Perpendicular to ship's midline / TUE 10-20-15 / Ambient musician Brian

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Constructor: Sam Buchbinder

Relative difficulty: No idea (see below)


THEME: ROULETTE — "Note: The circled letters in this puzzle provide a hint to the starts of the answers to the four italicized clues"; those circled letters spell ROULETTE, and the starts of the answers to the four italicized clues are all bets one can make at a ROULETTE table (I think):

Theme answers:
  • BLACK GOLD (17A: Oil, informally)
  • RED SNAPPER (28D: Colorful Gulf Coast fish)
  • EVEN-HANDED (10D: Fair)
  • "ODD, ISN'T IT?" (61A: "Weird, huh?")
Word of the Day: SPIKE (53D: Feature of a punk hairdo) —
Spike is the 12th studio album by the British rock singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, released on compact disc as Warner Brothers 25848. It was his first album for the label. It peaked at No. 5 on the UK album chart. It also reached No. 32 on the Billboard 200 thanks to the single and his most notable American hit, "Veronica," which reached No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.1 on the US Modern Rock chart. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well, this was an adventure. For those of us who do the puzzle right when it comes out at 10pm, well ... it didn't. Well, the .puz file wasn't available, and the applet wouldn't work, so I printed out the newspaper facsimile version in PDF form, but that cut off all the numbers of the Acrosses (from 1- to 33-), so solving was ... interesting. At least Sam (the constructor) had a good sense of humor about it all:

So I have no idea how "difficult" it was, as I solved under highly abnormal conditions. Felt maybe possibly slightly tougher than normal, just 'cause of those big open corners in the NE / SW. I can't evaluate this gimmick very well, as I'm not too familiar with ROULETTE. It involves a wheel and spinning and numbers and red and black. I think I described the concept correctly, above. If I missed something, sorry. I assume there is something to the positioning of the theme answers (in a kind of ... wheel ... -ish ... arrangement?). Certainly the arrangement of the letters in ROULETTE has a wheelness about it. Whole thing feels maybe not as spot-on as it should be, but it's reasonably coherent. Fill is pretty average, with MIXTAPE (11D: Personal music compilation) and NICE TRY (45D: "Almost got me!") rising somewhat above the herd (that metaphor feels mixed, but I'm gonna leave it). I am failing the puzzle, though, for one answer alone: TIPI (30A: Home on the range: Var.). I cannot accept that. Under any circumstances. I'd've torn the puzzle back as far as I had to to lose that answers. I'd've burned my puzzle to ground to get rid of that thing. It's an abomination, even among "Var."(iants). [UPDATE: So ... it appears that some time since my childhood the preferred spelling of "TIPI" has changed. At least in some quarters. Wikipedia has it as the primary spelling (with the 3-E and 4-E versions as variants). Yet dictionaries still list it as "Var.," and I've literally never seen this spelling (TIPI) outside of crosswords, and even in crosswords, only irregularly. Not just irregularly—virtually never. FOUR instances, total, in the cruciverb database, and none since 2006. I can't really strongly believe in the "authenticity" of any one spelling, as they are all Anglicizations (right?), and I can't stop thinking of TIPI as junky, as crossword fill goes. But the situation appears to be ... fluid? Debatable? I don't know.]


[We now return to our original write-up, already in progress...]

Also, in what I am taking as a giant middle finger (accepted!), [Homie]'s back. Back again. Oh, BRO. . . My kingdom for BRA / DAME! Sigh.

[ETSY DAMs and ABEL RENTS]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

77 comments:

Kakashi 12:06 AM  

For BRO, why not "Frat boy"?

The Ear Worm 12:12 AM  

Monday easy here, but I got the full version on the app when I got home from my stupid late soccer game, so it was at least up by 11:00

Not much else to say about it. Nothing really put up a fight and once even went in (red and black were already in) roulette was trivially (at least for me) inferable though I still had to figure out how many 'L's to add.

Didn't love BE MAD, nor A PAR, since, at least in my vernacular, the 'A' is extraneous.

Thought (as OFL did) that TIPI was a bit of not great, though I can never quite work myself up as much as he about bad fill.

Really liked DARK HORSE, otherwise it was fine but forgettable.

So back to par after a rather fun departure from the norm last week.

jae 12:15 AM  

Pretty solid Tues.  Medium-tough for me, maybe? I did it on my iPad because of the printing problems and had a typo which tends to happen with some frequency for me on the iPad.  You type in an answer and if you aren't vigilant it may override another answer you've already entered if you accidentally double hit a letter.   Got to agree with @Rex on TIPI,  not good.

That said, thought the theme was clever, liked it.

Elaine2 12:27 AM  

download of .puz finally worked about 7:15 (PDT) or maybe a little later...

Being able to do it in .puz, it seemed pretty Tuesday-ish. The little roulette "wheel" in the middle was sort of cute.

Pete 12:41 AM  

TOPI/TOO

George Barany 12:44 AM  

My condolences to @Sam Buchbinder for being caught up in technical glitches on a day that he was surely anticipating for quite some time. Sad to say, this has happened before (thankfully, quite rarely), and of course, it can get in the way of receiving an unskewed review.

I was able to get a regular pdf to work, but it required some additional gymnastics going through xwordinfo.com rather than the New York Times site. Professor @Rex gave the puzzle an "F" on account of TIPI, but I tend to grade more leniently. @Sam, please accept an "I" (incomplete) and restructure your puzzle so that ETTE (which, BTW, based on the clue, could have been ENNE) does not supply the TTE of ROULETTE.

Changing topics, today is a landmark day in the life of a regular and valued contributor to this blog, and one who has become a good friend and collaborator since we first became acquainted here. We honor him with "Child's Play"--please join me in wishing him the very best!

chefwen 12:50 AM  

I figured the glitch would be corrected sooner or later and it was 45 minutes later, so I was able to print it out intact and avoid much angst.

Figured out the theme without the aid of the circles which I forgot we're even there. Took Mom to Vegas for her 80th birthday, she had never been before and we couldn't drag her away from the Roulette wheel. She was like a kid in a candy store, so cute.

Hated TIPI, agree with Rex there is no excuse for that.

Charles in Austin 1:13 AM  

A tipi is a thing, so What is the problem? More ethnic/racial sensitivity?

wreck 1:14 AM  

I could not download puzzle on NYT ipad app for about an hour .. once i did, it was about as quick as my Monday time. I have to rate it as easy.

Steve J 2:15 AM  

I take it back. Last week, I commented that nothing in all-new week seemed terribly new. Compared to this week's puzzles, last week was the Armory Show, the premiere of "The Rites of Spring" and the release of "Straight Outta Compton" all rolled into one in its innovation, groundbreaking nature and ability to shock.

Way too much TRITE fill in this one - which goes along with what almost felt like a deliberate attempt to be aggressively retro in its references - for it to overcome a (very) mildly interesting theme. I guess a return to torpid Tuesdays was inevitable.

aging soprano 2:28 AM  

SNLis back, too. I simply don't know what TIPI is supposed to stand for. Help!

Gregory Schmidt 5:52 AM  

Can we pleeeeeeease not have any more "Homie" and BRO? Also, isn't the idiom, "On par with", rather than "On APAR with"?

Anonymous 6:37 AM  

Hey Rex. Your solving experience was new and different. Now if only it could have been incorporated into last week's "new and different" puzzles. Maybe a puzzle with clues but no numbers. Or, to make it even harder, the clues could be mixed up. Almost impossible, but just list the clues in no particular order, with maybe a number after the clue as a hint to tell you how many letters are in the answer.

Getting back to today's puzzle. Yes, "tipi" was cringeworthy but the rest was very good for a Tuesday.

Zippy

Loren Muse Smith 6:40 AM  

Rex – I saw it not as a table but as a roulette wheel, so no problem there for me.

Two of my earliest entries were BLACK GOLD and DARK HORSE, so I had to really look at the asterisks later to see that DARK HORSE wasn't a themer.

The other stumble I had was misreading the clue for 67A as "dairy part." So when ENTRY fell, I thought, “Hmm.” Well, ok. I guess any establishment needs an entry. Could've been "box store part" or "courthouse part."

Now that I think about it, some kind of meta clue could be cool for ENTRY. “What you can call this answer.”

I agree that TIPI smacks of desperation. But, hey, if M&A can ascribe PB immunity to certain entries, then why not Longo immunity? He used it in a 1999 grid. Now there’s an argumentum ad verecundiam conundrum for you.

DEAL and POKER were nice flourishes. And TOURIST LOSES. NICE TRY.

I couldn't help but notice TENTHS and STRETCH. 11 consonants, 2 vowels.

I found the clue for TINIEST odd; feels like the starting point is for all the toes to be tiny. Sam Buchbinder has never laid eyes on my husband's and son's toes. Some of them are as long as my fingers. We've measured. Granted, I have fat little sausage fingers, but still…

As Tuesdays go, I thought this was fine – loved those white corners.

Lewis 6:43 AM  

@rex -- Love your entry for SPIKE!

The theme was cute, with the theme answers and circled word giving a spinning feel. Yesterday some people complained about MORON -- is IDIOT okay? I did like the answers ODDISNTIT, MIXTAPE, and BEMAD. And I liked that to go along with the SNAPPER and BASS is a Boggle-style TROUT, starting with the TIPI T. Some old x-word standards: ENO, SKA, SMEE, STE. I like the backward ORB by the ROULETTE wheel. It felt easy enough to run as a Monday; in fact, I think it would have been a terrific Monday.

NCA President 7:43 AM  

Breezed through this one. The theme didn't matter at all since everything just went into place lickety split...in fact I didn't even see TIPI because All of the downs just filled it in automatically. Only after reading the blog did I even know it was in there. TIPI?? I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that TIPI is the xword equivalent of the Colts' fake punt attempt Sunday night. Who looked at that answer and that clue and thought, "Yeah. That works." No, it didn't.

I didn't see SANA either until after I completed the puzzle. I have no idea what a SANA is.

As for the casino theme, I got nothing. I've only been to Vegas once, I've played a few casinos in my day as a sideman musician, but I've never gambled nor had the inclination to do so. I only know ROULETTE wheels from movies I've watched and have a rough idea of what they look like (colors used) and you know, the spinning, clicking ball sound. So, RED/BLACK/ODD/EVEN...whatever.

ANTHRAX clued as "Hazardous mailing" was an interesting choice as well.

So, I only kinda liked the puzzle because it was so easy. But, like the Colts' play, it just gets a flag for illegal formation before the ball is even snapped...it played out nearly as awkwardly.

joho 7:55 AM  

Cute theme, well done with fresh theme answers, ODDISNTIT? being my favorite.

Lot of answers relating to a gambling hall theme, too: DEAL, LOSES, NEXT, LEAD, CUE, POKER, DARKHORSE, MEETS, TOURIST, NICETRY, BEMAD.

Fun puzzle, Sam Buchbinder, that glitch last night didn't hurt a thing. Today, you win!

leadlike 8:08 AM  

Given comment moderation, I'm sure I won't be the first to note this but... TIPI gets 128M results on google, vs. 3.1M for TEEPEE and 8.5M for TEPEE, so although it is rarer in crossworld, TIPI does appear to be the "correct" or "authentic" spelling (as much as Romanized spellings of non-English words can be "correct"). I know google search results are not the definitive resource, but it does add some credence to its legitimacy.

ANYWAY, I liked this Tuesday. I thought the theme was good and overall I enjoyed solving it.

chefbea 8:22 AM  

Fairly easy Tuesday but what is LCD the way it is used here??? Made a great dessert yesterday...now that it's apple season...and I love red snapper!!

AliasZ 8:29 AM  


After yesterday's MORONS and ASSES, today's IDIOT was to be expected. Tomorrow it will be either twit, or cretin or imbecile. Yay! I can't wait.

A mildly amusing ROULETTE theme was apt for Tuesday, with the extra casino staple hint thrown in with POKER. The fill could have used a little more polish. In my mind OSH and SANA was at least as unfortunate as TIPI and BRO. ANIN, TOA and APAR weren't that great either. Perhaps some skilled reworking would have been advisable before publishing.

NICE TRY, Sam, but ultimately leaving too much room for improvement. I did like DARK HORSE and OPULENT, as well as the ONAN DON. Can you wassail with BASS ALE? I guess, if you are half orangutan and half gorilla, or a MIXT APE, you can.

Cheers!

Wm. C. 8:32 AM  



There goes @Barany again, using this blog to promote his puzzle. George, please have @Rex put your name on the list at the right side of the page with the other constructors, so that you're nor using this blog for personal publicity.

GILL I. 8:39 AM  

An alrighty dighty sort of puzzle. Felt a bit like eating nicely made but cold porridge.
TIPI and ANIN walk into a saloon....
Liked RED SNAPPER. It's called huachinango in Mexico and If you are a fish lover like I, you will die and go to heaven if you ever eat it freshly caught, skewered whole and roasted on an open fire. If you become a TOURIST in Puerto Vallarta, try it!
SMEE thinks I should go pour some coffee right about now...!

Glenn Patton 8:40 AM  

In the world of Wikipedia, "tipi" seems to be the preferred spelling, with "tepee" and "teepee" as variants: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipi. Tipi appears to be closer to original Lakota word. I certainly didn't know that. Thanks to @Sam Buchbinder for helping me learn something new today!

Mohair Sam 8:41 AM  

If I read Rex right he had to print this puzzle out and actually take pen in hand. And no clock. The horror, the horror!

@aging soprano - TIPI is a variant of Thai Pie which is actually cooked in the range, not on the range as clued, hence the difficulty.

Listened to Philly sports talk radio this morning to enjoy chatter about the Eagle's win last night. The very white sports talk host called every caller "BRO". Got me thinking - I've heard more than a few young white kids use the terms "home" or "homie" among themselves. Maybe the cultural melting pot is doing its job, and maybe 29D ain't such a bad clue/answer after all.

A while back I wondered aloud if Will Shortz had simply given up on "Var." Today I learned that "Var." now means grab your phonetics dictionary, this is really gonna be a stretch.

blinker474 8:42 AM  

At 8:30 this morning the .puz file would not download for me in the normal way. But a right click and a "save as" did work, as it has in the past.

For aging soprano - tipi is tepee ("home on the range")

Karen Bruce 8:43 AM  

I quite liked this puzzle, though I agree that it could have been tightened in a productive fashion. My immediate thought was that black/red and even/odd should be symmetrical. It disappointed me that they weren't. I see Jeff Chen had the same thought, and also wanted the black squares to be more of a circle shape. As an aspiring crossword maker, it always makes me happy when my thoughts coincide with Jeff Chen's....

Also, I thought that ODDISNTIT was weak as a themer. It's in the language, but it wasn't as clean as the other answers. It actually felt a bit like a cheat, as if the compiler had put together a phrase with odd in it. Given the gambling theme, I wasn't sure why he didn't go with something like ODDSMAKER. You could clue it in a fun way too.

Nikthefin 8:43 AM  

@JAE: to alleviate the write-over problem, go to the app's settings and opt to skip to the next open cell.

NCA President 8:45 AM  

BTW, just FWIW, the Buzzfeed puzzles are really fun. The cluing skews youngish, but definitely a nice change of pace.

That is all.

Nikthefin 8:47 AM  

I liked the enabled Abel cross.

jberg 8:53 AM  

I've always heard "on A PAR with." Maybe it's a regional thing.

Other than that, there were a lot of Bs in this puzzle -- 6, I think. I guess that's a lot, it made me notice them.

Other than that, nothing.

Wm. C. 8:58 AM  

I don't get what sets off OFL about "TIPI." And he neglected to say what is so off-putting about this. The word is Native American in origin, so it's anglicization is done phonetically. "TEEPEE" works, and probably comes to mind first for most folks, but so does "TIPI." I can only speculate as to what his strong objection is -- some kind of PC issue???

On "bro," the PC issue for him is clearer. Is it off-limits to use a word associated with, or used by, a specific (sometimes discriminated-against) ethnic group in a puzzle? If so, why not put "SEDER" off-limits as well?

Nancy 9:18 AM  

My favorite Lady ASTOR story (for the 3-4 people who haven't heard it):

Lady ASTOR to Winston Churchill: "Mr. Churchill, we should have a child together. Imagine -- my looks and your brains!" Churchill replies: "Ah, yes, Madam, but what if he has MY looks and YOUR brains?"

Oh, yes, the puzzle. Bland, innocuous and very easy, leaving me plenty of time to do the cryptic puzzle that a friend on the blog was kind enough to send me.

Nancy 9:24 AM  

@chefbea -- Re: LCD. It took me a minute to figure it out, but it stands for "lowest common denominator". Frankly, I've never seen the term referred to by just its initials, but maybe that's what they do these days in math classes. Or maybe the constructor just needed those letters.

Roo Monster 9:43 AM  

Hey All !
No one has mentioned the segmented grid. All the corners are basically by themselves. Not saying that's good or bad, just sayin.

Had the @LMS "dairy" trouble as well, having _NTRY, and thinking A there. Once BASS ALE foamed into view, just said, Huh, ENTRY, OK.

Agree with the TIPI bashing. Wanted truth for DOGMA. Know ROULETTE just because I used to enjoy playing it when I was a TOURIST in Las Vegas, but now that I live here, I don't play!

Overall, good for the dreaded TuesPuz. Agree with @jberg on the B's, for some reason they stuck out. Only two U's for M&A, though.

DARK HORSE
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

Last night I posted grumpy tweets about that dumb app glitch because poor me had to wait a few minutes to play a puzzle for a few minutes. Not proud. I need an attitude check.

The puzzle difficulty was Monday-ish, but I had no quibble with anything except TIPI, which seems a awkward stretch of variability no matter what the current Wikipedia definition says. I'm also tired of ETTE (and ENNE). Although I totally see why a constructor would love those letter sequences.

Strong entries like BLACKGOLD, PANASONIC, & DARKHORSE made it fun.

I look forward to more Buchbinder puzzles.

Tita 10:06 AM  

What @joho said... I liked this, even though the ROULETTE wheel in the middle totally escaped my attention.

@Nancy...I don't think I'm that much sprinter a chicken than you, but LCD was a gimme. Teacher writing on chalkboard would use it all the time.

My nit of the day is with clue for KNOB...Radio dial is volume, bass, balance, etc. KNOB is a *synonym* for dial. What next... Milk pail to clue BUCKET? Black &white picture to clue PHOTOGRAPH? Green paint to clue ... Oh, never mind...
(Nice pairing with PANASONIC, though...

Thanks, Mr. Buchbinder! (My high school principal was Mr. Bookbinder...any relation?)

cwf 10:19 AM  

I really enjoyed this one. But ACERB does not mean "bitter."

Ludyjynn 10:26 AM  

Rex, FYI, Elvis Costello was on CBS "Sunday Morning this week, interviewed by Anthony Mason, promoting his memoir, "Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink". A very interesting segment.

Solved this on paper, so no tech. glitches here. This was for me a very easy Tuesday w/ a nicely executed theme. ROULETTE has the best ODDs in the casino for the TOURIST to walk away a winner, but on BALANCE I still prefer Blackjack. I like to see the cards unfold as the DEALer does his/her thing.

Won't go ONANDON. Thanks, SB and WS.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:52 AM  

45 D, NICE ONE >> NICE TRY

Overall, I was willing to bet on this offering as a better than usual Tuesday.

Masked and Anonymous 11:05 AM  

I got the PDF version with all the numbers, but only 2 U's.
M&A Help Desk Suggestions:
* BOTS --> BUTS.
* DEAL --> DULL.
* RENTS --> RUNTS.
* POKER --> PUKER.
* SMEE --> SHUE.
Voila, 007 U's. (Some minor rework of crosses necessary.)

TIPI (Var.) is the Sioux word for dwelling. Fair enough. If Washington D.C. won't rename that football team, and you can have 15-letter French answers, I say give the Sioux Nation this crumb. ETTE crossin ROULETTE-loop seems much more disparate (Var.).

IDEA WAITING TO HAPPEN: Drones armed with guns that drive themselves! But, I digress.

ABEAM has Patrick Berry, BEQ, Nosowsky, Salomon, and … Longo (yo, @muse) Immunity. Other BEAMs of interest: IBEAM, HBEAM, TBEAM, OBEAM, YBEAM. Ironically, YBEAM is a supportin timber used in TIPIs (Var.).

M&A

**gruntz**

John Child 11:13 AM  

Having never seen TIPI in the wild I was fascinated by the Google books result <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Teepee%2C+tepee%2Ctipi&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CTeepee%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctepee%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctipi%3B%2Cc0>here</a>.

RAD2626 11:18 AM  

Perfectly fine Roulette theme and related gambling fill. I admit ignorance. Had never seen TIPI before and did not realize wgphat it was a variation of even after I read the writeup. Slowly dawned on me before I got to the comments. Consider that my bad not the constructor's. Good Tuesday puzzle in my view. Liked DARK HORSE. Sadly, MIXTAPE is already a little retro.

Steve J 11:38 AM  

@overly tired me last night: I meant that the mildly interesting theme couldn't overcome the volume of TRITE fill.

@Mohair Sam: not just print, but without numbered clues. That ups the difficulty a tad.

@Wm. C: Comments are moderated now, and they only appear here if Rex approves. Obviously, he doesn't have an issue with George linking to the occasional puzzle. It's Rex's blog, so that's the way it's going to be. Maybe it's time to find a new windmill.

Tita 11:49 AM  

Meant to say... @lms... Love the photo of you dog ma.

@John Child...fascinating ngram...esp in the 2000's...just be only xword books that were scanned...

Wednesday's Child 11:52 AM  

I think the IQ classification, often associated with Margaret Sanger, is as follows:
- 0-25 idiot
- 26-50 imbecile
- 51-70 moron

Sam B. would not fit in any of these categories. He is clever and produces a fun-to-solve puzzle.

I got stuck on pAleALE. But, of course, pOT and lANA and eNIPES just were not cutting it.

I solved ROULETTE early but then forgot about it. I didn't connect the theme answers until I came here.

Andrew Heinegg 12:07 PM  

If RP sees fit to allow the post with references to other xwds, why do you care? New puzzles are always welcome.

Z 12:07 PM  

No problems downloading the puzzle this morning. It was on the porch when I got up. Played slightly harder than medium for me.

@Charles in Austin and @ Wm. C. - I thought Rex was pretty clear (even before his addendum) that the issue with TIPI was its "only in xwords - variant" status, which was my first reaction as well. I typed TIPI into a search engine and it thought I wanted to know more about "tips," so there is more than a little merit to Rex's and my reaction.

I went to Wikipedia and checked out the footnote, and the citation is this book. That seems like a pretty legitimate source, so I guess I'll start spelling it "TIPI."

As for "BRO" clued via "homie," a couple of thoughts. First, BRO (and brah more and more) now is used derisively by some to reference those who are members of the "BRO-culture." Think testosterone and alcohol fueled idiocy where being mindlessly mean is seen as cool and you get the picture. Second, BRO, homie, 'hood; these were current 20, maybe even 30 years ago. Here's the thing, for someone like me (50-something upper middle class white guy) to use these terms isn't "wrong" so much as inappropriate and insensitive. I don't have any "homies." I don't have any "bros." If I were to use these terms with any of my African-American friends I would get the side-eye (and probably some well-deserved comment about getting some counseling). Just because something isn't wrong doesn't make it right.

@Mohair Sam - There's lot of talk out there about the American Salad Bowl. In a melting pot everything blends together, becoming (to some) an indistinct blob. In a salad bowl everything retains it distinctiveness while becoming something more than the individual ingredients would be on their own. I find fascinating the occasional stridency taken up by either side of the metaphor.

John Child 12:21 PM  

Let's try again. Google books ngram result here.

Carola 12:32 PM  

Nicely done theme. @joho, thanks for pointing out the complementary answers.

@quilter1 - I hope your surgery went well - is it your crossword-doing hand? :)

Leapfinger 12:36 PM  

ODD, ISN'T IT, how some folks like to BE MAD? Not that it makes sense to waste a good MAD on TIKI...

Ever since Grade 3, when Miss Giles assigned a different Native American tribe to research every week, I've fancied myself a minor expert in the various abodes. So the TIPI TENT was no stranger, and actually follows the same pattern as 'wiki-up', unless someone will stand up for 'wekee-up' or 'weekee-up'. Lodge your complaints in the long house down the street, Chickie. Perhaps we can move on to 'Lowest Common Denominator' vs "Least Common Denominator', or just complain about ODing on Anais NIN.

A fun start always puts me in a good mood, and ABEL/ENABLED did it for me today. (Hi @nikthefin!). At Least it got me past my usual ACERB/acrid grump. Thought it pure luck the ROULETTE wheel gets to spin in the horizontal plane; on the vertical, a square wheel earns you a really bumpy ride.

btw, @AliasZ, Ms Parker said to remind you it was an ONAN Canary, not an ONAN DON.

Waiting for the NEXT SEXTS tEXT, and a face-off between the DOGMA and the cat's Pa. Keeping in mind that a little OPULENT goes a long way, or so my paRENTS said. Think we'll have PANA cotta for DESSERT tonight.

The theme? Liked the interlockution, though I still prefer rose GOLD to BLACK.

Thanks for a winning spin, Mr. Bookbinder, and Mens SANA in Corpore sano to the rest of y'all.

Z 12:41 PM  

A bunch of comments appeared while I hunted down a missing close quotes in a link (@John Child - that's why your link didn't work, too). @Ludyjynn's comment reminded me that I was irked by the wiki article on Spike. Yeah, Yeah, highest single on the charts by Elvis himself, but Alison, which was a hit for both E.C. and Linda Ronstadt, probably is more significant. I've seen Elvis Costello in concert a few times, headlining but also opening for Dylan, Sting, and Steely Dan. Then there is stuff like this. Want to see musicians display why they are different from the rest of us, watch Spectacle.

wyogirl 12:45 PM  

I'm amazed by the tipi discussion. Since a child I have always thought the correct spelling to be "tipi" and have been long bothered by the other spellings, especially "tepee." I confess to thinking that they were misinformed, effete attempts to spell the word. Regional snobbery on my part, I guess. I'm happy someone finally got it right.

Lewis 12:51 PM  

Mr. John Child, sir! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

wreck 12:53 PM  

TIPI was in my long, long,dearly departed Grandmother's old crossword dictionary. It went right in for me even though I haven't opened that book in over 20 years.

old timer 1:09 PM  

I solve on paper. At 8 a.m. neither of my papers had arrived.So I asked the local paper to re-deliver, got in the car, and drove off to buy a Times. Only Monday's paper at the nearby Starbucks! Looked at a grocery that sometimes carries the Times. Nope! Drove home, and the Times was there. So, I was able to read some news over breakfast and then do the puzzle.

Which was pretty easy but not super easy (10 min.). I thought the puzzle was great. The circled squares were helpful, as I was looking for roulette bets in the bottom half.

I don't get the hate for BRO -- it's a word I could hear any day at the local sports bar, or if young *white* men were arguing on the street. And as a general rule, young white men do not think of their friends as "homies". At least not where I live.

Wasn't TIPI a staple of the Maleska era? I know I remembered it when I wrote it in, and I did not know it has become the more "correct" spelling.

Teedmn 1:35 PM  

This was a fine example of a Tuesday puzzle. In addition to the more open corners, we get STRETCH (could have been clued as "what accepting 30A is as a variant") and OPULENT which was nice. Seriously, when I saw TIPI, I thought of toilet paper. My brain just didn't see 'teepee'.

I really liked the clue for DOGMA. At first I thought it was going to be 'facts' with the irony of it crossing a Donald Trump clue, but perhaps DOGMA provides its own irony. (don't BE MAD at me, I didn't meant to get political but sometimes it is hard to be EVENHANDED :-). )

Thanks, Sam Buchbinder.

chefbea 1:38 PM  

@Wreck..seems I threw out my crossword puzzle dictionary so looked up tipi in my 1977 Mirriam-Webster dictionary. It's there as a variation of tepee

mac 1:49 PM  

No idea about the glitch, I waited for the newspaper delivery. Easy Tuesday, slim theme, with some very nice words. My favorite term: oddisntit.

Never saw teepee as tipi before.

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Very easy puzzle for me - record time

Leapfinger 2:47 PM  

Herbie Bookbinder in "The City Boy", the first Herman Wouk I read, even before "Marjorie Morningstar".

Am becoming progressively more interested in sprinter chickens, and wonder whether the ones with more stamina run little fowl marathons, something to crow about. Also worry about whether Adidas makes tiny corrective running shoes for those whose little feets suffer from chicken supination. (That would take some consommé'd skill.)

Happy Birthday to @John, no longer a Child.

Bill D. 3:23 PM  

To chefbea: LCD as used here is Lowest Common Denominator.

William DiGennaro 3:34 PM  

LCD means Lowest Common Denominator.

DarrenF 4:30 PM  

Bah. Shame on Rex (and the others) DAMning this perfectly good puzzle over TIPI.
Just because xword DOGMA teaches TEPEE doesn't make it right. Do the TINIEST bit of research and look at Google's Ngram tool, which shown frequency of occurrence in a huge corpus of printed matter over the last 200+ years: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=tipi%2C+tepee%2C+teepee&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctipi%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctepee%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cteepee%3B%2Cc0

(Spoiler: TIPI has been more common since the early 1960s)

Kudos to the constructor for helping me learn something today.

Gracie H 4:54 PM  

Found today's puzzle kinda humdrum, more like a Monday. My interest was piqued by George Barany's mention of a puzzle he created to celebrate John Child's 60th birthday. So I thought I'd give it a whirl and enjoyed the solve. (My family also makes personalized crosswords to celebrate major events.) But wait! I went to Williams College, and I too just turned 60. So Happy Birthday, John, my long lost classmate!

'mericans in Paris 6:15 PM  

Late to the party: only got around to the puzzle on a train back from Geneva.

Unlike most, I didn't get the ROULETTE clue right off the bat. I had ROmp for 33A at first, and TRopE for 20D (Merriam-Webster's second definition is "a common or overused theme or device : cliché"), so I had the circled letters reading "LETTER Om", and wondered what THAT was all about. Also had the Lady as "ASTeR", which further got me off track.

Speaking of overused: AIL, ENO, SKA, SNL, TEE. On the other (EVEN)HAND, LCD wasn't bad.

Thought about "TePee" or "TeePee" as an answer to 30A, but obviously that didn't fit. (Interesting to learn that "TIPI" is now the preferred spelling in English; it's long been the spelling in French. Not to be confused with Typee, Herman Melville's first book, of course.

Eventually got sorted out, but all that confusion in the center added an extra 10 minutes to my time.

Have also never, ever seen ACERB in print, so I agree with others who don't like it as an answer in a Tuesday puzzle. I dispute "SANA": the accepted English spelling for the Arabic name of the Yemeni capital (which has been much in the news recently) is, and has been for many years, SANA'A. And MIX TAPE? Am I missing something, or should I not take this term literally?

Otherwise, I liked ANTHRAX (bute weird clueing), DARKHORSE, and DOME.

aging soprano 6:47 PM  

Thank you all for Tepee explanations. Is BRO in a TIPI a Homie on the Range?

Mohair Sam 7:57 PM  

@Z - Yeah, salad bowl is far more accurate - there never really was a melting pot. I actually love the salad bowl concept, it makes life fun.

jae 9:54 PM  

@Nikthefin - Thanks for the tip. I'll try it the next time I can't solve on paper.

Anonymous 11:30 PM  

John Child 12:21 if you change the language to French you see that it is almost exclusively tipi. They encountered the Lakota about 75 years or so before the English speakers. The French pronunciation of tipi is the same as the English pronunciation of tepee.

Granty 12:32 AM  

Still don't get LCD. It filled in auto but what is it.
Found this easy and roulette superfluous

Hartley70 1:13 AM  

Cute. I also have never seen TIPI, but I got it easily. Nice Monday or Tuesday puzzle.

Andy Nelson 6:26 PM  

This is from "Indian America" which won 1st Annual American Library Association Denali Press Award. Written by Indians for Indians, and for white man. . . Tipi. . .From the Siouan root ti "to dwell" and pi "used for" This is the spelling approved by the Souix Nation.

Burma Shave 10:22 AM  

POKER REDSNAPPER

THATS DAM ODDISNTIT,
that ONANDON she SEXTS,
BRO, she’s not ABEL to quit,
so I ASTOR, “What comes NEXT?”

--- SANA SNIPES

rondo 12:04 PM  

Never played ROULETTE, but isn’t there also a green 0 on the wheel? Not complainin’ just sayin’. Actually kinda liked this for a Tues-puz. And saying that is usually a STRETCH.

Had the O in the stereo speakers and would really have liked to put in pOlk, as I have $1500 worth of Polk Audio speakers on my home stereo. They put out excellent sound. Even from my old Technics direct drive turntable, by PANASONIC.

Once more, no yeah babies, not even TIP(p)I Hedron.

LCD (lowest common denominator) seems like a STRETCH for that answer instead of being a techy clue. But mostly this puz was OK.

spacecraft 12:23 PM  

No TIPI problem for me: that's the word. We Anglicized it with E's.

Once again, the Sun editors elected to forgo printing the "note," though this time it wasn't needed. This was mostly fun, with a couple of "uh-oh!"s. BEMAD is...unfortunate. This is usually preceded by "Don't." But how would you clue it? And ANIN is about as awkward a partial as you can get. Other than OSH.

But I won't go ONANDON about the TINIEST glitches; there's plenty of GOLD in them thar hills. Beverly, that is. I too noticed @lms's mini-theme TOURIST LOSES, NICETRY. Great stuff. And with house ODDs of +6.7/%, your TOURIST will LOSE faster than at most of the other games.

This puzzle has been brought to you by the letter B (six of them, and we need still another for poor headless ETSY! Now there's a WOE that had to go in on crosses). I'll give it an overall B.

rain forest 3:09 PM  

Way back in 1956, I learned the word TIPI from Miss Whisker (a yeah, baby, @Rondo), but if you want to get all bent out of shape over that spelling, well, BE MAD. I don't care.

To tell the truth, this seemed to me a perfectly good Tuesday puzzle with a cutish theme, low dreck count, and some nice cluing/answer combos. I thought the clue for LCD was clever, and certainly preferable to a tech-based clue.

"Brought to you by the letter B"--har, per M&A, @Spacey. I leave you with the advice to always try to not be a wigwam and a tipi (too tense).

Herry Johnson 5:56 AM  

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