As for Al, he failed to complete the final puzzle in the allotted time, having become hung up on the clue "A good job if you want to make a lot." (Answer = paver.) He had just finished filling in all the blanks and was about to make two small corrections when time ran out on him.
"It's hard to practice such difficult puzzles," he sighs. "You never really see one that hard except in the tournament finals. There just seems to be this final hump that I can't get over."
Oh, well. Today there are real-life problems to work out. Al's attempts to fix his lawn's watering system have only made things worse. "I've never understood the mysteries of the vacuum breaker," he says. "The sprinkler guy is coming at noon."