Coin in Potterverse / SUN 9-28-19 / End of oyster season / Lead-in to ville in children's literature / Central region of Roman empire / Banker in Penny Lane never wears one in rain very strange / Voice role for Beyonce in 2019 Lion King

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Constructor: Tom McCoy

Relative difficulty: Medium (10-something on the timer)

THEME: "Now Weight Just a Second" — familiar phrases are made wacky by changing a single two-syllable word from one whose stress ("weight") is on the first syllable to one whose stress is on the "second":

Theme answers:
  • SHIP OF THE DESSERT (22A: Cruise that specializes in baked alaska, e.g.?)
  • NOBEL-MINDED (33A: Like ambitious scientists?)
  • THE MORALE OF THE STORY (49A: How everyone on this floor is feeling?)
  • IT'S NOT ROCKETTE SCIENCE (68A: "Our lab studies regular dance moves rather than high-kicking"?)
  • I CAME I SAW I CONCURRED (86A: Summary of an easy negotiation?)
  • SEMI COLOGNE (105A: What a truck driver puts on before a date?)
  • MAJOR THOREAUFARE (116A: The main food served at Walden Pond?)
Word of the Day: KNUT (94A: Coin in the Potterverse) —
Wizarding money is [...] old-fashioned; whilst Muggle Britain was decimalised in 1971, Magical Britons continued with their system of 17 silverSickles to a gold Galleon, and 29 bronze Knuts to a Sickle. Also, magical currency is all metal coins, and there is no paper money. (wikipedia)
• • •

Didn't care for this much as I was solving, as I had no idea what was going on, and didn't find the puns that funny. As soon as I finished, it dawned on me what the "weight" in the title of the puzzle meant. First themer looks like an add-a-letter theme, and the third themer (which I ran into second) seems to confirm this. But then I got NOBEL but didn't know the second part and didn't know NOBEL was the altered word, so that was no help. So I stumbled to the end never once really being amused by the themers. Then, when I figured it out, I dunno, something about the way not just the stress ("weight") but the vowel sound seemed to change in the second syllable of COLOGNE and MORALE really bugged me. But I was primed to be bugged because the theme just never clicked for me (I can see already from early social media reaction that I won't be alone in this). At least I figured it out eventually, I guess. I think it's very clever, but the solving experience was kind of a dud for me, despite some real winning moments in the fill. I think this is one of those days where the puzzle is probably actually good, but just not for me.

[warning: profanity]

Here's what I quite enjoyed: GADGETRY (16D: Fancy gizmos) and DEATHSTAR (108A: Massive weapon of sci-fi)! I also enjoyed seeing HEARST (100D: Leader in yellow journalism and an inspiration for "Citizen Kane"), whose name is oddly rare given what looks like such a favorable letter combination (hasn't appeared in the NYT in four years). Did you know "yellow journalism" had its origins in the comics pages with the Yellow Kid, the world's first comic strip star, whose iconic color came to stand generally for newspapers' willingness to do anything to sell papers? The Yellow Kid was the star of a strip called "Hogan's Alley," which started in Pulitzer's New York World, but then HEARST bought it for his New York Journal. Pulitzer then responded by running his own Yellow Kid (copyright laws involving comics not being very well defined, apparently). The Kid was thus a central figure in the newspaper sales wars of the late 19th century, and since the comics pages and sensational, muckraking journalism came of age together, the yellow of the Yellow Kid became symbolic of drive to sell papers at any cost, no matter how cheap and tawdry! Extra, extra! Lesson over!

I really really liked COURT / ORDER, which is probably the only time you'll hear me say I liked a [With such and such a clue / See such and such]-type pairing (43D: With 44-Down, judge's mandate / 44D: See 43-Down). Normally I resent having to go hunt down the second (or first) half of some split answer, but here, today, the two halves stand right alongside each other like a couple of pals, each word the same length. There's something very neat and elegant about that. Here's where I struggled: first, GLASSWORK, specifically the -WORK part (30A: Tiffany lambshade, e.g.). Had GLASSW- and wrote in (I think) GLASSWARE, which actually worked with LAHORE (7D: Capital of Punjab), but then SETTO seemed right but wouldn't work, and then I somehow opted for EVENNESS at 8D: State of stability (EVEN KEEL), so there was a lot of writing and unwriting going on there for a bit. Also had no idea about BILL TO; I had SELL TO, then realized I had no idea what that answer could be (29D: Words on an invoice). I also could not get / understand 29A: Quickly go through the seasons, say (BINGE). It's a great clue, though the "the" there is kind of a cheap way to get your misdirection (making you think of winter spring etc. and not TV, where you would only say "the" if it were clear what show you were talking about, and maybe not even then). Anyway, I wanted FLY BY. Like ... Time ... quickly goes through the seasons? Throw in odd ELFIN clue at 14D: Diminutive, and you've got a real mess (in "The Hobbit," elves are far less "diminutive" than hobbits and dwarves, so I don't put smallness and elfinity together). Bottom half of the grid didn't offer any equivalent challenges.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


fkdiver 7:23 AM  

Enjoyed this one a lot. Got hung up a bit by putting ERA in for Phanerozoic instead of EON.

amyyanni 7:26 AM  

Now whenever I hear "it's not rocket science," I think I will remember the Rockette pun. Here's hoping it continues to amuse. Puzzle is great!

Dave L 7:27 AM  

Thanks, Rex. Had all the same errors, and came here for the binge explanation, as I was stuck on winter to spring or salt and pepper.

Joaquin 8:18 AM  

Interesting analysis from Rex, today. He states at the outset that he didn't care much for the puzzle and then spends half of his blog praising it.

I think the "weight" thing is kind of a stretch as the title, but the puzzle itself and the theme answers are terrific.

Renee Arnold 8:37 AM  

I really enjoyed this one and found it relatively easy. Clever theme that was quite helpful to me.

Lewis 8:46 AM  

Oh Tom, I've missed ye after almost a year since your last puzzle. Your puzzles are always clever and put together with such care.

My funniest moment was when I was missing the second letter of 46D and wondered if LEAD EDDIE was a slang I didn't know for a weighted die.

Your funniest moments, IMO, in this puzzle were in your playful cluing: YEAR, FIR, OARS, EEL, IGLOOS, REINDEER, and BINGE. Bravo and thank you for turning the corners of my mouth up.

Please, please, don't be a stranger! Come back soon!

pmdm 8:47 AM  

I have to remind myself that a puzzle is not bad if I am too obtuse to figure out the theme. Were it not for the blogs, I wouldn't have a clue. So thank ou bloggers. To me, my problem was with the puzzle title, not the puzzle itself. Or so I guess.

Sam 8:52 AM  

I thought this puzzle was good. And, probably due to some internal deficiencies not worth examining, I really enjoyed finding the puns. Once I got “veni, vidi, I concurred”, the rest were pretty easy. I didn’t get the theme until you explained it, here. It’s pretty clever, but the phrases are well known enough that you can get them as puns without understanding why these were chosen. I’m sure someone else here can tell us what other answers could have been used within the parameters. I thought the clueing and fill of the top half were generally smarter than what came below. Beyond a certain point, it’s hard to critique a crossword. Is it bad, or was it bad for you, today? Was it too easy, or did it happen to line up with your accumulated set of knowledge? Is it possible to construct a perfect puzzle, or just one that is perfect for some and still hideously frustrating for others? The Natick is sometimes ascribed to things that are just personally frustrating, but it seems like a good source of some critique.
Dear crossword cognoscenti, what are the principles by which one can judge the goodness or badness of a crossword without being deceived by whether or not it was hard or easy for you bc of your particular field of knowledge?

Sam 8:56 AM  

What was interesting about that to you?
That seemed like an attempt at fair critique to me: “I personally didn’t like it, but it is clever and well done.”

mmorgan 9:03 AM  

Nifty fun for me. My favorite was MAJOR THOREAU FARE, which I got first. (And at first, I had MAine THOREAU FARE, which also sounded good but didn't quite seem right.) But I hadn't realized that the wackiness in all the theme answers derived from putting that stress on the second syllable until I got here, and that made me like it even more. And as @Lewis points out, there was some terrific playful cluing. Thanks, Tom!!

N. Hawthorne 9:08 AM  

As any resident of Concord, Massachusetts (about 8 miles north of Natick and the location of Walden Pond), will tell you, ya'll are pronouncing Henry David Thoreau's name incorrectly. As attested to by contemporaries such as Amos Bronson Alcott (Louisa's dad), Edward Waldo Emerson (Ralph's son), and Thoreau's own aunt, the emphasis in on the first syllable. The only people in Concord who pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable are the tourists.

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

didn't like pops up in france until i separated up from pops. something you might say in italy, perhaps.

Anonymous 9:19 AM  

The answer to 61A (SCUBA) doesn't jive with the clue, which is plural ("diver's accouterments"). Webster's defines SCUBA as "a breathing device."

Birchbark 9:22 AM  

At this point, I feel like I know pretty much everything there is to know about the EEL.

THETA ["Angle symmetry] IN REPOSE -- something Wallace Stegner-ish ("Angle of Repose") going on there in the second column. The angle of repose is what a pile naturally settles to. N.b. UPHILL in the same column. @Cardinal (from yesterday 2:01) mentioned the Stegner novel, so there's that as well.

Nancy 9:29 AM  

This provided me with all the fun I could possibly want in a puzzle. It's filled with so many clever and tricky clues that @Lewis has referenced so that I don't have to. And then I just loved how the themer puns were clued, "How everyone on this floor is feeling?" being my favorite. I'm pretty sure that Tom McCoy has done at least one other puzzle that I also raved about, although with my dependably fuzzy memory I can't remember what it is. And I couldn't care less what the title is and whether it makes the theme clear or not. The puzzle itself is just great and enormously entertaining.

Unknown 9:31 AM  

105 Across made the whole thing worthwhile.

GILL I. 9:37 AM  

Well it clicked with me. Huge smile at the first SHIP OF THE DESSERT. A pun on the graceful camel who will spit at you if you try to kiss it. Just leave my baked Alaska alone.
Sundays have been boooooring lately but this, this brought on a simile. Oops. We always know they are going to be pun- fests and this one was clever, clever, clever.
I CAME I SAW I CONCURRED was primo. And to think Tom came up with this on a long car ride. Were you looking out the window? Was it the SEMI COLOGNE that caught your eye?
I know I'm just a COMMONER, but I'm happy having some pun.

tompdavis 9:58 AM  

There was star in an answer and star on a clue.. and eau appeared twice, on its own and in Thoreau. Agree with Rex on the BINGE and GLASSWORK clues.

Carola 10:12 AM  

I agree on "very clever." And I'm glad I was just clever enough to figure out the weight change before I had all of the theme answers: it was CONCURRED that flipped the switch for me, so that I could easily write in the final SEMI COLOGNE - and then go back and admire all of the others. A pleasure of a Sunday outing.

Suzie Q 10:25 AM  

I can't remember the last time I had this much fun with a Sunday. Sometimes they can be such a slog that you just wish it was over. Today I was sorry to be finished because I was really enjoying it and anxious to figure out the next pun. What made this sparkle was the many clever non-theme answers/clues that added to the joy.
I felt that the entire puzzle was a tribute to word lovers. That's us, right?
Thank you Mr. McCoy.

davidm 10:37 AM  

I thought this puzzle was outstanding, though a very easy solve.


The title was pitch perfect, with a nifty double meaning: WAIT just a second — do a I WEIGHT just the second syllable, instead of the first? Of course you must then omit or add a letter, change a letter, etc. — it all works very well, for me,

“A certain rarity” in the note immediately piqued my interest. I would have to assume that this kind of word play is relatively rare, but not absolutely so. A few minutes’ thought yielded several others that seem to fit the bill, or nearly so: GENTLE/GENTEEL, FERTILE/FORETELL, SUBURB/SUPERB, PURPLE/PROPEL, PURPOSE/PROPOSE, ANVIL/AVAIL, VAINER/VENEER, ROTTEN/RATTAN, GUTTER/GUITAR … there must be any number of others.

SouthsideJohnny 10:40 AM  

Anon @ 9:19AM - SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, which is plural.

Agree with Rex that this one landed in slog-territory, not bad, just kind of “meh”. Would love to see the NYT throttle back significantly on the use of made up words like SNAPE and KNUT, and Latin (and most other foreign) phrases which definitely raise the meh-level as well.

puzzlehoarder 10:43 AM  

Another Sunday another dad joke fest. As usual I stuck to the fill and tried to unsee the themes. Aren't there bathroom walls they can put this stuff on?

Escalator 10:52 AM  

Love the answer to 1D.....Passgo. Does anybody play board games these days? I think not so much πŸ˜•

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

OK, so the 'title' and the gimmick counterpose. As written, the title implies 'I before E...' is the substitution. Then the THOREAU implies it's EAU for OUGH. And so on. IOW, useless.

Hungry Mother 11:26 AM  

A one cup of coffee solve on a Sunday is rare for me. A very simple theme that was fun to work with.

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

Apparatus is a plural word?

KNUT was actually a king of portions of England, which which would have been a preferred clue to a reference to trendy fiction.

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

Penny Lane is one of my favorite Beatles song but I never knew what a mac was or thought to look it up until this morning. In case anyone else doesn’t know, it’s a raincoat. Duh.

Anoa Bob 12:03 PM  

Now I'm even more confused. Until a couple of years ago, I thought THOREAU was pronounced with accent on the second syllable, maybe due to its French connection. Then I read from people who would know that the accent is actually on the first syllable and would sound like the more pedestrian "thorough".

And now along comes the authoritative New York Times and tells me, no, it's with the accent on the second syllable. That's the only way it would fit the change-the-accented-syllable theme, right? Otherwise "thoroughfare" and THOREAU FARE sound the same. I'm flummoxed.

Ethan Taliesin 12:07 PM  

I liked the theme OK especially the THOREAU FARE one, but too much garbage fill like:



Enough! Basta!

I'd prefer interesting fill and flimsy theme, to B+ dad-joke puns and lots of crap fill. That's too much to ask for a Sunday, I guess.

TJS 12:10 PM  

Loved it, and I am not a fan of pun puzzles, but the cluing and fill had so much ingenuity and humor that this was one of the best Sundays in my memory.
Question for the veterans here : Is there a way to search the archive by puzzle creater name.Would love to try some more from Mr. McCoy.

CDilly52 12:21 PM  

@Sam, 8:52. I completely agree. The top half took me twice as long as the bottom and I thought the misdirect clues were stellar. I enjoyed and give praise to this puzzle for exactly the same “problems” of which OFL complains. So, one person’s porridge, eh? You and @Lewis have said all i would say.

Crimson Devil 12:22 PM  

VERY enjoyable Sunday puz.
Great cluing, especially for MORALE, CONCURRED, MAJOR, PERE, COURT ORDER, PASS GO, and extra especially for REINDEER !
Best Sunday in memory.

Maddiegail 12:27 PM  

Slogged through the first third and then it started to make sense ... Except for "BINGE". Finished but fell asleep still trying to " get it". The huge AHA when it emerged this morning was worth a million! Thanks!!!

pabloinnh 12:42 PM  

Por fin, a Sundazo. This was just tons of fun, with a very high aha! quotient ,which is what a great puzzle should be.

Also, people who don't like puns, should.

Thanks, TMcC. Hope you're working on another one right now.

jberg 12:45 PM  

Once I got the theme, it was fun trying to guess the remaining examples. Otherwise I found it a bit of a slog, in part because there were those dead-end corners. Pretty goof for a Sunday, though.

I read the note and wondered if the constructor was driving while he worked; probably not, or he’d never have finished.

Joe Dipinto 12:48 PM  

Too much inconsistency with the theme answers. At least LOAD EDDIE was amusing – I was imagining it as line from a horror movie where people get killed off by being dumped in a washing machine.

Not a real fun Sunday puzzle. Even "Penny Lane", a song that invariably puts me in a good mood, didn't help.

jberg 12:59 PM  


I'm hoping someone (@Loren, if you're lurking about?) can tell us if linguistics has a name for this rare phenomenon -- something like "epigonic stress" or "the quick switch" or "Saussure's phenomenon." If not, please get them to make one up!

As for the Walden Pond guy -- people in Concord tend to get a little hung up on living in Concord, so they create these little markers, like how one pronounces Thoreau. For the answer to work in a puzzle solved all over the country, it has to be based on the standard contemporary pronunciation, not the way it was pronounced a century and a half ago. Probably what happened is that as more people learned a little French, they got snobby about it and started to pronounce words and names with a French origin as if we were actually speaking that language, which we're not. Then the Concord folks decided to get even more snobby by putting their historical accuracy on display. All very interesting, but unless the clue suggests otherwise, I think the puzzle has to go with the standard contemporary usage.

Man, that was long-winded! I'd better quit.

OffTheGrid 1:08 PM  

MAC is short for mackintosh, mostly a British term.

MaryMCC 1:13 PM  

Got the theme from misspelling of “wait” in the title, and never noticed (or needed) the shifted syllable. Now that took some clever thinking!
Don’t understand Joe Dipinto’s problem of “inconsistency with the theme answers.” Do you mean that themer shifts occur at beginning or middle or end of the phrase? I got no problem with that.

JC66 1:26 PM  


I hope you haven't forgotten that you owe me $50.

RooMonster 1:26 PM  

Hey All !
Had to look up SHIP OF THE DESERT, as I hadn't heard that before. It means a camel, for those of you wondering.

Liked the themers. ROCKETTE SCIENCE the funniest. I CONCURRED and THOREAU FARE really fun also.

Little E fest in NE-ish, EVENKEEL-EEK-EEL-KEEP.Alao noticed, as @Ethan Taliesin 12:07 pointed out, SET TO-SEE TO-SEEMS TO-BILL TO.

Tough going today, but only because my printer is low on ink. I try to squeeze every ounce of ink out of the cartridges before I change them, but the downside is clues that don't get printed on the bottom of the paper. Did finish puz, so it rates as easy-ish, for a SunPuz. However, one-letter DNF, as I couldn't see the 91D clue, and went with EASEsUP.

Some nice clues, as others have pointed out. Surprised KNUT isn't an actual nut, like a TNUT. I'm sure there's a KSTAR, however. :-)


Joseph M 1:31 PM  

First rate puzzle. One of the best Sundays in recent memory. Thank you, Tom, for your tricky clues and zany sense of humor.

Birchbark 1:48 PM  

@JBerg (12:59) -- What bothers me is the smug way people from Concord say "thoroughfare," with the accent on the second syllable.

Ed Rorie 2:25 PM  

SCUBA means self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, so the plural is OK.

Glassware is for drinking, glasswork is for arts and crafts, so that’s OK too.

Before Tolkien came along, elves in folklore were smaller than people.

Frantic Sloth 2:29 PM  

You are most definitely not alone. I didn’t get the theme at all and completely spaced on how BINGE worked until I came here. Thank you for saving me from a day of stewing over this one.

Joe Dipinto 2:48 PM  

@Mary MCC - to quote Rex:
"Something about the way not just the stress ("weight") but the vowel sound seemed to change in the second syllable of COLOGNE and MORALE really bugged me." That. It's not just shifting the stress, you had to change the sound too. Sometimes.

And changing the spelling of WAIT to WEIGHT in the title in no way illuminates what's happening. It actually confuses the matter.

Anonymous 2:53 PM  

even in the western part of the state, which those inside 128 consider just a source of tax monies, pronounce it THOR-ooh. FWIW, The Dictionary is made in Spfld. so what we say is right; is right.

Anonymous 3:38 PM  

@Ed Rorie 2:25: From Rachel Neumeier, an author at Penguin Random House: "Apparatus is singular. The plural is apparatuses, but that sounds silly, so in general people say, 'These three pieces of apparatus are expensive'. That lets the word be treated as uncountable, more or less, and is mostly accepted for most purposes."

Furthermore, SCUBA is never used alone. A "diver's accoutrements" are SCUBA tanks or SCUBA gear, not SCUBA. It's a bad clue and should have been edited.

Alex 4:18 PM  

I'm pretty sure ELFIN is a specific dictionary word referring to tiny, dainty, etc. I would use elfen or elvish for fantasy elves of Tolkien's ilk.

Solverinserbia 5:32 PM  

Went golden having to hunt down only one mistake. Had SIs for SIb giving me TRIsAL. TRIBAL was right. I don't get it but at least I know it's a word. That's 19 goldens for me. Solve tomorrow (and I think I have 18 Mondays in a row and I break my record of 19 in a month.

sixtyni yogini 5:42 PM  

Good one! 😎 Very easy 🧩 . (Can’t figure out why Rex ratings are often somewhat opposite from YT. )

bstuber 5:54 PM  

75+ person is a speeder? Seems like a pretty crummy clue as was the clue for reindeer( reindeer do not deliver packages in a literal sense they propel the sleigh).

Nancy 6:04 PM  

JC66 (1:26) -- Ha ha, I think...

N Hawthorne 6:21 PM  

@JBerg (12:59) I get your point, but:

-don't you think the "Walden Pond guy" has a right to have his name pronounced the way HE wants to have it pronounced?

-the idea that Concord residents are snobbish about pronunciation and create "markers" is balderdash! Before Thoreau was adopted and co-opted by the counterculture in the 1960s and the the Parks Department in the 1970's, we never even heard of Walden Pond - it was always Lake Walden, where we fished in the spring, swam in the summer, and skated in the winter. Yet we still pronounced Thoreau with the emphasis on the first syllable. I suspect the second syllable emphasis came with this renewal of interest in him during 1960's. Ths correct pronunciation was not a reaction or a "marker," however - it preceded all of that. It always was and always will be.

-finally, you Dot denizens (residents of the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, for those who don't know where Natick is) are quick to slander people from Concord, Weston, Wayland, Lincoln, etc, as snobs, even going so far as to engage in the ethnic slur: "two-toilet Irish." I assure you, we are not snobs. And as for the two toilets, nothing could be further from the truth; my Irish Catholic family had three.

So there!

I'd invite to to a beer at Doyles in JP to hash this out, but it's closing!!! :(

Anonymous 6:50 PM  

Jack McCoy:
Lace curtain Irish move the dishes before they piss in the kitchen sink.

just had a spat with the wife over the significance of Scots-Irish violence. see James Webb, "Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America"

Unknown 7:02 PM  

You came. You saw. You Concord

Thorough, Thoreau, Throw up 7:11 PM  

@Jberg and N.Hawthorne! Break it up guys! First, I think most people west of Concord do not think the peeps that stress the first syllable are snobby, staid or whatever, they just say things differently and possibly for good reason. Second, N. Hawthorne I do think most people in the country today (even smart ones) stress the second syllable. Good grief.

Wick 7:19 PM  

Wish they had clued "LOAD EDDIE" INSTEAD OF "LOADED DIE".

Ethan Taliesin 8:25 PM  

Elves are little, period.

Tolkein's pseudo-elves (as I like to call them) nothing more than fanciful and woefully inaccurate representations of REAL elves, which do not exist.

Anonymous 9:22 PM  

Please explain clearly what the “weight” refers to.

JC66 9:40 PM  


Of course, I was only joking.

amyyanni 10:34 PM  

Spot on observation. The ladies at the Thoreau Site taught me that exact pronounciation whenever I visited. Which was often, being a geeky literary nerd living nearby (in Maynard).

amyyanni 10:40 PM  

Note on pronouncing the name Thoreau: in determining the way in which to pronounce his name, it seems best to bow to the authority of those who knew Thoreau well. Edward Emerson, the son of Ralph Waldo Emerson, is very clear. In a letter to Dr. Loring Holrdmes Dodd, October 11, 1918, he wrote: “We always called my friend ThΓ³-row, the h sounded, and accent on the first syllable.” [The Goddard Biblio Log, Spring 1973, p. 7]

Ellen S 1:40 AM  

@amyyanni - any advice how dr. Dodd pronounced his middle name? Just curious, in case he comes up again.

ncmathsadist 8:10 AM  

Very easy solve. Record fast time.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  


Anonymous 1:51 PM  

SIMPLY THE BEST SUNDAY PUZZLE in months. . . Only an A-hole (name omitted - after all, it is HIS website) would not find it THOREAUly enjoyable.

kitshef 7:30 PM  

A typical, easy, snoozer Sunday.

Wanderlust 8:22 AM  

So how was it pronounced? Like “thorough”?

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

I got the puzzle with no trouble but am still trying to understand what rare feature of the English language is being demonstrated. Surely it's not unusual that words that are spelled differently are pronounced differently.

Army42 4:51 PM  

I know I will never get a reply to this, but why is IGLOO the answer to SOME BRICK HOUSES? There are no bricks in an igloo.....BLOCK fits the bill better than BRICK. A BLOCK of snow, not a BRICK of snow. Imho.

spacecraft 10:29 AM  

I get the theme, but boy, what convoluted wacky clues were needed! The whole thing SEEMSTO be awfully awkward, like a FEW of the partials in the fill. I'd never call this a "smooth" grid. It was an OK solve, I guess, just not my thing. JLO makes a smashing DOD, though.

I had to LOL reading the Sunday funnies today; Mother Goose and Grimm, who states he finished the Sunday crossword in 3 1/2 seconds. So THAT's what OFC means! AHA! Now I understand!! Par.

Burma Shave 3:02 PM  


ISAY you WON'T be blinded
by HER dance RITUAL reliance,
'cuz you're NOBELMINDED,


Diana, LIW 4:36 PM  

I'm back! Spent a week in my old stomping grounds at my 50th !!! high school reunion, and then an early snowstorm knocked out our power. The power came back in a day, but Comcast was a tad slower. Now...all seems well.

The CAJUN/RAJA cross got me, but otherwise, a perfect Sunday for me. I was worried, because my first "guessed" answer was obviously wrong from the crosses, and I wondered how far I'd get. But all was well. 'Cept for the CAJUN. I love wordplay!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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