I don't need two, and especially not that jerk OTHO (2D: Roman emperor with a three-month reign) who exists only to get constructors out of jams. NERO is fine, but his clue is pedantic (45D: Last ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty). Then there's DETECTORS (28A: Sensors), which would be fine if the word "detector" weren't already being used in the clues: 7D: Lie detector alternative (pentothal). Sloppy. On the plus side, I learned how to spell PENTOTHAL. There are some people I don't know whose names intersect, which is always fun: EZER (56A: Former Israeli president Weizman) and ALEC (44D: "While We're Young" songwriter Wilder). In the same part of the puzzle - ECO-village? (63A: Modern prefix with village). Really? WTF? Btw "ECO" has existed as a prefix for a long time and is in no way "modern."

On to the assorted frowny faces:

  • 1A: Drink with a straw (soda pop) - most any non-alcoholic, non-hot drink can have a straw.
  • 20A: "Day of _____" (what "Dies Irae" means) ("Wrath") - grrr, ANGER fit too.
  • 46A: Right triangle figure (sine) - "ratio" would have helped me out here, but I guess RATIO is already in the puzzle at Q RATIO (69D: Market value of a company's assets divided by their replacement cost). Didn't stop you with "detectors," but whatever. Btw, I really liked Q RATIO.
  • 49A: It goes around at an amusement park (stile) - TURNstile is the word we use in America, dammit (I shouldn't complain - this is the word that helped me crack the horrid N.J. part of the puzzle)
  • 75A: Freedom from government control, for short (dereg) - what kind of wonky d@#$# says this?
  • 90A: It may not need clarification (oleo) - o how I want to punch this clue in the face ...
  • 116A: "The Break-Up" co-star, 2006 (Aniston) - frowny face for forcing me to remember that this movie ever existed.
  • 5D: Commercial end for Water (Pik) - ugh. It's true enough, but "Commercial end" feels clunky too me here.
  • 8D: Precious, to a Brit (twee) - you left out "overly" or "affectedly"
  • 34D: 13 years before the Battle of Hastings (MLIII) - just lazy
  • 67D: 1932 Democratic campaign plank (repeal) - the repeal of Prohibition; this word seems stupid standing on its own.
Absurd / obscure words:

  • 19A: Open-mesh fabric (etamine)
  • 21A: Oil used in making polyurethane (aniline)
  • 33A: Italian eyeglass (lente)
  • 59A: HBO founder Charles (Dolan)
  • 100A: Peru's El _____ volcano (Misti)
  • 36D: Banded rock (gneiss)

Now for my particular disaster: As I've said, I had a horrible, mostly blank patch stretching from just under BLANK CHEEK to down around ENROLL for what felt like a very long time. First problem - could not for the life of me think of two easy answers. First BSMT (40D: Real-estate ad abbr.). I had BSM- and figured the "S" must be wrong and the answer must be BRMS (short for "bedrooms"???). Second, ON TO (91D: Latch _____). I could think of literally nothing that could possible follow "Latch" except "key child." So those hurt. But the real killer was 83A: Object rising in a Van Gogh landscape (moon). Here is an occasion where knowing something about art actually hurt me. I was dead certain that this answer was CROW. I recently saw an entire episode of "Simon Schama's Power of Art" dedicated to Van Gogh's "Wheatfield with Crows" (1890). I think that I got the idea that they were "rising" (now that I think of it) from a Shakespeare sonnet that has the line "like to the lark at break of day arising." Why I attributed a Shakespeare line about a lark to a Van Gogh painting of crows, I don't know. But hanging on to CROW as long as I did absolutely destroyed me. Getting the actual, ordinary, boring, easy answer was very deflating. All the answers I had trouble with in this section: ZAGS (73A: Turns the other way) and SUEZ (51D: Red Sea port) and PRAM (58D: Cornwall carriage) and the magnificent NEWSREELS (84D: Onetime Movietone productions) - all fell easily into place once I changed CROW to MOON.

Yesterday STREAMER, today, STEAMER (25A: Clambake item). Not sure what one is. Google says it is a particular kind of soft-shell clam. Why did I not know that "Penelope" was the name of the poor cat pursued by the (presumably) priapic Pepe LEPEW (52A: Cartoon character who amorously chases Penelope)!? Hate being ignorant about vintage WB cartoons. I remember NAST as [Tweed twitter] from a puzzle 10 months ago. Today he's clued in equally (to me) puzzling fashion: 111D: Cartoonist who created the Tammany Hall tiger. While I know ESTE is Spanish for "East," I think I did not know that "sur" is Spanish for "South." Now I do: 114D: 90 degrees from sur.

And now, some smiley faces:

  • 31A: Place to buy a hookah (bazaar) - The whole "K" and "Z" and double-vowel extravaganza in this clue/answer makes me happy
  • 110A: Houston pro soccer team (Dynamo) - did not know this. Just like the word.
  • 14D: Blue chip, maybe (ante) - really very clever
  • 85A: Brand of Lego bricks (Duplo) - why do I know this? Very cool-looking brand name.
  • 34A: "The Treachery of Images" artist (Magritte) - a long, glorious gimme - an artistic success to make up for my Van Gogh disaster
  • 101D: W.W. II nickname (Il Duce) - a bastard, I know, but this "nickname" amuses me for childish reasons...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 11:56 PM  


Good to hear you found it difficult too. As this one almost made me give up. It started with Etamine and analine which were extremely obscure and had I not been certain of the crosses, it would have driven me crazy. I assumed steamer was referring to the cooking method at a clambake.

After an hour, I finally finished it with one square off before Googling. Had redeal instead of repeal. Know nothing about the crossing "brand of lego bricks clue."

Thanks for posting early, now I can go to sleep.

pfofphil 11:57 PM  

Forgot to put my name on the post.

jae 12:23 AM  

This was pretty brutal. Remind me to never comment about a Sunday being too easy again. I "got" all the themed answers but it took some staring at them after I finished. Way to many crossing obscurities to have a pleasant solving experience. When I did a post-solve google check I found I had made the same error profphil with REDEAL instead of REPEAL. Lucky guess of the day was the T in the OTHO-ETAMINE crossing. A nice surprise was that DOLAN was a gimmie as I just (today) read a Newsweek article on the MSG scandal and it mentioned that he founded HBO.

BTW I believe STEAMER is both a type of clam and the type of pot used at a clambake, but its late and I could be wrong. I feel like I've earned a night cap. Time for vodka and mindless TV.

Alan 1:38 AM  

I agree with Rex on the theme of this puzzle.To have the theme around word sounds in a language such as English which is not spelled phonetically is a affront to my intelligence.

Spencer 1:55 AM  

Thanks, Rex. I had EL DUCE, and could not find my error. Of course it's IL DUCE, but my Spanish is marginally better than my Italian, so EL looked fine. I should have googled that peruvian mountain.

I thought of Pepe LePew, but Pepe didn't fit, and usually a last name clue signals a last name answer. But Penelope isn't a last name. Finally, I asked my 16-yr-old son, and he said LEPEW. I said Doh! and filled it in.

On the other hand, I immediately filled in TWEE, although I wasn't certain of it.

Rikki 4:31 AM  

This was a tough one for me. But, after a first pass I had lots of fills to work with and moved from SE to SW, then up to the middle, but then was confounded by the NW and NE. Sodapop and etamine were big ????s, made worse by the fact that Zeno was the only emperor I knew with a three-month reign, which made me think sect was wrong. Didn't know amc and couldn't come up with pik, but then got oneslice and pentothal, got rid of Zeno and put sect back, got dais, and soda pop finally came to mind, though I don't like it for the same reason as Rex's. Chicken league gave me the h for Otho and the C for amc, but I didn't know etamine, and was too tired to guess the t and m. Went east where aniline on top of steamer and detectors and lente left me a wide open field of nada. I'm a New Englander and have eaten buckets of steamers, which we used to dig up at the beach. They are glorious soft-shelled clams that you steam in a big pot, then open and dip in the clam broth to clean them and then in unclarified non-oleo butter that drips down your chin. Yum. But I would never think of them in the singular. A steamer. Nope. Finally figured that had to be it, though lobsters are often found at clambakes and fit in so nicely. Simon seize forced the lobster out, making way for the steamer and inert and per se followed, giving me detectors (yeck) and the rest of the section finally fell into place. Never heard of lente.

Also got messed up a bit thinking Penelope referred to an old cartoon from the late sixties by Hannah and Barbera with a gal named Penelope in a pretty nifty race car that was like a rolling beauty parlor and put Barbie dream cars to shame. Figured someone was racing after her, but couldn't remember who. I love Pepe LePew, but didn't remember his love was Penelope.

First puzzle I couldn't finish without guessing in a long time.

Sally 5:01 AM  

Loved DUPLO too--larger Lego pieces for pre-five-year olds. Saved a box of them to give to my grandchildren, when and if they come!

akakii 7:22 AM  

I never knew that DUPLO blocks were made by Lego. I always assumed they were a cheap Lego ripoff.

While reading your comments I thought , "Gee, Rex is being pretty harsh today." When I got to your comment on wanting to punch the clue for OLEO in the face I laughed out loud. And I'm still laughing.

STEAMER was a no-brainer for me. I live in Maine. If I missed that one I'd deserve a punch in the face.

Overall not a bad puzzle. I'm not a big fan of cutesy themes like this, but some of the fill was really nice.

Anonymous 7:39 AM  

Geez, not only was this one tough, but the diagramless was particularly brutal until I got the theme (and that took a LOT of work). No fair to have a really hard diagramless that's also assymetrical. I cry foul!

Eileen, the Crossword Queen (not today, tho)

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

The ratio of "How Stupid!" to "Eureka" moments was pathetically high. Also, there were lots of gimmes where they weren't needed and not enough where they were, e.g., in the crosses for etamine and aniline.

Like the Crossword Queen, insult was added to injury with the ruthlessness of the diagramless.

All in all, a very aggravating pair of solves today. This annoyance, however was offset by me just happening to catch the 5:00 a.m. (bad night's sleep) PBS airing of the NY Times Crossword special. I've missed it several times. If you get a chance, it's a MUST SEE.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

I forgot to add - the oleo clue - how annoying was THAT? I wanted to punch Quigley and/or Shortz, not the clue.

Michael 9:22 AM  

Whenever I see the name Brendan Emmet Quigley, I know that the puzzle is going to be out of the ordinary and probably hard. The one he did with Quarfoot a couple of Saturdays ago was for me one of the hardest NYT puzzles I've ever tried. I was therefore pleased to get through this one fairly easily. But my problems with this puzzle were (1) figuring out exactly (as opposed to vaguely) what the theme was; and (2) figuring out how the themed clues fit the theme. I never "got" "chicken league" [chicken leg] until I read this blog and only as I was writing this comment figured out how blank cheek and educated geese and chicken league all fit the same theme. [short e to long e!]

Now I understand this, I think the puzzle is clever, but maybe too clever.

btw I liked the clarification clue.

Haile Unlikely 10:03 AM  

Several regions of consternation --

"Polygraph" in PENTOTHAL's spot messed up Wyoming something fierce. Trying to force bedrooms into Oregon led to another hiccup. New Jersey was disasterous, as I was getting neither STILE or EZER. If SIMON should happen to SEIZE, I'd be ok with it. And I'll have to remember DAW next time in the Texas region of the map.

I thought the theme was a valient effort, just incosistent in two glaring spots. I agreee w/ Rex on the AGOODMEANIE (Owen?) cluing. And I just can't find a way to pronounce the "hearing" part of REDHEARING with the "long E" sound of the other theme answers. Perhaps I'm missing something.

Now, off to the Diagramless, which to me certainly contains a diagram.

Craig K 10:47 AM  

For what it's worth - and please pardon the spoilers below, those solvers among you not scared away from the diagramless, but still planning to solve it...
* As originally submitted, the clues for three secondary theme clues contained more helpful detail than the ones that ran did. This one particular editing change was probably a factor in the ramped-up difficulty of the puzzle, especially because...
* The asymmetrical shape of the puzzle, which was intentional - have you noticed that it's pictographic? - resulted in a grid that had wide-open sections like those in themeless puzzles. As with themeless puzzles, the longer average word length tends to make puzzles at least a little more difficult to begin with.
* As published, and as submitted, there were only three question mark clues; and two of them are located towards the bottom of the puzzle, and the third is for a relatively short word. Few (if any) of the rest of the clues individually have a high degree of difficulty, with the exception of the secondary theme answer's clues. Accordingly, even if the puzzle was difficult as presented, it could have been made much more difficult if the editorial will was there (no pun indended).

I must admit that I do have to wonder, however, if some of the frustration being expressed here about the diagramless is as much of a carryover from solving the Saturday-in-Sunday-Guise Quigley as it is a reflection on the puzzle itself. (Admittedly, I am unable to make judgments about the puzzle from any solving experience in this case, but I still think there may be a Quigley hangover effect here.)

Hobbyist 11:02 AM  

Cute puzzle. Red hearing, red herring. Oleo is punch worthy...Harder than typical Sunday offering but that's okay by me.

Kumar 11:51 AM  

Agree with all the posts. Horrible clues and worse answers. Could not get aniline, and hence most of the uppper right of the puzzle.

Despite getting all the theme answers, could not understand what the theme was until I read Rex's post.

As a chemical engineer who worked for 20 years for a company that made aniline and polyurethanes, I can assure you, almost no one in the chmical industry would know aniline oil, unless you went back to the 18th Century. In any case, aniline is not an oil to a chemist. For what it is worth, aniline is not used in making polyurethanes; it is used in making MDI, which is then used in making polyurethanes. Castor oil, on the other hand, is used in making polyurethanes.

This would be the equivalent of saying an animal used for making cars, just because their hides are used in leather car seats.

Claire 11:54 AM  

I totally agree with Rex about the Sunday puzzle. But I have a new word in my life and that is PURPOSEFUL. So off I go to the beach for a wee walk.

Ulrich 11:55 AM  

I disliked this puzzle so much (so-so theme, VERY weak implementation) that for the first time that I can remember I did not solve it completely--I just didn't care enough (I got hung up in the middle by not correcting my initial "stared up"--why bother?). The only clue I liked was "place for couples".

Fitzy 12:06 PM  

Terrible cluing today, huh? Drink with a straw = SODAPOP… c’mon! Rex is dead on about this one…

Thought the “Italian eyeglass” was an odd clue in the singular… didn’t know the Italians ever went in for that monocle fad?

What is the deal w/ that Van Gogh clue? I mean of all the ways one can come up w/ to clue MOON, Quigley chose that one? Besides the crow rising, what about a star?Just awful! However, as part of the alternate assessments that students w/ severe disabilities are supposed to take in NY, they are supposed to tell the difference between night & day… I am working on a way to do this using famous Van Gogh paintings…

Never knew about Otho & the “Year of the 4 emperors” until I had to look it up…

I hate seeing brutal dictators such as Mussolini referenced in a puzzle… but what can you do? Has Hitler ever been referenced in the NY Times Sunday puzzle? If it did I am sure that Will Shortz would never hear the end of it...

Bluestater 12:08 PM  

I'm with you, Rex, Kumar, and others. Although I managed to finish without help, this was a nasty, cutesy, not particularly interesting puzzle. My pet peeve was 53D, "Drawn back," WANED. "Drawn" is the past participle of "draw." "Wane" is an intransitive verb. Intransitive verbs can't be passivized and so can't have past participles. The NYT should do better than that.

wendy 12:41 PM  

Ditto all by several orders of magnitude. Didn't like it, didn't even try to finish solving it. Not that I got very far, I didn't. No idea what the theme was, so really got a toehold only in one corner before crying uncle.

Michael 12:58 PM  


How do you feel about "idi" (Idi Amin) showing up in puzzles all the time? He was (is he still alive?) at least as brutal as Mussolini.

RAlbert 1:20 PM  

Re: Oleo which I did not get.
Butter is clarified; have never heard of a chef clarifying oleo!

First time in a while I did not
complete so got my $4 worth but
I hated it as I did not get the clue. Altho my name (54A) might
justify some of the angst.

Tadpod 1:35 PM  

Didn't mind the puzzle being more difficult than the usual Sunday plod, but really missed the satisfaction in getting the themed answers. "Pastry Sheaf" and "A Good Meanie" are really pushing it...Wonderful, however, to see the eternal optimist, Pepe LePew, after whom I will always try to model my approach to courtship.

Jim in NYC 1:37 PM  

Can't say I share your anger or even wrath at this puzzle. Enjoyed it pretty well.

I agree that the clues for OLEO, MLIII, REPEAL and SODAPOP are lame.

Also, the implication at 102A that psychiatrists sit around urging their patients to "let it out" is personally annoying. Is it: simple-minded, simplistic, reductive, pandering, dumbed-down, ignorant, plain wrong ...? You help me decide.

Victor297 1:41 PM  

Hey I just found this site today and am I comforted by everyone's misery! I too disliked this puzzle, especially coming from Mr. Quigley who gives me fits every time. Best clue in my opinion : blue chip.

mellocat 1:54 PM  

On the diagramless -- I quite enjoyed it. I was initially apprehensive given the comments here, and the you'll-get-no-help-from-symmetry bit, but it fell pretty steadily for me. I did have to use the margins three times to sketch out some answer blocks before I knew where to place them properly in the grid, but that's a diagramless. I was probably lucky to have guessed the theme having three of the first four letters in 6-Down and three of the last six in 22-Across. Without getting the theme, it'd be hard to make any headway in the whole bottom half of the puzzle, since two of the theme answers are the natural entry points to the bottom.

Chip Ahoy 2:47 PM  

Fun puzzle! This puzzle is to be praised for its dearth of film references. Although, I suppose, as a constructor, the void left by not using actors is readily filled with the names of athletes.

favorite clue: resting places = tombs

Doug 3:58 PM  

Took the whole Maple Leafs game to figure this out and still needed the blog to to get the messy EZER, ALEC, box. Need a real palette cleanser...

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

I'm with Ulrich. Never finished, didn't care to.

Victor P

Beata 4:50 PM  

DEREG will definitively not happen if Hillary gets elected....

nitpicker 4:57 PM  

I quite enjoyed the puzzle and the theme - not very easy to come up with entertaining theme entries like SIMON SIEZE. Did think that changing presseD to priesT was unlike other entries, but oh well - it was fun.

Really liked absentia, reinvest, and struggled for a long time to get q-ratio!


JEM 5:41 PM  

Agree with most all comments. Tough and obscure and not a great "theme." (What the heck is etamine, anyway?)
After completing it, still didn't get 48A--Part of a dash (tach), but hubby just explained it. I guess the car guys out there had no problem. I was thinking running race (100 yd dash?), or punctuation (two hyphens make a dash?) (duh!) DASHBOARD never occurred to me.

Anonymous 5:56 PM  

I feel better about myself, now. All you eggheads out there who struggled with this one make me realize I must not be so ignorant after all. Still, the puzzle STUNK, but that's only a lowly Med.Tech.'s opinion.

green mantis 6:36 PM  

Ugh. Despised this puzzle. Clunky, choppy, unpleasant. And let me be the 444th person to raise hell about "oleo." Clarified BUTTER. Maybe if the answer was "butter" you could go into some clarification business: "it may be clarified"-- but margarine doesn't have anything to with clarification, to my knowledge. I'll have to go googling to make sure, but I stand by my outrage whatever the result.

green mantis 6:37 PM  

Clarification: anything to *do* with clarification.

green mantis 6:41 PM  

Google report: the very first hit when I googled "clarified margarine" was a page called "Margarine is an Abomination." Nuff said.

skua76 6:45 PM  

I too thought this puzzle the worst in awhile. At least the comments here inspired me to tackle the diagramless, first one I've tried in awhile. Enjoyed that one...thahks!

wendy 6:51 PM  

"Margarine is an abomination" - oh truer words were never spoken. I grew up in a house where my sister and I were second-class citizens when it came to certain food items, thus we were served OLEO, as my mother referred to it, while she and my father enjoyed real butter. To this day I'm scarred by it. I've often talked of writing a memoir entitled "Not Good Enough for Butter."

Kitt 7:01 PM  

Wow Wendy. That is really - I don't know what to say just really a bad situation for you. Oh Dear!

Thank God you turned out so great~ And I mean that in the nicest way. Take the best of care.....

I LOVE the book idea.

Ulrich 8:16 PM  

The diagramless was a real consolation today--enjoyed it like the others who commented. Once you get 6 down, things start to fall into place

Fitzy 9:30 PM  


O/c Amin was a monster...he died in exile in Saudi Arabia a few years back... I do not enjoy seeing his name in a puzzle either... I guess "IDI" can be clued as "giant from Norse mythology".. or "alternate name for highest peak on Crete"... but I had to look those up... I wouldn't have know them straight off the bat...

I did ask "what can you do"... I guess I meant what can puzzlemakers do if they paint themselves into a corner and the only word that fits is something offensive like the name of a dictator...

I think I may have seen STALIN once ... not sure if it was in the Times... but I wonder where the line is drawn... I'm pretty sure I've also seen "POLPOT"... again, not sure where...

Maybe I'd be happier if it said "brutal dictator" in the clue when they have to resort to using one of these names...

But that is opening another political can of worms isn't it???Which of today's world leaders would be considered "brutal dictators"???



rick 11:07 PM  

Glad I checked in here because I had a bear of a time with this puzzle; nice to know it wasn't just me.

The New England, New Jersey area was tough enough without me insisting that NECKTIES were the haberdashery items hinted at.

I am another who actually liked the OLEO clue. Thought ANTE and ARKS had the best clues and BAZAAR was my favorite clue/answer pair.

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Craig K:
Thanks for your input on the diagramless. Your work definitely suffered from the hangover effect (as you so deftly stated). Looking it over again WAY after the fact, it really was pretty good.

I suspected it would be a pictograph as soon as I saw that it was going to be assymetrical, so that wasn't lost on me (but still didn't help me solve because I couldn't figure out what the pic was until after I already had the theme).

Eileen the Crossword Queen (sometimes)

billnutt 8:33 PM  

Rikki, you're probably thinking of Penelope Pitstop from that old Hanna Barbera cartoon. That was the first cartoon to feature Dick Dastardly, as I recall, who later got his own show with Muttley. (All the baby boomers out there, sing the theme with me! "Stop the pigeon, stop the pigeon."

I didn't mind the theme too much. "Chicken league" was actually the clue that made me get the theme, and I actually liked "pastry sheaf" and "Simon seize."

However, I'm one of those guys who likes cute little plays on words, so I'm probably biased.

Stephanie 10:45 AM  

This puzzle stunk all the way around. I agree, can't remember one this challenging in a while. Love your blog!

WWPierre 5:48 PM  

One week late.

This was a four cup slog for me. I asked my wife Hanne about ETAMINE, and she showed me our heirloom cross-stitched table cloth of ETAMINE, a 50/50 plain tabby weave that keeps cross stitched embroidery perfectly square and symmetrical. (assuming you don't mis-count)

I did not get the theme (exactly) till Rex "clarified" it.

Certainly not an elegant puzzle today.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

loved it. used all my xword dics

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

Weak theme takes the fun out of it.
I'm with you, Rex. I refuse to use google or other aids. When i give up, I check your blog and love your comments. Thanks.

Tess 7:49 PM  

This ouzzle ruined my day. None of these clues led me to a right answer, so I gave up and came here.

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