Edutainment cartoon featuring teacher named Ms Frizzle / THU 12-1-16 / Football Hall-of-Famer Newsome / Seussian environmentalist / Suffix with klepto- / Low-pitched part of song / Yosemite runner / Subject of 2011 book These Guys Have All Fun

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: BEAN DIP (62A: Nacho accompaniment ... or a feature of 17-, 35- and 52-Across?) — the answers "dip" (down to the next line then back up again) at a word that is also a type of "bean":

Theme answers:
  • LOADED BAKED POTATO (17A: Dish topped with bacon, cheese and sour cream)
  • ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (35A: Classic novel about an orphan girl mistakenly sent to Prince Edward Island)
  • THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS (52A: Edutainment cartoon featuring a teacher named Ms. Frizzle)
Word of the Day: "THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS"
The Magic School Bus is a Canadian/American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational series. Broadcasting & Cable said the show was "among the highest-rated PBS shows for school-age children." On June 10, 2014 Scholastic Media announced that it will be releasing an all-new CG animated series inspired by the original show, entitled "The Magic School Bus" [...] [Lily] Tomlin won a Daytime Emmy for her role as Ms. Frizzle. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was easy. So easy that I never saw the revealer. That SE corner came together fast, and when I filled in 55D: Instructed (BADE) the little Happy Pencil appeared and I was done ... never having seen the clue for BEAN DIP. So I just thought there were three answers that kinda sorta went around a little roadblock, randomly. But then that didn't seem like enough of a thing, so I went looking for the revealer, and there it was: BEAN DIP. Ah, yes, that makes sense. I guess there was no PINTO or BLACK because the idea was not to use beans that might actually be *used* in BEAN DIP. I think the idea here is quite clever. I'm especially fascinated by the architecture of this thing; since the dip thing has to work with all themers, it can't have normal crossword (i.e. rotational) symmetry. I mean, the grid does, but the themers can't be placed symmetrically (otherwise the lower themer would rise, not dip). But it's still the 3rd and 4th rows in that are involved, so there's a *kind* of parallelism there. THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS interests me most, because the other two have the bean dead center, whereas that one's bean is way off to the left. I guess you figure out what the grid might look like first, and then move your five-letter beans around and see what you can make work, theme-answer-wise. Result is pretty nice.


Fill is no great shakes, but it's certainly good enough. It was really only OHOS into ATRAS into AT PAR that made me wince at all. Everything else is quite solid, with WET KISS and BASS LINE and PELAGIC giving the grid a little pizzazz. Only trouble I had was, first, getting that first themer—coincidentally (given the revealer clue) I wanted LOADED NACHOS and spent a few seconds wondering how LOADED B = LOADED NACHOS. Man, that was one revealer I couldn't wait to discover. "How's he gonna pull that one off?" I wondered. But then I rounded the corner and saw that 18A didn't have a clue, just a "-" so I knew it was continued somehow from 17A ... and then it all became clear. I knew "THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS"—I knew it as a book, but just knowing the title was enough to make that answer to easy to pick up with some crosses. Outside the theme, only the western section was problematic. IMAC or IPAD? MEWL or PEWL? Is PEWL a word??? ... oh, god bless my mistake because it led me to SCOTS WIKIPEDIA: "The pewl or white maw (Larus argentatus), whiles kent as the willie gou or gray willie an aw, is a sea-bird fund on the shores that eats fish an ither peedie ainimals sic as partans an is thocht tae be awfu gleg." I want all of wikipedia to be Scots. Right now. And forever. "In basebaw, the Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians tae win the Warld Series for the first time syne 1908." Ah ... that's the stuff.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Suffix with klepto- (CRAT) is an epic subtweet

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

93 comments:

Mr. Fitch 12:11 AM  

Way too easy for a Thursday, in my book. The theme didn't excite me much, and the fill was mostly pedestrian. And do audiophiles purchase CDs?

jae 12:12 AM  

Easy for me too. Caught the theme quickly and did not run across much resistance. No erasures or WOEs, although I did want LPS for CDS given the clue audiophile.

Pretty smooth grid. One of the differences I've noticed (and this is in no way scientific) between current puzzles and the mid '90s Sat. puzzles I'm doing from archive is that there is much less cringy stuff in current puzzles. I'm seeing at least a couple of answers per puzzle that would not fly today....e.g. Clue: Police foiler - Answer: EVADER.

Mildly tricky, liked it.

George Barany 12:19 AM  

@Timothy Polin's puzzle was good fun, even if I didn't crush it the way @Rex clearly did (as did another friend who IM'ed me that he solved it in under 5 minutes). The @Rex review was also enjoyable ... I had been wondering about the "klepto" clue myself.

I've been to INTERLAKEN in Switzerland twice, both times for international biochemistry congresses (1970 and 1990) so definitely past due for another trip. As for ARIZONA, a conference back in 1983, when Cardinals were still in Saint Louis (and Rams still in Los Angeles); tune in to ESPN for more on moving sports franchises. On the other hand, I've never been to IDAHO, which amusingly crossed the theme answer with POTATO.

Not to OVERDO it, but I would have used more scientific clue for MICROS and IRON. And did anyone else have CELLO ahead of SITAR? My new vocabulary word: PELAGIC. Definitely enjoyed IMAC more than IROBOT.

Hays Forstall 12:27 AM  

I loved this puzzle. I'm not as experienced as a lot/most puzzlers here, I guess--or, haha, just not as bright--, so, when I got the trick, it was a real treat. Had fun with this one. Thanks Mr. Polin!

okanaganer 12:28 AM  

A most enjoyable puzzle, but 31 across has been bugging me since I realized the correct answer was AXIAL rather than, say, DAILY. What bugs me is: exactly when is rotation anything other than axial?

RAD2626 12:30 AM  

Liked theme and puzzle a lot even if I, like @George Barany, confidently wrote in cello and compounded it with "erase" instead of SNOWY, which led to the logical ASKover the threshold. Fortunately after I worked out of that self-made mess, the bottom half went very easily:delighted that LORAX, PELAGIC and ADRIANA were all known quantities. Could have balanced the Cardinals with the NFL location and the MLB shortstop instead of the two football references but fun puzzle with enough of a quirk to pass the Thursday test.

Da Bears 12:31 AM  

@Rex, here is some advice for you when you are doing the puzzle. Every once in awhile stop and smell the roses.

PGHarvey 1:24 AM  

Whiteout is a weather condition in which visibility and contrast are severely reduced by snow or sand. (Wikipedia)

An intense blizzard where you can't see six feet in front of you is a whiteout.
"Snowy" surely just means "with snow".

Bad clue... or am I wrong folks?

Larry Gilstrap 1:45 AM  

Just enough challenge in this Thursday effort to make it worth my while. I ended up staring at the NW just below PEI for a bit. I liked the clever themers featuring a type of BEAN doing a DIP. Is the MAGIC BEAN a reference to Jack? Help me here. I googled and some of the entries are NSFW. Oh my! IDAHO appears after a terrific clue. That one had me thinking outside the grid. Also, KETTLE is nicely clued. Didn't we once have a discussion concerning the legitimacy of the plural SKEETS?

According to Shakespeare, babies MEWL and puke. Enjoy your breakfast.

Starbuck 2:04 AM  

"Vengeance on a dumb brute...that simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain AHAB, seems blasphemous."

Elle54 2:15 AM  

Easy Thursday. Clever!

Anonymous 4:03 AM  

How about "It's white out today" as a substitute for "It's snowy today"?

Loren Muse Smith 4:23 AM  

Man, y'all are better than I am. It took me a bit to see the trick. I knew MAGIC SCHOOL BUS right off the bat, but I went all 3-d on it and imagined the AGI part dipping down into the abyss off the black square. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES finally showed the way.

@Hays Forstall – I guess I'm an experienced solver, and I loved this, too.

Kleptocrat. Sigh. Talk about yer blind trust.

PELAGIC was a woe for me, too. (Cool to have the pelagic AHAB there, too.) How to throw that word around in conversation… Sure, pond fishing is ok, but I GLORY in throwing out a BASS LINE in the PELAGIC MAGIC of the Atlantic.

I tried "baritone" before BASS LINE.

Speaking of BASS and base (kinda), I've started a wall for letters of complaint about English. Kevin C wrote one: Dear Owner of English – bass, bass, base. What's the deal, man? Could you fix this, please?

@George – good catch on IDAHO crossing POTATO.

I didn't know SKEET wasn't supposed to be plural. Hey - Timothy could've clued the crossing SAPS as stuff oozing out of FIRs. In for a penny, in for a pound.

MEWL is such a good word. Onomatopoeia at its best.

SNOWY crosses THAW. Not yet. I. Love. Winter. Let it stay "white out" for as long as it can. (@PG Harvey – it took me forever to get that clue.)

Timothy – nice one. Thanks. And may your GILA monsters always be RIDEABLE.

(Oh – my avatar is the baseball card of my grandfather, WADE Lefler. He played against Babe Ruth. So I'm a bit of a big shot.)

Charles Flaster 4:30 AM  

Agree with previous comments and with Rex. Completed without realizing a theme.
My only slowdown was EXEC and henceforth I am filing that baby away for instant recall . ( I've missed it before).
My writeovers were ZINE for ZoNE and RECEDED for sECEDED.
OZZIE Newsome was "fearsome".
Thanks TP

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

A fun puzzle, easy for a Thursday. The revealer clue is kinda odd. I've never see bean dip as an accompaniment to nachos. Lotsa Mexican food out here in Northern California (yeah, we capitalize it), and they'd be there at the same party but not on a date together. But maybe I just don't get to the right parties.

Anonymous 6:49 AM  

Seen

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

My version was numbered differently. For example no 18 was the beginning of the fourth line.... and cschoolbus didnt have an associated clue

Glimmerglass 6:56 AM  

Like Mr. Flaster, above, I solved the puzzle without fully understanding the gimmick. That's my bad, because it's an excellent gimmick. I ended with the black squares in the middle of the themers containing three missing letters. I never noticed that the missing letters were underneath the black square. (That's probably because the puzzle was easy enough to solve from top to bottom, and I didn't need the missing letters to solve the next line.) My wife thought there migh be such a thing as an AGI bean, but the other trios, not. I didn't understand the revealer until I got to WEB and Rex. Like I said, my bad.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

Cool way to get three 17-letter themers into a 15x15 grid. I liked the clue for IMAC and the answers WETNESS, SADLOT, and BASSLINE, and learned PELAGIC. Nice to see ARRIVAL in full instead of ETA. I had LPS for the audiophiles' purchases; I don't think audiophiles are big on CDs. The grid is clean, and there are even two ways you can get RED, as in beans, Boggle-style, from the R in OVERDO (as well as the anagrammed RED in "overdo" itself).

Nice constructing job -- this couldn't have been easy to make, and it brought me a lovely AHA. Thank you Timothy! Not a bean-there-done-that offering today. This one will stick in my memory.

Braggy O'Ranee 7:04 AM  

@George Barany:

"Not to OVERDO it..."

Too late.

AWS 7:08 AM  

Ahhh, such a delight. This was, for me, a perfect revealer--I find I often prefer when the revealer shows me why the theme answers were correct, rather than helps me get them in the first place, but since I got to that corner POST-BAKED and -MAGIC but pre-GREEN I got to enjoy revealer, two ways. I got a total kick out of imagining those little dancing beans limboing their way under the black bars... Snacks, LPS and a limbo contest--great party, Mr. Polin.

I've been a daily doer/reader for a few years now, but don't think I've ever commented before. Thanks, Rex and community, for such a delightful way to start/finish my days. It's particularly enjoyable to read the consistently insightful and amusing comments from George, LMS, and the other contributors who seem to share my tendency to let the enjoyable parts of each puzzle outweigh the iffy/cringy parts... Yours in crosswording, A.

kitshef 7:23 AM  

Neat theme, I was thinking halfway through when I saw how the marquee answers went down and back.

I amended that to fantastic theme when I got to the reveal.

Pretty easy for a Thursday. Incredibly, not a single over-write, which normally happens only on a Monday, and even then rarely. Part of that results from answers that happened to be in my wheelhouse like INTERLAKEN and PELAGIC, and part from the straightforward cluing.

This one was a complete joy.


evil doug 7:28 AM  

SITAR clued with "sitting"?

Johnny 7:32 AM  

I solved the puzzle very fast , even with the gaps, but I never got the theme! After reading it here and finally seeing it, I was . . .

Passing Shot 7:34 AM  

Still can't "speed solve" like Rex and others here, but just being able to finish a Thursday with a minimum of googling -- PELAGIC is a new word for me -- makes this a relatively easy Thurs puzzle. I agree with @PGHarvey that the voue for SNOWY was off, off to the extent of throwing me for a while. I wanted SNOWY but kept thinking that "whiteout" called for a noun. Also thought that "audiophiles" would buy LPs, not CDS. Didn't really "get" the theme but new Magic School Bus and Anne if Green Gables, so just had to figure out how the titles fit. Overall, not bad but the imprecise cluing bugged me.

NCA President 7:40 AM  

Not bad...just a few snags.

I thought audiophiles were into LPS...not CDS. Most audio guys/gals I know don't like CDs because they are "too sterile" and have no "warmth." Not being an audiophile myself, I'm not exactly sure what that means, but evidently LP technology, from the stylus to the LP itself are, to audiophiles I know, superior. It's the same idea behind recording engineers preferring 2-inch tape over digital recording. Tape is "warmer" and has "depth." Probably more than you cared to know...

WETKISS and PELAGIC in the same puzzle...from the ridiculous to the sublime.

I'm not a fan of "ZINE" being "an ending" for fan.

KLEPTOCRAT: excellent, appropriate and accurate.

Hungry Mother 7:58 AM  

Fun solve. I appreciated the easiness, since I'm leaving this morning for a triathlon in Key West (someone has to do it).

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Clues in the print edition have different numbers than the online edition.

kitshef 8:14 AM  

P.S. after slamming yesterday's puzzle for having only 34 squares used for the theme, @Rex could have acknowledged today's 58 squares with minimal fill degradation.

On SKEETS, I think the use of 'informally' in the clue was basically saying "I would never pluralize 'skeet', but other folks do".

mathgent 8:29 AM  

It was fun figuring out the three gimmick entries. It wasn't too easy because I didn't know MAGICSCHOOLBUS.

I expected Rex to complain about the randomness of the gimmick entries. Two stories and a food. And another food, BEANDIP, which has no connection to any of the three. I would have agreed with him.

After solving, I looked up "magic bean." I was wondering if it had a meaning besides Jack and the Beanstalk. I discovered a sexual meaning. I wonder if Will Shortz knew that.

Mixed feelings. Well-executed gimmick. Ordinary fill. Only 6 Terrible Threes. The inelegance I've mentioned. Put me down for a B plus.

Leapfinger 8:30 AM  

Ah me, @GeoBarany beat me by hours to the IDAHO POTATO crossing, so there was no rush to post at 3 a.m. and I went back to sleep. Have been soothing that wound with knowing PELAGIC, for which I'm bound to thank Emily Littoral. (Never mind.) I'll bet quite a number of us came up with kleptoCRAT, backforming from kleptocracy. Maybe a few of us almost moved the nILe to the Sonoran Desert. OTOH, I suspect nobody else I've zine so far seriously considered following 'fan' with NIES.

I hadn't a clue how to stuff that potato into 17A and didn't see there were en-dash clues till 38A. At that point, the crosses at NG were enough, since ANNE OF GREEN GABLES has been a heroine for decades to any little girl who grew up in Canada, the land where an ANORAK is worn year-round and A HAB is a hockey player. (Go, BoomBoom Geoffrion!). Moi-meme, I read the LM Montgomery sequels all the way through Rilla of Ingleside. I hesitate to quibble the clue, but ANNE wasn't 'mistakenly sent to PEI'; the mistake was that the orphanage sent a girl, when Melissa and Matthew had asked for a boy to help on the farm. I doubt this nit will result in a brouhaha similar to yesterday's furor AT PAR.

Anyway, I wasn't as smart as those who saw the whole trick right away, and tried spelling something with the downcast letters. Drop and give me three! also seemed lame, so my revelation didn't come till the SE was laboriously spelled out. All I remember is being skinny close to a BEAR DIP. My Girl has now asked me a time or two, "Do I need to start worrying about you?", but I like to think I saw the theme develop exactly as the constructor would have liked.

Besides the IDAHO POTATO crossing, I liked how KETTLE echoed yesterday's MOM and POP. Also very impressed with the entire SW noting that THEM THAR PELAGICS RECEDED from ARIZONA. No way to add that was "aeons" ago, but can't have everything.

Allinall, thought this was a LAMAZing construction, so GOD Bless Timothy Polin and the RIDEABLE horse ERODES in on. In lieu of a WET KISS, mwah!!

[Replies later under separate cover.]

chefbea 8:35 AM  

Love bean dip and love nachos but did not love the puzzle. Didn't get the dip part.

and a few I-things left over from yesterday!!!

Tita A 8:39 AM  


@okanageer...I circled AXIAL for the same reason...i mean...isn't a definition of axis that it is the line about which a body rotates?

@lms...you love winter, but think snow tires are just a fashion statement?

I also noticed SNOWY crossing thaw, but missed IDAHO / POTATO...thanks @George B.

Liked the theme...saw the dips right away, but didn't link them together as all being beans. Looked for a corresponding upwards jog.
(is a DPOTATO like a K star?)

Thanks, Mr. Polin.

Z 9:10 AM  

I love it when the commentariat gets all metaphysical. White out versus whiteout. Non 3-dimensional rotation. Is there any phrase in the English language that hasn't been given some sort of sexual connotation? (Short answer: No) Are snow tires a fashion statement? (Short answer: Yes)*

I "finished" the puzzle thinking each "BEAN" had a "DIP" removed, not seeing that the three letters were on the line below, so a minor D'Oh moment. I struggled in the north because MICRO is a dot, not a skirt in my experience and a sloppy smooch would be described as a WET one, not a WET KISS. I also couldn't fit twice BAKED POTATO into the allotted space. I did fill the grid correctly in the end, although I'd call it a technical DNF since i didn't fully grok the theme until reading Rex.





*Because living somewhere where snow tires are actually required these days is, in and of itself, a fashion statement.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 9:12 AM  

40 years ago my wife wore MICROS and was very RIDEABLE

Knitwit 9:17 AM  

Did not get the dip until I came here! Even writing the "missing" letters on the side wasn't enough to spot them in the grid. I liked this one!

Roo Monster 9:26 AM  

Hey All !
Got the theme after getting the Downs WADE and ESPN and ending up with 18A beginning with DP. Said "Hmm, summin summin happening here." After getting INTERLAKEN, which I believe I've heard before, saw the AKE and figured it out. Pretty neat. Heard of THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS, but never saw it. So, had everything but the MAGIC part, and was going through all the beans I could think of. Waxed? No. Kidney? No. Lima? No. Pinto? No. What the hey..?

ATPAR again, clued the same way. LBAR an ick. And I'm guessing Yosemite is a program on an IMAC? Spelled OZZIS with S's at first. Isn't there an OSSIE baseballer out there?

Nice scrabbly grid also. (Or is that ELSE?)

LOADED B
RooMonster
DarrinV

Lewis 9:38 AM  

@AWS -- Welcome! And don't be a stranger...

Mohair Sam 9:41 AM  

Am I only one who noticed that LOADED BAKED POTATO was appropriately crossed by OVERDO.

ANNEOFGREENGABLES went in almost immediately with a quick check on AGRA and EXEC, after that it played easy for us until we hit the SW. Didn't know the MAGIC . . BUS show, PELAGIC a new word here (and a neat one), and wanted our Cardinals in St. Louis or the Vatican. But we muddled through thanks to LAMAZE.

Did the @Z thing and tried to twice bake our POTATO, and hesitated at white out (spent 30 years in Syracuse) until we noticed the space between the e and the o - sneaky clue.

@Leapfinger - Ma and Pa KETTLE? - now that's dating ourselves.

Fun Thursday.

GILL I. 9:41 AM  

Well, OK...three types of beans, none of which I particularly like. Well, maybe MAGIC Beans with a drizzle of Aioli.
This wasn't that easy for me. I've never heard of MICROS - only the mini skirt. Like @Z I only know a sloppy smooch to be a WET one. I get lots of them from our pups. The LOADED BD POTATO took forever so I scooted down to the reveal which I got fairly easily. So it's BEAN DIP and I still can't figure this out. Thanks to ANNE OF GN GABLES, I got the theme. Gotta DIP then ZAG back up. Hmmmm.
LAMAZE brought back memories. The night classes and everyone huffing and puffing and looking like beached whales. All came to naught for moi. Epidural is the goddess of sanity while you're giving birth. I never had to huff nor puff.
Clay pigeons - so much nicer than unheard of SKEETS.

Tita A 9:46 AM  

Post-synchronicity...just read a Magazine article about hiding wealth offshore, where kleptoCRAT was mentioned. Ick...filthy rich from those slimy bloatware viruses that sneak onto your computer...

And "whiteout conditions" could be replaced with "snowy conditions" in a weather report, but actually, never would, since they really do mean very different degrees of the same thing, and when you're deciding which tires go best with your outfit, that's critical information to have.

And for those of you who have never lived in a snow belt, you hear that phrase far too often from the local meteorologist.

@lms...you know we're just having some fun at your expense, right??. When you hand us straight lines like you did the other day, some of us just can't resist...

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

BEAN DIP is not an accompaniment to Nachos; refried beans are. Trapshooting and skeet-shooting are two different sports, and a bona fide trapshooter refers to his/her targets as "clay pigeons," "clay birds" or (informally) "birds." Not SKEETS. I did not like this puzzle at all!

Nancy 9:55 AM  

Good grief! To come here and find that Rex and maybe the first 5 posters called this "Easy" -- I think it's time to go back to bed and contemplate my thickness of skull. I found this impossible, even with a few belated cheats (I ROBOT and KNOX). I was going by @Lewis's dictum -- that you cheat in order to be able to continue to enjoy a puzzle -- and I was really enjoying the baffling mystery of this one and really wanted to solve it and then get it. But I didn't. And having the revealer, BEAN DIP, didn't help me one iota. Even without the trickiness, I had fallen into many woeful traps in the regular parts of the puzzle: VIOLA before SITAR at 12D made me wonder if WET DIVE (7A) was a Thing. HOOD before KNOX at 19D left me with A DIA- at 30A. A DIAM? A DIAL? Never saw AXIAL. At 54D I had TOUR, then POST and only belatedly UNIT. I salivated when I read the 17A clue -- Yummmmm -- but the only problem was I had no idea what it was. So a big DNF for me -- and it's always, always, always for the same reason in every kind of trick puzzle: I don't see things visually, and here I didn't see the dip. A hundred revealers and I still wouldn't have seen the dip. A wonderful puzzle that I was too stupid to solve.

Hartley70 9:59 AM  

I think the theme today is outstanding. I love the visual bean dips paired with the long acrosses. This was an easy Thursday solve, but the enjoyment factor was higher than usual.

I would have preferred PELAGIC as the Word of the Day. It's a corker that I managed to dredge up from the ocean depths. THEMAGICSCHOOLBUS was a book in my children's bookcase, long before a television show appeared. I had it off the TH-M-G-C, even though I can't remember Ms Frizzle or anything else about the book except the cover.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

@Gill! HA! All for naught indeed. For anyone who hasn't experienced the Lamaze benefit, if you're ever run over by a bus, try huffing and puffing until the ambulance arrives with the epidural.

foxaroni 10:05 AM  

@evil doug--that's why it's called a SITAR.

(I understand your point, although that sort of thing doesn't bother me as it does some others.)

Nancy 10:10 AM  

Oh, and yet again another pitfall: WAIT before WADE at 2D. Which kept me from getting INTERLAKEN.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

SKEET is the name of a sport in which one shoots at clay pigeons not "skeets". There is no plural for skeet. We've been through this once before, I think.

gzodic 10:13 AM  

I'm probably going to feel like a stupid PC nerd here, but how the #@%& is "Yosemite runner" IMAC?

QuasiMojo 10:14 AM  

As someone who despises Bean Dip in all its varities, I found this tricky puzzle a "sad lot." But I admit it had its twists and turns. I would have finished this in half the time if I hadn't incorrectly remembered the title of that book as "Anne of Seven Gables." I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to squeeze that in. Mixed up my Hawthorne with Montgomery. I also had Indiana instead of Arizona. Oceanic instead of Pelagic. Ivac instead of Imac. And so on...

My continuing quibble is the use of "ciné" in the NYT puzzle to mean film. It's a place where you show films. The French call film "Cinéma." Perhaps in some tortured slang one could spit out "ciné" but it should be clued as such. If I'm wrong (and God knows I've been a lot lately) please correct me. (gently.)

Airymom 10:22 AM  

I didn't "get" the trick for a very long time and that held me up. I was thrilled to see the 27A clue. Here in Baltimore (and also in Alabama) Ozzie is worshiped. During his four years at Alabama, the team had a 42-6 record. In 13 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, he never missed a game. He won the Ed Block Courage award. In the first NFL draft in which he participated as an executive, he drafted future Hall of Famer, Jonathan Ogden. He is enshrined in the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Some of his records as a tight end stood for 20 years. Interesting bit of trivia: He is an avid golfer and when he moved to Baltimore, joined the predominantly Jewish country club. Why? Because all the years he was in Cleveland, only the Jewish country club would let him become a member. I've had the opportunity to meet him at the Ed Block dinner and he is a "mensch". Much of the Ravens' success is due to the wizardry and intelligence of our general manager, Ozzie.

Airymom 10:29 AM  

@gzodic--10:13 AM......

From "Google" search:

OS X Yosemite (/joʊˈsɛmᵻtiː/ yoh-SEM-it-ee) (version 10.10) is the eleventh major release of OS X, Apple Inc.'s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. OS X Yosemite was announced and released to developers on June 2, 2014 at WWDC 2014 and released to public beta testers on July 24, 2014.

I also had no idea, but teenage daughter who has a MAC rolled her eyes at me when I said, "What does Yosemite have to do with a computer?" Another day of youth triumphing over age!

Ellen S 10:33 AM  

@Loren, congratulations on your choice of ancestor!

As to the puzzle, I liked it but didn't see the beans in the themer dips until @Rex's review. "Yosemite runner" had me stumped for a while; I thought all the Apple operating systems were cats. Such that (as with Android's teeth-rotting sweets theme) you can't tell, or anyway I cant tell, which one is the newest. It seems almost unnatural that iOS versions have numbers instead of cutesy names.

Johnny 10:42 AM  

As a long time solver, I gotta tell ya that I just flew back to Los Angeles from my home town.

Here's all my ex–girlfiends I miss this this holiday season:

Cyndie
Maureen
Lisa
Jessica
Ramona
Andrea
TraceyL
TraceyM
Alyssia

I love you all. Happy holidays

-Johnny

Happy Pencil 10:45 AM  

Great puzzle, and I'm glad to see I'm back in sync with most of the commentators (I did not like yesterday's puzzle at all, I'm afraid).

You've got to love those aha moments, and when I finally saw how to fit ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS, I was delighted. Neat little gimmick, perfect revealer, and very little dreck (even though the grid must have been difficult to fill). Other than a rebus, what more could you ask for on a Thursday?

Have a great day, everyone!

Happy Pencil 10:52 AM  

Oh, yes, I also appreciated the Canadian content with ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and the clue for IDAHO. And I sussed out PELAGIC, a word I have never heard before, by dredging up the title of a famous Acadian/Canadian novel, Pélagie-la-Charrette, and deciding it must be the French word for "sea" or "ocean." Turns out it means "coat" or "fur," so wrong thought but right result. I'll still take it!

John V 11:05 AM  

Did not think LOADED BAKED POTATO was a thing.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

Why is the answer to Yosemite runner "imac"?

Alex 11:35 AM  

Not as easy for me. I figured out the bent answers, but I didn't catch the reveal. I didn't know ADRIANA Lima, and I filled in masK for the end of ANORAK, leading to unnecessary difficulty in the southeast. But enjoyable.

old timer 11:40 AM  

Anonymous @9:55 says BEAN DIP is not something you dip nachos into. My favorite Mexican place brings you tortilla chips and warm housemade bean dip and a choice of salsas, to enjoy when your main order is being prepared. Makes me wonder if Mr. Anon is also wrong about skeet vs. trap shooting.

Took me a while to figure out the trick at 17A, but when I did, I filled in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES as fast as I could write, dip and all. A favorite read-to book for our girls when they were little. Never heard of that MAGIC SCHOOL BUS though. And I question LBAR. Since it is a metal piece, is it proper to call it a "beam"?

Z 12:01 PM  

@Quasimojo - I don't actually know, but this translation site seems to think that you have it reversed.

My Macs are running Sierra now. After the big cats Apple has named their OS releases Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, and now Sierra. Despite recalling all of this I still almost put in gMAC, mixing up GMC, GMAC, Yosemite, and Yukon all in one brief moment of duh.

@Nancy - "I don't see things visually." I blame a lack of AXIAL rotation.

@SyndiLand - SITAR or Siasphalt (I know, four weeks and 6 days late, but it was an epic rant)?

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

Cuz Yosemite is an Apple app.

kitshef 12:03 PM  


A pitching rotation and crop rotation would be examples of non-AXIAL rotation.

Warren Howie Hughes 12:05 PM  

Good Golly, Miss MALI! Regardless whether Rex felt this Thursday offering by Timothy Polin was easy peasy, however, FIR what it's worth,I thought it was BADE to the bone!

Leapfinger 12:18 PM  

@LarryG, you know it! 'Mewl and puke' are practically a single word!

@Anony 0955, and yet, the BEAN DIP is invariably next to the Salsa and the Queso in the Chips&Nacho aisle. You'll have to let the Supermarkets know. Just so long as you don't propose the BEAN DIP is what's done in the Argentine Tango...

@NCA Prez, sounds asif your audiophile friends feel about CDs as aioli purists feel about adding smushed garlic to pre-fab mayo. I'm still aghast over your Miracle hWhip revelation.

@okanager and other AXIAL doubters: It might make better sense if you grab the other horse's reins. Rotation will be about an axis, but it can be about a plane other than the main axis of the body, as in the rotation of shoulders and hips. A figure skater's tight spin is AXIAL rotation (about the body's main axis), but a gymnast doing 360s on the uneven bars -- though rotating on the axis of the bar -- is rotation of the body in what I'd call the coronal plane. A series of somersaults would be a similar type of rotation. Frame of reference is all. [@kitshef, Never mind!]

@AliasZ, are you out there? Your TED talk link of yesterday was tremendous, a fine example of how a message can be transmitted, IRregardless that words used are nothing atall. IRONy with 3D today.

@lms, There's also freshwater bass, so those pelagics would specifically need a sea bass line. It can be noted that 'sea bass' is a catch-all term for a large number of species that includes assorted groupers, dace and perch, as well as the pink mao mao. Interestingly, there's also such a seabass thingy known as the POTATO grouper, which is found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. None of the latter, as far as I know, are found in IDAHO.
Cool about your GrandDAD, who apparently didn't just play SAnDLOT ball.

I don't care much one way or the other about 64A, so Meh, SKEETS, but should've been in SW grid.

thfenn 12:20 PM  

I'm with Nancy. Just not good enough yet to do this one on my own, let alone quickly.

It started off well (oh boy I might complete a Thursday!) but I got lost as soon as the answer for '-' was DPOTATO. Just had no idea how to interpret '-' as a clue, and had to come here to see what was going on so I could go back and complete it. REINEDIN before RIDEABLE didn't help. Nor did OCEANIC before PELAGIC. Or STLOUIS before ARIZONA. PULLEUP before EASEUP. DAILY before AXIAL. AHAS before OHOS. MEWS before MEWL. LPS before CDS. what a freakin' mess I made.

I'm so bad that when I had ___IE and saw "NFL Hall of Famer Newsome" I put in HOWIE. Guess I was thinking of Howie Long (sparked by the ESPN answer I suppose), and knowing HOWIE Newsome was at least a name one might find in a crossword puzzle (but no idea how I mix up Our Town and NFL legends).
THEMAGICSCHOOLBUS was a book series I read with my kids, which I suppose dates me, and had no idea it was cartoon edutainment. And no idea how IMAC could be a Yosemite runner (being in a windows/android world I guess).

I get here and everyone thinks it was easy. Crud. Just so damn frustrating that I can't seem to get better at this than I am sometimes. I get enthused because I can see these gradually getting a little bit easier for me to finish, over time, and then I run into one like this and just feel hopeless. Kind of like my attempts at trying to enjoy golf - some signs of life, you work at it some more, and then bam, you hit a round when you're worse than you were ages ago...

So, thank you Nancy, and Loren, for at least signalling I'm not entirely alone. I'll try again. At some point. Right now don't even want to try tomorrow's.

Malsdemare 12:43 PM  

Well, this one ate my lunch. I stared at a blank grid for a long time before I remembered MICRO skirts. It was a long time before I got a real toehold anywhere. I knew THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS and ANNEOFGREENGABLES, but filled those in as rebuses and then could not make sense of the downs. I wondered about those SKEETS but I rarely quibble about constructors playing fast and loose with precision; they're CLUES, not synonyms.

I never caught the damn dip, even with a completed, though wrong (because of those rebuses), puzzle until I read Rex's review; of course, staying focused was a challenge this am as two 80 pound dogs alternately wrestled at my feet and then tried to sit on my iPad. I'm with others about the whole OS naming system on Macs. I will never remember which one I have. Sometimes you can be too clever. And having decried nitpicking, I will join the clamor against whiteout vs snowy. Here in central Illinois, the wind starts up in western Iowa and with nothing in the way, can be doing 45 mph when it hits us, turning a light snow into conditions so dense I can't see a dog standing at the sliding door. That's a whiteout; SNOWY is looking outside at the dog you can actually see and she has an inch of snow on her back because she's waiting for the squirrel in the yard to turn upside down seeking an acorn under the snow, thus becoming a snack.

Welcome AWS; glad you joined the conversation.

Carola 12:44 PM  

Oof. I thought the DIP was contained in those square black vessels. Thank goodness, again, for @Rex to explain what I missed. How neat! Wish I'd seen it.
@Nancy, apart from not seeing how the theme worked, I also didn't find this one easy to solve.

Masked and Anonymous 12:45 PM  

KLEPTO-CRAT. har. All righty then. Good to have somethin else to call the prez-elect other than just plain BEANDIP, huh, @RP?

This puppy played pretty eazy-E, other than maybe in the SW, owin probably to the mysterious PELAGIC and the unexperienced THE MAGICBEANDIP SCHOOL BUS. Primo theme idea. Was also mighty relieved to see that Mr. Polin did not choose to ever double-dip. Properly brought-up dude.

Got that POC in the lower right corner again. (yo, @Anoa Bob) A little desperation is certainly forgivable, tho -- considerin all the dips this puz had to keep happy. [Sorry. Might notta said that quite right …]

Thanx, Mr. Polin. Especially liked that one themer turn, right at the LBAR.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


**gruntz**

Z 12:51 PM  

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡THE CLUE IS "WHITE OUT" NOT "WHITEOUT"!!!!!!!!!!!.

Okay. I feel better now. What? I wasn't yelling. No really. Not yelling at all.

Masked and Anonymous 12:56 PM  

p.s.
@Mr. Polin: Come to slowly think of it … that themer turn right by the ZAG was also quite nice.

M&Also

thfenn 12:59 PM  

I was thinking about the SNOWY 'white out' thing. Thinking 'whiteout', I also thought it was bad - big difference between 'whiteout' and 'snowy'. Huge difference. Snowy is nice, whiteout is dangerous, etc. But, when it's white out, well, it's snowy out...as in you get a nice snowfall, you look out the window, and it's white out(side).

thfenn 1:01 PM  

mmm, like Z said...(@Z you're always ahead of me).

thfenn 1:05 PM  

just to belabor the point regarding the multitudinous things I don't 'get' yet, how is ZINE an 'Ending with fan'?

Masked and Anonymous 1:17 PM  

@thfenn:
A fanZINE is a magazine targeting fans of a certain person, genre, or whatever. Example: "Famous Monsters of Filmland", for schlock movie fans (an M&A fave).

M&A Help Desk

QuasiMojo 1:17 PM  

@Z, thanks for the link but that site clearly states that is for USA and GB usage. Not French. Cinéma is definitely used both ways in France but "ciné" less commonly, except perhaps in "cinéaste" as in filmmaker. On verra.

Happy Pencil 1:27 PM  

@thfenn, stick with the puzzles and you will get better over time. You'll have some bad days, but so do we all now and again. If you're already completing Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays consistently, you're miles ahead of a lot of solvers.

As a friend from my sailing club once said to me, "I won't get better sitting on shore!" Do tomorrow's puzzle, and the one after that, and the one after that. Even if you can't complete them, you'll improve with each one you try. And you'll be amazed by where you are six months from now.

okanaganer 2:23 PM  

My last word on AXIAL... the dictionary says rotation, in the context of physics, is something like "turning around an axis or center point". So "axial rotation" is basically redundant, like "stepped stairway". (Unless, say, a tornado hits your wheat field, when you may feel quite clever to observe that your crop is, indeed, rotating axially.)

In Physics we were told to distinguish rotation from revolution. Revolution is a circular motion around something which may not be an axis of the body; for instance the earth revolves around the sun. Such revolution requires an external force (eg gravity), whereas rotation can and will continue indefinitely if there is no opposing force such as friction. The gymnast stops revolving around the uneven bar as soon as she loses contact with it.

But of course most people use them interchangeably. And there are other definitions of revolution; right Fidel?

Anonymous 2:28 PM  

Cine is weak sauce for sure. Skeets is plain wrong.

Anonymous 3:10 PM  

@old timer, those are tortilla chips. Nachos are a sickening concoction of tortilla chips slathered (most of the time) with bright orange cheese (and I use the word loosely) sauce.

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

@leapfinger There's a pun in here somewhere but I can find it, but here's from the infallible Wikipedia, "Nachos are a Tex-Mex[1][2] dish from northern Mexico.[1][2] The dish is composed of tortilla chips (totopos) covered with cheese or cheese-based sauce, and is often served as a snack. More elaborate versions add more ingredients and can be served as a main dish. First created in about 1943 by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, the original nachos consisted of fried corn tortillas covered with cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeño peppers"

More elaborate versions would still not use bean dip, as my cousin Anonymous above noted. Nacho mama's bean dip anyway (ah there it was)

NCA President 3:31 PM  

@Leapfinger et al. re: Miracle Whip...hey, we all have our thing, right?

Atlantasolver 3:44 PM  

Skeet is a game, one of several forms of sporting clays, and is NEVER used with an "s" for a plural.

thfenn 4:24 PM  

@happy pencil, thanks. Appreciate getting snapped out of my funk. And smiles on the sailing - I've graduated from Sunfish and Lasers to a 23' O'Day day sailer I take out on Penobscot Bay in Maine, and am gradually getting better. Still challenged getting on and off our mooring with any grace (a performance akin to 4-putting on the 18th in front of the clubhouse, or perhaps sending a chip shot entirely over the putting green), but once I'm actually underway, not bad. And yes, just like here, you just have to keep doing it.

See you all tomorrow.

thfenn 4:29 PM  

And thanks to the M&A Helpdesk. Now I know what a fanzine is...had no idea there was actually a name for such things. Jeesh, the stuff I've never heard of....

Anonymous 4:58 PM  

When Dan Quayle corrected that poor kid's spelling of potato and some snarky reporter said " 's no e" I bet he wished he had some White-Out.

Z 5:10 PM  

NEVER is a very long time, people often use language heedlessly, and tossing "informally" into the clue gives the editor lots of cover. I put "shooting skeets" (quote marks included) and got lots of hits. Here is an example.

@thefenn - Our Masked One omitted that fanZINEs are oft produced and published by said fans. I think fanZINEs got their start in science fiction, but that could be a belief based on my somewhat narrow adolescent obsessions (as opposed to my much broader adult obsessions).

G.Harris 5:37 PM  

Finished but like Nancy never saw the dip. So ended up with what seemed to be nonsense answers. Even after reading Rex was still confused until I eyeballed it a bit longer and then Eureka. So I guess it was easy if you caught on to the gimmick, otherwise not.

Leapfinger 6:40 PM  

'Struth, @NCA Prez, and isn't that a lucky thing for all of us?
As an aside, just want to report I enjoy it quite a bit when you publish the incidental pun. I've tried to read between the lines, but can't really decipher whether you're pleased with or abashed by the entire event. I get the distinct impression that you couldn't help yourself in generating the thought, yet there's the fact of a conscious decision to make it public. Like the title of that CINE, It's Complicated.

Numinous 9:51 PM  

When. I was in film school, back around the end of the Civil War, we referred to a certain type of documentary film making as Ciné Vérité. I can only find it on google as Cinéma Vérité but I'm sure we used the term Ciné. Merriam-Webster legitimizes CINE this way:

cine. \ˈsi-nē\
noun
: motion picture
Origin: probably from French ciné, short for cinéma cinema.
First use: 1920

The French are more likely to say "film" than CINÉ. However, as the clue references Jean-Luc Goddard, the (probably) pseudo French term is appropriately called for. Just don't ask your French buddy who just mugged an America tourist for $500.00 on the Champs Elysees if he wants to go to the flicks.

I know it's late, I had a busy day today. I didn't get the DIPs until I looked at xwordinfo. I got everything else except for CRAT. I googled that and everything else was good except for three lingering questions. Timothy Polin and Jeff Chen settled those for me and boy did I feel stupid. Oh well, I'm not the only one here who had help figuring the DIPs out. Damn clever, I thought. And isn't it amazing what can hide in plain sight?

Anonymous 11:16 PM  

@NCA president, the human ear evolved in a noisy environment so sounds that are noise free do not sound natural: CD vs LP, digital radio vs tube radio, analog tape vs digital tape. That absence of noise might be described as sterile or cold. Its presence is usually described as warm. If you listen to one and then the other immediately after you would probable feel the difference without necessarily hearing the difference.

Jim Finder 5:11 AM  

Jae, I'm also working in the archive. Any idea when Will started the "tricky Thursday" tradition?
I'm finding way too many typos in the clues in the archive. (And crap pop culture, like one-hit wonders whose career began and ended in the 90s--but there's no help for that.)

adagioforstrings 9:42 PM  

I filled in the Thursday puzzle correctly but just assumed the black square = the dip & felt kind of dumb when I saw the answer key on Friday that showed the missing letters were on the line below

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