Cub scout leader named after character in Jungle Book / MON 9-19-16 / 1981 Alan Alda/Carol Burnett comedy / Bite-size Krispy Kreme offering / Long-armed banana lovers

Monday, September 19, 2016

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Easy (close to record time, and on a 16-wide grid!)

THEME: HOLLYWOOD SQUARES (41A: Classic TV game show ... or what 18-, 25-, 55- and 66-Across are, in a way) — theme answers are movie titles that contain square numbers:

Theme answers:
  • "NINE MONTHS" (18A: 1995 Hugh Grant/Julianne Moore romantic comedy)
  • "THE FOUR SEASONS" (25A: 1981 Alan Alda/Carol Burnett comedy)
  • "SIXTEEN CANDLES" (55A: 1984 Molly Ringwald coming-of-age comedy)
  • "ONE FINE DAY" (66A: 1996 Michelle Pfeiffer/Goerge Clooney romantic comedy)
Word of the Day: Adolph RUPP (21A: ___ Arena, home to the Kentucky Wildcats) —
Adolph Frederick Rupp (September 2, 1901 – December 10, 1977) was one of the most successful coaches in the history of American college basketball. Rupp is ranked fourth (behind Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight, and Dean Smith) in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 876 games in 41 years of coaching. Rupp is also second among all men's college coaches in all-time winning percentage (.822), trailing only Clair Bee. Rupp was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 13, 1969.
• • •

Hey, this is cute. I mean, thematically, conceptually—a great use of HOLLYWOOD SQUARES as a revealer. There are a couple of issues with the execution. First, there's the relative iconic-ness of the movies, which ranges from solid ("SIXTEEN CANDLES") to non-existent ("ONE FINE DAY"? What is that?). Is there really not a better / more familiar ONE movie out there. I mean, it's bad enough you have to subject us to the fairly execrable "NINE MONTHS"—"Nine" movies are pretty hard to come by. "District 9" uses the numeral. So I'll give you "NINE MONTHS." But you gotta give me something better in the "ONE" department. There's no reason the "ONE" has to come first. Who cares? Just get the "ONE" in there and we're good to go. If you want to do this theme Right, as opposed to just Do it, then you need the movies to be good non-marginal, and you need to move things around until you get it right. Also, ideally, the movies go in numerical order ... but that's a higher bar, for sure. Perhaps impossible. The fill was subpar today, for sure; surprisingly so. Well beneath what I expect at this point from this constructor. That west section is pretty emblematic. Total BAH-fest. BAHA-fest. AKELA-fest. AMOK/AMOI-city. Too much junk, too much mustiness.

I finished so fast that I'm just gonna focus on those places where I tripped—where I added seconds to my solve. Even at high speeds (for this one, 2:36), there's always time to be shaved. 

  • MDT (7D: Summer hrs. in Colorado) — wrote in CDT. My family lives there; I should know better.
  • MPEG (19D: Digital video file format) — wrote in JPEG. Dumb.
  • MENDS (14D: Gives a darn?) — had the -S and just blanked. Wanted only ... DARNS. Tough day with the "M" words.
  • AKELA (46A: Cub Scout leader named after a character in "The Jungle Book") — one of those words I know *exclusively* from crosswords, and one that I always remember as AKETA :(
  • "I RULE!" (56D: "Go me!") — that's not punctuated right. There must be a comma between "Go" and "me." Must. Ugh and BAH. Couldn't parse it, slowed me down.
  • "CAN IT!" (58D: "Zip your lip!") — had "---IT" and just had to wait on crosses. 
That's it. The only other hold-up was having zero clue what the hell "ONE FINE DAY" was (movie-wise). Overall good puzzle, with some significant but not fatal wobbliness.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Martín Abresch 1:00 AM  

Nice revealer. Of the four movies, I have seen only "Sixteen Candles." I knew "One Fine Day": it does star Clooney and Pfeiffer who are pretty darn famous. It may not be a classic, but it ain't chopped liver. Have not heard of "Four Seasons."

Did anyone notice that three of the movies have a unit of time as the other half? Day, Months, Seasons. Heck, the "Candles" refer to birthday candles and represent years.

Naturally, I went searching for alternate answers. Didn't find as many as I expected.

Rogue ONE (8)
She's the ONE (10)
The Wild ONE (10)
It Happened ONE Night (18)
ONE Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (25)

Fantastic FOUR (13)
FOUR Weddings and a Funeral (23)

NINE Queens (10)
The Whole NINE Yards (17)

If only Hitchcock had named his movie "The Forty-Nine Steps."

The 400 Blows (11)

Murder at 1600 (12)

Million Dollar Baby (17)
One Million Years B.C. (17)

While "The Wild One" or "She's the One" are worth including in preference to "One Fine Day," I think that it would stick out to have only that movie with the number at the end—especially since the one entry already looks slightly odd as the one movie out of numerical order.

Larry Gilstrap 1:11 AM  

That was a nice Monday solve por MOI. All you STEM folks probably enjoyed the SQUARES element, and all you movie buffs probably enjoyed the film titles. Talk amongst yourselves! Anything but a dreary puzzle and filled with lively fill. Remember when SADE first came out, think "Smooth Operator," etc.? Some hack introduced an "R" sound in her name and to be all cool you had to throw it in. Glad those days are over.I sleep a bit more soundly knowing that ELENA Kagan is on the job. Remember the SCOTUS? What happened to that element of government? But as a kid growing up as a Dodger (singular) fan, the Giants were the enemy. Felipe ALOU was the first, followed by Matty ALOU, and then Jesus ALOU, who had a big problem. His first name made people very uncomfortable so it soon became Jay ALOU. Folks couldn't get their heads around Jesus grounding into a double play, even worse, called out looking.

jae 1:21 AM  

Yep, easy. I've seen all the movies except @Rex ONE FINE DAY. Clever/delightful theme, liked it.

Aketi 1:51 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 1:53 AM  

Loved Sunday's puzzle and enjoyed this one too.

@Martin Abresch, I did notice the time element immediately and liked the CANDLES variation fir years. Hence, I was a little disappointed in that the theme reveal of HOLLYWOOD SQUARES didn't include some reference to that. Haha, still trying to reform my cheating ways (except on Fridays and Saturdays).

Despite having FREE WI-FI on Amtrak yesterday I did refrain from using it to cheat with Google. I filled it with hyphens, but post solve I played around with inserting various other options. My iPad also accepted the word DASH as a rebus, and even just plain D. Since my iPad is clearly gramattically promiscuous, it might need a little tEXt ED from the grammarians that understand the differences between dashes.

Andrea Ojeda 2:11 AM  

I did see ONE FINE DAY. In fact, I may have seen it twice, right around the time when George Clooney was so famous because of his role in ER. Both him and Michelle Pfeiffer are single parents that have to have their kids tag along with them all day because they missed a school trip and none of them have a babysitter (or a backup plan). The movie is pretty predictable and irrelevant, but I will always remember one tiny bit of a scene, where Clooney's daughter says to him -I'm hungry! To which he replied -d'ya wanna tic-tac?
I thought that was hilarious.

Hartley70 2:22 AM  

I knew all the movies including ONEFINEDAY and think this ONEFINE Monday puzzle. I was listening to a SADE cd yesterday and "Smooth Operator" still sounded pretty good to me. I felt like one as I glided around the grid.

AKELA was easy because I did my time in Cub Scout den mother purgatory. I palmed off the Pinewood Derby car but I had to "help" turn a cake into a cactus on very little notice. Nothing prepares one for the creative demands of parenthood. It's a MacGyver experience.

Always nice to see Rhode Island getting some attention but I don't know about those Reds. I saw on Facebook today that the CDC advises against kissing chickens. I'm trying to remember to yell SCRAM in case the situation arises.

IRULE is a nice mantra for ordinary folk. I would discourage it for political candidates.

I'm amazed at the sports trivia that NYT crosswords have implanted in my brain. I filled in ALOU and STEPH in the blink of an eye. Waaa? How did that happen? Who are those people?

Loren Muse Smith 3:05 AM  

No surprise that I was totally familiar with ONE FINE DAY. I manage to like all the lower-brow movies. Heck. I think Armageddon is one of the greatest movies ever made. And Independence Day. And Remember the Titans. Hold on to that ball, Petey!

I agree with Rex – cute theme. So cool that CC could revisit HOLLYWOOD SQUARES and come up with this.

ROOT in the northwest has to be deliberate, right?

I like the word PERV. So a PERV, a NAIF, and a NERD walk into a bar…

CHIN STRAP always reminds me of this.

Nice to have DRESSED UP crossing NUDE. What's it gonna be, buddy?

CC – good job. As usual.

aging soprano 4:32 AM  

Too many proper names for this one to be easy for me. Had to turn to Google a few times, altho needed it much less than I thought I would. I pride myself on not needing Google on a Monday. Embarassing. Been living abroad too long to recognize Bite Size Krispy Kreems, never saw The View, and can't remember which of the movies I saw or what they were about. Good puzzle, though, just a mediocre solver.$:-I

aging soprano 4:33 AM  

Too many proper names for this one to be easy for me. Had to turn to Google a few times, altho needed it much less than I thought I would. I pride myself on not needing Google on a Monday. Embarassing. Been living abroad too long to recognize Bite Size Krispy Kreems, never saw The View, and can't remember which of the movies I saw or what they were about. Good puzzle, though, just a mediocre solver.$:-I

aging soprano 4:34 AM  

Also, knew BAH but not BAHA.

George Barany 6:58 AM  

It's always a pleasure to see the by-line of my Minnesota friend and neighbor @Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel, and a further (reflected) pleasure when her work gets a generally positive reaction from @Rex and the first wave of the commentariat.

Include me with those (hi, @Andrea Ojeda, @Hartley70, and @Loren Muse Smith) with fond memories of ONE_FINE_DAY in the theaters, just delightful and--as already pointed out--@George Clooney and @Michelle Pfeiffer were at the tops of their illustrious Hollywood careers at the time it came out.

RUPP brings to mind the previous history of this Kentucky basketball icon in New York Times crossword lore.

Braga O'Energy 7:22 AM  

@George Barany:

Are you from Minnesota?! We did not know that!!

Thank you for improving our education and enriching our intellectual development for posting that information. Or maybe you already did and we just have a bad memory?

Will there be a quiz on this later?

mathgent 7:26 AM  

I like romcoms, Clooney, and Pheiffer but haven't seen One Fine Day. I'll check with Netflix.

The puzzles Ms. Burnikel gets published in WSJ are much better than this one. I guess Shortz is publishing Shenk rejects. We've seen square-number references in other puzzles recently so this is not a fresh idea. And there wasn't any crunch. Can't give it better than a D.

chefbea 8:12 AM  

Fairly easy puzzle but didn't get the square numbers til I came here.

jberg 8:16 AM  

@George Barany, I think your troll must be a student who thought he or she deserved a better grade. Those resentments die hard.

I didn't know any of these movies, but once I saw they were squares it was easy enough. Quick and fun, just the thing for a Monday.

Charles Flaster 8:24 AM  

This was a very well written Monday romp.
Appreciate the symmetry .
Liked clues for MENDS and ONIONS.
CrosswordEASE --LEI and ALOU.
RUPP Arena was a tough place for visiting teams.
Thanks ZB

Mike D 8:30 AM  

Today's post by Rex was well beneath what I expect at this point from this blogger.

Chuck McGregor 8:56 AM  

A natick at the DINA / NAIF cross made this a one cheat solve. In spite of @Rex's speedy solve, I thought it a nice Monday challenge.

I always wonder if there is a constructor that @George Barany does not know :>) Yesterday's derisive comment is totally at odds with the kind and generous correspondence I've had with him.

Musing about derisive discourse: It is said that the best leaders lead by example. When the example is not exemplary are they still the best?

Pair 28d with 36a & 37a and you get: FLAW AND ORDER.

HOLLYWOOD SQUARES never appear on the cover of those 'rag-mags' in the supermarket checkout lanes.

@LMS: Nice catch on ROOT.

There are ALSO said ROOTs (well, sorta kinda) -- FOR, TREE, TOO (root) ONE (oeno).


Braga O'Energy 8:56 AM  

I've pooped 4 times already today.

Tita A 8:59 AM  

Thanks for the pairings and for ROOT, @lms. Also, PERV crossing DRESSEDUP crossing NUDE.

Can you find black MAMBAs in the ANDES?

While I generally like the NERDy puzzle themes, this left me just a little blah. Maybe because like @Martin and @Aketi, thought there was a units-of-time thing going on.

QuasiMojo 9:00 AM  

Umm, excuse me, but "perv" does not mean "deviant". And is a rather distasteful addition to the NY Times puzzle lexicon.

Leapfinger 9:03 AM  

@Rex, AKETA? I believe you were thinking of @Aketi. I know I was. Surprised you didn't raise anything about the RUPP controversies, but there's lots of time yet for that.

When you shave seconds off your time, do you use an ATRA or a straight blade?


Howard Flax 9:03 AM  

Puzzle was very easy for me, but I'm not sure if I really understand the theme?! Movies that have numbers?! Where is the square? Is that the square I filled in? Perhaps, it's because I'm still waking up...

NCA President 9:07 AM  

Carole King singing One Fine Day live...Day. Made.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

Would "The Big Red One" have been less obscure?

Nancy 9:18 AM  

Cute theme. A bit harder for me than many Mondays, which would be a good thing, were it not for the fact that the only reason for the difficulty was the amount of PPP. And that is never a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Didn't know RUPP; BAHA; AKELA; SADE, nor the Krispy Kreme offering. But, because it's Monday, they all filled in effortlessly.

Hearty congrats to @Hartley (2:22 a.m.!)for being well on her way to becoming a recognized sports trivia pro! It starts with STEPH and ALOU, but it won't end there. Soon you'll be able to name all three ALOU brothers, provide STEPH's 3-pointer stats for the last 2 years, and, maybe, even come up with a HONUS WAGNER, a RED BARBER, or ILIE NASTASE now and then. After that, who knows? Mary Carillo's getting a little long in the tooth, so you may have sports commentary in your future.

I do disagree with you, though, on the permitted use of I RULE for ordinary people who are not politicians. I, personally, don't know anyone who has ever said I RULE to me. I don't want to know anyone who would ever say I RULE. I suppose it could be said tongue-in-cheek, but it still sounds pretty obnoxious to me.

Z 9:18 AM  

@Rex - Pretty sure it should be an en dash, not a comma.

81 Answers so I was a little disappointed that this was only 16x15, not 16x16. I was going to complain about ONE not being a SQUARE, but then realized I was conflating SQUARE and prime.

I have to agree with Rex, CC is a veteran constructor. This fill isn't up to her standards. @Mike D - I don't know about you, but I'm okay with saying that experience raises the bar. CC has had days where she's had three puzzles published in three different outlets. BAH crossing BAHA? I'd point that out if this was her debut.

Hungry Mother 9:21 AM  

Ph.D. In Mathematics, but didn't catch the square reference; I thought they were NERDy movies.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

@everyone rex, ask rex why he won't block the personal attacks on George.

Aketi 9:54 AM  

@Tita A, the answer to your question is no, but you can find green ones and black ones in AKETi. The green ones scared me more than the black ones.

@ Leapfinger, I know that was LAME but after your comment I couldn't resist

Minh Khánh Bùi 10:17 AM  

thanks for share
Ice Age 5 ➤ Collision Course ➤ Comedy best movies 2016

old timer 10:22 AM  

I wish there was a famous song called "Nine Months" but I can't find one. "One Fine Day" and Sixteen Candles qualify, and The Four Seasons is both a well-known piece of music and an iconic American group of singers. But no "Nine Months" though I see the movie had plenty of music,

Tim Pierce 10:25 AM  

@Howard Flax: the numbers in the theme answers are all square numbers. NINE, FOUR, SIXTEEN, ONE.

Tim Pierce 10:30 AM  

I had no problem getting ONE FINE DAY. I had to dig a little deeper to remember THE FOUR SEASONS, which sank to obscurity pretty soon after it was released.

@Martin Abresch makes a good point -- while THE WILD ONE would have been a much better, more iconic choice of movie, it would have immediately stood out for having the ONE at the end of the title rather than the beginning... and while I don't personally mind that much, it seems sure as eggs is eggs that Rex would call it out for bad form. ONE FINE DAY is fine.

The longer fill was also a lot of fun: DONUT HOLE, CHINSTRAP, DRESSED UP, ILL AT EASE. And a nice touch for sure to make a puzzle about square numbers in a 16x16 grid.

Tim Pierce 10:31 AM  

(Ack, @Z corrects me above: the grid was only 16x15! OK, that just seems weird.)

Numinous 10:33 AM  

Oh my, oh my, oh my. What a puzzle – so pregnant with possibilities. Couldn't help but notice Molly Ringwald getting a Pretty in Pink reference with DRESSED UP to go along with her SIXTEEN CANDLES. This puzzle brought out the PERV in my inner fourteen-year-old noting that to avoid being ILL AT EASE for NINE MONTHS, there will be a STERN NIX ON NUDE SEX ED for SRS.

I always have mixed feelings about CC's puzzles (well, usually). This one presented no challenges to me. I will say I was surprised to see STEPH again so soon. The ALOU brothers are almost always a gimme. BAHA Men usually comes easily only because it should be spelled with a "J". BAH, BAHA, BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

ONE FINE DAY used to crop up on ABC Family or Lifetime periodically. Sunday afternoons used to be for chick flicks in our house, I've seen it several times. THE FOUR SEASONS? No. The thought of Alan Alda at his soppiest makes me want to break out the insulin.

I'm not a fast solver by any means but this and the mini combined, 11:14 including loading time.

mmespeer 10:34 AM  

@Anonymous 9:41 I was wondering this also. Is this why the comments were monitored for awhile before they have been allowed in "real time" once again? I don't know George Barany but there is nothing in his comments that warrants such snark.

Jim in Chicago 10:37 AM  

Easy but ended with a DNF due to the semi-Natick at BAHA and AKELA.

Malsdemare 10:59 AM  

@Aketi "ipad is grammatically promiscuous"! Best line EVER. I shall promptly steal it. I blew through this one with nary a blip but, as usual, the subtlety of "square" blew past ME. Puzzle RULEd, not I. The only movie I've seen is THE FOUR SEASONS, which made a big splash when it came out. I may need to find ONE FINE DAY; I like Pfeiffer and Clooney is such great eye candy. I had STEve for STEPH, which shattered me because I was so proud of myself to finally actually, maybe, know a pro athlete, and then I didn't. My undergrad alma mater, Marquette, played a tournament game in RUPP arena my senior year when they were still the Warriors. I'm very proud of my school that they were almost the first university to ditch the Native American mascots (ours was Willie Wampum, a horrible cartoon of a mascot). Adolph was still a god back then. I loved NAIF - such a fun word - agree PERV made me ILLATEASE as clued by deviant.

MAMBO reminded me instantly of a song by Zap Mama called "Bandy Bandy" which features a black mambo in the weeds. Gonna go listen now. Maybe the whole album!

@rex, yes, please block George's troll.

Roo Monster 11:13 AM  

Hey All !
Nice slighty bigger than normal CC MonPuz. Have to admit, though... I didn't get the SQUARE root thing! :-( The ole brain kept wondering how the movies were "Square". Was it because they were all RomComs? Silly...

Agree would've been more elegant (eleganter?) had the Movies been in numerical order. Actually surprised CC didn't do that. She usually has such tight standards. THE FOUR SEASONS was slightly beyond my recollection of older movie years. But Carol Burnett was always funny. That was Prime Time for her.

Missed the pangram by a J and a Z. Originally, I had a J in at BAjA, so I thought CC would have a Z hiding somewhere, but that J was indeed an H, so oh well.

Liked it, embarrassed I didn't sniff out theme, but hey, at least I'm not a troll.


Carola 11:13 AM  

Wish I'd paid more attention to the numbers than to the fact that the grid is made up of SQUARES. So a DNF due to NUT (not understanding theme).

I agree with @Z [insert em-dash] Ms. Burnikel's puzzles can be such a delight, but I find that those appearing in the Times are often rather wan.

Joseph Michael 11:30 AM  

Nice theme, but way too many proper nouns for me. Finished with a couple of lucky guesses.

Haven't seen any of the movies and never watched HOLLYWOOD SQUARES, but was at least familiar with the titles. Was glad that the theme turned out to be more than just random comedies.

Sorry to see that the troll has returned and hope that it won't affect the timing of the comments.

Yo, troll. You know who you are. SCRAM!

Z 11:46 AM  

As far as I can tell Blogger = has two methods available to the blogger/creator to exercise control over nastiness -- Moderation or deleting posts after the fact. Blogger seems to have last had a major update 10 years ago, or roughly 3 eons in software years. There is no way that I see to block an individual commenter. Rex has deleted comments in the past. I can count on one hand, and have fingers left over, the number of times he has done so.

Z 11:47 AM  

I have no idea how that "=" sign got there.

Anoa Bob 11:50 AM  

Nice for those who like theme-heavy puzzles and watch a lot of movies. Other than that, not much left for a word-NERD to chew on. Lots of 3- & 4-letter glue to hold it all together.

Nice to see SADE clued as the singer rather than the Marquis. It's also the name of her band. I love their sound. It's like AURAL opium.

@Larry Gilstrap, never heard SADE pronounced with an R in it. She was born in Nigeria to a Nigerian dad & British mom as Helen Folasade Adu, which became Sade Adu (Shah Day Ah Doo) later on back in England, which was further shortened to just Sade (Shah Day) when she & her band began recording. So I think the pronunciation reflects her Nigerian ROOTs. Just saw at wiki that she has been awarded the crosswordy OBE.

Tom 12:00 PM  

Fast Monday, solved last night on the screen at 8:00 PDT. Only error was BAJA boys, being a left coaster living above BAJA California. Hut hollywood SQUARES doesn't quite work. Went to post incredibly clever comments before any of the resident wits, but the blog wasn't up yet!

Had to wait until this morning, and by then said wits stole all my lines. BAH! Ha.

Roo Monster 12:11 PM  

@Numinous, said he finished puz in 11:14. That's actually a very cool movie! Yes, that's the title, "11:14". If you've never seen it, or for that matter, heard of it, you need to check it out. It's a cool flick.


Braga O'Energy 12:14 PM  


There is a difference between sarcasm and "nastiness."

Those who are leaping to Barany's defense indicate that everyone has special knowledge that can enrich all of us and we should be glad to receive that knowledge.

I would like to know how my inner life is enhanced be reading constantly repeated posts that trumpet that Barany is a chemistry professor at the University of Minnesota and that he is BFFs with every crossword constructor in the US.

Don't you think that is also disruptive to the forum? Don't braggadocio, name-dropping and social climbing bug you? Do you support Donald Trump, the braggart in chief?

By the way, a real troll is someone who posts using another's name to talk about poop.

Andrew Heinegg 12:26 PM  

Amen, amen; and done with a 'clever?!' fictitious name; not only uncalled for but cowardly;

Masked and Anonymous 12:44 PM  

CC is one of M&A's very fave constructioneers. Always look forward to findin out what that little darlin's puz is up to, theme-wise. Sure weren't disappointed by her theme choice, today. Combinin HOLLYWOOD SQUARES and advanced math class -- whooddah thunk it? Good job, Ms. CC.

Some luv crosswords becuz of the search for the golden theme. [m&e]
Some luv crosswords becuz of the search for exquisite turns of interlocking, lively vocab. [burp]
Some luv crosswords becuz of the search for inevitable sweaty pockets of desperation. [m&e]
Some luv U's. [me me me]

This MonPuz has something for everyone. Ok, enough of the praise; now onward, to the usual basket of deplorables…

fave weeject: SRS. Palindromic plural abbr. Hat trick.

fave desperate "square" themer: ONEFINEDAY. Not so much becuz it's not quite as well known a flick. I saw it, in the local bijou, many moons back in the day. M&A luvs it, becuz of its desperation, as a math square. 1 x 1 indeed does equal 1, but yee katz … whatta yawn-inspirin example. har. Even more desperate example: ZERODARKTHIRTY. [ 0 x 0 = 0. Also: extra nice, becuz it has an extra number, as an outrageously unacceptable mis-direct. So … adds a "dash" of controversy, for the Comment Gallery to yow-yow about.]

OENO. I'll drink to that.

fave moo-cow MonPuz clue: {China's ___ Zedong} = MAO. [Across-Lite also surely accepts an answer of: LONGDUCK, in honor of "Sixteen Candles".]

Thanx, CC.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

Andrew Heinegg 12:50 PM  

I am thinking that this might be a puzzle that Ms. Z did some time ago and is just being published now. My blind reasoning is that recent puzzles of hers are seeming to get ever better in substance and polish. While this was not a bad puzzle, it does not appear to be as well constructed as some of her other work.

Note to Braga: if you don't like the posts of someone, don't read them. But, to make continuous ad hominem attacks on someone is Trump-like to me. In fact, it is one of most repulsive aspects of the Trump campaign. You don't explain why you disagree with a position that someone else takes. Rather, you engage in name calling as though you were in 5th grade, lying Ted, crooked Hillary and so on. Ironically, most of the most opprobrious name calling engaged in by Trump uses 'nicknames' that would be far more appropriate for Trump than the person Trump is applying them to.

I find it very odd indeed that one would attack Messrs. Barany and Trump with the same negative characterization.

Howard Flax 12:55 PM  


Teedmn 1:04 PM  

Unlike @Hartley70, I have yet to uncover my heretofore-hidden "sports" gene, so only having seen STEPH somewhere this past week got me 4D.

THE FOUR SEASONS was shown on cable a lot in the '80s which was a period that I spent a lot of time watching TV. It wasn't as good as Alda and Ellen Burstyn in "Same Time, Next Year" but it wasn't bad as a rom-com either.

This took about a minute longer than my usual Monday and now I know I can blame the extra grid width, thought it's probably due to not knowing two of the movie names.

We can just GLOSS over SEX ED and those NUDE APES in the corner. And the answer to the RSVP is YES!

Thanks, CC, another Monday run AMOK.

Charles kluepfel 1:12 PM  

NOIR, STEPH and RUPP got me. Also previously thought BAJA was the only spelling. But I KNOW that Krispy Kreme spells DOUGHNUT the way I spell it here, and not DONUT.

OISK 1:20 PM  

Not an easy Monday for me at all. Never heard of Baha Men nor Akela, and know that there is a one-named singer called Sade ( just as I NOW know there is a "Sia...") only from puzzles. I found the theme to be pretty lame, realizing that the numbers were "squares" only after I finished the puzzle completely and tried to make sense of it. "One Fine Day" for me is an aria, not a movie. "The Four Seasons" is an Irish song (The Wolfe Tones recorded it), 16 candles is a song as well, of course, can't come up with a nine...

Teedmn 1:20 PM  

I just noticed that AMOK is a DOOK, clue it as "Doing fine, tersely"? Sounds like something in telegram-ese.

puzzle hoarder 1:40 PM  

Thinking that ANSES was some S. African mountain range I've not come across shows two things. One is that I'm always hoping for something new on these boringly easy theme happy puzzles. The other is that I read through the wrong part of my bifocals on occasion.
I may be a borderline troll but the real problem with this site is not the trolls but the cliqueshness.

Masked and Anonymous 1:47 PM  

@OISK. yep. There yah go. Song titles:

ONE FINE DAY - by the Chiffons.
FOUR STRONG WINDS - by all kinds of folk singers/bands.
EIGHT DAYS A WEEK - by the Beatles.
LOVE POTION NO. NINE - by the Clovers.
SIXTEEN CANDLES - by the Crests.
TWENTYFIVE SCOTTISH SONGS - by (rollover) Beethoven.
THIRTY THREE - by the Smashing Pumpkins (ow … so close!)
MINER FORTY NINER - "Clementine" lyric - by Jan & Arnie
… etc. ….
ONE IN A MILLION - by Aaliyah [7 letters! hello, runtpuz!]

Primo. SQUARE DANCECRAZE theme. (Beatles one would be a CUBE-theme seed.)

M&A Help Desk and 45 rpm dumping ground

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

I don't normally think of ONE as a square. What good is the square root of one? Maybe it's really a CUBE.

foxaroni 2:15 PM  

FOUR SEASONS is an eminently forgettable movie, but it contains a couple lines of dialogue (not "dialog") that I've always remembered.

ALDA:You know how I've always said our relationship goes in waves?
ALDA:Well, right now I'd say we're in a very deep trough.

Enjoyed the puzzle, C.C., but like many here, didn't get the theme until explained by Rex.

foxaroni 2:24 PM  

@M&A--for the "record," FOUR STRONG WINDS was written by Canadian Ian Tyson, and first recorded by him with Sylvia Fricker (later Mrs. Tyson) as the folk duo Ian and Sylvia.

Don't know why I felt compelled to throw that in. Feel free to throw it back out. ;-p

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

@Braga O'Energy Just admit it buddy. Type the words, "Yes it's me, he gets under my skin and this is MY blog! wah!"

QuasiMojo 3:46 PM  

Would "One Million Years B.C." work? Might be a tight fit. :)

JC66 5:12 PM  

@ Z

re: your 11:46 AM post

if @rex deleted an offending post before you read it, how would you know?


Don't feed the troll

David in CA 5:29 PM  

@Braga O'Energy I've actually had a somewhat similar reaction to your's to an occasional post of George's, yet I have never even considered posting a nasty sarcastic (yes, both) reply. George always posts under his own name, so it is trivial to just skip over his posting if I so desire. You, on the other hand, choose to post your vitriol under constantly changing names so I can not avoid it. And apparently for no other reason than to make people feel worse - at least I can imagine no other goal you could have.

So - please stop. It will make this whole blog just a little more pleasant for everyone else.


David in CA 5:34 PM  

I have a theory! There are actually two Rexes! Yes - there have to be, no other possible explanation.
How could the Rex who has so demolished seemingly (to me at least) fine themes for "inconsistencies" possibly be the Rex who wrote the words today:
"There's no reason the "ONE" has to come first. Who cares?"

(was this a nasty post?)

Andrew Heinegg 6:23 PM  

I am thinking that this might be a puzzle that Ms. Z did some time ago and is just being published now. My blind reasoning is that recent puzzles of hers are seeming to get ever better in substance and polish. While this was not a bad puzzle, it does not appear to be as well constructed as some of her other work.

Note to Braga: if you don't like the posts of someone, don't read them. But, to make continuous ad hominem attacks on someone is Trump-like to me. In fact, it is one of most repulsive aspects of the Trump campaign. You don't explain why you disagree with a position that someone else takes. Rather, you engage in name calling as though you were in 5th grade, lying Ted, crooked Hillary and so on. Ironically, most of the most opprobrious name calling engaged in by Trump uses 'nicknames' that would be far more appropriate for Trump than the person Trump is applying them to.

I find it very odd indeed that one would attack Messrs. Barany and Trump with the same negative characterization.

Evan Jordan 6:52 PM  

I remember my guitar teacher in my high school days insisting up and down that it was pronounced with the R. I thought he was nuts. Since then I've heard it's the correct to pronounce it and that it's merely a misinterpretation of the "ah" sound in posh Queen's English that rounds off with a subtle R sound. Either way, Shah Day is what most people say in the states, and it sounds forced to my ears to say the R.

Anonymous 7:03 PM  

Nice Monday puzzle - I think @loren muse smith and I have the same taste in movies!

Leapfinger 7:47 PM  

@foxaroni, thanks for your throwback, reminding me of Ian & Sylvia's FOUR STRONG WINDS.

OENO: Yoko marries Brian. I think @M&Aeno might drink to that.

I'd say more, but don't want to seem cliquish. [Interesting word: klik-wish, yes?]

Oh, almost forgot -- I nominate we henceforth use "grammatically promiscuous/ prudish" in lieu of "prescriptivist/ descriptivist". Or vice versa.

Anonymous 9:30 PM  

@ChuckMcGregor The word leader says nothing about the quality of the objective to which the throng is being led. Some leaders we praise today only because they were on a side that we approve of. Ethan Allen was a thug leading thugs, Green Mountain Boys, until the revolution came along to legitimatize him and his gang as an example. Robert Rogers of Rogers Rangers is another.

Larry Gilstrap 11:27 PM  

Nosing around I googled C.C. and the first image that pops up is of her and Professor Barany. Sweet!

Z 8:55 AM  

@JC66 - If I delete my own comment Blogger leaves a "this comment deleted by the author" message. If Rex deletes a comment Blogger leaves a "this comment deleted by the moderator" message. I'm not certain, but I think Rex has also commented every time he has deleted a post.

@Leapfinger - Is it possible to be neither promiscuous nor prudish? I mean, I'll use the singular "they" but I still cringe when "their" appears where there should be a "there." I've even deleted a comment and posted a corrected text when I've done it. And while I get that people now use "literally" to mean "figuratively" I don't buy the "it's being used figuratively knowingly for emphasis" argument. BullShit. Most people using "literally" figuratively don't have a clue, meaning if you do have a clue you ought not use it figuratively because it still makes you look clueless. Still, if I have to be one or the other, I'll go grammatically promiscuous.

Wm. C. 9:13 AM  

@LarryG --

Also on her images site is a pic of her with -- ta-DAH! -- Will Shortz.

BTW, she's a neighbor of our buddy George in Minnesota. ;-)

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

I don't know if this was posted anywhere, but the WSJ puzzle from Tuesday has the same theme.

George Barany 12:52 PM  

@Anonymous (12:28 pm, Saturday) -- the Tuesday Wall Street Journal puzzle by @Howard Barkin does have some significant similarities to the Monday New York Times puzzle by @Zhouqin Burnikel, but I don't view the themes to be identical. Both puzzles use ONE..., FOUR..., NINE..., and SIXTEEN..., and in fact, two of those theme entries overlap exactly although they are clued differently. @Howard's puzzle presents the answers in numerical order, and uses its overall title to convey the theme. @Zhouqin's puzzle restricts itself to film titles, has them in an order governed by symmetry considerations, and reveals the theme with the central spanning 16-letter answer HOLLYWOOD_SQUARES.

Similar themes happen ever so often, though it is unusual for this to occur just a day apart. Interestingly, though not all that surprisingly, three separate crossword venues all ran similar themes connected with "Talk Like a Pirate Day" earlier this month.

kitshef 8:39 AM  

Not a big Molly Ringwald fan, but she is two things I adore: SIXTEEN CANDLES and the TV adaptation of THE STAND.

ONE FINE DAY grossed $46 million and got an Oscar nomination, so it's not exactly chopped liver, but AIR FORCE ONE might get a bit more recognition. Of course, then you have to find another 11 to match it...

Burma Shave 12:17 PM  


NINEMONTHS later she couldn’t UNDO that LEI,
AND was ILLATEASE that SEX-ED hadn’t been reviewed.


Diana,LIW 12:39 PM  

Just did a CC puzzle yesterday in the LA Times. Well, it wasn't in the Times, it was in my local Sunday paper.

Look at me - all "CC" wise. Like some kind of pro.

However, a pro wouldn't have Naticked out at MAMBA/BEHAR/NINEMONTHS. But I did.

Who is Merril Bina? Got her from the crosses.

A fun puzzle, but too many obscure WOES for a Monday, IMHO.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 12:56 PM  

ONEFINEDAY will always bring Carole King to my mind, not some silly romcom flick. She should've sued when they copped her title. Like others, I was surprised to see the byline on this one. I mean, MDT, really? However, the rest isn't too bad. Sultry SADE is DOD. That NUDE intersects here fires the imagination. Not much else to say. Might as well award a square: NINE yards.

Larry Jordan 1:46 PM  

Eight is not an even square.

rondo 2:06 PM  

Didn’t realize it was 16 wide, but no diff. Pretty good for a Mon-puz. @CC and @George B must live just down the Green Line from where I work. Saw CC at the MNXword Tourney last summer, didn’t talk to her but glad she could make it to ASSIST.

@OISK – again dude, ya gotta get out more. SADE’s been around for 30 years. CANIT be you never heard “Smooth Operator”? It was everywhere.

DINA Merrill had her time as a classy blonde in the 50s-60s AND Ms. BEHAR seems to be holding her own, but SADE Adu is today’s yeah baby. She’s usually all DRESSEDUP, but, YES, did pose NUDE some 30 years ago, in very good taste, BTW. If you don’t get all romantic listening to SADE, you have some sort of FLAW. There’s some good AURAL FOR you.

Looks like ONEFINEDAY outside. I’m gonna SCRAM.

leftcoastTAM 2:12 PM  

Saw this as a medium/average Monday with an apparently simple theme and revealer. Didn't notice that the numbers were all squares. Nice touch.

Monday easy, but with some bite: HPEG, BEHAR, NAIF, PERV (hmm..), and the obscure IRULE, as clued. BAHA/AKELA cross a potential Natick.

Liked it.

wcutler 2:56 PM  

I'm with Jim in Chicago, DNF on BAHA and AKELA. On a Monday! That is so discouraging. At least I know I was able to finish the Saturday two days before(ok, that was an easy Saturday, practically by definition = I finished it).

BS2 2:56 PM  

Nothing hotter live
SADE Live Aid 1985:

leftcoastTAM 6:44 PM  

Can't beat Carole King's ONEFINEDAY. Thanks for the link, Rex.

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