MONDAY, May 19, 2008 - Mike Nothnagel (PORTRAYER OF FRANK SINATRA ON "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

Monday, May 19, 2008


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Into the Void - four theme answers begin with synonyms for "unoccupied"

Wow, Mike Nothnagel on a Monday? That's like seeing Santa in June. Fun, but weird. And fifteen-letter grid-spanning answers on a Monday? Also unusual. Felt like I thrashed around a lot while solving this puzzle, but came out of it with an average Monday time, so ... it must be Monday. The clever theme here was offset (dramatically) by the horrific long Downs. Now, they aren't horrific as strings of letters - they are simply images I'd rather not have to contemplate on a Monday morning (or Sunday night, or any time, really). I was excited when I saw the clue 10D: Portrayer of Frank Sinatra on "Saturday Night Live" because I thought "Awesome! Phil Hartman!" But he wouldn't fit, so I had to wait it out a little. Let me just say ... do you know how far the fall is from Mt. Hartman to the JOE PISCOPO Pits? It is Very, Very far, and my landing was not smooth. At least in the SW I was prepared for crap, as the clue told me I would be looking at a Robin Williams movie that was not "The World According to Garp": 26D: 1998 Robin Williams title role. "PATCH ADAMS" is about a real guy. I know because that guy came to speak a my University some time last year, resulting in one of my favorite, most random-seeming store marquee signs - On the big notice board outside the local (kinda shabby) KFC was the greeting "Welcome Patch Adams." Since PATCH ADAMS is a doctor, I imagined that the implicit second part of that message was "Please Save Us From Our Food!"

Theme:

  • 16A: Place not generating rent (vacant apartment)
  • 24A: Guarantees that mean nothing (empty promises)
  • 42A: Win that brings little actual gain (hollow victory)
  • 57A: Contents of guns used in training exercises (blank cartridges)

There were several names in the puzzle I did not know, or did not know well. EDIE (53D: Actress McClurg) floated up out of somewhere in my brain, though brain also thought EVIE would be a pretty good answer. I could see Elias HOWE (14A: Inventor Elias) a million times and never remember his name come crunch time - who knows why? The most difficult name for me to get, and the one that still looks least like an actual, legitimate name, is AMORY (13A: "The Cat and the Curmudgeon" author Cleveland). I have no idea what that title is, and the only Clevelands I know are Grover and the neighbor on "Family Guy." Oh, there's a Renaissance poet named John Cleveland. The book is ... about a cat ... it's for kids? I canNot figure it out, even after looking it up @ amazon.com. Why Is This Famous?

The weakest part of this puzzle was the doubling up of RE- answers: REAIM is a terrible word (30A: Point again, as a gun) (see also RECARVE from a few puzzles back). REHEATS (52A: Warms up again) is fine, but paired with REAIM, it hurts. Not too fond of A COG and A MULE showing up together either. I always figure that stuff like this is bound to get your puzzle rejected, or at least substantially rewritten. I guess the theme, and some of the longer fill, is strong enough to override these smaller considerations.

Hot stuff:

  • 22D: Scuttlebutt (lowdown) - sweet clue/answer pairing, though I'd rather not deal with the word BUTT in anything but a cigarette context, in general.
  • 44D: Whirlpool or tornado (vortex) - another great word. Cool, long "V" and "X" word to wake me up on my Monday. Good job.
  • 49A: Brandy cocktail (side car) - one of my favorite drink names. Sounds cool - mid-century crime novel cool. According to this write-up, its heyday was between the wars. This article mentions a fabulous SF restaurant, btw: Bix. I sat on the balcony or mezzanine or whatever that is up there and spent a gajillion dollars and ate cheese and port for dessert when I was in S.F. interviewing for ... my current job. That was nine years ago. Remains one of the most memorable meals of my life.
  • 10A: PBS newsman Lehrer (Jim) - I wrote in, and still want, TIM.
  • 20A: Rock band follower (groupie) - great answer; much better than ROADIE
  • 38A: Pretend to be, as at a Halloween party (go as) - why I love this little two-worder so much, I don't know.
  • 36D: Baseball great Hodges (Gil) - this made me laugh, as yesterday I suggested a good clue for GIL would be this comic strip, while this legendary baseball player completely slipped my mind. HA ha.
  • 41D: A pair of deuces beats it (ace high) - more shiny goodness from Mr. Nothnagel.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

63 comments:

jannieb 8:55 AM  

What a nice surprise for a Monday - a second MN puzzle in less than a week. Thanks for a fun start to the week! Cleveland Amory was a gimme for me - a long time animal rights activist and critic for TV Guide. Aside from the "re" fill, I thought for a Monday this puzzle was refreshing with just enough of a challenge to get my brain in gear! Wish all Mondays were this good.

Barb in Chicago 9:00 AM  

Fun puzzle. Got Joe Piscopo off the J. How can that be? I am terrible at pop culture. For some reason I thought Cleveland Amory wrote for the Saturday Evening Post years ago. Maybe it was his father? Enjoyed this puzzle a lot.

shaun 9:11 AM  

Oh wow, Bix. I agree, one of the most memorable meals of my life as well -- though I also remember dying for a fab cocktail like a sidecar and having to abstain b/c Baby #1 was on the way. Fans of Rex's humor will appreciate that he told me I did not look pregnant, just "portly."

Bill from NJ 9:16 AM  

Smart puzzle with a well-executed theme.

The long downs . . . ugh. I agree with Rex about JOEPISCOPO and PATCHADAMS was the pits.

JannieB & Barb in Chicago - you're both right. Cleveland Amory wrote for the Saturday Evening Post straight out of college and ended his days as the critic for TV Guide.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

i still miss the clue precision of Mr. Maleska. 39A is really an acronym, not an abbreviation. good monday though.

Tony from Charm City 9:21 AM  

Fun puzzle for a Monday. First entry was Joe Piscopo. No offense to Rex, but all Hartman had was the voice. Piscopo nailed the man.

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

Isn't it a bit off topic to catagorize Joe Piscopo as *the pits* & Patch Adams as *crap*?

The clues were neutral, and they led to the intended *answers*, which is the point of solving, IMHO.

After all, the only *critiques* I've seen about *Idi Amin* is it's (his?) being stale fill.

.../Glitch

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

Who is the cartoon and why is it there?

Peter Sattler 10:19 AM  

I agree, a great puzzle. But I'm not sure I get your aversion to "butt" words -- especially since you're okay with the smokers' variety (the connotations of which are less to my liking that most other kinds).

For the record, the "butt" in "scuttle-butt" is a cask, in this case filled with freshwater aboard a ship. It is, almost precisely, the nautical version of water-cooler news.

Peter Sattler 10:24 AM  

@ anonymous

The cartoon is Cleveland Brown, a neighbor from "Family Guy." He makes a surprise guest appearance in ... the paragraph that accompanies the image.

Shamik 10:33 AM  

Firstly, I agree with Tony. Piscopo DID Sinatra.

This Monday puzzle was a delight. Most Monday's are like lite beer. This one had me at synonym.

jae 11:08 AM  

Very enjoyable. Nice mix of fill for a Mon. I stopped watching SNL around 1980 so never saw Piscopo do Sinatra. You had to spend too much time for just a smattering of funny stuff.

ArtLvr 11:12 AM  

For some reason, this was the fastest ever solving for me! I must finally be getting used to the online technique...

The clue about Cleveland Amory's 1990 non-fiction book "The Cat and the Curmudgeon" brought to mind the beloved humorist of a generation earlier, H Allen Smith, (1907-1976). (Not to be confused with long-time U.S. Rep. from Calif. by the same name, who served 1957-1973).

A well-known journalist, H Allen Smith's interviews covered a wide range of famous figures from Lindberg, Einstein, and then-Gov. FDR to literary and sports figures like Dempsey, Gehrig and Babe Ruth... and his first novel "Rhubarb", published in 1946, was about a cat who inherited a professional baseball team. It was make into a movie by Paramount Studios in 1951 and inspired two sequels. A life-long friend of fellow-journalist John Moynihan, father of the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, Smith's illustrated memoir of their early careers in NYC was called "To Hell in a Handbasket".

∑;)

p.s. see http://home.flash.net/~whaugen/smith.htm

Ulrich 11:19 AM  

Re. Cleveland Armory: His book "The Cat Who Came for Christmas" was on the NYT bestseller list for a long time. It tells the story of a cat rescue in funny and moving terms. The scene I remember best: The cat, filthy-grey with soot after having lived on the streets for a long time, gets a bath and it turns out he is WHITE.

The book is for cat lovers what "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" is for lovers of spook novels.

mac 11:45 AM  

Wonderful puzzle for a Monday! It went fairly smoothly for me, just not NW - SE. I also wanted Tim Lehrer and Emory (never heard of rikki-tikki-tavi, what is that?), although I remember, thank you Ulrich, reading "The Cat Who Came for Christmas" and loving it! Nice sharp sense of humor.
Jae, I'm with you: lately I find SNL too long, too late and with too much boring fill. Some of the funny parts show up in the news on Monday, though.

PhillySolver 11:57 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 11:59 AM  

re "scuttlebutt", the name Joe Piscopo recalled recent news of our local author Joe Persico whose book, "Franklin & Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life," comes out this week. It includes the newly discovered letters from FDR to Lucy Mercer, confirming a continuing relationship that was long assumed but undocumented until now!

What ironic timing, with all the newer news recently about the clandestine adventures of NY Governors et al....

PhillySolver 12:01 PM  

A nice Monday puzzle, but stretching to see if I learned anything today. Maybe I'll go see if a bad lizard is a DYSSAUR. I do think concave and convex body parts are getting a lot of play lately.
I see Jim Lehrer is actually in the Arts section today discussing the financial burdens at News Hour. I like Tom Lehrer's music, but don't know Tim. I think Mike Nothnagel must be going for the M to S cycle and maybe in one week!

Barb in Chicago 12:01 PM  

@mac: Mongoose, The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling. Helps if your parents read this to you as a child.

dk 12:11 PM  

Speaking of Cats. The lobby of the Hotel Wales (1295 Madison NYC)once held a great collection of water colors done by Alain Vaes for the story Puss and Boots. A classic New York momment was when the door man ushered in a mother and crying child saying "little man you have go to see this!" The child went away AGOG.

A collection of these water colors are now on display at the Morgan Library (a great spot as well), fans of cats and the Marquis of Carabas--a must see.

Alas, the Hotel Wales was remodeled and the Vaes' are scattered about the hotel.

Oh yeah the puzzle: My lovely wife and I sailed through this one with one of our best tandam times. We solve across the grid in different ways. I am linear and she is chaotic (in a positive way), so we sometimes trip over one another. Outside of bizzaro (puzzle) world we are the opposite.

dk 12:21 PM  

whoops, Puss and Boots water colors were at the Morgan... in 1992. Get the a copied of the new version of P&B with the Vaes images instead.

Orange 12:22 PM  

Anonymous 9:17, you're off base. An acronym is a pronounceable word made from initial letters or parts of words. Unless OTC is pronounced "ottsie" where you're from, it's simply an abbreviation.

mac 12:34 PM  

@barb in chicago: that explains. I was raised on Andersen and Grimm.

kate 12:37 PM  

There are few places as perfect as Bix for a martini. I read the other day that David Arquette (brother of the actresses) just made a short film inspired by "The Butler's Mistake," the painting that hangs at the end of the bar there.

I liked the puzzle a lot, loved opening it up and seeing the grid-spanners on a Monday.

kate 12:38 PM  

I really should Google *first*, the painting is called "The Butler's in Love."

Bill D 12:58 PM  

Nothnagel on a Monday - what a treat! C'mon, whatever you think of their performances, from a crossword standpoint you have to love JOE PISCOPO and PATCH ADAMS to create long downs on a Monday! No gripes or problems here, except taking three tries to spell SYNONYM correctly!

I think REAIM and T-TOP have now enetred the pantheon of crosswordese fill, and can no longer be evaluated as words in their own right. In England they call a jet engine afterburner REHEAT (a US pilot would say he is "in afterburner" when that thrust booster is on, while a British flyer would say he's in "REHEAT".) I'm not sure cluing it that way would please a lot of solvers.

@Peter - I knew what "Scuttlebutt" meant but not where it came from - thanks for the derivation. As I've said before, how much less colorful language (and crosswords) would be without the spice of those old tars, salts, and gobs!

Gary Cee 1:01 PM  

Funny you should link to Gil Thorp. I'm a budding contructor. In a recent puzzle,I had to clue THORP (THARP wouldn't fit) and used Comics Sports Coach Gil. Figured it was too obscure, and ended up reworking the entire portion of the puzzle!

Great site,
Gary

Zach M. 1:09 PM  

I wanted Tim Lehrer so badly (for some reason) I left it in, and since my brain has apparently gone back to bed without me, was trying to rationalize TOE PISCOPO for a minute or so.

Sigh.

Wendy Laubach 1:26 PM  

Who is Tim Lehrer? Are you all conflating Jim Lehrer, Tom Lehrer, and Tim Russert?

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

peter sattler said "The cartoon is Cleveland Brown, a neighbor from "Family Guy." He makes a surprise guest appearance in ... the paragraph that accompanies the image."

Does he have anything to do with today's puzzle?

Bill D 1:59 PM  

RE: Cleveland Brown's relevance: To some, he's a more famous, or at least more gridworthy, "Cleveland" than Mr AMORY...

bobdively 2:15 PM  

GEN X for 63A "Baby boomers' kids, informally" is an irritating answer. Usually, it's Gen Y or the so-called Echo Boom kids who are thought of as boomers' children.

JC66 2:21 PM  

@andrea carla michaels

I live in the middle of Manhattan, don't have a green thumb, but I loved your today's LA Times puzzle.

eliselzer 2:38 PM  

I liked today's puzzle, but really cost myself with over-thinking. I wasn't paying attention to the Theme (I often don't on a Monday) and instead of instantly getting "SHALLOW Victory" I started to write "PYRRHIC Victory" (which doesn't even fit the clue, properly). I guess my brain was still in "Weekend" mode; PYRRHIC seems an unlikely Monday word.

The error got compounded by quick reading when I thought 40D read, "FLOCK watched by Little Bo Peep" instead of "GROUP," so I had SHEEP in, assuming that it couldn't be FLOCK. I hate it when a good puzzle leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of silly mistakes on my part.

Bill D 2:54 PM  

@jc66 and everyone else - It's truly a banner Monday in Crossworld. In addition to the Mike Nothnagel gem here at the NYT and Andrea Carla Micheals at the LA Times, she also has the NY Sun puzzle today, and it is a beaut! An unusual double, I would think, and a great coup for ACM and us lucky solvers! Congrats and thanks, Andrea!

JC66 3:11 PM  

I am a gold Cruciverb member and a Mac user and I can't access the NY Sun puzzles. Can anyone help?

miriam b 3:12 PM  

I've always thought that scuttlebutt was rumor or gossip, but LOWDOWN was verifiable information. Well, that's my daily nitpick.

I liked this puzzle a lot. It was pleasant to greet once again the redoutable Mr. HOWE, my hometown (Bridgeport, CT) inventor. Is Elias more famous than the British General William HOWE, whose attack on Breed's and Bunker Hills led to a HOLLOWVICTORY?

SethG 3:14 PM  

You are blind as a bat, and I have sight.

I wanted TEMBO, confusing my xIKKI-TIKKIs. Then the V was obvious, but I couldn't remember what the vowel was. And I couldn't remember if OMAN actually met Yemen, so it took me _way_ too long to work out the random-to-me AMORY.

Gotta agree with bobdively. Though I'm a GEN X child of (borderline) boomers, Y was my first thought.

My only other problem was choosing specific over generic with ACE NINE...

Is the RE- prefix alone eligible for the Pantheon?

mac 5:07 PM  

Just did Andrea Carla's puzzle in the LA-Times: very nice! Also, the site is so user-friendly, I have hardly ever done a puzzle on-line, but this was easy. Wish the NY Sun would adopt this method. That one is hard to reach.

chefbea1 5:10 PM  

a fun easy monday puzzle. I stopped watching SNL when the originals left - chevy chase, Guilda Radner, Ellen Curtain etc

Doc John 5:10 PM  

Seen on the "Downtime" page of this week's Time magazine (second to last page): two xword-only words: oater and Alou. What are the odds of that?

Bill from NJ 5:21 PM  

@anonymous.../Glitch -

You are right and I was wrong. From a purely crossword standpoint, JOEPISCOPO and PATCHADAMS are beautiful answers and do anchor the puzzle nicely.

However . . .

Has the statute of limitations expired yet on finding Robin Williams funny?

Just askin'

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

When are you doing your weekly wrap up?

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

When are you doing your weekly wrap up?

Zach M. 5:57 PM  

Yeah I'm not sure Tim Lehrer is even a person, but yet, there he was in my puzzle.

treedweller 6:28 PM  

This was my first-ever sub-5-min. time. Don't know why it seemed so easy to me and artlvr if it gets a "medium" rating here, but I guess that's the nature of the beast.

Started at 1A, worked down to the SE, then got BLANKCARTRIDGES based on the theme and the crosses at the end--still don't know the clue for that one.

It was fun to blow through one, but I still prefer the hard-but-not-too-hard puzzles later in the week.

Doc John 7:23 PM  

I've never heard the word ITER in all my years as- well, you know. Is it one of those pantheonic things that I just need to add to memory?

Lots of TV in the puzzle today. Apart from JOE PISCOPO and JIM Lehrer, there's also CSI and I SPY.

And a couple relationships:
The for-some-reason-disliked JOE PISCOPO was a guest on ST:TNG (where they use PHASERS). He played a comedian on the holodeck who was trying to teach Data how to understand humor. Nobody aimed or REAIMed a phaser at him, though.

Also CSI and GIL (Grissom).

I guess I've done enough blathering. Nice job on the puzzle, Mr. N!

mac 7:41 PM  

Noticed our new friend Maurice Jarre on Jeopardy!

Orange 7:42 PM  

Doc John: Yes, the ITER will recur.

Anon 1:54, you must be new here. Rex loves to include pictures that resonate for him and relate to his post, but not to the crossword per se. CHELA was illustrated with Homer Simpson's pet lobster Pinchy, for example, and not a photo of a lobster, because Pinchy's way funnier than the average crustacean. Scroll down a couple posts and you'll see Lance Armstrong illustrating the noun LANCE (meaning the sharp object).

Doc John 7:47 PM  

Orange, I was afraid you'd say that!

Can someone please use ITER in a sentence?

chefbea1 7:50 PM  

i meant jane curtin... not ellen

jannieb 8:05 PM  

I remember "iter" from the Maleska era - usually clued as a Roman road. Perhaps that''s what led to the anatomical usage.

Leon 8:18 PM  

Looked up Actress EDIE McClurg at imdb.com, quite an accomplished character actress. From Ferris Beuller:

Grace: Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.

John in CT 8:20 PM  

I found this puzzle rather easy actually. It spoke to much of my pop culture knowledge. Patch Adams was the first movie my wife and I saw together. (I do think it's a bit sappy and maudlin.) I fondly remember how Rikki Tikki TAVI fought against the evil Nagaina, and when SNL was funny. I just recently saw a family guy episode that paid homage to Dennis Miller, who IMO was the best Weekend Update Anchor SNL has ever had.

At the very least, Francis the Mule stayed in the barn...

John Reid 8:50 PM  

Great puzzle, Mike! A real treat to see two of yours published so close together.

I want to say congratulations to Andrea Carla Michaels also; pretty impressive to be in the LA Times and the NY Sun in the same day! Both great puzzles too, lots of fun. Thanks!

fergus 9:15 PM  

I like how Mr. Nothnagel often chimes in here, but it's usually after a bruising puzzle. I wonder how the Monday experience is differs in his point of view? Also, I'm curious whether this grid was more tantalizingly clued when first composed?

Just as I'm not a big fan of symmetric integrity, nor do I really care if there's an explicit theme or not. I could see how this one could be tarted up for a Friday, say, but I know some purists might take issue with the obvious, though not glaringly so, theme.

Nothnagel 9:37 PM  

Hello all.

As I mentioned on Amy's blog, I almost missed this one...between Saturday's puzzle and a day of catching-up from a weekend conference, I almost didn't even look to see who constructed today's puzzle !

Thanks for the kind words, as usual. I agree with Rex about some of the less-than-stellar fill (REAIM made me cringe, too), but I thought the icky stuff was (at least mostly) justified by other stuff. Not always the best way to go with a fill, but there you are.

@fergus: Although I'm certainly still a newbie when it comes to puzzle construction, I was pretty sure that this theme would have to run on either a Monday or a Tuesday. So, if my submitted clues were more tantalizing than those that appeared, it certainly wasn't by that wide of a margin.

Also, I like constructing Mondays and Fridays (and all the other days of the week) pretty equally. Putting nifty stuff like JOE PISCOPO into a Monday is just as much fun as sticking KITE-EATING TREE in a Friday.

Until next time (which, at this rate, will be Wednesday)...

MN

Joon 10:02 PM  

mike, i think i personally might have preferred REARM/TRE to REAIM/TIE (REARM sounds like a real word to me, whereas REAIM doesn't; but TIE is preferable to TRE), but if it's an improvement, it's a fairly incremental one. i don't see a nicer way to manage that area of the grid.

in any event, i was pleasantly surprised to see your name on a monday byline. i didn't set any speed records on this one (partly because i also tried to shoehorn PYRRHICVICTORY where it wasn't really appropriate), but there was lots of good stuff here. i especially liked LOWDOWN, GROUPIE, ACEHIGH, and GOAS.

out of curiosity--was [Group watched by Little Bo Peep] your clue, or will's? i'm starting to think he intentionally puts semi-repeats into the grid just to wind people up. i was also a bit surprised on second glance to see "as" hiding in [Pretend to be, as at a Halloween party]. seems like the clue would have worked well enough without it, and i usually like to see the clue and answer share no common words.

Jorge (and agatha) 12:30 AM  

I like to drink sidecars while watching snl or csi!

andrea carla michaels 2:11 AM  

@john reid, bill d, mac, jc66, ulrich, amy
WOW, thanks for all the kudos!!!!!!


Made my day (tho less than an hour left at this end)!
To be in both was just a wonderful coincidence (third time it's happened in 6 months!) and made me seem far more prolific than I am!
If only Will had published today one of the three or four he has in the pipeline, I would have had the trifecta!!!
Sorry to Rex for my double-header (see I can sling around these sports' terms!) mentioned in a NYT-only blog.

(Actually, the LAT one, one of my favorite puzzles to date, was rejected by BOTH Will AND Peter, for reasons I will not bore you with...)

As for the one in today's NY Sun
(anyone who couldn't download it, feel free to email me directly at acmenaming@earthlink.net, I'll send you the whole week's worth!)
I owe a HUGE debt to
Peter "Not For Me" Gordon, as he bumped my whole theme up MANY notches by suggesting a fifth entry: THEBEACHBOYS. That necessitated a total rewrite, including a change from IRENECASTLE to her lesser known spouse VERNON...and losing GEORGE SAND, after he realized that was indeed a woman! ;)
(Some boys, who shall go nameless, tho not our beloved Rex, know too much baseball, not enough French literature!)

Speaking of sports-related edits, I had never heard of either TODD SAND (in the NY Sun) nor STRO (in the LAT) (which I'd not have had, by choice, in one of my puzzles, in a million years!)
:)

Oh, and lest I forget to mention, even tho Mike's puzzles were not on the same day, I think his Saturday/Monday accomplishment far outshines anything I could ever hope to do!

(also loved GOAS which I plan to cadge! Maybe I'll reprise my Eisenberg Uncertainty principle costume just for the occasion!)

andrea carla michaels 3:42 AM  

oops, make that Peter bumped up my idea from four entries to SIX, (for a Monday no less!) and then designed a bigger grid! SO, come to think of it, I can't really take any credit for this...
and I just noticed MikeN had TOMB as the first word to go with his other 4 "empty" fifteen letter entries!

Chrisvb 11:22 AM  

6/30 A ROADIE is an employee of a rock band, not a follower. GROUPIE it had to be.

Question, if you were writing a clue for GIL, could you use GILBERTO? or would that violate a rule? Gilberto Gil is a famous Brazilian musician, he comes here to LA because we have lots of Brazilians living here.

Waxy in Montreal 12:22 PM  

6 weeks on in syndicate-land, this remains a quality Monday puzzle. The only quibble I have lies at the intersection of 46D (answer=AS BAD) and 62A (clue=BAD:PREFIX). Two bad?

Also, if additional HOWE's are needed by any constructor, consider hockey great Gordie. Would be a relief from the only other hockey player to occur commonly in the NYT xword, (Bobby) ORR.

Those older than Gen-X'ers will also remember Gil Hodges as the manager of the World Series-winning Miracle Mets of 1969. Despite being clued (36D) as a BASEBALL GREAT, Hodges has been (unfairly many believe) denied election to the Baseball Hall of Fame to date.

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