LA Times Crossword 3 Jun 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Robin Stears
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Golden Horde

Themed answers each include two instances of the letter pairing AU (“Au” is the element symbol for GOLD):

  • 63A 13th/14th-century Mongol Empire region … and an elemental hint to what’s found twice in each answer to a starred clue : GOLDEN HORDE
  • 17A “Two Tahitian Women” painter : PAUL GAUGUIN
  • 23A 1965 Beau Brummels hit with the line “It seemed so funny to me” : LAUGH, LAUGH
  • 38A Southern lights : AURORA AUSTRALIS
  • 51A Reuben ingredient : SAUERKRAUT

Bill’s time: 5m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Mercedes line : E-CLASS

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a range of executive-size cars. Originally, the “E” stood for “Einspritzmotor”, the German for “fuel injection engine”.

11 Magazine with a satirical “fold-in” back cover : MAD

“Mad” magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine. The original founder and editor was Harvey Kurtzman and in order to convince him to stay, the publisher changed the format to a magazine in 1955. That’s when the publication really took off in terms of popularity.

14 Bear in two constellations : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

16 Curling surface : ICE

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

17 “Two Tahitian Women” painter : PAUL GAUGUIN

Paul Gauguin was a French artist in the Post-Impressionist period. Gauguin was a great friend of Vincent van Gogh, and indeed was staying with him in Arles when van Gogh famously cut off his own ear. Equally famously, Gauguin “fled” to Tahiti in 1891 to escape the conventions of European life. He painted some of his most famous works on the island. After ten years living on Tahiti, Gauguin relocated to the Marquesas Islands, where he passed away in 1903.

Paul Gaugin’s 1899 painting “Two Tahitian Women” can be seen in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The painting was attacked in 2011 by a woman who was deemed to be mentally unstable. The work was on loan to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. at the time, and was saved by a protective plexiglass screen.

21 SFO incoming flight : ARR

Arrival (arr.)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines.

23 1965 Beau Brummels hit with the line “It seemed so funny to me” : LAUGH, LAUGH

“Laugh, Laugh” was the 1964 debut single for the Beau Brummels rock group. In the days before music videos, the band managed to promote the song quite heavily, even performing it as the animated Beau Brummelstones in a 1965 episode of “The Flintstones”.

The Beau Brummels were a rock band from San Francisco that formed in 1964. They were often compared to the Beatles, in both appearance and style of music. There’s even an urban myth that the group chose the name “Beau Brummels” so that their records would appear alongside those of the Beatles in an alphabetical layout.

27 Neverland pirate : SMEE

In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s bosun and right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on a pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

Neverland is the fictional location where Peter Pan lives in the works of J. M. Barrie. The name actually evolved in Barrie’s works, starting out as “Peter’s Never Never Never Land”. Also, Barrie used the names “the Never Never Land”, “the Neverland” and “the Neverlands”. Famously, entertainer Michael Jackson renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch as Neverland Valley Ranch when he took ownership in 1988, in a nod to “Peter Pan”.

32 CPR expert : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

35 Media org. that tweets the Declaration of Independence on July 4 : NPR

Ever since 1989, NPR’s “Morning Edition” has featured a reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th each year. The reading is performed in sections by a panel of radio hosts, reporters and commentators. What a great tradition …

38 Southern lights : AURORA AUSTRALIS

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

43 H.G. Wells genre : SCI-FI

The full name of the English author known as H. G. Wells was Herbert George Wells. Wells is particularly well known for his works of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds”, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. He was a prolific author, and a prolific lover as well. While married to one of his former students with whom he had two sons, he also had a child with writer Amber Reeves, and another child with author Rebecca West.

44 Moo __ gai pan : GOO

Moo goo gai pan is the American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese, “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

48 Zodiac transition point : CUSP

The word “cusp” comes from the Latin “cuspis” meaning “spear, point”. In the world of astrology, a cusp is an imaginary line separating two signs of the zodiac. For example, some whose birthday is between April 16 and April 26 is said to have been born “on the cusp” between the signs Aries and Taurus.

51 Reuben ingredient : SAUERKRAUT

“Sauerkraut” translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, sauerkraut producers changed its name in order to distance their product from the “enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

58 Bygone telecom co. : MCI

MCI was a giant telecom company that suffered a similar fate to Enron, and around about the same time. MCI’s stock price fell in 2000 and, in maneuvers designed to protect the price, the company committed illegal acts. MCI’s larger-than-life CEO Bernie Ebbers served 13 years of a 25-year sentence, before being released due to a decline in health. He died one month later.

62 “Ben-__” : HUR

The 2016 epic “Ben-Hur” is an adaptation of the Lew Wallace novel of the same name, rather than a remake of the celebrated 1959 Charlton Heston vehicle. English actor Jack Huston has the title role in the 2016 film, which really bombed at the box office.

63 13th/14th-century Mongol Empire region … and an elemental hint to what’s found twice in each answer to a starred clue : GOLDEN HORDE

The Golden Horde were a group of Mongols who ruled over what is now Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and the Caucasus, from the 1240s until 1502. It has been suggested that the name of the group derives from the yellow tents used by the rulers of the Golden Horde. And, the Golden Horde’s influence and rule led to the term “horde”, meaning large crowd, entering the English language via many languages spoken in Slavic Eastern Europe.

66 The Nixon years, e.g. : ERA

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

67 Capital west of Krakow : PRAGUE

The beautiful city of Prague is today the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague’s prominence in Europe has come and gone over the centuries. For many years, it was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire.

Kraków is the second largest city in Poland, and was a capital for many centuries. The Archbishop of Kraków was Karol Wojtyla, one of the most famous people to have lived in the city. In 1978 Archbishop Wojtyla was installed as Pope John Paul II. Kraków was also where the bagel was invented, in the 16th century.

68 Tiny amt. of time : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

70 Autumn blooms : ASTERS

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

Down

2 Magic Kingdom people mover : TRAM

The Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida receives more visitors annually than any other theme park in the whole world. The Magic Kingdom alone received about 17½ million visitors in 2012, and that’s not including the visitors to nearby Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

4 “Who Shot J.R.?” show : DALLAS

The TV soap “Dallas” revolved around the Ewing family. The series that ran for 13 years was originally intended as a five-part mini-series, with the main characters being newlyweds Bobby and Pam Ewing. But, the devious character in the piece, Bobby’s brother J. R., became so popular with audiences that the series was extended with J. R. at the center of the story. Who can remember who shot J.R.? (It was Kristin Shepard: J.R.’s mistress, who was also his sister-in-law).

5 That, in Tijuana : ESA

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

6 Apple core? : CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

8 Honda luxury brand : ACURA

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

9 Vail trail : SKI RUN

The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

10 Common ID : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

12 Berry from South America : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

18 In a funk : GLUM

Funk is ill-humor, and is a word that dates back to the mid-1700s. “Funk” is probably a term that came from Scottish and northern English.

22 Hindu deity known as the Destroyer : SHIVA

Shiva is one of the major deities of the Hindu tradition, and is known as the destroyer of evil and the transformer. Shiva is also part of the Hindu trinity known as the Trimurti, along with Brahma and Vishnu.

24 Rowlands who won an Emmy for playing Betty Ford : GENA

Gena Rowlands is an actress best known for the films made with her husband, actor and director John Cassavetes. More recently, Rowlands played a lead role opposite James Garner in the weepy, weepy 2004 film “The Notebook”. “The Notebook” was directed by her son, Nick Cassavetes. Rowlands was nominated for Oscars for her performances in two films: “Gloria” (1980) and “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974).

Betty Ford was the First Lady and wife of President Gerald Ford, who was in office from 1973 to 1974. Betty Ford was forced to face her alcoholism and addiction to painkillers when her family staged an intervention in 1978. She managed to recover and then famously co-founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California which treats victims of chemical dependency.

“The Betty Ford Story” is a TV movie released in 1987 that is an adaptation of the former first lady’s autobiography “The Times of My Life”. Betty Ford was played by Gena Rowlands, who won an Emmy for her performance.

25 Air filter acronym : HEPA

Air filters can be specified as “HEPA”, with the acronym standing for “high-efficiency particulate absorption”. To be given the name “HEPA”, the filter must remove 99.7% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns or larger.

29 What some bears do : SELL

The terms “bull market” and “bear market” come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

30 Keystone State port : ERIE

Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, sitting on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

Visually, the thirteen original states formed an arch that stretched up much of the east coast of North America. One might imagine Pennsylvania as the keystone of that visual arch, which explains why Pennsylvania is often referred to as the Keystone State.

31 Part of CNS: Abbr. : SYST

Central nervous system (CNS)

34 Donald Duck’s nephews, e.g. : TRIO

Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in a while, due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.

40 Latvian birthplace of Baryshnikov : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Mikhail “Misha” Baryshnikov started his dancing career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad before defecting to Canada in 1974. The only time my wife ever lined up to get an autograph was when she did so outside the stage door after seeing Baryshnikov dance in Syracuse, New York many moons ago. In her eyes, the man is a god …

52 Razzle-dazzle : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

53 Blue __ Mountains : RIDGE

The Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern US. The range is noted for the bluish colors of the peaks. The blue hue is actually caused by the emission of an organic compound called isoprene into the atmosphere. The isoprene contributes to the blue haze that covers mountain ranges.

54 Trunk : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

57 Use rosary beads, say : PRAY

The Rosary is a set of prayer beads used in the Roman Catholic tradition. The name “Rosary” comes from the Latin “rosarium”, the word for a “rose garden” or a “garland of roses”. The term is used figuratively, in the sense of a “garden of prayers”.

61 Geometric art style : DECO

Art Deco is a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of Art Deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of New York City’s Rockefeller Center with the address of “30 Rock”.

63 Transcript fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

64 Prefix with Asian : EUR-

Eurasia is the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia. It accounts for 36% of the total landmass on the planet, and is home to 71% of the Earth’s population.

65 Wii forerunner, briefly : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Small earring : STUD
5 Mercedes line : E-CLASS
11 Magazine with a satirical “fold-in” back cover : MAD
14 Bear in two constellations : URSA
15 Bits of dust : SPECKS
16 Curling surface : ICE
17 “Two Tahitian Women” painter : PAUL GAUGUIN
19 Testing site : LAB
20 Minute : SMALL
21 SFO incoming flight : ARR
22 Narrow cut : SLIT
23 1965 Beau Brummels hit with the line “It seemed so funny to me” : LAUGH, LAUGH
27 Neverland pirate : SMEE
28 Snap, crackle and pop : NOISES
32 CPR expert : EMT
35 Media org. that tweets the Declaration of Independence on July 4 : NPR
37 Partner of each : EVERY
38 Southern lights : AURORA AUSTRALIS
43 H.G. Wells genre : SCI-FI
44 Moo __ gai pan : GOO
45 Kin of -kin : -LET
46 Yet : THOUGH
48 Zodiac transition point : CUSP
51 Reuben ingredient : SAUERKRAUT
55 Adhesive strip : TAPE
58 Bygone telecom co. : MCI
59 Waited in line, say : STOOD
62 “Ben-__” : HUR
63 13th/14th-century Mongol Empire region … and an elemental hint to what’s found twice in each answer to a starred clue : GOLDEN HORDE
66 The Nixon years, e.g. : ERA
67 Capital west of Krakow : PRAGUE
68 Tiny amt. of time : NSEC
69 “Great news!” : YAY!
70 Autumn blooms : ASTERS
71 Fair : SO-SO

Down

1 Enjoys an evening meal : SUPS
2 Magic Kingdom people mover : TRAM
3 Customary : USUAL
4 “Who Shot J.R.?” show : DALLAS
5 That, in Tijuana : ESA
6 Apple core? : CPU
7 Sanctioned : LEGAL
8 Honda luxury brand : ACURA
9 Vail trail : SKI RUN
10 Common ID : SSN
11 Pepper grinder : MILL
12 Berry from South America : ACAI
13 It’s outstanding : DEBT
18 In a funk : GLUM
22 Hindu deity known as the Destroyer : SHIVA
24 Rowlands who won an Emmy for playing Betty Ford : GENA
25 Air filter acronym : HEPA
26 Suffix with movie or church : -GOER
29 What some bears do : SELL
30 Keystone State port : ERIE
31 Part of CNS: Abbr. : SYST
32 Dawn direction : EAST
33 Greatly : MUCH
34 Donald Duck’s nephews, e.g. : TRIO
36 Throw __ : RUG
39 Beneficial : OF USE
40 Latvian birthplace of Baryshnikov : RIGA
41 Bit of footwear : SOCK
42 __ de force : TOUR
47 Indulges : HUMORS
49 Bachelorette party accessory : SASH
50 Deceptions : PUT-ONS
52 Razzle-dazzle : ECLAT
53 Blue __ Mountains : RIDGE
54 Trunk : TORSO
55 “So __ say” : THEY
56 Ambience : AURA
57 Use rosary beads, say : PRAY
60 Poetic tributes : ODES
61 Geometric art style : DECO
63 Transcript fig. : GPA
64 Prefix with Asian : EUR-
65 Wii forerunner, briefly : NES

29 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Jun 20, Wednesday”

  1. 5:01, no errors. Thanks everyone who shared yesterday.

    In other news, I noticed on my little hiatus that the Seattle Times jumped to regular NYT syndication time, so I might show back up on the other blog since I can do those in time with *most* everyone else again. Of course I say “might” because I’m reminded those typically are ones that put me into that *mood*, for several reasons. Bout done with my newest “Games World” magazine (the 25×25 being left), so there’s always that.

  2. @Glenn from yesterday.
    Growing up, I watched my mother finish the NY Times puzzle flawlessly in pen as I struggled with the one in the NY Daily News with a pencil. If I have an affinity for puzzles today, I know where I got it from.

    Manhattan was eerily normal yesterday during my visit (aside from pandemic masks and very little traffic, that is).

  3. I always enjoy your puzzles- they are the last ones I solve in the Detroit Free Press (to save the best for last!). However, today’s had no stars beside the main clues. I didn’t need them- I just wanted you to know.

  4. No errors, but glad I checked it over (for once) and corrected my
    spelling of Gauguin. …which in turn corrected Acura. Fun puzzle.

  5. No errors.. I was trying to get BORALIS to fit in 38A.. Not used to seeing southern lights.. It came together when I did the down clues.. It was fun.

    I do the Seattle daily NY TIMES puzzle also. Much tougher IMO. I don’t know anyone that does the LA Times or NY TIMES crosswords. I see people doing the “commuter” version.. Real easy 3 or 4 letter common words in local paper. That’s how I got started years ago. Then I graduated. Declared victory and moved myself up to major leagues… I enjoy these much more and if it wasn’t for Bills blog I’m not sure where I would be..

    Be safe.

    1. @Mike
      I got a similar background. Paper has “The Daily Commuter” and the New York Times. Didn’t know anything about daily difficulty and would often end up with a late week NYT puzzle. When I started, I got bored with the “Commuter” pretty quickly and moved to the LAT and Universal (you can even see me on this very blog from then) and then WSJ. Now I more or less attempt everything that interests me (it’d take work to list it all) and find a lot more interests me outside of the LAT and NYT than those themselves. Just more fun for various reasons.

      1. @glenn Yeah,.. I also do the WSJ Saturday. I abandoned the daily WSJ.. Didn’t like the craftsmanship. Of course, now that I know authors better, I tend to shy away on some. I just the WSJ tries to do things their own way…

        I used to be real heavy into SUDOKU until I got headaches from such concentration on one side of my brain it seemed.. I still do weekly sudoku in the Sunday paper.. It’s supposed to be the toughest of the week.

  6. 9:29, no errors. I guess “Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” was too long to fit in the grid. Pity … 😜.

  7. Did pretty good with the puzzle working in and filling in letters, but l never heard of golden horde, so l was lost with that. Also the symbol for gold, unfamiliar with that. I also was thinking Aurora Borilas, also. So l’m not too on the ball today. Stay safe.

  8. 22:39 no errors…my paper also had no stars but I don’t think it would have helped me anyway…also I don’t get 45A.
    Stay safe y’all

    1. Same with me no stared clues and “kin let kin” means nothing in the SE USA. That’s what happens when puzzles come from LA and NYC. We rebels speak a different language, y’all.

      1. Where are you seeing “kin let kin”? The clue for 45A is “Kin of -kin” and the answer is “-let” (which, of course, goes into the grid as “LET”). What the clue is asking for is another suffix which is like the suffix “-kin” in the way that it is used. So, for example, the “-kin” of “munchkin” is like the “-let” of “playlet”. (I’m sure there are better examples, but I’m worn out from a long walk in too much heat with too little water to drink … 😜.)

  9. “Yet” = THOUGH (43A)? BS, imho. Try to swap them out in a sentence and see how little sense it makes.

    1. “I’m not done, though”. “I’m not done yet”. I didn’t love it, but either way, it means “I need more time”.

  10. I normally read the comments but have only posted one time so here is my second post: To the editor: You mentioned Krakow as being the home of Pope John Paul II and the bagel. But no mention of the large Jewish population that existed there and probably the bagel’s inventor. But more so, Krakow’s Jews comprised a quarter of Krakow’s population before World War II, and its Kazimierz district was the center of Jewish life and a major center for Jewish learning. Don’t take offense, but the Irish have never been friendly towards the Jews and Israel.

  11. One Google – PRAGUE.
    Had mOCs before SOCK, “urged’ before LEGAL.
    Things I didn’t know- that the ACURA was a luxury car, that the Beau Brummel song was called LAUGH LAUGH, that Baryshnikov was born in RiGA, that the GOLDEN HORDE was a place.
    @Jack – kin and LET are both diminutives.
    In any case, I really liked this puzzle. It was nicely intellectual, yet cute.

  12. @Gloria,@Joel
    I highly doubt the editors of these puzzles read here. All Bill and most of us are here are just online Statlers and Waldorfs, sounding off on how doing the puzzles went and what we think of them. As for feedback like that, I’m not even sure there’s a contact/place like that for the LA Times.

    1. Joel’s comment was about what Bill wrote about Prague, so I think it makes sense to post it here. It seemed a little formal, though, like he was writing to a newspaper editor, rather than just responding to a blog post. (But I did think it was an interesting comment!) I agree that it is unlikely that any of the readers here could help with Gloria’s issue (no asterisks), but you never know who reads this blog!

  13. 13 minutes, 25 seconds, and no errors. Several hiccups with Proper Noun (names) and the usual “typos” inherent with doing these grids virtually. Can’t WAIT to get back to good old fashioned pen and paper.

  14. A tale of two puzzle parts; a quick top and a slower bottom. Took me 21 minutes with no errors. No stars here either, but I basically ignored the theme anyway.

    Sheesh, how embarrassing, being German and struggling with the spelling of sauerkraut.

    @Nonny – I know, they should of at least tried fitting in MAU MAU, but the AUs are right next to each other. I really enjoyed his “Electric Kool-AID Acid Test.”

    @Glenn – No one in my immediate family. I picked it up at UC Santa Cruz, when I should have been doing homework, although just an occasional puzzle. After graduating, I started doing the SF Chronicle’s two puzzles for several years. Then I started picking up various free papers, and the current one SM Daily Journal has an easy 15×15 on the comics page and the LA puzzle in the classifieds. So I’ve been doing that for about 4-5 years. I do the Jumble, a hard Sudoku, a KenKen and the two crosswords most every day. Occasionally I venture out and do some others if I feel I have a lot of time, but not that often.

  15. There seems to be a common misconception among crossword authors that the Wii came right after the NES. It went: NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii.

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