Old AMC Car / SUN 10-7--12 / Belgian river / Writer Ernie / Director Jean- Goddard / Salsa ingredient / Gold units / Shallow Jack Black Film / He-man's nickname / Sackcloth material / Jump on the ice / Basketball shooting game / Runner's unit / Actor Claude of Lobo / Moundsman Dave / 1992 Liv Ullmann film / Striped safari sight / Illustrator's shortcut / Rodeo rope / Actress Mazar

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Constructor: Zoe Wheeler

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Space Invasion — Familiar phrases with "ET" inserted to produce far less familiar phrases

Word of the Day: Hop-o' (__-my-thumb) —
"Hop-o'-My-Thumb", also known as "Little Thumbling" (French: Le Petit Poucet), was first published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. It is Aarne-Thompson type 327B, the small boy defeats the ogre. This type of fairy tale, in the French oral tradition, is often combined with motifs from the type 327A, similar to Hansel and Gretel; one such tale is The Lost Children. (Wikipedia)
Errata: 15D: Good "Wheel" buy for WHERE'S THE BEEF (AN E) – After publishing today's post, the comments made it clear I wasn't the only one seeing weird characters in this clue. The above is what it should say. The punctuation didn't output correctly in the PUZ file, at least. (added 9:01am EDT)
• • •
Only a few sticking points in this otherwise straightforward Sunday puzzle. I've never heard of Hop'-o-My-Thumb, so I put SUCK, not knowing if that was a phrase, like "Well, bless my soul!" Maybe if you're really frightened of something, you could say, "Well, suck my thumb!"? Even having now looked up the answer, HOPO just looks weird. I want it to be HOBO.

Speaking of hobos, I'm Tyler Clark, camping overnight here on the blog, filling in while the master is away for the weekend. I'm honored to fill in on a Sunday, as I'm assuming it's this blog's most visited day of the week. Rest assured, I will do my best to provide a post replete with fresh, witty banter and amusing YouTube videos to help you waste a Sunday morning you wish you were spending more productively.

One thing I look for in guest bloggers is an admission that they came up against the same challenges that crossword mortals such as myself faced, helping me feel better about my solving skills when I still can't seem to consistently solve a Monday in under 5:30 or a Sunday in less than 30 minutes. So I'll try to lay myself open for as much ridicule as possible.

The theme is "Space Invaders," which are Extra Terrestrials, abbreviated as E.T. and then inserted into familiar phrases, as follows.
Theme answers:
  • 23A: Old AMC car that came fully loaded? (HORNET OF PLENTY) I wanted this to be Gremlin.
  • 30A: Good locale for adoptions? (BIRTH MARKET) Got off to a rough start here when I put down TONSUL as in CONSUL rather than TONSIL (1D: Lump in the throat)
  • 39A: Ammo that's still on the store shelf? (SITTING BULLET) I wanted Raging Bullet. I don't know why, I just did.
  • 53A: Some bleating? (RACKET OF LAMB) I knew this was going to include LAMB when I first read the clue, but I didn't know the theme at that point, so I had to come back to it later.
  • 63A: Excitement over some presidential elections? (CABINET FEVER) This was the first theme answer I got, probably because I watched the debate Wednesday night and have been working on a website for the local county Board of Elections.
  • 74A: Avoid a scalping? (ESCAPE HATCHET) I wanted HAIR or BALD or something like that.
  • 87A: ID for a certain band member? (TRUMPET CARD) I fell for the trap and looked for GUITAR or BASS. In fact, I think I actually had DRUMMER CARD filled in before I knew the theme.
  • 95A: Earth, in "Independence Day"? (PLANET OF ATTACK) Combined with CABINET FEVER, seeing PLANET helped me figure out the puzzle's theme.

I was certain that BOOTEE (101A: Infant's shoe) was spelled BOOTIE. It appears, from some Googling, that BOOTEE is the preferred spelling (Wikipedia lists BOOTIE as an alternate spelling). I don't have to like it or take it lying down, you know like having a NAP (91A: Go out for a while?) on a HAMMOCK (77D: Good place to 91-Across).
(Not for the faint of heart or small children.)
I'm also more used to seeing RIATA than REATA (88D: Rodeo rope), so TOE LOOP (93A: Jump on the ice) was one of the very last things I sorted out. Two other crosses didn't help: We've already discussed HOPO. SMOKES (81A: Lights up) should have been obvious, but SOLA (81A: Alone, as a female on stage) didn't want to go. Technically, having a B.A. in Musicology, I could have/should have sleuthed this one out. I know that SOLO is masculine, SOLI is plural, and therefore SOLA would be feminine, but have you ever seen this in print? I think I would have felt better about its inclusion if the clue had been as obscure as the word (see picture on right, and imagine if the clue had been "Japanese work originally conceived by Naoki Hisaya"). Annoying, yes, but at least you'd know it was going to be hard/esoteric.

Lots of names; let's take a look. We've got ADIA (80A: 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit) - relatively common to frequent solvers; Jackie GLEASON (26A: Minnesota Fats's player in "The Hustler") - I only knew Newman was in this & I've only seen clips from The Honeymooners and wanted to spell his name GLEESON; PYLE (28A: Writer Ernie) - not to be confused with Private Gomer; SHERE (43A: __ Khan [villain in "The Jungle Book"]) - which I also forgot how to spell; LUC (49A: Director Jean-__ Godard) - which I was sure couldn't be right because wasn't I getting confused with Captain Jean-Luc Picard?; HAL (71A: "Shallow __" [Jack Black film]) - otherwise known as "2001" villian; Britney SPEARS (104A "... Baby One More Time" singer) - whom we will not speak of; ROGERS (2D: Dancer Ginger) - she beat out Humorist Will for this; AKINS (32D: Actor Claude of "Lobo") - whose name I can now only associate with Rep. Todd Akin of questionable biological learning; STIEB (36D: Moundsman Dave) - of the Toronto Blue Jays; IONA (40D: College in New Rochelle, N.Y.) - which I apparently still don't have memorized despite having solved roughly 1,000 puzzles a year for the last 3-4 years; SOFIE (45D: 1992 Liv Ullmann film) - I've got nothing for this one; CASCA (63D: Brutus abettor) - he struck the first blow in Caesar's assassination, which leads us to ET TU (57A: Dying words, in Shakespeare); BALE (65D: Christian of "The Dark Knight Rises") - also in Shakespeare, see Kenneth Branagh's excellent Henry V; and DEBI (92D: Actress Mazar) - not a name I know well, but I recognize her from the classic "So I Married An Axe Murderer." Wow, I'm exhausted.


  • 69A: Many-banded displays? (PARADES — Love this clue. Of course, I was thinking of kinds of striped snakes, as opposed to marching bands.
  • 72A: He-man's nickname (MUSCLES) — Here I had the "CLES" at the end and thought it might be some lesser known alternate to HERCULES. So, I started running through options, such as PERICLES, even though that (a) doesn't fit and (b) doesn't make sense.
  • 79A: "Grease" singer (VALLI) — This led me to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, but it didn't take too long to remember that the title song is sung by Frankie Valli, of The Four Seasons fame (not to be confused with Rudy Vallée of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" fame)
  • 78A: Sackcloth material (HEMP) — I did not know this.
  • 86A: Feds (G-MEN) – Know your G-MEN (FBI) from your T-MEN (IRS).
  • 98A: __ hours (OFFICE) – If TELEPORT (73D: Use a futuristic mode of transit) had come sooner, this might have been easier.
  • 5D: Sticking point? (QUAGMIRE)TRANQ (1A: Downer, for short) helped me get the Q, but this didn't fall for quite a while.
  • 20A: Big break (SCHISM) – This is a weird word to look at in the abstract.
  • 39D: Shrew (SCOLD) – Apparently this works as both verb and noun, but I just don't use the word Shrew very often.
  • 42D: Accepted as true (BOUGHT) – Stared at the B and tried to Believe that Belief must work.
  • 47D: Be constructive? (ERECT) – Wanted BUILD here until EWERS (47A: Pitchers) and TEC (67A: Gumshoe) set me straight.
  • 59D: Bathroom fixture (BIDET) – Also the victim of many erasures. Started with S from errant SASH which should have been BATH (59A: It may be drawn at night).
  • 66D: Providing of questions for answers on "Jeopardy!," e.g. (FORMAT) – This is just a weirdly worded clue, and it took forever to fall into place.
  • 96D: Eastern drama (NOH) – If you haven't seen this one before, tuck it away. You'll see it again.
Did it bother you that ET TU (again, 57 across) was included in a puzzle with ET as the theme add-in? Discuss...

Signed, Tyler Clark, Fan of CrossWorld


jae 1:01 AM  

This was a bit meh for Sun. I'm looking for a chuckle or two or some sort of wow factor.  This had neither.   It was too easy to be a slog but it kinda felt like one.  My only problem area was the central west coast where I had  Cilantro for CHIPOTLE and trouble  remembering SHERE.  

WOE: HOP-O-MY-THUMB who is apparently a fairy tale character.  Also, never heard of STIEB and had Gorge before GULCH (LUC fixed that one). 

Even par would not be my golf round result.

jae 1:05 AM  

Oh and thanks Tyler for the excellent write up and the aforementioned fairy tale explanation for HOP-O-...

paulsfo 1:06 AM  

What the heck is "OWheelO" (15D clue)?! Is this some crosswordese for "Wheel of Fortune", or a typo, or...? It doesn't get any hits in Google, which really makes me suspicious.
I originally thought that 5D, "sticking point", was going to be a form of "coagulate." This eventually led to me changing it to QUAGMIRE but leaving the initial "C," my only error today (and I rarely have a perfect Sunday, so I was annoyed with myself).
Now I'm waiting to see what perceived inconsistency with today's theme outrages certain commentators; it never seems to fail. :) Really; if you want perfect consistency, try Sudokus, not anythinng based on the English language.

The Bard 1:12 AM  

Julius Caesar > Act III, scene I

DECIUS BRUTUS: Great Caesar,--

CAESAR: Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?

CASCA: Speak, hands for me!

[CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and

CAESAR: Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar.

syndy 1:14 AM  

No I took the ET TU as an exact clue. Owing to a misspent childhood I was very familiar with HOP O'MY THUMB. and for the life of me I can't explain why my first thought for 4 down was NOH it malapopped right on in downstairs.Easy not terribly amusing sundaylike puzzle.I call bs on BASILS though!Basil's maybe.

Leon 1:33 AM  

The Across Lite clue for 15d read: Good ÓWheelÓ buy for WHEREÖS THE BEEF

It should have been: Good "Wheel" buy for WHERE'S THE BEEF

And you thought the CAPTCHAS were weird.

jae 3:01 AM  

@syndy -- Me too for NOH at first.

@Leon -- Thanks, I kinda figured it out, but knowing it was a typo takes the WOE out of the equation.

chefwen 3:49 AM  

Got it early on with SITTING BULLET and zipped right on through the rest of it. Didn't think it was a slog because it fell so fast, disappointingly so as I love to savor my long Sunday puzzles.

Loved RACKET OF LAMB, one of my favorite dishes minus the ET and ESCAPE HATCHET. Had a hard time changing my BOOTiE to BOOTEE. Still can't believe that is the preferred spelling, but who am I to fight city hall.

Good one Zoe Wheeler, thanks.

Andret Carlet Michaets 4:40 AM  

Might Zoe be the youngest woman to have a Sunday solo puzzle in the NyT history? Herstory.
She is as bright as she is beautiful and modest to boot!
Loved Et.

Eejit 4:49 AM  

I rarely watch the videos linked on here, wish I hadn't watched that one! Ugh. I guess I'm faint of heart. Decent puzzle though.

Unknown 6:39 AM  

I often don't finish Sundays - just get bogged down with the slog. But this one seemed peppier than most - fun.

HORNETOFPLENTY is timely, as today is Canadian Thanksgiving. It's actually Monday on the calendar, but it seems to be acceptable to have your big meal at any point during the long weekend. Most people tend to celebrate on Sunday.

Unknown 7:39 AM  

Good puzzle overall, but PROSED felt ugly to me. I know the dictionary says it's legit, but does anyone really sit down and prose?

Unknown 7:40 AM  

Oh, and congrats to Zoe! Well done!

Glimmerglass 8:12 AM  

@C. Calculus: I agree. The theme is uninspired but adequate, except that a BIRTH MARKET makes no sense with "adoptions," and PLANET OF ATTACK makes no sense with "OF" ("under" would make sense). BASILS is another nonsensical crossword plural. I suppose it could mean "varieties of basil," but no one says, "Add some basils to the pesto." Things that are counted can have plurals; things that are measured, not.

Tyler Clark 8:50 AM  

I didnt care for basils either, but when I read the Wikipedia entry for basil and came across "Most commercially available basils are cultivars of sweet basil." I decided to leave it alone.

The Wheel of Fortune thing, from my HTML experience, came from the use of "smart" quotes around Wheel and a "smart" apostrophe in WHERE'S (meaning curved/slanted rather than straight). You'll see this from time to time when web pages contain characters outside of the allowed charset. Though, I thought maybe it was just me and didn't realize it affected everyone. Probably should have mentioned that :-/

Tyler Clark 9:02 AM  

Ok, I updated the post to include a mention of that.

Oscar 9:23 AM  

Saw the title and knew the theme, since it's been done at least a couple of times.

Here's one by Richard Silvestri from 1997 called "Et Too":
MASTERPLANET 12 Setting of a sci-fi slave story?
SUPERMANET 10 Some of the best Impressionist art?
PUNKROCKET 10 Second-rate missile?
BALLETOFFIRE 12 "Backdraft" by the Bolshoi?
MARKETTIME 10 When to go shopping?
JUNKETFOOD 10 Trip fare?
RACKETANDRUIN 13 Tennis player's bad end?

A Randall J. Hartman WaPo from 1999 called "Et Too, Brute":
PEARLBUCKET 11 Oyster diver's gear?
CHICAGOBULLET 13 Windy City ammo?
CABINETFEVER 12 Passion for a remodeled kitchen?
WALLETPAPER 11 Ones and fives?
MARKETMYWORDS 13 Request to a literary agent?
PHOENIXSUNSET 13 Evening in Arizona?

A Michael Ashley WSJ from 2002 called (you guessed it) "Et Too":
DOLLARBILLETS 13 Especially cheap housing for soldiers?
STATUETTEMILES 14 Oscar winner's showoff tour?
JACKETINTHEBOX 14 Surprise gift from your tailor?
MARKETOFZORRO 13 Don Diego takes on eBay?
MALDEMETER 10 Taxi driver's ailment?
NOTRUMPETS 10 Anti-fanfare law?
ATOUCHOFGETOUT 14 Bouncer's malady?
FETISHANDCHIPS 14 The shaman's poker night spread?

A Norma Johnson LATimes from 2002:
TICKETFEVER 11 Scalper's dream?
BLANKETCHECK 12 Bedding inventory verification?
SPINETDOCTOR 12 Tuner of small pianos?
PLANETAHEAD 11 "Star Trek" navigator's announcement?

And a James P. Sharp NYSun from 2002 called "Alian Invasions":
ROCKETFESTIVAL 14 Pyrotechnic celebration?
CABINETFEVER 12 Advisory board epidemic?
BLANKETCHECK 12 A peek under the covers?
JACKETINTHEBOX 14 Outerwear under a Christmas tree?

Impressive, open corners, but the clues were just too easy to be much fun, I thought.

joho 9:41 AM  

Great write-up, Tyler!

Yesterday IMPALA today OKAPI, these African animals are rampant!

@sydney & @jae, me too, wanting NOH for NHL and smiling at the malapop later.

Wasn't crazy about PROSED or SHREW as clued.

Loved QUAGMIRE, CROAK, PERKUP, CLIPART and, for some odd reason, RETHINK.

The clue, "Last ride?" for HEARSE struck me as macabre.

My favorite theme answer was ESCAPEHATCHET.

Huge congratulations to Zoey Wheeler for her first Sunday puzzle ... no small feat!

joho 9:45 AM  

Oh, I forgot to mention, I would have liked TOPO (Gigio) instead of HOPO-my-thumb but this character is obviously before Zoe's time!

jackj 10:02 AM  

The way things began it looked like Zoe Wheeler was campaigning for the Edward Gorey Requiescat In Pace Memorial Award as she teased us with Gothic tinged entries like “Kick the bucket”, lovingly answered as CROAK and then whisked us away to Gabriel loudly blaring his horn at the TRUMPETCARD, while directing us to a “Last ride?” in a waiting HEARSE.

Yowzer, Zoe, what were you thinking? This is a crowd that bemoans even OBIT (or BRA), as a violation of the hallowed “breakfast rule”. Ah, well, you can always use the ESCAPEHATCHET to “Avoid a scalping?”

Not to be denied, our valiant Zoe tempted the puzzle gods from another angle as she brazenly entered the sure to be unenhaloed word of the day, PROSED and followed it up by then blithely giving us BASILS, but at least we got a TRANQ chaser (again).

There was much more standout fill as we worked our way down to TRESS, especially the debuting words, CHIPOTLE and HIGHFIVE, the proverbial “Sticking point?” of QUAGMIRE and my favorite, the onomatopoeic GENTEEL.

Lastly, I had to do some serious searching to satisfy myself that “HOP-O’-my-thumb” wasn’t some vile Sicilian insult but was in fact, the name of a French fairy tale character. We have to monitor these newish constructors, otherwise next thing you know, they’ll be asking us if we know Dave STIEB, for goodness sake.

Greatly enjoyed your puzzle Zoe and am glad to see you’re still turning out excellence.

Carola 10:17 AM  

The RACKET OF LAMBS and HORNET OF PLENTY made me laugh, and I liked QUAGMIRE and GULCH. I know PROSED is perfectly legitimate, but it gives me an ULCER.

In an updated staging of "Julius Caesar," you could have CASCA..."ET TU?"...CROAK...HEARSE.

@syndy, @glimmerglass, @Tyler
On BASILS - This is a plural I have actually used. I asked my husband to pick up some sweet basil plants at the garden center, cautioning him that "There are all different kinds of basils - be sure it says 'sweet basil' on the little stick." You might guess where this is going - he came back with Thai basil.

Super write-up, Tyler!

eds77 10:37 AM  

Nice puzzle. No comments on double toes? Liked the punnish juxtaposition of "toe-to-toe" with 93A, but not generally a fan of duplicated words.
Thanks ZW

JC66 10:39 AM  

They're releasing a 30th Anniversary Edition of ET on Tuesday 10/9 (my birthday).

quilter1 10:48 AM  

I agree with @Carola about BASILS. When I go herb shopping in the spring there are so many basils to choose from.
I like puns so I liked this puzzle. So many fresh answers, words we don't see often or for the first time. Go Zoe (my grandma's name)!!

JC66 10:50 AM  

The movie was originally released on June 11, 1982. I wonder why this puzzle didn't run a few months ago.

chefbea 11:09 AM  

Super easy puzzle. Never heard of hop o my thumb. Had bootie and then knew ulcir was wrong. Then it all came together.

Love rack of lamb!!

jberg 11:12 AM  

Yeah, I can take BASILS - in a nursery, someone might say "the parsleys are there, the BASILS in the next greenhouse - why don't you look around and pick out the variety you like?" Not PROSED, though - if your dictionary accepts it, time to shop for a new one.

My first reaction, after getting the theme, was that "invasion" would fit better if ET came in the middle of each entry, rather than at the end. But I think I may have been thinking subconsciously of "interruption" instead.

Tyler, nice writeup, even if your obsolete names were my gimmes!

John V 11:50 AM  

I had fun with ET. Bit of a hitch at BOOTEE as Tyler noted. Agree EASY/MEDIUM.

BTW, ET is on Encore tonight, at least on CT Cablevision. Spooky.

retired_chemist 12:05 PM  

Hand up for the ever-popular NOH @ 4D. Also for thinking ????-my-thumb was going to be some sort of insult.

And for thinking PROSED sucked, although PROSE is indeed a verb according to the dictionary I consulted. Implies tedious writing but that is not construable from the clue. So,a personal harrumph.

Cute theme which I got quickly, I think at BIRTH MARKET. Don't remember for sure, but it was one of the more useful theme algorithms in helping figure out other theme answers.

Started with MOO SHU @ 19A and it stayed. There are alternate transliterations. Wanted CILANTRO @ 61A - wasn't. How well do BASILS go with RACK(ET) OF LAMB? Getting hungry now so I'll quit.

Thanks, Ms. Wheeler.

Brookboy 12:11 PM  

Liked the puzzle overall, agree that it is easy to medium. I also liked the theme well enough. It was a better experience than the slogs of the past few weeks.

Nice job on the write-up, Tyler. I enjoyed reading your comments.

Mel Ott 12:22 PM  

PROSE is a verb? Not for anyone who writes good PROSE.

Mr. Benson 12:55 PM  

Did anyone else notice that the IONA sports teams are called the GAELS? 37A really should have been clued by cross-reference.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

I got stuck for a while in the Middle not willing to believe that TRIM (41D) would be both an answer and a single word clue!

Shamik 1:10 PM  

@ Oscar: Are you hinting that this theme has been done again and again? ;-)

I am definitely in the minority on this one in that I found it medium-challenging at 24:36. Got so bogged down in the REATA/RIATA and BOOTIE/BOOTEE area. Combine that with SMILES for SMOKES and I probably spent three or four minutes in that one little area. A misspelling of GENTEEL didn't help much either. Almost walked away from this one with errors.

Congrats to Zoe on your first Sunday puzzle.

TomN 1:17 PM  

Did anyone notice the additional space invaders?
yETi, rETro,, tvsETs, owETo, bidET, gETin, rEThink,ETTu

billocohoes 1:37 PM  

I always thought T-Men were more from ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) - prohibition agents in old movies - but I suppose IRS and ATF are both in the Treasury Dept.

Anonymous 1:57 PM  

Was really distracted by TRIM as both a clue and an answer. I thought that was an official no-no?

Sparky 1:59 PM  

Hand up on RiATA and BOOTiE. SOLA=NO. Got it with CABINETFEVER. Couldn't see SITTINGBULL and HORNETOFPLENTY. Grew tired and tossed it unfinished.

Congrats Zoe. More than I can accomplish. Good write up Tyler. Happy pre-birthday JC66.

C. Ross Word 2:08 PM  

Excellent grid - Congrats Ms. Wheeler. That said, clueing was MON - TUE-ish; a PERKUP to WED - THUR-ish would have been OK. Also, nice write-up Tyler!

My WOTD: RETRO - Pitching the ball again at Ebbets Field.

Thanks for your comments yesterday to @loren muse smith, @merle and @joho.

@loren muse smith re: Abba / Dire Straits confusion - Abba is the group that sounds more appropriate in the elevator.

@merle - LOL though I'm only 162.

@joho - ANI's were big in the "Pre-Shortz" era.

retired_chemist 2:27 PM  

@ C Ross -

ANI occurs even now. The oldie I do not see anymore is AIS (three-toed sloths).

C. Ross Word 2:50 PM  


Before yesterday, I don't recall many recent ANI's: could be my temporary insANIty.

C. Ross Word 3:06 PM  


Now that you mention it, I really miss seeing AIS in the puzzle; could the cause of my recent malAISe. I know...enough!

edmcan 3:22 PM  

This was an amusing (love puns), easy puzzle. Some of the cluing/solutions could have been better, but I've solved a lot worse.

Good write up Tyler, thanks.

ps. Gees, these captchas are killers!

mac 3:47 PM  

Quick and easy puzzle with a cute althought apparently not original theme.

The Putin/Muscles/parade area was the last to fall, I too wanted an old name like Hercules.

Many different basils to choose from at Gilberti's herb garden in the spring. Some are not good in our PESTO!

retired_chemist 4:17 PM  

@ C Ross -

Maybe I have been doing too may puzzles from anthologies. They could be where I saw ANI, and they could be old.

C. Ross Word 4:32 PM  

I know what you mean. I've been working through "The New York Times Sunday at Home Crosswords" book of 75 old puzzles that I purchased in Buffalo in 2008. Only 11 more to go, thank goodness!

Uncle Vinny 4:37 PM  

Finished my first Sunday NYT ever, go me! The only character I missed was R(I)ATA and TO(I)LOOP, which I really should have caught before I considered myself done. It took me hours, but I'm tickled anyway.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

SCOLD and shrew are both nouns, not verbs. Just sayin'. As a longtime Blue Jays fan, it was nice to see STIEBsoaysaf, especially on Canadian Thanksgiving. Now I'm off to make NANAIMO Bars.

Anonymous 5:22 PM  

Way to go Uncle Vinny!
We take quite awhile too but we enjoy the ride.

ANON B 7:55 PM  

The clue for "ANE" was correct
in the paper version.
As far as prose being a verb,
I don't care what the dictionary
say, I will bet it has never been used in human speech. And not a
heck of a lot more on the printed
page. I don't do crosswords for
answers like that to clues like that

ANON B 8:05 PM  

Re: Comment at 7:55
Please don't take that as a complaint. I appreciate how hard it must be to construct a puzzle.
I don't think I could. But every
once in a while a clinker gets
thrown in and that was one.

Spacecraft 11:48 AM  

Quick entry today; I must be off. (Shh!) A good puzz; made me think here and there, so easy-medium here too. Did not know that "shrew" can be a verb. And please, if you MUST have ANE in your grid, clue it as a Scottish article. Good aha! moment with the theme title.

Dirigonzo 1:00 PM  

Weekend puzzle partner, a writer by profession, balked at PROSED and SCOLD but we knew they had to be, so in they went. We had a lot of fun figuring out the theme answers, learned a thing or three along the way (e.g., neither of us knew NOH)and had an enjoyable time together on a Sunday morning - what's to complain about?

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

Anyone else notice the other space/scifi answers? 52d RETRO(rocket), 71a HAL, 73d TELEPORT, 6d SPHERE, etc

Ellen S 6:45 PM  

I know, no one will ever see this, but, @spacecraft, what it is, SCOLD is a noun. A shrew, a harridan, a SCOLD.

Boss 7:32 PM  

thats a big ass

Stephen 4:17 PM  

ummm, yes, I am late to solve this. I had the most wrong answers ever that had to be expunged: ShOwING (getting on the board), amNOT (playground retort), ees (good wheel buy for ..E.E.E.EE.), approvE (authorize), aimING (going for).

The north central nearly killed me with PROSED (!!!) SCHISM, SPHERE, CROAK, HORSE, but it finally laid down and ceased its fury as I tardily trundled to.

So here I stand, stuffing my surrender flag back in its box and waving a defiance flag instead. Do I get a point for persistence at least?

paulsfo 6:16 PM  

@Stephen Well fought.
I think persistence is the most important tool for crossword solving; at least for us mortals who don't do it in ten minutes. :)

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