Noted Berry farm founder Walter / TUE 5-9-17 / Rocky glacial ridge / Garfield's foil in comics / Relatively cool red giant / Obsolescent desktop accessories

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: ___ a ___ (verb phrases where first and last parts rhyme):

Theme answers:
  • SNEAK A PEEK (17A: View furtively)
  • SEAL A DEAL (24A: Complete the negotiations)
  • GRAB A CAB (30A: Secure some urban transportation)
  • GOT A SHOT (44A: Was vaccinated)
  • BAKE A CAKE (51A: Prepare for someone's birthday, perhaps)
  • WROTE A NOTE (62A: Briefly put pen to paper, say)
Word of the Day: HARRIS Tweed (48D: ___ tweed) —
Harris Tweed is a cloth handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides. This definition, quality standards and protection of the Harris Tweed name are enshrined in the Harris Tweed Act 1993. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well worn. That is both the initial (wrong) answer I had for 57A: Blue-blooded (WELL BORN), as well as how the theme, and so much of the fill in this puzzle, felt. The theme is so remedial it doesn't warrant comment. Honestly, what is there to say about that? What I noticed immediate, and what persisted throughout the solve, was how out-of-a-box (an old box) so much of the cluing and fill felt. Why is John TESH in anyone's puzzle nowadays? He's not a *bad* answer, but his decades-oldness, cultural relevance-wise, set a tone. After a succession of answers that went OMAN (a real place, fine) to OCALA (OK, still real, but a bit more crosswordy ...) to MOREL (same), I hit ARETE and stopped.

I might've literally said 'no.' Again, ARETE is a real thing, but all of these answers are out of the very limited Cruciverbalist's Toolbox of 1993 (maybe earlier). We get OGLE *and* LEER AT, ESAU *and* ODIE. It's a crosswordese hall of fame / museum / graveyard (take your pick). Uninspired, on every level, this puzzle is. We get John TRAVOLTA at the BORDELLOS and then not a lot else.

I woke to find Australians grousing on Twitter about 18D: Qantas Airways symbol (KOALA).

They are reacting to the word "symbol," and the fact that that word suggests the *logo*, which is, of course, a kangaroo:

In fact, Qantas itself *says* that it's "symbol" is a kangaroo:

I had no problem with KOALA, both because I had the "K" and because I have no strong or set feelings regarding Qantas one way or the other (I've only ever flown Air New Zealand to the southern hemisphere—their "symbol" is a FERN, in case that ever comes up). Also, I have definitely seen KOALAs in Qantas ads—not lately, but earlier in my life, for sure, and often.

You can see KOALAs in print ads too.

But I would say that "mascot" is probably more accurate than "symbol." "Symbol" suggests something more iconic, in the sense of a single replicated image. Maybe the koala is used more in US advertising, and so actual Aussies are like "WTF!?" I don't know. Speaking of "WTF!?"...

  • 28D: Start of the fourth qtr. (OCT.) — sports sports sports ... was all I could think of here, so this was oddly stumperish
  • 59D: Plains tribe members (OTOS) — first of all, see comments re: crosswordese, above. Second, this is one of my least favorite "which is it?" crossword moments (see also, e.g., DODO v. DOLT v. DOPE). Today: OTOS or UTES. But this is mainly about my ignorance. Though the UTES interacted with and adopted aspects of Plains Indian culture, they are not officially classified as Plains Indians, and you never see them clued that way. When they're not clued as sports mascots (😒), UTES are typically clued via words like "west" and "western," or any of the states from the Four Corners region.
  • 68A: Relatively cool red giant (S-STAR) — ugh, the [letter]-STAR answer is another common bit of crosswordese. "S" is the most common, but you might also see A B C E F G K M N O S. Actually, I suppose, you might see any letter, but those are the letters you *have* seen (possibly) in the past.
  • 48D: ___ tweed (HARRIS) — I have no idea how I know this, but I know it. Didn't know exactly what it was til I looked it up, but my brain conjured it up quite nicely. Still, I can imagine HARRIS next to KNOTT (do people outside California know KNOTT?) possibly causing problems for some solvers.
     Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    P.S. I forgot to add to yesterday's write up that the whole LGBTQ theme had been done before (though just as LGBT), almost four years earlier, by Brendan Emmett Quigley, for the American Values Club Crossword puzzle. So if you want your timely themes to be actually timely, consider subscribing to AVCX.

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    Theodore Stamos 5:35 AM  

    BWANA?! And what in the world does NONO have to do with "don't touch that honey"? Bizarre. I also can never seem to remember that seed cover word (ARIL). I didn't like this puzzle. Hard for a Tuesday, but not in a good way.

    Charles Flaster 5:45 AM  

    Much easier than yesterday with some professional CROSSWORDease-- ARETE, ODIE, and ARIL.
    ACNE again?
    SNEAK A PEEK is the only themer where the ending letters are spelled differently.
    Really enjoy the work of all three KEATONs and I am guessing they are not related to each other.
    Thanks PAC

    Moly Shu 5:46 AM  

    @Rex lists all of the problems with this puzzle, but makes no mention of ACNE? Again, really? Never know if it's ARIL or AnIL, always let the crosses sort it out. Also sOREL before MOREL, coulda swore it was sOREL.

    Hungry Mother 6:19 AM  

    Quick and fun. Lots of downs today.

    three of clubs 6:20 AM  

    I thought once my teenagers left the house so would ACNE. is this now, what, 8 out of the last 10 days. Seems almost like a party game --- where will the ACNE pop up next?

    Loren Muse Smith 6:32 AM  

    Any theme that has me staring off trying to come up with others is a winner. It’s harder than you might think. Sure you can roll your own: tweet a bleat, steal a feel, hire a liar, dump a chump… but to find in-the-language phrases isn’t so easy.

    I have to whine about the BAKE/BWANA cross. I don’t know from Swahili masters, so “make/mwana” could have worked there, too. I was lucky to go with B.

    Rex - I was going “high” BORN first.

    I always like identical clues – those for LEER AT and OGLE. So this TOAD walks into a BORDELLO to SNEAK A PEEK…

    Liked the ACNE/ECHO. Hah.

    Fun to look at stuff in the grid and make some more: goad a TOAD, shoot a NEWT, lob a SAAB, browbeat a Pete…

    I remain a huge Peter Collins fan. I thought this was an easy, fun Tuesday offering.

    Lewis 6:36 AM  

    Rex -- The theme may have felt worn, but all the theme answers except one are debuts in the NYT. The one exception (SNEAKAPEEK) was only used two other times (once by you!). So there's that.

    It did feel like a crosswordese hall of fame, but I took it as an opportunity to review words I'm going to see again. The theme is more Monday than Tuesday to me. I did like seeing KLINK and seeing a RAMP up. Learned that SAAB is an aircraft giant.

    Thank you, Peter, for keeping my solving chops warm. They are not happy when they have to take a break.

    Anonymous 6:36 AM  

    This is my first comment ever, but has anyone noticed "acne" has been used almost every day for....heck, as long as I can recall? What's up with that? It's triggering me bad high school meteorites.

    Passing Shot 6:55 AM  

    @Anonymous 6:36 -- yes, there seems to have been a recent "breakout."

    Really didn't care for this one, and the SW corner was brutal. But at least I now have BWANA and ARIL locked in my crossword brain.

    kitshef 7:18 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Anonymous 7:32 AM  

    Hate a date.

    Hate a mate.

    Hate a fate.

    kitshef 7:36 AM  

    1) Yes, other folks know KNOTTs Berry Farm, although I was not sure of the spelling.

    2) The 'relatively cool' and 'red giant' parts of the SSTAR clue eliminate a lot of those options listed by @Rex. You are basically left with S and M as options. Maybe C if you want to push it.

    3) When kangaroo didn't fit I went right to KOALA. Probably an age thing, but for me the first awareness of Qantas was those KOALA commercials. I think the clue is OK.

    Jim Webb 7:39 AM  

    "26D Was the clue giver in Pictionary," seemed a rather long winded way to get to "DREW"

    Mr. Grumpypants 7:42 AM  

    SEAL A DEAL isn't even a thing, IMO. The idiomatic phrase is seal THE deal. That was my first "ugh" of the puzzle. There were more.

    GHarris 7:57 AM  

    I, too, can never remember whether it's aril or anil and the Nestle cross was no help. I guessed wrong and so dnf.

    L 8:08 AM  

    Ugh, ACNE needs to stop. Now.
    KNOTT - wtf? No clue what that is. Inadvertently wrote ANIL for ARIL, so stumped on AEROS, which are decidedly british, not American. Totally annoyed by this lame puzzle.

    Old Lady 8:08 AM  

    Rex, you know HARRIS tweed because that's what gusty old professors wore, with leather patches, when yoi were an undergrad. Is there any still on campus. Next clue for ACNE: the most annoyingly overused answer in recent memory in NYT crosswords.

    Two Ponies 8:08 AM  

    Bwana is a gimmee if you grew up on Tarzan movies.

    Old Lady 8:09 AM  

    Should be fusty old professors, although many were gusty and fussy.

    Anonymous 8:10 AM  

    Trump's election didn't create the leftists' hate, it revealed it.

    Nate 8:15 AM  

    SW corner killed me. BWANA, ARIL, and NONO were big swings and misses for me. That and I couldn't remember stupid AEROS.

    Other than that, it was a fine puzzle loaded with crossword-ese (Don't forget EWERS!) Perfectly cromulent for a Tuesday.

    chefbea 8:16 AM  

    What a tough puzzle. DNF...never heard of aeros candy. Apinch is not a dash in the kitchen. I have a set of three measuring spoons - a pinch, a dash and a smidgeon...they are different sizes!!!

    Nancy 8:21 AM  

    GAVE A RAVE? Nah. Instead I'll BOO A CLUE. Or maybe TWO. Seldom have I seen more crosswordese in a puzzle: ANIL and APNEA and ALKALI and ARETE and (oh, please, let it not be true) ACNE again!. Plus the many proper names of xword fame: ODIE and ADELE and LETO and ESAU and OMAN and seemingly the only city in Florida, OCALA. (When it comes to crosswords, St Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville and even Orlando, you don't exist, so don't bother to go looking for your names.) With the two exceptions of CHEAP DATE and WELLBORN, I thought this was a really stale and uninspired puzzle.

    QuasiMojo 8:33 AM  

    Yikes. Oh, Rex, why did you have to post that horrid (but hilarious) Travolta video? He looks like a cross between Lily Tomlin and a koala. It did make me miss Dick Clark though. Master of TACT. He knew how to work an audience. Wink wink.

    But, Rex, I need to point out it's "its" not "it's" when using a possessive.

    As for today's offering: Pass a Gas. Awkward and often inaccurate. It stank.

    Staples still sells ROLODEXES, so I don't think one can say they are obsolete which means "no longer produced or used; out of date."

    wgh 8:39 AM  

    This one felt dialed in to me.

    QuasiMojo 8:44 AM  

    WAIT, STOP THE PRESSES. I need new glasses. Mine are "obsolescent." I apologize for misreading the clue about Rolodexes as "obsolete." I am fallible. I am often wrong, too. Mea culpa. Phew!

    Mr. B 8:47 AM  

    I don't mind the occasional ADELE...but I much prefer ARIL or ADIT or that celebes ox over the random rap artists, fo' sure.

    Yup, knew BWANA from the Tarzan movies. Deborah of "Black Narcissus", now that is the KERR movie I really love!!! Nestle's AEROS was the only thing that gave me a bit of trouble (never heard of them) since this puzzle played much easier for me than yesterdays.

    Anonymous 9:06 AM  

    Need more acne

    Sir Hillary 9:08 AM  

    This was really boring. I could USEASNOOZE.

    Mohair Sam 9:09 AM  

    KNOTT an easy puzzle unless you knew your -ese and your berry farms. We did.

    Excerpt from Rock and Roll Classroom, Nancy Fancy -
    Tie Dye Tie:

    ". . . . And a tie's not all you can tie dye,
    you can tie dye a TUTU too!
    Take the TUTU, tie the TUTU, dip it in the dye,
    let it dry like the tie we dyed,
    now tear the TUTU in two.

    Now you've got two TUTUs to tie dye!
    Take the two ties you've tie dyed,
    and the two TUTUs you've torn in two and tied,
    and dip them in the dye . . . ."

    jberg 9:21 AM  

    It doesn't seem to be bothering anyone else -- but all the rhymes were spelled the same way, except SNEAK A PEEK. Go big or go home, I say.

    Otherwise, what everyone else said. Oh, and if you have trouble with star types, the menmonic is

    Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now (Smack!) You can interpret that last smack as either a kiss or a slap in the face. There are other versions.

    Aketi 9:27 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Aketi 9:37 AM  

    Take one of the SCOWLS and you have my reaction to ACNE ECHO. Then turn the lips from that face and flip them upside down and that is the @LMS reaction.

    @Rex, the kangaroo as mascot is an alt fact. The kangaroo is merely a carrier for the real mascot, the KOALA that hackers airbrushed out of the pictures of the logo on the airplanes. I found an untouched photo proving that the KOALA is real and riding on the back of the kangaroo.

    What's with the discrimination against ayes and yous in the theme?

    All I came up with is:

    I'm sure others can do better.

    Anonymous 9:37 AM  

    Re: KOALA, symbol vs logo, in my mind. Not every symbol is a logo, of course, but the logo can be one of many symbols.

    Otherwise, hand up for the mWANA/BWANA problem.

    GILL I. 9:47 AM  

    Ah, yes. Lovely to see the ole strumpet house in my Tuesday puzzle. This might seem oldy moldy to some but holy moley it had darkness everywhere. SCOWL OGLE LEER AT SPAR SNEAK GRAB TOADS HEAD ON....Sounds like the makings of a movie you'd take your CHEAP DATE to see.
    Well, at least my girl ADELE makes an appearance....Fire to the rain.
    I haven't flown Qantas in a while but when I did the service was excellent. I may have even had a crumpet with my TEA just before landing. KOALA was everywhere in their ads. Cute little critters - just like baby otters.
    NONO needs Nanette.

    Roo Monster 9:48 AM  

    Hey All !
    Well, PAC-man, unfortunately have to side with the meh-crowd on this one. Ese-full, SEAL A DEAL?? It's The. The ling Downs are nice, however, saving the puz from a total ugh.

    I think I got HARRIS Tweed from the similarity to the grocery store chain Harris Teeters.

    ZAP ACNE, please.

    Write about a toad? BLOG A FROG
    Beer art? DREW A BREW
    Dump water on an idiot? POUR ON A MORON
    Shoot gel into your veins? BASELINE A VASELINE.


    Nancy 9:52 AM  

    @Loren (6:32) -- so what's a mWANA? A Swahili master who blows kisses at you?

    Anonymous 10:12 AM  

    Yep, @Quasi, OFL certainly has his problems with his possessives and plurals. "It's" for "its" today, on the heels of "Sunday's" for "Sundays" two days back.

    And he's an English professor in the SUNY system? He's really put one over on them, with his appointment.

    Anonymous 10:24 AM  

    Rex has a lot of issues but I'm guessing knowing the difference between its and it's isn't one of them. Spellcheck just auto corrected it for me

    glen 10:58 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    old timer 11:01 AM  

    This Californian is old enough to have gone to KNOTT'S Berry Farm before there was a Disneyland. Fun rides of the old-fashioned kind, and always a jar of jam to take home of some flavor you could not find at the A and P. Not boysenberry, which I hated, but which was featured in their radio ads because a kid would ask, "Girlsenberries too?" BTW, the place was always given a recessive accent: "KNOTTsberryfarm."

    A delightful puzzle, more Monday-easy than Tuesdayish I thought.

    BWANA is a good Swahili word for "master". But when a friend and I went on Safari in Kenya, BWANA was used by our Kenyan guides in a joking way. It probably had been two generations since black Kenyans were expected to use that term to Brits and white Kenyans as a sign of respect.

    Nancy 11:11 AM  

    To Quasi and the two Anons who commented on Rex's egregious misuse of "it's": Curious, I went back to read Rex's comments -- which, as per usual, I hadn't previously looked at. And all I can say is that the "its/it's" mangling is just the tip of the iceberg. Good grief:

    "The theme is so remedial it doesn't warrant comment," says Rex.
    Remedial means "intended to provide a remedy" or "providing a remedy." What remedy, Rex, was the theme of this puzzle intended to provide? Did you perhaps mean that this puzzle was so bad that it couldn't be remedied?

    "What I noticed immediate, and which persisted... Guess it's not just possessive pronouns. I guess adjectives and adverbs are a problem too.

    English professors ain't what they used to be. I find the entire post unutterably depressing and I fear for the future of the American education system.

    Aketi 11:20 AM  

    MWANA is the plural of bana (=child) in LiNgala, though I prefer @Nancy's redefinition. Yup BWANA was either used to tease or insult a mundele in LiNgala too.

    QuasiMojo 11:24 AM  

    @Nancy, you got a big laugh out of me just now. Brava! But considering my own egregious mistakes of late I need to cut him some slack. These blog forms are often the cause of typos and grammatical errors. I need to put my text aside for a few minutes and then reread them before posting. Rex might do the same. But I find the robot thing spits me to post in haste lest it expires on me.

    QuasiMojo 11:26 AM  

    Haha. See? I meant to write "spurs" me not spits. But that damn autocorrect, as someone else noted, screwed me over. Lol

    Anonymous 11:27 AM  

    It's was used correctly in the post

    Aketi 11:30 AM  

    @Nancy, be afraid, be very afraid. You don't have a teen texting you so you don't see the worst of it. Grammar as we knew it (well maybe not me since I was taught stream of consciousness writing in high school) is dead. Cursive is definitely dead and has become a curiosity like Hieroglyphics for the younger generation. It does have an upside because the lengthy letters I wrote in cursive to my boyfriends when I was in Peace Corps and traveling subsequent to that will be indecipherable if my son ever finds them in the hidden drawer if my roll top desk after I'm gone,

    semioticus (shelbyl) 11:31 AM  


    I have some NYTimes crossword books that I purchased back in the day. If I don't have access to internet or want to stay away from electronics for a while, I turn to them. Because they are old, some answers don't make sense to me or ring any bells.

    That is exactly how this puzzle felt.

    Anonymous 11:33 AM  

    I think I'm skewing old. Or watching too much TCM. Probably both. Bwana was a gimme. Probably my favorite answer today.

    You can be sure Rex knows the difference between it's and its. OFL is a real piece of work- smug, arrogant condescending and more. He's also not nearly as smart as he thinks he is (who of us is) but its just as certain that he knows basic English grammar.
    And when he's not gratuitously knocking will Shortz, writes a pretty decent crossword blog to boot.

    Nancy 11:41 AM  

    Sorry, Anon (11:27) -- "Qantas thinks of it's logo as..." is wrong. "It's" can only be used to stand for "It is". The possessive of "it" is always "its." Check it out -- if any websites even exist to provide that information. Perhaps you had Rex as a professor? That might explain it.

    @Aketi -- I am alternately shuddering and chuckling at your witty, if alarming comment.

    Masked and Anonymous 11:52 AM  

    Real quick Guzzle-A-Puzzle solvequest, at our house. Put up very little fight. Furniture still has all its dust intact. Theme asks the probin question: When does a themer cross over from universally familiar phrase to @RP's "green paint"?
    Proposed progression chart …

    10. TOOK-A-LOOK. Iconic. 100% primo smooth stuff.
    9. SNEAK-A-PEEK. Iconic. 99% primo. [Woulda been 100%, but EA not = EE.]
    8. GRAB-A-CAB. Might be iconic in NYC, I reckon. Sooo … regionally primo.
    7. BAKE-A-CAKE. Cake. mm-mm. Also, cousin of the iconic TAKE-THE-CAKE, at least.
    6. GOT-A-SHOT. Past tense of iconic but unrhymey TOOK-A-SHOT.
    5. SEAL-A-DEAL. Close to yer iconic SEAL-THE-DEAL. [Has X-THE-Y themers been done before?]
    4. WROTE-A-NOTE. Has a vague paint smell to it.
    3. SHAKE-A-SNAKE. Iconic only for old dudes with lingerin dribble problems.
    2. PAINT-AINT-QUAINT. Totally goes rogue, on yer verb-A-noun setup.
    1. WHACK-A-MOLE. Don't rhyme.
    0. SCREWIT-A-PEWIT. Just glad M&A didn't hafta use this protest sign, today.
    -1. ACNE.

    NHS. Weeject of mystery winner.
    SSTAR. har. [Relatively cool, desperation-wise.]

    Thanx, Mr. Colins dude. L-U-ved the E-central sector.

    Masked & Anonymo3Us


    Anonymous 11:53 AM  

    It is a crosswordese hall of fame, what am I missing ?

    Anonymous 11:58 AM  

    Oh sorry missed the other it's oops, still give him benefit of doubt so ck

    Anonymous 12:05 PM  

    Micheal Sharp is too preoccupied pointing out the sliver in other people's eyes to notice the plank in his own.

    Anne Hamada 1:01 PM  

    It's means "it is" and therefore is used
    correctly. Come on, Xworders... you all should know that!

    Anoa Bob 1:03 PM  

    This seemed like an attempt to compensate for a paper-thin theme by cramming as many of them in the grid as possible, surrounding fill be damned. I think having, say, four of these simpletons backed up by interesting, sparkling fill would be a better way to go. That would really SEAL THE DEAL, methinks.

    So, I go looking for said interesting fill. BORDELLO and ROLODEX are about all that tickle my fancy, but unfortunately they are one and two letters short of their respective slots. S and ES to the rescue! Hey, if you can shorten a themer's letter-count for convenience, why not lengthen some fill for the same nonreason?

    Mr. B @8:47, "Celebes ox" contains two errors.

    The first: Celebes was the name given to the island by 16th century Portuguese explorers and it remained so during the Dutch East India Company colonial period. It only reverted to its historically correct name, Sulawesi, when Indonesia regained independence following WWII.

    The second: It's not an ox, it's a buffalo, the smallest, and I think noblest of the species.

    The correct version: It's an Indonesian buffalo and there's a picture of one up at the top on the right of my post.

    I've never visited an online chat room, but sometimes this comment board looks like what I imagine one would be.

    One and out.

    Joe Bleaux 1:03 PM  

    Hi, Nancy -- I think Rex's use of "remedial" in that context was an allusion to a school's "remedial" classes that focus on the basics of a particular subject.

    Joe Bleaux 1:12 PM  

    Got up, poured a cup
    Settled in, grabbed a pen
    First thing found?
    Two Down!
    More pimples!
    Too simple.
    What's next?
    Dissing Rex!
    What the hell?
    Oh, well ...

    Teedmn 1:16 PM  

    I DASHed through this like it was a super easy Monday, so I was flying on an SST (for a Tuesday). No KOALA symbols there (though those planes are totally dead, not obsolescent).

    For the second time in three days, I was stymied (briefly today) by a blue entry with my quick AnIL, joining several others here with that writeover. I vaguely remember seeing AEROS bars but if I have to eat Nestle, I'll go with the Crunch bar. NONO DNFm at least.

    This went by so fast, it was as if I GOT A SHOT or was ZAPped with caffeine.

    Thanks, @Mohair Sam, for the too, too many TUTUs.

    Joseph Michael 1:29 PM  

    Joe, you're a poet and you know it.

    Joseph Michael 1:31 PM  

    What a bore.
    NO, NO more.

    Masked and Anonymous 1:40 PM  

    Shoulda been "Mr. CoLLins dude", near end of first m&sg. Double-L. Hate to mess up the name, on a fine constructioneer.

    btw: Had no problem gettin the KOALA "symbol" clue, whether it's technically correct or not. Maybe twerk the clue to read "symboala", to cover all yer possible bases?

    @AnoaBob: Like yer approach of a few less themers (especially if some are gonna be desperate, anyhoo) in favor of more raised-by-wolves fillins.


    GR 2:17 PM  

    I must admit to drawing a sad face next to the SSTAR (eww/eew) clue, and to being rather underwhelmed by the theme (rhymes? really?).

    Let's see, something positive - 10D reminded me of "Let me check my non-Christian Rolodex" from the Simpsons back when it was still funny.

    Anonymous 2:24 PM  

    Can't believe Evil Doug hasn't come up with a rhyme for 'a duck."

    Dick Swart 2:25 PM  

    On campus in the 50s at a NE mens college, one could be scoured raw sitting between two students at dinner. Harris Tweed was the common denominator of odd jackets. On Spring Street, the House of Walsh windows were awash in the woolens of Harris. This changed in the spring, when seersucker appeared.

    Naryana Gora 2:30 PM  

    @semioticus - I think you described it well. So did Rex.

    Hey, quit picking on OFL.

    Easy-peasy. Stale.

    Still like PAC-man and his puzzles.

    How much less leering and ogling there might be if pornography were reined in.

    Aketi 2:48 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Joe Bleaux 2:48 PM  

    Takes one to know one, Joe😏

    Anonymous 3:36 PM  

    As per usual, the Manhattan kvetch continues to rudely freeload from her generous host.

    Uke Xensen 3:56 PM  

    This really was a dull one.

    Joe Dipinto 5:04 PM  

    Actually, no.

    ---Qantas itself *says* that it's "symbol" is a kangaroo---

    "Its" is not a contraction in this phrase, it is a possessive and therefore takes no apostrophe.

    Aketi 5:25 PM  

    @m&a finally came up with 1 with U for U

    What U might if you are an ice hockey player and the ref makes a bad call that pisses u off?


    Which is kinda what I want to do after trying to post this earlier on the subway where service went in and out and google (or goggkr according to autocorrect) blogger wanted way more authentication than the I am not a robot. I Thrn I missed my subway stop because I had to erase what autocorrect did to pissed off. I don't have a PUCK but my done does have an LAX ball.

    jae 6:36 PM  

    Easy for me and faster than yesterday's.

    EXaLT before EXULT.

    I still have a small plastic ROLODEX on my desk and I use it frequently, and yes I too might be drifting towards obsolescence.

    @Rex and the meh crowd make some good points, but I did like the long downs.

    Peter Puzzler 7:17 PM  

    @Dick Swart - I might've been one of those in Harris Tweed, although mine didn't come from Walsh's - Class of '58 here. You?

    Peter Puzzler 7:58 PM  

    @Dick Swart: just remembered - My Harris tweed jacket came from Rogers Peet in Boston.

    Anonymous 8:20 PM  

    Paris silk! Harris Tweed! There's only one thing I need!
    Got my tweed pressed
    Got my best vest
    All I need now is the girl.

    Got my striped tie
    Got my hopes high
    Got the time and the place and I got rhythm
    Now all I need's the girl to go with'em

    (That's Gypsy...Jule Styne music/Steohen Sondheim lyrics)

    Anonymous 8:29 PM  

    You may be right but, after today, you have only begun to see the hate.

    Anonymous 8:51 PM  

    Comey should've indicted Hillary. Good riddance.

    robert 9:22 PM  

    John Tesh's "decades-oldness " as far as cultural relevance...ahhh, Rex, your ageism is showing (again).

    Anonymous 10:56 PM  

    Thank God Nril Gorsuch and not Merrick Garland is on the Supreme Court. Count your blessings people, born and unborn.

    Anonymous 11:03 PM  


    Anonymous 11:11 PM  

    I'm confused

    Anonymous 11:15 PM  

    Hang on. DT can maybe share a cab out of DC with Comey because DT is going down.

    Dick Swart 12:01 PM  

    @Peter Puzzler

    Class of '56. 60th reunion was great fun. Be sure to make it back!

    Burma Shave 10:19 AM  


    at the BORDELLO’S VANE old BAG,
    she’ll SEALADEAL with a WELLBORN geek:
    a CHEAPDATE, with HEADON the hag.


    spacecraft 10:39 AM  

    Well, I DIDAGRID. I was not shaken to my roots, or moved to rolling on the floor. It was a puzzle. It filled the gap between Monday and Wednesday. A spacer. A certain amount of anticipation was built up with SNEAKAPEEK, LEERAT, OGLE and BORDELLO...but then all we get is a CHEAPDATE with ADELE, or KERR, or KEATON. Oh, OK, Diane is kinda cute--and funny. Give her the DOD.

    I like the seamless insertion of the X and Z, proving that it's possible to Scrabble-**** without ruining your grid. TRAVOLOTA is a welcome visitor--one of the few in this puzzle that seem fresh.

    Fill problems detract: the RIHL and the RIS (random institute of higher learning and random initialized star) included. And then there's the National Honor Society, which I have NEVER seen acronymized. After all, it's an HONOR; spell it out.

    Nothing terribly painful here; score it a par.

    OH, forgot Julie HARRIS: honorable mention.

    Diana,LIW 12:53 PM  

    Did I mention that one day at the gym someone had "The Doctors" on TV, and they were explaining how to pop a zit? In excruciating detail. Took about 5 minutes. Maybe we could call them up and have them take care of our current case of ACNE.

    Seems like Mon and Tues got switched this week, eh? Pinch in the kitchen was "salt" before DASH. Other than that it was smooth sailing.

    Correction to yesterday. @Rondo is the 4th best puzzler in the galaxy, and our @Teedmn is fifth best. Whoo hoo to both.

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, all caught up on the comics

    leftcoastTAM 1:24 PM  

    Mild Tuesday fare spiced up by the OGLEs and LEERs in the BORDELLOS.

    Never heard of Nestlé's AEROS.

    rain forest 2:55 PM  

    As Tuesdays go (what the heck does that mean?), this was just fine. Impressive volume of theme material which led to a "release the '-ese' feel to some of the puzzle. However, as we all know, crosswordese can't be avoided, especially with so much theme material, so not a problem here.

    I must finish up just before Jeff Sessions begins to dodge and weave during his hearing with the Senate. Thus, I liked the puzzle, especially the long downs. AERO bars are common here in Canada, and they are pretty good, like today's puzzle.

    rondo 4:06 PM  

    Umpire’s task: CALLABALL
    Certain fisherman’s task: SETANET
    Was familiar with some: KNEWAFEW
    Have a quick drink: POUNDAROUND
    There must be thousands and who cares if it’s an old concept. If Tuesday is flyover day this puz is quite acceptable.

    NHS is the National Highway System in my world, and a well-known acronym at work. Basically all the Interstates and U.S. highways. Not your state and local roads.

    Ever since Looking for Mr. Goodbar I’ve had a thing for yeah baby Diane KEATON.

    @Teedmn and I actually had the exact same number of points, I won the tiebreaker for slightly better time on the third puz. @Teedmn was faster on the first two puzzles and is almost always a better solver than I am, IMHO. @Teedmn would kick my butt in the Expert division any day. Probably find that out next year.

    Fair Tuesday fare. Let’s HEADON to Wednesday.

    Teedmn 7:14 PM  

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, @rondo. But I have a talent for shooting myself in the grid. As you say, we'll have to test it next June.

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