SUN 7-20-14 / Most hip / Low numero / Swaddles, e.g.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Constructor: Eric Berlin (whose amusing blog is here)


Relative difficulty: a little tougher than average for a Sunday






THEME: "A LITTLE GIVE AND TAKE" -- bigrams spelling that central theme entry are given to certain grid entries and taken from others

Word of the Day: ST. LUCIA (105D: One of the Windward Islands)
The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979. -- CIA World Factbook


• • •

Matt Gaffney here, filling in for Rex until his triumphant return on Saturday. I write a weekly crossword contest here and a daily themed mini-crossword here. I also write a weekly current events crossword for The Week which you can find here, a bi-weekly contest crossword for New York which you can find here, and a monthly 21x21 for Washingtonian which isn't online. I've been a professional crossword writer for 17 years, during which my puzzles have appeared in Slate, Billboard, The Daily Beast, Wine Spectator, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal -- and even, on 57 occasions, in The New York Times. My next book comes out in October.

*****


This is intricate: the 18-letter central entry A LITTLE GIVE AND TAKE is divided (in the .pdf, apparently not in the .puz) into nine bigrams. Each of these is added to an entry somewhere in the grid (indicated by circles) and removed from another (indicated by an asterisked clue).

Rex doesn't pay enough for me to type them all out, but here are a few so you get the idea: the AL at the beginning of 72-A is added to 51-A (Openly defy), where correct answer "flout" has the AL inserted to make FALLOUT. This same AL is also removed from 53-A (Royal messenger), where grid entry HERD was "herald" before the theme trick.

Let's do another one, from the other end of 72-A: the KE that ends that entry has been added to 138-A (Asparagus unit), which was "spear" but in the grid becomes SPEAKER. That same KE has been removed from 8-D, where (Upbraids) clues not grid entry REBUS but rather "rebukes."

The other seven work just the same. If you can't figure them all out then I'm sure someone will help in comments below.

Do we judge a crossword as art or as entertainment? Let's do both.

Artistically this one is quite nice. First the constructor had to come up with eighteen words that successfully gain/lose these nine bigrams, then he had to fit them into the grid around that long central theme entry. This is probably what necessitated the odd 20x23 grid size; the columns across had to be an even number to keep symmetry while accommodating the (necessarily, because bigrams) even-numbered central revealer, and I'm betting the reason he did 23 rows instead of 21 is because 18 theme words to fit in. So let's call it an A on artistry. I should also mention that the idea of swapping certain letters between two entries is already known (as in this puzzle), but not on such a large scale as it's done here. And having the taken/given letters spell out an appropriate message is also novel to my knowledge.



As entertainment, it was good but not great. Once the central revealer falls and you figure out the trick it's a bit of a slog to finish; I just ignored asterisked clues as long as I could. It's not really a rush to figure out the remaining bigram added/lost pairs. So on the entertainment scale I'd give this one a B, and we'll average the puzzle out to an A-. Which is good.



 Bullets:
  • Many good entries in the 6-, 7- and 8-letter range: ROUNDUP, BABYSAT, BURRITO, SIT ON IT!, HAVANA, THE MAGI, SMORES, Don KNOTTS, AIRPARK, SPAMALOT, UP TO IT, and the always amusing OWN GOAL.


  • Best clue: (97D: Shortening in recipes?) which wasn't OLEO but rather TSPS.

So that's a very good start to the week. I'll see you back here tomorrow night for a look at Monday's puzzle. 

Signed, Matt Gaffney, Regent of CrossWorld for five more days

122 comments:

Mark 11:04 PM  

This one would certainly have been easier on paper (but was doable on screen) so that the pairs could be marked off when used, and connected with lines and arrows, and circled in red. Very clever how it all fits together.

Captcha tip: If you're a bot, try "photo sphere."

jae 11:09 PM  

I really tried to like this, but in the end annoying won out.   I too @Matt mostly ignored the starred clues while solving and didn't have too much trouble finishing.  So, probably medium for me if you subtract the time spent sussing the circle answers.

No erasures although I briefly mixed up Panetta and and MINETA, and my only WOE was STRETTO. 

I'm with Matt on the interesting/artistic construction but solving was more frustrating than fun.  Thanks Matt.  I'm still struggling with this week's meta.  Figuring out a 3rd or 4th week one is on my bucket list.  Unfortunately time is running....

Steve J 12:04 AM  

Were there instructions with people's puzzles, either in the NYT web app or in the print versions? Because the iPad/iPhone app included nothing. I'm assuming they did, given the phrasing for 72A's clue. Without any kind of instructions, this was pretty much impossible to figure out.

Not that I'm sure instructions would have helped my feeble brain. After reading a couple explanations, I'm still left with a headache.

I generally don't like cross-referential clues in anything other than very small doses, and this like the mother of all cross-referenced-clue puzzles. Not to my liking, although I'm sure some people will find the intricacy of this enjoyable. Too convoluted for me.

Sir Hillary 12:08 AM  

Here was my Saturday evening: Went with my wife to see "Chef" which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then we went to a local Mexican restaurant, where she and I shared great conversation, good food and a nifty margarita that included a generous splash of sangria on top. Then back home to my deck, where I put on music, lit tiki torches and made myself a tequila-based nightcap as I sat down with this puzzle. In other words, the whole evening was perfect.

All to say, as I did the puzzle, I wasn't sure whether my enjoyment of it was due to its merits or my state of mind. Whichever it was, this was the most fun I've had with a NYT Sunday puzzle since...ever? The cleverness and execution blew me away. It felt like one of those amazing Patrick Berry weekend Wall Street Journal puzzles. So many layers, so cleanly delivered. Wow.

Having thought about it more, I believe this puzzle would have floored me no matter what mood I were in. I would up Matt's assessment to an A+. Just brilliant work. Thanks so much, Mr. Berlin!

Arlene 2:08 AM  

This puzzle is brilliant - and the clues were not obscure - simply fun. An amazing experience, for sure!

Geo 2:52 AM  

Very clever but basically tedious. I don't care for scrambled letters or word rearrangements in the crossword. They are motoric exercises rather than brain engagers

paulsfo 3:09 AM  

I was okay with the theme; lots of work, I agree. I also agree that it was cleverly construct, but your audience is solvers, not constructors.

There were no clues that I thought were especially clever. Again, okay.

One clue is just wrong. UPTOIT means "capable of", not "in the mood". As in "if we don't make the cabin by dark we'll freeze to death; do you think you're up to it?"

"In the mood" would be a correct clue for "up FOR it," as in "Joe and Deb invited us to a movie; are you up for it?"

Anonymous 3:56 AM  

Thought I had cleverly figured out that "Eagle's organization" was "PGA" but then went crazy trying to figure out the Western robber clue. Apparently I'm not very clever at all...

George Barany 4:50 AM  

Eric Berlin's puzzle was simply awesome. A tour de force of construction, at several levels, that happened to be a lot of fun to solve.

Thanks also to Matt Gaffney for your insights about the puzzle, and for recommending your upcoming book. It has been added to the list, started yesterday with Doug Peterson's mention of his own book, of potential birthday gifts for my many crossword friends.

evil doug 4:51 AM  

The kind of puzzle that makes me glad I don't bother with Sunday. The explanation alone makes my hair hurt. Could have used you in high school physics, Matt; some serious grade inflation would have helped me out....

Evil

Danp 5:18 AM  

Unlike @jae, I tried to hate this puzzle. The give and takes weren't cross referenced. The actual answers weren't clued. The theme answers were actually quite straightforward, so instead I was constantly asking myself what letters to remove or where to add two letters. I never needed to know what letters were added/subtracted elsewhere. But somehow that process became relatively easy - I think partially because there aren't too many letters you can add to PRATE, for example, that make sense. ALl I need is one cross at most. In any case, I found the puzzle perfectly Sunday level, and novel.

In other words, I loved the puzzle, but totally agree with those who hated it.

Art F 5:35 AM  

Very enjoyable. I went astray trying to fill in ----GN as a word meaning "smear", immediately leaping to IMPUGN. Ah, well.

evil doug 5:37 AM  

...and I think this reflects the problem with constructors being recruited to rate the puzzles of their peers. They know, down deep, that eventually that circle will loop back around and point at them, so they tend to--subconsciously or otherwise--hold their fire.

Since Michael quit creating puzzles (at least for the NYT), his gloves have come off. This is disconcerting to many here, who have condemned his new-found acidity. But I find his comments to be much more honest and refreshing than those produced by most puzzle builders who guest-blog.

Read Matt's review, and tell me: Do those words really add up to an A/B+, averaging to an A-? Maybe from the constructor's viewpoint---but not from many solvers.

Only puzzle solvers should do these write-ups. It doesn't matter how clever the "art" aspect of the puzzle may be from a constructor's perspective; but if a pure solver deems it artistically brilliant, then you've got something.

Then address the solver's opinion of the "entertainment" criteria such as degree of challenge, clue camouflage, answer vitality, punchiness, absence of triteness/cliches, imagery---and you've got yourself a useful measurement not tainted by the constructor's conflict of interest.

Evil

AliasZ 5:46 AM  


This puzzle was half past too tricky for me. It was a lot more fun to admire the clever construction once finished than to solve it. While I sincerely appreciated the tremendous effort, it was lost in the translation to solving-ese. I felt it was a waste of creativity, sorry to say.

It would've been better if the taken/given bigrams were placed in the correct order to spell out the revealing phrase without needing 72A. Then, if they were placed symmetrically. Theme entries must be symmetrical, right, Will? Finally, if the starred entries abutted the dyads to make it logically and aesthetically more pleasing. Talk about an impossible set of added complications.

But as it was, once I filled in the grid, I didn't care enough to hunt around for the duos to complete the starred entries, I just accepted that Newton's specialty was GRAVY (he was sorta fat, wasn't he?). RE-BUS means sending kids into a school out of their districts again, which is called upbraiding, right? Wrong. Maybe uprooting. Upbraids should be REBU-FF-S. Where is the FF? There is no FF. OK then, let me try REBU-KE-S. Where is the KE? Let me try to find it... oh, forget it. Who cares, I already have the right answer anyway. So a big MEH for the wasted effort in creating this marvel of cleverness, and for my wasted time.

The other problem was that the new, improved "Against the Clock" Java applet totally SUCKs. It cannot accommodate 23 rows. The bottom two rows were invisible, as were the last few Down clues. To be fair, this happens only rarely, but there is no excuse for someone with any experience in the crossworld not to be prepared, not to plan ahead and build in the ability to function with these oversized rarities. Who designed this application anyway? High school kids? They would have probably done better.

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

Moly Shu 6:49 AM  

Agree with @Mark, probably more satisfying and easier on paper. I just solved it as a themeless and added or subtracted. Still, I ultimately enjoyed it.

@SteveJ, I solved on my IPhone, and there were instructions that pretty much gave the gimmick away. I still haven't upgraded to the new version however. So....

@Evil, interesting point of view. I think, hesitantly, I agree.

Benko 6:53 AM  

I'm not a constructor--just a solver--and I was impressed by the puzzle for today on many levels. Perhaps someone who didn't bother to solve it is better qualified to judge this puzzle than I am?

chefbea 7:12 AM  

This puzzle was too confusing!! There was no rhyme or reasons for the order of the bigrams. Even though I finished it with a little help I dod not like it.

Of course I got Tsps!!!!!!

chefbea 7:13 AM  

That should be did not like it

Sir Hillary 7:34 AM  

@Evil - Fair points all. My solution is to not really care what reviewers (Rex, Matt or anyone else) say. I always read them, but whether I agree or disagree with the reviews (and subsequent commentary) has no bearing at all on my opinion of the puzzle itself. It's just background noise.

Casco Kid 7:54 AM  

I did it ok in my normal Sunday time of about 100 min with a unchecked typo at TRIeL/EReT. The instructions on magmic were clear enough, and I did not keep track of the omitted letter pairs, so I didn't rely on/verify them during the solve.

Was it fun? Oh, sure. The most interesting point is the illustration of the plasticity of words, not that we didn't know it already.

There is an old mechanics' rule regarding moving parts: they break. This puzzle illustrates that fact, with the rather naively optimistic subtext that they also seem to fix themselves. ?? Or did I just derail the theme? Well, bloggers are moving parts too, ya know.

Spelling GAROTTE as GARrote was my biggest slow point.

Gill I. P. 7:54 AM  

@jae...good grief! You said word for word (well, almost - you were more polite) what I wanted to say. Ok, I'll add @Steve J's comment as well.
@Sir Hillary...it was the Mexican food and that Margarita, I promise!
So, (hi @Questinia) I'll add to the headache list. It may have been brilliant to construct but I want my Sunday to have a bunch of AHA's and a few OOH's. Not A LICK showed up. I got the "trick" at WHITTLE, and ROTE pretty much gave it away. I will thank the constructor god for not having a ton of proper names though, and for including words like GAROTTE.
Why in the world doesn't KEIR Dullea spell his name KIER?

loren muse smith 8:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
innovationjw051 8:08 AM  

Many of us who went last year made the same trip, so it was good to see ... but it's our job to have as Asparagus unit, fits as we can in a week. .... Next time you are in Guatemala, I would like to invite you to have lunch with me at my restaurant (www.casayurritaeventos

loren muse smith 8:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
loren muse smith 8:12 AM  

Sometimes when looking for a way to express a thought here, I'm reminded of my TA days when faced with the challenge of describing the idea of the phoneme. It's a fairly hard concept for newbies, and I invariably resorted to some ridiculous, awkward metaphor to obscure the idea even further.

Old habits and all that. . .I always argue that the enjoyment factor of a puzzle for most people is utterly subjective, just like the choice of kraut/no kraut on a Reuben sandwich. For me, to eschew the kraut is unthinkable – would make my hair hurt (hey, @ED!), but my sister eats a krautless Reuben and enjoys hers as much as I enjoy my (ahem, more proper) version. Is somehow the joke on her? On me?

I love working a puzzle and then seeing a constructor's take on it – I'll say again that I never read any ad hominem vitriol into Rex' comments. Like @ED, I enjoy Rex' remarks and appreciate his honesty. I really enjoyed Matt's take today, too, (and he hasn't had a puzzle in the NYT in almost 14 years.) Interesting thought to limit the Blog Writer-Uppers to non-constructors, though. Maybe have two different takes – constructor's and solver's? But then which solver to you tap - @Benko, an award-winning solver? Or a middle-of-the road solver?

I found the conceit today to be brilliant, and I enjoyed the solve and slowly revealing all the "moving parts." Obviously a very common occurrence for me is liking a puzzle only to come here, read all the complaints and see what's wrong with it. I'm with @Sir Hillary, though. Somehow that never changes my opinion; the fun I had working it is not really diminished. Reminds me of my reaction after seeing one of those exposés on slaughter houses for beef. My reaction is never, "Sheesh. I'm never going to eat ground beef again." Rather, I always just shrug, look around proudly, and think, "Man. I must have a really strong system."

Eric – I certainly don't think I needed a high tolerance level to enjoy this beauty. It's one I'll remember for a long time! Thanks! (But, c'mon – is there a difference between "wraps" and ENWRAPS?)

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

I think part (a large part) of what's influencing people's like or dislike of the puzzle was whether you were solving the puzzle using the new(ish) NYT app on the iPhone/iPad or any of method/medium. It seems the new app did not give us a note or instructions (which were referenced by 72a) while others had the instructions. Can anyone confirm if that was the case?

That said, I found this puzzle (even solved on my iPad with the terrible new app) to be average both in difficulty and enjoyment. No clever clues and I was able to suss out the gimmick once I filled in 72a.

The app had the bigrams circled in the puzzle and incorrectly highlighted the theme clues as if they were cross-referenced, which they were not. That made it easy to fill in the rest of the puzzle ignoring the theme answers until the lightbulb went off in my head.

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

That should be any other medium.

geneweingarten 8:55 AM  

Okay, I feel like a dope but what burger go-with does one obtain by adding two letters to FRIENDS?

geneweingarten 8:56 AM  

Also, I agree with the commenter on "Up to it." Bad clue.

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

Hi,

Fortunately, I happened to glance at the hard copy in the magazine to see who created Sunday's puzzle (and thus saw the instructions) before I trotted off for my Saturday night with my iPad in tow, intending to do the puzzle on the subway. When I later realized there were no instructions anywhere on the app, I had a stroke rage on behalf of the poor souls trying to do this without any direction. It's just outrageous to expect people to pay for these apps and then drop the ball so completely. Or maybe I should say this was an OWN GOAL?

Blarg. I mostly enjoyed the actual puzzle until the end, when there were a few little sections still not complete, and I realized I needed to haul out the hard copy (I was now back home) and tediously match up which pairs of letters went where, which ones weren't used up yet, and thus could finish. That took me another 15 minutes and killed my joy. Still DNF'd at UND and MELDS. (And I still don't get MELDS, BTW.) So double Blarg.

Philippa

Amy 9:13 AM  

I loved it. Hard and yes a bit of a SLOG, but worth it in the end.

JFC 9:24 AM  

Nice write-up by Matt and agree with it, except I would give the solving experience a C which means a B overall.

@Evil, as usual your comments are thought-provoking. I have several questions on your comments. First, has Rex really given up his constructing puzzles? Second, Rex maintains relationships with many of the constructors, so isn't your criticism about constructors
commenting on puzzles equally as applicable to Rex, regardless whether he is still constructing? Third, not sure any one cause can ever explain Rex's attitude. Fourth, how can you comment on Sunday puzzles when you don't solve them? But, I agree with your grade inflation comment nonetheless. And, I also think there is some merit in your overall criticism of constructors commenting on others' works but you only need to factor that into the criticism, not entirely dismiss it.

JFC

Maruchka 9:30 AM  

This A- puzzle made me feel like a C+ student, until I reread the instructions. Aha! PRATE et.al. finally sank in.

I just felt that the clueing wasn't clever, though. Clunk, clunk, slog, slog. Nice EXON/OXEN cross.

@All - Does anyone know what 90D means? G-NE or GENE makes-a no sense to me.

@ Gill - I loved KEIR Dullea in 'David and Lisa'. My ex-husband and sister-in-law would act out the 'take my hand, David' scene, using a fake, but convincing-looking, hand that came off when grabbed. We were very young.

Sir Hillary 9:34 AM  

@geneweingarten:

The burger go-with is FRIES, one of the entries with circles, which tie to their clues only if the circles are left blank. The letters that go in the circles are taken from the entries with starred clues (in this case BA[ND]IT which becomes BAIT) to form new words (in this case FRIE[ND]S).

geneweingarten 9:54 AM  

Sir Hillary: Ah. Thank you. I AM a dope. I saw the give, not the take.

Mohair Sam 9:56 AM  

Well, a different solve for sure. I like different so I liked the puzzle. My wife, however, ain't so big on change and she complained. Said the cluing quality suffered to serve the trick. She has a point.

@Evil's comments are causing a bit of a stir here. He makes sense - but I'm always aware that guest bloggers here are part of the larger, but still small, crossword community. They're going to measure their words like a baseball color analyst commenting on the local team. Rex, to his credit, is the exception.

@maruchka - yes, KEIR Dulyea amazing in David and Lisa. Touch can indeed kill.

davidph 10:00 AM  

I'm with @aliasz. It was an awesome construction feat that added nothing to the solving experience for me. Trying to figure out what two letters were deleted from where and added to which -- boring. That said, I finished cleanly in 55 without error or google, so I'm going to enjoy feeling smug all morning.

Matt Gaffney 10:02 AM  

@Evil Doug

"Do those words really add up to an A/B+, averaging to an A-?"

I said A/B, not A/B+.


"Maybe from the constructor's viewpoint---but not from many solvers."

How about if you only speak for yourself?

"Only puzzle solvers should do these write-ups."

How about if you start your own blog, then?

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

I suspect Matt was much more generous tha Rex would have been. This puzzle existed for 1 reason: for the constructor to show off his contruction brilliance. The clues were mostly boring, there was too much crosswordese (ENE, IND?), obscure proper names (IVO?), and foreign language crap (amende?). All to feed the constructors massive ego. I am AGITATEd.

Matt Gaffney 10:08 AM  

@paulsfo I noticed the same thing -- clues were pretty dry overall. When scouring for a "best clue" I only have 4 or 5 possibles to choose from.

Matt Gaffney 10:10 AM  

@paulsfo ye UP TO IT's clue -- you're right, and I noticed that during my solve but forgot to put it in the review. Thanks for mentioning.

Questinia 10:29 AM  

My hair hurt reading the directions. My hair hurt wondering where the question was to be answered at 72A. My hair hurt thinking about an elusive meta. My hair hurt and my hair hurt some more thinking about the existential guilt poring over this puzzle while ignoring similarly entertaining activities like filling in insurance forms. I then realized I was pulling out my hair (hi! @ Gill I.P).

Why do the instructions say that the bigram letters "when properly arranged" will spell an answer? They arranged themselves. I expected a Jumble-type bonus puzzle with letters being a response to 72A or indeed a question where 72A was the answer. Then I expected any permutation of what I expected. I expected the bigram letters to start chasing me across the grid tundra yelling "we will not be ignored!!". I expected them to boil my pet bunny.

But I loved SUCK, both alone and crossing UP TO IT and I wondered whether anyone has ever made SPAM RISOTTO. I imagined allspice would figure in the recipe... any of the chef's takes?

The only thing I can say is that the NYT's app was superb. All the cross-referenced grid material was highlighted in hospital room blue and upon completion one gets treated to not only a "congratulations" but some swinging roll-the-credits piano music.

Fred Smith 10:30 AM  

I lived in France for two years, think I had pretty good French, but never heard the word "amende." And I DID get several parking tickets...

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

Maruchka, add "TL" to GENE to get GENTLE

Norm 10:41 AM  

I like to ignore the instructions, and this puzzle was easy enough to figure out without them. Very intricate; not a lot of fun.

David L. 10:42 AM  

@CascoKid, I believe 45A should be clued as a Var.; correct spelling is garrote; never seen it woth one R.

Dansah 10:50 AM  

Using NYT app on iPad. No instructions. Easy enough without them, but please what were they? Thx.

Carola 10:56 AM  

A puzzle after my own heart. I thought the idea and execution were genius, and I had a lot of fun with it - kept track of all the letter pairs as I was solving and enjoyed the word shifts very much (PAEAN to PAN is cute).

Favorite non-theme pair: CAESAREAN and DIE CAST.

chefbea 11:05 AM  

@Dansah

The answer to each starred clue must have two consecutive letters 1 2 3 removed before it is written into the grid. These letters will move to a
pair of circles elsewhere in the puzzle. (In all cases, new words will be 19 formed.) The nine letter pairs, when properly arranged, will spell an appropriate answer at 72-Across.

chefbea 11:06 AM  

Sorry - when I copied and pasted...1-2-3 and 19 got there by mistake. I'll try again

chefbea 11:09 AM  

Still gets the numbers:-(

@Questina I do have a can of spam. But am saving it for when we get a hurricane . So can't use it to make risotto

Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Liked it, but HATED "melds" ("card combinations"). Have NO IDEA how that answer relates to that clue. Initially went with PAIRS and never had any idea it was wrong till the very end. Very very frustrating.

Benko 11:21 AM  

Have readers really forgotten, so quickly, the last time Matt guest-blogged this site for a few days? He sure didn't hold back then. He can be quite acidic and gloves-off in his puzzle reviews, and he often criticizes the New York Times, which he no longer constructs for, as noted by @LMS. Matt is also the only constructor I know of who consistently takes his own critics to task personally. One of the bigger personalities in Crossworld. Also, his meta this week is annoying me.

Gill I. P. 11:26 AM  

@Maruchka: YES, YES! I remember seeing "David and Lisa" with my dad in Argentina. I thought KEIR (or however he spells his name) was about the handsomest man on this earth! Talk about a little girl crush and he sounds pretty cool in his Spanish accent!
@Questinia: YES, YES! You just have to add a bit of DOODAD and a sprinkle of GAROTTE. But be careful, it'll makes your TEETERS stand up...

Dansah 11:28 AM  

@chefbea
Thx. I think the instructions were harder than the puzzle :)

Z 11:33 AM  

Important things first - @LMS - your sister may love her sandwich but she ain't enjoying a Reuben. No kraut is like having a Ham and Cheese sandwich with no cheese.

If you don't enjoy puzzles that cause frustration why would you ever do a Saturday? Or is it just that the frustrating parts today are of a different type? I found this to be a lot of fun to solve, and piecing together the give and take was a big part of that fun. Understanding the complexity of the construction just adds to the overall enjoyment. I found this to be a top-notch Sunday puzzle. The cluing was a little more straightforward, but i assume this was to balance out the difficulty, keeping it at a "Thursday level."

@ED - Can an author ever objectively review a novel? Can a composer ever objectively review a symphony? Can Jagger review McCartney? Or do we just take who they are into account when we read what they write. The Regent seemed pretty spot on, except I enjoyed this puzzle more than some.

Regarding UP TO IT - Sounds perfectly clued to my ear. "We have lots of household chores to do. Are you UP TO IT?" "Nah - let's enjoy this beautiful day and go the beach." The question is all about mood, not at all about capability.

Steve J 11:47 AM  

@Benko: You just posted the same thing I was thinking. When Matt's sat in the guest-reviewer chair here before, he's hardly been gentle with his critiques. And I don't buy the notion that if you know how to do something - or indeed do it - that that makes you less capable of providing valid critique.

But even in learned hands, critique is but one person's opinion. Going through the comments today, it's clear there are some people who loved what Eric Berlin did, some people who hated it, some people who admired it but didn't particularly enjoy it. @ED, your position seems to boil down to, because some people hated it, this must be an objectively bad puzzle, and therefore critiques that don't say so are skewed.

@Anon 11:15 a.m.: MELDs are used in many card games. Perfectly valid - and spot-on accurate - clue/answer combo.

Z 11:48 AM  

ro(ta)te -> no(ta)tion : rote/notion
pa(ea)n -> over(ea)t* : pan/overt
her(al)d -> f(al)lout : herd/flout
tr(iv)ial -> pr(iv)ate* : trial/prate
rebu(ke)s -> spea(ke)r : rebus/spear
l(eg)ion -> n(eg)ative : lion/native
ba(nd)it -> frie(nd)s : bait/fries
gen(tl)e -> whit(tl)e : gene/white
grav(it)y -> burr(it)o : gravy/burro

The two starred answers have the same vowel removed as remaining, meaning that you have to wait to see the correct order.

Blue Stater 12:03 PM  

Ghastly. This, again, is a specialty puzzle not a crossword puzzle. I finished it, but hated every minute of it (and there were far too many minutes).

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

I found this puzzle to be a totally 35 across .. No humor in it at all ... Too much slogging !!!

jae 12:08 PM  

@Z - It's the "of a different type" explanation. And, annoying better describes my feelings than frustrating. I was going for a bit of alliteration with the word fun. I didn't have any problems with the solve.

@David L & Casco - Thanks, now I know why I had GARrOTE at first (only entire words count as erasures for me).

mathguy 12:12 PM  

I print out the puzzle from the NYT website the night before it appears in print. It had the complete instructions. Without the instructions, it would have been impossible for me.

But, with the instructions, it was an absolute delight. About two-thirds of the way through I saw ALITTLEGIVEANDTAKE and that helped me through some of the rough spots. The hardest for me was GRAVITY because it had two letters removed and also crossed a squared circle.

Best Sunday for months.

r.alphbunker 12:16 PM  

Loved the puzzle. Carelessly wrote in mCCI for 56D {701 once} giving me HERm for 53A {*Royal messenger} which sent me looking for an "es" to create HERmes. I ended doing what @Z did and saw the unaccounted for AL.

Because HERmes seemed so perfect I suspended disbelief over whether HERm was actually a word or not.

@George Barany

Did you see electrons moving from one place to another?

Elevenis 12:17 PM  

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. I understood all the clues, answers as well as the "game". Phew! Never thought I'd see the day. Thanks Eric--until we meet again!

Benko 12:28 PM  

@stevej: Agreed. It's like saying a chef can't evaluate whether a dish is good or not because being a chef makes them biased. And I guarantee Matt G's gloves will come off at some point in the next few days!

wreck 1:02 PM  

I'm with @SteveJ

The new ipad app had no instructions and I was completely lost. The "normal" answers were pretty straight forward and the crosses gave me most of the asterisked answers, but I could not make any sense of them. I threw in the towel out of annoyance.
After reading the "instructions" - I'm not sure I still understand what was going on.

chefbea 1:03 PM  

@Benko Oh good. Then maybe I will make Spam risotto and have @Chefwen evaluate it!!

Ravini 1:03 PM  

A grind that left me both cross eyed and cross. I agree with earlier comment that up to it is clued poorly. Had into it for the longest time. This puzzle is the main reason why I usually skip Sundays. A Good Friday or Saturday puzzle is a lot more fun. Guess I like a good 400m run than a marathon.

Hartley70 1:04 PM  

Thank you for the list Z. I wanted to do it but was just too lazy.

Oh to be 15 again and heading to Thayer Street to see "David and Lisa" with my best friend Judy. Great memory because we too were in love with him.

I use the old NYT app and the instructions popped up, but alas no music and blue lights. This may be my tipping point for the switch since I'm a sucker for the glam. Great idea by the constructor but very hard to visualize on the iphone tiny screen in the dark under the covers. Enjoyed it though!

jdv 1:39 PM  

The 20x23 grid did not fit in the NYT play against clock screen; the bottom row was completely cut off as well as some of the down clues. Not sure if other people had the same problem. If so, then it will skew sanfranman's data.

I was hoping the bigrams would spelled out something other than 'alittlegiveandtake'. Patting myself on the back for remembering STRETTO. More often than not, musical terms kick my as$. Never seen AMENDE before.

Lori 2:13 PM  

I loved this puzzle. Even though the instructions laid out exactly how the mechanism worked, the back and forth of solving it were great, it fit perfectly in my wheelhouse of "not too easy/not too frustrating", and the "answer" sentence was a chuckle. I continue to be amazed by any puzzle constructor's ability, but this one was truly a tour de force. Thanks so much Mr. Berlin for an excellent outing!

mac 2:13 PM  

Very intricate and smart puzzle! I decided not to read the instructions for the first half, and still filled out most of it. I then read them and immediately made sure to have the two-letter boxes filled. This way I didn't have to write down the letter sets anymore.
Much quicker!

I like it when a little more is required in a Sunday puzzle, other than homophone tricks and other slapstick.

Good one today!

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

@all y'all living in a garrot, or learning things in GeorgiA by ROTE:

A garrote or garrote vil (a Spanish word; alternative spellings include garotte and garrotte[1]) is a weapon, most often referring to a handheld ligature of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle a person.[2]

This from Wiki, the original source being a LASS using the OED. Care to argue with the OED?

No problem here with GAROTTE.

Dick Swart 2:32 PM  

Wow!

I didn't begin to get the idea until I got the revealer about half way through the puzzle

Even then, I wasn't too sure about the twos and how they fit. But amazingly, I got it just because i could see the idea.

I saw the give and take swaps and just figured I'd move stuff around until it worked. I thought the asterisks were simply warning signs.

Dumb Luck!

retired_chemist 2:52 PM  

Yup. Needed the instructions to see that the clue actually clued the answer MINUS the bigram. First bigrams were FRIE(ND)S and F(AL)LOUT, so I started looking for that old saw, state abbreviations. Became convinced very soon that I was barking up the wrong tree.

But the existence of the bigrams and their ability to move was all I cared about thematically. Put in NO__TION for 39A idea, strongly indicating TA for the bigram, and the crosses worked. And so forth. Basically ignoring the full import of the note simplified the puzzle a LOT.

So it was OK, IMO a bit on the easy side, albeit the NYT times indicate a challenging puzzle. There are very few times reported (80 as of 1:45 CDT), which makes me think a lot of people may have just given up on the puzzle.

Plenty of good answers and good clues, most already mentioned so I won't.

Thanks, Mr. Berlin.

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

It definitely was a slog, but I was bound and determined to finish. Frustration led to anger and even more determination. In the end, I was satisfied and feeling quite smug. So take that Eric Berlin.

Feeling better now.

Susan McConnell 3:11 PM  

One person's "intricate" is another person's "convoluted." Just sayin'.

joho 3:36 PM  

Did this last night and only realized I'd missed something when I got to 72A, "See instructions." I hadn't finished but still realized the concept and thought it was cool.

This morning, before the British Open came on, I went back to print out the PDF and read the instructions, which as it turned out, I already knew. Then I circled all the bigrams at 72A which I had to help me solve the trickiest part of the puzzle for me at MALIGN/OVEREAT/RAVEN and the elusive GENE. I had the A from ATHENA and got the E in GENE as these were the only two letters missing from 72A. So, the theme helped me to complete puzzle. I love when that happens!

Brilliant, Eric Berlin, bravo!!!

Leapfinger 3:43 PM  

@Gill, KEIR because Scottish. As always, I'm Reuben for you, kid.
@Questinia, dang, I hate making you a dermatophyte! No TOADSTOOLs in my RISOTTO, tyvm. Whadja think of SUCK, ALICK and AROUSE on a Sunday morning? REALly?
@LMS, ENWRAP is REALly, REALly snug. Noticed your STOOL has 4 legs; very nice, always good for extra balance.
@r,alph, now I have to figure out that @Barany electron cryptogram. Remind me to link you a Bob Mankoff TED talk: loaded with tips on how to be LMS' friend.

The puzzle: I'm EMPRESSed, and just a little AGITATEd. Mainly, I'm with @Z, though my tracking device was a little different, e.g.:
Haves: WHITTLE - WHITE w/ [TL]
Havenots: GENE - GEN[TL]E w/o [TL]

Bii-ig help to suss out A LITTLE GIVE AND TAKE early on from a few late crosses, but it took a fair amount of SANG frau to keep track of which dimers had been used, which were still in the pool. I won't say my hair hurt -- it's pretty resilient -- but toward the end all that MULTITASKING was making my teeth itch, to the point where I overlooked the theme, and [Aparagus] SPEAKER drew an outraged "Wha-at?!". Chunking [KE] into the REBUS was my last REBU[KE].

Biggest drawback was the A-L window. I don't usually think size counts, even enjoy @r.alph's microruntz, but Man! Two entire rows missing from the bottom?? All that extra scrolling put me in a SNIT.

Liked that MattG took the time to respond to some points within the comments. Am considering his blog as an op-ed piece, which is usually an expert in the field with a POV. Right?

Found much good material in non-theme news, but my to-do list is getting impatient. Maybe later.

What's MALIGN at this point? Some thought this idee needed a FIXE or five, but my PRIVATE take is it's one of the COOLEST Super Sundays ever. I'm taking a ride on the GRAV[IT]Y train.

Elle54 4:14 PM  

Loved it! I pad app with no instructions, but figured it out. But app maker needs to fix this. Pre-update of app did a good job with any extra instructions

Ellen S 5:02 PM  

Took me all day, then I had to read all the comments. I don't know if I liked it or not, my hair feels okay but my brain does hurt. I didn't too much mind UPTOIT, but 97 down TSPS bothered me. I knew it was an abbreviation, not oleo, but it seems to me I usually don't see teaspoons pluralized. The chefs aren't howling, so I guess it's okay.

Puzzazz for the iPad has the layout perfect. Little boxes around the bigrams in 72A, circles and asterisks all where they belong, and the instructions right under the title. Also you get a red "you didn't do it right" banner when you finish with an error, like I did.

Almost can't remember what that error was...oh yes STRETTa instead of STRETTO. I figure the fact that I had heard of it at all counts for something. In my mind anyway. But I cannot defend SITaNIT.

Also, kept trying to fit tirANA in for 82d. Figured the Albanians don't have any sense of humor. Oops. @Gill, can you forgive me? Or maybe it's Albanians I should be asking for forgiveness of.

Leapfinger 5:11 PM  

Here's what else had me RAVEN:

PEST: Can BUDA be far behind?
EXODUS with GENE, but no ISIS or SIS. Certainly no BOOM BAH.
GLACIAL isn't as slow as once upon a time
Eartha KITT MEWS? More like she SMrrrrORES!!
Someone took a bite out of yesterday's RAVIOLO, left us only a RAVI today
I can't ENDU[RE] PAT skits on SNL
Double [Stir up] clues was very appropriate; there are two stirrups on every saddle.
Nice having CARUSO for @FredRom, and want to ask @OISK what MA OISk thought of today's puzz
Plenty of NAVE ELS gazing going on.

Admitting to one small nit. "Shaddup!"' and SITONIT refer to activities at different ends.

@Quest, no Tinea, re having [Stay-at-home workers] be UMPIRES. Isn't that the most male-centric clue imaginable?

Noticed that AMAS finally caught up with yesterday's AMO-AMAT.. This ties in with the 92D clue, in a way:
There's this one gung-ho, super-competitive OB-Gyn doc. Up in the OR suite one day, his patients are all prepped, he's all scrubbed; he enters one room, shouts 'Veni!" and walks out. Goes into the next room, shouts "Vidi!", walks out again. Third room, same thing, this time he shouts "Vici!". and exits, as OR personnel stand by non-plussed. Satisfied, he walks into the lounge, peels of his gloves and gloats, "I just did three CAESAREANs in under 5 minutes!'

TRIBulation, INDeed, even in RISOTTO voce.

UND this is warum 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'

Leapfinger 5:19 PM  

Dang, that should have been 'most male-centric clue-entry combo...'`

Z 5:21 PM  

@jae - You certainly weren't alone, although the frustration with the software for some makes it hard to separate how much is the puzzle and how much of the frustration is the software.

I just "played against the clock." I was the 88th solver with an hour to go before Monday's is up, so I don't think @sanfranman59 will be having stats today. No note that I saw and 72A says "See instructions" but the squares are not otherwise highlighted to indicate the relationship to the circles. Granted, this is an old app, but still the whole vibe of the print puzzle is lost. I'd normally not finish since I already did the puzzle, but the times today are especially meaningless. @SFM59 has warned about the dwindling numbers of people playing against the clock. Days like today are certain to hasten peoples' move to other platforms.

SPAM RISOTTO - A LOT of tasty fun to be had.

JFC 5:22 PM  

@ paulsfo and @Matt,

UP TO IT:

That was my first thought but then I realized what was meant by the clue. By way of an example, if I'm up to it to wash the car today, then I'm in the mood to wash the car. I might not be UP TO IT tomorrow. Obviously Rory was UP TO IT in more ways than one winning The Open today.

JFC

Kathryn 7:24 PM  

Ugh. "Slog" is definitely the right word for this puzzle. After seeing other commenters who also used the iPad app and those who didn't, I think having the instructions would have helped me to figure out what was going on. As it was, I got most of the answers and still had no idea what the circled two letters were. I figured that they were taken from other words, in the puzzle but didn't get that they came from the middle revealer.

The other issue with the new update on the app was that I was unable to zoom out to see the entire grid. I wish I could undo the NYT iPad update.

This is one of my least favorite puzzles in quite some time--more frustrating than the average Saturday. I'm not sure if it would have been better if I had done it on paper.

mac 7:28 PM  

P.S. Up for it would have been better, and the plural of tsps bothered me, too. I had tbsp for a bit.

michael 7:47 PM  

I did this on paper which obviously helped. I pretty much agree with Matt's comments (and those of many others)-- an extremely clever construction, but only moderately enjoyable to solve. Perhaps like well-presented and novel food that isn't al that tasty.

Victoria 7:52 PM  

This is a test

Anonymous 7:55 PM  

This was completely unfair for the ipad app patrons - even the title was different...captioned as "Moving Parts". I am on my way now to give the app a negative review for its inability to give some instructions or directions.

Joe Dipinto 8:01 PM  

Ultimately just tedious. The "instructions" feel as if they were added only to point out the "clever" concept, where in fact you barely needed to pay attention to the instructions to solve this thing. It didn't matter where the missing letters were moved to, or where they were in the central answer, because all of those filled themselves in from the crosses. Not fun at all, imo.

Anonymous 8:31 PM  

Solved it the old fashioned way, DID have the instructions, and enjoyed it as much as I have any Sunday Times puzzle in...forever? Guess maybe that means I'm not strictly a "solver," but I'm certainly not a constructor. And I didn't have to be to appreciate the effort involved in building this, and the great Sunday morning it provided. Thanks Eric!

lawprof 9:35 PM  

I know it's late, especially for those of you in the East who have to work tomorrow. Probably aren't too many trolls at this site at this hour, so I'll just say good job, Mr. Berlin. Loved it, but for one misclued answer at 38D: I had UPbeaT (which IMO fits the clue better) before UPTOIT. Otherwise, tunzafun.

Anonymous 10:39 PM  

@lawprof

Have faith. Night-time's the best time for trolling.

(Even the captchas are playful)

Fred Romagnolo 10:56 PM  

Didn't know about SMORES but everything worked out. IMO (I'm never humble, that's for wimps) @leapfinger & @Evil are the cleverest bloggers in this circuit. I was a lttle put off by the blog author's self promotion. Yes, I loved CARUSO. I agree that UPTOIT was miscued. DIECAST had a great clue.

John 11:25 PM  

This will always be one of my all time faves because it's the first Sunday crossword I completed.

I was 8/9 finished and stuck in the middle left quadrant when I decided to list all the two letter combos I'd already figured out and use that to deduce the last one. It worked -- it have me a couple boxes to fill in and the final section fell into place.

What a rush!

paulsfo 12:21 AM  

@John. Congratulations! I still remember the first Sunday I completed. BTW, I think they get easier after that because you know that they're all about the same difficulty and you know that *you* can handle that difficult (not that I always finish, even now, but usually). :)
Carry on, sir.

Leapfinger 12:54 AM  

I hate to argue with you, @FredRom, because I think you're a honey, but you're wrong. I'm just quick with language and have an eye for detail. It's all spangles and flash; there are bigger and better brains than mine scattered all over the landscape.

The only thing I'll say carefully about the Evil D is that he seems quick to judge.

I do thank you for the complimentary thought, however.

Davis 1:22 AM  

Realized partway through that there were some instructions that were utterly missing from the new iOS app. Then I noticed that the new app also doesn't show puzzle titles on Sunday.

But worst of all? As far as I can tell, the new app doesn't provide the name of the constructor if you pull up an older puzzle from the calendar (i.e., where "older" means any puzzle that is not the current one). If I were a constructor, I would be a touch annoyed about that lack of attribution.

Nancy 9:29 AM  

To: jae; norm; Dansah; Joe Depinto: I agree completely. Much easier and less irksome to solve if you ignore the instructions, forget about which missing letters go where (you don't need them) and solve as you would any puzzle, from the crosses. So my hair didn't hurt from this puzzle like it might have.

Bill Palmer 12:31 PM  

This puzzle was like milking a mouse. Lots of intricate, difficult work and in the end not very much milk. And mouse milk at that.

Anonymous 8:34 PM  

Dang.

Now I'm thinking about mouse milk...

Jen Wingrat 10:10 PM  

There were instructions??? Stupid iPad app!!

Anonymous 10:13 PM  

I liked this one. Easier on paper with the instructions, as noted. My objection is to "Sci-fi" to describe LRON Hubbard. Hubbard was a charlatan who has ruined many lives. As a fan of good science fiction, I'd never consider Hubbard a sci-fi writer.

Anonymous 7:26 PM  

7/24/14
D says for the first time in 40 years he was defeated by the puzzle but A says this was lots of fun.

Love,
D and A

spacecraft 12:32 PM  

I wouldn't say this was a 48d. All Sunday grids, with their extra size, tend somewhat toward the SLOGgish, but this no worse than usual. It was kinda fun figuring out the words never clued: both shortened and extended. Just another gray-matter calisthenic; y'know, use it or lose it.

Along with tedium, Sunday tends to produce questionable fill, just because there is so much of it. Today we have a couple of beauts--starting with 1a.

[Okay, folks, as you all know, all pro sports leagues tweak their rulebooks each year. As the resident xword ref, I am no different. Here is the rule change for the 2014 season:

ALL WORDS BEGINNING WITH "EN", WHEN THE ROOT WORD MEANS THE SAME THING AND IS IN COMMON USE, AND WHOSE "EN-" FORM IS NEVER USED OUTSIDE OF POETRY TO CORRECT THE METER, ARE HEREBY FLAGGABLE.]

Thus, like ENSNARE before it, ENWRAPS gets the hankie. Since we now seem to be using letter grades rather than yardage, let's make it "automatic loss of one letter." So, the best Mr. Berlin can do out of the GATE would be B.

Now let's go on another journey. Port of departure will be "In the mood;" destination UPTOIT. I hope there's a stopover on this trek, say, in Vladivostok or somewhere. I'd hate to go all that way without an opportunity to s-t-r-e-t-c-h (get the point?) my legs.

Is there such a thing as an AIRPARK? For once, I don't mind the Romanumeral, since it has the CAESAREAN approval. What the hey, ya gotta allow ONE in such a big grid. So far, B-.

The rest of the fill is as good as it gets. Theme and execution are marvelous. Someone complained that the bigrams weren't in order or symmetrical; that IMO would be asking way too much. It was a brilliant enough coup to pull off as is--enough to take the minus off and leave a straight B. See? I can do ALITTLEGIVEANDTAKE too!

663 = 6, fair but beatable.

Anonymous 2:11 PM  

Haven't been here in a while. I'd forgotten what nerds you all are.

I got 72a fairly early on, off three or four crosses combined with maybe five of the bi-grams. Once that was filled in the task was to fill in the remaining bi-grams. Got stuck for a while with two KE's when I wrote in SIleNce for "shaddup". Once I revisited that and corrected to SIT ON IT the rest was easy. REBU(KE)S and L(EG)ION were the last two to fall.

Completed in about 75 minutes, which is faster than usual for me, and thanks to the multidimensional cross checking this puzzle's gimmick afforded I was able to enjoy a rare guess-free experience.

rain forest 2:23 PM  

@Spacey Man, you are the bees' knees. Your comments are way more entertaining than the blogger's. I totally got "the point" re UP TO IT. When my sweetie asks me whether I'm UP TO IT, it's completely determined by my mood.

I'm not a flagger, but if I were, I don't think I'd beflag 1A, but I always dorse your opinion, in a "we're all here together" sort of way.

Well! I loved this puzzle, for the same reasons that others who loved it have stated. It is a rare Sunday where you don't feel like you are on a forced march, and the gradually revealed landscape is stunning. Mixing metaphors there, (beflag me).

What is Photo Sphere? If I Google it, will I be bespammed? I'll go to the addresses instead.

Aha! 135 I'll take cash.

Still Confused 2:30 PM  

If anyone is still reading at this late (syndicated) date, can you explain BABBLE ON=PRIVATE?

r 2:39 PM  

@still confused - PRIVATE is one of the words from which two consecutive letters must be removed, in this case, IV. Removing them gives you PRATE, which means babble on. Note: the IV are then inserted into the starred "Piddling" at 88A, turning TRIAL into TRIVIAL.

Also, in my previous post, I meant to say ENflag. Gettin' old.

Juniper 3:00 PM  

I actually loved this puzzle, even though it was challenging. Or, maybe because it was so challenging. The first one I got was trial/trivial and then I took off. Whoever remembered Keir Dullea...I do too...remember the movie being reviewed in Seventeen Magazine when I was about fourteen. Odd the things that stick. Anyway...the construction of the puzzle was brilliant, and I felt great when I finally solved.

Dirigonzo 3:48 PM  

Veni, vidi, vici, after a fashion. I need to "see" an answer in my mind's eye when I solve so adding and removing letters makes it extra challenging for me. Happily my paper has lots of room in the margins for me to write things and add/subtract letters to my heart's content and eventually I found all of those pesky bi-thingy critters and got them in their rightful places. In the end I have to conclude that "a little give and take" is a good thing.

Anonymous 3:52 PM  

I think the directions really are not clear. I understand removing two letters to create a new word, but not adding two to create a new word. Fore example, #8 (yolk surrounder) requires a new word. The obvious word is "white," but in the context of this puzzle, that is itself a new word. I find it hard to believe that the puzzle creator could not have given clearer directions.

EmilyK 6:59 PM  

I thoroughly disliked this puzzle. Omitting a couple of letters was one thing; forcing you to unscramble them into a line was just too much when there were words that had to be made without the circles that had nothing to do with solving the puzzle really. Sure it was difficult; I am all about hard puzzles. This one was tedious and not fun.

Anonymous 7:13 PM  

Here here!
And ye shall know them by the fruit they bear: Tom Cruise, ya hear?

KariSeattle 7:20 PM  

This one made me slap my Mama!
Now to cure my aching head and hair I'm off to imbibe in a triple Cadillac margarita! At least tomorrow when my head hurts, I can remember the fun of a fiesta!

Anonymous 9:24 PM  

This was a really interesting puzzle. Pretty easy solve in which I figured out the funky parts without really understanding the directions.

Anonymous 12:03 AM  

This was easier than average and more fun than average for me. I like when Sunday is novel. Kudos to the constructor.

Solving in Seattle 7:54 PM  

@Rainy, your comments about @Spacy's post had me... just say I bespewed.

No time yesterday to post, so I'm a day late to the party. Can't waste the golf weather we're having in the Pacific NW.

I read the instructions before beginning and it seemed like an IQ test to just understand what the gimmic was. After reading it twice, with my lips moving, I decided to dive in and figure it out during the swim.

There was no real AHA! moment - it just sorta slowly dawned on me what was happening. I actually think this was fun and very clever. And I wonder how long it took Eric to put this puzzle together.

920 - L is for Loser.

flash 11:44 PM  

I am delighted that you merely shared this helpful
information with us. Keeps it going and I’m sure everyone will really
appreciate it, as I do.

www.n8fan.net

Base decision maker 9:38 AM  

This time, we have a tendency to got the subsequent problem clue: Base decision maker that conjointly called Base head wordbook. First, we have a tendency to gonna seek for additional hints to the bottom head problem. Then we are going to collect all the desired data and for determination Base head crossword puzzle . within the final, we have a tendency to get all the doable answers for the this problem definition.

Bob Kerfuffle 5:51 PM  

Messed up a bit with my Spanish at 42 D, had CASA before SALA (and I should know better!)

But from what language was the 9:38 AM post machine-translated?

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP