Former Cleveland Orchestra conductor George / THU 6-15-17 / European sister brand of buick / Old beer with ad line from land of sky blue waters / 2000s Japanese P.m. / Suisse sweetheart

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Constructor: Richard F. Mausser

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "THE DIRTY DOZEN" (53A: Hit movie released on June 15, 1967 ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme) — twelve different answers (w/ asterisked clues) must be preceded by "DIRTY" to make sense

Theme answers:
  • JOKE 
  • JOB
  • LIAR
  • RAT
  • WORK 
  • LOOK
  • TRICK 
Word of the Day: OJAI (61A: California tourist destination) —
Ojai (/ˈh/ OH-hy) is a city in Ventura County in the U.S. state of California. Located in the Ojai Valley, it is northwest of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara. The valley is about 10 miles (16 km) long by 3 miles (5 km) wide, surrounded by hills and mountains. The population was 7,461 at the 2010 census, down from 7,862 at the 2000 census. // Ojai is a tourism destination with boutique hotels and recreation opportunities including hiking, and spiritual retreats, as well as for a farmers' market on Sundays with local organic agriculture. It also has small businesses specializing in local and ecologically friendly art, design, and home improvement—such as galleries and a solar power company. Chain stores (other than a few gas stations) are prohibited by Ojai city law to encourage local small business development and keep the town unique.  // The origin of the name Ojai has historically been known as derived from a Native American word meaning nest. The city's self-styled nickname is "Shangri-La" referencing the natural beauty of this health-and-spirituality-focused region. While there are no known references, it is commonly claimed that the mountains visible from the city were used, but then cut, from the 1937 movie as the mystical sanctuary of James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon. (wikipedia)

• • •

It's an anniversary puzzle that actually appears on the right day, so that's something. Also, the mirror symmetry grid looks kinda cool. Beyond that, I don't know. It's clean enough, and there are some OK answers here and there, but this gimmick was transparent, and it made the puzzle overall way too easy. The only interesting part was the revealer, which provided an answer to the annoyed question I was asking in my head from about 5 seconds in until I finished: "Why is this happening!?" I got the "dirty" angle before I ever even got out of the teeny NW corner. I thought there'd be other words involved somehow, but no: "dirty" just kept coming. Made all the asterisked clues a cinch to get. I finished in under 4 (!?), which is about where I was Tuesday, and a good half minute faster than yesterday. I like this better than I would a puzzle where LORETTA'S WIT is a theme answer, but honestly that's not saying much.

I would tell you where I struggled, but I didn't. I held back writing in a few things to make sure the crosses checked out, and I balked at least once at writing in IDEATE, despite the fact that it's the first thing I considered (37A: Brainstorm). I think of the clue as a noun, but of course it can also be a verb. Only place I can imagine someone's having trouble is maybe in the SZELL / LPNS section (i.e. the SE). Nope, wait—my wife just came in and told me her error. She'd never heard of HAMM'S (5A: Old beer with the ad line "From the land of sky blue waters"), so she guessed TAMM'S, thinking (re: 5D: Giggle), "Well, that's a really stupid way to spell TEEHEE, but OK ..." To be fair, the correct answer is also a really stupid way to spell HEE HEE.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 12:14 AM  

By George, Ex-SZELL-ent Thursday puzzle by @Richard Mausser (sorry about the lame pun, still a bit giddy about yesterday's puzzle). Fill was about as good as one could reasonably expect, given the extraordinary theme density. I can see a general concern--specifically articulated by @Rex's wife--about HAMM'S, but their abandoned brewery still stands in Saint Paul, not that far from us.

In addition to the 50th anniversary of "The Dirty Dozen" celebrated today, we have less than two months to go for the 30th anniversary of "Dirty Dancing" (good for @Rex for providing graphic!) More on the backstory of today's puzzle is related elsewhere, and is quite interesting.

Yesterday, @mathgent asked for more chemistry jokes, so here goes: "What did the scientist say when she found two isotopes of helium?" Answer: 5-Down in today's puzzle. Seriously, I approve of the clue for today's 10-Down.

Answer to yesterday's trivia question: 5 JAMES (Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, and that's not even counting Carter who went, officially, by Jimmy), 4 JOHN (Adams Sr., Adams Jr., Tyler, and JFK) tied with 4 WILLIAM (Harrison, McKinley, Taft, and Clinton), 3 GEORGE (Washington, Bush Sr., and W). Bonus trivia question: Only one other U.S. Presidential first name has occurred more than once -- what is it?

Ben 12:19 AM  


Anonymous 12:21 AM  

What about Franklin?

Robin 12:29 AM  

Set a personal record for a Thursday with this one. Dead easy one you get one or two of theme answers and realize what's going on. The reason was good, although even at a fairly young age, I realized that that was a pretty disturbing movie.

HAMMS was the first answer I wrote in. It may have been the first beer I ever drank; many, many years ago.

Brian 12:33 AM  

Same boat as Rex's wife with tEHE instead of HEHE being my error - I've known a couple LPNS to make the other potential stumbling block Rex mentioned a non-issue, even though SZELL was something I knew I'd never get by itself.

Honestly, I'm surprised Rex didn't complain more about SZELL - looking at xwordinfo, the clue was used 3 times while he was actually conductor, in the 50s and 60s (he died in 1970). 4 of the other 5 usages have been in the past decade, which screams "I got in a constructing jam but this NYT-derived wordlist saved me." In any case, *any* city orchestra conductor seems like such obscure trivia that one should be wary of it, but it feels like it's not an especially rare genre of clue. Maybe I'm just especially uncultured.

That aside, the puzzle itself was pretty easy, and I don't have a ton of complaints. I go into Thursday expecting tricks, but this was really straightforward, and I didn't get the theme until sussing out my very last corner. I will say, of no fault of Richard Mausser's, that solving this puzzle on the NYT desktop site was distracting - there's *a lot* of starred theme here, so when you fire the puzzle up and start on 1A, it seems like about a quarter of the squares light up as related (and it continues each time you hit a themer while you're solving).

Brendan Hill 12:47 AM  

Now I can't get this jingle out of my head.

jae 1:03 AM  

Yep, easy. Like @Rex no real problems except I'm trying to remember if there was a cartoon bear in the HAMMS commercials? Caught the theme early but did not anticipate the revealer. Gave me a HEHE, liked it.

@lms from yesterday - Of course I had no idea on the correct spelling of PIEROGI(sp?). I just waited for the crosses to do it for me and fortunately did not run into anything iffy.

chefwen 1:10 AM  

Much easier than yesterday's puzzle.

HAMMS beer is a JOKE, so I like that pairing. We used to buy that when we were teens, it was the only beer we could afford.

Opal before OPEL (do it every time) and askew before AMISS. SZELL could have really messed me up had it not filled in by itself.

Cute puzzle that was over too quickly.

jae 1:24 AM  

...and I've been to OJAI (hometown of the bionic woman) and it's very nice if you enjoy luxury resort getaways. It's where I bought the slacks I wore to my granddaughter's high school graduation today.

Larry Gilstrap 1:31 AM  

I caught on to the DIRTY theme angle early on, but where's the rhyme or reason? OFL said, "Why is this happening?" I hit the revealer and for the second day in a row experienced the Aha! Maybe, a bit easy for a Thursday but I'm no young solver and brother! this thing skewed old. Exhibit A: ADAM, followed by Exhibit B: INCA.

Seriously, mind if I get nostalgic? The Saturday Game of the Week with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blattner was my introduction to baseball. "He slud into third base" was often the call from Dizzy and his trademark rendition of the "Wabash Cannonball" delighted my young ears. One of the sponsors was The HAMM'S Brewing Company which featured some cool animated advertisements, "Hamm's the beer refreshing!" GOOGLE IT!

THE DIRTY DOZEN blew my mind on the big screen. Steve McQueen is a POW with a motorcycle? Go figure! The Nazis were portrayed as dolts.

I guess W. C. Fields has fallen out of favor currently, but he commanded the screen with some funny, irreverent comedy. The character referenced in the puzzle was Egbert SOUSé, "accent grave over the "E", as he tells us early on in the film. Does TCM ever feature him?

Randy 1:45 AM  

I'm only 28 so I'm too young to remember Hamms commercials, but I was at a bar drinking a Hamms while solving this puzzle so I got to look at the can and get the answer.

Randy 1:48 AM  

It's a shitty beer but it's still a cheap staple at bars in San Francisco

Aketi 2:17 AM  

Yes, I'm one of those who had tEHE before HEHE. Could also be a double dose of balloon filler.

On last spring's California college road trip, I had the good fortune to snag a really excellent Groupon deal for a spa resort near OJAI. Since we were driving from UC Santa Barbara to an early tour of Pomona the next morning, we didn't really have time to take advantage of the spa amenities, but the food was stellar. We did have a HEHE over the dessert menu which featured a moutainous chocolate dessert topped with whipped cream with caramelized bacon. Not exactly the type of dessert I expected in a spa resort.

Anonymous 2:17 AM  

Missed opportunity for "Sanchez". On second thought, maybe not.

Unknown 3:10 AM  

thank the good topic.

gclub online

Anonymous 3:17 AM  

You're thinking of "The Great Escape." THEDIRTYDOZEN is the one with Trini Lopez as a condemned murderer.

Thomaso808 4:53 AM  

I like this puzzle. At first I was disappointed because it was so easy and I was looking forward to some Thursday trickery. But after realizing the 50th anniversary thing and the density of fill, I decided to appreciate it for what it is, a pretty well constructed puzzle with a cool, deadline-driven theme. I really like the mirror symmetry.

On the Xwordinfo site the constructor says that the 57A / 57D combo POOP / POW could have been otherwise (COOP COW, BOOP BOW, LOOP LOW, etc.) but he was trying to "subliminally influence" a reviewer to get a POW (puzzle of the week). Instead, he used the POW coincidence to dedicate the clue and answer to Adam West. Nice thought!

Thanks, Richard Mauser, and congrats on your second published NYT puzzle!

Unknown 4:56 AM  

Good review, but note that her name is LORETTA SWIT. It's not a pun on how clever she is.

Loren Muse Smith 5:33 AM  

I had a nice little aha moment because unlike Rex, I didn’t see the “dirty” part until later. My first themer were LOOK, MONEY, and WORD, and I had in the margins

evil Look, blood MONEY, and cuss WORD.

So the reveal did what it’s supposed to do. With THE DIRTY DOZEN, everything cleared up. Cool.

Before that, though, at the very beginning, that left/right symmetry had me seeing some kind of man and I kept trying to fit “Frankenstein” for 53A. That the clue said it was released in 1967 did not stop me one bit.

The first time I saw The Dirty Dozen, I was stunned. I loved it. The whole premise is terrific. To assemble a rag-tag team of crack soldiers who happen to be criminals… so fun. That’s why Armageddon appeals to me so much. Bet there are tons of other movies out there that do the same.

That LORETTA SWIT wasn’t a themer bothered me a bit, but if you squint your mind eye and remember back, she was, well, not pristine.

ORDER – I was reminiscing with my daughter recently of a time we went into McDonald’s on some road trip. She ordered her sensible chicken wrap or some such, and then I said, “I’ll have four double cheeseburgers.” I hadn’t thought to tell Sage I was going low carb. So she was caught off guard and got tickled. And I got tickled. I tried to tell her that I was just eating the meat and cheese, but I couldn’t even get it out. There’s not much more delicious than that cheap-a#$ meat and fake-a#$ cheese and miraculous little see-through onions and limp pickles. (When I first started this, the idea of ordering doubles had not occurred to me. I would order 8 hamburgers, and then to throw the employees off, I would pull out my phone like I was reading and say, “But three of those need extra ketchup and two are no ketchup. The rest are normal” That way they thought I was ordering for a buncha kids. I don’t know why it mattered to me that they not judge me.)

I’ve never had a bad beer. Obviously.

@George – it’s not a chemistry joke, but my favorite is one I’ve shared here before. A photon walks into a hotel and the bellman asks him if he needs help with his luggage. The photon answers, No thanks – I’m travelling light.

Nice tribute puzzle.

BarbieBarbie 5:53 AM  

@LMS, McD's adds sugar (well, probably HFCS) to their hamburger meat. Your meals weren't low-carb.

I too did not get the theme until the revealer, which left me with only one themer to fill in in my enlightened state, so average time for me. I even spent time trying to make DIRTY MARTINI into a rebus. Ah well.

Nice puzzle, though I agree that all the blinking on my tablet was pretty amazing. Kind of a light show to end Flag Day

BarbieBarbie 5:56 AM  

Oh, and @LMS: physical chemistry and photochemistry are both big on photons, so you win!

Lewis 6:32 AM  

Quick and dirty, caught on to the theme right away. Not a POW upon getting the reveal, but a lovely warm smile. I never heard of a dirty MARTINI, but I'm not a hard liquor drinker. My DIRTY inner eight-year-old quickly found a Boggle style PEE (starting with the p in OPEL) to go with that POOP.

Echoes of recent puzzles -- IDEATE (two Saturday's ago) and ADAM as race originator (last Saturday it was EVE).

It sounds like Richard made multiple versions until Will accepted this. Thank you for that dirty work, sir -- this was enjoyable to solve!

Cassieopia 6:37 AM  

Super easy and got the dirty trick right away, so filled asterisked clues first. Sticking places were RIRc/cAR and TOgO/OgAI. Nothing else even put up a struggle. On my phone, the grid was so appealing to look at that I added a good 30 seconds to my time in admiring it.

Passing Shot 6:48 AM  

Solti before SZELL but otherwise, WAY too easy for a Thursday.

QuasiMojo 6:54 AM  

OJAI y'all! WAY too easy for a Thursday. I got the theme right off the bat and just filled in the rest. Never felt HAMM fisted. A MEEKER person might compliment its TEPID thrills. But I prefer much more of a challenge this time of the week. Although I have no idea what an LPN is. It was fun to see George Szell.

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

Trick question

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Anonymous 7:12 AM  

The hatred continuously professed by Michael Sharp will lose to the love that lies in the hearts of those who care about our country's future. I'm glad I never taught my children to hate.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

This is the week when the utter condemnation we get from @Rex on a regular basis should be coming out. We had that ridiculous powerful explosive on Monday, yesterday’s Jewish organization, and now the terrible SZELL/LPNS crossing. Guessed right, but that is awful.

My DNF, however, was at TOTO/OTAI, which was just careless as TOJO is valid, though OJAI (population 7,627) is not.

And as @Rex points out, HAMMS is pretty obscure so to cross that with HEHE is questionable.

Anonymous 7:20 AM  

Franklin Pierce

kitshef 7:30 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith - if movies about a group of criminals assembled for a mission are your thing you might like the recent Suicide Squad moves.

Though statistically that's unlikely as no one else did ...

kitshef 7:40 AM  

@George Barany - methinks your question is flawed.

Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson

And as has been pointed out, Franklin Pierce and Franklin Roosevelt

(and Wilson/Jefferson if you go with first names rather than commonly used names, in which case John gets an addition thanks to Coolidge).

Z 7:46 AM  

I must be getting a little puzzle-jaded because this one did not warm the cockles of my heart. That mirror symmetry led to a box-o-threes in the middle that just annoyed me. EIN RRS OPP ABE Meh. Got the trick too early so no real aha! moment for me and no movie that glamorizes war and violence thrills me anymore. RWNJ killing people because they're black. LWNJ taking pot shots and congressmen. All of them imagining in their own minds that they are Lee Marvin or the equivalent. Is this the puzzle's fault? Of course not, just not going to be amused by this theme today.

Is it well-contructed? Yep. Just not my cuppa.

Anonymous 7:47 AM  

I often times agree with Rex, but can't summon his hatred.

Mo 7:47 AM  

Y'all are a withholding bunch if you didn't admire that the twelve specialty clue slots are mirror symmetrical! Surely that's a feat? I thought it was worth doing an eyes-closed easy to see that.

Stro, not so much.

Bella 7:55 AM  

Screwed up at never having heard of KELLY GREEN, alas. I had BEAT instead of BELT for the across and could not figure out what I was doing wrong.

Wm. C. 8:01 AM  

@Prof Barany --

I call foul to your count of 5 presidents with the first name James.

Yesterday, I said six, explicitly noting that this includes James Carter. James, in fact is his given name (James Earl Carter, Jr.), even though he was familiarly called Jimmy.

Just as John Kennedy was familiarly called Jack, and William Clinton is familiarly called Bill; both of whom you list above by their given names, while denying this to Carter in your count of 5.

Further, Carter was not OFFICIALLY called Jimmy, he was called that familiarly, or unOFFICIALLY; his OFFICIAL name is JAMES Earl Carter, Jr.


GHarris 8:04 AM  

I'm with Rex, easy once I changed dog to rat. Also with Mrs. Rex, dnf because never heard of Hamm and believe tehe is the better answer.

chefbea 8:18 AM  

Great puzzle although I have never heard of Ojai or Szell. Had the aha moment when I got The Dirty Dozen!!!

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

I hate when LWNJ take pot shots and congressmen.

Joseph Welling 8:23 AM  

@ Unknown 4:56

I'm pretty sure Rex knows that and was suggesting a theme where last names beginning with S could be clued as possessives.

How about "86's store"?

Joseph Welling 8:28 AM  

Or "Agarn's flashlight"?

abalani500 8:44 AM  

Easy theme, easy revealer but a DNF thanks to the HAMMS/HEHE cross (had 't') and the SW - never heard of OJAI, TOJO or HOAR which made that corner impossible. Also the "L" in the SZELL/LPNS was a pure guess. Ironically up to those points on track to my fastest Thursday ever, but alas it does not count

Two Ponies 8:48 AM  

This was packed with enough theme answers to make me forgive a few groaners.
How can you not grin at poop and stink eye?!

Ojai sounds like a place I would avoid at all costs.

Pusillanimous is a cool word. Sounds like a way to call someone a pussy without them even knowing it.

@ Z, Can't we just enjoy the puzzle without bringing up current events? Puzzles are meant to be diversions.

kitshef 8:57 AM  

Continuing down the rabbit hole ... Carter was sworn in as Jimmy, while all the other Jameses were sworn in as James. Kennedy was sworn in as John, Clinton was sworn in as William (twice).

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

Apropos the remarks of Larry Gilstrap at 1:31 a.m. I too like the W. C. Fields movies. I think part of the problem is that he will occasionally cuff a child, which makes people nervous; and I think also that there is, very occasionally, a racist remark, perhaps in reference to African Americans and, I suspect, Chinese as well (as in *International House*, which has many of his best sexual innuendos). Thus TMC can edit these out, and be accused, rightly, of being too PC (and undermining, I suppose, "artistic integrity"), or it can leave them in and be accused of racism and making light of child abuse.
[Anon. i.e. Poggius]

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

Who's watching Colbert and Maddow tonight? Show of hands please.

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

@Brian - George Szell was not just another conductor of another town's orchestra. He made a mark both in performances, development, and recording. Big city orchestras have the money and fame to attract top talent. That's why a conductor who is able to bring real success and a stamp of uniqueness to the smaller cities or regional orchestras makes such an impact on the system as a whole. Direct analogs in the sports world: the Yankees are leading...big whoop. It's the player/coach/manager of the other teams that gets to be known for the accomplishment. Szell is very much on that list. This isn't saying that people shouldn't be Naticked by his name (both Szell and Solti feature the delights of Hungarian spelling) - just to say that he is not an obscurity reserved for crossword puzzles. He's no one-hit wonder.

Sir Hillary 9:13 AM  

Disappointing for a Thursday. WAY too easy, and the theme and revealer were so obvious that my solve felt like a Sunday -- finishing just for the sake of finishing. Fitting that it included TIMID and TEPID, because it was booooooring.

Only thing I could enjoy was that AMISS is OPPosite ORDER.

So, is a "no-good con man" involved in SZELL games?

Wm. C. 9:13 AM  


More rabbit hole: OK, so Carter preferred his familiar name ("nickname") to his given ("official") name, and therefore elected to be sworn in by it. Clinton and Kennedy preferred to be sworn in by their given names.

Purely a matter of personal preference, nothing to do with what were there "official"-versus-"familiar" names. James and William and John, versus Jimmy and Bill and Jack.

Just out of curiosity: do you think that there were only 5 presidents named "James," because "he [Carter] went officially by Jimmy?"

oldbizmark 9:21 AM  

No to OJAI/TOJO cross and HOAR. HAMM'S is terrible. Otherwise, Monday easy.

Hungry Mother 9:24 AM  

I never drank HAMMS but I remember the commercials. Very nice theme which I got early on and was helped by it.

Mohair Sam 9:31 AM  

Fun, but easy for a Thursday. This past weekend I sat through a "Making of the Dirty Dozen" short on TCM, so the revealer popped right in as quickly as I saw 7D (the planet's most undrinkable concoction, imo). Avoided the two naticky areas by having suffered through one HAMMS beer in my lifetime, and owning a SZELL Cleveland Orchestra CD (Mozart's Jupiter).

Best scene concerning "The Dirty Dozen" may actually be in "Sleepless in Seattle" when Tom Hanks breaks down in mock tears over the death of Jimmy Brown's character. "Oh God, I love that movie" he weeps. Every time I've seen "The Dozen" since I chuckle when Jimmy buys it.

As soon as I saw the "George" clue I feared old @Barany would be LOOSED upon us again with another chemistry joke. I was right. He was outdone by @Lauren with her "traveling light" groaner however.

Remember LUZON. Insomnia put me in front of an auction reality show where a LUZON head hunter's killing axe sold for $475. An expert said it was only 50 years old. Think about that. LUZON is off my bucket list.

Richard 9:34 AM  

"Giggle" is sort of an all-purpose clue, isn't it? Could be HEHE, TEHE, TEHEE, TEEHEE, even HEEHEE.

Nancy 9:35 AM  

What is this Tuesday Pretender doing in our Thursday puzzle? What a TRICK to play on us, Will. HOWDO you get away with such a TEPID offering? I expect to IDEATE on Thursdays and I didn't have to. Not one bit. Nor was there even one HEHE in the entire puzzle. I think I'll EXIT now. What a disappointment.

Nate 9:38 AM  

I'm going to be the grump and grouse about this one. It's old. Very old.

I have no idea who LORETTA SWIT is. Google tells me she was a character actor on a bunch of TV shows in the 70's and 80's. Okay, fair enough.

I have no idea what HAMMS beer is. Apparently it's an old beer. There are so, so many great and terrible current brewers in the world. Please choose one of those.

How does POOP = "Lowdown"? Is this old timey slang?

WC Fields. Alright I got that one anyways, but I wouldn't expect even a small minority of people born after 1980 to know much about WC Fields other than that he existed.

Barry Manilow? Come on.

A conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1950's and 60's?!?!?! Come. On.

I've said this a million times, but I don't harbor any sort of grudge against old clues, I just hate when they are not counter-balanced by more current trivia. Unless you don't care about the future of the NYT crossword puzzle, don't make the puzzle impossible to solve if you're under 50.

GILL I. 9:43 AM  

I wonder if this puzzle would have been more comfortable on Wed...?
Cute enough. I think I misspelled LORETTAS WIT's name about a DOZEN times.
So MANILOW is a DIRTY liar? He writes the songs but doesn't?
@Two Ponies....OJAI is a little piece of paradise. It's beautiful. If you like to hike, the valley is your place. The village is charming. Can't say enough about the place. If you ever go, stay at the Blue Iguana Inn.
Oh, and why is SOP a conciliatory gift...?

boomer54 9:57 AM  

loretta swit wasn't a theme answer ?

Wm. C. 9:57 AM  

@Gill I. --

First Google response --

Sop: A thing given or done of no great value to appease someone whose main concerns or demands are not being met.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Anyone still plan to watch Oliver and Maher?

Hartley70 10:03 AM  

Very, very predictably I fell short on STRO. I'd never heard of Minute Maid Park, but guessed it would be in orange and grapefruit country. Even when MARINA gave me the R, I was looking at it as "SainT RO" and was at a loss to grok the meaning of the answer. I had to google Minute Maid Park.... seriously Texas?

It was easy, otherwise, but it was a fun romp through the "dirties".

Robert C 10:09 AM  

Yesterday's answer: either include Carter for 6 James or exclude Clinton (who goes by Bill) for 3 William.

Two Ponies 10:11 AM  

@ Gill I,
While Ojai might have physically beautiful surroundings I suspect I would be very irritated by too many rules for this independent gal.
Besides, I live in the middle of a national forest so natural beauty is right outside my door.
Also, sop, as clued, was strange to me as well. I only know it as a verb as in sopping up gravy.

RooMonster 10:26 AM  

Hey All !
Did ya miss me? Or even notice I was gone? :-) Crazy computer wouldn't connect to the internet starting on Sunday, so had to take it to a place to get "refreshed" on Monday, and didn't get back till later yesterday. Ugh.

Anyway, liked the puz. I'm a fan of lots of theme, as I've said before. Nice that Richard went with left/right symmetry. All the corners were kinda wacky. SW with POOP, OJAI, TOJO, HOAR, yikes, although I was hung up in NE with (any letter)SAT, LIPID, ACA (can never remember that!). STRO also got the side eye LOOK from me. We keep getting lazier in our pronunciations, trying to reduce everything to one syllable. Hey, Bub, you seen that flick? Twas great, lots of 'splosions and car chase. Gonna drink beer now. Getting back to caveman grunts...

Got to go back and do a few if the puzzles I missed. As the kids say, Late.


Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Anyone going to Shakespeare in the Park tonight and clapping like a scared robot?

Lewis 10:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 10:35 AM  

1. THE DIRTY DOZEN was the vehicle that launched Donald Sutherland's career. He memorably played someone with not too much upstairs.
2. A week ago, Rex recommended a graphic novel called FUN by Paolo Bacilieri. He said "it is beautiful, and genuinely informative re: the crossword." So I got it and I must agree that the artwork is beautiful, worth the price of admission. But there really isn't a lot of salient information about crosswords, just a bit of history here or there. Still, for those who haven't read many graphic novels, this would be a nice intro to a genre I adore.
3. What's with Rex? Four days in a row with hardly a tirade. When is the last time that has happened?

mathgent 10:36 AM  

Too easy, but saved by evoking memories of that terrific movie. I still remember the scene where Jim Briwn, the Hall of Fame running back, sprints across the roof of the building where the Nazis were partying, dropping grenades down the ventilation ducts.

@George Barany: Thanks for the joke.

Those of us who proudly proclaim that they have never heard of a certain entry remind me of people who, when learning that I was a mathematics teacher, brag, "I hated math."

Long time no rebus.

William Jefferson Stonewall Sessions 10:38 AM  

Good song by Ray Lamontagne, who reportedly is as big an asshole as Sharp is.

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

I had _A_INA at 26D, then had a mini heart attack when (initially mis-)reading the clue.

Other than that, same experience as Rex except for also struggling with OPEL/OPE and OJAI/HOAR.

GILL I. 10:52 AM  

Thanks for the info @Billy C. In my Google world (left wing California - home of governor Moon Beam), the first definition was Standard Operating Procedure. Like @Two Ponies, who lives in Paradise, I thought of some stale bread you use to SOP off the left-over store-bought gravy that's dripping down your chin.
Meant to add that THE DIRTY DOZEN was one of my all-time favorite movies. I think I watched it about 3 or 4 times. My favorite actor (I actually liked them all) was Telly Savalas. I thought it was his best acting role.
"Down to the road block, we've just begun." (I looked that up in my Google just to be sure).

Joseph Michael 10:52 AM  

Not really a Thursday puzzle, but the fifty year anniversary of the film justifies its appearance today.

Figured out the "dirty" part right away and was happy to see it come together in THE DIRTY DOZEN which was a nice payoff. Also thought that the themers were well selected. From dirty JOKE to dirty LOOK, each was an established "dirty" partner.

With SHOW IN, HOWDO, and SAID HI, it's also a friendly puzzle.

It's a "dirty" shame that June 15 of this year didn't fall on a Tuesday, but you can't blame the constructor for that. Thanks, Richard, for showing us just how filthy our language can be.

Craig Percy 10:53 AM  

You're conflating the great escape with the dirty dozen, no?

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

Accent aigu

old timer 11:00 AM  

Technical DNF because I had "Kealy" GREEN and, since I solve pen on paper, was not forced to go back and change it to KELLY. But having the paper meant I had the asterisks, so as soon as I thought "dirty" must precede each theme answer, I was off to the races.

All in all, I enjoyed it, and I ended by counting to make sure there were a full DOZEN themers in there. Impressive!

I put in HEHE because it fit, but was sorry it was not "tehe" or "tehee." A word I first saw in The Miller's Tale spoken by Alison, whose hairy erse was kist by Nicolay.

@George, it is really, really nice to see you continue to comment so regularly. I enjoyed thinking about repeated names of Presidents.

Anonymous 11:07 AM  

Lewis said...
3. What's with Rex? Four days in a row with hardly a tirade. When is the last time that has happened?

The last time Rex 'got lucky' during the previous weekend.

Lars 11:17 AM  

Didn't know about the anniversary. Not knowing that excuse, ditto @Nancy and @Nate. Accepting that reason, even so just OK. Themers and symmetry highlights, but much of the rest questionable, especially southern corners.

kitshef 11:21 AM  

@Wm C - No, of course I agree there were six Jameses. Just throwing out presidential fun facts.

If presidents went by birth names, we'd have had a Hiram, a David and a Leslie.

Malsdemare 11:35 AM  

I agree this was easy but I'm with those who found it fun. I really like "The Dirty Dozen." So many truly good actors and a terrific plot. Lee Marivin is great but my favorite is Charles Bronson. Y'all will laugh, but he reminds me of my 100 lb malamute who didn't have to growl or lift a lip to settle things down. He'd just stand up and plunk himself between whatever dogs or people were getting hot-headed. He stopped a Dobe from mauling a small dog during an obedience trial, and averted several fights in our house. I sure do miss my Mucho Poocho.

Anonymous 10:43. I went back to see to what you were referring and almost spit out my coffee. Too funny!

There's a MASH episode in which Swit wants a new foot locker (can't remember why, something about was giving her fits) and she's told that it won't be replaced as long as it's functional. So the last scene of the episode has Swit drag the thing outside and shoot it multiple times. She then announces it had turned on her for no good reason and she has to defend herself. I am not doing the scene justice but as someone who has wanted to blast computers, sewing machines, lawn mowers, etc to kingdom come I laughed myself silly.

I caught the dirty part about halfway through which really sped things up. I chuckled when I hit the reveal. Okay, it didn't make me work hard but sometimes the fun can outweigh the work.

Joe Bleaux 11:43 AM  

Are you calling Hot Lips a (ahem) winter frost?!

George Barany 11:52 AM  

Quick mea culpa for the inept/inaccurate phrasing of my bonus trivia question about U.S. Presidential first names, but much appreciation for the numerous erudite comments. Correct answers (plural) = Andrew* (Jackson, Johnson) and Franklin (Pierce, FDR). Then, of course, there are several examples, already cited, where birth names were different from the ones commonly taught, and where conscious choices were made between formal (like James, William) and informal (like Jimmy, Bill) names.

* David Kahn had a Schrödinger puzzle on March 3, 2011, based on Andrew, with the bonus information that both had also served as U.S. Senators from the great state of Tennessee.

It is also noteworthy, given today's discussion, that in all three prior appearances of the M*A*S*H actress in New York Times crossword puzzles, her name was parsed as LORETTA'S WIT. See: Richard Silvestri on February 6, 1983, Alan Arbesfeld on December 27, 1990, and Peter Collins on January 11, 2015.

Anoa Bob 12:03 PM  

Twelve of anything is too much for a 15X15 grid. Barely SAID HI & HOW DO to the puzzle before I got the TRICK with JOB & JOKE. Words that follow DIRTY? Pretty TEPID stuff, methought. After three or four more DIRTies, I was burnt out and my will to IDEATE any further was undone.

So I go looking for a SOP. OPP OPE? TOJO STRO? TIMID LIPID? OPINE EIN SYNE? CHERI sans Oteri? NAY. Time to EXIT to the RIRE.

Mr. Clean 12:06 PM  

How appropriate that the day after the D.C. Shooting the Puzzle should commemorate the most violent and sadistic movie ever made. Good job, guys!

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

What Robert C said!

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

Re the Barany trivia question:

There's another presidential pair -- Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Woodrow Wilson.

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

@Unknown. Rex was just saying if a puzzle had a theme in which a theme answer is "Loretta's wit," he wouldn't like it. He knows MASH.

Hartley70 12:31 PM  

@Anonymous 10:45, good one!

@Mathgent, in my defense, I loved math when I had a good teacher, as I'm sure you were. The teacher made all the difference.

1820 Stone Colonial House 12:59 PM  

Grew up in the NJ at time when there were dozens of regional breweries like Ballantine, Pabst, Stroh's, and Rheingold (remember the Miss Rheingold beauty competition?) competing. My dad was partial to dishwater like Old Milwaukee and Horlacker. Never heard of Hamm's though. I'll bet a Hamm on rye was a popular boilermaker combo.

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

How much violence is enough for the "resist" hatemongers like Michael Sharp?

Larry Gilstrap 1:11 PM  

Thanks for the correction about my confusing The Dirty Dozen and The Great Escape. I'm no movie expert, obviously.

Dick Swart 1:19 PM  

Hamm's ... from the Land of Sky Blue Waters:

One of St Paul MN's contributions to society.

GILL I. 1:22 PM  

@Anony...._A_INA....! Berth!!!
Thanks @Hartley. I went back up to read it. Good roar.
It pays to read ALL the comments!

Teedmn 1:22 PM  

From the land of sky blue waters, AKA Minnesota - the commercials were memorable, the HAMMS beer was not.

This was not a DIRTY TRICK Thursday - got the "trick" at 1A but why we had dirty puzzle entries had to wait for the revealer.

Hah, I took the PSAT before calculators were common - they had been invented by 1977 but no one I knew owned one. So for 19A, I initially put in ebAy, thinking the 25 min. no-calculator had something to do with the auction? Hmmm.

At 31A, several characters were coming home from WWI before NAM. But after I had an INSTANT WIN and berthed at the MARINA (like @Malsdemare, I agree that Anon 10:43 had a great mis-read) I was able to SHOW IN the dirty MONEY.

An impressive construction, RFM, and a nice sophomore effort. Thanks.

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

Do you ever get tired of writing to yourself on this blog? Many of us are continuing to hold out hope for that to happen. We get that you despise the owner of this blog and anyone who opposes Mr. Trump. But, no one cares what you think. No one is going to be influenced by your writing so, why don't you go somewhere else. We would all be so grateful.

Suzy 1:45 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle! The Dirty Dozen is one of my favorite war movies. Where Eagles Dare is in the same vein. And yes,
@LMS, I too have a dirty laundry secret-- I like a McDonald's cheesburger!

Anonymous 1:52 PM  

Anonymous 1:40

I kinda care what he or she says. Makes me know I'm not alone in my disdain.
Lots of regular posters heer bang the same drum all the time. Z comes to mind. Aketi talks so much about Brazilian Jujitsu I could spit. Nancy loves tennis. Should they all stop talking about their pet subjects? After all, I'm sure we all get it.
Anonymous wrote all of 11 words, and frankly, asks a reasonable if a little pointed, question. I see nothing wrong with that. My question, is why do you? How do eleven words on a blog harm you enough to suggest that he or she should stop speaking? Your arrogance is amazing to me.

jb129 1:53 PM  

I enjoyed it despite getting stuck on Hamm's - a pleasant Friday experience!

A Listener 2:01 PM  

Had _A_INA for 26.D, but got hung up trying to figure how 25.A could be ADAV. and 36A could be STGO. But then, I'm a retired obgyn.

Pete 3:19 PM  

@1820 Stone...- I thought my father was the only person to ever drink Whore-Liquor. In fact, I thought he personally kept the brewery in business.

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

The venomous vitriol spewed by Sharp certainly doesn't help mend the sharp divide this country has seen the previous eight years. Maybe we should call him Sharp Divide.

Anonymous 4:15 PM  

Just a few example of the "tolerant left".

1. Kathy Griffin 'Beheads' Trump in Graphic Photo

2. Madonna – "I've thought a lot about blowing up the White House."

3. Snoop Dogg "Shoots" Trump in the Head in Music Video

4. Robert De Niro: "I'd Like to Punch Him in the Face"

5. Joss Whedon: "I Want a Rhino to [F---] Paul Ryan to Death"

6. Shakespeare in the Park Stabs 'Trump' to Death in Performance of 'Julius Caesar

10. Rapper YG Threatens Trump with "[F---] Donald Trump" Song

11. Marilyn Manson Kills 'Trump' in Music Video

Merlin Maarit 4:26 PM  

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Doc John 4:58 PM  

OJAI is where the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman were from.
SZELL was the villain in the movie, "Marathon Man," brilliantly played by Sir Laurence Olivier.

Rob 6:01 PM  

Absolutely horrible puzzle, worst in a long time. I'm shocked Rex didn't hate it and I'm shocked more of you folks didn't. I guess I'll be the crank for today. Incredibly easy for a Thursday, including the themers -- except for a couple of very difficult ones. I guess HAMMS is a thing people know in some places, but I've never heard of it, and I've seen the NYT spell TEHE in stupider ways than that.

As for the rest of the puzzle, utter garbage. OPE OPP HEHE STRO IDEATE POW SORER. Crossing OJAI and TOJO was pretty mean; SZELL at least had easy crosses. The gimmick was fine, I guess, but obvious, and shoehorning all that in makes for some terrible fill. Hopefully tomorrow's puzzle will be edited by someone sober.

Joe Dipinto 6:05 PM  

Dirty Picture is the only themer that seems slightly off to me. Dirty Movie, I think, is much more commonly said. I was surprised to see George Szell here after all this time. I still have his recordings of Brahms's Symphonies that I bought in college.

mathgent 6:20 PM  

Just after I complained about not having my Thursday rebus, I started in on the WSJ Thursday. I'm OK now.

Anonymous 6:39 PM  

Dirty poop

jb129 9:18 PM  

oops - meant enjoyable "Thursday puzzle" - we'll see what Friday brings!

Mark Rukavina 9:31 AM  

Same here. Hamms was one of the sponsors for the Green Bay Packers back in the 60's when I was growing up in Milwaukee. "Hamms, the beer refreshing".

Burma Shave 9:43 AM  


But of her DIRTYLAUNDRY that DIRTYLIAR never spoke


rondo 11:30 AM  

DIRTY-est puz I’ve ever done, no JOKE. Not SHOWIN’ any write-overs, so not that tough.

When I turned 18, the legal drinking age at the time, nearly every bar in MN had HAMM’s on tap. HAMM’s on tap was really good, probably because it hadn’t traveled far from the brewery. Soon after HAMM’S was sold to Olympia and that was the end of HAMM’s as we knew it. HAMM’S can still be bought (for cheap) in cans around here, but it’s not what it used to be. Made by the Miller conglom, I think. The HAMM’S Bear commercials were very memorable. Minnesota is Dakota Sioux for “clear water”. Not DIRTY.

LORETTASWIT as Hot Lips Hoolihan seems to be te choice for yeah baby today. A DIRTYJOB, but someone’s gotta.

This puz might not have been so DIRTY if someone had cleaned up the POOP.

Aphid Larue 12:37 PM  

@lms, I have been reading your comments, and really was intrigued by your lesson plan for the sunbather poem. Might you be able to share it? I brought that poem to my reading group, and we will discuss it next Tuesday. Thank you.

spacecraft 12:40 PM  

I'll never see the name SZELL without thinking of Olivier's chillingly brilliant portrayal of "der Weissangel." Oh, that sleeve knife! I very nearly DNFed for the second day in a row because of the Natick at 5. Hand up for tEHE, a weird variant, before deciding that maybe HAMMS sounded a little better than Tamms. Whew!

THEDIRTYDOZEN is one of my favorite movies, so this one played pretty easy outside of the problem square. It had to be tough finding 12 "DIRTY" expressions--and the fill shows it. RIRE SLYS STRO...I won't go on. It's nice to see LORETTASWIT's full (figured) name for DOD; honorable mention to Marilyn Monroe, who so memorably played Inge's CHERI in "Bus Stop."

Interesting grid, not top-bottom symmetrical. "Is it safe?" Par.

Diana,LIW 12:46 PM  

Had the same error as @Rex's wife - even tho I could hear the old commercial jingle. Te he. And spelled OJAI with an H. Maybe it was the H from HAMMS that fell down to the almost bottom.

Other than that...I enjoyed getting the dirty dozen. Could hear "you dirty RAT" in my head. (I know, it's good that I didn't hear it in my foot, or knee.)

My opening was George SZELL, giving away THEDIRTYDOZEN, a movie I saw long ago with my mom. We didn't much like it. It had great reviews, but wasn't in our movie oeuvre. SZELL, OTOH, was a given - high school band to the rescue once again. Still have some of his old LP recordings.

Sitting here attempting to ignore my sore lower gums - 6 new temp crowns yesterday. Hey @Lefty - take care of those gums! Gum surgery 20+ years ago turned me into a great dental patient and general tooth carer. (I had a career as a carer.) But, several years ago, post-op treatment with radioactive iodine ruined (insulted, as the MDs say) my salivary glands, which in turn irritated my jaw and put it out of kilter, and left me with dry mouth. The last couple of years bits of teeth started chipping off. RAI - the gift that keeps on giving. Went out and bought a kid's tiara, which I wore to my dentist's office for the official crowning for the first 16 permanent crowns. Yeah, I know, it's a royal pain.

Off to finish up some, now clean, LAUNDRY.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 4:02 PM  

Took me much too long to dig out THEDIRTYDOZEN revealer.

Started by looking for a rebus, which didn't help matters.
Nor did Solti instead of SZELL and pRanK instead of TRICK.

But the DIRTY PICTURE started a BRAINSTORM and I finally IDEATEd my WAY through it.

A kind of delayed INSTANT WIN.

Anonymous 5:59 PM  

Two Mistakes today despite solving without any hints. HAMPS instead of HAMMS. and TITO instead of TOJO. There letters off. Still four days in a row looking up any answers.


thefogman 6:07 PM  

SZELL and HEHE got me. I had SZEiL and tEHE instead as my knowledge of conductors from Cleveland and antique beers is limited. Similarly I have no idea what an LPN is. Sad.
PS - There are much more dirty people than LORETTASWIT. I would have preferred to see 20A reclued in order to have you-know-who occupy that spot.

rain forest 8:02 PM  

Here's a twofer.

I got home from my little trip to Whistler this afternoon, and solved both yesterday's and today's puzzles. Liked them both, especially Wednesday's.

Not gonna comment much because it's way too late, but I have to mention that Hamm's is the beer that spawned a joke up here in Canada. Q: Why is drinking Hamm's like making love in a canoe? A: Because it's, er, f%#king near water.

Other than that, I've liked the whole week of puzzles, and I must say that if I want information on something, I GOOGLE IT. Hah!

Scott McLean 12:03 PM  

Tuesday easy, with a gimmick not worthy of a Thursday. The revealer did get a smile out of me, but definitely not worth OPE LPNS EIN LSAT OPP RRS NAM TSK ACA.

I had tEHE for a moment (slightly less terrible than HEHE, but not much), but the Hamm's Bear and I have been good buddies for decades, so that T became an H as soon as I saw that clue.

Still not sure what an LPN is, but I vaguely recall seeing the abbreviation before, and no other letter made sense, so I avoided that Natick.

Overall, not an awful way to spend a few minutes in the morning, but meh.

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