Inventor of logarithms / FRI 12-10-10 / Alternative title of Mack Knife / Dualistic Egyptian deity / Dweller near Central Parks Strawberry Fields

Friday, December 10, 2010

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: Uh ... the black squares form a musical note, I think — I have no idea why this puzzle exists. Is it really a puzzle about a song from "Babes in Arms" (JOHNNY ONE NOTE33A: With 36-Across, "Babes in Arms" tune that's apt for this puzzle)? I mean, is that it? Does the theme go anywhere else? Further, BEMIRED MORITAT!!!!!? ... what in the Sam Hill...?

Hey, Judy Garland in blackface ... that's ... something... (thanks for the heads-up, Amy)

Word of the Day: MORITAT (31A: Alternative title of "Mack the Knife") —
"Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer", is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. The song has become a popular standard. // A moritat (from mori meaning "deadly" and tat meaning "deed") is a medieval version of the murder ballad performed by strolling minstrels. In The Threepenny Opera, the moritat singer with his street organ introduces and closes the drama with the tale of the deadly Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife, a character based on the dashing highwayman Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. The Brecht-Weill version of the character was far more cruel and sinister, and has been transformed into a modern anti-hero. (wikipedia)

• • •
Disaster. Not 'cause it was hard (which it was, for me) but because it's just ungainly. I'm sitting here trying to understand why I'm supposed to care that the black squares make a musical note, and that the central answer is some song I've never heard of from some musical I've heard of but know nothing about. If there were good reason — if this were a tribute to a composer, say, or the anniversary of some Broadway something or other — then I'd just grumble about my ignorance and be on my way. But this thing ... why? There is so much ugly fill that I'm astonished. A stunt puzzle gone horribly awry. Weird names crossing each other (NAPIER (1D: Inventor of algorithms) / INKSTER (19A: Two-time U.S. Women's Open winner), IRENE / RENES), partials dressed up like identical twins as if that's supposed to be endearing (SET A, IT'S A) [___ date], the apparently massive -ATE family (Uncle GLUTAMATE, the whole clan of BORATES). Wow. There are bits and pieces that I like (JOE TORRE (33D: Author of "Chasing the Dream: My Lifelong Journey to the World Series"), ALL SEWN UP), but the general barfiness of everything east of the note really puts this puzzle in the Fail category for me. Perhaps there is some key that will unlock its mysteries, some key that I do not possess. If so, please share it with me.

No idea who NAPIER is, so I went NARCS/ NEWTON / AMON-RA (should've been AMEN-RA, 2D: Dualistic Egyptian deity) ... not much else for me there, so I went to NE and got all of it except went with GLUTAMINE (is that a thing? I think I was thinking of GLUCOSAMINE. If I'd been thinking clearly, I would've said "monosodiumGLUTAMATE" to my stupid self), which destroyed my ability even to see ONE NOTE ("JOHNNY ONE NONE? Is that a soccer score?"). Put the from-outer-space MORITAT in there and I was well and truly screwed. IN MOTHBALLS (23D: Being reserved) took Forever to get, as it's not an expression I use or hear, but I accept its validity. But that whole section is just BEMIRED (42A: Stuck, in a way) in unpleasantness.

I think the most irksome thing is the pride of place given to "JOHNNY / ONE NOTE," when a. it's not really a theme (no other answers relate), and b. today is not important in the history of "JOHNNY ONE NOTE"; in fact, it's just a song that happens to have "NOTE" in its title. That Is Not Enough Of A Basis For A Puzzle. Man, if I hadn't been able to throw down ERIE CANAL (55A: Early 19th-century engineering marvel) with No crosses, I might still be working on this thing. I guess that means I might have been an ABNEGATOR? (12D: One who surrenders) Am I using that right? Who knows? "MORITAT!" [Alternative word for "Uncle!" "No mas!" etc.].

  • 15A: Plant whose roots are used as detergent (AMOLE) — another unpretty word. Really wish A-HOLE was an answer that could fly...
  • 26A: Air-gulping swimmer (GAR) — why is a fish gulping air???
  • 29A: Grp. knocked in "Sicko" (AMA) — hovered between this and HMO.
  • 39A: It might accompany a bar line (LEER) — this clue is great. I had no idea what to make of "bar line." Thought it might be musical ... you can imagine why.
  • 54A: Stethoscope inventor Laënnec and others (RENÉS) — Pfft. Whatever you say. Same thing for the other name cross, IRENE (43D: Rich of old films). Thankfully, that "E" was utterly inferrable.
  • 6D: Dupes in some mailboxes (SPARE KEYS) — a truly unexpected answer. Nice.
  • 52D: Dweller near Central Park's Strawberry Fields (ONO) — baffled me, which it shouldn't have. I don't know if I've ever seen "Dweller" used to refer to a single, specific person. It's usually "SLAV" or "OMANI" or some such general term.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


pooptron 12:29 AM  

I came to complain about how ridiculous and visually unimpressive the Johnny One Note "theme"(?) was, but Rex already hit those points, so I'll complain about other things instead. Napier crossing Amole and Inkster, Inkster crossing Evonne, all of that in the same region was a bit much. I don't like Sales tags as a phrase. Price tags, sure, but sales tags? Lots of weak ass fill in this one.

Also, what's with the run of semi-themed Fridays? I don't like it one bit.

Tobias Duncan 12:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tobias Duncan 12:37 AM  

Good lord I hated this puzzle. Mostly because it was just plain too hard for me, but it also just felt really clunky, kinda like this sentence.Was glad to see that Rex felt similarly.
Do I understand correctly that their is no solid peer reviewed studies backing up the claim that MSG is bad for you and some folks are allergic to it?
I wonder if my fellow New Mexican Jesser put in YUCCA for the soapy rooted plant as well. HMMMMM

Clark 1:52 AM  

I struggled, but I got it in the end. Which leaves me more favorably disposed than I might otherwise be. I thought the grid had a nice clean look -- love the asymmetry. I figure it's a Friday so any theme is bonus.

And the complaint is, it's a puzzle that can only sing one note. But it sings it with gusto, and just overloads the place, until it is blue in the face. For holding one note was its ace. Etc.

Thanks for the Ella.

Don Byas 2:01 AM  

Threw down MORITAT with no crosses. Knew it from Sonny Rollins' essential LP: "Saxophone Colossus". Coincidentally, "Johnny One Note" was a favorite quote of fellow tenor sax great Joe Henderson.

Took me a while to finish. Got trapped in the EVONNE INKSTER DEADSPOTS. Note to self: unknown French guy = RENE.

Sometimes those not resisting arrest are TASERED, or worse. RIP Oscar Grant.

r.alphbunker 2:33 AM  

This was a puzzle of note? Not my favorite Gorski but definitely a legitimate variation on a theme she has played with before: meaningful arrangements of black squares.

I liked the two "dupes in some mailboxes" clues. Other clues were hard but came to me without help and I ended up with a faster than average time for a Friday.

r.alphbunker 2:39 AM  

I might add that Gorski is a noted constructor. Post early and get all the low hanging fruit!

I skip M-W 3:15 AM  

@Rex, I DNF, but my first fill was Napier, inventor of LOGARITHMS, NOT "algorithms" . John Napier of Merchiston. was a 16th c. Scottish laird who figured out that it was possible to multiply numbers by adding up other numbers, i.e. the logarithms of the starting numbers. He made this easy by using carved (ivory?) bones of the right lengths, (i.e. Napier's bones). that was the origin of the now obsolete slide rule.

jae 4:03 AM  

Odd puzzle for me. I kinda go with Rex's take. Hard and frustrating. Like I put in INKSTER but didn't believe it was right. LEMON before PECAN. SEA before NET. DARK before DEAD. Needed my bride for BORATES.
MORITAT??? No clue! Post solve google told me I was right. JOHNNYONENOTE theme, not really impressive.

John 4:35 AM  

4 googles and slightly less than half filled, not all correctly. I gave up and came here. The puzzle was just too hard for the reward. I was in another galaxy from the one the constructor was in.

andrea blipped michaels 4:39 AM  

Saw the grid, got excited...
Decided it was going to be about the "Black Swan"...
(That would have been lots more contemporary, no?)

Liked the dupe dupe clues and was not duped in the end...

Love the phrase RANAMOK and was impressed with only 28 squares...

Remembered there was something freaky about how EVONNE Goolagong spelled her name, but as I had lEmoN for the tart thing and had bustS before NARCS, so I did not get the entire NW corner...but had fun with what I did get.

INKSTER? INKSTER? is that what CLIJSTERS means in English?

Maybe it's an age thing, but I couldn't get past AIM not being the American Indian Movement.

LOL and TASERED certainly brought this puzzle UPTO (as opposed to SETA/ITSA) date.

Not to dwell, but it was awfully poignant to have ONO appear as still "dwelling" near Strawberry Fields, exactly 30 years to the day of Lennon's death.

I skip M-W 5:26 AM  

@Andrea, could it be that "Johnny One Note" is somehow intended as a tribute to Lennon?I kept trying to find more that would have relevance, such as lyric excerpts, but except for Ono, failed. Anyone else?

ArtLvr 6:28 AM  

Neat puzzle! I was happy to finish too, no prob with having just ONE huge NOTE as the raison d'être!

Oldtimey Borax cleanser gave me BORATES, and I knew about AMOLE's soapiness too. GLUTAMATE in MSG is favorite word because it sounds both gluey and gummy! Note that "stuck, in a way", BE MIRED, doesn't have to be taken as one sticky word: it works just fine seen as two words, like RAN AMOK, IN MOTHBALLS, etc.

My own early sticking points were in the NW, Fakes obvious as Art dealers' dreads before NARCS, and in the SE, Coach before KNICK for Bill Bradley -- I had his cute twin daughters as students eons ago when I taught French in the Princeton schools!

So congrats and thanks to Ms. Gorski for again giving us a beautifully streamlined and inventive CLASS A puzzle!


Oscar 6:45 AM  

Well, they can't all be gems.

Anonymous 6:47 AM  

White smoke signals the election of a new Pope by the College of Cardinals

Greene 6:54 AM  

I'm going to be in the minority today, but I was completely charmed by the puzzle. Recognized the central figure as an eight note and was immediately intrigued. Wrote in "Johnny One-Note" without any crosses and I was off to the races. I agree the puzzle was thorny and I struggled in the NW after I wrote in NEWTON instead of NAPIER, but I got it all sorted out in the end.

I can think of no anniversary that relates to Babes in Arms or the song "Johnny One-Note" so I conclude Ms. Gorsky just created the puzzle for the sheer whimsy of it. I think it's a delightful idea.

Babes in Arms has an astonishly fertile Rodgers and Hart score that literally bursts with memorable standards including: "Where or When," "I Wish I Were in Love Again," "My Funny Valentine," "Jonny One-Note," "Imagine," and "The Lady Is a Tramp." I can't think of another Broadway score that casually tosses off so many hit tunes of such enduring high quality.

As for that embarrasing excresence called "Mr. Tambo" that Rex posted, let me state emphatically that the film version of "Babes in Arms" has essentially nothing to do with the play. Almost the entire Rodgers and Hart score was jettisoned to make way for a parade of inferior work by a stable of movie song writers. That horrible, horrible number seen above is by Roger Edens (not Rodgers and Hart) and should be consigned to the dustbin of rascist entertainment history.

I have said here before that MGM had a special and peculiar affection for minstrelsy and did more to keep that hateful form of entertainment alive than any other movie studio in existence. The rest of the entertainment world had pretty much abandoned the form by the 1910s, but MGM kept it front and center well into the 1950s. I've got a theory as to why this might be, but I've rambled on enough. If you want to see minstrelsy but to effective and dramatic use, run and grab a ticket to Broadway's The Scottsboro Boys which closes this Sunday. It's an amazing piece of work.

And now, back to the puzzle.

Nancy in PA 8:25 AM  

I liked this puzzle even though it was tough and full of people I didn't know. Tried to cram Clijsters in, never heard of INKSTER. Am glad to be edified about NAPIER; thank you @iskipm-w. When I have this much trouble and still finish error-free, I'm happy.

glimmerglass 8:28 AM  

I'm with Rex right down the line on this one. Does a GAR gulp air? Why? I'd like to be enlightened, so I'll check back to see if anyone knows. I had GAR right, but never heard of RENES, so with anchors on the decks, I had Renec instead. Stupid mistake, for which I don't blame the puzzle, I spelled Goolagong's first as Yvonne and shrugged that Inkstyr wasn't spelled the way Ithought it was.

joho 8:31 AM  

This is the first ever Liz Gorski puzzle that I did not love.

When I printed it out and saw the note I was excited to see what she had wrought. Unfortunately the solve left me feeling out of tune. Flat, even.

I got it all but the NW where I finally just had to bail so I could get on with my day. Having lEmoN really created the sour note up there. Left me with cOmeON instead of ROCKON so I just couldn't see the rest even though I knew it had to be NARCS. Having AtENRA didn't help, either.


Oh, well, I still look forward eagerly to Ms. Gorski's next creation.

Disappointed 9:07 AM  

@Rex, re Fish gulping air:

Gar [...] As their vascularised swim bladders can function as lungs,[1] most gar surface periodically to take a gulp of air, doing so more frequently in stagnant or warm water when the concentration of oxygen in the water is low. As a result, they are extremely hardy and able to tolerate conditions that would kill most other fish. Wiki

You had to read the whole friggin article on GARs to get to that tidbit. Seems like way too much trouble.

I was going to look up which US Open Ms INKSTER won twice ( Golf, Tennis, Ladies Skeet Shooting, the list is endless) but I couldn't care less.

Your extensive research into 31A shows the answer to be wrong, as it us "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" which, I swear on someone else's mother life, I tried to fit in with no success.

How many useless variants do we need on MIRED? ENMIRED means the same thing as MIRED. Do we really need BEMIRED as well? What's the point?

mmorowitz 9:14 AM  

This was my first Friday DNF in months. NAPIER/INKSTER/AMOLE hurt me as well as JOHNNY ONE NOTE, MORITAT and a couple others. I just never got in sync today. Ugh.

David L 9:16 AM  

I got 3/4 of the way through this (knew NAPIER, INKSTER, and EVONNE) but couldn't get anywhere in the SE -- I knew Bill Bradley played basketball but couldn't remember who for, since that's not one of the sports I follow. So I had to google for RENE and then for MORITAT, and still struggled to get the rest. IRENE Rich??? No idea...

"Being reserved" doesn't work for me as a clue for INMOTHBALLS, and as others have said, MORITAT just seems plain wrong -- it's not the alternative title for Mack the Knife, just one word out of it.

And yes, the theme baffled me completely.

So, to conclude, all in all, taking one thing with another, yuck.

mitchs 9:25 AM  

I confidently wrote NEWTON for 1D and felt pretty darn smug what with my knowledge that he invented the calculus and all.

That's it, Gorski, you're on my list! DNF


SethG 9:29 AM  

Even I had no idea about NAPIER.

There is a verb form of BLIP, but it means either bleep or to move jerkily. A blip on a screen is a noun. At least according to the 6 dictionaries I checked, so I can't guarantee there's not one I haven't seen that confirms BLIPPED is accurate...

This was yuck.

See, some of us pay attention to the writeup 9:36 AM  

@Rex - You really should have left 29A out of your bullets. That way, GAR would have been directly over LEER, which is what I suspect you were getting at with your photo.

mmorgan 9:36 AM  

MORITAT!! I got that and JOHNNY ONENOTE right off.... it helps to know musicals! I really loved seeing MORITAT in there!

The rest was a slog, but mostly enjoyable... though DNF, alas, in the NW. AMOLE, INKSTER, NAPIER, EROSIVE...? No way.

Never heard of a GAR, liked LEER and SPAREKEYS and INMOTHBALLS. Briefly wondered what SALE STAGS are.

Thanks for MORITAT, Ms. Gorski!

dk 9:38 AM  

@greene, while I was not charmed I was bemused.

The one note construction and JOHNNY ONENOTE fill worked for me. And if you take out a bunch of letters and move some others around you get ONO who has been accused of having only one note.

I also like the Tats theme with INKSTER and RUNIC.

Growing up upstate the ERIECANAL was ever present. I am happy to hear it is undergoing revitalization. As a child it was a repository for unwanted things. As kids we biked the tow paths.. See the movie Stand by me for more details.

Some fill is a stretch, I suppose there is a PECAN tart but....

My bar line "What's a girl like you doing in a nice place like this?" is preceded by a LEER and always followed by a slap.

** (2 Stars) A puzzle BEMIRED in its cuteness.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

I often finish puzzles thinking I've got the correct answers only to find I have a few wrong. Like yesterday, when I DRAFTS and FOCALDUTY. Today I had the opposite experience. I guessed at a whole bunch, figuring they had to be wrong, and they turned out to be correct (AMUNRA, NAPIER, AMOLE).

Actually I did have one letter wrong: CORATES and CLIPPED.

Golfballman 9:41 AM  

@Acme Julie Inkster is a golfer on the LPGA circuit Kim Clijsters is a pro tennis player. Two different sports but both hold U.S. Opens

dk 9:47 AM  

Byron and Caleb from yesterday... I meant dorks in the nicest way.

I am still trying to find a link to the p. pig version of FIRE or phhwyyerr as sung by said pig.

d(Tobacco Road)k

mmorgan 9:49 AM  

@David L ("it's not the alternative title for Mack the Knife, just one word out of it") -- that's true, I guess, but it's quite common for people to refer to the song as "The Moritat" (well, at least some people ;-).

hugh 9:51 AM  

Both sports hold U.S. Opens, but only one calls it the U.S. Women's Open.

Elwood 9:51 AM  

Nerdiest, turdiest puzzle in ages.

I didn't get Napier immediately but it eventually did come. Napier's "rods" (not bones) is what I remember. There's a college named after him in Edinburgh. His descendant Charles is the one who tells the Blues Brothers they owe him a lot of money for that beer they drank, goddammit, and that they'd look mighty funny tryin' to eat corn on the cob "with no f***in' teeth!"

I thought it was GLUTENATE, not GLUTAMATE. I remembered EVONNE from early 80's hemerrhoid or however you spell it medication commercials but took me a while to remember the E instead of Y thing. Put in BORAX, which had me entertaining "Specimen X" for the motto thing, and that's when I gave up.

Rock on!

Van55 10:08 AM  

Ick. DNF.

Seemed artificially difficult. One note theme. More like a "look what I did" for Ms. Gorski than an enjoyable challenge for the solver.

Retired Copy Editor 10:11 AM  

I like this puzzle because I actually got it, after too many Fridays of DNF. What held me up for the longest time was sticking with SLRs for TAWS in the northeast. I saw GLUTAMATE and SEPARATED early but couldn't make them work until I was able to resee the clue. (Resee is my captcha and the reason I just had to comment today).

imsdave 10:13 AM  

Gorgeous - different - unique - brilliant. Count me with Greene on this one.

r.alphbunker 10:20 AM  

This one may be an acquired taste. I like puzzle more as time passes (12 hours?). That big note is stuck in my visual apparatus somehow. And the one theme entry brings to mind Marcel Marceau's "Non" in Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie".

Glitch 10:20 AM  

Liked today's puzzle, guess I was on Gorski's wavelength.

Agree with @ArtLvr (including BE MIRED as two words)and @Green about the "theme", plus knew NAPIER and most of the other's "WTF's".

Perhaps if 33A & 36A were clued "... apt for this grid" there might have been a better reception, but I doubt it.

My nit-of-the-day is 30A - a compass needle always points to [magnetic] north, ENE is determined from that "point".

Now on to reading the predictable "piling on" comments to follow, with bemusement. ;)


Bob Kerfuffle 10:21 AM  

Total Fail for me; Did Not Finish, not even close.

Completed the NE and SW, but NW and SE had too many wrong or blank to mention.

But in defense of the puzz, any theme is a bonus on Friday. If only it could have been done more smoothly!

(Here in NJ, we remember Bill Bradley not as a Knick, but as our former Senator.)

chefbea 10:22 AM  

Hated the puzzle. Couldn't do it, thus DNF. Saw the note right away and kept hoping for song titles or at least Do a deer, etc

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

BE MIRED is not really a phrase, and is not really what was clued.

six weeks behind in saratoga 10:28 AM  

This could be a stretch... The musical note is shaped like a D (I know, all musical notes are)... John Lennon supposedly intentionally mistuned his D string (according to the recent American Masters show on PBS)... a number of Lennon tunes use something called Drop D tuning... Johhny One Note (??)

Rex Parker 10:37 AM  

@Glitch, to be dismissive of those who agree with me is as insulting as it would be for me to suggest that imsdave and Greene are completely blinded to this puzzles massive faults by their well-documented love of musical theater. If people agree with you, or me, or whomever, I assume they do so in good faith.

Perhaps you'll be happy to know that at least one reader wrote me this a.m. to tell me he would no longer be reading me because I am too mean.


PS conspiracy theory—this puzzle is actually a commentary on the talents of JOHN Lennon, the anniversary of whose death was just a couple days ago. ONO!

Kendall 10:38 AM  

My only comment about this is that 1D should not be NAPIER. Yeah, it fits in terms of all of the correct letters but Michael STIFEL most certainly came up with the idea of logarithms first. As a math student it's one of the few things I'm certain of in this puzzle. NAPIER probably was responsible for using logarithms the way we see them today, but was not the first. That screwed me up completely for the NW section of the puzzle and took a lot for me to change. *Sigh*

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

NAPIER/STIFEL - A pox on both, and on each. Napier predicted the Apocalypse would occur in 1698 or 1700, STIFEL in 1593, both using their high-falutin logarithms.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

wow, some of us are getting way exercised over a crossword puzzle.

i did not finish -- didn't remember amole among other things although i knew that at one time.

what i wanted to throw the red flag at for this puzzle was pecan - tart flavor. my only real connection to pecans has been a lot of pecan pie and tart isn't the word i'd use to describe the confection. maybe in its unprocessed form, i wouldn't know.

Two Ponies 11:10 AM  

Complete epic fail.
Call me the abnegator.
This seemed overly complicated by so many strange and/or totally unknown words and people.
Hats off to those who finished.
I would sound childish to say I hated it based only on the fact that I DNF but this was one ugly
pointless mess whether I got it or not. Now I will try to salvage my morning with Rex's videos.

deerfencer 11:25 AM  

Rare Gorski stinker IMO. Complete bemirement on my part; felt like a gar out of water. Way too many obscure or dated references. Nothing fun about it--put this one in mothballs please.

Moonchild 11:33 AM  

Either I seriously overslept and today is Saturday or maybe someone stole my brain while I was sleeping. I slunk over here with my tail between my legs thinking I would see that I had just missed something obvious. No, not really. Never in a million years would I have known amole, inkster (that's a name?), or oresteia just to name three. There goes my self esteem.

PlantieBea 11:40 AM  

Big, fat DNF. Like Bob K, I was able to get the SW and NE, but the remaining corners were left partially unfilled or with huge errors -- just too many unknowns. I am depressed...didn't even know AMOLE, the detergent plant. I was working with my son on logarithms this AM, but had no recollection of Mr. NAPIER. I thought that the answer of CODE RED to describe "some people resisting arrest" was great; except it was so wrong! Had USUALLY instead of AS A RULE. Didn't even consider the Quaker friends. And on and on.

The musical note and asymmetry were promising and apparent from the get go in this sharp grid, but solving for me was a disaster.

hazel 11:41 AM  

Now that Van's Proper Noun Project is finished, I'm going to start counting stuff. (@Van, I really wasn't sure where you were going with that, but I found your results/summary interesting.)

Anyway, there were 13 things I didn't know in this puzzle. That seems kind of high, but I've never really paid attention before. Fully 20% of the puzzle that were big fat HUH?s.

With that in mind, my solving experience was a little frustrating, but I did find much of the cluing likeable. I'm with you @DavidL, the INMOTHBALLS clue seems off to me too

I like the conspiracy theories, @M-W and @six weeks!

@DK - pecan tarts rock.

Kendall 11:50 AM  

So I lied. There is in fact one more thing I would like to add. Does anyone else think it is reasonable for 28A What flounder flounder in to be NETs not NET? To me this just sounds plural. Any thoughts?

Mel Ott 11:54 AM  

I finally finished this thing, but I was BEMIRED for the longest time in the NW. I too wanted NEWTON (don't know this NAPIER fellow). AMEN-RA off my chart. Took a long time to see ROCK ON & CLASS A. AMOLE?? Couldn't tell you until a recent post whether Ms. INKSTER is a golfer or tennis player.

Seems to me that a motto should encapsulate something a little stronger than SENTIMENT.

I thought SPARE KEYS was the best clue/answer in the puzzle. Thought it had to have something to do with an email box.

I think that if we take BE MIRED to be two words, the tense in the answer would no longer agree with the tense in the clue.

efrex 11:59 AM  

Fridays have rarely gone well for me recently, and this was no exception. Being a musical theater nut made "Johnny One-Note" sing out (sorry!) for me., but that was must about it for me. Having INTROVERTED for INMOTHBALLS didn't help either, but probably wouldn't have made much difference.

*sigh* when do we get a PandA or cryptic in the Sunday variety puzzle, so that I can feel intelligent again?

D_Blackwell 12:00 PM  

I would have thought that referencing nearly any musical would be swell with this group. Definitely seems a NYTimesy kind of thing. My Funny Valentine is my favorite from this show.

Considered STANDOFFISH, to IS COLD AS ICE, to IS A COLD FISH, to the hopeful IS FOUR WALLS - before coming up with IN MOTHBALLS.

The mini-theme makes it work like a themeless, so we get both. Does she use a program? Given some of the entries, it looks like not.? I liked it okay. -1 after forever:((

At Wordplay, Jim Horne notes "This is only the ninth intentionally asymmetric grid of the Will Shortz era."

That's not nearly enough. I can see the value of the rule to help instill discipline in constructors, but after that point it seems pointlessly limiting.

It always amuses me to see that this group generally likes sports references, but consistently knows nothing at all about golf.

"Perhaps you'll be happy to know that at least one reader wrote me this a.m. to tell me he would no longer be reading me because I am too mean."

You aren't releasing the official numbers? Perhaps a quarterly report?

Got my edit orders on this year's official Christmas ornament. Bigger pips, red; green letters please. For anyone interested, here are the final files:

Red pips, green letters:

Grid, numbers:

PuzzleNut 12:19 PM  

Tough puzzle, but I liked it more than most of the posters, maybe because I finally finished it. Remember NAPIER from my slide rule days. Didn't understand the PECAN clue until I saw @hazels comment - pecan tarts rock - finally makes sense (and they are great). Misspelled yVONNE, but not a major problem. Recently was helping my 4th grader with spelling SEPARATE by reinforcing the vowel sequence (EAAE). I had all four vowels in place and - aha - they were SEPARATED.
Favorite answer was SPAREKEYS. Very outside the BOX.
Didn't know MORITAT and the M was my last letter. Running through the alphabet, I was tempted to stop after B.

Cathyat40 12:24 PM  

Finished successfully, but it took an hour. Was BEMIRED in the southeast, even though I got KNICK, ELECTS, DESKS, and NEONATES right off the bat and had most of the letters of INMOTHBALLS(which was the last word to fall). Finally, I stared at STRESSMARKS long enough to see it, and the rest was all downhill.

I originally had SEA for NET and AVE for HTS, so I had to let go of those wrongheaded guesses.

I can't say I loved or hated the puzzle, I was just surprised to get it right the first time I hit the DONE! button. More often than not, I don't "get" the theme of these puzzles, until after I come to the blog, because I'm just not focused on it; especially puzzles with letters inside circles.

Once in a while I guess the theme and use it to solve the theme answers,which I enjoy. That did not happen today.

AMOLE and MORITAT are new words for me :)

captcha: digregis = what fans of Philbin do.

Alpine Joy 12:25 PM  

I am not a big puzzler, but maybe I can look at it with fresh eyes.

I did not finish this puzzle, and I have not read all of the comments or Rex's comments word for word, so forgive me if I didn't see someone's comments already,

BUT, it seems to me that symmetry, or lack of it, is the theme here.

Doesn't Will always say, the puzzle needs to look the same turned upside down (what kind of symmetry is this called, please?)?

This puzzle doesn't. 48 across explains why. 99 times out of 100 symmetry is the rule. This "One Note" proves the rule.

Besides, I knew Napier, 'cause I love math history, and I'm going to immerse myself in Kurt Weill and find out more about the Beggar's Opera.

Thanks Rex!

Shamik 12:48 PM  

A puzzle to cause extreme emotions, sadly most of them negative. NW was a kicker, but was pleased when my last couple of Natick guesses gave me a Mr. Happy Pencil in 24:19, a medium-challenging time for me on a Friday.

While there was a lot I did not like in this puzzle, there was the smile of JOHNNY ONENOTE combined with the one note of the grid. There was plenty of clever cluing on the entire western seaboard that made my dislike of the NW corner fairly balanced.

I give this one a qualified thumbs up.

Dave 12:51 PM one's mentioned her website, where she has a puzzle where the black squares are shaped like a dog. It's clear Gorski's going for a merger of grid art and fairly high-level construction. Is this a problem?

It seems to me, and this is one thing that's frustrating about this review, is the top-down imposition of an idea of what the puzzle should be, rather than considering the motives behind this puzzle. The kerfuffle over attempting a themeless-ish based on the idea of having a musical note is only a kerfuffle if we have a strict view of what crosswords should be. There is either no room for innovation or experimentation, or on the other hand, there is criticism when well-thought-out slight concessions have to be made to conform with rules (see last week's Sunday puzzle, where the theme answers were ridiculed despite the fact that they were as good as they could be).

This isn't the best puzzle Gorski's ever done (like many others, I really didn't like the NW), but it's a really interesting new direction in puzzling with a cute center tie-in. A review that refuses to consider constructor innovations tells only half the story, and one that dismisses them out of concepts that don't really apply to this crossword tells even less.

Ulrich 12:57 PM  

Moritat IS clued wrongly. A moritat is a genre, a rhymed tale of a dreadful murder sung to the accompaniment of a street organ, perfectly captured by Brecht and Weill in the Three-Penny-Opera. It is NOT an alternate title in the same way in which "Ballad" in the "Ballad of the Green Berets" is not an alternate title.

BTW The German original is, as usual, darker and more cynical than the English version (same with Lili Marleen). I at least have never heard, in English, a rendering of the stanza (m.t.)

And the under-aged widow
whose name is known by everybody
woke up and found herself raped--
Mecki, what was your price?

As to the puzzle, I tend to agree more with @Greene, even though it gave me fits--completed it finally in a doctor's office.

Alpine Joy 1:02 PM  

Also, I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to Laënnec for the stethoscope (very interesting quote from him in Wikipedia regarding the spark of invention), and to Napier (and Stifel too, which I haven't nailed down yet).

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

One of the best write-ups by Rex I've seen so far. He actualy sounded human in struggling, as I very much did with this puzzle. My theory as to the "theme" is quite simple. The theme is the grid with the one note and the Johnny One Note was to drive home the point, with nothing else needed or added.

John with One Note

Alpine Joy 1:15 PM  

Rex, Rex, stop me before I post again :)

I seem to be cursed, and I mean cursed with the proofreading bug, so please forgive:

The inventor of "algorithms" (in your write-up) was not Al Gore, nor was it Napier! It was supposedly that famous arabian person we all know and love, the mathematician al-Khwārizmī. Was he arabian?

Anyway, Napier (supposedly, see other comment above) invented LOGarithms.

Anonymous 1:27 PM  

PS. Julie INKSTER is a golfer and her two US Opens came far apart (the second not too long ago). I kept trying to think of tennis players until her name dawned on me. Also, there wer parts I liked about this, though I am not a fan of puzzles that deviate from the stgandard. SALES TAGS, POOL TABLE, IN MOTH BALLS, TASERED, SECTS and PRESCHOOL WERE CLEVER (IMO). AGNEGATOR I struggled with because of ABDICATOR and the NE was my ultimate downfall even though I got INKSTER. EVONNE was a given to any tennis player....

John Who Does Not Think Rex Is Mean, Just Passionate....

jesser 1:27 PM  

@Tobias: Yes, I did. We are of similar mind!

Gadzooks, this was hard.

Moritat! (not my actual captcha, but it effing well may as well be.) -- jesser, home sick and going back to bed having read Rex's comments and scanning the rest.

Van55 1:30 PM  

@Alpine Joy -- you need to read Rex with a grain of salt and a sense of pun humor. Al Gore invented Al Gore Ryhthms -- i.e. algorithms. Get it?

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

Van, maybe you need to read @Alpine Joy with a grain of salt and a sense of pun humor? Rex never mentioned Al Gore.

Masked and Anonymous 1:49 PM  

Mama Mia. This puz was mostly an internet-checkin' exercise for the likes of me. Odd little puz, too; full of kinks and klunks. Almost the kind of puz Erul'd try to write, if he was going to get old 44 lit up all the way to condition red. @44: primo write-up. Now go have a nice beverage and calm the heck down.

Always been an admirer of Liz. Always will be. This puz was sorta like a themeless with a mini-theme tacked on, so that part has been done before, and was OK by me. Erul adds: "a truly note-worthy crossword". He also loved INKSTER, as it is an anagram for STINKER.

mac 2:06 PM  

This was a disappointing Gorski puzzle to me. My two googles: Johnny One Note and Moritat. That says it all.

captcha: corstink!

Sparky 2:09 PM  

DNF, well that's no surprise. Knew MORITAT right away. Correct or not that's what it's often called in reviews or programs. Lyle Lovett sings it in back of the credits to Quiz Show. I only wish he did it in German.

When I saw the note shape I said "Oh, dear." JOHNNY ONE NOTE came easily then I kept looking for more note references. So I'm dumb. IN MOTH BALLS doesn't seem to fit. "This is being reserved." "This is in mothballs." OK, OK but phooey.

As observed above, another themed Friday. Can rebus Saturdays be far behind?

Have fun this weekend one and all.

balto 2:14 PM  

Got totally skunked on this one. I don't really mind ABNEGATOR -- but MORITAT is just too nasty. And I hate the crosswordese of BEMIRED and all those other BE... words.

archaeoprof 2:44 PM  

DNF for me too. NW did me in. Thought 1A was about art dealers, and wrote "fakes."

@Ulrich: 27A made me think of two of my favorite German words: amoklaufen and Amoklaufer.

amenra becarla michaels 2:53 PM  

don't BE hatin' on all the BE- words, they are so much a part of the language tho often dropped...
I mean, think of BEDAZZLED and BESMIRCHED and BESOTTED or BEDVILED, etc and maybe you'll like them again and not think of them as crosswordese-y.

Ah! Thanks for the Open explanation! Now I'm just waiting for Mothballman to chime in!

Martin 2:57 PM  

As with all food fish, the plural of flounder is flounder. This is true when you're speaking, generally, of a single species for consumption. You ask the fishmonger for three trout or two flounder.

If talking about kinds of fishes (note that 'fish' does this too) you pluralize normally. Rainbows and browns are two different trouts. Aquarists, who presumably don't eat their charges, speak of guppies and tetras.

Strictly speaking you're correct. But I will happily grant editorial license for the simplification of the "correct clue": "Alternative title of 'Mack the Knife,' with 'The' and 'of Mack the Knife.'" (Unlike "The Ballad of the Green Berets," both "Mack the Knife" and "The Moritat of Mack the Knife" are published titles.")

BTW, Ulrich, is there a similar treatment of the plural of foodfish in German? Often, two ways of saying the same thing in English stems from the parallel languages of commoner and ruler, Germanic and Norman, post-1066. The Normans ate pork and veal while the Saxons tended to the swine and calves. But I am unaware of why we eat trout but study trouts.

Lorenz Hart 3:01 PM  


Add to ACMe's list, "BEguiled again, ... BEwitched, bothered and BEwildered ..."

Anonymous 3:04 PM  

@ACME et al: Being reserved = IN MOTHBALLS, especially in the military. For example, after WWII the Army mothballed all those tanks it no longer needed, as the Air Force with planes and the Navy with ships, and held them in reserve just in case they were ever needed again. Eventually they became obsolete and were destroyed (after sending one to the Smithsonian)....

John the former Air Force Captain

Ulrich 3:21 PM  

@Martin: My last word on this: If you refer to something by the class to which it belongs, the class name is not an alternate name for the thing, like "brother" is not an alternate name for my brother "Dietrich".

As to German trout, of Trout Quintet fame (Forellenquintett). We could say "we had trout tonight", but we would definitely say "we ate tonight the trouts we caught in the morning." I'm under the impression that it would be "trout" in English in either case.

D_Blackwell 3:23 PM  

@amenra - I too am BEMUSED by this BESMIRCHING of BE- words and BESEECH one and all to BE respectful of all letter combos. It is the only one of its kind in today's crossword and it didn't ask to be grafted to MUSE as if part of some Frankenstein experiment.

D_Blackwell 3:25 PM  

. . .grafted to MIRED. . . (oops)

william e emba 3:36 PM  

Epic love here folks! I struggled and struggled, and had to wait for what seemed forever for inspiration at some points, and the final finish in the center was one slow crawl square at a time. Utter glory!

And while I don't know the song JOHNNY ONE-NOTE, it's almost been one of my favorite phrases. And, yes, I thought it was totally obvious we were looking at a eighth note in the middle of the puzzle, just looking at the grid.

Started off with the math gimme NAPIER (and yes, he invented logarithms) and then took it a clue at a time, all sorts of false turns (USUALLY instead of AS A RULE, SEA for the flounder instead of NET) but I got everything, sometimes from dim memories (fourth attempt to recall YVONNE Goolagong, fifth attempt to remember she spelled it oddly) sometimes from crosswordese (AMEN-RA).

And as for Bill Bradley, well, since I went to Princeton, everything about his career was in our faces while I was there, so even KNICK was that rare sports gimme for me.

Martin 3:42 PM  


Thanks. Is Forellen the plural? In French it's "La Truite," so maybe we're onto something. The quintet is named for a Lied, "Die Forelle" so the plural would be strange. Or does the "n" just indicate some sort of combining form?

RushS 3:47 PM  

Never had a rockin' pecan tart but have had plenty of pecans out of the shell. Some may have been sour, but wouldn't say they were tart...guessing the tart is tart, not the nut.

Surprised nobody has commented on Rex' conspiracy theory. Eew!

NATE 4:03 PM  

Nit pick, nit pick, nit pick.
Just do the puzzle for the fun of it.If you learn something, that's
a bonus.
I'm from New Jersey so I knew that
Bill Bradley was a Knick (and my senator). In a previous puzzle, not
being from Michigan, I didn't know
that Alma is a school there. Someone who was married by someone from Alma knew it. I didn't get crushed-I learned something. I'm
sure I know things that he doesn't,
and the he'll learn something.

GoBradGo 4:05 PM  

Elizabeth Gorski is a wonderful constructor, and it's not easy to make a great puzzle.

This one was hard, and when I finished I still wasn't sure I had gotten them all right.

With a number of more obscure answers clustered together, it made it easy to get thrown off track by an alternative answer to a relatively easier clue. TIGER instead of KNICK in the southeast, the land of BEMIRED and RENES; LEMON instead of PECAN in the northwest, where NAPIER and AMOLE lurked.

I look forward to Ms. Gorski's next NYT puzzle.

Alpine Joy 4:05 PM  

Anyway, NAPIER is the answer to the clue, More necky, even without the question mark.

Anonymous 4:07 PM  

Nate, "nitpick" is one word.

chefwen 4:21 PM  

Really wanted exercise bike for 6A, but that was a leeetle bit too long.

Got this puppy 1/2 way done last night when the lights went off, kinda hard to do by candlelight. Thought I could knock the rest of it off this A.M., I couldn't have been more wrong. A big DNF.

O.K., all you tart lovers. Marlene Sorosky - The Dessert Lover's Cookbook page 110. Regal Pecan Tart, deelish!

Doc John 4:44 PM  

What Rex said.

Ulrich 4:46 PM  

@Martin: Yes, the plural is used to make the word combo easier to pronounce. When the plural would not serve that function, an "s" is usually inserted--Zeitung (newspaper) + Artikel (article) becomes Zeitungsartikel.

NATE 4:55 PM  

To ANONYMOUS at 4:07

I stand corrected. But my main point still stands.
And what you did was nitpicking.
How many people do you think were
upset by my error?

Alpine Joy 5:02 PM  

Now, now, I'm sure it was all in good fun. You know how the email tends to put people off because they can't see the verbal clues. Let's all be friends.

See, what he was doing was nitpicking, so he was sort of telling a joke on himself, and which loses NOTHING of its humor if you have to explain it (I think :) .

Glitch 5:05 PM  


I'm sorry that my closing remark was taken as being "dismissive of those who agree with [you]".

That was not my intention.

"Piling on", with its negative connotation, may have been an unfortunate choice of words, but, in fact, I consider the first part of my original comment in that category.

Finally, there is a small number of semi-regulars that I find bemusing, for reasons best left vague.

Just one of the reasons I come here.


foodie 5:08 PM  

This puzzle was like my day... looked like it might be good fun and turned out to be a pain in the neck.


chefbea 5:25 PM  

Tart flavor means - flavor of a tart. You can have lemon, apple chocolate, mocha etc. In this case the flavor is pecan

retired_chemist 5:53 PM  

Lots of this was obscure/unknown to me. I did not like it much.

Had to Google to get the center - Totally agree with Ulrich about MORITAT.

USUALLY @ 48A has two letters in common with the correct answer, so that stayed too long. Ditto ANGERED @ 38A. Similarly, SEA @ 28A.
Embarrassed that I needed _NICK to get KNICK @ 56A, also embarrassed at what I feared it might be when the partial was just __ICK.

Jim in Chicago 6:12 PM  

I confidently filled in 1A/1D as:

Dealers' dreads = FAKES
Inventor of logarithms = FERMAT

let's just say it was downhill from there. Terrible Friday for me - totally left in the dust.

Tinbeni 6:18 PM  

When anything starts with NARCS ...
well I get my guard up.

Glitch, I'm with you ... must be "it was in my wheel-house swing" thingy.

Rex, I agree with you, if offered in "true spirit of your blog" criticism, either way is OK.
You and I have had some wonderful disagreements here and at the LAT. But I believe they were in "good-faith."

Chefbea, WHAT? No Scotch Tart?

Have fun y'all next week.
I'm heading to Moscow on Sunday, on to Muscat late Wednesday.

On the PLUS side ...

My Sunset "toast" to you all will be 8 hours earlier.

P.S. My Texas buddy, in Oman, who also loves Avatar, told me Scotch will NOT be a problem ...
We'll just have to indulge at home.
Just like at Villa Incognito ...

alex 6:33 PM  

I second the hatred of "be" words. Is there really such a great difference between 'mired' and 'bemired' that it necessitates a distinguishing 'be'? Can we please just make bemired mired, bemused mused, betrayed trayed... wait I guess that one needs the 'be'. Whatever, this puzzle was crummy.

Clark 7:09 PM  

English has this be- prefix. It goes pretty far back. (German has a similar prefix -- it's an Indo-European thing.) Get used to it.

be- prefix
1. Completely; thoroughly; excessively. Used as an intensive: bemuse.
2. On; around; over: besmear.
3. About; to: bespeak.
4. Used to form transitive verbs from nouns, adjectives, and intransitive verbs, as:
a. To make; cause to become: bedim.
b. To affect, cover, or provide: bespectacled.
[Middle English bi-, be-, from Old English be-, bi-; see ambhi in Indo-European roots.]

-- American Heritage Dictionary

be- prefix forming transitive verbs
1. (from nouns) to surround completely; cover on all sides befog
2. (from nouns) to affect completely or excessively bedazzle
3. (from nouns) to consider as or cause to be befool befriend
4. (from nouns) to provide or cover with bejewel
5. (from verbs) at, for, against, on, or over bewail berate
[Old English be-, bi-, unstressed variant of bī by]

-- Collins English Dictionary

andrea carla moritat 7:25 PM  

maybe it will slightly elevate the love (or non-hatred) to note that Ms Gorski, in addition to being the most published female as well as Sunday constructor, (worthy accolades all by themselves) is a professional musician, so this is a sort of signature puzzle...and I bet will be remembered (at least visually) long after the whole bemusement with MORITAT has died (maybe they'll write a song about it with the alternate title GORSKI)!)

A Lennon conspiracy puzzle would have had JOHNNY ONO NOTE running thru the middle.

Tina 7:26 PM  

Speaking of conspiracies, I tried to send this and it seemed to disappear into the void - but I'll try again.

So Moritat means a song about a murder sung in the street. Our Johnny Lennon was of course shot down in the street. My thought is that Gorski began the puzzle with the visual of the musical note as a tribute to our John - and then along came the Johnny One Note clue; a little reminder at the bottom of the puzzle reminds us that the act occured just outside the Park and many of us gathered there (before it was called Strawberry Fields).

Still love Gorski.

foodie 7:40 PM  

@Andrea, this is great information re Ms. Gorski. In spite of my grumpy first post, I actually loved the looks of the puzzle, and I thought having ONE NOTE in the reveal very clever. I just wished that the rest of the fill were not BEMIRED in obscurities.

@Tinbeni, yes, your friend is right. Nothing will be a problem there, as long as one exercises some discretion. Over the years, I have carried more CLASS A Scotch from duty free shops to the Middle East than any other single item I can think of.

ROCK ON... (my weak attempt to make this puzzle relevant :)

Anonymous 7:45 PM  

I depressing puzzle. Nasty, needless.

enough! 8:53 PM  

@anonymous 7:45pm
What a bizarre coincidence! The same could be said of your comment!

Anonymous 9:01 PM  

This just in: Reports are surfacing that Md. Gorski 's next puzzle will have a ONE TRICK PONY with a grid that is mostly black showing a small horse on its hind legs bouncing a ball and all words will begin with BE....

John the Horse of Another Color

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

Medium challenging? Depressing.

davko 9:18 PM  

Began to think I was going to come through the treacherousness of this one unscathed, until I hit the NW corner. Rarely do I find myself so stymied by so much arcana that the entire edifice collapses. That's happens when, among other shortcomings, one doesn't follow women's golf, never heard of amole, and can only think of Horus when recounting any Egyptian gods with a dual nature.

I did enjoy a few clever decoys; i.e., smugly starting with KIDDY POOL(49A) in what turned out to be PRESCHOOL.

Anonymous 9:22 PM  

@scme, Rex has already referred to Ms. Gorski as a genius in one of his past posts, so how does it get any better than that? Frankly, my deceased brother was a genius and always lorded that over me, but I got over it when Sen. Hruska said it was good for Supreme Court justices to be average....

John the Average IQ

NATE 9:40 PM  

The todo about Mack the Knife got me interested in the song itself.
I GOOGLED it and saw the Louis
Armstrong version listed and I played it. I defy anyone to watch it without smiling or clapping your
hands or tapping your feet. Quick
shots of the audience showed them
doing just that.

Anonymous 9:46 PM  

I googled NATE and it came up nit pick and nitpick

NATE 9:52 PM  


Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

@Nate - This is not a chat room....

michael 10:12 PM  

Liked it. Knew Napier, moritat was a surprise, amole a mystery. I appreciated the originality of the puzzle and didn't find it all that hard.

Of course, a matter of taste...

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Rex, this was definitely hard, but you need to bone up on your musical theater trivia. "Gypsy" (arguably the best musical ever written, and certainly a famous one) threw you in the past week, and now the best-known tune from the medium-famous "Babes in Arms" gets you. I'm amazed at your wealth of knowledge--and don't mean to be smug about this being one area in which I probably know more than you--but you'll fill in some gaps with a few well-placed showtunes...

brandsinger 5:52 PM  

Motto = "sentiment" says it all.
A motto is a rallying cry, a principle, an ideal, a cherished value... and a hundred other things before it is a "sentiment."


Frandy 8:03 AM  

This was a stinker, no doubt about it.


P.S. "In mothballs" in the Navy: a ship is "preserved", not "reserved".

Gil.I.Pollas 1:07 PM  

This coming in from your future.
If Anonymous.... aka John [insert your favorite word of the day] happens to chime in,you give me a chuckle every time you post. The Dec. 10th Ms Gorski puzzle made the "G" on my computer fall off. I think I googled just about every clue. I really like her puzzles but this one just wasn't in my brain.

Lurking, Just Behind You 2:51 PM  

Todays puzzle is the first in MONTHS that gave me a big fat DNF. Odd, because L Gorski is one of my favorite constructors (Constructrix? - There's a word for you ACME.).
When I was younger and couldn't finish, I loved the learnings trying to figure out the quirky parts of speech that made puzzles fun. Once I got proficient at them, it was almost always a Natick that brought me down.
THis one....MEH. Don't care to learn anything from it, Don't want to explore it, Didn't even ask Professor Google for help.

impros - what the youngsters of today are....and I am not (IM pros)....or is today's puzzle just IMPROSible?

Randy Chong 6:06 PM  

Among my many errors, I kept reading 22A as "Like swift DREAMS", not "Like swift STREAMS" Perhaps I should put new glasses at the top of my wish list.

Randy Chong 6:07 PM  

And to finish...I had evasive (for the dreams) instead of erosive (for the streams).

Anonymous 4:31 PM  

I wish the crosswords on the weekend weren't so full if trivia and more about language. I like the themed puzzles, but today's was miserable. I have better things to do than look up answers on the net. Thanks for your comments, Rex.

Bianca Tempt 12:09 PM  

:wiping a tear: I'm so glad to hear everyone else thought this one was clumsy. Got stuck on the upper left and had to cheat for "INKSTER" and "NAPIER". Struggled almost word for word with Rex.

Patrick Dolan 1:58 PM  

The "who cares?" factor of this puzzle was way too high for me. This, like an increasing number of crossword puzzles, suffered from too many square pegs crammed into round holes. Too much information that I doubt meant anything to the puzzle maker before she needed to make things work. And for what payoff? Johnny Onenote?

I slogged through this one and actually finished without an error but breakthroughs were followed too often by "Uhhhhh..." and not enough by "Aha!"

Anonymous 9:34 PM  

The puzzle was tough. Lots of "New York" references to go with the Lennon conspiracy: ONO, Washington HTS. JOETORRE, KNICK, ERIECANAL, and maybe even MSG=Madison Square Garden. I liked it.

Anonymous 5:32 AM  

Lots of bitterness at a difficult puzzle here... LOL

"It's not pretty!!"

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