Late journalist Ifill / WED 9-6-17 / One-named Swedish singer with 1997 hit Show Me Love

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Constructor: Daniel Raymon

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Y" sound [so ... 'yuh'?] added to familiar answers to get wacky answers, clued wackily

Theme answers:
  • FJORD EXPLORER (20A: One traveling around Scandinavia?) (Ford)
  • BEAUTY CALL (35A: Visit to the salon?) (booty!)
  • FINGER FEUD (40A: Argument that involves pointing?) (food)
  • MILITARY QUEUE (49A: Soldiers in line formation) (coup)
Word of the Day: Pic de Rochebrune (42A: France's Pic De Rochebrune => MONT) —
The Pic de Rochebrune (or Grand Rochebrune or, simply, Rochebrune) is a mountain in the Cottian Alps belonging to the French department of Hautes-Alpes. // The mountain is the highest summit of the Central Cottian Alps.
The Cottian Alps (/ˈkɒtiən ˈælps/; French: Alpes Cottiennes [alp kɔtjɛn]; Italian: Alpi Cozie [ˈalpi ˈkɔttsje]); are a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps. They form the border between France (Hautes-Alpes and Savoie) and Italy (Piedmont). The Fréjus Road Tunnel and Fréjus Rail Tunnel between Modane and Susa are important transportation arteries between France (Lyon, Grenoble) and Italy (Turin). (wikipedia)
• • •

This started very, very badly. So badly, I stopped to take a picture (usually on a Wednesday, I don't have the time / inclination to do this, but that opening corner was horrific):

Trouble begins with the "J" in the terminal position, and then cascades from there. I have to endure HADJ and then get the worst kind of dated crosswordese (EZIO) in the bargain, and *then* run into the why why why!? III (23A: Senior's grandson). If you're dropping EZIO, you better be getting a Lot in return. Here, you're not. Also, DIF 🙁 Also the clue on RETRIAL there is wrong, or at least misleading / incomplete (4D: Result of a deadlocked jury).

So I'm pretty much done with this thing before I've even properly started. Fill does *not* improve much. It's not that URB and SMS etc are So terrible on their own, it's just ... we shouldn't be seeing this much fill that's this weak. URB and SMS are answers I'm using only out of desperation. They're OK, but I don't want them. I can probably make any corner they're in (in this non-demanding grid) better. The bottom of the grid is a perfect example of the problem of relying on merely adequate, I've-seen-it-before-so-it-must-be-OK fill. RIVE, LO-RES*, AGAR, DOGIT—all of those are answers I would try to keep out if I could. Yet they are *all* here. In a tiny 4x5 section. Please try (a lot) harder. AGAR and DOGIT are a notch better than RIVE and LO-RES*, which are not really in use and really stupid-looking, respectively. Again, the problem here is a cumulative one. One of these answers in a corner—I don't blink, Two, I blink. Three+, I just close my eyes and smh.

Had no appreciation for the theme until I was done, at which point ... I appreciated it somewhat, I guess. I especially admire that boldness of using BOOTY CALL as your base phrase (35A). I also like seeing ROBYN, and, strangely, AGGREGATOR (not a pretty word, but a very real, modern ... thing). Mostly the puzzle was easy, though the eastern seaboard really smacked me around for a bit. Couldn't drop RILING or OF LATE off of ROMERO, and so needed a lot of hacking and flailing to finally fill those in. I think TIA was the only cross I was certain of. BIG IF was really, really difficultly clued (33A: Significant qualification), in that "qualification" commonly means something like "asset" and so I never considered its other meaning. I was like "... BIG UP?" Also, I thought the Pic de Rochebrune was a bridge 🙁

I think the theme is just OK, and the fill is weak-to-dire, so overall it's a no.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*Mail suggests LORES is indecipherable to many of you (one more reason never to use it). It's short for "lo(w)-resolution." 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 7:01 AM  

At 26D I had O_LA_E, which brought up the possibility of OFL AGE, a glorious tribute to Rex if I've ever seen one.

Some lovely answers (PILAF, POLEMIC, SUMUP, BIGIF) and clues (BYTES, GPS), with an EASY out and a BARGE out. It made for a fun and brain-jogging solve, and I thought the theme was original (anyone ever done this before? I don't remember it.) and pleasing. Thanks for this, Daniel!

Other puzzle possibilities:
Russian rejection? (NYET RESULT)
Don Juan of France? (THE LYON WOLF)

kitshef 7:24 AM  

Nothing overtly wrong with the puzzle, but it left me somewhat cold. No zing to it.

Double DNF at GWEN/GPS, neither clue meaning anything to me, and HAZE/CHEF, where I had dAZE and didn’t check the cross.

Not sure that ROBYN is crossworthy. There must be hundreds of singers with here level of chart success (a couple of top ten hits) and we can’t be expected to know them all.

Loren Muse Smith 7:24 AM  

I agree with Rex on the brazenness of BEAUTY CALL. Hah! I also thought FINGER FEUD was funny. Two cars stopped at a light who’d been engaged in some road rage.

Still overwhelmed with the start of schyool.

I’ll take a page out of @jae’s book: liked it.

Birchbark 7:37 AM  

I haven't seen old friend IMPEI in a while. Good to know he's still with us. Without crosswords, I wouldn't really know who the good architects are.

ADA 7:38 AM  

Concerning retrial. I am a public prosecutor. If it is a serious case, a violent crime or murder, it will be retried. Most cases are retried or given different pleas.

Hungry Mother 7:38 AM  

Quick solve today. I liked the theme, but it didn't help much.

QuasiMojo 7:50 AM  

Queue and Coup do not sound similar. Poor puns. Forced and inane hilarity yet again from the good old Gray Lady. too much pop culture and flabby phrases (I'm Hot?, Get Into?, Mac User? Dog It?) -- Not even SO SO.

George 8:02 AM  

I hit FJORDEXPLORER early and thought, "Oh, good, an automotive theme." I was a little disappointed. However, Rex comes to the rescue with that great music video from Lake Street Dive, whom I had never heard of. Thanks Rex!!

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

Was very comfortable with DAZE, then spent 25 minutes trying to rationalize what CDEF meant(chief defender etc). I knew that was likely the problem, but took forever to figure it out.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Military Queu doesn't work. Military coup isn't a thing, really.

Daniel 8:26 AM  

It's semi redundant maybe, but the Washington Post, Washington Times, Newsweek, Breitbart, NY Times and Fox News have all used that wording in 2017, making it a "thing" on many sides (on many sides).

puzzlehoarder 8:31 AM  

This is what I like in an early week puzzle, enough resistance to make it worth doing. SMS is still quite new to me. Besides from AGGREGATOR being a debut and a complete unknown to me the media bottom feeder in the clue was as well. ROBYN, as clued, is a debut, so is CARTMAN. Besides from these unknowns to work around I had a few of my own write overs to iron out. All this added up to a Thursday level solve. @lms welcome back and hang in there.

Anonymous 8:38 AM  

Maybe. Still weak "phonically "

jberg 8:40 AM  

Well, I filled in all the squares, but I didn't get the 'added y sound' thing until I read @Rex. I never even thought of MILITARY coup (which is a thing, yes, just do a web search). In fact, the far-right media are asserting that one is being plotted to remove Trump. I just didn't see it because the spelling looks so different, and I hadn't cottoned to dropping the y sound. Thought maybe some regions said FJORD as 'ford.'

Once I got that, I think it's OK. I do object to super-vague clues like ____ America (48A) or San ____, Calif. (31A). Plus why the abbreviation?

Well, actually, I just noticed that while I filled in all the squares, one of them was wrong: HAjJ/EjIT. Ejit didn't make sense, but it didn't occur to me that I could spell hajj differently.

I do like the phrase OF LATE.

Sir Hillary 8:52 AM  

Wimbledon winner from 1977 through 1980...BJORN AGAIN.

Today's themers all made me smile (MILITARYQUEUE was my favorite). That, plus the nice long downs, diverted my attention from some of the weaker fill.

Just a K short of a pangram.

So overall it's a yes.

Cassieopia 8:54 AM  

The center was a struggle, with CARTMAN, ROBYN, ROMERO, MATEO all intertwined. I persevered without Google but it wasn't pretty. It didn't help that I thought it was an automotive theme and wanted FINGERFiat. There were some bright spots (loved AGGREGATOR) but mostly meh for me.

Susie Q 9:00 AM  

None of you ladies are offended by booty call?
Talk about sexually degrading.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

Susie Q: a booty call may be initiated by a man or a woman, and is a mutually consensual arrangement. Where does the degredation come into play? I'm obviously missing something.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Same here!

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

Who says a lady can't be the one to make a booty call?

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

LO RES is just weird---usually the abbreviation is LO REZ---but I've seen it often enough...

Robert A. Simon 9:26 AM  

Agree. So few are named "Smith."

Matt 9:36 AM  

Thumb war would have been a better clue for 40A, imo

Two Ponies 9:36 AM  

I might just be feeling grumpy but this grid was no fun.
Sara, Gwen, and Robyn were complete unknowns to me.
I don't usually think of eaves as shade providers.
I'm not sure how to use booty call in a sentence but it
sounds cheap and vulgar.

Oh well, at least I learned some geography.

Aketi 9:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
chefbea 10:08 AM  

What does Y have to do with the theme????? two themers don't even have a Y.

Of course this chef loved 1down...think I'll make some pilaf, although it is not a finger food

Aketi 10:20 AM  

After fording the FJORD to find the FORD I was looking for cars and missed the beauty of a BooTY hiding in the BEAUTY. I see nothing gendered about the BEAUTY of BooTies.

When I was young we had a ritual of Thanksgiving Food FEUDs with peas and mashed potatoes after the adults had too much wine to notice what we were up to.

If you say "coup QUEUE" a bunch of times really fast itsounds like a cross between a Fasterisk and a type of bird.

Hartley70 10:24 AM  

The difficulty level here was very uneven, careening from easy to so impossible that I didn't even care to keep struggling.

Like Rex, I got stuck in the mid-east. ROMERO was not a problem, but the drop downs, and BIGIF, and MONT did me in. CARTMAN was a mystery and so was DOGIT. I normally can see LORES, but today it just rhymed with s'mores.

The theme was cute though. I enjoyed them all and didn't mind the stretch to make "coup" work.

Nancy 10:28 AM  

I finished it, but with no comprehension at all as to what the theme was about. I had to read Rex to find out. Now I know, and I say Awful. I didn't enjoy a single moment of solving this. After speeding through a North that I found too easy and completely boring, I then hit the mid-section with a thud. It was filled with a lot of pop stuff (CARTMAN); and text-y stuff (what's SMS?) and made up fill (what's URB?) and definitions that seem off (SERF has a very particular meaning and you can be a "drudge" without remotely being a SERF.) The theme didn't help because I didn't get the theme. I have to go back and read y'all to see if anyone not named Rex actually got the theme before coming here. Oops -- I just realized I'd better look at the solution more carefully: I see I have LORES (whaaa?) for the computer-related 64A clue. That can't be right. I may have a DNF; we'll see.

Nancy 10:31 AM  

Son-of-a-gun, LORES is right! So I don't have a DNF. But I'm more perplexed than ever. WOE is LORES?

RooMonster 10:56 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with the NE/central and actual center of puz being muy difficult. Knew CARTMAN, as a fan of South Park, but the FEUD and BEAUTY themer parts were refusing to enter the ole brain. Plus the center Downs weren't helping. SERFS and MATEO were ughs. Other Downs also ughs, ROBYN, AGGREGATOR, RILING. Had to reveal word on MONT or else I never would have had a chance in that area. To SUMUP, that whole section was a BIG IF.

Agree on dreck-ness per Rex. And you really couldn't fit a K somewhere? If you're that close to a pangram, go whole hog and redo SE corner to get your K. Just saying.

BBQ again, when is the next holiday for that? Memorial Day? There is no rule that says you can't BBQ in the snow...

DOG gone IT

GHarris 11:03 AM  

Fell into a daze at the very beginning and thought cdef must be a cyberdefiner or some such. Had to google for cartman and was able to get it all done from there. Even knowing the theme would not have helped me. Just thought the answers were wordplay.

Joseph Michael 11:03 AM  

Fun puzzle in spite of too many proper nouns and a few painful stubs, such as URB and SMS.

I laughed at three of the four themers, especially BEAUTY CALL. Filled in the letters for MILITARY QUEUE, but struggled at first to find the phrase it was derived from. I think that if a pun is not self evident, it needs to go back to the pun factory. But maybe that's just me.

Was also in a complete HAZE about LORES which I initially saw as one word. I kept thinking about collections of tales from the past and wondered what that had to do with computer graphics.

The clue for 23A is downright incorrect since the answer only applies to a grandson who has the same name as the father and grandfather. A Tom who is sired by Dick who is sired by Harry is not a III.

Something funny about CHER being so close to I'M HOT. Judging from her attire on the MTV Awards a few months ago, she still thinks so. And she's now in her 7Os. Go, girl!

Larry Tate 11:07 AM  

I love the utter bafflement of Aunt Clara.

Trombone Tom 11:09 AM  

Had a similar experience to OFL and others. I got through it but was only mildly satisfied with the theme action. Some clearly move from the "you" to "oo" but then you go back to FJORD --> Ford and it doesn't work as well.

BEAUTY CALL, FINGER FEUD, and MILITARY QUEUE were the winners both as entries and as themers.

I've seen both LO-RES and lo-rez so I'm prepared to take it either way. CARTMAN and SARA Bareilles were unknowns to me but the crosses were fair.

My heart goes out to those facing and recovering from hurricanes and those in the west facing raging fires. Mrs. Trombone and I were engaged at Multnomah Falls in the Columbia Gorge and that beautiful area is now threatened with destruction.

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

Best puzzle in weeks. So there should have been an often or sometimes after deadlocked jury. Who really cares the answer was obvious anyway. Rex's Twitter friends are as painful as he is.

GILL I. 11:25 AM  

I play this little game wherein I try and guess how @Rex will rate a puzzle. I'm always wrong.
I'm a sucker for anything that makes me laugh or smile. BEAUTY CALL did it for me. I'm thinking of Byonce. I'm also wondering what the fascination is with a big butt. Do they inject some fat in that area? Doesn't sitting for long periods of time cause some minor fanny fatigue?
I also like FINGER FEUD. The answer is really good but the clue given was pretty bland: Argument that involves pointing? Can't you pepper that up a bit? I like LMS' better. There is something so childish and yet extremely satisfying about giving the middle finger to a jerk driver. It's never a little flip; it's a hard, up your arse kind that brings out the best in people.
The only complaint I have is that perhaps there were a TAD too many names. I watched (and still do) "South Park" with #1 daughter. She has a wonderful giggle. Eric CARTMAN is the round little kid who's always showing a butt crack. Speaking of booty....
I enjoyed this Daniel Raymon...
Yours truly,
Edith PILAF.

Thomaso808 11:49 AM  

Loved the theme. All of them worked for me. Had to think about MILITARYQUEUE for awhile, but coo to cyoo, yeah that works, and it's definitely a thing.

jb129 12:01 PM  

Cute, once I got it.

Whirred Whacks 12:24 PM  

I bet the clue-writers absolutely loved getting to use DRUDGE for two different clues:


Joe Bleaux 12:45 PM  

Not as glad as I should be, I guess, that I found the midweek puzzle a little more like a Thursday's than a Monday's. Loath to stay under the EAVE and throw shade about PPPs and such dreck as URB and SMS, I'll ride out with @Two Ponies: No fun.

QuasiMojo 1:06 PM  

Apparently I failed to grok the theme. The Y thing. Like the strap in a booty thong, I guess. My apologies to the constructor.

Teedmn 1:07 PM  

Tough Wednesday here - the west was easy, as was the far north but anything south of ROMERO and east of BAR and TIDAL was between SOSO and hard.

Like many, I was DOOKed by LO-RES. I've seen that answer in other puzzles but the clue today was pretty vague and I was very wary of RIVE.

I thought the theme was cute - I might not have filled in the very center of this puzzle if FINGERFEUD hadn't been pointed to by the theme.

ROBYN - the name sounds a TAD familiar but without the crosses, it isn't a BIG IF whether I would have gotten it, it's a for sure not!

To encapsulate, I liked this. Thanks, Daniel Raymon.

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

I'm hot.

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

And "Lake Street Dive" hah! I had never heard of that band until my airplane seatmate on my recent trip to Lollapuzzoola recommended them. I had forgotten all about that, thanks @Rex. One of the band members is from Minneapolis, so the band name came from Lake Street, one of the divier streets that runs the length of the city, east to west.

P. Seud O'Nym 1:31 PM  

The puzzle is more enjoyable once you realize Cartman IS the theme. The character pronounces words just like the theme, inserting the y-sound before a vowel.

And then the elliptical shape in the middle makes sense too. All the south park characters are squat oval shapes.

chefwen 1:34 PM  

I was so hoping Rex was going to like this one, should've known better. Laughed at FJORD EXPLORER, louder at BEAUTY CALL. @GILL I's mental image of a FINGER FEUD really brought me down. MILITARY QUEUE, meh not so much, had ants involved in my first thought.

Thank you all for the many congratulations I received yesterday. It gave me the warm fuzzies. @Lewis, my cooking may have played a small part, but it's a lot of laughter that makes for a successful union.

Masked and Anonymous 1:39 PM  

U say MATEO, and I said DIEGO ...
U say ROMERO, I said ROMARO.
Blart! ... let's call the whole thing "oof".

U say FOORD, and I say FORD …
U say CARTMAN, and I said FARTMAN.
… etc.

fave themer: FINGERFEUD. The -FEUD and -BEAUTY parts were hard to come by, as M&A had San DIEGO firmly cemented in at 31-D. Also was hard-leanin toward PEONS at 30-D. And then there's our staff weeject pick of SMS, in that central mix. I thought SMS were things U did with chains and whips, while wearin a whole lotta leather. And a mask, of course. Goes without sayin.

BBQ!?! There's clearly some sorta BBCoup goin on, at the NYTPuz.
Thought BIGIF was a real neat entry. Also partial to PREFAB.
All the themers had U's in em, except for the FOORD one. Ahar! I knew somethin just seemed oeuf, on that first themer …

Thanx for the fjun, Mr. Raymon. Primo intra-mission of desperation, up there in the NW … just enough to pique @RP's interest. Thought yer puz was better than he did, tho … as yuzeyall.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

p.s. Mighty good to hear from U, @museofthemissed (at 7:24am). U cmon back once y'all get that liontamers gig back under control again. Wishin U and the kids all the best.


Cassieopia 1:47 PM  

@M&A - today's write-up made me blart tea out of my nose. Another goodie, thank U :)

chefbea 1:47 PM  

I decided not to make pilaf...Made potato salad instead...and we aren't even having a's pouring...getting ready for IRMA

Charley 1:54 PM  

But ADA, the result of a hung jury is a MISTRIAL. A RETRIAL may or may not ensue.

Suzy 2:07 PM  

Good one! Just watched Coco Vandeweghe make mincemeat out of Karolina Pliskova! 👏👏👏👏👏

Z 3:23 PM  

@P. Sued O'Nym - You're either reading way too much into it or a genius.

@BarbieBarbie yesterday - Yep. The whole Alexie thing sure is indicative, isn't it?

jae 3:43 PM  

A TAD tough for a Wed. for me. Had trouble in the center. ROBYN and SMS were WOES (although SMS seems very vaguely familiar) and OF LATE and RILING took a while. Plus @M&A MATEO is not the first San that comes to mind.

I needed Xwordinfo to explain the added Y sound theme, but Jeff didn't get it either so there's that.

Nice Wed., @lms I liked it too.

Nancy 3:50 PM  

DOOKED again! (Hi@Teedmn). Of course it would have helped if I knew something -- anything -- about early computers.

@Suzy (2:07) -- Another tennis fan. Welcome, Suzy.

jj 4:24 PM  

"RIVE, LO-RES*, AGAR, DOGIT—all of those are answers I would try to keep out if I could."

That's a really, really, really easy thing for Rex to say, because he doesn't write puzzles. Takes zero fortitude to constantly angrily criticize while you don't ever need to expose yourself to the same level of vitriolic criticism. Gutless. You've had five or six puzzles published? Great. Roger Ebert wrote a couple of horrid scripts for Russ Meyer before he "retired" to the self-exalted perch of critic, too. Rex has been on his anti-Shortz crusade for the better part of this decade, and he was smart enough to realize that for his trolling to be most effective, he can't contribute anything that diverts from his "Shortz must be fired" thesis. Sad, really. Look at this review - he scrapes so hard to criticize it (that NW corner is pretty decent, actually - not sure where the vitriol came from there); he gives half a sentence (!) on the theme. That's like a film critic spending 3/4 of their review on two minor camera angles and ignoring the plot or any of the major elements of the film. But, you've got to always be "on brand," and when your brand is "unabashed hatred," I guess you have to hate even if you have to strain to hate. What a wonderful concept.

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obat aborsi 5:08 PM  

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Blackeyedsusan 5:39 PM  

CDEF - course designer? Would someone explain please. Thanks.

Blackeyedsusan 5:45 PM  

Never mind. I see that it's CHEF: HAZE not DAZE.

Anonymous 6:21 PM  

FJORD EXPLORER and BEAUTY CALL made me laugh. And there wasn't too much else to laugh about today, so that made it worthwhile in my book.

Joe Dipinto 6:43 PM  

I don't like "Dangerous circus jobs" as the clue for LION TAMERS. It looks/sounds nonsensical clued in the plural. Would you use the same clue for TRAPEZE ARTISTS? The job of Lion Tamer is *a* dangerous job; Lion Tamers are people who hold *that job*, not *those jobs*.

Gostivarcb 7:19 PM  

Senior's grandson is the 1st not the 3rd

Anonymous 7:39 PM  

Do I: a) Be consumed with hate? Or: b) Focus on financial independence?

Glad I chose option b.

Happy Pencil 7:57 PM  

Senior = John Smith Sr.
His son = John Smith Jr.
His grandson = John Smith III

Joe 7:59 PM  

Didn't find this easy. But love the Lake Street Dive video. What a terrific bass player!

Chance 9:09 PM  

Hey, another NYT solver blogger! Man, this puzzle kicked me up and down. I failed it. I got the theme easily enough; it was that crazy filler material that got me. But I love your blog! Check out my own, very much poorer and desultory, solving blog if you want to feel especially smart.

Soundarya S 1:50 AM  

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Uke Xensen 1:57 AM  

This was easy. The theme was fine, the fill tolerable. Not a bad puzzle, though maybe should have been a Tuesday.

Joe Dipinto 1:58 AM  

@Happy Pencil 7:57 -- I can't believe you actually had to explain that to someone.

Tom Beckett 5:09 AM  

What's being addded phonetically here is a "liquid u". I like the theme answers, half liked the rest of the puzzle. I would have loved a clue with the answer "liquid u" (which I'm sure someone could make clever) to make the theme more meaningful to the puzzle. Oh. This is my first post. I love Rex. His standards on puzzles are much higher than mine but I'm a softie. If I finish without a mistake it makes my day and I like the puzzle. Tom

Pak wendi 9:12 AM  

Awalnya aku hanya mencoba main togel akibat adanya hutang yang sangat banyak dan akhirnya aku buka internet mencari aki yang bisa membantu orang akhirnya di situ lah aku bisa meliat nmor nya AKI NAWE terus aku berpikir aku harus hubungi AKI NAWE meskipun itu dilarang agama ,apa boleh buat nasip sudah jadi bubur,dan akhirnya aku menemukan seorang aki.ternyata alhamdulillah AKI NAWE bisa membantu saya juga dan aku dapat mengubah hidup yang jauh lebih baik berkat bantuan AKI NAWE dgn waktu yang singkat aku sudah membuktikan namanya keajaiban satu hari bisa merubah hidup ,kita yang penting kita tdk boleh putus hasa dan harus berusaha insya allah kita pasti meliat hasil nya sendiri. siapa tau anda berminat silakan hubungi AKI NAWE Di Nmr 085--->"218--->"379--->''259 atau klik dibawah PESUGIHAN TAMPA TUMBAL

GB 1:36 PM  

That's easy for you to say.

Xyore 7:30 AM  

Amazing puzzle

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Burma Shave 9:11 AM  


and RELY on being POLEMIC or not?
She'll GETINTO a place ready TOGO,
and BEATIT saying, "EASY, IMHOT."


rondo 10:25 AM  

Mildly amoozing. Thought at first it might be wacky automobiles for themers, but no, I mean - yuh. Couldn't remember the order of the letters, so started with glBT until fixed.

Say that AZTEC god three times fast.

GWEN Ifill is a talent definitely gone too soon.

When it rains it pours yeah babies in CHER, ROBYN, and SARA atop the EVAS. Thank you Daniel for that visual.

Things to do, gotta BEATIT. Add you.

spacecraft 10:27 AM  

You had me at CHER: IMHOT! Indeed you still are, milady; here's a DOD sash.

After completing, I had to study the themers a bit till I came Yupon the trick. A nice idea, and lends itself to Scrabble hi-counters.

The fill is, as Irma LaDouce's bartender said, another story. Strings of capital I's as Roman 1's are painful; so is total WOE SMS. NE was tough on account of URB without the sub- and the unknown AGGREGATOR. BIGIF was a while coming, but I like it.

This one started out EASY, but provided enough snags to place it properly into the midweek slot. Wish the fill could have been cleaned up a little more--but compared to the week's start, we're getting there. Par.

thefogman 10:57 AM  

Not easy. Beyond easy-medium. Rather tough for a Wednesday, at least for me. But not insurmountable. I did not fully appreciate the cleverness of the theme until after completion. Rex is being a little uncharitable once again, but what else is new? Sure there was a TAD of stank, but the meat of it made for a most delightful and rewarding feast.

Diana,LIW 3:11 PM  

Having OurAgE in the east created my dnfworthy effort. And I also questioned LORES.

Theme was cute enuf. Didn't know ROBYN or CARTMAN, so no help there. Same for SMS. So no, not easy - but in the Wednesday-o-sphere.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for my newspaper every day this week

leftcoastTAM 3:42 PM  

Dropping the "yew" sounds for FJORD and FEUD came quickly but eluded me for BEAUTY and QUEUE. A little slow on the draw.

Some unknowns filled by guesses and crosses: SMS, LORES, RIVE, MONT. Neither CARTMAN nor SARA were knowns either.

In the NW corner, trouble with CHEF and HAZE. Thought "confused state of mind" had to be either dAZE or HAZy, but not HAZE.

So what about the consequent CdEF for "Course designer"? Reasoned that the alphabetic progression might represent some sort of computer program I wasn't aware of.

So, no DUHs please, and no D'OHs from me. Thought the puzzle was a good one, on the tough side for Wednesday, and this dnf is no big deal.

Nightowl 6:10 AM  

One month later--I loved fjord explorer, too!!

from from 10:59 PM  

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