Folkie Phil / TUE 5-31-16 / Sheepskin boot name / Offensive football lineup / Gourd-shaped rattles / Frodo's best friend / Red Balloon painter Paul

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Constructor: Sarah Keller

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: EIEIO (69A: Children's song refrain found at the starts of 17-, 26-, 35-, 50- and 57-Across)

Theme answers:
  • E STREET BAND (17A: Bruce Springsteen's group)
  • I FORMATION (26A: Offensive football lineup)
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM (35A: Phrase on the back of a buck)
  • I LOVE PARIS (50A: Cole Porter classic from "Can-Can")
  • O HENRY TWIST (57A: Surprise ending, as in "The Gift of the Magi")
Word of the Day: A.O. SCOTT (32A: Longtime New York Times film critic)
Anthony Oliver Scott (born July 10, 1966) is an American journalist and film critic. Along with Manohla Dargis, he serves as chief film critic for The New York Times. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a sturdy, solid, old-fashioned puzzle. Again, as with yesterday's TOSSED SALAD (another old-fashioned concoction), I'm stunned this exact theme hasn't been done before. The reveal is somewhat nice. Not quite an aha moment, but definitely an 'oh, huh, neat' one. But the themers themselves aren't inherently interesting, and ... well, EIEIO is EIEIO, which is to say, one of those things you'd rather not see again in any crossword ever if you didn't have to. Here it's repurposed as a revealer, so that elevates its worth, some, maybe. There's really nothing wrong with this puzzle. Theme-wise, it was just a bit of a shrug for me.

[this is killing me]

Oh, no, wait. Sorry. One thing wrong. O HENRY TWIST? I believe that to be an entirely made-up phrase. OK, not entirely, but mostly. Everyone knows that O Henry stories are associated with a twist at the end—his name is practically synonymous with literary irony. So "twist," "irony," "ironic twist," these are all things I buy as phrases relating to O. Henry. But O. HENRY TWIST I do not buy. The very fact that you had to put an O. Henry story in the clue tells me that it is not a real thing. If it can stand alone as a [Surprise ending], then you don't need the story title, but you do, because it can't. It googles poorly and many of the hits you get add the word "ending" or are otherwise inexact. I see one google books result that says "many critics refer to the sudden, unexpected turn of events at the very end of a story as “the O. Henry twist." There's no footnote on this assertion, however, so I call baloney. It's just not a stand-alone phrase. Not. Veto. I would support OH HENRY TWIST as some kind of modernized version of the candy bar. Like Reese's Sticks. Only Oh Henry. And ... in some kind of twist ... shape.

  • 22D: Globe shape: Abbr. (SPH.) — one of the few clunkers in this grid, which is really very nice overall. Gets a little rough in the SE, and there's an ILSA here and a LBO there, but lots of solid, vivid, interesting answers throughout kept the short stuff from hurting too much.
  • 44A: Gourd-shaped rattles (MARACAS) — had the -AS and wrote in ... CASABAS!
  • 31D: Reporter's contact (SOURCE) — the most elusive answer in the grid for me, for reasons unknown. I had SOUR- and ... no idea.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. my friend Mike Dockins asks "MISERS / SAM??? That gives you SAM and SAME in the same corner. Why not MISERY / YAM"? I have to agree. Why *not* MISERY / YAM. . . MISERY / YAM 2016!

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


kitshef 12:18 AM  

Simply unbelievable that this would be submitted/accepted for a theme. How @Rex failed to utterly savage the theme escapes me.

Putting that behind me, reluctantly …

Very easy overall, with the huge outlier of AOSCOTT. Also no fond of the the crossing of MTIDA and IRA. If you’re going to have so few hard things in your puzzle, (as is appropriate for a Tuesday), don’t cross two of them. Cluing IRA as retirement vehicle would have solved that problem.

Loved KLEE and MIRO in the puzzle.

Also, many constructors could take a real lesson on PPPs from this puzzle. Rather than getting bogged down in one era, it floats easily from (the original) King Kong and Casablanca, to When Harry Met Sally and Seinfeld, to Adele and LGBT.

But that theme ...

jae 12:27 AM  

Easy-medium for me. Pretty clever Tues., gave me a chuckle, liked it.

Ellen S 1:50 AM  

I'm pretty sure my mother used to refer to the specific ironic endings of O. Henry stories as "the O. Henry twist." I filled it in like I had heard it all my life. Although I probably haven't heard it since my mom died, but still.

The rest was easy, too.

aging soprano 2:38 AM  

Yep. Easy again. Too heavy on the proper names for my taste. But I like KLEE and MIRO symmetrically opposite one another. Now I think I will just get back to my COMPOSED SALAD. Yummy

aging soprano 2:43 AM  

YIKES! Forgot to mention. UGGS ought to pay the N.Y.Times for the free advertising. Two days in a row. Bad timing, though, just before summer. Probably on SALE. Oops. That was yesterday.

Aketi 2:51 AM  

My personal definitions:
CASAVAS (yes there are many types): A root, promoted by agroeconomists merely because it can be grown in completely depleted soil and it survives most any pest. In many areas it displaces other staple foods that are far richer in protein and you often see a higher prevalence of kwashiorkor (the kids with the swollen bellies and cracked skin) in areas where it is grown. Due to ithe high thiocyanute content in some varieties (even after three days of soaking) in interferes with iodine uptake and you see a high incidence of goiters and cretins. Also now popular in chip form as some sort of healthier replacement for potato chips. Just goes to show that a little salt and oil can turn almost anything into a popular snack food and label it healthy even if it is devoid of nutrional value. Pests are clearly smarter than humans.

CASABAS: how some Spanish speakers might pronounce CASSAVAS. But it is NOT the nasty tasting root I had to eat for two years, it's the often tasteless melon (along with honeydew) that is chopped into cubes before its sufficiently ripened that you have to pick out of the fruit salad at buffets. I assume that, like honey dew, they actually taste better if you ever manage to eat one appropriately rippened. Too big and too soft to make a maraca.

MARACAS: those cute little noise making rattles I bought in Mexico for my brothers kids just the annoy him. The gourds used to make maracas are probably too hard to be tasty. But then again if the agroeconomists and food marketeers get inspired maybe they will end up as the next new "healthy" snack trend at Starbucks.

Loren Muse Smith 4:46 AM  

Hah! Weird solve for me – my first entry was IKE then TSO. So even though I try not to let myself see the reveal too early, I couldn't miss it – put in EIEIO and then, I swear, went in and filled in every single themer. I bet I'm not alone on that. My only hesitation was I FORMATION because I prefer the standard T formation myself; I'm old as dirt, and back then I couldn't pass worth a flip. We had some beastly blockers and some pretty good running plays that afforded me several options most of the time. Can you tell I've been on Google because I don't wanna face my day today? Two days left of school – facing classes of kids who are done. Done.

My Aunt Maryon gave me a pair of MARACAS when I was in elementary school, and boy howdy I delighted in knowing what they were and using the word whenever I could and patiently explaining to my friends exactly what the deal was. I was careful about who I allowed to handle them.

I didn't know A. O. SCOTT and tried to make a dumb version of Shalit fit, thinking I never realized his name ended in OTT and wondering if he had been made fun of as a kid and then realizing "shallot" was spelled differently – all these thoughts as I ran out of room and figured out I was wrong anyway.

I wandered around the house yesterday wondering if, in the spirit of cloud – cloudy, blood – bloody, you could make MISER – misery work. I never liked working for that non-profit. You couldn't turn around without running in to a tightwad. (HAY, @Dr. Bain – spared you that stretch.)

You sure can't pluralize MOTIF with a ves, can you?

How can I not congratulate the TAR Heels on both their wins over the Terps for the national championships in lacrosse.

Perfect Tuesday puzzle. I don't agree with Rex, though, on not seeing EIEIO anymore. It's silly, and I loved singing that song so much as a kid, accompanied by my maracas, that it always makes me smile.

Charles Flaster 5:48 AM  

Very similar to Rex especially the O'HENRY TWIST.
My writeovers were SPH for cir and ROMCOM for ROMedy.
Lots of CrosswordEASE--MT IDA, LBO, ILSA, and ELL.
Theme answers were overly easy but EIEIO held it together nicely.
Thanks SK

Lewis 6:36 AM  

This is a business-as-usual puzzle, a solid non-flashy ASTUTE offering that PLEASES overall. It has a dark side, with MAGGOT, ASHY, and TAR. It has a border-touching EDGE. There is the mini theme of initials, not only key to the theme answers, but echoed in FDR, LBO, SMU, LGBT, and AOSCOTT.

And... it has a phrase I love and learned as a kid from The Wizard of Oz. The quote, from the Wizard himself toward the movie's end, is as follows:

Wizard of Oz: They have one thing you haven't got: a diploma. Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitartus Committiartum E PLURIBUS UNUM, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of ThD.
Scarecrow: ThD?
Wizard of Oz: That's... Doctor of Thinkology.

Glimmerglass 7:28 AM  

@Ellen S. I had exactly the same experience. My father, who was born in 1899, used to talk about a weird event in our lves as an "O. Henry twist." O Henry was his favorite writer. The phrase is most definitely a thing, no matter what Google says, Rex.

chefbea 7:39 AM  

Easy puzzle except for LGBT and LBO...what do thee letters stand for???. Didn't like having A.O.Scott in there...wasn't one of the themers - and it started with an initial.

QuasiMojo 8:04 AM  

I enjoyed doing this puzzle but I was underwhelmed by the EIEIO theme. As I've said before, the Times puzzle is leaning much too heavily on these contrived themes! Enough already. Why can't a simple puzzle that is well-constructed stand on its own merits? Why does it need a "Will Shortz Twist"? :) Plus that Old MacDonald song has been getting way too much air time here. As for A. O. Scott, he's good but I long for the days when the movies these reviewers review were actually worth reviewing. No wonder Janet Maslin moved over to the Book section.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

Rex, that John Lennon video slayed me. Thank you for posting! (Oh! Yoko! Is on the soundtrack to Rushmore, one of my top 5 movies of all time).

kitshef 8:28 AM  

@chefbea: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leveraged Buy-Out

jberg 9:23 AM  

I had the same reaction as @chefbea to AO SCOTT. I also didn't like to have LBO (leveraged buy out),LGBT (lesbian-gay-bi-trans) and RKO sharing the grid with EIEIO. Oh yeah, SMU also. I guess you could say that EIEIO doesn't stand for anything, and all those other letter groupings do, but I think it muddies the theme.

What I did like was thinking while I was solving that the repeated use of E and I showed a lack of imagination, then realizing that it was intentional once I got to the revealer.

Most sonatas I've played end with a gigue, so I'd have preferred a "possibly" in the clue for 51D. But despite all that, I enjoyed the puzzle!

Concluding musing: SAM (67a) is Frodo's servant, and calls him nothing but "Master" or "Mr. Frodo." They also love each other, and Frodo treats him extremely well, but are they best friends?

Roo Monster 9:40 AM  

Hey All !
Easy-ish with some tough spots. Got LBO on crosses, but a WOE. Kind of an odd grid, we got 42 Blocks (high), and 25 threes, with only 6 of them Across. And M&A's U's all in the North.

Really wanted MT edNA, but a square short. Where the heck is MT IDA? And why isn't it used more? Also wanted I LOVE PAsta! YIKES!

Comment on all the "What the hell is Will Shortz doing running all these sub(put negative here) puzzles?" Well, my theory is he runs whatever theme tickles his fancy. If it's a good theme, and gets rejected, it's just that particular day when maybe he's had a rough morning, or some such. If he sees the theme and thinks, "That's neat!", then in the queue it goes. At least that's what the ole brain has come up with...


Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:41 AM  

LGBT is a bit outdated. It means Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered. But nowadays they use a much longer string of letters, adding, I don't know, QUQ? Queer, Uncertain, Questioning?

I shouldn't say this, in the interest of healing the nations wounds and rifts, but I personally liked having the George W. Bush clue crossed by MAGGOT.

Does anybody use OARED to mean rowed?

Played a Memorial Day concert in the rain yesterday with 17 people in the band, 8 in the audience. Apropos of nothing.

Nancy 9:49 AM  

SKYY is my house vodka (quite nice and cheaper than many other brands).
so that was easy. In fact, the whole puzzle was easy, but not as easy as other Tuesdays I've seen. I liked E PLURIBUS UNUM and OHENRY TWIST. Liked the clue for COP (43D). A pleasant puzzle.

@QuasiMojo (8:04) -- Loved your comment on AO SCOTT and why Janet Maslin felt compelled to switch to book reviewing. I don't know you well from the blog, but I feel from your comment that we might be kindred spirits. (Maybe kindred ages, too?) I often have those same feelings about contemporary movies -- very few of which I see. My "they don't make 'em like they used to" sentiments were enhanced last night when I spent all of 30 minutes with the ROOTS re-make on TV. I had loved the original and was completely hooked by it -- along with tens of millions of other people in 1977. This re-make seemed like an action flick -- full of frenetic violence and wall-to-wall action sequences and chases on foot and horseback -- all of it quite exhausting. I clicked away from the channel for one episode before it happened, as it looked as though it would be particularly horrifying and graphic. I left the new Kunte Kinte on a boat bound for America, never to return. I'm talking about me, not about Kunte.

GILL I. 10:05 AM  

Wow...tough crowd today.
I'm impressed that Sarah Keller got this puzzle to work as well as it did. When I finished, I looked at the construction and thought dang, she got all the EIEIO's in just right. None of them crazy silly, and practically no dreck.
MARACAS always reminds me of Ricky Ricardo, the king of the babalu.
I learned E PLURIBUS UNUM when I first came here. My first "cute" boyfriend showed me how to balance a shot glass with a dollar bill and then there was the "find the owl." How do YOU pronounce the first E ?

Joseph Michael 10:56 AM  

Nice and easy Tuesday. Only time I felt briefly stumped was when I was trying to figure out an "informal" pronoun that ended in ALL before I realized that the vodka was SKYY not SKYE.

Yes. EIEIO seems to be the puzzle's favorite vowel progression, but I liked the way it was integrated into a theme. No problem with O HENRY TWIST, though I have usually heard it referred to as an "O. Henry ending."

Seems to be an underlying musical MOTIF with at least ten entries related to music, from classical (MAESTRO) to folk (OCHS) to pop (HELLO) to religious (AVE Maria), not to mention the themer E STREET BAND.

old timer 11:06 AM  

Would have been faster for me if I had seen the witty clue, "Joan of art". For some reason I thought the clue for that space was "like a barbecue pit" and was looking for something like "miry". Ended up with MIRO of course and hoped to have it all explained here.

The clue "surprise ending" calls for an "O. Henry twist" ending. It's a kind of ending, @rex. Never intended to be a standalone phrase. You could clue "ending in "Sleepless in Seattle" and other chick flicks" as ROMCOM if you wanted. I always cry at the end of a ROMCOM.

RAD2626 11:16 AM  

I thought the theme was fine given the stand alone first letters. Thought O'HENRY TWIST was a bit of an outlier. Tough to find acceptable alternative that fit. Only one I thought of was O TANNENBAUM. Would prefer O SOLE MIO but too short.

Nice Tuesday.

Nancy 11:41 AM  

@Mohair (from yesterday) -- Three successive comments of yours I neglected to respond to:

10:53 am -- But I already told you that Jews Don't Camp. (See song on YouTube.) Except for @Leapfinger, it would seem. See her comment, I forget what time.

11:05 am -- Actually, a Trump ERA could be very, very short. Especially if his new BFF, Putin, were to say something disparaging about his golf course, his wife, or his hair.

12:36 pm -- I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

Z 11:51 AM  

Based on @Glimmerglass and @Ellen S it seems O HENRY TWIST was a thing before color TV, so certainly before Google. My reaction was the same as Rex's, "Huh?"

I finished this in an easy time for me without trying to rush (sub 7:00), but there sure is a lot of Pop Culture, Product Names, and Proper Nouns considering the Kiddie theme. 31/78 for Steph Curry 3-Point shooting percentagesque 40%.

The PPP List

SAM Gamgee

ICE Palace
MRS Doubtfire
IRA Glass
AVE Maria

Geoffrey Boltach 12:00 PM  

LBO = leveraged buy out (borrowing money to buy company) and LGBT = lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender (sexual identities)

Teedmn 1:12 PM  

This must have been a personal record time for Tuesday, 5:41 today. I've been working my times because I'm signed up for the Minnesota Xword tournament June 12th. My very first entry was my one writeover, "see ya" before I'M OFF. I figured out the theme early on and enjoyed having the A.O. SCOTT entry giving me a smidgen of doubt, for the sake of keeping it interesting.

And I had no issue with the O. HENRY TWIST, with the T of STYE giving it up right away.

@Aketi reminds me of a salad I ate this past weekend of rather firm Honeydew melon. The freshly grated pepper and generous amount of lime juice made the melon's non-ripeness a non-issue. Yum!

Thanks, Ms. Keller, for giving me hope that I can be a contender :-).

chefbea 1:14 PM  

Thanks all for splaining those'd think I would have known here in NC

QuasiMojo 1:29 PM  

@Nancy, thank you for your comment! I am new to the blog. Yes, I am old-fashioned when it comes to movies. I like characters, not action. Sometimes you get both, which is great. So many remakes nowadays seem to forget that character development comes through good screenwriting, not just "acting," or being active.

Dick Swart 1:39 PM  

A very pleasant Tuesday morning! It's off to work we eieio!

Aketi 1:41 PM  

@Chaos, enjoyed your attempt at classifying types of solvers
@Nancy and Lobster, really enjoyed your responses to the attempt
I don't think anyone mentioned procrastination as a potential motivation for doing crossword puzzles, I solve puzzles to delay getting up in the morning, working on taxes, doing laundry, etc. So I have zero motivation for speed solving,

@Nancy, I got SKYY and I don't know why because it's not our house vodka. I didn't even know the name of our house vodka because it's only used to compensate for the ineffeciency of the so called high efficiency washing machines in our apartment which are totally inefficient at getter nag rid of the mingled teenage boy odors from the sweat of Lacrosse practice and Axe deorderant. Vodka spray before washing does the trick. Pretty good at deterring our cats from fighting too.
FYI. My Jewish sister-in-law also named Nancy abides by your rule. She does NOT go camping. She goes trekking and is way too hard core to set foot in a KOA campground. She plays racket ball, not tennis.

@Rex, another reason why I do crosswords is to avoid being tempted by Facebook, particularly the discussion groups for my profession. I swear to you I have never seen more viscous word wars anywhere else. When I saw your O'Henry bar with the Nestle logo on it, I was LMAO thinking that if I were to post that photo in any one of a number of breastfeeding professional groups it might easily yield 1000 comments and the discussion would go on for month if not years with language far more vicious than anything I ever saw on your blog before moderation . I had no trouble with OHENRY TWiST, but even though I knew it was obviously and EIEIO theme I wanted the swap the HENRY with "liver"' I much prefer your sweeter solution even if you used a photo from an evil empire marketeer. :)

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

I'm always left in the dust by the far higher sensitivities of your CW palates.... I have little poor power to add. Usually Thursday-Sunday are a google fest for me.

This was a google-less one for me, and had a touch of the ultimate CW pleasures (for me anyway)... which are 1)when you put it down and come back a bit later, you see the answer! 2)When you correct a wrong answer upon returning... for me I had MGM for 64-Across, the STUDIO that made KING KONG, but updated to RKO.

The LGBT got me... initially had RoyGBiV (RGBV) for some silly reason, an odd mashup, and no idea about LBO. Fixed on the final check when the app told me I had mistakes.

Leapfinger 3:36 PM  

Wasn't it Helen said "I LOVE PARIS'? Sure made Sparta cuss.

Which reminds me: When I had the last 3 letters of 44A, I thought that entry was going to be BAROCAS. Hi, @George!

Like @aging soprano, I thought the symmetry of KLEE and MIRO very artful. Didn't like having AO's initials there --too bad his name wasn't AL -- but thought it fun to have STYE in the SKYY instead of the same-old same-old PYY. YIKES after TWIST also sounds like the right time for a YELP. What was the name of that 'burn' you got when someone twisted your arm in the schoolyard?

Enjoyed the kiddy theme: good prep for my second childhood.

Aketi 5:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leapfinger 6:37 PM  

@Aketi, in your exposition of CASAVA, you forgot to mention tapioca, which I'll agree provides no socially redeeming value, but Oooh, oooh! you forgot manioc, which can be made into farofa which, (properly prepared) adds a whole new level of ecstasy to your feijoada. Boy howdy, that'll kick up the Brazilian in your jiu jitsu!

old timeer 7:03 PM  

My favorite dessert when I was a kid was Jello's chocolate tapioca pudding. Kept making it into my 20s when it seems to have expired. I still miss it.

Aketi 7:19 PM  

@Leapfinger I can always count on you among the group of ETERNAL OPTOMISTS that give me a whole new perspective on how to look at a word that I eye with suspicion, mistrust, dread or hate and turn it into delight. Manioc is the same thing as cassava and while tapioca pudding may not be redeeming, it sure does taste good, As for the feijoada with farofa in it, the description of it sounds so good I'm definitely putting that combo on my bucket list of things to try before I die and perhaps before I enter a Jui Jitsu tournament.

Im not sure however if you can turn around my total abhorrence of MAGGOTS after some of my direct experiences with the little squirmers during my Peace Corps days.

Mohair Sam 7:48 PM  

No problem with the revealer today. O. Henry stories have a TWIST at the end, that's why we read them, don't care a whit about it googling poorly - and I loved the silly EIEIO theme too (it is a Tuesday, isn't it?). So there Rex.

@Lewis - Love that moment in "The Wizard", great stuff - thanks for posting.

@Nancy - Allan Sherman, Camp Granada.

Z 9:36 PM  

@jberg - Sam Gamgee, is Frodo's gardener. Servant is not quite apt. Also, from the Shire to Rivendell to Mordor there are several examples of Sam's friendship and loyalty. Best friend is perfectly apt.

Leapfinger 10:08 PM  

@Aketi, I'll tell you, the last time I ate tapioca was the first time I ate it; didn't like the feel of little globules sliding down the gullet. Same goes for eating tongue; my papillae didn't want to touch other papillae. So that's two things haven't changed since I was 4 yo. But trust me on the farofa: it's just one of the many wonderful things that aren't good for you.

Don't know if you saw my comment about KOA, and not sure if it even published, but I'm another Jew that camps. Have to say one of my finest moments came when camping on the OuterBanks one February -- of course, no sane person does that, but there were 3 or 4 other tents out there besides ours, honest. Anyway, in deepest night, a heavy rain started, the flysheet and tent roof were sagging with water and two teenyboppers were in hysterics as everything that wasn't sagging was flapping and the tent obviously had only minutes left of any useful life. Pushing off the water and securing the tent pegs wasn't going to be enough, so I took the tire-iron from the trunk of the car and made it into a deadman to hold the guy-line securely. And in the morning ours was the only tent still standing. Yasss!!

Forgot to say I loved the bit about 'viscous word wars'; was staring at that and thinking of 78rpm records playing at 45rpm. Yasss, that old!!

Chaos344 4:13 PM  

Excellent puzzle, but pretty easy for a Wednesday? I had no idea about the theme, but blew through the fill so fast that everything pretty much filled itself in. Did anyone else have CIRCUSFLEA before CIRCUMFLEX?

Well, its that time of year again. My junior sibling SAIDAH is home from college and ready to start her summer routine. She's been surreptitiously writing in her little book all morning. I keep asking her, "What's in the DIAERESIS?" but she just smiles enigmatically. LOL.

This afternoon she'll want me to drive her and her little dog REN to the ocean again, so she can LAYBARE in the sun and do another SLO broil. She could SPEND all day that way, though ILE never fathom how she stands it. Sometimes I wonder if she's SANE? SAIDAH slathers enough cocoa butter on her body to CURACAO! REN waits patiently until she is finished, then HELIX it all off! Wash,rinse and repeat. SAIDAH might as well us bacon grease.

ASU might imagine, I DRED these little excursions. I know, I know! Its 2016. SPINACH any way you like, but are USAIN I'm somewhat over-protective towards my baby sister? Maybe I am, but ILE get over it INTIME?

My sister's choice of beach apparel is appalling! She wears those over-sized flip-flops and trips constantly. Once she FELON her AXE! I laughed TILDE I cried! She got really MAD.

SAIDAH has the skimpiest string Bikini you have ever seen! It barely covers an INCH of her rear END. Its actually nothing more than an ASGARD, but I guess it keeps the sand out of her ANO? At least the bottom half covers the front much better. The sight of her OYSTER would Rockefeller!

Funny part is, SAIDAH never goes in the AGUA. She says she doesn't feel comfortable in a DIPPEDTHONG?

The top half of the Bikini is just as bad. The CIRCUMFLEX of her DEE cups requires a goodly amount of fabric, but SAIDAH has no SHAME when it comes to displaying ALLTHEBEST parts of her anatomy. Her dynamic DUO is definitely exhibit A. ISEE the guys drooling and I SORTA feel sorry for them.

It's possible I'm being a little hard on my sister? Her last boyfriend BJORK, BLEWIT when he refused to exhibit more sound judgment about the constant admonitions of his reckless driving.

To be continued:

See part two.

Chaos344 4:52 PM  

BJORK drove his Ferrari over the railroad bridge on Sagg Road in Bridgehampton, New York at 140 MPH. The bridge is narrow and excessively pitched. BJORK and the Ferrari became airborne! Both came down on a triangular cement guide post. The post penetrated the chassis, and the AXELROSE through the floor boards. BJORK lost his left CEDILLA, and his right CEDILLA was hanging on by a scintilla! My sister only survived because she was eating a GRANOLA bar at the exact second the airbag deployed. Her forearm and massive D-Cups protected her from penetration of deadly flying debris! She still has some serious scars!

O.K. Most of you have figured out that most of this is fantasy, and some of this is truth. Its really not important as to which is which.

Larry 12:28 PM  


Burma Shave 10:12 AM  


her MOTIF’S an “I”FORMATION, it PLEASES her to be “manned”.


spacecraft 11:34 AM  

DNF. That's right, on a Tuesday--and I even did the NW! But ran into serious trouble soon after. Had no idea who the Times guy was ending in -OTT. See, this is the problem with these puzzles. They assume the solver is a New Yorker, born and bred. RAGU and MOBS seemed natural, but I could make no sense of the acrosses. AO-something-OTT? _GB_?? What's a rainbow flag? Ya got me. But it was in the middle west that I gave up. I did not know a SINGLE ENTRY, either across OR down, in that whole section. Apps have names? Not an Adele fan (or, for that matter, a fan of any "music" post-17-across), I don't know the titles of any of her songs. Now that I see the completed grid, I see I never would have gotten that vodka brand with the two Y's (?). I mean, I've seen naticks before-but an entire natick SECTION?? Forget it. I expected an easy rating from OFL; he's a New Yorker. Me? No chance. On to tomorrow.

Sailor 1:08 PM  

I cringe when I see “oar” used as a verb. Yes, I know this use is unaccountably sanctioned by many dictionaries. I can only conclude that the editors of those works are hopeless landlubbers.

RONDO 1:44 PM  

HAY, HAY! A coupla RONs in the past week and now a full RONDO! And a correct usage of TAR! What’s not to like? Maybe that ink blot where I had CRass before CRUDE. And a lack of yeah babies save for the Ingrid Bergman clue for ILSA.

I’ve seen The Boss with most of his ESTREETBAND, Max was missing if memory serves. Clarence was not. Serve me up some more of that, MAESTRO. Better than a STUDIO recording. “Hand me that MIC,RON.”

Saw the gimmick after the first two themers and was wondering how they’d get that O in there since we recently had O, Pioneers. But YIKES, 21 3 letter answers. Again? The top and bottom 3 lines are almost nothing but. Should be TABOO. But RONDO going down should make half of us happy.

leftcoastTAM 2:33 PM  

I'm impressed by all the music-related ideas and MOTIFS scattered throughout this puzzle:

Of course the EIEIO revealer and two themers, ESTREETBAND and ILOVEPARIS, but also the TWIST at the end of OHenry.

Then there are RAG in ragu, AVE Maria, SKA in Alaska, as well as TRIO, MARACAS, MAESTRO, and last but not least, our own syndilander, RONDO.

Probably others have uncovered most or all of these, too, but I enjoyed the hunt on my own.

leftcoastTAM 2:39 PM  

Oh, I missed Adele's HELLO, maybe others coded into this thing.

leftcoastTAM 2:53 PM  

Now more popping out: Ron OCHS, the protest singer, and ICE(T), the rapper, if I many add a letter.

That's all (I think).

rain forest 3:42 PM  

Hey, a shout-out to @Rondo! Huzzahs all round.

Another easy puzzle which put an O HENRY TWIST on EIEIO. Not bad. Question about vodkas: is there really a difference? I only ever use vodka to make a Bloody Caesar (only in Canada, eh?) which I guess is similar to a Bloody Mary which I've never had. I really don't think it would matter which vodka you'd use to make one of those, and nobody I know drinks vodka straight. So, what's the deal with Grey Goose? Sort of a Whole Foods vodka, I guess. SKYY seems to work just fine.

I loved Phil OCHS back in the day. Actually, same with The Boss, but after NEBRASKA (great), he's just OK.

A little surprised at the number of commenters who seem unaware of rainbow flags and LGBT. Very big in Canada. A quip from Bill Maher: "what's with all this gender stuff? You got lesbian, gay, bi, trans gender, and now Bruce Gender."

@leftcoastTAM - you left out STUDIO.

Diana,LIW 4:32 PM  

My solve was interrupted several times by cats shoving the puzzle away and insisting on being lap cats. With the interruptions, I never did see the theme until the end.

Didn't know the film critic, tho I see on BB's blog that he did fill in on TV for Ebert at times, so I guess his name is well-known beyond NYC. Still... But my ASTUTE crossing skills got him filled in properly.

Hey @Rondo, seeing your name was a real OHENRYTWIST after my appearance yesterday.

Lots of articles recently about pride parades this last month, so LGBT (w/o the Q?) has been in the news. Saw a rainbow flag on a flagpole yesterday next to Old Glory. EPLURIBUSUNUM indeed.

ILOVEPARIS too, and am looking forward to an upcoming short trip to the Paris of the west. YIKES - better run - have packing to do.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 4:54 PM  

Okay, let's stretch this to the breaking point if we're not already beyond it:

SAM Cooke, King of Soul, and his great "You Send Me" among other favorites.


RONDO 7:33 PM  

Take off the MT. and add a Queen for IDA and we're in Zydeco land.
There are so few days I can enter my moniker in capitals.

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