Friday, February 29, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008 - Brendan Emmett Quigley

Orange had warned that the Saturday puzzle might be extra-gnarly. She wasn't just whistlin' Dixie. Brendan Emmett Quigley doesn't know how to construct a puzzle that isn't difficult, but this time he outdid himself.

I stayed home sick head is still foggy and my body aches. At this point in time, I have fewer than twenty answers in the grid, and nothing is making sense. I've Googled all I can, so I guess it's time to set it aside until morning.

If you've managed to finish this one, congratulations. If you're tearing your hair out, please share...I'd love to know I'm in good company.

[Update: I just spent the last hour drinking coffee with much more enjoyable than struggling with this puzzle. I just checked Donald's site...New York Times Crossword in can see the finished grid there and read his blog. I'm finished for today.]

...but I'll see you tomorrow ; )

Linda G


wendy said...

Let me see ... I've managed to get exactly NONE of the answers so far.

You know what really pisses me off? When the clue has something to do with music circa 1966 and I have no idea what it's referring to.

Feel better!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't get a foothold in any quadrant, so resorted to google an answer each. Now I''ll give it another shot. I've got Wolf as a CNNER! Not sure if that's gonna stick.

Be well!

MBG said...

After twenty minutes and about three answers, I resorted to google, and I still have only the SE and the center finished. Yikes! So glad I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you're under the weather, Linda, and hope it will make you feel better to know that there was not one gimme on the grid for me. I have some fill, but I'm not sure of any of them. After Friday's fun, this is ferocious, but I'm not ready to give into the googlebug. I'm going to sleep on it and attack it with coffee in the morning. Have you got a good book going?

Linda G said...

Okay...let's all sleep on it and give it another go in the morning. If I feel better, though, Elaine and I are hitting a store that opens at 7:00, so I may not get back to the puzzle until late morning...which will be afternoon for those of you on the east coast.

I may check the NYT site for posted finishing times. That might make me feel better...although it could make me feel worse!

MBG said...

I finished it. That was some tough puzzle. Never would have got there without a few answers from google. But it still feels like an a accomplishment.

Feel better, Linda, and enjoy your shopping, tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Not easy; spent over an hour, but finished it without Google or other cheating.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 6:52

Read Will Shortz' comments about whether or not using references is "cheating" -- no such thing!

Anonymous said...

Did you get through exams by texting or a hidden radio device? Shortz is no Weng.

Linda G said...

Given the choice of tossing a puzzle aside unfinished or using Google to get a toehold, I always go for Google. I learn some things I didn't know before.

We're not being graded's just for fun...and we're all okay with admitting that we needed outside help to finish. Or not finish as the case may be.

We've decided not to shop until after it's back to the puzzle for me.

Anonymous said...

Congradulations Anna and annon. for finishing...I have resorted to Google and made some good guesses..I hope!... and still only finished about 90%...oh well, I will confer with my NYC friend in a bit and see if we can finish

Anonymous said...

A plethora of tough puzzles lately. The Sat. NYT wasn't so bad for me. Finished in about 20 minutes with no googling. Started in the NW and went around the puzzle counter-clockwise, with no major hangups.

But yesterday's NYS by Pete Muller took about an hour and a half. But finally got it, also without googling. A truly amazing puzzle with an unbelievable number of theme spaces.

Now, today's Saturday Stumper by Stanley Newman...that's a whole other animal. Took me 2 hours with LOTS of googling. Toughest puzzle I've come across in a long while.

I think all the editors have ramped up their puzzles for this weekend.

Anonymous said...


Glad to hear that your are on the mend.

This certainly lived up to the "bitch-mother" CWP of the week. Whew! 37D finishes this off!

Bob - I know that your always on the lookout to one up Mr. Shortz. Without giving the answer away, 36D's plural is not "AS" it is "AE". Double checked w/ Webster's and "AS" isn't listed.


Anonymous said...

Saw Stan win the 1982 tournament at NYU. Also worked with him when he was a bond analyst. Awesome isn't close to strong enough.

MBG said...

@ Anonymous 6:52

Since we're not in school anymore, and we're not in competition either, I see absolutely nothing wrong with using a reference to finish a difficult puzzle. I'd rather do that and learn something in the process, than not finish.

@ Norman

The -AS ending is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary as a variant.

Anonymous said...

My only comment about "googling": it all depends on how much time one is willing to invest in the puzzle. I can finish most every puzzle without googling, but some times it takes a lot of staring and thinking. When I'm truly stuck (see today's Sat Stumper), I will resort to it. But I consider that as being "beaten" by the puzzle. The constructor won. I may have learned something in the process, but I was defeated by the day's puzzle. It's all about competetion in my head.

Larry Hama said...

A lot to unsnarl here. Been struggling with the NE quadrant for hours.

wendy said...

I'm glad you gave yourself permission to bag the thing - certainly there are days when spending hours on the puzzle would be heaven, but since that's probably not all days, why torture yourself? In the end I got absolutely nothing and frankly when that's the case I don't relish the thought of googling to get going. If it's that hard, I say screw it.

cornbread hell said...

i am sooo proud of myself. i have 2squares in the n.e. i'm not sure of, but i did it without mr. google!

of course i spent 4 hours doing it...this is my favorite puzzle to date, i think.