Hircosity / 1968 #1 hit for Supremes / THU 1-2-14 / Robert Frost poem good fences make good neighbors / Star Trek prosthesis / Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Bobby / Pope who declared I am sinner This is most accurate definition

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Constructor: Todd Gross

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging


THEME: -ENDING — five answers are literal representations of phrases in which the first word follows the pattern _ENDING; first letter of each phrase is turned into the "ending" of the answers, so that, for example, VENDING MACHINE becomes MACHINEV, i.e. V ENDING MACHINE. The first letter literally "ends" the answer.

Theme answers:
  • MACHINES V (17A: Food or drink dispensers)
  • FOR ONESELF F (10D: Going without help)
  • LITIGATION P (24D: Future court case)
  • THE RULES B (51A: Taking liberties)
  • WALL M (32A: Robert Frost poem that includes "Good fences make good neighbors")
Word of the Day: The Don (41D: Don's place => RUSSIA) —
The Don (RussianДонIPA: [don]) is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises in the town ofNovomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast from Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 kilometres (1,220 mi) to the Sea of Azov.
From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh, then southwest to its mouth. The main city on the river is Rostov on Don. Its main tributary is the Seversky Donets. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a theme that is clever conceptually, but only conceptually. That is, in practice, on the paper, from a solving standpoint, it's a bit of a drag. Comes across as precious. The "_ ENDING X" just isn't tight enough for this to pop. Is the "V" really "ending" MACHINES? It's sitting there after it, but it's not really "ending" it. I don't think I'm splitting hairs. If you have nonsense in the grid, which you do, then the concept that's undergirding that nonsense has to be rock solid, and this just feels … something short of that. A bit strained. F actually *does* end FOR ONESELF, so the extra "F" feels redundant. I mean, I see what's going on. It just doesn't quite come together for me. Also, this is in that genre (which some people admire) of stunt puzzle, where an ambitious theme is built up without much regard for the non-thematic fill, which is allowed to buckle and groan under the theme's weight. I'm happy to give allowance when the theme is truly worthy, but this one didn't quite hit for me, so stuff like ETAPE (56A: Tour de France stage) and ARACE and MOIRES and AMATIVE (!?) and ODA AND I and the hot DERR-on-DOERR action etc. rankled more than it might have.


Took me a longish time to figure out what was up. Me, upon seeing MACHINESV: "MACHINES … FIVE?" "Vending" never occurred to me. FORONESELFF also left me shrugging. Wasn't til THERULESB that I got it. Or, I guess, "got" it, since my first thought was that the "B" was for "breaking," and that that word had been "broken" … somehow. After a bit, I recalibrated, hit on "bending," and then it all made sense. A kind of sense. Toughest part for me was the center, as I could not recall the Frost poem and knew -LLM had to be wrong. Took me a while to accept that that little answer could be a themer. Also, I needed many crosses to get MOIRES (30A: Shimmery silks). Also, I don't think of "marinating" as a "softening" technique. I'm sure it's correct, on a literal level; it's just not a word I'd ever associated with the process. So this one was tough, but well within normal Thursday toughness parameters.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

100 comments:

jae 12:07 AM  

Medium-tough for me too.  I zipped through a lot of the north wondering why this was a Thurs. and then hit the WALL with the odd theme answers and the tough clues in the south.  Got it all figured out but it took some staring. 

WACO seems like a busy place.

DERR and DOERR were not quite WOEs but crosses were required.

Liked it but had many of the same misgivings as Rex.  And I'm still not quite sure what I'm supposed to do with the missing ENDINGs?  Xwordinfo  was no help.

AliasZ 12:13 AM  

What a yummy puzzle! Loved the theme, which I luckily figured out at V-ending MACHINES. The rest of the themers fell rapidly thereafter. It took me a while to realize WALLM was a theme entry, but when I remembered the poem title, I got a little extra jolt of aha! It seems we are not yet running out of theme ideas after all, are we?

For a second I thought AFLAT could have been clued "Using the spare tire," that is, T-ending A FLAT. How about "Shipping support beam" for S-ending IBAR at 1A? But "sending I-bar" is not a thing. Nor is S-ending PEANUT, or S-ending UNLOOSE. However, S-ending MATTRES could work, you just leave off the last S for savings... Oh, never mind.

But here are a few real alternatives: TO PATIENTST (T-ending TO PATIENTS), AN EARL (L-ending an ear), FENCESM (M-ending fences) instead of WALLM - but I love the Robert Frost reference. By extension, we could have THENIGHTSP (SP-ending the night) or DOWNTR (TR-ending down). I could go on... but I won't.

Ferde GROFÉ (1892-1972) was a prolific American composer and arranger of symphonic jazz, tone poems, film music etc. He started composing at the age of 14 (1906) while his last composition was penned in 1970 at the age of 78. His best known arrangement is Rhapsody in Blue which George Gershwin composed for two pianos. GROFÉ arranged it for Paul Whiteman's jazz orchestra, and in 1942 for full symphony orchestra. The lattes is still the most commonly heard version of the piece today. GROFÉ was one of the pallbearers at Gershwin's funeral in 1937. Of his original compositions the Mississippi Suite (Tone Journey) (1925) and Grand Canyon Suite (1931) are his best known and most popular works. I have no idea why Jeff Chen considers GROFÉ sub-par fill. I agree with him on UNLOOSES, but not on GROFÉ.

I found virtually no gunk in this one, well except UNLOOSES. DOERR and DOETH are a cute pair, as are DEAFTO and DEFTLY atop one another. I loved the symmetrical SPINACH and PEANUTS.

A terrific Thursday, thanks to Todd Gross.

Steve J 12:25 AM  

I liked the theme, taking it in the spirit that the trailing letters are "ending" each word within the visual rubric of the puzzle (although Rex brings up a good point about fending FOR ONSELF(F) already ends in F). Something I haven't seen before.

Took me a long time to grok the theme. I had MACHINES V, LITIGATION P and _H__ULES B and no clue. I also had WA_LM, when I thought of WALL and "Mending Wall" finally came back into my head. Nice aha moment.

Unfortunately, the theme wasn't strong enough to outweigh a lot of dreck. I-BARS, AMATIVE (I share the WTF? reaction), ODA, TO SEA, ETAPE, DIR/DERR/DOERR (if you pronounce that OE like the German ö - which gets transliterated to OE in English - all three of those are the exact same phoneme), LOA. That's a lot of glue oozing out from the between the pieces of the model. It outweighed the good of the theme for me.

One bit that I find interesting: UNLOOSES, which means the exact same thing as LOOSES. One of those odd bits of English exaspulary (exasperating vocabulary; I just decided words like this need a unique term, and that's what I've come up with) where the inclusion of a normally invalidating/undoing prefix does absolutely nothing to change the word. Flammable/inflammable is probably the most notable example of this linguistic quirk. There's also thaw/unthaw.

retired_chemist 12:27 AM  

Medium-challenging here too. Those pesky random letters ENDING the theme answers made no sense, so I left them for afters. Eventually I had to face them, and THE RULES B, i.e. B ending THE RULES provided the epiphany. Theme was completely consistent and actually helped me change ETAgE to ETAPE (56A).

Yes, a few clunkers, but not too many IMO. Knew DOERR even though I am not that much of a basball fan, and the names I didn't know (DERR, ROSIE, ORSON) had helpful crosses. I imagine that the SW corner would be a bear if one didn't know any among ROSIE, ORSON, or GROFÉ.

Marinating in an acidic marinade (normally achieved by including vinegar or citrus fruit juices) does tenderize meat. I had MAcerATED at first.

Good one, Mr. Gross. Thanks.

Amative Chai MachinesV 12:42 AM  

Thought this was great and original and fun and lots of AHA moments...
didn't get it till B(ENDING) THE RULES and like @Rex thought it was BREAKING somehow, but glancing back at MACHINESV, it all came together and I had fun going back and saying them out loud!

AMATIVE/SHAVERS was tough and in the end I had to Google GROFE as I held on to GRieg too long and didn't know ORSON and resisted ETAgE/ETAPE thinking that that was the same word for STAGE.

Other botch AdmitTED instead of ACCEPTED led to REdye rather than RECAP, so it took a while to get that piece of SPINACH out from between my teeth.

Anyway, this was very cool.

LUST next to LOVECHILD seems suited and I learned the word "Hircosity" tho it doesn't sound like that would have ANYthing to do with LUST.

Hircosity sounds like glue or sticky hair to me.

(I don't know why this brilliant theme didn't come together for @Rex, maybe he needs more Hircosity)

@Jae,
my thoughts re WACO exactly! I like that folks keep coming up with more and more ways to clue it!

Jim near L.A. 1:13 AM  

I finally bailed, ironically on "bending the rules." My rule is that I don't reveal an answer in Across Lite unless I'm really, really stuck. And I was really, really stuck.

Benko 1:27 AM  

Novel theme was nice for me, though I didn't get it until late in the game. DOERR/DERR was the lowlight for me.
I think LOA, rather than being clued as a partial, should be clued as something having to do with the spirits in Voodoo (voudun) late in the week. Enough going on to keep me busy past my usual Thursday time.

Carola 1:32 AM  

Very clever, kept me stumped until close to the end: I couldn't see how MACHINESV could be correct or how to fit "Mending Wall" into 5 spaces. Finally I got the WALL crosses and figured the -ending out.

@acme - And AMATIVE is across the way from LUST and LOVE CHILD, too.

chefwen 1:36 AM  

Apparently I'm as dumb as a box of rocks. Had it almost finished along with the misplaced letters V, B, M, etc. and the light bulb never switched on. Checked with Amy Reynaldo (Rex wasn't on yet) and decided that I did not like this one at all. Probably because I felt taken in by misplaced cleverness. A reveal would have been nice. Sour grapes here.

Mark 2:18 AM  

This was easier for me than any previous Thursday rebus because I saw and knew MENDING WALL right away. Of course it took some extra time to flip it around, but being on the look-out for "ending," which was usually clued with an "ing," gave me much smooth sailing in the long themes.

Grofe's Suite, like Copland's Appalachian Spring, has been a gimme since junior high long long ago.

John Child 4:54 AM  

Tough for me,, more a Saturday time. Three unknown names (Grofe fell to crosses easily, but the "hot DERR-on-DOERR action" slowed me down) a tough clue for plank, and UNLOOSES and AMATIVE.

The gimmick didn't play hard for me. I saw MACHINES[gimmick] and played on. Once I got to the center clue and WALL[gimmick], it was clear. And fun. I really enjoyed it.

Danp 5:34 AM  

Hircosity? You know you have a problem when the a google search of you a word you use leads only to blogs discussing your puzzle.

Anonymous 6:17 AM  

Solved the entire puzzle fairly quickly without ever grasping or needing the theme. This may not be a good thing.

MetaRex 6:39 AM  

Liked this a whole lot...like OFL and ACM and I'm sure lots of other crossworlders, got the theme from BREAKING THE RULES rather than BENDING THE RULES. I wonder whether the same pattern of seeing the theme through a mistake applied to real people trying to solve Todd G's puzz today...is there a kapow! in BREAKING that activates a general human cheater detection module...or is BREAKING salient for us word nerds because we're conditioned to look for an anagrammatic reveal like turning THE RULES into LEE HURTS, HERE SLUT, etc.?

Also liked Will S.'s comment on xword info on the NYT's open door policy in regard to constructors as a way to foster innovation, compared to a policy of relying only on a select crew of insiders...methinks there's an implicit reference there to the kerfuffle of the other day re shared themes...am very glad that ETM's having an open door allowed MR to come in all those years ago, and am similarly glad that Will S's open door allowed Tracy G's and Todd G's puzzes in this week. For anyone interested, my quiz on constructing ethics is here--comments are welcome.

Glimmerglass 7:17 AM  

I knew "Mending Wall" was the answer to 32A, but tried to squeeze "mending" into the first box. It took me ages to see how V[ending] was like M[ending]. Tough puzzle.t

loren muse smith 7:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Walker 7:29 AM  

For some crazy reason this puzzle started me humming the twelve days of Christmas. Kept looking for the partridge in a pear tree.

Fun.

loren muse smith 7:30 AM  
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loren muse smith 7:33 AM  

Rex- "this is in that genre (which some people admire) of stunt puzzle." I guess I'm running for President of the Stunt Puzzle Admirers Club. However, your points are well taken on how this concept isn't as tight as other stunt puzzles. MACHINEV does look weird, but I buy that it can be looked at as V-ENDING MACHINE. So I got a kick out of reparsing VENDING, MENDING, BENDING, FENDING, and PENDING. Reparsing shenanigans are among my favorite of the stunt puzzle tricks. I still sigh at that THUMB'S CREW puzzle.

I, too saw the trick quick but took the road (stet) less traveled by: I saw RULESB and then went straight back up to MACHINEV, turned the corner south at the V, and had "Lovending" for that song, not even noticing it would need another E. So I had MACHINE VENDING "bending" around a corner. I looked forever for all the themers to bend around corners.

Other early troubles:

Kept checking that "flying solo" didn't fit.
"leech" MOOCH. I have a really good Chattanooga leech, shovel, Ouija board, pixie hair cut story.
"tort" "hurt" HARM
"toiles" MOIRES
"détente" ENTENTE
"moderated" MARINATED (@retired_chemist – I tried "masticated," but it didn't fit)

@AliasZ – good ones! I'll add that many were THENIGHTSP BART on New Year's Eve.

@Steve J – so do you bone or debone your chicken? Press or depress that button? Fat (slim?) chance of making any sense of your invaluable (valuable?) coined word, "exaspulary!"

Thanks, Todd, for the Frère Jacques earworm. At least it was quickly replaced by Whitney Houston's belting out AND I. . .

@Tita – I would love to see pictures of those painted acorns.

Cats have a selective "DEAF TO" GEAR. Actually, so does Rat Poison Tucker.

I didn't know 25A – surely that was Will's clue?

DOETH – I have spent a lot of time making sense of thou, thee, thy, thine. . ., and I think I've figured it all out. I'll weigheth any, uh, EXPLANATIONIMP.

SPINACH in the teeth (Hey, Andrea!). Ok. So I frequently (and I mean *frequently*) have these anthropological musings about what kinds of stuff goes on in tribes vastly different from us. My go-to tribe is the Maasai tribe in Kenya. Recently I was wondering if, at the end of the day, a Maasai woman notices that she has had a piece of SPINACH (or the Kenyan equivalent) in her teeth all day. . . is she 1) mortified and, in a panic, review everyone she talked to, how much she may have smiled, and revisited various smiles to see that some may not have been too revealing? 2) mad at her friend for not telling her? I'll spareth thee with my other Maasai anthropology questions, but get this – I just read that I can actually go live with the Maasai for three weeks! My next Great Adventure when we can afford the cost of MES. I'll get back to y'all on the SPINACH question.

Todd – I will remember this one for a long time. Thanks!

Michael Hanko 7:46 AM  

I thought this was a clever theme, initially exasperating, which is what I admire in a theme. I come to the crossword fair to ride the wordplay roller-coasters.

The arcane trivia booth is, however, an attraction I shun, and this puzzle had us lining up a lot to toss guesses.....I believe I have now overstepped the bounds of this metaphor.

While I love to learn a cool new word like "hircosity," and the crosses led relatively easily to LUST—I am often led easily in that direction—this was not exactly Thursday-level cluing. I could find "hircosity" in only one dictionary and had to go online to do so, and this dictionary defines the word as "goatishness". I had to consult a website of obscure words to find that "hircosity" can also refer the qualities of a metaphorical "goat" or dirty old man.

In any case, I enjoyed having a GOAT this one.

Thanks, Todd!

Susan McConnell 8:00 AM  

Is it me or was this weird? Ultimately I got it, but I could hardly wait to see how OFL was going to describe it. Vending, Fending, Mending, Pending, Bending...first letters only and stuck on at the ending. The fill went in easily enough, but I could see something was...off. Just felt weird. And yet, I liked it!

Settling in for a couple snowy days. I will be in the basement throwing mugs and bowls, restocking after the Christmas push. Looking forward to getting my hands dirty again :-)

Twangster 8:19 AM  

So much for my plan to make it through 2014 without an error. Actually got all the theme answers but couldn't figure out the GROFE, ROSIE, ORSON, FLORET cornet.

joho 8:45 AM  

I loved this puzzle even though I didn't get it. I had the V,M,B, P, F and P place but didn't take the time to see how ENDING worked with them (first day back to work, pressed for time -- no excuse, but I'm going with it anyway!)

It didn't help that I was sure "breaking" THERULES was right. I thought REAK would fit where ORSON is for a brief moment.

Also, I stuck with MAcerATED and never saw MARINATED. I thought it's spelled FRANCes. I did get GLUTTON, still didn't make the necessary change there.

Also, anybody else have Sun instead of SKY at first?

DNF, regardless I totally admire this one. Thank you, Todd, for thinking outside the tiny boxes!

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

Some themes just make me say whatever

Mohair Sam 9:09 AM  

Most complete DNF in years here. Never got the theme. Did struggle through the top half, but died by not knowing silks or Frost's poem. And then, being sure of TOSEA and SASSY we were dead set on tidbiTS for PEANUTS and therefore couldn't come close to THERULESB which might have let us know something was up given MACHINESV above.

35D could be S"ending" UNLOOSE if you want to stretch the theme a little.

Tough but fair Thursday, leaving us beaten but unbowed.

Debby Weinstein 9:24 AM  

I had sun for about two seconds, but I got to sky very quickly, because, well, you know. Turns out the sun doesn't...well, you know...

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Not a fan of this one-- what an odd week it's been !!

cascokid san 9:33 AM  

Complete grid DNF 1:23. Dead at AMATIon/SHAoERS/MOIRnS. Got the theme from Mending Walls. Happily corrected LITIGATIONs before submitting.

Where else are you going to learn the word amative?

cascokid san 9:38 AM  

I should point out that the theme is excellent 12 Days of Christmas fare, syntactically speaking. Lords a leaping. Geese a laying, etc. ok a stretch, but the theme sings to me. :)

Mr. Benson 9:51 AM  

I finished, but felt uneasy about the middle section because I didn't know the title "Mending Wall" and had never heard the word SHAVERS as a synonym for "lads." (I just now googled "shavers lads," without the quotes, and found mostly ads for razors for young men, but I see that it's been colloquially used to mean boys somewhere in recorded history.) So I wasn't 100% sure that HARM was right or AMATIVE was actually a word. Felt very flimsy around that region.

Notsofast 10:13 AM  

A fun solve. And just crunchy enough to be a Thursday. As I filled it in, I didn't worry at all about the extraneous letters; then at the end, the theme just popped out. Easy-medium for me, and as I said, a lot of fun. Good one, T.G.!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:41 AM  

(Darn! My reference to 12 Days of Christmas already taken!)

Puzzle made my head spin, but overall liked it a lot. Still, must agree that some sort of reveal (i.e., justification) would have been welcome.

Having gotten 41 D, Russia, first, was inclined toward somewhat similar wordplay and thought, with only the "A" in place, that 32D, "Where Snickers etc are manufactured", would turn out to be MARS, undoubtedly the wrong candy company.

Also, did not think it was completely cricket to render 32 A as WALLM, since the clue specifies the "Frost poem". I think that locks in the word order to what Frost wrote.

Also, note that 50 A, ORSON Scott Card, is best known for his novel "ENDER'S Game". Some kind of re4veal there?

Finally, hope M&A finds enough today on his 23 A, "U" PLATE.

mac 10:43 AM  

I must have been in a Monday frame of mind. Today feels like Monday to me.

I got half of the trick, never completely parsed the _ending bit. I had the most trouble in the SW with Grofe, Rosie and Orson. I thought the maid was a robot….

Funny mistake: Mars, where Snickers, Skittles and Starburst are manufactured.

Interesting puzzle, not a very fun solve all in all.

pmdm 10:44 AM  

AliasZ nicely mentioned a few facts about Grofé. The great jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker quoted part of the Grand Canyon Suite on some of his recordings. Considering where the New York Times is located, it's worth noting that Grofé also composed the Hudson River Suite.

Splitting hairs? Perhaps not. Overthinking the analysis. Perhaps.

Milford 10:47 AM  

Since it was a Thursday, I went in looking for a rebus. Pretty soon had MACHINE_ and knew there was a trick. Didn't know the poem title, so I didn't realize until later that the theme was included there as well.

My biggest hold-up in solving was that I saw a clue about candy, 4-letter answer, and plunked down mArs. That took forevah to deal with and fix.

Honestly, I had the exact same feeling as @Susan McConnell (so no, it's not just you!). Weird feeling at the end, like maybe I was missing something else clever with the wordplay. But overall I liked it.

Loved the very contemporary clue for FRANCIS. Also liked the MARINATED clue

Also tried looking up "hircosity" in my largest dictionary, and no luck. Closest was hircine = goat-like. So I guess that's the root, goats are LUSTy.

@Steve J. - I'll add my favorite to your exaspulary list: iterate/reiterate.

Love my Spartans!

Gill I. P. 10:50 AM  

Ooooh, I just loved this puzzle. I'll take all kinds of gimmicky puzzles on a Thursday.
I circled all the little weird letters. MACHINESV and WALLM was confirming the ending...Too bad "ending" wasn't in the grid someplace. Anyway, after I got to THE RULESB and confirming my sneaky suspicion, I was so happy with myself I did a RUSSIA FLORET.

John V 10:51 AM  

Got killed. Not even close.

Tita 11:01 AM  

@joho - I contemplated Sun...and thought, well, yes, it IS justifiable...after all, I could devise a mathematical model that would prove the Sun (along with the rest of the Universe) revolves around me...
In fact, I have already devised that model. ;)

It's all relative, after all...

@casco & BobK - Jan 6 is the 12th day...ALIAS Epiphany.

Loved learning the GOATiness of Hircosity. Guess I'm just a GLUTTON for NONAME words.

@lms - I will post some BUROAK ACORN pics today or tomorrow.
And who is going to warn those Maaori about your arrival? They will need time to tidy up a bit...

Liked the puzzle quite a bit. Got it at V[ENDING} - without that, I would never have grokked THERULESB.
I know that in general, I like puzzles more for "unworthy" reasons...like the reference to that wonderful Robert Frost poem.
Has nothing to do wiht construction quality, but with personal memories that particular fill evokes.
That's fine by me.

Thanks, Mr. GROss!

Tita 11:08 AM  

@lms - just enlarged your AoD (Avatar of the Day)...
lol!

mArz, (my erstwhile avatar, and Venus, will occasionally engage in Compostbin Diving...
Yesterday afternoon we had King Crab legs - the shells went into the compost bin - we needed to put an electric fence up around it to keep them away from that.

(@Bob K - no offense - I'll take crab legs over herring any day...!!!) ;)

Nancy 11:11 AM  

I love trick puzzles when I get them. When I don't get them, I don't love them. This one was 99% solved and I still didn't have a clue what MACHINESV and LITIGATIONG were. (I also had ETAgE.) A reveal-- no matter how subtle -- would have enabled me to first understand and then finish this puzzle. My hat is off to those who both understood and finished. They must be geniuses!

Steve J 11:20 AM  

@Milford: I also considered MARS instead of WACO. Never quite dropped it in, though.

Regarding hircosity. My favorite part of looking it up was finding it cited on a site called "Worthless Word for the Day".

Ellen S 11:33 AM  

Somehow finished the puzzle correctly without having any idea why. Spent a good 15 minutes staring at those answers that weren't quite right and had a meaningless extra letter tacked onto the end. If I had known the name of the Frost poem it might have brought enlightenment more quickly.

Fun puzzle and great comments. Now I gotta stop this laziness.

Sandy K 11:39 AM  

Took me quite a while to DOETH this one...thought it was kinda weird too.

But when I finally got the OPTICS at THERULESB, the others all fell in. Thought the themers were all very clever, yes, in a weird way...but I really liked it. Agree that having *ending* as a revealer may have felt less weird and more satisfying, but less Thursday-ish.

There's a teachers' supply store in my neighborhood- called TREEL.

Anonymous 12:38 PM  

Dumbest puzzle of the year. Let's hope that a beginning this bad will lead to a better ending.

Carola 12:39 PM  

@Milford - Thought of you when the Spartans redeemed the Big Ten in the Bowl game. After another Bowl Day of Shame for the Badgers, this Wisconsin family pinned all its hopes on MSU. Very gratifying to see them come back against Stanford. Way to go, Spartans! Though hopefully we can beat you next year :)

Masked and Anonymo5Us 12:44 PM  

This-ENDING-That theme. Well, I flat out loved it. thUmbsUp. Primo stuff. Best puz of the year.

Especially liked the M-ending HAR, at 26-Down.
@BobK: U-PLATE. Nice.

M&A

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Two Ponies 12:49 PM  

I did not get the trick and even after coming here I cannot say I appreciated it. I'm all for fresh and innovating puzzles but this seems dumb.

I did enjoy the surprise puzzle yesterday.

Anonymous 1:04 PM  

I'm with Rex on this one. I solved the puzzle, got the congratulatory pop-up, and still didn't have a clue.
After some thought, I realized that the gimmick was an attempt to drive more traffic to the blog, which suffers from a surfeit of regular sycophantic posters (who seem to be as concerned with ailments, sick pets, cooking, reminisces, and other trivia, as they are with the puzzle du jour.)

It would be more honest to describe the NYTimes daily puzzles as something other than crosswords.

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

Usually I agree with Rex, but I thought he was a bit harsh on this one. I thought the theme worked well and makes sense. It provided the rare "aha" moment in a puzzle and it did help finish the grid.

JB

Questinia 1:12 PM  

This puzzle did not make me want to assume the samba position.


@M & A ✔

@ Gill I.P.
on a Mac: go to Edit=> Special Characters=> musical symbols or snowflakes....
❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅ Blizzardly ❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃ ✻❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅❅❉✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅✻❃❄❆❅

Gill I. P. 1:14 PM  

@Anonymous 1:04...I suppose you are right in your assessment but why so mean spirited?
After one posts for a long period of time, you get to know the bloggers and really, it feels like an extended blog family.
Of course we care if an animal gets sick because we've probably seen its avatar. And what the hell is wrong with sharing food recipes if the food in question is a crossword clue. Bah...
Go drink something...maybe one of @Z's brews or something that has a U in it.

Gill I. P. 1:18 PM  

@Questinia...I miss my Mac..[sigh] insert one of those stupid emoticons with a droopy face...!
Cheers.

Tita 1:27 PM  

@Gill - beautifully stated - perfection.

@MeanAnon... They are called crossword PUZZLES.
Now go take @Gill's advice.

Bird 1:35 PM  

Sorry Todd, but this one was not for me. Didn’t fully understand the theme (where’s the ENDING and why is the first word moved to the end), I thought they might but couldn’t confirm if long downs were themers and too much stuff I didn’t know or could guess.

Milford 1:39 PM  

Anon 1:04 - you are absolutely correct, you still don't have a clue.

chefbea 1:47 PM  

Been very busy today. Finally finished but really didn't get it. Too many comments to read now. Have to go to the Mac store( @Mac - hi there.) Taking a lesson so I know how to work my new I pad that Santa left under the tree.

not impresses 2:05 PM  

meh

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

Hated this puzzle.

sychophantic reminiscer 2:15 PM  

@anon 1:04

Feel free to skip the comments here.

We like them!

Acme 2:27 PM  

@joho
I suspect many of us thought Sun first, but didn't want to admit it! ;)

The thing about Hircosity that I admire (tho thank god/goat it wasn't in the grid!) is that someone even knew there was another word for LUST that would be a Thursday level!
I have a friend (actually named Friend) who writes for the New Yorker and other mags and I've always needed a dictionary at my side when I read him. And I've always marveled that he even knew there was some word that I've never run across before that when you look it up, it's exactly right for that situation. I mean, exactly. And so specific...
Like "splayed" dog legs, was one example.

I'm going to spit in the eye of the hungover new year's reveler and share a story about my mom. Not a huge reminiscence as it happened last week...

My mom congratulated me on my puzzle with Michael and after chatting some more, it was revealed that she had NEVER ACTUALLY SOLVED ONE OF MY PUZZLES (!?!!?!)
(a sharp contrast to my dad who was the one who took me on his knee as a child to solve the Sunday Times weekly, only later to dismiss my constructing efforts.
When I got my first puzzle published in the NY T, he asked "What day of the week?" I said "Monday" and he said, "let me know when it's a Friday" and hung up.)

So, I sat down, over the phone, starting with 1A and "did" my puzzle with my mom. It was a long, painful, bittersweet experience (she got "COQ au vin" tho right away and didn't once mention Scrabble f-king!)
Anyway,
When we got to 16D where she already had G?AT and the clue was "Flying pest"? She exclaimed, "GOAT !"
I said, "GoAT?!?!?!!!!" and she responded... "oh, GNAT... I guess goats don't really fly..."

Hircosity, indeed! I'm currently checking adoption records from 1959.

Anoa Bob 2:34 PM  

Tip of the hat to those who fully understood the puzzle's theme. I got the letter-with-a-missing-"ending" at the END of each word, but I still don't see how that is supposed to be transposed within the puzzle to its normal place at the BEGINNING of each word.

It seems like there is a missing reveal, step, or instruction telling the solver to re-invert the theme phrase after getting the appropriate letter-plus-"ending" at the end.

But with so many smart cookies out there praising the theme, I attribute my difficulties to an ever-advancing cognitive calcification.

Back in the 60's I had a Columbia Records LP of Ferde Grofé's "Grand Canyon Suite". What was unique about this album was that Johnny Cash---yes, that Johnny Cash---narrates how they went into the canyon to record natural sounds to mix in with the musical score.

I lost the LP somewhere along the way, but I found an mp3 recording on the net. If you have a few minutes, check it out:

Johnny Cash in the Grand Canyon

It's a hoot! Especially when the sound of the crickets is replaced by an approaching storm.

Gill I. P. 2:37 PM  

@Andrea: When White Bread shows up, I'm going to tell my dad story...
Please, keep them coming....I'm still laughing and I miss your anecdotes....(insert smiley face)

retired_chemist 2:37 PM  

Hand up for mArs before WACO. I drive through Waco quite a few times a year and never knew about any candy factory there. Also hand up for Sun before SKY. But, D'oh. In too much of a hurry to think....

With the community in feeling annoyed at Anon 1:04's grinchiness. We are indeed a community of friends and like to share life experiences with each other.

Mette 2:41 PM  

This one was fun. Had FORONEsself, and, as Rex has pointed out, sometimes a wrong answer helps, so finally figured out how to correct sMUS, when breaking became bending THERULES. Wanted MoistenED, then MaceraTED (hi @retired chemist). DNF beause I am a yoga ignoramus (a recent Final Jeopardy answer), so figured PLANo would go with WACO and SoY is everywhere.

Hircosity is defined in the OED as goatishness, lewdness.

Tita 2:50 PM  

Oh drat...@acme, now I have to tell one of my Mom/puzzles story...again...
She called out to the kids "3 letter word for sheep's cry of distress" - they prompptly said "BAA".
The real answer was "SOS" - *Ship's* cry of distress - 50 years in this country has (thankfully) not diminished her accent.

Anyhow, GOATs say BAA too (esp. when they fly!), so...couldn't resist.

Love your story, and glad the two of you solved together.

So now we can add "When GOATS fly" to our lexicon, in addition to HADAGOAT.

3 (or is it 4) and out...

Nameless 3:59 PM  

Was this supposed to be some kind of pig-latin theme? Fail. Great idea, but poor execution.

This did not play well for me. I'm not big on poetry or popes. I too think it needed a revealer.

AMATIVE?!
SHAVERS?!
ETAPE?!

Steve J 4:05 PM  

Everyone, please stop being so hard on Anon 1.04. It must be very difficult to be forced to read things you don't like every day.

Lewis 4:26 PM  

It was a great AHA when I figured out the theme. There is a mental leap involved in taking the last word (like MENDING or PENDING) and throwing it into the front of the phrase, but that just makes it more challenging. It felt like fresh theme to me, and how rare is that?

It is terrific when a fresh theme does come along, but it is also pretty rare. Personally, I wouldn't mind if every puzzle were a themeless. Generally I don't think the theme actually adds to the puzzle. Maybe one day theme puzzles will just grow old and fade away -- like some events in say, the NBA All-Star weekend, which have just run their course.

sanfranman59 4:41 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 (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Thu 21:06, 18:24, 1.14, 74%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Thu 13:26, 10:36, 1.27, 83%, Challenging

Anonymous 5:02 PM  

Stunts are for stunt men. And women.
Crossword puzzles are (were?) supposed to be for people who like crosswords.
To paraphrase a recent President, I say they're stupid, and I say the hell with them.
Signed, Unreconstructed Crossword puzzle lover.

August West 5:18 PM  

My sense after solving was much the same as Rex, Susan Mc., and Anoa Bob's. They're not V-ending machines! The Rules aren't B-ending!, etc. Easy enough to get, sort of, but just left me feeling that the concept, theme, and reveal were incongruous in some respect -- just "off." Didn't think the theme or theme answers were remotely strong enough to justify the amount of drek needed to support them. A ho-hum experience here. Clearly *not* the puzzle of the year.

AliasZ 5:30 PM  

I love the drive-by comments by Anonymice. It's like throwing garbage out of the car at 65mph on the highway. They're worth the price of admission.

Anonymous 5:52 PM  

Maybe (B)ending THERULES IS the revealer.

Susan B. Anthony 6:24 PM  

@ AliasZ
Can u explain the difference between someone who posts as anonymous and someone who posts as AliasZ or a name from a Grateful Dead tune or as a retired this or that? Aren't most people who most here anon?

retired_chemist 7:11 PM  


@ Susan B -

If the alias is blue it is a link. In my case it links to a web page and I assure you I am not anonymous to anyone who goes there. Others link to blogger accounts which usually have an e-mail attached. Again, hardly anonymous.

The ones in black are more anonymous, but those who post with a consistent alias are identifiable in context of this blog. You have a good feel for how and why they react as they do to puzzles and posts.

Z 9:09 PM  

I guess I never realized that Shortz tried to drive traffic here. Maybe Rex is really his LOVE CHILD.

@Susan B Anthony - A couple of years ago I was standing in a field outside of Chicago and @Seth G (he's been MIA for awhile) came up and introduced himself. I'm from Detroit and he's from Minneapolis (Edina, maybe) but he could identify me well enough to come up and say, "Hi" just from what he learned about me here. (No, I didn't have a beer in my hand)

@ACME - great story.

Got it. Liked it. Didn't think it was off at all. I don't think of this as a stunt puzzle. Stunt puzzles are sextuple stacks or 48-worders or even near pangrams missing only the E (the BEST stunt puzzle ever). This was just a nice puzzle making me rethink and reparse the word. This was fun.

Writing late from Mont Tremblant in Quebec where it was scrabblef#%*]^ing cold today. It was -28F to start the day and got all the way to -21F by the time we finished. We had a goat the slopes anyway.

Beer-Rating - Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. I'll save one for @anon1:04

Hircosily yours

sanfranman59 10:03 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 7:38, 6:18, 1.21, 97%, Challenging (7th highest ratio of 210 Mondays)
Tue 7:37, 8:12, 0.93, 26%, Easy-Medium
Wed 14:15, 10:26, 1.37, 97%, Challenging (8th highest ratio of 209 Wednesdays)
Thu 21:04, 18:24, 1.14, 74%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:42, 3:56, 1.19, 96%, Challenging (9th highest ratio of 210 Mondays)
Tue 4:45, 5:09, 0.92, 20%, Easy-Medium
Wed 9:00, 6:11, 1.46, 100%, Challenging (2nd highest ratio of 209 Wednesdays)
Thu 12:58, 10:36, 1.22, 80%, Medium-Challenging

Numinous 10:09 PM  

OK, I'm a dunce. A few googles and I got the grid filled out but was totally stymied. Had to ask Rex, here, about the gimmick. But this is about:

@Anoa Bob: a hoot, not for me! I really liked that sound byte. Easter vacation, 1959, I took a trip with my grandfather through the south west. We visited some cave dwellings near Knab, Utah. The rancher on whose property they were gave me a finger bone from there. After rides my grandfather had worked out from the local mail carriers, we arrived at the Grand Canyon. We camped for the night on the North Rim. Next morning, we started down the trail. I was 13 and not a great or motivated backpacker. I made it about 2/3 of the 17 miles to the Phantom Ranch. We spent the night in an old cabin that still had beds but no MATTRESSes, just bare box springs. We slept with the sounds of the crickets in our ears. Next day, we reached the bottom of the canyon and the Phantom Ranch and set up camp in the public campground a little nearer the Colorado river than the Ranch.

In the heat of that early spring month, the big attraction at the Phantom Ranch was the swimming pool but one could only be in it or fully clothed because there were "horse" flys? or some other flys that would bite really painfully. I, at 13 really craved a coca cola but all that was available down there was a strawberry soda. We stayed at the bottom of the Canyon for two days. The second day I decided to try something out that I had heard about. "It's hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement." So, I cracked an egg on a flat stone and left it to see what would happen. A few hours later, I went back and, sure enough, there was an egg cooked that looked like a fried egg.

My grandfather arranged to have the canyon mules cary our backpacks out and delivered to the lodge on the south rim while we hiked up the Bright Angel trail in the evening. It was cooler then and we'd make better time unencumbered. A storm blew up and it started to rain. There was plenty of thunder and lightning, or, rather, lightning and thunder. I later learned that that storm covered the entire canyon, a real rarity. At one point, Grandpa and I stopped for a rest, wet and tired, probably around 1:00 in the morning. Across the road from us was a barbed wire fence. There was a seriously bright flash and no pause before the thunder. Lightning struck the fence not a hundred feet from us. I could taste the ozone for an hour.

A bit later, the storm abated some and the clouds opened up. I was treated to something I've never seen since. The full moon shone down and produced what I can only describe as a "moonbow". A full rainbow in black and white across the Grand Canyon. 54 years latter, that is still etched on my mind.

Once we reached the trail head and started down the road toward the tourist lodge some miles away, I was falling asleep on my feet. A couple of guys I would have, at the age of 13, regarded as Hells Angels came by on their motorcyles and offered us a lift. We accepted and got a ride to the lodge.

Sorry, Anonymous whoever, but this is much more than a discussion of what this or that constructor did. Crossword puzzles which involve words and concepts tend to jog our memories and experiences and connections. We all here are a group of friends with common interests and things to share with our "family."

OISK 10:11 PM  

Filled it all in without ever getting the theme. Then found out I had etage instead of etape, so a one box DNF for me. Had trouble with the pop culture stuff, as usual - never heard of "Love Child," and could not name any song Adele ever sang (other than the National Anthem), but Ferdy Grofe was a gimmee; I tend to hum "on the trail" whenever I am on horseback. Never watched the Jetsons, and never heard of Orson Scott Card, and have successfully avoided Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga, Adele, the Supremes, the Jetsons, exceeds my pop culture limit. Still, had I seen the theme, I would have finished. Clever puzzle, not-so-clever OISK.

mac 10:54 PM  

@numinous: sweet story, sweet memories.

Gill I. P. 12:28 AM  

@numinous...I heard that horse flies eat mules for lunch....
@Oisk....If Adele sang our National Anthem, I'll eat a fried egg cooked in the Grand Canyon..
-:)

Anonymous 9:51 PM  

Why the color me badd video?

spacecraft 11:06 AM  

Well! I came roaring out of the gate (gaining ACCESS) in the NW; thinking this is a Thursday? Feels more like a Tuesday.

And then.

MACHINES was a letter short, so naturally I tried the -ery ending. Little did I suspect that I needed to forget the -ery--and concentrate on the "ending!" That never did occur to me; I knew the Supremes hit, so I had a natick at MACHINE_V/LU_T. No flaming idea what "hircosity" is.

Knowing there was a gimmick, but dumbfounded as to what it could be, I was unsure how to proceed with other long answers--and outside of that easy NW the fill was impossible to pick up. Result? epic fail. DNF by, like, two-thirds. Got some of the NE but that was it. Had to come here to uncover the "ending" thing. Todd Gross:Seattle :: me:Denver.

At least I got a full house, 55566.

rain forest 2:13 PM  

A real mindb puzzle today. Did anyone have a title for the puzzle, ie, "endings"? There was no title in my paper and I found it very tough after leaving MACHINES-, getting the NE, and stalling. I knew the poem,and so went there and sussed out WALLM, and there it was--aha! Still took awhile for me to get the others, particularly LITIGATIONP, until I remembered ETAPE.

Tough for me, but I liked it.

Solving in Seattle 3:11 PM  

Worked this fun Thupuz while watching last night's Letterman with Matt Damon. Funny dude.

I knew something was afoot with MACHINEV. Got ADELE and LOVECHILD and the L_ST and then guessed at the U. Hircosity (a new word to me) seemed just like what some Victorian would call that awful feeling that sometimes goes on for four hours, or more. I guessed right. I feel so...so.. AMATIVE.

Anyway, I kept slogging on, -ending up with five of these strange letters finishing off the answer. I think it was my legal training that helped me spot the gimmick at 24D, then applied it to the four other misfits, and VOILA, there it was: take the last letter, move it to the front and add "ending."

Verrrryyyy clever, Todd Gross.

Two pair loses to @Spacy's full boat.

Dirigonzo 3:43 PM  

I was lucky enough to have MACHINESV and FORONESELFF filled in by the crosses, and enough staring produced the epiphany: ENDING! It took me almost as long to figure out the SW corner but eventually it all came together but my brain feels like it's been MARINATED (that will come later tonight).

Two tiny pair.

DMG 4:04 PM  

Got this one, except for a blank space in the middle where Texas and the poet came together with some softening-up thing. But, I never saw the gimmick, and came here to find why some answers had extra letters tacked on-thought maybe you could put them together to form a word, but with no vowel??? Probably didn't help that I thought the poem was called WALLs, which didn't fit the spaces.

All that, and I get a lousy pair of 8's!

Solving in Seattle 4:05 PM  

can someone help me with how the clue for 41D "Don's place," results in "RUSSIA?"

Don Corleone 4:38 PM  

@SiS - Stop by my place for a swim!

Solving in Seattle 4:46 PM  

Don Corleone, thank you. I'm forever in your debt.

Page the page 5:55 PM  

First post; and I'm in syndiland. Initially found this blog while googling for an answer to some opaque clue or other, and have been reading it for about a year. I really enjoy and appreciate the wordplay, as well as the explanations of things that stump me.

I, too, had no idea what the significance of extraneous letters at the end of the words might be, so I just ignored them until later. I had TH_ _ULESB which had to be the rules, but I couldn't think of any way that applied to taking liberties.

My pseudo-aha moment came when I had _ _ LLM and looked up Robert Frost. That made MENDING clear, which in turn explained THE RULES. Saw that "ending" worked with the other clues, but didn't catch on that the meaning of the word was part of the "stunt." I just thought it was a set of letters that are found in these various expressions.

Hand up for DETENTE and MARS. Had a little trouble with DOETH; it seems like the wrong tense or case or something for "performS.

I was amused that ROSIE, ORSON and GROFE, which were gimmes for me, were unknown by so many others. Well, I love the Jetsons, read tones of Sci-Fi, and was brought up on (and still play) classical music, so there you are.

@mac- The maid was a robot, who wore a frilly apron and was named Rosie!

@Steve J - My favorite exaspulary is:
UNSHELLED, meaning the shell is present, and SHELLED, meaning the shell is gone!

@Andrea Carla Michaels - I just LOVE your puzzle-specific aliases; very inventive!

@solving in Seattle - I's a river; see Rex's Word of the Day

Well, gosh, that seem's like enough for a first post, I'd say. Keep up the fun commentary and camaraderie!

Long-windedly,
Page

Dirigonzo 7:32 PM  

@Page the page - if the blog had a "like" button, I'd click it for your comment. Welcome to Syndi-land, hope to see you back here often!

Ginger 7:54 PM  

@Page - Welcome, don't be a stranger!

Oh, the puzzle. Normally I enjoy 'stunt puzzles', but this one totally flummoxed me. Got most of it, tried a google or three, and came here to try to make sense of it. My hat's off to you all who were able to suss it out.

Waxy in Montreal 1:39 PM  

Chiming in very, very late on Thursday's puzzle I actually didn't have time to work on (though in reviewing it now, certain it would have been a frustrating DNF) but wanted to also welcome @Page to syndiland - great comments, hope you can join us again soon.

rachel 4:45 PM  

maybe im too much of a novice, but this one took one too many artistic leaps for my Bach in English over 40 brain. i felt terrible having to look up hicrosity! what do goats and lust have to do with eachother? (i dont want to know...) as i lifelong choir participant, i can assure you that copeland is much more mainstream than groefe! thursday is as far as i go and this one made me want to do a monday...

Dirigonzo 5:29 PM  

@Rachel - sometimes the Friday puz can seem easier to solve than a really tricky Thursday offering like this one. You should give it a try, you might surprise yourself - and they get easier with practice!

Page the page 6:53 PM  

Thanks for the welcomes, everyone!

@Rachel, I agree with @Dirigonzo about it getting easier with practice. The more you do, and the the more you read this blog,you get a feel for the ways the constructors try to misdirect you. When I started doing this, I NEVER finished a post-Wednesday puzzle without Googling a fair amount, and now I regularly finish with 0-2 Googles. For me, I don't really feel like it's "cheating" to look up sports names, foreign geography, obscure rivers, etc., because these aren't things you can't figure out; you either know them or you don't. So, if I'm stuck, I look up those types of answers to get a few crosses on the answers I actually stand a chance of figuring out!

Suprisingly, although bigger, Sundays are easier than Saturdays, so I recommend you try one of them, as well. I find the themes and quirkiness of clues to be quite enjoyable and satisfiying to complete. Sometimes, I end up having to put it down and come back in a few hours or the next day, but after 2 or 3 sessions like that, I can usually finish.

Whichever way you go, as my mother used to say, "Keep plugging away!"

Rachel Lyons 9:58 PM  

thank you for the advice and support-will do
do you all solve these online? or on any of various electronic devices?
does anyone do them like i do w/ real paper and an actual writing implement?
because i really dont know what the term "crossing" as a verb means or "crosses" either.
maybe im already doing it, but its the lingo that is tripping me up now!

Anonymous 10:40 PM  

@Rachel Lyons - Not 100% sure what your question is, but in simplest terms, the activity is called Crosswords because words cross.

You have a four letter Across word to fill in, but the clue given doesn't help. But coming in the other direction, i. e., Down, may be four words you do know. Fill them in, and you have your answer. Nothing more complicated than that!

Z 11:13 PM  

@Rachel Lyons - The "commentariat" (as I like to call the people who post comments here) come in all kinds of flavors. The first comments will almost always be by online solvers who solve as soon as the puzzle comes available (10 p.m the night before except Saturdays and Sundays when Sunday and Monday puzzles come online at 6:00 p.m.). When the comment times start showing early morning times you are reading comments by those of us who solve in the print New York Times. Further down the comments you will hit syndy-landers, those who solve the syndicated puzzle in their local papers (starting with @spacecraft, today). The puzzle hits syndy-land five weeks after it appears in the NYT, except Sunday which is one week behind.

"Crosses" are those letters you get from the crossing word. If I don't know IRMA at 1D, I can still get it from the crosses, the I in IBAR at 1A, R in RECAP at 14A, etc.

Finally, since you have a google account, checking that email follow-up but lets you get all the successive comments, even five weeks and two days later.

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