Canned food made by Nestle / THU 1-1-15 / Organlike legume / Taxi eschewer for short / 1961 Tony winner for best musical / Site of 1953 CIA directed coup / Neil Armstrong declaration

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Constructor: Jill Denny and Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: PAR FOR THE COURSE (53A: Average … or a literal hint to 17-, 26- and 42-Across)— well-know phrases containing words that are slang for golf scores; instead of the word, we get the golf score, represented literally (i.e. as a number that is situated over or under PAR in the grid)

Theme answers:
  • THE TWO HAS LANDED ("TWO" is under the "PAR" in CAR PARTS) (because an "eagle" is two under par)
  • THE ONE MAN ("ONE" is over the "PAR" in POOL PARTY) (because a "bogey" is one over par)
  • "BYE BYE, ONE" ("ONE" is under the "PAR" in WATER PARK) (because a "birdie" is one under par)
Word of the Day: Jule STYNE (37A: "Funny Girl" composer)
Jule Styne (/ˈli stn/; December 31, 1905 – September 20, 1994) was an English-born American songwriter especially famous for a series of Broadway musicals, which include several very well known and frequently revived shows.
Among his most enduring songs is "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", cowritten with Sammy Cahn in 1945. (wikipedia)
• • •

Feels like a theme type I've seen before, but I could very easily be imagining that. It's nicely executed, at any rate. The grid has been skillfully constructed to isolate problem areas, minimize theme-density damage, and maximize smoothness. This is why it's a bit unorthodox-looking, with those low-lying, long NW and SE corners, and totally walled-off E and W parts. Gotta contain and manage the "over PAR" parts. Result: the fill in this is highly untortured. Not an obscurity in sight. Almost *too* over-the-plate. Well done. My only significant criticism is that … do people say "bogeyman"? I see that it's spelled that way in wikipedia's primary entry for the term, but I have only ever heard a pronunciation like "boogie." This meant that the golf-term replacement for THE ONE MAN just didn't land. Aurally speaking. For me. The boogeyman is gonna get you. The bogeyman is going to get you only if you fail to sink that putt.

  • 36A: Part of a spanish explorer's name (DE LEON) — as in PONCE. This took me too long. I kept trying to think of a name that was on the tip of my tongue, but when I got it … it was DE GAMA :(
  • 32D: Wallop (PASTE) — Had the "P" and went with the obvious-yet-wrong answer.
  • 56D: New Year's ___ (EVE) — semi-topical!
  • 34D: Canned food made by Nestlé (ALPO) — nice attempt at misdirection there, w/ Nestlé really making you think human food.
Hope you survived New Year's Eve and are chock full of hope and resolutions. Thanks for your readership and support.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Steve J 12:05 AM  

I kept hoping that albatross (three under par) would make an appearance.

Very well-constructed and entertaining puzzle (which reminds me a lot of the "snakes on a plane" puzzle that Loren Muse Smith and Jeff Chen constructed a while back). I sensed something was up early with both Neil Armstrong and the musical (which I mistakenly thought at first was West Side Story until I started crossing it and realized that wasn't possible. Finally figured out the trick with BYE BYE ONE.

Only possible nit is that, once you figure out the trick in one spot, the puzzle rapidly goes from challenging to quite easy. Unless you don't know golf terms. In which case this was probably a bit painful.

Regardless, nice fun puzzle to bring in the New Year. Hope everyone had (or has - it's still a few hours before the ball drops figuratively here on the West Coast) a fun and safe celebration.

John Child 12:17 AM  

Ignorance of fifty-year-old Broadway musical plays and Easy Rider set me up for a DNF. The other theme answers had THE in them, so when I couldn't see it I went with T and H in the birdie answer. Gotta say I'm not Fonda [Concern] for BEAR ON. Relevance and concern aren't really the same thing. That and being sure that RAN up was the answer for [Charged] all came together wrong.

Jeff Chen says that this was a bear to fill, to get the numbers and the pars together. I believe that, but it's unfortunate to have OVER in the grid when implied "overs" and "unders" are part of the theme. That and the thoroughly pre-used fill from a pro speak to just how hard this one must have been to construct.

I was surprised to find that BOGEY MAN is substantially more common in English than boogie man. I had always thought it of it as boogie. And for the last 25 years boogeyman as one word, as Rex had it, has been more popular than both. See the ngram.

Casco Kid 12:28 AM  

67 minutes, but not a DNF! Been a while. Medium-challenging as the theme took quite a while to fully unroll. First, after about 35 minutes, when I had already ruled out THEeagleHASLANDED as the Neil Armstrongism, I finally saw ASTUDENT and CARPARTS (both a very long time coming as I'd been pursuing nonagenarians for [Persons close to 100] and accessories for [belt and hose], both with rebuses). Those gave me the crosses and TWO appeared as an encoding of eagle! Excellent. I noted the time: 35 minutes until I knew to encode the words with the stroke number for a par four hole: "birdie"="three", "bogie"="five", etc.

But that didn't help much. [Charged] was RANin, as in arrested, rather than RANAT, so BEARON was hidden, and so was ___four__, the solution involving for "birdie."

It was a full hour before I settled on RANAT,BEARON, and the now-relative encoding of stroke wrt to par: BYEBYEONE. Only then did I notice the "PAR"s lying around. The solved finished a few minutes later.

IMAGO/AURA was the last fill. [Butterfly but not a caterpillar] IMAGO = new word, here. I was thinking swimming stroke or Filipino knife or something.

I'm very happy to start the new year with an actual solve. Jeff Chen & friends are always good for some pyrotechnics, and so it's fitting that Will picked this one of his for a First Night spectacular.

George Barany 12:31 AM  

Happy New Year, all! Even though I have lived in Minnesota for nearly 35 years, I still ring it in whenever the ball drops at Times Square.

The Thursday puzzle by @Jeff Chen and his wife @Jill Denny was excellent and a lot of fun. As already pointed out, once the theme became obvious, solving went much faster. Doubling the pleasure, @Hayley Gold chose to riff on the puzzle with her clever webcomic.

Finally, the constructor comments over at are well worth reading, because they provide insights as to how much this puzzle improved from initial concept to final published product. This is also a chance to thank both @Jim Horne and @Jeff Chen for establishing and maintaining such an invaluable resource for the crossword community: constructors, solvers, and reviewers alike.

Anonymous 12:50 AM  

Well done puzzle, albeit a bit easy for a Thursday. But who can forget David Kahn's fabulous Sunday Times puzzle from May 25, 2003 with 18 birdies (one under par) creating a perfect round of golf?

JFC 1:45 AM  

From Wikipedia:

Bogeyman (also spelled bogieman, boogeyman, or boogie man, and pronounced /bʊɡimæn/ or /boʊɡimæn/; see spelling differences)[1] is a common allusion to a mythical creature in many cultures used by adults or older children to frighten bad children into good behavior. This monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them.


Anonymous 1:53 AM  

@John Child

In your ngram you left out the (by far) most common variant, which is "bogeyman" (one word). See this ngram instead.

Garth 1:57 AM  

Two very pleasant write-ups in a row. Instead of just reading the comment section of the blog, you're making me wonder if I should start reading your entries more regularly again.

Hey wait a minute...Is your annual fundraiser about to start?

Have a Happy New Year.

jae 1:58 AM  

I loved this puzzle and it took me way too long to "get it" and I'm a life long (since 11 yrs. old) golf addict.  I'll chalk it up to the New Years Eve party I just got back from which resulted in a slight (yeah right) increase in alcohol consumption.  At first I put ONE in all the iffy spots which left NW an enigma and then.... a ha!  Thank you Jill and Jeff for a big New Years chuckle.  BEQ couldn't have done it better!

jae 2:00 AM  

And I also love BEQ, so nothing personal Brendan. This was just a fine puzzle!

Charles Flaster 2:06 AM  

Loved this one especially the theme placement. As others have said once the "par" theme is realized it becomes an easy solve.
Liked cluing for PED, TSA, KIDNEY BEAN and
GALORE( Goldfinger character).
Duke was a misdirect for me as I thought Wayne then Snider and finally Ellington.
CrosswordEASE(for me)---DEY and AER.
Predicting a few puzzles with a more current theme to make up for SAHL, BYE BYE BIRDIE and STYNE.
Thanks JD and JC.

Anonymous 2:22 AM  


I had the exact same experience: ONE everywhere, and little progress in the NW despite finishing everything else. Finally got CARPARTS with only SAHL and NTH as crosses, which led me to revive UPTO, which I'd previously erased because of the bogus "ONE".

Andy 3:50 AM  

Easy one for me, despite not catching on to the under/over pars until the grid was completed.

I noticed that the calendar hiccup in the iPad app has now been resolved with the dawn of 2015. So that's a nice way to start the puzzling year

Happy New Year

jae 3:50 AM  

@Anon 2:22 - Nice to know I had company. I erased CARPARTS and NTH for the same reason.

john 4:17 AM  

@Anon 1:53 Thank you! I was boggled by bogey man and never tried it as a single word.

GILL I. 7:19 AM  

Ooof. Had to work my OPIE off to get this ONE. Cava at midnight makes ONE go EEGS and YAW....
I bet I wasn't the only ONE who got out of the POOL PARTY and promptly plunked in STRANGERS for the parental warning. When I finally (boogied) on down the aisle and got to PAR FOR THE COURSE, I went back upstairs to PICK UP the pieces and finish.
Stared at it for quite some time and then (bonk) thought, dang this is some piece of work!!!!!
Wow....good job you two! Clever, clever, clever....
Well, we're in 2015 already. How the time flies when you're having so much fun. Happy to all.

Z 7:47 AM  

As we were meeting for lunch yesterday an unhappy ski tot was in full tantrum mode on the ground near us. I happily said to my wife, "not my kid."

Other than the feeling that I'd seen this theme before I really enjoyed this one. I see there have been at least two similar themes, so that explains the déjà vu. My only slow down was wondering where the rebus would be that would get eagle into three squares. I got all the way to the reveal before it clicked on.

Happy New Year.

chefbea 8:06 AM  

Fairly easy puzzle but couldn't see the theme. Just saw the ones and two. din't realize they were under or over par.

Happy new year...don't eat too much Hoppin John!!!

Danp 8:14 AM  

It took me a while to figure out that "House Work?" was a political joke.

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

17 minutes which is pretty good for mefor a Thursday. It probably helped that I'm a golfer.

Susan McConnell 8:44 AM  

On the easy side for a Thursday, but a fun and impressively constructed puzzle. We say "boogie" man in these parts. I don't believe I've ever heard anyone actually pronounce it "bogey," though I have seen it spelled that way. And good golly, my father used the phrase HOLY TERROR quite a lot when the six siblings and I were growing up. Fun to hear it again.

Generic Solver 8:46 AM  

Something about the execution of the theme feels unbalanced and random. Two of the theme answers involve golf terms for "under par" and only one is for "over par". The problem is that the terms for more than one over par are "double bogey", "triple bogey", etc. (unless a golf expert here knows something I don't), and those two-word terms obviously cannot easily be worked into the theme. It feels like this particular idea doesn't generalize well enough to be used as a crossword theme.

Happy New Year.

Oscar 8:49 AM  

Like ChefBea I only saw the numbers, not the PARs. The grid could've used some circles, IMO.

Mohair Sam 8:57 AM  

Medium-tough for us because like @Steve J we wanted an albatross at 26A, cost us about 5 minutes. Then like @Rex we insisted the boogie man and a bogey were different spellings, 5 more minutes wasted. But all the fill fit THEONE perfectly so we settled.

We liked it, but wish they had used an Ancient Mariner clue to give us the albatross and tie up the theme with the golfer's one-two-three - all under par and represented by our avian friends.

gARmenTS before CARPARTS cost a little time, as did the lack of knowledge of STYNE while thinking movie genre instead of coffee at 35A. When we finally aha-ed AULAIT we gave in to the bogeyman.

Fun start to the crossword New Year.

joho 9:11 AM  

Great write-up, @Rex, great puzzle, Jill & Jeff .. absolutely great start to the new year!!!

I absolutely loved the unexpected added layer of the numbers over or under PAR. The confusion of coming up with THEONEMAN and the aha moment that followed was priceless!

I wish everybody here a very happy and healthy 2015!

Nancy 9:16 AM  

Marvelously constructed puzzle with lively fill. I found it quite easy, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Didn't notice the "PARs" -- didn't really need to in order to solve -- until I got the theme answer. Then, my first entry, THE TWO HAS LANDED, became clear, along with everything else. Beautiful job; I don't know how these constructors pull these things off!

RooMonster 9:19 AM  

Hey All !
Happy New Year!
This was a relatively easy puz, until I tried figuring out the theme. I was stuck on thinking "rebus", so I was trying to get eagle and bogey into two squares, and kept coming up empty. The third themer I had __EBYEONE, and not knowing Bye Bye Birdie, was looking to rebus something in the first two squares. Finally broke down and Googed the Easy Rider clue (again, not a big fan of older movies, musicals, et. al., even if you're thinking I still should have known WYATT, sorry!) which led me to BEARON and RANAT (was thinking RANin for a bit). So I discovered no rebus in 42A. Hmm, I said. Again Googed the 1961 Tony, saw it was Bye Bye Birdie, saw the one under par, and finally the lightbulb moment. Went back to eagle and bogey, saw bogey one over par, so said eagle has to be two under par. Which got me to change Belt and Hose answer, (had gARmenTS in, thinking woman's accessories!) to CARPARTS. Wowser.

PASTE was a bit hard to suss out, as the noir clue and 1967 pulitzer clue I didn't know either. Put a C instead of T at NAT, so one letter from a finish. Arrgh!

Nice puz, agree once you (finally) figure out theme, it gets easy. This was like six mini-puzzes.


NCA President 9:43 AM  

I got stuck at THEONEMAN. First problem was swimPARTY, so there was that. And at the end I knew the conceit so I knew is was a "bogey" (or some variant spelling of that word). The bottom line is that I resisted the THE since THE had already been used in the THETWOHASLANDED answer. I just couldn't see two themers starting out with THE. Once POOL revealed itself in a vision, I got HOLYTERROR and the rest fell.

I've always known the scary Man under the bed/in the closet to be spelled BOGEY. I've also just accepted that it's pronounced boogie. I grew up with a vague, shapeless monster in the form of a man (I guess) call the Bogey Man. My kids, on the other hand, probably have no idea what it means. My ex and myself thought that there were enough things to be scared of in the world that we didn't need to add some monster hiding under the bed into the mix. Plus it's a helluva lot easier to get your kids to sleep at night when they aren't obsessing about monsters in their very bedroom.

Funny thing about the Bogey Man I grew up with...he only lived in my bedroom and only at night. That was also true of my friends' BM. There must be some unwritten attributes of a BM out there somewhere...

Otherwise, the puzzle was kinda easy.

I also had Dagama at first. Also pArLo instead of HABLA, because I don't speak either of those languages...whatever they might be.

AliasZ 9:44 AM  

Jeff and Jill know how to fill
A golf-themed Thursday puzzle.
New Year's eve, you best believe,
Much booze they both did guzzle.

It's Bogey! It's a birdie!
It is the Super Eagle!
It's OPIE! No, it's Odie
Who is the cartoon beagle.

All to hell, can never tell
If over or under par
Equals 'great'. Oh, I can't wait
To join Jilleff in the bar.

Happy 2015 everyone!

nebraska doug 10:12 AM  

Easy for me. OPIE was a complete WTF for me. After I finished I had to google it to make sure it was correct. Never heard of the show. This being a Thursday and New Years day, I was expecting a New Years gimmick. None to be found.

OISK 10:21 AM  

Another clue for OPIE! Never heard of the show, but then, I never heard of the OPIE from the old TV show until it occurred (frequently!) in the puzzle. Really nice puzzle, and I agree with Rex about the rating, as well. For me, this was much easier than yesterday's (a DNF ) or Tuesdays. Love the "A train" clue, but now the tune will be in my head all day. It would have gone even faster had I remembered that Julie spells his "Stein" "Styne." Thanks, Jill and Jeff, a nice start to the year.

mac 10:23 AM  

Very nice puzzle, a little on the easy side for a Thursday.

I got the golf theme at the first line "The eagle....., but I expected it to go in order, sothat the bogey would be under Par for the course. That didn't work out. Btw, I've always known it as bogeyman, but then I may never have heard it, I've just read it.

Happy New Year to all!

Teedmn 10:25 AM  

Happy New Year, all!

I gave up on the rebus I wanted early on but it took me until the reveal to believe what the crosses were indicating, regarding the theme. (and still didn't see the PARs part of it till getting here).

I don't play golf but I like to watch it when it's on TV at the pub so the terms were familiar except Blackbird. I was thinking of the old song, and forgot it was Birdie until I got here.

It was my husband's turn to overindulge this year so I'm not solving under the influence, but only four hours of sleep is taking its toll. Though my time was about the same as Tuesday, so some cylinders are firing at least.

Like @Mohair Sam, I was wondering what other French film genre there was, AU LA?? That was smile-worthy when it fell.

Thanks for the Thursday exercise, Ms. Denny and Mr. Chen!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:28 AM  

Never having played or watched golf, I was pleased with myself at getting and thinking I understood the number substitution.

But I never noticed the over and under PARs.

So the New Year starts as the old one had been. :>(

Caryl Baron 10:44 AM  

Would have been easy except I've never played golf, watched golf, or had any interest in golf.
Clever nonetheless.

chefbea 10:52 AM  

@Z cleaver poem!!!

Ludyjynn 11:23 AM  

HERE, HERE! IRAISE my glass of breakfast asti spumante (last serving from the New Year's EVE bottle) to the constructors and Ed. for this puzz. Thanks, all.

And to Rex, I wish you nothing but ASTUDENTs in the upcoming semester. May all their work be UPTO your standards!

I liked DELEON above WATERPARK since he was seeking the Fountain of Youth (aren't we all?).

New word (hi, @Casco)for me: IMAGO.

BYE, BYE 2014! And a happy, healthy 2015 to all.

Joseph Michael 11:24 AM  

Challenging but excellent puzzle. Knew it had something to do with "par," but took a while to figure out what was going on. Got it at BYE BYE BIRDIE. The NE corner was the last to go. A good start to the new year.

janie 11:26 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norm 11:31 AM  

This was a nice puzzle. I would have been more impressed (awed, in fact) if THE[BOGEY]MAN had been over the revealer and THE[EAGLE]HASLANDED and BYEBYE[BIRDIE] had been under it (and in their proper positions). As it was, it seemed kind of random, but still fun.

cwf 11:31 AM  

Or as Montgomery Burns had it, "booger man":

Smithers: Listen, sir! Did you hear that?

Mr. Burns: [mockingly] No I didn't! What was it? Frankenstein? The booger man?

Smithers: It's the man in the bag, sir! I think he's alive.

Mr. Burns: Oh.

[beats Homer with shovel]

Mr. Burns: Bad corpse! Bad corpse! Stop... scaring... Smithers! Satisfied?

Smithers: Thank you, sir.

janie 11:34 AM  

enjoyed the combo of theatre and sports in the fill: yesterday's birthday boy jule STYNE, BYE-BYE {Birdie}, and {Bogey}man

congrats, jill 'n' jeff. still wish it were kosher for you to award yerselves a "pow!"


Billfishco 11:40 AM  

I've seen this mistake before... A dovetail joint is made up of "pins" and "tails", whereas a mortise and tenon joint is made up of a mortise and TENON. I just filled it in...

Norm 11:57 AM  

Okay. I missed the hidden PAR in the proper place above or below each theme. I am officially awed (also odd at times, but that's a different story).

mathguy 11:58 AM  

Not that NewYorkers need more opportunities for self- congratulation but the American celebration of the new year occurs when the ball drops in Times Square. We were at a party and everyone gathered around the TV to see it. After the 9pm kissing, people started drifting off.

Enjoyed the puzzle but not as high on it as most. Might be that I'm not a constructor.

Carola 11:58 AM  

I had fun with this one (on the challenging side for me) but I have to give myself a triple bogey for not seeing the three hidden PARs until coming here. Now the Badgers are probably about to lose in another bowl game, so the New Year is off to a terrible start. Just kidding. It's just that I'm one of those ex-A STUDENTS who hates not getting the answer :)

Favorite mis-direct for me was "Noir" - I thought "movie" and wanted some kind of ???Art.

@ludyjynn - Similarly, I thought of DE LEON Springs, Florida, which also has some underwater GROTTOs.

Happy New Year, Rex and all!

Leapfinger 12:07 PM  

Sometimes one day's puzzle segues to the next: way cool how yesterday's gears shifted to today's PARK and CARPARTS. A pretty neat PICKUP trick there, I thought. Not to mention TENOF turning into TENON. Maybe TENDON tomorrow? Watch this space!

Like several others, I wondered how to rebus EAGLE into 17A, and settled on the trumped-up boogiEMAN, just because the spaces matched. (That's an example of 'settling', never advisable!] Again like others, it was 42A that beat me over the head into realizing that Birdie=ONE; as luck would have it, the adjacent PAR was in place, and that's all she wrote. Pure pleasure it was, to go back and repair the previous themers.

Aside for SteveJ and other golfers: Thanks for bringing up ALBATROSS, I'd forgotten that, was thinking of VULTURE, which some accept as PAR/FOUR, although it seems that's more commonly called a CONDOR, as well as a triple-EAGLE or double-ALBATROSS. Then there's the OSTRICH, a PAR/FIVE, apparently.
My confirming source on this is, which cites a known hole-in-one on a PAR-five (Mike Crean, 517 yards at the No.9 hole, Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, Denver, 2002). Did not see an Ostrich cited, but one reader, in a discussion of a 'hole in zero', suggested that would constitute missing the ball and sinking the divot.

Went asTREY with gARmenTs before CARPARTS, and with 'adult' before IMAGO. (GRUB crossing IMAGO, pretty cute!) Loved the ms-directs for A-STUDENT and A-TRAIN, and AU LAIT earned Oles. The history corner for the day has the PARFOR Declaration of 1917, from Arthur James PARFOR, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, to Lord Rothschild, which suggested that Great Britain would support the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East.

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to PEEKABOO Street?

A fine, fast-PASTE puzzle from J&J. Granted the fill includes a HERO, but there's nothing that's 'sub' PAR. I can't find a thing to PILEON, CANOE?

HERE TWO DEY and DAWN tomorrow, that's SAHL from LF.
HOPpy 2015 to ONE and all!!

old timer 12:29 PM  

Very easy for me. At first, I wanted something like "one small step" but the crosses quickly gave me "THE...HASLANDED. Which had to be "eagle", which meant this had to refer to golf scores. The rest was simple, though I didn't know IMAGO at all, and had to wait for PEEKABOO to become obvious, followed by OVERRULE.

My real gripe: The theme would have been much better in a Sunday puzzle where you could have had a clue like "Stand in for Humphrey?" be DOUBLEBOGEY, i.e., two over par. And, the cluing was exactly right for a Sunday. I wonder if this was originally proposed as a Sunday, but chopped down to standard weekday size?

Fred Romagnolo 12:43 PM  

Since "house work" wasn't "congress work," it's only a political joke if you're a Democrat. I must confess that although I'm less sure of golf than of, say, la crosse, I did manage to finish without any rewrites (I do the printed version in ink, so I have to write small). I missed the PAR's til I got here. I didn't need them because I accepted that one of the ONE's was "over" the other. I guessed the meanings of bogie and birdie because I had heard the terms used, but didn't know their meanings. Now I'm smarter (if I don't forget!). Once I caught on I was "aha'd" impressed, and this blog made it even better. Jill and Jeff are a couple of A STUDENTS to this retired teacher. BTW PEEKABOO was also brilliantly clued and tied in nicely with the bogie man (hands up for boogie pronunciation).

Fred Romagnolo 12:49 PM  

Funny about IMAGO, I first knew the word from Lord Clark's brilliant series on "Civilisation" (tell SpellCheck it's the Brit spelling), as a term from the Book of Kells, meaning image; then I learned it as a biological term.

RnRGhost57 1:10 PM  

Pleasant start to 2015.

And is Jeff Chen the nicest guy in the XWord universe? Really enjoy his write-ups.

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

Yes, Rex, literate people say "bogeyman."
Great Thursday and start to the new year!

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

Fairly easy for a Thursday and I got it all despite being an idiot about both golf and pop culture. I thought it was unusual that "bogey" would be used twice and I was willing to believe that there was a 1961 musical named Bye, Bye Boagie about Bogart, so I got 42-A right for the wrong reason. I would have realized my error if I had Googled for the answer but it never occurred to me to do it.

Joseph Welling 1:42 PM  

Steve J said: "Only possible nit is that, once you figure out the trick in one spot, the puzzle rapidly goes from challenging to quite easy."

I agree, but IMO that's just what you want a clever theme to do. Cracking the code should be rewarded. I don't much like the themes we see (especially on Mondays) where you can complete the puzzle without ever figuring out--or sometimes even noticing--the theme.

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

A lot of Southern kids wouldn't know what a bogeyman is. They get warned that the boogerman will get them if they don't watch out. On the other hand, charming tots are said to be "cute little boogers."

Steve J 2:02 PM  

@Leapfinger: Love your friend's take on "hole in zero". Especially since all I ever hit on the very rare occasion I pick up a club is dirt. My view on golf is a quote attributed to Mark Twain (although it looks like there's scant evidence he uttered it): "Golf is a good walk spoiled."

Tita 2:10 PM  

Vasco DA Gama, and the language is Portuguese.
Took me a while to get the theme, and even then, totally missed the PARs. A classic example of liking a puzzle more after coming here. It was hard for me because I am among those who care not a whit abut golf, unless it is of the mini variety.
And even then, I don't even care about the score - I just like the little windmill shot!

Thanks, Mr. & Mrs. Very clever, well-executed.

Happy New Year!

mathguy 2:14 PM  

Joseph Welling: I agree with your comment completely. You expressed the idea beautifully.

Lewis 2:29 PM  

Oh I enjoyed and had fun with this, but I was a little confused -- I must be overthinking this. We have a birdie and bogey, which cancel each other out, and an eagle for a total "score" of two under par. The reveal, PAR FOR THE COURSE made me think that on this "mini golf course", that is, the puzzle, that we would end up even, in par. But we didn't. So I was thinking that the reveal wasn't accurate. But nobody has mentioned this, so, again, I think I must be overthinking this. Does this bode well for my 2015?

Lewis 2:40 PM  

Factoid: Raw KIDNEY BEANs contain relatively high amounts of phytohemagglutinin, and thus are more toxic than most other bean varieties if not pre-soaked and subsequently heated to the boiling point for at least 10 minutes. The U.S Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature long enough to completely destroy the toxin. However, cooking at the lower temperature of 80 °C (176 °F), such as in a slow cooker, can increase this danger and raise the toxin level up to fivefold. (Wikipedia)

Quotoid: "Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course... the space between your EARS." -- Bobby Jones

Hartley70 2:59 PM  

Very happy with this puzzle as a start to the year. It takes into account that this may be a day when we're not firing on all cylinders, but once we see the revealer clue, there are two levels of delight. The par placement was great!

Z 3:13 PM  

@Steve J - I always thought that WC Fields said that.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

The fill is "highly untortured." Wow. High praise indeed.

Bones 3:28 PM  

PARs interarticularis.


foxaroni 3:29 PM  

There is only one BOGIE, man, and it's Humphrey.

retired_chemist 3:35 PM  

DNF. Didn't get the gimmick until way late. By the time I did I had Googled LYONS and EROS. Sat with gARmenTS for 15A for a looonnnggg time, which didn't help. THE ??? HAS LANDED wneh I knew it needed to be EAGLE, plus all the hints in the S, seem SO obvious in retrospect, but not to me last night.

ICEE is not a natural down here AFAIK so I got started with 48D ICE(cream) as a rebus. That led nowhere, except to look in vain for a corresponding (dairy product) rebus square in the NE.

Should have done better, but that is my fault. Looking at it now, I think it is an elegantly conceived and executed puzzle.

Thanks, Ms. Denny and Mr. Chen.

Benko 3:49 PM  

The (original, I believe) British pronunciation is indeed "BOGEYman". Us Americans changed it to "Boogie". Which is good, because then John Lee Hooker got to be the "Boogie Man."
I've watched Easy Rider many times and had difficulty recalling Peter Fonda's name was Wyatt, and not the more commonly known Captain America.

retired_chemist 3:52 PM  

And one of my favorite jokes is the letter which was successfully delivered, addressed as below .


Mohair Sam 4:28 PM  

Good Heavens! Totally missed the over and under PAR thing until rereading the blog just now. Makes this puzzle all the more impressive (and probably making my desired albatross impossible).

Whirred Whacks 4:36 PM  

Fun way to kick off 2015 -- medium for me. Thanks to the constructors!

@Fred R @Tita and others:
like you, I solved the puzzle okay, but then got the extra "par" aspect from reading Rex's writeup.

Good wishes to all, but especially to the Buckeyes tonight as they face off against the Crimson Tide!

Moly Shu 5:41 PM  

Very easy thursday here, got the theme after the eagle/rebus combo didn't work and saw PAR directly above. Really liked it. My small nit: as it relates to golf, the expression " par for the course" does not equal average. If one shoots par, one is well above average. I'd guess the average golfer shoots "bogey for the course" or worse. But that expression doesn't make sense. Take it from someone who's never approached par for any course, par shooters are like the @RexParkers of xword solvers, that is to say, "elite". Perhaps I'm also overthinking it ala @Lewis. Still, a really good puzzle

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

I just find it strange that people here keep referring to Rex as an "elite solver." Do we actually have evidence of this? Has he won some big competitions? Or do we simply take a braggart's word for it and blindly believe him? Commenter's here are a bit of a cult, aren't they?

FOAD 6:00 PM  

The most recent ACPT results.

Anonymous 7:08 PM  


How are the results to be interpreted if some people are in skill division A while others are in skill division B?

Steve J 7:48 PM  

@Lewis: For whatever it's worth, I think you're overthinking it. I don't get anything from the puzzle or the clue for 53A hinting that everything's supposed to add up to the course's par. That would have been even more impressive if it had, but I don't think it would be possible without creating a hot mess with the rest of the fill. As the clue for 53A says, the answer is a hint, not an end result.

@Moly Shu: I thought of the same thing regarding PAR FOR THE COURSE as you (in that par and average are not synonymous). But idioms aren't meant to be taken literally, and the usual meaning of PAR FOR THE COURSE indeed matches up with words such as typical or average.

@Anon 7:08: The provided link showed the overall rankings of all solvers, regardless of division. Since the rankings are based on objective scores and not subjective judgments, the division is immaterial to overall finishing position.

Lewis 8:38 PM  

@stevej -- I do believe you're right, and thanks for the feedback!

Anonymous 9:50 PM  

With all of the back and forth on the spelling of "bogeyman," I can't believe that no one has referenced perhaps the greatest golf book of all time, George Plimpton's "The Bogey Man." Long out of print, but I see on Amazon that it was reissued in 2010.

I've seen the alternate spellings, but that put " one-over-par" for "bogeyman" right in the sweet spot for me.


Steve J 10:05 PM  

@Z: Forgot to mention earlier: The most common attribution I saw online for the "Golf is a good walk spoiled" quote was Twain (although multiple sites noted there's no evidence he said it). I also saw it attributed to Churchill.

Twain, Churchill and Fields are pretty much the holy trinity of apocryphal quotation attributions (although Shaw is up there, too).

Anonymous 10:12 PM  

To me, "Par for the course" means "as expected" more than "average." As in, "Uncle Bob got drunk again and insulted my wife. Pretty much par for the course." Just my 2 cents.

AnonyMaw 10:39 PM  

Uncle Bob got loose again, did he? Dammit.

Anonymous 11:34 PM  

Yeah you can't trust weird uncle Bob.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

.............lee atwater was the boogie man, george plimpton was the bogey man........anyway to be PAR for the course an eagle and a birdie, for a total of three-under, would have been more correctly offset with a triple-bogey, to come to even PAR........

James Mac 8:14 AM  

Re: Whether par is average...Par is the score a scratch golfer (0 handicap) should shoot on a given course. Everything is adjusted to that standard, (including which tee box to use) and a golfer's handicap adjusts their final score so that a scratch golfer and a duffer should in theory be able to play each other competitively. Assuming one accounts for all of the required adjustments, par is average.

rain forest 1:03 PM  

My solve involved futilely looking for a rebus with "eagle" for quite a long time, until I got the next two themers while scratching my head. Then, aha, I noticed that ONE was above PAR in one of them, and under it in the other. Things went reasonably quicker and smoother after that.

I couldn't help but notice that, instead of saying the fill is excellent, or at least very good, @Rex managed a "highly untortured"encomium. I found this puzzle highly unboring. I hope that doesn't sound highly ungrammatical.

rondo 1:09 PM  

Anything to do with golf is OK by me. Can't wait to get out; golf season in MN is not long enough.

Had this almost complete before finding the over/under gimmick. This puz is very well done. Did not know the clue for this OPIE, only Ron Howard's.

Just saw the movie HER recently; that was creepy/sad. But then I don't have a phone to talk to, it just makes calls.

I sometimes wish that I could be called THEONE(over PAR)MAN; if I consistently shot bogey golf my handicap would drop (a little). I am on the brink of qualifying (or not) to play at the Old Course at St. Andrews which has an AURA of its own.

uchitiv 106 = I have a 7 today

DMG 3:34 PM  

Took a semester of golf in college- and got credit for showing up! Turns out a blind spot in my right eye makes it well nigh impossible to connect with the ball on the tee. So, golf has never been my passion. However, the revealer was enough to set me looking for "numbers" where I had been trying to rebus eagle, etc. Never did see the over/under PAR part, and am envious of those who spot such things. However, I never toyed with Stranger as I already had the MAN part. So my only write-over was having to move my chutes and ladders from a boardgame to a WATERPARK. thankfully the crosses did this for me!

Miss @Diri. Hope he hasn't forsaken us!


spacecraft 6:23 PM  

Late to the POOLPARTY, but still made it! Finished earlier but no time to blog. This, as my grandkid used to say, is a "gooder one." I, too, did not see it all at first. OK, I had pretty well forced THETWOHASLANDED into 17a, getting that TWO was eagle's distance from par, but not till I wrestled THEONEMAN into the grid did I smell a "Ben." So, we just have ONE? No "plus," or "over?" And then I saw it. The ONE was sitting right OVER...wait a sec...yes! the other numbers were UNDER! That was more a "Wow!" moment than an aha! one. Well and slickly done, Jill & Jeff!

And all this without junk fill. IRAISE my grade to A. More of this kind of thing!

Anonymous 8:50 PM  

Would not call this easy AT ALL. Knew the Easy Rider role only as what they call him, Capt. America. But the real fault as Rex points out is the bogey, boogie man. I grew up with the latter and certainly pronounced boogie as in sugar no bogey as in Moog-y synthesizer. But I admire the theme and the neat construction.

Waxy in Montreal 10:10 PM  

Very appropriate timing for this puzzle to appear in syndiland as the golf world mourns the loss of Charlie Sifford, the first African-American permitted to play on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, bigotry denied him entry to The Masters despite winning a number of tour events which should have qualified him automatically.

Fore sure, this puzzle was way over par!

Anonymous 11:05 PM  

We say canoo instead of canoe and soo instead of Saute (Saute St Marie). There are many others. So what's the big deal about boogie versus bogey?

Joe in Montreal 10:37 AM  

Syndicationland chiming in, and a day late, but shouldn't the theme have been NOT par for the course?

Anonymous 2:43 AM  

Two days late in Syndiland, but just on time because there was an albatross hole-in-one today here at Torrey Pines.

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