4.16.2010

FRIDAY, Apr. 16, 2010 — Dan Naddor


THEME: Tee break — drop the -TLE from words ending -TTLE in familiar phrases; enjoy the wackiness.


Another in an apparently endless line of "Let's See What Letter(s) I Can Drop/Add to Induce Wackiness"-themed puzzles. Today it's "-TLE" from "-TTLE" words. Why? It's pointless even asking that question any more. Add-/drop-a-letter puzzles are so tired that they really should have a great theme-revealer, some saying or expression or Something that gives the puzzle a rationale. Just dropping crap is getting very, very old. To this puzzle's credit, every "-TLE"-preceding vowel is covered in the altered words. Against its credit, they are not in alphabetical order (A, I, E, U, O). Further, the cheater squares* are really distracting / annoying. There are Huge corners in the NE and SW, but then cheaters in these smallish sections in the N and S. I see that the cheaters are likely there to accommodate the restrictiveness of the theme answers (i.e. they are near places where two theme answers overlap). But still, ugly (though crossing BVD and D-CUPS is kind of cute). I did like DUST-UPS, WET BAR, PSYCHED, and WHITE CAP.

*["cheater squares" are black squares that do not affect the total word count. They are added specifically to make the grid easier to fill. Today, they follow SPAT and precede ESSE, respectively.]

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Princeton jazzman? (JERSEY CAT)
  • 21A: "Egg-laying for Dummies," etc.? (CHICKEN LIT) — "For Dummies" books are in no way "LIT." Further, this answer is confusing, as it seems to be playing on the very familiar phrase "CHICK LIT"
  • 27A: What a New York baseball owner would do to ensure player fitness? (TEST ONE'S MET) — notably, not TEST ONE'S NY MET
  • 42A: Sign outside a boarded-up JFK? (AIRPORT SHUT)
  • 50A: Little Londoner? (PEANUT BRIT)
  • 56A: Carpet-cleaning android? (VACUUM BOT)
Never heard of a VACUUM BOTTLE, so the SE ended up being my toughest section. Couldn't get any of the Downs on the first go. Put in ALL and RAY and thus ended my struggle down there. This puzzle was phenomenally easy for a Friday, a definite backsliding from what have been moderately challenging (i.e. NYT Wednesday-level) Fridays of late.

Crosswordese 101: MENSA (38A: Its youngest British member, Elise Tan Roberts, was admitted at age 2) — a very common crossword answer, and one that rarely fails to annoy; see today's clue to understand why? What kind of #$#$&'d up parent is so insecure / desperate / deranged that he/she would push a 2-yr-old into MENSA? And please don't tell me "But she wanted to be in it?" Come on. If you're smart, you're smart. Awesome. Do you really need to be in a group where you are certified smart by some highly dubious test score? Ugh x infinity + 1. But I guess if it gets you out of the house and away from your Double-Stuf Oreos and RPGs and action figures and "Dr. Who" marathons, then that's probably good.

[re: "Gifted" children... LOTS of profanity near end of clip]

What else?

  • 13A: Mo. in 1781 in which Cornwallis surrendered (OCT.) — completely random. And why is "in 1781" in here? That does not *Nothing* for solvers. Did Cornwallis surrender in other years too?
  • 14A: "___ Really Going Out With Him?": Joe Jackson hit ("IS SHE") — great song. Terrible partial.



  • 19A: Retirement legislation acronym (ERISA) — not on my radar. Seems like if this were a solid answer, I'd see it a LOT more. It's got that vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel structure that puzzles just love. Its rarity says something about its quality as an answer.
  • 2D: Nickname for a player who performs under pressure (ICE MAN) — you could improve this / make it harder by cluing via basketball great George Gervin, whose nickname was ...
  • 7D: Pad ___: Asian noodle dish (THAI) — come on! Just use [Pad ___]. It's Friday; make people work a little.
  • 43D: Works (OPUSES) — Latin plural of OPUS is OPERA, but in English that plural would just create confusion.

See you Monday,

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Fire starter? (MIS-); 4A: Squabble (SPAT); 8A: Exorbitant (STEEP); 13A: Mo. in 1781 in which Cornwallis surrendered (OCT.); 14A: "__ Really Going Out With Him?": Joe Jackson hit (IS SHE); 16A: Volcanic flowers? (LAVAS); 17A: Princeton jazzman? (JERSEY CAT); 19A: Retirement legislation acronym (ERISA); 20A: One way to run (AMOK); 21A: "Egg-laying for Dummies," etc.? (CHICKEN LIT); 23A: Disappear (VANISH); 25A: Par __ (AVION); 26A: Subj. including grammar (ENG.); 27A: What a New York baseball owner would do to ensure player fitness? (TEST ONE'S MET); 32A: It's hard to cut through (RED TAPE); 33A: Company with toy trucks (HESS); 34A: Young hooter (OWLET); 37A: LAX datum (ARR); 38A: Its youngest British member, Elise Tan Roberts, was admitted at age 2 (MENSA); 39A: Pres. Jefferson (THOS.); 40A: Like Wiener schnitzel (BREADED); 42A: Sign outside a boarded-up JFK? (AIRPORT SHUT); 44A: Joker (WAG); 47A: Figure of speech (TROPE); 48A: Hard to endure (SEVERE); 50A: Little Londoner? (PEANUT BRIT); 54A: Rte. through Houston (I-TEN); 55A: Litmus reddeners (ACIDS); 56A: Carpet-cleaning android? (VACUUM BOT); 58A: Indian royal (RANEE); 59A: Parts of some support systems? (D CUPS); 60A: 100% (ALL); 61A: Imitators (APERS); 62A: Latin infinitive (ESSE); 63A: Hope unit (RAY); 1D: Desert known for Joshua trees (MOJAVE); 2D: Nickname for a player who performs under pressure (ICEMAN); 3D: Like espresso (STRONG); 4D: Bonn pronoun (SIE); 5D: Fired (up) (PSYCHED); 6D: Author Sholem (ASCH); 7D: Pad __: Asian noodle dish (THAI); 8D: Record holder (SLEEVE); 9D: Sullied (TARNISHED); 10D: Not a good sign (EVIL OMEN); 11D: Facility (EASINESS); 12D: Jr.'s exam (PSAT); 15D: Abbr. often following a comma (ETC.); 18D: Brew follower? (-SKI); 22D: Classic Welles role (KANE); 24D: "Let it stand" (STET); 28D: Genesis (START); 29D: Shipping container weights (TARES); 30D: Day star? (OPRAH); 31D: Airport safety gp. (TSA); 32D: Squad car cop, often (RESPONDER); 34D: Taxonomic suffix (-OTA); 35D: Choppy seas feature (WHITECAP); 36D: Nancy's region (LORRAINE); 38D: Dole (METE); 40D: Author Harte (BRET); 41D: Quarrels (DUST-UPS); 43D: Works (OPUSES); 44D: Bachelor pad amenity (WET BAR); 45D: Colored circle around the pupil (AREOLA); 46D: One way to break the news (GENTLY); 49D: Get-up-and-go (VIM); 50D: Legal hire (PARA); 51D: Underwear initials (BVD); 52D: Sprint (RACE); 53D: "ER" areas (ICUS); 57D: "What's the __?" (USE).

46 comments:

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Although I appreciate Dan’s puzzles for their usual puns and creativity, I found this one to be one of his lesser OPUSES. With every good theme puzzle there comes compromises in crappy 3 and 4 letter fill words and this one had oodles of them. Having ARR (LAX datum) smack-dab in the middle is not good. But… having said that, I appreciate some of the fresh entries too, like: TARNISHED, EVIL OMEN, ICEMAN, LORRAINE, DUST-UPS, TROPE, Par AVION, and of course, DCUPS.
Loved some of the meaty clues, like:
2 y.o. Elise Tan Roberts (MENSA)
Cornwallis surr. Mo. (OCT)
Joshua tree desert (MOJAVE)
Taxonomic suffix (OTA)
Author Sholem (ASCH)
Nancy’s region (LORRAINE)
… because they’re informative. All good puzzles should be teaching aids as well as mere amusement.

Does anyone else collect record-SLEEVE art?

Drinking my third cup of coffee (that is not STRONG like espresso).

Put your April 15th behind you and head for the beach this weekend… catch those WHITECAPs.

Y’all have a super TGIF !

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Parker said...

I invite anyone offended by anything I write post to stop reading this blog. In fact, I'm begging you.

rp

Orange said...

John, you've gone way over the line. If you knew Rex at all, you would know how offensive it is to suggest that he'd put porn and child abuse here.

As for the crossword: Rex, Rich Norris calls 'em "helper squares" rather than cheaters. Probably <0.5% of solvers would notice those squares at all, and fewer would object to them. Two cheaters but the word count is 72…in a themed puzzle? With those wide-open corners with 8s and 9s? The black squares don't bother me in the slightest. And here, with the stacked theme entries, it would be tough to change the sections with cheaters. **TC could pretty much only be ROTC, and BV** has zero decent options (other than plural BVDS, meh).

Rex Parker said...

You're right, Amy, and to be fair (to me :) I mentioned that the thematic bind was probably what caused (perhaps necessitated) the cheaters. But one can move theme answers around, esp. since we've got nothing alphabetical going on ... and there's RATTLE and BATTLE and even TATTLE waiting to replace the (kinda lame) CATTLE answer.

Anonymous said...

As a long-time lurker here, just thought I'd mention how enjoyable Mr. Naddor's puzzles are; they always stretch the mind.

And Rex, I share your hope that John will take his inane posts and go elsewhere; he brings the level of entertainment down on this blog.

*David* said...

I flew through the first half of the puzzle in the west without getting the theme and slowed down in the east. I reviewed the themes, got it, and then was able to complete it without much problem. My favorite fill was WHITECAP even though it is extraordinarily rare to just see one.

I tried parsing OPUSES as -- USES which led to some funny results.


I'm a live and let live person but we have two crochety posters that feel like the blog remark section is their personal realm. I don't make specific remarks about them because apparently others enjoy their comments, I find them ornery and narrow-minded.

MyInner14YearOld said...

If only 45D had been clued via 59A. Another opportunity lost.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad L. said...

I agree with anonymous 7:50 am. John does not think the rules apply to him. He has been asked (numerous times) to adhere to the three post limit. He doesn't. He has been asked to shorten up his lengthy posts with lists of every clue/answer he likes, doesn't like, whatever. He doesn't. He sulks for a couple of days, writes a few terse passive-aggressive posts and then is back with more of the same. John, THIS IS NOT YOUR BLOG. Go start your own and quit hijacking this one.

Anonymous said...

Lol, the word is 'revel', not 'regale', John. And you do crosswords??

Tinbeni said...

Noticed it was Dan, got ready for the puns.
For whatever reason this one was a slog.

Got the theme with JERSEY CAT, since the NW fell easily.
SW fell due to WET BAR GENTLY sliding in.
This made the VACUUM BOT a moot point for me, thought the BOT was abbr. of robot.
Had a few write-overs, stay for STET and Thom for THOS (not how I would abbr. Thomas).
But my Tonka truck (HESS) wouldn't fit.
MENSA for a 2yo seemed stupid.

This one just didn't get me PSYCHED up.

@JNH: SLEEVE is that paper thingy that we USE to slide the record back into after playing them.

@Rex I liked the Griffin clip, her humor probably not on everyone's wave lenght.

Rex Parker said...

I regale in going to the woods with my dogs. Starting now!

Yay for new commenters — I hope you continue commenting in the future, preferably on the puzzle itself :)

rp

Crockett1947 said...

" Never heard of a VACUUM BOTTLE"

I believe that vacuum bottle is the appropriate classification for what most people call a THERMOS, which is of course a brand name. Like KLEENEX, XEROX and other brand names, they are the accepted name for items that have been dominated by a particular product.

Awkwardly put, but I think you get my drift.

Cheers!

hazel said...

This blog needs a SHAMAN to clear the bad spirits out!! Seems like there's one dustup after another.

The puzz. Wasn't that thrilled with this one myself, although I didn't find it overly easy. Still a Wednesdayish NYT time for me. Punny/wacky is just not my forte. And this one didn't have quite enough wack for me to like.

Did like CHICKENLIT and the random HESS truck. Always seemed like a strange toy to want.

Zeke said...

As a cattleman, I'm always grateful to see a specific breed cited. Oh hell, no I'm not. VACUUMBOT possibly worked as sufficiently wacky, but none of the others did. On the subject of 'wacky', since they're never really wacky, and wacky isn't sufficiently snide to be derisive (which is what I suspect we're getting at here), is there another term out there we could use?

hazel said...

Crappy?

Apologies to those offended. It's the Kathy Griffin influence...

Ratty said...

Maybe I haven't been doing xwords long enough but I haven't seen TOO many letter-dropping puzzles to be annoyed by them. I like when I finally get the theme and it helps me solve other clues I couldn't get.

Working in a library I see OPERA a lot in the context of somebody's works. Annoys me slightly he used OPUSES which I couldn't get until the end.

Hey, anybody else have a ritual they use when doing puzzles? For me it's only filling in the acrosses, completely, from one until the end. Cannot go down, cannot progress to the next across until the previous one is filled in completely. I can LOOK at all the other clues to figure things out but I just can't fill them in. I can always do it on Mon and Tues, and usually Wed. I try on Thu and Fri but usually have to give up. Don't even attempt it on Sat, esp the NYT puzzle.

PuzzleGirl said...

I would also like to add that if anyone is genuinely offended by anything on this blog we would be much more inclined to consider a calm, reasoned explanation of what the problem is. Preferably in private. A blustery, sarcastic outburst in the comments is just going to be irritating (to us and several others apparently).

I didn't love this puzzle. A little too much tired crosswordese and, as Rex pointed out, easy clues. I do, however, love Kathy Griffin. So thanks for the clip!!

Tinbeni said...

@Crockett1947
re: Vacuum Bottle, thanks for the info.
Somehow (again) a grey cell sparked and I thought of Thermos when solving.

@Hazel
re: HESS truck
Ahhhh, I assume you weren't a little boy once.

@Zeke
re: Wacky
Absurd, asinine, brainless, fatuitous, idiotic, inept, harebrained, maggoty, moronic, sappy, witless.

@PG
re: some of the comments.
Now I get it (finally).
41D, Quarrels, was DUST UPS!!!
So this area today is like Virtual Reality Theater.


Geez, I can't wait for my WET BAR to OPEN.

Tuttle said...

Did Cornwallis surrender in other years too?

That completely depends upon one's view of the Treaty of Amiens which Lord Cornwallis signed in March of 1802 ending the War of the Second Coalition. Some say it was effectively a surrender of the continent to Napoleon.

Rex Parker said...

Talk about cherry-picking definitions...

"Wacky" means "zany" and "goofy" (in a way that accurately describes the made-up phrases in question) and has never been used derisively by me (though the "wacky"-type puzzles can and have sucked badly).

rp

mac said...

Not a great puzzle, with a few thorny areas that needed some extra staring. Iceman and ERISA were new to me, learned something at least.

I was actually confused about the theme/method: after getting chicken lit I thought it might be adding -en! Chick-lit? Favorite theme answer was Peanut Brit. Should have been in London early this morning, transferring to a plane to Holland..... Darn volcano.

Of course I thought Yankee before Met. Husband is going to the game this evening, he's very excited that CC is pitching.

Sfingi said...

This one was difficult for me since I never got the theme. Thus, I never finished any of the theme answers, and the puzzle was a mess. I feel like a newby all over again. Naddor was able to do this without any really factual material, just plain clever. When I came to Rex, I had many "dohs."

The only thing I never heard of was Pad THAI, but took a wild guess. I've used the term, JERSEYCow, but not JERSEYCATtle, but I'm sure it would've come if I caught on to the theme.

I knew ERISA because someone once said it stood for Every Ridiculous Idea Since Adam, though I disagreed with that assessment.

I think vacuum bottle is an oldster thing, since they were literally made that way - and lined in (gasp!) mercury.

@Hazel - I love Hess vehicles, esp. since they're green, and detailed. But, they're awfully expensive. I'm more able to afford John Deere, for green. However, all toys have suddenly gone up in price. I'm waiting for the yuan, or whatever they use now, to go up. People can make stuff that they can't afford for only so long before they want some.

@Zeke - choose the Z word - zany. (zanier,zaniest)

@Amy and Rex, et.al. - What happened in the AM? I often feel like there's another program going on in the next room that I can't hear!

CrazyCatLady said...

Being on the west coast, I always seem to miss out on what the DUST UPS are about, but I guess I have an idea today.

@Rex Thanks for the concise explanation of cheater squares. Now I get it. Thanks also for the Nancy Griffin clip. Her irreverence towards just about everything is what makes her so funny. Also liked Joe Jackson. 1979 was a very good year.

On to the puzzle. I also agree that this was not one of Dan Naddor's best, but I still enjoyed it. Found most of it pretty easy and got the theme at CHICKEN LIT. My major problems were in the NE where I got stupidly tricked by Record Holder? SLEEVE and volcanic flowers? LAVAS. When will I ever learn? Also had to google to get ERISA huh? Had AMOUR instead of AVION. Happily a little light went on in my brain and AVION went in instead. Liked LORRAINE as I once visited Nancy. It's a region of breathtaking scenery. Or at least it was back in the early 70s.

Zeke said...

@Sfingi - Above and beyond the fact that to most of America all cattle are 'cows', regardless of sex, Jerseys are noted as a milk producing breed, so the cows are really the relevant ones. 99% of Jersey bull calves are, well, veal. The remaining 1% are very busy.
I hereby accede to Wackiness, and apologize for assuming any derision. Seriously, CHICKENLIT?

shrub5 said...

Seemed pretty easy for a Friday and theme was sort of ho-hum but I did LOL at PEANUT BRIT. Didn't know the acronym ERISA - it stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974) and concerns regulations for pension and employee benefit plans. I'm sure it's a good read....

I was never a little boy (nor the mother of one) so had to get HESS from crosses. LAVAS (in the plural) was yucky but I did like the clue "volcanic flowers?".

SethG said...

Having been a little boy once, I got HESS from the crosses. The other ICEMAN I know is Lt. Tom Kazansky.

I first thought JERSEY CAT was playing off of SCAT. It would involve a vowel change, but SLEEPLESS IN SEAT would otherwise work for the theme. YA TIT is too short.

Sfingi said...

@Zeke (And did you see the wheel 'way up in the middle of the air?) I live in dairy country - the real Upstate NY, not the Hudson Valley which is apple country and near NYC. People here have mostly Holstein (the black and white, for those not familiar). There are a few Jerseys and Guernseys and one family I know raises Black Angus (these are to eat, not to milk). I've known several farms to go under, and nobody was sad when the Agway went under, too. There's a newish type we call the oreo, that is black with a white belt. On a dairy farm, you have one or no bulls. The husband of one woman I worked with made a lot of money inseminating cows with choice stuff from a bull from a high-producing cow. Up here, they don't use hormones since it ages the cow. Some milk has a yellow color, and tastes can get into it too - keep out of the mustard! When they have mastitis and take penicillin, it has do be dumped. I could go on, and I'm sure you know, but it annoys me when they show ads of Angus bulls flirting with Holstein cows. Why encourage ignorance?

@Seth - I also thought Jersey Cat was some sort of jazz reference. Seattle is a good one. Don't get your other one.

I'm off to the Home 'til late.

My 3rd captcha - mideless - another hint.

C said...

I most often enjoy Mr. Naddor's puzzles, for some reason, I didn't enjoy today's too much. I enjoyed doing the puzzle, don't get me wrong, rather, just wasn't as enjoyable.

I am with @RP on the BVD, DCUP intersection, made me smile.

CrazyCatLady said...

NYT was a miserable failure for me today, but the other Nancy Griffin clip at Rex's blog made it worth the pain. Love it!

Jeff said...

I usually like Dan's puzzles well enough, but I'm also getting a bit tired of seeing "drop-a-letter(s)" puzzles if they don't have a theme answer giving some reason for why the letters are dropped. That said, I do admire the fill in the wide-open NE and SW sections, as well as the theme density. Wow! Tough to do, and he managed to work in EVILOMEN parallel to TARNISHED while crossing two theme answers. Impressive!

I also got bogged down after I got CHICKENLIT, trying to figure out how I could add "ED" to other answers. Hey, that's a theme there! ADDED = ADD ED. Ok, meh. Not PSYCHED about it.

Jeff said...

Oh wait. ADDEN. Sucky. Sorry!

CrazyCatLady said...

I mean Kathy!! I always get her confused the the singer Nancy Griffith...and the fact that we had Nancy for a clue today. I think I have stuffing in my head today. Too much pollen in the air.

lit.doc said...

Judging by the 6:51, 7:13, and 7:26posts, this was probably a good day to arrive late to the conversation (end of grading period chaos).

I am still sooo easily amused that I got a good laugh when I spotted the theme. I’ll miss these days when I eventually get good enough at crosswords that I really start to grok Rex’s annoyance at the technical and aesthetic shortcomings he critiques.

Got caught briefly by the 39A THOM/THOS thingy, though I experienced a sense of CW101 progress by getting 16A “Volcanic flowers” immediately. Hardest spot for me was 36D “Nancy’s region”. Remember that comic strip? Remember where she lived? Me neither.

mac said...

@lit.doc: you know, you made me think. It's true that I'm much more aware of the brilliance of some constructions, but I'm also getting much more annoyed at cheap solutions, crosswordese and boring themes. I guess it is a toss-up.

NJ Irish said...

@ SfingiI see lots of Guernsey and Jersey cows (not cattle) here in NJ. Saw some "Belties" and wonder what they were. Found they are from Scotland. I have a few kids convinced that is where Oreo cookies come from. Try http://www.andersonhill.com/breed.html for more info.



Vacuum bot ? wanted vacuum bag, duh, didn't get the theme at all til RP explained.



@Tinbeni "So this area today is like Virtual Reality Theater." Clever!

Gunghy said...

Vacuumbot was my first theme clue filled and gave me the theme and made the solve easy. Thermos was the first commercial vacuum bottle. In science, they are dewar jars. They are double walled glass with a vacuum sealed inside. The vacuum prevents the conducting of heat. The mercury was on the inside with the vacuum to reflect the heat energy back, not in contact with the food or drink. (If you own any antique mirrors, guess what makes them shiny?) Most 'thermos' bottles made now have foam on the inside, not a vacuum.

Sfingi said...

@NJ Irish - I heard they were Dutch. Lemme look it up. Guess what - 2 kinds, Galloway belted and Dutch Belted. Covers both countries.

The other important fact about dairy cows is that the meat is generally sent to canneries for sausage and pet food. Canner is bottom cut then cutter, utility, commercial, standard, select, choice, and prime. Veal, of course, is a calf, preferable newborn. I often wonder how long farm animals could live on their own. I guess they'd evolve in some direction.

I also looked up the vacuum bottle (Thermos is a brand name). It was invented by a very interesting chemist named James Dewar - no mention of the other great James Dewar of Scotch Whiskey fame, but maybe they're related. Anyway, he also developed cordite and a liquid hydrogen refrigerator and won a pirate's chest of awards. What a guy.

I found out so much yesterday about Silas Deane, including the fact that he wasn't well known and should be. I believe that is because he had no descendants, though married twice.

It makes me nervous to hear people speak ill of the recently dead. I think it's the influence of my late mother-in-laws' evil eye beliefs. Naddor seemed like a good guy. May he rest in peace.

3 and out, and bedtime for this bonzo.

Tinbeni said...

@Shrub5
"ERISA~Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974) and concerns regulations for pension and employee benefit plans. I'm sure it's a good read...."
It passed just as I was STARTing my career.
Let me tell you it's a page turner. I couldn't put it down.

@Lit.doc & @Mac
I have been solving probably everyday for 6 months and I think you both are on to something.
I like to do xwords for FUN.
FUN, FUN, FUN, 'til her daddy took the T-Bird away, FUN!

Now, since joining in here, I am more critical.
Had enough of that in that Financial career.
Always hated being "the devils advocate."

Time to go GENTLY into that good night.
At least the WET BAR is finally open.

Orange said...

Just got one of those forms from the insurance company, the "tell us if your dependents have other coverage" one. Somewhere in the gobbledygook, ERISA jumped out at me.

split infinitive said...

The Crossword 101 lessons really helped today 9 months ago I wouldn't have been able to finish this, so thanks Rex, Amy, PG.

I like Mr Naddor's puzzles usually but this was a little creaky. Okay theme, but agree with Rex on TMI in a few clues: noodles, 1781, Elsie Tan Roberts......
Also laughed at the Kathy Griffin video, and RP's thoughts about 2 yr olds in MENSA! The highlight of my day.

ICEMAN & THOS slowed me down to a crawl. HESS? I grew up with Tonkas.
Wanted "waterbed" for the bachelor pad item. Or Minibar! Didn't realize LAVA had a plural.

Breaking news: If we can swing the airfare, my "bitter half" & I will be at the LA xw Tournament --- but not as a duo, because we do NOT "solve well" together; that's a nice way of saying that we have different views on the helpfulness of grunting & swearing while solving, lol. First tournament ever for both.

Last: PG, Amy, & Rex. We are all your visitors here. This is *your* space, and if people have a problem with how you run it, I hope they will go elsewhere. I'll say no more. I, for one, plan on sticking around.

mac said...

@Orange: good to hear that it's not just for old people. Don't you find it hard to concentrate on the gobbledygook?

Orange said...

@mac: Oh, no, I'm fine with the gobbledygook. What are you, old or something? ;-)

Tinbeni said...

@Orange & @mac
That gobbledygook is lawyer-speak for ...
"this is important ... but we just want to mess with your mind!"
Funny thing, my brain was "hard-wired" for that asinine crap stuff.

As to "old?"
Naaah, just 21050 days on this rock.


@split infinitive
Well that "waterbed" went bye, bye, bye many years ago.

I tried, and tried, then tried again just one more time, but 44D, Bachelor pad amenity, and SCOTCH wasn't the answer? damn

It is my Crossword goal, Pinch or Scotch need to be in a puzzle.

Van55 said...

It saddens me to read strife on the blog. Just as folks should feel free not to read the blog if it offends them, folks should simply ignore posters/posts that they find irritating. Life's way too short as it is.

This was not among the best of Naddor puzzles for me, though I did mostly enjoy the solve.