Device that keeps ship's compass level / TUE 10-25-16 / Big name in bicycle helmets / Tuliplike flower whose name means butterfly in Spanish / Longtime Federer adversary / Hidden symbol between E X in Fedex logo / Coal-rich German region

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Constructor: John E. Bennett

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (for a TUES.)

THEME: "THE ROUND'S ON ME" (35A: Offer at a pub ... as suggested by this puzzle's circled squares) — types of liquor / beer form a vaguely "round" shape in the grid

Word of the Day: MASTIC (12D: Tile adhesive) —
noun: mastic; plural noun: mastics; noun: mastic tree; plural noun: mastic trees

  1. 1.
    an aromatic gum or resin exuded from the bark of a Mediterranean tree, used in making varnish and chewing gum and as a flavoring.
  2. 2.
    the bushy evergreen Mediterranean tree of the cashew family that yields mastic and has aromatic leaves and fruit, closely related to the pistachio.
  3. 3.
    a puttylike waterproof filler and sealant used in building. (google)
• • •

That revealer is a swing and a miss. Big miss. Terrible miss. THIS ROUND'S ON ME is a phrase. A fine phrase. A grid-spanning 15-letter phrase. THE ROUND'S ON ME is something the alien pretending to be a human might say. Also, it's not an "offer," as the clue seems to think. It's a declaration. Further, the kinds of alcohol are pretty arbitrary, and only a few of them really fit the whole "this round's on me" thing. A round of cognac? Really? Lastly, the shape is not, in fact, round. It's octagonal. An interesting concept, totally botched in the execution. Don't do this.

[from Letterman—OMG that CD longbox!]

This played somewhat harder than normal for me (4:01) first because of the ludicrous revealer, and then because of several words I just didn't know: GIMBAL (48A: Device that keeps a ship's compass level), MASTIC, and GIRO (26D: Big name in bicycle helmets). That last one especially, hoo boy. Really stymied my eastword motion. I think my last letter was the "A" in GIMBAL. Might've been the "B" if I hadn't already changed THE NET to THE WEB (29D: What Wi-Fi can connect you to). Had LAST LAP instead of LAST LEG (25A: Final part of a relay) and zero idea what a [Common name for a cowboy] could be, despite having watched untold number of westerns. DESTRY Rides Again. I have no idea who this DUSTY guy is, to say nothing of his allegedly numerous namesakes. The lower part of the SW corner is a boatload of atrocious fill, and RETESTS abutting EAGEREST (!?) is also not great to look at. UNREAL is pretty good, as clued (2D: "That is SO incredible!"), but the rest doesn't have much going for it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anokha 12:07 AM  

Agreed. Also, I would have loved to see Unreal clued as the new Lifetime show, though that might be too obscure for the NYTimes. (Also... Porter? Really?)

Anonymous 12:30 AM  

"A round of drinks" would be much better, imo

Martín Abresch 12:40 AM  

This revealer made me angry.

Using THE instead of THIS was bad. Even worse, in my opinion, is the fact that the revealer just doesn't make sense. In what sense is the circle of drinks "ON ME"? This is infuriating because the puzzle does provide a literal representation to a different 13-letter phrase: ROUND OF DRINKS.

I also agree that this octagon is not a circle. To better approximate a 15x15 circle ...

- move the Y in SHERRY and the S in SCOTCH down one square,
- move the H in SHERRY and the G in COGNAC right one square, and
- move the second C in SCOTCH and the first T in RETESTS left one square.

I do not like that SE corner at all. EAGEREST, RETESTS, SAAR, SERGE, PRE, NOES, PSST. Ugh.

Today's only "tricky" clue gets a shrug from me: CAR LOT (Place for wheeling and dealing?). I did like the clue for SEAMS (Leaky parts of an old tent, often). It's the qualifier "old" that makes me smile.

jae 12:52 AM  

Medium-tough for me too. RETakeS before TESTS and Leg before @Rex LAP didn't help.

GIRO was a WOE...I'm more of a treadmill/brisk walk person.

A tad sad that Vodka didn't make the "ROUND".

For those of you keeping score, Christian SLATER had the Billy Bush spot on the Today Show last week. (Does anyone really know what happened in Season 2??)

Not as smooth as yesterday's and @Rex is right about the reveal, but the theme was kinda fun. So, liked it with reservations.

Anonymous 1:07 AM  

This one felt rough as I was doing it, but looking back, the only thing that stands out as especially bad was the cross on HARI/GIRO. The SE corner wasn't good either, I guess. One of the slowest times I've had on a Tuesday in a while.

Joe 1:32 AM  

DN f-ing F. On a Tuesday. 15A crossing 8D = FU.

Anonymous 1:34 AM  

Too easy. Less than 4 mins. Really, this is the best there is? Ok, let's play a different game.
It *SEAMS* that it is CLEAR someone is on their LASTLEG in this DUEL. Offering the government TEAT as a DUSTY old SCRAP for those inclined to be HELD to APRON strings is like looking for a LAV in the desert.
NPR is willing to pay the TAB and say THEROUNDSONME! No need to REHASH old HITECH ARROWs trying to SLATHER someone else with flaws. They CROW with joy. TEETH are bared for the DUEL. HOTMEALS on me! Plenty of RATS to AROUSE HATe.
Maybe another SPEECH will close the NOOSE. PSST, it didn't assist Mata HARI.
Some are still RAPT and COGNATE of the fact that they will have to pay the TAB. Hope you are STOUT enough! If you think so, you're on LSD!!!
Advice, don't give up your SSN. If you do your credit will be TINSEL. No RETESTS!

Anoa Bob 1:36 AM  

The more in-the-language sounding THISROUNDSONME is 14 letters and would have required a 16X15 (or maybe a 14X15) grid in order to make it a central spanner, hence we get the ESLish 13-letter version.

Yeah, no "offer" there. You say you're buying, it's a done deal.

And what an odd assortment of booze. Maybe A TSAR A NUN A RASTA just walked into the bar.

MARIPOSA is nice and works well as a lighthearted term of endearment should one be flirting with a señorita in Old México, I've heard.

Can you buy a TRAIN CAR in a CAR LOT?

Hartley70 3:00 AM  

MASTIC was my word of the day too, Rex. I knew it from childhood because of a family floor covering business, and I haven't seen it in a puzzle before. The same goes for GIRO and GIMBAL. Cycling kids and sailing gave me those. It's all about life experiences in the sweet spot. Now if I had only played baseball....

I get the theme griping, but I was happy enough with the visual "nearly" circle and PORTER was up my Anglophile alley. There was lots going on behind the bar, although the cork wasn't popped on the champagne yet I see. Call me when it is.

The reveal wasn't ruined for me by the "THE/this choice. As far as I'm concerned, it worked and I like a big spender.

chefwen 3:14 AM  

Gotta agree on This rounds on me, or simpler "I've got this one.

Ahh booze, right up my alley, and it helped with the super fast solve.

I didn't connect with the arrow in Fed Ex so I Googled it and found many more hidden symbols, the only one I remembered was the A to Z in Amazon. Interesting stuff. Tomorrow I'm going to check out "50 Really Creative Billboards" same site.

If you squint it kind of looks round, use your imagination, and have a glass of PORTER.

Loren Muse Smith 4:15 AM  

Whenever the theme calls for a "circle" shape drawn with periphery squares, I'm never too picky. The complaint today that the circled squares don't form a perfect round… never even occurred to me.

I do agree that this ROUND'S ON ME is more in the language, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me.

And how 'bout that BAR TAB right there placed symmetrically under the reveal? Nice.

I don't agree with the gripe that it's not an offer. Many times I've made this anemic declaration, along with others at the table, kinda hoping that someone else who's made the same declaration wins the little battle. (Or you can just do what @ims dave does – quietly sneak over to the bar and take care of it before anyone even knows. Classy guy. ACPT countdown…!)

I like it when there are letters that have to work not two but three ways in the grid. And today the two entries whose letters don't have to work three ways are clued not as drinks: GIN and STOUT. Clever.

Rex – you surprised me with the "round of COGNAC" complaint. I saw the whole group of drinks as the round – not any single one of them. So funny how solvers can have such different takes on things. @Anoa Bob -tt is an odd group of drinks for a round, right? Preprandial or postprandial, that SHERRY and COGNAC together…hmm.

At first, though, I saw a progression of drinks. Start with a nice civilized Amoroso, have a gimlet or Rob Roy with the appetizers, switch to beer for the steak, and then linger over a Hennessy while the waiter hovers, just wanting you to just go home.

I didn't make the same mistakes as others. My goof was a funny "boos" for NOES. Now That would've been a great entry in this grid!

I thought this was a fine puzzle. Nice job, John.

George Barany 5:06 AM  

Today's ambitious puzzle by @John Bennett is drawing a range of responses from @Rex and the first wave of the commentariat. Count me as going 3 for 3 with @Rex on new words to my vocabulary: MASTIC, GIMBAL, and GIRO, although it seems fair to point out that every word/phrase in the puzzle save for 35-Across has appeared previously during the @Will Shortz era.

Other qualms expressed by @Rex and @Martin Abresch also resonate with me, and I too wondered, as did @Anoa Bob, about TRAIN_CAR and CAR_LOT (exacerbated by originally having CASINO in the latter slot). I join @Loren Muse Smith in admiring the BAR TAB showing up (left-right symmetrically) in row 12. SEALS seemed as reasonable as SEAMS at 9-Across, and NAYS went in ahead of NOES at 60-Across.

Coming up with a truly circular pattern can be quite tricky. Two examples that I can offer are Come Together and Great Dane. Please have a look and tell me what you think.

AskGina 5:36 AM  

@Anoa, A TSAR A NUN A RASTA! My God man, you just made my insomnia worthwhile. Hilarious

da kine 6:08 AM  

I liked it. I found it enjoyable.

Lewis 6:22 AM  

I like the grid design, showing a face with a besotted smile. The only ugh to me was EAGEREST -- has anyone ever said this word? I learned GIMBAL and MARIPOSA. The reveal didn't bother me; I can see someone saying, "The round's on me, folks", and that being an offer, as in someone making something available. However, ROUND OF DRINKS, @martin, is a great suggestion for a reveal -- I like it better.

Did the puzzle put my brain into thinking mode? Yes. Was there some tussle? Yes. Did I get what I'm hoping for on a Tuesday? Yes. So, while this puzzle may not be particularly memorable, it passed my Tuesday bar, and I greatly appreciate it John!

Hungry Mother 6:50 AM  

A bit crunchy, as Tuesdays often are, but very enjoyable. Simple theme which helped a little but was mainly in the way.

Passing Shot 7:22 AM  

A tougher than usual Tuesday, completed as I sipped the last of my cream sherry. THE vs "this" didn't bring ther me, though the critics make a fair point. I think the octagon is close enough to being circular, and I appreciated the constructor's effort. This was chewy and fun (no more EAGERESTs, please).

r.alphbunker 7:49 AM  

I have been working my way through Heany and Quigley's Drunk Crosswords so I was in shape for this one! My last entered answer was {Tuliplike flower whose name means "butterfly" in Spanish} MARIPOSA. The P was provided by the compassionate and clever crossing {Lead-in to fix, appropriately}. The only 4 letter bicycle helmet that I know is BELL. @Teedmn??

Details are here

NCA President 8:02 AM  

I agree with Anonymous 12:30AM: Round of Drinks would have been better.

EAGEREST? Isn't that a mountain somewhere in the Andes? Seriously, that's a word?

STOUT next to PORTER is a bit much. There are millions of drinks and those two get put together next to each other? SHERRY and COGNAC in the same puzzle is also questionable. How about some wine in there? Merlot? The ever xword popular Soave? The choice of drinks was *really* arbitrary.

MASTIC, GIMBAL, and GIRO were Friday tough.

LASTLap seemed more natural.

My uncle's nickname was DUSTY...he was not a cowboy. His last name was Rhodes. Cowboy names are basically Tex and Slim, or maybe Too Tall.

This puzzle was pretty wonky from start to finish. Nice effort, subpar execution.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

EAGEREST is awful. A round should be clockwise or counterclockwise - there is no ROUND.

G.Harris 8:08 AM  

Thought I had finished easily only to learn I erred by leaving the net which made a gimtal and chron which seemed plausible as a time related call to awaken.

kitshef 8:10 AM  

The dreaded Tuesday DNF. My tent leaks at the SEAlS, and lASTIC seems at least as likely as MASTIC.

Agree with much of what @Rex said. The revealer is not a phrase. EAGEREST is terrible.

On the other hand, GIRO was a gimme, and the pattern is round enough for me.

Played hard due to the lack of connectivity. Started top center, moved down and right, across to the left, back up to the middle. Then had to go do the NE and NW almost as separate mini-puzzles.

evil doug 8:13 AM  

One outstanding word:gimbal. Gimbals were critical devices for navigation in the space program. When Apollo 13 was tumbling out of control "there was a danger that one of Aquarius’s gyros would be immobilized – a condition called gimbal lock - that would ruin the alignment of the navigation platform. With no way of sighting in the stars, there would be no hope of realigning" the spacecraft for a safe return...."

Luckily Jim Lovell was able to invent a recovery that had never been practiced and permitted a successful voyage home.

George Barany 8:21 AM  

@NCA President, your uncle was @this legendary Giant?!

Pinch-hit walk-off homer in 10th inning to win game 1 of the 1954 World Series (against the Cleveland Indians, no less).

Apropos to today's theme, @Leo Durocher described your uncle thusly: "a buffoon is a drunk on a hitting spree."

George Barany 8:26 AM  

Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, referenced in my post above, also featured one of the most amazing catches of all time. Come back to our crossword puzzles, Willie MAYS (the SAY-HEY_KID)

chefbea 8:32 AM  

What a fun puzzle. Hand up for not knowing Gimbal. I agree with Annon - A round of drinks would have been a better revealer. Glad my SCOTCH was included

Tita A 8:51 AM  

"drinks all around" woulda been a great revealer...but...
THEROUNDS literally ONME...well, on the self-portrait of Mr. Bennet. I thought it was cute, in spite of thinking it would be a Halloween-inspired theme... (Hi, @GeorgeB...)

jberg 9:02 AM  

Yeah, the/this is a problem, but I could take it. It was easy once you got the theme, since the drinks in the round formed a third cross for those words.

Not bothered about the offer, either. "Can I offer you a mint?" means it's yours if you want it -- you're not forced to accept the free drink, either.

crabsofsteel 9:05 AM  

I believe MOST EAGER is more proper than the awful-sounding EAGEREST.

jessica cohn 9:07 AM  

Still a relative beginner with puzzles . There are always words I never heard of - serge, cognate, mastic,and using the form of oats - oaten? Could not complete the puzzle . Grrrrr!

Mohair Sam 9:08 AM  

I don't care for SHERRY, one cannot drink STOUT
And port is a wine I can well do without
It's simply a case of chacun a son gout
Have some madeira, m'dear

-Flanders and Swann

G. Weissman 9:09 AM  

Being eager does not mean being ready to get started. Donald Trump may be the "eagerest" (is that even a word? Not "most eager"?) candidate for president, but is in no way ready to get started running the country. This clue, and its answer, are simply unintelligent.

jberg 9:14 AM  

@NCA President @George Barany -- my guess is about 10% of people named Rhodes are called "Dusty," cowboys or not--it's too good a pun for their schoolmates to resist at the age when nicknames are acquired. Here in Boston a woman of that name runs almost all of the big public events, I've never heard her actual name.

Linda Lewis 9:21 AM  

Thanks for mentioning "eagerest"... Not.

AskGina 9:37 AM  

Fun solve, super easy for me. More thought provoking than the usual Tuesday and it made me think harder than I would've liked to at 2:00 am PST. But I do admit it was (wait for it) sloppy drunk with with sloppiness. Some keener editing could have transformed this? I think so.

Nancy 9:43 AM  

A mindless bore and a complete waste of time, as far as I'm concerned. "O Romeo" crier is JULIET? Really? "Fedora or fez" is a HAT? Do tell. It's Mata HARI and ENTRE nous? Will wonders never cease? The opposite of SSW is NNE? What an amazing Aha Moment when I finally wrote that in! I thought most of this puzzle was insulting. I don't care that it's Tuesday.

Z 9:50 AM  

What is the difference between a PORTER and a STOUT? The name.

In Ultimate there is this phenomenon where a team will work the disc down the field against a good defense, displaying great patience and control, only to get within five yards of scoring and have a player make an ill advised throw for a turnover. Then defense scores two throws later. That's this puzzle. Lots to like here. Some cool words. The neat little trick of having the theme hidden around the puzzle. Sneaking in BAR TAB and LAV as answers. But the revealer? Man oh Man. Turnover right outside the zone. The SE corner? Get off the field and regroup. Maybe after sitting a point or two we'll let you back in the game. Someone needed to say "Fix this. Theres a great puzzle here trying to get out."

@Mohair Sam late yesterday - Grudge? I prefer to think of it as having learned from experience. ; ) Besides, it hasn't even been 30 years yet.

@Anon also late last night - Bartman wasn't in the bleachers.

Wm.C. 9:55 AM  

I had no problem with GIMBAL. Of course I DID work for MIT's Instrumentation Lab during the Apollo Era. IL designed the Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) Systems (there were two onboard, one for the Command Module and one for the Lunar Module, each fitted with different software).

These systems had three components: the stable Inertial Platform (which stayed in the same orientation in space no matter where the spacecraft was pointed, facilitated by the gimbals -- driven by measurements from gyros -- on which it was mounted), the accelerometers on the platform that signaled the instantaneous acceleration during a "burn," and the guidance computer which recorded all the linear and rotational sensor inputs to calculate the spacecraft's position and velocity in real-time.

IL had NASA's first contract written, by its administrator Robert Seamans, whose earlier MIT PhD work had been supervised by Professor CS "Doc" Draper, IL's founder (originally part of the Aero and Astro Department). Draper was generally acknowledged as the father of Inertial Navigation, proving it operationally on a coast-to-coast test flight in 1953 in a "blind" cockpit that successfully aligned itself for final approach at its destination, with no visual references or other instrumentation during the entire eight-hour flight.

The Apollo GN&C system was a direct descendant of IL's GN&C systems for the Polaris and Trident submarines and their onboard missiles, all of which also needed to navigate without external inputs. So the technology was one of the lowest-risk parts of the Apollo program.

While Lovell did an amazing job in steering the CM/SM/LM "stack" durin its burns, IL was very much involved in the effort, because it was there that the direction and time duration necessary for the burns was calculated in advance. These maneuvers, and the spacecraft configurations for which they were designed, had never been anticipated or planned for. So the design and simulation tests of the burns all had to be done in a VERY tight time window. I well remember being in the large 2nd-floor conference room of IL's building 7 during burns, with our staff holding its breath as the spacecraft sensor data was cross-linked to us from Houston.

Sadly, the Apollo 13 movie entirely left out IL's critical role in this mission.

QuasiMojo 9:57 AM  

I wonder if "Mastic" can be added to the lexicon alongside "Natick." It's a town on Long Island. And I nearly DNF there since I thought "Seals" and "Lastic" made about as much sense. Who calls the ends of tents "seams"? It's the hole between the attaching sheets that causes the leak, not the seam. At least it did when I was camping. I spent a ghastly weekend once at Lake George "camping" when it rained three days straight. We couldn't even light a fire. So I put in "seals" but the insulting online crossword machine (a "cousin" of "HAL"? -- it called me "disappointing") wouldn't let me enter that. So I tried M and voila. Here I am.

As someone who used to order a lot of rounds in bars and taverns and alehouses, and dives, I can tell you that no one has ever said "The Round is on me." There is never one round. It is always assumed there will be many many more. Otherwise why go out at all?

Anyone else pencil in "Casino" before "Car lot"?

All in all a challenging Tuesday, with some exotic (to me) new words, so I'll cut it some slack.

William DiGennaro 10:17 AM  

"Nor doth this denial arise from incapacity, for in his youth he was an excellent dancer but from an affectation of gravity which he will not
sacrifice to the eagerest desires of others." Pride and Prejudice.

GILL I. 10:22 AM  

All the drinks mentioned in the puzzle are typical of pub orders. GIN seems to be a British favourite.
THE ROUNDS ON ME is okay by me. I can picture someone who has just won a jackpot yell it out to the bartender.
Wait Wait does MASTIC need an ATE?
Oh...and DUSTY is a common name for a cowboy? I see a TEX and REX but the only DUSTY I know is Springfield.

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

@Wm.C. TL;DR

old timer 10:30 AM  

19 minutes for me but would have been 17 if I had not looked at all those drinks. Medium time for a Tues but I too had "lap" instead of the far more accurate LEG, "net" instead of WEB, and only got GIMBAL after I had most of the crosses. The rest was Easy.

OFL clearly was not an addicted listener to Prairie Home Companion. Lefty and DUSTY were there every week in "The Lives of the Cowboys." @Rex is right, people seldom say THE ROUND'S ON ME. I can imagine it though, followed by "What'll you have?" Obviously people may not all favor the same drink. I was a regular at a pub I could walk to (a mile each way) in England. It was an honor to finally be permitted to buy a round for the old guys I used to play dominos with. But I think they all had bitter and not anything else, so it was easy: "Five pints, please" did the trick. In those days there was no PORTER and STOUT came in bottles, but it was served and I liked the English variety. SHERRY was the regular tipple of some of the ladies who were regulars. GIN was popular -- often "GIN and It" for Italian vermouth, on the rocks because no one in the history of the pub had ever ordered a Martini. At least not in the Public bar. Maybe some of the toffs in the Lounge bar had martinis or COGNAC.

Off to do yesterday's puzzle now.

QuasiMojo 10:36 AM  

Apparently "Dusty" was used by Garrison Keillor in one of his books with Tim Russell as the name of a cowboy. The other was "Lefty." I guess we'll have to keep "waiting for Lefty" to appear in the NYT as a "cowboy name." Having never seen Prairie Home Companion, nor listened to it, I can only go by what I found online. And apparently there is a "Dusty Roy Rogers" following in the footsteps of his famous cowboy father and grandfather. That's my two bits for today. "Hi Tech" Silver!

puzzle hoarder 10:37 AM  

I always feel a little sorry for early week themed constructors. They've obviously put quite a bit of work into their puzzles and I just plow through them all but ignoring that theme. I did notice SHERRY and GIN as I filled in the NW and was aware of the drink theme but the reveal is so unnatural that knowing the theme was of little use. GIMBAL and MASTIC were both gimmies. I spelled it GIMBEL at first but what do you expect from me I just can't spell. I actually put SPEACH in at 13D initially. I'm trying to go fast so I never looked at the clue for 23A until I knew there was a mistake. GIRO was the only new element for me. This is only the second time that entry has been clued as a helmet and tellingly the previous time was on a Saturday puzzle. @Lewis I think the face looks more like a panda.

GILL I. 10:58 AM  

@old timer....My very first "having a right old knees up" in London was at a very posh pub. I had little dosh but a chinwag I met offered to buy me a drink. I ordered a MARTINI. Guess what I got...A sweet MARTINI of the Rossi ilk...and on the rocks!

AliasZ 11:02 AM  

Funny how one man's "...interesting concept, totally botched in the execution..." is another's Puzzle Of the Week. It only proves that puzzle construction and solving is not an exact science.

EAGEREST may be the egregiousest entry of the week so far, but don't lose hope, the week barely started. And RETESTS isn't much better than reecho either.

P(er)C(en)T, N-P-R and NEA,
S-S-N and N-N-E,
DUSTY's banjo on his knee.
LSD will make you sick.

This round of PORTER's on me: the lovely Ukrainian Suite by American composer Quincy PORTER (1897-1966). It will please everyone equally, I promise YEW.

Lojman 11:08 AM  

Totally agree with the revealer being clunky and a missed opportunity. But people, at some point we have to accept that it's a 15x15 grid, and any attempts to superimpose a round shape will ultimately be imperfect. The octagon's an acceptable effort.

Giro bike helmets are everywhere - just have to look.


Joseph Michael 11:15 AM  

A Tuesday with some TEETH, but have to agree that THE in the revealer is just wrong.

Never met a cowboy named DUSTY, had no clue what a GIMBAL or GIRO is, and needed a drink after filling in EAGEREST. "Last lap" might have been more appropriate than LAST LEG for the cocktail theme. And too bad that SIC couldn't have been a "hic." But the puzzle had a certain charm like the guy at the end of the bar who gets you to smile in spite of himself.

Tita A 11:15 AM  

@Anoa your bar joke!!
And let me add my smugness to the GIMBAL was a gimme club.
Heck...even my favorite game ever, Labyrinth, used a GIMBAL mount.

Ive also set my share of tiles into MASTIC. Never heard of GIRO, but it doesn't bother me. My shiny red helmet from Lime Rock days is a Bell.

Roo Monster 11:17 AM  

Hey All !
Appropriate that AC/DC's "Have a Drink On Me" is playing on the radio as I type this!

Interesting TuesPuz. THEoctagonsONME! Puz blocks do resemble a SOT passed out with eyes closed and tongue hanging out. Agree with others about Round of Drinks being better revealer by 1000% . If BAR TAB is part of theme, is its symmetrical partner CLEAR also? Referring to GIN, maybe? Random thought...

Overall, okay for Tuesday. Some dreck as pointed out by others. Like the progression Downs in Column 5... YEW LEER, NAB!


Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:17 AM  

Only annoyance for me (other than EAGEREST) was MACHU Picchu. That's misspelled ( and not how it's supposed to be pronounced either). Maybe if they had given ___ Pichu.

Mike Rees 11:33 AM  

I was also DNF on a frickin' Tuesday.

I was right behind Rex every step of his pan on this one. Not Tuesday fare by my experience.

I confidently dropped in roundofDrinks where it *should* have gone. Also a hand up for THEnEt over THEWEB, I had CAsino for CARLOT, melee for SCRAP.

Could not suss out the letter crossing GIMBAL and COGNATE, as the latter suggests thought process over linguistics for me, and I've never heard the former. Had lASTIC instead of MASTIC - originally had the M in there but again, thinking the latter has something do to with chewing, not sticking, and leaky SEAlS sounded just fine to me.

EAGEREST? For shame.

On the up side, if this was set in a 1987 Nintendo world, that shape would, in fact, be considered round.

Masked and Anonymous 12:19 PM  

East-West symmetry is always neat, as it introduces the possibility of grid art. Speakin sorta of which …

Who exactly is the "me" in the revealer? Theories abound …
* The grid art maybe looks roughly like a lil guy about to take a tinkle into the STOUT. So the drinks are kinda sittin on him. So … "Me" = the lil grid art dude.
* "Me" = the constructioneer, who has just made $300 moneybucks. Congratz, and make mine a Coors light, Mr. Bennett.
* "Me" = the puzzle itself. Which has rounds in the round on it.
* "Me" = the Shortzmeister. Since he is presentin the puz to us, it's kinda "on him" that we're tryin to figure this all out.

M&A stands over by @Tita A, on this puppy: DRINKSALLAROUND might be better, as there is then no mysterious "me" to fuss over. That alternative revealer is 15-long, tho, so the two D's would have to be able to mix well with the drink names, probably.

But … let's embrace the puz we have here, for a bit. The one that's "on Will", if U will. Behold, them widen-open corners with diagonal boozethemers staggerin thru them. Has primo desperation possibilities. Granted, the NW and NE corners are sorta on lock-down, which helps them a little. But them SW and SE corners really should hold promise. Let's take a closer look …

* ACAP. Well, there's yer rodeo, in the SW. Sweet.
* NNE. Staff weeject pick. Has Patrick Berry Usage Immunity, btw.
* RETESTS. Has yer RE- start and plural -S endin, with the -S also intersectin RATS.
* PSST. Better clue: {What the lil grid art dude did, into the stout??}. Homophonic.
* PORTER. Beer. Could not have been the first themer choice, here.

Nostalgia Dept.: M&A just back from a family reunion and visit to his lil hometown. Brought back a lot of real ancient, vague memories. Birthplace house was still there, but all the old trees out front were gone. So was the front sidewalk! (?) Town (pop. around 8,000) still looks in remarkably good shape. My cousins look older than snot.

Thanx, Mr. Bennett. Darn good fill, considerin what U were up to. Nice, generous U-count.

Masked & Anony007Us

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

This is a case of blame assignment. Blame WS for putting a Wednesday difficulty level puzzle on Tuesday and for a accepting a poor product and adding whatever he did to it.

Blame the constructor for some very dubious choices and verbiage. As M. Abresch noted, the SE is a disaster for many reasons. 35 across is bad both for the The that should have been This and for its being referenced back to gin, etc. It is not like I have spent my life in bars but, this round is on me has always referred to beer/ale in my experience. I just can't picture it being said with 4 or 5 Remy Martin VSOPs in front of the drinkers!

mathgent 12:24 PM  

I liked the theme. I think that Rex is nitpicking. But as @Nancy enumerated, too many obvious clues and no witty ones. I'm giving it a straight C.

kitshef 12:32 PM  

@Greater Fall River ... Machu Picchu and Machu Pikchu are both acceptable, though the latter is much more helpful in remembering the pronunciation. Pichu is incorrect, and is a Pokemon character.

Dick Swart 1:04 PM  

Rusty and Dusty ... Life of the Cowboys

Garrison Keeler

Cassieopia 1:07 PM  

Hit this one out of the park with a new Tuesday PR - 7:25 when my Tuesday average is north of 17. Was helped by my biking addiction (GIRO - in fact that's the brand helmet that I wear), an awe of early seafaring navigation instruments (GIMBAL), and a youth spent renovating a 1901 era home (MASTIC). The only slowdowns were MARIPOSA and COGNATE, but they fell easily with the crosses.

Setting a new crossword record on my 58th birthday was a huge ego booster and a gift reminding me that no matter where I am along life's timeline, there are still new things to learn and achieve. Were we all to be at the same bar at this very second, arguing about how to make circles out of squares and drinking whatever indulgence we prefer (yes, even cognac), I would celebrate by joyfully proclaiming THEROUNDSONME!

Numinous 1:09 PM  

"We having another round?"
"Sure, but, THE ROUND'S ON ME!"

Captain Nolan (David Hemings), in The Charge Of The Light Brigade (1968), was drinking hock, I believe, when Lord Cardigan (Trevor Howard) accused him of drinking PORTER because he was drinking from a "black" bottle. Nolan never managed to get a fair break in that film.

I got a fair break in this puzzle, GIRO helmets are well known because my step-son got through a whole bunch of them while my step-daughter wasn't wearing on when she fell off her long board and cracked her skull. The knot on her pony tail saved her life. Can't remember when I saw my first GIMBAL but I was fascinated with the mechanism and the word. When I was sailing, there were several in the cabin below for dirnk holders. I've never liked using MASTIC for setting tiles etc. it's yucky stuff, don't get any on your fingers, it
can get on everything.

If the revealer was THE circleS ON ME, I might agree with the criticism of the octagon. The drinks go aROUND the grid. That's all that's required. There is a difference, albeit slight, between PORTER and STOUT, depending on the maltedness of the barley. But:
"I'll have a Guiness."
"I'll have an Anchor PORTER."
"I'd like a Martel. Gretchen?"
"I'll keep drinking SHERRY."
And so on aROUND the table after dinner which, as it happens, is a rectangle.

EAGEREST is the egregiousest answer I've seen all year. It did not, however, spoil the puzzle for me. In fact, I rather enjoyed this one. Jeff Chen gave it a POW. I wouldn't have but I haven't seen all the rest of the puzzles for the week. I hope this doesn't bode ill for the remainder of this week's puzzles.

Teedmn 1:19 PM  

I'm with @LMS, that the not-quite-round-ness of the circle and the not-quite-as-common THE vs. THis in the reveal do not bother me. I liked the look of the grid and the concept.

The different drinks in the round look like what freshly-turned-legal drinkers would order, having no idea what COGNAC or PORTER would taste like (I'll take one of those and one of those and...). Personally, the only thing I would drink here is the STOUT.

Cool to see the Jabberwocky GIROing and GIMBALing in the wabe. GIRO is literally a household word for me - I wore my GIRO bicycle helmet to work this very morning in the 37 degree temps (hi @r.alph). I've also owned a Bell and a Specialized helmet in the past (they do wear out) but the GIRO is very new, a lovely white with teal color and provides a comfortable fit.

MASTIC went in with nary a hesitation - my husband and I have used buckets of the stuff over the years, tiling bathrooms and fireplace surrounds. DYI at its best (I really do enjoy tiling).

So JEB, you were right up my alley this Tuesday, nice.

Teedmn 1:21 PM  

That's DIY, not Do Yourself In home improvement :-).

StalkingSarah 1:26 PM  

Yes! Love that show. But maybe more of a Friday clue?

seanm 1:29 PM  

very slightly slower than median tuesday for me. didn't mind the THE instead of THIS. both seem fine. didn't get the ON ME part of it. that was a fail.

GIMBAL and MASTIC were woes that were ok because of the crosses, but i agree with others that M could be an L.

by far the worst section was SERGE, MARIPOSA and SAAR, of which i knew none (though serge was in it last week but i misremembered the 3rd letter)

Mohair Sam 1:33 PM  

@Old Timer - I threw in DUSTY off the "D" in DEATHS without a thought. And then read Rex and posters here and wondered why I'd guessed right. Then your post gave me the "aha" moment. Garrison Keeler's "Prarie Home Companion", of course - DUSTY and Lefty, how could I have forgotten? Thank you.

btw - Is not the best night in the pub the first night you're among the group locked in to buy a round on the tab after closing?

Numinous 1:45 PM  

If you grew up in California I can't believe you hadn't heard of MARIPOSA. Okay, maybe not, I'ts small, population of around 1,300 but the seat of MARIPOSA county. If your grandfather had dragged you all over the Sierra Nevada when you were growing up then you would know MARIPOSA along with all sorts of other obscure places like, for example Keddy Junction. My grandfather was a keen revisiter of the haunts of his past. His faithful sidekick? You guessed it, me. I believe I've visited the sites of every CCC camp in California from the '30s.

COGNAC and COGNition are not COGNATEs.

Anonymous 2:07 PM  

There were some non-Tuesday words in here, but I am shocked that so many people have never heard of mastic. I guess people who do a lot of crossword puzzles don't ever do any work on their houses.

Chronic dnfer 2:17 PM  

Wine with steak. Not beer.

Leapfinger 2:30 PM  

@Rex, you know how hard it is to square the circle! Maybe JEB should have tried to CIRCLE_THE_WAGONS, with DRAY, STATION, BUCKBOARD and such. Nah. CONESTOGA would have been a bear, and people would complain about TELEGA.

Also started with cowboy problems (Tex, Slim?) and couldn't quite eNREAL LEFTY. No smiling solver till I got past those DUSTY DEATHS, YEW know what I mean?

I think I remembered GIMBAL by way of Macy's, and wound up liking its connection to GyROscope. GIRO/SUB is also cute (as well as easy on those grinder molars). GIRO as a helmet brand did not ring a "Bell" for me.

Just like @many,ran first with LAST_Lap, and also with MARIgold. MARIPOSA reminded me of the incomparable writing* of Stephen Leacock, who was a prof at the recently engridded MCGILL. Unusual to find so much humour in a political scientist (right,@jberg?), but, you know... Canadian, eh?
*(My favourite, from Gertrude The Governess: He jumped on his horse and galloped off madly in all directions.)

Also liked the hint of classical with CARLOTta [SIC] Ashley, soprano; quite possibly, she has had the  lead in SERGE Prokofiev's Romeo and JULIET. Sadly, not to be found on YEWtube.

Small Bits:
Can't think why a rooster's sound is a CROW. Must not be GULLible.
At one time, MACHU Picchu would've had both one-L and 2-L LAMAS, right?
TEAT 'n' TEETH. An unfortunate combo.

SHERRY, GIN, SCOTCH, PORTER, STOUT and COGNAC... Nicely worked theme, JEB, with not much to whine about, but likely to bring on a killer hangover. 'SLATER than you think, and all my love To Kay.

PS: I only had time to skim the comments, but noticed some uniquely interesting stuff. Certain things will have to wait till evening.

tea73 2:40 PM  

I had A ROUND OF DRINKS until I was forced to give it up. Not bothered by the octagonal circle at all. I knew what a GIMBOL was (Thanks to Hornblower and Captain Aubrey I'm sure), but oops it's spelled GIMBAL. Agree on the egregiest answer.

NCA President 2:44 PM  

@GIL...if the overarching theme was pub drinks...then where is shandy? or cider? or port? You make a good point, but the drinks were a bit random and oddly chosen given the alternatives available.

George Jackson 3:54 PM  

Drinks in a pub are usually paid by the round Bar Tab tends to be an American phrase

GILL I. 3:58 PM  

@NCA Pres. I'll see your cider and raise you a bitter. Shandy gave me a pavement pizza - god-awful drink, mate.

David in CA 4:32 PM  

Hmm...apparently being an English prof doesn't require knowing how to count to 15? (But I shouldn't talk - took me 3 tries to get the spell-checker to accept "apparently".)

@QuasiMojo - old tents develop leaks at the SEAMS, which are the sewn connections between the different pieces of fabric. They need to be resealed regularly.

@Nancy - My mom also found early week NYT puzzles too simple and boring. So she got some books full of challenging puzzles and substituted one of them each Monday and Tuesday for her daily "fix". Nowadays of course there are many on-line sources for a daily challenging puzzle as Rex is always pointing out. So why not try that instead of subjecting yourself week after week to a "mindless bore and a complete waste of time"?

Personally I enjoy filling in easy puzzles as well as hard ones; thought the revealer was fine since it is a plausible phrase, if not supper common, and just was clued as a suggestion for the pattern. ROUND OF DRINKS would be a more direct relationship, but I don't see that as "better".

Nancy 5:29 PM  

@David in CA (4:32 p.m.) Like your mom, I, too, have a collection of challenging puzzle books, and what's spooky is that right now, just a nanosecond before I came here to look at the latest comments, I was/am working on a puzzle in "Cunning Crosswords" from St Martin's Press and edited by WS. I've burned through many, many of these over the years, but thanks to having a publishing friend in a very high position at St Martin's, my supply was replenished -- gratis -- about a year ago. And I use this supply very much the way your mother does.

For more years than I care to count, I never bothered with Mon, Tues or Wed. Usually I didn't even bother to open the newspaper to that page. Then I found this blog. At which point I started doing early week puzzles again -- just for the camaraderie on the blog. And I even found some early week puzzles to be mildly enjoyable -- yesterday's, for example, if memory serves. Mostly, I miss the blog when I don't participate. But I probably should have skipped today's (which I almost did skip, btw) and not bother to post a comment. I imagine your mother and I have much in common. Maybe she even has the same friend at St. Martin's Press that I do.

Tom 5:58 PM  

Late to the party because when I finished it left a bad taste in my mouth (bathtub GIN?). Aren't constructors required to meet the basic rules of usage. EAGEREST is not the most beautifulest use of the superlative!

Constructors: If it has more than one syllable, ya gotta use "most", as in "most EAGER" Jeeez. There are a few silly exceptions, like "silliest", which can also be "most silly"—but EAGEREST doesn't even come close.

Agree with @Joseph Michael about needing a drink after filling it in. Gimme a scotch.

Anonymous 6:18 PM  

Interesting puzzle - sort of a Tuesday-Wednesday hybrid for me. Never heard of gimbal, eagerest(?), and agree with "this" instead of "the".

Larry Gilstrap 6:28 PM  

I had a hunch OFL would balk at the randomness of the adult beverages referenced in this ROUND. Hurrah! Not just one beer today, but two. Mother's milk to many of us that comes from a tap, not a TEAT. Cue Beevis and Butthead chortles.

Small nit: I think of a "Dustup" and "scrape" as nouns and SCRAP as a verb. I try to avoid any of them. I'm my more passive aggressive.

Speaking of the comparison of adjectives, not sure I've seen a hard and fast rule for when to resort to more or most, instead of the -er or -est form of comparative of superlative adjectives. One of the grayest areas of grammar. That kid is one of the EAGEREST beavers I've ever met.

Mother Nature did a number on our little town last night. We need a little rain, but that lightening storm approached terrifying. WWIII.
Folks report TV's were trashed, palm trees set aflame, a water meter exploded, but our only inconvenience is lost wifi and cable TV service. Wait a minute! Cubs and Indians in less than two hours. Looks like I'll be running a BAR TAB at Carlee's Place tonight.

Dr. Bunger 6:35 PM  

Captain Boomer was such a fine gentleman and so respected in the fishery, he slept in a bed suspended on a GIMBAL set.

Chronic dnfer 7:23 PM  

Dnf'd at mastec/sec. oh well.

Anonymous 7:59 PM  


Thanks for that truly fascinating information. It must have been a real nail-biter.

It's too bad that the local circle-jerk group here is completely unmoved by it, being interested, as they are, in their own self-sufficient little clique.

Anonymous 8:02 PM  

Further to Anonymous @ 7:59 PM:

@Wm.C's anecdote is obviously not nearly as interesting as reading once again that @George Barany is a chemistry professor in Minnesota.

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

Sorry, other than my earlier post I had to get my 18th cortisone epidural. On med's for most of the day but I can't resist responding to a few of you.

I know all about Giro's. Great skull shells for roadies but UNREAL for mountain bikers. In my over 25 of mountain biking I've always worn a Bell. 1st one was blue and gold, after 9/11 "Stars & Stripes" only! Try the Rosarito Beach to Ensenada Fun Ride in Baja Mexico. Either April or September. Even with my RW&B helmet and jersey I never had an issue. Local people are great there and want you there! It's 50 road miles. El Tigre is definitely a bitch. Other than that, have fun on top of the mesa, (large bar), or at Papas & Beer or Hussong's in Ensenada. Great party and massages at the end. But I doubt you will see a bigger Mexican flag then in Ensenada. Also, Mt. Tam in Marin county, (Frisco), or Moab in Utah provide the most beautiful views. If your just a "roadie", you're missing something.

@ Masked
I agree, If someone says, THEROUNDSONME, make mine a Coors Light as well. Hopefully, 22 ounces. Or two! Being a Clydesdale puts one at a disadvantage on bikes.

Really? The point you got out of what was said was that it was the bleachers? OK. You win. He was in the stands. Would love to blast you about your elitist views on the folks in the bleachers or stands! Just ask.

Since my Dodgers are out I am a NL'er. I guess Chicago just ain't holding up. Not sarcastic. Hope they can make it!

George Barany 11:50 PM  

I've now had a chance to look at today's comments, and would like to thank @evil doug at 8:13 AM and @Wm. C at 9:55 AM for both providing additional information and insights about GIMBAL, specifically with respect to the heroic Apollo 13 mission memorialized by Hollywood.

In general, the way the U.S. responded to Sputnik with the space program that I lived through during my childhood was very inspirational and should be a model for how we may be able to solve the problems of the 21st century. I have nothing but admiration for those whose pioneering work in the 1960s not only achieved the immediate goals, but had innumerable spin-offs that immeasurably improved the quality of life worldwide.

Thank you!

Z 11:50 PM  

@anon11:39 - Not sure how preferring the opinions of bleacher bums to the opinions of BBWA members makes me elitist. Or did you jump
in late and miss my initial point? It's been a few years, but I have fond memories of drinking Old Style tall boys while taking in a day game. Nice thing about Wrigley is you can actually see the game without a telescope from those seats. As for Bartman, C'mon man - just yanking your chain a little.

Anonymous 12:11 AM  

This is what I was going to post, well, damn, guess I am.

I've coached (soccer as you know it) or football for the rest of the world, American football and baseball for over 30 years. Just my experience, but those guys in the bleachers and stands are usually, you are correct, "the average drunk". However, they are usually the 10% of people doing 90% of the work in AYSO, Little League or anywhere else regarding athletic volunteers. They have seen it UP CLOSE!!! Why, because they LOVE the game. They are the plumbers, painters, gardeners, etc. I have yet to run into actuaries, engineers, programmers, etc. out there. I have run into former PRO jocks, but they usually suck as coaches. They played, but they mail it in as coaches. As for volunteer referees, (also those average drunks in the bleachers), I know them as cops, judges, as well as the electricians, carpenters, plasterers, etc. Again, they've see the game up close!

OK. Enough of a rant.

Who knows? Maybe I'll buy you an Old Style tall boy and you can buy me a 22oz Coors light, or 2? Just sayin' that even though I'm a Dodger fan I think Bartman got a bum deal. GWood

Kim Colley 1:35 AM  

Kind of surprised no one complained about Federer/Nadal. I kept wondering who or what this "Federer" was as I worked the puzzle. Filled it in with help from surrounding clues. As I read thru the comments, I started to worry that "Federer" was some arcane figure only the intelligentsia knew about. Was it some new sect of politics? A schism in the Fed? A valiant hero of modern fiction?

Google tells me he and his foe, Nadal, are tennis players. Why that's not obscure, but Mariposa is obscure, is beyond me. I first heard the word in a Star Trek episode when I was a pre-schooler, some forty odd years ago.

River Eno 8:24 AM  

@Anon8:00PM (+/-2)
There's really no need to broadcast whose altered ego you are.

a. Not all readers feel a compulsion to air every reaction; some are content to realize an experience as complete without a mandatory sharing hard on the heels thereof.
b. Not a circle jerk; as noted by @Multiples, best approximation is an octagon jerk.

Go, Cubbies.

Diana,LIW 9:25 PM  

@Spacey - second day in a row I've responded to your post late!

Adopt! I discussed this with Mr. Waiting and with our adoptees. Sorry - Lambo and Quincy are part of the family. Perhaps they don't help as much as I wish they would with the daily puzzle solve, but Quincy certainly has trained me to play hairband frisbeen and Lambo maintains my seated position whilst puzzle solving.

One can adopt a manner. One can adopt a position. And I have adopted a few animals. Sorry. They are as sentient as any person I know, or our potus-in-elect.


Diana, Lady of Adoptees

Ted Cole 7:40 AM  

I'm new at this. It took me an hour to complete. I don't Google any questions How can Rex complete in 4 minutes??

Burma Shave 9:31 AM  


AROUSEd on their LASTLEGs they SERGEd to the BAR.
Even the PORTER joined in and HELD high his SCOTCH;
the BAR TAB was UNREAL (a THOU) in that TRAINCAR.


rondo 10:20 AM  

I’ll drink to that. It’s ROUND enough for ME, at arm’s length it’s kinda circular.

As @teedmn noted, MASTIC is a gimme for any DIY type. I guess that OFL and most others here aren’t very handy. UNREAL! I have a half-pail left over from a flooring project. MASTIC is also sometimes used as a joint sealer on storm sewer pipe. Fascinating, no?

Knew it was a GIMBAL, but unsure of the spelling at first. Wanted to fill it in ala country swing fiddler Johnny GIMBle, but held off on the last two letters and used crosses to finish it.

Just this A.M. 89.3 The Current (stream it) played the song “Ford Mustang” by SERGE Gainsbourg, a duet with yeah baby Brigitte Bardot. Serendipity.

Okay buoys and GULLS, I guess we go back in time to one of the original yeah babies, Mata HARI. Hoochie-koochie subterfuge comes into play. I’ve seen the old photos. Or I could stretch for Sheryl CROW.

Nothing to really CROW or CRO about, but seemed perfectly acceptable to me. Skol!

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

Got it eventually, but girl/mariposa are beyond the pale.

spacecraft 1:10 PM  

Swing and a miss, @rondo! Our DOD is right there at the beginning: DUSTY Springfield! But certainly, honorable mention to Ms. CROW: any girl who says "All I want to do is have some fun" is OK by me.

That, unfortunately, was my most spirited (!) opinion of today's "offer." There are many problems here.

--> THE. Not bad enough in the reveal line, we get hit again on the down cross: THEWEB.

--> CAR. Grid-wise, one CAR to a LOT, please.

--> SSN NNE PSST. *sigh*


--> and in that same horrid corner that truly should have been SCRAPped and reworked, the crutchy RETESTS.

That's a lot of NOES. I realize the theme density is high, and the lagniappe BAR TAB is great--and certainly after all that drinking one would have to visit the LAV, but the price is exorbitant. The theme reminds me of the old joke:

"When I drink, everybody drinks."
"That'll be $114.50."
"When I pay, everybody pays."

This coulda been a contender. Just a little more patience...bogey.

rondo 2:08 PM  

@spacey - yeah, I thought of DUSTY Springfield right away, but didn't circle the clue to remind myself. Thanks.
One(two) thing(s) I didn't really care for was/were the two uses of "opposite" in the clues for 1d and 51a. But we were putting up Christmas decorations this morning and I must have been in a generous mood.
EAGEREST sounds like how someone exited.

leftcoastTAM 2:26 PM  

Clever, fun theme and themers. So THEROUNDS [of shaded theme answers] ONME. Nice.

Mini theme in NW corner: DUSTY/DEATHS="DUST THOU art and to DUST THOU shall return."

Slow downs to savor: related (but not COGNATE)GIMBAL and GIRO (as gyro), PREfix.

MARIPOSA took some time to flush out, but it sounds familiar enough.

Nice work, John E. Bennett.

Diana,LIW 3:03 PM  

Six assorted friends walk into a pub. They each order a favorite drink. An odd mix, yes, but it's their choices. When the server brings the drinks to the table, one of the friends says, "THE ROUND'S ON ME." No problem for me there. (Did not picture the group imbibing a round of each of the drinks. Blech!)

@Teedmn - the reason we have hired a contractor to do our kitchen re-mod job is I didn't want to Do Myself In. (Knew you'd have the helmet down!)

@Rondo - buoys and GULLS - ha!

Listened to "DUSTY and Lefty" many a Saturday on Prairie Home Companion - The Daze (Lives) of the Cowboys.

Winced at NNE and EAGEREST, but overall reaction was a happy one.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 3:48 PM  

Quick research of Merriam-Webster suggests that GIMBAL and GIRO--not as clued here but as a financial service involving circulation of money between accounts--are indeed COGNATE via "gyre" and related derivations.

Thought you'd all be anxious to know that.

SharonAK 3:52 PM  

Was pleased to see, as the comments went on, that at least one could well imagine (or remember0 hearing "the round's on me".
And definitely it is made as an offer. Regardless of whether or not you are stuck with it once you've made it.
Was surprised at the original severe, petty carping.

Diana,LIW 7:41 PM  

Dear @Ted Cole at 7:40 am

Your's is an ok time. Rex is superhuman, that's how.

I always check Bill Butler's NYTXP site for the time of an average genius.

Diana, LIW

spacecraft 8:10 PM  

Re 39-down, here's how it should be"

EAG: Ready to proceed.

EAGER: EAG, and excited about it.

EAGEST: like, we have sex once a year--and tonight's the night!

EAGEREST: I need five minutes from all this EAG.

rondo 9:11 PM  

Har. Have another ROUND. I'm gonna. But I may be EAG.

Ted Cole 7:08 AM  

Thanks Lady Di

lodsf 9:49 PM  

I had a feeling Rex wouldn't like "the rounds..." vs "this rounds...". But other than that I thought this was a really nice Tuesday puzzle. A word I didn't know (mastic). A word I had forgotten (gimbal). And a word with an outlier definition (apron). Being an ardent California hiker helper with Mariposa [lily].

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