Italian port on Adriatic — MONDAY, Aug. 31 2009 — Features of yawls or ketches / Fabrics with wavy patterns / Predecessor bridge / Visitor District 9

Monday, August 31, 2009



Constructor: Fred Piscop

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: FOUR/FOR/FORE — first words of three theme answers are homophones of one another

Word of the Day: BARI (32D: Italian port on the Adriatic) — Seaport city (pop., 2001 prelim.: 332,143), capital of Puglia, southeastern Italy. Evidence shows that the site may have been inhabited since 1500 BC. Under the Romans it became an important port. In the 9th century AD it was a Moorish stronghold, but it was taken by the Byzantines in 885. Peter the Hermit preached the First Crusade there in 1096. Razed by the Sicilians in 1156, it acquired new greatness in the 13th century under Frederick II. It became an independent duchy in the 14th century, passed to the Kingdom of Naples in 1558, and became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. (Brit. Concise Encyc.)
-----

This was pretty bad all around. The theme is not just tired (again with the homophones), but poorly expressed. FORE AND AFT SAILS is particularly wobbly as a theme answer, and FOUR MINUTE MILER ... well, when I Google it, Google wants to know if I meant FOUR MINUTE MILE. I wish. FOR OLD TIMES' SAKE is nice, but it hardly matters. The rest of the fill in this puzzle is dull and lazy. There is no way you should have MOIRES (19D: Fabrics with wavy patterns), BARI (32D: Italian port on the Adriatic), and LAMINA (36D: Thin layer) in your Monday puzzle. Those are all dusty, high-end crosswordese words that you should pull out only if you have no other options. On a Monday, with such an easy grid to fill (your "long" answers are six letters, for god's sake), maybe you get one of those words, but not three. And EENS? (61A: Poetic nights). Ugh. The very best part of this puzzle is WAMPUM (5D: Indian beads used as money). The rest, you can have back. No idea why this passes muster in the NYT. Last time I saw LAMINA ... well, I didn't like that puzzle either, but at least it had some kind of ambition.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Roger Bannister was the first (FOUR-minute miler)
  • 35A: How something may be done, nostalgically (FOR old times' sake) — [Nostalgically] works fine just by itself.
  • 54A: Features of yawls or ketches (FORE and aft sails)




Bullets:

  • 39A: Old competitor of PanAm (TWA) — do we need "old?" "PanAm" already conveys old (as in bygone, as in no more).
  • 42A: Mensa-eligible (smart) — this is just inaccurate. You have to get a certain score on a test to qualify for Mensa, don't you? So simply being SMART is irrelevant. This clue assumes the Mensa test is an accurate measure of SMARTness. I have never understood the desire to be in Mensa. At all.
  • 43A: Area west of the Mississippi (plains) — true enough, but weirdly hard for me to see coming at it backwards, ---INS.
  • 49A: Visitor in "District 9" (alien) — nice, timely clue.
  • 60A: Fabric introduced by DuPont (Orlon) — would make a good ALIEN name.
  • 11D: Politico Sarah (Palin) — get used to it. She's never going away.
  • 29D: Predecessor of bridge (whist) — don't play bridge, wasn't aware it had a lineage. Know WHIST from 18c. novels, I think.
  • 55D: 40 winks (nap) — I had NOD at first.

See you tomorrow,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

85 comments:

nanpilla 7:37 AM  

Sitting at airport, waiting for a plane to take me to my beloved Keys for some girlfriend time - diving, fishing, pedicures! Agree with you, Rex, not much zip in this one. Loved WAMPUM and SLIVER, although I would never eat only a sliver of pie!

JannieB 7:46 AM  

Probably my fastest Monday ever - barely 4 minutes. I did it too fast to hate it. Never saw the clues for Bari or lamina until they were already filled. Moire has been around enough that it was a gimme. Theme is a bit thread-bare, but seems like there is rarely a new theme early in the week any more. At least it wasn't groan-inducing. How about a themeless week?????

Jack and/or Sue 8:00 AM  

Not worthy of the N.Y. Times.

Crosscan 8:13 AM  

No FOURTH theme answer?

Finished in under FOUR minustes.

Already FORGOTTEN.

dk 8:20 AM  

Off to the fair FOROLDTIMESAKE. I am sure there will be displays of OVINES, LAMINA, PLAINS indian WAMPUM and DESPITE the lack of an ocean FOREANDAFTSAILS. There will also be pies that may be better as SKEET.

We should not be so PRIM and SPEW LAVA at workingman puzzles that DULY PLOD along.

Agree not much HEFT here. Finished in a WHIRR. I did not mind the ALIEN fill.

@nanpilla, I love the keys this time of year. In leu of a pedicure might I suggest a long walk in the sand. Pet the cats and toast the sunset for me.

Mike 8:20 AM  

Didn't even notice the theme, and got the non-Monday words from crosses so that their clues were unneeded anyway. Didn't love it, but I'd rate it slightly above "meh."

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Certainly not worthy of 'medium-challenging', how about 'very easy'. Flowerlady9

ET 8:27 AM  

I wanted PRAWN for 49 across.

dk 8:29 AM  

Food fans, Lovely wife has suggested I photo food on a stick. @hazel, this is a midwest fair so don't expect to much :):).

2 and out

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

They won't get any easier than this one. Figured Rex would have a new monday record with this one. Golfballman.

PlantieBea 8:31 AM  

I didn't love the weak theme, but thought the puzzle was okay for a Monday. My one rewrite was AROSE over AWOKE. I liked the SPEW over LAVA and the PEAS/PEAT crossing. Didn't know WHIST or BARI.

Morgan 8:33 AM  

Medium-challenging??? I set an all-time record on this one, at 3:18. It was lame, but very very easy.

Greene 8:36 AM  

I thought this was a pretty easy Monday puzzle. Agree there was not much zip in the fill. Hey, at least I spelled MOIRES correctly this time around.

@REX: LOL about PALIN. She may never go away, but at least Tina Fey will have steady employment.

fikink 8:36 AM  

@dk
Take me for ride in your car, car
Let me sample the fair fare.

Jim in Chicago 8:50 AM  

Nothing much to say about the puzzle except that I was forced to do it online since my paper arrived without the Arts section this morning. Grrrrr.

I gotta agree, if you're going to do a theme around words that sound like "four" you'd better have FOUR answers.

XMAN 8:54 AM  

The fastest time, as of about 8:30a.m., was 1:02 (which doesn't seem possible, even for such a tidbit as this). Let's assume this solver knew all the answers, would it be possible to type them in that fast? How could the game be gamed?

It was a super-easy Monday puzzle. I found the NW to be actually insulting.

HudsonHawk 9:04 AM  

One of my faster Mondays, but the grid also brought out the rarely revealed crossword curmudgeon in me.

I had high hopes for a numeric or time related theme after filling in FOUR MINUTE MILER. Oh, homophones. Never mind.

Glitch 9:18 AM  

No offence to those who might feel it is a "just right" Monday, but for me:

Super fast (less than one cup), [yawn] no *stimulating* content, [yawn], gonna be a long morning.

.../Glitch

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:27 AM  

Would have broken three minutes, if I didn't answer the damnfool Gmail chat from my wife. Note to self: close Gmail whilst speed-solving.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Tough crowd.

Matty 9:33 AM  

This was just drudgery for me. Longest time for a Monday in a while. Couldn't parse FOURMINUTEMILER. UGH!

Also...and saddened by this news about PALIN. She disturbs me every time she reappears. What can we do? Protest?

Matty 9:34 AM  

This was just drudgery for me. Longest time for a Monday in a while. Couldn't parse FOURMINUTEMILER. UGH!

Also...and saddened by this news about PALIN. She disturbs me every time she reappears. What can we do? Protest?

archaeoprof 9:45 AM  

For 42A I tried "egotistical" but it didn't quite fit.

Another Monday without ACME. (Sigh) I find it hard to believe that her recent submissions haven't been better than today's puzzle. I'm just sayin'.

JC66 9:53 AM  

I'm not a speed solver, but I finished this puzzle so quickly there was no time for it to be dull.

Rex Parker 9:55 AM  

This took me 3:40, a good 20-30 seconds above my average. By contrast, I did the LAT in 2:59. Very hard to gauge Monday puzzle difficulty levels when the difference between Easy and Challenging (for me) is only about a minute. We'll see what the statsman says later in the day.

rp

PS the 1:02 time posted at the NYT is not legit. The 1:57 time, however, is.

Aaron Riccio 10:11 AM  

This is the one advantage to speed-solving: I didn't even notice how lame half of the clues were because I was done in 3:17 (a record for me). I tend to attack the downs first, and I'd finished 70% of the puzzle before swinging back around to go across.

Elaine2 10:16 AM  

Hi:

Since I don't "speed solve," I judge easy/hard by how much thinking is required to get an answer, as opposed to "see the clue, type the answer." This was absolutely an EASY, even for Monday!

Not inspiring, true, but I think not worth such annoyance from Rex! I even thought "four minute miler" was ok -- and knew it immediately from Roger Bannister, because that's what he was. I don't really care for the homophone theme, though -- that is pretty boring.

Anyway -- happy Monday!

joho 10:16 AM  

For some reason I started humming the tune "for auld lyne snye" while solving ...

I agree with everybody who was disenchanted with this puzzle, I'm sorry to say.

@dk & @nanpilla ... oh, how I'd like to be down in the keys right now! Or, at the least, at the Minnesota state fair.

@archaroprof ... I agree with you: where is ACME when we need her on a Monday?

retired_chemist 10:19 AM  

I wish to leave no doubt where I stand on this puzzle.

Meh.

Thank you. I feel better now.

Ulrich 10:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ulrich 10:32 AM  

@Jim in Chicago: You nailed it!

Having spent a memorable week recently sailing through French Polynesia on a barkentine with two large fore-and-aft sails, I could fill in the last theme answer w/o a cross--the high point of my solving experience..

Here's a photo of those sails going down.

hazel 10:33 AM  

@dk - I'm going to have to rethink those stereotypes, now that my brain geography has you firmly placed in its midwest section! always have high expectations when i read your posts so looking forward to the food on a stick pic.

@puzzle - join a gym. you're looking kind of peaked, maybe scrawny is a better word.

mccoll 10:40 AM  

Dead easy! Seven minutes or so, with a dull crayon, in the tub and it was over: thankfully.

One may "nod off", but one "takes a nap" or "takes forty winks."

I was in Commonwealth Stadium when Roger Bannister blew by John Landy to become the first man to run a mile in under four minutes in competition. Thanks folks.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Not one to complain (out loud), but Rex is spot on. This was written for a different audience I suppose. I hope they had fun with it. I think what makes this one lean towards challenging is the unusual words that appear. I expect that solvers who need all downs and acrosses will struggle briefly.

Maybe we could get more ethnic groups solving puzzles if some of the constructors used terms and vocabulary more common in our communities. Would anyone like to see one with the provinces of China rather than Irish counties?

/mee



/mee

Susan 10:44 AM  

I think this would be harder than average for a Monday because of the long clues. They weren't particularly hard for seasoned solvers but I think your average solver would see the long clues and be daunted by that.

I liked the "four minute miler," clue and answer by the way.

Susan 10:49 AM  

@mccoll YOU WERE THERE?!

Bryan 10:59 AM  

I agree with the "tough crowd" comment. Choose life.

mccoll 11:03 AM  

@Susan - yes I was. In fact I was in Grade 10. Upon reflection and upon googling, both men had run sub-four minute miles earlier in the year. This race was called the Miracle Mile by someone in the press. It was thrilling.

Elaine 11:08 AM  

Well, my reaction was "Meh," much the way I felt yesterday. This was like taking dictation (no need to concentrate, think, or ink in lightly; just bypass the brain.) I did put AVER vs AVOW--as with APEX and ACME, I never know which it will be. Didn't even notice that there WAS a theme.

I disagree on MOIRE and LAMINA; they were both my first thoughts, though I did hesitate because I thought they might be too obscure. (If you ever put in a LAMINAted floor, be warned: the video tape showing a little white-haired lady smilingly installing the strips is FAKED.)

_Perhaps Rex got up on the wrong side of the bed--after all, it IS Monday, and if one has children still in the home, it's back to School Schedule.

I rate this "dead easy" and now feel guilty for using a sheet of paper on it.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

sounds like rex got up on the crabby side of the bed today. it wasn't that bad. it wasn't challenging, either.

monday puzzles should be done away with. tuesday should be the new monday.

Joe 11:45 AM  

This took perhaps four minutes for me - and was certain it'd be rated easy. I was a little stunned to see the Medium-Challenging today... although it did give me a greater sense of accomplishment.

Dave 12:01 PM  

boo on FORE AND AFT SAILS.

initially put PRAWN for 49a (Visitor in "District 9") and thought what a cool clue. less excited when it turned out to be ALIEN.

Matthew 12:22 PM  

"Bob liked to play his poker; Pinochle, Whist and Euchre" - In the Jailhouse Now, Jimmy Rogers

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

@Dave, it's a Monday; the answer will almost always be the more obvious of two choices, no?

jeff in chicago 12:23 PM  

Boring. I'm sure there are other reasons, but this is the kind of puzzle that makes me wonder why Will rejected one or two of mine but this made the grade. Ugh.

Ulrich 12:33 PM  

@Jeff: That's how I feel when I see the cartoon captions the New Yorker selects for its weekly contest while rejecting the much funnier ones that I submitted--sigh...

ArtLvr 12:34 PM  

For those who wanted four theme answers -- what else would you suggest? My only thought was FAURE: Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845 – 1924), the French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher.

But then it would be less of a Monday, non?

∑;)

Charles Bogle 12:41 PM  

Big bummer-flew to Seattle yesterday to visit w my two oldest. Am tired and coming down w something-but, did the puzzle in the Seattle Times Aug 31 called "New York Times Daily Crossword, edited by Will Shortz, Puzzle by Allan E. Parrish. Fairly decent puzzle but NOT the one everybody else has!

Crosscan 12:44 PM  

@Charles - Click on "The Syndicated Puzzle" link on the right hand side of Rex's page and that puzzle will magically appear, as they all do 5 weeks later.

mac 12:44 PM  

Hey, it's Monday.
Luckily I had all of yesterday's write-up and comments to read this morning!

@chefwen: I know that glazed-over look of the puzzle-spouse....

edith b 12:48 PM  

This puzzle was not designed for "people like us" - you know who I am talking about. I understand that Medium-Challenging was a function of clues like BARI LAMINA and Roger Bannister which may not be part of "people not like us"'s information set.

I do these early week puzzles like piano students do scales: to keep my hand in and perhaps brush off whatever rust may have accummulated.

Like many others, I never even saw alot of these clues

chefbea 1:14 PM  

Very easy, I agree. My son in law is from Bari so that was a gimme.

I don't time myself but The puzzle was finnished way before I finnished my salad for lunch

Clark 1:27 PM  

Monday. As I get better at doing puzzles, Mondays sure do get easier. I am beginning to see that a good Monday puzzle is probably harder to construct than a harder puzzle.

Sheila Lukins died yesterday. She is the author of one of my favorite cookbooks, USA Cookbook. I am going to make her Lemon Poppy-Seed Loaf and eat it one SLIVER at a time, with gratitude for all the excellent meals she helped me put on the table.

obertb 1:28 PM  

Nothing much to say about the puzzle. But I now have an avatar, for whatever that's worth. Maybe it'll improve my future commentary.

PuzzleGirl 1:28 PM  

I slapped FOUR-MINUTE MILER in with no crosses and was off and running. (See what I did there?) Pretty sure this is only the second time I've ever finished in less than three minutes. Didn't hate it. Didn't love it. Seemed just fine for a Monday.

Karen from the Cape 2:14 PM  

I really liked the District 9 movie. Some gore, some cartoonish violence, but also thought provoking ideas.

FP also did the puzzle with the 'c' homophones a few months ago. C four. Maybe Fred is secretly a terrorist. Who like moire.

joho 2:40 PM  

@Ulrich, the New Yorker always rejected my cartoons, too. A couple of years ago I entered a contest at Reader's Digest and won. You were supposed to write a better punchline to, "Hey, you hear about the tree's birthday party?" My line, " Yeah, nobody came so they had to cut it short." Well, $100 bucks is $100 bucks!

Susan 3:06 PM  

@ArtLvr, Fauré isn't a homophone of four/fore/for. It's pronounced like "foray." Sorry!

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

FOREIGNLANGUAGE (15) Finnish, for one

chefwen 3:16 PM  

Always have cooking on the mind and had the WHI in place for 29D, automatically put in WHISk. Got to the Mensa people and figured out that although it may help, you don't really need to be SMARk to get in.

@Clark - That is indeed sad news about Shiela Lukins. I have the Silver Palate Cookbook that she did with Julee Rosso and it opens up by itself to page 296 for the Carrot Cake recipe, that I have made countless times. It's to die for.

Elaine 3:24 PM  

@Charles Bogle
I used to be a Syndication Land solver. Then we got sick and tired of the ugly right-wing editorials and cancelled the paper...so I gave myself an online subscription to the NYT Puzzles as a "Welcome to Social Security" gift. I would sometimes read comments and wish I could participate, but weeks and weeks later--nobody cares! They have moved on.

@ArtLvr and others...
SURELY we can come up with other ideas... Art Forger: FAUXER? (I didn't say they would be good.)

Two Ponies 3:28 PM  

If it was not for this blog I would skip the Monday puzzles.
I knew a woman who said she was a Mensa member. She could work that little factoid into way too many conversations. Too bad she had no common sense!

chefbea 3:29 PM  

@Clark I use to have several of Sheila lukin's cook books - the silver palate and others. Lot's of good recipes

mac 3:39 PM  

@Clark, chefwen and ChefBea: I also like my Silver Palate cookbooks, especially when I have to cook for a crowd. I've been served the chicken Marbella many times at friends' houses, and I make the pureed broccoli with creme fraiche often at Thanksgiving. Even vegetable haters come back for seconds and thirds. (The recipe is right next to the Beet and apple puree).

Anonymous 4:16 PM  

I think that "Rise and shine" is a folksy adaptation of the biblical "Arise, shine; for thy light is come ..."

Can anyone confirm this?

(The verse was featured in Handel's Messiah.)

Charles

Stan 4:30 PM  

Has this ever happened to you? You finish the puzzle. You read the write-up and the comments. And you have absolutely *nothing* to add. But you want the follow-up comments to appear in your in-box, so you post... something.

That's me today.

Z.J. Mugildny 4:32 PM  

@Jeff in Chicago

I hear ya. I don't get upset or frustrated when WS rejects my puzzles, because the NYT generally puts out high quality puzzles, so there is no legitimate gripe. Every now and then a head-scratcher like today appears. It's bound to happen, I suppose.

sanfranman59 4:41 PM  

Monday midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:10, 6:55, 0.89, 21%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:24, 3:40, 0.93, 28%, Easy-Medium

As Rex said, Mondays are hard to categorize because there's not much spread between fast times and slow times and the solve times for the fastest solvers are likely bumping up against what's humanly possible. The range of median solve times for the top 100 is only 3:24 to 4:36 and that for all solvers is 6:10 to 8:42. Today's median solve times for both groups are the fastest for a Monday in the 13 weeks I've been tracking times.

hazel 4:58 PM  

@unpublished and/or frustrated puzzlers - probably when you have close to 100 puzzles published in NYT, you get a little latitude from the Puzzler in Chief.

Not defending the puzzle - seemed a little flimsy, (as sanfranman's summary confirms) but good grief, it wasn't that bad, was certainly publishable.

@DK - what does your attitude meter say in general about comments on Monday puzzles? My swiss cheesy brain and/or Colbertian gut says Monday puzzles are rarely liked. It just seems really hard to get the AHA moments we all crave out of straightforward cluing - not to say it doesn't exist obviously - there've been lots of great Monday puzzles - but I do think they are few and far between.

Besides, its human nature to complain alot on Mondays anyway!

5 cents please.

Anonymous 5:53 PM  

Blame the editor for a change.

Will 6:12 PM  

Rex,

Explain, please how Monday and Friday puzzles can both be "medium-challenging". Monday's are so easy, they are boring. Last Friday's was impossible, and Friday's are always very difficult.

Are you grading on a curve? Comparing Monday to other Mondays? I don't get it.

sanfranman59 6:19 PM  

@Will ... Rex addresses your question in his FAQ. In a nutshell, he does grade on a curve. Similarly, my analysis of solve times by online solvers is relative to the day of the week.

Ryan Dunn 6:49 PM  

FORESTPRESERVES - Where trees are safe, say

too bad FOREVERANDADAY was one letter short.

And for the record, aliens lived in district 9, which would make the proper answer HUMAN, for humans visited the prawns there!!

WAMPUM screwed me up most, making DULY hard to see.

...ryan

Charles Bogle 6:54 PM  

Agree w likes of @matty and @joho...disappointing puzzle but very on-point critique by RP. Had STARS for SMART for "Mensa prerequisite," knowing lots of Mensas who aren't SMART, and vice versa. Then again, I could say the same thing about STARS and Mensa..(Except of course for the wonderful Mensas on this and the LA blog...). LAMINA and WHIST? I WHIFFED. TWA brought back fond memories of doing their trial work "in the day" and Howard Hughes. But PEAS? Please. And STORE for a place in the mall? Fuggedaboutit. On the other hand, I Loved DRAT...one of W.C. Fields' favorite ways to get around the Hays Office! Btw...go do today's LA Times puzzle...far superior in every way!

PIX 7:24 PM  

@Hazel: Agree with your thoughs about the Monday comments. Many of the people who visit this site are very very good with crossword puzzles. Mondays, in brief, are simply too easy for most of them. Sort of like Tiger Woods and the rest of the PGA playing a miniature golf course. Tendency is to trash the puzzle on Monday and boast about who did it the fastest. Fair enough but I think it is important to remember that there are lots of people out there who can only finish the puzzle on Monday (+ maybe Tuesday) and this is their day.

andrea 4 michaels 7:58 PM  

My take was that Fred wanted to see if we could do the puzzle in under four minutes! That's the secret fourth answer...

Kind of surprising that there wasn't a fourth four, I love @Elaine's FAUXER!!!

@dk
ah, the Minnesota State Fair! (sigh)

@joho, @Archaeoprof,
as always, appreciate the shout outs...and thanks for being loyal fans, just wait till NEXT Monday ;)

Ulrich 8:15 PM  

@PIX: You are too kind on SOME commenters here (I deleted the rest of my post b/c I remembered Rex's injunction against comments about comments--not that I completely understand the distinction...)

@Andrea: Ah yes. But the four-minute-mile turned into a three-minute-mile later--what should we make of that?

Mike 8:27 PM  

The New Basics CookBook by Sheila L and Julie R turned me from a microved frozen food guy to a semi decent cook. That book is that good. I followed the Thanksgiving feast from A to Z and my inlaws thought I was a genius.

Anonymous 10:20 PM  

I read about Roger Bannister decades ago, when I was an impressionable youngster looking for heroes.

I put "patina" in for a thin layer, and it took forever to undo it when it clashed with OLD times sake. Since most other letters worked, it was brutal to take it out.

The reason I bother to write is this: 90% of the sailboats in the world are sloops, and they ALL have fore and aft sails. What marks ketches and yawls is they have fore and aft MASTS!

sanfranman59 11:00 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:16, 6:55, 0.91, 22%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:19, 3:40, 0.90, 24%, Easy-Medium

Stan 12:02 AM  

@Anon 10:20: You're right -- "fore and aft" just refers to the orientation of the sail (i.e., parallel not perpendicular to the boat). But the clue and answer aren't exactly wrong, just misleading.

Anonymous 5:48 PM  

Well, an easy Monday to be sure but I can only complete the easy ones. I turned to the post and comments to see if anyone bothered to quibble that Bannister was a sub-four-minute miler. Guess the puzzle didn't warrant that remark.

Anonymous 5:51 PM  

...and got Whist only because the night before I was teaching Hearts to my son and looked it up to make sure I remembered it right.

Anonymous 8:23 PM  

Not to pick nits or anything, but Bannister was the first SUB FOUR MINUTE MILER! Which of course didn't fit and make the whole puzzle as irrelevent as most of the other comments suggested anyway.

Anonymous 10:56 PM  

I was saddened when I saw PALIN, but much happier when I saw that it crossed SPEW.

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