Linotype machine nowadays / TUE 2-16-16 / Part of fishing line to which hook is attached / Andrea ship that sank in 1956 / Half of SWAK / Czech form of French Pierre

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Constructor: Ron and Nancy Byron

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: FIGUREHEAD (55A: Carved decoration on a ship's prow ... or a hint to the first word of 17-, 25-, 37- and 45-Across) — first words of themers can *precede* (so, come before, or at the "head" of) "figure" in a common phrase:

Theme answers:
  • FULL NELSON (17A: Banned wrestling hold)
  • ACTION PLAN (25A: Aid in accomplishing a goal)
  • STICK TO YOUR GUNS (37A: "Don't give up the fight!")
  • GO FOR BROKE (45A: Risk everything)

Word of the Day: SADA Thompson (30A: Actress Thompson of "Family") —
Sada Carolyn Thompson (September 27, 1927 – May 4, 2011) was an American stage, film, and television actress. [...] Her portrayal of matriarch Kate Lawrence on Family won her the 1978 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and garnered her three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama. (wikipedia)
• • •

Not sure I'm getting the use of "head" here. In the phrase "go figure," I don't think of "go" as the "head" of "figure." A word that simply precedes another word is not the latter word's "head." A prefix could be considered a head, or the first letter of a word (a common cluing wordplay trick). So we're stretching the meaning of "head" here a little bit. But  the "___ FIGURE" gimmick is consistent, even if the resulting "___ FIGURE" phrases are adjective, noun, noun, verb phrase. Still, all of them work. I'm more familiar with "plans of action" than ACTION PLAN(s), but again ... theme, technically works. The fill, however, was torturous. I would like to put it more nicely, but I don't have it in me. Dreadful, dreary, dated, and inexplicably bad. Worse, unnecessarily bad. Will or Joel should've quietly cleaned this mess up. A grid with this shape, with this many little corners, with this theme density, should be easy to fill at least moderately cleanly. There is no excuse for an EELY SNELL on a Tuesday, or any day. On and on and on the subpar fill goes. In case you can't tell, I ain't FER it. I'm agin it. Bobby DOERR, DON HO, and SADA Thompson probably think it's grand, but hoo boy no. No no no. AT NO no. Just no.

["Don't give up the fight!"]

Puzzle was pretty dang easy, except for RELIC, the clue for which was oddly hard (6D: Linotype machine, nowadays). I misspelled DORIA as DOREA, so that probably didn't help there. Also struggled to get PETR, as having Czech clued via French made my brain just balk. I should add: DORIA, PETR ... these are tolerable answers in a demanding, theme-dense, or otherwise sparkly grid. In *this* grid, they're just so much dreck. I'll resist the urge to spout all the junk. In order to resist, I need to get off the computer. Luckily, there is bread baking downstairs, so pulling myself away from the computer will not be hard. Have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:05 AM  

Medium for me. Needed to change FoR to FER and @Rex DOReA to DORIA. There is a FAIR amount of stuff that young solvers are unlikely to know or encounter as they meander through life...DORIA, PETR, DECCA, SHEA, DOERR...

Liked the theme, the rest however....what Rex said.

Da Bears 12:31 AM  

I smell the bread, Rex.

chefwen 1:08 AM  

Yesterday we had my first name, today the little island that I call home, maybe tomorrow we can throw in my kitty's name.

I also spelled DORIA with an E and wondered what the hell a RELeC was. Easy fix. GAMEroOm before GAME SHOW and I believe that was it on write overs. Liked it more than Rex, as is the norm.

I had a dear friend named RANI, I always enjoy seeing her name in the occasional puzzle, brings back great memories.

Loren Muse Smith 3:56 AM  

Agreed - GO is the outlier here, but I don't take the reveals as literally. GO precedes FIGURE as the head of a common phrase. Ok. Fine. "Hourglass" would've been nice, but I don't think there's a phrase with that as its head.

I think FULL FIGURE is pretty timely, what with Mattel's new Barbie and the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

And STICK FIGURE reminds me of a funny t shirt.

The HODS/EDINA cross made me pause, but I got it. However, I had a dnf because I confused my yarns and countries and had "Angorra" crossing "Saga," kinda feeling bad for anyone named "Saga." Hey, Saga, are you BLUE today? Snicker, snicker.

For me, PETR was the most obscure "Whah?" answer, but I bet it was extremely tricky filling that part since GO FOR BROKE and FIGURE HEAD have only one row in between, and you're stuck with those two downs, O _ G _ _ and K _ U _ _ .

This puzzle had me sniffing around, making sure that WREST and "wrestle" come from the same root. Seems they do? Cool. I guess with WREST, you're tearing something away from someone, but with "wrestling," you're just grappling with someone sporting a singlet. And those turbo ear guards.

Since I'm wired to focus on the theme more than the fill, I liked this despite PTER DOERR's "EELY SNELL."

Hungry Mother 6:26 AM  

DNF on D in SADA and that country. Didn't care, because why should I know either? Made it a lousy puzzle. Give me something to figure out, not trivia.

Lewis 6:40 AM  

I guess I saw the glass as half full, unfazed by the rusty and crosswordy answers and impressed with a group that appealed to me: WREST, AWKWARD, FULLNELSON, DIF, RELIC, GAMESHOW, ASSAY, and even HOVEL. I also found the theme to be, while not exciting, plenty adequate and clever. With HEFT, the "FT-ending word" sub theme of yesterday continues, and there is an impressive mini-theme of words that end with A (13!). Level wise, the puzzle felt Tuesday perfect, that is, enough grit to register on the sweat-o-meter, albeit on the lower end.

Hartley70 7:06 AM  

Considering that I didn't know SNELL, DOERR, or that there's a passel of sunflowers in KANSAS, this was a very fast Tuesday. The crosses give this an easy rating. I don't feel the need to time myself, but unfortunately the app insists on doing it for me. Who am I to argue?

The theme was Tuesday appropriate and while I was surprised at the incongruity of GO, it passed muster at a second look. This was a nice, if too brief, puzzle.

GILL I. 7:11 AM  

@Rex EELY SNELL is some good stuff. I also count SHEA TUTEE as one of my favorite hors d'oeuvres.
ANDORRA....! Beautiful little country with some great skiing.
Well, I liked this puzzle. Yes, it had some oldies but there were goodies as well. I learned all about SWAK right here on this blog and I'm pretty sure we had a discussion about HODS and their merits.
Took me a while to figure out the theme but I don't really care on a Tuesday. I want a little amusement and some answers that evoke a memory or two. I even forgive EVEL EAVE and PAMELA DOERR.

Glimmerglass 7:24 AM  

I don't remember when ACTION PLAN became the buzz word of problem-solving workshops (maybe in the 1980s), but it was the way to describe the process. (WHAT needs to be done? WHO will do it? WHEN? And sometimes WHERE will the money come from? WHO will check that it has been done?) The term is still around. Yes, it was equivalent to "plan of action," but fit better into statements about process.

Lobster11 7:27 AM  

I can't remember the last time I had a DNF on a Tuesday, and I'm not happy about it. HODS crossing EDINA? SADA crossing ANDORRA? Just no.

The moment I saw that the answer for "Slippery" was four letters, I started a mental chant of "Please don't be EELY, please don't be EELY." Yeah, it was EELY. I'm outta here.

Leapfinger 7:37 AM  

Hey, @Rex, 'AT NO no' was pretty funny! P'raps what you were smelling was the Bread of Affliction.

Given the FULL NELSON, I thought 41A was the reveal for WRESTling holds. Pinned that one, didn't I? Figuratively speaking.

I mayn't have been playing with a FULL DECCA cards, but I thought DIF was a 2-F word. I also kinda sorta wished PETR would DOERR die... and maybe take ANn DORRA with him. The one I'd rEELY feel sorry for is anyone named SAgA Moore; that would indeed be a TRIBulation. Granted, if the grid can lead the willing mind to DON qui HO TEE (w/o Sand Joe Panzerelli today), then anything's possible. (I hold the recent spate of TEEVEEs and TUTEEs responsible for that last one. Of course, we also traded ARCHAIC for RELIC, so maybe we're just moving AWK AWKWARD.)

Seriously though, in this time and space, I appreciate the puzzle's central message, and fully agree we should STICK-TOY OUR GUNS. If we can't bring it down with a sling-shot, we don't need to be eating it.

Okey-doke, pretty soon I'll know if we've been raineDON and sUNLIT enough to de-ice
the driveway; at least it isn't a snow HOVEL day.

Will give it a WREST and bid y'all ADUE.

NCA President 7:51 AM  

@jae: Add EDINA to your crossword toolkit.

I spelled DORIA correctly right away...but with so many of you thinking it was DOReA, does that mean I spelled it wrong but happened to get it right? Because I really didn't know exactly how it was spelled.

For some reason known only to a neuroscientist I'm sure, I knew DECCA. I don't know why I would know that.

My hiccup was at the SADA/ANDORRA crossing. I don't know Sada, I'm sure she's very nice. But she could be a Sara, or in my case, a SAgA...because ANgORRA actually sounds like a place where cats are made. I also learned today that Catalan is not (evidently) spoken exclusively on Catalonia.

I would add TUTEE to Rex's list of ughs.

ENYA. What would crossword puzzles be without her? If that were me, I would've have found the first few shoutouts amusing, but after years and years of being thrown into a puzzle's grid just to fill it up, I'd be getting a little miffed about it. Constructors, please leave Enya alone or start paying her for the use of her name.

chefbea 8:06 AM  

Got all the themes...Go figure!!! Had a natick at the P for Petr and Pamela. Fun puzzle.

jberg 8:10 AM  

@Rex always complains about SNELL, it's just not his thing. I used snelled hooks all my life (so labeled) without knowing what they were, so I was happy to learn from puzzles.

EELY, though -- maybe clued as "sunrise side of famous bishopric," but no.

Here' a little DON HO for you.

Z 8:17 AM  

Watch a little Saturday morning soccer on NBCSN and PETR Čech should be a gimme.

I'm with @LMS on "head." The first words are all at the head of FIGURE in common phrases. Good enough.

ATTENTION ALL NEW SOLVERS: This is a veritiable Ese primer, cut it out, print it, memorize what is here in whatever way is best for you. SHEA, EAVE, HODS, DORIA, ADUE, SADA, TSA, ENYA, ETAT, RANI, EMU, AT. NO., OVO, EDINA, ASLAN, OYS, TUTEE, SNELL. Store these in whatever part of your brain you reserve for RELICs. I am mildly surprised that no RRNs, SSRs, or RCDs made the cut today.

Speaking of RELIC, what a perfect example of not getting to used to a word meaning something. From something off a holy dead person to something of historical value to just something old and dated. A veritable prescriptivist nightmare.

Jack Lee 8:21 AM  

"HASAT" (7D)?

Kris in ABCA 8:27 AM  

Is full figure a thing? Isn't it full figured, with a "d"?

Mohair Sam 8:39 AM  

Not bothered a bit by the difference in usage with GO FIGURE. As long as "GO FIGURE" is a common term it fits the theme fine.

Embarrassing dnf on a Tuesday. Joined @lms in trying to wear my country (ANgORRA) at 21d. Actually thought SAgA was an odd name for an actress, but these days you never know. At least the little heard name SADA exists.

Has 35d ever been clued as "Offensive star of Super Bowl III?". Or has the Namath lobby pulled a Manning for the last half century?

AliasZ 8:43 AM  

ASSAY, this puzzle didn't SNELL too EELY.

Today's and yesterday's puzzles prove that word ladders, go-withs, quips, trip- and quad-stacks, etc., are alive and well in the NYT. I enjoyed today's X follows Y a little more than yesterday's presidential word ladder.

My favorite: GO FIGURE. I assume that refers to the pedestrian traffic light with the "GO" FIGURE showing us it is now safe to cross the street. No? Go, figure... When you cross the street, by all means, DOERR on the side of caution.

I prefer a FULL FIGURE to a STICK FIGURE in most cases.

What jumped out at me today was the large number of names ending in A, sorta ENYA face: EDINA, SADA, SHEA, PAMELA, ANDORRA, DECCA, Andrea DORIA, plus FAUNA, ARENA and SHERPA INA TSA, FER cryin' out loud. And DON HO singing "Tiny Bubbles" in OAHU and KAUAI. Not to mention all the Czech hockey players I know called PETR, and PETR Korda too. Two "I"-phrases too: I'M OUT and I SNOT. AWKWARD!

You must remember this: A KISS is just A KISS.

Private pupil of ink artist wearing a ballet outfit: tutued tattoo TUTEE.


Anonymous 8:49 AM  

This was difficult for me for a Tuesday. The "FER" spelling crossing with the proper name "ENYA," which I didn't know, had me searching for my error for a long, long time. Also didn't know "SNELL," and it took me a while to notice that "TWA" was creating the unlikely word "WNELL." So, definitely felt like a challenging Tuesday.

Nancy 9:14 AM  

Didn't notice -- or care about -- the theme. And it was very easy. But some of the long answers were lively for a Tuesday, so that's something.

pmdm 9:26 AM  

Deb Amlen has a really nice write-up in WordPlay today. Aimed at beginners, but it was pleasant reading, with a little insight into the mind of Shortz. Jeff Chen also has some nice incites in XInfo today. Too bad they're wasted on a puzzle that left me in the same frame of mind that the write-up here supports. No fun for me today.

I make my bread with a bread machine. Less than 5 minutes to combine the ingredients and some hours later you are salivating at the wonderful smell of freshly cooked bread. Better to eat some freshly cooked bread than to think any more about today's puzzle.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

TSA? I bet most of us had TWA. And then there's wnell, which even this non-angler knew couldn't be true.
But TSA? Really?

Sir Hillary 9:36 AM  

Puzzle was so easy that I didn't even see about a third of the clues or entries -- only coming here did I even realize SADA was in the grid. Thus, the short junk was mostly invisible to me.

Not the greatest theme in terms of the use of "head" but I don't see why GO is any more of stretch than the rest.

NCA President 9:48 AM  

@Kris in ABCA: Someone who is "full-figured" has a full figure, yes?

@AliasZ: Rubenesque full figures?

@Jack Lee: Try "HAS (a go) AT." But yeah, HASAT is awkward. Personally, I can't think of a sentence where this would be used. "Jack has at the puzzle." <--- Again, awkward. Where's grammar nazi when you need him?

cwf 9:59 AM  

Was slogging through, bored, but at a decent rate, till I got to SADA and DONHO. Spent the rest of the puzzle looking forward to @Rex's scornful review, which I knew was coming.

kitshef 10:20 AM  

Very easy for me. No overwrites and I think the only word I skipped for any length of time was SADA. Oh, and KAUAI with I knew from the K but can never remember the spelling of. Never saw a lot of the junk that has been pointed out (and boy, there is a lot of it).

DIF and FER are the worst of it. Very poor, and those two areas have a high proportion of the junk - DIF has COL and ATNO. FER has INA right next to it. FaR and aNYA would have worked for me, but I don't know a good non-Buffy clue for ANYA and that's too obscure for a Tuesday.

old timer 10:23 AM  

Super Easy for me. Didn't we have that same Catalan clue for ANDORRA just the other day? I didn't even *see* SNELL, having gotten it and SADA on crosses and not looked at all the clues in that area.

I did appreciate "all IS NOT lost". From the most memorable of the many memorable passages in Milton's Paradise Lost. There is probably no better long poem to read to yourself aloud, or have as an audio book for your car, on a long trip.

Roo Monster 10:30 AM  

Hey All !
Didn't despise puz today, actually seemed like a typical TuesPuz. Don't think it's the best puz ever, either.

We get EELY, a RGL* (Random Greek Letter) RHOS, and another Bobby with two R's at the end of his name. Odd. Love the WKW run in AWKWARD. (Imagine if you will, you're on a GAME SHOW, final question for the One Billion Dollar prize, Name the word that has a run of WKW. [Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, BZZZZ] ) AARRGGHH!

Isn't SNELL German for fast?
Abbr. for an extra long game- IS N OT.
Canadian putdown? He's an ASS AY.
Sela? A WARD
Tennis call from someone just hit with the ball? OW, LET
Fancy required bet? D'ANTE
Small town by Erie? SHER PA
1st rd? FORE ST
Worth $1000? G ABLE


Carola 10:42 AM  

For me, the creative theme and those nice long Downs made up for the creaky shorter fill. I thought all of the theme answers were really good - in this kind of puzzle there's often a clunker in the bunch, but not today.

A KISS over GABLE reminded me of my 8th-grade crush on Clark. OMG, as they say today.

I liked the OWLET-FAUNA-FOREST cluster.

puzzle hoarder 10:57 AM  

This puzzle offered more solving satisfaction than I expected. The over familiar ese was laced with enough moderately difficult material to make it interesting. I amazed myself by spelling DORIA correctly. Even with the LI in place RELIC didn't pop up. The clue made me think of the word anachronism even though it would in no way fit partially synonyms have a way of cancelling each other out. That little section and filling in the NW were the only parts that offered any resistance. DECCA was one of the answers that didn't pop up immediately. After these two initial sections I realized that the puzzle was larded with so much standard ese that all I had to do was follow the path of least resistance.
The puzzle did have worthy elements. I'm familiar with ANDORRA but I had to get out the atlas after finishing to see exactly where it's located. I would have thought it was a region of Spain before a separate country. After getting into the rest of the puzzle my only write overs were GONGSHOW and FOR. Maybe if the NYT had to send Enya a royalty check every time they used her name do you think we'd get a break? I'm not one to complain about ese but EELY is really the pits.

r.alphbunker 11:14 AM  

If the symmetry requirement in grids and themes was relaxed I wonder if there would probably be less objectionable fill. Here is a 7 x 7 puzzle that would not be possible if theme answers had to be symmetric. The lack of symmetry in no way lessened my enjoyment of the puzzle.

Chuck McGregor 11:33 AM  

A tough spot here and there, but got ‘er done. I thought this one might not, unlike @yesterday, get a lot of LOVE. @Rex and many commentators did not disappoint.

@Leapy - Loved your "slingshot" dictum!

A DUE? Again? And I believe with the identical somewhat misguided clue?

1a - I actually have the originally released 78 rpm record (and the original sheet music), so this certainly made my first entry easy!

The ACTION PLAN is an around the world tour —

Leaving the east coast’s SHEA & Bobby DOERR, it’s on to KANSAS, EDINA, and Oakland (to read the TRIB). Have a nice visit with an IN-LAW of DON HO on OAHU & KAUAI before heading past the TSA to get to the land of the SHERPAs with its GAMESHOW about HOVELs and RELICs. The ACE pilot waves to PETR while over Czechoslovakia heading to ANDORRA. Then it’s aboard the ill-fated Andrea DORIA (which, unlike ships of old had no FIGUREHEAD) to sail back to the east coast and that seven-GABLE house in MA.

I well remember the Andrea DORIA’s sinking as it was extensively covered by the local NYC radio and TV stations, At that time, NYC was also home for the only 3 major radio/TV networks and the AP who were supplying most of the first-hand news about this locally-to-them event to the rest of the country and world.

Re the SW -- it is likely that FAUNA, such as an OWLET, might nest under an EAVE of the GABLE of a house in a FOREST.

Like I always say, GO FOR BROKE with a pig in a poke.



Tita 11:36 AM  

Bread is baking here as we speak...this time a scattering of Herbes de Cape Cod on top.

AHa - @chefwen - now I know your name AND where you live...! My favorite island...

Theme was unremarkable. Maybe because I couldn't suss it out is why I don't love it.

All if us in the NE are breathing again, now that the temps are above 50 and we won't have any pesky ice dams on our EAVEs.

@Gill - I've skied in Andorra - beautiful! Same trip, we visited that little enclave of Spain completely surrounded by France - Llívia - now THAT would make for some quality obscure fill.

I use ACTIONPLAN all the time - don't think I've ever said PLAN of ACTION.

Why did HODS pop into my brain immediately? @NCA Pres - that neuroscientist would have a field day with us...

Thanks, @pmdm, for the headsup.

And thanks, the Byrons!

Bob Kerfuffle 11:58 AM  

Every integer is a figure, but not every figure is an integer.

Gregory Schmidt 12:12 PM  

Once again, ADUE means "for TWO, playing (or singing) together". Just cluing it as "together, musically" does nothing to connote "two". That clue could also apply to A Tre, A Quattro, etc.

And thanks so much for Natick fest in the middle, DOERR, ANDORRA/SADA.

Joseph Michael 12:18 PM  

The fill could have been better, but I liked the theme and the revealer. Seemed tougher than the usual Tuesday. Then this happened:

Oys were heard from Sada, the tween tutee from Andorra who left her eely snell in an Edina cul de sac.

Cassieopia 12:48 PM  

Had to come here to understand the theme.

Teedmn 1:23 PM  

EDINA in the grid again. It has the reputation as one of the richest suburbs of the Twin Cities, per capita, I'm sure its residents revel in NY Times puzzle shout-outs. I know a guy nicknamed "HOD" so that was a gimme for me anyway. I too considered SAgA, the in-flight shopping brand for Iceland Air, but I was pretty sure the country was ANDORRA. I was once chided quite sharply for not knowing about the small country in the Pyrenees. When asked if I had ever skied in ANDORRA, I had to admit I'd never heard of it before. Can't say that anymore!

I liked the theme. The only other one I could think of was Father FIGURE. GO FOR BROKE had me taking a second look but decided it was fine as a theme answer. I found 3D to be today's EELY clue/answer since first I put in "ess", then changed it to "elL" after getting FULL ( I was SADA'd, as it were) but DECCA popped into mind and the day was saved. I didn't really like the way IMlUT looked at 14A anyway!

Thanks Ron and Nancy (a presidential reference that didn't fit into Monday's puzzle?)

seanm 1:23 PM  

i moved through most of this puzzle as if it were a typical tuesday, but as i passed my typical tuesday solving time i found i was stuck with 4 very difficult crosses that all happened by be D's. i have the impression that most of these are standard enough ESE but for me, a relatively new solver (6months) in his mid 30s, they were brutal

DONHO with DOERR. i guess as a lifelong Sox fan i should have known, but both are late week clues.

HODS with EDINA. both are fair enough in isolation, but crossed on a tuesday seems unfair given how many letters seem like they could fit as well as the actual letter does.

DIF with 1 F crossed with DECCA? guess i should have been able to suss out that letter, but a very odd down.

SADA with ANDORRA. no excuse to not know a country, regardless of how small.

none of these are crazy, but to have 4 very difficult crosses like this on a tuesday is frustrating for newer, younger solvers like myself.

Gerry Kahle 1:23 PM  

Anyone not familiar with Andorra needs to stop what you're doing and listen to Pete Seeger:

Chaos344 1:28 PM  

What Rex said, right down to the spelling of DOREA. I can never remember which spelling is correct, because I went to school with a girl whose name was Dorea.

Didn't dislike the puzzle quite as much as Rex. Like Sir Hillary, I blasted through the puzzle so fast, that I wasn't even aware of some words that filled in by themselves. Nor did I care about the theme. I didn't even bother to consider it while solving. After MHP stopped the timer, I "FIGURED" it out.

I can understand why LMS had a DNF. It was due to a brain fart. We've all been guilty of doing the same thing. MHP's absence is there to remind me, but we don't all solve using AcrossLite. Having said that, there is way too much grousing about the SADA/ANDORRA cross. SADA and EDINA have been used a bazillion times in puzzles. I can understand younger or newer solvers having problems with SADA, but ANDORRA is a legitimate nation, and shouldn't be thought of as trivia! Angora only has one "R", and is not a country or region.

As for EDINA, any time you see a five letter clue that reads Minneapolis or St.Paul suburb, you can rest assured that the answer is going to be EDINA 99% of the time. It's used often because of its vowel content and their positioning.

I hate Naticks as much as the next solver, but the words and crosses I mentioned should have been gimme's for experiences solvers. It's Tuesday, and we ain't talking KIDORY/KABUL/BADU here. Just sayin!

Purple Pride 1:47 PM  

Anonymous: You may be dating yourself; TWA went out of business in 2001 and the TSA has been in the news constantly since 9/11. If you've flown in the last 15 years you've certainly encountered them.

Masked and Anonymous 2:13 PM  

Liked the 007 U's, shaken but not stirred.
Liked the rarely-used Words-that-could-conceivably-start X theme. M&A fave: GO. Go figure!
Liked DECCA or any other 45 rpm record label. DEL-FI was a cool one, too.
Liked @009's snarly write-up. He ain't much FER the fill, today. As per usual, I choose to look at it as Quality Desperation, and liked it, a lot. I SNOT … har!
Liked @r.alph's point, about un-symmetry. Also, look how (sorta) good yer TuesPuz fill becomes in that whole FER-PETR-or-worse SNEEELLY corridor, if U just go with a well-placed double-?? clue …

34. Lil jerk
42. Accumulated, as a vodka tab
44. Godzilla opponent that shoulda been called Drone-Turtle
50. Eve's no-fly zone
52. Security Council members, e.g.??
61. German ice x? [see grid word right above, to get x]
62. Tasty drink mix, if you've kept stuff in your fridge forever
64. Eight bits.
65. "Primo!"
34. Getting tolerable good reception
35. Harden
36. Place to watch Congress do not much
44. One who commands horses to go faster?
48. "That ___ to do it!" [Dynamite Butch Cassidy quote]
49. Notre Dame coach Rockne
53. Them that ain't fer the Yanks
55. It's great, but kinda sawed-off
56. Slicker than snot
57. Piece of Crosswordese?
58. See original 58-D clue
59. Half of all colons

Liked 37-A: Sounds like a possible future clue for: NRA.
Luvd DO ERR: Talk about yer unfortunate names for a baseball player.

Agent 007-U will return, in:
Gold Figure

Masked & Anonym007Us


Z 2:58 PM  

@Anon9:29 - TwA went out of existence in 2001. TSA invades miliion's privacy daily. I'm sure you're not alone, but I doubt that your error was widely repeated.

@NCA Prez - HAS AT sounds very "Hollywood version of how Robin Hood or Ivanhoe spoke." Not awkward so much as a RELIC of a bygone day.

Chronic dnfer 4:01 PM  

I can relate to @lms. My dnf was at egina crossing hogs. Didn't think hods was a word because I was more comfortable with Edina. My spell check confirms hods not a word

Had lot before set rub before dif and lanai before kuaui. It took me over an hour. Definitely agree with everything Rex said today.

Chronic dnfer 4:03 PM  

Also never heard of swak before. Was this written before WW I?

LindaPRmaven 4:36 PM  

Quite Easy for me - always remarkable when I have a smoother solve than @Rex. Crossword editors! Will someone please corral those fast running EMUs? It seems they've darted through every puzzle I've done for the past four days.

Aketi 10:50 PM  

@chefwen, I saw KAUAI and thought of you, Truely loved our two vacations there. Went through a store called strings and things for yarn and my son managed to talk us into buying a ukulele for him so he could lean to play the Izzy version of "Over the Rainbow" which I find preferable to DONHO.

@rex, according to the timer on my iPad app I finished in 3 minutes and 10 seconds. SRSLY LMAO over the malfunction because I absolutely didn't finish that quickly.

Jack Lee 12:04 AM  

Thanks @NSA President! Still scratching my head over that one...

oldbizmark 9:39 AM  

DNF. Hated the puzzle. Same issue as a lot of people here. SADA and ANDORRA.

the redanman 3:55 PM  

Monday like. Meh

David W 9:12 PM  

I find it funny that this was the fastest I've solved any (timed) crossword. It was decades of automatic crossword-ese spilling out I think.
I can see where a younger solver would have trouble with this.

HODS, ENYA, RANI, ADUE, ATNO, EMU, IMOUT, PETR, RHOS, OVO, DONHO, even EELY just popped out without thinking, and primarily due to doing crosswords. I don't come across those words much elsewhere. All that was missing was ASHE and OTT I think. :)

Never heard of SADA, SNELL, or DOERR, but ANDORRA came pretty easily as the only country near Spain that fit.

EDINA is where my wife used to live, and I was sitting in JFK so TSA was *certainly* uppermost on my mind.

And come on, I will only let you complain about SWAK if you are under 30.

Anonymous 5:00 PM  

Never give up the fight. Thanks for the Marley video.

Burma Shave 8:27 AM  


and “AKISS ISNOT AWKWARD”, she said.
Yet PAMELA’s so FAIR, with no FORCE she spoke,


spacecraft 11:14 AM  

Back after a puter breakdown yesterday, but no harm; didn't have much to say. Saw the shades, knew right off it was a word ladder, sighed. Today, saw the clues for 34-d and 50-a, thought "Please don't let this be EELY and TUTEE," sighed again. That's about the sighs of it.

SNELL's fine--on a Thursday or later. Agreed that it's "plan of action," not the other way. People just don't say that. FER? Really? Why not clue "Chemin de___?" HASAT is one more AWKWARD entry. Yeah, I get it: "Have at it, my boy!" Still it ISNOT the best.

CULDESAC goes a way toward redemption, but like Hooker's revenge in "The Sting," it's not enough. Unlike that climactic moment, it's not even close. D.

rondo 12:15 PM  

Well GO FIGURE. Again, I see FIGURE s, strange FIGURE s, weird FIGURE s . . . and not an integer in sight.

Like @teedMN mentioned, EDINA is known for being a very well-to-do suburb of Mpls. Its denizens are affectionately known as “cake-eaters”.

Mpls. has the TRIB, on the St. Paul side of the river we have the Pioneer Press.

As for yeah babies today I’ll AWARD it to ENYA first. IMHO, ENYA looks better in clotheslessness than PAMELA does, especially since PAMELA plasticized her FIGURE. When PAMELA was a fresh-faced shill for Canadian beer I would have conferred yeah baby status, but then she became what she is now – just plain scary and EVIL. At least ENYA has talent to add to her FAIR beauty. And sorry, but you’re not sexy SADA.

INLAW school (at an advanced age) I tried to GOFORBROKE. That’s what it made me, even with the part-time RATES and without finishing.

Some iffy fill, but that doesn’t seem so unusual to me anymore, until a really good puz comes along. IMOUT.

Diana,LIW 2:40 PM  

Saga. Rana. Wronga.

Must. Remember. RANI

But mostly enjoyed the solve. Had a Champagne Burmese cat named "Tiny Bubble in Champagne" or Bubba for short. So Don Ho made me smile.

I put "ese" in a category similar to proper names - some can spice up a puzzle, too much and it takes the fun away. Like putting a cup of salt into that bread dough. There was plenty to make up for the ese today, for me.

@Rondo - the Landmark Center in St. P looks a lot like the County Courthouse in Spokane. Intriguing...

ADUE for now.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for more Naticks

rain forest 3:57 PM  

An easy Tuesday puzzle which is fine thematically, containing some decent entries, mentioned above, but which also has the controversial EELY. I hardly ever comment on so-called "desperation fill" because it seems it can't be avoided in most cases. I think EELY has attained almost mythic status in crossword puzzle construction--a word which no one ever uses but appears with delightful frequency in puzzles. Perhaps constructors should strive to sneak it in there as often as possible. That might ire the commentariat, not to mention OFL. A melee, not to mention a brouhaha, would undoubtedly ensue. That would fun to witness.

Cathy 6:59 PM  

So started pumping this out when I noticed the theme answer was at 55A. Refused to read the clue. FIGURE HEAD. Went over the grid looking for presidents, deans etc. NELSON Mandela? DORIA the explorer? TUTEE? Is that Tuti from The Facts of Life?

Went for STICKTOYourguns. May the FORCE be with me.

Diana,LIW 12:12 AM  

@Rainy - that could lead to an ADO. Or a DIN. Watch out! EEL be watchin. Brew ha has!!I'm not ired, but might be whitless..

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