Raunchy 1981 comedy with two sequels / TUE 10-17-17 / South Asian shade tree / Brand of kidswear with superman batman options / Pro at building financial worth slangily / 1951 film featuring Nero / High level HS class with integrals

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Constructor: Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (on the slow side for a Tuesday) (3:48)

THEME: CON MEN (43D: People who target the starts of 17-, 30-, 40- and 57-Across) — starts of those answers are words that describe victims of CONMEN:

Theme answers:
  • PIGEON COOP (17A: Base for long-distance carriers?)
  • CHUMP CHANGE (30A: A mere pittance)
  • SUCKER PUNCH (40A: Unexpected hit)
  • MARK ANTONY (57A: Cleopatra's lover) 
Word of the Day: "PORKY'S" (46D: Raunchy 1981 comedy with two sequels) —
Porky's is a 1981 Canadian-American sex comedy film written and directed by Bob Clark about the escapades of teenagers in 1954 at the fictional Angel Beach High School in Florida. Released in the United States in 1982 with an R rating, the film spawned two sequels: Porky's II: The Next Day (1983) and Porky's Revenge! (1985) and a remake of the original titled, Porky's Pimpin' Pee Wee (2009) and influenced many writers in the teen film genre. Porky's was the fifth highest-grossing film of 1982. (wikipedia)
• • •

The theme is typical First Words stuff with a weirdly offset revealer. Nothing to write home about. The only thing I want to talk about is IBANKER (23D: Pro at building financial worth, slangily). I have never heard of this. I needed every single cross and still wasn't sure it was right. After I was finished, it still took me a few moments of thinking to figure out what the "I" even stood for. First tweet I saw online about the puzzle was this:

And I practically shouted "OH THANK GOD." Now I feel I can say, with impunity, that the decision to put this term in this position is profoundly, startlingly misguided. This is what happens when you become overly enamored of your giant word list—which you've apparently amassed without careful thought as to whether the world (i.e. crosswords) would be improved by all the thousands of alleged "slangily" terms there are in the world. You could easily do So Much Better in this section, replacing IBANKER with actual, real words—good ones!—without any, or with only slight, changes to surrounding fill. Don't get high on your own supply, constructors. Make good choices. Wow. OK. Moving on.

This puzzle was harder than normal, both because IBANKER (smh) and because of clues on the themers that are weird and hard. 40A: Unexpected hit (SUCKER PUNCH) was unexpectedly deceptive (I thought "hit" in the Broadway / Hollywood sense). And I have never ever been a fan of "?" clues on themers when "?"s are not part of the theme, i.e. they all should have them or none of them should have them. When I get a "?" on a themer (*especially the first themer*), I naturally assume the "?" is part of the theme. So of course there I am like some sucker / chump / etc., with the PIGEON part of 17A: Base for long-distance carriers?, wondering how the wordplay is going to express the theme... and all I get is COOP. I felt some heady mix of ennui and bathos as I filled in COOP. Is that all there is? Yes, that is all. Oh, and it has nothing to do with the theme. Enjoy.

Then there's the astonishing amount of crosswordese. Veteran constructors should not be serving us this much crosswordese. Conservatively, this is how much crosswordese this grid has:

Note that I let ORE and IOTA and IRA and even BNEG slide. I did enjoy UNDEROOS and "PORKY'S". I did not enjoy ANTONY and ANTONYMS being in the same grid. A six-letter shared letter string!? My construction software flags that *&$% at four. Six!? Wow. Now I want to build a weird crossword theme around the answer MARK ANTONYM. Ooh, if you just move the "M" to the end of MARK ANTONY you get ARK ANTONYM ... maybe there's something there ... I mean, probably not, but only by pursuing your most ridiculous notions are you ever going to find truly interesting themes. Your notebook should be 90% failed ideas! Minimum! Where was I? Oh yeah, IBANKER. Ugh. IBANKER? I hardly I-know her! Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:11 AM  

I imagine I'm on the younger side compared to your tweet responder, but i-banker is most certainly a thing, especially among the younger generation. I-banking is a much more common term, however.

jae 12:14 AM  

Medium for me. Pretty good Tues. Snappy theme answers, a couple of fine long downs in SE, liked it! Never saw IBANKER as the crosses took care of it.

And I discovered via an email from Donors Choose that @lms has a new classroom project at donors choose . You might want to take a look?

Anonymous 12:18 AM  

I heard IBANKER used a ton in business school. Agreed it's more common to hear "I-Banking" though. Can't speak to whether anyone actually in the industry uses those abbreviations.

Separately, I struggled more on PIGEON COOP and CHUMP CHANGE than on SUCKER PUNCH. I also never saw PORKYS, and so I struggled there.

Race Bannon 12:23 AM  

For many years (and it may still be for all I know) "PORKYS" was the highest grossing Canadian film of all time, which is ironic as it is set in 1950's Florida with dick jokes, so the Minister of Culture and Movies can't exactly present it to the Queen as the greatest moment in Canadian cinema without raising just a few royal eyebrows. "What province is this?" you can almost hear her asking while watching the jerk-off contest in the Everglades.

Davis 12:46 AM  

Disagree on IBANKER. I hear that term get thrown around a lot—both because I know a couple of them, and because as a lawyer I do some work that is IBANKing-adjacent.

Larry Gilstrap 1:00 AM  

What a coincidence! The first word of all the themers was at one time my nickname in college, except MARK, which I spelled MARc. I know my Shakespeare, but I have never read Anthony and Cleopatra or seen a production. I bet it is a good show. Theme enough for me and Tuesday.

I liked All in the Family, who didn't? I was hoping for A. BuNKER for 23D, and now I've forgotten where Archie worked; probably not on a laptop. Imagine this scenario: I have so much money, I have no idea what to do with it.

Feeling guilty here. C CUP got my attention. My resident Francophone might label that the behavior of a "Cochon." Also one of my nicknames in college, not really. Women fascinate me, all shapes and sizes. There, I've said too much.

My knowledge of Classical Music is sketchy. I've been through some pretty intense phases and had both Mozart and Beethoven and others rattling around my head for days on end. After high school, I attended Cal Poly Pomona and lived at home. We kids were overwhelmed by the rest of the student body: many returning vets with a shit load of life experience and a GI Bill stipend to burn. I was a Language Arts major. The goal was a BS DEGREE. I was in way over my head. A requirement was a number of art and music classes. That's where we studied The EROICA Symphony in great detail. Wish I could take that class over again as an adult.

Anybody else have a weird X marks THE Spot rebus thing going on early? Maybe it was just me.

Heart TCM. Have an introspective look at our culture and reassess! Please!

Hartley70 1:09 AM  

I guess I get a bigger kick out of CONMEN and their victims than I do from yesterday's ORCAs because today's theme tickled me. I just could not get the connection between the longer obvious themers until I came upon the revealer and it was the last entry I made. I enjoy a bit of harmless Tuesday suspense.

I have never seen any of the PORKYS films because I know I would detest them. Is there an alien? A spaceship? I think not.

I always thought they were eBANKERS, like etail and email. Bpos and otoe held me up a bit. I liked ROADIE and its clue best.

There may have been some crosswordese in the fill, but since my time was significantly longer than a usual Tuesday, there was neither harm nor foul. I give Jeff two thumbs up today.

zevonfan 1:14 AM  

Rex whining yet again about a Jeff Chen puzzle? Jeff's puzzles always seem to trigger you.

TomAz 1:16 AM  

I work with investment bankers from time to time but count me among those who have never heard the phrase (?) IBANKER. The term strikes me as likely constructed from the same sort of mentality that led to the election of Donald Trump, the fall of the Roman Empire, and original sin.

But nearly every non-Monday puzzle I do, I learn a new word. So I can't condemn this puzzle just on one answer (esp. one that I got fairly easily from the crosses). And IBANKER is far less objectionable than the xwordish "what key was this symphony written in" minutiae that we see from time to time.

A couple of cool answers: IMTOAST and QUOVADIS.

CCUP seemed fine to me but Rex left out MEGS as tired xwordese.

In sum: the puzzle was a "meh" but the review was too harsh. And not the first time Rex has criticized Jeff's "wordlist". Rival bloggers, perhaps a conflict of interest?

Mike in Mountain View 1:31 AM  

@Larry Gilstrap: Hand up for MARc ANTONY.

Medium Tuesday for me. Didn't know IBANKER, but it didn't ruin my solve. Wish I could solve as quickly as OFL, but glad that I'm generally far more content with the NYT puzzle than he is. Then again, his passion makes this blog a must read.

Happy puzzle solvers are all alike. Rex is unhappy in his own inimitable way.

Paul Rippey 1:37 AM  

"I-banker" seemed fine to me so I looked on my hard disk and found that I had at sometime visited http://www.theibanker.com, and at another time, https://ibankers.com. I have no memory of visiting either of them, but the word is a thing, or at least it's a word.

And - do any of the erudite readers of this blog know when the meme started of saying that something "is a thing"? That just popped into my consciousness within the last few weeks and now it's common. It is, I dare say, A Thing.

ghkozen 1:41 AM  

I heard I-banker and I-banking all the time in school, with the latter a bit more common. I don't hear it as much nowadays, as I am no longer surrounded by people who want to be i-bankers, but coincidentally I just heard a colleague use it today! It is most certainly a thing many people say.

Trombone Tom 1:43 AM  

More on the challenging side for yours truly, at least judging from the time it took to complete. More ok than meh.

QUO VADIS was a shoo-in as my 9th grade Latin teacher took our class to see that film.

IBANKER and ENG were the last to fall. Was I thinking Algonquin instead of English? I bank on line, but have not heard any reference to ibankers. I never know whether it's going to be i or e. Also I frequently guess wrong on whether Mark/Marc is a c or a k.

Except for the blaze burning on the ridge to the west of 29 in Oakville, the fires are slowly yielding to the many working on the lines and some evacuees are able to return home, if they still have one. Count your blessings.

Margaret 1:44 AM  

Agreed. very common. Esp in New York so not surprised to see it in the NYT.

Theodore Stamos 1:49 AM  

This was a great Tuesday puzzle: MARKANTONY (although I also spelled it with a "c"), PORKYS, EROICA, QUOVADIS, LOLA. A nice mix of high and low culture. I also like all the theme answers. A rare successful Tuesday, imo. (Oh - and IBANKER is most definitely a thing)

Unknown 2:22 AM  

Knew you'd hate the fill, Rex, but I really liked it. Solid Tuesday, and it taught me something—I had no idea there was such a blood type as B negative. (Looked at it for a bit wondering if an oeta ray was just something I'd never heard of...)

Loren Muse Smith 4:01 AM  

I’ve heard I BANKER, too. I knew it’d get slammed, though. As it went in I wondered if it’d get trashed before or after the ritual trashing of Jeff’s wordlist.

@Mike in Mountain View – great post.

@Larry. I was thinking “the spot” for CHEST, too.

@Paul Rippey – really, really good question. “A thing” is definitely a thing in crosswords.

I kinda got a kick out of the ANTONYM/ ANTONY pair. I can see why dupes are bad, but these two are so different in meaning that the pair is almost startling.

Anyone else notice COAL’s anagram LOCA sitting right on top of it? Hah. (And CHEST right over C CUP.)

No problem with the theme. I kept expecting a SAPPHIRE somewhere, but I finally understood that the words for victim were separate words and not part of a larger word. But SAP SUCKER now. Hmm. If there were such a thing as a pigeon gull...

*Nancy, @Roo et al – I really enjoyed the little game yesterday of embedding names. When I got home, my internet was down, and I couldn’t respond. All the “Geoffrey” ones were terrific. You can see that it’s really not at all hard, especially when you don’t have to worry about any kind of symmetry. Nancy, your “Cynthia” is almost impossible. I got this:

If they’re sticklers for degree accuracy, nth, I am sure, will not be acceptable.

@TomAz -I love the phrase I’M TOAST, too.

Jeff - I also like to think of you in full-on UNDEROOS mode now with your young kids. In the crossworld, you are, and will continue to be, The Man.

Thomaso808 4:09 AM  

When I saw Jeff Chen was the constructor and then saw IBANKER, no kidding, I knew what was coming. Geez, Rex, a full half of your review is focused on one entry that many have now endorsed and really is fairly crossed. Please try to control yourself. And then taking what I assume is a PDF annotate tool of sorts to highlight what you think is crosswordese? At least half of those are legit. Really, that's pathetic. I have read your blog for 5+ years and have learned a lot from your comments about how to evaluate puzzles, but come on, try to be fair!

I thought this was a great Tues puzzle, with debuts on APCALC, UNDEROOS, and PIGEONCOOP. I agree with Rex that I have never heard of IBANKER, but then again I have never heard of a lot of stuff. That's what makes puzzles fun.

I love PIGEONCOOP, CHUMPCHANGE, and SUCKERPUNCH all in the same grid. Maybe be an extra themer for the sucker who realizes he's been had -- IMTOAST.

Antonyms Continue Magi 4:50 AM  

Hand up for MARc...I think bec I'm more used to seeing Marc Anthony (J-LO ex and baby daddy)

But, by law, GOTTA love a puzzle that has CHUMPCHANGE in it!!!!!

QUO VADIS means "Whither Goest Thou?" (You're welcome!)

I'm with @Loren, et al. ANTONY/ANTONYM are so close yet so far that it's intriguing and fun!

evil doug 5:34 AM  

23D. Introspective autobiography of a cold sore :

28A. Where Weinstein invited his prey to 'watch him bathe':

You're welcome.

Anonymous 5:38 AM  

Like several commenters, heard “I Banking” and “I Banker” A TON during school. (Perhaps not in calculus classes). I’m OK with this one.

BarbieBarbie 5:44 AM  

Ease up on Rex. He holds Chen to a different standard, that’s all. It’s as though JC were the only grad student in the seminar. Doesn’t have to mean a “feud” is on. People watch too much TV.

Was poised to ask everyone what “i” stands for in everything when I figured it out. [red face] I blame weak coffee.

Medium for me, no particular kick or aha.

Anonymous 5:59 AM  

I don't know about Ibanker. Instead, how about Ivanka? Or Eric, or Pence, or Donald Jr?

Anonymous 6:22 AM  

Another MBA here, heard ibanking A TON

O. Well 6:27 AM  

Sometime it seems that Michael's file filled with pre-fabricated Jeff Chen trashing is thicker than Jeff's word list file.

Passing Shot 6:35 AM  

Disagree with Rex on this one; thought it was a good, challenging Tuesday. I was in commercial banking in the 80s and heard the term I-BANKER (as opposed to what I was at the time) very frequently. There was surely some 3-letter dreck in this, but it was offset by UNDEROOS, CHUMP CHANGE, SUCKER PUNCH, and LIP SYNC. Thank you, Mr. Chen.

ari 6:39 AM  

Thought it was cute to have ICE and DHS next to each other. Maybe I’ve been in the beltway for too long...

Diamond Jim 6:42 AM  

IRL "in real Life" I-banker gets about 1,760,000 results via a google search.Must be a New York thing.

Sloan MBA 6:50 AM  

At least it wasn't E-banker.

Hungry Mother 6:55 AM  

Much faster than usual today. I picked up the theme and it helped a bit. I did mostly downs in this solve.

abalani500 6:59 AM  

TomAz @ 1:16 "term strikes me as likely constructed from the same sort of mentality that led to the election of Donald Trump". Really? Are you that obtuse? It's a contraction, one which is used extremely often in the world of I-banking. Please get help.

BigMistake 7:11 AM  

Agree with others that the term Ibanker is VERY common in the finance world. That being said, thought the clue was a bad one. I think of I-Bankers as transaction guys, raising money and selling companies. The only financial worth they are good at building is their own!

Drew 7:39 AM  

Have to agree as well. As a reformed investment banker, I can confirm it is a term used fairly widely. Perhaps it's more common among a younger generation? My biggest issue was with the clue--investment bankers are not typically "pros at building financial wealth." Those are financial advisors, or maybe private wealth managers. Investment bankers are more transactions-oriented on behalf of corporations.

Birchbark 7:40 AM  

I've heard of I, but BANKER was unfamiliar to me.

Two Ponies 7:46 AM  

Digital dinosaur that I am made ibanker and BCC gettable only with crosses. I have no idea what the I or B stand for.

TCM is one of the few things I miss from when we had TV. Glad to have Netflix.

Recently found out I have B-neg blood. Time to start donating.

I spent the entire summer very much on edge with my bug-out pack next to the door in case of evacuation. I live in the middle of an ocean of trees and we had the worst fires this year since the '30s. Not enough people in Montana to make the national news but we had firefighters here from all over the country. My sincere sympathy to those not as lucky as me. It finally rained and my pack is back in the attic.

chefbea 7:53 AM  

tough for a Tuesday!!! Of course knew UCONN. But what is DHS?

Birchbark 7:57 AM  

M.ANTONY --> ANTONY.M[S] Maybe not perfect, but this seems closer to clever construction than otherwise. I get that it runs afoul of an algorithm in construction software. But algorithms don't make us chuckle, people do.

GHarris 7:57 AM  

Got hung up on megs. Was thinking paper file sizes like ltr and lgl . I assume it is an abbreviation for megabytes.otherwise no problems. Enjoyed it.

Epmac 8:02 AM  

Yes, completely agree with Drew. I’ve been in financial services for close to 20 years and heard the term I-banking plenty (though I’ve never seen it spelled out!) The clue, however, seemed off. Drew’s definitions are spot on.

QuasiMojo 8:05 AM  

I agree with Rex today. Too much crosswordese to make this one an enjoyable solve. Resorting to "words" like BCC or AHH is pretty weak.

@Two Ponies, you can now get TCM.com online. Well worth it.

@Loren Muse Smith, thanks for throwing down the gauntlet. I look forward to more of your classroom challenges.

gberg 8:22 AM  

thanks, you helped me to start my day with a positive action.

kitshef 8:24 AM  

Some of the same experience as Rex, although at a much slower pace. Kept going back to iBanker to check the crosses, thinking it could simply not be. Surely noted a lot of crosswordese, although I did not object to EROICA. And I'm guessing Rex just missed TCM, which surely qualifies.

No issue whatsoever with ANTONY and ANTONYM, but I did think 12D should have been theme-related somehow.

BETA RAY bill was the first non-Asgardian to wield mjolnir.

Was expecting a PATSY Cline appearance until the bitter end.

Nancy 8:35 AM  

I never heard of I BANKER, either, Rex. I suppose I'd have to be even younger than you to have heard the term. And AP CALC also made me feel old. There was no such course in high school when I was there. How is AP CALC different from just plain CALC? Are you expected to learn more CALC? Or do you need to know less CALC? Finally UNDEROOS. What an odd name for kids' wear. I'd expect to find kangaroos on them, not superheroes.

I found the puzzle easy and painless, with a cute theme. By this afternoon, though, I'll have forgotten it completely.

howard a. brenner 8:39 AM  

Ibanker could be the point where Rex shifts from whining about skewing old to whining about kids these days. You know it’s coming.

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

@Two Ponies. Digital dinosaur or not, both "I-banker" and "bcc" have nothing to do with the computer age. The "i" stands for "investment" banker, and those conmen have been around for a good while before iMacs and iPods (no relation at all, Rex, Nancy, and friends).

As for "bcc" - "blind carbon copy"- it is standard in business correspondence since carbon copies were used, let's say (conservatively) a hundred years ago. You put a piece of carbon paper between the original and the copy. You type the letter and a "carbon copy" (cc:) is produced. If you want a person to receive the letter but don't want to notify the other recipients about that, you make a "blind carbon copy" (bcc:) which is noted only on the original after the carbon paper is removed from the machine. The terms "cc" and "bcc" survived the paperless revolution in the same way that people still might "dial" a phone number.

Nancy 8:48 AM  

Another beauty, Loren. And at 4:01 in the morning yet! I'm still wondering when you sleep.

Ross T 9:10 AM  

I hear the phrases i-banker and i-banking regularly. I liked seeing it in the puzzle. I'm 33 and white and I live in Boston.

Doug 9:15 AM  

The Times should be pilloried for IBANKER. I'm around a lot of financial services folks and I've never heard the term once. Nada. Nil. Ridiculous to put this in a puzzle. Boo to Shortz.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Is it a conceit of English speakers to transliterate foreign names? Why do we do that? It's MARC not MARK as in Marc Antony or Marc Chagall.

Z 9:29 AM  

There’s only one thing I want to talk about: 57 across is wrong. Yeah yeah, I’m a descriptivist and you can find plenty of support for the bastardized spelling in English, but this is a name and the man’s name was Marcus Antonius. Using a K is an insult to the gods and everyone whose parents spelt the name correctly. “MARK?” Bah.

Sir Hillary 9:32 AM  

From @LMS:
I’ve heard I BANKER, too. I knew it’d get slammed, though. As it went in I wondered if it’d get trashed before or after the ritual trashing of Jeff’s wordlist.

That is perfect. Ritual trashing is right. What a joke of a review by @Rex. Funny how it takes a Jeff Chen puzzle to get @Rex to redline the crosswordese, when most puzzles have at least as much of it as this one.

The fact that some people have never heard of IBANKER doesn't make it a bad entry.

This is acceptable fare for a Tuesday. Not the greatest ever, but it works just fine.

semioticus (shelbyl) 9:38 AM  

If I had a nickel for every time I heard the word i-banker or i-banking, I'd be filthy rich (because I was still in college then and I would have invested the crap out of that money)

From what I gather, it's a term that is i)preferred by younger generation ii)more common in schools than in financial circles but yes, it is definitely a legitimate word.

If you allow me, I'd like to get a little bit serious now. Aside from i-banker's crossword eligibility (which is definitely debatable), it is funny how quickly people declare a word "not real" instead of entertaining the possibility that they were not in the right circles to hear it. This is symptomatic of today's society, it's the same type of online behavior that enforces polarization/falling for fake news etc. Everyone is 100% right online and nuances/doubt etc. are lost. I will not turn this comment into a tirade, but I believe that is good food for thought.

Mohair Sam 9:39 AM  

Why hasn't anyone told @Chefbea Designated HitterS?. Or did I miss it?

pmdm 9:45 AM  

In XInfoWord, Jeff Chen takes himself to task for including IBANKER in the grid, but in a much more pleasant way than in today's write-up. So there is agreement that the entry is less than ideal. But the crosses were all quite easy. I think it's important to include tough entries on a Tuesday, but only if the crosses are simple to new solvers. That's one way to win over new solvers: give them something that will teach them something, but make sure they can easily enough solve the puzzle. Mr Chen did just that.

I don't think any of the so-called crosswordese entires are bad. Certainly there's much worse. (Wherefore art thou, ALAI?)

When you started complaining that ANTHOY and ANTONYM are in the same grid --- perhpas thou complainests a bit too much.

A simple theme on a day of the week that new finders should find simple. I can understand why veteran solvers may react negatively to today's puzzle. But Monday and Tuesday puzzles are not aiimed at veteran solvers. Lacking any evidence that new solvers dislike these type of puzzles (I'm asking for you newer solvers to comment) the complaints amount to simple venting.

Chance 9:47 AM  

There is a website about being a i-Banker called ibanker.com, as my ten-second Google research showed.

As usual, I enjoyed this clever, fun theme, and am surprised at Rex's grouchy take. As usual, there is a lighter take on my blog.

I got one of my fastest times ever, so I'm not sure why Rex is so grumpy about it. I guess he hates crosswordese a lot; I find it a necessary by-product of a daily crossword. You're going to get some gluey fill, people. Accept it, and move on.

Biff Gnarly 9:50 AM  

Worked in finance in NYC for 25 years and cast my vote for I Banker being a very common term. Completely agree though with post above about the description of what an I Banker does being wrong though.

And I'd also cast another vote for Marc Antony rather than Mark

Michael Hanko 9:55 AM  

I would love to donate to @lms classroom, but this particular project is already fully funded and doesn’t seem to be accepting further funding. Maybe Mrs. Smith could open up another one...?

Nancy 10:00 AM  

Funny. I never once thought about IBANKER as either being the banking equivalent of the IPAD (hi, Anon 8:46) nor as an abbreviation of investment banker, evidently its real meaning. When I read: "Pro at building financial worth", I thought of someone very good at building his own financial worth. As in the Me Generation -- i.e. people who only think about themselves. So that's what I thought an I BANKER was: an self-centered banker only interested in his own net worth. Did anyone else have the same initial impression?

chefbea 10:10 AM  

@mohair sam thanks...I was thinking of a team!!!

Unknown 10:11 AM  

Ibanker is definitely a thing! I work in recruiting and would know. Plus, I avoid them at all costs on dating apps ;)

Wm. C. 10:11 AM  

"Pro at building financial worth..." => IBANKER. .... Doesn't do it for me.

Yes, the end result of an IBanker's work is usually (but not necessarily always) wealth creation, but the immediate objective is to sell equity on behalf of a company in order to raise cash for it. So "Pro at raising capital" should have been the clue.

Two Ponies 10:23 AM  

@ Nancy,
Self-centered banker is great! Love it.

Joseph Michael 10:26 AM  

Hand up for MARc as in "Marcus" ANTONY," except that "Porcy's" doesn't sound like a film that would earn two sequels.

Those who prey on PIGEONs, SUCKERs, et al are not always CON "MEN." (See Angelica Huston in "The Grifters" for an example.) Clue should have read "Some" people who target...

Oddities: CHUMP is almost a relative of ORANG. CHE drops down to become CHER. And Anne of 31D could be the answer to that apparel question: It was HE, CHE, who appeared on my T-shirt.

Yesterday NESS was a famous LOCH. Today he's a Capone chaser.

Liked I'M TOAST, UNDEROOS, and most of the rest of the grid in spite of Rex's predictable trashing of a Jeff Chen puzzle. Perhaps it's not RED EYES but green eyes with which Rex sees Chen's frequent by-line in the NYT.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Wait Marco Rubio triggers Rex but he's ok with Che Guevara wtf ?

DJG 10:31 AM  

I disagree with Rex's examples of Crosswordese. To me, Crosswordese are words that appear relatively frequently in crossword puzzles that the vast majority of people never use/have never heard of outside of crossword.

The entries that fit this description for me are OAS, OER, SSNS (because of the plural), SNO (because nobody uses that by itself; SNOCAT is fine), AHH (should be AAH), and maybe EROICA and CREE.

The other seem fine to me. I mean what's wrong with ORANG and AVER and A TON and C-CUP and BCC, etc? Those are things people actually use.

I don't get this criticism.

Georgia 10:48 AM  

Designated Hitter, in American League... in National League pitcher has to take his own turn in the batting order.

Paul Rippey 10:57 AM  

Okay, that got a chuckle. Thanks.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

It's Mark Antony in Shakespeare's two plays that feature him. So I think it's okay for some stupid crossword puzzle.

Linda Vale 11:20 AM  

No doubt. Rex thinks it cool to laud a mass murderer who wanted to ban newspapers. Rex’s sophistry is disappointing.

Mohair Sam 11:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masked and Anonymous 11:54 AM  

@RP: Real interestin list of 'crosswordese" words plus "let slide" words. 14 of em have Patrick Berry Usage Immunity. 8 do not. AHH did not, altho AAH does -- sooo ... that may just be a personal preference issue.

IBANKER is a debut word. Never heard of it, but am ok with it. Are IBANKERs sorta like CONMEN?

Jeff Chen is one of M&A's fave constructioneers. This TuesPuz mighta been a smidge more desperate than his average offerin, perhaps cuz he went for just 74 words.

staff weeject picks: OER & ORE. Shoulda gone for it (and included OAR, also).

Thanx, JC. fave of yer themers: SUCKERPUNCH. And congratz on puz #75 in only 8 years.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


David Abbajay 12:37 PM  

I had less of an issue with “I-banker” then “Cleopatra’ Lover. The correct answer SHOULD be “Marc Antony(i). If you are going to anglicize his first name to Mark, then you should also anglicize his last one to Anthony.

Theodore Stamos 12:48 PM  

Here here. We have all become radicalized...

JC66 1:02 PM  


You asked "Did anyone else have the same initial impression?

I'd like to know if the pun was intentional or not?

jberg 1:04 PM  

@Loren, there are no pigeon gulls, but here's a pigeon guillemot, you just have to drop a few letters.

Teedmn 1:08 PM  

IBANKER is short for Investment BANKER?? I couldn't figure out why an Internet Banker would be more of a Pro at building financial worth than your ordinary type. I see now, (I think).

I loved that VOODOO has its charms. And the "unexpected hit" of SUCKER PUNCH moving my NEURONs from hit records to street fighting. I got bit by the AP part of APCALC for a little while - started in with "pre-CALC" which didn't fit. And I swear that I always put in AaH when AHH is called for and vice-versa.

Nice slow reveal, Jeff Chen. I enjoyed wondering how all the themers were going to tie in.

jberg 1:08 PM  

Whatever you thought of the puzzle, @birchbark and @Nancy on I BANKER were each worth coming here all by themselves. I laughed out loud.

And I loved the clue for SUCKER PUNCH. Might not have got it without the theme.

I'm here very late today; our poor dog has a heartworm infection, and we had to take her in early this morning for an injection. The vet just called to say she seems OK, though, so that's a relief. (She's a rescue -- we've been giving her the pills, but they think she may have been infected just before the shelter got her on June 1.) She looked so sad when we left her at the vet's -- and she usually loves the vet.

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

@Nancy, I too considered IBANKER as possibly similar to I, ROBOT and I, CLAUDIUS. And I enjoyed your sly pun also.

Mohair Sam 1:13 PM  

@M&A - No, no, no. The CONMAN and IBANKER have nothing in common. When CONMEN are caught screwing their PIGEON, CHUMP, SUCKER, or MARK they go directly to jail. When an IBANKER gets caught screwing his PIGEON, CHUMP, SUCKER, or MARK they are bailed out by the American taxpayer and go buy another home in the Hamptons.

Carola 1:18 PM  

A more challenging than usual Tuesday for me and worth it. Loved the creative array of theme answers (though I, too, raised an eyebrow when I had to change MARc). There were so many other lively entries, from VOODOO to UNDEROOS that I never noticed the crosswordese @Rex pointed out.

@Loren, there's also SUCK between CHEST and C-CUP (what nursing will do for you).

Jeff 1:24 PM  

Completely agree, DJG. I'd even say OER is fine; I hear it whenever I hear the national anthem, after all.

Rex has a very obvious issue with Jeff Chen, and that's why he goes into these very personal nit-picky attacks, bashing his wordlist, etc. See, Jeff runs the blog at XWordInfo.com (which Rex will *never* read - just ask him about it). Will Shortz has contributed to that site, and it has thus become somewhat of Will's preferred NYT crossword blog.

Rex, having the maturity of a fifth-grader, has a personal vendetta against Will, and uses this platform as a way to publicly disgrace Will and call for his retirement/resignation/firing. So Jeff and Will are aligned on the same team, which means any puzzle by Jeff will get absolutely savaged by Rex. If that means scribbling red lines over lots and lots of perfectly fine crossword entries and deploring the harmless IBANKER across multiple grafs, well, that's just what the job called for today.

Hell of a time to be alive.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  


How dare you normalize the national anthem! You have to warn folks about a trigger like that. Hope Rex was in a safe space when he read it. ( and yeah, Rex reads the comments, don't you Mike?)

Not only is Rex's objection to Ibanker absurd as--plenty of folks have pointed it out wonderfully--- it's yet another example of his small base of knowledge. Rex knows nothing of the mechanical world, and now, it seems, he's ignorant of the world of wall street as well. Color me shocked.

Best of all, he likse underoos. Yeah, the underpants with cartoon characters on them. You know, the ones for children. Goes right along with his love of comic books.

Grow up, Rex. And grow a pair while you're at it.

Great puzzle, as usual, Jeff Chen. Thanks.

Aketi 1:52 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassieopia 2:00 PM  

TIL that IBANKER is a thing. I got snagged on TCn/nEGS cross but other than that, faster than a usual Tuesday.

Love Jeff Chen’s puzzles and while this was not my fav of his, there were nice touches that made it fun and enjoyable.

Aketi 2:17 PM  

@Carola, you beat me to it. :)

@MohairSam, exactly.

@Jberg, glad your dog seems OK.

@z, even a low level crossword cheater like me had a little moment of "wait just a minute here" over that shift of a c to a k.

@Evildoug, I appreciated the fact that you managed to put a humorous spin on an evil pathetic twit who must have balls as fragile as dandiolions gone to seed for him to behave that way.

@Nancy, I've had enough clients who were IBANKERS to have sussed out that clue, but I much prefer your interpretation. I don't remember AP classes in high school either. My son took 9 AP classes, which seemed to be the norm at his school. AP CALC is definitely harder. In theory AP classes should enable kids to skip college courses, but in reality they are nothing more than an additional hurdle in the arms race that college admissions has become. My son exceeded the cutoffs on all his AP Tests, but at his college the only class he gets to skip is chemistry. I too liked reading the embedded names competition yesterday.

I'M TOAST and RED EYES just makes me think of the fires which may have died down into Santa Rosa but are now sparking up in Santa Cruz. Just hoping all the firefighters stay safe in their continued battles as well as those whose homes are threatened.

Lewis 2:56 PM  

Nothing wrong with having a giant wordlist, IMO, so long as you prune words out of your puzzle that aren't common enough for crosswords, and I am sure Jeff does that, and so I conclude that he thought IBANKER common enough, and I think the comments here have borne that out.

@lms -- GREAT catch on COAL/LOCA.
@biechbark (7:40) -- LOL!
@josephmichael -- And ORANG slides east to become ORANGE

Props to Rex for keeping the comments democratic, open to all. There is so much criticism of Rex today and a less secure moderator would have cut a lot of it. I appreciate your "free speech" stance, Rex.

Puzzle was a solid Tuesday, in my book. Did what a Tuesday should do, and did it cleanly.

nate shafroth 3:12 PM  

As numerous other commenters have noted, I-Banker/I-Banking are extremely common terms. That is the last thing I expected to see ranted about today. Seriously, Rex should delete that part of today's blog -- it's embarrassing.

"Orangs," for "orangutans," on the other hand, is something that no one has ever used outside of a crossword puzzle. Though easy enough to get, that is an actual problem worth complaining about.

Devin W 3:28 PM  

I’m 34, used the Internet since I was like 12, am pretty up on most things in technology, have an etrade account and IRAS, work as an engineer with other young people, and I have never, ever heard the term IBANKER. Total BS

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

What's with the dubious clue for 29 across, "fuel that contributes to global warming." Coal? Really? How about "fuel that drives our economy, provides job and generates power for about 250,000 Toyota Priuses?"

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

You're an idiot. As others have noted the I in Ibanker is for investment. As in Investment banking, which before you embarrass yourself further is used to distinguish it from commercial banking.
34 huh? God, I weep for the future.

Ben Silver 3:56 PM  

I think you'll find that was a bit of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole..

Carola 4:07 PM  

@Aketi, my perspective on the AP phenomenon from college teaching is that they're kind of a racket and don't necessarily serve students well. In our department, a certain AP score meant that students had to enroll in courses at a certain level, whether in reality they were prepared for them or not (enrolling at a lower, appropriate level meant getting no credit, something most students couldn't afford). So they found themselves as freshmen in upper level courses that in many cases were too difficult for them. After struggling through that one class, they'd had enough and didn't continue.

The5th Harp 4:33 PM  

Common term in NYC. Surprised that one tweet is sufficient for the critic to declare victory. Lots of other good clues/answers ignored.

BarbieBarbie 4:45 PM  

Anon@3:41, you don’t plug in a Prius. Maybe you meant Tesla or Volt. A Prius charges the battery using leftover mechanical energy from the IC engine. Hence “hybrid.” Don’t get your Underoos in a knot without getting your facts straight. Also, lots of jobs are found in pollution-generating industries. What’s your point? That we shouldn’t try to make them cleaner?

@Marc-ers, if it’s good enough for Shakespeare it’s good enough for the NYT. MarK it is.

Anonymous 5:16 PM  

Actually, there is a plug in Prius, and I'm looking out the window at one right now. Get your facts straight

Anonymous 5:35 PM  

You do know that the plug is tied to an electrical grid, right. And the majority of the country still has coal as the number 1 fuel for power generation.
In other words zero emissions at the tailpipe don't mean a zero emission car.

Joe Dipinto 5:43 PM  

I thought this was a perfectly fine Tuesday puzz, if not a hugely memorable one. I did like CHUMP CHANGE and SUCKER PUNCH.

I don't quite grok when a particular answer becomes "crosswordese", especially in Rex's universe. Why is EROICA crosswordese but not UCONN? They both appear with some regularity. Shouldn't ICE be considered crosswordese? ORANG I get because it seems like something no one would ever say or write IRL. But otherwise Rex's criterion for crosswordese seems kinda arbitrary. And if he dislikes it so much, why malign a perfectly good and fresh answer like IBANKER?

Anyway, the clue for 36d cracked me up, as if "NERO" is an actor in the movie ("...and Special Appearance by NERO as Himself...").

beatrice 5:52 PM  

@Paul Rippey -- I've wondered the same. I only found one site that takes it on, with a number of replies. There is nothing definitive here, and some of the comments are a bit off the mark, but all of it is interesting, and entertaining. If nothing else, it gives a lot of examples of the versatility if the word 'thing' in the English language (and other languages as well?), and various usages and phrases that have shown up, esp. over the last century. More specifically, though, there is one claim of this usage among teens in some part of California in the 1980's, and one claim of this usage by members of a certain Internet-nerd sub-culture at MIT, from 1995. The suggestion by some here is that this may be an example of a usage that remained confined to one (or more) small sub-cultures which eventually wended its way to common currency.. I would suggest at a particular socio-cultural moment. There is some agreement here that that 'moment' was Tina Fey's show '30 Rock', which premiered in 2006, where it was (apparently) used quite frequently. (I can hear it in my mind's ear, though I was not a regular watcher of the show.) http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=25229

Also, there I found an opinion piece in the NYT, which is interesting but doesn't address the origin question. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/is-that-even-a-thing/?_r=0

@Larry Gilstrap -- regarding the 'Eroica', I remembered (I thought) that Leonard Bernstein had done a program on it, and indeed he did. I'm not sure whether I saw this, but I always enjoyed the programs I watched. They might be worth checking out. They run about 35 minutes all together.




Rickover Student 6:03 PM  

All fuel contributes to global warming, except for nuclear (solar, hydro, and wind are not "fuels" per se). Even a bicycle, which is powered by muscle energy which is fueled by digested food, results in methane emissions from the rider's butthole contributing to global warming. And, yes, plug-in electric vehicles are fueled by the coal or natural gas combustion of the main electric grid (which may also have a nuclear, solar, hydro, and/or wind component). Coal is still the top generating fuel, although natural gas is gaining quickly. Therefore, an electric plug-in car runs mostly on coal. A hydrid (non-plug-in) car runs on petroleum distillate. The internet and all these blogs run on coal, and a lot of it. The power consumption of internet servers, smart phones, home computers and tablets etc. is significant. Therefore, the problem is you.

Mohair Sam 6:19 PM  

EROICA is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written and to see it tossed of as just some crosswordese kinda pisses me off.

@Rickover Student - Me?

Aketi 6:46 PM  

@Carola, fortunately my son goes to a college where they tilt in the other direction so he will get solid reinforcement because he still has to take all but one of the same college courses he would take if he hadn't taken AP classes. I'm pleased that they took that approach

jb129 6:58 PM  

Great puzzle Jeff - Thank you,

Dont know what's up with Rex - when it " intellectually" easy for Rex, its not so easy for me. Oh well, see what the rest of the week brings - he'll probably find it EASY on Friday......

Unknown 7:14 PM  

Sadly, twenty some years ago, it seemed like half of my graduating class at Yale was going into "i-banking." Not too much of a stretch to i-banker. I know basically nothing about finance, but when I run into them now (when they're slumming), some still say they are in i-banking, so I have to disagree Rex, it is a thing, for sure, even if I can't really tell you what it is, and even if your friend (amazingly/unbelievably?) hasn't heard the term despite being in the industry.

Anonymous 7:27 PM  

@Unknown - you. said. it. Second half of the 90s, half of the graduating class every year. What a waste of human potential.

Shelby Glidden 7:27 PM  

Thank you, Doug! A vast improvement. Will you do a whole puzzle? 😀

Shelby Glidden 7:41 PM  

I agree, Barb. I think, maybe, Rex's analyses shifted from a humorous focus to a more critical vein when he began constructing crosswords. Doug, i think we can help Rex with his next theme. I, Cloudius; IPhoney, etc.

Unknown 8:25 PM  

Rex, you really should reconsider ragging on unfamiliar terms. "i-banking" is a thing, I have literally heard it used hundreds of times. Obviously, you haven't in your circles, but that is the experience most of us have when solving crossword puzzles. Complaining about a word that you don't know (especially with your blog megaphone) only encourages more puzzles with epee, otoe, mt edna, etc. You should celebrate that you learned a new term i-banking, that is commonly used in some circles.

Nancy 10:09 PM  

@JC66 and @Teedmn -- I cannot tell a lie (although seldom have I been more tempted to do so). My "pun", alas, was completely unintentional. But remember -- it would have been an unlikely pun under the circumstances, since I was thinking of the "I" in I BANKER as a pronoun and not as an initial. Wish I had thought of it, though.

RooMonster 10:43 PM  



Adam Frank 11:28 PM  

Any puzzle that works in the Kinks’ LOLA is A-OK in my book! I quite enjoyed it. And I think that the EROICA symphony is general liberal arts knowledge, not crosswordese. I liked it.

Blogger 4:53 PM  

Do you need free Google+ Circles?
Did you know you can get these ON AUTO-PILOT & TOTALLY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?

Burma Shave 9:30 AM  


MARKANTONY asked of Cleo, “QUOVADIS?”,
then that GENT CONTINUEd his behest,
“I’ll help you CHANGE, you VOODOO goddess,
and get that CCUP off your CHEST.”


rondo 10:11 AM  

My valuable rock was at first a “gem”, not ORE nearby OER; where are ORR or OAR?
Funny that OFL did not harp on CHUMPCHANGE and SUCKERPUNCH since the first word in each is the exact definition and usage for a victim of CONMEN, unlike the PIGEON in a COOP and MARKANTONY. Too stuck on IBANKER I guess. IBANKER, you SUCKER. Or to one of the CONMEN: IBANKER, UCONN. IMAX, USURPS.

No matter which team she bats for we have a yeah baby in Ann HECHE.

DECENT puz. Gotta run, can’t CONTINUE.

thefogman 10:50 AM  

Unlike Rex, I found this one to be way too easy even for a Tuesday. But I do agree with him that it was flawed. I'm surprised Will Shortz gave it the green light. The only bright spot was that bit of fake news located at 29A. SAD!!!

Diana, LIW 11:05 AM  

I thought it was easier than yesterday's.

EROICA is crosswordese? How about SQUID?

Does anyone else do the NPR Sunday puzzle (with WS)? I figured out this week's yesterday...just wondering.

Usually OFL gets roiled over CHE - but IBANKER? Is that "too" fresh?

Again - a good offering for a newbie to learn from.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 11:54 AM  

I've heard of pre-CALC, but APCALC? Nope. Totally out of my wheelhouse. OFL didn't even mention it, so he must know... Guess I've been out of school too long.

The above, plus IBANKER, gave a later-than-Tuesday feel to this one. I too was struck by all the crosswordese, especially after seeing the byline. Chen is usually sharper than that.

Heads up for MARc--but by that time I knew: as Henry Gondorff said, "You can't play your friends like MARKs." Similarly, I was not SUCKERPUNCHed by that clue for 40-across; by then it was a gimme.

Jeff usually shoots in RED figures, but this one gets just a par, despite CHEST being directly above CCUP. BTW, DOD is LOLA Falana.

rondo 12:07 PM  

@spacey - I've learned from our student workers that AP stands for Advanced Placement courses. H.S. kids can earn college credits with a high enough score in those courses.

leftcoastTAM 2:09 PM  

A Wednesday puzzle posing as a Tuesday:

...and last but not least,

LXE body spray, anyone? As a contraction of deluxe, maybe? Really, is AXE the name of a body spray? Sounds pretty gruesome.

Okay, enough. A Tuesday DNF. Or is it Wednesday?

rainforest 3:15 PM  

*ALERT* If the byline of the puzzle is Ed Sessa, Joe Krozel, Jeff Chen, Acme, or (I forget the other guy), do not read the post.

Actually, don't as I don't, har.

I guess he did a number on Jeff, surprise!, judging from the commenters' comments. Just as Trump doesn't act presidential, @Rex doesn't act professorial.

Anyway, this was an entertaining puzzle with a theme revealer that truly revealed. I couldn't see the connection until I got to the revealer.

Crosswordese? Don't all puzzles have that/those? Doesn't matter. Good puzzle.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP