Philippine island in WWII fighting / MON 10-13-14 / Walsh three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist / Sprockets George Jetson's employer

Monday, October 13, 2014

Constructor: Greg Johnson

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*)


THEME: GAME SEVEN (20D: Playoff series finale … or an apt title for this puzzle considering the number and length of its theme entries) — grid contains seven games, each seven letters long:

Theme answers:
  • CROQUET (15A: It's played with mallets and wickets …)
  • CANASTA (16A: … with 108 cards)
  • SNOOKER (22D: … with cues and 22 balls)
  • REVERSI (27D: … with black-and-white disks)
  • TWISTER (36A: … with a mat with colored circles)
  • HANGMAN (59A: … with dashes on paper)
  • MARBLES (60A: … with steelies and aggies)
Word of the Day: REVERSI 
Reversi is a strategy board game for two players, played on an 8×8 uncheckered board. There are sixty-four identical game pieces called disks (often spelled "discs"), which are light on one side and dark on the other. Players take turns placing disks on the board with their assigned color facing up. During a play, any disks of the opponent's color that are in a straight line and bounded by the disk just placed and another disk of the current player's color are turned over to the current player's color.
The object of the game is to have the majority of disks turned to display your color when the last playable empty square is filled.
Reversi is marketed by Pressman under the trade name Othello. (wikipedia)
• • •

You know a game that's seven letters long?: OTHELLO! Neither my wife nor I had heard of REVERSIor PANAY, or SPACELY, for that matter. I actually have heard of Spacely Sprockets, having seen a few episodes of "The Jetsons," but I still needed virtually every cross to get SPACELY. Wikipedia tells me that the company's actual name is SPACELY's Space Sprockets. The "employer" in the clue made me think of a person, not a company, and so I couldn't understand why I remembered a Mr. SPACELY and not a SPACELY Sprockets. And now I see—the "employer" here is the company, not the owner (whose name is Cosmo SPACELY, by the way, in case you're ever asked). There were no characters named SPACELY Sprockets. Usually, if you get a "Jetsons" clue,  you get ELROY. Maybe ASTRO. So let's just say SPACELY was out of place (ly) on a Monday. I probably would've changed it to SPARELY and then changed the Down (CAT SCAN) to RAT-SWAN. I'd've clued it [Post-apocalyptic animal hybrid]. Yes, that's much better.


But seriously, everyone knows the game OTHELLO, right? I gotta believe far fewer people know REVERSI. REVERSI seems like other games I've heard of but barely believe in, like ONE-O'CAT and ROLODENDRO or whatever that game was I got a letter about once … the one that sounded like a Harry Potter spell … ROLYPOLYO? … ah, here it is: RINGALEVIO! Good times. Anyway, the lasting image of this puzzle will be one of Mr. SPACELY playing REVERSI on PANAY.

I like the theme, though the clue over-explains things—let us discover the connection(s) on our own. We're not idiots. Most of us. I like the adjective SEVEN-GAME as a revealer better than GAME SEVEN, since the former accurately describes both a League Championship or World Series finale *and* this puzzle. But that wouldn't sit dead center, which the revealer (in this case) has to do, so GAME SEVEN is fine. The theme answers are just games, so no real excitement there, but the 7x7 thing is at least interesting, and it's tough to bring a theme-dense, white-square-heavy puzzle in in good shape on any day of the week. To make it almost plausibly Monday-easy is particularly impressive. It misses—this should've been a Tuesday—but it's close. I like that all the games are quite different from one another. I like the "Q." I like saying SNOOKER. So I'm generally pro-this puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

81 comments:

Anonymous 12:10 AM  

Lots of fun and clever. I also call the game Othello and would have entered that if I hadn't already had some crosses.

jae 12:12 AM  

When I hit the stop watch button my time was easy- medium.  Then I checked the grid and I had three blanks which I filled in. Upon further proofing I found and corrected a spelling error, so this was on the tough side for me too.  Tough makes sense given two WOEs...REVERSI and PANAY...and a bunch of stuff that seems a tad out of place for a Mon....OKAPIS, SNOOKER, SPACELY, KERRY, AEROBE, ILS....   

Very clever.  Liked it, but @Rex perhaps a medium Tues. or an easy Wed.?

Z 12:26 AM  

7 and a half minutes using the NYT new online version (so I had some navigation issues) so easy here. Of course, I actually knew that Othello was the brand name version of REVERSI. I have no idea why that particular piece of trivia found purchase in long-term storage - but there it is. PANAY, OTOH is a WOE. I had never heard of the USS PANAY Incident before Uncle Google educated me.

EELY TV AD - Who knew?

Steve J 12:27 AM  

Found this extremely easy, even for a Monday. SPACELY? Filled in with no crosses. REVERSI fell with only the leading R (some computer I had along the way had this as one of the stock games installed along with the OS). SNOOKER was a one-crosser as well. And most of the games. I even remembered OKAPIS correctly on the first go for a change (

Pretty nicely filled given the theme density (this kind of theme density usually has too much dreck along with it). And, despite how easy this was, it was a fun little Monday.

Whirred Whacks 12:28 AM  

Nice design and construction. Quick solve for me.

The GAME SEVEN reveal didn't really do it for me (I did like the 7-letter games mentioned) because when I think of a "game seven" of a World Series, an NBA Finals, or Stanley Cup Finals, I think of big drama and pressure with championship rings, money, and glory at stake.

Hard to get worked up over a "game seven" of hangman or croquet.

John Child 12:36 AM  

Under 7 minutes here, so easy by my scale. PANAY was the only unknown. I found the fill excellent and the theme fun. Vs, Ks, an X and a Q! Thanks Mr Johnson.

Elle 54 12:53 AM  

Spacely was a gimme! Rex, you're too young...

RAD2626 2:46 AM  

Never heard of PANAY either but gettable from crosses. Glad OKAPIS were plural or might have guessed STyX for PIXY and had OKAPy, which looks OKAY. Took Tuesday time so maybe hard for Monday but really clever theme and well constructed. Disappointed Yahtzee did not make the cut.

Lewis 5:46 AM  

@rex -- excellent piece, one of those with edge, humor, and substance, where you're on a roll and on point. I especially liked placely and rat swan.

Despite SPACELY and REVERSI, it still felt like a Monday, with direct and easy cluing, and these words easily gotten from crosses. I think this is what a Monday should be. Let the beginner at least work a little.

I like GAMESEVEN better than "seven game". I interpret it like the "Chicago Eight". Best would have been SEVENGAMES, but how would you clue that??

Yes, a good Monday, Greg!

Danp 6:31 AM  

When I saw the Medium-Challenging rating, my first thought was, "Oh, I forgot. Today is Annibel." Never heard of Reversi or Othello, but both the theme and the clues were TV Guide level entertainment.

evil doug 7:28 AM  

48A: "Ach! Who bin _____ mein Mercedes?"

Evil

Anonymous 7:55 AM  

Definitely a Monday. I'm an unrepentant googling mistyping slow filler. I ever fill any NY times puzzle in less than 20 minutes. Even the puzzles in the ad filled free papers that are handed to me when I hop on the subway - the puzzles that have words that ant second grader could guess - in the morning take me 10-15 minutes.

Got this one in 10 minutes, (which I realize is slow as a snail for this crowd) - every single word no goggles or rewrites, not even Spacely. Spacely was obvious from the theme of the cartoon. Of course I'm old enough to remember that cartoon.

Oh, and I suppose okapi might have been hard had I not eaten one when I was in Peace Corps in Zaire (as it was called at that time). It was served to me as a special treat and I had no idea at the time what a rare and beautiful animal it was.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

Oops, meant to type NEVER fill any NY Times puzzle in less than 20 minutes, illustrating one of many reasons why I am a slow filler. I think we need a slow filling movement like the slow cooking movement. Some of us need to prep the food, put it in a crock pot, and then come back later. This puzzle was more like picking up some perfectly ripened fruit straight from the orchard.

joho 8:09 AM  

RATSWAN!

I actually sent in a puzzle that had RATSASS as a theme answer ... I don't know what I was thinking!

Back to this marvelous Monday puzzle!

Fresh theme, dense and deftly done!

PORSCHE over CROQUET sparked my interest right off the bat.

All themers recall fun times which most likely include a CHEATER or two and maybe even some HEROICS.

Thank you, Greg!

NCA President 8:18 AM  

George Jetson's employer involved two words: Spacely and Sprockets. One of those was given so there was only one choice left. He might have worked for a brief moment at Cogswell Cogs, but I might be dreaming that.

I've noticed (within the last year maybe?) a lot of clues like 12D WNW's opposite. I'm no marvel at deducing most clues, but these kind of clues are basically just telling you the answer. They're not even trying to be a clue, they're just saying, "A feline animal that rhymes with Bat and starts with the letter C."

Please, Will and constructors everywhere, show us a little respect and stop with these types of clues. Maybe this would fly in a Highlight's puzzle, but seriously, you might as well just hand us the puzzle with these letters already filled in.

PuzzleCraig 8:39 AM  

This was my third-fastest Monday puzzle since ACPT this year, even with needing two crosses to get CANASTA and having started with Zurich* (for GENEVA) and epi* (for TRI).

@Elle 54, I don't think it's a matter of "too young". I'm MS's age and SPACELY was a gimme for me too.

ArtO 8:46 AM  

Needed every cross for SPACELY. Never heard of REVERSI but do know it as OTHELLO. Looking forward to GAMESEVEN in at least a couple of the playoffs. KC seems like a team of destiny at this point.

Moly Shu 8:46 AM  

Super easy here also. No problem with SPACELY or REVERSI. Only problem I had was thinking Ferrari's logo included a rearing horse, but since when are they a German auto company? Easily fixed with the two workout clues and Achilles. Thought this was an extremely strong Monday, even if it did have EELY.

@NCAPrez, I've always thought the same thing about the directional gimmies. Maybe 'Somewhere between 0 and 45 degrees'. On the other end of the spectrum are the times the clue uses two cities that are obscure enough that I have no idea what their geographical placement is. There has to be a happy medium out there somewhere.

dk 8:49 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOONs)

Tight theme (games within a game within a game) and new words. Woo! Woo!

Rex, Fred Flintstone worked at Bedrock Rock and Gravel for Mr. Slate--rounding out your 60s primetime cartoon knowledge of employers. Barney's employment history is checkered.

Given my age, fill based on aging divas, board and card games, along with the aforementioned cartoons - Wheel house!

Casco Kid 9:05 AM  

In my haste to beat 10 min, I DNFed at StACELY, CoNASTA and toNAY. Hats off to those of you with greater patience and, confoundingly, better times. Pride went. I fell.

Arlene 9:18 AM  

I felt so smug putting in FERRARI - knowing that it had a rearing horse logo. That euphoria ended quickly with 1D and PCs, and the realization that PORSCHE also has a rearing horse logo, and is German, while Ferraris are Italian. Even so, finished in 8 minutes (as long as everyone is posting times, I'll play along.)
I was surprised to see so many names I didn't know - for a Monday. All the more reason to appreciate a sugar-coated WNW square.

RooMonster 9:23 AM  

Hey All !
Nice puz, with a little crackle (tryin out a new adjective, since ppl have complained about crunchy! ) and falling into the medium *for a MonPuz* category for moi. Have heard of REVERSI, and SPACELY sprockets. Come on Rex, I'm as old as you are, didn't you watch the Sat Morn cartoons? :-)

Liked the dense theme.

SCONCEing away
RooMonster
DarrinV

chefbea 9:23 AM  

Hand up for never hearing of Reversi. Use to play canasta and croquet and my kids played twister.

Also knew spacely. Liked that squats and curls were next to each other

quilter1 9:24 AM  

I guess this was a puzzle for geezers 'cause I flew through. Very easy. I liked the theme. Also not familiar with REVERSI but it came through crosses. Good Monday.

Leapfinger 9:27 AM  

Hand up for OTHELLO over here. If ever I heard of REVERSI, I thought it was REVERSO anyway; most properly, it started life as REVERSU.

Thought this a super-elegant design, and anticipated 20D would be GAMEtable, bCAWS that's what it looked like. Having it turn self-referential SNOOKERed me: a meta Monday!

True that at some point, I no longer had to read the theme clues.

Liked TWISTER-EELY together, as well as SQUATS-CURLS. Which reminds me: @EvilD, TRI to RELAX!

Of course, this would be a snap for anyone who has a taste for PORSCHEs and the LACY INVESTS.

The rhyming CROQUET/ PANAY moved me...strangely. Brought to mind part of an overheard conversation:

'Yea, though I'm stalked by the VALET who's a CHEATER adept,
I'll be SNOOKERed no more,
And I will CHER
All my CARS
For a PORSCHE.
GAME'S EVEN!"
PANned DORA

There's more, but gotta look for those lost MARBLES before I head to work. Great job, GJ. SAKE to me!

retired_chemist 9:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debra Pollack 9:29 AM  

Picayune point, but the counterpart of HIS (51A) is HERS, not HER. The clue should have read "counterpart of HIM". Where's the editor?

retired_chemist 9:30 AM  

Nice puzzle. Medium-challenging here, as my time was longer than usual in comparison to the NYT solvers. However, it felt easier than that.

SPACELY and REVERSI - WTFs but easy from crosses. PANAY- not so hard, as I love Thai curries including PANAY curry. Got to _ANAY and figured correctly on the P.

Didn't know KERRI Walsh, but from _ERRI only a few letters make sense (G, K, T being the obvious ones) and again the cross gave it to me. Didn't like the I in REVERSI that KEY IN forced, so I left it for future thought if necessary (which it wasn't).

Thanks, Mr Johnson.

retired_chemist 9:33 AM  

HIS name - HER name (or pick any other noun). What's the problem?

Ludyjynn 9:35 AM  

Easy, timely-themed Monday puzz. for me. No HEROICS were needed to solve. Despite Rex's complaint, every answer was gettable via crosses, including SPACELY. I learned PANAY and REVERSI in this manner.

Esp. liked the body references at 4,5 and 6D, along w/ SCONCE, GELD,LOKI,PASSAGE and AEROBE. Nice to see on a Monday.

No THORNS on this rose. Thanks, GJ and WS.

Nancy 9:43 AM  

This breezy, not as easy as usual Monday makes up for yesterday's too-easy Sunday. There were enough answers I didn't know to keep it interesting and the theme was fun.
Late yesterday, having read all the comments on an earlier puzzle with the same theme and some of the same clues, I clicked on the link to the 2011 puzzle that was helpfully provided by one or more of you. I was shocked to see how much overlap with yesterday's puzzle there was. Maybe that's why I found yesterday's so easy. I was remembering the 2011 puzzle, even though I didn't REMEMBER that I was remembering, if you see what I mean.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:47 AM  

I "know" REVERSI only from crosswords, and, like @Leapfinger, when I encountered it today I wasn't sure if it was REVERSO or REVERSI.

@Anonymous 7:55/8:01: I have always referred to myself and others who take their time as those who "savor" crosswords. My time for today's puzzle can be expressed as: I finished the puzzle before I finished breakfast, with a break at exactly 9:00 AM to play Guess My Word.

jberg 9:48 AM  

@leapfinger -- they're in the British Museum. Elgin swiped 'em.

@Arlene -- I almost went with Peugeot, thought maybe it had been acquired by BMW and was a trick question -- but turns out their rearing animal is a lion.

As for the theme -- I did know REVERSI, and remembered Othello when @Rex mentioned it -- before that, if you'd asked me, I'd have said that Reversi was the brand name. Never played, purely out of stupid snobbery, thinking of it is a bastardized version of Go; since i've never played Go either, that makes little sense.

The SPACELY/PANAY thing was a pure guess; never watched the Jetsons, and while I've been in the Philippines I didn't do any fighting there. The only PANAY I've heard of is a former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, and his ancestry was Indian, not Filipino. But the pun in the company name seemed probably, so it worked.

Beach volleyball? Come on! Fortunately, SPIES ON made me change KERRy, or I've had failed.

I did enjoy seeing TVAD, the cousin of the better-know Vlad the Impaler.

Andrew Morrison 10:00 AM  

Funny, I figured the puzzle would rate Easy(for a Monday.) Saw the rating and was shocked. SPACELY, REVERSI, and PANAY were all gimmes. In my wheelhouse, as it were. I think, but am not sure, that REVERSI was an installed game on early Macs (the 128k and later 512k RAM doorstops). Black and white screen, black and white game - a match made in heaven. There wasn't much else you could do on those machines by way of game-playing.

Carola 10:01 AM  

Agree with all the plaudits for this fine puzzle. I loved that there's a CHEATER among all the GAMEs.

I needed all the crosses for SPACELY and REVERSo, oops, REVERSI; didn't know KERRI or PANAY. So definitely a challenging Monday for me.

@Bob Kerfuffle - I'm one of the "savorers" (ADD SALT!). Why rush through a puzzle when you can linger over the pleasures of PORSCHE, CROQUET, CANASTA, SNOOKER....

Z 10:03 AM  

@retired-chemist - I think His and Hers towels got them.

@Ludyjynn - "Complaint?" "I don't like REVERSI" is a complaint. "I didn't know REVERSI" is an observation. As @Lewis observed, OFL was in fine form in that first paragraph. You can tell he was joshing by the "But seriously,..." he uses to start the next paragraph.

ANDS and ALSO in reflective positions. A nice touch. As for directional clues, let me suggest we get rid of the compass point answers and the clue dilemma will be solved.

When's the last time the relative rating of the commentariat was so generally easier than Rex's? I don't remember a time, though I'm sure they have occurred.

Spencer Cogswell 10:08 AM  

Spacely has a competitor, Mr. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs (sometimes known as Cogswell's Cosmic Cogs).

Spencer Cogswell 10:08 AM  

Spacely has a competitor, Mr. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs (sometimes known as Cogswell's Cosmic Cogs).

the redanman 10:11 AM  

I never cease to be amazed at the relative FAIR/UNFAIR attitudes towards words, clues and answers for Rex and most of you. If any fall outside comfort level it seems unfair or badly done. As a golf architecture expert it reminds me of golfers who think a hole is a bad hole merely because they lack the skills to play it most effectively. Cake and eat it too, it seems.

This puzzle for a Monday (more challenging) or Tuesday (rather easy) was just fine, I thought it was really well done. It really is OK to need crosses to get SPACELY PANAY & REVERSI

However ... I would have clued 1A) cars driven by weenies

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Wudda been an excellent puzzle for me- except for that REVERSI!

Can forgive the THORNy PANAY and KERRI fill, but theme answers should be better than the odd-one-out REVERSI...just my opinion.

Huh? 10:35 AM  

@the redanman - the letter sequence f-a-i-r does not appear in the blog or the comments until your post, so what are you talking about?

Z 10:45 AM  

Just catching up on over night news and found that the Ferguson protesters were doing "They think it's a game" protests last night. TWISTER and volleyball were included, but no REVERSI that I saw. That is some eerie synchronicity.

r.alphbunker 11:06 AM  

WNW is an acronym for Whole New World. A plausible opposite would be SOS (Same Old S**t)

Billy 11:07 AM  

"seven-game" is better than "game seven"???
What're you smoking Rex? the clue was "finale."

Lewis 11:27 AM  

Factoid: While SAKE is often called rice wine, the brewing process is more like beer making. Also, in Japan, there are more than 80 types of sake rice.

Quotoid: "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast CARS. The rest I just squandered." -- George Best

AliasZ 11:55 AM  


Any puzzle that opens with PORSCHE can't be all bad. Especially if it's a red one.

What a nice, clean and playful puzzle we have today. And not one CHEATER square in it. I am not sure PANAY, LOKI, OKAPIS, KERRI and a couple of others are Monday-ish entries, but they are excellent as mental SQUATS and CURLS to tone up your brain muscles and stay ALERTLY rather than SPACELY.

The only on of the seven games I ever played was CANASTA. I wonder, CAN ASTA, the Thin Man pooch, play this game?

PANDORA was the first human woman created by the gods, specifically by Hephaestus and Athena on the instructions of Zeus. As Hesiod related it, each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to mold her out of earth as part of the punishment of humanity for Prometheus' theft of the secret of fire, and all the gods joined in offering her "seductive gifts". According to the myth, Pandora opened a jar (pithos) releasing all the evils of humanity—although the particular evils, aside from plagues and diseases, are not specified in detail by Hesiod—leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again. She opened the jar out of simple curiosity and not as a malicious act. The mistranslation of pithos, a large storage jar, as "box" is usually attributed to the sixteenth century humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam when he translated Hesiod's tale of Pandora into Latin. Hesiod's pithos refers to a large storage jar, often half-buried in the ground, used for wine, oil or grain. It can also refer to a funerary jar. Erasmus, however, translated pithos into the Latin word pyxis, meaning "box". The phrase "Pandora's box" has endured ever since. (Wikipedia)

In closing, let me offer you some Morning HEROICS by British composer Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975).

jdv 12:02 PM  

Medium. A year ago this would have been medium challenging, but today's Mondays are more difficult. Each game is symmetrically placed about the grid. Had LTR before ENV in SW and later noticed LTR in NE. Too many abbreviations and such, but theme was ok, so ok overall.

Gareth Bain 12:09 PM  

Know REVERSI and OTHELLO both only in the sense that they're games. I wouldn't recognize them if I saw them being played. I think I've encountered them in other contexts relating to things Americans play that we don't?

Of the Crossword-friendly Jetsons names (I once made a Jetsons crossword! :)), why does IRONA get such short shift? It's peculiar.

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

RooMonster
"Nice puz, with a little crackle (tryin out a new adjective, since ppl have complained about crunchy! )"


That's a noun, not an adjective.

Neilkd 12:28 PM  

I know Reversi because it was (is?) a default in-flight console game. Never heard of Othello as a game. I think Spacely was fun fill despite being too young (I think? I'm 25) to have really watched the Jetsons. Also I'm sorry, but I hate 'RATSWAN' - not sure if you were just joking...

Ludyjynn 12:52 PM  

@Z, my comment, above, referenced @Rex' at length "complaint" re SPACELY, FYI.

@BobK, count me in as a "savorer".

I wonder if tonight's baseball game in KC will be called due to rain. Same foul weather in Balto. today.

Spacely Cadet 1:38 PM  

RATSWAN alternative:

****SPECIES
****CANASTA
****ALLTHAT
***GROSS
**SACS
*COME
SALE

S.C.

RooMonster 1:40 PM  

@Anon 12:23

Crackness?

RooMonster

Mohair Sam 1:52 PM  

Very nice Monday puzzle. Themes are always difficult to incorporate on a Monday and this one served nicely. Agree that maybe it should have been a Tuesday - but I'm nit-picking.

Disagree with @NCA Pres and @Moly Shu on the directional clue thing. An occasional clue that easy is fine on a Monday, it may give a toehold to a beginner. Later in the week puzzles I'll agree - clue better.

Hand up for the-thing-I-learned-today being REVERSI.

Over the limit Z 1:52 PM  

@ludyjynn - OK. I think my point still holds. The big hint that Rex isn't actually complaining is that after wandering his way to "RAT-SWAN" he continues with "But seriously,...."

BTW - I'm torn. Do I root for your O's even though they unceremoniously swept my Tigers from the playoffs or do I root for the wild card team? Generally speaking I feel like if you can't even win your division after 162 games you shouldn't be in the playoffs, but it's hard for me to root against the AL Central. If Paul Blair (aka the best Centerfielder of my lifetime) were still playing it would be easier. On a positive note for me, this post-season should end the entire "the central division sucks" claims we've put up with the last half decade.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

# 51 is not correct.
the counterpart of "his" is "hers" not "her"!

Bomaka 2:03 PM  

Lovely puzzle, with snap, crackle and crunch. Tried to complete with just the down clues, but got stymied by PANAY, SPICEUP (instead of ADDSALT), bagS(vs ATMS), Pixi STIX and KERRI. Oh, and GAMESEVEN. All easily corrected with acrosses.

Never ate okapi in the Peace Corps (Hi @ anon 7:55) in Ghana, and demurred on monkey brains and fruit bat stew. Had an hilarious experience trying to cook land snail stew using the Joy of of Cooking recipe for escargot. Not a good recipe fit...

Thanks @BobKefuffle for the link to Guess My Word. A new source of entertainment!

Thanks Greg Johnson for a refreshing Monday-ish puzzle!

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

Never heard of REVERSI but with KEYIN and KERRI crossing, it couldn't be anything else. The rest came fairly easily, but I agree that in its entirety it fit the "medium-challenging" designation. Fun, though.

Casco Kid 2:31 PM  

@Anonymous1:58 I asked my solving buddy & my wife if they thought you had a reasonable point. In his opinion, no. In her opinion, also no.

Numinous 3:13 PM  


Didn't know PANAY right off the top of my head but recognized it after a cross or two. My grandmother taught me to play canasta. It was a passion of hers. She and my mother would play and I'd be left to sit around trying to amuse myself. Occasionally grandma got called in for babysitting duties and to fill the time "productively" she taught me to play. I enjoyed it and it made me feel very "grown up."

SPACELY! I don't know if y'all know but the first season of The Jetsons only ran to 24 episodes. It wasn't until 1985 that another 24 or so episodes were made. I got to edit the music for ten or twelve of them. So, SPACELY was a solid out of the park into McCovey Cove home run for me.

I'd like to say this was an easy puzzle for me but my time didn't reflect that. I wasn't trying for speed but Mondays, when I can use a keyboard, usually come in at right around ten minutes. This was a little over fourteen. I'm going to blame that on my still feeling terrible and having a temperature. While I didn't spend all that time on Saturday afternoon/evening doing the Sunday puzzle, I was shocked to note that over four hours had passed between the time I started it and when I'd finished.

I figured out PORSCHE from the downs. I did not recall that the PORSCHE emblem had a horse in it. Interestingly, Stuttgart has long been the home of fast modes of transportation. It was a breeding center for cavalry horses in the tenth century.

I don't get the problem with OKAPI for a Monday puzzle. I would think that anyone who would be interested in doing even a Monday puzzle would have an education beyond that of the average viewer of Saturday morning reruns of The Jetsons. I'll admit there are words I only know of through doing crossword puzzles; OKAPI is not one of them.

I can't say I enjoyed doing this puzzle but at the same time, I haven't enjoyed much of anything these past few days. At least doing this let me feel that I'm still alive .

Numinous 3:25 PM  

Oh, yes. I forgot to thank @Bob Kerfuffle for the link to Guess My Word. I just may be having a new 9:00 AM appointment now.

Sanford Meyersfield 3:26 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanford Meyersfield 3:28 PM  

Sanford Meyersfield3:26 PM

This was the easiest ny times puzzle I've done. Filled in all the games first. Then filled in all the corners and sides. Then filled in the remaining crosses. Don't use a computer but my time was under five. minutes. Very easy, but kinda fun.

Just Pat 4:22 PM  

You know that it's just an old wives tale that RATSWANS sing their most beautiful song as they're about to expire. Don't let that stop you from killing them, as they're an awful menace, but be prepared for disappointment if you were awaiting a song.

If I am a man you can say that that was HIS stupidest post to date. Alternately, I am a woman you could say that that is HER stupidest post to date. So, Anon 1:58, again, your cavail is incorrect.

sanfranman59 4:41 PM  

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

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

Mon 5:56, 6:03, 0.98, 41%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:23, 4:04, 1.08, 80%, Challenging

These solve times would be at the extreme Easy end of the scale for a Tuesday, so I think the puzzle is properly slotted (at least by this method of assessment). My solve time is in my Easy-Medium Monday range.

Melodious Funk 6:01 PM  

Did anyone do the acrostic from last week? Very weird. I won't quote it here in case someone still wants to do it but there is clearly a misquote or misprint or mis-spelling in it. It doesn't make any sense as it reads. Not only that, but the answer reveals the exact same problem.

Anyone else?

Quite timely though. How the hell these two do this every other week is a mystery to me.

Martin 6:09 PM  

The acrostic seems fine to me. Maybe quote the part that seems wrong?

Anonymous 6:18 PM  

It took me about 11 minutes to do this puzzle, which is fairly breezy by my standards. SPACELY was a gimme, since I've always loved the Jetsons. I had OTHELLO first, because that was what my sister and I often played as kids, but I quickly changed it to REVERSI when the crosses made it obvious. REVERSI used to come with Windows in the old days, and I've got a version installed on this very tablet.

Melodious Funk 6:23 PM  

@Martin, why not email me, I'll quote the entire thingie.

sanfranman59 10:03 PM  

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

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

Mon 5:56, 6:03, 0.98, 41%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:13, 4:04, 1.04, 65%, Medium-Challenging

Penna Resident 10:29 PM  

just because you happen to know it by its commercially branded name othello(as i did as a kid) doesnt mean that REVERSI isnt the real name of the game! thats like saying a tissue is not a tissue - its a kleenex.

i also get annoyed at the monday clues (eg, "where clouds are"; 3 letters). but if you cannot deal with them dont do monday puzzles - monday clues have always been ridiculous. if you are depressed by the NYT readerships intelligence, dont blame will. talk to your local school system about the curriculum. and lighten up about the very well known state abbreviations that are more than 2 letters (eg, "Natick location"; 4 letters).

Leapfinger 11:52 PM  

"Natick locatiom", 4 letters = GRID

irfan a.r 2:40 AM  

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LHS 888 3:41 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
LHS 888 3:44 AM  

I'd call this one challenging for a Monday. I had a complete DNF in my downs-only attempt. I might have been able to solve using across-only, but we'll never know. In the end, it took me 17 min. when I usually finish Mondays in ~10 min.

Knew both SPACELY & REVERSI
Did not know PANAY

@Leapy 11:52 - Brilliant!

Fun theme. Thanks GJ / WS

David Glasser 1:47 PM  

Yeah, I was unable to finish down-only due to being so sure about OTHELLO!

spacecraft 10:26 AM  

To be brutally honest, I have to say I DNF this one: of course, like everyone else, I filled in othEllo without a second thought. Then when I discovered I had to change it, the first six letters (save for the E) were written over one by one. But since "KEYoN" looked fine to me, so did REVERSo, and I left it. Never in my life heard of REVERSI. What a stupid vowel to end with! The game's Othello, anyway. I never heard anybody call it anything but.

For the rest of it I have to say I liked it. Unusually dense theme with six triple-seven stacks takes a HEAP of doing. Even the strings of threes we had to endure for their SAKE weren't too awful. In fact, they weren't bad at all. PANAY is a tad deep for Monday fare, but that's about it.

So despite a personal DNF, I'm giving this one a second straight A-. (Note: I DID blog yesterday, but VERY late: never had my missed paper replaced till 12:50 pm. Yeah, that's Pm. In the afternoon.)

1060: like my effort today--so.o.o close...

rondo 12:28 PM  

EZ save for REVERSI, and contrary to what OFL has to say - NO, not everybody has heard of the game Othello, certainly not me. Not much time for board games growing up rural, must be a metro thing, to kill time?

10924 - a HEAP better than recently

DMG 1:29 PM  

Enjoyed this one, and wrapped it up despite never having heard of SPACELY and REVERSI. Do play Othello with my daughter. She beats me every time. On the other hand, I'm doing pretty well with the Chinese Checkers I'm teaching my grandson! Impressed Rex noticed 7 seven letter games. Would never have occurred to me to even look for something like that!

Loved @Leapfinger's definition of Natick

390 puts me way,way out of the running.

rain forest 5:06 PM  

It's REVERSI and always has been. Get regularly beaten by my granddaughter at it. Maybe a Canadian thing.

A lot of times being reported today. In my case: 54 seconds, but maybe my watch stopped just as I finished writing in PORSCHE. Not sure, but it was easy, appropriate for the day, and very well executed in theme and fill.
Gosh, look at me just laying it out there.

175 - not even close

Anonymous 10:30 PM  

52D ! Nice to see the ALers getting a shoutout for a change, especially the southside palehose.

- - Robert

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