1955 hit for Platters / WED 1-15-14 / City near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base / Building unit with flanges / Philosopher who wrote It is difficulty to free fools from chains they revere

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Constructor: Bernice Gordon

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: End of the Q — each theme answer is a phrase whose final word is represented by the letter of which it is a homophone:

Theme answers:
  • GEOGRAPHY B (17A: It's all about location, location, location)
  • "ONLY U" (39A: 1955 hit for the Platters)
  • CARIBBEAN C (62A: Environs for Blackbeard)
  • AFTERNOON T (11D: Occasion for sandwiches and scones)
  • WELL, G (30D: "Hmm, imagine that!"
  • BLACK-EYED P (28D: Soul food ingredient)
Word of the Day: Carol ALT (18D: Cover girl Carol) —
Carol Ann Alt (born December 1, 1960) is an American model and actress.
Alt's first big break in modeling was in 1986, when she was featured on the cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine, but garnered publicity in 1982 when she was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. During the 1980s she appeared on over 500 magazine covers, becoming one the most famous models of her era. She was referred to as "The Face" by Life Magazine. During the height of her popularity, she was the face of ad campaigns for Diet PepsiGeneral MotorsCover Girl CosmeticsNoxzemaHanes and numerous others. (wikipedia)
• • •

I've seen themes use this letter-for-word conceit before, so no great shakes there, but this is actually reasonably well executed—lots of different letters, all at the end, all in legitimate, unforced phrases. Plus the fill is remarkably clean. Has a familiar, old-school feel to it. Solid, clean and easy—about as easy as "trick" puzzles come. I love the added touch of the short theme answers in the middle. I wasn't exactly expecting those, and (thus) that area was responsible for almost all the resistance I encountered with this puzzle. I also muffed up the east a bit, as wrote in NSA instead of NSC (31A: White House advisory grp.), and also tested SO- as the opening of 32D: Inasmuch as (SINCE). I think I was thinking SO FAR … but that would've needed the "as." Anyhoo, there was a bit of scrambling over in that region.

It didn't take me long to get the theme, but filling in the first answer didn't do it for me. GEOGRAPHY is all about location, location, location—so what's this "B" doing at the end (I wondered). I thought there was going to be some trick where the tacked-on letters … did something? Spelled something? Had to be connected with a Sharpie and then folded and hung from the ceiling at dusk while incantations are sung and smoke burns, finally to reveal a map to the lost pyramids of Jackson Hole? But no. After I got AFTERNOON T, the theme became clear. No incense needed. No pyramids. Just a solid, clever theme.

I don't normally do this, but … the constructor's birthday was just a couple days ago, so: Happy Birthday, Bernice. And nice work.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Steve J 12:11 AM  

Not only was it Bernice Gordon's birthday the other day, it was her 100th!

I'd say for being centenarian (or near-centenarian when this was constructed), she had a good blend of familiar and fairly fresh (such as OMG and LIP SYNCS). The theme's also familiar - especially since I've seen a variation of using letter/word homonyms in multiple puzzles in recent weeks (NYT and otherwise) - but it is done well. Good, solid, real phrases.

I had exactly the same reaction as Rex to GEOGRAPHY B (I just left that B blank when I first filled it in), but I sussed out the theme soon enough with CARIBBEAN C.

Relatively easy for a Wednesday, but solidly constructed and fun to solve.

andrea carla michaels 12:13 AM  

and not just any birthday, her 100th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loved it...

CAPEHOpe (I would NOT do well in a GEOGRAPHYB... VOLTAIRE straightened me out, as he has in the past...terrific quote, by the way...

and, of course,
I put in AcmE, before AONE! ;)

Fabulous, old school, solid...and I was tricked by glowers (I had HAloS)

Happy Happy Happy Birthday and many more!

jae 12:20 AM  

Impressively smooth and perfectly pitched for a Wed.  Easy for me (a) because no WOEs  (b) because my only erasure was @Rex NSa to NSC, and (c) because I got the theme very quickly.

Liked it a lot!  Too bad the end letters didn't anagram to something.  That's one lonely U. Happy B-Day!

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

Not entirely a theme TBH. There's no reason giving for the homophones, nor does there appear to be one for the particular letters.

Other than that, fill is where I'm okay with it, well above average compared to most puzzles.

okanaganer 12:25 AM  

"Elliptical" => OVAL is like "Rectangular" => SQUARE.
"An ellipse is always an oval, but an oval is not always an ellipse."
It's backwards here, plus it's...clunky.

Plus IBAR... classic crosswordese: if googled, it doesn't appear in the top ten results. The real term is IBEAM!!! But anyway,..

Above nits aside, a nice puzzle. Happy Cth, Bernice!

chefwen 12:27 AM  

To a fellow Capricorn - Happy Birthday Bernice. I started celebrating yesterday, the beginning of "birth week". I used to celebrate "birth month" but figured out I was a little too old for that. Maybe in a couple of years I can pare it down to "Birthday". Nah, why would I want to do that?

Great puzzle, figured out the trick with AFTERNOON T. ONLY U was great too.

May you bring us many more Ms. Gordon.

Carola 12:30 AM  

The CARIBBEAN C might appear in a GEOGRAPHY B, but you probably won't C a BLACK-EYED P at AFTERNOON T.

I started out with question marks over my head, when GEOGRAPHY was too short to fit; AFTERNOON T clued me in. Also was held up by a word starting with YI....- loved seeing YIELDING come into focus.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Gordon, and thanks for the fun.

Questinia 12:31 AM  

Loved glowers!

Ja mo hon leva
Ja mo hon leva
Ja mo mon leva ut i 100 ar
Ja visst ska hon leva
Ja visst ska hon leva
Ja visst ska hon leva ut i hundrade ar

Happy Birthday Bernice!

Garth 12:42 AM  

Bernice, I really enjoyed solving your puzzle. I hope you have a happy and healthy birthday.

Evan 12:44 AM  

That Bernice is still making puzzles -- good ones, no less -- at her age is nothing short of awesome sauce. May she make many many more. Note to Bernice: you have my permission to use AWESOME SAUCE in your next submission.

I nearly had a disastrous finish with BLACKENED P instead of BLACK-EYED P....in my defense, I've heard the historian's name Eric FONER too often in my classes, so I really wondered if FONER was an archaic name for a lobby or atrium. Good thing I did an alphabet run and changed it to the correct FOYER before stopping my clock.

I thought this was a good one overall, perhaps medium difficulty, with a fairly clean grid. If there's one thing I didn't like about this puzzle, it was that bizarre clue and answer for HATES. It threw me off in two ways. First, I initially understood "glowers" as "things that glow," so that didn't make any sense. It clicked after I was done that the clue referred to glowering, but even then, I still don't get it. Since when did HATES ever become a pluralized noun? My friend and I both had HATES for that movie. Sorry, but no.

Henebry 12:50 AM  

My favorite detail was the fact that REAL ESTATE fit in the space for GEOGRAPHY B. Nice misdirection!

Anonymous 12:55 AM  


I fell right into the REALE STATE trap!

Good puzzle on its own merit. Relative to yesterday's, a classic.

Anonymous 1:15 AM  




Unknown 1:17 AM  

Barbara Walters and Baba (Wawa) in the same puzzle.

John Child 4:58 AM  

This could have been an easy Thursday for me, but since all the Clever Kids will finish it faster, Wednesday is about right. I found the two long across homophones - B and C - early enough that I wasted time looking for the A.

Across the middle VOLTAIRE's MEMOIR and DECEIT LIPSYNCS were cute.

@lms I'm still interested in your game. How was art class? I think I might have tried to draw a slithy tove.

GILL I. 6:38 AM  

Happy Birthday Bernice GORDON (That's HBBG)....U R an Nspiration. And, thank you for introducing us to my favorite rebus!
Your puzzle will make my day.

Loren Muse Smith 6:48 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 6:52 AM  
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Thomas808 7:11 AM  

This was a very enjoyable puzzle. The cluing was tricky enough that I couldn't just fill in from top to bottom so I worked my way from NW to SE filling in likely answers, then in the SE starting to really fill in with UNTO, CUE, ECON, and XENON, I started wondering with the ________NC if Blackbeard's environ might be somewhere in North Carolina! Worked my way back up, got GEOGRAPHYB and still didn't get the theme. AFTERNOONT finally was my epiphany. What a wonderful adventure! After yesterday's DNF it was a welcome return to normalcy.

Maybe this should have been a Tuesday puzzle and yesterday's pushed back a little later in the week. Oh well, thanks Bernice Gordon!

David K 7:16 AM  

I liked this puzzle overall, too, although having both SUM UP and OWN UP, and having them cross each other, was so strange that I thought I had for sure messed up on one or the other.

Loren Muse Smith 7:22 AM  

Great puzzle! Such a simple conceit. Like Rex, I waited on filling in that first B and fortunately, I had too many letters in place to fall for "real estate." Unlike, Rex, I immediately got WELL G and smiled broadly. WELL G crossing ONLY U . . . All I can say is if Tinkerbell were flitting around this grid, she would finish, tap that very cross with her wand, and it would sparkle and make that bright pingly noise.

@John Child and @M & A – I responded to you both at the end of yesterday's posts.

Funny that I accepted this theme as readily as I did; when I get a text from someone, especially someone I expect more from (Meagan, you know I'm tlkg 2 U; Gardiner and Sage, well, U R college kids, so. . .), even reading the textese makes me feel all cheapened and itchy. I would think I'd find gr8 fun in all the linguistic shortcuts, but somehow they all just make me sad. And not sad in that tired "we're murdering the English language" way, but in some other way I can't seem to put my finger on.

@Questinia - Vet du svenska?

@Evan – "BLACKENED P - Too funny! My BLACKEYED P-serving-make- sure -home-made -pepper –jelly- is –on- table- as- condiment mom would shudder. (I made Hoppin' John on Jan first, but my daughter misread the grocery list and brought home black beans instead. Worked ok, I mean it tasted good enough, but I guess we didn't have the BLACK EYED P's symbolic pennies/coins good luck thing going. Wonder what black beans superstitionize for?

SHOEBOX cards – tell me – are they cheaper than the FOUR DOLLARS AND SEVENTY FIVE CENTS you pay these days for a folded piece of flimsy cardboard? Look, I'm not really a full-blown penny-pincher – I'm really not, *but* I have staged a war with Hallmark (not Mikwright – I'll happily pay upwards of $6 for those masterpieces). Even if I have to go to the dollar store or buy a clearance card, take a sharpie and mark out "to a favorite great aunt" and change it to "to a favorite daughter," I refuse to pay this money much for one card. Hallmark employees, take note – LET ME SUM UP. Your prices are laughable. (Picture me glowering with HATE. And an Evil I.) Rant over.

LOO N – Lesser known stunt John and Yoko staged at Heathrow. EWE.

another possible 10

Ms. Gordon – You're an inspiration to all. This was an A ONE puzzle, and I look forward to many more from you!

Mohair Sam 7:34 AM  

We join the chorus wishing Bernice Gordon a Happy Birthday, she's amazing. And thank her again for another enjoyable puzzle.

Got hung up for a little while by the 49a Causes of glowers (great clue, btw) thinking HAzES there and AFTERNOONz using the rap music plural. But ONLYU tipped us on the theme and we were fine.

Dorothy Biggs 7:46 AM  

I am grateful to the crossword puzzle gods that this turned out to be a "good" puzzle in Rex's estimation. I was afraid to read the blog for fear of Rex railing on a puzzle created by someone who just turned 100...and fortunately, he was gentle. Whew, that was a close one.

And for clarity, this isn't Bernice's 100th puzzle in the NYT, as I understand it, it's her 100th in the xword.com database. She has had 140 puzzles published in the NYT over 60 years' time. Still a feat for anyone...and probably why today's puzzle was so good. After 60 years, you get to be pretty good at just about anything.

I thought it was weird to have SUMUP and OWNUP cross.

FWIW, John Jacob Astor IV died on the Titanic, which sank just two years before Bernice Gordon was born.

Z 7:46 AM  

Where I pulled John cAbOt Astor from is a mystery, so an inauspicious start. Was going to have a minor hissy fit since everyone knows that GEOGRAPHY is about place, human-environment interaction, movement, region, not just location, but the terminal B saved all of you from my rant.

XENON was once an interesting pinball game. I remember it well because if you hit the point multipliers the game would moan in ecstasy. Cheesy or just a little creepy, you decide.

@lms - you don't make your own? It's quite the thing. One of my data entry specialists has a side craft business with making individualized cards as well as selling all the accouterments of the process at various craft shows uses up all of her weekends.

A fine Wednesday offering.

Alice Olson 7:50 AM  

Happy Birthday to Bernice. Nice puzzle. Tremendous relief after the struggle with yesterday's.

joho 7:59 AM  

Wonderful Wednesday treat from a crossword puzzling treasure!

Happy Birthday, Bernice! I look forward to many more of your superb creations to come!

Unknown 8:23 AM  

Rex nailed it: this was old school fun.

Danp 8:33 AM  

Great puzzle. Happy Birthday, Bernice, and many more. Aren't you glad Questinia left out the part about the wheelbarrow?

Beagle lover 8:37 AM  

Bernice Gordon gave me a gift for her birthday! I loved this puzzle. Thank you, Ms.Gordon, have a nice day.

jberg 8:50 AM  

So, is a GEOGRAPHY B like a spelling B, only without the spelling and with geography? I've never heard of it, but it makes sense, so I was happy enough.Fun puzzle, I agree. My only problem was BElT before BEAT.

I'm still feeling sick, so all for now.

r.alphbunker 9:14 AM  

I am currently typing in September 1953 puzzles for the litzing project and lo and behold I come across this puzzle
Bernice Gordon, Sept 22, 1953, .png file
Bernice Gordon, Sept 22, 1953, .puz file

Was anybody here doing puzzles at this time?

r.alphbunker 9:14 AM  
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RnRGhost57 9:27 AM  

Thanks Bernice! Don't B a stranger.

Benko 9:31 AM  

@Thomas808: Blackbeard spent a lot of time at Ocracoke Island off the coast of NC, so that wasn't a wrong instinct.

efrex 9:35 AM  

I suppose at 100, you're entitled to be a bit "old school" in your fill and themes. Like Rex, didn't suss to the short middle theme answers for quite some time, and that provided some significant middle resistance.

Happy century, Ms. Gordon!

Lewis 9:49 AM  

Solid, fun puzzle. You are one inspirational lady, Bernice. You have given much to many!

Questinia 10:10 AM  
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quilter1 10:19 AM  

Very fun to do. Happy Birthday, Ms. Gordon.

Airymom 10:40 AM  

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Gordon. I encourage everyone to read about this remarkable woman at Wikipedia.com.

She is a true hero in the crossword world and I wish her many more years of constructing great puzzles.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:40 AM  

Nice puzzle.

Genuine LOL that @Rex violated his critical removal from the constructor's personal data to mention her birthday, but left it to others to note that it is her 100th, as I am sure he knew they would do!

John V 10:46 AM  

Very easy, nice. Happy birthday, Bernice!

lawprof 10:46 AM  

Happy birthday to u.
Happy birthday to u.
Happy birthday dear Bernice.
Happy birthday to u.

Check out r.alphbunker's link to BG's 1953 NYT puzzle. You'll find it every bit as wonderful as today's.

Didn't know there were such things as GEOGRAPHY Bees, but why not? (I still remember being eliminated from my 3d grade spelling bee by the word "coffee." How sad is that?)

Sandy K 10:48 AM  

Same solving experience with GEOGRAPHY? as @Rex and others, but got it at AFTERNOON T. And had NSa before NSC...The write-up was too funny!

Lovely puzzle and a very happy birthday to ONLY U, Ms. Gordon!!

chefbea 10:52 AM  

What a great puzzle!! Thanks Bernice and happy b-day.

At first I thought the theme had something to do with B's…there are 9 of them. Of course I loved all the Bee's.

dk 10:53 AM  

🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 Stars) Everything a Wednesday puzzle should be…. It is almost like Ms. Gordon has done this before.

Thank Ms. Gordon for the privilege of completing this puzzle.

MaskedU andU AnonymosU 11:10 AM  

Lookin good, Bernice. Play some more of that excellent Platters music, and have a great B-day. thUmbsUp to hittin the high C.


foxaroni 11:29 AM  

Happy 100th, Ms. Gordon. You are an inspiration!

foxaroni 11:44 AM  

#Z--a belated Thank You for the excellent tennis-score explanation yesterday. It cleared up some tennis things I'd never understood. Much appreciated.

M and Also 12:35 PM  

@muse. OK. Answered it over there.

Oooooo . . . this could be a classic "made U look!" joke...

LaneB 12:36 PM  

Really a nice puzzle and I'm particularly pleased that I saw the gimmick right away and finished quickly without any google checking. Now I can finish the little story I'm working on for my writing group and even get in a round of golf! Such a great day!

Garth 12:37 PM  


mac 12:42 PM  

Excellent puzzle, thank you Ms. Gordon!
Loco for loon at first, Osage for Osier, and the light went on at Well G.

Classic puzzle with a couple of contemporary words. Thank you and happy birthday!

AliasZ 12:44 PM  

Happy 100th Birthday, Ms. Gordon. We are eagerly awaiting your next puzzle. Keep them coming.

Let this be a lesson to all of us. If we keep doing (or constructing) NYT puzzles, we will stay energetic, full of pep, vim and vigor, and young at heart rather than decrepit.

Z 1:16 PM  
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Z 1:18 PM  

I see what you did there @AliasZ - nice.

A,E,I,O,U with LAND would make an interesting vowel progression puzzle is all I'm saying.

Did the Tuesday, 1953 puzzle. A little crunchy for a Tuesday, but very manageable despite my relatively youthful age. Struggled a little with the pop culture clues and springing Latin instead of RRNs was an interesting change of pace. No OMG to be seen, though.

Carola 1:36 PM  

@r.alphbunker and @Bernice Gordon - Thank you for doubling the fun with the 1953 puzzle. Had to work at it!

@loren - Forget Hallmark. Get some nice card stock and a rainbow array of fine-tip Sharpies and go to town. I gussie up my cards with vintage stickers. Making your own takes no more time than standing in front of a card display at the store and searching out one with a half-way passable message.

Sandy K 1:55 PM  

@Carola and @Loren

I make my own cards too! It's amazing how creative you can get with the right materials.

I got some beautiful crafting supplies thru HSN- esp Anna Griffin cardstock and 3-D flowers, stickers, etc. You can go online at HSN. They have card kits too- then all you need is a glue stick!

J & K 1:57 PM  

A singular black-eyed pea is what I have to talk some family members into eating for New Year's Day, in order for them to achieve good luck for the year.

Reminds me of the Yankee who went into the South and was asked if he liked grits. He replied, no but he'd like to try one some day.

r.alphbunker 2:07 PM  

The answer for 7D could have been clued {Bernice Gordon's career as a cruciverbalist has ___} perhaps setting a record for the length of a partial. :-)

ANON B 2:13 PM  

The New Jersey Star-Ledger had
an item about a teacher who
recently celebrated her 100th
birthday, not Ms. Gordon.
P.S. Not only are the Capchas
getting easier, I think today's was the same as a day or two ago.

jae 2:21 PM  

@lms - or you might do what my bride and I did around 10 years ago. We each bought 3 cards (b-day, anniversary, val-day) and we recycle them each year.

r.alphbunker 2:24 PM  

Great idea.

But who gets to give the anniversary and val-day cards? Do you alternate years?

ANON B 2:27 PM  


Numinous 2:29 PM  

I heard or read somewhere that orchestral conductors tended to live longer than people in other occupations. It would seem crossword construction would rival that, or so I have reasoned. Ms Gordon has done what "Life With Father" did, entering into her second century of constructing. Brava, Bernice!

I wonder if puzzles were graded Monday to Saturday in the 50s.
@r.alphbunker, I was in the third grade when that puzzle was published. I might have known balsa and mole but would not have had a hint to the other answers. That was a wonderful puzzle with every word standing on its own with nothing that smacked of "fill," existing only to create a crossing word. Ms. Gordon truly is a NESTOR of constructors!

Again, I say:

Brava, Bernice Gordon, many happy returns!

jae 2:30 PM  

@r.ralph -- we each have a card for those days and just exchange them, smile and say how nice, and then return them to each other until the next year.

r.alphbunker 2:33 PM  

7D in Bernice's 1953 puzzle. See my 9:14 AM post.

Z 2:55 PM  

@foxaroni - You're welcome. It is an odd way to count. "Game to four, win by two" would be so much simpler to explain. I think tennis must have been invented on it's own little iland with it's own language.

Three and out.

Numinous 2:57 PM  

For greeting card making, I had never appreciated the potential of rubber stamps until I stumbled across this

OISK 3:32 PM  

Lovely puzzle, which suited me to a T…For me this was much easier than Tuesday's. Happy Birthday, Bernice, I wish you "A hundert und zwanzig" as my grandparents would say. ( my Mom had a close friend with exactly the same name, Bernice Gordon, in Brooklyn. I don't think she wrote puzzles, though…)

Diane from Fair Lawn 4:01 PM  

I don't mean to sound like an ad, but for inexpensive greeting cards I get mine at currentcatalog.com- I don't have time to make my own cards.

I enjoyed the puzzle- I give it an A!

Anonymous 4:14 PM  

Had never heard of geography Bee before this past week when my 12 year old grandson won what is called in San Diego a Geobee. Given to 7th & 8th graders, but he won overall in his school as a 6th grader!

David IN CA 4:24 PM  

Have to agree about "IBAR" v. ibeam - I resist writing it in every time. Wish they would clue it as something clever, like "Apple's foray into retail alcohol sales?".

But wonderful puzzle overall.

sanfranman59 4:36 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Wed 8:45, 10:26, 0.84, 12%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Wed 5:45, 6:11, 0.93, 31%, Easy-Medium

schmuzz 5:34 PM  

hands up for both real-estate and
@Z: john CABOT astor - no idea where it came from either...detroit?

happy birthday, ms. gordon-good month to be born!

ANON B 5:54 PM  

ralph bunker:
I don't read all the comments so I missed yours at 9:14.
When I went there I saw two links.
One had the unfilled puzzle.
The other led me to a site that
I couldn't understand.
Would you please tell me what
7D is?

retired_chemist 7:57 PM  

Nice. Well done.

Spent a solid minute finding a typo so my time sucked. Hand up for rEal estate @ 17A.

Thank you, Ms.Gordon. Happy birthday, and many more.

Pete 9:19 PM  

I solved my card dilema by not having any friends.

r.alphbunker 10:01 PM  

7D is 15 letters long.

sanfranman59 10:05 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 5:48, 6:22, 0.91, 12%, Easy
Tue 9:52, 8:15, 1.20, 90%, Challenging
Wed 8:46, 10:26, 0.84, 13%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:58, 0.90, 5%, Easy
Tue 6:21, 5:12, 1.22, 95%, Challenging
Wed 5:28, 6:11, 0.88, 18%, Easy

Anonymous 11:05 PM  

Thursday is fun, fun, fun!!

Ellen S 11:22 PM  

I spent the day making bread using Questinia's recipe, well not the whole day but enough of it. More on that later I just wanted to say, fun puzzle, thank you and happy birthday, Bernice!

Edac2day 2:27 AM  

But the letters don't SPELL anything. That had me scratching my head as to what the theme meant.

Unknown 2:21 PM  

Is it possible to get a blank copy of the NYT puzzle from 1/15/14? I don't live near there and my family didn't get the paper that day. Thanks.

Z 2:50 PM  

@Steve Kargman - Click on my link. You will see a link to my email. Or they could pay the $20 to subscribe the online crossword and always have it there as a back up.

Tita 5:27 PM  

Happy B-lated Birthday Bernice Gordon!!!!!!!!

Loved the puzzle. Everyone has already lavished praise, so let me just whole-heartedly agree.

spacecraft 11:00 AM  

Sure the initials say something. "Bea, you see pee? Gee, tea!" {"I really wasn't trying to serve you a cup of urine, Beatrice."}

Wow, 100! With my 73-year-old aches and pains, I find that hard to fathom. Hmm, Ruth Gordon acted into her 90's; what is it with these Gordons? Anyway, kudos to Bernice for just surviving, let alone making a nice puzzle like this!

I guess having WALTERS at 45d and WAWA at 67a would be too much to ask. My only question: you would never really serve a single BLACKEYEDP, would you?

Wonderful seeing VOLTAIRE, one of the comparatively few proper names, appear here. My favorite Voltairism:

If God did not exist, it would have been necessary for man to invent Him.

I have the Devil's poker hand: 666.

Philly.com 11:21 AM  

Dear Syndilanders - In five weeks you will read more about Bernice Gordon and find this link to an article about here. But why wait?

Article about Ms. Gordon.

Solving in Seattle 2:18 PM  

Bunt before BABA (SNL version of 5D).
net before CUE. Aka before APB. I also was going to throw down realestate at 17A before quickly realizing the error of my ways.

Caught on to Ms. Gordon's trickery at the elegant cross of ONLYU/WELLG.

And try as I may, I could not make anagrammatic sense of BUGPTC.

@Z, I'll try the first Vonnegut you suggested. Thx.

Two low pair. @Spacy's evil trips tops me.

Dirigonzo 3:32 PM  

The VOLTAIRE MEMOIR is properly titled 'Memoirs of the Life of Monsieur de Voltaire' and you can read a review here.
Any puzzle that makes Rexvillians as happy as this one did is a great puzzle, IMHO.

Two pair and out.

DMG 6:38 PM  

This was fun. Only hesitation was the infamous B. I circled it thinking I'd have to go back work out what belonged there, then found out it was right. A little serendipity now and then is good for the souls of men! (and this puzzle solver).

Cards not worthy of mention.

Waxy in Montreal 7:08 PM  

From a mere kid still on the sunny side of seventy, congratulations Bernice Gordon! A remarkably fun puzzle to solve and to discover its constructor is a centenarian - wow!

strayling 7:16 PM  

A fun midweek conceit, well executed and just tricksy enough to keep it intriguing.

More please!

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