MONDAY, Oct. 6, 2008 - Patrick Blindauer (What gave the Hulk his powers / Yokohama drama / It led to a 1773 Boston "party")

Monday, October 6, 2008

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: The U.S. dollar bill - grid in rectangular shape of the dollar bill, with words signifying many of dollar's visual elements, and all those elements in their proper places (!), including ONEs in every corner (!!)


This puzzle is, as the kids say, sick. I have frequently found PB2* puzzles to be fussy and overly clever, despite their conceptual genius. This puzzle, however, sticks the landing so hard that I can't give it anything but unqualified praise. I loved it when I test-solved it two weeks ago, and I didn't even see the ONEs in the corners (they weren't circled for my convenience back then). I don't have much to say about the puzzle - all the things I might normally criticize (namely tired xword fill) are a. barely present, and b. entirely justifiable given the end result. Nobody wants to see SST and SSR in the same puzzle, but then again, hardly anyone's going to notice something so minor when confronted with this much awesome (AWESOME and SULU were jokes, yesterday, btw - I got So Much Mail...).

Theme answers:

  • 8A: Source of all the tender words in this puzzle? (dollar)
  • 26A: 8-Across issuer (The United States of America)
  • 35A: Motto of 26-Across found on the 8-Across ("In God We Trust")
  • 53A: Symbol of 26-Across found on the 8-Across (Great Seal)
  • 58A: Symbol of 26-Across found on the 8-Across (bald eagle)
As a bonus, the puzzle is chock full of All-American fill, from relatively modern Americana like Marvel Comics (61A: What gave the Hulk his powers - GAMMA RAYS) and the red, white, and blue canyon-jumping stylings of EVEL Knievel (62A: Stunt legend Knievel), to earlier, more traditional American historical figures like President TYLER (40D: "Tippecanoe and _____ too") and Mr. MAGOO (42D: Nearsighted "Mr."). The best bonus answers, however, and possibly the best bonus answers I've ever seen in a puzzle, are the intersecting (!!!) DESPOT (8D: Tyrant) and TEA ACT (47A: It led to a 1773 Boston "party"). That is such extreme auxiliary badassery that I will now honor it not with effusive praise, but with the ceremonial playing of one of the greatest historical short films of all time:


Assorted otherness:
  • 17A: The "Z" of DMZ (Zone) - first response: "Hmmm, a rapper ..." But I was thinking of this guy (DMX) - NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK!!!:
  • 63A: Fort Knox feature (steel door) - great answer. Reminds me of Tolkien's fondness for the sound of the phrase "cellar door" (a fondness later misattributed all over hell and gone).
  • 2D: Yokohama drama (Noh) - the tires on the car next to mine the other day had "Yokohama" written on them in big letters. This caused me to think of the phrase "Yokohama Mama," which comes from I don't know where. And now this.
  • 16D: "Coffee, Tea _____?" (1960s best seller) ("Or Me") - apparently, a book about an easy stewardess. There is a great panel in Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home" where she and either her friend or siblings (I forget) are making fun of and aping this book. My sister, as a kid, had a dream once that she was on a plane and the stewardess (flight attendant, if that's more gender neutral for you) was coming down the aisle asking "Coffee? Tea? Big Dog?" - and there was a gigantic dog behind her. I remember this only because my sister would randomly say "Coffee? Tea? Big Dog?" and it was terminally hilarious in a way that only someone who was a. a kid, and b. there could possibly understand. And yet I'm telling you anyway.
  • 19D: I.B.M. competitor (NEC) - Do they still make stuff? I haven't seen / thought of that abbrev. in a long time.
  • 22D: "Bed-in" participant with Lennon (Ono) - this bill's even got American counter-culture. Cool.
  • 34D: "Guys and Dolls" song ("Sue Me") - this song returns to slow me down once again. Second time in the past few weeks. I had -EME and thought "Would you sing a song about CREME?"
  • 39D: Immune system lymphocyte (T-cell) - not an amusing word - I first learned it when learning about HIV/AIDS - but it's superhot as a piece of crossword fill. Hurray, initial consonant clusters!
  • 60D: "Without further _____ ..." ("ado") - indeed. The End. Have at it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*PB2 = Patrick Blindauer. PB1 = the legendary Patrick Berry

PS Here's a press release about an upcoming crossword event that may be of interest to some of you:

Puzzling the World: Sudoku & Crosswords
Thursday, October 23, at 6:30 pm

http://www.japansociety.org/event_detail?eid=3a238dd

Few puzzles have swept the world and created such passionate devotees as Sudoku and crosswords. While crosswords require specific linguistic capability, Sudoku players only need to understand basic numbers, a feature that makes Sudoku particularly transnational and global. Maki Kaji, godfather of Sudoku and President of Nikoli Company and Will Shortz, Crossword Puzzle Editor, The New York Times, discuss the similarities and differences of crossword puzzles and Sudoku as well as trends and themes driving the popularity of puzzles around the world today. Moderated by Liane Hansen, Host, Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR. Followed by a reception.

Tickets $10/$8 Japan Society members/$5 seniors & students

63 comments:

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

I also liked this one, and the departure from the norm was refreshing.

Can't wait for the comments from the *purests* as to just how many rules (laws?) were violated and how could such a travesty could be published.

(Some may never recover.)

.../Glitch

PriscillaHowe 9:14 AM  

Very fun puzzle! I laughed out loud at "Coffee? Tea? Big Dog?" as well. Wonder what that says about me...

Priscilla

mexicangirl 9:17 AM  

Well, yes. It is a real cute, interesting all-American puzzle (let's not forget the Pot Roast, Ryan O'Neal and HBO, on top of the other references Rex pointed out), but to me it also felt really disappointing since I finished it really quickly and didn't have much room to "savour" it.

Loved the write-up, though!

John in NC 9:26 AM  

I also stumbled on the DMZ clue, but I momentarily was thinking of the celebrity gossip website TMZ, and I was thinking, "I have no idea what TMZ stands for...?"

I liked the crossing of GAMMARAYS and LSD (made me think of... I dunno, Homer Simpson as the Hulk... oh wait...)

Brilliant puzzle.

steve l 9:39 AM  

For me, the big WTF moment was when I first opened the Across Lite file up. I'm not sure I have decided that I like playing so hard and fast with the rules, because this might open things up to all kinds of tomfoolery with the standard puzzle grid. Imagine one of those Sunday spiral puzzles--which I actually happen to like--taking the place of the regular puzzle on a weekday. Or a sudoku with crossword clues. (1D: Year in Pope Papparazzi's rule. 4A: It's a square. 24D: It's the arcsine of the square root of 1D. 15A: Forget it, you'll never get it unless you're an astrophysicist.) And also, at 216 squares, we were cheated out of nine squares compared to a standard 15x15 puzzle. I guess it makes up for the extra large Sunday puzzle. Yup, that's me, the purest. (Note to Glitch: If you are spelling "purists" "purests," you are at quite a disadvantage doing crosswords!

That being said, funny how, after I ranted that I would like to see ONEG clued after a synagogue dessert session instead of a gravity force or a thousand dollars, today it gets clued as a blood type. (And I knew what to put immediately, never even considering APOS or BNEG.)

Janie 9:44 AM  

this was puzzle #1 at the westchester crossword puzzle tournament this past friday, where it was a big hit. i enjoyed it immensely, and relish in the clever theme/grid/fill. yay, pb2!!

;-)

janie

p.s. the tourney used the remaining weekday puzzles as well. hard for me to imagine anyone will be actively disappointed!!

archaeoprof 9:49 AM  

Fabulous Monday puzzle, clever and interesting and fun.

For 6D "ballpark figure," I first wrote ERA. Been watching too much baseball lately...

mac 9:58 AM  

What a great puzzle and what a great write-up! That big dog is going to make an entrance in our family vocabulary, I'm afraid....

The despot and tea-act are a great crossing, and I also liked yow and aah right next to each other, although the y in yow was my only mistake: personal natick, I guess. Didn't know about Tippecanoe etc., and I think I say aow when I have a booboo (yuk). Another piece of Americana: "sue me".

Very good start of the week, Mr. Blindauer and Mr. Parker!

C zar 10:04 AM  

A definite "what the heck" moment when I openned this with 2 Across on an Ipod. But a worthy puzzle. I didn't note the theme till I had run through some fill, so it didn't seem too easy for a Monday.

Dave 10:06 AM  

Dearest Rex -

Apologies for not having said so sooner, but THANK YOU for the change you made linking your finished grid images via blogspot rather than Flickr. It's wonderful to be able to see the finished puzzle from behind my corporate firewall.


Best-
Dave

PhillySolver 10:11 AM  
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PhillySolver 10:14 AM  

Yokohama Mama comes from a novelty song issued on Capital Records by Harry Kari and his SIx Saki Sippers in 1953. It is so politically incorrect that I will not post a link, but it is on YouTube. It costs a dollar.

Enjoyed the puzzle, but I was a little lost because I have Across Lite sized to a regular grid window and didn't see parts of the puzzle for a while. It looks better in full view than the half buck size. Putting in teatax also added some time.

joho 10:18 AM  

@ First thing I shouted in my head when I printed out the puzzle was, "Honey, somebody shrank the puzzle!" (Or squished it, anyway.)

But I am so glad they did! What fun and such a great start to the week. Thank you Patrick Blindauer.

And, Rex, thank you for your amusing write up ... loved the Mayflower clip and Big Dog? is too funny.

Crosscan 10:22 AM  

This puzzle was totally unfair to non-Americans. And it's not 15x15 -doesn't Shortz know that it is Monday? Boooooo!!!

And Rex is soooo dumb. The bed-in was in Montreal, not America. Sheesh!

What about OST and EAU?? How is that American??? More Yankee propaganda! ZORBA the greek, huh? huh?

---

Go away Bizarro-Crosscan, hater of all that is beautiful.

Sorry about that. Must be the GAMMA RAYS.Regular Crosscan is back. I guess the race for Monday puzzle of the year is dONE.

Now where's the loony shaped puzzle?

Crosscan, who never knows how you tell all that green money apart.

Jim in Chicago 10:25 AM  

Anonymous#1: While I will recover, I did not like this puzzle.

I also point out that you do NOT use a blowtorch to weld, that would be an "arc welder". Blowtorches aren't hot enough to weld with.

Do we know that Fort Knox actually has steel doors anywhere? Maybe the gold is just in a big warehouse!

Shamik 10:29 AM  

Was startled to see the rectangle, but enjoyed the puzzle and agree that it's a medium for a Monday.

Mis-starts:
TYPE for ONEG
EST for OST (which would have made two ESTs)
OWW for YOW

@mac: Tippecanoe and Tyler, too was part of a 19th century political campaign against Martin Van Buren. The whole thing was:

Tippecanoe and Tyler, too
And with them
We'll beat little Van, Van, Van
Oh Van is a used up man!

Do not ask me why that's the major thing I remember from 11th grade U.S. History. But thank you for finally letting me get to use it.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

The bed-in (featuring a British singer and his Japanese wife in the Netherlands and Canada) is supposedly an all-American countercultural clue? Really?

ArtLvr 10:52 AM  

I especially liked the clue [Source of all the tender words in this puzzle?] = DOLLAR, i.e. legal tender... So timely as all global currency is suffering shrinkage right now!

One small bit of fill that was missing: IOU, which probably should have crossed the Fort Knox reference. Fab puzzle!

∑;)

Ulrich 11:14 AM  

I also really liked the puzzle b/c of its unique features. And I agree that with OST, EAU, ET AL and ZORBA in it, it didn't even appear so all-American--not that it matters to me, one way or other.

New phrase of the day for me: "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" (had to ask PW for an explanation).

JoefromMtVernon 11:28 AM  

Good Morning:

Thanks to Rex for explaining all of the intricacies of the puzzle.

I saw it, and thought the Will still thought he was with Games Magazine.

Joe

JoefromMtVernon 11:30 AM  

Sorry, Meant to say "that Will thought he was at Games

fikink 11:52 AM  

Fun puzzle!
And, oh my, my universe is folding back upon itself again.
Just last night - I kid you not! - we were singing an old song, "Barry's Boys," which contains the refrain:

You, too, can join the crew,
Tippecanoe and Nixon, too,
Back to Barry,
Back to cash-and-carry,
Back with Barry's Boys!

(Performed by The Chad Mitchell Trio - @acme, insert my personal story here)

Rex, the best thing to me about today's puzzle was your write-up. Thanks for the Schoolhouse Rock (the king was killer!) and thanks for the story about your sister. Reminds me of Brother Dit.

foodie 12:07 PM  

I, too, totally loved this, smiled throughout the solving process and thought someone finally stood up for the poor ole shrinking dollar.

I was thinking that today's crossword constructors are doing what artists and designers in the 20th century did for art-- really shake up traditions and play with ideas to communicate at multiple levels. And even though it looks fun and funky, it takes a great deal of skill to make it soar.

@joefrommtvernon, I had a Korean friend in grad school who added "the" to all the first names and it had an amazing effect, hearing "the Mike" " the Barb" " the Bill". I think people like being The Somebody.

And Rex, I'm going to save the history clip for my granddaughter. She's only 14 months old, but it will be her first history lesson in due time. Thank you for that and for a terrific write up.

miriam b 12:18 PM  

It took me no time to finish this amusing puzzle, but a while to parse ONEG. That had me wondering briefly what blood had to do with a thousand dollars.

Naturally I superimposed a real (Americam $10) bill on the puzzle to see whether the proportions were roughly comparable. They seemed to be.

william e emba 12:21 PM  

Yet again, the NYT Obama bias must be operating to remind everyone of financial issues one month before the election.

As I was contemplating 24A Body parts that may be pierced, I was waiting for my visceral unpleasant reaction to whatever the answer was going to be. Hahaha, EARLOBES never occurred to me.

In the DEAD TREE edition, today's puzzle is on page C6. For the past several weeks, there have been ads for Lucia di Lammermoor, often abutting the puzzle. Today is the review, on page C7. I had to read it. Yep, there was ENRICO from a few weeks back.

And there's a nice coincidence in other news. Today's Nobel Prize in Medicine went to the two French researchers who discovered HIV in T-CELLs. (And a German who discovered the role HPV played in cervical cancer--I doubt we'll see this in the NYT for quite some time.)

Greene 12:23 PM  

I loved this puzzle! Like everybody else, I just had to get over the odd shape. I thought my computer was broken when I first opened it up. Could have done without so many 3 letter answers, but well worth it for the final result.

So...SUE ME appears once again. There must be something attractive about the structure of this phrase (5 letters, 3 vowels perhaps?) to constructors. They never ever seem to use titles like "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life?" Although, I guess you could stretch that out through the grid. Not that anybody knows that song -- Fikink, maybe?

Back to SUE ME. "Guys and Dolls" may just be the best musical comedy ever written. It's timeless, warm, and intensely comedic. I know every joke and I still laugh every time I see it on stage (not the movie, however, which seems to have had all the humor strangely drained out).

Every actor who plays Nathan Detroit must wonder why he only gets one song in the whole show (SUE ME). Apparently, the great Sam Levene, who originated the role, could not sing a note. He was considered so perfect for the part, however, that he stayed with the production while all his other songs were either jettisoned or given to other actors. Tough break for Sam, but what a show! You can still hear Sam do this number (with Vivian Blaine) on the old "Guys and Dolls" cast album. Very funny performances, but it's true...Sam cannot sing a note.

chefbea1 12:24 PM  

I too loved the puzzle. Thought my printer had gone awry when the puzzle came out.Did it in record time although I don't time myself. I kept waiting for George Washington to be in the center.

Good day to make a pot roast!!

Karen 12:35 PM  

When I opened it in the applet and saw the blue scrolling bars, I then reopened it in the large grid. This killed off a minute or two of my time since it opened slowly. Other than messing up my times it was a great puzzle.

Cheryl 12:38 PM  

I was at first confused by, and then delighted with this puzzle. I thought the interface was changed or buggy but then it all became clear as kitchen wrap.

I confidently wrote in "UNITED STATES treasurer" instead of
"OF AMERICA" but corrected it quickly enough. (It fits, it makes sense, it just wasn't right.)

I was very glad about the breakfast rule when I saw the body part piercing clue.

Orange 12:54 PM  

Chefbea, George Washington's on the wrong side of the bill. The puzzle follows the layout of the reverse side, with the GREAT SEAL and BALD EAGLE and all the corner ONEs and the centered phrases. Cool!

joho 1:29 PM  

I tried to cash the crossword at the local Kroger with no success. I'll tell you, this puzzle isn't worth the paper it's written on!

mac 1:32 PM  

@shamik: thanks for that explanation! I think I've heard Martin van Buren wasn't a very good president. That, and Dutch Elm disease, make me feel a little guilty. I actually knew a Dutchman called Martin van Buren.

@chefbea: I agree, it's a winterfood kind of day, I'm making a big pot of bean soup, flavored with Spanish chorizo and lots of end of the summer peppers.

Doug 1:49 PM  

I'm either braindead or too Canadian to have noticed the shape was in the form a dollar note. As Crosscan said, our dollar was scrapped ages ago for the Loonie, a one dollar coin with a loon embossed on it. I doubt the government had any inkling this name would come about, especially when the two dollar bill was scrapped and became...the "Twoonie." We Canadians sure are the wild and crazy guys of the international currency markets.

Doc John 1:59 PM  
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Doc John 2:41 PM  

Interesting puzzle. I was surprised to see Rex give it a medium rating, as I found it Monday easy. I guess we're not on the same wavelength of late as I though Saturday's was very hard and he thought it was easy. Oh well.

I was wondering what was so special about today that called for this puzzle.

As for Ft. Knox, I saw a documentary on it somewhere (probably the History Channel) and it showed the inside of it. Apparently, one time years ago they allowed press in to see the place. Yes, there were steel doors.

I agree with Orange that the puzzle is representing the back of the bill but maybe that middle section is a pixelated George Washington as seen through the paper (think of Lincoln in Dali's Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea). Or is that just too much LSD?

Wade 2:48 PM  

Agree that it's a fine Monday puzzle.

Neil Young also liked the sound of "cellar door."

I second the objection to the clue for WELD. A blowtorch does the opposite of weld. "Weld" would have been a better answer for a Tuesday anyway.

Could Hulk be said to have "powers"? I thought he just got big and mean. He was strong, but does that translate to "powers"? But I'm not comic expert--all I've seen is the old TV show, which I rank right up there with "Shields and Yarnell" on the list of shows we didn't really need.

Great political slogans have to include the one for Grover Cleveland (I think), who was reputed to have fathered a bastard child:

Ma, Ma, whar's our pa?
Gone to the White House, haw haw haw!

Mike the Wino 2:53 PM  

I had the same reaction as many others when I first opened up AcrossLite and saw todays submission. But I sure liked it!

I noticed that besides the previously mentioned coincidences between the puzzle and the news of late, that there is an AP story out today regarding how an "FBI file details Knievel's dark side". Might be old news to some, but not to me.

And, Rex, I really laughed at the history clip, especially the end when they sang about how the President will do what WE want the President to do, unlike how we're treated by the King. I think we've come full circle....

treedweller 3:05 PM  

re: Weld

I have most definitely used an oxy-acetylene torch to weld steel. I'm not sure if there is a distinction between "blowtorch" and "torch" in this context, though I note that the first entry when I google "define: blowtorch" seems to fit quite nicely with the oxy-acetylene usage. So I challenge the naysayers to back up their nit.

As for the puzzle, I will just say I agree with the praises here and leave it at that. Though it would have been nice to get some warning that I should enlarge the grid beforehand (where and how i do not know).

dk 3:41 PM  

@anon at 10 AM something. The bed-in scene was planned for an album cover and it was banned or would have been banned in the US. That may be the loose USA association or me remembering something that never happened.

I thought the puzzle was cute, cute, cute. I found myself solving it in zones. I was also reminded of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfZibmYIcKo

Rex, more DMZ.

Jim in Chicago 3:49 PM  

Treedweller:

Re: Weld. This from Wikipedia regarding blowtorches

They produce a much larger softer flame than an oxyacetylene torch and are used for low temperature applications - soldering, brazing, melting roof tar, or pre-heating large castings before welding, such as for repairing cast-iron cylinder heads, and for other direct rapid applications of heat such as in cooking. They cannot be used for welding, but find many other uses, not least because in their simplest form of a disposable canister feeding a hand-held torch they are very cheap and highly portable, and because the LPG fuel is very cheap in comparison to acetylene and oxygen.

chefbea1 3:57 PM  

@orange thanks for setting me straight. Didn't realize it was side B of the dollar bill.

@mac that bean soup sounds yummy

karmaSartre 3:57 PM  

@wade, Good Thalia Meninger reference.

fikink 4:27 PM  

@jim in Chicago, AND blow torches can be used to put the finishing touches on the creme brulee!

@greene, Is that part of Putting It Together?

Greene 4:48 PM  

@fikink: No, it's from the film "Royal Wedding." That's the one where Fred Astaire literally dances on the ceiling. I think that song holds some kind of record for longest title. Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane.

You might be thinking of Sondheim's "God Why Don't You Love Me, Oh You Do? I'll See You Later Blues." (although not used in "Putting It Together").

Please tell me you are a lover of "Guys and Dolls."

fikink 4:55 PM  

@greene, I HAVE been known to run 40 blocks for cigars and rye!

Anonymous 5:01 PM  

@john in NC.
DMZ or did I hear:

TMZ = Thirty Mile Zone.
This if for movie production in Los Angeles. If you are within the 30-mile zone certain things apply -- of if you are outside, maybe they get travel allowance, etc.
The 30-mile Zone is centered at LaCienga and Beverly where the Beverly Center is.

Also, I remember Yokahama from reading the Guiness World Book of Records as a kid.

from Wiki:
Longest Song Title
The Guiness World Book of Records, acknowledged the world champion song title holder, to be "I'm a Cranky Old Yank, in a Clanky Old Tank, on the Streets of Yokahama with My Honolulu Mama, Doing Those Beat-o, Beat-o, Flat on My Seat-o, Hirohito Blues." According to lyricist Hoagy Carmichael, the original title was only "I'm a Cranky Old Yank", but the joke got out of hand after that.

mac 5:03 PM  

I like today's CrosSynergy puzzle!

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

To all
Fm Glitch
Re (my) comment #1

I was wrong.

Today's comments, taken as a whole, are as unusual as today's grid.

Don't think I've seen such universal *liking* of a puzzle in the year + I've been folowing along here.

I'm shocked, shocked to find such agreement in this blog!

I'm off to look for pods, just in case this is a case of *Invasion of the Blogger Snatchers*.

.../Glitch

PS @steve I said --- my spelling is only an advantage on puzzles like yestarday's. But don't be too hard, we may be the only one's left ;-)

G

Crosscan 5:34 PM  

Glitch, one reason for lack of griping may be the fact no "rules" were violated by this puzzle, other than the unusual grid shape.

It is (left/right) symmetric, all answers have 3+ letters, no unchecked squares, etc. It is also at a proper Monday level.

And, of course, Rex has set the "no dissenting comments" tag to weed out those who disagree with him.

chefbea1 6:00 PM  

@glitch of course I have a great recipe for pods

Mike the Wino 6:10 PM  

And I have the most wunnerful recipe for Split Pea w/Ham-Bone soup........it's got spinach, leeks, onions, carrots, tarragon, sherry, etc.,; I'm making some right now. No b**ts innit, though!

Mike the Wino

chefbea1 6:45 PM  

@mike the wino me too

Greene 6:54 PM  

@anonymous 5:01 Good heavens, it appears that the Lerner title is not even remotely in contention for "song with longest title." A causual Google search revealed several titles even longer than the Hoagey Carmichael title you site. Even now, some budding songwriter is out there plotting an impossible length song title. Makes me appreciate the simplicity of SUE ME.

@fikink: I just plain love you.

treedweller 7:25 PM  

@Jim in Chicago
Well, if it's in Wiki, then it must be true . . .

@fikink
If you're going to broaden the definition of blowtorch to include those little butane-lighter torches, then there is no doubt that an oxy-fuel rig would have to count, as well, thus making the clue accurate.

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

@crosscan

I agree with your analysis (of the puzzle specs), but disagree with that as the reason for the unanimity.

There have been lots of puzzles that *met the specs* and yet spawned lots of banter, both on and off topic.

No, like the government, you're just not accepting the pod explanation ---

../Glitch

PS: On the other hand, it was refreshing to read a day's worth of comments and find almost all on topic ... mine being some of the exceptions!

SethG 9:19 PM  

You can cook with a full-size blowtorch as well.

Oh, right, _on_ topic. I liked the puzzle fine. Also like ear lobes, the Nirvana album, the Simpsons, Schoolhouse Rock, and the word 'badassery'.

Omnie 9:39 PM  

Imagine my surprise at 2 am that I open up this puzzle to do it while my friend solved differential equations. I had to redownload it 5 times to make sure I had the right file. The theme took a while for me (it was 2am!) but I quickly caught on once I got it. Not being American I wasn't too sure of some of the answers but I know it started when I got baldeagle it had to do with some sort of American Government thing. Definitely loved this puzzle as it offered a nice change from the standard 16 x 16 (or whatever) grid that is always there. Perfect Monday Puzzle in my opinion.

Larry 9:57 PM  

Hey they used the word Rex hates, "Issuer" in one of the theme clues.

A great puzzle will overcome all sorts of objections.

ArtLvr 10:13 PM  

@ mac -- I liked your cs "Apple Cores" puzzle too!

∑;)

Anonymous 10:44 PM  

Thanks to all for the kind words about my latest word baby. This one may not be legal tender, but it will always have a tender spot in my heart. Thanks to Mike Shteyman for the original inspiration of rectangularity, and thanks to Will for making this pipe dream a reality.

Best,
PB2

mac 11:18 PM  

Thank you for checking in, Patrick. We always enjoy that, plus we clearly enjoyed your work today.

andrea carla michaels 2:20 PM  

Patrick's a genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, like, the most modest guy you'll ever meet!

This was SO thinking outside the box...and there were about 28 things to love about the construction...

I'd love to strangle the folks who look at the most fresh puzzle i've ever seen and can only choke out that it slowed down there solving time to adjust a template!

Viva Patrick! The new Queen of Mondays!!!!!!!

Love him, loved this puzzle!

andrea carla michaels 2:23 PM  

ps @mac
that was just a trivia question I used on a radio show the other night:
"who was the only president to grow up speaking another language (not English) at home?"
And the answer is Martin Van Buren (Dutch)!
I find that wildly interesting and the perfect kind of trivia question bec when you hear the answer it all makes sense, but it's a bitch to come up with it!

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