TUESDAY, Jun. 2 2009 — Divine showbiz nickname / Arabesque actress 1966 / Italian archaeological locale / Glazier's sheet

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Constructor: Patrick Blindauer

Relative difficulty: Medium (I did it on paper in bed at 1 am after staring at a computer screen for hours, so I really don't know ... seemed Tuesdayish enough)

THEME: "SNL" (68A: TV staple for over 30 years (and a hint to 17-, 21-, 32-, 41-, 54- and 61-Across) - theme answers are two-word phrases where the first word starts with "S" and the second word starts with "L"

Word of the Day: INGEMAR Johansson (8D: Former heavyweight champion Johansson) - "Jens Ingemar Johansson (September 22, 1932 – January 30, 2009) was a Swedish boxer and former heavyweight champion of the world. He defeated Floyd Patterson by TKO in the third round, after flooring Patterson seven times in that round, to win the World Heavyweight Championship. As a result, Johansson won the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year in 1959 and was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year"." - Patterson would win a rematch a year later, thus becoming "the first man to recover the world's undisputed heavyweight title." (wikipedia)

I stayed up way too late last night and thus have next to no energy or focus this morning. My apologies. I'll keep this short and try to do the puzzle justice. My first thought was "there are such things as S&Ls ..." But then that petty thought floated away and I noticed the elegance and intricacy of the puzzle. All theme answers are familiar and snappy phrases or names, which is good, but what's impressive is a. there are six of them, and b. there are *four* Downs that have to cross *three* answers each (ODDS ARE, POMPEII, ROMANIA, AT A TILT). The grid has a lot of black squares (40) and thus looks like an easy grid to fill, but I doubt it was easy to construct the foundation - the basic arrangement of black squares that allows this theme to be pulled off at a Tuesday level. There's virtually no forced fill. A few odd rhyming patches (see STAB / TAB and the INGEMAR / OMAR / MAR trio), but those are kind of amusing. MESSRS (66A: Abbr. preceding multiple names) is the only answer that grates at all, and that's, what? ... one answer? And a real abbreviation. So fine. Good. Patrick Blindauer continues to show that he can make solid, entertaining puzzles at every level of difficulty. Given the historical iffiness of Tuesday puzzles, I'll take PB2 on a Tuesday any day (well, specifically Tuesday, I guess - MAN (38A: "Holy Toledo!"), I told you I was tired).

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Mountain shelter (ski lodge)
  • 21A: Time off, to a sailor (shore leave)
  • 32A: Endangered feline (snow leopard)
  • 41A: "Arabesque" actress, 1966 (Sophia Loren)
  • 54A: Highway posting (speed limit)
  • 61A: Where rupees are spent (Sri Lanka)

Bullets:

  • 1A: Recorder input: Abbr. (mic) - I just stared at this for a few seconds, trying to figure out what could be meant. Recorder? What kind? You can put a tape in a recorder. If you're playing a recorder, maybe you put in AIR. Needed crosses, is what I'm saying. Thankfully, the fabulous MISS M (1D: "Divine" showbiz nickname) was there to guide me through.
  • 16A: Setting for C. S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (Narnia) - The Chronicles of NARNIA are among my wife's favorite books from childhood. Daughter liked them too a couple years back, when we read them together as a family. Back when the first movie came out. Back when this came out:



  • 36A: Name before Cool or Camel (Joe) - great clue. Thankfully, no "The Plumber."
  • 50A: 99 and 86, on "Get Smart" (agents) - another great clue. The "Get Smart" part makes it a Tuesday clue. Having just [99 and 86, e.g.] or [TV's 99 and 86, e.g.] would put the clue in different, tougher difficulty categories.
  • 65D: Apostrophized preposition (o'er) - ugly clue. "Apostrophize" means "To address by or speak or write in apostrophe," a figure of speech whereby an actor addresses some abstract concept or absent person. Maybe "O'ER" appears in a famous instance of "apostrophe" somewhere... though I'm guessing that here it just means "having an apostrophe added between the O and E"
  • 33: Alliance since '49 (NATO) - SEATO and NATO and OAS are the alliances I see most often. Or so it seems.
  • 55D: Glazier's sheet (pane) - maybe I should have made "glazier" my Word of the Day, as I'm not sure I can define it. Someone who works with glass? A window-maker? Yes, "one who cuts and fits glass, as for doors and windows."
  • 49D: Elusive Himalayan creature (Yeti) - "elusive" ... I guess that is one way of getting around something's non-existence. Nice.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

68 comments:

Mike 9:06 AM  

I really enjoyed this one quite a bit. But that might be as much for the fact that it was my fastest ever Tuesday than it is for the greatness of the puzzle. All in all, very smooth theme, nice fill, and I was totally on Patrick Blindauer's wavelength the whole time. Heck, I don't remember a good chunk of the puzzle because of how fast I was going through it. I don't know if I'll be the only person this happened to, but I had a much easier time with this one than I did with yesterday's.

Favorite theme entry: SNOW LEOPARD. Reminds me of the Planet Earth documentary, which I cannot recommend enough. The footage of the snow leopard in the wild is breathtaking, just like everything else in the film.

Hobbyist 9:07 AM  

OMG. I thought the clues were actors on SNL. I rarely watch so am not up on their names. So I thought Shore referred to a comedian and Sophia an actress unknown to me etc. So it's a simple as S and L after all.

George NYC 9:07 AM  

Another day, another theme I didn't see until I read it here.
Nice Tuesday.
GLAZIER brings back memories of dad getting out putty and the putty knife after a baseball v. window encounter. Does putty still exist?

Greg 9:10 AM  

Yeti may be non-existant but "scientists have proven that the Sasquatch is real" ... according to Tenacious D anyway.

I'm surprised there was no Conan clue, as a callback to yesterday's puzzle. He was a writer for and made a few small appearances on SNL.

Brian Callahan 9:30 AM  

Rex

You are the King of CrossWorld. We really enjoy your work. Thank you for sharing as you do.

Brian R. Callahan
New York

retired_chemist 9:34 AM  

Nice puzzle. I appreciate Rex pointing out the quality of construction.

The theme – for me, meh. As usual I got most of the theme answers before seeing it.

IN KEY (2D)? Thought the term was ON KEY. And there would have been obvious clues for MOC.

joho 9:36 AM  

Thank God, or should I say Rex, for this blog! I like @Hobbyist was looking for the them in all the wrong places. So I came up with KILO, SNOW & SPEED on the left side of the puzzle and SHORE (Pauly) & LOREN (Michaels) and ANKA (Paul) ... figuring one was a guest, the producer & the theme songwriter!? Talk about overthinking the theme!

I also liked the Divine MISS M as a carry over from JOHNNY CARSON.

I loved this puzzle and consider it to be a birthday present from Patrick Blindauer to me! Thanks!

XMAN 9:38 AM  

I thought, "For sure, RP is gonna rag on the thinness of the theme." I was wrong.

Anyway, it was fast.

DanaJ 9:42 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. With STAB, IMPALE, YETI, and OUTLAWS, I envisioned a group of renegade sasquatch hunters.

Denise 9:50 AM  

I saw the S-L pattern long before I got to SNL, but it did help.

I have been wondering about "MIC" -- especially since I thought the word was "MIKE" but I keep seeing it (in crosswords). Where does it come from?

Happy birthday, joho.

Leslie 9:51 AM  

@retired_chemist--I'm glad someone else resisted "in key" rather than "on key!" That bugged.

My literal-mindedness gave me a problem figuring out the theme. I went back and scanned the answers for a middle "n" before thinking "S 'n' L--oh, okay."

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought "Arabesque? Movie actress in the 60s? Okay--Tippi Hedren!" But my dog is not a thedder, even in thpring, so that got fixed fairly quickly.

George NYC 9:57 AM  

@Denise
MIC is the abbreviation for microphone that you see on tape recorders, computers, amplifiers etc.

I took IN KEY to mean "in the key of C" (or whatever).

jimweed 10:02 AM  

the main character in My Life as a Dog, a swedish film that put Lasse Hallstrom on the map, is a boy named INGEmAR. there's a scene where he listens to a radio broadcast of INGEVAR johansson defeating floyd patterson. i always wondered if the radio announcer was saying INGEmAR or INGEVAR and now i know.

solid puzzle.

dk 10:12 AM  

Happy Birthday @joho!

Rex your Yeti appears to be asking the age old question: WTF?

@George NYC, my was right after my dad said do not hit toward the house you'll break (insert sound of breaking glass about here).

I flew through this puzzle and had no idea (idear as we would say in Maine) of the theme. SNL was an early fill and outside of having memo for MSGS no SNARLS. Thank you Mr. B.

dk 10:12 AM  

that should be mine instead of my

Ulrich 10:16 AM  

Like Denise, I caught the theme with Sophia Loren, and it helped for the rest of the puzzle. The n in S 'n' L was a nice touch at the end.

I agree that this is a solid Tuesday puzzle, even if I am a little put-off not so much by the number of black squares, but by the way in which they chop up the grid into lots of almost self-contained nooks and crannies or little eddies--it's those damned cheater squares again!

fikink 10:17 AM  

I also thought "on key" as the logical opposite of "off key."
Joho, I do not understand how MISS M is a carryover from yesterday's Johnny Carson. Can you clue me in?

(and, btw, Happy Birthday, if today is it!)

Ulrich 10:18 AM  

...oh, and happy birthday, joho, also from me--will we see you next year in Westport?

twangster 10:22 AM  

I had this wrong because I had MSCS (thinking that might be an abbreviation for manuscripts) instead of MSGS and CALE going across.

JannieB 10:27 AM  

@joho - best wishes - hope you have a fabulous day!

#fikink - Bette Midler (aka the Divine Miss M) sang a beautiful rendition of "One More For the Road" on Johnny's penultimate show - he teared up as did everyone else.

Wish all Tuesday puzzles were this well crafted!

Brendan Emmett Quigley 10:27 AM  

If you're gonna do a stars with two letters and they're easy to use letters (like S and L), at least make the gimmick explaining entry fun. Oddly enough, I think if it had been S AND L, I'd be a bit miffed. Using SNL was cute. Here's another example of a quality easy puzzle. Approved.

Two Ponies 10:32 AM  

If there is a yeti out there I'll bet the snow leopard knows.
Totally agree that On Key is much more in the language and switching to moc would be effortless.
Appostrophized made me laugh and wonder what Rex would say about it.
I guess we can add Shedder to our list of jobs.
@ fikink, I believe Bette Midler was Johnny Carson's final guest on his last show.

joho 10:32 AM  

@fikink ... yes, today's the day!

@JannieB ... thanks for explaining the link between Johnny & Bette.

@Ulrich ... when in Westport? One of my dearest friends lives there and she's just getting into doing the NYT puzzle! It would be great to meet you all.

And thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes ... makes my day!

fikink 10:40 AM  

Agree with you, BEQ. The cleverness of SNL commended the puzzle to me.

@jannie and joho, thanks. Yes, I vaguely remember seeing a clip of that. My favorite Midler-Carson exchange was when, in light of his exes' names, she asked him if he had a sled in his youth named Johanna - something like that. She certainly came a long way from the bath houses! That woman has heart.

Rex Parker 10:44 AM  

@BEQ, "miffed" is a great word. Bizarro David Banner say: "Don't make me miffed. you wouldn't like me when I'm miffed."

@Brian, thanks.

rp

Z.J. Mugildny 10:53 AM  

I like Hobbyist's comment: "Live from New York it's Saturday Night... starring Jacob Ski, Sarah Speed, Ganesh Sri..."

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

So SNL gives a clue to S and L clues. Pretty lame for a theme. But a lot of themes are lame, I guess.

it is just a tuesday.

archaeoprof 11:08 AM  

I was terrified of "Wizard of Oz" as a kid. Those flying monkeys. So I didn't know until today that Dorothy's last name was GALE.

I'm still a little scared of those monkeys.

Jeremy 11:24 AM  

Oooh, baby, what a strange puzzle. IN KEY is inaccurate, but's it's weird that the compilers didn't use MOC crossing ON KEY. .

One sings "in the key of C" or "on key." We don't sing "in key." Not approved . ..

Ulrich 11:26 AM  

@joho: I meant the CP tournament at their public library that is always the warm-up for the big one in Brooklyn--I was somehow under the impression that you had planned to attend this year.

ArtLvr 11:31 AM  

Happy B-Day, Joho! One way to sing to you is "in tune", or else "on pitch" or "on key". Not IN KEY. "In the key of __" is not the same thing....

I too did this one so quickly, for me, that I hardly noticed the funny JOE Camel or that pesky LIEV. As for EARP, I actually had a huge oil painting of him once...

However, I have no complaint about the SHEDDER, since my cat is a champ in that category, even with use of the Furminator lauded here on Rex's blog eons ago!

@ archeoprof re Oz -- I had to be taken out of my first film ever, because I was so afraid the Lion was going to eat Toto, so the story went, and years later, I also left "Jaws" part way through. My own kids ATE up scary movies though. Shudder!

∑;)

retired_chemist 11:46 AM  

Happy birthday, joho! My gift to you is that I will sing NOTHING. You will like it better if I don't than if I do......

Have a GINTHON!

PlantieBea 11:58 AM  

I finished it with ON KEY/MOC--didn't bother to check at the end but I definitely do not like IN KEY. I didn't care for the suffix (IAL) nor the AND A for the shave and haircut. I did like the Snow Leopard, IMPALE, and seeing Dorothy's last name.

Had fun browsing old Carson video on youtube last night. Thanks for the link that got me started. The animal shows and the Dolly Parton interview were very funny. I appreciate the show much more now than when I was a kid.

@joho: happy birthday!

@Mike: Is that a burrowing owl?

Hobbyist 12:04 PM  

Leslie, I was all proud to have discerned Tippi Hedren so quickly. So you are not alone. I was In Key w you.

Clark 12:06 PM  

I figured that singing IN KEY meant singing Schubert, say, rather than Schönberg, but I suppose that would have to be IN A KEY.

A round of Happy Birthday IN A KEY to you, joho. (And For He's a Jolly Good Fellow to Glitch.)

Karen 12:06 PM  

I put in SNOW LEOPARD right after getting SNL, so I thought the theme was words with s,n, and l in order. Then I got SOPHIA LOREN and thought it was s,n, and l in any order. At SPEED LIMIT I realized I was getting too complicated.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was one of the first 'big' books I can remember reading, in the fourth grade. For me it hasn't held up as well as Tolkein for re-reading.

fikink 12:16 PM  

@PlantieBea, if AND A just came from a service one goes into a barbershop for, I would have liked it less, but I grew up with the ditty, "Shave and a haircut, two bits," which can be Wikied (is that a word?)
Brother Dit and I used to shuffle and sing it when we did something spectacular, which, of course, was often! ;)
Maybe it comes from vaudeville?
In our youth, it was synonymous with "Ta-dah!"

Crosscan 12:25 PM  

@rex - Would a miffed David Banner turn into "The Credible Hulk"?

Hey, 15 letters. How about a NOT IN theme?

The Visible Man
Dependence Day

jeff in chicago 12:27 PM  

INKEY: Boo!
GALE: Yay!

I can't think of anything else to say because my brain is reeling after reading that Hobbyist doesn't know who Sophia Loren is! (I'm getting old, I guess.)

Dough 12:32 PM  

"Sing in key" (c.f. Sing out of key) has 7,000 hits and "Sing on key" (c.f. Sing off key) has 14,400 hits. I thought it was a terrific Tuesday puzzle. Lots of theme entries, with the kicker SNL rebus-like clue. Bravo.

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

@JannieB - Yes, I believe Bette Midler was Johnny's very last guest. I remember her redition of "One For My Baby" very very well. As a matter of fact, it was the ONLY time I have cried while watching TV.... and I am 49 years old.

hazel 1:15 PM  

@JoHo - Happy B'day! You share a birthday with Martha Washington, Thomas Hardy, the Marquis de Sade and the Beaver - Jerry Mathers. Have yourself a day!

V. cool puzzle too.

PlantieBea 1:21 PM  

@fiknink: Thanks for the explanation which makes the answer much, much better. I just looked up shave and a haircut, and yes, I know the little musical bit. (Warning for those who don't: it is an earworm.) Just never heard any words to it. According to the sources, it was first recorded in 1899 with no words (Charles Hale), and then worked into the song "Shave and a Haircut - Shampoo" by Dan Shapiro, Lester Lee, and Milton Berle.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:27 PM  

For me, today was a complete reversal in Theme Recognition from yesterday.

Thinking that we had another TV-themed outing, I puzzled hard over each answer, but nothing came to me. I had resigned myself to coming to the blog to discover what the young people knew about Saturday Night Live that I didn't, when after a third or fourth look the simple "S and L" hit me.

@Denise and George in NYC - I see the point that the word is spelled "MIC" on the actual electronic equipment, but I have always thought that it should be spelled "MIKE", as it is pronounced, when written as a free-standing word. I have no authority behind me; that's just my opinion.

HudsonHawk 1:56 PM  

I must be spending too much time at my corner tavern, because I had finished the puzzle for a solid ten minutes before I figured out how TAB could be an "office setting?". And I'm old enough to remember having to set tabs on a typewriter. Cute clue, good puzzle.

andrea the non-divine Miss M 2:02 PM  

oh my god, I left MOC till I came here! I won't even say what I thought...
I thought he might go for S&L (Savings and Loan) and was looking forward to seeing how he pulled off the ampersand...
Patrick is one of the few who could pull that off!
All of the SL phrases were VERY non-tortured, but why does no one mention there were SIX PLUS the SNL!!!
DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS? Esp with no clunkers...

Oops, I see I have EYEPIA!
Wow. I need help...I'm even screwing up Tuesday puzzles!

And yes, I join Joho in wishing her bday best!!!!!!! No off-key singing here!

Joho, since you are one of the few who appreciate my stories, here is a quick one for you!

In the mid-eighties I was being considered for a job as an apprentice writer on SNL.
(They were looking for young women comics then and I was doing semi-political, low-key stand-up)
I walked into a room with five serious looking folks behind an audition table.
(ie I had to do my standup in front of five folks, head of comedy for NBC, etc. All strangers to me, sitting with arms folded behind a table...no one stood up...awkward!)
They went down the line introducing me...So-and-so, Andrea Michaels, Andrea Michaels meet so- and-so...

When they got to Lorne Michaels (whom I didn't know would be there!) SOmeone said, "Andrea Michaels...Lorne Michaels.
HEY! Are you two related?!"

I looked at him and without missing a beat I asked, "Maybe, was your last name Eisenberg, too?"

Everyone laughed BUT Lorne (nee Lipshitz)
(Canadian Jew, very touchy about it)
Yikes! But I got the job anyway...
FROM HIM.
(Later to lose it in backstage politics, but that's another story!)

chefbea 2:25 PM  

I got ski lodge first and then snow leopard and figured there was going to be a wintry theme. Didn"t realize how it all fit together til I came here.

Happy birthday Joho. Hope you do come to westport next spring. We had so much fun.

Cry of disbelief is pah... never heard of that. Someone explain

joho 3:27 PM  

@andrea the non-divine(NOT!)... I absolutely LOVED your story. Now I can't stop imagining all the goings on behind the scenes. Lots of backstabbing and intrigue.

@Ulrich & chefbea ... if my national show in San Diego next year doesn't coincide with the spring tournament in Westport ... I'm there!

@All well wishers ... much appreciated!

@retired_chemist ... GINTHON!

foodie 4:03 PM  

@andrea, I'm "miffed"... I am one of many who appreciates your stories!! I loved this one! We probably need to wait for the next SNL or SANDL clue to hear the next chapter.

The scene you describe is something we call the TSST, the Trier (as in Germany) Social Stress Test. It turns out that one of the most stressful things you can do to people in a lab context is ask them to give a speech about something that matters to them, in front of an audience that is non-supportive. When this test is run, the judges are asked to do exactly as you describe-- no smiling, distancing body language, judgy... I've measured stress hormones following this test and they are sky high. Except for depressed people come in with such high stress levels due to anticipation of the stress, that they cannot raise their stress hormones any further.

Oh, back to the puzzle, which I liked. My name is the Arabic equivalent of SOPHIA. Growing up, I identified with her and loved her ways. So it was lovely to see her today, along with CAIRO where I lived for part of my childhood. How self-referential is all this?

@Joho, I hope you're not reading this, because you're somewhere primping and getting ready to go out and celebrate! Happy Birthday!

Glitch 4:08 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle

One can be "On Mike", "Off Mike", or "next to Mike", but the label on the equipment is always "mic".

@Andrea

You caught Lorne on a good day, "backstage politics" sent me to Letterman around '85. Still have the T-Shirt tho.


.../Glitch

Crosscan 4:09 PM  

@andrea - What's that about Jewish Canadians being touchy? huh? huh?

Crosscan [who changed his name from StarOfDavidCan for showbiz purposes].

Ulrich 4:12 PM  

@andrea: The places you've been!

I'm joining foodie with a case of the miffles. I only respond to witty stories when I have a witty reply--from my silence you may conclude that my capabilities are deficient in that respect (which is a euphemism for non-existent).

mac 4:24 PM  

@joho: happy birthday! Ginthon with Sliced Lime and Canada Dry (parched or sere), of course. Do come to Westport next year, I'll throw a party again.

Great puzzle, fun to do in a steady move from North to South. The S-L connection I figured out, but I needed Rex to point out the downs crossing 3 theme answers.
Amazing.

I had to laugh when I saw Dorothy's last name, never heard that before. Right above that I had the Anka before the "Sril", so thought Paul, but no harm done.

Joe the Plummer also crossed my mind with 36A, but thank goodness he kept on going.

I visualized pretty streams with the 6A "run through" clue, and I like the old-fashioned "Messrs.".

mac 4:31 PM  

@Andrea: please keep the stories coming, with as many names as possible! Did I tell you Bobby Flay lives in our building? (I restrained myself yesterday in the LAT Confidential comments).

Jim in Chicago 4:43 PM  

Yesterday ...oon, today .....ial. Meh.

I must join the list of those complaining about in/on key. I could maybe forgive it if the constructor was in a jam, but, heh, MOC works just fine, thank you. You just simply don't sing "in key."

Charles Bogle 5:10 PM  

Agree, clever and cute Tuesday puzzle...got through top half in surprising time and then stumbled in SE corner thinking rupees were good only in India--

Loved the answer YEARS for Q "Sentence Units," and SCAM and SNARL in the lower corners!
Also liked: EARP off-setting OUTLAWS...

Not so keen about PAH and ATATILT but didn't detract from satisfaction.

Noam D. Elkies 5:26 PM  

Add me to those who liked the puzzle after wondering how KILO will generalize (and then worrying the theme would be SNL characters or actors) — and would prefer "on key" to 2D:INKEY. I'll also take 66A:MESSRS (which though old-fashioned is the correct plural for "Mr.", abbreviating French Messieurs = plural of Monsieur) over 1D:MISSM, where — but for the easy cross with 23A — the last letter could have been anything...

NDE

joho 5:30 PM  

@mac ... when is the tournament in Westport, do you know? From what I can tell my trade show is around Feb 10 - 11.

@Foodie ... I am going out! But no primping involved .. I'm fried after a long day of selling GINTHON ... which we all know is nothing, nada!

So ta ta everybody, enjoy your evenings! I certainly plan to enjoy mine.

PB2 7:08 PM  

Thanks for the nice write-up/comments about my latest word baby.

FWIW, the first entry I wanted to use was SAINTLOUIS (my parent's hometown), but then I ended up deciding to use only entries without additional S/L's. Not sure if it was worth it, but there you go.

And yes: lame is my favorite fabric. Shiny!

Best,
Patrick

Noam D. Elkies 7:44 PM  

@PB2: thanks for pointing out the additional constraint/feature (no non-theme S's or L's in theme entries). Thanks too for the lamé pun — and of course for the far-from-lame puzzle.

NDE

Anne 7:52 PM  

I like the fact that Rex comes through regardless of how he feels. It's really hard to be witty or insightful anytime but particularly when tired. I laughed out loud when I read elusive=non-existent. Thanks, Rex.

I put the puzzle in my purse when I left today and did it while waiting to get my hair cut. But for some reason I thought today was Thursday and I did the whole thing thinking this is way too easy and how did this ever get published. What a difference a day makes.

I too came here with Moc because I didn't review because I thought it was too easy. When will I learn?

I saw Bette Midler in concert many years ago; she sang, she danced, she told jokes, all with endless energy. What a great show.

And I saw an article today about how some women are able to age naturally and beautifully. Sophia Loren was on the list. As opposed, for instance, to Joan Rivers, she of the plastic face.

retired_chemist 8:12 PM  

@ACME-

LOVED the Lorne Michaels story! Sort of line I usually don't think of until the next morning when it's too late.....

chefbea 8:33 PM  

Just came home after an enjoyable birthday dinner - celebrating joho's b-day. I think the westport puzzle contest was in april last year. Mac knows better

mac 8:40 PM  

@joho and chefbea: last year it was February 7 (check the YouTube video) and next year it will be of Feb. 6. Quite a few of the contestants also show up in Brooklyn. It's a great warm-up, and the Rexites have a nice party afterward (and before as well, why not).

@Andrea: Lorne Michaels showed up in Jeopardy this evening!

fergus 10:13 PM  

PB2,

I've gone on record about not caring much about themes, and this sort of hit the mark. Yes, a contrived theme to build around, by convention, but of little importance in playing out the grid (though in laying it out, I'm sure you felt the constraints.). While I also don't care all that much about symmetry, I do appreciate a certain formality and politeness with respect to tradition.

FF

dk 10:47 PM  

Every so often I do an end of the day review and it always brings a smile. Thank you Rex and blog-mates for a little Eden,

And, Acme you are the cats pajamas.

@jim in chi-town, I never sing in or on key... although I am often asked to sing solo..... so low you can't hear me...... shave and haircut-two bits.

fikink 11:38 PM  

priceless!
;)

DonnaLou 12:09 PM  

We wish you would update your syndicated puzzle timely. It is 9:08 a.m.

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