Classic kitchen volume / TUE 11-29-16 / Sorority sisters in old lingo / Purim villain / Image of Homer perhaps / Sweet tangy picnic side dish / One with zero chance of success / Connecticut collegian

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Constructor: Jacob Stulberg

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Tuesday*) (3:51)


THEME: "THE JOY OF COOKING" (40A: Classic kitchen volume ... or a hint to 18-, 24-/53- and 62-Across) — themers are two-word food items where the second word is a rough synonym for "JOY"

Theme answers:
  • ORANGE ZEST (18A: Marmalade ingredient)
  • TURKISH / DELIGHT (24A: With 53-Across, a sugary treat)
  • CORN RELISH  (62A: Sweet and tangy picnic side dish)
Word of the Day: HAMAN (35A: Purim villain) —
Haman (Also known as Haman the Agagite המן האגגי, or Haman the evil המן הרשע) is the main antagonist in the Book of Esther, who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was a vizier in the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, traditionally identified as Xerxes I. As his name indicates, Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites, a people who were wiped out in certain areas by King Saul and David. (wikipedia)
• • •

Harder and weirder than most Tuesdays. Can't say clunkier, 'cause Tuesday's gonna clunk, historically speaking, that's for sure, and this one clunked about the normal amount ... but definitely harder and weirder. I like the germ of an idea that is underneath / behind this puzzle. When I finished, I honestly had no idea what was going on for ... about 5-10 seconds. That's actually an eternity when compared against the time it takes me to understand most Tuesday themes, which is no time. First thought was "those are foods ... you don't really 'cook' them ... I mean, you do ... but they're cold, so ... but ... where's the joy?" Then I realized why we were presented with this insane menu from the Association for Strange Food Cravings picnic: DELIGHT, JOY, RELISH. That's the "joy." It's a long, convoluted way to go for a joke. I admire the ambition, and I realize that there can't have been a lot of potential themers to work with. Pretty narrow straits. Still, between oddness of (cold) food types and that oddly split themer, I thought the execution here only so-so.


Played significant harder than most Tuesdays. Cluing often veered toward Friday. 30A: It might end with an early touchdown (RED EYE). That is a great clue, but one that probably should've been saved for when that serious ambiguity of wording (football "touchdown"?) could've helped toughen up a puzzle that requires toughening up. This one did not require it. Took me (comparatively) forever just to get out of the NW. I mean 1A: Croquet needs (PEGS)??? I see balls ... mallets ... those little arced goal thingies you hit the ball through ... and I'm out. I mean, when you show me PEGS, I can kind of see them, but a. no one really plays croquet and b. that is the damnedest clue for word like PEGS, which has So Many potential clues. I also had HOLD for BIND up there (17A: Secure). Only because I knew ELIHU did I get that all sorted out without serious solving time damage. But the difficulty / strangeness / wavelength issues just kept coming. From the feeling of "which touchdown?" to the feeling of "which Homer?" at 48A: Image of Homer, perhaps (CEL). And the SE corner: [Words to live by] in five letters? I got at least two other ideas before the (singular!) TENET occurs to me. No idea Beethoven was born in BONN. [Mother ___]!? Yes, LODE, that works, but that is down the list of Mother ___ things that might occur to me. None of this is really the puzzle's fault. Shoulda been a Wednesday, probably. Grid is decent, without too much junk, and with some interesting longer Downs.

Gotta run.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

80 comments:

Loren Muse Smith 6:16 AM  

Hah. ZEST, JOY, DELIGHT, RELISH… I have to say, RELISH was I think my first themer after seeing the reveal, and even with DELIGHT, I was looking for verbs a little bit. But then I sat there and realized they're all nouns.

I was just looking at some Chinese chicken recipe that called for ORANGE ZEST. The good news is that ORANGE ZEST per se is not an end goal, a dish, in the world of cooking, the way CORN RELISH and TURKISH DELIGHT are. The bad news, then, is that it's a bit of an outlier.

Getting zest off anything is beyond my ken, so I just moved right on from that recipe. Fuggedaboutit.

“Likely” fits for LIABLE. And “from home” fits for REMOTELY. Just sayin'.

Rex – I thought mother “ship” first.

I don’t get a lot of joy from cooking; I manage to get a meat, a green, and a starch on the table and then call it a day. But I liked the puzzle just fine. And I still have my copy of THE JOY OF COOKING, right there on top of my microwave.

Lewis 6:36 AM  

I loved the clean grid and the clues for REDEYE and CEL and it's good on Tuesday to have a couple of these tricky clues to lead beginning solvers to the days ahead. I liked the puzzle components that meshed: ATOP being right at the summit, a Jewish cross (HAMAN/MOSAIC_LAW), and a backward YAPS to go with its mate YAK. I also liked the disparate elements: WEST is south, and the cross of DELIGHT and GLOOM.

I believe that with the zippy fun solve and some yummy themers, what we have here is a basket of delectibles.

Glimmerglass 6:44 AM  

Marmalade, corn relish, and Turkish delight are served cold, but they're all cooked at some part of their preparation. Anyway, the joy is in the name (or the eating), not in the cooking. The theme works fine for me. I enjoyed this puzzle, but I like my puzzles challenging, and this one wasn't at all Tuesday-easy.

Johnny 6:46 AM  

Strange for a Tuesday, as I solved the acrosses I was almost blank in the top half (except for ORANGEpeel and TAR), but picked up steam in the lower half and then the downs.

NAS is now officially crosswordese to me.

Passing Shot 6:50 AM  

I found the theme ZESTy and enjoyable, but the two Judaic clues threw me for quite some time. Had "randb" before DISCO and "Mother may I" before LODE.

Anonymous 6:52 AM  

Loved the crosses HANOI/JOE, TURKISH/GONER, and DISCO/COEDS.

kitshef 7:12 AM  

There is one crosscrime that irritates me more than any other, and that is crossing words from the same, relatively narrow, area of knowledge.

Crossing two rappers, or two operas, or two 1970s movie characters, delivers an instant fail.

So it is with HAMAN/MOSAIC LAW. That I guessed correctly after almost going with a ‘j’ doesn’t make it any better. Google Ngram shows that both HAMAN and MOSAIC LAW have been less popular than ‘skyey’ (my standard reference point for obscurity) for the past 180 years.

Dan 7:19 AM  

There is no "the" in the title of that book. :-(

Anonymous 7:21 AM  

In possible defense of the theme, isn't JOY OF... one of those tomes that, in addition to including complete recipes, goes on at length about how to boil an egg or produce ZEST? I thought the joke landed very nicely.

NCA President 7:53 AM  

I wasn't going to write anything today because the puzzle really didn't inspire me one way or the other. Then it dawned on me how few puzzles don't inspire me one way or another...they either provoke a thought or a groan or *something.*

This one...nothing.

I won't say it's JOYless...but in a puzzle centered around JOY, ironically I felt nothing of it.

Hartley70 8:00 AM  

I wonder if anyone else mistakenly wrote "oreo" before ORCA. I read that clue and could visualize that cookie swimming in the milk and silently screamed "Noooo"! ORCA seemed terrific after that.

This was a breeze until the final square and I finally had to deal with HAMAN and MOSAICLAW. I had to run the alphabet to find the M. I would have expected judAICLAW. I considered hosAICLAW. The correct answer had me thinking of ceramic tile installation before Moses. My bad.

The food theme worked well enough for a Tuesday puzzle. Is there any household without a copy of THEJOYOFCOOKING? It gives you a RAFT of information, but I never found much DELIGHT, TURKISH or otherwise, in the recipes. I'll take the original New York Times cookbook any day. My first copy burned up along with most everything else in my kitchen, but I managed to get my hands on another copy in a second hand bookstore. I would imagine Craig Claiborne could make even CORNRELISH taste appetizing. Thanks for whetting my appetite, Jacob!

chefbea 8:01 AM  

What a yummy puzzle!!! Though a bit tough for a Tuesday. Even has orzo in it. Some where in our family is my mothers copy of The Joy of Cooking. I think I gave it to one of my daughters. Liked the crossing of Hamen with Mosaic law.

wgh 8:05 AM  

Today's was a whole lotta meh for me.

File as fog 8:10 AM  

I had to tiptoe through this one but I enjoyed it immensely. Every poor choice I made was easily correctable because the wrong answer made no sense at all, i.e., no things-that-makes-you-go-hmmm fill. Until the last square – HAMAN crossing MOSAIC LAW. Not being a scholar of all things Judeo Christian that felt distinctly Friday to me.

One last niggle. Marmalade is made with orange PEEL/RIND – ZEST is and ingredient of that skin, not of directly of marmalade. Somebody wake up the editor

r.alphbunker 8:11 AM  

Guessed that Moses was associated with MOSAICLAW and got away with it. Details are here.

Elle54 8:12 AM  

Joy, zest, delight, relish! What a great way to start a day!

kitshef 8:20 AM  

@Hartley70 - no joy (of cooking) here. Fannie Farmer household. Current edition is by cooking goddess Marion Cunningham.

@Dan - thank you. I originally rejected a the-less JOY OF COOKING for that slot. When a the-full version turned up, I assumed it was my error.

G.Harris 8:20 AM  

Had likely for liable but quickly saw the error. The rest was a breeze. And, for me, a joy.

Tim Pierce 8:21 AM  

1A: guessed PEGS right off the bat and confirmed it with crosses. From there it was a short road to TURKISH DELIGHT, whereupon I glanced at the theme reveal, counted letters, and filled in THE JOY OF COOKING immediately. The rest was fill work. Easy Tuesday (though I am sufficiently goyish that the HAMAN/MOSAIC LAW cross was mostly a guess).

ArtO 8:33 AM  

Yes. Tougher than usual for Tuesday. But as clever as touchdown was as a clue, it was unfair as a plane will touch down. Only in football do you get a touchdown.

Hungry Mother 8:33 AM  

I used to play croquet, beer in hand, on my front lawn as a twenty-something. I still couldn't get PEGS for a while. I think we called them "sticks" or "posts". My time was more like a Wednesday.

anne weaver 8:36 AM  

No idea what croquet "pegs" are. Always called the metal thingies that you hit the ball through "wickets." (My WASPy upbringing is showing, sigh.)

evil doug 8:40 AM  

Speaking of Homer: I was watching a Sunday morning talk show and they interviewed the guy trying to unseat Pelosi as House Democratic leader...

Tim Ryan, D-OH.

Tita A 8:43 AM  

@r.alph - there goes me overthinking things again...I guessed 'h', like @hartley, because I was thinking of Hosea. Could not believe LAW could be MOSAIC.

In fact, @hartley - ditto your first 2 paragraphs exactly.

I like the book as a reference, but man oh man - it is the king of cross references - one recipe might have you bookmarking 4 other sections.
Could that be why I hate x-refs in puzzles?

@File as Fog - same thought on ORANGEZEST. Though to be even nigglier, marmelade is made from marmelo, AKA quince. The Brits loved Portuguese marmelada, but Seville oranges were much more available.

I only knew ELIHU as the YALIE.

(Check the BBC recipe for marmelade - exactly 3 ingredients - Seville oranges, water, sugar. And no, you don't zest the rinds.)

anne weaver 8:44 AM  

"Pegs" are the mallets, not the wickets? Okay, whatevs...

sean 8:47 AM  

slightly longer than a normal tuesday, mostly because of the NW. PEGS took forever, and without guessing PABST would have had even more trouble. SEDAKA was a total woe, BIND AND GONER very ambiguous, and SHEAF just looks weird. tough section.

Amie Devero 9:12 AM  

Starting wondering in the middle if early Alzheimers had beset me... That was around the moment when I realized that JudaicLaw didn't work... then I spent moments wondering why mosaics and/or claws were mentioned in the Torah. I relate to Rex' experience of being completely lost for a few seconds as I finished the puzzle.

jberg 9:25 AM  

@Dan et al., limited research seems to indicate that Rombauer called the first edition THE JOY OF COOKING, but the article got dropped somewhere along the way. Like most people, probably, I had never noticed its absence until you pointed it out.

I had LEMON peel before ZEST, agree that it's more correct. When I was learning to cook it was just 'grated {lemon/orange/whatever} peel,' anyway.

When I was growing up you also had to go to Sunday School, where you learned about the Books of Moses (basically, the first 4 or 5 of the Bible), and the MOSAIC LAW. Apparently he parlayed the 10 Commandments and his direct access to God to lay down the law about a lot of other things. So that was a gimme for me -- interesting how different backgrounds vary here! Anyway, I liked seeing the Torah right under its look-alike TORCH.

The hardest part for me was the PEGS -- I always think of them as poles, but it's true they do have sharpened ends, so I guess that probably is the correct name for them. I have a set in the garage, but indeed have not played the game for decades. I almost sold it at a yard sale once, but the deal fell through.

Wm. C. 9:33 AM  


Pabst was easy for me, with "Milwaukee" in the clue.

Stuck in the depths of my mind was the old Pabst ad tag line: "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous."


Pete 9:33 AM  

I'm pretty MOSAICLAW is concerned with such things as keeping your grout-lines more or less of the same thickness, to not place tesserae of clashing colors next to one another, and to not punt towards the end of the piece and just place huge slabs in to fill spaces. I don't know why ancient Jews were so concerned about mosaics, but I have to respect their dedication to assuring quality.

Z 9:41 AM  

First, thanks for the Lucinda Williams video. I alway prefer a good F>€% Off song to love songs, and Williams excels at writing them.

@Dan - Wow. I didn't believe you, but the Wikipedia page has a picture of the cover and it is the Joy of Cooking, not THE JOY OF COOKING.

@Evil Doug - Heh Heh. Good one.

A little surprised that MOSAIC LAW gave people trouble. I had sAtAN before HAMAN, but still had no problem with the fix. What next? People claiming Paul wasn't an apostle?

One eyebrow arched at the notion of "raw linen." I prefer mine sautéed in olive oil with a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Mohair Sam 9:55 AM  

Well we zipped right through this DELIGHTful Tuesday offering until Purim crossed the Torah and, oy vey, this goy household was naticked. We guessed between "J" thinking Joseph and "H" for Hosea because I had nixed "M" making the @Hartley70 error of Mosaic tile - totally forgetting Moses. I should have listened in Sunday school, or at least have paid attention to Charlton Heston.

Think it played easy here (until the personal natick) because my eye went straight to the only 15 in the puzzle, guessed THEJOY . . ., tested the "Y" with SPAY and threw it in, everything fell quickly from there. Is it just me, or is ORZO on a roll in the NYT puzzle lately? Need to pick up some up for the garbanzo bean & tomato soup I'm making tonight, thanks for the reminder Jacob.

EnJOYable Tuesday puzzle - Light on -ese, clever theme, nicely clued.

Amy 9:59 AM  

found this one much easier than Monday's oddly. nice Lucinda reference. mosaic law is a little weird but it is the Five Books of Moses. and a lotta law within its scrolls.

GILL I. 10:01 AM  

The whole ZEST DELIGHT RELISH was lost on me. [sigh} Now that I see the JOY, I'm liking this more.
My first cook book was Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My second book was THE JOY OF COOKING. Julia's recipe for Souffle Au Fromage would take you approximately a week to make. Rombauer's was maybe a paragraph of simplicity. Guess which one tasted like a million dollar meal?
I thought Boogie Oogie Oogie was bebop and Gloria Gaynor's "I will Survive" more of the DISCO type genre.
No PEGS in my croquet world - only wickets. We played it a lot. The rich families who lived in Biltmore and who had vast amounts of green manicured sod would always bring out the set. The adults always had a Cuba Libre or a Mojito on hand and we were given ORANGE NeHi.

Malsdemare 10:05 AM  

@Dan et al. My mother's ragged, falling apart, dog-eared, food-stained, pencil-annotated 75 year old copy of Rombauer's classic is "THE Joy of Cooking." I got that answer from three letters, before I'd done more than a few of the northern answers, and smiled like an idiot. You could have put almost any dreck into that puzzle after that, and I wouldn't have cared. My mom was mostly a lousy cook, but when she wasn't, it was Erma who saved her (and us). I still use the recipes for potato salad, turkey stuffing, and tuna casserole, on those extremely rare occasions when I cook. In fact, I should have checked Erma before I loused up our turkey gravy last week.

The last letter to fall was that "M" in HAMAN; otherwise I thought the puzzle was fine. I really liked SEDAKA and PENITENCE, had LIkely before LIABLE, liked SHEAF for no good reason, and was pleased to see a reference to those PEGS behind the double wickets; nice reminder of a fun summer game.

Off to collect my new housemate, Rocky the malamute, so if I fall of the planet for a few days, you can presume I'm not finding any quiet time for coffee, a puzzle, and camaraderie.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

This was a DELIGHT as early week puzzles go. Not too many gimmes and no junk. Well, yes, one rapper, but he's a crossword puzzle rapper and thus familiar to me -- even though I have no idea what he looks like and I've never heard him sing. But unusually good cluing for a Tuesday puzzle: dig the clues for REDEYE; ASHES; REMOTELY; CEL; ARF. Is an ARF really deeper than a YIP? Or would a YIP from, say, a Malamute be deeper than an ARF from, say, a Peke? Funny clue. Throughout, the puzzle kept me engaged and thinking -- now what exactly are the contents of the Torah, for example. And I liked FISH OILS crossing all those JOY things that are bad for you. Based on the amount of fish I eat in a week, I'm going to live forever. Just giving you fair warning. A fun puzzle.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:19 AM  

THE JOY OF COOKING was my second answer in, after starting with NTH. My copy of the book, dating I think from 1971, has a spine entirely patched over with black tape so I had to take it off the shelf just now to check what the name really was. No THE there.Never mind. I think I was given a copy of The Joy of Sex at the same time, I perhaps conflated the two.

I am finding it hard to use SET AT in a sentence to mean attacked. I suppose set and at theoretically could be combined to mean that.

I actually saw croquet being played in a Florida retirement community the other week. It was next to the hayfield in which the friend I was visiting walks his dog, it was an enclosed space, excessively well-groomed grass-like substance, very flat, not lawn-like at all to my mind. And the players, whom my friend referred to as the 'croquet NAZIs', wore white outfits of some archaic sort and insisted on total silence. Nothing at all like the game I played as a child.

Joseph Michael 10:22 AM  

Nice to have a Tuesday with a few tricky clues and not too much crosswordese.

MOSAIC LAW conjures up the image of Charlton Heston throwing his stone tablets at the golden calf and causing the earth to swallow up Edgar G. Robinson and his pagan cohorts.

The theme, however, did not inspire much DELIGHT. Especially when the revealer states itself incorrectly with the intruding THE.

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Made my morning
thank you
Marna

Charles Flaster 10:32 AM  

I really liked this one and totally understand the concern about HAMAN crossing MOSAIC LAW . They were gimmes but don't give me two Netflix movies, songs after 1975 etc...
When I saw TURKISH, I was hoping for taffy as the partner ( for oldsters).
However, I have recently been fed a plethora of oldies--SEDAKA, DISCO, GUSSIED UP (Monday), PETEY( Monday).
As for today, REDEYE and ASHES were favorite answers.
Only write over was GOAD for GOAt.
"LOOK" alive reminded me of Bilko.
Thanks JS

Anoa Bob 10:35 AM  

@Wm. C. both PABST and Schlitz are making a comeback of sorts but it's the latter that used to be advertised as making Milwaukee famous.

The marmalade I've eaten had ORANGE rind/peel in it.

JOY OF COOKING is 12 letters and you can't put an even number of letters in the center row of a 15X15 grid and still maintain symmetry, so we get a three-letter AOC (article of convenience) to take care of that.



GILL I. 10:43 AM  

Rombauer's first edition which I believe came out in 1931 was titled THE JOY OF COOKING. My grandmother gave me her yellow book copy which I still have somewhere. Later editions left out the THE....
Too bad Cherries Jubilee didn't fit!

Roo Monster 10:50 AM  

Hey All !
Not much to add. As far as TuesPuzs go, this one was ok. REMOTELY put up a little resistance.

Not much else to comment on...

DISCO
RooMonster
DarrinV

gitana 10:58 AM  

Also Milwaukee beers that fit: Hamms and Blatz.

Malsdemare 10:59 AM  

@Gill. Cherries Jubilee! another recipe from Rombauer that my mom didn't ruin. I even have her chafing dish! Thanks for the memory. The copyright page of my copy is gone, along with a couple of pages of the index. Understandable given my mom probably got her book about 1935.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

For those who don't believe there once was "The" in the Joy of Cooking despite repeated citations, perhaps a picture will help, though probably not. I'm just hyper-sensitive to, you know, facts these days.

old timer 11:18 AM  

Huge letdown today after yesterday's Monday gem. And full of erroneous cluing I think. Not so much the THE before JOY OF COOKING. Everyone refers to it as if the title began with THE. And you have to have one of the older editions, IMO, printed before fat became such a no-no. JOY, among other great things, has the only recipe for roasting turkey or other fowl that is truly foolproof.

No, what is really wrong is having orange ZEST instead of "peel" or "rind." Now if you were making a lot of orange-scented dishes, you would want the ZEST, but the whole point of marmalade, and the whole JOY of eating it, is the piquant flavor provided by the cooked bits of rind. Another ridiculous clue: "poker targets?" with the answer ASHES. If you've ever tended a fire, you know its the partially-burnt logs that you use a poker on. A poker will be of no use moving ashes around and why would you want to?

Finally, enough of the CORN RELISH. Disgusting stuff, IMO. Don't know why you would want it on your picnic table.

Z 12:05 PM  

@anon11:05 - Thanks for the picture. To be fair, I think it had been asserted before you posted that early on the THE was there, only to be later dropped.

@old timer - This recipe uses the ORANGE ZEST. You can find others that don't use it (Alton Brown's called for lemon zest).

@Gill I. - My first thought was BeBop too, but Boogie Oogie Oogie by Taste of Honey is definitely DISCO.* I don't know if the bugle boys of Company B ever tasted honey.




*Warning - I take no responsibility for any leisure suit flashbacks.

Masked and Anonymous 12:18 PM  

Wasn't too hard, until I got to that HAMAN/MOSAICLAW crossin. Lost many precious nanoseconds there, trying to reason somethin out in my mind.

Reasonin hi-lites:

* Don't know many ?OSAIC words. But it could also be some dude/darlin's name -- Herb HOSAIC's LAW, or somesuch.
* Could maybe also be ?OSAI + CLAW. Sounds more like a schlock flick, than Torah material, tho.
* UOSAIC is doubtful.
* If I was gonna name a bad guy/gal HA+somethin+AN, what would I go for? HAXAN? HAR-AN?
* Time for the Joy of Cinnamon Roll. Guess "M".

Cool theme idea; wonder if there's some dish called "___ TREAT". RICE KRISPIES TREAT is a bit too long. DOGGY TREAT is probably too short and too wobbly.

Spellin of CLIO vs. CLEO is also always good for a few extra cross-checkin nanoseconds, at our house.

fave weeject: CEL. Mostly cuz M&A just watched the old re-stored silent "Metropolis" flick, and the robot gal was called HEL. Speakin of which…
last FriNite Schlock Moviefest picks included: "Invasion of the Pod People". Not highly recommended; evidently made on a budget of someone's jarful of loose change. Small jar version. In other words … jarring. The serial, "Jungle Queen", looks promisin so far, tho.

Thanx, Mr. Stulberg, for cookin this puz up. … TWISTEE TREAT?

Masked & AnonymoUUs


**gruntz**

GILL I. 12:49 PM  

@Malsdemare and don't forget bananas foster!
@old timer....I too was going to say something about how god-awful CORN RELISH is. Worse than creamed or corned salsa or corn pasta salad. The only way I'll eat corn is after it's grilled and brushed with mayo and some Parmesan....
@Z..Yes...I was thinking Boogie Woogie Bugle Boys. I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE BOOGIE OOGIE OOGIE people - ever! And I was a go-go dancer back during the Civil War.

Alex 12:55 PM  

I, too, had to guess at the final M in HAMAN crossing MOSAIC LAW. This episcopalian was a bit embarrassed, but there you go. I need to remember ELIHU, but I did know That Beethoven was born in Bonn from an excellent recording we used to listen to in the car when the kids were little - "Beethoven Lives Upstairs."

Teedmn 12:58 PM  

Did anyone else want a Tom Swifty for 27D? "I'm telecommuting for my job these days", Tom said REMOTELY. For some reason, that filled me with DELIGHT.

On the other hand, 36D filled me with trepidation that I was going to DNF at the cross with HAMAN. MOSAIC LAW didn't make sense to me until I grokked the connection to MOSes. I certainly knew nothing about the Torah covering tile artwork :-).

While COOKING doesn't fill me with exuberance, I do RELISH the end results, much like the way I liked this puzzle.

Thanks, Jacob Stulberg

Masked and Anonymous 1:07 PM  

@Teedmn: Mucho gratias for yer MOSAIC LAW background check, featurin the [now semi-obvious] MOSes tie-in. Makes some better sense to m&e, thanx 2 U.
M&A's initial reaction to what a MOSAIC LAW might be: "Never ever set two tile pieces of the same color next to each other". [Wrong again, M&A breath.]

M&Also

thfenn 1:13 PM  

Tough finishing this one, but ended up really enjoying it. For one thing, I'm pushing 60 and still enjoy opening my mother's copy of THEJOYOFCOOKING, and seeing the various little notes she left me. Struggled with the NW where I had LOSER before LONER before GONER, PILS before PEGS (no idea why I thought that made sense with croquet, but then I was thinking crochet not croquet so that took a while to heal) and BOND before BIND held things up further.

Speaking of Pabst and Milwaukee tho, there was this ace pitcher named Mil Famey who pitched poorly one day and lost a game to a weak hitting team. The manager of the winning team was asked how they'd gotten to Famey and he said it was simple, Mil had drunk to much Pabst the night before, and that proved to be "the beer that made Mil Famey walk us".

Also got stuck in the NE where I had RIND before PEEL before ZEST, which didn't fall into place until I finally got DISCO.

And then to finish I just sat there guessing whether it was HOSAIC JOSAIC or MOSAIC law (or whether it was HAHAN HAJAN or HAMAN that was some villain I guess).

Enjoyed REDEYE's cluing, and having ELIHU and YALIE clued with no connection to each other (literally, it turns out). Plus I learned HANOI is over 1000 years old, and want to go find some CORNRELISH now, so a fun Tuesday in the end.

svl 1:34 PM  

I loved this puzzle! The well-executed pun of the theme brought me some JOY on a miserably rainy day. As for the unexpectedly controversial crossing of HAMAN and MOSAIC LAW, all I'll say is this: They're Tuesday-easy for anyone with a passing knowledge of Jewish culture (and/or Old Testament basics). If that category doesn't include you, then I'm afraid the fault lies with you, not the puzzle. Why not read up on a culture other than your own? It might do you some good.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

I'd love to be up to date on cultures other than my own. Could you please post a list of all religions and everything in them that might be in a crossword so I can look them up. Also, can you please provide a list of Harry Potter and Star Wars Characters, third world country capitals and their currencies, and the directions between miscellaneous U.S. cities? Thanks!

chefbea 1:48 PM  

Think I'll have to make cherries jubilee one of these day. Maybe for christmas dinner as dessert. Always make duck for christmas...though I did make a goose once!!!!! (should have said that yesterday)

Masked and Anonymous 1:57 PM  

@svl: yep. Hardily agree. Always cool to learn new stuff. Stuff-to-learn that crosses each other makes for some mighty tough solvin sometimes, tho. MOSAIC LAW is in the official M&A reference dictionary, so … ok. Besides, I shoulda thought of the MOSes connection, on my own. When I ask same reference about HAMAN, it gives me Woody Herman. So … further research will need to ensue, there.

I luved the puz, too. Weather here is better than yers. Sorta like a HAMAN Eggs [themer?! … didn't think so] fall offering here, with a mix of clouds & sun. High around 60. Tolerable good.

M&A Help Desk

jae 2:05 PM  

Yup, a Tough Tues., more like a medium Wed.

ORANGE peel before ZEST.

HAMAN always reminds me of the Christopher Guest movie "For Your Consideration" with many of the same folks from "Best in Show".

Clever theme, very smooth grid, liked it.

QuasiMojo 2:14 PM  

Since when is "zest" a synonym of any kind for "joy"? Zeal, maybe. Gusto, perhaps. But "zest"? SMH.

I had "mother love" before "mother lode." Guess I'm feeling ore-de-combat lately.

Who plays croquet, Rex? Geez, Louise, that was uncalled for. There's an entire club in NYC that plays regularly in Central Park. And I've had a set for years. As for pegs, we call them posts. If I recall properly, the English version of the game had a central post. Maybe I better re-read some of these posts here to find out if anyone has mentioned it.

And pokers never poke ashes. They poke logs! There's a shover and wisk to deal with the ashes. Pretty silly. Count me out of the fans of this Tuesday puzzle. I found it half-baked.

QuasiMojo 2:18 PM  

I meant to type "shovel" and "whisk" -- ouch. Sorry "mates."

Wm. C. 2:24 PM  


@Anoa Bob--

Oops, you're right, it was Schlitz that made Milwaukee famous.

OK, now: what is "...the beer to have when you're having more than one." .??

(No googling, now...)


foxaroni 2:36 PM  

This was one of the most enjoyable comments sections I've read in a long time. I've been laughing all the way through. Some of the highlights: orca oreos swimming in milk, Ryan D-OH, mosaic law about grout and clashing colors, raw linen sauteed in olive oil, deep yips and high yaps, croquet Nazis, boogie oogie bugle boys, @Teedmn's Tom Swifty, HAMAN eggs and others--including my favorite, Mil Farney.

Along those lines, why is it called CROQUET? (Don'the answer, I'll Google it in just a sec). Does that mean a baby croquet is a croquette? Or a coquette?

Thanks again, everyone! Also, thanks Jacob Stulberg.

@M&A--sunny and 60 in Kansas City, too. Life is good.

Chronic dnfer 2:56 PM  

If it was truly medium-challenging I would have dnf'd or resorted to cheating. So I think medium at worst.

QuasiMojo 3:04 PM  

@Wm C. "Schaeffer."

Anon 11:05 3:09 PM  

@Z - I guess I could have been ( microscopically so ) clearer, changing "despite repeated citations" to "despite repeated prior citations that there was", but really? You read what I wrote and didn't get that I was referring to complaints that there's no The in the title after it was explained that at one point there was?

Jimmy Wales 3:12 PM  

@Anon 1:41 Sure, I have just the list you're looking for!

kitshef 3:18 PM  

In college, we always called Schaefer [note: one 'f'] "the one beer to have when you're having more than six", because a) it was cheap b) after the first half-dozen, who cares what it tastes like?


Z 3:25 PM  

@Anon 11:05 - I reread your original post, was about to ask you what you were going on about with the "citation" comment, and was proofreading my comment (in which I had copied your comment) before I hit "publish" when finally your original "citation" comment actually registered with me. That's right, I had skipped right past it even after you pointed out to me that you wrote it. My bad.

tea73 4:09 PM  

I had orange peel. Then Orange rind. Finally sighed and put in Orange ZEST. I've seen it clued that way before, but my zester makes tiny little shavings, nothing like what you get in a marmalade.

We always called those sticks at either end of the field posts, but Wikipedia calls them pegs. I've played a fair amount of croquet over the years. My parents had a set, my sister-in-law has a set. My cousins in Vermont even smoothed out a section of their yard for the game.

Margaret 4:21 PM  

Enjoyed the theme immensely, but took forever to get Turkish Delight. And while I was struggling I decided the puzzle really ought to have included "Whoopie Pie," a sweet Amish treat. Ah well, maybe next time.

Masked and Anonymous 4:21 PM  

p.s.
And thanx, too, to all U other Comment Gallery folks, who came up with a similar MOS(es)AIC explanation. Just happened that @Teedmn's version registered on M&A first, somehow.

PuzEatinSpouse has a copy of The Joy of Cooking, sitting right dab smack on the kitchen counter.
At our house, the cover title has a dotted j, for the word "joy". And within that red j-dot is a little "The" word. Sorry for the extra post, but thought I'd better run that by y'all. Thanx.

Out Law M&A

Margaret 4:31 PM  

Just re-read Rex's comments, and --- wait a second. "No one really plays croquet" Humph! In an annual event whose origins are shrouded in the mists of time and legend, the Naval Academy plays St. John's College in Annapolis every spring! BIG DAY!

Crossword Guy 8:07 PM  

I have been inspired by Rex to share my crossword insights with others by posting YouTube videos of me solving the NYT crossword in real time. Check it out the Crossword Guy channel on YouTube: https://youtu.be/KiH0nH8vCWk

Teedmn 8:50 PM  

@Crossword Guy, nice tutorial!

thfenn 10:19 PM  

Shoot, Mil Famey drank too much Schlitz. Sorry about that...

Ellen S 11:18 PM  

All I can add is, I'm glad my early religious education was good for something. Easy puzzle for me, as THE JOY OF COOKING and the various edibles fell as quickly as the MOSAIC stuff, even though I'm about the same kind of a cook as I am a Jew. I like to read about food while the frozen dinner is heating in the microwave.

Ellen S 11:18 PM  

All I can add is, I'm glad my early religious education was good for something. Easy puzzle for me, as THE JOY OF COOKING and the various edibles fell as quickly as the MOSAIC stuff, even though I'm about the same kind of a cook as I am a Jew. I like to read about food while the frozen dinner is heating in the microwave.

triggerfinger 11:14 AM  

Sweet treat on Purim is a hamantashen, literally Haman's ear, because of the triangular shape. Delightful!

Winkdrop 12:52 PM  

Not a lot of cooks out there, hunh? I enjoyed this puzzle and had no difficulty with pegs (I do play croquet), cel, mosaic law and Haman, or any of the food clues. I did wrinkle my brow for a while over "send forth" and "Nas" cross, though.

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