Tunisian seaport / SUN 12-25-11 / Journalist Joseph / Japanese stringed instrument / Video game island / Eponymic town of Cambridgeshire / Honey in Horn trumpeter

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Ain't He Sweet" — circles form a GINGERBREAD MAN (91A: With 100-Across, image revealed by connecting the circle letters alphabetically); assorted other answers relate to the theme

Word of the Day: Max REGER (67D: Composer Max) —
Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (19 March 1873 – 11 May 1916) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and academic teacher. [...] Reger produced an enormous output over little more than 25 years, nearly always in abstract forms. Few of his compositions are well known in the 21st century. (wikipedia)
• • •

An impressive construction that left me a little cold, mostly because of how much the quality of the fill was strained. Also, the theme answers weren't very coherent. All over the map. ELIZABETH? Random. "SHREK" has no symmetrical counterpart. Look, the A to Z thing is very cool, no doubt. But once you get the revealer then the whole thing is ... uh ... revealed. Theme itself is pretty thin, so there's nothing more to do but deal with the fill, and That was the problem. SFAX (102D: Tunisian seaport)!? REGER (67D: Composer Max)!? SIXTE (44A: Fencing position)!? I ended up with an error and it took Forever to find, first because the grid is enormous (oversized 23x23) and second because I had So many places to look (i.e. lots and lots of words I'd never heard of before that I thought could be wrong). Of course the error was in the last place I looked: at the intersection of the nonword AGAZE (8A: Staring intently) and the never-seen-before "mineral" ZINCITE (11D: Mineral in healing crystals). What the hell is a "healing crystal?" I had AGAPE (a word). PINCITE is, of course, ridiculous, but not much more ridiculous than AGAZE. And who the hell is GRIMSBY? (9D: "The Little Mermaid" fellow) I've heard of drinking *warm* milk, but HOT MILK (117D: Relaxer for Santa)!? Ouch / gross. I had the front end and thought "HOT ... MAMA? That *would* be relaxing, but ..."

Theme answers:
  • 76A: Decoration on a 91-/100-Across (ICING)
  • 102A: 2001 film in which 91-/100-Across is a character ("SHREK")
  • 4D: 91-/100-Across, often (TREE ORNAMENT)  
  • 16D: Aid for making a 91-/100-Across (COOKIE CUTTER)
  • 105D: 16th-century monarch credited with presenting 91-/100-Acrosses to guests (ELIZABETH)
  • 110D: "The 91-/100-Across," for one (FAIRY TALE) — I thought for sure this was going to refer to that movie I never saw ... based on a Grisham novel, maybe ... hang on ... oh, I'm sorry: "based on a discarded John Grisham manuscript" (!).

  • 33A: Japanese stringed instrument (KOTO) — another relatively obscure answer, though this one I remembered from crosswords gone by.
  • 112A: "Honey in the Horn" trumpeter (HIRT) — Al HIRT. Here's something of his I didn't know existed:

  • 136A: Fictional planet in "Flash Gordon" (MONGO) — no idea why I know this. Is that Ming the Merciless's planet? Hey, it is. My memory is strangely accurate today. 
  • 141A: Crudités platter centerpiece (CHEESE DIP) — I went with the more traditional CHEESE LOG (not sure what "tradition" I'm referring to, but ...).
  • 154A: Eponymic town of Cambridgeshire (STILTON) — this was oddly easy. My first thought was "how should I know?" Then I took one look at the answer, with a couple crosses in place, and I knew: cheese!
  • 13D: Video game island (MYST) — a very big game from a time right when I was starting to not pay attention to video games any more.
  • 41D: Mao contemporary (CHIANG) — as in Kai-Shek. This took some thought.
  • 47D: Bulbous plant part (CORM) — one of those supremely ugly words I "know" only from crosswords.
Merry Merry,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


CoolPapaD 2:38 AM  

It's been way too long since I've come here - hadn't had time to do a puzzle in ages, so this was a delicious way to jump back in. A few careless errors (I should have known that COOKIE BUTTER was wrong, but my brain couldn't find a good alternative) didn't diminish my enjoyment.

I've missed all of you - Merry Christmas!

Rube 3:46 AM  

Spent a pleasant evening doing the xword and watching the usual Christmas fare on the tube with the family. We're all on Kauai for the Holiday week and enjoying the marvelous weather. Figured I'd better get this done before the chaos in the morning.

About the puzzle... had to laugh at the reference to "Scrooged". Had never heard of the movie, but my oldest brought the DVD and we watched it last night. MITCHUM was, therefore, a gimme. With CANTATA, the top line had such potential. Then we have to contend with AGAZE in the middle... a truly ugly word.

My guess is that the last AUTOMAT in NYC went out of business 40 years ago. I ate at one in the 50s on my first trip to NYC, but there was not one to be found AFAIK when I was there in the 60s, (not that I wanted to have a second meal at an automat).

Had the biggest trouble in the SW. Do they really have MCRIB sandwiches at MacDonalds? I'm having a hard time picturing such a thing, bones and all... and crossing HOTMILK???

All-in-all, enjoyed this puzzle despite all the write overs... (I do Sundays in pencil).

Anonymous 3:48 AM  

How is agape not a word? It's in Webster's and OED. It also means "charity," or "Christian love," and "a communal meal", albeit from a different root. That might have been a more apt way to clue it, being as it is Christmas.

Anonymous 4:19 AM  

Automats are alive and well in Amsterdam.

chefwen 4:47 AM  

I pretty much love all Elizabeth Gorski puzzles and this one was no exception. Unlike our leader and a few of our commenters, I like circles and drawing on my puzzles. The Gingerbread guy was pretty squarish but still recognizable and kinda cute.

Wanted to print the puzzle out on two pages as @JenCt recommended last Sunday but I think I need to do a little more homework, cuz I couldn't figure it out. Across Lite didn't offer me any options.

evil doug 5:17 AM  

corn chip; oleo; icing; mcrib; cheese dip; suet; red meat....

Okay, who stole my personal Christmas dinner recipe?


retired_chemist 7:30 AM  

@ Rube - yes, Mickey D's has MCRIBs. They just came back after an absence. My wife loves them. Check the link. You will learn why I don't.

Finished with two errors. One was sq. 45, IROC/SIXTE. Never head of either. The second was in Florida,where I had DAB/SBA. I KNEW DAB was "right" and didn't know DAP. so I was just thinking the SBA must be a really hip place to work. Also a typo @ SWOOP_N/UNI_TE. Oh well.

Kind of a slog for me. I am not a fan of this kind of theme, tasty though this one was. With only one square between the D and the W, this GINGERBREAD MAN seems to be wearing a corset. Pick him up and the end you aren't holding falls off. Also, the puzzle is perforce a pangram. Not a fan of those either.

Agree with Rex that some of the fill seems strained. I'll add BARE-ALL and OVERDUB to his list.

But it is Christmas morning and I wish peace and joy to all. Including, of course, Ms. Gorski, whose usual offerings are more to my taste than this one.

retired_chemist 7:43 AM  

Also - Somewhat symmetrically with the DAB/SBA error, for a while in the San Diego area I had BAT for my bopper. That gave me BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs), among other government agency acronyms (cf. the Board of Immigration Appeals). Actually, a LOT of organizations have the acronym BIA and one or more of them must surely have appeared in a Tom Clancy novel. Not that you could prove it by me.....

Ruth 7:45 AM  

Good luck getting this gingerbread man off the cookie sheet--his head's gonna fall off for sure! (not much of a neck, is what I'm saying) But very cute how he has a smiley face. A nice Christmas treat!

Bob Kerfuffle 7:55 AM  

Merry Christmas to All!*

Finished on paper with one wrong letter: Had 121 A as IN A FIT, as 102 D, SFAX!?! looked just as good as SFAT!?!

*Far from my favorite holiday; will not burden you with my reasons.

mmorgan 8:29 AM  

What CoolPapaD said.

COOKIEbUTTER and missed you all!

joho 8:40 AM  

TREEORNAMENT, COOKIECUTTER, FAIRYTALE and evidently ELIZABETH as the royal originator, were all ICING on the cake i.e. GINGERBREAD MAN for me in creating the perfect pangram. @Rex, I thought you would be delighted in that every letter has a reason for being and serves a purpose!

This skewed easy for me and I loved every minute of it including my final drawing on the puzzle.

Thank you, Liz Gorski, for this delicious Christmas morning present!

(Welcome back @CoolPapaD!)

poc 9:14 AM  

Not very pleasant overall. MCRIB? The horror, the horror. And TRAMCARS disappeared from London in the 1950's. Why not use somewhere they actually exist, like San Francisco?

Fred 9:30 AM  

An okay puzzle. Some questionable fill, but nothing too awful. Nothing much to compensate for it, of course, but I guess for people who like to (and can) draw on the puzzle and play connect-the-dots, the gingerbread man was cute.

KC Stengel 9:51 AM  

Agaze? Really? Of course zincites was crystal clear. Ugh. Also, next time I use my sfax machine I will think of Tunisia. Being a car buff IROC Z was a gimme.
Hot milk will probably give Santa indigestion.

r.alphbunker 10:09 AM  

Curiously all the 3 letter answers were at the bottom of the puzzles. Did they represent crumbs from the gingerbread man?

jackj 10:26 AM  

What an incredible feat of construction by Liz Gorski, the crossword world’s answer to Frank Gehry.

The A to Z connectors are impressive and, then, to place the blank squares in such precise locations to create the GINGERBREAD MAN(s) eyes, mouth, etc. and still give us an intelligible puzzle, well, WOW!

This puzzle is a mind-boggling exercise in logistical genius!

The fill was, er, interesting and produced a lot of “huh’s” before coming to a merry closure.

Framing the solve as a positive experience, if nothing else, it did prepare one for a challenging game of Trivial Pursuit. “Tunisian city of 221,00 people? SFAX, of course”.

Thanks Liz, (from one who usually hates gimmick puzzles), for once again dazzling us with a special holiday gift.

Happy Holidays to all!

Lindsay 10:31 AM  


Not to mention SFAX and EFOR. But others already have.

I had just finished explaining to my little dog Hester that she had been adopted into a lousy home with no Santa, when a neighbor stopped by with a bag of treats and a squeaky gecko.

So Merry Christmas to all.

quilter1 10:57 AM  

Merry Christmas! I finished in time to pack up the food and gifts and head to Mom's. Good puzzle, liked the theme, no quibbles except AGAZE.

Received a Kindle from dear daughter. Now I have to figure out how to use.

ArtO 11:13 AM  

Same AGAPE/AGAZE problem as others along with misc. three letter ???s but otherwise relatively easy.

Kudos to Ms. Gorski for a logistical tour de force. The result excuses all the weirdo fill.

Merry Christmas.

AnnieD 12:02 PM  

Loved the gingerbread man and all the related fill. Just enough challenge to keep it intereting, but not so much as to make it unattainable. Perfect puzzle for xmas day. Thanks Ms Gorski!

Merry Xmas to all. May your nerves get some rest, your tummies get full, and may your hearts be happy.

AnnieD 12:06 PM  

@poc, San Fran has cable cars, not tram cars.

@jackj, I completely missed the eyes and the smile on the gingerbread man....thanks for pointing it out.

dk 12:15 PM  

Plenty of old chestnuts and x-mas cheer in this one. Considering the day and the theme: Bravo!

*** (3 sugar plums)

I may watch Cape Fear: MONO MITCHUM and I love/hate the tattoo.

Noam D. Elkies 12:18 PM  

Nice seasonal theme, though I'm not sure why the grid had to be supersized. The size did help inspire a cute (if not quite perfectly scanned) tribute in the Crossword Fiend blog to the tune of O Tannenbaum: "Though oversized, it does so please / With very little crosswordese" etc. :-)

I knew of Max 67D:REGER, who was at one point highly enough regarded that Schoenberg fancied himself the inheritor of a tradition that went from Bach to Mozart, Beethoven, etc., reaching Brahms, and then Reger just before Schoenberg! But indeed Reger's name (unlike the others in Schoenberg's list) is no more common nowadays in the concert hall than in the crossword grid, where today's puzzle marks REGER's first xwordinfo appearance.

11D:ZINCITE is a real mineral ("the mineral form of zinc oxide" per Wikipedia), inferable from "zinc", and has some interesting wordplay possibilities: not just an anagram of "citizen", but also one of the few cases of hard C before I, and a somewhat surprising Scrabble hook to "incite", changing the pronunciation of that C. But I too could have done without the "healing crystal" mumbo-jumbo.

44A:SIXTE — well all the fencing positions are just ordinal numbers in (sometimes archaic) French: prime, seconde, tierce, quarte, quinte, sixte, septime, octave, neuvieme. 102D:SFAX — I happened to know it, but have no idea how anybody is supposed to guess it (no, there's no relation with the Zfat/Sfat/Safed, the center of Jewish mysticism in northern Israel). Still, at least it's a real thing, not just some ephemeral misspelled stage name like CEELO. (No, "Cee-Lo Green" was not a graduate of Sfax U.; nor is the port town known for making or trading in Sfax machines.) 9D:GRIMSBY, on the other hand, is just grim, and I can offer no defense beyond constructor's exigency.

Thanks for the Sesame Street clip!

Merry Christmas, Chanukkah, Chwansaa, et Chetera

Lewis 12:22 PM  

@evildoug -- you can be very funny, and you keep unusual hours...

I like 23, 26, and 33 across, three stacked words, almost half the letters o's.

Knowing that the circles filled alphabetically revealed a lot of letters quickly.

For me, easy for a Sunday, NGN. Thank you, Elizabeth, and happy to see you in the puzzle.

Merry merry, all!

Noam D. Elkies 12:26 PM  

P.S. Given the date: 140A:MCRIB = Mmanger contents? (But it would spoil the subtheme McRIB/CHEESE_DIP/TASTY in this 140/141/145A row.)


Statistically average guy 1:06 PM  

That's a rather impressive "pepper grinder" on that gingerbread man.

syndy 1:16 PM  

OOH It's christmas and LA GORSKI and --circles (i hate circles) ooh and after that we get to CONNECT the circles (won't that be FUN!)I ignored the circles and did not connect them so I perfectly happy with a little gingerbread theme-had agape and had to wince at the bottom row -how is that NOT labored? but it's christmas and I loved BY THE BY so merry all peace and good will (and whirled peas)

Matthew G. 1:17 PM  

I'm not huge fan of circles and drawing, but this was a fine, leisurely puzzle for a Christmas Sunday. I finished with the exact same error as Rex, except I'm not counting it as an error because (solving on paper) I caught it when I drew the gingerbread man and realized I was missing a Z for the theme. The way I see it, if the theme helps you find an error before you check your answers, it's no error.

Of course, it's pure luck that I didn't have an error in SIXTE. Never heard of SIXTE, IROC, or MTM, and I just flat out guessed the I and T in SIXTE because that sounded vaguely fencingish. Couldn't believe my luck when I came here and found it was correct.

On the whole, I hate gigantic Sunday puzzles with weak fill. But baking this gingerbread man saved me from baking with the in-laws, so I'm feeling more charitable today.

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

It's Christmas! Ms. Gorski constucted a gingerbread man with AGAZE above the "eyes". Yes, you need a Z to complete the shape. And ALLSMILES above the "smile". So give her a little leeway, or leetide?
Why be a grinch today? SFAX, SHMAX! Enjoy the puzzle and enjoy the day!

JaxInL.A. 1:21 PM  

I want to thank Will Shortz and Liz Gorski for this smiling, jolly Christmas gift to us all. A few frown-inducing spots could not overshadow the fun I had doing this. Prompted by the puzzle, I went to check out Liz's blog site, Crossword Nation, and just learned that she is publishing a weekly puzzle (for .99/month). Hooray! That's what I get for not stopping in there more often.

@mmorgan, it's really great to see you back. I remember we often had very similar solving experiences, and I remember that you had a lovely wit. I have missed seeing you post for many months now.

Merry Christmas to all, especially those who may be struggling with this first holiday after losing a dear loved one. I'm thinking of @PurpleGuy and his 100+ mom, @Kathy and her long-time puzzle partner, and the others who have shared their losses with us this year.

Thanks to Rex, once again, for providing this space, and to all of you for being my virtual friends.

jodi 1:57 PM  

Chef Bea here

Merry Xmas from Ct. Had an easy time with the puzzle...daughter helped and we did it without googling. Son-in-law has just put the prime rib on the grill. Pie is out of the oven and dip is ready to dig into with chips. Back to NC tomorrow.

Z 1:58 PM  

Nice not so little puzzle. Lots of fill that I learned by coming here. Didn't notice that my gingerbread man was smiling.

Папа 2:11 PM  

San Francisco has both cable cars and trams (assuming tram is another term for street car). The Market St. line uses a collection of vintage cars from all around the country.

mac 2:25 PM  

Neatest way to create a pangram! I ended up with a hole at the crossing of sixte and iroc, just had no clue about the sport or the car.

Right, plenty of automats in Holland still, with my beloved kroketten....

Lots of party food in this puzzle. Hope you're all enjoying a peaceful Christmas day. On to the dinner prep for me.

Variable Data Printing 3:45 PM  

Very good interest to read. By Regards Wholesale Printing And Variable Data Printing

xyz 4:07 PM  


Seemed easy to me as the "tell" of the theme made it so.

Merry X-Mas

X-Mas Curmudgeon 4:12 PM  

anersty - amnesty for a anarchist? whata captch

Tired fill??? TIRED FILL????

Jesu Christu Rex, it's X-mas. Folks other than puzzle nerds do these things, take a day off. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S

oh bother ...

P.S. Zinc-ite was ugleeee

Anonymous 4:45 PM  

London Trams ...


The London trams shut down in 1950 and reopened in 2000.


nycscott 4:51 PM  

Agape is the ugly word, suggesting the image of a drooling cad ogling an attractive woman. Agaze (certainly a real word) is beautiful, suggesting the wonder of a child seeing her first shooting star.

Lewis 5:03 PM  

And Merry Christmas to you Variable Data Printing.

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

I guess AGAZE is not so ridiculous and a nonword. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says AGAZE is an adjective. Def: engaged in the act of gazing.
First known use: 1720
Wiktionary def: from a-("to") + gaze ("look at something intently")

jazzmanchgo 5:35 PM  

What the hell is an "ETAT"?

Lewis 5:47 PM  

@TITA! - 52 down

Merry Christmas from dyslexic Lewis...

Anonymous 6:17 PM  

Cousin ITT?


mmespeer 6:24 PM  

@jazzmanchgo Etat is the French word for state and Californie is the French spelling for that state.
Joyeux Noel!

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

@Anon 6:17 - An Addams Family character was Cousin ITT.

Stan 7:36 PM  

Lovely puzzle, studded with bits of seasonal fun.

I'm done with my friends-and-family obligations, feeling peaceful, which made this an especially fine diversion.

Thanks, Liz.

r.alphbunker 8:08 PM  


ETAT is usually clued by an American state with a French spelling (e.g., Californie.)

TETE is another French word that is the answer to a clue containing French words.

And it is also good to remember that Nice is a city in France.

JenCT 9:52 PM  

Finally got here!

@chefwen: In AcrossLite, go to Print - Customized - Print using two pages (it's a square box at the bottom of that popup screen)

Always enjoy Gorski puzzles; I worked on it on & off all day, finishing with a couple errors.

Biggest holdup for me was the NW corner, where I had BE STILL before BARE ALL for 24A.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Anonymous 11:04 PM  

With a little help from my friends....

This was tedious, in between celebrations. Figured AGAZE was the correct answer for 2a because that was the last stop to trace the GINGERBREAD MAN. Ditto to surmise Q must terminate 161a but no clue on what the other two letters are. 34a ALSOP was a throwback. The ALSOP brothers were a formidable journalistic duo. Conservative to the core but would be considered left leaning in today's climate. How topical was 155a TRIPOLI? And BTW was this the highest number of across clues for a Sunday puzzle. Lost interest in some ENE entries.

Nice puzzle for a cloudy Christmas Day.

Tita 12:01 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tita 12:03 AM  

Maybe I can be the crossword equivalent of Al Hirschfeld's daughter NINA...
(For the under 50 crowd, this is worth a look...google "finding nina in al hirschfeld drawings"...)
Hirschfeld is known for hiding the name of his daughter, Nina, in most of the drawings he produced since her birth in 1945.

AGAZE above the eyes, ALLSMILES above the smile... :D

Yup - also loved the ordered pangram in the circles. Much fun - thank you!

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

108D - what does TWI stand for?

JaxInL.A. 2:15 AM  

Anon 12:51, Clued as "light head" it means a prefix to light, I.e. TWI light.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

You should listen to the New Koto Ensemble--Winter from The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) perhaps--so you'd know more than just crossword answers

jberg 9:51 AM  

I started this Sunday morning, but had to stop to do my Christmas cooking: prepare and roast a goose, with stuffing and gravy - and did not return until today (Monday). On Sunday, I was expecting to draw a Christmas tree (but we did that last year, didn't we?) or maybe Santa Claus - but once I had those Gs, it was all clear except for the MAN/boy dilemma - and, most important, I could fill in all the circles.

The unsymmetrical absence of a circle in 124A bothered me at first, but then I realized she had to leave one out of a pair someplace in order to give the poor buy a crotch.

I finished with major errors, though - for some reason I remembered the actor's last name as MeaCHUM. It made the ref's decision "a KO", and created the battleship eOWA, but what did I know?

Are KHZ a station's call letters, or do they stand for some techie thing? I guessed it - WIZ seemed slightly better than WIg or WIt for "maven" - but it was a guess.

Heinrich Hertz 11:10 AM  

@jberg - KHZ = Kilohertz, or thousands of cycles per second.

Alan 4:24 PM  

Winder Spartan: As in so many (every) Sunday puzzle, responses are difficult or ridiculously easy, but always fun and a splendid way to pass the day. Oh to be a constructioner and have to be solemnly critiqued by so many pundits and pedants. Merry Christmas to all.

swimslikeafish 11:52 PM  

Here very late as Xmas doings meant I had to do this Monday. But I had to share that I put GINGERBREAD MAN in first! And all of the letters in second! I was pretty proud of myself but surprisingly it took much of the fun out of finishing. Still, an impressive construction in my book.

And, since I am so late anyway, I have to chime in on Wednesday's blog frenzy...I like the No-l puzzle, even though I remembered the last time it was done, because that's my name and so I have had to hear that joke many times. More fun to see it in a puzzle!

Merry merry to all! Thanks, Rex, for keeping the blog going.

Tita 11:56 PM  

@jberg- while i have had MY goose cooked more than once, have never cooked a goose.
Not even during my voyages through the French countryside, come to think of it.
Only foie d'oie - never the oie herself.

Where does one procure such a beast?

nurturing 4:48 AM  

Thank you, Elizabeth Gorski! And Happy New Year, too!

Dirigonzo 12:33 PM  

Making this gingerbread man was still fun on New Years Day, though I finished with a couple of errors. My storage units at 50a were BoxES and the radio abbr. at 158 a was uHf. The small boat danger @123d almost sank me too as I, a life-long sailor, have never used the term LEETIDE (but it made enough sense to know it was right.)

This was a nice way to start off 2012 and I look forward to more of the same from Ms Gorski et al throughout the year.

Happy New Year to Rexites everywhere!

Anonymous 2:37 PM  

Spacecraft here; Happy New Year from the land where that's today! As usual, my mind gets boggled by the constructional feats of our puzzlers. To position every letter of the alphabet--IN ORDER--around the grid in a recognizable pattern, PLUS include long answers germane to that figure, is astounding. Granted, the guy so pictured certainly seems to be a chubber; this boy has eaten too many of his clones and needs a New Year's diet, bigtime. But still...
Finished with but one blemish: the natick at 123. I was so far out at sea on that one I couldn't even muster a guess. What in the world is LBO?? Hmm, maybe that Texan was really Irish: Lyndon Baines O'Johnson. LEETIDE? The tsunami created when Pamela left Tommy?? Yikes!
BTW, I noticed that the black squares inside GM's head actually make a (admittedly noseless) face--which, even more incredibly, is indeed ALLSMILES. Fantastic!

picrias: an x-ray of the Isles of Langerhans.

Anonymous 3:34 PM  

To anonymous @ 3:48 AM-the non-word you are complaining about was "agaze", NOT "agape".
To anonymous @ 2:37 PM- "LBO" stands for "leveraged buy-out".

Dirigonzo 5:15 PM  

Had to come back to register a complaint that I meant to mention in my earlier post. 80d "Get an EFOR effort" is just wrong as far as I am concerned. In my experience if you try real hard but fail to attain your goal you may get a failing mark for the results but you will get an "A" (which is to say a good grade) for the effort you put into it. That's my take on it, anyway.

Anonymous 5:40 PM  

Any SJ Mercury/Trib/Argus solvers here? I don't know if the format is the same in all the papers, but for the past several weeks the Argus has managed to cram the Sunday puzzle into a smaller space than they use for the weekday puzzles. I now need two pairs of reading glasses to read the numbers and clues, and I need the hands of a surgeon to write within the squares. Please join me in lodging a direct complaint to the editor haven't already.

As for this puzzle...

Missed just two squares, a result of seeing FEET ICE as a greater danger than LEE TIDE. I stand by that assertion and claim victory on those grounds.

Rex, symmetrical counterpart to SHREK is MOVIE. Maybe you were just being facetious; doesn't read that way.

Did not notice the "A to Z thing", I assume the editor I referred to above saw fit to remove some sort of "connect the circled letters in order" note. More reason to complain. I did notice that the circled letters formed the shape of GBMan, but I didn't care enough to see what the circled letters were. Nice feat of construction, in retrospect.

I didn't know MONGO was planet. I thought MONGO only pawn in game of life.

Simply, Ron 12:20 PM  

What a nice easy pzzl to bring in the new year. Thanks, Ms Gorski for all your puzzles. I get a real kick out of this blog and sometimes roar my head off - especially at the petty bickerings. I just howl at some of Mr. Parker's ramblings, like, "I've never heard of that word." Horrors, how could they do that to him. Much fun & Happy NY to all. The Sage of La Mesa, CA

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

Nice that 50A BYTES was where the mouth would be.

TenB 2:54 PM  

"NERTS"? Who says that?

Deb 3:00 AM  

Well, nerts!


arsolymp: a disease I pray I never get (or read about in Reader's Digest).

Jasmine Smith 8:15 AM  

Terrific job here. I truly enjoyed what you had to say. Keep heading because you undoubtedly bring a new voice to this topic. Not many people would say what you’ve said and still make it interesting. Properly, at least I’m interested. Cant wait to see far more of this from you.

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