## Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: KEYWORD (35A: Google search need ... or a hint to the ends of 20- and 49-Across and 11- and 28-Down) - theme answers end with KEY(board) words, specifically TAB, ESCAPE, ENTER, and CONTROL

Word of the Day: "Babi YAR" (37D: Yevtushenko's "Babi _____") - A ravine outside Kiev in north-central Ukraine where the Jews of the city were killed by German troops in 1941. The massacre is commemorated in Yevgeny Yevtushenko's 1961 poem “Babi Yar.”

While solving this puzzle, I believe I time-warped back to Monday. I've never solved a Wednesday puzzle so quickly. This is the first time I beat both my Monday and Tuesday times on a Wednesday. What is "Wednesday" about this puzzle? Where is the resistance? I think a few of the clues might have been toughened up a little - for instance, I don't know the phrase "to DOPE something out" (47A: Deduces, with "out"). Dated beatnik-sounding phrasing required that I solve that one on crosses, but so what? The crosses were all a cinch. I hesitated exactly thrice in this puzzles - once when I put in MGRS instead of MGMT (26D: Those in charge: Abbr.), once when I put in AAH instead of AHH (38A: Satisfied sound), and once when I couldn't think of any "adoptee" in Genesis. The answer there was MOSES (24A: Adoptee in Genesis) which came as a massive surprise to me, as I have no memory of his having any place in Genesis. Aside from those little hiccups, this puzzle was embarrassingly DOCILE (43D: Easily managed). I never even saw the theme, and when I noticed it (after I was done), it didn't seem that impressive. I'm pretty sure I've seen a theme like this before, thoughI can't remember where. None of the theme answers are that lively. It's a well-filled puzzle, I'll give it that, but it's so insubstantial that I won't remember it later today, let alone a week or month from now.

• 20A: Not paying immediately at the bar (RUNNING A TAB)
• 49A: Go ballistic (LOSE CONTROL)
• 11D: Apartment building feature (FIRE ESCAPE)
• 28D: Road sign warning (DO NOT ENTER)

Perhaps I was helped a bit today by the fact that I knew every single proper noun, from the ultra-common O'NEAL (7D: Center Shaq) to the commonish SATIE (54A: "Socrate" composer Erik) to the lesser-known Sandler comedy "MR. DEEDS" (2002 Adam Sandler title role). Oh, one I didn't know was "Babi YAR." I know "Ali Baba" and "Baba O'Riley," but this "Babi YAR" poem is new to me. The Sea Captain on "The Simpsons" says "YAR" a lot. Normally I don't like paired clues that much (look here, look there, ugh), but a double dose of Cheech & Chong (56A: 1978 Cheech & Chong movie - "UP IN SMOKE"; 5D: Like Cheech & Chong, typically - "STONED"), coupled with hidden bonus stoner words like DOPE(S) and STEM (61A: Morel morsel) and HEMP (!?!?!) (14A: Rope material). Sweeet.

BPOE (41A: Fraternal letters) and IVO (1961 Literature Nobelist Andric) are answers I learned specifically from doing crosswords, so I can understand if those threw some people. And EPONYM is never a terribly easy word to uncover (44D: Penn, to Pennsylvania). PERON was kind of hidden (19A: El Lider of Argentina). But otherwise, I don't see much that separates this puzzle from a Monday or Tuesday.

Bullets:

• 1A: No. crunchers (CPAs) - a gimme. From here, the N/NW was done inside 30 seconds. 1- through 4-Down went down instantly, in succession. This made AREA CODES (17A: 307 for Wyoming and 907 for Alaska) even easier to see than it would have been with no crosses in place.
• 23A: Use a prie-dieu (kneel) - a gimme if you know what a "prie-dieu" is, a toughie if you don't. It's one of those little stands that help you KNEEL when you pray (prie) to God (dieu).
• 22A: 100 or so, e.g.: Abbr. (est.) - again, mildly tricky, but not so's you'd mind much.
• 39A: Like drinks with umbrellas (tropical) - neither TASTY nor AWESOME would fit. I miss Costa Rica.
• 43A: "A diamond is forever" sloganeer (De Beers) - not James Bond.
• 21D: _____ Alert (abduction bulletin) (Amber) - would you care for a little child abduction with your puzzle? I would not.
• 51D: Classic Manhattan theater (Roxy) - I was unsure about this, as the ROXY is a classic L.A. nightclub - I saw a concert there once. It was featured on "American Idol" just last night, in fact - it's where Guest Mentor Slash practiced with each of the remaining four contestants. My favorite remaining contestants are ... well, I would like anyone but Danny to win. Sorry, Danny. You are nice, and your voice is fine, but you are boring me. Sadly, I think I'm in the minority on this one.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

See Orange's write-up of today's LAT puzzle here.

Morgan

I also finished this one (at 5:00) faster than either Monday or Tuesday. I couldn't believe it was I was solving.

Chris Kern

The "Genesis" clue seems like an outright error to me; a rarity in the NYT puzzle.

Greg

Does the NYT ever print or acknowledge errata?

I've never heard the term 'dopes out' before this puzzle.

Doug

I was stumped only by China's Place, which I stubbornly and stupidly thought was SEABOARD instead of CUPBOARD. The rest of the puzzle was like a Monday. Especially if you got KEYWORD after about 30 seconds, which I expect most people did.

Chorister

Agree to everything except I have heard dopes out - it does sound beatnikesque, doesn't it?

My Old Testament professor is spinning in his grave (I'm only assuming he has predeceased me - he seemed awfully old back when I was an undergrad) that I only hesitated a nanosecond before putting in Moses. Maybe since Moses is both an adoptee and presumptive writer of Genesis, this clue was supposed to be okay? No, I don't buy it either.

jeff in chicago

I agree. Wednesday? Really? Maybe Michael (and Will?) were celebrating Cheech and Chong a little too much.

What will the foodies talk about today? All they have to work with is SLOP! (I liked the clue for this.)

There was an Elks lodge in my hometown. They had a very tall neon sign saying BPOE that you could see from everywhere in town. The local Eagles lodge had no such sign. We also had an IOOF lodge. We were lodge people, I guess. (We only ever went to the Elks.)

MOSES = error as far as I can tell.

Chorister

And is presumptive the word I want? Purported, maybe? This word choice issue will stick with me today, not the puzzle.

Anonymous

Moses... sent down the river in a basket by his mother, hoping to spare him...

Adopted by the Pharaoh, angered Yul Brynner

Chorister

I had my carpet stretched once, by a guy named Ivo. Okay, I'm done now.

DanaJ

Easy for a Wednesday, yes. But I give it high marks ;-) for the entertaining Cheech & Chong and HEMP references.

dk

What Rex wrote. This was a lightning fast puzzle for me. I kept thinking this is so easy for a Thursday and then I realized it is Wednesday and this puzzle felt like Tuesday.

That is what I get for RUNNINGATAB for TROPICAL drinks and going UPINSMOKE with HEMP with the rest of the DOPES. In short this puzzle KEYWORD is substance abuse.

@greg NYT does acknowledge errata and I think it is in the Sunday edition.

Anonymous

My good Christian mother believes Moses wrote Genesis and is willing to site Biblical scholars to support her claim. She even says the story of Exodus begins towards the end of Genesis. She fled China for her beliefs. I hope for her sake the NYT does not admit an error on the Moses clue. I happen to think its all a nice story, but that's me.
Mee

Peter

I loved the Baba O'Riley video, but what's up with Roger Daltry's shirt? It looks like he bought it at Limited Too.

joho

I have to agree that this puzzle was waaaay to easy for a Wednesday and is also, unfortunately, forgettable.

@Rex ... I'm with you on Danny. My picks are Adam and Allison. I think Kris and Danny tie for boring.

Denise

One huge problem with this puzzle -- spanking a kid with a wooden spoon? No!! Then the kid runs away, and they put out an Amber Alert.

Wendy

The stoner clues were fun, but the image of someone getting spanked with a wooden spoon kinda ruined my breakfast.

VaBeach puzzler

So ... has anyone told Will that Moses had his genesis in Exodus?

XMAN

@ Greg:

Dope is information, acc. to Web II.
To dope out would be to use information (e.g. a horse-racing form-sheet) to figure out the result of a race.

I've heard this term before, poss. in old movies.

treedweller

Who said the spanking was for a kid?

Orange

STEM! I missed STEM in my roundup of stoner words.

I wasn't too perturbed by AMBER Alert last night, but now I'm remembering Illinois's last Amber Alert, which ended with three deaths. When we had the shooting SPREE clue the other week, Will Shortz explained that he strives to bring the real world into the puzzle. So if you don't like to be reminded of dead children and gun massacres in your crosswords, I guess you need to switch to the L.A. Times puzzle.

Does anyone approve of having such violence evoked in the crossword? Maybe if EVERYONE tells Will how incredibly unpleasant (and sometimes upsetting) he will make a point of limiting the violent references. But hey, if you like 'em, go ahead and let Will know that so he can prove the rest of us wrong.

Anonymous

I think 'dopes out' is a horse-racing term for someone who studies the arcana of the Daily Racing Form before betting.

RT

Rex Parker

@treedweller,

I like how your mind works.

rp

Frieda

Surprised along with many here that the baby in the bullrushes migrated to Genesis. "Dopes out" was a familiar phrase in my family for figuring something out. Also agree didn't feel like a Wednesday puzzle. Wanted SPAM for SLOP--is that a misdirection? Early gimme was AREA CODE 307 (I live in it).

Breakfast test questions about a number of entries, I thought.

fikink

Easy breezy Cover Girl!
But now the FIL is pouting because the NYT "has too much computer-ese" for his taste, which warms the cockles of my heart since he was so obdurate about learning anything about the computer, (including getting just an email account when he lived a thousand miles away). Life's little freebies! :)

Anonymous

Am I the only one that laughed out loud at "Holy ____!"? I did across first so I had nothing there.

I looked it up - No Moses until Exodus 2.

John

PlantieBea

Yet another sub theme in this puzzle is acts of violence with answers like CUFFS, AMBER alert, LOSE CONTROL, and SPANKED.

Morels and tropical drinks work for my foodie side, although not together.

Two Ponies

Way too easy for a Wed. but the stoner theme was fun.
I don't have a problem with the spoon spanking. It's playful and makes a satisfying noise. I've done it myself to shoo Puzzlemate out of the kitchen.

Elaine

it was pretty easy -- and thanks for pointing out the "stoner" theme, which I didn't catch!

@anonymous -- not the only one -- I saw "Holy ____" and laughed, too.

Re: Moses -- whether or not one believes that Moses wrote the 1st 5 books of the Bible (I don't) he doesn't appear in the story as an "adoptee" until EXODUS. This is the 2nd substantive clue error this week (first was on Sunday, where the OCARINA was supposed to be "Harmonica-like," which it is NOT.)

Very surprising.

mexgirl

I knew an Ivo back in high school who had a sister named Darinka.
And that's how unexciting my contribution and this puzzle are today (IMOHO).

chefbea

Very easy. I had the puzzle finished before the blog was up.

My father always used the term dope as in "whats the dope?"

Since there is not much food to talk about we'll just have to go to the bar and run up a tab. But be sure to be home by 10:00pm eastern time to see Andrea in her staring performance on Dinner Impossible. And maybe see some of us as well.

Bill from NJ

My father was a World War II vet and he told me during the war "the straight dope" was the truth about a given situation and he used the expression all the time, often using the verb form as in the puzzle.

I liked the Cheech and Chong subtext to this puzzle and maybe the Old Gray Lady is lightening up some.

Agree with others that this one was simple enough but the subtext redeemed it IHOO.

jeff in chicago

Will has stated clearly numerous times that he does not subscribe to a "breakfast test." His formula seems to be a success, and I doubt a few e-mails will change his mind.

Rex Parker

The OCARINA and the HARMONICA are both hand-held wind instruments. They are therefore LIKE each other in at least a couple ways, which makes the clue NOT an "error," and certainly not a "substantial" error. You may not like how broadly "like" is construed, but there's no doubt that the two instruments in question do, indeed, share at least a couple of key characteristics.

The MOSES clue, on the other hand, appears to be out and out wrong.

rp

Rex Parker

And of course WS subscribes to a "breakfast test." When you see ENEMA in a puzzle, then I will believe that he doesn't.

rp

Ulrich

Easy yes. I spent more time trying to find the error(s) that gave me BPOE than in solving the rest of it. And since I don't have a computer near my bed, I also couldn't quickly ask Mr. Google. Had to wait for my morning e-mail/blog check.

The Babi Yar massacre is one of the most horrendous war crimes the German Army committed in WWII (the emphasis here is on the Army--the concentration camps were not run by the army). I'm uneasy with an oblique clue that circumvents naming the event directly--it seems dishonest, like the clue that is popular for "Nazis", "The Producers extras". To me, an answer is either acceptable for a puzzle, in which case it should be clued w/o obfuscation, or it should not appear at all.

toothdoc

Dental tip of the day: I floss while reading this blog using a floss pick (can floss with one hand and scroll down with the other).

ArtLvr

I'm glad we got the Sax types straightened out yesterday... I agree with Ulrich -- thought today's theme wasn't up to snuff. Too much UP IN SMOKE, and that's the inside dope from here!

∑;(

retired_chemist

Agree - easy. Left 29A TBARS (also correct) which thus left TVO (wrong) for 29D. Didn't catch it on the recheck. ☹

retired_chemist

@ ArtLvr - since we all know AMATI vs. STRAD (we do, don't we?), does that mean we now know sax or violins?

william e emba

I started the puzzle with CPUS instead of CPAS as the 1A "No. crunchers". That turned out to be my only rewrite.

That, and maybe my start time. I had written down 10:53, finished at 10:57, and just assumed I must have misread the clock, maybe it was 10:48, so I rewrote that. Coming here, maybe it really was that fast.

OK, it's now official. I am taking my copy of IVO Andric's novel The Bridge on the Drina that has been sitting unread for 20-plus years off its shelf and putting it in some prominent "read me" pile. This is about the third time WILLz has gotten me to confess to this particular failing.

Somehow, though, he hasn't inspired me to buy, let alone read, any Harry Potter. Go figure.

Anonymous

@William Emba - Does this mean that you would be willing, should we all chip in to buy a TV for you, to also watch the Simpsons?

Glitch

Dictionary.com:

14. dope out, Slang. a. to figure out; calculate; devise: to dope out a plan.
b. to deduce or infer from available information: to dope out a solution to a problem.

Knew this, but mostly from the late 40's early 50's.

Had as much to do with drugs as the dwarf Dopey in "Snow" White ;)

.../Glitch

archaeoprof

Whatever we might think about the "breakfast test," a puzzle reference to Babi Yar just seems inappropriate.

Jim in Chicago

I have some bones to pick with today's clueing in general.

If you're applying a wooden spoon to someone's backside you're not spanking them, you're torturing them. Isn't spanking usually done with a bare hand?

I have not personal documention that Cheech and Chong were actually stoned most of the time, or whether it was all an act. I suspect the former, but have no actual knowledge.

Not all apartment buildings have fire escapes (some are single story!) but many buildings that aren't apartment buildings DO. Just weak.

My real problem is with calling a morel STEM a morsel. I think of a morsel as being the best part - a tasty tidbit, the stems are the least exciting part of a morel, and are what usually wind up in the trash or cut up and canned as "stems and pieces".

Just for fun, I wasn't sure what an IBAR was (as opposed to an IBEAM) and when I googled it discovered that there is a St. Ibar. I'll need to add that to my list of unknown and improbably saint names, my favorite three from Chicago churches are St. Rita, St. Ita, and St. MEL.

"Snow" White

Dopey was a know smack user. We tried for years to get him clean.

Joe

Good puzzle. Yes, easy, but the more obscure ones could be cross-figured.
"Eponym" threw me a little but it made sense once I saw it.

Anne

I'm surprised no one noted the stack in the SE - up in smoke, lose control, dopes, and de beers.
And I don't think it's a bad theme either, but ultimately it's rather blah. Not enough snap to the clues or the answers.

fikink

@archaeoprof, ulrich, and artlvr - not to get too "causy" about it, I think the inclusion of Babi Yar in this puzzle is just part of the commodification of virtually everything in this culture. It reminds me, vaguely, of the appearance of Stacy Peterson in the puzzle last year. Soon, maybe we will see "water-boarding" and Jessica Lundsford.

PIX

The Daily News asks her for the dope
She says "Man, the dope's that there's still hope".
{Bruce Springsteen : Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?}

Too easy for a Wed...never thought I would say that...i must be learning a lot from this site...thanks to everyone...

Shamik

1. Wish I had cable to watch Andrea.

2. A little "Baba O'Riley" goes a very long way to making me grin and grin and grin. Thanks, Rex!

3. Amazed how many of the folks under 40 are appalled by spanking. But I think treedweller is on to something ; )

4. Sadly easiest puzzle ever for a Wednesday and have to give it a BEQ "that's it?" thumbs down.

Shamik

@Purple Guy from yesterday: DO NOT MISS THE SUNSHINE IN PHOENIX, SILLY YOU! IT WILL BE 103 TODAY and 105 TOMORROW. And yes, I'm shouting.

PuzzleGirl

Easy breezy. Had the same two missteps as Rex: MGRS/MGMT and AAH/AHH. I also inexplicably entered SPAM for STEM. So Frieda and I had the same wrong answer in two different places. There must be a name for that....

Never occurred to me for a minute that the spanking was for a child. I guess that probably says something about me.

PuzzleGirl

@mexgirl: I appreciated your last comment (because I had already done the Onion puzzle), but I deleted it so that other people who hadn't done the puzzle yet wouldn't go into it already knowing an answer. Sorry about that.

Campesite

Easy, but enjoyable puzzle. I actually will remember this one as I was a huge Cheech and Chong fan in my youth. Too bad there was no reference to the outrageous 9 month prison Chong served for selling bongs.

Anonymous

Easy outside of EPONYM (never heard of that before) crossing DOPE. I try not to say "easy" too often because I know that there will be one just around the corner that will kick my butt

Alex

I think you guys have forgotten that Moses played bass and flute on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" and "A Trick of the Tail".

jae

What Rex said. Got to stick IVO in memory. The IVO I know is actually EVO Morales the Bolivian president. He was on the Daily Show once.

Thomas

What's playing at the Roxy?
I'll tell you what's playing at the Roxy.
A picture about a Minnesota man falls in love with a Mississippi girl.
That he sacrifices everything and moves all the way to Biloxi.
That's what's playing at the Roxy.

joaniejaya

@Jim in Chicago:

There is also a St. IVO. His small church in the center of Rome is one of Borromini's most elegant creations. Interesting that it is part of the old "Sapienza" (University of Rome, founded in 1303, although the church is "only" about 400 years old).

chefwen

Also fell into the mgrs v. MGMT trap and nets instead of SUMS. Those were my only two white outs and was done before I even realized it. Last fill was the P in EPONYM/DOPES cross.

I agree with Adam and Allison being the favs. Wanted Danny to be better only because he's from Milwaukee as I once was, and once a cheesehead always a cheesehead, but I think Adam is our boy, there is nothing boring about him.

PuzzleGirl

Oh, and from the beginning Danny was my favorite to win it all, but he caused me physical pain last night with that song. Ouch! Kris, on the other hand, tore it up as far as I'm concerned. And Adam and Allison were The Cutest on their duet.

Three and out.

Charles Bogle

I agree w DanaJ...a bit less challenging than usual for Wed--but that more than made up for by the numerous clever uses of druggy terms and phrases! I also liked the Google theme, control, tab etc. "Stem" for morel morsel really threw me. All in all, a real good "buzz" getting this one w/out peeking at Rex

Jet City Gambler

Should have run this puzzle on 4/20 ...

andrea carla michaels

@Rex
You're right, you won't remember this puzzle a week from now...
Know how I know?
bec this WAS the final puzzle
(for non-finalists) at the LA tourney and I was halfway thru last night before realizing it!

It was a disheartening drag to have such an easy puzzle be the last one, bec then there was no way to catch the speed demons and have a final shot at moving up in ranking.
It just cemented placement...
(unless you wrote AVO/ABAR which I did today!)

Maybe the puzzle was meant for that 4/20 day...which was indeed a Monday.

@Ulrich
As for BABI YAR, not to trivialize what you say (thank you for saying it), but from a constructor's point of view, I like it in the puzzle bec then maybe folks will seek it out, read it, then be made aware of the tragedy...
I mean if it appears nowhere, then it's lost forever... I mean, look at William E. Emba now going to read IVO!

And since this is slowly devolving into a discussion of American Idol (like there's a question it's not Adam?!), I can only encourage you to leave on your TV for an extra couple of hours!!!

@Shamik
I don't have cable either, I'm going to my across-the-hall neighbors and will prob watch it with a total of 4 folks since who can come to a party on a school/work Wed night that starts at 10???
And I believe there actually WAS a spoon spanking in this episode ;)

foodie

RUNNING A TAB, drinking de BEERS, while the BEST MAN makes a toast with TROPICAL drinks in a STEM glass. Meanwhile, DOPES who grow HEMP watch it go UP IN SMOKE as they get STONED... AAH! So many GOOD ways to LOSE CONTROL!

Anonymous

Re: Babi YAR

We still get the occasional 'My ___' clue in the puzzle, referring to the My Lai Massacre, although much less these days than in the past.

I am all for not spoiling anyone's breakfast, but that should be balanced by the same sentiment that most would agree is important when historical atrocities like Babi YAR, My Lai and the Holocaust are brought up - Never Forget.

Sorry if this comes across as a rant.

RT

Ulrich

Re. Babi Yar and other atrocities. My point was not that they should not be included, but that if they are included, they should be clued w/o beating around the bush or sugar coating.

But I must also add this: If we need crossword puzzles to remind people of their history (and this extends to non-violent events), we are in worse shape than I think we are, i.e. we admit to a basic failure of our schools.

spyguy

Agreed that this was an easy puzzle. I felt really bad that I breezed past the Moses/Genesis problem. I loved the many "dopey" references in the puzzle, though. Made me think that I had a syndicated puzzle that originally ran on April 20th.

joho

@foodie ... well, when you put it that way, maybe this puzzle wasn't so bad after all!

@andrea carla michaels ... my DVR is already set!

HudsonHawk

@acme and joho, my DVR is also ready to go! For those in Manhattan on Time Warner, the Food Network is channel 50.

chefbea

channel 29 on cablevision in fairfield county ct

PlantieBea

So while we watch Dinner Impossible tonight, will somebody in the know post identifications of RP posters (if they appear!) to the blog?

mac

The Dinner: Impossible show this evening completely overshadows this puzzle - and rightly so. You have all tried to find extra themes to make it seem more interesting, but I basically expect to spend a little more time on my Wednesday puzzle. Looking it over, there are some good words, but I just got to them too easily.
No tropical drinks, have to stay up for the show!

Anonymous

I liked the answer eponym. Don't believe that I've seen that before in a puzzle.

Glitch

@Anon 9:08

Eponym has appeared a few times, but in the clues --- this is the first I recall as an answer.

The nice thing about this blog is that any number of people will tell me I'm wrong, if I am :-)

.../Glitch

Stan

I'm so pumped about the Dinner Impossible show! 20 minutes away in these parts. Nothing will ever beat Amy's curtsey in Wordplay, but this could be cool...

JannieB

Ok Rex, you got face time on the show - Andrea is too funny in the grocery store, and never mind what's happening in the kitchen. This is really fun to watch -

dk

@anon from way back, If Emba gets a TV I should get one. He is all ready smarter than me he should not get a pop culture leg up as well.

@andrea.. when I filled in BITOHONEY yesterday I though of you. I am hoping your TV show will be on HULU or some other online venue.

I had no problem with MOSES, agree he was taken in rather than adopted. At least he wasn't eaten by a Walleye (season opener this weekend in MN so it is fish 24/7)..

foodie

This was soooooooo much fun! My two loves-- food and puzzles all wrapped up in one!

My favorite, given my avatar, is the strawberry SHORTZ cake..

Andrea, you were fantastic!!!!!!!!

Rex, it was fun to see you!

I'd love to hear the names of each person who identified each dish. Knew some of course, but not all...

fikink

Andrea, we laughed and cried. You were wonderful on DI, and have entered our video library. You stole the show.

mac

What fun to relive the finals, and on top of that to find out what happened behind the scenes! Andrea was great, very funny, and brave too! I didn't get Doug's last name but he was a good sport. I think I might have cracked under all that pressure. The food was actually quite good, as well!
I saw Rex and Sandy twice, concentrating hard on probably the last puzzle before the finals.

Ulrich

@Andrea: You looked zum AnbeiÃŸen, to stay with a food-related theme. And I agree with mac: The food was surprisingly good, given the mass production.

Orange

Doug in the kitchen is Doug Ashleigh. Some of the people answering the food puzzles included Frank Longo, Trip Payne, Len Elliott, Dan Feyer, Tyler Hinman, John Chaneski, Francis Heaney, Dan Katz, Jerry Cordaro, and...I couldn't see the others' name tags so well, even on a 50" TV.

Andrea did indeed steal every scene she was in.

Orange

BTW, my DVR cut off the very end of the show. What wa Robert Irvine going to do with the hard crossword? My guess was wrap old fish in it and throw it away.

PuzzleGirl

Yup, he wrapped up a fish and said "It's a wrap" (or words to that effect). I just talked to Andrea. She hasn't seen the show yet -- still another hour before it airs in California. She was awesome.

Ellen

I was the "stick to your ribs" guesser. Very relieved to get something I could figure out, since many of the puns weren't easy.

I loved watching the show. Andrea was fun to watch, and a terrific sport about having to peel potatoes and other hard kitchen labor. I can see it now, new Food Network show "The Reluctant Chef" where Andrea learns to grocery shop and cook.

xwordnovice

I'm surprised at all the angst about the wooden spoon. We never used a wooden spoon, but there were a few times when our son got a well-deserved swat on the rear end, and guess what--he managed to survive unscathed. The idea that a wooden spoon clue in a morning xword puzzle is over the top because it condones violence is beyond comprehension.

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