Longtime Prego slogan / WED 10-29-14 / State that borders Bangladesh / Bach composition

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging



THEME: "IT'S IN THERE" (54A: Longtime Prego slogan … with a hint to the answers to the five starred clues) — "IT'S" is embedded/hidden in five answers

Theme answers:
  • FRUIT SALAD
  • QUIT SMOKING
  • SPLIT SCREEN
  • PIT STOP
  • HIT SONG
Word of the Day: GINA Lollobrigida (19A: Actress Lollobrigida) —
Luigina "Gina" Lollobrigida (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒiːna ˌlɔlloˈbriːdʒida]; born 4 July 1927) is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptor. She was one of the highest profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was considered to be a sex symbol.
As her film career slowed, she established second careers as a photojournalist and sculptor. In the 1970s, she scooped the press by gaining an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, the revolutionary Communist dictator of Cuba.
She has continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation's Anniversary Gala. In 2013, she sold her jewelry collection, and donated the nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem cell therapy research. (wikipedia)
• • •

Watching World Series Game 6, so don't have much energy to give the write-up tonight, which is just as well, as this is one of the weaker Liz G offerings I've seen in a while. The core is solid enough. I barely remember that Prego slogan, but it rings a faint bell, and it's made into a fine revealer here. Not sure how hard it is to hid "IT'S," but we get some pretty nice theme answers as a result. Nice central crossing there where PIT STOP meets HIT SONG. But the fill here is crusty and dusty in the extreme. Everywhere I look there's half-century-old crosswordese or trite fill gunking up the works. [Deep breath] OLEO EOS ELI SSE RESOD (!) BIOG (!?) SSNS RET ARIOSO ANTE DONEE EVERTS ULNA ASSNS EGIS (Var.!) AGORA OBI REATAS ASSAM ORAN ORR. I want to say SELA too, but we'll let her and LIU slide. Still, that is nutso-level Avoid-If-At-All-Possible fill. I am struggling to understand this. Liz's "Puzzle Nation" puzzles are always much cleaner than this. I wonder if she has tacitly joined the ranks of independent constructors who keep their best work for themselves and dump lesser stuff on the NYT. That's probably inaccurate—again, I think the core concept here is solidly NYT-worthy. But the fill, man, it hurts. WEIRD. [NOTE: apparently this puzzle was accepted for publication 7 or 8 years ago … I can't even begin to say everything there is to say about how f'd up that is …]


BONGS and KNEE BENDS! Sounds like fun. But I'm gonna stick with baseball for now. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

77 comments:

Masked and Anonymo5Us 9:32 AM  

Hey! Whatabout WITS? It's in there, dude.

M&A

Danp 9:35 AM  

Prego makes me think of the old slogan, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." I don't remember "It's in there."

chefbea 9:35 AM  

I'm the first!!! Where is everyone??? and Rex posted this about nine hours ago!!!

Great puzzle !! I made a fruit pizza yesterday...not a fruit salad!!! I posted a picture of it on face book which some of you saw.

Lots of foodie things today..the salad, sesame oil, the market etc

quilter1 9:37 AM  

Gosh, I've never been this early in the comments. I read Wordplay and Ms. Gorski says she doesn't even remember this puzzle and thinks it was accepted seven or eight years ago. She admits it is dated. But I enjoyed it anywas. I'm pretty dated myself so I won't throw stones. Decent and enjoyable.

Mr. Benson 9:45 AM  

Maybe I'm not as seasoned a solver as some of the others who post here regularly, but I've come to perceive Liz Gorski as an extreme case of the "ugly fill as the price you pay for an intricate theme" approach. Today, the theme didn't quite stack up.

Today's puzzle probably could have been a Tuesday but for the the tricky cluing (another Gorski feature, I think) that gave it about an average Wednesday difficulty.

a nup is a nup 9:46 AM  

Gorski. KOSOVO all that bad fill, I CUSTER out :)

Z 9:47 AM  

Rex may have posted it, but the blog didn't show up until very recently.

What Rex said.

Despite my inability to root for wild card teams to win, it has been an entertaining series.

Lewis 9:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whirred Whacks 9:50 AM  

Best clue: "Foot Specialist" for POET

Most evocative answer: BEFOGS

Enjoy your day!

Lewis 9:50 AM  

@m&a -- yes, and I would have liked an ITS word in the NW corner matching the WITS in the SE.

I liked the clues to AQUA, OAT, PITSTOP, and WITS. There were 12 double letters (high). I like OPEN right next to ITSINTHERE. Agree with Rex re some ugly fill.

Would have liked "makeitso" from Star Trek as an answer.

Susan McConnell 9:53 AM  

Yeah, this was weak as far as Gorski's typically go....no extra fun little wordplay or pictures. But still, par for the course for a NYT Wednesday.

the redanman 9:57 AM  

Not so good

Whirred Whacks 9:58 AM  

@Danp

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" is the classic 1972 Alka-Seltzer ad. Here it is:

Ralph eats the whole thing TV commercial

joho 9:58 AM  

Margin notes: Nitpick: "ITS" in WITS, too!" I see I'm not the only this jumped out at! This inconsistency doesn't seem very Liz like. I changed it to WYNN.

It's remarkable to me that a puzzle can take so long to go to print that the author can't remember doing it!

Like @Rex, I loved the PITSTOP/HITSONG cross in the middle, very elegant.

ITSINTHERE is a great reveal, too. So, even though not quite up to Ms. Gorski's usual brilliance, I enjoyed it just the same.

Lewis 9:59 AM  

Factoid: Dogs can do KNEEBENDS: http://www.globalanimal.org/2012/01/01/dog-knee-bends-workout-video/ .

Quotoid: "A nation without DREGS and malcontents is orderly, peaceful and pleasant, but perhaps without the seed of things to come." -- Eric Hoffer

Leapfinger 10:00 AM  

Seven years' languishing explains a lot.

Great clues for POET's feet, strung Bears, and 'We All Live in a ____-marine"

HITS ON G for Gorski, but ANGELA'S Ashes next to QUIT SMOKING is just WEIRD, y'kmow?

joho 10:01 AM  

Should read, "ITS is in WITS, too!"

Leapfinger 10:03 AM  

The nine-plus hour delay was a sympathy protest for the 7-year wait

Ludyjynn 10:07 AM  

A few nice clues, for ALIBIS, KEN and PITSTOP, but, as Rex noted, a lot of the DREGS for fill.

My favorite ELLEN Barkin flick was "Sea of Love", w/ Al Pacino, also in fine form. If you have never seen it, it is worth catching. Very suspenseful and sexy, too.

Medium Wed. solve for me. Thanks, LG and WS.

Steve J 10:08 AM  

Exceptionally weak puzzle for Gorski's usual standards. Quite weak even without measuring it against her normal output. Flimsy theme somewhat redeemed by a nice revealer. Some truly torturous fill (bad enough that, when 40D was one of my few remaining unfilled answers, and UNHANDS was not coming to me, I figured UNHolDS was perfectly plausible in this one). An overabundance of proper nouns and abbreviations.

Some nice clues helped make this a bit less of a slog, but this fell on the wrong side of the chore vs charming sliding scale.

Arlene 10:18 AM  

I'm a sucker for the puns and "misdirections." Some unexpected answers (BONGS!) too.

And then, when it was all filled in, I went looking for the ITS, circling them.

I got my money's worth for a Wednesday.

It's M and A in Thar 10:20 AM  

Maybe...
HERE
ORAL
WINK?
instead of...
HERE
OLEO
WITS

But, hey -- not a bad puz, for a 7-year old. @63 is always longin for the NYTPuzs of old, anyhoo... it's in there, today. Saucy.

M&A

NCA President 10:21 AM  

Something to match = WITS. I guess I never noticed the singularity of the plural "wits." Learn something(s) new every day.

Today's puzzle was more challenging to me than a normal Wednesday. The theme was easy enough. I do remember "It's in there" as a slogan so I got that early on.

I did want pEanutOIL at first...and I wanted it so badly that it took me forever to give it up. It didn't help that I didn't watch "The Big Easy" and I also wanted the now-ubiquitous to NYT puzzles: "oral B." I also couldn't decide on aiL v. ILL and went with aiL for a while. Not to mention I don't know what EGIS is. Anyone?

All of that conspired to make the Minnesota section the big hold up.

I got KOSOVO mostly from crosses. I put GIL in quickly but couldn't remember if GIL Hodges was an actual person or someone in the comics...or you know, both.

Prego, as a theme, seems rather random.

The Bach/ARIOSO connection is pretty loose. Clearly, Bach is not the only composer of the ARIOSO. Yes, I guess he wrote ariosos, but they aren't necessarily associated with him. It's not like say, mazurkas, which are most common with Chopin but exist other places. It's more like associating etudes with Chopin...while he wrote lots of etudes, he by no means had a corner on the market. So, yeah...ariosos.

Anyway, tempus fugits.

chefbea 10:28 AM  

Also...prego means you're welcome...in Italian

jberg 10:30 AM  

I saw the IT'S fairly early; in fact I saw IT'S A LAD and thought it might be about obstetrics, but that was soon set straight. Even knowing that, the revealer was new to me.

Canadian-born hockey great is sort of like 'right-handed third baseman.' Doesn't really narrow the field much.

But REATAS? Usually it's RiATAS, so I went with that, figuring ELLiN was the variant. So another day, another error.

GlassHouse 10:32 AM  

@Steve J
And just how good a solver were you 6 or 7 years ago (when this puzzle was created)?

Charles Flaster 10:32 AM  

EZ especially for a Liz G. offering.No snags but liked clues for EAR,PIT STOP,PARADES.
CrosswordEASE--ULNA,SELA,OBI,SSNS.
By the way I just co-constructed my first puzzle with George B. Highly relevant to a current event. Try it at
Even Odds

AliasZ 10:36 AM  


ITS always fun to see Liz Gorski's byline, and even more fun solving her puzzles. Today was no exception. A simple but tight theme surrounded by KNEEBENDS, ALIBIS, BEFOGS, RESOD DREGS and EVERTS, brushed with some SESAME OIL, sprinkled with ANGELA'S ashes, and featuring the stunning beauty of GINA Lollobrigida and less stunning beauty of SELA Ward (ELLEN is barkin up the wrong tree here), served with OAT bran and CUSTER pie, to the accompaniment of an ARIOSO by C.P.E. Bach or some other of a hundred possible composers, then a HITSONG by DONEE and Marie Osmond gradually PHASED in, and ITS all neatly wrapped with a pretty OBI sash tied in a bow.

BIOG? EGIS? REATAS? Woof.

It is rare to see eight question mark clues on a Wednesday, but it is exactly what made this puzzle a lot more enjoyable. Favorite: Time to re-tire? for PITSTOP.

A word of advice: deficITSpending will wipe out your profITSharing dollars you earned on the merITSystem of your company, unless you consume more rabbITStew. My exITStrategy today: ITS a double play of The Foot Specialist and Hayseed Overture by Franz von Suppé, and the RITUAL Fire Dance from El amor brujo by Manuel de Falla.

Happy Wednesday!

LHS 888 10:40 AM  

Fairly easy Wednesday for me for some reason.

Write-overs:
tower > SPIRE
orAl > PLAN (Hi @NCA Prez!)
cOSOVO > KOSOVO
adeN > ORAN

Didn't know ARIOSO. I still don't get POET as clued. When one of you explains it to me I'll probably have a real d'oh head-slap moment.

I've been playing catch-up on the puzzles since Thursday due to travel, and I finished Sunday's puzzle just before doing this one. I had an error there with bONG before PONG, so I was totally ready for BONG in today's grid!

I wanted ALPO immediately upon seeing the clue, but couldn't believe that was correct until crosses confirmed. WEIRD.

Liked clues for BEAD, TIBETAN
Favorite words: BEFOGS, CUSTER, ANDHOW
Least favorite words: EVERTS, BIOG

Thanks for a fun Wednesday ECG / WS!

John Child 10:44 AM  

It's hard to believe that this puzzle submitted by Jane Doe would be accepted now or then.

Steve J 10:45 AM  

@GlassHouse: Not as good as I am now. Also, irrelevant. The puzzle ran today, not 6 or 7 years ago. No, it's not Gorski's fault that Shortz took this long to publish it, but the fact is that it ran today, and it didn't, in my opinion, measure up to the quality of other puzzles running these days. (A conclusion which I formed before even realizing it was a Gorski; I avoid looking at the byline until after I'm done with a puzzle so I can focus on its merits rather than being swayed by my past experience with the constructor.)

defines the genre 10:54 AM  

Ellen Barkin has the ultimate mushy face.

no more puns 10:59 AM  

If you're on the TIBETAN side of Mt. EVERTS, you're BARKIN up the wrong tree.
Great, Elizabeth, now the Wiggles' "Fruit Salad" is stuck in my head.

Casco Kid 11:06 AM  

90 min. Friday hard. I Toed the chorus line, tripped, and fell. With Toe in place, ARIOSO was a huge Hail Mary, but that worked. OoAM and ASSeM werecollateral damage.

Lots of wrongness with super slow repairs all of the way through.
PlIe for PAIR (plié)
tower for SPIRE, and I have to wonder if anything but structural support is in spires.
aTSItalian for ITSINTHERE
slr for EOS

old timer 11:07 AM  

This definitely struck me as a puzzle from another era. No "wow" moments, kind of a slog to finish. The long Downs were fresh and interesting, though. I don't think I've often seen "sesameoil", "kneebends", or "splitscreen".

What made this a Wednesday-level puzzle was the super-tricky cluing for what was otherwise very ordinary fill. Most of it good, though "arioso" is just wrong for Bach. "Baroque musical staple" would have been a better clue.

Ellen S 11:09 AM  

@NCA President, anent your comment yesterday, EGIS is something else you just have to memorize (oh, so doesn't memorizing all the junk-fill conventions help your memory?) -- it's a never-used-outside-the-crossworld variant spelling of aegis, which I bet you know:
(in classical art and mythology) an attribute of Zeus and Athena (or their Roman counterparts Jupiter and Minerva) usually represented as a goatskin shield.

So the shield of Zeus/Jupiter, Athena/Minerva becomes in modern parlance, a protection, or sponsorship.

And thank you for the music! I figured out how to let it play in one tab while I'm looking at the rest of the comments in another.

@LHS 888, poetry is described in terms of "feet", sequences of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Ellen S 11:11 AM  

Ooops, I mean thank you, @AliasZ, for the music.

Danp 11:12 AM  

@jberg - They could have clued ORR as hockey player with ten fingers and two teeth. How many three-letter hockey players are there in a crossword dictionary?

Sir Hillary 11:13 AM  

A good theme marred by an abundance of junky fill. We get puzzles like that all the time, so no big deal. I suspect this one is getting more abuse because ITS inconsistent with the byline -- Ms. Gorski has given us so many beauts recently. So, the 7-8 year delay rings true. Does anyone else find it a bit sad that the NYT is publishing puzzles this old?

I completely guessed on the ORAN/ASSAM/ARIOSO crossings. Got lucky.

Carola 11:19 AM  

I enjoyed doing the puzzle, intrigued by the ITS C(L)USTERs from the start and not noticing the pile-up of crossword DREGS. Didn't know the Prego slogan so enjoyed seeing the reveal go in letter by letter.

I associate CHEW UP with "scenery," as in acting, so I liked the cross with SCREEN. Add me to the BEFOG fans, which I PAIRed in my mind with the (to me) same older-time feel of UNHANDS.

Many smiles from the comments (obstetrics, sympathy delay...).

Casco Kid 11:33 AM  

Today's AVC has a clever, gettable meta, but was unsolvable here as the NE had no point of entry. Clues were either vague enough so that nearly anything worked or specific enough (and outside my ken) so that they had to be gotten from crosses. An hour of patterning was not enough. I solved the meta to try for a big theme clue in the NE. Nothing there. I remain oh-for-AVC. I mention it here as a) some of you do Ben Tausig's puzzles, and b) there is no other place to go to lick wounds after an AVC thrashing.

LHS 888 11:35 AM  

@Ellen S - Thanks! So, no d'oh headslap happenin'. This is new information for me. (I guess I missed out on the finer points of a liberal arts education in engineering school.) Looking forward to seeing if I remember the interesting lesson you taught me today. ^_^

Evan 11:47 AM  

@Casco Kid:

There is actually a place to discuss AVCX puzzles: Diary of a Crossword Fiend. Amy's review of it is here. And I'm on record saying that this week's offering was brilliant.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:49 AM  

In my quit overview of the puzzle, I mis-read the reveal clue "Longtime Prego slogan" as "Longtime PRELL slogan," so I spent half my solve time expecting/looking for something like SPLIT ENDS! (Slash used for comedic effect.)

And another hand up for ORAL B before PLAN B.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:50 AM  

"quick overview"!

JenCT 11:51 AM  

@Whirred Whacks: You beat me to the Alka-Seltzer commercial!

@Rex: LOL [NOTE: apparently this puzzle was accepted for publication 7 or 8 years ago … I can't even begin to say everything there is to say about how f'd up that is …]

Happy Hump Day! (I love this ad; apologies if this has been posted too many times!):

Geico Ad

RooMonster 11:59 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with the med-challenging ranking. Was held up in a couple of spots. Filled in grid, but had multiple mistakes. Had KNEEBoNeS in, which gave me toAD for BEAD (!) and RESee for RESOD. Also, amAN for ORAN (hey, sounded plausible! )

Writeovers also : spit for OPEN, ENDup, then ENDon, finally ENDON, CHEWed for CHEWUP.

Overall, cool puz, liked the themers, nice and not-too-common middle crossing themers.

I guess it's better late than never!

PHASED
RooMonster
DarrinV

Mohair Sam 12:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:08 PM  

It's inaccurate to refer to ASSAM and ORAN as fill, they're just geographical knowledge (KOSOVO and TIBETAN too, for that matter). It's all too rare to see that, compared to movie, TV and sports trivia.

It's absurd to refer to ORR as fill, it's a gimme. I wonder if you'd refer to Shaq or Dr. J. that way, or Pele for that matter.

From Rex's comments over time, you can figure out the gaps in his body of knowledge. If he wanted to be more competitive in timed solving challenges, he could shore those up.

It would have been nice to see some commentary from Will Shortz about the seven-year delay at the XWord Info page, as he sometimes does. Is the inventory of puzzles getting low? Are solvers really withholding their creations these days and saving them for their own websites?

Hartley70 12:19 PM  

Waiting and waiting for the blog and then unable to comment all morning. Google has done me wrong today! I found this a real toughie. When I did the check I had six wrong letters. SIX! I struggled with ARIOSO, EGIS and ITSINTHERE?. I'm not feeling to swift today.

While I was waiting and waiting I ambled over to Wordplay and discovered a bio piece on Rex. It turns out he spends a bit of time in Elmira and I lived there for a couple of years, luckily not in the big house. We're practically related! Favorite things about Elmira...first drink at Sam's and living next door to Horseheads, NY.

Hartley70 12:21 PM  

Correction- "too" swift which explains itself.

Andrew Heinegg 12:21 PM  

The bloggers evaluations of today's puzzle can be seen as a measure of the merit if the puzzle. There is no passion in any of the reactions to it. And that tells you all you need to know.

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

"It's inaccurate to refer to ASSAM and ORAN as fill". First, they're fill because they're not part of thematic content of the puzzle. You meant crosswordese. Crosswordese is, by definition, a word common to puzzles, showing up in puzzles with a frequency greater than in everyday life. ORAN has been in the NYTimes puzzle three times in the past year. It has been in the entirety of the NYTimes, and everything it links to, twice in the past year (exclusive people's names).

Steve J 12:46 PM  

Anon 12.08 pm: "Fill" is not a reference to quality. There's good fill and bad fill. "Fill" simply means the words that are used to, well, fill the grid.

LaneB 2:41 PM  

All went well, howevEr slowly, until the SE corner wherein use of Drugs instead of BONGS and SLR instead of EOS and Geog instead of BIOG totally screwed me and I quit in exasperation receipting for an unusual Wednesday DNF. Probably a bad omen for my Giants tonight. I do hope not.

Last Silver Kneebend 3:19 PM  

Usually I don't ever get to do the first comment on this blog. @63 evidently posted the blog at 12:00AM, Guam Standard Time. Plus I had to get up early, for an appointment to have my WITS checked.

fave weeject block: ELI + RET + EOS.
fave fillins: TIBETAN PARADES. For, who doesn't love a good Tibetan parade? CHEWUP BONGS DREGS. Cuz who doesn't love... but, I digress.
fave headless celebrity: EGIS (sans startin R).

M&A

**gruntz**
(but, @CascoK, use extreme caution, here)

Gill I. P. 3:33 PM  

"You can get taste from a home-made jar"....YES! Try spending hours making marinara only to be asked if it's PREGO in creamy vodka sauce!
Liz's puzzles always seem to evoke a memory or two. Number one son would ONLY eat spaghetti with tomato sauce when we were in Italy. When we returned to the States, that's all he wanted to eat. Forget home-made, it HAD to be out of a jar...
Had I done this 8 years ago, I would have loved it....I thinks it's pretty bad and almost smells of desperation to hold on this long to publish her usual fantastic puzzles.
@Leapy: I too snorted seeing ANGELAS Ashes next to QUITS SMOKING...What a depressing book that I couldn't put down.
@JenCT...My laugh for the day. Geico ads never disappoint. I'd love to have dinner with those ad people someday.
I hope Thursday is't a relic!

jae 3:53 PM  

Medium for me. What Rex said. Meh!

Z 4:01 PM  

Maybe the famously fastidious Shortz had an "Oh Shit" moment. Seems at least as likely as any other theory I've seen.

@Steve J - Before you beat me to it I was going to point out that "fill" as used on crossword blogs is almost always short for "short fill," in order to differentiate it from theme answers and, in non-themed puzzles, seed answers. ASSAM and ORAN are in the puzzle as much because those letters are useful as to provide an interesting challenge to the solver. Do I like ORAN more than OLIN? That's like asking if I prefer my cough medicine cherry flavored or not - Ugh either way.

@CascoKid - I can't believe "App on which Justin Bieber's account is the most popular" wasn't just automatic for you. Har.

Casco Kid 4:37 PM  

@Z There, and I thought it was going to be TwitterAP, Tweetdeck, Twitellator, Twitterific . . .

chefwen 5:37 PM  

Must be something wrong with me, I really liked it for the same reasons @AliasZ has already stated. I am also pretty easy to please when it comes to puzzles.

@JenCT - I can watch that ad 100 times and laugh every time, so thanks for that.

Had to hit on the capcha 5 times before I finally got one I could read.

Hartley70 8:40 PM  

Feeling pretty pleased with myself cause I'm sitting at #1 on Joon's leaderboard today. I can't tell anyone that in my real life but sometimes anonymity rules. However, fame is fleeting and tomorrow is another WORD.

Teedmn 8:55 PM  

I slogged through this even though no single answer was that difficult. Mostly self-inflicted - I started with that Italian actress Lucy Lui which made me think 14A was some special skating term for "pas de deux" PAu? ARIOSO saved that corner. ORAL before PLAN but ELLEN got me on the right track in the MN section (@NCA President).

34A with - - SO - O made me want to fit leSOT(h)O there (hey, var., no?) But it all worked out.

Let's hope for a real rebus tomorrow.

Elephant's Child 8:55 PM  

What SPF do you need for a TIBETAN?

@Steve J: UNHANDS me, Sirs!!

KNEEBENDS do squat for building muscle if you're sitting down.

Anonymous 11:19 PM  

Ragu commercial from the 70's -- "It's-a nice-a sauce! Ragu!" Also has the it's. It's-a not so bad, it's-a nice-a puzzle, ah shaddup-a-ya face!

spacecraft 11:25 AM  

I read the clue for 1a and was sold. Ms. G was bound to get a good review from this puzzler, as I have a thing for Lovely SELA. (LIU and GINA no slouches either!)

The theme was so well hidden it took me till the fifth starred entry before I saw the pattern. Yes, I was a good boy today and didn't gravitate to the revealer line right away. So: theme, execution and density: all A's.

Now the price. Here in the west and SW I see ASSNS right over SSNS. Dat hoits. While EGIS is a variant (on a Wedensday yet!), I have to concede ITS a pretty common one; still, not the best. Then we have the good ol' RD, the random direction. Ugh. Fill: C.

W/O: orAl-B. When that didn't work, I had to go to--wait for it--PLAN B! This averages out to a B, but the leadoff lady forces a + to be added.

14631 = 6. Like this grid vis-a-vis Liz, not quite up to snuff (she has set the bar pretty high).

rondo 1:05 PM  

Echo @spacey re: SELA and LIU and GINA - all yeah babies. SELA and LIU make a nice crossing PAIR. Insert PAIR joke re: GINA here.
Kind of a bland puz everywhere else; will soon be forgotten.Not even much to make a witty comment on. Except perhaps QUITSMOKING crossing BONGS. WEIRD.

310 = 4 spacey's got me beat

rain forest 1:37 PM  

When I started doing the NYT crossword (12 years ago), the first Gorski puzzle I encountered amazed me. Asymmetrical, visual component,really difficult cluing, but also very entertaining.

Perhaps this one didn't measure up, but just seeing her name as the constructor adds a certain cache. So, I liked it despite some of the desperation. And, of course, I once was in love with GINA.

Also, Rex was able to continue his harangue about the "quality" of puzzles in the Times, and to make a snarky comment about the 7 or 8 year gap from submission to publication, so it has that going for it, too.


2750 Still on top, @Spacey

DMG 1:38 PM  

I had to replace druGS wiith BONGS before I could work out the, unknown-to-me Prego slogan, cross by cross. Now I want to know "What's in there?" Also had to accept EOS. I thought crosswords had taught me all unknown cameras are SLRs. So much for a little learning.

It's raining here today!!! While it must be hard for those sandbagging against Mother Nature's plentiful rains to understand, here in water restricted Southern California we are gleefully putting out the rain barrels!

206. Think that's tops so far.

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

Copiers cluing Apes? Should be copies for apes. Copiers would be Apers. Right?

rondo 4:06 PM  

@anonymous 3:59 - I reread that clue because of the same reason you cite - and to see if my bifocals were failing me. In the end I figured that apes (or monkeys) could be mimicers or imitators or copiers. But it did feel awkward at the time.

Dirigonzo 4:30 PM  

The bad news: I finished with one wrong square (RiATAS/ELLiN, which looked perfectly reasonable).

The good news: 567 = 18 = 9 - a natural!

Anonymous 8:43 PM  

Ellen Barkin is a marvelous actress! And funny to boot!

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Commenting a day late: This was easy/peesy but a nice break during the more than usual busy week. Gorski, of courski, is no dorksi.

Ron Diego

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