Nymph jilted by Paris / SUN 2-1-15 / Roman guardian spirit / Missal storage site / Skeletal enemy in Mario games / Destination of NASA's Dawn probe / Picayune quibble / Vampire Diaries protagonist /

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging



THEME: "This n' That" — common "___ AND ___" phrases are reimagined as two-word phrases where the first word is a homophone of the "___ AND" part, with every first word ending in an "n" sound:

Theme answers:
  • SUMMON SUBSTANCE (instead of "sum and substance") (23A: Content of a demand to attend?)
  • COFFIN WHEEZE (32A: Freaky funeral noise?)
  • HERON MAKEUP (17D: Feathers, pointy bill, long legs, etc.?)
  • DRAGON DROP (49A: Dive from a fire-breathing creature?)
  • FOREIGN TWENTY (71A: Venti, vingt or zwanzig?)
  • KRAKEN PEEL (93A: Woe for a sunburned sea monster?)
  • FISSION CHIPS (110A: Intel products used at a nuclear facility?)
  • WARREN PEACE (70D: Period when rabbits stop fighting?)
  • FOREMAN FUNCTION (119A: Overseeing a work crew, e.g.?)
Word of the Day: ELIS (94D: Site of ancient Greek Olympics) —
Elis /ˈɛlɨs/, or Eleia /ɛˈl.ə/ (Greek, Modern: Ήλιδα Ilida, Ancient: Ἦλις ĒlisDoricἎλιςAlisEleanϜαλις Walisethnonym: Ϝαλειοι) is an ancient district that corresponds to the modern Elis regional unit. Elis is in southern Greece on the Peloponnesos peninsula, bounded on the north by Achaea, east by Arcadia, south by Messenia, and west by the Ionian Sea. Over the course of the archaic and classical periods, the polis of Elis controlled much of the region of Elis, most probably through unequal treaties with other cities, which acquired perioikic status. Thus the city-state of Elis was formed.
Homer mentions that Elis participated in the Trojan War.
The first Olympic festival was organized in Elean land, Olympia, Greece by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BC, with tradition dating the first games at 776 BC. The Hellanodikai, the judges of the Games, were of Elean origin. (wikipedia)
• • •

Mixed bag. The theme didn't work well for me for two reasons. First, the "___ & ___" phrases were not all that tight. "Four and twenty"? As in blackbirds baked in a pie? Yeah, something like that can stand on its own precisely never. "Crack and peel"? When has that ever been a self-standing phrase? I know it's something dry skin or paint can do, but …???? I'm not that familiar with the phrase "sum and substance," as I've never heard anyone use it ever. "Form and function" feels only slightly more familiar. And yet stuff like "fish & chips" and "War & Peace" and "drag & drop" feel rock solid. Indisputable. Real. So first issue: base phrases are of widely varying quality / realness. Second, there's just no fun here. Neither the answers nor the clues are very funny. 23A is paradigmatic. SUMMON SUBSTANCE is dead weight, and [Content of a demand to attend?] barely makes sense grammatically, and contains no twist, turn, zing. . . nothing. Cluing is painfully straightforward all the way around, with the wonderful exception of the HERON MAKE-UP clue, [Feathers, pointy bill, long legs, etc.?]. That clue/answer pairing did … what's the word … let's say "tickle" me. The rest all had some level of malfunction.


Fill is predominantly good, as is true of most Steinberg grids. He's a careful constructor. HBS and LAR were the only things that really made me wince (I know "halfbacks" are real things, but I can't say I've ever seen that abbr., where as RBS and even FBS, I've seen). And LAR … well, at least it's not LER, I suppose. There's a beauty contest for you: which one would you rather have in your grid: LAR or LER? Sorry, "None of the above" is Not an option.


I had three main trouble spots. This grid (representing roughly me at the 1/3-done point), neatly illustrates at least two of said spots:


Since "crack and peel" is not a real phrase, nothing there. [Skeletal enemy in Mario games] meant nothing to me, though at this point I already wanted DRY BONES (correct). After I got DRY BONES and then KRAKEN PEEL, the biggest problem was having ELIS in the "E" cross, and not being at all sure that I was spelling KRAKEN right. KRAKEN / ELIS was a bit of a roll of the dice (other vowels just looked so much worse).  Bigger snafu, however, was up in the north/west/central part of the grid where, as you can see, I was flummoxed. No idea what "Castaway" was, so its director … ??? COON as a [Garbage collector, informally?]? I get it now—raccoons will get into your garbage—but COON always sounds like a racial slur to me, and having the clue refer to "garbage collector" … somehow, my brain would not let the answer Actually be COON. Too sensitive? Just google [COON]. See what comes up. My friend teaches in COON Rapids, MN, a source of never-ending amusement. I'm guessing it's pretty white up there. But back to the puzzle. ROEG / COON / PROLIFIC had me dead-stopped. But I was able to get down into the SE pretty easily, and picked up momentum again from there. Last problem I had was at the place in the grid where I finished—ON POST / BACOS / MARACAIBO. That "B" was the last thing in. MARACAIBO was today's ABADJAN (which is actually spelled ABIDJAN, so apparently I've learned very little since I blew that answer a few weeks back). Just didn't know it. Needed every cross. ABIDJAN is my new substitute for "Waterloo"—a geographic place name on which your solving campaign comes to a catastrophic end. Today, MARACAIBO was my ABIDJAN. Except I finished, so no *actual* catastrophe. Just a near one.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    P.S. if you missed David Steinberg's touching remembrance of the late Bernice Gordon, you really should read it. Here.

    162 comments:

    JFC 12:04 AM  

    Rex said:"Second, there's just no fun here."

    Bingo. I can say that about every one of his puzzles.

    JFC

    jae 12:19 AM  

    Mostly easy.  The tough part was where @Rex also had problems, the middle west.  ARABICA, PROLIFIC, MARACAIBO, FOREIGN TWENTY... came slowly.  COON was hard to see for the reasons Rex mentioned.  The SAJAK/OJAI cross could also be a problem.

    Unlike Rex, I thought the theme was cute/clever (really liked KRAKEN PEEL)  and the grid was pretty smooth...liked it.

    Moly Shu 12:44 AM  

    Mixed bag here, OENONE, ARABICA and LAR caused problems, but DAVIDLEAN, ANGLEE and nicolas ROEG all went in easily. Biggest surprise was that LEFTEYE didn't get a TLC clue in a DS puzzle. Not even the Cali river can save us from @Ellens EEL.

    chefwen 1:58 AM  

    Of course I let out an audible groan when I saw who the constructor was. Chided myself and remembered that I have been doing a lot better with his puzzles as of late. Ended up having a great time with this one.

    Not up on my directors, so I did resort to Uncle Google a couple of times. If I had to pick a couple of favorites they had it be FISSION CHIPS and WARREN PEACE, that one made me laugh out loud.

    Great puzzle David and I loved your tribute to Miss Bernice. Thank you.

    'mericans in Paris 1:59 AM  

    OK, for a start, the puzzle breaks some rule, IMO, to have a cross in which one French word (entree) is used in the American sense (as the main dish, instead of the entry to the meal), and another, EAU (water in French) is the answer to a question that gives no clue that a non-English word is being saught. (For a long time we guessed the answer to 2D was "aye".) That's sloppy.

    Medium-challenging indeed, but not so much because it was cleverly challenging but because the puzzle constructor fell back on obscure proper names, especially in the NW. ROEG, SAJAK and ALFRE are not exactly household names. A veritable RATS NEST.

    Like @Rex we got bogged down in the Oregonian region because of these. Finally gave up and googled several of the actors' and film directors' names. Our last entry was 30D ("One with a colorful coat?") -- MANDM. Very clever, but just didn't see it. Had _AND_ for the longest time, thinking that the answer might turn out to be pANDa, and being prepared to RAIL at the idea that black & white counted as colorful.

    We would give the constructor credit for fitting in so many theme answers into the puzzle, but we would also agree with Rex that too many do not stand alone. Favorite was FISSION CHIPS. Stupid, but funny.

    Travel tip: I've just come back from a conference in Venice, Italy. January -- between Christmas and Carnival -- is when a lot of places in the city close down for their own vacation. The restaurant choice becomes a bit limited, but the few tourists have the whole place to themselves. The atmosphere, especially at night (street lighting is kept to a bare minimum and light pollution upwards is so minor that the sky fills with stars) is magical.

    Here's hoping that tonight sees a lot of ball carrying by HBS!

    Anonymous 3:10 AM  

    Pat SAJAK isn't a household name???

    Anonymous 5:53 AM  

    Rex is only slightly familiar with FORM AND FUNCTION. Really? What else does Rex not know?

    Also, CRACK AND PEEL is not most used in relation to paint or skin. It refers to sticky labels that are designed to be bent and the covering over the sticky stuff peeled off.

    paulsfo 6:27 AM  

    I found it tough.

    My problem with the clue for COON was that raccoons are the *opposite* of collectors. Garbage scatterers or rumagers would be accurate, but not collectors.

    @'mericans in Paris: ALFRE Woodard has been featured in many movies and TV shows for over thirty years, so I don't think of her name as obscure. Maybe you just aren't a big credits reader?

    Bob Kerfuffle 6:29 AM  

    Fun puzzle, but I think it requires being even more loose with pronunciation than usual even for puns. Specifically, HERON MAKEUP, when I say it, is far, far, from HAIR AND MAKEUP.

    But I liked it!

    One write-over, 72 D, RANTS before RAILS,

    For a CRACK AND PEEL video, go to Diary of a Crossword Fiend.

    I had the same hesitation about COON as @Rex.

    GILL I. 6:45 AM  

    @Natasha. If you ever go to MARACAIBO you might have a voodoo doll made in your honor.
    Well, a bit of an OOOF for me because 1) I don't know what SUMMON SUBSTANCE is...2)KRAKEN PEEL sounds like a law firm and 3) HERON MAKEUP might as well be MEAT PIES....HAHAS AARGH. THAMES fightin words.
    Other than that, FISSION CHIPS was worth the price of admission....
    well, so was WARREN PEACE.
    Does a COON invade a RATS NEST? Somehow GRACE crossing SAJAK looks wrong.
    I'm rootin tootin for nobody tomorrow. If the 49ers aren't playin, then I'm not making nachos.

    Danp 6:53 AM  

    If I ever heard an "sh" sound in Nuclear Fission, I might have asked, "You mean like tasing a tuna?"

    I did laugh at COFFINWHEEZE, though. Maybe because I was watching The Pit and the Pendulum while solving.

    chefbea 7:43 AM  

    I agree..no fun!!! Got a few of the themers but then gave up and came here.

    Had fried okra last week. yummmm.

    Now to get going on Super Bowl party. Bought a few football balloons. Should I deflate any of them?????

    Anonymous 8:17 AM  

    crack and peel is a culinary term referring to hard boiled eggs

    'mericans in Paris 8:26 AM  

    "crack and peel is a culinary term referring to hard boiled eggs"

    Fine. But what's KRAKEN PEEL or KRAKENPEEL? Even Google doesn't show anything for either ... except a link to Rex's blog.

    Anonymous 8:38 AM  

    "Four and twenty" seemed perfectly reasonable to me because I probably listened to and played the Stephen Stills song of the same name (4 + 20) thousands of times. Only after reading Rex's comments did it strike me how incredibly obscure this phrase really must be (Rex's reference for it meant little or nothing to me).

    'mericans in Paris 8:52 AM  

    OK, got it: a Kraken is "a legendary sea monster of large proportions that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraken). My education was clearly missing something.

    Anonymous 8:56 AM  

    As so often happens, our solving experience was a 180 from Rex's. Easy-Medium for us. Just goes to show that one person's wheelhouse is someone else's woodshed. Despite this, we have the same observation about the consistency of the theme answers -- only we differ on which answers are obvious and which are strained -- also on those that are witty and those that are not.
    Agree with @mericans that the clue for EAU is a bit of a rule-breaker.
    Generally I love reading the posts, but I hope that utterly irrelevant and weird personal testimonials are not going to become a trend.

    Anonymous 8:59 AM  

    Release the Kraken!

    Anonymous 9:01 AM  

    Wow these best crossword constructors in the world must really suck. 6 out of 7 this week failed to satisfy the amazing and wonderful rex parker, and the 7th was "OK I guess" or somesuch faint praise. Make a great puzzle for everyone rex, or STFU. SOGOTP.

    Anonymous 9:02 AM  

    This puzzle pitched enjoyable. (Still not English.)

    AliasZ 9:08 AM  


    For the first time in decades I did not attempt to solve a NYT Sunday crossword because I saw the byline. I usually get no pleasure at all from David Steinberg's puzzles, so I had no desire to spend my time solving it. Therefore I have nothing at all to say about my solving experience.

    Once I revealed all answers, BACOS stuck out like a sore thumb. What the heck are bacos? And then ARABICA right over MARACAIBO. ELENA and ALENE. The one-L APOLO and the two-LL LLAMA. Three movie directors, two of them complete names. And WARREN & BUFFett too. LEFT EYE is almost as much fun as ketchup red and green paint. The Jack of Spades also lacks both ears, the right hand, the left mustache and an expression on his face.

    Sing a song of sixpence,
    A pocket full of rye.
    FOREIGN TWENTY blackbirds,
    Baked in a MEATPIE.

    The theme seemed FLAWED, or somewhat hit-and-miss. FISSION CHIPS great, KRAKEN PEEL not so much. I liked FOREMAN FUNCTION, the main principle of modern architecture and industrial design (form follows function), but shouldn't that be a COFFIN snEEZE?

    The most effective ORAL contraception: "Not tonight honey, I have a headache."

    The KINKS had a thing for Lola.

    Claudio Monteverdi on the other hand, had his Dixit DONIMUS, Psalmus 109 (Secondo), published in Venice, in a collection of sacred music under the title "Selva morale e spirituale" (moral and spiritual forest) in 1640-41.

    DONIMUS vobiscum, et cum spiritu tuo.

    Mac 9:24 AM  

    Since when does an envelope contain the abbreviation enc.?

    NCA President 9:33 AM  

    I got about three clues into this one and had to check who the constructor was. I have to say, DS has a definite grid personality, so there's that.

    As DS puzzles go for me, I didn't hate this one, nor was I angry at the end. Today's puzzle reminded me of my general reaction to a Sondheim musical: I appreciate the technical feat, but it leaves me cold. Both with DS and SS, I rarely (if ever) feel a warm embrace to the work...just a blank stare and a "well, how about that."

    Not to put too fine of a point on it or push the SS analogy too far, but I want to be clear that I think SS does incredible work...it's just too cerebral for me to find any emotion in it. Very much like DS puzzles...it isn't that they're bad, per se, they are just technical exercises....like listening to finger exercises on the piano...or like listening to, well, Sondheim.

    One small nit, but according to Wiki, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in SA, and Lake MARACAIBO is a brackish bay because of its connection with the sea. So, at least according to Wiki, the clue is wrong.

    @AliasZ: Bacos are terrible little fake bacon bits made up of god knows what. Thank god someone discovered how to put enough preservatives in actual bacon bits so that you could put actual (preservative laden) bacon bits on your salad instead of mystery ingredient laden BACOS. Because when you choose to eat a healthy salad, it's always important to make it unhealthy so your body doesn't freak out.

    Z 9:33 AM  

    So I googled COON and found Carleton S. COON. Wowser. I wonder if Penn and Harvard are at all embarrassed. Then there is this. We are an amazing species.

    Not bad for a Sunday. Didn't feel as sloggy as the past few weeks, although DAVID LEAN, ROEG, and ALFRE were all WOEs. I actually found the KRAKEN PEEL image kind of humorous, although I might have gone with the cosmetic PEEL instead of the post sun burn PEEL.

    ARABICA above MARACAIBO was a lost opportunity for using the same clue twice.

    I am always just a little bemused by the existence of BACOS. The idea of bacon flavored soy resonates with my sense of humor.

    Anonymous 9:40 AM  

    BACOS are a very well known brand name at the salad bar. They have been around forever and there are many running jokes about them.
    I seriously don't think it's too obscure to be asked to know name of the largest lake in South America in a Sunday NYT puzzle. I know many people here are provincial xenophobes, but that's thir problem, not the constructor's.
    KRAKEN is all over popular culture.
    This board is full of whiners. The weird prejudice against some constructors is a little disturbing.

    NCA President 9:47 AM  

    @anon 9:40am

    Lake MARACAIBO is not the largest lake in SA, Lake Titicaca is. Maracaibo is considered a bay. So, the problem isn't obscurity, it's just wrong.

    Also, what you call "prejudice" I would call preference. We're all entitled to our opinions, yes? DS is a regular contributor to the NYT, enough that, to a regular solver, you get to know his puzzles pretty well. They have a certain personality to them that some don't like. That isn't weird, it's just an opinion based on experience. Some love his puzzles. So what of it?

    Do you have a weird prejudice against McDonald's hamburgers? Or asparagus? or merlot? or Barry Manilow?

    Kenneth Wurman 9:50 AM  

    Am I the only one who thinks "sum and substance" is a very common phrase? ?
    Otherwise hated the fill of this puzzle..

    Kenneth Wurman 9:50 AM  

    Am I the only one who thinks "sum and substance" is a very common phrase? ?
    Otherwise hated the fill of this puzzle..

    Maruchka 9:51 AM  

    "The one-L lama, he's a priest
    The two-L llama, he's a beast
    And I would bet a silk pyjama
    There isn't any three-L lllama"
    Ogden Nash

    And the one-L Apolo is a treat on ice, with or without Smirnoff's. ALCOPOP? Wassat?

    Admix of easy fill and dohs here, lacking in aha! solves. Like @'mericans (let's get KRAKEN!) MANDM was last to go in. And bacon for BACOS had FIS(n)ION CHIPS sitting on the shelf far too long.

    Fav of the day - FOREIGN TWENTY. Mis-remembered the lyrics in 'O Mistress Mine'.. so kiss me already, [SWEET] and twenty! What's on your mind?

    @AliasZ - ORIMUS.

    @Gill - I hear you. But a little Pacific coast Seahawks love could be a valid excuse for nachos and margaritas, no?

    Unknown 9:52 AM  

    I too think "sum and substance" common, and definitely a better rhetorical pair than "cough and wheeze", e.g.

    mathguy 9:54 AM  

    I agree that some of the themers were a little tortured, but I came away feeling happy. Not many gimmes, a lot of pretty fresh entries, the clues all eminently fair.

    I learned MARACAIBO because I had TACO instead of BACO.

    NYer 10:09 AM  

    Many years ago there was a bakeshop called Four and Twenty that served only pies. I believe it was a chain. Their chocolate cream and banana cream pies were to die for.

    Gracie H 10:11 AM  

    Hard for me. DNF due to several SNAGS. But I was happy to see clue for 81A, which I thought I knew. Some satisfaction from comments to learn Titicaca would have been correct.

    Teedmn 10:12 AM  

    I guess after yesterday's debacle, I didn't have the energy to resist using Google, so DNF for the first Sunday in a while. I just don't know directors, so three in one puzzle plus ALFRE and my lack of geographical knowledge (AARGH, MARACAIBO) made for a lot of WOE today.

    Should have known ANG LEE but having okl first, then tEx before NEB and still not having learned APOLO made the NE hardest for me. I live six blocks from COON Lake and the name, along with @Rex's COON Rapids reference, always make me cringe.

    I really liked some of the theme answers, with WARREN PEACE and FISSION CHIPS my favorite. Great clue for M AND M, liked STUFF next to BUFF, RATS NEST, FLORID, ARMOR-CLAD, HEAVE-HO.

    Nice puzzle, thanks DAVID Steinberg. And your tribute to Bernice Gordon had me in tears.

    Anonymous 10:12 AM  

    When people would rather vent on a crossword blog site, rather than, you know, do the crossword puzzle, I find that a bit weird. People who love puzzles do puzzles. Looking at a name to confirm your biases before you even start a puzzle is lame.
    Yes, everyone has tastes and preferences. That is a brilliant observation and really offers a lot of insight into the crossworld. Thank you for that. You must be a "regular solver" to have such acumen.

    Ludyjynn 10:15 AM  

    Like @ChefWen, I cringed and went AARGH and DAMN when I saw the constructor's name at the start. But unlike @AliasZ, I dove right in and had a very good experience. Either David Steinberg is maturing or I am devolving; whatever the case, I now 'get' him more often than not. Maybe that is the PROLIFIC Ms. Gordon's mentorship at work?

    Enjoyed the theme reveals much more than Rex, finding their SUMMONSUBSTANCE amusing. Also, a film BUFF, I appreciated the several, IMO, not obscure, movie references.

    @NCAPres.,your BACOS remarks KRAKENed me up! I also intuited that Lake Titicaca was the technically correct answer. Who could forget a name like that?

    Other than COON, which makes me squirm, and ENC, improperly clued, this puzz. is EVIDENCE that young DS has WON me over.

    Congrats on your college admission, and thanks for your loving eulogy to Bernice Gordon, DS.

    Gotta run off to brunch after putting on HERONMAKEUP.

    demit 10:21 AM  

    "Release the Kraken!" is an internet meme. Alfre Woodard, a well-known actress, was a gimme for me. Sum and substance is a very familiar phrase.

    I marvel at the things people protest are obscure because they themselves have never heard of them. It's part of why I come to this blog, actually. I also like finding out that the things that are exotic for me are common casual knowledge for others. It's a funny old world, innit.

    Anonymous 10:24 AM  

    @anon 10:12 AM - well played!

    Anonymous 10:25 AM  

    Thank demit @ 1021. Very well said.

    demit 10:37 AM  

    Anonymous at 10:25: I had a friend in the early 80s, from New York, who was astounded that I didn't know who Bobby Short was. I told him that my knowledge of everything was incomplete, but that I was working on it. I still am.

    Anonymous 10:37 AM  

    "Release the hounds!" "Release Brian!" Release the Kraken!"

    Mohair Sam 10:38 AM  

    Easy/medium Sunday. We're getting more 'n more on track with Steinberg's work and enjoying his puzzles more each time. Liked the theme a lot and thought it held together well - Rex seems to make up theme rules as he goes along just to find complaints with puzzles that don't fall fast for him. Do agree with the grumbles about EAU however.

    @'mericans in Paris - I don't watch "Wheel" but SAJAK is about as household as a name gets. And ALFRE Woodard is very well known, has a TV and filmography a mile long - and is one of the best actresses out there. See "Passion Fish" to get her at her best.

    @Kenneth Wurman - Yeah, I cannot believe @Rex sees sum & substance as an unusual term. I use it now and then and hear it frequently.

    @David Steinberg - Beautiful piece on Bernice. My wife works in an assisted living facility and she assures you that your friendship at that point in Bernice's life was a wonderful gift. You're a class act kid.

    Anonymous 10:44 AM  

    @Mohair 1038: I think it's worse than that: rex "finds complaints with puzzles" which are constructed by people he doesn't like. If the constructor is a FOR then all of his NITs fall by the wayside.

    F.O.G. 10:45 AM  

    Here's hoping the Seahawks face a lot of FOREIGNTWENTYs later today. Go Pats!

    Didn't care for this. A DNF for me. After reviewing the answers to my stumpers I appreciated it a bit more. Still, I will likely cry AARGH the next time I see the David Steinberg byline on a puzzle.

    Casco Kid 10:45 AM  

    @chefwen @ludy I'm a former Steinberg cringer myself, but the 17yo was much better than the 16yo, and now he is 18 I think, so I've stopped cringing alth'gither. Until I go make to the archives. Then I have to check the date to see if I shoukd/should not cringe.

    Medium. 100 min. Fun. 4 errors: MAReCAIBO/BeBES and OhAI/SAhAK. Second CA city misspelling this week, and I knew better both times. [Naïfs] seemed French, so commanded BeBES over BABES.

    North was last to fall as FUSS was Flap for far too long.

    Ray Chick 10:49 AM  

    Rex - don't google COON, google 'How not to be a complete wanker' , it may help ....

    Anonymous 10:51 AM  

    To those who are smug about knowing the first names of television actors and actresses, and similar references to non-exported and ephemeral cultural trivia, please have some sympathy for those who live abroad and fill out the NYT crossword puzzle in the pages of the International edition of the New York Times. Books and films are fair game; so is geography. But crosses of TV personalities and junk food lead to naticks.

    BTW, I'm glad to see that others also wanted to answer Titicaca in response to 81 across. According to Wikipedia, Lake Maracaibo has a larger surface area than Titicaca, "but it is considered to be a large brackish bay due to its direct connection with the sea."

    joho 11:03 AM  

    @Ludyjynn, LOL, I'm visualizing you drawing a beak and feathers on your face!

    I had fun with this as I'm always up for wordplay 'N' wacky phrases. Thank you, David! And I'm also grateful for your beautiful, heartfelt words about Bernice which brought tears to my eyes.

    joho 11:09 AM  

    BTW if I ever hear a WHEEZE coming from a COFFIN I'll be out on the floor!

    Nancy 11:10 AM  

    Didn't have a prayer of getting this fun, challenging puzzle until I finally cottoned on to the theme. Then all that was impossible became possible. I am so proud of myself for finishing. Oh, yes, I did have KRAKiNPEEL instead of KRAKENPEEL and I did Natick at the P crossing APOLO and OPA. You all can call that whatever you want to call it. In a puzzle this long and this hard, I call it a "solve". I had a lot of fun with this one, BTW.

    Anonymous 11:11 AM  

    I still don't get "mandm" as colorful coat. Help? Once I got DRAGONDROP I got the theme, and the rest were easy, though I too have never heard of "sum and substance". I believe Wikipedia discusses Titicaca and Maracaibo's claim as one of volume vs. area.

    Ray Chick 11:16 AM  

    M and M - it's candy

    Anonymous 11:17 AM  

    anon@ 11:11: m and m, the candy.

    Steve M 11:18 AM  

    Ok but tuff

    GILL I. 11:25 AM  

    @NCA President...wrongy dongy. MARACAIBO is the largest natural lake in South America. We used to live not far from its shore.
    The US and Great Britain financed and built a billion oil rigs that constantly spill into it's waters. That's why parts of it are deemed "brackish."
    TITICACA on the other hand, is just fun to say. Try translating that...
    Okay @Maruchka....Sea Hawks it is!

    Tita 11:28 AM  



    How many words fit 2D...
    eyE, you, ayE (OK - you includes the vowel it sounds like, so a nogo there...)
    I tried every one of them, never considering it could be a fer'n word...

    I do agree with OFL about the theme flaws.
    This skewed hard for me, but no googling. (Which led to a DNF with 2 wrong squares @ OsA/AsOkO/kEAN. Double-natick of celebs and an abbv. that could be anything to one ignorant of WWII agencies)

    FOREIGNTWENTY, FISSIONCHIPS & DRAGONDROP my faves.

    54d a gimme thanks to an idiotic 3rd grade riddle "When is it proper to say "I is"?
    A - "I is the ninth letter of the alphabet."
    Why do I remember that, but not directors?

    Thanks, Mr. Steinberg - an overall thumbs-up. Oh - and nothing greenpaint about that one-eyed jack - one or two eyes is a distinguishing feature of face cards.

    Oh - please, folks - let's make a pact not to feed the trolls - they are so repetitively tiresome.

    Mohair Sam 11:31 AM  

    @Casco - well said on Steinberg, my experience exactly. Used to hate, but now enjoy his puzzles.

    Hand up with the Titicaca crowd, kept trying to get nine letters out of her. Eventually the crosses filled MARACAIBO for us.

    Lewis 11:33 AM  

    Wow. How we see things from different eyes. I found this puzzle to be a lot of fun, a romp. Clever clues for PEW, EAU, DEERE, NINTH, DAMN, EDGAR, and OCS. Zippy answers like ALCOPOP, AARGH, FLORID, RATSNEST, ARMORCLAD, PROLIFIC, BACOS, PANGS, SKIMP, and HEAVEHO.

    Some theme answers that made me smile: KRAKENPEEL, FISSIONCHIPS, and WARRENPEACE. Hardly any crap fill.

    With this for starters, it would take a hell of a lot for me not to like this puzzle, and there was far from that -- practically nothing.

    I, like Mr. Kid, have followed David's progress, and watched his puzzles mature. Some constructors are stuck in the same place, or settle into a groove, and you like them or not. Others grow and change over time. I think it's too soon to pigeonhole David.

    Keep bringing 'em on, David, and thanks for this one!

    Anonymous 11:33 AM  

    Carl Djerassi, the inventor of ORAL contraception, 69 D, died yesterday.

    Tita 11:50 AM  

    Thanks, @Gill - for piquing my curiosity about Lake MARACAIBO.
    I propose an alternate clue:
    Location of Catumbo Lightning

    Have you seen it? Fascinating!
    And while I'm no meteorologist, from reading this wiki entry, I think I saw it on Cape Cod Bay a while back, during the Perseids. (The Provincetown dunes are almost as high as the Andes...?)

    Ellen S 11:52 AM  

    I liked this one a lot. I found the cluing in yesterday's a little "off" -- things like CARLSJR. Well, okay, as a vegetarian I'm not that up on burger offerings. I googled "thickburger" and got Hardees. Had to go into the Carl's Jr menu to find out they (now) also offer thickburgers. Their ads are all about "natural" burgers, which is kind of scary.

    Anyway, I liked today's puzzle a lot; the themers were clever, and I had heard of them all (when you do a lot of organizational mailings, "Crack 'n' Peel is definitely in the language). And Kraken, as well -- I think John Wyndham's novel The Day of The Triffids was originally titled The Kraken Wakes. Or, one of his books, anyway.

    And look, (thanks @Moly Shu): a new clue for EEL! I drove over the EEL River several dozen times when I went up to Arcata once to visit an old friend. I would look down from each bridge and 30 feet or so below was this trickle of water. Upon arrival I made some kind of disparaging remark about "the mighty Eel", and my friend suggested that on my return trip I look up and see the high water marker. I did. Up. and Up. and Up. And finally, maybe 20 feet overhead, I descried the high water marker. Whoa, Nellie. Never going to say anything bad about that EEL ever again.

    Anyway, I liked this puzzle. DNF because of a Natick at the very end with A_OLO crossing O_A, but everything else I did with absolutely no cheats. And I had fun doing it.

    Pretty much the only part of @Rex's writeup I agreed with was I thought David's reminiscence of Bernice Gordon was indeed very touching.

    Oh, and I had the same reaction to COON, but that's what raccoons are called. Another friend and I were poring over the AKC Dog Book one afternoon and we came to this description: "The Black and Tan Coonhound is so called because of its color." We both thought that was racist until we realized the statement meant, "Its name includes the phrase 'Black and Tan' because it is black and tan in color." (@Z, thanks -- I think -- for those links.)

    Malsdemare 11:53 AM  

    I liked it. I caught the theme early with COFFINWHEEZE and all the other themers rang a bell for me so I have no complaints. I've loved Alfre Woodard since she was in a cop show long ago, and her performance in "Passion Fish" is excellent. I like puzzles that make me work, but are ultimately solvable and this one was just that. I, too, don't know everything, but I'm working on it.

    Please, RP, come bounce Natasha off the blog!

    Thanks, Mr. Steinberg, and congratulations on your early acceptance.

    NCA President 11:56 AM  

    @GILL I : It's connected to the ocean, yes? If so, (and if my Google map is correct), that's why it's brackish. Pollution does not brackish make. Salt water does. And because it's connected to the ocean, it a bay... not a lake, though it's named that.

    Anonymous 11:57 AM  

    Isn't Lake Titicaca the largest lake in South America? Just saying.

    Anonymous 11:59 AM  

    Shouldn't it have been SUMMONSSUBSTANCE (two s's, as in "the substance of a summons"). After all, a "demand to appear" is a summons, not a summon.

    Lewis 11:59 AM  

    Factoid: Fay WRAY was approached by James Cameron to play the part of "Rose Dawson Calvert" for his 1997 blockbuster Titanic with Kate Winslet to play her younger self, but she turned down the role.

    Quotoid: "It TAKES a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." -- J. K. Rowling

    Jalpuz 12:05 PM  

    Crack and peel---- hard boiled eggs.

    Anonymous 12:09 PM  

    Llamas produce fiber not wool!

    Fred Romagnolo 12:11 PM  

    I'm guessing David is simply too young to know about COON, but surely Shortz isn't. It's like yesterdays convoluted discussion of ME LIKEY, best to avoid such terms altogether. I laughed aloud twice:FISSION CHIPS & FOREIGN TWENTY. I believe the singular is raviola, ergo plural: RAVIOLe not I. Been brought up before. Go @Marushka, we Pacific Coasters should stick together. @'mericans in Paris: I've been to Venice in January, and August; I'll take January any time, even with the flooded streets (which can be enchanting in it's own way); the lack of shoulder to shoulder tourists is a benefit in itself. As an asthmatic I can appreciate COFFIN WHEEZE. M AND M was my last insertion, too. May the Sea Hawks prevail, and don't forget that great political principal: "I'm against inflation, I'm against deflation; I'm for flation." (The Senator Was Indiscreet, William Powell).

    Anonymous 12:16 PM  

    C'mon, Rex, Crack n' Peel stickers!

    I really enjoyed this, and thought all the theme answers were great.

    mac 12:21 PM  

    I enjoyed the top half, then it got a little dreary. But during that top half, I thought this was a good Sunday level puzzle.

    No problems with the puns, they sounded enough like the normal terms to me.

    BUT, I ended up with two blanks: the D and N in Damn.

    OK, back to the kitchen. Hope they finish that game tonight before it really starts snowing.

    Fred Romagnolo 12:25 PM  

    I stand corrected, I also laughed out loud at WARREN PEACE. The OPA takes me back to the days of WWII and rationing. Isn't AARGH just a general pirate expletive, not necessarily of frustration?

    Fred Romagnolo 12:28 PM  

    Isn't the NLRB supposed to be a neutral arbiter between workers and bosses?

    Nancy 12:33 PM  

    I'm back to say that sometimes a bad memory is a good thing, puzzle-solving-wise. This regards the vampire answer, ELENA.
    Many years ago (many, many, many!) I was an editor at a major book club. I was there when the first Anne Rice vampire book came in. At the Friday Editorial Meeting, the first reader (let's call her Barbara) raved about this book. She loved it, said it was un-put-downable and predicted that it was going to be a Very Big bestseller. Needless to say, we took it for the book club. I remember that the hero, a male vampire, had a peculiar first name, which I have long since forgotten. I, myself, never read INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE or any of its sequels, since I have the same feeling about vampires as I have about the Mafia: If they leave me alone, I'll leave them alone. I don't read books about either one. So now I'm wracking my brains to remember the strange name of that male vampire. It was driving me crazy. If I had remembered (and if it had been 5 letters long), I would have bollixed up the whole puzzle. It seems they were looking for a female vampire and her I never heard of at all. So I am grateful for my poor memory.

    Anonymous 12:34 PM  

    Totally agree with @Lewis' take on this puzzle, and the constructor!

    Great job, Mr. Steinberg!

    Also liked @Lewis' fun fact about FAY WRAY.

    old timer 12:39 PM  

    I almost wrote in Titicaca for that lake. Fortunately, it did not fit. And Maracaibo really is bigger. The first themer I got was FOREIGNTWENTY. The last was SUMMONSUBSTANCE. My WOE? Thinking that the three-vowel word was "you" though I know the y is more like a consonant. But I assumed that EAU is not an English word. However, it is, thanks to EAU de cologne. Which raises the question, since when is the water in Cologne (Koln) anything special?

    A good puzzle, I thought, but somehow Mr. Steinberg is not on my sleepy-morning wavelength, so it was a bit of a slog for me.

    Anonymous 12:50 PM  

    I thought this was a good puzzle, well-done gimmick.
    Sum and substance--common phrase.
    Ditto form and function.

    Z 12:54 PM  

    Britannica sides with @Gill I. A quick bit of research suggests that it is being in a basin that makes MARACAIBO a lake rather than a bay. However, "lake" is a little like "planet" it seems, where some things obviously are or aren't, but where exact line of demarcation is a matter of some ambiguity.

    Z 12:58 PM  

    Replacing "where" with "the" might turn my last sentence into English.

    chefbea 1:02 PM  

    Just reading our newspaper here in Wilmington.... A great article on Bernice Gordon!!! Mentions that she was responsible for starting the idea of a rebus. What a lady

    Anonymous 1:12 PM  

    How do you eat a hard-boiled egg? I crack and peel it.

    Brian 1:19 PM  

    I'm sorry, can we please talk about ALCOPOP? That was my RATSNEST.

    Z 1:23 PM  

    ALCOPOP

    Steve J 1:57 PM  

    I never cease to be amazed at how rarely people google something they encounter in a puzzle before asking about it or declaring it wrong, not used, etc. It's especially surprising and disappointing when Rex is guilty of it.

    No question the quality of the theme answers was highly variable, but declaring "sum and substance", "crack and peel" and "form and function" not things (or nearly not thing) is just wrong (although, a legit note would be that the phrase involving form and function is more frequently expressed as "form follows function"). I though the theme worked well, even with its variability in quality.

    The rest of the puzzle was a mixed bag. There are some fill problems - it felt like there were too many proper names, for one - and there's some definite strained and/or poor cluing. But it's a Sunday, and it's the rare Sunday that doesn't start to sag under the weight of a 21x21 grid, and most of the issues here weren't major.

    Anonymous 1:58 PM  

    My baby's got it all--FOREMANFUNCTION!

    GILL I. 2:01 PM  

    @Tita...I might well have but didn't know it. I only learned of the Catumbo's lightning through pictures - possibly the National Geographic. I was 2 when we arrived in Venezuela and we only lived there for 5 years...so, that is my excuse.
    @Z...I can ALWAYS count on you - besides you're more articulate!

    Masked and Anonymo8Us 2:12 PM  

    Tough in the NE and also in the S.A. coffee lake region, at our house. Also, a few OENONEic items, where we learned somethin new. Clever theme, that was of worthwhile use in a fun solve. sUnpUzthUmbsUp.

    fave sound effect: AARGH.

    fave weeject: ECU. ENC also nice.

    fave wrong-again answer: 83-D, {Like the world's largest sultantate}. Wanted EMIRY. Too bad; woulda been a debut word, Steinbergmeister.

    M&A

    Charles Osgood 2:13 PM  

    On today's Sunday Morning, a piece on children's books, shows a page from an antique book with the following verse:

    Sing a Song of Sixpence,
    A bag full of Rye,
    FOREIGNTWENTY
    Naughty boys,
    Bak'd in a Pye.

    Anonymous 2:19 PM  

    Hey does anybody here know where I can get a love spell to get my ex lover back from a real spell caster? Just asking...

    Carola 2:33 PM  

    To chime in on reactions to seeing David Steinberg's name up top, on Fridays and Saturdays my feelings have shifted from "DNF in store" to mild trepidation. Today, though, it was definitely happy anticipation, as I figured his creativity and sense of humor would have room to flourish but within the constraints of normal Sunday difficulty. And this one really hit the spot for me. I thought all the phrases were solid and some truly inspired: COFFIN WHEEZE, HERON MAKEUP.

    Finding it difficult to get a toehold up top, I got my first theme answer with WARREN PEACE (aha!) and then terrific FISSION CHIPS and KRAKEN PEEL came quickly. Still had to rassle some with the rest.

    I liked how the mythical DRAGON and KRAKEN mirror each other, while the whole grid is "encased" by SUBSTANCE, FOREMAN FUNCTION. Nice.

    Solving progress: first four in = DAVID LEAN, LLAMA, CRO, MAESTRO.

    Turning my back on the game, as I still haven't gotten over the Pack's horrible loss to the Seahawks.

    Benko 3:06 PM  

    I've got to agree with @anon1012-- why would you feel the need to write a really long blog post about a puzzle you didn't bother to solve? We don't need to read about your nonreaction to something you didn't do.

    NYer 3:12 PM  

    Btw, does anyone know what happened to the person who used to post percentages of solvers who found this easy, medium, hard etc as regards solving times?

    Anonymous 3:33 PM  

    So am I the only one who knows the KRAKOW monster but never heard of the KRAKEN monster??

    Cynthia Garcia 3:37 PM  

    I liked it. Had a twilight zone moment early on when I saw RAMADA which was what I had yesterday instead of CANADA... Spooky huh @Natasha? Had COFFIN snEEZE at first which made me chuckle so I was slightly disappointed about COFFIN WHEEZE but I loved WARREN PEACE. (Wouldn't 'Angry Bunnies' make a great game?)
    @'Mericans in Paris: Thanks for the travel tip - Sounds wonderful!

    Fred Romagnolo 3:51 PM  

    "Release the KRAKEN!" Laurence Olivier

    Anonymous 3:56 PM  

    ENC is not put on an envelop. Its put at the bottom of the letter.

    mathguy 4:01 PM  

    Fred Romagnolo: I don't know Italian, but isn't raviolo the singular of ravioli?

    I just got over a chest cold virus after three days of coughing. I felt good for a couple of days and now I'm in the throes of a head old virus, sneezing all the time. I can't remember that having happened before.

    Nancy 4:28 PM  

    @NCA President. Didn't realize you were a composer. (I'm a lyricist.) Re: Sondheim. I've often found him as cold and cerebral as you do. (My brother, infinitely more musical than I can ever hope to be, strenuously disagrees.) But there are songs SS has written that are as emotionally wrenching and gorgeously melodic as anything any composer has ever done. To wit:
    SEND IN THE CLOWNS
    LOSING MY MIND
    JOHANNA
    ANYONE CAN WHISTLE
    MOVE ON
    I'm sure I've left some out. They'll come to me after I've posted this comment. But some of the above actually make me cry.

    RnRGhost57 4:34 PM  

    Touching recollection of friendship with Barbara G. Thanx David.

    Stuart Showalter 4:50 PM  

    What has this to do with the xword???

    NCA President 5:43 PM  

    @Nancy: I know lots of musicians who like SS. Some of his music is undeniably beautiful, to be sure. But most musicians I know who defend him point to how intricate and dense it is. To me, that isn't necessarily a compliment. There are plenty of pieces of music intricate and dense...but that doesn't mean it's good.

    There are some who would say he is a pioneer of musical theater and an inspiration for us all... and yet there are no copycats emulating his "style." In other words, there is probably good reason he is unique.

    jae 5:45 PM  

    @Nancy -- The vampire would be Lestat, played by Tom Cruise in the movie. Never read the book but did see the film.

    @Cynthia Grace -- Me too for snEEZE before WHEEZE, definitely funnier.

    mary coker 5:46 PM  

    How I Got My Ex Husband Back........... My Names is Monique Curry ,AM from United states .i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Africa in June last year on a business summit i meet a man called Dr otas, is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love s gone misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job i m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3 year i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try and in 6 days when i returned to taxes my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married i didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help his email address: realmargicspell@gmail.com

    Anonymous 5:48 PM  

    How I Got My Husband Back"026"026"026. My Name is Elizabeth,am from the United states . I never believe in love spells or magic until i meant this spell caster when i went to Africa in June last year on a business summit. I meant a man called Doctor ogudu, is powerful he could help you cast a spell to bring back your ex. Am now happy cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3 years, i really loved him but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job so when i meant this spell caster i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try and in 6 days when i returned to Texas my boyfriend ( now my husband ) called me and came to me apologizing, that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married i didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name. we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better. If anyone needs the spell caster for some help his email address:ogudumagictemple@gmail.com

    Liam Neeson 5:51 PM  

    @Fred - That was me (as Zeus) not Olivier.

    Nancy 5:55 PM  

    @NCA President: Amen to everything you just said!

    @jae: LESTAT! Now I remember! Since it has 6 letters and wouldn't have fit, it wouldn't have loused up my solving of the puzzle. But thanks for ending my wracking of my brain. (Actually, I could have Googled it, come to think of it.)

    Pamela Durell 6:03 PM  

    My name is Pamela Durell, I never thought I will smile again, My husband left me with two kids for another woman, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I'm not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Emilly who told me about a spell caster called Dr.OKUGUN email okugunisolutionhome@gmail.comI, She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 48hours my husband will come back to me, In less than 48hours my husband came back and started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I'm still surprise till now about this miracle, if you need any assistance
    from him you can contact him via:email okugunisolutionhome@gmail.com. Dear Dr. my God will bless you for the good work you have been doing in the lives of many people, i will never forget you.

    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) COURT CASE AND WORK SECURITY SPELLS:
    (7) You want your husband/wife to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Have you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money back.
    (10)you need a spell to Stop Divorce ?
    (11) have you been sick or dis-able and you need healing?
    contact his email now....


    Email: okugunisolutionhome@gmail.com
    THIS MAN IS GREAT THANKS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME.I WILL CONTINUE TO SHEAR THIS TESTIMONY TO THE PUBLIC IN THE INTERNET.

    Pamela Durell 6:03 PM  

    My name is Pamela Durell, I never thought I will smile again, My husband left me with two kids for another woman, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I'm not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Emilly who told me about a spell caster called Dr.OKUGUN email okugunisolutionhome@gmail.comI, She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 48hours my husband will come back to me, In less than 48hours my husband came back and started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I'm still surprise till now about this miracle, if you need any assistance
    from him you can contact him via:email okugunisolutionhome@gmail.com. Dear Dr. my God will bless you for the good work you have been doing in the lives of many people, i will never forget you.

    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) COURT CASE AND WORK SECURITY SPELLS:
    (7) You want your husband/wife to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Have you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money back.
    (10)you need a spell to Stop Divorce ?
    (11) have you been sick or dis-able and you need healing?
    contact his email now....


    Email: okugunisolutionhome@gmail.com
    THIS MAN IS GREAT THANKS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME.I WILL CONTINUE TO SHEAR THIS TESTIMONY TO THE PUBLIC IN THE INTERNET.

    Pamela Durell 6:03 PM  

    My name is Pamela Durell, I never thought I will smile again, My husband left me with two kids for another woman, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I'm not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Emilly who told me about a spell caster called Dr.OKUGUN email okugunisolutionhome@gmail.comI, She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 48hours my husband will come back to me, In less than 48hours my husband came back and started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I'm still surprise till now about this miracle, if you need any assistance
    from him you can contact him via:email okugunisolutionhome@gmail.com. Dear Dr. my God will bless you for the good work you have been doing in the lives of many people, i will never forget you.

    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) COURT CASE AND WORK SECURITY SPELLS:
    (7) You want your husband/wife to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Have you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money back.
    (10)you need a spell to Stop Divorce ?
    (11) have you been sick or dis-able and you need healing?
    contact his email now....


    Email: okugunisolutionhome@gmail.com
    THIS MAN IS GREAT THANKS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME.I WILL CONTINUE TO SHEAR THIS TESTIMONY TO THE PUBLIC IN THE INTERNET.

    Happy Pencil 6:21 PM  

    I liked the puzzle and laughed at the same answers as @Fred Romagnolo. I enjoy David Sternberg's work, even when it results in a DNF, which thankfully was not the case today.

    Those who seem to so dislike David should really read his tribute to Bernice Gordon (linked to by Rex). It's not only very touching but also gives some insight into what a special young guy he is, and how genuinely wise beyond his years. I think it may just convince some of you to reconsider the strongly worded and occasionally biased (that is, ageist in the other direction) criticisms that sometimes get levied at him in these comment threads.

    @anon at 2:19, you get my vote for best laugh of the day!

    paulsfo 7:24 PM  

    FOREMANFUNCTION "Eternal foil to Ali in rope-a-dope."

    @AliasZ: my first and only Latin joke was:

    'Dominus vobiscum' is Latin for 'What is God's telephone number?'

    The number, of course, is 'et cum spiritu tuo.' [Etcum Spiri two two oh]

    @Fred Romagnolo: I had a similar persistent coldish virus about a month ago,in California. Now we can plot its velocity. :)

    @Anonymous at 10:51 AM: I wasn't trying to be smug about TV actors' names, but Alfre has also been in lots of movies for a long time and, as noted elasewhere, is anything but obscure. So, unless actors' names are outlawed, hers seems like a fair answer.

    @EllenS: please don't talk about clues in other (recent) puzzles; many of us don't do these in order.

    And, finally, @Tita: I think you meant Cape Cod *Lake.*

    LaneB 7:34 PM  


    As always, Steinberg's puzzles are impenentrable to folks like me because of the frequent use of obscure names,e.g., ALFRE, ARABICA, AlLCOPOP(?), etc. and questionable relationship between clues and fill. Not a fun experience for a sore loser who does not mind a DNF on Frisay or Saturday but hates taking one on a Sunday.

    Anonymous 8:14 PM  

    My take on this substandard puzzle: ridiculously obscure clues, idiotic "and" phrases that few have heard of. AARGH instead of ARRGH? That gave me trouble in the NE corner for 10 minutes. This is one stupid idiotic puzzle. Oenone? Does anyone who's even read "The Iliad" (as I did, years ago, in Greek) even remember her? Give me a break. I HATE this puzzle. And the theme payoff was NOT worth it.

    GILL I. 8:29 PM  

    Haven't had this much fun at a halftime show since Janet had an oopsie!
    Katy Perry had me wanting to climb up to the attic and dust off my thigh high go-go boots......
    Go, (well, you're both playing well)...

    michael 8:36 PM  

    Very slow for a Sunday. Not sure if this is because of the constructor or (more likely) I was watching the Super Bowl. Like others, I am liking David Steinberg's puzzles more and am interested in seeing what he does in the future.

    OISK 8:52 PM  

    I have enjoyed David's last few puzzles, but not this one. I ended up Naticking on Kraken and Elis, but that was just one of too many annoying sectors. Knew Maracaibo, but Bacos?? Elena? Roeg? Dry bones? Don't like using a French word (eau) without telling us. Alcopop??? Just an unpleasant solving experience for me.

    chefbea 9:43 PM  

    What's going on?????

    Numinous 9:52 PM  

    If you ever read Peanuts by Shulz you would recall that Charlie Brown often said "AARGH" out of sheer frustration when, for example, Lucy pulled away the football when he was trying to punt.

    This one took me extra long, fuzzy brain, I guess. I'm in the Steeinberg appreciation camp. He's been steadily improving. He's also not afraid to take chances and try out new things and he works at those things until he feels he's getting them right. I predict a long and happy sideline for him in puzzle construction if he doesn't follow in the footsteps of Will Shortz and become the crossword editor of the NYT. I also appreciated his heartfelt comments on the passing of his friend and accomplice, Bernice Gordon.

    @Wreck, I have to apologise to you. I'm embarrassed in doing so. It seems my VKB doesn't just vanish either in the way it does for other aps that use a hardware keyboard. The thing is, I don't think I've actually noticed that before. When I do the puzzle, that's what I'm concentrating on. Now this may be something to do with OS 8 but I'm just not sure. I guess the presence or absence of the VKB just never bothered me. In any case, I'm sorry that I seem to have misled you. It was not intentional.

    All the themers seemed real enough to me today and if not "spot on" they at least had a solid connection to things of which I have heard. Keep at it, David,, and don't let the nigglers get you down.

    GILL I. 10:11 PM  

    Damn....I didn't make nachos.
    Best super bowl I've seen since the Niners/Bengal game back in the dinosaur age....I'm hoping for lots of sun for you New Englander's.....

    Anonymous 11:05 PM  

    FO.

    aging soprano 5:30 AM  

    This is the second time this kookie story has appeared in this blog. Rex, maybe you can block it next time?

    aging soprano 5:42 AM  

    So much about Stephan Sondheim, and yet no referral to MEAT PIES.

    aging soprano 5:46 AM  

    Meat pies, too?

    aging soprano 5:58 AM  

    As a fellow liver abroad, I totally sympathize and agree with you, Anon. They also don't give us the puzzle's name or constructor in the INYT.

    aging soprano 6:19 AM  

    So much about Stephan Sondheim, and yet no referral to MEAT PIES.

    aging soprano 6:20 AM  

    This is the second time this kookie story has appeared in this blog. Rex, maybe you can block it next time?

    Anonymous 11:06 AM  

    What FO'?


    Anonymous 11:06 AM  

    What FO'?

    Anonymous 6:49 PM  

    Can someone explain 30 down "One with a colorful coat"
    Mandm

    I just don't get it.

    paulsfo 7:37 PM  

    @Anonymous at 6:49pm:
    MANDM == 'M and M', the candies with the colorful coat.

    steve 10:03 PM  

    Bernice Gordon invented the rebus so no surprise she passed away on a Thursday...

    isobel 7:40 AM  

    I enjoyed the puzzle - loved the quirky clues. Knew Kraken from the roller coaster of the same name. Also crack 'n peel shrimp. What's up with the spell caster posts? Please stop already!

    Hugh 12:13 PM  

    Long time reader, first time blogger...did anyone else LOVE 33D (slanted columns: OPEDS)?

    Did not mind the shortcomings in theme as much as Rex did.

    Had "Rations" for 28D (square meals) instead of Ravioli - figured Army, 3 squares a day...C-rations... oh well.. This made the NE all but impossible for me.

    All in all, a medium "like"

    pfb 5:18 AM  

    Waiting almost a week to do the puzzle and thus comment I have nothing new or original to add, but I at least I know how I could get my ex back were I so inclined.

    I felt the theme worked marginally well and found some of the theme answers strained. I usually find David's puzzles challenging (as I felt this was for Sunday), but superior to this one.

    Dan Weltsch 2:32 PM  

    Nice to find this blog! Will return often. Loved this puzzle. Exactly what I like -- not too hard with plenty of twists. And so many fun answers outside of the themed ones: plow handle = Deere; man of letters = Sajak; missal storage site = pew; mystery prize = Edgar; removal = heave ho. The puzzle kept giving me smiles.

    Jane 11:29 AM  

    I agree with Dan. I really liked the clues he mentioned. Missal storage site really tickled me. I didn't read closely enough and kept thinking of a synonym for "silo." I thought each of the theme clues stood on its own. "foreign twenty" --obviously four and twenty blackbirds. It's all in what you happen to know. I read nursery rhymes to my kids and they've stayed with me. My son is submitting a film to festivals right now and he includes a tape recording of my husband trying to get him to sing the rhyme along with him. I got everything but Maracaibo. Really enjoyed the puzzle. I had to think differently about the clues...once I got how funny some of them were...I was much more able to guess the answers.

    rondo 12:40 PM  

    Was concerned when seeing the constructor, but found this one on the easy side, despite what OFL says. I've heard of all of the phrases. If you know anything about architecture (esp. Frank Lloyd Wright)FOREMANFUNCTION is a gimme. Rex never heard KRAKENPEEL? Cmon now. LETSNOT be ignorant.

    G.B. Packer Clinton-Dix and namesakes HAHAS make a return visit.

    Could've had dual golfers @ 6d and 7d. Too much golf already this week?

    Always loved yeah baby CAROLALT. Think she married a hockey player.

    No real SNAGS for me,but maybe not exactly "fun".

    443 = 2 AARGH

    spacecraft 1:20 PM  

    First off, let me say that where there's a 50-50 choice (sn- or wh- with -EEZE; -take or -step after MIS-) my personal rate is more like 15-85. You should see me trying to guess the either-ors in my Minesweeper game. There I'm often 10-90. If I get it down to 20-80 I'm on a hot streak. So those were my writeovers.

    But they were the least of my problems--or complaints. Let's take the theme entries. DRAG'N'DROP?? And OFL calls this one "solid?" Oh wait, I just now see what that means. You do it with your mouse. Well, OK, I guess, but if it took me that long to think of it, I'd hardly call it "solid." 4'N'20? Fine for blackbird pie, but no one has counted like that in at least three hundred years. and what about HAIR'N'MAKEUP? That's supposed to be a familiar phrase? Bah, I say. I don't have any of one, and I never use the other. CRACK'N'PEEL? This must be something one does with some kind of food that I never eat. The rest of them I can buy; they ARE clever, I admit.

    But if I did have any hair left, I'd have torn it out with entries like MANDM (NO! NO! NO!) and SOFTC. I absolutely HATE those!

    OH, and HBS: there has not been a position so designated in football for at least fifty years. Some still refer to short-yardage specialists as "fullbacks," but "halfback?" That's a throwback. Mostly, now they're all RBs.

    Is OENONE right? Yep, whoever. I guess I've gone through another slog with no errors. A grudging C.

    Greg Anderson 2:06 PM  

    Another NIT from a one-week-later ... GIF is primarily an image format, not a video format. Yes, you can make animated GIFs but those aren't really videos in the normal sense of the word.

    ecanarensis 3:26 PM  

    'mericans in Paris 1:59 AM ; I thought of another possibility for that one..."YOU". If I were feeling more ambitious, I'd try to figure out all the options for that one.

    Anon 10:37: shouldn't that be "Wewease Bwian!"?

    Overall, I'd give this one a "Meh," but then I'm always on a different wavelength from DS. Like most, I 'click' with some constructors, but not others. But I don't think that means the ones that are on a different wavelength from me are 'bad' constructors; they just think differently.

    Can somebody please cast a spell to banish those twits to the nether regions? No wonder their spouses (spice?) left them.

    Burma Shave 7:30 PM  

    Blue a violet,
    Red a rose.
    Don't LETSNOT
    run out your nose.

    spacecraft 7:40 PM  

    Adjunct for @Burma Shave:

    I felt a lump inside my handkerchief; at first I thought it was a quarter, but now I see ITSNOT.

    paulsfo 7:50 PM  

    @Burma Shave and Spacecraft: just a reminder to you boys that, if you are under the age of 13, you're really not legally allowed to be be posting.

    KariSeattle 10:53 PM  

    I hated this too! It ruined my Sunday and one week after the Seahawks lost after the worst call ever, it plunged me back into despair! Alcopop, Really?? WTF? Aargh and harrumph!

    Anonymous 10:58 PM  

    Rex can't you block these damn spell caster touters? Tres annoying!

    rain forest 6:04 PM  

    A day late, but I just wanted to be on record of "like" for this puzzle. All the themers mean something, at least to me, and the amount of iffy feel in a big puzzle like this is negligible.

    Laughed a few times, said "aha" a few times, and smiled a lot.

    Nice one.

    nadia utman 4:29 PM  

    how i got my husband back and got pregnant after 5 years!!!my husband has been patient with me and has been encouraging me

    that it will be best if we had hopes that we will have a child one day.last year,we had a little fight and he demanded for

    a divorce and i was so down because without him,i am nothing.he left me and the next day i met him with another woman in a

    shopping mall.i even tried talking to him but he pretended he didn't know me.i told my friend about it and she introduced

    me to the Famous prophet [prophet salifu],who helps in so many ways.i contacted him and he did his thing,within 24 hours

    my husband called me and apologized that he was sorry for everything and that i should take him back and that he will

    cancel the divorce,i had no choice than to accept him,and we have been living happily until i felt sick and went for check

    up and the doctor confirmed me pregnant.i am so happy and all thanks to prophet salifu for all his help.contact him now

    for any kind of problem and he will surely try his best to make you happy. His email is prophetsalifu@yahoo.com or

    prophetsalifu@gmail.com

    Drimonah Spiritualtemple 11:42 PM  

    GREETINGS...................My name is JOHNSON JOY i live in USA and i got married to JOHN KELVIN after seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to a female friend and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don't believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called DR IMONAH and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before tow days, that my husband will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My husband called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all other spell casters. Anybody who need the help of this spell caster DR IMONAH contact him through his via email now at:( drimonahspiritualtemple@gmail.com) he can help you he is powerful and good at all type of spell work you need him to do for you and your problem will be over as my now

    shelly white 5:02 PM  

    After being in relationship with him for nine years,he broke up with me, I
    did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him
    back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything,
    I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and
    she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me
    cast a spell to bring her back but I am the type that never believed in spell,
    I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and she told me there
    was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will
    return to me before three days, she cast the spell and surprisingly in the
    second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered
    the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened,
    that he wanted me to return to me, that he loves me so much. I was so happy
    and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since
    then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem,or health problems
    I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and
    powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different
    from others. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, her email is
    (shellywhite48@gmail.com)you can email her if you need his assistance in your
    relationship or anything....
    (shellywhite48@gmail.com)

    BEATRICE 7:23 PM  

    If you have tried everything, and still un-able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.
    Dr OGAGA brought back my own lover within 72hrs after so many fail attempt by other spell casters. i am sharing this testimony so that people out there dont make this same mistake i made by wasting so much money.
    after i contacted dr ogaga concerning my case he told me he would return my lover within 72hrs and behold my man came back and apologized for all he did to me.
    Take that bold step today and contact dr ogaga on Email:doctor_ogaga@yahoo.com, gmail: doctorogaga@gmail.com Tel:+2348128986643 and bring back happiness into your life once again as i did.
    Thanks to dr ogaga i am an happy woman again.
    beatrice, from Houston Texas

    bridget 4:34 PM  


    Hi everyone, I do hope my post gets read and hopefully helps somebody along the line.i will never forget the help priest okpobo temple render to me in my marital life. i have been married for 4 years now and my husband and i love each other very dearly . after 3 years of our marriage my husband suddenly change he was having an affair with a lady outside,i notice it then i was praying for divine intervention the thing became more serious i told my pastor about it we prayed but nothing happen. my husband just came home one day he pick up his things and left me and the kids to his mistress outside at this time i was confuse not knowing what to do again because i have lost my husband and my marriage too. i was just checking my mails in the office when i saw someone sharing her testimony on how priest okpobo temple help her out with her marital problems so i contacted the email of priest okpobo i told him my problem and i was told to be calm that i have come to the right place that i should fill some information concerning my self i did after 30 minus he called me again congratulating me that my problems will be solve within 5days. he told me what went wrong with my husband and how it happen.that they will restored my marriage but i will make a free donation to their Priest home anything my heart told me. to my greatest surprise my husband came to my office begging me on his knees that i should find a place in my heart to forgive him i quickly ask him up that i have forgiven him.friends your case is not too hard why don't you give priest okpobo a try they work surprises because i know they will also bring back your husband. contact him via priestokpobomagictemple131@gmail.com

    Andrey 4:57 PM  


    My name is Andrey Bush, i am in the US army, one day, we went to Iraq, leaving my wife and two kids. I was away from home for ONE year, when I returned my wife told me she was no longer interested in the marriage that if she could survive for 1 year without me, that means the marriage is meaningless. Leaving home for ONE year was not easy but not having a family when i came back was more difficult. I pleaded continuously with her for 2 years even left the army just to convince her but all my attempt to get her back failed. On one faithful day, as I was about to sign a friend's guest book, I saw a post about a spell caster, at first I laughed but took the email address and phone number. After 2days something inside of me just asked me to contact him so i did and he cast a spell for me and he told me she was going to come back to me after 7days24, to my surprise she called me even before the 7days elapsed and she said honey where are you, I'm outside the house, please come and open the door for me. I opened the door and she came in, immediately she fell down on her knees and apologized to me, she said she was wrong to have left me and said she wanted me back. This is a big miracle..... All thanks to Priest to of okpobo temple if not for him,I wonder the kind of life I would have lived. I want to use this medium to encourage other men and women out there, to contact this great spell caster, he is one of the greatest spell caster that ever exist. Priest okpobo have all kinds of spell and these include Love spell, Money spell, Lucky spell,business spell,spell to stop divorce, Favor spell, curing spell e.t.c. This is his direct contact: priestokpobomagictemple131@gmail.com or you can contact him directly through his personal phone number +2348132571730

    your grateful client 4:47 PM  

    HOW I ALL MOST LOST 2,000 US DOLLAR

    Hello friends. My name is Nathaniel. I'm from from San Diego, in California. Been living in California for years now. I never believed in all spell caster. i Have been scammed by many different people. I lost hope in them. My ex left me. I was devastated. I lost my job. My best friend saw my situation.Then he introduced me to Dr matamah. i Was told his work is free. Never believed until i got in touch with him. He did a spell for me. i recover all my money and My ex came back in less than 72hrs. I was recalled at my place of work. Was even promoted immediately. I couldn't’ believe there is a real DR out there who does free spells. I only paid in appreciation after the spell had worked. He doesn't charge anybody until the spell has worked.You all shouldn't be deceived by all these scammed that are there for money. DR matamah doesn't charge.You can only pay for the items and he will start the spell-casting.Try him and see what am saying.These are the few things he does

    *HE BRING BACK LOST LOVERS IN 24hrs.
    *REMOTE CONTROL OVER LOVERS.
    *ALL TYPES OF VOODOO SPELL CASTING.
    * IS YOUR HEALER TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE HELPED QUICKLY.
    *GET RIDE OF ANY WITCHCRAFT, BAD LUCK & CURSES.
    * EXPERT IN DISTANCE HEALING
    *COURT CASES EVEN IF ONE IS CONVICTED[IF THERE'S A CHANCE OF APPEALING]
    *IS SOMEBODY JEALOUS WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
    *UNFINISHED JOBS BY OTHER DOCTORS-IF NOT SATISFIED-COME TO HIM.
    *ARE YOU BEING FORCED INTO A DIVORCE?
    *HE PREVENT BAD LUCK AND JEALOUSY.
    *TO WIN HORSES AND GAMBLING.
    *HE CAN STOP SOME ONE INTERFERING WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
    * DO YOU WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN
    *DO YOU WANT QUICK MARRIAGE PROPOSAL?
    *HE CAN CLEAN PEOPLE HOUSES,BUSINESSES AND PROPERTIES FROM BAD LUCK.
    *DO YOU NEED EXCESSIVE SEXUAL POWER AND STRONG ERECTIONS.
    * WOMEN, COME FOR THE TAMPON. IT WILL HELP YOU NOT TO LOSE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SWEET, WARM AND TIGHT.
    You can get in touch with him through THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: GURUVOODOOSPELLCAST@YAHOO.COM

    Glory 4:34 AM  

    I'm here to let the whole world know how i got my husband back through the help of a spell caster called Dr. Ekpen Temple, it all started one morning when my husband and I have an argument and he angrily left and said to me that he is no longer coming back to me, at first i thought it was a normal joke, two weeks passed i did hear from him until it became 1 year i still did not hear from him it was then i started looking for how i can get him back (because i love him so much that i don't want to loss him for someone else) is was then i heard about Dr. Ekpen Temple the spell caster on the internet on how he has help so many people in there are relationship so i contacted him, to cut the long story short my husband came back to me and we celebrated the last Christmas and New year together. you can contact Dr. Ekpen Temple on: (((EKPENTEMPLE@gmail. com))) or you can call him on +2347050270218 for help today.

    Anonymous 1:02 AM  

    my name is mark Henry i really want to share my testimony on how i became an Illuminati member, through my friend. i was moving with my friend for more than 10 years and he have been getting rich everyday and even giving me money but he never told me the secret of his success until a day i was frustrated to let him know that he should help me also that was when he open up to me and tell me that he was a member of the Illuminati that he have been in the court for more than 10 years that his riches and protection came from this court.so i told him to let me be into the court but it not an easy task to be a member but i was finally initiated into the devil church of the Illuminati and i was confirm in there church. after a month of being a member of Illuminati i got promotion that same month in my working place and within a year i was promoted thrice in my working place to the extend of being a managing Director i never know how to thank this church of Illuminati and today am rich as my friend also, and also the one that surprise me most was that i got an accident with my new car and the car was right off but i still survive the accident and nothing happen to me i really thank you people Illuminati. so i just want to share to the world that this is real and it have help me and work for me so if you want to become a member i can lead you into the court of richness and you will never be poor again, know that it only a member in the Illuminati that can initiate you into the church of illumination they do not contact directly because they are fake Illuminati all over the world, this is my contact: illuminatiheroriches@gmail.com +2349050304665 i will tell you how to join and be a successful member.

    Anonymous 1:38 AM  

    Dear Friends,

    Am John Mikel Obi by name a footballer in Chelsea football club London. My
    ex broke up with me last month for no reason i was introduced by a
    football mate of mine to a spell caster called Pastor Dr Ipkapkaran who
    cast out the spell from my ex and she came back to me again and now we are
    living together happily. Anyone that is in need of any kind should contact
    the spell caster via this email ipkapkaranspiritualist1@gmail.com or via mobile
    on +2348071715229. What is your problem in life, is it any of the below?

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2)if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care.
    (10)What is your problem if none of the above is yours.

    I can assure you 100% that your problems of any kind will be solved.

    Sincerely,

    John Mikel Obi

    Anonymous 2:46 AM  

    DR LOVE BRING BACK MY EX

    DR LOVE THIS IS THE ONE OF THE THINGS I PROMISE I WOULD DO FOR YOU IF MY HUSBAND COME BACK HOME BETWEEN 48 HRS YOU SAID AND LUCKILY AS YOU SAID TO ME MY HUSBAND COME BACK HOME TODAY AFTER A LONG MONTHS THAT HE WALK OUT FROM HOUSE FOR NO REASON AND NO WHERE TO FIND HIM UNTIL YOU HELP ME FIND MY LOVE BACK HOME BETWEEN 48 HRS YOU PROMISE, WHEN HE CAME BACK HOME HE CONFESS TO ME THAT HE WAS VERY SORRY TO HURT MY FEELING THAT HE WENT AWAY WITH A LADY FROM HIS WORK PLACE AND NOW HE PROMISE THAT HE WANT TO LIVE WITH ME FOR HIS WHOLE LIFE AND NEVER LEAVE ME ALONE AGAIN,SO GLAD TO HAVE HIM BACK AND BIG THANKS DR LOVE FOR YOUR KIND HELP ,AM VERY GRATEFUL . IF ANYONE NEED DR LOVE HELP FOR RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM CONTACT HIM THROUGH THIS MEDIUM drlovespellcastersolution@gmail.com drlovesolution@yahoo.com Tel : +2348038096203.
    KATIE FROM CALIFORNIA.

    azazi temple 1:10 PM  

    I never beleive on love spells until i met a friend of my who told me everything about DR.Ajaguna who brought her ex-boyfriend back, even when she was telling me i did beleive her because i thought that she also wanted the same fake spell casters to take away my money. Although i gave her chance to explain everything she has to tell me about DR.Ajaguna, i said to her that there are many scammers who want to take our money and i will never fall victim on them, even though my fiancee who suppose to marry to me in a few months from now left me i will wait patiently for another guy though i loved him so much. she told me that this DR is not a fake one that he is real and he has helped many people to get thier loved ones back, then i ask her so how does this spell work and what is the requirements that i have to do before he can cast the love spells on me? she told me that i should emailed him on ajaguna7demons@gmail.com,and i should tell him what i want. i really emailed him and tell him that i need my ex guy back and he told me that my friend directed her to me right, and also why am i doubting his work? he said that his work is 100% sure and guarantee that no one has ever come to his temple and also remain the same. i became flabbergasted on his words he say to me and a thought came to my mind that how does this dr know all the things we discussed earlier. he said before he can commence on my situation, that i have to have faith and trust on him and leave other spell caster and wait patiently for his own that if i can say do all this i will got my lover back in an hour time. i said okay i beleive and promise to work with you alone, then he gave me a form to fill which i did and send it to him with my pictures also and also the pictures of my ex-lover. he replied me in 30 minutes later and told me that his gods need some items to cast the spell on me and my problem is very easy if i can provide these items. then when i ask him that how can i get these items and how can i send it to him for the casting of the love spell, he told me that i should not woory about that, that there is a items seller here in his own country that can get the items for me. then i ask him how much will it cost me to buy all these items? he said $150 (dollars) only, which i send to him with full confidence, after an hour later he called me and told me that my problem have been solved that i should wait for an hour time that my love will ask after me which i did according to his words, when it was about 6pm my ex called me that if am at home that he want to see me urgently. i said to him hoped all is well he said yes then i told him that he can come, my ex guy came back to me and he was asking for forgiveness that he did know what came upon him. right now am so happy because i have regain my lover back and we are planning for our wedding that is coming up soon, i called the dr and thank him very much and ask him what will i do for him as a appreciation, he told me i should forget and keep my money that he is not after people money but to help people that also need help out there all he need me to do is to give more testimonies about him so that people out there who need help should email him also thats why am here today to give my testimony. may thy good lord continue to bless him and give him more long life prosperity and wisdom. this is the dr email address ajaguna7demons@gmail.com thanks.
    + 2348067268474
    Website: http://ajaguna7demons-com.webs.com

    oprah 1:23 PM  

    Without any child then me and my husband go for an adoption of 2kids.
    I have a testimony to share,,My Name is Oprah Winfrey am from United State am now 38years old Am a Medical doctor in California,I married for about 10years ago without any child then me and my husband go for an adoption of 2kids male/female.Last years something wonderful and gracious happened to me i came across this witch doctor in the internet that promise to help me get pregnant which i totally disagree,,,How can i be pregnant looking my age he ask me not to worry that he only specialize on pregnancy all kind of spell. That after the job has been completed there is no any side effect,that was how he told me what to do which i did, could you believe i miss my periodical time that same Month and i was pregnant.Today am now the happiest woman on Earth,,While am i testify to this site i know there are a lot of people that are in this kind of trouble some will decide to commit suicide. please just do and contact him for help make him to understand that Oprah Winfrey from United States directed you, his email, lovespellcasters@yahoo.co.za.

    Anonymous 5:21 PM  



    How to Get your lover back after a Divorce or Breakup without any delay.. An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my husband back to me.. My name is Priscilla Jimenez,i live in Florida,USA,and I'm happily married to a lovely and caring husband ,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my husband .so terrible that he took the case to court for a divorce.he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he didn't love me anymore.So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband .So i explained every thing to him,so he told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for him too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow his advice. Then he gave me the email address of the spell caster whom he visited.{professionallovespell@hotmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address he gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my husband who didn't call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website { http://drniceoksespelltemple.yolasite.com},if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Brave for bringing back my husband ,and brought great joy to my family once again. {professionallovespell@hotmail.com }, Thanks..

    Gregory Schmidt 1:20 AM  

    Well, no one will ever read this, after all those paragraphs of whatever the heck that was, but for the record, I will say MARACAIBO/OMANI = yeesh.

    Sharon Gary 11:34 PM  

    I'm Sharon Gary from UK Manchester, Blessing to you all that ready this my testimony on how Dr Akereco help me. My boyfriend and I were seriously in love for 6 years and we were planning to get married but one day he came to my house and told me he was no longer interested in our relationship simply because he was dating another rich lady who promised to buy him a car and to sponsor their wedding. And I suffered heartbreak for 10 months and I was not tired of loving him, so I took a bold step by contacting a spell caster who helped me bring my ex boyfriend back. he is powerful and great his contact is( drakerecospellcaster@gmail.com ), or contact him at: +2348071258262. his website is http://drakerecospellcast4.wixsite.com/akerecospellcaster if you have any problem contact Dr Akereco, i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you!!.

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