Of course we want to romanticize the past. I romanticize my own past all the time. In fact, if I believe myself, I used to be a heck of a guy. Neil Armstrong meant to say "one small step for a man" but it came out wrong. He botched his line. The man with the robotic self control who piloted the LEM to the lunar surface for the first time showed he was human after all. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He dropped the indefinite article and the result made no sense but I love that little goof. It's always the one part of the show you don't rehearse that gets you in the end.
I really like the theme of today's Monday, July 21 puzzle (answers) — women who for one reason or another are wearing enigmatic smiles. It's a theme that made me smile too.
"Barrio grocery" seems to refer to an east coast convenience store chain called BODEGA. [See comments for a correction.] I never did understand the appeal of FURBYs but yo-yos are still cool. Can someone explain to me why the music to God Save the Queen got repurposed as an American anthem? Anyway, fun Monday puzzle.
More on The XWord Info Freshness Factor™
Here are the answers to the questions I posed a few days ago regarding the freshest puzzles of the Will Shortz era as defined by my formula. There are only 12 crosswords with a FF rating over 90. Amazingly, four of them are by Frank Longo. Click the date links to see the puzzles and then click the "Freshness" link to see the analysis. Remember, words unique to that puzzle are shown in red.
The links in the table below reveal the full solutions but before you click them, try solving the Freshest puzzle in Across Lite. Warning: it's hard. Here's an incredibly unhelpful hint: it has 21 answer words not seen in any other puzzle. Yikes.
|Saturday, December 15, 2001||96.4||Frank A. Longo|
|Friday, January 21, 2005||95.7||Frank Longo|
|Saturday, July 15, 2006||93.6||Patrick Berry|
|Saturday, December 22, 2007||93.4||Harvey Estes|
|Saturday, May 07, 2005||93.2||Patrick Berry|
|Friday, October 24, 1997||92.8||Frank Longo|
|Friday, January 04, 2008||92.1||Raymond C. Young|
|Saturday, January 20, 2007||91.6||Harvey Estes|
|Saturday, January 01, 2005||91.4||Raymond C. Young|
|Saturday, December 01, 2007||90.3||Robert H. Wolfe|
|Saturday, January 21, 2006||90.2||Brendan Emmett Quigley|
|Friday, August 22, 1997||90.1||Frank Longo|
At this level, they're all Friday or Saturday puzzles and to score this high, several of the unique words are a little iffy but some of the crosswords here are very good. By the way, I want to thank Kenneth Berniker for the idea behind the FF. I don't think any other crossword database has anything similar.