Five Norwegian kings / SUN 7-16-17 / Nighty-night wear / Bird bills / Actress Kazan / Word before Cong or Minh / Resident of Tatooine / Irish for "We Ourselves" / Hong Kong's Hang Index / Scott of "Joanie Loves Chachi"

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels and Pete Muller

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: DRINKS ALL AROUND (29D: "It's on me!" ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters) — Drinks are "all around" in circled letters in almost-symmetrical places "all around" the grid. Starting at 12 o'clock and proceeding clockwise, we have six drinks on our menu:
  • BEER (what I'm drinking right now)
  • COSMOPOLITAN (at 5 o'clock, which it is, somewhere)
  • WINE
  • TIA MARIA (I read this backwards at first, and was all, "What's a MAI TAI RA?")
Our revealer crosses COCKTAIL LOUNGES (61A: Places to get looped).

Word of the Day: NED ROREM (82A: "Miss Julie" opera composer, 1965) —
Ned Rorem (born October 23, 1923) is an American composer and diarist. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976. He received his early education in Chicago at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the American Conservatory of Music and then Northwestern University. Later, Rorem moved on to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and finally the Juilliard School in New York City. Rorem was raised as a Quaker and makes reference to this in interviews in relation to his piece based on Quaker texts, A Quaker Reader. In 1966 he published The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem, which, with his later diaries, has brought him some notoriety, as he is honest about his and others' sexuality, describing his relationships with Leonard Bernstein, Noël Coward, Samuel Barber, and Virgil Thomson, and outing several others (Aldrich and Wotherspoon, eds., 2001). Rorem has written extensively about music as well. These essays are collected in anthologies such as Setting the Tone, Music from the Inside Out, and Music and People. His prose is much admired, not least for its barbed observations about such prominent musicians as Pierre Boulez. Rorem has composed in a chromatic tonal idiom throughout his career, and he is not hesitant to attack the orthodoxies of the avant-garde. (Wikipedia)
• • •
If the spirit moves you
Let me groove you

Laura here, toasting Rex with a BEER as he takes a break. We've seen more than a few alcohol-themed puzzles over the years -- heck, there's a whole book of them -- but here's a new twist (Charles Dickens walks into a bar. "I'll have a dry martini." Bartender: "Olive or twist?"). Nice double-revealer crossing in the center; fun finding the embedded drinks all around the grid. I would've liked slightly more consistency in the themers -- we have the generic categories BEER and WINE but then cocktails like DRY MARTINI, PINK LADY, and COSMOPOLITAN, and a liqueur: TIA MARIA. The challenge, I can imagine, was to find symmetrical alcohol varieties that would then fit all-roundly all around the grid. While I toast the constructors' ambition, their grid suffered in terms of fill that would accommodate the theme. ERNA (111A: Met soprano Berger), ERLE (20A: First name in courtroom fiction), ELSA (110A: Captain von Trapp's betrothed [which reminds me of this McSweeney's classic]), ORLE (53D: Shield border), and ERTE (101A: Artist who designed costumes for "Ben-Hur") are all handy combos of letters that have vowels on the ends and consonants in the middle. Cheers: new take on old theme; jeers: tired fill to get the new take to take.

As one of the 44D: Boomers' offspring (GENX), I appreciate a grid that contains both Joanie Loves Chachi (34D: BAIO [Scott of [the aforementioned] [who was a total asshole regarding costar Erin Moran's death earlier this year]) and FONZ[ie] (57D: 1970s TV cool dude, with "the").

"Sit on it!"
With Andrea's collaboration today, and -- since I last guest-posted -- puzzles by Susan Gelfand, Lynn Lempel, Zhouqin Burnikel, Ruth Margolin, and collaborations from Elayne Boosler and my college classmate Lisa Loeb, we are now up to 14% women constructors so far this year: 28 out of 169. 2017 is still tracking to be the worst year on record for women constructors at the New York Times. I encourage all aspiring constructors to take a look at Andy Kravis's new project, Grid Wars -- he has some excellent tips.

  • SENG (12D: Hong Kong's Hang ___ Index) — An alternative to NYSE as a stock index in the fill.
  • DRAKE (30A: Male duck) — Could've clued as "'Hotline Bling' artist who got his start on 'Degrassi: The Next Generation'." 
  • NOME (43D: Gold rush city of 1899) — I had gotten this through crosses, and then going back and looking at the grid, at first I thought it was something like: Response to "Me!": "NO, ME!"
  • DRAPE (106A: Hang) — How about, instead: "Clothing material source for 110A's rival"?
Signed, Laura Braunstein, Sorceress of CrossWorld

[Follow Laura on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Graham 12:13 AM  

Was it just me, or did the SW sort of bite? A nursery rhyme destination (STIVES) I've never heard of over a marginal actor's first name, under an incorrect plural (EPOS is singular, the clue should have been too) that is beyond obscure -- and under a 1960s librettist? Thank goodness the crosses were manageable or the SW would have caused a DNF.

e.a. 12:21 AM  

laura you rock

Unknown 12:25 AM  

Thanks, @Laura, for spelling @Rex on the @ACME/@Pete Muller collaborative puzzle, which I solved earlier today, at home, sans drinks. With all the recent "Frozen" clues for ELSA, it was refreshing to see a different take, and the link you provided of the Baroness's regrets is indeed priceless.

The American chemist in me enjoyed ATWT, but had to do stretch to think British on TITRE. It also helped to have a @Frank GEHRY-designed museum in a short walking distance from the University of Minnesota Chemistry buildings. Clues for APIAN and MISERY were particularly clever. Still, everything was here was relatively easy as you've noted, except for the alphabet run to get the S at the intersection of TO SAM and ASADA.

Note to the first commenter, ST. IVES needs to be parsed as I've shown, and click on the link for the rather familiar nursery rhyme (as solved by the @Wolfram website).

joebloggs 1:14 AM  

I only got the SW thanks to TIA MARIA. Brutal fill there

Anonymous 1:17 AM  

I am guessing it is St. Ives, but really could have been a place called Stives for all I knew. Never heard of any nursery rhyme about someone going to St. Ives or Stives--what did they rhyme with that one???? I Know Jack and Jill went up a hill, and Mary's lamb went to her school one day.....

Larry Gilstrap 1:23 AM  

I wore out an eraser in the SW and they don't last that long in a desert climate. Wow, a British spelling of something I've never heard of, ever. TITRE would have fit nicely in yesterday's testosterone infused grid. Lady Macbeth, @BLOOD KNOT, and Rhett Butler have potty mouths, and I just used the present tense right there. Cool!

Alcoholic themers rock!, and they actually helped in the solving experience, well except around San Diego. Fill suffers as a result of complex Sunday theme: film at 11. Sure, they could have been more focused on specific bar orders: Mixed drinks, or liquor brands, WINE, or BEER etc, but those crossing revealers hogging up the middle were admirable.

When they make the movie, "45" player might just be Kevin COSTNER. Alec Baldwin nails the buffoonery, but he's more than over the top. We will wait and see how this plays out.

Anyhoo, cluing UNEDUCATED as "Ignorant" is more than tone deaf. Sure, I went to lots of college, BFD. David Brooks felt the heat from his recent totally inane sandwich shop anecdote and for very good reason. His premise: forget college, learn your deli meats. I might be over simplifying. Just looking across the room I see a self proclaimed Junior College dropout who happens to be fluent in three languages, has lived and traveled all over the world, has been a life-long habitual reader, and sometimes mentions the fact she has an ISBN and I don't. I tutor adult English language learners with very little formal schooling, and am continually asking them for advise.

Liked it better than Rex did.

Anonymous 1:38 AM  

The St. Ives jingle was used as one of the riddles in the third Die Hard movie (the one in Manhattan). Some who didn't know it as a nursery rhyme might have encountered it there.

Anonymous 1:53 AM  

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?[1]

jae 1:54 AM  

Easy, fun, just want you want on a hot summer Sunday...a little liquid refreshment with out having to pick up tab.

@Larry - not really sure whether Rex liked it or not, but Laura had some nice things to say about it.

"As I was going to ST. IVES I met a man with seven wives..."

Joe Dipinto 2:04 AM  

Erna Berger. I'm so glad another contemporary opera singer other than Renee Fleming made it into the puzzle, even if it's someone that no one's ever heard of, Oh wait, she's not even contemporary at all, as it turns out. She was born in 1900, died in 1990, and was "known" for precisely two roles, apparently.

I guess Joyce (DiDonato), Bryn (Terfel), and Anna (Netrebko), to name just a few, will have to wait until they are dead for their NYT puzzle debuts. Of course, they aren't such big names as...who was it? Oh right. Erna Berger. Sounds like some kind of contest at McDonald's.

OISK 2:10 AM  

Yes, Erna Berger is pretty obscure; I had never heard of her and I listen to a lot of opera. But construction of large Sunday grids always leads to a few such clues, and the down clues made Erna easily gettable, as did the "wine". I never heard of either of the songs that were referenced, (Sharona, and some Beatle song), but that didn't bother me. This was my fastest Sunday solve in recent memory, and I enjoyed it. No complaints from me!

Johnny 3:06 AM  

I had a DNF, and I never ever ever DNF except for those occasions when I do DNF which is very very rare in fact so rare that it might as well be never or at least almost never but that is what happened today with this puzle.

I had the whole puzzle filled in 20 minutes except for that SW corner. It just killed me. Nothing worked. When I finally quit and looked here I usually try to peek at only one answer and try and solve the remainder but HELL NO after I saw STIVES I realized that no matter what I never would have finished this puzzle with those answers in the SW.

Andrew Heinegg 3:31 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle but, like others, I was puzzled by the SW. Not quite sure how I filled it in besides the fact that other letters I tried made no sense.

Scott Baio's words when Erin Moran died of cancer we're that he indicated that Moran was a drug user and bad things happen when you use drugs. Afterwards, he said he wasn't aware of her cause of death when he made the comments. Of course, if he wasn't aware of the cause of death, why make the comments? In any event, our right-leaning blog contributors should probably be pleased that Rex was not here today as Mr. Baio was and is one of Mr. Trump's most ardent supporters from the Hollywood realm. I doubt Rex would have had anything kind to say about Mr. Baio.

David Blumenstein 4:26 AM  

Gender of the constructor notwithstanding. This Sunday NYT puzzle like most this year's vintage continue to be easy, TOO EASY. They should provide some challenge. The few clues across which stumped me for a bit were quickly rectified as I sailed through the downs and like so many of recent Sunday puzzles, i found myself taken aback when Across Lite prompted me that I had successfully finished. Couldn't sleep so at 4:00 AM i started in on the puzzle. Maybe next week things wills be better.

'mericans in the ALPS 4:42 AM  

The theme of the printed version was "If the spirit moves you", which is a bit less obvious than "Drinks all around". But it didn't take us long to figure it out.

Like others, we WALTZed through most of the grid, but got mired down in the SW. Finally gave up and Googled 82A and 98A. NED ROREM? Really? Even then, we struggled. Wanted EPicS for Beowulf and others, but of course that's a letter too long; were ready to accept odES. But EPOS? Could somebody explain that, please?

Too many obscure people in this puz for our liking. On the other hand, it was nice to see words like DRAKE, SEGUE, and ENTRANCES. LMAO at LMAO. Liked NONSTARTER but was wondering if that's a Britishism. Can't recall ever hearing it before moving over to this side of the pond.

Spending a three-day weekend in Switzerland. Were in the ALPS on Friday; currently in Basel. Much nicer city than I had imagined it would be. Tip to travellers: don't waste your money buying bottled water here. The tap water is universally excellent, and indeed probably tastier than anything that's been sitting around in a bottle.

Question for the day: Don't take YES-NO for an answer?

Anonymous 5:00 AM  

more coffee for @larry! you're telling us someone has an isbn? is this a roundabout way of saying they wrote a book that was published? according to wiki,

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier. An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN.

i hope you're not teaching writing. "I tutor adult English language learners with very little formal schooling, and am continually asking them for advise." Who has little formal schooling? Them or you? And I hope you are not asking me for my advise.

you liked the puzzle better than Rex? methinks he had the day off. hmmm. a double espresso for you, to be sure.

the puzzle was easy and somewhat dated, as has been mentioned. some of the answers looked like they came straight off of word lists. and yes, the SW corner was brutal.

not sure i buy the "sexism is rampant in the world of crossword puzzles" argument. people submit their work, their work gets published if it's any good. is yours a "will is sexist" statement in disguise? good thing nobody knows how the crossword authors voted. that, my friends, could be the end of many a friendship.

NYer 5:29 AM  

Crossing "yesno" with "noes" is a no-no in my opinion.

Anonymous 5:33 AM  

Little drive by cheap shot at Baio tips your snowflake hand.

Unknown 5:47 AM  

The SW was my undoing. TITRE?

Cassieopia 6:15 AM  

Yes. I was on record pace and SW stopped me cold.

Lewis 6:21 AM  

This puzzle was seven years in the making, which I find amazeballs.

Hard to fill a grid like this, but there were some standout answers: STYMIE, LIVE IT DOWN, PAYDIRT, CHEW ON, NONSTARTER, and ROUGH CUT. I enjoyed the clues for FROND, HANKY, MISERY, and DUST MOPS. Clever use of "looped" in the COCKTAIL LOUNGES clue. Zippy, fun solve, adding a bit of balance to these sobering times.

My smile moment: I had P _ _ S, and was looking at the clue "whizzes".

Cassieopia 6:27 AM  

This was two completely different puzzles - ridiculously easy except for the SW which was just plain ridiculous. I was certain that highSEA was correct, and not knowing Mr Rorem and blanking on the wives and cats going to St Ives, that corner took me the same amount of time as the entire rest of the puzzle had. The irony was that when I had finally completed that corner (muttering NEDROREM? That can't be right...) and the happy music didn't play, I gave up and pressed the "check puzzle" cheat button only to find that SW corner was solid (!!!) but I had tanked on FLOt/SPAt cross.

I wasn't really a fan of this one although I thought the drinks were cute.

Anonymous 6:37 AM  

Resist! Ahh, that felt good. Now I'm going to go get a big bowl of ice cream and watch Colbert.

Forsythia 6:55 AM  

Flew thru this since ST IVES is familiar riddle from childhood, and I have done enough puzzles with his name that NED ROREM came. Took most of the crosses to see COCKTAIL LOUNGES, especially with unknown SHARONA above it, but threw in DRINKS ALL AROUND from the D in YINANDYANG. Liked it better than some recent Sundays which just seemed like slogs, but I enjoy puzzles more that have clever wordplay. No "aha" here. BLOODKNOT was pretty icky and no idea about it, thinking BLinDKNOT maybe?
Happy to have a quick finish.

QuasiMojo 7:02 AM  

The HAI/JAWA crossing was a natick for me. I agree with Laura. Too much tired fill today. Bringing back Erte and Orle might have seemed nostalgic to some but it felt like lazy construction to me. Even NED ROREM is crosswordese. I did love seeing LAINIE Kazan's name, however, as my friends will know!

RAD2626 7:11 AM  

Liked the puzzle a lot. Having DRINKS ALL AROUND intersect with COCKTAIL LOUNGES (does anyone go to a Cocktail Lounge anymore other than on a cruise ship?) was very cool. Did not mind short fill but agree with everyone that the SW was a bear. DRAPE and DRAKE were almost symmetrical which is of course wholly irrelevant. Like Laura, wondered what a Ra Mai Tai was. Maybe a drink with the wallop of the sun.

Mordechai 7:26 AM  

Anyone having a problem getting NYTimes online to acknowledge a correct puzzle? I checked my answers horizontally and vertically, can't see anything wrong.

Loren Muse Smith 7:33 AM  

Nice easy, breezy Sunday. Got DIRTY MARTINI pretty fast, got DRINKS ALL AROUND right after that, and I settled in to suss out the other drinks. So when COCKTAIL LOUNGES and its clue “Places to get looped” fell, I was delighted at the crossing reveals. Loved it.

Jeff Chen did one a couple of years ago with the same reveal, but the way he handled the theme is is totally different from how Andrea and Pete do here. (I remember this grid distinctly because he had just gotten it accepted when I shopped a theme idea to him that involved theme answers running around all the edges. He said that kind of grid is wickedly hard to fill. In other words, he told me it was probably a NON STARTER.) I bet today’s was really, really tough to fill, too. Just look at all the bajillion places you’re locked in with letters. I think they did a fine job.

For some reason, the southwest didn’t hold me up. No idea how I knew TITRE, but I did. The part that slowed me down the most was the NEBS/SENG/NEW YORK/ WREN area.

Early mistake was 23A “laugh it off” for LIVE IT DOWN. I like my strategy better for dealing with an embarrassment. I put the ability to laugh off an embarrassment up there with The Most Important life skills. I know lots of people who never got that memo, and boy, do you step into it if you don’t know that someone can’t, and you insensitively take the lead down this path with them.*

I had no idea ALARUM was an old-style warning. Hah. All I hear is The Cowardly Lion.
But Lion, what it you meet a leopard tigrittarium?
I’d fill him with ALARUM.
Dumb, I know.

I’ll second @Lewis with all his favorites and add SEE A DOCTOR ‘cause it reminds me of this piece by Steve Martin.

@M&A from yesterday – loved your little Mad Libs exercise! Thanks!

@Z from yesterday – your definition of politicized historiography actually helped me.

Andrea, Pete – six “rounds” of drinks. Very cool.

*Pedants – for future reference, what I’m saying to you with any singular they is basically this.

chefbea 7:45 AM  

What a fun puzzle!!! Thank you @Adamn Cutex Misery and Peter. However I kept looking for my favorite drink to appear...scotch and water!!!

pmdm 7:48 AM  

Jeff Chen's comments on XWordInfo got me thinking. I'd like to see what would happen if Shortz came up with a good theme and asked 7 of the usual suspects to construct a puzzle using that same theme, one puzzle for each day of the week. For example, ACME on Monday, Stulberg on Thursday, Berry on Friday or Saturday, and so on. That would be fun to compare the different puzzles.

kitshef 8:12 AM  

Flew through the grid about as fast as I could write and was thinking I WIN, until I screeched to a halt in that SW, where I hit two of my betes noires and I LOST IT.

Dadblamed opera (never heard of Miss Julie nor NED ROREM). Dadblasted Game of Thromes. I still maintain that HBO shows should NEVER be acceptable.

Anoa Bob must be rolling over in his rante over that top row.

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Yup. I needed to reveal STIVES to get the rest of that corner. So dnf.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

"asada" crossing "to sam" crossing "ned rorem" - no bueno.

Unknown 8:31 AM  

I enjoyed it and, like most of y'all, had to slow down in the SW. But it was fair and fun for me. NEDROREM is questionable imo but I can live with one of those in a puzzle. Sometimes a good deal of the puzzle is NEDROREMs.

Cyclist227 8:40 AM  

Agree about WE. St Ives popped into my head and after that I was able to tough it out. All in all a pretty easy puzzle for me, and I'm no Rex Parker!

Anonymous 8:44 AM  

I get off the train at Grand Central every workday. I've never heard anyone say "detrain" The only redeeming thing in this puzzle was "Baio".

jberg 8:44 AM  

This one was a lot of fun! All those drinks,, with two olives sitting in the DIRTY MARTINI and an orange peel sticking out of the COSMOPOLITAN. (All the photos of the latter showed it curling over the side, but that would have been too hard to bring off.) No black squares in the other drinks, appropriately.

My big problem was putting in COCKTAIL partieS early on. It was really hard to get rid of that one, even though I had a vague idea that the shield border was an ORnE, which was almost right. Didn't know the Knack song, and thought the wind alternative was Steam at first, thinking of the OPEN SEA.

I hadn't heard TITRE, but got it as a back formation from titration, so once I, like Laura, stopped seeing MAI TAI RA (or is it RA MAI TAI?) there, all was OK.

ROREM is crosswordese, just the other day I was wondering why we hadn't seen him recently -- and here he is with his full name!

Two four-letter words meaning 'whizzes,' and neither of them what you are all thinking.

And one last touch -- NADIRS up near the top, whcih would make them @ACMEs, wouldn't it?

GHarris 8:55 AM  

Made all the right choices until I went for an l instead of a t in the SW crossing of titre and stives (thought it might be a destination from the Jabberwocky) and, thus, dnf.

Anonymous 8:57 AM  

NOES crossing YESNO was a no-no!

Two Ponies 9:22 AM  

Puzzles that teach me new things are my favorites.
Things I learned at school today: Beirut is a font, Erte's Ben Hur connection, Asada (as in carne) means roasted.
Nail polish again? I only know Cutex as a polish remover.
Some groaning fill must be necessary for this to work so I see no need to moan about it. Those moldy oldies like orle can be my friends in a tight spot.

If you don't know "My Sharona" I guess you've never been to a strip club or dive bar.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Puzzle, you had me at DRINKS ALL AROUND. Thank you. I accept your kind offer. As for the actual drinks going around in the tiny little circles, others will hunt for them. I will not. I have to go watch Federer play now, though I wouldn't have hunted for them even if there were no tennis match to watch. I like to drink a lot more than I like to hunt.

Very easy, except where the PPP raised its ugly head. Had EDNA before ERNA, but the cross was easy. Had ORDE before ORLE for the shield border. Took me a while to find out if 44D would be GEN X or XERS. I had TOLD TALES before FOLK TALES at 47D. And I thought that FONTS as the answer to 81 across was wicked. A pleasant, mostly easy Sunday that gave me a nice buzz.

Mohair Sam 9:32 AM  

Very clever and lotsa fun. But oh that SW - TITRE? NED ROREM? That AIDAN? That ELSA? Plus our misreading of STIVES and we were fried until we sussed TIAMARIA and saved our asses. But we still DNF'd 'cause we don't speak Spanish and don't watch enough TV - ASADA/SAM crossing beat us, we guessed PAM. All those drinks and the long booze themed crosses in the middle - this puzz had to be a bear to construct - tip of the cap.

@Anon (1:38) Yes indeed - ST. IVES rhyme was used in third "Die Hard" - and wasn't Jeremy Irons so much fun to hate?

I'm convinced the DIRTY MARTINI was invented when some bartender had an accident with the olive jar, told the customer it was intentional, and the fool fell for his bullshit - Godawful drink.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

Not sure about gen x being the children of baby boomers. The oldest boomers were just 15 when the oldest gen xers were born. The youngest boomers were just 16 when the youngest gen xers were born. Mostly, gen xers had parents born before WWII was over. Most of the kids of post-birth-control-pill-sex-having boomers are gen y.

Birchbark 9:36 AM  

This is a double-DRAPE-movie-clothing-source puzzle, as also in "Source of clothing worn by 54A's "My Dear."

ST. IVES was easy for the wrong reason: I immediately thought "As I was going to St. Ives/On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day/As I was going to St. Ives, On Christmas Day in the Morning." Still can't get that one out of my head, but could be worse.

DRAKE could also be clued as "Daniel's father in Neal Stephenson's 'Baroque Cycle,'" which I'm rereading for the fourth time. Drake's soup bowls, when you get to the bottom, are inscribed "You and I are but dust."

Bill Feeney 9:41 AM  

A pox on all of you who finished this puzzle, quickly or not. That SW? A vast black hole from which no knowledge escapes or enters. Spanish? Opera? Nursery rhymes? Von Trapp? Documentary? Titres? Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Anne 9:52 AM  


Teedmn 9:55 AM  

This theme seemed familiar and over at xwordinfo, Jeff Chen explains why: There have been two other NYT puzzles that use a round of drinks as a theme in the last 3 years, albeit in different ways. This puzzle's construction seems like it would be much more difficult to do than the other two. I like that the drink names all start at the top and go clockwise. I had the hardest time in the far SW, trying to use the theme to fill in that corner and all I could see in the circles, drink-related, was MAITAI__ going counter-clockwise (I had yet to notice the clock-wise, start-at-the-top pattern). TIA MARIA it turned out to be, ha!

DNF due to typo - I must hit some WEIRD key that sends me across the grid to place a wrong letter in because this is not the first time that I've definitely put in a letter only to have it turn into something else while my attention is otherwise occupied. Here it was the M in ALARUM/MISERY, which became an N somewhere along the line. Using @r.alphbunker's program, I can go forward letter by letter to see where something went into the grid and somewhere at minute 28:39, my M became an N. Unfortunately, the program doesn't tell me WHY I did that.

My nursery rhyme place was "to market, to market, to buy a fat pig". Once I decided "market" wasn't working, I put in SAID and ST. IVES went right in. That was after "pairs" had to come out of 102A. and I had to REVAMPS REViseS also. Crazy little corner, that SW and I see I had plenty of company.

Nice puzzle ACME and Pete, it was worth the 7 year construction process!

Mike 10:07 AM  

I got killed on PROS, EPOS, NED ROREM... had PEES for "Whizzes," at one point put PROS, but then restored PEES when I didn't get the "good job!" music, only to fix a few typos, forget about PROS, get frustrated and reveal. DNF

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

Die Hard 3-With a Vengeance and Irons was awesome. One of the great actors of his generation along with Alan Rickman, Kevin Spacey, and Scott Baio.

Hartley70 10:31 AM  

This struck me as a classic Sunday NYT puzzle. It had a little something for everyone, including those looking for some hair of the dog after Saturday night revels.

I always appreciate some visual interest and the circles of booze did the trick, although I have to confess that I didn't look at them until I finished the puzzle. I'm rather glad I didn't because seeing TIAMARIA would have taken some of the sweat out of the SW and I liked the struggle. I had never heard of the STIVES nursery rhyme, but I'll remember it now.

This rang in at exactly my usual Sunday time, so considering the SW roadblock, most of the grid played easy. I thought the cluing was interesting, however, so I never lost my interest. Nicely done you two!

Ellen S 10:36 AM  

I want to get this in before I leave to toil in the laundry at the animal shelter: Good to see one of your puzzles again, @ACME. I struggled with it, more than yesterday, which surprised me, and like everybody I noticed the constraints of theme and grid produced a lot of partials and iffy stuff, but also a lot of tough stuff like EPOS. Anyway, I enjoyed it regardless. Thanks to you and Mr. Muller.

GILL I. 10:36 AM  

I watched the next to last season of rerun Downton Abbey last night and Lord Grantham shouted out "Golly Gumdrops" when he found out Edith was finally going to marry some rich guy. So I thought by golly I'm going to use it today. Golly Gumdrops @Andrea and @Pete....a puzzle with booze in it and so nicely wrapped.
I don't know Pete but I've met Andrea and you can see her whimsy throughout. This was Sunday fun...starting with the OLAVS and ending with VERNE
I don't think I've had a DIRTY MARTINI and after looking it up, I don't think I will. Come to think of it, the only one I like in this list of yummies is WINE....
I can't decide whether I'm YIN or YANG.

RooMonster 10:37 AM  

Hey All !
Add me to the SW WTF group! Holy LEOI, that was tough! Never parsed STIVES as ST. IVES, AIDANwho?, TITRE never heard of, and REVAMPS and ITEMS difficult to see. Ugh. What a disaster there. Have heard of NED ROREM, originally had TOmAn for TOSAM, but knew ROREn wasn't right, so changed that, knew it was REsomething, so EPOS was right, but still had to Reveal AIDEN and Check almost the whole corner. ARGH!

Also a few places where I had a wrong letter, OLAfS, WISeFUL, SPAt, TyEDYE. That ROUGHCUT/WISHFUL cross I swore was an E. ROUGe CUT/WISeFUL.

@Larry Gilstrap 1:23 - LMAO on your "Liked it better than Rex did." Har! @Anon 5:00, it was a funny-ism, because you know Rex wouldn't have had good things to say about it.

@Lewis 6:21 - my smile moment was 47D, had F__KT___S, brain imagining all kinds of "interesting" fill.

Liked overall, except SW corner, of course. 7 years seems a Looong time, but I can see it, as you get mad when you can't get anything to work in an area, so you stop filling for a while, then eventually go back to it and try again to hit PAY DIRT.

Good job on light dreck with constraints. Some fun clues, DUSTMOPS, for one. Nice puz, PM and ACME!


Mordechai 10:39 AM  

Please ignore my earlier comment about NYTimes App not recognizing correct puzzle. My bad, glossed over Anais NIN is not LIN multiple times. Finally noticed as I did a letter by letter check.

Mariaseig 10:48 AM  

SW was most difficult section for me, too. STIVES is SainT IVES.

Mariaseig 10:53 AM  

Great idea!

Nancy 11:34 AM  

@jberg ((8:44) -- There are two olives in the Dirty Martini????? There's an orange peel sticking out of the Cosmopolitan????? What am I missing here? I can barely find the ungarnished drinks.

@Teedmn (9:55) -- But for you I wouldn't have known that this puzzle took 7 years to construct. It's a perfectly nice puzzle and all, but really, you've got to be kidding!

@GILL (10:36) -- I once tried half a sip of someone's Dirty Martini. It was vile. I can't imagine what bartender ever thought it up, but I do hope his license is no longer OPERANT.

Andrew Heinegg 11:38 AM  

I too have had this issue but, I inevitably find that the app is smarter than I am, much to my non-suit.

GILL I. 11:41 AM  

@Nancy...@jberg has a vibrant imagination...! Look at the circled DIRTY MARTINI and you'll see two black olives (black squares) just sitting at the bottom waiting to be eaten. Same with the COSMOPOLITAN. Cute, eh?
I had my first chocolate MARTINI at Thunder Valley Casino and I also won $80.00 playing the penny slots which are really dollar slots.

Tarheeled 11:49 AM  

Almost record time going for me until I hit the SW corner. Crash and burn. Fun puzzle tho.

Andrew Heinegg 11:56 AM  

Surprise, not suit. Dang computers anyway!

Passing Shot 12:02 PM  

STIVES or ST IVES? Doesn't matter, I've never heard this nursery rhyme. I love drinking but sorry, I hated this puzzle (and yes, I'm looking at you, SW). DuEtS before ITEMS killed me for the loNgest time. Never heard of a BLOODKNOT, BliniS before BIALYS, questionable clue for ROUGHCUT turned this into one big slog for me.

Carola 12:12 PM  

Loved the center cross, appreciated the rounds of drinks that helped me with the solve (especially TIA MARIA in the SW).
Smiles for the congregation of old pals ERTE, ERLE, VERNE, OLEG, OLAVS, and LEO I. Also the two good kinds of DIRT (PAY DIRT, DIRTY MARTINI).
Had to REINK: mOneT, KNITwear, Almost had to REINK: mONTS - would have been nice over those ALPS.
Re: ALARUM - My daughter is working on a book on Elizabethan theater that includes a chapter on the play A Larum for London. I wonder when "a larum" became "alarm."

KevCo 12:25 PM  

How has no one mentioned EPOS? That's horrific.

Leslie 12:28 PM  

How typical that, with three incredible performances from women in a movie about the accomplishments of extraordinary women, the "Hidden Figures" clue is about a man.

old timer 12:29 PM  

I solve on paper using ink that is often faded-looking. So even if I liked figuring out those circled letters, I often can't really see them. I thought this was a bit of a slog, and quite Lame in many places. Plus I don't know people like ELSA and ERNA. I was delighted by the crossing long themers, though. Did anyone else write in "stifle" only to change it to STYMIE? I LMAO when I got that one.

Also, since I don't go to strip clubs these days, I did not get MYSHARONA and have no idea what a BLOOD KNOT is. Fortunately I did know ORLE and could guess SOLAR.

I had no problem in the SW though. I guessed SAID and had OPENSEA, and managed to dredge STIVES out of some childhood memory. TITRE then went right in.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

Just a technical question - isn't 46D factually inaccurate? Neither Bill (Georgetown) nor Hillary (Wellesley) nor Chelsea (Stanford) Clinton attended Yale as undergraduates. Even if they went to Yale Law School, that doesn't make them "collegiate" Elis...

Larry Gilstrap 12:39 PM  

Preach brother! DAMN/DAMNED phone allows a typo and shows me Rex's tweets. I'll try harder from now on, I promise.

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

Congrats you are the winner of the Feigned Outrage Award of the day.

Masked and Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Primo write-up with bullets, @Laurasorceress.

This looks like a kinda rough SunPuz to construct. Gotta keep yer overall word count down to 140wpg, splatz a coupla long themers in, down the middles -- and have a buncha booze oozin around thru the cracks, all over the place. Well done to do it, constructioneers.
Fun and feisty solvequest.
Plus, M&A's heart leapt, anticipatin some potential mighty enjoyable eaux de sperations …

staff weeject pick: GOW. Hybrid farm mammals! With moo-gow hard clue. Nice one.
Honrable mention to CIV, for cluin itself to stay offa the Random Roman Numeral Radar.

ERNA. EARNs a har of admiration. Cute. Maybe even CUTE-X.

Is STIVES from an upper-tier, written-in-English nursery rhyme? @jae, @Mohair Sam and other smart folks seem to have de-coded it as ST. IVES, but that'd still be a mystery to m&e. Was thinkin maybe Jabberwocky, until the entry achieved apparent sainthood.

YESNO/NOES. Another har-felt clap, for the cute-x NO-NO pairin.


Primo DUSTMOPS clue. Got er off just the D+, somehow. On the other hand, got NEDROREM offa just the NEDROREM.

Thanx, ACME & Mullermeister. M&A may need a drink…

Masked & Anonymo8Us


Unknown 1:24 PM  


Anonymous 1:32 PM  

Resist! Yawn.

Chim cham 1:33 PM  

Same. Zoomed down the west side and then got hung up for an agonizing 40 minutes. Not one word turned out to be my first two or three guesses. Didn't google though!

Chim cham 1:36 PM  


Anonymous 1:39 PM  

A lot of you folks not shackled to computers don't know that when you answer someone directly many of us don't know who you're talking to, including the talkee. That's why we reference "@whomever", frequently with the time.

I've been told that I've been castigated from time to time and missed it.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Yes. Thank you.

Unknown 1:45 PM  

My thought exactly! I am the last year of the boom (64), and my kids are millennials..

BarbieBarbie 1:52 PM  

Score one for unique problems... My bete noir was the SE, not the SW. Two of those mistakes that lead to perfectly acceptable words, but they happen to be wrong. Sure as anything of SPAt, and then figured there must be bridges named for Geneva and wherever else it was, so pONTS, making pLOt for the Spanish flower, which makes no sense at all but I didn't check beyond word/notaword. Fie on me. DNF. And thank you all for today's earworm:

BAI! BAIiii....O!
Come, Mr. Talley-man, talley me banana...

Overall I found this puzzle only ok. The theme is cute but didn't integrate into the solving. I just read the drinks later. The fill lacked only ALEE and ORT. for those of you who don't see the print version, the little mini PB puzzle this week was super-easy and boring. Maybe that's how he takes vacation.

Unknown 1:53 PM  

Same here. And stives = St. Ives (As in, "as I was going to...).

Masked and Anonymous 1:56 PM  

Was NEWYORK maybe like an emergency stand-in for the obvious-by-its-absence MANHATTAN NYTPuz-drink? Perhaps they spent part of them 7 itchy years, tryin to crowbar that themer in? Makes for good fake news, in any case…


Robert A. Simon 2:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 2:04 PM  

Good to know. Leslie was the feigned outrage winner. So precious. Oh and don't feed...

Unknown 2:04 PM  

Great puzzle, Andrea. Off topic, but did anyone do the Puns and Anagrams puzzle? The clue for 40D is Road sign No. 735. The answer is "gas," but I don't understand why!

JC66 2:05 PM  

@Anonymous 10:17 AM

"Die Hard 3-With a Vengeance and Irons was awesome. One of the great actors of his generation along with Alan Rickman, Kevin Spacey, and Scott Baio."


"How typical that, with three incredible performances from women in a movie about the accomplishments of extraordinary women, the "Hidden Figures" clue is about a man."

I don't understand your objection. Would you have preferred COSTNER clued using Dances with Wolves or The Untouchables?

Robert A. Simon 2:20 PM  

I always start in the SW and build up and out. So far, I've got SAID, DRAPE and IDEAL, and my stopwatch reads "9:23." Unfortunately, the "9" stands for "hours." It looks like I'll have to record another DNEGS (Did Not Even Get Started).

Okay. Bad, not that bad. More to the point, I take a drug every day, the dosage of which is measured in micrograms. I have to get a blood test every three months because dialing in its level is crucial. As luck would have it, my internist here at the University of Chicago is British, and she always says, "Robert, as you know, we'll continue to titrate your dosage, although recently...."

Joe Dipinto 2:21 PM  

@OISK 2:10 AM -- Yes, Erna was easily gettable as you point out, and I don't mean to fault the constructors. I just find it, well, puzzling that major-name opera stars are routinely excluded from the cluing (except for Renee Fleming these days, who is in fact on the verge of retiring), presumably because the editor thinks no one will have heard of them, but then some obscurity like Erna Berger does make it in. And I'm sure this is probably true of other professions as well.

Joe Dipinto 2:48 PM  

@Leslie 12:28 -- I didn't realize the constructors write the clues first and then fill the grid with answers to suit the clues. Thank you for clarifying that.

Graham 2:50 PM  

Yeah, I figured that it was Saint Ives but my nursery school must have skipped that one.

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

SW corner killed me too, and apart from EPOS being singular, Clinton was an ELI for law school, not college. But . . . High marks for DORR rebellion, which I'd never heard of, but which was an 1840s effort to expand voting rights.

Wm. C. 3:19 PM  

@TomGilson --

Road Sign: take the 7th, 3rd, and 5th letters in this word pair, and get gas.

Yep, I thought it was a bit obscure too...

Anonymous 3:36 PM  

I couldn't Resist taking a nap today.

aknapp 3:58 PM  

Was really hoping COCKTAIL LOUNGES would somehow turn out to be COCKTAIL RINGS, a second description of the theme. Oh well...

Unknown 4:43 PM  

Thanks, Wm. C!

Mohair Sam 5:11 PM  

@Robert A Simon - Loved your first paragraph, I know the feeling.

@Leslie - Good fishing, but I think your net is way over the limit.

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

Too many obscure proper Nouns for me to call this easy

Rina 5:59 PM  

SW was the knot. But looking at the other drink choices, they seemed vaguely New Yorkish. So I put in TIAMARIA, thinking it fit the bill, and voila! I've never ordered a Tia Maria, but I had a sip of my mother's during our trip with my grandmother to the World's Fair in '64. It's weird, the things one remembers.

Anonymous 6:21 PM  

Scott Adams is uproariously funny and Scott Baio is a brilliant actor, and they're both upstanding gentlemen.

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

"Let's go see that new Scott Biao movie!" said no one ever.

hankster65 8:02 PM  

Big ugly train wreck in the SW resulted in a DNF. Stives? Seriously? Also, I had Amaretto instead of Tia Maria. That certainly didn't help. Time to imbibe in the theme. Cheers!

jean mills 8:06 PM  

SW corner of helllll. I started out with shires. Stives and titre paved the road to...

Unknown 9:31 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 9:31 PM  

Oh thank god. Had the answer. Had no clue.

Nancy 9:34 PM  

I'm a little late on this, but I just had a thought. While I saw ST IVES right away and know the verse by heart, I understand why so many of you didn't. And that's because it's not a famous nursery rhyme at all. It's a famous riddle.

Crane Poole 12:17 AM  

I'm later than late and I agree with everyone. SW was a hole and the ST.IVES riddle is indeed a riddle and not a nursery rhyme. Pees for Whizzes. Assorted niblets and mostly satisfying otherwise. Happy to have known pai GOW having seen it played in casinos. Seemed above us.. We played pai GOW poker which is a more relaxing game in which one loses dough at a slower rate.

Alarum Cutex Misery 4:15 AM  

Hi all!
Quick comment...apologetic about SW corner, sorry it was so distracting! Had we known that's what folks would get tripped up on we would have spent another year trying to clean it up even more!

We were happy to get a fresh Games of Throne clue in there, paired with something fresh for ELSA (I had just seen the film again and this time weirdly related to ELSA whom I'd never noticed before. It's a very interesting and nuanced character. Esp if you've ever been with a man and noticed his attraction to someone younger and probably his future lover even before he does. NOT FUN.)
And I don't drink, but I'm excited that TIAMARIA AR an anagram of MAITAI!

But in retrospect, perhaps another drink in that corner would have led to more gettable fill for more folks and then we would have had no complaints! Is that even possible???

Agree I guess that STIVES hard to parse and perhaps more a riddle than a rhyme. I don't know enough about EPOS to speak on that. NEBS and ORLE come up once a game in Scrabble so dab of glue, nothing more, no cause for ALARUM!

Chewed out about the ELI thing, that it really should just be used for JUST the undergraduate, Clinton isn't really one...but what do I know, I went to the other one! Definitely a NO/NOES.

Pete produced at least 20 grids over the course of seven years!!!
I loved them all. I've never seen someone work so hard and yet stretch it out f-o-r-e-v-e-r; Can't believe we are both still alive to witness this puzzle see the light of day!

Anyway, thanks for ALL the comments...

Go to Wordplay or (such a fascinating site) to find out more about our thought process on this one, if interested.

BIG Sigh of relief that some commenters seem to be on vacation :)

PatKS 4:45 AM  

Sped along until SW. Guessed revamps and opens a but that was it. 1st dnf ever. Couldn't bither. Don't know WTF epos is and while I guessed Elsa I thought von trapp beloved were Agatha and maria.also bialys are not Polish unless you mean Polish jewish. No Poles I know serve or eat bialys. Oh well

Z 9:07 AM  

@LMS - Yah. I presume the idea is to recognize how histories are politicized since all histories are inherently politicized. Just read a biography written by someone from the opposite end of the political spectrum and the biases will shine brightly.

Mostly came by to see if the "collegiate" debate occurred here. An otherwise bright fellow was insisting the ELI clue was "factually wrong" over on Twitter. When I pointed out that law schools are colleges he went with the colleges are only undergrad argument. That smart people can't separate out "wrong" from "usage I'd never use" always amazes me.

Tita 9:13 AM  

Great fun...i liked guessing all the libations, I'm not much of a mixed drinker, but wow...had two awesome ones this weekend.

A raspberry lime ricky at the ny botanical gardens, with almost no sugar syrup, and floating bits of raspberry was an absolute delight.
And while the gin and tonic with thyme at the Met museum was great, the 5 ounces in a plastic glass for $15 that I had to get for myself at the counter, coupled with a $5 micro-bag of Ms. Vickie's popcorn was inane. Maybe I would have been slightly less incensed had they not touted the popcorn as "housemade".

Thanks, Andrea and Pete, for your persistence and creativity in getting this published.

jberg 10:11 AM  

@Nancy, that was my interpretation of the black squares inside the circled drinks. I guess that could be a swizzle stick in the cosmo.

Unknown 4:03 PM  

So tired of people posting their time.... Dudes it is not a race and yes Monday is easy.... stop patting yourselves on the back. Enjoy it or let it go.... ARRG

Ando 10:06 PM  

So is it decided that "EPOS" is singular, and the clue is incorrect?

Ando 9:46 AM  

Thanks to the constructor for chiming in with some nice words above! I love hearing some of the inside details about these puzzles. This one broke my best streak, but that's how it goes. Was a fun one. Tiny pet peeve of mine -- I like when the same clue is used twice or more, but don't like when the answers are synonyms like ACES and PROS. I find the second one harder to get because I assume the answers will cover a broader range than they end up doing.

Anonymous 4:38 PM  

Scott Baio is bad man no can be in puzzles anymore. How can puzzle use male character from book with cool women in it, very bad. Also, Trump is bad man, should not be president because he is a russian spy and he did not win election that Hillary won. What is an epo?

Spookytooth 6:13 PM  

I was happy to find out that Ned Rorem is not dead - read his wonderful book, "Knowing When to Stop". Who has heard of Stives?? Not in any nursery rhymes that I ever read or heard!

Spookytooth 6:16 PM  

LOL - I feel really dumb right now. It's St. Ives - well, never heard that in any nursery rhymes either!!

Burma Shave 12:59 PM  


The ADVANTAGES if it's a PNKLADY you want,
it's not too WEIRD to LIVEITDOWN.


spacecraft 1:01 PM  

As I was going to STIVES, I met a man with seven wives. Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, each cat had seven kits. Kits, cats, sacks and wives, how many were going to ST. IVES? One, of course: me. Or, if I overtook them (how fast could that troupe possibly be going?!), 1,702.

"Anyhoo," this felt very sloggish. Theme is pretty dense, so allowances should be made...but boy, this one needs a ton of allowances! Major hangup was mistaking Beirut and Geneva for pOrTS. Took a while to straighten that out.

DOD is Bitty Schram as Monk's assistant SHARONA. I was sad when they wrote her out. Theme-wise, it seems odd to have all these named mixed drinks and then go uber-generic with BEER and WINE. I've spent better hours. Bogey.

Diana,LIW 1:20 PM  

dnf in the SW, as it seems happened to others. (haven't read all comments yet)

Another Friend, NEDROREM, enters the crossworld - and he's a wild one.

My question re: preserves was answered in an email with a singularly (sic) good answer. Preserves is singular. Pass me the preserves, never the preserve. So no apostrophe needed. Head slap.

Had "arty" instead of POSH for the longest time.

Nice comment from Acme.


Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 2:00 PM  

This puz was going nicely until the SW. IVE got so much over-written there it's illegible. Like it's painted green. I remember dyads and highSEA as a coupla wrong ones to start. Watching The Open didn't help concentration.

Yeah baby ANI DiFranco, maybe KEANU for the gals?

OK puz except much MISERY SW.

rain forest 2:25 PM  

Yes, the SW was the toughest part of this easy puzzle, but as a former chemist, I knew TITRE, and ST. IVES went right in, so that section wasn't scary for me. I also have to say that sussing out TIA MARIA helped there. Actually getting the drinks was a help in several sections, especially COSMOPOLITAN (which I don't like).

As noted, several nice downs added sparkle to the puzzle, and the 4-letter proper names didn't bother me.

Liked it

AnonymousPVX 3:55 PM  

SW ruined me.

Unknown 4:30 PM  

Absolutely. SW corner was brutal. Lots of intersecting answers that were tough to figure out (the old "you either know it or you don't" routine). Otherwise not bad.

rondo 7:53 PM  

Didn't mean like "green paint". IVE been using a green ink pen.

leftcoastTAM 8:39 PM  

SW was the puzzle's NADIR: STIVES/TITRE/AIDAN/OPENSEA. TIAMARIA no help here. Other themers and their revealers were okay and helpful.

Natick crosses: HAI/JAWA, SISAL/BIALYA/BAIO, TOSAM/ASADA. Guessed wrong.

Consistently finding that Sunday slogs are just that and little more. Too much time and too little pay off in my calculus.

Will take an indefinite leave from them.

Diana,LIW 8:43 PM  

@Rondo - Yo St. Ive - I was certain you were using a green pen. Why? Who knows? Maybe a climate thing. But "green paint" - absolutely no way.

Carry on, but watch your ink colour. (sic)

Lady Di

wcutler 7:58 PM  

It's so funny what's hard for people. I had little trouble in the SW (knew St. Ives), but DNF'd with three of the four rows above that (toward ASADA). The circles were fun, in that they helped me with lots of the answers.

rol 12:38 PM  

Right. I saw it immediately on my first pass through. Problem is it is not a nursery rhyme - anyone see any rhymes beyond the first couplet. It is a kid's puzzle or at least I learned it before I was 8. So the clue sucked. I nursery rhyme definitions include such places as Bamberry Cross and (perhaps) a hilltop well. Fortunately nothing else fit, but it took me almost to the end to decide it had to be St.Ives. Also "some couples" would have been a fairer clue for "items" than "couples". The latter sat as "pairs" for a lomg while throwing everything else in the corner off.

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thefogman 4:54 PM  

I don't want any Facebook likes, (or professional trading signals delivered to my cell phone) but I would like to have access to a web site that has the syndicated version of the NYT Sunday Xword.

Our local paper does not publish on Sundays, hence no Sunday Xword for me. Is there a place online that I can get it - for free?

Be aware that I urgently need this more than a bowlful of Rum Raisin ice cream. That's how serious this is.

Thanks a bunch to anyone who can help.

thefogman 9:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 9:55 AM  

I found a source for the Sunday NYT Xword.

The SW corner was the toughest to solve. But my downfall was guessing wrong at TOrAy/ArADA/NEDROREy instead of TOSAM/ASADA/NEDROREM. There was simply too many unknown unknowns for me in that zone, and thus my defeat. The rest of the puzzle was fun and surprisingly easy to finish. I thought Sunday puzzles were supposed to be difficult.

Check out Laura's link to the Drunk Crossword Puzzles book. You can still buy a copy for the low low price of only $1.55

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