English monarch called magnificent / SUN 6-21-15 / Relative of halberd / Peace to Pushkin / Shark girl in west side story / North-flowing English river / Former Houston athlete / Opposites of fantasts / Bath-loving TV character / 100 Iranian dinars

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: "Climbing the Corporate Ladder" — theme answers are familiar phrases that start on one level and then climb up and finish on another level. The "climbing" part, read downwards, is the name of a corporation, and is clued by the product that corporation makes [in brackets]:

Theme answers:
  • TRUEFALSETESTS (34A: Exams that students get F's on?) — TESLA makes [Automobiles]
  • POSTAGESTAMP (31A: What may be forever?) — SEGA makes [Video games]
  • THREEKINGSDAY (62A: Annual celebration on January 6) — NIKE makes [Sportswear]
  • INTHATRESPECT (75A: When viewed one way) — SERTA makes [Mattresses]
  • HOWWASITOKNOW (82A: Response deflecting blame) — OTIS makes [Elevators]
  • SETSINMOTION (116A: Initiates) — OMNI … makes? are? … [Hotels]
  • LOGICALFALLACY (118A: Part of an unsound argument) — AFLAC … deals in … [Insurance]
Word of the Day: SUGARLOAF (2D: Rio de Janeiro peak) —
Sugarloaf Mountain (PortuguesePão de Açúcar) is a peak situated in Rio de JaneiroBrazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 meters (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. It is known worldwide for its cableway and panoramic views of the city. (wikipedia)
• • •

This one started out Grim. ISIS (1A: Sunni jihadist grp.) crossed with SEALERS (4D: Some arctic hunters)!? Yeesh. way to lead with the carnage. But things lightened up considerably after that. My first thought upon discovering the theme was "we just had a Sunday puzzle with this theme, didn't we?" I'm pretty sure I've seen the basic conceit (here it is in reverse). But the rationale here strikes me as a very good one—the "climbing" isn't gratuitous, but fits right in with and neatly visually exemplifies the title phrase, "Climbing the Corporate Ladder." Take familiar phrase, turn it into wordplay. That's a pretty common crossword-maker gambit, and I thought it worked well here. It took me a while to understand the bracketed Down parts of the theme answers. My gut reaction was "How is [Mattreses] SERTA, singular? Shouldn't it be SERTAS?" But then I saw that those clues weren't ordinary—they indicated the product dealt in by whatever business was being spelled out by the riser part of the theme answer. And since the fill didn't bug me much at all, I have to declare this one a reasonable success.



Today I remembered AGFA, which almost never happens. Do they still make film? Even when they did, I was never familiar with AGFA, and learned it (and repeatedly forgot it) through crosswords. But today, victory. I've been seeing a lot of good press for "Masters of Sex" recently, so 9D: Study for a Masters? (SEXOLOGY) didn't fool me at all. I had a bunch of initially wrong answers—not uncommon on a Sunday. My [Bank deposit] was SILT before it was SNOW. Had a double screw-up at 108A: Whole essence crossing 103D: Some madrigal singers. Instead of the correct BE ALL / ALTI, I had BEING / ANIS … they're blackbirds … it's a crossword thing. What can I say, it felt right, for like three seconds. My best error, though, came when I had -OL-WATER for 35A: Liquid harmful to vampires and I went with … [drum roll] … COLD WATER. So basically I would be the guy in the movie who throws cold water on the vampire, resulting only in a cold, wet vampire. Then I'd get bitten or just destroyed. Speaking of vampires, there's a Christopher Lee marathon on TCM on Monday, so look for that.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]

    128 comments:

    jae 12:10 AM  

    Medium-tough for me.  Caught the theme when I erased the S from the last square of 34a.  It was still a tad crunchy after that. 

    WOEs: AGFA, DEANIE and EDMUND I.  Fun Fact @hi Lewis: "Hey DEANIE" was named after Natalie Wood's character in Splendor In The Grass.

    Me too for Silt before SNOW.  

    Clever/fun theme with a very smooth grid.  Nice Sun. workout. Liked it!

    Laura Morrison 12:11 AM  

    The theme worked for me - one of those "trust your instinct" puzzles, and it worked in my favor.
    I'm normally a day-of solver and feel I'm cheating if I do the puzzle when it's published the night before. So not sure what I'll do with my Sunday morning... But enjoyed refreshing until Rex's review was posted! I would have live-tweeted if there was anything to write home about.

    Z 12:51 AM  

    ATIT above XENA has to be a National Anthem reference. Caution - nsfw.

    John Child 3:18 AM  

    Who could forget "magnificent" King EDMUNDI of SILEX and his Camino RIAL? And the timeless question HOW WAS IT OK NOW? Did you remember that ADRENO BEALL was also a PISAN.?

    I thought a lot of clues today were too opaque - I gave up with too much white space to see the full gimmick. Never got College booster = EASYA. Piddling was ofNovalue. I don't think of cloying as growing tiresome. Never heard of THREE KINGS DAY.

    GIant fail for me, and no love I'm afraid. On the plus side, {What might be revealed in silence} is an outstandingly great clue.

    chefwen 3:32 AM  

    Challenging for me. About halfway through I handed it to Jon stating "It's all yours, I'm over it". He took up the challenge and actually finished it. It wasn't pristine, but he did it error free. Impressive! Those ladders did me in. Not my favorite Sunday, but I'll get over it.

    GILL I. 5:59 AM  

    Well, let me be the first to gush then. I loved this puzzle. I'll take these every Sunday.
    Took forever to see the theme but I knew there was an "up" going on. POSTAGE STAMP just had to be right. Aha!...SEGA!
    Had a malapop at SCION/SECT..is that part of a SEXOLOGY quiz?
    We always celebrate THREE KINGS DAY in our house. I save one present for everyone and we open it after brunch. Speaking of...I hope you dad's are having one today. Our HOLY WATER is going to be Cava with o.j.
    Timothy Polin this brain of your is amazing. Did it take you like a year to construct.
    HAPPY FATHER's DAY to all the papacitos out there...Lots of sports to watch on T.V. while we wimen cook up some of your favorite vittles.

    Anonymous 6:29 AM  

    Longtime surfer here... I, too, loved the clue for TACT. And loved the just-right challenge of this Sunday puzzle (as someone said recently, too often Sundays are bigger but not often very interesting). Even after Rex' explanation I couldn't see the answer to "Response deflecting blame." Maybe because of the ladder thing, I kept reading it as, "HOW WAS it? Ok, now." :). BUT, can someone explain the clue for PAYOLA?

    Wikipedia 6:45 AM  

    PAYOLA

    Lewis 6:50 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Lewis 6:56 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Anonymous 6:58 AM  

    Back in the earliest days of my personal recollection - the '50's or early '60's - there was a huge scandal about record (my age again) companies paying radio stations to play songs they wanted to make into hits. That's how I remember PAYOLA (=bribery). I had a very difficult time seeing the full theme but ultimately enjoyed it.

    - Jim C. in Maine

    Kenneth Wurman 7:32 AM  

    Defeated. .First puzzle that I couldn't make a dent in in a long time...

    Kenneth Wurman 7:32 AM  

    Defeated. .First puzzle that I couldn't make a dent in in a long time...

    Kenneth Wurman 7:32 AM  

    Defeated. .First puzzle that I couldn't make a dent in in a long time...

    chefbea 7:34 AM  

    Tough puzzle!!! I wanted a fun Father's romp but didn't get this at all. Had to come here to have father Rex explain.

    Happy father's day all...enjoy your hot dogs!!

    Lewis 7:56 AM  

    Factoid: The OTIS Elevator Company carries the equivalent of the world's population in their elevators every five days.
    Quotoid: "I didn't attend the funeral, but I SENT a nice letter saying I approved of it." -- Mark Twain

    RAD2626 7:57 AM  

    Lots going on here: dashes, brackets, ladder answers, opaque cluing, several WOES for me, misdirects like Silt and BEing as Rex pointed out and just dopey mistakes like mariA for ANITA. Terrific construction feat. I thought much harder than Medium. Lots of work. Glad I hung in there.

    'mericans in Paris 8:06 AM  

    With @johnchild and @Lewis. Was a genuine joint effort with my wife. Took us several hours of passing the puzzle back and forth. Ultimately persistence paid off. Several answers would have stumped us in a Natick, but fortunately we were able to fill in all the spaces with crosses.

    Some of the expressions seemed "corporate-speak", some less so. IN THAT RESPECT, HOW WAS I TO KNOW, SETS IN MOTION, LOGICAL FALLACY (actually, I suppose, that's more academic speak), and POSTAGE STAMP could conceivably be heard around the office. TRUE-FALSE TESTS and THREE KINGS DAY not really.

    Don't know whether others notice it, but there were actually a lot of corporations in this puz, many beginning with A, O, S, or T -- AFLAC, AGFA, AIG, OMNI, OTIS, SEGA, SERTA, TESLA, TORO -- not to mention NIKE and the OED.

    The vocabulary is challenging for a Matt Esquare episode, however. May take me a couple of hours more before I post one. In the mean time, for those interested and who missed it, I posted a mini, non-Esquare story on the Tuesday blog, titled "Waiting on the Stars".

    À bientôt.

    Loren Muse Smith 8:08 AM  

    Well, shoot. I finished, but like Rex, the fact that the down clues in brackets were plural just flummoxed me, and I knew I was missing something. I really wish I had considered the themers just a little bit longer before giving up. For me, even if I get every letter correct, I call it a personal dnf if I don't fully grasp the theme. Cool trick, Timothy. The company must fit backwards into a phrase! I'm with @RAD2626 - this had to have been tough. Without pesky symmetry/count details, it's fun to think of others:

    DISINTEGRATION, HELP PAGE, CROSS PURPOSE, TANDEM BICYCLE

    Same mistakes as others with "being" and "silt."

    I despise TRUE FALSE TESTS. I swear, it can be a test on how many days each month has, and I'll get all philosophical and suspicious with "True or False – January has 30 days." That's a TRUE statement. So in a LOGICAL FALLACYlistic panic, I could feasibly end up marking TRUE for "Loren has one nostril." Mental acrobats like this invariably give me a headache. Rub some peppermint oil in my nostril, lie down, headache gone. Post hoc ERGO propter hoc.

    I don't think I've ever seen the word "fantast." We rented the movie Spare Parts last night – a team of poor Hispanic high school kids (almost all undocumented) beat MIT and a bunch of other colleges in an underwater robotics competition. The coolest part, and true, was how they got around a problem – one that MIT couldn't - with sheer ingenuity and tampons. Their robot, "Stinky" cost $800 to build; MIT's robot cost about $11,000. If you're interested in what "fantasts" can accomplish, here's the story. I don't think a bunch of REALISTs would have even DREAMT of trying.

    Stinky

    Look. (I know I've been over this before, but this place must get new readers all the time, so, well, most of you can roll your eyes and skip to the next comment.) I've been to some beaches in Europe with people from other countries. Maybe my friends were all minimalists, but in Europe when we went to the beach, we each took one towel the size of a small door mat. That was it.

    Boy howdy not here, though. We take, in addition to the PAILs and shovels, chairs, a cabana, umbrellas (for the late-risers who can't fit under the cabana), boomboxes, food cooler, drink cooler, our Kubb set, boogie boards, seine net, fishing poles, kite, sifters, beach bags the size of dishwashers (with sunscreens, novels, magazines, walkie talkies, Accent meat tenderizer, Nerf football, Frisbee, Velcro paddle/ball thingy set, extra visors, goggles, snorkels, masks, flippers…), and, oh yeah, towels the size of bed sheets. Heck, sometimes even a bed sheet.

    Here's the thing – I had just as much fun at the beach with my little hand towel in Europe as I do with here with the ridiculous myriad of stuff. Joke's somehow, again, on me.

    Timothy – excellent puzzle. Happy Father's Day to all our FAMILIAL HEROes. @George Barany – Happy Father(-in-Law)'s Day!

    Glimmerglass 8:24 AM  

    Timothy, excellent puzzle! "A reasonable success" is high praise from Rex
    Parker.

    Lewis 8:32 AM  

    I'm with @johnchild -- the cluing was tough! Persistence eventually paid off, and I may have gained an intelligence point after this hard work. It's the kind of work I like, though, so the puzzle is a nice Father's Day present. I did like the clues for MENU, SILT, PATE, and INSTEP, and I like the answer INSIDIOUS. And BEALL is a DOOK.

    I kept looking for a connection between the phrase in the ladder and the embedded corporation. Had that happened, this puzzle would have been extra special.

    NCA President 8:40 AM  

    ALLELE? Could someone help with this being a "genetic variant?"

    Is PISAN the same as a Paisan? I see that "PISAN" is, according to the Urban Dictionary, an Italian male. But I've always thought PISAN was someone from Pisa and so pronounced that way...PEE-suhn. Whereas the Italian "bro" word, pie-SAHN was spelled the other way. I'm so confused now.

    Or is Fibonacci simply from Pisa? Like Warren Buffet is from Omaha (Omahan)?

    Pretty challenging for my Sunday.

    Rex Porker 8:50 AM  

    Somebody better throw some cOLd WATER on me! I am positively gushing over this one. "... didn't bug me...", "reasonable success!" May I add "didn't suck" and "I can go on with my life after finishing this one?" Pretty soon I might even say a puzzle was "good." Don't hold your breath.

    Anonymous 8:50 AM  

    Enjoyed this puzzle once I got a foothold into the theme and stair step design. I wince whenever there are a group of "-" clues, knowing that it will take extra sleuthing to solve the puzzle. Had to ask my husband about 35A: Liquid harmful to vampires. He knew HOLYWATER without missing a beat, because as he reassured me, he's preparing for the eventuality. That led to the obvious question of zombie preparedness. We're probably toast should either zombies or vampires drop by. At any rate, this one took longer than my normal Sunday time by several minutes.

    Anonymous 8:58 AM  

    @NCA Pres: The second thing.
    @LMS: Thanks for sharing your exploits on a topless beach with us.
    @Kenneth: we got it the first time.

    Haiku Nerd 9:03 AM  

    HOW WAS I TO KNOW
    REALISTS SEXOLOGY
    DENOTED A TIT

    Anonymous 9:13 AM  

    NCA President said...
    ALLELE? Could someone help with this being a "genetic variant?"

    GOOGLE IT!

    Anonymous 9:17 AM  

    Mostly enjoyed, got totally stuck on the TRIP / HOSE / ISAID crossings. Main gripe is that no golfer I know (including myself) has ever hit a ball from anything we would call a TEEPAD. Oh wait, it's something used in disc golf. Hmmm.....

    MDMA 9:56 AM  

    Fun physics fact: a TESLA is a MYRIAD GAUSS.

    Teedmn 10:09 AM  

    A classic Sunday puzzle in difficulty and cleverness - thanks, Timothy Polin!

    I knew I was in for it at 5A. I confidently put in ISIS at 1A, then saw the - clue at 5A and took ISIS, out thinking 1A would be a multi-word answer. Perhaps if I had read the puzzle title, I might have realized that it might involve a stepping sort of answer, but I didn't. So I skip-stepped around the theme areas, getting fill but never enough to suss the theme. Finally in the SW, I had SETS from crosses, OMNI seemed likely for [Hotels] and even though I had AUDIo and INSIDuOUS, my brain was SET(S) IN MOTION, fixing two errors and giving me most of the theme idea. Never did glom onto the idea of the corporate names (hi @LMS) till I read it here and at Wordplay where Timothy gave us the back story on the construction of this puzz ( though I still don't get how the second Hobbit movie was the inspiration).

    I knew THREE KINGS DAY from being on St. Croix Island on Jan 6th one year where it is a holiday. We were scratching our heads over what holiday it could be till the locals filled us in. It was my first 'get away from winter' vacation and seeing the Christmas decorations hanging in the streets while my brain told me it was July was weird.

    I got DOOKed at BEALL (thought I had an error and it should be wEAL_ but didn't change it) and liked seeing POLE AXE, where an Ice AXE might come in handy.

    Happy Father's Day to all of you so blessed.

    Tita 10:10 AM  

    Fun struggle... It took me until all the way down at OMNI to see SETINMOTION and figure out the trick. After that, it still put up a fight, which is a good thing.

    @John C...Epiphany, or Three King's Day, is the 12th day of Christmas renowned in song... That is how long it took the wise guys to travel to Bethlehem and present their gifts to the baby, and is why some people (Hi @Gill) give presents that day.

    For me, it works out perfect...being the baby of my family, and the geographical outlier, I can't get family to come up to our house before or on Christmas...so my party happens on the weekend closest to THREEKiNGSDAY.

    Best part of the deal is that I can procrastinate with all the silly holiday-related decor, baking, etc...
    That becomes my "Village Party"... See my blog and you'll get a glimpse into my current insanity...

    @lms...Jones Beach in the sixties...we'd go for the day, with a fabulous parent-made smorgasbord of beach food. Deviled eggs, salt cod cakes, shrimp rissoles, Wise potato chips... And an old bedspread. Aah...the beach was so much better then! ;)

    MDMA 10:17 AM  

    RASH HERO DREAMT TRIP
    OUST INSIDIOUS ISIS
    REALISTS DESIST

    MDMA 10:29 AM  

    WET SNOW AL DENTE
    IDLE HANDS AUDIT MENU
    SETS IN MOTION HATE

    rorosen 10:31 AM  

    true or false? Accent meat tenderizer may be used at the beach to prevent burning,..

    AliasZ 10:39 AM  


    Loved this one. I had my epiphany at THRE[EKIN]GSDAY simply because THREE didn't look like an annual celebration on January 6 or on any other day. Thus I was looking for a continuation, and the judge granted it. The rest of the themers came easily thereafter, and pretty soon I heard the happy tune.

    I also liked the long non-themers: HOLY WATER, HANNIBAL, PENNY ANTE, HOUSEBOAT, SUGAR LOAF, etc. The fill was exemplary for the lack of trite crosswordese, save for an EFT and EEN here, and a few EKES there. Very few.

    @NCA Pres, yes, Fibonacci was PISAN, as Rossano Brazzi was Bolognese, Paganini Genoese, Brahms a Hamburger and Goethe a Frankfurter.

    Excellent puzzle, Timothy. Thank you.

    SUGAR LOAF inspired these Brazilian impressions. Enjoy!

    Ludyjynn 10:45 AM  

    All of the family photos taken by Mom when we were kids were the product of an AGFA box camera. It had a bellows which ingeniously collapsed neatly into a slender rectangle when you pushed a button, making it quite portable w/ its leather carrying handle. And it took beautiful pictures. Mom would ONLY use AGFA film. Ironically, later, as an adult, I would ONLY use Fuji film in my Canon SLR, my first 'real' camera.

    This puzz. played med-chall for me, but I liked the struggle, a lot. It took forever to 'get' the theme, but once I did, I was impressed by THEARTISTry of its construction. Some very clever clueing. Thanks, TP and WS.

    For all of you dads out there, Happy Fathers Day! Just saw comedian Jim Gaffigan do a hilarious commentary on the topic at the close of CBS "Sunday Morning". Worth a couple of minutes of your time to Google it. before you fire-up the bbq or head out to the golf course.



    Z 10:59 AM  

    @NCA President - a little freedom with the definition of "variant" helps grok the clue for ALLELE. I was wondering, too, if anyone considered PISiAN before counting letters.

    @LMS - How did you fill the puzzle without getting the theme? I was 10 minutes in before I realized the brackets matched up with the dashes and another good 15 minutes before HOW WA(S I TO) KNOW exposed the theme. I was nowhere in the west until after that. It still took me an embarrassingly long time to unpack the "Masters" clue, so 58 minutes here.

    Re my early link - The Lucy Lawless (aka XENA the Warrior Princess) wardrobe malfunction is pretty famous in Detroit since it happened at a Red Wing playoff game (against Anaheim I think) and got past the 7 second delay and was aired live. The Toronto Blue Jay clip at the end is just an homage to our Canadan friends' foresight in stadium design.

    Arlene 11:21 AM  

    It took me a while to get into this puzzle. I knew I had to bend some of the answers, but knowing that didn't help all that much at first. My AHA moment came at TESLA. The last to fall was SEGA and that corner.
    I had BARNARD at first, but changed it to PARSONS, but back to BARNARD again. That's how this puzzle was going - slow, at times, almost impossible. But I finished it - perseverance pays. Also the strategy of putting the puzzle down, and picking it up again - repeating as necessary. Sort of the opposite of speed solving - which shouldn't be considered the end-all be-all.

    Jamie C. 11:35 AM  

    @LMS seems very intent on sharing intimate details of her life on a crossword blog. I suppose it's better than keeping it all inside, and cheaper than therapy, but there has to be a better venue, doesn't there?

    Ellen S 11:35 AM  

    Laughed out loud at @Rex's idea of cOld WATER being harmful to vampires. I'm entitled to laugh because I was even further off the mark -- I had the H___ and thought it was Human-something. Human waste? If you pee on a vampire, it dissolves like in the WIzard of Oz? That seems unlikely and anyway Human waste didn't fit, so I was looking forward to learning something new about fighting vampires. Felt right stupid when HOLY WATER appeared. I know that! I've known that forever! Must be getting senile.

    Otherwise, I found this pretty yummy. My solving experience was pretty much like @Z's, only I wasn't running a timer. But I was well into it before I noticed that the blank Across clues matched up to a Down clue in brackets. And much later, HOW WAS I TO KNOW showed me the extra piece of the theme. Solving the rest of the themers, and the rest of the puzzle, was fun, unlike the themes where once you get it, the rest are just fill-in-the-blanks.

    Ellen S 11:38 AM  

    @LMS, don't pay no attention to @Jamie C -- I look forward to your stories. [Just like I enjoy @George Barany's puzzle links and @Alias Z's musical ones. Don't stop.]

    Anonymous 11:49 AM  

    never saw it. i even went so far as to highlight the across blanks. threw in the towel with a few blanks and one blank stare. TEEPAD is a thing? TEEBOX is a thing. Houston AERO??

    Carola 11:55 AM  

    I thought this was an ingenious elaboration on the "turn-the-corner" theme. Just super in terms of idea, execution, and fun level in figuring it out. Or, rather, brain-racking level - it was the most challenging Sunday for me ever, I think. It took me all the way to LOGICAL FALLACY to see what was going on. Then what a treat to discover how all the other corporate ladders worked.

    Love all the ideas of liquids harmful to vampires. I thought it meeant something they'd ingest: "Wait, they'd drink something besides blood?"

    Malsdemare 12:03 PM  

    @lms. What @Ellen said? Me too.

    I really liked the puzzle. It took forever to grok the trick but when the penny dropped? Hoo boy! I felt brilliant. I did have to Google for BELINDA Carlisle (kept perseverating on Brandi), so DNF. And I had many errors that I couldn't find until I "checked puzzle," so I guess that's a double-DNF.

    Unlike other days when the slog outweighs the fun, this was a day when the payoff was worth the labor. Thanks, Mr. Pollen.

    Now could someone please turn off the rain machine? Here in central Illinois our neighborhood river has been over flood stage for THREE WEEKS! Gotta be a record. Our yard has become a jungle and everything is permanently damp. Low-lying fields are flooded, road crews can't get out to fix the winter road damage, and my bats can't begin to keep up with the burgeoning mosquito population. Ugh! (and North Korea is have their worst drought in a century).

    Andrew Heinegg 12:07 PM  

    I thought this was a reasonably good 'trick' puzzle. Unfortunately for me, I do not care for that type. As an ardent golfer, I have to state that the tee pad answer should be tossed into the ashbin.

    Nancy 12:09 PM  

    OMG. This was SO hard and I woke up SO late. Only sheer determination enabled me to solve. But every fiber of my being was bent on this puzzle. War could have broken out in my bedroom and I wouldn't have noticed. Now THAT's what I call a puzzle!

    I very belatedly picked up the theme at 116 Across (and up) with SETS IN MOTION. Aha, I thought. Now I've got it! Only I didn't. I knew what I was looking for, sort of, but the puzzle didn't get easier. I didn't know any three letter words ending in T for "land", and I still don't. GET??? I don't get it. (I haven't read any comments yet, so don't yell at me if this has already been discussed.) EEK instead of SOB at 29A mucked up that whole section. I wasn't looking for a cyber storage space where BYTE is the answer; I was looking for a real storage space. That answer came in almost last. I had BEing before BE-ALL. Even my theme answers were wrong: HOW WOULD I KNOW? before HOW WAS I TO KNOW? really did a number on that section. And everywhere -- absolutely everywhere -- I had an S at the end of a word that I didn't know was continuing upward, preventing me from seeing the all-important brand name.

    But I finished. YAY, Nancy, say I humbly.

    Anonymous 12:13 PM  

    Stumped me for quite some time but finally finished it in about an hour. LOGICAL FALLACY broke it open for me. But no way does CLOY mean grow tiresome. Cloying is tiresome and may grow tiresome but doesn't mean grow tiresome.
    And then there's PAYOLA, which has not thing to do with radio, unless you're a Kool Aid drinker that thinks talk radio is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers.
    And as a mostly life long Christian THREE KINGS DAY was completely lost on me.

    Paul McBeth 12:16 PM  

    Yes, people, TEEPAD is a thing. Rather than whine and deny that it is a thing, when it is in fact a thing, why not learn something and be glad that the puzzle has made you wiser?

    Teedmn 12:18 PM  

    @Nancy, think "land a job".

    mathguy 12:22 PM  

    In mathematics books, he is often referred to as Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa.

    I've been getting negative on Sundays, which used to be my favorites, because they take a long time and they're not much fun. But I loved this one. The theme was well-concealed and required a lot of ingenuity. The corporation names had to fit into the phrase backwards. Wow. Add some clever cluing and only a couple of junky entries.

    @Haiku Nerd: Liked it today.

    Roo Monster 12:29 PM  

    Hey All !
    Figured out the trick, but still mid-solve, as trying to do this puz twixt rides! And some of the clues are kicking my butt! Will continue to chip away!
    I do like the fact that the "ladder" parts are actual words reading down. Cool beans.

    AT IT
    RooMonster
    DarrinV

    'mericans in Paris 12:31 PM  

    Yuck. A really difficult vocabulary to work with today.

    The further adventures of Matt Esquare, Private Eye

    "Hey, Matt. TRENT GEHRY here. I'm finally a free man again, and I feel like celebrating. DUNE anything at the moment?"

    "Nothing in particular. Just reading the newspaper and listening to OTIS Reading on the radio," I SAID.

    "Interested in MEETING UP for brunch?"

    "Sure, why not? ONE PM too late for you? Where do you suggest?"

    "I know a HOUSEBOAT that's been converted to a small café. It's moored next to the former NIKE Missile Control Site, at the end of Lenox Street."

    I looked at my watch. "OK. NOW it's going on half past eleven; see you there in ninety minutes."

    GEHRY had been a SEMI-PRO crossword-puzzle constructor until one day he accepted some PAYOLA from an ad agency to promote a bunch of big corporate names as answers to his clues. Unfortunately, the head of the FCC was an avid crossword solver and smelled something fishy. To make a long story short, GEHRY ended up doing three years in a federal penitentiary with a bunch of CONS much bigger and stronger than him. Word is his nickname among the yardbirds was SUGARLOAF, but I had enough TACT never to remind him of that. He had only recently been released.

    I left my house late, and seemed to hit every red light. It was at times like this that I really wished I still had the TESLA. I finally reached the pleasant tree-lined end of Lenox Street and pulled into an almost vacant parking lot. A discrete sign pointed to a path leading to the HOUSEBOAT Café.

    GEHRY was already sitting on its upper deck, sipping an orange juice. I pulled up a chair and he slid me the MENU. I couldn't make heads or tails of it: all extracts of herbal ROOTS and other BIO-inedibles.

    I finally gave up and asked my companion, "What do you recommend?"

    "I'm having the TEA TASTER."

    "What's that?"

    "It's a selection of pastries, RICE CAKES, ETC. And they serve you a different kind of TEA each time you ask for a refill."

    "No thanks, I'm strictly a coffee man. Closest thing to HOLY WATER -- after an 18-year old single malt, that is. And I HATE RICE CAKES. Might as well eat cardboard AL DANTE, as far as I'm concerned." I ordered a pot of java, a bagel and a RASHer of turkey bacon.

    GEHRY then leaned forward and whispered SOTTO VOCE, "Matt, this isn't just a social meeting. I wanted to warn you that your life's in danger."

    "Hmm, where have I heard that before?"

    "I'm serious. I heard your name come up several times when I was in the big house."

    "Yeah, in what context?"

    "Gang members. The mob. But they always changed the subject quickly."

    (Continued below)

    'mericans in Paris 12:32 PM  

    (continued from above)

    A lit up a low-TAR cigarette. "My friend, I do believe you've just committed a LOGICAL FALLACY. You overheard some CONS talking about me, ERGO they must intend me some harm."

    "Well? Wouldn't you draw that conclusion?"

    "PAH! Could have been they were simply retelling the story of how I solved the case of the INSIDIOUS ALLELE."

    "OR NOT. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry?"

    "Of course. And I appreciate your concern. But, listen, it's a fine day, you're out of the pen, and I'm enjoying just relaxing for a change." I stubbed out my cigarette in the ASH BIN and leaned back in my deck chair. "How 'bout we change the subject."

    "OK, to what?"

    "Something more cheerful. Like what ISIS has been up to lately, what it's like to have a tax AUDIT, or whether MIR is going to cross the Pacific and infect us all."

    GEHRY looked annoyed. "Don't be CLOY. And I think it's called MER."

    I raised my hands in mock offense. "HOW WAS I TO KNOW how it's spelled? I'm not a public-health specialist. By the way, how's your brother, THE ARTIST?"

    GEHRY relaxed a bit. "ALAN? He's displaying at the AGFA Gallery."

    "But that place is really small, if I recall."

    "Not a problem: all his paintings for the exhibition are the size of a POSTAGE STAMP, and each weighs no more than a GRAM. To paint them he had to use a LOUPE and the MEREST, most miniscule brush he could find."

    I had a hard time imagining who would pay good money for a STAMP-sized painting, but I didn't want to crush GEHRY's FAMILIAL pride, so I feigned interest for a while.

    We chatted for another half hour, but then he excused himself to leave. I SAID I'd pick up the tab, and he left before the bill came.

    Just as I was about to leave, my phone rang. It was an unfamiliar number. I answered but didn't say anything. All I could hear on the other end was a SOB.

    I felt a surge of ADRENOcortical hormone. "Maria, is that you?!"

    Zeke 12:33 PM  

    I think "Masters subject?" would have been a better clue as the capital M would not have been such a giveaway. Still a great Sunday romp!

    Nancy 12:37 PM  

    @Teedmn -- Oh, of COURSE! Thanks so much for explaining.

    @lms -- Just say PAH to the INSIDIOUS HATErs here. We all love you. And if it weren't for you, how would we know all those delicious expressions for people who Are Not Playing With a Full Deck? Until yesterday, that was the only such expression I knew, but now I have a veritable arsenal of such put-downs. I just know they'll come in handy one day.

    @Malsdemere -- I will do an anti-rain dance for you in Central Park today (if I ever get there, at the rate I'm going.) BTW, you win, hands-down, the Award for Best Nom de Blog in Rexworld!

    Z 12:37 PM  

    Wondering how "minimalist" was imagined as "topless."

    @Paul McBeth - A link would have been nice. As far as I can tell, it is a disc golf thing, so nice misdirect there. What's it called when Tiger or Rory are playing? Tee Box occurs to me, but I don't really know, as my disc golf game is far better than my golf swing.

    @lms - Yep. Americans love our stuff. I'm usually good with a cooler and a towel, and just shake my head at the families with a minivan sized wagon of stuff. (BTW - I'm usually topless at the beach, man boobs be damned).


    Autocorrect keeps changing href to brief and tried to change my man boobs to man books. Not helpful.

    gpo 12:59 PM  

    Enjoyed this, but . . .

    How is "i" the ROOT of -1?

    WTF?

    Anyone?

    'mericans in Paris 1:31 PM  

    @gpo:

    Imaginary unit

    mathguy 1:44 PM  

    @gpo: As in square root. i squared is equal to negative one in the complex number system. Complex numbers are numbers in the form a + bi where a and b are real numbers.

    Carola 1:51 PM  

    @'mericans in Paris - EWER So creative - nice job with today's unpromising assortment! And...I've been wondering about Maria - on tenterhooks now....

    Señora 1:57 PM  

    I had a hard time with this (perhaps my mind was elsewhere?) but got through it and had fun once the theme clicked. My main mistake was guessing WINNEBAGO for HOUSEBOAT on the basis of the EB. That took a long time to get over.

    Trombone Tom 2:03 PM  

    Happy Fathers Day! Really enjoyed this puzzle. Hand up for Silt before SNOW. Was down around Tennessee before I groked the theme conceit.

    Roo Monster 2:24 PM  

    Finished it! Ha-Ha! Thought I kicked this puzs ass, but ended up with one wrong letter. One! ARGH! Had a V for vOTTO/vLR. Rats-a-fratsa! Agree about some clues being odd. Had a bunch of writeovers, rehaSH for AFRESH which kept me out of that corner for a while, ADRoit (?) for ADRENO, bull for TORO, which led to SEATBuLbs (!) for SEATBELTS, gape for the clue Gape at (wowser) for OGLE, had twoPM lightly written in for ONEPM, diet for MENU, setgo for ORNOT, I think that's it. Holy moly.

    Cool trick, Rex cracked me up with his cOLdWATER thing, ending up with a cold, wet vampire! Oldie, but goodie (I think they actually still make them) mad LIBS. GAUSS a WOE.

    SEMIPRO
    RooMonster

    Fred Romagnolo 3:16 PM  

    As I recall, in at least one of the Hammer Christopher Lee Dracula films, it was pointed out that in addition to churches and the like (holy water), running water was fatal to vampires. This one took me forever, but once I caught on at HOW WAS I TO KNOW, I finished without having to resort to references. Timothy Polin is a pretty smart guy! @Rex: thanks for the tip on the Christopher Lee festival, there goes my Monday! How many know that Lee was actually descended from a real life countess (his mother)? No wonder he was the noblest of the Count Draculas. Since almost all of the Early English king's names begin with Ed..., that's a handy 2 letter clue. It's unusual having a HANNIBAL clue with Scipio, usually it's the other way around. My big rewrite was No Smoking for SEATBELTS. Remember folks, the trolls are dying to have you respond, so don't. Billy C doesn't count as a troll since he's out in front, even if he is obsessed.

    MamaKarma 3:37 PM  

    Whew! Glad I'm not the only one to find this challenging - it was in no way "medium" for me. With three tricks to it, it was a lot more interesting than most Sunday puzzles of late. But I guess I also have to count it as a dnf, as I had to Google a bit and did not really winkle out the stair steps for an hour or two.

    Anonymous 4:17 PM  

    I too came up short on this one.

    Anonymous 4:19 PM  

    Same

    Walden 4:26 PM  

    Damn. I bailed out and found this marvelous blog. I vow to return next week in triumph.

    Walden 4:29 PM  

    Damn. I bailed out and found this marvelous blog. I vow to return next week in triumph.

    chefbea 5:07 PM  

    @Walden welcome!!!

    Anonymous 5:10 PM  

    I had GARLICTEA for that vampire clue, never recovered.

    Anonymous 5:17 PM  

    Took a while, but got it all eventually. Then, of course, it seemed like fun!
    Allele is a term I've seen when cat and dog breeders talk about genes (the tabby allele....)

    Masked and Anonymous 5:47 PM  

    @Walden @Walden: go for it, dude.

    OK, here's the thing. I typed up this magnifico comment on my iPad, but then couldn't submit it.
    The Blorg asked m&e to pick out pictures of cakes; did it. Then it asked that a ginormous twenty-line bunch of gibberish text it prints to be copied into another box; my iPad won't do it. When I punch "copy" on the highlighted text, nothing gets copied. When I do the paste, nothing comes out in the box. Rat fudge.

    Anyhoo, nice SunPuz.

    M&A

    mark shuper 5:56 PM  

    I say it's broccoli and I say to Hell with it.

    Steve M 5:56 PM  

    Tuff ugly but did it

    Masked and Anonymous 5:57 PM  

    p.s.
    I even tried the "audio" recaptcha option, instead of counting cakes.. U play this streamed audio, then hafta type the text version of what U heard into a box. Only thing: the audio clip sounds like a cross between a herd of moaning ghosts and a cat in real serious distress.
    day-um, Blorg. Cut us some slack.
    If I were to ever get thru this new recaptcha, it would only prove I was a non-human.

    M&A
    "Bein High-Teched Out of Existence"

    **gruntz**

    paulsfo 6:21 PM  

    @Blogger Masked and Anonymous and others who have captcha problems. Write to Will Shortz and to the creator of the app (if you can figure it out) or contact "customer support" if you can find such. Having worked at many software companies and sent bugs to many more, i can tell you that
    1) they would like to know about and fix bugs like this;
    2) there's a good chance they already know about it (but maybe not);
    3) if you can convince Will Shortz or Customer Support that there's a problem, they are more likely to get it into the system (i.e., so the programmer finds out out it) than just you writing to the company. Too many things coming in that way never make it to the people who can fix it.

    I agree that this was difficult (*quite* difficult, for me) for a Sunday, but very good. I liked that, even after I took *way* too long to figure out the theme, the answers were still not gimmes. Plus several other tough-but-fair clues. Loved it.

    joho 7:14 PM  

    Long day with Father's Day festivities so very late to the party but had to drop in to laud Timothy Polin for his remarkable Sunday masterpiece! Took me forever to figure it out and even longer to see the corporations dropping down ... just the challenge I look for on a Sunday. LOVED!

    Carola 7:26 PM  

    @M&A - On the advice of another commenter a while back that anyone signed in to Blogger/ Google could ignore the captchas, I just write my comment and click the "Publish Your Comment" button. Have you tried that?

    Hartley70 8:29 PM  

    Oh wow, this was a corker! I had to add another hour to my usual time, and with the holiday distractions, I only got the down half of the trick and never put it all together. I had the correct letters but never made any sense out of it. I feel like a dope but I'm getting over it fast and tuning into Poldark.

    Anonymous 8:55 PM  

    @gpo negative numbers by definition can not have a square root. A negative times a negative is a positive. So "i" is a mathematical construct to "solve" that. "i" is the square root of minus one. Voila. Math has an out.

    CV 8:57 PM  

    Starting this after a weekend away, I gave up at TEE_A_, which was pretty early on. I'm so sick of obscure sports stuff in these puzzles. And I'm not glad to be a tiny bit wiser about golf because golf is a stupid and tedious game.

    Anonymous 9:33 PM  

    @CV--nice rant. Intelligent people know a lot about a lot, even things they don't like. But I guess you showed this puzzle by being so willfully ignorant!

    Tita 9:35 PM  

    If coldwater could work on the wicked witch of the west, why not vampires...?

    @M&A - Looks like you have a blogger profile - you should be able to simply hit "Publish" - just ignore the "I'm no a Robot" thingie - leave it blank.
    It will leave you alone forever!

    I for one would find this blog a duller place were the Blorgs to beat you.

    Casco Kid 9:49 PM  

    4 hours. 90 min Sat night. Complete erase. Then 150 more this morning. 30 or so errors. Sand is made of OXIDE. That was a gimme, necessitating THEOLOGY for the Masters study and leading to some wacky words in the north. I got everything wrong there. Elsewhere, I had Sand for SNOW, and I worked hard with it.

    As I did not suss the trick completely, I needed excruciating philological gymnastics to close the gap between the clues and my entries. That's what takes 4 hours.

    Quibble: the unit of magnetic inductance is a henry. The unit of magnetic field is a Tesla or a Gauss. Consequence: That switcheroo didn't hold me up, but it did necessitate much, much broader interpretations of the rest of Timothy Polin's clues. Sadly, I didn't stretch far enough to turn the corporate "ladder" into a corporate "staircase." I was looking for the ladder, and the '-' clues suggested to read laterally after the fact. I read up-and-across, but missed the relevance of the previous stair step. It becomes a different puzzle when you read the title as restrictively as I did.

    Congratulations to everyone who sussed the trick. As for me, it is the 4th DNF in a row, and this one by a mile.

    Nancy 10:53 PM  

    I thought @M&A had mistyped the word "Blog," but then @Tita repeated this word that I've never heard of. I doubt anyone will read my comment at this very late hour, but in the event that someone does...

    WHAT THE HELL IS A "BLORG"????

    Casco Kid 11:09 PM  

    @Nancy

    Blorg, a classic M&A-ism, = blog + borg, by which both M&A and Tita are acknowledging, "Resistance is futile." However, Captain Picard famously beat the Borg. By joining it. ERGO, we should all begin the vigil for the appearance of Capt PicM&Ard's own "blorg." And you can be it will have an unsolvable captcha.

    Nancy 11:17 PM  

    @Casco -- It's hard to thank you for forwarding that grisly image of a borg. I still don't know what it IS, exactly, but I now -- most unfortunately -- do know what it LOOKS like. Perhaps you forgot, @Casco, that it's bedtime in NYC. I hope the damn picture doesn't give me nightmares:)

    Hugh 8:55 AM  

    Got the theme immediately (we've had "climbing" themes before) BUT COULD NOT EVEN PUT A DENT IN THIS ONE. Like someone else, for the first time in a long while, I had almost nothing and had to come here before solving any of it. Looking at the solve, I see a great puzzle, fun theme and VERY challenging (for me) fill. Only wish I was able to be a part of it! I was soundly trounced...

    oldbizmark 9:49 AM  

    still working on it and finding it very difficult. first time in many weeks that i have had such a hard time with a sunday.

    Anonymous 3:10 PM  

    Agreed on all fronts....but the clue was ' how was I to know'. Still not great, but makes a little more sense

    Andrew Heinegg 12:25 AM  

    Bah humbug!

    Andrew Heinegg 12:26 AM  

    Bah humbug!

    Andrew Heinegg 12:26 AM  

    Bah humbug!

    kitshef 8:15 AM  

    Several days behind on my puzzling but came here mostly expecting to enjoy the outrage against TEATASTER and PAH, but was disappointed.

    TEEbox before TEEPAD, BEing before BEALL, harolDI before EDMUNDI, ooze before SEEP, twoPM before ONEPM, puTSINMOTION before SETSINMOTION (man, my SW was a mess!), and of course, Silt before SNOW.

    Loved the gimmick, though it took me a long, long time to get it.

    old timer 1:00 PM  

    Today is Wednesday. Started Mon night when I got home, geve up, tried yesterday, gave up, finally finished it (with about 30 squares over-written) just now. But you see, I had to finish the puzzle to come here, and glad I did -- one of the most complete and funny 'mericans in Paris stories ever. Thanks guys!

    Of course no one will read this now. I'm with @Casco Kid. Toughest Sunday in a long time. Though, you know, if I had started on Sunday morning probably would have finished it before bedtime.

    Kate Mark 2:37 PM  



    Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my husband have been having a lot of problem living together, he will always not make me happy because he have fallen in love with another lady outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my husband leave this woman but the more i talk to him the more he makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my husband again. this spell caster who was a woman told me that my husband is really under a great spell that he have been charm by some magic, so she told me that she was going to make all things normal back. she did the spell on my husband and after 5 days my husband changed completely he even apologize with the way he treated me that he was not him self, i really thank this woman her name is Dr Aluta she have bring back my husband back to me i want you all to contact her who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem she will solve it for you. her email is traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com she is a woman and she is great. wish you good time.

    Anonymous 1:10 PM  

    Love your vampire encounter Rex. I was putting in answers that made no sense until finally saw the backward phrases and then solved the rest of the puzzle immediately, to my delight, so I felt like a fun trick had been played on me. Good puzzle.

    rain forest 1:51 PM  

    Take a theme which requires some mental gymnastics (for the solver. Must have been really hard for the constructor), blank clues, square brackets, and some cluing misdirects, and you've (or at least I've) got almost two hours of fun.

    Some puzzles which take me a long time are slogs. This one wasn't, at all, and I felt HEROic when I finished it, albeit with a few writeovers. Big of @Rex to go all gaga with "reasonable success". Jeez.

    Wondering how BS will deal with SEXOLOGY.

    Burma Shave 1:56 PM  

    SEXOLOGY HINTS ATIT

    OKNOW, after MEETINGUP with THEARTIST’s daughter
    HOWWASITOKNOW whether ORNOT it was HOLYWATER?
    ISAID, “How’d you GET so WET?”
    She answered, “I just DREAMT that we met.”
    INTHATRESPECT it’s a real TRIP that I caught her.

    --- HANNIBAL BARNARD

    AnonymousPVX 2:18 PM  

    We get the puzzle a week late, today is 6/28.

    One wrong, had SILEA instead of SILEX. I knew it was a,form of SILICA, but never got there. Should have run the alphabet for SE_OLOGY. Live and learn.

    That being said, I thought this was one of the toughest Sunday puzzles in quite some time.

    rondo 2:27 PM  

    I started the morning with a half-soaked paper, so I had to set aside the puzzle page to dry while I read the sopping sports and headlines. Finally, the wrinkly paper made this puz tougher to solve than it needed to be. Interesting construction and nothing outside of the box like a couple of recent ones.

    Always thought DYAN Cannon was a yeah baby, even at an advanced age.

    BELINDA Carlisle, a yeah baby who can really sing.

    I think I have patronized all of the corporations on the ladders except SERTA. I’ve slept on a waterbed since the ‘70s, which has surprised more than a few guests. Surprising what it SETSINMOTION.

    Ray o sunshine 7:33 PM  

    After a long rainy Sunday at work, settled down to tuck into this puzzle. Might as well have been in a foreign language. Never picked on the theme. Never heard of Epiphany referred to as Three Kings Day. A lot of far reaching clues. Gave up early and read the rest of the newspaper and Sunday comic strips...More fun

    Ray o sunshine 7:34 PM  

    After a long rainy Sunday at work, settled down to tuck into this puzzle. Might as well have been in a foreign language. Never picked on the theme. Never heard of Epiphany referred to as Three Kings Day. A lot of far reaching clues. Gave up early and read the rest of the newspaper and Sunday comic strips...More fun

    spacecraft 9:07 PM  

    This is a ridiculous time to be posting; only those who revisit the site late--if any--would see it. Still I have to put my two RIALs in.

    I worked all day, off and on, at this one. I knew threr was a gimmick, but for the longest time didn't see how it worked. At last, in the SE, I was puzzled by the clue "Part of an UNsound argument" (emphasis mine) for what surely appeared to be "LOGIC." Further. my 99-across didn't look right. Finally I hit on AFRESH, which meant [insurance] almost had to be AFLAC--and suddenly I saw the whole phrase: LOGICALFALLACY and I had the formula.

    That much took me all morning; we went out for brunch. Next up: a ONEPM siesta. Well, more like 2:30ish. ALERT after the nap, I plowed on with my TORO SNOWblower. That meant having to erase BULL. Clues today were stickier than a vat of molasses. There was a KING EDMUND? Never heard of him. And who's DEANIE? I just couldn't bring myself to make it EJMUND--though I considered EMMUND for a time. At least if there WAS an EDMUND, I assumed he'd be #I. How could one miss multiple Edmunds?

    Every part of the puzzle fought me for understanding. It was the toughest one I've ever completed, and, thanks to a good guess for EDMUNDI, with no errors. I SET[S]INMOTION, had to tear out some STITCHery along the way, but eventually through TAO arrived at enlightenment. But an EASYA? NOT!!!

    Anonymous 9:31 PM  

    Re Blorgs: "Resistance is futile."

    Ran across that with the UK Times - a jigsaw puzzle, which must be hell for anyone with arthritis. Three successful (?) attempts produced a green tick-mark & an OK, then another kick at the can.
    An email to the site's posted address was rejected as well.
    I think they've all gone mad.

    Anonymous 9:34 PM  

    That was easy. Click the "I'm not a robot" box & it's done.

    Sweet puzzle. Best in a ton of Sundays.

    grosir kosmetik 3:21 PM  

    Medium-tough for me. Caught the theme when I erased the S from the last square of 34a. It was still a tad crunchy after that.

    obat kuat 3:25 PM  

    VOEs: AGFA, DEANIE and EDMUND I. Fun Fact @hi Lewis: "Hey DEANIE" was named after Natalie Wood's character in Splendor In The Grass.

    vimax asli 3:28 PM  

    Me too for Silt before SNOW.

    harga mobil mobilio 3:32 PM  

    Clever/fun theme with a very smooth grid. Nice Sun. workout. Liked it!

    tabung oksigen 3:33 PM  

    The theme worked for me - one of those "trust your instinct" puzzles, and it worked in my favor.

    vimax 3:36 PM  

    I'm normally a day-of solver and feel I'm cheating if I do the puzzle when it's published the night before. So not sure what I'll do with my Sunday morning... But enjoyed refreshing until Rex's review was posted! I would have live-tweeted if there was anything to write home about.

    grosir sextoys 3:37 PM  

    ATIT above XENA has to be a National Anthem reference. Caution - nsfw.

    space 3:41 PM  

    Who could forget "magnificent" King EDMUNDI of SILEX and his Camino RIAL? And the timeless question HOW WAS IT OK NOW? Did you remember that ADRENO BEALL was also a PISAN.?

    kursi roda 3:43 PM  

    I thought a lot of clues today were too opaque - I gave up with too much white space to see the full gimmick. Never got College booster = EASYA. Piddling was ofNovalue. I don't think of cloying as growing tiresome. Never heard of THREE KINGS DAY.

    tempat tidur pasen 3:45 PM  

    GIant fail for me, and no love I'm afraid. On the plus side, {What might be revealed in silence} is an outstandingly great clue.

    website polisi 3:47 PM  

    Challenging for me. About halfway through I handed it to Jon stating "It's all yours, I'm over it". He took up the challenge and actually finished it. It wasn't pristine, but he did it error free. Impressive! Those ladders did me in. Not my favorite Sunday, but I'll get over it.

    taman wisata matahari 3:51 PM  

    Well, let me be the first to gush then. I loved this puzzle. I'll take these every Sunday.
    Took forever to see the theme but I knew there was an "up" going on. POSTAGE STAMP just had to be right. Aha!...SEGA!

    foto preweding 3:54 PM  

    Had a malapop at SCION/SECT..is that part of a SEXOLOGY quiz?
    We always celebrate THREE KINGS DAY in our house. I save one present for everyone and we open it after brunch. Speaking of...I hope you dad's are having one today. Our HOLY WATER is going to be Cava with o.j.

    kursi roda 3:56 PM  

    Timothy Polin this brain of your is amazing. Did it take you like a year to construct.
    HAPPY FATHER's DAY to all the papacitos out there...Lots of sports to watch on T.V. while we wimen cook up some of your favorite vittles.

    tempat tidur pasien 3:58 PM  

    Longtime surfer here... I, too, loved the clue for TACT. And loved the just-right challenge of this Sunday puzzle (as someone said recently, too often Sundays are bigger but not often very interesting). Even after Rex' explanation I couldn't see the answer to "Response deflecting blame." Maybe because of the ladder thing, I kept reading it as, "HOW WAS it? Ok, now." :). BUT, can someone explain the clue for PAYOLA?

    4newbie.com 4:00 PM  

    Back in the earliest days of my personal recollection - the '50's or early '60's - there was a huge scandal about record (my age again) companies paying radio stations to play songs they wanted to make into hits. That's how I remember PAYOLA (=bribery). I had a very difficult time seeing the full theme but ultimately enjoyed it.

    jaket kulit 4:02 PM  

    Defeated. .First puzzle that I couldn't make a dent in in a long time...

    cuci sofa 4:03 PM  

    Tough puzzle!!! I wanted a fun Father's romp but didn't get this at all. Had to come here to have father Rex explain.

    jasa seo 4:05 PM  

    Factoid: The OTIS Elevator Company carries the equivalent of the world's population in their elevators every five days.
    Quotoid: "I didn't attend the funeral, but I SENT a nice letter saying I approved of it." -- Mark Twain

    Joseph McGrath 3:20 PM  

    I enjoyed this puzzle once I figured out the theme. That took a long time, and I wondered whether to throw in the towel. Three mistakes in upper right. Misspelled myriad (meriad); That had me fudge "plaola"...duh!

    Cabe Franklin 12:29 PM  

    Frustrated by many things about this puzzle, but the one that broke me was 'time for a siesta, perhaps' being ONE PM rather than UNO PM (or more accurately DOS PM - lots of Spain is closed from 2-5pm for siesta time). Particularly in a corner already requiring knowledge of EDMUND I and DEANIE.

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