SUNDAY, Feb. 1, 2009 - V. Fleming and M. Ginsberg (1980s hit-makers with geographical name / Flavius's fire / Anther's place)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Grid-Irony" - 10 theme answers are football-related terms clued as if they were something else (with "?" clues), and the whole theme is tied together by the central answer, SUPER BOWL SUNDAY (81A: Setting for the answers to the 10 starred clues)

Word of the Day: ANTHER - The pollen-bearing part of the stamen (

I made slow but steady progress through this oversized (23x23) puzzle. Nothing about it was terribly difficult, but there was enough tricksy cluing to keep me from building up a head of steam. Also, I print my puzzle out using AcrossLite software, and I think I'm going to have to start doing it so that it prints out on two pages, one for clues, the other for the grid, because ... well, my eyes are very good at reading small print, but it just makes my head hurt to navigate back and forth between clues and answers with print that tiny. Plus, I'm constantly misreading the ultra tiny numbers in the boxes. Oh, and since I print in gray scale (to save ink), it's sometimes difficult even seeing where answers begin and end. Boo hoo. This has nothing to do with puzzle quality and is meaningless to deadtree solvers. Fine. I will say, though, re: deadtree solving, that I never liked solving the Sunday, as writing on slick paper feels god awful, whether I do it in pen or pencil.

Supermarket was Krowded today - I guess SUPER BOWL SUNDAY really does drive people to stock up on party supplies (beer, beer, chips, beer, sandwiches, beer). I found a short line and the proceeded to place my two inaccurately-made espresso macchiatos precariously beside the conveyor belt, and then the conveyor belt moved and brought my sourdough loaf right into the sides of the cups, send both of them onto the floor of the checkout aisle. Miraculously, the lid held on one. The other went everywhere. Now, if they'd been Actual macchiatos (with just a small dollop or "mark" of milk, mostly in the form of foam), there wouldn't have been too much to clean up, but since Yet Again I got some kind of cappuccino, the spill involved a considerable volume of coffee and milk. I think I actually shouted "Clean-up on aisle 4!" I apologized for trying to get fancy with my coffee juggling, and everyone was very nice, though the poor clean-up kid was going at the spill one small, cheap paper towel at a time.

Theme answers:

  • 33A *Airline for Lucille? (Ball carrier)
  • 40A: *Corned beef stains? (hash marks)
  • 62A: Caution when boiling a 60-Down (two-minute warning) - 60D = EGG
  • 100A: *Chaperon's job (pass interference)
  • 118A: *Tersely edited epilogues? (tight ends)
  • 130A: *Where everyone wears beige? (neutral zone)
  • 3D: *Rolling past a stop sign? (illegal motion)
  • 16D: *Added comment? (extra point)
  • 77D: *"That dress makes you look fat," e.g.? (offensive line)
  • 91D: *Onset of a lie? (false start)

The puzzle - right, the puzzle. Seemed very literary to me. Holden Caulfield's brother? Really? (25A: Holden's little brother in "The Catcher in the Rye") I remember PHOEBE, mainly because my sister came home one day and told me about one of her classmates doing an oral report on the book and repeatedly saying "FOBE." ALLIE I do not remember. Absolutely love the clue for DEATH (21D: Its stroke is "as a lover's pinch, which hurts, and is desired," per Cleopatra). When ASP wouldn't fit, I had to think a bit. The Shakespereanness continues with 58A: The Globe and others (theatres), and then there's that insufferable ESTELLA, again! (135A: "Great Expectations" girl). She's becoming the world's longest bit of crosswordese, that one.

Wagner's "Tannhäuser" is kind of literary - it's dramatic, at any rate, and has a libretto, so it's in the ballpark (137A: Some of the knights in Wagner's "Tannhauser" -> TENORS), and it makes a nice segue to the other recurrent topic in this puzzle: music. I cannot get Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love a Rainy Night" out of my head!! Make it stop! I mean, the clue isn't even for that song - it's for something called "You AND I" (34D: "You _____" (1982 Eddie Rabbitt hit)), which I don't know. I know "Just You and I" - that's different, right? Oh no, wrong! It's the same song - a duet with Crystal Gayle. Mmm, junior high!

Hmmm, sticking with the "Rex Is In Junior High" theme, let's check out some ASIA, man! (22A: 1980s hit-makers with a geographical name) HA ha. I only wish there were some TOTO in this puzzle.

["And now you find yourself in '82!"]

There's also some late-career Sinatra in the puzzle - the "DUETS" album he did in the mid-90s (71D: 1993 triple-platinum Frank Sinatra album). What I remember best about this album was the parody of its recording rendered by the Late, Great Phil Hartman on "SNL". Can't find that clip, so here's this one:

Had some questions about a few of the clues. 9A: Some (a bit of) - "I'll have SOME that"? Or is it "Have SOME pie." I guess that works here. Lost me on MELINDA (38A: Name repeated in Woody Allen's "_____ and _____"), both because I've somehow Never heard of that Woody Allen movie, and because I've never seen a fill-in-the-blank clue quite like this. I would have thought [Name repeated in a Woody Allen title] might have done as well. Forgot what an "Anther" was, and kept reading "Antler" (81D: Anther's place -> STAMEN). I loved the clues on AT. NO. (111A: 5 for B or 6 for C) and MIA HAMM (7D: Hall-of-Fame forward), the latter because it was so damned slippery - I fell hard for the basketball misdirection.


  • 23A: Hispanic "Sesame Street" character (Rosita) - learned it from crosswords. She's like a Muppet ESTELLA, this one - sneaking into my puzzles every chance she gets.
  • 43A: Competitor of Chambers, for short (OED) - So Chambers is a dictionary? OK.
  • 44A: "54-40 or fight" candidate (Polk) - OK, back to Junior High for some UB40. Wanna know what Neil Diamond would sound like as a reggae act? Here you go:

  • 67A: _____ the Great, leader of 1462-1505 (Ivan) - man, I know Squat about Russian history.
  • 70A: Have _____ with (an in) - the counterpart to yesterday's ... oh, right, you syndicated people haven't done "yesterday's" puzzle yet.
  • 91A: Tycoon, slangily (fat cats) - first, "slangily," hurray. Second, great answer. Third, my comic book store is called Fat Cat Books. It's named for the two cats who live there, and are fat.
  • 97A: Some golf fund-raisers (pro-ams) - ESTELLA and ROSITA should play a crossword PRO-AM, because all three words are in the 5+-letter Pantheon.
  • 107A: They put on shows (airers) - ouch. This word is OK in clues, but in the grid, it hurts, it hurts.
  • 122A: Roman power (vis) - whereas Roman fire is IGNIS (102D: Flavius's fire)
  • 30D: "An American Life" autobiographer (Reagan) - that title isn't self-aggrandizing at all!
  • 41D: Takei's "Star Trek" role (Sulu) - gimme gimme gimme. ESTELLA and ROSITA have nothing on SULU.
  • 51D: Ruckuses (stinks) - frustrating. Had STIN-S and couldn't get it. "STINGS? ... that feels wrong."
  • 106D: Boot option (steel tip) - I know these as "STEEL TOE" boots. Had some once. They were not comfortable.
  • 125D: London Parliament series painter (Monet) - he liked to paint the same stuff over and over and over. Cathedral at Rouen ... bridges ... haystacks ...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of Crossworld

PS I just posted the winners of the 2008 Oryx Awards (for excellence in crosswords). It's the post immediately before this one - here's a link.


nanpilla 10:42 PM  

I agree with you, Rex, this puzzle was making me feel blind, trying to read those tiny little numbers on the page.(It's nice to hear that someone much younger than me has the same problem!)

PASS INTERCEPTION messed me up for a while before I changed it to PASS INTERFERENCE. But OFFENSIVE LINE (Loved that clue) quickly straightened things out.

Shouldn't Board Member(131d) have some kind of abbreviation, since the answer is EXEC ? Maybe I'm missing something.

Anonymous 10:46 PM  

Rex et al,
I still don't understand 111A (ATNO). Can someone explain this?

I was a little surpised that you didn't complain about some of the forced fill. Just a few examples: 113D. RILLETS (wanted rivulet); 119D. GOD (do we really allow swear words?); and 131D. EXEC (same comment as nanpilla, although I guess Exec is so common as to be accepted on its own now).

nanpilla 10:48 PM  

ATNO is Atomic Number. Boron is 5 and Carbon is 6.

jae 11:37 PM  

This seemed harder doing it than it did looking back over it. One reason may be that I, like nanpilla, had INTERCEPTION for too long. I also started out with RUDDER at 2d which made that corner a tad more difficult.

And yeh, tiny numbers require careful attention, I keep mixing up 6s and 8s.

MELINDA x2 must be pretty obscure cause I thought I knew all of Woody's stuff, but not this one. Which come to think of it made NE a little tough.

Chambers was new to me also.

Enjoyed the puzzle. I thought most of the theme clues were pretty clever/funny.

Anonymous 12:02 AM  

OK, I'll bite. This awkwardly named/clued 2004 Woody Allen film fell thru the cracks...perhaps with good reason.
Btw, it has both Will Ferrell AND Steve Carell (r-e-double toothpicks?) and yet was not made by one of those Judd Apatow guys!

Altho here is Roger Ebert giving it serious intellectual consideration:

Then go read all about the Oryx awards! (You go, PB!)

Jeffrey 1:00 AM  

I always print the Sunday puzzle on two pages. Don't want to go blind right before the Tournament.

Got the theme on the title - well duh. No snags.

What does electing US senators AT LARGE mean?

I'm sure the clip is wonderful but they won't let Canadians view it.

jae 1:56 AM  

@crosscan -- Congressmen are elected by the voters in their district, senators are elected "at large" by everyone in their state. Hope this makes sense.

@andrea -- thanks for the MELINDA info.

JannieB 8:07 AM  

I really liked this puzzle - timely theme and really clever cluing. Not a groaner in the bunch.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Got the theme BEFORE reading the title; I couldn't imagine Will wouldn't use SUPERBOWLSUNDAY as a theme.

The vast majority of the puzzle was straight-forward. The long theme answers (I particularly liked the cluing of OFFENSIVELINE) opened up vast stretches and most of the fills were easy-medium.

The NE turned into the only struggle even with the benefit of EXTRAPOINTS.

It took me forever to dredge up MELINDA (squared) from the recesses of my mind plus "airline for Lucille" was the last theme to fall (I had something BALL for too long).

I also never heard of a Chambers (other than the CEO of Cisco or the preppie murderer in NYC 20 years ago) but got OED from the crosses.

Being a paper-and-pencil solver, the 23x23 grid didn't present problems.

Unlike Rex I don't mind writing on glossy paper but my eyes find the glare troublesome -- but it's better than squinting to read a small print-out.

In all I think the puzzle was easier than a "Medium" for a Sunday.

Megan P 9:08 AM  

Liked the puzzle, love "Grid-irony," don't get football at all, but didn't find the theme too overbearing. I really really wanted the outdoor wedding venue to be GARAGE - that "z" ruined everything.

The litero/musico stuff and a tinge of Brit (TYNE and Wear, Houses of P painter, etc) gave solvers something else to think about besides football - ta ever so, constructor.

HudsonHawk 9:24 AM  

Started early, finished early. I got going in the South and cruised most of the way North, with the exception of the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. Wasn't sure about ALLIE and it took awhile for PLENARY to come into view.

I was hedging between TITLE and NOBLE for 12D and thought for a bit that 11D could be ALLAH rather than ISLAM. FANCIERS clued me into A BIT OF, and that was that.

Jon 9:58 AM  

I thought this was a nice solid puzzle. I too had STEEL TOE for a long time, but otherwise no major snafus. My brain is firmly oriented toward football this weekend, I guess, because all the theme fill just popped right out. Like Rex, I loved the misdirection at 7D; similar to the KOOL-AID MAN thing yesterday, I was locked in on one sport (basketball, in this case) and frustrated that MALONE wasn't fitting.

ROSITA eludes me every time, even as popular as she's become in grids. It's as though my brain stopped admitting Sesame Streets characters once I stopped watching the show. "No, sorry, all full here, you'll have to work your way into a more malleable subconscious."

@Crosscan: Maybe this link will work (doubtful, but worth a shot, it's a very funny skit):
Even if you can't watch it, take solace in all the amazingness that you have up there that we lack. Just yesterday, we got back from a week vacation in Quebec City (yes, we like the cold.) It is soooo beautiful up there, there's no need to stream American television

Jeffrey 10:12 AM  

@Jon: No luck but thanks for trying. I'm flying to Florida tomorrow for a conference (well someone had to) so I'll check there.

Greene 10:15 AM  

We are being positively inundated with visitors here in the Tampbay area. Between the Superbowl attendees and the regular seasonal snowbirds it's begining to look a lot like midtown Manhattan at rush hour. It's all very good for our local economy, but don't try getting into a restaurant.

I thought today's puzzle was fun. For once I didn't have difficulty with a sports-themed puzzle, probably because the clues are all general phrases that are very much in the language and don't require any particular specialty knowledge of sports trivia. I've never heard of a NEUTRAL ZONE before. No idea what that refers to. Like @Jeff in Chicago, I'm a former band geek, so I remember HASH MARKS very well.

@ACME: Thanks for the information on the Woody Allen film. Like @Jae, I thought I knew all of Woody's output, but this one slipped under the radar. I guess that's what Netflix is for.

I have one small quibble with the clue for 141A "Word sung twice before 'to you and you and you.'" In the published vocal score to The Sound of Music the lyric cited actually reads: "Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu." I know this is an extremely small point, but the words "adieu" and "you" do not rhyme and Oscar Hammerstein was too fine a craftsman to miss the difference. Rather than write an erroneous rhyme, he created the false word "yieu" and the actor playing Kurt is instructed to stretch the pronunciation to provide, what I suppose, is intended as a small touch of Continental humor.

fmcgmccllc 10:16 AM  

If your engines humming why are you taking the car in to a mechanic? Also, I don't understand 110A. And I have DSL through the cable company. I must be confused today.

Ulrich 10:37 AM  

I loved the puzzle, with that many theme answers and not a single one forced. Caught on right away in the SE and then got the rest, more or less, from just a few crosses. Even the size didn't bother me this time--with a 23x23, I usually lose interest half-way through

What a relief--after gotten beaten badly the last two days--and all of youse guys crowing how easy they were DID NOT HELP. Wife tried to console me by pointing out my lack of relevant cultural background, but deep down I know she's being kind. I'm just don't have the required skills and am obviously too old to acquire them. Off to the ACPT for another beating--or should I see the writing on the wall and just stay home?

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

@FMCGMCCLLC Ad In is the score in tennis after the game is tied at 30-30 or 40-40 and the server is one up (ad out if the servee is up one) because you have to win by 2 points. I was watching Nadal win the Aussie Open while puzzling, so I got it right away.
Good puzzle!

JC66 11:00 AM  


Cable broadband & DSL are two different ways to access the internet. See:

joho 11:17 AM  

@FMCGMCCLLC: I agree. When does somebody take a humming engine into be fixed. I was looking for ping.

@rex: thank you so much for Phil Hartman.

@acme: I thought I had seen every Woody Allen movie ... not!

I liked this puzzle. More fun than most Sundays ... and a little harder than I thought it would be. I had STIFLED at STAPLED though, which made PLENARY FLENARY and ALLIE OLLIE. And drat, I didn't change it before I came here. I knew that it had to be a "P" not an "F." Oh well, still a great Sunday Super Bowl puzzle.

Anonymous 11:24 AM  


The neutral zone is the space between the offense and defense before the play begins; it is the length of the football.

If either team enters the neutral zone before the ball is snapped it is an offside penalty (exception being the defensive player can enter the neutral zone without penalty as long as he gets back behind the ball prior to the snap, he doesn't make contact with an offensive player, he doesn't cause an offensive player to move in reaction and he is not about to hit the quarterback "unabated."

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

Although the theme was American football, I thought there was slight British flavor to the puzzle: TYNE, ABITOF, THEATRES, OED, FANCIERS, EGAD, ESTELLA. Overall, I'd say it was a bit harder than medium, at least in the NW.

archaeoprof 12:06 PM  

@Rex: good point about how literary this puzzle is. Shakespeare and football, now that's a sweet combination.

But 63D "country singer Jackson" made me think of Alan Jackson.

Who is/was WANDA Jackson?

Jon 12:14 PM  

@archaeoprof: I too thought ALAN at first. IMHO, though, WANDA is decidedly better. Kinda raw, early rockabilly/country. I guess record sales trump quality in my brain. Sigh.:

(Check out the crazy early double-neck guitar!)

PlantieBea 12:38 PM  

This was a fun, cute puzzle for me--all those tiny clues and numbers. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble reading it!

And, DH flew into Orlando last night on a plane loaded with Steelers fans. Central Florida is crowded this weekend!

One question about the puzzle: why is the answer to 28A, Agreeing (with), ATONE? As in a single tone, or at one with? This was my last cross filled in with TYNE, and I got it right, but I don't get it.

JoefromMtVernon 12:47 PM  

My Natick moment came with the reina/legate cross; having an e for the a.

The theme was solid; not too easy, but getable with a few crosses.

Liked all the HS science clues: anther & ovule (botany), saliva (human systems), dna and trait (genetics), atno (cheminstry).

I would have chosen rillets as word of the day...

JannieB 12:50 PM  

@PlantieBea - it parses as "At One" such as being "at one" with the universe

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

@FMCGMCCLLC - (expanding on the Nan's tennis response) the ad portion of ad in or ad out means advantage.

Shamik 1:29 PM  

@Greene: I remember the commotion from the last Super Bowl being 4 miles from my house. However, I can't help but be very excited at how many Arizonans are clogging up Tampa Bay today. GO CARDINALS!!! Got my "AIR-RED-ZONA Tampa Bay Bound" t-shirt on for today's game. Party at the daughter's house.

Anyway...oh yeah...there's a puzzle today. Found this one to be a fun footballing puzzle...a solid medium.



sillygoose 2:03 PM  

OFFENSIVE LINE gave me my break and I was happy to be able to get the theme answers without trouble, given my paltry knowledge of football.

Everything was fine until the NE. For a while it was totally blank, until I figured out where to put my BALL. I didn't think half-wit was going to end in a B, and I'm not sure it should have. ;-)

Big shots, ha ha, when I finally understood that clue I had the traction to finish the puzzle.

I hope the game is as entertaining as this puzzle.

jeff in chicago 2:05 PM  

Yup. The title gave this one away. But it was well done. All that theme fill crossing! Congrats Vic and Matt. Favorite theme fills were OFFENSIVELINE and PASSINTERFERENCE. The first theme for me was the dead center SUPERBOWLSUNDAY and the puzzle grew out in a directions pretty much equally. That was kinda new.

I stuck with STEELTOE and GARDEN for too long, which slowed down the SW. I also wanted the GLOBE to be a TABLOID, since I wrongly thought the Boston Globe was one. Oops.

That Sinatra Group clip is one of my all-time SNL faves. Uncle Fester! Chunks of guys like you...! It never gets old for me.

@Greene: Go band geeks! And remember, college stadiums and pro stadiums have the HASHMARKS in differents places. That will mess up your drill! (Oops...must get out of dork mode.)

My parents live in the Tampa Bay area and are quite annoyed that they are waiting in lines at their regular restaurants. This, too, shall pass.

fikink 2:22 PM  

With more knowledge of Kurt Warner than KobEEEEEE Bryant, this puzzle was a romp with no audibles. (Kurt is Iowa-born and a former Hy-Vee bag boy.)

SethG 2:32 PM  

Hey, did I mention The Pop Rocks are awesome? Might have, but today it's actually puzzle related!

Everything above RIP OPEN and POLK except the EXTRA was blank for a long time. Though, to be fair, I'm finding it a bit hard to focus. Cause I'm from The Burgh.

Off to listen to some polka!

Unknown 2:39 PM  

I see the puzzle almost contains the two teams in today's game. 1D to 2D reads STILLERS and a scramble in the NE area spells out CARDNILES. I think the STILLERS will win because their 77A is better than the Cardinels abbreviated 148A.

Anonymous 2:47 PM  

I thought the puzzle was fairly easy, but it seemed to take forever to finish it. I kept thinking of clever things to say (or so I thought at the time) but they are lost in the haze.

Anyway, I thought I had seen everything Allen ever made, even Interiors, but I have never heard of Melinda. I did not know Chambers was a dictionary and I was also surprised to see God. I guess I'm not sure why.

Several weeks ago I started printing the puzzle using Across Lite and printed the first one on two pages. I could not stand going back and forth even though I have trouble seeing the tiny numbers.

And "I Love a Rainy Night" started playing in my head right on cue. I would have sworn I did not know the words to that song.

ArtLvr 3:02 PM  

I iked the puzzle, though I'm glad someone explained NEUTRAL ZONE -- very amusing. My one teeny quibble is that MONET painted the Houses of Parliament, not the persons (but I knew what the clue meant).

I didn't get started on today's until I finished yesterday's puzzle (whew), now am engossed with CSpan2's "BookTV -- In Depth" marathon on Abe Lincoln, though it's on again at midnight... so y'all enjoy the game!


Anonymous 3:14 PM  

Also at least three Latin entries outside the crossword pantheon: 102D:IGNIS (as in fatuus), 122A:VIS (which accepts as English, but only with the Latin plural vires), and 136A:IXNAY (oink). I'm not counting 81D:STAMEN, which had a different meaning in Latin, though it retains its Latin plural as one option in English: stamina.

I was hoping 74D would be PWN; has this wrd appeared yet in the NYTimes grid? To be sure PWN could not 92D:APTly cross 73A:SOCK (as defined) as does the actual 74D:OWN.


hazel 3:46 PM  

Loved this puzzle. Love Superbowl Sunday. Going to love the chicken wings I'm going to make. Want the NFC to win - so go Cardinals! (who, in Round 1 of the playoofs, beat the Falcons - who, nevertheless, were picked to be 2-14, but were instead 11-5, or thereabouts.)

Actually thought ALL of the theme answers were fun...

Excellent cluing, constructors Fleming and Ginsberg!

Doug 5:13 PM  

Whew, I had about half done last night and thought that was it, but knocked it out this AM. The NE took about 30 minutes to break apart. It was hard for me, and "thanks" to the constructors
for an entertaining battle.

Although I got OED, had to google Chambers to see what that clue meant. (I was racking my brain for 3-letter 70s female porn stars quite honestly, although I thought it unlikely that's what the clue was about....)

@xcan: Luckily my company PC logs me onto the Chicago ISP and I can watch all this stuff from B.C.

Stan 5:29 PM  

Random comments:

I love the Sunday dead-tree edition, coated paper and all -- admittedly, it took me a while to find the right pen for it (Zebra F-301)

Would have completed the puzzle much faster if I didn't put in THEATERS instead of THEATRES for the 'Globe' clue. Duh.

Thanks to @SethG for the Pop Rocks video!

fikink 5:40 PM  

@Doug, yes - one of those great ironies was Marilyn Chambers on the Ivory Soap box long ago. Always makes me smile.

Kurisu 7:02 PM  

AIRERS reminds me of one of my least favorite crossword clues ever in a Sunday Daily News crossword -- SCARERS clued as "Some amusement park rides".

archaeoprof 7:11 PM  

@jon: oh, _that_ Wanda Jackson. Great link!

fergus 7:50 PM  

Got started right around kickoff, and found it more troublesome than I expected in spite of all the straightforward football Clues.

Guess I'm for the Cardinals, but find Warner a bit too overtly pious.

Big glitch today was entering TABLOIDS for the Globe and others. I know the Globe & Mail isn't a tabloid, but one of the many London rags had to be named the Globe. Hello! News of the Screws. How about the Boston Globe? That should qualify, if I recall correctly.

Doug 8:20 PM  

@fikink: and I like how her directors always managed to fit her Ivory Soap box into cameos. P&G pays a lot for product placement, and there they were getting tons of free advertising without appreciating it. Go figure....

Doug 8:21 PM  

Do you think traffic is quiet because all the brainy solvers are watching Springsteen and the Superbowl? Who'd a thunk it?

See you all tomorrow.

Leon 8:29 PM  

Great Super Bowl treat Mr. Ginsberg and Mr. Fleming.

I recently started doing the puzzles in AcrossLite. I still get the dead-tree version and like to notice the differences:

81A. Setting for the answers to the 10 starred clues.(AcrossLite)

81A. Setting for the answers to the 10 italicized clues (Dead-Tree)

foodie 9:54 PM  


From a total sports ignoramus, yet a temporary Arizonan, all I can say is: Amazing Game! And I even enjoyed the sports puzzle! Super Sunday.

mac 12:04 AM  

Dear Victor and Matt: I think you would be pleased to know that the only time I took off today was to do your puzzle, and it went smoothly and was a lot of fun!

In other words, I spent all of yesterday evening and today in the kitchen. Never do a tapas party, you can't do anything in advance and you end up drinking only diet coke to stay alert while whipping up another 6 dishes....

Anyway, it's behind us and it was a good game, and everybody looooved the food, and now I'm having some red red wine and reading all your comments.
About the slick paper: I just use a sharper (0.7) mechanical pencil, but you are right, I don't like it either.

Whatever happened to Crystal Gayle? I didn't even remember she
sang, just the long hair.

This "fat cat" expression I find very rude. I once heard it used, to his face, to a successful businessman. Sounds like spite to me.

It's funny how Latin stays with you. After all these years ignis and vis popped up right away. The sports term came completely from crosses and educated guesses, but I don't think I saw the clue for neutral zone at all. Hash marks are still not clear to me, but they make me think of art class and shading. Ixnay is also something hazy, please someone explain.

My favorite clue and answer were 9A: some - a bit of. Three words!

I had melted for molten for a bit, and never met Melinda, but it all sorted itself out.

@Ulrich: please don't stay home. By the way, you sound very Connecticut with your "youse".

Anonymous 12:26 AM  

Even though I did this after watching the game, it took me unacceptably long to figure out the theme. After I did figure it out, the puzzle got a lot easier...

The neutral zone was new to me ...

Shamik 2:31 AM  

Phooey on the game.

xyz 9:02 AM  

Rex et.alia.

First(!) thing I said to my wife as I sat down to simultaneously try to solve this Sunday puzzle and watch CBS Sunday Morning was "God I hate to write on this slick paper!" I'm not yet at the level to complete more than the occasional Sunday puzzle, and in addition to the glut of silly obtuse (and eventually boring) clues, I didn't finish this one and am coming in after Monday's solution to see what I missed on the SunPuzz.

The slick paper aversion stems from golf scorecards, I "rate" golf courses for a national mag and one thing that often tells me a golf course isn't all that seriously into golf is over-sized slick-papered scorecards that won't fit into a walking golfers pocket.

Whazzup with this and puzzles? Nothing, but it felt good for the KING to have the same whine as me. :-) Slick paper (that doesn't erase well - which I do a lot of.

Newbie Bill

sblumert 12:31 PM  

In Sunday's puzzle, I don't understand 110 across "score before winning a game. maybe" ADIN? What's the connection with the clue> I agree with the answer. I just don't get it.

PuzzleGirl 12:55 PM  

@Shmuel: If you read the other comments, you'll see that it's already been explained.

Mimi 5:34 PM  

I hate it when it's all about football! Took me an extra half hour to back into all those arcane (to me) terms. Also, didn't know Holden's little brother, had no idea about Melinda and Melinda, got Hamm but was stick on Mia--and, strangely, couldn't think who wrote An American Life. Neither Rosita or Otello came to me immediately, and because I had "melted" instead of "molten," this section is troublesome. Had Italia for awhile instead of Iberia, which slowed me down. Went for "the press" instead of "theatres." Once I'm married to a mistake, I have trouble seeing the error of my ways...

Mimi 5:41 PM  

To MAC, Latin may have stuck with you nicely for ignis and vis, but you should probably brush up on your pig Latin. That's what you needed for Ixnay--pig Latin for nix! Ownay oday ouyay etgay tiay?

Unknown 5:47 PM  

@crosscan: try a little app called hotspot shield. it hides your ip address so you can steam stuff from places like, comedy central, etc. it's little clunky, but does the trick.

kas 10:18 PM  

fun puzzle

Jeffrey 1:02 AM  

Thaks for the tip, Jay.

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

What's the UB40 connection? There's at least one song that quotes "fifty-four forty or fight" -- Canada Haunts Me by They Might Be Giants, buried near the end of this podcast -- -- starting about 18 min 30 sec in.

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