Ancient undeciphered writing system / SUN 3-25-18 / Legal vowelless Scrabble play / Outlay that cannot be recovered / Anthropomorphic king of Celesteville / International conglomerate whose name means three stars

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Constructor: Finn Vigeland

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: "Follow the Sun" — theme answers have SUN in them, and when the answers get to SUN, the SUN goes down (sets?) in the west (!) and goes up (rises?) in the east ... just like the actual ball of sky fire!

Theme answers:
  • MEGATSUNAMI (26A: Catastrophic event that can be caused by a gigantic earthquake)
  • ACTORS' UNIONS (56A: Hollywood labor groups)
  • ETATS UNIS (98A: Amérique)
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM (102A: Only words on the front of the Great Seal of the United States)
  • MONKEY'S UNCLE (68A: How someone in awe might describe himself)
  • GOES UNDER (29A: Folds, as a business)
Word of the Day: PEDUNCLE (60A: Plant stalk) —
noun
BOTANY
  1. the stalk bearing a flower or fruit, or the main stalk of an inflorescence.
    • ZOOLOGY
      a stalklike part by which an organ is attached to an animal's body, or by which a barnacle or other sedentary animal is attached to a substrate. (google)
• • •

The theme was very easy to figure out—circling the SUNs gave (probably) far too much information away. Once I realized (at second themer?) that the circles were just gonna be SUNs, the difficulty level of the puzzle dropped considerably. I guess you sort of had to wait to figure out that the SUNs went the other direction in the eastern portion of the grid, but ... not really. That was pretty self-evident—themer heads east, hits a circled square, then heads ... in whatever the direction the circled squares go ... then heads east again. Mostly very intuitive, though occasionally my brain forgot that once you reach the "N" in the SUN, the answer zags back east again; I spent at least a little time wondering what a MEGATSUNG and a ETATSUNNI were. I've never heard of a MEGATSUNAMI (aren't regular ones pretty, uh, devastating), and I don't really believe that there are ACTORS' UNIONS, plural, in Hollywood (there's SAG, and then .... ?). Not too jazzed about PEDUNCLE at all (?) let alone the fact that it pretty much doubles the UNCLE content in that exact portion of the grid. Also the clue on MONKEY'S UNCLE is weird—it really needs some reference to the "I'll be" part of the phrase for it to make real sense. The clue (68A: How someone in awe might describe himself) almost sounds like it's asking for an adverb (?). It's awkward all around there. And yet I don't really care. I mean, the SUN thing is cute-ish, but mainly it's just A Theme, and the enjoyment resides in the rest of the grid, which is really pretty lovely. SUN up, SUN down, fine, but, REAL TALK, the rest of the grid was mostly a joy to move through.


The grid provided lots of happy moments, fill-wise, and how often do I say that? (A: not very). Even the ridiculous stuff (i.e. plural EARTHS) was making me laugh (87A: Planets like ours, in sci-fi). Creative cluing! Make it work! I HEART KUSHNER and AS SEEN ON TV and IT'S ON ME and T MINUS ZERO (!) and I think NERF WAR is fantastically made-up but sure, go ahead. At least it's made up in a way I can imagine. DON'T TELL! PROM DATES! MIC DROP! The grid was working, everywhere. Sun, shmun, this grid was fun. Shout-out to the great clues on ARMHOLE (21A: Sometimes hard-to-find shirt opening) (we've all been there...) and UNWED (103D: Not taken seriously?). I realize that last one is pretty gam-o-centric (or marriage-biased, if you're less lexically adventurous). I'm sure there are people who are taken (seriously) who are not married. Still, throw in that "?" clue, and the clever word play, and I'll allow the normativity at work here. PEDUNCLE seems like something you'd call a dangerous-to-children ... uncle. I really, really don't like any part of that word. Just trying saying it out loud. Is it peDUNCle? PEEduncle? Podunk + uncle, it sounds like.  Let's burn it and bury it and then not mark its grave and never speak of it again.


My greatest Defy-My-Age moment was plunking down NEYO at 49D: R&B singer with the hits "So Sick" and "Mad" ... but then my Nah-You're-Old moment came when I realized I didn't know how to punctuate his name. I knew there was a hyphen, but was not sure where it went (dead center, it turns out: NE-YO). I don't think KPMG is "good" fill (73A: One of the Big Four accounting firms). Totally uninferrable letters. I didn't even know the concept of a Big Four existed among accounting firms. That sounds like some accountants got a little drunk and full of themselves and said "you guys ... you guys ... you guys let's form a club, you guys!" Can you name the other three of the Big Four? I bet over half of you can't name even one without looking it up. Price Waterhouse, is that one? ... holy Krap, I'm right! Woo hoo, wild guessing FTW! Here, read about how it used to be the Big Five. And the Big Six. And before that, the Big Eight. Oh the exciting times you will have reading about this illustrious history of self-important naming!

PS Thanks to everyone who got into the streets yesterday to protest gun violence and lax gun laws. Here are some pics from the Binghamton march (photos courtesy of my wife)







 [moment of silence at the memorial for the 13 people shot and killed at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, NY, in 2009]

And here's a pic of my daughter and her friends in D.C.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

128 comments:

Patrick O'Connor 12:12 AM  

Thanks for this write-up, Rex. Yes, I loved the mid-sized fill. But don't be mean to PEDUNCLE --I think it's a cute word too, and I intend to say, "Well I'll be a monkey's peduncle!" at the next possible opportunity.

mmorgan 12:14 AM  

I found this to be a strangely difficult/challenging Sunday even after I grokked the theme. It was a strangely enjoyable slog with lots of Aha moments. But I ended with a thudding Natick on the 120A/116D cross, with LINEA_A/O_E. I guessed wrong. Win some, lose some.

paulsfo 12:16 AM  

I think that two of the clues were wrong. ETA is information you would get *from* a chauffeur. The *desired* time of arrival would be information for a chauffeur, but not the estimated time of arrival.

REAL TALK is necessary during a heart to heart, not as a preface to it.

Rex, you've never heard of the "Big n accounting firms." Once again I am befuddled at how a professor seems to know so little about the world.

pmdm 12:16 AM  

I have to admit being ashamed that I finished the puzzle without ever realizing that some of the answers took two turns in the grid. I completed the puzzle by virtue of filling in all the down entries, couldn't figure out what the them across entries meant, and had no time to figure it out. Some of the proper names were brutal if you didn't know them, but if you allow yourself the ability to research (the old ter google) I thought the puzzle was conquerable. Just humorless.

Meghan 12:18 AM  

They merged relatively recently, but there used to be SAG and AFTRA The American Federation of Television and Radio Actors.

pmdm 12:21 AM  

paulsfo: It a chauffeur has to drive to an airport to pick up a client, the chauffeur needs to know the ETA of the plane. I think you are assuming the chauffeur is dropping someone off, in which case you would be correct.

Ellen S 12:36 AM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle even though i didn’t see the pattern of the SUNs rising in the east and setting in the west. If I had noticed that I would have liked it less, I think: being ignorant, I didn’t know whether the SUNs went up or down so I couldn’t just autofill them. Made it better. But thank you, Finn, for a nice Saturday night.

I spent the morning downtown at the Sacramento #MarchForOurLives. Until the rally at the state Capitol, it was the best organized protest I’ve been on in over 60 years of activism. The kids in Sacto and Washington and I bet everywhere could teach their teachers something about community service. The local facebook page and Eventbrite entry covered all the questions (transportation, parking, march route and times, even provided a promo code for free Lyft rides - classy!). I took the light rail downtown. The train (they run every half hour on Saturdays; this was the optimum one for getting to the assembly point) was full, and everybody on it was going to the march. Geezers and toddlers and everything in between. I love the poster in @Rex’s daughter’s picture from D.C., “Guns have more rights than my vagina” Nice way to connect the issues without losing focus! In Sacto there was a poignant one (since just last weekend YET ANOTHER unarmed young black man was killed by police — in his grandparents’ backyard). The sign said simply, “White boy murders 17, gets due process. Black boy runs in his grandma’s backyard, GETS MURDERED!” (Note: a large part of the black community has been protesting that latest unnecessary death for the last couple of days, and knowing that a significant minority opinion among the #marchersforourlives calls for more police in schools, maybe they felt unwelcome at today’s march, but there were some black faces. Too bad there weren’t more, because more children of color than white kids die by gun violence.

I have great hope for this upcoming generation. They are articulate, passionate, intelligent, organized and focused. I bet a few of them will be able to dash off splendid crossword puzzles in their spare time. Meanwhile, thank you Finn.

Ellen S 12:57 AM  

Just one more off-topic comment and then I’ll say no more: I just read that the NAACP organized 17 buses with more than 900 young members to go to the D.C. march. That’s a relief, and another connection which is crucial if we’re ever to have peace in this country.

Trombone Tom 1:12 AM  

PEDUNCLE is a great word. Something Walter Mitty might have used to describe the sound from the "complicated machine." Peduncle-peduncle-peduncle, instead of pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.

I worked my way through without reference to the circles or title until MEGATSUNAMI caught my eye. You could almost finish without running into the theme. A fairly easy Sunday.

An enjoyable puzzle with a nice themic twist.

Moly Shu 1:23 AM  
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paulsfo 1:24 AM  

pmdm,
Thanks. However, I think that that's such a stretch that I think think them admitting a mistake would be preferable to that explanation. :)

Moly Shu 1:38 AM  

PEDUNCLE? Get out of here with that. Sorry @TromboneTom, I had the opposite reaction. And I should have remembered LINEARA from a few weeks ago, but I didn’t. I was told to research it, but I didn’t. I’m such s DOLT.

Anonymous 1:42 AM  

I’m picturing chauffeurs standing just outside baggage claim with hand-written signs of their clients' names, so, yes, they would be privy to flight ETA's. Or am I just stepping on a stretch limo joke?

Anonymous 1:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moly Shu 1:47 AM  

a dolt, of course. I’m not typing it again.

Joe Dipinto 1:50 AM  

So, let's see. We have six -- only six! -- short theme answers that include SUN -- which word's appearance has been handily mapped out for us *in advance*! Meaning there is nothing to figure out! And...what else? Oh. Nothing else. No clever revealer to illustrate what the point of this thing is, except for the forlorn title "Follow The Sun".

Anything else? Oh -- PEA GREEN: yes. SEA GREEN: yes. TEA GREEN: No.Such.Color. And then there is that abysmal bottom middle with LINEARA crossing WIIU and ORE with a ridiculous clue. Isn't REAL TALK the *same thing* as a heart-to-heart conversation? How appropriate that FEH is plopped right in the middle of that section. A fitting epigraph for this creation.

TomAz 2:09 AM  

This was a slow start and then a fast finish. When I eventually grokked the gimmick -- both east and west -- I filled in all the themers, on their own, no crosses needed (except for MONKEYS UNCLE, which took a bit of work). After that, what seemed like a difficult puzzle at first fell pretty fast.

But still, for this solver, there's a lot here not to like. @Joe Dipinto laid out a good chunk of it. Except on top of that I don't know FEH as clued. Not at all. Even now I am having a hard time figuring out how to use it in a sentence.

So yeah, I did it, but that's about it. On to Monday.

Now this:

@Rex: Not knowing the big accounting firms is basically a marker for "I don't ever have to think about anything related to business, ever." Which, you know, good for you. But to claim it obscure is to proclaim your own parochialism. Sorry.

@paulsfo: pmdm's explanation is what I immediately thought of when I read the clue. Your objection is what seems farfetched to me.

Anonymous 2:24 AM  

It’s often the chauffeurs' clients who are fetched from afar.

sanfranman59 2:36 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 4:42 4:14 1.11 79.7% Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:27 5:22 1.01 55.4% Medium
Wed 5:14 6:00 0.87 27.7% Easy-Medium
Thu 11:11 10:01 1.12 67.3% Medium-Challenging
Fri 21:13 11:42 1.81 98.6% Very Challenging
Sat 30:03 16:08 1.86 97.1% Very Challenging
Sun 31:07 21:22 1.46 94.6% Challenging

Very tough weekend for me on NYT crosswords ... 98.8% Friday, 97.1% Saturday, 94.6% Sunday. I didn't completely grasp the theme until MONKEYS UNCLE and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make sense of MEGATS at 26A, even though TSUNAMI sprung immediately to mind when I read the clue. But I kinda struggled with this one in general, even apart from taking so long to get the theme.

I'm not familiar with ROUNDER or Tony KUSHNER, not terribly familiar with PEDUNCLE, had no idea what 1/100th of a KRONA was, wanted AvAlON for ARAGON (though I was pretty sure that wasn't right), couldn't come up with KPMG for far too long, entered kIev for RIGA (though I'm well aware that Ukraine isn't a Baltic country), TEA GREEN is a color?, forgot about "Still ALICE", seriously doubted that SUNK COST and REAL TALK are things (one does REAL TALK before a heart-to-heart???), had NERF tAg for NERF WAR at 90D. NEYO? No-no. FEH? Meh. YEH? Meh. WII U? Pee-ew.

That Texas section really had me wondering if I'd finish until I pulled LINEAR-A out of the recesses and that was enough to get me through it (finally).

Carola 2:58 AM  

This was a fun one. I got the theme with GOES UNDER, although I was a little confused about why we had to follow the SUN upwards in order to get UNDER. But eventually I saw the opposite directions in the West and East. Nice! Like @Rex, I found that once you saw the SUN, it was easy - but also easy to forget about turning the second corner; I had the same trouble with ETAS UNni and some difficulty seeing the MONKEY'S UNCLE.

Some pairings that stood out to me were CAMERA over I SEE IT, AS SEEN ON TV over PHARMA, ACTORS next to PLAYS, the how-to-communicate column of IMS, EMAILING, and REAL TALK, and the phrase ENHANCED FACTS.

chefwen 3:03 AM  

First puzzle we finished in three days without outside assistance, so yes, we liked it. Had the most trouble in th SE corner, had sAga for 109D and didn’t want to get rid of it, TERRY finally won out and I had an OMG moment when I remembered RYE whiskey in an Old Fashioned, now I want one, it’s been years. Grandpa Wheeler loved them.

Got the trick early on with megaSUNami, the rest were fun figuring out.

Two THUMBS up.

jae 3:21 AM  

Medium for me. FEH is not the first thing that comes to mind for "Yuck" and REAL TALK as a preface?... I had lets TALK at first.

Clever with some fine fill, liked it.

Graham 3:26 AM  

Actors’ Equity, for stage actors. Though not in Hollywood, I guess.

Mark 3:53 AM  

There is no such thing as t minus zero. A countdown goes ... t minus two, t minus one, (time) zero, (time) one, (time) two ...

If you like the clue I don’t think you thought about the meaning.

Sydney 6:37 AM  

I knew feh, Kushner, ora, peduncle, linear a right off the bat... but KPMG I never heard of! If you read the wonderful Hyman Kaplan books you would remember feh. Peduncle I remembered from school. Linear A...well, that comes from reading about Minoan civilization. Kushner is a national treasure. Ora..from travel. But I never moved in circles that would know about KPMG. The blue light special at KMart, yes, but not KPMG. I agree about tea green. For some reason, this puzzle was slow for me...hard to get into. The zigzaggy thing was fun...but I didn’t even notice they were all s-u-n. I worked the puzzle online, where there was no title...that might have clued me in.

Anonymous 6:42 AM  

NIce grid - totally idiotic (and partially wrong!) clues - Where's the editor???

Dave 6:56 AM  

AFTRA is an actor's union in Hollywood

And peduncle definitely sounds like a sore on your foot!!

Anonymous 7:10 AM  

A. Don't quite understand Rex's general enthusiasm for this average/below average puzzle.

B. Am I the only one who solved this puzzle without getting the full theme? Yes, I figured out
the SUN parts (well, it was in the title), but I never saw the whole phrases. And yet, got
every square correct. (True, some answers were a bit...strange.)

C. Thought there were a lot of answers that started with "F", especially in middle of puzzle.
And yes, I would give puzzle a definite "C".

tc

Teedmn 7:17 AM  

This is a fun theme, following the sun, Beatles-like. I got the turn around the sun gimmick at GOES UNDER. At first I thought it was just going to be the sun rising in the east and setting in the west which isn't all that exciting. The actual theme - much better.

Interesting to see PEDUNCLE (huh?) crossing the NCLE part of MONKEY'S UNCLE, as @Rex points out. And serendipitously, some of the answers I learned just yesterday in one or more of the ACPT's puzzles gave me the answers to a couple here. Thank goodness I got something out of the disaster the tourney was for me. (Don't ask and DON'T TELL!) Great fun but not an ego booster.

I had GaMINeS in place of 110A's GEMINIS, which I thought fit almost as well. Let's TALK before REAL TALK. Me too before ASAMI. I nearly left in pANSIES which would have given me a DNF and a GIp for "Keep movin'". My brain was trying really hard to justify GIp as a short version of Giddy up but I luckily remembered TANSy tea.

Thanks, Finn, this was a TREAT.

Dr. Gary Johnson-Ugo, Ph.D 7:21 AM  

I knew everything in this puzzle, even the words I didn't know. And all the incorrect clues? I knew those answers as well. I finished in under two minutes, making this an average puzzle.

I give this puzzle a score of 8 Mice on my patented 12 Mouse scale, based on usability, smoothness, nomenclature, knowledgeness, and impedance. A score of 6 to 10 Mice indicates "wholeness."

'mericans in Paris 7:57 AM  

Played medium in all respects for us. I'd agree with some of the others that have expressed wonder at @Rex's enthusiasm. And here I was sure that OFL would pan the puzzle for so many 3-letter answers -- 31 in total. (Yes, @Roo Monster, I realize that the record for a Sunday -- thanks for the states -- is in the 50s. Still.)

DNF, thanks for entering pANSIES instead of TANSIES, which neither Mrs. miP have ever heard of nor yours truly. Had to guess at WII-U, FEH and the WAR ending to NERF WAR, not knowing who KUSHNER is. Knew ORE, however, because it is a common unit of currency in Scandinavia.

The theme itself was OK, but we cottoned on to it pretty quickly. ALICE was a write-over: had ALIvE at first, and kept thinking about Audio Vidio workers in Hollywood.

LEANTO was a nice entry, reminiscent of my childhood in early Maine. Only later, when the family moved to suburban Florida did I appreciate my freedom, even from an early age, to just wander into the woods, even ALONE, and build stuff. There weren't no MONKEYS there, but fer sure there were bears.

Liked ARM HOLE, especially its cluing, TIN HATS, SUNK COSTS crossing KPMG, SEA FARER, and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Wasn't so keen on the numerous clunckily clued words and phrases, however. (Here's looking at YOU, REAL TALK.)

Thanks to all yesterday's marchers. Wish I could have been there in l'ETATS UNIS with you, Mes AMIs. It's times like yesterday that I MISS the USA. Keep sticking to the FACTS, and don't let the bastards get you DONE, ... er, DOwn.

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

Liked the misdirection of the clue for a part of Manhattan. Kept thinking about 3 letter neighborhoods in NYC...

'mericans in Paris 8:02 AM  

Yeesh, should have edited it before pressing "Publish your comment". That should have been:

thanks for the stats -- is in the 50s. Still.)

DNF, thanks to entering pANSIES instead of TANSIES, which neither Mrs. miP nor I have ever heard of.

QuasiMojo 8:11 AM  

I never noticed the theme. I just systematically ZOOMed through the grid typing in whatever I could, wherever I could. A lot of this was out of my wheelhouse but I persevered. Never heard of NEYO, "Despicable Me" or "Minions." Did not know that ROSIE, whoever that is, was on The View. But I loved BABAR, RYE, AIR FLOW, ARM HOLE (so true dat!) and KUSHNER et al.

Um, SAG/AFTRA, Rex, is a common abbreviation on actors's resumes.

Add me as one for the GIPper. I've never heard of "tansies" so I started with DAISIES and then PANSIES. And left it at that until I came here and noticed my "mistake." Considering that there is an awful lot of modern slang in here, I kind of thought maybe GIP was a new word, one of those Urban Dictionary things.

Anyway, I really only came here today to say that I also went out to the march yesterday and it was very exciting and inspiring. So many bright SUN-filled faces hoping for a saner future. Or better yet, demanding one!

Matthew G. 8:23 AM  

Great Sunday. Have never heard of TANSIES but put it in anyway because of the crosses. Was surprised when it was correct!

I only learned of BING cherries from today's NYT cryptic, so it was convenient to see that pop up again.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

Finished the puzzle and never got the theme. I just thought it was rising or setting--now I know what MEGATS is! I jumped at that clue and could not believe that TSUNAMI didn't fit.
I also think I've never seen people demonstrate to give up their rights." Let's March tomorrow to give up free speech" etc. Some people think the govt will make life perfect if we cede more control to them. I am not a gun owner, but where I live I'm sure that any attempt to take away guns will be met with violence. I believe they still have no school on the first day of hunting season! No doubt we need to stop giving guns to the mentally ill, and I think that any crime using a gun should take you out of society forever.

kitshef 8:34 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
kitshef 8:35 AM  

Wonderful theme. Just behind that Name Dropping puzzle about a month ago for theme of the year so far.

Never heard of ROUNDER in this sense, so wasted a bit of time trying to find my error up there before giving up and letting it stand.

But the due South was the killer. Ten minutes to fill in that tiny area, even with EARNS and LAN in place. Clue for REAL TALK flat out does not work for me. Plus KUSHNER and WIIU are ORE (in that sense) were unknown to me. I was rescued by finally … after way too much brain-straining and trying SERIAL A and whatnot … remembering LINEAR A.

Boy do I wish either YEH or FEH (or both!) could have been eliminated.

Glimmerglass 8:41 AM  

My granddaughter and 100 of her friends sat up two nights in a row on a bus to join the march in Washington (one to get there, another to get home). She is 16. I thought the gimmick was interesting and well-executed. @paulsfo ETA is clued correctly if the chauffeur is picking you up at the airport. I disagree with the clue for TIN HAT. A TIN HAT is a helmet (military or construction slang). What the nutcases wear is a tinFOIL hat.

'mericans in Paris 9:03 AM  

@Anonymous 8:34 AM writes:

I also think I've never seen people demonstrate "to give up their rights." Let's March tomorrow to give up free speech" etc. Some people think the govt will make life perfect if we cede more control to them. I am not a gun owner, but where I live I'm sure that any attempt to take away guns will be met with violence. I believe they still have no school on the first day of hunting season!

Please do some research. The Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as allowing individuals to own guns, but providing individual states a large amount of latitude to regulate who can posses guns, and what kinds of guns, and where and when they can be carried. Have a look at other countries. All, or at least most, European countries allow people to possess and use hunting rifles. (Click on my name to see an image of boar hunters in France.) Invoking the "any attempt to take away guns will be met with violence" scenario is a straw-man argument. That is not what this is about.

And people cede control to the Government all the time. Willingly. Or are you somebody who would prefer no drivers' licences, no traffic cops? No regulations on additives in food? No building inspections?

GHarris 9:12 AM  

Ore crossing lineara was no picnic but I guessed the “r” correctly. However, dnf because I went with an”r” instead of an “n” in tansies. Tin hat conspiracy is a favorite and overused expression of that demagogue Sean Hannity. God bless the youngsters who are trying to bring sanity to the country.

Birchbark 9:19 AM  

pIn DROP before MIC DROP. The awestruck silence before the MEGATSUNAMI crowd-roar. Ended running the alphabet to get FEH/LINEARA.

Good to see a BABAR/Celesteville shout-out.

@Dr. Gary Johnson-Ugo (7:21), I'm guessing you're a motivational speaker. Thank you for your service to our country. Curious what your stance is on the Y = VI problem, or the editor's studied indifference to AMENHOTEP.

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

@'mericans - it’s ridiculous to suggest that people concerned about protecting their right to bear arms should logically oppose drivers licenses.

BarbieBarbie 9:23 AM  

I worry about regulating “who can possess guns.” Defined categories of people (mentally ill, suspected terrorists, whatever) can always have their category boundaries warped by corrupt individuals in power. (Who would J Edgar Hoover have labeled with one of those labels? We can make a pretty good guess.) And officials getting to decide who can and can’t bear arms is exactly what is supposed to be ruled out by the 2nd Amendment.

What we can do is rule out categories of weapons and specific circumstances under which possession is ok on public land.

Unfortunately leaving it to the states only works until some state like Florida decides that their permit covers their permit-holders no matter where they are, and every testosterone-poisoned loser on the East Coast rushes to get a Florida carry permit.

The puzzle was medium difficulty and not particularly enjoyable. I filled in all the circled letters first thing, as soon as I read the title, so edit Fail there. OTOH I never saw the longer answers, just thought there was a lot of obnoxious slang in the puzzle.
I did like ARMHOLE!

Nancy 9:25 AM  

An enjoyable, challenging trick, which I picked up at MEGATSUNAMI. (But is that a Thing? Isn't an ordinary TSUNAMI quite MEGA enough?) And while the trick was quite nifty, the fill, as others here have pointed out, left much to be desired.

If you tell me that KPMG is an accounting firm, I guess I have to believe you. I imagine it stands for something. If NEYO sings "So Sick" and "Mad", I don't blame him. I'd be sick and mad too if my name were NEYO. (Or is it DEYO, because 48A is GRANDIES and not GRANNIES? Forgot to look.) I agree that T MINUS ZERO is not a Thing. I never heard of TANSIES, which I had because of GIT, but then changed it to pANSIES/GIp. Like @Teedmn and @Quasi, I thought GIp might have been slang I wasn't familiar with.

But my big DNF came because I didn't know LINEARA, LAN or ORE. I don't expect to know connected computer grps (sic) or hundredths of KRONA (good enough for me in even knowing KRONA in the first place.) Such obscure stuff. But I have no idea what LINEARA is, and if it's an ancient writing system, I feel I should know it. Maybe I'll go research it now.

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

ETA can also be the time you want the chauffeur to pick you up.

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

Too many proper noun/foreign crosses in one spot: Lineara, Kushner, Ore, Nerfwar. Of those, easy enough to make "ore" something you can get.

CashPo’ 9:39 AM  

I thought Tansies were those once-popular cheeky bathing suits that were “sun-through”. You could tan your buns at the beach while still being “decent”.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Never saw the snaking answers which would have added to the fun. ACTORS kinda worked with the clue on its own. GOES a little less plausibly. I was solving at Happy Hour so not bringing the usual dogged attention to the affair.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

Hey! a Wendy’s among the CAPTCHA storefronts!

Donkos 9:58 AM  

Cluing "etats" as Amerique is not correct. In French, it would always be "Les Etats", just like in English, it's "The states", not just "States"

puzzlehoarder 10:04 AM  

I got the theme as soon as I filled in the NW corner. Changing PHONY to POSED presaged the entire solve. Where the themes started and ended just seemed random. I thought there might be some underlying pattern related to the solar movements but I didn't even see the rising in the east and setting in the West. I approachd this primarily as a themeless and let myself stumble into the themes. I got every one of them and it did facilitate the solve.

My time was 6 minutes faster than yesterday's so letter for letter it was quite a bit easier. Still there were a good number of unknowns to nail down. Who calls paranoid people TINHATS?

Like a number of people I struggled with that south central section. It had to be FEH but I still expected it to be a dnf. Ironically that was correct ( for the puzzle) but I did have a dnf with GRANDIES crossing DEYO. When I saw GRANNIES in the solution I couldn't believe I'd been that blind. I blame the "Flashman" book series for making me familiar with the term "grandlings."

Enough commenting I have to go legally change my name to Heyo Sup.

Anonymous 10:08 AM  

@Donkos - the answer isn’t ETATS but ETAT(S)(U)(N)IS.

Wm. C. 10:40 AM  


Anyone who follows golf on TV would have heard of KPMG. BTW, he's always been my favorite pro golfer.

https://goo.gl/images/NYFFcp



BarbieBarbie 10:54 AM  

@WmC: don’t forget his partner Pete Marwick. :-)

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Lesson to self: don't try to immediately do a puzzle after waking up at 4:30, driving son to airport and returning home at 6. first pass left more than half the squares blank. a thirty minute nap later and everything fell into place.

Z 11:03 AM  

After some polite niceties (how’s your mum? work going well? nice day, isn’t it?) to remind your friend who’s about to marry some scumbag loser that you are their friend, one might say, “okay, REAL TALK....” followed by a heart to heart conversation about how just because the sex is AweSome that doesn’t mean you want to spend the rest of your life with the scumbag loser. Clue is fine.

And if you think knowing any of the Big n accounting firms is important knowledge you are being incredibly parochial. The only reason to even bother to look them up is to avoid hiring one. I’ll stick with the firm where I know the founder and CEO and his ethics (even though I don’t agree with his politics) thank you very much. Free Life Advice: “important to me” is not the same as “important.” Or maybe we can discuss how unethical practices at the Big Four led to changes in GASB rules regarding pension funding, impacting public institutions’ reporting of fund balances and thus their credit ratings. All anyone really needs to know about them is that we’d all be better off with a “Big 16” than we are with a “Big 4.”

I generally don’t like titles but understand the arguments in favor of them. But, “FOLLOW THE SUN” when SUN is key to the theme and what goes in the circles. Give. Me. An. Effing. Break. YooHoo - Big spoiler right there in your title. Please make it a little less damn obvious. Or do you think we are all morons who can’t suss out a theme. PuhLeeze.

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

@Z - thanks for the REAL TALK explication. I suspected as much. It could work the other way, too, no? Breaking the ice with, "okay, heart-to-heart...."

Folded 11:32 AM  

I rate this puzzle impossible (for me). Gave up in a record 19 minutes. Still, a lot of great fill.

Editorial commentary: The founding fathers didn't picture the over-crowded dystopia we now inhabit, with it's array of readily available mass murder tools. Mental illness, de-institutionalization of the '60s, automatic weapons, glorification of violence in the media, the disenfranchised of all ethnic groups and social classes.

There's a complicated problem here, far beyond the solving ability of the nitwits in charge, and even further beyond this blog.

CDilly52 11:59 AM  

Exactly my take. Using the downs after looking at the word MEGATS made me think it was going to be brutal but every time I got stuck I went to the downs and never got the theme. But finished. And now I get it. A mirthless slog.

Roo Monster 12:03 PM  

Hey All !
As a chauffeur, the ETA clue is absolutely correct. When I'm picking someone up from the airport, I'm always checking on the ETA of the flight.

Puz was good. A little added neat-ness when I read Rex about the rising SUNs in the East, and settings in the West. Didn't notice that. Surprised more of y'all didn't let out a big Whoop at the zig-zag theme, as the complaints about non-tricky Thursdays and Sundays having become the norm having been voiced. Well, here ya go! A tricky SuPuz!

Had some pitfalls. But overall a medium solve. Nice Z right off the bat at 1 Across. DHS, speaking of off the bat. :-) Designated HitterS, for those non-baseball folk. DIME clue clever. Wanted EARTHS to be terras or some such.

CAMERA. I SEE IT, IT'S ON ME. ARM HOLE. :-P
RooMonster
DarrinV

Marissa Shaw 12:17 PM  

I’m an NYT crossword newbie, using the NYT app for a couple months. Thanks for your blog- I like to check it when I’ve finished a puzzle- or more likely, when I can’t finish- and like to read and commiserate with people’s comments. I haven’t finished today’s puzzle yet, so I haven’t read the blog or comments, I just got so frustrated at the NE corner. I had “logical” as the answer to “Not empirical.” When I couldn’t fill in anything but “In Use” and the sun clue I knew I was in trouble. I broke and had to look it up. I have a lot to learn! I do solve a lot by utilizing the surrounding letters, not necessarily knowing the answers. Learning quickly the repetitive fill-ins, and the “language” of the clues.

In reference to a previous post: L.A. Gear? C’mon!

I can’t help but admit that for yesterday’s “Homer, and others” clue I filled in “Simpsons” first. lol-I’m sure that will make you all groan. I do the Downs before the Acrosses, and that was my first instinct, what can I say? Of course I know all the crossword tropes around Homer- Odyssey, epic, etc.- I was at least glad to see you also found ”epicists” to be a bad fill. I got there eventually, have no fear.

Sorry to be long winded- I just want to add your daughter is a hero to both my daughter and to me. These kids are tough as nails, thanks for sharing her pics.

Kath's Yarns 12:22 PM  

Feh?!

Yuck! Ick!

Never heard feh before. Boo!

Anonymous 12:24 PM  

Quick answer re: "KPMG." (I knew the Peat Marwick part, but had no memory of the Dutch firm with which they merged.) I enjoyed this puzzle and the theme had me stumped for a bit. I really stumbled on Tansies and spelled "krona" with an "e" at the end. Good, challenging Sunday.

http://kpmgcampus.com/kpmg-family/kpmg-history.shtml

Joseph Michael 12:37 PM  

Figured out the theme early on with GOES UNDER but still found this puzzle to be difficult in many spots and ended up with a DNF at the LINEARA / ORE crossing.

Neverthless I enjoyed the solve, as usual with a Finn Vigeland puzzle.

ACTOR UNIONS in Hollywood include offices of SAG-AFTRA and AEA (Equity) so the plural is correct. Still blinking, however, at TANSIES and TEA GREEN where I wanted P's instead of T's.

@Quasi, that ROSIE from The View is none other than Trump's nemesis ROSIE O'DONNELL with whom he has had an ongoing playground fight for years.

And, speaking of Trump, is that you, Donald, posting under the name of @Dr. Gary Johnson-Ugo PhD?

Liked DONE as the puzzle's final word.

TubaDon 12:44 PM  

Started in the NE so worked most words backwards. Got the SUNs but didn't see the completed phrases until the fill was complete. Liked ARMHOLE but felt some other clues/answers were iffy. Blew one word because I couldn't convince myself that MICDROP looked real. After finding out what it is, the action looks insolent and annoying.

TubaDon 12:51 PM  

Comment disappeared so I'll try again. Started in the NE so had to solve most words backwards. Guessed PEDUNCLE from one cross! Liked ARMHOLE but thought some clues/answers were iffy. Saw the SUNs but not the extended phrases until the grid was filled. Blew one word because I couldn't convince myself that MICDROP was actual. After looking it up, the actiion actually looks insolent (like many rock idols who do it).

clk 12:59 PM  

For some reason, LINEARb is more familiar to me than LINEARA but I’ve made that mistake before and was able to fix it pretty easily.
I will never be able to predict Rex’s reaction to a puzzle. I thought this one was really flat, with no particularly fun aha moments. Including SUN in the title of the puzzle made it way too obvious what belonged in the circles.
I really disliked the UNWED clue and still don’t find it cute or clever. I don’t think of testify and SWEAR as synonyms so that cross was one of the last for me to fill.

Big J 1:02 PM  

HI,

Finished with Two mistakes, The puzzle seemed like a whole lotta work for a whole lotta nothing. I'm worn out from battling the dern thing!

John Hoffman 1:05 PM  

Thx, Rex. I never saw the “snaking” answers.

Masked and Anonymous 1:12 PM  

@sanfranman59: Thanx again for all yer cool stats. "Challenging" sounds about right, overall for this SunPuz. It had some easy parts and many hard parts, and clues that hurt my head a lot. Plus it had SUNKCOST/KPMG and ARENDT/REALTALK. PEDUNCLE. NEYO.

Congratz to all the real well-spoken young folks who are on the march. May all yer fondest dreams come true.

staff weeject pick: NGO. Which must mean something like NonGovtOrg.? Was also partial to the clue for NTH, btw.

Cute theme idea, altho it had to get up ngo slightly desperate with themers ETATSUNIS and MEGATSUNAMI. Really liked MONKEYSUNCLE and GOESUNDER, tho. Nuthin at all wrong with a little entertainin desperation tho, sooo … thUmbsUp.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Vigeland. [Whenever I see yer name, it reminds m&e of Finland, somehow …]

Masked & Anonymo14Us

AW 1:13 PM  

Who or what is "Sir No"? I get "no sir," but "sir no"? No siree.

And ick, ugh to "fah."

poslfit 1:18 PM  

So glad I wasn't the only one!

Pete 1:22 PM  

@Folded 11:32 I'm reluctant to disagree with anyone who, like me, questions whether a select few men in the 18th century had all the answers to 21st century issues, but I have to here. The founding fathers well anticipated "The disenfranchised of all ethnic groups and social classes.". Hell, they codified it.

Malsdemare 1:36 PM  

I am, apparently, a bear of very little brain; totally missed the whole "follow the sun" thing. That really would have helped me understand some of the seemingly absurd answers I had. About PEDUNCLE: remember Peddidle, the thing you yelled in the car when you saw a car with only one headlight? Kisses were involved, I think. Anyway, in my neck of the woods, a PEDUNCLE was a car with a taillight out. If only the constructor had clued it that way, I would have been much faster. As it was, this one took a while.

Malamute and I marched yesterday in a snowstorm and came away soaked to the skin, exhausted, and exhilarated. I don't imagine my marching will change anyone's views on gun control, but that wasn't why I did it. I wanted to support kids everywhere who are afraid to go to school: Tell them there are adults who care about them and will fight alongside them. And send a message to our legislators that there's a new sheriff in town. Btw, it’s the first time I've seen a malamute actually want to get OUT of the weather.

jberg 2:00 PM  

DNF. I was so convinced of daiSIES that I couldn't get 110A or D or 112D. I ran the alphabet on the first letters of those three letter words, but I should have been running the zodiac, instead. From hindsight, that was amazingly DOLTish, but there it is.

My other two problems -- both solved, though -- were, first mixing up the Baltics with Scandinavia, and therefore really wanting Oslo instead of RIGA. More amusingly, I thought the movie at 41D might be called Still ALIvE. The crosses corrected it for me, but until I got here I was wondering why a movie would be called "Still A LICE."

@Nancy, I don't think anyone has explained it yet, but LINEAR A is one of two very ancient sets of charactgers found on stones in Crete. They predate the Greek alphabet by several centuries. Linear B was been deciphered, and is a from of Greek, but not A--so it is not known whether it is a way of writing Greek or some other language.They are called "linear" because they are strung together to be read -- rather than being pictorgraphs that can be interpreted individually to each mean something (at least, according to the guy who discovered what turned out to be B).

@Ellen s. -- couldn't agree with you more. Here's a very encouraging article about dealing with race in organizing the march here in Boston.

Anonymous 2:20 PM  

@ELLEN S,
You do realize guns dont have rights, dont you? Neither do vaginas.
@Z
WTF? Going to your local outfit instead of the internatonal firm is the definition of parochialism.

Junief 2:36 PM  

Not a stretch! Thought the same way as pmdm.

Sandy 2:45 PM  

Unim or unum???

Junief 2:50 PM  

“Sir no sir” is military talk.

Nancy 3:07 PM  

Malsdemare (1:36):

PEDUNCLE, pediddle,
I'm wholly befiddled.
Pediddle, PEDUNCLE,
I'm wholly befunkled.

Have no idea what you're talking about. But I commend you for your Very Bad Weather march yesterday. Mine was in terrific weather, and I never did actually march. But I did gather in the staging area, I did carry a sign, and I did have an interview (which it looks like will never see the light of day.) So I ask myself: Was my interview by any chance a "Capture and Kill" interview :) And speaking of "Capture and Kill", is there anyone whose breath can fog a mirror who will not be watching "60 Minutes" tonight?

ArtO 3:08 PM  

Glad to see I'm not the only dullard who didn't grok the "follow the sun" theme. Found this the toughest Sunday in a long, long time.

Trixie Pixiedust 3:31 PM  

I have been a big fan, historically, of the NYTimes Crossword puzzle. Before I got married and had 4 kids (and when I commuted to NYC from NJ), I pretty much completed them religiously (well, Monday - Thursdays, anyway). Now I only do the Sunday versions as a special treat when visiting my siblings in NJ, from my residence in....wait for it...Vestal, NY. And, I have NEVER read your blog, and probably wouldn't have (nothing personal) except that my brother, who lives in Montclair and is a big fan of your blog (and donates a few bucks to your cause yearly) called me today to say, hey Sis, your KIDS are featured prominently in a March for Our Lives photo in Rex Parker's blog today! To which I say, thank you very much for recognizing them and their very important cause. It was a great day for them and an even better day for American Democracy, wasn't it?

JC66 3:37 PM  
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JC66 3:39 PM  

The restaging of "Angels In America" is currently in previews on B'Way. I just saw it last week so KUSHNER was a gimme. However, the time it took me to figure out LINEAR A, FEH & ORE took me from average to medium.

Props to all who demonstrated yesterday.

Z 3:52 PM  

@Anon2:20 - Did I say “local?”

Jan S 4:11 PM  

Big 4 accounting firms is something that I have heard of for years - so not a strange clue at all.

Anonymous 4:24 PM  

Why do we insist on talking past one another? No amendment, free speech or otherwise, is absolute. Free speech has limits - it is illegal to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Nobody yesterday was marching to give up their rights or to take away my right to bear arms. They were asking for reasonable, common sense, responsible limits to that 2nd Amendment right. I live in a state with fairly strict gun control laws; I still own a gun and I am relieved that there ARE restrictions, just as there are to drive a car or to speak in public. The leadership in the NRA is fanatical and would arm everyone everywhere, schools, movie theaters...having seen war that would be a recipe for fear and terror and chaos far beyond the insanity we see now. Clearly the current system is deeply flawed. I am fiercely proud of these students for demonstrating democracy in action in an articulate and passionate manner.

Malsdemare 4:29 PM  

@Nancy
So you're a teenager in the 1960s, driving down a country road at 70mph and the car coming towards you has one headlight out. Everyone in your car yells, "PEDIDDLE." And if you are the first to yell, you get to kiss someone (or not, as the case may be.). PEDUNCLE is the same game, only it’s with taillights. See what you miss when you don't grow up in the heartland?

Love your poem!

I dn't see any coverage of the march in Salon. When Huffpo interviewed me at the women's march last year, it appeared on their site. Maybe try a name search?

Unknown 4:29 PM  

REAL TALK is fine. Kind of a colloquialism in certain subcultures.

DEF as "Fer sher"? I don't think so. I know the NYT had had problems with this word but I think they're confusing 90s surfer talk for 90s rapper talk.

Andrew Heinegg 4:32 PM  

I struggled way beyond the difficulty of this puzzle should have caused me to do but, my lame defense is that I never try to grok themes. I just try to solve the dang puzzle. And not knowing some of the stuff like peduncle meant I was doomed.

The Marches yesterday were inspiring to me, especially the film from the D.C. march. Emma Gonzalez speaking for 2 minutes and then standing there in front of hundreds of thousands of people and not saying anything for some 4 1/2 minutes to commemorate the entire amount of time it took to complete the Parkland shootings. Inspiring and thought-provoking.

Then there was the inspiration from the opponents of the marches like Rick Santorum. Mr. Santorum said that the marchers should be taking CPR classes rather than marching so that they could help fellow students after they were shot. My only comment is that I can't comment on that without resorting to a string of not nice words to use orally or in print.

burtonkd 4:47 PM  

@AW think of a recruit replying to a drill sargeant:

SIR NO SIR

burtonkd 4:49 PM  

DEF as in MOS DEF (most definitely) - not great, granted, but do we need another HI DEF screen clue?

Reilly 4:49 PM  

Saddened by 33 down. As the mother of a teen with seriously mental health issues, "tinhats" is a word that I would respectfully ask all to avoid.

Reilly 4:55 PM  

As the parent of a teen with serious mental health issues, "tinhat" for "paranoid sorts, in slang" made me catch my breath. Surely, the clue could have been some clever Wizard of Oz reference...I dislike being a scold, but this cuts close to home.

semioticus (shelbyl) 4:59 PM  

I think NYT Sundays have improved lately. Since mid-February, only one Sunday puzzle was a disappointing affair (last week by Daniel Raymon) A decent theme, a decent fill and clues that show some thought behind them get at least a passing grade from me.

Were there problems with this one? Yeah, sure. S section were a tad questionable for my taste. The FEH-LAN-ORE combo, to be specific, made me just give up and settle with a DNF instead of playing the alphabet game, but other than that, a pleasant journey overall. If I hadn't figured out the theme from the get-go it might have been more exciting, because the novelty wears off after 30+ minutes.

GRADE: B+, 3.7 stars.

Randall Clark 5:09 PM  

I hate hate hate political discussions in a crossword forum. Nevertheless, after reading today, I feel compelled to say this: There are reasonable well-meaning folks on both sides of the issues of gun control issue and police use of force. I know the people posting on and reading this blog are smart and open-minded, so please let me offer two gentle suggestions, after which I will say no more. 1. If you think fewer guns -> less violence, please read Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder And Suicide? from the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (url at the end), and if you think the police use deadly force disproportionally against minorities, please read any of the books or articles on the subject by Heather Mac Donald. Even if you remain unconvinced, at least you might come to understand that the issues are far more complex than many believe. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwj49_y4kMrZAhVD2IMKHZskB88QFjAFegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw3DKEi8mD1PCRbToYj1Dv-0

Aketi 5:18 PM  

I looked up all the shades of green paint offered by Benjamin Moore. There were greens named after herbs, fruit, reaptiles, and the sEA and TEA green. Not a particularly uplifting color.

@Paulsgo, in my frequent flying days I always gave my flight ETA to th car service that was going t pick me up so Inhave to respectfully disagree with your opinion.

@Nancy from yesterday, great story. Wish I had been there with you. I intended to go but the delivery of a desk put a MONKEY wrench into my plans. Fed Ex left it in the lobby and the super was nowhere to be found. I thought it weighed 56 pounds when I read the specs online but it was actually 56 kilos. It took far longer and more ingenuity than I anticipated to get it into the apartment and assembled by myself. My husband has a bad back, but assisted with steering at appropriate moments. By the time I finished the march had started and I was done in.

So a big thank you to those who did march: @Nancy, @Ellen S@Quasimojo, @Malsedemere and Malamute, @Glimmerglass’ grandkids, @Trixie Pixiedust’s kids and @Rex’s family for marching yesterday and anyone else I might have left out. I’m hoping that the kids will finally start to put some political pressure on those who even block the ability of the CDC to study what measures would have an impact on reducing the absurd levels of gun violence in the United States, let alone sensible legislation.

Banana Diaquiri 5:51 PM  

@Randall Clark/5:09

Australia

Aketi 6:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 6:42 PM  

I did not find the cluing very fair. Too many obscure acronyms and proper names. DNF'd because I fell for gOLf instead of POLO. I thought GfES was another acronym and AgRIORI was a latin word I did not know. Too clever Mr. Vigeland! FEH!

Banana Diaquiri 6:44 PM  

@Malsdemare:
"remember Peddidle, the thing you yelled in the car when you saw a car with only one headlight?"

it has an older (I expect) definition: The Limeliters song "Funk" (yes, spelled with 'n'), in which peddidle is one of a long list of synonyms. I can't find printed lyrics, but tons of sound files. check it out.

here in the Effete Intellectual East, we called such a car a word I can't recall. too long ago. will email ex-wife whose memory is a bit better. I'll get back to you.

ColoradoCog 6:59 PM  

Late to the party today. I found this to be overall easy but too-rife with borderline natiks that other commenters have mentioned. It wasn’t my favorite Sunday puzzle of the month.

@Z, your comment surprises me. For the NYT, the question isn’t importance, it’s obscurity. The better life advice is “obscure to me is not the same as obscure.” Big Four accounting is as real a thing for many as Big Ten college sports is for others. Neither is out of bounds for a NYT puzzle, even though both may trip up some. And since when does scandal disqualify an entity from puzzledom? Are we going to remove all Big 10 Conference references because of Penn State’s Sandusky/Paterno scandal?

@Aketi You are talking about the Dickey Amendment. The amendment actually didn’t ban the CDC from researching gun violence, only from taking an advocacy position on gun control. The CDC took the institutionally safe approach and kept away from any research having to do with guns. Dickey himself has said they over-interpreted the amendment. You will be happy to hear that the omnibus bill passed and signed this week didn’t repeal the amendment outright, but added language that makes clear that the CDC can, in fact, research gun violence. A number of organizations lobbied hard this past month to get this passed. I was a proud participant in this effort.

Larry Gilstrap 7:32 PM  

Slow solve on the Sunday, even with the little circles. I did exclaim when the theme twists and turns became clear.

We all agree that it is MIC from now on? Good!

Z 7:43 PM  

@ColoradoCog - It’s probably the curse of plain text, but you took my comments in a direction I didn’t intend. “Bad fill,” Rex’s complaint, isn’t the same as “uncrossworthy.” A four-letter initialism for an accounting firm is bad fill. Fortunately, those aren’t especially useful letters, so we needn’t worry about them making frequent appearances. Yes, there’s lots of niche knowledge that makes the crossword. That’s okay. But the early comments were suggesting that KPMG is more important than randomly spelt rap stars or random popes like Leo DCLXVI. KPMG may even be more important these days than Yma Sumac, but not knowing KPMG is hardly a sign of anything other than having a life.

Big Jim 8:01 PM  

All I can say is ... what the “F” is FEH? That. Is. Not. A. Word.

Jill McCourt 8:12 PM  

No, REAL TALK can definitely precede a heart to heart! Maybe it is generational. My friends and I will use itit li this: "So... Real talk? *Says something brutally honest.*"

Aketi 8:25 PM  

@Colorado Cog, thank you for your participation on the omnibus bill.I do know from my time at Emory working on a joint Emory CDC program that the CDC is very cautious on always taking the institutionally safe approach,

anonymous PI 8:36 PM  

PEDUNCLE, "niggardly", "bustard" - pretty bad when an English professor says "we shouldn't use these words because I don't like them because they sound like something else".

Joe Dipinto 8:48 PM  

If REAL TALK is an uttered expression, it should have been clued as a quotation for the purpose of this answer: "Let's have a heart-to-heart now". Fail.

L 10:28 PM  

Tea green is not a color. It just isn't. Not on this earth.

Amy 10:41 PM  

Sorry that lower middle was dreadful. Linear A, feh (??), öre? Like many others, DNF.

ColoradoCog 10:46 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 11:12 PM  

@ColoradoCog - “in many cases?” Anyway... I won’t judge you, your breadth of knowledge or your life (that’s a global “you” not a personal “you”) just because you don’t know what a strike cut is, the difference between a backhand, flick, scooter, hammer, or blade, or that you wouldn’t recognize a vertical, horizontal, or side stack. All of that stuff is important to me, but I assume you got a life and it doesn’t include Ultimate. Besides, “Leo DCLXVI” doesn’t even get a chuckle? A RRN that’s the number of the beast? Maybe a little grin? No? Damn, tough room.

Anonymous 11:42 PM  

@Banana "Diaquiri" - was the name you couldn't recall "punch buggy" or "love buggy"? Heard both of those is days gone by.

Aketi 11:42 PM  

@L, according to Benjamin Moore it is a color along with lizard green and apple green and 100s of other names they’ve made up for shades of green.

Larry Gilstrap 12:19 AM  

Using English professor as an epithet. Ouch!

Banana Diaquiri 8:19 AM  

@anon/11:42

alas, was told that it was, in fact, pediddle. there must be another similar travelling car game (and response word) for juveniles that I was confused with. which word I don't recall, of course. lots of confusion here at the senior center.

Nancy Trotic 3:28 AM  

Am I the only one who thinks there was a mistake in this puzzle? It should be Etats-Unis, not Etats-Unni.

Nancy Trotic 11:25 AM  

Oh, I'm so dumb. The word turns again. I kept reading it down. I KNEW the NYT crossword couldn't make a mistake. All it took was a good night's sleep to see MY mistake.

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Thank you for the pictures and support of the demonstration in my old home town! I spend the day at same in Worcester MA. The kids speaking were terrific. Poise, stature, passion, fantastic.

As for the puzzle, I thought the theme was lame - and I'm usually pretty tolerant of these things, and while some of the fill was indeed interesting, some of the clues just Never Made Sense. Also DNF'd in the South Central.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

Hyman Kaplan! A man to whom “Katz” is the plural of “cat.”

rondo 12:13 PM  

FEH on that whole area down there. Near double Natick on LINEARA and KUSHNER; needed the few down crosses I had to even get close and finally recognized Tony KUSHNER's name since he has done a few things at the Guthrie here in MN. KPMG I knew only from Phil Mickelson's golf cap, could just as well be a radio station, same with WIIU. Only write-over was Run before RBI. TANSIES?

ROSIE DNQ for yeah baby status so it's given to MISSUSA, whoever she may be.

I guess ITSONME for taking an hour to get this DONE.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

got about 7/8 or more of this puzzle before I had to go to this blog. it was a clever puzzle , bit too many phrases like its on me and I see it etc. just lazy and boring. also said yes, ruled etc. But there were clever ones like as seen on TV- only parsed that from rev.anyway Happy Easter or april fools. as yes I am a week later as always. We had snow today as I live upstate. Also never heard of tansies. I had pansies which of course made no sense on 110 D. so changes to T. anyway happy spring?

Burma Shave 1:06 PM  

SEAFARER ALICE REIGN (OLDEST TREAT RULED)

On CAMERA, UNWED MISSUSA performed ONEACT when
ENROUTETO that ODD FRENZY ASSEENONTV.
DEARME, SWEAR that YOUDO know the FACTS then,
DON'TTELL that she SAIDYES, and ALLUDES IT'SONME.

--- REV. TERRY KUSHNER

spacecraft 1:19 PM  

There's no "TMINUSZERO!" After "one" comes "Ignition," or "We have ignition." And what is SUNKCOST? Is that a thing? I mean, the concept is there, but is that some familiar expression?? Looks to me like the two words were forced in there and told to just sit there and be quiet. And DONTTELL anyone about this.

The whole south section that gave @rondo trouble gave me double. I guessed at the entire mess. FEH? ITS [a new one} ONME. Managed, by luck, to get out of there unscathed.

I knew, with this guy, that there must be more to the theme than just circled SUNs. Stumbled over it after doing the NE, and just visually noticing that the business fail wasn't simply GOES--which I accepted at first with wrinkled nose--but, if you follow the SUN and hang a right, you have GOESUNDER. For a split second I thought, what a cool coincidence. But then one of Gibbs' "rules" (I forget which #) came to mind: there's no such thing as coincidence.

The resulting aha! was pretty big, but it helped a lot with a difficult puzzle that contained some tough clues. I make it medium-challenging. Nothing too outrageous in the fill, and some great stuff. DOD is 50's actress TERRY Moore. She was all that, back in the day. Birdie.

rainforest 1:41 PM  

Happy Easter, syndies! Also Happy April Fool's Day. Also Happy Sunday.

I'm not sure if I'm happy about this puzzle. The theme was sort of weird. I mean, the SUN rises in the East and sets in the West, but if you "follow the SUN", you don't make changes in direction, unless I'm missing something. Anyway, aside from the rising/setting thing, the circled SUNs were unnecessary.

For me, this puzzle approached slog territory with perhaps too many cutesy or oblique clues. There were many great answers, though, and I have to admit I enjoyed the way the theme answers moved around. However, it just took too long.

Overall, this was medium, but difficult to move through rapidly. FEH!? Not quite.

brendal 3:21 PM  

Thanks for including the photos from the demonstration! I am thankful for filler on this one because I seldom watch contemporary films, Like Hobbits and so forth. I'm more TCM. Thanks again.

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