Advice for an Insomniac

Apr 13, 2021 · 187 comments
Sue Larson (Sydney)
Congrats! Smiled while doing while up in the middle of the night with insomnia!
Becki (Sausalito)
I have googled my heart out and cannot find ANY justification for “send” as an alt def for “elate”. Am I the only one mystified by that one? What am I missing? It’s making me crazy!
areles (long beach)
I have to assume it's in the spirit of the old timey phrase "_sends me". if it's not that, then I have no idea!
Newaddict (Maine)
Loved the puzzle. Eclectic mix. Clean fill. Playful theme. Congratulations, Nathan, on your NYT debut and capstone project, and thank you for donating proceeds. Best wishes at HMC!
Rico (Alameda)
Ewe have got to be kidding me. Easy one but lots of fun. Welcome Nathan!
Elizabeth (Ohio)
Congratulations, Nathan! My niece and two nephews are all JCHS alums. It's a great school.
Didi Miller (Berkeley)
Nathan’s sage-like ability to twist and contort the crossroads between language and algorithmic thinking is something that has never ceased to amaze me. Bravo, Nate!
LStott (Brunswick, ME)
Didn't get ANY of the sheep but enjoyed this puzzle a lot. Thank you, Nathan!
Retired, with cat (Milwaukee)
Amusing observation: in the printed paper, on Sunday CELESTE Ng was on the front page of the Arts section, and today, the Maura LOA Observatory was in the Business section. Reading the actual paper can really pay off, except I usually do the crossword after the front section.
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Retired, with cat I always say, if you want to solve crosswords, read the rest of the paper. And it doesn’t have to be literally. It just means be well-informed in general and receptive to all areas of endeavor, even if it’s not your area of interest. It’s just a nice coincidence that two clues were also in the newspaper the same day.
Sara (NC)
Mazel Tov on on the puzzle and reaching your goal, Nathan!
Ax (Miami)
I just started doing the Times crossword puzzles again after a long break. I am on a 3 day streak. Today, a high schooler kept me stumped for a good 20 minutes with 59A and 62A. Mainly because I had ADDON for 45D. I just could not figure out "1 followed by nothing". Great job!
Thomas Solomon (Santa Rosa Ca)
A great puzzle. For both solvers and punsters.
Brando (Chicago)
That had to be the easiest Wednesday I’ve played in a while. Felt like a Monday but without the weird naticks! Thanks for the great puzzle.
Marti (Asheville NC)
Incredibly fun and very clever indeed! Bravo!
Kate (Massachusetts)
To the right below this box I’m typing in, lo and behold: another EWE in (Sort by) Newest. They’re everywhere! Sweet theme and nice and clean fill—and yet another high schooler? Wow! I’m feeling more and more inadequate by the day... but seriously, Congratulations young Mr. Hasegawa! Bravo to you, and best of luck in college! And on the topic of COUNTING SHEEP, all I can say is, if only. Put me in the BONE WEARY category these days!
Mayra (Puerto Rico)
Nathan, I really enjoyed your puzzle! It was challenging but not impossible, perfect for Hump Day! As for the ramen clue: I’m glad so many non-Asians learned something today 😂
Frances (Western Mass)
My thoughts on RAMEN etiquette (who’s asking? but here goes): If you’re not in one of those places that need your seat within 6 minutes, taste the broth with the spoon. This also helps because the broth is sometimes at about 500 Kelvin, so you can cool it down in the bowl of the spoon. Then you can proceed with the noodles and the toppings and if there isn’t any menma I would leave immediately. Don’t leave the broth unless you plan on never going back to the place again. You can drink from the bowl when the broth has cooled slightly (in my case considerably). If you’re an お嬢様 you can drink all the broth with a spoon. There are a lot of things that can go on ramen, but enoki should not be there.
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
@Frances My kind of ramen eater! Also, bring the noodles to your mouth by twirling a small amount of noodles onto your chopsticks, using the spoon for support. Or maybe that's pho.
Think (Wisconsin)
@Frances Now I’m craving ramen noodles with some pork belly char siu, veggies, egg, a little pickled onion on top, and seaweed/nori, in a tasty broth! It’s cold in Wisconsin today.
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
@Think Oh man, me too.
Ruth Massaro (Carmel, CA)
Loved this puzzle. Congrats to you, and enjoy the Claremont Colleges. Great place. (I’m a Pomona grad )
Poi dog (Kona, hawaii)
The observatory on Mauna Loa is a weather station. Mauna Kea has da kine that look at the stars.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Poi dog, That was discussed here earlier. To save you a lot of scrolling:
Scott (Little Rock, AR)
Scott (Little Rock, AR)
K Paul Peters (DC)
So fun and we identified Bone as a shortening of the name Bonehead, which was the name of most of the flock on Hilltop Farm.
Bob (New York)
Nice puzzle, Mr Hasegawa! HMC '10 here, we're lucky to have someone like you joining our ranks for sure.
Newbie (Cali)
Given the constructor's last name, I guess I'll defer on the RAMEN clue. Maybe young Nathan has some special skill I am unaware of. But c'mon, how does one eat noodles with a spoon? Are you wrapping the noodles around the neck of the spoon? Of course, you can eat ramen without any tools at all. Just slurp it all up; noddles, broth and all. I'm gonna have to YouTube this.. Also, Harvey Mudd, wow. You are a smart kid.
Diana (California)
@Newbie Use the chopsticks to lift your noodles out of the bowl, then raise the spoon and let the end of the noodles drop into in a little pile in the bowl of the spoon. This allows the noodles to cool off so you can eat them, and avoid slurping. I usually saw girls my age eating ramen this way when I was in Japan in 2018, and I assumed it was to reduce the risk of getting ramen broth on their cute outfits!
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
@Newbie Who is Harvey Mudd?
Dr W (New York NY)
Quibble re 32D: After you do the 32D cry, the question in the clue should be "Who stops there?"
Dr W (New York NY)
Oh my. Neat. I often peruse finished grids looking for just such letter patterns -- same way as those that are the basis for today's theme, so it was a delight to actually encounter that motif for real. K u d o s !! And an added fillip: turn the grid upside down and carry out that same pattern hunt. How many this time?
Kevin (Phoenix)
How often do you "cheat"? I've been doing the NYT crossword for about a year now, and I always assumed experienced solvers never look anything up, particularly on MTW puzzles. I finished today's puzzle with zero hints (a rarity, I assured you) and I was surprised to hear you had to look up "Argus". It's nice to hear when even pros get stumped.
Dr W (New York NY)
@Kevin Hand up -- I often need to google what's not in my wheelhouse. Being a "pro" has nothing to do with it -- I have a disability that keeps me from understanding movie dialogue -- and therefore watching such -- so a good bloc of the entertainment canon (in English) is not in my repertoire. I do better with subtitles or captioned movies. (But not always -- Mrs W and I did a second honeymoon on the Black Sea after two nights in Bucharest. I looked forward to seeing closed-caption TV in the hotel ... and ... it was in Rumanian.)
Bob (New York)
@Kevin I will look up 1-3 proper names for FrSa puzzles (actors, musicians, etc). I try not to look up anything else.
Jen (Canada)
@ Kevin I don't feel bad about looking something up - for example, I'm not going to beat myself up because I don't know the first name of US supreme court justices! I do try and challenge myself by trying to guess a name from the crosses, though.
Ginny (Pittsburgh)
It was a fine puzzle, but I would have put this at a Monday or Tuesday. My finish time was a record for Wednesday — by far.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Ginny, Had you identified the 12 sheep within that "finish time," or was that post-finish or did you not bother to do it? If you did it post-finish and timed it, was your "total solve time" below your Wednesday average? P.S. It's your puzzle.
Newbie (Cali)
@Barry Ancona Barry...
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Newbie, Sorry, but I posed a fair and legitimate question, and the P.S. should have made it clear I was not judging Ginny in any way. Some people, as I trust you've come to realize reading the comments, have no interest in knowing the theme, during the solve or after. And some people consider a themed puzzle finished even if they don't get the theme. Different strokes. All fine by me.
Theresa K (Ridgewood, NJ)
I was surprised to see James Garfield's middle name again -- it appeared in this past Sunday's puzzle. I guess I have to get used to see the Frozen Queen's name as it has those handy vowels at beginning and end.
Scott (Little Rock, AR)
@Theresa K I can never remember whether it starts with an I or and E.
Retired, with cat (Milwaukee)
@Scott ILSA = Casablanca ELSA = Frozen I and II (or sometimes Anna, who was the sister, but not the queen) INGA = Young Frankenstein All good to know for crosswords.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Scott I usually can’t remember if it’s ELSA or ELLA.
Eli (Silver Spring, MD)
Wow - super cool puzzle! Very impressive debut for the young constructor. Looking forward to more from him.
StinkyCheez (DC)
Excellent, fun, and especially impressive that Mr. Hasegawa is donating his proceeds to St. Anthony’s. I’ll do the same in his name.
Ms. Cat (NYC)
What chutzpah! Mazel tov Mr. Hasegawa on your NYT debut. I hope you’ll find time during your college years to keep creating xwords. Keep up the good work!
Ms Dale Erichsen (Downingtown, Pa)
To Nathan Hasegawa Congratulations young man. You are an inspiration and show us all that dreams and goals CAN AND DO come true. Wishing you the best and hope to see more puzzles‼️‼️ I don’t know you, but as an educator I am so very PROUD of you. Ms Dale Erichsen 🌻
Frances (Western Mass)
Do lions count gnus? My feeling is they don’t have a problem sleeping, unless they’re hungry maybe. Great backstory to the puzzle. Loved TRAMPOLINE and FLAMBOYANT though missed the sheep. I mostly do themed puzzles like themelesses. LAMBO is also a somewhat famous anime character. Don’t think it would fly, it was popular over ten years ago. And the character is named for the car anyway.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Frances - There’s also a pop singer from Nigeria whose stage name is Lambo, short for Lamboginny, also after the car.
OboeSteph (Florida)
Congratulations on your debut, young Nathan Hasegawa! Very impressive. What a wonderful-sounding charity you've chosen to support. When I saw the clue "advice for an insomniac," I was hoping for something new to try. COUNT SHEEP is not very helpful advice, but it does make a cute theme.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@OboeSteph - I never found counting sheep to be helpful either. Right before the shutdown, a friend of mine gave me a sort of alarm clock that makes all kinds of sounds and lights. I set it to play a distant thunderstorm and I really do fall asleep!
Steve (SLC)
Exceptional work! I can see why you are a Mudder.
Grizzly (Atlanta)
Does ELIA at 40A count as a sheep since it was the pen name of Charles LAMB?
dk (Now in Mississippi)
Ewe have got to kidding! Bleated Tom, boorishly. Puzzle brings to mind: Mad Magazine: Man standing with water dripping off him. Other man asks: Is it raining? Response: No, I came by SEWER. Mary Hartmann Mary Hartmann and the ringed pillow (for hemorrhoids) with "Daddy's Home" embroidered upon it. Nathan while in Claremont: Walters, try Afgan Fries, for dining in town and Tropical Mexico (Pomona) for a night out. At Tropical M try the beef tongue mole. Nice one Nathan
brutus (berkeley)
Well done Nathan and congratulations on reaching that self-set, rather lofty goal. Your achievement, having a puzzle published in the Times prior to your embarking on your Harvey Mudd studies, is an admirable one. Fare thee well as you join the Stags and Athenas in Claremont...I found my solve to be sort of an easy goer; it met my Goldilocks factor squarely head on for mid-week level puzzling...Rounding up to the minute, I wrapped up this baby in twelve minutes under my Wed. average and four over my personal best for Wed. I’ll pull even with my lengthiest streak (six) should I to successfully solve to Sunday. The smart dough, tho, is on the puzzle...This song, taken from a ‘75 Midnight Special appearance, opens with three little words that will explain why I elected to link Bee Gees today. TATAS To All, Bru
Mike (Munster)
Ewe know I wool love puzzles like this. (Now I'm feeling sheepish.)
Captain Quahog (Planet Earth)
@Mike - That's baa-a-a-a-ad.
Dr W (New York NY)
@Captain Quahog oviniculture perhaps?
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
@Mike Don't try to pull the wool over our eyes; you've spun a few yarns in your day. Shear delight!
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
AWW...Wish I had worked this one on paper instead of with PuzzAzz. Cute! BONE TIRED is what I say...and what I entered, only to backspace it back out...along with ANACIN, SIB, DUI, and FUMES. Started the machine quilting only to discover 4 misplaced blocks. So much for my one-at-a-time approach designed to avoid just such a circumstance. Welp, too late now. Quilt's gonna be just as warm with the mistakes as it would be if perfect. Pfft. [aaaaaaarrrgh]
Jerry N (Oregon)
LETTER BOXED F - T (5), T - N (11) Hint Battle distress @ 350a EDT
AB (Providence, RI)
@Jerry N F-T (8), T-O (5) Super-charged architectural feature?
Troy (Indiana)
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Troy As in a member of a religious order.
Troy (Indiana)
@Eric Hougland I see that but if FRA is an abbreviation for "Father/Friar", then BROTHER should have been clued as an abbreviation. Nothing else fit I could ATONE for, so FRA it is/was. Thank you.
Al in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
@Troy No expert here, but I believe that FRA as used here is not an abbreviation for Fratello but the spoken form of address for members of the order. Similar to our other frequent entry SRI?
paul (sfo)
Why is the picture of a lioness?
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
@paul She's yawning. And sheep would have given it away. :)
Bill (Detroit)
@Deb Amlen And they will lie down together.
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
@Bill Briefly.
JFT (Pasadena, CA)
Harvey Mudd College sounds about right - only the best and brightest go there! (I worked for the HMC president at her previous university - she is an incredible person.) Best wishes to you, Nathan!
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
Nathan: Baa ram ewe, babe! It was fun. I hope we see you again.
judy d (livingston nj)
Took me more time to COUNT and ADD TO 12 than to finish the puzzle! Fun!
Ken S (Now in Florida)
I enjoyed this puzzle while solving, then looking for the theme answers interspersed throughout, and also the original clues such as 54D, 41A , and 56A. I was then amazed to find out that the constructor is a high school senior! As a former high school teacher and administrator for over forty years, I learned to never underestimate the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and creativity of our young people. Bravo Nathan! Congratulations on your impending graduation and good luck in your future.
I B Hooved (Beaufort SC)
As has never been the case, I am confused by Deb's column. She states 43D is ANTS, for "putting out feelers." My grid has 7 letters and INSECTS fits nicely. Maybe someone can explain. I probably misread something.
I B Hooved (Beaufort SC)
@I B Hooved Whoops, six letters - INSECT
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
@I B Hooved Thanks for the catch! I don't know why I had ants on the brain. I've corrected it to INSECT in the column.
Elizabeth (NJ)
Fun puzzle! Congrats on the capstone Mr. Hasegawa, and best of luck at Harvey Mudd.
MED (Columbus, OH)
That was a great one... A little too easy, but the theme was SO clever! Will Shortz, keep this kid in your Rolodex!
MaB (NH)
Fun springtime puzzle! BTW the word WALE is not a word accepted by Spelling Bee...
MaB (NH)
@MaB Oops! My bad! WALE was okay yesterday...
guiyilan (Los Angeles)
Congratulations! Such a fun puzzle, especially the sleeper reveal.
Chaz Aich (Endwell, NY)
58A got me thinking about the substantialty of “nothing.” It just so happened that yesterday I encountered a thought-provoking riff on this word/theme in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s excellent new novel The Comitted. Which got me thinking of King Lear, not to mention many Existentialist texts and authors. Congrats, Nathan, on a great debut puzzle. Continue to eschew sheepishness and manifest chutzpah as you head off for college.
Navid (TN)
I might invoke the ire of the triskaidekaphobics in the group by suggesting a thirteenth sheep lurking in the upper midwest in the first letters of 36A, 31A, 25A, and 19A. Fantastic debut Nathan!
SPB (Virginia)
@Navid I love that! Now that you have me looking at that stack, I see that one could go up to M and then back down on the diagonal to the second letter of 31A for the B - I wonder how many more sheep are hidden in there!
Nancy (NYC)
I noticed nothing at all until I got to COUNT SHEEP. If there hadn't been a revealer, I could have gone to my grave without having noticed any of it at all. Only then did I spot the EWE at HERE WE ARE, circled it, and went looking for more EWEs. I could only find five, though now I see that I missed the Down one at MAE WEST. Even then, that would have only made six. I needed 12. Bummer! Might there also be some RAMs? I went looking for RAMs and could only find three. Now I'm up to eight (which should have been nine, but I didn't know that.) Might there also be some LAMBS? Found two. Now I'm up to ten SHEEP (which should have been 11, but I didn't know that.) What was I missing? Was there a BAMBI or a DOLLY somewhere in the grid? This puzzle has been much, much more fun to write about than to actually solve. And once more it's brought home to me how bad I am at noticing letters embedded in other letters. I'm just not observant. Never invite me to be a witness at your trial.
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
Hi @Nancy, If you'd like to see where all the sheep are, there is a link in the column to a highlighted answer key.
Think (Wisconsin)
@Deb Amlen Today’s xword reminded me of, “Baa, ram, ewe! Baa, ram, ewe! To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true! Sheep be true!”
Bill (Detroit)
In 1914, the German organologists (yes, that's a word) Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs developed a system--based on the DEWEY decimal system--for classifying musical instruments; a double-reed aerophone with keys is 422.112-71. Only the Germans. Great clue for a crossword chestnut--was it your own, Mr. Hasegawa, or was it edited in? It's a pity only one little lamb made it into the puzzle.
Bill (Detroit)
@Bill Whoops--the cursor went over "submit." It's pity only one little lamb made it into the puzzle. Suggestions for others: Scrabble (7) Roxy Music or Queen, e.g. (8) Others?
Bill (Detroit)
@Bill More: New England fête (8) [or] Seafood stock (9) Vino rosso (9) Fruited quaff (6) My flock doth flourish!
Manju (NJ)
Congratulations Nathan. Excellent puzzle. And a Wednesday too!!! Nice going!
RAH (New York)
Leo Rosten gives the classic definition: “Chutzpah is that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."
Miri (Central Time)
Mazel tov, Nathan! I’m kvelling!
Dennis B. (West Point, UT)
That's a good example of "chutzpah." Even more so, if Mr. Hasegawa didn't have a "Plan B" if this puzzle didn't get accepted before graduation!
Nathan Hasegawa (Oakland, CA)
@Dennis B. I did have a Plan B.
Jay (Pennsylvania)
I don't know... this puzzle was much ado about mutton.
Grant (Delaware)
Great puzzle for a Wednesday, couldn't figure out the theme until filling in 60A/61A. Congrats to young master Hasegawa, and good luck at Harvey Mudd. WALE? Another rapper to add to the filler list. One minor quibble; who eats RAMEN with a spoon?
Mu (Michigan)
Broke students out of forks
Frances (Western Mass)
@Grant Ramen is usually served with a spoon for soup. Not in the real stands around train stations where you’re expected to just drink it out of the bowl.
Anne (Renton WA; Monrovia, Liberia)
I do! A fork for the noodles and a spoon for the broth!
suejean (HARROGATE)
What an absolute delight, a fairly smooth solve with a well concealed flock of theme answers. When I looked for those sheep as soon as I got the reveal I noticed loads of EWEs, then the RAMs and finally the LAMBS. I’m still not sure I found all of them and Deb’s site didn’t work for me ( as very few in the comments don’t as well in fact) Never mind, ‘‘twas a great start to the day, and am happy to add my congratulations to the many for Nathan.
Congratulations, Nathan! Really fun puzzle.
SPB (Virginia)
With the revealer being so near the bottom of the puzzle and the themed entries being rather hidden (from me, at least), I sailed through this thinking how unusual it was to have a themeless Tuesday. Getting to the revealer in the penultimate row of the grid was thus an extra aha moment, followed by a successful search for all of the EWEs, RAMs and LAMBs - delightful! BONE WEARY fit right in with the theme for frequent insomniacs such as myself, and I’d count ARGUS as theme-related on two counts, in that he was slain by Hermes, who (1) disguised himself as a shepherd and (2) lulled Argus to sleep (a tough job getting all of those one hundred eyes to close) and then dispatched him. There was much to ELATE me throughout, highlighted by FLAMBOYANT and MAE WEST; the library combo of RENEWER and the DEWEY Decimal System; and, in the that’s-how-my-brain-works department, the 27D/28D image of someone TRAMPOLINing over the RAMPART! Thank you, Nathan, for a double helping of fun this morning, and congratulations on both your NYT debut and what I'm sure was an A on your school project!
John (Jersey Coast)
Sleepless at 3 AM, so why not do the puzzle? How timely. A bit crunchy but, hey, it was the middle of the night! Congrats on terrific debut.
Lewis (Asheville, NC)
I always do a little jump for joy when a new constructor enters the fold. I happily picture their thrill at getting that first puzzle in the NYT, and I selfishly am thrilled myself, as the future of this hobby I love grows stronger and longer. Congratulations, Nathan! There is great skill shown in this grid. Hiding a dozen sheepish terms of at least five letters, plus a ten letter reveal, called for an over-the-top number of theme squares, and to do so as smoothly as you did – that would be tough for even a seasoned constructor. It is an impressive feat. That kind of skill bodes well for your future puzzles. It solved like a themeless; I counted the sheep afterward. Your next challenge, Nathan, is to come up with a theme that adds to the solve during the solve, which makes a puzzle more involving, and after seeing what you did here, I know you can do it. As it is, you taught me “aerophone”, and, as a musician, I’m very happy to learn that. You also made me, the resident alphadoppeltotter here, quite happy by producing a puzzle with an unusually low number of double letters (4), a rare occurrence indeed. That was my second jump for joy. Thank you and keep ‘em coming!
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
"...enters the fold." Lewis, I saw what you penned there!
Rich in Atlanta (Austell, Georgia)
Eau ewes guise. Fun puzzle and a fairly challenging solve (for me). Took me almost as long to find the sheep after I was done as it did to solve the puzzle. What an impressive debut. High school senior? Wow. Just... wow. Some interesting answer history searches today, but I'll stop posting them here. You're welcome. Don't worry - I'll fall asleep counting my blessings.
SPB (Virginia)
@Rich in Atlanta I always look forward to your answer history searches, so I hope this is just a temporary hiatus!
ad absurdum (Chicago)
@SPB Me too!
SPT (Durham, NC)
@rich in Atlanta me three! I don't post much but enjoy reading your comments.
JJ Johnson (Florida)
43D is not ANT as Ms. Amien states in her “Tricky Clues” section.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
JJ, Not only that; her name isn't "Amien." (It was a very tricky clue.)
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
Thank you, @JJ Jackson! I've corrected it in the column. :)
Cat Lady Margaret (Maine)
Lovely debut! I was BONE WEARY after my volunteer shift at a vax clinic, but so stubborn in my habit of solving at night. So the effort to COUNT SHEEP finished me off completely. Had to review in the morning. 59A reminded me of an overheard joke, from a kid practicing his standup bit to his audience (mom): “You’re number one in my book - right next to nothing!”
Paul Galante (Philadelphia)
@Cat Lady Margaret In all seriousness, Margaret, bless you for your efforts at the clinic.
AudreyLM (Georgetown, ME)
Nathan! Thank you for this delightful ovine intervention in my morning. So impressive, and I will certainly join ewe in supporting St. Anthony's.
Lucy (Plymouth MI)
Congratulations Nathan! Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.
JRu (London)
LETTER BOXED F-T (6) / T-N (10) Fear or panic arranged as data with rows and columns
Dennis F (Monmouth Junction, NJ)
@JRu Ditto for me, at first. Here’s another one: F - H (8), H - N (10) Living at a vacation or time off place
Jack Aubert (Falls Church)
F - T(6), T - N(11) Scary ordeal @ 5:00 EDT
ITReader (MA)
@JRu F - T (8), T - O (5) HINTS: Semi-circular over-door window, in Georgian houses; Performance-improving engine fan
Doug (Tokyo)
SPELLING BEE GRID L A C H I N O WORDS: 67, POINTS: 326, PANGRAMS: 1, BINGO First character frequency: A x 6 C x 30 H x 5 I x 1 L x 18 N x 5 O x 2 Word length frequency: 4L: 23 5L: 17 6L: 7 7L: 7 8L: 4 9L: 5 10L: 2 11L: 1 12L: 1 Grid: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Σ A: 1 3 - 1 - 1 - - - 6 C: 6 7 5 4 3 3 2 - - 30 H: 4 1 - - - - - - - 5 I: - 1 - - - - - - - 1 L: 10 5 1 2 - - - - - 18 N: 1 - - - 1 1 - 1 1 5 O: 1 - 1 - - - - - - 2 Σ: 23 17 7 7 4 5 2 1 1 67 Two letter list: AI-1 AL-3 AN-2 CA-8 CH-5 CI-1 CL-6 CO-10 HA-4 HI-1 IL-1 LA-6 LI-2 LL-1 LO-9 NA-1 NO-4 OI-1 OL-1
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
@Doug I do not like these letters. After an hour, I don't even have half. Is it me?
Surfkat (Oahu, HI)
@Annie Towne Me too.
Janine (Orange, CA)
@Annie Towne It's not just you. I think I'll go to bed and try again in the morning.
Rosalita (PA)
Thank you, Nathan, for a fun Wednesday. Spring recreation? was a great clue and a funny visual. And once I found COUNT SHEEP, all the RAMs jumped out at me, and the little LAMB skipped across the center. Had to look to find the EWES but was impressed by them all. And a high school senior. Omigosh. Maybe that will inspire (or shame) me into accomplishing something, anything, tomorrow. Best wishes.
Christy (NY)
Bravo Nathan, well done.
kkseattle (Seattle)
Fantastic puzzle, one of the best Wednesdays ever. Everything so fresh. Nathan, congratulations, and enjoy your time at Harvey Mudd. What a great school! You will go far, friend.
kilaueabart (Oakland CA)
I for one don't mind a Wednesday being too easy. I take it as a treat. Only tricky part was where I think of observatories as being astronomical and I knew there were none on Mauna LOA so I had an E and a K I was absolutely sure of that weren't working as crosses. The first time I've ever filled those two squares in immediately.
kkseattle (Seattle)
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
kk, Bart said he thought of observatories as being astronomical. He is correct. There is no astronomical observatory on Mauna LOA. (Oops?)
Patrick Jordan (Campbelltown N.S.W. Australia)
I picked up a possible thirteenth ovine entry at 40A. ELIA (Charles Lamb)
Peter Biddlecombe (UK)
@Patrick Jordan Ewe beat me to it. Maybe you’ve done some old-style cryptics. 30+ years ago, “Lamb” in the clue made ELIA a very likely part of the answer in the (London) Times crosswords.
Kate Tani (Kyoto)
From now on I’ll be looking out for all the SHEEP hiding everywhere, in cars, TRAMPOLINEs, SEWERs, even at the library! Thanks for the fun puzzle and wishing blessings upon you for donating the proceeds.
Robert (Vancouver Canada)
and/or Elke Now I know why I'm getting sleepy- --counting those ewes, rams and lambs did it. After reading Deb's column and -comments on NH's chutzpah- or Noive as my Brooklyn friends/relatives would say-- I would venture to say that NH in his comments reveals another example of chutzpah/noive/audacity.
Shayne Taback (Winnipeg, Canada)
After I finished the puzzle, I was quiet for a few minutes. I guess that was a Silence of the Lambs.
AS (California)
Nice puzzle. Although I think it would have been better if it was published in the Wool Street Journal =D
Edward Rice (Vienna, VA)
Kudos and plaudits to Nathan Hasegawa! Nice puzzle. I must take vigorous exception to the clue for 59-Across, "One followed by nothing?" The invention of "zero" as a symbol and a concept is one of the most important ideas in the history of mathematics (if you're smiling and thinking I am joking, Dear Reader, go away). It is certainly not a "one followed by nothing," and suggesting that ignores the entire system of written numbers as most of the world uses them. I commend to you "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea," "The Nothing that is: a Natural History of Zero," "Discovery of zero and its impact on Indian mathematics," and for non-mathematicians . If John Molinder is still at Harvey Mudd, buy him a cup of coffee and discuss whether zero is "nothing." I should probably close this comment with a "Harrumph." Harrumph.
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Edward Rice You are either ignoring, or just missing, the question mark at the end of the clue, which makes it wordplay. A joke, not meant to be taken seriously.
kkseattle (Seattle)
@Edward Rice You literally cite to an article titled "The Nothing that is" and then complain that the clue was "nothing"? Yikes. Props to Nathan.
Cooofnj (New Jersey)
@Edward Rice I get your point, but also the point of other comments. I think the second title you cite would have been better as "The "Nothing" that is:.." because zero definitely is NOT nothing. However, it was a playful clue. My guess is that Nathan is absolutely aware of the fact that zero is not nothing. I know what it is like to have something just make your eye keep going back to it because it is annoying. I had one the other day and I now forgot what it even was, but it raised my solve time because it stuck in my craw. Sometimes things are just like the pebble in your shoe. Not going to hurt you but still annoying. Hope the rest of your day is bright!!
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
Congratulations on your debut, Mr. Hasegawa! Nicely done.
Nick (Washington, DC)
I like these puzzles-within-a-puzzle. Like I'm sure many others, I had to go back and find the EWEs, then I realized I needed RAMs too, and then realized the LAMBs were in there too. Are y'all like me? You wouldn't have considered this puzzle truly solved, even if every square filled perfectly, unless you grokked the theme?
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Nick I found the obvious LAMB in LAMBO, then a twisted LAMB where ORMAN overlies TREBLE. It never occurred to me to look for EWE or RAM. Nevertheless, I consider this “truly solved” (especially as I spent a minute or more finding my typo in ELATE).
Bruce Bode (Batavia, IL)
10A, Brother is Fra? I'm not getting it.
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
@Bruce Bode Since my first reply will not doubt show up sometime tomorrow... Think religious orders.
Joe (S)
@Bruce Bode I, too, had no idea, although I went to Catholic schools ages ago when there were a number of brothers on the staff, but had never heard FRA before. When I finished the puzzle, I googled it, thinking maybe it was an abbreviation, like Mr. or Dr. but, no...apparently it’s a title I’d never heard of for a religious brother. We always just called them “Brother.”
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
@Bruce Bode As in religious orders.
David Coughlan (Evanston IL)
What a fabulous senior class project. Congratulations to Mr. Hasegawa.
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
A quick and cute Wednesday that strangely didn't put me to sleep after counting all those sheep. Very nice job and congrats on the accomplishment of your capstone project! Some unexpected answers, some of which I was not familiar with, but the crossings helped out a lot. One particular problem was 55A, to which I quickly entered DUI instead of DWI, but also thought about OWI because I've seen all three acronyms used—depending upon the state where the offense occurred.
Queenie (Henderson, NV)
Tylenol and Motrin belong to different drug classes. Tylenol is an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic and Motrin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The clue should be Advil alternative.
Javafiend (Philadelphia PA)
True, but both are marketed and used as pain relief. It used to be in my house that we had all the pain relievers because my mother was allergic to aspirin, and I found different pain relievers worked better on different pains.
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
@Queenie Despite the fact that they're different classes, they're both used as antipyretics and analgesics. One common routine for fever/pain relief that we used was to alternate the drugs every three hours (taking each drug at 6-hour intervals) so one didn't have to worry about drugs wearing off before one could take the next dose. This usually worked well for high fevers and for pain that wasn't quite to the level where opioids were required.
Nick (Washington, DC)
@Queenie Yeah, what others said. There's no rationale for that much rigidity here. I'd have allowed CANNABIS in there, too, if only it were blunt enough for the space allotted.
Marcia (Lancaster)
Congratulations on achieving your senior project goal and on your upcoming graduation, Mr. Hasegawa. The word search was a bonus. Fun, breezy puzzle.
David Connell (Weston CT)
I was very aware of the ewe sequence throughout the solve, but thought it was just the way the words were falling together. Didn’t catch the rams and lambs during the solve, I think all but Lambo filled in from crossers. Then I tried counting and found two few on first pass and too many on second. I’d have to have paper and circle them, I guess. Mazel Tov to the young constructor, and good luck in college.
suejean (HARROGATE)
@David Connell , I completely lost count each time I tried, so gave up, but think I got most. I’ll have a look at Deb’s site later.
Bill (Detroit)
@suejean I t
Bill (Detroit)
@suejean I tried counting the instances, but before found them all, I fell asleep.
GMAT (Manhattan)
56A how is send = elate?
Doubleblind (Fargo)
@GMAT also in to grumble a bit about “elate” which made me reach for the “check puzzle” button. I had “emote” which seemed more correct and almost fit... Otherwise an enjoyable grid,,,
paul (sfo)
@GMAT An old hit song by Sam Cooke illustrates (but did not invent) this sense of "send." Darling, you send me I know you send me Darling, you send me Honest, you do, honest, you do…
bratschegirl (California)
It’s in the sense of “You send me,” the classic song by Sam Cooke, where “send” is used as a synonym for “thrill.”
Mike R (Denver)
This puzzle made me sleepy, how about EWEs?
paul (sfo)
But why did he leave out EWERAM?? (Extreme Weather Event Real-time Attribution Machine) Not to mention the famous mathematician RAMENEWEGAN. ;)
paul (sfo)
@paul The first one is a real thing.
Briana (Nashville)
43D is INSECT, not ANT :)
Ann (Baltimore)
Having spent a good part of my day in virtual meetings about goal-setting with high schoolers who have autism, I was pretty blown away by Nathan's "chutzpah"/(my family's name for it might not make it past the emus)-filled goal. Well done! Good luck at Harvey Mudd, one of the places I would have liked to spend four years of my life. I am still looking for a few more ovines.
Noodle Soup (NYC)
Nice breezy puzzle with a clever theme, but hats off to anyone who can eat a bowl of RAMEN with only a spoon.
Bill in Yokohama (Yokohama)
I think a better clue for 13A would be, "Dish usually eaten with chopsticks and a spoon" I mean, try eating ramen (or any long noodle) with a spoon, you likely won't get far/will be frustrated.
Ann (Baltimore)
@Bill in Yokohama Some of us prefer the broth to the noodle, although no spoon needed the way I....oh, never mind, I've said too much.
Ethan (Manhattan)
Yeah, that caught me too. Ramen is generally eaten with both a spoon abd chopsticks. I guess that could be an "or" but I think an "and" would have made it a fairer clue.
polymath (British Columbia)
I thought it was a Japanese custom to drink soup from the soup bowl lifted to one's lips.
JJ (Michigan)
Congrats on your NYT debut, Mr. Hasegawa! It was fun to have a crossword followed by a sneaky word search. Well done!
Liz B (Durham, NC)
Very impressive! Great job, Nathan! I kind of forgot about looking for a theme until the puzzle was mostly done, and then I had to hunt for the ovine creatures.
Mary (Morton Grove)
43Down is not ANT as Wordplay writes. There are 6 boxes. Are puzzles often edited after Wordplay is written? This has happened before.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Mary The clues may change after the Wordplay column is written, but I’d be surprised if much in the puzzle grid changes. It would be hard to turn a three-letter answer into a six-letter one.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Mary, Wrong question. The right question is how often the Wordplay column is edited after it is written. (To be sure, there have been cases where the puzzle was changed after the column was written -- and nobody told the columnist -- but this was clearly just an uncorrected writing mistake. It happens.)
Brian (Simi Valley CA)
Took way longer to figure out the theme than to solve the puzzle.
Mr Mark (California)
I guess I can say the same, because I solved the puzzle way quicker than normal for a Wednesday, and haven’t looked for the theme yet at all.
polymath (British Columbia)
Cute idea for a puzzle. Fast and breezy for me. Nice and fresh. Now I will contemplate it at leisure.
polymath (British Columbia)
I count 6 ewes, 4 rams, and 2 lambs. More fun than counting NINAs in an Al Hirschfeld drawing!
polymath (British Columbia)
"it can just be odiferous" This is a new word to me. I had known "odoriferous" but not this shorter version. But while we're on the subject: This is a purely person reaction, but I do not relish crossword answers that suggest unpleasant or unwholesome things. This was one of those.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@polymath You’re not alone in disliking answers that “suggest unpleasant or unwholesome things.” But today’s SEWER didn’t bother me nearly as much as yesterday’s “napalm.”