1972 Eastwood western / SUN 9-16-12 / Title heroine Gustave Charpentier opera / Androgynous SNL skit 1994 movie / Highest taxonomic rank / Obsolescent belt attachment / Nonhuman villain classic 1968 film / First bishop of Paris

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Constructor: David Steinberg and Barry Haldiman

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "A Giant Crossword" — a JACK AND THE BEANSTALK puzzle, where the title of the story winds, vine-like, in circles, from top to bottom of the grid. Four theme answers start with FEE, FI, FO, FUM, respectively, and the rest of the giant's exclamation is the answer of the main revealer clue: "I SMELL THE BLOOD / OF AN ENGLISHMAN" (3D: With 50-Down, cry made in [the circled letters] after the starts of 54-, 33-, 30- and 14-Down)

Word of the Day: "LOUISE" (21A: Title heroine of a Gustave Charpentier opera) —

Louise is an opera ('roman musical') in four acts by Gustave Charpentier to an original Frenchlibretto by the composer, with some contributions by Saint-Pol-Roux, a symbolist poet and inspiration of the surrealists.
The opera depicts Parisian working-class life. However the city itself is in many ways the true star of this very atmospheric work - invoked at various points during the opera.[2] A French example of verismo opera, it tells the story of the love between Louise, a seamstress living with her parents in Paris, and Julien, a young artist. It is the story of a young girl's desire for freedom (associated in her mind with her lover and the city of Paris). (wikipedia)
• • •

Really enjoyed this, even though I didn't really understand the theme completely until the end. I mean, I barely saw, let alone thought about, those circles, and I spent a few moments after I finished trying to understand how the long Downs were thematic: "They all start with F ... so something's going on ..." Then I actually, completely, fully read the revealer clue—which, of course, explains it all. I got "I SMELL THE BLOOD / OF AN ENGLISHMAN" with just a cursory glance at the clue. In fact, I may only have picked up "cry," but once I had the "I SMELL" part, the "cry" wasn't hard to deduce. After that, it was off to the races, where I was most entertained as I dashed around the grid. This is an expertly filled grid. Very few groaners, lots of gold. Even the stuff I didn't really know, like AL LEWIS (36A: Grandpa Munster portrayer) and "JOE KIDD" (20D: 1972 Eastwood western), was gettable from crosses, and lively enough to make the momentary worthwhile. Was especially fond of "IT'S PAT" (120A: Androgynous "S.N.L." skit turned into a 1994 movie), "SHE BANGS" (71A: 2000 Ricky Martin hit), TELEPORT, ATATURK, THE LIONS (my team!), SISKEL, and ANAEROBE (not so much for the word as for the clue—39D: Septic tank worker?). Found it mostly easy, overall, though I really struggle at the very end with that NE corner. Got OLD-TIMER but couldn't get OFF DAY, "LOUISE" (?), or DOMAIN (25A: Highest taxonomic rank) off their first letters. So I worked cross after cross until they fell. Didn't help that I confused LINA Wertmüller with LENI Riefenstahl.

This puzzle *earned* its circles. They were contiguous, their shape was meaningful—very artfully done. If I'd stopped to think about their significance as I was solving, instead of speeding around the grid, I might (ironically) have gone faster, since I definitely had trouble in that "JOE KIDD" portion of the grid. Biggest problem I had was seeing / parsing FINITERESOURCE, largely because my brain understood the last word to be SOURCE, and so could do Nothing with -INITERE ... FINITERE SOURCE!? I swear that I had every letter before I knew what I was looking at. Embarrassing. I also had a bunch of trouble with PIZZA OVEN (23A: Domino's most important part), entirely because I had YAKS for YAPS (5D: Goes on and on). Couldn't make anything work, then I started second-guessing my "Z"-spelling of GIZMO (I've seen the puzzle go with "S" before). Only after I put together GAZERS (7D: Ones with telescopes), did I get the double-Z, which made PIZZA obvious. Besides the above, no other trips or spills. Just smooth, fun sailing.

  • 61A: Obsolescent belt attachment (BEEPER) — fantastic clue. I was completely befuddled, and then once I got it, the clue seemed perfect. That's how a tough clue is supposed to work. 
  • 74A: It's separated from N.B. by the Northumberland Strait (P.E.I.) — I got this by wondering "What the heck does 'N.B.' stand for ... New Brunswick!" I.e. Canada, i.e. three-letter initialism for a province, i.e. Prince Edward Island or P.E.I.
  • 77A: Half of a Yale cheer (BOOLA) — know your Yale-isms! ELI, ELIHU, BOOLA, and such.
  • 102A: First bishop of Paris (ST. DENIS) — apparently you don't have to signal the abbrev. in the clue when the abbrev. is "ST." Good to know.
  • 106A: Onetime billionaire investor Laurence (TISCH) — assumed he had something to do with the TISCH Center for the Arts, but no, this is a completely different rich TISCH who made major philanthropic donations in NYC. This TISCH has his name on the Children's Zoo in Central Park
  • 69D: ___ Dorney, locale of 2012 Olympic rowing (ETON) — Another smokescreener, or whatever we're calling clues that sound elaborate, fancy, or obscure, but have very common answers.
  • 100D: William ___ Henley, "Invictus" poet (ERNEST) — never heard of him or his poem. I think "Invictus" was a rugby movie with Matt Damon, right?
  • 105D: 1960s TV spy org. (U.N.C.L.E.) — I was thinking of bad guys (a la KAOS) and so took longer than I should've on this one.
  • 117D: Nonhuman villain of a classic 1968 film (HAL) — starring KEIR DULLEA, a name you should really, really commit to memory, or some day it will show up in a puzzle and absolutely floor you.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:14 AM  

Easy-medium for me too.   Ambitious clever fun theme with a pretty smooth grid for a Sun.  

Tried dodad before GIZMO. (or is it doodad?)

First time I've seen the clues for ETON and EEL.

Nice breezy Sun. guys!

JFC 12:16 AM  

Interesting comment by @Rex. My experience was exactly the opposite. I got the theme quickly, filled in the circles and the two long theme answers and paid no attention to the Fe, Fi, etc. until it was completed.

You say this doesn't prove anything? I say it proves everything. @Rex goes for words and I go for theme, especially on Sunday....


chefwen 3:18 AM  

That was weird, at first I thought we were going for cheeseburgers. I had I SMELL THE B--O-, I'm thinking bacon, then I got the spiral going down with JACK, O.K. we are going for different cheese. Talk about left field! DOH! Anyway, it got me hungry for a cheese burger so that's what I had for dinner.
Light bulb blinked on and I was able to finish when I corrected HAH HAH to HAR HAR.

Cute puzzle, I liked it!

Dukedog 6:19 AM  

Since we're dealing with the blood of an Englishman, can I propose that the barrister's degree could or should be an LL.D? That would give "anaerode", which is apparently an acceptable alternative.

Brookboy 6:47 AM  

More medium than easy for me. Got the center pretty well and then struggled with the corners, especially the southwest corner.

"Speak raucously" (31A) = BLAT? I'm tempted to BLAT right now.

Never did figure out the FEE FI FO FUM construct until I read Rex's comments. Yet another DUH! moment for me.

Very clever puzzle, very enjoyable for me.

YontifSadie 7:39 AM  

What does 73A One small step have to do with ATOB? What is ATOB?

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

A to B, as in from point A to point B.

ParserMan 7:49 AM  

A to B

AH 7:54 AM  

A to B

Glimmerglass 8:23 AM  

"Invictus," the poem, is the one that ends "I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul." Didn't remember the poet's name. Fun puzzle, if not very hard. I got the circles and the whole quote (except I misspelled FI as "fie") off ISMELL, so that made everything pretty easy. Lots of stuff I didn't know, but the crosses were aways easy -- except the W in WIL and AL LEWIS, but that was an easy guess. Loved the clue for CLUE.

joho 8:47 AM  

Very clever use of circles ... loved the theme! Adding FEE, FI, FO FUM was icing on the cake. Plus those long answers are so fresh. I had FutiLE before FEEBLE, though.

Also FUMBLEd at badDAY before OFFDAY and laurEL before SISKEL.

This was just a charming Sunday romp (not a slog) with lots of PEP.

Thank you, David and Barry!

LoriS 9:37 AM  

I want to express again my utmost respect for the constructor of any puzzle, especially a Sunday. But for me (and I am at best a mediocre solver) the theme's the thing, and once I "get" the general theme I like puzzles that still offer fun "ahas" when you complete each answer. As soon as I saw the title of this puzzle, and the beanstalky shape, I knew what we were dealing with; and when I read the clue for 3 down, all of the theme answers fell much too easily into position. For this particular Sunday and this particular solver, fun over.

Tyler Clark 9:43 AM  

Good one. Got the circles seconds into solving but didn't get the Fee, Fie, Foe until near the end.

jackj 9:53 AM  

Who doesn’t know the words to “Jack and the Beanstalk”:

Be he live or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”

This was such a pure delight, that even when the theme became clear, it didn’t burst the fun bubble; it seemed to enhance the solving pleasure and we became time travelers of a sort as we flashed back to happy childhood nonsense.

Fifteen-year old phenom David Steinberg and revered Cru member, crossword historian and original Litzbro Barry Haldiman have given us a very special treat for today’s puzzle!

This was one of those rarities that is not only a constructing tour de force but a pleasure to solve. As the circled letters twine through the grid to make the Beanstalk and the theme gives us the second line of the poem, the constructors have still managed to include some first-rate cluing, especially to give us the four long FEE-FI-FO-FUM entries and from (FEE)BLEATTEMPT to (FUM)BLETHEBALL, this is good work.

The rest of the fill lets us see how determined David and Barry were that the puzzle be of a piece and the cluing for their three-letter entries shows thoughtful inclusions such as FOO, DAR, PEI and TET and then, with a raft of proper nouns, there was still no letdown in imagination as we were treated not only to BART (Conner), (Larry) TISCH and KARL(Lagerfeld), but also to KUALA, CHARLOTTE and AMIENS and, of course, that unlikely duo of SISKEL and STDENIS, fronting for ALLEWIS.

This was a joy. Thank you, David and Barry!

Tita 10:04 AM  

Haven't finished the puzzle, but I have pictures of our lunch (and metamorphosis) party, and wanted to post the link to some pics...

(You need to scroll down to see the new entry)

Carola 10:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carola 10:20 AM  

If I can call on another story, this one was "just right" for me - beautiful artistry to admire and fun to untangle. I caught on to the theme about half-way through, so that was just right, too - enough time to be nicely puzzled before writing in the long quote answers. Love that sinuous vine growing from the bottom of the puzzle and the spacing out of the FEE-FI-FO-FUM like the heavy tread of the approaching giant.

Catching on to the theme didn't allow me to speed to the finish, though, as the "couple of buddies" (HAR HAR) and Grandpa Munster both crossing another actor I'd never heard of almost made it a LOST CAUSE. Lots of alphabet review before the penny dropped.

Kinda nice that there's BEEFY MEAT to go along with the BLOOD. Perhaps the giant ends his feast with a cup of JAVA.

Hadn't thought about a BEEPER in years - my husband used to have one attached to his belt for getting paged in the hospital. BEEPER numbers were pearls beyond price as far as being able to get in touch with a doctor went.

Thank you, David and Barry - ingenious, and very fun to solve!

10:10 AM

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

This puzzle was the archetype of how to use circles well. JACKANDTHEBEANSTALK could have been a simple theme element, which would have resulted in an ok puzzle. Making it undulating, and using circles to make the entry visible as a theme element, added a much satisfying twist to the puzzle. It was an organic addition that added to the overall appeal of the puzzle.

Sandy K 11:03 AM  

Had all the elements of an enjoyable Sunday puzzle!

Did not make a FE-EBLE ATTEMPT!
Was able to FI-nish!
Did not FO-AM AT THE MOUTH (like Sat.)

Thanx Mr. Steinberg and Mr.Haldiman- your GIANT XWORD was a GIANT success!

Sue McC 11:12 AM  

It's as if Rex was solving right there with me on the couch...I feel like I could have written his remarks word for word (I laughed with recognition at YAKS before YAPS) with the exception of knowing AL LEWIS. In fact just before coming here I was giving those long answers one more look over ("they all start with f", "they ll have four syllables"....) and realized I hadn't completely read the 3D clue. Duh. This had everything you could want for a Sunday and then some! Bravo!

Eleveniss 11:44 AM  

Got couple of buddies on the cross, but still don't get it unless it refers to the dees in buddies. ATOB got me, too!!

Jack from Into the Woods 11:52 AM  

There are Giants in the sky!
There are big tall terrible Giants
in the sky!

When you're way up high
And you look below
At the world you left
And the things you know,
Little more than a glance
Is enough to show
You just how small you are.

When you're way up high
And you're own your own
In a world like none
That you've ever known,
Where the sky is lead
And the earth is stone,

You're free, to do
Whatever pleases you,
Exploring things you'd never dare
'Cause you don't care,
When suddenly there's

A big tall terrible Giant at the door,
A big tall terrible lady Giant
sweeping the floor.
And she gives you food
And she gives you rest
And she draws you close
To her Giant breast,
And you know things now
that you never knew before,
Not till the sky.

Only just when you've made
A friend and all,
And you know she's big
But you don't feel small,
Someone bigger than her
Comes along the hall
To swallow you for lunch.

And your heart is lead
And your stomach stone
And you're really scared
Being all alone...

And it's then that you miss
All the things you've known
And the world you've left
And the little you own-

The fun is done.
You steal what you can and run.
And you scramble down
And you look below,
And the world you know
Begins to grow:

The roof, the house, and your Mother at the door.
The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore.
And you think of all of the things you've seen,
And you wish that you could live in between,
And you're back again,
Only different than before,
After the sky.

There are Giants in the sky!
There are big tall terrible awesome scary wonderful
Giants in the sky!

hazel 11:55 AM  

I think this may have been my easiest Sunday ever. Like @LoriS i suspected the theme just looking at the puzzle, before i filled anything in. Unlike @loriS, i thoroughly enjoyed it - tough week so i was looking for a relaxing solve. Because of the theme, i had toeholds everywhere - perfect for climbing a beanstalk with ease!!

Great fun!!

Eleveniss 12:02 PM  

The poem is the cherry on top of my lovely Sunday morning. Thanks so much--more to ponder now!

Lewis 12:18 PM  

Felt fun and fresh, theme helped me early, no Google. Got held up because I had HALFHEARTEDLY instead of FEEBLEATTEMPT. And for 49A I had A__HOLE, and had to tell myself, "nah, couldn't be".


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

BigSteve46 12:58 PM  

Hate to dissent but - a uipuzzle full of 3-letter answers is a lousy puzzle. Period.

Sparky 1:02 PM  

Had ENGLISH and MOUTH which gave me two long downs. Enough of the single circles filled in to yield J and the whole vine. At 33D thought Oil, as in salad, and wanted sauCE. It was shaken up and resolved. Nil before PEP; AtOI. Missed the ZZ so that section in NMiddle had five empty boxes. Close, no cigar. Even so, found it fun to work on. Good Sunday, thanks David and Barry.

mac 1:06 PM  

Beautiful, well-thought out puzzle. Medium for me, and parsing was the larger part of my problem.

ALLEWIS: odd name
FINITERESOURCE because I also started out with source.

Thanks for all the quotations, that adds so much to the solving pleasure. I didn't do yesterday's puzzle until this morning (thank you, chefbea!), and I went through all of Anna's write-up and the posts anyway.

Masked and Blatonomous 1:25 PM  

Primo write-up, @31. We liked the puz, too. ALLEWIS was known as ALLEgIS at our house. BLAT made us dawdle in the NE for quite a while, fearing we'd messed up. Blat might more likely be the sound a fat giant makes, when he plummets down, landing on top of a whoopee cushion factory.

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

I especially like this reading of Invictus by Morgan Freeman.

Enjoyed the puzzle. Also had YAK instead of YAP (and thinking about the wrong type of dominoes), IBIX instead of IBIS. I do not understand the DEES for 27D Couple of buddies either, other than as mentioned the two letter D's in the word.

Congratulations to Barry Haldiman on his debut and David Steinberg. Thanks for the blog write up too.

Cathyat40 2:00 PM  

Did not like ALLEWIS crossing WIL

John V 2:01 PM  

Loads of fun. Most enjoyable Sunday puzzle in a while.

A bit OT, but re: yesterday:
Not Easy-Medium; VERY challenging for me. Never got the NW; DRAGONET/PORTIA strikes me as the quintessential Natick, even for a Saturday. Way too many proper nouns/pop culture obscuranta for me pal latte.

quilter1 2:20 PM  

Yes, laurEL before SISKEL, hahaha before HARHAR, but I knew ALLEWIS of all things.

BTW, Parks and Recreation is new on Thursday. Long live Ron Swanson.

syndy 2:24 PM  

I got the theme early "I SMELL" and filled in the rest.I had a few hold ups Callin before DIALIN;Acuba/bays before ACCRA/RIA and was working FINIsh something but no major problems! I did feel using both FEEBLE and FUMBLE was a flaw.minor quibbles! thanks gentlemen.#

edmcan 2:55 PM  

Once I realized it was not'Jack and Jill...', I blew through this one. Lots of fun.

David Steinberg 2:58 PM  

Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone! And thanks, Rex, for the great review--I'm glad you enjoyed our puzzle!

retired_chemist 4:35 PM  

Not surprised that few knew Henley's middle name (or, for that matter, his other names). I AM surprised that the poem itself in unfamiliar to any of us. However, AL LEWIS - WTF.

Tita, thanks ever so for the Monarch butterfly link. I forwarded it to my wife, who is visiting in MI and is bedridden with a cold for a couple of days (bummer). It will brighten her day as it did mine.

Enjoyable and easy-medium, per Rex's writeup. Same experience as JFC except I ignored the circles. Just whacked in 3D and 50D after a very few crosses. The rest of the theme answers, plus some more long ones, almost wrote themselves in.

Had PHYLUM for 25A - clearly wrong, as crosses soon showed. D'oh.

I would link to the William Hung version of SHE BANGS, but I have spent years trying to forget it. Thanks, David and Barry, for everything but that.

joho 4:55 PM  

@Tita ... thank you, that was fascinating! Wish I could have been there.

Milford 5:12 PM  

Beautiful September day spent here in SE Michigan, home of Domino's PIZZA and THE LIONS (mini-theme?)

Found this fun and medium, got the longer theme answers about half-way through. Tough to parse out FINITERESOURCE at first, but that only made the puzzle better Not a slog at all, just a couple words I've never seen: YEGG and RIAS.

AL LEWIS was completely known by me, thanks to many hours watching The Munsters. I remember reading once that people were either Munsters fans or Addams Family fans. I could never decide which we were.

A Capriote 6:11 PM  

This puzzle screamed Tony Hayward to me:
Off day
Finite resource
Feeble attempt
Fumble the ball
And what the residents of the Gulf Of Mexico were wont to do-
Foam at the mouth
They smelled the blood of an Englishman!!!
Or am I reading too much into this?

jberg 8:30 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, but it took me all day - I just couldn't let go of 'hopE TO' instead of DARE TO, which left me unable to guess Mr. Henley's middle name. Finally biked in to town for South End Open Studios, went out to lunch, then biked back home ans DETOUR leaped out of me, making everything else fall into place.

I was never a Munsters fan, but knew AL LEWIS because he was the Green Party candidate for US Senate from New York a few years ago. Nobody knew his name then either, to the Greens were careful to always mention that he was Grandpa Munster. He lost anyway.
@Dukedog, LlD is strictly an honorary degree - barristers get either an LlB or a JD.

I did enjoy it, but thought the fill was worse that Rex did, with lines like UNDERGO LOA ALOE GLO. I guess that could be an advertising slogan.

Carola 9:27 PM  

@Tita - The slide show is just wonderful. Thank you.

Milford 10:22 PM  

Yes, @Tita, the butterfly slideshow was wonderful. Thank you to you (and JenCT!) for sharing it.

Anonymous 11:36 PM  

Such a cool puzzle. The circles were even in the shape of a beanstalk!

don't get DEES, tho.

Tita 12:06 AM  

Loved this puzzle!! Thank you, David and Barry.
Fabulous as a puzzle, and, this year, I planted beanstalks - I have a solid green wall of beanstalks, planted about every 3-4 weeks apart since March. I've got some giant beans!

Thanks for checking the slideshow - it really was magical to see that happen before our eyes.
@Retired_Chemist- I hope your wife feels better soon!

paulsfo 2:24 AM  

I thought the clue for CLUE was pretty bad, but I really liked "start of a spill" for SLOSH.

Didn't know that domains had been added to taxonomy, above kingdoms.

Spent 40 years in the great lakes region, where BLAT is supposedly used, and I've never heard of it.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Great puzzle.

I do claim Natick at "DAR" and "ASTRA" though. Latin meets...? Guess I'm the only one..


Anonymous 11:37 AM  


Sharon 4:01 PM  

Rex, I'll eat my hat if, for 117D, Steinberg and Haldiman weren't referring to HAL, the computer-gone-rogue in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 futuristic classic "2001: A Space Odyssey." It was another of the wonderful, slightly askew clues in this fun, chewy puzzle: the villain wasn't a person, but a machine.

Sharon 4:07 PM  

I see David Steinberg's commented elsewhere. David, if by chance you're still looking, just curious to know which HAL you guys meant. Really enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks!

Anonymous 9:28 PM  

Couple of buddies = pair in "buddies" = dd = dees

hgh 5:06 AM  

It was really nice to study your post. I collect some good points here. I would like to be appreciative you with the hard work you have made in skill this is great article.

Anonymous 6:16 PM  

I don't get DEES either

SmacD 10:29 PM  

I found this puzzle an enjoyable climb up the beanstalk.

For @ Jack from Into the Woods (11:52 AM): Thanks for the lyrics. Sondheim rules!

For @ Anonymous (11:37 AM): Info about "yegg": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yegg

For @ Sharon (4:01 PM): I can't think of any other villain named HAL except the one in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Is there another possibility?

By the way, here in the magical, mystical land of syndication, the Montreal Gazette, where the Sunday NYT crossword appears on Saturday, gave Barry Haldiman no credit; it said "Puzzle by David Steinberg."

Spacecraft 1:22 PM  

Despite being handed 56 letters to start, I liked this. Must be the fill: the NNW section with the GG and ZZ is genius.

See, even if I'm trying NOT to locate the theme, here's this clue that takes up five lines of print, and has numbers with dashes. I'd have to hold my finger over it not to see. So we perforce start with 3/50d, the circles, and FE FI FO FUM. From there any puzzle should be easy--yet there were some nooks and crannies that required effort.

I have to agree with the ratingof easy-medium, and just wish the theme could have been disguised a little better (it couldn't of course). I did appreciate that all the action--as in J & the B itself--was vertical.

Mr. Haldiman will be pleased to know that in the Las Vegas Sun's printing of this puzzle (Sep. 23) he was credited along with Mr. Steinberg.

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Is that the Green Giant 55' statue in Blue Earth, Minnesota?

Dirigonzo 8:56 PM  

Weekend puzzle partner and I got a late start on this beauty and it took us a while to tumble to the theme. Like others, we put off fully reading the revealer clue until we had the grid mostly filled in, and by then we had enough crosses and circles filled in to see the whole fairy tale unfold. Our few write-overs included oneway before DETOUR, ELhi before ELEM and UNseaLS before UNROLLS.

@SmacD - I think @Sharon didn't understand Rex's reference to the movie in his comments since he mentioned the name of one of the movie's stars but didn't name the movie.

I wonder, how can a day off and an OFFDAY be so different?

??? 4:22 AM  

Can someone please explain how "P.M. part" = AFT? I got it, but don't "get it." Is it because P.M. is after noon?

Bananafish 1:10 PM  

"Aft."Is an abbreviation for afternoon, which is part of the PM (with the rest being the "evening" I suppose). It's a bit forced of course cuz it's not really a universally used abbreviation, but the fact it was an abbreviation was so clearly signaled by use of "P.M." (E.g., Notice the inclusion of the unnecessary periods), that I think it was a perfectly fair clue/answer.

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