Pitch-selecting gesture / TUE 5-12-15 / House smaller than villa / eyes potion ingredient at Hogwarts / City NW of Munchen / Dancer in club down in old Soho

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Constructor: Paul Hunsberger

Relative difficulty: Medium (Normal Tuesday)

THEME: ELASTIC BAND (56A: Office item suggested visually by this puzzle) — circled letters B, A, N, D get farther apart in each subsequent theme answer, until the final theme answer, where the circles (though not the letters B, A, N, D) SNAP back into place…

Theme answers:
  • URBAN DESIGN (18A: Layout of city streets, parks, etc.)
  • HAREBRAINED IDEA (23A: It's so crazy it just might work)
  • BROADMINDED (37A: Tolerant)
  • WHIPPERSNAPPERS (48A: Presumptuous sorts)

Word of the Day: ASHLEY (65A: ___ Wilkes, obsession of Scarlett O'Hara) —
George Ashley Wilkes is a fictional character in Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the later film of the same name. The character also appears in the 1991 book Scarlett, a sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, and in Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig. […] In a sense, he is the character best personifying the tragedy of the Southern upper class after the Civil War. Coming from a privileged background, Ashley is an honorable and educated man. He is in clear contrast to Rhett Butler, who is decisive and full of life but is vulgar and distasteful as well. Rhett is both ruthless and practical, and is willing to do whatever he must to survive. In contrast, Ashley is often impractical (even Melanie admits this on her deathbed), and would resist doing many things Rhett would do because they aren't "proper" or "gentlemanly". Ashley fights in the Civil War, but he does it out of love for his homeland and not a hatred of the Yankees, who he actually hopes will just leave the South in peace. As a soldier he shows enough leadership to be promoted to the rank of Major, and survives being imprisoned at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois (a notorious prisoner-of-war camp) for several months. He eventually returns home, still able-bodied. Ashley could have lived a peaceful and respectable life had the War never taken place. The War that changed the South forever has turned his world upside down, with everything he had believed in 'gone with the wind', a phrase composed by the poet Ernest Dowson. (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm not entirely certain what this puzzle is supposed to represent. That is, I don't know what act is being performed on the ELASTIC BAND (which most of humanity—by a 13-to-1 margin, acc. to Herr Google—calls RUBBER BAND, but we'll worry about that later*). Is it around something, like, I don't know … what do you put rubber bands around in an office anymore? … and then you idly pull it back and snap it, so that it resumes its original position/shape? Are you snapping it so that it flies across the room? Are you pulling it so far that band eventually SNAPs apart? Since the BAND has become the word SNAP at the end, and since circled-letter positionality is never clear/consistent in the grid, I don't know. It's true that, visually, the word BAND is elasticized over the course of three theme answers—I don't know how hard it is to do that, but I can't imagine it's that hard. Spacing increases in the word BAND are consistent (i.e. the letters B, A, N, D are symmetrical in relation to one another throughout), but the BANDs (+ SNAP) are wonky in relation to each other. This seems like a cute idea that got a wobbly, makeshift, "Good enough!" execution, i.e this seems like a quintessential Tuesday. Poor Tuesday.

Puzzle felt very easy, but my time was totally normal. Why? I think the main issue was ASL / ASHLEY, the latter because I'm not that familiar with all the characters of "Gone With the Wind," and the former because I haven't seen a person signing in the corner of my TV screen since, I want to say, the '70s (59D: What might be seen in the corner of a TV screen: Abbr.). Maybe close-captioning obviated the need for this? I don't know. All I know is I got ASL entirely from crosses and didn't know what it was, so far was my mind from sign language. The other slow-down was REEARN … for obvious reasons (I hope). Fill today is below average, but not terrible. Mostly just stale. ANGIO is a weak standalone. My dad was a radiologist, and I heard the word "angiogram" a lot growing up. The ANGIO referred to here is (I'm guessing) and angioplasty, but I was not aware that, like AMNIO, it could stand alone. ITA crossing CASITA is bad, no matter how you clue ITA. Not much else to say.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*"How the $@&! is "elastic band" an office item?! Does he mean "rubber band"? Because elastic bands are in underwear, not desks." — unsolicited, valid indignation from one of my Twitter followers last night

[Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]


jae 12:04 AM  

Medium- tough for me.  When Jeff Chen explained that ELASTIC BANDs are Canadian rubber BANDs my main problem with the theme went away.

So, clever visual theme, a couple of lively theme entries, liked it.

Anonymous 12:17 AM  

@jae - Perhaps that's why it snapped so quickly. It's well know that Canadian stuff is only 65% as good as American stuff.

Kris in ABCA 12:20 AM  

Canadians just call them "elastics" - no "band" at all. With the shout out to Calgary at 29A, I wanted to enter that "winter hours in Calgary" are blessedly OVER but it wouldn't fit.

Anonymous 12:48 AM  

As a counterpoint, since Rex almost never focuses on the positive, the clue for "Lop" (Big prune?) was definitely worth the price of admission!

Anonymous 1:44 AM  

As a Canadian expat who mostly passes, saying "elastic" for "rubber band" is a holdover, probably because I don't refer to the item often. Anyway, it's one of the few remaining things that will get my husband to say, "your toque Is showing," with a very irritating amount of amusement. "Cutlery" is another (there is no silver so it's not silverware, dang it).

chefwen 1:46 AM  

Well, I thought it was darn cute. Loved how he got my two kitties in the puzzle. PADDY and his reincarnated RICE. Made my day!

For some reason ELASTIC/rubber bands do not stand up at all in this climate, have no idea why, they just seem to disintegrate. I've had a couple of rubber soled shoes fall apart also. Any insight into this @thomasa808?

Thomaso808 3:21 AM  

DNF because I had ALLeN crossing ASSeI (a WOE for me) and just could not find my error. ALLAN never occurred to me. I had to google Allegro Assei and be corrected by the machine to find out Poe's real middle name. Oh, well.

I enjoyed seeing the theme develop as the BAND stretched working down from top to bottom. The theme words were good, especially HAREBRAINEDIDEA and WHIPPERSNAPPER. But Like Rex, I was a little bothered by the lack of symmetry with the circles. The first BAND could not be centered, being a four letter group in a 15 letter line. The second BAND is nicely centered. So is the third, but only by using a minor "cheat" of adding a three-letter group in the middle. SNAP is totally off. Aesthetically, meh.

The clues felt pretty good throughout. Pretty clever clues for the two 3- letter words NOD and LOP, and I liked the clue for TENANT. Looking back, I am surprised to see there was only one "?" clue.

All in all, a good Tuesday challenge.

@chefwen - I agree even in an office environment the ELASTICBANDS are short-lived here. But so are ceiling fans, light fixtures, computer chips, car batteries, and almost everything else. Lucky we live Hawaii! I just blame it on the vog.

r.alphbunker 3:33 AM  

I loved the theme. I had noticed the circled BANDs and when I saw the circled SNAP I wondered what was going on. It was a thumb snapping aha when I got it.

I used to smoke in the 60s and worked with somebody who would snap elastic bands at cigarettes in ash trays to put them out. Thanks Dave.

chefwen 3:35 AM  

I hear you Thomaso808, it's not fun when your T.V. Goes PING, I'm done. If it's not the climate it's the geckos getting into the wiring. New kitty is turning out to be a master gecko killer which does not please me, but my comments fall on deaf ears.

jae 4:04 AM  

@Thomaso808 - Oops - I made the same error. So DNF for me too.  I always  do the puzzle on paper and check my grid against Xwordinfo or Amy's blog.  Apparently I skimmed the Xwordinfo grid a tad to quickly (early week puzzles are easy syndrome?).  ASSAI was obviously a WOE but ALLeN seemed fine..."Oh well"  is putting it mildly...

Hartley70 4:10 AM  

Cute enough idea for a Tuesday. I always give a point for visual interest. I liked seeing USURPS because it's not a frequent entry. I too stumbled for a moment on the A/E of ALLAN. I agree with @Anonymous that LOP was the best answer. Not much more to say other than it was a speedy finish at 4am when I don't expect much from my faculties.

GILL I. 4:54 AM  

An ELASTIC BAND is what your Orthodontist will tell you to wear over your BRACES.
I wanted those "Three's Company" folks to be TExANs. The clue for GAY is so gay...and I don't know why a big bugler is ELK.
BUT....I really liked this puzzle! It took me longer than usual for a Tuesday but I like that. ASSAI, WHIPPER SNAPPERS is just fun to say.
Clever one, Paul Hunsberger. RAH LOO!

Danp 5:06 AM  

Thumbs up for a unique theme. I'm picturing a harebrained whippersnapper in this particular office, though.

Susierah 6:19 AM  

Me, too, with a dnf because of Allen. Could not figure out where my error was!

Anonymous 6:26 AM  

The noise male elk make during rutting season is called bugling, and elk certainly are big.

- Jim C. In Maine

Rex Porker 7:11 AM  

Blah blah blah...It's a Tuedsay...blah blah blah...the theme was easy...blah blah blah...I'll pretend I don't know what the theme is even though it's clear that I do...blah blah blah...I'm xenophobic, so if a Britishism or a Canadianism is used I act like it's wrong...blah blah blah...below average fill...blah blah blah...I can't find even one single positive thing to say about this puzzle...blah blah blah

Loren Muse Smith 7:11 AM  

Count me in among of the guys who dnf’d with “Allen/assei. Dear me.

@Gil – great catch on the BRACES/ELASTIC BAND cross.

Yeah – I have two kinds of ELASTIC BANDS: those that are sewn into the waist of my after-the-holidays-go-to pants and those that I work out with at the gym so I can put aforementioned pants away until the next holiday. But I liked this conceit nonetheless; I liked seeing BAND get stretched.

Is Paul Canadian? You would have needed a 10 up top if the reveal had been RUBBER BAND. GRAB AND RUN, maybe? As in Let me grab this green paint can and run.

I’ll admit right here that I think I would have spelled it “hair” brained. Sheesh. Are HARES famous for pushing the envelope with wild yet feasible ideas? Who knew.

“Bud” for BRO messed me up in the middle for a bit. And “a-roni,” “pilaf” had to be sorted out.

PADDY is a great word, and I have to share again one of my favorite jokes – the one about the guy who was arrested for beating someone over the head with a small ceramic figurine while they were in a rice field. The offense? Knick-knack PADDY whack.

How can you not enjoy a grid with WHIPPERSNAPPERS and HAREBRAINED IDEA?

Michael S. 7:20 AM  

LMS asks, rhetorically, "How can you not enjoy a grid with WHIPPERSNAPPERS and HAREBRAINED IDEA?"

Answer: You can be Rex Parker.

RAD2626 7:26 AM  

Thought cluing was very clever and challenging * for a Tuesday*. Seemed late week. Nothing Medium at all about it including some of already mentioned words: LOP, ÉCLAT, USURPS, URDU, ASSAI. Had Bud for BRO like @LMS. Changed ALLeN because luckily knew ASSAI.

Bottom line thought it was fun theme and fun solve.

Lewis 7:35 AM  

When I think of SNAP, regarding a rubber band, it either means you're shooting it, or it breaks. Either interpretation would apply to this puzzle, so we get two for the price of one. I dutifully filled in BAND in the WHIPPERSNAPPER circles, so SNAP was a surprise that made me smile.

I've heard the term ELASTICBAND often enough not to have blinked at that. In addition to WHIPPERSNAPPERS and HAREBRAINEDIDEA, I liked the answers LANDHO, SWINDLED, and USURPS, plus the clues to LANDHO and LOP. A fun puzzle, with just the right bite for Tuesday.

This is starting out as a big double-letter week, with 14 yesterday and 15 today. We haven't had a puzzle with fewer than five in a long time. Still waiting for that first non-theme-related zero ever in the NYT...

Aketi 7:42 AM  

I still have not thrown out my son's giant ball of ELASTIC BANDS even though the elastic is deteriorating. Charlie the cat loves it when we SNAP ELASTIC BANDS across the room so he can chase them. Delightful reveal, got stick on GERALD instead of GERARD.

Gareth Bain 7:48 AM  

We follow Canadian convention (elastics / elastic bands) here it seems, so no confusion for me.

joho 7:55 AM  

Playful concept with really fun theme answers my favorite being HAREBRAINEDIDEA.

My only ? was REEARN.

I wonder, am I the only one who thought that the snapped back B A N D should be BAND?

DShawMaine 7:56 AM  

I'm with those who say ELASTICBANDS, and live in Maine (a lot of Canadian influence I s'pose). Thought the theme was clever, especially the SNAP after the stretches..... Like others, I dnf'ed only b/c of the ALLeN/ASSeI cross....
Great Tuesday puzzle, IMHO.

Lewis 7:56 AM  

Factoid: An electric EEL is not an eel, but rather a fish, specifically a knifefish.

Quotoid: "Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them." -- Edgar ALLAN Poe

dk 8:06 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

Loved the mini potty theme with LOO, bran and prunes.

Nice Tuesday. Just used an elastic as i rewraped the bacon. A lot of uses for rubberbands in the kitchen.

Agree that LOP is the clue of the day. And, i am so glad i spent 3 years in French 1.

Oh! Gotta go.

Jeff 8:14 AM  

What did this look like in print? My app said there were things it couldn't recreate.

jberg 8:16 AM  

Growing up in Wisconsin, our BANDs were rubber; here in Boston, they are generally ELASTICs, but you hear ELASTIC BAND as well. I'm the only one around here who says cutlery, though.

@Loren, I think HAREs run around crazily in meadows, especially in March -- when they are not drinking tea, that is.

WHIPPER SNAPPER is supposed to represent what the band does to you when it breaks, right?

By the way, let's not hear any more snide remarks about my granddaughter (and her great-grandmother), the beautiful and talented ITA.

AliasZ 8:16 AM  

It is lovely to see wordplay visually represented in a puzzle. Never mind that ELASTIC BANDs are really rubber bands, unless you are talking about the "Plastic Oh, no! Band." In French rubber bands are called "bandes élastiques." Ooh-la-la! Cultured people therefore call them ELASTIC BANDs, while all of us rubes who don't know how to spell Edgar ALLAN Poe can keep calling them rubber bands.

- We have boxes of non-latex rubber bands in our office, which is not unlike silverware that has not one bit of silver in it, or pottery that contains no pot.
- Can a person who has lost her good reputation she had worked so hard to earn, ever REEARN it? I think it is feasible, if she no longer engages in the RESALE of what she had sold in the past.
- I wish I could REEARN the money I earned last year on top of what I am earning this year.
- LANDHO is one who stays away from ships.
- SAGELY, parse, rosemary and thyme -- sounds like a Scarborough fare to me.

I am surprised Paul Hunsberger is not sure which Christmas carol has the word GAY in it. He clued it as "Like the apparel in a certain Christmas carol". Well, duh, it's "Deck the Halls," of course. Especially as performed here by Carmen DRAGON at the Hollywood Bowl. I know, 'tis is not the season to by jolly, but hey, let's be elastic... I mean, flexible.

Rhino 8:18 AM  

I'm reading through Gone with the Wind right now and have been shocked at its racism. And this isn't Huckleberry Finn type problems, this is more like Birth of a Nation. Rhett Butler is praised for killing an uppity (African American - not the word the book uses) in the street for harassing a white woman. The Klu Klux Klan are heroes. African Americans (most often called 'darkies') were mostly happy, well-treated as slaves and it was a huge mistake to free them. It's honestly hard to get through and I'm surprised it is so well loved.

Scarlett is a proto-feminist, so that is an interesting dynamic, but still.

Also, I liked the puzzle.

chefbea 8:21 AM  

Great puzzle!! Took a little longer than most Tuesdays. Figured STAR was going in the stared squares...but then realized the then. Lots of elastic bands are used at the post office...to keep all that mail together. Haven't bought them in years...I save the ones that come with produce...celery, scallions etc.

chefbea 8:23 AM  

Don we now our gay apparel!!

NCA President 8:26 AM  

I'm ambivalent about Canada. On the one hand I would love to live there...I don't know why, I've been there a few times and have had really good experiences and have enjoyed everything aboot it. But damnit, Canada. You just don't seem to have an identity. It's like that Twilight Zone episode (you've seen The The Twilight Zone, right) where you look like everyone until you remove your toque and there's a third eye. Close, but eerily un-close. I do like your donuts, though, and having them for lunch is a really good idea.

Anyhow, I have two kids who have used ELASTICBANDS on their hair. At least I think we called them elastic bands. FWIW, I originally had pLASTICBANDS...and I entertained the possibility that the "bugler" "pLK" was someone's initials. But I don't know a bugler with the initials PLK, so I got suspicious.

I didn't like the CASITA/ITA crossing.

APPEAL seems timely given that Tom Brady will likely appeal his 4-game suspension.

And I'd like to think that Brits (and maybe Canadians) go other places than the LOO. I did just learn that the LOO is often a different room in the house than what we have in 'Murica! Here we have the "bathroom" with a shower/tub AND commode...in the UK, evidently, they are two different rooms because, LOO! (UK also, evidently, very often has two separate taps in their "basins.' How about you, Canada? 0_o

I liked this one well enough.

pmdm 8:42 AM  

Jeff, go to this web page: http://www.nytimes.com/crosswords/index.html

Click on "Print Today's puzzle" icon and the printed version of the grid will display. If you can't go to that page, I'll say that in 48A each SNAP letter is encircled by a star-like figure (instead of a circles) that mean to represent the snapping sound of the "rubber" band.

Gill I has it correct: the term elastic band is used in the US to denote rubber bands put in the mouth for dental reasons. But these are hardly be called office items. Perhaps the clue might have read "Canadian office item suggested ..."

"It's true that, visually, the word BAND is elasticized over the course of three theme answers—I don't know how hard it is to do that, but I can't imagine it's that hard."

The requirement for a Tuesday theme is that it should be fairly easy for solvers to get. Not that it should be difficult for the constructor. For what purpose was that comment made? Some people here are annoyed at The Porker for quite strong criticism of many of the write-ups. Gratuitous grumblings like the one I quoted add fuel to The Porker's fire. I wonder if it's done intentionally?

ArtO 8:43 AM  

@NCA President Brady will appeal but deserves even harsher punishment. It's obvious "deflate" has been going on for quite a while. First Lance now Tom. They are both serial liars who cheated to win.

As for the puzzle, thought it pretty tough for Tuesday and thought the theme clever and original with the bands stretching.

Wm Martin 8:46 AM  

Very droll and witty--I actually laughed out loud.

CFXK 8:52 AM  

In Natick, we actually do call them "elastic bands" or, more commonly, just "elastics."

Raphe 8:52 AM  

Not too hard, just annoying. Elastic band is not often used and lop for prune is a new one on me.

NCA President 8:55 AM  

@John C...are you okay today?

Anonymous 8:58 AM  

Forgot to include this in my comment.

If you stretch a "rubber" band enough, it will break apart, making a type of snapping sound when it breaks. When I worked at OSHA, some of our case files had many attachments. When preparing the case file, we would sometimes use rubber bands to keep all the pages of an attachment together until we assembled everything into the final case file. (Easier to work that way since we didn't want to staple pages of an attachment that was still evolving.) Sometimes it you stretched the band too much, it would indeed break after with the rubber would "snap" back. So the puzzle didn't remind me of shooting bands across the room; it reminded me of what happens when you stretch the band beyond its breaking point.

chefbea 9:07 AM  

just came across this article from the New Yorker


Z 9:20 AM  

I blame Edgar's mother. If she knew how to spell....

I thought the SNAP-shaped polygons in 48A were meant to indicate the somewhat painful breaking of the stretched ELASTIC BAND, adding a nice little visual to the puzzle. Since they never break in the middle, I think of the asymmetrical placement as intentional.

@ArtO and @NCA Presifent - Let me start by saying I've stopped watching football because there is too much wrong with the sport. Nevertheless, I find the whole deflategate hair-wringing (or is it HAREwringing?) thing more than a little excessive. If I were Don Yee I'd be busy preparing my client's 10 figure defamation of character suit against the NFL, not worrying about an appeal to the sanctimonious Goodell.

rubber biscuit 9:22 AM  

This is a crossword puzzle. Sometimes, in the world of crossword puzzles, second, third, or even fourth definitions of words are used. Sometimes, words are used that are obscure. Sometimes, words are used that represent a regional or even foreign dialect. Sometimes, there are words in other languages. Without these verbal gymnastics, crossword puzzles would be very boring indeed.
"ELASTIC BAND" is another (less common but certainly correct) word for "rubber band" or "elastic." It is ridiculous, bordering on insane, to criticize a WORD PUZZLE for not using the most common word for something.

Billy C 9:27 AM  

@ArtO --

"Brady .. Serial liar who cheated to win"

1. Um-m-m, cheated to win? Brady had no reason to cheat, the Patriots were prohibitive favorites. And, in fact, most of their 6-touchdown margin came in the second half after the footballs were checked.

2 . Serial liar? You're suggesting a repeated pattern of lies. Please substantiate this.

3. Standard of Proof. The report said that it was "more likely than not". That Brady was "at least generally aware" that the footballs were under inflated. Geez, he touched these footballs on every play, and this is the most that can be said about his awareness? Also, the refs touch the football on every play, and they were unaware? How much could the footballs be under inflated in this situation?

4. Hey, the Patriots are four-time Super Bowl champs in recent years, and I understand that this breeds envy and hate. Suck it up, Art. ;-)

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Balls is a funny word.

Hartley70 9:29 AM  

@chefbea, that was priceless, especially the punchline! Thanks for the morning laugh!

Sven 9:31 AM  

Since not all elastic bands are made of rubber, it seems a bit of a stretch that one of Rex's millions of Twitter followers got worked up into a $@&! lather of indignation about a phrase that's only trying to avoid being a misnomer. Except Twitter followers get that way sometimes -- just tired of following people all the time, I guess. I get that way. "Elastic band" is very common to my experience. (I'm from Minnesota if that matters). I liked the puzzle, with some droll clues, I thought it had some nice snap to it.

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

Rex is overly critical today. Cute idea. 19 minutes means a harder Tuesday than average for me. The top went fast and I saw the BAND sequence without realizing it was "stretching".

Roo Monster 9:38 AM  

Hey All !
Neat puz. Hands up for being lulled into putting BAND in the last set of circles! Eventually took it out, as crosses didn't like it! Did online today, once finished (after having to hit Check Puz because I didn't get the Congrats music (guess where? Yes, ALLeN/ASSeI)) the SNAP gets a visual of the sound. In orange. Does look like stars around the letters, to visualize the SNAPping sound. Put me in the camp of the ELASTIC breaking as the theme.

High 3 count, 28 of 'em. 18 is usually high-mark, but puzs are flexible, as is Will if he likes a theme. Is it me, or have we had a ton of circle-puzs lately?

LANDHO is cool to see, and like @AliasZ, can be interpreted a different way. In this modern world of social media, TRENDY nice to see instead of trending. a roni for PADDY, like the rest of the world! AMID amid the grid. I see now where the Italians got their "Pizan" that they call each other from. (Yes, preposition ending sentence! (Wonder if GN will berate me?))


Tom Brady 9:44 AM  

Beat your fiance (Ray Rice), get suspended for 2 games. Possibly have knowledge of some deflated balls (Tom Brady)? 4 games. Gotta love sports!

Billy C 9:44 AM  

@Roo --

Not only GN, but also Sir Winston, who once famously said: "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I cannot put"


Billy C 9:46 AM  

Oops, I guess that ending a sentence with a period is something up with which I cannot put. ;-)

evil doug 9:47 AM  

Sex out at sea is a lot of fun, but sometimes I just can't wait to get back to my LAND HO.


Elle54 10:04 AM  

I'm surprised Rex doesn't know Ashley Wilkes, GTTW is a classic!

Elle54 10:04 AM  

Oops GWTW!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

Rubber bands, elastic bands, whatever you call them, surely do seem to be going out of style. How do I know? I have run out of them! I used them for all sorts of things around the house, as everyone does. But I used to have them coming into the house, around newspapers, mail, bunches of celery, etc., etc. But now everything seems to come in a plastic bag, or naked, and the inflow of rubber bands has dried up. Heaven forbid, I might actually have to buy some!

John Child 10:18 AM  

@NCA President All well here in KTM. This was a large aftershock but not even close to the main event. And nowhere near Mt Everest or Namche Bazaar, despite the reporting of several "reputed" agencies.

AliasZ 10:54 AM  

@John Child,

I read this morning's AP report with more than a little concern and apprehension. At last count there were at least 39 fatalities and over 1000 injuries, which will no doubt rise. Clearly, not the devastation of the first one of Apr. 25 ("only" 7.3 vs. 7.8-8.1, depending on who was reporting it), but still no picnic. Glad to hear it wasn't worse.

"Minutes later, another 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal with epicenter Ramechhap east of Kathmandu. The earthquake was felt in Bangladesh, China and many other states in India." from Wikipedia -- keeping on top of things.

Nancy 11:10 AM  

@elle 54 -- I, also, was shocked, shocked that Rex was not familiar with GWTW, perhaps my favorite book of all time. But @Rhino has made me feel guilty about my love for it in an 8:18 post. So I went back to my cherished, well-worn 1936 hardcover edition to check out the racism and the admiration of the KKK that @Rhino (he? she?) alludes to. And what seems to be the most egregious example of both occurs in Chapter XXXIII, pp. 560-563 of that edition, and the sentiments come from Aunt Pittipat, who is described as an "innocent old fool" who "prattled on happily, pleased as a child at having an audience." She's a blithering idiot throughout the novel and any ideas she has about anything are sure to be half-baked. Now let's move to p. 982. Scarlet asks:
"Rhett, did you have anything to do with the breaking up of the Klan?"
"My love, I did. Ashley Wilkes and I were mainly responsible..."

Margaret Mitchell was no apologist for slavery nor for the KKK. She instead portrayed a cataclysmic historical time and the divergent ways that different people reacted to it and coped with it.

Andrew Heinegg 11:12 AM  

Whether Brady had a reason to cheat is irrelevant. The incontrovertible evidence of so many underinflated balls with no one other than Brady having the motivation and the authority to have the balls underinflated speaks for itself. You can make the argument that it was an insignificant advantage but, if so, why did he do it? Further, his continuing to lie about having done it seems slimy at best. He is making Lance look like an honorable man at this point.

Joseph Michael 11:15 AM  

Can someone please explain how LOP is a big prune?

Don't mind whether it's a RUBBER BAND or an ELASTIC one. But theme didn't work for me because a BAND doesn't become a SNAP after it expands and contracts. It's still a BAND.

I guess I'm just not on this puzzle's wavelength. Had ALLEN instead if ALLAN and WISELY instead of SAGELY (though I couldn't see how SET UPS could be thought of as costumes).

Liked WHIPPERSNAPPERS and HARE-BRAINED IDEA. But thought that a lot of the other fill, such as BET IT ALL and AIRER and REEARN were kinda poor.

Andrew Heinegg 11:17 AM  

Whether Brady had a reason to cheat is irrelevant. The incontrovertible evidence of so many underinflated balls with no one other than Brady having the motivation and the authority to have the balls underinflated speaks for itself. You can make the argument that it was an insignificant advantage but, if so, why did he do it? Further, his continuing to lie about having done it seems slimy at best. He is making Lance look like an honorable man at this point.

RnRGhost57 11:17 AM  

Brits used to call 'em "gum bands."

@rubber biscuit, love the moniker; hadn't thought of that term in years. And your comment is spot on.

@John Child, glad the aftershock wasn't as severe as initially reported.

John Child 11:23 AM  

@AliasZ et al, numbers don't tell all. By the numbers this was huge, but it was deeper and in completely different rock layers. When it finished I thought it was a 5.something. We've had several aftershocks that felt larger.

Casualties: a few damaged buildings fell in the city. Up near the Tibetan border where this was located, significant damage. I expect though that up there it was also about already-weakened structures collapsing.

Arlene 11:24 AM  

I guess I'll address that 59D ASL answer - short for American Sign Language. Rex is quite right that a little oval in the corner of a TV screen is rarely seen anymore, if ever. Thankfully, the technology to produce closed captioning came about in the 1970's - and since most people with hearing loss don't use sign language (98% don't) that was an important development. It reserved line 21 on TV transmissions for the captioning. Initially, it required a box connected to the TV to get the captioning, but in 1993, legislation made it mandatory to include captioning circuitry in every TV (which was incredibly inexpensive to do). And by 2006, every program, including cable stations, had to provide captioning.
I'm not complaining about the clue - at least it wasn't the name of a rapper.

Ludyjynn 11:26 AM  

I liked the connection between BRACES and the theme answers. Like @Z, I thought the SNAP ICONs meant the BANDS literally broke at the end of the theme run. One last thought on ELASTICBANDS goes out to @Aketi, whose cat likes to play w/ them. Please be careful s/he does not ingest them, as they are dangerous. I had to wrest one away from Felix, who put up a good fight. They are abundant here, as the USPS delivers my mail bundled in them; @BobK, I've got a junk drawerful I can spare you!

@Gill I, hand up for 'Texans'.

Here in Balto., not only do we get an E. ALLAN Poe reference, but also an unfortunate RIOTED. DEARME.

I always hear HAREBRAINED and 'scheme' used together; first time I've seen IDEA.

"LOLA" is now earworming in my brain. Thanks, Ray Davies.

This puzz. APPEALed to me overall. Thanks, PH and WS.

NeilD 11:35 AM  

The theme wasn't earth-shattering but it was quaint and tidy. I thought the fill was good. I liked the puzzle quite a bit.

Elastic over rubber was a surprise but if it's a Canadianism, that's fine. And of course they're an office item! You've never seen the piles of rubber bands in Staples or OfficeMax?

Lewis 11:40 AM  

@anon 8:58 --When you shoot a rubber band across the room, you stretch it first, then shoot it, and after you shoot it, it shrinks back to its original shape, so I think the puzzle representation would work for that too.

@josephmichael -- When you prune something, you trim it, so a LOP can be seen as a big pruning. Also, the rubber band when it comes back to its regular size after being stretched comes back with a snap, so I think BAND or SNAP would have worked there. I like SNAP better, because it was a surprise.

George Barany 11:49 AM  

Not sure what new I can bring to the party this late in the day, after so many erudite comments both laudatory and critical. It's been noticed, but maybe not quite said explicitly, that in the first theme entry, the letters B, A, N, and D are consecutive with no intervening spaces; in the second, they are evenly spaced with a single intervening space each time; in the third, ditto with two intervening spaces. Moreover, one can draw a "not-quite-straight" line connecting the three circled B's, the three circled A's, and the three circled D's; it doesn't quite work with the three circled N's since the second one is directly underneath the first, while the third is one column over to the right. Still, given the imperfections of mapping geometric entities onto crossword coordinates, not so bad, and adding an extra level of admiration to what @Paul Hunsberger has accomplished here.

Not that I'm a huge fan of ELASTIC_BAND as the "reveal," but at least one can say that the above analysis emphasizes the "elasticity" of the first three theme entries. Then, to have it SNAP back in the fourth theme entry ... that was unexpected and rather clever.

mathguy 11:53 AM  

As is often the case, the comments here were more engaging than either Rex or the puzzle. Good work, everyone.

Nancy 12:07 PM  

Was just coming back here to comment and saw @mathguy's post right above. As usual, I'm in agreement with him -- in this case about today's comments being more interesting than the puzzle. In fact, that's exactly what I was coming back to say. Since I'm not running out to the park in close to 90 degree weather, I took the time to read all the comments carefully. And what I can't believe is just how many droll and interesting things people had to say about... ELASTIC!!!

Joseph Michael 12:09 PM  

@lewis -- thanks for the LOP enlightenment. I go off into my Tuesday a better man.

Arlene 12:20 PM  

Nobody seems to have mentioned that when putting elastic (rubber) bands on your wrist, it was a way to break bad habits. Just snap the band every time you did the offensive act.
And another good use for elastic bands was saving them into balls. I believe the Depression-era population innovated this. My mother had one. What else did one do with them? Throwing them out was not an option.

rose 12:24 PM  

Was hoping for video of Kinks.

Casco Kid 12:31 PM  

Hey, everybody. Been a while.

I solved this one themeless and did it correctly, save for an errant keystroke/typo that gave me the familiar "You've almost got it!" message.

I should confess that I'd gotten rather bored with my own frustrations. How many times can I say "I came up with 5 possible entries for each clue, and it *still* doesn't all fit together" ? My stretches are getting more and more creative, and more and more annoying to contemplate and report. This Sunday was a 2-hour wipe-out, with no point of entry in the West. But that's newspaper in the recycling bin, by now. Anyoo...

This morning I had the pleasure of solving a 2011 puz from NYT regular constructor Tim Croce. It didn't make Will's cut, but should have and has been revived and hosted for us by our own @GeorgeBarany.

Called "Look Both Ways" it is precisely that-puzzle-you-always-thought-somebody-must-have-written
Look Both Ways
I bet it was harder to construct than you might think.

This is an easy-medium puz, but I managed to finish with four errors (all interlocking and clustered around Point Reyes) due to some hazardous guesswork where a bit more memory dredging was in order. Enjoy.

Thanks, @Tim and @George!

Z 12:34 PM  

@Andrew Heinegg - Way to get me to defend a UM grad (seriously - I wouldn't care if it turns out he is guilty of all he's alleged to be guilty of). The only "incontrovertible" evidence I've seen is that the balls were below pressure at halftime. Everything else I have seen is conjecture. I keep hearing otherwise smart people say stuff that sounds a whole lot like adding 2+2 and getting purple. I haven't bothered reading the Wells Report, but everything getting endlessly reported can be explained by nothing more than over-zealousness by the equipment guys (I presume if there was something more damning it would be flashed in neon across the night sky by ESPN). "More likely than not" might be sufficient in a civil case, but is hardly sufficient to deny a person 1/4th of their salary and the trashing of their reputation. When I mentioned 10 figure damages I was being entirely serious. Whatever I may think about football, it is fair to conclude that the considerable earning power of Brady has been damaged by the behavior of the NFL. When/if this winds up in court who is a jury going to believe? The guy who thought a 2 game suspension was enough for a caught on tape woman-beater or Tom Brady? Hmmm? I wonder (no - I don't).

for @Rose

rose 12:48 PM  

From you, Rex? Thank you thank you! ...made my day. It's been a sad one, alas.

Masked and Anonymo4Us 12:52 PM  

Oh, snap! ELASTIC BAND. Alternate name for PLASTIC ONO BAND, of course.

Really loved the letter combos and feistiness of this puz's vocab. LANDHO. REEARN. BETITALL. WHIPPERSNAPPERS. USURPS. KOLN. EDGAR ASSAI POE. Solid gold. Had fun with it.

Shoot, this puz had me at the four excitin explosions in row 11. Could use these also in a rebus puz, where the themers have stuff like POW and SOCK and BAM buried in em as rebus squares.

fave weeject: Band ADA.



Mohair Sam 1:02 PM  

Picking up where @lms left off -

How the Hell can @Rex see WHIPPERSNAPPERS and HAREBRAINEDIDEA as the two 15's in a puzzle and not heap praise upon it? And how can he not know that the obviously near-sighted Scarlett preferred the wimpy ASHLEY to handsome high-rollin' gambler RHETT? Jeez.

For years I had an office assistant born and raised in England. She would giggle whenever I asked for a rubber band - I think I use the term ELASTICBAND myself now. Hence no prob with the revealer.

Liked this one an awful lot, thought it was very clever - and especially loved the 15's.

Hey - wasn't it Gabby Hayes who called everyone under, say, 50 a young WHIPPER SNAPPER?

Billy C 1:02 PM  

@Mr. Heidegger --

" ... no-one other than Brady having the motivation and authority to ..." Huh ????

Motivation? The Patriots were overwhelming favorites.
Authority? No-one had "authority" to deflate. Only, apparently, opportunity. That was almost certainly the equipment guy who took the bag of footballs into the bathroom and locked the door for almost two minutes.

Having concluded that he did it, you then build on this "fact," asking why he "did it," saying that he continues to lie, and calling him "slimy."

All this, when the report says only "more likely than not."

mac 1:05 PM  

Very cute Tuesday puzzle, with plenty of good clues and answers. The 4 stars were a nice surprise.

My elastic band didn't break, it just snapped back on the package, making that noise.

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

I was thinking musical bands breaking up and filled "solo" in the last four circles before solving most of the puzzle. Laughed at myself as the theme proved to be completely different.

Anonymous 2:12 PM  

I wonder what the penalty would have been if Ray Rice had beaten his fiance with a deflated football?

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

I feel for all the wonderful New Englanders on this blog and have no wish to see any of them unhappy. They didn't deflate any footballs and they do not deserve to be punished. And I'm sure they never dreamed that their celebrated quarterback was a real sleaze. Nevertheless, to anyone who believes that Brady didn't know, I've got a bridge I want to sell you. And it's not in New England.

Rhino 2:59 PM  

@Nancy I take no pleasure in it, but here are a few passages:

Rhett Bulter: "I did kill the He was uppity to a lady, and what else could a Southern gentleman do."

And then, this is Scarlett thinking: "the former field hands found themselves suddenly elevated to the seats of the mighty. There they conducted themselves as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects..."

And then, "These ignominies and dangers were nothing compared to the peril of white women, many bereft of male protection, who lived alone in the outlying districts and on lonely roads. It was the large number of outrages on women and the ever present fear for the safety of their wives and daughters that drove Southern men to cold and trembling fury and caused the Klu Klux Klan to spring up overnight. And it was against this nocturnal organization that the newspapers of the North cried out most loudly, never realizing the tragic necessity that brought it into being."

Rhino 3:00 PM  

It's an ugly edit, but the Rhett Butler quote should be , "I did kill the (n-word). He was..."

pmdm or anon 8:58 3:36 PM  

[Anonymous 8:58 AM] Absolutely correct, Lewis. I was just mentioning what first came to my mind when getting the reveler. I don't think any else had mentioned the snapping of an overextended band as a possible cause of the snapping noise. [I didn't mean to be anonymous. I screwed up when posting the comment.]

Some heated football related arguments. Sports organizations are not courts of law. They have an interest in maintaining the perception of fairness in the public's eye. The bottom line seems to be this. There seems to be enough evidence that the team broke the rules in an extremely high-profile game (is there a sports game more high-profile than theSuper Bowl?). The NFL has no choice but to punish the rule-brking. Because it happened during such a high-profile game, the punishment has to be substantial.

One can certainly debate the appropriateness of the punishment. But consider this: athletes who test positive for using banned substances are punished EVEN IF THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY WERE KNOWINGLY TAKING THE BANNED SUBSTANCE. (Just emphasis, not shouting.) To a certain extent, sports organizations in some cases intend to create fear at breaking rules. But sometimes, it can seem a bit arbitrary when they decide to take a stern stand.

High paid athletes like Brady hardly suffer from losing four games worth of salary. (Their charities might suffer.) In the end, it is the fans' perceptions that can really damage a player - in terms of commercial potential. And that perception is not really aways based on a punishment a player receives. My own suspicion is that Brady will certainly be roundly booed away from home, but will not particularly suffer: that depends on how he handles being suspended.

Tom Terrific 4:05 PM  

I love it when someone tells me that loosing $3.2 million for something I never did really doesn't matter that much.

ArtO 4:17 PM  

Hi all you Patriot fans. Happy to have raised your ire. Haven't the reports said Brady likes unde rinflated balls? Isn't it true he has ducked cooperating with the investigators and not issued a blanket denial? How much more evidence do you need.

Nancy 4:18 PM  

@Rhino -- Wow! That's really damning, there's no question about it. I guess I should thank you for bringing these passages to my attention, but I'm much too depressed. Is it an excuse that I read this as a child or very young teenager? Or that it was still the racially obtuse 1950s? Why don't I remember any of these sentiments? Were they blotted out by my later memory of the film, which left out almost all of the above? (Although I always felt that the film portrayal of Prissie was stereotyped and insulting.) Anyway, I am duly chastened. I think perhaps I should drown my chagrin in a mint julep.

Colum Amory 4:21 PM  

ANGIO is entirely an acceptable term in medicine nowadays, referring to an angiogram, primarily.

LindaPRmaven 4:25 PM  

Amusing, easy Tuesday for me. Lots of smiles. Lighten up @Rex!

LindaPRmaven 4:30 PM  

Clever thinking though. My first thought was a musical band but couldn't imagine how it would play out.

NCA President 5:02 PM  

@pmdm or anon 8:58: "Deflate-gate" didn't happen in the SB, it was made public after the AFC championship game with Indy. However, that game was preceded by complaints by the Jets earlier in the season. The thing that is supposed to be the reason for the 4-game suspension is that a) the Patriots themselves are "repeat offenders" (remember Spy-gate?) and b) it's been kinda well known around the league that ball tampering was a thing with NE, so when Indy called them out it was for more than just the one game.

I don't know the rule or the PSI tolerance of footballs, but I heard some talk the other day that Aaron Rodgers actually likes over-inflated balls. Whether he is within tolerance or not, I don't know...but the point is that there is a tolerance and all NFL QBs have a favorite way their balls are inflated and are pretty specific about it.

This is also why the league said that it's very likely TB knew about it...because all QBs know how they want their game balls inflated.

My question is why the NFL can't do what the MLB does and just use league balls inflated to a league standard? The MLB balls are delivered right to the umps locker room and no one ever touches them except the umps before game time. I guess before all of this broke, that's what I thought the NFL did.

They don't.

And guilty or not, the Patriots seem to always be in the middle of this stuff. Had TB come clean sometime in January, after the Indy game but before the SB, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. And c'mon, even you Pats fans have to admit that Belichick pushes the envelope just as far as he can...I think it's the culture of that team. It's a perfect storm for the league who is trying to juggle the Ray Rice/Adrian Peterson debacle, the concussion cover-ups, and now this. TB/BB and the Pats just pushed that envelope at the wrong time.

Oh, btw, did you all know there was another earthquake in India/Nepal? Compared to footballs, probably not all that big of a deal. I'm sure they'll rebuild....

Z 5:02 PM  

@pmdm & @ArtO - I think the NFL has stepped in it again. I'm not a football fan, let alone a Patriot fan. Please link to any reporting that shows evidence that Brady did anything other than complain, because I haven't seen it. For me this is more a story of professional incompetence by the employer (and all of you who are convinced that there is proof - 2+2 ≠ purple).

@Rhino and @Nancy - A Civil War novel told from the perspective of slave owners has racist elements to it? If it didn't have racist elements it couldn't be very accurate, could it?

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

What if Tom Brady had beaten a deflated football with his fiancee?

Nancy 5:42 PM  

@Z (5:02) -- Actually, you've just made me feel MUCH better about life, art and my taste in novels.:) After all, I'm the person who earlier revealed that GWTW is perhaps my favorite novel of all time. But when @Rhino offered chapter and verse showing the book's extreme racism, I could only wax apologetic for having loved it so deeply and for so long. When you, on the other hand, defend a Southern author putting the reader so completely and accurately in the mind of the Deep South, I feel that my love of this novel is, in fact, defensible. Thank you, @Z. I'm on my way out for dinner and now I can have my usual alcoholic libation instead of that mint julep I was about to soak my chagrin in.

grammar nazi 6:01 PM  

@Roo and @Nancy, are you ending sentences with prepositions just because you miss me? I am touched.

Ludyjynn 7:49 PM  

Nice to hear from you again, @Casco. But I'm concerned about @Numinous' continuing silence. Please let us know you're okay!

@Nancy, I remember staying up all night for several days as a young teen to read GWTW because it was so compelling. One night my mom, the insomniac, heard me crying and came into my room, very concerned. SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK OR SEEN THE FILM--I told her Rhett and Scarlett's little girl had just fallen off her pony and... Mom immediately joined the waterworks.
We comforted each other and she sent me to bed.

BTW, whoever said earlier they couldn't see why Scarlett had the hots for Ashley Wilkes over the very sexy Rhett Butler, neither could Rhett! One of my all-time fave movie scenes was when he dragged her up the stairwell, obstensibly against her will, and ravished her. Made her forget about ole Ashley, at least momentarily! and on that note, goodnight, everyone.

chefwen 8:40 PM  

@Casco -I was going to ask about @Numinous also, but I see @Ludy beat me to the query, if you are in contact with him please tell him that he is missed by more than a few.

Nancy 9:04 PM  

@grammar Nazi -- You prefer perhaps "that alcoholic libation into which I was about to soak my chagrin." (?) Please say it ain't so, grammar nazi!

Rhino 9:39 PM  

@Z's not wrong, but I didn't go into the book expecting Scarlett to co-found the NAACP. I knew there would be racism. It just, at times, feels like 'Birth of a Nation' type racism and I'm still surprised the book doesn't receive more criticism for this.

That said, @Nancy, you have the permission of an anonymous poster on the internet to go ahead and enjoy Gone with the Wind guilt-free. There's a lot to like. Scarlett is a wholly original character.

Unfortunately, I'm at the part where she is pregnant with Frank Kennedy's baby and had no idea that a) she marries Rhett, b) she has a baby with him or c) she dies falling off a horse. I should have taken @Ludyjynn's spoiler alert more seriously.

grammar nazi 10:15 PM  

@Nancy, oh, oh, oh, @Nancy. You are trying too hard. Why would you change "in" to "into?" "...that mint julep in which I was about to soak my chagrin" would do just fine.

Andrew Heinegg 10:29 PM  

If you think that this is a case where the equipment guys were overzealous, I really do not know what to write. You might be a bit naive and trusting.

Clark 11:29 PM  

@Loren Muse Smith --

I too have always thought that the saying was "hair brained." How in the world were we supposed to know? But hare brained works. I like it.

kitshef 11:49 PM  

Really liked the puzzle, though thought it was more Wednesday difficulty. Hmm ... having said that, I'm not sure why. Everything is clued fairly, but for some reason it took mu a while to get started.
Dunno what @Rex is on about. Fill in this puzzle is well above average, with only REEARN and ELD sub-par. But offsetting that you get two wonderful grid-spanners, a cute and well-executed theme.

Why would one choose to focus on a minor asymmetry in the arrangement of the themers, with so much to love?

Pilaf before PADDY, oLD before ELD.

Re Brady (note: Bengals fan here). If steroids, which give you an advantage not just now but in the future due to the muscle mass gained are worth four games, then 'knowledge of' deflation of footballs should be at most two. And I think that is what it will eventually be, after the appeal.

Z 11:59 PM  

@Andrew Heinegg - And here I thought you were being naive and jumping to conclusions. If any actual facts are discovered proving even a "general awareness" on Brady's part I'm sure we'll all hear about it incessantly. Until then I suggest you be a little less trusting, especially of anything put out by the NFL.

+wordphan 2:42 AM  

What is DNF?

jae 3:31 AM  

@+wordphan - Did Not Finish - i. e. made an error.

Alt.Answer 6:50 AM  

Or couldn't finish, or just gave up, either in despair, or, as some claim, in disgust.

the redanman 2:21 PM  

My Mother called them "elastics" so this puzzle is fine

the redanman 2:22 PM  

My Mother called them "elastics" so this puzzle is fine

mellisa lopez 10:21 PM  

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mellisa lopez 10:24 PM  

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priest_gbenga.magic_temple@priest.com, I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck. his web site is http://www.priestgbengamagicpalace.webs.com


Burma Shave 8:59 AM  


Don’t BETITALL on ANY OLDE woman, she’ll ADDLE you so vaguely
with her TRENDY sex APPEAL, as she USURPS you so SAGELY.
BRO, it’s a HAREBRAINEDIDEA, AMID women to be blinded,
you’ll get SWINDLED, DEARME, because you’re BROADMINDED.


rondo 10:00 AM  

Some of the longer fill was alright, but the sacrifice, by my count, is 28 answers of 3 letters. Pushing 30 on the threes (nearly 40% of the answers) seems like too much. And the theme was not exactly SNAPpy, IMHO. No, I’m no constructor, but this was less than stellar.

I liked @evil’s take on LANDHO. Wonder if there’s an elaborate set of trusses and BRACES?

WHIPPERSNAPPERS is a blast from the past, I wonder if that word is at all TRENDY with the younger crowd. Probably CEASED being used.

LEN Cariou just seems creepy to me, there must be some other LEN for a clue.

DEARME, not much APPEAL, so not much to say.

spacecraft 10:55 AM  

Not knowing the Canadian expression, I would've said the ratio was more like 999 to 1 than 13 to 1, of those who said "rubberband." My apologies to my northern friends. Starting with LANDHO, I noticed the gridspanner at H and immediately thought of HAREBRAINEDIDEA, which would put BAND in the circles. Now, in my paper,* the featured squares in 48 across were irregular star-things instead of circles. The visual suggested to me a rubber BAND stretching until it SNAPs. Accordingly--and much too smugly--I wrote in RUBBERBAND...oops, oh well, I'll stick an S on the end, even though the clue says "item," singular. It was not long before I ran into some "uh-oh"s down there, and had to rewrite the entire revealer line. That'll teach me. I need to become more BROADMINDED.

Filling the rest in was fairly easy. I enjoyed BETITALL: "Let's make it a true daily double, Alex!" [Like many contestants who actually got to say that, I've "always wanted to say that."] But DEARME, they won't take me. I guess I'm too boring.

*The Las Vegas Sun. Also, a legend you'll find only in syndication, "NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD edited by Will Shortz" appears directly above the grid--and it just so happens, in a stroke of unintended brilliance, that the first R of CROSSWORD was positioned precisely above square #4, thus reading down


After that, I was prepared to forgive ANYthing! But REEARN??? Do I HAVE to? Awww, okay. A HAREBRAINEDIDEA for a word, but okay.

@rondo: Really? You think Grandpa Reagan is creepy?

So long, WHIPPERSNAPPERS. Keep on truckin.'

rondo 12:43 PM  

@Spacey - I also had thoughts about R. CRUMB, probably not gonna get clued like that on a Tuesday.
And yes, Francis Reagan's "Pop" should not be allowed at the same dinner table, giving the 4-eye goggle to all those women to whom he's related.

rondo 1:29 PM  

@Spacey - I left out the most important - that's a remarkable coincidence, I think I'd have to take the rest of the day off if that happened to me. See you in the comix.

rain forest 3:56 PM  

From a Canadian:
-We call them elastic bands, or elastics. If one calls them rubber bands, shortening that to "rubbers" might lead to confusion.

-I'm sick of the whole deflate-gate thing. When one considers how incompetent the NFL has looked in the last few years in dealing with real issues, the inflation level of footballs is pretty trivial (akin to worrying about whether to call those stretchy things elastic or rubber bands). Behind his motivation is Roger Goodell's desire to appear to be earning his $44 million salary. Now *that* particular issue is something about which to be truly upset.

-Calgary is not a place a sane person would choose to live.

The puzzle and its theme are visually appealing, there were some nice clues, the plethora of 3-letter words wasn't a bother, and if Paul Hunsberger has had his reputation previously besmirched, I think he has REEARNED it.

Guessed correctly at the ALLAN/ASSAI cross. Luck does play a part in crossword solving.

Liked it. Oho! 108 - back in the saddle.

DMG 4:12 PM  

Have no trouble with ELASTICBAND, but then my mother was Canadian. I also use "grey" rather than the more puzzle accepted "gray"-that's just how it is. My puzzle troubles came with thinking wild ideas are HAirBRAINED. Guess I've never had occassion to write it down before. Think CASITA should have been clued as "way smaller than a villa". Other pause was that I think of WHIPPERSNAPPERS as smart Alec's, rather than presumptuous sorts. But in the end it all worked, even if I didn't see the "band" thing until it was all over!

@LeftcoastTAM: Enjoy your comments.


j.m.foster 5:56 PM  

angiogram, for heavens' sakes.

Anonymous 10:34 PM  

Guy in a hurry at a cafe; "I'll have a rubber band sandwich and make it snappy!

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