THURSDAY, Nov. 27, 2008 - Patrick Berry (Dr. _____, 1990s TV therapist / Naively optimistic muppet / Spicy biscuit served at English teas)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Recycling" - theme clues end with phrase "with recycling?," which indicates that second half of said answer is simply the first half of said answer "recycled" (i.e. anagrammed)

This theme was very easy to pick up, and must have been inspired by the discovery that the marquee Down answer - STUCK ONE'S NECK OUT - had the same letters in its second half as it did in its first. Notice that the puzzle had to be lengthened by one row in order to accommodate that answer's 16 letters. Very cool little adjustment. Notice also the really elegant symmetry. Since all the theme answers are Downs, and the "recycled" parts all come at the end, the circled squares (they are circled online - perhaps they are shaded in the paper version) do not have rotational symmetry - BUT they occur in rotationally symmetrical answers, and symmetrical pairs of answer each possess the same number of circled (shaded?) squares, e.g. five in 3D and five in 33D, four in 10D and four in 41D, etc. TEAMMATE and BEST BETS were not that inspired, but the others were very interesting revelations. The non-theme fill is virtually wince-free. Patrick Berry remains (in my mind) one of the 5 best constructors walking the planet. Highly imaginative, but also meticulous. Love to see his name on puzzles.

Theme answers:

  • 3D: Digestive system parts with recycling? (intes/tines)
  • 5D: Most promising options with recycling? (best / bets)
  • 7D: Took a risk with recycling? (stuck one / s neck out)
  • 10D: Come back with recycling? (reap / PEAR)
  • 33D: Livery blacksmith with recycling? (horse / SHOER)
  • 41D: Imposition on drinking with recycling? (lega / LAGE)
  • 43D: Sporting colleague with recycling? (team / MATE)
Look at the grid. Notice what there isn't much of - abbreviations; partials; tired old fill. You have to care about that @#$# to make it happen, and when it happens, many people aren't likely to notice, but I'm telling you, it's a feat - a feat Way more important to me than any feat of construction. Holy guacamole, does this puzzle have even *one* abbreviation??? I just ... don't see one. Some other answers come close - REV (44A: Accelerate) could have been clued as an abbrev., TWIXT (29A: Between) is a shortened form - but no. I don't see one. [Oh wait, NYSE is one - still, just one, that's impressive] And there's only one partial (IN ON - 31A: Zero _____), and the phrase involved is so colorful that I don't mind it at all. I even like it. It's sure to provide at least a little difficulty for some (right, honey?). And while the fill isn't always scintillating (AXEL, NYSE, ERE, SPAS, ASEA), compared to most other puzzles it relies very little on the available stock of overused fill. Again, I ask would-be constructors to study this grid. You don't always need shock and awe to make your puzzle amazing.

Love the placement of OPALS (22A: Export of 18-Across) directly under AUSTRALIA (18A: Country that has won the most Cricket World Cups). Usually here/there clues are set apart from one another and rarely, very rarely, are they parallel and contiguous. I also love the colorful pairing of ASIA MINOR (61A: Location of two of the classical Seven Wonders) and GINGER NUT (65A: Spicy biscuit served at English teas). I like that the clue sets ASIA MINOR in the past (since I think of it as a dated term). I also like that my eyes kept scanning the clue as "Location of two classics by Stevie Wonder." I told my wife "I've never heard of GINGER NUT." She said "you had GINGER NUT ice cream in New Zealand." She's probably right.

Assorted:

  • 23A: Day trader's wish (fast buck) - great, lively phrase. Love that it intersects another great, lively phrase (STICK ONE'S NECK OUT) at the "K"!
  • 36A: Dynasty in which Confucianism became dominant (Han) - much more highbrow than the clue I would have used (HAN Solo)
  • 45A: Org. with a National Historic Landmark building in lower Manhattan (NYSE) - It's a landmark, alright. It's not marking anything very good at the moment.
  • 51A: Danger for small craft (wake) - I call "WAVE" on many of you. Some of you. Admit it! Some of you had WAVE here, at first, if not to the bitter end. The cross, 48D: Kind of run (ski), was so plain and ambiguous that it wasn't necessarily much help. WAVE will seem so right to some people that they'll just be left wondering what the hell SVI can be.
  • 52A: Contemporary of Kepler (Brahe) - why his name has stuck in my head, I don't know.
  • 54A: Formula formulators (chemists) - I like this answer, in that it is both rare (in the grid) and ordinary (in real life, esp. in Britain). There's something sort of quaint and charming about it.
  • 59A: Prince _____, Eddie Murphy's role in "Coming to America" (Akeem) - this May have been the first word I put in the grid...
  • 68A: Dr. _____, 1990s TV therapist (Katz) - HA ha. Animated! And likely Obscure to many of you. Late 90s Comedy Central. Squigglevision:



  • 1D: Symbol seen on viola music (C clef) - Didn't know this, but like the "CC" opening.
  • 2D: 1944 film noir by Preminger ("Laura") - One of the reasons the term "film noir" was invented.
  • 9D: Upscale office decor (art) - how about [Any office's decor]? I mean, my dentist has ERTE on the wall, my doctor, some ugly photography and water colors. No Degas or RODIN (28D: "The Age of Bronze" artist), but still, ART.
  • 12D: Craft union of old (guild) - craft GUILDs were a big deal in Medieval England. I will spare you the lecture.
  • 25D: Victorian gents' accessories (canes) - wife had CAPES, which is a great wrong answer. Unfortunately, "Zero IN OP" is not a known phrase.
  • 38D: Naively optimistic Muppet (Ernie) - neither wife nor I think of ERNIE as "naive." "Today, on Sesame Street, Bert has to stop ERNIE from sending money to a 'Nigerian prince.'"
  • 52D: So-called "king of herbs" (basil) - "So-called?" By whom, the herb itself? I was imagining some guy named Herb going "Hey, you know what they call me down at the plant? The King of Herbs, that's what they call me? Oh I'm a real big shot down there." Real King of Herbs = Herb Tarlek. He had good sports jackets:



  • 64D: Sports _____ (bra) - well that was unexpected. It's an anagram of the answer I wanted.

  • Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    Oh, yeah: Happy Thanksgiving

    59 comments:

    JannieB 9:11 AM  

    Happy turkey all! Really fun puzzle to start the day. Like Sandy, I had "CAPE" for the longest time - correcting to "CANE" was the last fill for me.

    Rex, when I saw you'd added a WKRP clip, I was so hoping it was the classic Thanksgiving episode - "I swear we thought they could fly" - now I'll have to go and hunt it down.

    jubjub 9:16 AM  

    I agree that the theme answers were very clever (INTESTINES! Who knew?). None of them were forced -- even HORSE SHOER is a real thing. I also had Zero INOp, then when I looked up my mistake, I could not figure out what Zero INON meant until I was complaining out loud, "Zero in on, never heard of that".

    I never watched Dr. Katz when it was on TV, only on Youtube. Here are some classics:
    w/Dave Chapelle
    w/Mitch Hedberg.

    hereinfranklin 9:16 AM  

    The turkey is in the oven..Yea! GUILD is just one of those words I love. Always reminds me of sitting TWIXT all the Guild Halls in the Grand Place in Brussels--sipping a chimay or something equally delicious. Have a great day, everyone.

    Crosscan 9:35 AM  

    NYSE is an abbreviation isn't it?

    Great puzzle. Enjoy your day off, I have to work up here.

    Ulrich 9:44 AM  

    I join the accolades--lovely puzzle, unforced theme, pleasant fill, and once you got the theme, it helped greatly, which made it an easy Thursday.

    Note that you can move the circles in the theme answers starting at the top row to their upper half--if A is an anagram of B, B is also an anagram of A. This would make the placement of the circles also symmetric, except for the center column, which cannot have a symmetric placement. I guess that's why PB moved all circles to the lower half--to be consistent, let symmetry be damned.

    Bravo!

    Michael 9:44 AM  

    OK I admit it, I had WAVE and SVI and it took a long time for the K to KicK in.....

    Alex 9:48 AM  

    Very frequently in the weather report we are informed of "small craft advisories" off the coast. They're warning about waves not wakes so that did go in first. Fortunately easily fixed.

    While it felt more like a Wednesday or hard Tuesday, I do really like this one. Nice to have so many word-play themes entries and none feel crammed in.

    PhillySolver 10:13 AM  

    I really liked the puzzle and like ISAAC, I laughed. I didn't know KATZ or PAULY, but they were easy to guess. Why are people down on Mr. Shore?

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Off to see grand babies and play in the snow.

    Greene 10:14 AM  

    Excellent puzzle today and not too difficult for a Thursday. I like the theme a great deal, but since I'm terrible at anagrams, knowing the theme didn't help me in the slightest. Fortunately the fill was not difficult, although I had CAPES and WAVE for a time. Loved seeing Dr. KATZ in the grid. Had totally forgotten about that show. Not so glad to see PAULY Shore. Some memories are best left forgotten.

    Inappropriate personal rant: I finished the Ziegfeld biography last night and there was not a single mention of ERTE. Joseph Urban, yes. Lady Duff Gordon, yes. ERTE, no -- not once. OK, I know. Give it a rest.

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

    HappyDad 10:40 AM  

    This was one where I would have done MUCH better if I only could have figured out the theme. I could not get it, until I came here!

    But, it had a lot of fun fill and solved the whole thing without much ado!

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    Chip Hilton 10:56 AM  

    @HappyDad
    I was way ahead of you! I figured out the theme, after completing the puzzle, as I sat here waiting for Rex to load. Happily, didn't need it.

    Lovely puzzle, elegant and, happily, not too taxing on this day of thanksgiving. Hope everyone has a great day, surrounded by loved ones.

    Now, Go, Lions! (Call out the ghosts of Tobin Rote and Alex Karras.....do something!)

    mac 10:57 AM  

    On the easy side for a Thursday, so why did I do so much erasing? So much that I couldn't see the top shaded squares anymore in the longest theme answer?

    Love guild, twixt and gingernut. The theme became clear after several answers, but I was really looking for a turkey story... Got waylayed because of Dr. Ruth at 68A, "hop to" at 27A, reinforced by spats at 25D (you notice I was jumping all over the place), inexplicably filling in Atlee instead of Adlai.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    PuzzleGirl 11:04 AM  

    The theme helped me out A Lot today. SW corner gave me fits, though looking at it now I can't figure out what was so difficult. Never heard of GINGERNUT, so that probably explains it.

    Like Rex, I found this puzzle basically lovely. I didn't love the clue for REV though. I think of revving as getting ready to accelerate, not the actual acceleration (whether literal or figurative).

    And there is one more abbreviation in there. TEX. I'm sure Wade will explain why that shouldn't count though.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    Leon 11:18 AM  

    Happy Thanksgiving to all !

    Terrific puzzle Mr. Berry.

    The NYT paper version bottom recycles are shaded. Also, as pointed out in the Wordplay blog, the clues in the paper version are abbreviated. e.g. : in italics - 3 down has "Digestive system parts ...with recycling?" and 7 down as "Come back..." and the other clues missing "with recycling?" and replaced by ...

    chefbea 11:36 AM  

    Never got the theme til I came here. I thought 3D had something to do with recycling, and the other italicized clues were something else.

    Never heard of ginger nut cookies.

    I too had capes for the longest time.

    Gobble gobble to all.

    misterarthur 11:37 AM  

    Happy Thanksgiving. Finding your 'blog' is one of the things I'm thankful for this year...as for today's puzzle, the circled answer "sneckout" is a little cheesy, but otherwise an enjoyable puzzle. (Though I was expecting a Thanksgiving-themed puzzle today).

    drewjake 11:50 AM  

    BASIL as "king of herbs" may just refer to the fact that basil comes from the Greek word for "king" (basileus). Agreed this is a well-crafted puzzle.

    fikink 12:17 PM  

    What a pleasure to do this puzzle. The lovely Ks and fresh words: TRACT, TWIXT, BEVY, RHYME. Lots of fun.
    The puzzle and your blog, Rex, had a whole bunch of oddly favorite things to me, including Herb Tarlek and BASIL Fawlty and Dr. KATZ.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Rex Parker and Patrick Berry. You made my morning!

    Greene 12:23 PM  

    I would like to thank Ullrich and Bill from NJ for their gracious assistance in repairing my avatar. I would have probably wasted hours fiddling with it today, but instead I get to spend that time with my family. You guys are awesome!

    One of the many things I am thankful for this holiday season is stumbling across Rex's blog and getting to know all of you wonderful people. Even though the economy has tanked and our futures are uncertain, we can still come here and find a bit of solace and comradery in the simplicity of a humble crossword puzzle. I, for one, am grateful.

    mac 12:25 PM  

    @fikink: how about chemist?

    Norm 12:34 PM  

    Didn't find it that easy. Was over halfway through before I saw the theme. Fun puzzle. A nice reward after getting the turkey in the oven. Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love.

    Norm 12:34 PM  

    Didn't find it that easy. Was over halfway through before I saw the theme. Fun puzzle. A nice reward after getting the turkey in the oven. Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love.

    fikink 12:43 PM  

    @mac, and CHEMISTS! ...just a great puzzle with wonderful words and a relaxing sort of pondering, instead of furrowed brow and feeling like a ditz.
    Just right with coffee before heading to the kitchen to fill the house with the wonderful aroma of stuffed turkey and the anticipation of a stein in front of a fire.
    @greene, your avatar looks great. You have great comrades in Ulrich and Bill...
    and, you are right, this is going to be a rough coupla years ahead, but we've got the right person to "machete" our way out of this. Something to be thankful for!
    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

    GlennCY 12:57 PM  

    No wave here - started with wind, but Ski seemed obvious to me and made wake apparent

    Karen 12:59 PM  

    JannieB, thanks for reminding me about my favorite Thanksgiving episode.

    Agree with Rex, Ernie is optimistic, but not naive.

    I had a malapop with putting HIE in for REV.

    I really wanted zero HOUR.

    Great puzzle Patrick, and happy Thanksgiving all.

    Michael 1:08 PM  

    Count me along with those who didn't get the theme until after finishing the puzzle (but before looking at the blog).

    happy thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) to all!

    Wade 1:19 PM  

    Not easy for me, all because of RUTH for KATZ (whom I had never heard of.) That kept me from completing the SW. Didn't think of PAULY Shore as an actor or really even as a human being (I was leaning toward Toots and then Dinah). I thought I'd trained myself to recognize all the rental-car traps, but I fell for Enterprise this time--was thinking of "Star Trek," a show I've never watched.

    Thanks to Rex for explaining the achievements of this puzzle--philistine me didn't even notice the extra row of letters. ("Football in groin! Football in groin!")

    Eli Barrieau 1:27 PM  

    I always remember Tycho BRAHE because he had a pet moose that died when it drank too much and fell down the stairs. I wish I made that up.

    He also lost his nose in a duel and had a fake one made out of metal.

    I wish he were at my table today.

    meotch 1:44 PM  

    rex, are you sure that water skier photo isn't upside down???

    jae 2:07 PM  

    Nice puzzle which was more of medium for me, although I liked yesterday's theme more than this one. Catching on to this one was not as satisfying as making the OLE=HURRAH connection. That said, the fill in this one is really excellent.

    Lots of missteps, WAVE, RUTH, SURGE (for CLIMB), LYRES (for LUTES), AMONG, HERD (for BEVY) and a re-right with ICEUP, which is probably why it felt like a medium.

    Oh, and I'm with Rex on HAN Solo. Happy Thanksgiving all.

    foodie 2:26 PM  

    Happy Thanksgiving to Rex and the Rexites.

    I take this holiday literally and count my blessings, and I too am very thankful to be part of this wonderful community.

    Lovely, easy puzzle although I could not make out the theme, probably because the "with recycling" only showed up after the first clue, and somehow it was not clear to me that it was implied for the rest...

    I guess my mind was on today's real challenge: How to make a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free yet very tasty Thanksgiving meal (for family members with various food intolerances). It can be done, I know, but we'll see if I actually manage it. I have a few tricks up my sleeve...

    Enjoy your day everyone! And Happy Belated Birthday Rex.

    Doc John 2:33 PM  

    Happy T-day everyone!

    I also had wave and left it at that. When will I learn that if an answer (svi) doesn't make sense then it probably isn't right?

    TEX is an abbreviation, too. In this case, anyway, but I guess it could have been clued so as not to be one. (I.e. "wrangler's nickname").

    Fave answer: INTESTINES. As an earlier poster mentioned, who knew?

    Two Ponies 2:41 PM  

    Cool, dark, and rainy here in Vegas for a change making it feel as close to Thanksgiving as we get in the desert. The smell of the turkey in the oven helps a lot as well.
    @ JannieB I also was thinking of that WKRP episode this morning even before I picked up the puzzle.
    Oh, the puzzle! Loved it. Mr. Berry comes through again. I was relieved that it wasn't a holiday theme. Although recycled turkey may be a topic in days to come!
    Back to the kitchen.

    Jim in Chicago 3:18 PM  

    Can someone explain why Stilton is "WAXY"?? Utterly delicious with a glass of port after a big Thanksgiving dinner, yes. But, waxy?

    mexgirl 3:39 PM  

    Rex, Thank You for your always fun and inspired blog.
    Everybody, Thank You for your always insightful and informative comments.

    Have mercy on the turkeys!

    andrea carla michaels 3:43 PM  

    Great puzzle, and for those of you expecting a Thanksgiving theme, if BASIL, GINGERNUT are not enough, just think of the constructor as Patrick CRANberry....done!

    @Jubjub
    Since I had Dr RUTH (despite having performed with Jonathan Katz in our early Boston days...super smart, super dry, different league from the other comics who were very Boston, Irish Catholic, crass...)it was fun to see I was wrong.
    + Thanks for ANY mention of unsung hero Mitch Hedberg!


    @greene
    Never give it a rest...besides RESTE is a recycle of ERTES!

    Actually, if I may zero in op my only quibble (gobble?) with this puzzle is that the repetition of the word "recycled" in a bizarre context was very stilted and irritating to me. I almost wish Patrick/Will had mixed it up with other cryptic-style ways to say the same thing.

    Happy to see Rex so Happy in post-Birthday glow. Must be the ingested crayons!

    Eric+ 3:46 PM  

    Well Rex, I did not have WAVE but I admit I had WASH for a while. Also I'm English but I don't remember ginger nut cookies only ginger snaps. Agree with the construction; the puzzle was a pleasure.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Arthur Carlson 5:47 PM  

    "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." WKRP.

    mac 6:29 PM  

    @jim in Chicago: there isn't a lot of wax on the outside of a Stilton cheese, like Edam, but there is probably some. Just went to my fridge/cheesedrawer, but there's only Roquefort at the moment.

    @Eric+: I never heard of ginger nuts either, just snaps.

    Just came back from dinner, and we didn't have turkey.... Good thing I roasted some 2 days ago and we're still nibbling on it.

    joho 6:48 PM  

    I really liked this puzzle. Was happy not to find a Thanksgiving theme. Patrick is the Berry best. (insert groan). Puns aside, he is definitely one of the best as Rex has already mentioned. I always look forward to his puzzles and am never disappointed.

    Our dinner was wonderful but at the moment I feel as if I'm on a Tryptophan drip ... I am getting groggy ... I'm ...

    Ulrich 7:45 PM  

    @bill in nj: I hear you're back in the avatar-fixing business--so, you can't be doing too poorly. I'm glad to learn about this.

    @green: You're welcome. I'm sure you could fix much more when it comes to my aging body than I could ever do when it comes to avatars.

    JannieB 7:59 PM  

    @arthur carlson - (cute!) Thanks so much - I laughed all over again - perfect ending to a great day!!!!

    chefbea 8:15 PM  

    just back from a wonderful and too filling dinner. Why do we insist on over eating?? Who needs all those pies?? Time for the couch!!

    Bill from NJ 8:33 PM  

    @greene-

    When I first came to this blog I had problems getting my avatar to post and mentioned it in the Comments section. The next thing I knew, I was getting all kinds of help (led by Orange) in how to go about getting it to post. When I went on hiatus, I received all manner of good wishes from the community at large.

    I was just glad to have the opportunity to pay it forward.

    @Ulrich-

    I'm slowly but surely getting better to the point where I am able to occasionally post my thoughts on the puzzles although I still require considerable down time between them.

    To you and mac and foodie and fikink and everybody else in this Community of Solvers, I wish a Happy Thanksgiving.

    And to Rex, a special Thanks for this Place.
    And Ulrich... thanks for asking.

    mac 8:55 PM  

    @Bill from NJ: so good to hear from you, a Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

    chefbea 9:26 PM  

    @Bill from NJ I agree: good to hear from you and a happy thanksgiving to you,Barbara and your family.

    Ate weigh too much today and its time for bed.

    Geometricus 9:44 PM  

    Just showed and explained the theme to a non-xword-geek audience here in the dining room after just finishing, and even they went "wow...cool" I got the theme after I had already filled in 3 or 4 theme clues. It was HORSESHOER that finally revealed it to me. I'm very sensitive to anagrams for HORSE, I'm not sure why.

    @Eli Barrieau: total belly laughter all around the dining room here at your Brahe post. Thank you!

    SCOTUS Addict 11:43 PM  

    Inspired by Sarah Palin, I have freed myself of the tyranny of turkey and made a brisket today. Equally happy to have a Thanksgiving-free puzzle, although I also believe the recycling theme is a nod to leftovers.

    edith b 8:09 AM  

    Anagrams are so not my thing that when I completed the puzzle I thought the only thing the circled squares had in common with the uncircled ones was that they were words that seemed to be mismatched and I spent some time trying to think what TINES PEAR BETS SHOER and MATE had in common and just what the devil LAGE and SNECKOUT meant and how Recycling tied into the whole thing. That's how bad things were.

    So I decided to come here and accept whatever humiliation I had coming and take it like a man, er I mean woman.

    AHA!!!, I said (redfaced)

    I guess I'm just going to have to work on my second-level puzzling skills as I was able to fill in the grid in just under 10 minutes, which is pretty good, IMOO.

    My family was down from New York for Thanksgiving and my daughter and I did the traditional thing and cooked dinner for our Menfolk while they watched football on the TV, my grandson pointing out the finer points of the game to Archibald (my husband) and a grand time was had by all, and after dinner, my daughter and I relaxed and watched an old tape of Pavarotti perfoming Opera's Greatest Hits while the fellas did the dishes and cleaned up, also a traditional thing.

    I hope everybody had as much of a good time as my family and I did and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Bill Allen 3:32 PM  

    I didn't think quite so highly of the theme words as Rex did because in some cases each of the two halves was complete -- a word or half a word -- and in others the top word or phrase ran into the bottom half -- "stuck one's" and "legal". But I suppose perfect symmetry is a great deal to ask of Mr. Berry, given the difficult task he set for hiself.

    Acai Berry 7:07 AM  

    yeah in some cases both halves were complete.

    Waxy in Montreal 1:06 PM  

    5 weeks on, from syndicateland where (American) Thanksgiving has magically morphed itself into New Year's Day -

    Happy 2009 one and all - it's gotta be a lot better than one just over!

    Great puzzle to begin the year. Started with END run, evolved to SVI, only got SKI very late in the day. And count me in as (originally) a Brit who has never heard of Gingernut biscuits, only Gingersnaps.

    Old Al 2:54 PM  

    Question to Syndicated Puzzle Solvers: Does your paper publish the theme?

    Mine doesn't and it is sometimes very strange to figure out what the theme is. Today was an example. I finished the puzzle and had no idea what the shaded squares represented. It was a great Thursday puzzle none the less.

    Happy New Year to all.

    Waxy in Montreal 3:27 PM  

    @Old Al: Though I stand to be corrected, I don't believe the theme is ever explicitly published. It's always been my assumption that part of the fun/challenge of solving the puzzle is determining it. For example, today when the penny dropped eventually and I saw that what the "recycling" regarding INTESTINES referred to, a) it was sort of a eureka moment and b) made the solution of the rest of the puzzle that much easier.

    Old Al 5:22 PM  

    when I look at Rex's solution (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_fUzorZk31Ss/SS6mCgde0aI/AAAAAAAAA10/Z8Y76DzK2e4/s1600-h/08.Nov27.jpg), it says, right up there at the top under Patrick and Will's names, "5. Most promising options with recycling?"

    Sharon 1:52 AM  

    Happy New Year Old Al and Waxy and everyone else in syndicateland.
    I could not understand the theme until I came to the blog. So,liked the puzzle less and found it harder than some did.
    @ Old Al I think my paper used to print the theme - a sort of sub title - not lately.
    @ Waxy. It's always named on Sundays. Isn't yours?
    Gingernut biscuits - sounds delic.
    They haven't made an appearance in my 30+ years of annual(nearly) visits to England but they should.

    Sharon 1:56 AM  

    Whoa! A shock to see my post say 1:52 Actually it's 9:52 here in AK, but that 's later than I knew.

    Anonymous 5:22 PM  

    A wake is a danger to small craft? I had gale, but then I'm a sailor. A wake is a bump in the road. As for the theme, it would have made more sense if the 'with recycling' had followed each theme clue. The ellipsis wasn't enough, I didn't think.

    wcutler 3:12 AM  

    Thanks for being here. I can't usually complete the Friday puzzles (we had no paper yesterday, so this appeared Jan 2 in Vancouver, BC), and the only reason I tried this one was that it seemed to have a gimmick. And then I didn't get it. I was so pleased to be able to come here and read what the puzzle was all about.

    I also enjoyed reading the explanation of what makes a good puzzle and the comments about the structure of this one.

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