SATURDAY, Feb. 28, 2009 - Frank Longo (Butcherbird or woodchat / Cousin of an Alewife / Toy with tassels)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

Word of the Day: ECCE - Behold. Ecce Homo are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in John 19:5, when he presented a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The King James Version translates the phrase into English as Behold the Man. (

Hey, everybody. SethG today, filling in while Rex and the other cool kids compete in Brooklyn. And today we have a fairly straightforward Saturday. Not much trickery, no words from Pluto that no one's ever heard of, but really not any junk, either. I didn't solve this completely smoothly, but I blame mostly me--several times I knew what the answer was, I just couldn't think of the word. And they were not hard words. Like GAS RANGE (33D: Burner locale), or APACE (8D: With celerity). But I got through it fairly quickly anyway.

Famous people
I assume the puzzle would have been much harder for some of you if you didn't have as many entertainment gimmes as I did.

  • Kelly RIPA (16A: Gifford's talk-show replacement) replaced Kathy Gifford on that morning show with Regis Philbin.
  • Roger REES (23A: Roger of "Cheers") was that British guy (sorry, Welsh-American) who Rebecca liked on Cheers. More importantly, he's won a Tony. Yet more importantly, he was Lord John Marbury on the West Wing, in which he appeared with...
  • ROB LOWE (4D: 2001 Emmy nominee for "The West Wing"). I wanted this to be Aaron Sorkin, but I couldn't remember his name (sorry, PuzzleGirl!) and it was wrong anyway.
  • ALEC GUINNESS was an (38A: Oscar winner for "The Bridge on the River Kwai"), one of my all-time favorite movies.
  • And Omar EPPS was (60A: Dr. Foreman's portrayer on "House").

Fun after the puzzle moment
I knew the song "Georgy Girl" (40A: Group with the 1967 #2 hit "Georgy Girl," with "the"), but I couldn't remember the name of The SEEKERS. I didn't know they also sing this:

Some other stuff
  • 7D: It might be kicked after getting picked up (habit) - cute, and my first answer.
  • 6A: Cousin of an alewife (shad). An alewife is a woman who keeps an alehouse, but it's also a herring.
  • 15A: Heads of Italy (capi) - more than one capo, sure. See also 20A: Summer cooler (Italian ice). So my dad's dream is to retire to Key West and sell water ice on the beach. Apparently they strictly limit the number of vendors they allow on the beaches, and no one ever gives theirs up. Still, if anyone wants to buy a law firm, let me know.
  • 27A: Hue similar to cyan (electric blue). Cyan is the C in the CMYK color model, though I assume that anyone that knows what that means knows colors, too.
  • 57A: Toe trouble (gout). How's breakfast?
  • 18D: Cheerful, in Ch├ólons (gai). I have a friend named Jai, but he's hippy, not French. Otherwise, he'd be mon ami. I love French!
I had two main problem areas, both well within reason for a Saturday.

First, I don't know that Latin thing. And I also didn't know what a TRUE RIB (10D: Sternum attachment) was. (Turns out, it's a rib that attaches to the sternum.) And I wasn't sure about AIR CELLS (11D: Alveoli, e.g.), either. So I stared at xxCE for a bit before filling in ECCE. Hey, at least I knew my ILIUM (49D: Part of the body next to the sacrum).

Second, I tried Based for (62A: Plant ____), which led me to Steves instead of STEVIE (43D: English poet Smith). When I finally figured out TRIKE (59A: Toy with tassels) I changed it to Stevis. (Hey, my knowledge of English poetry is only slightly better than my knowledge of Mongolian poetry.) Anyway, I finally remembered BAFTA (52D: U.K. equivalent to an Oscar), and stared for a long time at "Plant Assed" before changing it to A SEED.

Finally, speaking of poetry, I'm not sure whether I hate or I love (51D: Catullus's "Odi et ___"). It's certainly a Saturday level clue for AMO, but I figured I'd let you be the judge. Enjoy!

Good luck Rex, and all else in Brooklyn,
Signed, SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld


evil doug 8:40 AM  

Only poet I know who ever went by "Stevie" was Winwood.

Alley oop, axis of evil (no relation), shrike, garbage bag, Zesta (should have been HiHos): Good words.


Anonymous 8:48 AM  

I also had to figure probabilities in the NE, because I'd never heard of a TRUE RIB and I must have forgotten Roger REES. I was stuck briefly with a blank in the SE, until I saw AXIS OF EVIL; then it went smoothly.

This was the first time I've finished a Saturday puzzle in ink with no corrections.

chefbea 8:58 AM  

Easier than most Saturday's although I did have to google. Had Gas stove for the longest time

Thought summer cooler might be iced or ice tea but not long enough.

Guess our buddies are about to start. Imagine we wont hear from them til much later. Mac did write about last night's festivities at the end of yesterday's blog.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

You know, there really aren't any real beaches on Key West, so your father might want to reconsider that retirement option. I also had GAS STOVE for way too long.

RodeoToad 9:27 AM  

I'm thinking South Florida, Italian ice . . . . There's probably an alternative solution to getting that vendor's license. ("Godfather Part II" is my all-time favorite movie. Until I watch "Godfather I" again, and then that's my all-time favorite movie. I love the part in II where Hyman Roth, at his birthday party, asks for a smaller piece of cake. I don't know why, but just the way he breaks off from talking business with Michael Coreleone to hold up his finger and thumb about an inch apart and say, "Smaller piece," cracks me up every time I see it.)

I got through this one very fast compared to my usual Saturday. Would have been faster if I hadn't gotten kind of cocky and filled in stuff on the first pass that later slowed me down: trachea instead of truerib, BAFFA instead of BAFTA, and when I see "vis a vis" it always makes me think a comparative is called for, so I fill in -ER. In my personal version of French, "vis a vis" is translated to "compared to."

Parshutr 9:30 AM  

Bit of a quibble...the rough is rarely if ever edging a green. It edges a fairway. The term "rough" is not part of the Official Rules of Golf, though, nor is "fairway". The golf course is described as "through the green", meaning all the playing surfaces except for hazards.
Otherwise, I thought this was pretty easy for a Saturday.

Leon 9:40 AM  

Terrific puzzle Mr.Longo.

Great write-up SG.

Good luck to all at the 32nd ACPT!

Carl Orff's music was a treat.

The structure of Catullus' Carmen #85 is interesting.It forms a cross.

PlantieBea 9:41 AM  

Two days now that I've had trouble leaving comments with the "duplicate error". Grrrr.

Easy for me which means it took only an hour with a few googles to confirm answers that were correct. Yay.

We have Loggerhead Shrikes here. They impale their insect or small animal prey on thorns or barbed wire to shred them. Butcherbird is an appropriate nickname!

Did not like the verbal AISLED, nor the answer A SEED for Plant___
Wanted ELLA for ESSA for a while. I hope to never have GOUT.

Debsanger 9:42 AM  

I guess I live in a parallel universe ;-) This was the first puzzle I've resorted to googling in weeks. I really wanted UNMOWN for the rough/green thing, and so kept trying U as the first letter of some unknown (to me) German president. No problem with ECCE, APACE, SEEKERS . . . but RIPA, REES, ROBLOWE haven't sunk into my consciousness. Thought it was FREE rib, though was very unsatisfied with the resulting FASS -- that would be Bob Fass of WBAI Pacifica radio in NYC -- though news GATHERER didn't seem apt. Not quite apt for TASS either, now that I think about it . . . wasn't TASS more like a news MANUFACTURER????? O Well. I guess that's why I'm not in Brooklyn this weekend!

euphoria0504 10:01 AM  

Is it just me ... but I've never seen a tricycle with tassels.

Greene 10:01 AM  

@SethG: Most excellent write-up today, my friend. I would have chosen the same "word of the day" and your assessment of the puzzle's difficulty was spot on.

So what was with all the medical cluing in the northeast? Between DIGESTIVE, TRUE RIB, and AIR CELLS I was beginning to think Frank Longo was sending me coded messages about...oh wait, don't schizophrenic people receive coded messages through the newspaper? Yikes, never mind. And don't even get me started on that secret mind control device the CIA implanted in my brain back in the 1960s.

I had CORN for 57A instead of GOUT for quite a while. Technically GOUT is a usually monoarticular arthritis which can strike any joint and not just the MTP joints (toes). I probably treat as many people with GOUT in a knee joint as I do in the first MTP joint (great toe), but I'm just quibbling because my reluctance to give up on CORN totally slowed me down in the southwest. Once I put in GOUT, then GAS RANGE popped into view, followed by SLALOM and the old ALLEY OOP. Ah, sports terminology. To me, ALLEY OOP is a comic strip. I sorted it all out eventually, but I was stuck down there for a while.

The rest of the puzzle went down smoothly. I love that ALEC GUINNESS was prominently featured. I have always enjoyed The Bridge On the River Qwai. It has an excellent film score with one of those signature tunes that you just can't get out of your head (classical composer Malcolm Arnold also won an Academy Award for his fine work). Wasn't KWAI in the puzzle recently?

I'm anxiously awaiting tournament updates, so Brooklynites please drop in today as time permits.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

We're about to head downstairs to get started on the puzzles. I am fortified after a breakfast of chocolate: Dutch (thanks Mac) and British Columbian (thanks CrossCan). If I beat my 574th ranking from last year, I'll be happy.

evil doug 10:16 AM  

"Toy with tassels" could be "pasties".


Glitch 10:27 AM  

Back in the days when "bikes / trikes were for kids", we had "streamers", which looked like taslels attached to the ends of the handlebars.

That, and playing cards attached so they were "riffled" by the spokes, make us seem cool.

Would never have understood Evil's remark back then, pasties being what you attached with that white goo, but now that I think of it --- oh, never mind.


Chip Hilton 10:47 AM  

SethG: Your write-up anticipated my planned comment exactly. Just enough pop culture references to provide footholds in each region.

I still have fond memories of Roger Rees, Rob Lowe, Alec Guinness, and Kelly Ripa starring in 'Three Men and a Babe'. Or, not.

Now back to Keith Jackson with coverage from Brooklyn.

retired_chemist 10:47 AM  

LOL about pasties but I didn't get TRIKE as a toy with tassels either. Maybe the plastic handlebar grips often have them - I can't remember even whether my kids' did, let alone mine.

CORN was in for a while for me too until CLOSETS @ 38D closed it out.

I thought 1A EBERT was obscure. I was all ready to change TASS (10A) because I thought it was far from unique, but of course it stayed to the end.

56A RULEMAKERS was my least favorite answer.

OK puzzle for a Sat. Seth G's commentary is spot on. I have enjoyed the writeups of all the bloggers Rex got to spell him. Congratulations, folks!

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

Definitely not on the right wave length today! I tried that Corn before getting GOUT, wanted a Virus for HABIT, had Ruling Body for RULEMAKERS after erasing Parliament, etc. Also, I thought in terms of a Religious tract or a piece of realestate -- and pictured an Inaugural as the place for a tie. Egad, GARBAGEBAG... mine don't have ties.

I never saw a TRIKE with tassels either, so this was a puzzle barely half done when I decided to give it up... Who'd have thought to find ELIZABETH I in the same slot as two other puzzles this week?

Thanks to Seth for an entertaining commentary anyway, and I'm glad we're moving on from the creepy-crawlies!


Kurt 10:56 AM  

My only hang up was spending way too long trying to force HYATT into 50 Down (Ritz rival). Once I got over that it was pretty smooth sailing.

If @Glitch is correct that the clue for TRIKE is only referencing the streamers on my old tricycle, then I think that this is a horrible clue. My trike often had mud on it, so why not "Toy with mud on it". As I remember, my trike was blue. So how about "Blue toy"? The point is that all trikes didn't have streamers and streamers isn't something that you would naturally associate with a tricycle.

I'm glad I got that off my chest. I feel much better now.

joho 10:58 AM  

@Seth G: thanks! I, too, loved HABIT.

This was pretty easy for me as Saturdays go. Which I liked!

The last two letters I entered were "K" in SHRIKE which gave me the "T" in TRIKE. That was the only way I could get BAFTA, unknown to me.

Oh, to be in Key West right now would be heaven.

Hoping to hear from everybody at the tournament ... and @Mac thanks for your comments last night. The gang sounds gorgeous!

retired_chemist 11:06 AM  

@ Joho - I too didn't know BAFTA. It is the "British Academy of Film and Television Arts" acc/to Google. Oscar is a statue and BAFTA is a group of people. Worth a small grumble.

PlantieBea 11:10 AM  

My favorite BIKE of days gone by, a banana seat bike with high handle bars, had tassles--until my brother, "evil Mike", cut them off.

Greene 11:23 AM  

@jhlechner, glitch, and retired_chemist:

With regards to trike, here's what the constructor probably had in mind. Remember the bell?

Of course, the image of the tassel has forever been twisted by the machinations of Evil Doug. I don't think I will ever look at a trike the same way again.

jae 11:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 11:45 AM  

Easier then yesterday’s for me. So, easy-medium works. The pop culture stuff helped a lot as REES, ALEC..., RIPA, and ROBLOWE were all gimmies. Tried SLAMDUNK for 34d (which caused me to reright SLALOM), GASSTOVE for 33d, and STEVEN for 43d but all were easy to fix. Was actually a SEEKERS fan back in the 60s and and "Another You" is a better song than Georgy Girl (tried to link to it but it wasn't working). Nice write up and a pretty good puzzle.

edith b 11:46 AM  

I know I said I liked 'em crunchy but this one . . . I chewed it up and spit it out.

I like Frank Longo's grids and in this case it divides the puzzle into 4 discrete sections. Jim Horne of Wordplay maintains a database on all things crossword HERE
so take a look at what he calls "grid Art"

1. I zipped thru the SW, making a giant E out of GAL GASRANGE REPO, neons all, and dunking the rest.

2. In the NE, I got TASS RIPA ECCE right away and the whole section presented itself nicely with an extra bonus of ELECTRICBLUE sneaking westward across Flyover country.

3. In the SW AXISOFEVIL gave meZESTA which helped produce ELIABETHI and the rest fell like dominoes.

4. The NW slowed me just a little but the downs up there BOATER ENRAGE allowed me to very quickly get the long acrosses and the whole puzzle fell inside of 12 minutes.

Simple doesn't necessarily mean boring and in this case the fill just sparkled. I enjoyed this puzzle from beginning to end, from ALLEYOOP to GARBAGEBAG to AXISOFEVIL , a gem in each of the sections. Just delightful.

Did I mention ALECGUINNESS snuck eastward, cementing Flyover country?

walthery 11:46 AM  

To Wade: totally agree on Friday - too many awkward expressions and/or unsatisfying answers for puzzlers.

But one tiny note of interest: the term "Stars and Bars" refers to the Confederate Flag. US flag is the Stars and Stripes. So aside from a few fringe kooks & bikers, crossword is correct: Stars and Bars is a bygone flag.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

47A really baffled me. I thought the answer had to be wrong.

I was just sure the first holder of the title Supreme Governor of the Church of England was Henry VIII. But actually, when Henry VIII held the office it was called the Supreme Head, not Governor, of the Church of England. Elizabeth I was indeed the first holder of the revised title.

In retrospect, I consider this a clever trick -- but I'm not sure that it was intentional on the part of the constructor.

I learned all this only after I'd given up on the puzzle. (I didn't have a single gimme among the pop culture clues. The NE was the only easy part of the puzzle for me.)


Margaret 12:46 PM  

Yippee! A Saturday puzzle under an hour (barely!) with no Googles. I'm feeling very GAI, despite the return of the cold weather. Speaking of Key West, my sister lives there and the first thing she does in the mornings is turn on the weather channel so she can watch the folks shivering in Chicago and miserable in Minneapolis. She's the kind who likes to say, "I told you so."

Fun puzzle for me, just the right difficulty. A lot of stuff I had to work at but not so obscure or out of range that I felt like giving up and googling. The NE was the first to fall. We just had TAILOR recently so that went in easily, I figured the cyan clue had to end in BLUE and then STP gave me enough traction to get SALESREP (which I was, for college textbooks) and the rest of that quadrant.

The SW was the last to fall. For some reason I was hooked on a tennis court, not a basketball one so ALLEY OOP was invisible for far too long. I had to get LEAPED UP before I finally saw it.

Kudos to Mr. Longo and best of luck to all our competitors!

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

Another You

evil doug 1:26 PM  


The first thing I do in the morning is turn on the Hurricane Channel.


treedweller 1:41 PM  

I solved the puzzle today in an actual newspaper (though copies are piled all over the hotel here in Brooklyn, I like to read the news, too), except I missed the S at SHAD/SCENA. I actually stole it from the competitor next to me a little before the first puzzle, but never wrote it in. Cheating at home is fine when needed, I think, but here it would be SO wrong.

I fell into the "corn" trap, and really tried to get "stovetop" or "rangetop" to work for GASRANGE, so that corner was a struggle. Otherwise, I managed to steadily work out a few short ones here, a lucky guess for a long one there, until I realized I'd finished (except for that S). Lots of fun to come so close on a Saturday.

We're on our lunch break. Three good puzzles to start the day. I suddenly got very nervous before the first one; luckily, I took Rex's advice and checked my solution before raising my hand, since I had two empty squares. Quigley was next. After just posting here that he always hits one of my blind spots, I was relieved to finish feeling pretty confident of a correct grid. Finished the morning with a fun Sunday-sized puzzle. I have not pulled of the miraculous improvement I would have needed to win, but I've had decent times and a great time. I just hope I've been as accurate as I think.

Sorry to ramble on, but (some of) you asked.

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

Why did you post a picture of "Jeeves & Wooster"? Did I miss something?

Anonymous 1:52 PM  

Lost it in the SE when toy with tassels appeared to me to be twirl. Never thought of a trike. Once through that all became clear including the seekers. Never heard of a true rib and it had to come from crosses

fikink 1:53 PM  

I agree with Debsanger - when I think of TASS, I don't immediately think of "gathering."
and @greene, I'm with you on CORN, thinking the toe vis a vis GOUT being one of many sites of same. (Wade, VAV, it is a relationship thing.)
@Glitch, yes, I think what Longo is calling "tassels," we call "streamers." When I think of tassels, I think of loafers. When I think of "pasties," I think of The Graduate.
@artlvr, yes I, too, was thinking of written tracts and first entered TREATISES for DIGESTIVE. (love it when that happens)

fikink 2:00 PM  

Btw, nice review, SethG Pasha!

chefbea 2:02 PM  

@treedweller thanks for the update. We do want a play by play description. See you and the others tomorrow morning.

fergus 2:15 PM  

Had a hunch that today's puzzle, because of the Tournament, would be either super easy or super tough. Looking over the grid, I can hardly find a word or square where there was much doubt. The only write-over was the I in TRIKE since the image of a TROLL appeared -- that silly pre-cabbage patch toy doll that was popular when I was in second grade.

Don't really like doing the puzzle intuitively on Saturday -- I would rather have to juggle a number of good combinations before committing to a letter.

Stevie Smith is worth a look. I recall her poetry as being very accessible.

Bill from NJ 2:18 PM  


Did you see edith b's post about degrees of separation?

Hugh Laurie played Bertie Wooster in the British TV series, "Jeeves and Wooster" and he also plays "House," the TV series which refers to Dr Foreman played by Omar EPPS on the same show.

raidodaze 2:22 PM  

Ive seen Tassels on Harley Trikes! And in a sense they ARE toys. Also the ZESTA clue should have been "Premium competitor". That nworks better.

Shamik 2:29 PM  

@jpchris: Hugh Laurie is in both "House" and "Jeeves & Wooster."

@treedweller...i agree with chefbea and want a play-by-play and recap...hmmm...been a couple of weeks since we've seen recap in a puzzle.

I do remember trikes with tassels. And wanted STOVE rather than RANGE.

The other night my husband made a bad joke about alewife. I had to thank him for his advance help on 6A.

@evildoug: pasties don't pass my breakfast test just 'cause the visual of most anyone I know wearing them wouldn't pass that test.

@Seth: Great write-up.

Found the puzzle to be a solid medium for me at 17:12. Glad to hear ACPT is as enjoyable as it is! Now I'll have to go back to yesterday's late blogs for more news.

Shanti11 3:09 PM  

I was all bragging and dancing around the house last night, crowing that I had finished a Saturday puzzle! Yea me!

Then I got here and discovered that I had totally messed up the NE. I mean totally. My "successfully completed" puzzle contained FREERIB (that makes sense, right?), OILCELL (we must have them - just look at my hips!); and SALADREP (some kind of spin doctor, making "word salad". Hell, if it's not a phrase it should be!). Which left FOSS for news-gathering (no idea), EDAD for the river in some unpronounceable place, REED for the last name of the Cheers guy (I never watched Cheers after Kirstie Allie showed up), and ECCA, which I'm sure must be a conjugation of ECCO, right?

So all in all, I think I made the right decision to practise for one more year before heading to the tournament!

BTW, TRIKE came to me just like that (snap). One's gimme is another's WTF.

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

There are some beaches in Key West. I had a nice chat with Wade Boggs on one a few years back.
Rough edging a green is indeed a bad clue ... they edge fairways.
Aprons edge greens.

treedweller 4:54 PM  

Well, three more down. As promised, #5 was a bear. I'd say at least 80% of the room was still working when WS called time. I had maybe 3/4 filled in, but I knew (and have since confirmed) that several words were wrong. Still, it was very gettable. I think I could have come close to a correct solution if I had another half hour or so (we got 30 minutes to solve it). The other two were pretty solid mid-week fare, though one was a bit larger at 19X19 (I saw in my registration packet that the long one this morning was also 19X19, so not quite a Sunday).

After today, I'm tempted to buy the packets of puzzles from previous years. These have definitely been a cut above the average NYT stuff (even rivaling the best). Fun, clever themes and spicy vocabulary with very little clunky fill or standard crosswordese. If you've been thinking you shouldn't come because you aren't good enough, come next time! It's great puzzling, and it's nice to be in a group where I'm not the supergeek for a change. Plenty of us knew in advance we couldn't really compete, but nobody seems to care.

retired_chemist 5:03 PM  

@treedweller: Hold the Texas flag high and do us proud!

ps - Despite the frequency of appearance in some parts of TX of the STARS AND BARS on rear windows of pickup trucks, it IS NOT the real TX flag, folks! :-)

Anonymous 5:12 PM  

Have I met you in person yet? Come say hi.
I think we're all exhausted from the day. Poor Rex is all head-cold-y and thinks he made too many mistakes as a result. Me, I feel like I might be doing better than last year. The puzzles are doable, just not always in the time allotted, which is the frustrating part.


HudsonHawk 5:35 PM  

treedweller's assessment of Puzzle #5 was spot on. It OWNED me, but it would have been gettable with another 15-20 minutes. My top third was almost all white when Will called time, but I think my bottom two thirds was pretty solid. Ugghh. Having a half dozen elite speed solvers right in my kitchen did not help this rookie's ego! More fun tomorrow, though.

I loved Andrea's puzzle (#4). I got to meet her last night (and so many other nice folks) and I'm definitely on her wavelength.


Anonymous 5:43 PM  

I cringed when I saw easy/medium, but I agree with that and also agree it was fairly straightforward. I followed my usual Saturday game plan, do something, go over the puzzle, do something, etc. etc. I finally worked my way to the southeast and by then was sick of the whole thing and so googled Elizabeth I and Seekers. I knew that it was a monarch, and I had enumerate but it just wouldn't open up. I can't believe axis of evil didn't pop out. But as I have said for the last 12 Saturdays, I am determined! And I still love this blog.

Greene 6:06 PM  

Brooklinites: Thanks for all the competition feedback. Now go have a nice dinner and get some rest. Don't forget to take pictures!

@Sandy: I'm sorry Rex isn't feeling up to snuff. Tell him to try some of that Airborne stuff that worked so well for him last time. If not, a good stiff drink couldn't hurt. I get terribly allergic everytime I'm in NYC so I know how he feels. I'm sure he did quite well despite the impairment.

SethG 6:31 PM  

Wow, sometimes it's hard to predict what the issue of the day will be. Are kids different now? Or is it just that most of you don't have kids, live in a big city, and/or weren't recently kids yourselves? [insert impish grin so you know I'm kidding]

I said TRIKE came to me slowly, but that's not 'cause I had any doubt it was right. Making sure we had the right tassels was a _big_ deal in our house. Sorry, guess I should have posted a picture of the giant Big Wheel Disney built, or this current Schwinn marketing video with my write-up...

Thanks all for the tournament reports. Early results are up, and through Puzzle 4 Orange is in the top 10, and Rex, Sandy and PuzzleGirl have all improved so far over last year. But Puzzle 5's the difference maker, so nothing is for sure for now.

joho 6:43 PM  

@This tournament news is exciting stuff: MORE!

fergus 7:51 PM  

One little poem to Crossword folk,
... from Stevie Smith:


Happiness is silent, or speaks equivocally for friends,
Grief is explicit and her song never ends,
Happiness is like England, and will not state a case,
Grief, like Guilt, rushes in and talks apace.

Anonymous 7:55 PM  

Congrats to Amy on her 7th place finish in the A Division.
She outscored Ellen Ripstein and other past winners!

chefbea 8:04 PM  

how can I find the standings so far?

Rex feel better and see you tomorrow

treedweller 8:25 PM  

rankings through puzzle 6 are in. I don't know everyone who is here, but
1-2-3-4 Dan Feyer, Trip Payne, Francis Heaney, Tyler Hinman

Amy Reynaldo (Orange) is 8th

Michael Sharp (Rex Parker) is 44th

treedweller is 219

sorry for those I may have missed.

treedweller 8:27 PM  

just saw chefbea's request--that makes more sense, anyway.

acpt rankings

it's my fourth post, but Dad's out of town and I'm partying.

Anonymous 8:41 PM  

For some reason I had "sailor" for a long time for 25A. Don't they "fit" sails? The very last thing I did on the puzzle was to change "sailor" to "tailor" when I saw "digestive."

A nice Saturday -- gettable but challenging. I'd call it "medium."

RodeoToad 8:43 PM  

One down is PAULHARVEY.

Page . . . 2!

Jeffrey 11:38 PM  

I'm 116.

This may ruin the blog but I have learned the truth about Rex Parker. He is...nice.

And so are the rest of Rex's crew here.

Rex Parker 12:34 AM  

I want so badly to tell you all of the colossal error I made on Puzzle 6, but I can't give any of the answers away (yet). Thankfully, I fell only 10 or so places because of that error (though if I hadn't made it, I'd be poised to make the B Division Finals tomorrow. Dang).

I'm 45th right now, I think. I'm hoping just to hold ground tomorrow. Going for a CLEAN puzzle, and that is all. Irony - I went super fast and failed to check my puzzles well at first ... and somehow made no errors. I just torched everything. It was awesome. Then, I checked Puzzle 6 over very thoroughly ... and made a mistake anyway - though no amount of checking would have prevented the error I made.

Have had great conversations with constructors Barry Silk, Doug Peterson, Kevin Der, Andrea C. Michaels, Caleb Madison, Alan Arbesfeld, Sarah Keller, Matt Ginsberg, Ashish Vengsarkar, Mike Nothnagel, Patrick Blindauer, Byron Walden, Brendan E. Quigley, etc.

Oh - really liked the Longo puzzle today. Used it as warm-up material this a.m.


mac 12:57 AM  

This event is just awesome. Wether you are good or not, tank or not, are shy or outgoing, you will get along. Well, I tanked several times, but I also had a couple of good puzzles. I'm a newbie, and I get a little nervous! Congratulations to all the high-scoring friends, Rex, Orange, CrossCan, imsdave and Treedweller (I'm sure I am forgetting a few). By the way, where are you, Treedweller? I've met so many people but I haven't seen you. How about 10.30 am at the round table in the upper lobby.
It's been amazing to meet so many of the constructors, and it's wonderful how accessible they are. This definitely is a very pleasant crowd, and no one should feel intimidated by the tournament. This afternoon I took the subway home after the 6th puzzle, and thought I would not return until close to 8 p.m. when the "game show" started, but by 6 I was on my way back to the hotel in Brooklyn for games (nah) and a good time with a bunch of puzzle friends.
I've got to get a few hours of sleep before I get ready for the last, big puzzle, hopefully to improve my score.... (not).

PuzzleGirl 1:04 AM  

@SethG: Thanks for holding down the fort! But we wish you were here!!

@treedweller: Show yourself!

I am very happy with my performance so far, but I'm not going to tell you what place I'm in because I seriously don't want anyone to think that it matters. It totally doesn't! It is SO much fun to be here. And that's really what it's about. Crossword people are the nicest people in the world and I think I can speak for everyone here (I can do that, right? Well just try to stop me!) when I say that there's something really, really comfortable about being around a bunch of puzzle people. You all should come next year!!

chefbea 6:24 AM  

I'm up early to get ready to go to Brooklyn. Sounds like a great time and I will definitely go to the whole shebang(sp?) next year. Can't wait to see everyone - upper lobby at 10:30

Stan 10:39 AM  

Good, solid puzzle. Nice write-up.

The you-are-there commentary from ACPT is great! Looking forward to the Sunday blog.

Anonymous 4:01 PM  

Well, I found this puzzle a bruiser, but I got through to the end. My last letter was the Z in ELIZABETHI. I kept parsing it as ELI ?ABETHI.

Oddly enough, four of my first letters had been the adjacent letters LI and AB, LUXOR, ILIUM, AMO, and BAFTA. We've discussed LUXOR recently in the KARNAK/THEBES context, ILIUM ought to be well-known, I've actually heard of BAFTA because I've recently discovered BAFTA winner Tim Scott's science fiction. But what really surprised me was that I actually remember Catullus "Odi et Amo" from high school Latin class!

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