Drink for Hercule Poirot / SUN 1-17-16 / 1856 antislavery novel / Castle-breaching explosive / Nickname for only man to play in World Series Super Bowl / Actor Robert of Licence to Kill Goonies / Family name of old TV

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Constructor: Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: "Twisting One's Words" — eight Down answers loop around a black square before continuing down—counterclockwise in the north, clockwise in the south, per the CORIOLIS FORCE (33D: What causes storms to swirl in opposite directions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres)

Theme answers:
  • "IS THIS THING ON?" (4D: Question asked while tapping a microphone)
  • HAS THE LIMELIGHT (6D: Experiences fame)
  • CREME DE MENTHE (13D: Drink for Hercule Poirot)
  • MANIFEST DESTINY (14D: Spreading belief?)
  • BATTERY TERMINAL (66D: Plus or minus thing)
  • DRAMATIZATION (84D: [This is how it might have happened])
  • ON HANDS AND KNEES (69D: Crawling, say)
  • LONE STAR STATE (88D: Texas) 
Word of the Day: ARYL (126A: Benzene derivative, for one) —
In the context of organic molecules, aryl is any functional group or substituent derived from an aromatic ring, be it phenyl, naphthyl, thienyl, indolyl, etc. (see IUPAC nomenclature). "Aryl" is used for the sake of abbreviation or generalization, and "Ar" is used as a placeholder for the aryl group in chemical structure diagrams. // A simple aryl group is phenyl, C6H5; it is derived from benzene. The tolyl group, CH3C6H4, is derived from toluene (methylbenzene). The xylyl group, (CH3)2C6H3, is derived from xylene (dimethylbenzene), while the naphthyl group, C10H7, is derived from naphthalene. // Arylation is a chemical process in which an aryl group is attached to a substrate. (wikipedia)
• • •

THANK-YOU MESSAGE for the week ending January 24, 2016

Hello, solvers. Just wanted to thank everyone who made a financial contribution to the blog this week. It's been a joy to hear from solvers all over the world, some of whom have wonderful solving stories to tell (some of which I'll be sharing), but most of whom simply wanted to offer kind words of appreciation. Thank-you cards are, of course, forthcoming for those of you who sent me snail mail (and emails for everyone else). You are, of course, free to contribute at any time during the year. The mailing address...

Rex Parker
℅ Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton NY 13905

And the Paypal button...

... live full-time in the sidebar of the blog. But this is the last direct pitch you'll hear from me for 51 weeks. It's been a lovely week. I'm terribly grateful. (PS we got shore bird stamps to go with the bird postcards, so, snail mail people, prepare to get super-birded)

 • • •
There is much to admire here. It's an ambitious theme, worthy of the Sunday (so many Sunday themes, of late, are lacking the dazzle a Sunday needs to have).  The theme is also dense, and neatly represents its core concept. There is one theme answer that clunks like a clunky thing clunks (HAS THE LIMELIGHT), but 7/8 solid is solid. The primary defect of this puzzle, thematically, is that everyone knows the phrase (if they know it) as the "Coriolis EFFECT":

You can type in all of "coriolis" and Google *still* won't suggest "force." If you look up "coriolis effect," you will see "CORIOLIS FORCE" listed as a synonym. But ... on a puzzle like this, you really want to stick the landing with your revealer phrase, and that landing is not stuck.  I'll confess I wasn't sure how spell "Coriolis"—I was like "corona Coriolanus borealis ... I know it's in there somewhere."

The fill in this thing, not surprisingly, gets strained at times. There's just so much theme material here, the rough fill is probably inevitable. In fact, given the thematic constraint, you'd probably have to say the fill came out pretty smooth, all things considered. STPAULMN is so bizarre I almost like it. If the puzzle had gone whole hog with STPAULMNUSA, then I might've stood up and clapped. I don't think just tacking a state abbr. on the end of a city is particularly advisable or otherwise, uh, good (I'm looking at you again, ERIEPA!) (to its credit, ERIE appears today PA-free) but I'd rather have a crazy improvised long answer than the TZE spelling of TSE or whatever ARYL is or LAR (?) or DAVI SDS HUA ARRS EHS REFIS YGOR or several other things in this grid. But I still think this puzzle wins more than it loses. Also, while I don't love SATNAV (105D: GPS, e.g.), I do love that I keep misreading it as "SATAN V" ("Look Who's Satan Now"?).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:09 AM  

Tough one for me too! I had a fair amount of erasures (I'm a pencil solver, so no messy write overs)...OSS to CIA to NSA, ERRant, BMXS before ATVS, cyst to bLOB to GLOB, fOod before LORD, jPEG, TsE, rCaS before LCDS...

I live very close to an Asian neighborhood so BAHN MI was familiar otherwise the B might have been a Natick.

On one hand, clever, creative, informative (did not know the CORIOLIS FORCE which @Rex is apparently EFFECT), on the other hand kind of a slog with some iffy fill...ARYL...liked it, but it was more of a time suck than I really wanted.

Arden 12:12 AM  

Great puzzle! I finished it! Yay!! Brilliant theme well done.

JC66 12:13 AM  


After reading your explanation, as well as Orange's, I still don't get it. I was able to parse all of the themers except for 6D (Limelight), which filled in from crosses.

In sum, this just didn't work for me.

John Child 12:44 AM  

I truly enjoyed this one, and that's not always the case on Sunday. It went down quite smoothly overall except for the last letter which I couldn't fill. I was sure that M. Poirot's drink was some sort of THÉ and without the R of LOR I couldn't suss it. Clue it to Star Trek ... nope, that's Lore. Drat.

The International NYT print edition had arrows, but all eight sets of arrows went the same way - correct in the north but wrong in the south. Oops!

Here's a puzzle with no arrows or errors from one of our regulars who posts under a nom d'ordinateur. I'm sure you'll like it: Soup or Symmetry.

Anonymous 12:56 AM  

@JC66 - 4: The answer is ISTHISTHIGON You have the IST from 4D, the go counterclockwise twice around the black square just below IST, then proceed down 31D to complete the answer to the clue.

John Child 1:00 AM  

And, Happy Birthday to another regular here!

Steve 2:43 AM  

I liked this puzzle. I only wish that CORIOLIS EFFECT had also been done in the circular style.

paulsfo 3:31 AM  

I never got the theme till i came here. I was reading around the squares once but not continuing down.

I'm going to donate, but less this year because, with the large lags in updates, the comments (which were at least half of the appear for me) have been largely ruined. Again, Rex, if you're going to have moderators, *please* make about 30 people (or more) moderators so people can actually comments on each others comments with delays of hours in between. Thanks

Kris in ABCA 4:23 AM  

Wow - Coriolis force in a crossword puzzle. Kind of tough to represent in 2D. I was trying to remember what the thing was we learned in mechanical engineering dynamics class - something about if you curl your hand around the direction of the rotation, your thumb points in the direction of the angular velocity. Here's a link to an info page http://phys420.phas.ubc.ca/p420_12/tony/Coriolis_Force/Home.html

That was by far my toughest course in college. Haven't thought about that in a long time.

Anonymous 5:07 AM  

A real Sunday treat. But by the time I got everything filled in I was too tired to see the North/South Coriolis forces as they related to the puzzle. Maybe a little too clever.

I solved it online and think it would have benefited from better arrows. If they had been a little more visual it might have helped. When I think of Coriolis effect I think of the jet stream and wind correction angles. Not storm eyes.


Anonymous 5:35 AM  

I liked this one a lot. Solved on iPad and skipped the bit where they explained about arrows on some of the squares (and where they recommended *not* doing it on iPad). It was just the right amount of challenge without any extra clues from arrows to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the trick the first time around, and then I was pleasantly surprised *again* with the coriol-ish reversal in the S grid.

Agreed with Rex that some of the fill was rough, but it's completely understandable (if not excusable) in a grid like this. An enjoyable solve all in all, best Sunday in recent memory. Thanks very much Mr. Chen.

Loren Muse Smith 6:34 AM  

Man oh man oh man, was this cool. I almost didn't finish, but in the end saw THE MIKADO (and not THE J _ _ or "Adamms" to fit "rca"). Never heard of CORIOLIS FORCE, but that didn't diminish my experience.

How do you go about even finding phrases that work for themers here? Soup and sandwich. Workout routine. Clinched the deal. There. I'm done.

I sniffed out the trick pretty early with IS THIS THING ON? Beautiful in-the-language phrase that anyone who has ever been monkeying around with a mic has said, right? A question some people wish they had asked…

My sacred solving system has to be on Across Lite, so I want to brag that I figured this out without the little arrows on the pdf.

I'm with @jae – tons of erasing this morning. I had a big goof very early on with "Gabi" instead of DEBI. Wrong champion, wrong sport. (BANH MI had gone right in, no prob.)

What a great clue for BLUNT.

Rex – I agree with your take on ST PAUL MN. And it crosses WINTER SPORT. Jeff also got STONES to cross MUSIC. And NEON DEION crosses TDS.

Jeff – you're a bleeping grid beast. Loved it.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:46 AM  

Wonderful puzzle; my thoughts today very much like Rex's, especially re wanting CORIOLIS EFFECT, although on re-consideration I suppose it really is the FORCE that causes the effect.

My only objection would be that, for me at least, the cross of 1 A and 3 D was a total Natick. In a similar situation, Matt Gaffney (on his own site, not puzzles edited by WS) has clues of a sort that might say, "1 World-champion figure skater Thomas (anagram of BIDE)" or "3 Vietnamese sandwich (anagram of BAN HIM)."

Arlene 7:00 AM  

This is absolutely brilliant, on so many levels. I solved in two sittings - had METed instead of METRO so my force was a bit off. But looking at those theme answers fill in was really challenging and exciting. And no Googling as it was all wordplay. Beautiful!

George Barany 7:21 AM  

Today's puzzle by @Jeff Chen was superb ... I'm really glad to have stuck with it until every square was filled in, an exercise that took over an hour working on hard copy, using a pencil that had an eraser on it. Thanks and congratulations to @Jeff, @Will Shortz, and @Joel Fagliano for the teamwork that brought the puzzle to the printed page.

Beyond the theme itself, fill like THE_MIKADO, AIDA, MUSIC, PETARD, and NEON_DEION--along with their evocative clues--more than made up for DAVI, LAR, ARYL (yeah, I teach organic chemistry, that clue wouldn't fly in my class), and some of the other words mentioned by @Rex. There was also the little trap with the ASIAN_FLU clue, which originally had me thinking diimide chemistry instead of virology. And was I ever thrilled to see ST._PAUL, MN in this grid!

OldCarFudd 7:39 AM  

Different strokes. I wrote Coriolis force without thinking; I'd forgotten that it's also called an effect. But I had a u in place of the second i; that, together with the jpeg error, kept me from seeing The Mikado for a while. I kept trying to think of a G&S play with JU in the title. This puzzle started out very frustrating until I figured out how it worked. After the, it was a hoot.

chefbea 7:45 AM  

Just can't do this puzzle. Never heard of Coriolis force and could care less. Tough puzzle. Googled a bit but still can't finish it

Rob 7:52 AM  

Just finished, took us over an hour but we got through it. I always feel accomplished when I finish one Rex rates as Challenging. Definitely some rough patches, but totally worth it.

lauren lese 7:56 AM  

A puzzle that sends the message that trying to solve the Sunday NYT crossword is an impossible, frustrating task for all but the most experienced crossword solvers. Intermediates, even those who have become fairly strong solvers over the years and often finish the Sunday puzzle, need not apply. And some of the answers were just unkind, like NEONDEION for the person we all know as PRIMETIME and was one of my few "gimmees" until I figured out it was wrong.

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

I thought it was terrific. GPS is known as a satnav in the UK, so that was obvious to me.

lauren lese 8:10 AM  

A puzzle that broadcasts: Don't bother trying to solve the Sunday NYT puzzle unless you are one among the most experienced and advanced crossword solvers anywhere. Intermediates, even relatively experienced ones who can often finish the Sunday puzzle, need not apply.
Aside from being wildly difficult, it was unkind. One of the few "gimmes" for me (I thought) was PRIMETIME. Everyone knows Deion Sanders as PRIMETIME. I finally googled Deion Sanders when PRIMETIME could not be right and still didn't come up with NEONDEION until the 4th article I read. At that moment I lost interest in the whole enterprise.

Trombone Tom 8:11 AM  

Wow! This was a really tough one. DNF. Got 98 percent of the letters in and knew coriolus. but couldn't suss the twists around the black squares until I got here. I had the snakes twisting in all kinds of right and wrong ways. I didn't know ARYL and had Sex(!) before SSN.

Congratulations Jeff Chen on a really challenging and ultimately defeating Sunday puzzle. Excellent write-up @Rex.

GILL I. 8:15 AM  

I can't gush enough about this puzzle...I want them every Sunday!
I didn't know CORIOLIS effect so the FORCE was with me.
I pretty much knew how this worked with Poirot's CREME DE MENTHE. I've read all of Christie's books and because of Poirot, I went out to buy me some of that green stuff. A bartender recommended I try "Another Shit On the Grass."...it's good!
There are so many goodies here like BANHMI (yummm) and I love "You don't know BEANS"... AMEN LORD...and I even knew NEON DEION.
Can I have your autograph Jeff Chen?

Glimmerglass 8:23 AM  

Not very hard to solve, but I am in awe of the construction. I think it would be hard to find two or three of these twists, let alone eight! So I'd rate the solving "medium" or "easy-medium," but the constructing "super challenging." As Rex says, the fill is reasonably fresh and interesting. With only a little dreck, this is practically a tour de force for Mr. Chen. I have only one serious complaint: I don't think the TAO is a part of Confusionism. In fact Taoism and Confusionism were rivals for the soul of China for hundreds of years. Confusionism, as the official policy of government, was very rigid and conservative, with civil service exams based on the philosophy. The individual was always less importan than the state. Taoism was much more individualistic and free-form, even (for China) liberal. Someone who knows more about this than I do might help me out here.

Unknown 8:44 AM  

Wow, I just loved this puzzle so much. Hard, but in a good way. Great cluing, and so much fun. I caught on to Creme de Menthe from the crosses, but when I looked it up after I was done Wikipedia has Creme de Cassis as Hercule Poirot's favorite drink. Glad I didn't cheat while I was working on it! Kudos to Jeff Chen.

Cleared2Land 8:50 AM  

A challenging Sunday, loved it. Wasn't supremely confident in all my answers - I don't refer to Motocross cycles as ATV's, I think more of those four wheeler thingies when I see ATV, and I had no idea who that Davi dude was - so I was moderately surprised by the "Congratulations!" message and music when I typed in my final letter. And then to see that Rex had labelled it "Challenging".....BONUS! Fun start to the day after tornados during the night (they really do sound like trains....)

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

I loved this puzzle! Disagree that it was Challenging. The fill was easy so it revealed the theme as long as I gave it a little time, so call it Easy-Medium. And, FUN. From the comments, maybe it was easier in the paper version?
But, give both author and editor a huge black mark for allowing "loan" as a verb. Geez, people. You LEND.
And, disagree about Tze and Tse. The spelling is in characters my keyboard doesn't have. So, both Tse and Tze are approximations, each equally valid.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

I donated more this year.

JC66 9:35 AM  

Well, I just woke up & looked at the completed puzzle again, and after a good night's sleep I now get it.

Charley 9:36 AM  

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jimmy Olsen was an intrepid cub reporter for the Daily Planet, not a photographer. And what is Dred?

Teedmn 9:46 AM  

I approached this puzzle with a certain amount of anxiety, looking at those swirling arrows and wondering what the trick was going to be. I felt dizzy around the MANIFEST DESTINY area because I had TSARS in and noticed that if, instead, I put in an R at the beginning of 55D, I could make TSA RINA with the RINA in 55D. Since this fit with SSN and ERRING, it stayed there awhile, never mind that I couldn't make anything else work with moving letters around per the arrows.

I put in THE in at 13D thinking Hercule Poirot would be drinking French tea. I can't remember now how I figured out CREME DE MENTHE but I laughed to see it ended in my original THE. This made me reconsider TSA-Rinas, so MANIFEST DESTINY swirled out of the fog and I was even able to use the theme to help solve LONE STAR STATE and ON HANDS AND KNEES.

Some good stuff here - TALL for 'fictitious', AMEN and LORD (I had to run through my Catholic "Grace" to get LORD), the BEEB homophone for the Bieb earlier this week, a reminder of the Star Trek NG HOLODECK and ST PAUL MN going in with just the LM. I'll agree with @Rex that SAT NAV isn't great and I haven't heard CORIOLIS FORCE but that didn't dim my enjoyment of this puzzle. I enjoyed seeing a MUTTONY on the Bounty and I started wondering if BLEARY is an early portmanteau for Weary and Bloody but I haven't checked out the ETYMOLOGY of it yet.

Thanks, Jeff Chen, nice work.

Horace S. Patoot 9:47 AM  

From my comparative religions class, Lao tze (tsu,tse) was the writer behind Taoism, not Confucius. The two entries could have been tied together in the cluing. What Glimmerglass said.

noreen 9:52 AM  

This puzzle was a delight! I don't Google so I dnf in the south east corner- two blank spots, not good on sports either. I don't think Tao is part of Confucian teaching either, (agree with Glimmerglass) except that Confucius may have used the word 'tao' in a general way, because it means merely 'the way.'

Tita 9:59 AM  

Love it!! Big grin when i got to CORIOLISeffec... Oops... But it quickly fixed itself.
I love it in spite of the dreck and the DNF. Never heard of NEONDEION and couldn't suss ARYL OR THE 3-letter abbreviation.

Would have been another natick in NW, but a coupla years ago the NYT did a bit about the "other" Chinatwon...the very diverse one in Flushing, Queens. Puzspouse has been making BANHMI ever since.

Really great puzzle, really fun to solve, boggling to think of how to construct it. And how to come up with themers!
Thanks, Mr. Chen.

Happy birthday Loren!!

Aketi 10:02 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Fabulous. Everything a Sunday puzzle should be.

DBlock 10:19 AM  

The puzzle was a work out, even after I figured out the trick, so good. And as both Friday and Saturday skewed easy for me, was happy for the challenge. And I agree, wish all Sundays would play this tough rather than just be a longer version of a Tuesday. Thanks!

Z 10:32 AM  

The conceit was fun (@John Child - at least they got the arrows going the right ways in the Sunday Mag), but the short fill gets to be a little much. That's more a function of the 21x21 grid than a failure of the constructor. DNF at DEvI/vANH MI. Maybe if I knew that Thomas was a surname I'd have gotten the variant spelt DEBI. No such luck. Overall, I enjoyed it more than not, which is about as high a praise as you can get from me these days for a large grid.

@lauren lese - I'm curious what you put into google. After reading your frustration I popped in "Deion sanders nicknames" and the very first hit had "primetime NEON DEION" right in the little synopsis, no need to even click through. My first thought was Bo Jackson, but the first cross gave me NSA and that was enough of a hint for me.

Okay all you physics types here, why does the CORIOLIS FORCE make storms spin in opposite directions depending which side of the equator you're on? The earth spins in only one direction so shouldn't it cause the same spin?

@Thalia - Happy birthday. 29th, I presume.

Roo Monster 10:36 AM  

Hey All !
Finally a puz Rex rated as challenging! Put up quite a fight with me, and I fully expected to come here and see Rex say "Man, was this easy!" :-)

I'm in awe of those of YALL who figured out the theme without the arrows. How in the world could you suss that? I had the arrows, and it was still a challenge. Still DNFed in the S. Had TsE, which royally screwed up that little area. BLIss instead of BLITZ off S in TsE. Spelled DEION as DEonN. After putting the ole brain through the torture of getting the rest of the puz, finally gave in and left 4 squares empty. Writeovers, too many to list! Couldn't get off the jPEG one, and not hearing of the CORIOLIS Effect/FORCE (must've been absent that day...) ended up with THE jaKADO! Ancient Japanese?

I agree with the marvelous construction feat, not only the answers spinning around a square, but also counter-clockwise in the N and clockwise in the S! And a revealer in the middle! And light dreck. And some long Acrosses. And other long Downs. Good stuff.

Tell the truth, who had potato at first for TATERS? And agAIn for I SAID? (Raises hand.)

My grandfather used to hang out at the local bar, named BOTTLERs. Nice to see that and bring his memory in.

So cool SunPuz, brain wrenching. Lots of INGs, BBC and BCC. Not nits, just pointing out. Oh, alright, I'll shut up!


Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Spring lamb is MUTTONY and BENDY.

Nancy 10:38 AM  

I spent the first two thirds of my solving time suffering from overwhelming confusion and the last third -- once I vaguely figured out what was going on, sort of -- suffering from overwhelming dizziness. On those infrequent occasions when spatial relations becomes a factor in solving a word puzzle, I revert to the completely baffled SAT-taker I was back in the day, looking at the weirdly-shaped solid with the missing brick and thinking NO, I DON'T KNOW WHICH IS THE SAME FIGURE THAT'S BEEN ROTATED 90 DEGREES! I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA! This was a nightmarish puzzle for me and even my desperate cheat on LAR Lubovitch didn't enable me to solve. Though it did give me CREME DE MENTHE for Poirot's favorite drink. That clue is wrong, btw; I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Christie fan and Poirot's favorite drink was CHOCOLATE. But after I swiveled my eyes and my neck coming up with CREME DE MENTHE, I went and took a Dramamine.

Despite the vertigo, and with the help of LAR, I came very close to solving this puzzle. But the proper names produced too many naticks. I'd go back and tell you what they were, but I'm afraid I'll get dizzy again. Challenging, yes, but too rotational for me to enjoy.

Happy Pencil 10:40 AM  

This was a phenomenal puzzle, and just the right combination of challenging and satisfying once you got it. Even though I understood the gimmick, I still found it hard to parse the answers in some cases. So the theme was helpful, but the theme answers didn't fill themselves in the way they sometimes do.

I don't think this was too challenging for all but the most experienced solvers, and I would urge those who gave up to go back and take another crack at it. It's well worth it. @Aketi's diagram/avatar will help those who are still not seeing what's going on here.

I'm glad I did this on the iPad without reading the note. I think arrows would have taken a lot of the fun out of it.

Aketi 10:46 AM  

OH SNAP, I usually love puzzles that have letters that drop down, go backwards, spiral, or are outside the box. Sadly though, I could find bits of the answers, my REASONING was not up to the task of determining the directionality of the CORIOLIS effect which turned out to be FORCE. I want to cry MALFEASANCE for the brain strain I suffered, but really it was lack of perseverance on my part. I just gave up. There is a reason why I play pinochle and not bridge, checkers and not chess.

@lauren lese, 8:10 am
On the other hand, what you quoted makes me want to say a few BLEEPS and had I read it I would have printed the puzzle out and worked with my colored pencils till I got it on my own.

@JC66 12:13 am, I turned my profile pic into a diagram in case you were, like me, directionally challenged by clockwise versus counterclockwise with an example from the top and the bottom of the grid. The diagram was done completely on the iPad just because I had t prove I could do it without paper and colored pencils. Then I remembered I had figured out how to shade squares too. I see in the meantime you figured it out.

Z 10:49 AM  

If anyone ever doubted the excessive influence of male editors on Wikipedia, the length and detail of the article on Jimmy OLSEN should cure that doubt. At any rate, @Charley, he's a cub reporter and "photojournalist." Also, DRED.

Steve M 11:02 AM  

Its gonna be a lousy day when it starts like this.....

Ludyjynn 11:02 AM  

Figure skating is my favorite WINTER SPORT so I was pleased to see the ELITE skater, DEBI Thomas, glide on the grid. Remember the so-called 'dueling Carmens' (not AIDA) at the Olympics when she and Katarina Witt faced off for the gold medal? The media DRAMATIZed the rivalry to enhance ratings, of course.

Learned a new word: COPSES. For some reason 'thickets' kept making me see Brer Rabbit in the briar patch, Y'ALL, or hedgerows in England. COPSES, COPSES, COPSES. Commit it to memory, I SAID.

Thanks, JC and WS. No MALFEASANCE here.

blinker474 11:03 AM  

Really hated this one. And that was magnified by the inability of the puzzle to display properly as .puz. Very unpleasant.

Maruchka 11:08 AM  

Wow. Hated the clueing to begin. Then, as the solves mounted up, liked it all. Confess, o LORD, to a few cheats (NEON DEION, BANHMI, ). Nice to have a crunchy Sunday.

If you haven't seen it, I recommend "Infinitely POLAR BEAR". Imogen Wolodarsky hould have been nominated.

Fav of the day - MANIFEST DESTINY. Is this theory now experienced via ISIS?

@LMS - Thanks for the other ETHEL. And cheerful regards for the day!

JJK 11:25 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot, the theme was great (although, full disclosure, my husband, not a crossword solver, helped me get "coriolisforce" and that obviously made the trick come clear. My only real difficulty was in the SW corner, where I found several of the clues to be really hard. Also never heard of Neon Deion, but I'm not a sports person. But I thought it was a really fun Sunday, and I don't usually like Sundays.

Sir Hillary 11:33 AM  

Great puzzle -- best NYT Sunday in ages. The theme is so clever and so well-executed that it makes any subpar fill (and there certainly is some) well worth it. With my daughter home from college (heading back tomorrow -- boo hoo) we have been doing Sundays together, typically me shouting answers while she dictates and writes. Our very first drop-in gimme was primetIme instead of NEONDEION -- oops. But that was easily fixed, and once we figured out the theme by staying down there and wrestling with the SW-most entry (BATTERYTERMINAL -- nice clue) we were on our way. The rest of the puzzle continued to put up a fight, but the fun of sussing the remaining themers made for a delightful afternoon. Very rare that a Sunday puzzle keeps me interested all the way through, but this one did for sure. Thanks Jeff!

Andy Updegrove 11:39 AM  

To be fair to the constructor, he did give a clue on the Coriolis question, by cluing "what causes" rather "what we observe." A force has results, and effect is what we observe in the results. All of the definitions I checked confirm this, so it's actually a pretty sophisticated clue.

Questinia 12:07 PM  

Reminds me of that Thursday Hurricane puzzle a couple years back... loved it. The NYT's version with the little red arrows made it easier.

archaeoprof 12:17 PM  

Amazing. Kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. MALFEASANCE reminded me of It's A Wonderful Life: as I recall it's one of the things Potter threatens to put on the warrant for George Bailey's arrest.

Joseph Michael 12:28 PM  

Challenging but impressive puzzle. Took a while to get the trick which finally showed itself at HAS THE LIMELIGHT and then enjoyed figuring out the rest of the themers.

I can't imagine trying to construct something of this complexity. Bravo, Jeff!

John Hoffman 12:29 PM  

I don't usually like novelties like this "twist" but I'll say that this was well done. Interesting! My complaint: The puzzle is too hard for a Sunday. I like the Sunday puzzle to be at about a Wednesday difficulty.

AliasZ 12:30 PM  

The B in BANH MI bummed me out, a Natick because both the Vietnamese sandwich and skater Thomas were total unknowns to me. Thomas could've easily been Desi, Deni, Devi, Deci, etc., and the sandwich any letter at all. As luck would have it, the B is third from last on the QWERTY keyboard traveling in a W-E and N-S direction, so it took me a while.

I wonder if Capt. Bligh ever ordered the cook to serve lamb that tasted MUTTONY on the Bounty.

Loved the eight eddies in the grid, counterclockwise north of the Equator and clockwise south of it. I wonder how a tub empties right on the Equator, does the water not swirl at all? Does it swing back and forth unable to make up its mind? Or does it just give up and never drain? Ah, sweet mystery of life!

Technically this puzzle was a tour de CORIOLIS FORCE. Jeff had to find four pairs of equal-length phrases in which three letters are repeated with one letter inserted between the repetitions, and just at the right placement for symmetry, like so: ***ABC[X]ABC***
_ _ THI[S]THI _ _ _ _
_ _ EME[D]EME _ _ _
_ _ _ AND[S]AND _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ STA[R]STA _ _
and so on. It must have taken an expert, arduous database search. I wish he could have come up with something better the HAS THE LIMELIGHT (ELI[M]ELI).

A satisfying puzzle today, Jeff, thank you.

I hope Y'ALL have a CALM SEA and prosperous voyage wherever life takes you.

Carola 12:31 PM  

Agree on challenging and all-around terrific. (Pausing for a moment to go ga-ga again over the creativity and constructing feat). I caught on to the curlique at IS THIS THING ON but still had to work work work for the rest, only really getting into the swing of things with ON HANDS AND KNEES and LONE STAR STATE, which went in quickly. In the no-idea category: NEON DEION, ARYL, DAVI. Thanks to previous crosswords for OH SNAP and to the Times Arts section for LAR.

I loved how the puzzle took place between DAWNS and EVES. And, speaking of "Anticipatory times," I'll add "Seeing Jeff Chen's name at the top of a grid, for example" - can't wait to see what he'll come up with next.

@Loren, I absolutely agree about AcrossLIte. I took a look at the Times version, though, to see the arrows - never ever could have done the puzzle otherwise.

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

I needed to take Dramamine to do this puzzle and I still haven't completed it after 12 hours. I'm done with this one.

Hartley70 12:35 PM  

I am in awe. What a Puzzle! I spent an hour and a half and I came so close to nailing it were it not for a figure skater named DEBI instead of Desi or Demi, and a football/baseball player named WTF! I nearly had him except for the I. I went for "delon". It's those sporty types that trip me up every time.

This was still a win for me though because there was a good bit I didn't know, starting with CORIOLISFORCE. Even though I had no arrows, I sussed the theme after trying a huge rebus. MANIFESTDESTINY was my way in. ARYL is ridiculous! I'm happy to say LAR was a gimme for me. THEMIKADO was a surprise and I have no knowledge of Vietnamese cuisine.

I had such a lot of fun with this and now the Sunday bar has been set so high that I'm already starting to feel sorry for next week's constructor. Good luck!

ArtO 12:41 PM  

What an incredible workout. Got most of it but had to come here to complete.

Certainly a construction tour de force! Congrats to all you geniuses who work these out every day no matter how tough.

Nancy 12:42 PM  

@Aketi (10:46 a.m.) -- I think our brains may work -- and NOT work -- in very much the same way. I, too, experienced "brain strain" from this puzzle and, like you, don't play bridge or chess. I agree with you that people who have a gift for those pursuits would probably be good at this puzzle, whereas people who don't, wouldn't.

GILL I. 12:47 PM  

@Unknown and @Nancy. If you had watched (maybe you have) "Murder on the Orient Express" about 30 times like I have, you would NEVER forget watching Poirot sipping his CREME DE MENTHE out of a little straw.
You are both right, though, about the Creme de Casis and Chocolate...Such a wonderful little man..

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Is it me or is LONESTARSTATE wrong?

chefbea 12:59 PM  

Happy birthday @Loren

Blue Stater 1:04 PM  

I absolutely (and predictably) hated this. Couldn't come close. As I find myself doing increasingly with puzzle-trickery like this, I gave up after an hour or so and started googling; when after another hour or so that availed nothing I just asked the program to Reveal everything. And I still didn't get it. So I came here, and even now knowing the principle I still can't understand most of the theme answers.

Just as, once upon a long time ago, we had one day for lovers of trickery (Thursday; now it's just about every day), couldn't we have one day, Sunday, for lovers of traditional puzzles focused on factual knowledge, intellectual challenges, and hard words (factual and linguistic accuracy would be nice, too, although that wasn't a problem with this one)? These are just no fun. It is hard to know how large a subset of regular solvers share this view, but I can't believe it's insubstantial.

'mericans in Paris 1:16 PM  

What @Rex and most everybody else said. What an amazing feat of construction. The fill could have been much worse. Despite 8 theme answers, Mr. Chen managed to fit in some great, fresh words, like MALFEASANCE, THE MIKADO, BOTTLER, OVULES, MPEG FILE, BANHMI.

Also agree with @Rex that it was challenging. Mrs. 'mericans and I started it at 10:30 a.m. yesterday and didn't have it wrapped up until almost midnight. We didn't work on it full time, but usually we get it done in-between chores during the course of a Saturday afternoon.

Lots of misdirects in the International NYT print edition. As John Child already mentioned, all eight sets of arrows went the same way: correct in the north but wrong in the south. As well, the title of the puzzle was a repeat of last week's: "Political promises". So we scratched our heads throughout to see what the theme answers had to do with politics.

It didn't help that we got our first theme answer as "LONE STAR", thinking that was it to the answer, and that it had something to do with Ted Cruz. Finally got that it continued downwards when we sussed out BATTERY TERMINAL.

I can't recall the last time we had so many erasures. (We work in pencil on a paper copy.) Wanted jack or another four-letter word there instead of BEANS. Had bLOB before GLOB, "olympic" before WINTER, etc.

Funnily enough, we had already planned to watch one of the Hercule Poirot episodes, starring David Suchet. (Suchet is fantastic in the role.) We've never seen him drink CREME DE MENTHE, and also tried to fit in some kind of tisane, but since it's likely that in one of the books or short stories the detective was at least offered the greenish liqueur (the Wikipedia entry for it claims that "Poirot is shown to favor liqueurs in general, and crème de Menthe in particular, as his drink of choice"), we won't argue the point!

nick 1:30 PM  

While I admire the feat of construction, imho the solving experience was tedious. Too much junky fill in order to make the trick work. Still, it was fun to see 'satan's army' march harmlessly through, and the word 'petard' always makes me laugh.

Jessica Shklar 1:42 PM  

Well, I'm a relatively novice solver - only do the Sunday puzzle and can go months without doing any puzzles at all (although right now I'm on a huge puzzle kick and doing one archived Sunday one a day) and I found this one pretty straightforward. I got the them almost immediately with Is This Thing On and Lone Star State, and while some of the fill was challenging ultimately I got all but one or two squares. I had Go To Seed instead of Go To Ruin which caused me fits, and while I entered The Mikado as my first clue (avid G&S fan since I was 4), I doubted myself for a bit and crossed it out. All in all, this was a delight. Even though I'd never heard of the Coriolis Force or effect.

One interesting note - I looked at this in the hard copy of the paper originally and noted clue 98D "Accord Competitor", then later printed it out and that same clue was now "Accord or Taurus Competitor."

Nancy 1:50 PM  

To: @Hartley 70, @lms, @John Child and @various Anons -- I am GOBSMACKED by your ability to solve -- or almost solve, which is pretty much the same thing -- this enormously complicated and extremely difficult puzzle, either without any arrows at all or with arrows that were pointed in the wrong direction. Congrats to you all!

The Old Joker 1:57 PM  

@Anonymous, 12:47 PM:

You ask, "Is it me or is LONESTARSTATE wrong?"

As a crossword answer, it is correct. But is there anything wrong with the LONE STAR STATE? There is an old observation and response:

"All Texas needs is water and a few good people."

"That's all Hell needs!"

Barbara Weinstein 2:37 PM  

I liked this puzzle, and I liked that the Sunday puzzle was challenging for a change, but any Agatha Christie fan knows that Hercule Poirot's favorite drink was crème de cassis, not crème de menthe.

Christie, by the way, was a terrible writer and a horrible bigot, but nobody beats her at constructing the murder mystery as a puzzle to be solved.

mac 2:52 PM  

It was a workout, but what a fantastic Sunday!

I did get the method fairly quickly, but I found some of the fill so tough, or maybe the clues, that in 3 or 4 places I had the theme answer first, which was a help. Hand up for wanting to put in some herbal tea or tisane for Poirot.

Grumpy Old Bastard 3:03 PM  

Incredible construction, granted. Hellish to solve.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  

Just wow. Awesome construction. Never saw any arrows;that certainly would have made it easier. Never heard of Coriolus anything, force or effect. Finally finished. Glad I've been to Hanoi; BAHN MI was a big help. Could have sworn M. Poirot's favorite libation was a Sirop de cassis; boy, did that ever slow me down. Great puzzle - thanks, Mr. Chen!!

Chuck McGregor 3:35 PM  

While, everything I might have said about this puzzle has been said, I’d put it this way -- It was easy in spots (it’s Sunday) and next to [but not] impossible in others (It’s Jeff Chen.) I finally figured out the conceit with LONE STAR STATE off of just the LONE. AHA! At that point this tough challenge turned into a tough fun challenge.

I wish people would not “tap” microphones. It’s not good for many of them and, for some types, can damage them – permanently. This can also damage other things in an audio system, like the loudspeakers. It's also annoying.

So, dear reader, if you are confronted with any microphone and you do not know whether it is on, simply say “testing” (or actually just say anything) in a normal voice into it from a few inches away to test it. Please keep your hands to yourself when doing so. The operator (if there is one) and the owner (always) of the audio system will appreciate it. On behalf of my professional audio colleagues everywhere, I thank you. And to those colleagues who do tap microphones, please don’t. (It ain’t pro.)

This had been a PSA, you cruciverbalists knowing what that is.

(Not entirely) geeky, nerdy audio history stuff follows....

Trivia: Certain microphone models are the only professional audio system products I know of that have been continually manufactured, relatively unchanged sound-wise, for not just years, but for many decades.

These are probably the two most notable ones for vocals. I can 100%, not 99.99%, guarantee that if you’ve have gone to few concerts and/or have listened to recorded music since the mid-60s, you have heard them --

First is the ubiquitous Shure SM58 microphone. For the past almost 50 years it has been seen in the hands in concert (at one time or another) of just about any rock star and most other singers you might think of. It is alleged (and most likely true) to be the best selling microphone ever, still made, still a best-seller for Shure, and still continues to be a mainstay microphone for live shows. They say that if you had to choose one model microphone to use for every voice/instrument in a concert….

It is legendary for NOT being fragile. The perfect example: Roger Daltry (of ‘The Who’) told Shure, “The SM58, the lead [cable], the whole bit: It's part of me, I built my stage persona around this mic.” (Bet you never imagined that!) He was in the habit of swinging his microphone around onstage by its cable like an Olympic hammer thrower. First, it was heavily taped to the cable to keep it from flying off said cable. Second, it was an SM58 because it would sometimes SLAM into the floor when he was swinging it around. You see, Shure used to (and may still) demonstrate its ruggedness by inviting trade show attendees to use one to pound a nail into a 2x4 then listen to it afterwards, not only to hear if it still worked but that it’s sound quality was unaffected.

There was no planned OBSOLESCECE for this product!!

The mainstay in the recording studio, as opposed to the SM58 for the live performances, for those self-same singers has been the Neumann U-87 microphone, still being made and still in demand also after some 50 years (@ $3,599 as of this date). However, it IS fragile. Name a legendary or even a current singer (don’t know about, say, rappers*) and almost assuredly there’s a recording of them where it was used. They say that if you had to choose one model microphone to use for every voice/instrument in a recording studio….

* Well?....I just checked. It’s also definitely a top-choice microphone even for rappers and heavy metal rockers.


Anonymous 3:38 PM  

Finally, a Sunday puzzle worth the time and effort involved in solving it. Took me a while to grasp the gimmick but had ti admire the craftsmanship after I got it. Still wasn't quite sure I spelled the revealer correctly but all the crosses checked out, so I went with it. Let's have more of the same quality every Sunday.

GILL I. 4:37 PM  

P.S. @Loren - apy verde chiquita!
@Z and @jae from yesterday. Thanks for the CINDERELLA story. A bit like padding a piece of a fairy tale.

The Duchess of A MALFEAsance 4:51 PM  

Dang. I was just about ready to submit the best comment of my life when the pointer thingy disappeared, and while I was clicking around to retrieve it, I must have had it over the (close)X and everything shut down. Can't possibly reconstruct, so it's the world's loss and a bitter lesson to me.

Shall just say this was a beautifully Saturdayish Sunday. No arrows in the app I use, so I thought the loops were in the black boxes till I read the blogs. Oooweee, not only a construction feat, but how did @LaMuse come up with 3 more just like that (SNAP)? Joyeaux B'day, Thalia!

B'sides what others mentioned, I liked bracketing the day's Anticipation Events with DAWNS and EVES, as well as the meaty MOO-cow. If there's an uprising on a vessel shipping cows, is that MOO-TONY on the Bounty?

One critical point: @Gill-Fleur, that CREME DE MENTHE must have been only in the movie. I agree with those who cite the Herculean drink of choice as a chocolat chaud, but my first choice was for the tisane he was forever sipping.

Agree today should get the POW, and for anyone who wants the perfect chaser to this TALL drink, I Absolutly recommend the "Soup or Symmetry" puzzle that @John Child linked. I promise you'll enjoy!!


Z 4:57 PM  

@Roo - Hand up for potato but not again.

@Andy Updegrove - Good point on the language. Your observation caused a niggle at the back of my brain that it is only an "effect" not an actual force. I went looking for a simple explanation and found this to be the most accessible.

@anon12:47 - Looks right to me. Do you have the correct spin?

Anonymous 5:00 PM  

CORIOLIS FORCE was one of the first answers I got, and without any help from crosses---but then I am a recovering physicist. And Rex, we must be using different Googles: entering "coriolis" yields "Coriolis Force" in 5th place.

"Coriolis force" is like "centrifugal force" in that neither is a real force: both are only apparent forces, seen from a rotating frame of reference.

I knew as soon as I filled it in that Rex would gripe! :)

Aketi 5:45 PM  

@nick, I have the same reaction to PETARD.

After my Martial Arts class (partnered with a fifteen year old), I think increased oxygen flow was a good HEALER for my brain strain, I was able to remind myself that a am MEREly an amateur among ELITES. Plus I didn't have any little red arrows to guide me in the north where they apparently twisted in the right direction. I think I BOOhooED too easily on this one.

I started out with DAWNS followed by CALM SEAS and the entertainment of CABO San Lucas and HOLODECKS. And of course now that it's finally snowing outside I am happy t be reminded of those WINTER SPORTS that might still possible this year.
@George Barany, I easily got the ASIAN FLU from epidemiology, not virology or chemistry.

It all seemed so ELEMENTAL until I tried to muscle my way around the twisty letters, I won't diagram the alternative routes that I found actually provide the answers to the clues without the CORIOLiS effect before I threw up my hands and read Rex's explanation. What FRETS me most about my ERRING pathways is that I so easily saw the ROLLER COASTER LOOP DE LOOP a while back and I just didn't realize that it the angle MEREly shifted 90 degrees.

@Nancy, you know perfectly well that you are highly competitive and willing to go to the mat in certain domains, just not in others (like bridge, chess, and proper name trivia). I'd never dare to compete with you with a tennis racket in your hand just like I'd go nowhere near Hartley70 with a tube of superglue in hers. In the meantime I've perfected a new adaptation of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sequence to take back the subway pole from the pole hogs who have ear buds plugged in while they text with their backs plastered to the entire length of the pole, Such PETARDS don't realize that some of us are so short that we can't reach the overhead horizontal bars and must rely on the vertical poles. I'll show you next time we meet in the park - or not, since I'm know you enjoy listening to MUSIC much more than learning how t win DUELS over space on subway trains.

jberg 5:52 PM  

This one was challenging and fun, even though I didn't finish -- had no idea about NEON DEION, and was so sure of OSS that I just left it there even though it didn't make sense.

I had to put this aside and do some work, then came back to it at about 4 and wrapped it up (except that error).

I didn't think TAO was a Confucian concept either, but then I'm not named Chen, so I hesitate to question it!

Whad'you say? 6:07 PM  

What @paulsfo said.

I'd pay extra for a minyan of minions.

Mohair Sam 6:17 PM  

Well we're in the middle of packing for a move this week (downsizing to an apartment, what a nightmare) and thought a nifty little Jeff Chen Sunday puzz would make for a relaxing break. Unfortunately this thing ate a hunk out of our afternoon. But what fun - although relaxing it wasn't.

dnf'd because THEMIKADO hid itself from us. ErS for EHS, jPEG, for MPEG, CORIOruS for CORIOLIS, and ADamMS for ADDAMS will do that. I was trying to remember some hidden Himalayan language (maybe from "Lost Horizon") for my pooh-bahs. Sigh. Got every one of Jeff's clever spinners however - so there.

"LONE STAR" is one of the best movies you haven't seen. In fact just about everything directed by John Sales is one of the best movies you haven't seen.

"New Left" org. clue leaning on MSNBC answer kinda cool.

I've met two people who knew NEON DEION well when he was in the NFL, one a teammate and one an Atlanta charity worker. They both said that he was a quality guy in every way off the field and away from the cameras.

nikatnyte 6:22 PM  

I was waiting for someone to comment on NYS as abbreviation of Sen. Gillibrand's home. Since when is New York abbreviated as NYS? My hubby was defending this, so I asked hm if NS is the proper abbreviation for Nevada.

chefwen 6:24 PM  

I requested only three things for my Birthday. 1 - That I see my first Humpback whale of the season. 2 - That the Packers beat Arizona and 3 - A fun filled Sunday puzzle. One out of three ain't bad, the puzzle came through with flying colors.

I stand in awe of anyone who did this without the arrows.

BAHN MI sandwiches are my latest addiction. I have a minimum of one a week at Pho Kapaa, delicious!

Anonymous 6:42 PM  

All I can say is--wow! Jeff Chen, I spent most of the afternoon on this, but I loved "getting there." Thanks for a Sunday brain buster...

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

ERIE had to be sans PA because the site referenced is the lake, not the state :-). (I'm from Ohio, where there's a monument at Put-in-bay)

dick swart 8:03 PM  

JEFF CHEN! Fantastic!

I was hoist on my own 'creme de menthe' trying to have 'the' stand on its own. I remember Poirot's discomfort when having Yorkshire tea, faggots, mushy peas, and spotted dick with Chief Inspector Japp.

This is a puzzle for the "little gray cells".

“One does not, you know, employ merely the muscles. I do not need to bend and measure the footprints and pick up the cigarette ends and examine the bent blades of grass. It is enough for me to sit back in my chair and think. It is this – ” he tapped his egg-shaped head – “this, that functions!”
... Five Little Pigs

I wish mine had been up to it.

GILL I. 8:51 PM  

@wenchef....Apy verde to you too kaikamahine....!

Diana,LIW 9:11 PM  

Loved "All politicians should have little cartoon balloons over their heads showing what they're really thinking when they are promising the BS du jour." last Sunday.
Diana, LIW

Anonymous 9:16 PM  

Went whale watching with hublet two weeks ago - saw 19 whales and many other sea critters, including a couple hundred dolphins and their babies leaping around our boat. Wow is an understatement. Best of luck with all your wishes.
Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Nettie 10:11 PM  

Loved this puzzle! First heard of CORIOLIS effect in a famously (but inaccurate) Simpsons episode, then later built a demonstration of it in university. Fun theme, respectable fill, hard, but I finished. And now I really want a Vietnamese sub....

"And Rex, we must be using different Googles: entering "coriolis" yields "Coriolis Force" in 5th place."

I don't know anything about computers, but doesn't Google "learn"? Depending what time you did the puzzle, crossword fans may have been looking up Coriolis Force all day long! I think it's pretty cool that a crossword puzzle could have that kind of impact, so I hope I'm right ;)

Nancy 10:31 PM  

@Aketi (5:45 p.m.)-- I'm just itching, itching, I tell you, to use your new adaptation of a Brazilian jiu jitsu technique to wrest control of the subway pole from the 20-something male pole hog who is leaning his 6'3" body against it. Maybe next week on the Lexington Avenue #6 during rush hour. After which, I may try out for middle linebacker on the Denver Broncos.

Anonymous 10:50 PM  

Confucianism and Taoism arose around the same time (as did Buddhism), but "Tao" or "the way" is not a "Confucian" doctrine. The two have some areas of overlap but this is like saying American republicanism (small R) is a British doctrine, when the latter is based on constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The American and British political systems certainly share many features but one is not a "doctrine" of the other.
As for the puzzle itself, was able to finish it with some difficulty (also never heard of "Coriolis force" but willing to accept it) but again I'm annoyed by Chen's penchant for showing off how smart and polymathic he is. This is a crossword puzzle, not a Mensa application test.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

What kind of mind comes up with such a wild idea and then construct a puzzle to fit it? And. Then just to make the construction more difficult he has the coriolis effect correctly developed - counter-clockwise in the north and clockwise in the south.

I was able to finish but all the way through I was in awe of Mr. Chen .... WOW!!

Meg Greer 10:11 AM  

I couldn't finish this one. What really messed me up was I didn't get the coriolis effect in the puzzle itself. Once I figured out Isthisthingon and cremedementhe, I didn't see that the Southern Hemisphere of the theme clues ROTATED THE OTHER WAY! Too late. Had to come here unsolved.

Meg Greer 10:12 AM  

That's right!

Corky Miller 1:54 PM  

It was fun! But wrong, Will, Shane on you. I struggled and struggled with Coriolis force because it is not a force. It's an effect. I learned it when in high school they showed the Bell Labs science series about the human body, weather, and...I forget the third. But the Coriolis effect was illustrated by having two people sit on either side of a merry-go-round and attempt to throw a ball to each other. The ball when aimed directly at the other person was way behind them by the time it reached the other side. Thus the effect on weather over the spinning earth!

Z 2:47 PM  

@Anon10:50 pm - I don't think you picked the best example to make your point. As an example, if you follow any of the Ted Cruz birther nonsense and end up reading even a little bit about the meaning of "natural born citizen" you will soon find yourself reading about British Common Law. Right to bear arms research will take a little longer, but you'll find yourself mired in the same muck, et cetera et cetera. I suggest that American Republicanism is firmly rooted in British political doctrine. I would have picked Islam and Judaism to make your point. Both religions claim the God of Abraham as their God, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone saying they are the same doctrine.

P. S. While I take gleeful, wipe the tears from my eyes I'm laughing so hard, schadenfreude in RWNJs hectoring the beyond contemptible Cruz about his Canadian birth, there is no reasonable doubt that he is eligible to be elected president of the US.

Randy Mo 3:52 PM  

The Deion Sanders clue is entirely misleading and ruined the puzzle - no one ever thinks "Neon Deion" much less says it. The clue needed to be rewritten inserting the words "Obscure, seldom-used...." in front of the clue.

shroomworks 5:14 PM  

I'm late to this, but must add to the chorus of huzzahs for this Sunday-worthy puzzle - thank you, Jeff! Having solved his Thursday effort just last night, I have nothing but admiration forJeff's talent at clever cluing and construction. I also didn't get the Neon Deion/NSA cross, but seeing all the other squares filled in, albeit with a number of erasures, is just so damn satisfying. Let's have more Sundays like this one!

Darby 8:43 AM  

FYI, Poirot "detests le the".

Tami Spector 9:57 AM  

I'm an Organic Chemist and the way the clue was worded "Benzene Derivative, for one" was so misleading that it took me almost to the end of my solving to figure out it was Aryl.

pooter 12:20 PM  

I never quite got the LIMELIGHT one, because after getting the NW themer right quick I went to work in the south (almost literal this time), and upon getting back to the top continued to try to read the answer in a clockwise fashion (MILEMIG??) in spite of the arrows quite clearly placed there by the local printer. Pure genius.

Anyways, am I missing something, or is it indeed odd that Rex, with his attention to consistency within theme, didn't point out that while the construction was swell, it'd have been purer/"better" if the answers in the south read "upside down?"...

Danchall 9:54 AM  

I agree with those who say that FORCE does accurately clue the _cause_ as it is described in ordinary language. "Effect" is the only term found in my Mac's Oxford American Dictionary, but it says "an effect whereby a mass moving in a rotating system experiences a force (the Coriolis force) "

Google ngrams gives an interesting view into the prevalence of the terms; it shows the frequencies in books, which are published and presumably edited. FORCE > EFFECT, even by a lot some years.


attilashrugs 5:07 PM  

This was one of those that I solved yet did not understand. The eight twisted down words baffled me, and though filled all squares my I-Pad version did not spew forth the musical equivalent of "success", alas.
Finally, Malfeasance was with the S, amd not the C. Then IRS made sense.

attilashrugs 5:12 PM  

I see some indirect commenting on "Googling". Doing these puzzles on the App on IPad lends itself to googling. I allow myself to Google NAMES. Names of Hollywood, TV, Sports figures are reasonable to google. Crossword solving is not primarily a task demanding the same skill set as Jeopardy. (IMHO)

PeterThomas 9:55 AM  

I knew that Tao was a fit but Tao is not a Confucian doctrine.

PeterThomas 10:02 AM  

could someone tell me what a "dinner pail" is?

Google Knows Everything 10:31 AM  

@PeterThomas -


from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

n. A tin pail, with a cover, in which working-men carry, or are supposed to carry, their ‘dinner’ or midday meal to their work. “A full dinner-pail” for the working-man figures in party rhetoric.

spacecraft 12:22 PM  


This entry is later than usual; here's why: searching for a gimme, I found it in SB/WS athlete Sanders' nickname: PRIMETIME!

Uh, no. Despite the fact that he was called Primetime far more often than NEONDEION, I was wr...wr...(spit it out, Fonzie!) So, as Col. Nicholson said to Col. Saito, "We have already experienced delays for which I was not to blame."

Toiling there in the SW and trying to figure out what was going on with those marks around black squares, I first thought BATT was enough for the plus or minus thing, though the absence of an "abbr." bothered me. But then what of 99-down, one of several "-'s" in the clue list. Eventually that cute Klondike POLARBEAR forced me to abandon the wrong nickname and started me on the correct path. Soon after, I saw the pattern: wow, another Jeff Chen tour de FORCE. Or effect. We should coin a new term : Jeffect.

And yes, belatedly realized by me, the northern ones DO swirl the other way! This thing took me almost two hours, so I concur with the challenging rating, but I did it! My anticipatory time is wondering what MALFEASANCE Jeff will come up with next! Sure, there are some frownies in the fill; how could there not be? But I still liked it; it was entertaining, an adjective not often enough applicable to the day-in, day-out fare set before us. Plus, of course, again the triumph factor was most satisfying. A-.

Burma Shave 1:35 PM  


ONHANDSANDKNEES, what the BLEEP’S that gal doin’?
and ERRING, she FRETS of her G-string, “ISTHISTHINGON?”
ISAID, “This DRAMATIZATION is not for DALEY viewin’.”


@D,LIW - I believe the anniversary will be Feb 9, which was 5 weeks after (syndi time) the first Monday puzzle in January (real time) was published. If that makes sense. I was not an every Sunday solver before then, just the other 6 days. So it looks like in 2 weeks it will be a complete year.

rondo 2:35 PM  

Fine puz, I could wrap my head around and around this one. No write-overs, but almost filled in “effect” where FORCE is, until I saw that it wouldn’t fit. And bojacksON would have fit and I was thinking it was the correct answer, but fortunately held off.

Big shout out to STPAULMN and its METRO area. I don’t live there, but I do work there, and the STPAULMN Pioneer Press has been my newspaper of choice since forever. Mpls StarTribune only in an emergency.

The late TEENA Marie, a 1980s yeah baby songstress. DEBI Thomas, a 1980s skating yeah baby, think I saw something about her being destitute and living in a trailer somewhere?

YGOR? Really? Huh.

I knew the BANHMI right off since the cafeteria in my office building has it as a frequent lunch special.

Really liked the swirling going the correct directions in each HEMisphere of this puz. I spent a lot of time on this puz, but that was OK in today’s case. And I liked that it started with DAWNS and ended with EVES.

@Diana,LIW – I’d be there on HANDSANDKNEES for that ball.

rain forest 4:05 PM  

Challenging, yes. Brilliant? Absolutely. Loved this puzzle from start to finish.

Of course CORIOLIS FORCE is correct. Take a powder, @Rex. Also a wonderful revealer of the incredibly clever "eddies" in the theme answers.

The only entry I didn't like was LOANING, where I think the correct term is LendING, but I know lots of people who use the incorrect term all the time.

This took a long time, but it never felt like a slog. It just felt like fun.

AnonymousPVX 5:00 PM  

"Where you from?"
"New York"
"State or city?"
That's why you can add the "S" to NY to indicate it's the state and not the city.

paulsfo 7:31 PM  

I had never seen NYS so I was thinking that, while correct, it was obscure.

However, google gets 1.7 Billion hits on NYS (that's really a lot, even for google) and the scattering of hits that I looked at were *all* using NYS to mean New York State, so it's legitimate.

Anonymous 11:50 PM  

Absolutely brilliant. Best puzzle in ages. I will admit, however, that I hated it until I caught on; but then I loved it. More like this, please!

Joseph McGrath 3:40 PM  

Tough one. Never heard of Coriolis, or much else for that matter. Had one mistake: Desi instead of Debi - never heard of Banhmi so that didn't help.

Joseph McGrath 3:43 PM  

Tough one. One mistake: Had Desi and Sanhmi instead of Debi and Banhmi. Never heard of Coriolis. Agree with Rex that Has the limelight just doesn't seem right.

Anonymous 11:41 PM  

I learned it as the Coriolis FORCE years ago. I have a 30+ year-old meteorology textbook that refers to it as such. Google may come up with "effect" first, but Wikipedia actually redirects "Coriolis Effect" to "Coriolis Force". While it is true that it is only an apparent force, not a real one, like centrifugal force (Wikipedia calls it a pseudo force), the word "effect" is a vague term that could apply to just about anything, while "force" has a specific meaning in physics.

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