Candy man Russell / SUN 11-11-12 / Title gunfighter of 1964 #1 hit / Villainous Star Wars title / Words are loaded pistols / Carved polynesian talisman / Irish lullaby opener / Battle of 1796 Napoleon victory / Neutrogena competitor

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium



THEME: "Bottoms Up!" — familiar phrases have their final word flipped around, resulting in wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style


Theme answers:
  • 3D: Cash for trash? (JUNK REWARD)
  • 4D: Angry slight? (HOT CROSS SNUB)
  • 10D: Great Danes, e.g.? (GIANT PETS)
  • 14D: One-of-a-kind Dutch cheese? (CUSTOM EDAM)
  • 24D: Demon's weekend plans? (SATURDAY NIGHT EVIL)
  • 60D: Catherine's demand of Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights"? ("GO TO YOUR MOOR!")
  • 70D: Dracula's bar bill? (VAMPIRE TAB)
  • 75D: Celebratory swig after a football two-pointer? (SAFETY NIP)
  • 67D: "How's it going, fish?"? ("WHAT'S UP, COD?")


Word of the Day: Yani TSENG (74A: 2010 and 2011 L.P.G.A. Tour Player of the Year Yani ___) —
Yani Tseng (Chinese曾雅妮 Zēng Yǎní; born 23 January 1989) is a Taiwanese professional golfer playing on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour. She is the youngest player ever, male or female, to win five major championships and is ranked number 1 (since 2011) in the Women's World Golf Rankings. (wikipedia)
• • •

A simple, fun little romp. I made a puzzle like this once. It was called "Final Twists" and all the theme answers were modifications of crime novels titles. I certainly wasn't the first (or fifth, or tenth) person to imagine such a theme concept. But you don't need utter originality to make an entertaining puzzle. In the case of this theme type, what you need are funny phrases and outlandish clues, and this puzzle has them. It also has all-Down theme answers—highly unusual. I got confused with the first theme answer because I couldn't figure out how JUNK REWARD was a play on anything. Or, rather, I thought it was a play on JUST REWARD, but ... how?! Only later did I see that it was REWARD that was the played-upon word.


I had a good deal of trouble with the informal speech in this puzzle. I can't imagine "HI, GUY" as anything other than some kind of weird, artificial, ironic/retro sort of greeting (38A: Informal greeting). Unless the one being greeted is named "Guy," in which case I totally get it. It also took me a while to get "YA DIG?" which has the virtue of being something one might plausibly say (or plausibly say some time before the start of the Reagan era, at any rate) (98A: "Capeesh?"). Never heard of TSENG, but given her stature in the world of women's golf (see "wotd," above), she's clearly worthy. There's something about the clue on COMAS that isn't sitting right with me (64D: Head cases?). Something about using a cutesy "?" clue, playing off a word for crazy or disturbed people, to clue a very serious condition just seems wrong. No idea who this gunfighter RINGO is (110A: Title gunfighter of a 1964 #1 hit). Number one?? Wow, I have to play that now just to be *sure* I haven't heard it. [... listening ...] Oh, OK, I've very possibly heard this before. Lorne Greene! His deep, rough voice is kind of awesome.


I have never heard of a SOMBRERO but now I really, really want one (100A: Kahlúa and cream over ice). I got confused briefly at 103A: Place that sells shells? (TACO STAND), because, between the placement of the answer and the "?" clue, I thought it was a theme answer. "OCAT STAND? TACO DNATS? What the...?"

Bullets:
  • 29A: "Too Late the Phalarope" novelist (PATON) — I think I actually own this novel. It's somewhere in the collection of 2500 or so vintage paperbacks I've got here in my home office. And yet: this did not help me—I think my first guess was SETON. ANYA Seton (a crossword denizen herself) was a writer of historical romances. 
  • 44A: Candy man Russell (STOVER) — I don't eat drug-store chocolate, so this took me forever. The only answer I wanted was NIPSY.
  • 65A: Bored employee's quest (NEW JOB) — I kept reading this as "request," which of course made no sense. Also, this clue should have "perhaps" or "maybe" tacked on the end. Plenty of bored people aren't doing a damn thing to change their situation.
  • 105A: Like about 7% of the U.S. electorate (LATINO) — surprised it's that small. It's only going up.
  • 7D: The fox is Disney's "The Fox and the Hound" (TOD) — really? People know this? And know how to spell it? 
  • 37D: Irish lullaby opener (TOORA) — Put in TOOLA. This has something to do with Tallulah Bankhead and something to do with "Boola boola!" and less to do with "Tora! Tora! Tora!"
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

62 comments:

Anonymous 12:12 AM  

I love Liz -- she's the best -- but much of this was just meh. I kept getting theme answers and not "getting" them -- not a good sign. But lots of good stuff. "Meh" Gorski is still far better than most! (I think I'm mainly responding to delays in the NE.)

Anonymous 12:12 AM  

Hi guy!

http://youtu.be/8gBVzTij8nc

http://youtu.be/byTJ9O70A-4

Anonymous 12:33 AM  

Item #1: Heathcliff had a black boyfriend on the DL? Who knew.

Item #2: Canadian Mist has been running an ad on sports radio lately, the opening line of which is: "Want to be able to enjoy whiskey but can't stand the whiskey burn? Try Canadian Mist".

It should be "Want to be able to enjoy whiskey but can't stand the whiskey burn? You're a pussy, and shouldn't even be thinking about drinking whiskey, try Kahlúa and cream over ice instead. Better yet, what the hell are you doing listening to sports radio, turn on the teletubbies and have a glass of milk instead."

Item #3 Too bad SATURDAYNIGHTYOUHAVEN'TBEENFUNNYSINCETINALEFT didn't fit in the grid.

jae 12:45 AM  

OK, I'm a Gorski fan, but this was a fine  Sun.   Clever theme with some amusing  clue/answers, and it was easy breezy.  No WOEs and very little if any dreck.  Plus, it had the clue/answer that led me to this blog in 2007--DEANE.  Very very nice Ms. Gorski!

chefwen 1:07 AM  

Last Sunday I groaned upon seeing the constructor, today I said "yessss", and the puzzle lived up to my expectations. Thank you Elizabeth.

Like @Rex cringed at 64D COMAS. Took me a while to finish, so many little squares for eyes that used to be a lot sharper. But I got through without consulting my uncle G.

Never heard of the drink SOMBRERO, sounds a little too sweet for my taste. Always see the Russel STOVER heart shaped boxes around Valentines day in the supermarket. See's candy, much better, dark chocolate Nuts and Chews - the best.

Anonymous 1:19 AM  

Way too easy for Sunday. Now I suppose I have to do something worthwhile with all this extra time...or not.

Anonymous 1:29 AM  

no puzzle with answers appeared on the blog.

paulsfo 2:06 AM  

Liked the cluing for TILDE and ITAL.

Evan 2:18 AM  

Yo, Rex! Where's the answer grid? I need to know if TOD is right! (It is.)

WHAT'S UP COD is my favorite of the bunch. If some guy goes ice fishing and he's all by himself, what else can he possibly say? He's gotta at least try to make conversation. SAFETY NIP is my second-favorite, but only because it gives me an excuse to note that a defensive player should celebrate a two-pointer not only by drinking but by doing a Safety Dance.

The clue for GO TO YOUR MOOR is one super-cultural reference. It's easy enough to figure out the play on GO TO YOUR ROOM, but it takes a lot more mental acrobatics to understand what the answer has to do with Wuthering Heights. Not only do you have to have read the book -- you have to remember that moor in this case means "a tract of open land" AND remember how it's important to both Catherine and Heathcliff. I read it back in high school and definitely could not remember those other two things. At first I wondered why they didn't use an Othello/Desdemona clue, but then I saw OTELLO sitting up there at 36-Across.

Since I've still never seen "The Crying Game," I thought that -----GYNY was going to be MISOGYNY before I realized it couldn't fit. And I see that the lesser known Sith lord DARTH VADIS made an appearance in the puzzle.

@Anonymous 12:12 saw HI GUY and went for the 70's. I'll go for the 90's. Here's a pretty funny moment from The Critic where Jay Sherman courts Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert to be their new TV co-host.

Gareth Bain 3:31 AM  

I'm glad I wasn't the only one going "TACODNATS!?"!

Noam D. Elkies 4:42 AM  

The title "Bottoms Up" makes sense only for Downs, hence the unusual orientation of the theme entries.

Anonymous 5:43 AM  

Toora loora loora, Toora loora lie,
Toora loora, loora, hush now don't you cry,
Toora loora loora, Toora loora lie,
Toora loora loora, that's an Irish lullaby.

pauer 6:14 AM  

Nice work, Liz, though using 9 theme answers is just plain showing off! ;) Loved the long bonus entries LATERISER and TACOSTAND.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard, I'm accepting preorders for my 4th-annual Puzzlefest (an interconnected set of crosswords with a final answer and prizes). Details at http://patrickblindauer.com/shop.html

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

re: TOD

I knew it, and I knew how to spell it. 80s kid.

OTD 7:51 AM  

Nice Sunday romp through the puzzle. I do enjoy a Gorski puzzle. Had a hard time with the theme, tho. Finally figured it out at the end. Gave me a chuckle.

Toora, loora, loora...Ah, Bing Crosby in "Going My Way" back in the 40s. Remember the first time I saw that movie.

Ted 7:52 AM  

Really had trouble with this one, but it's been a long week and a stressful day...I dunno about Tets (asian holidays) it's only called Tet here in Vietnam and even if it was specifically clued it would never be pluralized...that's all :)

Kenneth Wurman 8:17 AM  

Good fun puzzle.. nice diversion from dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane..

Glimmerglass 8:37 AM  

My father (b. 1899) used to say, "Hi, GUY" all the time, because he could never remember anyone's name. (If pressed for a name, he would try "John," which was often correct.) Typical easy-medium Sunday puzzle, but fun. I liked the theme (but WHAT'S UP, COD was my least favorite -- I liked SAFETY NIP and GO TO YOUR MOOR much better). Like Rex, I didn't catch on to REWARD backwards until I hit the second theme answer.

joho 9:03 AM  

Loved it, thank you, Elizabeth!

My favorites were HOTCROSSSNUB, SATURDAYNIGHTEVIL and, especially, GOTOYOURMOOR as "Wuthering Heights" with Sir Laurence Olivier is one of my all time favorite tear-jerkers.

ANDROGYNY is a great word to see in the grid and brings back memories of another great film

Unlike @Rex, I enjoyed the sprinkling in of such fun phrases as HIGUY, YADIG, THATSO and YALL.

I thought 58D was going to be "Throw for ALOop."

I don't know when this was created but SWINGVOTE and LATINO are very timely.

Ms. Gorski's puzzles are always current, creative, fresh and positively delightful!

diane 9:16 AM  

Husband didn't know I was doing the crossword - so when I asked him what could come after SATURDAY NIGHT he said "Sunday morning". (Couldn't get SATURDAY NIGHT fever out of my head) I enjoyed doing the puzzle.

jackj 9:46 AM  

Thank goodness we are treated today to a kinder, gentler construction from the ever brilliant Liz Gorski, giving us all a chance to recover from the indignities of the last three day’s puzzles that had us with a “Temporary spear” piercing our OUTER EAR in one instance, dodging MANEATERS in another and suffering RICTUS Eruptus in the third one.

Liz thoughtfully relaxes us by providing lunch at a “place that sells shells”, AKA, a TACOSTAND, then caters to our sweet tooth with Russell STOVER chocolates, all washed down with a “Kahlua and cream over ice”, a SOMBRERO, to the uninitiated.

So, now, when we’re all settled in, we get to peek at the theme and it is a beauty, delightful, punny phrases, like SATURDAY NIGHT EVIL, that then need to be rehabilitated by reading the backend of the phrase backwards and in this case we get SATURDAYNIGHT (LIVE). Clever.

For a change, all the theme entries run north and south and there are a bundle of them, my favorite being the “Wuthering Heights” order by Catherine to Heathcliff to GO TO YOUR MOOR or translated, GO TO YOUR (ROOM). Wonderful, Liz!

True to form, the Great Gorski doesn’t scrimp on the fill with the likes of PASSERBY, TAKEACAB, TOORA (“Loora, loora, that’s an Irish lullaby”), LATERISER, SWINGVOTE and NEWJOB, (the good cousin to bad cousin ODDJOB).

But best of all was a word that has not previously made its way into a Times puzzle but is the driving force behind fashion photography these days (look at any issue of W), and that descriptive beauty is, of course, ANDROGYNY (n., neut.)

It doesn’t get any better than this!

Thanks, Liz.

mitchs 9:46 AM  

For us real long in the toothers, "Hi Guy" might be remembered as a catch phrase in some pretty funny Alka Seltzers commercials in the late sixties/early seventies. Some poor hungover schlub would open his medicine cabinet and there would be his chipper neighbor on the other side, who greeted him with "Hi guy!".

chefbea 10:38 AM  

Loved the puzzle!!! Fun and easy. Loved all the theme answers

Sandy K 10:45 AM  

Really enjoyable Sunday puzzle (for me) for a change.

Liked all the theme answers- glad they were in English! My favorite was GO TO YOUR MOOR! Cathy did meet Heathcliff on the MOORs in life and in death in the Laurence Olivier/ Merle Oberon classic. The book is not quite the same. A newer film version with Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley contains more SATURDAY NIGHT EVIL.

Was not familiar with a lot of the shorter answers eg PATON, ROWE, TSENG, RINGO, but no naticks, all gettable.

Pleasant Sunday, Ms. Gorski. Now on to the diagramless!








quilter1 10:45 AM  

When I finish before church I know it is easy, and in this case also fun to do. Very nice, Liz.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

40-year-old bit from Reader's Digest:

Laura visited a dude ranch with her friends. She got saddle sores so bad the first day she went to the doctor and asked if she should go out again the next day or make up some excuse.

The doctor said:

Too raw, Laura, to ride,
Too raw, Laura, lie!

Tita 10:54 AM  

Thank you Liz - IHADABALL today!
Fave was WHATSUPCOD, not just on its own merit, but puzzle husband, who is a great cook, mis-heard "Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá",a fabulous Portuguese salt cod dish, as "Bacalau, Como está", or loosely translated, "How are you Mr. Cod", instead of "Cod à la Gomes de Sá".

Silly, maybe, but I loved how far off the mark I was with 96D Right leaning type - it couldn't have been clued more literally, but given the season, of course I was massively misdirected nearly to the end.

Lots of this puzzle were pretty tough - I thought I would DNF.
ALOop before ALOSS (lousy clue, IMO)... and not wanting to accept NACRE as a mosaic material...really? Mother of pearl in mosaics?

Norm 11:08 AM  

TOD is a Scottish term for a fox, so it's very legit.

DB Geezer 11:19 AM  

Is it ok to have clues ending with ? which are not theme clues. I was a little confused by the three across clues with ?

I laughed at my stupidity in 58 across. I had the first letter A and the last two NY. I immediately discovered that AlbanyNY was too short, and thought of other cities in NY that began with A. When I finally got ANDROGY NY, I wondered what ANDROGY meant until the nickel finally dropped.

jae 11:25 AM  

@joho and Tita -- Me too for ALOop

Shamik 11:49 AM  

E.S.G. and I often go toe to toe with me being 1 wrong square short of a perfect solve. Not so today. Third fastest Sunday (and wasn't trying for speed) since I've been keeping track.

Even though it was a fast solve, it was one of the most enjoyable in a long time with a couple of chuckles. Favorite was GOTOYOURMOOR with a second favorite of CUSTOMEDAM. Made the crosswordese EDAM more than just a red rinded cheese!

While I would have liked a longer solve for a Sunday, this was very enjoyable.

Gill I. P. 11:50 AM  

I can't pick a favorite theme entry - they all made me smile. Well, maybe WHATS UP COD.... @Tita - Hah! I guess you could say "tu marido es el que corta el bacalo."
Our son, when he was about 12, bought me a box of Russell STOVER for Mother's Day with his newspaper delivery money. He was so happy with himself that he left me all the little caramel squares which I hate.
As they sometimes say in the South, this puzzle dilled my pickle.

Evan 11:54 AM  

@mitchs:

Those HI GUY ads were for Right Guard deodorant, not Alka-Seltzers. Anonymous 12:12 provided some links to them above.

billocohoes 12:02 PM  

Proper Italian spelling is 'capisce' (informal) or 'capisci (formal) though neither is actually pronounced "Capeesh".

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

2011 Hispanic population in the US was estimated at 16.7%.

syndy 12:50 PM  

I was also thrown for ALOOP! Before I caught the theme I had Bloodmoney for 70 down and I sniveled when I had to let it go!My favorite was WHATSUPCOD but @EVAN if you catch cod icefishing you are in deep trouble.Deep! (I are a robot)

jberg 12:51 PM  

@Evan, if you can catch a COD ice fishing you're a better angler than I am.

@anonymous 12:27, 16.7% of the population, 7$ of the voters.

I don't like political commentary, but I have to object to 97D, "Peacekeeping grp." meaning NATO. The UN is a peacekeeping group; NATO is a warmaking group. You can argue that making war leads to peace, and that's a legitimate argument - but still, NATO's purpose is fundamentally to fight wars.

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

@anon 12:27 and jberg: Guessing - half LATINO, half LATINa, and yes, somewhat underrepresented in the vote.

Tita 1:57 PM  

@Gill - I thought you'd get a kick out of that one.

Hey - has anyone noticed that you are not getting email notifications?

I haven't gotten them in about 3 days, and I'm feelin' so left out! :(

Texas Momma 2:05 PM  

re: TOD

I knew TOD and how to spell it. I had 80s kids.

michael 3:13 PM  

I am fairly sure that the percentage of voters that were Latino was greater than 7 percent this year. One internet source said 10 percent; another estimate prior to the election was 9 percent.

Whatever the percentage, Latino voters had a big effect on the results....

Susan McConnell 4:13 PM  

Lotsa fun...thanks Liz Gorski!

Z 4:43 PM  

A fine Sunday. I had a malapop at 53A with AS IS making it's actual appearance at 88D and a few areas that took me awhile to piece together, but all in all a smooth solve.

Milford 6:07 PM  

Great easy-breezy Sunday. Title told us what to look for, and I got it at CUSTOM EDAM. Snarliest was in the Oregon region for me, but overall a fun solve. Best answer was ANDROGYNY, after thinking of many other words to fit there.

Never knew there was a name for Kahlua and cream.
We just called it Kahlua and cream.

Norm 6:26 PM  

@jberg: I have to disagree with your characterization of NATO. The mission of NATO is not to make war but to defend the member states. More info here: http://www.nato.int/welcome/brochure_WhatIsNATO_en.pdf
Regards, Norm (believe it or not a happy resident of the People's Republic of Berkeley who nonetheless believes that the use of military force is sometimes required)

mac 7:58 PM  

Almost exactly what @joho said! My favorite word was androgyny: I had the -yny first and could not believe that could be right.

Fun one, Elizabeth!

sanfranman59 8:23 PM  

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 5:44, 6:46, 0.85, 2%, Easy (3rd lowest median solve time of 174 Mondays)
Tue 7:57, 8:58, 0.89, 18%, Easy
Wed 7:55, 11:48, 0.67, 1%, Easy (lowest median solve time of 173 Wednesdays)
Thu 25:45, 18:49, 1.37, 95%, Challenging (10th highest median solve time of 174 Thursdays)
Fri 26:25, 24:22, 1.08, 68%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 24:06, 29:04, 0.83, 15%, Easy
Sun 23:47, 32:47, 0.73, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:28, 3:41, 0.94, 26%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:27, 4:41, 0.95, 41%, Medium
Wed 4:30, 5:57, 0.76, 3%, Easy (5th lowest median solve time of 173 Wednesdays)
Thu 15:09, 9:24, 1.61, 98%, Challenging (4th highest median solve time of 174 Thursdays)
Fri 14:38, 12:10, 1.20, 82%, Challenging
Sat 16:04, 16:30, 0.97, 50%, Medium
Sun 23:47, 32:47, 0.73, 13%, Easy

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

WOTD #2 Silas DEANE only was familiar due to driving in the area of Newington/Hartford, CT.

This was hard, but at least not a struggle.

mjddon 11:50 PM  

I know i am getting old when martinis come in flavors and bartenders never heard of SOMBREROS! Now i usually just order as Kahlua and cream on ice. Tastes the same, regardless of how you say it. Good puzzle.

John V 4:32 PM  

Better late than never: I had a good time with this one. The theme was fun, but I thought the NEWJOB/FJORD crossing was spectacular! Not to often to see a J cross; or is it J-walk? Hmmmm.

nurturing 1:20 AM  

I'm another who knew Tod (due to numerous times getting caught up in watching the movie with my children), and whose heart sang when I saw the name of the constructor!

Thank you for a very enjoyable solve, Ms. Gorski!

Nancy in PA 9:31 AM  

Chiming in late as I didn't have time to do the puzzle till MOnday night. After getting JUNK and BUNS (backwards)and reading the title, I concluded it was a puzzle full of euphemisms for gluteus maximus. But it was not to be. Oh well...

Dave 12:36 PM  

Never heard of a Sombrero, we always called Kahlua and Cream a "White Russian". Never cared for them.

Strange thing about this puzzle was that I had trouble finding a toehold, but then once I did, finished it as fast as I could write the answers in.

Dirigonzo 10:43 AM  

(From syndiland) I hate to gloat but I get to so seldomly that I will anyway - WPP and I crushed this puzzle and had great fun in the doing! We caught the trick at CUSTOMEDAM and went through the rest of the grid trying to guess the theme phrases without any crosses and we actually got a lot of them right. When we had gone through all the clues once the grid was nearly complete with only the NE corner needing a revisit, and we were presented with JUNKREWARD as our final entry. That was FUN! Thanks Ms Gorski (and Will, I guess, for whatever minor roll he may have had in the process).

As a post-gloat moment of humility I should confess that we had ALOOP and never went back to correct it, but it still isn't enough to throw me for ALOSS.

connie in seattle 2:30 PM  

Hello Fellow Seattleites,
Are any of you going to the CW tournament today (Sun. 18 at the Northgate Barnes & Noble? It's at 2 p.m. If so, hope to meet you.

Anonymous 4:54 PM  

@mitchs........ "Hi Guy" was a Right Guard commercial, but you got the scene right

messed up with 51D and put uthat. Figured out it was wrong when I got ANOSE, which let DARTH fall in. But not having seen "A Crying Time", I never got ANDROGYNY, so had a hole there, in part because I put rayON for "leisure suit material" (19A) and wouldn't let it go.

Also, having not heard of 29A, I put PuTiN, which messed up 24D for SATURDAY..... and couldn't cross the fill at TSENG and YADIG

still fun; I find the more tedious ones like last week's syndicated one to be no fun and normally they wind up in recycle well from complete.

Kimetha 6:52 PM  

A coma does not denote mental illness. It is a deep sleep a person can't wake from easily (or ever in some cases).

Syndi Solver 7:54 PM  

@Dave 12:36 - I also thought of White Russian at first. But that drink includes vodka along with the Kahlua and cream. And a Black Russian is just Kahlua and vodka.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Russian_%28cocktail%29

This was a very fun puzzle for me. My toughest spot was getting ORLON. I tried rayon and nylon and just could not see 5 or 6 Down for a while. And hands up for the ALOop error (ATHOS fixed that very quickly, though).

As someone who is a slow solver, I felt proud of myself that I wrote in one theme entry, VAMPIRE TAB, even before I had any crosses. And I wrote in MOOR, but not the rest of it, without any crosses. C'mon! With Wuthering Heights in the clue, what else could it be but MOOR?

But I had to laugh at the alternate suggestion for 70D, blood money, that @syndy suggested. Good one!

A very fun puzzle. I can't pick my favorite theme entry - they're all good!

Spacecraft 8:34 PM  

Great Gorski! A fun do, with plenty of chuckle to go with. "GO TO YOUR MOOR!" Priceless!

I echo the discomfort that some, including OFL, felt about the clue for COMA. I couldn't put my finger on why...it JDFR (Just Didn't Feel Right). But @Rex verbalized it pretty well.

Clean, mostly fresh fill, even including colloquialisms. Let us though, not start playing bingo on our crosswords. The potential is horrifying! YALL come back soon, Liz!

wcutler 10:34 PM  

The best theme answers were customedam and saturdaynightevil, as both ways they related directly to the clue. So often the alternate answer is just a phrase, but not clue-related.

This was fun and easy, except I didn't get the NW four squares. That was fine. Usually these puzzles take me all week to do. This week I can read my book.

Anonyrat 5:53 AM  

One would think a Dumass musketeer would be Athol, but apparently not.
First thing that came to mind for 59D ("ball coverings") was pubes, but knew the NYT wouldn't allow that.

Anonymous 5:29 PM  

kahlua and cream = Brown cow

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