Car introduced by Elon Musk / TUE 11-4-14 / Science of Logic philosopher / Eastern Catholic ruling body / Nonhuman sign language learner / Place for court-ordered monitor / Band that sang Friends theme song / First family of 1840s / Galaxy competitors / Genre for NWA TI

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (**for a Tuesday**)

THEME: ordinary phrases re-imagined as "reviews" —

Theme answers:
  • LOVE BITES (3D: Critic's negative review of singer Courtney?)
  • MOON ROCKS (18A: Critic's positive review of drummer Keith of the Who?)  
  • HOUSE / RULES (31A: With 40-Across, critic's positive review of a Fox medical drama?)
  • TIME SUCKS (32D: Critic's negative review of a newsmagazine?)
  • BIG STINKS (55A: Critic's negative review of a 1988 Hanks film?)
Word of the Day: Charles EAMES (41A: Chair designer Charles) —
Charles Ormond Eames, Jr (1907–1978) and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" (née KaiserEames (1912–1988) /ˈmz/ were American designers who worked in and made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art and film. […] Charles Eames was greatly influenced by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (whose son Eero, also an architect, would become a partner and friend). At the elder Saarinen's invitation, Charles moved in 1938 with his wife Catherine and daughter Lucia to Michigan, to further study architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he would become a teacher and head of the industrial designdepartment. In order to apply for the Architecture and Urban Planning Program, Eames defined an area of focus—the St. Louis waterfront. Together with Eero Saarinen he designed prize-winning furniture for New York's Museum of Modern Art "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition. Their work displayed the new technique of wood moulding (originally developed by Alvar Aalto), that Eames would further develop in many moulded plywood products, including chairs and other furniture, splints and stretchers for the US Navy during World War II. (wikipedia)
• • •

There's one big problem here, which is that no one reviews "newsmagazines." You can read music reviews, TV reviews, and movie reviews virtually every day in, say, the NYT, but "newsmagazine" review? No. Thus, TIME SUCKS sucks (though on its own, unattached to any theme, it would be a fine answer). It was a big letdown that all the answers weren't musical, actually. The first two you're like to encounter (the first two I encountered, anyway) were LOVE STINKS and MOON ROCKS. If that theme had kept on like that, I'd've been really impressed. Perhaps that's not possible. The theme is a nice idea, imperfectly executed. Kind of a let-down, in the end. Grid construction overall is nice, with a nice set of longer Downs driving their way through the grid. I liked TRAINED EYE and loved GROUP HUGS. Rest of the fill is just fine.

I think this played harder than the usual Tuesday (for me) because the theme answers were simply harder to pick up. Had LOVE, didn't know what came next. Ditto MOON. The rest of their answers weren't *hard* to get, but I had to work for those back ends.  Weirdly, the answer that might've held some people up (the REMBRANDTS) was a gimme for me. I'm not proud about that. It's just a fact. I knew it cold. I remembered their name. I don't know why. Otherwise, hold-ups were just dumb stuff I fumbled. TITAN for BARON (23A: Powerful industrialist). HAGEL for the non-Chuck HEGEL (47D: "Science of Logic" philosopher). Multiple crosses needed to pick up both THE WAVE (4D: Stand-up routine?) and D-DAY (62A: Decisive time). I literally never get D-DAY unless I have at least two letters (the first two). I always think of it as a specific day, not a general word for a type of day. I hope someone rants about the NYT's right-wing bias—cluing TED as [Sen. Cruz] on election day?! Coincidence?! Well, yes. But … Coincidence!?!?!?! (see, when you say it with more "!"s and "?"s, it gets more plausible-sounding) (yeah, I know he's not up for election this cycle … that's how deep this goes, man) (!?!?!?!?).

    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:07 AM  

    Tough for me too.  Had onEND before NOEND and ended up staring for a while to fix it.  That and what Rex said about the non-obvious theme answers.

    Lotsa zip for a Tues., probably because it felt like a tough Wed.  Some very nice long downs.  Like it!  Nice one Joel.

    jae 12:10 AM  

    Oh, and me too for titaN before BARON except I already had POL so I misspelled it (titoN). These things take time to clean up.

    Anonymous 12:12 AM  

    Bow Wow Wows.

    Anonymous 12:13 AM  

    Airplane struts.

    Steve J 1:15 AM  

    Nice idea that didn't quite click for me. Not really sure why. Especially with the Old Grey Lady including "sucks" the way it's typically used colloquially.

    Outside the theme, I found a lot to like. I liked SNIVEL and GROUP HUGS, and I loved the clue for THE WAVE (I roll my eyes ever time I see it happen at a game I'm attending; why people insist on doing this 35 years after it had its 15 seconds of being cool is beyond me) as well as the clue for ANKLE.

    I'll cop to dropping in REMBRANDTS uncrossed. Yet another instance of information I don't need and never really wanted that nevertheless remains lodged permanently in my brain.

    chefwen 1:15 AM  

    Wowzers, for a few moments I thought I was going to have to resort to Google, which is unacceptable on a Tuesday. I persevered and came out the victor. ROGER THAT??? Isn't it just ROGER? Never in my life have I heard PRITHEE and if I ever say it, well let's just say I never will, but if I do, someone smack me.
    STilt over STORK. Time to purchase the TOM for upcoming feast day. Can't wait.

    Cute puzzle that put a little zip in Tuesday.

    Ellen S 2:06 AM  

    WHEE! I got HEGEL with no crosses. Spelled it right, too.

    More important, though, I think I've heard "PRITHEE" more times than the "ordinary phrase" TIME SUCKS. What does it mean? (as an ordinary phrase, not a condemnation of the magazine.) Is it a commentary on the inelasticity of time that we're going to have to give up an hour, again, when DST rolls around next March?

    I've actually said PRITHEE. People look at me funny.

    Anonymous 5:16 AM  

    My bigger problem with TED is that the clue had an abbreviation. Thought the answer would be something like MOR, IDT or JRK.

    Conrad 5:22 AM  

    @Ellen S: A "time suck" is something that requires more of your time than it should. Think Facebook.

    Gill I. P. 5:35 AM  

    NY Times right-wing???? PRITHEE tell. Oh wait, Charles Krauthamer does write for them. Was that SATYR @Rex?
    Loved the puzzle Joel....MOON ROCKS and LOVE BITES says it for moi.
    Same problem with TITAN vs BARON but THE WAVE (agree with you @Steve J) set me in the straight and narrow.
    ALL DONE, TIME to DUFF the pj's. See you in the a.m
    p.s. @Chefwen...ALOHA and I love your new avatar!

    Moly Shu 5:42 AM  

    @EllenS, TIMESUCKS are things that waste ones time. An example would be me checking and reading this blog 4 or 5 times a day. An enjoyable TIMESUCK, albeit. Thanks for ruining a perfectly good write up with that last video, @Rex. I had erased it from my memory.

    The puzzle? Difficult and not much fun. HEGEL, EAMES and PRITHEE being the main offenders.

    ROGER that, @Evil ?

    Charles Flaster 5:53 AM  

    Hard and should have been a non-rebus Thursday or could pass for a Friday.
    Moonrises forced a DNF.
    PRITHEE-? "My pretty",from Wizard of Oz?
    Did not enjoy the theme . JF has done much better.
    Good cluing for THE WAVE , GROUP HUGS,
    Thanks JF. "HOLY SYNOD !!!"

    Dino Soars 6:12 AM  

    Yeah I confidently entered "Love Stinks," a much better them answer than LOVEBITES. On the other hand, MOON definitely did ROCK, as much as anyone ever did.
    Decent, challenging Tuesday but a little rough around the edges.

    George Barany 6:13 AM  

    @Rex's review today spot-on, mirrors many of my own reactions.

    @Hayley Gold has a unique take on today's puzzle, over at

    And we can all think back on 18 years ago (occasion-wise, rather than strictly by the calendar) for one of the most amazing New York Times puzzles ever.

    evil doug 6:17 AM  

    "Roger that"=an emphasized expression of agreement. Kind of like adding "indeed" to "yes".


    LHS 888 6:33 AM  

    Agree it was more of a challenge than a typical Tuesday, but I enjoyed this puzzle. My only write-over was that I had to move RISE from 27D to 26D. Strange.

    Hand up for liking clues to ANKLE, GROUPHUGS, THEWAVE.

    Thanks JF / WS!

    Anonymous 6:59 AM  

    The real name of TED Cruz per Wikipedia is Rafael Edward Cruz, so TED clued as an abbreviation seems correct.

    Anonymous 7:03 AM  

    OK,so I just Googled an image of the constructor and saw that he is a young person. Rex is all about fostering young talent (props to him), and this could be the only reason he did not scorch this puzzle for the several ugly partials: ISA, IVE, YOUD, ITD. Usually he is all over that kind of transgression. But maybe a little reproach is in order? One 'tsk' only?

    Mogrady896 7:36 AM  

    Simply mentioning a Republican is right wing bias?
    Cruz isn't even running this Election Day.
    Whose the biased one?

    Lewis 7:36 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Mohair Sam 7:53 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Lewis 7:54 AM  

    Factoid: FLEAs are wingless, but are one of the best jumpers of all known animals, based on body size, second only to froghoppers (another insect).

    Quotoid: "Have nothing in your HOUSE that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." -- William Morris

    Lewis 7:57 AM  

    Aside from some TIMESUCKing in the SW, this went smoothly. Maybe I'm getting used to Joel's wavelength from doing his daily minis.

    Masculine vibe here, with HEMEN, HUSKY, SATYR, and BARON. I liked TRAINED EYE, SNIVEL, GROUPHUGS, and even PRITHEE.

    Maybe "newsmagazines" is not a common reviewing category, but who made the law that the "reviews" in this puzzle had to be in common categories? I can imagine, and am confidently guessing that newsmagazines have been reviewed, whether in-print or online newsmagazines.

    On the plus side, it's a pretty clean grid. On the minus, I would have liked some more spark in the cluing, which can be done even on a Tuesday, I believe.

    Mohair Sam 8:14 AM  

    Tough Tuesday test for us. Thought it was about as good as a Tuesday can get. No problem with the concept of reviewing newsmags, btw.

    Hand up for a holdup at onEND for NOEND. I don't ever remember watching a full episode of "Friends", yet I too knew the REMBRANDTS. Wonder why their name sticks with so many of us?

    PRITHEE a great word - and like @Ellen S, I like to use it from time to time.

    Noted that @Rex tried to use humor to avoid the political posts the mention of TED Cruz always causes, but to no avail. Personally I caught the connection of TED with a President's name (hmmm), and TED's location near SATYR (hmmmm). Obviously right and left wing shenanigans at the NYT.

    Speaking of election day - I vote no on using SUCKS. It really BITES.

    AliasZ 8:18 AM  

    This was a I little tougher than the average Tuesday but in a good way, I thought. I enjoyed the punny theme, and I was not hung up on the fact that weekly news magazines are not normally reviewed. Maybe they should be.

    PRITHEE is not exactly a commonly used word nowadays, but it was fun to see.

    The classic EAMES lounge chair and ottoman is at once a piece of art and a super comfortable chair to sit on.

    Whatever happened to Hilary DUFF?

    Sherman Billingsley's STORK Club was New York's most glamorous night club where the glitterati: POLs, BARONs, HEELS, HEMEN, et al. gathered for a good time for over three decades. Its list of regular visitors is a who's who of American society of the 30's-through-50's. Its HOUSE RULES included stealing ashtrays. Once I ran into a thick-skinned RHINO there whom no amount of insults would bother. Sadly, a long-drawn-out union dispute doomed the club, and caused the ruin and death of its owner. Plus all the workers whose interests the union was fighting for, were now out of jobs. The building has been long since been demolished, only a vest-pocket park (Paley Park) marks its place on 53rd street & Fifth Avenue.

    But to end on a positive note, let us enjoy a little renaissance LUTE music from ca. 16th-century Europe.

    joho 8:29 AM  

    TIMESUCKS was my favorite answer. I'll bet TIME has been reviewed by critics at some point. And, hey, aren't we all critics?

    @Rex, you always get me with your shenanigans like saying LOVESTINKS is an answer when it isn't. I had to go back to be sure it was LOVEBITES.

    I love when a theme creates such fresh, active colloquial answers as these. LOVEBITES is my second favorite but they're all great!

    Very enjoyable Tuesday with a sense of humor, thank you, Joel!

    jberg 8:32 AM  

    Yeah, medium. None of the individual answers were hard, except for putting STORK in the EGRET place at first -- but the grid is not very connected, I kept having to start over because there was only one way out of the corner I was in, and I didn't know the answer.

    For example, the NW corner came right away, as far as LOVE_____. I thought at that point it was going to be opposite: LOVE hated, MOON sunny came to mind. But without that last part, it was hard to go on.

    The other hard part was ATOMS, POC with a clue in the singular.

    Whoever asked: I'm pretty sure PRITHEE is an elision of 'pray thee' the familiar form of 'pray you.'

    joho 8:34 AM  

    @Alias Z, I had no idea that Paley Park was a remnant of The STORK Club -- I used to sit there all the time. A little jewel. Love what we learn here!

    Davidph 8:58 AM  

    Brightly dawns our wedding day;
    Joyous hour, we give thee greeting!
    Whither, whither art thou fleeting?
    Fickle moment, PRITHEE stay!
    Fickle moment, PRITHEE stay!

    - The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan

    Casco Kid 9:12 AM  

    One of my fastest Tuesdays, but that's probably because all those potholes you guys described are a daily phenomenon here. Hey, potholes, not rabbit holes. That's progress.

    LOVEBITES fell into place from I-dunno-where. Other themers were just as subliminal, with exception of BIG as I played with gump first, for a few seconds. Never heard of the REMBRANDTS. Studio band? Cast high school classmates? Thanks for the campy video, Rex.

    I agree with Rex on TIMESUCKS sucking, but for a different reason. CNNSUCKS. (One ABE says CNN calls at least one election for a loser tonight.) But Time is fair to middlin with flashes of its old greatness.

    @lewis, excellent Aristotelian quotoid. Gotta rent that truck...

    Z 9:15 AM  

    Any puzzle that asks the question, "Does a SATYR playing LUTES have to wear HUSKY HEELS?" gets my approval.

    @Steve J beat me to it regarding THE WAVE. It was old in 1985 and it still happens. Nothing irks me more than the inappropriately timed wave, the other team is ahead and has baserunners, why is the crowd aroar?

    Re: TED, at least our long national nightmare is almost over. Another 10 hours of so of political ads until we get some relief. Any estimate on when the first 2016 presidential campaign ad hits the airwaves? As for the NYT times be "right-wing" or "left-wing" - this.

    I like the themers - fun fun fun. I don't know about others but my general review for the past 40 years or so had been TIME SUCKS, so no problem there. Hand up for onEND causing me to wrestle with that SW corner. PRITHEE, thinking of the Ford Galaxy sure didn't help. I did the head slap thing when IPHONES appeared.

    Sir Hillary 9:28 AM  

    Not an easy Tuesday, and bot a particularly good one, especially from someone as typically spot-on as Joel Fagliano. My hunch (and it is only that): this one has been sitting in WS's drawer for a while.

    Wonderful clue for THEWAVE.

    Never heard of TIMESUCKS, only time-sinks. Now I know better.

    Sir Hillary 9:29 AM  

    ...not a particularly good one...

    Ludyjynn 9:30 AM  

    This one played med. for a Tues. and I would not SNIVEL if WS had run it on a Wed. Overall, despite Rex's valid nits, I really liked it...

    Maybe because it brought back a really great memory of going to see Keith MOON and The Who at Bill Graham's Fillmore East in NYC in the early years of the band, 1968. What a show! House rules prohibited smoking (pot), and were strictly enforced because the venue was a really old building, a firetrap if you will, probably erected pre-code. I remember standing in line to get in right behind Paul Simon. For a kid in junior high school, it was a heady experience. Most amazing part of the night was the very end of the show when, you guessed it, Pete Townsend started bashing his guitar around. Unbelievable!

    Also loved the shoutout to Dr. Greg HOUSE, he of the so-true "
    Everybody lies!" mantra.

    Did not appreciate the REMBRANDTS earworm. Am I the only person in the country who has never, ever sat through an episode of "Friends"? Yet I knew the stupid song/artist; yeecchh!

    @AliasZ, thanks for the STORK Club background. Like @Joho, I also spent many Spring days having an all too brief brown bag lunch at Paley Park, a hidden gem in the heart of the City.

    Off to vote and choose between some SUCKy candidates.

    Thanks, JF and WS.

    quilter1 9:34 AM  

    Easy to medium for me and I liked it all. Nuff said.

    OISK 9:34 AM  

    @Davidph -" Prithee pretty maiden, will you marry me.." (from Patience). Just saw a very fine production of Ruddigore last weekend.

    A very tough Tuesday for me, having never heard of the "Rembrandts: nor W.A. nor T.I. for 10 across. Haven't seen a Ricoh camera in years. Do they still produce digital cameras? (of course, Canon and Nikon were my first thoughts) A lot of contractions here, with you'd, I've, It'd, and never heard the expression "Timesucks." Finished it in more of a Thursday time than a Tuesday, but it was a fine, inventive, well constructed puzzle.

    Barklestork 9:50 AM  

    @Rex : When I read the suggestion that “no one reviews newsmagazines" I thought: Yes, they do — all the time. And the idea that a “critic’s” “review” must be a professionally published review in a magazine or paper — is too narrow for what the clue intends — based on the colloquial nature of the one-word theme answers. So, I don’t see the problem with “Time Sucks”. In fact to suggest that a published reviewer would literally review with one-word is sort of missing the joke.

    I notice my dictionary — the OED with a magnifying glass — has a lot of etymology and examples for “Prithee”, but the book doesn’t spend a lot of ink defining the word. It’s a terse and simply says it’s an archaic colloquial version of “Pray Thee”. But that seems incomplete -- “Prithee” or “Pray thee” does seem to be a synonym for “please”. A dictionary should mention that.

    I enjoyed this puzzle. It had a couple of tough spots in the northeast, but I was able to correctly guess a couple of long answers before I started, which was a first. There seemed to be a rhythmic two-beat pounding going on in all the long answers, themes and otherwise, which for some reason seemed Keith-Moon-like.

    Whirred Whacks 9:57 AM  

    Charles and Ray Eames designed in many media.

    Here is one my favorite expressions of their creativity, the 1977 nine-minute film Powers of Ten. A film dealing with the relative sizes of things. If you haven't watched it in a while, today is your opportunity! (I used to show it in some of my seminars, and have probably seen it over 200 times.)

    NCA President 10:09 AM  

    It's funny, I'm terrible with pop culture references for the most part. But pop culture is hard to avoid, i.e., there are some things you learn just by walking and breathing and interacting with others. Rex, you don't need to apologize for knowing The Rembrandts did the theme song to "Friends." The song is catchy, poppy, and it has everything necessary to make it a popular song...not to mention that it was attached to a very popular TV show. So there is no need to appear holier-than-thou because you know the band who played one of the catchiest theme songs to one of the most popular TV shows of the 90s. So you don't like that kind of what? I have "I'll Be There For You" somewhere in one of my Spotify playlists. It's a fun song. 'Nuff said.

    I did this puzzle in near record time ("near" because I don't know what my record actually is)...for some reason it was easy for me. I even guessed EGRET correctly (later I saw the same clue for the same number of letters...but I stuck with EGRET and well, it worked.

    I think I would have liked TIMESUCKS and BIGSTINKS better had they been singular...most usually some one thing is a time suck because if you are engaged in a time suck activity, you don't really have time for another thing, right? Much less another thing that is, itself, a time suck. I guess some plural things (like hobbies) can be generally time sucks...but that is stretching it a bit. Same with BIGSTINKS...most people who raise big stinks do it once at a time. LOVEBITES reminds me of the song by some hair band in the 80s. "Love biiiiites, love bleeeeds..." But I guess, in the throes of amorous love-making, one might engage in love biting.

    Had "dont" for 50A. That didn't last long after seeing TED in 44D.

    chefbea 10:09 AM  

    Too tough..especially for a Tuesday.

    Going to see what Haley Gold has to her takes on the puzzles

    Charles Flaster 10:34 AM  

    After reading these comments I can only say that Hayley Gold summarizes beautifully in cartoon form. Her site is called Across and Down. A Must Read.

    Malsdemare 10:41 AM  

    I like airplane struts.
    Sting free?
    Cash poor? Seems criminal to suggest such a thing.
    Monkee shines? Yeah, without the 's' it's a problem. Still . . .
    It's been a while since a Siberian Husky team was in the Iditerod; they're all mixes now, bred for very specific attributes like tough feet or brains or no brains.

    I enjoyed it.

    John V 10:46 AM  

    SW was impossible. DNF.

    Mohair Sam 10:58 AM  

    Best review ever may have been in Newsday decades ago. The prolific novelist Jacqueline Suzanne was pounding out novels one after the other and was immensely popular with the public - but not critics.

    The reviewer opened his review of her latest pot-boiler with "Jacqueline Suzanne, that renowned typist, . . . . ."

    @Steve J and @z - Yes, just can't find warmth for THE ubiquitous WAVE. I think little kids really love it, so it may never die.

    mathguy 11:00 AM  

    I was surprised that Rex seems to think that NYT has a right wing bias. My consevative friends (there are a few conservatives here in the SF Bay Area) consider the NYT to be the essence of the liberal press. I think that it has a mild left-wing bias but not nearly as severe as the right-wing bias of Fox News.

    Two or three weeks ago there was a front-page article calling into serious question the ability of the Obama administration to manage the country and its institutions (including the Secret Service). Not something a left-wing propaganda machine would run.

    @Z. Thanks for the Choamsky clip but I'm afraid that most of it was over my head. I got that Big Media is owned by giant corporations and so can't express opinion that veers too far from governmental orthodoxy.

    Bird 11:07 AM  

    Liked it, but never heard TIME SUCKS until today. Time Waster, yes. And IMO, 55A is a POC.

    Bob Kerfuffle 11:11 AM  

    Yup, challenging (for a Tuesday.)

    Hand up for ON END before NO END.



    (Both are PASSÉ, I guess.)

    jdv 11:16 AM  

    Med-Challenging. Liked it. PRITHEE crossing OTTO was a guess. Really liked GROUPHUGS and the EGRET/STORK symmetry. I never know if it's going to be LUTE or LYRE. Still trying to get used to 'Play' mode at the NYT crossword home page, but the scorecard appears to be operational again.

    7d5a9b1 11:23 AM  

    “Rex” is making a joke here, right? He’s not inconsistently applying an arbitrary standard, he’s mocking the inconsistent application of arbitrary standards. Right? I mean, “Rex” can’t not know that actual reviews generally exceed a two-word length, that the word “review” is being used humorously here, that therefore using the possibility of real-world “reviewing” is an arbitrary standard, pulled out of who knows where? And “Rex,” who professes to admire “MOON ROCKS” though he condemns “TIMESUCKS” also can’t not have considered that rock band members do not appear in reviews you can “read every day,” because bands are always reviewed collectively. Right?

    Here’s where I think the puzzle falls short. Having figured out “LOVE BITES,” I wanted all the other answers to feature emotional states, like maybe “HATE”—some person or movie or something called “HATE,” together with a verb that can also be read as a noun in a common phrase. Why couldn’t the puzzle do that too? And why couldn’t the grid have resembled the face of an angry critic one way, and then that of a happy critic turned another way? And why wasn’t the puzzle also a pangram? And why didn’t the long down answers also mean something if read in reverse? That’s what I’d like to see in a puzzle. As it was, this puzzle was “Kind of a let-down, in the end.”

    RAD2626 11:48 AM  

    I am with @John V. SW was brutal, particularly if you did not know HEGEL, forgot about BIG, and never heard of DEL Taco. Plus wanted competitor of Galaxy to be an SUV of some sort. Thought puzzle was fun apart from that somewhat large hole. Embarrassing DNF *for a Tuesday*.

    Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:07 PM  


    Sorry, not sure what came over me, up there. Joel! My man! The NYT Runtpuz King! Back in the Bigs. His sentiments evidentially ain't entirely: "BIG STINKS".

    Fun(ky) themers. A few would even be considered entertainin, outside of KY, actually. Personal fave: HOUSE RULES, split up into two (ahar!) runt-sized U-endowed servings. Joel finds himself ever pulled back down into the safety of smallness, by the force of the Runt Side. thUmbsUp, for small favors.

    fave weeject: TED. har.

    fave timesuckers: PRITHEE/OTTO area was tough, for m&e. Lost valuable nanoseconds, there. Didn't know bagel about HEGEL, but crosses were pretty gettable. Coulda sworn "Pet pest" had to be BUDGIE or KEET. TYLERS/EAMES reunion was also slightly sucky.

    Lastly, kudos to the clues. Not just a flat mass of TuesPuz 3-legged-moo-cow stuff. Got yer sneaky clues (example: "Stand-up routine") mixed with yer usual easier suspects (example: "Honolulu hello"). That's the way to do it. Fun(ky)ness. Make us think a little, no matter what day it is. The runts are smiling upon U, Joel. They don't have any idea what day it is, either.

    BERRYDESSERTS? Close,... but, needs some work...


    Z 12:36 PM  

    @mathguy - I'm not sure that "can't" is the right description. More like strong moderating forces negate/balance any strongly held opinion (choice of verb is viewpoint dependent). Take a less important recent example: Bill Simmons called the NFL Commissioner a "liar" and dared his bosses to chastise him for doing so. After his three week suspension was up he edited his podcast to remove a dialogue with a guest about his suspension. The suspension had "nothing" to do with the NFL being a large part of Simmon's employer's revenue stream (I bet the people who suspended him believe this is true). These forces operate on all media from Fox News to The Nation Magazine. These types of forces even operate on Crossword Blogs....

    Glad to see, in that "misery loves company" way, that the SW gave others fits. I got lucky on HEGEL because I do know DEL Taco (there's one about 300 yards from my old house) and had onEND, giving me "some philosopher spelt -E--L" and the only one who came to mind was HEGEL. The big breakthrough, though, was the on->NO realization. My disappointment was that "beauty pageant asset" did not involve some sort of large passerine songbird. I'm not talking Pewit here, fellas.

    LaneB 1:45 PM  

    As consensus indicates, harder than the usual TUesday, but doable...eventually.

    M and Also 1:57 PM  


    yep. Like that variation, better.

    * PARKER BROTHERS? PARKER BOTHERS? PARKER BLATHERS? (no pony seems to rearin up, in there).
    * MAN DAGRASSES? (meta!)


    Bob Kerfuffle 2:01 PM  

    @M&A -

    LIFE and LOOK are/were magazines, at least back in my time, probably before you were born. :>))

    I don't see your suggestions following that pattern. Perhaps I am just PUNCH DRUNK?

    Hartley70 2:08 PM  

    Saturday, Sunday and today were much more difficult than usual and that's awesome as far as I'm concerned because I like a good struggle. @Casco you've arrived at a new skill level, because I'm still battered by my 9th round with this wicked Tuesday (is that an oxymoron or what?). Nothing was a gimme. Rembrandt? ....seriously, who would guess that? Can't wait for tomorrow!

    Z 2:36 PM  

    I'll be There for You interview from 2004.

    Last Silver BullWoot 2:43 PM  


    M&A's usual pattern is: "Patterns? We don't need any stinkin patterns!" ... But, in this case, I was, coincidentally, goin with this themed pattern:
    (Someone or Some thing) + (verb form ending in an "-S")

    Kinda like the puz did, with "HOUSE + RULES" or "TIME + SUCKS".

    So ergo, a comment from a critic, who thought he deserved more than he ended up getting from the NYT TuesPuz, might be:


    Or a comment from a critic, who thought @63 was bugged somehow (I know it's hard to believe, but stick with me, here) by the NYT TuesPuz, might be:

    "SHARP MINDS". (As in Sharp minds, that the puz wasn't a pangram. har)

    QED and Roger Wilco and Out,


    Leapfinger 2:58 PM  

    @7d5a9b1, great comment, and all before lunchtime, too!

    Hey, if Charles EAMES was married to Catherine, who is this Bernice "Ray" person he co-designed with??!? Bet she was nicknamed 'Ray' just so that the pair could co-sign as 'Ray Charles'.

    Egret to say I'm late because of some morning RHINO Ria, and Qatar too. I'm not used to thinking quite this much for a Tues puzzle, but saw that it would be a requirement about the time I ceded to CAVED. A light'n' spritely touch throughout: clues,theme and fill.

    Don't like LOVE BITES? How about Reality BITES? I like my Brownie BITES very small, they last longer that way. Liked the bipartite HOUSE RULES the most; feared that 32D was parsing as [NY] TIMES UCKS, a critique of the latest rollout changes, but Joel F wouldn't bite the hand that feeds him.

    Like SteveJ, liked SNIVEL and ANKLE, but also the THE WAVE. I think it persists post-coolness because, PRITHEE, it's kind of an arena-wide GROUP HUG.

    @Gilly, loved your SATYR icon! Am sending you back my Fe EEE.

    Need to get me some Kleenex with ALO. If there's any BIG STINKS around now, I probably wouldn't know it.

    Oh, Wait, Tho 3:01 PM  

    @BobK., Mine did Not do magazines, tho, if that's what U meant. My folks subscribed to Life, btw. Used to see Look magazine in the "little kid headcase" doctor's office, I think...

    Anonymous 3:10 PM  

    @BobK, Life was great back then, Look not as much. LOOKS, btw, was my entry before POISE; p'raps too obvious an asset in a beauty pageant, even on a Tues.

    Not sure about the pattern, but I'd play MAN DAGRASSES with Kneel Neil daGrasses Ties One On.

    Anonymous 5:01 PM  

    Ludyjynn said...

    "@AliasZ, thanks for the STORK Club background. "

    Why, because you can't Google something yourself?

    Gill I. P. 5:09 PM  

    @Corn fed Camille: Here's my remedy: Hot lemon tea, a plop of clover honey and a huge dash of bourbon or whiskey. Sip slowly, go to bed and get well soon!
    @Last Silver B..GROUPH UGS? I like it when you come back from vacation!

    Martel Moopsbane 5:17 PM  

    Re 19D, I know it's very un-PC but I miss the Saltine Warrior.

    Leapfinger 5:17 PM  

    Dis agrees and average means, but "No" bothers.

    In HS, we used to call it the "Holy Snood", and PRITHEE, why not? A wimple a day made the dimple to stay...

    I liked the symmetry of the doubled 'Everglades bird' clues, but wasn't sure that STORKs fly to Fla. I knew that STORKs show up in parts of Africa, and in childhood, learned that in parts of Europe, they nest on chimneys, which is supposed to bring good luck. Looking back, I guess the good luck comes if the chimney still draws, despite being sat upon by a big nest.

    Did not know about the STORK Club and Paley Park, but Manhattan has NO END of stories. Example: Hard to run in HEELS, for sure, but Manhattan now hosts a race for ladies running in HEELS. I've seen those ladies racing in stilettos, but if you ASK ME, they're making a MESS of their feet and ANKLEs down the road.

    Also saw what looked like runty wannabes, hoping to grow up into full-fledged themers:
    NO ENDs: A firm negative ends the discussion.
    ALO HAS: Some succulent humour
    Gil I.P. HONES: Blogger gets downright crafty.
    I realized I wasn't good at Transcendental Medication pretty much AT OMS.

    Also found a backup for @Lewis' Quotoid:
    With hair, HEELS, and attitude, honey, I am through the roof.”
    ― RU (not LES) Paul

    Also PER RU (not LES) Paul: We are born naked, and the rest is drag.

    Last [and maybe best] grid reminder was of DEL Shannon's Runaway'.

    Thanks, JoeF, despite the Kleenex, a fun Tuesday.

    Thomas 5:30 PM  

    Wonder if the HALT/ALAN (Turing) crossing was intentional, or am I the only math geek who saw that? (The undecidability of the so-called "Halting Problem" was one of Turing's important contributions to mathematics/computer science, just in case you wanted to know.)

    Leapfinger 5:59 PM  

    @Anon 5:01, re your comment to @ludyjynn
    The possibility to google anything doesn't translate googling everything. Instead of peppering us with dumdum bullet-ins, you could look that up, discover their inventor, Captain Neville Bertie-Clay. That, at least, would expand your mind.

    Sheesh, Mamzelle Guille-fleur, you have the memory of l'Enfant d'elephant! I'm way ahead of you, but used yucca-liptus honey. Biggest benefit came from telling them not to spect me at work tommorow!

    GlobeTrotter 6:04 PM  

    @mathguy, there is no left wing in the US of A. What's considered left-wing in America is called 'centrist' in any other developed country.

    Anonymous 6:13 PM  


    Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
    Thus creeps this petty Spellcheck.

    Stutter-typed on the wrong letter.

    L. Finger

    Gill I. P. 6:54 PM  

    @Corn....I was really worried about you at HONES....
    Yucca-liptus spiritu sancte.

    mathguy 7:11 PM  

    @Globe Trotter: Intrigued by your saying that American left-wingers are considered centrists in most other countries. Is that a widely-held opinion?

    Ludyjynn 7:49 PM  

    @Leapy, Thanks for your retort on my behalf to @Anonyass 5:01 PM. Much obliged.

    Z 7:56 PM  

    @mathguy - widely stated at least, mostly by leftists. As to the accuracy of it - I've been known to say things like "Obama is a moderate Republican" and "the best Republican president since Eisenhower has been Clinton." I could bore you to tears with long-winded justifications of these statements, but I will leave it at "a convincing argument can be made - one I mostly agree with."

    PS - @Globetrotter is not me - but I'm guessing s/he won't reappear to respond.

    Virginia 8:45 PM  

    If this isn't a review of a newsmagazine (TIME itself, in fact), I don't know what is. And guess what? It says that TIME SUCKS!

    GlobeTrotter 10:39 PM  

    Here s/he is.

    Checking back, @mathguy asked whether that was a widely-held, not a widely-stated view. If I limit myself to what is in a non-PC way termed the "first world", I would simply answer that, yes it is, in a purely comparative sense. Since some time in the '80s, the 'center' in the USA has steadily shifted right-ward, largely by the use of verbal leger-de-main. As a result, govt. programs that benefit others are termed 'socialist', while those of personal benefit (SocSec, Medicare) are deemed valid and 'earned'. What's overlooked is the benefit of building a social structure that has a solid (read 'broad-based') foundation.

    Natasha Johnson 7:26 AM  

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    Anonymous 10:10 PM  

    Admit it REX you watched
    Friends. It i ok I forgive you
    But can your very smart wife????

    spacecraft 10:04 AM  

    Anon 7:03 has a point. C'mon, FL, if this hadn't been one of your "little darlings" YOU'D have been all over those partials. "Just fine," my left foot.

    However, I hasten to add, other than those, the fill IS pretty decent. The long downs shine (the green-paintness of HOLYSYNOD excepted: show me an UNholy one!) and, if you ASKME, the non-partial short fill is good too.

    Yes, this one was knottier than usual for a Tuesday; most of the themers' endings were elusive. After I got them, working on crosses, they seemed fine--all except TIMESUCKS. All the other sayings are familiar on their own--necessary for a respectable theme--but I'VE never heard that one. Who but inmates would say that? Oh, and maybe kiddies on Christmas Eve. That one just...doesn'

    Too much good stuff to give less than: B.

    934: INBUD; not quite there yet.

    rondo 12:26 PM  

    When I was ALLDONE I realized how quickly my solve was OVER. This one went by fast, even with one writeover at groVEL. The themers crossed so easily they weren't difficult to suss at all. Seems that Rex did take it too easy on all those contracted and partial fills. I thought OFL had some RULES. But NOPE, he didn't ASKME.

    187 = 16 = 7 IVE had worse

    rondo 12:26 PM  

    When I was ALLDONE I realized how quickly my solve was OVER. This one went by fast, even with one writeover at groVEL. The themers crossed so easily they weren't difficult to suss at all. Seems that Rex did take it too easy on all those contracted and partial fills. I thought OFL had some RULES. But NOPE, he didn't ASKME.

    187 = 16 = 7 IVE had worse

    rain forest 1:11 PM  

    I find that the really gnarly Sudokus are TIME SUCKS. Also, I actually recall a review (where, I don't recall) of newsmagazines including Time, Newsweek,US News and World Report, and The Economist. The Economist won, but Time got extra marks for good posture.

    This was a good puzzle any way you look at it. Good mix of sneaky and straightforward clues, good fill (I don't mind partials at all and I have never understood why they are disliked), and a nice theme. I'd continue, but this comment is fast becoming a time suck.

    3610 I never asked for a card after the first two. Dang. Oops, have to redo.
    569 no better.

    DMG 1:15 PM  

    Lot of trivia in this one; singer, drummer, show name, band, etc. Managed most, getting things like REMBRANDTS because it fit the crosses I had. However, didn't get the SW at all. Had onEND and act where USE belonged. The other crosses required knowing an unknown product (galaxy), a decades old movie, and some fast food place. I went down for the count!

    12314 = 11 Clearly not my day.

    leftcoastTAM 4:15 PM  

    Bogged down in the SW, sticking with onEND and tomSTINKS to the bitter DNF end. Not a typical Tuesday.

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