Kimono closer / WED 6-15-16 / Oxymoronic purchase at blowout sale / Red card issuer for short / Hyman main antagonist Godfather II

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Constructor: Jason Flinn

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: AND ANOTHER THING... (59A: Rant continuation ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) — theme answers are common (ish) phrases that start with ordinals numbering one more thing than the customary / standard / normal number usually associated with that thing. Thus:

Theme answers:
  • FIFTY-FIRST STATE (17A: Country that's an extremely close American ally, so to speak)
  • SIXTH SENSE (24A: Special perception)
  • THIRD RAIL (36A: Power source for a subway train)
  • FIFTH WHEEL (50A: Unwanted tagalong) 
Word of the Day: FEH (29D: "Bah!")
exclamation
exclamation: feh
  1. conveying disapproval, displeasure, or disgust.

    "The greatest writer in the English language? Feh!" (google)
• • •

Neither wife nor I understood this theme once we'd finished. At first, I tried saying all the ordinals in a row, or adding them up, hoping some latent number or concept would pop forth. Then I got it. Wife had always thought the expression was "THIRD WHEEL," which is apparently a very common corruption of FIFTH WHEEL. Neither of us had every heard the expression FIFTY-FIRST STATE (and she's a U.S. Historian). I guess the theme has a certain consistency and is kind of interesting. I'm mostly hung up on the fill, which was highly displeasing in several sections. It is really irksome when the places in the grid that give you the most grief are also the places in the grid with the worst fill, and that was certainly true for me today. SOLD AS, ugh. Clue was [Billed to be] and I had SO- and could think of nothing but SO-CALLED, but that wouldn't fit. SOLDAS. Just look at it. Gah.


But worse, empirically (and for me, personally) was DIE OF / FEH. Ugh to FEH in general, but DIE OF ... well, it's terrible, but worse is the first-letter cross, 1D: In the wrong place at the wrong time? (OFFSIDE). There is no reason for the "?" there. If you are OFFSIDE in soccer, or US football, you are literally "in the wrong place at the wrong time." No "?" needed. Also, other answers fit: OFFBASE, for one (my first answer). Also, OFFSITE (my second). I finished the puzzle and was staring at "TIE OF embarrassment," and all my crosses seemed to check out and I had no idea what was going on. Now that I know it's DIE OF, it seems obvious, but it Did Not seem obvious at first. So my biggest problem was in the area with junkiest fill—this always corrodes the puzzle-solving experience for me. It's one thing not to get something, quite another to have that thing be not at all worth getting.

Spent the earlier part of this evening at a candlelight vigil for those who were murdered at Pulse in Orlando this past weekend. Very proud of how many people came out, how inclusive and pro-LGBT our (Republican) mayor was, and how diverse the speakers and the crowd were, in every way. It was sweet and sad. At one point I looked across the river and realized we were directly across from the American Civic Association, which you probably remember only if you are an aficionado of mass shootings in the US. On April 3, 2009, a man walked into that little building and shot 13 people (most of them immigrants learning English) and then himself. But no one remembers. Because it just keeps happening. And happening. Anyway, there were many speeches from many civic and religious leaders and then some earnest singing and then they played Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" and I cried. The end.

 [photo by Shannon Hazlitt]

Oh, I left out the part where, before the vigil started, the woman standing right next to me said to her mother "Let's work on the crossword!" and whipped out a book and they just went at it. Right there. Right next to me. It was slightly surreal. And yes of course I took a picture.


Bullets:
  • 37D: Hyman ___, main antagonist in "The Godfather Part II" (ROTH) — just saw this movie last month. Didn't help.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

64 comments:

George Barany 12:11 AM  

Little to add to what @Rex has about today's puzzle by @Jason Flinn ... and thanks so much for the eloquent account of the Binghamton vigil. Oh yes, there is one thing, can we please come up with a better way to clue TED than the purveyor of this?

jae 12:38 AM  

Easy-medium for me and I too had to stare at this a while to grok the theme. It wasn't as complicated as I initially thought it would be. Perhaps I've been doing too many metas lately.

That said, the theme was clever and the fill wasn't awful, liked it more than Rex did.

Unknown 12:57 AM  

We hear the fifty first state expression a lot here in Canada. As in, "let's support Canadian arts and culture so we don't just become the fifty first state." So, it's a thing, but maybe not with cluing it was given. And, it makes sense that you wouldn't hear it, unless you're riveted by our debates over CanCon or CBC funding.

lg 1:11 AM  

Easy-medium, hung up only on DIEOF/OFFSIDE. I too had OFFSItE first, along with mEH for FEH, and I'm staring at the word tIEOm wondering what the FEH? Once OFFSIDE clicked, DIEOF clicked and I learned the word FEH. Fun.

Nice write up today. It does just keep happening, and it will keep happening, until enough people here finally "get it" and it figure out. Reminds me when I used the term/phrase "common sense" to a friend of mine about the lack of common sense some people seem to have for respecting others. He straight faced told me that there is no such thing as common sense in that regard. He continued, it should be called "uncommon sense" because if common sense was real, more people would use it.

Struggling 5:20 AM  

Thanks for writing about the vigil!

Charles Flaster 5:44 AM  

Big time DNF in SW as I never rewrote BRITanY-- never thought of it.
Favorite clues were ACE and ARK.
Many contrived answers especially DIE OF.
Agree with review by Rex-- theme hard to decipher.
Thanks JF

Martín Abresch 6:18 AM  

I usually agree with you, Rex. Today is an exception.

The theme answers were consistent. The revealer was both accurate and surprising.

With the exception of FEH (which was meh), the fill was decent. I do not understand your extreme dislike of SOLD_AS and DIE_OF. I see nothing at all wrong with either answer. But here is the point to which I object most strenuously. You say: "Now that I know it's DIE OF, it seems obvious, but it Did Not seem obvious at first." You offer this as a point against DIE_OF, but, in my book, this is a compliment. Answers that are difficult to see at first but obvious in retrospect are *exactly* the kind of answers that I want in a crossword.

I thought that the theme answers placed a lot of restrictions on the fill. With two 15-letter theme answers and five theme answers total, that is 59 squares taken up by the theme. When you consider those restrictions, the fill is very good indeed (FEH excepted).

I thought that the puzzle was clued well. I liked the clever clue for OFFSIDE (In the wrong place at the wrong time?), though I agree that the question mark is unnecessary. I also liked the clues for TIRE (Oxymoronic purchase at a blowout sale?), WHEN (Not just if), and EBERT (He once asked "How far down can a thumb go?").

This is a solid puzzle. I think that it merited a more favorable review.

Loren Muse Smith 6:22 AM  

I echo @George Barany, Rex – thanks for sharing. Cool picture.

This was spot-on Wednesday level hardish. And it provided that perfectly-timed, slowly unveiled aha moment. When I finally got AND ANOTHER THING, I saw the theme. What a great idea. I love, love, love having some aspect of our language served up in a puzzle for me to chew on. Love it. I remember that we always referred to the crowd as the "sixth man" when my son played basketball.

Coupla stumbles along the way:

"bandaid" for STOP GAP
"sets" for ARTS, feeling uncomfortable that it crossed ALL SET
"seen as" for SOLD AS (Hi, Rex)
"trys out" for TRY OUTS. Hey. I was watching the latest stunningly idiotic AND ANOTHER THINGs on CNN. I feel like I die of embarrassment every day.

Got a kick out of the LARGE/CHARGE cross. Get it? I'm large and in charge, buddy.

For the "how far down a thumb can go" clue, I went straight to little Jack Horner. Dumb. I mean, no one ran around interviewing Mother Goose characters. So, ma'am, did you pay ALL CASH for that shoe, or did you have to finance it?

I had no idea that EEL could be sashimi. Hmm. I thought it was always smoked and served as sushi.

And I always say "offsides" plural. Is that akin to saying My driver's license? Sure, I got'em yesterday. Or The SATs were a bear.

Jason – really cool idea. I'm going to remember this one for a long time.

Hungry Mother 7:04 AM  

On the easy side for me for a Wednesday. I thought the FIFTYFIRST state was D.C.

Leapfinger 7:24 AM  

I always start in the NW, so will do so here also.

A. Not a good idea to start with OBI. As @Rex would say: Ever.
INFUSES not bad, but INCIRCUITBREAKERS would've been better. In a 17-square.

B. After FIFTYFIRSTSTATE, thought SIXT___ would turn into SIXTHsomething. Confusing to mix ordinals with cardinals. Figured it out.

C. AND_ANOTHER_THING: the proper language for continuing a rant is AND_ONE_MORE_THING. My opinion.
Would've done better as the reveal, also. Again, opinion

D. ALLCASH and CHARGE. Check. Cute.
EEL meets SASH, no IMI.
DENTED, inDENTED, inDENTure. Couldn't be PLAINER

E. WHEN I RAFTS, I get WET and THOR
Esp on the Gauley, Class 4

F. Back to that FIFTYFIRSTSTATE: If, as likely, that refers to the Friendly Neighbours to the North, it's apt to elicit a frosty "Oh, really?". If, perchance, to the Neighbours to the South, I doubt there'd be a hearty SI, SENOR. Yeesh

Hope I didn't REED too much out of it, but this wasn't as much In like Flynn as I expected.

Leapfinger 7:29 AM  

Dang.

That should've been SIXTYsomething.

Ben M 7:32 AM  

ANDANOTHERTHING, I don't have a SIXTHSENSE or anything and I know gun control/policy/culture is the THIRDRAIL of American politics, but in some ways we should be more like our friendly neighbors to the north, the so-called FIFTYFIRSTSTATE, where people who have the feeling of being a FIFTHWHEEL are much less likely to murder innocents.

L 7:53 AM  

So HAMAS is just a boring "middle east group", bland enough for the NYT puzzle? Am I the only one put off by not only including an active terrorist group in the puzzle (I know PLO makes the puzzle frequently, but they're no longer deemed a terrorist org) but clueing it is benignly? I couldn't even continue this puzzle. This doesn't work for me at all, particularly in a time when people are being massacred here in the name of overseas terrorist groups.

Lobster11 7:54 AM  

Gotta side with @Martin Abresch on this one. The entire time I was reading OFL's comments I found myself wondering, "But what's wrong with that?" Since when is it a bad thing that the first answer that comes to mind is wrong? If our first guesses were always right, we'd all be griping that the cluing was too straightforward. And the theme seemed perfectly fine to me.

I disagree with both Martin and OFL about the "?" on the clue 1D. It seems to me that answers to "?" clues are often literally true, in some sense, so whether the "?" is warranted depends on whether that "some sense" is unusual or surprising in some amusing way. The question mark might not have been strictly necessary, but I certainly didn't think it was inappropriate.

OFL can rant like the best of them, but even he rarely reaches the FIFTYFIRST ANDANOTHERTHING. That's one helluva rant!

Wm. C. 8:07 AM  


I won't say that those above comments that "In the wrong place at the wrong time?" needn't have the question mark.

However, the counter-rationale is this: That phrase is usually describing a tragic event, such as those in the Orlando nightclub recently. Whereas if one were asked to define "Offside," this clue would rarely be used, except in a cutesy way. Thus it's a cutesy variant to the usual sense of the phrase, and merits the question mark.

FWIW.

Lewis 8:09 AM  

@rex -- I, like @martin, liked SOLDAS, which to me is an answer with some punch. Also, thank you for your words about the Pulse tragedy.

I loved this theme, more sophisticated than most -- a brilliant theme idea and the theme answers are great. I never heard FIFTYFIRSTSTATE before, but it is perfect, and I'm guessing I'll use it in the future.

I never heard of MOM jeans, and they were fun to learn about. I liked BUILTIN and STOPGAP. I loved seeing DEER enter the ARK from the right. I observed that OFFSIDE is actually onside, and it's good to see SAT down. The difficulty level was Wednesday right, and it was a crackling good solve.

But the theme made this special for me. In a couple of ways, this is not a no-FRILLS puzzle. Thank you Jason!

Pam 8:17 AM  

I still don't get it.

QuasiMojo 8:24 AM  

I remember, Rex. :( There are countless examples. And sadly will be many more until this country gets its act together. As for the puzzle, I thought the revealer was a let-down. And seems to me that Third Rail is an outlier since it is an actual thing. Perhaps Fourth Dimension would have been better (if it could fit, but maybe it would in 4-D.)

Annette 8:32 AM  

I whipped through this in record time so was surprised at @Rex's medium rating, but I did groan over most of the fill. I thought it was a Tuesday.

kitshef 8:34 AM  

Put me in the Martin Abresch/Loren Muse Smith. I liked it.

Spend any time at all in DC and you will see 51st state t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, etc.

Third rail didn't work for me as well as the others. You hear about the 50 states, four-wheeling, and the five senses. You almost never hear anyone reference two rails.

Also not a fan of FEH, bah and HAH all in the same puzzle.

But this is just picking at nits. Overall, a very nice puzzle - though much easier than yesterday's for me. Love the clues for ACE, ARK, and OCD (I miss that show). Neat clues for short fill really add to a puzzle's joy factor.

ArtO 8:42 AM  

Yes, offended to find Hamas in here. So distasteful, but so is Ted Cruz.

Wrote in ANDONEMORETHING but soon found the crosses didn't work.

Hartley70 8:45 AM  

My first guesses were correct today, including SOLDAS, so this puzzle flew by. The theme took a second look before I appreciated it and I do, very much. The fill didn't offend me at all. I just found it a bit easier than expected, and I'm no crossword wizard.

the redanman 9:02 AM  

Other than awkward cluing and FEH answers, the theme was cohesive and the overall puzzle easy plus.

Nits(too loose and liberal):
-You don't go to a garage for a dent, you go to a body shop.
-You just don't "take" a golf course, but since it was NYT, rote tells me LPGA, duh.
-SINEW is NOT muscle power, it is ranginess, toughness, gristle, but not associated with POWER, that's the opposite - muscle BULK
-Doctors write (pre)SCRIPT(ion)S, not SCRIPS, except in NYT rote land. Scrip is scrap paper made of pages printed on one side

Timely inclusions (accidental, surely):
-ELS won the 1994 USGA Open at Oakmont where the course is IN USE THIS WEEK (they use a rotating taking of golf courses)
-OFFSIDES - Copa America Centario and EURO 2016 are both this week
-Ditto REF and red card

Lewis 9:14 AM  

Oh, by the way, I think SLUR is major league name calling, not just a "bit of".

chefbea 9:16 AM  

Was fairly easy but like @Pam...I still don't get it!! Can someone explain

jberg 9:16 AM  

I was puzzling over the theme -- like @Rex, trying to see some pattern in the numbers, or in the second words of each -- WHEEL and RAIL, maybe, the others not so much -- until I got to the revealer, which made everything PLAINER. Didn't mind SOLD AS, terrorist groups don't bother me as long as we can keep them contained in puzzles.

But the best thing was the return of the classic definition for ERN(E). I'd been missing it.

NCA President 9:18 AM  

Easy breeze through today. No particular nits to pick...I'm with the others in that sometimes I am confused about what objective measurement Rex uses to determine the quality of one answer over another. SOLDAS...yes, by itself it looks odd, but really, two-word answers shoved together like that always look odd. DIEOF is another one that is just another answer in my book.

I guess the things that bother me isn't the answer itself, but the clue/answer combo. And this puzzle seemed to be okay in that category...I didn't groan, all clues were fair, and where a misdirect was needed, it wasn't gratuitous. So, this puzzle seems quite in line with a usual Wednesday-like puzzle.

I guess if I were to critique anything it was the somewhat random placement of the themers (they were in no particular order) and the double use of a five derivation: FIFTYFIRSTSTATE and FIFTHWHEEL. I know, I know..."ninth wonder" or "seventh heaven" doesn't fit...but it was just a bit inelegant for the themers to be placed that way and to have doubled up the five thing.

Thanks Rex for the heads up on the vigil...and the additional mention of the Republican mayor. Let's just hope that the lip service of the more conservative among us transforms from lip service to actual service. The AG of Florida, who has objected to all things gay in the past, is now, evidently, a big LGBT fan claiming that all of those slain were "citizens" first. Yes, yes they were. And as such should be treated like citizens at every level...including protection from losing their job based on sexual preference.

This world is a freaking mess right now. I suppose my parents said the same thing in the late 60s...but still, the 70s might have moderated a bit, but it's a mess again. if people...ALL people...could just learn to accept that we live in a smaller world now and hatred, which used to be confined to living room or bar stool conversations but is now freely poured out on the interwebs, accomplishes nothing but incite some to take matters into their own hands. If you hate gays, I guarantee you if you were to get to know one you'd change your mind. Same thing with muslims. Conservatives. Liberals. Even Patriots fans.

Let this shooting in Orlando serve to show that we are ALL in this together...and the only way out of this nonsense is to start to realize that those "other" people we don't like, aren't going anywhere so we might as well make the best of it.

/rant

James G Marshall 9:19 AM  

Britain was long called the Fifty-First State for some years in the 50s and 60s. If Britain leaves the EU perhaps the phrase will come back into use.

James

Mohair Sam 9:20 AM  

Liked this one a hell of a lot more than Rex. Thought the theme was clever, and each of the themers were common phrases to us. Did a lot of business up along the St. Lawrence River and knew many a Canadian - they'd drop the "FIFTYFIRSTSTATE" phrase just as frostily as @leapfinger suggested.

Have absolutely no clue as to what bugs Rex about SOLDAS - fine clue, fine answer. Rex loses his membership in any and all guy flick clubs with failure to get a gimme on Hyman ROTH. Would have rather seen OFFSIDE without the "?", but no big deal. Didn't Steve Jobs attend REED? And I wouldn't tIEOF embarrassment over thinking thirdWHEEL, I'm seeing them on motorcycles these days - and Lady Mohair made the same mistake.

@Rex - Thanks for sharing thoughts and photos of the vigil. Good to see we can all still pull together.

Roo Monster 9:26 AM  

Hey All !
Liked rhe revealer, an extra "thing" in each themer that kinda-sorta doesn't exist (or at least, not common.) Theoretically, though, a FIFTH WHEEL is real, as a towing thing, THIRD RAIL is real, FIFTY FIRST STATE is essential DC, and SIXTH SENSE can sorta be a real thing, not like seeing the future like supposed seers, but that weird feeling you get when something isn't right. Maybe I'm reading too much into this...

Anyway, did like the puz. Continuation of this weeks open corners, NW and SE. Light dreck, clue for LPGA neat.

Easy way to get rid of HAMAS, make it HAHAS and change 34A to DOH, 34D to DDS.

NOS FRILLS
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

"Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation." So smug.

Airymom 9:44 AM  

Is anyone a subscriber to the American Values weekly puzzle? I was totally stuck on last week's puzzle by Jeff Chen. I couldn't figure out how to do it. Today the answer to Jeff's puzzle was published along with the new puzzle. Unfortunately, I still don't get it. I know the meta answer is "on a diet", but that doesn't help me fill in the grid. Obviously there's a trick or theme I'm missing.

This has never happened to me before, where even after seeing the answer, I still don't get it.

I would appreciate any help.

I believe I've heard the delegation head at the Democratic convention refer to Puerto Rico as the 51st state.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

@ArtO - Curious if you meant to suggest moral equivalency between TED and HAMAS.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

I have often heard of Israel referred to as the 51st state, consistent with the clue, a close US ally.

Airymom 10:05 AM  

Please ignore my request for an explanation of Jeff Chen's puzzle. Ben Tausig, the director of the American Values puzzle just sent me a link to the explanation of the puzzle, so now I "get" it.

G.Harris 10:09 AM  

Generally easy and enjoyable. Was thrown by one nit. The more common spelling is fleur de lis, didn't know whether Jackson sister name took a y or an I.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Isn't third wheel the third person on a date and a FIFTHWHEEL a camper? NW killed me but finally finished!

GILL I. 10:30 AM  

Everything @Rex said except I'm feeling pathetic because I have no idea what AND ANOTHER THING means in answer to all the clues.
I, too, did not like the clue nor the answer for SOLD AS. It just looked all sorts of wrong. I wasn't sure about ALL CASH either and MOM jeans was a head scratcher. Yikes.....
I really want to like this because so many of you all do. Please make me change my mind because I'm felling like EBERT at the moment.

Z 10:32 AM  

THIRD RAIL is a bit of an outlier since it is a tangible thing. I suppose FIFTH WHEEL is a tangible thing, but that tangible thing is normally called a "spare tire" and FIFTH WHEEL is not usually a reference to it.

I'm with @Wm. C regarding the "?" in 1D for the same reasons.

As I realized the answer would be HAMAS I knew some would be offended, especially given the mild cluing. Candidly, Bibi offends me more than HAMAS. But that is a little like saying horse manure is worse than cow manure. It's all just piles of shit in the end. Building bridges always works better than building walls or bombs, something "leaders" would do well to learn.

old timer 10:47 AM  

MOM jeans were the only thing in this puzzle I had even the slightest difficulty with. Everything else flew right in, so I rated the puzzle Easy -- very Easy -- for a Wednesday. More Monday-level. I suppose I was just on the constructor's wavelength today.

Oh, I did think of OFFSIte, which didn't fit the clue as well as OFFSIDE. But here's the thing: While OFFSIDE is a term in American football, really it is simply "in the wrong place" because there is no time before the snap where a player should be OFFSIDE. But in what our cousins from another place sometimes referred to as the FIFTY-FIRST STATE, Great Britain, call "football", the OFFSIDE rule fits the clue perfectly and yet in an odd ? way. The wing or striker may indeed be OFFSIDE, i.e., with no defender between him and the goal and goalkeeper, but this is not a violation of the rules. It only becomes a violation if the player is OFFSIDE at the moment another player kicks the ball in his direction. In other words, if he is not only in the wrong place but is there at the wrong time.

(Oh, the odd things a dad learns raising children -- even the lowliest club game has a ref, but in such games, the dads (or moms, but they always are dads in my experience) are pressed into service as line judges, and need to know the rule and raise their flag the moment a ball is kicked to the OFFSIDE player. If the ref agrees, it's a foul, and any goal will not count).

mac 10:49 AM  

Yes, I liked it too. Feh took some doing, and I had infests instead of infuses. Vague sort of theme to me, though.

Thank you for the report on the vigil, Rex. I seem to have tears in my eyes several times a day now.

Joseph Michael 11:16 AM  

I found this a little tougher than the usual Wednesday and enjoyable overall. Liked how adding ANOTHER THING changed the meaning of what was being described. So I found the theme original and entertaining.

The last square to fall was 34. Could't imagine what --OM JEANS could be and thought SCRIP was some kind of word processing program. The M finally made itself known and the puzzle was complete.

Rex, thanks for sharing your experience at the vigil. It helps when communities come together as one to share their sorrow and anger. Too bad our Congress can't do the same.

jberg 11:18 AM  

Just glanced at today's Boston Globe, and saw a puzzle by Timothy Parker. Isn't that the plagiarism guy? What's up with that?

My sincere apologies if I'm remembering the wrong name!

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

FFITYFIRSTSTATE is the tongue in cheek reference to CANADA. And btw, they're rarely amused. Or snap back "you're the 11th Province". And here's a groaner Canadians detest. How do you spell Canada? C-eh? N-eh? D-eh?

And while INFIDEL technically includes the synonym Non-believer, it most commonly means you just don't believe in THEIR religion. You'd think that only a few days after yet another terrorist atrocity, non-Muslims would get that point.

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

@many commenters

Seems to me the FIFTYFIRSTSTATE was a big thing in the Eighties, but in regards to Puerto Rico, and much more recently applied also to DC.

Definitely a thing.

@Lewis - look for a youtube video on the SNL fake ad for 'MOM jeans'

RT

Masked and Anonymous 12:43 PM  

Thought the fill was fine. FEH is in the go-to-dictionary M&A uses (Origin: Yiddish). Partials just lend variety to the solve, so … ok. Only thing about SOLDAS: hard puppy to clue up. Dejavuously, we have the open corner grid decor, for the third weekday in a row.

Theme was a clever thing to come up with and to make fit for synched-up themers. Maybe sometime U could do a theme , where all the counts sound plainer off-ish by one …
* ELEVENCOMMANDMENTS.
* FOURR'S.
* SIXEASYPIECES.
* NINEISENOUGH. THEHATEFULNINE.
* FIVESTRONGWINDS. etc.

Yetsomeever, the big challenge with such a theme idea: How to clue up the themers? …
* {Ban all automatic weaponry, plus the ten rules that ate up all the space on the tablets?}
* {Relaxing, and the other three basics?}
… etc.? Didn't think so.

fave weeject: FUN.

Yo! New anti-campaign slogan?! ELEC. Trump! har. Thanx, 16-Across.

Masked & Anonymo3Us



**gruntz**

Teedmn 1:19 PM  

I liked watching this theme develop. After SIXTH SENSE, I had the gist of it but ignored my SCANT knowledge of subways and didn't put in THIRDRAIL right away.

I think FIFTH WHEEL is the right choice but I think it becomes the oft heard "third" wheel when one is hanging out with a couple because where did you hide wheels three and four if you are a FIFTH WHEEL?

I was loving 1D's clue because I popped in OFF "beat" thinking the "time" and ? In the clue made it a musical reference. Sad to get the duller OFF SIDE.

Fun Wednesday, thanks JF.

Andrew Heinegg 1:40 PM  

I almost dnfed this because of the exact same problem that OFL described for 1d. While I agree that there was a bit of junk fill, I enjoyed the solving experience overall.

Excellent little description of the vigil experience by Rex; in my opinion, the tragedy of all of these shootings is masking what I believe to be the primary underlying cause of nearly all of them: profound mental illness. While there is definitely proof that the San Fernando and Orlando shootings were committed by individuals with terrorist ties, I think we need to take a hard look at the lives these people led leading up to their horrific acts of violence. The Orlando shooter regularly patronized the bar and was participating in the dancing and socializing where he shot all those innocent people. This was all done while he was connecting with ISIS, which condemns homosexuality in the most vitriolic way as did the shooter's family. It looks to me like he could no longer live with the complete contradiction his life had become. The part that is so awful is that he decided to punish all those innocent people at the bar for his being unable to live in the world as the person that he was. Let's hope something is done to prevent more of these because there surely will be more of them to come.

Crash222 2:06 PM  

If you're a soccer fan you know that it literally means "you're off the side". You can only be off one side...the one you're playing for! Offsides is purely an American Football term

Joseph Welling 2:24 PM  

I have no problem with the FEH. It was immortalized in a chapter of Leo Rosten's The Return of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N entitled "Mr. K*A*P*L*A*N and the Unforgivable 'Feh!'"

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

"Bibi offends me more than HAMAS."

Hey @Z, care to explain? So Hamas's bombing of buses, restaurants, etc. murdering women and children just doesn't "do it" to offend you all that much, huh?

Maybe you offend more than both.

Donna Singmaster 3:51 PM  

"Your father did business with Hyman Roth, your father respected Hyman Roth, but your father never trusted Hyman Roth!"
―Frank Pentangeli to Michael Corleone

* * *
Feh to feh

Sheryl 4:07 PM  

I found this puzzle weirdly easy for a Wednesday, and finished it very quickly. My only pause was the tIEOF DIEOF problem Rex mentioned. I was surprised to see he rated it Medium.

Unanymous 5:40 PM  

Curiouser and curiouser.

This morning, I submitted what I thought was a supportive reply to @Struggling. When it didn't appear in the next batch of approved comments, I figured it might have gotten lost, and sent in an approximate facsimile. I now see that hasn't passed moderation either, so am really wondering how this "Go"/ "No go" operation works.

Surely @Rex isn't the only one allowed to express his awareness that some people are going through rough times?

ArtO 5:47 PM  

@anonymous 9:45...absolutely no moral equivalence!

Larry 6:24 PM  

As soon as I saw OBI I knew this puzzle was going to be a dud. It was. I only solved the "theme" answers (such as they were).

hollasboy 9:40 PM  

Never heard FEH used in my life, and probably never will. And what is up with Fleur de LYS? Since when is the Lis spelled LYS?

Z 6:32 AM  

@2:44 - If you're not offended by Bibi and his policies you aren't paying attention. Or your reading censured news. Try this for some different perspectives. Or this. Or this. Violence begets violence. This is not a justification, just a long established truth.

@Unanymous - If your comments were as described I doubt that it was deliberate by Rex. More likely a technical faux pas somewhere.

Joseph Welling 9:03 AM  

Hollasboy, "FEH" is Yiddish. That you never heard it is not a real criticism of the puzzle. Fleur de LYS is a common variant spelling since the term was borrowed into English (say. . .about 1066--but long before English spelling was standardized).

spacecraft 10:17 AM  

Several question marks appeared above my head this morning:

--> I wondered what the FIFTYFIRSTSTATE was. Scanning the comments here, I sense more confusion. Canada, D.C., even Puerto Rico and Britain. The clue seems to point to Canada, but I haven't heard the term used for any of them.

--> Uh-oh, possible natick--how do you spell 15-across? Could it be LATOiA? Man, that looks AWFUL. So I went with the Y.

--> What in the world are "MOM jeans?" Maybe...with an (oh, no!) elastic waistband? New one on me.

--> I had no trouble with DIEOF embarrassment--a well-known hyperbole--but that forced me into FEH. Which, apparently, describes my reaction to that word. ANOTHER 3-letter choice would be YUK.

DOD BRITNEY has recently opened a new show here in Vegas. Kudos for a badly needed reinvention, and she can still get the old hormones going.

Some rough fill (the aforementioned FEH, HAH, THE), but an engaging theme with a faintly amusing reveal. Plus a couple of cute crosses, LARGE/[in]CHARGE and SOLDAS/ALLCASH. Since there's a golf reference in the grid I'll give it a birdie.

Well, they've actually done it. It is now official. God help us.

NM Robin 11:47 AM  

I finished the puzzle which is a first for me. I usually don't finish.

I don't understand MOM jeans.

And the killing continues. Another murder in Kansas. We are destroying ourselves from within.

leftcoastTAM 12:30 PM  

This puzzle strikes me as pretty wobbly. A small, random collection of add-ons or extra THINGs? Just doesn't do it.

I don't think this ANOTHERTHING thing applies well to any of the SCANT "things" included here.

Besides, what proud country, closely allied to the U.S., would not take offense at being called or considered a FIFTYFIRSTSTATE? Canada? the U.K.? Israel? Name one such close ally. Can't do it.


Didn't mean to go all Rex on this, but there's no rhyme or reason here.

rain forest 2:43 PM  

I thought this was a rather elegant puzzle with a unique theme and a perfect revealer of the theme. DIE OF is just dandy, even though I had never heard of FEH (must try to use that today), and SOLD AS perfectly fits the clue. So there.

As a Canadian, I have frequently heard my country referred to as 17 A, but only in the negative sense, except possibly for those in Alberta. Personally, I beseech you to never refer to us that way. I think you guys have enough problems with the 50 you already have, particularly with your weaponry. Open carry? Really?

AND ANOTHER THING! I can't believe that there are solvers who get "offended" by certain answers. HAMAS is a mideast group. It would be interesting to see how Netanyahu would be clued, and whether there would be those who would be offended. I offer no opinion--just wondering.

Third good puzzle this week. Way to go, Shortz.

Waxy in Montreal 3:22 PM  

Greetings from the FIFTYFIRSTSTATE. Only LETME make clear, as several earlier commentators have hinted, that most Canadians consider the expression falls pretty close to the SLUR category, especially when we've been taken for granted and (often unwittingly) lumped together with our good friends and neighbours to the south.

ANDANOTHERTHING - have to declare a personal Nattick at 34A/D as MOM jeans and MD's as scrip writers rang no bells. Still, overall, a FUN midweek puz.

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