Pioneering urbanologist Jane / SUN 1-4-15 / Rocker Weymouth of Talking Heads / Hipster beer for short / Drug also known as Ecstasy / Literary genre of David Copperfield Ender's Game / Stark Oona Chaplin's Game of Thrones role

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Constructor: Finn Vigeland

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: "The Descent of Man" — some Across answers descend (i.e. turn south / go Down) when they reach the final "-MAN" part

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: SEA EAR (76A: Abalone) —
n.1.(Zool.) Any species of ear-shaped shells of the genus HaliotisSee Abalone.
• • •

Finn is a good constructor, and there is much to like here, but overall I found the puzzle off-putting for one simple (pervasive) reason: the straining after hipness / coolness / youthiness. This may seem an odd complaint coming from someone who routinely laments the crustiness of crossword themes and fill, but … look, I have my limits. There is a self-indulgence here that got tiring by about 1/3 of the way through. We didn't all just graduate from Columbia with a degree in urban planning (JACOBS). We didn't all take a post-graduation trip to Brazil last year (AMAZONAS. -AS? Not -IA? Gah!). We don't all watch "Game of Thrones" and we don't all do "X" (or, as the kids are maybe calling it, MDMA).  (This is the kind of stuff I would say to Finn's face over drinks; he would, in turn, mock me for being ignorant and old, or so I assume). So those first two (JACOBS and AMAZONAS) … yes, they're practically autobiographical, but I think they're legit. But MDMA and TALISA are bad fill masquerading as hip fill. And here's my main point—Fresh is good, youth-oriented is just fine, but hip pop culture clue can't rescue bad / crutch fill. And drowning your puzzle in millennial internetty stuff doesn't make it good; also, it can alienate a huge chunk of readers. Balance is important. Balance. Smoothness. This puzzle didn't have enough of either for my taste.

What's weird is that I totally forgot about the theme. Fill was so hard for me (in many places), and the theme was so basic (seen it, in different incarnations, before), that I don't think it leaves a lasting impression at all. And just five theme answers? Am I counting that right? Wow. That's … thin. Some of the long Downs are much lovelier and more memorable than any of the -MAN-ending themers. DARE I ASK?, IN THE BAG, ASYMMETRY, BREW PUB, SCHUMANN, RICE WINE, all nice. But the only thing I'm actually going to remember about this puzzle is struggling to turn up stuff like TALISA and MDMA (which I swear I have written out "BDMA" now at least three times…). I guarantee you that MDMA section is gonna break a few (older) backs, esp. with ATWO (argh, not ANDA!?) and the unexpected XWORD up there, yikes. In the end, the puzzle was, for me, EVERSO NOT SO SO HOT, despite having some entertaining moments.

  • 51A: What a hippie lives in? (THE NOW) — a hippie? Really? A puzzle this hip/ young / GenerationEmoticon and your referent for this concept is "hippie"? Way more new-agey. Do hippies even exist?
  • 6D: "Delaware Water Gap" painter George (INNESS) — this answer would be vastly improved if you stuck a GU- on the front. Just a bunch of common letters. See also LEONIA (!?!?) (105D: New Jersey town next to Fort Lee). "Oh, next to Fort *Lee*, oh, I see, of course," said no one.
  • 18D: Is a mixologist (TENDS BAR) — it's a very drinky puzzle too; 'cause that's what the Young do, man. They're all up in the BREW PUBs with their ALE GLASSes, drinking RICE WINE and PBR (actually, that last one's mostly a sad middle-aged guy thing).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS The clue on LEO is practically a constructor signature (9D: Enthusiastic, sociable, confident type, it's said). As I told my wife last week, I will not be surprised to find myself saying the words "President Vigeland" at some point in my life.

PPS and now a message from reader Ralph Bunker: There is a metapuzzle related to the Imitation Game movie that has some serious prizes including a registration to the 2015 ACPT. It is available at


jae 12:07 AM  

The theme was pretty obvious, but this was still medium-tough for me too. WOEs like TALISA, LEONIA, INNESS, NAMIB, AMAZONSA  (@Rex I too tried AMAZONia first), and  KISHKA (spelling) made it harder.   Fortunately I've seen BILDUNGSROMAN before, other wise I'd probably still be staring at this wondering how OSU or ??? could be wrong.

I knew MDMA from the 1996 novel Infinite Jest.

Aging hippies still exist.

Fun puzzle, cute theme plus lots of good stuff.  Liked it apparently more than Rex did.

Steve J 12:14 AM  

I liked that this was a Sunday that provided a bit of challenge. It was especially nice that the grid made it so that (other than the central one) the locations of the theme answers weren't immediately obvious. So, even if you pick up on the conceit relatively early, it's not like you can just go plop in the other MANs (at least that was how it worked for me).

I didn't like as much that the theme answers weren't terribly exciting, and the theme felt very well-worn. The turn-a-corner idea pops up with some frequency. And The Descent of Man was the theme just three months ago. That last bit isn't the constructor's fault, but it felt jarring just as soon as I saw the puzzle's title, as I remember the October one quite well.

Agreed with Rex that the downs are this puzzle's strength, but even then none was terribly exciting. I don't agree that this felt like it was straining to be hip. That said, if I never hear/read the term mixologist again, it'll be too soon.

Anonymous 12:25 AM  

So Rex found yesterday's (Saturday) puzzle easy, but today's "medium-challenging"? Bizarre.

The term MDMA is common knowledge. And Jane JACOBS is known beyond the field of urban planning: she's the reason you don't have freeways plowing through downtowns.

Rex's "get off my lawn" crankiness is off base, there's nothing particularly hip or youthful about this puzzle. Game of Thrones isn't targeted to any particular demographic either, for that matter.

Never heard of FROYO (and neither has my spell checker), nor OFFISH (do people say that?). "THE NOW" was a stretch; if it's actually a thing, it will be familiar only to aging flower children (so much for "youthiness").

OPALs are associated with various colors, not necessarily blue.

Finally, to me an URN is the province of funeral directors, not caterers. So crossing this with an obscure proper name like INNESS was unfortunate. On the other hand, the crossing N is practically a gimme on orthographic grounds (by contrast with yesterday's very unfortunate and unguessable SKYY).

JFC 12:55 AM  

I cannot disagree with @Rex about hip or whatever because I ain't.

But he doesn't even mention bildungsroman. Sorry, I don't teach English at college level. What a way to start a theme?!


MikeM 12:57 AM  

Well, I finished with BILDUNGSROMANA but I was sure it was wrong. Wth? Never ever heard of anything like that before. Had ScARFS before SNARFS. LEONIA is only a few miles from where I live. This town has come up before.. Alan Alda used to live there. I agree w Rex about PBR.

Anonymous 12:59 AM  

I'm 40 y.o. and reading blogs on a Saturday night -- so no one's idea of young and hip-- and MDMA was a total gimme. Ecstasy has been around a long time.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

Lots of old stuff
Lawrence Welk
Kingston Trio
Marilyn Monroe
The Monkees
Chester Arthur
Mama Cass
Pontiac Lemans
Talking Heads (sort of)

dmw 1:06 AM  

Bildungsroman crossed with an obscure academic (with apologies to anonymous) tripped us up.

Anonymous 1:14 AM  

Jane Jacobs appeared in my middle school social studies textbook fifty years ago--nothing particularly obscure there. Getting tired of Rex grumbling that a clue is too new or too old or too whatever when the problem is he just doesn't know the answer. Happens to all of us, Rex. We all have a different knowledge base. Just because a puzzle doesn't fit yours 100 percent doesn't mean it's flawed.

mathguy 1:24 AM  

Didn't enjoy it much. Paper-thin theme, a lot of junky fill (like AWMAN), dull clues.

chefwen 2:03 AM  

I was hoping for an Elizabeth Gorski Sunday puzzle with circles that I could draw on after completion. Alas, you don't always get what you want. We got the trick, but I have to agree with everything Rex said. I don't often do that. A bit of a slog for us. I wasn't going to comment because I had little to say that was positive.

I did want to say to @Numi that I am so moved by you and your wife's courage to overcome the horrendous events that befell you with such humor and encouragement. I applaud you both and wish you more rapid healing.

K 2:24 AM  

I''m not so sure that MDMA will trip up older solvers. It was the NYT itself that recently claimed Molly/MDMA was increasingly popular amongst older crowds...

'mericans back in Paris 3:21 AM  

@Rex asks if there were only five theme answers. I'm pretty sure that 120A ("1990s craze") was supposed to be one, too: PACman ARENA. Of course, that one would violate the structure of all the others, having "descended" out of the middle rather than the end. And I didn't notice until reading Rex's commentary that the missing MANs are there descended from the ends.

Mentally, I also counted these:

51A -- IN THE NOW, man! ("What a hippie lives in?")
43A -- BEAU man ("Serenader, maybe")
107A -- SEZ me, man! ("37-Across, informally")
125A -- MAIN man ("Water carrier")

16D -- HEY, man! ("Exclamation repeated in the Monkees'TV theme song")
49D -- SO HOT, man! ("Ooh-la-la!")
69D -- NOT SO, man! ("Au contraire!")

And what about 7D, 15D, and 95D? Shouldn't those have been PAXROA, SCHUN, and OTTO?!

Also, I don't understand the answer to A1: JAN ("The '1' of 1/4"). OK, January is the first month. But what is 1/4? Did FV mean 1st quarter, which is normally abbreviated as 1Q? If so, there are only three months per quarter, not four. Or am I missing something?

Overall, this was another both easy & (1/4) difficult puzzle for us. The theme answers were pretty straight-forward (BILDUNGS RO was the last to fall, mainly obtainable from crosses). But the puzzle is filled with loads of obscure answers, particularly in the NW and west. Had to Google 1D, 2D, 44D, 50D, and 56D in order to complete them.

Rather underworld sub-theme running through, also, with CROWBAR, FBI, MDMA, LSD, NRA, NSA and NSC among the fill. Lots of beer references, too.

Finally, with regard to @Rex's commentary, I count six misused slashes. Yuck.

'mericans in Paris 3:27 AM  

Disregard my comment on 7D and 15D needing to be PAXROA and SCHUN. Typed that before seeing that the MANs (men?) were needed to complete the acrosses.

Brett Chappell 3:42 AM  

Roman is French for novel and Leonia is a former Finnish bank now part of Nordea.

That about sums up the level of excitement about this puzzle. It didn't have me jumping up and down like a Japanese schoolgirl at a Hello Kitty! convention in Osaka.

Having read Rabelais, I wouldn't call him earthy. But again, to the constructor of this puzzle, fays ce que vouldras.

Anonymous 3:50 AM  

@'mericans back in Paris

In the US, 1/4 just means January 4th, the same way that 9/11 means September 11th.

Of course, most European countries do it the opposite way, so 1/4 would be April Fool's Day.

'mericans in Paris 4:07 AM  


Thanks! I hadn't thought of that. If it had been written 1/4/15 I would have got it, and concluded that it was a gimmee. Also, I guess I've gotten too used to the European conventions with dates. April Fools Day on this side of the Atlantic would be written 01.04.15.

Charles Flaster 4:29 AM  

Agree with Rex on almost everything.
Should 1A have abbr. in the clue?
Downfall was BILDUNGS ROMAN crossing INNESS and ANOMIA.
Then middle right--TALISA, TINA, REDDIT=???
Did like misdirects for + and summers.
Fell for abacus once before.
Liked cluing for DARE I ASK and ASYMMETRY.
As a LEO I was enthusiastic but not as confident with puzzle. Always sociable.
LINEAR algebra was a particular favorite of mine some 50 years ago.
Thanks FV.

paulsfo 5:05 AM  

Living in THE NOW does seem to be having a resurgence, recently, labeled as "mindfulness."
But I remember being wowed, at the time, by "Be Here Now", by Ram Dass, so I think that the hippies can lay some claim to this (in the West).

"Be Here Now (or Remember, Be Here Now) is a seminal 1971 book on spirituality, yoga and meditation by the Western-born yogi and spiritual teacher Ram Dass.

Be Here Now is one of the first guides for those not born Hindu to becoming a yogi, by a person himself not born a Hindu. For its influence on the Hippie movement and subsequent spiritual movements, it has been described as a "countercultural bible".

John Child 6:05 AM  

MDMA went right in here - that's what the drug was called in the 70s and early 80s. (Not that I would know firsthand, you understand.) As it became a club drug the name shifted to X, and by the rave era use of the chemical abbreviation may have declined. But I disagree that it skews young.

Reading Be Here Now (@paulsfo) is still an interesting experience. Especially with a little MDMA in the system, LOL.

GILL I. 6:34 AM  

I guess I sort of feel for the solvers today that don't have a 5 to 10 year old girl in their lives. Good luck getting 71A....Thank you Victoria and Alaina for singing every single song at the top of your lungs...
Well, I'm part of the chunk that felt alienated by this puzzle. I LOVE fresh, new stuff in my puzzles but this one just had me scratching my head a bit too much. Enjoyability factor was way down. Maybe because I once dated a LEO twice and he was asocial and shy....
SNARFS finally did it for me.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:36 AM  

Not a bad puzzle, but it "didn't excite" me as some of Finn Vigeland's previous puzzles have. I was ready to say it was just me having an off day, coming down from the holidays, but it seems to be the consensus.

Four write-overs:
6 D, INGRES before INNESS;
40 A, turned "Jimmy" into a verb as PRY OPEN before it reverted to being the noun CROWBAR;
99 D, "Very much", OVERLY before EVER SO; and, yes, hand up for AMAZONIA before AMAZONAS.

Here's a prediction: since @jae used the word "spelling" in today's first comment, perfectly naturally of course, later comments will include several from our friends the spell casters! :>))

Cynthia Garcia 7:26 AM  

After all that MDMA, LSD, and beer I can't decide whether to listen to Mama Cass or do the Macarena...

Danp 7:34 AM  

I remembered Leonia from a NYT puzzle some months ago. I googled it then and learned that it's upcoming events consisted entirely of trash pickup. I briefly lived 5 miles away from Ft Lee, and don't recall ever hearing of Leonia.

Sir Hillary 7:40 AM  

This was a slog. I need more than five themers in a Sunday. The fill didn't strike me as any worse than we typically see on Sunday, but the whole thing just wasn't much fun.

Lewis 7:44 AM  

If you don't think hippies still exist, take a visit to my town, Asheville, NC...

I see that Finn kept balance in the puzzle. On 3D we find the ascent of MAN, and on 70D, if you look at the letters Boggle style, you find the descent of WOMAN (or if you're a Pacino fan you can see it as Descent Of A Woman).

I thought it was going to be a rebus, as I've heard of standOFFISH, but not OFFISH by itself. But I see online that it is a word.

This puzzle was a lot of work for me. Far more than usual, I'd have only two or three letters missing in an answer and still couldn't figure it out. But from the hard work came some good ahas and satisfaction. The puzzle wasn't a lot of fun, therefore, but it felt like it did me good. Thank you, Sir Vigeland.

chefbea 7:56 AM  

Too many things I did not know so googled a lot. NE was a mess cuz I had prance instead if pounce.

So what is the meaning of Bildungsromano...studied David Copperfield way back when and that word was never mentioned!!

And 74D - summers of old?? = abaci??? What does that mean?

Lewis 8:13 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 8:16 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 8:18 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yontifsadie 8:18 AM  

@chefbea Summers of old, I assume, means that the total of something is a sum. So an old-fashioned way to sum things up would be the use of abaci (pl).

Lewis 8:19 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 8:21 AM  

@chefbea -- "Summers" meaning "those that add numbers", with ABACI being the plural of ABACUS. I loved this clue, similar to LETTERS from a recent puzzle, meaning "those who rent".

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

how is it "legit" that the words ended in more letters than "man"? (i.e. "mans" or "mann"). No one commented, so I guess you all think it's ok, but I thought I was missing something.

smalltowndoc 8:36 AM  

I don't understand @rex's issue with MDMA. It's the abbreviation of the chemical (methylene dioxide methamphetamine) popularly known as Ecstasy. It's no different than referring to lysergic acid diethylamide as "LSD". MDMA has been around for over twenty years. AMAZONAS is familiar to anyone with an interest in geography. It's the largest state in the largest country in all of Latin America. I'm no English major, just a "small town doc" but BILDUNGSROMAN is a piece of cake for anyone who passed English 101. Game of Thrones has been one of the most highly lauded TV series in recent history (Metacritic rating of 94%!) and was nominated for a ridiculous eleven Emmy awards in 2011. I didn't know TALISA but I don't blame that on the "youthiness " of the puzzle (I'm 60).

I have one problem with this puzzle: some the "MAN"s in the theme answers have letters following them, instead of the down portion of the answers ending on the "N". Hence, the reason some posters think BILDUNGSROMAN is spelled "Bildungsromana". Also, Morgan Freemans " and "I'm only human"?

chefbea 8:38 AM  

Duh!!! now I get it!!!

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

Once again, Rex's review: There was some stuff I didn't know, so this was a bad puzzle.
What a whiner. MDMA is known to anyone who has read the newspaper in the past 20 years, and Jane Jacobs is famous. He's fine with references to 1920's movies but not Game of Thrones?! His write-ups are cringeworthy and they really give people who are into crosswords a bad name.

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

I had "bounce" and "pounce" before PRANCE. This was not helpful. Fun Saturday--nice to see one that's in the wheelhouse of us non-octogenerians, notwithstanding rex's snit.

smalltowndoc 9:06 AM  

Edit: that should be "I'm only humann "?

NCA President 9:07 AM  

Hipsters are just modern day hippies or even new agers. Tattoos, skinny jeans, beards, flannel, counter culture, spacey world view, irony...there's always some group in our society that functions as the stopping off point between the teens and middle age.

@Rex: first, there is nothing wrong with cheap beer goes, it isn't as bad as it could yeah, while middle age men might drink it, they aren't sad middle aged guys. Hell, there are lots of sad middle aged guys that drink IPAs. Second, PBR is indeed the beer of choice for the hipster who drinks it ironically. You know, you drink a $3 PBR draft in your $80 flannel shirt from Urban Outfitters.

Source: I live in the hipster part of my city.

Other source: I'm middle age and occasionally drink PBR but don't consider myself sad. I just like PBR and hate hoppy beers. (Which, btw, could equally be drunk by hipsters and sad middle aged guys).

I got messed up in the NW...didn't know ANOMIA or JACOBS so JAN was obscured by it being so utterly obvious as to be invisible.

Btw, a Sunday puzzle with a clue about 1/4 seems to lock that puzzle in to be done in 2015. By my reckoning the next January 4th that falls on a Sunday is 2026.

Come to find out BILDUNGSROMAN is better known (to me) as a coming-of-age story. I must have slept through my HS English class when they talked about that.

I only know of Ecstasy as X, or E, or um...ecstasy. If an X user calls it MDMA, I'm guessing they are hipsters and are doing it ironically...but I could be wrong about that.

joho 9:12 AM  

I have to run so am posting now and will read comments when I get back ... please forgive if I'm repeating anybody.

@Rex, you new year write-ups so far have been spot on. And, yes, there still are hippies.

I had asurebet before INTHEBAG and TEenagEr before TERMITES (I can't be the only one!) And Dear before DOLL. All that got sorted out. but I DNF at TALISA. Having never seen the show I didn't have a chance as I didn't know REDDIT either. I kept hearing REDick in my head ... but no cigar there.

My favorite answer was IMONLYHUMAN(N) ... because I am!


Moly Shu 9:12 AM  

BILDUNGSROMAN crossing PAXROMANA? You've got to be kidding me. I usually look up thing I've never seen before. Not this time, yuck.

Lewis 9:13 AM  

Factoid: KISHKA is a Jewish dish traditionally made from beef intestine (casing) stuffed with flour or matzo meal, schmaltz (clarified chicken or goose fat) and spices; it can be found in the frozen section of most Israeli supermarkets.

Quotoid: "There is no such thing as FUN for the whole family." -- Jerry Seinfeld

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

It's just lovely the way Rex takes these poor young puzzle constructors under his wing. He knows them all so well. I am sure they are grateful for the condescension and pedantry, and they will grow up and thank him one day.

AliasZ 9:21 AM  

Today's theme must have come easily to lady solvers: MAN turned down.

BILDUNGSROMAN (novel of formation, education) is a German term coined by philologist Karl Morgenstern in 1819 to describe the work "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" by Johann Wolfgang Goethe (from Wiki). And no, Herr Morgenstern was not known for his stamp collection. The term also applies to Dickens' "Great Expectorations" as well as "The Adventures of Vigeland Finn" by Mark Twixt. Although I don't think our Mr. Vigeland has lived long enough yet to have inspired a BILDUNGSROMAN.

Finn may be due for an intervention, what with BREW PUB, ALE GLASS, RICE WINE, TENDS BAR, Pabst Blue Ribbon, LSD, MDMA (sounds like a WMD), and then passing out on his friend's couch.

INNESS describes the state of being one of the in crowd. Unfortunately, it is not one of my personality traits. As INNESS is missing GU, so is AWMAN missing the L from the front.

I don't think I ever saw so many SO-phrases in one puzzle: EVERSO, SOHOT, NOTSO, SODOM, DESOTO.

I felt I was back in college with this puzzle, although the nearly five decade age difference shows. I did not know JACOBS, MDMA, TALISA, FROYO, TINA and NORRIS as clued, SEAEAR, never heard or used SNARFS, and a few others. But I knew HERNANDO DESOTO, MARILYN, PAX ROMANA, SCHUMANN, AMAZONAS, and remembered INNESS, so it was a fair trade-off. DARE I ASK what your favorite entries were? Mine were: DARE I ASK, IN THE BAG, ASYMMETRY, AMAZONAS, PAX ROMANA, HERNANDO DESOTO and BRING OUT. COME ON IN, the water is fine!

Here is the Toccata, Op 7 by Robert SCHUMANN.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Z 9:30 AM  

@Cynthia Garcia - Or maybe do the MACARENA to Mama CASS.

@Lewis - I can't decide if it is perfect or ironic that at the very touristy restaurant near the Biltmore the wait staff wore "Keep Asheville Weird" shirts. I love your town. MicroBrews, Single A baseball, great food, and beautiful scenery. If the ACPT were held in Asheville I'd be there in a New York minute.

Pretty much what Rex said and @Steve J said. My first impulse was "didn't we just have this theme?" Then the proper nouns. FBI, NORRIS, PBR, TINA, NAMIB, TALISA, CARON, AIMEE, Tom DOOLEY, ETON, MORGAN FREEMAN, WONDER WOMAN, SODOM, MACARENA, HERNANDO DE SOTO, JACOBS, INNESS. LEO, MARILYN, SCHUMANN, MDMA (retro hip, like PBR), OSU, GRE, OSCAR, NRA, ERI TU, REDDIT, Carly RAE Jepsen, CHET Arthur on the drums, AMAZONAS, OTTOMAN, LEONIA, LE MANS, NERO, LSD, and the NSA keeping tabs on the NSC and everyone else. Yes, that seems like more than usual, even for a 21x21 puzzle.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

I really get a kick out of the folks who defend RP the extent to which they argue that he is above criticism. And here I thought that all is fair on a blog site.
RP - you really sound burned out. This is an entertaining site but perhaps you should have guest crits more often.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

I seriously doubt that Rex is older than I am, but I didn't have any problem with the so-called too hip clues he had trouble with. Ecstasy is so last century. Gane of Thrones was written by an old geiser who created way too many characters to track and doesn't know how to end his series.

What I had a problem with the Lawrence Welk clue. I got it instantly merely because my grandparents babysat us and forced us to watch the show. Brought back bad memories of the tedium of watching that show.

Shockdoc 9:52 AM  

Overall I thought this was pretty good, but I will say that I grew up and lived in northern NJ for over 25 years and it still took me forever to get Leonia. (And my high school used to play against the Leonia Lions). Not sure if that says more about me, or the puzzle

Susan McConnell 9:55 AM  

Well. The title gave away everything that might have been fun in this one. I hope for a bit of sparkle and surprise in the Sunday puzzle, and this one just felt like an oversized Wednesday. I disagree with Rex in that I found as much for the solver of a certain age (ATWO, LEMANS, CASS) as there was for the young and hip (or wannabe hip). I'm older than Rex by at about a decade and MDMA was a gimme.

One of the previous commenters nailed it: we all have different knowledge bases. Ideally, the daily puzzles give us an enjoyable opportunity to expand them. It's a disappointment to finish a puzzle not having learned anything new. That was not the case for me with this puzzle, and for that I thank Mr. Vigeland.

Caryl Baron 10:03 AM  

Yes, hippies—actually New Agers, I guess—do exist in Madrid (pronounced MADrid), New Mexico.
An acquaintance recently told me college kids drink maybe ten times what he did when he was young, so no surprise on the alcoholic content today. But I've never encountered an ALEGLASS (nor has spellcheck).
Liked INNESS, JACOBS, AMAZONAS, LEONIA, PAXROMANA but in all my years in fashion, we never named a blue OPAL!

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Caryl: I LOVE that one person told you that "kids drink more today than they used to" and you accepted that as truth. Are you this gullible in other aspects of your life too? There is some seriously lazy thinking, and writing, going on amongst the elderly today.

Casco Kid 10:21 AM  

Easy-Medium. Solvable. 2:05. DNF with four dopey errors
DOYOUWANTTOBUILDuSNOW/uBACI (total failure to apply the theme and major dope slap)
fERNANDO/TfENOW (failure to check a cross and another dope slap)

I guessed right at the ABACI/TALISA natick. But shouldn't have needed a guess even there, as @Lewis points out. Good one.

As I read over the comments, I see that lots of people had my typical solving experience. Hmmmm. Sorry?

Susierah 10:27 AM  

The Inness/Bildungsroman did me in, also kishka.

On the pbr clue, in the past 2 years I have hung out with my son's band The Wild Feathers for many shows. I have seen PLENTY of 20 to 30 year olds drinking PBR. You can go in any nashville club, bar, or restaurant and see it. Let's put it this way, when daddy is buying, it's something expensive like Sierra Nevada,when they have their own tab, it's PBR!

Teedmn 10:38 AM  

I found this puzzle challenging but enjoyable. That said, I'm finding myself ticked off by the answer TALISA! Having read all of the books multiple times and half-heartedly followed the series, "Game of Thrones", this should have been a gimme.

Looking it up after the fact, I now remember, this character was changed from the book. And who knew her name? I know this is the most trivial of trivia but that's why it surprises me that I care :-) . Oh, geezerhood, this is how it starts.

I've never heard frozen yogurt referred to as FROYO. Pabst Blue Ribben was the beer of choice in my small town in the '70s, before they called it PBR.

I liked CRASH PAD and ABACI. Found OFFISH a bit offish. I will have to try to remember MDMA, as I only know it as Molly or X. So some fun, some new info, thanks, Mr. Vineland for a nice puzzle.

Teedmn 10:42 AM  

Vigeland! Crummy autofill, grumble, grumble...

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle as for me it was very easy! Got Jane Jacobs and Bildungsro(man) right away, so then I was off to the races. Agree about "offish" and that it was odd to have "SchuMANn" and "LeMANs" when the men were being left out....I interpreted 71A as the "main" theme answer as another level of connectedness: Jan. = snow

saphir 10:57 AM  

Decidedly meh puzzle. Theme offered no challenge, easily guessable. One does not need to be a literature professor or even have a literature degree to be familiar with the term BILDUNGSROMAN. Actually one of my fastest Sunday puzzle finishes recently.

Nancy 10:57 AM  

@Leapfinger-- Hoped to catch you on today's blog before you posted. (I'm busy with the Variety puzzle and haven't even looked at this one yet.) In yesterday's "what a wuss" banter, I thought you were a Southern gentleman flirting with me. Imagine my surprise when I want to your blog info to find you are a woman. Possibly a genteel southern lady such as the ones you mentioned in your first post:) Anyway, that's the trouble with web "handles" (if that's what they're called) -- half the time you haven't a clue as to the gender of the person in question. Which is why I use the prosaic "Nancy" (which I know is boring to many at this site.) But anyway, Leapfinger, man or woman, I enjoyed your comments yesterday.
To everyone else: I've avoided looking at the answers or reading any of today's posts and I probably won't get to this puzzle till much, much later. The Variety is giving me all I can handle right now.

quilter1 10:58 AM  

I gave it my best shot but some things were just not filed in my brain so DNF, to my dismay as I always finish Sunday. I'm a pretty old hippie (the earth shoe environmentalist variety) and I live in THE NOW, but lots of these clues/answers were too much now for me to know or be aware of.

F.O.G. 11:09 AM  

This puzzle was an ORDEAL and it left me feeling quite BLASE.

mac 11:14 AM  

I enjoyed the solve of this one. I found the theme almost immediately with Bildungsroman, which I knew from either German or English class. It actually helped me with Pax Romana.

No idea about MDMA, but I knew Molly! I felt smug about having heard of IPA, then had to change it to PBR. I learned Kishka, sea ear and the hippies living in the Now. Lots of them live in Portland, Oregon.

Fred Romagnolo 11:15 AM  

I guess I'm one of the oldest of the bloggers here (83), so much of it was out of my realm, but some things I knew but didn't know I knew! PBR! It didn't help that I guessed BREWtUB. I also guessed oH MAN, not knowing the names of the Talking Heads. Interestingly, those were my only mistakes, so even if it was a DNF, I got the rest from crosses, so I have to say it was a (mostly) fair puzzle. I sometimes visit other blogs and I'm sorry to say that incivility seems to be rife on most of them. I guess it's the curse of the internet. I bet most of the anonymouses wouldn't have the guts to say those things to a guy's face; and when they insult a woman it really is intolerable.

demit 11:16 AM  

Who says "ale glass"?
A "crash pad" would be a whole apartment, not just a sofa.
Kick your feet up? Who says that? You PUT your feet up on an attoman, or you kick back to relax in general.
Nobody says "opal blue." There's such a thing as a black opal, and a fire opal, but opals have all different colors in them, which is rather the point of them.

Weird clueing. Not in the fun-once-you-get-it way, just off. As if they're written by someone who is not completely at ease with American idioms.

Chris 11:21 AM  

Jane JACOBS is definitely fine, but PBR? Leonia?

Zeke 11:23 AM  

This puzzle lost me at BILDUNGSROMAN, which is both an intrinsically ugly word and an exemplar of the worst of intillectual argot. There's no worse mashup of German and French than BILDUNGSROMAN, an unnatural pairing of the two, with the possible exception of the Alsace. Both should be put out of their misery as their forced dual identity must cause psychic turmoil.

Further, the word adds nothing to anyone's understanding of anything. It means "life story", or "coming of age story". Everyone understands those two. The only purpose using BILDUNGSROMAN in conversation is to confuse those who don't know the term, to humiliate them by making them ask what it means - the ultimate DB move.

Ludyjynn 11:26 AM  

This XWORD left me feeling BLASE.

That's all she wrote.

Z 11:27 AM  

I'll let you figure out which performer is TINA Weymouth

r.alphbunker 11:41 AM  

@Casco Kid
Remembered that you told me that BREWPUBs sparked the resurgence of Portland in the 70s and that make the answer look right.

{Starters} ANTES/ATEAM
{Repast for a late riser} DRYICE!/BRUNCH
{Its drafts may be crafts} BREWERY/BREWPUB
{Certain weanling} RUNT/FOAL
{Rocker Weymouth of the Talking Heads} DINO/GINO/TINO/TINA

Finished with TINo/oWMAN. Never even thought of TINA. I guess I think of rockers as male.

Mohair Sam 11:46 AM  

@Teedmn - Thank you, thank you. I recently read all five G of T books (don't ya hate #4?) and couldn't place a TALISA. Now I see she is TV only. Phew.

Found this one medium/challenging, but enjoyed. Had a bunch of nouns we had to suss or fill (MDMA, TALISA, BILDUNGSROMAN, JACOBS, and more). But am surprised to see that others are complaining about what were gimmes or near gimmes here (AMAZONAS, PAXROMANA, THENOW, FROYO). I'd say that makes a pretty good puzzle, different challenges for different folks - and most of us were able to solve.

Haven't seen Frozen, but the song was pretty easy to fill. Surprised we got it so easily.

LEONIA had relatively easy crosses, hence Natick's title is still safe.

mathguy 11:50 AM  

After a good night's sleep and reading the comments above, I have a better feeling about the puzzle. I didn't see the dangling MANs until I read 'mericans in Paris. I went back over the clues and found some nice ones: Summers, 1/4, something a chair has, + end, solid rock center.

I may have been sour because, like Charles Plaster, I got tripped up at the TALISA, TINA, REDDIT cluster. (BTW, I live in San Francisco and haven't heard of Reddit which I read is headquartered here.). Or it may be that I wasn't expecting such a challenge from a Sunday puzzle. There were 20 entries that I didn't know and needed the crosses to try to deduce. But I count eight junky entries, too many for me.

Norm 12:00 PM  

I'll content myself with stating that I agree with the many criticisms above of Rex's reasons for disliking this puzzle. There was much I did not know, but they were all inferable from fair crossings, and that gets high marks in my books. I liked the theme as well. Maybe it helped that I started out thinking that it was a "UMAN" rebus, which I was sure would draw Rex's ire, and so I had to smile when I realized the mistake was mine. Very nice puzzle, Finn.

Maruchka 12:06 PM  

Well, I liked the Jane JACOBS, George INNESS, Frank NORRIS-ness. All three are ground-breaking Americans. And anyone that has taken an English Lit class should vaguely remember BILDUNGSROMAN. What's not to like? The sloggi-ness.

DNF due to the smaller stuff.

Fav of the day - ABICI clue. A solid misdirect. Runner-up is KISHKA. This puzz knocked 'em outta me..

*Bartenders are not all mixologists, but all mixologists TEND BAR.*

@Lewis - Elaine MORGAN published her 'The Descent of Woman' during the halcyon 70's. Maybe more clever clueing is where the puzz needed to go ..

@AliasZ, @Teedman - FROYO is often on the iPhone notepad, and it prompts 'Frito' as I type, with a red squiggly underneath. Take that, spellcheck!

Dansah 12:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Happy Pencil 12:09 PM  

I didn't really care too much for this puzzle. Too few theme answers for a Sunday, as others have pointed out. I also was put off by the appearance of NSA and NSC (and PSA!) in the same puzzle, not to mention SAYS and SEZ. Doesn't that violate some kind of rule?

@Numinous, I don't know you, but I wanted to say how moved I am by the humour and courage you have shown in what must have been a horrendous time for you and your wife, despite the good face you're putting on it.

I'd like to believe that some of the posters here will read your words and be inspired to take another look at the way they're choosing to walk through life, but I fear that's not going to happen.

Leapfinger 12:13 PM  

So Finn put "OF FISH" in his grid? Surprise, surprise!

Made a Big mess in the NE, with Rabelaisian/ AMORAL, Jimmy/ PRYOPEN, Weanling/ LAMB, 100% guarantee/ SUREsomething, and Candid Camera/ TRICK. EMI was the sole correct entry, and the multiple confirming crosses kept those wrong'uns in far too long. IRKS finally finessed PRY OPEN to start the corrections, but bOUNCE seemed Spring-y, and had me seriously considering a rebus [de]BONER in the kitchen. Elsewhere, "Ooh-la-la!" was "SweeT!", and many hippies I knew lived in a TraNce. Also had AMAZONia, KISHKe and CHEs-CHEz- CHET.

The theme? I enjoyed it well enough; maybe I just like to see men dropping all over the place.

Liked the 'Hunt and Peck' clue, but thought that just because SEA EAR appears in the dictionary doesn't mean it isn't Green Paint. Ditto ALE GLASS. On the ANODE side, some of the grid was PURE E.D. (take that, Anonymice!) and FUN to end up in the MAC ARENA.

Thought it cute to have Spring (bOUNCE/POUNCE), Summers (ABACI) and the Fall of MAN, all in mid-Winter. Not as cute are those Other TERM-ITES, the DC politicians who'll also eat you out of house and home.

Generally enjoyed this one; even got over LAID/LAIN, which had me musing over the Cheryl LADDFORM. The 83 square, however, was another story: I was INNESSent of both clues, and ran up over a dozen possibilities for that Naticky spot. In any case, doesn't REDDIT sound like a frog with a SPEECHIFY problem? SEA 'EAR, Finn, imo you can't PALM OFF that kind OF FISH!

Enjoy your remaining weekend, Gay TALISA and all.

Casco Kid 12:19 PM  

As regards PBR, it is half of a Munjoy Hill Mimosa -- better than it sounds! Yes, indeed. Munjoy Hill (where I live in Portland) is a hipster haven, with craft drafts from Shipyward, a local mini-BREWery as well as 1001 micro BREWPUBS. @Z could spends days here sampling and resampling.

Like @R.alph, ohMAN (?), oWMAN (?!) and finally AWMAN :) and thusly, TINA. Most of the solutions that seemed off were off until they finally settled down.

I guess this one more or less in my strike zone. Grateful for that.

Carola 12:21 PM  

Tough. But for me it was on the "interesting challenge" end of the spectrum, as opposed to "slog." Didn't see the theme until I got way down to MORGAN FREE, still struggled to put together the rest.

Went wrong at 1D with Jane addams (making the BILDUNGSROMAN space start with an "m") and at 22A with "source" instead off POUNCE or "spring" (hard to erase that one, since 4 of the crosses work).

Dunce cap moment: Grad school put me through many a BILDUNGSROMAN but it never occurred to me the term was used for non-German novels. (ROMAN has been the German word for "novel" since the 17th c - borrowed from French.)

A BILDUNGSROMAN isn't exactly the same as a coming-of-age-story. I was grappling with how to try to capture the idea of BILDUNG, when...wait...Google. Here's a nice description of what a BILDUNGSROMANis.

Joseph Welling 12:38 PM  

Old former English major here. One of the first clues I looked at, I thought, it's asking for BILDUNGSROMAN, but it doesn't fit. Got the theme almost immediately. A quick Sunday for me. I think I'm at the same level of crustiness and observer-from-outside-of-what-passes-for-hipness-these-days as the constructor.

old timer 12:47 PM  

I found this puzzle extremely irritating, and in the end had to Google for that stupid song from Frozen. Now if I had seen the movie (i.e., if my kids were not closer to 37 than 7) the puzzle would have hummed along pretty smoothly. Except for LEONIA crossed with LAS, because why couldn't it be LEONIO crossed with LOS?

Rex's basic criticism was way off, though, as many of you have pointed out. PBR has been the hipster beer for more than a decade. Sure, your hipsters like their BREWPUBs, but they also like their dive bars, and PBR is the classic dive bar swill -- so much so that dive bars where I live have had to add it to the list, because Budweiser just ain't cool (of course, like almost every bar in California these days, they also will carry Lagunitas IPA).

Rex is too damn young, is the problem. If he was older, he would remember Baba Ram Dass, "be here now" and hippies who tried to live in said now. He would be up on his street drugs, including MDMA. And he would have been thrilled to read Jane Jacobs, whose most famous book, "The Life and Death of Great American Cities" came out in 1961. A year when Rex was, I suppose, no more than a gleam in his father's eye.

Oh well, Rex, the young whippersnapper, at least *felt* the same way I did about his puzzle. And he probably doesn't suffer from ANOMIA, which was a big problem for me today. Really, it took me way too long to remember Jane J's last name.

Masked and Anonymo9Us 1:02 PM  

Old fart, here, that didn't have much trouble with this puz.
But, then -- "balanced" probably ain't my middle name, or nothin...

There *Were* a few churce areas of sputterance, to report, so cue the bullets:

* REDDI? crossin ?ALISA. Couldn't old-fart-bluff my way outta that one. Guessed "X".

* 91-D. "Container in a [indirect ref to BREWPUB]". Ever fixate on a cool, but wrong, answer, and then simple out, on comin up with anything else? Happened here today for the M&A, who really really really wanted BLADDER. really.

* BILDUNGSROMANA? MORGANFREEMANS? Inelegant, is what M&A got, when he submitted a similar "veer off in spasmodic directions" puz theme idea to an editor.

Anyhoo, a mostly pleasant diversion, from our future President.


Sandy 1:31 PM  

I had PCs as window units, which meant that there is a feature of modern architecture called psymmetry! There should be, right?

Hang 'Em Up, Rex 1:32 PM  

ALEGLASS seemed like a classic Green Paint and PEONIA is the very definition of a Natick. And the NW corner was tough, for sure. Otherwise, I thought it was a good puzzle with a theme that was just a bit thin.

Oh, and it seems like Rex's definition of "bad fill" overlaps 100% with things he doesn't know. How 'bout that.

nick 1:58 PM  

Liked it a lot. Didn't feel wanna-be hip (hello -- Lawrence Welk?) or really that hard. MDMA is like LSD, just initials for the chemical compound. Pretty well-known by now. Just a decent, challenging and (nice surprise for a Sunday) interesting puzzle. Good job, Finn.

Anonymous 2:09 PM  

Hang 'em up @ 132: "It seems like Rex's definition of "bad fill" overlaps 100% with things he doesn't know. How 'bout that." Spot on, mate. Hilarious.

Frank Lynch 2:28 PM  

There should be a rule against an answer having all but one letter in common with an alternative. For SNARFS I had SCARFS.

Cheerio 2:28 PM  

I love the central frozen clue. I do see Rexes point in that I came up with 26 answers to add to my personal crosswordese file. That seems like a lot. Even though this is a bigger than usual puzzle, I usually come up with just two or three answers to add. One example is OPAL clued as a type of blue. Looks like opal can be used this way for many colors. Look out OPAL!

ArtO 2:31 PM  

Have to agree with@anonymous 1:14. I'm always surprised by the lack of knowledge that Rex has in certain areas that are gimmies for me, yet I'm pretty much an only occasional Fri/Sat success (e.g. This week's Sat.).

That said, I found this quite tough with a number of really off putting clues and esoteric answers all of which have been referenced earlier.

Leapfinger 2:54 PM  

Ptyger, ptyger burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Hath framed thy fearful psymmetry ?

Cynthia Garcia 3:18 PM  

Just a little bit of local info in case you're ever in the UK and someone happens to offer - Ecstasy is commonly referred to over here as 'E' not 'X'.
@Z - Great idea! I'll try it! ;)

OISK 3:48 PM  

Worst Sunday of the year, by far. But seriously, folks, I disliked this one very much. I slogged through it, because I am stubborn, but much too "hip" for me. I got the theme immediately, which ought to have led to a pleasant solve, but not today. Never heard of PBR, MDMA, Reddit, Talisa, Carly Rae, never saw Disney's "Frozen," Snarfs is a word? OK, I have seen it before, and I knew Amazonas. Bildungsroman was a gimme right at the start. Never heard of an "ale glass." And I drink a lot of ale, but never in a "Brew pub." Who lives in "the now"? Amazed that I missed just one square, still makes 3 DNF, each one square, in the last 5 days. This time it was Reddit crossing Talisa. Fun for others, no doubt, but not for me. Not at all.

Whirred Whacks 4:00 PM  

Slogged on this one to the finish.

I remember when MDMA was the rage in the late 60s. So there's that.

Loved BILDUNGSROMAN as an answer.

I agree: "Summers of old" for ABACI was a delightful clue.

@Fred R
You're 5/6 of a century! Congrats!

Dave Miller 4:46 PM  

I love puzzles with hip terms - they're fun, and if you read the NY Times regularly most of the words seem to have been in there at some point (except rap & hip-hop words, which I'm mostly ignorant of). Yeah, the construction isn't always that great, but still, fun. Aren't we supposed to be having fun?

Anonymous 4:48 PM  

Another Sunday slog. Another Sunday wasted.

R. McGeddon 5:21 PM  

Thank you, Brendan Emmett Quigley, for educating me on the hipness of PBR.

Nancy 7:18 PM  

I love the misdirection in 20A: "Starters." Was sure it would be a plural. So I had SOMA instead of MDMA (MDMA??????), which I think was the drug in "Brave New World", come to think of it. Who on earth would know MDMA? But A TEAM was a great answer. I could have spent the whole week and not gotten it. Not so with ABACI, which I did figure out. But did anyone else think it was HERNANDO CORTES? That sat at the bottom for a while, until LSD got me to DESOTO. So LSD was a help and MDMA (MDMA???????) was a disaster. I agree with whoever said you shouldn't have NSA, NSC and FBI in the same puzzle, As well as SAYS and SEZ. And I agree with whoever said SNARFS is too close to SCARFS. I wanted SCARFS (having never heard of SNARFS) but RICE WICE is not a drink in the East or anywhere else. So I had SNERFS, because I thought 87D was AMAZONES. And SEA EAR???? Give me a break. Yet, despite all this, I actually enjoyed the challenge and did not find it a slog. The theme helped a lot, actually, -- just not enough.
@Leapfinger: Did you happen to read my 10:57 a.m. post? It was directed to you.

Teedmn 7:25 PM  

@Leapy, one of my favorite poems.

Did he who made the weanling make thee?

Annie 9:27 PM  

Aside from more than several lazy clues and answers, here's the real problem with today's puzzle: it was JUST PLAIN BORING!!!

Anonymous 10:48 PM  

I have to say that the "hipper" clues that you so despise I found myself incredibly grateful for. As a young (-ish) solver, the crusty nature of the NYT puzzles comes across as exclusive and, frankly, irritating. I patronize more indie constructors for that very reason.

michael 12:29 AM  

I'm old and not hip and didn't find this particularly hard. Just lucky I guess that I knew some stuff (Leonia, Bildungsroman, Paxromana) and was able to get the stuff I didn't know from crosses and logic (such as the title song from Frozen). I'm surprised at all the complaining about the puzzle because I liked it.

jeezmom 5:54 AM  

Rex, all those perceptive comments, without any reference at all to bildungsro(man.) I guess that's common knowledge, but I feel so uninformed. Maryelle

Fran Conn 10:53 AM  

Speaking of bildungsroman: My husband majored in English; me in French with a minor in English. We did not know bildungsroman. Then this morning what showed up on our devices? Word of the Day and bildungsroman. Puzzle done. Still never saw the "descent" part of the puzzle til today. Tedious puzzle. None of the real, fun, glorious "aha" moments for us.

phil phil 11:11 AM  

no one calls out the constructor on this so I have to ask why 1a should not be qualified as abbr. i would have figured it out but was determined to have a non-abbreviated word there

Jon 12:02 PM  

Loved this. Lame theme but who cares? The cluing was entertaining, I even laughed at 'in the bag' and 'urn' (I could even smell the cheap Maxwell House.) And now I don't feel like such a fogey, now that PBR is hipster. Any 'youthiness' was amply offset by stuff I could dredge up without much anomia. Tina actually got me going. BTW 'ago' is the second word. "Long ago in a galaxy far away", right?

Z 12:16 PM  

@Jon - AGO is correct.

Jon 1:08 PM  

Thanx, Z. Enjoyed the video, too.

Anonymous 9:20 PM  

Enjoyed it although it was a challenge. Some 2+hours. Love knowing that at 75 I'm hip. Please tell my kids and grandkids.

oldbizmark 2:37 PM  

enjoyable tough puzzle for me. DNF because of the NE corner. theme was easy to get and although some of the fill was challenged, i still had fun with it... except for KISHKA which my family always referred to as DERMA. i thought maybe I was missing an H as in DERHMA and the middle of the puzzle took a lot longer that it should have.

unclejohn 11:09 AM  

@Sandy,I had PCs also and justified psymmetry. 97A, I have "asa"?
In general, thumbs up for Finn

Gary Cattarin 4:27 PM  


In reference to your question, "Do hippies even exist?", I can answer a surprisingly resounding yes. Hiking with my teenage daughter in Northern California last summer, we found one atop a mountain. Tie dye, staff, yoga poses and all. The real thing. Descending, she said to me, "Dad, was that a real hippie?" A first for her. A rarity for me. Nice guy, though!

In reference to the puzzle, ugh. Bildungsroman? As a theme answer? Seriously? Perhaps you, as an English professor, might get that. I'm still scratching my head after my first DNF in a long time - even after setting it down for a few days to let things gel in my head (which usually works).

Thank God tomorrow's Sunday again.

spacecraft 11:07 AM  

Hippies. Yeah, I sort of was one, back in the day; I went and asked Alice--I thought she'd know (she didn't). But today's puzzle was a full-on slog. BREWery was in; BREW PUB?? Is that a thing? It's a pub; you et brews there. Green paint!

Kind of blue ending in --AL was, natch, teAL for me. Beautiful shade. It shoulda been TEAL.

And then we have one of the purest naticks I've ever seen: 83. REDDI_/_ALISA. Sorry, I actually admit I've never played "Game of Thrones." Yes, I know, back under my rock. This is one I should NOT have gotten, but I just threw a T in there because it looked OK both ways--and whaddya know: it was right!

What's a FROYO? Short for frozen yogurt, I'm guessing. Some days I feel EVERSO ignorant. But!I got 'er done! An ORDEAL, to be sure, but done!

Ray o sunshine 12:41 PM  

Don't know what's more entertaining, trudging through the puzzle or reading these posts.

Steve J 1:23 PM  

@spacecraft: BREWPUB is a very real, and very specific thing. Namely, it's a pub that brews its own beer and sells it within the pub. It's distinct from a tap room attached to a brewery, and most brewpubs only sell their beer at their pubs and not to general trade. Definitely not green paint.

rondo 4:40 PM  

Lots of newish BREWPUBs here in MN.
Yes hippies exist, even in THENOW.
As for the puz, as Mr. Horse would say, "No sir, didn't like it."

rain forest 6:54 PM  

I'm way in the minority here as one who liked it, and went through relatively smoothly in one sitting.

I certainly am not a hipster, nor was I a hippy (had long hair, though), but I actually either knew the up-to-date terms, or could intuit them. I guess I was into it. Har.

I just learned about REDDIT the other day, and it seems like a silly website to me.

If you put a lime wedge into the top of a bottle of PBR, I'm sure it wouldn't be much different from a Corona, which of course is the real hipster beer, it says here.

Lots of great clues among the "modern" stuff--a nice Sunday.

Amusing to read OFL say that this is "too" with it/modern/of current culture when he will pan other puzzles because they are too old-timey. I guess you gotta find something negative to say.

I know I'm not a robot, and I wanna play. Come on, man! Nope.

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

Sorry, elm is NOT a good wood for cabinet making. I suppose that someone might have made a cabinet of elm in a fit of insanity, but it surely would not have been a good cabinet.

eastsacgirl 8:54 PM  

Hubbie's been drinking PBR forever! Didn't know it was hipster now. Just drank because it was cheap.

Never heard (or seen) BILDUNGSROMAN in my life. Even though I got the theme quickly, still slogged through some of the fill.

Officially a DNF by a few letters but was still an OK Sunday.

Yes Virginia, there are still hippies.

Anonymous 10:11 PM  

My main complaint was the word jan for the 1 in 1/4 Did I miss the explanation?

Z 10:30 PM  

Anon 10:11 - yes, you missed it. JANuary 4 is written 1/4. The original run date for the puzzle was 1/4, which helped make it a marginally better clue last week.

Eric Selje 10:56 PM  

Me too!

Anonymous 1:18 AM  

This may or may not have "skewed" young, but it was certainly skewed and I was screwed! Not fun to solve
Bildungsroman? Wtf?

Prof. Rick Shur/LaGCC/CUNY 3:48 AM  

Shouldn't 1 across (the 1 of 1/4) call for an abbreviation? What's the protocol here?

Bob Kerfuffle 6:24 AM  

@Prof. Rick - The conventions of NYT crosswords include the general rule that early in the week, abbreviations are signaled by the clue, but in late week puzzles abbreviations appear without warning.

Gregory Schmidt 8:59 AM  

I don't see Rex protesting nearly as much about exclusivity of fill when it tends towards "Arcane Literary Characters 301".

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP