Diana 1969 Bond girl / WED 4-25-18 / Toffee candy bar / Christian inst in Tulsa / Office inappropriate briefly / Online aid for finding contractor

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Constructor: Adam G. Perl

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (4:01)


THEME: angles — circled letters both form and spell out angle types, and then there's a revealer clue: 36A: Is an expert on this puzzle's theme? (KNOWS EVERY ANGLE)

Word of the Day: Diana RIGG (10D: Diana ___, 1969 Bond girl) —
Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth RiggDBE (born 20 July 1938) is an English actress. She is known for playing Emma Peel in the 1960s TV series The Avengers (1965–68), and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2013–17). She has also had an extensive career in theatre, including playing the title role in Medea, both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama. (wikipedia)

• • •

Adam Perl writes the crosswords for the annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition, so I've solved many of his puzzles and worked with him at the tournament for several years now. I typically find his puzzles slightly challenging, in that I just operate on a different wavelength for some reason, but this one actually went down easier than normal, perhaps because the theme had almost no effect on my solve. I finally got KNOWS EVERY ANGLE (after dropping in KNOWS EVERYTHING at first), and then somewhere in the back of my brain a little voice went "uh, so, those circled squares probably form angles or something" but the bigger voice in the front of my brain went "shhh, I'm working here!" Knowing the theme might've helped me a little, but it's more likely that it would've distracted me and taken me out of my rhythm. I usually find that if I try to get ahead of myself and fill in themers early (i.e. before I get to their section of the grid via normal progress), I don't actually gain time at all. I think if I'd been thinking straight, I might've been able to pick up a few seconds in the SW by putting in the letters in ACUTE, but it's just as likely I would've lost those seconds and more trying to figure out what the hell the letters in the SE were doing—I'd've wanted to write in OBTUSE, but of course that's already in the grid in the NW. If I ever knew what a REFLEX angle was, I completely forgot. Thus, keeping my head down and just plowing ahead without much attention to the theme was probably the smart move.


Having the revealer be in a third-person verb phrase is *slightly* awkward, and honestly REFLEX and OBTUSE look identical, so it's hard to appreciate the distinction. It's an OK theme with an OK revealer. The fill gets wobbly in places (ROBT, UNS, PARAS, ALIENEE (the longest crosswordese?), NATANT (!)), but mostly it just gets very old-fashioned and familiar: EER OED ETNA MPAA ATT INT ORU OGEE etc. But the longer Acrosses in the NW / SE keep things interesting, as do the long Downs (loved ANGIE'S LIST in particular) (28D: Online aid for finding a contractor), and PIROGI are delicious (8D: Ravioli relative), so while this puzzle wasn't exactly to my taste, it also wasn't particularly off-putting. It was a puzzle!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Explainers:

  • 16A: Kings' guards may be taken in it (NBA DRAFT)—the Sacramento Kings are an NBA team
  • 62D: "Towering" regulatory grp.? (FAA)—because they oversee control ... towers ... I assume
  • 8A: Legal assistants, for short (PARAS)—as in "PARAlegalS"

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

105 comments:

Brian 12:24 AM  

Knows every angle in the puzzle, but not every angle — complementary, full, straight, open, closed, ...

Questinia 12:35 AM  

If Emma Peel were a triangle she'd be isosceles.

JOHN XXX 12:38 AM  

This was a really great puzzle.

I did a bong hit right before I started and I just had a great time. I was impressed with every single word and just solved away like a lark, even finishing in 16 minutes with no errors. I would have finished faster if I hadn't drifted off into thinking about something else about 4 times while solving. I forget what I thought about, but I enjoyed it. Can't beat that. Nope.

Mark 1:00 AM  

I thought alined was a misspelling of aligned. Am I missing something?

Mark 1:06 AM  

Not to mention purified for pierogi

Harryp 1:20 AM  

I got the ANGLE Theme early, but was too busy filling in the blanks to use it to my advantage. Average Wednesday time. Googled PIROGI after the solve and found out is is an Eastern European dumpling with at least one alternate spelling. Also, this is the first time I have ever had to bail on a MINI-PUZZLE! Way to much of @Z's PPP.

Mo Pariser 2:17 AM  

You said it- wobbly and very old fashioned. Detested this puzzle from beginning to end. I don't even know where to start...

ROBT?? So wobbly I nearly vomited.

ALIENEE. More old fashioned than my grandfather's go-to cocktail.

To ACT AS does not necessarily mean to Fill in for. It is purely to serve a purpose and has nothing to do with any primary purpose servicer.

You do not strand someone by icing him/her in. The weather can SNOW IN. You can be passively ICED IN. But to ICE IN? I don't like it. I imagine a well-placed hose left running overnight above the chalet doorway. *the young prankster SIDLES away sneering as he ICES IN the unfortunate ski vacationer* Not real.

Does Subway Line now refer to the street a train runs along? Did it always mean that? If so, how have we been referring to the ACE, NQR, etc?

Are we just randomly assigning question marks to clues that are plays on words?
"Family Guy"- Sure, take a '?'
"European Smoker" - Nah, none for you.
"Red Letters" - Have a '?'!
"Kings guards" - Not today, buddy.

I'm sorry but the Oxford English Dictionary is not a Classic Work. Madame Bovary is a classic work. Moby Dick is a classic work. Heck, the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is a classic work. The OED is not a classic work.

ALINED is so misspelled that my autocorrect won't even allow it. Put in the 'G' or don't use the word at all! The same goes for you, SMIDGE. Where in the world is your 'N'! And PIEROGI.... I spent 10 entire minutes staring at my screen wondering why that oh so joyous melody would not play to congratulate me. Then I swapped PeROGI for PIROGI. The melody arrived but the joy did not.

Yesterday it was ISMS, today it's PARA. @LMS What did I say? Slowly but surely.

O GEE, I do tend to OAReacted, but I GET no satisfaction from sub-par crosswords. NUN at all. Bad start to a hump day.

chefwen 2:27 AM  

Fastest Wednesday ever, but I ended up with a mistake. Don’t know my Big Apple subways and not too brushed up on phobias I threw an R at the 59 cross, thinking Rapid. Oh well, the rest was super easy. Got the reveal early and that helped with the different angles except REFLEX where I had that damned R, never heard REFLEX angle. Will look it up.

Sure would love a rebus puzzle tomorrow.

jae 3:22 AM  

Easy-medium seems right. Some nice long down except maybe ALIENEE, BUYINS reminded me of my movie recommendation from yesterday...Molly’s Game...clever and fun, liked it.

Loren Muse Smith 3:22 AM  

Loved the clue for NBA DRAFT. I went straight to some kind of chess answer. Pictured those pawns in front of the king after you castle. Pictured pushing one ‘cause a rook has mated me one too many times when I forgot to. Pictured some kind of famous strategy to take out the pawns. All this happened in an fleeting Owl Creek Bridge kind of moment that seemed to last forever.

My real take-away this morning was the word NATANT. I guess NATANT (adj) is kind of a biology-ish word that describes plants or animals?

Lots of dogs are natant; most cats are not (or at least they will lie about it).
Our koi pond became the envy of our neighbors when we added some natant plants. But our natant Newfie ate them.


“Natation” also means swimming, but it’s the act of swimming.

My favorite part of the Olympics is the natation. I was a natator myself.

Y’all got all that?

ANGIE’S LIST – brilliant idea for a company. My subsidiary would be Loren’s List: a list for contractors to rate customers. So if a painter is called in to give an estimate, he can look up the person on my list and see what other people who’ve worked for her say about her.

*She wouldn’t let us use her bathroom.
*She followed us around and pointed out stuff she didn’t like. All day. Seriously.
*She complained when we took a drink of water out of her hose when we were landscaping. (real story)
*She made us eat lunch out in our truck…
.............................................a very high bid

On the other hand…

*She made us breakfast every day.
*She had coffee ready when we got there even decaf for Darryl and Mountain Dew for Gibb.
*She let us use the bathroom.
*She insisted we stop painting during the World Cup ‘cause our country was playing and she made a platter of sandwiches and found the game in Spanish and promised to run interference if El Jefe showed up.
.............................................a very reasonable bid

People who are mean to guys working in their homes mystify me. You think that person you won’t let use your bathroom is gonna do his best work for you? Un. Be. Lievable. End of screed.

Adam – cool trick with the visual representation.

@Mo Pariser – your comments are now among my Must Reads. I clicked on your profile to find an email address, but profiles with the red “g+” logo don’t give any info or email address. (I hate those ones. Why can’t we all have the orange “b” one?) Anyhoo, I hope your hump day improves and goes natantly.

Ando 4:08 AM  

Why is a "Novice, perhaps" a NUN?

Cassieopia 4:30 AM  

Loved it. I loved how the little boxes made the shape of the angles. Plus as a proud University of Idaho Vandal, what’s not to love about the “Moscow” clue? Pronounced MOSkoh, by the way, not MOScow. I found the fill a bit challenging instead of irritating, except ALINED did make me stop and stare.

WRT to @LMS, in 2016, I hosted a weekend-long blizzard party in my townhouse. When the crew came by one morning to shovel the front steps (god knows how they got there in that storm) we were already pretty lit. One of my more boisterous friends leaned out the front door into the wind and blowing snow, shouted some words in Spanish, then turned to me and yelled, “Can we please get a mason jar of vodka for these gentlemen?” Not only were my steps the cleanest in the neighborhood, by far, but I also have a warm (if rather fuzzy) memory of happy laughter and blizzard camaraderie.

Thomaso808 4:58 AM  

@Ando when a woman first joins a religious order, she is designated as a NOVICE to let everyone know she is just starting out and has not made any serious commitments yet. But she is still a nun.

Really did not like ALINED and ALIENEE. Got ALINED ok on crosses, but ALIENEE was a problem with the NOGO, IGET, ELOISE, and HOLST gridlock. Yuck!

NATANT. We have a famous and controversial Natatorium in Waikiki, right on the beach. So maybe 1% of people in Hawaii could tell you the meaning of the word natatorium, versus .0001% of folks on the mainland. No one has been allowed to swim there for 50 years, but it is still there, a decrepit relic originally made famous by the likes of Duke Kahanamoku and Johnny Weissmuller.

John Child 5:16 AM  

A kind review. ALINED, ALIENEE, ROBT, NATANT - ouch.

The shading thing doesn’t work very well on the iOS app, since the cross word to the selected clue and answer highlights in the same color, obscuring the special squares.

I can almost hear the Animal House boys getting ready for Thursday: rebus, rebus, rebus...

TonySaratoga 5:29 AM  

Wasn’t the Oresteia the trilogy tragedy? And Orestes the subject of it?

Science Guy 5:44 AM  

That stuff at the top of your yogurt or your sour cream that you pour off or mix back in? Supernatant (floating above) fluid, in this case brought about by synerisis. Have to shake your bottle of OJ on the morning? Natant fluids. It's all around , you just didn't know the the term.

BarbieBarbie 6:12 AM  

Well, it’s a Natatorium, so NATANT was logical. Stop complaining.

This one was a good Wednesday. The theme fell early but brought a smile, and there was some nice fill like GRATUITOUS. My only quibble was that something seemed off about the REFLEX angle and after staring I realized that it’s the only one that’s differently-handed. Which sort of makes you feel that maybe the constructor got that one a bit mixed-up. But probably not, and anyway, I’m differently-handed myself.

Fun!

Anonymous 6:27 AM  

Time to skew old . . .

I actually swam in a natatorium as a kid. I never did figure out how it was different from a swimming pool.

In thinking about that snooty term for swimming pool, I realized that sanatorium is just a fancy word for health spa. I wonder if anyone has ever called a library a bibliotorium or a church/temple a sanctorium.

Happy hump day.

— Jim C. in Maine

Lewis 6:27 AM  

My favorite moment was in finding the cross of BANANA and CABANA. Then I had a "Wait a minute, aren't there more types of angles other than these four?", followed by looking it up and finding there were, then looking side-eye at the reveal which said "Knows EVERY angle", then realizing that someone who knew every angle would be an expert on the puzzle's theme, which is simple "types of angles". Then I moved on.

I also had a "Thank you, crosswords, for teaching me OGEE, a word I use all the time," moment, followed by a guilt-following-sarcasm moment, because actually, crosswords have taught so much useful information (no sarcasm here!) that has enriched my life, followed by a grateful-for-crosswords moment, where I normally reside.

Cogito ERGO sum.

Aketi 6:35 AM  

@MoPariser, our next door neighbors used to sell plants. They used the empty lot next door for their nursery. They often left the sprinkler on at night. During an unexpected cold snap, they managed to ICE_ IN all the plants. I still remember the awe I felt that morning when I saw the beautiful wonderland of the ice coated plants glistening in the morning sun.

Unknown 6:36 AM  

Alienee strikes me as inaccurate for the clue. It is not a commonly used legal term. Plus, the clue is “heir, legally.” An heir receives property when someone dies. But to “alienate” property means to dispose of it when you are alive. You don’t alienate property when you die. Also, the word heir is often used in the future sense, describing someone who will receive property when another dies. This one is at least borderline wrong.

FLAC 6:57 AM  

I thought it was ACUTE puzzle. I was OBTUSE about the theme for a while. But I finally got it RIGHT. Most of the crosswordese went in by REFLEX.

Hungry Mother 7:03 AM  

Had BABa too long - thinking of “Baba Wawa” I guess. The rest was simple. Nice geometric theme, pleasing this Math PhD.

Loren Muse Smith 7:08 AM  

@Mo Pariser – I wanted to email you this so as not to bore everyone else. But since I can’t… I appreciated your catch of PARA as another example of an affix becoming a word. This discussion is one I embrace enthusiastically.

A huge reason I feel like this place is my home is that it harbors a community of people who don’t hesitate in taking on arguments about grammar, spelling, usage, heck – any kind of language discussion.

Anyway, I thought of another affix that’s a word now in its own right: meta. So for my own little meta, read the penultimate word in each of these paragraphs. Your negative feeling toward this is something I hope I can change soon!

kitshef 7:22 AM  

Never heard of LEX, so a bit fortunate there wasn’t another common phobia that fit the down.

Not a great theme, either. Would have liked to see STRAIGHT as a themer, and of course I hate little circle.

Also … MADE MAN? Completely unknown to me in that context.

@Barbiebarbie - REFLEX has the same handedness as the others, but a REFLEX angle is greater than 180 degrees. However, it is still an outlier in that it does not start off going down the way the others do.

Glimmerglass 7:32 AM  

@TonySaratoga is correct. ORESTES is a character, not the name of a Euripedes play. I found the theme very helpful. After OBTUSE, I could fill in the others after only one letter. (In school, I was lousy at most math, but I liked geometry because it was all about puzzles. Trig, not so much.)

Broadway Baby 8:03 AM  

I saw Diana Rigg playing Henry Higgins’s mother on Broadway last week. She was great. She’s also terrific as a grandmother on Game of Thrones. I don’t know but I’d bet she’d rather be referred to as a former Bond girl than as Mrs.Higgins or Olenna Tyrell. I know I would.

Anonymous 8:03 AM  

Why does @Ando 4:08 not have Google?

LHS 888 8:06 AM  

Good medium puzzle for me. Started with “thus” at 1A, then saw 2D’s ROBT which immediately gave me OBTUSE in the NW set of circles. Filled in ACUTE & RIGHT circles before proceeding with the rest of the puzzle. Wanted “geometry” somewhere in the revealer, but enjoyed getting KNOWSEVERYANGLE as it came to light.

Struggled with ALINED as I wanted to spell it ALIgNED. Nearly Naticked at ALIENEE (wanted AsIgNEE), but it had to be ELOISE so that cross saved the day.

paperandink 8:12 AM  

loved the way the theme answers visualized the angles... well done...the lex is the only east side subway ... we were packed in like sardines.. some folks made a running jump into the crowd just to fit into the car...ahhh memories!

Gabi 8:22 AM  

PIROGI is closer to a Russian pie while PIEROGI is the dumpling. Also ROBT? ALINED? This review was too kind.

Mohair Sam 8:28 AM  

@LEX wonderers - It's the LEXington Avenue line - A gimme off any one letter for New Yorkers, not so much west of the Hudson.

This was a "What Rex said" puzzle for me.

@LMS - Great idea for Loren's List. Your examples were too true.
I once worked for a guy who abused all contractors, and never was satisfied with their work. We'd pitty any contractor who agreed to do a job for him. He once hired a contractor to make and hang drapes for our office, a large corner space - windows wall to wall. When the guy finished the drapes he came in to hang them. The drapes looked great and fit perfectly. About half way through the hanging our boss arrived back from lunch.
Boss: "These drapes are wrinkled"
Contractor: "Where they were folded, yes. It'll take a week or two of hanging and the wrinkles will be gone."
Boss goes into a screaming fit. Contractor stares at him for a minute while he yells, then quietly turns his back and begins taking down the drapes. He places drapes back in their boxes (boss still screaming) and heads for the door.
Boss: "When you come back those drapes better be wrinkle-free."
Contractor (calmly): "I won't be back."

We never saw him again, the man knew how to cut his losses.

MichGirl 8:40 AM  

Exact same thought....

Nancy 8:49 AM  

Too easy for a Wednesday and the theme made it even easier. And there was too much crosswordese. I found the puzzle meh.

Can't tell the difference between an OBTUSE angle, which I know, and a REFLEX angle, which I've never heard of.

MADE MAN is one of those terms that's been floating around in the zeitgeist (Hi, @Z) for decades. Since I don't read Mafia books or see Mafia movies, I've never really known what it means. Just how is a MAN MADE? Who makes him? My philosophy has always been: if the Mafia leaves me alone, I'll leave the Mafia alone. They're a bunch of thugs. I don't care about their lavish weddings, their "family" codes of honor, their devotion to their children -- any of it. Sorry, Mario and Gay, but I don't find them ADORBS and I don't want to learn more about their lives from you two or anyone else. (Rant over.)

Does anyone call Streisand BABS?? I first wrote in BABa, then I realized I was thinking of Barbara Walters and the late Gilda Radner's impression of her.

@Hartley -- I have a cold, too. Started coming down with it Monday night. Fought it. Lost.

mmorgan 8:57 AM  

I had trouble believing that ALINED was correct, and that's also not how I spell PIROGI. Was stumped for a long time on NBADRAFT.

I say SMIDGE all the time (with no n).

As Rex said, it was a puzzle!

I was desperately in love with Diana Rigg/Mrs Peel in the 60s. Didn't know she was on Game of Thrones (I've never seen it -- I might now!)

Stanley Hudson 8:58 AM  

It’s some deep catalogue but way cool crossing of R.E.M. with auctionEER.

@LMS 7:08 AM, nicely done. You’re a treasure on this blog.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

@Mo, I work for two law firms and live with a paralegal and I've never heard any of the paralegals refer to themselves or others as paras, so you can relax. If anyone says it, it's probably not taking the legal world by storm.

Wm. C. 9:12 AM  

@Anon3:23 from yesterday --

Re: Your comment: "Hurrah for the Red and Blue [Penn, I guess]. Because while fair Harvard has the judiciary, Penn has the White House."

Well, unfortunately for you, you're associating yourself with a narcissistic, misogynistic, racist jerk. And one who likely will not get his party's renomination in 2020 if they're even half-smart. And this from a life-long Republican, who didn't vote for him in '16 and now sees that he is even worse than I thought then.

Sorry for the politics. As to the xword, I found it a bit harder than my normal Wednesday experience. Put BARB [Streisand] in the SW -- who knew BABS -- that made the logical ACUP a nonstarter at BP. The King's Guards misdirect got me for a while, staring at the NB start. GRATUITOUS was a tough one, needed most of the crosses to suss it out. Never heard if SKOR. GENUS before GENRE. Whew!

QuasiMojo 9:12 AM  

OGEE! The comments today are way more interesting to me than the puzzle. I never even saw the theme until I got here. I knew there was one, but somehow overlooked the shaded boxes.

Euripides wrote a play called ORESTES, guys. Aeschylus wrote the trilogy called the Oresteia. Different playwrights, different plays.

Yes, heirs can inherit from people when those people die. But they are still heirs and heiresses beforehand. That is why we have the expression "heir to the throne." Apparently that SMIDGE of a child born the other day in London is fifth in line.

@LMS, I thought 'Mo Pariser is 'mericans in Paris. I guess I was wrong.

ALINED sounds like what a seamstress might have done in designing a trendy 60s dress. NBA DRAFT sounds like a sweaty IPA. There is a MOSCOW in NY STATE. I had Dry Aged Short Rib Ravioli the other night. Dee-licious. But it's "pierogi" plain and simple.

I would never call Kay Thompson's ELOISE books "kiddie lit." They were far too sophisticated and were NYT bestsellers, bought by adults who adored them as much as their children. I don't like that term, "kiddie lit" anyway, sounds too much like something else.

If I see ETNA one more time in the puzzle, I'm going to blow my lid! Aren't there any other volcanoes in Europe?

To the fellow yesterday who asked about ANON. "ever and anon" is a phrase once used to describe eternity.

michiganman 9:17 AM  

I liked the puzzle a lot. ALINES made me wince but otherwise great fun. I wasn't getting much initially in the NW but NE was easier and got angle theme early with RIGHT. Had MAfioso then MAfiaMAN before MADEMAN, YEESH! Best aha was NBADRAFT. Four too many "?" today. Only one "say" so not too bad. Do we really need hints that there might be wordplay or multiple meanings involved in a clue? What is NSFW?

Charles Flaster 9:21 AM  

Liked it.
MADE MAN was my favorite.
Thanks AGP

Z 9:29 AM  

Hey! I found ALIgNED’s missing G. It’s in the byline.

@barbieBarbie - complaining about complaining, metacomplaining, is something I just can’t abide. Complaining about metacomplaining, metametacomplaining, is a sign of deep perception and, ERGO, is okay.

I’m pretty sure I read ORESTES at some point in time. I don’t know what the confusion is there.

@Harryp - I just count them, I don’t own them.

meaT before GIST. SKOl before SKOR. Otherwise straightforward and easy. Saw the theme early and filled in RIGHT and ACUTE when I got to those corners. I needed the crosses for REFLEX.

For those of you wondering about the difference between OBTUSE and REFLEX and don’t want to click on the link, it’s an angle greater than 180°. Notice that in all four answers the ANGLE described is above the answer.

Linda Vale 9:31 AM  

It’s PIEROGI. Blah blah alternate spelling blah blah. No. It’s pierogi. End of story.

Andrew Heinegg 9:31 AM  

Ando @4:08, a novice is sometimes a nun because all orders in the Catholic Church, priests, brothers and nuns, go through novitiates whete they are not fully fledged members of their particular order. A kind of feeling out period for both sides;

I disliked this puzzle for the reasons others have articulated, e.g., alined, as well as for the use of the word alienee as someone who inherits. Alienee is/was used as the word for the person(s) to whom property was sold to. An inheritor of property would be more properly named as a devisee to indicate that the property was given to rather than purchased by them. Now, wasn't that a fascinating and informative little explanation by moi!

The blog today was more interesting and entertaining than the puzzle. Shout outs to Mo Pariser, LMS and Mohair Sam. Entertaining and informative stuff; Thanks.

Wm. C. 9:32 AM  


@michiganman -- NSFW for "Office-inappropriate" is Not Safe For Work.

Two Ponies 9:37 AM  

Decent Wed. and, once again, the comments are very entertaining.
@ Lewis, I am pleasantly surprised on almost a daily basis at how many things crosswords have taught me. It's more than trivia for me.

Streisand seems to have a reputation for self-appointed royal status so I too wondered who is allowed to call her Babs.

I was glad that "flat rate" wasn't another play on the flat/apartment thing. It's getting old.

Recently saw Diana Rigg playing one of the daughters in King Lear in a BBC version via Netflix. She was an idol of mine as Mrs. Peel. Of course all things British were very cool back then and I was of a prime age for buying right into it.

@ LMS, You're in fine form today. Esp. in post #2.

I love all of the contractor stories.

Vegan reminded me of an ad I saw yesterday for vegan dog food. Whatever motive you might have for your own diet you will never convince me that it is natural or beneficial for your dog.

If this puzzle isn't exciting enough for you we could always discuss what is an island and what is not - again. ZZZZZ

Sister Bertrille 9:40 AM  

I think the commenter was asking why the “perhaps” with “novice.”

GHarris 9:52 AM  

Once I got the theme I was able to "write in" the angle in the NE. That was the only use I made of the theme. Overall easy and fun.

ghostoflectricity 10:00 AM  

OK, so I figured out the theme pretty quickly because, even though I quickly got "obtuse," I am not obtuse myself. But the long reveal in the middle across ticked me off. I was about to write "knows all the angles" but realized it would not fit so I tried "knows all angles" and that didn't fit either. "Knows every angle"? Ok, I'm sure that expression has been written and said many times, but it is not an iconic or classic expression by any stretch. The classic phrase for a person who is a sharpie (not the writing kind), a city-slicker who has seen every trick in the book (to use another cliché) and knows how to use them all, is "knows all the angles." The constructor used the clumsy and little-used expression "knows every angle" because he couldn't fit anything else. This speaks of good concept and poor execution. If you're going to do an "angle" theme, which I admit is fairly original, then go all the way and use the proper expression ("knows all the angles") as your reveal. Construct your puzzle accordingly. There, enough ranting for today.

paperandink 10:11 AM  

nsfw... not suitable for work? am just guessing

Roo Monster 10:23 AM  

Hey All !
ANGLE me in the liked it column. REFLEX was a new one on me also. Was that taught in school? My memory ain't the greatest, but I believe I would've remembered that. The only REFLEX I know is this little ditty.

Seemed a bunch of Abbrs. in here. Nice use of shaded squares, though. Agree with the PIROGI and ALINED crowd. However, is it an alt. spelling of ALIgNED, or is it supposed to be A LINED? As in A LINE, HEM LINE, etc.? Curious minds.

SKOR has been in puzs BEFORE. I'm surprised MORE let that memory hit the FLOOR, or threw it out the DOOR. It's a CORE xword, so don't go to WAR with your brain next time it SOARS. :-)

GRATUITOUS VEGAN
RooMonster
DarrinV

David 10:31 AM  

In my lifetime I've heard the East Side IRT referred to as, "The Lexington Avenue" line and, less frequently, "The Lexington" line. Never once have I heard it referred to as "The Lex". Nope. Not a thing. Maybe for tourists it is?

Easy puzzle for me as I do know all the angles, but they weren't vdry helpful. Only hiccup was thinking of "Norwegian Wood" as a work for string orchestra by Edvard Grieg so I'm thinking it's got to be either Viola or (ick) "cello" (which is not a real word until we call a bassoon an "oon"). Always forget the boys from England used the same title.

FrankStein 10:35 AM  

@Mo Pariser, 2:17AM

"Rob't" was a common shortening of Robert back when Robert E. Lee was alive. That was the name of the famous steamboat named for him, and "Gen'l Rob't E. Lee" was a popular march.

The 4, 5 and 6 subways in NYC are often called "the Lexington Line." Or abbreviated "I took the Lex down to Union Square."

An author could "ice in" his characters as a plot device.

The O.E.D. is a classic among dictionaries.

GILL I. 10:41 AM  

I'm right up there with @Mo Pariser. (By the way, you piqued my interest...what is your grandfather's go to cocktail?)....
Anyway, far too many Org.'s, e.g.'s, Abbr.'s, and one too many ?'s to keep my interest. Also, my printer spat out the puzzle sans circles or shaded areas so the theme was lost on me. I had to go back and look at the PDF download to see where the shaded area was and it was a complete waste of time...
ANGIES LIST and @Loren's story was worth finishing up this meh puzzle and coming here. I've had my fair share of dealing with contractors but by far my best and finest hour was when my brand spanking new house burned to the ground after living in it for only ONE WEEK. Yep...that happened to me. I was in Modesto at the time and my secretary called me and started with the dreaded "You'd better sit down" news. You can't believe what goes through your mind when your drive takes you over an hour to get to what once was your dream home and now it only smells of smoke. Luckily, all my books and my art collection were still in boxes in the garage and that was the only part of the house still standing.
My insurance agent was a gem of a man. Suggested I see some PARAS or two since it was determined the cause of the fire was faulty wiring. I had 100% replacement and my son and my two dogs were not harmed and I was able to get another new home and this time I could pick out the colors I wanted and real granite tops for the kitchen so...no PARAS for me.
The contractors arrived one by one. I knew every one by name because I was renting a duplex next door and came by EVERY single day to watch. The electrician was my favorite. I followed him around like a dog sniffing a bone. He had hair down to his waist that he braided and his hard hat was pink. I asked him if he knew what he was doing. He just smiled a gorgeous smile; said nothing and we became fast friends. I was NICE to EVERY ONE of them because I was scared to death that if I was mean, my house would Burn down again. Lesson learned...Contractors are like food servers. If you're mean to them, they just might spit in your food.
I got lots of GRATUITOUS stuff and in the end, it worked out for the better. I got a brand new TV!

Rosie McCann 11:02 AM  

David 10:31 As a lifelong New Yorker I can attest that many New Yorkers refer to the 4,5,6 line as the Lex train. As for IRT (and IND and BMT) practically no one uses those terms because they’re not a thing anymore and haven’t been for years.

10:56 AM

Please prove you're not a robot

a jazz listener's thoughts 11:02 AM  

Emma Peel always. Every little boy’s fantasy woman.

a jazz listener's thoughts 11:04 AM  

Or suitable

Carola 11:04 AM  

Cute theme. RIGHT put me on the right track and then OBTUSE helpled me get GRATUITOUS. Like @ghostofelectricity, I confidently began writing in KNOWS all the...oops, ran out of room...but that was easy to correct.
@Glimmerglass, geometry was the high point for me, too. After that it was all downhill until calculus sank me for good.
@Two Ponies, I so wanted "rental" for Flat rate!
EAU, I also live in a city with a NATAtorium.

a jazz listener's thoughts 11:06 AM  

You must not have been listening closely. It’s a very common reference we use all the time. “Take the Lex to Grand Central and transfer to the......”

Fashionista 11:11 AM  

Smartest Bond girl after Honor Blackman. Dumbest Bond girl: Jill St. John.

Langdon 11:13 AM  

Came so close to blowing my streak on this one with a DNF; for a long time I was sure ALINED was the problem. After going to extreme measures, I *finally* figured out the issue might be PeROGI/SeLICA vs. PIROGI/SILICA.

Fashionista 11:14 AM  

I think to be a made-man you have to kill someone.

Fashionista 11:16 AM  

Trump claims he went to Wharton. While that may be true he sure as hell didn’t graduate from Wharton OR Penn.

Fashionista 11:18 AM  

Love the A-line comment.

No other active volcanoes in Europe.

Nancy 11:20 AM  

The LEX is, for better or worse (and right now it's for really, really worse!), my subway line and always has been -- growing up, living in my first apartment, and now living in my present one. So that most of the time with friends in the nabe, it's not necessary to specify; we just say: "let's take the subway tonight, not the bus." When we do need to specify, we always say "the LEX." (@FrankStein's right, you're wrong, @David: I have never ever heard a native NYer say "the Lexington" or "the Lexington Avenue".) If we're going to someplace near an express station, we might say: "Let's walk to 86th and take the 4" (the LEX express). Or we might say: "Too much walking. Too cold out. Let's just take the 6." (the LEX local).

@GILL -- What an awful story! It's wonderful that it had such a happy ending. So now I know two people on the blog who had fires in their homes. @Hartley had a similar experience, though I don't remember it turning out nearly so well. Hope there's no one else here that this happened to! Scary stuff.

Fashionista 11:25 AM  

I agree. Treat them like gold. You will be re-paid handsomely with better-than-great work.

Joseph Michael 11:29 AM  

Puz feels a bit cluttered with junk, such as INT, ATT, UNS, EER, and ORU. And something about NOG neighboring NOGO that doesn't seem RIGHT. But the theme was original and nicely executed. Liked seeing the ANGLES demonstrated.

Also liked learning the word NATANT and the tricky clue for NBA DRAFT.

Would have voted for Superman's arch enemy Luthor as a better clue for LEX.

Other possible recluings:
Commit adultery again - RESIN
Slangily reveal the name of a prostitute - IDAHO

Yeah, I know. I GET that a lot.

Masked and Anonymous 11:32 AM  

One-time math teacher M&A (pre-WedPuz) knew these angles:
ACUTE. RIGHT. OBTUSE. OTHER.

Also learned a new spellin for ALIGNED. M&A Help Desk Official Alternate Dictionary does support ALINED.

Gotta be a hard puzgrid to fill. Not only do U have yer Across and Down answers, U also have to support extra themers ziggin and zaggin thru the whole mess. This almost promises some delightful capital-D Desperation. Faves:

* ROBT/ATT. [to accomodate OBTUSE]
* MPAA/MRI/INT. [OBTUSE hangover area]
* PARAS/SATS/ALINED. [to accomodate RIGHT]
* SKOR/ORU. [OBTUSE hangover area, plus revealer accomodation] Not too bad, actually.
* LEX/XENO/ATNO/ALIENEE. [to accomodate REFLEX]
* ACUTE was accommodated without major incident. Y'all's stink-eye results may vary.

Despite all that primo desperado stuff, M&A still got thru the solvequest without undue sufferin.

staff weeject pick: EOS. It finally dawned on m&e, that she weren't IOS.
Best longislandball stuff: ANGIESLIST. PIROGI. NATANT [kinda sounds like a two-bugs-in-one bargain]. MADEMAN. SMIDGE.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Perl.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


the reflux:
**gruntz**

jberg 11:35 AM  

My angle on the NE -- if we're going to embrace language change, we might want to be open to the spelling reform movement, which involves dropping gratuitous letters like that G and E. (I'm being hypocritical, but that was fun to write.)

I'd never heard of a REFLEX angle -- but know that I've learned about them, they're kind of neat. Every other angle in the puzzle is reflex if you just look at it from the other side.

I'll come back later to see how the discussion on what's a classic develops. I like the definition that it's a classic if it's written in a classical language, like "Orestes" or "The Libation Bearers." Except for music, where the term got recycled to mean the late 18th Century -- it was available for use because nobody had any idea what Greek or Latin music actually sounded like.

We visited Siena last spring (among other places), but never made it to any of the beach towns nearby. I want to go back, so I can have a Toscana cabana banana every morning.

Anonymous 11:36 AM  

@Fashionista. I’m not a supporter but Donald John Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 with a degree in economics. I just looked it up. There’s plenty of true things to smear him with without making things up.

JC66 11:37 AM  

"The LEX" is definitely the go to term for native NYers.

jberg 11:38 AM  

@Loren, you mean TOREOPEN is a DOOK?

CashPo’ 11:40 AM  

I bet there’s a hammock next to that banana cabana.

Whatsername 11:42 AM  

I solve on paper and for some reason there were no circles in my puzzle. None on the printed page and none in the grid on the web site. After skimming the comments, I see no one else mentioned this issue, so apparently just me/mine. Anyway, I finished the fill, then looked for the obvious "angle" answers. Because they were [very cleverly] laid out at an angle, it was pretty much impossible to find them without the circles. I had to come here to get out how the theme played out. Like a few others, I raised an eyebrow at ALINE and ALIENEE and had no idea what LEX stood for. Learned a couple of new ones as well, always a good thing, even when I'm miffed at being stumped. Overall a solid Wednesday.

Whatsername 11:52 AM  

@GILL at 10:41 - I had the same problem with my printer, probably because I have the darkness setting scaled back. Will teach me to double check next time. Very sorry about your bad luck but happy to hear everything turned out okay. Your story reminds me of the old movie "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks and the "independent" contractors. If you haven't seen it, very funny.

Sam G 12:03 PM  

I'm surprised Rex didn't have an issue with the cluing on NBADRAFT, given his propensity to quibble with poorly worded sports clues. In the draft, players (such as guards) are taken from colleges, not from pro teams like the Kings. The Kings are the ones doing the taking. So you would say "The Kings have taken Syracuse guard Malachi Richardson in the draft," because the player doesn't actually become a member of his new NBA team until he signs a contract a few days later. It's a relevant distinction because some players, especially international players, never play for the teams that draft them.

Anyways this is all very nitpicky but I thought that clue was too cute by half.

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

I have to confess that I went off the rails on "ices in." During the time between working on my PhD and my law degree, I was a professional ice climber, as in mountain rescue type stuff when I wasn't climbing or falling off cliffs. I can't wrap my brain around ices in. Iced in, yes, ices in, never. Also, during that odd part of my life, I was also a paralegal, and para to me means someone with no legs. Lastly, my name is Robert, and is often abbreviated at Robt. I share my name with General Lee with pride.

Joe Bleaux 12:09 PM  

Me too re the XENO/LEX cross. (I'd bet that many of us who never heard of the subway line *have* heard of "Supervillain Luthor.")

Nate 12:17 PM  

This puzzle was not on my wavelength whatsoever. I struggled like it was a Friday or something. I'll take my lumps and move on.

QuasiMojo 12:42 PM  

@Whatsername, The Money Pit was a very funny remake of Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House. With Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Now there really is a “classic!” Loy’s discussion with the contractor over which shade of paint to use will leave you all in stitches.

EdFromHackensack 12:42 PM  

To the chef Lady - If you finish with an error, you cannot call it "my fastest Wednesday ever". Just sayin'

old timer 1:09 PM  

My PARA would never use ALIENEE for heir and neither would I. That was the only error in this otherwise great puzzle. In fact, an heir might inherit only cash, and an ALIENEE is someone to whom physical property (real estate, typically) is transferred.

I love every reference to the LEX because I usually stay near the LEX when in NYC. So I know the line almost intimately. Indeed, if I wanted to pay a visit to McSorley's Old Ale House I could probably count off the stations to Astor Place and get there with a blindfold on. And yes, New Yorkers call it the LEX.

ALINE is I think the usual term for adjusting or planing a piece of wood to make it straight, while "align" is usual for making two objects parallel.

As for the NBA DRAFT we do have a hapless team called the Kings, and they could choose a guard in the DRAFT. I am a Warriors fan myself, and fervently hope our guard Steph Curry is able to play in the next round of the finals. Our sportswriters are fretting about the upcoming series against the Pelicans.

Love this group. Most of us seem to be in the same karass, a word we all learned from Vonnegut.

Teedmn 1:25 PM  

Call me OBTUSE, but this puzzle didn't go smoothly for me at all. Rex's KNOWS EVERYthing was one problem. mAfioso first at 24D was another (I first heard the term MADE MAN in the movie "Goodfellas". I'm not a mafia movie/book person myself (hi @Nancy) and Ray Liotta still scares my husband because of that movie.)

My biggest problem came RIGHT off the bat. Reading the clue for 1A, I thought it would be "thus". Checking the cross, I saw 1D would be ETNA, thus 1A would be ERGO. I then put ERGO in at 1D and at 1A. ERGO, TORE OPEN and NBA DRAFT were rather hard to see. It wasn't until I managed to build GRATUITOUS from the bottom up that I noticed my duplication and was able to figure out the NW.

I'm with @Quasi - ALINED should have been clued referencing dresses. While we might have scrunched our noses up at such a usage, it at least wouldn't have inspired grid-rage.

I appreciate the extra effort I had to put into a Wednesday puzzle, so thanks, Adam Perl.

gruffed 1:32 PM  

The physical placement of the angles in the puzzle to reflect the type of angle is kind of neat:

a e o r lex
ct b I f
u t ght e
u r
s
e

Anoa Bob 1:34 PM  

I would have bet an entire six pack of Labatt Blue that I'm one who KNOWS EVERY ANGLE. Wrong. Never heard of a REFLEX one. After some time with Uncle Google, I'm still not convinced that it is a useful or necessary term. Seems like the trio of ACUTE, RIGHT & OBTUSE covers all possible ANGLES and REFLEX is GRATUITOUS, as in "being without apparent reason" or "uncalled for".

If a customer requests a cocktail neat and the barkeep serves it on the rocks, is that an ICE SIN?

Mo Pariser 1:51 PM  

Remarkably written! To be clear- I agree with you regarding the constant growth and evolution of our English language. Bring on your isms and the like. But in the realm of crosswordese I believe there should be higher standards. Every affix and their mother cannot just come storming in uninvited. We have the Kings' guards here afterall.

Would be happy to continue the conversation via email, though I'm having way too much trouble navigating blogspot and google+ to edit my information. PariserM@gmail.

BTW Still smiling at the thought of your herbivorous Natant Newfield.

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

@Fashionista

Fun fact, undergraduates at Penn can earn degrees in economics from either The College of Arts and Sciences ( always simply referred to as "the college") or from Wharton. I think our prez did in fact earn his from Wharton.
That gives me more pause than anything else Wm.c. I mean, why go to business school as an undergrad when you can avail yourself of liberal arts education at an Ivy? If filthy lucre is your thing, and MBA is pretty easy to score later.
and yeah, The Red and the Blue is Penn.

Mo Pariser 1:59 PM  

I've just had a crossword epiphany. There is a Disney's Frozen theme circulating of late. ICES IN ala by Queen Elsa freezing the Fjord, she ICES IN Arendelle.

Whew.

I feel a little better.

sanfranman59 2:11 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 4:57 4:24 1.13 79.7% Medium-Challenging
Tue 4:45 5:31 0.86 20.3% Easy-Medium
Wed 5:42 6:00 0.95 40.5% Medium

It's cusp week so far ... Monday just short of my Challenging range; today and yesterday at the very low end of their respective ranges. Like Rex, I'm sometimes not on the same page as AGP, but this one gave me very little trouble. I had my fastest solve of five AGP Wednesdays.

LEX/XENO (57A/59D) was a bit of speed bump for me as I don't know the NYC subway. NUN (55A) didn't come easily from the clue for this Protestant. I always think the toffee bar (31D) has the same name as the Swedish toast (SKOl). NATANT (45D) and ALIENEE (38D) seemed a little out of place difficulty-wise compared to the rest of the puzzle, though they really didn't slow me down much. FAA is a bit of a stretch from that clue.

Mo Pariser 2:13 PM  

Thanks for that! Had no idea Robert could be abbreviated that way. Glad to learn something new.

I understand the LEX clue, I'm a New Yorker myself. A proper clue would have been "Big Apple Subway Line, colloquially" IMHO

Eh... Yeah an author could ice in a character. Sure. It still don't like it. I prefer my Arendelle example.

I think Classic work is a specific subcategory of literature under which the OED does not fall. This clue is really just another lame attempt at a play on words of sorts. Technically it is a work. It's certainly classic. It's not a Classic work. Or perhaps I'm totally misunderstanding it which is most likely.

Banana Diaquiri 2:35 PM  

@anon/1:51
I think our prez did in fact earn his from Wharton.

sort of. he spent his first two years at Fordham, that commuter school in NYC, then his drunk brother's frat friend snuck him in. BBA from Wharton (then, at least) is worth a brown paper bag.

"1968 Wharton graduate Jon Hillsberg added that there was no indication on the 1968 Commencement Program that Trump graduated with any honors. A copy of the program acquired from the Penn Archives lists 20 Wharton award and prize recipients, 15 cum laude recipients, four magna cum laude recipients and two summa cum laude recipients for the Class of 1968. Trump’s name appears nowhere on those lists."
here: http://www.thedp.com/article/2017/02/trump-academics-at-wharton straight from the horse's mouth.

Anonymous 2:50 PM  

Transfer students count. No sort of about it. Donnie is far from my favorite alumnus, but an alumnus he is.

I never thought of Fordham as a commuter school but I suppose it is.
The really interesting thing about it is its current theology department. Oh my! It's poor form to toss out terms like heretics and heterodoxies but, um, I'm running out of words. Kinda like the football coach. turned the team around. If only cardinal Sarah--the world's best Robert-- could empanel a faculty in the Bronx....

Reasonablewoman 4:30 PM  

@GILL I, Hope your new TV is an HDTVSET

@SAM G, I think "Kings' guards may be taken in it" is easily interpreted as the Kings' obtaining guards rather than guards being taken from them

Donna 4:44 PM  

@Banana 2:35: You seem to use the term “commuter school” pejoratively. If Fordham is a commuter school then so are Columbia and NYU. A large majority of Fordham students live on campus or in off campus housing in the neighborhood. I’d bet that now as well in the late 60s it’s a higher percentage than NYU and maybe Columbia.

GILL I. 5:09 PM  

@Nancy...Thank you for the concern, but when I look back on it, some parts were kinda funny in a "that's what life deals you, so suck it up" sorta way. The clincher:
My divorce from my first husband FINALLY went through and here I was, free at last. I took my son with me to Sacramento, bought the brand NEW house and truly felt untethered for the first time in many moons.
After the smoked had disappeared into the nether's, the handsomest man I had seen (think Cary Grant) in years came up to me, took my arms, explained he was the Fire Chief, and showed me what he and his crew managed to save. He proudly brought out a box with an album In it and said..."I managed to save this album with all your wedding pictures." I asked if I could borrow his lighter.
@Whatsername....YES. Loved "The Money Pit." Remember Tom Hanks crying like a hyena? Didn't have that trouble - just surrounded by a lot of good looking straight men who happened to be single!
@RW...No! It was a huge RCA!

Bob Mills 5:32 PM  

Really nice puzzle. If I'd been constructing it, I'd never have used "NATANT" because I wouldn't have believed it's a word.

t-dawg 5:41 PM  

Like many others, I quibble with ALINED (without a "Var." modifier) and ALIENEE (which in fact refers to anyone you're giving property to for any reason, it does not have anything specifically with heirs).

Fashionista 5:45 PM  

I stand corrected.

Anonymous 6:19 PM  

Correctomundo

Joe Dipinto 6:27 PM  

I took the LEX to the 86th St. station every day to get to high school. The 1,2,3 were the 7th Avenue line, the ACE the 8th Avenue line, the N and R the Broadway line, and the 7 the Flushing line.

It seems to me the NYT has routinely used the ALINE variant in the puzzle, so I don't know the big fuss is about.

Re Streisand: I can't imagine anyone would dare call her "Babs" to her face, but the print media often uses it as shorthand.

@Mohair Sam -- I remember the scene with Myrna Loy in that movie. As I recall, "Robin's Egg Blue" was one of the many colors that was just *not quite exactly* what she wanted.

Now all I can hear is
Copaaaa
Copacabaanaaa
Like in Havaanaaa
Have a banaanaaa
Music and passion
Always in fashion
(dance break...)

jae 6:29 PM  

Diana Rigg was also in the second series of Victoria on PBS’s Masterpiece. She played the Dutchess of Buccleuch.

Joe Dipinto 6:53 PM  

@Mohair Sam -- found it!

Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don't let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I'd like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can't go wrong! Now, this is the paper we're going to use in the hall. It's flowered, but I don't want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There's some little dots in the background, and it's these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room - in here - I want you to match this thread, and don't lose it. It's the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it's practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me...

Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?

Charlie: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.

Mr. PeDelford: Check.

Joe Dipinto 8:03 PM  

@QuasiMojo -- Oh, SORRY! I misattributed your post to Mohair Sam. That's what happens when I keep scrolling up and down and all over the place, I guess. Apologies.

Two Ponies 10:17 PM  

@ Joe DiPinto, Another one for the Netflix queue! Thanks.

QuasiMojo 11:00 PM  

@Joe Dipinto — no problem! It’s hilarious either way.,thanks!

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