To answer some critics: yes, we could have done a lot of tuning. It was a development database that was being played with daily, the DBA was famously lazy, there were lots of things that could have been done. The concept of time shifting was not new. To use another movie analogy, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford's character just shoots the guy with the swords, because Harrison Ford the actor had diarrhea at the time. It wasn't in the script, but it worked so well, it made it into the final cut.
I know that it bothers a lot of you that the same stinky query was running, just at a different time. It bothered me to. It's just that sometimes, our normal definitions of quality aren't really valid; the trick is to know when.