Title kitten in Key Peele action comedy / SUN 6-10-18 / Early online forum / Rope for strangulation / Utah's Canyon locale of petroglyphs

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Constructor: Ruth Bloomfield Margolin

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (9:50)

THEME: "Rush Hour Headaches" — rush hour-related puns (?)

Theme answers:
  • CHUTE FOR THE STARS 923A: Lane restricted to allow motorcades through?)
  • CRAMPING MY STILE (36A: Pressing and shoving me as I enter the subway?) 
  • ROUTE OF ALL EVIL (55A: Highway obstructed by accidents, detours and contruction?)
  • BUSSED YOUR BUTT (82A: Took public transportation while one's wheels were at the shop?)
  • I NEED TO LOSE WAIT (98A: "This tollbooth line will make me late!"?)
  • PAY YOUR FARE SHARE (116A: Split an Uber?)
  • MAKE THE TEEM (15D: Get to Grand Central right at 5:00?)
  • GIMME A BRAKE (66D: "I'm scared by the speed you're going in this traffic!"?)
Word of the Day: Priyanka CHOPRA (60D: "Quantico" actress Priyanka) —
Priyanka Chopra (pronounced [prɪˈjaːŋkaː ˈtʃoːpɽaː]; born 18 July 1982) is an Indian actress, singer, film producer, philanthropist, and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant. One of India's highest-paid and most popular celebrities, Chopra has received numerous awards, including a National Film Award and Filmfare Awards in five categories. In 2016, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, and Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the worldForbes listed her among the World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't really want to get in to it. This is not a good puzzle, but sadly it isn't far off of average for the NYT Sunday, of late. Or maybe "of ever." Weak, awkward puns ... but big, so there's more pain to experience. I continue to be stunned that they don't get better submissions than this. Why Don't The Good Constructors Make Sundaysssss!? The state of the NYT Sunday is a travesty and a tragedy and more of y'all should be barking at the powers that be to get their **** together (note: **** = "acts," if anyone asks). I haven't even seen tomorrow's Washington Post Sunday puzzle (by Evan Birnholz), but I guarantee you—GARE UNH TEEEEE U!—it's better than this. Evan's most shamelessly phoned-in effort is gonna be better than this, because conceptually, this just isn't good enough. It's the opposite of ambitious. It's the epitome of rehashed. And the puns miss so bad, so much of the time. What even *is* a "CHUTE," traffic-wise. I've been driving for over 30 years, and the only chutes I know about are, like, trash chutes, and the game Chutes & Ladders, and then maybe water parks have chutes that you go down (another name for "water slides"?). I dunno. I *do* know that I would probably have been 30 seconds to a minute faster than I was if I hadn't stared blankly at MAKE THE TEEM for so long ... first, was not expecting a themer there, in the Down position, but second and more importantly, TEEM is a noun now?? As in "the time when a place is TEEMing with people?" Can you hear the depth and magnitude of my exasperated sighs. I feel like New Jersey can hear me.

Why is there no BUTT-specific part of the clue for BUSSED YOUR BUTT? Please, dear lord, liven this thing up somehow. And *that* is your WAIT pun?? I NEED TO LOSE WAIT? Where do I begin to explain why this isn't good? As with the TEEM answer, the phrasing just doesn't work, at all. It's a grammatical nightmare. If the puns were at all bold or clever or entertaining, maybe you could get away with the wacky usage, but these are so dull they *wish* they were groaners, so grammar weirdly matters. It's pretty much all you have left. Paying a fare is already a thing, so PAY YOUR FARE SHARE just doesn't reorient the base phrase enough to be interesting. I like CRAMPING MY STILE OK, but that's about it. I would get into the fill, but ... I don't want to. So that takes care of that. Let's just say it's rough all over. OBLAh blah blah. FILI. XYLO. IOR. Argh, I'm doing what I said I wouldn't do. I have to stop. Write your congressperson. This madness must end.

Oh, wait, I almost forgot. We need to talk about ANOS, mostly because it set off this hilarious and revelatory tweet exchange:

Good luck getting "100 Anuses Of Solitude" out of your head today, or ever. I'm stunned (in the happiest of ways), that editor Ben Tausig has made tilde-means-tilde the official policy of the American Values Club Crossword. Look what happens when you decide to set high standards and take your job seriously! Good things. Oh, also, I should mention that Ben also sent me the following note re: AVCX subscriptions
You may have seen that the AVCX, in tandem with solvers, is creating a fund to subsidize low-income solvers who struggle to or cannot afford subscriptions.

There is no application process or necessity for explaining the reasons for needing a subsidy; we're going on the honor system. So anyone who feels that they can't afford a subscription, but would like one, can simply email editor@avxwords.com, and they'll be signed up for a year. We currently have something like 140 available, so if you would like to spread the word, please do so!

Thank you,
    So today's NYT puzzle isn't good, but people can be good, and crossword can definitely be good, so go do the Washington Post Sunday crossword and subscribe to the AVCX and have yourself a merry little June 10th now.

    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    P.S. Caleb Madison and Marley Randazzo are putting out a new crossword at Motherboard called "Solve the Internet." It's a "new weekly mini crossword puzzle, covering memes, rap beefs, internet drama, and everything else your brain may or may have not absorbed in the last few weeks." It's hard as hell if you are an out-of-touch Gen Xer like me, but that makes it great pop culture training. Give it a try.

    P.P.S. 68D: No-nonsense quartet? is ENS because there are four of the letter "N" in "No-nonsense," you're welcome.

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    puzzlehoarder 12:10 AM  

    Not my kind of puzzle. I got the happy music on the last square but it wasn't fun. USHED was probably the low point.

    JOHN X 12:26 AM  

    Ordinarily I disagree with Rex trashing a puzzle, but I didn't like this one.

    I had a DNF at the end because I left E_S / KEA_U for last. I assumed it had to be KEANU but when the DNF alarm went off on my iPad, I just didn't care. And I always care. Turns out I misspelled QATARI with a "U" where it crossed with the word for Mexican assholes. But I still didn't care.

    "100 Anuses of Solitude" is the name of my new band and its eponymous debut album.

    Ken Wurman 12:51 AM  

    I still don't understand "make the teem". Anybody???

    Anonymous 1:30 AM  

    Is there a database where you can search old AVCXword entries? They've really never run a puzzle with ELNINO or VICUNA or MANANA or something? It seems that the only occasion for people to get up in arms about the tilde thing is when the entry is ANO or ANOS. It's telling that Rex didn't even bother to mention PINA (clued as __ colada) even though his tilde rant would have been an appropriate opportunity to mention it.

    Charles Flaster 1:39 AM  

    Liked it a lot more than Rex especially CRAMPING MY STILE.
    Only writeover that slowed me down was VIA for per. Total mistake there.
    Loved clueing for HOE and LAWS.
    It is fair to say I can “JUSTIFY” all these puns.
    Thanks RBM

    Robin 1:42 AM  

    Above my Sunday average of the last few years, and distinctly so. Not that it was difficult, but man, I just could not get into this thing at all.

    I used to hate the 5-part quotation Sunday crosswords. Haven't seen one in ages. Now I'm thinking it was nice to see one again, because I'm getting very tired of bad pun Sunday XWDS.

    I did wonder if anyone Noticed on the FILI/IOLANI cross. And we have TATAS and TAPAS in the same puzzle?

    Anonymous 2:10 AM  

    Time was when I gave a hoot whether I got one of my NYT puzzle submissions accepted and published. Now ... eh. I know I'm not the only constructor who got a "the puzzle is fine, but it's just not what we're looking for right now" message -- so it pays to be lucky enough to hit on whatever gimmick they're angling for that month.

    Ah well. Plenty of other places to submit to!

    chefwen 3:18 AM  

    Pretty easy and enjoyable Sunday. Had a little hang up around the 64D area, had tele in and puzzle partner changed it to XYLO, cleared it all up. Thanks, Jon.

    I NEED TO LOSE WAIT was pretty weak, but the rest was O.K. BUSSED YOUR BUTT being the favorite.

    Anonymous 3:43 AM  

    Awful, awful, awful! Everything Rex said and I don't normally agree with him.

    'mericans in Paris 4:28 AM  

    Oh, lordy! We reckoned that OFL would not like this MESS of a puzzle, but his rant today not only didn't disappoint, but deserves an award for something. Clearly it BUSSED his BUTT. "Good luck getting '100 Anuses of Solitude' out of your head today, or ever", indeed! GO GET 'EM, @Rex!

    We're glad that we aren't the only ones scratching our heads over MAKE THE TEEM. Like the pairing of PIÑA and DREAM, though.

    Question of the PRESENT DAY: Is OARMEN on top of OREM LEGIT? (NAW!)

    With a rebel YELL, TATAS, comrades! Have a good Sunday!

    mruedas 5:03 AM  

    ..by the way, isn't it oarsmen (not oarmen)?

    Also, if you're going to rant, let's get it right: Ñ is not a tilde, it's a specific letter. The tilde is the little squiggle above the n that differentiates it from an n, and gives us years instead of anuses. But that squiggle -- the tilde -- is used to indicate other things in other languages (nasality in vowels, for example).

    Anonymous 5:15 AM  

    MAKE THE TEEM is my favorite.

    Lewis 5:58 AM  

    Not a lot of stop-and-go, pretty smooth commute through this grid, which, by the way, if you look at the scattered black squares and rectangles in the big middle area, looks like cars, buses, and trucks heading east or west in a big traffic jam. This puzzle took my puzzle-working chops around the block yet again, which is a good thing, because if you keep them garaged for too long, you become a rustbucket of a solver, or so I've been tolled.

    JJ 6:01 AM  

    Disagree. MAKE THE TEEM is the worst!!! Actually, there's a tie with LOSE WAIT.

    Loren Muse Smith 6:02 AM  

    This theme felt bi-level to me 1) change the word to make a pun 2) clue it to fit rush hour.

    Lots of themes go straight to #2 – just clue an existing phrase to fit a new idea. I would look for examples, but I don’t have much time this morning. The only one I could think of to fit today’s pattern was something like Allstate having low rates for wreckless drivers. @Lewis - "so I've been tolled" - nice!

    Loved, loved, loved BUSSED YOUR BUTT. I’m always struck by the way we refer to our hind end as our whole self:

    I gotta get my ass in gear here.
    His butt’s in big trouble.
    I’m’a chew her ass out when I see her.
    You need to get your sorry ass outta here.

    I bet there’s some kind of mystifying Latinsome word for this kind of figure of speech. Do we do this with any other body parts?

    *I need to get my arm in gear.
    *His gut’s in big trouble.
    *I’m’a chew her forehead out when I see her.
    *You need to get your sorry xiphoid process outta here.

    We do it kinda similarly with stuff like

    I need to get my head in the game
    My heart’s not in it.

    But these feel different from the butt ones.

    I had a dnf ‘cause my kind of paper was “wax.” Use it every day to wrap my little piece of Brie in to inhale between first and second periods. Highlight of my morning. Anyhoo… this gave me a weird themer “pay your ware share.” Pfft.

    Judy – BUSSED YOUR BUTT alone was worth the price of admission.

    Mr. B 6:07 AM  

    I had no idea that the tilde made that big of a difference as to the definition of AÑOS...so I agree with OFL regarding that "tilde-means-tilde" policy.

    But does that also mean you now would have to cross that old standby ÉTÉ with something like PASSÉ and RENÉ Descartes...
    ...or that Philosopher SØREN Kierkegaard would have to cross with something like...heck, I can't even think of another common crossword contains an "Ø" off the top of my head.

    I also did the Washington Post Sunday crossword - which I really enjoyed...but to be fair, I enjoyed the NY Times puzzle too.
    My goal these days is to complete the puzzles without resorting to my crossword dictionary or Google...and I get a lot of pleasure in doing so when I finish without errors. I find it a challenge sussing out answers I'm not familiar with.
    I also solve on an iPad and although I am not Rex fast...I notice my times are steadily getting faster than my average. That gives me a lot of satisfaction too. So I don't mind stuff like MAKETHETEEM or INEEDTOLOSEWAIT because "make the team" and I need to lose weight" is in the language.

    Thanks Ms. Margolin.
    Happy Sunday all.

    KRMunson 6:11 AM  

    No love for this puz. Period.

    kitshef 6:48 AM  

    Worst puzzle (on any day) for quite some time. That ridiculous clue for IOR is such a classic mistake. You’ve got a piece of terrible fill, but instead of getting past it as quickly as you can, you set up blinking red arrows pointing to it.

    Don’t know what the thought was behind the clue for HERS. If your clue goes down the third line on the page, it better be for a themer or for a piece of fantastic fill.

    “Title kitten in a Key and Peele action comedy”??????? Simply yet astoundingly awful clue.

    Oh, also the theme was bad.

    suea 7:14 AM  

    No fun at all!! Except--- I did the puzzle with my daughter and I did LOL at ANOS and said the same exact words as the tweeter!

    mambridge 7:30 AM  

    FAX paper? When was the last time someone bought FAX paper?

    Carol C M 7:44 AM  

    My husband, who an oarsman in college, says that no one ever used the word oarmen. (As I’m writing this, spellcheck nixed oarmen.) Thanks

    ncmathsadist 7:50 AM  

    The theme was pure awfulness. The puns were just plain incoherent and stupid.

    Ω 8:10 AM  

    @Anon1:30 - I’ll just note that AVCX didn’t mention when this became policy. For all we know, it was yesterday. And then later there was a question posed about Americanized Spanish words like “señor,” which is now fairly common in the U.S. minus the enye (ñ). I don’t recall the exact answer, but I did detect equivocation.

    Just a reminder - I’m with @Mr. B, either a crossword enforces all foreign language diacritical use or no foreign language diacritical use. No fair require ñ crosses ñ but then not ç crosses ç. Yeah, yeah, chortle chortle, AÑOS and ANOS are quite different words. But we all know the intended meaning and this whole discussion is about as middle school level as Uranus jokes.

    Unknown 8:17 AM  

    Usually I like being nice because people probabaly worked pretty hard on these puzzles but this one was pretty f*cked up, for all the reasons already mentioned. Bad.

    three of clubs 8:33 AM  

    Kind of funny that one neighbor is 1700 miles away and the other just inches (or however far two countries which share a border are).

    Howard B 8:54 AM  

    New Jersey hears you.

    Anonymous 8:54 AM  

    "I need to lose wait" is TOTALLY moronic!

    City of Brotherly Shove 8:57 AM  

    Ah, Philly’s dreaded SEPTA, stuck in the middle of some messy gridlock. Touché.

    Apparently, SEPTA only began being clued as Philly’s transit system in the NYT within the past two years. Prior to that, it was clued as the plural form of SEPTUM, e,g., “Walls of the heart”, “Dividing membranes”, and my personal favorite, “Nose parts”. (Snotty much?)

    @Carol C M: Your husband might be amused to hear I initially filled 80A as STROKE. (Which is probably what most rowers will have when they see OARMEN.)

    Teedmn 8:57 AM  

    This is cute. Some of the phrases are a wee bit tortured. But I really liked CHUTE FOR THE STARS and PAY YOUR FARE SHARE. And the Twin Cities is in full road-work gear and the ROUTE OF ALL EVIL can be found just about any direction you drive so that one rang all too true.

    Thanks for the nice Sunday diversion, RBM.

    Anonymous 9:16 AM  

    gotta agree with @Z and @anon about the accent marks. all or nothing. i drove into el paso yesterday and passed lee trevino (sic) drive on the way to shop at the costco. costco, in case you were wondering, sells more hot dogs than the cow dog in alpine, texas. according to their food courts signs, costco has replaced the chocolate flavor in their fat free yoghurt machine with "acai (sic)." not açaí. i had to run a gauntlet of brasilian protesters and felt like a scab crossing a picket line but i just had to have a vanilla/açaí treat.

    for a short read from an expert, https://www.imediaethics.org/for-want-of-a-tilde-the-spelling-is-wrong/

    yes the sunday puzzle is swirling towards the drain. this one, no exception.

    mmorgan 9:19 AM  


    pmdm 9:23 AM  

    Z: I first started doing these puzzles before Shortz became editor. At first, I did not do the entire puzzle, but only helped a co-worker after his "first pass" through the puzzle. I seem to remember a fair number of puzzles in which the numbers 1 and 0 stood in for the letter i and o. Too often (as per my memory) they were used both ways in a single box (changing the character's meaning depending if you read the across entry or the down entry. I have never resovled the debate in my mind as to whether I approve of such a use or not. I suppose the sme is true of words in foreign languages that use diacritical marks (or whatever you want to call them).

    There is one example that certainly bugs me, though. You like classical music, so you probably heard of the Polish composer Lutoslawski. The second l, of course, should should have a slanted line through it, like thus: ł. (It is not intuitive how to enter this character when running Mac OsX.) That mark changes the pronunciation from an L sound to a W sound. This composer isn't exactly played frequently on today's classical music lite stations (normally, he's only played when broadcasting a live concert), and when he is played, the poor announcers tend to pronounce his mane incorrectly.

    I digress. Back to the puzzle: While I did not appreciate a number of the puns, I did appreciate solving the puzzle. Either would convince me to rate the puzzle as good. Reading many of the comments here, it seems many require both to be true to receive a "good" rating. Would that more people were to use the same criteria in the voting booth. World wide.

    Stanley Hudson 9:28 AM  

    More of a slog than usual for a Sunday, which is saying something.

    I agree with @Z: this ANOS discussion is juvenile.

    Mohair Sam 9:35 AM  

    @Z (8:10) - Hear! Hear! What the heck is wrong with anglicizing words in an English language puzzle? Cripes, if we have to guess which Spanish words have a squiggle above the "N" then we better know the squiggle under the "C", and let's not forget the dreaded German umlaut. And I love @Mr. B's thought of the slash through the "O" in Soren. Back in the day I wrote and keyed in a lot of computer programs and got in the habit of slashing the digit "zero" to differentiate it from "O". Now it means something else? Sheesh.

    Thanks for all the sympathy, empathy, and advice yesterday. That's what I was fishing for when I mentioned the bum shoulder. @JC66 - I'd take your advice on the Viagra thing, but I'm not sure it works on shoulders - and if it did I'd have a hard time calling a doctor after four hours and explaining why I can't get rid of this Nazi salute.

    @Rex - Thanks for Four "N" clear up. Clever clue.

    The puzzle overall? Mom taught me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

    Unknown 9:36 AM  

    Grand Central Terminal at 5:00 is pretty busy, so it would be "teeming" with people.

    Aketi 9:37 AM  

    Today’s puzzle had 101 BUTTs along with LOOS, but the only cavity was ORAL, not anal.

    @Kenneth Wurman, anyone who’s ever been in Grand Central at 5 pm has experienced TEEMing masses trying to battle it out to get through the STILEs.

    Unknown 9:40 AM  

    Let's see... we started with a tone-deaf "Me Too" which led to the dusty clunker, ASAMI and it still managed to go downhill from there.

    datageneral 9:42 AM  

    It became policy about a year ago. And you got us, no policy is perfect. Still we prefer that to indifference to things solvers care about (policy was adopted because people raised the issue with us several times)

    GILL I. 9:49 AM  

    @JOHN X 12:26. Thanks for the spit fest on my MacBook. One teensy problem. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Colombia asshole not a Mexican. Just thought you should get YOUR BUTT straight.
    @mrueds. Since we're on the subject...the ñ in Español is indeed called a tilde. Actually it's called a virgulilla which means "little comma." The diacritical mark simply indicates a change in pronunciation. And yes, Spanish has an extra nn in the alphabet.
    Oh...the crossword. It was EXACTLY what I've come to expect on Sunday. Nothing has changed at all. The last fantastic Sunday that I did and will always remember by the NYT was Liz Gorski's Guggenheim Museum puzzle. That had to have been at least 4 years or so ago. Please bring her back.
    Today's is just a typical not so funny pun fest that made little sense to me. I still don't get nor do I care to: MAKE THE TEEM. I really, really dislike that one. CRAMPING MY STILE as an answer is cute but the clue for it really doesn't click with me.
    I want to love (or at least enjoy) Sunday. You just know the constructors work hard. But @Rex is 100% right on his critique. Will needs to up the ante. There is a lot of competition out there and if any of the other's begin to have blog masters such as @Rex...then I'll switch teams in a jiffy. Just so you know, I continue to do the NYT because of @Rex and this here blog and the comments and the laughs and learning new things. By the way, if you like bon bons, I've got a terrific recipe....!

    ArtO 9:51 AM  

    Credit for eight theme puns but demerits for some quality deficiency with MAKETHETEEM and CHUTEFORTHESTARS the worst (but thanks for the explanation that TEEM relates to the crowd at GCT at 5PM); ROUTEOFALLEVIL and PAYYOURFARESHARE best imho.

    Anonymous 9:53 AM  

    Z is right. Either the rule should apply to all diacritical marks or none. If it applies to tildes then it has to apply to macrons, cedillas, umlauts, etc. Also, aside from being puerile, the anuses joke didn’t work.

    RAD2626 9:57 AM  

    I thought some of the themes were clever. ROUTE OF ALL EVIL and PAY YOUR FARE SHARE. I did not like some of the things that have been pointed out, particularly USHED which sounds like a drunk referring to something he did in the past.

    What I really do not get is BUSSED YOUR BUTT. I mean I get that it is a pun for Bust your Butt. What I do not get is the clue. What does it have to do with your wheels being in the shop? Am I missing aometthing? All the other clues related to the pun like FARE SHARE and Uber. This could have been clued Getting to Work When Your License Has Been Suspended. And that answer and the FARE SHARE are not Rush Hour Headaches. They are normal behavior. (Sorry. Overthinking for sure.)

    Penelope 10:06 AM  

    It seems that the Times has a consistent policy and the AVCX has an inconsistent one. I prefer the Times policy but either way there’s really no reason to get angry about it.

    Unknown 10:08 AM  

    I’m not sure I understand the outrage over the tilde-less anos. Yeah, it’s briefly amusing to write in the Spanish word for anus, but the NYT puzzle is limited to characters in the English alphabet. Since ñ doesn’t exist in that character set, are you suggesting that the word be disqualified from crosswords? Or that it be clued as...I don’t know what? If so, do we also disqualify German words with umlauts? French words with c-cedilla? How about that old crossword favorite Dvorak which should be spelled Dvořák?

    Or is it because Spanish is the unofficial second language of the US so more of us are aware of the inaccuracy?

    Nancy 10:23 AM  

    Thought the theme answers were easier than some of the rest of the fill. It was a cute theme, but the strength of the puzzle was in the imaginative and playful cluing. I had a good time with this. A few thoughts:

    Who sent Scarlett her letter at TARA? Did Rhett ever write? If he did, I don't remember it. Ashley, though he may have thought about Scarlett a lot in the midst of battle, wrote exclusively to Melanie, I think. Did the Tarleton twins write? Frank? Someone help me out here, please.

    Would QEII like being called a U.K.V.I.P? Elton John is a U.K.V.I.P. I think Her Majesty might consider it a demotion.

    Any "kale alternative" is fine by me. Even CHARD.

    a lighthearted Sunday that I enjoyed.

    Anonymous 10:28 AM  

    Thank you for highlighting the ANO / AÑO discrepancy which has bothered me for a long time

    FLAC 10:36 AM  

    @Nancy: General Hood wrote Scarlett a letter upon the "hero's death" of her husband Charles Hamilton from pneumonia.

    I liked the puzzle, too.

    Pelé 10:55 AM  

    I have a solution to the ano issue. Year in Portuguese is ano. The is no ñ in Portuguese. Clue it that way. Otherwise keep the tilde along with the other diacritical marks. The AVCX policy makes no sense.

    Unknown 10:58 AM  

    @LMS, I think the fancy term is synecdoche (using "butt" to refer to the whole person).

    Like, "Nice set of wheels" for the whole car.

    This puzzle was cray cray. Scarlett getting a letter at Tara? WHy?

    Kimberly 11:06 AM  

    This was horrible. They weren’t “groaner” pins, they were “wtf” puns. Even my pun-obsessed sister wouldn’t reach this hard... even after three glasses of wine.

    SweetCaroline 11:07 AM  

    I used to do the Washington Post xword but don’t bother with it anymore since it is the same puerile pun fest every week. While the NYT has its fair share of poor puzzles, at least, thanks to different constructors every week, there is some variety. Just sayin.

    noreen cleary 11:13 AM  

    Re: bussed your butt @LMS using a part to represent the whole is the figure of speech called synecdoche (sounds Greek), e.g., give me a hand. And using something associated with (not part of) a person, place, or thing is metonymy, e.g., a message from the White House. Always enjoy your comments. Thanks.

    jordan.wright 11:21 AM  

    As a theatre critic, ”ushed” made me want to yell “fire”!

    e.a. 11:22 AM  

    feels like there's gotta be a way to say "this puzzle is not good" without saying "there is a set group of Good Constructors and it does not include you, Today's Constructor"

    Michael 11:23 AM  

    Ñ = "n-yay"

    ~ = "tilde"

    Anonymous 11:27 AM  

    As a theatre critic, “ushed” made me want to yell “Fire!”

    Anonymous 11:29 AM  

    I guess the NYT just can't win. Try to increase the number of female puzzles, and you get this review. Or take Rex's recommendation and let Evan B. phone one in, and have Rex excoriate you for not giving Ruth a chance.

    Nancy 11:29 AM  

    Amusing answer, @FLAC (10:36). Either you Googled...or you have a fantastic memory...or you just read, or re-read, GWTW last week. Thanks for that.

    Never have I seen so much time, thought and energy expended on anything as the tilde. Nor is this the first time this has been a big ISSUE either. Even though some of my good friends on the blog seem to care deeply, deeply, I'm with @Mohair and @Stanley Hudson -- it seems like much ado about nothing in an English language crossword puzzle.

    @Mohair (9:35)-- delightfully funny reply to @JC66 from yesterday

    Suzie Q 11:30 AM  

    Route of all evil cracked me up. I'll find a way to work that into a conversation soon.
    The rest were pretty painful.
    The clue for omerta was clever.
    Grind stone doesn't seem right for the farrier clue.
    A kitten named Keanu? WTF? I'm supposed to know that?
    I could have used more fun on this gloomy Sunday.

    Jeff 11:31 AM  

    WTF is a ONE K? I’ve done hundreds of runs, many of them “fun,” and I’ve never ever seen that distance. Boo!

    Shawn 11:31 AM  

    Given the recent (and tragic) news related to the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I found GARROTE (66A: Rope for strangulation) particularly cringeworthy. Anyone else?

    clk 11:34 AM  

    I am surprised no one has commented on the particularly poor taste of a clue like 66A in a week in which there were two high profile suicides by hanging. I realize that it was just unfortunate timing, but it really made me cringe to have to rack my brain for 7-letter methods of strangulation.

    Banana Diaquiri 11:37 AM  

    requiring foreign diacriticals means, of course, that the cross has it too. that, to my mind, simplifies the solution. I'm not a xenophobe, and the last TeeVee I watched was last night's Bourdain Quebec episode which spent some time on language. Make American Grate Again.

    TubaDon 11:41 AM  

    A couple of the theme answer puns were invinceable, the rest rather winceable. Ashamed to admit that the last letter in was the N in 68D. If you don't feel well after finishing this puzzle, go to today's Google Doodle.

    Blue Stater 11:41 AM  

    Nasty puzzle, full of mistakes, unworthy of a serious crossword-puzzle program -- in short, I am, as usual, with OFL on this.

    jberg 11:47 AM  

    DNF -- apparently everyone else knew that that cord you strangle people with is a GARROTE, but I've always called it a GARROTt. TNS made no sense, but ENS is one of those answers you have to get from crosses and then think about before you understand it -- or at least I have to do that.

    My daughter sat in front of the cox for years in high school and college, but was never one of the OAR(s)MEN. But I guess the clue doesn't imply that it's everyone who sits there.

    The consistency in the AVC rule is that, as has been mentioned, the Spanish n-with-a-tilde is a different letter from n, which affects how things are alphabetized. French letters with accents are just letters with accents.

    That raises an interesting possibility - until about 20years ago, Spanish "ch" and "ll" were also letters, so they should have actually been written in only one square, giving you a natural rebus. I wonder if that was ever done.

    I really wanted my special soldier to be a "grenadier," but it didn't fit.

    Anyway, my grandmother is in there at 114D, so all is forgiven.

    jberg 11:50 AM  

    Oops, I forgot -- can you really steal SCENES in a movie? I mean, they shoot everything over and over, so scene-stealing only works if the director wants it that way, in which case it isn't really theft. Live theatre is a different matter entirely.

    @Loren, love your avatar! Fits right into the pun thing, even if not traffic related.

    Hungry Mother 12:00 PM  

    In my neck of the woods, we sometimes have a “Kiddie K” before a longer race, so I guess ONEK is ok. I used to ride on SEPTA, and found the puzzle to be entertaining. I liked the theme and had fun with it.

    yaffa 12:07 PM  


    jfc 12:15 PM  

    @clk 11:34AM

    GARROTE is a tool used by a skilled assassin to execute his (or her) prey. It has nothing to do with hanging, which is a dishonorable method of death for spies, deserters, cattle thieves, and other cowards. Sad but true.

    retired guy 12:17 PM  

    Given the answer for 82A (BUSSED ***YOUR*** BUTT), the clue should have read "Took public transportation while ***your*** wheels were at the shop?"

    Anonymous 12:18 PM  

    The plural of "oarman" is "oarsmen" not OARMEN.

    Birchbark 12:18 PM  

    Seems to me the problem is not the tilde, but any variant of the no-nonsense quartet known affectionately as "N". Take SPINAL TAP for example. The editors constantly let that one through the door as though they never heard of an umlauted N.

    I struggled to make sense of the 112A emoji, and that's where I finished after sOL (as in sun) --> sOb --> LOL.

    Scott Thomas 12:31 PM  

    Yikes! BUSSED means "kissed"; BUSED would have been the right spelling. Gives a seamy new meaning to BUSSED YOUR BUTT!

    Unknown 12:31 PM  


    Mo-T 12:36 PM  

    I've never commented before, but thought I'd throw out the figure of speech called "synecdoche" (sih-neck-dough-kee) to LMS: a figure in which a part refers to a whole. I think the whole can also refer to a part.

    I'm an old English teacher, and I used to teach this figure when we read Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Recuerdo," (Luckily, no tilde in that title!) the last stanza of which is

    We were very tired, we were very merry,
    We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
    We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
    And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
    And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
    And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

    The "shawl-covered head" = a woman.

    I hope to be back another day.

    JC66 12:37 PM  


    Good one!

    Anonymous 12:42 PM  

    I had the same problem with the misspelling of “bussed/bused”. I wanted to use “busted”, but it didn’t fit with the Down. Then again, neither did “ushed”!

    Devin Nunes 12:48 PM  

    How about São Paulo ?

    Joseph Michael 12:49 PM  

    OK, I like ROUTE OF ALL EVIL and thought CRAMPING MY STILE was pretty good, too. I also like ... uh .., well, there's the ... uh ... hmmm ... yeah ... let's see now ... uh... hmmm ...

    The Bard 12:55 PM  

    Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 3

    Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set
    On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.
    As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine,
    And all combined, save what thou must combine
    By holy marriage. When and where and how
    We met, we wooed and made exchange of vow,
    I’ll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray:
    That thou consent to marry us today.

    Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
    Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
    So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies
    Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes....

    Anonymous 12:58 PM  

    Please! I'm begging! Stop with the "?"s. I figured out why this irritate me. I's condescending. It's like saying, "This one's tricky. There's a word here that might not mean what you first think. Be careful. You might not be smart enough for this one." This "?" use is another example of the dumbing down of the NYT
    puzzles. Just print the damn clue!

    clk 1:09 PM  

    Nonetheless, the clue required one to think of methods of strangulation, which is sadly on point with the recent suicides.

    Anonymous 1:15 PM  

    Will Shortz needs to go. He likes stupid puns too much. I would assume the puzzlemakers are trying to please him, so they come up with stuff like this puzzle. Not hard, just dumb.

    old timer 1:24 PM  

    The tilde question is easily answered. A tilde is necessary in a crossword because a great many people who know no Spanish in general nonetheless know that anos requires a tilde, and they know it means "years", and so are pissed off when the n with a tilde is used in only one direction and not the other.

    Not so for the other diacritics. Few know how they are used in other languages. At most they might see one and deduce that a word is from Danish or Swedish or Norwegian, or maybe Polish. Even French, which many NYT readers studied in years past can be written without accents and the reader, if he knows some French, is not upset by their absence. You or I or anyone would cheerfully write "table d'hote" without its circumflex accent over the o -- and indeed the main use of that accent for a student is to remind him that the o, in older French, was followed by an s. Thus in hote, the student may figure out it used to be hoste, and will guess that the word means "host" in English.

    But "ano" without the tilde looks and feels wrong, and probably every high school Spanish teacher delights in pointing out it means "anus".

    Robert A. Simon 1:32 PM  

    Since I love a good pun, that unfortunately also means I hate bad ones. The second I filled in CHUTEFORTHE STARS, I put down the Sunday Times Magazine (the only thing older-school than I am is Harvard) and stopped before I saw "Superman's overweight girlfriend" become "High Occupancy Lane" or "Outfitted for roadwork" turn out to be "Clothed For Construction," which, now that I Iook at it again, ain't all bad.

    But anyway. Rex is right. The Sunday NYT puzzle is no longer anything to look forward to, which is a real shame. Any week now, I expect the people who construct the puzzles for "TV Guide" or "Highlights For Children" to try their hands at a 21x21 grid and send Ping Pong Boy into ecstasy.

    LHS 888 1:33 PM  

    @Gill I. I just looked up and downloaded the Liz Gorski puzzle you referenced. You may be interested to know it was published a *bit* more than 4 years ago. It appeared in the NYT on Sunday, October 18, 2009! The grid is a thing of beauty, and I’m going to enjoy working on it today. Here’s hoping I can finish without any cheats. ^_^

    Banana Diaquiri 1:44 PM  

    once again, with feeling. for those that don't believe the Sunday entry has declined, or those who've recently come to the NYT puzzle and want a bit more challenge, hie off to your local bookstore and pick up a 90s compilation book. that'll exercise your mussels.

    GILL I. 1:57 PM  

    @LHS 888. Thank You! I'm going to down-load it. I don't mind doing that one again. As I recall, it took me an entire day to do and there was an itty bitty section I couldn't finish but dang, that puzzle was an architectural marvel.....

    Masked and Anonymous 2:04 PM  

    Humor seems to m&e like a good approach for SunPuzs. Wacko, pun-based humor is one way to go. Rush-hour woes are joked about a lot, so that seems like a good theme idea base.
    The next question is how far should we go, slidin down the chute of desperation, to evoke some painful groans from the solvers.

    Definitely primo top-o-the-lane stuff, here:
    * BUSSED YOUR BUTT. [M&A Help Desk dictionary says either BUSED or BUSSED is road-worthy.]
    Kinda bland, but ok place-holders while we wait for the next primo one to drive thru:
    * GIMME A BRAKE. [Actual construction signs in the wild use this pun.]
    Slidin pretty far down the desperation chute onto the "oof" ramp:
    * CHUTE FOR THE STARS. [Like @RP, this is a new use of "chute", in my neck of the woods.]
    * MAKE THE TEEM. [This one was so groan-worthy, it was pretty hard to figure out during the solvequest.]

    As the mighty @muse darlin already discussed, it's kinda hard to come up with themers, as this SunPuz chuted for, that:
    1. Are primo puns.
    2. Are clueable as rush-hour woes.
    3. Are puns of phrases that originally had nuthin at all to do with rush-hour woes.

    Are there other better themers that didn't make the cut here, that fit conditions #1-3? … I wonder …

    staff weeject pick: IOR. Beloved by OR MEN everywhere.

    Thanx, Ms. Margolin darlin.

    Masked & Anonymo10Us

    newspaperguy 2:07 PM  

    The Washington Post's Sunday puzzle is just okay, as is this one. Neither was memorable.

    Eric F 2:42 PM  

    SOHO hasn't been the gallery neighborhood of New York City since 20 years ago, around the time when it was still possible to buy FAX paper.

    Anoa Bob 2:45 PM  

    Jeeeez. I've pointed out the AÑO/ANO difference in these pages a few times over the last several years. My point has always been that ANO can easily be clued as AN O, like a request on Wheel of Fortune or something like that. Then I thought that maybe the year/anus ambiguity was there purposely as a variation of a Uranus joke. So these days I get a bit of a lighthearted, juvenile chuckle out of seeing a puzzle's ANO.

    But with the plural of convenience (POC) ANOS, there is no such ambiguity or word play. I mean, how else could it be clued? Well, maybe -ANOS as a suffix for VOLC-. Nah. Nothing funny there.

    Aketi 3:04 PM  

    @Eric F. So true!
    @Pelé great solution to the endless ano/año debate.

    thefogman 3:23 PM  

    DNF for me. Mostly because I misspelled GARROTE (had GAROTTE). FOOt instead of FORK, tiAmU instead of KEANU and ANTIBA (anti-intellect is "simple" right?) - and now I have a (non) RUSH-HOUR HEADACHE.

    Anonymous 3:30 PM  

    I thought ROUTEOFALLEVIL was pretty good. Only other joy was TATAS. Yes I am a pig.

    Anonymous 3:52 PM  

    Bussed is ok per dictionary but I agree with you.

    Unknown 3:53 PM  

    I agree - what theater worker ever said « I ushed the show »??
    Is Will Shortz too busy elsewhere to attend to puzzle quality?

    QuasiMojo 3:58 PM  

    Pardon the pun, but someone was asleep at the wheel when this wreck was accepted.

    Debra 4:48 PM  

    Better than Evan B's puzzle today.

    Masked and Anonymous 4:49 PM  

    1. {Three-hour road trip from work to home?} = ?*

    2. {One zig-zagging for better position in rush hour traffic?} = ?*

    3. {Lady prone to "relatively" perilous short cuts, to avoid major traffic jams??} = ?*

    Sorry, best I could muster.

    M&AAA Travel Desk


    Mohair Sam 5:19 PM  

    Here's the Rotten Tomatoes summary of KEANU: "Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in this comedy as two friends posing as drug dealers to get back a stolen cat." Insane plot. I watched it at about 2:00 AM with two sons who'd had a few and we laughed our BUTTs off.

    AW 5:20 PM  

    116A Split an Uber? Wouldn't that be PAY YOUR SHARE FARE? As written it just makes no sense. Ditto MAKE THE TEEM. Agree with Rex: clunky, forced, inelegant, and ultimately dumb puns.

    Larry Gilstrap 5:25 PM  

    I thought this was fine Sunday puzzle, started last night and finished after lunch, with lots of life experiences sandwiched in. The themers were also fine with me. But, oh brother!, the discussion about the spelling of foreign words in American puzzles is a dead horse that has been thoroughly beaten. What's next? ERIE, PA. Commas matter too.

    I guess d-Con makes traps, but they are best known for their poison bait. I am constantly at war with rodent invasion and prefer a more direct approach, kill the little bastards with a trap. I'm a pacifist, up to a point. A Norway rat crosses that point. Poisoning rodents is a bad idea for two reasons: they slink off to die in the wall. Big problem! Also, if the rodent is eaten by a carnivore, he also gets dosed. Euthanized mountain lions, typically show levels of poison in their livers, as do many other mammals and birds. Sneaky Russian spies sneak polonium in your teacup. OMERTA justice is more direct.

    Washington is indeed a STATE, but last summer I spent a few days driving all through the not yet official State of Jefferson, the inland area around the Oregon/California border. It soon becomes apparent that we're not in Portland or Santa Monica any more, Toto.

    Unknown 5:44 PM  

    Can someone help me understand the 13D clue/answer? The oven was on. Did I or didn’t [I] ... *what*?? If the oven was on, you left it on. Unless you think an intruder broke in and made cookies? And then took them? What is this mess?

    Aketi 5:54 PM  

    @M&A I have both 2) and 3) in my family.

    @Larry Gilstrap, I feel the same way about DCon and mice. I had to dismantle a tall IKEA bookshelf woth an extender shelf on top to remove a DConned mouse once. My husband has no sense of smell so he was perfectly happy with the DCon approach. He was also perfectly fine with the sticky traps which I think are horrible torture devices. Plain old fashioned mouse traps are still the best,

    Malsdemare 5:59 PM  

    @Gill, LHS, I did the Gorski puzzle on your recommendations, and it IS a marvel. But it was over way too soon, 32 minutes, no cheating. No idea why I knew the artists and their work, or any of the other esoterica. But, wow!! The grid, the clues, the dense theme. Wonderful, especially on this dreary, rainy Sunday.

    Today's puzzle was okay, but no comparison to Gorski's.

    sanfranman59 6:03 PM  

    This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

    (Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

    Mon 3:17 4:30 0.73 1.3% Very Easy
    Tue 6:16 5:26 1.16 79.2% Medium-Challenging
    Wed 5:41 6:39 0.86 24.5% Easy-Medium
    Thu DNF 9:47 ??? ??? Very Challenging
    Fri 11:15 13:03 0.86 31.6% Easy-Medium
    Sat 23:44 15:54 1.49 91.3% Challenging
    Sun 22:16 20:10 1.10 67.9% Medium-Challenging (but really Medium)

    Medium-Challenging NYT Sunday by my final solve time, but I submitted with a silly error and it took me almost three minutes to find it. I think this should really be rated a Medium.

    Boy did I find this puzzle annoying and rather tedious. Most of the themers solicited a groan from me and not the "good pun" kinda groan. More the "I'm sorry I read that", fingers on the chalkboard kinda groan. I prefer not to identify them because that requires reading them again.

    It's hard to imagine a worse 1A/1D in a puzzle than ASAMI/ACCT. And that little QE II/I OR/ANOS/QATARI section up top can bite me.

    Upon quick review, I see only three pop culture answers (okay by me!): KEANU, CHOPRA and LENA. I knew LENA Dunham, but not the others (this is not a criticism of the puzzle, btw). OARMEN just seems wrong. I know what it means and all but (a) I thought the term was OARsMEN and (b) I wonder if it's still in the language these days. It's not on Wikipedia's page of rowing terms where the word of choice seems to be "rower". Nor does OARMEN or oarman appear anywhere on the usrowing.org website whereas OARsMEN and OARsMAN do. EARBOB is something I've not heard in the wild, but again, I know what it is, I guess. I think I've heard of SNEETCHes, but couldn't get it without almost all of the crosses. For some reason, Dr. Seuss books weren't big in my 1960s youth. We definitely watched all the TV specials, but I don't think we had the books.

    I'm glad this one's behind me. Good riddance.

    Lindsay 6:22 PM  

    The 'puns' felt like they were trying to be clever but mostly made me groan. I agree with AW about the Uber answer, which could have been clued differently. And I'm with LMS and others - 'wax' paper makes sense. FAX paper? Nope. Also wanted 'Carry-out' and 'Crimping' my Stile, so I spent WAY too much time trying to figure out how my mistakes could work with the theme. Finally gave up and came here for consolation. Thanks, team Rex.

    Anonymous 7:27 PM  

    Wow, Thames For The P.P.S.

    Andy 9:37 PM  

    Just when you think the NYT Sunday Crossword Puzzle just cannot possibly get any worse, it once again proves you a liar. There are no words.................Rex has said it all.

    LHS 888 9:40 PM  

    I guess I’m one of the few who enjoyed working this puzzle. It took almost an hour to finish. The last letter entered was the N in ENS. I got credit for the successful solve, but I had to come here fit the explanation on that one ‘cause it went right over my head. Or under my feet. Whatever.

    My favorite themer was ROUTEOFALLEVIL. Good one! Favorite non-themer was RABBITHOLE.

    LHS 888 9:53 PM  

    @Maldesmare - I am half as good at crosswords as you. The Liz Gorski took me just over an hour (no cheats - yay!) I agree it was an immensely enjoyable and satisfying solve. Thanks to @Gill I. for remembering and recommending this work of art (pun intended)!

    Anonymous 11:40 PM  

    I live in Vermont, whence a line of bumper stickers and t-shirts have been designed and marketed, reading “Eat More Kale.” Recently our hometown camping-sporting goods shop started displaying a different shirt in their window: “Kale is vastly overrated.”

    Alyce 9:29 AM  

    I thought the same thing! But your comment was hysterical! Thank you!

    Anonymous 10:05 PM  

    Rex Parker gets the GARROTE. What a TWIT.

    John Hoffman 1:41 AM  

    I’m fluent in Spanish I got no problem with anos in crossword puzzles. It’s clear. Or French ete or words like Dvořák.

    Unknown 4:01 PM  

    I don't really understand why Rex has so many objections to various Sunday Crossword puzzles. This is just supposed to be relaxing fun! Why judge? But then, we wouldn't have his blog to get a kick out of......

    Unknown 11:14 PM  

    Fairly easy.

    Anonymous 11:00 PM  

    This was, I believe, the worst Times Sunday puzzle I have done in a long time, and that is REALLY saying something. So many awkward crosses, so many terrible clues, such a bad theme.

    spacecraft 11:58 AM  

    DNBTF. Sorry, but I'm just not gonna waste my morning slogging thru the likes of QEII/IOR, etc. If you can't come up with any better fill than that, you're simply not worth my time.

    Burma Shave 1:40 PM  




    rondo 1:48 PM  

    A SEINER man (like @spacey) woulda put this down. ROUTEOFALLEVIL was the only one worth it. Did get to learn of yeah baby Priyanka CHOPRA, even OFL highlights her. Otherwise, shoulda never gone down this RABBITHOLE.

    AnonymousPVX 3:10 PM  

    Got the solve and the puns made my stomach hurt.

    rainforest 5:55 PM  

    I dunno. In a Sunday puzzle, if you're going for puns, make them wacky. I liked MAKE THE TEEM, and I NEED TO LOSE WAIT. I got the idea with CHUTE FOR THE STARS, which I thought was reasonably risible, and had a good time with the rest of it.

    Oh, you can get your knickers in a knot with ANOS with or without the tilde, or with QE II crossing OR I, but life's too short to get bent out of shape over the occasional weakish fill.

    This might have been easy-ish but as I was solving while toggling between the US OPEN and the World Cup, I took a lot of time on it, but I liked it.

    SharonAK 7:52 PM  

    I enjoyed the puzzle and thought most of the puns were good. Surprised so many did not.
    I did not like " I need to lose wait" because it didn't work well as the answer to the clue.
    It sounded awkward, nothing that would be said in that situation. All the rest worked well. Make the teem was a bit weak. I thought chute for the stars was good. Could not imagine what Rex was raving about.

    @Robin What did you mean asking if anyone " noticed on" the fili/Iolani crossing? Did you mean to say Naticked?

    And what was your complaint about tapas and tapas in the same puzzle.??? I find it rather fun - another kind of word play - when similar sounding words are used. Even if you don't, what were you complaining about?

    Unknown 8:56 PM  

    Did the emoji clue at 112A bother anyone else?

    Diana,LIW 9:22 PM  

    My dnf came via my own mistake of two t's in GARROTE, and not knowing the kitty's name. This is funny, as I am quite the kitty lover.

    However, I enjoyed myself whilst solving. Then I read the review - haven't read too many comments, tho the first few were mostly negative also. Huh.

    CHUTEFORTHESTARS I always say. And I still love puns.

    Hope y'all had a happy dad's day. We did here - wonderful brunch that will keep us full till tomorrow. This Sunday simply zoomed by.

    Diana, LIW

    Anonymous 10:44 PM  

    This was another grind. Very challengi.g for me. Good thing it was Father's Day so I had a pass on busseding my butt with chores. It was definitely not rush-hour all day long. Best part was reading Rex's rant after solving. Hilarious !

    Anonymous 10:49 PM  

    I loved the puns.

    wcutler 2:32 PM  

    @Gretchen Wattula 8:56 PM, the emoji didn't bother me for being in the clue, but I couldn't see the face to tell what the emotion was.

    I loved the comments by @LMS and @M&A. Enjoyed learning synnecdoche again (I'm sure it was in this blog that I was supposed to have learned it before; maybe one more time will get it in my mind).

    I didn't know they did races of only 1K, and wasn't sure kilometers were used for race distances in the US. If people can figure out race distances in kilometers, why not go the rest of the way?

    Phillip Blackerby 11:36 PM  

    Thank you. Yes it is OARsMEN!

    Anonymous 4:22 PM  

    I understand that it takes work to construct these puzzles HOWEVER when I run across a puzzle this bad, after I finish it (I print them out and use a pencil) I circle the constructors name and make a notation to avoid their puzzles in the future, as once I start a puzzle I find it difficult to quit until I have solved it unaided. It just saves me from future aggravation. I also hold the editor responsible for the issues everyone sle as brought up. Truly a puzzle for the anuses.

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