MONDAY PUZZLE — I really hope this puzzle didn’t induce panic in anyone! It’s date-reliant and innocuous, but the “bubbly” bits today are kind of a party pooper for my fellow Americans.
After five thousand years of solving the Times puzzle my Monday radar is off. I thought this was hard, with a lot of tricky bits from Patrick Blindauer and Samuel A. Donaldson, including some names and places, although the theme trick was easier than a Tuesday or later-in-the-week grid. Maybe it was just my mind going in fifty million directions when I connected the trick to the date. Thank goodness I got to this puzzle a week ahead of publication, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Certain elements in this grid reminded me of one from over a decade ago, and I was really delighted to ferret it out and learn that, coincidently, it’s another creation of Mr. Blindauer’s and a Monday.
There were a few potential misdirections today if you were speed solving — “dug” for ORE as it was clued, “task” for DESK, “nil” for ZIP — I guess these happen every day, but I fell for a couple. I was quite amused by clues for AARP and MIC, among others. Everyone good with AGASSI, ARTEMIS, ROBERTA and REINER? I thought those were all good meaty Monday names.
30A: For someone who was never subjected to piano lessons, the “reference point” here might be flummoxing. It’s MIDDLE C, the “home button” on a piano when you’re learning.
65A: On a recent Saturday, this entry (pluralized) was clued as “Calls to reserve?” because when a LET is called, in tennis, you serve again, or “re-serve.” I didn’t get it, although what seemed like millions of my good-natured co-solvers had no issue. This is a good illustration of how a clue can make an entry easyish or super hard.
2D: When you owe someone money, you’re in ARREARS, a funny word to say or look at — not funny ha-ha, but odd. The word might ultimately come from the “Vulgar Latin.”
46D: This actor has never actually gone by this reference in the puzzle — it’s always been another film. I thought Greg KINNEAR was pretty great in “Little Miss Sunshine,” though, and the movie is a delight.
48D: I was sure this was supposed to be “aglet” and thought I was so clever. The aglet goes in the EYELET.
58D: Coupled with its neighbor to the left, this is a trope that we see in crosswords all the time and plays a little off the theme today, because if you get a letter or two in either spot then you’ve got help for both, since they're using the same quartet. The “Old Russian title” is TSAR; the “Mex. title” — that abbreviated “Mex.” means that you’re going to have an abbreviation in the entry, too — is SRTA, short for “señorita.”
There are five theme entries today, each with a three-bubble run somewhere in its letters. Those three bubbles contain the same three letters, in five of six possible configurations, and the sixth way to order them can be found at the revealer at 69A, the last across clue.
For starters, a geography test at 18A that’s actually a debut, in its entirety as entered here: the GANGES RIVER, not the longest river in India but arguably the most famous.
At 20A, if you did know Andre AGASSI already, you’d be thinking along the woven lines in a TENNIS RACKET — love how those entries crossed.
At 36A, a “conversational” entry — AS I RECALL, but don’t take what I remember to the bank.
At 55A, another geography question, couched in a pun. Heads of the Pacific? Think the mystical rocks of Rapa Nui, or EASTER ISLAND.
As humorous as that clue was, 60A is far more straightforward — that’s just three DOLLAR SIGNS for you to decode.
What three letters do these entries have in common? We’ll acknowledge this theme, then put the whole thing away for another year, unless you filed an extension, or own your own business, or have to do this whole thing every quarter, or any number of other complications.
It’s tax day, and what needs to be reordered, turned around and “reformed” right now? There’s only one remaining permutation of these three letters: those fine folks we know of in this country as the Internal Revenue Service, the I.R.S.
I can’t wait for something to come along tomorrow and replace this song in my head, frankly.
Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
What did you think?
今晚点我必中特号【和】【光】【帝】【君】【神】【识】【投】【影】【至】【边】【界】【巡】【视】，【确】【认】【边】【界】【外】【没】【有】【异】【动】【后】【才】【放】【心】【些】【许】。 “【陛】【下】，【可】【以】【进】【行】【交】【接】【了】。” “【终】【于】【来】【了】。”【和】【光】【苦】【笑】，【她】【怕】【是】【第】【一】【个】【期】【待】【早】【点】【放】【手】【自】【己】【的】【天】【朝】【的】【帝】【君】。 【等】【她】【进】【入】【交】【接】【大】【殿】【不】【久】，【湛】【长】【风】【也】【来】【了】。 【待】【祭】【告】【了】【天】【地】，【和】【光】【帝】【君】【亲】【手】【写】【了】【一】【篇】【禅】【让】【书】，【将】【其】【烧】【于】【三】【器】【前】，【无】【形】【中】【国】【运】【天】
“【你】【这】【是】【在】【做】【什】【么】？”【萧】【珏】【突】【如】【其】【来】【的】【一】【声】，【把】【我】【吓】【得】【够】【呛】。 【我】【还】【以】【为】，【是】【被】【人】【看】【到】【了】“【你】、【你】【什】【么】【时】【候】【回】【来】【的】。” 【因】【为】【刚】【才】，【我】【正】【在】【搞】【破】【坏】，【试】【图】【把】【墙】【角】【这】【一】【块】【修】【补】【过】【的】【撬】【开】，【我】【想】【亲】【自】【确】【认】【一】【下】，【这】【里】【是】【不】【是】【真】【的】【留】【下】【了】【狼】【群】【袭】【击】【的】【痕】【迹】。 “【你】【在】【找】【什】【么】。” 【萧】【珏】【看】【出】【了】【我】【的】【动】【机】，
NO.1 【艺】【绣】【阁】，【林】【冉】【巡】【查】【完】【毕】，【准】【备】【出】【门】，【却】【被】【一】【个】【面】【容】【略】【黑】【的】【男】【人】【拦】【住】。【他】【背】【上】【背】【了】【好】【大】【一】【把】【黑】【刀】，【显】【得】【阴】【气】【森】【森】，【旁】【边】【却】【立】【着】【一】【位】【头】【戴】【斗】【笠】【的】【女】【子】，【看】【不】【清】【面】【容】，【只】【觉】【得】【娇】【小】【利】【落】，【倒】【是】【更】【显】【得】【精】【神】。 “【你】【们】【找】【谁】？”【林】【冉】【一】【看】【两】【人】【来】【头】【不】【小】，【谨】【慎】【问】【道】。 “【劳】【驾】【通】【报】【尉】【迟】【大】【公】【子】。”【女】【子】【将】【一】【块】【翠】
【以】【前】【读】【书】【的】【时】【候】【也】【吐】【槽】【过】【宋】【国】【的】【后】【勤】【太】【烂】，【没】【想】【到】【也】【是】【真】【正】【的】【战】【略】【炸】【点】。【高】【中】【中】【二】【时】【候】【也】【曾】【想】【过】【以】【建】【立】【在】【范】【仲】【淹】【王】【安】【石】【改】【革】【成】【功】【的】【基】【础】【上】【西】【取】【河】【湟】【谷】【地】，【南】【下】【两】【广】，【十】【年】【聚】【敛】【休】【养】【生】【息】，【然】【后】【西】【攻】【西】【夏】，【东】【向】【渤】【海】【湾】【登】【录】【埋】【下】【暗】【棋】，【再】【等】【十】【年】，【趁】【东】【北】【女】【真】【乱】，【以】【南】【攻】【南】【京】【道】【牵】【制】【主】【力】，【辽】【东】【南】【登】【录】【抢】【占】【榆】【关】，【西】【路】【直】【突】【中】【京】【道】，【让】【辽】【国】【上】【下】【顾】【此】【失】【彼】。 【不】【过】【现】【在】【想】【想】，【这】【种】【战】【争】【战】【略】【目】【标】【和】【战】【术】【目】【标】【根】【本】【不】【清】【晰】，【国】【家】【高】【层】【是】【否】【有】【这】【种】【魄】【力】【也】【不】【一】【定】，【一】【切】【都】【是】【无】【聊】【时】【的】【假】【想】。今晚点我必中特号“【东】【家】，【我】【不】【脑】【子】【笨】【学】【不】【会】【姐】【妹】【们】【的】【琴】【棋】【书】【画】，【也】【就】【是】【做】【糕】【点】【的】【手】【艺】【还】【将】【就】。【东】【家】，【您】【千】【万】【别】【把】【我】【转】【卖】【了】，【我】【日】【后】【一】【定】【会】【加】【倍】【努】【力】【学】【才】【艺】【特】【长】【的】。” 【哦】，【不】【是】【头】【发】【特】【长】【啊】。 【木】【槿】【心】【里】【面】【那】【点】【子】【的】【担】【忧】【被】【平】【复】，【她】【看】【向】【那】【姑】【娘】【头】【发】【的】【目】【光】【收】【了】【回】【来】：“【你】【会】【做】【糕】【点】【啊】，【这】【个】【特】【长】【很】【好】【啊】。” 【一】【边】【说】，【木】【槿】【一】【边】
【心】【魔】【劫】【水】，【化】【为】【一】【团】【清】【澈】【之】【水】，【在】【李】【钧】【的】【识】【海】【中】【凝】【聚】，【形】【成】【一】【片】【细】【小】【的】【湖】【泊】。 【李】【钧】【的】【神】【魂】【就】【在】【这】【湖】【泊】【的】【中】【央】，【脚】【踩】【功】【德】【金】【莲】，【悬】【浮】【在】【湖】【泊】【之】【上】。 【李】【钧】【念】【动】，【李】【钧】【的】【神】【魂】【逐】【渐】【下】【沉】，【浸】【入】【那】【清】【澈】【的】【水】【中】。 【像】【是】【在】【寒】【冷】【的】【冬】【天】【被】【温】【暖】【的】【阳】【光】【照】【射】，【又】【像】【是】【在】【浸】【泡】【在】【温】【泉】【之】【中】，【那】【些】【清】【澈】【的】【水】，【不】【断】【的】【渗】【入】【他】【的】【神】
“【我】【知】【道】【了】，【我】【知】【道】【你】【是】【谁】【了】！”【血】【煞】【灵】【那】【阴】【阳】【交】【错】【的】【发】【音】，【话】【语】【中】【带】【有】【十】【分】【地】【痛】【恨】【之】【意】：“【没】【想】【到】，【你】【竟】【然】【一】【直】【都】【隐】【藏】【在】【我】【身】【边】！” “【区】【区】【奴】【仆】【也】【敢】【妄】【想】【叛】【主】！”【玄】【阴】【不】【屑】【的】【回】【道】。 “【你】【以】【为】【现】【在】【的】【我】【还】【会】【怕】【你】【吗】？”【血】【煞】【灵】【也】【不】【惧】【对】【方】：“【你】【既】【然】【送】【上】【们】【来】，【那】【本】【尊】【不】【妨】【出】【手】【一】【洗】【当】【年】【之】【耻】！” “【呵】【呵】