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Alan Arbesfeld author page

133 puzzles by Alan Arbesfeld
with Jeff Chen comments

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1338/27/19814/1/2024
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Alan Arbesfeld
Puzzles constructed by Alan Arbesfeld by year

123 Modern Era daily crosswords by Alan Arbesfeld

Mon 4/1/2024
WAFTSMGMNANA
AWAITANALORAL
DEEREMINIDONUT
LEERATSAMOSA
DAWDLECHANDLER
OREOCIAOTADAS
RANFROMBEEB
MBAOURBRANAE
DOPELANSING
OWERSARESTANG
BELITTLEEMOTES
TREBEKVISION
UNCERTAINSPURS
SETHSILOSTOUT
ERSTDONMOMMY
Thu 7/14/2022
TADBASICRINK
USERERIKAICON
RACEAFTERSOAVE
OHOHOHALENAW
WIREMESHONIT
MARCOMADNESS
DONNOONANOVAL
EMOJIPORMNEME
ANNOSERAPENEW
FIRESIDECOAT
ALOTEARDRUMS
INNACETEARAT
PODPROGRAMNICE
AMORMOCHAKAHN
DEMOSTAINH2O

H2O -> H (to) O makes for a strong "letter swap" rationale. It's been a minute since we've seen a numeral in a grid, so I'd say I dig-it.

"Letter swap" puzzles are so old hat that you have to do something special to make one stand out. The numeral in H2O helps, but it's not enough. Thankfully, some of Alan's transformations were eye-opening — it turns out that there aren't as many pairs of words that work with the swap. (You can use our Replacement Finder to see for yourself.) I'm no oenophile, but I recognized SOAVE enough that I could appreciate the cool SHAVE to SOAVE change.

I'd have loved some longer words or examples involving a space shift — like LOST IN THE SHUFFLE to LOST IN THE SOUFFLE (I'm currently hooked on "Iron Chef") or BITCHIN' CAMARO to BITCOIN CAMARO.

In the past, I've been critical of Alan's puzzles when he goes too low in his word count, ending up with excessive grid glue. Today, I appreciated the cleanliness, only some MEADE AMOR. However, given that this is a Thursday puzzle and there are only four themers plus a short revealer, more color would have been great. I think he could have taken out the black square between OMNI and NOME, for example, and added pizzazz while keeping it as smooth.

A straightforward letter swap isn't my Thursday ideal, but using a numeral helped make it more interesting.

Tue 6/29/2021
DUOSPINETIBET
ANNPACINOTERI
THEJACKBOXSAGE
AIRACETIMON
STACYTHENIPBUD
ECTOARESLEARY
THEBEWAYJINGLE
LEYSEE
HARRISTHEUPAIR
ICEAXASAPRISE
THEPIESKYTAMIL
FIRSTMINETA
WEEDTHEBACKDAY
EARLEMBARKAGE
BUSYSABRESTOD

X in the Y patterns ... ah, brings back memories — I dipped into that well for my first crossword theme, way back in 2009. We've seen several other implementations over the years, but it's tough to locate them all in our database because they appear in bizarre ways. (Our Clue Finder can be helpful, if you search for the word "literally.")

I appreciated Alan's consistency, always using phrases beginning with THE. Some might feel that that's too repetitive, but it does make things easier for newer solvers. My solving time was much longer than usual, so I imagine some newbs might have gotten discouraged if the initial THEs didn't give them no-brainer toeholds.

I did pause at THE NIP BUD. With so many options available — MAN IN THE MOON, ACE IN THE HOLE, ROLL IN THE HAY, etc. — it was kick in the pants to see this one. Plenty of folks won't notice or care, but I doubt many Asian constructors would make this choice, and it wouldn't surprise me if some solvers pushed back.

(Full disclosure: It didn't bother me enough to mention it to Will Shortz pre-publication.)

Given that there are so many themer possibilities, and that this concept has been done soooo many times over the years, it needed an extra layer to help it stand out. For example, use AIR and SKY, toss in MOON, and you might have a theme that has a real THE PLACE SUN.

Not easy to work with six themers, and Alan did a solid job of converting his mid-length slots into bonuses. BEANBAG, DATASET, ITS OPEN added spice. I'd have preferred fewer themers and some longer bonuses, but these mid-lengthers added a lot of JINGLE to the ELIXIR.

The constructors' dream is for a fresh, famous TOD or LEY to emerge. Crucivera, oh great Goddess of Crosswords, we pray to thee to make it happen!

Curious choice to run a tricksy theme on a Tuesday. I like switching things up once in a while, but if you're going to spank newbs with a tough theme, I'd try much harder to be friendlier with the grid. Kicking things off with a tough piece of vocab in SPINET, the odd ENOTES, and a head-tilting ONE RATE ... I'm eager to gauge the reactions from my greener solving friends.

Mon 7/27/2020
SARASLIPSJOCK
ARALHENRIAVIA
YODAHIKINGGEAR
AMISSJAKEROT
HAIKUPOEMMSN
ADOPTWIND
CPADRESSTIGER
HIGHENDHEIGHHO
APRONSTAGETIP
PEERERASE
EATHEIDIKLUM
SPAMIENNEATO
HYBRIDCARSONTO
ELLEOHGEEUKES
DEEPSEEYATYRE

Homophones have been a crossword staple for decades. Look up any list of homophones, pick out a set containing four or more, and chances are it'll have been in a crossword before. For instance, I first tried WRIGHT, searching *WRIGHT* (the asterisk means "anything," so this will find any phrase containing WRIGHT), and voila! An Arbesfeld from 20 years ago.

Because of the overexposure, it's rare for me to delight in a homophone puzzle these days. However, today's tickled me! At first, it seemed run-of-the-mill, but the more I studied it, the more I appreciated it. Although this theme uses syllables instead of full words, it's uncommon to feature six homophones.

It made me wonder, is this a perfectly tight set? HI, HAI, HIGH, HEIGH, HEI, HY? It took me 30 minutes to finally land on HIERONYMOUS BOSCH. If you can think of another, I'd love to hear it.

Unfortunately, the first themer I uncovered was HAIKU POEM, since it's more common to hear it as simply HAIKU. The overly descriptive HAIKU POEM does work, but it would have been better to bury this entry toward the bottom of the puzzle. Lead with your best stuff!

Speaking of best, this might be my favorite of Alan's (large body of) gridwork. Alan often attempts to go way under the maximum word count, which can result in a ton of gluey or esoteric entries. I worried about that even more, since Monday puzzles are so important to keep clean.

Wow, was I impressed! I'm so glad he stuck at 78 words (the max) and didn't try to do too much. There's nothing showy in the grid, but it's mostly all AGREEABLE (I'd prefer to keep out ARAL, NEHI, and TYRE), and that's so critical for a Monday puzzle.

An interesting concept, a meaty set of homophones, and a clean grid = a product I'd happily give to a newb. That's a big success.

Thu 4/16/2020
OBISEDICTPASTA
RANKSOLARANTIS
ISAYKEEPINTOUCH
GENESESEMBER
AMIWROTECLARET
MANNAKISSKATE
INSITUSHAMEWAX
THANKLATER
ALATHYMEPUREST
HANDDOWNDECOY
NOTIMESWALERAP
MAYBEGESTURE
DROPMEALINEHIES
EARLEILIACETRE
EGRETLEIGHASST

DROP ME A LINE is a great phrase to riff on, and it perfectly explains what's going on today. We've written ME in white to help you see the theme entries more clearly, but we've also grayed out the MEs below those. Fun idea.

I wasn't sure why SHAME was clued as SHA, similarly THYME to THY and NO TIME to NOT I. Those dropped MEs seem like they should cleverly blend into the background, rather than sticking out. Then again, this way does make it easier for solvers to figure out the concept. They might not understand why KISS and KATE are connected, or they might not grok why THYME is weirdly clued, but chances are they won't be stumped by both.

Cleanliness isn't as important to me in a Thursday product since not many newbs dare to tread in these deep waters. However, Alan hit most every type of glue called out by editors in their specs sheets. There aren't any partials, but I introduce Exhibits A, B, C, and D:

  1. Tough names: KYD EARLE AHN THEA
  2. Foreign words: OBIS AMI
  3. Esoteric words: MOSELLE ILIAC SWALE ESKER
  4. Abbreviations or shortened words: ERE TIS

It's not a quality product.

I liked the idea, but I would have asked for a complete overhaul. I bet shifting KEEP IN TOUCH to the far left (and DROP ME A LINE to the far right) would have created better spacing.

And don't get me started on how THANK (ME) LATER causes gridwork problems. It isn't a great phrase, anyway, so a replacement would have done wonders.

(It might seem like DONT GET (ME) STARTED would be tougher to grid around since it's longer than THANK (ME) LATER. However, it'd be much easier to work with, since it doesn't force awkward black square placements.)

Another central entry pattern that would be easier to work with: _ _ _ ME _ _ _ . If we could only think of something that would fit. Hmm, let me see …

All in all, a concept well worth executing on, but the gridwork issues drove me crazy.

Mon 1/13/2020
MEATYPUMADAIS
ALPHAIRASONTO
PIPEWRENCHCYST
EELERNENWAH
SPACOMESOFAGE
ALLOTGAITRYON
DUTCHAIRLINE
EMOTEDBESTED
ALOTTOMANAGE
PIANOASPROMAN
ITSTOOLATEEDY
LAWPOLELFIN
OLEOMIDDLESEAT
TILLPEDIELSIE
SALEADENTESLA

Hidden word themes can be judged by three criteria:

  1. How long (and/or interesting) is the hidden word? It's easy to find most three-letters words within a phrase, like PEW. It's much harder, and therefore more notable, to feature a seven-letter (!) word like OTTOMAN.
  2. Is the theme phrase in-the-language; natural-sounding? PIPE WRENCH, absolutely. COMES OF AGE, great! DUTCH AIRLINE made me pause, but in the end, I didn't mind, since KLM is, in fact, a DUTCH AIRLINE. A LOT TO MANAGE … I confidently filled in A LOT TO HANDLE, and it was a lot to handle to change that.
  3. Does the hidden word touch every word of the phrase? Not all editors care about this, but Will Shortz is strict about avoiding words that do no work. The initial A in A LOT TO MANAGE isn't part of OTTOMAN, for instance. (Since A is such a minor word, it's fine.)

None of Alan's findings are perfect — PEW in PIPE WRENCH is a shortie, CHAIR inside DUTCH AIRLINE is a neat finding but DUTCH AIRLINE isn't a great phrase — but overall, it's a crossworthy set with a perfect revealer in MIDDLE SEAT.

A lot to manage in the fill, though. (Okay, it's growing on me.) There's so much to turn off newer solvers, an OLEO (or is that an olio?) of toughies like EDY, GAI, NEN. These aren't nearly as overlookable as something more minor like DDE. Crossing NEN with MACNEIL makes it even worse.

Six themers are rarely easy to pull off, especially when you're building an early-week grid appropriate for newbs. I did like the variety of the themers, though, so I hesitate to suggest cutting one out. What might have helped produce a better overall product: stacking themers, like PIPE WRENCH and COMES OF AGE in subsequent rows, for example. That can require a lot of trial and error, arranging and rearranging themers to form friendly letter pairings, but it would have been well worth it.

Mon 11/18/2019
MOLDABELOMEGA
OREOBORELYRIC
DOGGYBAGSDINAH
ENAMORSLASTONE
MOLARPESOS
BULLYPULPIT
TASMANIAELAINE
AGEELECARTERN
LUANDAANSWERED
CATTYCORNER
ONENDYAPAT
CHARADESELLERS
AEGISPIGGYBANK
GAUNTINTOERIE
ELEGYNESSEYED

I completely failed at "Name that Theme" today. DOGGIE BAG was my first entry, easy enough—probably an animal theme! Except that it was the odd-looking DOGGY BAGS (not to be confused with DOOGIE BAG, what Doogie Howser, M.D. carried around).

BULLY PULPIT slowed "Guess that Theme" further, then sidetracked it. DOGGY and BULLY … are both animal-based adjectives? I knew that DOGGIE BAGs originated as a container to take home bones and such. BULLY isn't related to bull, though.

Or is my overthinking just a bunch of bull? (As always, yes.)

Etymology online doesn't give a definitive answer, sadly. So the theme couldn't be animal adjectives. Maybe it was a repeated letter pattern theme, words ending with doubled-consonant + Y?

KITTY CORNER … no, CATTY CORNER? Looks like both terms are in use. My daughter, an ardent pleader for us to get a kitty, argues for the former.

No victorious fist-pumping moment, given my struggles to figure out if there was indeed more than just a repeated letter pattern theme.

I *think* maybe perhaps sorta kinda ... it's supposed to be all animal-derived adjectives?

In any case, I do like that Alan came up with a novel set of themers. Sure made me think, and that's rarely a bad thing.

The other big factor in my sadly-non-fist-pumping-Monday was the difficulty baked into the fill. Educated solvers should at least be familiar with world capitals, so LUANDA is 100% fair game. When you force newb solvers to additionally wade through ORONO YORBA plus the tough names ERNO GIAN ALBEE, though, that's a recipe for making people walk away.

I'm a broken record, pounding the bully pulpit that low word-count grids shouldn't be allowed if they punish the solver. As much as I like how MY IT'S LATE and MENTORING / DYNASTY spice up the grid, they're not at all worth potentially losing solvers.

Overall, Will has done a great job of welcoming newb solvers into the fold — it's day and night compared to Maleska, who seemed to delight in the insularity of crosswords. I wish Will Shortz would crack down on grids like these. There are a couple of offenders he keeps letting slide, over and over and over again.

Wed 10/9/2019
HAJJBRITASLAM
ISLETUDORELBE
SHOTAWNINGABBR
SLOTGOATEES
STOKERANKBASE
SONICSWINEENSY
AGEPODALL
ALTEREDSTATES
AMYLEODIP
ADLIBTEENSENSE
REALAWEDAGAIN
ASTERIXTRIO
MIENRACIALINFO
ICEDECOLISEAL
SANSDOWELMODE

When Jill and I first started dating (almost ten years ago!), I quickly learned that she enjoyed crosswords and Scrabble. So when she went back to Indiana for Christmas that year, I planned a little surprise while I schlepped her to the airport through two feet of snow. As I let her off at curbside, I slipped a present into her luggage.

The next day, I sent her a cryptic message: MIX TACKIEST COUPLES

Her response: ???

Me: STIR TOE TUSK IPECAC

Her: ?????

Third time's a charm, maybe?: ALTER CACTUS SPIKE TOE

Her: if this is someone who's stolen Jeff's phone, I'm calling the police

Me: no, wait! It's a puzzle! A fun one! I swear!

Her: TELL ME ALREADY OR I WILL REACH INTO THE PHONE AND THROTTLE YOU

Me: I put some of your favorite chocolate bars in your SUITCASE POCKET

Her: … … … aww! Sorry I threatened you with bodily injury.

Long story short, I imagine Alan had as much fun as I did making up the state anagrams. I'm not sure how many solvers will care to go back and solve them, unfortunately. I wouldn't have, if my OCD didn't compel me to list them out: WASHINGTON, NEBRASKA, WISCONSIN, TENNESSEE, DELAWARE, CALIFORNIA.

Along with the plethora of tough proper names: ARAMIS, DE SICA, MERSEY, ELBE (one foreign river per puzzle, please), even my beloved ASTERIX, I can relate to how Jill felt over that set of messages.

Wed 4/10/2019
REBUSAQABAICE
AROSEMUNISNOG
WONONPOINTSALE
BINTACTMOUNDS
ACESTOODARNHOT
RATEDROPTIONS
QUOTASVUE
DOUBLEHEADERS
OVOSADDER
AGEISTSWESSON
FORACHANGEETNA
FOCSLEFUELERG
IDOATELIKEAPIG
REASORESTWICE
MRTSPAREOWNED

There was a guy on my Ultimate frisbee team we codenamed "binary fingers." You'd hope that there would be a better story behind it, but it was because he loved showing everyone how to count in binary on his fingers. Thumb is the 1s digit, index finger is the 2s, middle finger is the 4s, ring finger the 8s, pinky the 16s. For instance, you stick up ring finger (8) + index (2) + thumb (1) to make 11 (8 + 2 + 1). See?

Then he'd joke about giving you the number 4.

(Think about what that would look like …)

Man, we were dorks.

I liked how Alan combined some tried and true ideas to make something a little new. Phrases starting with numbers + homophones + doubling, through a good revealer in DOUBLE HEADER? That works.

The grid had some nice material in it, too. Some COLD ONES, the UNIVERSE, BITMAP, DO-GOODER, SEQUIOAS. Strong bonuses!

That almost made up for all the gluey bits and the odd longer material. Almost. I can let some NFLER ERG OVO VUE slide. Add in EGESTS though. S-CLASS. IN AN HOUR?

The problem — all too common these days — stems from too low a word count. Not a surprise to find out that this one clocked in at 70 words, much lower than usual for a weekday puzzle. I'd like some DO GOODERs to help me do good by encouraging constructors not to do this anymore. Think of how much smoother, how much more elegant the SW / NE corners would have been if they had been broken up.

A stellar grid can help elevate a theme that's just run of the mill. But it's all too easy to go astray and have the opposite effect.

POW Wed 12/5/2018
SHULISISDYADS
MEGASCOTWAHOO
IRANOMANICELAND
TONICBILLET
HIDCUBALEBANON
SCAPULASOSERA
ALERTKOCH
UNITEDNATIONS
SCARGLENN
ALILESARCADES
MALIESTONIAONT
STMARKPOSSE
PERUSERBIASPAIN
ELIZAVENTEGGO
CLOUTEDGELENS

★ So clever! This one reminded me of another change-of-spacing puzzle I loved. Not sure if I ever would have come up with the idea of:

  1. Sticking countries together
  2. Parsing them for kooky results
  3. Tying things neatly up with the perfect UNITED NATIONS revealer.

MALI ESTONIA becomes MA LIES TO NIA? What a fantastic find! And PERUSER BIAS PAIN doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but still, it's the type of discovery I wish I would have made. PERU SERBIA SPAIN … wow, what a change those spaces make!

Sometimes I feel like I'm too harsh on Alan's gridwork. You could easily go to town on ELL ONT OPEL SHUL TNG ULEE. Another day I would, rambling on at length in gruesome technical detail about how to fix these issues — there are dozens of ways for this particular set of themers.

But today, I'll shut up and just enjoy. This theme shines so brightly that the flaws in execution are easily overlookable. Just like Jacob's puzzle, this one will stick in my memory. That's a rare and lovely occurrence, indeed.

Thu 8/16/2018
CASINOTHEFAN
LEOPOLDBURRITO
ORLANDOOBERLIN
GOODFELLASEMTS
AREAADS
TACITNOELTBA
RIOTRAGINGBULL
AMMETERSTARDOM
DEERHUNTERRIGA
EDDAPERPROSY
YOWABIE
SICSTAXIDRIVER
ATLASESELUSIVE
DOUGLASRESIDED
ROBERTDENIRO

Happy 75th birthday coming up tomorrow, ROBERT / DENIRO! To me, he's the real Kevin Bacon of the "Six Degrees" game, having been in umpteen movies now. My second favorite was "Midnight Run," where he got a chance to show off his comedic range. And who could forget "Meet the Parents"? Or best yet, his magnificent performance in "The Godfather, Part II"?

Dang, what a mark he's made on American culture!

It's tough to make a list puzzle celebrating a guy who's done so much, because what do you shoehorn in? You're bound to leave out some important stuff, and then include some lesser works for the sake of crossword symmetry.

I don't imagine many would list THE FAN as one of his biggest movies. But it does match ROBERT in length.

As much as I love DENIRO, tribute puzzles don't tend to stick in my mind unless there's something that elevates them. Otherwise, they come across as Wikipedia-esque listings of some of the person's accomplishments.

It's beyond audacious to try to build a puzzle around a theme set of 6 / 6 / 10 / 10 / 10 / 10 / 6 / 6. Whoa, that's incredibly high theme density! But given that so many compromises were required from the short fill — I sighed and stopped counting at 10 — I'd have preferred something less theme-dense.

Perhaps just focusing on his two Academy Award roles would have been nice and tight? Heck, this "Godfather" megafan would have been fine with just:

VITO CORLEONE 12

THE GODFATHER 12

ROBERT DENIRO 12

ACADEMY AWARD 12

It's nothing fancy, but at least it's tight, and would allow a lot of freedom to include colorful and clean fill throughout the rest of the grid.

Although, I can see how DENIRO's wide-ranging career would be best represented by as much darn theme you could stuff into a single grid. So I understand Alan's thinking.

Tue 4/10/2018
SNUBOPEDSTAZO
EARLKIROVADIN
CYBERSPACEURLS
ADOSELAACE
ERNSILENTNIGHT
SIMCITYTENN
SAYONARAANGST
ATTYLARVAAONE
YAHOOCITATION
TISHTREETOP
SCIENCEFAIRATM
TICKARLISL
AREAPSYCHEDOUT
ICANEENIEANKA
NEXTSYNODKEEN

Okay, you all know the joke I'm going to make. But I'm still going to do it. Just hold on a sec while I analyze the puzzle.

I couldn't quite figure out what the theme was at first. The themers … start with the same sound? CY, SI, SCI, PSY? Oh, wait. SAY and CI also have this sound, in SAYONARA and CITATION? Okay, that's pretty interesting, how many ways the sound can be spelled.

Another cool element: I couldn't come up with any other entries that would fit, with a different spelling of that sound. There's PSI, but PSI OMEGA or something doesn't work in the same way, as PSI is a full word. So I appreciated the tightness of the theme, a full set of six.

But the grid execution …

SIGH.

(You couldn't expect me to resist that, could you?)

Way too much crossword glue. These days, a puzzle can't allow TENN ERN RIATA SDAK UKE ATRI anymore, unless it was all working for an incredible theme. What ADRAG, indeed.

Yes, it's tough to execute on six themers, all of them pretty long. But there are a lot of ways of executing on six themers that work much better.

  • Swapping the shorter answers, SAYONARA / CITATION, with SILENT NIGHT / SCIENCE FAIR, often produces better spacing.
  • You can also try squishing themers together, say in rows 3 and 4.
  • Or putting two of the themers vertical.
  • Or perhaps sacrificing some of the long fill. URBAN MYTH and GO IT ALONE are nice, but not if the price to pay in terms of crossword glue is so high.

Although I had to think about the theme a lot, it's a neat concept. (Or maybe because I had to think about it?) But the gridwork let the puzzle down.

Mon 2/5/2018
HASCEREALLAMB
ARIORANGEIDOL
LIDNEWYEARSEVE
FACETARNEPIN
ALAMOTASTED
CRESCENTROLL
LOSEWEREMYEYE
ALASLEUTHSVAL
MERITASIALINK
QUARTERBACKS
SEESAWSTRUT
ALLRAINIDIOM
FULLTIMEJOBORO
EDIETAMALENEO
REEDSCOREDSON

I was mystified at first — why wouldn't you use the proper ordering of the moon's phases: from NEW to CRESCENT to HALF to FULL? And why on earth (or on the moon) would you separate out HALF from the series? Alan's decisions seemed bizarre.

How embarrassing to realize that I've had the sequence wrong all these years! It's actually NEW to CRESCENT to QUARTER to GIBBOUS to FULL.

Wait, you say, what about HALF? It's the kookiest thing. HALF is equal to QUARTER when it comes to the moon's phases.

Wha … ?

Well, QUARTER refers to the fact that it's a quarter of the way through the full lunar month cycle. So even though it looks like a HALF moon, it's a QUARTER moon. And both are correct.

Whoever named these is seriously messed up.

So you see Alan's dilemma? It's great that he strove to incorporate the sequence — I've seen plenty of "word that can precede MOON" puzzles, i.e. phrases with HARVEST, BLUE, BLOOD, etc., but that puzzle type is passé at this point.

However, there is no good phrase using the word GIBBOUS. Makes sense why he decided to skip it.

And how can you place QUARTER and HALF at the same grid entry? You can't! So I understand that decision to shove HALF off on its own. Reasonable choice to place it symmetrically with MOON.

All in all, too many compromises for my taste. Felt inelegant. I probably would have dropped the theme idea, after realizing what a mess these terms present.

But at least the grid is pretty good for a Monday, with just some ARNE, LIS, ORO. Not perfect, but passable for an early-week puzzle.

Mon 12/4/2017
PITASTUNERTEN
ECOLIALAMOUNO
SAYITAINTSONUT
CHERCASFLAME
INDEPTHCEASE
PAYITFORWARD
NASALRAMSLAY
ESTMAYITBEATE
IPADVETAIDED
LAYITONTHICK
RAVENACHEFOR
SALEMBABEISA
AGEPLAYITBYEAR
SURTOLETRANGE
HSTSWISSRYDER

Tidy start to the week, a consistent "*AY IT *" pattern featuring some snazzy theme phrases. SAY IT AINT SO is fantastic, as are PLAY IT BY EAR and LAY IT ON THICK. PAY IT FORWARD wasn't a great movie, but what a neat concept.

The only one I was plus/minus on was MAY IT BE. I did enjoy the LotR movies, but that song didn't ring a bell.

Get it? Ring a bell? In Lord of the RINGs?

*crickets chirping*

It's not a mind-blowing theme, but I appreciated that it was a step up from simple rhymes. I tried to think of other good phrases with that pattern, but I couldn't. That's one mark of what I call "tightness" — neat that these five seem to form a complete set.

I've been critical of some of Alan's low word-count Sunday puzzles, which have tended to require a deluge of crossword glue. But today's solving experience was a perfect example of the role I think short fill — words of five letters or less — ought to play. Your job is not to be noticed, short fill! Beautiful execution in that regard, with just some minor EMS, HST, ISA kind of stuff.

Alan could have opened up the grid a bit, possibly by removing a black square between YEN and BALI or even the one between NEIL and SASH. Bravo for not doing so! Made for an easy-breezy, smooth as silk solving experience. It is boring from a constructor's standpoint — going up to 78 words, the max allowable, presents little challenge — but the solving experience must take priority.

Great clues in ROOFER, someone who's work is on the house. And AYES being [Naval agreements?]? Love it!

Strong overall execution, with snappy theme phrases, good long fill, and minimal crossword glue. If the theme had been more exciting, this could have been POW! material.

Thu 10/5/2017
WHIPADLAIBEAN
IONAFEIGNANNA
TORNRAMENLTDS
SPECIALPEOPLE
ALICOORS
THEKIDSARESUPER
RENEETMANRUE
ARGDIRECTVIRE
LEACUBEIMSAD
ASGREATASITGETS
YEARNNAM
MYAWESOMELADY
SHEBAROMAILIE
KONAINUITOPEN
ATTNTORTENODS

Four "uplifting remakes," movies with "average" modifiers upgraded into "outstanding." "Ordinary People" to SPECIAL PEOPLE, "The Kids are All Right" to THE KIDS ARE SUPER, etc.

Not sure why this runs on a Thursday. Will has said that all he's aiming for in a Thursday puzzle is ... something harder than a Wednesday. Sure, going down to 72 words made for a tougher solve. But there was no tricksiness to the theme, and it didn't provide me with much of an a-ha moment to warrant the extra work in solving clues made Thursday-tough.

I did enjoy the bizarre "Madly for ADLAI." (Not hard to see why he didn't get elected!)

I didn't enjoy all the crossword glue. For a four-theme puzzle, there shouldn't ever be more than four or five dabs. With ADLAI, AMEBA (variant spelling of AMOEBA), ATTN, ERNO, LTDS, POS, SHEB, etc., it felt unpolished. I can at least understand that if there's enough great fill to balance it out, but I CANT WAIT and MGM LION weren't enough for me to consider it a reasonable trade-off.

My guess is that Alan decided to make it a tougher solve by going down to 72 words, and Will thought this would help him fill out his Thursday slots, which tend to get fewer submissions than most other days of the week. Sometimes the realities of supply and demand are difficult.

I would have much preferred a clean 76- or 78-word grid with four great pieces of bonus fill, run on a Wednesday. Even though the theme didn't tickle me personally, at least I could have enjoyed the grid more that way.

Sun 9/24/2017 STATE LINES
OPENERAGATEWAYARSON
POSEDASONSTAGENEWDO
CATCHMEIFYOUCANCLAIR
ICETJAMATIKISHAMUS
THRACEBRISONEMOTIME
ROTORSICSPARE
PAIRMOANATTIREMIX
MAANDPAKETTLETDBANK
ESMEOLESOLDEEDGE
ATEILLOOPSMICHAELS
LETSKEEPTHISINHOUSE
WITHMAYORONIREPEWE
AVIASEALBOERENOL
RENTALEVERYTHINGSOK
MSGDOUBLEALTAAGED
MOANAZINOBEYS
HITORMISSSKIMISHALL
INADAYEEROLADSENYA
CELEBOHTOBEINENGLAND
KRILLSITUATEBEELINE
STALESTEEREDTRESSED

State abbreviations have been mined for crossword themes over and over, but I can't remember this exact implementation. I enjoyed a few, CATCH ME (Maine) IF YOU CAN a potential tourist slogan for the Pine Tree State. EVERYTHINGS OK (Oklahoma) might be another one. Amusing to imagine a bunch of marketing folks brainstorming slogans like these.

Many others didn't work for me, though. LETS KEEP THIS IN (Indiana) HOUSE felt made-up, weak for a central feature base phrase. For as many IN phrases as there are, why not go with one more spectacular? Not to mention, it was weird to get IN in OH (Ohio) TO BE IN ENGLAND, but not have it stand for Indiana.

MA (Massachusetts) and PA (Pennsylvania) KETTLE felt like it should be pluralized; tortured grammar.

HIT OR (Oregon) MISS gave me an uncomfortable picture of physical violence. I hope that's just me.

ONE MO TIME … is that something people say? Seems to be an MC Hammer song?

I appreciated that the grid was smooth(ish). I ticked off about ten dabs of crossword glue, not terrible considering how difficult it is to construct a 21x21.

But I think it's important to avoid too much glue of one type. Notice anything in common between ETUI ENOL ETE EERO ESME EDH? Reminded me of another puzzle I helped a friend out with.

I would have much preferred to go up from 138 words to the maximum of 140, by breaking up GATEWAY at the E. That would have allowed Alan to remove ETUI in the top, and OSS, EERO, ROUE, ETE in the south. GATEWAY is a nice bonus, but it doesn't make up for all those dabs of glue.

Overall, I liked the idea here, and the couple of nice bonuses too, in PAST LIVES / AA MEETING, IM BROKE, MADE SENSE. I think it had the potential to be a really strong puzzle, if it had been spun as "marketing slogans for states."

Wed 5/3/2017
SEPTPERENUMB
CLOMPERIQEZRA
OILERSIOUXCITY
WHENADENTIST
LUVVATOATES
ANDMANICURIST
SAUNAAOUTCSA
ELLEARGUESKIT
COTISLAEPEES
THEYMUSTFIGHT
SARAHLOGTBA
TOOTHANDNAIL
JETSTREAMYOKEL
AGEESERBENERO
BONNONMEERST

Quote puzzles are tough to make sizzle. You put all your eggs in one basket, dedicating every one of your precious theme entries to the quote. It has to land well and generate a big laugh, or the puzzle falls flat. This one, playing on the phrase FIGHT / TOOTH AND NAIL, didn't do much for me, but perhaps people more into groany puns will be delighted.

What can help quote puzzles are 1.) addition of bonus entries that help keep a solver's attention, and 2.) clean short fill so that if it's not your cup of tea, at least it's a silky smooth solve.

I liked the additions of SIOUX CITY, JET STREAM, POLE VAULTER, and TICKET TAKER a lot — each one of these is a strong entry. PRAVDA, FLAMBE, and even NECTAR are fun, too. It can be hard to incorporate bonus fill in the across direction, since that often creates filling difficulties, so JET STREAM in particular was a joy to uncover.

Speaking of filling difficulties though ... I stopped keeping track of crossword glue after SEPT, AOUT, ISLA, RLS, EQUI, SPH (sphere?). I couldn't help but pick the tally back up at the end, though, finishing with TBA / BIERS (what a tough word!), ENERO / ERST in a single corner … no bueno. No. Bueno.

I wonder if the puzzle concept would have been better served by using different body part phrases? Perhaps TOOTH AND NAIL could be the punchline to this particular joke, HAND OVER FIST could be a manicurist mano a mano, FOOT IN MOUTH could involve a podiatrist kickboxing with an ENT, etc. That way if one didn't do it for you, maybe another one would?

Overall though, a couple of great long bonus entries did help elevate (get it? POLE VAULTER? (speaking of groany)) my solving experience.

Sun 4/30/2017 NEW ENGLAND CHATTER
GRIDASNAPCLOCKPDF
AIDELEONIOUNCEFRAU
SPOCKPLUGSACALLTOOMS
HALOESETALIIHATES
AYEASLOPERACEME
HOTSPECIALISTCHASSIS
INEULMSCALIATRI
TURNITUPTHEBODOFAVON
ESSENESEASTRAMONG
GARBFLEATOETOTOE
BOWLPASSINGMOCKREND
EPHEMERAADIAKENO
GEICOICKTWASAUDIS
INSTANTCOMMADROPSEAT
NIKCOOLIOMAUAGA
STEPSINASHOTINTHEDOC
DOUSESTENETSELS
SMARMCHILLSLLBEAN
LOWCOBDIETITSMYPOTTY
UTAHAROLLNEPALWORE
REYHYNDEERASESNIT

The Boston accent has been played on for crossword fun many a time. I liked most of Alan's themer choices, my favorite = A CALL TO ARMS converting to A CALL TO OMS. Not only does it looks so bizarrely cool as A CALL TOOMS, but it gave me an amusing image of a yoga instructor acting like a (curiously relaxed) drill sergeant.

SPARK PLUGS to SPOCK PLUGS also gave me a smile, as I'm a huge fan of most Star Trek crews (*giving Captain Archer the stink-eye*). ITS MY PARTY to ITS MY POTTY worked well for this parent of a 2.5-year-old. And I'm all for a LOW COB DIET.

INSTANT COMMA did baffle me, though. Apparently INSTANT KARMA is a … John Lennon song? It has been covered many a time, so perhaps I should know it?

And A SHOT IN THE DOC felt so grammatically tortured that it was hard to enjoy. Still, a majority of themers hit for me; pretty darn good results.

Disappointing to get so much crossword glue in so many places, given that Alan is a seasoned constructor and this is a standard 140-word construction challenge. I don't mind starting a puzzle with SEL and NOU right off the bat. Keep on with ULM / ASLOPE, CCL / KEL, STR / ADIA / AGITA, AGA / STAC, etc. = no bueno.

I would have liked to see this one kicked back for rework, even if it meant going down to eight or even seven themers. Simple theme concepts sometimes make constructors feel like they have to do something extra, but seven themers with above-average fill would have made for a stronger puzzle.

I did like some of the longer bonuses Alan worked in though — PROTEST VOTE, ACID ROCK, TURN IT UP all gave me lifts.

Sun 3/12/2017 TAKING THE FIFTH
STERNANAUGHTSALTIMA
EILEENINSTORETEHRAN
TABLETENNESSEETIERED
BROODROOTAMPAPEST
YAWNANNYGOATEEISTH
DODOEENSYAFFAIRE
TOLDTOADEERAINSON
INOTLEUSANAATROT
DEOOFFTHEMARQUEEIMP
YAKOVFOESTUNAMBER
SCALEORGSALAIWALDO
UTTERRAILALOALEUT
MSTHOTCROSSBUNNYULE
HEEDEATATNSAMILA
UPATREEWINGSCREAM
POTHERSMAINEDALI
TIMETHEBIGCHILIDUH
ITERTEENATISCHITA
GISELEATTILATHEHONEY
HESAIDTHEWIRERECORD
TRILLSHEROISMASKSIN

TAKING THE FIFTH interpreted as "add the fifth letter of the alphabet, E, to base phrases, with kooky results." I enjoyed a good number of them: HOT CROSS BUNNY gave a funny image. OFF THE MARQUEE had a great spelling change (MARK to MARQUEE), as did TABLE TENNESSEE (TENNIS to TENNESSEE). ATTILA THE HONEY flips Attila amusingly on his head.

Sound change puzzles often don't do much for me, but I enjoyed today's results as a whole. Not every Sunday puzzle has to be (or should be) groundbreaking, and as a solver, I welcome sharp examples of tried and true theme types.

A couple of nice bonuses in the fill, TIDY SUM, AQUALUNG, FIRE AWAY, PRO TEAM. These good mid-to-long entries helped keep my attention.

I wasn't as hot on the short fill, though. It felt like everywhere in the puzzle, I got bogged down by an abundance of crossword glue. I stopped counting at about ten — ERNO, GTS, ADEE, ISTH, LEU, DEO, MST, and so on — and I still had half the puzzle to go. Way too much; dragged down the quality of my solving experience.

I admire that Alan strives to do more, consistently dipping under 140 words in his Sunday puzzles (this one is at 136). But it's so hard to do while retaining smooth fill. I don't feel like it's worth it, if you have to use so much crossword glue.

Usually, I don't mind if there are bits of glue dabbed over the puzzle — and Alan does well not to concentrate it in any one spot — but there's just so much in total that it felt like it should have been reworked for a smoother overall feel. Going up to 140 words would undoubtedly have helped.

Certain ones felt particularly egregious, too — the Maleskan ITER and ADOLF. Hard to save that last one with any clue.

It's rare that a sound change puzzle tickles my fancy, though, so I did appreciate the good quality and quantity of themers.

Thu 10/20/2016
ARCOFACESIBMS
BEAKDRAPETROI
EMUSSAILIASSUME
LOCALAMPHATES
UNUMERODENT
ATSARANUNARASTA
SEESKINWET
HADJEARTHEBBS
UMSURISRIO
TOOBADIHIDABOOT
ALBINOSELLA
NEILLODELEDTO
NOWAYAPAPAYAWON
ELANCOLICCALC
RENTEDICTHYDE

I used to think there was a finite number of palindrome sentences, like MADAM, IM ADAM. Imagine my surprise when at the ACPT one year, there was a palindrome-writing contest! Will (Shortz) even gave the people a constraint to work with: they had to incorporate at least one X. (There might have even been another constraint, too.) I was impressed that both contestants were able to come up with something in the limited time (10 minutes?) that actually sounded like a real sentence. Pretty cool.

Alan came up with four palindromes I had never seen before, with some good results. EMUS SAIL, I ASSUME evoked a funny image, not just of an emu sailing, but of someone making the curious statement. And NO WAY, A PAPAYA WON! made me think about awestruck fans at some sort of fruit Olympics. Funny stuff.

What there really ought to be is a punchline contest. A TSAR, A NUN, and A RASTA walk into a bar … man oh man, I can't wait to find out what happens! At first I thought that palindrome was the weakest of the four since it's not a complete sentence, but adding "walk into a bar" makes pretty much everything funny.

Nice effort to work in some long fill, without resorting to very many compromises — not an easy accomplishment when all four themers are grid-spanners. I would have expected the NE and the SW corners to be the gluiest places, given that the ends of two long themers have to work together, but Alan does well in both places. Okay, ERODENT is a little wonky, and we see counselor TROI for the second time this week, but I like this trade-off. IT'S A DATE and JUBILANT in symmetrical spots is a ton of fun.

Alan could have easily placed black squares at the second U of CAUCUSED and the A of BROADWAY, making his life easier, but those are both nice answers, worked carefully in. A smooth final product, especially considering all the constraints + the bonus entries.

I can't wait to see what punchlines people send me! I'll be waiting at the bar.

Sun 2/7/2016 ADDING INSULT
TAILFINDOMEDBATBOY
ALTOONASELENEADHERE
DISCREDITCARDSCARINA
ATYAARRANIHOPENOT
TABLEOFDISCONTENTS
CAMERAFMSMEATOSE
AREABOUPERHURTERS
DISPLAYSFORAFOOLADIA
RATESLEEPONTUNAROLL
ELANDREBSOSADFEE
DISBANDONTHERUN
SUMSTUBSSEAEAGLE
IRISHALEACTRESSAEON
MDXCELLADISENCHANTED
PUERILEIRSCHATIWO
DESTUDEFLAWINNER
CAMEODISAPPEARANCE
OPENLINEOMITSURSA
REDOAKDISBARANDGRILL
PAIUTETOOOLDAREAMAP
SKATESONRYEPELLETS

Add-some-letters puzzle, DIS appended for kooky results. (DIS)BAND ON THE RUN provided some fun imagery, as did TABLE OF (DIS)CONTENTS. Sure, the latter really ought to be "malcontents," but sometimes kooky theme answers can get by with a lot of leeway.

ELLA DISENCHANTED

Humor is so tough to figure out, so specific to each individual. (DIS)CREDIT CARDS doesn't feel very funny to me, but I suppose it is a big transformation from CREDIT CARDS, which is nice. ELLA (DIS)ENCHANTED didn't do a whole lot for me either. I usually avoid these theme types as a constructor, because my sense of humor is often pretty different than Will's. Or most people's, for that matter.

Alan again dips into the very low word count territory. You can see on our list of lowest word count Sunday puzzles that Alan's name appears quite frequently. I think he has more success today than in previous ones, giving us such goodies as PROBOSCIS and MIXED MEDIA. Even PUERILE is a fun word (says the kid in me.)

I'm generally not a fan of low word count Sundays though. Since it's almost inevitable to require some gluey bits when building a 140-word puzzle, I think it's near impossible to get a 134-word grid to the point where I don't get bothered by all the AT YA, FMS, ATIC, SOR, etc. strewn about the grid. And to have a precious seven-letter slot taken up by HURTERS? That word is a hurter to my ears.

I did appreciate the challenge in solving the big SW and NE corners — those were fun. The NE was a great experience, rewarded by finding a BATBOY and some trivia that the Michelin Guide only goes up to THREE STARs. Cool!

Not as rewarding to fight the SW, only to realize that the last square I struggled against was inside APEAK. Yikes.

And perhaps I need to brush up on my cultural references, but I worry that I won't be the only one blanked by the crossings of ARRAN / OLAND / SELENE / DE SICA up north. Three intersections, all three of which I guessed wrongly on, made for an unsatisfying finish.

So, the ultra-low word count experiment continues, with a mix of effects.

Wed 12/2/2015
AJAMMOTHSOFIA
LUNAAVIAPOEMS
LIGHTYEARAHIGH
ICERAINPARSLO
SELESPOLESTAR
OBIKOLAMRHYDE
NANONETAIR
RADIATIONBELT
INTEVADIAL
GRANDENACLEXE
REDGIANTIDAHO
APEAREACROBAT
PESCISUPERNOVA
EATINTAILOVER
STEAKSWATREND

I interned at NASA during my senior year of high school — I even got to fly aboard the Kuiper Airborne Observatory! — so I found it enjoyable to get these kooky interpretations of astronomical terms. I've heard RED GIANT as a wacky clue for Mao many times before, but SUPER NOVA was fun (apparently some people call Nova lox just Nova), as was LIGHT YEAR.

Van Allen RADIATION BELTs

I wasn't as wild about POLE STAR — do people refer to Obama or Angela Merkel as a "star"? — and RADIATION BELT is pretty deep into astronomy, even for me.

Alan has worked with very low word count puzzles for a while now, and while this one isn't nearly as difficult as some of his other attempts (notably the 132-word Sunday puzzles), it's still tough. Five themers, with a central 13-letter one splitting up the puzzle, is tough enough to do in 78 words. Lower that to 74 and you have a giant challenge. Generally Alan does well, getting such goodies as TAX HAVEN and JUICE BAR and even FEISTY for not much of a price.

It's too bad that one of those prices is two partials. Rich Norris of the LA Times limits partials to a max of two in a weekday puzzle, and I like that criterion, since partials feel very inelegant to me, one step away from [___A] cluing YMC. And to have A JAM kick things off ("stuck in A RUT" is more common, yeah?) is doubly unfortunate. Still, to keep the gluey bits down to that pair plus some OBI, SLO, is decent.

I liked the idea behind the ACROBAT clue: [One going head over heels?]. But don't most humans go head over heels, i.e. they stand erect?

I also found the CELT clue to be off — calling Bird or Ray Allen anything but a CELTIC seems off.

For this science dork, these types of themes are very welcome. But I can see how some people would have a rough go of it, not really understanding what a RADIATION BELT in space is. Without grokking what the base phrase is, it's harder to appreciate the wordplay.

Sun 11/15/2015 HAVING ASPIRATIONS
MASCOTSTIMIDITYOGRE
ATTACHEUNCLOTHEPEON
THEWHIRLEDSERIESETON
TONSSTASISASESNOTE
EMORWANDANIDISULA
LESSEEDANESGRAFTED
THEROYALWHEECOOTS
PAPRIKALEONWORF
ERRORNECKLOSERMSN
EMILECLEARLYTINTYPE
KENLWHICHDOCTORAWLS
ARCSINEINAWORDIMHIT
TSEMERYLSWAGNIECE
OCATAILSESSAYED
BYFARWHACKSMUSEUM
LOWRISEDINARALISTS
ITHEHIDSUNBELTERA
NEALOGEESGUAREIRAN
KALEWHININGANDDINING
AMESMISSPELLOUTRACE
TOSSENMESHESSPOILER

Perfect title, HAVING ASPIRATIONS hinting at a W changing to a WH, as if aspirating (producing a sound by exhalation). I liked many of the themers, THE ROYAL WHEE really amusing. GET OUT OF MY WHEY also evoked good imagery, as did WHACKS MUSEUM. I've seen many plays on world/whirled and wales/whales before, so those didn't do as much for me. Same goes for witch/WHICH … which are homophones, yes? That one muddled the theme for me.

THE ROYAL WHEE!

Alan is one of the few constructors to take on the ultra-low-word count challenge Will has been experimenting with. It does provide for a wide-open feeling grid; cool to see so much white space in every subsection. It's got a similar feel to a themeless grid.

Going down to 132 words is not something I think is worthwhile just for its own sake, but it can allow for a lot more mid-length and longer entries than we usually see in Sunday grids. The center of the puzzle does a wonderful job of this — a huge bonus to get HOLY COW, IN A WORD, STODGES, and CECILIA with the catchy lyrics. Even TINTYPE and ARCSINE are interesting entries we don't often see.

Check out the perimeter of the puzzle, though. It's chock full of 6-, 7-, and 8-letter entries where we're used to seeing 4- and 5-letter ones. That can theoretically make for a more interesting and colorful solve, especially when you work in such juicy answers as YO TE AMO and SPOILER and … well, that's the problem for me. I don't mind getting a smattering of I THE, ENSE, NEH, GUARE, INRI along that bottom if it means I get a lot of great material. But ENMESHES, OUTRACE, BLINK AT, ESSAYED, etc. = pretty neutral material in my eyes. I'd much rather see a 140-word puzzle with a few more sizzling answers and maybe half of the gluey bits we see today.

So, some fun themers and a good data point in the continuing experiment in ultra-low word count Sundays. I'm finding myself liking them less and less, but I do like the pushing of the boundaries.

Sat 8/8/2015
ACCORDINGTOPLAN
DOUBLESOLITAIRE
ACROSSTHESTREET
PATEHONIDOL
TIESUPGOSOLO
ENSSAHARANWAS
DETETAMINENES
DESIGNS
ALGCROCHETCIE
BIOANNETTEORU
SBARROSPURON
ORLETMINONU
RAISETHETITANIC
BREAKOUTINARASH
SYSTEMSANALYSTS

Eye-catching grid. Even though the puzzle is chunked into three very separate sections, I was tickled by the visual aesthetic. Neat to see only four sets of connected black squares!

The 15-letter entries have to carry so much burden to create zing, as the next-longest entries are only 7-letters. I liked most of them, although RAISE THE TITANIC … I used to be a Clive Cussler fan, but not so much these days after I realized how repetitive they get. And RAISE THE TITANIC wasn't one of the better ones. If only the RAISE THE TITANIC movie had done better, but it was a flop. Sorry, Dirk Pitt.

Alan does work in some snazz using his 7-letter slots, EUNUCHS and GOALIES elevated by their great clues. I'm glad EUNUCHS was clued in its metaphorical sense, rather than its (insert crude joke here) sense. And [Ones who have saving accounts?] fooled me but good. I should have seen the weirdness in "saving" vs. "savings" but I missed it (unlike HOPE (GO) SOLO, who got almost everything this year!).

Certainly some prices to pay, though. That middle section tossed me over its lap and gave me an old fashioned spanking. I guessed at the ETAMINE / AMICE / GANNETS crossings, and like the bad guy in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, I chose poorly. ETAMINE is so crossword-friendly — check out its Es and Ts and its perfect consonant alternation — but pretty solver unfriendly.

And as with most grid-spanning triple stacks, the crosses required compromises. The top didn't bother me too much, even with a RLS / DES / ISTH concentration, as those are all fairly minor and common. The crossings on the bottom stack felt like a higher price to pay, what with the oddball RESAT, and a slew of IT IN, UNARY crossing NON U along with the toughies INA and TAL. (Note: chess players consider TAL a must-know person, and crossworders looking to improve their skill ought to follow suit.)

Great first impression what with the beautiful patterns of white space and connected black squares, marred somewhat by compromises throughout the grid.

Sun 3/29/2015 CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME
TABORSBLADESPLICATE
ACADIAEOLITHRUNRIOT
STREAMINGINCAEMBASSY
TIROENZIDESISLIP
EVENPARCASTELSEWHERE
BATESEWARLURID
UTTERADAGESRELIEFS
DEEPSPACECANINEMEDAL
SOIREESTRASATIRE
NOTONCEDOESITTOE
YOUMAKEMEWANNACASHOUT
ALFALETAPITWORKS
LATESTDNYCORNIER
ALEUTREALLYBIGCASHEW
SADCASESAUCEDREINE
HEIDIILLAGERTE
BACALLHANDLERBERSERK
AVERLENIHILTALAD
LETITIATHELIFEOFPICA
TRUSSEDTALONSFLINTY
OYSTERSIDOTOOFUDGES

I was curious why this puzzle was so difficult — my usual Sunday solving time is 20ish minutes, and this one took me twice that. Amazing to see it's a 132 word puzzle. The number won't mean anything to most people, but it's the equivalent of making a themed 15x with only 67 words. We keep lists of such accomplishments, and only about a dozen people have managed this feat.

I appreciated the added level of complexity, given that the theme was immediately apparent from the title. What else could CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME be but "add CA into themers for wacky results?" THE LIFE OF PICA gave me a good chuckle, as did YOU MAKE ME WANNA CASH OUT. The latter has such a nice transformation, breaking up SHOUT into CASH OUT. Nice moment of solving discovery.

I wasn't familiar with REALLY BIG SHEW, so REALLY BIG CASHEW made me struggle. Apparently Ed Sullivan was known for this phrase? (I'm ducking in preparation for all the people throwing stuff at me for even questioning their beloved Ed Sullivan.)

For those of you (heathen) non-Trekkies, DEEP SPACE NINE was a series in the Star Trek franchise. It had its moments. Really. Seriously! Okay, not really. It was terrible. As in, "Star Trek: Voyager" terrible. (Again, I'm ducking.) But DEEP SPACE CANINE did evoke an amusing image.

Upon closer inspection, it's amazing how open Alan kept this grid. Those four corners are so open, so themeless-esque in nature. I appreciated how relatively smooth it all was. The only point that bugged me was the raw number of esoteric names required to hold everything together. I like learning a few BALTO, LETITIA, ENZI kind of entries. Makes it really tough though, when a STAEL or a LENI is required to break into a wide-open section.

All in all, a nice experiment into the low word-count arena. Certainly made for a challenging brain workout. Perhaps somewhere in the middle ground — say, a super-smooth 136 worder — is a sweeter spot for solvers? But pushing the boundaries is a great thing; something very few people can do.

Sun 1/25/2015 TWIST ENDING
UPSWEEPSUBROSAFTDIX
NICEONEORIENTSTRUCE
ICANNOTTELLALEICIDER
TORTSTHUSMEETSREPS
ETESEERCOALCIERA
DOTARDYOUVEGOTMALI
BAYLORATASTEARSENAL
ENCOREDWWIREWCCL
LGARAISINGTHEBRAHEY
AISLESEATNEONSRA
YETIMUTEATEMROTC
DPSNEARIREMEMBER
EMSAQUARTERTOTOWTMI
LAMSURCUESLIPUPS
OPENSEAPLASMAANISES
ILLEGALALINEBURGLE
ELSOLMANEIBNLAST
STATSPENDARODSANER
ARRIDANNIEGETYOURGNU
KEANUCREEPINEDMEESE
SETGOSARDINEDOODLED

Phrases ending with a real twits. Er, twist. I found many of these amusing, RAISING THE BRA having both a great base phrase as well as a resulting wacky one. SCAREDY CAST also meets both criteria, a winner in my book.

Asturian cider pouring tradition. Really!

A lot of great clues today. My favorite was [Something hard to drink?], as in hard CIDER, not as in SARDINE JUICE. Speaking of that, SARDINE also had a nice one, [One in a tight spot?] indeed. And although PASS GO feels awkward (DO NOT PASS GO = do, PASS GO = do not) a beautiful clue, [Reach the Mediterranean, say?], referring to the property on the Monopoly board saves it.

I CANNOT TELL A LEI sounds a bit forced, but what a cool and bizarre letter sequence in –LALEI. Had me bamboozled. Took a long time to figure it out even after I was 100% those five letters were correct. Extremely satisfying when I got it.

Speaking of solver satisfaction, I believe it's one of the most important criteria, if not the most, to hold in mind while constructing. And Sunday NYT are hallowed ground, with solvers doing everything from solo speed solving, to group solving over a full day on the kitchen table, to entering a few answers and feeling good about that. To me, the SW corner does a good job of creating a nice solving experience. With the pretty amusing ILLEGAL ALINE and the great SMELL A RAT, it was great fun for me to eventually crack.

Not as much for the NW. I love WENT SOLO and NICE ONE as answers, and SCAREDY CAST was so satisfying to finally get. But I worked so hard to figure out that corner, only to eventually fill in the wonky PETTER, a kooky DOTARD, someone named THEDA (granted, that one I really should have appreciated learning given that she apparently was extremely famous in her time). I applaud Alan's use of a cheater square to the left of EER, and attempting a 136-word puzzle is always audacious. But I'd personally much rather have a clean 140-word puzzle, giving me a non-PETTER type reward upon filling in that last square.

Overall, some nice themers, a few that didn't resonate, some great fill like DUDE RANCH and ICE PALACE, balanced out with some gluey bits like the illy ILLY. As always, construction is full of trade-offs (and solving is full of subjectivity!).

Thu 7/17/2014
SUNSCLANNOLTE
ONECOGLEENORM
PMUHWHALERECAP
HEROINCDEFATT
STOOLOATSATTY
LLAFPOSITION
STNTMSELMORE
PROLIFEINASNIT
AURORAUNCSAS
RETRAUQSNEAK
ELHILUISPULPS
TOESTANNODEAL
IVANAYGGIPRIDE
RESINLURKOGRE
ESTEEEPEEWHET

It wouldn't be Thursday without a twist in our crossword! Alan brings us "literal" interpretations of X BACK Y phrases, with X being reversed. He also goes down to 74 words, which makes the puzzle more later-week-ish, giving it wider-open feel.

These types of puzzles cause me all sorts of internal debate, as to whether I "fix up" the answers for the database or not. Jim and I have all sorts of fun discussions about this. On one hand, manually changing PMUHWHALE to HUMPBACK WHALE makes it much easier for the solver to figure out the trick. It also means that there's less gobbledygook in our database. However, doing so takes away the link between the clue and the answer. After all, HUMPBACK WHALE is NOT a literal interpretation of [Singer in the sea]. As a solver, I applaud the kooky thinking. As a database administrator, I shake my fist at you all. Er, us all.

Interesting layout today, Alan choosing to leave giant swaths of white space in the NE and SW corners. Tough to fill these spaces, especially after you've fixed one long answer crossing through them. I think the SW came out quite nice, smooth except for STN and NIE, two common enough pieces of glue fill. SPARE TIRE next to TRUE LOVE, that's beautiful work. The NE felt crunchier to me, with ATT quasi-duplicating ATTY, a couple of ILA / SAS / ENORM type answers, and the crazy CDEF. Oof. I realize that some solvers will appreciate this entry since it's highly gettable, but it strikes me as most inelegant. Hard to fix once you place an F at the end of NERF. Look where CDEF falls: tightly constrained right between two themers.

I appreciated seeing a few throwbacks, QUAYLE getting a great clue in [Bush successor] (he succeeded Bush in the vice-presidency). And Lisa KUDROW... funny how poorly "Friends" has stood the test of time. Totally fine to me if LEBLANC and KUDROW become verboten to crosswords. But if George and even ESTELLE Costanza ever disappear... Jeff is getting angry!

Finally, beautiful clue for ALLCAPS. Not FLOP SWEAT or NERVOUS TIC sort of stress, but "emphasis" KIND OF STRESS. Good stuff. And the best today, [Something slipped under the counter?], a great repurposing of the "under the counter" slang for something literally slipped under the counter. So appropriate for today's literal theme.

Sun 3/2/2014 OSCAR DOUBLE FEATURES
AMIGODEPALMATOUSLE
MASONSRESHOESRANTAT
BRAVEHEARTOUTOFAFRICA
ELABAFFRISKEDELKS
ROCKYWITNESSHEMAL
MOLLIDEALSWALLET
TITANELSEASIANIDA
ADORESAIRPORTTRAFFIC
TEXTPSIANASSLIETO
IDIFIENDNYMTWIN
CHICAGOTAXIDRIVER
ANEWNOREAUDEATE
ALPHAAETNAZEEIKEA
GOINGMYWAYBABENFLERS
ANNLOSESLLDSOLDIE
RIPKENSKIDOOAARE
REDANNETWORKCRASH
AMIERESECTAGEELEA
PICNICONTHEWATERFRONT
EDKOCHITERATESUPINE
DISNEYPASSFORLISAS

Today gives us two Oscar winners / nominees smashed together to create quasi-wacky, quasi-realistic phrases. I was slightly confused at first because AIRPORT TRAFFIC was one of the first themers I uncovered, and I thought how cool it was that a regular phrase could be formed. But then ROCKY WITNESS came into view, which helped me cotton to the wacky aspect of it.

Two full grid-spanners (21-letter entries) and a central 17 anchor this puzzle, and with a total of seven themers, it's a toughie to construct. Alan does a nice job of separating his themers from each other pretty well, especially so given that he's used only 136 words today. The difference between 136 and 140 (the maximum Will allows in a 21x) may not seem like much, but it's tremendous. It does allow Alan to work in such long downs as FORCEFUL, DONT ASK, MAN ALIVE, PINPRICKS, etc. That's a lot of good stuff, making the solve more colorful as I went.

It's so hard to create a super-smooth Sunday puzzle at 140 words, and the stress of going to 136 words shows up a little today. A couple of AN ASS, EAU DE type partials by themselves are par for the course, but there were a few crunchy areas that will give some real difficulty to even intermediate solvers. Not sure if there's any way to save the AARE / AKERS crossing with easier cluing? Even though I've seen AARE dozens of times, I paused, wondering if AIRE / IKERS was right. BAFF was also a head-scratcher for me, even though I'm such a bad golfer, I really ought to know the word BAFF. (I have no idea who left all those divots, BTW.)

So an interesting continuation of Will's experiment, using lower word-count Sundays which hopefully snazz up a solver's experience through a higher-than-average amount of good long fill. I might have preferred to break up a pair or even two of the long downs in order to enjoy smoother fill, but to each his/her own.

The solving audience for the NYT xw is likely several million people, and I believe it's a diverse crowd, with greatly differing preferences. This one doesn't break any new ground in the crossword art form, but my guess is that it will cater to a large percentage of Will's audience. Sometimes it's nice for people to get a familiar theme idea, something that won't break their brain as they try to figure out what's going on.

ADDED NOTE: A reader, Angela Osborne, wrote in just an hour after the puzzle went live: "A movie buff, I loved this puzzle. As a member of the Writers Guild and Directors Guild I vote in those categories. Those two guilds have their own awards and are not part of the Oscar votes, but they may influence members of the board that vote for the Oscars. The only problem is I was having so much fun doing this puzzle today that I have no puzzle to do on Sunday."

Fri 11/8/2013
DARESSALAAM
CONTACTLENSES
WHATSTHEBIGDEAL
ROSHANTEFRIA
ALIENTOINFKNT
PEDROOSTEOPATH
SRONUKEARETES
TOPSECRET
SARDISTOSSOYE
PRESSESONERTES
EFSETOCHEETOS
NATEBREATAMA
TRYTOSEEITMYWAY
FLASHINTHEPAN
ESTATESALES

What a challenge today! Themeless puzzles utilizing grid-spanning entries are sometimes super-easy, as a single long answer dropped into place can break the puzzle wide open. Not so today for me, as the tricky cluing and the very difficult crossing words made it a workout.

This is a quasi-triple stack; the 11/13/15 arrangement bringing similar constructing challenges to a 15/15/15. As with most triple-stacks, it's very important to pick spicy long answers, as these will typically be the majority of a grid's feature answers. Alan does very well today in that regard, headlined by CONTACT LENSES and its fantastic clue. Beautiful example of misdirection! Each of his six long answers are solid to snazzy, my favorite being DAR ES SALAAM which I could not parse for the longest time. I knew SALAAM from "salaam alaikum", the Muslim greeting meaning "peace to you", but trying to suss out what might mean "haven" was a tough (but fun) task. Excellent work here.

As with many triple-stack creations, one or more crossings tend to be less than stellar. It's simply near impossible to come up with six snappy long entries and have each of the 30 crossings be perfectly clean. Today is no exception, with entries such as ASDF, CHOLER, OST, and the REs (RETYPE/RESTYLE) rearing their heads.

I admire the construction challenge. A 66-word puzzle using two sets of triple-stacks is no mean feat. The upside is that having more good long answers enhances the solving experience. I smiled at SCHNOOKS, OSTEOPATHS, PRESSES ON and TOP SECRET, amazed at the amount of nice long fill Alan squeezed in. The price to pay for those extra long answers was high though, forcing a mashup of FRIA/LATHS/SAINTE/KNT in the NE. MEERKAT is a lovely piece of fill there, but overall, that region made my solving experience less enjoyable.

As always, themeless puzzles demand trade-offs. Beautiful long answers today with some great clues, but the quality of short fill dragged things down. Still, I was glad to learn a few new words.

Mon 8/5/2013
AGITACLOCKSRA
ROGERROCHEHEN
COUNTRYSTARALA
AGASSIEARELAL
DONEFORDGALAXY
ELASTICSETTLES
SSSIFATCOAST
KEITHMOON
CASASYEPSPSA
ASCRIBENETGAIN
PHOENIXSUNIRAN
STUNGPAUPTIME
IRRDAILYPLANET
ZAGSPREEANGST
EYETEEMSNOSEE
Sun 5/5/2013 CRUNCH TIME
SPATSGASCAPVOLALAR
AILEYOCTADSINASTATE
LEMADESTANDSREBUTTED
ORDSHUTSTATOFDAVID
ORIBISPUTTESNEINE
NONOSHOTDOGSESTATE
STEWPRUNESROOFMINOR
OYERKEPTATIT
OAHUOLDLINEONELLAMA
PLATANADINETREESAP
ELSBUDAPESTNGARYHUT
NOTSURESCHMOSSTEVE
SKEPTICSLEBLANCYSER
ASSOONASARAP
SEATOYOURBETTYFEDAN
ACCENTBEASTIECAIRO
RUERUDIPAARPABSTS
CATCHESRAINTAPAALI
ADORABLEGOESDERCOVER
SONINLAWAERIESAROSE
MRESESASAYSSODOWSE
Thu 7/19/2012
DEPRESSFIESTAS
ONEARTHITSTRUE
RETINAELINEAGE
IRRTASMENDUE
COINSURINGGERM
ATELOOSEN
PULPYTINPLATE
AVAMOIREEMUG
LANDINGSDUETO
DIEOUTAUK
DAMSREINSPECTS
ELITESRASLIT
FINALESMINTIER
ONENESSESTONIA
GESTAPODISTEND
Wed 6/20/2012
BANJOSMASHCFO
OSCARPADRELAN
WHACKJORDANACE
LEAKERRROMEO
POTTYSKIPPIN
SCOOBMOIESTE
CUSTERBEATEN
IDSSURVEXELF
MENACEDILLER
AHOYIWOLUSTY
MORMONNAILER
OBGYNLLBKANT
RBITAMESJAILER
ALEAGORAKNAVE
LESPRESSAGREE
Sun 5/20/2012 WISECRACKS
CHEFSCRAPEWOMANTOG
AONELAICALHYDRAODO
TREATOFVERSAILLESLOP
ONSTAGESTARZISAIDNO
UMASSIKOSANS
DACRONASTUDINSCARLET
ORLEBURNDEPOTILA
GOODANDREADBEERBELL
NUTGAEAVEEADDIE
ASUSUALDERMALNOD
PARTANIMALBILLTHEKID
LEAODEDONTRUSTME
RATEDREDRYANOPT
FAIRTALELIVERSTABLE
AITADALEOEUFCEES
BRANDALEXANDERTHIRST
UPDODPSYAWED
LODGERSLOGINBITTERS
IRSTHESOUNDANDTHEFUR
STUTEPIDALLOUTSODA
TSPEATMEREALLYTRES
Thu 3/22/2012
SPRITESGOESMAD
EROTICARANWITH
AILERONATLASES
BELMONTSTEAKS
ESTSITISIUZI
ETOCONANTSAR
PARKINGBREAKS
POIRAT
CHOPPEDSTAKES
OOHSITHEEHOR
GEMTOGAENAPA
SERVICEBRAKES
COLLEENDUELERS
ONALERTGRADUAL
BOWEDTOELLIPSE
Thu 1/26/2012
CHADADAPTSIDS
AIDELORRIENIL
STALLFORONETVA
HAGUEMETEAHEM
TEXASSTRANGERS
EDUAROAR
OHOCNBCTSARS
JACKTHESTRIPPER
OSCARVASEYDS
UTUBEBAM
STRIKERSISLAND
PUREAMANODEON
RBISTILLATEASE
EENPINSONUTES
ERGATDAWNPOST
Thu 10/6/2011
YAWINNATEBASK
ALIPEORIAANTI
DIDYOUHEARABOUT
ASTIMOAPRYNNE
THELAWSUITS
LANRESIDUE
MANDMATICTEST
AGOBETWEENMET
RUTHVIALERODE
SEVENAMIRA
HANESANDBVD
MASHIETODBARE
BRIEFSWEREFILED
AMAHCANTBEEGG
SYMSERSATZTSE
Sun 8/21/2011 UNDERWATER SEARCH
PRONGRONDOLAPDRPMS
RUMOROCEANINRIIRMA
ONEMORETIMEMNEMONICS
ENEEGOMANIASMUGGLE
NEUAGASSEEIT
JIFENGINEMOUNTSOULU
AMILLIONDELLATENNIS
PANASONICDAPSREEVE
EDDYNOTTOMENTIONMEM
DEISTSRTAOMNIVORE
NOOILLEXUSATEAT
MAGNETICISISSMILE
ARNDIVINEMOTHERPOOL
DIECIENOLEASEMENTS
RAMONAENIACLATEDATE
ELONNOMENCLATURELOS
TRALAOCASITT
VIDEOEDIRONMIKEOID
ONEMOMENTSTATESWOMEN
COENISITTORICATSEA
ENDSATTYSNACKSHORN
Thu 7/28/2011
BARBSHALTSWAN
ODERSILASAHSO
GOUINSMOKETOPU
GRATESONTOIL
SEPTAMEASUREDU
LTRLETINON
BRAEASTOECOLE
LUCSITUFORTOR
INUSEESTOTERP
PATINASHBO
STANDSUTOOPERA
BUSHITSATRAP
UDOSCOMEUSHORT
HAVEALEROIDEE
WYESNAXOSSEED
Tue 5/10/2011
ABSLOPEDSTATS
BRAARENALETAT
BALLPOINTRASTA
ASSESUIEMEAN
SHAHPOINTGUARD
BAAEDGEOS
GUARDDOGTABOO
ANNHERETICLTD
LIDEEDOGHOUSE
ARCHWEARE
HOUSEPAINTAJAR
ENNEURNALERO
ELISEPAINTBALL
LOTUSOWLETNEE
SWEPTNEEDYSSS
Wed 3/16/2011
PANAMINCMOPSY
AISLENAHSNAPE
GREATTIMEUTURN
ESCHONESTALIT
WORKSTOPPAGE
HARDCOLE
LAVISHPARTYEGG
ATITETAALLY
XEDBOWLERSCOUP
CUPEERIE
TVCOMEDIENNE
ACHECURIAEHAS
UHURAFULLCOUNT
PITCHFLAARENA
EPEESYETSEDER
Tue 12/21/2010
REACTOPTEDTIN
ALLAHLLANOHBO
PLANEBOARDSISM
TENKERNASSES
MINDBLOGGING
SECANTODETS
PLANKEREITBA
CHRISTMASCLAROS
AIRYENSAMUSE
YEARNICIEST
BLOTTEDWATER
LANCEITARILE
ORBADAMSLANDER
OVASNAPETILES
MAGEASYAEXERT
Wed 10/13/2010
SIONVILECASCA
ENNECRUXRUTHS
ASTAHONEENROL
SHOPPINGCENTER
TAPEPIUSNATE
APORTCATTACKLE
REFORMMOEAYES
BITTEREND
ASTIFOEMYRIAD
SHINGUARDLENTO
HOEOJSIDOALI
WICHITALINEMAN
CINCOELANGONG
LETEMROTEGOTO
ERODESTERSDAK
Sun 7/25/2010 UP STARTS
EPPIEAMPSNIGELPEER
FREDROGERSOCULIALSO
FASTOFEDENNASALROPE
STOAFIEFTENTPACKING
GRESATAASCAP
SEASONTOBELIEVECLAIM
TLCUSSRNIBSTHATSO
ATTLEEDREAMOFTHECROP
TOFUASIRSLOEEINE
IRONMANLIMOAPSE
CORNONTHEFOURTHOFJULY
AYLAECTOANTONIA
SPCAHEWNLAITASSN
HOODFORNOTHINGATDUSK
ESCHEWTOONEGGOROE
STOOLMOVEMEORLEAVEME
MONADESCALTI
NIXINGBOWLSTACOABEL
OMENAERIEEATINGGAME
PANEILENEINREGARDTO
EXAMOLDERSEARGAUSS
Wed 1/27/2010
BANDBGROHABAB
IRENELOLAMACE
TEXASTAXESIBLE
EATTIDYPONYUP
GIFTAUTOS
DIALFORFLORIDA
HOTELSURLSTRU
URSAANOITIN
NETANTIABSENT
KNOWRYENEWYORK
ORATEZAHN
SALAMIHIKEJAM
TRAPMAINEANIME
ETTUELLEROBOT
WEEPSETSTREKS
Sun 12/20/2009 INSIDE DOPE
WAAHISIAHTIDALSHAM
ALBARODEOOLIVEMESA
RAINFORESTPLAINFOLKS
TIEDINTOSCRUMDALLAS
STOOLSHOSALLDONE
MCCAINFOLLOWERSSEATS
SHAWNGOUPEKBERG
DAISDAYANSODOIAAA
ORRVETNAPKINFOLDING
STOVEPIPEAIDEERNIE
INTERPTSCONAN
BRESTIMITOKEYDOKEY
REGAINFOOTINGDESRAE
OXOELROYODISTROTS
CLAWATSTENRENEE
SMEARTOPSPINFOREHAND
CONSORTAHASENATE
UNTAMEAGORAREFRAINS
BARGAINFORJOINFORCES
AMINMEADEABOILSOWN
SICASTRADMERLEENTS
Tue 11/10/2009
SICEMSAGSAWIN
INADVANCEAGONY
TAKEPLACETOMES
OWENOPTSURE
NEDTHESOPRANOS
BOAZENSPH
ALIENMOONELIA
MONEYLAUNDERING
EGOSEDIEVIBES
BARIRTHEN
ANDILOVEHERRDA
ELLYQASSUER
LURIDRUNSCARED
AFTERRIDESHARE
WOODYSPYALLEN
Tue 9/8/2009
BINDSASAPAMAT
INLAWOHNOMAXI
CREDITLINEOPEN
SERENEPOTBELLY
DAMSABE
ANGELIAMSALSA
GARTERSNAKEEAR
ACEDNUTRIFATE
SHEBASEBALLFAN
PONTEESLEASYA
LIAMEGO
ACIDRAINETOILE
MAGICRIMEANWAR
ASHEHELPREOIL
JETSODESDANCE
Tue 8/4/2009
ACTEDWAILRSVP
LAHTIEMMAOHIO
DREAMABOUTBOAT
EGGETCSEGUE
NOAHLABRESHOT
PAJAMABOTTOMS
LASRUNSRIP
EPSOMSTYMINTS
DOHPAPAKAT
ALABAMABORDER
MEDICISLOMASS
OSKARDNAMCI
NEWTBEAMABOARD
OVERLAVAORDIE
REDOEDENOBAMA
Sun 7/12/2009 LINKS TO THE PAST
LAMAVIRGOLIMOASPCA
ELECULEESARALPHILS
MIDDLEOFNOWHEREPEROT
ONICEVIOLETONLEAVE
NEANNEMEDICALCENTER
BIOTYPEONEATERN
PALMWOEARLENRAPS
SPIRITUALLEADERRAHAL
SITESHEIDIACTLIKE
TAZMATEOUNCOILMPAA
BEGINNINGOFTIME
ALFARESENDAFTONAMP
BEANBAGBASTEESTEE
SERGESECONDINCOMMAND
ASEATEXTSSRSONUS
CANRIGIDGEOLOGY
ENDOFDECEMBERSOLPRE
LOWGEARCARESSEARED
EMILSBROADWAYCLOSING
BIDETIBETISSUEACTE
SEEDSLIDSNETTYPEAR
Mon 2/23/2009
FAWNSCHAWCOLE
ALEUTAONEERIC
RUBBERBANDLAVA
MMMNOIRPETER
AROUNDTHEBEND
ASSISTSEERS
NATOACROHIE
THETIESTHATBIND
SLRMLLEARTY
HAHABARRELS
MUNICIPALBOND
ABETSMILAGSA
TORTCUMMERBUND
EAVESNAPERNIE
STERIONSRASPS
Sun 2/8/2009 PAJAMA PARTY
PIAFNEBRAARPONSETS
ENFAMILLEMOESFELLOW
PETROLEUMJELLYNARITA
YPRESCROONICHORHEM
STAREATPARACHUTEJUMP
SSRSDAWOPERA
APPSHIHOOKSTYPOS
PRACTICALJOKETROLLEY
SOPHIEMONEYMENEADS
EPATRIBECAARSONIST
JULPICKLEJARRON
DRONESONELEMENTJAM
OOHSMDDEGREEOOLALA
PENPALSPETERJENNINGS
ESSENSITSALATEAK
NAVALANNLIMB
POETICJUSTICELEASERS
UPSSHARETAMMINOLAN
LATINIPINEAPPLEJUICE
PRECIPEZERTALLORDER
STEINSDEWYYAYSSERT
Thu 1/1/2009
TROTSAHLINBAD
HAZEOLAYNOONE
ONONESOWNNSYNC
RUNAROUNDSUEZ
OPENTOAWEITA
TENOFENGIRD
SIBMACADAMIA
PLAYSHARDTOGETZ
ALLATONCENEE
SETTEREFILE
MRIPAPDONNIE
CLASSIFIEDADZ
RESEWHOLDWATER
ARENAATOILENA
HEADYWARTLSTS
Sun 8/31/2008 EXTRA PLAY
GOTEAMLETSATSUREBET
APOLLOISINTOONEBASE
SAYITAINTSOOTNOWORSE
STANCECISCOALDEN
ASTIREATSAORATIONS
IPOSALLOTTHESAMETEY
WARMTHBESAMEARLO
AMYHOAGIEHILTSOFTY
CRYSTALBALLOTCARO
ATARIKOSAHSUNSAVED
LUNACIESRNAACTALONE
ATANENDTIDUMAYENTL
MUCKBIGOTBUSINESS
OSTERNANUNTESTSSSN
ODOMLIAISEAORTAE
JIFSCHOOLMARMOTAERO
ENGRAVERBYRONFITIN
SHOERAESIRLEARNS
SUDSIERLOOTANDBEHOLD
EMOTERSANKARAURANIA
LETSSEEBEEPERGETSBY
Thu 3/13/2008
IRRSAIMSBACK
NEATOSOUPORLE
BUZOFPUTINGREN
UNLASHSKILIFT
DEEHAJIELEV
COMONAMEEPA
RUERSONEISAC
CONCEPTENSNARE
ABIEELEMCATS
SYNUPERIGHT
SAMESARIACA
FOULARDOSAGES
ADRESBOKSMCALS
KEENONERSTPAT
ERDEXENASERS
Tue 12/18/2007
JESTJACOBSCAM
ACNEUNITETARO
WHOCANITBEELEV
SOBDKNYPRAISE
SAYFEELFOR
WHATMATTERS
OONARBISAPSOS
WHEREDOESITHURT
SOWEDNOUSAREA
WHENPIGSFLY
STUDIOSTRE
TORENTLISAFIG
AMBIWHYPAYMORE
IMACAIROFOXEN
DYNEREESEMYST
Sun 11/11/2007 PUTTING ON SOME WEIGHT
PLAQUETIEPOLOGAUSS
LAGUNAONWATERTEAPOT
ASGOODASNEWTONETHANE
ZEITSPCAROACHGIA
AREELPATTONONTHEBACK
AWLELLISENLAI
PINCHHITCANTONOPENER
IDEAOEUFFEETRSVP
CLUBCARTONSNAPUPTAM
SERIORAPROREM
DONTGIVEMEANYLIPTON
STOLIIRAIOTAS
RAJAGENCYPROTONSHOP
AGUANAUTCOHOSEMI
SEXTONSYMBOLPINDARIC
TOILEEAVESRAW
CHARLESTONATLASIBMPC
HIPCASEROPTSAARE
AROMASROLLAWAYCOTTON
RESENTPLEADERANITAS
ODETSSEAPORTMAKEME
Tue 10/23/2007
STAGETANGOHIT
ARIESICEAXUFO
CURTAINCALLMOP
BUSHINART
BABYBATHSPONGE
UNOANTEUPDCON
GOBADANASOTS
BLOODSTREAM
JAYEMIISTERN
ILKANONFATDAB
GUNSLINGERSYNC
SMITEIMAC
ANGTHINGSDRAWN
WAHBACONZAIRE
SETEDITSEMMYS
Wed 9/12/2007
CRAGUBOLTFAZE
RULESATIEEXEC
AMENALINELENO
BOXOFFICEHIT
BRIARAERIALS
ESSARMWRESTLER
FIONACOMO
HOLDONTIGHT
AJARDERRY
SUITSTOATEESEC
STRIKERAPPLY
FINISHSTRONG
FIJINOHITAKIN
OKIEILIKENENE
BEGSSEVERKNOT
Thu 8/16/2007
RAISEENYAFROM
UNCLEBEETOILS
STEALRUSTINMET
HEATEROFWART
TUXEDOECOESL
OPEADAKNIGHT
CASABAILIAD
STARTTOFINISH
REALMAVENGE
EXPELSOWLLOU
DYEOKSACTOUT
RAILWAYSBUST
ENDEDBARTPONTE
SULAUVEAANGER
QTIPMENDNEEDS
Thu 5/17/2007
WASNTPITALAPP
ALLAHABOUOSLO
SIAMESWINSSSIN
HETERODEPORTED
SOUPDIVA
ADVSTABCACKLE
DEICEPACEKEEL
ECRUPESASOPAL
ACAROREMAFIRE
FALSTONERDSYN
HARPLOAM
BOXEDSETAMERCE
AVIDHORSRADERS
NINAONITNIPAT
EDGYTYPOTASTE
Tue 11/28/2006
ERASEASAHIJIM
XEROXTALESAMO
ALEXCOMFORTCPU
MOSUPSETHIKER
ESENAPKIN
LIONELHAMPTON
ENVYSATYRSIST
FLEASIRROFFER
TARASTERNAERO
BILLIEHOLIDAY
SAUCERWAR
HERESAMAINPTA
AIDTHEINNCROWD
ROEAIOLIEERIE
PUNXENONTONGS
Tue 10/17/2006
ALKASLAVFLORA
LANGHALOLEMON
ITEREXCITATION
CELEBALOTTKO
EXTERMINATOR
TEARSUBWAY
EXPORTERSTIRES
CEESNEADIRE
ONEAMEXTRACTOR
LANCIAEERO
EXTRADITIONS
DASERIESNAIL
EXPOSITIONATKA
KEANUZORAGEEK
ESTOPYURTERSE
Tue 5/23/2006
BOBBAWLGHOSTS
IREARIEAERIAL
GELHEDDAGABLER
MILKATTSTSK
ADOLLSHOUSETHE
CACAOADORES
TOHEARTLEAP
MASTERBUILDER
DISCARSENAL
LASHATPAPAS
ISITHEWILDDUCK
GATPETEYMCA
HENRIKIBSENIRT
OTOOLEENRYCUE
NORWAYROSEEER
Wed 8/31/2005
BICSEASYFROZE
ANATAREALEXUS
SEVERTIESATILT
IPANATIERDUE
STLREMORSELESS
CRETEQUO
ESAITAILPAWED
LADYTENNISSTARS
SPEARYEAHHIRT
DAMROSES
NOTHINGISONTNT
EMUPOURABBIE
WARESSKINGRAFT
SHOVETELEANTE
YAWEDODEDEDYS
Wed 2/9/2005
SADAANILLOWLY
TRISZENOELITE
IANSTONYAWARDS
GREASEOVINE
MARIACALLASHAL
ATOLLMIARARE
UPONESKIMO
WESTSIDESTORY
BASKETSRTA
ELOISAGLEROI
GETNEWYORKJETS
EMOTEUSENET
CARDSHARKSCOLL
ARISETIESTILE
DICEDYOYOSROS
Wed 1/12/2005
HBOGALASRESIN
ARCABORCARISE
WITBOBBYKNIGHT
SLALOMTOUCH
ELVINBISHOPTOE
ROEGSTESGTS
HASTESWEATS
STEPHENKING
CHEESYPOINT
BOARPLOORCA
SETELLERYQUEEN
BOGIEAUTUMN
IRENECASTLESEA
MULESSPATSENL
PETITEFLATDTS
Wed 9/15/2004
CRISPDAHLTADS
SANTAAREAOREL
ANTECEDENTWILE
HESTONEMIGRE
OPEDDEALWITHIT
OATLSDVONTOY
PLUTODIRGE
BETTEMIDLER
KURTZELAND
GRRSACWADICE
RAISESHEEPSNOW
AMBUSHLAPSED
SPARCALLTOARMS
SELFALITFLOOR
ODDSNASHTYPEA
Wed 8/11/2004
GSAPASTSADLER
OHSOCTALMIATA
BIPDHABIPSYCH
ARCHIEBUNKER
DRAMAGIRAFFE
STOOPPEERIN
ABURODEOLANA
BETTYFORDCLINIC
ATIEMOOLACST
COLLIETRIBE
KNEECAPREGAL
VERONICALAKE
ADLIBGOMADVIN
LASSOORONOETO
INDEXSANERLAX
Wed 5/19/2004
CLANEDAMLAPAZ
RITENOSEOLIVE
ALARDOINWAXED
SALVETRADERYRS
SCLERAEWOK
OBTUSEANGEL
BODYSLAMDIEGO
LARAEDEMASTEN
AHALFKALAHARI
BUTTERFILES
ATKAHAIRDO
ADJCOLDHOPPERS
QUOTHLIEUAMOK
UNTIEIVESNANA
ASSADNAPEAPER
Tue 2/24/2004
TILMETALACHES
ACUAMANABUENO
HEMLUCILLEBALL
IDESTMAILED
TINKERBELLSON
INSIDERATHEART
NEAURIAH
TWODOLLARBILL
THINEISE
WENTBADSPARTAN
ANDCOTTONBOLL
POCONOAISLE
CHICAGOBULLSPA
COPTSRATIOERS
STEAKSTEIGDOT
Thu 2/5/2004
KERRNOTCHOOZE
ELIEADOREBREN
LAMPGENOAREAD
PNEUMATICDRILLS
BUNSGRE
APOLLOETERNITY
SONICATRARAE
PSYCHOTHERAPIST
ETOURISPONTI
NEUROTICDELAYS
ELSSURE
PTOLEMAICSYSTEM
RAGAARGOTTARA
OPRYROONEADIN
PEESTOTERRACY
Sun 1/11/2004 THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT
SAHLSCRIPJOLLAGTOS
ALOEELIDEUNIONRANT
APPTRATINCREASEEPEE
REDSHIRTORONOMIAMIS
ILONATBIRDPISTE
STAIRSFUSEMACADAMS
TAMPAHATCRIMESNASAL
ABOSEENTONARCNUKE
MONASANITARYCODRIP
PODIATRYREBSABSENT
DUHSABIDEGMAN
POMADEARIEHEADACHE
OCARUBGOLDBERGPRAM
LADDRIOTOILMENYUM
ILIUMINNAMONLYAMITY
SANDALEDAMESAMINES
CRUELALISTSTUNG
REHASHFRONDSTORESUP
ITINICECREAMCONOHSO
BANCGORENYOUVELANE
SHAHHONDASIDEDAMAT
Wed 12/31/2003
JAMBSAVEDHASH
OREOERATOECHO
KATHARINEGRAHAM
EMERGEDSPAREME
ANEWACT
AROUSEARTYZAG
SOUPSBLOCPASA
PUTTINONTHERITZ
EGGOONUSAERIE
NEOSTETATTEND
SETSLRS
CHAPMANICINESS
EATLIKEANANIMAL
LIRAEMBEDPIKE
TRAYNOUSESTEW
Tue 12/9/2003
STESBOLTALTAR
TALCOKIELORRE
RUDEWRENSCUFF
OPENCLASSROOM
PERILEERPAC
CANDIDCAMERA
SURNEINANADEM
USEDVITALDUNE
LUGOSIHULKPAL
FRANKLOESSER
APRILSMOOLA
DIRECTDEPOSIT
FEINTAHOYFAKE
LANGEROPEEKES
URGEDSUEDRANT
Wed 11/12/2003
LEADFAVORGOSH
ONNOAMIGOINTO
WHATIREALLYMEAN
CADENCEELAL
ULESERTSKETCH
TOMEISILOTALE
RGSNOVADAY
HIGHWAYMEDIAN
POTTESTRDA
OYEZPHILENRON
LARIATMORNOXO
PLUMCODICIL
APPLEPIEALAMODE
GYROIRATEACES
EXECNOTESMOSS
Thu 10/9/2003
CAPOHBACKOFFH
OPALSARANALUM
WELDDRANOTOGA
HTOHCOMBATEGAD
OWSHASSLE
SHAMANBLOT
LATEXCOOLHLUKE
AVISARTIEONYX
GETAHLEONNEURO
ILEXNEWMAN
FRESNOSER
OOLAWORKEDHINH
ROADINAIDBAYS
ETTANEMEAAGRO
HSETGLADHGOON
Sun 9/7/2003 INSIDE BREAK
PITAPATRAMPALHECUBA
ORIGAMIEROICAORATES
NATASHASTRANDRUNNERS
DNASERIOUSEDYSISNT
SINGERANDREASEEMS
ADSISOLDESMITTEN
PINGTAGALPEDERLE
AGORADONNAKARANDRESS
CLOUDEDEONLOUASYET
TOILEDLIMOSFLAY
SOLEGRANDRAPIDSATAT
GEOMEATITTACOMA
IWASAABAKENEASEDUP
BERTRANDRUSSELLARISE
ARMADAACSESPBEER
REELERSHATPINREI
ENDTOFRANDRESCHER
ASSNVERAARTLESSALI
VETERANDRIVERALADDIN
ERASERELNINOPEYOTES
SAYSOKROASTSSYSTOLE
Wed 6/18/2003
DELTAMIFFRAMP
EQUUSOREOEGAL
BUGLEIMAXGOTO
TIESFLASHLIGHT
SPRAWLTOSS
ROOTLUTHER
PERRYWHITERIDE
ALOEITEALGA
GATECOLEPORTER
ELIXIREMIL
ADARLABELS
FARMANIMALALAW
ELOIKNITANISE
UPONUSERACHED
DOMEPENAHOUSE
Wed 5/28/2003
JADESODASLAVA
ALUMIPANAOTIS
COTTAGEINDUSTRY
KEYINNSBEIGE
AMATAGOCOT
BUNGALOWBILL
ASEATAIRTIGHT
LEARTAXEDQUAI
ESTIMATEAUTRE
CABINCRUISER
FAARUTLORD
ALBENLAMACOS
LODGEACOMPLAINT
SNUGCANOEDATE
EELYTBIRDZOOM
Wed 5/7/2003
SPCAMCGEEAQUA
PAARALERTBURP
LIVERWURSTCAGE
ONENESSAARREX
STATETNTOTT
HSTFREEZEDRIED
ASORTREALLY
AMEXASTERCELS
DENIALIBOOK
ORGANDONORSISH
ILKIGNMOTTO
JONAILIRISHER
ACEDDIETICIANS
WHEYLEVELECCE
SOREERASERAHS
Sun 3/30/2003 TO B OR NOT TO B
ARMOIREICIERCAPULET
SHIPPEDCARNYONENESS
HOMEOFTHERAVERIPOSTE
EDENSEBONYMAMESOT
NASTASIASULUSTNS
OILINGPOINTSOPHIE
MONRITZRAMIEAREAS
ANEMONEHITITDOKIC
RAVINEFAMEDTONIGHT
ITERSBLIPSERVICEIRR
SEREPOURISLEFLEA
TANBRAISEMONEYALDAS
REDBIRDMIDSTSTARCH
VIANDGENIESITWELL
STEELHINDUBETANEY
TURTLEMADAMEOVARY
RIBSSOONDOEROLEN
ATLSPFSTAPIRSNAPE
NIAGARAJACOBSBLADDER
GONERILEXCELBEVELED
ENDLATEBITTESEERESS
Wed 3/19/2003
HOARSMASHEZRA
ONLYHELLOCOAX
REIDATPARZONE
SAVEEVASVASE
EMERGEEMAIL
CASTCATSACTS
CHAUDROSESMIA
RASPSALSACEST
URLUNITEOASIS
SPOTPOTSTOPS
TOWITWITCHY
LOSESOLESLOE
JOWLEXUDEOAKS
ALOEVAPORFREE
BEEREMERYFOYS
Tue 3/4/2003
CAWSBONOPSHAW
AMATAVONAWAKE
SUREBALLERINAS
ALBANYAIRING
BELLADONNAESPO
ATEGOPESPOER
DOGLEGIXNAY
BILLYJACK
ZUBINMARKER
IKEGAGIRAIFS
PENSBOLLIXEDUP
TAKETOVENDEE
BULLETHOLEELLE
ANEARAPIAREED
HAYDNMYSTORDO
Mon 2/17/2003
ATLASLOLLIDLE
QUARTEDIENOUN
ULCERNONOBOLD
ASEAFORDTAURUS
SAYSNOYARN
ECOLRECOAT
GRANTINAIDHASH
AUTOORRETTA
PLOTTRUMANSHOW
SENATEEASY
TERMHEYDAY
BUSHLEAGUEAERO
ONTONULLTHANK
ADAMCLUENOLIE
ZONEESTETOTED
Thu 1/30/2003
TARPTAWSCSPAN
IDOLALOTOHARA
TELEFIRELOREN
ALFALFASPROUTS
NEEDIESTINT
EMTSTEAMUP
BARBARAWALTERS
FANIDALII
CINCINNATIREDS
CLEANEDNIA
LATOBSERVES
SHOSHONEINDIAN
SHARPGLADROTO
RATIOROMEOLIO
SHEETEWERPANT
Mon 1/20/2003
TABLEBIOSRASH
ILIADADUEANTE
MARTINRITTLOOS
SIDEBETSAMPRAS
LEASTIHATE
LUTHERBURBANK
BLEUFIRMA
JEANARPPAIDOFF
TIARAERLE
KINGOFTHEROAD
AMONGTRIAD
LOWGEARELECTOR
LOTTJUNIORHIGH
AROOADINLILLE
HEWNREPSESTEE
Wed 12/11/2002
SHUTMANEDORBS
TORIIMAGENEAP
ORIGNATALETTE
WASHIGHONBARON
TALLALMOND
SHOWMESAGE
LEDADRYDENWORK
IRIDOARIDOBIE
PRESSURINGNITE
AREAORDEAL
RESIGNOTOE
AMOREFOLDEROLS
LISAFRODOFRET
PLATRENEWULNA
HYDEYEARNLYON
Tue 11/26/2002
BARNSWISSGOUP
EREICARATRUDE
BONNVOYAGEATAT
ENDEARSRIPPLE
ILEPENNPALS
AWAREAUSEAT
RENOULSTERIDS
MANNINTHESTREET
SRILIMPETENCE
HEEAIMACTOR
TAILFINNATA
ALLOTSOUTPOST
SLAPSWEPTUPINN
TATEEAGERESAU
EYEDIRONYDEPT
Tue 11/19/2002
JAVACHOSENOAS
ELEMOUTCRYBRO
EARPIERCINGELF
PRYCROISLET
BACKBREAKING
STOLLELORNE
CAVILILLTIMED
ADESISTLENODE
MARTINEZTINGE
ENTREDUNKED
HEARTRENDING
OXEYEOVAPIE
MIGARMTWISTING
ELIRUINEDALFA
YESSETTLEPLOD
Wed 11/6/2002
ABABKENDIARY
NAPABIDEONCUE
KNITUNEVENBARS
AGEISMMALTED
ROCKYROADSDEAL
ANENABAESMMI
HOPINIDIOM
AGAINSTTHEGRAIN
DEITYHAUNT
ARRMIDNCOITO
METAROUGHRIDER
INTERNRAMONA
JAGGEDEDGEPINT
ETHICMEADEDIE
BATESIRSLOSS
Wed 10/16/2002
SARAABBASTUPE
CHICMOLDARNAZ
HAFTTRAMNADIR
BEFOREHANDERA
IRASNORER
PROVOKEWARSAW
RAVENDEBIETNA
ODEOMIGOSHADV
WIRYOTOSARNIE
LOWESTCCRIDER
ENLISTASP
ELIAFTERSHOCK
LEGITAMOISLID
MAHRESPANTONY
OPTEDHEROEDGE
Sun 9/22/2002 SEX CHANGE OPERATIONS
HIFILAMBSCAMPOCAPO
YSERECOLEORIONALOG
METAGULAGMINDERSFEE
NEANDERTHALFANSESAME
LIANAAYNELI
COWARDHMOSISLANDER
ATONEMOUNTAINOFYOUTH
SERDAUNTGNATMAE
ELKFISSIONIMPOSSIBLE
OLELASEATATHAT
FORSALETITANJETSFAN
ONOERNEROBBAGA
THANKGODITSMRIDAYSEN
OATGENECANITTIT
SLOWBURNINGMUSEGEESE
HEROINESAXLEALARMS
MTSNPRSLURP
OPIATEFOURMINUTEFILE
MIGNEWTONSANITALEAP
ECOLERICHMATRIACNE
NARYDALEYANEARPEKE
Sun 5/12/2002 REMEMBERING MOTHER
HAGSORBEDLOCIMEMOS
ABLENOONEICESIPANA
JOIETACOMABELLNIXON
JUSTSOMASERAADELINE
SHIPSTANGROOM
GRAECOOMENAMALGAMS
EONSFALALALALAMASEE
ETDTERIAMORKAI
SHOTTWOOVERPARMAJINN
RUINSASHECHERIE
CAYENNERAVELBLOTTER
EMOTEDJETEBEAST
RAYSYOUCANCALLMEALMA
ELOPLUROPIEOIL
AIMPRAIRIEDOGMAACRO
LEADROLENASHCASKET
TOADTARTCERTS
MORTISEDEEPDOTCOMMA
OMITSMGMGRANDMARIAL
ONCLEMAIAPRATTITUP
DIKESATTNPAYEEAHSO
Thu 3/14/2002
REALMCUBAQUAD
INDIAUSERUNDO
FRANCISCANODDS
LAGHSTMONTE
EPITOMESEARLY
STOWRUBLEPOE
IGABRADPITT
SCOTTJOPLIN
DATELINEPEP
OARFETCHECTO
WHERETALKSHOW
NORTHLEEOYL
RUGSKEYLIMEPIE
ANTIOLEOPRINT
JOHNSLAWTANGS
Wed 1/23/2002
PERTPSHAWJOLT
AXERANISEABOY
TENORSACKSRSVP
OUTLOOKFTSTEE
INALLECOOVA
STLFLOORWHACKS
SEEINHOLLER
DEMIELIDEVEGA
EDITORCELIE
LUXURYTACKSTBS
EPAALILORRE
ODDLABPLATOON
ORBSTOTHEMACKS
ZEALROUENRHEE
EDGYASTROYENS
Thu 11/15/2001
HERACRIMPAWED
ORIGLOCALLEVI
KINGLOSESAQUEEN
ENGRAVEDTUMBLE
IRESTEN
STERNTAKESABOW
CURVYOFARTRBI
OPIEMOTTSBEET
BRAPEKOETRASH
BALLISONSTRIKE
ASSNRUN
SIESTAFAIRGAME
CLOSEGOESTOOFAR
ASNOERATOURIS
MASSSATINTONE
Tue 8/28/2001
FASTSAUCEJOCK
IMNOUPPEDAIRY
EYEPOPPINGBLUR
STEAMERSETSEA
TAZZAAGORIP
ANYHAIRRAISING
BALSADOLLOP
ALLYTENAMALDA
DEARTHDREAM
JAWDROPPINGMAD
MSUOASINUSE
CHAESCTONIGHT
HIKELOSINGFACE
EVENANODETBAR
ZEROBOXERYENS
Thu 6/28/2001
SUMACJETSPOET
ITALOOBITOSLO
PERTHNANAWREN
THERIYALTHING
EIEIOACACIA
DINARATEIGHT
OLESNEADRAPID
HATHSARISNODE
ATSEASLOOPNEW
RUPEETUESDAY
ALKALINOTES
GUILDERRADNER
LENDROARIRONY
OGEECANTENSUE
WORDEDDYSAABS
Wed 5/23/2001
DEVOCHEASSURE
ELEVOUISTATES
FOREGONETOREAT
TIARACIAPARLE
WITHOUTAHOME
SHEENATIT
RADIOWAVESNINA
ALIGNDIUCINES
SETHOVERMONTHS
JOEBROLIN
LARGEORGIANT
OTHERBIDECLAT
CROOKSDIDAHORA
HIDDENDOAKOOK
SPEEDOYTDANNE
Sun 5/20/2001 SWITCHING SIDES
LATTEMOORHBOMICKEY
AVOWSINMYOARINHALE
GENOASANAOREGLINKA
BUILDINGPROTRACTOR
ATRANEAILEHAN
GROSSNATIONALCONDUCT
LAPELDESKRUTSOME
ACESUPPROGRESSWOMAN
RETMALTARROWASONG
EDOMDIENATLISH
WEDDINGCONCESSION
TRYCOOTSOLWEPT
ABUSEELITESWABSRI
CONFITANDLOSSSORTIE
USDARITTAILHOLED
CONFESSIONALCOURTESY
RELCCSETSARTE
MISSAMERICAPROTEST
IDUNNOECUHIVEOILER
COMICSALLACERSOUSA
ELOPESPETTORYANGST
Wed 4/4/2001
NAPEHAREMACDC
ALEXOLIVEDEAR
ALTAPANEDZANY
CATCHINGRIDES
PHYTETAOEGO
RTESWAFER
AMIBABYBUNTING
MONATONOFARIA
PITCHINGWOOEEN
ARETEESSO
SENRAPNADIA
SCENESTEALING
WHIRGRAILOVER
TOFULIBELHARE
STYXELUDEANTE
Wed 1/17/2001
BEEFYDEBTLAKE
ADELAARLOOXEN
LILACREINOLDS
ITSWHENITTAKES
ETSHOPI
LARDCAKEINGLE
AMAWORNDETAIL
LONGERTORECOVER
AUGUSTLIFEETO
WRENSSLOEPLOY
GOATCAR
THANTOGETTIRED
JOADALOTBOOLA
ANTIRIGAARMED
BEENIDOLTYPEA
Wed 12/20/2000
SOAPASSUREJUG
AREALIONELUNO
KARLOFFFILMLSU
SLOTHTATITIER
RIOERHARD
PLAYOFFFEVER
EOSTURNEDOVER
ADAGERUESWINE
REPERTOIRESON
STARTOFFFAST
PARSECTIE
OREOTADAEROSE
POLCUTOFFFUNDS
UMASATIRELEAP
PAXALANONELKO
Tue 12/5/2000
MAJORARKSPSST
OZONEREINACAR
MOVEDABLEIRMA
AVECABANACLUBS
DELIKASBAH
TAKENACLASS
RUNATIMBECILE
ARALSAVOYABIT
PARTICLEANITA
CHINACLOSET
WISDOMMOLE
ALMANACLISTSOS
LIAMLOADIVANA
DAZETKOSMODEL
ODESZESTEXERT
Tue 10/24/2000
ALVINTRAYFLAB
QUITOWISERAGE
URBANETASAURA
IKESTRAPHANGER
ATOPITCHED
TAILORELVIS
STREPTHROATAMI
AMESUNOIRON
RODSTRIPMINING
TOILEINTAKE
PIGOUTOREO
STROPARAZORJOT
HAILNEMOTAUPE
ALEEINONINDEX
WORDCOKEAGENT
Wed 7/5/2000
CLODFARADHEAL
PAVEAPERYACLU
AXELKLEINSLIM
RITEOFPASSAGE
STRAIMSPLINT
WRIGHTBROTHERS
AUDIOHAY
GEESEHITACCRA
SUNFUROR
WRITEHOMEABOUT
CHANELALTSTY
RIGHTFIELDERS
ANTEISTLEABET
TEARSATESNOVA
EDGEHYATTGWEN
Tue 6/6/2000
UNTORANDOMMUD
SERFILOILOARY
DRAFTDODGERRBI
ADMHEFAIDAN
DIRTYDANCING
DEMONSOLDIE
USAGEDIESDOWN
ASISTHEINTRAC
DONEDEALTETRA
ARNIEMIASMA
DERRINGDOERS
ARISEIREAUS
DOTDOUBLEDUTCH
DDEUNPEELNALA
YESPASTRYDDAY
Thu 11/18/1999
DICTASAMECUBE
ACHEDPREYONES
BEARDHONEFRET
PROVENUSEFUL
SEMINARTELIC
OLAFNEARTHEEND
NYNYBONODEI
PLANETS
RECAAREABBA
OMARSHARIFSERB
BORISGUITARS
TAKESATURNAT
FIVEHORABINGO
BOARANONARIEL
INNSGETADEKED
Wed 9/1/1999
SATINTOOTEDEN
APACEALPOXOUT
FIXESALEEKPULE
EPISTLENEMESES
EASEDALERT
CHARDREMAINS
OAHUUTNESAD
PHARAOHENTITLE
TABTROYMIFF
LETTUCESPRAY
HANOICLARO
OCEANIAMONOCLE
KEPTSKIPSABEET
UTAHMENUNOLAN
MOLESSTSTETRA
Thu 7/1/1999
UNCASJAMBDOOM
ROASTOLIOARIA
IBMWORKERSMELT
BERNECHOICE
ECOMARATHONDAY
BUDDSLRWEANS
BEIRUTTIRE
AUTOMOBILES
OREOOLDHAT
ASCAPINASEMI
SAUDIARABIAESP
LLBEANONTAP
OTISDECAFORDER
PENTODORLEONE
EDGERUEDLAGOS
Wed 4/14/1999
ETALINDIAKEDS
SIVASAUCEEXIT
SLOWLERNERWHEE
EDIFIERCOTIMP
SERUMORAHUB
LOEWEPROFILE
HODSLEWEROTIC
ALECDRAGSSOSO
DEFAMEROTCRAN
JOLLYRODGERS
AFTUSEOPERA
WETHUTTRAILER
AXISHARTATTACK
SPOTOGDENETUI
PONYHEARTDERN
Wed 12/9/1998
BAWLSALEMBRIM
ALIAOLIVALAZE
SONYRCAMAGNAVOX
STOLEENLACED
AMESSICK
TICIDLEELEVEN
IDASNOREYALE
MARSSATURNVENUS
IHOPSPREEEDT
DOLLOPTERRDES
IRAQDOSE
GENERALUTICA
LITTLETINYSHORT
OGRENAMEDINON
PIERTROTSCAPO
Wed 10/28/1998
WAGELOPPEDTLC
EBONOUIOUIRIO
FLYSWATTERSISR
TEAOTOAMAZE
JOHNTRAVOLTA
AMPULERUNON
ROOMYOLDWORLD
CULPALLEYLIAR
HEARTFULGILDA
OHAREDETEST
TAMPEREDWITH
ARIESISUSPA
POXHIDDENPOWER
EMUORIOLEWARM
RAPWEIRDYEMMY
Thu 10/8/1998
EUREKACAAMUSED
THEMATICNONUSE
EUGENEORERIEPA
SHOEEMMASYN
RANGDINK
MIAEAUCLAIREWI
ABNORMALSALEM
YSEREMAILFLEA
BEGANROASTING
ENGLEWOODCOEYE
SWANETUI
MAWBLOCCOSA
ENIDOKEDISONNJ
GALOREDEMENTIA
ATTENDELPASOTX
Wed 8/12/1998
ABCDEELKTOWEL
TRAINNEOABATE
LOTTOODDSHEXED
ANGSMOGSIR
SCUDSWEETTOOTH
TOTEMRAINIER
LOSTARTSSS
TRIPLEDOUBLES
OHIOPENSEA
RECEIVENIGEL
BOOKKEEPERCAVA
EONERIEZAP
HANOIGOODDEEDS
ANOUKENDALBEE
MOTTOLYEMOODS
Thu 6/18/1998
ABINDNUMBISEE
GONEREZIOOMAN
EXHAUSTINGDUST
ELIOTGLIDER
FORDYLANSINGLE
OPENESEGEESE
PUNISHTATA
STATECAPITALS
AMOIPETULA
ACTORNRAECON
DRYDENVERSEKEY
LAREDOITCHY
INANBASSALEMAN
BINSEXITARABY
SATELENATENSE
Wed 4/1/1998
STEMCLOYJAKE
LODIRAVESEMIT
ENGAGEMENTSTONE
WEEOPENAPHIDS
ALEBRER
EVENASANACCOUNT
MELONBATHSTOO
ARIDANNOYNINA
IDOGLENNSOLED
LITERARYSOCIETY
GEMSPHR
STEREOSEEMALF
LOVERSIMBROGLIO
UKESACURAAPEX
MESSEGOSBONY
Tue 3/31/1998
REINSATERUBE
ARTYEXILEALAN
BASEBALLINFIELD
ETAALEECOSETS
ICISARI
PERSONWHOSUNHIP
ALIENHAREMARA
TIGEGISTSEGAN
HHHLOTTOACUTE
OUTSIDEOFAWHEEL
ALLYLOO
HASSLEAMOKACT
ORCHESTRAMEMBER
AGUASANTAABLE
ROMYJEERWALK
Tue 9/2/1997
ALDERABBRLECH
QUIRESOREELLA
UNCAPHOESAVOW
AGETICKLEDPINK
AIDAREESES
BUBBLINGOVER
UTILEEWERJIB
RAKEPINEDZANE
RHOLILIFAVRE
WALKINGONAIR
VISAGEAIRY
ONCLOUDNINERPM
COALPAILVOILA
ANNEONCEELLEN
LETTNEEDRELAX
Tue 3/11/1997
SWAGSSCUPCROC
APLEAERNEHERO
MALTLIQUORITEM
UNTRUEMENAGE
DEVOMELTINGPOT
ARIBALOTTENO
GAUZEEMMET
MILTONBERLE
PAREDECLAT
IRETAIADDOLE
MOLTENLAVAUNIT
BOUNDSBALING
INDOMULTIGRAIN
BEETIDEAOUTRE
EYRETERRRHETT
Tue 10/3/1995
HEARTGAZAHEMP
ACLUEAMENAQUI
DRESSZITITUFT
JUSTTHESAMEITO
LIEDASAPIN
SERENEALTAR
HAHGLADYOUCAME
ORELDAROVID
PLAYTHEGAMEENG
MAINEENTREE
UNWELLKANE
NEACLAIMTOFAME
TEXTTUNABLUES
IDEAODORLOLLS
LYNXPINTENDTO
Mon 9/18/1995
HABITBCDFLED
EXUDEEZIOLUAU
SECONDHANDOKRA
ASKDEARORWELL
COWLAMIE
MASONFIREBRAND
EXCUSANATSHOO
LIONISTLETOLL
BOOTROERIALTO
AMPERSANDSNEER
RUPPAPOD
CRIMEAORALMOD
LAVACONTRABAND
IRANECCETONYA
PENDTEDEPOXY

1 Variety puzzle by Alan Arbesfeld

Sun 7/10/2022
ADAPTCROSSOVER
TMOONCIE
HOBOKENGARBLED
EUEFOALH
ALLYFINALPHASE
RARNLHA
TENDEREDNEEDED
CADDAR
STEADYTEMPLATE
TMVASGX
ANGRYBIRDSTRAP
PRLASSAR
LEAKINGPANACHE
EYPROUES
RESISTANTBUSES

9 pre-Shortz crosswords by Alan Arbesfeld

Sun 4/12/1992 FRACTIONS
ANNULALTERINSPSSTS
ETAPEGOUDAMILLPLIE
SHIRTASNERAGUARUGA
FOURTEENEIGHTYEIGHT
ASEERNETEGESTS
BOURNESCADSODOR
ACTOVERTURESMUPTS
THETWENTYSIXSTEPSERA
HOSETEXTEINAPRIL
TSARAPPLEAPODAL
EIGHTYYEARSOFSOLITUDE
ARREARAUDITNADA
MAORIERNEASETITO
ETANINETEENTROMBONES
SETNODPECTORALGAL
ARTSISLEYTUPELO
STYLEROROESTEE
THEFOURCOMMANDMENTS
REARDIANADAGEORIBI
OGREERLELEVELSONIC
PONDREADINERTELEGY
Thu 1/3/1991
BASICEASEFIRM
AROMABRETIDEA
FEWERBREAKFAST
FASTBREAKAERIE
INDYARDENS
MANANABEE
ALONESTRONGARM
MARTGLEANODOR
ARMSTRONGMOOSE
EATWEDGED
HEALEDRIOT
ORGANBACKHANDS
HANDSBACKAWAIT
USEDALEENOIRE
MEWSREDSELLEN
Thu 12/27/1990
OPTSDAMPSASIS
POOHINERTPOOL
ALUISONARTUNE
LORETTASWITPIE
LOUANNOYAK
SLIDERSGAPS
HASBECKYSHARP
AHANDAHOTALIA
GRACESLICKESS
COCAHEADSET
CBSOMARTEE
ROTROBERTSTACK
EXECVOCALEGAL
EEROADORESAFE
DRNORENESTREE
Sat 12/1/1990
SLIPSSALALOSS
TAROTAPESINCA
RIATAMANHATTAN
INTERIORSLEONE
PEENSATCAR
TDSBANANAS
ACTREBORNTORA
WOODYALLENFILMS
LIRRLUDWIGLYE
SLEEPEREND
SADESSEAST
ROASTSEPTEMBER
ANNIEHALLRUBLE
ICONAREAAROMA
DENGTIDYSETAT
Sun 10/11/1987 HIDDEN CAPITALS
TABUSPEARALLAHBRAG
ETUNERNIESEETOLUBE
TEDSCUOMOSCOWLSUBER
HEATHENSPONDTREBLE
PRIDEELATELEASE
CREASEPROSFOSTERED
LISPSBAROMETERSANDI
EFTSOLONIOTAESO
FLOETHELSINKINGACED
TEMPEREDSEEDRANKLE
ARIACAIRNPEEK
ANDSONPAWNDETRACTS
NEATGARBOGOTAWAYOWE
NHLCOOKLANESMEN
URISTIMBERLINECAPES
MUSTARDSOILYLIBATE
BOGEYHOWESSENOR
AZORESAURAMOSQUITO
MUNITAMMANYHALLTSAR
ONDELIMITRADIITOLL
KISSERODESWEDEONLY
Sat 6/15/1985
CLEMATLASCLEF
AYRECREPTUELE
KNEWSCENTOFRAIN
EXISTENTRASPED
OPTJADE
BASALTFOBSALP
APPLEARILAREA
REIGNOFANEWCENT
ORCAPOUTERNIE
NYESPUDGLEANS
GEOLSAD
UNSEENEATERIES
SENTREINFORAGNU
ARABNICERFLOE
FOGYTIERSFUSS
Sat 12/8/1984
DAZEABODEAJAR
EXESLEROYLOLA
LOSTELATETIES
INTEGRALFRENCH
EATSQUAR
SCAMPIMULTIPLE
PODENVOISNEER
OLLAGENETGNAR
ROANSATTARAVE
TRIANGLENAILED
GILSEGGS
SPARTARELATING
IOWAMAORILOCI
CRAMOLDIEETON
KEYSRISERSASS
Sat 10/16/1982
OPQRIRAQQUOT
ROUESLULUULNA
BLAMELEOIEVIL
SODQUARTERBACK
ROUSTTEE
QUAKESQUINCES
UNTILQUESTQED
AGUEQUALMQUIP
GERQUAREQUANT
REQUESTSUITES
UARQUITO
EQUIDISTANTREC
BURRSHOTCHICO
RISKTARAHEARD
ODAYSHORBLUE
Thu 8/27/1981
PAILHOPIBAMA
ACREORADFADES
CHINAWARELAIRS
TESSIEBABAEYE
HEMPOLEVAULT
BOSSCAISSON
ACTALLHUTCH
THEMAREHORIZON
SWEETSUNERA
TREEPIESCAB
BRAZILNUTBAH
LARASIRTINMAN
ANNULGREATDANE
COILSMENDETNA
KNEEADDSDEER
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