Ankle bones / MON 6-6-2016 / Six-time N.B.A. champion Steve / "N.Y. State of Mind" rapper / N.Y.C. airport code

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Annabel Monday and I have some important news to report: I AM NOW SLIGHTLY LESS TIRED!!!! Because it's summer and I finally got a vacation...for two weeks before I started my summer class. Sigh. Oh well.

Constructor: Mary Lou Guizzo

Relative difficulty: Hard enough that I thought I clicked on the wrong puzzle by accident!!

THEME: REDUNDANT — Each and every theme answer was a redundant and superfluous multiple-word phrase. ;-)

Theme answers:
  • FIRST BEGAN (11D: Started)
  • END RESULT (17A: Outcome) 
  • HEAD HONCHO (29D: Top dog)
  • TWELVE NOON (36A: Midday)
  • REVERT BACK (43A: Return to a former state)
  • REDUNDANT (61A: Like 17-, 36- and 43-Across as well as 11- and 29-Down)

Word of the Day: TWYLA (28D: Choreographer Tharp) —
Twyla Tharp (/ˈtwlə θɑːrp/; born July 1, 1941) is an American dancerchoreographer, and author who lives and works inNew York City. In 1966, she formed her own company Twyla Tharp Dance. Her work often utilizes classical musicjazz, and contemporary pop music.
From 1971 to 1988, Twyla Tharp Dance toured extensively around the world, performing original works. In 1973, Tharp choreographed Deuce Coupe to the music of The Beach Boys for the Joffrey BalletDeuce Coupe is considered to be the first crossover ballet. Later she choreographed Push Comes to Shove (1976), which featured Mikhail Baryshnikov and is now thought to be the best example of the crossover ballet.
In 1988, Twyla Tharp Dance merged with American Ballet Theatre, since which time ABT has held the world premieres of 16 of Tharp's works.
• • •
Oh my gosh why was this puzzle so hard? I hardly got any Across clues on my first try, and some of the clues were worded pretty strangely. Wouldn't you think "how kids are grouped in school" would be GRADE instead of BY AGE? And the only ankle bones I've ever heard of are the fibula and tibia -how is FARSI right? Ah well. At least that meant we got some really choice words, like TORERO,  and LUCRE - and STY, which pretty much describes my room at all times.

Funny thing about the theme: Before I really looked at the theme clues, I thought it was going to have something to do with the word "on," because of ONTO, TWELVE NOON, LIGHTS ON, and HAS ON. But as it was, the redundancies thing was pretty cool - and it gets points from me for using Down answers as clues, I love puzzles that do that! I prefer oxymorons to redundancies, though. Jumbo shrimp, anyone?

  • SOX (69A: Chi-Town team) — As a sort-of Massachussite, I am VERY offended. The White Sox are not nearly as cool as the Red Sox. I bet Mary Lou Guizzo is a darn Yankees fan! - or she just didn't want to have to spell out "Sawx."
  • THE NERVE (4D: "What gall!")  — The nerve of that guy and his driving eyeballs!
  • ALTOS (56A: Voices above tenors) — I swear, I have read the word "alto" or some variant of it in every. Single. Puzzle. Do puzzle constructors just hate sopranos and tenors and basses or something? 
  • ATALANTA (41D: Maiden who raced Hippomenes, in myth) — So, time my high school theater put on this super-artsy interpretation of Jason and the Argonauts, and I was Atalanta. And, well, I guess this video speaks for itself.
Let's see...that about wraps up this week, nothing else to say here. JUST KIDDING!!! I made an awesome friend the other week! Her name is Emma Howey, and she's a really cool recent Wellesley grad, and I want to give a shoutout to her for being super cool, as well as to her awesome parents Leslie and Jim for being fans of Rex and of Annabel Mondays. Apparently they call every first Monday of the month "Annabel Monday", so like, it's totally a thing now. Not that I'm a celebrity or anything.
Hi Emma!!! Hi Leslie!!! Hi Jim!!! 

Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 1:23 AM  

We are on vacation in Portland visiting our friends Fred and Carrie, which means I'm solving on an iPad which I never do and so I spent a fair amount of time fixing letters I thought I had entered but for some reason didn't register or if they did it was in the wrong square. That said, it seemed about medium looking back on it.

Fine puzzle, fine write up @Annabel, liked it all.

Virginia 2:41 AM  

Annabel, I'm pretty sure you were the most fabulous ATALANTA ever to grace the stage!

FWIW, I too entered "grade" before the downs clarified that the correct answer was BY AGE. And I couldn't remember TARSI either, if I ever even knew it -- had to get that from crosses as well. I still managed to finish in pretty good time, though it involved some working back and forth in each of the puzzle's major sections. Some of the REDUNDANT answers were starting to bug me before I realized they were actually the theme!

Enjoy your vacation!!

MaryLou Guizzo 4:34 AM  

Thanks for the write up Annabel. I enjoyed your take on the puzzle and appreciate your kind words. I also enjoyed seeing you as ATALANTA. And I too look forward to Annabel Mondays!

Loren Muse Smith 5:39 AM  

Two things I've learned playing the grammar category in QuizUp:

1. those things you grab to lead a horse are REINs and the rule of a king is a reign. Almost invariably, the people I'm up against still want to spell the horse one like the king one, the way I used to. Sigh.

2. the word tautology.

A couple of months ago UNHAPPY MALCONTENT was in the grid, and some people grumbled about its redundancy. So when I snooped around online, I was really surprised to find so so many redundant phrases that are firmly in my language. The only ones I ever notice out in the wild are "at that point in time" and "still remains."

Cool to pick a list and gridify'em up to highlight an interesting semantic phenomenon.

I'm with Annabel – I think I prefer oxymorons to redundancies, too. Speaking of which, last night my son and husband were talking about the opiate addiction problem.

Annabel – always a pleasure. I'm an Annabel Monday fan, too. Now if he'd just give you the keys to the place so that the comments could get through faster…

Mary Lou – nice job.

George Barany 6:22 AM  

Yay, what a treat to have @Annabel Monday. Congratulations on completing the school year, not just to you but also to @Rex, who spent the weekend tournamenting in Washington D.C., and to me too, reporting from vacation in Santa Barbara.

@Mary Lou Guizzo charms us with the latest in a string of fun puzzles. I got the theme well before reaching the REDUNDANT reveal, and my overall solve was too fast to appreciate several delightful aspects of the fill and cluing. Now, with benefit of a more relaxed review, we can note the timely inclusion of Steve KERR, the current coach of the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, who had the good fortune of playing for the Chicago Bulls, followed immediately by the San Antonio Spurs.

The OHIO clue invites speculation of what John Kasich's state actually is, given that he was the next-to-last man (for purposes of the idiom, we'll include Carly Fiorina) standing in the 2016 GOP primaries [resist temptation to call attention to CON_MEN in today's puzzle]. Always delighted to see TWYLA (and other times, TWARP), choreographer of the fabulous "Push Comes to Shove," in puzzles. When will someone clue NAS for the National Academy of Sciences?

Left over business from Saturday's marvelous puzzle by @Byron Walden and @Brad Wilber: Hydrophilic was a spot-on clue for WATER_LOVING. The hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic insight explains everything from "oil and water don't mix" to the organizing principles of protein folding and membrane structure. The "Common Allen wrench" clue for ANGST was brilliant, and VERISMO made me think of several favorite operas beyond the two examples used in the clue.

Today's date does REVERT_BACK to remembrances of Covert Operations, 72 years ago.

Hungry Mother 6:25 AM  

A bit sticky in places, but played pretty fast.

Lewis 6:25 AM  

I have a brain that spews exclamation marks and laughs warmly when it hears redundancies, so this puzzle made it happy and delighted.

It did seem to skew on the difficult side of Monday, with words like UTILE, MINERVA, LUCRE, ATBAR, and ATALANTA. But I don't think it slipped into the "should have been Tuesday" category. It was good to see PLEA next to AT_BAR, MISERS crossing LUCRE, and a five letter palindrome answer (STATS), which I don't recall seeing too often. And there is a mini-theme of words ending in O (8).

In college I once had a lecturer who quite unconsciously spouted redundancies, truly, in practically every sentence. I think he thought that the more words he used, the smarter he came across. We the students all quietly chuckled. I don't remember his name, but I fondly remember him as "Professor Teacher".

Z 6:50 AM  

Working hypothesis on why this will play tough for some: 34% of the answers are Pop Culture, Product Names or Proper Nouns.

kitshef 7:28 AM  

Today I learned how to spell BANISTER. I suppose because of Sir Roger, I thought it was BANnISTER. That, and GOODS being strangely slow to come to me were the only hiccups.

'Two a.m. in the morning' is one I hear a lot, and it irritates me way more than TWELVE NOON, which is only 'monoredudant' (my word), rather than 'biredundant'. Meaning, if you say something is at noon, then the twelve is redundant, but if you say something is at twelve, then you need the noon to clarify. But if you say two a.m. then morning is redundant, and if you say two in the morning then a.m. is redundant.

Tariers, those adorable big-eyed prosimians, get their name from their long TARSI.

Patricia Markert 7:34 AM  

Even though I liked your video of you dancing, I was expecting to see a little Twyla Tharp. Her dances with Baryshnikov are pretty fabulous!

Roo Monster 7:48 AM  

Hey All !
Of course Annabel Mondays are a thing! I believe all us'all look forward to them! They're grrrrreat!

Agree with the crunch-ness of this MonPuz. Made you think instead of just auto-filling. Different kind of theme. I'm sure if Rex reviewed, he'd have said something like, "They're just a bunch of random REDUNDANT things. Why these? There are a million to choose from..." No offense, Rex!

Liked puz, liked Annabel's writeup. Congrats on first year of College! Congrats on being less tired! Ahh, our little girl is growing up.

ROOSTER (Obviously... :-)

AliasZ 7:57 AM  

The classic example of unnecessary redundancy is a basket of apples at a fruit stand with the sign that says "The apples in this basket are for sale." True fact. Don't thank me -- consider it a free gift.

"If you act on sudden impulse instead of planning in advance, you will encounter unexpected surprises in the future ahead" was an advice a Jewish rabbi gave me once in my past history. This closely approximates a concise summary of my beliefs, and it is the same exact advice I give my own kids.

To pile on an excess of redundancies, here is a brief excerpt, the opening overture to the opera ATALANTA by Handel.

Enjoy your Monday.

Glimmerglass 8:05 AM  

@Annabel Monday is like Christmas that comes 12 times a year. Farsi is a language. Afhors is not a word.

QuasiMojo 8:18 AM  

Great to have you back, Atalanta, I mean Annabel. How is "First Began" redundant as clued? First does not mean started.

chefbea 8:31 AM  

Easy puzzle with a great write up...I had forgotten that it was Annabel Monday

Wm. C. 8:37 AM  

@Annabel -

I feel bad about being a spoilsport here, but ....



Tita A 9:14 AM  

I was too focused on what the first or second words has in common with each other to look at each pair together, so i needed the explanatory revealer.
I sheepishly admit that I would not have noticed anyway..., more than nit...
TWELVENOON ain't redundant. When using the 12 hour clock, it distinguishes midday from midnight.

But I liked the puzzle plenty.
Thanks, Ms. Guizzo, and thanks Annabel!

John Hagen 9:56 AM  

Enjoyed the laying of Ohio and Oslo adjacent to each other. Annabel Monday does have a nice "ring" to it. Cheers.

Joseph Welling 10:14 AM  

Anonymous QuasiMojo said...
"How is "First Began" redundant as clued? First does not mean started."

I think the redundancy is in BEGAN which includes the idea of first steps or first action. That's why there is no such thing as "second began."

The same thing is true of TWELVE NOON. There is another twelve that is not noon, but noon includes twelve, so there is no noon that needs twelve specified.

the redanman 10:15 AM  

The Orthopedist in me (as always) will lodge the complaint that TARSI are more properly FOOT bones, not ankle bones.

the bones below them are metatarsals followed by phalanges
[tahr-suh s]

Word Origin
See more synonyms on
noun, plural tarsi [tahr-sahy, -see]
Anatomy, Zoology. the bones of the proximal segment of the FOOT; the bones between the tibia and the metatarsus, contributing to the construction of the ankle joint.

Only one - the TALUS - contributes to the ANKLE, surrounded by the malleoli of the Tibia and Fibula.

This constitutes rote learning as I see it by calling TARSI "ankle bones".


Thank you, resume normal operations. Apo-polly-logies offered.

Mr. Benson 10:17 AM  

"Grade" wouldn't have been a good answer for "how kids are grouped in school" because grade is a what, not a how. The clue is calling for an adverbial phrase.

Also, it's TARSI, not fARSI.

Nancy 10:21 AM  

I thought some of the answers, such as FIRST BEGAN, seemed awfully redundant. And then I found out that was the whole point. I didn't find this at all hard, but I did think it was a very cute (not CUTESY) idea.

Glad you're finally getting some sleep, Annabel.

Annabel Thompson 10:39 AM  

@ Wm. C. - Ack!!!! Thanks for pointing that out, I just fixed it because I personally can't stand typos. I must have been too tired to catch it.

Hartley70 10:39 AM  

Cue Rubber Ducky music: "@AnnabelThompson you're the one. You make Mondays so much fun!"

Great write-up that's started my week with a grin. @MaryLou's Monday is nicely challenging for the day of the week. It's a good time all around!

Z 10:46 AM  

@kitshef - what irks me about "2 a.m. in the morning" is that 2 a.m. is never part of the morning. It might be part of the night before, or just part of the night, but never the morning. Morning starts somewhere between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Yet we never ever hear "2 a.m. in the night." Why not? Why can't idiom be more exact?

Also - like the notion of "monoredundant."

Morning chores are done, so now I have time for a fuller PPP ANALYSIS

30 of 78 for 38%, much of it not aimed at the pre-retired crowd:

ASIAN clued by the Urals
Chicago's MERCantile Exchange
Steve KERR
Alan ALDA (33 years since M*A*S*H aired its final episode)
White SOX

AUTHORs King and Queen (looks like a Saturday clue to me)
Aries the RAM
ROE v. Wade
TWYLA Tharp (not old - just dance, one of our least reported on performance arts)
ERICA Jong (Fear of Flying was published 43 years ago)
KGB (25 years since the USSR stopped being the USSR)
AUTO clued via Volva and Volt
ERIK the Red

Andrew Heinegg 10:48 AM  

Annabel's enthusiasm is infectious as always. This one almost wrote itself in for me. As already noted, first and began are not a redundancy. In addition, twelve and noon are not a redundancy but rather a clarification that it is not twelve midnight being referred to. All in all, it is a good Monday puzzle for newbie solvers but lacking in snap.

AliasZ 11:03 AM  

@Tita A et al.:

Apply this simple test to any phrase: if either word adds nothing to clarify the meaning of the other, it is redundant. TWELVE adds nothing to clarify the meaning of NOON, hence it is redundant.

Here is a short list of commonly used redundant phrases that editors will reject.

kitshef 11:10 AM  

Gah! tarsiers, not tariers!

Masked and Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Movie flicks have great time references:
Not sure if they're bein redundant, or bein something else.

@Blu'bel: Congratz on losin yer froshness. Primo write-up. Hope U can stay less tired.
Methinks U could be on to something, about this bein a pretty tough lil MontherPuz. Almost seems like one could justify this as any of Mon-Tues-Wed-ThursPuz, dependin on how it was clued up. (To m&e, it played sorta like a TuesPuz.)

ATH: desperate.
U-TILE: poetic.
ATALANTA/MINERVA: feisty. I never played either of these in high school. Not sure my high school ever did anything that cultural.

Thanx, Mary Lou.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Victor 12:48 PM  

William Safire wrote a column on language and usage for the NYTimes for many years, and a prominent feature was his collection of redundancies submitted by his readers. He called those fans who submitted the "squad squad." I am continually troubled by offers which contain a "free gift".

Dick Swart 1:43 PM  

Delighted to see Minerva, our fraternity symbol, in the xword. To any other old Brothers, "Here's to the Old Lady!".

Dick Iota Deut '56

Sheryl 2:46 PM  

I found the puzzle easy, probably because I knew all the PPP immediately without crosses.

I didn't notice who constructed the puzzle when I first opened it (I do them on my phone), but when I saw the clue for ANTI, I was sure it was a woman. Went back and checked, and yup.

Mohair Sam 3:13 PM  

Tough for a Monday, but really enjoyed it. Agree with @Tita, however, that TWELVENOON is not a redundancy (I'm never sure which one is 12PM and which is 12AM, so you need to specify NOON with me).

Also agree with Annabel/Atalanta that oxymorons are more fun, maybe we'll get and oxy puzzle next Annabel Monday.

Always thought TWYLA Tharp is about neatest sounding woman's name ever. So I looked her up today and found out she was named after the "Pig Princess" at the 89th annual Muncie, Indiana Fair. Kinda kills the romance doesn't it? I hate Google.

Speaking of TWYLA, I'm sure she's seen Annabel's dazzling interpretation of Atalanta and made the call.

Charles Flaster 3:45 PM  

Loved the review.
Favorite themer was HEAD HONCHO.
Steve Kerr was a quality ballplayer and is a great coach and Cleveland's coach needs to coach them into a team!!
Thanks MLG and AT.

David in CA 3:57 PM  

@Tita: The "TWELVE" is the redundant part - if it is noon it is twelve, even if not necessarily thereverse.

But I'm wondering about HEADHONCHOs myself - are all honchos the head honcho? Is it not possible to be a chief assistant honcho?

Any one else feel like, regardless of the PPP count, the NYT puzzles now _always_ have multiple crossing names? I think this has been true for several weeks now. Today it's TAMPA/MSU, TRYLA/ALDA, ERICA/KERR/NAS, MINERVA/ATALANTA/OSLO. For a puzzle supposedly dedicated to word play sin't this kind of lousy construction?

Roo Monster 4:18 PM  

@Mr. Mohair, an easy way to remember 12pm and 12am is, 12pm (Noon) starts the afternoon, and 12am (Midnight) starts the morning.

My theory of times is blocks of 6 hours, 12am-6am= Night (Overnight, some might say), 6am-12pm= Morning, 12pm-6pm= Afternoon, 6pm-12pm= Evening. It might be able to be further cut down to 3 hour blocks, but the ole brain doesn't want to think that hard! Also, your individual results may vary. :-P


Z 4:24 PM  

@Victor - And then there are the offers for a "free gift" where one pays "just $19.95 for shipping and handling."

Z 4:30 PM  

HEY! CrossFamous Edina makes HS Ultimate news.

chefbea 4:48 PM  

Just read in our paper that a stray EMU was captured near Wilmington...not to far from us

Aketi 5:04 PM  

@Anabel, loved the driving eyeballs,

@z, for once I didn't notice the PPPs since they apparently were on my wheelhouse which almost never happens.

The ROOSTER right over TWELVE NOON must not be a morning ROOSTER. I could tolerate a late rising ROOSTER.

Richard Bynum 6:19 PM  

Bad clue! "Free rein" is when you let the horse do what it pleases. Total UNcontrol!

Anonymous 6:49 PM  

Thought I'd Have a dnf on mon (oh the horror) until I got the revealer. Started with BLT, didn't know merc,did't know the rapper but did okay with themers and crosses.

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

Very fine puzzle, medium Monday. Clean grid, nice theme, long downs were good, highlights were: the nerve, torero, Kerr, lucre, at bar, and the theme.

The theme is clean and correct (e.g. end, first, back, twelve, and honcho are all semantically redundant).

The only difficulty I came across was in the middle with Minerva, Atalanta, soave, and RE----BACK starting back at me. Took a minute to dig deep for torero, and that was that.

14 minutes on paper, about 5 minutes slow, but I kept getting interrupted -- THE NERVE!

Thanks Mary Lou!

Mohair Sam 7:08 PM  

@Alias Z - You make a lot of sense on Twelve Noon, I stand corrected. On the other hand @kitshef has a good point, Twelve can't stand alone.

@Victor - Really miss Safire's columns. Had forgotten his squad squad, thanks for the memory.

Mr Ed 9:21 PM  

@Richard Bynum - Oh, how frustratingly anthropocentric you humans are. A "free rein" leaves me in total control.

Anoa Bob 9:23 PM  

HEAD HONCHO redundant? How about this:

I walked into the shop and said to the guy at the door "Who's the HONCHO? I need a bid on some work." Guy says to me "Felipe is the HONCHO right now. He can help you. The HEAD HONCHO is Beto, but he's out of town for a few days."

Z 9:38 PM  

@Roo Monster - While people may list noon as 12 p.m., this is an impossibility. "P.M." is short for "post meridiem," which literally translate as "after midday." Noon, being midday, is not after midday. Midnight, similarly, is exactly in the middle between being before and after midday, so using a.m. is less wrong than using p.m. with TWELVE NOON but it is not correct either. Normally I'm all over this kind of nit with a descriptivist perspective. Not this time, though. The meaning of "a.m." and "p.m." have not evolved, it's only been forgotten by some.*

@Aketi - No one ever complains about PPP when it is in their wheelhouse. I started counting it when I was so certain the PPP was low I wrote something like "there's only about 7 pop culture clues" when others were complaining about a Saturday puzzle. Yep, it was totally a wheelhouse issue for me that blinded me to how much there was.

*I know. I know. But a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

mac 10:11 PM  

Slightly tough, but very good Monday! And so nice to see Annabel back, and have a visit from Mary Lou.
Great jobs, ladies!

I also miss grouchy old Safire... Ben Zimmer is wonderful, too, though.

Anonymous 11:01 PM  

My favorite oxymoron is Fashion Sense, second most favorite is Wait Service. Would love to see an oxymoron puzzle.

Burma Shave 10:35 AM  


at TWELVENOON with her head LIGHTSON for show.
ASFAR as the ENDRESULT she HASON any man,
it’s her PLEA to be HIRED as the HEADHONCHO.


spacecraft 12:35 PM  

My favorite redundancy: ATM machine. I believe they exist--in a factory that builds ATM's! Yet still...ok, enough of that.

Started right off with BLT--oops, it's the other one. Now don't start about the BLT not keeping; a simple ice pak dropped into the lunchbox gives your kid a cool lunch no matter what. Anyway, both are my co-favorites in the sandwich world, along with the good old leftover meatloaf with mayo. Finest kind!

After checking out the video, my Damsel of the Day is: Annabel! Clean fill, ASFAR as it goes, and a theme that manages to induce laughs and groans at the same time. Gonna give this one a birdie.

leftcoastTAM 1:28 PM  

Nice start to the week.

Liked the REDUNDANT theme a lot. Might have made a whole puzzle of those, and ATALANTA could have been the word of the day, especially as it crossed MINERVA.

Annabel is always a breath of fresh air, too.

rondo 1:55 PM  

@spacey – what about the PIN numbers you have to use at those ATM machines? Now there’s some REDUNDANT redundancy.

Pretty sure my TV remotes have AAAs, not the doubles. But pretty nice puz and nice to see Annabel on the BLOG.

Symmetric artistic yeah babies today. Wonder if TWYLA Tharp and ERICA Jong have ever met. That would be a boatload of creativity in the same room.

MERC will always symbolize my granddad’s cars. He only ever drove a MERC.

Like yesterday’s disk, I never remember which ERIc or ERIkA might appear, unless it’s ERIkA Eleniak. But the ENDRESULT of this puz is not bad, though the answer could be twelve midnight instead of TWELVENOON.

Diana,LIW 2:51 PM  

Although easy, it did have some difficult areas for a Monday, with ATALANTA, MINERVA, UTILE, TARSI LUCRE, STYX, and even REDUNDANT.

Noticed the redundancies right off the bat at the beginning. ;-)

A good way to start the week.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

PS - Thought the comments on the redundantness of certain word pairs was hilarious.

leftcoastTAM 6:25 PM  

@D,LIW: "redundancies", yes; "reduntantness", no. Or was that deliberate?

lctam, word usage patrolman

rondorondo 7:53 PM  

@D,LIW - Isee what you did there in that one place.
And doesn't something have to be dundant before it is re-dundant?

Diana,LIW 12:52 PM  

@lctam et. al.

"Redundantness" is a sniglet - a word that should be. Especially when a puzzle has a lot of words that repeat themselves saying the same thing. Just sayin'


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