Narnia nabob / TUE 4-12-16 / ed Euridice Gluck opera / Complete outfit for newborn / Dorkmeister

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Constructor: Alan Derkazarian

Relative difficulty: Mediumish, maybe a tad tougher


THEME: HAM ON RYE (57A: Common deli order ... or a literal occurrence five times in this puzzle) — "HAM" sits directly on top of "RYE" five times in the grid

Word of the Day: ORFEO ed Euridice" (Gluck opera) (58D) —
Orfeo ed Euridice (French version: Orphée et Eurydice; English: Orpheus and Eurydice) is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing.[1] The piece was first performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 5 October 1762 in the presence of Empress Maria Theresa. Orfeo ed Euridice is the first of Gluck's "reform" operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in both the music and the drama. (wikipedia)
• • •

Short write-up today. Busy. This one played like a very rough themeless until I got to the end and hit the revealer and realized why (in part) the whole grid was so rough. Well not all the grid. Those hyper-isolated corners in the NE and SW are both pretty clean (though I don't generally enjoy corners that you can only enter through one tiny crack). But sadly the awkward and stale tone for this one was set Right off the bat with the execrable (and, if you built your grid right, totally avoidable) 'OME (4D: Kipling's "Follow Me ___"). That's the kind of a thing (an elided word in a partial title of an old poem) that should be behind glass that you break only in case of emergencies. You never break that glass on Tuesdays. Not in 2016. Just because you've seen it in a puzzle doesn't mean it's good for your easy Tuesday. Or any day, really. Puzzle already skews passé (partials Latin suffixes and an overall stuffy vocab vibe). Early on, when you see your theme is forcing you into a -ME situation, your first reaction should be Move Some Black Squares Around so you are no longer in that situation. It's not rocket science. It's Tuesday.


This type of puzzle isn't really fun from the solver's perspective, because it's not clear what the theme is, or that there even is a theme. . . and then you get to the revealer and rather than "aha" there's just "...oh." And maybe you hunt down the five sandwiches, maybe you don't. At that point it doesn't matter. I do like that the revealer is part of two sandwiches, with both the HAM and RYE parts getting the appropriate treatment. I also liked running into Jon CRYER (19A: Jon of "Two and a Half Men") since he is the guy who turned so many into criers just over a week ago at ACPT. One of the puzzles featured an especially brutal crossing that involved his name, specifically it's central letter. The cross was, weirdly and improbably, an acceptable answer for the clue whether you put an "I" or a "Y" there. So you had to be certain of how Jon spelled his name. Many were not. I once saw Jon CRYER doing a private little dance to Culture CLUB's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," when he thought no one was looking, in the foyer of Kate Mantilini (a Beverly Hills restaurant) (Marvin Hamlish and Mike Myers were also there that evening, all of them in separate parties; Myers had on a Maple Leafs jacket) (you can see this all made an impression on me) (it was roughly 1994 at the time) (I've probably told that story before. Don't care). Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

72 comments:

Hungry Mother 7:19 AM  

C as in CRYER did me in.

Z 7:42 AM  

ATHOL Fugard to the OLSEN twins.

I'm with Rex at not much liking the two 5x7 mini puzzle, nor the middle three stacks for a second day in a row, nor the staggered, interrupted staircase stumbling down the middle of the grid. I can't help but wonder if one less sandwich would have resulted in a better grid design.

STAN and ANG but no R. E. Lee today.

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns as a percentage of answers. 33% and the puzzle plays likely unfairly for some subset of solvers

26/78, 33%
The first five across answers are PPP, 7 of the first 11. It mellows after that, but that's some serious PPP at the beginning. Starting with the downs might make the puzzle easier.

The list ( a * means it's the clue that makes it PPP):
ATHOL
SAS
ASLAN
SHAMU
TUT
CRYER
EFRON
EMERIL
TAO
STP
ALAMO
*FEATS
NIA
ANDES
ANG
OLSEN

'OME
STAN
ACCRA
AMERICA
NPR
IOC
BAHRAIN
EMERSON
MAYTAG
ORFEO

Stupefyin Jones 8:16 AM  

I would have been more impressed if the Tuesday special was pastrami on rye.
Or if the meat actually came between two pieces of bread.
Boo!

chefbea 8:31 AM  

What could be bad about a puzzle whose theme is food?? Although it WAS difficult. Had to google a bit to finish it. Of course I knew Emeril...even met him several years ago!!!

jberg 8:31 AM  

The thing about this theme is that all the sandwiches are in fairly narrow spaces, so to get the bread you need a bunch of appliances: FRYER, DRYER, CRYER ... And then SHAM and SHAMU. (Plus a bonus appliance, the longest RANGE in the world.)

OK, I guess you need to accept that to get the theme. But ... ROOTLE? I still don't believe it's a word, and neither does Dictionary.com. Is it because the pigs are French?

George Barany 8:35 AM  

We're definitely on the same wavelength today, @Rex. The puzzle by @Alan Derkazarian played fairly easy, except for all those head-scratching clues and corresponding answers that you've already mentioned. Then, all of a sudden, HAM_ON_RYE emerged (hmmmm, wonder whether that's some sort of CLUB SANDwich?), and all sorts of squares just filled themselves in. All except for ROOTLE, that is, never heard of it. FELL_FLAT, you might say.

Now, AS_FOR_ME, I'm strictly a cultural Jew, and a culinary one too. The Sunday that the ACPT ended, I headed back into NYC and had dinner with @Michael Hanko, @Mark Wieder, and my brother at this kosher deli (ironically, located closer to Third Avenue, with another branch at First Avenue).

News flash: it's corned beef on RYE ... if anything, HAM is tref.

Relevant joke: A rabbi and a Catholic priest are having lunch in a restaurant. The priest's food arrives, a scrumptious-looking ham entrée.

The priest attacks his lunch, savoring every bite of the ham. Noticing the rabbi eyeing him, he asks, "So tell me, Rabbi Goldblum, have you ever had any pork before?"

The rabbi hesitates. "Well, it's not for me to say..."

The priest pushes on. "Oh, c'mon, Rabbi. We're both men of God here. We can tell each other our sins. Nothing to it."

"Umm... well, yes, as a matter of fact, I did have pork once."

Smugly the priest teases him, "And a fine meat it was, wasn't it? Heheh."

"Yeah, I'll say."

A few moments pass. The rabbi asks the priest: "Tell me Father, have you ever had sex with a woman before?"

"Why of course... well, before I took holy orders, that is."

The rabbi smirks, "Better than pork, eh?"

kitshef 8:41 AM  

Tough Monday followed by a tough Tuesday. WoEs include ATHOL, OME (now there's a potential Natick), ORFEO, NIA Long, and MADE in the sense used in the puzzle. Not sure any of those belong on a Tuesday.

Got the revealer very early, but didn't really help with the solve. My first HAMonRYE turned out not to be one of the five. It was the H from atHOL, the AM from shAMU, the R from oeR and the YE from frYEr.

SHArk before SHAMU, ROOTup before ROOTLE (excellent word). Liked seeing BAHRAIN and EMERSON, too. And a DOFF of the hat to yesterday's puzzle with 38D.

Once went on a 'visit Santa' trip to northern Finland where the first night they made the interesting decision to serve us REINDEER meat. All the parents at our table were trying their best to suppress that fact, to no avail.

Sir Hillary 8:47 AM  

I enjoyed the theme and its double-decker construction, but there is certainly a price to pay. ATHOL right off the bat? Yeesh! ORFEO and FUL? Double-yeesh! ENDTO crossing ENL? No, thanks.

Maybe it's my error, but when I think of a WRY sense of humor, I think sardonic, not twisted. Also, given the theme, I might've clued CLUB differently.

I did like the SW and NE corners, as well as some cool medium-length fill (ROOTLE, HAYRIDE, PAYHEED, LAYETTE, FELLFLAT, SYNDROME, BAHRAIN).

So a mixed bag all in all, with the positives just winning out.

Steve M 8:56 AM  

Rootle?????????

Alexander 9:07 AM  

I thought it was kind of cheating that two of the five "ham on rye" themers came from the revealer itself

LB 9:10 AM  

The only thing good about this puzzle was that I immediately thought 'this is so fusty and Rex will agree.' And then I thought about how much I love the word fusty.

ArtO 9:11 AM  

Pretty darn hard for Tuesday, and I knew ATHOL. Wanted HARVEST for HAYRIDE which kept me from working the NW more readily. NE ridiculous with ASLAN, ACCRA and CRYER. Needed the revealer to fill it in. In total agreement on ROOTLE. It's not in Webster's New World dictionary.

Sonia S 9:22 AM  

Crossing an obscure playwright's name with a terrible stale Kipling title is kind of an ATHOL move, esp. on a Tuesday.

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

Had never heard of Jon Cryer, so Lay a bet was the life saver there. I do know Kipling, so I liked that clue. i also know Emerson and he is local to us here in Natick, so Feats of Strength and orfeo weren't fatal. Didn't like athol fugard. Athol is also a town in Massachusetts, so I kind of guessed that one. Never noticed that there was a theme. Also, not familiar with the Olsens and ang lee. I hate the culture clues.

Tita A 9:28 AM  

Hey - this was a cute idea. It was way hard for a Thursday, imo, but I don't mind that.
Who can't love learning that ROOTLE is a word?

Cute that CLUB was in there as a hint.
And that a "chef" made it in too. (Though he is just a celebrity - I don't consider someone who needs a band and a clapping audience to be anything more than a quote-unquote chef.)

And a shout-out to our own @r.alph with 34A.

Ok @kitshef - really? How sad!! I shudder to think what they do at Eastertime.

Thanks, Mr. D.

And not only did 19A do me in at ACPT (my only error in that puzzle), but it would've gotten me all over again had I not seen @lms's FB post making a sideways reference to it... Oh right - ask me if I know what the I in I.M. Pei's name stands for...

Ludyjynn 9:33 AM  

Thanks, @GeorgeB for expressing my malaise w/ the revealer clue. The incongruity of ordering HAMONRYE bemused me throughout the solve. If the clue had read 'delly' instead of 'deli', no problem for me, as that would infer a non Jewish/kosher style delicatessen. Locally, my Italian delly favorite is the rosemary ham sub, but I can't bring myself to request it served on rye bread!

Regarding the ham/sex joke, an oldie but a goodie, I'm not sure if sex is better than lobster, my favorite tref delight...it's a toss up depending on the players!

Mohair Sam 9:33 AM  

Seinfeld rules!

Talk about a natick-in-waiting: A rite from a holiday invented for a sitcom 20 years ago crossed by a Gluck opera title. On a Tuesday no less. We knew the opera and the holiday - but it has rites? (I have heard of a Fesitivus pole)

Easy to see that OFL has warmer feelings for the hideous "Two and 1/2 Men" than he does "The Big Bang Theory". Thank Heaven I knew ACCRA or I'd have dnf'd on CRYER this Tuesday. On the other hand I couldn't name any of the actors on "Theory" either.

Very much with @Rex on this one. There was a theme? And I'll parrot Steve M: Rootle???

Ben Briarst 9:50 AM  

Thursday was a slam dunk for all but me for whom it was a debacle then today wasn't too bad except three am all but staring me in the face but I couldn't rootle out the answer. Monday seemed a little tough for a Monday and I was disoriented much of the day. Thank goodness for a reality check with you guys.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:51 AM  

Tasty little Tuesday, IMHO.

But where's the mustard? ;-)

Carola 9:58 AM  

Huh. I'D I'D 've said "easy," and I thought it was fun to solve. Getting the reveal fairly early helped me find my last two (SHAM and WHAM) sandwiches. Looking back, though, I can see that my "easy" relied on "just happened to know" and that ATHOL Fugard as a 1A on a Tuesday, especially when followed by that PPP string, is not exactly an inviting entry into the grid,

I'm with @Sir Hillary in admiring those nice Downs. Loved learning ROOTLE; I think it might be something a LAYETTE-wearer might also do when hungry.

@Chaos344 from yesterday - Made me laugh!

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

As any veteran knows "piece" is not slang for a firearm. 66A

Nancy 10:09 AM  

I found this quite hard for a Tuesday and came close to not finishing the NE. I haven't read the Narnia books and when ASLAN finally, finally came in, I thought: Oh, that's the lion, isn't it? I didn't know CRYER, didn't know SAWBIT, and always say MAKE A BET and never LAY A BET. What's more, I couldn't think of what a "belt holder" might be. So the fact that I finished this section without cheating -- not even on ACCRA, which I should have known, but didn't -- is a minor miracle.

HAM on RYE is perfectly okay, but not nearly as grand as a GONDOLA on the GRAND CANAL, et al. And it might have been helpful, if I'd thought to use it in the NE. I would have gotten CHAMP and CRYER much more easily. I was glad for the challenge, though, on a rainy, dreary Tuesday when I wasn't expecting it.

Lewis 10:09 AM  

A little rhyming thing going on -- HAM/SHAM/WHAM, FRYER/CRYER, and you can throw in LAYABET/LAYETTE and STEREO/ORFEO if you're being generous. SHAMU is, of course, being phased out, so I guess they wanted to get this puzzle in while it was still accurate. The puzzle was a bit on the crunchy side for a Tuesday, a good thing, and I love the word ROOTLE. Isn't that what you do for the home teamle?

Roo Monster 10:11 AM  

Hey All !
Thought it was only HAM as the theme, as I had the revealer HAM from downs, then went looking for the other 4. Once the complete revealer was, well, revealed, I saw all the HAMs ON RYE. Wow! Tough 'un to make, constructor-wise. Made up for the couple partials in here, LAYABET, ASFORME. This puz has very little dreck for the amount of theme. Look at the SE corner. With the exception of ORFEO, all good. No problem with ROOTLE, cool looking word.

Did have to do a vowel run at ATHOL/OME. Nice long Downs, FELLFLAT, SYNDROME, AURORAS, BAHRAIN. Misread the clue for SYNDROMES as Pattern of synonyms!

So, very nice, Alan, I DOFF me hat to ya.

I DID
RooMonster
DarrinV



Wm. C. 10:15 AM  


Hey, @Anon9:26 --

My daughter lives in Natick, Church Street. And let's not forget Doug Flutie. ;-)

Trombone Tom 10:55 AM  

I'm all for HAM on RYE!

But ROOTLE? I'm not familiar or comfortable with that.

Kimberly 11:00 AM  

It was kind of fun having a tougher Tuesday. Usually the first half of the week feels like washing dishes, not a terrible chore but something that just needs to be done. However (mom said, sternly), the theme forced a lot of redundant answers, which always feel like construction indifference. SHAM/SHAMU, WRYER/DRYER/CRYER, etc. we're bad enough. But with all of those those, the downward LAYETTE/LAYABET made me raise a disapproving eyebrow. It's like the creator was so enthralled with HAMONRYE nothing else matters. Maybe designing crosswords is, like grocery shopping, something you shouldn't do when you are hungry.

Z 11:01 AM  

ROOTLE Is a Britishism apparently, and what do they know about English?

Also, delicatessen is not Hebrew or Yiddish in origin as far as I know (and Oxford agrees it seems). Delis or Kosher delis. Oxford doesn't acknowledge "delly."

GILL I. 11:11 AM  

Just a mite of a nit and I don't know why the two LAYs going down to make the HAM ON RYE bothered me. LAYABET and LAYETTE...otherwise, a decent oldy and somewhat moldy Tuesday. I'll take my RYE with pastrami thank you very much.
I think I've seen ROOTLE before. I agree it's a fun word....so is watching the pigs looking for the truffles. I think the pig or even dogs who look for them are called "trufflers." Farmers don't eat these pigs and so, if you ever come back as a pig, hope you get the French Provence farmer who turns you into a ROOTLEr....

jae 11:13 AM  

Medium-tough for me. ATHOL (which I only know from crosswords) and ASLAN (which I know from the movie and crosswords) across the top of the puzzle do not bode well for an easy Tues. THROW IN ROOTLE, the OLSEN twins, STAN, ORFEO, BAHRAIN, ACCRA...and you've got a pretty crunchy solve.

@Z confirmed my gut feeling that the PPP is fairly high for this one

Given the theme constraints this was not a bad Tues., liked it, sorta.

Martel Moopsbane 11:22 AM  

If you ain't eating Wham, you ain't eating ham!

Andrew Heinegg 11:28 AM  

I thought this was very tough for a Tuesday. I find it interesting that some bloggers keep mentioning Thursday. The problem here is that I did not find it particularly interesting. The answers that I had to suss out were ho hum to me. I just can't care that the term for looking for truffles is rootle. I think that wham is a huh? synonym for smash. Overall, it was not terrible but not fun.

Proud Mamma 11:29 AM  

Thank you on Thursday. I quit that one. This was a slug but i made it.

Proud Mamma 11:32 AM  

Slogged through this one, but finished. Ham on rye came too late to help much.

Chuck McGregor 11:46 AM  

@Chaos344: We were assigned to New London in August of 1970. So, more or less, I was just arriving while you were just leaving. We were parked at a lone dock right nearby the main gate and, if I recall, the Marine barracks. As they were the gate-keepers, we’d invite some to the ship for our much better meals. That got us a wink and a nod to leave the base whenever we wanted without the special chits required for most non-officers.*

Interesting duty as our operational command was still in Newport but most of our logistics support and *military protocol was under the sub base’s command. Being technically not on active duty for its last mission, I guess they didn’t want to have our ship to take up space in Newport amongst (or associate with?) the “real” Navy ships. It was very wrongly assumed on other ships that our crew consisted entirely of “weekend warriors.”

“The USS GEARING's last primary mission was twofold; the training of Naval Reservists on
two week active duty cruises scheduled heavily throughout her past years, and the
maintenance of her Fleet Readiness ASW [Anti-Submarine Warfare] capabilities by her nucleus crew [i.e. a skeleton crew of about 50% of normal] in the event of assignment to an active duty squadron and deployment.” As to the latter’s mission, our hand-picked crew had the ship continually at 100% readiness. As to the former mission and to ensure the latter, our training method was generally, “Watch and LEARN; don’t touch.” :>)

Like others, several naticky spots made this otherwise fairly easy puzzle not so easy. Some of those were rather obscure. The @Z PPP analysis doesn’t really address the PPP degree of difficulty. While this one’s 33% is at the tipping point, I’d say it would rank higher (at least for me) if that kind of metric were also applied.

Given the usual usage I found on Wiki et al, I think referring to ASLAN as a “nabob” is stretch for what Lewis describes as a Christ figure. Maybe some Narnia lore I don’t know as I have seen only one of the movies and read none of the books.

Juxtaposed I found these :

I once had the WRYEST of HAM ON RYE.

AMERICAN LAYETTE (not made in China)

HAYRIDE PAY HEED (autumnal roadside sign in farm country)

NERD MENACE (hacker)

DOFF, I DID (when we sang AMERICA)

OH NO! DRYER EER (damn, the clothes are still wet)

STEREO FUL DONA ([@Chaos344 2:36 PM yesterday] blonde Spanish dame with a couple of .38s – and a gun.)

STP CLUB (drink it and you may be a subject for it: Society of Toxicologic Pathology)

CLUB ROOTLE (who knew?: http://www.powerofmushrooms.com.au/mushroom-lovers-club-competition/membership/)

Cheers

PS @George Barany: Loved the “bloviated” (har) liturgical joke, but you’re bulls**ting us again ‘casue I’ll bet that didn’t really happen (har again).

old timer 11:49 AM  

Time was more Wednesdayish (over 20 minutes for me) but everything was guessable.

I'm surprised ROOTLE is not in my M/W Collegiate dictionary. I got it after I changed "feast" to FEATS and then LAYETTE and EMERSON came in to view, with WHAM confirmed by the revealer. But ROOTLE is definitely a word I've seen before.

I thought the NW corner was pretty easy, myself. ATHOL I sort of knew. My note of surprise was THREE A.M. because here in California we are told to turn our clocks back at 2 a.m. Why? The bars close at that hour. If, say, we were told to turn our clocks back at midnight, some wiseacres would insist that they had an extra hour to booze, and I suppose legally, they would be right.

Did anyone feel that "Narnia nabob" was a touch sacrilegious? I went through the Narnia books when I was 21 or so and living in England, and ASLAN was not a lion to be made fun of in any way. Oh, and having spent time in England, I always think of the "AMERICA" tune as "God Save the Queen." Confound their politics! Frustrate their knavish tricks! They don't write 'em like that anymore.

mac 11:55 AM  

Medium Tuesday here, had to back track a bit. 'Ome?? Rootle is cute, although spell check does not like it.

Yes, we need mustard. But talking about lunch, my favorite is a Reuben.

Funny to see John Cryer yet again!!

AliasZ 12:17 PM  


@GB, I was thinking more along the lines of pastrami ON RYE. The best I ever had was at Katz's, of course.

I liked LAYETTE and LAYABET. I would lay a bet that Lafayette wore a layette as a baby.

I also liked the mostly Brit. ROOTLE, frequentative of ROOT. The more you say it, the more it makes sense. Like toot and tootle, joust and jostle, nest and nestle, bust and bustle, etc.

How about a little bit of Euridice from ORFEO ed Euridice by Gluck?

Happy Tuesday!

David Glasser 12:37 PM  

Glad I managed to do ACPT-from-home before reading this spoiler! Which... Is about the one square I got wrong in the main 7 puzzles.

Hartley70 12:53 PM  

I'm with @BobKerfuffle, although I need the cheese too. Swiss or VT cheddar, please.

The theme may have been tastier than the average Tuesday, but it still gets a very easy rating.

Scenes of Cognitive Dissonance 12:59 PM  

"I do know Kipling, so I liked that clue ... I hate the culture clues."

Masked and Anonymous 1:01 PM  

Tight lil theme. Looks hard to do, tho.
@009: yep. This is why I always go lookin for the theme revealer, first; sometimes knowin the gimmick upfront can save U precious nanoseconds, in yer solvequest.

ROOTLE. har.

Didn't know ATH?L/?ME, but they're near a sandwich and I rootled em up correctly, so … ok.
Wasn't real sure on ASLAN & SAWBIT, but " " ".
Was a little iffy on DONA/NIA, but " " ".

The looong ball: Six 8-letter answers is it, includin HAMONRYE. fave: SYNDROME.
The runt ball: 20 weejects. Weeject stacks, in N & S. fave: FUL. Like M&A, its glass is over half-FULL.

fave synch-mates: SAND wich. CLUB SAND wich.

LURED = {Brought in} … ? Seems like there's one degree of separation, in M&A's mind, on this puppy. Maybe it's just m&e.

Fun. Crunchy. Munchy. Wanted some CHEESE, tho.
Thanx, Mr. Derkazarian. Recommended practice exercise: write double-?? clues for BAHRAIN.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


**gruntz**

Doc John 1:07 PM  

ATHOL on a Tuesday and not even clued to the (relatively well-known) city in Idaho? Where there's a park with world-class coasters, including the first coaster in modern times to turn people upside down (not a loop, a corkscrew, relocated there from Knott's)? Shame on you, NYT.
And Rex, "it's central letter?" Really? We've come to expect better from you.

Teedmn 1:12 PM  

Yeah, got the CRYER right off today as I was one of those DNFers on that ACPT puzzle, doing the home version. A less worthy reason to err, I cannot imagine, couldn't stand the two or three scenes I've caught of that show.

The puzzle theme was fun and ROOTLE went right in. My big writeover was at 23A, where I was thinking the REAR Admiral might be a Rank amateur so the NE was my toughest section today. And I went for the AURORAe plural so my "bunker" was not filling with SAND for a while.

Thanks, AD.

robber 1:41 PM  

Wow thanks Alan

Really enjoyed this for a Tuesday, didn't find it medium, closer to easy.

Had rooted? for 46A but 48/49D fixed that.

great quickie, thanks.

tea73 2:11 PM  

I saw the ryes, but not the hams. I knew the word rootle, though I'm not sure why, perhaps because I learned to like truffles at a young age.

Devin W 3:16 PM  

ROOTLE?? What the eff?

Chronic dnfer 3:31 PM  

Dnf'd at roothe/hayatto. Never heard of either one so just guessed. Haven't dnf'd a Tuesday in awhile. So I guess medium too.

George Barany 3:44 PM  

Wow, lots of comments on this forum, and others have been cramming up my e-mail box at work.

@AliasZ, thanks for posting the ORFEO aria. I've shared other versions with some of my friends earlier today. The role is usually assigned to a mezzo, though I found a Pavarotti rendition.

Here's a G-rated version of the ham joke, transcribed from memory as my mother told it since I couldn't find it on the internet: a Jewish soldier on the front line, whose buddy gets a Christmas ham in a care package from home. Upon being offered a share of this bounty, the Jew announces that he is proscribed by the rules of his religion. The Christian buddy asks, any exceptions? OK, under threat of death, I can violate the rules. The Christian lifts his gun and says, if you don't eat some of this ham, I'll kill you. The Jew eats, and to be honest, enjoys it very much. The Christian is getting tired, and drops the gun. No, no, the Jew replies, raise the gun, I'm still not done.

And speaking of war and guns, am I the only one who wishes that PIECE had been clued in a different manner?

Finally, @Noam Elkies wrote that @Adam Cohen once noted, for the NPL publication Enigma, that HAM_ON_RYE anagrams to E-HARMONY.

nick 3:57 PM  

Yes, got jammed up in that accra/cryer corner. Appreciated a harder Tuesday not the willfully stodgy vibe. Still, 'rootle' kind of made my day.

Anonymous 4:03 PM  

Awful, for a Tuesday. At least a Wednesday. Too many bad clues.

Nancy 4:10 PM  

@mac (11:55 am) -- I'm so glad you mentioned a Reuben, with all the talk of ham and pastrami, it's been neglected and it's my favorite too. I used to work right near the place that invented it: Oscar's, on 49th and Lex. It was very pricey, even back in the day, so I only went there occasionally. But they made the real thing: a GRILLED Reuben, cheese oozing, bread thin and toasted, with the Russian and the cole slaw -- to die for. Nowadays, what's called a Reuben is more like a pastrami sandwich -- not toasted, the components piled high, so thick you can barely get your mouth around it -- the ingredients, but not the soul. I miss the real deal terribly. Because Oscar's is gone now -- it's been gone for a very long time, alas.

puzzle hoarder 4:25 PM  

The NW corner had to be filled in from the rest of the puzzle and ROOTLE made the SE difficult. Luckily we recently had LAYETTE and it was discussed in the comments so I was confident of finally putting in the L. Another hang up that contributed to an unusually long Tuesday (20 minutes) was a DAMA/DOMA/DONA write over. Sometimes you just don't see the obvious and MIA is a slightly more common ese name than NIA.
THE NE gets things off to a tough start. I've only seen the person and place once before each. Luckily we just saw the playwright back in January so the name Fugard looked familiar. Interestingly 1D is one of the puzzle's 3 debut entries. The other 2 were LAYABET and FELLFLAT. Debut Words seem to be a prerequisite for getting published. Usually though they show up in the theme.

Norm 4:44 PM  

@Alexander : Good catch.

MattG 5:56 PM  

ATHOL crossing OME on a Tuesday is insane. I had to keep guessing vowels til I got the Congrats pop-up. LAYETTE/ROOTLE was also a weird cross for me, but... rootle is fun to say and they seem to be words, at least.

Z 6:35 PM  

@old timer - Nabob doesn't mean what it sounds like it should mean. ASLAN is definitely a nabob.

Ed 6:37 PM  

Once again brilliantly and with wit you nailed this puzzle. Bravo!

Anonymous 10:34 PM  

Old timer: When I lived in Ft Worth in the late 70s the bar I drank in did give you the extra hour when the clock turned back from 2am to 1am. I was surprised when I moved to Illinois and this practice was not in place.

Amy 8:07 AM  

more fun to maybe slow down a tad Rex and scan for the theme in this case, which then, once ham on rye is in, makes the rest of the puzzle fun to solve, a couple ham on ryes already there three more to get.

Ry 12:40 PM  

Did the clue on 31A have a misprint or am I missing something? chaise longue vs chaise lounge?

the redanman 1:43 PM  

Crap words made the difficulty elevated for a Tuesday. My least favorite toughening agent. Unimpressed.

Leapfinger 7:19 AM  

@Ry, love your nom du jour but no misprint. 'Chaise longue' is French for (you guessed it) 'long chair', and it has been commonly Franglicized into 'chaise lounge' by many non-French-speaking English-speakers.

Tant pis.

Diana,LIW 11:29 PM  

I'm leaping one quick day into the future to talk with my Syndies, and those who visit the past, to say how much I enjoyed LMS's posts about the East Coast Tourney yesterday (Mon. Apr. 4th.) Didn't it make you want to get up and go?

Well, we have another chance coming up. The Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul) tourney on June 12. George Barany will be there, as part of the crew. I'll be there, as will Teedmn and Rondo.

So. Where will you be? Languishing at home, or romping with your fellow solvers? Come and romp! Even if you simply watch (as I will) you will still get the puzzles to follow along with the sizzling competition.

C'mon y'all. Join up! 'Twill be fun, and looks like a lovely setting.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for you to sign up!

Z 10:56 PM  

@spacecraft from yesterday (in case you don't catch my very late reply) - Why does starting with the last across number work? There are not 69 across answers so what is that "69" actually counting? It's not counting down clues (look at 23A, for example). Is it counting only the non-double duty numbers? Then why can't I start at 63 (last down number) and do the same thing?

rondo 10:16 AM  

I SWEAR I want a SANDwich. CLUB or HAMONRYE, doesn’t matter. Had an inkling after FRYER and CRYER that something was up, but didn’t stop to look. By the time DRYER came along the reveal had been done and WHAM, SHAM, thank you ma’am. For once a Tues-puz felt better than a Mon-puz.

Toughest word? ROOTLE was brutal, almost futile to noodle.

Choices for yeah babies from 25-years-ago-on-TV-land. NIA Long back then and what the OLSEN twins grew into.

Favorite descriptive line from the book “The Right Stuff” regarding the gals at the Happy Bottom Riding CLUB – “ . . . creamy cupcakes with LOAMY loins . . .” I’d LAYABET they LURED those astronauts-to-be astray. Maybe on a HAYRIDE?

Good enough puz and as usual, MADE in AMERICA.

Z 10:45 AM  

@rainforest - LOL. Yours was one of my first email updates this morning. Always good to start with a chuckle.

spacecraft 11:04 AM  

@Z: Each entry in the grid has a number, whether across or down. Most acrosses and most downs own their number individually, but only the right-facing corner squares contain double-duty numbers, so there's a clue for 1-across and another for 1-down. Thus we add one for each. I hope that clears things up. As to why it doesn't work the other way...I'm not sure. Not really a math NERD; maybe one can explain further.

And the less room that gives me for today's comment, the better. I won't begin a litany of OHNO's in this one; I'll just say, Alan, I haven't seen your name here before, so I'll just give you one piece of advice.

Don't give up your day job.

This is one of those "others." where you can't draw enough squares around the score.

leftcoastTAM 2:41 PM  

Easy-tough today.

Easy: simple theme and most fill.

Tough: ATHOL/OME cross and ROOTLE(!),which made the SE tougher than it should have been.

For a Tuesday.

leftcoastTAM 2:59 PM  

Oops! Not a simple theme. Missed the clever placement of HAM literally on the RYEs.

Better Tuesday than I realized.

rain forest 3:33 PM  

Well, I liked this one - the theme, the slightly greater resistance and many of the longer entries. Whether they are old/musty doesn't register with me. I suppose it's good to go off on 'OME, but why? I love Kipling, though I've rarely kippled.

I actually knew ROOTLE, from my French teacher in Grade 10, where I first learned about truffles. Had a few during my vacation in France last year. Expensive, but so good! Maybe one only uses ROOTLE when talking about those pigs.

I've certainly heard of HAM ON RYE, but I can honestly say that I've never had one. I'll try it next time I'm in the deli.

Diana,LIW 3:44 PM  

Obviously the deLorean got lost again (see above comment, should have been in last week).

The puzzle:

Had a hard time warming up to this one. Z's PPP analysis deftly describes the situation that had me miffed for the first few minutes. There are towns in Mass. and Idaho named Athol. Anyone who would give this name to their precious baby boy has flunked the fit-to-be-a-parent test. Google "athol" and Mr. Fugard doesn't show up until page 4.

Once I looked up some PPP names (aka, cheated blatantly) I began to have some fun. Some. Now remember, I have fun grocery shopping, so you know I'm a cheap date.

Wryly, the revealer helped me with one RYE answer. More than once I've been called a HAM. Onesie did not fit in the space for LAYETTE. Did appreciate all the HAMs on top of RYEs (altho I still prefer Nova on a bagel), but other than that, it kinda FELLFLAT. Not badly, just, like Rex said, "oh." Altho I did like ROOTLE. Think I'll do that later at TJ's, looking for something with a truffle or two.

Laughed at Baraney's Joke. Kitshef's comment reminds us all why no one waxes eloquent about Finnish cuisine.

PIECE. Out.

Diana, Rootling for Truffles and Nova

SharonAK 9:08 PM  

@Oldtimer 11:49 (Who will probably never see this comment in syndicated time) Yes, I wouldn't call it sacrilegious, exactly, but I took forever to put Aslan in because nabob seemed so inappropriate.
I found this very difficult for a Tuesday.
But found it fun to go back and find the hams on rye.

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