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Ian Livengood author page

55 puzzles by Ian Livengood
with constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
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617667112
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371.647
Ian Livengood
View these same grids with comments from:
Constructor (27)Will Shortz (8)Jeff Chen (27)Jim Horne (9)Hide comments

See the 294 answer words debuted by Ian Livengood.

Alternate name for this constructor:
Ian C. Livengood
Thu 9/15/2016
AMOSSLANGSPAY
PICAPALAUWOVE
ANAGRAMTHEISIS
TENAREARENTAL
ORANGEFRIGATE
WADESAILEDGOT
LARKSNOREERS
FIRSTWORD
EOSDEERESOBE
APPMANORSTOME
SEASALTPASCAL
ERRANTSPASEND
SATSINEACHCLUE
UTAHMOXIEALES
PENAENTRYTILT

I made the grid earlier this year, and like many of my completed puzzles, it sat unclued for months. When I finally got around to cluing the puzzle, I loved riffing on the conventional "Part 1, Part 2, etc." that appear in crossword clues from time to time. I also wanted the first clue's anagram to be completely natural. TRIO for TORI is a great fit since it's directly related to music.

I don't like making puzzles too difficult to solve — after all, I want the solver to finish. So, it'll be interesting to see how solvers do with this one. Depending on your fondness for anagrams, I expect a lot of DNFs.

Sun 8/14/2016 MORAL THINKING
HOPIRAFTACHEDODOS
USESALISTLOOSRHINO
THEOLDGRAYMERYLPANEL
SALTINESRURALSERENE
OVERBARTLETTPERIL
SNIPERRANKSHIPSLY
PACERHASTYJEERED
AMYSRAPTSCAMRETRO
RESKODIAKBARRELWHUP
ESTEEMEDNIXESAWAITS
EXECSWIDOWSTERN
MERINOCOVENTOOLSETS
AWOLMARKETSHERYLRHO
PELEGSEESETTACRAW
DARKENPLIESBOONE
AMAGEOPRIGSLOLLED
BILLOFFERRELLBARD
ANDERSVAULTMUSICALS
TIREDHANDLEWITHCAROL
EMILEEDGEDANTELEGO
DINARFEESDEEDLAST

My first entry in the grid? You guessed it — LATOYA. Once I had a grid that looked fillable, I tried to sniff out any trouble spots. The L???Y? was the only problematic area, so that went in first.

Is BASTA good fill? Probably not, but I thought Hillary Clinton's mention of it back in March gave it some modern currency. And other than the proper noun pile up in the SW corner, pretty happy how this one turned out.

Oh, and "Moral Thinking" is a much better title than my submitted title, "End Uhl Be Uhl." Haha, I really shouldn't be allowed to name things.

POW Fri 3/25/2016
PENPALSLOWJAM
AVIATESTONEAGE
CELLOSPAPERCUT
KNEELHATSEKES
ALSACEPOL
HALLTIESINEPT
OBIEARRANTMOA
HANSOLOVITAMIN
USEREFLEXBONG
MERGETONEUNTO
NASHOUSED
ODORRENESHEET
HATERADESTABLE
ODETOJOYPEBBLE
HASHTAGARISEN

I submitted this puzzle with GREXIT [Greece exiting the Euro] in the NW corner. It was an entry I'd been saving for a few years and was disappointed it was eventually nixed. Oh well. The placement was strategic, though, knowing it'd be an easy fix if I had to redo that section. Maybe BREXIT in a few years?

The HATERADE / ODE TO JOY / HASHTAG SW stack is one of my favorites — something new, something old, high brow, low brow, etc. Also, I've been trying to spice up my 6-letter answers. Stuff like PEN PAL, PEBBLE, REFLEX, etc. can keep solvers engaged from start to finish.

Really happy how this one turned out. Hope solvers like it!

Mon 1/25/2016
LEFTALSOABCS
IRISNOKIATOOL
MASKEDBALLTONE
ASHARESTAINED
STRESSALLEYS
MATESKARMA
AVIDTHENBAFOE
MICCHEWTOYUVA
ASKHERESYONES
DINERNANNY
SHRINESAFETY
LEONARDNEWBOB
EAVEVELVETROPE
EVEREMAILONUS
PESOOWLSWEST

Interlocking 9s and 10s with a 7-letter revealer today.

While a mid-grid revealer tips my hand, the placement far outweighs the structural challenges that arise by jamming a 7-letter entry into the final across spot. This isn't true for a Thursday-level puzzle that can accommodate stacked 7s in rows 1-3 and 13-15 (and more experienced solvers who expect a payoff at the end), but is perfectly appropriate for a Monday puzzle.

I added two cheater squares at 15- and 33-Down to shorten the longer, non-thematic entries and avoid any confusion with the vertical theme answers. Extra squares are always better than unnecessary confusion, I think.

Small ding: THE NERVE crossing THE NBA — both for the THE dupe and iffy THE [sports league, sports team]-type entry. But this wouldn't bother me as a solver, so I felt fine rolling with it.

Still, I was very pleased how this one turned out. Josie, my 6-month-old Lab puppy, agrees.

Mon 11/30/2015
SPIKETOGACCCP
HIKERELMSALOE
OPERAARIASRIOT
WEANFIONAAPPLE
EATDRAB
BOLLSSIPGROOM
LHASAAPSOSKANE
OAKPRESLEYRCA
ORESPAULAABDUL
MAGICKEYLOSES
EXITWEB
SANTAANITADRAT
TREEMIDASTOUCH
EAVEEKESOLDIE
PLANDESKNEEDY

I almost submitted this puzzle with stacked themed 10s in the 2/3 and 13/14 rows. I actually got pretty good fill with 'em, but thought it'd be too intimidating for Monday solvers. I tried to avoid entries that had a ?AA? pattern like SAAB, PAAR, or MAAM (not that difficult) and keep things bouncy.

I don't care for ARAL and maybe CCCP, but I'm pleased with the rest of the fill. Hope solvers like it!

Fri 11/6/2015
THATSAIDNONCOM
SAMEHEREOMEARA
PRILOSECBERLIN
SPEEDOSHINDLEG
GDPBAGYALE
ANGRYCURDS
BOLAFALSEALARM
IMUPFORWHATEVER
TETHERBALLGENE
WEARYDOSED
PATSIRKCAM
ARRAIGNPARONYM
NEURONWORKVISA
INCITEONELINER
CAESARNEWYEARS

Not too many jaw-dropping entries today, but 35-Across (I'M UP FOR WHATEVER) and 31-Down (LEGO MOVIE) feel pretty fresh. 22-Down (BULWARK) is a cool word, too.

I'd recommend this grid pattern to aspiring themeless constructors. If you have a snappy 15 and solid 10s, the puzzle breaks into six sections without feeling too closed off.

Hope solvers like it!

Wed 8/26/2015
ATTABOYATOMS
SIAMESECAMEOS
SCROLLSCRAWLED
SLOWBURNAWE
TAHOEEASYDRUM
ATOZACNEZIPPO
TOMISAKMICA
NEWMANAGEMENT
CAPPLAMAERG
EBONSSAMEPLEA
TAMEACRELOSES
CHILOAMSOIL
HANSARPHUMPDAY
IGNITEOSBORNE
SODASWESTJET

I wanted to make a Wednesday puzzle, so 74 words and this theme (duh!) made sure that would happen.

I tried to squeeze SLOW CLAP at 19-Across for the longest time, but oh well. Favorite clue: 14-Across ([Side parts?] for CAMEOS).

Although 27 squares isn't a lot of theme, triple-checked letters exponentially increase the construction difficulty level. This puzzle might play like an easy themeless once solvers get the theme, but I hope the quality fill keeps ‘em interested until the end.

#mikemikemikemike

Wed 6/24/2015
KISSCAPOASSAM
INCAROADNITRO
THEPIERRETRAMS
INSTATEFEEBLE
TBAOMARBRADLEY
VIRGOSOATETS
STIRGARNET
SOUTHERNCROSS
BRONTEOKAY
STDURIFUTILE
CHINESEFLAGTEN
REVOTERODGERS
AMISHFIVESTARS
PODIADEERTIER
EBERTADDSALPS

Natan Last and Finn Vigeland have taken over the J.A.S.A. crossword class reins, but I had a blast making this one back in the Spring of 2014. The theme answers originally had five asterisks (or stars) in the clues, so I'm not sure why that didn't make the final version. But otherwise pleased how this one turned out. Favorite answers include TRUE THAT and the apt SRS. Hope solvers like it!

Class member Dan Chall adds: "Ian did a great job in leading the construction of the puzzle. It was great fun to participate as we went through all aspects of the puzzle, from agreeing on the theme, to the development of theme answers, filling the grid, and completing all the clues."

POW Fri 5/8/2015
SNAPCHATCLASSY
KETELONEHALITE
ICERINKSANIMAL
SMELTROEOIL
CANOEEROSENDS
ANONSMUGMAC
CGISTONEMASONS
HESSIANRENEWAL
ELECTRICFANEVE
MAZTHENCLAW
HEATVOIDROLLS
ELKCORDELIA
LIELOWIRONCHEF
ETRADENEWSHOLE
NESTEDGREEKGOD

A few random thoughts:

  • 1A was the seed answer and got scooped in other puzzles before publication. Eh, that'll happen.
  • With the pattern $c$v$c$vN $cOWELL (where "$c" stands for a consonant and "$v" stands for a vowel), 12D could have been Colin Powell. Love when grid flexibility pops up like that.
  • I've used this basic shell for other themeless puzzles, and I highly recommend it for new themeless constructors. No themeless construction is "easy," but this 72/29 is pretty doable.

Hope solvers like this one!

Mon 3/16/2015
BABSAPESTREAT
UCLARELYBURRO
SQUIRTGUNSLUMS
SUEDEDOAEDYS
TILFRIEDSHRIMP
ORASONSHETAO
PEWSONSTALENT
GETSHORTY
ALTTABHOEEGGS
TIEVETZENYON
PEEWEEREESEMRI
ESTARIMIONIC
ALIVESMALLTALK
COMETHYPEISLE
EWERSASPSSTAR

I filled the grid around the "Q" and 22- / 26-Down (running through three theme answers). Usually 3x7 corners don't really do it for me, but I'm happy how this one turned out.

Oh, and I grew up watching 39-Across. But that was before Travolta turned into whatever creepy hug monster he is today.

Mon 1/26/2015
GOERSRAPSKIP
AGREEAIDEELMO
FLIPWILSONNIPS
FEESALEPINES
ESCSMARTCOOKIE
APISHRUER
MONACOPERTPLUS
LOADAOKREST
BOLDTEXTBOOMED
YORECOSMO
FORWARDPASSNPR
ILIADLUCSTYE
SLAGFRESHSTART
TITOROBEPARER
SEANODEANTSY

Do solvers know Hieronymus Bosch outside of crosswords? I certainly don't. I do, however, celebrate Brennan Boesch's entire collection. BOSCH is a notch below some A-listers like Monet, Renoir and Picasso, but the highbrow entry should appeal to the NYT demographic, I think.

Hope solvers like it!

POW Sat 12/20/2014
POTFARMSWAMPUM
AFROBEATIGUANA
STARBASECALLON
TENTACLECREEDS
ANKHHILDASOUL
MINEODEA
POPGUNDOCILITY
APLENTYMOLIERE
REALGOODULSTER
TRYWASPS
YAMSCLUEDMEME
TRACERPRENATAL
ROTATEHATEMAIL
ALERTSIPADMINI
YESYESNETSALES

KEVIN:

Working with collaborators lately has been great fun. Ian's puzzle sense and high standards with skill to match are helpful assets when it comes to co-writing a themeless. We had originally guessed this grid would be run on a Friday.

Will's notes about the clue editing are fascinating. Receiving feedback this detailed is a somewhat uncommon opportunity, so for at least constructors it's just gold. When it comes to writing difficult clues, I've found it can be hard to grasp the difference between misdirection and vagueness, and a number of the comments indeed relate to clues deemed overly vague.

IAN:

Kevin is a rare triple threat in the game: fill, clues, themes. He's equally skilled with all of them. That's his awesome 1A answer/clue combo. So naturally it was a blast to collaborate.

Several marquee entries got scooped before this was published, so apologies if you've already seen entries like PALEO DIET and IPAD MINI in grids. Also, glad to see my clues for 30D (GEL) and 56A (HATE MAIL) made the cut!

Hope solvers like it!

Mon 9/22/2014
BEANFAVORSCAM
EAVEERICATOGA
STICKUPMENAMEX
TALKEDAGATE
STATECANESUGAR
INLAWSTREVI
PIPEOLETOETAG
LSUPOLECARMIG
ALTERSBUNGELS
YESNOSIESTA
STAFFCUTSINKED
SOSADANGOLA
PAIRRODSTEWART
ACDCAKITAALOE
WHEETUNEDRAYS

The synonym of "X" theme has thousands of possibilities, so the execution better be close to perfect. I tried to:

  1. Pick interesting theme entries.
  2. Put all the synonyms in the beginning or end of the theme answers.
  3. Fill grid with Monday-level fill since, you know, it's a Monday theme. (ACH and STE are the only two meh entries.)
  4. Make the synonyms one level removed from their base phrase. (This is probably what separates a puzzle like this getting accepted vs. rejected.)

Trickiest area to fill was the P??F? section. You've got PROFS, PUFFS, PUFFY, POUFS ... and that's about it. But pretty happy how this one turned out.

Mon 8/18/2014
CADSCOWSTIFF
OPENIONEPOOLE
OSCARBAITAUTOS
PEKOECOLORCAST
CHECHNYAASS
ASHDIETNN
TOADASAPASSET
AFISHOUTOFWATER
DARTSPELLMALE
UTEIAMTSK
SADBLACKEYE
UNDERBITETASKS
SEINEMOVIEREEL
MEETSOMANDANE
CRUSTSSNSLOW

Although TOUCAN SAM makes for some great xword fill, Froot Loops doesn't crack our top-5 favorite breakfast cereals. Here's our unsolicited rankings:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Cheerios
  3. Honey Bunches of Oats
  4. Golden Grahams
  5. Raisin Bran

Honorable Mention: Alpha-Bits, Kix

Also, this puzzle is dedicated to all the local fishermen around 96th St. We often run at East River Park and hash out puzzle ideas!

Sun 8/3/2014 "CHEE WHIZ!"
PECBASTEDBASESEMT
IRASARCANEARTDEALER
LAMAWOUNDEDNIETZSCHE
ADENDASADAMSITS
FILTHYRITCHIEADIDAS
CHAIROOSPOSES
AAACOPCARSLASTWISH
STIRBLACKTAICHICOE
HEREWEAREPLEAMEOWS
MARINSHEAAORTIC
THELONESTARCHYSTATE
DRYDENPUNYOASIS
JOEYSAMIDROCAFELLA
SUNIGUESSSOCHIDYAD
TACOBELLTIGHTLYRTE
ARISEZULUERIE
ABSURDTABLEFORTUCCI
ROEGATONIVESPOT
ARCHIERATEDMOVIETOME
BATTLEAXETENETSSEEM
STSELLISSNOOZEMRS

Cluing this puzzle was like watching paint dry. Quite literally, workmen were repainting my apartment as I monitored the progress. I credit some of the bouncy clues to the paint-induced buzz.

I wonder why BASED / DEZ (Cowboys WR Bryant) was changed to BASES / SEZ? DEZ is legit, but maybe the "Z" could be problematic crossing NIETZSCHE? I don't remember the seed entry, but ROC-A-FELLA / HOOCH / YACHT is my favorite section. Also pleased with the overall smoothness.

Hope solvers like this one!

Fri 7/18/2014
YAHEARDFRAIDSO
OPENBARTERRELL
GELCAPSCACKLED
ISLAGEOCOSTAS
SCRUNCHAZO
FIREHOSESAAHED
AGORUSSIANMOB
BEDHOPSIOUAN
TEAMSPORTSSLY
DIODETHEREBELS
ETDSANJOSE
BORAGEOONNAPE
AKIHITOIASIMOV
SAVALASNUTCASE
EYEBATHSTPETER

Not my cleanest themeless construction ever, but certainly one of my favorites. Bronze my statue with that NW corner, please. I should have used NUTCAKE / POKE instead of NUT CASE / POSE to avoid the CASE / ENCASE dupe. Oh well.

Wed 6/11/2014
DEFERARABSWAN
ALOOFDELEARGO
FLUNKMAPLELEAF
FIRNILFIESTA
YEAHMANBADTET
LARDASEC
STARSANDSTRIPES
HEREEEEROLE
HAMMERANDSICKLE
SPARHOLE
LABSISMINERVA
AMAZONDIPRIG
RISINGSUNCROON
KNITOPECECOLE
SONSDATELAMAS

Instead of locking POKER ROOM into the grid, I add POKER???? confident I can fill the SE corner with BETS, CHIP, FACE, GAME, HAND or ROOM. In the NW corner, I place ????ALARM in the grid knowing BANK, FOUR, FIVE or FIRE will probably work. All the potential answers are roughly the same quality and it ensures smooth shorter fill, too.

I'm interested to see if solvers like the mini theme answer (DATE). I didn't even notice the DATE tie-in until I clued this one up. Lucky, I guess.

Hope solvers like this easier version of Francis Heaney's great 6/13/10 puzzle!

POW Tue 4/8/2014
TACHMADAMLETO
SPRYANODEOXEN
KEEPITDOWNWANT
SWEDESASSCHA
GUTSYWRAPITUP
PIELITHEIRATE
STATBRAGRO
MOVEITALONG
MIXNBASASH
EASESGOUDASEA
CUTITOUTUPSET
OREANIAUDITS
LOAMKNOCKITOFF
ARLOEERIEAVIA
WASPYARDSSETS

What's better: LETO with a fresh clue {Jared of "Dallas Buyers Club"} or VETO? In a vacuum, VETO always wins — it's got the scrabbly V, it's not a proper noun and a has a number of clue possibilities. But with a new and improved LETO clue ... (Thinking) ... nah, I should have gone with VETO.

Oh, this puzzle was inspired by Sam Donaldson and Doug Peterson's wonderful 3/26/13 offering. The magic of reinterpreted spoken phrases!

Hope solvers like this one!

POW Sun 3/23/2014 BRIGHT IDEAS
ADDSONEOSRECATEAM
MONACONFCSOUTHMAMBA
IHAVENOTFAILEDIVEJUST
MEACRINGECAN
FOUNDTENTHOUSANDWAYS
HELPROEGLOGOLAY
ADEMOPSTHATWONTWORK
SOCEPISOARBAHNNE
TRUSTSSHOTATUSELESS
YALTASPATBUSLANE
SEALEARSNLIDOS
BLOSSOMTHUSNEPAL
MUSSINANUTMEGBESETS
OHMCUMMOESJARNBA
THOMASEDISONTESSCAT
EUROBENTATSBICS
THEWIZARDOFMENLOPARK
KEGPAELLAARC
INCANDESCENTLIGHTBULB
QUITOLUNDGRENEERIER
STREWSENORESLATER

I saw a clue for AHA and — wait for it — the light went on in my head. The AHA MOMENT spelled out as a light bulb was the next logical step, followed by THOMAS EDISON and INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB (a 21!). I toyed with listing other Edison inventions or accomplishments, but a quote seemed more appropriate.

The construction was tricky since I couldn't have the themers running through the middle of the grid mucking up the circled answers. But aside from two or three short clunkers, I'm pleased with the fill. I paused at inserting DNA MOLECULE and OPEN CIRCUIT since they seemed too close to the Edison/electricity/science theme, but eventually decided to roll with 'em.

Hope solvers enjoy the puzzle!

Sat 3/1/2014
LABAMBAATAVIST
IPADAIRSISENOR
RETWEETKTHXBYE
ASEANEBULA
REVOPENTOP
SUPEREGOTABLE
NNESNAKEBITTEN
ACREUNCLESADD
GOOGLEGLASSITO
SINGEUNTILNOW
LIONCUBDRE
SENSORFOWL
PAJAMASPADTHAI
DVDCASETMOBILE
FISHNETSAMEOLD

How does the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class work? Well, I suggested a few seed entries for the themeless puzzle — GOOGLE GLASS and IPAD AIR — and designed a conservative 72-word grid around 'em. The class then collaborated on the fill and clues. With the exception of ATAVIST (which isn't even that bad), all the 7+ letter entries are either good to great, I think. A lot of our clues made the cut, too. I bet this puzzle plays easy if you know your tech products and almost certainly got slotted for a Saturday based on K THX BYE. Enjoy!

Fri 1/24/2014
ARCTICWHOSTHAT
WAHINEHOWAREYA
STANCEAMENAMEN
PLEARTESDARK
AOKSMOTEHENS
MILEHIGHCLUB
ISISSUESTOPIT
CONCISEYESORNO
ONEARMSUVKOOK
PEERPRESSURE
TRESAETNADDS
HEIRAWESLIME
ESPOUSEDSITARS
PLEASEGOAVERTS
SANDBAGSCANYON

Prediction: In a couple hundred years, YA will replace YOU in the English language. And YOU will seem as archaic as THOU does today. Might as well get ahead of the curve on that one.

Oh, MILE HIGH CLUB was my seed entry, obviously. But there's a special place in hell for 12-letter seed words. Never again, I tell ya.

Fri 12/27/2013
GOODCATCHSTORM
INSTAGRAMTINEA
NEWSREELSSLEDS
USEBEAVLIST
PEGSTICSYNCH
COLASNAOHTAE
INTALOEVERA
DJANGOUNCHAINED
AUCKLANDEVA
DITOTOHDELOS
SCAMSSOWSTUF
TELEBRIGTAI
OBOTEOBAMACARE
BONESVETOPOWER
EXERTASHKENAZI

This puzzle went through several rewrites before settling on the final themeless. CALVIN AND HOBBES (my favorite entry) is the perfect answer, I think. It's well-known by multiple generations, universally beloved and evokes some really fun memories.

Big thanks to Dan, Carol and Grant (to name a few) for their help putting this one together. Dan adds: "It was a great deal of fun to participate in the creation of this puzzle (as it is every semester). Any crossword enthusiast (at least 55 years old) would find this class immensely rewarding."

POW Fri 12/20/2013
MANCAVEMUGSHOT
EQUATORUSOTOUR
SUNSETSDETENTE
HASHEARROPEIN
CARTOONDYED
SCRAPZAPATA
PHOBOSSAMADAMS
EELLEATHERNOT
CROPLANDSOOTHE
HOTTUBINERT
VAYABICYCLE
AGENDAKEATECH
RIOTACTBRAILLE
ITWORKSYESMAAM
GASMASKEDHELMS

I tried something different on this one. Instead of seeding the puzzle with longer entries, I locked in quality 3- and 4-letter entries (ATE, ASH, MUD, EAR, etc.). This method ensures smooth shorter fill, and, if you work at it long enough, quality longer fill, too. If you fill 3x7 or 4x7 sections the other way around, it's too easy to fall in love with one or two great answers propped up by junk. So ... yeah. FILL. It's all about the fill.

Mon 9/30/2013
PACTIMAMMEMOS
ACHYSADEENACT
STOPSHORTADDTO
PEATERSTMAV
CESSNAPOPSCENE
ATHEARTITUNES
KNOTADORED
YAPCOPSHOWTAU
SAMSONHOGS
COHIBAOCTOPUS
DROPSHOTREISER
RETTACHEAST
AGORACOVERTOPS
CONANUSEDURAL
KNEEDREGSPYRO

I made this puzzle after watching a couple episodes of "The Americans." Really solid show, BTW. In the last episode, Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers" is prominently featured on the soundtrack. That phrase is practically begging for some Thursday theme treatment.

I guess you could say this puzzle contains [puts on sunglasses] tOP Secret information. YYYYYEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! An inside job, perhaps.

Anyhoo, I had two goals for this puzzle: 1) avoid stray O-P-S letter strings and 2) split OP/S across two words in all theme answers. So ... mission accomplished?

Thu 9/12/2013
TAJLIRRAWARD
ABUBREADDACHA
ROMJACKSPARROW
SUPSQUELLZING
ITSABIRDABODES
TUXESANON
SHIEDBUBBLEJET
KATGIRLSUAE
ITSAPLANEELITE
LEASALICE
VACUUMJEFFKENT
ETONUDALLEBAY
ITSSUPERMANAWL
LIMESSEEMERAE
SCOREDREWSYR

This puzzle was really, really easy to construct. All I had to do was go to xwordthemegenerator.com, select a preset grid, click autofill, et voila! Quality puzzle achieved! Or not.

I originally submitted this puzzle as an early-week offering, but Will asked if I could re-clue it as a Thursday puzzle. Since it's a 76-worder, the puzzle could be easy or hard, depending on the clues. I suspect JEFF KENT is the main reason it's a Thursday, not a Tuesday. Maybe it's the lack of Thursdays in the queue, too.

Since I wanted to put the three revealing phrases at the bottom of the puzzle (or stagger the theme answers as they currently appear), the Kent answer had to be 8 letters. That made KENT STATE unusable, and also forced the revealing words to the end of the phrase. I also assumed there weren't any famous people with the surname Kal-El. So that's why Jeff Kent is in the grid.

I am, however, a little torn on Jeff Kent as an answer. On one hand he's a relatively famous baseball player with a M.V.P. award. On the other hand, I could probably name hundreds of athletes more famous than Jeff Kent that aren't grid-worthy because they haven't won any awards. But since Kent won an M.V.P., he instantly becomes grid-worthy? I guess so, but that doesn't seem completely right. Kent is essentially the Jim Broadbent of the sports world. Broadbent, of course, won the 2001 Oscar for best supporting actor.

Mon 8/26/2013
LEGITGLOOBAMA
ALITOAOLTUDOR
MANUPSWEETTALK
PLANBSHOVEMES
EASYAIRAS
FRESNONFLRACE
LEAADAGEBIPED
ARSONMIRLAPSE
SUTRAENNUILAN
KNOBANGSNEERS
RSVPFEEDS
OVANEARSDPLUS
CENTERCUTAIOLI
HIGHCTIETENET
SLEEKSTSEDGES

I was researching potential words to justify vertical theme answers. Why? Why not, I say. "Hanging" was vertically appropriate and that led to LOW HANGING FRUIT. I scrapped BLIND MELON at 38-Down since the band wasn't quite Monday-appropriate as a theme answer and, most important, the fruit grew in the ground instead of dangling from a tree. Hope solvers like this one, it's hard to make 'em any easier. Come for the SWEET TALK, stay for the CENTER CUT. Enjoy!

POW Fri 8/23/2013
PEDICABBRAPADS
ARIGATOEATENUP
PANARABRIHANNA
ASKLLBTSARISM
TOOLSINLETS
JUSTASECOND
UNIONSHOPSMOET
BURPSENEWELSH
AMISMACNCHEESE
RIDESHOTGUN
STRAWSSEALS
WEELASSCLEIRE
APLENTYRUBSOUT
BEARDENEPICWIN
SEXTAPETATIANA

Oddly enough, this puzzle's seed answer — JUBA — was also one of the shortest. The South Central was the hardest part to construct, mostly because I clung to SIDESHOW BOB at 40-Across for-ev-er (pronounced Sandlot style). Also, I must have been hungry when I made this since a CHALUPA and MACNCHEESE combo is downright delicious.

Mon 7/22/2013
JADEMACAWAPED
IBEXOSSIECAGE
BEACONHILLTURK
STLUKESTANLEE
SAYAHSHORTS
ABBEYGETAWE
MAAMTHEHUBVEG
MIKEHALERMETA
OLEBOSTONORAL
DELTARFUELS
HOBNOBPYROS
ONETWOSEXERTS
REARFENWAYPARK
SANEFREEDARIA
ELSEOBOESDEBT
Fri 6/28/2013
SNAILSHELLAPED
HARRYCARAYXOXO
ESCALATORSELIA
ASHIERYESLETS
TAILSQANDAALI
HUESSTYXXAXIS
SPINLORENA
BOXSTEPWINFREY
USETAXZANY
MORANTENTREBA
PLOCLUEDBETEL
SEXSHOPSASHAY
OMITWEBBANNERS
FINDPLAINJANES
FOGSHORSEOPERA
Tue 4/2/2013
LIPOSMASHESC
ISOLAONEAMMHO
BENEDICTXVIPAM
ECTOWHITESMOKE
ROIBOASAWIN
INFRASIZENERO
ADFEESKIMCRAW
ARGENTINA
BTUSTWOREVVED
OHNOSEWSMEARA
LEONEUFOTOT
SWISSGUARDPITA
TALPOPEFRANCIS
EVENOTREPEACE
REDFOODRUNAT
Mon 3/4/2013
ANGLOCSTBULB
SARANSOLOOSLO
SCOTTTUROWIMAN
OHIOMEGAGLAND
CONQUERINGHERO
URNOARS
MAGIFEIGNHAR
EGYPTIANPHARAOH
HEMADDTOELKO
NELLCUD
CALEYARBOROUGH
BASESROAMSSRO
ERICNEWSBUREAU
TOUTENDSLOUIS
ALMSDAYAMPLE
Sun 2/17/2013 MARK MY WORDS
SIGMABIGBATCSICNY
HONORARALSEAOPENERA
INANELALAKERMUDFLAP
RITEAIDACTLGAARM
EASYREMKOREANTAUS
PHARAOHENSILESPA
THEINDCROWDOSESTOP
LOONSBALIHAISECANT
IRONSIDEENABLELARGE
DEFYPITHGIFTHUNDER
RACHELCRACHEL
PRECEDELONBOARAFAR
AIDANYEGODSUNDULATE
PAWNEECAKEPANZEROG
ALASNEZFROSTSNIXON
LTRBOLEROTHEEAST
ODORAMORALRRSREST
IWONABFINFAKEFUR
BLANKEDORIGAMIIBIZA
VENEERSTARHEELRELIC
DRPDREJETSAMSKEET
Fri 1/11/2013
MANXCATSDANDER
AMIRIGHTIBERIA
SPLATTERCLOUDS
YESSIREENET
CAPESIPOSOKRA
OWEDRTESCUD
MARHOUSEMUSIC
PISTOLATARTANS
TICKETSTUBLOP
ABEIPADFETA
BONYZOOSNUDES
ARGMINOTAUR
SOURONFOLKHERO
INLOVEENDEARED
NOFEESDEADTREE
Thu 12/20/2012
SCARYCIAARSON
AUCOURANTGAMUT
XBOXLUNCHENOTE
ESPYITOSICKOS
MNIGHTSHIFT
LIMAEATON
SINEXTEASGOP
ATRAINOFTHOUGHT
WEEOPTSDRUMS
ATARIINNS
SCLASSCLOWN
PATTIEASHSONS
ANITACHRISTMAS
RAMENSTIMULANT
SLEDSTICBONUS
Wed 10/24/2012
SABERTADASPAR
THROEEGOSPAGE
ROUNDCHUCKEYRE
ORIHARESSEPAL
MANDELAITCH
RAINALCOHOL
LURIDBEEPNAB
ASAPGLOSSMESA
WEDZOOMFISHY
RAVEROBBERS
RISEINASTIR
ANGSTBEGOTOSE
XOUTHOSTWRITER
EDNAALPOOPERA
LESSTONEWOMEN
Tue 9/25/2012
N
BLOBASAPVIBE
AIDASEXEDETRE
BEERCAIROCHAR
SURGEONSPHOTO
RATSCOUT
STPATTISERGOT
IHOPPESETAHRE
LOCHNESSMONSTER
ARKINTUITISAS
SPENTYESCNOTE
ETATSDOC
CRYPTOZOOLOGY
BLOCAGLOWALOE
MEMOSIGNSIDYL
WEBSFAKEREAL
Tue 8/14/2012
SOITGRAYRETRO
INFOYALEOTHER
TEFLONDONLEERY
HAYDNINTELJAX
YURIGAGARIN
PICASAAWAG
ADAHAVANAGILA
TORICWINYESES
ELIMANNINGUVA
CORETORPID
BAKINGSTONE
JETLEROIODDER
USUALINNERCITY
TORSOPIERACNE
STEINSCARPEAS
Thu 7/5/2012
SASQU2CHEX3ING
SWEETPEALEDGER
NEWDEALSARTURO
CLINTVAVA
SAND4DIEMNET
ANAEROBICAMASS
RAPMUSICBRO
AGAINSTDOORONE
SNOZEROINON
MCGEENOCONTEST
ORORAID5AGES
TASEELIAS
ENESCOAMARETTO
LIESONCARESSER
6AKERSSHIFTKEY
Mon 5/21/2012
STIRSTAYGOVT
CANAPHOTORHEA
OHBYTHEWAYACTS
TOOBADERONOOK
TEXASSLIMJIM
NESTAUTEUR
DUOSHULADENNY
ASHOHMYGODODE
ZEBRAPERPTWOS
ERRORSETCH
ONSTAGELEGAL
LUTZRCAMOHAVE
ECHOOHFORGETIT
GLENLOFATLOLA
SARILOSTPRAT
Fri 2/17/2012
BABEMAGNETRESP
ELIWALLACHEXPO
AFTERTASTECHAW
MASBANASEAICE
SLIDSTAPLER
SIFTERCLASSACT
CHADSBLUNTRAO
HALSFRIEDDADO
ODSNOUNSBETEL
ONETOONEVALETS
LOSESTOHINT
MITTENFEEDSPF
ADAROWENWISTER
TERATHERETHERE
EATSEASYDOESIT
Sun 1/29/2012 NETWORKING EVENT
SLUEBIGDINANEORB
EINESINAICORALSRIA
SPIKEHEELSEMARKETING
ATVMARVCAMEBYNOOSE
MOATEDERODELIONEL
ENCOREPRESENTATION
OGREETSROWERSUP
IRATEYALUMANIAPARE
OATHCTRSIONEXCHANGE
CHOPCHOPEMUSRAIDER
MAYANSDONABOUND
KRISTISIFTBASSTUBA
HISTORYBUFFJARSBNAI
ACTELOONYLUSTBREAM
NESMIKANBADALOU
LIFETIMEMEMBERSHIP
AGHASTATPARADHERE
WRESTOHSNAPHONECOE
FOXHUNTERSOXYGENTANK
UKEPIRATESEDEROTOE
LSDPAPASTREEPEND
Wed 11/23/2011
SINSSUCHACHED
ADAMASHEMAINE
CIAOWHIRERGOT
ROCKTHECASBAH
EMPERORIAMTOO
YERROSEBOWL
SACASKEWANNO
TIOTEALEAFEEG
AMMOHONDODRY
BEERPONGOYS
SEALEDAREARUG
GARDENVARIETY
SWANKBARBDYER
ARIDEANILNERO
SYNODYALEOSOS
Mon 10/10/2011
MARSOBSCOLTS
OBIERRORACEIT
CIGARCASETHETA
STOVECAPECORAL
LENADORASNL
CUECARDILK
HSTCOATCLOSET
ISTOUMASPCA
CROPCIRCLEARF
TADCREWCUT
SHORODSALIE
CAMECLEANENSUE
OSAKACLAYCOURT
OTHERKAPUTIGO
TEASEDAMSTEN
Mon 8/8/2011
HIGHMENSAFILL
ONEAASSAMIDLE
COTTONSWABSTAN
KITTEABIGHAND
LOVEDITLEGOS
KERIDEES
RUNNINGMATEPSI
AVONINERTALAN
JAWCRACKERJACK
PHOTOIAN
SPOREPITCREW
PINETARCEEFIG
AXISKOSHERSALT
RIOTIBEAMARLO
KENONEWTSSEAS
Thu 7/14/2011
SPORTSBOILUP
TAPEUPINSULAR
ONEIDAPALMTREE
MANNERSHIPQTS
ACAICLOPQUIP
CHINSTRAPQUERY
HERCRIPQUOTES
PROPQUAD
BADRAPQUIKOCD
ADREPQUITESURE
BOOPQUESETON
ARPQUIPSANDQS
RECITALSOUIOUI
SADISTSTELNET
PAPISTSLEETY
Thu 6/23/2011
OTANKEROTYCOON
CABOOSEPIEHOLE
ACADIANALPINES
NOTONERIEMAST
UGHENSUE
ORUBETATFISHO
PENTSOLPONIES
USHOSPILLSLEK
MEAGRETAIMALI
PETRIOISEASSN
AGILEDST
ULANSISIHILTS
MOLOTOVMAILOUT
PRALINEAIRDATE
SESAMEOCLEANUP
Mon 5/16/2011
SCRUMLEOORALS
TRITEARMMARAT
AEGEANSEANITRO
RWANDACHAINSAW
SOPTAZGYM
ANTIWARTAO
COOLAFTERDARK
AIGRATRACELUI
BRAINDEADCANT
CADACEHIGH
SEEENEOUI
PUMPIRONGRAFTS
USAIRHORSEPLAY
THICKOLEKEATS
SILKSWAXATBAT
Mon 4/11/2011
PATMAIMKHAN
ASHINCASLIME
THEJOKERMAGMA
HOMOLEXLUTHOR
STEPPEETC
SLOLAGHELM
SPOILSLAPXII
HANNIBALLECTER
EGGOTTOPARSE
DESKESTUMA
IMASPELLS
VOLDEMORTRAIL
IPADSMORIARTY
PERESSPINGEE
SCARKEPTERR
Thu 3/24/2011
BLOCJERIGAIN
ASNOEMERYLUTE
JACUZZIFEATURES
ATELIERSDREAMT
DOBIDA
ENGINESONAPLANE
NEESLANTSAHIB
DANOSLEEPDECO
ALOHAMARISREO
TEAMFROMNEWYORK
OONPEE
TUNDRATELLALIE
SHARKSRIVALGANG
POPETENETECHO
SHAWBAREREDS
Tue 2/22/2011
DOGGHEMPCHURL
DIEUODIEHOSEA
ELLEWOODSAGUAS
SODSTARWARS
JETSKITODALSO
ULYSSESIDS
KAROTIMESHARE
ETOSPINOUTLOT
SELFWORTHRASH
REPSIBERIA
EPEEUHSMADMEN
MONEYPITPEW
BLAZEMAGAZINES
EATENOVALNILE
DRESSMEGAEXIT
Sun 2/13/2011 BARGAINING
POSTITSSTIGMAASPS
ASTOLATPEGLEGSONNET
WHATSMYBARLINEINTONE
TEASERNOBARFLYZONE
WOEALSOOOXKAL
ASPICVIAMASTEMI
THEDAVINCIBARCODEREE
TANTRICOMERTAALIT
ALIENSPACEBARCRAFT
SHAGITEMPLIABLE
TELHOSTELABROADLEX
AXLROSEALLYMEAT
CASHBARFORCLUNKERS
TOOKIDAHOSORANGES
OVASAVEDBYTHEBARBELL
PARESSEENEACTII
OMGILEASSTLAD
SOAPBAROPERAERESTU
SOMALIMARSBARATTACKS
USENETALGORENONUKES
MESSNOONERINSTYLE
Mon 1/3/2011
MARCAFROLURED
ELIALEISENOLA
STANDBACKTASER
SOLARTHATSWACK
SIBRITA
BRATPACKPARKAS
LISABOOMLEASH
IFICARJACKRPI
PLAZAPAIREMIR
SENILEKNAPSACK
PLANMRT
SPICERACKOATES
ARMORTHUMBTACK
SAUDICARDEIRE
HYPEDHITSSLUE
Tue 11/16/2010
INFERSCOFFOWE
ROUSEMOVIEPOM
MENTALIMAGETOM
ALDOORALDAILY
NICKSPOBOYS
GOFISHLINEN
ONEALSPINPSU
TURNEDTHETABLES
HSTDAISGEARS
IDTAGBREYER
SALARYPILAF
PRIMODINOSAGA
ADZOCEANBOTTOM
DOEPLANEDENTE
ERRSENORSWOON
Wed 10/6/2010
SONARATSEAUSO
ATARIDUMPYTAR
FIREANDRAINOVA
ESCALATORSPAN
COWTIPPING
CAUSALRELATE
ORRINBEWARE
DINNERETIQUETTE
AMIDSTSNOOK
STATICLESSEE
CHURCHLADY
YOGAIRONSIDES
TRUOPENINGBELL
HASUSUALTEASE
EXTRITZYSTRAW
Mon 4/12/2010
ERGODOLEDEWOK
DEANEBOLAMAGE
IMTERRIBLYSORRY
TIEGAMESLATTES
AVASJIVE
LENTILWAGEGPS
ATEINSASHSALT
IHAVENTGOTACLUE
ROLEARONDRAMA
SSETMANWEASEL
BREWRASP
VETOEDPASTIMES
ITSWORTHTHERISK
ETALORDIEOCTA
WARSPESOSNEAT