Samsung competitor / MON 8-22-16 / Witches director Nicolas / Like stage after larval / Future atty's hurdle

Monday, August 22, 2016

Constructor: Emily Carroll

Relative difficulty: Monday normal (so, Medium) (2:57)

THEME: TASTE MAKERS (61A: Influential sorts ... or a hint to the starts of 178-, 23-, 39- and 50-Across) — first words of each themer = a taste

Theme answers:
  • BITTER ENEMY (17A: Archfoe)
  • SALTY LANGUAGE (23A: Profanity)
  • SWEETHEART DEALS (39A: Golden parachutes, e.g.) ("Sweet" = word part, not word, but that's permissible)
  • SOUR PATCH KIDS (50A: Popular movie theater candy)

Word of the Day: ANDREI Sakharov (42A: Peace Nobelist Sakharov) —
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Russian: Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов; 21 May 1921 – 14 December 1989) was a Russian nuclear physicist, Soviet dissident, an activist for disarmament, peace and human rights.   // He became renowned as the designer of the Soviet Union's Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov later became an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union, for which he faced state persecution; these efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honour. (wikipedia)
• • •

Where is UMAMI!? Such a crosswordy word, you'd think you could've snuck it in the grid somewhere.

First-Words theme = right over the plate. Perhaps the most common type of crossword theme. This is neither good nor bad, inherently. But it does mean massive sparkle is required to lift such a puzzle out of the realm of generic. Theme answer today are all winners. Vivid, interesting, lively. All the good adjectives. Fill is something of a disaster, however. Northwest corner—in fact, 1-Across itself—set the tone. Fill never got better after that. Honestly, it never does. It is phenomenally rare that cruddy fill at your starting point (for me, almost always, the NW) proves to be an aberration. The puzzle is what it tells you it is. If you're getting a four-letter partial (?) at 1-A, followed hard by ALBA, AFORE, EELY, and YOO, things are not going to get better. You *will* eventually run into a similar small corner crammed with PUPAL, ARLO, LSAT and ELLA. You're probably see both ELI and ELIA along the way, maybe say 'hey' to Nicolas ROEG. You know, the yooge (that's my shortening of "usual"). Expecting your puzzle to change mid-solve is like expecting your *&%^ boyfriend to change. Not happening.

I tripped hard and repeatedly over 1A: ___ above (better than) (ACUT). 1-Acrosses are important. They don't have to be Gold, but they should not suh-uck. Partials and obscurities and ridiculous abbrevs. or Random Roman Numerals (RRNs) are Right Out. ACUT may as well be IRREG. I enjoyed some of the fill today, especially POP OFF (4A: Run one's mouth), and some of the longer Downs (UP TO SPEED, for instance). I did a dumb thing when, with ALL-ET in the grid, I didn't even look at the clue and wrote in ... an "S" (35A: Completely wrong => ALL WET). Sigh. Terrible, stupid move. But even with the NW corner debacle and the ALLSET misstep, my time came out normal. I don't quite get the "MAKERS" part of the revealer. Don't think it works. Does you tongue make the taste? Or do the tastes "make" themselves known ... in your mouth? Might've gone with BITTER FOES / FIRST TASTE for the symmetrical themer layout there. "First" makes more sense than "Makers" ... unless there's some obvious angle I'm missing, which is always possible.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Da Bears 12:20 AM  

Oh, @Rex. You said everything but that it was a debut by a new constructor.

I knew it was a new constructor right off the start because of 1A. Pros don't start their puzzles with a partial. They just don't.

And, I expected your review.

BUT DO NOT KNOCK LSAT. Someday someone who has take it might keep you out of jail.

Da Bears 12:21 AM  

"take" means "taken" for anyone who has taken the LSAT.

Sheryl 1:09 AM  

Cute puzzle. I liked it. But what the heck are SOUR PATCH KIDS?? (I admit I've never bought anything but popcorn and seltzer at movie theaters.)

Anonymous 1:30 AM  

I loved ALLWET. It's one of those great expressions you hear in 1930's movies that seems to have vanished by the 1940's, but never should have.

KID A: "You're all wet!" (waves hand in dismissive motion)
KID B: "Why you....," (puts up dukes, ready to fight)
(the marble game continues...)

jae 2:08 AM  

Medium for me too.

Pretty good debut Mon.

SPurtS before SPATES.

The novice crowd may have problems with ROEG and ANDREI.

Liked it.

chefwen 3:04 AM  

The problem with Sour Patch Kids is once you start eating them you can't stop, at least that's my affliction. So, I don't buy them, and don't even get me started on lemon drops.

You're right Rex, umami should have been squeezed in.

Wanted filthy LANGUAGE at first at 23A, thankfully it didn't fit. UP TO Snuff didn't make the cut either.

Fun Monday, I liked it.

phil phil 3:41 AM  

Trying to improve my time cost me a bunch as I put in soul patch kids. A disgusting candy I'm sure.

Anonymous 4:01 AM  

OMEGAS? ugh.

Loren Muse Smith 4:02 AM  

So a debut – cool. Enjoy the limelight today, Emily. Part of you may be wanting to stop strangers in the street and show them the paper and the other part may be wanting to run and hide under the bed all day. Well, the hiding-under-the bed part only if you read the blogs. It's scary.

I think, like Rex said, it's a Monday right over the plate. I, too, liked all the theme entries, but I was unfamiliar with TASTE MAKERS. Perfect reveal, though.

I had never heard the word umami before solving puzzles, but, yeah, I looked for it. Too bad it just wouldn't work as a long themer. Uma misses her cue

I liked RUSH WEEK crossing TASTE MAKERS. At Georgia Southern, the sorority girls all dressed alike – pink with green, add-a-bead necklaces, khaki pants, Farrah coifs… I went to one rush party when I started college and just got, well, a bad taste in my mouth. Weird to stand there and have sorority sisters study you, judging whether or not you're worthy of being a Tetra Zebra Yoo or some such. Maybe I just went to the wrong one because I know lots of people, nice people, who pledged and had a terrific experience. But still, a friend of mine, a Pi Kap, once asked a Phi Mu out, and she said, "We aren't allowed to date Pi Kaps." I swear.

Best cross – WIND/SWEPT.

A CUT didn't bother me one whit. I actually don't mind partials anywhere, any time.

@ED - "I believe pedants cling excessively tightly to polar extremes." Perfectly put. Let them cling away – quietly. Just don't let them embarrass unsuspecting people with unsolicited corrections.

Rex – I first thought your "yooge" sounded like Trump or Sanders saying huge. Hah! Then I realized that g is like the g in mirage. Then I sat here and wasted time wondering how to spell it better. Yoozhe. Nah.

I'm with @chefwen – SOUR PATCH KIDS are really good. Just typing this, my mouth waters but in the hurty, violent assault kind of way that extremely sour candy delivers. Can't take WarHeads, though.

Emily – a fine debut, a fine Monday. Congrats. And if you're reading this, get out from under the bed and hold your head high. If you're not reading this, God bless you and enjoy your day full-on.

Lewis 6:05 AM  

This had a touch more bite than a typical Monday while still being in the Monday zone, not enough to discourage a beginner, more to whet the beginner's appetite for more. I never expect clever cluing on Monday (and no surprises today), but I hope for some answers that appeal, and this one had a lot -- all the theme answers, plus POPOFF, ALLWET, SPATES, WARMSPELL, BEATNIK, ONEBYONE, and UPTOSPEED. UMAMI would have made the answer set complete, but how do you start an answer with that ("Um, am I hemming and hawing?")? (And Loren, I liked yours a lot!)

So, all in all, this puzzle had POP and was in good taste. Congratulations, Emily, and keep 'em coming!

Passing Shot 6:37 AM  

SkATES before SPATES but otherwise a smooth, enjoyable puzzle. Liked it.

Glimmerglass 6:45 AM  

@Rex: just so I understand. If you find 1A is a gimme (i.e. easy for you), you know that the puzzle is going to be easy throughout. But if you stumble on 1A, then you know that the puzzle will have lots of "cruddy" fill. As a teacher, do you grade essays based on the first sentence?

kitshef 7:09 AM  

This would have been a fine puzzle, back when we thought there were four flavours. Now it feels like a puzzle with Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa, but no Maggie. Or Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Marvel Girl, but no Iceman. Or Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Michael but no Marlon.

There are probably other, less imbecilic quintets out there that I’m not thinking of.

One across was opaque to me (At or? On or? A biT?), so I spent way too much time in the NE, but still finished pretty fast, even for a Monday, so medium-easy.

POP awfully close to ZIT.

SPATES is a funny word. Kind of sits by itself, unrelated to other words. You can’t verb it (spated, spating) or adjective it (spatey, spateful), and I can’t think of any other words with that root. Either you know it or you don’t – it can’t be inferred from other information.

NCA President 7:21 AM  

Fun fact: The two-piece swim suit called a "bikini" is named after the atoll Bikini. The story goes that in early 1946, French designer Jacques Heim came up with a very small swimsuit he called the "Atome." Then, four days after US began nuking the Bikini atoll (ostensibly for testing purposes), another designer Louis Reard came up with an even smaller swimsuit...but instead of calling it a "quark" or "nuon," he called it a "bikini." It was banned from beaches early on. You're welcome.

Put up your DUKES. Add this to the "Words No One Says Anymore" list. I actually wonder if anyone ever said it at all. I've never been in a fistfight, but I'm pretty sure you don't warn the guy before you're about to hit him by asking him to defend himself...and I'm just guessing that historically the ambush has always been the best way to win a fight. I could be wrong. Maybe people were more polite back then.

I finished just under my average today...but not by much. ROEG and TASTEMAKERS slowed me down. I needed lots of crosses to get both. I don't even know what a TASTEMAKER is. An "influential sort" is called a "pace setter," "early adopter," or um..."influential sort." The Tastemaker 2000™ sounds like it ought to be found in a kitchen.

aging soprano 7:42 AM  

Maybe TASTE setter ala trend setter would have been a better reveal. But then too many letters. VWhile I thought this xword abit more difficult than the yuge Monday, I actually thought the fill ACUT above Monday normal. Is there such a thing as sugarless SOURPATCHKIDS?

aging soprano 7:42 AM  

Maybe TASTE setter ala trend setter would have been a better reveal. But then too many letters. VWhile I thought this xword abit more difficult than the yuge Monday, I actually thought the fill ACUT above Monday normal. Is there such a thing as sugarless SOURPATCHKIDS?

Mary Ambridge 7:47 AM  

TASTEMAKERS? What on earth...?

AliasZ 8:01 AM  

This was a bittersweet experience.

There is one alpha and one omega, but I wonder if Greeks write OMEGAS in a text bubble above the head of a sleeping man, like Zzzzzees in American cartoons.

I was thrilled to see the BRA crossing it's French version, ZE BRA.

A clip of celebrated conductor, Sir Georg SALTY will soon follow, brought to you by taste tester ANDREI POPOFF.

chefbea 8:12 AM  

Great puzzle some more
I did have trouble with Roeg, Andrei and Gerard - three people crossing each other...Is there another town in Massachusetts that we can use for this???

Alysia 8:16 AM  

I've been doing 2-3 NYT puzzles per day for the past couple of years...and *I* had trouble with ROEG and ANDREI.

Then again, I was eventually able to figure them out from the crosses, which is - perhaps - what really matters.

Alysia 8:18 AM  

My thoughts exactly.

jberg 8:37 AM  

I was going to forgive the omission of UMAMI on the ground that you couldn't work it into a phrase -- but @Loren and @Lewis have shown that assumption to be incorrect. Still, those phrases require spreading it over several words, so they don't really fit the pattern.

I took TASTE MAKERS to mean that the actual taste you experience is constituted by a combination of the fundamental tastes in the puzzle, so I was all right with that.

On the other hand, my experience in the late lamented Filene's Basement is that "clearance" and "IRREG" are totally different things. The clearance rack is top-line stuff that didn't sell, so they're getting rid of it. Irregulars were no good from the start, but maybe close enough to being good that they're worth paying a discounted price for. "Bargain rack" would have worked.

Congratulations on a fun debut puzzle, Ms. Carroll.

Mohair Sam 8:58 AM  

A fine debut Emily Carroll, we really enjoyed it here. We found it medium/challenging for a Monday with the likes of ROEG sneaking in. And I for one would like to thank you for leaving out umami, a flavor which apparently exists only in test kitchens and Cruciverbia.

SOURPATCHKIDS are inedible IMO. I'm shocked seeing more than one (@LMS loves all foods I hate) post here supporting them. Movie theaters stock them because movie theaters sell foods to captive audiences and therefore look for the largest markup. They also for some reason seem to want to kill their customer via diet - but that's another subject.

Nice debut Emily Carroll - we look forward to the next one.

QuasiMojo 8:58 AM  

Irregulars are items that were rejected during the initial inspection by the manufacturer and then sold to discount stores. If you buy a cheap shirt at TJMaxx chances are that it's an IRR. I thought this was an excellent Monday puzzle. Fast, fresh and tasteful. And free of all that saccharine Harry Potter and Star Wars junk food.

Chaos344 9:08 AM  

Congrats to Emily Carroll on her debut.

Typical Monday for me, but definitely didn't like TASTEMAKER. I have never heard that term used to describe an "influential sort."

@LMS: After your recent MUSEings regarding your aversion to the word "wet", I was wondering if this submission by Emily Carroll might be the first puzzle to ever actually elicit a negative comment from you? After all, we do have that clue at 35A, right?

I was worried that all that SALTY LANGUAGE ( FLY, BRA, PET, LAP, DRIP, POP OFF, etc,) might create a WARM SPELL that left you feeling, (how did you put it) Icky?

LOL! Roll with it Loren!

G.Harris 9:10 AM  

If NCA President never had a fistfight he obviously did not grow up in the South Bronx. Fights often started with a challenge rather than an ambush. "Put em up" was probably more common than "Put up your dukes" but expression was used.

Nancy 9:12 AM  

A CUT above most Monday puzzles -- or have ten people said that already? Breezy and fun, with no junk at all. Even better, not everything here was a gimme. The term TASTE MAKERS is very familiar to me. It's used a lot in the media, actually, and makes a lovely revealer. I liked the many colloquial answers: UP TO SPEED; POP OFF; SWEETHEART DEALS; NEATNIK. A very nice debut, Emily. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of you.

Carola 9:22 AM  

This hit just the right SWEET and SALTY balance for me on a Monday, like a dish of Haagen Dasz vanilla with a side of Kettle Chips. I thought the theme was very nicely done (SWEETHEART DEALS!), and I loved ALL WET and the various additional grid treats others have mentioned.
I also liked A CUT crossing COIF, with CURLED off in the distance, which reflects my unsuccessful experience with hot rollers, irons, etc., and decision to have things MOWN down to a pixie cut. It's cute how the DRIP is hanging extra row below ALL WET. I felt there might have been a message in the row BITTER ENEMY: BRA, but maybe I'm alone here in the Trauma Department. ELLA crossing paths with ARLO - only in a crossword, I think.
Emily Carroll - Congratulations on your debut. Lots of fun.

QuasiMojo 9:24 AM  

Esprit de l'escalier: suggested reading: "The Tastemakers" by Russell Lynes, brother of the photographer, George Platt Lynes.

crabsofsteel 9:37 AM  

Better than a C+. Nice to see seldom used words like SPATES.

GILL I. 9:56 AM  

1A's always set the tone for me and I agree that the answer should really POP. It didn't. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the puzzle.
I haven't been to the movies in ages so I'm not up on my candies. Never heard of SOUR PATCH KIDS. Do they make your eyes squint and your mouth pucker? Just yesterday we were looking at the paper to see if any movies were worth going to. Let's see...there's "Sausage Party," "Bad Moms," "War Dogs"....There should be one called POP OFF ZIT. I always get buttered POP corn and I take my own wine in a used pepsi container.
I've heard of TASTE MAKERS. Everyone shopping in Rodeo Drive wants to be one. Sorta like a Hilton wannabe with a ONE pound chihuahua folded in the palm of your hand.
Emily Carroll, this was a perfect Monday - despite A CUT because everything else was whimsy fun. Hope to see more of you...!

David W Gillette 10:11 AM  

Rex: "Snuck" is basically substandard. The verb "to sneak" is regular--not irregular. I realize that "snuck" is sneaking into common usage, but common usage is just that--common.


Hartley70 10:21 AM  

SOURPATCHKIDS MAKER my TASTE buds hurt all day. No kidding. My daughter could eat them by the bucketful (Costco) as a kid with no ill effect. The idea of a sugar free one is alarming, @agingsoprano!

The TASTEMAKER disparagement astounds me. It surely is a thing. I would use it if I remembered it in time. I'm thinking 50's and 60's tv ads and discussions about the A-Listers of the day. It's dated but it's good.

@Glimmerglass, great jab! ! You gave me a good laugh. It's so much more efficient that way during RUSHWEEK (and the rest of the semester too). Some readers do that with books, though I wouldn't recommend it.

@Loren, you outdid yourself today. I hope Emily does get out from under the bed because I agree this was a terrific debut.

I don't miss "umami" one little bit. I just remember it for puzzles and it never crosses my mind again. Then again, I always order
Hibachi in a Japanese restaurant and I think you can leave your umami at home when you're enjoying fillet mignon and a bit of soy sauce.

@DaBears advice about the LSAT only goes so far. I'd be looking for someone who's passed the bar exam, if I were you. It's much tougher.

All Mondays should be this good! The theme was tight and fun. The fill felt fresh. Way to strut your stuff, Emily! A from me.

Z 10:37 AM  

For some ungodly reason I solved this on the NYTX website instead of printing it out or on a quality app like Puzzazz or Across Lite. Just let me say, OMFG! First, you're going to put up an ad that takes up half the screen? If this were a free site, sure, ads. But you are behind a fucking Paywall. If you still insist that you have to have ads to stay in business then perhaps figure out a way to have them not interfere with the puzzle. You look like a cheap whore or a NASCAR driver. Not the image you're going for I'm guessing. Second, After being frustrated with the navigation controls (had to hunt for three typos because the way navigation works is not intuitive for me) I went hunting for the settings. Seriously? That's it? This is more like a beta than a ready for public use website. Again, cheap whore comes to mind. To be fair, the iPad app is much better than what I experienced this morning, although I'm still incredulous that PuzzAzz takes the time to make the .puz file display correctly but the NYT does not.

Oh, the puzzle itself? What Rex said. Nice Monday theme, fill was full of stuff that begins to wear thin when you do lots of puzzles (ELI, ELLA, ELIA, EELY - sounds like some sort of Snow White/M. Night Shyamalan mash up), but Ms. Carroll has more published puzzles than me. We've seen others hone their constructor chops and improve fill over time, so a nice debut and I'm looking forward to more.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

@Carola, you are not alone. On Thursdays I do two Brazilian Jui Jitsu classes and one MIxed Martial Arts class. Yes, ZE sports BRA is my BITTER ENEMY on those days. My biggest workout on those days is getting in and out of them, which always requires more arm flexibility than any yoga class entails. It is even more difficult when I am ALL WET from either "perspiration" or taking a shower between classes.

I always laugh when UMAMI comes up because one of my son's endless standardized tests in elementary school had "discovery of a fifth type of TASTE buds" as the wrong answer to a question, even though research proved that it was the correct answer.

Whenever, I get annoyed with my so not NEATNIK son for leaving his socks on the floor he accuses me of being SALTY.

Mike Rees 10:40 AM  

Perhaps you were thinking of the wrong kind of "sudden runs."

Z 10:41 AM  

@David W Gillette - Let me call your attention to @Loren Muse Smith's seventh paragraph as well as the Oxford English Dictionary Online.

Aketi 10:43 AM  

Ugh, I ended up "anonymous 10:40 am" because apparently I am not "not a robot".

Mike Rees 10:46 AM  

I pretty much agree across the board with @Rex. C+ is fair, the puzzle draws on a lot of crosswordese. Nothing icky here though, just feels a little recycled. But if this were my debut puzzle, I'd still be pretty proud of it.

Only overwrite was UMP for ref. In Canada, it's always the ref who's blind.

Happy Pencil 10:49 AM  

The overall grade should have been higher, given that @Rex himself calls the four theme answers vivid, interesting, and lively. Yes, it comes at the cost of some not-great fill, but if I had to choose one over the other, I'd rather the themers be good. This is a debut puzzle, and this constructor will get better at fill with experience.

I don't agree at all that the green-paintish and dull FIRST TASTE is a better revealer than TASTEMAKERS, which is an actual expression that people use.

As others have pointed out, there was no real way to get umami in there as part of a longer expression, and had she put it in as a stand-alone answer, I have to believe she would have been docked marks for inconsistency. So again, I'd rather not see it than see it jammed in as a one-off. Or perhaps there was a way to make it the revealer? @Lewis, work your magic, please!

Overall, a fun Monday for me, and always great to see a promising new constructor appear. Great work, Emily!

Roo Monster 10:52 AM  

Hey All !
Like @LMS said, put your head up high at your debut, Emily, cause it's quite difficult to get a puz in.

Liked this one. TASTEMAKERS new to me. Seems odd I haven't heard that AFORE. One writeover, ref-UMP. Football on the brain.

When does cursing go from SALTY to annoying? Could also be called Peppered LANGUAGE. Cool.

Got EEL today, COIF and MOWN cool words. Like the plural OMEGAS, we get plural Masked & Anonymouses, MAS. Also MSS, which looks odd. Abbr. for Mississippis?


Hartley70 11:05 AM  

@Aketi, don't worry. I read the post and thought, "I wonder why @Aketi is going undercover today?" You're ahead of the game here if your post doesn't disappear!

Joseph Michael 11:08 AM  

A tasty Monday puzzle with an old-fashioned theme. Thought the themers were all very good, but had a problem with the revealer.

BITTER, SALTY, SWEET, and SOUR are all sensations of flavor. The "makers" of these sensations are, for example, olives, pretzels, oranges. and lemons coming into contact with the tongue.

I also missed UMAMI, but there is no way to integrate it into the beginnnig of an entry as a whole word with an alternate meaning.. So the theme idea seems to have a little hole in it that can't be fixed without changing the theme pattern.

Aside from that, it was a pleasant solve. Among the nonthemers, I really liked UP TO SPEED, WARM SPELL, RUSH WEEK, and ONE BY ONE.

Congrats on the debut.

Mr. Benson 11:09 AM  

Why no demerits for the theme inconsistency of the terms BITTER, SALTY and SWEET all being used metaphorically in their respective phrases, but SOUR being used to describe something that literally tastes sour? I thought today's write-up was going to savage this puzzle over that.

deerfencer 11:33 AM  

Fun Monday puzzle, really shabby "critique" by Rex. Take a vacay pal.

Lewis 11:51 AM  

@happy pencil -- Well, I came up with two:

"Uma, Mia was a terrific role!" (Thurman's role in Pulp Fiction)
"Um, am I boring you?"

But the best I've seen was by @Brutus, commenting on another site: UMAMI don't dance and your daddy don't rock 'n roll!

Michelle Turner 11:53 AM  

If OFL doesn't solve in clue order, as posted previously, then it seems a bit mean spirited to give a constructor grief because the 1a clue doesn't please him.

Kevin Colby 12:06 PM  


YOu do know that the tongue diagram is debunked right?

Numinous 12:35 PM  

TASTE MAKERS! I guess I've seen the novel mentioned above. I know I've heard the phrase a bazillion times though not particularly recently. Still and all . . . . The theme contains four TASTEs. It's all very well to bitch about the lack of umami but it would only be valid if the theme implied all of the TASTEs. As it is, for me, listing BITTER, SALTY, SWEET, and SOUR is a listing of enough of them. Y'all remind me of a philosophy professor I knew in my youth who could pick a hole in absolutely any argument whether he understood it or not. He did it out of sheer bloody mindedness and traumatized more than a few 101 students.

If I were grading, I'd give this one a B+ and I'd rate it as a bit more difficult than usual. I don't think this will completely stump a newbie but I do think it would challenge her.

ROEG was a gimmie. There are no other four letter Nicholases and GERARD was easy. He and Jean Reno are some of my favorite French actors. ANDREI came easily after having URSA, MOWN, and UP TO SPEED. ANDers, the only other possibility is not a Russian name and besides M. Depardieu clinched it. The iPad app as well as Across Lite and Puzzazzz all allow for two-dimensional solving. I realize that it's a pain to do on paper but why not use the advantages given by apps?

Congratulations, Dr. Carroll (I assume that's what you'll be called once you are in your residency if you are not already there). You should be very proud of creating such a good debut puzzle. I also wish you the very best of fortune in your chosen career path.

Gerry Kahle 1:07 PM  

After I was done I went to the blog hoping to see a clip of Joan Jett "Hit me with your best shot " with the lyric "put up your dukes ". Oh well.

Mohair Sam 1:11 PM  

@Numinous - Loved your first paragraph, wish I had said that.

@Lewis - Yesterday I commented that "Oprah's BFF" may have been the worst NYT clue ever. If @Brutus's suggested "______ don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll" had been used today for Umami it might have been the best ever.

Masked and Anonymous 1:14 PM  

Had never heard tell of this TASTEMAKERS term before. PuzEatinSpouse had, tho, and we solved this puppy together, at the pancake house, so … ok.

Pretty nice lil debut puz, except for that one minor spot where it sorta went ROEG. I'm fine with havin only 4 of the tastes, altho addin an UMAMI themer woulda been harlarious, due to the desperation that would inevitably ensue. M&A-recommended clue & themer:
{AMUS??} = UMAMIRRORIMAGES ... [15 long, starts with a U, desperater than snot; all primo-good]

Six U's. Cute weejects like ZIT and YOO. [Sounds kinda like a new hybrid dog breed: ZITYOO.] Put up a little bit of a fight, at our pancake house. UPTOSPEED and ALLWET. What's not to like?
Thanx, Emily C. darlin. Keep up the good work.

Masked & AnonymoUs


Teedmn 1:23 PM  

Emily Carroll, congratulations on your NYTX debut. As @LMS suggests, take all the CRED you are due today!

TASTE MAKERS, in my mind, probably do a lot of TSKing, especially if they are standing in front of the IRREG rack. But you can get some SWEETHEART DEALS there if you're willing to redo a zipper or ignore the fact that the buttons have all POPped OFF.

My mother used to say someone was ALL WET if they said something that didn't FLY.

I found this an enjoyable Monday, and more like the yuge difficulty vis a vis last week's puzzle.

evil doug 2:24 PM  

If a fight is imminent, you don't give your foe a warning, or suggest he get his dukes up. Get the first punch in before he's ready, and kick him hard in the groin before he can recover. The days of honorable fighting are long gone. Other good advice, as offered by Jay to son Manny on Modern Family:

Jay: "Now remember, what did I teach you?"

Manny: "Violence solves everything, and don't wind my fist up like Popeye."

evil doug 2:30 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Numinous 3:00 PM  

There was a time, in Australia, when a pub brawl was considered good fun by all and probably represented no more than a black eye, a broken nose and a missing tooth. Quite enjoyable after the endorphins kicked in when it was all over. (Now I must caution y'all to realize this is not a racist comment merely a comparison of cultural differentials). Not long after the Viet Nam war, a lot of Vietnamese came to Australia. They had a different way of pub brawling and suddenly knives were involved and the injuries became much more serious.

The phrase: "Put up your DUKES," probably hasn't been around since the "East Side Kids/Bowery Boys" movies but it was current for a long time. So maybe it skews old. Ok, so do I. There was a time when cold-blooded assault was not the behavior of gentlemen.

Larry Gilstrap 3:19 PM  

I am a lover not a fighter and I agree with those who make a distinction between fisticuffs and an assault. I can't, for the life of me, see how First Taste is a superior revealer than TASTEMAKERS. I began teaching English in junior high school in the early 70's and the support materials were crappy. I was told to teach grammar from a state approved text that was awful. Each chapter began with a cartoon captioned with a version of the phrase, "The little girl beat the candy." Above was said girl all aproned-up holding a mixing bowl and having at the candy with a large spoon. The kids had never heard of anyone beating candy, but the were adept at eating candy and finding double entendre in just about anything. The pronoun chapter began with, wait for it, "She beat it." Hilarity ensued. My point, the text was insistent that "sneak" was a regular verb and that the past and past particple was "sneaked." Every time I hear "snuck" it clanks in my ear.

Anonymous 3:44 PM  

Larry Gilstrap – no one is perfect.

9.34: Decades
... Chicago calls for no apostrophe to appear between the year and the s. the nineties.
the 1980s and 1990s (or, less formally, the 1980s and ’90s). ...

Alysia 4:28 PM  

I wish I could like or upvote this comment. I laughed in such a way that coffee almost spewed out the nasal passages.

Alysia 4:32 PM  

I'm trying to raise a 15-year-old to speak proper-like. It's difficult with "snuck" for "sneaked" and "drug" for "dragged" creeping into regular vocabulary.

Alysia 4:33 PM  

Pat Benatar. :)

evil doug 5:49 PM

evil doug 6:06 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy 7:47 PM  

@Aketi -- I had the exact same reaction to your "Anon" post as Hartley 70 did -- that's AKETI!!!! Why on earth does she want to be anonymous today??? Only after reading her post did I go back and read your 2nd post. And of course we were both right.

It's not just your particular interests and passions. It's also the fact that you have a definite writing style. Of course we all know you!

(I'm coming home late after 8 1/2 hours outdoors on the first remotely nice day in NY in about 3 weeks. It was glorious, actually. I still haven't eaten or bathed, I'm way behind schedule, so reading everyone else will have to wait till later. I've only read up to Hartley's 11:05 a.m. comment so far. Perhaps more later. Or not.)

Aketi 8:48 PM  

@numinous, I think in the US somd of those who engaged in the Pub Brawls have transitioned into Martial Arts dojo. At least in the better ones you do have rules of etiquette. Instead of "put up your DUKES" it is a bow and touch gloves or tap closed fists. I discovered that the guys who do Sunday open mat are tea totalers who go to juice bars after rolling. After a particularly parching Sunday open mat I asked about where to get a cold beer and got all sorts of horror stories about what beer does to you when dehydrated. Sigh.

JC66 9:02 PM  

"Put up your DUKES" and "Step outside" fall into the same category.

Burma Shave 11:35 AM  


so I’d OILER down ALLWET,
and I CURLED her COIF in TRADE for feels,
then POPOFF her BRA and PET.


rondo 12:39 PM  

I thought this puz to be more better than OFL did. Kinda tasty for a Mon-puz as ONEBYONE the themers filled in. Nary a w/o and finished quickly.

@Hartley 70 is correct re: the LSAT. The LSAT is a hurdle for potential law school students, more than half of whom do not get a high enough score to get in, and then half of those who attend drop out (like I did). The bar exam is the real future atty.’s hurdle.

A coupla SWEETHEARTDEALS in ever-annoying Kelly RIPA and ultra yeah baby Jessica ALBA, can’t imagine what OFL has against ALBA for an answer. A real FEMme fatale as Dark Angel.

RUSHWEEK could be a special feature for the Canadian band, or heaven forbid, Mr. Limbaugh.

No SALTYLANGUAGE from me about this puz. Liked it, yes SIR.

spacecraft 12:57 PM  

I'm with @Happy pencil. No worse than B-. The fill is a bit PPP-crowded (@Numinous: I think you owe Mr. Cage an apology), but as a whole...I've seen worse debuts. ELLA not clued as the Queen of Scat is a disappointment. Word-ladder rung ELIA is a leftover from the musty Maleska days, but all in all, I think Ms. Carroll may be an apt PUPAL. DOD ALBA greets us at the door; what more couldwe want? First down.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

This puzzle was challenging for a Monday, but enjoyable.

leftcoastTAM 1:09 PM  

Good theme, revealer, and clearly a Monday with bite.

Never heard of SOURPATCHKIDS, and probably just as well. Got the unknown ROEG because I knew the talented GERARD.

Wanted firma before COTTA, so a writeover there.

Maybe ACUT above an average Monday, and liked it.

rain forest 2:24 PM  

Pretty good for a debut *for a Monday*. Whether 1A is a partial, or -ese, or a winner, I don't mind. It's one of the words in a puzzle. Sometimes I don't even start there anyway. But if your outlook about the puzzle is shaded by your reaction to 1A, you have a problem. I believe @Glimmerglass had it right.

Nice to see OILER clued as a Canadian hockey team rather than the more usual ship carrying crude. And what are SOURPATCHKIDS? To quote @Spacecraft, nevah hoid of it/them. Me, I bring my own trail mix and a flask of martini. So there.

The theme revealer has it right - a common-enough phrase, and a reference to the fact that the four "main" tastes actually make the resultant overall taste of most foods. Didn't know umami until I first encountered it in a puzzle a few years ago, and I never use that term, in my prescriptivist vein, har.

@Burma Shave - the hits keep coming. You are almost due another limerick.

Diana,LIW 2:40 PM  

A bit (just ACUT) tougher than the average Monday, for me. Had ACUT immediately, but didn't put it in. Thought there must be another answer, and didn't "get" the crosses right away. So I bounced around the puzzle and focused on the bottom half. The revealer, for once, helped with my answers. Thanks Emily C!

In my mouth, TASTEMAKERS was apt and fitting in a crosswordy way. A few unknowns made the solving a bit crunchier than usual, but it all came together. Had CURLy before CURLED, and really wanted leak before DRIP became obvious. Oh yeah - naG before BEG. Ha!

Agree with those who don't think of clearance as being filled with IRREGs.

Now, to travel like Superman to the gym.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for good taste!

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