Capital on Niger / FRI 4-18-14 / Art enabled / Blue symbol of Delaware / Add tiger's chaudron For ingredients of our cauldron

Friday, April 18, 2014

Constructor: James Mulhern

Relative difficulty: Medium (Easy-Medium for me)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: BAMAKO (48D: Capital of the Niger) —
Bamako is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a population of 1.8 million (2009 Census, provisional). In 2006, it was estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and sixth fastest in the world. It is located on the Niger River, near the rapids that divide the upper and middle Niger valleys in the southwestern part of the country.
Bamako is the nation's administrative center. The city proper is a cercle in its own right. Bamako's river portis located in nearby Koulikoro, along with a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the seventh largest West African urban center after LagosAbidjanKanoIbadanDakar, and Accra. Locally manufactured goods include textiles, processed meat and metal goods. There is commercial fishing on the Niger River.
The name Bamako comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile river". (wikipedia)
• • •

This one just flowed for me. From beginning to end, I had only minor hitches. Looking back on it, I'm surprised how easily I got through some sections, esp. the NE. All my first guesses were correct. Wasn't sure if it was ET ALIA or ET ALII, but I decided to drop CELLI at 10D: Parts of many chamber groups, and that made all the difference. EPOCH and then APIA came easily, and I saw straight through the enigmatic cluing at 10A: Art enabled (CANST). I did not see straight through the enigmatic cluing at 18A: Moving supply (LITHE) (great clue), but all the crosses fell easily into place. The one real stick point—the answer I had to come at from both directions before I finally took it down—was BAMAKO. Had the BAM- and thought "oh … no. African capitals. Crap." Actually wanted BAMAKO (despite having no idea where it was), but the "K" looked weird wrong at that point (my first pass at the word), so I abandoned ship and went back to work where I had started, in the NW. Worked my way steadily and easily from there, clockwise, back to the SE, where it turned out BAMAKO was right all along. So I solved until I ran into BAMAKO, retreated, and then solved again until I came back to BAMAKO from the opposite side. The end.

I like this puzzle, despite some wobbly short fill, particularly in the upper center and ENE sections. FO SHIZZLE reads as hilariously dated to me, but I still enjoyed seeing it (1A: "Definitely, dawg!") ("Dawg" also reads as dated). I like that the 15s are Downs in this one. Longest answers in themelesses are usually Acrosses. But aside from that little grid oddity, it's a pretty standard grid, with solid, somewhat above-average fill. Great clues help add to the entertainment value. I already covered [Moving supply] and [Art enabled]; I also liked [Something awful] for LIKE CRAZY, which fooled me completely, despite the fact that I use "something awful" in that idiomatic way all the time. I had MAMMAL for MARMOT (54A: Woodchuck, e.g.), and disbelieved that WANS was a word (36D: Pales). Otherwise, as I say, this was an enjoyable, largely bump-free ride.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:10 AM  

Oh no he didn't!  I suspect this will not sit well with some of our older brethren (although I'm 68).   I mean pimp slang popularized by Snoop-Dogg over a decade ago crossing a punk to be tough.  Me, I loved it!  I got it with just a couple of crosses, so this was a mostly easy solve.   Only hang up was ARIeL before ARIAL which made MANO a MANO my last fill-in. 

Did not know ATHENAEUM. 

Fantastic Fri.  Lots of zip and a nice mix of pop and classical.   A tad to easy, but that could be a wheelhouse thing.   Plus I've seen FASTONE with a similar clue recently so that went in with no crosses.  Nice one James!

Moly Shu 12:13 AM  

Really, really good. First pass was nearly futile but got a toehold at GIVEUP/PAYOLA and MAST/ARCS/NEA. Those got me started and I came in at 33:38. Medium for a fri. Like @Rex, killer clues for CANST and LITHE. Only got them after completion and a few minutes of staring. Nothing to complain about except maybe ULE. Maybe

Jisvan 12:58 AM  

I CANnT for the life if me figure out CANST for art enabled...
Oh wait! Like thou art enabled, thou CANST, now go forth and multiply and fill the earth... (Geez! Got lithe, but ye olde English doth befuddle my brain.) Pretty cool Friday. Bottom was easier for me, northwest was the great unknown. It was not a FAST ONE for me!

Questinia 1:02 AM  

Wonderful puzzle. Nearly identical experience to Rex with FOSHIZZLE going right in and then Monday-like NW spreading down into the SW. East putting up more of a chew with the wonderfully clued "moving supply" and "art enabled", etc...
Finished it like @jae with ARIeL before ARIAL and MANO my last fill.

Berry-like quality, the sort which makes one feel fleet and kinda smart. Liked it LIKE CRAZY.
Thanks Mr. Mulhern!

Lee Coller 1:30 AM  

Foshizzle? sorry, this just doesn't work. Hated it.

Casco Kid 2:20 AM  

Medium-challenging. 6 googles. 2 errors. I don't "see through the clever cluing" for either CANST or LITHE. What gives? @jisvan's discussion of CANST is a stretch. Is that what was meant? Really? Noooooo. If so, that's Saturday hard. As for LITHE, an adjective, how is that a noun "moving supply"? LaTHE, which describes the pattern of wood strapping in support structures, is much more nearly a "moving supply" -- if you are building walls to contain items to be moved. But that's crazy. My Hail Mary in the 80th minute got LITHE and CANST right and ETALIa/CELLa wrong.

Googles for ONO ALANARKIN BAMAKO THRO THERETO HGTV. With those answers in place, there was enough information to solve the rest, save for the NE where the clues and answers remain largely nonsensical. But googling my way to a rejected submission means there were too many missing pieces to be able to call it fun.

[1A Definitely, Dogg] is the clue for FOSHIZZLE. As spelled, the clue points specifically away from Snoop. That's not a subtle misdirect. That is think-of-something-else-stupid. Abusive, not clever. Could someone explain that one, please?

Casco Kid 2:23 AM  

Double checking: LATH, the wood strapping, should not be confused with LATHE, the machine tool for wood and metal turning. But my question remains: LITHE is not a moving supply.

Benko 2:28 AM  

@casco: The clue for LITHE is a very clever misdirect. Moving supple-ly, as in a supple manner, is the way to pronounce it. It doesn't refer to moving supplies. And yes, jisvan is right about CANST.
Usually, you're missing something if you think a clue doesn't make any sense.

chefwen 3:57 AM  

I'm with @Lee Coller _ I may have been under a rock for the last 20 some years, but FO SHIZZLE??? Never heard of it. ATHENAEUM also a newbie for me. Needless to say a big DNF for this munchkin.

Better luck tomorrow.

Off to read the funnies, thank God that takes no brain work.

Danp 5:32 AM  

Baggage for Luggage. Seeing the ZBE at the end only made me wish I had watched Budweiser commercials more carefully. Then again, that wouldn't have helped me understand "Squiffy".

Overall, I thought the cluing was great today, though I never thought of hero-worship as a verb.

mathguy 5:45 AM  

Definitely a challenge for me. Twelve entries I didn't know led by FOSHIZZLE. Nine devilish clues led by "Moving supply" and "Art enabled." So I felt good about being able to solve it with the help of my wife who gave me LUGGAGE.

optionsgeek 6:59 AM  

Someone throw me a bone. . .MANO? How is that a leader and a follower?

Susierah 7:03 AM  

This was hard work but a satisfying solve! I plugged away for 45 minutes before I resorted to a google to get Zaire. The rest fell into place, slowly but surely. Dnf by spelling arial with an e. New words, squiffy and athenaeum. Thanks for explaining the lithe clue. Liked it.

Gubdude 7:31 AM  

@optionsgeek - As in MANO comes before and after the letter a in the phrase "mano a mano"

evil doug 7:32 AM  

Mano a Mano.

Obviously, if you shift the two blocks in the NE and SW together, Tetris-style, they become crosses, thus representing the two men on crosses flanking yesterday's Jesus.

Gotta have Good Friday before you can have Easter....


Glimmerglass 7:35 AM  

@optiongeek. As in "Mano a Mano" (hand to hand). MANO leads and follows "a". This was one of several nastily clued entries. I did not find this easy (or even medium). I think I've heard FOSHIZZLE, but had no idea what it meant. It's not that I'm too young--I'm too old. The clues were all fair, and I found this a very satisfying solve. Great Friday puzzle.

Susan McConnell 7:36 AM  

@optionsgeek MANO both comes before, and after, the word "a" in the phrase MANO a MANO (it follows "a" and leads it).

Susan McConnell 7:40 AM  

I thought the puZZLE was easy, except for the parts that were hard. Loved the clue misdirections, especially "Moving supply".

Anonymous 7:42 AM  

Wow. Liked this quite a bit. No checks, no cheats which is great for a Friday. Time was about my Friday average which was good enough for top 100 on Magmic, but in the "keep your day job" range.

Z 8:14 AM  

@Evil Doug - Wm Shakespeare on the left and Alfred Lord Tennyson on the right leaves Snoop Dogg in the middle. Sounds like poetic Enabled Art to me.

This has LIKE CRAZY cluing from the subtle "Art enabled" and "Moving Supply" (OHHHH, pronounced "'Sup, Lee?"), to the "let's trick veteran solvers" clue for 58A ("Musician blah blah blah," 3 letters, must be eNO).

Snoop Dogg doing EMO, Squiffy causing ALE, Woodchucks that look like rodents but are really MARMOTS, miniscULE suffixes, generals, philosophers, and tv stars. I'd say this one gets a STANDING O.

Sir Hillary 8:19 AM  

Wonderful stuff all around. Seeing FOSHIZZLE right up there on top was a real hoot. Every 7+ answer is excellent -- even the relatively pedestrian LUGGAGE, which held me up for a bit while I ruled our baGGAGE.

I am still shaking my head at the clue for LITHE. Talk about a "subtle trick" -- absolutely fantastic.

Least favorite entry is ULE (by a mile) but the positives make it irrelevant.

Constructors pull a FASTONE on two consecutive days.

This one gets a STANDINGO from me.

Thank you, Mr. Mulhern!

jberg 8:20 AM  

I didn't much like this one until I came here and realized how clever the cluing really was -- I didn't understand either LITHE or MAN'O until I read the blog and comments. Never heard of FOSHIZZLE (is it FO SHIZZLE, 2 words, more or less in IZ language? Nizo wizay!)

OTOH, I was really happy to get STANDING O with no crosses (though I did check HEN before writing it in), and BAMAKO helped a lot. @Rex, I seem to recall 4 or 5 years ago you were memorizing world capitals -- what happened to that?

True confession: when I saw that LIKE CRAZY would work, I thought it must mean the phenomenon of trying to amass Facebook likes, which is certainly something awful, but not a real thing. I had to go away and come back later to see how to read it.

WANS is pretty bad, though; and crossing a Shakespeare quotation with a Tennyson quotation is perhaps a bit unfair -- although you can guess them both from the rest of the quoted passages.

Better clue for 2D: "Exasperated remark to one of four HRE leaders."

AliasZ 8:28 AM  

The problem with pop culture references and fresh, so today-sounding entries and clues, especially ones that include rap "artists," is that a decade later nobody uses them or remember them, in fact most of us try to forget them because we hated them, and all of us find them ...hilariously dated (Rex). Using a ...largely extinct slang (Amy) has the opposite effect of what was intended: a feeling of, I DUNNO, last decade... (Deb Amlen) to a puzzle trying too hard to appear fresh. The tone of this one was set by Call me FO' SHIZZLE.

The rest fared much better. I loved the classical BUCOLIC, PASCAL, SCHOLAR, ATHENAEUM, CELLI, ZENITH, LIONIZE, OTTOMAN, and the African duo of ZAIRE and BAMAKO. I also liked the newest male addition to the Dingo family: STAN DINGO. However EATS AT, STAY AT and RUN AT were way too MUCH TO LOOK AT.

The best feature was clearly its cluing: art enabled, moving supply, something awful and learn to teach were the winners.

This was an excellent Friday challenge and an all-round good puzzle, with some reservations.

chefbea 8:36 AM  

Foshizzle doesn't even look like a word. !!! Tough puzzle. But I did like the eggo clue. Wanted afghan for 40 down

dk 8:43 AM  

OO (2 moons)

STANDINGO and FO-WTF seem contrived and CANST thou use real words.

Seeing PALIN in the grid caused me to barf on my seat mates.

I guess I am now a member of the mile- high club if xwords count.

Waded through the lower 3/4s only to be delayed by standings for 17a. LITHE does not seem like a supply to me. More of an aide or attribute. So while the lower sections were a 3 the top was ....

Anonymous 8:44 AM  

@AliasZ although it clearly hasn't come through to solvers (my fault), my intent was not "to appear fresh," but to use a "hilariously dated" bit of slang because I thought it was hilarious in the hilarity of its datedness. So you're right with the effect (or lack thereof!) but not quite with the intent.

James Mulhern

retired_chemist 8:50 AM  

Liked it a lot. Über-challenging here however.

First thought for 1A was FOr SHIZZLE. Found out it wouldn't fit, and didn't go back and see how to fix it until I got ZAIRE, which made me wonder if 7D started with Z, which it did, and then Fa SHIZZLE went in. Easy to fix aTTOMAN later.

Took me a LOT of time to get through the many elegant misdirection clues. Moving supply got me good - had ropes for 18A, then CornI for 10D (plural of cornet? In a chamber group?) after giving up on vioLI. "It" = GLAMOR was tough, Radio racket was static first, my woodchuck was a rodenT (true but wrong), Pacific port was limA (Is it really Callao?), ATHENAEUM frequenter was grecian (hey, it SOUNDED Greek....), popular type was elIte (is ARIAL a type or a font?),........ you get the idea.

But I did finish, with what felt like my longest Friday time in a year or more. Since it was nearly all due to devilish but fair cluing, I applaud the constructor for providing such an enjoyable challenge.

Thank you, Mr. Mulhern.

DJG 9:21 AM  

Why did Snoop Dogg use an umbrella?
For drizzle, fo' shizzle.

I might have gotten that one from Doggy Fizzle Televizzle.

John V 9:21 AM  

Yep, shofizzle.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Since I spent wat too many years traveling in Africa to catch many of the cultural cues, it was a relief to have two clues that were easily solvable ( even though I did put Niamey in first). The dusty old Grand Hotel in Niamey was a great place to eat brochettes, sip a beer, and watch the sun set on the Niger River.

Carola 9:54 AM  
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Carola 9:59 AM  

"GIVE UP?" I was tempted a couple of times. I found this one really hard - because of the diabolical cluing (all the more pleasure after the pain, though) and various blunders. Like starting off with "static" for the radio racket crossing idolIZE. Thank goodness for PALIN (ducks for @Z) and PASCAL, who got me on the right track. Last in was the H for HEN crossing FOSHIZZLE - never heard of it, but liked it placed atop the stately ATHENAEUM.

BAMAKO played on the film festival circuit a few years ago.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:02 AM  

Beautiful, beautiful puzzle! Seemed like solving was one "Aha! Moment" after another.

One write-over, 64 A, "A couple of rounds in a toaster?", working off just the "G", initially put in BAGEL. My reasoning? Although BAGEL is singular and the clue seems to ask for a plural, when you toast a bagel you usually slice it into two tori, to use the crossword term.

Nancy 10:04 AM  

Challenging for me, and close to impossible in the NW. Never heard of FO SHIZZLE. Never thought of STANDING O. (Great answer). Was completely misled by the clues for CANST and LITHE (what great clues!). Was fooled also by the clue for ET ALII. (Was looking for something more like "I met him" or "she was on my bus" or something like that.)Wasn't fooled by the clue for MANO A MANO, except that I originally had "tete a tete". Basically there was trouble everywhere and since I refuse to Google, I kept thinking I was stumped. What broke it open for me was NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT (which began life as NOThing TO LOOK AT). I did finish...and was feeling very proud and pleased with myself until I came here and found out so many of you found this easy. Who knew?

Arlene 10:06 AM  

Didn't finish - even with Googling. The NW corner did me in, and I had to read the explanations here. So you can't blame me if I didn't love this puzzle - but I'm glad some folks did.

Nancy 10:09 AM  

It's me again. To Bob Kerfuffle, I had BAGEL, too, for the same reason you did. And the E was what led me to "tete a tete" instead of MANO A MANO.

Denise D Hammond, CGFM-Retired 10:09 AM  

The week was going good until I hit today. Sometimes 'clever' cluing just leads me to a WTF day. Plus, right in the middle the electricity went out, 'no sizzle in the line', and I had to wait for the generator to kick in and then reboot. Made it ten times worse. UGH!

quilter1 10:33 AM  

Another who never heard of FOSHIZZLE but then I've barely heard of Snoopdog whoever he/she may be. Challenging for me but I did finish.

AliasZ 10:42 AM  

@James Mulhern,

Thanks for stopping by and offering your enlightening comment.

I did not mean to sound as if I thought your intent was to appear fresh. What I meant to say was that FO' SHIZZLE gave the impression of one who's trying too hard to be fresh. I was sure your intent was entirely honorable, and was fully appreciated by Will Shortz and others who picked up on its tongue-in-cheek thumbing-one's-nose-at-it aspect, however it is also apparent that Rex, Amy, Deb, ET ALII found it, at least in part, to be unintentional humor. In fact, Amy goes on to say: "I can’t decide if it is any worse than, say, NERTS. Is 50 years outdated better or worse than 10 years outdated? The former seems quaint while the latter just clangs against the ear."

Be that as it may, I enjoyed your puzzle tremendously, the cluing in particular. I do hope this also came through loud and clear in me previous post.

Keep up the good work. I for one am waiting for your next winner.

Steve J 10:47 AM  

Interesting (but not surprising) to see so many people react to FO SHIZZLE so negatively. As some of the same people who are complaining about it have said in other contexts, just because you haven't heard of something doesn't mean it's bad fill.

(BTW, @Casco, the reason the clue includes "dawg" is because that was a common to people used to refer to friends during the same period people actually said FO SHIZZLE. Nothing to do with Snoop Dogg.)

Found this a bit on the challenging side, as a lot of the cluing was impenetrable while I was solving. I was completely flummoxed by CANST and LITHE, but now that I finally get the clues, I think they're great (only up to three R's, though) - especially LITHE's clue.

Some nice fill, especially NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT, MARMOT, LIKE CRAZY, LIONIZE, mostly clean shorter fill, great clues. Nice Friday.

I skip Maundy - W 10:52 AM  

terrific puzzle! I even liked ULE @carola hands up for idolize crossing static . @Nancy hands up for nothing to look at.
Started out clueless in NW, got around to SE, choseBamako since Niamey is in Niger and that would be too obvious, then Pascal, lanes, off to the races at a very slow trot. Congolese franc clue was a wonderful misdirect, since I thought of 1960,when one Congo broke free from Belgium , and the other from France.
How am I supposed to learn about contemporary culture if not from x words, soon complaints about fo shizzle, even though autocorrect isn't happy and I got it almost entirely from down answers. Lots of cultural clues from older epochs, most equally obscure to me, but I finished w/ , as usual, no googling.

I skip 11:01 AM  

Btw is ACME all right? Haven't seen her byline in a while.
Best wishes in any case.

Casey 11:02 AM  

Good puzzle ! Is a tiger's chaudron his reddish color or his entrails? Please advise.

OISK 11:11 AM  

Any clue containing "dawg" makes me wish to throw the newspaper across the room. I don't know what emo is either, but it has been in the puzzle. But this turned out to be a very fine, well-clued, clever puzzle, and I was pleased at being able to finish it. That said, I don't think that obsolete rapper slang should be in the puzzle at all. Of course, I feel the same about up-to-date rapper slang!

Snoop Dogg 11:45 AM  


With so much drama in the L-B-C
It's kinda hard being Snoop D-O-double-G
But I - somehow, some way
Keep comin' up with funky-ass shit like every single day
May I, kick a little something for the G's (yeah)
And make a few ends as (yeah) I breeze through
Two in the mornin' and the party's still jumpin'
Cause my momma ain't home
I got bitches in the livin' room gettin' it on
And they ain't leavin' til six in the mornin'
So what you wanna do, shit
I got a pocket full of rubbers and my homeboys do too
So turn off the lights and close the doors
But (but what) we don't love them hoes, yea
So we gon' smoke a ounce to this
G's up, hoes down, while you motherfuckers bounce to this

Rollin' down the street, smokin' indo, sippin' on gin and juice
Laid back (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind)

Gill I. P. 11:45 AM  

Except I had FO SHeezys and delighted in my brilliance....
My unpaid babysitters were aunts and bELLa sounded just fine for a chamber group.
Put this baby down, regrouped, took a deep breath and actually got it all done after about 3 hours.
I LOVED THIS pizzle and the CRAZY cluing. HGTV is my favorite go to show especially Renovation Addict.
Haven't seen ATHENAEUM in at least an EPOCH but I got "IT" in the end.
Good job James Mulhern...I'll be all squiffy come tonight.

Lord Alfred Tennyson 11:54 AM  

The Lady of Shalott

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
azing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veiled,
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers
"'Tis the fairy Lady of Shalott."

jyocum3 11:57 AM  

Wow this was one of the easier Friday puzzles I've done in a while, but very enjoyable. The NW corner opened up immediately for me, since FOSHIZZLE was a complete gimme after entering OTTOMAN, INDO, LUGGAGE and EMO. That easy NW corner transitioned into a simple SW corner. The whole east half took a little longer to figure out. I immediately entered ENO for the musician clue, and had a lucky guess with PALIN off the PA-, but it didn't take long to see LOOK AT to fix my mistake and get the long down answer

NE corner was pretty tough. Had ET ALIA originally, and _ANST, and it wasn't until I cycled through the whole alphabet on my keyboard and entered a C that I realized it must be CELLI and ET ALII.

Good Friday puzzle (see what I did there?). 21 minutes is a great Friday time for me.

Casco Kid 11:57 AM  
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Casco Kid 12:01 PM  

Many thanks to @jisvan, @benko and @SteveJ for setting me straight on this one.

As a token of my esteem for you guys, @numinous, @Z and the countless others who regularly keep me on the straight and narrow, I offer this piece of retro-contemporary-historical-pop culture. You'd have thought it was produced just for you. I certainly did.

Introducing Mr. B. the Gentleman Rhymer and his history of rap/hip-hop/chap-hop. In 5 minutes.

This is safe for work.

The Bard of Avon, Fo Shizzle 12:02 PM  

A dark cave. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.
Enter the three Witches

First Witch
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries "'Tis time, 'tis time."

First Witch
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

Double, double, toil and trouble; (10)
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe (30)
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

[Enter Hecate, to the other three Witches]

O well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i' the gains;
And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

[Music and a song: 'Black spirits,' etc, Hecate retires]

Second Witch
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

jdv 12:36 PM  

Finished in medium time. Groaned out loud entering foshizzle, but aha'd out loud at moving supply/lithe. Overall, really liked it and look forward to more from this constructor.

Lewis 12:42 PM  

Oh, this one was very very good -- and fair. My kind of puzzle, with the emphasis on clever cluing. It was tough for me, and I had to cheat, but it was glorious nonetheless. Bravo, James Mulhern!

Anoa Bob 12:54 PM  

I learned about STANDING O a few years back at a three-day workshop on tantric sex. You have to be pretty LITHE to pull that one off, I CANST tell ya.

Hartley70 1:08 PM  

TORTURE! It's 1pm so I'm throwing in the towel. Could not get the two top corners and I've gashed my teeth to nubs. Foshizzle? Seriously?

retired_chemist 1:22 PM  

Wiktionary has chaudron meaning entrails (obsolete), Merriam-Webster doesn't. Mostly it is a synonym for cauldron (cf. chaud, French for heat.

mac 1:33 PM  

Beautiful but impossible for me. Fo shizzle? Got the emo though, and after looking up 1A at Rex's Athenaeum was no problem. In Holland the most academic/tough departments of High School are Gymnasium (includes Greek and Latin) and Athenaeum, both a year longer than other depts. and enabling the students to go straight to University.
And by the way, the amanuensis helps out in the chemistry labs.

Liked LIKE CRAZY and a lot of the clues. Only now parse "fastone" as fast one.... This is not my day.

I got a message from Sparky's niece telling me that she has slipped into a coma this morning. She battled brain cancer since last summer. We'll mis her, she was a feisty, nice lady.

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

Are "learn" and "teach" really antonyms? I don't think either one has a real antonym.

Carola 2:05 PM  

@mac - I appreciate your letting us know about Sparky. I'm very sad to hear the news. I got to know her from her delightfully pithy, wry and witty comments here and had missed her, wondering why she was no longer posting.

Andrew Morrison 2:08 PM  

Oof. One of my worst Friday's ever. NE and E just wouldn't break for me. Kept walking away from it - it's amazing what a fresh start can do. Eventually replaced PAtter with PAYOLA, which made PALIN work, the long downs started falling, but still struggled mightily until I focused on the plurals - maybe not vioLI, lets try CELLI. Eventually got it all. No google. Just perspiration and inspiration. 39mins, though, not really happy with that time at all. Leaves me feeling disappointed. FOSHIZZLE was almost a gimme, so that's nice. :)

Karen Munson 2:32 PM  

I usually love the misdirection but this one got me! "Lithe" was great but shouldn't it be Supple-y"? And why is "It" "glamor"? And I couldn't figure out "Stan-Dingo" for the life of me! I also pegged "Left Turn Only" as a "band" I hadn't heard of. That slowed me down a lot. I also had "bolos" for "polos" for way too long. I thought maybe it was now preppy to wear cowboy stuff...

Fred Romagnolo 2:34 PM  

Am in the ranks of FOSHIZZLE?. Shouldn't the clue for STANDING O have indicated an abbr.? Or does "'em" suffice? The clueing was really difficult: took me an hour. Finally finished on sheer guesses. Lot's to like, but some groans before the gotchas. didn't ever understand LITHE 'til I read this blog.

jae 2:54 PM  

@mac - Sad to hear about Sparky.

chefbea 3:05 PM  

I too received a message from Sparky's niece . We will miss her.

foxaroni 3:24 PM  

I don't understand "some punk" = EMO.


Anonymous 3:37 PM  

To me, "teach" and "learn" are not antonyms. They're complementary actions like pitch and catch, or offer and accept.

It's the difference between "give" and "receive" - not antonyms - and "give" and "take" (in its active sense), which are antonyms because they are opposing actions.

I guess most people had no problem with that clue, but it had me searching for some more obscure grammatical term.

Merle 4:47 PM  

Fo shizzle, dawg, these terms are not outdated. Maybe you're not hanging with the hippest crowd -- we all say this all the time. You hep to what I am saying, or what?


This was medium hard for me. But yesterday's puzzle was a romp in the schoolyard, a walk in the park for me.

I agree with anonymous, that learn and teach are not antonyms. I wear a pendant with the Hebrew letter "lamed" on it -- for the Hebrew-perplexed, that word is two syllables, pronounced "lah-med. Lamed is cognate with the English letter "l", and in Hebrew it is the root for the words to learn and to teach -- "Melamud" means teacher in Hebrew. My motto is, "I teach when I learn and I learn when I teach".

Merle 4:53 PM  

Jberg, fo shizzle means "for sure". The complete phrase from long ago, still in use, was, "Fo shizzle, my nizzle", hip-hop for "For sure, my nigger" -- putting an "izzle" after the first letter of the word --

So, Jberg, stay chill, dawg. And Rex, you the man, chillax, Big Dawg...

JTHurst 5:04 PM  

Perhaps I do not understand the concept but this was not an easy puzzle. If the definition of easy is based upon your solve time I suppose, then in your context, this might have been an easy puzzle. But if you stand back and look at the puzzle as a 'whole' then I would not say it was easy.

The puzzle was fair (which is a big plus for me) and very good and the cluing was a delight but I enjoyed the comments herein much better than the puzzle. Mr. B (hilarious), the full texts of Tennyson and Shakespeare, the explanations of answers, and so forth. Thank you one and all for making this puzzle a real treat and bringing it to life and kudos to Mr. Mulhern.

chefwen 6:18 PM  

@mac - Thanks for sharing the sad news regarding Sparky. I always had a good giggle reading her witty comments. We will miss her dearly.

Z 6:27 PM  

Thanks for sharing, @mac. Sparky always lived up to her name here. I will miss her posts.

Benko 7:01 PM  

@foxaroni: EMO is a style of rock which, originally called "emotional hardcore", was an offshoot of punk. Not very punk any more--just whiny pop.
@merle: Ouch!!!!! You used the hard "-er" at the end of the word instead of softening it up hip-hop style--"nigga" is a much different word, believe it or not.

Ellen S 7:13 PM  

I was and remain worried that a chaudron is going to turn out to be a pizzle. Which by the way Gill IP, you mistypoed in your comment. There were already entrails in the cauldron (thank you, Bard), tawny color makes no sense in a recipe, has to be a body part not already mentioned. Doesn't leave much...

I had the same errors everyone else did except I know how to spell ARIAL. Wondered about Learn to teach, but that's just another example of the principle of "if it's in the same or related subject area, it's probably the right answer even if it's wrong." I loved the puzzle. My dogs love pizzle.

JenCT 8:53 PM  

@mac: Such sad news. When I spoke to her a few months ago, it seemed as if things were looking up.

My chicken "Sparky," named after her, is still going strong.

michael 9:04 PM  

It is really surprising that I got this entirely given that (1) I never heard of fo shizzle; and (2) didn't get the clues/answers for canst, lithe, and mano. It helped that I knew Bamako.

KMS 9:15 PM  

wow, thou "art enabled" is synonymous to thou "CANST", to coin a phrase, "Come on man!" on the other hand maybe appropriate for Good Friday, and a reading from Genesis. EPOCH and time line requires CANST, in fact w/out Our Friend Google, the whole NE needs CANST, as in cantstandit. Ach du lieber and apologies to Mulhern but just not my style.

sanfranman59 10:04 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 5:45, 6:04, 0.95, 25%, Easy-Medium
Tue 7:04, 8:32, 0.83, 5%, Easy (11th lowest ratio of 227 Tuesdays)
Wed 9:04, 9:54, 0.92, 30%, Easy-Medium
Thu 17:28, 18:26, 0.95, 38%, Easy-Medium
Fri 26:46, 21:24, 1.25, 89%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:58, 0.93, 17%, Easy
Tue 4:27, 5:11, 0.86, 7%, Easy
Wed 5:36, 6:11, 0.91, 26%, Easy-Medium
Thu 11:33, 10:44, 1.08, 63%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 17:28, 12:39, 1.38, 93%, Challenging

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

So sorry to hear about Sparky. @Z - you're so right - she really did live up to her name! Last time I spoke to her she was getting ready to get a new laptop so she could get back to the blog. She spoke her mind, and didn't hold back.

I'll miss you, Pat!

Anonymous 1:35 AM  

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Anonymous 1:36 AM  

I am Mrs Micheal smith from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband john smith, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady called Maryś, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don't know what to do until I met my friend miss Lina and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr FADEYI who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 2days. Miss Lina ask me to contact Dr FADEYI. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr FADEYI on any problem in this world, he is very nice man, here is his contact DOCTORFADEYITEMPLEOFSPELL@GMAIL.COM. He is the best spell caster on the internet so far

Anonymous 1:38 AM  

i am KISHA i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 5 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home
again and he called me that he want a divorce, I asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying that he want a divorce and that he hates me and do not want to
see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just
want to try if something will come out of it. I contacted DR. FADEYI for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman that she cast a spell on him that is why he hates me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they cast the spell and after 3 days my husband called me
and he told me that i should forgive him, he settled to apologize on phone and said that he still love me that he did not know what happen to
him that he left me. it was the spell that the Dr FADEYI shrine casted on him that made him comeback to me today,me and my family are now
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Anonymous 1:39 AM  

I am Mrs Mechelle smith from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband john smith, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady called Maryś, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don't know what to do until I met my friend miss Lina and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr FADEYI who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 2days. Miss Lina ask me to contact Dr FADEYI. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr fadeyi on any problem in this world, he is very nice man, here is his contact DOCTORFADEYITEMPLEOFSPELL@GMAIL.COM. He is the best spell caster on the internet so far...

Anonymous 1:40 AM  

My Name is susan i will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from married to Single...when i went to her to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life...I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job...he told me he gonna help me...i don't believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Us the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he's busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday...My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she's doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven't seen anything yet... he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for can mail him to Drsmartspellhome@gmail. I cant give out his number cos he told me he don't want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he' will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck:DOCTORFADEYITEMPLEOFSPELL@GMAIL.COM.Once Again His Email Address Is: DOCTORFADEYITEMPLEOFSPELL@GMAIL.COM

Merle 12:58 PM  

@Banko, my nigga, my main man, you are so right. I was just making it easy for whoever needed easy....

Which comes first, talking the talk or walking the walk?

Stay hep to the jive, yo! And swagger!

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

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in uk and was born in California.
THE GREAT dr alexzanderhightemple BROUGHT
i got married 4months ago. My
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out with other girls, to the
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proof to be really sure of her
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that my husband will come back
to me immediately after
he is through with the spell
casting. And also he told me
to put all my trust in him and I
really obeyed him.
So it was 8:00 am on the next
morning, when I was about
going to work, when i received
my husband's call, and he
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home, and he apologized
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And these great man also told
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desire has been granted unto me
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today as I am writing
this testimony, and I want to
really thank
dr alexzander for
bringing back my
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love to my you
all there having dificulties or the
other don,t worry every
thing will be fine
So my greatest advice for you
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or your wife is acting strange or
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casting, is for you to go
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contact him on these email
now..and your problem we be all over because I really trust him as the best spell caster in the

Anonymous 11:29 PM  

My name is PEARL and...“My life is back!!! After 14 years of Broken
marriage, my husband left me and our two twins . I felt like my life was
about to end i almost commited suicide, i was emotionally down for a very
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one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching
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testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that
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Rahul Goyal 2:07 AM  

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Anonymous 5:29 PM  

Difficult and enjoyable, a full hour two slog agonizing on almost everything. Almost gave up several times. But I finished it with no Googling at all. I enjoyed it. "Foshizzle" filled itself it from its surrounding, the very last thing in the puzzle. Not surprised it turned out to be from a rapper. I'm just amazed that anyone intelligent enough to do a NYTimes puzzle would listen to rap.

Anonymous 11:27 PM  

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Anonymous 12:12 AM  

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Anonymous 12:13 AM  

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it please contact this doctor with this email address
he is the best HIV cure you will find in the whole world. thank you Dr
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Anonymous 12:14 AM  

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as i was maintaining my names, i mistakenly injured myself. i did even
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ill the doctor told me that i am hiv positive, i wondered where did i got
it from so i remembered how i use my friend blade to cut off my hand so i
feel so sad in my heart to the extent that i don’t even know what to do, so
one day i was suffering the internet i met a testimony of a lady that all
talk about how she was cured by a doctor called DR fadeyi so i quickly
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surprise i found that i was hiv negative. Thanks to him once more the great
doctor that cured me DR fadeyi so you can also emailed him at

dora lawson 8:54 PM  

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Anonymous 11:02 AM  

It would be nice if someone were to edit this blog. Sheesh!!!

I hate to admit this puzz did me in. I aint heard of foshizzle and must be hanging out with the wrong crowd. Most of my friends just speak English as was taught in school. Got everything else except lithe, celli and canst.

Ron Diego

Solving in Seattle 12:58 PM  

FOSHIZZLE was this tough. What helped was getting 3D on ---RING--- alone. Some really tough cluing didn't help. And NANAS? I'd rather have seen it clued like "ba or banda suffix." I did like the clue for ETALIA. And how about the clue for LITHE. Me thinks @Spacy will throw a hanky on that one.

How do these wingnuts get into Rexville?

No poker hand today. Have a good weekend, Syndies.

spacecraft 1:06 PM  

I never knew spellcasting was such a thriving industry. I could do that; maybe I'll come out of retirement and have a go. I know where I'll cast my very first one, FOSHIZZLE!

Speaking of the Dogg's calling card, when I read that it's already "dated" I thought: oh, no! The culture is moving way too fast (supply?) for me to keep up with. Or in Churchillese, up with which for me to keep. I can't wait for the whole rap/hiphop thing to become "dated."

For a Friday, this one moved fairly supply. Yeah, I've found a new obfuscation and gotta try it out. How'm I doing? The west half just seemed to lay itself down, despite typical lateweek cluing. The east had a couple of stumbling blocks: idolIZE in front of LIONIZE and THEsETO. That seemed so natural, "add these to," and so I came to a final natick at API_/GL_MOs. I maybe should have remembered APIA from previous appearances in NYTXW, but...GLAMOS? Was that part of the too-fast-moving culture? Then at the last moment, beforre declaring myself done (and thus DNF!), I saw GLAMOR. Of course. We're talking Shakespeare here. THERETO is squarely within the culture, oooold school.

Good, smooth (comparatively) job. I don't know that "SHARINGISCARING" has reached "mantra" status; it's not as if I hear that every day, but at least it makes sense.

Incredibly, with seven digits I can only muster one pair of threes. LOWBALL, anyone?

rain forest 4:09 PM  

Sparkling puzzle, and if I had ever heard FOSHIZZLE before, I would have liked it even more. As it was, my first entries were 1D and 2D, meaning that YOUBETCHA wasn't going to work for 1A. Got it all from the crosses, as I did CANST, and the rest was smooth, with very creative cluing.

LIONIsm before LIONIZE, and a bit of a squint at WANS, but the rest is a beaut.

I think we here in syndiBUCOLIC adhere to the philanthropic mantra of 3D, no?

Three 3's. I'm still waiting for 1's and 7's.

Dirigonzo 4:49 PM  

Youknowit seemed like a reasonable guess for "Definitely, Dawg!", and I did not know ATHENAEUM so I spent about as much time sorting out that corner as I did on the rest of the puzzle. I'm grateful to all who explained "Moving supply" for LITHE because I just could not see the connection. Couldn't remember if "Some punk" was EnO or EMO and didn't know if the "Musician who co-founded Nutopia" was eNO or ONO - yay, crosswords!

@rainy - had to look up 3D philanthrophy; interesting (I'll leave it at that).

I suppose if I said I had aces full of sevens someone would call me a cheater, so I'll just fold.

Anonymous 7:12 PM  

Geez this was a canst not finish for me. Has anyone in this epoch ever used athenaeum in a sentence?
Lithe as moving supple ey? Had bagels for rounds, didn't get the "it"
Glamor of it all. As a solver I fizzled,
Fo shizzle : (
What's with the spam??!

joel sandra 11:37 AM  

I never believed in spell casting, but After 6 years of dating, I still imagine how Dr Aza brought my ex lover back to me in just 24 hour. No one could have ever made me believe that there is a real spell caster that really work. am sandra by name,I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr Aza, He helped me recently to reunite my relationship when my ex lover who left me, When i contacted Dr Aza he cast a love spell for me and my ex lover who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again, he called me and started begging me. he is back now with so much love and caring. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers of bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my lover,and the most surprise,is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of Dr.Aza if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face. his email: or you can whats App his line:+2348107155060

alexanda hook 10:51 AM  

Hello.. I am not here to tell you about myself but i just want to share my experience with this great man called Dr.Kabasa, I lost my lover to another guy i was so confused because i really needed her back but i didn't know how to get her back till i came across Dr. Kabasa email and my lover was back to me within 48hours. Any body that is heartbroken can get his or her lover back through the great powers of this great spell caster called Dr.Kabasa whose email is for a real confirmation of what i just said... Alexanda Poland

alexanda hook 11:32 AM  

Hello.. I am not here to tell you about myself but i just want to share my experience with this great man called Dr.Kabasa, I lost my lover to another guy i was so confused because i really needed her back but i didn't know how to get her back till i came across Dr. Kabasa email and my lover was back to me within 48hours. Any body that is heartbroken can get his or her lover back through the great powers of this great spell caster called Dr.Kabasa whose email is for a real confirmation of what i just said... Alexanda Poland

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