Father of Ahab in Bible / 1001 causes of anxiety / 51 cats / Relative of snowboard / Strangely repulsive sort / Composer whose name is Italian for green

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: something and one somethings ...  — clue is a number of some entity? and the number is a roman numeral followed by that entity, which combined constitute an unclued word:

Theme answers:
  • MI STRESSES (17A: 1,001 causes of anxeity?)
  • CI STERNS (26A: 101 rear ends?)
  • LI FELINES (37A: 51 cats?)
  • VI EWINGS (53A: Six members of a "Dallas" family?)
  • DI VERSIONS (61A: 501 renditions?) 
Word of the Day: OMRI (14A: Father of Ahab in the Bible) —
The Omrides, Omrids or House of Omri were a ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) founded by King Omri. According to the Bible, the Omride rulers of Israel were Omri, Ahab and Ahab's sons Ahaziah and Jehoram. Ahab's daughter (or perhaps sister) Athaliah also became queen regnant of the Kingdom of Judah. (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm still trying to figure out how I solved a Tuesday puzzle with this strange a theme, with all long-Down corners, in slightly under my normal Tuesday time, especially when the entire NW felt like a takeoff disaster. I guess once I locked onto the theme, I took off like a shot. But if the whole puzzle had gone the way it began, this would've ended up Challenging. So the thing about long-Down corners is they are somehow tougher on average than long-Across corners. With the latter, all the short Downs are lined up in a row and you can pick a bunch off and then have at the longer Acrosses, but in long-Down corners, you gotta eyeskip all over to find the short *Acrosses* to help you with those Downs, and that always goes less well. Anyway, today, HOMELAB IMINAWE PRSTUNT were a mini-wall of pain, esp. crossed by OMRI (who?) and "AW, NUTS" (which is fine fill, but toughish to pick up).

That wall of pain was also crossed by the first themer, and though maybe I should've, I did not see the Roman numeral gimmick up front, so I needed Every Single Cross to get MISTRESSES, and even then was like "??? ... Dude, if your mistress is causing you anxiety, maybe you shouldn't have one (let alone one thousand and one)." Somehow the "LI" at the front of LIFELINES jumped out as a Roman numeral after I read its clue (37A: 51 cats?), but even then I wasn't sure what was happening; I got most of LIFELINES from crosses, and after realizing "LI" was the "51" in question, I (of course) assumed it was in play *twice* in that answer (i.e. I didn't see LI FELINES, I saw LI FE / LI NES). That themer is absolutely terrible for that reason. I'm still stunned that you'd go with this theme and then choose an answer that has the Roman numeral in it twice, and both times at the *beginning* of words (LIFE and LINE). Bad form. But I figured out what was going on and from there, the puzzle skewed Easy.

It's always slightly weird to end up with words in the grid that haven't been (literally) clued at all. Bothers some people. Doesn't exactly bother me, but it would be nice if a stronger gimmick were in play here. This one's just ... curious. Interesting. Answer themselves aren't exciting. Grid as a whole is OK, with perhaps too much OMRI (my new word—today only!—for short gunk like GYNT and ETTE and ATTA and OMRI).

Theme has me reparsing all the answers in search of new possibilities.
  • [Puts the wrong wig on a performer?]
  • [Seabirds whose gender identities match the sex they were assigned at birth?]
  • [Long island train routes for shipping iron?]
  • ["Get in the competition, mysteriously long-running NBC TV show from the '90s!"]
  • [Wetsuit wearer's charged particles?]
Well that was at least as fun as solving the puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


BarbieBarbie 6:06 AM  

Good Tuesday. Not tough, and I didn't immediately figure out the theme but got the aha before the second round, so was able to bang in some crosses and then finish in average time. The theme gave me first a puzzled huh? and then a giggle. So, medium for me AND very enjoyable. Thanks.

Anonymous 6:13 AM  

Michael didn't Savage this one too badly.

Loren Muse Smith 6:14 AM  

I feel like I’ve seen a Roman numeral theme, but my steel colander of a mind affords me new and wondrous delights in the world of themes. I loved this one. So simple. Rex – I couldn’t disagree more with your take on LIFELINES. I didn’t even notice the other LI, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since the trick is the numerals at the beginning of the phrase.
Seeing that LIFELINES can be 51 felines is completely worth the price of admission. And second is VIEWINGS. Hah!

I also got a real kick out of the clue for CREEPO – “strangely repulsive sort.” What a great phrase. Would it be better to be a conventionally repulsive sort? Startlingly repulsive sort. Frequently repulsive sort. Charmingly repulsive sort. I think I’ll be a secretly repulsive sort.

Bruce – I have 150 asses (well, almost) to deal with. Ok – so they’re not so tough this year, but still…

Loved this idea!

@BarbieBarbie (from a couple of days ago) - no, this school has no auto shop; students take a bus to a place called the Career Center to learn mechanics, welding, and such.

BarbieBarbie 6:16 AM  

Can anyone explain today's Mini? Please be cryptic in case people haven't solved it yet. Or, late in the day.

puzzlehoarder 6:24 AM  

Last Saturday's time was an underwhelming disappointment. I spent almost the exact same amount of time on today's puzzle and was pleasantly surprised. A lot of the time came from mot getting the theme until halfway through the solve. The NE was another issue. I had a LIPS supported by PROTEST write over. PROTEST perfectly supports both ENT and BETE. When LAUDS couldn't go in I wasted time trying to come up with an alternative. All was fixed in the end of course but I managed to get some puzzlement out of a Tuesday.

Aketi 6:28 AM  

Got it at CI STERNS.

Liked the HIPS ENDOW SHAH, not that you could ESPy the STERN when someone wears a robe.

Johnny 6:38 AM  

My only problem was figuring out the last letter in CREEPO, because MONOSKI still doesn't seem like a real word.

Also, you should watch the movie "Tombstone" just for VAL Kilmer as Doc Holiday, which is just terrific.

smalltowndoc 6:41 AM  

Picked up on the theme right away. I think this was quite clever and very enjoyable. One of the best Tuesdays in a while.

Matt 6:54 AM  

I never ever do the mini, but was curious so I did todays!

LINGO reads like L in GO (GLO)
MINTY reads like M in TY (TMY)

Anonymous 7:11 AM  

I think the last theme answer is also problematic because you have 504 ersions as well. Theme would have been neater if extra Roman numbers in the theme answers were avoided.

QuasiMojo 7:22 AM  

Fun Tuesday. No quibbles today. I always thought "Bette Noire" would make a good drag name.

kitshef 7:22 AM  

This has to be the worst-clued puzzle since … well, since last Tuesday, which was much worse. But ‘ATTA baby’? How about ‘ONTO the next’ as a stand-alone phrase?

The theme, however, is a delight. VI EWINGS in particular tickled me. And LI FELINES. So, despite my clue reservations, loved it.

Hungry Mother 7:24 AM  

Had tvSTUNT and couldn't figure out anything else. I had to reveal the P and the R to get it. DOH!

George Barany 7:33 AM  

@Bruce Haight is likely relieved that today's puzzle was not 40-Down by @Rex; in fact, the initial commentariat 24-Across its theme. I liked the puzzle's cultural bent, with MISTRESSES Ford, Page, and Quickly all being key characters in VERDI's last opera, "Falstaff," based on Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor."

clk 7:37 AM  

I guess your puzzle experience is quite different when you're racing the clock, but since I'm not I loved this puzzle. I caught onto the theme at CISTERNS and then was able to go back and get the others. My biggest problem was lIPS/iMRI, which led to liMELAB, which could maybe be a thing but seemed unlikely. That made the corner especially tough for a Tuesday, though ultimately gettable.
I don't get the grousing about multiple Roman numerals in an answer. The clues make it very clear that the numbers are up front.

evil doug 7:53 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
evil doug 7:59 AM  

Any puzzle that has PRIVY, CISTERNS, HEAD and DOO is okay by me.

Given what we are normally force-fed on Tuesday, this grid isn't just tolerable-- it's haute cuisine.

GHarris 8:04 AM  

Once I grokked the theme it was fun. Still got a big dnf because I had lips don't lie and ont for the doc which led to Imri and wound up with a meth lab in a limo. Seemed logical.

Isaac Mayo 8:08 AM  

But why were 5 themers clued with numerals ... but VI Ewings clue Six spelled out?

chefbea 8:09 AM  

Got the theme right away!!! Agree...NW corner was brutal

Now to do the Mini

mmorgan 8:10 AM  

I liked the theme but got triple-Naticked on --MELAB without kmowing -IPS or -MRI. Sigh. But I liked the theme.

Joe Welling 8:18 AM  

Isaac Mayo said...
"But why were 5 themers clued with numerals ... but VI Ewings clue Six spelled out?"

The AP Style rule is to spell out numbers up to nine and to use numerals for higher numbers.

ColoradoCog 8:20 AM  

Typically (for me), Mondays and Tuesdays are done only to keep a streak going, not for any sort of fun. Today was a delight. Tuesday level of difficulty, but late-week level of enjoyment.

OMRI was also new for me, but now that I know it, I'm surprised we don't see it as often as, say, our favorite Roxy Music co-founder and Ambient music pioneer.

Cassieopia 8:22 AM  

@mmorgan my experience exactly. Not being up on meth production methods, biblical lineages, nor Shikira's oeuvre, I ended up with liMELAB which seemed just as valid.

PoopyPants 8:36 AM  

I'm not usually on the same wave length with this constructor, but this one I liked and Rex' nits did not bother me. But OMRI...OMG.

Sir Hillary 8:46 AM  

Excellent Tuesday! Nah, better than that -- this is an great theme on any day. We always complain about Random Roman Numerals here. Well, this puzzle flips the concept on its ear - nothing random about them. I chuckled at all V themers, especially LIFELINES and VIEWINGS.

Other stuff:
-- IMINAWE of CREEPO and PRIVYTO. Great answers both.
-- Initially had Sos instead of SPF. Think of the song by The Police.
-- I tried to MONOSKI once. Way too hard for me.
-- Took me forever to parse LEADORE. Kept pronouncing it like Theodore.
-- Re: @LMS's avatar, my beloved Six rulers? started the season well last night.

Two Ponies 8:53 AM  

Crap, "beat-up RV" wouldn't fit for 1D.

Say, that's a catchy tune. Who wrote it?
Some guy named Joe Green.

chefbea 9:05 AM  

@Barbie Barbie I did not get the mini either. Email me when you understand it

Anonymous 9:16 AM  


Sharon Ballan 9:27 AM  

Caught the theme at "viewings" and from there on it was easy. Though Omri got me for a while.

RooMonster 9:28 AM  

Hey All !
Caught the theme finally at VIEWINGS, as thought the numbers in the clues were just arbitrary. Then saw VI EWINGS, and a prolonged "Aaaahhhha" as I want back to _ISTERNS and saw it to be CI STERNS. And then LI FELINES. Then uttered a "Heh, pretty neat!"

So I liked this TuesPuz. Interesting grid in the fact of the triple 7 Downs in each corner. You don't usually see that in a themed puz. Also a low block count, 34.

Agree with NW being toughest part. Had everything else, had to go back to finish there, managed to figure most everything out, but (of course) had my one letter DNF at OMRa/SaT. ARGH! Loved @Two Ponies 8:53 1 Down answer!

AWNUTS good. Crazy UTAHN again (what happened to the other A?).


anon. 9:29 AM  

See Matt at 6:54am

OldCarFudd 9:29 AM  

I was also double-Naticked in the NW. My first pass at 1 down was trailer. As an old car freak, I often hear of a trailer being stolen by bad guys who want to use it for making drugs. They open the trailer and find a brass-era car inside. How in blazes are they going to fence a 1908 Buick? Surprisingly often, they just push the oldie out in the road and make off with the trailer. The car is found in a day or two, virtually undamaged; the trailer is never seen again.

Passing Shot 9:33 AM  

This felt tougher than a typical Tuesday for me, but I enjoyed it. I think this is the first Bruce Haight puzzle I've liked in a while. Took a while to get the twist, nice crunch.

RAD2626 9:39 AM  

@chefbea. Look up to @Matt 6:54,for full explanation.

Liked puzzle for all the reasons cited. Terrific Tuesday treat. Only issue for me was MONOSKI was last entry and when I looked at it I read it to sound like ""buttinski" so had no idea what it meant. But figured it had to be right.

jberg 9:46 AM  

How does @Loren feel about this puzzle? LE ADORE.

That's all I can come up with. Perry ELLIS has been dead for 31 years, though I still have a shirt he designed, so I guess he's crossworthy. As for the theme, loved it.

Writeovers: sanEST before WIS, ATE away before INTO, both quickly fixed. On to Wednesday.

Mohair Sam 9:47 AM  

@Cassieopia - Same exact natick for the same exact reason in this household. Apparently we're not alone - maybe we all need to join a bible study group.

Terrific Tuesday puzz. So good in fact that OFL refrained from ripping a Bruce Haight offering, a rare sight indeed.

jberg 9:49 AM  

@ACME, you commented late yesterday, so I just saw it. I see you've got your groove back, re: varying your name. Congrats!

Nancy 9:51 AM  

Plain wonderful. I would have welcomed this any day of the week, but on a Tuesday, it's a very special treat. Until my eye finally travelled past 17A -- where I was fixated on choosing between dISTRESSES and MISTRESSES -- to see that 17A was only the first of a theme that then made complete sense, I was finding this extremely challenging in the NW. I didn't know LIPS (1A), I never heard of LIME LAB (1D) and I didn't know IMRE (14A). Once I cottoned onto the theme, the puzzle got much, much easier, but it remained consistently interesting and clever. Loved it.

Bob Mills 9:53 AM  

Good puzzle, even though quite easy...except for the NW corner.

Lewis 9:55 AM  

@george -- Yes, usually Rex does savage Bruce. This is a relative rave.

The brilliance of this puzzle was coming up with the theme. Once that happens, the theme answers would seem easy to come up with, and the puzzle relatively easy to make. But has anyone ever done this theme before -- I don't remember seeing it before, and huge props to you for that, Bruce. Not only that, getting the theme for me brought a very nice aha. This was one terrific Tuesday.

Nancy 9:57 AM  

Oops. It helps to look at the solution once in a while. As you can see, I had a DNF in the NW for the same reasons as others. And I was so sure that LIPS don't lie. HIPS don't lie either? Never would have thought of that.

Yaffa Fuchs 10:03 AM  

Easy for me today except for " hips"

Ellen S 10:17 AM  

I wanted HOMELAB but resisted HIPS for a long time. OMRI took every cross and they weren't easily come by. Not sure when I got the theme, anyway, well before they were all filled in, and liked it. I re-evaluated my opinion of the puzzle after seeing how much @Rex didn't like it. In retrospect, I liked it a lot.

My favorite writeover (and for the first time in a long time, I didn't use the "Clear Error" crutch) was 26 Down where I had confidently written in baskEtS. When I got the theme and put in CISTERNS, I wondered for an embarrassingly long time why anyone would bring a CaskEt to a picnic.

Joseph Michael 10:17 AM  

Entertaining twist on Roman numerals. I enjoyed figuring out the theme and then sailing through the rest of the grid. Along the way, I especially liked the clue for DUELS and the slur CREEPO.

Also enjoyed Rex's reparsings of the themers.

The only thing to Haight here is OMRI, which is a little damnation in a puzzle that is otherwise 501 vine.

@Matt, thank you explaining the Mini. I would never have figured it out in M years.

Malsdemare 10:28 AM  

@chefbea and barbiebarbie. i don't get the mini either and Matt's explanation was too dense for my fogged in brain. If someone figures it out, can you email me?

I KNEW liMELAB was wrong so ran the alphabet to get HOMELAB. I, too, liked this a lot, thiugh I surely wish I couod remember the value of the roman numerals; I always stumble on 50 and 500. I have a PhD; you'd think I coukd learn this; you'd be wrong.

I think my favorite was LIFELINES; the mental image of 51 cats scrambling over a sailboat cracked me up! Actually, I really liked them all.

Thanks, Bruce!

Whirred Whacks 10:31 AM  

Another Bruce Haight gem. Lots of fun to boot!

Have you noticed that Rex likes to give Bruce's puzzles an extra "F*ck You" by releasing his reviews of them in the morning (rather than at midnight)?

Ted 10:36 AM  

Really challenging for a Tuesday. Lots of little bits made it hard to get a grip, especially the NW... but really they were everywhere.

LEADORE? CREEPO? PRIVYTO? These are not Tuesday.

jb129 10:44 AM  

I enjoyed it - surprised that Rex thought it was Medium at first.

RTWhite 10:45 AM  

Put in an XI- entry to complete the set, reset the entries in order from least to most (or vice versa), find a DI- that isn't DIV-, and you get a HOF NYTimes Tuesday Puzzle. But as it stands right now, thanks for playing!

hankster65 11:06 AM  

HIPS don't lie? That was actually a song? I was stuck on LIPS for about a year and a half. Seemed like it anyway. Quite a challenging Tuesday. Very enjoyable.

Cassieopia 11:10 AM  

@mohair sam - hahaha, yes, we can study the bible in a HOMELAB while listening to Shakira. Count me in! Based on @nancy and others, we would have a good group.

I should have complimented the constructor in my earlier post, as I *adored* the theme once I got it. I thought it clever beyond words, and utterly delightful. I had never seen that theme before, either. Bruce Haight gets a rave review from me for this great puzzle. A+!!!

Tim Aurthur 11:13 AM  

Thought for a sec there was a Don Giovanni thing going on with 1001 mistresses - until I remembered it was 1003.

Found this super clever and didn't notice the problem with 37A. OMRI was a killer. Staring at it in disbelief doubled my solving time.

Stel 11:14 AM  

Cis terns. Happy.

The Clerk 11:16 AM  

Quite enjoyable! Reminds me of the Manchester City Liverpool match last weekend, where the scoreboard said: MC LIV

Masked and Anonymous 11:18 AM  

U know U are a crossword nut, when U immediately start tryin to come up with XI- themer candidates … of which there ain't many, btw.

Really great TuesPuz. thUmbsUp and thanx for the fun, Mr. Haight.

staff weeject pick: ITD. Better clue: {One NFL score?}. Shows the weejects some themer respect. Honrable mention to DOO (yo, @Evil D).

Best ow de speration moment: RETAG. Honrable mention to the NW corner.

fave fillins: AWNUTS crossin IMINAWE. Also fond of PRSTUNT. Nice vowel monopoly event.

XIPHISTERNUMS = {11 frat house breastbones??}

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Anonymous 11:18 AM  

#Loren, 150 Asses? This goes out to all my teacher friends immediately.

AW 11:39 AM  

Add me to the list of people who don't get today's mini, even with the profered explanation. 7A and 3D refer to a rebus, but the "reveal puzzle" function on the crossword app just shows two strange words. Huh? Can someone explain it (clearly and in detail for those of us who are rebus impaired)? Thanks!

GILL I. 11:40 AM  

I bet if Bruce's first name had been Paolo he would have received accolades up the kwazoo.
This was fun and different. Not sure where I finally got the theme but I had fun during the process. I love an AHA! on a Tuesday and I got me one.
If it's Shakira, you bet your bippy the HIPS don't lie. Nor does the booty. Didn't make THAT mistake.
HOME LAB conjures up my being in awe of Walt in "Breaking Bad" and for some reason, wanting him to succeed as a drug kingpin. Ah....greed just gets the better of us all. I had withdrawal when that epic series ended. I'm having the same anxiety as I approach season seven of "Game of Thrones." I was finally shamed inbto watching it and now I'm totally fixated. Lots of CREEPO's in that series.
Loved this Tuesday Mr. Haight. Made my Tuesday more fun since today is going to be another f.....ing hot day.

Warren Howie Hughes 11:49 AM  

How VERDI was my Valley? Was this Tuesday Xword Puz, courtesy of Bruce Haight, more challenging than usual, SHAH Nuf, you BETE it was! Show dat HOAR to da DOOR!

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

1001 mistresses = Bill Clinton starter kit.

boomer54 11:59 AM  

RE: 06:13 comment ... Michael Savage needs no plugs ...He's the poster boy for AAD and OCD ...

RooMonster 12:13 PM  

@Gill I 11:40
Although Breaking Bad was an awesome show, I was pissed off he lost his money twice! Couldn't you have ended the series with a happy one?


old timer 12:14 PM  

OFL generally hates Haight, so he must have swallowed hard before admitting that some of the puzzle was worthy of praise. Nits, of course, were picked. I got the theme right away with MISTRESSES, because the Downs in TRESSES were Easy.

Still, the puzz was slow for me, for a Tuesday, I too had trouble finding HOMELAB IMINAWE and PRSTUNT, all of which were needed to get OMRI. At the bottom, DI VERSIONS was easy, VI EWINGS not so much. It's been a long time since that TV show was on.

GILL I. 12:23 PM  

@Roo...I know! Another favorite is "Ozarks." I'm always interested in how drug lords can actually spend their money without getting caught. In "Ozarks" they cleverly "wash" the money so it looks used. I've dreamt of finding a bag full of $100,000 and then I conjure up ways to spend it. I mean you can't really go into a Ferrari dealership and plunk down the payment all in cash, can you?

Hal 12:45 PM  

Or roller derby.

Lewis 12:59 PM  

@RTwhite -- There is no XI- entry. Simply no word in English that will work. What comes closest is "xiphoids" and what can you do with that? Bruce did the best with what was available!

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

I backed into the theme when ___T_ESSES had to be something STRESSES and my first guess of dISTRESSES didn't match the 1001 count. But that MIST along with ENT were very lonely for a long time. BETE noir was my savior today - seems rather oxymoronic.

Did anyone else consider fUELS vis-a-vis Pacers in 25D?

SPF was Sos as beach bottle letters for too long, making PROD and LIFELINES hard to see. (LI sE_INES what?)

Bruce Haight, this is one of my favorite puzzles of yours. I deem it challenging for a Tuesday (4 minutes over my normal average) but that's fine with me.

@Loren, thanks for your avatar shout-out to the Minnesota NFL team. @M&A, thanks for the XIPHISTERNUMS!

JC66 1:51 PM  

@ Lewis

There are plenty of words/phrases that start with 99 (IC), 999 (IM), etc. I wouldn't be at all surprised that you'd come up with few that would work.

Mohair Sam 2:25 PM  

@M&A - I thought you were having a slow day until Xi Phi Sternums. No words.

Lewis 2:34 PM  

@jc66 -- But it wouldn't match this puzzle's theme, IMO, which in all entries has the "I" as the second letter.

Hartley70 2:36 PM  

My post has disappeared twice. In short, I loved this puzzle.

JC66 2:44 PM  

@ Lewis

You're right, of course. But, maybe you could construct a puzzle for us egotists. ;-)

Hartley70 2:45 PM  

Blogger is playing silly buggers. It sent my avatar and profile back to last winter when there was snow on the ground. We can't trust the machines.

Deej 3:24 PM  

Am I really the only one who solved the entire puzzle - entirely from crosses - without sussing the theme? Even after I was done, I stared at it in confusion, somehow completely missing the Roman numeral thing, until reading OFL's writeup.

At least the mini, I could figure out after solving...

TooManyJens 3:36 PM  

Re: the mini: In this case it's rebus as in "punny puzzle," not rebus as in "multiple letters in one space in a crossword." I've never really understood why the latter one is called a rebus.

So the two rebus questions are GLO ("L" in "GO", hence LINGO) and TMY ("M" in "TY", or MINTY.) Does that help?

Larry Gilstrap 4:29 PM  

Clever theme and a fun solve. That's the goal, isn't it? And, on a Tuesday. Come on man! I think I called it praising with faint damning on another occasion involving the same principals. Even more fun when I stumbled ON TO the Roman numeral feature. TV viewers loved the EWINGS.

I know my Moby-Dick, putting that aside I'm feeling confident that I've seen OMRI in the NYT puzzle before. Genesis immunity? Plus, we get a Coleridge shout out. More to like. I hear that Peer GYNT features are huge in the tourist scene in Norway.

Great clue: You might run to get in it gives us SHAPE. Nice misdirection!

chefbea 4:30 PM  

Now I get the mini...thanks to all!!!

jae 5:40 PM  

Mostly easy except for, like many of you, the NW which sucked up a boatload of @M&A nanoseconds in staring time. HIPS was a vague memory, HOMELAB seems like green paint (I wanted garage), AW NUTS wasn't obvious (shucks fit) OMRI was a total WOE, and PR STUNT did not at first leapt to mind. Tough corner.

Liked the puzzle a bunch! Fun and clever with some crunch, or not a typical Tues.

Ian Newbould 6:21 PM  

Why Six instead of 6 in 53 across?

Anonymous 6:39 PM  

Did not think the theme was that hard. Solved it without hints in a half hour.

What about the numbers? Has anyone noticed that if you add them up it equals 1660? 1001+501+101=1603. Add fifty one and you get 1654. Finally add 6 and you get 1660.
Is there a important event today happened in 1660?


Anonymous 6:45 PM  

It could also be 1655. Exclude the ones and you have MDCLV. Any thoughts?

Isaac Mayo 7:02 PM  

@Ian Newbould.... I asked the same question about 12 hours ago. The response was something I knew... that you spell out one through ten and use numerals for any number higher. Since when, though, does the puzzle abide by a style manual? I thought that the should have been used for theme consistency.

Joe Dipinto 7:33 PM  

@Isaac Mayo 7:02 -- I thought it might have been done because of space concerns in the cluing: the other numbers would have been much longer to write out in full (well, fifty-one, not so much but...). Anyway, I agree the inconsistency is kind of odd.

A Listener 7:40 PM  

Loved it. Thanks Bruce

Adam12 8:58 PM  

"MISTRSSES" don't cause anxiety, Rex, "1001(MI)STRESSES" do.

Anonymous 8:59 PM  

Ian Newbould declined comment to to ThinkProgress.

Anonymous 10:17 PM  

LIFELINES evokes Hemingway's 51(give or take) Heningwat's polydactyl cats in his Key West home who all survived Irma.

Mark 11:23 PM  

Hips don't lie is a great song, and the title makes perfect sense in the context of the song and the singer. For me, it was a gimme. Overall a great Tuesday.

Jim Webb 7:02 PM  

I do the puzzle the old fashioned way, from the print edition, so pardon the late entry here as I just got the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday papers here in Jacksonville, Fl. But sorry. 69A is just a bit tone deaf to me given that Mr Ellis died in 1986 back when AIDS was hardly mentioned in the obituaries.

Z 10:12 PM  

The New York Times has its own style manual. I'm guessing it prescribes writing out one through nine and using numerals for 0 and anything from 10 to ∞, although I don't own a copy so I don't actually know. At any rate, I learned the convention ages ago and I used APA, MLA, or Strunk & White most of my life.

If you've been reading the comments for a few years you will know I have deep and profound love of Random Roman Numerals, so this is obviously the best Tuesday puzzle ever.

Life is still pretty disrupted around here and now I have to head north again for my brother-in-law's funeral. His passing wasn't unexpected, but losing her partner of 54 years is hard on my sister. I'll probably be dropping in late here for a week or two.

Juanita Melanie 7:19 AM  

Hello every one out here
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Blogger 5:04 PM  

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Burma Shave 8:28 AM  


they're DIVERSIONS for ONE's lips,
the SHAPE HONEd for tongue-twisters,
like I DOO to her CISTERN'S.


rondo 10:01 AM  

As DIVERSIONS go this was OK, kinda caught on to the RRN beginnings for the first two themers simultaneously.

@spacey will appreciate the USS Enterprise from Star TREK.

Anyone remember Dippity-DOO?

IT'D be hard to pick out a yeah baby other than Shakira in clue 1a.

Not bad for a Tues-puz, probably wouldn't say IMINAWE.

thefogman 11:12 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 11:16 AM  

Late to the party, but so was my newspaper...
I liked this one and I found it easy probably because I solved the theme before I even started. I did have one mistake. I guessed liMELAB instead of HOMELAB. I don't know nothin' bout meth makin' or biblical Ahabs for that matter (had iMRI not OMRI).
Rex needs to do like me and quickly scan all of the clues before he begins a puzzle. That way he may find a pattern emerges in the cluing which will oftentimes unlock the theme. When I ESPIED several clues with numbers ending in one I knew something was up, and the game was on. DOD goes to INDIA Arie...

thefogman 11:43 AM  

This was one of the best Tuesday puzzles in a long time.
Yes I do remember Dippity-Doo.
Does anybody remember laughter?

spacecraft 12:05 PM  

Thursday called; he wants his puzzle back. Staring at the first few clues, I went "Huh?" Another bear of a NW. I have only vaguely heard of Shakira (in, you guessed it, crosswords), and certainly never a song or album title she may have produced. LIPS looked very likely--although they surely do lie, come to think of it. As for OMRI, well, I thought I'd screwed up somewhere, even after I revisited the area subsequent to going SW and picking up the theme at VIEWINGS, and put in MISTRESSES. So it was...HOMELAB and: HIPS? HIPS Don't Lie? Wow, that is some CREEPO title.

The solve was enjoyable, though some of the fill and the cluing were non-Tuesday. Yeah, I did appreciate the Star TREK reference, but will give equal time to Star Wars: You don't pull Superman's cape, you don't JAB a JEDI...

@thefogman beat me to the DOD punch with INDIA. Two 999's (IMINAWE and IMHIT) serve as laignappes to the theme. There are some fillers that seem very xwordy: UTAHN, RETAG, SPF, NRC, ETTE; and ATTA: goes with "boy!" or "girl!" but not "baby!" Plusses and minuses: par.

Diana, LIW 1:37 PM  

Well, Son of a Zeus!

Scanned the clues, saw the numbers, worked on their crosses, and got the theme early, making it easier than it could have been. Fun ensued.

Did the sos to SPF gambit. And mds before DRS.

Really surprised at the meth lab reference. Put me ONEDGE.


Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 2:55 PM  

First-rate Tuesday puzzle in my book. Challenging NW corner, clever theme, fun and fair. Good to see early week puzzles tightening up a bit, enough to make them enjoyable for both veterans and novices, IMO.

HOMELAB/HIPS/OMRI/SIT cluster was the last to go.

No problem with Roman numerals, which worked well with clues/answers.

Don't know see reason for any complaints about this one.

Nice work by Bruce Haight.

wcutler 4:09 PM  

I thought this puzzle would have been everything Rex wanted. The clues were a little challenging and they were fun; even the weejects were good. The theme was so fun. Before I figured it out, I was trying to decide between MatTRESSES and MisTRESSES. Even that amused me.

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