0126-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Jan 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Food Engineering

There is a note with today’s puzzle:

When this puzzle is finished, change one letter in the last word in the answer to each asterisked clue to name a food. The replacement letters, in order, will spell an appropriate phrase.

So, we change letters to give the following foods:

  • 23A *Looks that can be difficult to pull off : SKINNY JEANS (giving “BEANS”)
  • 25A *”It’s 2 a.m. already?!” : TIME FLIES! (giving “FRIES”)
  • 38A *Data visuals similar to histograms : BAR GRAPHS (giving “GRAPES”)
  • 41A *Swimming hazards in the ocean : RIP CURRENTS (giving “CURRANTS”)
  • 64A *”Man, that was cheap!” : WHAT A STEAL! (giving “STEAK”)
  • 66A *Holder of the single-game W.N.B.A. scoring record (53 points) : LIZ CAMBAGE (giving “CABBAGE”)
  • 86A *Diner choice : CORNER BOOTH (giving “BROTH”)
  • 88A *Something visually arresting : EYE POPPER (giving “PEPPER”)
  • 105A *Duplicate, in word processing : COPY-PASTE (giving “PASTA”)
  • 107A *Disappear suddenly : UP AND VANISH (giving “DANISH”)

The new letters give us “BREAK BREAD”, a phrase in which the first word becomes the second by changing a K to a D.
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 21m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 It got some “Xtra” flavor in 2001 : MR PIBB

The soft drink on the market today called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.

7 San Antonio pro : SPUR

The Spurs are the professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The team was founded as the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.

11 Atkins diet no-no : CARB

Perhaps most notably, the eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.

22 One-named singer with the 2014 hit “Chandelier” : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

28 Tikka masala go-with : NAAN

The word “tikka” in Indian cuisine refers to a cutlet of meat.

Masala is the Hindi word for “mixture”, and describes a mixture of spices. A dish named “masala” uses the spices incorporated into a sauce that includes garlic, ginger, onions and chili paste. Who doesn’t love Indian food? Yum …

31 Singer Morissette : ALANIS

Alanis Morissette is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After releasing two pop albums in Canada, in 1995 she recorded her first album to be distributed internationally. Called “Jagged Little Pill”, it is a collection of songs with more of a rock influence. The album was a huge success, the highest-selling album of the 1990s, and the highest-selling debut album by any artist at any time (selling over 30 million units).

32 Actress de Armas of “Knives Out” : ANA

Ana de Armas is an actress from Cuba. Having attended the National Theater School of Cuba, she moved to Spain at the age of 18. Thre, she made a name for herself in a Spanish TV series called “El Internado”. De Armas moved to Los Angeles in 2014, after which her performance opposite Ryan Gosling in 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049” earned her critical acclaim.

35 Place for speakers : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

37 Trig function : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

41 *Swimming hazards in the ocean : RIP CURRENTS

A rip current (wrongly called a rip “tide” sometimes) is a localized current that flows seaward from near the shore. Rip currents are dangerous as they can pull swimmers out to sea.

44 Crossword-loving detective on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : AMY

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.

45 ___ Dhabi : ABU

Abu Dhabi 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. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

46 Celebrations of lives, for short : OBITS

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

48 Dance arrangements, familiarly : CHOREO

In its purest sense, choreography is the art of recording dance moves symbolically. The word “choreograph” comes into English via French, but originates in Greek. The Greek “khoreia” means “dance” and “graphein” means “to write”.

52 It’s spoken in Aberdeen : SCOTS

The Scottish city of Aberdeen is located amidst plentiful supplies of granite that were actively quarried until the 1970s. Many local buildings incorporate the granite in their structure. Aberdeen granite is especially prized for its high levels of mica, which can cause the stone to sparkle like silver. It’s no surprise then, that the list of Aberdeen’s nicknames includes “Granite City” and “Silver City”.

55 “I call dibs!” : MINE!

The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

59 Honor for a play : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

62 South African currency : RAND

The rand is the currency of South Africa. Much of South Africa’s famed gold comes from mines around Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans for “the ridge of white waters”). The rand currency takes its name from this ridge.

70 Lisa who “ate no basil,” in a palindrome : BONET

Lisa Bonet ate no basil …

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

72 Animal in a “Sound of Music” song : DOE

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do

73 Big Super Bowl purchase : TV AD

The Super Bowl is used for high-profile advertising because of the high viewership numbers. For example, Super Bowl XLIX (2015) had an average audience of 114 million viewers, making it the most-watched American TV program in history.

76 What Mercury and Venus lack : MOONS

Mercury is the smallest of the planets in our solar system, and is the nearest to the Sun. Mercury orbits the sun relatively rapidly compared to the other planets, and this fact may have led to it being given the name “Mercury”, the Roman deity who was the speedy messenger to the gods.

The planet Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after our Moon.

77 Religious observance that’s also a past-tense verb : LENT

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

81 Small-time : TWO-BIT

The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency, if you think about it. Most currencies have a “20-cent” coin, which is easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge-shaped “bits”. That’s also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as “two bits”. State quarters were introduced in 1999.

92 Coin with 12 stars on one side : EURO

The reverse side of euro coins feature a common design, a design that includes the 12 stars featured on the Flag of Europe. The number of stars is not related to the number of states in the European Union, nor has it ever been. The number of stars in the design was the subject of much debate prior to its adoption in 1955 by the Council of Europe. Twelve was a deliberate choice, as at that time there was no political connotation, and twelve was considered to be a symbol of unity.

95 Source of some South American wool : ALPACA

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

112 Spore producer : FERN

Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

113 Keys of some songs : ALICIA

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

114 Loan fig. : APR

Annual percentage rate (APR)

116 “A fickle food,” per Emily Dickinson : FAME

Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades. Try this one for size:

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
Farmer’s corn
Men eat of it and die

Down

2 Zen garden accessory : RAKE

Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

3 Running argument? : PRIMARY DEBATE

The US is one of just a few countries that uses primary elections, selections of party candidates by popular vote. In the runup to most national elections outside of the US, political parties select their own candidates. Indeed, primaries weren’t introduced into the US until relatively recently. The first presidential primary took place in 1920, in New Hampshire.

4 Frame in a box score : INNING

In baseball, the line square is a summary set of statistics for the game. It is seen at every baseball stadium, and includes the number of runs scored by each team per innings, as well as the total number of hits and errors. The more comprehensive box score includes the line score, but also shows the individual performance of each player.

5 Hebrew for “son” : BEN

In Arabic names, “ibn” is a word meaning “son of”. The words “bin” and “ben” are also used for “son of”. The word “bint” means “daughter of”. Similarly, in Hebrew “ben” is used to mean “son of”, and “bat” is used to mean “daughter of”.

6 ___ Mawr College : BRYN

Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania is a women’s liberal arts school that was founded in 1885. Bryn Mawr was the first women’s university in the nation to offer graduate education through to a PhD. While the undergraduate program is open only to females, the school opened up the postgraduate program to males in 1931.

8 Almost a score of Mozart compositions : PIANO SONATAS

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

11 Small siestas : CATNAPS

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

12 Low-pH : ACIDIC

As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

13 Follower of CD : ROM

“CD-ROM” stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

14 La ___ Tar Pits : BREA

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

15 Donkeyish : ASININE

The adjective “asinine” means “stupid, obstinate”, and comes from the Latin for “like an ass”.

24 Capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan : JAIPUR

Jaipur is the capital city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Apparently Jaipur is a very beautiful and well-planned metropolis, and is known as the “Pink City”.

33 Body of water greatly shrunk by 1960s Soviet irrigation : ARAL SEA

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 …

39 Opposite of the Latin “odi” : AMO

Odium is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

42 Title woman in a #1 Beach Boys hit : RHONDA

“Help Me, Rhonda” is a Beach Boys hit written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, released in 1965. When the song was first issued as a track on the album “Today!”, the song was titled “Help Me, Ronda” (note the spelling of “Ronda”). When the song was released as a single a month later, the title used the spelling with which we are familiar: “Help Me, Rhonda”.

47 Score of zero, in slang : BAGEL

“Bagel” is a slang term for “zero”, because a bagel has the shape of the number 0.

52 Pollution portmanteau : SMAZE

“Smaze” is a weather phenomenon, a smoky haze that is like a fog but less damp. The term is a portmanteau of “smoke” and “haze”.

58 Issa of “Insecure” : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

63 Spanish month that anagrams to a zodiac sign : ABRIL

In Spanish, the “mes” (month) of “abril” (April) comes before “mayo” (May).

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

65 ___-faire : SAVOIR

“Savoir-faire” is a French term that literally means “to know (how) to do”. There’s a similar term in French that we haven’t absorbed into English, “savoir-vivre” meaning “to know how to live”. Savoir-vivre describes the ability to acquit oneself well in the world, in society.

66 Birds on Minnesota state quarters : LOONS

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

75 Daytime TV fare : SOAP

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

81 Skater’s leap : TOE LOOP

A toe loop is a relatively simple jump in figure skating (not that I could do one!). In a toe loop, the skater uses the toe pick on the skate to lift off on a backward outside edge, landing on the same backward outside edge.

86 Ballroom dance from Cuba : CHA-CHA

The cha-cha-cha (often simplified to “cha-cha”) is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

89 Actress De Carlo of “The Munsters” : YVONNE

Yvonne De Carlo was a Canadian-American actress with a string of appearances in Hollywood movies in the forties and fifties. In the sixties, she turned to television, playing Lily Munster on the comedy show “The Munsters”.

“The Munsters” is a sitcom about a family of harmless monsters that ran at the same time as “The Addams Family”, a show with a similar storyline. “The Munsters” was produced by the same team that created “Leave It to Beaver”.

90 Out-eat? : PICNIC

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

96 E.M.T.’s procedure : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

101 Welsh form of “John” : EVAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

103 Goddess pictured with a solar disk above her : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

109 Muslim-American icon : ALI

The boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 It got some “Xtra” flavor in 2001 : MR PIBB
7 San Antonio pro : SPUR
11 Atkins diet no-no : CARB
15 What’s called a cashpoint by Brits : ATM
18 Wage ___ : EARNER
19 Add to the team : HIRE
20 ___ squash : ACORN
22 One-named singer with the 2014 hit “Chandelier” : SIA
23 *Looks that can be difficult to pull off : SKINNY JEANS
25 *”It’s 2 a.m. already?!” : TIME FLIES!
27 Half up-front? : SEMI-
28 Tikka masala go-with : NAAN
29 Gravitate (toward) : TEND
31 Singer Morissette : ALANIS
32 Actress de Armas of “Knives Out” : ANA
34 “How was ___ know?” : I TO
35 Place for speakers : DAIS
37 Trig function : SINE
38 *Data visuals similar to histograms : BAR GRAPHS
41 *Swimming hazards in the ocean : RIP CURRENTS
44 Crossword-loving detective on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : AMY
45 ___ Dhabi : ABU
46 Celebrations of lives, for short : OBITS
48 Dance arrangements, familiarly : CHOREO
49 One making frequent pitching changes? : YODELER
51 Back of the neck : NAPE
52 It’s spoken in Aberdeen : SCOTS
53 “Who ___ knows?” : ELSE
54 Elderly : AGED
55 “I call dibs!” : MINE!
56 [I’m mad!] : [GRR!]
59 Honor for a play : OBIE
60 Place in the earth : INTER
62 South African currency : RAND
63 Operatic showpiece : ARIA
64 *”Man, that was cheap!” : WHAT A STEAL!
66 *Holder of the single-game W.N.B.A. scoring record (53 points) : LIZ CAMBAGE
68 Something to do before a deal : ANTE
69 Super, in slang : ACES
70 Lisa who “ate no basil,” in a palindrome : BONET
71 Missiles and such : ARMS
72 Animal in a “Sound of Music” song : DOE
73 Big Super Bowl purchase : TV AD
74 Easy as falling off ___ : A LOG
75 Nickname for a really thin guy : SLIM
76 What Mercury and Venus lack : MOONS
77 Religious observance that’s also a past-tense verb : LENT
78 “That ship has sailed” : TOO LATE
81 Small-time : TWO-BIT
83 Cause of red-eye : FLASH
84 Ate : HAD
85 Regret : RUE
86 *Diner choice : CORNER BOOTH
88 *Something visually arresting : EYE POPPER
91 Chief : HEAD
92 Coin with 12 stars on one side : EURO
93 Ancient greeting : AVE
94 El Misisipi, e.g. : RIO
95 Source of some South American wool : ALPACA
98 Get groceries, say : SHOP
100 Sole : LONE
102 Film excerpt : CLIP
105 *Duplicate, in word processing : COPY-PASTE
107 *Disappear suddenly : UP AND VANISH
110 Long-handled tool : HOE
111 One with a track record : RACER
112 Spore producer : FERN
113 Keys of some songs : ALICIA
114 Loan fig. : APR
115 Political worker : AIDE
116 “A fickle food,” per Emily Dickinson : FAME
117 Superlatively pleasant : NICEST

Down

1 Children’s playroom, often : MESS
2 Zen garden accessory : RAKE
3 Running argument? : PRIMARY DEBATE
4 Frame in a box score : INNING
5 Hebrew for “son” : BEN
6 ___ Mawr College : BRYN
7 Sword’s place : SHEATH
8 Almost a score of Mozart compositions : PIANO SONATAS
9 Receptacle for ancient Greek votes : URN
10 11-Down and such : REST
11 Small siestas : CATNAPS
12 Low-pH : ACIDIC
13 Follower of CD : ROM
14 La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
15 Donkeyish : ASININE
16 Have a connection with : TIE INTO
17 Hordes : MASSES
21 Org. behind 14 of the 15 most-watched TV broadcasts in U.S. history : NFL
24 Capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan : JAIPUR
26 They help with printing and pointing : LASERS
30 Made line changes : EDITED
33 Body of water greatly shrunk by 1960s Soviet irrigation : ARAL SEA
36 To the point : SUCCINCT
38 Howl : BAY
39 Opposite of the Latin “odi” : AMO
40 Busy as ___ : A BEE
41 Less green, say : RIPER
42 Title woman in a #1 Beach Boys hit : RHONDA
43 Learn by ___ : ROTE
47 Score of zero, in slang : BAGEL
50 Ins : ELITE
52 Pollution portmanteau : SMAZE
56 People who would object to this clue because of it’s punctuation : GRAMMAR POLICE
57 Fixes : RIGS
58 Issa of “Insecure” : RAE
59 “How disastrous!” : OH NO!
60 “No way!” : IT CAN’T BE!
61 Nonnegotiable things : NEEDS
62 Sound a warning : RING THE ALARM
63 Spanish month that anagrams to a zodiac sign : ABRIL
64 Bit of gum : WAD
65 ___-faire : SAVOIR
66 Birds on Minnesota state quarters : LOONS
67 Bad smell : MALODOR
70 “Ugh!” : BLEAH!
73 -elect : -TO-BE
74 Alarmingly : ALL TOO
75 Daytime TV fare : SOAP
76 Back-to-school time : MONDAY
78 “Well, that’s that!” : THE END!
79 Follower of 76-Down: Abbr. : TUE
80 Suffix with election : -EER
81 Skater’s leap : TOE LOOP
82 Candy discard : WRAPPER
83 Not to go : FOR HERE
86 Ballroom dance from Cuba : CHA-CHA
87 Sent packing : OUSTED
89 Actress De Carlo of “The Munsters” : YVONNE
90 Out-eat? : PICNIC
96 E.M.T.’s procedure : CPR
97 Tiny battery : AAAA
99 Smoke : PUFF
101 Welsh form of “John” : EVAN
103 Goddess pictured with a solar disk above her : ISIS
104 Excellent, in dated slang : PHAT
106 Grade school subj. : SCI
108 Shade of green : PEA
109 Muslim-American icon : ALI

8 thoughts on “0126-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Jan 20, Sunday”

  1. 29:31. Not as bad as I thought when I saw who the setter was. This was essentially a themeless in terms of solving it. Clever construction, but not much to the theme as a solver.

    Best –

  2. I usually pick away at the Sunday offering then finish on Monday but found the rhythm early and just kept writing. Clever and enjoyable; easy for an “Agard.” Out to shovel snow.

  3. 30:58, no errors. Not too much difficulty with the puzzle itself, only misguessing EWEN before EVAN. Got twisted up in trying to get the theme, I mistook the first quotation mark of 78A as an asterisk; tried to figure out how the extra D from TOO LATE (DATE) would fit.

  4. The last 2 Sunday puzzles were not my best efforts so I was not real confident when I saw the constructor today. But believe it or not I had no errors, a reasonable time and actually went back and figured out the phrase!

  5. No errors and I enjoyed solving, however without any help from the obscure theme.

    The following may help with the constant battle between man and vermin…
    “Rats live on no evil star”. Hmmmm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.