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37 puzzles by Will Nediger
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
375/27/20064/11/20216
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
16027219
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.77133
Will Nediger
Sun 4/11/2021MERGER MANIA
CIRCEABRAMOBJECTORS
UBERXHUEVOBEAVERHAT
LIFECOACHESINBALANCE
DETERSYRUPTONEPOEM
RELAYDYLANUSS
UKETEARNOOKTIBIA
SINGLESBARSDRIVENUTS
UNDEADATEAMBEELIST
ADULTSCEPTERSSTELMO
LAMEMMAISOSPUTTER
TROUBLESHOOTERS
MIGRANTOAFPARMTSP
AQUILADOCILITYOPINE
SUITCHEHEIDIMIAMOR
TIDEPOOLSSPAMFILTERS
STORETIEDBAILCEE
ALEARROWBLAIR
BARESALLSIZEDENNUI
ANIMATIONPOLOGROUNDS
GETINHEREUNLITDICES
SWELTEREDPESTOETHAN

I didn't fully understand the theme until I read Will Nediger's notes. I'm glad that he had a formula, because my first impression was that the products were a mish-mash, too loosely related to their companies. Even knowing the rationale now, though, I'm not sure I buy it. Why a (specific brand) + (generic product)? Why not (specific product) + (specific product)?

Some of them were such a stretch that I couldn't suspend disbelief. Starbucks product is GROUNDS? Photographers buy SHOOTERS? I suppose people going to Greyhound's web site might book COACHES instead of buses.

Theme qualms aside, Will is such a strong grid technician, and Dick did some fine work filling the skeleton. The upper right and lower left are particularly tough — triple-stacks of 9s are doable, but quads are so tough that I almost always try to break them up. OBJECTORS / BEAVER HAT / IN BALANCE / TONE POEM is excellent work.

I used to watch "The Daily Show" daily but still couldn remember how to spell JABOUKIE (JABOOKIE keeps sticking in my head). Excellent work making sure the crosses were unambiguous.

A handful of strong clues helped keep my attention, too. Clever clues can make your long marquee fill even spicier. HOTELIER is already a nice entry, but playing on the "in crowd" makes it more memorable.

(The BAGS clue refers to a "Birkin bag." Not a surprise that this sweatpants wearer hadn't heard of it.)

"Corporate mergers" feels like it has a lot of potential as a theme concept. I wish there were more oomph or a stronger a-ha with this implementation.

Wed 3/10/2021
MOSSMICSBIGIF
ETTUECHOAROSE
NORMAKINLITHE
TOOMANYCOOKS
ALKALIMESHUGA
LEEONEBADAPPLE
SEGERTUDOR
WASPSKIFFBOBO
ALLOWDALIS
SPARETHERODSEW
HOTTAKEOEUVRE
SPOILERALERT
JUMBOFILMCLAN
ASIANEMMAETTA
YEARSRESTREAP

I say, "I'm probably overthinking this, but …" so often that I'm surprised it's not a meme. Jim Horne and I chat every week by phone, and I can always see him sitting up and rubbing his hands together every time I utter those five magical words. This week:

JIM: What confused you?

JEFF: It's probably clever, a SPOILER ALERT. But aren't the TOO MANY COOKS the spoilers? So they've already been spoiled?

JIM: No, the word SPOIL is what comes next in each saying. The very next word. Thus, a SPOILER ALERT is perfect; such devilish wordplay.

JEFF: But in that case, it should be SPOIL ALERT. It doesn't make sense as—

JIM: (hysterical laughter)

Once I solved SPARE THE ROD, I had that vague sense of unease that I would receive a flood of irate emails. I appreciate that Will Nediger acknowledged this landmine. I don't know that it's considered universally harmful and wrong, though — there are people with strong opinions on both sides.

Fantastic grid, amazing extras in IRISH PUBS / SPORTS BAR (although I wondered if there was a secondary theme in here), HOT TAKE, and fun mid-lengthers like OEUVRE and SVELTE.

I botched MESHUGA, guessing MESHUSA (sounded like Methuselah? Wasn't he a little crazy?), but that's the clue's fault, not the grid's, since both SLOB and GLOB aptly rhyme with "blob."

There's a fine line between clever and stupid, and this puzzle falls well toward the side of clever, with me heading the other way. It's such a great concept and presentation (once you stop overthinking it), but a shame that SPARE THE ROD is a lightning rod of controversy.

Sat 2/13/2021
ANGSTYHUESPAT
RESTAURANTKERR
BLUESMUSICINTO
OLIVEMOTHSUFO
RITELIVEHAMUP
SEEZINEGOBBLE
BIZARROWORLD
SNAPATONEDAY
PEERPRESSURE
LARDEDLETSCPR
ARDORSUMSCARE
TOPSUNRACASED
OURSREPROACHES
OTOHGEEYATHINK
NEMOERETEENSY

I'm a slow but steady Saturday solver. Once in a while, though, lightning strikes, and I get on a bizarro world thrill ride, humming along on a constructor's wavelength at the speed of Quicksilver. I had a feeling that that dictionary-esque clue [Metaphorical setting in which everything is inverted …] had to be BIZARRO WORLD, and all of a sudden, I had tapped into the Speed Force.

Then, a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen clue? Plop in NEMO!

[Visual effect from a partial eclipse] didn't immediately lift its veiled shadow, but considering Mr. PENUMBRA's 24-hour Bookstore is one of my favorites, it took only 24 seconds to get that.

Sometimes it pays to be a nerd.

I don't know that I'd strive to seed a themeless with BIZARRO WORLD since if you'd never encountered the phrase, you'd likely think it's bizarre. But for us, the Sir Dork-a-lots of the icosahedral table, a quest into BIZARRO WORLD is just what Anorak ordered.

If it didn't totally make sense, I'm currently reading Ready Player Two, which (sadly) makes even less sense.

One standout clue today, [Holiday production?]. I had MUSIC filled in, but I could not make CHRISTMAS or YULE or MULE (don't ask) work. Brilliant way to hide (Billie) Holiday. I wondered afterward if "blues music" was a great phrase or not — "I listened to some blues music" is much more bizarro than "I listened to some blues" — but that clue was so strong that I swept my qualms aside.

I appreciate how meticulous Will is with his craftsmanship, never allowing even a dab of crossword glue. (Maybe you could slightly ding ERE). I would have liked a bit more out of the long slots, though — RESTAURANT (yes, great clue, but a boring entry), REPROACHES, ROSEMARY, SHOWERS, TROOPED not doing much more than take up space. Give me a bit more juice in exchange for glue on par with ERE, and I'd put this in POW! territory.

Wed 12/2/2020
OMENSTOADLGBT
HAYAOHAVEIRAN
SKETCHESOFSPAIN
NEWKEWWONOUT
AMEXRAFAELMID
PEAGRAVELMANO
RAILEDWRONGS
MEDSIRIS
EXCELSGRINDR
CFOSZEITGEIST
OILSHEESHFOCI
NOSOAPHERTEE
RIGHTTHISSECOND
ETNAHYDEFRUIT
DYEDARIASYSCO

Synonyms for "outside layer of FRUIT" found literally on the outsides of theme answers. It's not exciting, but it's a nice representation of SK___IN, PE___EL, ZE___ST, RI___ND.

What was exciting: Will's execution. What a beautiful grid, filled with so many snazzy answers that it could have been a themeless. ZEITGEIST is great, crossing ZEPHYR, then RIGHT THIS SECOND? Thank you, I definitely will have seconds! Toss in some Xs in XFINITY and X GAMES, match THE WAVES with IRISH SEA, and put a curvy black diagonal through the middle of the puzzle = great work.

So smooth, too. Will knows how to walk that fine line between audacious (read: gloopy short fill) and conservative (read: boring).

Ultimately, it was still a "words hidden at the ends of phrases" puzzle, and the fact that the "outside words" were literally things found on FRUIT outsides wasn't enough to excite me. I did appreciate realizing that there are curiously four different words to describe the outside of FRUIT. There's a difference between PEEL, RIND, and ZEST? Who knew?

The puzzle sure got me thinking, though, which is a rare occurrence, wondering what else could you do with this theme. How about a big circle made of black squares in the center of the grid, with the themers running through it — most of each themer, that is, except for the SK/IN outsides, which would sit outside that black circle!

Maybe that specific implementation would be too complicated. Still, something in that vein, hitting both wordplay and visual element notes, would have distinguished this puzzle more from its tried and true "outsides of themers" genre.

Thu 8/27/2020
HIJABBASKSCAT
AMOURUCLAHATH
TALKINGOUTECHO
EMTDOORMENHEN
BARONEKING
IMPELIOWANS
MIENWHADDAYNOW
INNFEARNOTAHA
NINJARRIORITIS
SEABEEPREOP
PEPSIALPHA
ERAOATMEALALE
PISACHATTERBOX
PETSMESAGOUGE
ASAPEASTMOTES

The best rebuses have a beautiful raison d'etre, something that perfectly explains why the solver should shove a bunch of letters into a single box. CHATTERBOX is as good as any, although the BOX notion is becoming overdone. It's a common rebus rationale, HAT BOX coming to mind immediately.

As a huge NINJA WARRIOR fanboy — I think I could get about 12 rungs up the Super Salmon ladder — seeing that entry tickled me.

And how meta was it to get GAB within TALKING ABOUT! I usually don't care for "add-a-preposition" phrases, but the self-referentialism here was worthwhile.

I usually love casual, conversational phrases, so WHADDYA KNOW should be my favorite of the three themers. I paused, though, as it strikes me as potentially unfair to plunk a rebus square in the middle of a phrase that can be spelled in many ways.

I have to disagree with Will on CACHINNATE. It's such a bizarre word (and spelling) that I couldn't believe it was correct, even knowing all the crossings were so easy that it had to be. The best crosswords generate a victorious fist-pumping moment for solvers, and this did the opposite, leaving me a bit puzzled and feeling stupid.

I begrudgingly admit that it's beneficial to learn new things, but don't force me to learn when I don't want to.

Similarly, I got stuck in the lower right, in a corner that felt hard for hardness's sake. LOGE is tough enough, MOTES staying so maddeningly generic with the clue, and even as a beer drinker, [Cream ___] = ALE wasn't anywhere the top of mind.

Overall, a reasonable rebus concept and strong technical execution — no junky short entries at all! — but ultimately, the subjective constructing and editorial decisions made for a less-than-ideal solving experience.

Sun 3/15/2020READY, SET ... GETS LOW!
ABBAICUSCADSAPCALC
DEEDFOPOAKENHOORAH
ALLHAILHALLALEARMANI
GLIDELIBELGAGKANYE
EYEITALORAKEDCAF
BOOBLURREDBLUEBIRD
DEPAULTEAPOYBRANDO
IMANICEIMOELITISM
SONERVOUSNOSERVICE
UTEDENCHNEMEANAXES
SERRACHANDENSHUEVO
ESAUWARREDNOIREDEW
STEVEDOREDIVASTORE
SALTINEPATREDOUST
AGEISTAGENTSIDOTOO
DUTCHTOWNTOUCHDOWN
TIMOREOSRAISESPF
ALEUTRECSTONYEMCEE
LETTERBCHORDKEYBOARD
ERRATAIHOPEIREONCE
SAYHEYTIPSYESPSTYX

Ah, our good crossworld friend, the Reverend Spooner. He stops by the NYT crossword frequently, and I'm sure this won't be the last we've seen of him. Whether it be switching starts of words in a phrase, starts of syllables, playing on famous people, etc. … he works in mysterious ways.

Speaking of mysterious, the title was originally "READY SET … GET SLOW!", and it confused the heck out of both Jim Horne and me. I pretended like I knew what was going on, smiling knowingly at Jim while saying that it would be a good exercise for him to explain it to me.

When we finally worked up the courage to ask Will Shortz what it meant, Will admitted that it was supposed to be GETS LOW, a spoonerism for "let's go." Ah! See, I'm not as stupid as I look. Or sound. Or smell.

It's been changed for the digital files. Sometimes the print version doesn't get updated in time. Fingers crossed!

I enjoyed many of these finds, STEVEDORE to DIVA STORE a gold-medalist. It doesn't make any sense to have a STEVEDORE DIVA STORE, but I'm willing to overlook that to enjoy the interesting discovery. The spelling change is so dramatic.

I didn't get a lot of laughs from the themers. You can sort of imagine a birdwatcher saying BOO BLURRED BLUE BIRD, but it's more of a tongue-twister than a smile-inducer.

I would have preferred presenting just the spoonerism, i.e. DIVA STORE as the grid entry, with its clue containing "stevedore." DIVA STORE is crazy enough. STEVEDORE DIVA STORE is bonkers, to the point of making for a frustrating solve.

All in all though, technically strong gridwork, and there were some gems that would have made the good reverend proud.

Sun 1/5/2020STRESSED OUT
LARDSSWAGFROGSNASA
AFOOTAIDEIONIAOPEC
PROJECTGUTENBERGHOAR
SOSORRYTVSALEESSO
ESTEARACHEERSALTON
DOGPRESENTCOMPANY
URGESUPONYOHOHOTAM
PERFECTSCORESUNREELS
SHEATHEDIFSTOOL
HEATERICDUMAULTRA
OASPRODUCELABELSHER
TRYTOEROSGENESEAR
WOLFSHOPANATOLE
MAHALIACONTRACTTERMS
ARETENSORCOLTTRYST
DISCOUNTSTORESEEN
ESSAYERADUGOUTSPSA
ATITADAPOITATTLES
BIASCONVERSEALLSTARS
EDNATUGONERIETONGA
TESTSTEWSRELYOPTED

It's a shame that this one comes so close on the heels of another stress-change puzzle. I enjoyed Will Nediger's today, although it didn't feel as creative since there are tons of lists out there containing dozens, if not hundreds of words whose meanings change with a shift in stress. I appreciated Will's effort to tighten the theme, but I'm afraid I missed every layer he described. Hopefully other solvers will be more astute.

There's also the ground-breaking stress-change puzzle from 2010 that was so brilliant. The best puzzles take ideas from disparate areas and combine them in fascinating ways. Stress change + entry duplication = memorable.

A few weeks ago, Evan Birnholz wrote to me, offended (rightly so) by an offhand remark I made about high word counts leading to "crapfest" puzzles. I was surprised since I wasn't at all talking about his Washington Post Sunday Puzzle — I'm a great admirer of Evan's themes and gridwork, which often outshine the NYT's Sunday puzzles these days. He made a great point, that he usually goes up to 144 words in his grids, and no one's ever complained to him about word count.

That doesn't mean that word count is irrelevant, though. Take the notion to the extreme, for example. If you made a Sunday puzzle with 200 words, it'd be chock-full of nothing but short entries, and it really would resemble the crapfest you see in your local small-town paper.

And look at today's 140-word grid — Will did a fantastic job of adding a ton of color. The NE corner is beautiful, for example, APOSTATE / SEASONAL / ACRONYMS so fun. Many constructors would be happy to break up ACRONYMS to make filling easier, going up from 140 to 142 words, and I wouldn't want that.

Is 140 or 144 words is a better target? The short answer is that I don't have the answer. If you can fill with enough color at 144 words (which Evan and few other constructors can do), then I say go for it. But if you can fill with color AND cleanly at 140 words (like Will and even fewer other constructors), I'd always opt for that. I enjoy having biggish areas like today's NE, which 140-word puzzles are better at allowing for.

Sun 8/4/2019CONSTANT CONSONANTS
HANGSCLEANSTEEPEST
CAGIERHOUSEORDNANCE
BRONTOSAURUSBUDDYCOP
GLUTSTRIOAREAONE
BETHLOISACRIDSPREE
MISQUOTESMOSQUITOES
UGLYAPTUPTOP
ARIOSILEAVEPREAMP
FRONTIERFURNITURESAL
IMAFANELDESTFORSALE
LOREAPUADOCUBA
MISREADFROLLOALINES
ERASCARFACESACRIFICE
DETACHASKTOHABITS
POESYIANAIME
OVERSELLSVERSAILLES
TWIXTTITHEASPSEXPO
REDPLODFREETAPIR
ASISEEITBRAINTEASERS
STOUTESTMOUNTSTEREO
HOTLANTAWINGSCASTS

A couple of weeks ago, Matt Gaffney and I were talking shop, and Will Nediger's name came up. When it comes to pure construction chops, Will is in both of our top ten lists. That's saying a lot, when it comes from the mouth of one of the best constructors on the planet!

(Matt, not me, of course.)

Even the best get sucked in by the allure of a construction challenge. Will is one of the few constructors out there for whom a Sunday 140-word puzzle is no problem. So when I encountered COTANS. STORER. AS A UNIT. FROLLO? I had a sense for what happened. Then all the padding in ROARS AT, LUGS IN, ASK TO, OWES TO, TRUED UP confirmed it; I was certain this was a sub-140.

Will had come to the Dark Side. My guess was 136 words.

It's to Will's credit that the grid turns out to be a 132-worder. It's still not as smooth as someone with Will's abilities ought to produce, though. The technician in me admires the job he did with a 132-worder, exceeding my expectations for that immense level of construction difficulty.

The solver in me says (yet again), please give me a smooth and colorful grid. Please. I'm begging you.

The theme concept reminded me of another puzzle playing upon pairs of words containing the same consonant set. I liked that one better, as the finds felt harder to achieve, given that the consonants had to be in the exact same place within the entries. This one, requiring the same sequence but any place within the word, wasn't as elegant.

I like word oddities. I didn't get a laugh out of the themers though, so this concept felt like more of a curiosity than a delight.

Wed 6/12/2019
WARMINDEBTOLD
ASEANAIVERCEO
THELADYVANISHES
TELEVISEPARKA
NORAPROFESS
RUNAWAYBRIDE
ATOMSLOGSPDA
GATEJEEPSCLAM
SHEAIMSCRUDE
INVISIBLEMAN
VERMEERSLAV
AXIOMPRURIENT
LACKOFCHARACTER
ICENAPIERECRU
DTSEXALLYSHOE

I spent some time thinking about what other movies might fit a LACK OF CHARACTER theme — nothing came to mind. Tight theme.

(Now I'm bracing for the slew of obscure movies readers throw at me.)

Speaking of obscure, I wasn't aware of THE LADY VANISHES. I've seen a lot of Hitchcock films. Considering how high THE LADY VANISHES appears on many Hitchcock ranking lists, it looks like I need to shore up my knowledge base.

Editors often prize multi-word fill, as it tends to be more colorful than single-worders. VERMEER is awfully colorful, though. PRURIENT is an interesting word, CREVICES as well.

Most constructors stay away from six-letter widths at the edges of puzzles because they tend to be much harder to fill cleanly than five or four-letter widths. Take a gander at the top of the grid: IN DEBT is a strong headliner, but NAIVER hit my ear wrong. The south further confounded me when I was sure that John NAVIER of the Navier-Stokes equations was correct.

Apparently, that was Claude-Louis Navier and John NAPIER.

Excuse me while I go turn in my mechanical engineering card with shame.

Along with EX-ALLY making me tilt my head, and MALE NAME not sounding quite right (although after some thought, it felt fine ... ish), it wasn't the best grid product I've seen, especially given how strong Will is at construction.

The theme worked well enough, although it provided more of a head-nodding moment than a delightful a-ha.

Sun 4/14/2019LEFT/RIGHT SYMMETRY
GASPMEDAYCHAIMECIG
ODIEOXIDEBUTNODANO
TATALANDSSMEARABIT
OPUSACESSOFAMOTO
PTASSTSADSFUSSTIP
LETPSASPECSNSACAR
EDIFIESPINUPKEYNOTE
STOATSWINSBIGSIEVES
SONJADANGANNADEEDS
ITSODDDADBOD
SCATTESLAARTIETKOS
KATANASYUMMYONPOINT
ODEANTINIAISISSTU
SEABEDNETIZENGIBSON
HTMLINCASEXCONRYES
ANNALSARNICA
SPACYPETSSMEESCOWS
TANKUPMAWTIMAIKMAN
ASTIOBESEONENDIAGO
THISGENIEKENYASHOO
EACHONTAPESTESHAND

Back in 2016, I built a 15x15 puzzle using the exact same L/R idea, except with better pairs. Will (Shortz) quickly accepted it in early 2017.

It had been sitting in the queue until a few weeks ago when he sent me a message: Will (Nediger) had recently submitted a Sunday 21x21 version that they couldn't say no to, so they were going to pay me $300 to kill mine. (Normal print fee is $750.)

I was irate at first — what kind of messed up business practice is that?

But then I thought about it from Will (Shortz)'s perspective. Last time he gave an inventory count, he only had 4 Sundays on file. (For other days of the week, he had about 30-50.) That's shockingly low — especially considering that the Sunday puzzle is the NYT's flagship puzzle.

So I figured it'd be better to let it drop. In the long run, I enjoy having puzzles in the NYT. I reasoned that Will and Joel might give me enhanced consideration in accepting future submissions, given today's bitter pill.

Back to the puzzle. When I created my version, I had three things in mind:

  1. I wanted long entries, with multiple L/R replacements. I found hundreds of pairs where there was only one L/R difference, so that felt too easy.
  2. The concept would get too repetitive over a 21x21, so a 15x15 was 100% the way to go.
  3. Pairs had to be clueable as opposites — that's essential to the "mirror" concept. (I'm an identical twin — the evil one, of course.)

One example: COLONELS [Ones at the start of wars] and CORONERS [Ones at the end of wars].

I ended up also using MOLASSES and MORASSES (my only pair with a single L/R difference), but I clued them as [Causes of some good sticky situations] and [Causes of some bad sticky situations]. Much more interesting than today's clues.

I do like one of Will (Nediger)'s pairs a lot: GO TOPLESS and GO TO PRESS features a fun parsing difference. The rest didn't do much for me.

And I did appreciate the gridwork challenge. I had a hard time working with a 15x15 using no other Ls or Rs in the grid. Big kudos to Will (Nediger) for his smooth fill today.

My puzzle recently got accepted by the WSJ, if you want to compare and contrast.

I've worked in corporate America for a long time. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that it's just business, nothing personal.

Thu 3/14/2019
LAIDAWAYBARCAR
ALTEREGOEXHALE
MAINMENUSEEFIT
ASSEDITSEAR
SHOWINGUSSY
LAPTOPDUKES
ACHEBEWRITAMP
CHEWONTEMONGER
YEWBLOCONAUTO
SAYAHNINEAM
SHRUGDESOTO
HOODMYTHMAD
IMGONEJARLOOSE
PEEKINOLDLATIN
SYRUPSBLACKHAT

The villainous BLACK HAT played upon; HAT implied in the central square (see below for images / fixed-up entries). Four sizzling phrases hid that HAT in confounding ways — YOU DID WHAT, HATE MONGER, HATCHET JOB. CHEW ON THAT! Note how HAT was never alone, like in HAT HEAD or COWBOY HAT. Great work picking themers.

Solid gridwork, too. Not a surprise, given that Will Nediger is one of the best in the business. With only four shortish themers, I'd fully expect a ton of great long fill. ALTER EGO, BAR CAR, HOBO BAG, GET ON IT, OLD LATIN — not disappointed!

I wasn't keen on the grid segmentation, though. I got trapped during my solve in the SW, then again in the SE, then a third time in the NE. So frustrating to dead-end multiple times. It's tough to avoid grid segmentation in a theme layout like this, but I'd have taken lesser sizzling fill in exchange for more grid feng shui. Think about how much more open the grid would have felt without the block between IT IS and PHEW, for example.

The puzzle conceit would have felt more deliberate if the HAT square had been the lone black square not touching any others. As it was, I wondered, why that square? Just because? A bit too random.

That train of thought led to another puzzle, with much more of a BLACK HAT. That would have been exceptional for use in today's! It may not have been possible to have every answer running into the HAT be thematic, but I'd have been okay if it had been just a subset.

"Words or letters in black squares" have been tapped for thematic material enough that Jim wrote a script to help automate the fixup process. One from just a couple of months ago came to my mind immediately. Since this is getting to be an old idea, it'd be helpful if Will (Shortz, not Nediger) spaced them out further going forward.

But aside from dead-ending a couple of times, I enjoyed the solve, enough of a trick to make all the hard work worth it. Strong debut.

Wed 2/27/2019
PROBEHAHASCAM
ROUENEGADCUBA
OOZEDRANSCARED
FOREWORDAMBLE
NAANPERP
AUGURYDICTION
SPOTSBACHSCAP
APTSPINKOPUMA
PETSERTSSELIG
DICTATESCRIBE
OATHSOAK
EARLYMATURELY
GLASSWAREADAMS
GOGOORCABUICK
STUNOKOKSPRAY

Neat theme — FOREWORD is just before AMBLE in the grid. You might even say PRE-AMBLE. And a PREAMBLE is a FOREWORD!

AUGURY comes right before DICTION in the clue list. AUGURY = (PRE)DICTION.

DICTATE = (PRE)SCRIBE. (Prescribe can mean "dictate"? Apparently yes, as in "state authoritatively or as a rule.")

EARLY = (PRE)MATURELY.

Four solid examples. It reminded me of Matt Gaffney's excellent metapuzzle in the WSJ, which used a similar concept in a pleasing range of ways.

Will's gridwork is so solid. It's tough working with four paired themers since each one immediately forces two black square placements (one in between pairs, and one at the end of a row). That might not sound like much, but in grid design, flexibility is the name of the game.

I imagine Will switched the order of his four themers many times (and shifted them left-to-right / right-to-left) to find a layout that tested well. The craftsmanship shows, nary a gluey bit to be seen (some say AGAR is subpar, but I think it's fine). To get some BEER NUTS, HANDPICKS, RAN SCARED, GLASSWARE is the cherry on top.

This one garnered POW! consideration. If it hadn't been for Matt's masterful puzzle, as well as another related NYT puzzle from only a few months ago, it could have been a winner.

Sat 11/10/2018
STRIPPERSWARES
THEMOLDAUABOVE
YOGAPANTSTIMID
LUNAHOTDATE
OCTILEAIRLINER
FLUVIRUSNENE
FIRESRICOGMCS
ANNMAGNETOPIP
LEESREIDBSIDE
RIDENEWSCREW
AGERANGEWOOERS
COSPLAYWELT
TOQUEOPERETTAS
USURYZAPATISTA
PEERSALTWEEKLY

Ha, SEED ENTRY would have been hilarious as a seed entry! I'm not sure it's a solid enough phrase (outside of our little constructing community) though, so I'm glad that Will replaced it.

A toughie right off the bat in THE MOLDAU. I played in orchestras for 20+ years, so I was able to plunk it in immediately (with no crosses!), but I doubt many others will have that experience. I imagine YOGA PANTS will be much more relatable to a bigger number of people — especially if you live in Seattle, where it seems that most women have wardrobes composed solely of YOGA PANTS, all the way from dressy to casual!

Seriously though, there's a weird obsession with YOGA PANTS here.

Will injected a ton of fresh-feeling entries, COSPLAY, WWE RAW, FLU VIRUS, GYOZA (Japanese pot stickers, yum!) and SIR PURR my favorite. I don't know how many people will know SIR PURR, but come on, what a hilarious name for a mascot! Along with the "rhyming" hint in the clue, it ought to at least be gettable if you didn't already know it.

The level of freshosity was high enough that it began to feel like too much, though. There's something so classic and relatable about an entry like ROMAN EMPIRE. Not so much WWE RAW. I love the latter (I admit, I was a huge fan of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan as a kid), but I wonder if too much that's too new will turn some solvers off?

ZAPATISTA: classic, right out of history books!

TURNERESQUE … I can hear the sound of heads being scratched. "Ted Turner is a painter?" I wondered. Ha ha ha, I didn't really think that!

Okay, maybe I did. It's … hmm. Maybe Joseph Mallord William Turner?

Probably not Nat Turner.

Lana Turner was an artist, wasn't she?

Excellent craftsmanship, as I've come to expect out of Will, hardly a dab of crossword glue in sight. Great voice and color, too, although I wondered if it was more appropriate for an ALT WEEKLY instead of the NYT.

Sun 7/29/2018THREE IN ONE
WARTPSASDAWGSFROCK
AREARENEILIACDONOR
IMAMEXTERNALLYALAMO
LADENYOINKDULLESPN
NYSETINAARMLETALE
MISTAKINGPROPAGANDA
USERIMEWOOSHALANIS
MUTABLEDEMMEITEMONE
PIGPENJUDEAANISETTE
STORESOFTGDINODESK
REINFORCEMENT
ACTVPREYALTARHARDR
PRAIRIESSNOOTGALORE
BOBCATSTHANXFATIMAS
SPLASHBRUTELASSAMI
PERPETRATEMANHATTAN
DIDSTRIVEWANDLOOM
INHDSATEGOTTALOMAN
AGORADISCONTENTBAJA
LUTESESTERERGOATON
SPEWSSHYLYSNOWDORA

Word breakups, single words parsed kookily into three-word phrases. I laughed at PROPAGANDA changed to PRO PAGAN DA — made me wonder why I'd never seen that before. Same goes for PERPETRATE into PER PET RATE and MANHATTAN to MAN HAT TAN. Those are great discoveries!

Some of the others didn't do as much for me, like REINFORCEMENT to REIN FOR CEMENT. It's interesting that it breaks so neatly into three common words, but the resulting phrase is too nonsensical for my taste, and it doesn't bring up any funny images.

Will has such strong gridwork that I didn't even notice that he went down to 136 words. He's one of the (very, very, very) few people I'd issue a sub-140 license. Such a clean and smooth grid, filled with juicy bits like ARMANI SUIT, NEAR BEER, WILD ROSE, READY SET GO. Now that's some SEXY TIME! (said in a Borat accent, of course)

I didn't enjoy the solve as much as I would have hoped, though. I pondered this oddity for a few hours and couldn't figure it out. I asked Jim why this might be, and one of his thoughts was that it was a difficult puzzle to solve overall, without a lot of wordplay clues.

As usual, Jim was spot-on. I would have loved a handful of wickedly clever clues to spice up the solve. I enjoyed the reference of FANDANGO in "Bohemian Rhapsody," but it felt like for 99% of the clues, I was grinding through an SAT exam. As good as Will is with his gridwork — no GALUMPHing or ending ON A SAD NOTE to his craftsmanship! — I'd like to see more effort placed into working toward Waldean clue-writing skills.

Overall, a fun idea, with perfect consistency of always breaking a single word into three. If there had been a title that was more clever than workmanlike (not sure what that would be, admittedly — any ideas?), and a lot more fun in the cluing, it could have made POW! consideration.

Sun 5/20/2018RHYMES, SCHMYMES
BUGBITEIGLOOTIPSTER
AFRICANBROODIMALIVE
BOOZESCHMOOZEAPPAREL
ASKPERUUKECREAMERY
BOSOMTOOAAA
TAGUPAOLNUTSSCHMUTZ
IGORSCREWTETHEINIE
DEERSCHMEARARTEFACTS
YESSIREEVEEAIDMOLT
RODDESPITEHIRES
MACEDNOSCHMOMUSKS
BOGUSTECHIESWIM
ARABDEWINSSIXPACKS
RESIDENCEDUCKSCHMUCK
BASSOSOLESPIEDEBAY
QUITSCHMIDTABCSNARE
HOEAHIARMED
BASEPAIRMENGAYEBUC
OUTRUNSHALTSSCHMALTZ
SNIGLETAMOREKATRINA
STROLLSDETOXSTOPPER

There's something so amusing about the sch- rhyming dismissal. I'd love to know who first came up with it.

I liked Will's take on a rhyming theme. Straight rhymes have been so overdone that they're not viable in crosswords anymore, but this concept has an extra level. HALTS SCHMALTZ made me laugh the most, sort of a "buck up and stop crying!" concept.

DUCK SCHMUCK made me pause. Rich Norris at the LAT once told me he'd never use SCHMUCK in a crossword because it's a dirty word in Yiddish (for penis). I wonder if the NYT will get complaints.

My bigger problem was that all six themers were too easy to uncover. I filled in five of the six without needing a single crossing answer. The concept is too straightforward. Sundays are supposed to make you work at least a little bit to achieve the a-ha moment. This one was over shortly after I began.

(Some people have pointed out there are seven themers, including NO SCHMO. But doesn't seem like a real themer to me, as it's a real phrase. As in, "he's no schmo.")

I thought Will had a funny idea here, but it would have been much better suited for an early-week puzzle. With just six themers, it would have been easy to pare off one or two and put them into a 15x grid.

Solid gridwork. I liked some of the bonuses Will added in, SIX PACKS, BASE PAIR, HUMOR ME, WISECRACKS, in particular.

Better yet, Will's such a strong constructor that I struggled to find even a dab of crossword glue. All I could turn up was UKE. That's an amazing task for a Sunday 140-word puzzle, a true mark of top-notch construction skills.

Unfortunately, strong gridwork doesn't make up for a theme that doesn't have much meat to it.

Sun 2/25/2018LETTER RECYCLING
FIFESWATSMAKESCAB
ERRORKEYUPIRATEOXO
GEORGIANERAKESHABIG
BENTONTSKNATHANHALE
EBAYMUSHWADEINELLY
RIGPISTACHIOSAORTAS
TEEODEAHALFLUB
PTAGRATEKILTJEW
WASSAILENIDORESASH
EYESTRAINFIGMENTRCA
RECTOCHERTUBAASFOR
EARCDTOWERSURFNTURF
OYEHEAPCOLTMODELTS
NETITISADIOSRIM
SPEDNEEOVENSLR
ACCESSASTOUNDINGCUE
DOURTOPTENIAMSTHRU
DADBLASTEDBCCICEMEN
OCDIBSENCREAMCHEESE
NHLALISTHENNAANAIS
SKYMEETSIDESTDARN

NATHAN HALE made up of the letters within ETHAN ALLEN? How cool! And ASTOUNDING made up of the letters within OUTSTANDING? These findings aren't as cool as direct anagrams — much more flexibility when you can use more or fewer instances of the letters however you want — but still, DADBLASTED made up out of the letters within DETESTABLE was pretty awesome.

Not as much a fan of PISTACHIOS / POTATO CHIPS. Okay, they're both snack foods. But that's a pretty gigantic category. Certainly not as tight as "Revolutionary war heroes" or direct synonyms.

GEORGIAN ERA and IRON AGE, too. Perhaps if those two time frames were closer …

CREAM CHEESE made of the letters in SCHMEAR, now that was a great way to end the puzzle. I have a bagel with CREAM CHEESE most every morning, but I've never noticed this finding. Great stuff.

Also great was Will's gridwork. Working in six crossing pairs of long(ish) answers into a Sunday grid should be impossible to do without relying on an excess of crossword glue. Most constructors have to splorch on a (very) noticeable amount of glue in order to just made a standard seven-themer Sunday puzzle work. There were a couple of toughies in ARETES, RECTO, KOMBU, REUNES, but wow. To keep it to just that is amazing.

Will did such a nice job in setting up his grid skeleton and using black squares to keep the themers separated. I highlighted the themers below, so you can better see how careful his spacing was. Such intricate nesting!

My only knock: an overreliance on +preposition phrases. WERE ON, RODE ON, LURES IN, WADE IN, BENT ON … talk about ADD ONS! Generally, these are fine entries, but the glut grated on my sensibilities. If only a few of those slots had been used for things like APTEST, COBALT, TOP TEN, etc.

At first, I wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be, given that these were something less than direct anagrams. But I liked how the concept opened up room for direct synonyms and tight pairs like NATHAN HALE and ETHAN ALLEN — something that direct anagrams won't usually allow. Along with the strong gridwork, this would have been a POW! pick, if some of the pairs hadn't felt too loosey-goosey.

Sun 7/9/2017FIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE
ASSUAGESBETCHAAMANA
CHIPMUNKFAILATSOLED
TOXICITYFREEZEACROWD
SECDEETDDAYFENNEL
HOVERERRORFINAGLE
ONAPARSPOOFNEEDY
KARENCHEAPFRILLSSAW
IRANBALEDACIDBELA
ECCEHOMOSPACEXORALS
TRIREMERBIARARAT
BAEFELONIOUSMONKCHE
AFRAIDTOMMADDASH
WISPSKRONOSTEENWOLF
DRIPBEAMABUTSAFAR
YENMIFFBUSTERSSNAKE
RELITNAIVEORKNEY
DONEFORRENEEFROYO
INAFIXNEARLARAFBI
SECURITYFRETLANDOFOZ
CURESISITMEANGELENO
SPELTMETHODSKEWERED

Great example of how simple themes ought to be executed. Will took something as basic as a sound change, from TH- to F-, came up with some funny examples, and built a smooth grid with a few nice bonuses. Didn't stretch too much by going down below 140 words, didn't try to do anything fancy — that's a formula for success.

As a huge jazz fan, FELONIOUS MONK was my favorite (Thelonius Monk was a ground-breaking pianist) — I find it so amusing that writers tend to make monks the antagonists of their stories. And although I don't like when constructors stretch grammar too far, Mythbusters into MIFFBUSTERS made me laugh. Great transformation.

The fill did have some tough words in it, but most all of them I thought were fair game. MORNAY sauce, the ORKNEY Islands, ODETS, the name SHLOMO … okay, I was forced to learn a little more than I like to from a single crossword, but I still was able to earn a clean solve. I did pause at KRONOS / KEFIR — I had CRONOS in my head for some reason — but CEFIR … well, I'm glad KEFIR is a semi-regular feature of my diet. I give it a pass personally, but that's the one mini-region I thought could use rework.

Well, there was GUIDER … I'll pretend I didn't see that.

I wasn't familiar with "Six Characters in Search of an Author," so that was the one themer that fell flat for me. Given that I'd read a ton for my job and that I hadn't heard of it, I wonder how many other solvers will feel similarly.

Overall, this is a perfect example of how a tried and true theme can still work just fine. I'm glad that Will was careful with his execution, dotting in just a bit of MAD DASH, ECCE HOMO, ME FIRST, EARDROP spice, and most importantly making sure to avoid the kind of crossword glue that can make solvers groan.

Sun 5/14/2017PLACES, EVERYONE!
CLASPSDRASTICABATE
BISTROREBIRTHPLANER
SCHOOLAMERICAHANDER
THIRDSKALOOSDEARTO
VENIALEPPOUSPSNEER
NEEDLESHIPPERLAIRS
SOLEDONELITIS
AMITYPEINWEBCAMPCP
LANCEOLMECSOKCORRAL
IDAHOANGILSOSOAIDE
BEHINDMANAGERMINDED
AWOLODAYSAGGANGING
BALDSPOTISSUERFENCE
AREATESTSMETIMEGED
BUSSALDASMURF
SPARKIKNEWITASSETS
PUMAATOZENRICHERIS
IPECACRAULICEEDINA
TACKLEENGLISHCLICKS
ETHELSSILENTADENIES
DEETSHAIRNETVAGARY

A pretty pattern of shaded squares, highlighting a position-dependent theme. Fun a-ha to realize that [Grand pooh-bahs] wasn't BANANAS, but (top) BANANAS. Same with [Dropped out] not being SCHOOL, but (left) school, and HANDER actually being (right) HANDER. We fixed up the answers in our database so the answers match the clues — see below.

Not all the themers were fantastic — some could work just fine without their positional modifier, like how ENGLISH as [Chaucer's tongue] doesn't need the (middle) modifier — but getting all 18(!) themers into such nice symmetrical, intersecting places must have greatly reduced Will's flexibility. Not easy to find so many crossing pairs that work this way.

Speaking of not easy, Will's point about filling around pairs of crossing themers is no joke. This task becomes even trickier when working with the NYT's 140-word maximum, which translates to having to fill some big, themeless-esque sections, using more long filler entries than you might in a weekday puzzle. Check out how well Will does in the west, with just AMI as a minor blip, and ALI BABA, BALD SPOT, MADE WAR, IN A HOLE as bonuses. Now that's what I'm talking about!

Now check out the lower right. Will helps himself by sort of sectioning this region away from the rest of the puzzle, but it's still hard to fill around (bottom) FEEDING and (right) CLICKS. A random Roman numeral in CDV isn't great, but it's at least gettable. ELEA crossing EDINA … oof. I'd find it hard to argue that either one is something educated solvers must know, or should be able to figure out.

BTW, were you baffled by SAUK as [Fox neighbor] too? I was stuck on it being FOX News … not the Fox Native Americans. D'oh!

I've seen variations on this idea many a time before, but this layout was so aesthetically pleasing. It would have been great to get more examples which absolutely required the positional modifier (CLICKS works just as well as (right) CLICKS for the clue, e.g.). Along with some smoothing of rough spots (ETHELS/ALLS, ALAE/NEER, etc.) that might have elevated into POW! contention for me.

Sat 2/1/2014
BARBARABUSHBEE
EQUIVALENCERRR
FASCINATIONOIL
OBESDRAFTWAKE
GASMOMMYLEDS
MAMBAMADCAP
AHEADEXFOLIATE
CARROLLLEADSIN
EMILNOLDEKITES
DOCENTEXMET
MANAFSTARMEW
ZEKEKLEINPISA
ALAYOURMAJESTY
GENOLIVEGARDEN
STEUNDEREXPOSE

Fun workout today. And written BY A CANADIAN!

*ducking from hockey stick thrown by Jeffrey Krasnick*

No need to get rough, eh? Nice change of pace today, more loaded on the proper names and trivia than a typical Saturday. These types of puzzles tend to either hit or miss depending on the solver's knowledge base, and it was a tale of two halves for me. The right half flew by because I've forced myself to learn ERIK SATIE through crossword construction (look at all those common letters with vowel-consonant alternation!), and the straightforward clue for the devil-spawn LA LAKERs made it easy to plunk down. But for non-crossword constructors / fanatical haters of the purple and gold menace to humanity's very foundation, it was a really good thing that all the crossing answers don't depend on such specific knowledge.

Trivia is so subjective. I'm sure many solvers will grumble at EQUIVALENCE and AQABA, complaining that these are esoteric bits that no one should have to know. But as a former mechanical engineer, the watts and volt-amperes EQUIVALENCE made me smile, as did remembering the amazing scene of AQABA in "Lawrence of Arabia." High thumbs-up for me, but I can understand how others will disagree.

The left half was much tougher for me, not knowing ERIKA KANE, MARLENE, EMIL NOLDE, or MADONNA with its tough Parmagianino-related clue. It does strike me as a fair area, given that the names are all drawn from disparate disciplines (not having multiple clues requiring concentrated knowledge about Dungeons and Dragons +1 Swords of Justice or something), but it certainly highlighted several deficiencies in my knowledge base. My personal perfect storm? Perhaps.

In general, I prefer more of a mixing of many different types of clue/answer pairs, proper names and trivia being diluted with a good array of wordplay type clues/answers. For example, it would have been great to have more of the "Sky boxes?" / KITES type clue/answer pairs in that left section. I learned a lot today, looking up quite a few entries after I finished.

Wed 1/30/2013
QUADSJEWSBRIE
EFRONIMOKMENU
DOCTORNONOAFAR
HOAXBANJOJO
ACCEPTLILARAP
BOOMEMAGCOMMA
ELLADAYBRR
LETMYPEOPLEGOGO
BEGVIAAJAR
GOGOLWEEDNARC
AVALAHRELMIRA
DISCOCODIEU
DECOMAKEITSOSO
EDAMEMILHIJAB
DOPESIDEECOLI
Sat 12/15/2012
HALFANDHALFCCS
INAUGURATORALI
NINJATURTLEPAN
DODIMENLOPARK
INSWCSONICE
CEEALPAIMS
SHOELACEZZTOP
CHANDLERARIZONA
HISSYRIPAPART
INDOHODUPS
TILDEFLYCCL
TOBEEXACTELIE
HISCAVEDRAWING
OSOANIDIFRANCO
RMNFEDEXKINKOS
Tue 3/20/2012
HUBBUBMABEWOK
ONLINEACEVIVE
ODENSEJUSTAFEW
KINDERGARTENER
EDDAHAAIRS
FLAPSREVAMP
ABBALEADSINAI
CRIMELABANALYST
TIEINTORALASH
SELLTOTWICE
YANKILLISO
POLICEINFORMER
JUBILANTIRISES
ASOFLYELOVEME
WHEELAMEXETER
Wed 3/23/2011
ASNAPESTMALTS
THEIRPEEADIEU
METRODOMEZONED
EVENINGDRESS
EMOIVYALAN
VIVIDIMAGESAGO
OLEVELKEEPMOD
KARENSIRELITE
ENDTOWNDRAGON
DOORSIDVICIOUS
EDOMEPHSTE
JULIUSCAESAR
INANEAKRONOHIO
VISITPIECASTE
ETHNOSODENTER
Sat 1/8/2011
CRAZYTALKCUJO
XENIAOHIOATONE
IMALLEARSDESEX
LIDACHEEMO
ALFIEIONJON
MILOSCHULZIRE
EBANCLASSAMER
NETSLISZTBETA
DRSREMAKEUNIT
MATORATORMEME
ELOSAXFAZED
NAMALEGFAR
TRAWLSATIRIZED
ITCHYALANADALE
SHANTAPEDECKS
Sun 11/7/2010LEADING ARTICLES
SAVALASJAMJARPLEBE
IGIVEUPAMOEBAREEVES
RESISTINGARESTARDENT
STORETAROTMEANIE
DIERIPSYELLSATINS
UNDERATACKDUETTON
ADEXECLUNGTOILINGAT
DYNAMICMOOTNEUBADE
MANESXOUTSATATOP
MERIGLOODREWURSINE
ODEONLOVEAFAIRAERIE
EITHERNUTSKNEADESS
STUDDEDMONOKALEL
HEREPEPNEAPPOWERPC
ADNAUSEAMWHIMHAVASU
ARMPROFUPONARIVAL
ANDPISTOLSEROSITT
DERMISICEAXOUTER
OMEARACHECKINGACOUNT
LESLEYLECHERATOMMAN
FASTSEDESSATENPAST
Sat 10/23/2010
WALTZINGARCADE
IDARENOTFOLLOW
NONONONOFOOZLE
OPALINEVASSALS
STILTUNITER
SHATNERESQUE
ADSSTOICREARS
MOASMOCKSTWAS
ADIOSHOERSILO
TONYAHARDING
TAVERNARABS
THEBARDJAIALAI
HELENECURLIEST
ARMANIANGELPIE
NOONANWOODSHED
Sun 9/5/2010TURNING BACK
CALCMCATGEICOATPAR
OREOARGOOXFAMCHOSE
MEASURINGSNOOPSHEMIN
PARTBSOSOCRAKEPEAT
AUNTSJPEGSTOLGA
STANOATOUTOFTHEPOOL
PRIZESLIPUPTIRANE
AERATECORALCURDTOT
TAJAGEINTUITPISANO
SOXAAHELCIDNICER
TURKEYTORTLIVINGMOOR
ARDENSLOESERESSR
BEASTSSTEPPETUNAMA
URNRIFTMYRNATAILOR
PENDEDCOSMOREMARK
INDIANARECAPINAIDES
TODATELIMAWELDS
SIRSRABIDNEROASADA
EDITHLOVEMELOVEMYGOD
LEVEEAZERAKNEWOUZO
FAERYNORSEOGREUEYS
Wed 7/7/2010
JALAPAUSCGAPE
ABACUSRIPABOX
BIZETSIGNALSOP
STYTEHEEPAOLO
VITOWHARF
ASWANPLAYLISZT
DOINGSYVESTOO
OOZELORENPERK
PTASAKIAMOEBA
THROWBACHALLAY
DAISYOPIE
BOOKSBORISHMS
ELFHAYDNGOSEEK
EGOELMOGUILTY
PAZDEERYIPPEE
Sat 5/22/2010
MASSBFLATMAJOR
EMITAREWEALONE
MILALEANNRIMES
OLEGLEVIESAMI
PANGAGENTBROD
ATTENDINGSUCRE
DEBRIEFSCASHED
METCAB
STUPORPOTROAST
PINEYSUNPARLOR
ENIDDANCEBLUE
CFCZINGERIMPS
TOOKORDERSTACT
RIDINGINTOELAL
ALEXKEATONRENE
Sun 11/29/2009CUED UP
DOCSSPOOLZINEVISE
OPAHPLANATONALINCA
SQUEALOFAPPROVALSMOG
SPRITIDEAMANSHAWL
ONEHITTERTIEDGENTLE
ROWESEXWILDEBEQUEST
GUARDDEBITEMU
SNYDERCODOMANEVIAN
SNIPBEAVISFLANGE
SKIPSIPSBENICENCAA
LOCIQUEASYRIDERQUIP
IRAQUSAGESGERMURNS
DANUBELETSGOTATI
ENTERBETHALITASMAN
EAUINFRACHICA
QUALMSGIVINGOUTISMS
UNDIESMEREINDIANTEA
ASHENAPROPOSIMAGO
FEELQUAINTMISBEHAVIN
FAROBELLYATOLLCEDE
STEWSLAYRILEYTROD
Sun 4/19/2009EXTRA! EXTRA!
BEATLEORBSPYSTOWE
MARIAMARIAPOEAMAZES
WRECKINGBALLOTBIPODS
KENNYOARSYRINGE
SPABOOSPOTLITSCREEN
YESSIRNIASALISH
DRAKEPULLAWILACDC
OTHELLODOLLYALCATRAZ
WHITELISTAIDRAMADA
CAMETOERRMARNOR
JOHNMAYNARDKEYNOTES
COPNIXMMESALINE
ONEGINKEOGHGIAASHE
CARNEGIEROYALFLUSHOT
ASAPGNUSPREENEATH
SOLDTOEATRIDLEY
BLACKFOOTRESTROOELL
REPLYTOEMSSEGNO
AEROBETROTOUTQUINTET
IRONONHENPREDESTINE
NYNEXODDTIPSTONED
Sat 9/13/2008
JUICEBARALLOYS
ANNERICELOOKMA
REDLIGHTSTALAG
FAILEDUFONASA
USESPREPSHUM
LESEBONYPROMO
ISLETALOMAR
QUANTUMOFSOLACE
USURERRAISE
ESTEEBERTHCAN
EMOMCRAEMEMO
NABSAOLCOUSIN
MIAOWSIPODNANO
UNHOOKTIREIRON
MENTOSYEARZERO
Sun 8/10/2008INSIDE JOKES
VANCAMPALAMEDAGETZ
OVERLOUDSENATORAQUA
LEGALDRINKINGAGETURK
GREWIDOSLETMEIN
ATVTITUSHQSSHEMP
ESCAPEROUTEALAMOS
PAQUINSIMIANSINEPT
NATURESBENYOWSNAY
ECLAIRMUSICRACKSTHX
HEALSFOPNEACRAWL
ISNTERGOTSTEEPHOJO
TOSCANASORRBICEP
FRITOPRANKINGMUSKET
LACALPOTITFORKERS
OCCAMESTREETRISERS
GEHRIGYOURMAJESTY
ARNAZEMSPOETSAPB
CREATORKERFPERI
JUTSSWEEPUNDERTHERUG
ABETBIZARRELOWERING
WARSYEARONEMONKEES
Sun 6/8/2008Q & A SESSION
URSADEADCALMIPANEMA
NOESUNLOADEDRAVAGED
QUAKINGASPENSALAMODE
UNROBEBARNSSTEYIP
ODIUMSAGAQUEBECACT
TENTAPSESOUPLLANOS
ERGBLOTSKUAOUST
QUATERNARYAGECHAS
STURMRIOTSIRSHORT
STOOGESGOESRISESRA
QUAILINGATQUESTAFTER
UPSENOLSLUGHEWLETT
IOTASCEEYELPWAULS
BRYNQANTASAIRWAYS
GLUTAMOKOARSFOE
STRIPEOPALEXITMANX
QUEENANNETAILHASAT
URNSEESWARMGENTLE
ANTONIAQUIETAMERICAN
STAINERVERBATIMLARD
HOLLERSCRYOGENSARKS
Tue 4/29/2008
SKIBUMROLLJAG
HADAGOASIAASH
ALLTHATJAZZCHI
SKITBEAKEWOK
TANYACHARABED
ANGLAHNEWLINE
SEINETARTAN
ALEXRODRIGUEZ
BLAREDTUNES
MCGUIREPARSFC
WARMYUMASLYER
TASKROUTEZRA
URNAPOLLOSOYUZ
ZAGTYPEJINGLE
IZEEXESOBEYED
Fri 4/6/2007
OFLATEALMANACS
KLAXONMOONUNIT
LAMENTPUNITIVE
AMPLYQUITSMIR
HERSWELSHPUCE
OWECODEXLASSO
MAYHAPSITIN
ARSENALVERTIGO
MOTIFPASSON
MCGEEFLIESROC
EARNCEASEJADE
XLIHASTOPIETA
IVEHADITPALLID
CIVILIZEOPTIMA
ONEDOZENMASSEY
Sat 5/27/2006
JOSHEDJEROBOAM
APPEARISABELLA
CELERYMOBILITY
KRILLZETASVAN
FENSTENETMIRO
ITTRYDERYEAST
STEPUPZIPPY
HARRIEDCUREALL
INBOXPERDUE
POEMSVEEPSRCA
URSAGERRYPERP
NIPCOCOAMONEY
JORJAFOXLAMAZE
ALIENATEAMELIA
BETTEREDVASSAR