1992 David Mamet play / SUN 9-15-13 / Band with 1985 UK #1 album titled Meat Is Murder / Island where Homer is buried by tradition / Baby singer's nickname / Charles Nelson old game show staple

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: "That Girl" — Phrases with first word ending "-ER" are reimagined as wacky phrases where first word is broken into two words, "[blank] HER"; thus,

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Confiscate a chef's appetizer? (SEIZE HER SALAD)
  • 37A: Conk a coach's team member? (SOCK HER PLAYER)
  • 55A: Close a VW Beetle owner's car door? (SHUT HER BUG)
  • 66A: Put a spice mix on a cook's piece of poultry? (RUB HER CHICKEN)
  • 77A: Keep a bad comedian on stage? (LET HER BOMB)
  • 98A: Find out what a baby's milk tastes like? (LICK HER BOTTLE)
  • 114A: Hop over an electrician's wires? (JUMP HER CABLES)
  • 15D: Ensure a surfer's safety? (CHECK HER BOARD)
  • 52D: Take a mechanic's inventory? (COUNT HER PARTS)

Word of the Day: Charles Nelson REILLY (27A: Charles Nelson ___, old game show staple) —
Charles Nelson Reilly (January 13, 1931 – May 25, 2007) was an American actorcomediandirector, and drama teacher known for his comedic roles in stages, films, children's television, cartoons, and game showpanelist. [...] Reilly was perhaps best known as a fixture of game shows, primarily due to his appearances as a regular panelist on the television game show Match Game. Reilly was one of the longest-running guests, and often engaged in petty, hilarious arguments with fellow regular Brett Somers (the two generally sat next to each other on the show, Somers in the upper middle seat and Reilly in the upper right-hand seat). Reilly typically offered sardonic commentary and peppered his answers with homosexually themed double entendres that pushed the boundaries of 1970s television standards. (wikipedia)

• • •

The NYT seems to be backsliding a bit where Sundays are concerned. We got a string of ambitious, interesting, and tough puzzles there in late summer, and for the last little bit we've been getting much more old-fashioned and standard fare. Cute idea, perhaps, but played out over nine theme answers, it wears a bit. Theme ended up being mostly beside the point. Easy to pick up, and easy to handle at every turn. COUNT HER PARTS took me a bit of thinking, but the rest sort of filled themselves in. All of these answers sound like ham-fisted euphemisms (COUNT HER PARTS most of all), but mostly their problem is they're just repetitive. One-trick puzzle. There is some great fill in here, though. Love the symmetrical pillars of THE SMITHS and SLUSH PILE (32D: Group of unsolicited manuscripts). Almost but does not quite make up for EATABLE, which is among the worst longish answers I've ever seen in a puzzle. HOLLER AT and "I'M THERE" and The BIEB (91A: "Baby" singer's nickname, with "the") also give this grid some much-needed sass. So there are bits of joy to be found here and there. But mostly what we have is [Off-white shade]—an OPAL's bland color, but none of its preciousness or luster.


If "RADIX" just means "root" in Latin (which it does), then why not just use "root" when talking about [10, for the base 10 number system]? Is it 'cause "root" is already taken by other concepts? Anyhoo, Had to fight for that "X"; I think of APEXES (or "apices") in terms of height, not end-pointedness (or [Tips]). Just got through telling students on Thursday that no one knows much of anything factual about Homer's life (esp. as compared to Virgil's), and today's puzzle highlights this issue with 73A: Island where Homer is buried, by tradition (IOS). Homer was also blind, by tradition, and he could shoot lasers out of his eyes, by my imagination. I thought most fish was FLAKY (not SCALY), so I got hung up a bit in the west, but AL GREEN came to the rescue, as he so often does (47D: "Love and Happiness" singer, 1972). "OLEANNA" is one of the crosswordesier 7-letter answers out there, so if you don't know it yet, it's worth socking away (2D: 1992 David Mamet play). Speaking of crosswordese: IRED. That "word" makes me laugh (ironically?). It is used by precisely no one except desperate crossword constructors.


I wanted [Part of Obi-Wan Kenobi's costume] to be ROBE, but there was already a ROBE in the puzzle, so I flailed around there slightly until HOOD came into view. It's a nice HOOD clue. I just clued a puzzle today. Sometimes, it can get boring, and you gotta go to some weird places just to keep yourself from nodding off. I watched "Plan 9 From Outer Space" the other night (highly recommended), and I don't know if the word EARTHMEN is in that movie, but that answer *sure* came easily, so I feel there must be some connection. The EARTHMEN in that movie were uniformly stupid and implausible as sentient human beings. Still, as I say, Highly Recommended.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    90 comments:

    Anonymous 9:40 AM  

    Was Rex late getting this up today?

    jberg 9:42 AM  

    Not much to add - not convinced either that APEXES is right (rather than apices) or that it's GST rather than GMT. Wanted ALL het up for 18, fits the meaning better. And I really waned 66A to be RUB HER breasts, which would have worked fine, but maybe that's too profane for a Sunday.

    Gotta run - due to see a 5-hour performance of "Rienzi" later today, which sort of eats up the weekend.

    loren muse smith 9:45 AM  

    I've said it before, Rex – whenever I go on and the write up isn't up yet, I'm reminded of what an enormous job this is for you and how very, very grateful I am. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    I flew through this with hardly any trouble. And seeing the theme vary early helped a lot. I had fun trying to figure them out with hardly any crosses.

    This had kind of a dated vibe: SHARI Lewis, HAM radio, CBER, AL GREEN, Charles Nelson REILLY (I had completely forgotten about him!)

    Rex – I wanted ROBE for his costume, too.

    Loved I'M THERE but IT'S HERE! And HOLLER AT and TOLD YOU.

    Thanks, Joe – favorite themers were SEIZE HER SALAD and SOCK HER PLAYER.

    Mom – yesterday's "dear" was careless, but the "vary" I planted on purpose up their. ;-) I'm going to start making deliberate mistakes both to keep you on your toes and to cover myself in the event of a reel mistake!

    Anonymous 9:47 AM  

    The 16 yr old boy in me kept saying, "Lick her? I don't even know her." Bad bad bad, I know.

    Z 9:47 AM  

    Bars have these thingies on the booze bottles, little spouty things that limit the pour to one shot. I briefly wondered if these thingies were called "liquor nipples." Best wrong answer of the morning.

    John Child 9:47 AM  

    Channeling my inner 14-year-old (many many decades gone) I just can't help sniggering at the theme answers. LICK HER BOTTLE RUB HER CHICKEN .

    The answers pass the breakfast test, but the innuendos don't, at least for the teenage boys in hiding among us.

    I would have clued TOR as Rocky hill or, more topically, Privacy tool, just to avoid the abbr. HOLLER AT seems like something one would do down in the holler. EATABLE, which I hated, is entirely defensible: http://www.englishforums.com/English/EdibleOrEatable/dndz/post.htm

    Good fun for Sunday morning.

    August West 10:02 AM  

    ::..to a mellow, bluesy Norah Jones..::

    COUNT HER PARTS
    RUB HER CHICKEN
    JUMP HER CABLES
    LICK HER BOTTLE
    SEIZE HER SALAD...

    BIRDING, indeed, Baby, yeah!!!

    I think it's gonna be a big, big hit.

    Okay, back to our puzzle. [Barely moves?]? Groan.

    RADIX was a bit of a moment, but easily verifiable as the cross of APEXES. Groan.

    This has EATABLE in it. Joe. And TETS. And HGT. And...PLS. And a bunch of other short shit like that. Buuuuut...looking at what those little Legos support, you gotta just tip your cap.

    AND it prominently features THE SMITHS most FFFAB-u-LOUUSS album.

    But most of all, because the answer to [Like Julius Caesar] is...STABBED (lmao), I gotta give my NYTXWP of the week runner-up to you, Mr. DiPietro. Nice, movin', groovin' solve. Two exceptional week enders.

    Thx, Rex

    Shamik 10:07 AM  

    Always love it when I'm in the puzzle...and yes I'm as dated as that other one...the one whose name ends in Lewis.

    Found it to be a medium puzzle. Those 14 year old boys have a lot in common with the Victorians who put piano skirts over the legs of their pianos because they didn't want the legs showing.

    And it is a big job getting that blog out to us every day. Thanks, Rex!

    Jim Hendler 10:07 AM  

    Maybe it is something about eye makeup I don't know, but isn't the tense wrong in 3-down? Looking for an E-D ending was making me crazy...

    chefbea 10:13 AM  

    Easy puzzle which I had finished last night. Lots of fun too. Came here early this morning and ......no one here.

    No one better try to seize MY salad. Of course wanted Beet for pickled vegetable

    Doris 10:15 AM  

    @jberg: Who's doing the rarely performed Rienzi today? Just interested. Where are you?

    Doris 10:18 AM  

    @jberg: Never mind. Googling shows that it's a concert performance in Boston.

    Tita 10:18 AM  

    16D - My mother always said she never had an accent till she came to the States.

    She celebrated her 90th last Saturday - prepping for that event, just 4 days after step-daughter's wedding in Scotland has kept me from regular xwording % blogging. Miss y'all!

    (Avatar is the bride surrounded by Men in Kilts at St. Cuthbert's in Edinburgh.)

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:23 AM  

    @Jim Hendler - I had never heard of it either, but Googling something like "Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil" shows that it is a real thing.

    Tita 10:25 AM  

    Oops - been away so long, forgot to click to get emails...
    Oh - I liked the puzzle, as I could guess the themes without any (or many) crosses.

    First one gave it away, as somewhere in my brainy depths lives the line "I come to seize your berry, not to praise it."
    Anyone know where that's from?

    joho 10:30 AM  

    I wonder if SEIZEHERSALAD was the seed idea for this one, that was my favorite. LICKHERBOTTLE evinced an ugh! LETHERBOMB also.

    REALSIZE sounds made up to me. I hear in my head, actualSIZE.

    I don't mean to be negative. I do love that Joe picked "That Girl" as the theme and fun answers certainly did ensue.

    Rob C 10:30 AM  

    Medium Sun. for me. Easy if not for the NW corner which took all kinds of time to see b/c I initially put HAdROOM instead of HAS.

    To me it’s STOP and GO traffic, not STOPGO. STABBED was interestingly clued as an adjective instead of a verb.

    Got LET HER BOMB easily, but couldn’t see letter bomb. I kept reading it as leather bomb. Even googled and asked my wife what a leather bomb is, which only prompted a stare.

    @John CHILD – I also CHILDishly laughed at the (almost) double entendres some of the theme answers evoked.

    Steve J 10:40 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Steve J 10:42 AM  

    A puzzle to send most everyone's (or at least most every man's) inner 14-year-old into Beavis and Butthead-like giggles. Mine was especially set off by the first theme answer I got: RUB HER CHICKEN. I don't know exactly what "chicken" would be an innuendo for, but inner 14-year-olds don't care about accuracy and veracity.

    While my inner 14-year-old was a bit amused, my actual 43-year-old, like Rex, found the theme repetitive to the point of becoming tedious (COUNT HER PARTS was also the only one I struggled with, although SEIZE HER SALAD took forever to fall because of epic trouble I had in the NW). I also find the theme a little sexist. Yes, there's the phonetic coincidence that "her" and "-er" sound very similar, but does anyone really think that the NYT would have run a theme that would invited all kinds of double-entendres regarding men's bits? And does anyone really think Joe and Will didn't notice that several of the theme answers could be interpreted that way?

    Was quite happy to see THE SMITHS as one of the long downs, and there were some other good bits of zippy fill (I'M HERE, BE A PAL, SLUSH PILE, BEAN BAG). Probably not enough to overcome the horrible EATABLE, however (that said, it is a word that exists; why it would ever be used in favor of "edible", I have no idea).

    "Feu fighter?" is the best clue for EAU ever. The word should now be retired, like Willie Mays' jersey number, because no one will ever do that better. "Like Julius Caesar" for STABBED was also fantastic.

    Biggest struggle was the NW, as I had ADAGES for "Tips" (as in, "here's a handy tip") because I had no idea about RADIX. Combine not knowing OLEANNA and the grammatical confusion of 3D, and I had a lot of open real estate staring at me for several minutes after I'd finished the remainder of the puzzle. Also was slowed down in the S for a bit, as I had MARTIANS in before EARTHMEN.

    All in all, typical Sunday: a very, very mixed bag.

    Horace S. Patoot 10:46 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    B Donohue 10:50 AM  

    "Barely moves" for STREAKS was the clue/answer of the puzzle for me. Very funny.

    Questinia 10:53 AM  

    Am I the only one who saw LICK HER TETS?

    Believe it or not my capcha is decenci.

    capesunset105 10:56 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    jae 11:00 AM  

    Easy and amusing for me. Found it BREEZy not tedious. Yes, EATABLE was cringy but the oddly risqué theme was good for some chuckles. Fun Sun., thanks Joe.

    capesunset105 11:05 AM  

    Can't say I've ever heard "goggle" used as a verb before. So that combined with "stopgo" rather than stop and go, hung me up for a while. Otherwise, this puzzle was quite pie-like.
    Brett Somers, I eagerly await your appearance in a future puzzle. ;-)

    Anonymous 11:07 AM  

    This was more of a medium for me (35 minutes), but never mind that; all I really have to say today is:

    "What? I hardly know her!"

    Thank you.

    gpo

    quilter1 11:08 AM  

    Pretty darn good IMO. However I didn't get the x in RADIX, so APEXES went begging. Agree with others that it isn't quite right.

    Roger Frazier 11:16 AM  

    haven't had a chance to see how many folks have already alerted you, but your Charles Nelson Reilly pic isn't! The stretch to the host of the show is a little far!

    Thanks for your work! I love comparing notes, and I particularly like that I match your comments most of the time. As I find a clunker puzzle or puzzle part I can;t wait to read your erudite critiques.

    Steve J 11:21 AM  

    @Roger Frazier, that's not a photo. It's a YouTube clip, and you have no control over what frame is shown in the preview. Watchnthenclip, and the first person you see is Charles Nelson Reilly.

    JC66 11:24 AM  

    66A is my favorite because it reminds me of an old joke:

    What's the difference between kinky & perverted?

    Kinky is when you use a feather.

    Perverted is when you use the whole chicken.

    loren muse smith 11:29 AM  

    @that guy I never can remember. . . you beat me to the punch! I had no trouble with GLIDE ON as an adjective.

    Welcome back, @Tita! Terrific picture!

    Anonymous 11:38 AM  

    Like jberg, I question GST as opposed to GMT. Would like to know constructor's reference in validating this answer.

    G 11:43 AM  

    Check her, Seize her, Jump her, Shut her, Sock her, Rub her, Lick her
    A description of a rape?

    Anonymous 11:54 AM  

    @Anonymous, 11:38 AM - We've had this discussion before, but you might like to look up Greenwich Sidereal Time on Wikipedia.

    JenCT 11:59 AM  

    @Jim Hendler: Same for me with 3 Down - wanted GLIDEd ON to go with "applied."

    @Tita: Nice pic!

    Okay, this puzzle makes me want to construct one for us ladies and OUR inner 14-yr-olds - @lms, @acme - interested?

    Son's first football game is in 1 hour - yikes!

    Anonymous 12:10 PM  

    To pick some nits:
    "When the measurements are made with respect to the meridian at Greenwich,(0 degrees) the times are referred to as Greenwich mean sidereal time (GMST) and Greenwich apparent sidereal time (GAST)."

    /s/ Naval officer with celestial navigation background

    Bird 12:13 PM  

    Discovering the theme helped a lot, but still DNF because I did not know RADIX and do not related APEXES to tips.

    I do like most of the theme answers, but there is some fill that is simply junk: STOP and GO, is GENL a new made-up abbreviation?, EATABLE (thought the legit word was edible), how many shades of black are there (black is black, white is white and everything in between are shades of gray), TOP LINE is a thing?

    First thought for 113A was GOD from the G in 112A.

    Almost complained about CAESAR being in the puzzle twice (clue at 86D) because I did not recognize the theme right away and had CAESAHER SALAD.

    How Soon Is Now is one of my favorite 80s songs, by far.

    @Rex - Thanks again for maintaining this blog. I enjoy reading your posts, even if i don't always agree. The commenters (or is that commentators?) here are an eclectic bunch and I enjoy their posts as well.

    Anonymous 12:18 PM  

    I think this puzzle would have been less offensive if the NYT didn't try to pass off the innuendo as nothing.

    jerry k 12:24 PM  

    Pretty easy. True, this puzzle lacked a ogling man's desire, or lusther. Went through it before looking and changed gem to get to finish.

    acme 12:32 PM  

    @JenCT 11:59
    I'm not sure women have inner 14 yr olds...
    If I had, it'd be mostly about wishing I had contacts and hoping there would be a fun place to sit at lunch.

    acme 12:32 PM  

    @JenCT 11:59
    I'm not sure women have inner 14 yr olds...
    If I had, it'd be mostly about wishing I had contacts and hoping there would be a fun place to sit at lunch.

    Masked and UnonymoUs 12:33 PM  

    @4-Oh. Pretty sure one of the premier lines in Plan 9 was the guy alien mincingly ranting "You EARTHMEN are stupid. stupid. stupid." or somesuch. Dude was clearly goin for the Oscar, there. Old Bela died in the middle of filmin this flick. Ed Wood's dentist filled in Bela's role, for the later scenes, always with a cape held in front of his face. Glad Bela got to do the octopus wrestlin scene, but it clearly took a lot out of him. But I digress.

    D-lighted U enjoy the mind-rottin shlock genre; U would fit right in with the FriNight filmfests, at my house in the winters. Bro-inlaw and m&e each bring a Plan 9-like flick, plus we sneak three intermission cliffhanger serial chapters in, as a palette cleanser. Nights totally well-wasted, dude. But I digress yet once more.

    Any puz that has a COUNT HER PARTS, JUMP HER CABLES, LICK HER BOTTLE, and SEIZE HER SALAD all in one grid is a totally Plan 9 Puz, in my book. thUmbsUp.

    M&A

    chefbea 12:33 PM  

    @JC66 LOL love your joke

    acme 12:33 PM  

    ooops, my outer 54 year old wishes I knew how to use a computer correctly! Sorry for the repeat, unable to delete.

    baja 12:44 PM  

    Loved the innuendo! Worth it just for that

    paulsfo 12:48 PM  

    This was my easiest Sunday ever.

    STOPGO is just wrong, as traffic. How about "What stoplights say?"

    On the non-sexist side of the argument, note that the theme features a *female* mechanic, electrician, chef, and surfer.

    M and A also 1:05 PM  

    @JenCT: har. The old crystal ball is beginning to flicker to life. I see... a grid entry...
    AX HIS POWER....
    and there seems to be more...
    PARE HIS SORBONNE...
    and somethin else...

    tbc

    U go, girl.
    M&A

    mathguy 1:10 PM  

    Liked the gimmick especially SEIZEHERSALAD. Once I figured out the gimmick it was smooth sailing and a fun trip. Didn't like the cross of GEM and GST. GEM is a reach and GST isn't easily found on Google. I also don't like UNITY for "Agreement." But I got a kick out of five clues like "Observation of cardinals ..." for BIRDING.

    Anonymous 1:36 PM  

    @Tita: It's from an old Flip Wilson routine. Was on one of his albums. Yes, I'm old.

    Tita 1:38 PM  

    @mathguy - me too - thought briefly that Observation of cardinals could be BuRnING (y'know - when they burn their ballots when electing a pope?), as I had InE for chlor- ending.

    @joho - do you own a Mini Cooper? Many sport bumper stickers that say "Actual Size" - the marketeers have made that sound like a Thing to me...

    email notifs ain't working - anyone else?

    Thadeus B. 1:50 PM  

    REAL SIZE, as clued, is ridiculous. It is a 'thing' in modeling, though, particularly for (PC ALERT) 'plus size' models. ('Overweight' doesn't poll well.)

    ACTUAL SIZE is marketing-speak for packaging photos and such.

    syndy 2:05 PM  

    Ham fisted Euphemisms ore than Innuendo. I enjoyed Rexes write up today more that this slog fest of a puzzle.WTF does 113 down GET mean ?REALSIZE? STOPGO? EATABLE Shame on Joe and Will.

    Carola 2:10 PM  

    Fine entertainment for a gray, rainy Sunday. I thought it was creative how the first part of the noun phrase or compound is turned into a verb. After SEIZE HER SALAD, I tried to get the others with as few crosses as possible. It was harder than I thought - so I was kept guessing (which I liked) throughout. Last letter in was the X in APEXES/ RADIX - had to run the alphabet.

    @JenCT and @M&A - I checked an online crossword dictionary for 4-, 5-, and 6-letter words ending in "-is" that would fit the pattern verb+his+noun, but it looks like pickin's are slim. CAN HIS MAJOR isn't exactly a winner, and BORE HIS GUDENOV sort of makes me shudder.

    @jberg - Hope the perfomance is great! I know "Rienzi" only from Jonas Kaufmann's new(ISH) CD of Wagner arias. Highly recommend.

    okanaganer 2:17 PM  

    I thought 66A just had to be FRY HER CHICKEN, and 37A POKE HER PLAYER.

    This theme was more fun to read about afterwards than it was to actually do.

    That pesky X was my final letter too. I had the puzzle totally finished except for that one blank spot, tried random letters for 5 minutes with none seeming to make any sense. I gave up and went away for a coffee + sit in the sun + read a magazine. Came back and instantly put in the X. Odd how that works so often.

    ANON B 2:20 PM  

    High profile interviewee is a get?
    I don't "get" it.

    loren muse smith 2:24 PM  

    @Jen CT, Acme, M&A, and Carola – Jen CT's idea of a female version sent me off and exploring along the same lines as Carola and M&A. Andrea – very good point about women maybe not having an inner 14 year old!

    I agree with Carola - slim pickings. Here is all I could come up with:

    SENSE HIS BUREAU
    CORE HIS LINE
    FEED HIS POSITION
    MINE HIS SIGN
    POISON HIS IVY

    Anonymous 2:42 PM  

    Real Size?
    I think Life Size but not Real Size

    ANON B 2:44 PM  

    P.S. It's about time that GST is
    used for Longitude Zero. Longitude
    Zero is the Prime Meridian which
    is at Greenwich.

    ANON B 2:46 PM  

    Correction:
    It's about time that GST
    is NOT! used ....

    chefbea 2:47 PM  

    I don't get get either. someone please explain

    M and A Returns 2:50 PM  

    @lms, and Carola and acme and JenCt (choke, gasp, ... must find a little shot of testosterone...)

    or... POISON HIS SNAKE, perhaps?
    RUIN HIS DAY matches up good with AX HIS POWER, maybe.
    RIDICULE HIS LENGTH would be kinda nasty, I suppose. A 14-year old gal might get a har out of it, tho.

    Halftime's over. Back to my man thing. snort.
    M&A

    Anonymous 2:57 PM  

    SIGN HIS CAVITY
    FILL HIS DILLER
    PEEN HIS ENVY

    Numinous 3:08 PM  

    I found this to be pretty easy and I thoroughly enjoyed the 14 year old boy answers. NW had me ALLUPSET until I finally gave up and googled to figure out OLEANNA. No problem with X in RADIX after APEXES emerged. SEIZEHERSALAD, set up the theme for me and punching out the soccer player confirmed it.

    I might have preferred "Letters for the Braves." for 53 A since they're doing so well these days.

    I wanted to rhumba in the South Central but I've never eaten a pickled rUKE. Has anyone here tried one?

    83 A has me totally IRED; I never want to see that answer again. I watch birds from my back deck so birding wasn't unfamiliar to me. Also, STOPGO doesn't seem unfamiliar but I don't know why.

    Overall, this was just plain fun for me after I gave in to OLEANNA.

    Thanks, Rex for keeping this blog up. I do a bunch of puzzles daily in the MagMic app and often enjoy going back and seeing the entries and comments for previous puzzles.
    Thanks JP for a pleasant diversion.

    Anonymous 3:09 PM  

    RADIX must be pretty archaic because I have a degree in mathematics and have Never come across that word. Yikes.

    Philip V of France, "the Tall" 3:14 PM  

    Really, "Handy Andy?"

    Steve J 3:22 PM  

    For those not getting GET:

    In the media business, particularly on TV, lining up an interview with someone who's hugely prominent in the news is called a GET. It's very jargony, but it shows up often enough in coverage of the media and entertainment industry that it's not completely foreign to people outside the business.

    Susan Pease Banitt, LCSW 4:13 PM  

    Annoying and sometimes amusing puzzle for this woman to work on. But found myself wrinkling my nose over tired innuendo. Just ok for me. Can we get more women puzzlers please?

    JenCT 4:29 PM  

    @acme: LOL! You're right: my inner 14-yr-old would be wishing for totally PG-rated stuff.

    @Susan Pease Banitt: I'm working on it!

    joho 4:45 PM  

    @JenCT, acme etal ... LOL, a man's inner 14 year old is a totally different creature from a woman's inner 14 year old!

    @Tita, that is a great pic. And, yes, I drive a Mini Cooper and I'll bet that's where I heard that phrase.

    paulsfo 5:11 PM  

    @ "RADIX must be pretty archaic"

    RADIX is in curent use in the software world. Do mathematicians just use "base"?

    Anonymous 7:01 PM  

    Is it just me, or should 77 across be clued as keep a bad comedienne onstage as the answer is let HER bomb?

    billocohoes 7:28 PM  

    Bird, while reading Civil War nonfiction I have seen 'Genl.' used in quoted correspondence, so rather than a new, made-up abbreviation it's a dated or obsolete one.

    Anonymous 9:57 PM  

    "Get" refers to getting an exclusive interview or the first interview with a notoriously tough subject. It's used as a noun, as in "J.D. Salinger was a tough get." (Not as tough as he is now, of course).

    Z 10:05 PM  

    As I recall, the inner fourteen year-olds are all pretty close in their pre-occupations regardless of gender. Any variance seems to be a later development.

    Bird 10:37 PM  

    @billocohoes - Thanks. So I guess that fails under the category "in the language"?

    gifcan 11:44 AM  

    GET reminded me immediately of The Beatles song, I'm So Tired:

    I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
    Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
    And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
    He was such a stupid get

    In this sense, the Urban Dictionary says it's a mild English expletive, sometimes spelled "git".

    LaneB 8:25 PM  

    Didn't get to Sunday's until today. No problems other than at the cross of RADIX and APEXES. Both poor clues IMO.tio

    Anonymous 11:50 AM  

    "Slimy" before "Scaly" only writeover before finishing. Agree that 3D clue is asking for a past tense verb, not an adj. Should be "Smooth to apply, as eye-makeup". Otherwise nothing bothered me too much. Couldn't remember "Jimmy" Carter's middle name, but came right to me when I thought "James"....Carter. Lot of crap in her, as everyone else points out, my personal ugh answer was the "Bieb".

    Anonymous 11:52 AM  

    oops, typo "lots of crap in HERE" I meant. Although something Freudianishly appropriate about the mistake.

    pageturner 2:31 PM  

    Ok. I've gotta ask. Just started following this blog but can't figure out why the red/gray fill over a single word in each blog. Am I going crazy and it's so, so simple?

    FAQ 2:57 PM  

    @pageturner - all your questions are answered here.

    Anonymous 11:18 AM  

    I found the violence against women aspect and theme
    seize her, sock her , jump her etc. disturbing.
    Combined with lick her and rub her, it does sound like a rape.
    I don't think Will Shortz should have allowed it.

    Mardi Mertens

    spacecraft 1:12 PM  

    Yesterday I thought NEEDER had Ugly Word of the Year all sewn up.

    That lasted exactly one day.

    EATABLE? OMG, it's a word, a real, bona fide word. Not a word in actual USE, mind you, but a word.

    Beat that, all you constructors! EATABLE is already caressing the UWY trophy! Good thing it's not edible.

    This was such a slog, I had to stop partway through and eat something (I usually do these before breakfast). There were many troubles, of which the foregoing was only one. I'm familiar with stop-AND-go traffic (emphasis mine) but just STOPGO? Nah. Totally made up for crossword.

    IRED is another one. Yeah, it's listed as a verb as well as a noun, but in common use, it's irKed (again, emphasis mine). Convoluted crossword English: ITSHERE--and IMTHERE. [sigh]

    There is some good(ISH) stuff here. The themers have a racy quality, which is kind of amusing, and there are some nifty stacked sevens in the corners. One triad of downs is especially funny: if I STARE while trying to, um, COUNTHERPARTS, I might well get a SLAP.

    (BTW, GET as a "High profile interviewee" is really off the wall. Belongs in a Saturday puzzle only.)

    Now, I'm tired. I think I'll go take a nap.

    Andrey Aksuta 2:25 PM  

    Hi
    We a team of developers Action Group Ltd. We created a new and unique - game with words "Say Another Way" - A FUN WORKOUT FOR YOUR BRAIN.
    Availeble in Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.sayanotherway
    Explain words in your own way

    Dirigonzo 5:49 PM  

    After we solved the first couple of theme answers and saw what was going on, PP and I started trying to figure them out just by reading the clue without reference to the grid. It was fun and we got about half of them right. The rest of the puzzle seemed boring by comparison, but it was still a pleasant way to spend the waning sunshine of the last hour of summer.

    Rosalie 9:44 PM  

    Hi, all. I'm in Syndie Land so don't usually bother to post. But I read the blog every Sunday (a week late to you guys) and thought I'd try a post.

    I knew this one would be rated somewhere in the Easy range because I didn't have to look anything up. Except after reading Doubting Thomases' comments in this blog. Yes, I found several of the theme answers a tad suggestive, but all in good fun.

    A few answers I looked at askance, but such is always the case. On the issue of 3D appearing to be a past tense verb, if you think about it you will see it's referring to makeup that can easily be applied and is thus an adjective.

    Ah, but it's so futile. You've all moved on to a new week of puzzles. And I'm just in Syndie Land.

    Bob Kerfuffle 11:22 PM  

    @Rosalie - Welcome to the club!

    Actually, anyone who posts a comment can ask to receive subsequent comments via email, so many of us see your and others' comments, whether after one week, five weeks, or even longer.

    Happy to see that you "got" 3 D, since it seems not everyone did!

    rain forest 11:54 PM  

    Joe, baby, I liked your puzzle. Among the 100+ entries there were a few weak ones, but overall, some nice fill, and I enjoyed it. You know, various people, there are some food items that are edible, but not EATABLE, for example, any entree at Anton's restaurant in Vancouver, but I guess that is another story. Anyway, despite the 4 or 5 questionable answers, about which some would like to obsess, this was a top-notch puzzle.

    Anonymous 2:40 PM  

    I don't understand 113D: High- profile interviewee being "GET"?

    Cary in Boulder 6:54 PM  

    Anon @2:40 pm. GET is explained in a couple of the comments.

    I thought this was fun. Once I caught on to the theme everything fell pretty easily into place. The really tough one for me was "Handy Andy" PHILLIP. I'm a sports fan but kept going "Really?" as the letters philled in. Never heard of him. Turns out he was the first NBA player to garner 500 or more assists in a single season. I would have expected Cousy to hold that one.

    @August West: On the off-chance you come back to read this, I was at the Friday and Saturday Furhtur shows at Red Rocks this weekend and they were monumental. Saturday in particular. Get the official download and you will thank me. They provided a great release/relief for those of us who've been in shock from the aftermath of the floods.

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