"A woman at 20 is like ice, at 30 she is warm and at 40 she is hot." So said Italian actress, Gina Lollobrigida, and who am I to argue? She, MIA Farrow, and AVA Gardner grace today's Monday, September 1 puzzle (answers) by Crossword Star Andrea Carla Michaels. The theme is all about keeping secrets.
Speaking of secrets, I wanted to let you know that since my database is expanding at the (non-exponential) rate of one puzzle per day, I've decided to up the minimum bar for constructors to appear in my stats from 10 to 15 puzzles. Hey, Andrea, I'm kidding! This is the tenth solo puzzle for Ms. Michaels (along with a couple of collaborations) so her name starts appearing on pages like Most Prodigious Authors and Authors by Day of Week and Authors by Year. That means more search engine hits on her name, probably more Hollywood contracts, no doubt increased wealth and other such benefits. Probably time to warn your agent so he can put in a second phone line.
This is a very smooth Monday puzzle. It must be tough to keep things at a Monday level but still be fun. I love clues such as "like some kisses and bases." They can both be STOLEN. It's a charming metaphor whether your sport is baseball or wooing.
"Ecce homo" means "Behold, a man" in Latin. That dramatic moment when Pontius PILATE presented a bleeding and beaten Jesus to the crowd was a favorite for early Christian artists. Whatever your thoughts on the story's likely veracity, it's great drama.
My most recent Blast from the Past linked to a puzzle where a single letter was repeated 69 times. Several people asked if that was a record. It's not. Two daily puzzles beat that count. Here's the second-place puzzle. (The link is direct to WXord Info because the puzzle is older than the NYT archives.) Drop me a note or comment if you think you know the winner.