This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

Natan Last author page

36 puzzles by Natan Last
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
367/17/200710/1/202210
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
81251910
RebusCircleScrabblePOW
371.603
Natan Last
Sat 10/1/2022
MAINBDAYSLIM
EAVEBLARETIRE
CROWDSURFSAVON
HORSEMENYELENA
ANYLESONESEC
PITCHOUTADE
TONELOCPLOD
GERTRUDESTEIN
BASKEGALITE
ALTPOSENUDE
BLAMEDVMIJAY
YEMENISUPEREGO
FREESHOOEDAWAY
AINTTBONDMEMO
TATSSONGALES

Natan is part of the New Yorker's themeless crossword team. These puzzles often feature full names, focusing on people who aren't Hollywood celebrities but are certainly crossworthy. Today we have:

OCEAN VUONG. His debut novel, "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous," is in my giant TBR (to be read) pile. Great story about how he got his first name, his mother's pronunciation of "beach" coming into play.

GERTRUDE STEIN. Love that quote: "In the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling." I'm too uncultured to figure out what it means, but it sounds beautiful.

TONE LOC. I hear so many complaints from solvers regarding names, but singers and rappers are in a category of their own. I'm often lost around current rappers, but when it comes to old school, Wild Thing is in my top ten.

YELENA. I wish I loved the "Black Widow" movie as much as I did Scarlett Johansson's scenes in the various Avengers movies.

This puzzle might not be for solvers in the I-hate-names-in-puzzles camp (hello solver who kvetched to me recently "who tf is AMYTAN?"), but every letter is fairly crossed. One could argue that YELENA crossing ENT is tough, since it demands knowledge of fantasy worlds — cluing ENT as an ear, nose, throat doctor could have helped. VUONG / VMI might draw complaints, but VUONG is a common Vietnamese family name, and VMI has attracted a lot of attention recently.

I loved seeing BS METER. Years ago, Will Shortz rejected one of my puzzles because he said he'd never allow BS METER in the NYT. I love the adaptation — no BS; the Times, it is a-changin'.

Sat 3/12/2022
BRIBEDPACT
CAESURAAPHID
NONDAIRYCREAMER
ORDEALSHIDECO
INSECTTAPJLAW
SEAMSPARAGUAY
YAWTHONGSONG
BEAUGESTE
BORNTORUNASH
FLUNKIESOLLIE
PRATANDTWEEZE
BIZMAEBEHAVED
JEEPERSCREEPERS
DRANOPATROLS
STUNATHENS

My climbing gym employs a team of route-setters who collectively have a huge range of abilities. Back when I was going every day (I hope to return soon!), I could figure out many Tyson V6s because his areas of strength are similar to mine (albeit an order of magnitude higher).

Yet I sometimes would work on a Meg V4 for weeks, never linking the whole thing up before she took it down. Her route might call for a Gaston, or a undercling pinch, or a slopey fingerpocket. These are techniques that other climbers with different body types can easily do, but I barely can recognize the terms, much less accomplish them.

You'd think that I'd avoid Meg's routes and stick to Tyson's only, and that's what I did in my early days. But as my skills grew, I realized that working my ass off on Meg's routes gave me more satisfaction as a whole, because not only was the feeling of achievement greater (when I could finish one), but I became a better climber through the process. Looking back on it, she always was careful to make every route both fair and achievable.

Although I still get more pure joy out of Tyson's routes, I've learned to appreciate Meg's well-thought-out, high-quality work.

Thu 5/13/2021
GLANDIGORAWED
QUINOASONYRAGU
UPTOWNSALEMSLOT
ITEMGAUDYCOLBY
PARASITECANSO
LATHELANPOL
ATHOSEFLATPASA
THEUSUALSUSPECTS
IRASPREENIDEST
TEDROTEDALI
EGGONTRUEGRIT
PSALMMERYLRAMA
HOMEALONEARENAS
AMENANDYICEAGE
TESSBOSSTASTE

I had no idea what was going on until well after I finished. Sadly, I figured these movies were all pairs of (loosely based) remakes. Or PARASITE was the sequel to WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE.

I don't get out much.

What a great light-bulb moment, figuring out that the grid entry was a valid answer to the questioning movie in the clue. Dude, Where's My Car? you ask? In Salem's Lot, of course — that's perfect! Almost as if the same company had made both movies.

Uh … did they?

Hahaha, of course, that was just a joke! Now, how do you erase your computer's browsing history?

One pairing that didn't work as well: "O Brother, Where Art Thou" and HOME ALONE. It is an answer to the question, but not a specific one; not as spot-on as THE USUAL SUSPECTS framing Roger Rabbit.

Because it took me a while to figure out what was going on, I wonder if something like SPOILER ALERT would have served as a useful revealer. At least, for film flunkies like me?

Stellar gridwork, nothing less than I'd expect from Andy and Natan. Such amazing bonuses are woven throughout. It's so rare that we get treated to six long downs, and when all of them are as outstanding as HEAD GAMES — with hardly any compromises in short fill! — that's a tremendous success.

Even working Sanjay GUPTA and QUINOA in a single corner? DANG IT is right!

Craftsmanship has a lot to do with thoughtful layout. The way that these guys formed the skeleton of themers and black squares is perfect — long downs spaced apart, each region carefully controlled, so none of them are too big to be filled cleanly. New constructors should study and learn from this layout.

I rarely experience a crossword idea I've never seen before, so big kudos for that. If all the examples had been as perfect as SALEM'S LOT answering "Dude, Where's My Car?" (and I wasn't such a movie moron), this would have been an easy POW! pick.

Wed 1/20/2021
POETSPAMCGI
COLLISIONSART
MINDMELDINGSOS
UTZODORATOM
MEIRMATCHGAME
OTTOORIONS
WORKERLAINEMT
THEUNITEDSTATES
ABCACAICESSNA
REINERSODA
JOINTPAINPOPE
ATVSNICKPUG
CHIWINEPAIRING
KENONEPERCENT
ORGKNOTSKYE

Postal abbreviations have been a rich source of inspiration for crosswords over the years. The first one I ever encountered blew my mind. So many words — and long ones! — can be formed from postal abbreviations? It was such a cool solving experience.

I've grown inured to state abbreviations by now, having made many of them and solved even more. I like today's additional layer, helping it stand out a little. It took me a while to realize that the non-four-letter-word of the themers always hinted at UNITED, as in MI + ND MELDING and GA + ME being MATCHed. It's not revolutionary, but I haven't seen exactly this implementation before. I appreciate novelty.

What more impressed me was the quantity and quality of long bonus material, at such a low price. Usually, you should avoid corners like the SW and NE, which have adjacent downs running through two theme answers. That's asking for trouble; too many constraints. Fantastic results in both corners, OH BROTHER and CASTANETS / GROOMSMEN, all shining. There were abbreviation pileups (WTA ATVS CHI ORG + CGI EMT TSA) — most of these shorties are fine answers but taken as a whole, they do stand out. Still, it's a fine trade-off.

Smart use of extra black squares in the NW / SE corners, allowing for extra COLLISIONS and ONE PERCENT bonuses. Usually, I'd kvetch about these long Across bonuses muddying what is theme and what is not, but with such a pronounced theme — four-letter word plus word pointing to UNITED — it's not a problem.

Fantastic execution, not a surprise given the pros at the helm. Maybe if this weren't the umpteenth state abbreviations puzzle I've done, I'd have given it some POW! consideration.

Wed 5/20/2020
DONORNABSDICED
AGAMEARIAUVULA
BRIEFESTBRIEFEST
SELLJAYBIRDSEA
EWEKAY
MUSTACHEMUSTACHE
ANASTEVENEMAIL
RIMSMARTSCTV
STOATINCITEHOE
HEATHENSHEATHENS
EELBAY
BATASUSUALBRAS
FLAGRANTFLAGRANT
FORUMTAOSPINTA
STONYORSOADDIN

BRIEFEST BRIE FEST, what an evocative phrase — at least to this lactose-intolerant imagineer. Oh yes, thank you, I'll take a chunk of that BRIE … uh oh … (groan) ... gotta run!

Doesn't stop me from eating cheese, sadly enough for the members of my quarantine household.

I enjoyed the non-duplicative duplications. Such fantastic consistency in the pattern: every one starts with an eight-letter word, then follows with that word broken into four and four. Perfect!

Two of them worked great: BRIEFEST BRIE FEST and FLAGRANT FLAG RANT. Took me a while to figure out why the others fell flat. While HEATHENS HEAT HENS amused me, in a headline sort of manner, that style didn't mesh with the two winners.

And MUSTACHE MUST ACHE? It's a neat discovery. It's not a neat phrase to say. Reminds me of the ecstatic pain that comes with compulsively plucking my facial hair (much to Jill's chagrin).

What other themers would be possible? Ooh, an algorithmic problem to solve! It's easy to generate a list of eight-letter entries that can split 4/4 into two valid words. There would be a ton of false positives, though, since you'll also catch multi-word entries like LESS THAN, FOUR LEAF, HALF MOON, etc.

I do keep a separate list of entries with spaces intact, so I formulated a way of exploring that search space while simultaneously cross-checking—

Huh? Right, you stopped listening three paragraphs ago.

(My favorite find was PLUMPEST PLUM PEST.)

Fun concept, and great gridwork to match—Natan, Andy, and the JASA class did a fantastic job keeping out gluey bits while maximizing their mid-length slots with snazzy JAYBIRD, DUE DATE, THE ARMY, AS USUAL. Such strategic black square placement to separate themers, and excellent execution in the tough west and east sections, where many constructors typically falter in a layout like this.

If all four themers had followed that fun (adjective) + (adjective) + (noun) pattern, I'd have given it POW! consideration. Slimming down to just three fantastic themers could have done it, too, especially since that would have allowed for even more goodies in the fill.

POW Sun 10/20/2019 BE PATIENT
AMMANBITES
CLAIRELAGAMECHE
SHALLOWDIPLOTINHATS
AIRBEDSEASELANTONIO
GAMERREARENDERSEDER
EPICPONDTEAMDONT
LESBLOOPIKNOWNNE
YTTRIUMOCCAMGRANGER
URNSORATESIRI
RATEDGCLIPARTBENICE
ERASIGHBODEMUSMEG
DAMPNOUNTHANSHAG
IGORGOTITFIENDPOSE
DORISDELIVEREDTIMED
NAVAJOELITEELATES
IVANITEAPLUMS
EVILOMENSMIAMIHEAT
BIGEYECAVEMANPLINTH
ECIGSKELETONKEYNERO
RAVEOPERATIONEMIR
TRESITSYEASTDYAN

★ YES! Finally, the NYT takes advantage of the Magazine's ability to do something that virtually no other crossword venue can: print in color. What better way to flaunt the fact that not only is print media not dead, but it can be better than e-formats? Yay for all the great old-timey things, said this Luddite!

This Luddite, who is happily using his computer to type this post … huh.

Great theme concept, too, playing on OPERATION's body-part-removal mechanism, interpreting phrases as if those parts were gone. (How anyone could successfully remove those friggin' little pieces without that horrible BZZT! Is beyond me, though.) I loved the ones that surprise, like how SPIT (SHIN)ED becomes SPITED. It'd be even better if SHIN had spanned the two words of the phrase, but that's asking for a lot.

It's not as interesting when a single word becomes another single word, i.e., DE(LIVER)ED to DEED. Slightly better is something like AL(ARM)IST to A-LIST, but it's still not as strong as SPIT (SHINED).

The one outlier: S(HAND)ONG. Since the base phrases aren't clued, they must be easily recognizable in order to generate a strong a-ha moment. Perhaps as a good Taiwanese boy, I should have known the province of SHANDONG, China, but considering I got kicked out of Chinese school as a kid, what do you expect?

I'd have gone with Garry S(HAND)LING or better yet, AX (HAND)LE. Five minutes of coding can do wonders!

It's rare these days that a Sunday puzzle will hold my attention — great fill like SKELETON KEY, BATARANGS, GOOD ONE, DEADPOOL helped tip the scales. Some aspects could have been improved, but overall, an amusing wordplay-based idea that entertained.

Wed 9/25/2019
EDGARINSEASON
LAURANORMCORE
BRITCHESITCHES
ATTEAVEROOT
AMBLEGNU
BREYERSEYERS
BESTAREAOL
ONOBREXITIDA
ACLAOKISAY
HOMBRESHOMES
CAYCUFFS
AHABLOAFHBO
CEREBRALCEREAL
TAMARINDNOLIE
SLYLOOKSDOLLS

I like this twist on the usual "letter removal" theme. Typically, BREXIT would serve as a revealer for base phrases that had BRs removed, i.e., TOO BIG FOR ONE'S ITCHES. (Hee hee!) Neat idea to pair the original BR word with the resulting (minus BR) word to generate kookiness.

It wasn't until I hit HOMBRES HOMES that I started to appreciate what Natan, Andy, and the class was doing. BRITCHES ITCHES and BREYERS EYERS felt suspiciously close to a rhyming theme, which has been so overdone that they're no longer viable. Thankfully, HOMBRES HOMES and CEREBRAL CEREAL piqued my interest. I enjoy curious wordplay finds like these.

Will Shortz and I have (sometimes wildly) different tastes when it comes to kooky themes. He's often given me feedback that resulting phrases can't be TOO out there, and they ought to be something solvers can imagine.

I have no idea how CEREBRAL CEREAL fits those criteria.

I do appreciate the attempt at a clever link to "food for thought," but that doesn't explain how the cereal is cerebral. CEREAL ISN'T ALIVE, HOW CAN IT BE CEREBRAL?

Humor is subjective.

I like it when constructors go down to low word counts — if they have as much experience in making themelesses as Natan and Andy. Using a big corner to work in TAMARIND and SLY LOOKS is a big win.

Unfortunate about HUAC (if you don't know it, it's impossible to infer). That's a problem with the basic grid design, as there are woefully few choices fulfilling that H??C pattern — maybe HVAC is okay, but even that's a toughie. As much as I love the potential of 8-letter bonus fill slots, I'd have thought long and hard about moving the black squares after TAMARIND and SLY LOOKS to the left, forming a much friendlier H??C?? pattern. (HEPCAT, HICCUP, HONCHO, HOT CAR, HUBCAP.)

Overall though, fun take on the typical letter removal theme, along with strong gridwork. It's not easy dealing with 12-letter themers in a 14-wide grid, but Natan and Andy led the class to a grid skeleton that's relatively easy to build around, and aesthetically pleasing to boot.

Sun 5/19/2019 HOOK-UPS
TBSCITYIMPSBOLAS
BRAHOBOEMOLEAPART
COOLEDDOWNSTORMSURGE
PAULSIMONCOLDFISSION
ARTMOOKBARESNLEAST
WHIRLTREYYEASTY
CROONLEGUPDESI
LARGETYPEMOIRASATIN
ASKSEDENAUGURTRULY
PHOPALEDGRUBMAINLY
USEMEELISEPANDA
DRIERSCROCSWIFTCOT
IONICTHERESAKISAMS
YEESHAUDITSTEAMPUNK
SANGRIOTSAEGIS
GROUPSTWINDENCH
SIOUANHEADSSPITWEB
AVOTRESANTEFOURALARM
BETAGAINSTCANNERYROW
LIEGEFOOLERICARES
ENDEDTIRELECHYES

I like that Natan didn't stick to a standard "words hidden within phrases" theme, but took it a step further. Apt to "hook up" the fish buried in the theme phrases, pulling them all the way up to the top. It still may be boggling people's minds, so here's an example of how it worked:

WORKOUT ROUTINE -> TROUT WORKOU INE

I made a puzzle like this once for the WSJ, where the letters B I R D "flew south," in a similar manner. Some people loved it — I got a lot of fan mail. And some people hated it.

HAAAAAAATED it.

While I didn't receive any death threats, some notes were pretty close. It was just too hard a puzzle, even with the crossing answers dumbed way down.

I learned a lot from that experience. It's easy to go overboard and make a puzzle unenjoyably hard. Themes where a solver must depend on every single crossing answer can be especially frustrating. Think of a quote puzzle, where you have to solve based only on the downs, unable to see what's going on in the quote until the very last minute. That's essentially what we are working with today since it's so difficult to figure out each base phrase until you are close to uncovering the entire entry.

Natan's 136-word grid is well done — a rarity in Sunday puzzles. Big ups for that feat of cruciverbalistic wizardry. But figuring out the theme phrases was tough enough, and having so many long pieces of fill made the solving process even harder.

As much as I enjoyed the great bonuses — A VOTRE SANTE, COLD FISSION, PAUL SIMON, STEAMPUNK, and more — this particular theme was so challenging to uncover that a more standard 140-word grid might have made for a better solving experience.

As for the themers themselves, I'd have liked each of the fish spanning words within themers — the MAGIC and RIDE of MAGIC (CARP)ET RIDE felt superfluous, whereas LA(B ASS)ISTANT felt like a much more interesting discovery. But I can see how some would prefer the relative simplicity of ones like MAGIC (CARP)ET RIDE, given how hard the theme was to suss out.

Overall though, the twist on the tried and true theme type was appreciated.

Sun 2/3/2019 EJECTION LETTERS
STELMOCLICKSBUSTS
SHEBEARAIROUTINTRO
BEANBALLFLAGRANTFOUL
REPOSCOMFYNOTERICE
AMENMONAEBASICICES
ILLEGALSLIDETACKLE
NYYAIMINAFEWONEL
LYNXENOABRIDGE
ONEALSOFTGEARGTE
CENSEMARIEHELMETHIT
TWASCALYXFURLSRUTH
AHCOMPLEXCILIABONGO
LITOATCAJUNAUTOS
RECUSALOBIGENT
EDITOHWAITARTARM
THETWILLSETYOUFREE
ROSYDARNSLEAPSACTS
OTOHALITFANTAATHOS
POFADMISSIONARMCHILI
EMILESEAREDREAREND
DIALSASTERSSEBERG

I was so confused by ARM CHILI. I'm a big spice guy, so I thought I simply hadn't heard this slang term for completely bland chili. I didn't even bother to look it up before shrugging and moving along.

D'oh!

I almost didn't tag it as a bogus answer to keep it out of our database. It's actually supposed to be (ONEAL)ARM CHILI, with Shaquille ONEAL "ejected." That's a great find!

(MESSI)AH COMPLEX is another excellent discovery. It's impressive to uncover longish names within themers, such that the resulting phrase is amusing and not just nonsense. AH COMPLEX sounds like it applies to frustrated crossword puzzle solvers!

Not as hot on THE T WILL SET YOU FREE and P OF ADMISSION, both more nonsensical / random strings of letter-words. Maybe Babe RUTH and Jerry RICE fans will disagree.

What with the flood of theme answers, I was impressed at Natan's execution. A good number of long bonuses — CAFFEINE FIX and FIJI ISLANDS standouts — with not that much crossword glue. I bet he spent a ton of time trying different placements for the four superstars' names, moving them all around the grid.

Speaking of so many themers, I got confused several times during my solve. A penalty, a kooky themer, and the ejected superstar — times four! Perhaps that's why I dismissed ARM CHILI as a normal phrase I just hadn't heard of.

(Better than the alternative explanation, that I'm an idiot.)

I would have preferred a simpler approach: not including the penalties, especially since HELMET HIT felt off (it's usually referred to as a HELMET TO HELMET HIT). This would have also allowed Natan to place the superstars close to their respective theme answer, to minimize the distraction of having to jump all around the grid. It would have been much better to have ONEAL and ARM CHILI nearby, for example.

Overall though, I liked the concept; above average on the cleverosity scale for Sunday puzzles.

Tue 10/9/2018
DAMNSIMACNEAP
EBOOKGAIAORCA
BUNNYOURSBILL
EPLURIBUSUNUM
DYLANNAPE
SECURITYBLANKET
PALSTWOTOOTH
ALITEASETSSHY
HIPPOHRHCHEM
NOSURPRISETHERE
TREEEVERS
HIDDENFIGURES
OREOCUKEORALB
SKEWISEEOILER
ESPNLEAKMOTTO

Some deliciously youthful fill coming from the JASA class today! What's the DEALIO, you might ask, with YOSHI the dinosaur? I say Si BUENO! (That should be as much a thing as NO BUENO if you ask me.)

HIDDEN FIGURES was a big, important movie in 2016. Nominated for Best Picture! I don't see many movies these days, considering my treading-water-with-two-raucous-toddlers-hood, but I have to see this one! I'm imagining a Holmes whodunit, with a geometry teacher suspected of foul play, a conoid murder weapon …

No?

Well, that's what it should be about.

Humph.

I like the concept of hiding various figures, but I had three issues with the implementation.

*WARNING WILL ROBINSON! Annoying OCD alert!*

1.) PRISM, CUBE, SPHERE are figures, yes. But why these three? Feels randomly selected from the huge number of geometric shapes. Not CONE? PYRAMID? Or, it sure would have been nice to get a progression. How about LINE to SQUARE to CUBE?

2.) These themers are all strong, but finding C U B E spread out inside a 15-letter string isn't very hard.

3.) If you mean HIDDEN as in "the circled letters jump right out at you," it's not really HIDDEN, is it?

Told you it was going to be annoyingly OCD.

All that aside, I think it's a pretty well-executed puzzle. NONPLUS felt odd since nonplussed seems so much more common, but that's just one entry in the puzzle.

Okay, putting ALL my ridiculosity aside now, it looks like the movie was indeed a must-see — I want to learn more about the black female mathematicians at NASA.

Hey! Today's FIGURES are all from math — neat! There you go, a clever link. I bet if I had seen the movie I would have connected more strongly with the theme.

Sun 9/30/2018 SLEEP ON IT
BANGRIDSMAVSEMIRS
ADORISENALOULANAI
RIBECOCARROLLWITHIT
BELLEFAKESETTHETONE
QUEENOFMEANRAYRUGS
SPRPOLEHONPESO
WONCOBIMAFANDOSED
ENEEMAILRODAILS
LEIAELLASEASOYFOB
FULLBODIEDFAIRSHAKE
APPLSCAPEXENACITED
RORSCHACHTWINSISTER
ENTHIPEPICSPKSAFE
PODSSDSMERITIFS
THROEMUFASASPALET
ROILSOSANNEBLT
SAWNCUBKINGSOLOMON
HITCOUNTERPHENBOOZE
INREALTIMETESOROPOM
ROUSTZETAITGUYUNE
TRESSUSSRMASTSPEA

I'll admit, I was underwhelmed when I finished the puzzle. Just a PEA under four MATTRESSes? Seemed like an awfully thin premise to carry an entire Sunday puzzle.

I'm super glad that blogging these puzzles forces me to take a second look! PEA under four MATTRESSes … under four PRINCESSes! These triple-stacked answers make for a much more satisfying concept.

(We've highlighted the theme answers below, in case you missed some of them, too.)

(What, you didn't?)

(Fine, be that way!)

I liked the matched lengths on PRINCESSes and MATTRESSes — five-letter QUEEN to five-letter BELLE, and the rest of them four letters. It's all so tidy.

I still did wonder about certain aspects of this idea, the first pairing in particular. BELLE is a princess? Really?

What, she is?

You knew that?

Fine, wise guy! I thought she was a studious young woman who loved books but wasn't born to nobility.

Oh right, she broke Beast's curse, thus turning him into a prince, and then she married him, thus becoming a princess.

And she is listed as one of the official "Disney Princesses."

FINE!

Still, she doesn't strike me as the type to care whether she lies on a PEA or not. No "Princess and the Pea"-type whining from Belle, nuh-uh!

What's more curious is that she's lying on a QUEEN.

What, that means a QUEEN bed, not an actual …

Never mind. Ignore me.

Triple-stacking answers is rarely easy, so I appreciated Natan's great gridwork. It's especially hard to run good bonuses through triple-stacks, so GREENPEACE stood out, as did ASIAN PEARS. And I like how open he kept the rest of the grid, allowing corners full of greatness: HIT COUNTER / IN REAL TIME / HOW TRUE, ROLL WITH IT / SET THE TONE / VOLTRON! So even when I didn't get the full theme, I still enjoyed the themeless-quality fill.

Overall, it felt a bit wonky to me that PRINCESSes LEIA, XENA, and BELLE would care about lying on PEAs, so I think this would have made for a better weekday puzzle with just a single instance, maybe PRINCESS atop MATTRESS atop PEA. Enough goodies in the fill though, to help keep my attention.

POW Sat 7/28/2018
ADELEWEBBDADS
CURESWAREECCE
TEAMSPIRITMACE
ETTUHINESODON
DOORDIEFYIEMO
ESPNREMIT
FASHIONPOLICE
JUICECLEANSES
GENDERSTUDIES
ROSENERTE
APPDIXOHSORRY
NAOHTESLARHEE
DRNOINLAIDTILE
EDGENOOBMINIS
RYESANTSCZECH

★ You had me at FASHION POLICE / JUICE CLEANSES / GENDER STUDIES! Now that's a fantastic triplet to anchor this "stair stack" themeless. It's a tad unusual to weave long downs through a stair stack, so I greatly appreciated WWII EPICS running the gauntlet. Beautiful middle of the puzzle!

And I like what the authors did with the SW / NE, usually the toughest parts of a stair stack to make shine. FUN SPONGE is so fun, and the clue for DC COMICS makes that one even better. Misdirecting from the Penguin (the Batman baddie) to Penguin Books is flat out brilliant. Along with a smile-inducing clue about JEOPARDY — once hosted by Pat Sajak for April Fools — these are great corners.

The NW / SE corners didn't have quite as much pizzazz as I usually want out of a stair stack, but TEAM SPIRIT, DO OR DIE (with its funny-looking DOOR DIE sequence), INLAID TILE — no reason to say OH SORRY!

There was enough crossword glue to make me slightly pause before slapping down the POW! — DMC, ERTE, ESS, NAOH, RHEE — but some of those are defensible. Especially RHEE — educated folks ought to at least recognize the names of important foreign leaders, yeah?

ESS, not so much, especially with a clue that's trying too hard. I don't imagine I'll see many dictionaries with a section marked ESS.

And a couple of fantastic clues to even further elevate the solving experience. TESLA is something you might charge for the ride — not a fare, but an electric charge. And FASHION POLICE was great as an entry on its own right, but using "dressing down" and "dressing up" in the same breath makes it even better.

Such an enjoyable solving experience. Go to the head of the (JASA) class!

Wed 3/7/2018
SANDABECAPOS
CLAUDIUSTOSSTO
UPFORDISCUSSION
BHTEELALIASES
AAADOMINI
ITSHOPELESS
TEAROOMSLEO
TENPENNYAWRATS
RATEDGLUCRETIA
ACEDONTEVEN
CHRISMARTIN
SHONDANAB
SHALALAPEAONE
PARALLELPARKING
EZINESLETMESEE
DYADSCDSNEXT

Kooky-looking grid! I like seeing something different, and those huge chunks of black squares in the NW / SE corners certainly qualified.

PARALLEL PARKING … two car brands lined up in parallel? But why are some of them doing it in the middle of the puzzle? Watch out, MINI and OPEL, you're blocking traffic! You too, SMART and HONDA!

Wait, what? SMART is a brand of car?

No, seriously, what is it?

Really? It's an actual brand?

In all lower-caps, as in "smart"? Huh.

I've certainly seen "smart cars" around Seattle … I just thought it was a general term, like "smart phone"? Don't smart cars do all sorts of fancy stuff for you, like picking up your clothing automatically and buying your groceries from Amazon? No?

WELL, HOW SMART ARE THEY REALLY, THEN?!

Okay, so now I know that "smart" is a brand. Still, I'd have much preferred a more well-known brand, like ACURA, DODGE or TESLA. CONCRETE SLAB, perhaps?

With so much theme material, there are bound to be compromises in the fill. It ended up much better than I feared, not much more than some ESS, TRAC, OTOE, spread around. The only real sticking point I had was MOLLS — hard to believe that's an actual term. So, pretty darn good execution, given the layout. OH MY LORD I was relieved to get less crossword glue as I expected!

Overall though, the concept would have felt apter if PARALLEL PARKING had been in the middle of the puzzle, with just two pairs of cars in the NW / SE, looking like they're actually parallel parking on the edges of the puzzle.

Would have been nice to get a more well-known brand than OPEL, as well.

Sun 11/5/2017 LANE CHANGES
MSNSUCROSEBIGTALK
OHOUPAHEADMEDIABIAS
WAYNESWORLDALLABOARD
SHOOESSTINGLYAURAS
USFLSEEYAARN
GODHELPUSDRAGANDDROP
ICIERIHOPFRISKSAGE
LTDSELFMANSOPHTIRE
DENILLEROSSOONER
ATTACKADSELSAPWNS
THEROADNOTTAKEN
JAWANYETUPHOLSTER
LABATTPROBWCSHUE
AFARHASPYAHWEHBELT
WACREHEATFUELTUBER
DRIVEINARUNBELOWZERO
ACRNONOSLAZE
OUTIESPLASHOCDEGOT
BRENDALEEPATHFINDERS
IAMLEGENDIDAHOESEEK
LAYDOWNNERISSASOS

Natan takes us on some ROADs NOT TAKEN, starting phrases with synonyms for "street," then veering off diagonally to form some other phrase (or word). My favorite by far was THE ROAD NOT TAKEN splitting to form THE ROAD TO HELL — dropping diagonally down was especially apt for this one. Too bad HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN wasn't another one, rising up!

I found it a little odd that some synonyms for "street" were hidden or disguised, some not. ROAD was overt, as was PATH. DRIVE misdirected from its "street" meaning, as did DRAG. And WAY as part of WAYNES WORLD felt like an outlier. With just five themers, I would have preferred more consistency.

It's hard to work with splitting themers, those pesky diagonals causing so much trouble in filling. I can understand why Natan decided to keep it to five pairs, with one pair having a very short themer (PATHOS). But overall, it felt thin to me. Tough to execute on this type of theme — six or seven pairs would have felt much meatier, but that gets so much more difficult to do.

Natan did a fantastic job of working in bonus fill — check out all the GOD HELP US, ATTACK ADS, MEDIA BIAS, BELOW ZERO, I AM LEGEND, THE BEE GEES, SEAN PENN, (oh) NO YOU DIDN'T, BELLAGIO (this huge fan of "Ocean's 11" filled it in without a single crossing letter!). So much goodness! Almost felt like a juicily-packed themeless grid. Everywhere I went, there was some other fat entry that satisfied.

There was some ELKE, SLO, ATP, DEP, etc., but it didn't get to be enough to bother me. To have five pairs of themers, with diagonal entries, plus that huge amount of strong bonus fill, and keep your crossword glue to below average for a Sunday? That's great craftsmanship.

The theme didn't totally work for me, feeling a bit inconsistent and thin, but that central ROAD pairing was dynamite. Along with all the snazz in the fill, I wasn't quite on the highway to heaven, but certainly not on the road to hell.

Sat 9/16/2017
SHELOVESMESAGS
HESAKEEPERTROI
EASYSTREETARID
ELALEMERGENC
PSYOPSDASHSPA
WALLOWESTEE
CISNODSHOOHAS
ASHPITSJESSICA
STARCHCOLTMER
THROBTHEGAP
PAKASIAATESTS
ATTORNEYTARA
RYANIDONTGETIT
TONEPOTATORACE
YUKSENEMYLINES

The JASA class is back! With a standard themeless layout — four sets of triple-stacks, one in each corner — you have to make every one of those long entries count. So many colorful assets, from SHE LOVES ME (she loves me not) to ARREST HIM! to ENEMY LINES to SHARK TANK (I love me some Mr. Wonderful!). High conversion rate, making good use of those 12 long slots.

But that's not all! They could have gone the easy route by doing a 72-word puzzle — perhaps by putting black squares at the Rs of EMERGEN-C and of ATTORNEY. A 70-word puzzle allows for a couple more juicy long entries, in this case allowing for some PANIC BAR goodness.

The stretching did come at a price, though. See how EMERGEN-C and RHEOSTAT (a boring term, even for this mechanical engineer) extend in toward the middle of the grid? That makes the NE corner much less flexible. As a result, in order to get the GO IN PEACE / SID CAESAR type goodness, they had to dab in some ERTES, TROI, MER.

Those three are fairly ignorable (although ERTES is tougher to swallow, taking up slightly more real estate), but those types of trade-offs occurred in other places too, notably the SE. TTY is … tele … typewriter? Huh. GOL attempted to be cute by misdirecting toward the much more common OLE, but it's not a good entry. Along with the mysterious CHAYOTE in that region and the groan-worthy A-TESTS, it felt like the weak part of the grid.

Speaking of that, POTATO RACE? Again, huh. Wikipedia says it's basically a race involving potatoes. Go figure.

But overall, kudos to the class for producing a mostly solid grid with a good number of feature entries. Also, a nice wink to get MEEMAW, from the senior-aged class!

POW Sun 5/7/2017 DUALITY QUALITY
DECODUMBJAPESIMPS
ODORABIEGOCARTBORN
DAUGHTERLAUGHTERIDOL
OMGOARGUISECEASES
HOPESILLTENLUX
BUDDINGPUDDINGPAPYRI
ARRESTHIMMAULLOOFA
LBOSRENGASMAINEDEN
SAPBYEKOSHERNOSHER
ANSELOTTODUVALL
MOOCPORCHSAGE
HENNASPIKEGRADS
GARDENWARDENHEYCOW
PUTSGOATEEDITSOTRO
TACOSERRSACTCASUAL
SCHNOZMASSAGEPASSAGE
DAWFORPLEDPOOL
MADAMELALAWWINSOB
VOTEBASELINEVASELINE
ALCSIDIDITLIFTAZUL
NEHIESSEXLETSBEST

★ The Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA) Crossword Class is back, with a theme involving words that seem like they should rhyme — each pair of words is identical, except for the first letter — but they don't. Neat finds in KOSHER NOSHER, GARDEN WARDEN, HATCH WATCH. And not only is BASELINE VASELINE a cool discovery, but the image of a baserunner slipping 'n sliding into second — and right past it — amused me to no end.

There are many, many pairs of words that display this property, so I appreciated the extra effort to work in faux-rhymes to the clues as well. At first I wondered why the theme clues were so long — I actually skipped them at first, tl;dr — but then I got a smile when I realized what was going on.

Where I thought this puzzle shined was in its grid execution. Most Sunday 140-word puzzles have globs of crossword glue in them, stuff that most constructors need to stick everything together. But I hardly paused at anything throughout my solve. Even upon a post-solve scan, I could only find an OTRO. An old NEHI. LBOS (leveraged buyouts, which are 100% fine to this MBA).

Beautiful work to keep it to just a few short, minor offenders. Not sure how much rework Natan had to go through in revisions, but it was well worth it.

And great bonus fill. PRO SURFER (I lurve surfing), IM SHOCKED, ACTUAL SIZE, GO TO PRESS, COUGH DROPS, ESCAPISTS, made my solve even more enjoyable.

Intersecting pairs of theme answers (MODEL YODEL and KOSHER NOSHER, HATCH WATCH and GARDEN WARDEN was really smart — if HATCH WATCH had to be worked in horizontally, it would have infringed upon one of the other themers in the bottom half of the puzzle. It's not often possible to get themers to cross like this, but when it is, it often makes the construction so much easier. Does wonders for good spacing.

I did stumble on two entries. MOOC is apparently a "massive open online course." Thank goodness all the crossings were gettable. (And Finn has been working for Columbia University.) SWOLE … that's modern lingo for "bulked up"? Huh. Kids these days.

Fun, interesting theme, with top-notch execution.

Sat 3/11/2017
ALTPOPBLOKE
GLORIASTEINEM
WHITEPRIVILEGE
WOOKIEESSNOTS
ELSEMOESOTT
EFTSAVANTSOAR
SHRINEMANNA
HOTTAKEDRAMEDY
APHIDFIGURE
JEERHOMEECSAD
INNPARSSPRY
WEIRDOLDFLAME
VIRTUALREALITY
ADVENTURETIME
SEEMEGYRATE

GLORIA STEINEM and WHITE PRIVILEGE headline today's puzzle. I enjoyed piecing together a historic figure in GLORIA STEINEM. But WHITE PRIVILEGE … although I think it's an important concept more people ought to learn about, I wonder if some solvers will feel like the puzzle is trying to shame them. I wonder how I'd feel if I were white.

I liked the additions up top, WOOKIEES (yes, it's two Es, weird!) and ALT POP some nice bonuses. Not a fan of EFT ( a term for a juvenile newt) and LOT I, though.

Overall, a wide mix of entries I found entertaining — DRAMEDY, KEG STAND, VIRTUAL REALITY, OLD FLAME, OPEN WIDE, THE NERVE — along with some that didn't resonate with me. Not watching many cartoons these days, ADVENTURE TIME didn't do much for me, and although HOT TAKE is an interesting new term I didn't know, having to work so hard to piece it together wasn't super satisfying.

The level of crossword glue was just at my threshold. Along with the aforementioned, there was EME, OTT, and VAS. Thankfully these are all shorties and individually easy to overlook, especially since Natan did a nice job spreading them all out. But everything taken as a whole, I did feel like it was on the verge.

I really appreciated how many great clues there were; seemingly more than usual for a Saturday:

  • The Biblical ARK had a "double standard" — two by two!
  • Cool trivia that APHIDs are born pregnant. Neat biological advantage.
  • Bows may be made in a SHRINE … not ribbon bows, but bows at the waist.
  • [Lover of history?] is a great misdirection for OLD FLAME — a lover from one's personal history.
  • TRAY is something someone may be holding when waiting … waiting on a table!
  • [Soap box?] confused me, even after uncovering every letter. Ah, a TV SET is a type of box that plays soap (operas). Very nice.

So many clever clues! Wish all Saturday puzzles had this many.

Fri 10/14/2016
INSRIBSDICEY
DOTHEMATHADORE
IFEELFREEFILES
DAIRYGEMTODAY
SINEGARITODO
ORSARINYUPEU
TRANSGENDER
AINTIAWOMAN
DOMAINNAMES
LOLZAGYETGIG
AGRACOENMONO
SPASMHRSBANJO
HADTOINQUIREOF
ERIESPOUNDCAKE
SKORTTEESRED

When I become my generation's great writer, what adjective will people use to describe my style? "Chenesque" sounds wonky, and there happens to be a couple of billion Chens in the world, making it a bit unspecific. I suppose I'll have to settle for "brilliant." I'd accept "magical."

HEMINGWAYESQUE is so descriptive and spot-on. Really liked it, especially since it reminded me of Byron Walden's ZOLAESQUE-seeded themeless puzzle back in the finals of an ACPT (was that featured in "Wordplay?"). And to get the fun BARGAINING CHIP, along with TRANSGENDER right above Sojourner Truth's AINT I A WOMAN made for a fantastic heart of the puzzle.

The periphery was pretty good, too. Not sure how AOL RADIO compares to other services, or if it's kind of outdated, but DOG PARK was awfully nice.

Similar story for the rest of the corners. POUND CAKE makes my mouth water, but INQUIRE OF felt like neutral filler. IN JOKE, yes! GO NEAR, kind of sketchy. That last one is *probably* fine as a lexical chunk, but it's neutral at best to me.

I liked EREADER (although its super-friendly letters is starting to make it a popular crossword entry these days), but COLD OPEN … I enjoyed discovering what the term meant (jumping straight into the show without an opening sequence), but it doesn't have a lot of spark for me. More of a "hmm, that's interesting to learn."

Generally a well-constructed grid, although GARI was a hard glob of glue in my eyes. It's a tough call — it technically is an accurate word, but in the many hundreds of times I've gone out to dozens of sushi places, never once have I heard it called GARI. When someone wants more pickled ginger, they just ask for ginger, yeah? Now, that little GARI is critical to holding the fantastic skeleton of long answers together, so I ended up doing my best to overlook it in the end. But finishing the puzzle guessing on that G was like finishing a sushi dinner on a piece of uni — sea urchin is a taste/smell/texture I haven't acquired yet.

Overall though, a great skeleton of long answers, with a couple of nice entries spread around the perimeter.

Wed 7/27/2016
DREWYAKBOOMS
PATCHOULIOHWOW
THEHOBBITOMNIA
ALSOSAGELYERR
VENNDIAGRAM
PESOSSHE
CIRCUSTENTNUFF
STIRSANOGIGLI
ISEEAUDIDEALER
ACTJOLIE
OLYMPICFLAG
GEESTOLENNABS
ROMANRINGCYCLE
ENEROGETOVERIT
SINEWIDOSTEP

Too bad this puzzle wasn't published around Jan 1st, otherwise it could help to ring in the new year!

(groan)

So cool that Natan and Finn have continued with the Jewish Association Serving the Aging's crossword class — it was really fun to see Finn leading them through a live construction session at the end of the ACPT!

Today, they give us a progressive sequence of Os, representing rings. THE HOBBIT made for a great a-ha moment, as "the one ring" is a phrase within that book. Just perfect! CIRCUS TENT was also spot-on, since "three-ring circus" is a very common saying. And the OLYMPIC FLAG made for a great example of five rings.

VENN DIAGRAM for two rings felt off though, since VENN DIAGRAMs can have however many circles as are needed. And the AUDI logo has four rings, but an AUDI DEALER … wouldn't it have hundreds of rings, what with all the cars it has in stock? I wondered if having just the 1, 3, and 5 ring examples would have been better.

With such a densely packed puzzle — six themers are tough to pull off — it's no surprise to get some NOI, GEOG, ANO / ENERO (tying them together just emphasizes the inelegance), OMNIA, etc. Note how so many of those dabs of crossword glue come at places where two themers overlap.

Love the voice of Natan and Finn coming through, though, what with BOOYAH! and "that's what SHE said." Even the STIRS clue, [Messes with 007's martini], has a younger vibe to it. Neat to get that fun, colloquial feel ... especially when one of the three constructors is a class of older students!

Sun 4/3/2016 JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
CHIRACISMWADESCAR
HAMSADONAIALONETIME
INONEEARANDGENTLEMAN
AGNUSFEYEPAMAIZE
TABSWHEREIGHTTOKNOW
LIBSCHEWLASERONS
EGOFRAYBEEPDUBS
IHAVEEMYKEYSCLAUSE
ATTLEEANNETAKEIVER
ADDSITSCOOLSNEER
RAIDSAYTOABOILTAPS
AUDISWASNTMEGAIL
CRYMEISKOILYTHESIS
YALIESCANIMAKEOUND
RDASCATOCUEDMBA
BCSATILTBANSAMOK
YOULLCOMEEQUESTIBEX
RUBIORPIUSATERZA
ORANGEMENOUTTHEOTHER
TIRESWINGTAIWANSIRE
ECUSENDSELTOROTOS

Fun concept, theme answers literally going IN ONE EAR … and OUT THE OTHER. Six EAR rebus squares act as portals, i.e. WHER(E AR) … jumps from one EAR to another EAR, finishing with … (E AR)E MY KEYS. The title is perfect, as the theme answers are literally JUMPING TO (their) CONCLUSIONS.

Coming through!

It might have been nice to hide the concept for longer, as I was able to fill in IN ONE EAR / OUT THE OTHER very early in my solve. Placing those two themers very far away from the middle of the puzzle does make construction easier — very little interaction with all those EARs — but it does give away the game. Perhaps spreading out all the EARS so IN ONE EAR / OUT THE OTHER could have gone more in the middle of the puzzle?

Natan gives us some sizzling bonus entries, INBOX ZERO my favorite. I once achieved INBOX ZERO ... and stupidly posted about it on Facebook. (My inbox was then flooded by people congratulating me. Sigh.) And CRY ME A RIVER, HANG TIGHT, TIRE SWING, ORANGEMEN … it's so awesome to get a taste of themeless-like goodness in a Sunday puzzle. I often lose steam while solving Sunday-size puzzles — so many boxes to fill in — so getting a ton of bonus fill like this is very much appreciated.

I really liked Natan's attention to detail when it came to avoiding gluey bits, too. COR is minor, BCS is a bit odd when clued to the Johnny Hart comic strip (plus, the Bowl Championship Series is now defunct), and ABOIL is one of those funny start-with-an-A words. To keep it to such a small amount of gristle is really good on a Sunday 140-word puzzle.

Two clues I didn't understand: [Brace] for TWO, and [Sally] for RAID? Apparently a "sally" is a "sudden charge out of a besieged place" and a "brace" is a "pair of something." Learn something new every day.

It would have been SO nice to have some sort of image of an ear, but I'm not sure how one would do that. Perhaps chunks of black squares around the sides of the puzzle? I'd be curious to see what Natan's attempts looked like. But still, an entertaining solve.

Sat 11/21/2015
BABYTHANEOAK
POLLOHAMPSHIRE
ALLAYETERNALLY
CLUBOWNEREPEES
KYDMAORISPDS
EWEARTSCENE
RODEYOGAPANTS
SOTTORONNEHIS
DOCTRINALDADE
HOPONPOPTED
DOEGUAPOSSKA
BIRDSSHAKEONIT
ROSIESBARUPICE
IDONTBITEDECKS
MENHAGELONES

What a cool grid pattern! The triple-stack down the center plus a TON of long entries — a pair of long downs in the NW / SE and an enormous number of long acrosses — made me eager to dive in. The central stack didn't disappoint, with THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. (I said a prayer of thanks that it was Biggie and not some new rapper I'd need every cross for) next to HATERS GONNA HATE. AMERICAN APPAREL is good, too.

(ADDED NOTE: people have been asking me about the pic of Ruth Bader Ginsberg — she's got one of my favorite nicknames, "the Notorious RBG.")

The Notorious RBG

Neat to see long answers run straight through that triple-stack. YOGA PANTS is not only a great entry, but it becomes stellar when you add a clue like [They may be put on a stretcher]. That's clue of the year material for me — I kept wondering what kind of accident victim the clue was hinting at. ART SCENE / HOP ON POP / SHAKE ON IT / I DON'T BITE also running through the stack? Yes yes yes!

ESNE? And a cutesy clue attempting to beg forgiveness for such a fusty piece of crosswordese? No no no! Along with some very minor stuff like OTO, PDS, SEP, it demonstrates the eternal trade-off of going B.I.G. (and needing to use some crossword glue), or staying more conservative (and completely smooth). I imagine Natan agonized about that corner, with such a great number of long words connecting up in the NE … but also the dreaded ESNE.

RPG is an interesting one. I'm not much of a gamer these days, but role-playing games like D&D are very familiar to me. It's going to be a toughie for some, especially when crossing GUAPOS, a word pretty deep into Spanish.

BOLLYWOOD is a great way to launch a themeless. I liked the misleading plural in [Indian pictures]. I wasn't as hot as some of the other long entries, DOCTRINAL / ETCHED IN / HAPPENED more neutral in my eyes than assets. Still, with a whopping 19 (!) long entries, Natan still converts many of those slots into POW-quality material. It just wasn't quite enough for me to be able to look the other way and give it the award this week.

Fri 8/14/2015
AFFLUENZATRAP
SEEYASOONSWAMI
TRADESHOWWIDEN
OMRIOMAGAZINE
ISAACRIZZO
NYETGILPIN
DOTTEDTHEIELSE
ADRAGROTBRASI
WEAKWENTEASYON
GANESHGULL
SATEDFLAGG
JUMBOTRONBANS
AVIANIMONTOYOU
BETTYBELIEVEME
SASHSNOCKERED

Return of the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class! With Natan Last at the helm, they collectively produce a nice themeless featuring such strong entries as AFFLUENZA, IM ONTO YOU, RADIO PLAY, and JUMBOTRON. Even the ones I wasn't familiar with sounded interesting, like SNOCKERED. I still prefer STONKERED's color and fun, but having a wide variety of synonyms for "drunk" sure makes it easier when you want to tell someone you're magoogled.

The iconic Luca Brasi

IM ONTO YOU felt especially nice, as it took me a while to parse it correctly. Turns out I MONT O YOU (homage to a Swiss Alp) isn't really a thing. That's one great feature about multiple-word entries — the can be so trickily fun to parse.

Then again, multi-word phrases have to be spot on in order for me to count them as an asset. DOTTED THE I feels like someone didn't dot all the I, yeah?

Er, didn't dot all the Is.

A couple of gluey entries like IS SO and A DRAG are to be expected. GAYER felt more off to me, given its clue, [More like Paree]. I wonder if Natan submitted an edgier, more fun clue? Not sure if there's any way to clue that such that it wouldn't be offensive to someone, though.

Speaking of clues, what a fantastic misdirection with [Ring exchange]. I confidently filled in I DOS, which fit so nicely ... except that it didn't. I've seen so many similar clues for I DO or I DOS that I didn't even think it could be related to the boxing ring exchange of JABS. Fun when a clue innocently seems like a gimme to veteran solvers, but it actually favors solvers who have fewer preconceived notions about certain clues.

A couple of older names in the grid, which is perfectly fine with me if they're classic people or characters. Ratso RIZZO is a classic. Luca BRASI, one of my favorite movie roles. Peri GILPIN … as much as I loved "Frasier," I don't know that she's achieved a timeless quality.

Some beautiful entries spread through the grid, along with some that didn't quite hit for me.

Fri 5/11/2012
PASSIONPITOAFS
OPENSOURCEHULU
RECORDDEALODIC
CROWLETMETHINK
AVEEXEDTS
INUNISONELWES
BANGSHARDHATE
EMCEEIDOPYLON
TELLTOILFIEND
CESTARESCORES
JARINCASU
ELENAKAGANGINO
ALMATIEFIGHTER
NEUTONEATATIME
ERSEPERRYMASON
Fri 5/6/2011
BLINGBLINGYAKS
SENIORITISOATH
ITALIANICEUVEA
DONENSEVERELY
ENEFIFIEDER
KOBEANTFARM
SKIRMISHVIGOR
DOWNSNOOPREST
ABIDETIRELESS
DAKOTASSEED
EFTSHERARCA
TIMBUKTUDRIED
OVALSOMEPEOPLE
PERUIDATARBELL
ESTENONONSENSE
Sat 9/18/2010
DISCFLAVORFLAV
ELLAIAMAMERICA
FLORSPICEGIRLS
SWEETDEALTAUT
MELBASEAT
IRONLUNGTRAMPS
PATYMCASSTRUT
ASIAPELEGASTO
STOUTSANERPTL
SANTASSTTERESA
OPAHIONIA
NAOHLATELUNCH
INLALALANDSOAP
BADROMANCEECHO
STEPSISTERSKAT
Fri 4/30/2010
ABBASAGETECHO
CALCPRADOQUAD
TRUEDAILYDOUBLE
THESUNALSORISES
WOPCONLAP
OPRAHEMAILOCT
PITYUPSSTORE
DINOBESETINON
ANTIGONESNAP
MGSLOADSPOOCH
OAKEKENIA
THEGREENLANTERN
HIDDENBALLTRICK
URGEDONEEELLE
SEENSNARLNLER
Fri 1/22/2010
WATERLILIESDOE
ABRACADABRAOPS
THECATSMEOWNAP
TOSHASTIITALY
SRSCAYCNOTE
ERNBAALESH
SPELUNKERDELCO
OODLESOFNOODLES
FRUITFOOTLOOSE
ATCOSIGRES
FATHAPODIVS
SOTTOVOCERHEA
ALIGENERATIONX
MIOAMERICANPIE
EONNEDFLANDERS
Sat 10/10/2009
ABETSWORDGAME
VISINEHOOLIGAN
ICONICIMMINENT
DATTROPPONOR
MEACULPAMETRE
PERCHDELTAS
ERIKPIROUETTE
ZACPARSONSALP
LAYITONMEPLIE
UNSNAPSALON
MARKSSPAMALOT
ORANIPSATRNS
BONAFIDENOIDEA
IMAGONERSUREST
LATEPASSTERSE
Mon 4/13/2009
MYSTCASTSPAM
ROTOROBEYERGO
BURMARACKETEER
URIIMPEXTENT
RECKLESSCONDO
NITETECHIESAN
STEVEHALLS
RICKROLLING
NOOILNOELS
HAMCOBALTBRET
ARUBAROCKSTAR
ROSARYOUIRKO
RUCKSACKSSQUAB
ISLEWHEESEDGE
SEERSIGNDEES
Fri 12/19/2008
BIRDBRAINXTRA
IMAREALBOYROAR
GUITARHEROASIA
DSLREITERATING
TARRAIRERS
JACOBTALCED
AFOULMLKMONO
GRACEMAYBORAT
ROTHRATAVERT
STEREODISCO
OCCULTROLE
AZERBAIJANIAPE
ROSEINUNDATION
ANTEDIDGERIDOO
BEANSEESSTARS
Fri 9/12/2008
PASODOBLEGRUB
ISTHISLOVEAHSO
CHOCOHOLICZEES
TYPOKOALABEARS
MOODDRUB
AMENSGOTLOOSE
SWOOSHREELPES
HAUNTCARHBEAM
ORRROOMPOODLE
DENTISTSAROSE
SKITSING
QUAKEROATSAPSE
TNUTINLALALAND
IDESSTEVEDORED
PORKOKEYDOKEY
Sat 8/23/2008
PLASTICINEIRAQ
HAVEANIDEAVERB
OBITUARIESYAMS
BOATSCODESSON
ORTODUMBLEDORE
SSETOIESTONIA
RITETWEAK
SAMITSLATERLS
LIRASSURE
ARMLETSTISJAM
SWITCHEROOLOCO
HOYTENAMSOLOS
EMAGWHYAMIHERE
RAGEHOOTENANNY
SNITORNATENESS
Fri 5/30/2008
RIGMAROLEJERK
OLEICACIDPIXIE
BEESKNEESAMONG
ERSREADESINKS
COENLETHE
STAYSATLEERAT
STANDURALNAPE
LOKISTYNEDTEN
ANETASTAFREED
TETRADOBELISK
HYPERORYX
NTESTISLESFAA
ERROLCHICOMARX
SEAMYCESTLAVIE
TYPEIAMSODEAD
Sat 2/2/2008
ADEROLOCORNER
DJSELONAREOLA
ZIPPIESTJESTER
BRINGTOJUSTICE
POETSOPENAMTS
RUSTANONNTEST
OTSREFEREE
MIORESTSONSTU
PASCHALTIS
ABRAMOEILMARE
DEADROWSFIRED
VENTRILOQUISTS
ITCHESRUNFORIT
SLOANELOOTEAR
EERIERDISHKSU
Sun 1/20/2008 TRIANGULATION
MADMISCAMBODISCTU
ARABASADROANASAMAN
MINECATDMOUSESUDOKU
ESTATESREDEEMSPIKES
TEETHGILDIDIERA
SNERAVILININGARE
IMFINEDESMONDBLAMES
SEEKERSSYNSOONEST
ISRTUTBADGEALBERTA
TONNATEATMIDDAY
INONERESTROOMSLETCH
OLIVEOYLNAANWEE
RIBCAGETRIGOCITODE
IDEATEDONAKNEEPAD
COLLETHANGMANTAXERS
ENLSIMONEBMIHAHA
TIATROTLOXCASOS
ACCTSSPITZERSITUATE
MAITAIEQUIDISTTSPEX
ORTEGARUNTSIZETORE
KEYNESSEASTRAMDOS
Tue 7/17/2007
RICNADIASILL
ENOWISINGASEA
CASABLANCAXRAY
INTRAATTADS
TEAMMATEHOPER
ERSTNASANALOG
OCTETSSMILE
CARHIBACHISEE
IRENEOTOOLE
ATDAWNERRMAIL
OSHEASEAHORSE
KFCDIXATEIN
AWAYATBOTHENDS
RAREDRONEDARE
TRESSAXONSOS