Whale constellation / THU 11-26-15 / Trans-Siberian Railway hub / Fluid-filled sac near joint / Computer cursor advancers / Accommodations along Black Sea / Lead in to boom de ay

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Constructor: Ed Sessa

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: TEN (71A: Number of mispelled [sic] words in this puzzle's clues (oh, by the way, watch out for those tricky circled squares!) — circled squares are areas in common words that are often misspelled. Today, the common misspellings will actually give you a *correct* answer in the Downs/crosses. Hence the "watch out" admonition in the revealer clue:

Theme answers:
  • OCCURRENCE / DREW (not DRAW!)
  • SEPARATE / PATS (not PETS!)
  • PHARAOH / BALD and OHS (not BOLD and AHS!)
  • CALENDAR / GRAY (not GREY!)
  • DEFINITELY / CLICK (not CLACK!)
Word of the Day: PELHAM (45A: New York's ___ Bay Park) —
Pelham Bay Park is a public park located in the northeast corner of the New York City borough of the Bronx and extending partially into Westchester County. It is, at 2,772 acres (1,122 ha), the largest public park in New York City. The section of the park within New York City's borders is more than three times the size of Manhattan's Central Park. The park is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. (wikipedia)
• • •

I actually liked how this one started out. There were lots of snappy little words like CHOKED and DOCILE and BAD COP, and the clue on UNZIP was especially nice (18D: Drop, like flies?). But after POP TAB (which I enjoyed), the bottom started falling out of this thing. The fill started to deteriorate badly, and when you first themer is the horribly dull OCCURRENCE, well, that doesn't promise good things. As I went along, I saw that the random circles were filled with random vowels, vowels that didn't appear to anagram to anything or form any kind of pattern ... and I'm wondering what kind of dumb post-solve puzzle I'm going to have to solve. And then after enduring TARARA and PSAT and RELO and ATAP and IFAT and SSRS and ILA and All Of It (please let constructing software help you ... please!) I got to the revealer clue. My first two thoughts were negative: "Who cares if words in the *clues* are misspelled?" and "Who cares that people often misspell those words? How many people a. solve the NYT crossword and b. somehow *don't* know how to spell PHARAOH or DEFINITELY? If you are a reasonably good speller, this puzzle will go right by you." OK, I'm not sure that second thought was so coherent at the time, but that's the gist of it. It was only after a few moments, after I considered the implications of misspelling the words in the grid, that I noticed that, technically, all the crosses would *work* with the misspellings. *This* made me admire the puzzle, conceptually, a heck of a lot more, even though the only one of these misspellings with any hope of tripping me is "SEPERATE," which even now looks correct to my eyes. So though it wasn't terribly fun to solve and is way, way too chock full o' junk, the theme had real cleverness to it.


Why does the puzzle think I will want to count things in the clues? It tried to get me to count 49 "R"s a while back, and now it wants me to count misspelled words? No. Pass. Also, all hail the arrival of the new Stupidest E-Word Ever: EBATE!! I went initially with ESALE, as that seemed equally stupid but no less plausible. With each new dumb E-word, I e-love ECIG more. Let's see, what else? I think PELHAM is probably the hardest thing in the grid (for non-New Yorkers), and I definitely would've clued that thing ["The Taking of ___ 1, 2, 3" (1974 thriller set on a New York City subway car)], but the crosses all seem fair—unless, somehow, you've never heard of a DACHA, which seems slightly possible (25D: Accomodations [sic] along the Black Sea) (oh, look, I unintentionally found one of the misspellings!). Since the puzzle was so easy, I didn't make many mistakes. TAB SETS (is that a thing?) instead of TAB KEYS at first (44D: Computer cursor advancers). CERUS for CETUS (36A: Whale constellation). I think CERUS has to do with wax." Oh, ha ha, I quickly wrote in EVITA before fully reading the clue at 23A: Musical character who sings "Wouldn't it be loverly?" (ELIZA). Else, no problems.

["Let's not split at Thanksgiving / That would be too rough"]

Happy Thanksgiving, which is also my birthday. Just FYI—the proper way to give thanks for me is with bourbon and pie, though regional traditions do vary.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

65 comments:

Anonymous 7:53 AM  

Thanks, Rex. Evita singing that, very funny. I was not enticed into counting misspellings.

Roo Monster 8:02 AM  

Hey All !
Gobble Gobble! Happy Thanksgiving!
What an odd puz. Like Rex, was not going to try to find the misspellings in the clues. And those pesky shaded squares where the vowels coulda been either or? Well, only 1 correct! The A at CALENDAR/GRAY. Every other one wrong! Let's see, had DRaW, PeTS, PHARoaH, and CraCK. Ugh. Also an S at sETUS/DAsHA. So this puz got a big ole laugh at my expense. Thanks Ed Sesssa. (Oops, misspelled)

There was some good clues, and good answers. I do cry a slight foul on CLICK. It is a quick sound, albeit an argument can be made as to it being sharp. And EPOS? Wha? Really wanted EPic there, but the Downs wouldn't play nice.

Today we get an ASS actually clued as an ASS! Refreshing! (Well, as refreshing as an Ass could be, I guess.)

Besides the missed shaded squares, this was surprisingly easy for a ThursPuz. Think this would've been better on Wednesday. Just sayin.

I think Apple should come out with a thick iPad and call it the iFat! (For the IF AT answer, in case you don't get the reference, and think I'm out of my gourd!) Also, how about Chevrolet car/trucks as clue for SSRS?

Whole crooked precinct gaining ground? BAD COP UPRISE.
Delayed charge? IN A SEC ATTACK.
Comment to an African who didn't realize the race started? MOVE IT STILLE KENYAN.
Open flies in a circle? CYCLIC UNZIP.
Admonishment from a pal about shooting fast? AIM BRO.
Get ready to put on your sexy bra? PREPARE SEPARATE.

Hopefully those will give you some chuckles for your Holiday!

RUM!
RooMonster
DarrinV

The Rhino 8:03 AM  

It's my daughter's birthday today too. She's turning 13 and getting her first cell phone.

I liked this puzzle a lot. I found it fairly easy until the ne corner where EPOS, TOSS and RELO got me. I finally had to use the check puzzle cheat and discovered how much I rely on spell check (I was wrong on both OCCURRENCE and PHARAOH) - as I was typing them there, I got them wrong again.

So: "How many people a. solve the NYT crossword and b. somehow *don't* know how to spell PHARAOH or DEFINITELY?"

At least one.

George Barany 8:08 AM  

Happy Birthday, @Rex, and Thanks for All You Do.

Your Birthday Present (constructed with @Michael Hanko a little less than two years ago, and as relevant today as ever ... shared with genuine warmth and affection)

NSFW Birthday Present to One of Our Favorite Constructors (constructed with @John Child and posted a couple of days ago; we've now updated the "midrash")

Not Your Birthday Present to Someone Who Is Sure to Object to this Posting (constructed just a little less than a year ago, with a little help from my friends--think of it as a vaccine)

I did find the puzzle by @Ed Sessa to have a Thursday-suitable theme, though none of the spelling words tripped me up. Recall that earlier this calendar year, there was a horse that won the Triple Crown that had an unusually spelled name; @Charles Flaster and @Brent Hartzell constructed Rex Sports in tribute to that accomplishment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but all thoroughbreads have the Same Birthday, by definition (meanwhile, AutoCorrect is trying to correct me for mispelling thoroughbreds] ...

And To Reiterate, Happy Thanksgiving to All, and Happy Birthday to @Rex!

chefbea 8:12 AM  

Happy birthday @Rex and Happy Thanksgiving to all. I will make you a bourbon pecan pie..that way you can have your pie and drink it too.

Oh the puzzle..fun but I had to google a bit.

Don't eat too much turkey

Gobble Gobble

Nancy 8:29 AM  

Just what the wurld needs now: a paen to mispeling. A bluddy rediculus puzzel.

Ludyjynn 8:48 AM  

Despite a DNF at DAsHA/sETUS cross, liked some of the crisp clues, esp. for BADCOP, UNZIP, MOLARS, BURSA. The theme did nothing for me.

DEFINITELY was surprised to see ASS, yet again, 'rear' its head here.

EPOS flummoxed me for a while; kept wanting 'epic', but crosses forced me to TOSS it.

Did anyone else start w/ 'turkeys' at 44D? I have to get going on the glazed carrots INASEC, and the pumpkin pie is baking as I type this. The aroma is intoxicating. Be careful out there, everyone. No CHOKing allowed at the table, even if certain family members push your buttons and make you IRATE enough to want to ATTACK! Just kidding! Seriously, this is my favorite holiday; ENJOY, all.






pmdm 8:53 AM  

Those who want to see the list of 10 misspelled words in the clues need only visit the Wordplay blog. I would think most of us know that, but just in case ...

Anonymous 8:54 AM  


@Barany has outdone even himself on this Thanksgiving, with self-promotion for FOUR of his puzzles on this blog.

Jamie C 8:57 AM  

This was a fun but super-easy Thursday. Who knew that DACHA was the plural of DACHA? Oh, it's not. Silly me. DACHi? Ok, not that either. Oh I get it: "accommodations" is singular. Stupid English.

David Block 9:01 AM  

Enjoyed this puzzle and went through a similar thought process as Rex (Happy Birthday) thinking who cares about misspellings in the clues, then having an enjoyable AH/OH moment when we decoded it. Also didn't bother counting to ten. Ironically we (wife and I) misspelled none of the circles, but still got tripped up on two squares which turned out to be Natcks for us, despite the otherwise easy fill.

. No idea who wrote Rosemary's Baby and didn't Know German so ended up with STELLE
. Didn't "get" the flies reference and ended up UNZAPping the flies (love that clue now that I see it)

Overall enjoyable even if we were expecting something more themed to stuffing or football.

John Child 9:12 AM  

The Schrödinger squares on the down answers beg us to mispell [SIC] the across answers, but the iPad app only accepts the correct spellings. Not much there there without the shaded / circled squares to let us in on the joke. It's more like a 78-word themeless with six tricky crosses for people who can't spell...

Mexgirl 9:22 AM  

Happy birthday Rex, and many bourbon and pies to you!!

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Happy birthday @ Rex. It is also my friend's bday, which we celebrated by consuming lots of champagne last night. Afterward I solved the puzzle, which for some strange reason was not particularly interesting. The 18D clue stumped me until this morning - tried UNZAP rather than UNZIP, as I was imagining the insect version of flies, and even so UNZAP made no sense. Solved TARARA only from crosses (Tried TRALALA, but ran out of squares.) Didn't know CETUS or PELHAM and eventually cheated and looked them up. Rather enjoyed BADCOP, PHARAOH, CYCLIC, POPTAB.

And finally, I'd like to start a petition to ban RELO from future puzzles. I groan every time it appears.

Tita 9:30 AM  

Happy birthday Rex! My husband was born on Thanksgiving day...as the baby of a large family, he took endless ribbing from his sibs about being the turkey of the family.

I also liked the cleverness that the downs could be mispelt. (groan...sorry...)
I totally missed the clues being misspelled...I thought the revealer referred to the fill. Though I did raise an eyebrow at foriegn and there was a slight prteurbance on my brain waves with a few other clues, but I did this puzzle at about 1am, so I wasn't thinking all that hard or well.

A friend whose first job was as a secretary taught me some mnemonics...in her job it was important to keep a secrEt, and something about a rat in sepARATe. My spelling downfall is the e/a of -ance...

I've always been lucky enough to get the goodCOP when passing through a speed trap. I could write a book about all my encounters with them. My success rate at not getting a ticket, or getting one for something benign like taillight out, was legendary.
Oh...that doesn't include the ubiquitous and cold-hearted blitz cameras in Germany...got caught there a couple of times...there's no chance to bat ones eyelashes at a speed camera...

This was way clever, Mr. Sesame. (In the spirit of the puzzle, I'll leave that particular autocorrect as is...)

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

ArtO 9:34 AM  

Happy Thanksgiving to all and happy birthday to Rex. I'm thankful for an easy Thursday as well as much else in these uncertain times.

Anonymous 9:36 AM  

Remember, Rex, there's "a rat" in separate.

AliasZ 9:51 AM  


I enjoyed this one very much. It was a quasi-Schrödinger puzzle in that the crossing answers at the shaded squares are correct with either the correct or incorrect spelling of the theme answers. I have not seen a Schrödinger used this way before. Very clever, Edd Sesa! Fill, schmill.

I started composing an email in my mind to Will Shortz, complaining about all the typos in the clues, until I got to the revealer at 71A.

Missed opportunities: MOL[A/E]RS, M[O/A]NET, C[A/O]L[E/A]ND[A/E]R -- that is CALENDAR or COLANDER, and T[AB/UR]KEYS (hey, it's Thanksgiving!), etc.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and Happy Birthday, @Rex! (Do not miss the Gypsy flavor starting at 5:15 of the clip).

mac 9:52 AM  

Agree with Rex, good start, than it sort of collapsed.

Happy birthday, @Rex, and a good Thanksgiving to all.

Tim 9:57 AM  

What is the tenth misspelled word? I have:

37A: Kindergarden
43A: Indignent
63A: Secretery
71A: Mispelled
28D: Accomodations
32D: Kiester
48D: Coloseums
55D: Occassion
61D: Foriegn

Someone please, please, please don't tell me it's supposed to be "loverly." That ain't cricket.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Please explain unzap for drops like flies.i got this mixed up as I thought you were supposed to spell the answers incorrectly.

Teedmn 10:20 AM  

Happy birthday @Rex, and Thanksgiving greetings to all y'all.

Interesting puzzle by Ed Sessa, it played a bit hard for me. The misspelling that got me was at DREW/OCCURRENCE. And I had DECA for my numerical prefix. This gave me UNZaP which seemed more like resurrecting flies than dropping them but then I saw UNZIP and got the clever clue at 18D. Nice.

The NW caused me some problems because I had AMA at 1A crossing the lamblike MEEKLY. I figured all this out and was able to admire the Thursday twist. Thanks, ES.

And I just tried the OFL birthday puzzle, which played even tougher for me than this one. Thanks, GB, for the link. A fine tribute.

Malsdemare 10:29 AM  

Oh my. I actually filled it in with the words spelled correctly, got to the revealer and went back and misspelled them. I thought to myself, "Self, this is cruel, asking us to misspell words." Of course, that meant a DNF for me. Otherwise, it was a puzzle with almost no proper names, thank you very much.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Bond 10:32 AM  

Happy Birthday, Rex! Bourbon and pie sounds just about right. Expect a belated package for the art lover in you. You have my thanks and daily appreciation for all your consistently great work on your site.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
It may be Thanksgiving, but news of yet another BAD COP EVENT resulting in the murder of another teen of color, Laquan McDonald, leaves A LOT of people IRATE.
People aren’t over the death of Freddie GRAY yet and then this happened,or, actually, a year ago, but kept under wraps; the shooter, Jason Van Dyke, kept on the force, on salary. When a cop looks as if he’s this mentally disturbed, I guess he’s unable to take a kid who’s committing a crime- slashing tires- into custody. IN A SEC- actually in six seconds- the bad guy with a gun makes a decision to execute a kid walking away from him, rather than simply TOSS him into the car and take him in.
Not even when I think of American Pharoah’s great victory as the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in ‘78 and Pharoah's near perfect season, or contemplate MONET’s Water Lilies, can I erase my brain having become temporarily UNZIPPED when I saw the clip of actual smoke emanating from the young man’s dead body, smoke from the heat of the sixteen bullets, fourteen of them fired after Mr. McDonald had died. And Van Dyke was in the process of reloading when his partner stopped him.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Paul Johnson 10:41 AM  

37A KindergarTen
43A IndignAnt
63A SecretAry
71A MisSpelled
25D AccomModation (2 m's)
32D Keister (not ie)
48D ColosSeums
55D Occasion (one s)
61D Foreign (not ie... i before e except after c and when making the a sound)

I'll be damned if I can find the last one.

Lewis 10:43 AM  

Well, since this puzzle is about misspelling, if you search you will find an ATE under PAR.

I guess the NYT is saying Happy Thanksgiving and watch your spelling! On 44D (TABKEYS) I had the T__KEYS and before reading the clues I was sure it had to be "turkeys".

I liked the clues for KILNS and UNZIP, and did like the answer DOCILE. I greatly like the Schroedinger element to the theme. Glad to see ASS in there; it's been a while. And that ASS fits right into a backward ARARAT, lending credence to the story of Noah (if you use the animal definition of ASS).

Happy birthday, Rex, and that was one terrific writeup -- you at your best. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

jberg 10:47 AM  

For a long time I thought the shaded squares were about variant spellings of the same word--I was going to object to BOLD-faced lie for that reaosn--and that didn't work for PHARAOH, where the variant spelling is the horse. Then I finally got to the revealer, and realized that the variants were misspellings instead. OK. But then I did try to count the clues and could only find the same 9 as @Tim. I guess I'll go look at Wordplay.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

I think "tab set" was printed on the tab keys on typewriters in the old days. Of course I have not seen a typerwriter in about 100 years so all bets are off!

Zippy

John Child 10:51 AM  

Oh Billy C @ 8:54, at least have the spine to use your name when you obsess over something that Rex supports and others here enjoy. Did you look at the puzzles to see why they would be appropriate today? Give it a rest, please.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

I saw EBATE and thought it was a rare not-bad e-word because it isn't just a word with "e" tacked onto it. It is a word that actually gets used, and it's sort of a piece of wordplay.

Tita 11:01 AM  

Lillies.

GILL I. 11:09 AM  

HAPPY birthday @Rex. Pie and bourbon...Make mine scotch on the rocks!
Loved the puzzle.
Thank you @George B. What a thoughtful birthday present for @Rex and something for us as well,
@Bond...reading you is like eating someones Thanksgiving contribution. You know, like a green jello mold filled with bacon bits and tabasco sauce.
We're off to Auburn shortly where it might snow....! Yay.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, stay safe, eat lots and be nice to someone.

kitshef 11:13 AM  

Grrr. DNF due to DECa/UNZaP, which I probably should have gotten. As a paper solver, I sometimes forget to go back and check questionable areas. UNZaP seemed wrong, and I know at one point I considered DECo instead of DECa, but that was before I had POPTAB so I figured once I worked back up to the area I'd rethink it. But didn't.

poem before EPic before EPOS (EPOS??). ALOT before AbiT before ALOT. PREPped before PREPARE. EMt before EMS. uPdoc before OPERA (inadequate attention to the clue). kEsey before LEVIN, ApAt before ATAP.

Don't understand why 6D requires 'in a way' in the clue.

@Tim: 46D: Lillies. Loverly is of course also misspelled, but eleven would not fit in 71A.

GRAY/GReY gives me fits. Born in UK to Brit parents and sill have issues with my esses and zees (and zees and zeds), and jagwire versus jaguahr, and GRAY/GReY, among others.

Babyface 11:21 AM  

Where physicians go on vacation - DOC ILE

Blow off steam in a chat room - E VENT

Postal code of an intergovernmental organization - U.N. ZIP

Masked and Anonymous 11:29 AM  

@009: Cinnamon rolls and vodka, here. Happy B-day, Parkermeister.

Spellin has never been my strong suit. Also, I wasn't quite altogether sure what to put in them graey squares: Right stuff or Wrong stuff. I opted for a little of each -- why worry about such things, on a nice holiday?

Looks like a lotta theme material here, especially since its all crossin each other. This leads to some luscious moments of desperation …

* ATAP. This lil jewel is right square in the middle of everything. Not so sure that one of yer fancy computer-aided grid-filler devices woulda helped U wiggle out of this tight spot. Personally, M&A woulda reasoned that some nitwit out there could spell PHARAOH as PHOROAH. I've got a 2-year-old relative growin up in Poland that might go for that spellin, after a coupla vodkas and c-rolls.

* STILLE/ILA. har.

* TARARA. Real bad spelling of terrier, or Terminator.

* Only 3 U's. Misspelt opportunity at: CLUCK/DEFINUTELY.

Happy Turkey Day, all U nice crossword gobblers.

M&A


**turkey gruntz**

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

I overthought this one. I thought ILO instead of ILA, so I figured the idea was to have some misspellings among the answers. Supporting this guess, I did not think the answer for clue "KIESTER" [sic] would be spelled correctly. :) So I spent ages fiddling with possibilities, before playing it straight.

Rex is right: crossword solvers are necessarily very good spellers, so the idea of this puzzle seems ill-conceived.

Z 11:36 AM  

Subtle. So that's good. Counting misspellings is too much like a word search. Just not my cuppa tea.

@John Child - Why even waste your breath?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

jae 11:37 AM  

Medium for me. One of the reasons I started doing crosswords was to improve my poor spelling skills. I actually learned I'd been spelling DEFINITELY wrong when a commenter pointed it out on this blog. So, I did finish but it wasn't easy and PEEp before PEEK didn't help.

Saw a TV add last night for a company called EBATE.

@Tita - Thanks, I also could only come up with nine.

Liked this a lot, fun Thurs.

Carola 11:41 AM  

As a chronic ditherer over the spelling of some of the theme words, I got a kick out of the puzzle.

Happy Birthday, Rex!

old timer 11:43 AM  

I had no errors, no writeovers, and could not, for a while, see why a few words like "secretery" were misspelled. Yeah, I'm a pretty good speller, but still: Just finished writing 13,000+ words, and every time a re-read a draft, I find a spelling error. It's pretty obnoxious, even though Word will highlight the obvious ones.

A good puzzle, I thought, though I was surprised it was not themed for Turkey Day. And like OFL, I was not amused to be challenged to count the spelling errors in the clues.

Is this the first time ASS has been used in a puzzle to mean "rear end"? That's an Americanism, of course. The Brits use "arse", and that was used in the NYT puzzle fairly recently.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember a book I read as a child that included a spelling bee, and the word the boy hero misspelled was SEPARATE. Was it Tom Sawyer? Or some other book read long ago. I know the result was that I always spelled it properly, afterwards.

Diana,LIW 11:43 AM  

Just checking in from SyndieLand, where some of you were kind enuf to wish a happy Thanksgiving 5 weeks ago. You know who you are. Back at ya! And happy birthday to Rex, for whom I am grateful (and for his blog). You all have helped me so much in graduating from puz kindergarden to, hm, maybe 2nd grade by now.

Can't wait to see this one. Now back to the past.

Diana, Lady in Waiting for Crosswords

Questinia 12:04 PM  

@ the B-day Boy. I too had tab set. No idea why. It echoed from within.

Norm 12:07 PM  

Happy birthday, Rex. Always glad to meet another member of the pumpkin pie and birthday cake club [11/23 here].

Anonymous@10.49: I think TAB SET was a separate key maybe? You would space to the desired spot (no proportional fonts) and then set the tab?

Thought today's "theme" was very weak. Hope BEQ gives me something to be thankful for.

Best to all.

Mohair Sam 12:10 PM  

Lousy speller here who battled through all the spelling traps but dnf'd with UNZaP. Terrific clue, and it whupped us.

Liked this one a lot in spite of EBATE and our personal grouse that PAT and PeT are not interchangeable as clued (only Pet seems correct).

Miss "CLICK and CLaCK the Tappet Brothers", don't you?

Thought the original "Taking of PELHAM 1-2-3" was the better movie, lead role seemed made for Matthau.

Happy Turkey Day all, and Happy Birthday Rex.

Mohair Sam 12:12 PM  

Oh yes - Hand up with @John Child 10:51.

Mrlou 12:15 PM  

As a retired newspaper editor, I kept telling my wife the Times was getting sloppy with the misspellings. Funny when I read the final clue. Good to know the Times still lives!!!

Nom de Crossword 12:39 PM  

@John Child @ 10:51,
Hear hear!

Da Bears 12:40 PM  

Happy Thanksgiving, Rex and all. Woodford and pumpkin, for me, Rex.

OISK 1:16 PM  

Did not want three DNF in a row, and I don't count this one as a DNF, although I filled in BOTH spellings in the shaded boxes. I did know the correct spellings though. Liked this puzzle a lot, especially the clues for unzip and bad cop. Happy turkeys, all.

Mr. Grumpypants 1:29 PM  

@Paul Johnson: also 61D -> traveler/traveller

mac 1:40 PM  

Just received a text that included "definately".

ANON B 1:58 PM  

Pharoah is no longer a misspelling since
the winner of the Triple Crown's name
is officially American Pharoah.
However, my spell checker doesn't
recognize that spelling.

Diana, LIW 2:17 PM  

@Mrlou - As a retired teacher of writing skills, I see errors everywhere. Reminds me of a contest the New Yorker had in the '70s - fractured corporate catch phrases. The only one I remember, "The New York Times: All the News that's Fit to Frint."

Diana, Still Waiting in SyndieLand

Anonymous 2:36 PM  

The ten misspellings:

Kindergarden
Indignent
Secretery
Mispelled
Accomodations
Kiester
Lillies
Coloseums
Occaio
Foreign

woolf 2:57 PM  

"Number of misspelled clues in the puzzle" -- um, zero. Because I solved it.

Agree with the commentary. Clever theme, almost wrecked entirely by the TARARA-CETUS-DACHA pile up.

I woulda clued POPTAB with "Feature of a Tab pop," which is why no one lets me edit puzzles.

Teedmn 3:14 PM  

@Nancy, I thought what the world needs now is luv, sweat luv :-).

Joel Blashka 3:50 AM  

Finished the puzzle without a misspelling but was confused by the theme, 71 across. There is but one misspelled word in a clue, that being mispelled. The possible misspelled words are answers NOT clues.


Jay Apking 1:53 PM  

Did anyone else think you were supposed to misspell on purpose? Otherwise there would be no misspelled words instead of 10?

Burma Shave 10:21 AM  

ELIZA OHS A LOT

It’s a CYCLIC OCCURRENCE on your CALENDAR again, men,
that DOCILE young BANK AIDE (whom IRATE a TEN),
ILA TOSS her a CNOTE for an EVENT in my den,
so DEFINITELY PREPARE to SEPARATE GRAY areas from lies,
‘cause INASEC she’ll UNZIP you and PEEKAT your UPRISE,
then ATTACK like a BADCOP and really MOVEIT for you guys.

--- OSCAR DACHA, DDS

rondo 11:28 AM  

Huh, nobody mentioned the POPTAB TABKEYS double up? And then there’s a non-offending CYCLIC CLICK. I didn’t fall for any mis-spelling I the grid, but did notice a couple in clues. Only write-over was POPTop, must’ve had Jimmy Buffet on my mind.

I would have clued ELIZA as yeah baby folk singer/songwriter Gilkyson. She’s not as “folky” as some and her songs can rock a bit (He’ll Miss This Train), and she’s been around a while. Look her up, you won’t be disappointed. DEFINITELY.

I was actually a CALENDAR boy (gratis for charity) not that many years ago. Women told me they liked to PEEKAT each monthly themed photo, even the OCCURENCEs where I was wearing something. Each first-of-the-month was a mini EVENT, at least amongst the gaggle of subscribers that I happened to know.

STADIA is also a method for topographic surveying, though I suppose unheard of outside the field.

No particular complaints on today’s puz, perhaps TARARA, IFAT all.

rondo 11:55 AM  

Grammy Nominated for Best Folk Album 2015!
Whether she looks into darkness or light, ELIZA Gilkyson’s vision is impressive, and she’s given us another remarkable glimpse at her gifts as a vocalist and songwriter on The Nocturne Diaries.[Excerpted from the iTunes review]

spacecraft 12:34 PM  

Me, I only counted seven, though "Kiester" might not be counted as a variant. Incidentally, I've always assumed that ASS got into the paper via the "beast" route, or the "oaf" route. But this! This is tellin' it like it is. How bold!

The first GRAY square is the trickiest, since the down clue starts with "Set--" a verb that doesn't change from present to past tense. Thus the answer could be either DRaW or DREW, and we must spell the admittedly dull OCCURRENCE correctly.

I agree that the fill deteriorated as the puzzle MOVEd south. But again, OFL makes no mention of the TAB double. Is this stuff allowed or not? Personally I don't care that much, but big deals have been made in the past...

There is some ZIP here, so I give it an overall B-.

Longbeachlee 1:30 PM  

The syndicated puzzle said "tricky shaded squares", and those squares were indeed shaded. I wish they'd never do shaded squares in lieu of circled squares because I print out the puzzles, and the shading doesn't show. In this case I was at the end when I learned there was a theme/trick, and I went back and recovered the paper from the trash, to find out which were the magic squares. Too much trouble for this lame gimmick.

rain forest 2:16 PM  

This was a different take on the crossword puzzle, and I have to say I: liked it; didn't misspell any of the "trap" words; could only find 9 misspelled words in the clues of which I liked several.

As a Canadian, I cringe when I have to write GRAY, not to mention other Americanised words, but also as a Canadian, I'm nice about it...

So here we are at/on the last day of the year! This is one of those times when we here in Syndicity are way ahead of the real-timers (Yay us!). Nevertheless, I wish a very Happy New Year to all, syndies and regulars alike. Champagne and a 8-year old Cabernet Sauvignon tonight. And maybe some food.



leftcoastTAM 3:53 PM  


Not particularly impressed with the spelling bee aspect of this puzzle. I knew there had to be ten misspellings in the clues because the SE corner answer told me so. (I didn't find them all, and didn't care to.)

But seeing PATS clued as gentle strokes when PETS would make a lot more sense, I thought, geez, this thing is getting trickier than I thought. Maybe I'm supposed to use a misspelled version of the relevant acrosses with correct versions of the crossing downs, or vice-versa. Or maybe this may even be a rebus.

Of course those notions didn't work, but it made something of a mess, so I had to go with correct spellings for all the relevant crosses.

Except PATS instead of PETS still rankled.

So I was left shaking my head, which I'm still doing.

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