Faction in Twilight fandom / SUN 10-30-16 / 2000s group with three eponymous Disney Channel films / Event code-named Operation Neptune / Angel who visited Joseph Smith / 1998 Faith Hill hit that describes perpetual bliss

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Constructor: Caleb Madison

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Updates" — first words of themer begin with names of MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS (65A: Things found at the starts of the answers to the six starred clues); the "Updates" appear in real-life order:

Theme answers:
  • CHEETAH GIRLS (28A: *2000s group with three eponymous Disney Channel films, with "the')
  • PUMA SNEAKERS (34A: *Athletic footwear once promoted by Pelé)
  • JAGUAR XKE (58A: *Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made")
  • TIGERLILY (75A: *Showy orange bloom)
  • LEOPARD PRINT (96A: *Something spotted on a runway?)
  • LION IN WINTER (103A: *1968 Peter O'Toole drama, with "The")
Word of the Day: CHEETAH GIRLS 
The Cheetah Girls were an American girl group consisting of Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Sabrina Bryan. The group was created by Disney, and were made famous by the eponymous Disney Channel original film and its sequels, The Cheetah Girls 2 and The Cheetah Girls: One World. The group has released three studio albums, Cheetah-licious Christmas, In Concert: The Party's Just Begun Tour, and TCG and several RIAA certified Platinum albums including, The Cheetah Girls, The Cheetah Girls 2, and The Cheetah Girls: One World. All of their albums and soundtracks have debuted in the Billboard 200. The soundtrack to their first movie sold over 2 million copies. (wikipedia)
• • •

I enjoyed solving this, for the most part, though the theme is semi-blah. I do like that the MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS appear in actual chronological order, so the "Updates" title makes sense, but the cats ... are just cats ... and not even "hidden cats" or "cat names in non-cat contexts." I mean, LEOPARD PRINT is just a print ... of the skin ... of the cat. PUMA SNEAKERS have a very famous logo ... or a cat. Dunno. I'm lukewarm on the concept. And *yet*, the grid itself I found pretty sassy and fun. "Contemporary" and "young" in that way that is going to make the pop-culture haters scream. This pleases me.

Things that I enjoyed seeing include COACHELLA, GENIUS BAR, and BE THAT WAY, which in the grid looks like someone named BETH ATWAY. I never entered the whole "Twilight" world of things, but #TEAMJACOB came oddly easily. Ditto CHEETAH GIRLS, whom I could not pick out of a lineup. That's pretty much it for the youth culture, except possibly LARP, which is one of the most amazingly ugly acronyms known to humankind (stands for Live-Action Role-Playing, FYI). I finished this baby in about eight and a half minutes, which is possibly my Sunday NYT record (I've been around 7 on other Sunday-sized puzzles before), but I did have some trouble spots. Ironically, the answer it took me longest to get was the revealer. Couldn't parse it, and didn't think too much of it, since I was tearing up the grid so bad. I have no idea what ATC is (53D: J.F.K. tower grp.). Oh, Air Traffic Control, duh. Man, you never see that in crosswords. Weird. I kept thinking "tower" was being used in the sense of "one who tows," so, yeah, no hope there. Had BASK for BAKE (56A: Lie on the beach), so that hurt, briefly. ALER (along with its NL counterpart) remains deplorable, even during the World Series, where such a word might almost have a place (16D: 'Stro, e.g.). Speaking of World Series ... gotta go watch. Bye.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I'm in US Weekly this week. Yeah, I know. "What?" I also said that.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:05 AM  

Easy-medium for me mostly because I had a spelling brain freeze in the COACHELLA area which included COACHELLA. My "if it looks wrong it probably is wrong" rule came in handy.

SIRI and (i) PADS part of the theme?

Theme is a bit esoteric, liked it.

NormC 12:15 AM  

... and there's GENIUS BAR, too, as a theme.

GILL I. 12:23 AM  

Well...here's the sad thing. The entire puzzle was lost on me because my reveal was MAP OPERATING SYSTEM. Huh? OK, so I got all the animals and had no idea why. Why couldn't the JFK tower grp not be ATP? Wasn't he an American tennis pro sitting in an ivory tower? LARP seriously looks like something a WINO would erp on the sidewalk.
But...I knew I could count on @Rex to show me the MORONI. He's an angel after all.
Miss CLEO - call me now for your free tarot reading. Don't you really want to know who's the daddy?
Loved seeing COACHELLA because it was one of the few gimmes.
I wish OCTA had been clued with mom, and I wish I knew what the whole "updates" meant. I mean we had a MAC way back when because my husband needed the autoCAD system for his work. We're cheap now and use a Dell laptop. [sigh] Another one bites the dust.

NormC 12:26 AM  

Whoa! Just noticed that the three letters in the very-upper NW (the SI in SIRI and the A in ALOT) make uninterrupted diagonals to the opposite corner of the grid. Have we seen this before? Is it common and I just missed it? (Did I miss a black square somewhere>) Nice job, Caleb.
G'night, all.

John Child 12:26 AM  

Happy to gratify @Rex by saying that this puzzle was full of stuff I've never heard of. I'll do due diligence (doo-doo diligence?) on COACHELLA, CHEETAH GIRLS, THIS KISS, TEAM JACOB, et. al., but who knows if any of it will stick. Vampire ESCAPISM ain't my thing.

MOTHRA and MORONI were highlights for me. BE THAT WAY is excellent. For some reason I knew "Unbelievable," but I bet that was a WOE for many.

ON ME, ON IT, ET ON, AN ON, and on and on... Not my cup of tea, but then the puzzles I submitted to Buzzfeed that never got any reply obviously weren't to Mr Madison's taste either. De gustibus non est disputandum.

seanm 1:54 AM  

was on pace for record time, getting to final 8 or so squares in 32 min, though it took me 56 to get those last squares filled. since i had okinOwa it took me far too long to get BAKE. the MORONI BNAI were both complete woes, and the cross was only found from running through the letters when done with the rest

had the most trouble with the section below PUMA. didn't know UNISOM OR MOTHRA, and had the hardest time coming up with SORT even after i had OUT. had PA_A_ and just couldn't get it. very frustrating section. it eventually fell with my subconscious discovering MOTHRA after 20 minutes of staring, followed by PIT then PAPAS.

anokha 2:20 AM  

I don't do crosswords for ESCAPISM, but I appreciate the snarkiness (and was surprised it didn't make the write-up)

Larry Gilstrap 2:50 AM  

OFL cuts this thing a break because why? The cats are in alphabetical order? I don't know MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS and I feel as innocent as a lamb. Geeze, I'm one of those ADDICTS, so I better attend rehab. I hope they don't take roll.

I've done some remodel projects around the house and know my way around the Home Depot, but the only thing I have seen resembling LBARS is that little shiny strip at the base of a mirror hanging on the wall. Maybe it's a regional thing; I'm being generous here. Also, kinda thinking that ATC for air traffic controller is about as legitimate as SCB for Starbucks Coffee Barista, but once again, maybe it's a regional thing. Speaking of regional dialect, growing up in Southern California, using the word SNEAKERS to refer to casual footwear was foreign to my ear. Not that there's anything wrong with it. Also, never wore chinos or stood on line.

Last NIT, oops that was yesterday, LARP as a legitimate pastime seems embarrassing to me. I dress up and pretend to be a wench, or a storm trooper, or a Confederate soldier? We ran in a beautiful rural park for many years and sometimes on weekends we would encounter a Civil War reenactment with adults sleeping in the dirt under a blanket tent strung over a rope between two trees. Good times!

Finally, I taught in an urban high school with a troubled student population. Some of the students were Pacific Islanders and the boys sometimes could appear intimidating. While engaging two large boys I asked each where they were from. One said," Samoa." The other said, "American Samoa." I said, "Do your people get along?" Innocently giggling they responded, "We're not supposed to."

ZenMonkey 3:47 AM  

There is a climate change debate only in the sense that there are also "Did the Holocaust happen?" and "Was the moon landing staged?" debates.

Otherwise, I found it fun and clever. This nerd appreciated MOTHRA and the LARPing, yet struggled to find "cat" or "feline" in the revealer's crosses. The misdirection gave me a laugh. Very enjoyable Sunday.

mathgent 4:05 AM  

14 mysteries made me work hard on the crosses to guess them out. Happy to be introduced to most of them with the notable exception TEAMJACOB.

Not much wordplay for a Sunday, but quite clean with smart cluing. A solid B.

Trombone Tom 4:08 AM  

Worked hard to finish this and had no problems with the Mac operating cats, but ended up with a big fat DNF due to the crossing of LARP (which I am not familiar with) and GAYS (I don't know the magazine and went for GuYS; with a little more thought the name of the mag should have clued me).

Clever and fun puzzle.

'mericans in Paris 4:32 AM  

Yikes. This puzzle for me segued from super easy to impossible. I started in the NW and filled that in quickly and then worked my way more or less to the SE. Got bogged down there for awhile until I finally gave up and googled "This Kiss". Never heard of the song. It didn't help that I had BReak UP before BROKE UP.

After getting a few of the themers, I completed the reveal with "felinE RATING SYSTEM". Was this an alternative to Trump's 1-10 scale, I wondered? Eventually got it right. Also misspelled ENSCONsED, so for the winter conveyance ended up with SNOsAT -- you know, what you do when you want to slide down that tempting hill but all you have is the clothes on your back (and your butt)?

But what did me in was the northeast and the I-95 corridor. I should have known CIGARS as the answer to "Coronas, e.g.", but my mind was just not thinking in that direction. Was conjuring up beer, solar halos, even CInema. I'm not sure that would have been enough to complete it, however, because I've never heard of GENIUS BAR, ALER, AMELIA (I thought her name was Mia), or LARP, and I'm still scratching my head over "Goes" = SAYS.

While I did like some of the fill -- especially COWS, MORONI, MOTHRA, SAMOA, and the shout out to ALAN Shepard -- I felt there were too many potential Naticks created by crosses of proper names.

Perhaps Mrs. 'mericans, who is in Florida visiting her Dad and Aunt this weekend, will fare better.

evil doug 4:34 AM  

Interestingly, few people are aware that Joy Behar quietly performs volunteer work at the Genius Bar on her days off.

George Barany 5:29 AM  

@Caleb Madison constructed one of my favorite puzzles, in terms of theme density and content, on December 1, 2010 for an auspicious birthday. As for today's offering, count me in the "mixed feelings" camp. I use Macs for everything other than crossword construction, but really don't keep track of which cats are associated with which operating systems.

Nice touch to have the theme answers in the same order as the operating systems were released. Does anyone else remember an early Woody Allen film called "What's Up, TIGER_LILY?"

I will put on my PH.D. chemist hat, though, to object to AMINOS. "Amino" (singular) is a valid adjective in front of "acid" -- "amino acids" are the building blocks of peptides and proteins. BE_THAT_WAY, indeed!

One answer word in today's puzzle brings to mind A Herstoric GOPHER Puzzle, A Puzzle to GOPHER, and Go GOPHERs!. Enjoy!

Anonymous 5:43 AM  

@evil - I'd guess lowering it?

Z 5:52 AM  

I hope Caleb got a cut of the product placement cash.

Lewis 6:48 AM  

To whoever opened the comments the other day with something like, "Jeez, Rex, would it kill you to start out by saying something nice?" -- you got your wish (even though it lasted but half a sentence).

I did not know the things @johnchild didn't know, and I don't think much of it will stick, but I did enjoy learning (and feel like I should have known) that DDAY was known as Operation Neptune. I loved seeing ENSCONCES in the grid. I enjoyed the crosses of ROOTROT/PABST and LEAPTAT/STAYOUT. I liked seeing that theme-answer-unifying CAT (in SNOCAT) hiding in wait. And I enjoyed plunging my brain into an intelligently made puzzle. But I'm not totally on Team Caleb here. I would have liked more wordplay, in the cluing at least, if not the theme.

Overall, grateful for the experience, Caleb. Anyone who can perk up my interest in operating systems has made a profound accomplishment. Thumbs up!

Loren Muse Smith 7:16 AM  

Like Rex, I had a heck of a time parsing MAC OPERATING SYSTEM. I was seeing "_ _ RATING SYSTEM." Hmm. Macope Rating System. I kept looking for a mistake.

What's worse, I misremembered the title as being "upgrade," so very early on, I was kind of looking for some kind of "grading" trick: ya know, like a curve: CUKE OF WINDSOR, BALM BEFORE THE STORM, SACRIFICE AUNT…

Yes, all this even with the feline deal coming onto my radar screen. Heck – when Rex says that the hip, talented, clever constructors don't contribute to the NYT anymore, I always pictured Caleb as one of those guys, so I totally thought he could pull off a grade curve theme using cats. I really did.

Live Action Role Playing – me dressed up and trying to pass myself off as a real teacher. I still drive home every day feeling like a failure. I like the way the word looks. LARP. Huh.

You still teaching?

Nah. I larped it for a few years until I could no longer take the staggering amount of cya data tracking, the bureaucracy, and the bajillion different standardized tests that got in the way of my figuring out just how to reach my twenty-plus 9th graders who were reading below the 5th grade level.

I had "Alfie" before ANNIE. What's that all about?

18D's clue for SAYS, to be current, could be, "Is like."

I know virtually *nothing* about Macs. Well, I know Safari is how you get to the internet. Hah! And I took my daughter to a GENIUS BAR once to get hers fixed. So I had absolutely no idea about all these cats. I did get it once finished, though. The fact they're in order is very nice.

Nice little escape this morning. Now I'll sit back and wait for all the CHEETAH/cheater puns and arguments that A SHARP is not the same as B flat. I love this place. Just like Joy.

Jofried 7:31 AM  

Am I the only person who got stuck trying to figure out the cross between JaguarXKE and Composer Satie, who I've never heard of? It just didn't occur to me that it was EriK with a K! Aaahhhh...

David Krost 7:34 AM  

I know I bash Rex a lot but the following is a genuine question, not a slam on Rex's sometimes off-base comments, at least until I get an answer.

Rex says:

"but the cats ... are just cats ... and not even "hidden cats" or "cat names in non-cat contexts.""

What does that mean, exactly "hidden cats". Does he mean like when the fragment of the end of one word and the beginning of the next form a theme word? So for example, for LION the answer could be "vermicelLI ON a plate"? That makes "LION" hidden? If so, then I cannot imagine making that work for "JAGUAR". I guess maybe you could place those little circles within an answer to make them spell the cat's name. Seems like a nearly impossible thing to do though.

Appreciate enlightenment if I have this completely wrong.

chefbea 7:38 AM  

Once I got Mac operating systems..I went back and filled in all the big cats. I have always had a mac and have had to upgrade several times. Liked having Siri and genius bar. Easy puzzle

'mericans in Paris 7:59 AM  

@ David Krost: Clue: "Thickening agent on spirit board?; Answer: OUIJA GUAR GUM. You're welcome.

Anonymous 8:00 AM  

Any one comment about the repeated use of word out in
sort out (60 across)
stay out (73 across)

webwinger 8:55 AM  

Despite being a Mac user since Jaguar, I found the theme pretty lame and the rest of the puzzle solidly meh. Didn't get much joy from yesterday's PB gem either. So for two days in a row I'm finding myself grumpier than @Rex. I think it must have something to do with the Cubs...

NCA President 8:56 AM  

Easy for me as well...but that usually the way Sundays go. They just seem to last forever.

I got all smug and stuff when I wrote in "pasttime" for 27A. I even silently congratulated the constructor on it. Oh, but wait...that wasn't it. ESCAPISM is so much better. ::eyeroll::

I'm a Mac user so the theme was easy and it did help in places. CHEETAHGIRLS being a prime example. I wanted the only other -GIRLS band...of the "spice" variety...and it wouldn't fit. My kids might have been the right age for the Cheetah Girls, but I only halfway remember them.

SNEAKERS. I know people who hate the word "moist," or "gristle," or "panties." For me, it's "sneakers." I don't know why...maybe it's because it's such a 1950s word...but I hate it. Hate. It.

There's a radio station in Fort Wayne, IN with the call letters WXKE. I lived there for nearly 5 years before I figured out why they would have a wild cat "rrar" on the station from time to time.

Otherwise, it was a Sunday puzzle. I finished well with my "normal" time and it felt like a normal "too long" Sunday.

Ken R 9:11 AM  

I enjoyed today's comments..you guys are funny !! Kudos American in paris for your anagram....LOL to anonymous for his keen Behar analysis....definitely lowers the genius bar. As always Rex has his moments but all in all quite an easy puzzle.

Debra 9:12 AM  

Congrats on your mention in the weekly--nice!

Easy today but held my attention.

Nancy 9:15 AM  

Well, let's see. I know nothing about OPERATING SYSTEMS -- MAC or anyone else's. So there went the first 3 letters of the revealer answer -- poof. Then, I didn't know the Princess, the sleep aid, the 2000s group on Disney, the outdoor fantasy game, the 1991 band, the 1998 hit, the woman in the 1973 hit, the music festival, the TV psychic, the 1974 hit, the Godzilla foe, or the She-Wolf cult film. A PPP-riddled fest of unmitigated junk, written for a totally different demographic than mine. I hate puzzles like this so much, as all of you know so well. For those of you who like this sort of thing, well, this is the sort of thing you like. But I say: Awful.

Roo Monster 9:18 AM  

Hey All !
Wanted MAneater-something for revealer! Saw all the Cats as I was solving, helped me get TIGER LILY. So apparently MAC updaters like Cats. Is Cougar next?

Had cSHARP for B flat equivalent. Went the wrong direction. That made PAPAS tough to see, with having PAc_S. Writeover at weNtAPE-GONEAPE, ddtS-PCBS, and _______PlaNe before getting the theme. Had a T for the H at KITH/HEMO. KITt sounded good to me. WOES - EMF, DIANE Balaban, CPO, RILL, KITH, HEMO, and others I'm sure I missed.

Not too shabby (tabby?) of a SunPuz. Liked the observation of @NormC 12:26 about the diagonals. And for @David Krost 7:34, I do believe that's what Rex meant. @'mericans example for JAGUAR was awesome!

L BARS crossing GENIUS BAR, LSAT, LBARS. Minor nits, but so far no one's pointed them out.

And STAY OUT! :-)

Nancy 9:23 AM  

@Mots Croise (from late yesterday) -- Bingo! I feel a bit like Faye Dunaway in that wonderful final scene of the 1978 remake of "Heaven Can Wait". Looking at Warren Beatty in his brand new body and saying: You're the football player! Remember that scene? It's one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.

Lobster11 9:25 AM  

Rex: "'Contemporary' and 'young' in that way that is going to make the pop-culture haters scream."


Rex: "This pleases me."

Me: You're welcome.

mathgent 9:45 AM  

@NCAPresident (8:56): I played a lot of basketball here in the San Francisco area and I had never heard "sneakers" until the 60s when I was in my thirties. From my wife who grew up in NYC. Out here, we called them Keds or Converses, sometimes basketball shoes. Tennis players just call them shoes. I also find the term "sneakers" offensive.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

@NormC, is it possible the three NW to SE disgonals, paired with the interrupted diagonal running the other way, make the "X" logo from OSX? And that the asterisks are all updates in OSX?
Think so, and THANK YOU for pointing it out!
I loved this puzzle even though it was in some ways too easy. Mainly because I got the "first word is a wild cat" idea before I figured out the revealer/title connection, so it was a double aha.
What's wrong with current clues? A puzzle expert who reads the rest of the paper is more impressive than one who doesn't .

Maruchka 9:48 AM  

I'm with @Z and @Nancy re: plethora of product placement. PPP +

Nevertheless, I liked it. My Mac is sooo old, and the browser is not happy. Fortuitous reminder to upgrade when/if the proverbial ship comes in.

Fav of the day - JAGUAR XKE. Jeez, I loved that car. Hitched a ride, once. Vroom!

@Rex - A well-deserved nod. Joy and Whoopie were my 96 year old, sharp-as-a-tack aunt's favorites on The View. And I sang with sweet Molly, many eras ago. Rrrooh!

Nancy 9:57 AM  

One of my favorite people on this blog has just (oh-so-gently and sweetly) reminded me off-blog that it was Julie Christie, not Faye Dunaway, I was referring to in "Heaven Can Wait." Yesterday, the German restaurant and today the film star. I think I may need a memory transplant.

Lobster11 10:03 AM  

Aw, crap. In my brief "dialog" above, the first line from "Me" is supposed to be the word "screams" in brackets. (Note how much more sense it makes this way.) It didn't occur to me when I typed it that this would be interpreted by the web page as an unknown HTML tag, and thus left blank. That's what I get from trying be cutsie, I suppose. Geez.

kitshef 10:17 AM  

@Jofried - that XKE ERIK cross was a coin flip for me, and the only sticking point in an otherwise fast and pleasant solve.

Conversely to @Rex, I was thinking that all the cats except LEOPARD were clued in a non-cat way (girls, shoes, car, flower, man).

Teedmn 10:20 AM  

MAC OS's all "cat" names - I did not know this. I used the Bunkerization method again today (solving randomly) which actually worked against me on the theme because I failed to notice the starts were all felines, but I doubt knowing that would have helped except, perhaps, with PUMA SNEAKERS.

DNF at XKo crossing ESTo. No matter how many times I task myself with remembering the random (to me) car letters, it never seems to happen. No GENIUS BAR here!

Missteps today: Elo before EMF (don't recall the song), "rheo" before HEMO, "homeo" before SOCIO, "ens" before CPO.

I liked the clue for 1A, SIRI, and seeing BE THAT WAY, a phrase often TOSSED at me when I was growing up (hopefully I'm not still THAT WAY :-) ).

I LEAPT AT the chance to get in a shout out to @Leapfinger since I had to give it up yesterday! And it's crossing LARP, which sounds like something one would say as one realizes one's LEAP has failed.

Not much dreck here but the cluing was a bit too straightforward for my Sunday tastes. I was at first dismayed by what seemed to be a lot of PPP (LIANE, ERIK, UNISOM, AMELIA, TEAM JACOB, etc.) but once I got a few toeholds, it all appeared to be crossed fairly.

Thanks, CM.

AliasZ 10:35 AM  

This was an oddly unsatisfying puzzle for me, not unlike sitting through an elaborate vegan dinner and leaving the table hungry.

The theme was rather thin, which could have been helped by two down themers. The restriction of the subject matter however forbade such possibilities even with the Panther missing, because the LION and LEOPARD of the Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard (there was no SNOCAT version as far as I know) were already used. Although it seems repetitiveness is the new norm in NYT puzzles of recent years, to wit: STAY OUT/SORT OUT and ON ME/ON IT/BEAR IT in today's puzzle.

I agree with @John Child: one man's "contemporary and young" is another's WTF, but I am only too happy to feed into @Rex's perverted pleasure of hearing the screams of us "pop-culture haters." How enlightened and tolerant of him.

-- THIS KISS would have been funny if the words were reversed.
-- EMMA'S TONE B-flat -- it causes A-SHARP pain in my left temple.
-- LEAP TAT is a frog tattoo. [Hi @Leapy]
-- Favorite answer today: ENSCONCES.
-- Least favorite: LARP. Sounds like the belch of a goanna.

I could GOPHER a little Schubert right now. How about you? This is the last movement of his string PENTAD in C major.

Have a spooky Halloween.

PS. Why did the warlock and the witch never have kids? Because he had a Halloweener.

Hartley70 10:41 AM  

What a treat to get a Sunday that didn't feel like a slog at some point! Thanks for the romp, Caleb. I love the popular culture references and I think it's a great idea for the Sunday puzzle to skew younger than the Daily.

I was given my first Mac in the late 80's and through the years only had one brief affair with a Dell before returning to my first love permanently. I have to admit I was seduced by the adorable Dell cow cartons into switching brands.

This theme was a walk down memory lane for me. I whizzed through the grid, until my last entry LARP. I've never heard of LARP and I tried LARs and LARa before LEAPTAT gave it away.

I agree with the Easy rating but it didn't lessen my enjoyment one bit.

Churlish Nabob 10:41 AM  

@Anonymous 9:45 a.m. said: "What's wrong with current clues? A puzzle expert who reads the rest of the paper is more impressive than one who doesn't ."

Preach it bro.

Steve M 10:41 AM  

Cleveland pitching wow!

Norm 11:02 AM  

When I saw the byline, I doubted I would like this puzzle. I was right. A very blah theme and too many pop references crammed into the same sectors. The middle of the puzzle was better than the top and the bottom.

MotsCroisés 11:15 AM  

@Nancy -- so glad you saw the comment. My grandmother ran a boarding house in Yorkville. So I got to know some of the restaurants nearby. There was a Jaeger House on 85th Street. But Geiger's Cafe (Konditorei) is where I went most often. And I think it was the last German or Austrian restaurant in the area to close.

Alas, I've never heard of Joy Behar but am glad to see the blog was mentioned in her list of things we don't know about her, besides who she is, of course.

I raced thru this puzzle today, increasingly annoyed to be reminded of all the operating systems I had to install on my aging MacBook, only to find that they did not work as well as promised and had to go back to the oxymoronic "Genius Bar" to get it fixed. I've never encountered such rude and obnoxious people as I have at these geeky service counters in Apple Stores. They act like you're an idiot which I suppose I am for continuing to buy their over-priced products.

jberg 11:19 AM  

Rats! I had failed to see that "split" could be past tense, and failed to apply the wisdom in Rex's FAQ that any mistake was mine, not the puzzle's-- so I went wit BRaKE UP for a DNF.
Figured it was like young people saying "free reign." Sob.

Otherwise, I loved the puzzle. Since I've never watched "Twilight, I actually did write in TEAM caleB at first.

Tita A 11:27 AM  

And don't forget ROAR as a theme... Oh no - wait - that was just an erasure for HAIL.

ENSCONCES is great word - but the clue is off to me - my vision is that you ENSCONCE yourself in a highly visible, very POSH position, for all to see. The way I do when I get 1A on a Saturday with no crosses and there is another crossword person around...

From the clue I was looking for something ending in IN (see my crutch rant yesterday). Felines are great at settling snugly - nestles in perhaps?

Puzzle was great up till hte revealer. I hid the title and ignored the revealer. It was obvious after 2 themers that it was all about cats (SNOCATs?), which left me waiting for a fun feline-based revealer to tie them all together.
The actual themer was therefore a let-down. I'm barely aware that Apple has a cat theme for their releases, and the chronological order completely escaped me.

THat's not a hit on the puzzle - it just explains why it was a personal letdown. I guess I like the animals better than Apple. (And btw, I really hate that autocorrect, even on my WIndows PC, wants to capitalize the word apple. Grrr...)

I did like learning Enzo Ferrari's quote - I'm sure I've heard it before, but even knowing the theme, needed the initial J to get it. I agree with Enzo, BTW.

@David Krost - your vermicelLI ON a plate has me sniggering uncontrollably - thanks for that little rant!!!!!!!!!
@merican - good one.

Tita A 11:32 AM  

If you only read one sentence I write, make it this one that implores you to watch this example of two beautifully made ads - Jaguar vs Mercedes.

Hungry Mother 11:45 AM  

DNFed on too many names.

Joseph Michael 11:46 AM  

Did Apple fund this crossword? What a letdown to realize that the theme was Mac operating systems. Seriously? I want my money back.

Mohair Sam 11:52 AM  

Well @Rex, this "Pop Culture hater" hates to ruin your day (like hell), but I enjoyed Caleb Madison's puzzle. Thought all the modern "Pop" stuff was fairly crossed, and none of it was what you'd call obscure. Hence the failure to know, say, JACOB or CHEETAHGIRLS was mine - not the constructor's. Seems fair to me, as fair as the clues for JOLENE or LIONINWINTER, imo.

Overall this seemed a fairly easy Sunday once we ignored the theme title and realized we were dealing with big cats - we know not from MAC SYSTEMS. The cat was realized with PUMA (a gimme for us) and LIONINWINTER (a favorite movie here) - and, man, did that help open the grid up. Only hangup was in the NE until my genius Lady M sussed GENIUS and IMAGE and we filled.

Legend has it that GLAM rock started when staffers at "Top of the Pops" slapped a few stars on the face of a nervous Mark Bolan of T-Rex to calm him upon his first TV appearance. Bolan had hoped to be the English Bob Dylan, but things got way out of control.

@NCA Pres - Yeah, I stared at PUMA for a while before I allowed myself to write in SNEAKERS. But nothing else fit. Yuck.

@Nancy - Guys have less trouble telling Julie Christie from Faye Dunaway in old movies. Christie was the one who caused heart palpitations.

I was so pleased to learn a few months back that I had something in common with Anne Hathaway. Today I learned I have the same thing in common with Joy Behar. Ya win some, ya lose some.

Fun Sunday Caleb Madison, thanks. And thanks for the Ferrari loved the XKE factoid, neat stuff.

uciphd 12:00 PM  

Good puzzle, but a "T" signal with both hands in basketball is for a technical foul, NOT a timeout.

Numinous 12:17 PM  

At one point in my live, when I was, oh, say, seventeen, the JAGUAR XKE was my favorite car in the world. That and the AC Cobra, both of which I managed to convince a dealer to let me drive arounnd the block.

Took me a while to get to LION IN WINTER. That and CHEETAH GIRLS gave me the clue to how all the other themers would go. I thought the sleep aid was UNISOM. I had ATC but erased the C then put it back when I finally parsed, WoF style, OPERATING SYSTEM.

My mother was from New Jersey so she called my tennies or tennis shoes SNEAKERS. What a shock looking for a pair in London only do discover thay were called plimsoles. In Australia, they're called trainers. I'm about positive Pelé never called them SNEAKERS!

My step-daughter goes, "he was like, 'Wanna go out tonight?'" And so it goes.

I agree this skewed young but there have been young people around me until recently so that doesn't bother me. I do a lot of internet surfing which helps to keep me up to date too. I'm unable to be as active as I used to be so I appreciate the ability to keep my education going. The thing I try to avoid is the temptation to retire completely from the world.

Good puzzle, entertaining ESCAPISM.

Masked and Anonymous 12:27 PM  


This is a good puz to get the younger generations excited about crosswords; especially the cat lover milleniers out there. Good for Mr. Madison. We need this shot of new drugs, now and then, to jolt us fuss-budgets out of our knee socks. meow-har.

fave weeject: EMF. Had the ?MF, and still didn't know what was goin on. Sorta sums up my solvequest -- which is understandable, bein an old fart. No complaints, tho. Did know THISKISS and MOTHRA, so was able to sorta hang in there by the skin of my PENTADs. No thanx to TEAMJACOB and the CHEETAHGIRLS, tho.

Not much of a Halloween vibe, here. Upgradin yer operation system can be pretty scary, I reckon.

Thanx, Caleb. Cool cats.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Carola 12:32 PM  

Disgruntled. I solved from top down and when I got to MAC OPERATING SYSTEM, I quit, having an aversion to corporate-centric themes.

Numinous 12:37 PM  

I love your t-shirt, Carola.

Masked and Anonymous 12:37 PM  

Almost forgot:
1. Congratz to @RP, on gettin that national exposure of hisself.
2. Was SNOCAT a shout out to SNOWLEOPARD? Just askin.


Hartley70 12:43 PM  

@Tita, HAHAHA! That was great. I'd take a Jag any day.

old timer 12:45 PM  

Puzzle was far from Easy and far from interesting, except the theme. When I got MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS I immediately also got PUMA. That was a help. But when I came here I suddenly noticed the SE corner was not filled in. So I went back and filled it in, ending up with THISKeSS. So DNF.

I really resent puzzles with so much PPP-ness. OTOH I got JAGUAR XKE at once. It was in a previous puzzle. And my stepfather traded in his Cadillac for that car, much to my mother's dismay. Beautiful sports car design, true. But you know, a Jaguar engine with all the repair problems that went with it. After a few years he swapped the engine for a Corvette engine, which enabled him to keep the car for a very, very long time. Many owners ended up doing that.

GENIUS BAR was an early guess, long before I figured out the theme. We have an Apple Store at our local mall, and those stores are another mark of Steve Jobs's genius. I bought Apple stock quite early, and have a 4013% gain so far. I'll probably never sell it because under a quirk of the tax code my heirs can sell it with with no capital gains tax at all,

Hartley70 12:58 PM  

WhooHoo @Carola, you got your shirt and you're looking fine in it, you nasty thing you! You can slip it on as you drive by all those farms on the way to work. It will left (that's autocorrect!) your spirits, I'm sure.

BTW I made a lutefisk comment late yesterday for you and @Tita or it might have been @Marushka, come to think of it. Just the thought of lutefisk addles my brain. Now that's a nasty food!

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

Such a nasty woman, @Carola. Go, (CHEETA) GIRL!

phil phil 1:41 PM  

Brand name natick and PuT (set against)

Mark 1:53 PM  

Interesting that the clue for ALER was one that has only been in the American League for four years. The Astros switched over from the National League in 2012. I wonder if they were chosen just to make it slightly trickier for someone who used to follow baseball but doesn't much anymore.

cwf 1:56 PM  

Could remember the name of that band because I remember reading that they said the letters stood for (among other things) "Ecstasy, Mother Fuckers". Sneaking some nastiness past WS.

Molson 1:57 PM  

Biggest issue I have with the theme is that Mac Operating Systems haven't been named after cats since 2013 (Mavericks was version 10.9... Lion was 10.7 released in 2011) so this is quite dated. Add in Team Jacob and it feels like this puzzle was very fresh in 2012. Possibly even submitted then and sat waiting publication?

Paul Johnson 2:03 PM  

DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO from Heartbreaker. Catchy and must have taken weeks to come up with the lyric, if you can call it that. Reminiscent of Miss You where we get

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh

It blows away a mere 5 DOOs.

btw I'm a Mac guy and have been since well the 2E. Still it didn't dawn on me that the puzzle was clue MacOS's. I simply never pay attention to the names. I can say this. I know have SIERRA that has a really really annoying bug. The Mac Dictionary crashes randomly and often. Apple hasn't fessed up. Nor fixed it. Anyone else seeing this?

Paul Johnson 2:04 PM  

We NOW have. Dang fingers.

Paul Johnson 2:05 PM  

I now have. AARRRGGGHH!!!

Deborah Wess 2:13 PM  

Mothra, the psychic, Jolene, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Rolling Stones are hardly written to the same demographic as Coachella, the Cheetah girls,nor Genius Bars. Mac use does somewhat cross generations, though. For me, I have no knowledge of any country music hits, any era. But I don't get cross at the words, I learn something!

No comment 2:45 PM  

Embarrassingly, my downfall was not knowing a Corona was a type of cigar. My guesses involved auras, crowns, and beer. Now lamenting that I never started smoking them.

Prettiest Car in the Shop 3:05 PM  

Ever hear the one about British cars? Why do the English drink warm beer? Because Lucas makes refrigerators.

Carola 4:53 PM  

@Numinous, @Hartley70, @Anonymous 1:25 - Thank you for the t-shirt shout-outs.
@Hartley70, I'm astonished to hear that anyone still serves lutefisk at home. An exchange student to Norway told me that they have an expression "to eat with long teeth" for foods you'd rather have as little contact with as possible. I doubt it was coined for lutefisk, but it might as well have been, as far as I'm concerned.

Leapfinger 5:45 PM  

First of all, have to thank @GBarany, whose tireless Minnesotan efforts made GOPHER a gimme, as well as some long-ago commenter, who explained the catty progression of MAC OSs. That craft hove into view when watERLILY gave way to TIGERLILY (Peter Pan's Princess before Woody Allen's What's Up, I believe). So I knew the feline taxonomy, but not the order, which is a nice touch. Also didn't know about the GENIUS BAR, which sounds velly interesting, but I need  to know how many you have to eat a day, and how many calories apiece?

There's something enjoyably intriguing about ROOTROT. No, not @RooMonster having the runs, or sad little black-leaved plants. Rather, the duplication with the 2:1 vowels. Wondering whether a serious series is possible... BEETBET, HOOPHOP, MOOTMOT, CAANCAN... Good God, there's more than I thought.

LARP, otoh, has a gruffly aggressive sound (like the Rottweiler next door: LARP!LARP!), although with a little work, it can make a LARruPin' good word. R U with me on this?

Well, I'll take the SOCIOpath of least resistance and admit there was too dang much a plethora of pop music trivia for me to enjoy. TEAMJACOB also wasn't the TEAMwESAU, but my only real disappointment was the failure of LEAPTon. Not for any personal reasons, but because I was all set to tell that a LEAPTON is an elementary, half-integer spin  particle that does not undergo strong interactions. And if you now want to charge me with being a nerd, I'll remain neutral and sobeit.

Hope everyone enjoys Sundays as much as I.

Cassieopia 6:10 PM  

Holy Guacamole Batman. Does the entire world, excluding moi, know that some Mac OSs had cat names? I had to come here to see that yes, indeed, MACOPERATINGSYSTEMS was the theme, yet why all the felines? So a shout out to @george barany who used the sequence of words that helped me understand, oh! Operating system! And sent me scrambling to Wikipedia. Aptly enough, the last entry to the Wikipedia on Mack OS was done by samvscat. Can't make this stuff up, people.

Aside from all that, I felt like a - ahem - genius with the first correct solution I filled in, GENIUSBAR. I thought I was on the constructor's wavelength for the next 20 or so solutions, but then I veered into unknown territory. CHEETAHGIRLS? COACHELLA? ALER??? (I'm still lost on that one, although the app says it's correct.) I started feeling very, very, old. However difficult I found it, I really did enjoy the puzzle. It doesn't hurt that the constructor's first name is the same as my grandsons, so I am always pre-disposed to love whatever Mr C produces, regardless of my difficulties.

Joe Bleaux 6:48 PM  

@Joseph Michael, amen and ditto! Who wants to spend any part of a Sunday on "Madison" Avenue?

Mark 7:33 PM  

I really object to the answer "aminos" There is no such word. "Amino" is an adjective, not a noun. The noun is "amine". Even ignoring grammar, no chemist ever says "ánimos"

Nancy 8:13 PM  

@Tita -- 11:52 a.m. -- Re Your car ad links: I thought the straight ad was as funny, if not funnier, than the spoof. The Mercedes ad would do just about everything but persuade me to buy a Mercedes -- but it was a real hoot. (Oh, no, owls hoot. What do chickens do?) And @old timer (12:45), I've assumed all my life that anything as jazzy and sporty and gorgeous looking as a Jaguar would have an engine that's second to none. Thanks for setting me straight. Although since I don't drive and wouldn't have the money to buy a Jaguar even if I did, it wasn't going to be a problem.

Leapfinger 8:19 PM  

@'Mericans, your OUIJA GUAR GUM is even better if you think of spirit gum

@Alias, of course I thought of The KISS by Rodin (that isn't Hillary Rodin Clinton) and THIS KISS of That Spider Woman; Love that you, on the other hand, drove it in reverse.

@Teedmn, delighted you got mileage out of LEAPTAT. Me, not as much.

@uciphd, a "T" with both hands isn't a time-out in basketball? Tell that to Chris Weber. [Sorry, @Michiganders, but that's true when you're out of them, eh?]

@Prettiest Car -- 'Hear about British cars'? A friend owned a sweet little green Triumph. When it wouldn't start, he'd haul out the wrench he kept under the driver's seat and smack the running board. Worked every time. Then he bought a Norton 650...

Can't believe what you read in Vogue: Lyin' in Wintour

Tita A 8:20 PM  

@Nancy & @old timer...
Indeed - good old Enzo referenced only the car's beauty - not its reliability, engineering, or performance.

Though I got driven around the track at Lime Rock at the Rolex Vintage Festival while sitting on the floorboards (yes, wooden floorboards - no passenger seat) of a 1950's era Jag XK150 stripped down for racing. I was hanging on for dear life. (FWIW, the pro racer was a woman - she was fearless - which you have to be to drive a British car at those speeds!)

Hey - whatever happened to @Old Car Fudd??

Tita A 8:24 PM  

@Leapy - my 1960 MGA - I had to keep a wrench net to the passenger seat - if the car started to sputter, I had to reach behind the passenger seat, remove the panel that covered the batteries and fuel pump, then whack on the fuel pump a couple of times.
And yes, in the infinite engineering of British engineering, there were TWO six-volt batteries in series, rather than one 12 volt. For balance, they said.

Lucas, Prince of Darkness. Hallmark of British electrics.

(I do have a love/hate relationship with British cars...)


Token Millennial 8:44 PM  

This millennial loved this crossword so much. It's so nice to have the NYT occasionally throw a bone to the younger generation. Music I know, movies I know, technology I know, minimal dreck... Even the loathsome ALER was clued using my baseball team, so I can forgive it. The tone of cluing was on my wavelength, as Caleb Madison usually is. Unfortunately I naticked on BNAI/MORONI, but hey, it's good to learn something new.

I've never owned a Mac personally, but 60% of my social circle does, and casual mentions about OS upgrades come up. I was disappointed when Apple switched away from the big cats to Yosemite. I love cats.

Wednesday's Child 8:56 PM  

Theme was meaningless to me. Either you know it or you don't. I was looking for a twist and was sorely disappointed.

Happy Pencil 9:54 PM  

@Deborah Wess, I couldn't agree with you more. I never understand why people on here blame the puzzle instead of themselves for things they don't know. Isn't the beauty of these puzzles in learning something new?

Mohair Sam 10:12 PM  

@Deborah Wess & @Happy Pencil. Yup - It is so annoying when people get mad at constructors for including popularly known things they haven't heard about. I learned a lot of new pop culture today, but all of it was fairly crossed - what's not to like?

TurtleMom 10:49 PM  

Correct, the cats have been gone awile. These days it's Yosemite-themed names. Cats were OS X. And the puzzle has a big white X.

Z 11:27 PM  

I spent most of today driving home from the inaugural Great Grand Masters World Ultimate Championship, so let me first say, "GET THE f}%+> OUT OF THE LEFT LANE." Otherwise you risk ending up like the moving roadblock teal Fiat that got ahead of me again when I stopped for coffee and was the lead car in the accident 70 miles later. No, I didn't see the accident. Yes, I would testify in court that she caused the four car accident entering the construction zone. My only surprise was that one of the "the left lane is for pick-up trucks" drivers wasn't also involved.

@LMS - Nice Alfie shout out.

I've had Macs since 120 MB was more hard drive than I could imagine ever needing. This doesn't mean that OS X version names is in any way a crossword theme worthy of the NYTX. How about a theme of random three letter car models? Cola varieties through the ages? Anheuser-Busch beers? Major league cat mascots? I don't much like pop culture centered Sunday themes, but I'd prefer an Opera/Rap theme to a product name based theme like this. That it is relatively well-constructed does not make it a good puzzle. Madison is a great constructor, but this belongs in Apple's company newsletter.

'mericans in Paris 2:39 AM  

@Nancy. You commented, "Owls hoot. What do chickens do?"

Reminds me of an old joke about the difference between roosters and lawyers, the answer to which I'll set up like a crossword clue: "Roosters cluck defiant, while lawyers ____ de client."

kitshef 8:18 AM  

@Cassieopia - Major League Baseball is split into two leagues, the American League and the National League, normally abbreviated as AL and NL. The Houston Astros are a team in the the American League (AL).

In crossword puzzles, but nowhere else, ever, players in the American League are sometimes referred to as ALERs, and National League as NLERs.

To reemphasize, ALER and NLER are purely crossword puzzle abbreviations ... you will never here them IRL.

Tim Pierce 9:09 AM  

Coming in late here, but I was surprised not to see JAGUARXKE/ERIK called out as a straight-up Natick. If you don't know anything about Jaguar models, as I don't, that letter could easily be a K, a C or an N at least. I suppose everyone else is more of a luxury car fan than I am!

spacecraft 9:56 AM  

Yes, Fearless One, this is your wheelhouse, not mine...but why should the latter please you so? The way you phrase it, you sound like you're actually GLAD that some of us will have a ton of WOEs. Okay, BETHATWAY.

Totally ignorant of ANY of the MACOPERATINGSYSTEMS, I still latched onto the cat theme, getting one major WOE through the side door, as it were. I expected an easy rating from above; even having to fight through my ignorance I finished it without too many headaches, so I guess it's a fair grade. I saw an XKE once: Mr. Ferrari was right.

Didn't know MORONI; with the MOR start I thought it might be MORMON, ha ha. Thought EMMA was Samms instead of STONE. That writeover helped make the SE the toughest part of the whole thing. Only one other w.o.: ESCAPIng before -ISM.

Inevitable big-grid bad stuff: ASHARP, LBARS (actually crossing! another BAR), and the awful ALER. But that's about it, so on balance, pretty well done. Hey, how does this young whippersnapper know about stuff like IUDS? And Out Magazine? Yikes, he must be allowed to STAYOUT past ELEVEN. DOD is another name I did not know, so had to look up (after solving, of course): the lovely LIANE Balaban. A theme lagniappe occurs at SNOCAT; nice. Birdie.

Burma Shave 11:34 AM  


Then she laid THISKISS ONME and SAYS, “DOO you dance?”
Like a MORONI didn’t CASHIN my OPTIONS on that hint.


rondo 12:01 PM  

Pretty easy considering I know nothing about MACOPERATINGSYSTEMS. Way short of an hour even having taken a phone call from one of my mother’s oldest friends, CLEO, what a coincidence that was. And taking out the recycling. And interruptions like THISKISS from the missus. Not much “flow” to the puz. And BAsk/BAKE had me for a bit.

With all due respect to LIANE and the other OPTIONS, can there be any other yeah baby today than birthday girl EMMASTONE (completely spelled out, BTW)? Happy 28th! Another happy coincidence.

MN GOPHER football team is the least respected 7-2 squad in the country.

With all this coinciding going on, I’ll bet the missus is wearing her LEOPARDPRINT undergarments and I’ll have OPTIONS to consider. I’ll just have to BEARIT, NON?

rain forest 1:44 PM  

This might be the easiest Sunday puzzle I've done, and I don't own a Mac. Somehow, I knew the OPERATING SYSTEMS were big cats from my years at a school where our computer labs were MACs. Also familiar with the GENIUS BAR for MAC people. My machine is a simple Dell which works just fine and has no need for no stinkin' GENIUS BAR.

Agreed on the JAGUAR XKE. A friend of mine had one, and I got to drive it a couple times, when the electricals and carburetors were working properly. A sleek beast.

The only two places where I had trouble were with "Stro" and the GONE APE/RENE area where entered I "rheO-" in the wrong space, but managed to SORT OUT the mess, getting HEMO- in the proper place.

Definitely not a slog, and a little bit of fun, to boot. Of course, I'm a cat person.

Teedmn 2:11 PM  

@Burma Shave, great use of MORONI!

Diana, LIW 2:55 PM  

Haven't had a MAC since the early nineties, but got the cat theme quickly, so didn't really need the revealer.

However, was done in by the PPP. Either you know it or you don't. Don't really see the "fun" in an overly-pop themed puzzle.

Agree with @Spacey - don't "get" Rex's "ha ha" comment. I don't care for Rebi, tho I'm thrilled when I figure one out, but I don't think "ha ha" when a punny puzzle is not others' cuppa. We all have our faves. But to me, a pop trivia quiz isn't a puzzle, it's a test of pop knowledge. Meh.

Once I got a toehold it went pretty quickly, but I had to look up a couple "names" to get started.

The GOPHERS? Really @Rondo? Had to go to Bill Butler's site to understand 'Stro.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

AnonymousPVX 5:45 PM  

I had a 67 Jag XKE in the early 90's. A nice car, but it taught me that if you can't afford it new, don't buy it used. The mechanic (the Jaguar mechanic) and the parts guys don't care that you got a deal, got a steal, or got the car of your dreams. You're going to pay.
Now I have a Miata.

Larry Jordan 7:57 PM  

Only if made by the ref.

Jordanmilo 5:42 PM  

I've never left a comment on this forum before and I missed a couple of letter, so, DNF for me.
BUT: I so proud that I already knew that Enzo Ferrari quote and since I've been wearing Pumas for over 40 years (except for a few years in the 80's and 90's when they weren't sold in the US), that I have to say that this was the best puzzle ever!

Jordanmilo 5:44 PM  

Jeez, I hate when people don't proofread and there I go posting a bunch of typos! Where's that Japanese WWII dagger I've been hanging on to?

wcutler 2:21 PM  

It always takes me most of a week to finish these puzzles, so I thought I'd finished it early, except that I had lots of stuff wrong. SUSSOUT instead of SORTOUT, which I didn't catch because I had no idea what the answers were to popular sleep aid, Godzilla foe and J.F.K. tower grp. (well, the last one I knew referred to air traffic control, but I had that S in there and couldn't get past it.

I'm really writing to respond to @'mericans in Paris, who asked about "Goes" = SAYS. I think that predated valley-speak, relating a conversation: "so she goes 'yeah, I want to do that' and I go 'no way' and she goes 'Here I go.'".

wpg alien 1:56 PM  


Anonymous 2:25 AM  

Guess I was the only one who ended up with CAT OPERATING SYSTEM then? Which I still don't think is a bad answer, except UNISOC and ATT are wrong of course. But got all the rest correct, and the *'ed clues are in fact cats, so... I kept it CAT!

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