Rose petal oil / TUE 9-5-17 / Tree whose leaves appear in many Chinese fossils / Honolulu based carrier informally / Early Uber policty unpopular with drivers / Military bottoms informally

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Constructor: Michelle Kenney and Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (also, oversized / 16-wide)

THEME: INTERMISSION (37A: Break ... such as at the middle of 18-, 27-, 50- or 58-Across?) — circled letters in themers spell out name of famous Broadway production, and since those names are "broken" (split between beginning and end of answers), then the gap between the circled letters ... is an INTERMISSION? Yes. That must be it.

Theme answers:
  • HAWAIIAN AIR (18A: Honolulu-based carrier, informally)
  • GREEK VASE (27A: Piece of pottery featuring Achilles, say)
  • CAMO PANTS (50A: Military bottoms, informally)
  • WISECRACKED (58A: Made snappy comments) 
Word of the Day: RUDI Gernreich (28D: Fashion designer Gernreich) —
Rudolf "Rudi" Gernreich (August 8, 1922 – April 21, 1985) was an Austrian-born American fashion designer whose avant-garde clothing designs are generally regarded as the most innovative and dynamic fashion of the 1960s. He purposefully used fashion design as a social statement to advance sexual freedom, producing clothes that followed the natural form of the female body, freeing them from the constraints of high fashion. (wikipedia)
• • •

Many things wrong here, most notably the wording of the revealer clue. If you ask me to look "at the middle of" those themers, what I see is *gibberish*. WAIIANA! EKV! SECRA! Or my favorite, MOPAN! There's just a structural problem, where the INTERMISSION is the place between, and the place between is just a letter string that is nonsensical on its own. Also, this whole embedding non-consecutive letters as part of your themer is pretty rudimentary, and definitely not worth bloating the grid to 16-wide. Further, I just don't like the themers. They don't have much appeal on their own. Then there's the fussiness of so many multi-word half-colloquialisms. I like BE THAT WAY!, but a lot of the rest of it felt like forced attempts at slanginess. DID A SET is bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. A notch down from READ A BOOK and a notch up from ATE SOME TOAST. I like GOD NO! pretty well, but it was brutally hard to get (esp. for a Tuesday) (26D: Emphatic rejection). Clue was just too vague / broad. Also, count the number of "comma informally" clues in this puzzle. One is OK. Two should be the max. There are two among themers alone. And then another at 9D: Utmost, informally (DARNEDEST). What the hell? Maybe do a little more to vary your cluing language. Flawed theme concept + just OK fill = not great. Might be above average for a Tuesday, but that bar is low. Too low.

  • ABCTV (10D: "Fresh Off the Boat" network) — yeah no one calls TV networks blahblahblahTV so please stop. 
  • SINKER (47D: Baseball pitch that suddenly drops) — well, this is better than yesterday's baseball pitch clue, which referred to a "slider" as a "curveball" (!?), but like a good fastball, these baseball clues should have a little life on them. Baseball is fun—give us something less literal and workmanlike. 
  • NIETO (64A: Enrique Peña ___, Mexican president beginning in 2012) — I'm having trouble making his name stick. Don't know why. Maybe because he's not as charismatic as Vincente Fox? Maybe because I don't see his name very much (in news or in crosswords)? Dunno. 
  • GINKGO (6D: Tree whose leaves appear in many Chinese fossils) — forever I will misspell this word. Forever. Oh, GINGKO, I just can't quit you. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:10 AM  

Tough Tues. for me too. A fair amount of stuff did not come quickly...ARABLE, SCHISM, OH WAIT, CAMOPANTS, I ADMIT near before the over sized grid.

Some nice long downs, but mostly ho-hum, so a typical Tues.

mathgent 12:12 AM  

The theme makes sense to me. But it doesn't delight.

Very little sparkle. I liked BETHATWAY but not much else.

Anonymous 12:40 AM  

Rex, it's Vicente Fox. Only one n.

Madeleine Sann 12:53 AM  

If you've ever smelled squished ginkgo fruits - try any alley in central Philadelphia mid autumn - then easy to remember spelling because the squished fruit STINKS (like throw up, actually). Ginkgo stinko.

Michelle Turner 1:02 AM  

Interestingly, ginkgo trees are either male or female. Male ginkgoes don't bear fruit and hence don't have that odor problem.

Larry Gilstrap 1:20 AM  

It's a Jeff Chen Tuesday co-effort and the puzzle gets panned. Quelle surprise! I enjoyed it more than OFL, but I'm home safe, well fed, and easy to please, now that the weather is back to normal.

Fortunately, I have seen lots of live theater over the years, but have not seen any of the blockbusters featured in the themers. I have no issue with how the revealer is clued; INTERMISSION is the part in the middle of a play, last time I looked. I was lucky enough to have seen IAN McKellen in his one man show "Acting Shakespeare." Check it out! Inspiring. And, we get VIOLA, the powerhouse character that steals Twelfth Night.

More about me: I actually laid eyes on DDE. For some odd reason, he was scheduled to drive past my high school on his way from Palm Desert to LA. The entire school stood on the curb as he and Mamie drove by in a Cadillac convertible. He seemed happy to see us. Yes, seems unreal, even to me now, but it happened.

What kind of non-military person wears CAMO PANTS, or any CAMO garment for that matter? A singer in the Village People? Has anyone ever worn CAMO to a bar mitzvah? Has anyone clad in CAMO scored 1600 on his SATS? Asking for a friend.

Theodore Stamos 1:51 AM  

I had to run the alphabet to finish off the puzzle at ITO / ATTAR. Other than that, a decent little Tuesday, I'd say.

Robin 2:09 AM  

Finished in average Tuesday time. Paid no attention the theme.

Seems like 7D could have been better clued, but maybe cities in India are too tough for a Tuesday?

chefwen 2:14 AM  

Getting on an HAWAIIAN AIR flight on Thursday for the first leg of a two day journey to foreign lands. We will have a ten hour INTERMISSION in NewYork. That's a lot of travel time. UGH! But it'll be worth it, I hope.

I liked this one, brought a lot of nice memories, a great song in CATS. Mom and I went to that three times, we loved it so much. Husband barely made it through one performance. Saw the original HAIR in Chicago many moons ago, with my then boyfriend, now husband of 46 years today. GREASE on film only and have never seen WICKED.

Amazon has made it far too easy to shop without leaving home, I get into a lot of trouble there.

Cute puzzle, like ot a lot.

Thomaso808 3:06 AM  

@chefwen, congrats on 46 years with your hubby, and best wishes for many more! If you have to do a nonstop to New York, HAWAIIANAIR is the way to go. Have a great trip!

DNF on a Tuesday! I had CAMi / iDETS -- no clue on ODETS and my military buddies pronounce it "cammies". Maybe I'm thinking cami short for camisole. Do they make camouflage camisoles? Probably -- you can get anything ONLINE.

It would have been a rare Mon and Tues DNF except it seems the Shortzmeister posted on Wordplay and proclaimed yesterday's DOH / ARGOS to be officially accepted, so all the thousands of DNFs from yesterday received a full pardon. Yay! That's what you call Will Power!

wiki is a good thing 3:30 AM  

GOA is a state in India.

Thomaso808 5:20 AM  

For the record: when I took the SAT the highest possible score was 1600. For my kids the highest score was 2400, which included a third exam on writing. In 2016 the ETS changed the SAT back to a max of 1600. Much discussion today about that with my wife and youngest (21 year old) daughter. We had to have a family Google.

Mr. Fitch 5:25 AM  

I don't see a problem with the revealer and theme. An intermission is a gap between parts of a play/musical. The themers represent that graphically.

Anonymous 5:35 AM  

DDE are Eisenhower's initials, not a monogram.

chefwen 5:50 AM  

@ Thomaso808, Mahalo for your kind words. It's been an actioned packed, fun filled journey. We recommend it!

Lewis 6:07 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 6:15 AM  

I suppose this is fair criticism from a guy who once did a puzzle for Buzzfeed.

Lewis 6:18 AM  

@rex -- So... why might this be "above average for a Tuesday"? Are there some reasons?
@larry -- "Asking for a friend" -- Hah!
@chefwen -- Congratulations on your 46 years! Could it be your cooking?

Clever theme concept, a literal INTERMISSION, even though it didn't help with my solve. Some lovely answers: BE THAT WAY, SCHISM, ICARUS, STREWN and GINKGO. I like the neighboring words that start with the same SOUNDs: OH WAIT by OASIS. As always with Jeff Chen (alone or pas de deux) the grid is scrubbed clean. And I like that the theme answers each have two words. Also, very nice resistance on a Tuesday (for me) yet still easier than a Wednesday -- good to have this end of the Tuesday scale represented.

BarbieBarbie 6:22 AM  

Anon @5:35, do you mean the monogram would be a giant E flanked by two smaller Ds? Or what are you getting at?

I agree with Rex about the ", informally." I actually was looking for some kind of themer along those lines at first. Weird. Disagree about GODNO, though. Easy with two crosses.

@chefwen, hooray for your anniversary and extra-hooray for your spectacular celebration adventure! I hope it's great.
@Larry, wow, DDE and in an open convertible to boot. That's quite a memory. I grew up in CA too, and now I live in a smaller state where we often see our elected officials, and even that seemed really thrilling at first until I did the math. Imagine even knowing the POTUS route ahead of time, these days.

Whoa, back to Maleskaville with ATTAR.

Seemed like an average Tuesday to me (not medium-challenging per Rex) I liked the revealer and themers, and I don't care about grid size so never noticed. Maybe that's a thing for people who competitively time themselves? Or for constructors?

Anonymous 6:52 AM  

Anon 5:35 here. Yes - to be super pedantic a monogram is a single symbol combining one's initials (hence the "mono" + "gram") but in modern usage like on personalised items I'd expect it to be as you describe - DED with the E substantially larger.

Two Ponies 7:01 AM  

I did not care for this at all. Too few actual words, it seemed to be filed with proper names/nouns/abbrev.
Do I need an entire paragraph to clue dank?
Completely agree about "did a set", loved Rex's "ate some toast."

If the answer is Iron Man could the clue be an endurance race or a Black Sabbath song please? Enough with the comic books.

@ Larry Gilstrap, Where I live camo pants are a very common sight whether you are in the woods or in the grocery store. I don't even notice them anymore. Hey, maybe they're working!

kitshef 7:12 AM  

I’m sure I could go back and disprove this, but off the top of my head, this was my least favorite NYT puzzle, excluding a couple of trick puzzles.

ITD, OHWAIT, ABCTV, GOA (as clued), ENDSIT, DIDASET, BETHATWAY, ITRY, IADMITIT. A couple of those I could live with in a puzzle. But there are nine of them.

Add to that the dreaded letters-in-circles theme.

The only less pleasing puzzles I can recall were that ‘change of heart’ puzzle and the one where you had to anagrammatize every clue.

Unknown 7:17 AM  

GINKO is Japanese. GINGKO is Chinese. Wikipedia considers the latter a misspelling of the Japanese version. But what's a"misspelling" in a transliteration of an Asian language into English? The choices here are pretty arbitrary.

Hungry Mother 7:18 AM  

I stopped for lunch in West Virginia on a return trip eastward, and was amazed at all of the CAMOPANTS on display.

QuasiMojo 7:20 AM  

It took two people to come up with this dreck? Yikes. Dull and insipid puzzle. We need someone to STOP THE SLIPPING at the NYT.

Z 7:20 AM  

@anon 5:35/6:52 - Super pedantry is an okay quality here. Wikipedia has a nice introduction on monograms.

I liked this more than Rex. And have you ever had to make small talk during an INTERMISSION? "Gibberish" seems an apt description to me. Theme works fine for me.

@Lewis - Yah. Not enough time spent on the puzzles strengths.

Hey, Didja know that Rex has had puzzles published in the NYT and other places? Didja know he once complained about a puzzle being rejected by the NYT because Sherman Alexie was deemed too obscure? Didja know he oft criticizes low constructor pay, the low representation of non-white males amongst published constructors, and a skewing of the puzzle toward an older, mostly white audience? Didja know he stopped submitting puzzles to the NYT, although he has never explicitly stated why (at least not anywhere I've seen)? Didja?

BarbieBarbie 7:46 AM  

@Z, I knew about half of that. Maybe that's why it sometimes seems that Rex does the puzzle but never reads the paper.
Huh, Sherman Alexie obscure? Maybe WS doesn't read either.

GHarris 7:56 AM  

My confidence has been restored. A puzzle ranked medium challenging by rex I found relatively easy (as well as enjoyable). I'm easy to please when I succeed.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Maybe Vincente Fox is a comic book character?

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

The theme really didn't seem that interesting. Having said that, I have been working through puzzles from 1994 and the quality has vastly improved from back then. I can only conclude that the quality must have gotten better and better and peaked at some point before declining (at least in Rex's view). Or possibly, expectations have risen too high because of all the indie puzzles published.

chefbea 8:31 AM  

tough Tuesday...DNF. Wanted the intermissions to spell out something...didn't realize what was left were the names of Broadway shows. What in the world is in beta??? Haven't read the comments , maybe it has been discussed

Evil Doug 8:59 AM  

Well I was a pilot in Nam, therefore anyone who flies HAWAIIANAIR is a pussy.

Suzy 9:07 AM  

Must disagree with Rex, possibly because this puzzle was right in my wheelhouse! Finished
in record time and enjoyed the theme.

btw, #chefwen-- hubby and I just celebtrated our 46th-- wish we'd been in Hawaii!

Blue Stater 9:07 AM  

In light of the current freefall in quality of the puzzles, the NYT should add to the capabilities of its online solving facility the ability to mark errors or stretchers. Today's is 10A, "Clock setting for an alarm," AMPM. Huh? No can do on *my* alarm [clock radio], anyway. AM, yes. PM, yes. AMPM, no. Again, running the puzzles through the copydesk would obviate howlers like this.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

So... Am I the only one who had GOD__ at 26D and seriously considered GO DIE as an answer?

Everybody's Token Black Friend 9:12 AM  

The Eisenhower clue troubled me as well. I still remember the proud look on my grandmother's face when she presented me with a set of monogrammed shirts to take to university and the debate that followed regarding the order of my initials. Of course, she did her research and got it right-last name in the middle. She was the granddaughter of slaves and considered it a triumph to master such niceties. I would love to have her here right now to see her reaction to being smarter than the NYT crossword puzzle editors.

ArtO 9:16 AM  

Why should the intermissions spell out anything? They are "between the acts", the acts being the show. Totally invalid criticism of the theme by "you know who".

Blue Stater 9:20 AM  

I respectfully disagree with Anonymous @8:06 a.m. about the puzzles having gotten better through the years since 1994. Of course I'd have to go through and redo a substantial number to support my view empirically (I'll spare myself that), but my dominant feeling is that the quality dropped sharply once Eugene Maleska stopped being editor, and more recently, say for the last year or so, it has plummeted. But I'm pleased that we have Rex to call out these failings when they need it.

Steve M 9:24 AM  

Easy paid no attention to theme

jberg 9:26 AM  

I'm with @Robin on wanting a better clue for GOA. Other possible alternates:

50A - "Insects shooting videos"

29D - "Grabs the aisle seat of an empty row at the theatre."

And really stretching it:

58A - "Opened a safe electronically in a Midwestern state.

Like @Rex and @chefbea, I wanted the intermission squares to spell something. ADMIT IT, that would have been really cool. But I quickly decided that was too much to ask. Maybe of @Loren comes back she'll think of one.

@chefbea-- when software developers have a program that works, but they are not sure they have got all the bugs out, they offer a BETA version to people who agree to try it out and report any problems. Such a program is said to be IN BETA.

Teedmn 9:36 AM  

GINKGO put up a fight for me today (GINKOs, GINKoe). And I had the DARNEDEST time coming up with 9D. So this was a rather tricky Tuesday for me.

The theme is fine. At first, when I saw HA...IR, I thought it was going to be things that were split - WO....OD, EN...DS, BAN....ANAS. INTERMISSION cleared that up.

GO Die? Is that an emphatic refusal? This went through my head as 26D emerged.

I read the book, WICKED, and it was rather fun to re-imagine the "Wizard of Oz" from the point of view of the "wicked" witches but it wasn't so great that I wanted to see the play or read the sequel.

Thanks, Michelle and Jeff, nice Tuesday with a bit of challenge.

puzzlehoarder 9:42 AM  

Generally I just talk about the day's puzzle and I try not to waste people's time about it. That was why I didn't mention Jeff Chen's whining about getting a Monday dnf by confusing ARGUS with ARGOS based on the interjection of a cartoon character. I wish I had brought it up because it was just the tip of the whining iceberg fest. People like to talk about the how the quality of the NYT's puzzle has gone down hill but how about the solving level of the Google addicted public. You want your online Monday solving streak restored? What you need is a swift kick in your solving pants to wake you the hell on up. What WS should apologize for is putting crap like DUH and DOH in the puzzles in the first place. I'm no expert on Greek or any other kind of mythology but ARGUS has always been ARGUS that's why I put it in without hesitation long before I got to the clue for DUH. DUH and DOH are interchangeable garbage entries who's only purpose is to facilitate an endless stream of early week themed puzzles. I try not to waste commenting space but yesterday's whining really got under my skin. If I wanted whining I could just read our host's comments. I hope I haven't offended any of his Twitter toads.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Was thinking clock radio so wanted AMfM.

RooMonster 9:50 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with Rex on this one. And @Two Ponies 7:01. And @kitshef 7:10 about the too many partials. @Z makes a good point about Rex's puzs he used to submit to the NYT. They kept getting rejected, and of course, he thinks they are much better than the ones that get published, so naturally he gets pissed off at the (dreck-ish) ones that get in. I feel his pain. An entry of mine once, MY TRUST IN YOU was rejected as too big a partial.

But I digress. OH WAIT, it SOUNDS like I'm a DRAG. I ADMIT IT. I'll BE THAT WAY. :-)

ATTAR/ITO Natick. DNF on the T. Didn't even bother to run the alphabet, as wouldn't have known it regardless. Did the editors, test solvers, constructor miss that one too?


Nancy 9:56 AM  

What on earth is fROPS UP (12D), I asked myself, being completely sure of AM fM at 10A. DOH! or DUH! from yesterday. How dumb I am. I quickly corrected, and then the NE, the only part of the puzzle that gave me any trouble at all, was done. I did it as I always do, ignoring all the annoying tiny little circles (Hi, @Aketi). I didn't find anything about it especially hard. I didn't need the theme at all. But then, before coming here, I looked at the theme answers to find out what was going on. Aha. Musicals. Musicals being broken up by an INTERMISSION. Cute. But completely irrelevant to my solving experience. Once again, a puzzle that is more about the constructor's prowess than the solver's enjoyment. But at least it was junk-free, always a plus.

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

@ED --

Were you a Trash Hauler in Nam? Inquiring minds want to know...

Craig Percy 10:43 AM  

So true!

jb129 10:48 AM  

Isn't this supposed to be fun?

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:48 AM  

I didn't have a problem with the theme necessarily, but it felt like the fill comprised only proper nouns (sometimes crossing each other) and conversational phrases. I didn't have fun doing this one.

Craig Percy 10:51 AM  

An easy one for me. Rare when OFL claims medium-challenging and I sail thru. Thanks JC.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

For a second thought 26D was GO DIE.

Nancy 10:58 AM  

@Larry G (1:20 a.m.)and @BarbieBarbie -- I never saw DDE in an open convertible, but the POTUS I did see in an open convertible from really close up was far more exciting to the 20-year-old college student I was. I saw JFK. And though that memory now is tinged with sorrow and what-ifs about JFK in an open convertible, I, having no foreknowledge of the tragedy to come so soon after, found it one of the most exciting experiences of my life. The motorcade came up Broadway, past the Columbia campus. It moved slowly. Kennedy was, I think, actually standing in the car and waving. It was a sunny day, and while JFK had always photographed dark, his hair in the sunlight seemed sort of corn-colored -- like Bobby's. He was undoubtedly far and away the handsomest and most charismatic man I had ever seen in person. My heart started pounding. I began chiding myself. I was, you see, majoring in Government. This is not the way you're supposed to feel about a President of the United States, I told myself. Which did absolutely no good at all, as my heart started beating even faster. I venture to say that every female in the crowd probably had the same reaction.

Joseph Michael 11:01 AM  

Fun concept and I understand the need to keep the themers recognizable to a broad audience, but it would have been nice to include a couple of more current one-word titles, such as "Hamilton" or "Oslo" (both recent Pulitzer winners). Also liked the bonus of Clifford ODETS waiting in the wings (or Waiting for Lefty).

Not used to seeing so many phrases and statements in the grid, such as OH GOD, IN BETA, I TRY, I ADMIT IT, etc. I guess its OK, but tends to weaken the tea a bit.

Favorite fill: DARNEDEST, which is kind of an odd word if you think about it. Also liked BE THAT WAY, which is often what I say to Rex after reading his reviews. such as the one today.

@puzzlehoarder, well said. I always enjoy your posts.

RAD2626 11:09 AM  

Puzzle seemed forced in several spots but theme was cute and to stick INTERMISSION right in the middle of the puzzle physically was a neat touch. If we include GOD NO, could have had DAmNEDEST for a clean profanity sweep. For those old enough to remember or even remotely care Art Linkletter went with DARNDEST version of the word in his Kids Say the DARNDEST Things, which is what I first tried to put in, since I suspect that is the only time I have ever seen it written out before. Who needs Google when you can remember TV Guide?

GILL I. 11:47 AM  

I can't really say why, but the puzzle irked me. Maybe because when I see "informally" I want to run somewhere and scream and as @Rex pointed out, there sure were lots. Also the IT seemed to drop in whenever IT wanted to.
@Madeleine Sann...The first time I was introduced to the female GINKCO tree was in Annapolis. A bunch of us had picked up a huge bucket of Maryland Blue Crabs and were headed to a friends for an outdoor feast. The crabs were dumped on a picnic table covered with newspaper and we all eagerly headed for the table when I stopped dead in my tracks. I yelled out "Don't eat the crabs, they smell like vomit." Right over the picnic table was this beautiful but foul smelling tree. You NEVER forget the odor.....
@chefwen...Happy Happy to you and husband. I thought my 30 years was a lot! Pictures on Facebook?

JC66 11:52 AM  


Congratulations on a terrific and memorable milestone.

Aketi 11:57 AM  

@Nancy, what I focused on in the puzzle were the four GOs, the two single OPs, the two plural OPS, and the MISSION. Then WAIT emerged to put a halt to it. So I was looking at the other circles.

Never met a US President but Lady Bird Johnson shook my hand when I was a little girl,

IRON MAN movies are some of my favorite Marvel movies. I like depressing Russian novels too. There is nothing wrong with liking both.

GILL I. 12:03 PM  

My claim to fame? I once waved at Batista in Havana. I wish I had had my sling shot with me. Would have hit him right between the eyes.

Unknown 12:31 PM  

Hunters. Big time. I have a 3 year old grandnephew who wears camo all the time. Daddy is a hunter. As I've never attended one I can't speak to the bar mitzvah question, but I bet the occasional hunter does well on standardized tests! ��

Masked and Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Half-debut puz. Half-reality puz?

The theme. Welll nowww ...

1. Stuff like WAIIANA is, indeed a "break" (reality intermission) from makin any sense, in the middle of HAIR. But, hey -- I've seen stage performances where the intermission made more sense than the play, also.

2. CAMOPANTS and GREEKVASE both sounded slightly "custom-built", but seem to get lotsa Google bites, sooo … ok.

3. staff intermission weeject pick: EKV.

4. M&A lays odds that there might be some solid potential for a RE + (reality intermission) + NT themer. Not so much, for: CABA + (reality intermission) + RET.

5. All the musical play names are artfully divided prezactly in half by the (reality intermission) cast, except for WI + CKED. Its second half looks to run kinda dangerously long, without a pee break.

Jeff Chen is still one of M&A's fave constructioneers, even with this lil reality intermission. And *congratz* to newbie Michelle Kenney darlin, on her half of the puz. If I were her, I'd call dibs on the non-WAIIANA half. har
Anyhoo, thanx for the fun.
AL + (reality intermission) + EG.*

And a special *congratz* to the cute @chefwen couple. 46 years without an intermission. An impressive run.

And @RP: Primo bullets. Write-up grade = NIETO.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


* [break a leg]

Joe Bleaux 1:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:21 PM  

@chefbea: What in the world is in beta???

well, in the IT world, any 1.0 release of software from MicroSoft

Mongoose 1:23 PM  


The comments about presidential sightings reminded me of my own "encounter" with JFK. In 1962, as a ninth grader in Houston, I attended his famous "we choose to go to the moon" speech at Rice Stadium. It was awesome in every way. He spoke in detail, with eloquence, knowledge and authority, about the status of space science, the importance of space exploration, and Houston's place at the center of America's space effort. He declared that we would put a man on the moon in the decade of the sixties. He said, "It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university." Sure enough, in 1969, as a senior at Rice, I watched the first moon landing on TV.

For me, Kennedy's speech remains one of the most inspiring and moving presidential addresses ever. I think it is up there with the Gettysburg Address and some of Churchill's wartime speeches. He motivated the nation to commit the necessary resources for the moon project and he inspired a generation of space-crazy kids to study science and engineering. Here is the text of the speech:

evil doug 1:44 PM  

Evil Doug wrote:
"Well I was a pilot in Nam, therefore anyone who flies HAWAIIANAIR is a pussy."

Anonymous asked:
"@ED --
Were you a Trash Hauler in Nam? Inquiring minds want to know..."

You'd have to ask that Evil Doug, because I'm not him. But if I had to hazard a guess, I imagine the only thing he knows about airplanes is how to fill an air sickness bag back in seat 27B....

Masked and Anonymous 1:45 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masked and Anonymous 1:47 PM  

@jberg: har on yer GOA clues. Primo stuff. Insect one blew my mind plumb open, tho. Another desperate possibility with theme tie-in …

{Goat's part, before intermission??}.

Of course, who could resist …

{Goatee sported by someone going tee-less??}

M&A Help Desk

A belated shout-out to today's puzgrid's jaws of themelessness black square arrays. Makes for some nice, long stacks in the corners. Always a solvequest t(h)reat.

SECRA has many el nieto anagrams. Try to get all twelve, during the next reality intermission.

Natticus 2:18 PM  

This one went down smooth, little higher than average for a Tuesday, until ITO/ATTAR. Horrible cross, totally out of sync with the rest of the puzzle.

gifcan 4:09 PM  

@evil Doug - nice reply re: the imposter.

@Larry Gilstrap - asking for a friend, har!

@chefwen - congrats

Didn't like GODNO. Just didn't like it.

I never, ever notice larger grids until I get here. Never.

Looking for my error before completion I found that Uber drivers were unhappy about NOTIeS. What? You can't wear a tie? Pries up quickly changed to PROPSUP.

Cassieopia 4:15 PM  

@chefwen, congrats on a wonderful and happy milestone!

Cassieopia 4:24 PM  

Thought the theme was pretty dumb - yeah, two ends with an "intermission" make a new word, whoopie - then came here and learned they're all Broadway shows, then I felt the theme was slightly redeemed and I was the dumb one.

Enjoyed the comments and being schooled on monograms. Have to agree (after studying the issue closely) that I agree with the nit-pickers.

Nice Tuesday overall.

Anonymous 4:34 PM  

Go to Rex Parker twitter for some thoughtful, civil discussion. Just kidding - profane, inciting hate speech.

Two Ponies 4:35 PM  

@ evil doug,
Glad you cleared that up.
I had to look twice to notice the black lettering and no avatar.

Anonymous 4:43 PM  

Binghamton University officials will be reading these tweets. Rest assured.

Doc Procto 4:47 PM  

@ anon 4:34
How right you are.
Reading that twitter feed is like viewing his mind through
a colonoscopy probe.

Rob 5:20 PM  

Theme isn't terrible, but it's kind of uninspired. It's Tuesday, though, which doesn't usually leave a ton of room for out-there themes. My big complaint, though: speaking as a DJ, DID A SET is far outside common parlance. You don't "do" a set, you play a set.

I also wondered about DDE vs. DED, so I'm glad it wasn't just me.

Joe Dipinto 5:23 PM  

It would have been better if the "inter-missions" could have been the names of actual missions (e.g. Alamo or San Juan Capistrano; or Challenger, Discovery, etc., as in NASA missions). A little too much to pull off, I realize.

The5th Harp 5:50 PM  

A monogram may be your initials.

Ian Newbould 7:02 PM  

Trump supporters wear camo stuff. Dumb bastards that they are. "Patriotic" you know. And for whiteys, not dreamers.

Anonymous 7:12 PM  

Why didn't you respond to ThinkProgress about your salary compared to those of your school's janitors?

Joe 7:58 PM  

Like the Squeeze video, Rex! Seems to have been prodcued by Kmart. I know and love the song well, but missed this semi-MTV version.

Anonymous 8:05 PM  

Seems Newbould is done spewing his hateful rhetoric.

Hal 9:35 PM  

Beats the gamma tests of the old days. (OS/2 - half an operating system. Says so on the label.)

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Burma Shave 10:18 AM  


ITRY my DARNEDEST to cover that HAIR,
you can’t GOA a minute ‘til YOURE UNIT is BARE.


thefogman 10:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 10:28 AM  

He often gets accused of being Mr. Cranky Pants. But today, OFL just happens to render a fair verdict. But hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day...
I found it a touch more difficult to solve than your standard Tuesday offering. But it was unsatisfying. The middle of the themed answer required something sparkling to elevate this puz from being a lunchbag letdown - A baloney sandwich and a glass of milk but no Waggon Wheel. It was okay, but it could have been so much better.
Up until yesterday, I was enjoying a treasure trove of free archived NYT puzzles via the Seattle Times and/or Vancouver Sun websites. Something happened, and now those sites no longer provide these free archived puzzles dating from way back. It looks like the only source for this material is the paid monthly subscription with the NYT. SAD!

spacecraft 10:29 AM  

Et tu, Jeff? AMPM ITD GOA ABCTV and who? NIETO on a Tuesday? And of all the EVANs, some obscure actress? Or is it actor?? Still not sure. This puzzle certainly seems as though it were INBETA (add to above list). IADMITIT, it took STAMINA for me to DRAG myself through this. Did I like it? GODNO! Add that one too.

As said above, the shining star here is BETHATWAY, but at what price? Theme is BARE, hardly ARABLE. Come to think of it, the best feature about this puzzle is that it gives lots of words to describe it! 34-down is an OASIS in this desert. It PROPSUP nothing. I found a DOD: "At Seventeen" singer Janis IAN.

Getting closer and closer to @I skip M-W's point of view. Double-bogey.

rondo 1:35 PM  

OHWAIT, GODNO, ISWEAR ITRY, IADMITIT. I thought C.C. was master of the short phrases, but there’s a new sheriff in town. Got the idea after HAIR and GREASE showed up and it was just a matter of what other shows would appear after INTERMISSION.

Like others above, I’d prefer IRONMAN as a Black Sabbath tune ORR an athletic event.

Got into hot water in H.S. after a bunch of us EGGED the principal’s house on Halloween. Hot water and scrub brushes to clean it up.

Yeah baby EVAN Rachel Wood was a gimme.

SOUNDS like I’m being generous to this puz, but that’s OK, ITRY to BETHATWAY ONLINE. That about ENDSIT.

leftcoastTAM 2:38 PM  

Agree in part with Rex, about the theme. Broadway shows have INTERMISSIONS, or "breaks". Is that all there is here?

OK, IADMITIT, that may be enough for Tuesday. But it's not very much.

ITRY may sound "humble", but it can also be false modesty.

On a positive note, the cupboard is not BARE. There is some very good fill, and we can choose our favorites. Mine is BETHATWAY.

Scott McLean 3:14 PM  

I really don't care for stuff like DOASET, OHWAIT, IADMITIT, ENDSIT (two ITs in one puzzle?). Even NEWMOM was kinda green-paint-ish. BETHATWAY gets a pass since it's actually a real and common phrase. The others, well, yeah, they're things that people might say under certain circumstances, but not colorful or well-known lexicon. I wouldn't be surprised to see EATSOMETOAST in the grid before too long. Good one, Rex.

The rest of the fill was just meh. The theme was just meh.

Not an awful puzzle, just no real sparkle.

Diana,LIW 3:20 PM  

So who is BETH ATWAY? ;-)

I was congratulating myself on guessing the T in ITO/ATTAR, when I saw my dnf up top. My goading was urGED on. (EVAN and RINKGO - figured I just didn't know...)

But! I learned something today I had long wondered about. Lived in Philadelphia, and wondered what those stinky things were on the sidewalk. Now I know they are from our friend the GINKGO (stinko) tree. Brought that smell right back to mind. Always pleasant when one of those stinkers gets stuck to your shoe. Everyone around you appreciates the afterglow, too.

Liked it more than Rex. Gosh. And Macy's is having a sale.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crossswords

leftcoastTAM 5:42 PM  

@D,LIW--Wasn't BETH ATWAY in one of those Broadway shows?

Diana,LIW 7:47 PM  

@Lefty - I think she may have been a background singer in GREASE - tho I thought she was in West Side Story, as an AmWAY rep, in a little-known version as a friend of Maria, an Avon salesperson. "Oh to be in America!"

Lady Di, Awaiting Foolishness

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