One-named Spanish-born actress / TUE 10-24-17 / Japanese eel-and-rice dish / Mustachioed character on Simpsons / Loamy soil / Horses that could be hounds badgers / 2006 cult classic action film

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Medium (I was slow, but the puzzle is a plus-size 16 squares wide)


THEME: ANOTHER DIMENSION (59A: What a sci-fi portal might lead to ... or what's added successively to the ends of the answers to the starred clues) — each step in the sequence POINT LINE PLANE SPACE represents an incremental jump of one dimension

Theme answers:
  • "THAT'S NOT THE POINT" (18A: *"You fail to understand what I'm saying")
  • PICK-UP LINE (24A: *Cheesy fare served at a bar?)
  • "SNAKES ON A PLANE" (38A: *2006 cult-classic action film)
  • "I NEED SPACE" (53A: *"This relationship is smothering me)
Word of the Day: Jerome KERN (57D: Jerome who composed "Ol' Man River") —
Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Long Ago (and Far Away)" and "Who?". He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr., Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin and E. Y. Harburg. // A native New Yorker, Kern created dozens of Broadway musicals and Hollywood films in a career that lasted for more than four decades. His musical innovations, such as 4/4 dance rhythms and the employment of syncopation and jazz progressions, built on, rather than rejected, earlier musical theatre tradition. He and his collaborators also employed his melodies to further the action or develop characterization to a greater extent than in the other musicals of his day, creating the model for later musicals. Although dozens of Kern's musicals and musical films were hits, only Show Boat is now regularly revived. Songs from his other shows, however, are still frequently performed and adapted. Many of Kern's songs have been adapted by jazz musicians to become standard tunes. (wikipedia)
• • •

Again with the renegade "?" theme clue! (24A: *Cheesy fare served at a bar?). Ugh. If your theme is not entirely "?"-based, save your "?" for the rest of the fill, man. It's just common courtesy. This theme is interesting to contemplate upon completion (kudos to you if you noticed the theme before getting the revealer). No D — One D — Two D — Three D. Alrighty then. But again we run headlong into the stubborn fact that the NYT doesn't give a *******$&%&$*# what happens beyond the theme. The fill is a cavalcade of last-century laffers, STET ACAI! LEI OONA! MOLE OLE! AERO CHARO! ELSA LECAR! (best stripper name ever!) What is the ETA on better fill? Maybe we'll see some INDO near future? I'm SOU upset—why does the puzzle keep PAREE-tending this is acceptable? EWE know what I mean? KERN you believe it? Ugh, I'm at a LOESS.


I spent at least two full seconds wondering what an IPAD DRESS was (37D: Certain network ID). I got the IPAD part quickly, and, well, it's hard to unsee that IPAD once you've seen it. I once again wrote in OOMA instead of OONA for 32A: Chaplin of "Game of Thrones" because once again, no matter how many times I get the Chaplin clue (and it's A Lot by now), I freeze up and pick the wrong letter. Is OOMA even a name??? UMA, OONA. That should be so easy to remember. I thought 5A: Shakespeare, informally was BARD, and then, I thought, "Oh, *informally*...," and wrote in BILL. This left me wondering what BIND POWER was (5D: Energy source from a "farm"). Hardest clue for me was, in retrospect, the cleverest—70A: Horses that could be hounds or badgers? (NAGS). I kept wondering what kind of weird equine slang I was dealing with; only after finishing did I see that NAGS is a synonym of "hounds" and "badgers" (the verbs, not the animals). OK, I gotta get some sleep now. Later.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

119 comments:

puzzlehoarder 12:26 AM  

This was a step up from yesterday. The clue for JETSKI was odd enough to make me hesitate.

Another glitch was erasing my BARD/WILL write over so poorly that I still read the first letter of 8D as a D instead of an L. This delayed the obvious LATINA. That's typical of my solving once I move on previous answers are completely forgotten.

Speaking of obvious LATINAs, CHARO was a gimmie. I'm guessing @Nancy didn't need a single cross to get 57D. I needed the first three letters. Other than these little stumbles the only issues were of course the themers and like most themes this one bored me to distraction.

Jyqm 1:36 AM  

As the clue mentions, Charo is not Latina! Though she is notably Hispanic.

Larry Gilstrap 1:47 AM  

Informally, we call him WILL, but you can call him Sir Francis Bacon, or you can him Christopher Marlowe, or you can call him Edward de Vere, or you can call him William Stanley, but don't call him Bill. I think the moniker The Bard of Avon post-dated the actual person, if there was an actual person, which I believe there was. When I was in Stratford in the late 70s, locals seemed to respect the legacy, and, in reality, 400 years isn't that long.

CHARO was Spanish? Anybody ever hang out at Charo's on the North Shore of Kauai? What was her catch phrase?

Thought the themers had something to do with geometry until we got to SPACE and then we got to Sci-Fi and DIMENSION and high school math was out the window.

Lie is an intransitive verb and Lay is a transitive verb and they are irregular and it's ok to pause before saying one of the verb forms; it is not ok to say or write the wrong form. People notice.

Unknown 1:48 AM  

I have a general question for the experienced (amateur) x-word types around here...

As an adult-onset puzzler, but one who's been doing the NYT for the past 3 years or so, I feel like I'm still on ANOTHERDIMENSION, and definitely not a higher one. Finished this one in about 22 minutes and finished Monday in about 16. Rex listed a time of 3:38 yesterday which seems positively unachievable. Noting this benchmark, I re-did the Monday puzzle after *knowing* all the answers and it still took me about 4:30!

Is a sub-5 minute time on Monday / Tuesday achievable for those of us without eidetic memories? Are a lot of you out there achieving Rex-level times? Just curious.

Anonymous 2:31 AM  

He’s a speed solver. Amazing.

chefwen 2:53 AM  

@Larry G. CHARO’S has been closed for a about 10 years now. At some point it was taken over, but now lies empty which is a shame as it has a magnificent view of Hanalei bay. Her catch phrase was “Coochi Coochi”.

Liked the puzzle, pretty easy for me as was Monday’s puzzle. Two write overs. peas befor OKRA (hope I’m not the only one there) and Paul before PIUS.

I will NEVER watch SNAKES ON A PLANE just the thought of it sends me into another DIMENSION.

Horace S. Patoot 3:20 AM  

Great write-up, Rex. I loved the clue on NAGS!

evil doug 4:16 AM  

GEORGE: My father had a car salesman buddy. He was gonna fix him up real nice. Next thing I know, I’m gettin’ dropped off in a Le Car with a fabric sunroof. All the kids are shoutin’ at me, "Hey, Le George! Bonjour, Le George! Let’s stuff Le George in Le Locker!"

andrea carla michaels 4:46 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hartley70 4:47 AM  

This was an appropriate Tuesday puzzle. The fill wasn't particularly challenging with the exception of UNADON. I found a picture of the dish and the best I can say about it is that it's not raw. The only thing worse than eating eel is eating raw eel. It's a bit too close to SNAKES and I'm with @chefwen on SNAKESONAPLANE.

I had the same minor stumbles as the other insomniacs and time zone refugees. Bard became Will which gave me WINDPOWER. Speaking of wind power, I came across what looked like beautiful sculpture on the road recently, only to be informed it was wind turbine blades. They are beautiful objects.

andrea carla michaels 4:49 AM  

Blogger andrea carla michaels said...
Oooh im so happy when I'm on same wavelength as Rex!
I couldn't get past IPAD DRESS (it goes so well with my IPOD JACKET and my IPHONE SHOES!)

And the whole NAGS thing didn't get till coming here!

evil doug 5:14 AM  

Don't know about snakes, but there's been a story this week about bedbugs attacking some airline passengers.

During Air Force pilot training in West Texas a classmate found a rattlesnake curled up in his jet's wheel well. I also got stung by a scorpion in our apartment there....good times!

Thomaso808 5:24 AM  

What a great puzzle!

First time I’ve seen Rex or anyone say that if one themer is a “?” then all need to be. Where did that come from? Maybe because the entry for 5A is WILL?

Kudos to me, according to OFL, because yes I did see the theme coming with just POINT, LINE, and PLANE.

@Nancy, fess up, was KERN in your wheelhouse, as @puzzlehoarder predicts? It was a WOE for me!

OKRA is ever-present at the local farmers market (in Hawaii!). I have bought it several times but have yet to figure out what to do with it besides soup. @Chefbea, @Chefwen, any suggestions?

Jofried 5:39 AM  

@Unknown, I’ve been solving the puzzle for several years and my times have steadily improved. Having said that, I’m not in the same league as OFL. Monday took me 6 minutes and Tuesday took me 9 minutes. I’ve never entered any crossword contest and this is the only puzzle I do. Like anything else, the more you practice the faster you get. But I don’t worry about matching Rex’s time, I just try to beat my own best times for each day of the week.

BarbieBarbie 5:48 AM  

Medium for me. Would have been cool if the phrases had had, successively, one D, two Ds, etcetera. But they don’t, so OK. Yes, I grokked the theme early, and it did give me a little appreciative frisson, but no delighted giggles. Medium.

Hand up for Bill before Will. Wonder if Bill was used for William back then. Scholars?

I did notice the crosswordese as I solved, but what I thought I noticed was that it seemed to occur in weird clumps, as though an NYT puzzle with holes in it had been placed over a Dell puzzle-book. Anyone else get that impression?

@Unknown, I’m not all that experienced, but I would say your pace is dictated by a lot of things. Time of day, mode of solving, the puzzle’s Wheelhouse Quotient for you, whether you enjoy stopping to contemplate the puzzle during or after the solve, etcetera. Yeah, Rex’s times are fast, but then he’s a time-champion of some kind. My iPad tells me I once broke 7 minutes on a Tuesday, but double-digits are much more usual. And I only know that because the app has a Statistics button, and as a STEMer I feel an obligation to click on it. I guess if it took 3 or 4 hours I wouldn’t do it, but racing the clock doesn’t seem like fun, and this is for fun. Savor the worplay! When there is some.

Lewis 5:54 AM  

@rex -- Hand up for seeing and sticking with IPAD.

Here's what a relic I am. I used to think there were three dimensions -- length, width, depth -- and then time was the next. Now, after some cursory research, I come to see the universe has at least 10 dimensions. Where was I when this all happened?

I felt the cluing was right on POINT for Tuesday -- easyish but still requiring a layer of thought. The puzzle, I see, has a HORNET to go with LE CAR, and a couple of rhyming crossers: MOLE/OLE and EWE/SPEW. And I like the appropriate crosses of PIUS and BLESS with PAPAL BULL, which was my favorite answer of the puzzle. Lovely clues for PICKUP LINE and NAGS. The theme wasn't necessary for the solve, but it was fun trying to figure it out before getting all the theme answers. I didn't succeed, but it was still fun.

I generally expect a good time on Tuesday, and this was that and more. Good one!

Anonymous 6:06 AM  

I just blew out the old colon and am feeling pretty sweet.

Thomaso808 6:10 AM  

@Jofried, very well said!

Let me add that in striving to improve one’s time, indeed a worthy goal, there is a cost in appreciating the journey. I have many times missed a clever clue along the way. There is a value of appreciating the “aha” along the way versus the “aha” looking back.

Laura Nyro 6:41 AM  

Re: Wedding Bell Blues video:

The song was exceptionally fitting for the group, as members Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. were engaged at the time, but had not set a wedding date. This played well on television appearances, as Marilyn would sing to "Bill" and Davis would put on that look guys get when they're being hassled about getting married. McCoo and Davis did get married later in 1969, and remained together.

Anonymous 6:44 AM  

Being a southerner, okra is best when it is breaded and fried. Northerners usually have no idea what okra even is. Okra can also be made into a sauce for rice dishes (seen much more in Africa) but most Westerners find it too slimy to eat that way. I used to hate the slimy stuff until I had to eat it every day in the African village where I lived. Then finally, I became adjusted to the taste and liked it.

Great review on the puzzle, Rex. I also could not figure out what an Ipad dress was! A lot of crosswordese and your rant was quite funny this time. Overall, an ok Tuesday.

Two Ponies 7:01 AM  

Charo is unfortunately best known as Xavier Cugat's wife and Coochie Coochie bimbo. In fact, she is an extremely talented classical guitarist.

I once worked as a 911 operator (cool job, BTW) and it took a while to understand that the car we were looking for was a Renault LeCar and not a Lee Car as the caller described it.

Okra that is battered and deep fried is edible but isn't everything?

Hungry Mother 7:05 AM  

Very nice theme. I quit drinking in 1989 and struggle to understand IPA, chocolate martinis, and the like found in craft breweries and bars these days.

LaurieG in Connecticut 7:07 AM  

First time in a long long time that a Rex review made me laugh out loud.

FWIW, Bhindi Masala is my favorite way to cook/eat okra, which is a magical vegetable as far as I'm concerned.

kitshef 7:12 AM  

Felt tougher than a normal Tuesday due to a plethora of either/ors (bard/WILL, abel/CAIN, sino/indO, snoopS/YENTAS, LOGiN/LOGON, err/SIN).

Not sure how one can complain about clues being ‘last century’ and cite as examples ACAI berry (anyone hear about that before 2001?), a Frozen princess, and a %(@#*@% Game of Thrones clue.

Doris 7:16 AM  

Oona, or Una and several other spellings, is a fairy queen of Irish legend. Eugene O’Neill named his daughter Oona, partly because he was inordinately proud of his Irish heritage. The present Oona is his granddaughter. Her mother was an early love of J.D. Salinger, who lost out to Charlie Chaplin. Etc., etc.

kitshef 7:29 AM  

@Thomaso808 - to paraphrase the Pythons, okra is not a vegetable for eating - it is a vegetable for laying down and avoiding.

Robert A. Simon 7:31 AM  

@Thomaso808: Pickle your okra. Delicious. At last count, there were 4,232 online recipes.
Please say "Happy Birthday," everybody. Today I am the very big 7-0.
Gotta go. Buying Depends, refilling Flomax, and the bran muffins are almost done.

Glimmerglass 7:35 AM  

Good write-up, @Rex. I wrote in CHARO off just the O, Most of the rest was similarly in my wheelhouse.

Anonymous 7:37 AM  

"Happy Birthday".

Shawn Vondran 7:38 AM  

Although I haven’t read everyone’s comments in full as of yet, I’m surprised no one I’ve seen has brought up the repeated “IPA” sequence. (37D and 61D). Seems a bit clumsy.

RAD2626 7:50 AM  

Lots of writeovers making it a hard puzzle for me: PaUl for PIUS (bad), bard for WILL, SPRitz for SPRAYS, LAdieS for LATINA (also bad), and PARis for PAREE. The first one made getting IP ADDRESS complicated and messed up the SE for longer than I care to admit. Probably half of Rex' total solving time.

Beyond all that, liked the puzzle. Don't think of all of Rex' crosswordese as falling in that category. He has broadened his definition of late. Some clever cluing for Tuesday.

chefbea 8:04 AM  

too tough for me. Really wanted cheesy fare at the bar to be some kind of food!!! Didn't know the dimensions!!! did of course get okra!!

Unknown 8:04 AM  

i consider myself an adult onset solver as well (about 2 years in now)...rather than focusing too much on time to solve, i’m just happy with solving it at all! i’m currently on a 16 day streak, my longest ever...trying to get to 50 before i turn 50!

ghthree 8:10 AM  

I remember Mr Kneller, my introductory French professor, stressing that all cars are feminine; UNE voiture, UNE guimbard, UNE Bagnole, UNE Ford, UNE Cadillac, UNE Volkswagen, etc.
Shortly after I graduated, Renault hit me with "LE CAR." Aimed at the American market, perhaps? I wonder whether the Immortals are spinning in their graves. But then what's an Immortal doing in a grave anyway?
I did enjoy the AHA experience when I finally got 70 Across. I had to run the alphabet twice before it hit me. NAG as verb and noun. Nice!

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

Nothing worse than being at a nice peaceful lake and some $&;:/(&$ with a jet ski comes along. Also, the expression is "I need some space" not "I need space". But hey, it's just a puzzle. Nice effort.

olfuddud 8:30 AM  

What am I missing on the clue/answer for 10D? The answer seems oddly sarcastic for a puzzle.

AlexP 8:40 AM  

Happy Birthday— here’s to many more years of crossword solving!

Two Ponies 8:44 AM  

@ Anon 8:19, I'm right with you on the jet skis. I feel the same about snowmobiles and ATVs. Being outdoors for me is about the natural sounds if there are any at all. People and their damned machines, geez.

Anonymous 8:47 AM  

To people like puzzlehoarder they're all the same.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

You know that's a positive thing, right?

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

Oh you were a pilot in the air force dougie? We didn't know. You only say it every other fucking day.

QuasiMojo 8:53 AM  

Clever puzzle, but I got a chill filling in the cross of NAPA with fire AXE.

Jerome Kern was a gimme to me. One of the finest Broadway composers.

The Cuchi-Cuchi girl is still alive. Reading her wikipedia page is like a HORNET's nest of disinformation. Was she born in 1941 or 1951? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.

Rex, thanks for the Fifth Dimension video. A trip down Memory Lane. I remember watching that performance on TV. I had a crush on Marilyn McCoo.

Nancy 8:56 AM  

Reply to @puzzlehoarder (12:28 a.m.) and @Thomaso808 (5:54) -- Of course I knew KERN with no crosses! "Ol' Man River" was one of the first songs I sang as a child -- or at least tried to -- and it was the first song I played on the piano. I cry every time I hear it. For me, it's the greatest musical theater song of all time. For anyone who's never heard it (is there such an one?) go to YouTube and watch the Paul Robeson version from the first SHOW BOAT movie.

The puzzle -- Dullsville for me from start to finish -- except for NAGS and PICKUP LINE. Like others, I had BARD before WILL. I'm also sitting there wondering what on earth is an IPAD DRESS? And now I discover that it wasn't even my very own DOOK, that others had the same reaction. What a disappointment. The theme didn't do much for me, but it was the fill that (mostly) bored me to death.

Anonymous 8:57 AM  

@Unknown at 1:48 AM

I have been solving the NYT puzzle regularly for over 4 decades. In the early days I could only complete the Mon/Tue puzzle and make a dent on the Wednesday puzzle. Even now my record time for a Monday is a shade above 10 minutes with averages hovering around 15 minutes or even more.

Time however rarely enters my mind. I realize that Rex and many of the regular commenters on this blog have a brain that is wired differently than mine. So I don't compete with them.

Nowadays I enjoy very much the Fridays and Saturdays and can often finish or nearly complete them.

Normal Norm 9:01 AM  

That Fifth Dimension video makes me remember when black music was pleasant, uplifting, and accessible to everyone. We had Booker T. and the MGs the other day, another example. So much different from the anger I hear now with lyrics you need a code book to decipher, but wish you hadn't bothered.
People even danced then, sometimes even together. Ah, the good old days.

DaveS 9:03 AM  

BTW, OOMA is a VOIP company.

Dave Stern

jessica cohn 9:10 AM  

I don’t care how fast I finish the puzzle. I just like to complete it without looking up any answers. I could not do that today .

Ben 9:13 AM  

I do the puzzle on my phone with the Shortyz app and I believe Rex does his on the computer. You can type much faster than you write, but my average for Mon/Tues is sub-4 as well. Today was 3:34. Once you see the same trigger words year after year, as Rex points out, it comes as second nature.

Ben 9:16 AM  

That's actually the official name for a papal edict.

mathgent 9:25 AM  

@Robert A. Simon (7:31): Happy birthday! Cute post.

@Laura Nero (6:41): I saw Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis at a small club here in San Francisco a couple of months ago. She's 74 and he's a little older. There were in great voice singing all the Fifth Dimension hits. Marilyn has an accounting degree from UCLA. I've heard that she took control of the money for the group and that the members came out of their collaboration with a nice nest egg. .

Damon G can do a lot better but I had fun with this one. Lively. I can feel his intelligence and wit coming through.

Two Ponies 9:36 AM  

Yesterday there was almost no mention on the blog of Bobo the Clown. Classic or not I had never heard of him. Just now Googled him and still no memory of this person. However I saw there was an Urban Dictionary listing so I clicked. Well... that was not what I expected.

Stuart Showalter 9:44 AM  

“Where did that come from?” Rex makes the rules for the entire puzzleverse. He’s the “king of Xwords,” dontcha know. Whatever he doesn’t know is a Natick. Whatever he’s seen before is too old school. Whatever has a “?” didn’t need one, and those that don’t, do. He pulls these rules out of his nether region, all to annoy his nemesis Will Shortz.

DJG 10:00 AM  

Often I mostly agree with Rex's criticism of my (and others') puzzles; sometimes it makes little sense. Today's write-up falls into the latter category.

1. "If your theme is not entirely "?"-based, save your "?" for the rest of the fill, man. It's just common courtesy." What? Where does this even come from? It's a totally made up, arbitrary, pointless rule.

2. "The fill is a cavalcade of last-century laffers" Why are MOLE, OLE, EWE, and LEI "laffers"? I call these normal English words that people use in normal conversation. And ACAI, the trendy berry nobody had heard of ten years ago and is now commonplace in "health" foods, and ELSA, the main character from maybe the biggest movie of the last five years, are "last-century"? That's utter nonsense.

3. OONA Chaplin gets 500,000 Google hits, is the granddaughter of a film icon, and is an mega-popular TV show. Don't be one of the those people who's critical of an answer just because you struggle with it.

4. If you are interested in reading some further thoughts on Crosswordese (written before this puzzle ran), visit my blog here.

Pete s 10:02 AM  

@laura Nyro.
In 1969 I spent time in Los Angeles while in the US Army. While there I spent some time at the Hollywood USO (one block from Hollywood and Vine). Ron Townson of the Fifth Dimension visited the USO often and even took a few of us to an LA club once that we probably couldn’t have gotten in otherwise. The fact that I remember this almost 50 years later shows my appreciation for him. My 15 minutes of fame

RooMonster 10:07 AM  

Hey All !
I usually count the black squares before starting puz, not sure why, some kind of an OCD thing maybe. Anyway, came up with 40 today, which is a tad high (38 normal max for 15x15), and that's when I noticed it's 16 wide. Most of the time I don't see the extra row or column. You're welcome for that completely useless information!

Liked the puz, great for a Tuesday. Light dreck, even though Rex bitched about it. Every puz has dreck, just the pitfalls of puzzledom.

Didn't fall into the IPAD DRESS (ha, there's a joke there somewhere), ad didn't have the AD in yet, so was actually able to see the correct I P ADDRESS. Knew RENOIR but took a (M&A) nanosecond to spell it! LE CARS were neat little sub-compacts from Renault. I currently own the other car here, HORNET, although it's currently unrunning (is that a word?).

So, a pleasant solving experience. Gotta go now to the DMV, so will be able to read the comments, as will have time! Wish me luck. :-)

OKRA OPUS
RooMonster
DarrinV

Bob Mills 10:11 AM  

I finished the puzzle without ever understanding the theme. I also put in "IPA" for "HOPPY QUAFF" without knowing what IPA is short for. Will somebody tell me?

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:28 AM  

I guess we cannot eat our cake and have it too. Good themes lead to bad fills, and good fills are either themeless or have a theme that makes to cringe for an extended period so you cannot even appreciate it.

One of these days we'll have a clever theme AND a good execution. I can feel it.

FrankStein 10:30 AM  

IPA stands for INDIA PALE ALE.

Johnny 10:31 AM  


Poor OONA Chaplin. Barely 30 years old, stars on Game of Thrones, yet consigned to the trash pile of "last-century laffers."

Joseph Michael 10:52 AM  

Enjoyed this puzzle a lot even though I didn't understand the theme until I came here.

Diidn't know what an "AP address" was, but filled that in anyway as a result of thinking that "Paul" was the common papal name and that the Frozen princess was "Ella."

Liked all of the themers, especially THATS NOT THE POINT and SNAKES ON A PLANE. The long downs were nice as well.

And I don't care one IOTA that one of the themers has a "?" Congrats, Damon, on ANOTHER fine puzzle.

QuasiMojo 10:53 AM  

@DJG, thank you for sharing your POV with us today. I read your blog piece about "crosswordese" and agree with most of it. For instance IOTA is a word often used in crosswords (too often) but one that is also used constantly in real life. It may be "bad fill" to some, but I see it more as just overused. I would argue that OONA used to be crosswordese back when it referred only to the wife of Eugene O'Neill and Charlie Chaplin, a name the average person probably wouldn't have known. But now that the daughter is a celebrity in her own right, at least in movies and TV (i.e., pop culture) it no longer is. OLIO was more crosswordeseish to me than OLEO. AGAR, ALAR and ALUM were also often used in the Maleska era. One rarely encountered them anywhere else unless they were tied somehow to your work or field of study. We used to get a lot more "crosswordese" than we do today, I think. For me the big problem of late has just been lazy fill. Your puzzle today did not strike me as having a lot of either. In fact you were smart in how you phrased clues for words that appear often.

QuasiMojo 10:56 AM  

Sorry I meant OONA, the daughter of Eugene O'Neill and wife of Chaplin! (So nervous about the endless captchas that I always forget to proofread my posts.)

Hartley70 11:06 AM  

You tell 'em, Damon (@DJG)! Well said.

@Robert A Simon, 7:31, Happy Birthday! I agree with you about the OKRA. I had my first pod of pickled OKRA at a baby shower this summer and it was delish.

Z 11:15 AM  

I liked this puzzle but kind of wish @DJG had made the PLANE and SPACE themers down answers. A little added dimensionality to reflect the theme.

Lots of great comments today. Thanks (almost) everyone.

@DJG - Since a theme is, by definition, some sort of unifying quality having one theme answer be distinctly different is a flaw. I don’t know about the “common courtesy” comment, but the underlying POINT about theme consistency is a Rex standard.

@unknown1:48 - “Adult Onset Solver” is a great term. You sound to be about at the same point I was three years into regularly solving the NYTX. For the longest time a 6:00 Monday seemed to be my speed limit. This summer I finally broke that barrier. I’ve broken 4:00 on a Newsday Monday, an achievement which came as a shock when I did it. These are all times from solving on an IPAD (not in a DRESS). I’m much slower solving the dead tree version, which is still my preferred method. FWIW - Rex is not the fastest out there. Search YouTube for Dan Feyer solving examples for real speed.

Today’s OKRA discussion reminded me of yesterday’s Twitter discussion of Chocolate Brownie Batter Hummus. Between the vegan defense and the anti-cultural appropriation plaints my head hurt. I like OKRA fine, just spare me the mushy over-cooked version please.

@Hungry Mother - IPA is notably “hoppy,” meaning a good one will have a strong floral aroma and will be bitterer than many people like. Much like OKRA, it is not to everyone’s liking. It is a bit of an acquired taste and hoppy love was part of being “in” for beer snobs. Now hoppy love is challenged by sour love as a standard for being “in.”

@Bob Mills - This has probably been answered while I typed, but in case it hasn’t - India Pale Ale.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

@DJG 10 am
You. Rock.

M. David Hornbuckle 11:20 AM  

I have to point out that ERE is not a conjunction. It is a preposition.

Masked and Anonymous 11:22 AM  

There is a schlock B-flick called "Snakes on a Train". Pretty funny, in a pathetic sorta way. At the end, a giant snake goes and swallows up the whole train. Always admire them happy movie endins.

Just scannin thru the grid, the fill looks reasonably smooth, to m&e. Don't quite have the research time to spare, but I'd guess that there's a lotta Patrick Berry Usage Immunity in play, here. One can argue whether the fill is real inspirational or not, I suppose. INDO/OONA probably fails to inspire many, I'd grant. It might be yer best shot, at findin any trace of vintage ow de speration.
Primo weeject stacks in the NW/SE, btw.

staff weeject pair pick: RIA & RIO. Superb NAGS clue. fave long-ball fillins: PAPALBULL. WINDPOWER.
Theme grows on U, a bit.

Thanx, Mr. G.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


**gruntz**

G. Weissman 11:23 AM  

Yes, it’s a damn shame Charo isn’t remembered for her classical guitar work. A damn shame! If only her appearance on The Love Boat didn’t eclipse her life’s work!

G. Weissman 11:27 AM  

If only black music was still designed for white prople’s comfort, pleasure, and profit! Yes, it’s a shame black musicians aren’t doing more to make you feel happy and included, “Normal” Norm.

Fred Romagnolo 11:47 AM  

@Robert A. Simon: Happy Birthday, Sonny! I might have been one of your baby-sitters. You'll find that Pampers or Huggies are a lot more effective and a lot less expensive than Depends. I only know IPA through crossword puzzles, and have no idea what an I P address is. MOLE is an iambus. Even though I'm a Bayarean, I question that oenophiles would classify NAPA as more of a Mecca than Tuscany, Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeau, or Asti, My father's hometown.

Carola 11:57 AM  

I put this one in the "who could ask for more?" category for a Tuesday puzzle - clever theme, creative theme entries, a bunch of nice Downs, and as a bonus running on the Times's Science day.

Gill I 12:10 PM  

GILL I here from Sunny but cold ABQ.
The short an not so sweet - am in the @Nancy corner today. I always want to like a Tuesday but I couldn't find one single "ay chihuahua." A tad boring me thinks.
@kitshef...Don't you go dising my Game of Thrones. I'm loving that series. Didin't realize OONA was in it, though. I cn't stand her. I met her in Spain while she was being uppity project director for some Bunuel films. She doesn't smile - ever.
@Two Ponies...I always thought it was BOZO the clown.
OKRA...Dear God...Why did you ever create that slim?

Fred Romagnolo 12:13 PM  

@Z: Just got around to Sunday's blog; in front of London's art gallery on Trafalgar is a statue of George Washington.

Madeleine Sann 12:21 PM  

OoNa ChapliN is the granddaughter of OoNa O’Neil. Who was the daughter of EugeNe O’Neill. Lots of Ns!!

old timer 12:22 PM  

More Wednesday than Tuesday for me. Took a full half hour. But pretty clever with all those DIMENSIONs. And thanks @Rex for that lovely Fifth DIMENSION clip.

The NAPA Valley is for wine lovers, but not Napa City IMO. Actually there are two Sonoma County towns that are more wine-centric than most places in NAPA: Sonoma and Healdsburg, where there are tasting rooms everywhere.

Princeton Mom 12:22 PM  

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr have been married 48 years. That's amazing!

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

@Hornbuckle 11:20 - The clue references the palindrome:
"Able was I, ere I saw Elba."
In that context, "ere" is a subordinating conjunction, not a preposition.

OTOH - ignorance is the home base hereabouts, so make yourself at home!

Jim in Chicago 12:29 PM  

Put me in the BARD camp. My twist was that when I figured out some of the crosses I erased the A R and D one by one and was left with BILL. I thought "OK, odd but works". That left me with BINDPOWER and as it was the last square I just left it and drove to work. Only now am I doing the hand to forehead banging and saying "doh"!!

Fred Romagnolo 12:40 PM  

FWIW: I thought it was "I need MY space."

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

DJG - don't let the snowflakes get you down.

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

Rex,

I agree with you 100 percent. The theme is clever but some of it was odd. Also like you the one that gave me the most trouble was NAGS. I guessed RUGS. Aside from that everything else with the exception of a single vowel was correct.

Mark.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

I joined the Bard/Bill/Will word ladder (variation) club today. "Mists" started out as SteamS. And I was going to take that sci-fi portal into ANOTHER universe so I was disappointed to just hop to ANOTHER DIMENSION (just kidding).

POINT, LINE, PLANE, SPACE advance similarly to CIRCUMFERENCE, AREA, VOLUME though I don't know what you get when you integrate volume. Wikipedia mentions flux densities. Or maybe I know nothing of which I speak, but that's how I've always imagined it. I'm sure some math whiz can set me straight. Calculus, fun!

I don't like the HORNET crossing STEP ON. I still have my wasp sting wounds from two weeks ago, though they don't itch anymore.

Thanks, DJG, great Tuesday fun.

Warren Howie Hughes 1:10 PM  

Just in case anyone is curious,, 61D IPA, Happy Quaff for short, is "Irish Pale Ale!

Anoa Bob 1:17 PM  

There's a local cafeteria, Luby's, that sometimes has fried OKRA. I've tried it a few times, but it's usually mushy and without much flavor and a disappointment. I was spoiled as a child. Like almost everyone else, we grew lots and lots of OKRA in our garden and ate it several times a week, typically fried. Everyone loved it.

By the way, OKRA is in the same family as the hibiscus and has a lovely flower.

Tennessee Redneck Fried OKRA:

Garden fresh OKRA (should be firm with a nice fuzzy feel). Canned or frozen? Nope.

Slice into 1/4 inch sections, dip in egg wash, roll in corn meal seasoned with salt and pepper.

Melt 1/4 inch of lard---must be real pig fat---in a cast iron skillet. Fry OKRA slices until crisp. Drain on paper towel. OMG good!

@Lewis, I learned in grad school that one can construct multivariate statistical models of space with just about any number of dimensions. I guess if one takes a Platonic view, one can imagine a corresponding reality for these, but my Aristotlian side tells me that there are only two dimensions, spatial extension, which cam be measured in an infinite number of directions, only three of which are at right angles to each other, and temporal extension, which can only be measured in one direction.

But, hey, these folks have to keep coming up with some new wrinkles to justify grants for further research, right?

mathgent 1:20 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo: Great comment on the relative merits of Depends, Huggies, and Pampers. I hope that you are offering hearsay. BTW, happy to see that you are back to contributing here. I think that you taught my son, David Abad.

Charles kluepfel 1:31 PM  

had to check if it really was still a Tuesday. keeping windmills really killed that section for me. Spelling HADJ with a D was beyond this pre-wednesday solver.

tea73 1:48 PM  

This took me much longer than usual. Hand up for BARD which took me forever to erase. Then AP ADDRESS and PAUL seemed perfectly reasonable for a very long time. I'm allergic to the Disney princesses and I have a niece named Ella. I questioned HADJ for a long time because I couldn't see any of the downs especially JETSKI. (I won't visit one friend's lake house because the place is ruined by them.)

I'm very glad OFL explained NAG because even after I finished the puzzle I wasn't seeing it.

As for how long puzzles take? - The fastest I've done a Monday is just under six minutes. My fastest Tuesday is just over 8 minutes and my fastest Wednesday is just under 8. Thursday - Sunday are done on paper with my husband, we don't time ourselves.

Joe Bleaux 1:59 PM  

I finished today's Page 3 mini-puzzle in 28.4 seconds, a full 2-tenths of a second ahead of last Tuesday's time!

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

@oldfuddud,

@Ben is almost right. A papal bull is a document issued by The Holy Father. But it's not the only one. For starters there are:
Apostolic constitutions, Apostolic exhortations, Motu proprios, Encyclicals, Apostolic epistles, Decretals and brevia. There are more, but everyone's bored.

One bit of info you may like and that's that the word bull is not related to bullshit, but rather bulla--the Latin word for seal, which is used on the official parchment of bull.

@Mohair,
There's a movie coming out on the 27th. It's called Novitiate. Right up your alley.

Joe Bleaux 2:05 PM  

Happy Birthday, Mr. Simon! (Hint from someone who's been there: Don't forget to turn off the oven when you take those muffins out.)

Trombone Tom 2:06 PM  

Prepare it pickled or fried; I'm in the pro okra camp.

Hand up for trying bard and for hesitating on the IPAD DRESS formation.

Other than that, not much to comment on.

nate shafroth 2:18 PM  

FYI, OONA Chaplin was on one or two seasons of Game of Thrones, about four years ago. She is not a “star”of the show, and is recognizable to me (a fan of the show since season 1) only as a crossword answer. It’s crosswordese - not a fair popular reference.

Two Ponies 2:23 PM  

@ GILL I, That was my point, Bozo would have been my classic clown as well but there was Bobo plain as the red squeaky nose on your face but no one protested.

tea73 2:25 PM  

@tomaso808 my favorite way to use okra is in Indian spiced stir fries (bhindi masala). Here's a pretty standard recipe: https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/bhindi-masala-north-indian-okra-stir-fry

Anonymous 3:24 PM  

After owning an extremely reliable 1970 Renault R-10, I made the mistake of buying a 1980 Renault LeCar. Electrical problems would cause it to become unresponsive at any given moment, no matter where I was. They could never repair it. The LeCar was less reliable than my 1974 Fiat 128 Sport Coupe. That gem had a habit of snapping the clutch cable every 5000 miles, like clockwork.

Jeremy Smith

Anonymous 3:32 PM  

Cut and paste, cut and paste, dougie's life is such a waste.

Anonymous 3:36 PM  

Oh those uppity blacks and their music! Well said, white supremacist Norm.

Anonymous 3:40 PM  

You know what it tastes like when you eat an old lady?
Depends...

Lewis 3:59 PM  

@anon 8:57 -- Very nice post!
@anoa -- Thank you for your comment; I could tell you were trying to help. It kinda went over my head, I'm sorry to say!

Anonymous 4:16 PM  

@Anonymous 3:36
You don't find a lot the lyrics to much of modern pop music--I use the term broadly for all commercially viable genres on the radio---to be utterly coarse? I'm not sure there's anything white supremacist about the state of civility in that milieu. Lots of people have been making similar observations for many years. Some od those making the condemnation are people of color.

Anonymous 4:41 PM  

Having quite satisfactorily voided my bowels, I am now ready to engage in some word play.

Normal Norm 5:08 PM  

@ G. Weissman 11:27, I'm not sure what got your panties in a twist. Was it words like "everyone" or "together"? What makes you feel that black musicians need you to defend them? That sounds pretty elitist.
Why not drive your Subaru thru your local vibrant and diverse neighborhood and ask someone there if he wants your help? I'm oh so sure that you will find your spirit of altruism welcome. Get back with us on that, OK?

Anonymous 5:56 PM  

As in bulletin.

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

@Normal Norm
GWeissman is just your typical SJW with a terminal case of white guilt. Sad.

Shelby Glidden 6:08 PM  

@Unknown: I've been doing the NYT crossword
(off and on) since i was 19 when I saw a Monday puzzle syndicated in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Like a lot of things (at that time for me), I didn't even know they existed. I wrote in 5-6 words
(none of them cross-referenced, of course). The very uncertainly of the vast sea of knowledge
in front of me was deeply unsettling. It might have been 10 years before I picked up one again, only because I faced long ferry rides and the perfidious NYT puzzle was syndicated in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (I was also an English Lit major and thought it might improve my vocabulary). At this point (50 years after my first encounter), I now subscribe to the NYT and do the puzzle, regularly (in ink). However, faster than 8-9 minutes (on Monday) isn't even fun (for me).
2-3 minutes would be the equivalent of me trying to run a 4-minute mile (in my 20s). I'm just not wired that way. But does Rex enjoy his puzzles more? The jury is out. �� Like the journalist of the Vancouver Sun said, "Two or three minutes? I can't even get the puzzle folded the way I like in two or three minutes." (Dang that troublesome crease). Comparisons can complicate (and keeping up with the Joneses could lead you to wind up living someone else's life.)�� Why not enjoy it? But if you want to get on the track with Rex (I think he does enjoy it), more power to you. Me, I'll watch the two of you scribble against the click and settle for coming in third. ��

BBPDX 6:28 PM  

Hey. Chill. One person’s ego has nothing to do with you.

Joe Dipinto 8:03 PM  

@Shelby Glidden -- I had these extra parentheses lying around, you are welcome to them as I fear you may have used up your entire supply:

( ) ( ) ( ( ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ) ) ( ) ( ) ) ) ( ( ) ( ( ( ( ( ) ) ( )( ) ) ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( )

;-)

Anonymous 8:22 PM  

@ Normal Norm,
You're my new hero. If you have a newsletter, let me know where I can subscribe.

@Joe Dipinto,
I thought @Z was the biggest asshole on this blog; you've proven me wrong. Well done.

Rumple Bumple Stumple 9:11 PM  

Does sarcasm ring a bell, @Anon 8:22? In Re to @Joe Dipintos post.
I mean, I thought the winky emoji would've triggered that sense. It seems you are senseless. (Along with other Anons who have nothing better to do with their day than read this entire blog over and over just to snipe at some of the commentors.) Sad, really. If you were to put those destructive tendencies to better yourself, you might actually have people who like you and not be thought of as a dick.

Joe Dipinto 9:51 PM  

@Rumple 9:11 - Thanks! Actually it wasn't intended as sarcasm even, I just found it humorous that Shelby had a lot of parenthetical asides in her post. The problem with message boards is you can't tell if someone will take something in the spirit in which it was intended. Shelby, if you read this, I hope I didn't offend, I tried to make clear with the wink that I was joking.

Anonymous 11:11 PM  

What is with you people? Its not Ipad dress, its IP address. Sheesh, I guess the 'liberals' really are that dumb.

Philip Chasen 11:42 PM  

It’s IP ADDRESS, meaning Internet Protocol Address, not IPAD DRESS. Every computer has its own unique ID.

Hal 11:57 PM  

It's a tough habit to bracket.

Joy2u 10:06 AM  

@Gill I - Hello from (also) Sunny and getting colder ABQ

a jazz listener's thoughts 12:13 PM  

It’s not a competition, it’s a pleasurable activity. Who cares how fast he does it? Been doing them since the early 70s, pen and paper, and sure I know my Monday’s are a breeze and Friday’s often a slog but the joy is in completion, in puzzling things out, and even learning a new fact here or there. Enjoy it on your terms and not his.

a jazz listener's thoughts 12:16 PM  

Bravo.

Tita A 5:15 PM  

Only got the NAGS clue after reading Rex. Love it!

SNAKESONAPLANE reminded me of @lms' NYT puzzle, which was fabulous.

@ACME - one of the funniest comments ever on this blog!!
Being in tech, I parsed it properly and missed out on that funny WOE moment.

@Two Ponies- your OKRA comment is now the funniest comment...!

Jetskiers and snomobilers on our lake kill either themselves or some kayaker or crosscountry skier every couople of years. It's pretty rare to see that happening the other way round.

I did get that the progression was referring to dimensions before getting to the revealer, but had no idea what the revealer would turn out to be.

I'm always for puzzles that celebrate science, so a thumbs up on this one.

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