Short player wise as in hockey / TUE 5-20-14 / Montreal Canadien familiarly / Blue-turfed home for Boise State football / Former fort on Monterey Bay / Beef cuts named for New York restaurateur / Illinois home of Caterpillar

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: HIDDEN COST (59A: Unexpected expense … or a feature of 17-, 23-, 35- and 49-Across) — "COST" is "HIDDEN" inside theme answers:

Theme answers:
  • TACO STANDS (17A: Informal eateries with Mexican fare)
  • BRONCO STADIUM (23A: Blue-turfed home for Boise State football)
  • DELMONICO STEAKS (35A: Beef cuts named for a New York restaurateur)
  • TEXACO STATION (49A: Service site with a star)
Word of the Day: DELMONICO STEAKS 
Definition: Delmonico steak is a steak cut from the beef short loin and named for Delmonico's, a steak house in New York where it is said to originate. 

Delmonico steak is a triangular steak with an L-shaped bone. The Delmonico steak somewhat resembles a T-bone steak, but it comes from the front part of the short loin, the part nearest therib. In contrast to the Delmonico steak, the T-bone steak comes from the center section of the short loin. 

The Delmonico steak is also different from the T-bone in that the Delmonico steak doesn't have any of the tenderloin muscle. 

Because it is a tender cut of meat, the Delmonico steak is good for dry-heat cooking methods such as grilling and broiling. (
• • •

This is about what I expect an average NYT Tuesday puzzle to be. Simple theme, apt revealer, interesting (if not scintillating) theme answers, mostly solid fill with at least a little zing in the longer Downs. As it stands, I think this is probably a little better than most of the easy themed fare we've been getting in recent days, if only because a. there's nothing terribly groan-inducing in the fill, and b. there is absolutely nothing to quibble about in the theme (except, I suppose, whether either BRONCO STADIUM or DELMONICO STEAKS is sufficiently well known to be in a Tuesday—I'd say "probably" and "it's beside the point; both are easily gettable/inferable via crosses). HIDDEN COST is not what I'd call a sparkly revealer. It is a phrase that one might use, but it has all the pizazz of a corporate newsletter. But it works. This puzzle does what it says it's going to do, and dammit, some days, that's good enough.

I, like many others, I'm sure, was thrown for a loop by "thrown for A LOSS" (50D: Thrown for ___). I think the "loss" version is supposed to be a term from American football. I can't imagine another scenario where I'd use the phrase. Anyway, my initial mistake was easily fixed. I had Schrödinger as an EDWIN at first. Need every single cross to get TINNED, and still am only somewhat sure I understand it (48D: Plated, in a way). If something is tin-plated, it's TINNED? Is that right? I like the tabloidy sequence of Downs in the NE: "SHANIA—DUST-UP AT HOME!" I'm not sure having a grid with both NOLA and NOLO is ideal, but there are no rules against it. My geography got aaaaalllll messed up, because my brain had INDiana farther west than Illinois as I was solving, so having IND. as the answer to 27D: Oh./Ill. separator just didn't compute. Yikes. I always forget INDiana's there. I used to live in Michigan, and I knew Ohio was underneath me, and Illinois was on the other side of the lake, but INDiana … most I ever did was clip the top of it heading to Chicago. Why my brain wants to put it out in Iowaland, I don't know.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS I wonder if non-hockey fans know HAB (59D: Montreal Canadien,  familiarly). I didn't until I got slammed by it a while back in a crossword. Now I see it all the time—for instance, the HABs are in the NHL Eastern Conference finals right now against the Rangers.


wreck 12:10 AM  

A Canadian feel, eh?? I thought it was easier than Monday, but still took me a couple of minutes longer than my average Tuesday. My only complaint was "USHED" - I don't think anyone says that, even informally!

jae 12:18 AM  

Medium for me too and faster than yesterday's.  Pretty good Tues., no erasures, no WOEs, and a nicely done theme.  Liked it. 

Interesting pair of corners.  You take your AT BATS AT HOME.  

DONNA seems a tad obscure for Parks and Rec. as opposed to  Leslie, Ann, or April (which fits). 

Chris Kreider 12:21 AM  

No, the 'HAB-nots' are playing the Rangers, down 2-0 in best of 7.

I wonder how that happened [snigger, snigger].

Moly Shu 12:34 AM  

Serious hockey vibe. HAB, AMANDOWN, OTTAWA, ONICE SHUTout, the HANSON brothers. Toss in ATBATS and BRONCOSTADIUM, and it's a sports theme.

Are there things that are actually plated with tin??? @RetiredChemist ??

One thing I didn't like was LIRE crossing CES. I can barely read and write English, how am I supposed to get Italian crossing French ?? (I'm guessing it was Italian and French)

Overall liked it, and thought the theme was perfectly fine. Looking forward to 3 good puzzles in a row tomorrow.

Fugu 12:34 AM  

What a snore. I liked duckbill. Theme answers are boring, and they all hide cost the same way, phonetically. I enjoy "hidden whatever" puzzles when the constructor finds some surprising ways to conceal it. This wasn't one of those. But I did like duckbill.

Steve J 1:08 AM  
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Steve J 1:11 AM  

Half expected criticism of COST being split 2-by-2 in each of the answers, rather than mixed up. Didn't bother me, but its's one of those things Rex sometimes jumps on when he's overthinking a theme.

As it stands, the themers were solid but a little lacking in pizzazz. That could describe most of the puzzle. DUCKBILL was nice, and I loved the "Cassino" pun in the clue for LIRE. Outside of that, everything was pretty prosaic.

Finished faster today than I did yesterday. Enjoyed yesterday slightly more than today. Not that this was bad - outside of USHED (agreed with @wreck that that's a crossword-only word). It just didn't have any zip.

@Moly Shu: Tin cans are tin-plated.

@Rex: "Thrown for A LOSS" is commonly used as a synonym for "setback". Like HABs, I'm guessing you'll notice it a whole bunch now that you mentioned you can't think of it outside a football context.

Clark 1:12 AM  

We have a big copper paella pan that we had tinned. The inside is now lined with tin. This is more in semi-puzzle partner's department than mine, so I can't really tell you why one sometimes lines copper pans with tin, but it is definitely a thing.

Happy to learn HAB today.

Casco Kid 1:47 AM  

Very easy here right up to the crossing of [Old casino money ] LIRa and [these in French] CaS. That was an impossible crossing. I contend that LIRa/CaS is the best guess if you don't speak French or know antiquated cassino practices. I'll now go learn about LIRE, whatever that is/was.

Losing streak reaches nine . . .

Casco Kid 1:54 AM  

So LIRE is Italian for the plural of LIRa. My thinking was correct, I just failed to interpret [Casino cash, once] as a demand for plural. Ok. But had it been clued [Casino cash units, once] I would still have guessed LIRa, thinking it was its own plural. There's my mistake. And not knowing French.

What fraction of the people who got this right speak French, and what fraction know the italian plural of LIRa? Just curious.

jae 2:10 AM  

@Casco - Did not know the French (I'm 3/4 assed in Spanish). Did know the LIRA/LIRE deal from doing a boat load of crosswords over the last decade or so.

chefwen 2:38 AM  

Agree with this one being easier than yesterdays.

Wanted Dean for 6A, but BLANC negated that. Shout out to @Loren at 14A. Cute!

The trade winds have died, Kona weather has taken over and I am being inundated by flying termites. Gadzooks, time to turn off the lights and hide under the sheets. Can't even watch T.V., most annoying.

Leapfinger 3:54 AM  

The only good thing to do with USHED is to turn it into a U-SHED. But it isn't the first time we've seen it and it won't be the last.

Did the predictable LOOP/LOSS thingy; less predictably, I started to substitute Peter O'TOOLE for Peter BOYLE. Now there's a mixup. The only way that would have fit would be to make it O'TULE. Odd, because my mind's eye was definitely visualiing BOYLE, probably an early sign of aphasia.

Wasn't mad for HAB in the singular, and Steve J made that point for me when he said 'like HABs'. Sixteen years living in Montreal (way) behind me, and the only thing that sounds natural is to say 'the Habs'.

Aside from that, a pleasant puzzle, nicely put together, but didn't have as much bounce as yesterday's. Or as much as the PACman's usually do.

No problem, if I've waded this long, I can wade a little longer.

Ted Widlanski 5:03 AM  

Tinning is a process in which a layer of tin is put down over iron to prevent corrosion. Tin is pretty resistant to oxidation, so it is used in variety of applications in which metals that are less resistant (i.e. iron and copper) are protected from air.

Was amused by Rex's inability to locate Indiana, since I live in Indiana and its border with Michigan is longer than Ohio's is. I guess Rex is pretty secure about revealing his ignorance- or perhaps that was a backhanded slap at Indiana?

Danp 5:57 AM  

Italian for Crossword solvers: To pluralize, change the ending O to I or the ending A to E. For example, a bone is un osso, bones are ossi. A thing is una cosa, things are cose. It gets a little more complicated, but for crossword puzzles, this will save you from having to throw a spaghetto against the wall.

Glimmerglass 6:45 AM  

Easier than yesterday and not nearly as much fun. A "tin can" was once made by plating iron, but that was a very long time ago. Then they were plated with zinc, and now they're aluminum.

Joseph Henri Maurice "Rocket" Richard 6:59 AM  

Habs is an abbreviation of "les habitants."

Kim Scudera 7:11 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle, and even more Rex's tabloid headline :D

@wreck: I officiated at a wedding two weeks ago, and at the rehearsal reminded the groomspeople that some of the family would like to be USHED (yes, I've been saying this, and the root verb USH, and the gerund USHing since serving as an usher at church some years back). The groomspeople, both in their early twenties, loved the word and used it a *lot* over the following 36 hours. I think it's a keeper.

JTHurst 7:36 AM  

I believe this puzzle is more difficult than Yesterday's puzzle, which was much easier, because I DNF todays. I have real problems with Spanish women. I know they can be senoras or senoritas and a lady can be either but I have seen the abbreviations all over the place: snr, sra, sta, sna, etc. And unfortunately I had no ideas what N. A. or S. A. ( a head slapper after finding out the answer) meant I had 'amet' and 'sta'. Which threw me for a 'loop' because I never 'grokked' to the baseball 'times up' clue either.

Liked the puzzle though.

Leapfinger 7:51 AM  

@ The Rocket
Greetings from Jean Belliveau and Boom Boom Geoffrion, and a big smile from me.

@ Ted W
That's all well and good, but would a chemist say 'Forgive me, for I have TINNED'? I'm fine with having some things be silvered, but others are gilded, and 'ironed' is altogether a horse of a different fire department. I don't even know what to think about things being Aluminated.

Personally, I think we're mixing Tarnish mit Tarnish.

Carola 7:52 AM  

Nice Tuesday! Pretty easy themewise, I thought, but tricky enough elswhere to keep it interesting. Liked DUST UP, AT BATS, A MAN DOWN, OXYGEN. My TACO STANDS started out as misspelled TACqueriaS, also had to erase (percent)age and A LOop. Thanks @Joseph for the explanation of HAB.

I liked the Hollywood pairing of Mel BLANC and Sal MINEO and the USDA stamp for the DELMONICO STEAKS.

MetaRex 7:56 AM  

HAB as part of the hockey/Canada/sports sub-theme is nice...thx to PAC for making it happen by going w/ his lower middle fill IRON, AGEE, and BOS'N instead of, say, IN ON, OREO, and TASS.

Ah the craft of CrossWorld...

MetaRex 8:00 AM  

Substitute OGEE for OREO in my post of a second ago...even bad fill is hard for us non-pros to come up with :)

wreck 8:01 AM  


Have you considered Counseling for that? ;)

chefbea 8:03 AM  

Nice meaty puzzle...steaks , hash, tacos etc.
Much more fun than yesterday.
Don't understand times up=at bats?...Just got it - never mind

Mohair Sam 8:18 AM  

So I wrote in the gimme "chit" for 15a (Cassino cash, once), then turned to my wife and let her know the NYT had misspelled Casino. Oops. The real gimme BLANC solved that.

Basically, we have a three day "agree with Rex" streak going - probably a record. Would argue, however, that DELMONICOSTEAKS is very Tuesday worthy, maybe we eat at too many steakhouses. LOop before LOSS here too, although I hear LOSS in that context all the time.

Not a big hockey fan, but had no problem with the NHLish sub-theme, something new, and at the perfect time. @Rocket - Thanks for the HABS explanation, had heard it somewhere long ago.

Easy/medium Tuesday for us. Really enjoyed, thanks Peter Collins.

AliasZ 8:22 AM  

I was watching the HABs-Rangers game as I was solving this, but I still managed to finish under 10 minutes. The HABs couldn't score even when the Rangers were A MAN DOWN. When we won, I yelled out: "O NICE!" So what happened to the OTTAWA Senators this season?

This was an easy enough puzzle for a Tuesday, maybe easier than yesterday. I liked the hidden COST thingy just fine, simple enough, and consistent throughout. I like consistency.

A few more possibilities occurred to me. Can you find the hidden COSTs?

- Al Pacino, 1973.
- Locale in Karl Malden / Michael Douglas TV series, 1972-77.
- One of The Simpsons regulars voiced by Hank Azaria.
- Watteau's paintings and Couperin's music are in it.
- Heavy smokers' teeth are discolored by them.

I have never been acCOSTed by PenteCOSTals.

The fill was not the best: APO, ORD, OTOE, CES, CRO, IGO, ESO, TSK, ISIN, AMAS, NOLA and NOLO. Lots of crosswordese. I never heard or used "thrown for A LOSS." A loop yes, A LOSS no. Also I've never been USHED and never USHED anyone. Or butled.

But I liked DUCK BILL, A MAN DOWN, DUST UP and DESPOT (or remove a stain from). I also liked to see Mel BLANC, Eve ARDEN, DONNA Reed and TESS Harper.

A good one from Peter Collins, with some reservations.

Let's hear it for American composer Howard HANSON (1896-1981) and his work for wind band titled Chorale and Alleluia.

Enjoy your sunny Tuesday!

r.alphbunker 8:23 AM  

I liked the revealer and it was a professionally done puzzle but I was not fully recovered from M&A's latest offering to fully appreciate it.

His puzzle was inspired by {Sleeping pig sounds = ZZZZOINKS} from Anonymous. I think an apt title for it would be "Shattered expectations"
1A did not know it was defunct
4A There is a connection to ZZZOINKS here but it has the strength of the influence of Jupiter on our smoke alarms.
8A A case where thinking big is not the way to go
9A What can I say? Sometimes its good to draw a blank.
10 Translated {Chomolungma, originally} as {Original name of Chomolungma}. The answer was lost in the translation.
11 This was pure M&A and the most "expected" answer in the puzzle.
12. Was thinking of mathematical calculations. These numbers behave more like strings.

All the down clues. These really broke my train of thought.

mac 8:33 AM  

Good Tuesday, with the hardest part the MBOC and lire spot. I was running the alphabet until I realized it was Big Man On Campus and maybe Monte Cassino....

I wonder if Delmonico steaks are still around, have not seen it on a menu for a while. Then, I don't go to a lot of steak houses. I bet it's a really NY term.

Z 8:34 AM  

Even with a bevy of mishaps, this played easier than yesterdays. Got out of the gate with TACO truckS, just about the informalest eatery one can find. Cleaned that up from the French BLANC. Lots of foreigners in the NW, Latin, French twice, and Italian (Probably illegal aliens crossing from Canada). Then I spelled it SnyOD because, well, I was writing fast. Finally, I was thrown for A LOop and had to fix dOYLE to BOYLE. Even with all that, a fast solve here.

I USHED in high school, and, yes, that is a word we used back then. Late 70's, so maybe something to note that it is archaic would be appropriate.

@Chris Kreider - It takes four wins to take a series.

@Casco Kid - More of a French mangler than a French speaker, but I've mangled enough to see that CaS was wrong and fixed it to LIRE.

@Ted Widlanski - I believe Rex's time in Michigan was spent in Ann Arbor, where the outsized hate for Ohio is such that many people think Notre Dame is in Ohio, too. I'm not too surprised by his confusion. I did wonder if the BRONCO STADIUM clue started life being Western Michigan rather than Boise, since Mr. Collins is also from Michigan.

NOLA/NOLO - Is it a feature or a bug? I was AMUSEd by it, so I think a "feature." Good Tuesday puzzle.

evil doug 8:35 AM  

Missed a great opportunity to clue the unforgettable HANSON brothers from "Slap Shot" into the hockey subtheme....


Casco Kid 8:58 AM  

@Z Shall we point out the difference between Plate Appearances (times up) and At Bats? Or should we remember that common misperceptions are fair game for crosswords? ;)

chefbea 8:59 AM  

@Ralph bunker I dont understand your post??? What puzzle are you referring to.?

Z 9:12 AM  

@Casco Kid - I doubt that most people, heck, probably not even most fans, know that walks, hit by pitches, and sacrifices don't count as AT BATS. So, yeah, close enough. Besides, while not all "times up" are AT BATS, all AT BATS are "times up." And for anyone who wonders why there is distinction, an AT BAT is used as the denominator for batting average and other stats while "plate appearances" would be the denominator for "on base percentage," the importance of which is argued on blogs elsewhere.

@chefbea - it is time for you to try M&A's efforts.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

Mostly agree with Rex. DNF for me.
My main complaint is the theme answers all contain commercial terms ending with CO followed by words starting with ST.
There is also an over-abundance of pop culture words and abbreviations. To name a few:
50D threw me indeed for a loop.

What the hell does BMOC stand for?

OISK 9:24 AM  

@Casco Kid - I took French and Italian in high school and college, respectively, (and German), and it is helpful in these puzzles. However, I never took Spanish, which comes up far more often. My annoyance at "MMMbop band" (Hanson??? - completely unfamiliar to me) a reference to some vulgar Rolling Stones song, and a Hootie lyric, (have no idea who or what the Blowfish are, but I think they were mentioned on "Friends") was balanced by Erwin Schrodinger, the great German physicist who had the decency to leave the country when the Nazis came to power.
Good Tuesday puzzle, of appropriate difficulty.

Ludyjynn 9:24 AM  

I guess after you get USHED to your seat, you get SHHHUSHED by your neighbors if you talk during the movie.

I guess I'll continue my three day run of OBSEQUIOUS behavior by agreeing w/ Rex's commentary...again.

For those of you traveling to London any time soon, be sure to take a day to visit KEW Gardens, a short tube ride out of the city and a glorious Victorian accomplishment.

Thought this puzz. was NEATO. Thanks, PAC and WS.

Hartley70 9:25 AM  

Good one for a Tuesday. I chugged along only stopping for "at bats" and "Hab" because I thought some hockey player was nicknamed Hal for Harold. It went smoothly enough with the downs that I didn't notice the long across themes until it was finished. I liked Delmonico steak. And hidden cost is clever enough. I just really look forward to Thursday.

tensace 9:26 AM  

The puzzle did get me to look up Peter BOYLE's bio. An impressive talent that I loved on Everybody Loves Raymond - the greatest sitcom since The Dick Van Dyke Show. G-rated humor on variety of subjects, family themed and just fun to watch. What a stark contrast to the all too many shock-coms that pass as comedy.

@Big Man On Campus

Ludyjynn 9:30 AM  

@Anonymous, BMOC is big man on campus. I had DEAN until I saw the Down crosses.

chefbea 9:36 AM  

@Z can I get M&A's puzzles in pdf form???

Leapfinger 9:37 AM  


Rest easy. It's a fair certainty Anonymous lived to rue that ZZZOINKS inspiration.


Rare form. 1st = SerpiCOSTar, last = TobacCOSTains [also in index 7 long fingers]. Will have to muse on the rest.

Thanks for the Andre link, 2nd Ave betw 84th, 85th. If the food is half as mouth-watering as the menu and photos, I'll be in Heaven. Am still drooling.

Did what I could about Kate the Great, but still fought my way to a nominal defeat. The details are boring; I'll try again another day.

Enjoyed the comment, esp the improved HANSON

quilter1 9:40 AM  

Easy peasy for me. I would say the DONNA character has been given more to do since Ann left and it was the first name I thought of since Leslie didn't fit. I liked this one.

Arlene 9:47 AM  

I never saw that I had filled in USHED until I came here - I had filled it in from the crosses. That's a big ego booster not to need all the clues to finish! YAY!

That said, never heard of HANSON or HAB - needed the crosses for those.

GLR 9:53 AM  

@Ted Widlanski, @Z:

I'm pretty sure that what Rex meant to say was that when he was at the University of Michigan, he knew that "Ohio State was beneath me."

lawprof 10:01 AM  

I once tried watching a Boise State football game on TV. After about five minutes my eyes hurt. Had to switch channels? Whatever happened to grass?

RnRGhost57 10:03 AM  

"Get Yer Ya Yas Out" is one of the great live albums in R'n'R history. Given that it was released nearly 50 years ago and that it's on a ton of "greatest live albums" lists, and given that many who do the NYT puzzle are either Boomers or Gen Xers, it doesn't seem to be too obscure as a clue.

Z 10:09 AM  

@OISK - I didn't even see two of the music clues, so I had to go back to the puzzle to see what you were writing about. Get YER Ya-Ya's Out is actually a concert album from 1970 (44 years ago), not a song. Hootie and the Blowfish and The HANSONs are both nearly 20 year old acts. MMMMBop was one of those songs that everyone heard whether or not you knew you were hearing it, sort of like Pharrell's Happy this year. I mention this not as a criticism of you, but just as a "time flies" observation for those of us who still think that 1990 was ten years ago.

@chefbea - Not to my knowledge.

@GLR - Spoken like a true Michigander.

@lawprof - field turf is the latest thing. Recycled tires don't need watering, and can be painted any color, and can also be used in bubble domes (nice if you want to play field sports in January in Michigan). I was playing on it Sunday, with the temperature in the high 60's. The field really holds the heat, to the point that I was considering adding another pair of socks for some insulation against the heat. I can't imagine playing on it on a hot summer afternoon.

r.alphbunker 10:09 AM  


I put it here

Please don't shoot the messenger! :-)

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Having never heard of "BMOC", the BMOC/MINEO/CES/LIRE tangle left me with a DNF. A shame.

let's see, you could change..... MINEO to LANDO from Star Wars, ORD to OMD for the band, BMOC to BLOC, LIRE to LAME, and CES to "CES", as in Consumer Electronics Show? I'm not very good at this, but that took me two minutes and would be much better.

Steve J 10:31 AM  
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Steve J 10:34 AM  

@Casco Kid: I do speak some French (not only do I speak only a little, I do so poorly), so I knew CES. One handy thing to remember with French: Hard consonants are fairly rare, and a K sound at the beginning of a word is very rare. Your CAS spelling would be pronounced more or less like Cass (as in Mama), which would be very unusual in French. Whereas CES is pronounced like "say", as C's before E's and I's are pronounced as an S. (They're also pronounced as an S when they have that little mark below them, as in ça va - another good one to remember, as it means "how are you" or "how's it going" and shows up in puzzles periodically).

Or, just commit words like that to memory. I never took Latin, and while I can infer some things backwards through what I know of French (and a little Spanish and Italian - vocabulary only; thankfully crosswords don't require knowledge of foreign grammar very often), most of it I've just had to memorize. Like AMAS. I couldn't conjugate that verb if I had to - I'm never even sure what the root verb is in that sequence - but I can usually remember the individual words with a cross or two.

Two Ponies 10:34 AM  

@ ED, My thoughts exactly about Slap Shot. Hilarious movie and those brothers stole the show.

Nice Tuesday. Mr. Collins is a pro and it showed today.

Lewis 10:53 AM  

With Steve J that "thrown for a loss" is very common outside of football.

I think why Rex didn't complain about COST being divvied up differently is that he is satisfied if there is consistency. When he rants is when one is different from the rest.

Found it to be a solid puzzle and solve. I liked the clue for ILE rather than the Parisian one. I slipped into German, putting in OHNE for SANS at first. The HANSON clue was more in my wheelhouse than a hockey clue. Only three U's, which will make someone unhappy.

Lewis 10:54 AM  

Insert "not" between "COST" and "being"

Hartley70 11:09 AM  

Clark, you have to tin copper cooking utensils because the copper alone is toxic. It's an issue with copper bottomed tea kettles in my house.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Can someone tell me who "M&A" is? Or, better, where his/her puzzles are published?

r.alphbunker 11:35 AM  

@Anonymous @11:21

M&A is shorthand for Masked and Anonymous.

Nobody knows who M&A is. Maybe he/she is two people or maybe even Will Shortz.

When M&A makes a puzzle he publishes a link it on this blog. He did this yesterday.

jyocum3 11:45 AM  

Only frustrating thing about this puzzle was the HAB BOSN cross. That B could have been any letter to me, since I've never used either word. Thankfully BOSN was buried deep somewhere in my subconscious, even though I have absolutely no idea what it means, nor would I ever use it.

Aside from that, I also naturally assumed A LOop instead of A LOSS. Likewise, the only context that phrase makes sense to me is for football. At least now I'll know to second-guess myself if I see that same clue pop up in the future.

DELMONICOSTEAKS isn't common enough for a Tuesday!? That was one of the easiest answers in the puzzle; got it off the DE-!

RAD2626 11:52 AM  

Pretty quick. Liked Times up and Medium deck? For former wanted ALLDONE but quickly dissuaded by all the other crosses. Thought the CO-ST splits were clever. All in all pretty much enjoyable.

The Answer Man 11:57 AM  

BOSN is a shortening of boatswain.

Moly Shu 12:44 PM  

@OISK, I thought of you as I filled in HANSON, thinking " there is no way he knows this one" then, I needed all the crosses to get ERWIN. Never heard of him and no way I would know that one. Maybe great minds don't think alike.

Leapfinger 12:52 PM  

The Brothers Four recorded BMOC c. 1961, currently selling on eBay for $14.95. Based on what you wrote, I'm guessing 1961 was before yer time.

Still suffering from a little TINNEDitus, Poe me, but am slowly coming to grips with the TINNEDTINNEDabulation of the Bells. [Bells, Bells] Can I please be alloyed a choice between TINNED tuna and Mercuried?

Shall now take my obsession away with me, go and do something useful.

AliasZ 1:29 PM  

@Leapy, you were right on those two. By the way, André's is real good, I ate there a few times. Next time you are in the city, I'd like you to be my guest. Your comments bring back that typical sparkle I missed so. Your TINNED comment made me chuckle, especially since my hair has TINNED into virtual nonexistence. Aluminated? LOL! I give you tantalized, chromated, nickeled (and dimed), iridiated, tungstied, etc.

I don't want to prolong the excitement, so here are the answers to my additions to the hidden COST theme:

- SerpiCOSTar - Al Pacino, 1973
- San FrancisCOSTreets - Locale in Karl Malden / Michael Douglas TV series, 1972-77
- DisCOSTu - One of The Simpsons regulars voiced by Hank Azaria
- RocoCOSTyle - Watteau's paintings and Couperin's music are in it
- TobacCOSTAins - Heavy smokers' teeth are discolored by them

Peter BOYLE forever will be remembered as the monster in Young Frankenstein, dancing with Gene Wilder in "Puttin' on the Ritz," or on a friendly visit with Gene Hackman, the blind priest.


mathguy 1:45 PM  

Another hidden cost as posed above is sanfrancisCOSTreets, ala the Karl Malden and Michael Douglas TV show of yesteryear.

Had never heard HAB and found it interesting that USH is actually used in the real world.

Fred Romagnolo 2:00 PM  

@ludyjynn: I had the pleasure once of introducing the retired chief gardener of Kew Gardens to Muir Woods and the sequoias; needless to say, he was overwhelmed; his son is one of my close friends. Like you (and others, it was "dean" first, but downs saved me. I also had to write over "stew" to get HASH; and flirted with "taquerias," which didn't fit; also "near" for SHUT; different pronunciation for "close." I used to use only TEXACOSTATIONs when they sponsored the Met Opera broadcasts. Some think that Shakespeare's ARDEN came from The Ardennes, across the channel.

Fred Romagnolo 2:03 PM  

oops, shoulda been (and others)

Masked and Anonymo4Us 2:32 PM  

Shockin. Shockin, I say. Peter Collins is one of my fave constructors. Probably would be in the top five, if it had not been for the Pewit Incident. And yet, here it is... every themer splits at the same, hang-head, dull-as-hogcalls CO/ST border. Peter is better than this. Especially with the myriad solid golden opportunities out there for splittin the costs...
1. GODUTCHTREAT. But, I digress.
2. GASTRIC OSTIUM. Also AORTIC OSTIUM. PC was probably holdin out for PEWIT OSTIUM, tho.
3. MAC OS TIGER. Double splitter!
4. SAN MARCOS TEXAS. Would also accept the TX var.
5. COSTCO STORE. Dude... Rodeo.


@r.alph: thanx U. U have inspired me to make 6.95 more runtpuzs, just with today's material. But, let us be fair, and not get greedy, here. It is @muse's turn, to go next.
"Muse runtpuz . . . Muse runtpuz . . ."

Anonymous 3:03 PM  


Not sure whether to say that was perfectly dreadful or dreadfully perfect, but I AM sure there should be a caveat emptor: Do Not attempt this on PDF. Reveal letter was an absolute necessity.

I have to admit there was something attractive about the idea of losing so much around the middle, but I so wanted that orchard clue to be for LOCUSTS!

Gregory Turner 3:07 PM  

Though it was a pretty easy puzzle, did it in 13 minutes, I loved the hockey references!!! All it really needed was the clue DRIVE TO THE NET. Right Chris?

Ludyjynn 3:14 PM  

Forgot to again wish @Numinous good luck on your continuing recovery.
Hope you'll be home soon.

@FredR, I have not yet been to Muir Woods. Needs to go on my bucket list, for sure! Thanks for the tip.

Sfingi 3:54 PM  

Did not know HAB. 'Til Rex, I thought he was asking for a nickname for French Canadians, which didn't seem right with an H.

Didn't care for TINNED or USHED, but got them.

Hand up for LOop.

Didn't know any of the 3 pop songs: YER, HANSON, IGO.

But, it's still Tues. if I got 'em all, anyway.

syndy 4:23 PM  

I thought that HAB was soe dude who played for Canada but I see it must be the french for PEEPS!A good solid tuesday(I appreciate trad.entrys like "amo,amat"and "ARGO")Firsts=DEAN LOOP STEW oh and Irwin-but I knew better that was a pure misspelling( did the cat or did the cat not-get out of Germany with him?)

M and Also 5:28 PM  

Since M&A's stint as runtpuz sole provider will soon be comin to an end, he wishes to look back, in fond memory, at the top ten runtpuz feedback quotes, from his tenure in office...

1. "[explatives deleted] Pewit Breath"
2. "Got thrown for a moment by 4-Down. Forgot who I was dealing with!"
3. "I was left hanging like the exuvia of a cicada."
4. "Rex - Thanks so much for hosting the M&A blog!"
5, "This puzzle has been rated U, for urinal, by the MPAA."
6. "Okay, now I am completely lost. But that's OK."
7. "Has the strength of the influence of Jupiter on our smoke alarms."
8. "Was perfectly dreadful or dreadfully perfect."
9. "A couple things even after revealed I didn't understand."
10. "55 seconds of fun."

I'd like to thank my family and all
U nice folks for yer support.

"Do Not Try This at Home"

Syed Kazim Ali 5:41 PM  

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Leapfinger 5:46 PM  


3. My first awareness of Peter BOYLE was in Joe, which came out about 4 years before Young Frankenstein. A strong role, good performance.

2. Must say I enjoyed your metalling ways. Most were indeed tantalizing, but I found 'tungstied mildly dystterbium. Fortunately, it's surgically correctable. Overall, I wasn't surprised, though; it may have been on your first appearance that you ran a list of my efforts, and proceeded to top each on in turn.

3. No firm plans at the moment, but Dinner at Andre's sounds very nice (much better than how I remember "Dinner With Andre"). Let me know if you got the email about Szent-Gyorgyi that I sent to your blogger address.

retired_chemist 7:33 PM  

Tin is actually more easily oxidized than copper and aluminum much easier still. Tin plating works for the same reason aluminum cookware works: an oxide coat forms on the tin (or aluminum) and protects the metal against further oxidation.

Oh, puzzle. Easy. Mid-Monday time, consistent with the feel. Decent theme. Little crud in the fill.

Thanks, Mr. Collins.

r.alphbunker 7:44 PM  

Say it isn't so!

I would be willing to host a web page with links to all your runtpuzzes. Let me know.

Ann Heil 8:08 PM  

Must be a Michigan (or just Ann Arbor) thing to have a blank spot where IND goes. When I saw the Ohio/Ill clue I was trying to think of some border river. And my sister lived in southern Indiana for a few years - yeesh. Reminds me if how, when I first met him, my ex-husband (native Southern Californian) thought California went all the way up to Canada.

Almost DNF'd in the HAB/AGEE crossing. In my world, HAB = harmful algal bloom.

Last Silver Bull Woot 8:35 PM  

@r.alph: har. It ain't so. M&A is just wishin and hopin @muse will do the next runtpuz, so he can put in a little runt-solvin time, for a change. Change is good, especially in large denomination coins. (Would be real cool, if other constructioneer-wannabes wanted to jump on in the stewpot, too, tho. Patrick Berry would probably enjoy doin it, for a change.) Invaluable experience (that still means valuable, right?) , this runtwork. Big trick is to keep it desperate. The rest takes care of itself. Honest, @muse.

Shoot, the darn things only take a few minutes to crank out, if U use the max black square count (usually 8). Runt themes are no big deal to dream up. Here. I'll toss out the first ten things right now that I think of. Cuz anything at all can be a runt theme (surely y'all have noticed that, by now)...
1. Scarlet Johansson.
2. Cinnamon rolls.
3. Jupiter's influence on smoke alarms.
4. Roman gods.
5. Captchas.
6. Things that start with somethin that sounds like hu, du, and lu. Like duck nephews, etc.
7. A grid with nothin in it but abbreviations; the more desperate, the better. Partial abbrs.! Entire phrases made up of abbrs.! day-um. But I digress.
8. Last words of pop songs, that, when mashed together, make another pop song's title.
9. Words that rhyme with each other in a word ladder. (The further away U can get the final word from rhyming even remotely with the first word, the better.)
10. Cows. Or funny cow-attributable things, all of which have somethin in em that sounds like "moo".


Susan McConnell 8:45 PM  

I'm late to the party and didn't read the comments, however, I found the puzzle pretty easy, mostly because I opened Across Lite and mistakenly ended up doing Peter Gordon's Themeless 73 from Fireball Puzzles, thinking it was the Tuesday NYT. I kept saying to myself, gee this is pretty clever and tough for a Tuesday! After that, doing the real NYT Tuesday was a breeze.

r.alphbunker 9:26 PM  


LMS could do a snakes in a puzzle puzzle. Every clue would have a kind of snake in it, possibly embedded. E.G. {Who w[as P]eter Mark Roget?} AHAND (where HAND is a synonym of man). Or {Rattler} BABY. Or {Adder} CPU.

She could also runt one of her own puzzles by applying the secret runt formula to convert it into something worthy to be called a runtpuz.

Anonymous 5:02 AM  


Dropped in on a whim, and in mo time at all find self as inspirational (ZOINKS!) and making a list of 10. Thanks, the glow was warm. Realizing the while you have ample grist for your mill.

The New Gristy Millster

aquaholic 11:54 AM  

@Casco kid - note the spelling on the lire clue, it is NOT casino (a place to gamble), but Cassino (a city in Italy) where the lire was used before the Euro became the basic money unit.

Z 12:21 AM  

@Dirigonzo - Oxfam made it pretty obvious that a crossword puzzle was included, which is the reason I opened the envelope. Not much chance that you would have missed it if it hit your mailbox.

spacecraft 11:24 AM  

I thought it was a zip till maybe the SE, where I finished. It got just a bit sticky down there. AMANDOWN is common enough in sport lingo, but I have never heard this term in hockey. the phrase, used virtually 100% of the time that I have watched hockey, is "shorthanded." Also those names; I know Schrodinger and his unfortunate cat very well, but I suspect only a tiny percentage of his fans know his first name. I sure didn't. And never having watched "P&R," I had no clue for 67a. DONNA, huh? OK, if you say so.

But the rest of it? Easy peasy. Even the theme stood out as I looked at TACOSTAND; I predicted the revealer would be "split the cost." Well, I was close.

The NE (M&A's favorite corner today!) did AMUSE me; by chance I slapped in all the downs, then wondered what "TENTO" might be (I thought maybe an Italian circus venue). But the clue turned it into TEN TO, a bit of fill that I'll call...unfortunate, especially when crossed with USHED: inferrable, but geez!

Hand up among many for LOop. Seldom do I get away so cleanly as to have NO writeovers.

DMG 1:04 PM  

Was thrown for a LOop for a bit, and chose the "near" definition of "close" before SHUT became obvious. Crosses filled my,other unknowns, ERWIN, DONNA, and the unfathomable HAB, so a good Tuesday for me.

First Captcha was a picture of a blank wall!

Dirigonzo 2:34 PM  

I managed to avoid a write-over at the LOOP/LOss entry by writing in LO and letting the crosswords make the choice (I 'm not always so prudent). I don't know of any TEXACOSTATION that actually provides service but maybe there is one somewhere. I learned HAB right here from our very own @Waxy.

@Z - thanks, that's good to know.

Solving in Seattle 3:20 PM  

USHED? He USHED her to her seat? Really?
My first BMOC was a dean. Threw me for a LOop.
Nice, fun tuepuz, P.A.C.

Delmonico's is a fabulous restaurant where I always make a point of eating when in NYC. The steaks are perfect, the hamburgers are the best I've eaten, and eggs Benedict was invented there: the brainchild of a woman patron and the eponymous chef.

King Felix finally got some run support last night vs Boston.

bob 3:35 PM  

This is six weeks later, but I came here to find out about HAB - Thanks. I had no idea.

Also did not see one real explanation for TINNED. When soldering copper wires with Sn/Pb solder, one TINS the wires first by coating with solder before making a joint.

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