Early TV star with biography title Schnozzola / TUE 5-8-12 / Fearsome dino / Tree with namesake ski destination / Edvard Munch depiction

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Short of interesting — S- turned to SH- in familiar phrases, wackiness, etc.

Word of the Day: MARRYIN' SAM  —
MARRYIN' SAM is one of the few gainfully employed men in Dogpatch. A preacher who specializes in $2 weddings (but anything is negotiable) he cleans up only once a year--- during the annualSadie Hawkins Day Race, when slow-footed bachelors are dragged kicking and screaming to the alter by their respective brides-to-be. Generally, the only other time Marryin' Sam gets a gig is when a bachelor accidentally violates (or is tricked into violating) "th' code o' th' hills," whereby any man who merely kisses an unmarried woman automatically has to marry her. Marryin' Sam was prominently featured on the cover of Life magazine in 1952 when he presided over the unexpected wedding ofLi'l Abner and Daisy Mae. In the 1956 Broadway musical and 1959 Li'l Abner film adaptation the rotund Marryin' Sam was perfectly played by 5' 7" 250 pound actor Stubby Kaye. (deniskitchen)
• • •

I have a theory: fewer solvers have heard of MARRYIN' SAM than have heard of GHOSTFACE KILLAH. My other theory—a Venn diagram of people who know one name and people who know the other will show very little overlap. Some. But not a lot. This is all to say that the only trouble I had with this grid (besides picking up the theme, which I didn't even try to do at first) occurred in the SE, where MARRYIN' SHAM runs into ACCUSES (47D: Charges in court). I had ALLEGES. This necessitated some erasing. Otherwise, pretty straightforward stuff. Obviously I've never heard of Marryin' Sam. Thankfully, all the crosses were highly gettable, so ... here we are. Another Tuesday done. I've seen better. I've seen worse.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Winner of a pea-preparing contest? (BEST SHELLER)
  • 28A: Lotharios' lines in a singles bar? (PICK-UP SHTICKS) — Best in Sow
  • 48A: One preparing corn for long hours? (ALL-DAY SHUCKER) — odd that two of these SH- words mean "one who removes the outer layer from" something.
  • 62A: Phony wedding? (MARRYIN' SHAM)

This puzzle skews slightly older, much older than yesterday's puzzle (see DURANTE and MACY'S (as clued)) (39A: Early TV star with a biography titles "Schnozzola" + 46A: Store featured in "Miracle on 34th Street"). But everything here (except the olde-timey MARRYIN' S*AM) is well within general crossword solver knowledge. In fact, "general" is the best word I can use to describe the fill. "Basic" is another. "Familiar." I like the clue on ASPEN (71A: Tree with namesake ski destination), and the SCREAM clue is timely (the 1895 pastel sold for almost $120 million just the other day) (31D: Edvard Munch depiction), and HEROIC (10D: Valiant) and CHIVALROUS (30D: Gallant) MAKE (23D: Fabricate) a nice pair, and TREX are for kids (2D: Fearsome dino) ... Beyond that, there's not a lot to say.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


foodie 12:12 AM  
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foodie 12:14 AM  

I was thinking exactly the same thing: Even though I knew neither, I had a greater chance of hearing of GHOSTFACE KILLAH! And at some point, I knew GHOST had to be there, but MARRYINSAM was not inferable. I had to google it after the fact and figure out what's what. Still, the puzzle was easier than yesterday, because everything else seemed straight down the middle.

My favorite was PICK UP SCHTICKS. And it always makes me happy to see my Alma Mater, UCLA, in the grid

Anonymous 12:22 AM  

Damn, Monday's puzzle was good.

retired_chemist 12:26 AM  

Right on, Rex - MARRYIN' SAM was in my wheelhouse but I did not know GHOSTFACE KILLAH. Liked this better than yesterday, but only because it played more to my geezerhood. Two good ones to start the week.

Theme - OKAY for a Tuesday. OKAY => COOL @ 34A and TREED => AT BAY @ 1A were my only overwrites.

Thanks, Ms. Lempel.

jae 12:28 AM  

Nothing very flashy, just a smooth Tues.  I started out doing crosses only, then glanced at 1d and knew that treed was not going to work.  So, a mixed approach that gave me a medium time.  I liked the theme.  Pretty clever.

And yes, the non overlapping part of Rex's venn fits me to a tee.  I knew Marryin' Sam,  Killah not so much.

jedlevine 12:54 AM  

What does "crosses only" mean?

Noam D. Elkies 12:57 AM  

No idea here about either yesterday's ghostface rappah or today's marriage-ambus dude, and little interest in either. "Best in Sow" gets only a Zen clap from me, but the 2D:T.RIX line is a keeper.

chefwen 1:54 AM  

This did have a kind of "old timey" feel to it. I preferred yesterdays with some new popping answers. I can hear Randy Jackson saying "that was DOPE dude". I have to constantly ask my renters "now what does that mean?" They just roll their eyes.

Had no idea on MARRYIN' SAM, kept thinking that I had made a mistake somewhere, everything checked out O.K. so I had to wait for Rex to splain it to me.

@M&A - Thought of you tonight as I was reading the paper. There was a picture of a young man holding up a fish he had caught. It was Hawaii's state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, he later released it unharmed. Let me know if you need the same on a T-shirt.
Right under that was an article - Man, 38, charged as suspect in shooting in Nuuanu. Talk about U heaven.

PurpleGuy 2:05 AM  

Today's little trivia -
Stubby Kaye was in" Guys and Doll" (Broadway and movie) and sang "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat."
He played Marryin' Sam on Broadway and the movie for "LI'L Abner" and sang "Jubilation T. Cornpone."
Yes I am that old!!!! Have all the recordings.
I knew that would be the speed bump for most solvers. Love the Venn Diagram idea.

I used to TAKESTOCK in MACYS when I worked there during summers from college.

Overall not a bad Tuesday, and fun solve.

Glad to be back for a while. Usually read the blog every day, but may not comment.
Will be gone for a
the rest of May and beginning of June.

Shanti -

Miette 2:30 AM  


CROSSES: when you have a few letters filled in both horizontally and vertically and can guess the answer based on those letters.

Good puzzle with no googles needed. I have heard the term "marryin Sam" before, usually in reference to someone who has been married many times.

jae 2:37 AM  

@jed--"Crosses only" is a strategy for fast solving easy (Mon.-Tues) puzzles on a PC or iPad or ... You do all the "gimme" crosses first and then start on the downs. Because the clue is displayed on the bottom of the screen and because the cursor automatically jumps to the next cross you can zip through the puzzle unless, of course, you put in treed, for example.

Aspen Coola Marryin's am 2:42 AM  

Halfway thru i was thinking, "I bow to the Queen"...

Loved saying them out loud and how the simple addition on an H transformed phrases in a super fun way.

Admit to stumbling on MARRYINSHAM, but after changing HEMo to HEMI and getting it out of my head that the pun wasn't about something "On Ham", all was right with the world!

SHOCK IT TO ME, LYNN! You're fabulous.
Yes, skewed older than yesterday, but anything would have by definition...

Deb 3:01 AM  

Natch, I'm once again on the outside of the Venn diagram circles looking in, having never heard of either of them. The crosses made it unimportant though.

Anonymous 4:38 AM  

I guess it's too much to ask for 2 puzzles in a row to skew towards Gen Y. Hell, even Gen X would have been nice. This one was for baby boomers all the way. And their parents. And grandparents.

Didn't care for it. Better luck next time Lynn.

Anonymous 5:49 AM  

Just guessing here, but think the human behind Rex Parker must be at that unattractive age when many people think they can hold onto their youth by slamming their elders while trying to emulate people 25 years younger than they are. Never a good idea to do that. Boorish behavior and nasty remarks belong to those whose brains haven't fully developed, not to 40-somethings who should know better.

Z 7:09 AM  

I'm with @Deb outside the two circles.

A slow start with KIA being my first word, but once started this fell quickly and I finished in almost exactly the same time as yesterday.

Shout out to my Corgi @20A, otherwise pretty much what @Rex said, another Tuesday done. While the recent string of above average Tuesdays seems to have been broken, we have seen much worse too often.

Z 7:12 AM  

BTW - AXEL, the Guardian of the Temple of Water and Ice, is my profile pic. If you know where his name comes from you played far too many computer games in the mid 90's.

AnnieD 7:24 AM  

Yes, @foodie...isn't it sChtick, not shtick?

Put me on the Venn. I never heard of ghostface killah, but have heard of marryin' sam. I'm most definitely a boomer.

Glimmerglass 7:33 AM  

Re: "crosses only." During a period when the Boston Globe's syndicated puzzle was very easy (1980s), I used to clip out the down clues and try to solve the puzzle without them. Of course, I never knew all the across answers, but sometimes I could make a good guess about what the down word had to be. The syndicated puzzles have gotten much harder (or I've gotten dumber), and I don't do that any more. I've never tried it with the NYT Monday/Tuesday.

SethG 7:38 AM  

If you didn't know Ghostface, you learned from the puzzle that he was a rapper who was a member of a group called the Wu-Tang Clan. If you didn't know MARRYIN SAM, you learned from the puzzle that there must exist such a person or thing as (a) MARRYIN SAM.

r.alphbunker 7:40 AM  

Let R be the set of all rock stars. Marryin' Sam is not an element of R. I knew that but needed a post-Google to find the sets that he belonged to.

Is 38A DWI the revealer?

joho 7:45 AM  

PICKUPSHTICKS was my favorite and I didn't figure out MARRYINSHAM until about hour after I was done. I loved the whacky SH sound and said the theme answers in my head as if I were a cartoon character, but I can't remember who talks like this.

The only thing that bothered me slightly was SHUSH. Would have changed that to SLUSH/LULL.

CHIVALROUS is gorgeous.

I love Lynn Lempel's puzzles, this one included!

exaudio 7:47 AM  

With the others who are outside the Venn, but the puzzle was easy enough that it didn't matter. I'm guessing we're mostly late Boomers, born in 55-64, or whenever the Boom ended. Loved the theme answers aside from the Lil' Abner one.

John V 7:53 AM  

What @Rex said. Moi, I knew neither GHOSTFACEKILLAH nor MARRYINSAM, but didn't matter either day, 'cause the crosses for both were very easy. Put me in the null set vis-a-vis Venn diagram. I, too, stared at MARRYINSAM forever, knew it had to be right, but had NO IDEA what it meant until I came here. Also didn't know TAYE Diggs, but, again, no problem.

Fun theme, but this would have been and easy Monday.

BTW, who can blame a bachelor being dragged KICKING AND SCREAMING to the alter. Man, that surgery is PAINFUL!

orangeblossomspecial 7:53 AM  

ABBA appears so frequently that we could go through all the songs in Mamma Mia in a few months.

Here's one of my favorites by 1D ABBA. Sometimes in crosswords you have to take a chance.

Here is 39A Jimmy DURANTE's original recording of Inka Dinka Doo, his trademark.

This clip has 25D Elmer FUDD along with other voices by Mel Blanc.

Kate Slate 7:56 AM  

Proud to say that I'm in the Venn overlap.

jberg 8:08 AM  

@Exaudio, you're making me feel really old! But the Baby Boom was earlier than that, since it started when the troops came home from World War II. I'm still ahead of it, having been born in 1943, but only by a couple of years.

So, yes, I knew MARRYIN SHAM, but it took me a while to remember to drop the G.

@Rex, your name for the theme is pure genius. Don't know how you do it.

But didn't we have Kurt WEILL, with pretty much the same clue (well, maybe "Mack the Knife" instead of "Threepenny Opera," but you can't have one without the other) just the other day?

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Every so often I do a puzzle that I unabashedly love because it is pure fun. This is one of those puzzles. I love the theme as well as the fill. Then I stop by here to see what Rex thinks because usually what I think is fun Rex doesn’t. Well, today I see from the comments that the only reason I like this puzzle so much is because I’m old. Ah, the advantage of youth who can discern the flaws in beauty. But I want to thank Acme for her opinion. It is comforting that someone who knows what they are talking about shares my admiration for this puzzle....


Mothra 8:22 AM  

only two overwrites were TREED and KEEN (for "neato"). when i was a kid we would mash all of those words up when things were copacetic: "neato cool keen!" it was the 60s and all three of those words were big in the 50s...i guess.

in the venn diagram of those who know ghostface and those who know marryin' sam, i'm out of both. too young to know the former, too old to know the latter.

and i did hear about the munch. must be a reflection of the times...

Tita 8:27 AM  

@Deb - lol re: being outside both circles...and seems that we merit a 'circle of our own'.

In fact, so far outside the SAM cuircle that I stared at it wondering "What does MARRYINGHAM mean??".

BTW - Knowing the MACYS answer is not a generational thing, but a lover of schlocky Christmas movies thing...I was not alive when that movie came out, but have watched it about 500 times...

6A is the revealer, no? SHUSH...
Though @r.alph - lol - now I get it...

I liked it, picked up the theme, used it to help solve faster.

Liked OOHED-COOL-ETTU across the center. Had a natick, guessed right, at 36D TAYE/OAS.
Liked 28D PODS right under the Peas clue.
PUREE above could have given us Mushy Peas, but that would have been hard to make fit the theme....

Hand up for loving Rex's theme descriptor.

quilter1 8:30 AM  

Being a dedicated reader of the funny pages for (ahem) many years I knew MARRYINShAM. In fact I know a guy who is a marryin' Sam, also a buryin' Sam. If you want to be married or buried he'll do it for a hundred bucks.
OK, the puzzle. Very fun, and I thought easy. Being born year one of the boomers so much here that was familiar. Fond memories of Jimmy Durante on black and white TV. Hello, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

Sue McC 8:32 AM  

Ack. Smooth going until MARRYINSHAM. Didn't know what that was until I read Rex's remarks. (didn't know GHOSTFACEKILLAH either). I must admit it left me annoyed, especially after yesterday's zippy puzzle.

Hey Anonymous @ 5:49: Rex doesn't need me to defend him but talk about boorish behavior! Pot, meet kettle. No one makes you read the blog. Take your nastiness elsewhere.

GLR 8:33 AM  

@jberg, I think @exaudio was identifying 1955+ as "late" boomers. I'm in that group and also outside Rex's Venn diagram (but hovering nearby). I recall reading Li'l Abner on the comics page occasionally when I was a kid, but have no recollection of Marryin' Sam. Also have heard, somewhere, of Wu Tang, but didn't know GFK. Was able to complete both puzzles anyway.

loren muse smith 8:35 AM  

I agree with those who liked this a lot. @Tita - yes, somehow SHUSH (and the “schnozzola” clue for DURANTE) seem periphery theme fills.

I had never heard of MARRYIN’ S(H)AM, but I got it easily enough with the crosses. I DNF, though because of the WEILL/ILO cross.

@Z – cute dog! I’ve never known a corgi personally, but they look like they would be fun and mischievous, but bossy.

@jberg –thanks for pointing out Rex’ title for the theme; I would have missed it. You’re right – so clever!

Gotta love Ms. Lempel – she sure shines!

foodie 8:38 AM  

@Tita, I would venture to say that most of humanity is outside both circles.

@Kate Slate, I'm impressed that you're in the overlap. You must get this a lot, but your name made me think, at first glance, that you have fabulous shoes and purses. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I started reading your food blog. Lots of very cool information there! That fruit fly trick, they use in fruit fly research labs, to attract their subjects.

I love the revealer ideas!

joho 9:08 AM  

Thanks for the comments re: SHUSH ... I'm now embracing this as part of theme. Maybe it means to suss out the "H's."

chefbea 9:26 AM  

Did this puzzle while eating my cereal...bowl of Kix of course. They are as good as I remembered them.

The puzzle - knew Marryin Sam. Loved the clue for arm!!! Easy puzzle.

Nancy in PA 9:41 AM  

That cover art from Songs in the Key of Life really brought back memories. Though I have NO memory of the song All Day Sucker (one of the weakest on the album I think). I remember Marryin' Sam as I'm smack in the middle of the Boomer demographic
...but I also think my parents found the Li'l Abner strip funnier than I did. Dogpatch; great place name.

Loved the puzzle.

jackj 9:42 AM  

By running Lynn Lempel’s traditional Monday(ish) puzzle the day after Guy Tabachnick’s aggressive “college-y” offering, the generational differences are prominently displayed for all to see and for all to choose between, though on my account, it’s impossible to select one over the other.

Lynn’s theme is classic Lempel; smooth, clever and elegant, inserting an “H” in familiar phrases and turning them into cutesier versions like my favorite, BESTSHELLER, for “Winner of a pea-preparing contest?”

Clear generation gappers are evident with such as ABBA, DURANTE, SHUSH, FUDD, SCREAM (there’s nothing quite like a $119.9 million nervous breakdown) and then, there’s the clue least likely to be known by today’s college crowd, MARRYINSHAM, for Al Capp’s good-old-boy preacher/hustler who married Daisy Mae and Li’l Abner, back in the day.

But, it’s all good and where Guy gave us a REDSTATE, Lynn offers us a LITMUS test to confirm it.

Thanks, Lynn, You Da Queen of Tuesdays, too!

Bob Kerfuffle 9:45 AM  

Very nice Tuesday puzzle . . .

but . . . .

I count six occurrences of "LL" either across or down. Could this be a subtle case of Constructor Ego? We must be ever vigilant! :>))

KRMunson 9:56 AM  

Meh. That's all I have to say about "MARRYIN'SAM. Just meh.

JenCT 10:01 AM  

@Anon 5:49 - look in the mirror.

Favorite answer: PICK UP SHTICKS.

Great writeup, Rex.

oren muse 10:16 AM  

Thanks, Lynn, for providing me a sense of accomplishment on today’s puzzle. I thought it was fun and easy, although after checking, I had several errors. For 31D SCREAM I had ACREAM and I tried to fit MARRAISHAM in 62A MARRINSHAM. I needed help with 36D TAYE. Should have known 42A OAS, which would have given me the answer.

Again, I never saw the theme until I read Rex’s remarks. I understand using SHELLER/SHUCKER/SHAM but not SHTICKS.

I definitely liked DURANTE who was one of my favorite comedians. I always got a laugh watching him…a “master of facial expressions”.

@ Quilter…I think you were thinking of “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, where ever you are”, which he always said when signing off.

Jake 10:29 AM  
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Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

I was a devoted reader of Lil Abner and Pogo when growing up so knew Marryin' Sam. Didn't know Killah (didn't care either).
Easy fun Tuesday. Well done Lynn.

Jake 10:33 AM  

Nice puzzle.

Am I the only one who noticed that our King of Crossword was in today's puzzle?


(albeit a bit disjointedly)

Mel Ott 10:35 AM  

Geezer here. MARRYIN' SAM a gimmme. Never heard of that GHOSTFACE fella.

r.alphbunker 10:39 AM  

Re: Yesterday's question about embedding an image.

@Jake 10:33AM has shown how to upload images to a server. Check out http://imgur.com

Masked and GhostfaceMarryinSam 10:40 AM  

@chefwen: Cool. A T-shirt with your state fish on it would pretty much become a U-shirt. Mind boggles, as to what one gets, if you put that fish on a muumuu.

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Don't know MARRYIN SAM
Don't know where that puts me
on Rex's Venn diagram...

Masked and Anonymo9Us 10:50 AM  

P.S. Likable puz today. Tie between it and Hawaii's state fish, for most U's. Thankfully, BABYSITTER did not morph into a puz theme answer.

Venn diagrams! All right, 31. You math whiz!

John V(enn) 10:58 AM  

@Anonymous 10:48AM

The circles of a Venn diagram are drawn inside of a rectangle which represents the universe. You are outside the circles but inside the rectangle.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

Marryin' Sam/Sham held me up for quite a while in the S (accuses broke me into the SE). Eventually I had to infer that it was right and confirm here after the fact.

Two of the theme answers were about removing the outer layer from vegetables no less! Maybe someone was cooking dinner when they wrote this puzzle!

Still, fun theme, good Tuesday.

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

MARRYINGS[H]AM inferable for me, GHOSTFACEKILLAH not so much. Much more fun figuring out GHOSTFACEKILLAH.

John V 11:35 AM  

Anagram of the day for GHOSTFACEKILLAH: Gotcha Fake Shill

Just sayin'

diane 11:36 AM  

Late boomer here, also outside the circles. Ghost Face Killah was easy to fill in with a few crosses and knowing the theme (ghost) and that he was a rapper (Killah). Today though I had MARRYI_SHAM and had to run the alphabet, found the N, Eureka. (also didn't know NSA. Probably should learn/remember if I want to continue doing crosswords) But had no idea how to parse it till I read Rex. Marry in S.Am? I've heard of destination weddings but never there! (South America)

Lindsay 11:38 AM  

Put me down for inside the rectangle but outside the circles. Didn't have time to comment yesterday, but found the puzzle plenty cute. Especially ARLEN SPECTER.

Re: the Baby Boom --- I was born in 1963, and can remember as a kid my mother commenting that my classes were always bigger than by brother's (born in 1965) classes. It was that obvious.

Sparky 11:48 AM  

Of course I knew MARRYINSHAM. Born well ahead of the venn diagram. Al Capp's Li'l Abner was a daily read. Tried to put the g in there but 47D fixed that. Still love to read the comics. Solved from bottom up. Straightforward, amusing. See @Rube's icon.

Thanks @Z for AXEL's name. I've been meaning to ask. @joho. Sylvester, the cat, lisps. @BobK. Love your comments. We need more.

LR 11:52 AM  

@jedlevine said...

What does "crosses only" mean?


There are two different answers to this question in today's blog.

Some use "crosses" to mean "acrosses"; some use "crosses" to mean "words that cross" (as in "crosswords").

The first of these choices is sloppy or slangy, and ambiguous. Take your choice!

Howard B 12:21 PM  

@Kate: I do believe that you have just single-handedly created and defined the Venn diagram overlap :).

- HB <-- In the 'Ghostface Only' diagram section, but just barely.

efrex 12:25 PM  

I don't think I'm all that ancient (37), but Marryin' Sam is a familiar enough character thanks to the musical version of Lil' Abner. Also a huge fan of classic comedy, so Jimmy DURANTE is always welcome (his radio show where he hosted Lucille Ball remains one of my all-time faves).

I'm slightly disappointed by the repeated agricultural theme of "sheller" & "shucker" but otherwise quite pleased with this one. Didn't make me want to SPEW at all. These fershlugginer captchas, on the other hand...

andrea carla michaelsh 12:28 PM  

Not so fast! There are extra words that can add to the "atmosphere" in the puzzle, and those that slightly detract...
I personally think your initial take on SHUSH is closer to the truth, bec if it doesn't work in the same way as the other theme answers, it throws off the balance slightly, despite your clever parsing of "sussing out the H's!"

As for Rex's theme title, also missed it (!?!), so thankful for the eagle-eyed commenters...totally love the cleverness, once again, if not the sentiment!
(Same with his Amazing Vanity on Sunday!)

Even tho I'm in the MARRYINSAM circle of the Venn diagram, my favorite thing is that Venn diagrams are even being discussed as tho they are a common occurrence!
Have to bring up my favorite one yet again, from the New Yorker a million years ago:
Venn diagram of Yugoslavian dictators and the Jackson 5 with TITO being in the overlap!

Would Michael Jackson be a GHOSTFACETHRILLAH?)

Lewis 1:49 PM  

I don''t blame Lynn for doing MARRYINGSHAM, I mean, can anyone come up with other answers to fit this theme? Maybe something could be done with SHOPPINGWET. But what else can you come up with?

Mighty Nisden 1:57 PM  

Whew! I made it inside the rectangle. That was all I was hoping for since I am out of the circles AND not a robot.

@Lewis - Love the shoppingwet. That would be a fun clue.

Hand up for missing the theme and laughing when I scrolled back up to read it.

Only guess weth the WEILL ILO crossing. Dumb luck is my best attribute!

acme 1:59 PM  


Matthew G. 2:16 PM  

I have heard of GHOSTFACE KILLAH, although I did not know he was part of the Wu-Tang Clan, so I needed a number of crosses yesterday before I could fill him in.

I have never heard of MARRYIN SAM, and I could not figure out how that theme entry made sense until I came here.

I am 36.

Lewis 2:20 PM  

Good one, Acme!

Cesar Millan 2:33 PM  

Fido's complaint during training?

Hef 2:38 PM  


Bird 3:02 PM  

Pleasant enough. Only oops were GIG for 16A and CIA for 65D. I was also wondering if SHUSH is some sort of revealer.

If I were standing in the Venn Diagram I would be in the Marryin' Sam circle (assuming of course I did not do yesterday's puzzle).

I don't think age need be a factor in any puzzle we solve. Yes, older folks will know "ancient history", but younger folks can read (newspapers, books, Wikipedia, etc) or watch (news, movies, Youtube) to learn. The reverse is also true: younger folks knowing current pop culture, but ancient elders can ask their grandkids.

Tita 3:33 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle...I think you're on to something!

r.alphbunker 3:39 PM  

Thanks for taking my mind of the traffic ticket I just got on my bicycle! I did not come to a full stop at a stop sign. I live in a low crime area.

Window shill (Worker at a home improvement store?)
Shallow complexion (thin skinned?)
Shy Young {Winningest pitcher's timid brother)
Shad story (Fisherman's tale?)
Shame, old story (Genesis commentary?)
Shavings bank (Resource for hair replacement specialists?)
He shed, she shed (Book about animals in the summer?)
Shelf awareness (good thing to have on a ledge?)
Shine wave (Alternative to light particles)
Shun burn (embarrassment felt by an outcast?)

jae 3:39 PM  

@LR -- You're right. I should have said "acrosses only."

long suffering mets fan 4:27 PM  

thumbs up from me, although I did stare at MARRY INS(H)AM for way too long thinking it was wrong.

My ex has corgis (the queen's dogs, very apropos)-- nice dogs, don't shed much, lovable, but they bark way too much -- or maybe thats just when I show up

thank you, Lynn

Peace, all

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

You were also JOHN PARKER in
And all the millions of other names associated with HYDRA- PETWOOD- OSIRIS with those
But according to this blog, and your bloggers, you do understand it 's all coming " undone" by CARTER.
So " come together" ONOLAND, is quite impossible particularly now with DEPLAND - FUNDLAND.
And NYE in NICE has a lot to say about SESSECTE.
And this is about USTECO with JESTOCCO .
And GEOLOGIE with BERRIRO- ROSEN is a very big
All international mobsters dealing ammo - guns- kids- on TOBALSE.
We know it's all GROSS.
How many millions of "GREYHOUNDS" have been
tortured & slaughtered for profits with " GREY 2 K"?
And all under the mafia organizations directed by QUEEN ELIZABETH?
Babylon Berlin- Mitte Berlin?
It was all about DESALES with LESLIE CARON and
Well now it's a movie called: " KANSAS KINGS".
We want top politicians to pay the ultimate price for their crimes .
And we want all the GRADSTARS and this forty and under, to be rehabilitated and we know it's possible if they turn in " TERRAFT".

chefbea 4:46 PM  


@ralph bunker Great!!!!

Mighty Nisden 4:54 PM  

Dang those robots!

John V 5:36 PM  

Robots? I was thinking maybe James Joyce was popping in.

Sh 5:42 PM  

I THINK I’LL S*IT THIS ONE OUT (what one says after eating a burrito)
S*ITTING ON THE FENCE (what an undecided bird with the runs is doing)
COME IN AND S*IT A SPELL (sign on a witch’s outhouse)
S*IT BACK AND LISTEN (graffiti in a bathroom stall)

Sp 6:03 PM  

@Sh - if you substitute a P for the asterisks, the results are completely different. And they pass the breakfast test.

I THINK I’LL S*IT THIS ONE OUT (what one says after biting into a bad apple)
S*ITTING ON THE FENCE (what a clogged paint sprayer is doing)
COME IN AND S*IT A SPELL (sign on a sunflower seed factory)
S*IT BACK AND LISTEN (spitting contest in a canyon)

Lewis 6:13 PM  

@r.alph -- terrific! Made me laugh out loud.

@hef -- the same

quilter1 6:46 PM  

@Oren, I know it was "goodnight" but as it was often speculated that Mrs. Calabash was Jimmy's deceased wife, I was thinking of reunion, hence, "hello."

acme 7:04 PM  

Good work! you have a perfectly good list for a new Tues for either NYT or LAT.

If you take out the ones where you changed the spelling (shy young, he shed she shed), you have the makings for a puzzle along the same theme line:

(SHELFAWARENESS 14 awkward length and SHELFIMPROVEMENT 16 too long)

so all you need is another 13
and you have a nice little puzzle going.

or forget SHAMEOLDSTORY and do two 11s:

I can help you if you want.

Tita 9:54 PM  

@r.alph...my brother got a warning in Heidelberg for riding a bike in a pedestrian zone.
My French friend got a ticket for rollerblading on the wrong side of the street (in the same town).

If you are on wheels, you are a vehicle!!!

Love your incipient puzzle...I bequeath:
Marquis de Shade – noble who shuns the sun?

sanfranman59 12:09 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:41, 6:50, 0.98, 47%, Medium
Tue 8:15, 8:52, 0.93, 34%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:40, 1.01, 58%, Medium
Tue 4:43, 4:35, 1.03, 64%, Medium-Challenging

rain forest 3:40 PM  

Question for Rex. The WCPT happened a little while ago, right? Probably someone finished 31st. So, are you still the 31st best crossworder in the universe? What about this latest result? What does that do to him/her?

OK, three questions.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

Doesn't one HUSK corn? SHUCKing is for oysters.

Spacecraft 11:16 AM  

@r.alph: great stuff. I absolutely loved PICKUPSHTICKS. A fun Tuesday without a lot of dreck in the fill.

Captchas today were brutally unreadable; I had to cycle through a dozen before finding one I could decipher.

olfuddud 11:32 AM  

My college had an annual Sadie Hawkins Day where Marryin Sam was a featured player in the activities. I guess you can tell I'm older, and went to college in the midwest.

NM Robin 12:03 PM  

Great puzzle. I found it to be easy. Got the theme at "Best Sheller" and everything just went right in.

I knew "marryin Sam." Did not know "Ghost Face Killah" but got it from crosses.

I'm in the middle of the baby boomer era.

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

An otherwise excellent puzzle was ruined for me by the absurd "marryinsham." The other three theme answers really popped, but this one fell extremely flat.

Solving in Seattle 1:36 PM  

Nice Tuesday, Lynn. I'm really becoming a fan since visiting Rexville.

I, too, had to double check "MARRYINSHAM." Not in that circle of Rex's Venn. I'm selective about the comics I read. Since Gary Larson left the biz, I only read Dilbert and Pearls Before Swine. Rat is the bad devil on everyone's shoulder.

@Kate Slate, I think you were the only overlap of both (GFK & MS) sets. You've got a cool name - like a "Castle" character - Kate Slate, crime reporter.

Did anyone else notice that AMEN was the last D entry?

Wouldn't you just love to own the SCREAM for a buck twenty and have it be the last image you look at before lights out? not.

Anonymous 10:48 & r.alphbunker 3:39, you share the @SiS LOL award for the day.

DMGrandma 2:37 PM  

Fun puzzle, loved the comments. My only pause was wanting the more grammatical MARRYINgSHAM, which didn't fit.
How about fish s(h)eller and s(h)ort of?

Dirigonzo 3:31 PM  

@Bob K wrote: "I count six occurrences of "LL" either across or down. Could this be a subtle case of Constructor Ego? We must be ever vigilant! :>))" As I explained here a while ago, my theory is that all Lynn Lempel puzzles in 2012 are in fact tribute puzzles to mark the centennnial celebration of LL Bean. Maybe there's a royalty for every LL that appears in the grid.

@John V's observation about the groom being dragged kicking and screaming to the "alter" was a real nice catch on the write-up.

Recent discoveries suggest that TREX may have been fuzzy or feathery - if this is true there are lots of dinosaur movies that need to be remade.

@SIS - I live those strips. Zits is pretty funny, too, especially if you have (or had, like me) teenagers.

Dirigonzo 3:34 PM  

That would be, "love those strips", although there were times when I worked in an office that I felt like I was living in a Dilbert strip.

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