Onetime Coors alcopop / WED 8-26-15 / Sculptor who pioneered Dadaism / Canadian airline with directional name / Israeli novelist Perfect Peace / Hoops legend with statue in Philadelphia / Religion founded in 19th-century Persia / Image in Timberland logo / Black hues in Shakespeare /

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: HUMP DAY (53A: Middle of the week ... or an appropriate title for this puzzle) — circled squares make form of a "hump" in the grid (four times) and spell out CAMEL

Word of the Day: John OSBORNE (58A: Playwright John who wrote "Look Back in Anger") —
John James Osborne (12 December 1929 – 24 December 1994) was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, known for his excoriating prose and intense critical stance towards established social and political norms. The success of his 1956 play Look Back in Anger transformed English theatre. // In a productive life of more than 40 years, Osborne explored many themes and genres, writing for stage, film and TV. His personal life was extravagant and iconoclastic. He was notorious for the ornate violence of his language, not only on behalf of the political causes he supported but also against his own family, including his wives and children. Osborne was one of the first writers to address Britain's purpose in the post-imperial age. He was the first to question the point of the monarchy on a prominent public stage. During his peak (1956–1966), he helped make contempt an acceptable and now even cliched onstage emotion, argued for the cleansing wisdom of bad behaviour and bad taste, and combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit. (wikipedia)
• • •

By far my favorite part of this solve was getting to 26D: They're blown for good luck and then looking at my grid and realizing I had this:

I haven't literally LOL'd mid-solve in a long time. That was fun. But the puzzle itself, let's see... I'm not sure I fully understand it. That is, I feel like I must be missing something. I know Wednesday (today) is commonly known as HUMP DAY, and I know camels have humps, and I see the word "camel" in the form of a hump four times in the grid. So there's some layers here. But the revealer feels a bit anemic, in that the "day" part isn't really relevant to all the camel business. And there are four humps ... just because. Arbitrary number. That's how many would fit, I guess. And there is no other thematic material, so ... it's kind of like a themeless, only with not terribly interesting longer answers. This is an interesting but kind of conceptually ragged puzzle. Fill is also slightly less great than I've come to expect from Ian. But those "camels" cannot have been easy to build a grid around. Not cleanly. And really it's just a few answers that feel off (EBONS, most notably).

Fill is oddest / worst / weirdest in and around the revealer. POL POT, ugh, man, I'd do Anything I could to avoid that guy. HITLER is banned from crossword grid, but *this* guy's OK? I guess POL POT's only responsible for the deaths of 1-3 million people, so maybe he is "better than HITLER," but still, yikes. Not loving OSBORNE (?) or WESTJET (??) either. Middling / obscurish proper nouns taking up a lot of real estate, while also creating the conditions for crud fill like OUSE and ANE. Also I stared at LIMBS as the answer for 47D: Post-storm detritus and thought "damn, that's pretty gruesome." Then I realized the limbs were from TREEs. At least I hope they are.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


wreck 12:06 AM  

This puzzle wasn't bad, but I think "anemic" is an apt description of the theme. It seems that a little more could have been done with it. I agree that Ian has had better efforts.

JTHurst 12:08 AM  

CLUE: Where does a "Merl" reside? Answer: Cruciverbalist Heaven.

My father was the patriarch of paronomasia. You could not sit down to dinner without undergoing 'punny' refrains. The SF Chron and Examiner was where I first encountered Merl's wonderful product. He will be missed.

jae 12:11 AM  

Hey folks, it's fill in the circles week!  This was an easy Wed. for me.  Caught the theme early and just filled in the circles. Ten before TIC was my only erasure. 

My problem was that I kept staring at the grid looking trying to figure out where the rest of the theme was.  Couldn't find it.  

So,  liked it about as much as Rex did.

Whirred Whacks 12:20 AM  

Nothing quite like a "dick joke" to liven up a review, right Rex? (Actually that was pretty funny.)

My list of murderous monsters in the 20th century goes as follows:
1) Mao (the worst); approx. 80-100 million of his own people dead (Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, other famines, etc.)
2) Stalin; approx 40-50 million (famines, reprisals, purges, war, gulags)
3) Hitler

I'm not sure where to put Pol Pot, but he may be #1 on the death list on a per capita basis. I visited Cambodia about a decade ago and was sickened by the remnants of the suffering he inflicted on his own countrymen (displays of piles of skulls in the villages I went to).

Steve J 12:46 AM  

Cute theme, one that cause me to smile a little when I filled in HUMP DAY, looked back at the circles and saw what was going on. (Meanwhile, what's with all the circles this week? Is there some sort of made-up celebration like National Sphere Week that I'm not aware of?) But I agree it's a bit, um, flat. Yes, camels have humps. Would have liked to have seen more going on here. And I really would have been impressed if Ian had managed to make one of those humps a DROMEDARY.

Unfortunately, there's too much awkward - not even bad, just awkward - fill. HOMECOMINGS is a forced plural - the singular would answer the clue just fine. LOAM SOIL feels incredibly redundant. NEW MANAGEMENT feels incredibly bland. Plus EBONS, ERG, OUSE, etc.

That's balanced out a bit with a gem like SLOW BURN and nice ones like ZIPPO, YES WE CAN and GAMESHOW. But on the whole this felt like it fell just a little short.

Gerry Kahle 12:58 AM  

Found it too easy, more like a Tuesday than a Wednesday.

I did like this running through the center of this puzzle:
I ACCUSE BANK MANAGEMENT of rolling the DICE producing ZIPPO.

DebinSac 1:02 AM  

The DICS thing is hilarious. And please tell me I am not the only one who wrote in (Cop a ...) FEEL at 44 across. Yeah, I knew it was unTimes-like, but still.... Didn't like loamsoil, liked learning Arp's first name. For some reason, I found a puzzle that had some nice longer answers quite meh. Maybe the camels left me underwhelmed. Or maybe I am just tired from spending most of the day in the hospital with my 99 year-old mother. Then again, it was Ian Livengood, so I expected a great puzzle and not just an OK one.

JTHurst 1:22 AM  

A to Z, wasn't that a Merl standard?

Leapfinger 2:41 AM  

Oh, the sexual desires of the CAMEL,
Are stranger than anyone thinks.
One night in a fever of passion,
He tried to make love to the Sphinx.
But the Sphinx is made out of sandstone
And rocks that outcrop near the Nile,
Which accounts for the HUMP on the CAMEL
And the Sphinx's inscrutable smile.

Rollickster 2:56 AM  

You should remember Westjet, so that you can never have another Air Canada fiasco

George Barany 3:36 AM  

By my personal mid-week solving standards, this @Ian Livengood puzzle went very smoothly. YES_WE_CAN teach about ATOMS (the "A" of A_TO_Z, I suppose) in our intro chemistry classes. Hydrocarbon suffix, ANE, perhaps not until later? Chem students are always GAME_whenever_we_SHOW them a DEMO, particularly any one where we IGNITE GAS-filled balloons, or perhaps when we use acid to ETCH metals.

Seeing the word "directional" in the last across clue, I instinctively wrote WESTERN, but quickly inferred WEST_JET based on the J of legendary basketball player DR_J (I just returned from a week in Philadelphia, but missed the statue). It was interesting to learn the full names of AMOS_OZ and HANS_ARP, since puzzle solvers will be more familiar with their respective first and last names.

The four arcs of circles, each spelling out CAMEL, became evident only when looking at the completed grid, i.e., the HUMP_DAY theme was one to be admired at the end rather than an integral part of the solving experience. Hopefully, someone with a wittier bent towards wordplay can riff on the "designed by a committee" adage.

George Barany 3:45 AM  

The newspaper of record published an obituary yesterday of the great @Merl Reagle. Keeping in mind 27-Across in today's puzzle, I direct interested readers of this blog to the following, which appears about halfway:

"Mr. Reagle’s signature clues were more likely to be inscrutable brain-twisting puns or anagrams than recondite factoids. The answer to “completely” was “atoz” (think a-to-z)."

Click here for the full obituary.

Music man 5:40 AM  

So, for some reason, I like this theme.

Probably because of that commercial and the later spoof clerical a of said commercial.



Also, feel like I haven't seen EBON in quite a while.

Music man 5:43 AM  

P.S. Where's your video clip of Dead Kennedys Holiday in Cambodia?

Rhino 7:04 AM  

I also had the d and thought dic(k)s. And my first thought was cop a feel. So, like Rex, I've yet to mature past the ninth grade.

Weirdly, I didn't see the circles until I read this blog. I had to go back and check that they were there. It's still early I guess. I had to get up to go to mayo clinic today for some testing. Pro tip: if you'd like to talk to old men about their genitals, tell your Lutheran church you have testicular cancer. Not sure if it'd work in the city but in a small town... I was stopped in the dairy aisle of the econofoods to hear a long and loud description of a seventy-year-old man's scrotum.

Joseph Welling 7:06 AM  

BICEP is just wrong. The muscle is a two-headed muscle whose name is BICEPS--even when you're talking about the site of one single tat.

elitza 7:16 AM  

Ehhhh. ATOM, A TON, A TO Z.

Anyone else think that a feel was getting copped, rather than a PLEA?

Loren Muse Smith 7:24 AM  

Rex – your DICs and "storm detritus" thoughts were pretty funny. I almost wrote in "lamps" for the detritus.

First thought for SIAMESE was "scaredy."

Can y'all reseat me? Why, YES WE CAN. EASY. ASAP – obviously I understand everyone's points yesterday about not wanting to sit next to the bathroom lest someone rush (or as Dad says, “straight-legs it”) in for a "serious visit" (Hi, @airymom – too funny!). @Merle et al -I wasn’t really thinking about the valid objections of those wanting to be reseated, just that for me, it was a no-win situation. Fair enough. One of my big drivers, unfortunately, is not to rock the boat, so the joke's on me every time I accept a table next to the bathroom with its Serious Visits. Ridiculously, it's more important to me that the hostess/waiters aren't filled with dread when I walk in. I know all restaurants are different; I’ve only worked in three, but believe you me, it was my experience that there are regulars who come in that No One wants to wait on, I don't care how accommodating, interested, bright-eyed, and effusively smarmy they are as they greet you. I’ve seen Oscar-worthy performances (Hi, PVD). I'm with @Z, though – just design the place so that there IS no bad table. Or rethink how you assign tables, as @Dshawmaine suggests.

Theme works fine for me: Wednesday is HUMP DAY, and the grid has CAMEL HUMPS. I know I come across as a cheap date.

Steven M. O'Neill 7:32 AM  

Arp three me for a second. He has two names! From Wikipedia:

When Arp spoke in German he referred to himself as "Hans", and when he spoke in French he referred to himself as "Jean".

Lobster11 7:32 AM  

I thought the theme was kinda cute, although I didn't really notice it until I was nearly done. My one complaint was finding AMOSOZ, HANSARP, and John OSBORNE all in the same puzzle; that's too many obscure (to me) names for my taste.

I bought the Lollapuzzoola set on OFL's recommendation and did the first two yesterday. Way fun. Now I've been spoiled, and I'll probably be grumpy about the NYT puzzles for the rest of the week.

r.alphbunker 7:42 AM  

Puzzle report

Started off with WAYTOGO for {"Nice job, kid!"} but the T of {Roof coating} TAR gave me ATTABOY immediately. The was a commenter here a while ago name @Purple Guy who always wished us a happy hump day.

Glimmerglass 8:07 AM  

@Leapfinger: The song you quote brings back memories of singing off-color songs around a fire on a beach. My version had slightly different words in line 5 and 6: "But the sphynx's posterior portions / Were crammed by the sands of the Nile. . . . " The song has a verse about a hedgehog, extensive researches at Harvard, and "the boys down at Yale." I think Oscar Brand recorded it. Ah youth!

joho 8:12 AM  

I wonder if you could clue OUSE, "Cockney's abode?"

I like circles but thought they made it a bit too easy for a Wednesday since I was able to write in CAMEL, CAMEL, CAMEL, CAMEL as quickly as one, two, three, (four)! But HUMPDAY is a great -- perhaps the perfect -- subject for a Wednesday puzzle. Today is HUMPDAY and it's being celebrated by Ian!

Were the HUMPS supposed to be speed HUMPS? They didn't slow me down at all.


I enjoyed it, thank you, Ian!

Aketi 8:25 AM  

Still have to finish my big project, but desperately needed an easy puzzle break. This one delivered by not taxing my brain. I knew I'd get a little reward by allowing myself to read the comments here.

@Leapfinger you made my day. Yesterday too with your comments on health class. FYI, health class is still exists in my son's high school. Instead of remedial classes during summer school, his high school only offers art, drama, music and health. The classes that you get out of the way in the summer of your freshman year so you can pack in more sciences clases in your sophomore year. My son came home complaining about themovie he had to watch of some old fitness trainer from the last millenium. Turns out the social studies teacher who taught the health class loved Jack Lalanne. :)

@ George Barany, you came in second. @Rex, third.

@Whirred Whacks, I started making trips to Cambodia for a blindness prevention program in 1993, when the UNTAC troups were still there. I never made it to Siem Reap, but I did visit other out of the way places with beautiful ruins, some of which dated back before Angkor Wat. I actually found the rooms filled with pictures of those who were executed in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum even more disturbing than the torture devices. The coerced confession letters of the Australians who were executed were there too. I can't imagine why human beings would want to so carefully document their acts of genocide. I didn't mind POL POT in the puzzle to trigger a moment of remembrance for an incredibly sad moment in human history,

AliasZ 8:33 AM  

Enough already with the stupid circles. Once a month may be a cute diversion, but three days in a row is a guarantee that I don't want to see another one for at least six months.

@Rex, @WhWh, it astonishes me that POL POT and MAO are accepted as standard NYT puzzle fillers, essentially making a game out of the mass murder of innocents. What's next? I know, a puzzle about our best loved serial killers: Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, etc.

@Leapy, loved your love poem. If all my attempts that encountered such stony rejections were similarly rewarded, I would look like Charles Laughton in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

This was not my favorite Ian Livengood puzzle by a long shot. At least one more CAMEL could have squeezed through the eye of a needle to make the grid less anemic. The fill wasn't that great either, from ATOZ to ATON, from EBONS to TIC-TAT-MEW, from ACNE and OUSE to ZIMA.

Favorite word today: TARRY. The NEW MANAGEMENT clue could have been improved: "A restaurant may reopen under it." Request for reseating is graciously accommodated. Let me find my ZIPPO lighter, I must have dropped it under my old table by the men's room door.

Here's hoping for a circle free Thursday.

MattG 8:37 AM  

Don't worry if you laugh at DICS. In fact, I'm embarrassed to say that I giggle every time I fill it ATIT.

Isn't BICEPS the singular of BICEPS?

GeezerJackYale48 8:48 AM  

Leapfinger: thanks for your contribution to my morning. Much more fun than the puzzle!

Z 8:55 AM  

"Blown on for luck," "Cop a ---," LAID while drinking ZIMAs at HOMECOMINGS...HUMP DAY indeed. Sounds like an Eelworm's wet dream to me (@Leapy - "Health" because we're still a bunch of puritans).

@Whirred and @Rex - There seems to be a moral calculus that makes doing it to your own country less abhorrent than doing it to your own country and invading other countries. Or maybe keeping it within one's borders hides it enough from our collective id.

mathgent 9:01 AM  

A little bit of crunch, some nice cluing, only 14 three-letter entries. Liked it.

Jello Biafra 9:03 AM  


A.W. 9:07 AM  

I'm actually surprised you didn't like this theme, it was definitely referencing that Geico commercial with the camel yelling HUMPDAY. With the inclusion of that, MEME, and YESWECAN, this puzzle was actually kind of modern

pmdm 9:07 AM  

Trying to overcomplicate the theme will make it seem like you're missing something. But no, you're not missing anything. The theme is indeed pretty thin and the theme density is lower than you've probably seen in a while. It would have been much better if a fifth camel inhabited the area where HUMPDAY currently rsides and if HUMPDAY replaced NEWMANAGEMENT. Even so, I thought is was a nice puzzle, with the increased number of lengthly entries justifying the theme density level.

The write-up makes a good point about POLPOT. Does it make that much sense that POLPOT and IDIAMIN are acceptable but ADOLFHITLER is not? I understand the reasoning, but I don't understand the inconsistency behind application of the reason. In any event, inclusion of the entries doesn't bother me. Those individuals are part of history. They must never be forgotten or ignored lest history repeat itself. Would a clue such as "Evil German War Criminal" (as a reminder that horrible atrocities were committed during WWII) justify a change in policy? I accept the rule as it stands, but yes, it should be applied universally.

On a less intense note, I'm humored that the entires Steve J cites as awkward or bland Jeff Chen cites as colorful and snazzy. To each his own.

Nancy 9:31 AM  

Amen to @jae, @Steve J and @Alias Z: enough with the circles already! Even though I've never once heard of Wednesday being called HUMPDAY, this was an easy solve. I didn't know ZIMA, I didn't know ARP's first name, and I originally had OiSE instead of OUSE, but I knew the middle of the week couldn't be HiMPDAY. Only after completing, did I see the little circle trick. "OMG, there are CAMELS!!!! And they go up in the middle like HUMPS!!!! Isn't this perfectly wonderful??? Isn't this absolutely extraordinary???" Well, no. I actually didn't say that. What I mostly did was yawn. Like Alias, I'm hoping for a circle-free Thursday.

chefbea 9:33 AM  

Fun Wednesday, Humpday puzzle. Guess I'll have to google meme...dont get it as a passing web fancy

Karen Munson 10:08 AM  

Am I the only solver with a beef about "mislays" being a clue (47 A) with "laid" being the answe to 49D? Seems like two forms of the same word.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Doable, but annoying in parts.

And I almost had "Cop a FEEL."

Ludyjynn 10:15 AM  

Timely inclusion of the despicable POL POT in this puzzle as I just read his sister-in-law's obit. last Saturday. Ieng Thirith served as the "social affairs minister" of the Khmer Rouge regime, but was never tried due to the onset of dementia a few years ago. She had a multitude of health problems when she died at age 83 w/o her victims' families ever having the chance to confront her.

I think @pmdm makes a good argument for including despots, tyrants, genocidal murderers and their ilk, provided the clueing makes it clear just how vile they were and in no way glorifies their existence. We must NEVER FORGET the past or we are doomed to repeat it.

@LMS, not to beat a dead CAMEL, but...from my perspective as a former waitress, RESEATing was a non-issue because I made it a point to only work at an establishment that did not have dead zones where patrons did not want to be seated. As far as obnoxious "regulars", another non-issue. My regulars were folks I was grateful to see and who tipped generously. Speaking of which, I used to joke that waiting tables was the best money I could make short of hooking, while I was able to adjust my work schedule around my law school classes for 3 years! The only time I ever asked MANAGEMENT to intervene on my behalf was when a large, drunken party of eight was seated at my station and one of them, a male, made crude, sexually explicit remarks as he tried to grope my ASS while I took his order. I smiled while doing a SLOWBURN. The party was not RESEATed, but a male waiter and I were allowed to swap tables so that I would not have to endure the abuse. Basically, I told the boss I would walk off the floor and quit (in the midst of Saturday night rush) if he did not resolve the problem. Four days later, I was called into the GM's office and handed a letter of apology that had arrived in the mail, unsolicited, from a female member of the party. AWEsome!

I also chuckled at the inclusion of ATOZ as an homage to Merl Reagle.
Very nice touch, WS.

Other than the redundant LOAMSOIL and 'S' at HOMECOMING, a serviceable HUMPDAY solve. Thanks, IL and WS.

Sir Hillary 10:19 AM  

Like @Music man, I liked the theme mainly because it made me think of the GEICO commercial. "Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike, what day is it?!?"

@Rex fairly points out the inconsistency of POLPOT being included when HITLER is not. I share @pmdm's view -- inclusion of anyone or anything in a puzzle is not the same as endorsement of that person or thing. I remember what I thought was much ado about nothing when SIEG appeared a while back. But, I recognize that many people feel differently than me, often passionately so.

Jamie C 10:19 AM  

I got caught because of the GREEN PAINT that stained my fingers when the teller gave me the money and set off the BANK ALARM as I ran onto the LOAM SOIL.

Carola 10:25 AM  

My reaction was similar to others here - cute idea for the theme, but super easy and a little wan by Ian Livengood's standards.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:30 AM  

OK puzzle.

With my usual carelessness/mental blindness, I noticed several strings of AME in the circles, but only saw the Cs and Ls when I got to the reveal!

A true story, so despite repeating information already given by @Steven M. O'Neill I will say: Just last night, while waiting in the airport to pick up friends, I was doing an old puzzle from my archive (from 4/27/11, but no byline) in which the clue for 28 D was "Artist known alternately [sic] as Jean and Hans", for ARP. (I would have said "alternatively;" I don't know why the puzzle used "alternately.")

jberg 10:35 AM  

Loved TARRY, hated EBONS, HOMECOMINGS, and especially LOAM SOIL. And a BANK ALARM would be an app you put on your phone that rings a bell when you are near a bank -- or maybe something on the sonar on your boat. Banks have burglar alarms (for when they are closed) and just plain alarms with hidden switches for when they are open -- although those are usually designed to alert the police without tipping off the robbers.

And I have to put in a good word for John OSBORNE and the rest of the Angry Young Men.

I saw the first CAMEL right away, but sort of expected to see other kinds of humps for the other three sets of circles, and then some clever revealer. Then I forgot to pay attention, and had all the CAMELs filled in before I thought about it again.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Trying to accustom myself to a new computer. I liked the puzzle and thought it was easy. Not happy about PolPot as I have been to Cambodia, have a Cambodian DIL, whose ten siblings died of starvation during that regime. We talked to lots of people and heard terrible things. They are still suffering since everyone who knew how to do anything was killed. Just in case I don't get to updating my profile, this is quilter1 commenting.

Roo Monster 10:43 AM  

Hey All !
Once I got down to the revealer clue, looked back at the circles and immediately wrote in HUMPDAY! Didn't know they would all be CAMELs, though. Maybe is there were different HUMPs? Of course, nothing coming into the ole brain.

Found this surprisingly easy for a WedsPuz. Did online today, and not a speed solver, but my time says 13:50. Quick for me for Wednesday.

Wanted ten for the X clue, and agree that HOMECOMINGS is a way forced POC. Wrote in HOMECOMeing, screwing up the SW for a bit. The LOAM SOIL answer is odd, and I had read the clue as Painter's bagful, so wrote in OIL, what a deal that worked out. Never heard of either AMOS OZ or HANS ARP. Thinking both names were just one last name! But the crosses made them gettable.


Charles Flaster 10:51 AM  

Nice EZ romp on HUMP DAY.
When HUMP DAY was revealed I went to the four CAMELs immediately.
Liked cluing for ETCH, LIMBS and AORTA.
Very little CrosswordEASE.
Finished 4/13 in trivia last night and DR J was an answer-- only player to win MVP in ABA and NBA.
Thanks IL -- your usual fine job.

Ellen S 10:54 AM  

Felt like a Monday puzzle that accidentally got published on a Wednesday. Are circles and themes forbidden on Monday, no matter how simplistic they are? The proper nouns were all gettable from crosses.

Same initial response as @Rex when I saw the scattered LIMBS after a storm. Also a moment of panic when I saw "Cop a ____[four-letter word]__". I even had the E in place. Mr. Livingood, have you no shame? .... Oh, Cop a PLEA. Never mind.

Joseph Michael 10:54 AM  

Not much to say about this one other than it's not much of a challenge to write CAMEL four times. The revealer was cute but I expect a little more from a Wednesday.

Seems to be not only a lot of circles lately but also a lot of IMPs, ERGs, and ANEs. (Or is that a law firm that the Times is promoting?)

@Rex, enjoyed your writeup today but still trying to get the image of those post-storm LIMBS out of my head.

Agree with you wholeheartedly about POLPOT. Put him in the Hitler room and throw away the key.

Incognito 11:14 AM  

@SteveJ, the Dromedary would have been nice, but personally I would have cheered for the two-HUMP BACTRIAN CAMEL, wouldn't you?

Which reminds me of a guy a yusta know.

A couple of ruminant factoids:
CAMELs don't sweat until the daytime temperature is at least 106F.
CAMEL calves are born without a HUMP, which CAMEL moms appreciate.

Dave in Ancaster 11:34 AM  

Hey, WestJet flies right out of my area, Hamilton, so not so obscure for some of us! :-)

John V 11:35 AM  

Found the South to be a bit stick, e.g. HANSARP, but otherwise just fine, mostly Monday/Tuesday-ish,

Lewis 11:49 AM  

@aliasz -- love your clue for NEWMANAGEMENT

EASY for a Wednesday, relatively (but not squeaky) clean, with nice clues for IMPS, AORTA, and HOMECOMINGS. My last square was the Z at the end of ATO_. LOAM SOIL seemed extraneous to me, but it gets half a million results on Google, so I learned something. That clue for the TAT should have said "hamstring" instead of "bicep" being that the TAT is right under the ASS. SLOWBURN is over-EASY, which feels appropriate, and I like TAHOE in the west, and LAID low. Sometimes an easy HUMPDAY is just the ticket; sure was for me.

aging soprano 11:50 AM  

Bravo! Leapy.

Cyn Warren 12:09 PM  

Regarding Pol Pot, read "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia" by Willian Shawcross. It takes monsters to make monsters.

aging soprano 12:09 PM  

My first reaction was "what! Little coasters again?" I also had dics before DICE. Never heard of HUMPDAY but I guessed it as soon as I saw a veritable caravan parading across my puzzle. So I will add HUMPDAY to LISTICLE and PARONOMANIACS on my new words chart. Puzzle was easy except for the SE. Why is it called HUMPDAY anyway?

Nikthefin 12:15 PM  

Wednesday is the 4th day of the week. If the number of camels is "x"' and Wednesday is 4, then solve for humps. Wait, no, that's not correct. Too much time helping my 13 year old with Algebra before finishing this crossword. Sigh.

Wm. C. 12:24 PM  

@Aging --

Wednesday is "hump day" because at the end of the workday, we're "over the hump" of the work week.

Bird 12:41 PM  

Amusing theme but not much to really like. Also looking for more theme related material. I'm with Steve J on 24D and others on 44D.


nick 12:50 PM  

Unrewarding struggle here, a surprise as Livengood's name on a puzzle is often a sign of good things to come. Best part of the solve by far is coming here and finding @Rex's dic joke.

Leapfinger 1:56 PM  

ATTABOY, Mr Ian! You caught me up on "___ cat", even though three SIAMESErs were within HAIRBALL shooting distance. Had a sufficiently jolly solve, even without the full complement of Livengood sparkle. Definitely AORTA caught on to that 'line-pump' clue sooner. For that 'post-storm detritus', call the Dook Replant Team; their specialty is reattaching LIMBS. LOAMSOIL struck me as a pointless redundancy, rather like cobbling together 'Marlmud' (and Naturally, I don't mean author Bernard). Overall, I'm in the @JeffChen camp more than the @SteveJ. T

@Z, at last, I understand!

@Lewis, interesting that the Hamstring you bring up itself includes the BICEPs femoris. The TAT more often seems to be on the Glute [ie, ASS], however.

@pmdm, I think the inconsistency behind the policies regarding HITLER vs POLPOT/IDIAMIN is fairly apparent. Plainly, the solving community has stronger ties to Europe than to Asia and Africa. My interpretation, fwiw.

@AliasZ, oh sure! I'll believe that sometime next week. For about a half hour.
(How did you like the TAT TAR? or the TARRY TARRY Night?

Noticed a couple of subthemes, one of which I'll leave up to @Evil, should he be interested in HOMECOMINGS and such. The other I noticed was the confluence of GAS, the [loams]OIL DRUM, the ZIPPO lighter and the SLOW BURN. It all seems to come together as a PLEA for Arson.

Irene, IGNITE Irene.
I'll see you in my dreams!
(and up on charges, most likely)

I do hope that Thursday won't find us Circling the Wagons.

OISK 2:21 PM  

Thanks, @ Leapfinger, for the rhyme! Add me to those who wished to cop a feel rather than a plea, and to those who had trouble with "loam soil." I had "farm soil", which didn't work, and since I have no familiarity whatsoever with Winnie the Pooh, (other than knowing about ROO from the puzzles, although references to Winnie are SO frequent, that by now I am completely Poohped out...)I didn't have Acre, thinking there might be 100 hares in the forest. But the theme saved me! Two camels gave me the L from loam and the C from acre, and I was home.

Enjoyable puzzle. Thanks, Mr. Livengood.

nrota 2:58 PM  

This is an interesting time to talk about acceptable "trigger" words or names. We're taking down rebel flags and considering removing Civil War monuments, We've come up with the term "trigger" in light of PTSD reactions. There is a complex shift happening in the free speech discusion and there was an excellent article on the subject in the New Yorker a week or so ago by Kalefa Sanneh. Unlike most any other country in the world, hate speech can be protected under our definition of free speech. I support taking down the rebel flag but I'm nervous about taking down monuments - I would rather see them replaced by something which explains the history of the monument and its removal rather than have it just disappear as if it never happened.

Karl 3:02 PM  

Speaking of "crud fill", LOAMSOIL is not a thing. LOAM is a type of SOIL...

Music man 4:46 PM  

Auto correct, clerical a=commercial

Hartley70 5:19 PM  

@Rhino best of luck at the Mayo. It's clear your sense of humor is intact and that's one powerful medication. I suspect you can do a lot of mining in that Lutheran Men's Church Group, a la Garrison Keillor.

@Leapy, wonderful lyrics and perfecto post!

OZ, OSBOURNE and ARP sound like a white shoe law firm, but my will's not in their safe. Never heard of them.

@Ludy, I wonder why she didn't speak up at the time, harrumph! Better late than never, I suppose.

Despite not knowing the above trio, I found the puzzle easy and a bit of a bore. I will say the little camel humps were a nice touch. To the circle haters, ie @Nancy et al, may I suggest an app. They're so faint as to be invisible. I never even notice them.

@Joho, that's the second day in a row you've nailed it for me!

mac 6:22 PM  

Easy, but with the odd loam soil. I copped a peek and had a scaredy cat.

I also thought: 4 camels for the 4th day.

Wasn't Arp Alsacian? No wonder he has two versions of his first name.

Elephant's Child 6:41 PM  

Does your lonely heart break?
Tell me, dear,
Are you LOAMSOIL tonight??

Teedmn 7:48 PM  

Nice feline sub-theme with a SIAMESE and a SNO cat MEWing for dinner SCrAPES. This played Tuesday EASY for me but with the Wednesday theme, I suppose it could only appear on HUMP DAY.

I was sure @Rex would be unhappy that the circles gave away 20 fill squares but not today, I guess. I plopped three CAMELs in after solving the NW, figuring there wouldn't be any other HUMPy filling. Can't say it helped all that much since the proper nouns were mostly not in those areas. I sure didn't recognize our fave Dadaist with his first name obscuring the ARP.

I had Disc in at 18D before DEMO so that's what I thought I was looking at when @Rex showed his grid entry for 26D. I have just erased three attempts to get clever with this and can't seem to get it clean enough for me to dare post it, sorry.

Well, IGNITE Irene, @Leapy and all y'all.

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

Thanks to Jean/HANSARP and @mac, I've discovered there are new dog breeds, such as the American Alsatian or Alsatian Shepalute, from crossing German Shepherds with Alaskan Malamutes. Better not be annoying them.

Also found that Wiki has a list of famous Alsatians (of the bipedal variety); in addition to Jean/HansArp, it includes:
Frédéric Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty
Ettore and Jean Bugatti, automotive designers
Gustave Doré, artist & engraver
Alfred Dreyfus
Johannes Gutenberg
Jeanne d'Arc (who apparently never went by 'Hanna')
Pope Leo IX, of xwp fame
Marcel Marceau
Charles Münch
Henri Poincaré
Albert Schweitzer
Paul Verlaine
Emile Waldteufel (the "other" Waltz King)
Jean-Jacques Waltz (interestingly, this is not a duplication)

Tyler James Young 12:33 PM  

There's a great Eddie Izzard bit about these ruthless mass-murderers dying of natural causes under house arrest because "they killed their own people, and we're sort of fine with that. Hitler killed people next door! Stupid man. After a couple of years, we won't stand for that!"

Jeff (not Leonard) 9:54 AM  

I also copped a FEEL.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

I’m doing a SLOWBURN. All circles/shadings all the time? I wish these gimmicks were making CAMEOS, but it looks like the SAME all week.

My BELLE told me, “ATTABOY”, while she CRAWLED into bed, OMAN! As she LAID there on that HUMPDAY and then said, “YESWECAN!” TOM ISAK MICA wrote “HOMECOMINGS”.

How about JOAN, or ROBERT, or ANDERS for OSBORNE?? More likely in my world. Too bad Ozzy doesn’t quite fit.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

I found this to be a clever, funny, Easy Wednesday, with no complaints whatsoever. Thanks Mr. Livengood for another fine puzzle.

The revealer was certainly helpful in finishing the puzzle at the top portion. Another good day with no look-ups or research.

Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA
(Where the "Sun also Sets).

rondo 11:24 AM  

Anagram the circled letters and give this puz a LAME C. Even the horizontal green paint crosses the vertical green paint (on the M and A, sorry @M & A). I make a PLEA for this sort of thing to stop.

Two write-overs at topMANAGEMENT and daDAS. Both seemed plausible for a short time.

CAPP returns. Still in the comics, but in a different capacity.

Stretch of a clue for DEMO, IMHO. Trying to make it feel youngish?

I don’t think of stone in which to ETCH. Metal or some other medium, perhaps?

Did not cop a feel as the L was already inplace. Otherwise, maybe, but not in a NYT puz.

Ultimately EASY puz to SEWUP, and appropriate that LAID shows up in a HUMPDAY-puz.

spacecraft 11:50 AM  

Hey Mike, MikeMikeMikeMikeMike! What day is it? It's SLOWBURN day for me. LOAMSOIL?? Nah. LOAM is soil that doesn't need--and has never had--the word SOIL attached to it. Ridiculously green paint. Oh, and BANK only belongs with ALARM if that happens to be the heist locale. Other places can be heisted, most notably a race track in a film which, I believe, is titled "The Heist."

Other frownies: ZIPPO is used to IGNITE one's cigarette, not to express zero. ZIP, or ZIP-OUGHT, but not ZIPPO. Should have been clued as the lighter. Then I had ATO_ and had to run the alphabet--all the way to the end!--for the answer. Grrr... WESTJET: unknown but inferrable; OUSE and AMOSOZ (??? Oh wait--it's AmOS [space] OZ! Now I get it) had to go in on crosses.

@Leapy gets an ATTABOY for better entertainment than today's puzzle, which owing to a thin theme and spotty fill I will grade C.

leftcoastTAM 9:59 PM  

I liked this one. Some clever clues that with crosses made for gettable answers, particularly in the SW. An altogether worthy HUMPDAY in preparation for the Thursday-Saturday down-slopes(?) to come.

Danna 8:04 AM  

Oooooh! A to z. I get it now.thanks!

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP