Hungarian patriot Nagy / TUE 5-6-14 / Pop star portrayed by J.Lo / Wii ancestor briefly / Player of summer lilt / Chevrolet model beginning in 1958 / H.H. Munro pseudonym

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Constructor: Alex Bajcz

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: PICK UP (47D: Learn … or a word that can precede the ends of 20-, 29-, 44- and 53-Across) — just what it says

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: PICAYUNE (6D: Paltry) —
  1. Of little value or importance; paltry. See synonyms at trivial.
  2. Petty; mean.
  1. A Spanish-American half-real piece formerly used in parts of the southern United States.
  2. A five-cent piece.
  3. Something of very little value; a trifle: not worth a picayune.
[Louisiana French picaillon, small coin, from French, from Provençal picaioun, from picaio, money, perhaps from Old Provençal piquar, to jingle, clink, from Vulgar Latin *piccāre, to pierce. See pique.]

Read more:
• • •

Pretty standard words-that-can-follow puzzle with an oddly placed revealer.  Much of the short fill is pretty bad (IMRE, YAH (?), D.A. crossing P.D.A., NEDS and STANS, etc.), but some of the longer fill is pretty good (PICAYUNE, SWIZZLE STICKS, BALL PIT). Puzzle started out kinda hard for me, as NO TIME (1D: "Gotta fly, sorry!"), MINUS (23A: -) and (esp.) CULT (21D: Kind of movie) proved very elusive, but once I got moving, difficulty level swung back to normal. Trying to see if there's very much interesting to say about this puzzle … there's an over-reliance on abbrevs., I think. I wonder if anyone but me tried to answer 61A: Staple of Agatha Christie mysteries with POIROT (instead of the correct POISON). I never had PRE-CALC, just Algebra II then Trig then Calc, so I didn't know PRE-CALC was related to algebra (9D: Advanced algebra class, informally). That meant that I closed the puzzle about as slowly as I opened it, relying on crosses to LOOK ALIKE to get me into that NE corner, and even then screwing things up a bit (PLAN for PLOY initially at 9A: Stratagem).

I believe that's all I have to say about this one. An acceptable, fairly average Tuesday offering.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Moly Shu 12:12 AM  

Seemed very easy to me, and quite a bit like yesterday's puzzle. Agree with @Rex on PICAYUNE and SWIZZLESTICKS. Just no zip and outside my strike zone. On to tomorrow.

August West 12:14 AM  

Hand up for POIrOt before POISON.

Jisvan 12:16 AM  

I may have been SLOE on the UPTAKE, because while I got NIPAT on the crosses, I couldn't parse it at first. (Duh.) After that, it was pretty much in my BALL PIT. Any puzzle with a TBONE on the grill, the ICE CREAM TRUCK tinkling in the distance, and SWIZZLE STICKS is okay by me! (Just hold the POISEN...)

Steve J 12:20 AM  

Felt a bit harder as I solved than it turned out to be, coming in at average Tuesday time for me. Maybe because things never really seemed to flow, thanks to a bit of clunkiness in the short fill.

Like everyone's mentioned so far, I liked the long fill, especially SWIZZLE STICKS, PICAYUNE, CUTS IN LINE (even if I had bUTS IN LINE at first; Chick COREA quickly forced me to correct that one mistake).

When I took PRE-CALC in high school, it was far from just advanced algebra. We were doing actual early-level calculus, including some basic derivatives. Don't know if that was unique to my school, or if the clue's oversimplifying things.

jae 12:24 AM  

Pretty good debut.  Medium for me.  Toughest part was the UP TAKE, PUTT, BIKINI cluster.  I thought the theme had some zip...SWIZZLE STICKS... and the overall gestalt was positive for me despite the occasional CLV, MGR, BLDG, YAH, NEDS...   It is Tues. after all.

APIA/ SAKI could be tough for the novice solver.

PICAYUNE is a fine word.

Liked it.

Mohair Sam 1:15 AM  

Loved PICAYUNE and SWIZZLESTICKS. Have no idea what BALLPIT refers to, but it filled. POIrOt before POISON here too.

Personal natick on the "A" in SAKI/APIA - didn't know either one. And don't dare wake up wife at this hour to see if she knows - officially a DNF.


Questinia 1:27 AM  

SWIZZLE STICKS SKIN PICK UP made this louche but SAKI made it ritzy.


Unknown 1:27 AM  

My old bugaboo uh-huh vs. uh-uh vs. nuh-uh came into play as I wrote nAH for uh-huh (YAH is just weird, as @rex indicated), then failed to see what was wrong with PICAnUNE, a word I can spell correctly but apparently cannot see misspelled. Down one. 38 minutes, including a brief snooze to allow UPTAKE and AVOWING come into view.

My solve experience was sluggish overall, with the NW being the most viscous. uSaTty befor ASSTDA. tWIZZLESTICKS first. PDA for [Blackberry] is a huge put-down. BALLPIT could have been clued [Eye ______ ] but those gave way pretty quickly. I've never heard of NES and though it appears weekly, I always have to get it from crosses. I guessed at SELENA but needed crosses for EMINEM and NIPAT, which has an awful clue [Barely bite, as heels]. Huh? Uh-uh. I'd have preferred [What priests do with their communion wine pre-mass, often] or some such.

@cascodog and I are walking the Sebago-to-the-Sea trail as a rite of Spring. Heavy EYEPITS tonight. (See you out there, @dirigonzo?)

RnRGhost57 1:41 AM  

Easy, even for a Tuesday. Pleasant if harmless diversion while winding down at the end of a 13-hour workday.

Xpozify 2:37 AM  

This is really an amazing type of puzzle. I usually try to solve such puzzles found in local newspaper magazine. I do love to play puzzle game that forces the player to solve. Thanks for sharing.

chefwen 2:39 AM  

Took a little longer that yesterdays stroll in the park, but managed to pull it off with no write-overs. Had to take pause to remember where the M's and N's go in EMINEM.

We lived so far out in the boonies when I was growing up, I never did hear an ICE CREAM TRUCK, poor disadvantaged little 'ol me.

If anyone CUTS IN LINE before me - watch out. POISON looks are soon to follow, not to mention some carefully chosen words.

Anonymous 3:18 AM  

I hated it. All the abbreviations seemed very sloppy. Crossing APIA and SAKI (the Saki clue was very obscure. Japanese rice wine for a Tuesday!) Count me with those loving SWIZZLE STICK and PICAYUNE but overall this puzzle was a dud.

JTHurst 3:47 AM  

I realize it is Alex's debut and I could, by no means, construct a puzzle and even if I did, it would have 5 letter abbrevs., "Hello!" to Ng, and "As My Life Turns" clues.

But this puzzle is 180 degrees opposite from yesterday's delightful puzzle and to compare the two is insincere. It has all of the cliched crossword 'gizmos'.

1. Foreign word clues
2. Multiple word answers to ambiguous clues
3. Rapper clue
4. Roman numerals
5. Disparate theme clues
6. Abbrv.
7. Medical problem clues
8. Foreign capital clue
9. Cartoon and kiddy clues
10. Ambiguous multiple word clues to one word answers.
11. Movie celebrity clues
12. Sport clues
13. uh-huhs, yahs, yes, yeps, yups, yehs, aye, and yeahs, and
13. One area for a possible natick, e.g. apia/saki

Maybe it is hard to construct a puzzle and forgo 60% of the above but to tag each base is a 'minus'.

If I wasn't so old I would have done something else rather than labor over this puzzle, like pick ticks off of my dog, clean the lint filter from my washing machine, scrape off the lime build-up on my shower stall or write these comments.

Phil 3:49 AM  

So there's a girl jazz musician named borea. Duh duh duh
Look at the cross and you'll say duh. Embarrassing, bug like another saki and apia was a bad cross for me
But still found it easy even tho DNF.

mac 4:48 AM  

Hand up for Poirot and "nah". Otherwise easy, but it's a good thing I didn't even see ball pit, that's new to me.

Hi, @nanpilla!

Dawn 4:53 AM  

@August West: POIrOt made more sense.

I kept tWIZZLESTICKS for longest time!

Elle54 6:16 AM  

Our McDonalds had a ball pit. Used to take kids there for something to do. One kid lost his shoe, so I had to send an older kid in to dive into the balls and find it. Now they are teens, the ball pit is gone, heard ball pits carry disease so I wonder if they are out of fashion? Any Chuckie Cheese goers out there?
I liked the puzzle!

Hartley70 6:42 AM  

I had an awful time with this. Oh the shame of it on a Tuesday! I got hung up on the bottom half late last night and had to wake up this morning to finish. Now I understand what a Natick is, thanks HH Munro. We had a black Impala but I tried to force Camaro. Poirot for poison. Cakewalk, etc. etc. etc. Arrrgh!

DrXWord 6:47 AM  

@JTHurst: You forgot "too many plurals". NEDS and STANS!?

Danp 6:49 AM  

Pad see ew sounds disgusting. Wikipedia says it means fried soy sauce. Ew!

Glimmerglass 7:01 AM  

HH Monro was a favorite of mine when I was a teenager. Oddly, he was a favorite of my father's, too.

Mohair Sam 7:25 AM  

A victim of insomnia, I confessed to being naticked on a Tuesday at 1:15. Wife beat me downstairs this morning and quickly entered the "A" in SAKI which officially denaticks us. Phew.

dk 7:38 AM  

00 (2 Moons) Rereading Dante's Inferno. Light summer fare. No time to pay attention in HS as PRECALC dominated.

Wondering what ring Tuesday puzzles might be.

This was a fine Tuesday. And fast for this solver. My PLOY was not overthinking the grid. My new Zen approach to puzzling.

Finally warm in WI.

GILL I. 7:40 AM  

K's, lots of K's. I love K's and so does my 4 year old granddaughter.
A Tuesday crossword with K's is pretty darn sassy in my opinion.
TYSON chickens has been in the dog house lately. If you like salmonella, give them a try.
Not in the least PICAYUNE Alex Bajcz (love your name)I enjoyed this BABY just fine. Hope to see you again soon.

AliasZ 8:04 AM  

SAKI and APIA were easy gimmes, which only shows I have been solving crossword puzzles for an awfully long time. Besides, I read a few of H. H. Munro's short stories. You should too, you won't be disappointed.

I was impressed by this NYT debut by Alex Bajcz (pronounced 'boyts' with the 'o' sounding more like 'aw'). Alex at Wordplay says it's pronounced 'badges,' but that is strictly for the convenience of English speakers.

As an additional theme entry, I would have liked to see WEDDING BAND (for PICKUP band) or CARD COUNTER (for PICKUP counter). But I liked all theme entries, especially CUT IN LINE.

Nice long entries too, I especially liked IT IS SAID, CAME EASY, LOOK LIKE and of course PICAYUNE, but CLV, YAH, NEDS not so much. And RAMOS didn't fit.

I was thinking, if puzzles avoided all foreign words, multiple words, abbr.'s, pluralized proper names, geography, Roman numerals, movie and sports trivia, rappers etc., we would have no crossword puzzles.

To end an upbeat note, here is one of the many favorite songs, this one titled Szép város Kolozsvár from Gräfin Mariza by IMRE Kálmán. That means: Kolozsvár is a beautiful city. It is my hometown.

Happy Tuesday.

John V 8:06 AM  

Congrats, Alex, on your debut. A good Tuesday, if a tad crunchy, for me.

jberg 8:11 AM  

This one came easy for me; and, in this case the revealer was a lot of fun -- I kept staring at the theme answers, looking for scrambled words things to consume -- nothing quite worked. So the revealer was atrue "Aha!"

Lots of personal memories -- one of my best friends in HS pined for an IMPALA, and I spent a couple of summers driving, not an ICE CREAM TRUCK but an ice cream 3-wheeled motor scooter. It had no real refrigeratino, but an insulated box on the front -- I would go to the dairy in the morning, pick up some ice cream bars and a couple of cold shots (big pieces of metal that had been in the freezer all night, and spend the day PUTTing through the streets ringing a bell.

I would have gone for Poirot, but had CAME EASY already.

Secret of spelling EMINEM: think of the candy.

@Jae, I hadn't even noticed the BIKINI in there. I must be getting old.

I came here on my iPhone yesterday, and was unable to post -- so let me join the "Come back @acme" chorus now.

Unknown 8:12 AM  

Easy solve, just ok theme...kind of flat. But I am always happy for first time constructions, so congrats Alex!

retired_chemist 8:13 AM  

Easy-medium. A quarter (roughly) of my time was spent tracking down two typos so I have no good estimate of my time absent the typos. But it seemed easy.

YAH? I had Yep. POISON? Sure, but I had murder first, which lasted until I got the first cross. No other writeovers, unless you count bUTS [sic] IN LINE. Chick COREA seemed obscure to me, though I had heard of him, but Wikipedia says he isn't.

I think PRE-CALC must be after my time. Algebra II in High School, then on to calculus.

Pretty solid Tuesday. Thanks,Mr. Bajcz.

Bob Kerfuffle 8:39 AM  

One write-over, 42 D, BALL PEN before BALL PIT, wondered how I came up with that, decided must be from BULL PEN, an odd choice for this non-sports person.

Unfortunately, 52 A reminded me of an old throw-away joke about a high school basketball game of skins vs. shorts.

Unknown 8:43 AM  

Surprised to see the Medium rating. I flew through the top half, slowed a bit on the bottom, but still solved about 25% faster than average. My two cents?
1) Every time I see a ball pit I get jealous of the kids playing in it. Wish there were ball pits around when I was a kid! 2) PRECALC was the last math class in which I didn't feel hopelessly lost. Calculus was most definitely NOT my thing.

Sir Hillary 8:57 AM  

Good Tuesday fare. What JTHurst calls a raft of cliches, I call variety.

Only real gripe is YAH. Does anyone say or write that? I suppose maybe Marge Gundersen does, but still...

chefbea 8:58 AM  

Hand up for buts in line!! The other day at the post office there were three of us waiting in line when a lady came in and went right up to the counter... we three looked at each other and realized that some people are rude!!!

Our family had an Impala in 1958. Loved it. Robin's egg blue convertible.

Oh the puzzle..Good one - I liked it

r.alphbunker 9:10 AM  


Ludyjynn 9:20 AM  

Just read an interview w/ David Suchet, who plays Poirot in the long-running British and American public tv productions. He recently filmed the last installment of the series, where the detective has become infirm and dies! He says he will miss him dearly.

He also filmed a very interesting special two years ago, where he traveled as himself on the Orient Express, re-visiting the episode where Poirot was on the train. Worth a look when they rerun it on PBS occasionally.

For the record, @RetiredChemist, I also had MURDER before POISON, which made life in the Southcentral grid dicey for a bit.

HH Munro/SAKI was required reading in high school and seems to me to be a Mon. or Tues. gimme, certainly no excuse for a Natick.

@AliasZ, I second your observation regarding puzzle construction. And on that note, congrats. to you, Alex Bajcz on your debut. For me, it went down easy-medium, just fine for a Tues. morning.

Joe 9:35 AM  

@Ludyjynn I guess you haven't read the Poirot books or you'd surely know he dies in the end! But the last book was a very good one, so if you're a fan, definitely don't miss it.

I also wanted Poirot instead of poison, since I was a huge fan when I was younger.

Also had PLan first, then PLOt, then finally PLOY when I couldn't figure out what T_S could possibly be in that corner.

The SW corner had me for a bit, mainly because I for some reason thought they were called tWIZZLESTICKS instead of SWIZZLESTICKS.

Never saw the word "YAH" before. I had the _AH and assumed nAH, and that the puzzle mistakenly used "uh-huh" instead of "uh-uh." Had to circle back to find that mistake.

Still a mildly enjoyable Tuesday puzzle, even though the theme was another one of those after-the-fact ones where it doesn't really help you with the puzzle at all.

Arlene 9:52 AM  

I guessed right in the SAKI/APIA cross. And the MINUS sign had me thinking of a possible rebus or something equally mysterious, but nope. Interesting that just about the last thing I filled in was the reveal.

I'm ready for Wednesday.

quilter1 10:11 AM  

Easy one for me. SAKI/APIA are old crosswordese and SAKI was required reading for me in school. No ICE CREAM TRUCKs in our town. They were outlawed when a kid got run over. Boo Hoo. Agatha Christie was a pharmacist, so she knew her POISONs, again a gimme for me. I really enjoyed doing this one. A great debut.

Steve J 11:09 AM  

@Anon 3:18: Japanese rice wine is spelled sake, so you had to go with the Munro clue for SAKI.

Never read Munro, either under his own name or his pseudonym. He seemed to have fallen off the reading lists by the time I was in high school in the '80s.

JTHurst 11:14 AM  

@Danp, Pad is the Thai definition of rice noodles. When looking at a Thai menu you will see many selections starting with Pad.

Andrew Heinegg 11:29 AM  

Hand up for Poirot, whom I found to be not nearly as interesting a character as Miss Marple. Miss Marple then led to Jessica Fletcher, who was also not as entertaining as Ms. Marple but did give us Angela Lansbury, one of the truly great entertainers and actresses in the last 60 years or so. Of course, Agatha Christie is the answer to the question of: who is the best selling author of all time with 4 billion books sold.

Lewis 11:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jdv 11:47 AM  

Easy-Med. I didn't notice the abbreviations and acronyms as much as I did in yesterday's puzzle. I can stomach about 10-12 per 15x15; any more than that I start groaning. No groaning in this one. Liked the clue for ICECREAMTRUCK. Wanted NOTNOW for NOTIME at 1d.

Lewis 11:47 AM  

Double the grid gruel of yesterday, half the spark, yet a serviceable Tuesday with some bullets (SWIZZLESTICKS, ELICIT, PICAYUNE, GIZMOS, BALLPIT) and ASSTDA (just kidding).

It fought me a little as I stubbornly had inTAKE instead of UPTAKE.

The five U's ought to make the creases of M&A's mouth turn up. There is another contributor here who hates the 3x3 squares, so the SE and NW corners should make the corner's of his mouth turn down.

Noam D. Elkies 12:17 PM  

Look again: the 10D entry is LOOK_LIKE, not "look alike".

This puzzle I liked.


Carola 12:17 PM  

A fine Tuesday, with today's SWiZZLE a worthy follower to yesterday's WURLITZER. I agree with others that the theme LACKED ZIP but that there was plenty to like otherwise - PICAYUNE, GIZMOS, POISON, UPTAKE, PRECALC.

I liked CUTS IN LINE sandwiched between SALON (picturing rows of chairs at the hairdresser's) and T-BONE (picturing the meat case at the supermarket).

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

I don't think Rex claims this is a debut. Am I missing something?

KenInBoston 1:19 PM  

At 32-D I read "Pregnant wear" so BIKINI was a bit slow in coming.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 1:29 PM  

Nice, scrabbly grid. Nice, scrabbly constructioneer name.

Stuff that also follows:
* ICECREAMTRUCK ... m&e! m&e!
* CUTSINLINE ... catcalls.
* TRIVIAGAME ... gripin that the other team's Q's were **much** easier.
* SWIZZLESTICKS ... slices of fruit and them little umbrella dealies.

weejects anonymoUs: ESS/YES/NES/NEDS. Has anyone ever done an expanding word ladder (EWL) puz theme? Sounds tricky -- especially if U start yer ladder out with CLV .

M&A's quickdraw EWL example: ORA, ORAL, MORAL, MORALE, MORALES, MORE ALES, MORE TALES, MORE TABLES, MORE STABLES, AMORE STABLES, AMORE SATABLES, ... etc. Would be cool, how the clues would get more desperate, as the theme ran its course. Might have to invoke the dreaded triple-??? clue, before the smoke cleared.

But I digress.

fave fillins: MINUS (with primo minimalist clue), PICAYUNE, UPTAKE, USNAVY, BLDG (Man, did N ever get screwed, in that abbr.)

fave moo-cow clue that tries to make up for IMRE Nagy and the "South Park kid and others" clue, since it's only a TuesPuz: "Hooray! to Jose".

Good debUUUUUt,

M&Asterpiece NYTPuz submission update:
* has good tips for submittin NYTPuzs. Covers about every possible thing, except for maximizin the U-count.
* Supposed to attach documentation for any questionable grid entries. May just mail along a dictionary with my puz. That could run into serious, unknown postage amounts, tho. Maybe if I just attach a personal USPS-IOU... ?
* This may be the greatest crossword ever invented. Am gettin pretty excited.

* Need to grapple with the whole name issue.
Can't just submit as "Masked and Anonymous". Need something snappier. Top choices, so far...
- Rex Masked
- C.C. Masked
- Patrick Maskedberry
- Masky Nossowsky
- Masked Shortzlover (subliminal!)
- William Shakespeare

Zwhatever 1:52 PM  

SAKI was a gimme here, and I avoided POIrot by having --ISON before reading the clue, so no real issues for me. My personal favorite is PICAYUNE TRIVIA GAME - HEY! You talking to me?!?

I briefly considered a rebus when my movie was -ULT and the only thing that came to mind was adULT. And I guess if you are stuck with CLV finding a Pope or an Olaf/v to clue your RRN isn't possible. "Year Antoninus relegalizes circumcision" was a bris too far, I'm sure.

A fine Tuesday as Tuesday's go.

gregg 1:53 PM  

The comments regarding SAKI remind me of my early attempts at crossword puzzles. It seemed that a favorite fill 50 years ago was Charles Lamb's pseudonym Elia. I had not read him then nor have I since.

I have read H. H. Munro, however, and would recommend that those unfamiliar with his work start with "The Open Window."

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

Like many others, wanted POIROT and then MARPLE for the Christie clue--currently teaching a course on mystery fiction, and poison hasn't appeared in any of our reads since Jan. so that was far from our mind. MURDER is another Christie staple, with, confusingly, the same letter count. Also wanted NDASH for MINUS, the sign of someone who's been entrenched in English and avoided maths for far too long.

DNF at SAKI/APIA; guessed "u" for the first vowel. Apart from that, no real issues. Chick Corea is fantastic, particularly his duets with Bobby McFerrin.

Benko 2:26 PM  

I've also read some SAKI, just for the heck of it. I remember particularly a story about a swan who becomes heartbroken after its mate dies.
@Andrew Morrison: Don't wish you were in that BALLPIT. I have learned that they are pools of filth and disease. Kids do gross things in there.
@M&A: 3 more to consider:
Patrick Blindfolded
Mask Gaffney
Anonymea Carla Maskels

M and Also 2:28 PM  

EWL list (cont.) ... AMORE SALTABLES, AMORE SALT TABLES. har! Made it all the way to the 15 grid-spanner!

Penname list (cont.) ...
- Maskin Anonymouswood-Smith
- Bamaskin Anonymmett Quigley
- Just make check out to CASH.

Ludyjynn 3:19 PM  

@jyocum3, FYI, I read the Poirot series and most of Christie's other works as a pre-teen. Esp. loved "Ten Little Indians". In this blog, I expressed actor Suchet's wistfulness that the series is ending w/ Poirot's upcoming death. However, he did intimate that the people who control the Christie Estate may resurrect the character at some point, but he will probably not be involved w/ such a project.

Fred Romagnolo 3:45 PM  

@Gregg: "Open Window" one of the greatest short stories ever written; back in 1959 I dramatized it, because I had a terrific young teen-age actress & was in a competition to write a one-act play. She was overwhelming. @Lewis: with you on intake 'til I couldn't rationalize "Pitt." @Andrew Heinegg: fundamentalists would say the best-selling author of all time would be God. @ck: "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita." aint light summer fare, even when translated, "Midway upon the journey of our life." (I know you were kidding). My biggest blunder was "Swivel sticks," it made sense! Wondered why it didn't fit 'til I got gizmos. I avoided "Poirot" because I got "came easy" first. I agree that the clue for "nip at" was too dense.

sanfranman59 3:46 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)

Tue 8:38, 8:28, 1.02, 58%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:30, 5:17, 1.04, 60%, Medium

Fred Romagnolo 3:49 PM  

When I was in high school it was geometry, advanced algebra, then trig.

Last Silver Bull Woot 4:06 PM  

@FredR: I think my schools went with:
Algebra, More Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, Calculus, More Calculus II. Then variety meats.

@Benko: Maskels. har.
Went ahead and mailed in the M&Asterpiece puz, just a bit ago. Took it down to the postoffice, to get the exact postage amount ciphered out. Came to $7.85, with all the extra documentation. Offered to split the 300 bucks with em in a few weeks, after puz was published. Postal lady wanted to see the puz. Looked it over quite a spell. People in line got real restless. One little gal yelled "This is messed up!" Eventually, postal lady shook her head and said they'd hafta go with the $7.85 up front, this time.

Anhoo, won't be long now!


Benko 4:40 PM  

At my high school "PRECALC" was just the "advanced" version of Trig/Analyt. for those of us who were going to take Calculus in our senior year. I hadn't gotten along well with my Algebra II teacher and was sent to PRECALC honors instead of AP, which would have earned me college credit. That year I took my SAT and became the first person in my high school to get a perfect score on the math section...when I showed my PRECALC teacher, he made a big show of parading me around the AP PRECALC teachers and students saying, "My kid got the perfect score, Haha! Not you!"
@M&A: Good luck, can't wait!

Outlaw M and A 5:02 PM  

@Benko. Thanx. I know this whole story probably sounds a little imbellished to folks, but I REALLY did send in a puz. M&A

schmuzz 5:21 PM  

i LOVED playing facts in five when i was in high school

- i didn't think anyone else knew that game existed!! and to see it as a puzzle clue? omg i can't stop smiling

Jisvan 6:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jisvan 6:12 PM  

I took Calculus For Health Care Majors. You can imagine how dumbed down that was. We actually graphed a curve, then cut it out (everything was on paper back then, children) and weighed it on a scale! We had the option of covering it with BBs, I think, and counting those, but the scale thing seemed easier. I thought, My god, if real calculus is harder than this, thank heavens for Health Care!
Good luck with yer puzz, MandA, and thanks for including us on your journey.

GR 6:14 PM  

Also tried Poirot at first. Made a face at YAH and YES both being present; maybe that's being too picky

Jake 7:06 PM  

ADIN? First time commenter, and not a tennis player.

chefbea 8:58 PM  

@Jake has to do with scoring. After deuce - when it is tied it's either ad in or ad out depending who scores

Sagheer 2:35 AM  

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confused and didn't know what
to do anymore. So i
became worried and stranded,
that brought so many
thoughts into my mind, because I
have never experienced
a thing like this before in my life.
So I decided to visit a spell
caster, to see if he can help
me out. So immediately I went
to the internet, where I
saw an amazing testimony of a
spell caster who brought
someone's ex lover back,so I
contacted him immediately
and I explained to him all my
problems and he told me
that it will be very easy for him
to solve, compare to the
ones he has done before. And he
also gave me some
proof to be really sure of her
work, and he assured me
that my husband will come back
to me immediately after
he is through with the spell
casting. And also he told me
to put all my trust in him and I
really obeyed him.
So it was 8:00 am on the next
morning, when I was about
going to work, when i received
my husband's call, and he
told me that he was coming back
home, and he apologized
to me, and told me that he is
very sorry for the pain that
he has cost me. And after some
hours later, he really came
back home, and that was how we
continued our marriage
with lots of love and happiness,
and our love was now
stronger than how it were
And these great man also told
me that once my heart
desire has been granted unto me
that i should go and
testify of his work right here on
the internet. Right now I
am the happiest woman on earth
today as I am writing
this testimony, and I want to
really thank
dr alexzander for
bringing back my
husband, and for bringing joy and
love to my you
all there having dificulties or the
other don,t worry every
thing will be fine
So my greatest advice for you
out there who your husband
or your wife is acting strange or
behaving the same way
like this, or you have any
problem with your relationship or
anything related to do with spell
casting, is for you to go
and visit this great man anytime,
and i assure you that
she will be of help to you, and I
am 100% sure that he
will solve it out.once again
contact him on these email
now..and your problem we be all over because I really trust him as the best spell caster in the

Anonymous 8:49 PM  

My name is Sophia from usa,i never believe in spell until i contacted this great man of spirit called DR ABIZA.Me and my husband have been married for three years and we had a baby boy,before we got married we dated for two years and we love each other so much.But i never knew that he was having an affair with one of my closest friend and they have been seen each other for about four months.One day he came home and raise up an unnecessary argument with me and we had a quarrel so he threaten to live the house which he did the following day and he left me and the kid to be with my so called friend,so in the course of my distress i was reading some pages on the internet on how to get back a lost husband,then i saw a testimony by Jessica on how DR ABIZA help her to get back her ex boy friend,so i also contacted the DR via the email address provided by Jessica and he told me that my friend cast a spell on my husband that made him to leave me and the kid to be with her.To cut the story short,DR ABIZA also told me what to do which i did and my friend hated my husband so much that she never wanted to see him again and after three days my husband came back to me begging for my forgiveness.Today am happy with my husband again.If you are having any problem like this you can email him through this address:{DRABIZASPELLTEMPLE20@HOTMAIL.COM},and you can count on him for a great help.

spacecraft 12:23 PM  

For some this CAMEEASY; for me, not so much--partly because I was slow on the UPTAKE, which, like @Lewis, I has as inTAKE first. I dunno; it just seemed awkward. The clues were...a bit off; it's hard to explain. Take OWN. "Not lease, say" is a perfectly acceptable clue; it just comes at you sideways. Is "BALLPIT" a thing? I mean, I know what it is, but I've never heard that term for it. Perfectly descriptive clue; this time it's the entry that

The theme is clever and well-hidden, yielding a big aha! moment with the revealer. More themes like this, please! And the piece de resistance SWIZZLESTICKS is so marvelous, I bet the constructor (whose name is a Scrabble player's dream!) said to himself, "I'm gonna make a puzzle with SWIZZLESTICKS in it!"

The fill? Oh well. Nobody's perfcet. At least, among the too-many abbrevs. we have the original ASSTDA. Romanumerals when tied to a memorable date are not so terrible, but the arbitrariness of 155 only screams out that the guy is stuck with CLV and doesn't know how to get out of it. And IMRE. Now there's a name for ya; it's hard to even say it. Poor guy had to live with that tag--no wonder he was a revolutionary. WHAT ARE PARENTS THINKING SOMETIMES??

Finally, seeing __AI with cuisine I just closed my eyes and went with THAI. For how am I to know what Pad see ew (accent on the EW!) is? Oh--and YAH is what Jon yells when Garfield is playing bridge with the mice instead of catching them. It is NOT "Uh-huh."

Great idea for a new reality show: "The Spellcaster." Episodes feature lovelorn women who miraculously straighten their lives out after a visit with--we gotta think of a snazzy name. How about Dr. IMRE? Woo-hoo! You heard it here first, folks! I am officially and publicly applying for a patent on this idea.

[If I have to wade through this shit, I want to at least get paid for it.]

DMG 1:57 PM  

Some fun words here! SWIZZLESTICK, PICAYUNE, love 'em. I never know whether those "un-huh" type.clues refer to a yes or no answer, so had to wait for a hint from the crosses. Otherwise, smooth sailing.

Once again, M&A's commets were mightily enjoyed. Hope to see his puzzle soon. Glad it won't be an EWL, cause I'd have no chance!

Miss the poker game!

Solving in Seattle 2:08 PM  

Coulrophobia is the term for fear of clowns. Wonder what the term is for the creeps who drive ICECREAMTRUCKS?

Like the clue for PUTT.

@Spacy, I'll be waving at Savary later this summer on the way to Deso. What a special place in this world.

Capcha: son xistagp. Mom introducing IMRE's brother.

Dirigonzo 2:43 PM  

I know neither SELENA nor her portrayer J Lo other than from doing puzzles (and inadvertently glimpsing the celeb news at the check-out, I suppose). This probably should bother me more than it does.

Anonymous 10:22 PM  

JTHurst 3:47 AM -- Yes, too much xwp garbage. I can understand why Alex made the trade-off (longer clues with pizzazz but lots of shorter clues that contained the worst that xwp have to offer). If s/he had opted for a slightly different grid and a few more blocks -- there are only 35, whereas 38 is common -- s/he could've gotten rid of the junkiest short fill (NES, IMRE, CLV, NEDS, STANS, YAH). This puzzle has resurfaced for the week of 5-5-19 as one of the three Archive picks, and I can't quite see why --pleasant theme but too much crosswordese.

Very very very not OK to use, as 1-AC (which sets the tone for the puzzle), an initialism or abbrev., esp. one that many solvers won't know ("Wii ancester, briefly" : NES) -- terrible choice.

Shortz needs to run every puzzle past a female tester before publication, ffs. No need to clue BIKINI with a reference to degrading pageants. So frikkin tired of seeing the too-few references to women relegating them to motherhood, wifedom, and looks-dom (supermodels, pageants, lingerie). Shortz, you have no excuse to be this dense about women's issues: You came of age during the second wave of feminism; you presumably read the NYT from time to time, so you must have some idea of what women face daily.

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