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Monday, February 23, 2015

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: LEAVE A BAD TASTE (53A: Not sit well … or what eating 20-, 32- or 41-Across might do) — stuff that's rotten, sour, and bitter:

Theme answers:
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES (20A: Online aggregator of movie reviews)
  • SOUR GRAPES (32A: Fox's feeling in an Aesop fable)
  • BITTER PILL (41A: Hard-to-accept consequence)
Word of the Day: MEGAN Fox (17A: Actress Fox of the "Transformers" movies) —
Megan Denise Fox (born May 16, 1986) is an American actress and model. She began her acting career in 2001, with several minor television and film roles, and played a regular role on the Hope & Faith television sitcom. In 2004, she made her film debut with a role in the teen comedy Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. In 2007, she co-starred as Mikaela Banes, the love interest of Shia LaBeouf's character, in the blockbuster action film Transformers, which became her breakout role. Fox reprised her role in the 2009 sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Later in 2009, she starred as the eponymous lead in the black comedy horror film Jennifer's Body. Fox is also considered one of the modern female sex symbols and has appeared in magazines such as MaximRolling Stone and FHM. (wikipedia)
• • •


Well you don't "eat" pills, you take them, so [sad video game death noise] Game Over. Thanks for playing. Also, presumably ROTTEN TOMATOES and SOUR GRAPES just taste bad. Like, up front. "Leaving" is irrelevant. The themers do have a few interesting things about them. They are all metaphors … well, not ROTTEN TOMATOES … so maybe I take back the "interesting" part. Actually, one interesting thing = 14s. You don't see 14s very often. They're notoriously annoying to handle, grid-construction wise. You pretty much have to do what Joel's done here: run black squares under/over the short end of the answer and/or run multiple long Downs through that same short end. That lone black square on the end of a 14 really is more of a nuisance than it seems. But, of course, as "interesting" things go, 14s qualify only if you are a constructor. It's a wonky thing to notice. Most people won't. They'll probably notice the anomalousness of BITTER PILL, or the anomalousness of ROTTEN TOMATOES, or the overall decent fill quality, or the sad semi-redundancy of ART MUSEUM, or the boringness and tenuous legitimacy of STATE DEBT, or the unexpected zippiness of short stuff like "OH, YOU" and "I'M GAY!" But 14s—unlikely.


I did this puzzle in under 2:30 while under the considerably influence of whiskey, so … it really Really must've been easy. I have to go pretend to care about the Oscars until I fall asleep well before they're over. Enjoy your February 23rd.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

65 comments:

chefwen 12:33 AM  

After a miserable weekend of solving, it was a pleasure to solve a super easy Monday. I failed miserably on Friday and Saturday, DNF on both days. Not by much , but bad enough. Sunday was had me at fit and starts and I had Jon do the heavy lifting. We got it done, but it wasn't my favorite. Hoping ffor a better week.

Steve J 12:44 AM  

Nothing wrong with the theme from my chair. They're not supposed to be documentaries; they're constructs that, um, thematically hold things together. We have three types of taste, packed into in-the-language phrases, that would potentially LEAVE A BAD TASTE. Works perfectly fine as a theme. (Oh, and there are chewable pills, Rex. Lots of 'em.)

(Sour and bitter or not inherently bad tastes, of course. Rotten's another story, although there are some fermented foods that really blur the line between fermented and rotten.)

Fill's both clean and lively. A theme that works unless one's taking it way too literally. Good Monday. (Also super-easy Monday here: my solve time was 20% faster than my Monday average.)

Andrew Morrison 1:04 AM  

That was USA Today-easy. I groaned at 1A and it didn't really get better from there. I need to check out Wordplay, because it seems to me there was some sort of editing disconnect. Usually, at least it seems to me, even an easy NYT Monday provides some challenge here or there.

Masked and Anonym007Us 1:04 AM  

Wow. A 72-word grid for a MonPuz? Only three wee-letter words? Unusual look. I like unusual.

SOURGRAPES and BITTERPILL definitely rate high on the metaphoric phrase meter. I'd also grant ROTTENTOMATOES a friendly passage, as it is a well-known movie-ratin website. So, the themers sure didn't LEAVEABADTASTE with m&e. Oh, wait…

IMGAY = new debut I'M-er. Still eagerly awaitin debut of: IMYOU.

Now to digress…

** Giant Runt Contest **

@r.alphbunker, long-time commenter here and real nice guy, is sponsoring a wonderful, special
crossword contest.
You can win a cash prize that could purchase you a 2015 ACPT registration (for all events), or a
one-month supply of cinnamon rolls (if properly rationed). Go to runtpuz.org, for all the details.

Tips from M&A:
* Nice, easy runtpuz to get started with: puzzle #60 on the contest list. (Titled "Number 104")
* A recommended fave runtpuz: puzzle #64 on the contest list. (Titled "Musing on Magic")
* Should you ever see a runtpuz clue ending in a double-??, it means: "trouble brewing".

Good luck, y'all!

M&A

Anonymous 1:46 AM  

I am amazed at Rex's (slightly under the influence) time of 2:30. If I knew the answers in advance, I am not sure I would type that fast.

Still a REAL easy solve -dave

jae 2:10 AM  

Yep, very easy.   Cute theme, low on dreck, liked it.  Or what @Steve J said.

Thomas808 4:04 AM  

Seems like an Oscar theme to me with the ROTTENTOMATOES and SOURGRAPES, etc theme answers. Didn't watch, but just sayin...

pfb 5:19 AM  

Fast solve; nowhere near Rex's time, but I was sober.

Loren Muse Smith 5:38 AM  

I don't know, Rex. I've bungled many a pill-taking session. No idea why – just sometimes I overthink it and end up not really swallowing well, and, boy, some of those pills really do leave a bitter taste. So no problem there for me.

I, too, loved the OH YOU. You silly goose.

I thought the clue for SEGUE was a bit off. "Anyhoo" or "As I was saying" are words I pray for when someone is telling me about a funny incident but gets sidetracked on their (hi, @Steve J) thyroid medication. So those words aren't so much a SEGUE - more like a "revenons à nos moutons."

I was playing around and trying to fill in some downs without looking at the clues. So 3D was "anger a cat" for a while.

Misspelled DEITY and had "diety," as in, "I find rice cakes and celery stalks a bit too diety for my liking. Pass the pork rinds."

I liked the puzzle and thought it was just fine for a Monday. Oddly, the highlight for me was the clue for CRAB. I kept revisiting it and wondering if Shakespeare ever used *that* one in an insult:

"You scullion! You rampallian! You sidling sea creature!"

Actually, if you squint your eyes and are procrastinating because you don't want to empty the dishwasher and do laundry, you start to see all kinds of Shakespearean insults:

"You scullion! You rampallian! You sidling sea creature! I’ll tickle your CLAW!"

"Thou art a LOUT in the world's regard, wretched and low, a LOST unminded REAR-BORN SOT sneaking home to your ITSY AUTO CRIB."

"Thou art as fat as butter; get thy REAR to a GYM ; Thou art unfit for any place but WYOMING."

Joel – always a pleasure.

Lewis 5:52 AM  

Second week in a row where the Monpuz is embarrassingly easy, as used to be the rule, but since the beginning of the year until mid February, the puzzles were still easier than Tuesday, but not an insult to the intelligence. Maybe Will got bad feedback on the tick higher of difficulty, but I vote to bring it back.

I knew Rex was going to complain about BITTERPILL being an outlier, and like Steve J, I say no, that's too narrow and literal an interpretation. In this case, Rex, I don't believe you are setting a high bar; I believe you are setting unnecessary restraints. This is a cute, warm smile producing theme that works just fine. I did like the brief discussion about 14s. Regarding the "semi-redundancy" of ARTMUSEUM, no again. There are, of course, many types of museums.

The grid is clean and I like YAY crossing IMGAY. Just hoping for a bit more bite on the Monday cluing.

Lewis 5:54 AM  

Factoid: Thailand has had 12 JUNTAs since 1933, including the current one.

Quotoid: “You can't be a real country unless you have a BEER and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” -- Frank Zappa

Aketi 7:34 AM  

THe recent puzzles are giving me a false sense of security. I've enjoyed the lack of need to google, but miss two coffee puzzles.

The most BITTERPILLs I've ever had to swallow were chloroquine, which we used to swish down with BEER to hide the aftertaste. Have to agree with Zappa about the definition of a country.

Z 7:44 AM  

What @Steve J said.

@Lewis - I presume it was the Whiskey Sour talking. If he had had a Green Man IPA Rex would have liked this much more. Also, Best Quote Ever.

@LMS - We dub thee "The HOLY Bardella." Feel free to come by with more insults.

My favorite cross? YENTA SANTA as performed by Gilda Radner (or maybe Mike Myers).

GILL I. 7:44 AM  

Oh, I don't know...this had a bit of a booozy theme to it.
I guess you could start with a GLASS of PORT then move on to BITTER BEER and if that leaves a BAD TASTE, try a whiskey SOUR you SOTS.
Fine, smooth as a Knob Creek puzzle. Just what the doctor ordered....

Sir Hillary 7:58 AM  

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Who needs whiskey to hasten sleep when you have this snoozer of a theme? Of course, you don't need either one during the Oscar telecast.

NCA President 8:05 AM  

Back in the old days of taking aspirin, they would dissolve quickly in your mouth leaving a very bitter taste if you didn't drink 'em down fast enough. For that reason, I always associated "That's a bitter pill to swallow" with taking aspirin and knew exactly what it meant.

I think the revealer was a double entendre of literal and figurative "bad tastes in the mouth." ROTTENTOMATOES, SOURGRAPES, and BITTERPILLs would all taste bad plus they are phrases that collectively and figuratively mean "Leave a bad taste in your mouth."

I thought the puzzle held together well. Maybe under the influence of a few glasses of bourbon (which also can leave a bad taste in your mouth if you get a bad bourbon) things appear differently.

At least two winners last night pointed out that winning an Oscar was an unfortunate side affect of an awards ceremony...when in fact, by virtue of the work done by all nominees, everyone is a "winner" in that artistic endeavors really can't really be compared and by definition someone has to "lose." So while those statements were indeed made by winners, hopefully the "losers" will take the consolation to heart and not be all sour grapes about it...maybe sweet lemons?

jberg 8:11 AM  

My big problem - and it wasn't all that big - was putting in HAjJI, a perfectly legitimate spelling, and puzzling over 60A. Crosses fixed it quickly enough.

As for that PILL, you have to taste it before it can be BITTER. It's not a food, and the other two are, but the field of bad food metaphors relies so heavily on ROTTEN (egg, apple) that a little detour is OK with me.

Just wasted five minutes trying to find an episode of "Cul-de-Sac" with the UH-OH baby in it, but I can't figure it out, so no link.

Hartley70 8:19 AM  

I think this Monday could be considered a "How fast can you type?" challenge. The answer...not "very" on an iphone, but still fast enough.

I don't have a quarrel with the theme, although I didn't noticed it til the end because I was solving using downs. What I am appalled at is MEGHAN fox as Rex's "Word of the Day". Come on Rex, pick something more interesting, like ITSY or UHOH, won't you?

Roo Monster 8:24 AM  

Hey All !
Easy puz day, good for the ego! I see this puz is by Joel Faliano. Surprising, as he is Will's assistant. I've been told WS gets around 100 or so puz submissions a week, so it seems like another constructor should get the slot. IMO.

Wanted either ekg or eeg for MRI.

LMS always brightens my day. And M&A, what are you and r.alph cooking up?

HOLY HARI
RooMonster
DarrinV

NCA President 8:42 AM  

I could be wrong, but I think the fastest way to do puzzles is with pencil/pen and paper...there is no struggling with the technology as you would on a computer.

Any speed solvers out there (including Rex)...do you prefer pencil/paper or computer? And is one method inherently faster than the other?

AliasZ 8:53 AM  


This Joel Fagliano essay on bad taste left a good taste in my mouth. If a bad-tasting subject matter can be executed in such good taste, I am more than pleased. It is akin to visiting an ART MUSEUM, or petting the ANGORA CAT on your lap while trying to TYPE the word for "love" in a ROMANCE language. Monday puzzles are supposed to be Monday-easy, so I was fine with that too.

What stands out for me is the low word count and the lack of junk fill. Instead, we get a sunny ATRIUM, some fancy CURIO, a DEITY, the muse ERATO, and Mr. ROPER too.

The viola d'AMORE utilizes sympathetic strings that resonate along the bowed ones to enrich and sweeten its tone. It is notated in the ALTO clef. English writer and diarist John Evelyn (1620-1706) wrote this in 1679: "...for its swetenesse & novelty the Viol d'AMORE of 5 wyre-strings, plaid on with a bow, being but an ordinary violin, play'd on Lyra way by a German, than which I never heard a sweeter Instrument or more surprizing..." Here is an example of what he was talking about: Partita VII for 2 viole d'AMORE from "Harmonia Artificiosa - Ariosa" (1696) by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern (known as Heinrich Biber) (1644-1704).

Have a sweet Monday.

Ludyjynn 9:08 AM  

Won't bore you w/ details why, but I had to take liquid potassium last Thursday. The nurse gave me a heads up that it would LEAVEABADTASTE. Instructed me to hold my nose and chug it! No BEER was on hand, so I downed a GLASS of cranberry juice immediately afterward. Sweet relief.

Interesting article on Page One of the Arts Section about the Rothschild family's donation of a treasure trove of its belongings to an ARTMUSEUM, specifically, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (I did not find the answer redundant, Rex).

Only nit for me was LOUT. Don't feel it defines a lummox necessarily. A LEERer on the other hand, maybe.

My Sunday NYT was finally delivered and IMunSURE how I feel about the new Mag. format. Relieved to see the puzz. was left intact.

Thanks, JF and WS for an easing me INTO the week.





chefbea 9:19 AM  

I agree..very easy. I was expecting a food puzzle after getting tomatoes and grapes...maybe a recipe for a salad??? Oh well.

Whirred Whacks 9:22 AM  

@Roo Monster "I've been told WS gets around 100 or so puz submissions a week."

This raises a question I've had for a while (I've been solving the NYT puzzle since the early 70s, but I consider my on the periphery of the xword scene).

What motivates the constructors to create the puzzles?

I can see the recognition angle for many of them, but I've read that the NYT pays only $300 for daily puzzles (and $1,000 for Sunday). That seems like next-to-nothing for the recent gems I just did from David Steinberg, David Woolf, Peterson/Wilber, and Patrick Berry. It seems to me that they'd receive significantly greater compensation for comparable creativity/craftsmanship/cleverness in most other endeavors.

One can argue the "labor of love" position, but the NYT crossword is a business with many, many paying customers. It seems like the content is worth a lot more.

Any ideas?

relicofthe60s 9:29 AM  

Why is art museum semi-redundant? There are other kinds of museums, e.g., science museums, natural history museums, history museums, etc. a bit of snobbery there?

Doug Garr 9:39 AM  

I'm not sure there is such a thing as "semi-redundancy," re to Rex's comment on ARTMUSEUM. Isn't something either redundant or not? Like the word unique, which continues to be modified ad infinitum. I know this is a "minor quibble" (either a cliche, or redundant, not sure). Yeah, quibble is already minor, no?

Roo Monster 9:41 AM  

Hey @Whirred!
Those payments are the highest for newspaper puzs. Personally, I would like to see one of mine get in just because I think it'd be cool! Of course, recognition would nice, too, boost the ego!

RooMonster

Rita Bates 9:44 AM  

This 80 year old Italian female usually gets Mondays . Grazie Molto Countryman Fagliano. Riorita

Leapfinger 9:54 AM  

I s'pose there's only one way to know a PILL is BITTER... May I call the theme Umame?

Thought this a suitably entertaining Monday in the wake of Sunday's twister, though it was an ITSY bITSY bummer to find PARENTING in the fill. Sorry, that's a personal grumble.

In the Words-Are-CURIOus Dept., wondered whether CURIO is the masc. for the fem. CURIa and the neut. CURIe?
Also, would Libya and Egypt (currently), as well as Argentina and Chile (formerly), be of interest to JUNTA gatherers?

So some might say I'm ROTTEN TO MA' TOES, but I'M SURE I wouldn't GO SO LO as to say "OH, YOU PUTTS!" early on a Monday morning. In the words of A TRIUMvirate we all know: "See no Evil, Hear no Evil, ACCT NO Evil". Just thought I'd MEN SHUN that.
p.s.: It's also rude to ETON TROT.

Mustn't forget a Hi to @GeorgeB. I heard you weren't BORN yesterday, either! Buon compleanno, Professore!

In the words of an infamous blogger: As you were.

Don McBrien 10:03 AM  

No too much to say about this one. Nice easy Monday solve. Makes up for the last 3 consecutive DNF's.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:15 AM  

All in all, puzzle wasn't hard to swallow.

Arlene 10:18 AM  

I also noticed the slightly easier Monday, and find that welcome.
As for ART MUSEUM - there are science, natural history, air and space, children's, historical - as well as specific collections, such as dolls, music boxes, moving image, spies, etc.
One of my favorites is the National Museum of Play - in Rochester, NY.
http://www.museumofplay.org

So ART is not at all redundant in this clue.

Leapfinger 10:25 AM  

@WWhacks, I think it's a cognitive dissonance thing. If the NYT started paying at higher rates, constructors might start doing it for the money rather than out of love. Not sure that 'what constructors do' can be bought. Or adequately paid for. It's really a token. And why would the NYT pay more than it has to?

@Z, I was thinking of the reverse SANTA YENTA, along the lines of Eartha Kitt...

Joseph Michael 10:27 AM  

There may be something ROTTEN in Denmark but not in this puzzle. Solid theme and good fill. Liked YENTA SANTA and YAY I'M GAY.

Clue for 53A might have been: "Stand in front of a billion people in your jockey shorts while hosting the Oscars."

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Yep, there's barb-wire MUSEUM somewhere in Texas. Or as they call it, bob-wire.

old timer 11:06 AM  

A puzzle with no crosswordese is a thing of beauty. Maybe not a joy forever, because Monday puzzles are too easy to be memorable. But I liked this one.

I actually posted a slower time than I probably will tomorrow. What I usually do with an easy puzzle is fill in all the Acrosses and just made sure that the Downs seem to be real words. What I should have done today is to fill in all the Downs first, because those 14ers did not instantly come to mind.

Rex had to work to find things to criticize, and as usual, the criticisms were WRONG. There are plenty of museums that do not feature art. And as noted, some pills definitely leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

AnonAndOn 11:07 AM  

One side-track: the clue [Exploding star] had me go with [Exploding car], but that would have been PINTO instead of NOVA.

Questinia 11:16 AM  

Natto Dauphinois.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Excuse my naivete, but I am still trying to figure what Rex reference to "14s" means.

Whirred Whacks 11:20 AM  

@LeapFinger 10:25

What you say makes sense. Also, the NYT crossword platform/distribution system is the "Tiffany" in the Xword world. It just seems like the content creators are getting the short end of the stick.

For example, my "Creative Whack Pack" app is available on the Apple App Store. For every unit sold, Apple takes 30% of the proceeds; I, the content creator, receive 70%. The same is true if you rent "Birdman" or purchase music from iTunes: the producer gets 70% and Apple gets 30%.

Seems to me there's little in the NYT Xword business model without the content itself.

FWIW: when I've created books, software, and apps, I've paid near top dollar for illustrators, designers, and programmers, and also (for many) granted royalties to the same people if the products were successful. Based on what I've read, I'm not sure this happens to NYT constructors.

Ellen S 11:22 AM  

Maybe @Rex should avoid drinking and blogging. Just a thought. At least he's not hurting anyone.

What everyone said about ART MUSEUM redundancy; here in Sacramento we have the California Automobile Museum, California Railroad Museum, and something that started as a museum of Women's History but now it's the California Museum. There's also a Children's Museum; I haven't been in, assume it's not a taxidermy display... (sorry; and I haven't been drinking.)

I've been doing a book of Tough NYT Puzzles, mostly from the 90s. There is something more intellectually satisfying about them than recently, although I certainly run into plenty of recent Saturdays that I can't do even with cheating. But today's was fine for a Monday, IMO. I've tasted plenty of BITTER PILLs (happens when you split them and lose the coating) and the line between "eating" and "taking" [a pill] is too fine to worry about. Is chewing required? Do dogs, then, "take" their food?

Thank you, Mr. F; nice way to start the week.

Z 11:24 AM  

@anon11:17 - 14 letter answers. "15's" span the whole grid.

Loren Muse Smith 11:24 AM  

@Questinia – Hah! I'll see your first course and raise you a second course – Biloxi Chitterlings Tartare.

And now a word from our sponsor, Scope mouthwash. . .

Numinous 11:33 AM  

Two Faglianos today if you're using the iPad app. Using my completion times as the benchmark,Joel's "runt" was harder than his Monpuz since at my rate of solving, the mini would have taken me around twice as long to solve had it been 72 words instead of ten. Since it came up, I have to wonder if Joel gets paid for his minis or if they are merely part of his job.

@NCA President, I well remember aspirins disolving on my tongue. Yuck! None of the tricks my mother attempted could disguise that taste. And, @LMS, MucinexD, if put on the tongue with the smooth and shiny side up is also an extremely BITTER PILL and requires less than a second to be noticed!

SEGUE to SEGUE which is a very popular word in the American entertainment industry (a term I never heard used in England or Australia). In film, a cross-fade, a dissolve, an iris and a wipe are among the effects known as segues which are used as transitions from one scene to another. Ergo,as per @LMS returning to her sheep, the clue would have to be referring to a second SEGUE after the transition to a discussion of thyroid medicine. Not a particularly good clue though I suppose it is marginally acceptable.

How LOUTish of @REX, to GO SO LO as to TWIT this theme on such a literal basis. No sense of humorousness here at all, it seems more like a really l o o o o o n g stretch just to find something to CRAB about. I hope y'all'll note that I almost never TWIT OFL, Capt. 63.

I enjoyed this effort mostly because it didn't rely on three letter ESE for glue (quite a rarity), I got a bit of a smile at the revealer. To protect any homophobes that may or may not be among us, I won't, paraleptically, point out that INTO, I'M GAY, REAR, and YAY are all in the same puzzle. (Rolling On the Floor, Laughing And Choking.)

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

@Anon11:17 the 14s are the 14 letter words LEAVEABADTASTE and ROTTENTOMATOES.

mac 12:00 PM  

Easy Monday - nice long answers. Joel is a pro.
Liked Oh, you!

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

Hey, it's a day of the week so rex must be acting like a dick. His ARTMUSEUM redundancy comment is possibly the stupidest thing he's ever written. And, boy, is there a lot of competition for that distinction!

mathguy 12:38 PM  

I consider doing the Monday puzzle the admission price for reading the coments here. Today's good stuff was well worth it.

@Loren Muse Smith: Loved your sentence using the word "diety."

Only two three-letter entries. Impressive, especially for a Monday.

@Whirred Whacks: I've often had the same thought that you expressed. The hourly pay for constructors seems to be less than minimum wage. I take that to be the reason that commenters often thank the constructor.

I go to a lot of movies and I usually love the Oscar telecast. But not last night.

M and Also 1:36 PM  

@63: Good discussion topic: Things U swallow, without ever chewin on, ergo U don't exactly eat it. Top candidates:
* Scams involvin African princes.
* Saliva (George Carlin: "Toxic, but only if swallowed in small amounts, over a very long period of time").
* Off-brand tablets, and other pdas.
* Political ads by yer fave party.
* Raw oysters. (Not m&e, boy!)
* Spellcastings.
* Tequila worm. (I draw the line, if it's movin.)
* Pangrams. (@63 prefers to chew on em, tho)

fave moo-cow MonPuz E-Z clue (tm): "The M in Y.M.C.A." Primo way to weedle in a plural of inconvenience. Let's just put ol MENS on that there list, above.

Lastly, let's hear it for weeject wespect, today:
*One lil jewel, right at the start.
* One right at the bottom.
* One dead-central, in the middle.
* YAY

M&A

** gruntz (they'll even pay U, to do it) **
@Joel: Primo job. U should follow-up with another puz, with a HAVINGGOODTASTE revealer.

Tita 3:04 PM  


@SteveJ - that blurry line - I had a check-out clerk at the supermarket helpfully ask me if I wanted to put back the cheese and select a different one - this one had gone bad... (It was a particularly ripe Maytag Blue.)

As cheeses go, the farther over the line the smellier/better...

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

Very easy solve for me. Broke the 10 minute barrier for a Monday - Tuesday by maybe 30 second. Average times for me for these days is 12-13 minutes.
Enjoyable solve.
After solving the puzzle I printed another puzzle and filled the answers as fast as I could from my completed solution. My time? 3:27.
How Rex and the other speed solvers can solve this puzzle in 2:30 or even less is beyond me. My brain must have a slower microchip.

Tita 4:33 PM  

@Whirred...not only is the pay low, but the puzzles that are used again in NYT calendars, books, what-have-you, do not benefit the constructors.

(btw - it is only in the last year or so that they got a pay raise - from $200.)

Secondary tangent bouncing off the Barbed Wire MUSEUM tangent...
VOBW (Voice Over Barbed Wire) is how telephone service was brought to some very rural places...

Using the already-strung and ubiquitous wire as the transmission method...pretty interesting story in Inc about how this grass-roots method dramatically increased adoption of the new-fangled technology via a market that "Big Telecom" deemed unprofitable.

Speaking of constructors, forget to thank Mr. Fagliano for this Monday morsel!

chefbea 4:40 PM  

Did the puzzle in our Wilmington newspaper as I do every day. It's very small and very easy. One of the answers today was MUSEUM...Didn't say what kind!!!

Clark 4:46 PM  

The theme seemed fine to me. I guess I think of eating as consuming something more solid than a liquid. But there would seem to be a broader and a narrower sense of the word.

If my dog was about to eat a pill that dropped on the floor I would reflexively shout "Roxie, don't eat that!" by which I would not mean "Roxie, don't chew and swallow that, but it's ok if you just swallow it."

Anonymous 5:14 PM  

Could speed solvers be using auto-fill to enter previously used words? If so, wouldn't that be cheating?

Teedmn 5:58 PM  

Nice, clean Monday puzzle; thanks Joel Fagliano!

@lewis pretty much said everything for me :-).

Regarding constructors and what they're paid: I've spent a lot of the last few weeks toiling on the PB2 meta that Rex recommended some weeks ago and it is so involved that I found myself wondering how many people would have to purchase it to pay for the effort PB2 put into the whole thing. I hope there were a few million solvers but unlikely. And I won't be winning the prize - I'm just waiting for the upcoming reveal! But it was great fun.

Steve J 11:15 PM  

@Tita: Here's the best case I know of to illustrate the blurry line between rotten and fermented: Hákarl.

Whenever it is I make it to Iceland, I don't know if I'm going to have the cojones to give that a try. I like to think of myself being a pretty adventurous eater, but man. That sounds difficult. (Although, give me the choice between that and balut, and I'll be wolfing down as much fermented rotten shark as I can get my hands on.)

Carola 11:39 PM  

I thought this was a fine Monday puzzle: easy but not boring, cute theme, nice post-Oscar tie-in.

Elephant's Child 4:53 AM  

Notto diacritical sole, but there's always lutefisk.

'Chitterlings' must be what the deeper South calls 'chitlins', bien sur.

mellisa lopez 2:58 PM  


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spacecraft 11:40 AM  

Gosh, guys, I know Mondays have to have softball clues, but do we really need "(W.W. 1 spy)" after "Mata____?" I found myself taking turns, doing just the downs in one square, then only the acrosses in the next. Too easy.

The highlight of my puzzle experience today was @lms's Shakespearean takeoffs. OH YOU, Loren!

I guess STATE DEBT is a thing--in our state it REALLY is--but as a phrase, it's like a lot of the "phrases" or "things" that the Wheel of Fortune game show comes up with for the final puzzle. Just...not in the language, per se. If you're the winner on one of those days, fuhgeddaboudit, you are not going to solve it.

And the final "revealer--" the last across--left a...well, you know. C.

DMG 1:15 PM  

Spooked by last Saturday's effort, I looked about for something more "hidden" than the seemingly obvious GLASS at the start of this Monday romp! Then confirmed it with GYM and went on to enjoy a friendly solve. A good way to,start the week! Now, if I can just build on this.....

Burma Shave 1:40 PM  

MENS ALIBI

A BITTERPILL goes down better with BEER,
SOURGRAPES with a GLASS of wine.
Too many of either and I’ll LEER at the REAR
of MEGAN. OHYOU know she’s fine.

--- CHAD ROPER

rondo 1:46 PM  

As @Spacey once said – “Mondayne”. Easy clues, easy to fill.
Did like the 14s and near absence of3s.
Megan Fox, yeah baby.
So there was good with the plain. OK for Monday.

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