Metal band around pencil eraser / SUN 3-19-17 / Interest for limnologist / Basil who designed England's Coventry Cathedral / Computer controlled players in gaming lingo / Plant that's source of caffeine-free tea / Major John Benedict Arnold's co-conspirator / Brightest star in Aquila

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Constructor: Grant Thackray

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: "111-Across!"111A: Warning for solvers of this puzzle (SPOILER ALERT!)—theme answers are plot twists in famous movies, revealed via crossreferenced clues:

Theme answers:
  • SOYLENT GREEN (22A: It's actually made of PEOPLE)
  • LUKE'S FATHER (30A: Who VADER was all along)
  • PLANET OF THE APES (45A: It turns out to be EARTH)
  • ROSEBUD (66A: It really is a SLED)
  • KILLS DUMBLEDORE (83A: What SNAPE does, shockingly)
  • NORMAN BATES (100A: To whom the title "PSYCHO" refers)
Word of the Day: HOYDEN (2D: Tomboy) —
a girl or woman of saucy, boisterous, or carefree behavior (m-w)
• • •

Hey there. My friends Lena and Brayden are in town to record another "On the Grid" crossword podcast, and we spent all day at the Finger Lakes Crossword Competition, so ... I'm pretty beat *and* I have podcast work to do. Thus, this write-up will be shortish. I do want to tell you all, however, that the tourney in Ithaca was a ton of fun: I met lots of readers (and the children of readers, and the friends of children of readers...) and got to give a little talk about solving under tournament conditions and I ran into my friend (and co-organizer of the Lollapuzzoola crossword tournament) Brian Cimmet *but* ... the best thing by far about the tourney was finding out that one of the solving teams had given themselves the team name "Annabel Thompson Fans"! [note: Annabel Thompson has been doing the first-Monday-of-the-month write-up for me for a couple years now, in case you somehow didn't know]. During my talk, I made the group identify themselves, and they were three college students who were somewhat embarrassed at being pointed out, but who were lovely people and sincere fans of Annabel and also *excellent* solvers—their team won 1st place in the Easy team division. Here they are:


This team also ended up winning a ping-pong ball signed by Will Shortz ... long story. More coverage of the Finger Lakes tourney tomorrow—and much more coverage in our upcoming "On the Grid" podcast (Episode 003). But now to this puzzle...

["... from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z!"]

As a matter of purely personal taste, I *hate* crosswords that are laden with cross-references. My general feeling when told by a crossword clue to [See 88-Across] (or the like) is "No. I will not see that. I refuse." I tend to just plow on and get such answers from crosses. When the theme is sooooo cross-reference dependent, however, you can't really do that. So my feelings toward this weren't great from the jump—too much "see this" "see that." But then I got to solving and ... there's something decent here, theme-wise. I don't associate all these movie twists with "spoilers," as so many of them are well known / iconic. But SPOILER ALERT is a good revealer and most of the time, the cross-referenced shorter answer (the Down) is indeed the spoiler.

["Hey! / Remember when / You took me to the movies / To see "SOYLENT GREEN"!]

The one answer that really throws everything off quite a bit is KILLS DUMBLEDORE. First ... awkward verb-phrase answer. Second ... well, verb-phrase period. That is, none of the other themers are connected by verbs. There are implied linking verbs, e.g. SOYLENT GREEN (is) PEOPLE, LUKE'S FATHER (is) VADER (or vice versa, I guess). If it had been, say, DUMBLEDORE'S KILLER or THE DEATH OF DUMBLEDORE and then SNAPE in the cross-reference, it would've been more consistent with the other answers. Above all, though, I don't think of that plot point as a spoiler. You wonder for the whole movie what ROSEBUD is, and then bam! SLED! You think you're on some weird planet for the whole movie and then bam! EARTH! But SNAPE ... just KILLS DUMBLEDORE. There's a lot of wondering "is SNAPE good or bad?" in those books, but his killing Dumbledore doesn't feel like it rises to *spoiler* the way all the other answers do. We don't spend the whole series wondering who killed DUMBLEDORE. It's not a mystery; it's a plot point. The "PSYCHO" one is also a little weak, in that you learn that NORMAN BATES is his *mother* (or has been dressing up like her and murdering people). *That's* the whoa! No one watching is thinking "I wonder who the PSYCHO is." I don't think that term is used anywhere in the film.

[the 1998 remake of "PSYCHO" was pointless, but this song ... amazing]

I had major trouble right underneath KILLS DUMBLEDORE. HELIACAL is nutso and DAD (as a treehouse-builder) was totally unguessable to me, and I think of limn as something having to do with outlines and shadows, not LAKEs, so that was rough rough rough for me. Everything else played pretty normal.

Gotta run. Talk to you tomorrow.

DSC09884
[Taping "On the Grid" at the Finger Lakes Crossword Competition—L to R: Brian Cimmet, me, tournament puzzle constructor Adam Perl, Lena Webb; also pictured, our YETI microphone w/ jaunty new blue hat] [Note: the gentleman in the background watching us (whose name I have shamefully forgotten) won the individual Challenging division and is headed to his first-ever ACPT next week]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. [State quarters?] = DORM because "State" is short for [any] State University. "I go to State." 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

120 comments:

chefbea 7:35 AM  

WOW.. I'm the first. I also hate puzzles where I have to cross reference!!! And I have heard of Snape and Dumbledore...but not sure who they are or from what work.

Trombone Tom 7:40 AM  

Pretty much what @Rex said. A lot of "reference clues" which can be irritating, but the theme livened things up a lot.

HELIACAL was a WOE, but the crosses helped and I finally NAILED IT.

I see over at Wordplay that this is the first puzzle published for Grant Thackray and I'm impressed. Looking for great puzzles from him in the future.

Also glad to see our friend Annabel getting recognition. She's always a breath of fresh air.

Sue 7:41 AM  

Snape and Dumbledore are from "Harry Potter." Also, I figured HOYDEN would be the word of the day. Or FERRULE. Although it's a good cross word, it made me cross. Look it up. Tomboys, although that word in itself is kinda offensive, are strong, and not, as the OED writes: " A boistrous girl. Late 16th century (denoting a rude or ignorant man): probably from Middle Dutch heiden."

Glimmerglass 7:42 AM  

Great theme! Yes, the films are so well-known that these aren't today "spoilers," but when the movies were new, they would have been. Clever revealer. I agree that SNAPE is weaker than the others, but I'd give it a pass because the group is so strong. I don't think DAD is unguessable. I wrote it in with no crosses and confirmed it with SKID.

Anonymous 7:42 AM  

What is soylent green, and why is people the answer???

Scott 7:50 AM  

Guys, "Snape kills Dumbledore" - phrased that way- is the iconic spoiler of the last 20 years. Bratty kids went around shouting "Snape kills Dumbledore" at younger kids lined up to get their copies of the book when it came out. Type "Snape k" into Google, and the first two suggestions are "Snape kills Dumbledore" and "Snape kills Dumbledore spoiler." I mean, look at this picture, for crying out loud. Not to mention, its the most modern reference which is what you're usually begging for.

My only (very minor) problem with the theme was that it left out the other iconic spoiler of recent memory, "I see dead people." But every theme answer it did use was also legitimately iconic, so I can't complain much.

Loren Muse Smith 8:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 8:11 AM  

Yeah – I imagine everyone hates cross-referenced clues. It’s kinda like saying, Well let me tell you – cruelty to animals? I for one am against it. I do what Rex does – dig in and refuse to look at the cross-reference.

Fun, different idea for a theme. I thought of The Crying Game. And then The Others. The Sting….And, of course, what @Scott thought of.

Very early on when I was still sniffing out the theme, I had “snake” for SNAPE and tried to fit “Queen Cleopatra” and other iterations for DUMBLEDORE. Alrighty then.

But after ROSEBUD, SLED and PLANET OF THE APES, EARTH, I saw the deal and was happy to scare up all the other pairs.

Oh no, DON HO!

“Key hole” before SPY HOLE. And I was going with “Batman foes” before PUBLISHER and feeling all bad for Thackeray’s green paint unhap.

@Sue - FERRULE is a great word and has Peter Collins immunity. You can bet your sweet philtrum on that.

I’ve never understood MARE’S NEST, so I poked around Google. It’s original meaning seems to be “something imagined to be an extraordinary discovery but proving to be a delusion or a hoax.” Uh, can anyone say Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone’s Vault? Nowadays it seems to be a genteel version of a cluster - f _ _ k. Nice to know.

I liked the misdirect of the “Boston and Chicago” product. I had the SO in place and immediately thought of “sock.” I know, dumb, since it’s Sox.

I had a dnf because I misspelled “soilent” and had my tomboy as a “hoiden.”

Congratulations on your NYT debut, Grant. Nice one.

Kim Scudera 8:13 AM  

@Anon 7:42: oh, dear. Spoiler alert, indeed. Look up the movie "Soylent Green" for the answer, or watch it. Ugh.

Lewis 8:14 AM  

Wonderful clue for HONOREE and a lovely cross of SEDER and SADR.

Then I started imagining a scene in Star Wars, one with dramatic music playing and stark shadows all around, with VADER and LUKE facing each other, and the movie watchers clutching their seats, and then VADER slowly, slowly, removes his helmet to reveal that he is ... is ... DON HO!

mmorgan 8:15 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed it, and the "spoilers" were lots of fun, even with Rex's caveats. Never heard of HOYDEN and I remain baffled by DORM for "State quarters?" even though I got both from crosses.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

Still don't get 35 across. I know Chicago was a group, but Boston? I kept wanting Sox.

Conrad 8:23 AM  

@mmorgan: "State" is sometimes used as a short form for "State University": "Did you apply to Michigan?" "No, but I applied to State." And dorms are quarters at a state university.

Flashman 8:23 AM  

Ferrule, not to be confused with ferule.

Z 8:26 AM  

Apparently they never saw the movie either. Or maybe...

Charles Flaster 8:38 AM  

Thought Rex's review was spot on. Unlike others, I enjoy cross referencing.
Medium but a DNF at the penguin clue crossing a Harry Potter clue. My penguins were "pic-fishers". Pour moi, Harry Potter clues might as well be "rapper" clues.
Liked cluing for NAY and SONG.
This was a very well constructed, intelligent debut.
Thanks GT

Generic Solver 8:47 AM  

Or in other words, if movies and Kid Lit are not your thing, this puzzle had next to zero entertainment value. I managed to get through it with a combination of doing well on the crosses and enough vague recollection of some of the theme answers, by it was a totally joyless slog.

Brian 8:48 AM  

SUM is an Excel Function — not an Excel Command.

Tom4 8:59 AM  

Easy enough (though it took me a long time - I'm pretty slow) even though I didn't know SOYLENTGREEN and that got me stuck a while.

I thought it was delightful. Very little in terms of bad fill...which is one of the things Rex usually comments on. We'll chalk it up to he's tired. Good theme, good fill, good puzzle.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

One of the most annoying puzzles I have done!

Beyond that - One enters Spence's new Coventry Cathedral from the bombed-out ruins of the old through a glass wall. Once inside, looking back, one sees figures (wraiths) engraved in the glass rising from the old ruins. The effect is stunningly emotional.

Mark 9:03 AM  

Boston is indeed a rock group from late 70s and early 80s. 'Don't Look Back' and 'More Than A Feeling' are two songs you might recognize.

L 9:39 AM  

I too groaned at the cross-referencing but I loved this puzzle once I figured out the theme. Soylent Green is especially memorable for me - I was 8 years old when my aunt, stuck babysitting me, made plans with a guy to go out. They dragged me along. It was a double feature (remember those?) of Soylent Green and Westworld. I was terrified and confused...and loved them both. Of course, we never told my parents.

Bill Feeney 9:51 AM  

How dumb am I. "Kills Turtledove". Answer: snake. Maybe some movie in an alternate universe.

'mericans in Paris 9:53 AM  

We liked the puzzle OK, and agree with the others that it's a very promising debut for Grant Thackray. Happy to go with the FLOE.

We expected a groan from @Rex, however, at the datedness of the puzzle. Except for "Harry Potter", all of the referenced films date from the 1980s or earlier. (And "UNHAP"? Really?)

Accordingly, it was a medium for me, but would have been a "nigh impossible" for Mrs. 'mericans, who is not a sci-fi fan, and never saw Citizen Kane. So I got ROSEBUD and SLED after we had filled in about half the squares, and then SOLYLENT GREEN, after we filled in PEOPLE. (Mrs. 'mericans: "I don't get it, what does it have to do with PEOPLE?" Me: [dumbfounded])

A rare puzzle with no references to something Hawai'ian (hey @chefwen!), but we did get BALI.

Please to see: ALDER, DANG!, HELIACAL, INNER EAR, SET THE TONE, SHRIMPER, SPYHOLE. And, of course, FAT and SASSY.

Nancy 10:02 AM  

Nice writeup, Rex, and I agree with you totally on cross-referencing. I absolutely hate it. It's the reason I don't do Acrostics, and when I find it in a regular crossword puzzle, I am annoyed almost beyond endurance. So that even though this is an interesting theme that's very well executed, I found the process of coping with the many, many, many cross-references close to painful. Curious as to what the revealer would be -- and planning to stop the tedious back-and-forthing once I found out -- I skipped down to solve just that portion, then had to back up a bit, because the bottom section wasn't a slam dunk. Once I got SPOILER ALERT, I had done so much of the puzzle already that I said to myself: Just finish the damn thing already! And so I did. But it wasn't fun. That's on me, not on the constructor. For people less lazy than I am, this will be just fine, I'm sure.

BarbieBarbie 10:06 AM  

Cross-referencing is tough on an iPad Mini, so I avoid it too, but I don't object to it.
Easy for me. Loved the theme, so clever. Just the right amount of circling-back to get everything.
The big Snape reveal for me was when the actor died and I figured out he had been in Galaxy Quest. Two at one blow.
I liked seeing FERRULE mainly because I only know it as the Swagelok piece, but after three crosses was able to figure out it must mean any little metal ring that seals by crimping. I was so proud!
@Brian: Does Excel even HAVE commands? I think they're all functions unless you're in VBA. So I completely agree with your nit.

Donald Trump Jr 10:06 AM  

@LMS - "Well let me tell you – cruelty to animals? I for one am against it." Well you're entitled to your opinion, one I do not share. However, you're smug liberalism in assuming we all are is why your all sitting on the outside, knashing you're teeth over what we're doing in Washington

Maruchka 10:07 AM  

Very clever cluing, Mr. Thackray. Aha!s and Oh no!s galore. I counted six films, with actual SPOILERs for each. Thanks for the fun, and hope to see your moniker again soon.

True/TIER, Darth/VADER, and Lauren/LAURYN only do-overs. I really liked Gangsta's Paradise, so COOLIO was a pop gimme that's rare for me old self.

Fav of the day - @Lewis's DON HO reveal. LOL'd! I can feel the lei..

Passng Shot 10:08 AM  

This was to me a perfect Sunday. Cute, guessable theme (somehow I just threw in SPOILER ALERT early on and it turned out to be right), fair fill where I learned something (had crystal before BOBHOPE but that was a fair "trap"; learned the difference between ARU and Alu islands). I guess I'm un-cultured since I have no idea what Dies IRAE is, but that was my only real stumble. Impressive debut. Well done and thanks, Mr. Thackray.

BarbieBarbie 10:11 AM  

Also: had PaperbackS for penguins for awhile. And love Acrostics. Today's is very easy-- try it.

Maruchka 10:11 AM  

... and, of course, The Farce!

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

'Mericans, there was Don Ho..I found this puzzle hard to suis out, but when I did, found it delightful.

Mohair Sam 10:22 AM  

@Anon (7:42) - Trust @Kim Scudera, Do NOT watch "Soylent Green" - it is a terrible flick.

This was fun, different, but knowing neither Latin nor IDRISELBA we personally naticked at the "I" at 81. Agree with @Rex in that this was one of the rare times that cross-referencing did not totally annoy me. Disagree with his nit picking about what was and was not an actual spoiler - they all really were at the time of each movie's release. I get Rex's complaint about links via verbs rather than verb-phrase answers, but that type of impurity never bothers me.

Thought the USIA had been around forever, guess not. Handful of tough nouns for us today, and we nearly drowned in the LAKE, wicked clue.

@LMS - Yeah, poor MARES, they don't even make NESTS and now they get blamed for making a legendary mess of them. I've mucked and stripped what seems like a thousand stalls and mares are damned neat as animals go. Now you want a mess? Let two full grown pigs escape your barn undetected for half an hour. I watched it happen - Took a week to repair the landscaping and a sizable check to the neighbors for damages.

Fun and different Sunday Mr. Thackray - Thank you.

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

Did no one notice one huge miss? Luke is to Darth as Skywalker is to Vader. SO Luke's father should be Darth.

Nancy 10:25 AM  

I thought @Loren's SOCK as an answer to the Boston/Chicago clue was the funniest thing on the blog so far until I read Bill Feeney's (9:51) SNAKE KILLS TURTLEDOVE combo. Hilarious!

John McKnight 10:26 AM  

Oh man. HELIACAL/SCIS.

JamieP 10:27 AM  

I met OFL at the Finger Lakes tournament (and won the trickier, i.e. Wednesday division-toot, toot). He was charming and generous with his time. He had a brief Q&A during his talk, and a woman asked him "Do you worry about hurting people's feelings?" Michael answered (to the best of my memory), "I get that a lot [crowd laughter]. Believe me I don't lack basic human empathy. I'm not angry all the time. Sometimes I get a little carried away with my war on bad puzzles." Great time! Total Nerdfest.

This was my first tournament. People (including Michael) said that Adam Perl's "Friday" puzzle was infamously difficult. Maybe it can be published? The guy next to me filled in about a tenth of it in 45 minutes. The winner in the background's name is Jacob, and he's *really good*.

Passing Shot 10:27 AM  

@Z -- I was one if the original Kickstarter funders for Soylent anbd have tried every powder version up to 1.6, when they started using soy as the source of protein. It wasn't bad and there were a couple of versions I really enjoyed. The makers have engineered it so that It IS possible to live on just Soylent and if you read their message board, there are a surprising number of people who can't cook even the most basic of meals (scrambled eggs and toast? a burger), don't like to cook or don't have time, hate doing dishes, or all of the above.

evil doug 10:28 AM  

"It’s original meaning seems to be 'something imagined to be an extraordinary discovery but proving to be a delusion or a hoax.' Uh, can anyone say Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone’s Vault?"

Geraldo is soooooo yesterday, Loren. Now it's 'Rachel Maddow and the Trump tax return.'

Hartley70 10:38 AM  

I might be alone but I love cross-references. They are the puzzle versions of books and movies that skip around in time. It's the added mystery of "wait, where am I?" that I enjoy. The latest incarnation of "The Missing" on Starz does that and I was only saved from confusion by the hair length of one character. It's a creepy story but good fun for this mystery lover.

As to this puzzle, of course I would have been spitting nickels if I didn't already know the answers to all these spoilers. SOYLENTGREEN is most likely to snare the younger solvers and that's too bad because the surprise was stellar. The SPOILERs were obvious to me, so I give this puzzle an easy rating, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a good time jumping around the grid. It gave my eyeballs some morning exercise. Thanks for the fun, Grant. This was a great debut that I think will appeal to the majority of Sunday solvers.

Ellen S 10:44 AM  

@z and @Passing Shot -- I thought the Soylent outfit was a hoax but maybe they just have a great sense of humor. They also offer a drink called "Coffiest", which is a beverage from the great Sci-Fi novel "the Space Merchants". It was a morning pick-me-up containing "a harmless alkaloid" so people got addicted.

I loved the puzzle, which is something I haven't said in a while. Keep up the great work, Mr Thackeray!

DAN! 10:47 AM  

It's a Harry Potter reference. I've never read the books and I've only seen clips of the movies, but I figured it out because at the time the book came out, a lot of trolls on the internet liked ruining people's experience by posting spoilers on message boards using the exact phrase SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE... which is why it's phrased as such in the puzzle

DAN! 10:48 AM  

Well it's a shame it's been spoiled, but check out the movie Soylent Green to find out

DESievers 10:50 AM  

Surely the Trump Jr. comment cannot be legit? But then, considering the egregious grammar, maybe it can.

r.alphbunker 10:56 AM  

The last letter entered was the B of 116A {Plant that's the source of a caffeine-free tea} REDBUSH/81D {Player of Nelson Mandela in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"} IDRISELBA. Post-googling RED BUSH revealed that it is the translation of the Afrikaans word Rooibus which I have heard of. I solved another puzzle recently where there was a red thing that I had never heard of. I can't say which puzzle because that would be a spoiler.

Details are here.

Mr. Grumpypants 11:00 AM  

Since the clue asked for LUKE's father, shouldn't the "proper" answer have been DARTH? Since when do you get to use a first name clue for a last name answer? Easy to fix, but annoying.

Dragoncat 11:02 AM  

I really enjoyed this. I got the theme with Vader and Luke's Father. Had no problem with Kills Dumbledore and appreciate Scott's contribution above. Poor anonymous--obviously too young for Soylent Green-it was indeed a shocker at the time. Would have been perfect had "I see dead people" made it in but I don't so how it was possible. Very enjoyable. Didn't realize Grant is a first time contributor and I look forward to more.

Mohair Sam 11:03 AM  

@Evil Doug - Thank you. I just collected $5 from Lady M - I bet her that Loren's comment would bring out a mention of Rachel and the tax return from you, got five to one.

On the other hand, I actually sat through sat through Rachel's ramble as I did Geraldo's farce. And since Her Ladyship and I have a joint account - the joke is very much on me.

Jessica Shklar 11:12 AM  

I loved this puzzle and I know my husband will too....but he has not read the Harry Potter series and wants to remain unspoiled. In fact he leaves the room if the kids and I are discussing it!! I had to somehow explain to him why he can't do this puzzle - without really telling him the theme in case he decides to do it after all. I was stuck saying "you'll love this puzzle but can't do it because you'll learn something you don't want to know".

On the other hand, my 13 year old Harry Potter/Star Wars/Crossword puzzle fan son will love working on this one.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

@Z
Re. Soylent

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/05/12/the-end-of-food

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-real-soylent-sickness

Teedmn 11:31 AM  

MARES' NESTS - The danger of learning from context is you don't always catch the correct context. I have always pictured a MARE'S NEST as a "tangle". One big skein of yarn hopelessy tangled by a kitten; the knotted mess of fishing line that's been rolling around in the bottom of the boat; the dust bunnies playing along my hallway. Not a muddle. So not knowing S_S at 11A and not knowing Lon NOL at 38A (the latter of which I finally had to Google) meant I made a MARES'NESTS in my mind trying to come up with 12D.

Other than that, this was a typical Sunday solve, random-hopping around the grid in search of a theme. The cruelly self-referential title didn't help at all - I had long figured out the theme before it came to light. At first I thought it was totally Star Wars related (see 41D) but ROSEBUD/SLED opened my eyes to the possibility of other movies.

I loved the "Disappointment for someone looking for a parking spot" clue for HYDRANT. It brings back memories of many a losing battle. Personally, I prefer to park far from the fray and walk to where I want to go rather than continuously run into driveways, restricted parking hours and hard-to-navigate parking meter payment systems, all while trying not to hit pedestrians or run red lights.

Did anyone else consider RFE (Radio Free Europe) for 93A's VOA? I remember TV PSAs for that but I have no idea what they were trying to accomplish. I didn't search too deeply but a brief Google fails to answer that question - speculation is that the spots were 1) looking for donations 2) educating us on what our tax dollars (in 1971, that would be my parents' tax dollars) were getting or 3) reassuring us that communism was being fought by outreaches to the "hearts and minds" of those behind the Iron Curtain.

Lots of ERATa today, with "aura" for LAKE as a limnologist's interest, "wiperS" for CHAINS at 1A, wanting "Antari" (thinking of Antares) for ALTAIR, "eliteS" before ALISTS, "Kali" for SIVA and taking 28A's Level as a verb, so I had "True" before TIER.

Thanks, Grant Thackray, for a thought-provoking Sunday puzzle and congrats on the debut!

jae 11:57 AM  

Easy-medium for me. What @Rex said although the SNAPE answers did not really bother me. Fun Sunday, nice debut, liked it.

Big Steve 46 12:00 PM  

Ah, perhaps somewhere over the rainbow - there's a world with no Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter or Tolkien! (Dorothy and Toto are welcome, though.)

Moly Shu 12:08 PM  

I had humans before PEOPLE for like 3 minutes until I realized I hadn't NAILEDIT. HELIACAL woe. Agree with those pointing out SNAPE is a spoiler, think @Rex kinda whiffed there. Liked it

Roo Monster 12:10 PM  

Hey All !
Pretty cool puz, but what do you do if you don't know one of the SPOILERs and don't want to find out?
Don't do the puz? But you don't know which SPOILERs are in puz, so if you do do the puz, then you're taking a big chance. Roundabout thinking, eh?

Caught on at SOYLENT GREEN. If you've never heard that one before, then you might not know the rest. It's common, is what I'm sayin. Actually haven't seen the last couple of Harry Potter movies, and didn't know what SNAPE did, so thanks for that! :-)

Here's another, was looking for Kaiser Soze! Never did see ROSEBUD.

Some good clues, MAILEDIT, ARGONAUT, SONG, BOD, RUG, LIL, DORM. Nice misdirect at PEE, had gEE, as in Oh gEEz. Nother one at Millennium clue, had MmI before MII.

So, overall a pretty neat puz. Wasn't UNHAPpy doing it. IRAEt it two YUKS RIDingUP. Har.

DANG SPYHOLE
RooMonster
DarrinV

Nancy 12:11 PM  

The worst SPOILER ALERT that's ever been perpetrated on me happened back in high school, a few days before I was scheduled to see Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap", playing in NYC after a long run in London. A high school classmate named Jan Rouse -- yes, I'm *outing* you after all these years, Jan, because I've never forgiven you for your unforgivable and gratuitous behavior -- turned to me and said: "The --------- is the killer." (I'm not revealing it, dear blogmates, because I wouldn't want to perpetrate the same outrage on you.) She ruined the play for me for absolutely no good reason, the denouement being one of Christie's cleverest and most unexpected. I've never gotten over this and since then, I've been scrupulously dedicated to never ever ruining a surprise ending for anyone else.

In that spirit, let me thank Grant Thackray for choosing to mostly SPOIL only those sorts of books and movies I don't like or see anyway, PLANET OF THE APES being the only (and to me, very, very serious) exception. (Although PSYCHO is by Hitchcock, whom I adore, I never saw it because I was told it would scare the hell out of me and make me afraid to take a shower. And I already have enough fears, thank you very much.) But thanks, Grant, for not giving away the endings to VERTIGO; AND THEN THERE WERE NONE; MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS; DIAL M FOR MURDER; LAURA; and the one with Kevin Costner tracking a mole in the Pentagon. (I forget the title and if I go to Google it, I'll lose this post.) But anyway, thank you. As for everyone who did this puzzle today -- I fervently hope that all of you have already seen PLANET OF THE APES, one of the most biting satires ever made.

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

Shouldn't the clue for 66A read 'it really is a 8-down'? An SLED?

Roo Monster 12:14 PM  

DANG typos!
Meant never seen the movie ROSEBUD. And NAILEDIT, not mAILEDIT! Ha! Maybe I mAILEDIT in and NAILEDIT!

FARR SKID
RooMonster

Joseph Michael 12:16 PM  

Fun theme. Annoying solve.

Got LUKE'S FATHER early on, thought it was going to be another Star Wars theme, and almost quit. Plodded on and got the SOYLENT GREEN themer was saw that there was something more interesting going on. So I completed the grid.

As a Harry Potter resister, who has read no books and seen no films involving his exploits, I did not know the DUMBLERDORE themer. Knew only that something -- which I assumed was a snake -- had killed someone for some reason. And didn't care and still don't care.

Was waiting for the SPOILER ALERT for the film Sixth Sense, now a classic plot twist, and was disappointed not to get it. But liked the theme choices overall.

Keyser Söze 12:18 PM  

I may have to kill you all.

CDilly52 12:30 PM  

My Granddad called me a HOYDEN which sent me insearch of definitions - a game he played with me often. He was such a stickler for precise communication and deplored slang. I came back and said I was proud to be a HOYDEN according to the OED, and we discussed the various definitions I had discovered. Amazimg the memories that are buried to be triggered by something simple. Cheers to my dear departed "grandpeople" who so profoundly and lovingly guided my life.

Oh, the puzzle...a fine Sunday effort including the token Hawaiian reference, Don Ho and the (in my opinion)annoying cross references. Had to get HELIACLE with crosses only (and did, thankfully). Enjoyed the "Sunday-ness" and
The theme. And, DIES IRAE is part of a requiem mass.

Blue Stater 12:36 PM  

Brutally difficult, grossly unfair. No flat-out errors that I could see, but a lot of answers were really, really close to the line.

old timer 12:42 PM  

I too hate cross-references and the result was an accidental DNF. Had "lore" for LAKE and missed the SCIS.

Puzzles like this give me no pleasure, though I appreciate the effort required to construct them.

Unicorn Slayer 12:43 PM  

@evil doug 10:28AM You pilfered my post, but I'm pretty sure LMS teed that one up on purpose. Given this week's news she had to know the comment called for a wood over and iron. Sometimes our Muse is too cutesy by half, but I don't really think she believes that her occasional innuendo is subliminal enough to be missed by this crowd?

Yes Loren, we know you wear your heart on your sleeve. We also know it isn't your RIGHT sleeve.

@Mohair Sam: If Lady M gave you 5 to 1 odds on THAT bet, I sure hope you don't take her to the casinos too often? If you do, insist that she gamble with her own gelt.

DESievers : Ah yes! The default position of those without a truly cogent rebuttal. Please tell us exactly what rank you hold in *GASP. We have numerous members of that organization on this board, but seldom pay them much attention. We will also need to ascertain weather you are in the descriptivist or prescriptivist camp? If you've attained the rank of Pedant General, we might give weight to your observations. Let us know.

*GASP = Grammar And Spelling Police

JC66 12:47 PM  

Hand up for hating cross referencing, but muddled through.

Like LMS, originally had an i in the the HOYDEN/SOYLENT cross.

@Roo

ROSEBUD was Citizen Kane's sled when he was a kid.

Andrew Goodridge 12:50 PM  

I don't think SPOILERs are *only* associated with twist endings. Revealing any unexpected plot point qualifies as a spoiler in my book. Thus, the Snape and Psycho answers both felt fine to me.

I really liked this puzzle! There were a few questionable crosses, but I like the theme and I appreciate its density. It felt easy-ish, but I did have a bit of a misstep when my first pass left me with S-A-E, which was cross-referenced with KILLS----(??). My first thought was SHANE, and I tried to think who SHANE killed and why it was surprising. Oops! I guess I was thinking strictly about film spoilers, and I typically think of HP as a series of books rather than a series of movies (though I loved the movies!)

Thank you for a fun puzzle!

'mericans in Paris 1:01 PM  

@Anonymous 10:11 AM: Yes, I realized after I posted, that in fact there was the obligatory Hawai'ian clue and answer. In fact, I can't recall the last Sunday NYT puzzle that didn't include as an answer "LEI", "LUAU", "KEA", "HULA", "MAUI", or something along those lines. I don't mind: it's always nice to be reminded of those magical islands.

@Roo Monster: Keyser Söze indeed! Best film role for Kevin Spacey, bar none. One of my top 5 of all time flicks.

And to @Keyser Söze himself: LOL!

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

If you want to stump a north of seventy coger just throw in B movie sci-fi material, Harry Potter and Tolkien. A solve for me but it came hard. All this childish fantasy lore just misses my demographic and makes me grumpy. Or maybe my demographic is always grumpy.

GHarris 1:04 PM  

There were too many unfair crosses as I saw it to justify rating the puzzle medium. I took my swings and had a few misses so dnf and feel this was to say the least challenging.

Masked and Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Slight letdown dept: When M&A saw the "111-Across!" title, got his hopes up that it was a SunPuz about Trump's waistline.

For some reason, our solvequest tended to uncover the long themers first, then we'd zip over and splatz in the shorter related themer last. Exception: the SNAPE one. [M&A has successfully slept thru at least part of every Hairy Potter flick, but still got this.]

Cool debut and clever theme idea. Fairly fun solve, altho M&A ain't a big fan of bein cross-referenced into tarnation, either.

staff pick of 43(!) weeject candidates: See 77-Down.

UNHAP. har

Thanx and congratz, Mr. Thackray.

Masked & Anonymo12Us


**gruntz**

Alexscott68 1:08 PM  

Darth isn't VADER's first name, it's a tltle--as in Darth Maul, Darth Sidius, etc. So using VADER / LUKE makes more sense than Darth / LUKE.

On the other hand, Obi-Wan does refer to VADER as "Darth" in the first movie (ep. 4), so the confusion is George Lucas's fault. But I think the puzzle constructor got it right.

GILL I. 2:22 PM  

I decided to dislike this puzzle when SOY LENT GREEN appeared in a haze. I tried every wich way to dissect that answer. What in god's name is that?
Oh lordy, please don't have me jumping all around. As it is, I can hardly differentiate between the 60's and 80's clue.
I think I began to smell some sort of rat at SLED and ROSEBUD but it still didn't mean much to me. Every time I'd get a little ahead, there'd be one of those damn "go see 45."
I guess that's a good way to clue FAT. Spare tire is far less cruel than, say, "little miss piggy." And what with MATEE.
After reading everybody, I guess I can find cleverness in the puzzle but I hate it when I have to scratch my head on a Sunday.
@Nancy....I'd kill her! Mine was when our son sent me a text asking about what I thought of Glen getting killed in "The Walking Dead." I hadn't seen it yet....!!! I cried. I wailed. I wanted revenge. But then I remembered the one about Gwenyth Paltrow's head in the box in the movie Se7en. Sweet!

GILL I. 2:31 PM  

Oh...and if you like these twisty plots SPOILER ALERT type movies, watch THE GAME with Michael Douglas. I could watch that movie over and over again. True genius.

Lurker Librarian 2:32 PM  

Was expecting to see COOKBOOK as one of the spoilers.

The Crying Game came to mind, too, but that particular spoiler might be insufficiently G-rated for the NYTX. My own father spoiled that one for me, just before I was going to see it; @Nancy I fully understand why you are still annoyed at Jan. Tomorrow would have been my dad's 95th birthday--perhaps it's time to forgive him. He was a dear man and an incorrigible troll.

Regarding PLANET OF THE APES, it was remade around 2000, so maybe not quite as ancient a reference as PEOPLE think.

Anonymous 2:50 PM  

How many times so far in 2017 has Mr. Parker unreservedly liked a NYT puzzle?
He always seems to have nothing but bad things to say.
Sometimes his review is mixed, like today.
It's a breath of fresh air by comparison.

Numinous 2:54 PM  

I read all of the Harry Potter books to keep up with my step-kids and went to all the movies with them. It gave us something to discuss and to share. Mrs. N eschewed the whole deal until the reruns came up on "On Demand" and the kids and I watched again. Mrs. Numi was stuck having to watch and actually found she enjoyed the movies a bit. The series starts with Harry et al around the age of ten or eleven. The first book reads as if it were written for an audience of that age. As the characters age throughout the series, so does the writing. I found that to be a huge bonus; very clever of Ms. Rowling.

I really liked this; it kept me occupied for a good bit longer than my normal Sunday. I didn't mind that one bit. I've seen all of the SPOILEd movies so I got a kick out of that gimmick. I had considered bodies before PEOPLE occurred to me. That was my only glitch with the SPOILERs.

Very impressive debut from the young @Grant Thackray. He says he's big on puns so here's hoping we get to see more from him. Another thing he said over on xwordinfo was that he didn't want to do any actual spoilers so as not to ruin things for anyone. That's why he chose what he called "iconic SPOILERs" from older films where the spoilers were well known. This is a great first effort and on a Sunday too. Grant deserves every penny!

Anoa Bob 2:56 PM  

A POOL CUE has a FERRULE, but I guess there's already more than enough cross-referencing in this one.

Not a movie person so this one left me a tad UNHAP with nary a ray of HELIACAL warmth to counter my mood. POOH.

Do they make BOSE in BOISE?

Mr. Grumpypants 3:22 PM  

Thank you @Alexscott68. That makes sense.

Chester from Kokomo 3:50 PM  


Just hold on a sec here . . . SOYLENT GREEN is PEOPLE????????

I've seen the movie half a dozen times, and I've never realized that. Although come to think of it, that makes complete sense. Thank you!

This explains everything about the film that had always confused me, particularly ending.

Carola 4:09 PM  

Liked it! I'll hitch on to the accolades for the idea, execution, and generous sprinkling of the grid with treats like HOYDEN, MARE'S NEST, SPYHOLE, ARGONAUT. Working down the left side, I caught on to the theme with PSYCHO. The crossing HYDRANT soon took me to KILLS....and I immediately wrote in DUMBLEDORE and went looking for SNAPE - for me that was a true shocker and definitely would definitely qualify as a SPOILER. Like @Moly Shu, I wanted my SOYLENT GREEN to be made of humans; can't believe how long it took to think of PEOPLE.

@loren and @lurker librarian- Me, too, for the puzzle's recalling to mind "The Crying Game" and the attendant sending of my rage meter once more into the stratosphere - during that vulnerable period between when most people had seen the movie (but I hadn't) and then had moved on to something else (so the danger of its coming up had passed), the crucial fact was revealed in passing at a book club meeting. How can people....?!?!? (Loren, those possessives are for you :). )

@flashman - Here I'd been thinking, "Huh, so that's what a FERRULE is"....or did I mean ferule? Thank you.

@Grant Thackray - Thanks for the fun!

Anonymous 4:18 PM  

@Chester knowing that soylent green is people really clears up the ending, where he shouts "soylent green is people"

Mohair Sam 4:28 PM  

I have hated Billy Crystal ever since he 'spoiled' "The Crying Game" at the Academy Awards.

Larry Gilstrap 4:45 PM  

I've never quite understood the gravity of inadvertently revealing some surprising plot element. I did lose a good friendship once by innocently adding, "Well, if he sees dead people and he sees you, you must be dead." I hadn't even seen the movie. There must be more to a movie than that O. Henry moment.

Cross referenced cluing reminds me of that awkward moment at a meeting when the presenter insists upon audience participation. Squirm inducing! Ever see someone at a music event madly clapping along totally off the beat? Tell me you're not that person.

For no good reason, I found "Nothing but NET" in the vicinity of "wedgie" to be delightfully hilarious.

SPOILER ALERT: "The Mousetrap" has played continuously in London since 1952. A famous cartoon shows a couple of theatre goers exiting the cab. After examining his inadequate tip, the cabbie offers, "The Policeman did it."



Dr. Bunger 4:47 PM  

Everybody dies except the narrator, or how could he then tell the story.

Joe Bleaux 5:31 PM  

"Knashing" our teeth, Donnie? Hu hu! Felt compelled to "tapp" out a little reminder of just how sharp you are, huh?

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 5:40 PM  

I had to go to an American Guild of Organists Local chapter members recital this afternoon, and I brought the puz. Big church, small audience, so I didn't have to be obvious in my inattention. The music of course ranged from spectacular through lots and lots of dull to really dreadful, and my 'solved-clues-per-minute' score fluctuated wildly. But I finished just as the obligatory improvised fantasy on a guess-the-hymn was accumulating reed stops, and I had the puzzle back in my purse i time to stand up and walk out schmoozing. Perfect difficulty for a Sunday puzzle.

Punctuated equilibrium 5:44 PM  

Couldn't agree more.

Lee Coller 5:46 PM  

I know Snape and Dumbledore only from crosswords, so the relation between them was lost on me. The others, once I figured out the theme, were highly inferable once I had a few crosses.

Joe Bleaux 6:11 PM  

Sam (and Doug) -- Check out (YouTube) Colbert last week treating an ancient joke as Maddow would do it. Hilarious!

Joe Bleaux 6:49 PM  

@lms -- me too on SPYHOLE, which I thought was kinda bassackward (KEY hole's a peeping aid for a SPY, not vice versa). @ 'mericans -- Yup, re UNHAP (didn't make any sense to me ... distant cousin of "hapless," maybe). @Charles Flaster -- You're not groaning alone whenever the Potter, rapper, or even some of the Star Wars, clues show up. I dread 'em. Dang, I'm agreeing with most everyone about one thing or another today! Oh, yeah, before I forget: Any boat/fisherfolk here who can tell me the difference between a SHRIMPER and a trawler? Congrats on your debut, Mr. Thackray (but hold off awhile before the next cross-referencer, OK?).

Mohair Sam 6:57 PM  

@Joe Bleaux - Good stuff, thanx

17th century blackamoor fop 7:27 PM  

I have Suxxed @evil doug's coxx multiple times.

jberg 8:39 PM  

I've seen only three of the six movies, but they're so well known I could get them anyway -- the hardest was recalling DUMBLEDORE's name -- and I have read the first book of the series. (Thanks to whoever said that the writing gets less childish as they go along, maybe I'll give the series another try.)

But sadly, I had HELIoCAL, since I don't know how Helios becomes helia- anything. I knew limnology was about LAKES, but I forgot to go back and check it after I had the L from the cross, so DNF.

I've been in Hawaii twice, walked right by the place DON HO was playing, but didn't go see him -- major regret.

@Lauren, me to for wanting sock.

Roo Monster 9:56 PM  

@Chester 3:50 - Har!
@Anony 4:18 - Har-er!
@Dr. Bunger 4:47, not necessarily.
SPOILER ALERTs below. If you don't want to know, skip the rest.

Narrators in American Beauty, Sixth Sense, and a couple more I might be missing? And sorta kinda K-PAX.

RooMonster

kitshef 11:50 PM  

@Nancy - the movie you are thinking of is No Way Out.

The movie Soylent Green is based on the Harry Harrison novel Make Room! Make Room!

Enjoyed the puzzle, even the normally odious cross-referencing.

Fitzy 12:03 AM  

30 Down: Pre-euro money. Are they referring to the Italian currency unit LIRA or did some other country in the EU have a currency unit spelled LIRE?

Fitzy 12:05 AM  

Ah, LIRE is the plural. Nevermind. :-)

MoneyBeet 12:36 AM  

i was coming here to say this very thing! i think a crossword generation gap is to blame.

if you were involved with Harry Potter fandom at all when HBP came out, you'd consider that a spoiler, however awkward Rex finds the verbiage.

i locked myself in my house and read the book twice with no internet breaks for fear of spoilers, and i did the same when Book 7 came out.

Anyway, my first comment after months of reading this blog is just to say "hear, hear, I agree." Cheers!

Andrew Heinegg 12:37 AM  

Doug, as a confirmed, intelligent and sensible person on the right, I am disappointed that you focus on something as inane as the Maddow show and the tax return.

That tax return business was nothing more or less than the Trump campaign pimping an intelligent person in Maddow into trumping (sorry) up the idea that the return was anything other Trump putting out information that he wanted to be put forward about how he made money in a year when every money person made a zillion dollars. It also showed how Trump never paid any more taxes than he absolutely had to. MSNBC and Maddow deserve all of the grief they have gotten for promoting that they had some solid information that was relevant to anything.

But, all of that is proof of nothing save that all media of every political persuasion is desperate to have breaking news. Even if there is no news;

Andrea Ojeda 1:44 AM  

Darth is not a name, but refers to the actual title of a dark lord. Vader was then, the chosen name given to Anakin Skywalker when he turned to the dark side.

Grant Thackray 3:58 AM  

You make a good point! But if you really want to get nerdy about it, Darth is Vader's title rather than his first name (see: Darth Maul, Darth Sidious...), so I'd say it still works. But nice catch!

NE 8:21 AM  

I also loved this. Keep on Mr. Thackray. This was great fun.

Hungry Mother 4:30 PM  

Do people who like rap music do crosswords? I knew all of the theme entries, but stumbled on a few shorter entries.

Guerin Wilkinson 9:27 PM  

I found this puzzle MUCH more enjoyable than the usual Sunday. Yes you can get all technical grammarish about the Snape answer, but I was delighted. And "killed Dumbledore" was perfect. Very proud of myself -- I once studied for the GMAT(?) and back then vocabulary was important. Hoyden stuck with me! And ferrule I knew right off from their use in pole saws (I run a tree service). A lot of readers are a bit jaded. Try a strong hit of acid or shock treatment or, what worked for me, open-heart surgery to reset your brains.

Nicola Segall 6:37 PM  

"Snape kills dumbledore" as a spoiler became a meme in its own right, so I thought that wording was appropriate.

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/snape-kills-dumbledore

rondo 11:09 AM  

@Chester from Kokomo – most interesting comment of the day. It’s not enough that Charlton Heston screams at the top of his lungs, “SOYLENTGREEN is PEOPLE!”? AND you’ve seen the movie multiple times? One of the best sci-fi/fantasy films of all time. Better than any Star Wars flick even if VADER is LUKESFATHER.

SPOILERALERT? For all of you curling fans, Team Canada has won the women’s world championships. Undefeated through the whole tourney. Way to go Rachel, Lisa, Emma, and Joanne - HONOREEs of the day.

If I haven’t been miseducated, LAURYN Hill falls into the yeah baby category, AND so does angelic Lucy LIU, its Elementary.

Nary a write-over today, must have had it MASTERED.

rondo 11:11 AM  

Or maybe @Chester isn't very good at sarcasm?

Burma Shave 11:38 AM  

PSYCHO HONOREE

TAKEABREAK from PEOPLE as SOYLENTGREEN
AND EARTH as PLANETOFTHEAPES
NAY, AND we’ll SETTHETONE for Ed Gein
who MASTERED NORMANBATES.

--- HOYDEN ALDER, OXO

Ray o sunshine 12:05 PM  

Was getting dizzy from all the cross-references, my feeble mind kept forgetting my place and then original clue!. The definition of "hoyden" does not sound at all like a "tomboy". "Unhap"?? I have no idea. As a boomer I got all the 60s referenced flicks and knew enough about the Harry Potter films to fill in. 3 sunday completions in a row. Ouch, just dislocated my shoulder giving myself a pat on the back. Unfortunately doesn't impress the wife, she had my to do list ready!

BS2 12:40 PM  

DANG FOOL, AVERSE:

ROSEBUD’s in a MARESNEST of CHAINS,
a BOD AND REDBUSH that ain’t failed YET,
SHE’S a TART who’s ASKEDAFTER some pain
to make BOBHOPE that he’s NAILEDIT.

--- LI’L LAURYN “LEO” LIU

spacecraft 12:51 PM  

Severe Natick at square 12; never heard of a ?MARESNEST? Doesn't even make sense. Horses do not make or live in nests. And the techie crossing? No way. Running the alphabet, I came up with either H or M. I know: rabbits don't nest either. They warren. So I says to my wife "Pick one: H or M?" She says "M." So we co-solved this one. Thanks, honey.

Medium, leaning toward challenging for me; not a follower of Rowlingana (yes! There ARE some of us!), that SPOILER set was difficult. I thought the one that didn't belong was PSYCHO. Besides giving DOD Janet Leigh WAY too little screen time, the film, which I recall refused to seat patrons ten minutes from the end, did not fool this 20-year-old. I took one look at NORMANBATES and said to my DAD, who went with me, "That's the PSYCHO." He stood out like a sore thumb. Not much spoiling there...but a good, tense thriller anyway.

My chief disappointment was NOT seeing Kaiser Sose anywhere! The fill is predictably rough: the RRN, the oh-no-not-again EKE, and (are you ready for this?) ARU. ARU? BA(h)! I guess, as themes go, this is a little different; let's say it EKEs out a par.

P.S. Interesting that Heston is the central character in two of these.

Naticked @ 81d/104a 1:34 PM  

I guess I'm the only one who knew neither the player of Nelson Mandela or the Hindu god of destruction?

Old Al 1:53 PM  

Since I'm a late syndicated solver, I don't think this will get much response but I just have to get it off my chest.

After I got the revealer and had -NAPE for 11D, I said, "AHA! AN APE and Murders in the Rue Morgue." Needless to say, that really caused a lot of problems.

rain forest 2:40 PM  

Sweet theme idea today. After reading the title, I went straight to 111 Across and quickly got SPOILER ALERT, which I suppose was a bit of a spoiler for the solve. However, I didn't realize what it was referring to until I got the SLED/ROSEBUD duo. Then the game was afoot, and I kind of liked jumping around all over the place. I've seen all those movies except for the Potter flick, and that one was the toughest to suss out, and since it has been spoiled, I won't watch it. Or read it. Proudly haven't read nor seen any HP stuff. However I have read LOTR three times, and will probably do so again.

I agree that this puzzle would have been perfect if Kaiser Sose/The Usual Suspects had replaced SNAPE, but not sure how that could have been clued. Maybe with the hated verb phrase, har!

Despite all the threes, this puzzle flowed nicely, I thought, with some clever clues and one near Natick (for me) as ARU/DORM was my last entry, but even that one was a head-slap.

I love Rachel Maddow, and while watching her "coup", I was impressed by her unflappable presentation as she was divulging...nothing, which I'm sure she realized but carried on nonetheless.

@Rondo I echo your congrats to Team Canada and their dominant performance at the world championships. As a curler myself, I am so impressed by the precision of today's curlers.

Larry Jordan 3:03 PM  

Your.

AnonymousPVX 4:29 PM  

Finished with much effort, really dislike gimmick puzzles, plus the constant cross-referencing of clues is tiresome.

Can any one explain what 99D See 45 Across (HONOREE) has to do with 45A (PlanetOfTheApes) ?

Because I just don't get it.

AnonymousPVX 4:35 PM  

Whoops, and a big never mind, I was looking at 90 D but had made a mark, it looked like 99 in the grid and I'm an idiot.

Phillip Blackerby 1:59 AM  

"you're" first, then "your," Drumpf. Got it exactly backwards. Like most everything else.

manitoba 4:52 PM  

Thats funny. To anyone who has not seen the movie, that clue and answer would be a head scratcher.

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