Three-time Grammy winner Steve / MON 9-14-15 / Google smartphone released in 2014 / WTF with Maron popular podcast / Where Buddhists worship / S on dinner table

Monday, September 14, 2015

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Just north of normal (3:12)


THEME: CROWN (64A: Royal topper ... or part of the logos of 16-, 21-, 38- and 53-Across) — corporate entities (and who doesn't love those!?) that have crowns in their logos, just like the clue says...

Theme answers:
  • LOS ANGELES KINGS (16A: Hockey team that plays at Staples Center)
  • BUDWEISER (21A: Super Bowl advertiser with Clydesdale horses)
  • ROLEX (38A: Luxury watch brand)
  • HALLMARK CARDS (53A: Busy company around Mother's Day and Valentine's Day)
Word of the Day: Steve EARLE (23D: Three-time Grammy winner Steve) —
Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle (/ˈɜrl/) (born January 17, 1955) is an American rock, country and folk singer-songwriter, record producer, author and actor. Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville and released his first EP in 1982. His breakthrough album was the 1986 album Guitar Town. Since then Earle has released 15 other studio albums and received three Grammy awards. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin and Emmylou Harris. He has appeared in film and television, and has written a novel, a play, and a book of short stories. (wikipedia)
• • •

An unusual, reasonably satisfying Monday. Check the mirror symmetry! Pretty cool. Also, check the low word count. 74! Huge pillared corners in the E/SE and W/SW. (Gotta couple cheater squares there, under SVELTE and SCORNS respectively, and we should probably be grateful—they undoubtedly made it easier to make those relative open areas around the long Downs come together in smooth Monday fashion). ADANO is really the only answer that I wouldn't want anywhere near my grid. Otherwise, acceptable-to-nice fill. I was especially surprised by ANDROID ONE, a very up-to-date answer (2014!) and a brand I'd never heard of. You can redo the puzzle pretty easily (i.e. inside of 15 seconds) with ANDROID APP there instead; that's probably more common and more gettable, but it's not better. It leaves you with PYE as your only real option at 65-Across, and PYE is as bad if not worse than ADANO, so ... hurray for ANDROID ONE.


Mirror symmetry is necessitated by the theme answer assortment, i.e. the four examples are all different lengths, and therefore wouldn't work in a more conventional rotational-symmetry grid (where answers have to pair length-for-length, except the middle one, which can just sit there, assuming it's got an odd-numbered letter count). But why chuck a perfectly good theme because rotational symmetry won't work? Just be creative! Mirror! If only because it looks and feels different than your average Monday, I approve of this puzzle. Not big on flogging corporations, but as a puzzle, this is fine work.

Bullets:
  • 13D: Dugout figure (BATBOY) — gah. I love baseball, but this took me far too long. Needed four crosses to pick it up. Part of me was thinking of "dugout" as a canoe ... that's a thing, right? Ah, yes. It is. Good.
  • 51D: "Get what I mean?," informally ("Y'KNOW") — I like this and yet I feel like it should be "YA KNOW?" I want to pronounce the version that's in the grid "eek-no."
  • 4D: "Good heavens!" ("OH GOD!") — Got the GOD part no problem, but went with MY. When I hear the expression in my head, "MY GOD" has a lesser charge. "OH GOD" seems like a reaction to an atrocity, or an expression of deep dread/anxiety/fear that something will be horribly wrong. "MY GOD" seems like how you'd react to someone's tale of how bad traffic was this morning.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

51 comments:

jp flanigan 12:21 AM  

My fastest Monday all year (according the the new NYT page). I'm pretty ambivalent about the stats, but i looked up and there it was, fastest time! Feels about right, i finished pretty much once through each answer.

chefwen 12:48 AM  

Another super, easy Monday by our prolific C.C.

The only answer that would have given me pause was 23D which I didn't have to think about as it filled itself in. ANDROID ONE also needed crosses and for some crazy reason I wanted SVELTE to be spelled SVELdt. No idea how that entered my mind, maybe I want to go to Africa and see the Veldt. Must take that under consideration.

jae 12:50 AM  

On the tough side for a Mon.  MALI, MARC Maron, Y'KNOW, REY (as clued),  ANDROID ONE, EARLE, CNET...seem challenging for a Mon.  

BATter before BATBOY.

That said, liked it.

Pete 12:50 AM  

FORTE always reminds me of my Uncle Jim, a man my brothers and I dubbed "the most boring human on earth" in our youth. In fairness to ourselves, casual observation supported that. The only way he ever seemed singular was that whenever the occasion would arise, and it did surprisingly often, he would tell people that FORTE is properly pronounced fort when used in a context other than as a musical directive. Other than that he seemed as vanilla as could be. He took wine courses so he could select an appropriate wine at dinner, dance classes so he could dance with his wife on the rare occasion they went dancing. Hell, he probably took table manner lessons for all we knew. When my brothers and I grew older we realized that maybe all these lessons, the joining the right country clubs was an attempt to make his wife happier, his child more proud of him, so we were just a little chagrined at our prior assessment of him.

When he died, after 50 years in the family, his wife finally told everyone that he had fought in the Battle of the Bulge, told us his stories of the valor shown and seen, and valor wasted in horrors he never shared with anyone but her. Not even his daughter knew. I then understood his blandness, his trying to make his household a little more genteel on a continuous basis as a counterpoint to his wartime experiences, a gift to his family, and was truly ashamed.

So FORTE is pronounced fort unless it's a musical directive, Y'Know?

RAD2626 1:23 AM  

More current stuff than just ANDROID ONE. Lana del RAY, and MARC Marano qualify and even AROD and CNET are fairly current. One bad ESE, one SRTA (seems more like a springless mattress) and I did not like ASHY vs ASHen. But theme and symmetry great as was clue Don. Really nice puzzle.

ZenMonkey 1:35 AM  

More Mondays like these, please!

Favorite answer: MR. COOL.

Lewis 6:27 AM  

I'm always hoping for some playfulness in a puzzle, and didn't get that, but there are only a few puzzle makers who consistently bring that into Monday. But it was a cool looking grid and gave me a solid Monday solving experience. I did smile at "big WHOOP", and there was a touch of resistance, which Monday should provide (but doesn't always). The intersection of ADANO/ERATO might give some trouble. I looked all over the grid for a Boggle-style "Boca" to go with that RATON, but no luck.

Loren Muse Smith 6:47 AM  

Yep. Right off, I noticed was the mirror symmetry. Next were the two 10 stacks coming down. Cool.

Rex – my first thought was "my God," too. But for me, “My God” is a stronger reaction. OH GOD for me first has an eye-rollsome kinda vibe. What. She bought a $ 15,000 ROLEX? OH GOD. What's next? A Birkin bag?

And I'll see your Y'KNOW and raise you a THAT IS A LIE. I wanted "That's a lie." I would maybe say THAT IS A LIE if I'm pounding out each syllable on the kitchen table in response to someone accusing me of omitting SALT from a batch of Toll House cookies. Shudder.

Funny – I just caught the tail end of this yesterday

BATBOY

Well ok, he was "Batkid," but still. Serendipity.

@jberg from yesterday – that I in "business" is absolutely silent when I say it. (And silent when Dad says it in "bidness.”) And I’m surprised to hear that anyone would say that first R in "February." The DOs and DON'Ts of silent letter pronunciation are not my, uh, FORTE, so now I want to know how she would say The indictment came down on the first Wednesday in February. She doesn’t say the D in “Wednesday,” does she?

CROWN, SVELT, ASSES, Miss America (OPERA FORTE) last night. Hah! Nice timing, Will. Liked it.

Roo Monster 7:05 AM  

Hey All !
Fun, zippy MonPuz. Liked the grid and Rex's explanation of it for those who didn't know. I was thinking the same thing as OFL, if the themers don't fit, left/right symmetry! Some great fill for an odd grid like this, very minimal dreck (if any.)

One nit is BATBOY. Isn't it BallBoy? Or has the nomenclature changed, as I don't watch baseball anymore? Inquiring minds, and all that.

Thanks for the fun Mon, CC. With a WHOOP and FROS, this puz was Ms (for CC) COOL!

Enjoyed it? I DO TOO, Y'KNOW?
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 7:12 AM  

@Pete - thank you for that story. I'll be thinking of you Uncle Jim today.

r.alphbunker 8:34 AM  

Puzzle report

What a great theme. It would probably take a metapuzzle maven to guess the revealer from the theme entries!

@Pete
That would be a good story to tell on Veteran's Day.

It is a rare crossword puzzle that some word does not evoke a memory. The word for me today was MAP clued as {Hiking trail reference}. A while ago I was asked to write a GPS app for a bike trail near where I live. It showed distances and elevations, etc. But IMO it was vastly inferior to a map. For one thing it was hard to see in bright sunlight but more importantly it could be consulted while still on the bike which was potentially dangerous. You have to dismount to use a map and getting off the bike is fun. And there is something timeless about consulting a map. It brings to mind the explorers of the past. I ended up recommending that signs be posted on the trail asking people to turn off their cell phones.

The Rhino 8:45 AM  

It probably wasn't the puzzles' fault - I was ornery this weekend - but I did not like Saturday; and Sunday was so unpleasant that I stopped halfway and never went back. So this was refreshing for me. Easy, fun, and I finished it well ahead of my Monday average.

I'm a big fan of Marc Maron's podcast. He's a great interviewer (see the episode with Terry Gross), but only a so-so stand-up. Pro-tip: Skip the first ten minutes or so. He usually does a monologue of sorts that is rarely worth the time.

Z 8:51 AM  

Best part of this puzzle was stirring @Pete's memory. Thanks for sharing.

Corporate logos. Big WHOOP. The fill definitely outshines the theme. I do wonder if MR. COOL calls TOLSTOY by LEO because I found that answer a little presumptuous. Still, it allowed sneaking in the royalesque LEO along with REY into the puzzle.

So, one thumb up for the fill and a mighty Meh on the theme.

@LMS - February, Wednesday, indictment, business; It seems to me that all those "silent" letters are modifying the sound of the next letter. The U in February is ever so slightly different in pronunciation than "febuary" would be. Still, what is up with that U in business? Did M&A time travel into the past and randomly replace the I to up the universal U-count or what? When Rex asked this yesterday I assumed we would have gotten an answer.

Bob Kerfuffle 8:55 AM  

Good one.

Had no idea what the theme was until I got to the reveal.

Tried THAT'S A LIE before THAT IS A LIE, and that's the truth, @lms.

Music man 9:15 AM  

Surprisingly bubbly Monday write up from you today! I liked this puzzle and found it pretty easy. I'm honestly sick of the Kings tho, or should I say Flyers-West, winning with all our ex players.
Surprised you don't know android one

Seth 9:16 AM  

You can find the originally submitted grid over at the official NY Times crossword blog. It's a nice, specific example of how much reworking can go into a grid to remove just one or two bad fill words.

jberg 9:16 AM  

I did like the puzzle -- but when I first saw the grid, I thought "that's a figure out of an early Atari game!" and was a little disappointed that the theme had nothing to do with that. And, of course, I had no idea about any of those logos.

No writeovers, but if I hadn't had ARAB already, I would have confused West with East and put in "Chad" at 1D.

@Loren, Martha grew up very proper, which included saying feb ru ar y, but I don't thinks she says wed nes day. We talked about that once, but I can't remember the conclusion. I think I'm looking for a phenomenon I've noticed in Japan -- that people think they are pronouncing sounds when they actually are not. For example, 'arrigato gozaimasu' is always transliterated that way, and Japanese people have told me that they pronounce it that way -- but all one hears at the end is 'gozaimas.' I guess I do really say 'biz ness,' though.

quilter1 9:21 AM  

Thanks for the story @Pete. We found out a ton of stuff about my FIL after he died, including that he was actually in the country illegally, having false immigration papers. I thought the puzzle was fresh and enjoyable, Monday easy but still a bit of crunch.

Numinous 9:24 AM  

For me, @Pete's story was the FORT(E) for today's puzzle. My dad was a Marine pilot as well as flying illegally for Israel in '48-'49. The only tale he ever told was about how a bullet hitting a frame rib would make an awful clang and shake the corsair. He used to like to aggrandize himself when he could but never with war stories. Just BTW, My father met my mother when she was a Marine Link Trainer instructor teaching instrument flight at Cherry Point, N. C..

Big DNF on accounta I just couldn't suss (Y)KNOW. I never hearda Lana Del anybody. For some reason, REo or REi made sense and I never got as far as "and sometimes . . . " when running the vowels.

I have to wonder if Jeff Chen has seen all of this week's puzzles already. If that's the case, his making today's CC effort the POW doesn't particularly bode well for the rest of the week. I usually look forward to seeing which puzzle is going to get the star. Now it's over until next week. But, no doubt about it. CC makes good puzzles. Seems like her work turns up weekly or at least every other week over on the other coast.

Lewis 9:27 AM  

@pete -- Terrific post, and thank you for telling that memorable story.

chefbea 9:33 AM  

fun puzzle and of course knew Budweiser and Conn. Have been through the brewery many times...you could eat off the floor where the Clydsdales live!!!
@Roomonster Ball boy is in tennis..which we saw a lot of the past two weeks

Mohair Sam 10:09 AM  

Knew @rex would like this one with its ANDROIDONE and MARC Maron, and why not? A lovely Monday puzzle. This baseball fan had the same trouble with BATBOY as did Rex - odd.

Got a little confused when Rex mentioned being "not big on flogging corporations." I assumed the primary meaning of flog and wondered why OFL was concerned about folks picking on, say General Motors. Mrs. Mohair straightened me out to the more British usage of flog.

@Z from yesterday - Watched your Leicester City side score their 3 goals in the last 20 minutes to move into 2nd place. Most impressive, but it was Aston Villa (not exactly Barcelona north). Leicester will be in the middle of the pack by January, and worrying about relegation again next year behind the incompetent management that has haunted the team since they sold Gordon Banks to Stoke for 50,000 quid.

Indypuzzler 10:09 AM  

This puzzle was fun but it MUST have been super easy because it was my fastest time ever according to the app. I LOVED your story @Pete! It exemplifies the attitude of that generation as well as the arrogant thoughts of youth that we've all had. As for yesterday's silent i discussion: BIZNISS, WENZDAY but February is a big question mark to me. Let's say I have always avoided saying it and thank goodness it is short! Listen to the YouTube pronunciation guide...the guy says FEBBER RAREE. No wonder there are more thumbs down than up on that. Please just don't say Lye Berry and I'm happy.

mathgent 10:28 AM  

I noticed that the puzzle wasn't rotationally-symmetric when I counted the Terrible Threes and saw that the pattern of the numbers of across threes wasn't symmetric. BTW, there were 15 of them; not bad.

On Jeff Chen's blog, the constructor says that she is a Han, "like 92% of the Chinese." I presume she means Chinese in the world, not in the US. We have a large Chinese population in San Francisco but I haven't come across many Hans.

SVELTE is one of my favorite words. It comes from the Italian "svelto," meaning stretched out.

Malsdemare 10:32 AM  

I really liked this puzzle until I got to Lana Del who and uKNOW didn't get me the happy pencil. Even after I put in the Y, the thing looked just wrong.

A friend of mine raises Clydesdales here in Illinois and has sold one to Bud; the only reason it's just one is because hers haven't the right markings and since she has some of the nicest stallions in the world (really, if you have to live with 20 immense animals, nice is an important trait,mespecially in the intact boys), she is quite happy with that.

Pete's warm fuzzy story reminded me of my not-so-warm-and-fuzzy experience with the most boring man on the face of the earth. He was seated next to me at famcy dinner where the waiters kept wine glasses topped off so you know where there story is going. The man on my left was deep in conversation with his partner so I was stuck trying to find something, ANYTHING that would get the man on my right talking. Nope, didn't like to travel, didn't reas, didn't go to movies, had no interesting hobbies, didn't like animals, yada, all the while I am sipping my wine and paying NO attention to actual consumption. So it's about when my eyeballs are sloshing in red wine and all I want to do is take a nap on my plate that he lets drop that he used to play with Benny Goodman. Play as in Sax, his FORTE. And my brain and tongue no longer work and I'm unable to think of a single way to get this guy to keep talking. One of my all time low points. Later that evening I told my husband's best customer that he was being an asshole, which he was but maybe I shouldn't have pointed it out. Happily he was too drunk to remember. The wine bill must have been breath-taking.

Ya' know, this was a fun puzzle.

Carola 10:36 AM  

I agree with @Z on the puzzle, as I'm COOL to the corporate angle, though I do like the wit of the CROWN "topper" having sunk to the very bottom. As to thanking @Pete for his story, I DO TOO. For me, the comments make the puzzle today.

Joseph Michael 10:49 AM  

Liked the mirror symmetry and the crown-in-the-logo theme which I didn't see until I finally got to 64A. Nice surprise.

Thought ithe puz played tough for a Monday and was expecting more criticism from Rex for such entries as YKNOW, ON AIR vs PUT ON, I DO TOO, and THAT IS A LIE.

Thanks, @Pete, for your story. It was the BEST part of the puzzle.

old timer 11:42 AM  

Today's slow time (for a Monday) left me sadder BUDWEISER. Got BATBOY and the entire top right away. But did not know that HALLMARK would be followed by CARDS. Could not remember that Count TOLSTOY was LEO. So the SE was, for me, quite Hard.

(If you do watch baseball, and especially if you go to the occasional game, you will see the BATBOY in the dugout. His job is to offer the player going on deck a choice of bats, and to run out and pick up the shards of the bats that break after hitting those 95 mph pitches. Not to be confused with the "ball boy" or as we call them at AT&T, "ball dudes". They are, in San Francisco, way to old to be called boys, and their job is to pick up balls that end up in the infield or behind the plate, because they weren't caught by a catcher or infielder. They sit in little chairs right in front of the fans with the seats closest to the field. Generally they look for a kid in the stands to toss the retrieved ball to.)

mac 11:50 AM  

Nice Monday puzzle, good theme.

Nice to have Rey in the puzzle. Our son had barely started to talk when a friend taught him that Budweiser was "the king of beers". A little odd to have the crown at the bottom rather than at the top.

@Pete: thanks for your post, wonderful story.

AliasZ 11:52 AM  


This was an easy Monday puzzle with very enjoyable theme that did not reveal itself until CROWN. Just as it should be, and exactly what we have learned to expect from CC. The grid looks like a short android dude with a big grin wearing headphones.

The CROWN logo theme opened the floodgates of other possibilities, starting with the Kansas City Royals, then on to Carlsberg beer, Frigidaire, Corona beer, Chrysler Imperial, and ending with The Sultan of Swat. I am sure, there are many more.

There were also many great non-theme entries including LEO TOLSTOY, US MARSHALS, PAGODA and SVELTE, INTER alia. The Don Giovanni & Don Pasquale clue was great, only missing Don Carlos and Don Quichotte (Jules Massenet). Favorite clue: "Encrypt" for INTER. That one took a few seconds of thought, a welcome misdirection on Monday.

Of all the CROWN-themed music of which I recently offered the coronation march "Crown Imperial" by William Walton, today I'll go with Beethoven's overture King Stephen of Hungary, whose <a href="http://tinyurl.com/p3lg3tg>crown is displayed</a> in the central domed hall of the Hungarian Parliament building.

Happy Monday!

Mohair Sam 12:40 PM  

@Pete - Thanks. Great stuff.

George Barany 12:43 PM  

H everyonei, I had a delightful e-mail exchange earlier this morning with my friend and neighbor Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel -- click on the link for her general backstory [the specific backstory for today's puzzle is also fascinating, but it's not one for me to tell].

THAT'S_FALSE has quite a bit of overlap with the actual THAT_IS_A_LIE.

BATBOY made me think of this scene, from "The Natural" ... as well as this hilarious (faux) advertisement. Enjoy!

chefbea 1:45 PM  

For those of you who are old enough to receive AARP Magazine...there is a recipe in the current issue for Snap Beans with potatoes!!!!

Teedmn 1:55 PM  

Here comes the KING(S), here comes the big number one...

My husband's favorite beverage - he was even interested enough to look at the clue, when I showed him the BUDWEISER answer. He'll drink really hoppy beers when he goes to a brew pub or brews beer himself but at the local bar or home, it's heavy BUD.

Usually I say 'big WHOOPie' but I hear it the other way too. And I agree with @LMS on the intensity of OH GOD vs. my GOD.

Nice Monday, Ms. Burnikel. Love the grid layout.

Wm. C. 2:16 PM  

@Numinous--

Speaking of pilots: my mother-in-law taught basic training, then instrument flying in Alabama and Texas in WWII.

She was apparently the toughest basic training instructor in Dotham, Alabama -- the trainees would hear of her reputation when first coming on base, her T-6 was called "The Washbucket," for her high washout rate. She knew that after washing out, the trainees were immediately assigned to infantry regiments about to embark for the ETO, but that didn't change her standards.

In Texas where she taught instruments and fighter tactics, she also had the highest washout rate; these guys were already qualified pilots, but would "wash out" to bomber or transport aircraft. There, her belief that fighter pilots had to be the very best, since they were the main defense of bomber fleets under attack by the Germans.

She met my father-in-law in Texas, where he was a newly-minted communications officer training for setting up the first communications on the shoreline in the first-wave assault on the Japanese homeland just before the war's end. As terrible as the A-bombings of Japan were, it's quite likely that they saved his life by pre-empting the need for the assault.

@Old Timer -- The Red Sox have pretty young Ball Girls. A much better choice, IMO. ;-)

John V 2:25 PM  

If there is anyone who has not previously been annoyed in this forum by my favorite beer limerick -- which is on point for today's theme -- please raise thy hand and I shallpost.

chefwen 2:53 PM  

@Pete, thank you for your great story, it brought back memories of my Father in Law who's heroism was never brought to light until after he passed away and we found old journals that he had kept. They also explained why his personality and outlook on life was tainted. The guy went through hell and back and never let on.

George NYC 3:06 PM  

Am I the only one who thinks the symmetry is there to make the pattern of squares in the middle of the grid resemble a monarch wearing a crown (between 19- and 20-across)?

Andrew Morrison 3:09 PM  

@Pete - Wow. I am trying to imagine the incredible mental strength it would take to live life as your uncle did. Thank you for sharing.

AFA the crossword goes? Most solid Monday puzzle in months, at least as far as I remember. Good clues. Good answers. Solve time a bit faster than average.

the redanman 3:45 PM  

NIT::: 10 D LINKS - there are no true Links Courses in the USA, but who is counting?

Diana, LIW 4:13 PM  

Love those Monday puzzles when you're in Puzzle Kindergarten. Went on a bus tour in Europe, and a member of our group loved to complain. (He was really a nice guy, but his tape was stuck on "wah.") "My feet hurt." "My butt hurts." "I couldn't get a Budweiser at dinner last night." Whenever hubbie and I want to complain about something stupid, instead we say, "My butt hurts, I want a Budweiser."

Had several smiles in the puzzle.

I was in the HS band for 5 years (starting in 8th grade). Our band director was a brilliant guy named Nick Forte - pronounced like the Italians do. So Pete, I truly enjoyed your story and wondered if he was a relative.

And Quilter, my Aunt Ellen was born on Ellis Island, so the family story goes. One day I checked out the Ellis Island website, and on the ship's manifest - there she was, two weeks old! Some kind EI official gave her her birthright citizenship. When I think of Grandma giving birth in st6eerage with a two-year-old and her little brother and sister in tow, well..."my butt hurts, wanna Bud"

Forgive me if this has been beaten to death, but did anyone else notice in PB's puzzle on the 9th (which I solved yesterday) that pottery was spelled potery in the clues? Left me wondering if he meant poetry, but the same answer could be used. Maybe it was just in the Spokane (syndicated) edition, which is a week late on Sundays and 5 weeks late (I read all about Lalapuzzola today) during the week. So I'm occasionally buying a NYT on Mon/Tues to get a current puz and join the conversation.

Diana, Lady in Waiting of Puzzleland

Mike 4:52 PM  

The LOS ANGELES KINGS are a big rival of my team, so I did not like that answer. :)

MrSarfa 5:17 PM  

Fun, easy solve for me. About 50% of my average Monday time, according to the app stats.

Small nitpick with 25D -- a PAGODA is absolutely not a place where Buddhists worship. That's like saying a cemetery is a place where Christians go to pray. Buddhists worship in a temple, which usually doesn't -- but sometimes does -- include a pagoda among its buildings. All of the worshiping, though, goes on elsewhere in the temple.

-S

joho 8:46 PM  

Hey, C.C., I hope you are wearing your tiara and basking in being queen for this Monday. Wonderfully original puzzle ...loved it!

Anonymous T 3:18 AM  

I normally do the LAT (it's in my paper), but someone over at the Corner mentioned that C.C. had a NYT. So, I went to the mini-mart and picked up a copy. $2.50 well spent. Thanks C.C.! Thanks too to Rex who confirmed all the letters were correct (S. central had me worried w/ ANANO/ERATO xing). Cheers, -T

MetaRex 7:31 AM  

I'm very glad to see the WSJ competing with the Times with a daily puzzle! Here's my day 1 comparison of the two:

WSJ--Nice concept for the first day, with lots of thematic density...but my inner Rex tells me that the add-a-word theme isn't all that fresh and that the phrases include some non-sparkly AKA dull stuff (e.g., RATE BASE)...routine-looking grid...there's some low point value crosswordese (STET, ARES), but nothing egregious.

NYT--Pretty, wide-open grid w/ cool long downs...the left-right symmetry makes the theme feel fresh to me...GMA and -IDE are pretty nasty ese, but hey, it's hard to do a thematic grid grid this wide-open w/o a bit of dreck.

9-14-15 winner--NYT

Burma Shave 10:39 AM  

LOSANGELESKINGS CONN ERATO

OHGOD IDE float ONAIR if SVELTE HEIDI gave me her one BEST EXAM,
YKNOW THATSALIE and a PUTON if EYE don’t say, “IDOTOO, ma’am.”

--- MARC “MRCOOL” ADANO

rondo 11:08 AM  

I noticed the different symmetry thing only when down at the HALLMARKCARDS rack, but had already guessed the CROWN theme. Not always my FORTE if the theme is not obvious.

Did we need further cluing after “Klum”? HEIDI’s a yeah baby, no doubt she’ll RANK right up there. Lana Del REY is an enigmatic musical yeah baby, lots of talent there, depends which direction she takes it.

Speaking of musicians, Steve EARLE is likely underappreciated by casual music fans. This guy is loaded with talent, has been for years, but he’s had his demons like so many great artists. His son Justin Townes EARLE is good in his own right.

Went to the ESPN Zone Restaurant pro shop near Staples Center as they were transitioning out of that name to their AEG franchise and were mainly selling L.A.KINGS merch. I CONNed the kid at the counter into selling me an ESPN Zone staff shirt (to match my CHI and N.Y. Zone shirts). He pocketed the cash.

Have to admit this was pretty good for a Mon-puz.

BS2 11:32 AM  

CNET DRIVES CASE

Suppose LEOTOLSTOY had used an ANDROIDONE,
Would his BEST work be a NOTE about KIEV SNOW, and then done?

--- RADAR REY, RCA

spacecraft 11:33 AM  

Wait. what day is it? MONDAY?? With fill like Niger's weatern neighbor and that guy in the middle EARLE (who? Ne-vah heard of him!) and that very aptly-named WTF guy Maron? Oh, I KNEW OFL would eat this up, chock-full as it is of all that techie stuff, like 30-down. But really, using "Thieves" as a VERB? On a MONDAY?? Who says that? "OHGOD, I've been thieved!" Give me a break. Yeah, I'll take a KITKAT.

Not my cuppa. I did it, thanks to crosses, but a Monday it's definitely NOT. I got one nice visual: Tommy Lee Jones, when hearing his quarry was surely dead, saying: "Good. That'll make him easier to catch!" Gotta love the dedication on those USMARSHALS. It's obvious OFL loves ZB; for me it's a C at BEST.

leftcoastTAM 4:22 PM  

What @Spacecraft said about "Thieves"/STEALS. Required write-overs in the mid-E, after entering SnEAkS. So it was a medium-challenging Monday for me.

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