Mother of Helios / WED 2-29-12 / Siege site of AD 72 / Subj of space-to-earth experiment on Apollo 14 / Sesame Street supporter in brief / Tony-winning role for Mandy Patinkin / regime pre-1789 French government / Greek peak SE of Olympus / Walt Disney had 26 of them

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Constructor: Kevan Choset

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Broadway phrases — familiar two-word phrases in which the first word is also the title of a famous Broadway musical; clued as if the phrase related directly to the "Broadway" show

Word of the Day: ANCIEN régime (67A: ___ régime (pre-1789 French government)) —
The Ancien Régime ([...] Old Regime) refers primarily to the aristocratic, social and political system established in France from (roughly) the 15th century to the 18th century under the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime were the result of years of state-building, legislative acts (like the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts), internal conflicts and civil wars, but they remained a confusing patchwork of local privilege and historic differences until the French Revolution ended the system. (wikipedia)
• • •
Pretty standard fare, about which I have no strong feelings. Right-over-the-plate "First Words"-type puzzle, with the "Broadway" cluing in lieu of a "Broadway" revealer. So far this week has been textbook, difficulty-wise. Monday in the 2s, Tuesday in the 3s, Wednesday in the 4s. Thematically, this is the best puzzle of the week so far, but sadly that's not saying much. Outside the theme answers, the fill was pretty ragged. AAHS next to PSAT. EPA RLS NAS in the middle. INIS XTRA. SEEPY? I could go on (and on). Lots and lots and lots of ick. This lack of attention to the overall quality of fill has been a real problem of late—something that many of my constructor friends remark on regularly. I don't know why standards seem so low for non-theme fill. I get that there is a "theme-above-all" attitude that prevails, but overall fill quality should have a slightly higher bar to clear than it currently seems to have.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Security desk at a Broaeway theater? (RENT CONTROL) — security desks are called "controls?" News to me.
  • 23A: Simian on a Broadway set? (GREASE MONKEY)
  • 37A: Understudy in a Broadway show? (HAIR REPLACEMENT)
  • 48A: Pessimistic Broadway investors? (CHICAGO BEARS) — somehow never noticed until today that Chicago has both BULLS and BEARS
  • 59A: Nighttime Broadway wardrobe? (CATS PAJAMAS)

There were a few tricky places in the grid today. Had GAEA and then RHEA as the [Mother of Helios] (THEA), which meant TITUS took some time to come into view (7D: Emperor who completed the Colosseum). I thought the ["Sesame Street" supporter, in brief] was going to be a single human being, like a PBS donor or something, so NEA needed crosses. I will never ever remember whatever it is that MASADA is, despite seeing it several times now (46D: Siege site of A.D. 72), and it took some scrambling to put it together today because I had ODESSA at first at 46A: Greek peak SE of Olympus (MT. OSSA). I guess you can tell what letters I had in place when I made that (bad, unthinking) guess. Clue on ESP was interesting. Normally I'm against elaborate clues for junk fill, but that some trivia I don't mind knowing (52D: Subj. of a space-to-earth experiment on Apollo 14). Did not get the pleasure of encountering the MOE clue until I had it completely filled in from crosses (62A: "The Simpsons" character who says "Oh geez" a lot).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Boss of fashion / TUE 2-28-12 / Beau Brummels / Half wolf's cry / Canyon locales

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Constructor: Randall J. Hartman

Relative difficulty: Medium


Word of the Day: Beau Brummell (29D: Beau Brummells = FOPS) —
A dandy; a fop.

[After George Bryan ("Beau") Brummell.] (
Beau Brummell, born as George Bryan Brummell (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840 (aged 61)), was the arbiter of men's fashion in Regency England and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. He established the mode of men wearing understated, but fitted, tailored clothes including dark suits and full-length trousers, adorned with an elaborately knotted cravat. // Beau Brummell is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man's suit, worn with a tie. He claimed he took five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with  champagne. His style of dress is often referred to as dandyism. (wikipedia)

• • •

There is nothing to say about this puzzle. The theme "answer" says it all. I think this is a stupid gimmick that drains the puzzle of all joy. You are of course free to feel however you feel. Could've been done with FOURTEEN or EIGHTEEN or FORTY-TWO, so who cares? It's not as if the clues are that interesting. In fact, the clues only seemed *slightly* odd at times, which suggests that 13 is a pretty common letter count for puzzle clues. Didn't exactly strain the cluing. Overall, the puzzle was very easy, except for the theme "answer," which I never paid attention to after I realized the only way I was going to get it was from crosses. Lots and lots of crosses. Only issues—slow on the uptake with the meaning of "wolf" in 65A: Half a wolf's cry (HUBBA); couldn't remember what the hell Beau Brummells were (I was thinking shoes ... why??); a [Facebook entry] is a NAME? I'm on Facebook a lot, and I don't get that at all; cluing on RIMS absolutely baffled me. RIMS are [Canyon locales] the same way that states are [Country locales]. Which is to say—no. Lastly, I hate SINGLE. EVERY SINGLE CLUE? You mean EVERY CLUE. SINGLE does nothing. Nothing. It's redundant. Why not DAMNED? EVERY DAMNED CLUE ... yes, I like that much better.

The end.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Group with 1971 3x platinum album Aqualung / MON 2-27-12 / Rhododendron relative / Freshwater duck / High class poetry it isn't / Avian hooter

Monday, February 27, 2012

Constructor: Bill Thompson

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: T-LL — yet another vowel progression puzzle

Word of the Day: DOGGEREL (11D: High-class poetry it isn't)
Crudely or irregularly fashioned verse, often of a humorous or burlesque nature.

[From Middle English, poor, worthless, from dogge, dog. See dog.]
• • •

A pretty standard example of the form. TALL TELL TILL TOLL TULL. Not much else to say. One thing I noticed is that a couple of Downs cross three theme answers. These theme-crossers are ones you have to lock in early when you're constructing, and they are often less-than-lovely. If a Down crosses three theme answers, chances are there's not a wide choice of potential answers there (for instance, S-I--I doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room; neither does E--L-R, actually). Downs that cross two theme answers are inevitable, but Downs that cross three theme answers are not that common, and for good reason: they give the constructor less play in the grid, less opportunity to make it as lively and bouncy and interesting and good. This is all to say that I was wondering if the grid could've been built differently, in such a way that those 3-theme crossers could've been avoided. But NYT puzzles, esp. early-week, tend to be all about the theme. The fill simply has to be passable, and the fill today is at least average, maybe slightly better. Not too much junk, and some nice 6+-letter fill here and there.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Exhibits pride (STANDS TALL)
  • 25A: Betray a lover's confidences (KISS AND TELL) — coincidentally (and this is true) just finished watching the second half of the PBS "Clinton" documentary, minutes before doing the puzzle
  • 37A: Symbol of embezzlement (HAND IN THE TILL) — my favorite of the theme answers
  • 50A: E-ZPass pays it (HIGHWAY TOLL)
  • 60A: Group with the 1971 3x platinum album "Aqualung" (JETHRO TULL)

No real snags today. Some strange moments, like when I saw that an answer started IAM- (??), but then I saw the clue and remembered that movie I had no desire to see with the soundtrack of "Beatles"covers that I own (46A: 2001 Sean Penn movie = "I AM SAM"). Got JETHRO TULL without ever reading the clue (off of "TULL"). Same with ANAGRAMS, which is lucky, because that is one awkward example of an anagram in that clue (38D: "Slot machines" and "cash lost in 'em," e.g.). AZALEA (48D: Rhododendron relative) makes the grid pretty and kind of takes the edge off of the adjacent SUTURE (47D: Sew up, as a wound). Favorite word in the grid, by a mile: DOGGEREL. Sounds insulting, is insulting.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Premium Cuban cigar brand / SUN 2-26-12 / Multiple Grammy winner contestant Dancing with Stars / Fastener patented in 1939 / Feeling pervading Brat Pack movies / Spanish winds / Sod house locale

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Constructor: Daniel A. Finan

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Back to the Start" — theme answers appear to be missing their last three letters; to find them, you have to go "back to the start" (i.e. the missing last three letters are the first three letters of the answer)

Word of the Day: KEGLER (57A: X X X lover?) —
A person who bowls; a bowler.

[German, from kegelnto bowl, from Kegelbowling pin, from Middle High German kegel, from Old High German kegilpeg.] (
• • •

This is a theme that might be clever in theory but is not so enjoyable to work through in practice. Whatever the overriding thematic principle may be, the upshot is that the grid is full of nonsense like TONIBRAX (great potential space alien name, btw). Might have to name the kind of puzzle that has nonsense fill in it a TONIBRAX. Anyway, as I say, the concept is interesting, but I didn't even know what it was until I was completely done with the puzzle. I just thought "I bet those missing endings are gonna be important somehow" and I kept plowing ahead assuming I'd hit a revealer or explanatory note of some kind. No luck. Turns out I never actually looked at the title, but I doubt it would've helped much. It's not like the theme answers were tough, so I didn't really need to know the theme. The fill (with a couple of notable exception) is very solid. Better than average for a Sunday, I'd say. Yes, we can all find a handful of short stuff we're not that fond of, but that's expected in a grid this big. Overall, it's a feisty, jaunty, bubbly grid with lots of Scrabbly letters and cool answers like TROGLODYTES (37D: Cavemen) and TWIST TIE (124A: Fastener patented in 1939). But what the hell is up with KEGLER? People know that word? It seems ... not common, and that is the *last* kind of word you want to start getting cute with in the cluing. Not sure why you go with KEGLER there; it's utterly unnecessarily (I rewrote that part of the grid in my head in five seconds just now). Maybe the constructor actually *wanted* that word in the grid. Seems unfathomable, but maybe. Anyhoo ... that was about my least favorite moment of the solve (also, my last moment). I also had no idea what a COHIBA was (66D: Premium Cuban cigar brand). Was sure either KEGLER or COHIBA would end up being wrong. Not so.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Aide for a V.I.P. customer (PERSONAL SHOPPER)
  • 25A: Multiple Grammy winner who was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars" (TONI BRAXTON)
  • 35A: Prozac, for one (ANTI-DEPRESSANT)
  • 59A: Freudian concept (PLEASURE PRINCIPLE)
  • 78A: Mountains, rivers, plains, etc. (PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY)—I didn't know there was another kind.
  • 99A: Fancy salad ingredient (ARTICHOKE HEART)—you can get them at your local supermarket. I wouldn't say "fancy."
  • 117A: London transportation (UNDERGROUND)
  • 119A: Marlon Brando ("ON THE WATERFRONT")
I'd be surprised if a significant minority of solvers didn't have some trouble in the NE (toughest section of the puzzle for me). TONI BRAXTON seems fair game as a puzzle answer, but as a tricky theme answer like this, in an already tough section of the grid? Seems a bit mean, esp. with odd words like FRIARY (I had PRIORY) (15D: Brother's place), and a very trickily clued SEXT (19D: Send some pixxx?) and awkward TRAS and that stupid BENET guy I know only from crosswords (14D: Pulitzer winner for "John Brown's Body"). I worked it all out, but I actually own TONI BRAXTON music. I wonder if the majority of solvers are very familiar with her (I never know with you people). Could / will break along age lines, to some extent. If you listened to the radio in the '90s (or watch reality TV in the '10s), you know her. She had one of the nicest R&B radio voices of the '90s.

  • 1A: Bulb holders (LAMPS) — wrong, right out of the box. I had STEMS.
  • 54A: It may be popped for fun (WHEELIE) — great answer, and a good example of how fun much of the language in the grid is. I also particularly enjoyed YODELER (73A: Jimmie Rodgers or Tex Owens, musically), MCQUEEN (86A: "The Magnificent Seven" star), and "I AM A ROCK" (61D: Song that starts "A winter's day in a deep and dark December").
  • 92A: Spanish winds (AIRES) — oh I don't like this. I'd've gone with AIDES / LUDES (!) / SERTA / ROOMS. You can put drug slang in puzzles, right?
  • 44D: Modern December birthstone (ZIRCON) — Pfft. "Modern." You really gonna take your cues from a 1912 National Association of Jewelers decree!? How dare they undermine the purity of the birthstone tradition. I guess anything goes nowadays, with the long hair and loud music and sexting on the ipads and what not. ZIRCON!? Bah. It's turquoise or nothing!
  • 102D: Feeling pervading Brat Pack movies (ANGST) — Remember yesterday when I explained exactly how much of a [Reagan-era teenager] I was. So, yeah, I got this one.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Actress-turned-nun Hart / SAT 2-25-12 / Yarn identifier / One in stag's litter / Guideposts magazine founder / Of atoms spatial relationships / Hebrew Hammer of Cleveland Indians / Korean War weapon / JFK speechwriter Sorensen / 1950 sci-fi classic / Mini successor / Mark of successful gunfighter

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Constructor: Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: DOLORES Hart (43D: Actress-turned-nun Hart) —
Rev. Mother Dolores Hart (born October 20, 1938, Chicago, Illinois) is an American Roman Catholic nun and former actress. She made 10 films in five years, playing opposite Stephen Boyd, Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton and Robert Wagner, having made her movie debut with Elvis Presley in Loving You (1957). (wikipedia)
• • •

This one's chronological epicenter was at least a decade before I was born, but I still finished in less time than it took to do yesterday's. There are a couple of junky bits (TNTS? over EELED?? over DYE LOT??? — to say nothing of STERIC) (9D: Of atoms' spatial relationships) but overall it's a solid grid. Familiar shape, mildly interesting fill. Saturday. There it is. Take it or leave it.

Every corner had some long, low-hanging fruit, which allowed me to work my way through even toughish parts. ON THE MONEY in the NW (I got that off the "NT"), KOSHER DELI in the NE (off the "K"), STOLEN BASE in the SE (off the nothing—too easy; 30D: One of Henderson's record 1,406), and REGISTERED in the SW (off the "D"). Not to say that there wasn't some flailing around. I really lucked into that first "N" in ON THE MONEY when I wrote in IN NO at 15A: Beginning of time? (ONE O'). I was half right. Oh, I also guessed SO NICE off just the "S" up there. But I couldn't get MOBS at all (1A: Crowds around noisily), and BEER BOTTLE took a good long while to come into view (3D: One in a stag's litter), and MOST WANTED was originally LIST MAKERS (1D: Like some top-10 people); that clue just made no sense to me at all. EELED I dropped in without blinking, but I couldn't get below it, so followed FAKES OUT up into the NE—by far the easiest portion of the grid. KOSHER DELI, then NED (really TED, but who cares?) IBEX NILE STIR, all in a row. The "LR" combo helped me think of AL ROSEN (he was once the A.L. MVP, and his last name appears in the grid from time to time). Then STOLEN BASE took me down the east coast, then I moved inland to fix some errors—had SHAH for SADR (45D: Abolhassan Bani-___ (first president of Iran)) and THE FOG for I, ROBOT (59A: 1950 sci-fi classic). SE looked quite hard, but REGISTERED proved a great guess, as did (a bit later) DOLORES, and those gave me enough traction to work my way up to the Nevada region of the grid, where I finished things off with the mysterious DYE LOT (47A: Yarn identifier).

  • 5A: "In the Still of the Nite" doo-wop group, with "the" (FIVE SATINS) — this is what I meant when I mentioned the puzzle's chronological epicenter. That section alone has this answer, TED Sorensen, AL ROSEN, and the 1969 ILO.
  • 19A: "___ the brinded cat hath mewed": Shak. (THRICE) — pretty dang easy, esp. given a cross or two.
  • 22A: Reagan-era teen, e.g. (XER) — Reagan took office when I was 11 and left when I was 19, and yet somehow my initials (MDS) weren't the right answer here. 

  • 63A: Mini successor (NANO) — My first thought was of the Mini Cooper. Then the skirt.
  • 64A: Spy's query at the start of a meeting (ARE WE ALONE?) — even this seems like something out of the '60s. A '60s spy novel. Not to say that I don't like it, 'cause I do.
  • 8D: Fifth element, per Aristotle (ETHER) — had the "TH," and from there it was an easy guess.
  • 50D: Russian playwright Andreyev (LEONID) — Lots of "Names of the 20th Century" today. See also Norman Vincent PEALE (52D: Guideposts magazine founder).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Mezzo-soprano Marilyn / FRI 2-24-12 / President's daughter on West Wing / French loanword literally means rung on ladder / Psychedelic 1968 song featuring lengthy drum solo / Once-autonomous people southern Russia / 1980s Tyne Daly role / Hymn sung to Apollo / Homeric character who commits matricide

Friday, February 24, 2012

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: whatnot (51A: What a whatnot has = BRIC A BRAC) —
  1. A minor or unspecified object or article.
  2. A set of light, open shelves for ornaments.
• • •

This seems an OK puzzle, but I didn't enjoy it much. With the exception of (finally) figuring out "INAGADDADAVIDA" (48A: Psychedelic 1968 song featuring a lengthy drum solo), most of the effort didn't seem quite worth it. STOCKS AND SHARES is a meaningless phrase to me (30A: Paper assets). I mean, I know those words, but I wouldn't put them together into a grid-spanning central phrase. I just learned that there are things called "STOCKS AND SHARES ISAs" (Individual Savings Accounts). OK. Started out lightning fast in the NW, then got to WATER- and couldn't build on it at all. Two really bad wrong guesses (SALUTE for SNAP TO (8D: Acknowledge a commander's entrance, maybe), EAR LOBE for EARLOCK (?) (14D: One hanging at a temple) kept me at bay a long time in the north. Don't know who ALAN BATES is (15A: 1968 Best Actor nominee for "The Fixer"). This fact strangely does not EMBARRASS me. Stuff like HERBAGE and ELLIE meant nothing to me (35D: Nonwoody plant parts). [Blank] SLIDE could've been at least two other four-letter words besides ROCK. I certainly didn't know what a "whatnot" was (in this clue's sense of the word), and though the only -AC-ending word I could think of was BRIC A BRAC, it kept seeming wrong for various reasons (51A: What a whatnot has).

The thing that irritated me most about the puzzle—in fact the only thing that I found genuinely irritating at all—is the clue for ORESTES (38A: Homeric character who commits matricide). If we are calling ORESTES a "Homeric character," then virtually every known character from classical mythology is "Homeric." ORESTES is not a "character" in either of the Homeric epics—not in the sense that English-speaking human beings generally understand the word "character." He is mentioned in both. Briefly. Despite the fact that you could lawyer up a defense of the clue on a "letter of the law" basis, this clue is fundamentally dishonest. Aeschylus wrote substantially about ORESTES. Homer simply waved at him in passing.

  • 13A: Mezzo-soprano Marilyn (HORNE) — no idea, but didn't matter 'cause that corner was easy. Also had no idea "DONAHUE" was ever on MSNBC (25A: It was MSNBC's highest-rated program when canceled in 2003).
  • 21A: French loanword that literally means "rung on a ladder" (ECHELON) — this was a gimme—a gimme I could've used in a much harder part of the grid. A gimme that was wasted in this already-easy corner.  

  • 37A: It has a denomination of $1,000 (T-NOTE) — uh ... OK. I was thinking G-NOTE, for obvious reasons.
  • 41A: Weapons used to finish off the Greek army at Thermopylae (ARROWS) — I'd forgotten this. And rounding off the classical trifecta of clues, we have PAEAN (5D: Hymn sung to Apollo).
  • 2D: Poet who gave us "carpe diem" (HORACE) — ah, the opening of this puzzle, when everything seemed so right. I went THAI / IN NEED / ARETHA / HORACE in about 10 seconds. 
  • 7D: Kaplan who co-hosted six seasons of "High Stakes Poker" (GABE) — at four letters, I figured it had to be him, but my incorrect SALUTE kept clashing with him, so I wouldn't put him in. TV poker, ugh ... more stuff I just don't care about. Puzzle is just outside my general sphere of interests.
  • 33D: Once-autonomous people of southern Russia (COSSACKS) — lots about them in Anna Karenina. At least I think that's how I know about them.Whoa, Tolstoy also wrote a novel titled, simply, "The COSSACKS." I did not know that.
  • 12D: Letter on Kal-El's costume (ESS) — It's technically "Clark's" costume, but ... whatever. This was a gimme. Just covered the "ESS" specifically in a recent class discussion of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns."
  • 47D: 1980s Tyne Daly role (LACEY) — 'Cause CAGNEY wouldn't fit.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

SYNDICATED SOLVERS (if it's Fri. Mar. 30, 2012, that's you):

P.S. Here's a birthday / tribute puzzle for you. Warning: it revolves around the lyrics to a song. If you don't know the song, the puzzle will be doable, but at least partially mystifying. The song was very popular, so I'm hoping it resonates with at least some of you. You can get the .pdf or .puz file here (at Amy's place). I'll post the solution later.



The One in the Matrix / THU 2-23-12 / Meany of story / Famous cloth locale / Magazine once published by Playboy / Ancient Mexican / Big name in vacuums

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Constructor: Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: AROUND (46A: Word needed to be added to 12 appropriately placed answers in this puzzle for their clues to make sense) — answers AROUND the edge of the grid need to be followed by AROUND to make sense

Word of the Day: MEGABIT (40A: Storage unit) —
The megabit is a multiple of the unit bit for digital information or computer storage. The prefix mega (symbol M) is defined in the International System of Units (SI) as a multiplier of 106 (1 million),[1] and therefore
1 megabit = 106bits = 1000000bits = 1000 kilobits.
The megabit has the unit symbol Mbit or Mb.
Using the common byte size of 8 bits, 1 Mbit is roughly equal to 125 kilobytes (kB) or approximately 122 kibibytes (KiB). (wikipedia) [please don't ask me to explain the relationship of MEGABIT to "megabyte," because it's too late and I barely understand myself]
• • •

Just getting over a cold and I have to teach early, so this will be super-short.

I liked it fine. I can't decide if this benefits from or suffers because of the recent MARGIN FOR ERROR puzzle. This puzzle is certainly superior, but having just seen a "answers on the edges have x in common" puzzle, the revelation of this puzzle's gimmick did nothing for me. Shrug. I like all the Ks, and for a grid with a preponderance of short fill, it's pretty lively and interesting. Lots of Ks, which is rarely bad. The random placement of AROUND is a bit of a distraction (this gives the puzzle something in common with the MARGIN FOR ERROR, though the revealer placement there was more "train wreck" than oddity). I probably took longest to get the MEGABIT portion of the grid. Did not know that was a word. Or, I did, but then "megabyte" ate it alive and so I forgot it. That [Meany of story] clue should get a prize. Don't know if it's original, but it's good. Like a good chunk of America, I instinctively dropped in OGRE (it's OWEN). 

Theme answers:
  • ROOT
  • JERK
  • FOOL (I wrote FART at first; not kidding) 
  • POKE
  • MESS
  • KICK
  • COME 
  • SHOP

  • 17A: Many a nude beach visitor (OGLER) — this seems an unfair assumption. Why not just write [Many a beach visitor]? Seems at least as likely to be true.
  • 34A: The One, in "The Matrix" (NEO) — recently had a class discussion about NEO. Students made lots of great comparisons between him and Aeneas.  
  • 5D: Famous cloth locale (TURIN) — frowny face. Is this about the Shroud? Or do they really make cloth in TURIN?
  • 29D: Items sometimes tossed in strongman contests (KEGS) — really? Can't picture it. I think I'm thinking of the Highland Games, where guys throw logs or hammers or sheep or something.
  • 51D: Ancient Mexican (OLMEC) — the good thing about guessing AZTEC is you're 40% right.
  • 54D: Johnny Storm a k a the Human ___ (TORCH) — did I mention I also teach Comics? The Human TORCH is one of the "Fantastic Four."
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Broom made of twigs / WED 2-22-12 / TV courtroom drama 1986-94 / Juana de la Cruz Mexican poet/nun / Biblical fellow who was distressed / Occupation of idle man distraction of warrior Napoleon

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Constructor: Karen Young Bonin

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Yore kidding, right? — Familiar phrases are tweaked to create "medieval tournament" (in this case, jousting) puns.

Word of the Day: BESOM (18A: Broom made of twigs) —
  1. A bundle of twigs attached to a handle and used as a broom.
  2. Sports. The broom used to sweep the ice from the path of a curling stone.
[Middle English, from Old English besma.]
• • •

Unbearable on at least two levels. First, the puns. I'm no pun-lover. No pun-lover, I. But I figure I can tolerate them now and again. But these barely qualify. The best "KNIGHTS" pun you could get is KNIGHTS GOING??? LANCES is supposed to pun on "lenses?" I'm just supposed to accept the second "S" in LISTS WE FORGET? The only one of these four that actually works is JOUST KIDDING, and even that necessitates a kind of tortured clue, since the grammar of it doesn't work out very neatly. But maybe corny, awkward, and highly inexact puns are your cup of tea. It happens. If so, then I have to ask if BESOM is also your cup of tea. There is absolutely no excuse for that crusty, useless hunk of old-time crosswordese to be in this puzzle. None. That's a three-minute rewrite, tops. What in god's name!? Also, please tell me what XOX is doing in this grid? The [Tic-tac-toe loser] clue is the last refuge of a desperate constructor, but usually he/she has something to be desperate about, i.e. nothing else will work, I'm holding up some golden "X" words, one of which is a theme answer, etc. Here ... There Is No Excuse. I know, Xs are pretty, but not this pretty. Not when they occur *only* in crosswordese (in both directions!). Why not go whole hog and make 63D all Xs (XXX) and make 68A a Roman numeral? I mean, since the only criterion for quality down there seems to be "maximum Xs."

Love DELOREAN (10D: "Back to the Future" transport) and SLIPSHOD (39D: Sloppy). That is precisely all that I love. Nope, wait. I kinda like the clue on SAMSON (9D: Biblical fellow who was distressed?). Though I probably would've gone with another word besides "fellow" (see FELLA, 43A: "The Most Happy ___").

Theme answers:
  • 20A: End of some medieval tournament action? (KNIGHTS GOING)
  • 27A: Weapons that hit in a medieval tournament? (CONTACT LANCES)
  • 48A: Really boring medieval tournaments? (LISTS WE FORGET)
  • 53A: Joking around at a medieval tournament? (JOUST KIDDING)
My wife is dubious that anyone would ever refer to more than one TRIB(s) (29D: Some daily papers, informally). "How many are there?" "Well, there's Chicago, and ... Miami Herald-___? I don't know." She also had to run the alphabet at the "G" in GUCK (22D: Crud). Don't even talk to her about GUCK. She's not hearing it right now.

  • 68A: "The occupation of the idle man, the distraction of the warrior, theperil of the sovereign," per Napoleon (LOVE) — TLDR
  • 23D: Chow down on (SCARF) — I had EAT UP
  • 30D: TV courtroom drama, 1986-94 ("L.A. LAW") — Gimme. Super popular in my pre-internet college days. Must-see TV. That and "Twin Peaks."
  • 31D: Start or finish of an aphorism regarding justice (AN EYE) — a bit too much of this partial-y stuff. AN EYE, AS IT, I'M ON, TO DIE, IN NO. I take it back. There's *way* too much of this partial-y stuff. Inexcusable. Can't remember last time I saw five partials in a simple 76-worder.
  • 59D: Juana ___ de la Cruz, Mexican poet/nun (INES — not sure whether it was "S" or "Z" until TOMES (70A: Heavy reading) set me straight. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS My university's research magazine published this video of me yesterday, in advance of an article/interview that comes out later this month. (I believe the "urban invader" mentioned in the video turned out to be "ROACH")


Leandro's partner in Handel title / TUE 2-21-12 / Rowdy Rawhide cowboy / Old nuclear regulatory org / Brew named for Dutch river / Like much of Pindar's work / State capital main street Last Chance Gulch

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Constructor: Caleb Madison

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: BEST PICTURE names (59A: What the starts of 18-, 24-, 38- and 49-Across each won) — theme answers are movie people with BEST PICTURE first names

Word of the Day: Rowdy YATES (50D: Rowdy ___, "Rawhide" cowboy) —
Rawhide is an American Western series that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965 until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. Starring Eric Fleming andClint Eastwood, the series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke. [...] Usually the episode would be introduced by Gil Favor but sometimes by others. The typical Rawhidestory involved drovers, portrayed by Eric Fleming (trail boss Gil Favor) and Clint Eastwood (ramrod Rowdy Yates), coming upon people on the trail and getting drawn into solving whatever problem they presented or were confronting. Sometimes one of the members of the cattle drive or some of the others would venture into a nearby town and encounter some trouble from which they needed to be rescued. Rowdy Yates was young and at times impetuous in the earliest episodes and Favor had to keep a tight rein on him. (wikipedia)
• • •

Big thumbs up. Clever, toughish, unexpected. The theme is nicely tight—movie names all belong to movie people: director Stone (himself an Oscar-winner), and actors Oswalt, DeMornay, and Feldman. With the exception of Stone, theme answers aren't exactly first-tier celebrity names, which is why I think the puzzle might skew tough for a lot of people. I knew all the names and it still skewed tough for me. I think older solvers will have trouble with PATTON OSWALT (who is a hugely successful comedian / actor with a firing-on-all-cylinders Twitter feed) and younger solvers with MARTY FELDMAN (whom I know only from "Young Frankenstein" and from a parody of "Bette Davis Eyes" called "Marty Feldman Eyes"—he had some congenital issue that made his eyes appear to bug out). REBECCA DE MORNAY could end up stumping young and old. If you missed "Risky Business" (or, slightly less famously, "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle," or, much less famously, "And God Created Woman" (1988)), you missed her. I wonder if there are other movie people with BEST PICTURE first names ... didn't Casablanca Jones star in some blaxploitation films in the '70s? What about porn star Cimarron Sinclair? Or pro-wrestler-turned-action-star The Hurt Locker Davis?

Theme answers:
  • 18A: "Platoon" director (OLIVER STONE) — "Platoon," also a BEST PICTURE winner
  • 24A: Comedian who voiced the lead role in "Ratatouille" (PATTON OSWALT)
  • 38A: Tom Cruise's "Risky Business" co-star (REBECCA DE MORNAY)
  • 49A: Igor player in "Young Frankenstein" (MARTY FELDMAN)
I had the most trouble with this puzzle in the south, where YATES was totally unknown to me, and I had TOTALS for 68A: Sends to the dump (TOSSES). I was not aware that BONES was Dr. McCoy's real first name (30D: Sci-fi physician played by DeForest Kelley). Wait, it's not. It's Leonard. So ... is the colloquial "sci-fi" supposed to cue the nickname? That seems a Stretch. Still, I love the answer, and its symmetrical counterpart—from another "Star" franchise (3D: "Star Wars" weapon = LIGHT SABER). The other real winner in this grid is "OH, STOP" (4A: "You flatter me too much!"). Original, colloquial, fantastic. Almost makes me excuse REPINE (???) (15A: Complain). Wasn't too fond of ODIC (25D: Like much of Pindar's work)ERO (22A: Leandro's partner in a Handel title), or singular O'JAY (16A: Any of the singers of the 1973 #1 hit "Love Train") but those are insignificant when the bulk of the grid and the marquee answers are so good.

  • 57A: Old nuclear regulatory org. (AEC) — Atomic Energy Commission. An impt. abbr. to know. The non-old nuclear regulatory org. is named, shockingly, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  • 5D: State capital whose main street is named Last Chance Gulch (HELENA) — wow, that is ... improbable. That's some Knotts-Berry-Farm-recreation-of-a -Wild-West-town naming right there.

  • 46D: Brew named for a Dutch river (AMSTEL) — pretty well-known beer, reasonably common crossword answer. Don't think I knew it was a river. Also, did not know how to spell Bob SAGET's name. I spelled it as if he were the creator of a restaurant guide: Bob SAGAT.
  • 33D: ___ Kross ('90s rap duo) (KRIS) — they had an impossibly infectious song out during my first year in grad school. Ridiculous. Silly. Ubiquitous. Hard to resist. Uh huh, uh huh.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I'm quoted in this article (on last Thursday's cluing of ILLEGAL) and so are several commenters! 


Ljubljana dweller / MON 2-20-12 / Some reddish-orange caviar / Big supermarket chain / White-feathered wader / Dish marinated in sweetened soy sauce

Monday, February 20, 2012

Constructor: Samuel A. Donaldson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

 THEME: PRESIDENTS DAY (52A: February occasion, some of whose honorees can be found in the answers to the five starred clues) — theme answers hide five president names
  • 18A: *Some reddish-orange caviar (SALMON ROE)
  • 23A: *Major road (TRAFFIC ARTERY)
  • 31A: *Nancy Pelosi was the first person ever to have this title in Congress (MADAM SPEAKER)
  • 40A: *Parliamentary procedure (RULES OF ORDER)
  • 60A: *Really hunger for (LUST AFTER)
Word of the Day: ARIAL (15A: Sans-serif typeface) —
Arial, sometimes marketed or displayed in software as Arial MT, is a sans-serif typeface and set of computer fonts. Fonts from the Arial family are packaged with Microsoft Windows, some other Microsoft software applications,[1] Apple Mac OS X[2] and many PostScript 3 computer printers.[3] The typeface was designed in 1982 by a 10-person team, led by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders, for Monotype Typography. (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm stunned that there has never been a Presidents Day puzzle—or at least not one with the answer PRESIDENTS DAY in it (according to cruciverb's database).  Hide some president names in some answers—seems about as basic as "hide some country names in some answers" (see yesterday's puzzle). Despite the slightly awkward placement of PRESIDENTS DAY in the penultimate theme answer position, and the awkward/redundant TRAFFIC ARTERY (a major road is simply called an "artery"), the puzzle worked fine. MADAM SPEAKER is a nice, original answer, and combining TAFT with lust is a stroke of genius. I like imagining him as a heavyweight lothario. I had two weird sticking points. The first was in the SE, where 69A: Show of overwhelming love just Did Not Mesh with my idea of SWOON. "Show" implies some kind of intent, and no one has ever set out to "show" love by swooning for someone. Plus, I've been reading Dante, and that dude swoons a lot in the beginning of Inferno—mostly from terror or pity, which, I guess, is a kind of love ... anyway, that threw me. So did MONDO—I had MUNDO (66A: World, in Italian). Later, I got weirdly hung up on SEE PAST (42D: Purposely ignore), which I couldn't SEE at all. SEEPS AT? Something AT? I just couldn't read it right. Similar problem with RULES OF ORDER. The "FOR" in there kept causing me to misread it as RULE ... FOR ... something. Also imagined ORS was ERS (because I kept thinking it had the 30D: Hesitant sounds clue that I'd actually seen earlier). All of that was, of course, self-imposed nonsense.

  • 1A: Patriot Allen with the Green Mountain Boys (ETHAN) — that *really* sounds like a bluegrass band. 

  • 47A: Big supermarket chain (KROGER) — I know this chain well, as there are KROGERs all over Michigan, but I didn't know it was widely known outside the midwest.
  • 10D: Ljubljana dweller (SLOVENE) — I always want to pronounce this place "Jub-Jub," because I sure as hell can't pronounce it like it's supposed to be pronounced. 
  • 11D: Dish marinated in sweetened soy sauce (TERIYAKI) — before I started eating sushi, I'd always order chicken TERIYAKI any time we went to a Japanese restaurant. Tasty.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Eucharist plate / SUN 2-19-12 / O Henry bad guy who became Hollywood/TV hero / First letter of tsar in Cyrillic / Mexican shout of elation / 1991 book subtitled When Lion Roars / Ottoman officer

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Constructor: James F. C. Burns

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Core O'Nations" — theme answers have the names of countries buried in them

Word of the Day: MONTY Hall (109A: Hall of fame) —
Monte Halperin, OC, OM (born August 25, 1921), better known by the stage name Monty Hall, is a Canadian-born MC, producer, actor, singer and sportscaster, best known as host of the television game show Let's Make a Deal. (wikipedia)
• • •

A rare Sunday where I completely finished the puzzle (in 10-something) without having any idea what the theme was. I looked at the puzzle title a couple times, but nothing clicked, and nothing tricky seemed to be going on with the theme answers, so I just never gave the theme a second thought. Generally, I'd think you want your Sunday puzzle theme to be more ... foregroundy. Announce itself a little harder. This played like a giant mediocre themeless. Seems like the type of theme that would've been done before, a lot. Maybe I'm wrong. Do the countries have anything in common? Is there some pattern? I don't see anything. Just random countries. Countries don't touch every word in the theme answer, but embedded words almost never do any more, so I've given up hoping for that level of perfectionism. Theme answers were OK, except for SUNKEN YACHT (Treasure, Gold, Ship, etc. ... all actual phrases. YACHT?) and GARDEN MARKET. Is this some regional variant of "Farmer's Market?" One interesting feature of this puzzle—an inversion of the normal Across-to-Down theme answer ratio.

My only significant screw-up, and the only memorable moment of the whole solve, really, was when I confidently dropped in LATTE for 3D: Drink with foam on top (LAGER). That reeks of intentional trap. Well, it worked. Kept me tangled up for many seconds.

Theme answers:
  • 21A: Show of affection (A HUG AND A KISS)
  • 102A: Place for produce stands (GARDEN MARKET)
  • 50D: On the level (FAIR AND SQUARE)
  • 15D: Unofficial discussions (INFORMAL TALKS)
  • 26D: Trip up, perhaps (CATCH IN A LIE)
  • 44D: Sea salvager's quest, maybe (SUNKEN YACHT)
  • 30D: Makes an extra effort (TAKES PAINS)
  • 46D: Like always (AS PER USUAL)   

I made a puzzle once that could've gone MARIANO or MARIANA, so that word I remember (here, with the "S" on the end) (19A: Island group that includes Guam). Couple of alphabet clues I knew nothing about, but both were reasonably inferrable (well, TSE wasn't inferrable, exactly, but after TS- I felt strongly that the clue was just an attempt to give shopworn TSE a new outfit) (27A: The first letter of "tsar," in Cyrillic) (44A: Like "vav" in the Hebrew alphabet = SIXTH). Among the answers I got by dint of my Crossword Muscle were PASHA and PATEN. I have heard the name "CISCO KID" a lot over the years, but I realize now that I have absolutely no idea who he is, in any context (38A: O. Henry bad guy who became a Hollywood/TV hero). I saw a Gene Wilder movie called "The Frisco Kid" once. Any allusion / parody was lost on me. I wanted A GAS GAS GAS at 4D: "Jumpin' Jack Flash, it's ___" and (at first) DADA at 33D: "Swans Reflecting Elephants," e.g. (DALI). I know the exclamation "ARRIBA!" exclusively from Speedy Gonzales cartoons (49D: Mexican shout of elation). Despite liking cartoons, I never saw "The Lion King." Everything I know about that movie, I learned from crosswords. Sadly, until today, everything I know did not include either TIMON (63D: The 82-Down in "The Lion King") or MEERKAT (82D: African mongoose). Speaking of lions, that was a semi-tough clue on MGM (103D: 1991 book subtitled "When the Lion Roars").

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Confessions of Drunkard writer 1822 / SAT 2-18-12 / Vertical Prefix / 1950s-60s singer Jackson Queen of Rockabilly / Nickname for Warren Weber in old sitcom / Final pharaoh of fifth dynasty whose pyramid is near cairo

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Constructor: Matt Ginsberg

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: UPSTAIRS / DOWNSTAIRS — puzzle note: "This puzzle has two bonus answers in appropriate places. Can you find them?" (yes, I can—string of black squares through center of grid function as a staircase, of sorts)

Word of the Day: UNAS (10D: Final pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty, whose pyramid is near Cairo) —
Unas (also Oenas, Unis, Wenis, or Ounas) was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, and the last ruler of the Fifth dynasty from the Old Kingdom. His reign has been dated between 2375 BC and 2345 BC. Unas is believed to have had two queens, Nebet and Khenut, based on their burials near his tomb. (wikipedia)
• • •

Not until I started this write-up did I notice the note on the puzzle. Grid did seem a little dull, which seemed odd for a Ginsberg puzzle—there's usually some insane trick or gimmick involved. So now I see that the grid is hamstrung somewhat by the requirements of the UPSTAIRS / DOWNSTAIRS letters.  Is the (belated) pay-off worth it? I don't know. It's cute. Mildly. I think I'd rather have sizzling fill (esp. in an easy-to-fill 72-worder) than a rather prosaic puzzle that culminates with a  delayed "huh, interesting." Mainly, I just wish that OPA / CASCO / ORTH stack would go away. It's hard to justify that much gunk, that close together.

I actually found this puzzle quite easy, but I think I might be an outlier of sorts. I had half done in around five minutes, then stalled for a good 30 seconds or so, then did the second half in something like two. Mid-7 finish time. Started with the "S" in what ended up being ROASTERS and immediately wrote in SALIERI for 8D: "The Brandenburgers in Bohemia" composer (SMETANA).  I erased that pretty quickly because LONI seemed the obvious answer to 28A: Anderson who wrote "My Life in High Heels"—I quickly confirmed her final "I" with the cross (21D: Junior Jr. = III), and then wrote in HAIR and headed SW, eventually looping up via CHAPEAU to circle back around and take care of the NW (site of the OPACASOORTH fiasco). Then it was down to the SW, which provided no resistance. Then I sat. Put in ILONA (47A: Massey of "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman") and SLR. Sat some more. Wish I'd seen the clue for MARLEE earlier, as it was a gimme. As it was I eventually ran into 13D: Classic actress who played the principal in "Grease" and grimaced and then tentatively wrote in EVE and then ARDEN just came to me. Once I got IN LOVE (16A: Like Fiennes's Shakespeare), then I just sort of tumbled down the whole east coast of the grid. Finished at the "B" in RBI (51A).

Just a few mysteries. Didn't know, or didn't remember, UNAS. Also couldn't remember which broadcasting system was the "This is a test. For the next 60 seconds ..." org. (EBS). Stands for Emergency Broadcast System. Lastly, no idea who AMY Klobuchar is (40D: Minnesota senator Klobuchar). There are a lot more women senators than I thought. Not "a lot," by any means (17), but a lot more than I thought. There are four states where both senators are women: Washington, New Hampshire, California, and Maine.

  • 29A: 1950s-'60s singer Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly (WANDA) — She's still singing. Proof:

  • 37A: "Save the ___" (conservationists' catchphrase) (TIGERS) — Random. Could've been virtually any answer. SLOTHS, say (seriously, "Save the Sloths" is a real catchphrase). The truly famous catchphrase, of course, is "Save the Whales." 
  • 52A: Nickname for Warren Weber in an old sitcom (POTSIE) — I forgot how Mrs. C. used to call him "Warren." Adorable. 
  • 6D: "Confessions of a Drunkard" writer, 1822 (ELIA) — gimme, along with SLR, III, AGORA, GORP, ILONA, and OORT.
  • 28D: "___ on First" (1981 comedian's biography) ("LOU'S") — got this very early on. LOU is of course LOU Costello, half of the comedy team that made the "Who's on First?" routine famous.
  • 34D: Offensive formation (WISHBONE) — "Offensive" as in "pertaining to an American football offense."
  • 46D: Gossip opening ("I HEAR...") — first thought: HARD G.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Youth with Skull painter / FRI 2-17-12 / Lady Baltimore novelist 1906 / Graceful fairy / Postapocalyptic best seller of 1978 / Aquila's brightest star

Friday, February 17, 2012

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: OWEN WISTER (49A: "Lady Baltimore" novelist, 1906) —
Owen Wister (July 14, 1860 – July 21, 1938) was an American writer and "father" of western fiction. [...] He began his literary work in 1891. Wister had spent several summers out in the American West, making his first trip to Wyoming in 1885. Like his friend Teddy Roosevelt, Wister was fascinated with the culture, lore and terrain of the region. On an 1893 visit to Yellowstone, Wister met the western artist Frederic Remington; who remained a lifelong friend. When he started writing, he naturally inclined towards fiction set on the western frontier. Wister's most famous work remains the 1902 novel The Virginian, the loosely constructed story of a cowboy who is a natural aristocrat, set against a highly mythologized version of the Johnson County War and taking the side of the large land owners. This is widely regarded as being the first cowboy novel and was reprinted fourteen times in eight months. The book is dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt. (wikipedia)
• • •

My only complaint about this puzzle was that I blew through it like it was barely there. Also, not a lot in the way of really interesting fill—with the exception of "THERE, THERE" over "EASY DOES IT" (53A: "It'll be O.K." lead-in + 55A: "Whoa, not so fast!"), which makes for a somewhat interesting half of an imagined dialogue, and BABE MAGNET, which is great 1-Across material (1A: Stud, say). The fill is pretty smooth, just not very spicy. It's also very ANTLERS™ — ultracommon letters abound, and there's just the lone "X" to represent your minority letters. I enjoyed the trivia in the clues, which kept some very familiar answers hidden from me for a little bit, but there was a bit of a nagging blandness. But you can't fault clean fill + interesting fill too much.

I started a bit haltingly by putting in GAPE for 1D: Appear thrilled (BEAM). But I figured ALFA had to be right at 2D: Two before Charlie, and then, without even looking at 37-Down (37D: South-of-the-border bad guy), I knew 19A: More, to a 37-Down would have to be MAS. I don't think I ever saw "Godfather Part III," so that clue was a mystery to me, and stayed that way even after I got -LIW-... that is a letter combination so odd that my first instinct was "Error." But I kept it in and eventually uncovered ELI WALLACH (15A: He played Don Altobello in "The Godfather Part III"). Moved from there down to the SW, where CHADS, HALS (32A: "Youth With a Skull" painter), and ODS came very easily, and FALSE START then gave me all the traction I needed (27D: Reason for a track delay). I think I then went up to the NE and then down to finish in the SE, with only RAO (31A: 1990s Indian P.M.) and an initial "S" for "F"error at 44A: Grain, e.g. (FEED) holding me up at all. Not a record time, but still pretty fast. Mid 6s.

  • 18A: Hillbilly's plug (CHAW) — that has to be one of the most disturbing clues I've come across in a while. 
  • 20A: Eric of "Funny People," 2009 (BANA) — no idea what movie that is, but a four-letter Eric in the past decade or so is surely BANA. He's the Crossword Hollywood It Boy. I picked him up the same way I picked up DADO and BETEL—reflexively.
  • 6D: Aquila's brightest star (ALTAIR) — I'm no good at astronomical junk, but I had enough crosses to get ALTAIR, which I'd seen in other puzzles. 
  • 10D: Postapocalyptic best seller of 1978 ("THE STAND") — if you discuss postapocalyptic literature with anyone for very long, this title inevitably comes up. A massively popular example of the genre.
  • 22D: League division (EAST) — this wasn't hard, but it felt a little ... cryptically unspecific. Seems like it needs a qualifier, if only an appended "at times." Or maybe "Common league division." Phrasing makes it sound like the word will, absolutely, mean "league division."
  • 28D: "Faded Love" singer, 1963 (CLINE) — I'm gonna assume this is Patsy, even though I don't recall ever having heard this tune ... 

  • 30D: Film with the tagline "Borat was SO 2006" ("BRUNO") — I haven't seen either, but know both titles well. "BRUNO" doesn't seem to have had the cultural impact that its predecessor did.
  • 46D: Graceful fairy (PERI) — falls in the BANA / DADO / BETEL category of Instinctive Fill. Short Stuff You Just Know.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


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