Gaff to fisherman / TUE 12-7-10 / Event that may include blue films / Sock hop locale / Mournful peal / Sheep's accuser

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels & Kent Clayton

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: FOOTBALL MATCH-UP (39A: Bit of Sunday TV scheduling ... or a hint to 17-, 25-, 50- and 59-Across) — theme answers are punning phrases made out of two NFL team player names.

Word of the Day: JARED Leto (50D: Actor Leto of "American Psycho") —

Jared Joseph Leto (born December 26, 1971) is an American actor and musician. He has appeared in films such as Fight Club; Girl, Interrupted; Panic Room; American Psycho; Alexander; Requiem for a Dream; Lord of War; Mr. Nobody and Chapter 27. He is the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American rock band 30 Seconds to Mars and has directed music videos under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins (a name borrowed from Dr. Seuss' The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins). (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm almost certain I've seen this theme before ... which is exactly what I said the last time I saw this theme, it turns out. Discovered it with the first theme answer, and felt somewhat deflated thereafter. Grid is clean, long Downs are interesting (which I'd expect from an early-week pro like Andrea), but the theme is tired, so my overall enjoyment level was not very high. One thing I did like—the puzzle felt very contemporary. As I was solving, my software program showed only "... Kent Clayton" as the constructor, and I thought "this is someone very young" (in a good way). Puzzle seemed to draw quite a bit from contemporary popular culture (the ZACH clue in particularly made me think this—47A: Galifianakis of "The Hangover"; Mr. Galifianakis seems to be everywhere these days, including "Bored to Death," an HBO series created by Jonathan Ames, who is himself a crossword fan ... but I digress). At least three actors—ZACH, JARED, KATE—and a TV personality—MCGRAW—plus NANU (14A: Half of Mork's sign-off) ... plus two more actors—MIA and KEACH— give this puzzle an entertainmenty vibe. Light, airy, easy, fine.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Governor in Austin? (CHIEF TEXAN)
  • 25A: Unwelcome result of a shopping sprees? (GIANT BILL)
  • 50A: Airport baggage handler? (JET PACKER)
  • 59A: Sheep's accuser? (RAM CHARGER)
Surely there are more of these—[Sam Adams after a week in Aruba?]=BROWN PATRIOT. Actually, most of the rest of the NFL is animals, which makes changing context of names less easy.

Had most of my trouble at 20A: Come together. GELL? MELD? KNIT? No, MEET.

  • 21A: Card player's boo-boo (MISDEAL) — I put in MISPLAY, which is manifestly wrong.
  • 45A: Sock hop locale (GYM) — For some reason I stared at G-M for several seconds. "Oh ... GYM!"

  • 32D: Even that may include blue films (STAG PARTY) — my favorite answers of the day. So audaciously manly, running as it does through a baseball answer, a football answer, a GYM, and another football answer.
  • 13D: Mournful peal (KNELL) — thought this was some strange word when I mistakenly had MISPLAY in place and thought it ended -YL. "IDDYL?" No, just KNELL. Both "peal" and "knell" are ripe for punning, in case you wanna make a Monday/Tuesday puzzle of your own.
  • 38D: Gaff, to a fisherman (SPEAR) — I thought a "gaff" was a hook ... looks like it's actually a pole with a hook at the end. OK.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

PS nice feature on Crossword Champ Dan Feyer in the Times, here.

PPS ... this, from my favorite celebrity crossword solver (it's a *little* raunchy, so just ... be warned):


The Bard 8:45 AM  

As You Like It > Act II, scene VII

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Tinbeni 9:03 AM  

FUN solving experience.

So yesterday I'm talking to my friend, who is in Muscat, OMAN.
He has ARRANGEd a MEET-n-greet (aka, job interview) and wants me to come over for a 6 month job.
Damn, that could cut into my Sunset toasts ... though they would come earlier!

On the plus side, it would be warmer than that Moscow pending offer.

Oh well, I WILL make a decision but today I'll just "toast" everyone at Sunset.

NANU ...

jesser 9:05 AM  

On my father's side, I am descended from the Taylor clan, and thus from WHIG President Zachary, who may have been the Worst President Ever. That may explain a lot of things to many of you. :-)

Blew through this puzzle, and grinned all the way. Unlike Rex, I didn't note all the wonderful ways that STAG PARTY was perfect, but I tagged it as something to comment about, in any case.

Only writeover was at 35A, where LOonS went in first, only to have CHAMPAGNE somehow make the world clearer. That hardly ever happens.

This puzzle was a definite UPPER!

Winthess! (Well, you can't very well win the other thing, can you?) -- jesser

mmorgan 9:09 AM  


Football is Not My Thing At All so the theme-revealing clue was irrelevant. I found the puzzle quite easy anyway (hey, it's a Tuesday), even though I only vaguely (at best) know any of those teams. Until I realized the theme, I was enjoying the pure weirdness of answers like CHIEFTEXAN and GIANTBILL on their own terms and hoping there was nothing that would make sense of them. (I briefly wondered if there were two teams called the CHAMPs and the ANGEs.)

I liked some of the long downs and I.M. Pei and thinking about TABOO SERFS and ACRID WHIGS. (And NASAL KNELL would have been even better without the K!)

quilter1 9:12 AM  

I enjoyed this, it felt fresh to me. Liked seeing KNELL. Busy today, happy Tuesday all.
balist: one using straw to balance his boat.

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

It could have been the Ketel One (an UPPER you cannot sink your teeth into) or the boring Pats-Jets game last night, but I was reminded of what Pogo said: We have met the enemy and he is us. Congrats to ACMe and KC for a Tuesday puzzle that sparkles like my Christmas tree! A football theme is ok, but it is the cluing and the answers that score. How ironic this puzzle was published on a Monday night when Don Meredith’s passing was news, or was that Will Shortz’ sense of timing? This puzzle reflected the wit that so often appears on this blog and was just a sheer pleasure to do.

CHIEF TEXAN: The KC CHIEFs were originally the Dallas TEXANs (Of course now there are the Houston TEXANs). And I spent the second night of my honeymoon in a drawing room on the Texas Chief RR (a bonus?).

GIANT BILL reminds me of a platypus.

JET PACKER reminds me of my travelling days.

RAM CHARGER is that truck I see advertised on TV.

Then there is the fill with NANU, LOCOS, ACRID, WHIGS (I am the last surviving WHIG) and LEGO – it’s enough to make Rex Ryan wish he doing the puzzle last night instead of coaching the Jets....

John the Banished

quilter1 9:19 AM  

Note to constructors, there was a killer city in my paper this a.m. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Imagine the screaming.

chefbea 9:20 AM  

Had a feeling that today's puzzle was going to be Andrea's. Read her post from yesterday that said "looking forward to tomorrow"

Great puzzle even though I'm not a football fan. Still found it very easy.

I assume it's a pangram!! And we have stilt and llama again.

retired_chemist 9:21 AM  

An enjoyable Tuesday experience. Surprised at the football theme, since I had thought Andrea wasn't much of a sports fan. But it was more fun for me than apparently it was for Rex.

Fill was fresh, no badly clued answers, Tuesday appropriate. Who could ask for anything more?

nestms - are baby birds writing mss now?

joho 9:36 AM  

@chefbea ... just a V short of a pangram but packed with scrabbly letters, the ever elusive J and Q and four Us!

I didn't remember the other football theme so this seemed extra fresh to me especially with the extremely clever cluing. Also, I just took a quick look at the puzzle @Rex posted, but those teams look like a list. These theme answers were wacky, fun phrases.

I had two writeovers: LOonS before LOCOS and MEld before MEET.

All I can say, is fresh and smooth, not a stinker in the grid. That's what Acme does!!!

Thank you Andrea and Kent!

mitchs 9:36 AM  

Nice little interview w/Andrea over at Wordplay, along with links to crossword related articles and a nice little Tuesday puz from Patrick Berry.

I enjoyed this theme. Easy, but fun to speculate on during the solve.

I wanted badly for Dr. Phil's last name to be Magoo.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:38 AM  

I will show my respect for ACME by raising an objection to 35 A. I have never heard LOCO used as a noun, let alone in the plural.

Other than that, decent Tuesday.

Tobias Duncan 9:51 AM  

Fun,fresh early week puzzles make me very happy.As a person who hates sports,this is the way you present them in a puzzle. Even a dork like me knows at least half of these teams so no problems there(I did have to right over rams for lamb however.
I was an I.M. Pei fan long before I discovered crosswords so I am always happy to see him in the grid.
Hated "The Hangover" but absolutely love "Bored to Death".
In New Mexico Locos are everywhere and discussed as such ,especially in Espanola.
Keep these coming Andrea pleeeeease

PlantieBea 9:55 AM  

Nice Tuesday, Andrea and Kent! DH and I were watching a key episode of Dexter, season 1 last night while I was solving so this went down slowly for me. My biggest writeover occurred at the reveal line of 39A where I quickly filled in the answer of FOOS BALL MATCHUP. Of course, that made no sense, but once I devoted a little attention to the puzzle that was fixed.

Liked seeing the PACKERS but would have preferred a VIKING/PACKER matchup. JARED Leto is a gimme since my once teen-aged daughter played 30 Seconds to Mars non-stop.

Glitch 9:56 AM  

Today's NYT "Science Times" section is on puzzles and includes a special Patrick Berry puzzle as well as the story on Dan Feyer Rex mentioned.


John V 9:57 AM  

Fun Tuesday. Only mini-panic was 47A, Zach what's-his-name, but the crosses were straight forward. Easy theme.

For dead tree solvers, note special section in Science Times on Puzzles.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

A somewhat cutesy puzzle, yes easy, but that video after the end??? Rex, you are one sick puppy! LUVed it.

Stan 10:01 AM  

Right through the goalposts!!

I wonder if this is Andrea's only sports-themed puzzle ever.

Now I'll check out Science Times...

mac 10:07 AM  

Great puzzle, and all the more amazing because Andrea is not exactly a sports fan. Wonder if she tried to squeeze in a Forty-niner?

I got worried with Bryan 40D and McGraw 46D and Keach 53D touching, but Keach was familiar and the rest came through crosses.

Busy, annual holiday sale at my house, but I'm saving that Science Times section!

william e emba 10:11 AM  

I'll second the non-familiarity of LOCO being used as a noun when referring to crazy. Well, in pure English anyway. LOCO is used as a noun meaning crazy person by EL NIÑOs everywhere, certainly in Spanish and probably in their English.

On the other hand, back to pure English, LOCO is used as a noun meaning the locoweed plant, the stuff TEXAN cattle eat that make them go LOCO. And also as a noun meaning TRAIN, short for LOCOmotive. And more obscurely, as a noun once used by WHIGS when referring to a Democrat.

Wow. Andrea and Kent, I am in AWE!

ArtLvr 10:16 AM  

I'm not a sports fan either, but it was fun. A flute of CHAMPAGNE for Andrea and Kent!

I saw the GIANT BILL and thought we were looking for phrases with an insect inserted, i.e. G.I. BILL plus ANT. Another time, maybe?

@The Bard, many thanks for today's selection. I'd note that Stacy KEACH most recently played Lear on STAGE, what a terrific actor!


Van55 10:26 AM  

Well above average puzzle. LOCOS isn't good, but otherwise...

17 proper names.

Lindsay 10:33 AM  

Several years ago I transcribed a diary written by a truly whack Whig during the election of 1840. An interesting era.

"Loco" in reference to Democrats is short for "Locofoco." It was brand name for matches at the time. Nothing to do with Nut Jobs, per se.

Tobias Duncan 10:41 AM  

Come guys, I have to suffer through east coast crap that seems nutty to me all the time(out west we wait in line not on line) LOCOS is just the west coast equivalent.

retired_chemist 10:41 AM  

LOCOS seemed fine as a noun to me, but the online dictionaries agree with Bob K et al. Since the meaning is clear and since clues are accepted as either evocative OR definitive, I think the constructors deserve a pass on this one. But it's close.....

Two Ponies 10:42 AM  

I'm always happy to see Andrea's name above my puzzle. The sport theme surprised me. Well done and fun to solve.
@ the Bard, Thanks for stopping by. It's been too long since I have read that passage. Rather sobering words esp. after this pleasant puzzle.

SethG 10:43 AM  

Andrea, you sure write a lot of boy puzzles!

Rex, maybe last time you saw this theme you were thinking of the time before. (And maybe that time, you were thinking of the LAT from just before that.)

If you're gonna clue JARED with Jared Leto, why not include LETO? It could have easily replaced LEGO, plus you'd get rid of the EFG.

Mel Ott 11:00 AM  

Very nice construction, even if I have seen something similar before.

Andrea doing a football theme!! I am really impressed.

I don't care what the online dictionary says. A Gaff is not a SPEAR. How much fishing have Messrs. Merriam and Webster done anyway?

Jim 11:03 AM  

Grid was so ugliness-free, I thought it couldn't possibly be a Tuesday. Had fun.

That being said, TEXAN is the last team one should try to pun; there's no alternative meaning. It's someone from Texas, so I say boo-urns. Granted, constructors used the principal definition of the team's name (i.e., the context in which the team named itself), such as that for JET and RAM, but alternative meanings exist. So, TEXAN's no good. It's like trying to pun can poke fun at it, but it's got only one meaning, so it's not a pun.

JaxInL.A. 11:20 AM  

I was going to skip reading here and posting for a few days because I'm at a giant conference for work, and time is at a premium. Then the Times gives us a puzzle from Andrea Colossal Talent Michaels and she was already on my mind because I'm in San Francisco. How could I fail to ROAR a few RAH RAHs and LAUD this delightful effort here?  

Rex's raunchy video had me snorting tea out my nose (TMI, right?), with the added pleasure of seeing Jessalyn Gilsig, whose Glee character pretended to be pregnant thinking she could fool her husband (?!?!?), once again pretending to be pregnant.  

Plus, that Times article was worth being late to my meeting (which I now am). Okay, I take a whole order of magnitude longer than Dan Feyer to solve a puzzle, but I fully identify with the description "Before he knew it, he had become one with the puzzle people."  That's us, right?  And anyone (Denise Grady in this case) who can write this way is an author to watch, not least for my favorite phrase "the myriad other bevoweled wraiths that haunt the minds of crossword constructors."   She used the word bevoweled!  

Back to the puzzle, I loathe football but all of the clues were completely accessible and gave me the illusion of sports knowledge.  Having CHAMPAGNE opposite STAG PARTY is fun.  It really feels like there's something for everyone here. You've got architecture (I.M. PEI), science (SONAR), history (WHIGS and BRYAN), and fresh words like MISDEAL.  And of course it's almost a pangram. Hooray! I feel almost like a proud friend, though we've never met.  Congratulations to you, ACME, and to Mr. Clayton!    

Ulrich 11:20 AM  

Andrea playing football--a sight to behold!

What I find most fascinating about the Dan Feyer story (I've met him once and can confirm everything the article says about him as a person) is that he is a newcomer to puzzledom. This confirms what I have been discussing with foodie for a while--championship solvers have cognitive capabilities that cannot be explained just by a memory for trivia, a broad vocabulary, even pattern recognition in general (I think I'm very good at recognizing visual patterns, which helps me very little in doing crosswords)...

@Tinbeni: Be forewarned--from all I know, Oman is a dry country (and no, I do not mean the desert). Do you really want to do this to yourself for 6 months?

r.alphbunker 11:25 AM  

Reading this blog increased my enjoyment of this puzzle since many of Andrea's postings hint at a lack of interest in sports. So this felt like an inside joke to me.

It really was packed with sports references. The CHAMPAGNE (there is no I in champagne!) that flows in locker rooms of winning teams; the ghost written BIOs of sports stars; the ROAR of the crowd; BLOCK; TIER (as in nosebleed section); hockey RINK; MISDEAL (isn't poker a sport?); OILing baseball gloves; a track MEET in a GYM; a manager ARRANG[E]ing his outfielder; RBIS; Super Bowl PIX; a ZACK fly; DENY (as in 'I thought those were vitamins'); a STAGE of the Tour de France; SONAR is a reference to the Seattle Supersonics; the chiseled APSE of a body builder; Willie Mays great KEACH in the 1954 World Series; a baseball MITT; a javelin is a SPEAR. And many more that you would have to be a Merle Reagle to catch.

william e emba 11:31 AM  

Please don't insult all of us East Coasters with such charges of illiteracy. To wit: "on line" instead of "in line" is not an "East Coast" usage. It's a NYC, northern NJ usage, according to DARE. (Unfortunately, very few entries are on-line [haha] yet. This was something I remember looking up years ago, and have just reconfirmed: it's volume III, entry "on", subentry B11.)

I will personally confirm that in the Philadelphia area I have always heard "in line", never "on line", for that state of waiting with others. In fact, I first learned of this idiom from a Stephen Jay Gould essay, where Bostonian Gould used it, and pointedly explained that because he was referring to a NYC experience of his, he used the NYC language.

But seriously, if you are a hardcore word LOCO, then you absolutely must check out DARE. Ownage is optional--unfortunately, the last volume (V) is still a long ways off.

(While I normally don't comment on my captcha, "abaxljee" made me think of a recent Slovenian clue that bollixed up a number of solvers.)

Jim 11:50 AM  

Just did the Science Times puzzle. Now THAT was fun! Great theme and lively fill. In the article, the writer references that Will suggests it's a Wed puzzle level. Mmmm...sounds about right. Just checked the answers. I said to myself, "What the hell is a MULOSH?" I guess it's nothing.

Steve J 12:59 PM  

Liked this overall, but I admit the singular team names bothered me. The singular form of the teams is rarely - very rarely used, even in references to individual players (e.g., the common usage would be something like "Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back ..."). Certainly, in discussing FOOTBALLMATCHUPs, the plural team names are used (it's a Jets-Packers game, typically).

Maybe I'm being too nitpicky, but it dulled the shine of this one a little for me.

Thankfully, there was a lot of shine, particularly in the downs. And nice cluing throughout. Only non-theme nits I had were LOCOS and RBIS. Pluralizing RBI (runs batted in) is as redundant as "ATM machine" or "PIN number"; but I grudgingly accept that RBIs is common enough (mis)usage that it's fair puzzle game.

Minor niggles aside, it was an entertaining early-week puzzle.

(@william e emba: thanks for the link to DARE. I know how my evening is going to be spent tonight.)

Doc John 1:26 PM  

Just want to say "Bored to Death" is a fun, quirky show that we happened upon mostly because it follows "Boardwalk Empire". What is so remarkable about it to me is that it has really made me appreciate just how good of an actor Ted Danson is.

Joe 1:40 PM  

To a longshoreman, a GAFF is a bailing hook with a handle.

As in "A View From the Bridge" or "On The Waterfront."

Or ask Artie Lange.

D_Blackwell 1:43 PM  

Woo hoo! A record time for the third straight day. Is it Brown week again?

@chefbea @joho

Not a pangram, but it should be. There are several options in the SE.

Most Tuesdaylike:

D_Blackwell 1:48 PM  

Oops. That should be ETA / TEAS. ETE /TEES was another.

Clark 1:50 PM  

I didn't notice the authors of the puzzle until I was filling in Florida. (Why did I look? I think it was EFG -- Who dares to put in the three-letter sequence? -- Ah, ACME, then it's ok :) ) Nice and smooth, like pouring oil into the NW and watching it spread throughout the puzzle.

@Steve J helped me identify something I liked about the puzzle. He takes the singular team names to be a negative; I think they make the puzzle work. A little ironic distance from the absurd world of professional sports.

Kendall 2:25 PM  

I loved this puzzle. I'm not at all surprised this theme has been done before but all the same it was a blast to do! The NE corner especially with KNELL and NASAL, which are awesome fills!

My only writeover was different than anyone else that I've noticed at 14A where I had NANo. That was pretty quickly fixed and caused no problems.

I LAUD the authors for their effort on this... my Tuesday was better because of you!

chefwen 2:27 PM  

Andrea and Kent, I loved it. Fun and zippy, and you all thought I hated football.


sanfranman59 3:23 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Tue 7:35, 8:55, 0.85, 9%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:01, 4:35, 0.88, 8%, Easy

John V 3:34 PM  

@Jim: 22A is mulish, not mulosh. That was my only sticking poing, having had 4D as unknot, while correct answer is unknit.

Sfingi 3:35 PM  

Didn't even know it was football, but figured it was sports. Finished with a little hesitation at PIX. Guessed all the unknown guys.

@Jesser - that's great! The Bushes, The Roosevelts, and I are all descended from one prolific Mayflower couple; Obama, Cheney and I are related. I missed being descended from John Adams since my ancestor, later to write the first American Comedy, was rejected for being a ne'er do well. Its a lot of fun.

Now I need to hit that Science Times I haven't opened.

NATE 5:36 PM  


I don't follow your logic(?)/
sarcasm. I hate to treat your
comment with some reasoning, but
this country is populated with
millions of people not descended from the Mayflower passengers.

NATE 5:43 PM  


My error. My criticism should have been directed at SFINGI>

foodie 8:42 PM  

I solved this puzzle late last night and did not pay attention to the name of the constructor(s) prior to solving. As I was finishing it off, I was thinking: "wow, it takes real talent to make me enjoy solving a sports-related theme!". Needless to say, the light went on when I saw that Andrea was one of the co-constructors. She's not only a great talent in her own right, but has the best taste in collaborators (and vice versa)!

I imagine the secret to good collaboration in puzzle construction is the same as it is in science-- respect of each other's talents, and enough confidence and commitment to the common goal to dampen one's own voice so the voice of the partner can be heard. Whenever I solve an ACME collaboration, I can see how the smoothness and elegance are preserved but the content is enriched by the interaction.

All this makes me want to go to dinner with Andrea, her collaborators and the people she mentors in puzzling- I know it would be a blast!

foodie 8:52 PM  

PS. When I first landed in the US, I found all the names of sports teams truly bewildering. I tried to see if I could discover a pattern, but sometimes they were named after people (CHIEF) animals (RAM) qualities (GIANT) or actions (CHARGER, PACKER). And of course, articles of clothing- Sox.. And what the heck is a "boilermaker" I thought? It was hopeless.

So, I wonder if Andrea and Kent had similar feelings about the craziness of the names...

Sfingi 9:25 PM  

@Nate - I'm back - from the Home. I've got used to people criticizing me for talking about my ancestors.
1. I was suggesting that it was neat that Jesser is a descendant of a prez, and it's fun to research. Go back and read it.
2. For every Roosevelt you find, there's a Cheney. Take it either way, depending on your politics.
3. My maternal grandmother was a professional genealogist, and I've begun to appreciate her work. She also provided us kids with our only vacations - to graveyards out of state.
4. Perhaps it's you who have the animus against Mayflower descendants. An eighth of the country is said to be descended from them. That's 38 million.
5. Finding your ancestors is a huge hobby and business in this country.It's one of the 4 most popular on the internet. Join the fun!

sanfranman59 12:03 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:04, 6:55, 0.88, 8%, Easy
Tue 7:41, 8:55, 0.86, 12%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:18, 3:42, 0.89, 8%, Easy
Tue 3:56, 4:35, 0.86, 6%, Easy

Two very easy puzzles to start the week. Today's median solve times are the 9th and 5th fastest of the 77 Tuesday puzzles in my database.

andrea hij michaels 2:26 AM  

Hey! Thanks for all the nice comments! We made this puzzle so long ago, I sat down to solve it last night so I'd know what people were talking about.
I put in LOONS for LOCOS... so there!!!!

(Which of course gave me ORANGEADE for CHAMPAGNE! Maybe I'll do better on the next one)

Yes, this will be my only sports puzzle EVER! The boy across the hall (Kent, now since moved) was sitting around watching football and the rest is...history!

Bummed to learn that the theme had been done, (a few times apparently) but we had finished the puzzle before discovering that; but, as @Orange says, fill is everything, so we felt fine about submitting ours which we felt was sufficiently different and I loved that FOOTBALLMATCHUP was both descriptive and had 15 letters!

Sometimes my puzzles slip thru pretty much with the theme clues intact, but lots of editing on this one...
e.g. we had "George W at one point?" for CHIEFTEXAN and "Boba Fett?" for JETPACKER.

(I'd never heard of Boba Fett, but Kent is 33 and assured me that "Star Wars" viewers would love it!
I thought that would be really cool to reach out to the young folks!) ;)

I'm pretty sure I would have clued 15A IWILL as the Beatles' classic, as it's one of my favorite songs of all time!
"Who knows how long I've loved you..."
(Must do it for the next First Monday Beatles Karaoke. Last night I did a weak warbling of "It's Only Love" to tepid applause)

you totally crack me up!

Thanks for the funny and thoughtful write up! Fill like the fab STAGPARTY and the ubermale stuff it crossed was all Kent...

and so this time, I liked the male energy permeating the puzzle, but mostly bec I like Kent. ;)

Nullifidian 11:00 AM  

Coming from syndication-land:

I enjoyed the puzzle. There was some decent fill and I enjoyed the fluffy entertainment sub-theme. However, I would have clued MCGRAW as the Hanna-Barbara cartoon character, which is far more entertaining to me than being reminded of the existence of Dr. Phil.

Plus, I got a bit of local pride by the fact that our home football team, the Chargers, was used as one of the theme answers. :-D

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