Green dwarf / SUN 6-28-15 / Actress Birch of "American Beauty" / Admiral Zumwalt / The City of a Thousand Minarets / Physics Nobelist Martin, discoverer of the tauon / Mountain, in Hawaiian

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Constructor: Jeremy Newton

Relative difficulty: Big

THEME: "Getting in the Final Word" — Theme answers are familiar phrases containing the word "in." The phrases are situated so that the first part crosses (goes "in") the second part.

Hi, everyone! PuzzleGirl with you for your Sunday puzzle. Not sure how I always seem to get stuck with Sundays when I fill in. I find Sunday puzzles really ... big. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. It's just my preference to have my puzzles a little smaller. I guess what I'm saying is size does matter, people. Anyway.
I got an emergency call from Rex tonight because his power went out and so here we are. Unfortunately, I was pretty busy today and I've got an early start tomorrow, so I don't have a lot of time to be hanging out with you. Or maybe that's fortunate. Depends on who you are, I guess. Let's just make the best of it, shall we? Here are your theme answers.

Theme answers:
  • WHAT HAPPENS [IN] VEGAS (30A/13D: Shorthand pact for a wild trip)
  • YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND [IN] ME (52A/49D: 1995 Oscar-nominated Pixar theme song)
  • COULD YOU PUT THAT [IN] WRITING (80A/58D: Request for an official document)
  • DOUBLED OVER [IN] PAIN (101A/90D: Reacting to a gut punch, perhaps)
  • JUST [IN] CASE (3D/18A: "To be on the safe side...")
  • KEEPING [IN] MIND (16D/21A: Remembering)
  • CALLING [IN] SICK (67D/104A: Talking with a fake rasp, perhaps)
  • CAME [IN] LAST (109D/125A: Got the booby prize)
I rather enjoyed this puzzle. The theme was pretty easy to figure out and then it was just a matter of coming up with the phrases. Not too much junk in the fill either. For a Sunday anyway. "YO, DOG" (6A: "Sup, homie") tripped me up a little. Shouldn't that be DAWG? But my only erasure was RANTS for VENTS (103D: Lets it all out), so I guess it was overall easy? I don't know. So hard to judge difficulty.
"NAG NAG NAG!" (23A: "Geez, get off my back already!"), TOWN DRUNK (114A: Stock character like Mayberry's Otis), and OPIUM DEN (36D: Smoke-filled establishment) are all fantastic entries. And I loved the clues on ST. PETER (89A: Guard at a gated community?) and TATTOO (70D: Something you can't get off your chest?). Other than that, well, I thought it was just a big old Sunday-sized puzzle that was pretty fun to slog my way through. Let me know what do you think! And with any luck, Rex will be back tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl

[Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]
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Mike in DC 12:09 AM  

Nice going, PuzzleGirl!

I liked this one, too. Clever theme, well-executed, with some fun fill. Easy for me, other than the NE corner.

Kenneth Wurman 12:15 AM  

Add my name to the club. Enjoyed this one. I thought last week was extrenely difficult. This was the polar opposite. Can someone please explain "icees" ??

Kenneth Wurman 12:15 AM  
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Kenneth Wurman 12:15 AM  
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Anonymous 12:16 AM  

And you have to omit the crossing letter to get the phrase. That detail took a bit of time.

John Child 12:26 AM  

I finished with more writeovers than usual, and several of them are such good traps that they look deliberate.

Flock leader = Ram, obviously.

YO___ had to be bro, since dawg didn't fit. YO DOG is something you say to ... a dog.

Potential hurdles = satS. Very clever to leave the college status - entering or leaving - vague.

Wheel (off) is roll, fer shur. I often CART stuff around without a cart.

Clever and pretty clean; many more ahas than yucks. Nice clues. Good fun overall. But I did not like the four Crimean Peninsula corners with only one way in. Obviously those corners, with two fixed theme words in each, couldn't be filled any other way. The isolated corners are easy and clean though.

Anonymous 1:00 AM  

Seriously, Kenneth. Every time you post it's double or triple. And for Christ's sake, just Google "icees", alright?

F.O.G. 1:18 AM  

Puzzle Girl, did Rex ask, "COULD YOU PUT THAT IN WRITING?" Always enjoy your reviews.

Liked the shout out to HUME and Spinoza.

And I'd wager John MUIR saw more than one IVORY-billed woodpecker.

Only down-side to me in this terrific Sunday? James Taylor will be in the back of my mind all day with YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND. Never cared for that song.

Lee Coller 1:31 AM  
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zac 1:36 AM  

It's a brand name. It's a brand name. It's a brand name.

jae 1:44 AM  

Medium for me and no real erasures (nice change from yesterday).

@PG - Same thought about DAWG and thanks for the last minute blog rescue.

This was fun! Liked it!

Steve J 1:48 AM  

Despite the worst forced-plural in the history of forced plurals (DNAS? Seriously?) and a few other regrettable bits (the clue for THE, in particular), I found this to be a pretty good and reasonably unsloggy Sunday. The theme answers felt natural and unforced, which can be a problem when you have this many theme entries. And there was some nice fill like BEMOANS, EVANESCENT and TOWN DRUNK.

I ultimately DNF because I had wOULD YOU PUT THAT [IN] WRITING. AwE seemed a legit answer for the clue "Whiz-bang" (in hindsight, it wasn't). Aside from that, the only hangup in what was a pretty quick Sunday was guessing for a while that Adm. Zumwalt's forename was Theo, not ELMO.

MDMA 1:54 AM  

First appearance of WRITHING in a NYT puzzle, per

First appearance of VEGANS (!)

Some writeovers:

batheS for STEEPS
SPeed for SPURT
rus for UAE (Russian Federation)
Beige for BAWDY

Some haiku:


MDMA 1:59 AM  

PS, it's not the rarity of the V in VEGANS, since EVANESCENT has been used twice before today in the Shortz era and nine times in the pre-Shortz era.


NAG is a brand name?

Hays 2:17 AM  

Unrelated, but, as a relatively new solver (and even more recent crossword blog reader), can someone tell me what WOE stands for? It's driving me crazy I can't figure it out, despite understanding its meaning and use.

Anoa Bob 2:37 AM  

Tried STarTER for 89A "Guard at a gated community?", thinking horse racing. Hope that's not points off for not getting STPETER right away.

Not sure how 57A "Tailor-made" equates to SEWN, any more than it would to, say, CLOTH.

Liked seeing GHANDI (6D) & BONSAI (35A) having a mutual get-together..

Pretty SLICK getting both an OPIUMDEN & a TOWNDRUNK in the same puzz.

chefwen 2:42 AM  

Super fun, yes PG, BIG Sunday puzzle. Had a couple of problems the same as @John Child, bro before DOG and sats before GRES.
Had recon before INTEL @25A which totally messed up that area as I was loath to take it out because I knew it was right. Not so! Finally had to admit that was wrong, took it out and bada bing, I was done.

Big brother had a dog named LOKI who would GO APE every time someone passed by their house. They lived in downtown Chicago so that was frequently. Drove me nuts!

Had a baby GECKO in the kitchen sink today, so I draped a tea towel into the sink so the little guy could climb out. After I couldn't see him anymore, I put the towel back in place and out dropped rhe biggest, hairiest spider I had ever seen, scared the liver out of me.

Off to a new week!

Anonymous 3:02 AM  

My home town of Stoney Creek, Ontario got a mention in this puzzle. Woo

Happy to oblige 3:07 AM  

@Hays - WOE is What On Earth, a more polite version of WTF - What The F&@$!

Colby 3:36 AM  

Timely clues/answers with gay rights and Bristol Palin. Some bad fill but not terrible. Played easy for me.

Hays 3:41 AM  

@Happy to oblige

Haha, of course! Thanks for solving that puzzle for me!

Moly Shu 5:11 AM  

Thx @PG for rescuing, and shout out to my brother, MOO, who got his full name in the puzzle. Not too many hang ups other than @Chefwen's recon and AMITE. I see what you did there, @zac. Good one.

Rex Porker 6:58 AM  

The reason I lost power last night is that my head exploded when I entered DNAS in the grid. No. Just no.

Lewis 7:01 AM  

This was a fun theme, and felt easier than a typical Sunday. Some great long answers -- EVANESCENT, NAGNAGNAG, MOOSHUPORK, and some excellent clues: GLOBE, SILOS, STPETER, and ONION. The puzzle never felt like a drudge, and the cluing neither opaque nor embarrassingly easy. Two thumbs up!

I looked for other unintended theme answers in the grid, and the only decent one I found was "COSTAS in PAIN" reminding me of the night he missed the Olympics because of pink eye. Maybe someone else can find others.

Haiku Nerd 7:09 AM  


Haiku Nerd 7:10 AM  

@MDMA--LOVED your haiku this morning. Pure poetry.

Zeke 7:17 AM  

Easy but still enjoyable. My only complaint is that there were a few too many POC's: The aforementioned DNAS, SSTS, SRIS, THINS (which I thought could have been clued better--"has less on top" or something), SGTS, SOTS, ICEES, etc. Still a great theme and a satisfying solve overall.

Michael S. 7:21 AM  

I almost spit up my coffee twice reading the comments already this morning--@zac @1:36 and Porker @6:58. Both hilarious.

Bristol Palin 7:25 AM  

"Screw as I say, not as I screw."
--Dan Savage

"Since her first pregnancy, Palin has made a career out of campaigning for abstinence. In 2011, it was widely reported that she was paid $262,500 from the Candie’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that fights teen pregnancy by supporting abstinence work. Palin is also listed as an expert on abstinence on the Web site of Single Source Speakers, a booking agency."
--Vanity Fair

Bristol Palin 7:30 AM  

Really, the whole thing is worth a read (although "Trig, for one" might have been a better misdirection clue...):

Single Christian Lady Bristol "Screw As I Say, Not As I Screw" Palin is Pregnant Again

Oscar 8:00 AM  

NE gave me a hard time since I had RECON for INTEL. Looked up ONTARIO to finish.

101A seems like it should be [...reacted...] to match the answer.

Couple of made-up answers and icky plurals, but at least the theme was fun.

NCA President 8:06 AM  

@Steve J: I also had wOULDYOUPUTTHAT...but unlike you, I felt like both could/would work. An ACE might also AwE. I get how it is related to tennis (?) or how someone who is really good at what they do might be a whiz-bang, but if you use whiz-bang as an adjective (eg., a "whiz-bang job") it would awe you. Whatever...ACE it is.

I should buy some AMBER to get rid of my fruit fly infestation.

I thought the puzzle was "fresh" with answers like DAYBED, FRILL, THINS ( spell check doesn't like it, FWIW), EVANESCENT, and EMENDED.

DNAS is too meta. I agree with @John Child that YODOG is spelled weirdly. YO DawG is the most common way. To that point, nice to see NAAN spelled correctly.

Loren Muse Smith 8:07 AM  

Thanks, PG, for filling in on the fly. I enjoyed what you had to say (and agree with you and all the others on the DOG/dawg take). I'm so grateful for this blog and for the commitment it takes, day in and day out. Think of all the people who'd be bereft this morning if Rex had just said, "Ah – blow it off today. They'll live."

Like most, I got the trick very early and was delighted. So many entries to appreciate here, as many have listed. I also made the same mistakes as people made, but no one yet has said they tried "truss" before DRESS?

@jae – I thought of you with the place-the-H fest of GANDHI, LHASA, AHMED.

When CALLING IN SICK fell, I tensed, expecting some kind of complaint that it was a bit of an outlier, that that IN is less prepositiony than all the other INs. I don't know why I can't really get a good handle on what's a particle and what's a preposition, but I was prepared to defend the entry.

@Lewis - I looked, too, to no avail. I did notice TOWN DRUNK crossing RRR. Don't, Otis! Don't try it!

ENDUSE looks like some kind of weird verb. Yo, dog. Throw me that antacid. I endused way too much moo shu pork last night.

Chocolate SAMPLERs should all come with that nifty little map. When I carefully choose one, bite in, and discover its filling is IVORY, I feel at once unbelievably disappointed and relieved it's not the light pink one.

@Hays – welcome to Rexville! Yeah, WOE is a politer form of WTF, for hypocrites like me who try to seem all comme il faut but secretly think "turd" for TOAD and keep snickering at the thought of WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGANS stays in VEGANS and yesterday's EX LAX, and, well, heck. UNJAM. Mea culpa.

@Kenneth Wurman, Jeremy gave us some Easter eggs! Anyone else notice the four other ICEES in the grid? SLICK, ETHICS, COMEDIC, ECLECTIC. Cool, that.

Jeremy – terrific Sunday with an unevanescent trick. Nice flourish to end it with CAME IN LAST.

Lewis 8:16 AM  

Factoid: When the MONA Lisa was stolen in 1911, Pablo Picasso was brought in for questioning as a suspect.
Quotoid: "Look for the woman in the DRESS. If there is no woman, there is no dress." -- Coco Chanel

Hartley70 8:29 AM  

I tried truss before DRESS, but I figured out the error before I finished. This was good clean fun..a Doris Day of a puzzle. It zipped along so well that I wasn't overwhelmed with the slog of using the app on Sunday and dealing with those itty bitty letters. Thanks for showing up and making it happen, Puzzle Girl!

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

I was a nurse in the army. My CO MEDIC and I had some great times.

Lucy 8:37 AM  

I worked the puzzle haphazardly, and didn't figure out the theme until CALLING in SICK. Then all the other clues were a breeze. The fill worked well. I loved the throwback to Mayberry's OTIS, a refreshing change from the elevator OTIS. ICEES worked okay, although it seemed a bit of a stretch in the plural form. Still, it was a bit of a throwback too, since I haven't had one since childhood, a looooong time ago.

Also - great job PuzzleGirl! Enjoyed your write-up.

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

To F.O.G.
It's not James Taylor's - You've Got a Friend. It's Randy Newman's - You've Got a Friend IN Me. Way better song to have stuck in your head!

Carola 9:29 AM  

Very clever - one where I enjoyed going back over all the theme answers when I was finished. I was confused at first with VEGANS crossing HAPPENS at the N: was that a stand-in for "in," as in WHAT HAPPENS 'N VEGAS? That misunderstanding was cleared up by KEEPING [IN] MIND. Loved CALLING [in] SICK with the fake rasp and its placement next to ADMIT IT. Yes, guilty as charged, I'm afraid.

Lots of WIT in the clues today, I thought, and so many fine non-theme entries - a real pleasure all the way,

Trying to decide if it's a bonus or blemish that JUST [in] CASE also works as the non-theme phrase JUST CAUSE. Wondered if the two Russian craft MIR and MIG have shared a grid before.

@MDMA - Awesome Expressionist haiku!

@Oscar - I really tried to make DOUBLing work.

RAD2626 9:40 AM  

Totally agree with the positive comments. Fun puzzle. Lots of themers. Little dreck. Several Aha's. St Peter very clever. Great way to start dreary day.

@Zeke. I vote that the plural of POC is POC. Just like RBI.

F.O.G. 9:52 AM  

@ Anonymous 9:27 AM

No, I got the answer YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME, but en route I had a flashback to the Carole King/James Taylor tune:

My subconscious does not make such fine distinctions, as you suggest.

Music man 10:11 AM  

Icee is the brand of slushie that you'll find most places besides 7 eleven, there's are called slurpee

Trey 10:12 AM  

@Lewis - Wasn't COSTAS in PAIN with a STYE? It would certainly make a better story for this puzzle

@Happy to oblige - thanks for clearing up WOE. I have read this blog intermittently for a few years, and always thought it was a reference to short, crappy fill. Nice to know that it has a deeper meaning

I got a tickle out of UMAMI and EDAMAME. Even though I know they have nothing to do with each other, my mind always goes to the second when I hear of the first.

Really loved the puzzle, and the comments today were fantastic, especially @zac with the brand name

mathguy 10:14 AM  

I had about a third of the grid filled in when I saw the gimmick. I did a little more to convince myself that there wasn't any more to it than seven "x in y" expressions. So I put it down and called it a night.

I've been promising myself for a while to avoid the long, joyless Sunday slog. Finally did it. Seems that I didn't miss much.

Roo Monster 10:18 AM  

Hey All !
What a cool puz! The best thing about this puz is the fact the cross referenced clues are not just (-) clues, but actual separate words that are actual words! If that made sense... At least I know what I mean! :-) Kinda like triple checked squares.

Had JUST[IN]CA[U]SE and KEEPING[IN]MIN[E]D before figuring out the theme. Got it at WHAT HAPPENS[IN]VEGA[N]S. Makes sense for me, right? :-) Glad I did figure it out, as it helped me with the SW one. Amazing fill for a SunPuz, lots of cool answers, no real dreck to speak of. Very hard to do. ECLECTIC is great to see. Lots of clever clues, not vaguely misdirectional and obtuse.

Oh, and I got this puz 100% correct with no cheats! Wowsers! Also with only three writeovers. 22A, ___ focus, out of->LASER, 14D, Typesetters, LIthS->LINOS, and 79D, Djokovic, Slav->SERB. So very proud of myself, I must ADMIT IT!

No nits about the closed off corners, because construction had to be hard enough, and they help with having no dreck. SLICK!


Ellen S 10:21 AM  

Speaking of ICEES, there's a shaved-snow restaurant (or shop, or kiosk, or something) opening up in Sacramento. What I find newsworthy about that is that there was a sizeable news article about it in the food section of the local paper. Shaved snow is a variant of shaved ice, but still, at the end of the day, it's just frozen water with colored sugar syrup poured over it.

No, I guess at the end of the day it's just water with sugar syrup, but ... anyway I enjoyed the puzzle.

I'd like it if Puzzazz had an option to keep track of how many times I use Check Word. If I did it without any cheats, it would take until the next day, and sometimes does anyway (I went back and "finished" Saturday after polishing off Sunday).

'mericans in Paris 10:40 AM  

Mrs. 'mericans had already completed half of the puzzle on the train back from the airport yesterday. We pretty quickly finished it after she arrived home.

I have mixed feelings about this one. Simple if nice trick, but overall not much of a challenge. I agree with everybody regarding "YO DOG" -- unless it is referring to some kind of new canine breed that one winds up in its leash and rolls and unrolls it with a snap of the wrist.

Also didn't like the forced plurals, like PESTOS, SSTS and DNAS. I doubt that the latter is ever used except as a contraction. "The DNA'S not mine! ADMIT IT: it CAME from somebody else in the White House!"

Otherwise, the fill's pretty good. Liked the "E" words: ECLECTIC, EDAMAME, END USE (a word used a lot in the world of energy economics), ETHICS, EVANESCENT. EMENDED and ERATO are pretty obscure, however.

DOUBLE DOVER would make a good name for a cocktail.

@Old Timer: Thanks for the compliments on last Sunday's Matt Esquare episode. Unfortunately I'll be late in posting today's. A difficult vocabulary to work with again. I did contribute a mini-story on Monday (22nd June), though: One side of a conversation overheard in MIAMI International Airport.

Jamie C. 10:41 AM  

@Haiku Nerd: Awesome!

jberg 10:51 AM  

@Roo monster, yeah, I liked that too -- the way the crossed letter was omitted from the cross reference, or whatever. Also, learning that the tauon wasn't discovered by Mr. Tau.

What I didn't like was SRIS, maybe even worse than DNAS.

Nice write up, @PG, thanks!

Off to the airport -- back home from San Diego today.

Nancy 10:56 AM  

I filled in everything (one part was wrong; more about that later) AND I NEVER SAW THE THEME! Thank you, Puzzle Girl, for GIRLSPLAINING. It's hard to appreciate a puzzle's cleverness when you miss the whole point while solving. But now I see just how clever it is.

Most of my early errors, I corrected: Ram to REV for "flock leader"; DOEst to DOETH; GEiKOS to GECKOS (and I'm the one who hates product names!) But SPeed, "corrected" to SPURs for "what might win a race", left me with SSPATER (!!!!) at 89A. Never changed to SPURT. Also never changed aMENDED to EMENDED, which might have helped. So a really dumb DNF for me, even though I found the solving experience a seemingly easy one. Wrong!

Ludyjynn 10:58 AM  

I had this very easy puzz. all SEWN up except for the NE corner for a bit. I've never seen "The Avengers" films, but was distracted by the fact that Patrick McNee, who co-starred w/ Diana Rigg on TV's "The Avengers", passed away this week. Very interesting obit. in the NYT detailed his lengthy and impressive career. I loved the show as a kid, and it was a breakthrough for women in action-filled roles.

Two writeovers: 'moronic' for COMEDIC, which I still think more aptly describes Seth Rogen's work, and 'yodat' before YODOG.

I have a beautifully carved IVORY-billed woodpecker decoy peering over my shoulder from its place of honor on the sofa table as I write this. If only it were real.

OMG, how timely to find the fertile Miss PALIN in the grid. I could make a very BAWDY remark a la Rogen about the theme cross involving her name, but I'll JUST leave it at that...

Thanks, JN and WS. IWAS RIVETEd by the ECLECTIC clues/answers.

JC66 11:11 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith

I've been enjoying your comments since you started posting and wanted to let you know I thought today's was worth special appreciation.

AliasZ 11:51 AM  

The best part of today's puzzle was that the IN-phrases in the four central theme entries started with their across components, and in the four corner ones with the downs: WHAT HAPPENS (in) VEGA(N)S vs. JUST (in) CA(U)SE, hence the words clued with the added letters in them were evenly distributed Across and Down throughout the grid. Nice touch, Jeremy.

- YO DOG is definitely YO DawG. Never saw YO DOG.
- I cannot imagine a scientific work or any other WRIT(H)ING where the use of DNAS c(w)ould be correct. Anyone? POCs are never good -- or is that PsOC?
- MIG and MIR with similarly cold-war cluing was cute, as was HUME crossing HUM.
- Aren't those EDAMAME beans UMAMI?

I found a few additional possibilities, some worse than others: NO CHANCE in THIS; OPIUM DEN EN USE; ST. PETER in SPUR; RIVETER in ICES; ETHICS in ATTOO (wherever ATTOO is); NO TV in DEPTS.; BAWDY in SPIN. Oh, well...

Here is a beautiful romantic melody you may have heard before but could never place it. It is a song by Mexican composer Manuel Maria PO(U)NCE (1882–1948) titled Estrellita, sung here by the Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus Trujillo (1927–1999) from the Canary Islands.

Enjoy your Sunday.

old timer 12:30 PM  

I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the next Matt Esquare episode. So often those bits of wordplay are more fun than doing a Sunday puzzle.

And I'm glad to know the true meaning of WOE -- which is not *exactly* WTF, is it? More like "What on Earth could the answer be?" Or so I have always thought. But in that case, WOE would not fit the four corner sections in today's puzzle. They were the easiest parts to fill in, I thought. Speaking of WOEs, I'm sure almost everyone here likes Split Decisions. And after a *whole week* of trying, I could not come up with MUFFLE/MALICE, because there were so many choices for the downs beginning with M and F.

I thought I finally finished the puzzle, but it seems I had "Endust" and GRT instead of ENDUSE and GRE. You mean, "Endust" is not a product made by the Ultimate Manufacturing Company? Bah! Or maybe "Pah!"

I wanted REV from the get-go. Had "spurs" for a long time, before the Holy Gatekeeper gave me SPURT -- and I'm looking forward to seeing the sprinters SPURT to victory in the upcoming Tour de France, which starts in Holland this year.

The cleverest answer, NOTV was also my biggest WOE. Anyone else start off by thinking the themer would be "You have" and therefore wrote in "steams" where STEEPS is?

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

I thought this was a fun and interesting puzzle. The D. Savage article provides a terrific but discouraging insight. If this had been one of the Obama girls, the Fox people and their kinfolk would have gone bananas. Part of the reason is that the Obamas are far more important people in the scheme of things than the Palins. BUT, it is also because both Barack and Michelle Obama have had to deal with a thinly veiled undercurrent of racism from the start of his political career. The 'proof' that I put forward for this is as follows. I am confident that there has not been a president or the spouse of a president that are/were more genuine, more likable or more reasonable seeming than the Obamas. Yet, the attacks on them for practically everything they do are so virulent so as to smack of racism.

I think it is an interesting coincidence that Sarah Palin was axed from Fox shortly before Bristol made her announcement. Hmmm..

Masked and Anonymous 12:46 PM  

Any SunPuz theme that gives us COULDYOUPUTTHATinWRITHING has my thUmbsUp vote. Fill is pretty dang inventive & resourceful, to boot. And, for us purity of desperation fans, it gave us the tasty DNAS and YODOG, inWRITHING.

Sup, @PuzGirl. Thanx for doin such an enlightenin job, fillin in for that Rex Darker dude.

@John Child: Them cordoned-off corners kinda barked at m&e, also. Good call. At least, in my case, the only one I couldn't march directly into, thru the single lane work zone, was the NE, where YODOG was a little too inventive to help M&A out much.

fave AR- word: ARD. weejectable, too! Primo.

Thanx, Mr. Newton.

Masked & Anonymo13Us

maruchka 12:51 PM  

Clever, and kudos to you, JN. But I do confess more partiality for reveals than conceals.

'Amended' kept ST PETER in WOE/WTF zone far too long. STutTER? STatTER? Best clue of the day! And thanks for the pearly gates toon, PuzzGirl.

Bristol PALIN not on my radar t'all. Wild that her name came up in conversation recently with friend that went to Alaska. Her tour guide pointed out their homestead. Nope, can't see Russia..

The Next Wave festival at BAM is looking pretty spectacular this coming fall. Check it out.

@AliasZ - You are a music treasure trover. Please KEEP 'em coming.

Tita 1:08 PM  

@Steve J - agree on DNAS, but I liked the THE clue. Especially with BAM! in the grid...
@Chefwen - the GECKO missed an opportunity for a free meal...too bad for you (and your liver...)

I too wish all boxes o'chocolate would come with a handy map - I loved Whitman's SAMPLERs as a kid, until I became too much of a snob to eat such pedestrian chocolates...

Magellan tried to get his native Portugal to foot the bill for his round the GLOBE trip, but the king refused, so he went to SPAIN.

I copped on to the theme right at VEGANS/WHATHAPPENS. It made for a fun solve, though the NE stayed completely opaque for a really long time.
Thanks Mr. Newton, and thanks Puzzle Girl!!

Questinia 2:01 PM  
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Fred Romagnolo 2:04 PM  

COULD YOU PUT THAT IN WRITING is what did it for me. Tons of white spaces before that; then just a matter of going back and figuring out each one. I enjoyed it. Nice to see LAURA Bush in the garden, but @anon probably didn't appreciate that. As to DOG vs dawg, neither in my wheelhouse so no diff. Crosses helped me with whatever I didn't know so - good crosswardese. It's an old complaint of mine, but I guess indicating abbreviations is now passe (INTEL). LOKI is a villain or just a trickster in Nordic mythology; he's very important in Wagner's Ring cycle (also spelled Loge). Maybe @AliasZ might offer up his narration if asked (I don't know how to do those things). He is invoked by Wotan (Odin) in the Magic Fire Music since he is the god of fire. If you don't know that piece, you should; @Alias?

A Capriote 2:10 PM  

Not sure that persons who say "yo dawg" know how to spell it.
Almost put down the puzzle at that answer.
Opium den brought me back.
Edamame (soy beans) become umami when fermented (soy sauce)
Had truss before dress.
Basin before Palin (Bristol is a seaport I believe "ship shape and Bristol Palin?" Anyone?
"Jampires" is a children's book a bout creatures that UJAM doughnuts.
I was going to say that when I tie things up I like them to be undressed but thought it crude (but changed my mind).
The phrase no tv has morphed in to no electronics in my house iPads cell phones dsi computer etc.
misspelled el al as el el and had ember for Amber I'm bbqing ribs over charcoal right now so thought it apt for some reason.
My red onions are heavy. (Get it?)

Fred Romagnolo 2:16 PM  

BTW Really good Acrostic today.

chefwen 2:43 PM  

@Tita -It would have taken a year for the itty bitty GECKO to consume that giant spider. I'm thinking that the spider consumed the gecko before it could plan his escape route. Poor baby.

Hand up for truSS before DRESS.

Hugh 2:46 PM  

Had fun with this one,especially after last Sunday's which I could not crack at all. Got the theme fairly quickly with "WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS", last to fall was "CAME IN LAST" - not sure why...also had "COULD YOU get THAT IN WRITING" for the longest time, that held me up a bit.

Northeast and Southeast last to fall even after getting the themes.

Enjoyed quite a bit of the clueing:
* Light bulb in the fridge
* Guard at a gated community (had the "P" from Palin, was sure it had to be "cop"...something)
* Green dwarf - could not get Snow White out of my head
* Age old bug trap

Just a couple of groans - "DNAS" and "THE", but I'm not one to criticize as I could not have come up with anything better.

I needed something a bit easier than last week, so was quite happy with this for a rainy Sunday morning.

Have a great week all!

Thomas R. Jackson 3:46 PM  

What a fun puzzle! Clever clues and answers, and I literally LOLed when I finally got St Peter. DNAS and yo dog looked awkward, but didn't trip me. What DID was having A "W" at the start of 80 across. Just close enough to be right both ways that I couldn't spot it being wrong for the longest time. Finally caught it and got the happy tune. Except for that head slap a fun Sunday!

Leapfinger 4:07 PM  

@AliasZ, re ETHICS in ATTOO (wherever ATTOO is)

Remember Apulia/ Puglia? Well, in somewhat analogous fashion, we have Attu/ ATTOO. ATTOO is thus the westernmost and largestislands of the Near Islands group of Alaska's Aleutian Islands. You can see them from Bristol PALIN's house.

The Battle of ATOO, which lasted for about 3 weeks in May '43, was fought between Japanese and American forces (who were aided by Canadian recon and fighter-bombers) as part of the Aleutian Islands/ Pacific Theatre campaign. It was the only land battle those forces fought under Arctic conditions, and, as such, good practice
for the Cold War yet to come.

Speaking of Canadians, was pleased to see ONTARIO emerge (Hi to Thunder Bay and Windsor); it made a nice follow-up to yesterday's Canadian Symphony playing Barber's Essay and @okanaganer's inventive observation on slushy SASKatchewan.
Was captivated by today's theme, and the generous helping of sprightly fill with devious clues. (Not always in tandem, however.) I spent way too long on the first themer figuring out just how it fit together, but that made the rest of them just fly. One extra benefit was reading the themers as written:
WHAT HAPPENS in VEGANS... stays in VEGANS? This might be the time for EXLAX...
YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND in MOE... Moses? Alou?
DOUBLED OVER in PALIN? ... cf @Ludyjynn. 'Nuff said.
JUST in CAUSE... Deep, and timely. Discuss among yourselves.
CALLING in SLICK... Vindicating to have the SLICK that yesterday's SLEEK subverted.
KEEPING in MINED... Again, timely, considering hill-topping: either/ORE
CAME in LEAST... Nice DOUBLE-play on words, strategically placed
COULD YOU PUT THAT in WRITHING?... For assordid reasons, my fave.

and ANTACIDS are habit-formic.
MOE Maimonides snugged up to Rosie the RIVETER? ECLECTIC!!

Many Sundays turn into an endurance contest at some point. Not this one. Thank you, Mr. Newton!

Nancy 4:32 PM  

TRUSS before DRESS, echoed by so many. It's not just our beloved blog chefs; it seems that everyone here cooks! With a capital "C". I barely know how to DRESS a chicken and I certainly wouldn't know how to TRUSS one! It's something you do with string, right? I'm picturing Julia Child in my mind right now and I know she did something with string. Exactly WHAT she did, I don't quite remember. I think it had something to do with its little legs.

@Ludy: While I got COMEDIC, I agree with you that moronIC would have been a more accurate answer.

@chefwen: Thanks for lessening my lingering Hawaii envy by reminding me that there are creepy-crawly things that sometimes come with the territory. It's not just the spiders; I'm not all that wild about geckos, either, to tell the truth.

@paulsfo (from yesterday). When Wordplay asks for your email and password, can you give them a new, made-up password that's different from the one on your email account? Or are they demanding your email password? I'm never really clear about that. But understand that I'm cyber-phobic, not happy about giving any personal info whatever to anyone, EVER, online. I know I sound like a Luddite. That could be because I AM a Luddite :)

kitshef 7:07 PM  

Not as happy with this as most people. I expect some bad fill on a Sunday, but there was just a bit too much of it, with the much-maligned DNAS and YODOG leading the way.

I don't get the clue for ONION, for a couple of reasons. First, I'm not sure whether it's light as opposed to heavy, or light as opposed to dark, but neither seems to fit. Second, you don't keep ONIONs in the fridge. In fact they are one of the few foods that will spoil faster in the fridge than out.

@LNS hear! hear! for maps in samplers. Nothing worse than anticipating a lovely orange creme but getting coconut.

paulsfo 7:45 PM  

I liked the theme and that, in one direction, I needed to ignore one letter.

@nancy: hi. this is turning into a research project. :) Here's what i think is going on, after some experimentation:

1) they are asking for your NYTimes-account password, *not* your email password. So, if you have a NTTimes-account, give that password, not your email password.

2) If you don't have a NYTimes account (OR if you'd rather submit comments from *another*, new NYTimes account) then you'll need to click "Sign up" at the bottom of the signin form.

On the signup form:
Enter an email address (if you're really worried, just create a new free account on gmail or yahoo and use it *only* for this purpose).
Create a *new* password -- so this is *not* the password you use to read email from that account, this password will only be used to get into this NYTimes account.

3) now, after you've signedin, or signed up, you can go make a comment. And, if you want, you can enter anything you want in the Full Name and Location fields. EG, 'notNancy' and 'Mars'.

It's hard to write up all of this in a fullproof way; I hope it made sense. :)

The important thing is that, when they ask for an email and password, they want an email address that you already own, but they *don't* want the existing password that you use to fetch your email; they want you to create a new password. Say I'm (I'm not).
I log into with password "myEmailSecret".
I go to and Sign Up for an account:
Password: "myNYTsecret"

now i can log into hotmail to read my email with "myEmailSecret".
And I can log into the NY Times, to comment on the blog, with the same email address but with a different password, "myNYTsecret".

let me know if this is still (or more) confusing. :)


Harry Styles 8:26 PM  

@paulsfo: I didn't know you were in One Direction! I sort of assumed you guys weren't smart enough to do crossword puzzles...

Nancy 8:29 PM  

@Paulsfo -- That's extremely clear and I thank you for taking the time to write it!

Z 8:29 PM  

Got the theme early, making the solve a little sloggy. I DNF'ed due to tenseness at DOUBLEs OVER (in) PAIN. Hate when that happens. Fortunately I figured out how the D was okay before I came here and said it was wrong.

@LMS - you beat me to it, but I was going scatological: After they ENDUSE the enema you'll feel much better.

@kitshef - I thought it referenced the shape, but "light colored bulb" works better. I had not heard that refrigerating onions was bad. Interesting

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

17 down - IDLEST. IDLEST??? Seriously???

Walden 6:31 PM  

Wonderful boost from easy puzzle after being seriously humbled last week. Thank you Puzzle Girl.

Walden 6:33 PM  

Wonderful boost from easy puzzle after being seriously humbled last week. Thank you Puzzle Girl.

Walden 6:33 PM  

Wonderful boost from easy puzzle after being seriously humbled last week. Thank you Puzzle Girl.

Appartement à louer casablanca 7:12 PM  

I liked this one Thank you

Burma Shave 10:23 AM  


who’s SLICK with his ETHICS and answers, “NOCHANCE”,
when asked, “COULDYOUPUTTHAT(IN)WRITING or BACH in your pants?”


rondo 11:02 AM  

Agree with THE Big rating, as a Sun-puz can often get tiresome, but this one was OK. First “got it” with THE VEGA(N)S cross then went back to THE NW and NE corners, then through to THE bottom with no need to DOUBLEOVER(IN)PA(L)IN. Except maybe for DNAS.

Glanced at THE TV while solving and saw Brit HUME onscreen. NOTV in my house should be tuned to that forum.

Had all but forgotten Bristol PALIN(mom Sarah a too conservative yeah baby); hope to forget again even though THE clue was novel. Would have preferred something about Michael PALIN from Monty Python.

ARD could’ve been clued to be the finish of TOWNDRUNK which sits right atop it.

Cousin’s wife is named THORA, very Scandihoovian. Kinda LOKI.

Got an extra early start today, so with this done, will spend another fine day on THE St. Croix River.

BTW – THE aged computer I use almost exclusively for this blog remains on this page and I refresh every so often (or not so often) to see who says what. So I usually read comments to THE very end.
Hope that @Cathy will become a regular.

spacecraft 12:33 PM  

I lost time today on account of poor eyesight. The font for clues in my paper is small anyway, and when there's an "m" it is virtually indistinguishable from "rn." Thus I read "Turns and others" for the clue to 26a. That flummoxed me for the longest time! See, I was expecting all the theme answers to be involved with the longer acrosses (and/or downs). To have one stuck in a little corner box was a surprise that I finally saw after much staring. MERC was another derailer, as I was thinking of Ford models without branching out to the Lincoln-Mercury divisions. I've got to learn to UNJAM my brain. Anyhoo, when I had all but one letter of good old 26a, I at last reread the clue and saw it was "Tums and others." Man, what a time-saver that would have been!

My only other hiccup was what might win a race: SPeed, naturally! (Although, if you think about it, that's what ALWAYS wins it, in the end.)

I liked the cleverness of the theme, the fact that the intersecting word stands alone, not turning into a nonsense word, and the skillful execution. Not too much to gripe about in the fill, either, though EDMAME was a real outlier, needing every cross--and seemed crowded in the same grid with UMAMI. Sunday cluing is getting tougher and tougher. Is Sunday the new Saturday? A-.

Hope you all had a safe and happy Fourth!

BS2 12:48 PM  


she’ll ADMITIT, she was CALLING like ERATO in distress.
that her DAYBED might have an ENDUSE for STPETER to find.


rain forest 2:32 PM  

So, WHAT HAPPENS, VEGANS? JUST CAUSE? Or is it just 'cause. These were my convoluted thoughts as I moved to the NE in this gem of a puzzle. Once there, I had an "aha" moment (which also gave me LOKI) with KEEPING IN MIN(E)D.

Without unveiling a travelogue of my solve (that would be extremely tedious), let me just echo what pretty well everyone has already said. And, let me add that, sure, DNAS is at best questionable, but what is the point of saying it over and over? Nevertheless, isn't it true that your DNA is different than my DNA, ie, our DNAS differ, no?

While you're mulling that over, I'm just going to DRESS my chicken, thank you. I think a nice onesie would look cute on it.

@Rondo - way to go on espying TOWN DRUNK
What a great ending to a week of good puzzles. I happy.

Anonymous 7:17 PM  

Funny @Burma shave! Bach in your pants!
@Rondo, so happy to be a regular! Wish we had a nice river in Vegas besides occasional flooded streets.
@Spacecraft- I always wondered why you would post just after the spell casters. I can't believe I never put two and two together. "rn" = m. I read the same thing. Turns and others. 8 letters starting with A?
Oh, what might win a race? I wanted (by) a hair, a nose..
@rainforest- Hope your chicken looks nice. And I thought my cats were spoiled!

Sorry my typing is off. This is very new to me. Do you always put a @ before a name? Hey, I don't even use my computer. I still write checks. Very antiquated at 52.

Funny, at palms casino in Vegas their motto is "what happens at the palms, stays at the palms"

rondo 9:14 PM  

Thanks @Cathy for joining in - I believe you to be less antiquated than much of the rest of Syndiland. I take the @ sign to be an indicator that someone is recognized,probably not necessary, but you get/give props.

I auditioned for TOWNDRUNK in my small town in the early 1980s, but the competition was too stiff. So I took on the burden of being the TOWN ladies man for some 20 years. Apparently the competition for that position was not as stiff. Many stories may follow here, over time.

Anonymous 9:15 PM  

Oh yeah, @rain forest. I too questioned all the hoopla over DNAS. Yes, questionable. Yes, our DNAS differ.

Anonymous 9:24 PM  

Ha ha! Looking forward to your stories @Rondo!

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