Hau pioneering physicist from Denmark / THU 4-26-18 / Bell Atlantic merger partner of 2000 / Greek peak on which Zeus was hidden as infant / Mideast city with stock exchange / Classic catalog provider

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Constructor: Alex Eaton-Salners

Relative difficulty: Medium (or brutal, depending on how you navigated that ridiculous proper noun crossing at 28A/23D)


THEME: "with respect to this answer's location" — themers are phrases where the number of the clue is the first part of the phrase; theme clues refer you to other answers in the grid, which provide the real clues. Thus:

Theme answers:
  • 1A: 5-Across, with respect to this answer's location ((1) OVER) — because (the number of the clue) OVER is a BOGEY, which is the answer to 5-Across: Golf score
  • 24A: 22-Across, with respect to this answer's location ((24) SEVEN) (22A: Without stopping = ENDLESSLY)
  • 40A: 41-Across, with respect to this answer's location ((40) WINKS) (41A: Time out? = NAP)
  • 50A: 46-Across, with respect to this answer's location ((50) FIFTY) (46A: In fairness = EQUALLY)
Word of the Day: LENE Hau, pioneering physicist from Denmark (23D) —
Lene Vestergaard Hau (born November 13, 1959 in VejleDenmark) is a Danish physicistwith a PhD from Aarhus University. In 1999, she led a Harvard University team who, by use of a Bose-Einstein condensate, succeeded in slowing a beam of light to about 17 metres per second, and, in 2001, was able to stop a beam completely. Later work based on these experiments led to the transfer of light to matter, then from matter back into light, a process with important implications for quantum encryption and quantum computing. More recent work has involved research into novel interactions between ultracold atoms and nanoscopic-scale systems. In addition to teaching physics and applied physics, she has taught Energy Science at Harvard, involving photovoltaic cellsnuclear powerbatteries, and photosynthesis. As well as her own experiments and research, she is often invited to speak at international conferences, and is involved in structuring the science policies of various institutions. She was keynote speaker at EliteForsk-konferencen 2013 ("Elite Research Conference") in Copenhagen, which was attended by government ministers, as well as senior science policy and research developers in Denmark (wikipedia)
• • •

Not hard to understand this theme, but weirdly awkward to describe. I think of "this answer's location" as referring to its position in physical space, not its clue number, so the theme clue phrasing was hard to understand at first. I saw that OVER was just to the left of, or before, or adjacent to BOGEY, and I didn't quite get how OVER's "location" was relevant. Also, OVER itself seemed to want to be a direction. I quickly saw, though, that its clue number was relevant. Anyway, "location" is not the most helpful or accurate word to use in the theme clues, but like I said, you can suss out the meaning without too much trouble, I think. I liked the theme fine. The rest of the grid, though, had some major issues, the biggest of which is a proper noun crossing which should be Lit Up Neon for any constructor, any editor, any proofreader, dear lord, somebody intervene. RYN / LENE is a goshdarn absurdity. Everyone knows Rembrandt, but that "van RYN" part is far far less well known, and when you cross the "N" with LENE ... holy moses, that is rough. LENE Hau sounds remarkably accomplished, but a. she's hugely obscure, as crossword names go (if she weren't, you'd've seen HAU by now), b. her name is highly uncommon, c. her name is largely uninferrable. That *entire* NW corner should've been gutted and redone. I see that there is the little problem of *two* different theme answers being involved, but when you end up with RYN / LENE, *and* you have ANSE (!?!?!), which is possibly more obscure than LENE, I mean ... you really oughta rethink what you're doing here. I beg all constructors to erase ANSE from your wordlists. It's rank obscurantism and makes people want to punch their crosswords (even / especially those of us who know it).


Always tricky to figure out verb phrases that end in prepositions. Should be a word for that wincey hesitation that comes when you write, say, OPENS ... INTO? ... er ... ONTO ... no? ... how about ... oh, really, IN ON? Huh. EASED BY was less difficult to figure out, though even then I considered "IN" before "BY." I had trouble with the Japanese airport NARITA (27A: Airport serving greater Tokyo) because I now have an interference problem from the popular manga NARUTO, which I have also seen (though far less commonly) in crosswords. But beyond that, and the entire WNW area, there weren't many snags in this one. Pretty smooth sailing. Theme was complicated-seeming, but honestly didn't cause many STRUGGLES. I liked it, but I wish constructors would understand that your clever theme won't be what people remember if you can't handle the fill in the rest of the grid. One **** crossing like RYN / LENE, and the whole thing blows up in your face.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Here is a hilarious bit of editorial self-defense from the *last* time the NYT tried to foist LENE on the solving public (h/t Andy Kravis). For the record, I prefer *this* LENE, but mostly I prefer no LENE.

P.P.S. ALL is duped in this grid (7D: GO ALL / 42D: ALL HERE), which isn't great form, but someone else pointed it out to me, so I can't get too mad about it.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

134 comments:

Harryp 12:27 AM  

This is why I do the NYT crossword puzzle. I am sure that a great many of you caught on to the Theme early, and were able to use it to you're advantage. I saw it at 1A OVER 5A BOGEY, but the others did not come as quickly. I finished before going back and sussing out the others and it was well worth it. My time was 45:48 against my Thursday average of 30:43, but I am not a speed solver by any means, and was able to savor the solve. An abundance of Proper Nouns, but this didn't matter. It made my evening. TKS, Alex Eaton-Salners and William Short for this poser. We can't always have a Rebus Thursday.

puzzlehoarder 12:36 AM  

A cousin got married last Saturday so I've been away with relatives I haven't seen in years and getting reacquainted with the old sod.

Wish I was coming back on a better note but I left RYS in place of RYN. All these little facts are hard to keep track of.

It makes no difference but as clued LENE is a debut. She's all of 58 and not particularly famous but Rembrandt? Oh well. I've noted RIJN/RYN yet again in my Webster's. Usually it takes about four times before these things sink in.

Other than this little irritation it was a fun solve.

Brian 12:37 AM  

And Ventnor\Roberti and Ventnor\Ryn and Apolo\Elroy and Lehman\Luis\IMtIda\Kidd And....

TJS 12:40 AM  

This was possibly the worst puzzle I have wasted my time on in all my years of doing crosswords. I dont even know where to start in describing what a waste of time this was. Garbage. And how Rex can try to justify any part of it just extends the idiocy.

Brian Miles 1:02 AM  

Agree on both the theme being cute but awkward and the wnw corner being absolutely horrendous.

Deep Mac 1:14 AM  

I totally agree with Rex on the RYN/LENE crossing. LENE: forget it, there's no way I knew that. But a little voice in my head said "Rembrandt van RYK." I usually trust my hunches, but that friggin' wrong K held me up in that area for a while.

Cliff Robinson 1:24 AM  

I thought the 1D /16A crossing was also pretty tough. Obviously had to be a vowel, and A seemed mostly likely but it was just a guess.
Isn’t it Rembrandt von RIJN? Just brutal in that spot.
Tbh I didn’t understand the theme at all. I knew it had something to do with clue numbers but just figured out the answers from crosses and general language clues. Ugh. Not a fan.

LHS 888 1:30 AM  

DNF for me. I knew RYN, but still couldn’t come up with LENE. MCI for GTE didn’t help. Add ANSE and that’s all folks.
I did enjoy the aha moment when I finally grokked the theme.

Mo Pariser 2:01 AM  

DNF on two accounts: ONAGER/ANSE, LENE/RYN. Rex put it well. Definitely a tough solve up there.

Much silver lining, though. Had lots of fun with the theme once I figured out what "location" meant. Originally wanted HOLE in 1 (ACROSS) instead of 1 OVER. Then I got wind of what was going on and had a good time with it.

NBA and APOLO making their rounds again. G'day gents, nice to see ya. Same time tomorrow?

Favorites of the day- OH FUDGE! and MAGNETO. Ah, to be an adolescent boy again. If I'm being completely honest, I still watch all the new XMen movies. Haven't used FUDGE in that context since Jr. High though. I'm a grown-up now, I can say what I want!

Oh and USAIN Bolt of lighting speed! Belongs in a Jeopardy Before and After category. Loved that one.

Also much appreciated the fluky appropriateness of NIMBI up front and center. NYC could be a bit drier. And clearer. And less depressing. Tomorrow can we get SEVENTYANDSUNNY? Thank you crossword gods.
.

OK, off to watch some Barry. It's my new binge. Love MESAm Bill Hader.

phil phil 2:02 AM  

I’ve been to Amsterdam so kind of thinking of the museum name, Dyk was it? no Rijks. But there is an artist van Dyck...anyway thought RYK was a fine upstanding hollander name. Hadn’t a clue of a danish name so LEKE was just as fine and upstanding.

Melrosd 2:23 AM  

Would somebody please explain 21 down USAIN to me?

Anonymous 2:50 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle and disagree completely about the Ryn/Lene crossing. One doesn’t need to be an art expert to know it’s “van Ryn” and, however it’s spelled, it ends in “n.” Thus, “Lene “ is fairly inferable from crosses. I suspect Professor Hau and her colleagues are having quite a chuckle this morning at her name being the subject of such a foofaraw, just before they go on to discovering some new phenomenon most of us will never understand.

jae 2:51 AM  

Mostly easy except for @ Rex OPENS INto before OPENS IN ON, and I was iffy about the Rembrandt answer. I thought there was a J in there somewhere? (FWIW, I only know about the J, and ANSE, and ULAN, and ONAGER, and MT IDA from one and a half decades + of crossword addiction).

OTOH, I knew NARITA because my daughter flew into Tokyo last week and we followed her flight on line.

This was one where I ignored the theme until the very end when it came in handy to fix my INto problem. A fine Thurs., liked it.

Dolgo 2:51 AM  

I've never seem "Ryn," and I think I know my Dutch painters pretty well. But, of course, it's not to hard to figure out, given the fact that there were three spaces. As a student of English Renaissance literature, I know that spelling was fluid long ago. Shakespeare spelled his own name several ways. There were more than the usual number of proper names, but it's nice to add them to my list.

As for the theme--I can just say that sometimes these things are clever than they need to be.

Unknown 2:55 AM  

Usain Bolt is a famous Olympic runner (“of lightning speed”)

jae 3:06 AM  

@Mo P - Barry is delightfully quirky and you get The Fonz.

sanfranman59 4:39 AM  

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

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

Mon 4:57 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
Thu 11:34 10:01 1.15 73.0% Medium-Challenging

I liked the theme. Neat idea, but I got it almost right away. I might have had a Medium solve time had I not botched up the NW with Ocelot before ONAGER (1D) and EdgED BY before EASED BY (3D). Plus, I can never remember the random 4-letter string that is the "As I Lay Dying" father (16A).

I had NARudA before NARITA (27A ... doh!) and NAh before NAW (25D) at first in the NE, but that didn't hold things up too much. Interesting factoid about Estonia at 33A. OPENS IN ON (6D) didn't thrill me. Nor was I crazy about DEALT for "Decked out?" (60A). I'm a fan of Scrabblyness, so this gets points in my book.

Oh, and I almost forgot about LENE Hau in the NW. Wikipedia says she's a distinguished scientist who's done impressive-sounding work in quantum encryption, quantum computing, ultracold atoms and nanoscopic scale systems. Thank goodness someone's doing that, but is she cross-worthy? I vote no, at least until she wins a Nobel Prize.

Doug McVey 4:55 AM  

I knew VAN RIJN so VAN RYN wasn’t a huge stretch. But I got killed on the MT IDA/INGA crossing. Didn’t know the actress, but ING_ to me yields INGE, and what’s wrong with MT IDE if you haven’t heard of IDA?

John Child 5:59 AM  

I found this pretty easy - slightly under Wednesday average time according to the app. By the time the theme was clear I was nearly done, so it played like an easy themeless puzzle here. Several errors in the NW, but they sorted out quickly enough. I’m glad I recognized ONAGER (not Onaner!) and MT IDA.

Not much sparkle but certainly not MISERABLE. Hard to believe, but STRUGGLES is a debut word for the Times. I remain a huge Jetsons fan and played on a trivia team called His Boy ELROY, so a gimme there. Five more theme squares than yesterday, but still kind of light. Getting the pairs in the right places must of been a bear. That certainly excuses the segmented grid. Constructor’s notes discussing cheater squares and their effect on numbering took several readings to get clear.

Anonymous 6:25 AM  

Lene is completely inferable if you grew up in Scandinavian-filled Minnesota hearing Ole and Lene jokes...

Charles Flaster 6:27 AM  

Easy with one write over— OPENS IN ON after OPENS IN to.
Did not need theme at all but sussed it out at FORTY WINKS.
Never changed RYs so a DNF pour moi.
I happen to reside two streets from VENTNOR Avenue in NJ.
Trivia contest in school ( many years ago) was to name the red, yellow , and green properties in Monopoly. My team did not do well with it.
Also liked OH FUDGE!
Thanks AE-S

Lewis 6:32 AM  

Lovely "aha" at seeing the theme, and an even bigger one at figuring out the clue to "Ever-rising number", which upon getting seemed obvious, but until that moment was very elusive. I've always heard RIJN, so for a while I was wondering if a rebus was going on, and "TIPTOED" for the clue "Carefully got around" held me up. Then, I thought BOGEY was one *word* over from OVER, which stopped me from seeing the theme for a while. Plus, I didn't know LENE, ROBERTI, NARITA, and INGA, and didn't remember ANSE and MTIDA.

So, lots of SNAGs to work through. And that's why I come to the grid, folks. Give me STRUGGLES first, then a little affirmation to sweeten the experience. Without the former, the latter is empty. Just let it be fair, and this one was (I think the N in RYN was inferable, that enough people have heard of it or "Rijn"). Very grateful, Alex!

Glimmerglass 6:59 AM  

“As I Lay Dying” is one of my favorite novels—different POV in every chapter, some very challenging. Just the title is challenging. ANSE shows up in xwords from time to time just to remind me. Rembrandt’s last name is familiar (but LENE entirely from crosses). Great tricky theme!

John Morrison 7:00 AM  

A more common spelling for RYN is RIJN.

sf27shirley 7:04 AM  

One person's obscure is another's gimme. If you read literature, clues such as 16A aren't obscure. Obscure to people who don't watch TV are things such as the Simpson boy's friend. Keep the literary clues! Isn't our culture dumbed down enough?

Two Ponies 7:11 AM  

I loved the theme but it was such a tortured journey to get there that I'm not sure it was worth it.
I counted 30 proper nouns.
This was some of the most awkward cluing I can remember.
43D does not read well at all. It seems like a forced effort to be PC with the use of "them".
"Tugs of war" looks wrong the same way "Attorneys General" does.
62A: Age is an ever-rising number....until you die.
Nice try Alex but it's a leaner, not quite a ringer.

AW 7:15 AM  

One tough solve, especially in that upper left corner. Always thought it was "von Rijn" so couldn't figure out what other "Rembrandt von" the puzzle could be looking for.

But, please, golfers: "One over" what? A bogey is just "one over"? There has to be a noun missing, no? If someone asks you how you did, do you really reply, "One over"?

kitshef 7:18 AM  

A very good idea, poorly executed. The wording on the themers is awkward as all get-out.

But the fill is what killed this. ANSE, ROBERT I, RYN, INGA, LENE, OPENS IN ON, GO ALL, ALL HERE, and of course BASEST of all … PLEASER. Briefly tried to rebus 'ij' for that 'Y' in Rembrandt because, well, that's how everybody spells it. Also if you are doing LENE, LENE Lovich should be your go-to.

Plus there is that awful, awful clue for ECO.

I do like the clue for USAIN, one of maybe a half dozen athletes in my life that just made my jaw drop.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

This puzzle is a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.
But I finished in half my usual time.

abalani500 7:36 AM  

“In your dreams!” equals “HAH”??? Why not “look what I have and you don’t, you pathetic excuse for a human being!”?

SJ Austin 7:39 AM  

The cross that did me in was INGA/IDA. I guessed an E instead of an A.

I thought the theme was fun. Took me till the last occurrence to figure it out, and then I went back and used it to help with some other clues. That's the way a theme should work, right?

Jeff Lewis 7:51 AM  

Well, I had tiptoed instead of EASEDBY for way too long, was able to cross Trim for NEAT and iTt for GTE, so I stubbornly hung on, even though I couldn’t think of anything that AAA gave out with an “m” in it. But it was the aSTONIANS that led to my defeat, although they do sound like a noble breed, don’t they?

Birchbark 7:52 AM  

The idle delight of a SEARS catalog with all of its possibilities. It doubled as a booster seat at family gatherings. Of course, these rosy memories don't consider the mailman's perspective.

50A FIFTY threw me into a feedback loop, a theme answer oddity unrelated to the solution -- which I didn't get until coming here.

Hungry Mother 7:52 AM  

All of the trivia! I’m looking for a rebus with some clever wordplay and I end up playing trivia games. Worthless waste of time!!!

Steve Zisser 7:53 AM  

So... for an iconic MARVEL villain, clued as a MARVEL villain, the best you could come up with is the DC/Marvel Amalgam cover?

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

@AW - yes, you say "one over." At the golf course, it means "one stroke over par" - at the diner, it means "one egg over easy." But you just say "one over." Language, try it sometime.

Stanley Hudson 7:59 AM  

Finished the puzzle, still hazy on the theme, and don’t care to expend the effort to suss it out. On to conquer the day.

Unknown 8:31 AM  

Ugg is not an Australian brand. An ugg is a common noun in Australia, describing high ankle sheepskin footwear. An American company decided to trademark the design style as the brand ‘Ugg Australia’ and mark it up 10x, so this clue rubbed me the wrong way.

DNF thanks to Anse, but got Lene via crosses. I thought Rembrandt’s name was commonly known.

MsCarrera 8:33 AM  

I don't understand endlessly and seven. Would someone help me out please? Thanks

GHarris 8:37 AM  

Done in by the NW. Had van Rys, and edged by, didn’t equate trim with neat and never heard of Lene or Anse. Otherwise,just a walk in the park including, once I caught on, the clever theme.

mmorgan 8:38 AM  

Didn't know LENE but RYN was easy (although I usually see it as RIJN), so no problem there for me. My problem was CRAIG (who??) and my inability to see DEALT or TRIBE on top of not knowing SCREE. But the theme answers were lots of fun and I wished there could have been more of those. I guess I can overlook fill problems, at least to some extent, with such a clever and enjoyable theme.

Happy 101st birthday, I.M. Pei!

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

@Dolgo: You don't.

Stuart Showalter 8:47 AM  

Okay, so Rex didn’t know RYN and LENE, ergo it’s an “absurdity” and someone should’ve intervened. But if he knew more of the answers it would’ve been “too easy” for a Thursday. Whiners gonna whine, and haters gonna hate.

I for one do the NYT xword for the challenge and to learn something. So chill out, Rex, and get over yourself.

Stuart Showalter 8:48 AM  

Yes, it is commonly known.

QuasiMojo 8:49 AM  

I didn't mind today's offering, except for the repeat ALL which I noticed and groaned at. It OPENS IN ON redundancy.

ANSE is crosswordese from long ago. It means "handle" or an arc in geometry. I see on google it is also a "commune" in France. The Urban Dictionary says it means "snitch." I rather like that. "Don't be such an ANSE, you dirty rat!"

RYN TIN EAR. I knew it as RIJN so I put in RIN. That held me up a moment but can't really qualify as a STUMBLING BLOCK. No, that most HONORABLE snag goes to BOGEY. I thought it was spelled BOGIE like the actor. I haven't been on a golf course since a LIGHTNING BOLT nearly hit me.

I'm sure someone has made a bawdy limerick about whether to MT IDA or not. WINKS here.

For a moment I thought Japan had named an airport after Pat MORITA. But Michael JORDAN helped me out there.

So this one was not LE NE Plus Ultra (yeah, I know, UGG). So what. I EASED BY and found it a PLEASER more than a TRIAL.

Thanks again to JOE DIPINTO for the hilarious quote from "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse" yesterday evening. I suggest that ALL HERE check it out for a NEAT little chuckle.

kitshef 8:52 AM  

@MsCarrera 8:33 - If something runs 24-SEVEN it runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and therefore does not end.

ArtO 8:57 AM  

Wanted RIJN for Rembrandt name but sussed out the RYN. LENE crossing was readily doable after settling on RYN...simply the English pronunciation.

All in all a clever puzzle and worthy of a little extra time. To struggle and complain about it is ridiculous. The whole idea of end of week puzzles is to make you work a little harder. If all you care about is your speed, more's the pity.

Anonymous 9:08 AM  

Immediately thought it must be a rebus puzzle, or else how could you fit RIJN into three boxes? RYN? Seriously?

Bob Mills 9:09 AM  

I'm proud to have finished this one without an error. I agree with Rex that the phrasing of the theme clues was misleading, but the construction was a touch of genius. My compliments to the constructor.

Seth 9:14 AM  

The linked self-defense about the last LENE is especially hilarious because (as explained in the comments on that page) even his explanation of LENE's definition is wrong! Swing and a miss twice.

QuasiMojo 9:16 AM  

@Kitshef, your comment at 8:52AM reminded me of the time I saw a sign on a store window that said "OPEN 24-7 Except Sundays."

Wm. C. 9:19 AM  


For me, NARITA was the first fill of the day.

By coincidence, I was talking to an Israeli-citizen yesterday about long airline flights, since he was flying to visit family (in TEL AVIV, of all places) with his wife next week. I countered with the fact that when I was working as a computer-industry Sales/marketing exec, there was a period of time when I had to travel to Tokyo NARITA (from Boston, an epic journey) once a month for over a year because of some problems with our subsidiary there.

I'd arrive in Tokyo early Monday after a few hours ragged sleep on the plane, and leave for home Friday noon, just after somewhat acclimating to the other-side -of-the-world time zone, only to need to re-acclimate. No-one was happier than me when we were able to find a qualified replacement as president of the sub ... Not an easy thing to do with Japan's tradition of employment-for-life.

So when my eye caught the clue while scanning the list, in it went!

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

The clue for 43 Down, "One who does what people want them to do" Shouldn't the word "them" be "him/her" instead?

Ken R 9:29 AM  

Thought the puzzle was quite fair. Seems one man's struggle is in another man's wheelhouse. Agree with Lene but Ryn was in the deep recesses of my mind. Didn't know Marvel comics but crosses worked. I do agree that the literary clues should continue as it's nice to learn something new each day. I'd rate this one easy for a Thursday for sure. Have a great day all !

Z 9:37 AM  

Spellling and vowels are notoriously inconsistent, especially regarding names. Nevertheless, in no alphabet or spelling anywhere does “Y” represent the sound in Rembrandt’s last name. Representing “van Rijn” as “van RYN” takes two vowel sounds and mushes them together as if they are one sound. Inaccurate, sub-optimal, WTF, wrong. You pick your preferred descriptor. I was sure the answer was Rijn, but not knowing how to condense four sounds into three squares that middle letter sat blank until nearly the end. Bah! Humbug!

Regarding LENE, Sadly, Rex is right, probably not crossworthy. That she isn’t and Kanye is is a stain on our cultural zeitgeist.

I haven’t toted up the PPP. Any wagers on the percentage?

TJS 9:37 AM  

@ArtO, "To struggle and complain about it is ridiculous." I didn't have a problem completing the puzzle, I dont concern myself with finishing times, and I enjoy being challenged by a greater degree of difficulty. I just found this puzzle to have a too cutesy, non-verbal theme and unenjoyable fill. I thought the purpose of this site was to share opinions, not just praise.

Gretchen 9:37 AM  

I loved this clever theme! figured it out at 40 winks being a nap and then the others fell easily into place.

Roo Monster 9:41 AM  

Hey All !
Cool puz. I'm sure it took some doing to get 24A & 50A into their respective spots. At first, I was looking for PAR to be in 13A, ergo, 1A would correspond to BOGEY as 1 OVER PAR. But figured it out after getting NAP, then 40 WINKS.

Not too shabby fill, considering the Can't-change-location-themers. Even managed to sneak in a Q! Also here with the OPENSINON brain teaser. Had OPENSupto, then in to, then on to, finally IN ON. STRUGGLES with that one. Agree on the N Natick of RYN/LENE, but I guessed it correctly! HAH! So those two were the only MISERABLE OH FUDGE moments.

Nice clue for 63A. Kept thinking, "I'm tired of these Supreme Court clues." USAIN clue nice also.

Just a quick recap of the themers, for those who missed it:
BOGEY=1 OVER
ENDLESSLY=24 SEVEN
NAP=40 WINKS
EQUALLY=50 FIFTY

GO ALL Y SHAPE
RooMonster
DarrinV

Rob 9:42 AM  

RYN/LENE was a hardcore Natick, but as a web/app solver, I was able to get everything else and just type in letters until it told me I was right. Otherwise well-pitched for a Thursday, tough but fair. The theme was helpful in solving, which was nice and kind of rare.

Wm. C. 9:42 AM  

...and oh, yes a few other comments ... I had VENTNOR and EASEDBY, so _YN for Rembrandt, and I pulled the "R" our of some depths of my memory pool, giving me LEN_ for the Danish physicist, but I had no clue what the online voting country was. I wanted Australia for a long time, but couldn't get enough crosses to prove it, and I had OPENS ONTO instead of IN ON to confuse things. So I finally googled the physicist in order to wrap things up.

I got MT IDA off M__D_ even though I had no idea that it was a Greek peak. The second letter almost certainly had to ne a "T" for Mount (though there was no abbreviation indication in the clue). I quickly sussed out what it was, because there's a small Mount Ida college here in the Boston News because it's closing down, much to the consternation of many of its constituents.

Overall, a well-over-Wednesday-time for me, like many others. Normally, I like a challenging mid-week puzzle, but this one was very I didn't find very satisfying, for many of the reasons noted in the posts above.

michiganman 9:57 AM  

Major mental block! I knew BOGEY was OVER par but didn't see the "1" part. I realized WINKS had to do with sleep. I even thought of FIFTY said twice being EQUALLY. ENDLESSLY & SEVEN made zero sense. I never saw the "40", "24", "50" part. I never did a xword where the square number itself was part of the answer.

GILL I. 10:01 AM  

Well dang. This is what I wrote down right after I solved: Clever and well done. Nothing felt compromised and no usual UGG factor. Then I come here and see most of you having fits over RYN and LENE and how the J is missing and ANSE should go the way Yoko Ono should, blah blah blah.
Tough crowd today.
My little nit was something my grandmother would say to me over and over which was to never end a sentence in a preposition. OPENS IN ON gave me a tiny wince....just an itty one since I know that I before E except after C is also gone by the wayside.
Took me quite some time before my big AHA came to light. Oh, SEVEN/24...THAT"S how ENDLESSLY made sense. Went back upstairs to confirm 1/OVER BOGEY and just smiled. I thought this very clever and fun.
I had some spelling issues but few STRUGGLES once I got the theme.
I know ANSE as a handle. Didn't know LENE and had trouble with RYN without his J but I've seen him spelled this way before. So, to me, LENE was gettable.
@Birchbark. Laughed at your SEARS catalog booster seat. We always used the yellow and white telephone books. I hated getting them but they at least served an end purpose.

felix fortinbras 10:02 AM  

I DNFed for the exact same problem. Let's see if we remember it the next time it (inevitably) shows up.

Unknown 10:04 AM  

It’s 24/7. The word seven is in 24 across. “My neighbor practices on his oboe 24/7”

Andrew Heinegg 10:08 AM  

Gill I. A shout out to you for your 5:00 p.m. post of yesterday. It had my better half and I in stitches. If others have not seen it, take a minute.

Amelia 10:11 AM  

Wow. Am I alone in loving this puzzle? Took me quite a while to get the theme and it was STILL hard. Loved 24 seven. Very clever.

You don't need to be a college professor to know that it's Rembrandt von Rijn. And that's the problem. It's not Ryn at Wikipedia. So yes, that was tricky and annoying. What you get when you Google. "Including results for rembrandt van rijn. Search only for rembrandt van ryn." They both exist, but one is more prevalent than the other. So what.

Great job!!!

Mohair Sam 10:16 AM  

Yeah, me too, guessed RYS/LESE in our case. Terrific theme, different always being good here in Cruciverbia.

Poor LEHMAN Brothers - went under before Washington decided the American taxpayer should bail out the starving masses on Wall Street.

I didn't know LENE was a common Scandinavian name. Did you know Siri is also a common name in Scandinavia? We know a Siri, lovely American born girl of Norwegian heritage, she used to love her unusual name, from the old Norse for "beautiful victory". Now that it's one of the world's best known acronyms her feelings are decidedly different.

INGA Swenson absolutely stole every episode of "Benson". Speaking of theft - looks like it would be super easy to steal an election in ESTONIA - the rulers there are certainly the ones with the best hackers. You guys bitchin' about ANSE and LENE and not a peep about ROBERTI?

Enjoyable and different Thursday, although a bit naticky - thanks AES.

deerfencer 10:19 AM  

Awful. Where's the editor when you need him?

Z 10:25 AM  

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns as a percentage of the puzzle. Anything over 33% will cause some set of solvers STRUGGLES

32 of 76 for a OMG worthy 42%. This high of a percentage and a quadruple PPP collision like LENE crossing ROBERT I, RYN, and ESTONIANS is just about inevitable.

The List

APOLO Ohno
ANSE Bundren
SEARS
GTE
MENLO Park
ULAN Bator
ROBERT I
NARITA
Rembrandt van RIJN (Bah! Humbug!)
ESTONIANS
LEHMAN Brothers
San LUIS Obispo
Daniel CRAIG
Captain KIDD
MESAs in Canyonland National Park
INGA Swenson
Monica SELES
Richard GERE

VENTNOR Avenue
AAA RTE suggestions
ELROY Jetson
TEL AVIV
MAGNETO
IRA
La MER
USAIN Bolt
LENE Hau
Michael JORDAN
Legolas, wood ELF of Mirkwood
MT. IDA
UGG
KIA Rio

Nancy 10:34 AM  

Had no idea what was going on. But since all the theme answers seemed to be numbers, when I finally came back to 1A where I had ---R, I confidently wrote in FOUR, instead of OVER. This gave me f---ER for the Asiatic animal; o---NOR for the Monopoly Avenue and u---DBY for "carefully got around.

Needless to say, I DNF in the fiendish NW.

A complicated theme that required far more effort than I was PREPared to make (admittedly I'm sick) and, even where I did manage to solve, wasn't any fun. Like a nightmare version of "Jeopardy", where none of the arcane knowledge required happens to be the arcane knowledge that you possess.

Blue Stater 10:35 AM  

In any case, it's Rembrandt van RIJN, not van RYN, so the whole business, in addition to being outrageous and unfair, is wrong to boot. I wonder how WS will try to defend *this* one.

floatingboy 10:47 AM  

Expected you to lose it again over ECO label.

Carola 10:48 AM  

I thought this was a nicely intriguing Thursday. I got the idea with 40 WINKS=NAP, then went back and mopped up 1 OVER and 24 SEVEN (my favorite).
A ton of (as they say in Crosswordland) experience in filling grids definitely helped, from names (ANSE, MAGNETO, VENTNOR, APOLO, KIA, MENLO) to beasts (ONAGER) to three-letter-just-write-it-ins (INK, TMI, IRA, ECO). No idea about LENE or INGA, but I luckily did know the crucial crosses RYN and MT IDA. One other name was a temporary SNAG: I mis-remembered the Jetson youth as leROY, so my golf score started out as an eaGle.

Nancy 10:54 AM  

@Quasi and @Joe Dipinto -- I found that hysterical Myrna Loy paint scene from "Mr. Blandings" on YouTube last night and had a good laugh. Here's the link

jberg 11:21 AM  

My mind was unable to suss out the "location means clue number" thing, so DNF (although I did fill in all the scquares completely.)

Now go to your local museum, find a painting by Rembrandt, and see what is says on the label. Aha -- it's "van Rijn." This being Thursday, I figured it was a one-way rebus -- y on the downs, ij on the acrosses. Didn't we have one of these recently? On a Sunday, maybe? I should have figured it wouldn't repeat that soon.

OTOH, I had BERTfrom the crosses (for William's father); thought it was RO-BERT, but it could have been HU or EG, so I let those two letters wait -- but however it started, it had to end with a Roman numeral, and I didn't think there were 5, 10, or 50 of him, so that square was I, confirming OPENS INTO, (or so I thought).

My grandmother was named LENa (with sisters Olga and IDA, but not ALGA), but the clue said Danish, and I knew a Danish LENE once, so that was OK.

My only other problems were ShalE before SCREE, and knowing that it had to be the Estonians who were into on-line voting (one of their early post-independence presidents was a political science professor who studies that kind of thing), but I left it waiting until I figured INto could be IN ON. (Or "OPENS ANON," but that didn't quite fit the clue.)

MT>> IDA is in the news here in Boston, as the eponymous college just closed very abruptly -- they had accepted next year's class, taken deposits, and given the faculty new contracts. The their president suddenly announced that the school would close immediately, faculty would get 3-months severance, and the campus had been sold to the U. of Mass. The same guy used to be president of the university I'm retired from. He didn't do that, but he did fire 12 high administrators with no notice late one Friday afternoon. We were glad to get rid of him a year later. I didn't know about Zeus hiding there, but it was still pretty easy.

@Loren, I'll leave @Anonymous 9:07 to you.

Jack Schidt 11:22 AM  

It's a real surprise to see the reactions to Ryn. I was pleased with myself to plonk it down immediately. Just because something doesn't Google to your liking does not disqualify it. And @ Z, why the sudden dislike of Kanye? I bet his was your darling before you saw him in that red hat and now he's a stain.
'Scuze me, I'm on my way out for some target practice with my Yeti cooler.

DBlock 11:22 AM  

I was fine with RYN/LENE
My stumbling block was Leroy rather than Elroy which was odd because I knew it was bogey
Just stared at it forever until the ‘duh’ moment
I liked the theme once I figured it out at equally fifty/fifty
Oh and my mom has a house on Ventnor Avenue

Tim Aurthur 11:31 AM  

I thought the theme was brilliant, a true AHA, a perfect Thursday wordplay. But yes, the NW was horrible, not only LENE (the phonetic word is called obsolete by the OED), but I haven't played Monopoly in like 50 years and to me ANSE is the French word for a type of handle. Although it was worth it to find out about that remarkable physicist and I really should reread Faulkner.

LHS 888 11:33 AM  

@Andrew Heinegg - Thanks for the redirect to yesterday’s @Gill I. post. I’m still chuckling, and probably will be all day. ^_^

And thanks to the others for the trip down Mr. Blandings’ memory lane. It is one of my most favorite movies of all time. The quoted scene is pure genius.

old timer 11:34 AM  

Where's @LMS? She almost always posts before I do, because I solve in California in the morning.

OFL just hates it when he doesn't know an answer. I did not know LENE either though I am glad to learn of her existence. But everybody knows Rembrandt was from the Rhine, be that van Rijn or van RYN.

The theme was hard for me to figure out, but when I did, it really helped, as I could put in FIFTY at the number 50 square,

Joseph Michael 11:48 AM  

Cool theme but not sure the tortured grid was worth it, especially in the NW. One too many SNAGs and far too many STRUGGLES.

Wondering if anyone in the history of the English-speaking world has said that they have a room that OPENS IN ON another room.

Liked OH FUDGE the best. It's similar to what I kept saying to myself as I solved the puzzle.

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

I did OK, but dispute the variant spelling of Rembrandt's last name. I also thought it was possibly a rebus (one of my crossword pet peeves), but I'll allow it. Shortz is getting very "tricksy" these days and I long for the work of Maleska or the late, great Will Weng.

jb129 11:54 AM  

Not much fun - not much of a reward.

Trombone Tom 12:08 PM  

Having played all those Monopoly games finally pays off, even if I generally sought the oranges and reds. If you are a reader you probably won't forget Anse. But LENE was a WOE (even though we lived in New Ulm, MN, for a time), but gettable through the crosses.

Took me a while to work out the theme, but it turned out to be a rewarding Thursday.

JC66 12:33 PM  

@Nancy

Get well soon.

Masked and Anonymous 12:36 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abe 12:37 PM  

Are you whining here or hating here? I'm honestly not sure.

Ando 12:44 PM  

Rembrandt was Dutch. His name was Rembrandt van RIJN. Who the hell is this van Ryn character? Rijn is the Dutch spelling of the Rhine River, presumably where the family was originally from. Who calls it the Ryn River? That's like saying "Starry Night" was painted by Vincent van Go. I figured it out but come on.

Sheesh.

Masked and Anonymous 12:54 PM  

The M&A Help Desk Official Dictionary calls it like this: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn. I have seen RYN before in many other crosswords, so no problem for my solvequest. RYN must be an alias or somesuch. Bill collector problems, probably.

LENE may be a bit 2desperate, since it crosses that there painter alias.

Got the primo theme idea from 1-OVER = BOGEY, but this was after sittin down in the NW and spinnin the nanosecond meter until the dial almost fell off. M&A is stubborn, like that.

Fave longballs: ALLHERE. OHFUDGE.
Staff weeject pick: YOS. Better clue: {Spinner toy parts??}.

OPENSINON? OPENSONIN? OPENSATBY? OPENSINAT? OPENSRIJN? Nope. 5nots, bigtime.
Coulda had more OPENS-contenders, but its clue had dibs on "TO" and "AS".

Thanx for the feisty fun, Mr. E-S. Musta been construction-challengin, to get the themer numbers to come out just right.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


**gruntz**

Kimberly 1:01 PM  

This would have been way better with proper clueing. “With respect to this answers location” is definitely comparing the two answers’ physical placements. There had to be a better way to present it. I think I object to “with respect to” even more than the “location,” because it’s definitely comparative. The concept was good, though, and much better than recent Thursdays.

Rembrandt’s last name was van Rijn. I detest the alternative spelling. My name is Kimberly, and there are no Ks or Ys in Italian, but they wouldn’t spell my name “Chimberli.”

I’m weirdly picky, though, and often a hypocrite. I probably violate the “spell it like it’s spelled” rule all the time myself. But I do like the look of van Rijn and will continue to be snooty about it.

Masked and Anonymous 1:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teedmn 1:24 PM  

OH FUDGE was the least of what I was saying while solving this puzzle. I am obviously not on Alex's wavelength. The last puzzle of his/hers I did, I gave up on (and that was last week.) Actually, I hit something on my laptop and it closed the app I was solving on and I just opted to not go back to it. Sorry Alex.

I have confessed here before to my dislike of all things Monopoly - you could say I have a monopoly on Monopoly-hating - so VENTNOR, argh. But I got that one. I sat and looked at that A_SE VE_TNOR cross and ran the alphabet for both directions (wishing for a nice ApSE, right about now!) and guessed correctly. Too bad my Rembrandt van RYs was wrong.

I would say this solve was a TRIAL. And @kitshef says it all re: ECO. I literally put a big X on that clue, ugh.

So I agree, again with @kitshef, that this was a very nice theme, but the overall result was not up to par, perhaps a BOGEY.

Geophany 1:31 PM  

Ok Mike Van Ryn but Rembrandt van RIJN! Dutch sounds exotic to us but it’s the same alphabet for heaven’s sake.

Anoa Bob 1:36 PM  

My go to phrase for ENDLESSLY would be 24-7-365. Not sure how you could work that INON a grid, though.

Having flown in and out several times, NARITA went in straightaway. You're still about an hour by train from the downtown Tokyo area. A closer airport, Yokota, is about 45 minutes away. It is huge and occupies some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. Who pays the rent? We do. It is a U.S Air Force Base. It and several other bases, including Kadena, another huge AFB in Okinawa, have been in Japan since the end of WWII(!). Can you imagine how much mega$ has gone from our treasury to theirs in that time?

Masked and Anonymous 1:40 PM  

p.s.
Was 5nots* in my prev. msg. a bit too obscure for anyone to understand my play on numbers? Thought so. [Must aspire to think booger.]

[Two deleted comments today, due my old nemesis Otto Correct. Real sorry, moderators. ]
M&Also





* Snots. har. Most folks probably just lost interest, before getting it, huh? Thought so.

Banana Diaquiri 1:44 PM  

@Mohair Sam:
Poor LEHMAN Brothers - went under before Washington decided the American taxpayer should bail out the starving masses on Wall Street.

not quite. Lehman was sacrificed after AIG was bailed.

John Hoffman 2:12 PM  

Did not finish! Too hard for me. Quite a lot of obscure names. Theme was clever -- but too clever for me!

Wm. C. 2:15 PM  


@Gill I@10:01am --

Re: your Grandmother's advice on ending sentences with prepositions.

Darn right! Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which we cannot put.

;-)

Banana Diaquiri 2:27 PM  

@Wm. C.:
Darn right! Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which we cannot put.

could be worse. American English could revert to its German roots and require sentences to end with the verb. or, as many European languages do, concatenate adjectives to the noun and end up with barge pole length words.

kitshef 2:34 PM  

Has anyone heard from Tita A recently? It feels like a long stretch since she posted.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  

People still say, “grok?”

Jordy Carpenter 3:36 PM  

NUMBER IS NOT POSITION. NO. NO. "This clue's position" is a LIE. NO.

NO.

t-dawg 3:56 PM  

If ECO "label" is objectionable, which it is, ECO "law" is even MORE objectionable. Google it in quotes, it is truly truly NOT A THING. Most of the hits are for a law firm called "Eco Law." I am a lawyer and nobody uses this term.

GILL I. 4:00 PM  

@kitschef....I'm pretty sure @Tita is busy with clients and making some money. Probably to pay for the up-keep of her Mini Cooper!
@Nancy and @Hartley. Get well...soon!

Joe Dipinto 4:32 PM  

I liked the theme, and got it pretty quickly, but sheesh. As with pretty much everyone else, 7d was an annoyance. I put in OPENS, then skidded to a halt as I wondered: into or onto? Settled on into, only to discover both were wrong.

And I did manage to remember Rijn as Rembrant's name, so I figured RYN must be one of those pesky alt-spellings the NYT has become so fond of. Still, that NW corner was a byotch.

NIMBI is one of my favorite weather words. I like to think of it as meaning "Not in my barometric isobar!"

@Quasi -- again, sorry for the mix-up yesterday. And yes everyone should see that movie.

Blue Stater 4:59 PM  

Thank God for another admirer of Eugene Maleska (Anonymous @11:53 AM). Also Will Weng, about whom I had almost forgotten. WS's puzzles aren't a patch on Maleska's; it will take a long time for the NYT to recover.

chefwen 5:07 PM  

@GIL I. My favorite Birthday card. Friend says “where’s your Birthday party at?” Birthday girl says “don’t end your sentence with a proposition”. Friend “where’s your Birthday party at, bitch”

Anonymous 6:16 PM  

The theme really is wonky, the more I think on it. In each theme answer, "this answer's location" is 1 across, 24 across, 40 across, 50 across. The actual answers, OVER, SEVEN, WINKS, FIFTY have a relationship to BOGEY, ENDLESS, NAP, EQUALLY as a definition, a colloquialism, or a synonym but nothing to do with "with respect to location". It's really just a mess.

Tycho Brahe 6:42 PM  

Nobody mentioned it but back on April 21st the NYT posted the following correction:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/pageoneplus/corrections-april-21-2018.html

Whatsername 6:45 PM  

@GILL at 10:01 I have always remembered the Winston Churchill story about his aide’s criticism when he ended a sentence with a preposition and his response of “this is an impertinence up with which I will not put.” I am eternally grateful to my English teachers who instilled in me such lasting lessons that I am continually appalled at the things I read on the Internet.

@chefwen. When my English teacher heard someone say “ where is something at,” her answer was always “It’s between the A and the T. Have to say though, I like your birthday card solution better. LOL. Going to remember that one.

Z 7:14 PM  

@Jack Schidt - “Sudden?” Well, maybe it seems like such to you because Mr. Kardashian hasn’t come up much here, but when I think of that menagerie of publicity whores at all it is with, at best, mild disgust. Kanye is probably a genius (from what I read, I have very little direct knowledge of rap or hip-hop but Bomani Jones knows his stuff), but that does not mean he is any less annoying or stupid. President Obama called him a jackass in 2009 and 2012. I see no reason to disagree in 2018.

Z 7:18 PM  

Thanks @Tycho Brahe - A clue is actually wrong and the outcry seemed so minimal compared to other false “wrong” allegations.

GILL I. 7:28 PM  

@chefwen. hahahahahahahah. Yup......I might've used that on Nana. (Just kidding!). Although she was the master of the evil eye!
@Watserername. ...WHAT IS YOUR NAME? You sound like a hoot. Give yourself a little je ne sais quoi avatar!

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

The Britizh Museum goes with Van Ryn.

semioticus (shelbyl) 7:46 PM  

The idea of commenting here hasn't been appealing lately, but my gods the NW corner of this puzzle should be harshly criticized on any medium available to solvers. What a disaster. I'm still frustrated over the lack of respect shown to the solvers.

ONAGER/VENTNOR/RTE/ANSE/GTE/RYN/LENE. If you have these spread out in your puzzle, people would still complain about the amount of crosswordese but they are all in the same fraking corner. Yeech.

Cassieopia 7:49 PM  

@nancy - Myrna was great but the “uh huh” was even better. Priceless!

Mohair Sam 8:02 PM  

@Banana - Check your dates. Lehman filed for bankruptcy on Sept 15, 2008 - the next day AIG (an insurer) was bailed out by the Federal Reserve (nothing to do with Congress). The Lehman failure prompted Paulson, upset to see Wall Street types having to pay for their sins, to go to Congress days later with a request to bail out the remaining Wall Street banks. The result was an Act of Congress called TARP - which bailed out the big Wall Street banks and made life miserable for the small banks around the country.

jae 8:07 PM  

I’ve seen ANSA as an answer for “type of handle” or “vase handle”, but ANSE not so much.

Anonymous 8:45 PM  

Yes, or “one under”, “three over”, etc. The missing word is “par.”

Joe Dipinto 9:13 PM  

Musings: I wonder if they serve MENLO, oops I meant LEMON, Jell-O in prison.

Azzurro 9:55 PM  

I really liked this theme. Stumped me for a while, but very rewarding when it clicked. The RYN/LENE was a blemish to be sure, but it was an excellent puzzle overall.

Elle54 10:31 PM  

Ryn was a gimme

Petsounds 10:02 AM  

I have never seen Rembrandt's name as "Van Ryn." So that was a problem. As was the egregious OPENING IN ON. And the use of the word "location" in the clues kept me stumped for a long, long time. I'm so tired of the sloppiness.

DrBB 1:51 PM  

ANSE is standard crosswordese, whether from Hemingway or pottery. I knew it couldn't be RJN, so I had RIN for a bit, figuring hey, alternate spelling, then quickly realized it had to be Y (ROBERT gave me EASEDBY). In short, I dunno what Rex is complaining about. 13 minutes, which is a little long for me for a Thurs. but the theme took some doing to figure out ("location"?). Once I got it, it was a most enjoyable solve.

Burma Shave 9:20 AM  

PLEASER 24-SEVEN

OHFUDGE, I’ve got STRUGGLES so ENDLESSLY now,
INGA put 1-OVER on me with that MISERABLE VOW.

--- LUIS “KIDD” CRAIG, AGE 50(FIFTY)

centralscrewtinizer 11:16 AM  

Nasty Natick made even nastier by Mohair making me remember TARP.
Jesus, Joseph, and Mary we never learn.

thefogman 11:23 AM  

I figured out the gimmick about midway through. Not a fatal flaw, but I didn't like how the riddle part of 50A is located above (and not beside it) on 46A unlike all the other riddle/reveal clues which are next to each other. Not NEAT! What is not forgiveable is the crossing of 28A and 23D. This is just cruel to be cruel. No aha moment or fun comes out of a nasty stumper like that. I had ROiaRTI thinking the answer to 28A was King (ROi) Arthur (aRT) the First (I). LaNE Hau seemed a good guess. OHFUDGE. It was not. Too bad. This could have been a great one with a bit of retooling. BOGEY!

spacecraft 11:36 AM  

I missed the point completely with the first themer: 5a was obviously BOGEY (when crosses proved it couldn't be EAGLE), so naturally, par on most holes being four, I confidently wrote FIVE at 1-across!

NAW, that wasn't it. Then I saw that it involved the actual square number, and after that things went a little more smoothly.

Not a lot, though, because of WTF's like ONAGER, LENE and "pyriform." I had RY_ for Rembrandt's name, and knew the Dutch spelling was "van Rijn." So I took a shot that RYN would be the Anglicized spelling. EASEDBY that one. Crosses in the NE produced the PEAR shape. As for YSHAPE, I guess I'll have to give up ranting and just accept letter add-ons like that and MTIDA and ROBERTI as features that, apparently, will be part of crosswords ENDLESSLY. *sigh*

Those were my worst STRUGGLES. This theme was clever in concept and execution. Still some UGG-ly fill, but whaddyagonnado? DOD is INGA Swenson; now I'm showing my AGE. Because of the theme, I can't stay with 5-across for the score. Give it a par.

rondo 2:05 PM  

Wasn’t catching the drift for quite a while so there were STRUGGLES with some pretty wide open spaces, not helped by EdgEDBY and OPENSINto. The 50-FIFTY thing popped and then I had it figured.

Did MAGNETO make anyone else think of Paul McCartney’s “MAGNETO and Titanium MAN”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTBukDar6vE

25 years ago we had a local TV reporter, yeah baby INGA Hammond, who was reputedly caught while performing an act on then Twins pitcher Scott Erickson in a local saloon. Might have been the origin of the phrase “Get a room”. Scott, now FIFTY, went on to toss a no-hitter the following year. INGA went on to be a golf commentator on several cable channels, probably not in small part to the notoriety.

Sooo much better than a rebus. Definitely not 1 OVER par.

rainforest 2:37 PM  

Interesting how different one's experience might be from others'. In my case, the NW came easily, even though I didn't quite get the "clue number is part of the answer" until 40 WINKS. EASED BY made RYN a "gimme", and have actually heard of LENE Hau (thanks Quirks and Quarks, the CBC radio show).

The NE provided the only difficulty for me today. Stupidly couldn't "see" TEL AVIV for the longest time.

Overall, medium difficulty with a few tricky clues which added "sparkle", and there was nothing in here to get PEAR-shaped or YSHAPED about. I liked it a lot.

Thumbs up for INGA Swenson.

Diana,LIW 3:08 PM  

defeated in the NW.

Also thought it was a golf theme for a while.

The rest was admirable. Hit my forehead over the "Jordan" clue. Doh!

Only other noteworthy moment - too much Dilbert had me wanting Elbonians instead of ESTONIANS. Whilst I knew that was incorrect, the Elbonians wouldn't leave me alone.

How - tell me how - could I forget VENTNOR Avenue? I went to high school in New Jersey, and we always went "Don tha shor" on the weekend. In my friend's VW, of course.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 4:43 PM  

Got the clever theme and gimmickry, but did not manage to navigate the "ridiculous proper noun crossings" in the NW. Along with LENE/RYN, stumbled (and fell) over ANSE, ROBERT I, GTE and, yes, @Diana, VENTNOR Avenue.

NW kills again, ENDLESSLY, it appears.


leftcoastTAM 5:11 PM  

Oh, I should have added ONAGER to my list of NW killers.

ScottJ 1:37 PM  

I certainly don't read this column every day, but does Rex EVER give a good review of a puzzle? What a baby...if he doesn't know a word or name, it's out-of-bounds??? Reminds me of a guy I used to work with, every day he went out to lunch, to a place of his choosing, every afternoon pissed and moaned about his bad lunch, rotgut, etc. If he's such a genius, why isn't he out there writing dynamite puzzles for us?

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