0409-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Apr 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Back and Forth

There’s a note with today’s puzzle:

Each Across answer in this puzzle consists of a word spelled forward and another spelled backward. It’s up to you to determine which clue goes with which word.

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 8m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Can opener / Club : TAB / BAT

The oldest method of opening a can with a device included in the can’s design is the pull-tab or ring pull, invented in Canada in 1956. The design was long-lived but it had its problems, so the world heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of the stay-on-tab in 1975. The new design led to fewer injuries and eliminated all those used pull-tabs that littered the streets.

4 Charts / Inbox distraction : MAPS / SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

8 Apple varieties / Trick : MACS / SCAM

Macintosh (also “Mac”) is a line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Mac was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that this lump of plastic was called “a mouse” …

14 Asian sea name / Journalist Logan : ARAL / LARA

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

Lara Logan is a South African newswoman, and is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News. CBS placed Logan on a forced leave of absence at the end of 2013 for comments that she made about the US Government’s culpability in the Benghazi attack and for inaccuracies in her reporting of the story.

15 “Silas Marner” pen name / Upholstery fabric : ELIOT / TOILE

“George Eliot” was the pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans. As one might think, Evans chose a male pen name in order that her work might be best appreciated in the Victorian era. Eliot wrote seven novels including “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch” (1871-72).

“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

Toile fabric can be used as upholstery, as wallpaper, or even as a fabric for clothing. The name “toile” comes from the French word for “canvas, linen cloth”.

16 Dubai dignitary / Winter coat : EMIR / RIME

Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy.

Rime is the beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

17 Colorado feeder / Sacha Baron Cohen character : GILA / ALI G

A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. Baron Cohen is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m not a fan …

19 Call ending a rugby match / Prolific inventor : NO SIDE! / EDISON

Rugby is a town in County Warwickshire, England. It is a market town, and is also home to the famous Rugby School, one of the oldest private schools in the country. The school gave its name to the sport of rugby, as the laws of the game were first published by three boys at Rugby School in 1845.

Thomas Edison was a very successful inventor. He held over a thousand US patents in his name. Included in the list of Edison’s inventions is the phonograph, the movie camera and the long-lasting light bulb. He passed away in 1931. There is a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum that supposedly holds Edison’s last breath. Ford convinced Thomas’s son Charles to seal up a tube of air in the room just after the inventor died, as a memento.

21 Entertainer Marx / Entertainer Winfrey : HARPO / OPRAH

Harpo Marx was the second oldest of the Marx brothers. Harpo’s real name was Adolph, and he earned his nickname because he played the harp. Famously, Harpe didn’t speak on screen, a routine that he developed after reading a review that he performed really well when he just didn’t speak! He would usually whistle or toot a hand-held horn instead of speaking.

What can you say about Oprah Winfrey that hasn’t been said already? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah’s name was originally meant to be “Orpah” after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that’s how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing “Orpah”, so she’s now “Oprah”.

25 Cans / Letter flourish : FIRES / SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

27 Fix, as a driveway / Yelp reviewer, e.g. : RETAR / RATER

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

29 Ice dancing gold medalist ___ Virtue / Plus : TESSA / ASSET

Tessa Virtue is a Canadian ice dancer who won the 2010 and 2018 Olympic gold along with her partner Scott Moir. Virtue and Moir have been skating together since 1997, when they were seven and nine years old respectively. That makes them the longest-standing Canadian ice dance team in history.

31 Ice hockey feint / Squeezed (out) : DEKE / EKED

A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

38 Ancient greeting / Señora Perón : AVE / EVA

“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

39 Ram’s sch. / Trojan’s sch. : CSU / USC

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in Fort Collins in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Colorado State Rams, although back in the days of the Colorado Agricultural College, the teams were referred to as the Aggies.

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known the success of its athletic program. USC athletes have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

41 Forever and a day / Genesis maker : AGES / SEGA

Genesis is a video game console sold in the US by the Japanese company Sega. Genesis is sold as Mega Drive in the rest of the world, as Sega couldn’t get the rights to the Mega Drive name in the US.

43 Info, informally / Spirited mount : DEETS / STEED

“Deets” is slang for “details”.

45 Beltway insiders / Spill (over) : POLS / SLOP

The phrase “inside the Beltway” is used to refer to the infrastructure and politics of Washington, D.C. The Beltway in this case is Interstate 495, also known as the Capital Beltway.

46 Indy player / Summary : PACER / RECAP

The Indiana Pacers are the professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, who play in the NBA. The name was chosen when the team was formed in 1967. “Pacers” is a homage harness racing pacers (famed in Indiana) and the pace car used in the Indianapolis 500.

48 Green / Water from France : NAIVE / EVIAN

Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva directly across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As one might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town. Personally, I can’t stand the distinctive taste of Évian water …

50 Fit for a king / Foamy draft : REGAL / LAGER

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

56 Like Oxfords / Sticker : LACED / DECAL

An oxford is a type of lace-up shoe that originated not in Oxford, but actually in Scotland and/or Ireland.

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

58 Aardvark or zebra / Thin layer : ANIMAL / LAMINA

The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. Even though it is sometimes called the African ant bear, the name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow. The aardvark feeds mainly on ants and termites.

The term “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

59 Arrive, as a cold front / Evenings, informally : SET IN / NITES

“Cold front” is the name given to the leading edge of a relatively cold mass of air that is replacing a warmer mass of air at ground level. In the presence of sufficient moisture in the air, a cold front can bring rain and perhaps thunderstorms.

62 Lionize / Twin : LAUD / DUAL

The term “lionize” dates back to the late 1700s when there were lions kept in the Tower of London. The lions were quite famous, and attracted many visitors. Hence the term “lionize” means to treat someone as a celebrity.

64 Go berserk / Some cookware : SNAP / PANS

Our word “berserk” meaning “deranged” comes from the “Berserkers”, Norse warriors described in Old Norse literature. Berserkers were renowned for going into battle in a fury, and some believe that they consumed drugged food to get themselves worked up for the fighting ahead.

65 Jack of rhyme / Rain blockers : SPRAT / TARPS

Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:

Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.

Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

66 Cutting it / Mediterranean island : ABLE / ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

67 Hence / Monster : ERGO / OGRE

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we’ve absorbed directly into English.

69 Elk, for one / Plant in a bog : DEER / REED

The elk (also known as “wapiti”) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

70 Holy mlle. / Romulans, e.g., in brief : STE / ETS

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

Extraterrestrial (ET)

Down

2 “There is ___ in the affairs of men …”: Shak. : A TIDE

Something is said “to tide one over” if it (often money) will see one through a rough patch. The idea behind the expression is that a swelling tide can carry you over an obstacle without effort on your part, as perhaps a reserve fund might keep the lenders from your door. The use of “tide” in this sense might come from some famous lines spoken by Brutus in “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

There is a Tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leads on to Fortune

3 Sri Lankan tongue : TAMIL

Tamils are a large ethnic group of almost 80 million people who speak Tamil as their mother tongue. Despite the large Tamil population, there is no Tamil state. The highest concentration of Tamils is in Sri Lanka, where they make up about 25% of the population.

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

5 “Exodus” hero : ARI

“Exodus” is a wonderful novel written by American writer Leon Uris that was first published in 1947. The hero of the piece is Ari Ben Canaan, a character played by Paul Newman in the 1960 film adaptation directed by Otto Preminger.

6 ___ Alto, Calif. : PALO

The city of Palo Alto, California takes its name from a specific redwood tree called El Palo Alto (Spanish for “the tall stick”) that is located within the bounds of the city. The tree is 110 feet tall and over a thousand years old.

8 Fallacious reasoner : SOPHIST

A sophist is someone who engages in devious argument. Originally “sophist” described a wise or learned person, but over time it has become a term of contempt. Our word “sophisticate” comes from the same Greek root.

9 Union letters : CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

10 Computer key : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

11 Enero, por ejemplo : MES

In Spanish, “enero” (January) is a “mes” (month) in the middle of the “año” (year).

13 Yen : DESIRE

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

15 Bygone autocrats : TSARS

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

28 Old-time slugger Al : ROSEN

Al Rosen is a former Major League baseball player who played his whole career with the Cleveland Indians. As one of the best all-time players of the game with a Jewish heritage, his fans gave him the nickname “the Hebrew Hammer”.

30 Tahitian crop : TARO

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

Tahiti is the most populous island in French Polynesia, which is located in the central Southern Pacific. Although Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, he wasn’t the first European to do so. However, Cook’s visit was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

31 Perp prosecutors : DAS

District Attorney (DA)

35 Indian ___ : OCEAN

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s oceans, and accounts for almost 20% of the Earth’s surface. It was named for the country of India, which forms much of the ocean’s northern boundary.

42 Early settler of Nova Scotia : ACADIAN

The great explorer Verrazzano gave the name “Arcadia” to the coastal land that stretched from north of present day Virginia right up the North American continent to Nova Scotia. The name Arcadia was chosen as it was also the name for a part of Greece that had been viewed as idyllic from the days of classical antiquity. The “Arcadia” name quickly evolved into the word “Acadia” that was used locally here in North America. Much of Acadia was settled by the French in the 1600s, and then in 1710 Acadia was conquered by the British. There followed the French and Indian War after which there was a mass migration of French Acadians, often via the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to the French colony of Louisiana. The local dialectic pronunciation of the word “Acadian” was “Cajun”, giving the name to the ethnic group for which Louisiana has been home for about 300 years.

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia (NS) lies on the east coast of the country and is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The area was settled by Scots starting in 1621, and Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland”.

47 Salary negotiator : AGENT

It has been suggested that out term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

51 Meteorologist’s tool : RADAR

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

57 Job for a grease monkey : LUBE

“Grease monkey” is slang for “mechanic”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late twenties.

59 Sibilant sound : SSS!

“Sibilant” is a lovely word that describes a sound of speech, i.e. the sound of an “s” or “z”, a hissing sound. The word “sissies”, for example, has three sibilant sounds.

60 Competent, jocularly : EPT

If one is capable, one might jokingly be described as “ept”, the ostensible opposite of “inept”.

61 One-man play about Capote : TRU

“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a one-man play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Can opener / Club : TAB / BAT
4 Charts / Inbox distraction : MAPS / SPAM
8 Apple varieties / Trick : MACS / SCAM
12 Facts / Somewhat : DATA / A TAD
14 Asian sea name / Journalist Logan : ARAL / LARA
15 “Silas Marner” pen name / Upholstery fabric : ELIOT / TOILE
16 Dubai dignitary / Winter coat : EMIR / RIME
17 Colorado feeder / Sacha Baron Cohen character : GILA / ALI G
18 Espies / Subway stations : SPOTS / STOP
19 Call ending a rugby match / Prolific inventor : NO SIDE! / EDISON
21 Entertainer Marx / Entertainer Winfrey : HARPO / OPRAH
23 Criticized / Save (from) : REVILED / DELIVER
25 Cans / Letter flourish : FIRES / SERIF
27 Fix, as a driveway / Yelp reviewer, e.g. : RETAR / RATER
29 Ice dancing gold medalist ___ Virtue / Plus : TESSA / ASSET
31 Ice hockey feint / Squeezed (out) : DEKE / EKED
34 Bits of film tape / Film holder : LOOPS / SPOOL
36 Headline? / Snare : PART / TRAP
38 Ancient greeting / Señora Perón : AVE / EVA
39 Ram’s sch. / Trojan’s sch. : CSU / USC
40 Exist / Reign denoter : ARE / ERA
41 Forever and a day / Genesis maker : AGES / SEGA
43 Info, informally / Spirited mount : DEETS / STEED
45 Beltway insiders / Spill (over) : POLS / SLOP
46 Indy player / Summary : PACER / RECAP
48 Green / Water from France : NAIVE / EVIAN
50 Fit for a king / Foamy draft : REGAL / LAGER
52 Guard / It might say “Hello” : GATEMAN / NAME TAG
56 Like Oxfords / Sticker : LACED / DECAL
58 Aardvark or zebra / Thin layer : ANIMAL / LAMINA
59 Arrive, as a cold front / Evenings, informally : SET IN / NITES
62 Lionize / Twin : LAUD / DUAL
64 Go berserk / Some cookware : SNAP / PANS
65 Jack of rhyme / Rain blockers : SPRAT / TARPS
66 Cutting it / Mediterranean island : ABLE / ELBA
67 Hence / Monster : ERGO / OGRE
68 Daft / Daze : NUTS / STUN
69 Elk, for one / Plant in a bog : DEER / REED
70 Holy mlle. / Romulans, e.g., in brief : STE / ETS

Down

1 Revealed : BARED
2 “There is ___ in the affairs of men …”: Shak. : A TIDE
3 Sri Lankan tongue : TAMIL
4 Drawing things? : MAGNETS
5 “Exodus” hero : ARI
6 ___ Alto, Calif. : PALO
7 Gives a hand? : SLAPS
8 Fallacious reasoner : SOPHIST
9 Union letters : CIO
10 Computer key : ALT
11 Enero, por ejemplo : MES
13 Yen : DESIRE
15 Bygone autocrats : TSARS
20 Egg cells : OVA
22 Not made up : REAL
24 Pose again, as a question : REPUT
26 Not tamed : FERAL
28 Old-time slugger Al : ROSEN
30 Tahitian crop : TARO
31 Perp prosecutors : DAS
32 At any time : EVER
33 Kind of exercise that strengthens the pelvic muscles : KEGEL
35 Indian ___ : OCEAN
37 Effervescence : PEP
42 Early settler of Nova Scotia : ACADIAN
43 Kind of sheet : SPEC
44 Phoned, to Brits : DIALLED
45 Appear to be correct : SEEM SO
47 Salary negotiator : AGENT
49 Annual cable channel prize for Song of the Year or Artist of the Year, in brief : VMA
51 Meteorologist’s tool : RADAR
53 Hint of color : TINGE
54 “It’s ___, not a science” : AN ART
55 Reacts in disbelief, say : GAPES
57 Job for a grease monkey : LUBE
59 Sibilant sound : SSS!
60 Competent, jocularly : EPT
61 One-man play about Capote : TRU
63 Draft selection : ALE

22 thoughts on “0409-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Apr 19, Tuesday”

  1. 10:53, no errors. I didn’t see the note that accompanied this puzzle until after I finished it (but I don’t think reading it would have made much difference). I wasted a couple of minutes trying to decide if there was a meaningful pattern determining which half of each “across” clue was which. As far as I can tell, the ordering is completely arbitrary; does everybody agree?

    Quite tour de force of constructing!

    1. @Dave Kennison—-I also thought that perhaps there was something about the ordering and went through all of the Across clues and marked accordingly. It was a waste of time since I came to the same conclusion as you. It was just arbitrary. There was no pattern.

  2. 28:24. Might be a record slow solve for a Tuesday for me. Surely must have been a difficult one to construct. It was fun for a while, but it got a little tiresome in the end. Impressive nonetheless.

    Best –

  3. After “Oprah/Harpo” I was off to the races. I chuckled a number of times at the thought “I never considered “name tag” backwards as ‘gate man” as well as a number of others

    1. @LL
      Thank you for spotting that typo, LL. I guess I’m not as good at reading backwards as I thought! I appreciate the helps, and all fixed now.

  4. Not sure how I feel about this one. It was cute for a while but I did get tired of it. But I do now know why Oprah called her company Harpo…it never occurred to me before.

  5. No errors. I found this puzzle to be wearisome and was glad when it was finished. But I did admire the depth of construction that it took to make this all fit together.

    I agree with the others who have pointed out Bill’s apparent mistake about NO SIDE vs. ON SIDE. My bit of research found that NO SIDE is indeed an antiquated rugby term meaning that the game is over. The old term has nowadays been replaced with “full time”.

  6. Could have been a Thursday puzzle except that, once getting used to the two-way gimmick, the answers were pretty simple. Solved at somewhat forced-slow pace, though.

  7. 14:41, no errors. Spent most of my time filling verticals until I could see which way the horizontal word would go. Agree with previous posters, that constructing this grid, using only words that could spelled backwards, was quite an accomplishment. Thank you @Dale for the clarification of NO SIDE vs. ON SIDE.

  8. Lots of doodling on the side. I had trouble getting brain to quit trying to do the backward thing on the vertical clues. Didn’t seem like a Tuesday puzzle but finished it nevertheless. Kudos to the constructer.

  9. 20:46, no errors. Incredibly hard puzzle for a Tuesday. Better as a Thursday/Friday. But as far as enjoyment goes, another terrible puzzle let loose into the world by Shortz.

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