Beersheba's region / THU 5-4-17 / Comics character who was perpetually 19 / What dowsing rod or sling shot has / Hit 2002 animated film

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Constructor: Loren Muse Smith and Tracy Gray

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

[16-wide / oversized grid]

THEME: BLACK ICE (44A: Winter driving hazard ... or a literal hint to four squares in this puzzle) — in order for several clues to make sense, four different "black" squares have to represent the word "ice"

Theme answers:
  • ADVICE COLUMN (21A: "Miss Manners," for one) / POLICE VAN (4D: Patrol wagon)
  • NO DICE (29A: "Ain't gonna happen!") / SERVICE DOG (14D: Helping hound)
  • OFFICE TEMP (41D: Crunch time helper, maybe) / "ICE AGE" (59A: Hit 2002 animated film)
  • ARMISTICE DAY (66A: 11/11) / MR. NICE GUY (50D: Generous, affable sort)
Word of the Day: IDEM (67D: Footnote word) —
adverb: idem
  1. used in citations to indicate an author or work that has just been mentioned.

    "Marianne Elliott, Partners in Revolution, 1982; idem, Wolfe Tone, 1989" (google)
• • •

Conceptually, this is probably the most solid thing we've seen in a while. It's an old idea, the black square rebus, and I'm kinda surprised this incarnation hasn't been tried before—it looks like BLACK ICE has actually never appeared in an NYT crossword *at all* before today. That is super weird. So there are four patches of BLACK ICE. That's really it here. Not exciting, but not the faceplants we've been seeing of late, either. Fill is rougher than it should be. Not sure why NW / SE corners weren't just turned into black squares. In the SE, you've just got plurals, so who cares. Make 'em singular. And in the NW, you get rid of the awk/awful YAWPS / YSHAPE and just give yourself ASPS / SHAPE–sooooooooooo many more cluing possibilities, and, you know, real words are better than jury-rigged goofiness. Plus changing WOLVES to SOLVES gives you a chance to do one of those winky self-referential clues, if that's your thing.

I started out very badly, largely because I thought it was Wednesday. Not kidding. When I got stuck in the NW, I couldn't understand how that was even possible on a Wednesday. Then when I got POL for 4D: Patrol wagon, I just stared at it resentfully for a bit. Eventually, I looked at the puzzle byline and saw the date. Then my brain shifted into the correct gear and things got better. Cluing was still old / out of my wheelhouse much of the time, so it wasn't exactly fun to solve. Most depressing / annoying moment was the cluing of JOAN (10D: "Mad Men" femme fatale). I love "Mad Men" and I love (Love) film noir and I had no idea what this clue was asking for. I guess colloquially "femme fatale" means something ... wrong, now? In my world, that "fatale" is *kind* of important. Joan was curvy and gorgeous and ambitious and smart ... but she's no more "fatale" than Peggy is. The idea that there's anything in JOAN that Leads Men To Their Doom ... is preposterous.

I had FLEECING for BLEEDING (13D: Extorting from), and I really really really like mine better. Also had BEER for LEER (34D: It might precede a pickup line), and, again, I prefer to live in my world of wrongness. Where I come from an OFFICE TEMP is just a TEMP, so that themer was tough for me to get. Last letter in was the "R" in LORE (65D: It's passed on) and METER (73A: One collecting money on the sidewalk?). Couldn't make the clues compute. That's all, I think. Overall quality here is what *should* be average NYT. But in the NYT's current state, esp. for themed puzzles, it's above average.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Time and ... TEMP? (64D: Time's partner, informally). Not in my lifetime.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:10 AM  

Medium for me and pitch perfect for a Thurs. My "erasures" were answers I ended up putting back in after I caught the rebus. Clever, fun, liked it a lot.

@Rex re: femme fatale - think back to episode about how JOAN ended up with a partnership in the firm.

Back Lice 12:15 AM  

I seem to remember a black ice them of some sort in another puzzle somewhere.

-2 points for Rex not posting "Femme Fatale" by Nico and the Velvet Underground.

Fine puzzle by the ladies.

Charles Flaster 12:17 AM  

Loved this rebus. Caught it at SERV ICE DOG crossing NO D ICE.
Creative cluing :
CROSSWORDease-- AGORA and ACNE has popped up again.
I imagine there are many bloggers here who have never experienced BLACK ICE-- that's good for them. It is scary!!

METER above PROSE is cute.
I added an "N" to the bottom of 65 Down's
Great work and thanks to LMS and TG.

kozmikvoid 12:24 AM  

Congrats LMS. I hate rebuses, so I love that you took care of the rebuses for me. It's a neat concept, and I'm happy for you. You're a ray of sunshine on this otherwise gloomy site.

mathgent 12:32 AM  

So much fun to see that this lovely puzzle was created by our fellow blogger, LMS. The rebus was beautifully conceived and executed. There were a lot of bright entries and clues. What a wonderful piece of work!

Larry Gilstrap 12:49 AM  

Really liked this puzzle, way before I saw the constructors' names. That byline made me smile. My clip board hides that info. I actually used the revealer to help solve the themers. Doesn't happen that often to me.

We mostly hear 11/11 called Veteran's Day these days, and I stubbornly wanted my playhouse to be terrestrial and not arboreal, but what fun. I have a tree in my front yard that could accommodate a condo. Read WWW as WWIII. Paranoid much?

My wife toiled for many years serving Cokes in a silver tube, pushing beverage CARTS up and down the aisles. Maybe other carriers refer to them as BAR CARTS, but not the Silver Tube people. We even ended up owning one, for some reason, which sits idly hogging space in an already cluttered garage.

Gonna tread lightly here: AROUSE crossing MOAN? Feeling WARM all of a sudden.

John Child 1:05 AM  

"...above average" indeed. Damn nice IMO! We got a cute, fresh rebus Thursday and lovely longer fill - Riki Tiki Tavi, TEAMWORK (tee hee hee), CATARACT with a think-again clue, LIL ABNER, and more.

Despite @Rex complaining about cluing, I had a great time with the clues. SW by far the hardest corner - TEMP wasn't happening without ENNIO or METER, and the Fs in OFF were hard to find. Even so the app tells me I was almost exactly average Thursday time.

Thanks Ms Gray and Ms Muse. ;-) Keep 'em JAMB(ing).

Anonymous 1:12 AM  

Very happy to see LMS as one of the creators for this puzzle. I also greatly enjoy it when a fun commentator makes a fun puzzle. This was a very decent effort. Good job!!! Kudos!!

Gregory Nuttle 1:26 AM  

I liked this one a lot. Just the right amount of trickery for a Thursday, and probably the most enjoyable NYT for the last week or so. Thanks for this one @LMS.

Anonymous 1:27 AM  

Easy for me and a lot of fun. Had no hook in the NW, so saw the revealer quickly. As I don't know Mad Men, I can't comment on clue's aptness, but the review struck me generally as stingy and a LIL sour. Absolutely nothing wrong with YAWPS. LIL ABNER was MR NICE and dumb GUY. Thank you!

Clark 1:32 AM  

Oh, that was great fun! Way to sneak by the rebus ban.

chefwen 2:55 AM  

Hi @Clark, miss you.

Got BLACK ICE off of the B and K. Growing up and learning to drive in Wisconsin teaches you all too well about black ice. As Charles Flaster said, scary stuff.

After I got black ice, NOD ice came quickly, then it was just a matter of finding the other ICES.

YAWPS at 1A was strange, I have never in my life YAUPed, I have heard yelps but never a YAWP.

Kept trying to write ICE in the black squares with my Wite Out, didn't work too well..

Fun puzzle Loren and Tracy.

Hartley70 3:43 AM  

Congratulations to @LMS and TG for a stellar Thursday rebus and a comparative rave from @Rex! Bask in the glory all day today. You deserve it.

I love a rebus, and concealing it in a black square doubled the fun. I saw it at ARMIST(ice)DAY, found the revealer, and then was thrilled I didn't have to know the real identity of Miss Manners. Thank you for that.

Speaking of OREO, because we always do, this was the most original OREO clue I've seen in a while. It almost makes pudding sound appealing. I wasted time early on looking for a rebus that would make butterscotch work. Butterscotch was big in the 50s which is the last time I had pudding.

I needed the crosses to get the BAR in BARCARTS. Yes, they are that and so much more. I believe they weigh close to a zillion pounds and can be lethal to the unwary in turbulence. My Pan Am roommate was terrified of a runaway one and I'm sure @Gill I could comment further. There must be an easier way to serve some drinks without blocking the path to the bathrooms is what I think.

I always forget that JAMBS has a B. This was a nice reminder. I didn't need one for LILABNER because I tried Granny "Yokem" yesterday before YOKEL, so I'm in a Dogpatch frame of mind.

SERV(ice)DOGS are awe inspiring. I once babysat some black lab puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. It was a heavenly weekend.

I had a great time with this and got an extra surprise when I finished and checked the constructors. For a moment I thought this was a celebrity puzzle pairing with our @LMS and Macy Gray, instead of Tracy Gray. I'm glad it wasn't a one off, because these co-constructors work so well together, I look forward to another chance to solve what they devise.

Mike in Mountain View 3:44 AM  

Made me work a bit, but that just gave me longer to enjoy the experience. Excellent Thursday.

mentos before ALTOID, which makes me happy the advertising hasn't affected me (or maybe that means the Mentos ads have affected me so much I don't remember the ALTOID ones). Your mintage may vary.

Thanks, LMS and Tracy.

Moly Shu 4:06 AM  

Finished up in the SW and just couldn't figure out who LILA BNER was and why I'd never heard of her. Big dopeslap when I parsed it correctly. I kinda like YAWPS HOLLA and MOAN. Thanks @Tracy and @LMS. Liked it a bunch.

andrea carla michaels 4:08 AM  

How fabulous was this???!!!!???
A rebus and in black squares!!!! I thought it was going to be BLOCKOFICE so even cooler to work on so many levels!!!!!

ACNE for fourth time in 6 days? That's getting weird!!!!

The stacks of 8s top and bottom is super impressive considering the outside ones are an 11.
The construction on this is truly masterful...

And to think Ms Muse went from a random commenter to an early week constructor to a THURSDAY co-author!


Favorite part, if you imagine an N outside the grid at 65 Down you get LORE N!!!!

Oh No Jono! 4:35 AM  

Massive facepalm from me. HTML is *not* a programming language!

John Child 4:46 AM  

Sure HTML is a programming language. I suppose there is an argument that it's a markup language instead, but when you write code modules like OnMouseOver() or call functions like ShowAlert() it feels just like a programming language to me.

Interesting that @LMS stayed mum about the repeat appearance of ACNE this week. :-)

Loren Muse Smith 4:52 AM  

Oh, wow. It’s the BLACK ICE puzzle Tracy and I wrote? Was that today? Cool. It had totally slipped my mind.

Right. For those of us who don’t have lots of published puzzles under our belts, getting that notification from the NYT about the day your puzzle will run and then the days leading up to that day… it’s always on your mind. Excited a lot of the time and eager to brag to non-puzzle friends who won’t really understand that in the world of constructors, I’m still a putz – they don’t have to know that. And terrified most of the time that the puzzle (and Tracy and I) will be subjected to a public evisceration. It’s all fun and games until someone gets eviscerated.

I like this reveal because I tell you, those falls you see or execute because of BLACK ICE are some of the most spectacular, right? It’s one thing to be walking on ice or snow and being all ginger and careful and fall. That fall is almost choreographed. But the black ice fall, when you’re not being all ginger and stuff – the thing cartoons are made of. They’re heroically magnificent. I know, I know – falling is very serious, not funny, and I have this ridiculous but very real, ever-present superstition that if I even think about laughing when someone falls, I’ll fall myself within the next 24 hours. I really do. My son is the same way. A couple of years ago, he called from college and said

Mom. I have to tell you this. I was in a lecture class – you know – the auditorium for 200 people that slopes down toward the professor? And it was full and the class had started, and this guy comes in late in a suit and tie – I swear – and friggin’ briefcase and starts to make his way down the aisle stairs

well you do the math. Gardiner and I laughed and laughed but felt bad for him at the same time, ya know? And the rest of the day, I walked slowly, carefully. Held onto things when I could.

Loren – you ok? You’re walking funny. You hurt your back?
Nah – just decided to slow it down a bit today. Stop and smell the roses. Caress the banisters, really feel them.

Tracy did all the hard parts on this. She’s a grid beast. I was happy one of my clues made it through - the one for FIR. Proud of that one.

Thanks, Rex, for the gentle comments, and thanks, everyone else for the nice words. I’d also like to thank my family, my mom, my dad (who had a huge black ice wipe-out once in Lilburn, GA – tore his pants), my co-workers… cue music to get me the *&^% off the stage.

Anonymous 5:22 AM  

Maxine Waters pays her daughter $750,000 to send out mailers, and then rips our President's unpaid daughter. Democrats - gotta love 'em.

Conrad 5:39 AM  

"Above average" and "not a faceplant". WOW! A Rex Rave!! Congratulations. @LMS and TG!!

Anonymous 5:48 AM  

Fun and relatively easy for a Thursday. Did anyone else notice that the rebus squares were actually symmetrically plotted within the grid? I do have one quibble, but then there has to be at least one, no? What the hell kind of a word is HOLLA? Is that a noun or a verb? Is it anything like HOLA! or maybe HOLLER? I fought with that for a long time, unwilling to give in. But I liked AGORA and it's always nice to see ENNIO Morricone get his due. @Larry Gilstrap: your last line made me laugh out loud, on a Thursday morning over here in Berlin.

Aketi 5:54 AM  

Yup, slipping, sliding, and falling. I usually get the rebuses hidden in the black squares right away. After I gave up on the harsh cry sling shot corner I moved west. I stared at NO D for a long time thinking EAL in the black square made no sense and I just plain ignored the emergence of SERV figuring that it was some obscure breed in one of the SSRs.. MR N I figured must have been some guy who was on TV between the years of 1980 and 1993 when I was traveling a lot and didn't own a TV. Neither 11/11 nor the ARMIST that energed made any sense. Maybe it had to do with an obscure arm wrestling competition? Finally got it at ICE AGE. At ADVICE I realized that COLUMN followed which I thought was cute. Yet I didn't go back to the downs to see if there were similar connections. Instead I hunted for the fourth BLACK ICE cube in vain. It all seems so obvious now.

I also got stuck on the V part of the sling shot. Once I included the handle of the Y I was ready to give up on the L that wasn't working anyway and move on to P.

Falling on BLACK ICE is always a humbling experience.

BarbieBarbie 6:07 AM  

Black ice is how I know what ABS brakes feel like. That and deer. No, Virginia, not at all like warped rotors.
A little faster than average according to my app, so Medium. But oh, my. I usually begin by going through and writing down all the gimmes. And... There weren't any. Filled in JAMBS and then something way down around Alabama. I felt myself slowing down, reading the clues carefully, savoring the several that made me go "oh!..." And using the revealer to peel back the next layer of understanding.
Is this what is meant by "crunchy?" If so, I'm a fan of crunch.
Plus, a rebus, which I love. Plus, it was blacked-out, winking at the world's rebus-haters. Rebus placement was symmetric-- is that a constructor rule or can I be impressed?
Plus, acne eruption. I swear Will S must have a 15 year old at his house whose birthday is this week.
Plus, not many black squares. Even fewer w/o the rebus ones.
Sighing in contentment. Thanks,

Lewis 6:29 AM  
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Lewis 6:31 AM  

Wow, an ebon rebus! How nice not to have to squeeze letters into a box.

@loren, I'm guessing that OREO clue was yours too, given the challenge of coming up with a new clue for that word (and I'm guessing you go after challenges like this), and you just seem like someone who would be very familiar with Jello pudding flavors. I loved the clues for BARCARTS and NYETS, and this meaning of CATARACT, speaking of which, very nice cross of CATARACT (the other meaning) and TEAR.

The SW was my hardest section, and it sounds like I'm not alone. I like OLD-AGE there juxtaposed with the ever youthful LILABNER. Like @acme, at first I thought the theme was going to be BLOCK OF ICE, but BLACK ICE is even better. The theme squares are beautifully spread out. My only nit is ICE AGE, the only square where the ICE actually means ICE -- I prefer the other theme answers where it is hidden. But this is just a nit.

I had a great time with this. Tracy, bravo, and Loren Muse, you are our resident wordSmith, and as you often say, this is one I'll remember, and may you have a very very n[insert black square] day!

kitshef 6:39 AM  

That NE corner is ... desperate. YAWPS, YSHAPE, HOLLA – that’s one ugly start. Fortunately, that turned out to be the outlier. Most of the rest is solid, other than IDEM.

I like the way a lot of temperature-related ‘stuff’ gets worked in – SNO, RARE (as in meat), (hot) DOG, (spicy) HUNAN, STAR, WARM, FLARES, TEMP, ERMINE playing among the FIR TREEs on the TUNDRA.

But all that is just the fixings on the double-r-bar burger that is the theme. The fill could have been complete dreck and I would have loved this baby.

Clara Sill 7:13 AM  

After this latest ACNE eruption, can't we all just agree to call them PIMPLES from now on?

Z 7:15 AM  

Brava! Encore!

LaurieG in Connecticut 7:20 AM  

Agree, but I don't think many puzzle editors have figured out how to clue it.

Glimmerglass 7:22 AM  

I liked this a lot. I wish there were a couple more black ICE squares -- clever idea. I liked the clue for [parking] METER, but I liked my answer better -- santa.

Jennifer Freeman 7:26 AM  

Congratulations, LMS, this puzzle was great fun!
At first, I tried to make it a rebus puzzle by guessing the composer was Enrico instead of Ennio (ic from black ice...yes it wasn't very smart of me but Armistice Day showed up and disabused me of that brilliant idea. I struggled in the Northeast and had another brilliant guess with Niger instead of Negev but that actually helped me finish that part of the country. After that, I went back to square one and, after a little gnashing of teeth, filled in yawps which produced the golden sound.
Thank you Loren and Tracy for a very clever puzzle. Hope to see more great puzzles from you two.

CFXK 7:34 AM  

Great puzzle.

The only super-nit-picky hardly-worth-mentioning problem with the execution of the theme is that in all of the theme answers, ICE is re-purposed (i.e., does not mean "ice") except in 59A, where it does mean "ice." However, as far as I can tell, there are no English language words beginning with ICE (ever mind six letter words!) where ICE does not mean "ice." So, an unavoidable situation that should not (and does not) in any way take away from a great puzzle. Thanks.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

When it comes to rebus puzzles I am quite dense but I caught the theme for this one at a very early stage. Had BLACK ICE as one of the first few entries and the proverbial light bulb lit up. Got all the theme answers but stumbled in the right of center side.

Had BAg CARTS for 28D. Could not see AIWA either. So that parcel of real estate remained unfilled.

Still, a Very fun puzzle. Thanks LMS and TG.

Chris T.. 7:47 AM  

Well, onMouseOver() isn't HTML, it's JavaScript...

Arlene 7:54 AM  

Fabulous! Absolutely fabulous! Enjoyed it from start to finish! Write more!

Lobster11 8:01 AM  

This was the most enjoyment I've gotten from a NYT puzzle in some time. The levels of difficulty and trickery were just right for my taste. I'd give it an A+ if it weren't for that ugly NW corner. Would have been a DNF for me because of YAWPS and HOLLA if I hadn't been saved by POLiceVAN. Even then I stared at those "words" for several minutes before I was persuaded that they had to be right.

Lojman 8:04 AM  

Congrats @LMS! Enjoyed it a lot, straightforward Thursday, some crunch but nothing too far off base.

@Rex - I think I'm close to your age. When I was a kid, my small Midwest city had a phone number one could call to get the up to the minute time and temp. 244-5611, in case you're wondering.


r.alphbunker 8:09 AM  

Slipped on one of the black ICEs. Finished with 59A {Hit 2002 animated film} [ICE]AwE/43D {Involve unwillingly} DRAwINTO perhaps because I was in AWE of the construction!

Details are here.

Marcie Watts 8:21 AM  


Passing Shot 8:25 AM  

YelPS for YAWPS but otherwise pretty smooth. The NW was the last to fall and generally, the east went much quicker than the west. Caught on at SERV_DOG/NOD and then went a'hunting. Thanks LMS and TG for a wonderful, snappy puzzle.

Nancy 8:30 AM  

Even though I got the BLACK ICE theme immediately, before even looking at the length of the grid answer, figuring out where the theme answers went was a different matter entirely. I was perplexed at my MRN fill at 50D, knowing it was right, but not having a clue what on earth it could possibly be. And then -- bingo -- I saw the terrifically well-hidden MR NICE GUY. Who has given me this wonderful rebus, I wondered? And so I (belatedly, as is my wont) looked up and there she was! Wonderful job, @Loren! Congratulations!

I should have guessed Loren anyway: she's a Southern gal who, I imagine, has given out a great many HOLLAs in her life. (I, as a Northern gal, have given out NARY a one.)

Re 31A: Et tu Jell-O? You also have an OREO flavor? Is there any food company on the planet that does not have an OREO flavor?

And Rex -- If you don't see the difference between JOAN and Peggy, femme fatale-wise, there really isn't any hope for you. No hope at all.

A really enjoyable, clever and lively puzzle.

Bill Feeney 8:32 AM  

Fun puzzle, but what's more impressive to me is the tone of the comments. Shows how much @LMS is loved on this blog. That alone makes it worth the trepidation of actually doing instead of just commenting. Congrats to both of you.

GHarris 8:35 AM  

Really fun solve Rex's nitpicking notwithstanding. Got the revealer early on though needed a second look to realize it connected two sets of squares. Was hung up briefly until I changed Ella toes said and in and to Mayans.

GHarris 8:39 AM  

Sorry, screwed again by autocorrect. That should be Ella to essa and Incans to Mayans.

Roo Monster 8:42 AM  

Hey All !
@LMS, YAWPS? What a way to start a puz! :-) Had diODES for ANODES til the very end, and couldn't make any sense out of that corner. Wanted hOoVES for a bit, but finally caught sight of WOLVES, which made me change my diODES to ANODES, and finally see YAWPS/YSHAPE.

Did enjoy puz. I know it couldn't have been easy to fill any of the corners, as they are essentially wide open space, considering the BLACK(ICE) squares are actually part of the answers. For those who never tried to construct a puz, that's impressive.

Had NOt in for the NOD part of NO DICE for a bit, mucking things up slightly in NE. And originally wanting mentos for ALTOIDS didn't aide me either. (They're "The Fresh Maker")

Liked how the after ICE words were actual words, and clued as words, not just a - (dash).

Nice one Ladies! @Loren, I'm jealous! What is this now, your third? fourth? Good for you. Put in a good word for me! :-P

OLD ODDONE (Me, not the constructors!

Bill Feeney 8:52 AM  

Sometimes it's a curse how I see words differently in puzzles.
Pol ice van- where senators and congreepeople are sent for a time out
Adv ice column- list of musty, seldom used "ly" words
Serv ice dog- collie working a wedding
Nod ice- do not acknowledge that stupid comment
Ice age- brand name of anti-wrinkle cream
Off ice temp- hockey player returning to bench
Armice day- competitor after a gruelling set of matches in a local bar
MRN ice guy- turning off the radio ( have to be a NASCAR fan to get this one)

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

One objection:
18A HOLLA would sound like a Bostonian version of "holler." The double L makes the O into AH (like "collar"). The puzzle wanted OWE-LAH, the Spanish hello (HOLA) pronounced with an English long O. Otherwise, nifty and not too hard. (Although I didn't get it until I filled 66A ARMIST and thought, What the heck!? Then black ICE hit me. Duh!)

Bill Feeney 8:54 AM  


Bill Feeney 8:56 AM  

armist. I've got to proofread better

Aketi 8:56 AM  
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Vincent Lima 8:59 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle as well as the tone of the comments.

I, too, was surprised by the cluing of JOAN, though it obviously had to be her; couldn't have been Betsy, Peggy, or a minor character. (Disagree with jae, first comment today, that how she got her partnership qualified her as "a seductive woman who lures men into dangerous or compromising situations." She didn't lure the pig.

I'm assuming ARARAT was clued as it was to make it more difficult. The more evocative "Dormant volcano near the Turkish/Armenian border" might have made it too easy? (I've seen Ararat from all three countries, and the view from Yerevan, Armenia, is the most moving.)

Clark @1:32 a.m. wrote, "Oh, that was great fun! Way to sneak by the rebus ban." I missed that executive order. Is there actually a rebus ban?

Aketi 9:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RAD2626 9:01 AM  

Just a really fun puzzle. Got the rebus from POLICE VAN so smooth skating the rest of the way. I thought best part was no ---- for post ice words which would have been a tipoff. Each word stood on its own merit. So clever and has to be a construction nightmare.

Nancy 9:02 AM  

@Hartley (3:43 a.m.) -- A BAR CART'S-worth of "Amens!" to you, plus an additional HOLLA, for your comment on how BAR CARTS block the way to the airplane bathrooms. They do indeed, and I hate the damn things with every fiber of my being.

@Loren and @Aketi (5:54 a.m.) -- You may regard falling on BLACK ICE as a potentially "comic" or "humbling" experience. I do not. I regard it as a potentially catastrophic experience -- one that will probably End My Life As I Know It. And therefore to be avoided at all costs. Even if it means becoming a winter recluse. (Or EREMITE, as we like to say in the crossword-solving biz).

Aketi 9:04 AM  

@Nancy, your comment to Rex was priceless.

Who knew, OREO are vegan:

And more importantly, LMS did not clue us in to the fact that OREO pudding has a drunken variety. The perfect solution for self soothing after a fall on BLACK ICE:

@M&A, not sure if you'll find the Cinnamon Bun flavored OREO to be sacrilege or sublime:

There is a recipe to make Cinnamon Rolls with OREOs, but they leave out the cinnamon:

Dang, I need to eat breakfast before I eat desert, oh no wait, I can have a DONUT. If i spell it Doughnut does it qualify as breakfast?

Oh wait, perfect solution, OREO cheesecake doughnuts (since everyone know that if you add milk or cheese to a sugary breakfast it magically turns it into a healthy nutritious meal):

Aketi 9:09 AM  

@Nancy, didn't mean to trivialize the real risks of falling on BLACK ICE. I definitely developed more empathy over the treachery of walking in the winter months after my knee surgery.

Tita A 9:12 AM  

I always hide the constructors' names, and am so glad I did so here.
As @Hartley said, how can you not love a rebus that isn't even in the fill??!

Ironically, I caught the theme early, at ADV_COLUMN. Ironic, because I dnf'd bigly in the NE.
Here's where I went wrong...
YelPS led to lOaVES. Packs?? How do lOaVES come in packs? ENglish muffins come in packs, but I wouldn't call that a loaf. Shrug. Move on...
Do they HOaLA down in By Gawd West Virginia??????
(After I got BLACKICE, the slip of paper I had hiding the names fell and I saw who it was...)

Anyhow, not thinking anything was wrong with YelPS made it impossible for me.
And I just love the sound of YAWP!

I am doubly delighted in this puzzle, since I met, and spoke to for some time, Tracy Gray at ACPT this year. Just as gracious, funny, and smart as Loren. THey told me about their collaboration, and I think Loren had even told me the theme way back in the early depths of the process she describes on xwordinfo, but happily, I had forgotten all about that.

@Loren - you get to brag about being a multi-published constructor - I get to brag about being friends with one!

And love the self-referential LOREn and TEAMWORK.

Were you hungry when you woke from your long nap? OREO, ALTOID, SNO-Caps, EGG, HUNAN, DOG (as clued), TAPAS, and brandy in a snifter with which to wash it all down?

Oh - and since when I solve on paper I use ink-saver mode, I could easily write little diagonal ICEs everywhere. So satisfying!

Congratulations to both of you. One I'll remember for a long, long time.

Tita A 9:16 AM  

Hey - @lms - was that TUNDRA clue also that the DOG was standing above also self-referential?

Nate 9:24 AM  

Even though I caught onto the theme with ___ AGE and MRN, I still was DNF'd because I didn't pick up on the SERVice dog. Gah, my fault.

This was a good, challenging puzzle, and exactly the type I like - where I kind of want to give up after 5 minutes but keep coming back to the puzzle and chipping away at it until the whole board is filled up. GREAT stuff! And I say this as someone who usually HATES a rebus puzzle (because I am usually too dumb to pick up on it).

evil doug 9:27 AM  

Quite saticefying, Lore. Skidded out on black ice coming home from a Delta trip, in uniform, no overcoat. Three NKU students stopped and got me out of the snow bank--they politely tried to refuse, but I bought 'em lunch.

Appreciate the shoutout to my clan. Cute clue on NYETS, too.

Big fan of Armistice (well, Veterans) Day--free meal at Applebees! But to its truer meaning, the obituary of Col. Leo Thorsness--Medal of Honor recipient for heroic and selfless actions as an F-105 Wild Weasel pilot, and later a prison mate of John McCain in the Hanoi Hilton--appears in today's NYT. RIP, Sir....

Mohair Sam 9:32 AM  

Clever idea, slick execution, very little -ese, clean cluing. Lots of fun. You two need to conspire more often. And fun to watch Loren bathe in her Sally Field moment.

We found our ICE with MRNICEGUY. Spent time thinking of Archie characters before LILABNER. Tide before TEMP along with forgetting ICEAGE cost us time in SW.

@Rex - Yes, you are dead right about femme fatale. But we all got it, we knew what the constructors meant, trust me.

@John Child - I too wondered if Loren had commented on the recent ACNE epidemic, curiously she hadn't. Thanks for researching.

I don't understand Rex's comment about time and TEMP (not in his lifetime).
Most TV and radio affiliates offer sponsored Time and TEMP hacks. And damned near every bank branch in America offers a sign with time and temp. What am I missing?

roy barham 9:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RB 9:35 AM  

Congrats on a very enjoyable puzzle!!! One of the best NYT's in some time. Keep them coming!!

pmdm 9:35 AM  

Yesterday my feelings toward the puzzle were completely negative. Today, they are enthusiastically positive. Applause to both of you.

Lindsay Sturm 9:37 AM  

I got stuck on wanting the rebus to be for BLACK, and coincidentally that made BLACKMAILING fit for 13 down... took a while to correct that issue! Black Ice is a lot nicer :)

GILL I. 9:39 AM  

this is ICE cream with cherries on top. Don't know Tracy but I know that clever, funny Loren. Banana split?
Look at that OLD BLACK ICE EGG. Everything here is as a Thursday should be, even femme fatale JOAN on "Mad Men." @Rex, I don't think Peggy was one. I think she tried to be, but failed. You should see her now in "the Handmaid's Tale."
BAR CARTS....God I hate those things. If you get stuck in the middle of the plane on an aisle seat, use your Depends - you'll never get to the bathroom and keep your elbows tucked under your bosom because you're sure to get jabbed by a can of something.
Took me a while to see the light. I had BLACK ICE before seeing the theme. SERV ICE DOG NOD ICE was the producing OOOOH - que fun this is going to be - and it was.
Love me some TAPAS - I'll invite, Loren - only I usually have wine with mine. I'll let you choose.
Bask in your glory today....More like this, please.!!!!

jackj 9:44 AM  

'Twas an absolute gem!

Congrats, Loren and Tracy.

Trixie 9:46 AM  

I agree with Rex: time and temp is just absurd! Overall, I liked the puzzle a lot except for that.

Chad Walling 9:47 AM  

Ya, it took me a bit to realize that it was time and temperature... I've heard "time and temp" quite a bit on tv weather updates btw shows.

QuasiMojo 9:49 AM  

First off, I did not see the names of the constructors until after I had finished. And for once, in a long while, I was feeling happy that I had finished the puzzle rather than angry. Great job @LOREN and TRACY. This was great fun. And crystalline. And had some cracking good words in it. I love Yawps and Y-shape (btw, Rex, did you mean "auk" rather than "awk" in your comment?)

Second, nothing bores me more than "film noir" experts who caterwaul that this character or that one is not really a "femme fatale" or a film is not technically noir if it doesn't have one, or that such-and-such was not "noir" enough, or that anything without spider-web shadows from a window is automatically NOT a "film noir" (often pronounced as if noir rhymes with foie). Heck, I even saw King Kong on a list of favorite "films noirs" once on IMDB. Thank you, Rex, for not including a snippet of Brian DePalma's movie "Femme Fatale."

Third, Black Ice is very scary when you are driving your car on the Taconic at midnight in the middle of winter, especially if you have threadbare tires as I usually did. I flew off the road more than a few times, once hitting a tree (that probably saved my life.) I had to light a FLARE.

Fourth, I don't get "Time and Temp" -- (wait for no man?)

Things I loved: Jambs, Mongoose (they were everywhere on St John in the Virgin Islands when I was there); Odorless, Cataract, Bleeding, Odd One, and Wolves who Leer (usually at femmes fatales.)

Anonymous 9:59 AM  

Holy Moly,

what a dope I am. I didn't see who made the puzzle. Duh! Congratulations Loren Muse Smith!! (And Tracy Gray if you're around here too). I really like the puzzle. And the fact that a board regular did it somehow makes me really happy. Thank you.

PS Rex is wrong. Fleecing is not synonymous with extorting. Bleeding is. Oh, and I'll bet Mohair Sam can back me up on this, but time and temp are very much within Rex's lifetime. In fact, every evening at 7:00 on the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia there's a 5 second spot saying time temperature brought you by Commerce bank ( I think) anyway, Sharp's dead wrong about it whoever the sponsor is.

Did I mention how much I loved this puzzle?!

Stanley Hudson 10:04 AM  

Really enjoyable. Molto grazie signore.

Rob Tyner 10:07 AM  

Kick out the JAMBS motherf***ers!

Kim Scudera 10:07 AM  

Enjoyed this tremendously, especially the big "woop!" of sudden lightbulb-over-head understanding when I "saw" SERV[]DOG for what it was. Swarmed around the grid, popping BLACKICE into single squares to see what would happen. Deeply satisfying, YAWPS notwithstanding. Thanks, team LMS/TG!!

Laurence Katz 10:11 AM  

Rex, Mad Men's Joan was absolutely a femme fatale. Peggy was not. In its broadest sense, the term describes a woman whose looks make her irresistible to men. So much so that men may react in ways that are dangerous to themselves. The "fatale" part is along the lines of saying a pitcher's curveball is deadly. No batter is going to risk death, but there's a good chance that there's a good chance he's going down.

Sir Hillary 10:18 AM  

Very n[BLACKSQUARE] puzzle!

Caught on to the theme in the NE by dropping in OSOLE and ASNER as my very first entries and filling in the region. From there, it was a fun hunt for the other three. Only (very small) quibble...the ICE square in the SW RELIES on an across answer that doesn't begin in a numbered square. Seemed slightly inelegant, but again, not a big deal.

I prefer Morrison to Cliburn, but that's a taste thing.

Count me among the disappointed regarding the JOAN clue. Loved her story arc in the show.

Worst misreading of a clue...upon getting HTML via crosses, I thought, "What??? HTML goes back to WWII? That can't be right!"

ArtO 10:28 AM  

Kudos to LMS and Tracy for a challenging but totally satisfying solve.

Something worthwhile passing on from David McCullough on Charlie Rose the other night. John Adams, writing to Abigail after his first night in the White House, "may none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof." Engraved on the State Dining room mantle in wood by FDR and etched in marble by JFK. 'nuf said!

AZPETE 10:31 AM  

Yes, very nice puz. Enjoyable. But definitely "Easy," not "Medium-Challenging." Fastest Thursday ever, if I bothered to keep time. Only one erasure.

evil doug 10:33 AM  

...and spewed on by Bill Clinton. Now, 'nuf said!

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

Of course Joan was a femme fatale. Sharp is a buffoon.

Mohair Sam 10:39 AM  

@Anon (9:59) - Consider yourself backed up. The sponsorship changes periodically but ABC in Philly gives you the sponsored "time and TEMP" between "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel" every weekday night. Gives the station a kinda '50s feel, doesn't it?

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

Yeah, It IS between Jeopardy and Wheel. I had a sinking feeling after I posted. Thanks! And yes, you're right about the `50s vibe, I like it.

Masked and Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Real slick theme and almost ODORLESS fillins. 16x15 grid -- more for yer money. Sprained my brain only slightly, landin on the icy spots. And, also had fun tryin to play "spot the @muse clues". I'm bettin a few kopeks on {Lots of disputin' from Rasputin?} bein one.

fave slippery weeject: SNO.

fave long fill: TEAMWORK [apt]. TUNDRA [apt]. MONGOOSE [asp-t]. ALTOID. LILABNER.

YAWPS. har

Time and TEMPerature, in 64-Down clue. yep. Sorta like a "time and temp at the top of the hour" phrase that a deejay might use, thereby savin precious nanoseconds on verbiage, between hot platter spins.

@Aketi: M&A prefers cinnamon-flavored cinnamon rolls. Is OREO-flavored Jell-O pudding lumpy? That'd be lar-YAWPin good.

Thanx, @muse and Tracy darlins, for gangin up on us in such a cold, calculated, fun way. No disputin it.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

jberg 11:08 AM  

Congratulations to Loren and Tracy for this wonderful puzzle! It must have been a challenge to find rebus answers where the post-ice part could be clued on its own. Nice!

As for YAWP, it was good enough for Walt Whitman:

I, Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos; I
shout my voice high and clear over the waves; I send my
barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world!

As for HOLLA, as I read it it's a noun, not an interjection, as in "shoot me a HOLLA next time you're in town."

I always call it ARMISTICE day, a holiday about peace rather than war. And yes, I know no one wants peace more than veterans (and soldiers), but it's a better name.

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

Time and TEMP is absolutely absurd says I, every evening, when someone says that on the radio at the top of every hour and on the half-hour, when it appears precisely at 7:00 on my local station just prior to Jeopardy.

Chris 11:25 AM  

To paraphrase Capt. Woodrow F. Call, Rex would argue with a possum.
Great puzzle, albeit on the easy side for me. And jberg beat me to it, YAWP is good for Whitman, and Robin Williams in Dead Poets, so it's all good.

Trombone Tom 11:39 AM  

What a delightful and crunchy treat for Thursday. Thank you @LMS and @Tracy. And as an extra blessing we even get a comment from @ACM!

I don't agree that some words, for example those beginning with "Y," are horrible and unacceptable.

Time and TEMP was more prevalent, at least in terms of signs on banks, before we all started carrying around smart phones. But it is still quite common and ought to be general knowledge.

My only hang-up was dropping in NOt before NOD(ICE). You know how people will make a statement and then add "Not!" to negate it.

old timer 12:08 PM  

How nICE of @lms and Tracy to include a special clue just for me (41A).

I got the trick when I wrote in SERV which did not seem to be any hound I ever heard of. Went immediately to the revealer, and looked for the other rebus squares. When I wrote in MRN I was filled with admiration, for all the black ICE squares work both ways.

Seems to me YAWP has been used before in the NYT crossword. It probably has some sort of immunity.

Malsdemare 12:14 PM  

Before I read the comments, I have to say I loved this. I simply haven't done enough NYT puzzles to find this anything but WOW! Thank you Loren and Tracy. Okay, now to see what the bloggers have to say.

Masked and Anonymous 12:47 PM  


… And fifty kopeks on the {Helping hound} clue also bein one of @muse's.

Christina Hendricks played a little bit more of a femme fatale-type character in the "Hap & Leonard" TV series than in "Mad Men", I'd hafta say.
@RP: "Hap & Leonard" just drips with "noir", btw. U should definitely check out some of their stories, and see the TV show. But, bet U already have.

Really admired how @muse & Tracy gave the endin themer word-parts all different-as-possible meanings, when they were clued separately.
Example: SERVICEDOG's DOG = {Frankfurter}.
Outlier: GUY = {Wise ___}. Coulda gone with GUYrope, maybe. Or GUY Madison [Wild Bill Hickok dude, and star of many memorable FriNite schlock flicks]. Trouble is, U are already crossin GUY with quirky sorts AGORA and HUNAN.

Of the BLACKICE pre-icecube entries, some were better than others, as stand-alones…
1. POL is a perfectly good wordlet.
2. ADV is a perfectly good abbrev.
3. NOD is A-ok.
4. SERV is wobbly, but has been used once before in a Shortzmeister NYTPuz.
5. OFF is A-ok.
6. ARMIST looks like it could be a word, at least. Sorta like an NRA member, or somesuch.
7. Then we have MRN. This pup is a tough one to rescue, without usin a double-?? clue. (Somethin like: {Moron's odds summary??}.)

Anyhoo -- Again, congratz on a primo ThursPuz, tho. thUmbsUpSHAPES.



andrea carla michaels 12:50 PM  

Would also like to add how rare it is to have a double team of women constructors, esp late week...
We try and have an annual women's constructor breakfast every year at the ACPT (shout out to Amy Reynaldo and Deb Amlen for making that happen) precisely in order for something like this to happen!
Two brilliant positive spirited women get together and with TEAMWORK create this magnifICEnt puzzle!!!!

Carola 12:52 PM  

N[ICE] one! The concept wasn't too hard to get (NO D_ _ _), but locating the other patches of BLACK ICE was just about as suspenseful as keeping an eye out for them on the sidewalk. I especially loved the elusive MRN GUY.

@Loren - yes, bonus points for FIR - I had to do an alphabet run :)

Thank you, Team Loren and Tracy. I look forward to your next one.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

The Washington Mall was covered in trash after the "climate march". Anyone shocked?

semioticus (shelbyl) 1:00 PM  

This was a very good puzzle. I have lately lowered my standards so much that I didn't expect the blackice thing to work in all directions, and that gave me a hard time.

And now I know that jamb is also a word in English language too! Will use that one from now on. "Oh man, I hit my elbow against the jamb and it hurts" (which happens to me at alarming frequency)

Teedmn 1:20 PM  

One nit to pick with this puzzle - it's hard to believe in BLACK ICE when it's so nICE outside today. Other than that - terrific! My head is still reeling from the acrobatics it went through to get to the end of this. I got the theme up in the NW, sort of - I left 21A at AD_ because I figured a rebus was needed but a VICE rebus didn't work. When I got the revealer, that gave me the necessary aha.

The problem was, where were the other two, after finding the symmetrical ICE in the SE?

I wasn't finding them and wasn't finding them. Even with OFF and AGE making absolutely no sense in the SW, I had determined that the 44A reveal clue meant four answers, not squares, so no need to keep looking for the...oh, look at that, SER[ICE] DOG. Hah, now I understand OFF and AGE. My SW has a lot of BLACK Ink due to @Mohair Sam's "time and Tide" waiting for no man.

Congrats to the two constructors, both of whom I was very glad to meet in person at the ACPT. I hope this is one of many fab collabs!

mac 1:22 PM  

Very good puzzle, Loren, and fun to do!

Agree with Rex's rating, there were some spots that took me a while. I had to look up the Bearnaise recipe,
I forgot about the egg yolks. Nerve wracking sauce to make last minute.

Congratulations to you and Tracy!

Hartley70 1:31 PM  

Hey Quasi. Strangely I'm riding north on the Taconic as I read your post. Luckily the road is drier than our @Nancy's wit!

MetroGnome 1:51 PM  

Okay -- So how is "OFF" a "crunch time helper"???

Hungry Mother 1:58 PM  

Ready to pack it in doing the NW, but thought there was a trick somewhere. I filled in the NW correctly, but didn't know it yet, then did the reveal and saw the light. Went from sad to happy real fast.

Masked and Anonymous 2:01 PM  

The {Crunch time helper, maybe} clue refers to the entire themer: OFF + the blackice cube + TEMP, giving OFFICE TEMP.

(Crunch time at the office is sorta like a real busy or short-handed time, I guess.)

M&A Help Desk

Z 2:09 PM  

@MetroGnome - Theme answer - OFF(ICE) TEMP.

Second best thing about a @LMS co-constructor by-line... Good to see @Kim Scudera, @Art O, and @ACME stop by and say "congrats."

Best thing is an echo of @ACME's comment - my favorite two puzzles this week were constructed by women. So let me say it again,


puzzlehoarder 2:10 PM  

Wouldn't you know it one of my favorite commentors gets published and I'm late to the game. @lms if you're still reading congratulations on your clever, fun and never boring puzzle. Your partner really is a construction beast. Those 8s with the rebused 11s were the highlights of the puzzle. Your FIR clue stood out. I was thinking retinas before the lightbulb went off. I also noticed that your previous co-constructor @ACM commented. A banner day.

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

What? Not going to use your slang term for woman's breasts today? Thanks but not thanks for your solidarity.

Joe Bleaux 2:48 PM  

Woo-hoo! Among friends who know me as the crossword nut, I can now brag a constructor of today's NYT puzzle once chatted with me on a blog! (Definition of "chatted": Replied "yes" to my question of whether the "Lilburn" she'd mentioned in a post was the Georgia town in my county ... but still!) Lovely puzzle on a drizzly, windy day not far from Lilburn. Sincere congrats, Loren and Ms. Gray!

Rob 3:03 PM  

Solid Thursday. A bunch of the themers baffled me even after I sussed out the theme, not having realized those were themers; I plead sleep deprivation. YAWPS/YSHAPE was pretty bad, that's my only real gripe.

JC66 3:17 PM  

Great puzzle. congrats to both LMS & TG! More, please.


Anonymous 3:22 PM  

Dems on house floor do Na Na Na chant after obamacare repealed. Thank God the grown-ups are now in charge.

ChE Dave 4:15 PM  

Yawps? Even autocorrect hates it.

SW was a minor issue because it took a long time because I worked down through the puzzle and had "Lila..." for the name and it took me a while to separate lil as a word.

Cassieopia 4:49 PM  


1. Opened up the app, saw LMS name as a constructor, went into minor fan girl hysterics!
2. Once I recovered my equanimity, thought "Thursday, rebus" and started looking for the trick.
3. Got stopped cold in the NW, the North Central, and the NE.
4. Figured, "hmmm, the reveal is usually in the SW..." so went there. Stuff started to fall quickly (loved NYETS).
5. Worked from SE to NW and when I encountered the revealer (which at that point had two Cs), I went ah HA! BLACKICE is the absolute worst winter driving hazard, so that was a gimmie.
6. Now on the alert for something tricky going on with ICE and the black squares, the trick fell at NODice.
7. Rest of puzz fell into place quickly after that, with inexplicable difficulties at LEER, WARM, and ENNIO. Time was 7 minutes below my average Thursday time of 35 minutes so I was One Happy Camper.

Loved: clue for OREO, and the words TUNDRA (black ice!) and CATARACT.
Sighed at: ACNE.
Best Tip O the Day = do the puzzle before reading the constructor's name, to prevent fan girl hyperventilation and possible fainting fits (slows down the solving time!)

What a fun puzzle, made for a truly delightful Thursday! Thank you, LMS and Ms. Gray!

Babs of Hollywood 4:54 PM  

Larry Gilstrap, loved your comment re WWIII--same here! Twice! And yes: Very, very paranoid (and worried...)

Annette 5:01 PM  

Kudos on a great puzzle, LMS and Tracy!

wgh 5:36 PM  

Beat me to it. HTML is definitely markup only. JavaScript for programming.

wgh 5:38 PM  

Well-done and enjoyable. ... well, except for the HTML clue :)

Unknown 5:40 PM  

Did any one have crotch instead of yshape?

Tita A 6:41 PM  

@Hartley - I hope you're not the driver - the Taconic, even in broad daylight, is not forgiving to distracted driving! (One of my favorite roads - just wish I could have deer repellers on my car.)

Also forgot to say how much I too loved the Helpful hound clue. The one I know best is Emmy, the wonderfully helpful (and joyful) hound that helps our own JenCT.
(BTW, Emmy had an adorable family reunion with her mom and brother up at the NEADS facility.)

Happy Pencil 6:51 PM  

Great puzzle, @LMS and Tracy Gray. I do love me a rebus, and this one had a perfect aha moment when I finally realized what was going on. But there was still enough challenge in finding and resolving the other rebuses (rebusi?). In fact, I had a dumb (and entirely self-inflicted) error at NOt for NOD, and it took me forever to find where I'd gone wrong. Like @Nancy, I'm happy when the puzzle puts up a bit of a fight, and I was happy today.

Thank you!

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

This was a great Thursday thanks. Twio observations: 1. With a name like yours maybe include hall of fame crossword muses Clio, Erato or Urania next time . 2. I've lived 40+ years and only knew cataract as an eye condition. I got the answer through crosses and after doing the puzzle I looked it up. Learn something new every day thanks !

Anonymous 7:43 PM  

Anon 2:27 has a point. Last Friday you did use tits. I know you were parroting Rex,but it's still unseemly. Not your kissing Rex's ass, that's your standard play. Rather, it's grating to see you use brava as if you were attuned to the disaff. A week ago you were bragging about your knowledge of strip clubs in Windsor, Ontario. Today, you're a champion of female crossword puzzle constructors. Please.

@Loren Muse Smith
Your puzzle was a peach. Thanks a million.

Anonymous 7:47 PM  

Yep, Z exposed big time.

Anonymous 7:50 PM  

Good puzzle!

Rex's "Word of the day" has two errors. First, *idem* is a pronoun, not an adverb. It means *the same man* normally, or *the same* and some other masculine or neutral antecedent. It's sometime abbreviated *id.*; for *the same woman*, one uses eadem, abbreviated ead.

Rex's google source--
adverb: idem

used in citations to indicate an author or work that has just been mentioned.
"Marianne Elliott, Partners in Revolution, 1982; idem, Wolfe Tone, 1989"--

somehow imagined *idem* an adverb. And unless *Marianne* is somehow a man's name, it wants *eadem, Wolf Tone* etc.

[from anonymous or "Poggius," who cannot figure out how to attach his name to a contribution]

Anonymous 8:25 PM  

no one with knowledge of strip clubs is capable of championing female crossword constructors. see how stupid that sounds? no, you don't see.

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

I've never heard YAWP outside of Whitman, but it's pretty iconic in that context, so it seems like a missed opportunity for a much better clue than we got.

Anonymous 9:05 PM  

You know it was his use of a derogatory term for a bit of female anatomy that was the problem, right? Oh yeah, you dont.

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

girls against boys isn't the solution

Anonymous 10:15 PM  

Republicans are dumb.

Anonymous 10:41 PM  

dumb statement

Wednesday's Child 11:48 PM  

I don't have time to read all the comental now (126!), but I wanted to commend LMS and TG.

I caught on quite quickly with SERV, though I had St. Bernard rattling around, and VAN. I was off to the races and surely enjoyed the run.

OFL stated a known truth, if you're expecting Thursday, and it is Thursday, then the puzzle becomes easier. This is a fact.

What is it about NARY that is so likeable? And what is it about AGORA that is still tiresome? I would like a puzzle with NARY an AGORA. Say that a few times. I surely like the sound of it. A famous artist of some sort, Naryana Gora. Have you heard the latest from Naryana Gora?

I might change my screen name.

Loved this puzzle. LMS, your contributions to this site are some of my favorites. This puzzle was a gem

Tracy Gray, thanks for your part.

Naryana Gora

Anonymous 12:27 AM  

You mean thank Satan.

Mike 1:46 PM  

Yes! And somewhat recently. Maybe a WaPo Sunday puzzle this past winter or last winter? Or the Wall Street Journal Saturday. But I definitely seen it.

Oh No Jono! 2:58 AM  

And by modern standards, if onMouseOver etc is anywhere near your markup, you're doing it wrong.

SpeedoBoyNY 12:37 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Burma Shave 9:48 AM  


she’s AROUSEd as I DRAWINTO her then she’ll HOLLA and MOAN.


spacecraft 11:33 AM  

Missing the Comey hearing to post this, so it'll be short (-er than usual). Did the NW but POL bothered me. Looked like the first three letters you see on the wagon as it rounds the corner. Got to the center and received a big aha! moment. NOW it made sense. And they had to have a separate clue for the VAN. That's pretty cool.

One thing: foggy as my memory often is--and it's been decades since the LILABNER strip ran--but his specific AGE stands out in my brain. He was exactly "15 1/2 y'ars OLD." He was never 19 that I can recall.

But that's a nit. Some clever clues sprinkled in made this Thursday-appropriate; 1-down YSHAPE might be a frowner, but the clue describes it so well that you can't go anywhere else. Time's partner TEMP is true enough on bank signs, so that gets a pass. Love MRNICEGUY. DOD is the fantastic LENA Horne. Welcome into the constructor ranks, @LMS, and start your round with a birdie!

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

Get rid of yawps, y shaped and the stupid rebus fill and you're left with a really enjoyable puzzle.

Diana,LIW 1:22 PM  

I was enjoying the puzzle, had the BLACKICE clue, and still didn't get the very clever black square rebus. Very funny. And, of course, led to a dnf. Puzzle beat me fair and square!

Gone for a few days to the Minnesota puz tourney. Might get tomorrow's done before I leave. But tomorrow is Friday...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 1:38 PM  

Smooth and easy-going, as one (LMS) or both of our constructors seem to be. Nice to see a prominent fellow blogger's name on this one.

The slick theme became clear early with the revealer and the symmetry of the BLACKICE squares.

Apparently like others, would take issue with Mad Man's JOAN as a "femme fatale". She was as attractive as they come, but not really that kind of character, IMO.

And are "white-haired" people necessarily OLD. Again, not in my experience, though most may be.

Nice work, LMS and TG. Enjoyed it.

centralscrewtinizer 1:52 PM  

Out a month so commenting is a faint echo, but this puzzle is probably still reverberating and LMS and TG are probably still smiling, and justly so.
I usually sneak a peek early on at the who made the puzzle and when I saw the above at the helm I was gleeful.
I would ROAM the TUNDRA or the NEGEV all day to find a puzzle like this.
I'm guessing they were howling when they saw they could slip ACNE and OREO in, or is that DRAG INTO the puzzle?
The flowers produced by hops are called cones, for future reference.

rondo 4:17 PM  

Went down the middle of the puz because the BLACKICE idea was not there yet, got that revealer and then ARMISTICEDAY came around and boom, the rest was history.

Speaking of one-time yeah baby Doris DAY, I think it was Milton Berle who said, “I knew Doris DAY BEFORE she was a virgin.”


Anonymous 7:02 PM  

Had to look up two answers. CATARACT and IDEM. Also was not sure about old so that was also something to double check. And for the rest there were two misspelled words. Her name was Jean and not Joan. And it was Negev not Neget.


Ronald K. Cox North Bend Oregon 11:31 PM  

If the constructors had managed to work in the classic 2008 AC DC album, this would be a perfect puzzle.

Blogger 10:04 PM  

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