## Sunday, August 21, 2011

Constructor: Alan Arbesfeld

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Underwater Search" => Note accompanying puzzle reads: "When this puzzle is done, look for a name (hinted at by 37-Down [FINDING NEMO]) hidden 17 times in the grid, each reading forward, backward, down, up or diagonally, word search-style." That name is "NEMO"

Word of the Day: OULU (42A: Finnish city near the Arctic Circle) —

Oulu [...] is a city and municipality of 141,742 inhabitants (31 January 2011)[2] in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia, in Finland. It is the most populous city in Northern Finland and the sixth most populous city in the country. It is one of the northernmost larger cities in the world. (wikipedia)
• • •

I didn't even know this puzzle had a "note" attached until I saw a constructor friend's Facebook status update, which read: "Shouldn't have read the Sunday puzzle notepad." I assume he "shouldn't have read it" because it makes a very easy puzzle even easier. Ah look, another constructor has chimed in on Facebook: "I agree. I read it [the note], knew what the theme was, and decided I didn't need to bother solving the puzzle." So I'm happy to have been ignorant today. There wasn't too much pleasure in this solve, but at least part of whatever pleasure there was (for me) came from having to piece together what the nature of the theme was. It didn't take long, and it didn't provide much of an "aha" moment, but it was something. The "note" seems like over-explaining. You could've put the "hint to this puzzle's theme" direction in the clue for FINDING NEMO and left it at that, though even that seems like overkill. All you have to do is look at all the long answers and figure out what they have in common. Letter string? No, not exactly. Letter grouping? Yes—either NEMO or OMEN. Realize that the reversal must mean that there's something word-searchy going on. See other NEMOs. The end.

There was one sticky part in this puzzle for me: EASEMENTS (92A: Rights of passage) over LATE DATE (99A: Back end of a time estimate), neither of which I understood from their clues. I'm still kind of fuzzy on the LATE DATE clue. If it's the "back end of a time estimate," wouldn't that be "at the latest" or the "the latest date?" I can't figure out how to use LATE DATE in a sentence in a way that fits the clue. Clue on EASEMENTS is clever. Didn't see that "Rights" in the clue wasn't spelled the way it's supposed to be spelled in the familiar phrase "rites of passage." Clever. MEET, which traverses both these answers, was the very last thing I put in the grid (93D: It often has dashes).

There was quite a bit of strange fill. I'll start with ASMARA (103D: Capital of Eritrea), which is totally valid, as it's a world capital, but still—not your most familiar of capitals. Then there's OULU. I'm actually shocked at how big it is, population-wise. Since I've never heard of it, or seen it (much?) in crosswords, I figured it would be about the size of, oh, let's say TRURO (my go-to example for "town that is way too small to be in a damned crossword"). KECK was from outer space, as far as I was concerned (115D: Sergeant in "The Thin Red Line"). I know that title from the 1998 movie, which was based (it turns out) on a 1962 James Jones novel. There was also a 1964 film. And of course, there was the 1986 debut album from Glass Tiger, and the title cut therefrom:

• ONEMORETIME (23A: Again)
• MNEMONICS (25A: "I before E except after C" and others)
• ENGINEMOUNTS (38A: Attachment points under the hood)
• NOTTOMENTION (57A: Also)
• DIVINE MOTHER (83A: Part of the Hindu Godhead)
• NOMENCLATURE (101A: Terminology)
• ONEMOMENT (119A: "Just a sec") — nice double-NEMO
• STATESWOMEN (121A: Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi) — never heard this term before. "Statesman," yes. "Spokeswoman," "Chairwoman," "Congresswoman," seen 'em all. But not STATESWOMEN. Threw me.
• UNEMOTIONAL (43D: Stoic)
• "FINDING NEMO" (37D: 2003 Pixar film)
[Please stop emailing me to tell me there are 17 NEMOs. I know there are 17 NEMOs. I say so up front, in reproducing the "note." I just don't *care* that there are 17, and figure you, or your (small) children, can work a word search. Thank you. P.S. remember to count *two* in "ONEMOMENT"—i.e. outside theme answers, there are only 6 to find]

Bullets:
• 33A: Old turkish V.I.P.'s (AGAS) — one of a slew of answers from the Constant Solver's Bag of Tricks, including OCAS (107A: Edible Andean tubers), ARN, ENOL, ENIAC, -OTE, IRMA, SASE, "USE ME," ULAN, IT I, NO OIL, ELON, TRA LA, ROO, ESAU, ITT, SRTA, INRI, ROEG, and GRO.
• 94A: 1936 Loretta Young title role (RAMONA) — The only RAMONA I know is Beasley. No idea who Loretta Young is or what type of production "RAMONA" even is. Hmm, seems it's a movie adaptation (the third one, first talkie) of Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel of the same name. Yeah, I'm gonna forget that right away.
• 116A: Suffix with planet (-OID) — I had -EER.

• 24D: French island WSW of Mauritius (REUNION) — no idea.
• 40D: U.S.A. or U.K. (INITS.) — old trick that still got me.
• 54D: Lower layer of the earth's crust (SIMA) — frowny face. I've seen this once before, but still think it a pretty weak four-letter word, esp. in a grid with So Many weak four-letter words. But the Word Search God must be fed, I guess.
• 78D: Will of the Bible (FERRELL)
• 120D: Annual b-ball event (N.I.T.) — as I've said before, I'm very familiar with this tournament, as my home town University (Fresno State) won it in 1983.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

George NYC

Glad print edition puts note in type that's even tinier than the box scores in the International Herald Tribune. Never saw and think that made the puzzle more fun.

Nancy

This one was too easy. BUT CAN YOU SOLVE THIS? It's an anagrammed poem in honor of someone we all know and love. There are 5 blank spaces composed of 5-letter words which are all anagrams of each other:

DIABOLICAL
The ----- today wasn't tricky enough,
The Editor just made it tougher.
He wants all our ----- to be dripping with sweat,
He wants all us Solvers to suffer.
Now you know the -----: it's a Saturday grid.
The clues will bde weird and Shortz-sited,
The answers as long as a passage of ------,
Your every attempt will be blighted.
And just as a ----- is a thing that will change
From a seed to a bean to a bean dish,
A puzzle's a thing that will grow through the week
From the guileless and sweet to the fiendish.

--Nancy Stark
nls456@yahoo.com

(For those of you who saw this yesterday, I apologise, but I posted it so late in the day that I'm sure few of you saw it).

Noam D. Elkies

I guess the note was needed lest solvers miss all the diagonal NEMOs.

Rex writes "KECK was from outer space", which is a particularly apposite choice of metaphor because the only Keck I recognize is the Keck Telescope — or rather, a two-telescope observatory housed on, of all places, Mauna Kea.

Today, Oulu; next time, perhaps Zibo, a city of nearly 3 million(!) in China that seems to have escaped the notice of Crossworld thus far. (m-w.com says "only" 1,138,074 residents, which is still enough to dwarf Oulu, though I wonder how anybody could be certain of the last two or three digits.)

NDE

retired_chemist

Hand up for easy, except for the exact center. That made it a HTG. Did not think of MAXIM - my Hot 100 mag was, at various times, MACRO (a putative software glossy) and MADAM (you figure it out). LE CAR was the Mercedes competitor (hey, it had wheels). ATON was Horus's mother (Was ATON male? Don't know....). Overlaying all this was that 99A was ANTEDATE until I gave up and Googled to get ESAU. ANTEDATE seemed bass-ackwards for the clue but LATE DATE is both ugly and not AFAIK in the language.

Other than ESE for Tampa -> Orlando, the rest was OK.

I too was put off by the extent of the short crosswordese fill. ELON, ENOL, and ITIC are examples. The obscure OULU, SIMA, and ASMARA - also irksome.

Lorettta Young was big in early TV - well before Rex's time. Unforgettable for me - but I understand his unfamiliarity. I expect similar tolerance for my blank expression when obscure Simpsons/South Park characters arise.

optionsgeek

Uh, I assume Will of the Bible (78D FERRELL) is snark, right? The actual answer is SHALT. :)

kirble

Understandably, I had CIDER for LIVER (occasional ingredient in turkey dressing) which gave me both OUCU and REEDE (for OULU and REEVE), two answers I really didn't have much reason to doubt.

I mean, OUCU looks just as ridiculous as OULU. And count me among the illiterati who have never read the Canterbury Tales. Give me Superman over Chaucer Pilgrim any day for REEVE.

Natick'ed out of a perfect grid.

chefwen

I really hate this expression but I'm going to use it anyway, I was not a "big fan" of this puzzle. It was a lot of filling in many little boxes with teeny letters without a aha moment or a that's a good clue, or that's a fun answer. Kinda boring and you didn't have to look for the NEMOS, they just popped up. Only write overs were at 34A SEE me before SEE IT and 63D TOEs IN before TOED IN.

Well 15D was kind of cute Notes to pick up on, that brought a smile, and I'm so easy to please. Maybe next Sunday.

jae

I too never saw the note but caught the NEMO theme about half way through. Medium for me with a "need to stare at for a while" in SW, i.e, VIDEOED took a while to see plus I had AIMS for ENDS. Didn't hate it, didn't love it = meh.

@kirble -- Me too on not having read Canterbury Tales but REEVE I knew for some reason. That said, NONNE was an answer for a Chaucer narrator in a puzzle I did recently and I had not a clue. Lucked out on the crosses.

JaxInL.A.

My "bag of chips" was a StAsh, as in poker chips. That made the middle south a mess for me. Finally got CLANTON and had a SNACK, but ended with STATUS WOMEN and KUCK. Just could not see how to fix it.

For not knowing Loretta Young (beautiful, intelligent actress of the 30s-60s), Rex picked an oldie to illustrate NEMO: James Mason from the 1954 Disney flick 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

As for RAMONA, if you ever get to a tiny desert town near Palm Springs called Hemet, you can see a community-wide extravaganza called "The Ramona Pageant," which has acted out the book in an outdoor amphitheater every year since 1923. The book's author set out to write a novel to do for mistreated Indians what Uncle Tom's Cabin had done to raise awareness of the plight of "Negroes." I guess Hemet adopted it because the love story is set among California Mission Indians like those that had lived nearby. I just learned that the Ramona Pageant is the official outdoor play of the State of California.

Jim

I liked the puzzle; I'm breaking in my new girlfriend on the process and she got a few before I did.

But CONTEMNS is horse hockey; really, we have contempts, comdemns AND contemns all meaning roughly the same thing and all possible answer to this clue?

Also, ended up with STATuSWOMEN--what do I know?

miriam b

Just plain TDS.

Glimmerglass

50 years ago, a late date was either after the waitress got off work, after you took your early date home, or both. Easy, pretty dull puzzle. I didn't see the note (I often don't), but I was just as happy I didn't today. Liver? Really? Nothing else fit, so it had to be OULU.

Ben

Hey Rex, sorry I missed you in NYC the other weekend.

There's a confusing problem with the meta clue (explaining the NEMO word search) on the NYT puzzle site: a PDF version of the clue accompanies not the main Sunday puzzle but Mel Taub's "Puns and Anagrams." It looks like this.

I don't usually solve either the Sunday puzzle or Puns and Anagrams (prefer the Fri/Sat NYT and anything by Cox/Rathvon). Would have overlooked these Sunday puzzles as usual except that the extra clue accompanying Taub caught my eye yesterday when I was getting Byron Walden's (very good) Saturday puzzle. I was left mystified after trying to find a name hinted by 37 Down in the Taub puzzle.

I will bring this minor error to the attention of Team Shortz.

foodie

Greetings from lovely Petoskey-- has it ever shown up in the puzzle?

I too thought of KECK observatory, KECK Foundation, KECK School of Medicine (USC) and Keck Centers. It's quite a great name in science.

My dad in his youth, which would have been over 65 years ago, was in love with Loretta Young! He thought she had the best smile in the history of womankind. He told me that years later when we first got a TV and she was on some rerun... I was a little kid and I recall feeling worried that my mother was going to be very upset with him. It's funny what sticks in your memory.

jackj

The thought of thousands of mature, intelligent adults, successfully completing a New York Times Sunday puzzle, then scouring through the completed grid, drawing lines to connect letters wherever N-E-M-O appears, to find seventeen of them, seems like a “Psychology Today” case study in the making.

Let me just suggest that Alan Arbesfeld didn’t distinguish himself or embellish his oeuvre with this one. ASMARA, OULU, SIMA, CLANTON, KECK and CONTEMNS might have been brilliant in Maleska’s day; they should be signs of failure in the Shortz era.

At least the puzzle revived fond memories of the charming “Nemo” adventure, which received a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003.

At the same time, I’m reminded of an egregious oversight, when Ellen DeGeneres, who gave a brilliant performance as “Dory”, an absent-minded surgeonfish who helped lead the search for Nemo, the missing clownfish, was denied the chance to be honored as Best Supporting Actress.

Voice only, animated performances seem to get short shrift from Motion Picture Academy members; she truly deserved the nod.

Anonymous

@kirble and the like

Possibly you did not realize that Chaucer included at least one hilariously bawdy tale that's well worth the read. Happily for me, my sister was a freshman in college and brought the prose translation home; I was a HS freshman, so it was eye-opening. I read the rest of the book, hoping for more such experiences...
It's never too late, you know!

DBGeezer

86D had me confused because the old tongue twister that stuck in my mind went:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Why a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Say that one three times quickly!

Z

Rex only listed 10 of the 17 theme answers. Apparently he isn't a word search fan. Who knew?

chefbea

Got the theme right away and found a lot of the NEMOS but didnt bother looking for the diagonals. Really not a word search fan.

And I NEVER EVER put liver in turkey dressing or stuffing.

600

I almost jumped out of my skin when I read Rex had no idea who Loretta Young was. Wow. I keep getting slapped in the face with how old I guess I must be. (Still, I didn't know about Ramona. I just remember all those Loretta Young entrances.)

Enjoyable puzzle for me, fairly easy with a few slower spots. I liked it. But there was no way I was going to participate in searching for diagonal NEMOs. Not an amusing way to spend my time.

@Nancy--I haven't figured out your anagram yet--feeling pretty stupid. I trust it'll prove worth the effort. At any rate, I applaud yours.

And finally, what is the purpose of puzzling if not to learn things? I learned a big lesson today. All my life I've been "honing" in on ideas. No one ever told me (by gentle correction or modeling) that I was wrong. So thank you, Alan Arbesfeld.

joho

@ optionsgeek ... I think FERRELL is a happy shout out to Will, not a snark.

@foodie, as a kid we used to go up to Black Lake which was near Petosky ... such beautiful memories!

I thought the puzzle was OK. I must admit I wasn't all that interested in FINDINGNEMO.

Mel Ott

As @600 hints, the Loretta Young Show on TV (1950's?) was notable for her elegant entrance at the beginning of each show. She would come through a doorway, pivot with the skirt of her dress/gown swirling gracefully around her legs and walk purposefully toward the camera (down stairs if I recall correctly). All with great presence and a gorgeous smile on her face. For some oldtimers the phrase "Loretta Young entrance" is still in the language.

I'm also old enough to remember when the NIT was a much bigger deal than the NCAA Tournament.

thursdaysd

Didn't enjoy this. Got the theme very early, without the note, then had to change DIVINEMOTion, and I too had STATuSWOMEN - to me a states(wo)man is someone involved with international diplomacy - Clinton but not Pelosi. Alas, HTG to get OULO and USEME - I was thinking capER for the dressing and letME for the song - and ASMARA. Unfortunately there didn't seem to be any good stuff to balance out the bad.

syndy

Kinda liked it-if we don't like clues we've seen before-or clues we've not seen before-?Seems like sundays ALWAYS have more junk fill-because they are BIGGER!SHORN-UNLOCKED? cute and MNEMONICS is worth a few NEMOS.took me an hour and made me smile.

Tom Nawrocki

Weakest Sunday puzzle in a long time. The cheesy gimmick seemed more appropriate for a Wednesday, and did this thing set a record for most non-words in one crossword? RPMS, MMCL, INITS, OULU, CTRL, OTE, ENE, ARN.... I lost count. It got to the point where it was refreshing to see a bit of crosswordese like ATSEA because, hey, at least they're words!

Kept bouncing back and forth, like a Shortzian ping-pong ball, between CONdEMNS and TRALA, until brain exploded. Har. Made a pitifully small popping sound, kinda like someone sitting on a ping-pong ball.

Now to find all those OMENs. Won't be easy, with no gray matter left. May need some brain food. (=cinnamon rolls, QED)

hazel

cheesy gimmck indeed @tom n. who really gives a rat's ass about the wordsearch component of this puzzle?

i'm with @jackj - loved Ellen's performance in the movie. i have found that animated movies are an excellent pastime while doing chemo - finding Nemo is my favorite to date, and one of the most memorable. so the puzzle has that going for it, but not much else. liked the ITTY ATTY cross for some reason, but CONTEMNS cancelled it out. and no baseball. :-(

QED puzzle fail. (good one, @ M&A))

@kirble - made same exact mistakes in the East as you. I grew up loving my grandmother's chopped liver, but would have stayed away from any turkey gravy containing organ meat. Plus, cider has such a Thankgiving-y feel to it.

I really enjoyed this puzzle - like most of you, I made no attempt to find Nemo, but much the long fill was very fresh.

Matthew G.

Have to partly disagree with Rex. The theme was (too) easy, yes, but the bottom third of the grid itself was pretty wicked tough:

Uncommon capital (ASMARA), fictional character from a very old movie (RAMONA), unknown fictional character from more recent movie (KECK), fictional character with unusual spelling (ELINOR), historical figure with an uncommon name one letter off from a common one (CLANTON), infrequently used crosswordese (OCAS), a word that could plausibly have had different endings (TORIC [TORID? TORIL?]), and perhaps hardest of all, an ugly verbed noun (VIDEOED). That's not counting some tough clues -- what does TRA LA have to do with skipping? Is it something people say when they skip rope?

I'm not complaining at all (other about VIDEOED, on which I call "not a verb"), especially because many Sunday grids have no crunch, but there's no way the bottom of this grid qualifies as Easy. That section was hard enough to push my overall time to Medium.

Shamik

Count the NEMO's? I've got better things to do. Easy-medium. Ho-hum. Never saw the NEMO movie. Still, a good reason to slowly sip my coffee on yet another cloudy, rainy, foggy Alaskan morning. If I hadn't heard it was 114 in Phoenix, I'd want to be back home in Arizona.

Sparky

The theme was first entry as JIF confirmed guess of FINDINGNEMO. Felt finding 17 would be a slog so decided to just fill in the boxes, though must admit knowing the 4 letters helped in spots. Flew through top half as if the Continental Airlines magazine. Bogged down in lower half. Errors like Nada (84D) and inaMOMENT (119A) and a hole in the S Middle. Got bored and quit. So, meh.

@chefbea. Liver in dressing-yuk. Diary of A Mad Housewife: oysters in dressing. The kid spits it back on the plate. Let's stick to sage.

Tomorrow is another day.

600

@Matthew G--I think TRA LA is skipping syllables because you sing "tra la" while skipping the words of a song--probably because you don't know the words. (Tried to form this sentence with "one" instead of "you"--boy, did that sound awful!)

But who knows? Perhaps some people do say "TRA LA" while skipping. I prefer "We're off to see the wizard" while skipping. Who am I kidding? Haven't skipped in a long time . . .

quilter1

@Sparky and chefbea. No liver for me either please. My grandma put chopped chestnuts in hers (the real nut not water chestnuts) and it gave a sweet little crunch. The place where she bought them no longer sells chestnuts.

Since the Loretta Young entrance has been well remembered here I'll only add that her show was pretty good and she kept a cuss jar on the set so anyone who cussed had to put in a quarter.

Didn't get the note, of course, so I was completely puzzled by the theme answers, and although I got the finding Nemo answer, it did not turn on the light for me. So-so solve for me. Easy Sunday.

Devend: shoving the candy bar back into the machine.

Masked and Anonymous and eye-strained

The only known (to me) solver in the Universe to do the word search, reportin' back.

Found 16 OMENs, 1 OMAN, and 1 ENEMA. Close enough for Congressional work. Coffee stains in the NW may have hampered the search.

CoffeeLvr

Fellow Rexites, I solved @Nancy's DIABOLICAL anagrams yesterday, and it is well worth your time. Very clever, thanks, Nancy.

I have nothing but contempt for CONTEMNS. Also don't know how to count very far in Italian, so DIECI is my DNF Natick.

I also tried IRONsIdE for Tyson; definitely not my sport to follow.

Had JibE (var. of gibe) before JAPE. Mis-spelled eRMA. And wanted 15D to end in TuNE. The crossing with OULU was no help.

Liked MNENOMICS, ENGINE MOUNTS, DIVINE MOTHER, NOMENCLATURE, even STATESWOMEN. NOT TO MENTION UNEMOTIONAL ONE MORE TIME.

I hate WordSearches, didn't even do them in Highlights for Children 50+ years ago. So you know I am not looking for the diagonals. Thanks for covering for me M&A and Eyestrained.

Gill I. P.

Well, I thought this puzzle was just fine for a lazy, beautiful afternoon - sitting by the river with our pups, eating brunch and sipping on a gin fizz..
I too, didn't get any note - thank you very much
I enjoyed some of the words thrown in here. I used to drop MNEMONICS 25A)around all the time trying to impress our young ones on the correct usage of English. The only problem was that I pronounced in "minimonics" and no one corrected me.
It's kinda like coming out of the bathroom with half you skirt tucked in your underwear and no one says anything.
I also like the word PRIG; a word I use often and enjoy.
@JaxInL.A.
My grandmother used to live in Hemet and when I would visit her the "Ramona Pageant" became a must see annual event. Thank you for tweaking some good memories
Happy rest of your Sunday all.....
My captcha is foodes... Hi @foodie in Petoskey!

Anonymous

I LOVED this puzzle, I can't believe I was the only one. I read the note and I thought it was fun finding all the Nemo's. But that's just me.

ksquare

I remember seeing RAMONA as a schoolboy in 1936. (Yes, I'm old.)
Don Ameche was the Indian who loved her, if you know who he was.

ksquare

I don't know why my comments didn't appear above. Anyway I remember seeing RAMONA as a schoolboy in 1936. (Yes, I'm old.)
Don Ameche was the Indian who loved her, if you've heard of him.

ksquare

Now they turned up !

cackler1977

I have 2 comments on this puzzle and Rex' thoughts on it:

1. I don't do word searches, I do CROSSWORDS. There's a reason for that. I've never liked word searches, so I did not care for the theme AT ALL. In fact I had so little interest in it, that I didn't even bother to figure out what the repeated name was till I came here to read Rex.

2. @Rex, YOU may not know who Loretta Young is, but I know her very well: She's my first cousin, once removed. O, there was an actress with that name, too? Yeah, I knew that, running joke in the family. Did I have a clue about any of the films in which she starred? NO. [Interesting note of trivia, according to Wikipedia, Loretta Young, not my cousin, was educated at the RAMONA Convent Secondary School.]

captcha- NATIMERS speakers' clocks at 12-step programs?

David

I read the note, saw 37D (FINDINGNEMO) very early on and input without crosses, put 2 and 2 together and that was that. DIVINEMOTHER was the only one of the long answers that took a while - oh, MNEMONICS too. I agree with some others that the bottom half had a couple of thorns, and I finished with OULU and USEME, a city and a song I have never heard of before. Never heard of REEVE either, so that was by the far the toughest part of an otherwise easy puzzle.

Anonymous

Hey, if you find the other 7 NEMO mentions and color them all in, they make the shape of the orange stripes on a clown-fish!

Sparky

@quilter1-Hah, Devend. I can never think of anything clever for the catchpas. @Anon 8:43. I'm getting out my Crayolas right now. Thanks, I needed a laugh.

Anonymous

It's late and Monday has been up for five hours and no blog. Rex needs to change his routine for Sunday aand Monday. In fact Rex is at least two hours late every night.

M and A's Last Silver Bullet

Monday afternoon after.

Yaaaahoo! Finally nailed that last OMEN. Shoulda read #31's extra note sooner. But then again, not sure when that note showed up. Anyway, forgot to count the extra OMEN in ONEMOMENT, even tho I'd found it.

Now I can get some Z's.

Anonymous

Best part of this puzzle was letting my 7 year old find all the nemos which let him get more involved in the crossword.

Anonymous

Wouldn't brag about not knowing Loretta Young. She made some great flicks -- and won a Oscar -- before she ever "entranced" on TV. Look her up!

Mike

Just throwing this out there: This was one of the absolute worst Sunday puzzles I have ever had the (dis)pleasure of completing. Incredibly easy and not at all fun.

Paul A.

Am I the only one to get hung up on 53A "skips on water" - DAPS? It's a very crosswordy word but I've never seen it before either in crosswords or anywhere else.

Anonymous

Agreed that blurb was unnecessary. Finished, with no help and no errors, though I had to guess between TOEDoN and TOEDIN. Finally decided on the I, thanks be.
Shortzian cluing saved this from being ridiculously easy. And of course, I did not word-search the grid for all the NEMOs. If I wanted a word-search book, I'd have bought a word-search book (my apologies to the good folks at Wonderword, the only constructors I have any time for).

thiresse:--of the story, Paul Harvey segment

Dirigonzo

I spent extra time with the puzzle today reading the clues to enjoy the cleverness (sometimes) because Irene is blowing through this part of syndiland today and my entertainment options are somewhat limited. I would have preferred to solve at 88a, where I spent pretty much the whole week.

One nit that seems to remain unpicked involves 10d - I seem to remember that Prince abandoned that name some years ago in favor of some obscure symbol (The Artist Fromerly Known as Prince?) so the clue seems wrong on that count. Unless he went back to using the name and I missed it which is always possible.

@MandA - too funny! Laughed out loud at the results of your word search.

Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com

Read the blurb, finished the puzzle having completely forgotten the blurb and didn't even realize I was supposed to be FINDINGNEMO until I came here.

Had an "oh, geeez" moment when I finally cheated to solve LEXUS, since I drive a LEXUS. Yeesh.

@quilter1 - Ha! at "devend."

@Gill I.P. - I completely relate to your cringing at learning you'd been mispronouncing a word for years. Being a big-reader, I use a lot of words that I never actually hear anyone else say (since I don't get out much, AND I'm severely hearing-challenged). One such word - incongruous - I used in a conversation with a friend many years ago, placing the emphasis on the third syllable instead of the second. An hour or so later, she used the word correctly in a different conversation. I've always thought that was absolutely the classiest way to clue a person in to such an error.

captcha=brains: Events staged by early feminists.

Dirigonzo

@Deb - I'm pretty sure those early feminist events were "nobra-ins".

Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com

@Dirigonzo - Touche; I should have typed "anti-feminist." If the captcha had been "nobrains" I would have had to clue it "Me, for not being able to solve LEXUS. "

BTW, regarding the puzzle again: I loved seeing NOMENCLATURE in the grid, and if I'm using xwordinfo.com correctly, it seems to be the first time it's appeared in a NYT puzzle. (I'm probably NOT using it correctly though.)

Dirigonzo

@Deb - A "brain fart", which I think is what you had, is different from "nobrains" which I am certain doesn't describe you. Pretty impressed that you drive a Lexus, though. I really liked NOMENCLATURE, too. I thought ENGINEMOUNTS was pretty cool, also -who knew NEMO was so ubiquitous?

Gill I. P.

Hi @Deb:
Perhaps we will meet some day and have some rip-snorting fun on pronounciations. I may one-up you though!!

SharonAK

@MandA and eyestrained. I agree there are 16 nemos. Did anyone find 17? or was that a misprint? (Didn't appear in my paper anyway.

Agree with Dirigonzo and others that nomenclature and enginemounts were good entries and got a smile when I caught on to "rights of passage and some others.
@TomNarowki Seems just a tad crankypantsy to deride Arn and Oulu for not being words when they are names, one of a city of significant size, the other a comics character of a strip beloved by millions for many decades.
(Is Nawrocki really a word?)

Found this quite a fun puzzle.

Dirigonzo

@SharonAK - I'll go one over the comment limit to suggest that you look at @M and A's Last Silver Bullet 2:27pm; apparently he found all 17, with help from @RP's write-up.

Anonymous

Did the puzzle but left Nemo to find his own way. I don't care for word searches. The gimmick did help me plug in a few N's E's M's and O's along the way though. Probably not going to get NOMENCLATURE without that.

Nice challenge, Nancy.

Sweet sweet Little RAMONA
She always wants to come over

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