Theater critic Walter / MON 9-9-13 / Far Eastern housemaid / 1960 John Updike novel / Ernest of Country Music Hall of Fame / Best actor for Hamlet 1948

Monday, September 9, 2013

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Easy



THEME: Football words — last word in every theme answer can relate to American football—actually, taken in order, said words form a sequence ending in a touchdown:

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Wage increase (SALARY HIKE)
  • 24A: Journalist's credential (PRESS PASS)
  • 36A: "Observant of you to notice the error!" ("GOOD CATCH!") — I'd've said "Nice catch," but GOOD works.
  • 50A: 1960 John Updike novel ("RABBIT, RUN")
  • 57A: It may be composed to accompany a movie (MOVIE SCORE)

Word of the Day: Walter KERR (17A: Theater critic Walter) —
Walter Francis Kerr (July 8, 1913 – October 9, 1996) was an American writer and Broadway theater critic. He also was the writer, lyricist, and/or director of several Broadway plays and musicals as well as the author of several books, generally on the subject of theater and cinema. (wikipedia)
• • •

I guess I'm spoiled — this seems awfully plain and straightforward. More along the lines of what one might have expected 20+ years ago. I do like that this theme has the sequencing going for it, but otherwise it's a just a dullish "words-that-relate-to-X" puzzle. The theme answers have no snap to theme, I think that's the real problem. The Updike one is probably the best of the bunch. Not much else is remarkable in the puzzle, except HELLUVA, which I love, and ROULADE, which, along with KERR, was about the only thing in the puzzle that caused me to hesitate at all. Had a few-second struggle trying to parse GUNSHY, but otherwise (except for the aforementioned two answers), I solved almost as fast as I could type. One second slower than last week. I'm slipping!


This is a timely puzzle, in that it arrives the Monday after the start of the 2013 NFL football season. I am ambivalent about football. The more research that comes out, the more it is clear that the dangers of the sport, especially the dangers of head injuries, have actually been underrated. There is not much I would forbid my child to do, but I would forbid him to play football. Luckily for me, I just have a girl and she has yet to show any interest in contact sports. She swims. I can live with that. And yet ... I love watching football. So I and many, many people I know are hypocrites, decrying the terrible things about a sport that we continue to consume and enjoy. I'll be consuming it less from now on — but it won't be easy. I see the Lions won and now all I want to do is go watch highlights. Luckily, I've got baseball to keep me sated, sports-wise, through October. Tigers have been doing some late-season sucking, but I like their chances.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

60 comments:

Steve J 12:32 AM  

Found this a little more difficult than usual for a Monday, for reasons that never were quite apparent to me. Just one of those days, I guess.

The fact I didn't grasp the theme - even after I finished the puzzle - certainly had something to with it. Now that I see it, it is nice that it flows in the proper play sequence. Do not like MUSIC SCORE. It's redundant, as a film score is, by definition, music for the film. It's like saying I had blueberry berries with my yogurt for breakfast.

That redundancy did slow me down in the SE, as FILM SCORE clearly wouldn't fit, and I couldn't/refused to see the puzzle wanted MUSIC SCORE.

Liked HELLUVA as well, and ROULADE too. There was a welcome lack of bad short fill. But for me, the puzzle ended up stopping just short of the goal line as time ran out.

(Incidentally, I share the same creeping ambivalence about watching football. The brain injury aspect - even to guys who don't get concussions - is making me second-guess my viewing a bit. Not enough to change habits, yet, but even entertaining the thought is a big shift. Yes, the players are payed handsomely and they're out there voluntarily, but the increasing numbers of former players developing mental-health issues relatively young in life does make me think twice.)

jae 12:43 AM  

Easy Mon. for me too.  Nice kickoff to the new NFL season (the hapless, of late, home town boys  play tomorrow night).   But, add me to those becoming more ambivalent about the sport. 

Nostalgia: AMAH is one of the first words I learned from doing crosswords.

The Rabbit series is a fascinating journey through the last half of 20th century America.

@Steve J - Is it safe to assume you've seen HBO's "Clear History"? 

Smooth grid, timely theme, liked it.

Steve J 12:51 AM  

@jae: I stopped subscribing to HBO a few years ago, so I haven't seen that one.

mathguy 12:55 AM  

No fun at all. 37 out of 79 entries were gimmes.

Agora Clearup Maples 1:01 AM  


Loved the timeliness...would have liked to see NFL tucked in the corner as a final dollop, but with FIVE theme answers, (plus bonus 50D RECAP) can't really complain.

LOVE RABBITRUN!!!! One of my favorite books of all time and part of a four (or is it five?) book series...
Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, Rabbit at Rest... I maybe missing one.
Love Updike, tho he seriously criticized JD Salinger, hard for me to reconcile those two things.

I think RABBIT RUN, along with TUBB, ROULADE, KERR, AMAH and knowing ULTRA was part of UHS are all sorta hard for Monday, but all gettable.

HELLUVA seems to have been totally replaced with HELLA which I can't bear for some reason.
HELLA GOOD CATCH actually makes my spine tingle.

Hmmm, SALARYHIKE, RAISE, RAKESIN, GELT and EARNS...
all practically in a row!
I think Gary Cee is hinting for more money from the NYT in ref to our paltry $200-no-residual rate by sneaking in
I'm All for subliminal messaging to Will!
Hut Hut!

Anonymous 3:09 AM  

I have established that 5:18 is the absolute limit of my capabilities, the fastest that I can read clues and fill entries.

Questinia 7:17 AM  

Football theme was totally lost on me. Actually thought it was a theme about money albeit a loose one.

ROULADE is a word that should be used more often. Even in football:

"The quarterback was unexpectedly charged by the opposing team creating a ROULADE, in which the quarterback was the gherkin".

Or high fashion:

"Marc Jacobs surprised all when his models were presented in ROULADES of chiffon and kevlar."

Or high finance:

"ROULADE".

ROULADE 7:19 AM  

Guess who I am.

Z 7:20 AM  

The puzzle was straight forward and timely.i had the same issue with MUSIC SCORE, and just drew a momentary blank on serving clams and rice, but other than that just a straight "how fast can I write and read" experience.

I find football incredibly boring. I think it is something like 11 minutes of action over three hours. Meh. People complain about baseball and soccer, both of which offer near continuous action, because there's not much scoring. Bull. A 21-14 football game is really just 3-2. Of course, growing up in Lion's country may have skewed my opinion.

@Rex, I didn't allow my kids to play football. Basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming, ultimate, but not football. Even in the nineties the evidence for brain and joint injuries was pretty compelling. There was a little complaining from the oldest in middle school, but that was it.

Milford 7:35 AM  

Nice, timely Monday puzzle, solved while watching football (Green Bay v. SF). Liked, of course, that the order of actions was in correct order, and that for the most part the entries were a non-action use of the word - I think RUN is an exception, though. And I like to think AMEN is the bonus ending clue in the corner.

@acme - I noticed the money theme as well - very fitting!

ROULADE is a good, but tricky word, and liked HELLUVA and ABRAHAM getting his full name in a puzzle (@loren!).

In our school district, they have been giving much more serious attention to concussion prevention and guidelines. Athletes all take mental acuity tests pre-season, have to sit out games and re-pass the tests after ANY sort of knock to the head, keeping a record of such events for each athlete. My kid plays high school soccer, and I realize football is whole different story, but it is an issue they seem to be at least paying attention to more here.

@Rex - thanks for giving Lions props in your write-up!

Susan McConnell 7:36 AM  

Totally missed the theme, though it being Monday I was pretty sure there had to be something there. I was thinking it had something to do with all of the SALARY answers. Easy to fill in, but Rex is right, not a whole lot of zip in there.

loren muse smith 7:39 AM  

The theme sure helped me, though I didn't need it. When I got SALARY HIKE, PRESS PASS, and GOOD CATCH, I immediately filled in the RUN and SCORE without reading the clues. I thought the fill was good with lots of pairs:

SALARY HIKE, EARN
The DADA RAISEs the child – AMAH and WAH
TORRENT, SPATE
GUNSHY, STRESS
PYRO right next to ASH
ATLAS crossing MAP
BAMBOO crossing PANDA*
MT ETNA, STEAMED
ICE, THAW
DIETERS wanting that ÉCLAIR

GUNSHY is a funny-looking word. Looks like some kind of friend of Gumby. Wouldn't GUN-SHY be more helpful?

I have PRESSed the ESC button many, many times, and it has never ever ever done anything for me. Ever.

In the spirit of my yesterday's post about Dr. Dre, I smiled when I filled in MT ETNA, knowing that we all noticed the rare inclusion of the MT. Group hug.

Shout out to Gareth at 23A! I hope you're RAKing IN enough "geld" (before GELT) that you can come to the ACPT next March. I want to shake your hand.

@Steve J and @paulsfo - I appreciated the notes yesterday about randomness. I see the difference now. Outback Steakhouse, Capri Pants, Mustang Sally, Celebrity Golf, Nova Scotia, – all would be a different kind of list because they're phrases in the language – more like the Stud Muffin list. But yesterday's was accused of stringing random cars to create phrases not in the language. Still – I enjoyed yesterday's new phrases, especially with the title since they were bumper-to-bumper. But I see your point and feel silly that I didn't see the difference myself. This site is such a good place to learn and mature as a solver. 'Nother group hug.

@jackj – get better. Sorry you're sick.

Ok - @Rex and @jae – you both added another thing for a football game – snap and kickoff. Cool. As someone who is comfortable with terms like "naked bootleg" and "flea flicker," I liked the theme and puzzle. Thanks, Gary.

*Hah! Made you look.

Rob C 7:45 AM  

Fine, timely Monday puzzle. Easy for me. Whatever crunch it did offer was probably b/c of all the 7s in the corners. The only thing that really stood out was the $ sub-theme as @acme pointed out.

Count me among those who are rethinking my enjoyment of football b/c of the brain injury aspect. Like @Rex, I don't have boys (I have 2 girls), so never had to face that decision. Just looking at the small sample of fans here, this could be a big problem for the NFL in the years to come.

@Z - I've seen the same 11 min number for play time in a football game too. However, total play time in baseball is only about 18 mins (I can't remember the exact number I read, but this is close). So I wouldn't exactly say baseball offers continuous action, in the way that soccer or maybe basketball does.

Mitzie 7:45 AM  

Similar to @Rex, solved this as fast as I could type on my phone. If done on paper, this would easily have been a <5:00 puzzle, which is lightning fast for me. Also didn't see the theme until I was finished, which is very rare.

FearlessKim 8:00 AM  

I enjoyed the bonus theme answers scattered around the grid : ELAPSED, RECAP, and AMEN (the very end of a "Hail Mary" :)

Add to that the money mini-theme and you've got yourself a whole lotta football! One of the things I love about crosswords, and the crossword community, is that we don't have to give two figs for a sport/music genre/TV series to know rather a lot about it, all in service to the solve. Big group hug!

And thanks, @Anon, for your comment on solve time: my fastest time runs in the low 5's. I've even tried re-solving an easy puzzle to see how low I can go, and have found that the time required to just enter the letters runs in the 3's! Now that I've admitted that I do that, it's probably time for some sort of intervention...

Anonymous 8:02 AM  

Forgot to say: @lms -- I looked. Thanks for the laugh!

jberg 8:06 AM  

My mother was ahead of her time, forbade our playing football back in the 1960s. Her brother had been injured playing in high school; did something to his pituitary gland that made him grow wide but short and left him sterile, so she wasn't inclined to risk our playing.

I noticed the football theme, but not the sequence, which made it a little nicer. It went by too fast to appreciate, really.

Evan 8:07 AM  

Just to respond to a couple of comments from yesterday (WARNING -- if you're someone who hasn't done yesterday's puzzle but are reading today's comments, I encourage you to skip this comment):

@loren:

I appreciate the kind words. As for your question about randomness in the theme answers, @Steve J more or less summarized how I'd compare those two puzzles. It's not a question of being all-inclusive -- Lynn Lempel's puzzle had common, everyday expressions clued in a consistent way ("[Adjective] sort"). Yesteday's puzzle had wacky phrases clued in a wacky way. The latter is way more random.

That's not always a bad thing. Sometimes wacky phrases can make for a funny theme. For my taste, I prefer my theme answers to have some logic to them beyond stringing similar terms together to create strange phrases. That's especially true because as I noted, the NYT did the same theme eight years prior, and that puzzle at least had a reason that the theme answers were ordered the way they were (each theme answer had cars from the same make).

@paulsfo:

If "people complaining about some minor inconsistency among the theme answers" annoys you, fine. I can't control how you feel about that. None of that, however, has any bearing on the point I made about the theme answers being random, nor will it have any bearing on how I'll continue to point out what I think are weaknesses in a puzzle's theme.

dk 8:10 AM  

What no size guessing for undergarments?

Solid Monday fare and with the exception of the quickly corrected and no doubt sport influenced ISPn instead of ISPS -- a smooth error free solve.

One may quibble over MUSICSCORE v. musical but we all got it and really it is a small concession.

94 on the forecast for today as we adjust to the new world of weather. The jet stream seems to be going the way of the SST as weather now comes in short hops. Thank you clean burning (fill in the blank).

Sorry, first a tirade on under paid constructors and now climate change.

���� (2 Footballs) Thanks Gary.

r.alphbunker 8:15 AM  

Or the AMEN in the southeast corner could be a Tebow?

joho 8:19 AM  

Wow, I thought the ASHTON/SHEEN crossing was brilliant ... wonder if it was on purpose.

I also smiled at CLEARUP next to TORRENT.

Really nice, very Monday level puzzle and also super timely ... no complaints here! Thanks, Gary Cee!

Rob C 8:45 AM  

@joho - GOOD CATCH on that cross. SHEEN should've been clued that way.

joho 8:54 AM  

@Rob C, I thought the same thing. But that's also what made me think that Gary and Will didn't see the connection.

chefbea 9:04 AM  

Fun easy Monday puzzle. got the theme and also the mini theme - salary hike, raise, earns. Loved the Ashton and Sheen crossing

Bob Kerfuffle 9:16 AM  

I've made this comment before (I ran out of original material a long time ago), but a few years back, when I first saw a headline to the effect of "Football Found to Cause Brain Damage", I honestly thought for a minute or two that they meant watching football!

Carola 9:22 AM  

Very nice. I was weaned on the NFL (Go Pack!), so enjoyed this salute to the new season. Still....same here on becoming ambivalent about watching....

Two more bonus answers: SLOT (not that I know what it means, but I keep hearing that a player is in it) and ICE (as in "ice the kicker").

@Questinia - Love your ROULADEs.

@loren - Me: "Wait, PANDA?" I looked :)

mac 9:45 AM  

Solid Monday, timely puzzle, and I also noticed all the money terms. Clears at 2D with be added?

What a great find, the Ashton/Sheen cross, @joho!

Little nit: shouldn't there be a signal for an abbrev. in 47D?

I get into trouble with words like roulade; it's spelled rollade in Dutch.

Steve J 10:19 AM  

@Z: Agreed that soccer offers near-continuous action (I haven't seen it timed, but my guess is that in a 90-minute game, 75 minutes or so involves active play).

Baseball? Not so much. The Wall Street Journal did an analysis (similar to one that they did earlier regarding football) and found over the course of a 3-hour baseball game, there's 14 minutes of action. About the same as football.

I like both sports. But it is amazing how much they are overwhelmingly comprised of standing-around time.

Aprés la ROULADE- Rolaids 10:22 AM  

I don't get the Ashton/Sheen reference.

Oh now I do!

Very astute get @ joho

Oops-Après 10:26 AM  

... wrong accent ;/

Z 10:44 AM  

@Rob C and @Steve J - There is almost zero standing around time in baseball. This misunderstanding comes from TV's reducing the game to pitcher-catcher-hitter with 13 bit players making occasional cameo appearances. In reality, there is something going on every moment of a game. To reduce it the way the WSJ did is the equivalent of saying that all that matters is two minutes of coitus and not the 45 minutes of foreplay that leads up to it. Of course, what more can one expect from the WSJ?

August West 10:53 AM  

Never noticed the theme, as it was pretty much pick up, enter, put down. But it was perfectly fine. Monday solid.

Thank God it was PARER and not dicer. Coulda done without DADA and NADA and AMAH but at least the two former support HELLUVA and ABRAHAM shouldered up to ROULADE.

Loved RABBIT RUN as it conjured up two of my favorite writers, and ASHTON crossing SHEEN was cheeky.

NFL kickoff theme might have been edgier and more timely. Serial about the Patriots?HERNANDEZ. Dallas fans' favorite chant?ROMOSUCKS. Tom Brady ________ PEESSITTINGDOWN. Broncos quarterbackELISBROTHER. He put a foot in his mouthREXRYAN...

I'll be here all the week.

Although not symmetrical, anyone else notice the other Ovaltine decoder ring message embedded along the eastern coast? WORD RAISE EARNS ART NADA.

August West 11:03 AM  

And another thing! Best YER clue ever.

Correction: The above REXRYAN clue should read, "He often puts a foot in his mouth." We apologize for any confusion.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:09 AM  

Top reasons to view the NFL games:
* startin next season: players ok to tote broad-blade swords
* twerkin in the endzone is now encouraged
* new game speed-up feature: 99-yard penalties
* the tantilizin possibility of further review
* flea flickers
* punted muffs
* these guys could be on dancin with the stars one fine day
* it's sorta like reality TV without Donald Trump
* it's sorta like political debates, except better rules enforcement
* where else you gonna get to watch millionaires beat up on each other - oh, yeah; political debates

M&A

Steve J 11:21 AM  

@Z: You notice things going on because you're a fan of the game. You appreciate the tension that can build between pitches, etc. As someone who's attended many, many baseball games, and who played as a kid, there's still lots of standing around time. Fans and students of the game just know that it's not literally idle time.

Same thing can be said of football.

The pacing of both sports, to me, is part of what builds up the drama. And that's why I watch sports, not just for action. If I want non-stop action, there are summer blockbusters for that.

Ellen S 11:23 AM  

Easiest puzzle ever. I had a brief halt in the SW because I can't spell SIEGE and needed some crosses to untangle me. Never saw the football theme as I never watch. As I told my brother, I don't like blood sports. He says, "there's no blood in football." I reply, "Right. Concussions, then."

Did notice the money-related answers, but they were way more random (to me) than the Bumper Cars, just money-related words and phrases. I don't think of SALARY as synonymous with wage, (wages being hourly, and thus subject to overtime rules, while salaried employees are usually exempt -- haha, funny term, "exempt from being paid for overtime," not from working it).

Lewis 12:02 PM  

@questinia -- that post was hilarious!
@Loren -- loved that silly asterisk

I thought it was very easy, with several clues too easy even for a Monday. The standout grid gruel was ALAI, followed by AGORA. I liked HELLUVA a helluva lot. And I liked AMAH right under WAH.

@acme -- that Salinger documentary is coming out soon (or maybe already out) - it was reviewed on NPR, and the reviewer was saying he was sad that so much was coming out about a man who so fiercely wanted his life kept private.

I too thinking twice about my love of football...

Rob C 12:07 PM  

@Z and Steve J - Z's point is well-taken that the ball is live between pitches (as opposed to football). And every player on the field has a role on every play, whether the camera shows it or not. Can't tell you how many times I recall my coach yelling at someone on the field that their job on a particular play wasn't to be a spectator. The things that go on between pitches(backing up the pitcher on the throw back from the catcher, fielders signaling who will cover where, pitcher receiving signals from the catcher - and maybe the catcher from the manager, just to name a few) are certainly interesting to true fans.

So yes, that simple analysis of "XX minutes of action" doesn't cover these aspects. Thanks for reminding me how much I enjoy baseball (when I do have time to sit down and actually watch a game)

retired_chemist 12:10 PM  



"Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings."

- George Will

Easy. Among my half dozen fastest Mondays.

Grokked the theme late so SALARY [WTF] and PRESS cArd led off. Figured out HIKE from crosses, fixed PRESS PASS, and nothing much else was a problem. Only ROULADE was new to me.

Not exciting, but a decent Monday. Thanks,Mr. Cee. You're not the inventor of the CEE CUP, are you?

seanjohn 12:13 PM  

I think this hasn't been brought up yet, but perhaps an additional nuance to the "theme second words relate to something" is the fact that they are in order:

HIKE the ball, PASS the ball, CATCH the ball, RUN the ball, SCORE!

retired_chemist 12:16 PM  

@ seanjohn - that point was made in Rex's first sentence.

John V 12:35 PM  

Easy puzzle. Easy theme. I watch tennis.

joho 12:40 PM  

Forgive me, this is an off topic test as I've dying to try Ellen S's imbedding system:

Click here

If this doesn't work I'll try again!

joho 12:42 PM  

OMG it works, thanks @Ellen S!!

KarenSampsonHudson 12:42 PM  

Go Tigers!

acme 1:14 PM  

@Joho
Great pointing out the SHEEN/ASHTON crossing. My guess (tho only Gary Cee and Will know, is that it WAS defined as Charlie originally but then it would be two pop culture refs crossing...
In a Monday, bec SHEEN has two ways to be defined, they went with the shiny one.
ASHTON there is only one way to define.
So, in an early week puzzle when you can give a non-name definition to a clue, you do.
By Thursday you make it Bishop SHEEN.
All that said, still very GOOD CATCH of synchronicity! Now where did I set down my tiger blood?

quilter1 1:14 PM  

Had an all morning dr.'s appt. for my formerly broken back so came here late. I liked ROULADE as well, and need to make it again--yummy. The rest was good and easy, just right for hurrying out the door early in the morning.

Bird 1:48 PM  

Eh, it’s a Monday puzzle. Not great, but not bad. Not exciting, but not dull. I almost put in SALARY HIKE right away, but waited until I got to the Downs before I did. Same thing at 57A, but my first thought was SOUND TRACK so it’s a good thing I waited otherwise it would have been a big mess.

CORER before PARER and PAPA before DADA.

I was rummaging through the attic this weekend and found a NYT Sunday magazine from 2004 with neither puzzle (the variety puzzle was a diagramless) filled in. The main puzzle was a good one about alternate job titles and I’m still working on the other.

LaneB 2:56 PM  

" Straightforward" pretty we'll sums it up and that' s fine by me on a Monday when I'm still recovering from yesterday's Acrostic. Did any of you do that one? Lots of room to quibble about the fairness of the clues and a few of the words that were the answers, e.g., NEATHERD, ROTIFERA, MACAQUE, ANT COWS and MOSSBACK. It was the toughest one I've ever done and only some lucky guessing got me through it.

Melodious Funk 3:08 PM  

@joho's link wins Silly Of The Year Award!

Fanned out, too good.

Carola 3:54 PM  

@LaneB - I also thought that acrostic was tough. I did happen to remember those single-celled organisms from high-school biology(!,)but otherwise I did a lot of groping in the dark until a phrase from the quote jumped out at me and I got an idea of the theme. I did a lot of working backwards from the quote. Often I can get a clue from just a letter or two, but when I'm staring at a completely blank space, my mind is, too. I thought the puzzle was genius in that almost all of the clues reflected the topic of the quote. I love it when the constructors do that.

sanfranman59 6:07 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Mon 5:38, 6:03, 0.93, 19%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:28, 3:45, 0.92, 15%, Easy

Waxy in Montreal 11:46 AM  

Enjoyed the "aprés la ROULADE- Rolaids" comment above, especially interpreted as a gentle hint to my fellow Canadians to not over-indulge today as we devour our Thanksgiving turkeys and all the trimmings...

Thousands of theater reviews and betcha Walter Kerr is best remembered today as the husband of Jean Kerr, author of a string of very funny books including Please Don't Eat the Daisies.

In keeping with today's theme, time now to get ready for two CFL games followed by Monday Night Football (NFL). Baseball playoff game as well.

spacecraft 12:37 PM  

Sometimes the jolt back to Monday is bone-jarring. I had to make sure I wasn't on the kids' page by mistake! I mean really: "Plays a part onstage" when "Plays" would be enough; "Poses, as a question" when "Poses would be plenty. And that's just 1a and 1d!

I did enjoy the nicely sequenced theme. Surprised that so many bloggers here vilify the sport. You can get hurt doing anything. Forbid all dangerous activity and you might as well encase your kid in a plastic bubble so nobody breathes on him. Life is fraught with peril; don't want your kids to get hurt? Don't have kids.

DMG 2:23 PM  

After Saturday's poser where I was completely unable to get a toehold, I found this one reassurance that I haven't lost it completely! Had to trade in my PRESScard for a PASS, and wait to see if it was TUBB or TUBs, but otherwise smooth sailing.

An aside on the football thing. A few years ago I had occassion to experience intensive care after some surgery. After which it took me something like two years to basically get my head on straight, including intensive balance therapy so I could stand up without holding on to a steady support. Last week I read that what happens with IC pain control treatment essentially mimics the effects of a concussion, and there is work being done to lessen that effect. I guess in football the new no-helmet bashing rule is a start!

Dirigonzo 3:34 PM  

SHine before SHEEN but other than that it was a smooth cruise through the grid and I actually picked up on the theme early enough to guess that RUN and SCORE would be in the last two answers. I think the fill is good enough that with a little devious cluing this could have been a late-week puzzle (well, Wednesday anyway).

@Z wrote: "To reduce it the way the WSJ did is the equivalent of saying that all that matters is two minutes of coitus and not the 45 minutes of foreplay that leads up to it." I was shocked to learn after all these years that I have been doing it wrong!

Z 3:37 PM  

@Dirigonzo - 45 minutes of coitus and 2 minutes of foreplay?

Dirigonzo 5:14 PM  

@z - This was pretty much the extent of my sex education.

Waxy in Montreal 5:15 PM  

@Z & @Diri - must be that "weekend pill"...

Solving in Seattle 7:17 PM  

@Z, you actually last 2 minutes? Yeah, it must be the "weekend pill." Go you Tiger (fan).

@LMS, whiplash from the head fake you gave me with your asterisk.

Loved the football theme, especially after spending all weekend watching it. Go Hawks! The Zebras are tossing the personal foul flags for just about any helmet-to-helmet hits these days, and hopefully it will change the injury rate in the game. Say AMEN.

I lost some money once playing ROULADE in a casino.

DADA could have been clued better. "Early 20th century art movement."

Was President Lincoln the head sheep?

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