Eleniak of Baywatch / MON 10-27-14 / Long-running western anthology / Eponymous star of 1960s sitcom / Tennis champ Kournikova

Monday, October 27, 2014

Constructor: Stanley Newman

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: DVD RECORDER (53A: TV hookup option … or what you are by solving this puzzle?)— two answers have "DVD" as their initials:

Theme answers:
  • DICK VAN DYKE (21A: Eponymous star of a 1960s sitcom, the only American TV star with his three initials)
  • "DEATH VALLEY DAYS" (37A: Long-running western anthology, the only American TV series with its three initials)
Word of the Day: "DEATH VALLEY DAYS"
Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley area. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945 and continued from 1952 to 1970 as a syndicated television series, with reruns (updated with new narrations) continuing through August 1, 1975.
The series was sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company (20 Mule Team BoraxBoraxo) and hosted by Stanley Andrews (1952-1963), Ronald Reagan (1964-1965), Robert Taylor (1966-1969), and Dale Robertson (1969-1972). With the passing of Dale Robertson in 2013, all the former Death Valley Days hosts are now deceased. Hosting the series was Reagan's final work as an actor; he also was cast in eight episodes of the series. (wikipedia)
• • •

This puzzle is puzzling. First, there are two theme answers. That makes this as thin a theme as I've ever seen on a Monday. Yes, the revealer is part of the theme, but even so—really, really, really thin. Second, DVD RECORDER? Do those still exist? Did anyone ever own one? A google search reveals that said recorder is a real thing, but it's telling, I think, that the first page of hits returns an article entitled "Why DVD Recorders Are Getting Harder to Find." DVD RECORDERs did not kill the VCR—first the DVR and then streaming services did that. I cannot imagine why anyone would own a DVD RECORDER? I refuse to believe it is a common "TV hookup option." To be fair, the clue doesn't say "common." But still, it's weird to build your puzzle around such an uncommon, semi-archaic device. Third, why is it interesting that DICK VAN DYKE and "DEATH VALLEY DAYS" are "the only" things in their categories with these "three initials"? Seriously. Does that fact make anyone go "wow?" Would I expect lots of "American TV stars" or "American TV series" to have those initials? "How I Met Your Mother" is undoubtedly the only "American TV series" with the initials "HIMYM," but … so?

Lastly, if the theme is going to be this thin, the fill should be much better. It is by no means terrible, and there's some good, timely stuff in the cluing, most notably JEANNE Shaheen (50A: New Hampshire senator Shaheen), who is in a tough fight to hold on to her Senate seat right now. PAPA JOHNS is a pretty lively answer (gross pizza, gross corporation, but lively answer) (32D: Rival of Domino's). But the grid is so segmented that almost all we get is warmed over short stuff. I don't understand why, in the age of construction software, a corner like the SW corner exists. MDLII may be the most needless RRN (Random Roman Numeral) of all time. It's not like any of the other fill down there is glowing. Tear it out. Rebuild.

That's all. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Zeke 12:21 AM  

I had the exact same reaction to DVDRECORDER. When I looked it up, all examples that my patience permitted my finding were devices that transferred VCR tapes to DVD. They were almost universally poorly reviewed. The average age of a reviewer was 65+, so the reason they were poorly rated may be that there was too much tape on the box, I don't know. There probably are similar devices which transfer DVR recordings to DVD.

What I do know is that they never were used to directly record incoming TV signals. When burning a DVD (oh, by the way unless you're among the 65+ they're DVD burners or writers), you have to have a continuous input stream to the DVD, pause in burning are death. A TV input, even at HD, is too slow to burn even at 1X recording rate. So, for a DVDRECORDER to work you would need a DVR to store the input signal, and do you really need a DVD of "In the Heat Of the Night" reruns?

jae 12:28 AM  

Medium for me.  Low theme density makes a pretty smooth Mon. grid.  

For reasons unknown to me Lew before LOU.

I actually own 3 DVRs (in case you need to record more than one TV show at a time). They are in my attic gathering dust.   There was a period of time after VCRs went away, pre HD, and before cable companies began renting DVR boxes with multiple tuners when DVRs were widely available.   It just occurred to me that you might think DVD recorders and DVRs are two different things?  I don't think they are.  The machines I have can record to either an internal hard drive or a DVD.  I'm not sure they ever made a machine for home TV use that could only record to a DVD. 

Cute and breezy, liked it.

j88keys 12:33 AM  

I don't mind it.

When I saw Stan Newman's name I expected a grid with clean fill, which is what we got.

One RNR, I think, is fair.

Some sacrifice clean fill to a spicy theme, others want everything "in language" and stay lite on theme. Seems to me that it's rare that the theme is novel while virtually every part of fill is "in language."

I'm easy to please though... almost always appreciate anyone's construction.

Doc John 12:35 AM  

I had a DVD recorder. Can't remember what I used it for, though. I had a TiVo-like device, too, at the same time so maybe I recorded shows I wanted to keep onto DVD. At any rate, it didn't get used much and was pretty much a waste of money.

Z 12:41 AM  

Maybe to keep MMXL company. I can't imagine what else would IMPEL one to use a five letter RRN.

Carola 12:50 AM  

Agree with @Rex. Like having only one SANDAL, I felt the puzzle was a bit lacking. I liked the cross of JORDAN and OASIS and NOISY over UNRULY.

chefwen 3:27 AM  

On the too easy side for me, but it's a Monday, so I will forgive.

31A - OVEN, are you serious? What else would it be?

ACMES was nice at 1A, sure do miss her.

Lewis 5:37 AM  

I echo @chefwen re Acme. In the puzzle it's ACMES, but no, there's only one Acme.

The first thing I thought when looking over the puzzle was, "That's it? Two theme answers? Am I missing something?"

I like the rhyming cross of APPS/SAPS (can I use a slash here?), and the cross of the ILL person needing a REFILL. I like the "a" sandwiches -- AQUA, AREA, ARIA. And this puzzle has 13 double letters, where anything over ten is very high (though neither good or bad).

@m&a -- this may have been pointed out last week, but in France would you be known as @META?

Lewis 5:54 AM  

Factoid: After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, OSLO was moved closer to Akershus Castle during the reign of King Christian IV and renamed Christiania in his honour. In 1925 its original name was restored.

Quotoid: "Is it progress if a cannibal USES a fork?" -- Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

jberg 7:35 AM  

I thought this puzzle was well timed, given that the riddle of the Death Valley skating rocks has just been solved.

But yeah, two theme entries. And I'm slightly troubled that the DICK VAN DYKE Show was generally referred to as "Dick Van Dyke," which would make two series with those initials -- but I know, technically it was TDVDS.

@Zeke, you're just jealous because we in the 65+ (70+, actually) got to watch both those shows when they were new!

@Lewis, you beat me to it on the "only one." @ACME, come back! (Alternative theme suggestion: Leave ACMES at the top, put NADIR at the bottom, with YOYOS going up an down in the middle.)

NCA President 7:42 AM  

Were DVD recorders those things that you recorded into a buffer and then later would hit record and it would need to "finalize" the disc? I think I saw one of them once...maybe. Seems like the only selling points at the time were higher fidelity (anything was higher than VCR) and instant playback/cuing, i.e., no rewinding or waiting for the tape to be placed over the playback heads.

I am amazed by these transitional tech gizmos...most of them were really expensive...and they lasted just a few years. Beta was another of those formats that promised big things but didn't last long. In the music world there was the Fairlight and Synclavier...both were early versions of samplers...that cost upwards of $50K. A few years later they were replaced by the somewhat more affordable (and more versatile) E-MU Emulator at only $8000. Ah, the 80s...

joho 8:13 AM  

I agree that two theme answers and a reveal is a bit thin, but regardless, I thought this was delightfully very different as I was called out as a DVD recorder ... funny! I applaud whoever came up with that clue. We solvers don't oftentimes become part of the puzzle.

It's interesting that onSET and OUTSET mean the same thing. Other words with SET: offset and upset.

I liked it, thank you, Stanley Newman!

AliasZ 8:17 AM  

What an odd little theme. Not much to it when it comes to either quality or quantity. The grid spanner is nice enough, and as short-lived as DVD RECORDERs were, is as long-lived and formidable DICK VAN DYKE's movie and TV career is. But at least we didn't have the Dreadful Venereal Disease as the only illness with DVD initials.

Perhaps we are spoiled by the four, five or more theme entries even in early-week 15X15's in the NYT, but three themers are commonplace in most other publications. Which reminds me, we haven't seen one of ACME'S creations lately.

The fill was better than just OK despite the arbitrary Roman numeral, the ACRE/AREA crossing and the ADRATE /ADVIL/ADOPT cluster, but the LADY/LADLE crossing in the SE was cute. Who is it that used to say: "LADLEs and gentlemints?

For a brief light-hearted but delightful sendoff, let's listen to this charming Rondo movement from the Harp Concerto in A major by a contemporary of Mozart, Austrian composer Carl Ditters Von Dittersdorf (1739-1799), the only composer with DVD initials. I would also recommend that you check out some of his symphonies and other concertos, as well as his beautiful Requiem. It is not Mozart -- nothing is -- but it is quite moving.

Off to a great new week. Cheers, everyone!

Mohair Sam 8:19 AM  

Nice Monday, decent fill for the day of the week. Would have liked one more theme entry, but what the heck - it's Monday.

What on earth is everyone's problem with DVD recorder? Rex failed to mention that his google search had 9 million hits, and the first two on my list were sales for the item at the obscure retailers Best Buy and Walmart. DVD recorders may be dated (relatively), but they are out there by the millions.

RooMonster 8:24 AM  

Hey All !
Breezy little puz. Tried the Downs Only today, but had to resort to looking at the Acrosses. No writeovers, no errors! Rex's complaint about only 2 themers (3, technically, with the revealer) is not 100% valid, if, as the clues state, there are only one of each DVD initialed thingies. I'm sure with the intelligent people here, though, someone will come up with a list of more DVD initials. @AliasZ, M et A??

Another almost pangram. Well, maybe not, as I just found three missing letters! Oops.


mathguy 8:59 AM  

@Rex: I'd like to hear your opinion of the meta. Or did I miss it?

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

ANNA Kournikova should not be clued as a tennis "champ". One of the most remarkable things about her is the level of fame she achieved without ever winning a title on the pro tour. OK, I'm sure she won something in the juniors or whatever - but still...

quilter1 9:17 AM  

Good Monday, easy, liked the theme. I solved from the bottom up. Enjoyed both the TV shows esp. The Dick Van Dyke Show. Now to go get the stitches out of my hand.

chefbea 9:26 AM  

Love Dick Van Dyke...and also Mary Tyler Moore.

Hand up for missing Acme.

What a yummy puzzle - Think I'll make an okra stew in the oven...then serve it with a ladle. And of course chocolate lava cake for dessert!!

Leapfinger 9:28 AM  

When I saw the DICKVANDYKE entry, I thought it would be a "short-vowel sound/ long-vowel sound" theme, eg, pick/pike, sick/psych. Either all with i's, or maybe with other vowels also, eg rack/rake, puck/puke...

So the theme disappointed a bit, but thought the fill lively, as befits a Newman.

Ditto @Carola with JORDAN x OASES
Ditto ACME'S refs
No REFILL needed for ADVIL, but there's a high ADRATE
SANDAL on the beach, because sand all over the place

Great quotoid today, @Lewis.

Gotta run, I'm ON KP today.

Casco Kid 9:30 AM  

DICKVANDYKE crosses OKAYS, but doesn't do justice to Danny Kaye, the guy DVD was hired to be like. The two performed PUTTINONTHERITZ together on the Danny Kaye Show late December back in 63. Sadly, not available on YouTube.


I thought The Citadel was supposed to be the West Point of the South.

"Alex, 'Stars with Initials DVD' for $200, please."

Four linked runtz. Master & Apprehender will like that.

Leapfinger 9:31 AM  

Oh @chefbea, now I feel ILL!

Arlene 9:42 AM  

It's Monday, I did the puzzle in a respectable Monday time. I appreciated the DVD theme - loved the Dick Van Dyke show.
Reminder to self: Don't save this puzzle - meta week is over.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:13 AM  

When I see the name Stan Newman, the first two words that come to mind are "Saturday Stumper." This sure wasn't one of those.

Has anyone seen commentary from Stan or Will Shortz as to how old this puzzle is? Maybe Stan did it when he was 17 years old and it has been sitting in the submissions pile since then!

Ludyjynn 10:25 AM  

PSST...there is a more substantial secondary theme to the puzz. for those dissatisfied w/ the DVD concept. Note: BOBEVANS, PAPAJOHNS, ONKP, OVEN, LADLE, OKRA, LAVAcake, APPS. Did I miss any?

Easy, breezy Monday. Thanks, SN and WS.

NOT a friend of rex 10:29 AM  

Rex's review: "I don't like the constructor, so I'll pan the puzzle." If the constructor had been one of rex's pals, we would have heard "Great retro puzzle, nice fill, original theme for a Monday." Petty.

Andrew Heinegg 10:48 AM  

I thought this was a too easy and under-interesting puzzle. Anna Kournikova was well known for never having won a singles title in professional tennis. The clue is technically correct because she did win a number if doubles titles. But, c'mon, ask any casual tennis fan if they can name the winners of any of the doubles in the 4 major championships for this or any other year. The reason being that the singles championships are the only ones the public pays attention to, if they pay any attention at all.

madsymo 10:57 AM  

45D is wrong. Zero divided by zero is not one.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:06 AM  

@Roo: Dude Von Dudenstein? (Urban Dictionary says it is a "tight friend".)
Kinda too long for the old 15x grid format, tho. Could edit it down to Dude Von Dudeburg, I reckon.

Not sure why Stanley was so hung up on that particular set of initials, DVD. har. I can see it now: Top reasons SN is fixated on DVD... Man, that could get pretty weird. What's Stanley's middle initial?...


TuesPuz theme: Rare flora and fauna that begin with GPS.

Jeff 11:17 AM  

My only issue is not knowing Jeanne Shaheen; had guessed JOANNE, leading me to be stumped with ORI_A and ON_P. ONKP is kind of a terrible answer, too.

Casco Kid 11:30 AM  

@madsymo lim (x->0) x/x =1

Bomaka 11:31 AM  

A quick, neat puzzle.

@ludyjynn, I think you missed potatoes ANNA, ATE, and
DATE, all followed by some MEADe.

Hartley70 12:08 PM  

I'm feeling the anti-climax of post meta week blues. All the same I found it a perfectly acceptable Monday and I got a kick out of remembering "Death Valley Days". I really had to stretch to remember the "Days" because I don't remember it being broadcast after the 1950's cowboy era. Giddy up!

RooMonster 12:20 PM  

Hey, found one!!

Dissociated Vertical Deviation


mathguy 12:39 PM  

@Casco Kid: madsymo is correct, of course. Your limit statement is also correct, but it doesn't contradict his statement.

M and Also 12:39 PM  

@63: MDLII does have a certain cuddly, desperate feel. But that corner of fill does have to fight off a dreaded quad-consonant-run of DVDR. That and U need moo-cow-ready entries, for yer MonPuz. Not every corner can rise to the level of ONKP + PSAT + ERIKA, afterall.
Coulda gone with this, I spose...
Get yer TVSET tie-in, thataway.

fave RRN weeject: VMI. (=1000-5+1=996)
Ooooh. WedPuz theme = places that start with RRN.

Fun puz, actually. Featured a PJ NC, in the deep-well downers. Good stuff. Thanx, Stanley.


dick swart 12:47 PM  

I agree with Rex … too thin. Monday should be easy but with some reward.

Z 1:17 PM  

@mathguy - I went looking for the book I read ages ago on some of the greatest intellectual inventions/discoveries (including zero) but couldn't find it. Lots out there, though, on the history of "zero." We tend to think of things like fire and the wheel and the printing press as great propellers of progress while forgetting ideas like "zero" and calculus and evolution. Since "zero" is a relatively recent invention that represents "nothing" one could be argumentative and define it as not a member of the set. I know, I know, mathematicians now define it as a number, but for much of human history this was not the case. So, was that what Shortz/Newman were thinking here? I doubt it.

Anoa Bob 1:26 PM  

I haven't heard it at the poker table for a while, but a few years back an "Anna Kournikova hand" meant you had cards that looked good but rarely won.

Is the opposite of UNRULY (46D) RULY? If MDLII is 1552, is VMI (39D) 996?

I used to watch The DVD Show now and then, mostly because I had a crush on MTM.

Hard not to like a puzzle where someone goes to the animal shelter to ADOPT (52D) a pet.

Anoa Bob 1:28 PM  

Oops, M&A beat me to VMI.

Math Miner 1:48 PM  

When I was in math class, dividing by 0 was invalid. So, I'd tend to give 45-D a pass (and a warning).

Ludyjynn 2:41 PM  

@Bomaka, Thanks for the input! Out of curiosity, what are potatoes "Anna"? I'm always looking for a new potato recipe.

no sense of humor 2:58 PM  

Does anyone here remember when rex had a sense of humor on this blog? I can't think of the last time he said anything remotely light or funny about a puzzle (or anything else for that matter).

Humor in a Jugular Vein 3:05 PM  

@no sense o.h.,
A dog with a cupcake on its head, perhaps? (last Saturday)

Anonymous 3:07 PM  

According to Wikipedia:

"In ordinary arithmetic, the expression [0/0] has no meaning, as there is no number which, multiplied by 0, gives a (assuming a ≠ 0), and so division by zero is undefined. Since any number multiplied by zero is zero, the expression 0/0 has no defined value and is called an indeterminate form."

Anonymous 3:09 PM  

Should have been DVDConnection which is a TV Hookup. Stumped on another DVD theme answer:

Danny DeVito is close...

RooMonster 3:19 PM  

I'm going to use some @Casco logic on the number 0.
If there hasn't been a 0 until recently, how did they used to say 0? I'm sure "nothing" was around, so if someone wrote it down, would they write zero? Or nil? None? Zip? Zilth? Nada?
And how about counting? Theoretically, if there wasn't a zero, would the numbers go like... 89,91,92,93,94,95,96,97,98,99,111,112,113 etc.?
Mind boggling, I know!


bomaka 3:23 PM  

@Ludyjynn: potatoes Anna are sliced potatoes arranged in circles in a skillet, each layer brushed with butter/salt/pepper, then oven-cooked till done. Cut in wedges. Sure to put an extra inch around the tummy!

Z 3:27 PM  

@RooMonster - Didja ever notice that RRNs never include anything representing zero? "X" means "10," "L" means "50," "C" means "100," etc. And when I say "relatively recently" I mean out of 10,000 years or so of history we have generally recognized zero for only the last 1,000 years or so. I remember being pretty wowed by the notion that the idea of the number 0 hasn't always existed since it seems so basic. To draw a really stretched comparison - the meta was impossible to get until you got it, and then it was obvious.

Casco Kid 3:57 PM  

@RooMonster, I like your logic! It reminds me of that time M&A&I were wearing a TOGAE and singing C Utres Ceruise in Pariete though all C of its verses. Yeah. Seems like. Just. Yesterday.

Tempus fugit, dude.

pmdm 4:18 PM  

One of the definitions of zero the "the cardinal integer between 1 and -1." By that definition, the clue for 45D is plainly incorrect. The clue is only correct if you consider zero to not be a number, that is to say if you consider the integer 0 to not be a number.

Panasonic made a number of models of DVRs that included television tuners (for the old standard definition frequencies). I owned three of those DVRs which I used to time delay TV programs. The DVRs had software allowing you to edit out commercials and burn an archive DVD of the program. (The DVRs did not allow copying of any material from one DVD to another.) With the subsequent development of the EyeTV software program, any computer with an optical drive could mimic this ability,making the Panasonic units a quite expensive alternate way of recording over-the-air TV programs. True, most people put with with the inferior magnetic media recordings (Beta or VHS) of over-the-air or over-cable TV programs. But I hardly believe I am in such an exclusive minority as today's write-it implies. Panasonic would never have continued coming out with upgraded DVRs if there were so few sales of them.

Anonymous 4:21 PM  

There is a school of thought that zero is a concept rather than a number, but I kind of doubt that Stanley & will meant to be that esoteric.

chefbea 4:22 PM  

Love potatoes Anna!!! Haven't made them in years.

mathguy 4:43 PM  

Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times by Morris Kline is a respected authority on the history of mathematics. It discusses zero beginning on page 185. The zero both as a number in itself and as a place holder in a positional number system began being used by the Hindus in the period from AD 200 to 1200. Mahavira who lived in the 9th century wrote "multiplication of a number by zero gives zero and that subtracting zero does not diminish a number."

Most discussions of the importance of zero are referring to the fact that a zero is necessary for an efficient positional number system. 10003 is different from 13. As was pointed out in the comments above, the Romans didn't have a positional number system.

Casco Kid 4:58 PM  

Thanks, @Rex, for the Civil Wars video. Wow. Better than the original by a mile. But it sounds like The Civil Wars is over. I hope they carped the damned diem. Life is short. You know.

sanfranman59 5:29 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 (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 5:34, 6:02, 0.92, 13%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:16, 4:08, 1.03, 63%, Medium-Challenging

not funny 6:10 PM  

@humor 3:05: I guess a dog with a cupcake on its head is cute. Like a cat playing the piano. But funny commentary on a puzzle? Not so much.

Anonymous 6:33 PM  

We have hundreds of VHS tapes that need to be transferred to a more durable format. Hence a DVR.

Anonymous 9:24 PM  

It would probably have taken me a month of Sundays to think of Carl Ditters Von Dittersdorf.

The interesting factoid is that he was named plain old Carl Ditters at birth, and it wasn't till 1773 that, at age 34, he was ennobled by Empress Maria Theresa under the name Ditters von Dittersdorf, just so he could be a possible theme entry in today's puzzle..

sanfranman59 10:39 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 5:37, 6:02, 0.93, 18%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:03, 4:04, 1.00, 43%, Medium

LHS 888 10:34 AM  

Downs-only report: Too hard for me! Needed crosses to get the N-Central (NERVECELL) to fall. Also couldn't see ADRATE without confirming across words were solid.

Write-over: quick > APACE
Error: JoANNE/oRIKA (Hi @Jeff!)

Many fond memories of TDVDS: The Empress Carlotta necklace, the inflatable raft (to name 2).

Thanks SN / WS!

TDavis 5:35 PM  

I've owned, and still own, several DVD recorders. Just last July I transferred some old VHS home movies for a friend. They also make nice copies of Laserdiscs. You can find them for sale today at Best Buy and other electronic stores. I don't believe they're nearly as rare as you think!

spacecraft 11:40 AM  

This non-tech savvy reporter never used--or even saw--a 53a, so OFL's complaint that it's archaic falls on deaf ears here. Whereas, I have seen both of the theme shows. Color me graybeard. However, his point about theme thinness is well taken, and so is the statement that the fill ought to thrive under such a light load.

Aside from the horrendous RRN, there's the eastern cranny with STP/PSST. Not good. I have ONE NERVECELL left, Stanley, and you're getting on it!

It's not all awful. When first encountering the Q and J up top, I feared this would pan out to be a pangram--but no x, and, after counting out PIZZAHUT and falling a square short, no Z. BTW, I can understand why you might think pizza is "gross," if you're into rabbit food, but to call the COMPANY gross? That's a bit harsh. You go ahead and munch your salads, and live an extra ten years, not once enjoying--really ENJOYING--what you eat. Ten long years. I'll eat gross and die sooner--and have WAY more fun.

Oop, got up on mah hoss there, didn't I? Sorry. As I said, the fill's not all bad. I especially like the central down column: NICKS OLE ERIKA. Two of my favorite ladies, whom I cheer for different reasons. There are really only two trouble spots, already mentioned. Give it a C.

516: I feel ILL. Must be something I ATE. Gimme an ADVIL.

rain forest 1:38 PM  

Questions to ponder:

Must a theme be "fat"?
Must a puzzle make one go "Wow"?
Must a puzzle contain only current events, people, rappers, Simpsons?
Is zero a concept or a discovery?

I think @Spacey must have eaten a PAPA JOHNS pizza, and I don't think an ADVIL will help.

Puzzle was OK (**for a Monday**)

358 Can it hold up?

DMG 2:13 PM  

A Monday romp down memory lane, with an interesting side trip into the land of 0. Really enjoyed that discussion which led me to pull out my old textbook on math history. Alas, found it full of things I seem to no longer comprehend, and notes in what must be my handwriting: "The point is unity in position". Wow!

Wouldn't you think the numbers would be kinder to someone who once apparently had so much fun with them? 7851 Guess not!

Another "wow" - it seems I fouled up the Captcha, and have been chastised with an even lower one. 119

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