LA Times Crossword 10 Sep 20, Thursday

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Constructed by: Timothy Schenck
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Intermissions

Four rows in the grid include the hidden name of a Shakespearean play. We have an “INTERMISSION” in each play, i.e. a black square that interrupts the play’s name:

  • 37A Breaks found on rows 3, 5, 11 and 13 of this puzzle? : INTERMISSIONS
  • 17A Entrée with a sweet glaze : CANDIED HAM
  • 19A Reply to “Shall we?” : LET’S! (hiding “HAM/LET”)
  • 23A Making out : NECKING
  • 25A Do-it-yourself manual phrase : LEARN TO (hiding “KING/LEAR”)
  • 48A River under the Arlington Memorial Bridge : POTOMAC
  • 50A “Don’t miss it!” : BE THERE! (hiding “MAC/BETH”)
  • 59A Unintended ink, maybe : BLOT
  • 61A Sanrio character with a red bow : HELLO KITTY (hiding “OT/HELLO”)

Bill’s time: 5m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Initialed, perhaps : OKED

Back in the late 1830s, there were some slang abbreviations coined mainly in Boston. The craze called for two-letter abbreviations of deliberately misspelled phrases. For example “no use” became “KY” from “know yuse”, and “enough said” became “NC” from “‘nuff ced”. Fortunately (I say!), the practice was short-lived. But, one of those abbreviations persists to this day. “All correct” was misspelled to give “oll korrect”, abbreviated to “OK”.

10 Turkish title of honor : AGHA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

15 After curfew : LATE

Our word “curfew” comes from an Old French word meaning “cover fire”. In medieval days a bell would ring in the evenings as a signal to bank the hearths in preparation for sleeping. The intent was to prevent uncontrolled fires starting from fireplaces that were not tended during the night.

17 Entrée with a sweet glaze : CANDIED HAM

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

19 Reply to “Shall we?” : LET’S! (hiding “HAM/LET”)

The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

20 __ Minor : ASIA

Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia. It is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe, and is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.

21 Indian princess : RANI

A ranee (also “rani”) is an Indian queen or princess, and the female equivalent of a raja.

22 Grand, moneywise : GEE

One G, one grand, one thousand dollars.

23 Making out : NECKING

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:

Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

23 Making out : NECKING
25 Do-it-yourself manual phrase : LEARN TO (hiding “KING/LEAR”)

Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of “Leir of Britain”, the story of a mythological Celtic king.

31 __ & Perrins steak sauce : LEA

Worcestershire sauce is a variant of a fermented fish sauce that has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. The modern sauce was developed and marketed by Messrs. Lea and Perrins in the city of Worcester, then in the county of Worcestershire, hence the name. We vegans aren’t supposed to touch it, as it contains anchovies! Oh, and “Worcestershire” is pronounced “wooster-sheer” …

35 Country with the highest and lowest points in the W. Hemisphere : ARG

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

Laguna del Carbón is a salt lake located not far from the Atlantic coast of Argentina. It lies 344 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point in the country, as well as the lowest point in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

The Western Hemisphere is that half of the Earth’s surface lying to the west of the prime meridian (which runs through Greenwich). The opposing half of the planet is the Eastern Hemisphere.

36 Like cranberry juice : TART

When early European settlers came across red berries growing in the bogs of the northern part of America, they felt that the plant’s flower and stem resembled the head and bill of a crane. As such, they called the plant “craneberry”, which evolved into “cranberry”.

42 Attila follower : HUN

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

43 Lymph __ : NODE

Lymph is a fluid that exists alongside blood in the body that is transported through lymph vessels. One of the functions of the system is to pick up bacteria in the body, transporting them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Lymph can also carry metastatic cancer cells that can lodge in lymph nodes, making lymph nodes a common site where tumors may be found growing.

44 Switch ups? : ONS

Not only did I have to learn new spellings of words when I moved here from Ireland (here I go, whining again!) but I had to learn that down is the “off” position for a switch most times, and up is the “on” position. It’s exactly the opposite on the other side of the pond. Have I ever ranted about the steering wheel position in the car? Aaargh!

45 Old dinero : PESETAS

The peseta was the former currency of Spain, and the de facto currency of Spain’s neighbor, the Principality of Andorra. The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002.

“Dinero” is the Spanish word for money, as well as a slang term for money here in the US.

48 River under the Arlington Memorial Bridge : POTOMAC

The Potomac River on the mid-Atlantic coast flows from the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia into the Chesapeake Bay. Given its location in such a historical area, the Potomac has the nickname “the Nation’s River”.

48 River under the Arlington Memorial Bridge : POTOMAC
50 “Don’t miss it!” : BE THERE! (hiding “MAC/BETH”)

There is a superstition in the theatrical world that uttering the name “Macbeth” in a theater will bring disaster of some sort. To avoid this, the euphemism “the Scottish Play” is used instead.

55 ER workers : RNS

One might find a registered nurse (RN) and a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

58 Rink jump : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

59 Unintended ink, maybe : BLOT
61 Sanrio character with a red bow : HELLO KITTY (hiding “OT/HELLO”)

Hello Kitty is a female bobtail cat, and a character/brand name launched in 1974 by the Japanese company Sanrio. Folks can overpay for stationary, school supplies and fashion accessories with the Hello Kitty character emblazoned thereon.

The most famous Moor in literature has to be Othello, the title character in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello, the Moor of Venice”. The word “Moor” describes various peoples of North Africa, usually of the Muslim faith. At the height of their geographic influence the Moors occupied much of the Iberian peninsula, calling it Al Andalus (from which modern Andalusia gets its name).

63 Car with a bar : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

65 Cajun pods : OKRAS

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

66 Cookbook abbr. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

67 Binary code digits : ONES

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

68 Bill Parcells’ real first name : DUANE

Bill Parcells is a former NFL coach who was often referred to as “the Big Tuna”. Parcells retired from coaching three times in all. After retiring in 1991, he came out of retirement in 1993 to become head coach of the New England Patriots. After retiring again in 1999, Parcells came out of retirement in 2003 to become head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He retired from the sport for the third and final time in 2007.

Down

1 Pie choice : PECAN

The pecan is the state nut of Alabama, Arkansas and California. Also, the pecan is the state tree of Texas.

3 Like megaphones : CONIC

A megaphone is also known as a loudhailer or bullhorn. It was probably Thomas Edison who coined, or at least popularized, the term “megaphone” in 1878. He created a megaphone that was intended to benefit those who were hard of hearing. Edison’s device was relatively clumsy, and far from portable. However, it allowed a person speaking in a normal voice to be heard about two miles away!

4 Company that coined a photographic “moment” : KODAK

George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, which he named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. “Kodak” fit the bill.

5 Compete in a biathlon : SKI

A biathlon is an event requiring expertise in two sporting disciplines. The most common biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. This traditional biathlon was born out of an exercise for Norwegian soldiers.

7 Actress Madeline : KAHN

Madeline Kahn was an actress best known for her comedic roles, especially those directed by Mel Brooks. Kahn also had her own TV sitcom, called “Oh Madeline”. But, it only lasted one season, in 1983.

8 Amazon and Etsy : E-TAILERS

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

9 AOC, for one : DEM

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a politician who is often referred to by her initials “AOC”. A Democrat, she was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018, representing part of the Bronx, Queens and Rikers Island in New York City. When she took office in 2019 at the age of 29, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

11 Home of Thule Air Base, the U.S. Air Force’s northernmost : GREENLAND

Thule Air Base is a US facility on the northwest coast of Greenland. It is located about 950 miles from the North Pole, making Thule the US Air Force’s northernmost base. Construction of Thule Air Base started during WWII in response to the German occupation of Denmark.

18 Sea eagle : ERNE

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

24 __ dixit: assertion without proof : IPSE

“Ipse dixit” is Latin, a phrase meaning “he himself said it”. The term is used in contemporary English to describe an unsupported assertion, one usually by someone in authority.

26 Units of energy : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

27 Laconic : TERSE

Ancient Laconia was a region in southern Greece that was dominated by the city of Sparta. The people from Laconia were proud of their brevity of speech, which gives rise to our modern term “laconic” meaning someone who uses few words.

28 Cheerios grain : OAT

Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

30 Revolutionary pamphleteer : PAINE

Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.

32 John’s instrument : PIANO

What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

33 Light-wave units : ANGSTROMS

The angstrom is a very small unit of length equal to one ten-billionth of a meter. As such a small unit, the angstrom is used to measure the size of atoms and molecules. The unit is named for the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström.

34 Sault __ Marie : STE

Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.

38 Flightless bird : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

40 Research ctr. : INST

Institute (inst.)

45 Some govt. leaders : PMS

Prime Minister (PM)

46 Govt. notes : T-BILLS

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

51 Short verse : HAIKU

A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. Sadly, the difference is not so clear to me. Here’s an example of a Haiku:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Refrigerator

53 Cure again, as leather : RE-TAN

Leather is made from animal skins. When the flesh, fat and hair is removed from the skin and it is dried, the resulting product is rawhide. Further treatment of the skin with chemicals that permanently alter the protein structure of the skin is known as tanning, and the resulting product is leather.

54 “Family Ties” mom : ELYSE

“Family Ties” was one of the first TV shows that I enjoyed when I arrived in the US back in 1983. I found the situation very appealing, with two ex-hippie parents facing off against an ultra-conservative son. The main characters in the show were Michael J. Fox as Alex, Meredith Baxter-Birney as Alex’s mom Elyse, and Michael Gross as Alex’s dad Steven. Some future stars had recurring roles as well, including Courteney Cox as one of Alex’s girlfriends and Tom Hanks as Elyse’s young brother.

Actress Meredith Baxter is best known for playing Elyse, the mother in the eighties sitcom “Family Ties”. Baxter’s big break on television came with a title role on a short-lived sitcom called “Bridget Loves Bernie”. She ended up marrying David Birney, her co-star on “Bridget Loves Bernie”, and so was known for many years as Meredith Baxter-Birney. She changed her name back to Meredith Baxter when the pair divorced in 1989.

57 Skin cream additive : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

59 Club alternative : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of filling. This style of sandwich has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling “club” in Saratoga Springs, New York.

60 Ad-__ : LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

61 “Big Little Lies” network : HBO

“Big Little Lies” is a 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

62 Decked in a ring : KOD

A kayo is a knockout (KO).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gets ready for vacation : PACKS
6 Initialed, perhaps : OKED
10 Turkish title of honor : AGHA
14 Before-bed read : E-BOOK
15 After curfew : LATE
16 Boy friends : BROS
17 Entrée with a sweet glaze : CANDIED HAM
19 Reply to “Shall we?” : LET’S! (hiding “HAM/LET”)
20 __ Minor : ASIA
21 Indian princess : RANI
22 Grand, moneywise : GEE
23 Making out : NECKING
25 Do-it-yourself manual phrase : LEARN TO (hiding “KING/LEAR”)
29 Baby blues, e.g. : PEEPERS
31 __ & Perrins steak sauce : LEA
32 Make the grade? : PASS
35 Country with the highest and lowest points in the W. Hemisphere : ARG
36 Like cranberry juice : TART
37 Breaks found on rows 3, 5, 11 and 13 of this puzzle? : INTERMISSIONS
41 Senate staffer : PAGE
42 Attila follower : HUN
43 Lymph __ : NODE
44 Switch ups? : ONS
45 Old dinero : PESETAS
48 River under the Arlington Memorial Bridge : POTOMAC
50 “Don’t miss it!” : BE THERE! (hiding “MAC/BETH”)
55 ER workers : RNS
56 Animal house : LAIR
58 Rink jump : AXEL
59 Unintended ink, maybe : BLOT
61 Sanrio character with a red bow : HELLO KITTY (hiding “OT/HELLO”)
63 Car with a bar : LIMO
64 H.S. subject : BIOL
65 Cajun pods : OKRAS
66 Cookbook abbr. : TBSP
67 Binary code digits : ONES
68 Bill Parcells’ real first name : DUANE

Down

1 Pie choice : PECAN
2 Humble : ABASE
3 Like megaphones : CONIC
4 Company that coined a photographic “moment” : KODAK
5 Compete in a biathlon : SKI
6 Time of one’s life : OLD AGE
7 Actress Madeline : KAHN
8 Amazon and Etsy : E-TAILERS
9 AOC, for one : DEM
10 More competent : ABLER
11 Home of Thule Air Base, the U.S. Air Force’s northernmost : GREENLAND
12 In great demand : HOT
13 Donkey : ASS
18 Sea eagle : ERNE
22 Fun time : GAS
24 __ dixit: assertion without proof : IPSE
26 Units of energy : ERGS
27 Laconic : TERSE
28 Cheerios grain : OAT
30 Revolutionary pamphleteer : PAINE
32 John’s instrument : PIANO
33 Light-wave units : ANGSTROMS
34 Sault __ Marie : STE
36 “__ bad!” : TOO
38 Flightless bird : RHEA
39 Intrude (on) : MUSCLE IN
40 Research ctr. : INST
41 Soda : POP
45 Some govt. leaders : PMS
46 Govt. notes : T-BILLS
47 Aviation prefix : AERO-
49 Good way to go out : ON TOP
51 Short verse : HAIKU
52 More than needed : EXTRA
53 Cure again, as leather : RE-TAN
54 “Family Ties” mom : ELYSE
57 Skin cream additive : ALOE
59 Club alternative : BLT
60 Ad-__ : LIB
61 “Big Little Lies” network : HBO
62 Decked in a ring : KOD

31 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Sep 20, Thursday”

  1. No errors but I didn’t get the theme until I had it all done. Then saw
    HAM – LET and went looking for the other 3. Clever and enjoyable
    puzzle.

  2. 46D. Bill, your explanation isn’t quite correct. Treasury bonds AND notes pay interest (based on their coupon rate) every six months and are initially sold by the Treasury at par value.
    As you stated, Treasury bills are sold at a discount to par value and will mature at par; the initial discount is effectively their yield (return).

  3. Bill – – thank you for the explanation of Lea & Perrins Worchester sauce. At our house, it was known as “Lapierre sauce” because that’s how as a kid I misread the label!

  4. In puzzle rows 3, 5, 11, and 13 are the Shakespeare plays Ham-Let, King-Lear, Mac-Beth, and Ot-Hello. The splits in each are “intermissions”

      1. Row 3 includes squares #17, #18, and #19 – answers 17A CANDIEDHAM and 19A LETS. Column 3 includes squares #3, #33, and #55 – answers 3D CONIC and 33D ANGSTROM. The 37A clue would have been easier to understand if it was “Breaks found on 3rd, 5th, 11th, and 13th rows of this puzzle.”

  5. 29A got me.. Never saw PEEPERS and didn’t get 24D.. Ended up with NEEPERY.. Got the theme though! Never heard of Sanrio or Hello Kitty…

  6. 8:29, no errors. Straightforward solve (and I even remembered to look for the theme! … 😜).

    And (in case anyone asks) think Wayne LaPierre (of the NRA) and Winchester (as in a maker of rifles) … 😜.

    I fear that John Daigle’s house, which was in the crosshairs of Hurricane Laura, must have been damaged … 😳. Perhaps John will check in at some point and let us know how he’s doing.

    And I feel for Californians (including my ex and my kids) who are dealing with extreme heat and fires … 😳.

    These are strange and unsettling times … 😳.

  7. Didn’t get the theme at all. Didn’t know there was a theme.
    Had a Natick at LEARN TO crosses TERSE, since I don’t understand why a manual would say, LEARN TO.
    I know HELLO KITTY well, but never noticed the company,
    SAN RIO, which sounds Spanish.
    Guessed ELYSE.

  8. 21:54 no errors…didn’t get the theme until I read Bills explanation…DUH…
    9D is IMO a very poor clue and answer…crosses got that one…👎
    Stay safe 😀

  9. Nothing too challenging this morning for the LAT’s puzzle. On the other hand, just like yesterday, I found the WSJ puzzle plenty challenging. As to California and the Apocalypse Now we are undergoing, it does feel a bit like we are in the midst of some Shakespeare drama. “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

    1. That WSJ had a very interesting gimmick. Definitely a head-scratcher for a few minutes … 🤪.

      And, yes, the times feel apocalyptic to me, as well. Just to add to my sense of unrest, my local paper carried a piece on the effects of global warming that I might sum up as, “You think this is bad? Baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” If I had more confidence in the collective wisdom of our species, I’d feel better about things; as it is, I might be described as a tad … negative … 😳.

    2. Indeed, the WSJ gimmick was “interesting”, albeit IMO something that I had to look up an explanation for and really didn’t make any sense after I saw it. A bit harder because of using all the crosses on the themers (13:00ish).

      1. Hmm. This would seem to be yet another example of a gimmick that made perfect sense to me, once I understood it. Admittedly, you wouldn’t misinterpret “et al” so playfully in an article in a journal or a newspaper, but a crossword puzzle is not meant to be so used or so judged.

    1. I wish someone would explain to me what it means to say that a theme is “forced”. I assume that most themes don’t happen by accident; given that, aren’t they all “forced”?

      I kind of think it’s just another way of saying you didn’t like it. (Hmm. What if I said, “These french fries are really forced?” Maybe not … 😜)

      1. A “forced theme” in most uses of the term means that something was artificially done or “forced” to make the theme work as opposed to finding an organic way to work. Some weird phrase or expression that’s included, some weird fill used to make the theme entries work, some theme entry logically fails in the intention of theme, or the like.

        1. Well, thanks for trying … and that’s an interesting word salad … 😜 … but I would say that applying this “definition” necessarily entails making some very subjective judgments (artificial? … organic? … weird? … logically fails? … work? … not work?) and that, for me at least, the theme of this puzzle is anything but “forced”: on the contrary, it makes use of a clever bit of wordplay, consistently applied in all four instances and adequately explained by the revealer.

      2. No, occasionally, they’re pretty clever. But not if you have to squint your eyes and look at them ten times to “get it”.

        Too many of the most commonly printed setters somehow believe that a puzzle has to have a theme to be any good, and it’s the theme itself, shoehorned in and doggedly MADE to work, that is its downfall.

  10. 8:50 1 error

    This time the theme felt one last last puzzle to solve. Maybe it would have been too obvious if the hint had mentioned Shakespeare.

  11. Late to the party tonight with a mostly easy Thursday; took me 17 minutes on paper, with me struggling with the small print in the paper. Didn’t get the theme until I got here and it does seem a bit of a stretch, at least to me.

    Had to redo aidE to PAGE and TBonds to TBILLS, with the rest being mostly straight forward.

    Very weird weather to continue for awhile, to include fog today… Very unhealthy air today and my bees are staying mostly inside and seemingly confused. When they navigate by the sun and the sun looks as weird as it does now…

  12. Your site is a great resource for when I can’t understand the reason for a puzzle answer, but… the *Pacific* coast of Argentina? I don’t see one of those on a map. Laguna del Carbón is near the Atlantic coast.

    Also, I suppose you could say that, based on longitude designation, that the Western Hemisphere begins at the prime meridian, but I doubt that most people would say that Ireland, Portugal, and Senegal, e.g., are in the Western Hemisphere. Probably most of us would say that the Western Hemisphere is the Americas (and dodge the issue of what hemisphere various parts of the oceans are in).

    1. Thanks, Alan, for catching that Pacific/Atlantic slip for me. All fixed now.

      I do think that my definition of Western Hemisphere stands. When I was growing up in Ireland, for example, I thought I was doing so in the Western Hemisphere!

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