1970 John Wayne western / TUE 10-8-13 / Old game consoles / As aside in chat lingo / play lazily as guitar / Med exam involving injection into forearm / 1976 horror film whose remake was released appropriately on 6/6/06 / Early Tarzan Ron / green thumb purple prose / Drama award since 1956

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Constructor: Tim Croce

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging


THEME: repeated (sometimes twice) — 16 answers are words that must be repeated once or twice to  make sense as an answer for the clue. Theme answers are all clued self-referentially, i.e. 1-Across is clued [With 1-Across...] etc.

Theme answers:
  • CHOO (CHOO)
  • CHA (CHA)
  • HAR (HAR)
  • LATE (LATE)
  • BREAKER (BREAKER)
  • PROMISES (PROMISES)
  • "MONDAY (MONDAY)"
  • PETER (PETER)
  • "LET IT SNOW (LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW)"
  • HEAR YE (HEAR YE)
  • LOCATION (LOCATION LOCATION)
  • SAME OLD (SAME OLD)
  • AGAR (AGAR)
  • TIN (TIN)
  • "HEY (HEY HEY)"
  • "MONY (MONY)"
Word of the Day: "RIO LOBO" (43D: 1970 John Wayne western) —

Rio Lobo is a 1970 American Western film starring John Wayne. The film was the last film directed by Howard Hawks, from a script by Leigh Brackett. The film was shot in Technicolor with a running time of 114 minutes. The musical score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and the movie was filmed at Cuernavaca in the Mexican state of Morelos and atTucson, Arizona.
It was the third film in a trilogy directed by Hawks varying the idea of a sheriff defending his office against belligerent outlaw elements in the town: the other two films were Rio Bravo (1959) and El Dorado (1966), both also starring John Wayne. (wikipedia)
• • •

The fire-bombing of DRESDEN and OSAMA bin Laden and the 6/6/06 opening of "THE OMEN" remake? Cheery!


This one's dense, that's for sure. I feel sure I've seen this conceit before—the [With itself]-type cluing—but it might have been a one-off in some puzzle somewhere. Who can remember? One thing this puzzle has going for it is theme density. Crazy, crazy density. Always feels like a back-handed compliment to highlight density—who ever finished a puzzle and thought "I really enjoyed the theme density on that one"?— but from a technical standpoint, it's worth mentioning. It's pretty impressive. Delightfulness-wise, I thought this was OK. The theme cluing provided a strange challenge (having to imagine the double or triple-ness of the answer phrase), and I enjoyed it. Density creates some less-than-optimal fill for a Tuesday, but nothing repulsive. WEE 'UNS is a stretch, especially insofar as [Tots] hardly seems to cover it. I might use [Tots]. WEE 'UNS, never. It's either dated or regional or dated-regional. It's also ugly. But it's an outlier.

I STRUMmed instead of THRUMmed, like any sensible human being, so that area proved a little sticky (46A: Play lazily, as a guitar). Also went ETHOS over ETHIC and (thus) had trouble getting both IDIOM (8D: "Green thumb" or "purple prose") and COSMOS for a while. Wrote in DUO instead of DOS, which makes no kind of sense (10A: Half of cuatro). Briefly blanked on the John Wayne "RIO" film that was not "BRAVO." And yet had no trouble with OSTLERS, one of the odder words in the grid (3D: Stable employees). I thought OSTLERS were innkeepers, but I was just off—they are stablemen, typically in the employ of an inn. This is one of the reasons you rarely encounter this word any more. When's the last time you drove your horse to an inn?

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

74 comments:

jberg 6:15 AM  

Aargh! I thought Fat A said HEE HEE, didn't know the song, so finished w/ an error. The one I was worried about was Tintin, as I think he's a young man not a boy-- he drives a car, for example. But that was ok.

I liked it except the obscure clue for ELY. English bishopric, or jumping-off place for the Quetico would be better than that.

DrXword 6:20 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. As Rex said, it is very theme dense with not too much drek. Could have done without ART I and WEEUNS (isn't it "Young'uns"?). I must admit I never heard of OSTLER. I got PROMISES PROMISES before looking at the clue. Thought for sure it would reference the David-Bacharach-Simon Broadway musical.

MetaRex 6:53 AM  

HERR, HERR!

Liked the theme better than the grid. The semi-isolation of the large NE and SW sections from the central part of the puzz and the 3 x 3 boxes in the NE and SW corners brought me down a little.

Doris 7:26 AM  

As an English major (despite the fact that I am now obsolete and no one knows any of this stuff), I immediately knew OSTLER because of Noyes's "The Highwayman."

Fourth and fifth stanzas:

"And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the OSTLER listened. His face was white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

'One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.' "

BTW, I believe this is the only time I've ever encountered the word, but I encountered it in early youth, and it stuck.

John V 7:37 AM  

Fun one and nice for a Tuesday. Like @Rex, wanted STRUM so that took a bit to sort out. Didn't know MONY MONY or TIN TIN; bit Naticky-y in the corner, IMHO.

Doug 7:37 AM  

Made all the same mistakes that Rex did, but all in all wasn't a bad puzzle. Took me longer than yesterday but not by much.

Rob C 7:48 AM  

Med-Challenging Tues for me. This one grew on me as I did it. I went from ugh (after seeing what I thought were lots of cross-references) to luke-warm to liked it in the course of a few mins.

16 theme answers covering 84 squares is as dense a theme as I can recall. PROMISES PROMISES, SAME OLD SAME OLD, LOCATION were my favorites-very current and "in the language" feel.

stRUM for THRUM too. Messenger dNA initially.

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

Who can forget Ron Ely as Tarzan? I didn't like thinking of him as an old Tarzan. That dated me!!!!
Loved this puzzle!

Carola 8:07 AM  

About half-way through, I did think, "Wow, theme density!" (the concept learned here, of course), and started drawing boxes around those entries. This one delighted me from the start, with the CHOO CHOO CHA CHA cross. The final corner square did me in, though. Noooo idea about Billy Idol or Fat Albert. Guessed MONa x the unlikely HEa.

joho 8:25 AM  

What a clever twist on, in my case, the dreaded cross referenced clue! Not having to jump around the grid and being able to stay in one place to get the answer was a refreshing change. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

I'm with @Carola, how can you not smile at CHOOCHOO/CHACHA?!

Way better than average Tuesday in my book, definitely not the SAMEOLDSAME.

Thanks, Tim Croce!



joho 8:26 AM  

Whoops! SAMEOLDSAMEOLD.

Susan McConnell 8:32 AM  

I thought this was pretty easy, and a lot of fun. I liked the self-referential clues, and Rex is right, there sure were a lot of them. Great Tuesday!

Judith 9:06 AM  

I thought the puzzle was Monday easy, but the David Bowie video make a visit here worth it. BEST MULLET EVER! Plus, a red jumpsuit too.

quilter1 9:11 AM  

I've gotta say this way too easy. I don't time myself, but I finished so fast that I missed my usual leisurely enjoyment of doing the puzzle. Cute idea, good clues and fill, all around good puzzle. I didn't mind the WEEUNS a bit.

quilter1 9:15 AM  

Of course I meant this "was" way too easy.

Z 9:16 AM  

It is always just a little eerie when@Rex describes my mistakes. stRUM, and Duo (?) as well as OpIE before OBIE.

@jberg - those sound more like Saturday clues to ELY to me.

Went to Green Dot Stables this weekend. Great "sliders." Sort of a OSTLER'S take on tapas. Next time you're in Detroit you should visit.

LAREDO. "I'm at a crossroads with myself."

mathguy 9:22 AM  

Smooth sailing across a lovely lake. MYTHOS is fun to say. At some of the Greek festivals here in San Francisco they serve Mythos beer which is brewed in Greece.

OISK 9:28 AM  

Liked theme, but...I had Tim and Momy instead of Tin and Mony - a DNF on a Tuesday! Pop culture, as usual. And speaking of pop culture - after three songs I never heard of yesterday, today I get "Mony", which stumped me, a rapper called NAS??? Dr. Dre, which I know only from crosswords. Could we give the rock a rest, guys?

Elle54 9:28 AM  

This was great! Agree that Wee Uns and thrum were weird, but hey, I got them !

Norm 9:28 AM  

This was FUN (FUN FUN) -- which would have made another theme answer: What we'll have now that Daddy took the TBird away ...

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

Well, I liked it. Finished in record time. On vacation in Marathon TX.

chefbea 9:55 AM  

Easy fun puzzle except for the south-east...a complete Natick as @John V said.

Didn't we have Laura (Bush) recently?

Notsofast 10:05 AM  

Clever, fun, original and easy! A pretty great Tuesday! Kudos! Kudos!

michy 10:19 AM  

Fun Tuesday!

As a child of the '70's and '80's MONY MONY and HEY HEY HEY were gimmes. Fat Albert was one of the only cartoons my parents would let me watch. Always a good life lesson (or so they thought).

BREAKER BREAKER brought back more childhood memories. My dad used to love getting on the CB while pulling our pop-up camper to our vacation destination. His handle was Trailer Hitch. Ah - good times!

Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

Really enjoyable Tuesday.
Being a resident of Rexville has made me appreciate things like theme density.
I figured that the intersection of Tin Tin and Mony Mony would knock a few choo choos off the track.

Lewis 11:09 AM  

@m&a -- it's a shame that H isn't your favorite letter, with eight in this puzzle (and alas, but two U's).

The theme made me smile at first, then made the solve easier to where it felt like a Monday.

I pictured a sailor ON LEAVE who SAYS YES to his lady, but then I saw the LOST PROMISES.

Benko 11:10 AM  

To be fair, strumming a guitar is what you do to play chords--it can be lazy or vigorous and aggressive. THRUMming implies laziness.

jae 11:12 AM  

Medium for me.  Just about right for a Tues.  Clever and delightful.

Erasure: DOst to DOTH

WOE: Me too for OSTLERS but I've probably seen it before and forgotten it.

Did not know AGAR was repeated. 

The theme answers were all great.  Liked it. Nice one Jim!

ArtO 11:14 AM  

Hand up for DNF in SE for aforementioned reasons.
Also, OSTLER could have been WOD and same woe as others with STRUM for THRUM, but quickly overcome.

Otherwise, much fun.

Carola 11:22 AM  

@jberg - Your mentioning ELY as a bishopric pricked my memory...Shakespeare? Indeed, in the first scene of Henryt V the bishop of ELY and the Archbishop of Canterbury ponder the change in the king's character from his days as the wastrel Prince Hal. The archbishop notes the "wonder" of this transformation,

Since his addiction was to courses vain,
His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow,
His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports,
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.

Bishop of ELY. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:
And so the prince obscured his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

Ellen S 11:43 AM  

I had no trouble with Ron ELY, but what the heck is the Quetico? Some kind of international canoe race from Minnesota to Ontario? Same mistakes as Rex with stRUMS before THRUMS and ETHos before ETHIC, but no problem with WEE 'UNS. I guess because I'm dated too.

Natick in the very last square, with MON_ crossing HE_. I have heard of Mutual of New York, but never heard or heard of the song. I knew Fat Albert from Bill Cosby's standup routines, but never watched the cartoon. So I just flat guessed the "Y" and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be correct.

Evan 11:59 AM  

I finally snapped my losing streak to Tim Croce! For some reason, I always get one letter wrong in his puzzles. Without fail (or, technically, with fail), one letter wrong. Not today. Today I win.

Impressive how he fit all of those themers in there. OSTLERS is one of those words that I've resolved never to use except as a stopgap in a themeless where it's holding together some much more awesome entries, but no harm done.

I figure that even though MONY (MONY) might trip up some people because the spelling is a little strange, it's probably a more well-known Billy Idol tune than TO BE A LOVER, no?

retired_chemist 12:02 PM  

MONY MONY, TIN TIN, and HEY HEY were all unknowns to me. Big fat DNF even though I had the entire rest of the puzzle correct in 6 or so. HEY HEY was the only one of the three I consider reasonably inferable. So, Natick IMO.

Hand up for STRUM. Lots of TX cities with 6 letters (14A) and nonscrabbly letters: ODESSA, EL PASO, LAREDO, AUSTIN, CANTON, and more. Pick one and fix it with crosses if needed.

Did not think of Jobs at Apple as STEVE. He is now in that great big orchard in the sky so he shouldn't count IMO. Death recent enough that I find the clue in poor taste.

How come it's UTAHN but not OHION?

ELY is a NEW Tarzan. Johnny Weissmuller is an early Tarzan. But I quibble...... and show my age.

Lively, enjoyable Tuesday. Except for the SE. Thanks, Mr. Croce.

Mr. Benson 12:07 PM  

I thought for sure I would see a Naked Eyes video posted here today.

mathguy 12:08 PM  

@doris: Thanks for the poem. Loved "his eyes were hollows of madness."

Masked and AnonymoUUs 12:09 PM  

@Lewis--Excellent U countin job.
H is a cool letter, but it gets plenty of respect -- 4 points worth, in scrabble. And it's always seen hangin around with S and T and C and occasionally W. Etc. U gets very little respect (one scrabble point) and pitiful little usage. So it's my vowel to root for. As consonants go, G is yer Rodney Dangerfield of those dudes. I root for those, too -- but... well, so many causes, so little time...

More and more lately I'm seein guilt-ridden constructors chip in a HAR or two, to try and compensate for their low U counts. Sorta like a charming, nervous laugh.

How many U's is average, in a 15x15 grid, you ask? Extensive studies of NYT puzs at the M & A Institute reveal the answer: about 4 or so. Other vowels do much better. Though not as thoroughly studied, it feels like E averages about 100 per puz. A usually chips in 20, O is good for 15, and I limps in with around 10.

Boy, did I ever digress. Lewis's fault. Today's puz was sUperfUn.
OLLA OLLA Oxen Free, anyone?...

M&A

Steve J 12:19 PM  

The self-referring cross-referential clue has indeed appeared in at least a couple places within the last month or two. I know BEQ did it in one of his puzzles about a month or so ago, and I'm pretty sure one was used in the NYT around the same time. But I've only seen those one-offs, never a whole theme.

That said, some of these clues still took a bit of effort for me to parse, although it was easy enough not to read the full clue. I didn't help myself by repeatedly misreading Fat Albert as Ft. Albert.

While I liked the puzzle overall, the theme density felt a little heavy after a while, and the overall grid played clunky for me. Still, nice to see something new, especially early in the week.

Z 12:23 PM  

@Evan - Perhaps more famous than BB A LOVER because it was a Tommy James and the Shondells hit and covered by lots of others, including this "cover."

MikeM 12:35 PM  

Must have been easy. I was on the bus and discovered I forgot my glasses. So I was blind as a bat but finished by the time the bus got four stops. No problems, I knew Ron Ely from the game show Face the Music. Always loved MONY MONY but prefer the version by Tommy James and the Shondells

Bill C 12:36 PM  

I wouldn't have guessed Mony Mony as a Natick, as my Natick was at the top of Rio Lobo, where MCA Records crossed with Mio Lobo, that unforgettable movie about John Wayne's pet wolf.

mac 12:46 PM  

Nice puzzle, quite easy but I did end up with a mistake: I had Tim for the boy and Momy. I forgot about Tin Tin, I know him as Kuifje.

A couple of guys were strumming wildly and singing loudly in front of the Picasso museum in Barcelona, until two other guys played very loud rock music through speakers on a second floor balcony. Eventually they came down and they had a lengthy discussion about having to listen to the music all day. It was quite civilized, but of course all 4 spoke at the same time. See that a lot here....

Lojman 12:57 PM  

There was a great Thursday rebus puzzle similar to this one - 9/1/11 was the date. Remains one of my all time favorites.

Enjoyed this, but at the end of it all it's a pretty basic themeless in which many answers happen to be repeatable as common phrases.

Cheers,
Lojman

Ray J 12:58 PM  

Doubly fun puzzle from Tim Croce today! I like that he stayed away from the usual place names that we see a lot, such as the Wallas and the Boras. Tim’s entries are so much livelier.

Guess I’m in the right age range for this one – no problems with the SE area that seemed to trip up many solvers today. I loved Fat Albert as a kid, whether on TV or in comic books.

___________________________________

Thanks to everyone who responded to my question about Karen Tracey yesterday. After solving a few of her puzzles in the archive I found myself hoping to see her name show up whenever I opened a late week puzzle. Kinda like most of us look forward to a Patrick Berry puzzle today.

@acme: I think I’m gonna pass on your very generous offer to forward an email to her. I don’t want to seem like some creepy stalker from the blogosphere. I took @jae’s advice and checked out Amazon. I found one co-authored with Byron Walden titled Tough and Tougher Crosswords. I’m scared already!

There are some crazy prices for some of the New York Sun books by Peter Gordon – I mean $1999.99, really??? BTW, what good is a used book of crossword puzzles?

LaneB 1:02 PM  

Problem with HASH ( had Hall) , BTW ( I don't chat) and the HEY/ MONY cross ( know zilch about Joel songs or Fat Albert) . Otherwise it went relatively fast and smoothly, though I think it was fairly tough for a Tuesday. Fun, however and thanks to Mr. Croce.

GeezerJackYale48 1:07 PM  

Rex missed the chance to ask"when was the last time you drove your 'orse to an inn, because of course 'ostler is what it really should be, leaving off the "h" as Brits so often do.

M and A Help Desk 1:08 PM  

@RayJ... Most NY Sun puz books go for around 8 bucks each at Barnes & Noble. There's a cool menu of all the Peter Gordon edited books at fireballcrosswords.com.

Tell 'em M&A sent yah. Then it's 10 bucks a book.

mathguy 1:45 PM  

I tried to make this comment at 12:07 but apparently whiffed. @doris: Thanks for the poem. Loved "His eyes were hollows of madness ..."

Bird 2:01 PM  

I liked it, I liked it. Seeing the clue at 1A made me do a double-take (should that be “with 1D or 70A?”), but once I figured it out it was too easy as the puzzle filled itself in. Only ugly answers are ART I and WEE ‘UNS.

Hand up for STRUM.

I don’t think they’re singing 37A in South Dakota – 4 feet of snow in one storm. Geez. Praying for a quick recovery.

WA 2:07 PM  

I liked the puzzle, even though I got theme immediately.

Thrum?

Maybe the puzzle was constructed Throm Strumond

Wall K 2:21 PM  

Am I the only one who wonders what holiday "Let it Snow (Let it Snow, Let it Snow)" has to do with?

Acme 2:33 PM  

HAR HAR was prescient bleedover from yeserday!

@rex
The similar one you might be thinking of is my Lollapuzzoola one from two or three years ago? Fingers crossed that a version of that is not the one running next week or I'll be accused of copying Tim! Knot in stomach forming now.

There is a sports columnist for the SF Chronicle Scott Ostler so was happy to learn that name derivation.

But I don't think you're entirely wrong about the Inn thing, as Hostler, Hostel, Hotel, Hotelier are all related and the French do drop the S (and make that hat over the o) and the English do drop the H, as do Italians (think Homo, Uomo, homme) so OSTLER has got to mean inn at some point.
Of course, I say all this without simply looking it up! But I like to think about languages and spelling this way.

Z 2:48 PM  

@acme - I looked it up and OSTLER is, indeed, a variant of hostler.

@mac - your comment reminded me of listening to my mom speak to her mom on the phone when I was young. The conversation was in Spanish, and Mom spoke so quickly that I couldn't make out a single syllable of what she was saying. I always assumed my grandmother was speaking just as quickly and at the same time on the other end.

dk 3:36 PM  

These Tuesday puzzles are becoming cute in a Pugsly Adams sort of way.

I have ISSUES with some of the fill but.... see sentence one above.

������(3 Stars) Thanks Tim and I sure hope Acme does not Xerox your theme :) next week.

ahimsa 3:38 PM  

Very cute puzzle! At first I thought it was just going to be a few of these in the NW corner, not an entire theme of doubled/tripled words. Great idea and kudos to Tim Croce!

I was hoping that "twinkle" might show up but I guess that's a bit too obvious, not to mention much harder to fit in the grid. As it is this was so packed full of theme that it was pushing the limits (WEE'UNS ?). But it still had me smiling all the way through.

@Bill C, still laughing at your "Mio Lobo"/pet wolf comment.

sanfranman59 3:51 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Tue 8:18, 8:17, 1.00, 54%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:02, 5:10, 0.97, 38%, Easy-Medium

jae 3:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 4:00 PM  

@Ray J -- Gordon's "The Big Book of Hard Daily Crosswords" has 15 puzzles by Ms. Tracey. I got it at B & N for $9.95.

mac 5:10 PM  

@Gill and @Milford: I looked for that frog but it was at night with lights all over the old part of Salamanca. Hungry and thirsty and rearing to go to the tapas party! About the Spanish oak and acorns: I saw many of them and many steers having a loverly time living there, but I never, ever saw a pig. They're on the menu everywhere, though. I'm all done with that stuff. Want vegetables and a simple pasta, please....

Anonymous 5:56 PM  

I'm pretty sure that Tintin is one word, so that slowed me down a bit.

Wilbe

Milford 8:49 PM  

@mac - España still sounds lovely, especially this time of year. I agree it's a country that loves its protein! I remember the Jamon Serrano...

Puzzle felt easy, I guess knowing Fat Albert and Billy Idol was a good thing. Liked the outrage of thinking there was a typo on 1A, until I realized the theme.

Hand up for stRUM. Did anyone think of THRUM first?

@Z - don't laugh, but I do take note of your Detroit restaurant suggestions. So keep em coming!

Tuesday afternoon QB 9:25 PM  

Probably just me, but I was disappointed to figure out the theme from my starting point at 1-Across (immediately confirmed by 1-Down in case there was any doubt). Might have been really interesting if the self-referential cues had been omitted entirely (e.g. clue for 1-Across would have been "Toy train," etc.) plus a revealer for the theme, along the lines of SAY AGAIN (clue: "Beg pardon? or a hint to 16 (!) answers in this puzzle")

sanfranman59 12:35 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 6:06, 6:07, 1.00, 47%, Medium
Tue 8:15, 8:15, 1.00, 51%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:44, 3:50, 0.97, 32%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:49, 5:10, 0.93, 23%, Easy-Medium

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spacecraft 10:53 AM  

Shame on you, cluemakers! [Will, I'm looking at you!] This is the second time in three days you've clued a song via its cover artist instead of the (much better, as always) original. MONY MONY was, of course, a hit for Tommy James and the Shondells--a band, I might add, that never got the full recognition its talent deserved, hit or no. Man, when that number started, you could NOT not-dance.

I actually liked this one, despite having to fill in two (!) rappers. Luckily, they were short and came on crosses. Beside the incredible theme density, there were outlying repeated syllables: IDIOM SELDOM; DOS COSMOS MYTHOS.

OSTLERS sans H I have not seen. Mayhap your horseman was Cockney? Hand up for stRUM. This puzzle evoked a ton of memories, including the incomparable Allan Sherman's takeoff on "Streets of LAREDO:"

You can see by my outfit that I am a cowboy;
Get yourself an outfit and be a cowboy too.

Too bad that all this had to include some iffy fill, especially EIEIO, "dagnab it."

Anonymous 12:09 PM  

THRUM? I've never heard a guitarist thrum. Or say "thrum."

rain forest 12:28 PM  

Aside from write-overs ETHOS, and STRUM, this was an easy and very enjoyable puzzle.

@Ret. Chem. Just wondering when it would not be in bad taste to clue Steve Jobs. He IS Apple.

@Spacecraft My memory tells me that it was the Smothers Brothers who did the Streets of LAREDO parody.

Was there a Tarzan after Ron ELY?

I think Tim Croce is a very versatile constructor: many stacked 15 puzzles, and this little beauty.

DMG 2:23 PM  

Once i realized the clue for 1A was not somehow fouled up, this puzzle became another Tuesday. Like others, I had to correct the strum/thrum thing, and ended with two blanks at the very end where three unknown, and unguessable(?) facts crossed each other.

Enjoyed @Doris reminding me of a favorite poem, but unlike her, I learned OSTLER from doing crosswords. Must have been in the old Maleska days.

@Bill C. Loved your pet wolf!

Dirigonzo 3:18 PM  

I read the clues and solve the puzzle in numerical order so I had enough crosses already in place to avoid the stRUM issue, but ETHos/ETHIC tripped me up for a while. I had trouble relating MONY MONY to Billy Idol because of what @spacecraft said. Did no one else try drawn for Being pulled at 22d? I think pretty much all of Germany had to be rebuilt after WWII, didn't it?

Waxy in Montreal 4:38 PM  

Caught in the TIN(TIN) MONY nattick, otherwise quite easy once 1A made sense. Certainly not the SAMEOLD SAMEOLD this Tuesday.

Didn't we just have Dresden & napalm? @Diri, you're bang-on about post-WWII Germany - my dad was with the British Control Commission from 1946-48 and we were posted just outside Münster. Many of my earliest memories are of absolute devastation, well over 60% of the city and environs having been leveled.

Singer 5:55 PM  

I put thrum in right away. As a guitarist, I would never say that strumming is lazy. Thrumming, however, is the lazy kind of stroking the strings with no sense of rhythm that newbies do. Never even considered strum as the answer.

Singer 5:56 PM  

I put thrum in right away. As a guitarist, I would never say that strumming is lazy. Thrumming, however, is the lazy kind of stroking the strings with no sense of rhythm that newbies do. Never even considered strum as the answer.

Ginger 6:40 PM  

Hand up for the Natick Corner. I suspect it's a generational thing, but I hate a DNF on Tuesday. Grrr. However, this puz is a thing of beauty. Clever, brisk, fun. Really enjoyed it (until I reached that wretched corner. HAR)

@SIS Hawks looked Much better this week. This was a win they earned and deserved.

A late postscript on yesterdays Blue Puzzle, (my ringtone) Rhapsody in Blue.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Promises promises was a sexy Jane Mansfield movie
Talented star who died before her time

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