TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2008 - Ray Fontenot (Co-panelist of Cowell / ADEN'S LAND / SAINTED FIFTH-CENTURY POPE)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: TV Game Shows that have had the first letters of the last words in their titles changed from "L" to "W"

This theme was oddly clever. Simple, cute, fine. This puzzle was the easiest NYT puzzle I've done in a Long time. Beat yesterday's time by better than ten seconds, which is odd, considering that yesterday the puzzle itself bragged about being so easy. Don't know what my record time is for a Tuesday, but 3:30 has to be close. There's simply nothing I can see that should significantly slow people down - but sometimes you just get lucky with the order in which you solve answers, and never end up seeing the clue that could have given you fits. How many people will do the old "what the hell is RANDB?" act today (18A: Musical genre for Destiny's Child)? Maybe TIVOLI sounds Italian so you'd never put it in Copenhagen (2D: Copenhagen's _____ Gardens). Maybe you've never seen the word ODEA (19A: Concert halls of old) or enjoyed the musical stylings of Steve EARLE (52D: Country rocker Steve). Maybe you don't know what an "oenophile" is. Doesn't take much to derail even a good solver. Today, however, for me, there was not a speed bump to be found. You'd think I'd be elated, but it's hard to be thrilled at having aced a Tuesday puzzle. If I'd gotten in under 3 minutes, that might have done it. But as it is ... meh.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: TV game show that places spouses at risk? ("You Bet Your Wife")
  • 37A: TV game show that quizzes oenophiles? ("What's My Wine?")
  • 55A: TV game show that eliminates coy contestants? ("The Weakest Wink") - easily the best of the three

Today's puzzle is a bit heavy in the spoorish fill: ESAI, AVER, AMEBA (15A: Amorphous critter - really, "critter?" Did it get into your pickinick basket?), NENE, EMUS (36A: Outback avians), ERST, EROS, ESS (36D: Pothook shape), LEO I (10D: Sainted fifth-century pope), ESL, ENOLA, SYNE (59D: January 1 song word). The whole puzzle pretty much rests on the strength of the theme entries, and thankfully these hold up quite well. There's always something wrong with the Tuesday puzzle, and if that thing is merely difficulty level, and maybe a bit too much crosswordese, I'll take it and consider the puzzle a Success.

Short List:

  • 5A: Rice dish (pilaf) - OK, I take it back: one speed bump. I had SUSHI here.
  • 14A: Oscar winner Kedrova (Lila) - no idea who this is. Thankfully, never saw the clue, as I got all the Downs in the NW, 1-2-3, off of STAG alone (1A: Just for guys).
  • 16A: Ultimatum's end (else) - I'm sure the clue's been used before, but I still like it.
  • 60A: Super server (acer) - this clue meant Nothing to me. I had the wrong picture of both "super" and "server" in my head. I think I was imagining some kind of urn out of which you'd dispense coffee for the guy responsible for the upkeep of your apartment building.
  • 62A: Nair competitor (Neet) - does it repel insects like DEET?
  • 31D: Aden's land (Yemen) - hmmm, I think I hesitated here, forgetting where the hell Aden was (strangely enough, it's on the Gulf of ADEN)
  • 65A: Gabor and Longoria Parker (Evas) - she's not really calling herself "Longoria Parker" is she? Why would you mar a mellifluous name like EVA Longoria?
  • 8D: Co-panelist of Cowell (Abdul) - you either watch "American Idol" or you don't. I am most definitely a member of the former camp, so this was cake.

  • 11D: Former inamorato or inamorata (old flame) - great answer, but do we really need both genders in the clue?
  • 66A: Colon, in an emoticon (eyes) - great clue.
  • 33D: Coin whose front was last redesigned in 1909 (cent) - you mean the penny, right?
  • 38D: Hardly ruddy (wan) - I put in TAN...

That's all. Must take advantage of puppy nap to have coffee in peace...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jannieb 9:08 AM  

I agree - great theme, easy solve. Lila Kedrova won a Best Supporting oscar for Zorba the Greek - she's been in many an xword. Wen through this so fast (mostly doing the downs) that I didn't see half the spoor that you mentioned.

joho 9:28 AM  

NENE is really old spoor ... somebody must know how far back that goes.

I totally fell for RANDB -- makes me feel like an idiot until I get it. But I really enjoyed this puzzle. So far -- Monday & Tueday -- so good.

Barry 9:28 AM  

Morning, folks!

Not much to say about this one, really. Another easy puzzle. A couple of answers I didn't know (LILA Kedrova and Steve EARLE), but they were easily obtainable via the crosses. And I did like the theme answers, although I was able to figure each one out without needing any crosses. 55A gave me a moment's hesitation, simply because I don't normally associate winking with being coy.

I'm still not happy with seeing AMEBA clued without a "var." indication. It just looks wrong to me.

Oh -- and I was going to complain about the cluing for 37D, except that I just realized that what I had mistaken for a blank is actually an m dash.

Overall, a nice puzzle.

Barry 9:31 AM  

Oh, and for the record, yesterday's puzzle did not, in fact, brag about how easy it was. It just said it wasn't "really, really hard." So it could still have been hard, or even really hard. Just not really, really hard.

I'm just saying, is all...

evil doug 9:36 AM  

A "success"? A hundred words on how lame the puzzle is, how you were disappointed in finishing about as quickly as it mechanically takes to type (or write, for us posers) the requisite number of letters, the extensive use of tired crosswordese---and it's a "success"?

I saved a buck and a quarter with my new early-week technique:

1. Grab paper off rack in Starbucks (staff knows I'll either return the paper neatly, or pay if I decide to engage with ink).

2. Solve theme answers in my head by knocking out and---the tricky part---remembering a few of the crossing clues without actually writing them down.

3. Return paper.

This invisible approach is the only way to exercise one's mind with phoned-in puzzles like this. If there were a day before Monday, that's where this puzzle would belong.

Inkless, OH

Ulrich 9:49 AM  

I'm normally underwhelmed by substitute-one-letter themes--the resulting phrases are more often groan-inducing than funny. Today's puzzle is no exception except that the original phrases are all game shows--but what's that worth if it gives you "the weakest wink"? grr

In addition, a lot of standard xword stuff. Had to follow joon's advice, though, in filling in the last letter, at 14. Since I've heard the phrase "sway and audience", but not "slay an audience", and since I did not know the actress, I had to make a guess, and old Bayes came to the rescue: "Lila" is a more likely name than "Wila", and "sway" does not really mean "have them rolling in the aisles". But then again, isn't that just common-sense logic that doesn't need a fancy name to become respectable?:-)

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

I'm guessing the Longoria Parker was so that us band-wagon hopping Tampa Bay Ray fans weren't wondering who the hell Evan Gabor was

Joon 10:04 AM  

ulrich, i'm not sure that's my advice. application of bayes' theorem to this square would have gone something like this:

"hmm, it's either SLAYED or SWAYED and i don't know the actress. well, if it were SWAYED, there are lots of ways to clue it, but this is the only way to clue SLAYED." (it's true, by the way. if we're talking about old testament-style slayage, the past tense is SLEW.) "so i'll guess L."

your reasoning ("LILA looks better than WILA") is, in fact, more along the lines of common sense, and i don't think it needs a fancy name.

oh, the puzzle. yes, this was a super-easy solve. not quite my tuesday record (even if you don't count last tuesday :) but awfully close, and certainly monday-level. it wasn't hard to pick up the theme from just the first theme clue, with no crossings, so the later theme entries didn't hold much mystery for me. i agree that THEWEAKESTWINK was, in fact, the weakest link among the three theme answers. i sort of like (in a perverse way) YOUBETYOURWIFE and WHATSMYWINE.

by the way: The one-cent coin is often called a penny, but the U.S. Mint's official name for this coin is CENT.

ArtLvr 10:05 AM  

"If there were a day before Monday..." -- weally funny! It was also my fastest solve ever, since I started looking at timing. I didn't know 64A [First name in TV talk] and still don't know who that ELLEN is, but the cross had to be EARLE.

Like Rex, I had no problem in the NW because of the downs from STAG, but wondered afterward if Slew isn't more correct than SLAYED. Guess I'd say I slew a dragon, but you slayed me with your joke? It's a little weird.


ArtLvr 10:13 AM  

p.s. As far as I'm concerned, those theme phrases could have been actual TV shows -- it seems nothing is impossible these days. I believe there's something like Date My Ex, currently. Cripes!


foodie 10:18 AM  

I started off thinking this was indeed easier than a Monday, while doing the top half. I got slowed down in the bottom half because of fill I could not believe was true, most notably AWW. I know, you can spell that sound this way, but it really looks odd. I also thought that the theme was going to have more internal consistency, with "life" turning into WIFE, "line" into WINE and something else of the "li-e" format that would become WI-E. Actually, it's hard to find a third such pair. THE WEAKEST WINK, if we had to be stuck with it, was very badly clued. If you have the weakest wink and the show eliminates you, it's not eliminating the coyest...

HudsonHawk 10:19 AM  

I liked that CLARET was just above WHAT'S MY WINE. Otherwise, the puzzle was just OK.

I don't know if it's a nod to the current astrological sign, but LEO seems to be making an awful lot of appearances recently.

@artlvr, ELLEN is Ellen DeGeneres, the commediene turned daytime talk show host. Haven't seen her show, but know that it's become very popular. I remember seeing her doing stand-up about 20 years ago in a small club in KC. She SLAYED the audience...

Crosscan 10:22 AM  

I liked this one but it did take me longer than Monday.

Superman pictures always welcome; that would be the Strongest Wink, right?

I would have liked to see What's My Whine, the Search for the Best Kvetcher.

HudsonHawk 10:24 AM  

Doh, comedienne...

fikink 10:44 AM  

"Super server" also left me clueless. I was thinking of something in Champaign-Urbana. Guess I need to expand my horizons!

Two Ponies 10:44 AM  

As the theme answers fell into place I was thinking "Wow, Baba Wawa is writing puzzles!"

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

I remember two other theme shows.
Wets Make a Deal (Prohibitionist compromise)
Everybody's Walking (Exercise movement) aired 1967/1973

As Rex wrote, there are places you could stumble so it took me a wong time.

Two Ponies 11:18 AM  

btw Tivoli Gardens is a deightful step into the past. Old fashioned rides and games in a lovely setting. My favorite was a booth where you threw wooden balls at real dishes! It seemed to bring out the naughty child in everyone.

Omnie 12:55 PM  

Good puzzle and easier for me than yesterdays puzzle. Although upon further reflection of yesterday it had very few names which I always google because as if hell I'm going to remember them (I'm super lazy and have no interest in actors, lawmen, or musicians).

I liked the theme and it took me a while to get it but I saw how it would work. Unfortunately my computer froze last night after I had stopped for a bit so I had to pick it up this morning knowing half the answers so I have no idea how long it took.

Didn't know that you could spell DIS with one S. Who is Hood from 47A? Had to get that one on the downs. I'm also terrible at brand names and especially shampoos or whatever Neet or Nair are.

Eric 12:56 PM  

I too do or try to do puzzles mentally but it quickly becomes tiring if you try to get every single answer completed. I do however pay for my paper even if I just stop in for coffee, do the puzzle and then leave the paper for the next soul who doesn't want to pay. Too bad if it's Evil and he finds the puzzle already completed in ink!!!
Really, way too easy for a Tuesday, it left me a little disappointed bu I'm sure I'll be cursing again by Friday or Saturday.

Barry 1:07 PM  


DIS is short for "disrespect" and therefore only has one S.

"Hood" is another name for a gangster, and GAT is a slang term for a gangster's gun.

dk 1:13 PM  

@two ponies, Tivoli Gardens is alleged to have been the model for DisneyLand. And, Tivoli is a great place I lived in Malmo for about 4 years and often took the train to Copenhagen.

ACER aka Super server, is both a tennis pro and a computer and that equals cute clue.

My speed bump was RANDB until I read R & B and said DOH!

Otherwise a Tuesday filled with old favorites, SKICAP is a bit arcane and "thats my whine"

I am playing with a computer program that analyzes text, creating affinity charts used as qualitative support for decision making. I am going to try to analyze the comments in this blog as it seems the language we use varies in accordance with the difficulty (perceived or real) of the puzzle. No kidding you might say, but this type of research is what pays my bills, fattens that account in the Caymans and will eventually allow me to rule the wo... oops got a little carried away.

N 1:22 PM  

I think 62A- NEET- was a really awful clue. If you go into any drugstore, you won't find anything called NEET on the shelves, but you will definitely find a product called VEET, which is of course what I filled in. The Wikipedia entry timeline on Veet says :

# 1901 - launched in Canada under brand name Neet
# 1930 - bought by British company DAE Health and renamed as Veet

So it hasn't been called Neet since 1929. That's pretty unfair.

Omnie 1:47 PM  


Didn't know the thing about the Hood.

However I've always seen it spell diss and never seen the the variation of dis before.

Barry 1:54 PM  


Now that I've actually gone ahead and looked it up, it seems that DISS is the preferred spelling and DIS is a variant.

The problem with slang, of course, is that it's very hard to determine what the "proper" spelling is.

steve l 2:14 PM  

@n--Neet may or may not be on the US market at present, but it most definitely was not discontinued in 1929. I was born in 1956 and can recall Neet. Since I'm a guy and don't pay attention to these things, I don't know when it disappeared, but I didn't think it was that obscure. As a matter of fact, I put NEET in as the answer immediately. What's more, I personally have never heard of VEET before.

ArtLvr 2:17 PM  

@ N -- I don't know what kind of product Veet-nee-Neet is or was in the 1920's, but the current NEET and NAIR are both depilatory treatments, found mainly in wee tubes of gel or cream and mainly located in women's personal care sections of pharmacy or grocery stores... Removal of unwanted facial hair the most common use.


rafaelthatmf 2:17 PM  

I have not lurked here in awhile - I likes me some Evil Doug! Once I impishly used a pen with the nib retracted and imprinted the answers in an unpurchased NYT.
Alas soon afterwards it felt more like a random act of thievery than stickin' it to the man. $1.25 lien on my conscience.

ArtLvr 2:27 PM  

p.p.s. thanks, HudsonHawk -- I did think of Ellen Degeneres, but would not have guessed her as "of TV Talk"... I've enjoyed her own comedy for a long time, didn't see her as a host having others talk!!!

dk 2:37 PM  

@joho, What is old spoor? A single malt scotch, evidence of wild life, inquiring minds want to know?

And, I see/read we shared a doh moment.

@steve I, I always wondered if one (a guy one) could use NEET instead of shaving.

Most coffee bars have free copies of the paper and some even offer copies of the NYT puzzle, so (speaking as an officer of the court) you may avoid petty thievery by asking.

That said, I have tried to do the puzzle in my head. This act of mental gymnastics is typically a function of forgetting a pen (try to get a pen on a plane from a flight attendant) and it is fun trying to hold a picture of the completed grid or portions thereof, in your head while you solve.

Eco-solving: inkless and pencil free.

Are the points on ball points nibs as well?

Crikey, back to work.

Orange 2:48 PM  

Sitting several feet away and not reading over my shoulder, my son just informed me, "My legs feel hairy." And just when I was reading about Nair and Neet and musing on my adolescent experimentation with one or both of those products in the '80s... I think Neet is hard to come by in the U.S. these days, but Nair is there.

ArtLvr 2:54 PM  

@ N re Veet -- It looks as if the original Veet was a hair-removal product involving hot wax, which was cooled to a kind of cast and then ripped off. It's supposed to pull out a hair with follicle and all, i.e. permanant removal. Today there are cool waxes too.

The present-day chemical treatment of Neet and Nair will dissolve a hair at skin level or just below, but generally will not affect the follicle. Regrowth is likely, sooner or later.

@ dk -- Let us know if you try Neet or Nair? My guess is that male facial hair is just heavy enough that the application would take nearly a half hour to work and would leave your skin with chemical burn...Not time efficient, not cheap, not good for your complexion. (Women use it for a max of five minutes before rinsing it off.) Good thing we're past brunchtime in most time zones reached by Rex?

chefbea1 3:26 PM  

I have always liked quiz shows so of course liked the puzzle. I agree - very easy for tuesday.

Just have to say one more thing about our laundry talk of yesterday - We failed to mention that back in the good old days when we had laundresses we did not have driers - hung everything out on the line

william e emba 3:37 PM  

Was I fooled by RANDB? Of course not. Looking at RAND- I filled in RANDR instantly. Then I puzzled for a bit over what the heck was FARRIC and why was it sold by the yard. After all, I've been burned by unknown FABRIC entries before.

steve l 3:49 PM  

The website for Veet says in its FAQ's that the brand Veet is an 80-year-old French brand that has replaced the Neet brand in the US. Their logo looks suspiciously like the Neet one with one stroke missing from the N. I guess the puzzle constructor was, like me, unaware of this change--obviously made recently enough ago that people still are confused by it. As I said previously, I had never heard of Veet, but I use a razor--on my face!

fikink 4:12 PM  

@dk, figured out I was trying to think of the Cray for "super server." Didn't know ACER is also a computer. GOOD to know!

green mantis 4:17 PM  

What you all said.

Fergus--sorry I didn't see your comments the other night. I'm notorious (in my own mind) for those kind of comment-and-run shenanigans.

I absolutely theoretically still want to go to the tournament. I will still need your moral support to change theory to practice. But I'm a good 73% there. The remaining 27% reluctance part is made almost entirely of shyness.

foodie 4:35 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
foodie 4:36 PM  

Orange, I remember settling on the grass with my kids on the first warm day of a summer past, and glancing over to see some hairy legs I did not recognize. I then realized it was the first time I'd seen my son in shorts since the previous fall, and his legs had metamorphosed over the last few months. It really gave me a jolt!

All you guys discussing depilatories-- it's a bit odd :)

@dk, I'd be curious to learn more about what you discover, analyzing this blog. Before becoming a neuroscientist, I was into psycholinguistics, and was particularly interested in the influence of context and culture on language and thought.

fergus 4:41 PM  

Those of us with Scottish heritage usually scan the coffee shops for a used copy before making a purchase.

Green Mantis, just to get over your shyness, you could sport full insect regalia? I could affix a pelican beak, or wear a Tam o'Shanter.

On the third glance at Lady Godiva I PEEPED. I had already PEEKED and PEERED.

joho 4:50 PM  

dk: Yes, we definitely shared a RANDB moment. It's so funny, because at first you say to yourself, this can't be right, there is no such musical genre ... this is a mistake! And then the light goes on: DOH

NENE must be one of the oldest spoors around. Seriously, can anybody trace back to when this clue was first used?

fikink 5:01 PM  

@joho - about the time of "needle case"!

green mantis 5:14 PM  

Something like...


dk 5:39 PM  

@chefbea1, mom (and Bertha) hung clothes out to dry in the winter, we would take the towels (stiff as a board) and whack one another with them much to the delight (not) of the aforementioned hangers. And, I still try to hang out sheets and towels.

@foodie, the guys topic for tomorrow is micro-derm abrasion.

PEEPs, CACAOS and Godiva hmmm candy

dk 5:43 PM  

@green mantis, and for one fleeting moment I thought my taking photos of Barbies and Kens was a little... wonderful link.

sillygoose 5:49 PM  

Today's puzzle was very easy for me.

I like easy, especially since I am addicted to solving these things but can't yet do the weekend puzzles.(Anybody else?) For me it is solve two, struggle two, skip two, binge on Sunday.

In fact the one time I solved a Friday without assistance it turned out to be a misplaced Tuesday, wouldn't ya know.

I did prefer yesterday's puzzle however, with the silly birds/geese clue and answer.


joho 6:03 PM  

@fikink: Etui!

Bill from NJ 6:19 PM  

Boy, was this one full of spoor. I do agree with Barry that AMEBA should be marked var.

I am NOT going to fall for the ATOZ-type cluing again. As soon as I saw 18A ***DB, I shifted into meta-cluing mode. That is what I call these kinds of clues.

And 60A ACER used to be clued back in the old days as Maple Genus. Does anyone remember all those clues that referred to Genus.

Orange mentioned it today in her blog before I had a chance to tell all you folks but I remember it too.

What was really nice was how CLARET sat on top of WHATSMYWINE but the theme seems to be the only thing I can compliment on this puzzle. It was that easy.

Jane Doh 6:30 PM  

My new favorite depilatory is called "Nads." Really. You can find it at your local CVS.

I thought the theme was cute, but wasn't in love with the short fill. Kind of crosswordy -- NEET, AMEBA, AVER, ODEA, EMUS, ESAI, NENE, GAT, ACER, EVAS, ESL, ATE, ENOLA, ERST, YEMEN, LEO I, ESS, et cetera, et cetera. OLD FLAME, WAIT HERE, I SEE YOU, SKETCHY, TSK TSK, TIVOLI were fun.

Pet peeve = avian(s) used as a noun (36A EMUS = Outback avians). RH unabridged, American Heritage, NI3 all show it as an adjective only. Clearly, some random dictionary justifies this usage, which has appeared before in a Times clue. But then, so has DAME = BROAD appeared in NYT clues. Must be some stubborn desire to be different on a technicality, regardless of standard usage. Very unappealing.

Drive-by cluing from fourth-grade boys at 45D.


Orange 7:00 PM  

From the Department of Dead-Horse Beating: My grandmothers (one with five girls, the other with three boys) did their own laundry back in the day. My mom has fond memories of watching her mother hang the laundry on the clothesline in the '40s. Blue-collar families could ill afford to hire domestic help, then and now.

fikink 7:14 PM  

@joho - You win!
...this beautiful, Iowa (AMANA) frost-free refrigerator:
Close the door and the light stays ON!!!!!!

andrea carla michaels 7:40 PM  

The NEET/veet discussion reminded me of my latest collection: bathroom products left over by various short-term foreign roommates...
I have about 50 bottles of half used-shampoo from various countires and I enjoy reading the labels in the shower when I'm bored!
(Insert rude comment here)

My latest roommate, an adorable gal from Hamburg, left a half-full (half-empty for you pessimists out there) of Veet which I tossed...
I did not know the connection to NEET and glad I did not mistake it for shampoo and lose what little hair I have left!

I also have Ellen Degeneres stories from back in the day and a long whine about getting voted off on Weakest Link...but I'll save them for my one-woman show...
Bizarrely, coincidentally entitled "The Weakest Wink"!

Ulrich 7:59 PM  

@andrea: interesting euphemism "when I'm in the shower"--I used to do xword puzzles when I was "in the shower", but since that could take days for a single Sunday puzzle, I had to give up the habit and find a quicker way when I started to post same-day comments here.

Doc John 9:15 PM  

A nicer puzzle today- I did it on my iPhone while waiting for the dentist!

Was I the only one who had party instead of PRIVY?

Another male chimes in with a hair removal comment: pulling the hair out by the root does not cause that hair to be permanently lost. What seems like the follicle on the end of the hair shaft is actually the root ball but the cells lining the follicle are still safely deep within the skin, ready to regenerate another hair. That said, with repeated pulling out of the hair by the roots, traction alopecia can occur. That takes several months to happen, though, and even then it's not complete.

jeff in chicago 9:26 PM  

@jane doh: NADS -- from, I assume, the same marketing genius who gave us NIPS, those little cheese crackers.

No real comments on the puzzle today. Zipped right through it.

One bit of family trivia. My younger sister worked as a production assistant for Ellen Degeneres' first sitcom, "These Friends of Mine." I got to meet Ellen briefly during a visit to see sis in LA. She seemed very nice. (Ellen, that is. My sister, too.)

Victor in Rochester 9:44 PM  

@dk and fikink: 60A ACER might be a really fine computer-type server (a super server) from the Acer computer company, but I took it to be a tennis clue, that a super server served many aces.

fikink 10:08 PM  

And, indeed, I think you were spot on! We are still shell-shocked from "forker" as one who uses a fork!
Now you know where the expression "Just shoot me!" come from.

acme 10:58 PM  

@jeff in Chicago
She's not. (Ellen, that is. I'm sure your sister is lovely)

No euphemism...I'm geeky enough to actually read bottles of shampoo in other languages in the shower...
and I need one of those waterproof thingies to write with, since I get most of my good ideas in there too!

dk 11:11 PM  

@andrea carla m, with the exception of the neet/veet I pour all the shampoo into one bottle and cut it in half with water and viola... clean hair.

Daryl 12:06 AM  

On SLAYED vs SWAYED - stand-up comedians always speak about their art (or craft) in fairly violent terms: if you've done well, you've KILLED.

acme 1:14 AM  

Thanks for the grooming tip, but what do violas have to do with clean hair?

boardbtr 11:42 AM  

I know its five weeks later, but I still have a nit to pick. Saturday a chocolate source was a cocoa plant. Today a chocolate tree is a cacao. Now this is only a problem if the crosses are not something that is not know to the solver, but it still nags a bit. Also, while being accustomed to the term "Peeping Tom", I still tend to associate "peep" with baby chickens and "peek" with looking at something.

Docruth 1:53 PM  

In syndication land--just surprised none of the "younger" commentators spoke up to complain that they'd never heard of the quiz shows in question! I mean, I'm certainly old enough to remember What's My Line and You Bet Your Life but for some of the young'uns, I'd think even The Weakest Link might be a stretch to remember. The whole NEET/NAIR thing is also something which shows one's age. I'm just sayin'. . .

Anonymous 4:50 PM  


Well, history didn't begin at our birth - for any of us. Any cultural & historical references are fair game in a crossword puzzle as far as I'm concerned.

I wasn't around during the times of the ancient Greeks but knew Aeneas was the answer to 48D.

Cheers, Leo I

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