Master of cartoon dog McBarker / THU 3-22-18 / Dutch financial giant / Relative of exempli gratia / Lucia di Lammermoor baritone

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium (Easy-Medium for me, time-wise, but it didn't FEEL that way...)


THEME: like, social media stuff, I think — theme clues all start [One with a lot of ...] and then the ensuing word sounds like something from social media, but the answer is actually more literal and not social media-related at all:

Theme answers:
  • VALLEY GIRL (17A: One with a lot of likes?)
  • ROCKIN' ROBIN (23A: One with a lot of tweets?)
  • MAJORITY OWNER (35A: One with a lot of shares?)
  • FENCE MENDER (49A: One with a lot of posts?)
  • MOTHER DUCK (57A: One with a lot of followers?)
Word of the Day: EDM (40A: Techno is a subgenre of it, for short) —
Electronic dance music (also known as EDMdance music, club music, or simply dance) is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubsraves, and festivals. EDM is generally produced for playback by disc jockeys (DJs) who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix, by segueing from one recording to another. EDM producers also perform their music live in a concert or festival setting in what is sometimes called a live PA. In Europe, EDM is more commonly called 'dance music' or simply 'dance'. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was so weird. I started out flailing and even after I got a few sections fairly quickly (the NE, the SW), I still felt like I was struggling over and over to understand the clues. You have no idea how many passes I took at YEA big, for instance, yeesh. But then I was done and my time was in the 5s (?) which is ... I don't know anymore, but probably a little on the fast side, actually. I am currently literally laughing at the young person who is trying to make sense of how a ROCKIN' ROBIN has "a lot of tweets." I mean, you really have to know that specific song, and I do, but I'm 48, and that song was well before *my* time. Also, I only really *got* it after I had it filled in. It seems like the kind of puzzle that could Really have stymied people, both because the theme is ... just ODD, with non-intuitive answers ... and because the proper nouns are dangerous. I can see MIRA, JOFFREY, EDM (not proper noun, but still...), ENRICO, ROCKIN' ROBIN, VALLEY GIRL, any of those really throwing someone off. I think the theme has a certain cleverness to it, but I don't really like when the whole "joke" of the theme is exclusively in the clues. I never got a sense of the puzzle's identity, never felt a pattern emerging. The answer set is weird. FENCE MENDER does not feel like much of a thing, and a MOTHER DUCK does not have "a lot" of followers—look:


That's less than a dozen. "A lot" compared to what? I like this suggestion for an alternative answer:


Started with SPAT for RIFT (1A: Falling-out), and then "confirmed" it with TELE (4D: Prompter or printer lead-in), ugh. Could not make any sense of 1D: Gets going (REVS UP) or 5D: Tell (SAY TO) (?) or HIGHCS (6D: Hard-to-hit pitches) or PER or EEL or even SHAPE (5A: Mold). If I hadn't eventually gotten PETRI (27A: Kind of dish), I don't know how I would even have been able to get at that whole N / NW area. The "P" from PETRI was how I knew there was an UP up there, and UP got me USE, and of course there's an "S" before UP ... and that somehow got me SILENT H (!). The rest of the puzzle was thorny but not nearly as bad as the N / NW. So this wasn't terrible but didn't really ... land, the way I like the trickiest theme puzzle of the week to Land.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

130 comments:

jae 12:05 AM  

Looks like the Wednesday puzzle finally showed up.

DeForest Kelley 12:09 AM  

I Am Not Spock Either

Shza 12:27 AM  

My fastest Thursday ever — finished it more quickly than this week’s Monday, which remains my slowest of all four so far this week.

puzzlehoarder 12:30 AM  

I got off to a little bit of a slow start trying to make SPAT work for 1A. It halfway works with SETSUP, USE, PETRI and TELE. Once I'd filled in the middle north I got the first themer and fixed the NE. The second themer went right in and I figured all the themes would be based on songs. This was quickly proved wrong as the theme was all about the key words in the clues.

This nearly finished in a normal Thursday time. However I had to do this by phone and spent about twelve extremely irritating minutes hunting down my ROMA/(PER?)ROME write over. I never read the 50D clue while filling in the SW because once the puzzle got going it moved rather smoothly.

What would a CRASS salad green be? Probably iceberg lettuce.

I imagine quite a few older solvers won't see any song connection with VALLEYGIRL at all.

JOHN X 12:35 AM  

Well, this was a nice way to kill twelve minutes and twenty seconds!

Was this supposed to be a Thursday puzzle? For a Wednesday it would have been nice, no question about it. But I guess the old Thursday puzzle format is dead and gone. Dumbed down now, I guess. I dunno.

Dr. Gary Johnson, Scientist 12:42 AM  

@puzzlehoarder

VALLEYGIRL came out 36 years ago, back when the earth was covered in magma and slime. It probably fooled more youngsters than oldsters

Outside The Box 12:43 AM  

Didn’t find this as easy as above puzzler solvers seem to have found it. Thought some of the cluing was a bit strained. Caught on quickly that looking for social media answers was not the way to go. But Rockin’ Robin? Please.

mathgent 1:03 AM  

Liked it a lot. Twenty red plus signs in the margins -- that's a lot of sizzle for a Thursday.

So good that I forgive it for not being a rebus.

Robin 1:48 AM  

I would pay the NYTimes corporation $50 if the crossword fill did not include ODE for 6 months.

Unfortunately, I believe I'm safe on spending that $50 somewhere else.

Larry Gilstrap 1:50 AM  

AIMEE Mann is a pop singer? Her first hit from 1985 was "Voices Carry" which I'm pretty sure was about some sort of abuse. Her music has been about adult themes ever since. I'm a fan. I'm thinking that throwing her into the "pop" category is tone deaf.

The theme was fine and really timely since most of us are feeling a bit soiled as the revelations of social media make us feel like our time on FB was a tryst with the devil, at best. There has to be a morning after walk of shame. Cat video hang over for me.

AREA MAN stumped me once, but not this time.

Remember when folks MADE LOVE with candy, flowers, and a bottle of your best Champagne, not with a video camera and a tripod? Not sure I ever did the latter, but certainly the former.

Twice I visited the Anchorage area and they're still recuperating from the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 and the earthquake of 1964. How can an area that vast be so fragile? Discuss.

When I was was a young teacher, an assembly was a welcome relief from the tediousness of the classroom. But a random bunch of kids were suddenly my kids, and walking them to the cafetorium in a orderly fashion was a challenge. I induced them to role play. I was the MOTHER DUCK and they were the baby ducks. Despite the quacking, my class presented an orderly file of compliant students.

Tom 1:51 AM  

ROCKINROBIN was playing in the grocery store today. Isn’t that music playing to make you buy more products? Also, it’s a tune used in a recent tv ad. Faster than usual tgit, but confidently wrote in suvS for 19a, and none of my cheese names fit for “cheddar”. Never heard that term for moolah. So NE definitely slowed me.

A little repetitive with KEPTMAN and AREAMAN. And who remembers MRMAGOO? What’s next? Gerald McBoingboing?

Harryp 1:54 AM  

This was unusually easy for a Thursday, Except for the letter in 39A/D. I had G in there and it took me at least 5 minutes to find and correct it. If it were on paper, that would be a DNF, but for the happy tone. I watched the first half-dozen episodes of Game of Thrones, decided it was a 13 year old boy's dream and didn't realize grown-ups would be enamored of it. Just goes to show that offerings like "The Wire" don't get their due in this generation, but puerile crap gets fawned over.

Carola 2:43 AM  

Worth it just for ROCKIN' ROBIN.

chefwen 2:53 AM  

Rex, if I had 10 to 12 kids traipsing after me I would call that A LOT,

Cute puzzle but not the tricky Thursday that I look forward to. VALLEY GIRL and MOTHER DUCK were worth a chuckle but that’s about it.

I will never know how to spell DALAI, is there an H in there, if so where does it go? I know, wait for the crosses.

Anonymous 3:31 AM  

My last entry was correcting SAYsO, after realizing that 20A was going to be neither botanical nor culinary. Before there was MAJORITY there was secuRITY. ODDly I did not “notice that CULT LEADER fits both the clue...and the letter count” for 41A. :)

Thomaso808 4:56 AM  

Yay, AREAMAN returns! Sunday’s constructor Daniel Raymon commented on his Xwordinfo piece that he wanted the clue for ONION to be [Source of the headline "Area Man's Life Comes to Tragic Middle," with "The"]. I don’t think I’ve ever seen AREAMAN anywhere *but* The Onion.

HIGHCS was a brilliant misdirection— loved it!

wgh 5:38 AM  

Ugh, a theme-in-the-clues on a *Thursday* 😑

RJ 6:33 AM  

This was a fast Thursday for me. ROCKINROBIN was the first one I got - easy for me as I grew up on this song and am Robyn. Like several people I had SPAT instead of RIFT early on. Had to remove EMO before getting EDM thru fills. I thought a lot of the puzzle was old stuff - VALLEYGIRL, ROCKINROBIN, MAGOO, RECLINER, KEPTMAN (not just old, really sexist - are stay at home wives KEPTWOMEN?), etc

I don't know how Rex doesn't see MOTHERDUCK as one with lots of followers.

My favorite type of clue is normally one similar to "Thyme Piece?" but I just couldn't see this one.

Jonathan Alexander 6:34 AM  

Agree w Rex on the over assessment of the puzzle. Cruised around the edges and left myself stymied in the center sandwiched between RO--ROBIN and FENCE--NDER. I had somehow pieced together MAJORITYOWNER from the M and the second O, but KEPTMAN for "gigolo" just didn't feel right, and, like Rex, had my duh moment when finally getting the ROCKINROBIN reference (before my time too but was in a carpool in elementary school one of the drivers used to listen this style of music so I remember the song).

Faster than normal despite the getting stuck for a while in the middle and really not wanting to put in YEA for 41A (what on earth does that mean?)

Jonathan Alexander 6:39 AM  

Nevermind...if people are still stumped as to the YEA cluing, think about it terms of saying "I knew him since he was YEA high" (pointing to waist level or something like that)

Terrible clue answer combination.

Areawoman 6:49 AM  

Did anyone notice the redundancy of area man and kept maan? Can I get a men a men?

Teedmn 6:51 AM  

The theme answers were mostly very good in this puzzle, FENCE MENDER being the least authentic phrase. But this is not a Thursday puzzle! Even though it took me an embarrassingly long time (I blame the conditions of being in a hotel room in the dark with my laptop balanced precariously on a pillow) but I don't think that is influencing me in being disappointed with this as a Thursday offering.

I was BEMUSEd by HIGH C'S for a while, didn't know Mr. MAGOO's dog's name, had unMOvIng before IMMOBILE, and couldn't remember what went between Electronic ____ Music at 40A. And while I've certainly said "YEA big" before, I don't think I've ever seen it in print before so that was interesting to consider. Was I thinking it would be "Yay big"? Was I thinking about it at all?

So lots to like in this puzzle, thanks Mr. Trudeau, but I join Jeff Chen in my plea to bring back tricky Thursdays, NYT.

Anonymous 6:52 AM  

Messed up the NE for awhile. Didn’t help that the first two themers I got were both birds. Medium-hard!

Some great stuff here in terms of misdirection. But, not really overall enjoyable for me. There was no trickiness, except for the level of misdirection.

Anonymous 6:54 AM  

Hi! I’m new to this blog. Enjoyed reading the posts, but can someone explain what the shaded word with the red letter is all about? I’ll be back - this was fun!

BarbieBarbie 6:55 AM  

Oops, anon@652 was me. Sorry.

From the constructor notes: “I was admonished not to give a real-life villain the satisfaction of being in the puzzle, unless I was prepared to remind him of how appropriately IMMOBILE he is there in his Ecuadorean RECLINER.”

Two Ponies 7:13 AM  

What day is it? Thursday?

I agree with JOHN X about mourning the loss of what used to be a day to look forward to.

@ chefwen, perhaps you are trying to put an H in there because Dalai looks a lot like dahlia.

Assange a villain?

I'm so disappointed Rex didn't post a video of Zappa's Valley Girl. Moon Unit is in it. Fer sure!

Glimmerglass 7:34 AM  

This was fun for me. Social media clues were 100% misdirections, so (for a change) it was an advantage to be old! ROCKIN’ ROBIN was a bit after my time, but the other themers were straightforward.

QuasiMojo 7:36 AM  

Disappointing solutions to the rather wordy themed clues. FENCE MENDER is about as exciting as GREEN PAINTER.

I wonder how many people, like me, put in SOY before EEL? And SPAT with STARTS?

As for the "social media" debacle of late, anyone who didn't know that their private information was being bundled and sold to outside companies is terribly naive. Did you really think someone devised those "personality tests" that went viral on Facebook just to amuse you? Puh-leeze.

There seems to be an absent if not silent H in MOOLA. (and RAJA)

Since I've never seen "Game of Thrones" I was perplexed by JOFFREY. I would have preferred a ballet clue there.

ERECT should have been crossing KEPT MAN, not AREA MAN.

ASS ANGE sounds like a TECHNO band from France.



Birchbark 7:38 AM  

Two DUCKS in a row (along with yesterday). But the AMENHOTEP conspiracy of silence continues into late March.

Many years ago I helped my father-in-law mend barbed wire fences in eastern South Dakota.

But at spring mending-time we find them there
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

-- Robert Frost, Mending Wall

Rob 7:42 AM  

My best Thursday time ever, which is always nice. I agree the theme was a bit weak, but otherwise this was mostly fine. Not much sparkle in the fill, although I liked AREA MAN. Even if it's not especially inspiring, I always like to see a bit of "younger" fill that leaves dusty retired golfers behind, so I was glad to have EDM in the puzzle.

@Tom: MR MAGOO is a bit before my time, but even if you didn't already know him -- I definitely didn't know his dog's name -- his name has been in the news lately as Donald Trump's nickname for Jeff Sessions. Topical!

@Anonymous 6:54am, I don't see a red square in this puzzle, even on the print version.

Ex Wifey 7:45 AM  

Rockin Robin doesn't fit with the other themers, which are all things and not song titles. Because of that, I hopefully held on to Mocking Bird for the longest time.

Mr. MaGoo had a dog? This is the kind of trivia that went around back in the college days when we didn't just go into a room and stare at a computer alone all night. We sat around together and smoked pot and asked each other questions like "What was Dudley Dooright's horse's name?"

Wifey, we have a problem in the backyard. Call a fence mender. What? Go what myself?

Suzie Q 7:57 AM  

From yesterday, is a fixie also one of those old-time bikes with the huge front wheel?
I never questioned fence mender. I was thinking of the metaphor about fixing a rift or a spat.
I remember Gerald McBoingboing. I guess I spent a lot of Sat. mornings glued to cartoons.
Spelling Yea is tough for me too. I guess Yay works too but neither one feels right for this clue. I guess it's just one of those things we say a lot but hardly ever write.
There sure were a bunch of proper names and sports clues today. Meh.

kitshef 7:59 AM  

My inability to believe that EDM could be right slowed me down a bunch, as did my failure to get the musical meaning of HIGH CS for far too long. Plus I only know one JOFFREY and that ain’t it.

It seems like the Times has abandoned the delightful Thursday trickery. Whether that is due to a paucity of quality submissions or an editorial decision I know not. Either way, the former “best day of the week” has become “Wednesday part II”. Poopies, I say.

Mohair Sam 8:15 AM  

Enjoyed this one thoroughly, but it played way too easy for a Thursday. Don't time myself, but this had to be near a Thursday record.

Loved the MOTHERDUCK misdirect. Ten or eleven may not be a lot of followers on Twitter Mr. Rex, but it's a lot in nature. I'm, like, a generation older than OFL but just like him I had to think for a while before I got the "tweets"/ROCKINROBIN connection - clever.

FENCE MENDER is indeed "much of a thing" if you've ever lived on a farm. When I managed a small horse farm for a year (decades back) we took in a 3-year-old racing colt for a month, the owner wanted go give him some time off. We put the beast in a private paddock which was double fenced. Like a lot of fast race horses this colt was always in a bad mood. Damned near every morning his fence needed repair. If anyone asked me my occupation during that month I would surely have answered "FENCE MENDER".

Gordo 8:15 AM  

I think a much better answer than ROCKINROBIN would have been TITANROCKET, and the clue could have been changed to "Versatile manned spacecraft booster" or something to that effect. Also MADELOVE could have been FUELPUMP.

kitshef 8:16 AM  

BTW, this is a very good puzzle; I just would have preferred it on a Wednesday. What I like is that the PPP is widely spread, rather than fixating in one era. ROCKIN ROBIN goes back to the ‘50s, VALLEY GIRL to the ‘80s, while AIMEE Mann won a Grammy this year.

Anon@ 6:54. That's where Rex finished his solve. Whatever platform he solves on does that highlighting.

Eric 8:19 AM  

You know there’s a problem when Jeff Chen agrees with OFL on the decline of the NYT crossword as the premium challenge.

Glimmerglass 8:27 AM  

I forgot to say I appreciated the Latin stack in the deep South. I took Latin in school all four years and even a couple of semesters in college (Ovid and Catullus).

webwinger 8:32 AM  

For me ROCKIN ROBIN will always be remembered as an encore number played by audience member request at a Bruce Springstein concert in Chicago a few years ago. With apparently no preparation at the end of a long evening the band pulled it off with incredible energy and enthusiasm.

Foldyfish 8:36 AM  

I thought this was easy. I had my personal best time today. Zoom...

Hungry Mother 8:39 AM  

A bit slower than usual. I had to reach deeper than I expect on Thursday. Anyhoo, I did it.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Rockin Robin is probably the most theme-worthy of the five theme answers. Enjoy Michael Jackson's 1972 cover of this 1958 hit here: https://play.google.com/music/preview/T2v3bztybsbtrkg6yubb4ane5fq?play=1

Nancy 9:09 AM  

DNF. I had ROC-IN ROBIN, but I wouldn't put in the K because I had no idea what synonym of "gigolo" could possibly begin with K.

So I changed my HIGH CS to HIGH BS (6D). I didn't like it, needless to say, but not being a soprano, I figured I wouldn't be able to reach either note.

I did this so that I could put in bObbIN ROBIN. When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbin' along and all that.

Of course I also had ENbICO instead of my earlier ENRICO, but I tried to ignore it.

To round everything out, I had bEsT MAN instead of KEPT MAN for the gigolo. Well, it could have been an inside wedding joke that Millennials use, right?

(And btw, what the hell is EDM at 40A?)

What a mess! And all because I have absolutely no idea what a "ROCKIN ROBIN" is!

Hartley70 9:19 AM  

This was a cute puzzle on the wrong day of the week. It played like a themeless to me because I never seem to look for a theme in the clues. That's why I need Rex. Thanks, Buddy.

I erred right off the bat with spat/start and didn't correct it until the end. I didn't get YEA but entered it anyway. I'm glad someone explained it, but I never say "Yea high to a" something or other. I don't use whippersnapper either. They sound like Andy Griffith comments.

I'm old enough to remember Mr. MAGOO and ROCKINROBIN and young enough to, like, get VALLEY GIRL and EDM. Sixty-nine must be this puzzle's sweet spot.

Roy 9:21 AM  

I had exactly the same experience as Rex–felt like I was struggling with this puzzle, but finished in near record Thursday time. My one stumble came at 29A. The "Round after the Elite Eight" is the Final Four. If you use upper case for Elite Eight, you are very specifically referring to the NCAA basketball tournament. Nobody refers to the Final Four as the SEMIS. I confidently dropped in FINAL, assuming this was going to be one of those Thursdays involving parts of the answer missing or something to do with numbers.

Of course I quickly realized my mistake with the crosses, and I was disappointed when I discovered the puzzle didn't have a more complicated trick.

Rockin' Robin will be stuck in my head the rest of the day now.

ArtO 9:21 AM  

Started looking for a rebus with HIGH(balls) which threw my off from the realization it was ROCKINROBIN from my generation. MOTHERDUCK certainly does have a lot of followers if you've ever seen ten or twelve of them following her. Took a while to get IDLE as "unused."

Enjoyed it.

Roo Monster 9:29 AM  

Hey All !
I don't mind the Clues-as-Theme variation. It's good once in a while. I do agree this would've been an awesome Wednesday. TELE like it is.

Some risqué fill here. MADE LOVE barely passes the breakfast test. Plus a Gigolo. Ten year old self giggling at ERECT and CREAM. Also, MOTHER DUCK. :-)

VALLEY GIRL got a chuckle out of me. For those youngsters who don't know, they used "like", like, all the time when they spoke. They were, like, from LA, right? Like, gag me with a spoon. And ROCKIN ROBIN was a Jackson 5 hit. (Michael and his older siblings.)

DNF at gAMi/RAJi, also INt (for ING). Had aMMOBeLt for IMMOBILE for a bit. AMEN AMEN kind of ODD. AREA MAN, too, though it seems some of y'all knew it. EDM is ugh-ish, although The EDC is here in May. Electric Daisy Carnival. Basically an EDM three day rave, at the Racetrack. REVS UP the Ecstasy usage in the AREA, MAN. Har.

Mr. MAGOO was a stupid cartoon. Open your eyes, MAN! BEMUSEd me. AMIrite? :-)

YEA, I MAY USE THE IDAHOS and BEER, but no CRESS.

I RAISE MOOLA
RooMonster
DarrinV

Charles Flaster 9:31 AM  

Agreement with Rex.
DNF as I spelled JeFFREY conventionally.
Phi Slama ——- JAMA would have been my clue preference.
Writeover—RIFT for spaT.
Liked misdirection for HIGH C S.
VALLEY GIRL was by far the most creative themer.
EDM is absolutely horrible noise that is played incessantly in my gym. Please bring back ROCKIN’ ROBIN.
Thanks RT

GILL I. 9:38 AM  

So I was like, totally clueless fer shure and like, oh my god, gag me with a spoon when, like I got VALLEY GIRL and said to myself...oh, it's going to be all about that gawd awful up talk. Phew...ROCKIN ROBIN saved the day. TWEET TWEET.
Easy Wednesday but kinda cute in a MAGOO type way. Then I got to MRS. If my husband ever called me wifey, I'd only talk to him in VALLEY speak for the rest of his life, or better yet, I'd resort to calling him "hubster."
@Robin...Make it $100 and include the EEL.
KEPT MAN sounds so much better than Gigolo. MADE LOVE is sweet in a HAD A LOT OF SEX sort of way. Love the MOTHER DUCK videos on Facebook. You always see people stopping 8 lane freeway traffic for the mamacita to cross over to the pond on the other side. They are pretty dumb, aren't they. I even saw one where the MOTHER had her babies on a two story balcony and she expected her little ones to jump down after her so this man who lives in the apartment had to stay awake for days until the chicks were born then he carried each one down to the stupid waiting MOTHER and they all lived happily ever after.
I'm ready for a Thursday rebus....Anyone else?

Z 9:49 AM  

@Anon8:54 - That’s where OFL finished, or at least where the crossword app equivalent of the cursor was when he took the image of his completed grid. This and many other questions are answered on the FAQ page linked at the top of the blog. The FAQ page is worth a quick perusal if you are going to stay around for any length of time.

Part of the beauty of a rebus is not knowing it is coming. That Thursday turned into “rebus” day was a flaw, not a feature. I have no issue with Thursday having different kinds of challenges. Unfortunately, this puzzle felt more Tuesdayish to me, not to mention skewing old (MR. MAGOO?)

@Larry Gilstrap - “Pop” can be a pretty all-inclusive category. I agree with your general take on AIMEE Mann’s music, but I didn’t hesitate a second filling in the answer. I don’t know if you saw it, but the video for one of her recent songs was a shot by shot parody/homage to the Voices Carry video.

@RJ - Gigolo is the term for a KEPT MAN. There is also the notion of a kept woman. Neither is a spouse. That’s the point. No need to work because one’s wealthy benefactor(s) takes care of you.

@Two Ponies - Even those predisposed to believe governments and corporations have too many secrets that ought to be exposed realized ASSANGE was more con-man than freedom fighter long before the whole shill-for-Putin thing became obvious.

@Kitshef - Detroit has a huge EDM festival every year. Detroit claims to be the home to EDM as much as it is the home to Motown. People come from all over the world for the Detroit festival. And I bet 90% of the people in the greater Detroit metro area don’t know what it is. Definitely crossworthy, but YEA.

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

@Nancy - high Cs are the challenge of tenors. More than a few high Cs in an opera are enough to disqualify most men from the role.
For sopranos, high Fs are the sine qua non (google Queen of the Night). High Cs are bread and butter for sopranos.

mathgent 10:05 AM  

Good comments today. Nice way to begin my day. My next move will be to bring in the newspapers from the driveway. It's raining and the delivery guy usually double bags the papers. But, a little hazy on the concept, he has both openings on the same side.

The New Yorker has had two or three articles on the superstar DJs who spin EDM. Some of these guys have huge followings and the Vegas clubs pay them six figures for a night.

Gus 10:11 AM  

@Gordo 8:15AM has some good ideas. I think we can all learn from this man.

mrn 10:14 AM  

Biggest issue for me was that the first two themers I got were ROCKIN ROBIN and MOTHER DUCK. That set me off thinking that this was some kind of bird theme. Proceeded to spend the next five minutes trying to think of a bird that ends in OWNER.

Sir Hillary 10:15 AM  

Not a bad Thursday, but ROCKINROBIN is a real outlier for me. Not because it's a relatively dated song reference (I'll take The Jackson Five over Game of Thrones any day) but because I don't see why a ROCKINROBIN would need to have a lot of tweets. I guess we're supposed to imagine him/her as a rock singer? Or are the tweets coming from an assumed enthusiastic concert audience? Either way, it misses the mark for me.

I rarely find clues cringeworthy, but the one for MRS struck me as such.

ERECT KEPTMAN MADELOVE -- yikes. Guess I'm in the gutter today.

Yuri 10:18 AM  

@Gus 10:11AM Ha! Is stupid answer! TITANROCKET is being two shits on bedding!

Cali Marie 10:19 AM  

I always thought a HIGH C was a note, not a pitch. Can one of you musical geniuses explain to me how the clue in today's puzzle makes sense? Thank you.

Padraic 10:19 AM  

I'm a bit confused on two:

highcs? I know high *cheese* but I don't get this abbreviation.

Oh, and just got the other. Had "I'm a y" and couldn't see "I may" until now. Good grief.

Jonathan 10:20 AM  

Dull as dishwater

Ajith Alexander 10:21 AM  

Rex covers it in his FAQ. It’s not anything significant.

AW 10:24 AM  

@Nancy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-OteAgvINc (Warning: Like listening to nails on a chalkboard.)

He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing his song
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet
Rockin' robin, tweet tweet tweet
Rockin' robin' tweet tweetly-tweet
Blow rockin' robin
Cause we're really gonna rock tonight

chippy 10:30 AM  

Umm, unless I am missing something CULT LEADER does not have enough letters to fit for 49A.

Bobby Grizzard 10:45 AM  

MOTHER DUCK is better than CULT LEADER, because you want the meaning of "followers" to be different. The ducklings are literally followers, whereas the followers of a cult are, like followers on social media, followers in the figurative sense.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

@Chippy You're right, it doesn't. Fits perfectly into 57A though
@Gordo & @Gordo Admirer: How is a TITANROCKET associated with tweets?

Nancy 10:52 AM  

@AW (10:24) -- Thanks for the ROCKIN' ROBIN lyric, which shows me that ROCKIN ROBIN' indeed has "a lot of tweets." And thanks for warning me that it sounds like "nails on a chalkboard."
I think I'll pass it by. Maybe I'll go listen to Bing Crosby's rendition of "When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along" instead.

This all goes to show that a PPP-dependent puzzle can really mess up one's solve when you don't know the PPP. Today it really messed up mine -- from the middlebrow ROCKIN' ROBIN (BOBBIN' ROBIN in my grid) to the highbrow ENRICO (ENRICO to ENBICO in my grid.) Don't ask.

Mohair Sam 10:55 AM  

How old am I? Only hold up on the puzzle was trying to fit Manford at the AIMEE Mann clue, figured it had to be a rebus.

@Z - Posted in a hurry this morning. Was going to inform @Anon but said to myself "Z will tell 'em, and he'll remember to mention the FAQ too." I think we all know each other not wisely, but too well.

@Nancy & @AW - "Rockin' Robin" is an awesome old time rock and roll song, what's wrong with you guys? AW just prints the chorus - here's the heart of the song:

Every little swallow, every chickadee
Every little bird in the tall oak tree
The wise old owl, the big black crow
Flap-a their wings singin' "go bird go"


I think Stephen Sondheim might have been the lyricist (uncredited) - has that flavor, right Nancy?.

PaBear 11:02 AM  

Man, there is a lot to like here. Crunchy, bright, clever. Good work!

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Rockin Robin was first recorded by Bobby Day in 1958

Mohair Sam 11:08 AM  

@Anon 11:03 and @AW and @Nancy - My comment above refers to the Bobby Day version only. I just played the Jackson 5 cover version and @AW is right - nails on chalkboard.

jb129 11:25 AM  

I liked it a lot, especially Valley Girls.

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

@Cali Marie - people use the words "note" and "tone" more or less interchangeably, but they are not the same. The note is the written representation (or name) of a sounding pitch, while the tone is the sounding pitch itself. Middle c is the note written one line below treble clef, one line above bass clef. Middle c is also the tone sounded at about 256 cycles per second in the physical world. "High c" for a male voice is an octave higher (about 512 Hertz/cycles per second). For a female voice, "high c" is another octave higher (about 1024 Hz), but is not an especially challenging pitch to sing, more or less an ordinary high note.

Kimberly 11:31 AM  

So, I guess Thursday puzzles are officially over. I need to decide whether to not to keep my subscription. Why pay for... this?

Nancy 11:32 AM  

@Mohair (10:55, last paragraph). Fortunately, Sondheim's not in his grave yet. If he were, he'd be spinning there like crazy. The ROCKIN' ROBIN lyric has the Sondheim "flavor"??? Yikes, what a thought!!!

(But you know I love you anyway, @Mohair).

Chris 11:35 AM  

@Cali Marie PITCH vs. note is an interesting distinction that is not usually made. Basically, the note is the written depiction of the PITCH that is performed. One's pitch might or might not match the note (hence pitch perfect.)

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

@Roy 9:21, the first two games of the Final Four are referred to as the National Semifinals, so the clue is accurate if you accept the shortening of "semifinals" to "semis".

Wm. C. 11:51 AM  

@GG8:27

I too took four years of Latin in HS from Miss Mason (unkindly called "Moose Mason" by all the boys). I spent more time each night on Latin translation homework than all other four course combined. Arma virumque cano ...

Then, starting out as a Math major in college there was a foolish requirement to take either German or Russian .. based, I guess on the foolish assumption that worthwhile German or Russian scientific papers would not have bee already competently translated into English. Anyway, I foolishly chose Russian, ending with my dropping the course in mid-semester, talking an F, and changing to an Engineering major. Ironically, this turned out to be fortuitous because after graduation I got a draft-deferred job and stayed out of Vietnam.

The puzzle played a bit harder than the usual Thursday for me, but that's good. Never saw MOOLA until I came here, which was also good since I never heard of "Cheddar" referred to as money. Oh wait! Some good did come of my HS Latin since I got IDEST with no crosses. ;-)

QuasiMojo 11:54 AM  

Thanks to @Chris and @anonymous 11:31AM for explaining the difference between pitch and note. I guess I always just assumed that perfect pitch meant that you didn't go flat or sharp on a note. But I see now it means you are singing the note as written correctly. What you are singing is the pitch and what you are reading is the note, right?

Mohair Sam 11:58 AM  

@Nancy - Figured the Sondheim shot would get a rise out of you.

Four and out.

Joseph Michael 12:10 PM  

Highlight of the puzzle for me was VALLEY GIRL as clued. Too bad the rest of the themers couldn't have been as clever. MAJORITY OWNER is about as boring as they come and it's the centerpiece.

Low point of the solving experiece was writing in ASSANGE which evoked the creepy image of him on TV during the last election with the draining hour glass behind him.

Had "Ken doll" before KEPT MAN.

Liked the misdirection in the clues for HIGH CS and CREAM and enjoyed the sexual innuendo throughout the grid.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

First puzzle in years I didn't finish and didn't care. I saw what looked like social media clues, and just couldn't work up any enthusiasm for what the answers were going to be. I was at a conference this morning, and I asked many of the people there if they felt that they had an expectation of privacy on Facebook, and everyone said no. I don't do social media, maybe because I'm in the investigation business, but when I saw the theme clues here I kept trying to fit "fool" into every answer.

TJS 12:31 PM  

@webwinger, I was also at that Springsteen concert and could not believe it when https://en.newsner.com/music/crowd-asks-springsteen-to-play-another-singer-s-song-his-response-leaves-them-speechless/he picked Rockin Robin for his audience choice number. Being a few months from turning 70, I always thought of that song as the greatest "jitterbug" tune to dance to (apologies to all not interested in old timers reflections). Heres a link to another great Springsteen audience request number, a Chuck Berry classic https://en.newsner.com/music/crowd-asks-springsteen-to-play-another-singer-s-song-his-response-leaves-them-speechless/

Masked and Anonymous 12:32 PM  

Oldie tunes! Bobby Day and Frank Zappa! Plus, soc meeds! Interestin mix. Almost makes the puz tough, just becuz nobody will be totally in its wheelhouse. The theme idea is a little basic for a ThursPuz, tho -- as many of y'all have already pointed out.

I was thinkin ThursRebus (yo, @Gill I.), while tryin to figure out 6-D's HIGH??. Was tryin to squish-in somethin like HIGH[HEAT] or HIGH[HARD][ONES], etc. Lost precious nanoseconds.

The DUCKs return! @RP: Well, yeah … but, a MOTHERDUCK might have quite a few lil ducklets followin behind her, over her lifetime, if she's prolific. If she's a ROCKINDUCK, say.

staff weeject pick = EDM. Techno is a subgenre of Ed Muskie? Mystery weeject.
[M&A Research Dept. tells m&e that it might actually be: Electronic Dance Music, and whatever U do, DO NOT CONGRATULATE the Shortzmeister for usin this harlarious desperation. Or remind him not to forget to DUCK.]

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Trudeau.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


**gruntz**

TJS 12:33 PM  

Sorry about the repeat of the Springsteen link. I must have hit a wrong key again.

JC66 12:39 PM  

I agree with @Mohair since I grew up Lindying to the Bobby Day version in high school.

Dave SF 12:45 PM  

Very good

Mark N 12:56 PM  

Worked myself into knots trying to think of a baseball pitch that fit "hard to hit" until I finally remembered music exists. Nice little puzzle!

Clueless 1:07 PM  

EEL sauce ?

Sushi 🍣 => Soy Sauce aka Shoyu

Always think of sauce on Unagi (eel) as Teriyaki Sauce

Z 1:12 PM  

@anon11:37 & @Roy9:21 - There is a specific class of clues that I (and nobody else) call einsteins because they use a solver’s expertise against them. The clue for SEMIS is an example. ELITE EIGHT —-> FINAL FOUR. Both of these terms are specific to the NCAA basketball tournament, The older and non-specific terms are “quarterfinals” and “semifinals” so it seems obvious that the clue is asking for the event specific phrase. But NOOoooo.... “Elite Eight” is actually functioning as a hint that the answer will be slang, permitting the answer to be the shortened SEMIS. This whole misdirection is lost on non-sports fan solvers who will blithely enter the sports term they’ve seen in puzzles before. Einsteins are the class of clue that will cause offended experts the most wringing of hair, gnashing of teeth and screaming of “Wrong!” in these comments.

@mohair sam - TeeHee. If I had had time I would have embedded the FAQ link like I’ve done a quadrillion times before. I just wish Rex would put 16A at the top of every post with an awards show clue.

@M&A - ED Muskie? Seems fishy to me.

Missy 1:14 PM  

Thanks for clearing that up! Any idea why cheddar is moola?

Missy 1:31 PM  

Get up on the wrong side of the futon this morning??

Missy 1:47 PM  

Get up on the wrong side of the futon this morning??

Anon 1:52 PM  

I had HAGAR for MAGOO. The A and G lined up so I thought was right. Really screwed with the NE corner. Fully agree AIMEE Mann not pop. Thought maybe HERBIE.

Missy 2:05 PM  

Thanks for clearing that up! Any idea why cheddar is moola?

John Hoffman 2:07 PM  

@Missy: Cheddar is a slang word for money. So Moola works.

Georgia 2:11 PM  

With some crosses I got it thinking of "cheese" as slang for money, but just found "80 words slang for money" on internet and there's cheddar and cheese and even blue cheese, go figure.

John Hoffman 2:14 PM  

I have read (a few times) Wikipedia's description of "AT BAT" and still have no idea what it means. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_bat

jberg 2:23 PM  

I'm getting here late, dealing with my dog, who is sick, the poor dear. Details don't pass the breakfast test, but there's been a lot of cleaning up.

So, like everyone else, I started with spat, but then got IRAISE, so I knew it had to be tIFf. That one took some time to work out of.

I liked this one for the suggestions of poems that don't quite work. 2birchbark already cited Frost's "Mending Wall" -- which the protagonist and his neighbor did with stones, no posts involved -- and then there was Christopher Smart's "For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey," where the E is just moved a little more forward than that boy king.


@Nancy, you surprise me! I imagine you as knowing all the lyrics to all the songs ever written (in English, that is), but somehow you missed that one. As others have said, it's worth try!

Everybody here in Boston knows about MOTHER DUCKs and their followers, thanks to this sculpture based on Robert McCloskey's illustrations for his book about them.

Joe Revesz 2:25 PM  

I had Baskin Robin for 23 across thinking "tweets" was phonetic and not literal.

burtonkd 2:30 PM  

Re: High C, pitch, etc.
Pitch is the frequency as explained. Note is the musical “notation”.
Perfect pitch means you have a memory of frequencies or notes so that you can recognize them or produce them at any time. Small percentage of population has this gift, though much more common among Asians.
It is possible to have perfect pitch and still sing flat or sharp depending on your vocal production.
Though many sopranos sing higher than high C, it is still a higher note than most women can sing comfortably.

semioticus (shelbyl) 2:35 PM  

I mean, it was OK. I'm kinda tired of OK puzzles. In the last 30 days, we've had 3 puzzles that were very good. I miss the streak of brilliance in February.

Like, yes, this was a cool theme idea, but none of the punny answers made me laugh or smile. I want to utter a "huh" with a smile, not with an indifferent facial expression. Especially later in the week.

Same with the fill. JOFFREY is cool, but AMENAMEN is not. Neither is SILENTH, KEPTMAN and AREAMAN (OK, that is definitely a dupe come on now). I forgive crappy short fill if the long fill is rewarding enough. That's not the case here. Is it a bad fill? No, it's mostly smooth, but again, that's about it.

GRADE: C+, 2.9 stars.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Squeezed Jared Kushner into 24D.

Nancy 3:08 PM  

Going over the limit to respond to @jberg (2:23) -- Yes, it's true that when you wind me up, out come lyrics that I may not have heard for 50 years. I don't forget a single comma in a single verse. That's pretty much the only thing I have a good memory for. But my areas of song knowledge encompass only Broadway show music, folk music and the classic American Songbook. ROCKIN ROBIN, I fear, falls into none of these categories. I do remember the lyrics to some eminently forgettable Top Ten pop songs from the '50s (even though I'd just as soon not): e.g. "Ricochet Romance"; "Let Me Go, Lover"; "Tennessee Waltz". They were on "Your Hit Parade" week after week, and they were in the zeitgeist (Hi, @Z). But I never listened to AM radio, and that's probably why my familiarity with pop songs of ANY era is so limited.

@Georgia (2:11) says that she's found 80 English words for "money". Sort of like the Eskimos having 50 words for "snow". So now we know that snow is really important to Eskimos and money is really important to us. Capitalism -- ain't it great?

Banana Diaquiri 3:11 PM  

@Suzie Q
From yesterday, is a fixie also one of those old-time bikes with the huge front wheel?

no. that's an Ordinary.

Missy 3:33 PM  

Thank you! Never heard it used that way.

Cali Marie 3:45 PM  

I appreciate the answers to my earlier query!

Airymom 4:00 PM  

Loved the puzzle. I got the first two long answers and kept thinking, "how do they connect?" Filling in subsequent theme answers didn't help, until--bam--it all connected.

Curious, is Ross Trudeau the son of Garry Trudeau and Jane Pauley? If so, when his mother left the "Today Show" that was the end of it being an actual news program. Now it's "Entertainment Tonight 2.0". Oh well...back to shoveling out 8" of snow.

Anoa Bob 4:09 PM  

@John Hoffman, an AT BAT is one turn at the plate for a hitter. It is used in calculating some of the many statistics in baseball. If, for example, a players has four AT BATs during a game and gets one hit, then that player has a batting average of .250 (or just 250) for that game.

Some turns at the plate, however, are not used in calculating batting statistics. Any sacrifice, such as a bunt or a fly ball that advances a runner, does not count as an AT BAT. (So even though the hitter made an out, it doesn't hurt the hitter's batting average.) The same is true for going to first base on four balls. As the clue says, "A walk is not counted as one".

David 4:16 PM  

Indeed, this oldster got "rockinrobin" off of "valleygirl" and presumed the answers would all be song titles. Really stopped me dead on "majorityowner". Easy but weird.

sanfranman59 4:19 PM  

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

This one was pretty far from my sweet spot. I spent more than half of my solve time in the SW quadrant, in large part because I misspelled JOFFREY as geoFREY, didn't trust that a KEPT MAN and a gigolo were the same thing, had no idea about EDM (electronic dance music, apparently ... I assumed it was Emo) and misread the clue for RAJA and had RAni. There were a few other sticking points: parsing HIGH C'S, MIRA Nair, YEA big, Mr. MAGOO had a dog.

Chip Hilton 4:33 PM  

Decades ago, my friend’s brother got an unwanted nickname when he got arrested for a traffic offense. The local newspaper headline started with “City Man cited . . . “, not AREAMAN, but same idea. City Man stuck, with variants like El Cit soon to follow.

Kind of boring for a Thursday, no? The puzzle, not my anecdote. Right?

Barry Frain 5:07 PM  

For a Thursday, this puzzle sucks.


Barry Frain
East Biggs, CA

Stormy Daniels 5:14 PM  

I have some high DDDDs.

Outside The Box 6:03 PM  

Yes, please! Although not in today’s puzzle same goes for ole, aloe, oars and a host of other constantly repeated—and boring—3 and 4 letter fill answers.

'merican in Paris 6:14 PM  

VERY late to the party. But just wanted to say that I enjoyed the push-back offered by the puzzle, and feel proud of myself for persevering until the end, completing it in just a minute over an hour, with no googles, and no mistakes.

Thursdays are always slower for me than they need to be, because I start off wondering whether there will be a rebus. I wanted MANFRED to pair with 15A's "Mann", so I was on the lookout for a rebus for the first half hour, until I got MOTHER DUCK and decided that it was just goint to be normal words. Filled in the South fairly quickly, but the North and NW took me awhile. I had "and" at first for 8D, and "soy" for 9D, so thought that 17A would end in "... dandy." Was pleased to see 8D change to "PER", which is a well-established meaning for the slash (/), though rendered less evident thanks to all the other uses to which the slash is now being put.

Probably nobody will read this, so I'll just end here with a thanks to Mr. Ross Trudeau.

Joe Dipinto 6:45 PM  

So I'm sitting at the bar in this Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood, and guess what song just played? Bobby Day's version of "Rockin' Robin"! Fun fact: The music and lyrics of "Rockin' Robin" have been in the public domain since 1987 because no copyright renewal was filed (copyright renewal was mandatory at the time).

AREA MAN? Really? And PICKET FENCE would have been better at 49a, imo.

I was thinking the clue for 20a could have been "No thpeaking!" But you still have the initial S so it would be inconthithtent.

Now I want to hear Carl Carlton's "She's a Bad Mama JAMA".

Joe 6:54 PM  

I realize that “Game Of Thrones” has a lot of characters with oddly spelled names. But do I really need to watch that show in order to fill in the puzzle? I find guessing at Tolkien-esque proper nouns tedious.

Good ol' Joe 10:21 PM  

When I see a puzzle like this I think of those NYT submissions I have had rejected. My rejection note says something like “Thanks, Will just wasn’t excited enough about the theme”. And I think “fair enough, it was good but not ground breaking”. It doesn’t wound me. But then I see a puzzle like this and I think “Will was excited by this theme?”

And then I think about the hours I spent making sure my fill doesn’t have SAYTO, HIGHCS, and AMI side-by-side. And I conclude I should have spent those hours getting a tan or learning ballroom dancing.

Anonymous 10:42 PM  

@Good ol' Joe 10:21
I know, right? Now you know why Rex has such a dislike to Will. Some of the puzzles that make it in makes you want to go, Huh?

Anonymous 10:43 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Oldflappyfrommississappy 10:47 PM  

Good ol’ Black Joe, ROFLMAO.

Kathy D. 5:40 AM  

That last comment is disgusting. Should be deleted.

I didn't get the puzzle's theme at first. Left the house, returned and it all suddenly clicked, so I got it. Liked it.

One exception: Did not like the "wifey" clue, with "the Mrs." My mother would have objected to that term decades ago. And today, don't see how that gets a pass in the NY Times puzzle.

PeterThomas 8:02 AM  

High C is not a pitch. It’s a note.

pcardout 4:40 AM  

"Older Solvers", Pretty funny. Frank Zappa (OK, Moon Unit Zappa) wrote Valley Girl in 1980. I met him about then...and am still mentioning it now! You should be at least 40 to know the reference. As Rex Pointed out, age helps for RockinRobin, which I thought was one of the cuter themers. I am sure there are still active octagenerians on this list, and maybe THEY are the "older solvers" to whom you refer.

Burma Shave 9:43 AM  

RECLINER & TANKER

PAM, THE VALLEYGIRL, MADELOVE most IDLE EVES
ATBAT MAN’s behest, MOTHERDUCK, there is no stoppin’!
But, YEA, MAJORITYOWNER Bruce Wayne believes
PAM is BEMUSEd, AS_HE knows she’s also ROCKINROBIN.

--- MRS. ENRICO ASSANGE

rondo 10:34 AM  

Doesn’t THE MAJORITYOWNER of this blog usually get perturbed or BEMUSEd when THE theme is all in the clues? Maybe not so much when THE subject is as “fresh” as social media. I’M_MOBILE with my TELE phone, but can find no use for that stuff; I’ll leave it for those who wish to be perennial eighth-graders.

THE MAN MAN thing is obvious. Does anyone actually put two AMENs back-toback?

I think that YEAh baby AIMEE Mann belongs more in the alt-rock or folk categories, but “Charmer” is pretty poppy-catchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcpXTUT0-7o

THE theme is alright, if you had a clue, now let’s all have a BEER.

spacecraft 12:58 PM  

THE experience was ruined for me when I saw that the "One with a lot of tweets" wasn't DONALDTRUMP, or MR/US PRESIDENT, all of which fit. Oh well.

This one was all over the place. ROCKINROBIN was in my wheelhouse, but the only Mann of pop I know is Manfred--too long. Why clue MIRA as a really obscure foreign film director instead of DOD Sorvino? Cheddar = MOOLA?? Never heard that one. YEA big?? Not big around here.

More hangups: the infamous RSL (random SILENT letter). I HATE that! Stop doing that!! AND EDM?? Not a clue. But, like, finally seeing, like, VALLEYGIRL, like opened up the NW. Like REVSUP, like. As if!

IRAISE eyebrows at MADELOVE--and then MOTHERDUCK. But all is forgiven: my way in was the late, great Leonard NIMOY. (BTW, @"Deforest Kelley," so is he, so show a little respect and don't borrow his name for a meaningless post.)

Lots of stuff to both like and dislike. It averages out to a par.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Dammit Jim, you're a doctor not a Vulcan.

rainforest 2:18 PM  

A different sort of Thursday, but not a rebus (YEA), so it has that going for it.

Oddly, ROCKIN ROBIN was my last fill-in, which had me chagrined, but did give me HIGHCS, a devilishly clued answer. I was actually looking for a, ugh, rebus there.

Didn't know JOFFREY (don't watch G of T, but JAMA was a gimme.

Overall, medium for me, but fun and sprightly.

leftcoastTAM 3:19 PM  

A disappointing non-themer, non-Thursday puzzle for me. The theme is some repeat words in some of the clues? Please.

Examples of genuinely clever clues: See those for VALLEYGIRL and HIGHC.

Unknowns but got 'em: MOOLA clued by "Cheddar", ROCKINROBIN clued by "One with lot of tweets".

Unknowns and didn't get: EDM, PAM, and the crosssing KEPTMAN.

Known but trouble spelling: DALAI.

Oh, and wanted MAJOR Ira OWNER instead of you know what.

Eagerly looking forward next Thursday's puzzle.

Diana,LIW 3:35 PM  

Had it all done fairly easily 'cept for SUVS instead of GMCS. Since I don't know MIRA, that really messed up the NE corner. And....I put in MONEY for MOOLA at first - that's actually kinda old slang that never caught on much. If I didn't have my set of slang flash cards I wouldn't have known that.

But once GMCS did get parked properly the rest fell into place.

Always loved ROCKINROBIN. Tweet, tweet, tweet!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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