Dennis who fronted 1960s-70s Classics IV / SUN 6-7-15 / 2005 South African drama / Bonheur who painted Horse Fair / He died at Xanadu / 1971 top 20 hit with no English lyrics

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Constructor: Samuel A. Donaldson

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "The Call Of The Race" — clues are an imagined call of a race, where fill-in-the-blank clues are both appropriate to horse racing and wacky plays on words related to the names of the imagined horse in the clues:

Theme answers:
  • 22A: "And they're off! Ace Detective has the ___!") (EARLY LEAD) — get it, because detectives get leads? Yeah, you get it. I'm not annotating the rest of these, on the assumption that you Get It.
  • 28A: "Looks like Setting Sun is ___!" ("FADING FAST")
  • 35A: "It's Pariah ___"! ("ON THE OUTSIDE")
  • 56A: "Chiropractor heads into the ___!" ("BACK STRETCH")
  • 64A: "Here's where Mississippi Delta often ___!" ("GAINS GROUND")
  • 75A: "Now Carrier Pigeon takes the ___!" ("TURN FOR HOME")
  • 95A: "But wait! Amex Card ___!" ("MAKES A CHARGE")
  • 101A: "Almost there, and E Pluribus Unum will be ___!" ("IN THE MONEY") — fittingly, this answer does not seem very on-the-money.
  • 114A: "But the winner is … Inseam ___!" (BY A LENGTH) — why "Inseam???"Because it is *a* unit of length? I think I'd rewrite my entire puzzle just so I could get a more wordplay-ish expression here at the end, like (BY A NOSE) (114A: "But the winner is … Cyrano ___!"). What a weird, anticlimactic ending.

Word of the Day: "TSOTSI" (38D: 2005 South African drama that won a Best Foreign Film Oscar) —
Tsotsi is a 2005 film directed by Gavin Hood and produced by Peter Fudakowski. It is a adaptation of the novel Tsotsi, by Athol Fugard and a South African/UK co-production . The soundtrack features Kwaito music performed by popular South African artist Zola as well as a score by Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring the voice of South African protest singer/poet Vusi Mahlasela.
Set in an Alexandra slum, in JohannesburgSouth Africa, the film tells the story of Tsotsi, a young street thug who steals a car only to discover a baby in the back seat.
The film won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006. (wikipedia)
• • •

Yeah, no. Too easy, too corny, too much about stupid horse racing. Serena Williams won her twentieth (20th!!!) Grand Slam singles title this weekend, but all Americans can talk about is a horse with a misspelled name who ran fast three times. Booooo. But even if I didn't think this baloney once-a-year, pretend-we-care-about-horse-racing charade weren't a complete national embarrassment, I still wouldn't have liked this puzzle. It's cute in the way hallmark cards are cute. So, not actually cute. You can see the "humor" coming down Broadway. It's certainly competently made on a technical level, but solving it was just 9-ish minutes of me going "Yes, I see what you did there" every time I got to a theme answer. I have nothing  more to say about this puzzle. I miss yesterday's puzzle. MIRROR, MIRROR, take me away! Dammit, that's Calgon.

["… now with ALOE Vera."]

TO HOE or not TO HOE, that is the question (the answer is "not").

  • 1A: Shopping lines? (UPC) — I immediately wrote in CPU, so it's a pretty awesome coincidence that one of the adjacent answers is DYSLEXICS (19D: Ones having a rough spell?)
  • 41D: Suit in a Spanish card deck (OROS— golds? I'd've sooner believed OSOS. Weird. 
  • 49D: Bonheur who painted "The Horse Fair" (ROSA) — I don't know who that is, but that's not the problem. ROSA crossing ROSE (49A: Part of a Derby garland)that is the problem.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]

PS here's my write-up of last weekend's INDIE 500 CROSSWORD TOURNAMENT


allan 12:07 AM  

I agree with @Rex about the puzzle, but not about the horse racing thing. Both Serena Williams and American Pharoah are supreme athletes. Achieving something that had not been achieved in 37 years was special to watch, especially the way that magnificent animal pulled away down the stretch.


pmdm 12:10 AM  

The puzzle really wasn't THAT bad. Really. I don't do crossword puzzles to make me laugh, so it's no big deal to me that the theme entries aren't particularly a riot. I too can couldn't care less about racing. So, all-in-all, I'm happy today was an easy puzzle.

Anonymous 12:10 AM  

This is a lot like a theme Merl Reagle has used a number of times, with the theme clues forming a running story with pun answers.

John Child 12:12 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenneth Wurman 12:15 AM  

I enjoyed this one although I am not into horse racing (how many horses have lost their lives at Belmont this year?)

John Child 12:15 AM  

I often find Sunday-size puzzles to be tedious, but this held my attention and went down fast, so thumbs up. I don't like Maven = GURU very much. A maven is an expert or authority, but GURU means teacher. Do mavens pass on their expertise routinely?

RSTU is unfortunate fill but was redeemed today by the VW clue.

A couple of groaners are inevitable in a big grid, but this was easy, fun, and quite clean. Thanks Mr Donaldson.

jae 12:18 AM  

Easy, cute, timely, reasonably smooth, liked it. 

Carola 12:20 AM  

For me, Pariah was the winner in this bunch, with Chiropractor coming in second. One feedbag OAT for the entire field seemed meager. Also theme-related: the BUGLE call to the race.

I ran into one trouble spot in the SW, where I had oN THE MONEY crossing iNLAY; took me a while to get the vowels sorted out to see VOTE NO. I liked the long Downs, TRENCHANT, DYSLEXIC, DUTCH OVEN, TEMPORARY TATTOO. OYECOMOVA was a complete mystery.

Colby 1:55 AM  

Easy, clean, and well-constructed. Humorous without being groan-worthy. Someone pissed in Rex's Cheerios again.

MDMA 2:27 AM  

The puzzle wasn't bad and the theme was fitting. Not much to say about it, the puns were adequately amusing. "stiFLE" for MUFFLE was a write-over.

The Triple Crown seems less impressive because so many horses skip some of the races. Materiality skipped the Preakness (smallest field in 15 years), Dortmund skipped the Belmont, etc.

In the end, the only horse that actually ran all three races was American Pharoah itself. Compare the four major championships of golf, the four tennis Slam tournaments: everyone participates if they're even remotely a contender, and every participant relishes the idea of being a spoiler. Horse racing had an unseemly anxiousness to produce a new Triple Crown winner, perhaps in the hope that the ensuing publicity would boost the sport.

Charles in Austin 2:27 AM  

If only just this once, I'm in close agreement with Rex's negative comments about a puzzle. It was for me the easiest Sunday puzzle ever, the theme answers only mildly entertaining and too easily gotten, and I had an empty feeling upon finishing it. In fairness, it did have a hard act to follow: Saturday's lovely, mind-bending marvel.

MDMA 2:38 AM  

@John Child,

GURU only means teacher in the original Hindi, and some other languages that have borrowed the word, like Indonesian. In English, the meaning is a recognized expert or authority in a field.

There are many examples of such "false friends", including French magasin (= store, shop) and English magazine, and so forth.

Colby 2:56 AM  


The fact that horses are routinely skipping races rather than racing in all of them, like they did fifty years ago, makes the Triple Crown more difficult rather than easier. The extra rest makes a huge difference. Up until today, it had been 10-years since a horse that ran in the Preakness won the Belmont. This is exactly why Steve Coburn flipped out after the Belmont last year.

mac 4:50 AM  

Very good Sunday, I thought, it kept my attention all the way. In the end I discovered I had a mistake (thanks Rex write-up): 41D ocos instead of oros.

I always worry when those horse races are on. Having seen two horses getting injured will do that. On the other hand, it's nice to think that Pharoa will now have a life of leisure and fun.

Amazing feat by Serena. I'm in Holland, so soccer is number one, with the UEFA Championship match last night, and the ladies winning in Canada.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:36 AM  

A good puzzle in a classic format, IMHO.

My only nit was at the crossing of 76 D, OYE COMO VA, and 89 A, ETES, two entries literally foreign to me. Specifically, the clue for 89 A, Verb with "vous", seemed unnecessarily cruel. I would have had no problem if it had been something along the lines of "Hot times in Le Havre."

Lewis 6:37 AM  

Maybe a better clue for BY A LENGTH would have been "But the winner is ... ONE DIMENSION ___!"

Very nice writeup, Rex, even where I disagreed with you. Your wit, humor, and technical observations keep me reading you. I agree that this puzzle was "competently made on a technical level". It was mostly easy, with a couple of medium sections. I don't like AITS and SYST, but those long long downs were excellent. I like OBIT crossing ATREST.

The puzzle wasn't a wow for me, but it gave me my mental workout fix, and the cutesy theme answers gave me a cutesy smile. And so I liked it and am grateful for it -- Sam, my man, thank you!

Danield 7:16 AM  

Hey Rex--I agree with you. Not a great puzzle (like yesterday's), but average the two and we're still way ahead for the weekend. I would rate the puzzle as "Sundayish"--one for the general public and since, like it or not, the Triple Crown was the big news story, appropriate to have this theme. I was just so happy not to be solving Dugger clues.

chefbea 7:36 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Solved it last night after watching the the race..did not watch tennis. Have several Dutch ovens!!

NCA President 8:01 AM  

Agree with Rex on just about every point...including the horse racing tirade. (Saw a picture of the owner kissing his horse after the race...I think it was meant as an "awww" moment, but all I saw was this guy kissing his cash cow. Of course he kissed her. I'd kiss a pig if it made me as much money as this horse did.) I hung out with a bunch of people yesterday who were all freaked out about the triple crown, like, you know, they follow horse racing all year long. Which they don't.

As for the actual puzzle, it was easy for me too. I don't care for this kind of humor so I wasn't entertained. If anything the theme helped me get a few lingering difficult spots. Sometimes it hurt, for instance I had "charges ahead" for 95A. So sometimes, when I um, charged ahead, I got it wrong.


SOMNI and DYSLEXICS crossing almost created Sominex.

Did not know PERI nor did I know there was a "Patriot month."

Sal's Dad 8:07 AM  

Patriot's / Patriots' Day is in APR -- a legal holiday everyplace that matters. But apparently there is now a non-holiday "Patriot Day" in SEP? WTF?

Anonymous 8:15 AM  

Wow Chefbea--you have several DUTCHOVENS?! We're all very impressed. Such a useful comment about the puzzle. Oh wait, you're just bragging, again, that you are a chef? We get it.

Glimmerglass 8:26 AM  

How many country music fans remember George Jones' "The Race is On"?

Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch
Heartaches are going to the inside
My tears are holding back
They're trying not to fall
My heart's out of the running
True love's scratched for another's sake
The race is on and it looks like heartaches
And the winner loses all

chefbea 8:33 AM  

@anon 8:15 I am not bragging!!! I always comment on food related things in the puzzle!!! When I lived in Rome we bought horse meat in the market and cooked it at home!!

Jerry Garcia 8:33 AM  

@ Glimmerglass: The Grateful Dead did a much better version of that song.

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

Yes Chefbea, we know. We get it. You are a chef. It's right there in your name. You are very special.

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

@Sals Dad - they added 9/11 as Patriot Day after the attack. Note there is no "s at the end as in your Patriot's ay.

Roo Monster 8:57 AM  

Hey All !
For all who don't know, Patriots Day is September 11, after... well, September 11, 2001. Makes sense now, right?
And also, knew this year would be the first in 37 years we would have a triple crown winner. Why? Because I put a bet on No for the win. And any bet I make, the opposite happens. It's incredible. 37 years! I place one bet in that whole time, and I lose. Amazing.

Anyway, the puz, liked it, the horses names evoking what they were doing was neat. Also like an easy SunPuz every now and then like this one! Only writeover was TSeTSe, saying to myself, "Huh, someone made a film about the fly?" Fair amount of U's for our resident UORRO! Also what looks like a small amount of doubles for our alphadopplerganger, can never remember the actual word!

ONLAY odd, inlay anyone? Good ole ICE AXE, ABACUS clue nice, ERA clue and ECHO clue cool also. So, overall good puz, in my way humble opine.


AliasZ 8:58 AM  

Here is another GURU's review of the same puzzle:

"Such an entertaining Sunday puzzle (and timely, given American Pharoah's historic Triple Crown win on Saturday)! Stories connect people over the generations, so I like it when my crossword spins a tale, entertaining me from the start to finish. Sam takes common calls heard in horse racing and puts on a wordplay twist with appropriate horse names. The tale of Ace Detective taking the EARLY LEAD, all the way to Inseam winning BY A LENGTH = I was amused the whole way through." -- Jeff Chen. "POW!" (second puzzle-of-the-week in a row)

I was solving Jeff's puzzle, not realizing there was a parallel stinker that Rex had the bad fortune to be stuck with.

On one point I do agree with Rex: when I got down to the last pun, I was expecting BY A NOSE which would have made it sparkle even more, perhaps a horse named Jimmy Durante (but I like Rex's Cyrano more). However BY A NOSE is not the same LENGTH as EARLY LEAD, so it had to be LENGTH -- something that could have been fixed easily enough.

Otherwise I found this one delightfully easy and enjoyable. The long downs were excellent ONE AFTER THE OTHER. They confused me a little at the beginning, expecting them to be related to horse racing, but given the continuity of the story they had to be left out in the cold. And I was thinking of a different type of DUTCH OVEN...

I am wondering if any of the horse names in the puzzle were actual horses that raced in all three LEGs of the Triple Crown, but I'm not interested enough to find out. There were a few other horsey clues and entries scattered around the grid, which I enjoyed: Derby garland, feedbag, the horse-racing clue for STATS, painter of "The Horse Fair" and Arab for BASRA.

Let me close with the VIOLA Concerto op. posth. by Béla Bartók, of which he had left only sketches and extensive correspondence with William Primrose who commissioned the concerto, the last letter dated some two weeks before his death. The work was completed by Tibor Serly in 1949.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Maruchka 9:11 AM  

An enjoyably smooth morning, here. Only do-overs were stifle/MUFFLE and rtd/RET. And, for a brief shining moment, saw Khan not KANE. TOHOE MAKES A (nice) CHANGE from the ubiquitous Tahoe.

I love horses. Races not so much. Favorite childhood race call - 'And it's Toilet Paper wiping up the rear!' Corny, fun. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Donaldson (I'm not touching that).

@Glimmerglass - I do, and could cheerfully listen to it now (except plug-ins are blocked - again). A wonderful, resonant voice.

@'mericans - You've inspired me to read/reread the Chandler canon. Started The High Window - must have missed it back in the day, it's tasty. Looking forward to your next chapter..

Z 9:22 AM  

Best part of the puzzle was watching that Calgon clip and having a clip of Robin Williams on Johnny Carson appear after. Amazing mind.

Pretty much what Rex said except I did watch American Pharaoh win the race. I care more about horse racing than, say, boxing. I was thoroughly amused by all the post-bout gnashing of teeth for the last "big fight." Come On People - SCAM was written all over that thing in giant flashing neon letters, if you chose to ignore all the signs that's your problem. Besides this puzzle, I also had fun failing miserably at the "Race Horse or Yacht" quiz I ran across yesterday.

I can't watch tennis anymore. The loud grunting annoys me so much that I have to turn the station.

@chefbea - In the words of a great philosopher, H8ters gotta hate. Shake it off.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

This was a crossword puzzle. It had clues. And answers.
I'm sure it was very pleasing to those of you who hated yesterday's "gimmick" puzzle. For this one, no thinking was required. Just what you asked for.

Lewis 9:45 AM  

Factoid: In 2005, a Fender Stratocaster, was sold at an auction for $2.7 million -- the most money ever spent to buy a GUITAR -- to help raise money for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. It was signed by Bryan Adams, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, David Gilmour, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page and Sting, among others.

Quotoid: "I would like to die on Mars. Just not on IMPACT." -- Elon Musk

Haiku Nerd 9:46 AM  


Joseph Welling 10:08 AM  

"why 'Inseam???'Because it is *a* unit of length?"

No. "Inseam" is not a unit of length, it is a length that is measured (usually in inches, which are units of length). Inseam is a measure that expresses the length of pants legs.

As for why--it's another instance of the theme's wordplay. The wordplay comes from the fact that "length" is not only a characteristic of trousers expressed by the inseam measure, but also a unit of length in horse racing.

Samantha 10:13 AM  

I liked the "groundbreaking" nod to UHURA, since Nichelle Nichols suffered a stroke this week. Otherwise, meh.

Joseph Welling 10:17 AM  

The puzzle reminded me of Doodles Weaver's "Beetle Bomb" on this Spike Jones record (starting at 1:03):

Michael Fuchs 10:17 AM  

What makes the Triple Crown in horse racing such an achievement is the difference in lengths of the three events. The Kentucky Derby and the Preakness are comparable, but the Belmont is much longer for thoroughbreds to endure.

Imagine a special platinum medal in the Olympics for an athlete who wins the 100 meters, the 400 meters *and* the 1500 meters.

Horse racing has many bad aspects -- corruption, mistreatment of animals and immigrants both, doping, you name it.

But it is also magnificent in a way that is unique. The horses themselves are not just biological machines, they are sentient personalities. They clearly experience competitiveness, determination, joy in victory, disappointment in defeat. This is not to anthropomorphize them; this is to recognize they have hearts and souls that differ from ours, but have emotions of their own.

And then there is the other dimension -- the collaboration between rider and horse that is the closest thing humans have to communication across the barrier of species. Maybe a shepherd and his sheep dog comes close, but nothing else. A great rider on a great horse is a composite being with two minds somehow reading each other. It's no wonder the ancients conceived the centaur.

Forget the ladies in big hats, the owners and announcers and sponsors with big mouths, the mint juleps and vestiges of plantation culture, the calculated schlock of 21st century America surrounding it all. Focus on the horses and the jockeys and the beauty of them striving together.

The Triple Crown! We got to see one happen!

Casco Kid 10:23 AM  

Fun puz, but Naticked at AI_S/_YCO. Since French figured prominently in this puzzle, I put together what I know about French to guess AIxS, and went with xYtO as the Mattel subsidiary. Aix la Chapelle, anyone? Unless you jnow AIT, AIx is the best guess. I also blew it at iNLAY/ViTENO. I had rejected ONLAY as unlikely to be a thing. Also, I forgot that FOrd LTDs were a thing and made by best guess with LTeS, giving me best-guess MtDONAlS, an ancient orthodox crypt that could have opened in Moscow in 1990.

Other long time wrongness FADEbACk blocked NE.
Lots of room for error in this puz. Medium. 90 minutes.

RAD2626 10:36 AM  

Fun, timely puzzle. Easy since the theme answers were so transparent and a lot of three letter fill but enjoyable. Thought the long fill like ONE AFTER THE OTHER (the way horses finish a race or load Into the gate) and TEMPORARY TATTOOS was well done given the number of themers.

Horses (or their owners/handlers) have always picked and chosen which Triple Crown races to run. The idea they should all run in each race irrespective of condition, performance and breeding is inane. When Secretariat put on his devastating show in 1973 there were thirteen horses in the Derby (inclduing the later storied Forego), six in the Preakness and five in he Belmont. Today's press would complain he did not face enough competition. And the fields for the four golf majors are widely disparate. The Masters is very restricted and the PGA, for example, has a number of club pros in the field.

Finally, I am of an age, where I remember when the three major sports in the United States were baseball, horse racing and boxing (read Seabiscuit). The NBA was not formed until 1949. How the world has changed. And I had no idea before reading Boys in the Boat that collegiate crew was a huge spectator sport in the 30's and 40's. Serena's incredible achievement is another reflection of positive change on lots of levels.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Always love a good Shakespeare clue, and we were given two with this puzzle. Who knew Uranus had so many prosaic moons?

CV 10:46 AM  

@MDMA, Not to be pedantic, but you mean the original Sanskrit not Hindi.

Puzzle was fun enough. 101A should have been "on the money", and I'm getting sick of "OHARA" with GWTW cluing. What about Neely O'Hara in "Valley of the Dolls" or the great comic actress Catherine O'Hara or poet Frank O'Hara-- all well-known enough to be clues.

Agree with Rex about Triple Crown hype, and very well-stated.

jberg 10:47 AM  

Yeah, AITS. @Casco, you're probably lucky not to have seen one before -- they used to be in every third puzzle. I guess they're the price of the theme density.

That said, I liked it all right. I didn't see the race, but did watch part of the tennis match while riding a stationary bike at the gym. It was kind of frustrating, because the screen was too far away for me to actually see the ball, so I had to judge whether a particular play ended in a missed return or the ball's going out of bounds by the emotional reactions of the players, not always successfully.

@Rex, I agree with you about the ROSA/ROSE crossing, but Bonheur's work is worth getting to know-- one of the first of those to paint outdoors, a change that made more difference than one might think in the character of the work.

Norm 10:50 AM  

Insipid. Merl does this type of thing way too often. I hate this kind of puzzle.

johnnymcguirk 10:55 AM  

Good puzzle though a little easy. Man, there are plenty of things to be angry about. The fact that few people care about women's tennis isn't among them.

ArtO 10:57 AM  

I'm only a horse racing fan during the Triple Crown races but how can you put down such a thrilling accomplishment...especially since it has become such a rarity.

Deborah Wess 10:59 AM  

"running story" to describe a puzzle about horse racing? There's your pun, right there!

Ramses III 11:08 AM  

Best thing about American Pharoah winning the triple crown? There's a new crossword word available! When will we see it first?

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

New Zealand and Australia are neighbors in the same way that Seattle WA and Anchorage AK are. OR Portland OR and Greenland. Or in my case Kalamazoo MI and Havana Cuba. For God sake Will Shortz, get a map. There all 1500 MILES apart. Heck, Antarctica is nearly as close to Australia as New Zealand.

Leapfinger 11:13 AM  

"And it's Rapunzel, BY A HAIR!"
Thought that chiropractic BACKSTRETCH was downright therapeutic!

Nicely Nicely done, only misled into a MUFFLEd STIFLE.

Background music for this puzzle coulda been '[Run, don't] Walk like an Egyptian' or 'I got the horse right here'.

Great to have the streak broken (with no nose strip required), and that nothing Barbarous happened.

Ludyjynn 11:15 AM  

Happily, Nichelle Nichols, a/k/a Lt. UHURA, is recovering well at HOME from the Wed. stroke.

@MichaelFuchs, Beautifully put, thank you! Did you catch the victorious jockey's spontaneous profane outburst immediately following the win? Cracked me up and I thought, well said!

I liked seeing OHARA here, as Scarlet's dad was something of an equestrian, albeit w/o the American Pharoah happy ending, if you catch my drift.

This timely puzz. reminds me of a joke I used to hear all too often many moons ago when I waited tables: "Have I got a great tip for you...Native Dancer in the ninth race!" ACK!

With all the dental work I've had over the years, never heard of ONLAY. Would have hated the ROSE/ROSA cross except for the aptness of both clues making it okay. Also, liked seeing BUGLE in this horsey grid. And they're off!

Thanks, SAD and WS. Oh yeah, one more interesting detail--American Pharoah wore earplugs to MUFFLE the track noise. Smart move.

Tita 11:20 AM  

Puzzle was a fine Sunday solve. At first I thought a rebus was involved, having ATA[LL] crossing FA[LL]INGFAST. Didn't take long to correct that.

@mdma - thanks for sending me down the wiki path re: False Friends - a topic I get an absurd kick out of. Among my favorites are gift, which means poison in German, and constipação, which means a cold in Portuguese. The poor Portuguese tourist asking at the pharmacy for a remedy for constipation won't be given Sudafed!!
Those that are way off in meaning, rather than a shade or two, (as is GURU), are the most entertaining (in a wordnerd kinda way...).

What's with the KALE kick? I never realized vegetables could become "fashionable". Most cultures have been eating kale for millenia. What was a "humble" (ie cheap) food, now becomes an $18 appetizer on a menu.

@JenCT makes a killer version of DUTCHOVEN-baked no-knead bread. She got me started - in fact, am looking to find another one so I can make 2 loaves at once. @chefwen - can you loan me one of yours?
My mom, who at 92 makes bread once a week, thought so much of the loaf I brought her yesterday, that she asked me to write my recipe in her hand-written recipe book. What a complement!

I taped the circus - er - race. 2 1/2 hours for a 2 1/2 minute race? I fast-rewound from the end to see the actual event. Being a curmudgeon about the mega-hype that the sports industry is, I second the sentiments expressed here.

As for tribute puzzles in general, I like them, and am occasionally disappointed when we don't get them. But then, like the google doodle, you might get caught "commemorating" something every day of the year.

Thanks Mr. Donaldson.

F.O.G. 11:25 AM  

Not a horse racing fan, but liked this puzzle. Some great cluing.

For "He died at Xanadu" I first had Khan -- as in Kubla -- but the crosses didn't work. Aha! Rosebud's KANE.

Didn't know OBERON was a moon. It's also the name of a great wheat ale brewed by Bell's.

According to Wikipedia, the proposed territory of Deseret "encompassed nearly all of present-day Utah and Nevada, large portions of California and Arizona, and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon."

Loved the reference to Dennis YOST, but now "Spooky" will be playing in the back of my mind for the rest of the day.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

@Tita said "Most cultures have been eating kale for millenia." I love it when people on this board so confidently make utterly false statements.

mathguy 11:34 AM  

The theme reminds me of an old comedy routine based on the calling of a horse race. Abbot and Costello? I'm not thinking of the George Jones song.

I was surprised that Jeff Chen thought that it was as good as yesterday's beauty. It was only OK for me.

@RAD2626: That was one of the pleasures of Boys in the Boat for me, remembering what a big deal collegiate rowing used to be. When I started reading the sports pages, the rowing team at Cal Berkeley was a powerhouse. Their coach was Ky Ebright. During the season, their exploits would dominate the sports pages.

Joseph Welling 11:43 AM  

matahguy, maybe you're thinking of the Doodles Weaver thing I mentioned above?

"Safety Pin was a scratch"
"Cabbage by a head"
"Banana moving up through the bunch"

(on his similar car race calling number, Weaver has "Banana peeling out")

old timer 11:53 AM  

Sundays are a slog for me, usually. With this puzzle, I was looking for the next themer, which I knew would be clever. Kept the interest-level much higher, as a result.

I would rate it more easy-medium than plain easy. I had "inlay" and "on the money", too, and never heard of that movie.

By far the best answer: OYECOMOVA. I'd let you hear how it goes, but I'm not good at attaching YouTube videos to my posts here. Amyhow nothing I posted would make up for remembering when I first heard Santana in one of Bill Graham's venues in San Francisco.

Anoa Bob 12:15 PM  

Horse racing can be a deep well from which to draw crossword ideas. The names of the horses, for instance, would make for some interesting themes. Here's one possibility: (NSFW)

The Honeymoon Is Over Downs

JC66 12:17 PM  

@ CV

101A should have been "on the money"

Sorry, I think the racing term "IN THE MONEY" refers to finishing 1st (Win), 2nd (Place) or 3rd (Show) while "on the money" means something else entirely.

You can look it up.

Teedmn 12:19 PM  

This wasn't as easy for me as for many of you. I had no entry into the first NW grouping and started grumbling about proper nouns (1D, 2D, 3D). Plus had SOMNo for a long time, making DYSLEXICS hard to see, which was my only hope of getting the CORK out of that bottleneck. Finally my puzzle muse kicked out CALLAHAN and UTAH. Whew!

My lack of horse race announcing knowledge made BY A stitcH possible briefly (what the announcer calls when the jockey's jersey is imperiled?) Crosses fixed it.

Our masked hero UORRO must have been pleased with all the U-ey sections (UHURA, GURU, UVULA, KUDZU) along with scattered others.

Nice cluing for SODS, GUITAR, ICE AXE, MAYOR, CORK, TWICE and I agree with @John Child that the clue for RSTU took away my usual groan/head-shake for letter runs. Decent puns in the theme entries. I liked this puzzle, thanks Mr. Donaldson!

Masked and Anonymo13Us 12:23 PM  

Watched the 20th grand major slam win. Watched the triple crown win. Flew through the SunPuz. Enjoyed em all. All were sure laudable accomplishments.

Not sure I'd ever want to design and build a SunPuz. Must take forever, if U build em just using pencil and paper and spit, like M&A does. I mean, I'd wake up in a cold sweat, just wonderin if my black squares had got placed all symmetric. Then later on I'd get 3/4 of it filled, and run into one of them forks in the road: 1) TSOTSI ROSA ROSE time, or 2) TSOT, TSOT, TSOTSI goodbye, where U tear out half the grid and hope U can do better on the next reboot. Woof.

Then, if ... IF ... U ever get fill that fulfills all yer hopes and dreams, U hafta write enough clever turns of phrases to fill a Senate oil fracking support bill. And in the middle of writin the clues, U discover that 18-Across and 197-Down are both filled with ERA. U go drown yer sorrows and write a few doz. runtpuzs, just to get yer nerve back.

Then U go out and buy computer software, but whenever U use it, some Chinese dudes hack in and steal yer puztheme idea. So, back to square one. Then U finally get it all together and mail yer SunPuz over to NYC. U still have to wait ... what? -- a couple weeks, probably, to get a NO reply?

Or maybe U get a yes. Then U have to wait ... what? -- a couple more weeks, before yer brainstorm finally gets published. Then U notice 1) puz only had 2 U's in it. Punk. But still, U hope against hope to have one redeemin chance left. The all-important Rex Parker review... Day-um. U are made of sterner stuff than I, Gunga Donaldson Din.

Thanx for all yer hard work, Sam. And Serena. And horsie.


Anonymous 12:33 PM  

I had an ONLAY a few years back. Very common dental procedure, and unsurprisingly, not that much fun.

Kale Yarbourough 12:34 PM  

Not sure if your disapproval of @Tita's inflammatory tangent was sparked by "most cultures" or "millennia" (or both).
Either way, 30 seconds with the utmost infallible authority Wikipedia reveals:

Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe.
Curly-leaved varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat-leaved varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC.

Kai-lan, a separate cultivar of Brassica oleracea much used in Chinese cuisine, is somewhat similar to kale in appearance and is occasionally called "kale" in English.

In the eastern African Great Lakes region, it is an essential ingredient in making a stew for ugali, which is almost always eaten with kale. Kale is also eaten throughout southeastern Africa...

In Japan, kale juice (known as aojiru) is a popular dietary supplement.

In Turkey, especially in Eastern Black Sea Region, kale soup (karalahana çorbası), kale sarma, kale kavurma (sauté), kale turşu are all very common and popular dishes.

Unknown 12:41 PM  

Agree. Patriot's day is in April. The Sox always play an early game on that day. Anyone who doesn't know that is just plain ignorant.

Indypuzzler 12:43 PM  

@Michael Fuchs comments were right on as to the race lengths and how awe-inspiring it is to see a horse compete so spectacularly in all races. I grew up across River from Louisville, Ky and then thought EVERYONE knew about the horses and jockeys, stats, subtleties, horse personalities then moved north 120 miles and figured out mostly no one cared. So I miss the races now when they happen and pretty much know nothing about the horses or the jockeys. So much so that @NCA President comment made me think, "Omg, American Pharoah is a filly!?" Um, Ya. I then realized Pharoah = man.
Easy fun puzzle.

Unknown 12:46 PM  

Hey Rex, widen your horizons a bit. Horse racing embarrassing? A "pretend-we-care" sport? Also, I'll celebrate Serena's accomplishments when it's proven she doesn't take steroids. (She has ballooned in size just like Barry Bonds did)

M and Also 1:00 PM  

ahar! Bonus themer:

118-Across: "And the last place finisher will be appearing soon, at a ___ near you!"


Really neat looong down fills, 15- and 37-Down!

Hartley70 1:30 PM  

@MichaelFuchs that was a lovely paeon to yeaterday's race and a delight to read. I was feeling a bit jaded about the sport in recent years and this reminded me of what I used to see.
I was an enthusiastic Sunday puzzler for a long time before I came here and started the daily. Is it my imagination or has Sunday gotten much easier? I thought the theme was appropriate, if not challenging, and the short fill was just endless. I was just bored by the time I reached the last corner. I feel like Will has put his best effort into choosing puzzles that delight in the weekday NYT. Perhaps that's not a bad marketing decision to keep the circulation figures up. Newspapers need all the help they can get!

Mohair Sam 1:35 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohair Sam 1:39 PM  

@unknown 12:41 - Patriot's Day is indeed in April, ask any Boston Marathoner or Red Sox season ticket holder.

@unknown 12:46 - We here all understand that @Rex is sometimes juvenile and know that what his rant was meant to convey is that he likes tennis and doesn't like horse racing and wishes tennis got more coverage. Poor Serena got buried by the huge volume of sports happenings yesterday - the horse race, a great Stanley Cup match, Barcelona/Juventis European Championship, even Tiger's 85. Busy sports day.

Fun puzzle, but waaay too easy. And yes @Joseph Welling - "Beetle Bomb"! Great stuff, "and Girdle in the stretch," I had totally forgotten.

Ludyjynn 2:02 PM  

To quote Triple Crown winner, jockey Victor Espinoza, "Holy shit!" I just read that he is donating every penny of his winnings to a cancer research charity and that trainer Bob Baffert is donating $50,000. to two charities. Very sporting of them.

@Hartley, for me, solving every day has made Sunday seem much easier than it used to be. But it may BE easier, as well! Hard to tell objectively.

Michael Fuchs 2:30 PM  

@LudyJynn and @Hartley, my only data points are that my Sundays used to take longer than my Saturdays, and now they take less, despite their bigger size. Either Saturdays have gotten harder or Sundays have gotten easier. (Or I'm older and wiser and less hung over on Sunday mornings than I used to be. Okay, never mind. I have no idea.)

GILL I. 2:36 PM  

Yesterday was spent at probably my least favorite venue drinking a mint julep in a sports bar. It was fun though because some were watching tennis and the loud loving horse racing fanatics were watching American Pharoah take the win.
I've grown up with horses and I can tell you with certainty that all young horses love to run. If you stable a horse (particularly a thoroughbred) for long periods without exercise, the minute you go to pasture, it will run like the dickens....
I just now finished this puzzle. It was Ok...nothing to really write home about.
Did you know that they now have a pink pill for women called a VIAGRAette?
Kale is right up there with okra (hi Maruchka) as far as I'm concerned....Even if it is a million years old (hi Tita)
Must now go take a nap and rest my UVULAS....

JFC 2:55 PM  

Rex, if you worked at a track for five summers as a teenager, as I did, you might feel differently. But horse racing is in decline, usurped by all the casinos States have authorized to pay for their bleeding heart over-bloated budgets because they are so fiscally irresponsible. As for Serena, more people are talking about Caitlyn Jenner. I think that is the more apt comparison.

Thoroughbreds are beautiful horses and American Pharoah is a prize.


Anonymous 3:13 PM  

Do any of you rocket scientists have nothing better to comment on other than the horse race, the French open, Patriot('s) Day, etc., etc.? Hint: yesterday was June 6th, D-day. Anyone remember that?

Maybe a puzzle with a D-day theme yesterday or today could have been

Norm 3:19 PM  

Anonymous @3:13 pm: Maybe this will help

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

Dirty Harry is Harry Calahan not Callahan.

Anonymous 4:07 PM  


Karl 4:13 PM  

If memory serves me correctly, it was Spock, not Kirk that kissed Lieutenant Uhura...
I will have to see if my decrepit memory is failing me or not.

'mericans in Paris 4:19 PM  

Mrs. 'mericans and I finished this one early yesterday. It was generally easy, but we had to guess in several places, such as the ISAO-YOST and the KUKLA-AITS crossings. Didn't like OAT (I would use that word only as an adjective). Also, and this is a nit-pic, but standards (STDS) are synonymous with regulations (REGS). In trade-law parlance, at least, technical standards are voluntary, while regulations are mandatory. Regulations will often require adherence to a standard, but the standard itself will usually be created through an independent, and often non-governmental process.

On the other hand, was nice to see OISE, a river we cross at least twice a week on average.

Would have posted earlier, but the vocabulary of this week's puzzle was challenging. Took me a while to figure out how to connect them and then to fit them into the Matt Esquare storyline. So apologies in advance if it seems somewhat forced.

the Further Adventures of Matt Esquare, Ace Detective!

In "A Long Row TO HOE"

I was on RECON down by the waterfront, settling in for what I expected would be a long night. An informant had given me an EARLY LEAD that the Louis Brothers were arranging a delivery of some radioactive material. The guy might have been pulling my LEG, but it wasn't as if I had anything else better to do.

I had parked my old Ford LTD next to a fire hydrant NEAR the top of the street. Now there's a car! Beat all contenders BY A LENGTH, and then some. Before Ford discontinued the series they were often the subject of ASS ADS -- billboards featuring scantily clad young women leaning provocatively over the car's endless hood.

At about 9:00 I started to get hungry. I'd packed some sandwiches and a thermos of black coffee. My doc had said I needed to up my fibre and LYSINE intake. So dinner was KALE and TUNA between two slices of stale OAT bread. ACH! I would have been happier with ALPO.

Eating the TUNA sandwich made me think back to the old animated StarKist television commercials. Charlie the TUNA would always beg to be caught so that he could end up in tiny pieces one of their cans. He would argue that he had good taste, and they would refuse him because their criterion was TUNA that tastes good. What kind of weird piscatorial death wish was going on there? As a child, I would shout at the TV, "Take him! Take Charlie AS he IS!" in the vain hope that I wouldn't have to endure any more of his moronic ads.

(continued below)

'mericans in Paris 4:24 PM  

(continued from above)

'Round midnight I turned the radio on low. Sinatra was crooning "Do do that VOODOO that you do so well." Next the DJ played a recording of some obscure folk-music band from one of those countries that begins with AUST. The SONG was accompanied by a GUITAR, a VILOLA, a BUGLE, and a pair of OCARINAS. It was awful: the singers sounded as if their UVULAS had been stretched several inches and then tucked down their windpipes.

I switched stations and GOT TO a call-in talk show. Two OFs were arguing fiercely over whether PETE ROSE should be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. "Yeah, SHOR, and Sammy SOSA too while you're at it," I said to no one in particular.

I tried another station. This time it was an "Indian GURU" who went by the name of SRA KUKLA. Judging from his ACCENT I would have said he more likely hailed from South Philly than Southern Asia. He was hawking VIALS of some VIAGRA substitute made from ALOE vera and ground KUDZU root. He claimed it was also effective at treating BURNS and protecting users from STDS. What kind of people fall for such quackery?

I switched off the radio in disgust and just sat there AT REST for a while. By 2 o'clock in the morning, however, I was FADING FAST. I stepped out of the car to do a BACK STRETCH. As I straightened up I heard the distinct sound of phosphorus sesquisulfide on brick. I turned my head and saw the flicker of A FLAME and then the soft red GLO of a cigarette. The smoker was tucked into a doorway and was wearing a pinch-front fedora and a TRENCHANT coat.

I froze.

The figure took a long drag, exhaled, and finally spoke. "OYE COMO VA, Esquare. OYE COMO VA" He then whistled the opening notes of Chopin's funeral march.

I'd recognize that voice anywhere. "O'HARA, what are you doing here?"

O'HARA stepped out of the shadows. "I'm a cop. That gives me a perfectly good reason to be anywhere in this city, at any time. What are you doing here, if I may ask?"

"Listen, if you're IN for THE MONEY, I've already paid, remember?"

O'HARA chuckled, took another puff and stared at the cigarette for a moment. "Nothing like that, I'm afraid." He was looking straight at me now. "I hear that some people are concerned you're getting too close to their business. You're life's in danger. On the VERGE, as it were. Like you've got a RED A for 'assassinate' hangin' on your back."

"SES who?"

"Don't ASK ME, ask the Mayor."

"The who?!

"You heard me. I'm here at the MAYOR'S BEHEST."

(To be continued.)

Fred Romagnolo 4:25 PM  

@Norm: if it weren't for Merle (and the ,admittedly, not very good acrostic) I wouldn't take the Sunday Chron. @JBerg: you are so right, Bonheur was a superb painter. @Anon8:15: you didn't make a comment about the puzzle - people who live in glass houses... At first I had fORK, instead of CORK and I thought what a clever clue, of course a fork in the road would ease a bottleneck! Everything I didn't know was cleared by crosses except ACK and SKOR, so, a good puzzle. @Chef: I only have one D.O., but without it I'd be crippled as a cook. And please don't feel the need to respond to trolls, it's what they live for in their dirty little hearts.

M and A Help Desk 4:33 PM  

@Karl: Kirk kissed Uhura in "Plato's Stepchildren" episode, back in the sixties.
I think if U Google "kirk kisses uhura", plenty of corroboration will ensue.

Re: rocket scientist request: not sure there have been many crossword themes ever, dedicated to war events.



Ludyjynn 4:35 PM  

@Karl, Check out Ms. Nichols said to an interviewer that she was rehearsing the kiss w/ Leonard Nimoy, a/k/a Spock, when William Shatner, a/k/a Kirk, saw them and insisted he get the kiss, instead! She said he took over the rehearsals avidly from that point and the rest, as they say, is tv history.

chefwen 4:55 PM  

@Tita - I only have one Dutch oven, that was @chefbea who has several. Maybe she will loan you one of hers.

Loved the puzzle, love horses and horse racing. Jon follows it year round and Del Mar was our home away from home when we lived in San Diego and the ponies were running there.

Puzzle was a tad bit on the easy side, which was welcomed after my embarrassing show yesterday.

Thank you Mr. Donaldson.

chefbea 5:30 PM  

@Tita and @chefwen...of course i will lend Tita a dutch oven. We will be in Ct. next month. Should I bring it???

wreck 5:33 PM  

Speaking of Mr. Spock and Sam Donaldson - did anyone ever see them both in the same room at the same time?

jae 5:45 PM  

@oldtimer - Oye Como Va 

jae 5:55 PM  

and, @Anon 3:45 - IMBD has it with one L for Magnun Force in 1973 and two Ls for The Enforcer in 1976. For the original Dirty Harry Eastwood's character is just Harry, although the summary has a two L spelling.

rudiger45 6:17 PM  

Coincidentally, it was overlooked that in the 4th race at Belmont yesterday, CABBAGE won by a head, helped by the fact that REDPANTS fell down in the backstretch.

Minuteman 6:28 PM  

Patriots Day is in April. Co-opting an already existing holiday that is about the beginning of the Revolutionary War that led to independence and the establishment of a new nation by those who exploit the tragic events of 9/11 with overblown rhetoric and cheap faux-symbolism for political and commercial purposes is a despicable act. That alone makes this puzzle bogus.

F.O.G. 6:52 PM  

My 29-year old twin sons have a different meaning for "Dutch oven." Out of respect for STDS, I will not post it here.

Anonymous 7:00 PM  

I liked OCARINAS. I'm enraged by fake Patriots'/Patriot's Day.

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

@F.O.G. : now @ Chefbea's pride regarding her many DUTCHOVENs makes more sense.

Teedmn 7:21 PM  

Thanks, @'mericans in Paris, for the ongoing Matt Esquare saga. That was pretty slick usage of rather slim pickin's, clue- and answer-wise!

Bird 7:31 PM  

Apologies for being so late, but today was very busy. Anyway, I just finished this fun puzzle. I liked the themers, but (as others already stated) 101A is off (ON THE MONEY). The fill should be better but I learned a lot today.

F.O.G. 8:08 PM  

@ old timer 11:54 AM

You posted: "By far the best answer: OYECOMOVA. I'd let you hear how it goes, but I'm not good at attaching YouTube videos to my posts here. Amyhow nothing I posted would make up for remembering when I first heard Santana in one of Bill Graham's venues in San Francisco."

I was in NYC in 1970 and saw Santana at the Filmore that summer. Carlos was very shy and turned his back to the crowd for much of the concert. And he constantly adjusted the knobs on his Gibson. We were the first stop on the Black Magic Woman tour and hadn't heard the first several songs released on that album ... but then Santana launched into Oye Como Va and the place went wild.

mgoogleblog 8:23 PM  

If you live in Mass., Patriot's Day is a state holiday which falls on April 19.

Anonymous 8:29 PM  

Hey @mgoogleblog, why don't you read some of the previous comments before you demonstrate what a total masshole you are?

Z 10:30 PM  

@Anon8:29 - Just for you.

Anonymous 10:44 PM  

Hey did you guys know that Patriots' day is a state holiday celebrated on the third Monday in April in Massachusetts?

(Note to the previous 8 commenters who got it wrong: it is plural possessive in Massachusetts ans Wisconsin, but not in Maine. If you're going to be a masshole, at least be an accurate masshole.)

Nancy 11:27 PM  

The men's French Open final -- a great one -- ended at 1 p.m. The weather in NYC was spectacular: on a scale of 1-10, it was a 15. So, not having gotten to the park until 1:30, I couldn't bring myself to leave. Then a gulped-down dinner, so I'd be in time for the Tony Awards at 8 p.m. Didn't leave me much time for the puzzle. Fortunately, it was pretty meh and I was able to squeeze it in during commercials. But that's why I'm posting so late. I'm pretty sure no one will read this anyway.

@Michael Fuchs -- I thought your horse racing comments were right ON THE MONEY. I'm one of those people who only watches the Triple Crown races and has no interest in horse racing the rest of the year. But an athletic feat is an athletic feat and I was stirred by the performance of American Pharoah. Even though his owner is supposed to be a hothead and something of a jerk, I really don't care. I admire the horse. And I enjoyed the Belmont far more than the puzzle, to tell the truth.

kitshef 11:36 PM  

Nobody else thinks RED A is green paint? Couple of WoEs: IGA and AITS, both made tolerable by the crosses though TYCO is just on the edge of reasonable. TEMPORARY TATTOOS is great stuff and crosses three themers.

Tita 1:10 AM  

Hi @chefbea... Thanks so much for the offer! I may just break down and get her one. Hey - let us know when you're in the neighborhood!

@'mericans - our friends have a place near the confluence of the OISE and the Seine. What brings you to that area? We were just there last month, in fact.

paulsfo 1:53 AM  

@kitshef: Since no other color or no other letter would have fit with the clue, REDA doesn't seem like a green paint clue to my limited understanding.

@anonymous(s): please get a name (eg, troll3892). That way we still won't know who you are -- you'll be safe to spout hate and you can still be as offensive as you want -- but that way the non-psychotic "anonymouses" (anonymi?) wouldn't get hit by all the hateful thoughts that are directed at you every day.

Did other people know that LOA means "long" in Hawaiian?

I thought there were several fun clues; and I really think that Rex might benefit from psychotherapy.

When I was a kid my friend's father drove an LTD equipped with a four-track tape player. I don't know how long those were around (as opposed to eight-track) but it was the only one I ever saw.

I don't know if there's any way to make horse-racing significantly safer; informed consent seems to be out of the question.

'mericans in Paris 2:15 AM  

@Maruchka -- glad to have inspired you to pick up Channdler again. He was a wiz at the atmospherics!

@Tita -- we have a weekend place about 20 minutes northwest from where we cross the Oise, which is in Cergy-Pointoise, just downstream from Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh died and is burried next to Theo, his brother.

@Paul -- At first I couldn't recall LOA as meaning "long" in Hawaiian, and had to get it from the crosses. But then when I saw it I recalled that Mona LOA means "Long Mountain". My father and younger brother and his wife live in Hawai'i, which is probably one reason why I know such Hawaiiana.

Fred Romagnolo 4:17 AM  

"Twas the eighteenth of April in '75 - beginning of the Ride of Paul Revere by Longfellow - denoting the day before the Ride. The American Revolution began on the 19th of April. Lexington & Concord. It shouldn't be Mondayed, but like the glorious 4th, be celebrated on it's actual day. IMO.

Rug Crazy 8:19 AM  

Ack and cami ruined the puzzle... OROS??

Southern Belly 8:25 AM  

Well I know a horse that won at Belmont making the first Triple Crown Winner in 38 years. He is an awesome specimen of a horse. The puzzle was easy but the Triple Crown is not. Clearly Rex does not have southern roots and if he does he should be ashamed of his horse racing remarks. We are sensitive to that below the Mason-Dixon Line. Agree with him about the puzzle though.

Burma Shave 11:58 AM  


when you were on the VERGE of FADINGFAST,
and you ROSE BYALENGTH, how nice
ACHOO TRY to make it last.
FOR A man who’s ATREST will merely OBSESS,
Therefore if you ASKME, ISAO brother,
It’s VIAGRA you’ve GOTTO ingest


spacecraft 12:16 PM  

Sadly, it appears that @Rex Porker takes Sunday off, so I will have to fill in:

"This puzzle features a theme that I happen not to like: horse racing. Therefore I shall beat it severely about the head and shoulders by comparing it to tennis--obviously a sport that I DO like. So there. Thus the constructor is automatically doomed to failure no matter what. And that, folks, is what we critics call 'objectivity.'"

While I'm not a big fan of American Pharoah's (DYSLEXICS, anyone?) name, he did a lot more than "run fast three times." The reason that Triple Crown winners are so rare is that the Belmont is a mile and a half--and that extra distance is the downfall of most pretenders to that particular throne. When he refused to fade down that long homestretch, he established himself as an all-time great--and his stud fees will "mount" to some $10 million. That's at least comparable to the lifetime earnings of a tennis pro, though within a much shorter span of years.

As to today's effort, I found it mostly easy except where I entered incorrectly. At 9-down, I must have been in a Bunker state of mind, because I wrote stiFLE ("yourself, Edith!"). That caused major problems before I saw the right word: MUFFLE. Then it all worked. And my race part was a Lap before it was a LEG. In the SE, I was momentarily confused until grokking the Moscow opening; *groan* it was just another MCDONALDS.

I remember those transfers in the Cracker Jacks, but I certainly never heard them called "TEMPORARYTATTOOS," an oxymoron if there ever was one. In the first place, that's way too long a name to give a child's toy; you couldn't get it halfway said till they fell asleep.

I remember TAI and her ill-fated partner, whose name, Randy Gardner, is not nearly so crossword-friendly. Poor guy pulled a hammie during warmups, and the pair was forced to withdraw. They were among the favorites, too--though whether they could've beaten the Russian juggernaut remains problematical at best.

Fill troubles occur, NEAR inevitable in a big grid. Though RSTU is YARLS (Yet Another Random Letter String), it is at least humorously clued. No problem getting it, though, as OYECOMOVA was a gimme for this Santana fan. Possible bleedover: DUTCHOVEN: What Reagan cooks in? I agree that ROSE/ROSA is a no-no; also, should any clue for POE contain the word "poet?" Just askin.' BTW, to me a docent is a lecturer; the ASKME button wearer is more like a tour guide, or somebody in an information booth.

As to the now-famous interracial kiss, I note sadly that the two were forced, obviously against their will, by the mental powers of the villain. I thought she was a fine babe. I was going "What the hell, Jim, enjoy!" The black-white thing was never a big deal to me. Nichelle, baby, you are STILL fine in my book. That scene where she danced on the sand dune in "Star Trek V: The Undiscovered Country" was awesome. What a pair of LEGs!

I liked the race theme. I'm reminded of a Redd Foxx routine featuring "My-y-y Dick!" You can't sneeze in your sleep? Really? I always sneeze TWICE, ONEAFTERTHEOTHER. Does that mean anything? A-.

Anonymous 12:48 PM  

KUKLA/AITS ruined my morning. You couldn't make something comfortable like BIKES/SITS work?

rondo 1:23 PM  

Agree with the ease factor. Only write-over was iNLAY. It was a race to the finish.

PERI Gilpin is today’s yeah baby while UHURA and OHARA are crossing each other.

A YOST that’s not Ned? Unheard of.

KUKLA, Fran and Ollie – now there’s one for “old-timers” (usually anyone 5+ years older than OFL).

Used to play the bass GUITAR back in the day, first electric instrument ever to play in our HS band, but only a couple tunes.

Nice to have an easy puz on such a beautiful day in MN. The rest of today will find me ONTHEOUTSIDE.

AnonymousPVX 2:57 PM  

Haters gonna hate.

AnonymousPVX 3:10 PM  

I still don't get "OSOS" as a suit in a Spanish card deck unless it is referring to the actual suits worn by the face cards.
Had inlay instead of onlay. Also please note spellcheck insists on inlay even as I type.
I don't get "ETES" as a verb with vous, unless we're expected to now know the actual French language and its conventions as opposed to knowing some French terms.

paulsfo 3:51 PM  

AnonymousPVX: It appears to be OROS, not OsOS. That still didnt make sense to me but i found this online: › books
Pedro Pineda - 1740
Oros, (. m. the Suit of Diamonds on theCards ; so called, because on the Spanish Cards they represent Pieces of Gold ...

rain forest 4:09 PM  

Apparently there are TWO commemorative days in the U.S.--Patriots'/Patriot's Day and Patriot Day. Couldn't someone have come up with something else to alleviate possible confusion? Curious.

I have been a horse-racing aficionado since I was a youngish lad. Love to be on the rail on the track as these magnificent animals come pounding past. It is a stirring experience, at least for me. Sometimes I even bet. I also am an on-again, off-again tennis fan. Both American Pharoah's and Serena Williams' accomplishments are historic, but for @Rex to criticize the puzzle because Samuel A. Donaldson's construction is all about call in horse races is a little weird. Perhaps someday Patrick Berry will create a puzzle to honour the Williams sisters. Then he'd have two reasons to like it.

This is the sort of Sunday puzzle I prefer. A big puzzle is usually more enjoyable when it is on the easy side, like today, especially with an engaging theme.

My last entry was at the SKOR/ACK crossing where I waited until the candy came to mind.

Btw, the phrase IN THE MONEY is correct wrt to racing.

AnonymousPVX 6:49 PM  

Thanks, meant to type OROS -that's what I put in the puzzle - but fanned on the keyboard.

Kate Mark 12:58 PM  

I am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for over 9 years and we had two kids. thing were going well with us and we where always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treated me and the kids. later that month he did not come back home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditional spell hospital for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he casted on him that make him come back to me. my family and i are now happy again. Thank you Dr. Aluta for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay. He cast spells for different purposes like
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) You want to be rich.
(7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial assistance.
(9) Herbal care
(10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery
Contact him today on:

Anonymous 10:01 PM  

I am happy to say at the beginning of this year, I have met someone else. Someone that is much more suited for me, meets 99% of the critia on "my list" (in the work, he asked me to create a list of the qualities of a man I would like to have in my life). I recently spoke to Dr. Todd again on the phone to touch base and to see what spirits insight were on my new relationship. 13 days from the time I spoke to him, EVERYTHING he said came to pass regarding my new guy. WHAT IS EVEN MORE AMAZING is that after I spoke to him a few weeks ago, I pulled out my notes from our first phone conversation last year, back then he told me about the man I am currently seeing, practically describing him to a tee as well as the timing of when he would enter my life. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am a whole person, on my own (not needing a man) and am truly happy and grateful for everything life has to offer. I whole heartedly believe that this is because of Dr. Todd and the work we did. He always knows best and I will be a life long client. Thank you Dr. Todd!! e-mail:

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