14-legged crustacean / THU 10-20-16 / Jesse who lost governor's race to Ronald Reagan in 1970 / 1960s western starring Clint Eastwood

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Constructor: Alan Arbesfeld

Relative difficulty: Medium (despite palindromic giveaways)


THEME: "palindromically"[stares at puzzle in a disbelief he didn't know he could still experience]

Theme answers:
  • EMUS SAIL I ASSUME (17A: "Supposedly, some Australian birds can participate in the America's Cup," palindromically)
  • A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA (27A: "Peter the Great, Mother Teresa and Bob Marley,
    palindromically)
  • TOO BAD I HID A BOOT (47A: "My concealment of that footwear was so unfortunate,"
    palindromically)
  • NO WAY A PAPAYA WON (61A: That tropical entry could not have captured first place in the fruit competition, palindromically) (I ASSUME this clue also should've had quotation marks around it, but that's not how it appears in my puzzle file, so that's not how I'm displaying it here)
Word of the Day: Jesse UNRUH (30D: Jesse who lost the governor's race to Ronald Reagan in 1970) —
Jesse Marvin Unruh (September 30, 1922 – August 4, 1987), also known as Big Daddy Unruh, was a well-known American Democratic politician and the California State Treasurer.  // An early endorser of the 1968 Presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, Unruh helped Kennedy win the California primary election during June, but an assassin's bullet that same night ended Kennedy's life. In the confusion that followed, Unruh helped keep suspect Sirhan Sirhan from the reach of angry Kennedy devotees. After an unsuccessful effort, managed by Unruh and Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, to draft Senator Edward M. Kennedy, he finally endorsed Eugene McCarthy at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. (wikipedia)
• • •

"MA HANDED EDNA HAM! (15) Hahahahahaha let's keep going!" —Bizarro Me playing this ridiculous game.



All these palindromes are on the internet. Finding 15-letter palindromes is child's play. Lazy, boring child's play. How is this a Thursday puzzle from "The Best Puzzle in the World"? Seriously, how? In 2016, how? How desperate is the NYT for Thursdays (or any days)? If your faith in the future strength of the NYT crossword isn't ERODENT at this point, I don't know what to tell you. The Brain Drain is real.


All the crosswordese. All the crosswordese names. And then also UNRUH . . . . [cough] . . . [tumbleweed] . . . [a wolf howls] ...

I'm out.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

146 comments:

Anonymous 6:08 AM  

Those who can't.

mathgent 6:26 AM  

Out here we know Jesse Unruh well. He controlled the California legislature for years.

I really enjoyed discovering the four palindromes and I thought that the cluing was quite smart. But it was a little lacking in crunch. Put me down for a strong B.







George Barany 6:30 AM  

@Alan Arbesfeld is a highly prolific constructor with over a hundred New York Times crossword puzzles to his credit, starting in the Reagan administration (as President). Thanks, @Alan and @Rex, for the trip down memory lane to Jesse UNRUH.

Working through this puzzle, I couldn't help thinking ALAN_WAS_I_ERE_I_SAW_NALA.

With my mind still on yesterday's puzzle and last night's PROVOCATION, I would like to PROmote Debate and Switch -- it's only 7x11, lacks standard crossword symmetry, and has a trick appropriate for today. Enjoy!

Loren Muse Smith 6:32 AM  

Anagrams, unless they're of the dirty room/ dormitory ilk, don't do much for me. Panlindromes, though, just stun me. Especially long ones like these. I don't care how weird the result is. And I don’t care that these are out there on the internet. Aside from one, I’ve never seen these, so I loved having them gridified up and presented to me for consideration. The phrases are delighfully weird. I'll work with Alan here. And if I'm willing to play along and imagine scenarios where someone might say these things… Hah!

The one I had already seen is in this remarkable song I shared a few weeks back

I thought I'd had a dnf because of UNRUH. That's quite a name there.

I would imagine that if you're a rock star, you're not turning on the AMP yourself. Your roadie minions would be dealing with that stuff, right? But nice clue.

I liked the MANLY BRUTES and SHORE up crossing ERODENT. Can you shore up an erodent shore?

Cool symmetrical pair of JUBILANT IT'S A DATE. When Tim N finally asked me out, man oh man was *that* a day.

Alan himself was a bit of a "worker with hides" in this with HYDE, HID, RAWHIDE – hah!

And in that Super Fruit Bowl contest – NO WAY A PAPAYA WON. I'm just glad the orange was defeated.

The time is nigh. RISE TO VOTE, SIR.

Anonymous 6:34 AM  

"I'm out."

If only that were true.

George Barany 6:39 AM  

A valuable and beloved member of this community, and a dear friend, celebrates a birthday today in Nepal. Find out who by solving Child's Play.

Lewis 6:54 AM  

Like @loren, I've never seen these palindromes before, so, due to my ignorance, the solving was a great deal of fun. Tricky cluing (like "Host" for SEA) added to the challenge. Post-solve I felt JUBILANT from a combination of smile-and-sometimes-laugh producing theme answers, and mastering a puzzle that gave me a good fight. Alan, in my book, for this day, consider yourself, by me, DEIFIED.

Eric 7:03 AM  

@Anonymous. Why read and post then?

Paul Johnson 7:10 AM  

@ Rex HE GOD DAM MAD DOG EH?

Glimmerglass 7:35 AM  

A principle of good teaching or good editing or good almost any activity is that the critic, editor, teacher takes what he finds and does something useful with it. "I'm out" is just a cop out. Rex, it's time for you to think about why you write this blog.

Dave 7:36 AM  

Too bad this palindrome didn't fit: Tulsa night life-filth, gin, a slut

David Krost 7:44 AM  

Without even going back to look through the last few months of reviews, Rex hates themes that involve palindromes, word ladders, anagrams, word play such as yesterday's "proX", hidden words such as "middle name" in answers such as "Vietnam Era", wacky clue/answer themes such as when a letter is moved from its normal place or added in, .... I don't think I need to go on as that was only from the last week's worth of puzzles. Going back further would reveal more I am sure.

My working theory is that Rex perceived a snub from Will Shortz, either a puzzle submission that was refused or a lack of recognition at a conference or, well who knows. But this has just gotten ridiculous. I know I don't have to read his reviews, there are other more sane ones. But it is entertaining to see how far over the edge he goes involving both this kind of issue as well as political correctness, which I find hilarious to expect in a crossword puzzle, at least to the extreme he does. Still, the rejection of virtually every theme over the last week was particularly striking.

evil doug 7:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
evil doug 7:52 AM  

You need a siesta after all that ole ole stuff (I had USA USA for a bit).

Bleach Broadway manly isopod jubilant Unruh Uris slurs Rawhide brutes? Good vivid stuff.

And caucused and Epipen are timely.

Yeah, palindromes can be self-solving, but I deem this an entertaining Thursday.

Rex, I'm a Gag-a-Mixer 8:04 AM  

I like Bizarro RP, keep him coming. "Ma handed Edna a ham"! You sir, are the ham! Maybe construct a puzzle with such answers and clever clues that will make people smile.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

I also disagree with Rex on the theme. I had a lot of fun figuring out the palindromes and was delighted when I got them. That fill tho - yikes.

-The Rhino

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

To Dave Krost at 7:44AM: I could not agree with you more. I have been reading this blog regularly since June 2016 and I can not recall a puzzle with which Rex has been pleased. It is somewhat disheartening to check in daily and hear the constant complaining. It does make me wonder if there is some agenda afoot.

Ted 8:22 AM  

I liked this puzzle. Sure, the theme may not be earth-shattering, but it's enough fun while drinking my morning coffee.

These things come out daily, you know. Themes and tricks are going to be repeated over time. Some will be done better than others, with more flare. That's okay. It's just a Thursday crossword. :)

kitshef 8:24 AM  

One thing I liked about this was that the palindrome angle allowed the cluing and fill to be trickier than a usual Thursday, as one letter often yielded its twin.

Thus the otherwise unknown NIA Long was filled in thanks to EPIPEN, ACE by ACT, ABEL by SIESTA, etc.

Very pleasant for me.

Ted 8:24 AM  

Also very much agree with Dave Krost.

I like reading this blog. I'm relatively new to solving, have been doing it for just the last year, and I like this blog as my sanity check when I get done with a particularly challenging solve.

But the constant hatred is beginning to detract from the joy. :(

G.Harris 8:25 AM  

How is second cousin a moment?

Ted 8:30 AM  

G. Harris: a second, as in 1/60th of a minute ;)

seanm 8:44 AM  

surprised that rex hated this so much. as it seems with most others, i enjoyed solving this one. came in a little faster than an average thursday for me, mostly because of the free palindrome letters. why are we supposed to care that these palindromes are available on the internet? it doesn't seem plausible that any <20 letter palindromes could be new

URIS UNRUH was a natick, but thankfully i had no other letters so going through the vowels got it for me.

Hartley70 8:50 AM  

I loved it! I'm not a person who googles palindromes in my spare time, so the long entries tickled me to bits. Even if I was that person once or twice, I wouldn't remember them umptyump years later, so these would still be fresh and fun. It's Thursday and this is a cool trick so let's lighten up, Rex!

ARCO crossing ABEL Naticked me right off the bat. They stumped me until they were my last two bits of fill and then I gave them a lucky guess.

UNRAH got pulled from the bottom of the memory bank. I'm old enough to remember the sound of the name, but young enough to have no idea who he was or what he did politically.

I like the timeliness of EPIPEN. I wish the FDA could put a stop to the greed of pharmaceutical companies. Is there no corporate shame in this country? I appreciate a hidden rant in my puzzle. Thank you, Alan.

This was a terrific start to the day and put me in a good mood before my feet hit the floor.

Happy Birthday, John!



NeilD 8:53 AM  

Too many proper nouns for my taste but I loved the theme

Nancy 8:59 AM  

So I was thinking how hard this must have been to construct. First you have to come up with the palindromes -- no mean feat -- and then you have to work them into a puzzle. After which you have to clue and fill the thing in such a way that even though the palindromes give half the puzzle away, it still presents enough challenge to satisfy those who like a challenge. And all that work for, what?, $200? 300? Now, upon reading (or rather skimming) Rex, I see that the palindromes were available on the Internet. And what I say is Very Smart Indeed on Arbesfeld's part. How hard do you expect this guy to work for such a pittance anyway? I enjoyed this a lot. It was breezy and kooky and fun and required thinking -- always a good thing in my book. Couldn't disagree with Rex more. Very nice puzzle.

GHarris 9:01 AM  

Thanks Ted. It actually dawned on me a second after I posted.

Don McBrien 9:04 AM  

What's an ERIA? And boy am I glad I'm not a physiognomist!

Irene 9:08 AM  

Palindromes are fun for those of us who love word play. Who cares if they're available on the internet? Probably just puzzle-constructors.
And by providing a slight assist from the palindromes the constructor could play with the clues: like second being cousin to a moment. It brightened up my morning.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Rex, using this doll, show us where the palindrome touched you.

Brian's Thong 9:17 AM  

I loved the palindromes (that they're "on the internet" doesn't mean much, considering every answer is a google search away), but the UNRUH/URIS cross was a definite Natick, especially since both those people were last relevant 30 years before I was born.

tb 9:17 AM  

I feel sorry for all the people for whom their condition of parole is that they are forced to read @Rex's blog.

@Rex has well-formed ideas about what he likes. What's wrong with that? Is he supposed to like something just because you do? Or pretend just so you won't get your feefees hurt?

If you don't like his comments, make an argument, but it is condescending and rude to tell him "it's time for you to think about why you write this blog."

BTW, I liked the puzzle, but that doesn't mean @Rex had to and it doesn't mean that I'm now no longer allowed to.

Grumpy McGrumperson 9:29 AM  

Rex will be pleasant for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year (when he's asking for money), for a couple of days around his blog's anniversary (when he pats himself on the back for his dedication), and when a puzzle is by Patrick Berry. Otherwise, he's usually a grump.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Hear, hear.

chefbea 9:34 AM  

Loved the puzzle!!! Will read the comments later.
Went to camp with Leon Uris's niece...or have I mentioned that before.

Stanley Hudson 9:36 AM  

"And I am a snake head eating
The head on the opposite side"
"I Palindrome I" TMBG

Perfectly captures OFL on his crankier days.

@John Child: HBD. Thanks to @George Barany for alerting us to this.

NormC 9:37 AM  

Does one use an e-pet store at an e-mall to buy an E-RODENT?

Mike D 9:43 AM  

Rex's scripted positive reviews are getting boring. Maybe he should use the phrase "supposed best puzzle in the world" more often? Talk about phoning it in...

crabsofsteel 9:44 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, once I got MAKES DO instead of MANAGES.

John V 9:46 AM  

Sorry, @Rex I had fun with with this one. No offense.

Junief 9:49 AM  

So sad that Rex can't get the pleasure so many of us clearly do from the Times puzzles. Love this one-- it made my morning coffee even more delicious!

GILL I. 9:49 AM  

My grandmother spend a lot of time with me trying to teach me "correct" English and so she introduced me to palindromes and crossword puzzles.
The only palindrome I remember to this day is "Mr Owl Ate My Metal Worm." The ones Mr. Arbesfeld (love his name) has in this puzzle are all new to me. The PAPAYA one made me laugh.
I malapoped (Hi ACME) at SEE & SEA but otherwise a sweet and fun Thursday. UNRUH s gimme. He was all over the place in California politics and he has a name you can't forget.
@Norm C...E-RODENT...good one.
Anyway, this put me in a good mood so thanks AA
MANLY BRUTES don't take SIESTAS.

QuasiMojo 9:50 AM  

My goodness, most of you seem to have a very low threshold of delight. This puzzle was ghastly. I love palindromes as much as the next person with a Napoleonic complex. "Able was I" etc. But these were awful ones, even if they can be found on the internet. There's a lot of junk on the web but that doesn't mean we have to have it shoved in our physiognomies in the NYT crossword. The clueing was subpar "to boot." In fact, this puzzle made me want to "boot."

Mohair Sam 9:56 AM  

@Don McBrien (9:04) - Wise ass.

@Rex - Everything's on the internet - we don't really care if the constructor didn't create these palindromes himself, they were fun to play with.

On the other hand, I wish y'all would stop complaining about Rex's complaining - it's what he does, he's demanding near perfection. Have fun with it - I told Lady Mohair: "This one'll prob'ly kill old Rex", and then laughed like hell while reading his wild west death throes.

Didn't know UNRUH here, but no problem with him in the puzz - we often expect you western folks to know old NYC mayors and Manhattan neighborhoods. Sam NEILL misspells his own name - cost me ton of time, somebody should talk to him. Loved the clues for SIESTA and MOMENT. Saw OKSANA skate live one Christmas Eve in Syracuse when she was so very young, what a talent. URIS wrote a book called "The HAJ", almost had it here. Tip of the cap to Tip O'Neill (spelled correctly with the "O" in front) for the "All politics is LOCAL" quote.

We used to have to memorize The Gettysburg Address in school. Next time you're in Washington go to the Lincoln Memorial and read his second inaugural address inscribed there on the north wall while you stand near his statue. Just do it.

crackblind 10:04 AM  

I got halfway through this and all I could think was, "Man, Rex is gonna tear this a new one."

John Child 10:05 AM  

Thanks for the well wishes. Sixty-one going on ninety...

This may look sort of familiar.

Numinous 10:05 AM  

I enjoyed this fairly fast Thursday from Alan Arbesfeld whoi has been making puzzles for the NYT for thirty five years. That would be since twelve years before Will Shortz started editing the crossword. I'm guessing he knows a little bit about making puzzles.

What's not to like about words like UNRUH and CAUCUSED. It was nice to remember Rowdie and RAWHIDE. I was desperately trying to think of a seven letter Sergio Leone title. Then, of course to go along with that we had HYDE, SKIN and TANNER. It seems it wasn't TOO BAD (he) HID A BOOT in there.

I really wanted uni before TRI for the "cycle" as my wife had been riding one since she was around ten years old. She used to ride to school on one. Her dad brought it home for her and her brother who was five years older. Whoever could learn to ride it got it. Her brother never did manage it.

I'm not in the camp that will say, "Oh dear did you see those homophones, SEA and SEE?" And all the dreary croswordese, UMS and ODE and BIO and SOT and ACE." I just can't be bothered.

Over on xwordinfo, Jeff Chen reckons A TSAR A NUN A RASTA must be the begining of a joke if one adds "walked into a bar". He challenges the readers to come up with a punchline. Here goes:
"The nun says, 'I hear the mojitos are out of this world.'"
Alternatively, "I hear the margaritas are to die for."

This played easy and fast for me and I'm going to give it an A.

Numinous 10:08 AM  

BTW
Happy Birthday @John Child. Here's to at least 29 more.

NCA President 10:12 AM  

Rex needs no defense, but seriously. For all the anonymice who criticize him for his curt "I'm out," and yet simply reply to the blog with a curt "Those who can't..." or "If only that were true," are hilariously ironic. Really though, if you don't like what he says a) stop reading it, and b) either reply with a thoughtful response why you disagree or don't reply at all. Seems really simple to me.

That said, I did NOT agree with Rex here. I liked it. Even if you can find 15-letter palindromes on internet easily, solving those palindromes was okay by me. I have the same criticism of this theme that I had with PRO last week...a theme that has built in "fill in the blank" qualities is a mixed blessing...it makes the puzzle easier to solve and it makes the puzzle really easy to solve.

But like I've said before, if a theme functions mostly as a structure to organize a puzzle, then this one was fine. I don't remember seeing one like this...at least in a while. So it was entertaining to uncover the palindromes I'd never seen before and finish in a decent time. There were also no groans for me.

Even UNRUH wasn't a groaner because I found it completely by crosses. URIS is old-timey xwordese and the rest of the name filled itself in.

I give the puzzle a Hillary Clinton-like 3rd debate score of B+.

ArtO 10:14 AM  

A fun workout for me as I don't regularly troll the internet looking for palindromes. I'll gladly join the Rex rejecters on this one. A perfectly good Thursday.

Z 10:15 AM  

I'm pretty conflicted. On the one hand, A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA, is just absurdist beauty. I'm sitting here wondering what happened when they walked into the bar. Or maybe that's the Donald's guest list for the next debate. On the other hand, these have all been around for a long long time, so I get Rex's point about the lack of originality ("new to me" does not equal "original"). So, as a crossword puzzle I liked this fine. BUT, as a NYT crossword I find I can't disagree with Rex.

As for Rex's agenda, I think it is pretty simple; great, original crossword puzzles. He has articulated some pretty clear hypotheses as to why the NYTX is no longer the gold standard. I would prefer that people discussed why they agree or disagree with those hypotheses rather than rudely chastise the blog master for having opinions.

@Don McBrien - Har.

@GHarris - It's almost as if the "publish" button has a mystical "D'Oh" ability. We've all been there.

@Evil - agree on the lively, but ARCO, TROI, UNUM, UNRUH, URIS, UMS tipped the scales back (although I wonder how @M&A feels about the U abuse).

Finally, I'm picturing the E-RODENT using an E-READER and smoking an E-CIG, checking her E-MAIL for E-VITES.

gzodik 10:20 AM  

I had to stop and think what a palindrome was. An arena where losing VP candidates pull chariots around a racetrack?

AskGina 10:23 AM  

First, @Loren, thank you for the palindrome, brilliant. Second, although Rex's brief review seems to be only addressing the construction quality of the puzzle (lazy, boring, child's play), it's a beautifully written piece that strongly communicates his feelings. I applaud it. Third, I'm an experienced plodder and I finished this puzzle in 20 minutes. That will never happen again on a Thursday, usually an hour or an all day revisit. Unruh, (see @mathgent). As for the rest, being told in the clue that the answer was a palindrome (shouldn't we have had to figure that out on a Thursday for the aha moment), turned this into a really fantastic, more difficult Tuesday for me. So I think it was a fine puzzle, misplaced on the calendar. I'd like to know what @Rex would've said if it'd run early in the week.

Blue Stater 10:35 AM  

Rex, be not dismayed by the critics. There has been little to enjoy and much to criticize in the NYT's crosswords in recent years, their decline perhaps mirroring that of the paper more generally. I keep hoping -- vainly, no doubt -- that someone in a position to do something about it will read and act on your trenchant critiques of the puzzles.

pmdm 10:45 AM  

I must respectfully disagree with you, Mohair Sam. It's not an issue of demanding near perfection. It's demanding puzzles that satisfy a particular taste. Unfortunately, as some of today's comments seem to suggest, that taste may be a bit limited. There's nothing wrong with that. Almost all the music I like can be categorized as Western Classical. That's quite limiting. So be it.

What is bothering is projecting allowing one's taste to color one's review. I more or less dislike Brahms. But I certainly acknowledge is is a great composer who wrote great music. I just don't like his style. And one's response to a crossword puzzle says more about one's taste than the worth of the puzzle itself.

NeilD said it very well. I also felt there were a bit too many proper names for my taste, but nevertheless enjoyed the puzzle. With so many enjoying this puzzle, it seems to me it should be rated as quite a good puzzle.I very much enjoy reading the comments, because the comments help me decide if the puzzle is good or bad regardless of my reaction to the puzzle.

Passing Shot 10:46 AM  

@Dave (7:36): Love the Tulsa palindrone. All of these were new to me, so I enjoyed this.

@NCA President: Thank you. My sentiments exactly.

@gzodik: good one! "If only..."

sigh 10:49 AM  

Oh, Rex, lighten up! Crossword puzzles are meant to be fun. Palindromes are fun. This puzzle gave me eight and a half minutes of enjoyment on a Thursday morning commute, and for that I thank it. Why the sour attitude, day after day?

No comment 10:54 AM  

@tb, @Mohair Sam, @NCA President: @AskGina and anyone else I missed: ditto. It's Rex's blog, he gets to write whatever he likes. It's okay for readers to disagree with his assessment, but not okay to dictate how he should write his reviews.

There's a difference between people who create, and people who consume. Sounds like most of the commenters here just work crossword puzzles, we don't write them. I enjoy reading Rex's reviews because I get to peek into the thought process of a crossword creator, and have learned a lot of nuance in the art that I otherwise would have missed.

I'd expect someone who cooks gourmet meals to be more critical about dinner than I would be, or someone who writes music to be more opinionated about the latest Top 40. It's flat-out more interesting to hear the opinions of well-informed people, even when your opinion varies.

Rant over. Returning to my glass of boxed Bandit wine (which any oenophile would shun, but suits me just fine).

QuasiMojo 11:02 AM  

Thank you @Z for your comment above. But the problem with the "tsar, nun, rasta" palindrome is that it doesn't work as a sentence; it's a fragment, leading perhaps to a joke (but without the punch line it falls flat.) And there were no Rastas around when the last Tsar was still alive. So not only is it absurd, but it is forced. A clever palindrome should make sense on some level, and reveal something unexpected. Otherwise it is just gibberish.

mathgent 11:03 AM  

Will Rex ever get off ridiculing Will Shortz for calling the NYT puzzle the best in the world? It's pretty clear to those of us who are almost always bored by the early-week offerings that being the best isn't Shortz's aim. He wants to make it the most popular. It's a business decision.

BTW, when was that boastful statement made? Was it in an advertisement?

asb 11:04 AM  

Oh stop whining...I thoroughly enjoyed today's puzzle. The palindromes are all available on the net...so what? I had never seen them and they made me laugh! Most people don't scour the web for palindromes. Get over yourself. This was fun, period.

jberg 11:09 AM  

I like palindromes (and thanks for the reminder about that song, @Loren!) However, I agree with @AskGina -- the point of a Thursday trick is that you have to figure it out. Here, there's nothing to figure -- it's handed to you in the clues, and once you know that the puzzle is too easy, since you get 28 letters free.

At least, it's easy for us political scientists, who know Jesse UNRUH for his memorable words, "Money is the mother's milk of politics."

Joseph Michael 11:10 AM  

I think it's unfair to say that you can't complain about a complainer, so I'll join @David Krost and the other critics of Rex's critique and say that I rather enjoyed this puzzle. Have always been a fan of pallindromes and their inherent wackiness.

Thought I had solved the puzzle until I came here and realized that 27A was not "a tsar, a mom, and a rasta."

One of my favorite palindromes not only goes forwards and backwards but also rhymes:

Tennis rats won set
Ate snow stars in net


Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Careful, everyone. Ole Rexy may take offense at your (mostly) negative reactions to his high dudgeon, and erase your comments!

I'm not sure what the criteria are for claiming to be the "best" XWP, All I know is that I do it daily, because it is in the newspaper I enjoy., and also find it enjoyable. Although I hear that tha WSJs puzzles are daily now and good -- and their quality of journalism is reputedly tops. But I'd also miss Tom Friedman, David Brooks and Maureen Dowd.

As for me, I found the puzzle enjoyable and appropriately Thursday-challenging. I had no problem with Leon Uris ((I've read and enjoyed all his novels.) I vaguely remember Jesse Unruh's name. So no problem there.

Charles Flaster 11:15 AM  

Liked it a lot.
Favorite cluing--MOMENT, CAUCUSED, and SIESTA.
Did not detect as much CROSSWORDease as Rex.
AA has a tinge of Merl Reagle in him.

Thanks AA

Mohair Sam 11:17 AM  

@pmdm - Hmmm. Point well taken. In Rex's defense I have seen him admit on more than one occasion that he doesn't like a certain type of puzzle (stacks for example) and still give a grudging nod.

But yes - there's no argument - his taste certainly colors his reviews (all critics fight that). But then it is his blog - and we find our balance in the many who post here who know cruciverbia better than us, and who are always so very positive - LMS and George B. for two.

btw: Brahms - I'd never thought about it, but we've accumulated probably 100 or more Western Classical CD's over our lifetime, and not a single Brahms.

kitshef 11:25 AM  

I will second @Mohair Sam's recommendation to read Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address. In person if you can, Google it if not (yes, it's on the internet, but it is still well worthwhile).

mac 11:32 AM  

Happy birthday, John Child!

It may be stuffy and old, but I had a lot of fun with this puzzle. Did not know any of the palindromes.

I was a little thrown by the beak of the cardinal, what's special about that? The male bird has a peak on its head, but I guess it had to be Abel.

old timer 11:34 AM  

It was fun, @Rex. That's why so many of us liked it. I grinned when I filled out NO WAY A PAPAYA WON. I at least snickered at EMUS CAN SAIL, I ASSUME. In a puzzle constrained by four unlikely themers, you are going to have a few unfortunate three-letter words like UMS and RIO and AMP, but they were masterfully clued. And a few words like TROI and REMO, ARIA and ELAN and EBBS that solvers have seen way too often. Not to mention the ubiquitous ODE. I think that's a price that has to be paid.

But then, there was some fresh and lovely fill, like JUBILANT and OKSANA, OBIWAN and EPIPEN. I was pleased. And it did help that as a lifelong Californian, I knew old Jesse UNRUH right away. Jesse used to say about lobbyists, "If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them you've got no business being up here." Though he used a saltier word than "screw". He was a good man, and for much of his career California for all its size was as well governed as Vermont has long been.

Roo Monster 11:45 AM  

Hey All !
Liked it. Fav was NO WAY A PAPAYA WON. That one seemed the funniest. With the Cantaloupes, Bananas, Uglis, and Pomegranites, there's NO WAY A PAPAYA WON!

Wanted to comment on E-RODENT, but y'all beat me to it! LO CAL politics? If only... OLE OLE reminds me of an Australian chant at World Series of Poker.

BEAK SLURS
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

All of the palindromes are on the Internet? Jeez, Rex, so what -- virtually everything in every puzzle is on the Internet!

I can never really get on Alan Arbesfeld's wavelength, and I always struggle through his puzzles, but feel mildly satisfied at the end. This was no exception. Finishing one of his puzzles makes me feel like I've had a surprisingly successful conversation in a language in which I'm far from fluent.

Happy Pencil 12:17 PM  

I thought the puzzle was just okay, but I knew right away that Rex wouldn't like it. It's not his cup of tea, as others have pointed out, and he likes what he likes. It's his blog at the end of the day.

Personally I agree with the sentiments of @No comment at 10:54 a.m. It's condescending and pretty presumptuous to lecture Rex on how he should write his reviews, especially when that's basically all you contribute to the discussion (like some posters I could name but won't). Don't like him? Don't read him. There are many other places you can go.

I don't always agree with Rex's assessment, and certainly my tastes appear to be more varied, but I have learned a TON about what makes a really good puzzle, and I know for a fact that wouldn't be the case if I were consistently reading a gentler blog that's more concerned with puzzle enjoyment than puzzle construction. Not knocking the former -- just saying that what I like is that he talks about grid shape, freshness, originality, crosswordese, and so many other things I never thought one whit about before I started reading him. So putting his less-than-occasional crankiness aside, I find great value in what he's offering. If you don't, please do us all a favour and move on.

Hartley70 12:18 PM  

@Gill I, your pooch portrait is a canine Mona Lisa. No matter where I stand, the little doggie eyes follow me. And is that a smile I see..... or not?

Masked and Anonymous 12:20 PM  

@RP: Yo, Sunshine! Not much of a "rah har" spirit today, huh? [Palindromish "Oleole" var.]

Well, shoot. I liked it just fine. U don't get to see 4 grid-spannin themers all that often in a puz. Also, there were nice faint scents of desperation throughout, without goin over the top. Plus, got yer 007 U's, Mr. Bond; 3 of em in themers, too boot.

Bullets:

* UNRUH. Neat name; very … shapely, somehow. Names like these (yo, @NIA, OKSANA, NEILL) are what made this puz ThursPuz-hard, unfortunately. The themers were pretty darn eazy-E. Well, 47% eazy-E, anyhoo.
* ERODENT. Dude. ERODE and RODENT actually have a common root word [rodere, "to gnaw"]. So … har! Still, ker-ching: many desperation points.
* EPIPEN. Nice, topical, $1200 price-gouged word.
* UMS. Staff weeject pick. {Silence fillers} and {Last-resort grid fillers}, all in one tidy package.
* RAWHIDE. JUBILANT. BROADWAY. CAUCUSED with a great clue. ALBINOS. MAKESDO. BLEACH. Fine, decent, upstandin members of the anti-ERODENT Team.
* EARTH. Clue = Winner, of the Know Yer Gettysburg Address Award. Definite ThursPuz-level feistiness. M&A needed a coupla letters, to jog the old memory. Even better clue: {272nd word of the Gettysburg Address}.
* DALI. Clue = Winner, of the Know Yer Droopy Watch Painting Titles Award. M&A knew this one, off nothin.

Thanx, Mr. Arbesfeld. EVILRATSSTARLIVE, in 25-A!

Masked & Anonym007Us


**gruntz**

Tom 12:21 PM  

Would have been a typical Thursday time if the "palindromically" weren't included in the clues, but knowing they were palindromes made the puzzle much easier. Started at the bottom and got the PAPAYA 'drome first, which made it easy to get the EMU at the top without any crosses.

Generally brought a smile to my face, so I guess I had fun.

As for criticizing Rex, hey, he's what enhances the experience of doing this puzzle. Half the fun is finishing the puz and immediately checking out what he has to say, good or bad. Sometimes we agree with him, sometimes not, but ya gotta admit you would miss the experience if the blog weren't there.

So lighten up you negasayers, especially the anonymous ones. Enjoy the ride.

Or maybe you should start your own blog. As if...

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

"Rex, using this doll, show us where the palindrome touched you."

That's beyond funny. For me.

Keep on keepin' on, Rex. Still a must-read.

Joe DiP

puzzle hoarder 12:39 PM  

Physiologist is a debut clue. UNRUH is a name I only remember for its odd appearance. These things and some of the other entertaining entries helped leaven the crosswordese onslaught.
This was my first solve on one of our actual computers. Don't mistype zeroes as Os or you'll waste a lot of time looking over an obviously clean grid (otherwise) for a supposed mistake. Now I know where the phrase "happy music" comes from.
Maybe @Rex just wants to make the NYTXWP "GREAT AGAIN!" Think about it.

AliasZ 12:41 PM  


Palindromes can be cute, but as a Thursday puzzle theme, these fell flat. I entered A TSAR etc. at first read without giving it a second thought. Even with only EMUS... you can already enter ...SUME at the end, making it way too easy for a Thursday in my view.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed these palindromes. On Jeff Chen's suggestion, I was trying to find a good punchline for a joke that starts A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA walk into a bar.

No little surprise that TOO BAD I HID A BOOT appeared once before (Mar. 17, 1999 -- Myles Callum) with another two equally cringe-worthy palindromes: NATE BIT A TIBETAN and BOMBARD A DRAB MOB.

-- I never heard of UNRUH but have heard of, and used, BLEACH bit.
-- If all politics were LO-CAL, how come there are so many fat politicians?

I assume sailing emus
Are big fans of calculus.
If so, they are CALCoholic
With a severe case of COLIC --
Which in turn is what LED TO
Their sporting a real bad do.

Lettuce hear the Credo in UNUM Deum from Messe de Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377).

Happy Birthday, @John Child!

Chip Hilton 12:46 PM  

I don't go looking for palindromes on the Internet. I've also stopped giving Rex's blog more than a quick glance. I prefer the Comments section.

@QuasiMojo: Really? You didn't like ATSARANUNARASTA? I laughed. Out loud.

I was stuck bottom middle because I was 100% convinced that "The Persistence of Memory" was an album by the Queen of Crosswords, Enya. Oh, the shame.

Thanks, Alan Arbesfeld. Loved the laughs the morning after I felt like apologizing to the world for the debate.

Masked and Anonymous 12:46 PM  

p.s.
Primo Happy B-Day wishes to: Tom Petty, Bela Lugosi, Snoop Dogg, and John … oh, what his name …? …. oh, yeah … Lithgow!

har.
And most importantest of all … Sincere birthday wishes, to U, @John Child. Cusp of Libra and Scorpio, dude. People born on this day like to make music while playactin & chompin on necks.

M&A B-Day Help Desk

Oscar 12:47 PM  

People: the point isn't that the palindromes are on the internet, it's that any theme which can be found just by googling is highly unoriginal.

AA has carte blanche, as do all of the old guard.

Anonymous 12:48 PM  

Rex-haters/rex-lovers or better rex-apologists; red staters/blue staters; blah-blah-blah. Can't we all just get along?

This is a puzzle blog right, and Rex is the blogmeister, so how is he expected to critique other than by his own standards, regardless that they are higher than most anyone else participating?

Since it is nigh impossible not to have an opinion about other things, especially including the latest election cycle debacle, these things will creep in even here, but I resist the urge to chastise anyone who has an opinion differing from my own. Do the words free country mean anything after all?

The shame of it is that we are left with a choice of which candidate is less unfit to be president. Not to start a blog-war, but see if anyone can figure out which way I am leaning.

RT

GILL I. 12:49 PM  

@Hartley...wow I never noticed before, but yes she's my little Mona Lisa fur ball. Curls is a doxiepoo and the smile comes from her daddy
and the eyes from her mommy!

CLB 12:52 PM  

Knew Rex would hate this one so I thought I would stop in and lend my support. I loved the palindromes. Maybe you can look these up on the internet. So what. Does the internet have the great clues as well? I didn't know them and had fun deciphering them in all their ridiculousness. 27A is particularly great. Only rough spot was Unruh, which looked so unlikely that I was sure something was wrong.

Joe Bleaux 12:59 PM  

Fun puzzle, Rex being Rex, delicious commentary -- all of this after the debate confirmed that you still can't make a silk purse out of a horse's ass, and the Cubbies and Dodgers are still toe-to-toe. Nothin' to bitch about today.

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

The Napoleon "Able were I ere I saw Elba" palindrome is always my favorite but I'm going to try to remember NO WAY A PAPAYA WON. Talk about timely - even fruit contests are rigged??

For me, the mirror effect did help my time so this was an easy Thursday for me, which in NO WAY lessened my enjoyment. At first I was a bit surprised by the obscurity (for me) answers (ARCO/ABEL, hi @Hartley70) but with the gift of the repetitiveness, it made it allowable.

Thanks, AA, nice work.

Teedmn 1:26 PM  

Also, gotta love the clue "Second cousin?" for MOMENT. SHORE crossing WET near by EBBS. SALLY forth reminds me of being in Ireland and being asked, "What time in the morning do you plan to strike out?" Not often heard on this side of the pond.

And at my main writeover today, I BLanCHed before I BLEACHed. Lots of good stuff in this puzzle, I'm not following @Rex's overall attitude here.

Chaos344 1:28 PM  

ATSARANUNARASTA walk into a bar:

The NUN says,"I gotta get out of this habit!"

The TSAR says to the RASTA,"Hey RASPUTIN a good word for me with the bartender, I'm new here."

The RASTA says, "Ya Mon! She be hot, and she be making a Dandy Alexandra!

AskGina 1:32 PM  

@Chaos, wow.

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

@Dave,

Your naughty sooner is s bit different than my old friend.
A slut nixes sex in Tulsa.
Also, can anyone help me with T. Eliot and toilet? I suspect there's something there.

chefbea 2:12 PM  

@chaos 344...good one

Happy birthday John...I'll bake you a cake!!!

Anoa Bob 2:49 PM  

A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA walk into a bar. Bartender looks at them and says "What the hell is this, a joke?"

I like Rex when he is at his snarkiest. Today he is on top of his game. Definitely an M&A RAH HAR!

Numinous 2:54 PM  

A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Y'all are late."

Anonymous 2:58 PM  

I have long since stopped checking this site daily as "Rex" just spews bile, and insults both editors and constructors. Jeff Chen's xwordinfo.com is a much more informative and positive experience.

howard a. brenner 3:07 PM  

Yes quite prissy

Mohair Sam 3:09 PM  

@Chaos - "Dandy Alexandra" Nice!

Larry Gilstrap 3:40 PM  

Palindromes provide a fun opportunity to remind us that we are stuck with a weird language. During the solve, I enjoyed plugging in letters solely on their mirror image elsewhere in the spanner. It's ok to use the theme to help solve, unusual for me.

Dated punchline, I know, but A TSAR, A NUN, and A RASTA walk into a movie theater and immediately walk out. "This is where we came in."

As a CA native, I knew UNRUH but felt the pain of most of the rest of you. He was an old-school politician who once said of lobbyists, "If you can't drink their booze and then vote against them, you got no business being in Sacramento."

I predict that TROI will appear again soon in a crossword near you. ERODENT, not so much.

Roberta Weiner 3:43 PM  

Hmm not a palindrome maven so I'd never heard of these. Thought it was fun.

Paul Rippey 4:02 PM  

I enjoyed working this one, after the debate, and thought "a T fan was I ere I saw NAFTA" which unfortunately doesn't make any sense. Sorry for wasting your time. Back to work.

Hungry Mother 4:27 PM  

Very easy Thursday for me. I love palindromes, knew UNRUH from somewhere in the past, and had a lot of fun with the puzzle. I appreciate Rex's efforts and always hurry here after a solve.

evil doug 4:54 PM  

Boring discussion. Z, you're big on stats; what percentage today were repetitive gripes about Michael?

As long as he lets me have my uncensored say, he can dish out his own.

evil doug 4:55 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 5:12 PM  

cool blog, bro!

jae 5:43 PM  

Easy for me. The palindromes, which were new to me, helped of course. My taste runs towards the silly stuff, so I liked it a lot more than Rex did.

@Teedmn - me too for BLanCH before BLEACH.,

Nancy 5:50 PM  

Wow, what great blog comments today! Where to begin? Thanks to @Anoa Bob and @Larry Gilstrap for the best TSAR, NUN, RASTA jokes. To @Teedmn for her "rigged" fruit election. To @Don McBrien for his very blue but very witty and well-camouflaged solving "error". And to @old timer, @jberg and @Larry Gilstrap for bringing Jesse UNRUH (of whom I'd never heard) vividly to live through some nifty political quotes. I loved the puzzle, but today's blog was just as much fun.

Nancy 5:51 PM  

...vividly to life.

Mike Rees 5:54 PM  

There was nothing wrong with this puzzle that another cup of coffee and one (okay, two) visits to Google couldn't fix.

Jammed up in the NW for not knowing ABEL, ARCO or LOCAL (as clued). Had amA for FDA, so had to look up the aria too. That cancelled out the error and the rest fell into place.

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

How about Spanish? Alli ves a Sevilla! Or my personal favorite--A man, a plan, a canal--Suez! (OOPS)

Larry Gilstrap 6:15 PM  

My apologies to Jesse Unruh for under quoting him. I forgot the "screw their women, take their money," part. Circa. 1966.

David in CA 7:23 PM  

@Rex: "All these palindromes are on the internet. Finding 15-letter palindromes is child's play. Lazy, boring child's play. How is this a Thursday puzzle from "The Best Puzzle in the World"? Seriously, how? In 2016, how? How desperate is the NYT for Thursdays (or any days)? If your faith in the future strength of the NYT crossword isn't ERODENT at this point, I don't know what to tell you. The Brain Drain is real."

Care to insult all of us some more?
Do you ever even read the comments on your own blog any more?
How do you reconcile your statements like the above, and similar ones all week, with the almost universal opinions of your own commentariat that these puzzles are fine, fun , entertainment?

There is no "Brain Drain", just one extremely burnt-out critic it seems to me. What ever happened to the Rex Parker who reveled in the wonderful appearance of the letter "K" in puzzles? RIP I guess.

Numinous 7:30 PM  

@Anonymous 5:55, could you possibly have been thinking of sioux or eerie?

Honeysmom 8:12 PM  

Rex is deliberately cranky just to get lots of comments -- and he does! Best Thursday ever for me with the help of palindromes.

Carola 8:25 PM  

I spent most of the day looking online for the best Nasty Woman t-shirt, so got to the puzzle late. Lukewarm on the theme - only the PAPAYA one got me over the laugh threshold. I agree that there were some nice Downs, but for me this was sort of a placeholder Thursday.
@Loren, thanks for the grid bon-bons.

old timer 8:36 PM  

I often think OFL is putting on a bit of an act. It makes our blog more interesting. And though not today at all, I often agree with him.

For sure the best palindrome ever written in English is A MAN A PLAN A CANAL -- PANAMA!

The French have pseudo-palindromes that take advantage of the vagaries of French pronunciation. Google "La Tour Magne a Nimes" to find it. (French does not exactly lend itself to our kind of palindromes).

Gregory Schmidt 8:55 PM  

UNRUH/URIS?

Steve Nahmias 9:19 PM  

Well, not being a crossword superstar, I really enjoyed this puzzle. Just because 15 letter palindromes are available on the internet, doesn't mean this isn't a fun puzzle. stop being such a negative grouch!

Hilary Parsons 9:20 PM  

Jesse Unruh was a friend of my father's. I guess it's all about where you grew up.

CPM 9:27 PM  

Lana C. Ladaug was I ere I saw Guadalcanal!

Z 10:37 PM  

@Evil Doug - Too many. I do like numbers, they can be illuminating. But quantifying the rudeness of others is a fool's quest. Of course, they are probably too self-absorbed to realize that they are just saying what's already been said before. Usually I'd worry about being so direct about their rudeness (nothing is ruder than pointing out others' rudeness) but it's pretty clear they won't read this.

@Quasimojo - "A clever palindrome should make sense on some level, and reveal something unexpected. Otherwise it is just gibberish." Sounds like Rex on some 'themes' we've seen lately. You are, of course, right about A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA in every regard. Which is exactly the reason I love it. It's the Andy Kaufman of palindromes.

Gold standard
and here
and here
It took me longer to format the links than to find three examples of the "gold standard" claim.

Z 10:42 PM  

BTW - All those links above are to sites selling NYTX collections, for which constructors get $0, nada, bumpkiss, zilch. When Rex mentions the "brain drain" he is referencing the fact that the NYTX payment policies are ridiculously low and quality constructors are publishing elsewhere.

JFe 11:14 PM  

@Z My favorite commentator...great post.

Michael 11:19 PM  

After reading this blog for a long time, I (and a lot of other people) know that there are certain types of puzzles and aspects of puzzles that Rex usually dislikes: To make a very partial liist (and not including semitechnical issues such as "bad fill") -- stacks, anything with word play (anagrams, palindromes, word ladders, puns, anything perceived as "wacky"), quotes spanning much of the puzzle, clues about math and science, pangrams, anything perceived as offensive with respect to ethnicity/"race" and gender.

I don't share most of these dislikes (though I often agree with him on the stuff some perceive as "politically correct"), but respect that it is his blog. I also am stunned by his doing the blog just about every day and am entertained by the comments that Rex provokes as well as the generally intelligent and amusing comment sections. Instead of carping about Rex, I prefer just to (1) see if I can guess how hard Rex thinks a puzzle is (I am often wrong about this, or more accurately my experience in this respect differs from Rex's); (2) see if I can guess whether Rex overall likes a puzzle or not (though a blind guess of "dislike" often works); and (3) see if I can guess which specific features of a puzzle Rex will complain about.

It would be interesting if someone would go through the blog and see (1) what percentage of puzzles Rex likes; and (2) if this percentage has changed over time.

No comment 12:00 AM  

@Happy Pencil: high five!

Anonymous 3:44 AM  

Even simpler explanation: Rex just doesn't seem like a very happy person.

It isn't uncommon for people who spend extensive portions of their life online, particularly in the hyper-reactive echo chamber of Twitter, to become deeply resentful of the world.

Rex's neuroses have been deepening of late; perhaps he's been addicted to political news coverage or something.

Leapfinger 5:15 AM  

@John "Ameer" Child, Happy Birthday!! 'Sixty-one going on ninety'? That's how I drive!

@GeorgeB, Nice eclectic tribute. I thought that UVA was being worked in 'for a reason', but no, that was Williams. Loved the false self-referential aspect of "Clue/ Not a clue".

Me and the Arbesfeld puzzle had a great time, though I thought it would've been more Thursdayish without the 'palindromically' in the clue. Bet a lotta hairs would've been pulled out before the palindromicity was realized. Maybe more later, but now I have to get out of town.

Seems that @Rex's analysis could've been abbreved to I SO P.O.'D

Eric Weber 5:17 AM  

Rex, darling, don't mean to pile on, but you seem to feel as if you possess the rules of crossword construction, the pleasure puzzlers take in a puzzle be damned.

Alex 10:16 AM  

I thought this puzzle was a lot of fun. All parts of it, and especially the palindromes.
I often think that the commenters are pretty cranky, BUT today I'm glad to see that the commenters, in general, liked the puzzle. For some reason I especially liked A TSAR, A NUN, A RASTA. But I enjoyed them all.

Sarah 10:49 AM  

Strong Love spell to get your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend back fast.
Am Sarah 21yr from England, my boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant.I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time.Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity. If you have any problem contact Dr.Unity now and i guarantee you that he will help you.Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on whats-app: +2348071622464.

Anonymous 3:35 PM  

I read Rex's blog because every once in a while he has a useful insight. Mostly, it's just spiteful and pointless. It used to take away from my enjoyment of the puzzles, but not anymore. I read Jeff Chen first, then say to myself, "Now let's see what Nasty Pants has to say." That steels me for it. Usually Rex offers nothing of value, but every once in a while he does. On the blog's 10th anniversary he said he welcomes critics, so I know it's okay to post this. Generally I don't contribute here.

AskGina 10:48 AM  

Oh, I'm disappointed. I thought there might be a sexist companion piece to yesterday's debacle. Like, "Men drop your trou" "Pull out sex object" "Show inch by inch" (name the parts), with the reveal, Use your body to show me you're serious about the deal. Not blatant orange hair sexism, but... no wait, of course it's blatant. Just too many letters.

Lisa Moore 5:04 AM  

With the help of a man called Dr.Addo I was able to get pregnant though his root and herbs. I'm 47years of age, it was really difficult for me to pregnant though my husband loves me but it was really hurting me not having my own child but after many years I came across Dr.Addo whose email address is ( addosolution@gmail.com ) he gave me Root and herbs and I was pregnant a week after i his help. I'm 7months pregnant now and also I will like to advice everyone looking for help to get pregnant to contact this very man via his email address: ( addosolution@gmail.com )

Vivian from CANADA

Burma Shave (Evah Sam Rub) 11:32 AM  

EPIC EDICT

ATSAR,ANUN,ARASTA, ONCE CAUCUSED
in a LOCAL BROADWAY theater to ACT (what a haunt!),
which LEDTO a MOMENT not CALM, but raucous,
they TRIed to SEE who MAKESDO front to back (back to front).

--- OKSANA “SALLY” TANNER

BS2 11:41 AM  

Better version?

EPIC EDICT

ATSAR,ANUN,ARASTA, ONCE CAUCUSED
in a LOCAL BROADWAY theater to ACT (what a haunt!),
which LEDTO a MOMENT not CALM, but raucous,
unABEL to SEE who FACES front to back (back to front).

--- OKSANA TANNER

BS3 12:18 PM  

BRUTE’S RAWHIDE

DRAPE your unBLEACHed SKIN upon me, and SIESTA by my side.
If you’re TANNER then you’re MANLY, I HATES ALBINOS HYDE.

--- NIA NEILL

spacecraft 12:32 PM  

Happy Thanksgiving, syndilanders!

I do not go searching out palindromes on the internet, so these four were new and fun to me. But as OFL said, medium despite the theme gimmes.

This puzzle is like TROI: well-put-together. She has become a staple of late on this page, and has already worn the DOD sash. So has ELLA; let's give it to OKSANA "It's okay by me if it's okay BAIUL."

It's late, and there's food to prepare. Birdie.

rondo 12:45 PM  

I SEE those E-RODENT spellcasters are making a comeback. Rats! Hope it’s not a trend. No w/os today and the palindromic thing helped out, too.

SEA SEE, OLEOLE, SIESTA; SHORE sounds like a theme.

Always thought skating sensation OKSANA Baiul was a yeah baby, but then I have this thing for Russian women which LEDTO saying ITSADATE to many and eventually marrying one. They all made/make me feel MANLY.

A happy, even JUBILANT, Thanksgiving to all you syndies. Go Vikes.

Waxy in Montreal 1:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Waxy in Montreal 1:29 PM  

"Dammit I'm mad". Not about this puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed but because the word palindrome itself isn't a palindrome. Apparently though the neologism "emordnilap" (palindrome backwards) has come to mean any word that, when spelled backwards, produces another word. Examples of emordnilap pairs include desserts & stressed, drawer & reward and gateman & nametag. Feeling better now but I'd "murder for a jar of red rum" to celebrate US Thanksgiving.

Loved the Jesse UNRUH reference. Great example of a pragmatic politician who à la Lyndon Johnson practiced the now lost art of how to "reason together".

Anonymous 2:18 PM  


Lots of challenging fun. Too bad for those jaded ones who know every palindrome in the history of the world....

ecanarensis 2:58 PM  

@tb 9:17am; I think in addition to the parole requirement there's a cabal of kidnappers who duct tape victims to chairs & force them to read Rex's blog & long Amazon book reviews...I regularly get excoriated (usually with lots of misspellings) for long reviews I post on that site. I always wonder what circumstances force these gripers to read the whole thing, as I wonder what forces people who clearly hate OFL & his viewpoints to keep coming back & reading something that drives them bananas.

Seems folks like to go out of their way to get offended these days...not that you have to work at it; just read any newspaper or news site. Tis a mystery.

Diana, LIW 3:39 PM  

Fun to solve whilst viewing the Macy's parade and two favorite silly movies. A good mix.

Skimmed through the comments - lots of good back and forth, and some funny jokes. And a bit of COLIC.

I'll just point out that every word in this puzzle and in the clues is either in the dictionary or other books available at your public library. That's all.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING - AND I GIVE THANKS FOR THIS BLOG!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Turkey

rain forest 3:42 PM  

I don't let Rex ruin my day because I don't read his posts anymore, but today I got the distinct feeling that he panned this fun puzzle. What's new?

I also noticed up there a few posts that Lisa Moore got pregnant "through roots and herbs". Nice. Apparently, a man isn't necessary if you use the right herbaceous components. If she were to have an abortion, I wonder what the result would be??

I don't know what's funnier - 61A or visualizing a fruit contest.

Some really nice fill along with the amusing themers, and because they were palindromes, you got two letters for the price of one (if your first one was correct).

@Burma Shave - absolutely brilliant, both for style and for scope.

Btw, thanks to the Syndies for alerting me to the shout-out the other day, something I completely missed. But, I am humbly proud.

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

I don't mind Rex' often sour tone. Who wants to read someone who glad-hands and back-slaps imperfect crosswords and their makers? Don't You Know This Is War? Give me curmudgeonly. If I have a point of contention with a clue, an answer, a theme, I'll check in with Rex just to see if his crap-o-meter syncs with mine. When Rex agrees with me, that's almost as big a victory as finishing a Saturday puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 4:16 PM  

Great palindromic themers, all new ones to me. Worth the price of admission (and made the puzzle much easier.)

Last letter to go in was the A in the ARCO/ABEL cross. Resisted the oil company parallel. Earlier meeting in the week made TROI more familiar.

BEAK is weak as a Cardinal feature, but second cousin was a clever misdirect to MOMENT.

What's not to like?

Happy Thanksgiving all!

rain forest 12:21 AM  

@Anonymous, 4:05 PM, I don't think anyone wants a glad-handing, back-slapping blogger. What people really don't want, or at least I don't want, is someone on a vendetta to torpedo the very crossword that his blog is based on. Disregarding the criticism of "imperfect crosswords", whatever that means, his continual bashing of the NYTX editor, with the constructors of the daily crossword as collateral damage, is something that over-rides his "scholarly" critiques, pretty well on a daily basis. It's hard to understand what his aim is. This is his blog. The NYT crossword is the raison d'etre of that blog. What's going on?

I don't read his posts anymore. They are too predictably negative. He seems to aspire to some crossword nirvana which the daily puzzles, in his mind, fail to approach. I've solved a few of his own puzzles, and they were fine, but not particularly different in construction or memorability. Maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe he knows to what heights "great" puzzles can attain. I know I don't, and I don't think most of his blog followers do either, except for @Z, his apologist.

At any rate, I will continue to attempt to solve the daily NYT puzzle, and delight in the abilities of the constructors to put together creative, erudite and enjoyable diversions. That's all they are, at heart, and to mount an undeserved attack on constructors and the editor seems somehow Quixotic to me. Sancho, are you with me?

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