One-named singer with the 2016 hit "Crush" / SUN 6-26-22 / City that neighbors Ann Arbor for short / Cry from a boxing coach / Partition between nostrils / South Asian crepes / Tribe whose flag features a circle of tepees on a red background

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Constructor: Matthew Stock and Finn Vigeland

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Bonus Features" — add a letter to famous titles to get wacky movie titles (clued "?"-style); the added letters, read from top to bottom, spell out "OUTTAKES" ... which are "Bonus Features" one might find on a Blu-ray or DVD ... also, I guess if you "take" the added letters "out" then, by definition, you get the actual movie title:

Theme answers:
  • "THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBOS" (19A: What you'll hear after-hours at a sports car sales lot?)
  • "BEVERLY HILLS COUP" (28A: Rodeo Drive uprising?)
  • "PANTS LABYRINTH" (36A: Twisted jeans legs?)
  • "THIGH FIDELITY" (61A: Staunch dedication to one's upper leg exercise routine?)
  • "JURASSIC PARKA" (69A: Winter wear for a stegosaurus?)
  • "BRIDGE OF SPIKES" (94A: Tire-puncturing way across a river?)
  • "THIS IS SPINAL TAPE" (1102A: Introduction to a chiropractor's makeshift toolkit?)
  • "THE BLAIR SWITCH PROJECT" (116A: Campaign to convince British P.M. Tony to change parties?)
Word of the Day: YUNA (30D: One-named singer with the 2016 hit "Crush") —
Yunalis binti Mat Zara'ai (Jawi: يوناليس بنت مد ظراعي; born 14 November 1986), known professionally as Yuna, is a Malaysian singer. Her initial exposure came through the viral success of her music uploaded to Myspace, which received over one million plays. This online success alerted an indie-pop label/management company to her music, and in early 2011 she signed with the Fader Label. She is best known for her collaboration with Usher on her breakout single "Crush", which peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Adult R&B chart. [...] The 2012 single "Live Your Life", produced by Pharrell Williams, was a preamble to her self-titled full-length debut, which arrived that April. That summer, Yuna appeared at Lollapalooza. In 2013, Yuna returned with the album Nocturnal, featuring the single "Falling". In February 2016, Yuna previewed her third album with the release of "Places to Go", a single produced by hip-hop artist DJ Premier. The full album, Chapters, was released three months later. // In December 2016, Chapters broke into the Top 10 of the Billboard Best R&B Albums of 2016: Critic's Pick; Chapters ranked at number 7. Yuna received an award for the Most Successful Malaysian Singer from the Malaysian Book Of Records. Chapters was also nominated in the Top 20 Best R&B Albums of 2016 by Rolling Stone magazine. Yuna performed as a special guest at the 2016 Soul Train Music Awards. // In May 2017, Yuna became the first singer from Asia to be nominated for a BET Award; Yuna received a nomination for the BET Centric Award for "Crush", her duet single with Usher. (wikipedia)
• • •

Exceedingly easy without enough genuine hilarity to make up for the lack of challenge. I kinda smiled at PANTS LABYRINTH and THE BLAIR SWITCH PROJECT, but otherwise the wackiness was pretty tepid, and there weren't enough non-thematic points of interest to make the puzzle feel like a truly satisfying Sunday. I was also slightly hung up on the fact that the added letters spelled OUTTAKES but I was being asked to put them *in* to the grid, which made them more ... inputs ... but whatever, once you stop and look back, you can make a case that OUTTAKES is just fine as a bonus (meta) answer. It was clear almost instantly what the gimmick was, and after two or three themers, and since the premise was so simple (just ... add a letter), I knew the letters would spell something, and that something was completely obvious after just a couple letters, so ... it felt like it was all over but the shouting after just a few minutes. "The shouting" being "dutifully filling in the rest of the ginormous Sunday grid." Lots of black squares, super choppy, not a lot of longer interesting non-theme fill in this thing ... and what I'm seeing, on going over the grid now, isn't a lot to get excited by. GOLFTAN is probably the most original answer in here (95D: Shade that one might find on the links?), but that's balanced by the dull / odd STEERER, and then the rest of the long stuff is very unsizzly. Stuff like SO MUCH SO and EASE INTO. There really aren't many answers over 6 letters long in this puzzle at all. As for difficulty ... nope, none really. Didn't know YUNA, but, you know, crosses did their thing (30D: One-named singer with the 2016 hit "Crush"). Not sure where else you could possibly get bogged down in this thing. If you don't pay attention to famous movie titles, I can see this being semi-baffling, but if you're even passingly interested in movies, then this was a cinch. The least familiar movie to me was "Bridge of Spies," which came and went and missed me. I wanted "Bridge of Sighs," probably because the movie title is a deliberate pun on said bridge. But even that one I kinda knew, and the "K" I could figure out because the OUTTAKES gimmick was transparent. I do love movies and did not mind being reminded of some of these, but as far as the puzzleness of it all goes, I would've loved something a bit more fearsome and a lot less ho-hum than this.

My path through the grid was a bit odd. I normally chew up the NW and then move on, but I also normally solve short stuff and then use it to get the longer stuff. So today I basically shied away from those long Downs in the NW and followed the short stuff east. The first two themers fell in virtually no time, and the added "O" and "U" basically told me where we were headed:

No idea about U OF A (is that Alabama? ... LOL, no, it's Arkansas—nope, never in a million years would've guessed that U OF A stood for that particular "A" state; I know for a fact that UOFA has been clued specifically in reference to University of Arizona before, so, yeah, confusing) (26A: Fayetteville school, informally). I see "Fayette-" and think Louisiana ("Lafayette") and then, well, that's it. I'm out of "Fayette-" based place names. But again, as with YUNA, this answer added no real resistance to the solve. I had no idea SIMP had some special "modern" meaning. This clue sounds like a pretty regular, normal-ass meaning of SIMP (54D: One offering intense but unrequited affection, in modern usage). EAT ME and IT'S ME have me seeing double ME. Thankfully, SEE ME is not also in the grid (it's not, is it? ... no). Speaking of ME ... a word about backwards "ME," i.e. "'EM," i.e. "HIT 'EM" (23A: Cry from a boxing coach) ... What kind of preposterous answer is this. You're a "boxing coach" and your advice is "HIT 'EM"? It's boxing! That's what you do. What kind of coaching is that? And 'EM? How many people is your guy fighting? I have no idea how this five-letter inanity found its way into wordlists, but unless the clue is a partial and the clue is ["___ where it hurts!"] or (for a baseball angle) ["___ where they ain't"], maybe ditch HIT 'EM entirely. Or at least don't insult boxing coaches like this.

It's time once again for the


I got a few letters this week, but today I'm going with the following one because it echoes something I've been saying for a while now—something that's also relevant to today's extremely easy crossword:
Hello sir!

I'm fairly new to your column, so maybe you've explored this, but the NYT games subscription offers access going back to 93. I've worked my way back to 2006 (skipping M-W and Sunday). 

I get that some material would have been easier solving 16 years ago when events were current; discounting that, the puzzles seem to have a much higher degree of potential difficulty.

For example, I can fill 9/10 Saturdays now in 20 minutes or so, and the one I don't complete I get very close. But a puzzle from, say, 5/20/06, seems more difficult than any Saturday for the past year. There are easier ones from that time, too, but when they're tough, hoo boy.

What do you make of this? Philosophical shift at some point? The Dumbing Down? Maybe I could have solved them all then but I've been intellectually downgraded since. [...]


It's true that evaluating the difficulty of past puzzles can be difficult because so much depends on context. That is, puzzles that are made in, say, 1997, are made to be *solved* in 1997. They have (if you're lucky) a 1997 viewpoint and assume a 1997 solver, someone who is breathing in 1997 air and culture etc. A 1997 constructor is going to assume things are common knowledge (about current events, about the 20th century in general) that a 2022 solver might have either no knowledge of or (in my case) no memory of. You know things, and then time passes and some of those things fall out of your head to make room for other things. So going back in time can make the puzzles feel more difficult than they were. Possibly. But as someone who has been solving for over three decades and solving, uh, let's say, "professionally" for fully half that time, I can definitely feel the NYTXW's slow but inexorable move away from truly difficult puzzles. Have I just gotten better as a solver? Eh, probably not. I was probably at my fastest a full decade ago. But even if I am a more experienced solver, and maybe I know more ... things, now, my sense is that the NYTXW used to have no problem throwing absolute backbreakers at you every once in a while, and now, that almost never happens. It's been a Long time since I felt like I had to work because the puzzle was genuinely hard (as opposed to just out of my wheelhouse a little). I can still remember (with a trauma-induced wince) the 2007 puzzle that taught me the word OCHLOCRACY. I think there was some as-yet-unknown-to-me antelope in that puzzle too (haha, no, it was a "mountain sheep," LOL: ARGALI, wtf!?). Couldn't finish it. Brutal. I literally rated it "Infernal." Man, I miss Bob Klahn. Anyway, I don't necessarily want more of that, but I would like more difficulty than I've been getting. But ... there's probably just more $$$ in keeping a burgeoning app-based solving population happy, and you can't maintain that massive subscriber base if you're absolutely baffling them half the time. Not everyone enjoys being shredded by the puzzle. Most people probably just want something they can do easily in 15. In and out. Nuggets! The Mini! Wordle! So no, Mat, I don't think you're wrong in your general assessment that hard puzzles used to be harder than they are today. They were also for a somewhat smaller group of people back then, and I'm not sure that was exactly ideal. So ... I dunno, things change, you adapt. You want hard, there are places you can get it. Speaking of which (segue!) ... 

Please do yourself a favor and, if you're not already a subscriber to the American Values Club Crossword (AVCX), go and pick up Francis Heaney's latest barnburner of a puzzle—a rainbow-colored variety cryptic in honor of Pride Month, entitled "LGBTQIA+". Then set aside a few hours and maybe get together with some friends and pray to your gods for help because hoo boy, it is an extremely complicated, multi-layered, legitimately arduous adventure. But the reward! The thrill of having fought your way to the end of such a challenging quest! I just don't experience puzzling satisfaction of that kind that very often any more. If you've never solved cryptics, then find someone who does and give the puzzle to them. Maybe they'll teach you. They will definitely thank you. And with that, thank you. And good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. almost forgot, shout-out to YPSI! (That's YPSIlanti, MI, for those of you who didn't happen to attend UOFM or (if you went to school in YPSI proper) EMU!) (27A: City that neighbors Ann Arbor, for short)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:12 AM  

It seems to me that the Sunday puzzles of the past several weeks have been cut above (or more accurately for today - a CUT! above). This one was no exception. Fun to solve, medium challenging, and the hidden "bonus" - all made for a good time.

Like @Rex's, YMMV.

egsforbreakfast 12:37 AM  

Easy as the themers were, the pun-relisher in me enjoyed several of them, particularly THISISSPINALTAPE, clued as “Introduction to a chiropractor’s makeshift toolkit.” It just conjures an amusing MD-splaining image for me.

I loved that 69D (Wrangler maker) was trying so hard to misdirect you to “LEES” only to have 124A (Wranglers alternative) give you LEES legitimately.

Perhaps the puzzle has a mini theme updating the venerable Veni, Vidi, Vici. Now, a conqueror might well invoke 104D, 42A, 71D (IDEAL, ISLAM, IAMB).

Very easy but also fun Sunday puzzle. Thanks, Matthew Stock and Finn Vigeland.

Zed 1:03 AM  


It's not very far from sulfur to sugarcane (and Elvis is right about YPSI).

SEPTA? Who knew our nasal partitions were also mass transit?

Eschew breasts would have been better for THIGH FIDELITY.

I'm never overly fond of a Pop Culture based theme. And, as usual, if you're going to pun go big groaners or go home.

Roberto 1:46 AM  

French menu word a la is two words. Careless edit..

SharonAK 2:12 AM  

I didn't find it so easy. I did enjoy most of the themers. Especially the first two. Actually the second one "Beverly Hills coup" was where I caught on. Then I went back to finish 19a. I liked "Jurassic parka" and "thigh fidelity", but not the spinal one. And I don't get "pants labyrinth". I finally figured out that Pan's labyrinth must be a thing but neither reading mythology long ago nor reading, and reading, the Percy Jackson series recently put that in my mind.

I learned something: that chefs massage kale. Think I'll forget it now.

Interesting that Audi was the first car maker to conduct crash tests. Don't think I heard of Audi until 1960 or later.

Joe Dipinto 2:23 AM  

As a matter of taste, to be exact,
He's my ideal, as a matter of fact

This felt like such a slog, I put it down three times thinking I wouldn't bother going back to it. Eventually I finished, but geez.

I don't think ""coup" and "uprising" mean the same thing, and Merriam-Webster doesn't seem to think so either:

Choose the Right Synonym for uprising —
REBELLION, REVOLUTION, UPRISING, REVOLT, INSURRECTION, MUTINY mean an outbreak against authority...UPRISING implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion.

whereas COUP or COUP d'ETAT is defined as:

A sudden decisive exercise of force in politics, especially: the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group

I.e. a coup is by definition a successful action that happens quickly; an uprising may not be as precisely plotted and may not achieve results. "Rodeo Drive takeover?" would have been better. But of course we know the Times's Games Dept. doesn't care to be exact about such details.

Funny that Rex printed that letter today — I just commented last night about how unchallenging the weekend puzzles have become. I really used to look forward to doing them. I can't say that's true anymore.

Ken Freeland 2:43 AM  

I was able to finally finish this puzzle, so I won't knock it too hard, but the chunk of PPP crosses of PANTSLABYRINTH almost destroyed my hope that it could be completed. Finally I could see the possibility of the word "LABYRINTH" from the few letters I had, and then looked at the result. I had never heard of the movie (or about half of the others) so that end was lost on me, and even having the correct answer staring at me, a "pants labyrinth" is not something I am able to wrap my mind around.

The cluing for the fill seemed overly coy, which made it hard to get real traction. Still, there was some real wit in it, so again, coulda' been a lot worse... I say the Sunday puzzle is four for four.

Anonymous 3:15 AM  

Bridge of Spies is worth watching, Rex.

jae 4:31 AM  

Easy-medium. Pretty pleasant Sunday, liked it.

RE: Puzzles of the past. I’ve been working my way through the Friday/Saturday puzzles from 1993 to 2006 which is when I started doing the NYT daily. While I haven’t been meticulously keeping score, my take on the difficulty level is that there was a higher percentage of difficult puzzles then than there are now, id est, there were easy late week puzzle during that period but they were the exception not the rule...or, to put it another way, fewer Robyn Weintraub’s and more (@ Rex) Bob Klahn’s and Manny Nosowsky’s.

jae 4:39 AM  

....and if you are craving a tough puzzle try Tim Croce’s Club 72 website. Definitely harder than Newsday’s Saturday Stumper.

Kate 4:40 AM  

I think GITEM is using a singular they, since boxers don't need to be a specific gender. It is pride month, after all.

Lewis 6:44 AM  

This was a treat, one of those puzzles where I felt like I was in good hands from start to finish, where it felt like those who made the puzzle knew exactly what they were doing, where their purpose was to give solvers a good time – not to impress or provide a strain-fest – and where it just felt like serendipity smiled on the whole venture.

Eight theme answers, including two spanners – highly theme dense – and yet it felt like this was laid out with a light touch, like things were just flowing for the constructors, and, to me, it played out the same. No lines in my forehead, a lilting smile in my heart that not only stayed, but grew throughout. Silly fun that landed just right. Magic and memorable. That’s what happens when two pros click. Please, Matthew and Finn, collaborate more; I’m guessing Crosslandia will rejoice.

This puzzle deserved its photo album corners; I’d love to give it a re-look from time to time and have its pleasurable vibe wash over me again and buoy my day, as it did today. Thank you, gentlemen, you nailed it this time!

Smith 7:06 AM  

@Joe 2:23

...and for that reason I had CroP for far too long. Crop, rising up from the ground...

Smith 7:11 AM  

FWIW, Bridge of Spies is not (or not *just*) a play on Bridge of Sighs. Here in Berlin the Glienicker Brücke between Berlin and Potsdam is called The Bridge of Spies because that's where many exchanges were made.

Also, the movie is great, especially if you are a Mark Rylance fan.

Colin 7:49 AM  

Pleasant solve, agree the theme was straightforward. PANTSLABYRINTH and its crosses (and nearby answers) held me up, such as LUNA, MONAE, BEL, TREF, and HOLI.

I see @Zed is from the Philly area, where I also grew up. On the rare occasion I take the AMTRAK to visit my dad, I'll ride the SEPTA out to where he lives, past Paoli.

JD 7:52 AM  

The start of this was a struggle. Completed it almost entirely from the south up after a couple of passes that resulted in Jurassic Parka. The plural of Septum wasn’t a pretty opening shot for a puzzle that actually ended up being full of fun words and a few laughs. High Fidelity and This is Spinal Tap are two of my favorite movies.

Re. Hit ‘Em, from a quick Google search:

“In combat sports, a cornerman, or second, is a coach or trainer assisting a fighter during a bout. The cornerman is forbidden to instruct and must remain outside the combat area during the round. In the break, they are permitted to enter the ring and minister to their fighter.”

And were a ringside coaching permitted to yell instructions, if you have to yell “Hit ‘Em,” your fighter’s in pretty bad shape. It’s kinda the point of the thing. Dear old dad coached boxing at the local Boys Club in the 60s and he taught me. I know how to keep my head down and lead with my left.

Wonder what the fifth most common name is in Korea? The only thing I learned in Lamaze class was to be sure to ask for the epidural. They showed a very informative film at the last session and I sensed that I wasn’t the type of person who would get by with good breathing. Many do.

@Zed, Your Thigh Fidelity clue 🤣. You had me at Eschew.

Fun Sunday. Liked it.

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

"Ala" is not a French menu word, it's two French menu words.

andrew 8:02 AM  

Ugh. What is TREF? HOLI? Never heard of MONAE or YUNA or BRIDGEOFSPIES. Barely heard of PANSLABYRINTH - certainly didn’t come to mind, and the PANTS payoff and clue, not fun. And LAMBOS? Even knowing the movie +1 letter answer, didn’t sound right.

I know it doesn’t work with the theme, but SILENCEOFTHELAMBEAU (Crowd reaction when Packers lose?) seems funnier. Just Add Water (in French) and Subtract an S could be the catchy title of THAT puzzle.

Speaking of EAU, A LA - as pointed out above - is not one word, which threw me. But I was thrown by a lot and not blown away by anything. Would have had more fun with a harder 1997 Sunday…

Nancy 8:21 AM  

I didn't hang around nearly long enough to discover whether the "bonus features" would be clever enough to compensate me for all the dreary teensy tiny pieces of random info I didn't know and don't ever want to know.

Just as it's impossible for me to imagine why some people want to walk on a high wire or over a bed of sharp nails, it's impossible for me to understand how anyone finds pleasure in these sorts of obscure fact-driven crosswords. Obviously some people do, though, or the Times wouldn't keep publishing them.

Joe Dipinto 8:32 AM  

@Smith 7:06 – and I entertained COÖP for awhile, like an expensive high-rise apartment...

SouthsideJohnny 8:37 AM  

I was able to establish toeholds all around the grid, but could never seem to get much momentum going. It didn’t help that I found the theme entries to be extremely underwhelming - finally parsed to together the “Silence of” and knew the gimmick would involve Lamborghini, but was disappointed to see LAMBOS was the best they could come up with.

Lots and lots of real crud gunking up the grid today as well - probably because the theme takes up a ton of space and puts a lot of constraints on the grid fill-wise, so you end up with stuff like GRU, TAT, OOH, YPSI, LTE, IRR, OAST, HOLI, TREF . . .

Congrats and props to all those who read the Hop-o'-My-Thumb clue and confidently dropped in OGRE. Unfortunately I was not among you, as I had never heard of the story before.

Anonymous 8:39 AM  


Mr. Grumpypants 8:46 AM  

Put me in the did not like category for all the reasons expressed by previous commenters as of 8:21 AM.

Zed 8:58 AM  

@Colin - Yep, I’m definitely from out past Paoli. 700 miles out past Paoli. I can’t tell if you’re making a joke that’s a wee bit too sly for me, or if “past Paoli” is slang for the boonies, or if you didn’t do Friday’s puzzle.

@SharonAK - the base phrases are all movie titles. PANS LABYRINTH. I can understand having missed that one.

Everyone should definitely know Janelle MONÁE.

@andrew - TREF and HOLI aren’t high crosswordese, but they are on their way to that stature. Some familiarity with world religions and their crossword friendly terms is de rigueur.

Hand up for not being able to justify “word” in the A LÀ clue. For COUP, nothing actually in the clue negates the answer. Still, I wanted COoP or COöP before I got COUP.

thfenn 8:58 AM  

This was pretty far from easy for me. Count me impressed. How do you come up with an idea like this? "Let's do movies and spell a word related to movies by adding a letter to each title"? Or "hey, let's spell OUTTAKES"? I didn't know the added letters spelled anything until coming here, and didn't zip through the crosses needed for titles I didn't know (PANSLABYRINTH) so 'easy' was out of the question.

Then I made things harder all by myself, going with SoP for the April Fools victim and then immediately concluding Umoo could be an informal reference to UOFA and thinking "weird, razorbacks don't moo".

@egs, also enjoyed the JEEP/LEES Wrangler thing and @SharonAK, would've bet Volvo or Saab did the first crash tests, agree that was interesting.

I've certainly worked harder and had more fun with other Sundays, but this took some work to untangle and stuff like SHIPMATES, STETSONHAT, and BOOKMAKERS added some fun.

Son Volt 9:01 AM  

The punny concept was fine - but I’ll double down on Rex and @Z - for a real treat they need to be off the wall type which these weren’t. Theme density led to a lot of short glue that bogged down the solve - easy enough but syrupy. I didn’t like the leading THE’s of the first and last themers.

USTA + WTA is poorly edited. Had GOLF hat before TAN. TOCK, ACH, RXS and especially LIT MAJOR make the entire SE brutal. STEERER? BMW and AUDI probably could have been avoided. Liked EASE INTO and OGLALA.

Love the Trower clip. Thought it was a little redundant but Old John Robertson wore a STETSON HAT

By the time I filled this - really had no further interest in grokking the meta.

SouthsideJohnny 9:08 AM  

@Nancy - you summed up the PPP conundrum very nicely. I would join you and @Z in the “less PPP is preferable“ camp, while OFL found this one at least tolerable and @Lewis seemed to enjoy it. So I guess the trick is to find some sort of a happy medium - @Z generally pegs that at about 30% - my preference would be a mean (over the long haul) of about 25%, which I believe would allow constructors to include pretty much whatever they want, but at least force them to throttle themselves back a bit. Of course, occasionally you could blow off the constraint and hope that the constructor pulls off a real gem (recognizing that moderation in everything is desirable, including moderation).

kitshef 9:16 AM  

I sure had my doubts when early on I hit the utterly desperate STEERER, but the puzzle's positive attributes won me over. In no particular order:
All the theme movies were ones I’ve heard of.
The theme actually helped the solve, especially in the NW where I was stalled by the likes of YPSI, how to spell MONAE (I was thinking MONeE), EASE oNin, etc.
The bonus word was actually appropriate, for a change.
DAKAR crossing DOHA (proud geography nerd here).
This Is Spın̈al Tap – one of the great comedies.

I was surprised by the military association for BTS’s fan base.

BTW, Stegosaurus should be capitalized and in italics.

Tom T 9:24 AM  

If one of those movie titles was simply missing in the memory file (hello, PAN'S LABYRINTH), and it was crossed by a number of "either you know it or not" dreck, (hello, PETE, BEL, YUNA, TREF, HOLI), this was not so easy. Not to mention that "Twisted legs" of a pair of trousers are not especially labyrinthine. The BY combo, which I had easily, had me convinced I was seeking a title along the lines of "Something-or-other BY So-and-so."

Also had to clean up ESTADO/DEAF/FATAH tangle. I want that Mexican word to be EASTAtO, even though I learned recently in a nyt puzzle that is is not. So I ended up at first with Gallaudet University having a Department of lEAF studies! lol

Somebody will have to help me with the STETSON HAT answer. I got it but I don't know why.

Hidden Diagonal Word (HDW) clue for this grid: Duck to Prokofiev

Answer: OBOE (begins with the O in 68A)

pmdm 9:27 AM  

For decades I have watched little in the way of movies except B&W classics shown on Turner Movie Classics. My knowledge of more current movies was pretty much reliant on Siskel and Ebert, so when they went away, so went my source. All of this means the theme of today's puzzle was not exactly in my wheelhouse, which made solving the puzzle anything but a pleasant diversion. Sadly, thumbs down from me for this puzzle.

This is my take on the seemingly changing difficulty level of the puzzles. The NYT has undertaken a serious effort to expand the world of puzzle constructors, as evidence by the number of debuts in recent times. Regardless of the desire to fill the grid with what I would call ego entries, these new constructors simply do not have the experience of long time constructors. Regardless, it seems to me that there has been an inevitably a lowering of the standards to allow new constructors to be published. I suspect this trend will run its course and things will return (at least a bit) to what once was. But in the meantime ... Many puzzles will find their way to Nancy's wall.

Colin 9:31 AM  

@Zed, 8:58 AM: Too funny. I didn't do Friday's puzzle... I'm not that sly of a jokester! (And didn't look at your profile) ;)

I've lived in the NYC area for over 25 years. Does anyone actually call the subway the IRT?

kitshef 9:32 AM  

On older puzzles. An easy Saturday from 2006 feels to me a lot like an easy Saturday from 2022. But a hard Saturday from 2006 is much harder than one from 2022, IN GENERAL.

But the hardest Saturday I've ever encountered was April 17, 2010. Gave up after more than an hour with several blanks in the SW.

It will not surprise some of you to know that the constructor was Tim Croce.

RooMonster 10:05 AM  

Hey All !
No one got Naticked on the F of DEAF/FATAH? Just me? Alright then. I need to steal @M&A's philosophy of "when in doubt, put in a U" and just start putting F's when I run into Naticks. That was one of my two-letter DNF, the other a careless mistake, having had EASE ON IN for 3D, but once changing the IN to TO, didn't realize it should be INTO instead of ONTO. Dang.

So the "I don't need no stinking circles to ferret out the bonus" people should be happy today. There is a note, which for me was good, as I wouldn't have tried to use the extra letters to get the bonus word. (Well, I might've... Maybe the ole brain would've hipped me to that.)

LOL at myself for not parsing UOFA as U OF A, thinking it was pronounced as one word, and saying, "who pronounces their college YU-O-FAH?" Good stuff.

Another possible Natick is the D of DOHA/DAKAR, but luckily a dim bulb (😁) went off in my mind on DOHA, so threw in the D and crossed my fingers.

Some fun clues, like LAMAZE, e.g.

So an overall fine puz for me. So sayeth this SAP

yd -5, should'ves 4

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Was just about to post the same.

Gary Jugert 10:24 AM  

Fun puzzle with a cute theme. The cluing was a bit blah. Top half was way harder than the bottom half with SEPTA, MONAE, YPSI, DOSAS, YUNA, TREF, CHOI, HOLI, UOFA, OGLALA, and SOME SUCH SO. With so many weirdnesses, it was doubly challenging to see the theme answers. I suppose it's expected in a puzzle, eh?

PIMP for SIMP was wrong, but better. STEERER should have been an instant puzzle reject. And HIT EM said no boxing coach ever.

1 Say, "mu."
2 Headline: Dakota horses receive meds.
3 What kind of vegetarians eat this glop?


On melt-your-brain DEFCON 1 difficulty puzzles, they're out there. Go get 'em. Obsessive puzzlers have lots of choices in the independent world now. I don't bemoan their absence in the NYTXW. This outlet gives you their idea of what you'll keep paying to get. You vote with your subscription.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Rex's geographical knowledge seems to be consistently limited.

He never seems to know the places that are of comparable importance to Fayetteville (which is surely much better known than Natick).

I admire that he can do so very well without knowing many place names.


Anonymous 10:28 AM  

A rare gripe from me to the NYT: "A LA" are "French menu words," not "word."

Sixthstone 10:28 AM  

This was fine, I suppose. A few of the themers were clever, but overall just drop a letter in and meh. Is THIGH FIDELITY funny in any way? I don't see it. And they spell OUTTAKES, which is supposed to tidy this all up. Pretty "mid" as my teens would say.

Also the chop in this one was pretty ugly. While I appreciate diversity in the grid, there are a lot of odd PPP here that could be troublesome (YPSI, CHOI, OGLALA, YUNA, TREF, HOLI, GOA, ACH) and the potentially nasty capitals of Natick (DOHA/DAKAR). Throw in a lot of random abbreviations and acronyms (IMF, APR, LGBT(minus Q+), CAF, GPA, WTA, IRR) and it's pretty much an alphabet soup.

Crosses were easy enough to make it passable, so I guess it meets the relatively low bar for NYT Sundays.

Rex 10:30 AM  

Can someone explain the answer to 38 down - BUST?

Zed 10:34 AM  

@Southside - I do not think the happy medium is 30% PPP. 20-30% PPP is NYTX typical. I’m much happier when it’s closer to 20% than 30%. The wheelhouse/outhouse effect is clearly discernible at 33%, so that’s where I peg a puzzle as having “excessive” PPP. But the “happy medium?” 25% sounds fair to me, but I’d go lower with 20%.

Related Note - If the difficulty comes from arcane trivial trivia then no thank you. Same if it is just outhouse PPP. OTOH, if we have clever wordplay I’m all in. If the difficulty comes from an answer I will never see again then it’s not clever or interesting to me, it’s just obtuse. BTW, Croce and Zawistowski generally avoid the trivial trivia form of difficulty.

Zed 10:37 AM  

@Rex 10:30 - Gambling term from Blackjack. If you go over 21 you lose, you go BUST.

Ellen 10:45 AM  


SouthsideJohnny 10:53 AM  

@Z you are right on, and you explained it much better than I did. Yes, 20% would be ideal, and it would allow constructors to utilize a “one out of five entries” guideline which still sounds pretty generous.

Nancy may be on to something though - why are the high PPP puzzles so prevalent/popular? It seems like most of the negative complaints and comments here pretty consistently revolve around PPP, Naticks, etc (with PENDANTRY probably being the second most popular subject of complaints/comments). Low-PPP puzzles can be done (yes, that was a loosely veiled shout-out to Robyn).

Beezer 11:02 AM  

I don’t know if I just wasn’t on all cylinders this morning or the PPP was out of my wheelhouse (or both) but in answer to @Rex’s comment “I’m not sure where people could get hung up in this puzzle,” I will say that most of my time was being hung up around BEVERLYHILLSCOUP and PANTSLABYRINTH. I KNOW both movies but got hung up in the COUP area because a brain fart had me trying to make the S part of the “uprising” word, and with the other I was convinced that LEVI(S) figured in rather than PANTS. At any rate, I put down my iPad for awhile, came back and managed to solve. The puzzle was a mixed bag with respect to my enjoyment level. I did NOT like SOMUCHSO. Just didn’t.

As for the difficulty level of the NYT puzzles. I spent many many years with no significant time to indulge in my love of xwords. We only had the Sunday NYT delivered and, having no time, I worked on that puppy just a few minutes every day over the entire week. My only exposure to the other NYT puzzles were through the compilations I would buy at a book store and work on plane rides and vacations. This leads me to ask…Have most of you worked the daily puzzles all your adult life AND did you have time to solve them within 24 hours? This is not a loaded question! I guess for better or for worse (not considering amount of PPP and wordplay) @Rex would have fewer bloggers if the majority of us couldn’t solve the puzzle and still have time to comment on it.

@Kitshef, having gone back in the archives since retirement, I think your comment on Saturday difficulty is spot on.

Carola 11:03 AM  

I liked it, worth it alone for PANTS LABYRINTH (a reminder to shake out your jeans before transferring them from washer to dryer). I took a wrong turn onto the BRIGDE OF SPInES, but corrected course before needing SPINAL in the next feature. This LIT MAJOR also enjoyed the next-door BOOK MAKERS.

Help from previous puzzles: the recent LAMBOS, PETE, GRU.
No idea: YUNA.
Oh Ye of Little Faith department (adjacent to yesterday's There's No Cure for Idiocy department): From the start, I suspected that the added letters might spell something, but after OUTTA - instead of the expected OUT of - I gave up with a shrug and "guess not."

Nomi5imon 11:05 AM  

“Ugh. What is TREF? HOLI? Never heard of MONAE or YUNA or BRIDGEOFSPIES.”

I don’t get why solvers object when something out of their religious/ethnic/national/cultural bubble. That’s what Xword puzzles do - make you stretch and consider new things.
If you were raised Jewish - tref (non Kosher) and septa (how many of us had deviated ones requiring rhinoplasties) were easy. We of a minority religion appreciate a nod here and there
If you’ve ever seen the ubiquitous photos of people in India covered with multi-colored powders joyfully dancing around, you’ve heard of HOLI. It’s on my Google calendar. It’s very important to many millions of people around the world. More than Thanksgiving.
If you’ve paid any attention to popular music, tv, film, fashion, or the internet you’ve heard of the award-winning miracle that is Janelle Monae. And I’m a 68-year-old white cis female.
Never heard of Yuna either but I figured it out with crosses. Bridge of Spies is a well-known movie tho I’ve never seen it.
Those are fair game. Diversity benefits all of us.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Yes, old time New Yorkers reference the IRT line - which I believe is the 7th Ave line. They do not however use IRT to reference the subway system generally even though it was originally operated as the Interborough Rapid Transit System.

kitshef 11:15 AM  

HIT EM is incredibly valuable advice from a boxing coach. How else does the boxer know what to do? Equally important advice:
From a pitching coach: THROW IT
From a sprinting coach: RUN FAST
From a voice coach: SING
From a director: ACT WELL

Mr. Grumpypants 11:54 AM  

TOM T @ 9:24

A STETSON HAT would be on "top" of a cowboy while he's out on the "range" is the best I can come up with. A perfect example of the too cute cluing that made this puzzle irritating rather than fun, despite the somewhat interesting theme.

Dr.A 11:54 AM  

I took your advice and subscribed to AVCX and now I’m fascinated by their Cryptic puzzles. Half the time I don’t understand the answer even with the explanation! You want hard, try one of those. Lol, probably would be easy for you.

Beezer 12:14 PM  

@Rex 10:38, when the dealer “hits you” with a card playing Blackjack and you total over 21, you go BUST.

Ken Freeland 12:34 PM  

I think it's just that the constructors of such puzzles spend most of their time immersed in pop culture, and when they end up with odd letters in one answer, instead of reworking it into something approachable, open up their dictionaries to find some obscure word that gets them off the hook.

bocamp 12:36 PM  

Thx, Matthew & Finn, for an invigorating Sun. workout! :)


What a trip! A most enjoyable romp, only partially spoiled by a laughable gaffe at GOLdTAN / dOCI. My math knowledge is a woe, as well as my vocab (at least in this case), confusing 'ellipse' w/ 'ellipsis', and thinking dots. I convinced myself that a 'golfer' might have a GOLD TAN, lol. The thing is, I had a definite 'spidey-sense' twinge at that cross, but failed to remember to come back to it before filling in the final cell of the puz. :(

At least now I have somewhat of an idea about how FOCI relate to an 'ellipse'. :)

Thot the clueing was overall marvelous; doesn't get much better than this! :)
yd 0 (final word; it's on my List, but disremembered; lucky to get it) / 33

Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

sixtyni yogini 12:53 PM  

Interesting theories about the dumbing down of NYTXWORD 🧩. Makes sense- easier 🧩 due to context and (always) money. Not sure I’m ready for mind breaking stumpers, but would welcome one from time to time. And maybe I’ll explore those old pre-app 🧩s also.

As for today’s sleepwalker- will say that I used to only do Sundays, but experiencing the challenge, fun, and skillful design of late week 🧩s may have spoiled most Sundays for me. Or maybe most of them - like this one - are bland bc they are so big(?) and easy - have zero to little sparkle.

Sorry — high score on MEH meter. 😂


Anonymous 12:57 PM  

Ypsi?! Holi?!? I agree that the theme — and themers — was “easy” but there were a number of obscure terms, in one case near each other, that slowed me down. I’d call this more of a “medium” because at one point — Ypsi — I thought for a while you’d have to be a medium to figure out some of these shorter and more obscure answers.

Masked and Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Mildly amusin themers, so I'd give it a mild thUmbsUp. Mighta been able to do funnier stuff, if they weren't dead set on spellin out OUTTAKES, which also demanded they splatz 8 pretty long theme answers in there. As @RP kinda pointed out, lotsa long themers can sorta eat into yer other longball fill possibilities and boost up yer puz's Ow de Speration potential.

fave "other" stuff: SOMUCHSO. TOBEEXACT. STEERER [for its primo vowel variety]. HITEM [for its primo desperation]. OUTTAKES [for a cool theme punchline]. Nice photo album puzcorners, too boot. Neat STETSONHAT clue, btw; way to HITEM hard, right outta the rodeo chute.

staff weeject pick: GRU. One of M&A's fave animated flicks. Had 'tude.

Puz played a dash on the hard side at our house, due to copious no-knows, includin: YPSI [Altho I kinda get it now]. MONAE. DOSAS. BEL cheese species. SIMP. GOA. EDNA. YUNA. HOLI. CHOI. Stinky TOFU. BTS ARMY. DEAF Studies at unknown college.

Thanx for the fun, Mssrs. Stock & Vigeland dudes.

Masked & Anonymo9Us

illustrated, but pics don't affect the solvequest:

SharonAK 1:04 PM  

@Zed 8:58 Thanks, I had just realized from reading comments that they were movie titles, still never heard of it.

As to A La I'm pretty sure that on menus in the U S it is one word. So a french word on menus/ a French menu word.

Kitchen 11:15 LOL

Dorkito Supremo 1:05 PM  

This is great and will go in the same area of my brain that remembers the distiction between eager/anxious and further/farther, etc. Thank you @Joe!

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

I agree. Didn't find it easy. Still don't get Stetson Hat for top of a range.

Zed 1:27 PM  

How can anyone not know YPSIlanti? It’s not every town named for a Greek War of Independence hero that has the Most Phallic Building. That is a hard award to win.

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

i wanted to like this puzzle — I love movies and movie-themed puzzles, and Matthew Stock and Finn Vigeland have both made puzzles I've enjoyed — but this was disappointing, mostly because of the unamusing jokes for most of the theme answers.

The theme also seems extremely loose. Without too much effort, I came up with these:

Holy plume? “The Godfeather.”

Venetian bigwig’s later years? “Doge Day Afternoon.”

Brown, red, or gold? “The Color of Monkey.”

Cyclist227 1:32 PM  

It's not like I'm some crossword Whiz Kid, but come on, this was so eay that it seemd like a large Monday for me. I'd like a little challange on a Sunday.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

Could someone please explain the Macbeth and Hamlet clue? Thanks.

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

I miss Bob Klahn, too. If you want to experience the cleverest and most diabolical clues ever, go find a Bob Klahn Saturday. It will not disappoint.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

The IRT is the Lexington Ave (4/5/6), 7th Ave (1/2/3), and Flushing (7) Lines. Formally they are now called the "A Division." Many people refer to them as the numbered lines. They have smaller cars (9' x 51') vs typically 10'x60' (some 75') on the B Division, which is the former IND plus BMT.

Some people still say IRT, but the number is diminishing. "Hair" famously has a geographically incorrect song in which "LBJ took the IRT down to 4th street USA" even though (West) 4th Street is an IND station.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

An IAMB is a two-syllable utterance with the accent on the second syllable.

MacBeth accents Beth. Hamlet accent Ham.

(I learned this in high school English class and haven't forgotten it yet. Don't ask me about the other ones.)


Beezer 2:10 PM  

@Anonymous 1:21, a Stetson is a western style hat. Back in the day cattle roamed on the open range until the Range Wars (or whatever the name) when the land owners started fencing their ranch property. My guess is that many of the cattle herders and ranchers wore Stetsons.

@Zed…lol on Ypsilanti! Yes, I knew about Ypsilanti, but DIDN’T know it was virtually attached to Ann Arbor until my daughter lived in Ann Arbor. Even so, I thought the answer MIGHT be YIPS just because it would be kind of cute.

Sandy McCroskey 2:15 PM  

@SharonAK I'm sure there are some American restaurants that do not know how to spell à la, but please don't tar all of them with a broad brush. In fact, I don't recall ever pointing out such an error to the waitstaff or manager of any dining establishment here in NYC, and that's what I would inevitably do! ;-)

burtonkd 2:32 PM  

Anon 1:45 - an iamb, as in iambic pentameter. It is 2 syllable word with the stress on the second syllable. Its opposite is the "trochee", a la Hamlet.

Classic Natick at 115 with 2 obscure capitals??? guessed right with "D" but still...

The theme with bonus was quite well done, using 8 non-obscure movies fitting in an order that give the extra and relevant word. It did lead to some less than ideal short stuff - anyone up for some South Asian crepes? Interesting that nobody complains when French words don't have the accents - except for Southside, who complains that they exist at all:)

JC66 2:33 PM  

re IRT, Here's Dave Van Ronk's response to the The Kingston Trio's MTA.

GILL I. 2:41 PM  

STEERER, YUNA, HOLI, OGLALA, GRU, SIMP YPSI, GITEM and TREF Did not gain access to my bar. None of them had proper ID.
I did let THIGH FIDELITY in because she is a great comedian and sings a bodacious duet with PANTS LABYRINTH. They sometimes will make the place want to tap dance and maybe skip to my LOO.
I have nothing further to add because my KALE is calling to me to massage it.

Nancy 2:44 PM  

Thank you, @Anon 1:59, for straightening out @Anon 11:11 and bringing the East Side IRT (the Lexington Avenue 4/5/6 line) into play. I'm an East Sider and was feeling a little, well, neglected. To some of us, the Lexington is THE IRT and the 1/2/3 trains are an afterthought. Especially since, to go to the theater district, we take the Lex to 59th Street and pick up the N/R/Q. We seldom need to take the 1/2/3 for anything at all. I've lived in NYC my whole life and I've probably taken those trains fewer than 50 times, max.

Numbers mean the train is on the IRT line. Letters mean the train is not on the IRT line.

Pete 2:56 PM  

I thought the Rodeo Drive uprising was a BEVERLYHILLSCROP, as in someone was raising weed on Rodeo Drive. Fixing that half took half of my solve time, and I still think I had a record. Record time, not record fun.

GPO 3:39 PM  

Medium for me.

Two gripes for me:

1. "A LA" is words, not one.

2. Yoko "ONO" is a musician? Not to me. An artist, sure.

Eniale 3:58 PM  

Are STETSON HATs very expensive, maybe, so they're top of the range?

And I'm lucky enough to have visited our son in Ann Arbor this year, which is the only reason I got YPSI!

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

Blackjack term

Anonymous 4:07 PM  

And the winner is Nancy. Yes, of course NewYorkers use the term IRT. But her answe is correct, and from someone who actually knows whereof she speaks by the word she doesn’t use: subway.
Unlike the mook who made the original, erroneous, glib question, Nancy doesn’t use the word subway. Rather, as all New Yorkers do, she uses the term train.
Philly cheesesteak, subway…. You can always tell someone is inauthentic.

Anonymous 4:12 PM  

Didn’t need to be reminded of coups today…

Anonymous 4:35 PM  

Think cowboys hats when out on the range

Arthur Figgis 5:18 PM  

Fully naticked by TREF x CAROMS. Broke my streak.

pmdm 5:31 PM  

There are two 4th Street Stations, which allow you to transfer for free. One is the IND 8th Avenue line, one is the IRT 7th Avenue line. I passed by one station on my way to work (IRT) and boarded at the other going home (IND) via the 168th Street transfer point. Which makes one of the above comments very wrong. When will people learn a clue can be correct even when possibilities exist that would make an answer wrong. As Z has pointed out (I think in different words), one correct possibility does the trick.

Lawrie 6:05 PM  

Would someone please tell me what "PPP" stands for. I know what it refers to, but what do the letters stand for?

I also miss Bob Klahn and his amazing clue crafting.

Anonymous 6:09 PM  

"Funny titles" are dad jokes, really. One has to be an imbecile to like those.

JC66 6:21 PM  


Per @Z:


Pop culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns. 25-30% is pretty NYTX typical. More than 33% almost always causes some subset of solvers trouble.

Anonymous 6:22 PM  

As in, “Hone on the range…”; imagine a cowboy wearing a Stetson hat.
I thought it was kinda lame, personally.

Joe Dipinto 7:21 PM  

@pmdm — not sure what you're thinking of, but there's only one 4th St. station in Manhattan: the W. 4th St.-Washington Square station where you get the A,B,C,D,E,F, and M trains. There's no 4th St. stop on any former IRT line.

However, if you take the 1 (IRT) train to the Christopher St.-Sheridan Square station, you exit into the intersection where Christopher, Grove, W. 4th, Washington Place and 7th Avenue all cross. So technically yes, you could take an IRT train downtown and get out right at W. 4th St.

Johnny I. 7:34 PM  

Of course everyone knows different stuff but I’m a little shocked by how few not only didn’t know Pan’s Labyrinth but how no one called it out as one of the most wonderful, disturbing, astounding movies I’ve ever seen. Definitely in my top ten. Along with “M” and “Maltese Falcon” and “Deer Hunter” and “Goodfellas” and “La Strada.” In fact it is kind of the weird stepchild of Fellini and Scorsese. See it!

Anonymous 7:44 PM  

Johnny I,
Your list is full of fine films. But Goodfellas wasn’t even the best gangster film the year it was released.
Watch Miller’s Crossing for genuine genius.

bocamp 8:36 PM  

@kitshef (9:32 AM)

Thx for the Croce challenge. Took 3x my normal NYT' Sat. time, but had a successful outcome. :)

And, yes the extended SW was worth the price of admission!
Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Johnny I. 8:42 PM  

Love Coen brothers anything! And Gabriel Byrne and John Turturro dazzle.

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

OK, it's true that the "Christopher Street - Sheridan Square" station on the 1 train is where West 4th Street crosses 7th Avenue South (all three street cross there). But I've never, ever heard anyone call that station "4th street."

JC66 9:08 PM  

Positively 4th St.

Joe Dipinto 9:42 PM  

@JC66 — you've got a lot of nerve posting that.

Tony M 10:18 PM  

I love puns so I didn't hate this but it was WAY too easy. My fastest Sunday ever coming in at my average Wednesday time which I guess translates to a Tuesday in difficulty?

JC66 10:18 PM  

@Joe D


But I'm disappointed that you didn't comment on my Van Ronk/IRT post.

LateSolver 10:18 PM  

Despite the heavy PPP, the crosses saved me and I finished with no help.

I agree that the puzzles have gotten easier over time, but also the style has changed as well. The difficulty used to come from direct cluing of obscure words. Now the difficulty comes more from more clever cluing of common words, introduction of conversational answers that are less well defined, and a more diverse media that makes PPP harder if you don't follow that particular genre/outlet.

Anonymous 11:29 PM  

I've always herd it pronounced TRAIFE, so I always have to guess.

Joe Dipinto 11:40 PM  

@JC — I did listen to "Georgie on the IRT". I thought it was funny.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

Why is APR the answer to '4/' ?

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

Islamic volleyball player - Setting Sunni

Unknown 1:57 PM  

Now that I am reading the explanations for "Top of the Range," the clue should have been "Top ON the Range." ON. Those on the range wear Stetsons.

Anonymous 1:55 PM  

I liked the REALLY old days, before inclusions of pop culture, slang, and answers of more than one word ! The old ones were real vocab builders!

Anonymous 10:46 PM  

Fayetteville? Knowing where you live, I'd think you'd think of the one just an hour north of you rather than Louisiana, though I can't fathom why the New York edition would end up in the puzzle. Clued, "Boyhood home of Grover Cleveland" perhaps?

Joe in Newfoundland 7:47 PM  

Maybe "a la" is one word in the US, but then it is not a French menu word. It is a made-up word used for lots of things - eg chicken ala king.

Anonymous 2:59 AM  

It’s the start of a date like 4/30/22. April is the fourth month.

Flags World 8:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Burma Shave 3:28 PM  

"O,NO BOOKMAKERS will beat ME,
with SOMUCH DUE they can EATME."


rondo 3:47 PM  

What this puz needed right in the middle was GETSHORTZY with a wacky clue re: the editor. Almost smiled at JURASSICPARKA.

Diana, LIW 8:58 PM  

@Rondo - great idea.

I enjoyed this movieish-themed puzzle.

Lady Di

Burma Shave 9:20 PM  


"O,NO BOOKMAKERS will beat ME,
with SOMUCH DUE they can EATME."


Anonymous 5:07 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 12:52 AM  

I was born in Ypsilanti (YPSI), so this was a very good puzzle day. Next to Ypsilanti, Michigan was the huge Willow Run B24 bomber plant built by Henry Ford in WWII. Ford promised to build one bomber per hour, but production problems led to the nickname "Willit Run." Still, a very large number were finally built.

thefogman 5:42 PM  

To D,LIW: I do the Sunday NYTXW in real time, not Syndie time.

thefogman 7:32 PM  


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