### 06.11.08 -- LIE-ABILITY

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Puzzle by Daniel Kantor, edited by Will Shortz

LIEABILITY (62A. What 17-, 23-, 37- and 51-Across may demonstrate?), along with IDIDNTDOIT (17A. Prankster’s denial); WONTHURTABIT (23A. Doctor’s assurance); JUSTWHATIWANTED (37A. Gift recipient’s declaration); and ITSINTHEMAIL (51A. Debtor’s avowal) are the inter-related entries of this Wednesday exposĂ© -- notice ININK (66A. One way to solve a crossword) lurks directly below and FALSE (57A. Fabricated) sits above LIE-ABILITY!

Lies fly around the internet crossword community about speed in solving, which it seems is equated to intelligence -- credulity is stretched to the length of Pinocchio’s nose at the height of his prevarication. Take today’s puzzle for instance -- on the “Play Against the Clock” top ten puzzlers for “Fastest” the times are listed as 2:13, 3:05, 3:14, 3:15, 3:23, 3:39, 3:40, 3:47, 4:03 and 4:16.

I took today’s puzzle and experimented -- results: Typing time from completed copy of puzzle -- 1:58; writing time (in ink) from completed copy of puzzle -- 1:40. Reading the clues for across -- 1:00. Reading the clues for down -- 1:10. Thinking time -- NONE!

Thinking time? One blog on many occasions has bemoaned that the solver lost 10 seconds on the clock due to not being able to recall this or that or pondering some never-heard-of-it-ever entry or clue; and yet the time listed is less than it takes to read the clues and type or write them onto the grid.

Who takes the time to time how much time one loses by not knowing something -- is an egghead-timer nearby? Do these desperate people use a stop-watch? Is thinking time excluded? Is the whole point of doing a crossword to time the amount of time it takes to enter in the blank squares? Is pre-reading the clues an acceptable practice? Or pre-solving? It certainly seems to be!

Finally -- who do they think they are kidding? In today's crossword’s words -- it’s not what anyone wanted, it’s not in the mail, it will hurt, they did do it, and the claims of lightning speed are patently FALSE (57A. Fabricated).

…and so, so tired!

CINNAMON (10D. Gum flavor) and TODIEFOR (38D. Super-scrumptious) are the other long entries followed by BEIRUT (8D. Mediterranean capital) and BOSNIA (27A. 1990s war site), BOWSTO (48A. Greets respectfully), ENDOWS (4D. Provides funds for), ENTIRE (9D. Unbroken), ETALIA (46D. List ender), SHRINE (47D. Holy place), SLALOM (50D. Alpine event).

Five-letter: AEONS, ASPEN, ASTOR, EIEIO, EPOCH, FALSE, ITWAS, ORALB, PLEBE, ROSEY, SERTA, SNERT, TABOO, TOMEI, TROUT. Four-letter: AIDA, AUTO, BTUS, COTS, DEES, EERO, EYES, GLIB, ICBM, IRON, KILN, LITE, MEWS, NAME, NIGH, NLER, OAST, OTOE, SAGE, SKIT, STAR, STAT, STOW, TARA, TATA, TEAM, TREE, WHOA, WIFI, WORF, WREN. Three-letter: AJA, ANN, ARI, ARS, ATA, BKS, CRI, GTO, LSD, PAT, SCH, YDS.

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For today’s cartoons, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.

Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games

Across: 1. Herb in stuffing; 5. Academy newcomer; 10. Shelter array; 14. Where firings occur; 15. Colorado skiing town; 16. ___ Man, comics hero; 19. Big shot; 20. No-no; 21. Dernier ___ (latest thing); 22. Met or Card; 29. Sled pullers; 30. ___ healthy pace; 31. Bygone muscle car; 33. Grid great Grier; 42. “The Maltese Falcon” actress; 43. Org. with an “edu” address; 44. “___ gratia artis”; 45. They’re worth 1.0; 55. Place for a house; 56. Shapiro of NPR; 61. Enterprise Klingon; 65. LaSalle or DeSoto; 67. Siouan speaker; 68. Big shot; 69. Almost an eternity; 70. Litter cries. Down: 1. Improv bit; 2. Opera set along the Nile; 3. Smooth-talking; 5. Too 3-Down; 6. One may trip on it; 7. Part of a period, geologically; 11. Toothbrush brand; 13. “My Cousin Vinny” Oscar winner; 13. Hagar’s dog; 18. Shootout time, perhaps; 24. Close by; 25. “Later”; 26. Olympian Lipinski, 27. A/C measures; 28. Brewery fixture; 30. Steely Dan album of 1977; 32. N.B.A. nail-biters; 34. E.R. cry; 35. Architect Saarinen; 36. R.B.’s pickups; 39. Birdhouse bird; 40. Sub’s weapon, perhaps; 41. Steed stopper; 46. List ender; 47. Holy place; 49. Internet cafĂ© offering; 51. “___ an accident!”; 52. Brook catch; 53. Sealy competitor; 54. Children’s refrain; 58. Lo-cal; 59. Pack away; 60. They can be crossed; 63. Writer Beattie; 64. Restaurants competing with Mickey D’s.

#### 1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post on times...I think the NYT should remove that portion as it is fraud filled. I have a computer nerd friend who created a software program to take the answers entered manually into his program database and fill in the answers in both Across Lite and the NYT applet. It is not completely automated because it can't skip the black squares without a manual key stroke, but I am sure he can perfect it and get under one minute times soon. The internet world has more scams than the real world. Check out the Wikipedia entry on Second Life for some additional info.

/Michael