Wednesday, June 27, 2018





Constructor: Ned White

Relative difficulty: Pretty easy for a Wednesday 



THEME: Drop The THE (57A - Sean Parker's famous advice to Mark Zuckerberg in naming The Facebook...)

Theme answers:

  • 17 ACROSS:  Early "Saturday Night Live" camera command? CUT TO CHASE
  • 24 ACROSS: "You want Pepsi or Coke? eg  POP QUESTION
  • 36 ACROSS:  Chauffeurs the actor Kevin to his house? BRINGS HOME BACON
  • 46 ACROSS:  Basic query to a physicist?  WHATS MATTER
Word of the Day: ASL 23 Across: Nonverbal communication, for short
American Sign Language is the natural language that serves as the predominant sign language of Deaf communities in the United States and most of Anglophone Canada. 

• • •

Hello!  I'm Karen, first time guest blogger here in Baltimore - home of The Wire, some frustratingly uneven sports teams and snowballs with marshmallow sauce.  I'm taking a short break from my regular gig as a yoga teacher while I recover from surgery on a previously fractured hip.  The injury was unrelated to yoga so my current situation shouldn't discourage you from taking a class.  Yoga is great and everyone should do it.  (I can't say the same for bicycling in Copenhagen while it's raining and you have jet lag). 

Ok, here goes...This puzzle gave me some anxiety because a) I'm a blogging novice and b) it's been consistently theme-y all week and I wasn't expecting another theme today.  Once I settled in, things proceeded smoothly.  Except for the theme clues, everything else was relatively simple. I was particularly pleased with the abundance of British references: 14A Archibald LEACHCarey Grant's real name having just seen a fascinating documentary about and 64A ANNE, the English Princess (who never gets enough credit for being the workhorse of that family if you ask me). Following the Anglophilia trope here, we had 61A EARL, "Downton Abbey" title and 45D ARTHUR, Excalibur's owner.  I had no idea that 30A ANTS leave pheromone trails or that the 65A 1953 A.L. M.V.P. was Al ROSEN (the Hebrew Hammer), but the corresponding down clues made those easy to get. Also, 7D, TRANQ was not a word I'd heard to describe calmer, but I was glad for the Q because it allowed to get that second themed clue POPQUESTION.  The four themed across clues were nicely constructed to be fairly clever homographs, CHASE, POP, BACON, and MATTER and the theme's modern cultural reference was a nice change in a week with puzzles featuring lots of the classic clues.




  • 32A Haiti's Papa Doc or Baby Doc DUVALIER - The family of authoritarian dictators in Haiti until they were overthrown in 1986.
  • 1A Insurance giant based in Columbus, Ga AFLAC - They started with that duck in 2000. It's been 18 years of that duck.
  • 33D Sharp footwear ICESKATES - The first ones were made from the leg bones of a horse and attached to the feet with leather straps.

Signed, Karen Segall, Blogging Novice

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

86 comments:

Meghan 12:10 AM  

I broke a toe in yoga today. I have talent

Dave C. Jones 12:22 AM  

Uteri killed me. Even after finishing it took me a good five minutes of asking myself WTF uteri is. Only when I shifted my view of development did I get it. Overall a great Wed puzzle.

puzzlehoarder 1:21 AM  

I was slow with AFLAC the last time we had it and today was no better. STEM and MIST were no problem. TRANQ could have ended just as easily with a C or a K. Thanks to that and 6D's SS-(wha?) I stalled in that section and worked out from the NE.

The BACON themer was the first to go in. Back filling the NW was easy. LEACH was a gimme. The other Archibald not so much. POEM went in off the crosses.

HANA should be pounded into my brain but it's not. 46A was the least intuitive theme entry for me. I didn't think to pluralize SKATE so the middle south and the SE corner had to start from scratch. Not hard to do but two icidences of stop and go solving kept this to an average Wednesday time.

The reveal was easy to get. It made no difference as all the other theme entries we're already in. Just based on his nickname I should remember ROSEN but I probably won't.

A special mention should go to ESTAB. Yuck. Why not just clue it as "On line attempt."

teevoz 1:27 AM  

Well done Karen.

jae 2:23 AM  

Easy. Delightful theme and reveal, liked it a bunch!

sanfranman59 3:28 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 3:43 4:30 0.83 6.2% Easy
Tue 5:37 5:21 1.05 61.1% Medium-Challenging
Wed 6:44 6:39 1.01 57.4% Medium

Not the greatest solve by me, but I liked this one okay. The theme is kinda cool, though I totally went blank on the revealer and needed just about every cross there. WHAT'S MATTER is timely for me since I'm reading a terrific bio of Einstein.

I had a little trouble getting started in the NW where the 5-letter insurance companies that sprang to mind were Aetna (Hartford, I think) and Geico (DC area?). But ALCOA (1D) helped and FEUDS (2D) locked in AFLAC (1A). Since I can never seem to remember famous people's birth names, I spun my wheels dredging up LEACH (14A).

Other than that it was just a lack of brain sharpness and dexterity on the keyboard that slowed me down much. SSHAPE (6D), TRANQ's (7D) and ETS (8D) right next to each other is a little yucky looking. And ACK? ACK!

But the thing that won me over is Tribe hero, Al ROSEN (65A). He was Mom's baseball idol as a teen, so he's mine too. Mom calls him Flip, an alternative nickname to the Hebrew Hammer. I've got his baseball card somewhere.

JOHN X 5:03 AM  

I thought I was fast yesterday, but today I really slewed this puzzle. Is it slewed? Or slained? Slayed? Whatever it is, I don't know from words, one of you eggheads will correct me, but that's what I did; I just really got in there and got the job done. How fast was I, you ask? Well, I sat down with the puzzle, and just as I started solving I flipped the lightswitch off and I had it finished before the room got dark. That is very fast for a Wednesday.

Lewis 6:04 AM  

@karen -- Fun review with substance, thank you. As you heal, I'm sure you'll employ nourishing breathing; this from a fellow yoga teacher.

Thumbs up to the puzzle, with a clever theme well executed. The only resistance for me came from the SE where I didn't see KOS, UTERI, and ICE SKATES due to clever cluing, ACK could have been anything, and ROSEN was buried deep. A nice AHA flash when UTERI hit broke it open.

A sobering moment was when I realized that SANTA has an anagram in SATAN; talk about two childhood icons coming from as far apart as possible!

Grateful for the puzzle, though, an overall delight. Ned, you hit jackpot!

Conrad 6:12 AM  

@sanfran and others who may not remember famous people's birth names: perhaps this will help. It's why I knew 14A, although it didn't help with the "A-or-second-E" question.
https://youtu.be/xht4S2Y3ipA

Stanley Hudson 6:22 AM  

Excellent puzzle and an intelligent, enjoyable write-up.

Monkey Ward 6:35 AM  

Wonder what kind of family melodrama we will hear about today?

George 6:36 AM  

I saw the the revealer and i thought to myself, "Yay, Rex is going to post a THE THE video in his blog today!!" I loved that band 20 years ago. So, I was a little disappointed when I remembered Rex is on vacay. However, nice write-uo Karen, and thanks for filling in so we get to read the blog even when Rex is slacking off.

Anonymous 6:41 AM  

Thank you for sharing that video. It's amazing!!

QuasiMojo 6:55 AM  

Meh, the theme is okay, but will we ever get a puzzle again without one? The last one, "what's matter?" was an outlier and rather dull.

Thanks for sitting in for Rex! But I found it amusing that you described Princess Anne as a "workhorse" considering Joan Rivers' infamous send-up of the princess in her act.

AETNA before AFLAC. Apparently Aflac has been around since 1955 but it was only when they brought in the duck that I ever noticed them. Same with GEICO which has been around 75 years. If it hadn't been for the gecko, I would never have noticed them either. Marketing works. One time I went into a drugstore to buy Contac and I asked for Comtrex by mistake. It just POPped out of my head by rote.

DICTATOR then AUTOCRAT and finally DUVALIER. ACK!



Karen Segall 7:03 AM  

❤️

Karen Segall 7:05 AM  

Every pun intended ❤️

Charles Flaster 7:13 AM  

Really enjoyed this one.
Two writeovers slowed me up.
TAKEN for sAvEd and RAN for led.
CROSSWORDease: ASL
Went to Yanks-Phils game —not sure they are in same overall league.
Nice review by Karen.
Thanks NW

kitshef 7:17 AM  

Took forever to get out of the NW. None of my answers seemed to fit with any crosses (Aetna, eSp, CUE The ___, ApSes, TRANk). Once I did get out, which included getting the theme, things went pretty quickly.

Remembered Cary Grant’s real name, but not whether it was LEaCH or LEECH, so a semi-guess at the intersection with LATE LATIN.

Really liked the theme, but came away from the puzzle with bad feelings due to the stupid clue and answer for ISNT IT TIME. Also, I’m not sure the revealer qualifies as ‘famous’.

RavTom 7:29 AM  

Excellent Wednesday puzzle. Some old friends (I hadn’t seen ETO in a dog’s age), some posers (it took me a while to get TRANQ). Just a lot of fun. It helps to be a movie fan. The running joke in “A Fish Called Wanda” is the main character, a kind of send up of a Cary Grant role, is named Archie LEACH. And if you’ve seen “ The Social Network” several times (thanks, cable), you won’t forget DROPTHETHE.

Off the grid 7:42 AM  

Nice, neat puzzle. Pleasant solve. Only clunker was TRANQ.

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

What a welcome respite from the usual daily onslaught of hate. Thank you.

FLAC 7:57 AM  

@flaster. I was there, too. Yes, the Evil Empire has the best team money can buy.

Speaking of baseball, nice to see Al Rosen in the puzzle. Great ball player. Were it not for a bad back, he’d’ve given Mike Schmidt a run for all-time third baseman.

John Child 8:00 AM  

Thanks Karen! The stats page tells me this was a little faster than my average Tuesday, so quite easy here. I liked the theme well enough, but there was a lot of familiar, less than optimum short fill - SERIO, ESTAB, SRTA, etc. Inevitable to have some though. LATE LATIN and ICE SKATES (are there any other kinds of skates, apart from the fish?) weren’t sparkly, but SANTA HAT was lovely. Halloween topper?: SATAN HAT perhaps? @Lewis

Mohair Sam 8:05 AM  

Fun puzzle, clean. Enjoyed the theme. Played easy for a Wednesday. HAgue before HANOI (thought the missing THE was part of the theme), anyone else?

I've ignored the comics page since Pogo disappeared - what the heck is "ACK"?

Anonymous 8:08 AM  

I enjoyed the write up since I think Rex would have crucified the idea of this puzzle. Thanks for a softer and gentler world you have brought us. It wasn't evident from the write-up that clamer was a noun in this clue and thus a synonym for tranq or tranquilizer---very good misdirection. I kept trying to figure out how a comparison word would end with the letter q. Too bad The Ohio State University didn't consult Facebook or maybe they would have dropped the unnecessary article as well.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

I think every NYT puzzle except Fri. and Sat. has a theme so this week is no exception. Glad Rex wasn’t around to whine about the NRA and how he hates guns blah blah blah.

wgh 8:26 AM  

UTERI/ETO naticked me into DNFville.

Nancy 8:32 AM  

A clever, unique and extremely well-executed theme. I wondered what the revealer was going to be, and 57A was genius. Some lovely, offbeat clues: ICE SKATES (33D); NATO (29A); GASSY (37D); MIST (10A); POEM (60A). More thinking required than is often the case on Wednesday. Really enjoyed this one a lot.

I carelessly wrote in Aetna at 1A without checking any crosses. I took it right out with the eraser of my erasable pen. Other than that, no particular problems. I do remember saying just a few days ago that EOE is used as often as EEO in ads. And here it is -- 34D -- right on cue.

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

@JohnChild Roller skates

Roo Monster 8:40 AM  

Hey All !
Nice First-Guest-Ever-Blog write-up! We've been missing rational write-ups that describe the good and bad sanely. :-)

Some funny non-THE answers. What was Zuckerberg thinking with that THE? Irrelevant now, since he's a gazillionaire. Hey, Mark, send some money my way. :-)

Liked the puz, POP QUESTION was the best to me. Could also have been, Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb? Fell into the Aetna trap. AFLAC! 18 years of that duck? Wow. Does it have a name? Or just THE AFLAC Duck? Did find the clues slightly tougher than a typical WedsPuz, maybe the ole brain just wasn't woken completely.

One F today. No respect... (There's your ellipsis DOTs)

RATTY TRANQ
RooMonster
DarrinV

Z 8:45 AM  

Felt challenging for a Wednesday here. I generally don't Facebook (although son #2 is keeping us updated on his "Putting Yoga into Practice" service trip to Cameroon by posting pics to Facebook, so I've been spending 10 minutes a day there lately - No broken hips or toes) and could not possibly care less about how it got its name, so "famous" got the arched eyebrow. I see now that it is "famous" in a "oft-quoted line from a bad movie" sort of way.

@John X - Merriam-Webster is no help

Anyone else notice when ese appears in the wild?

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

@Mohair Sam. ACK with an exclamation point is an expression of unpleasant surprise found in old time comics.

Birchbark 8:55 AM  

LATE LATIN. DUVALIER. SKEIN.

A couple of evenings ago, I saw some dramatic red berry clusters poking out through the other meadowy things in the ditch not far from the mailbox. Turns out they're elderberries, and there's more in the woods as well. Doubtless they've been there the whole time, but I'm just seeing them now. Like a POEM, they are.

Bill the Cat 8:56 AM  

Ack.

Nancy 9:07 AM  

ANNE is a workhorse? What does she do, exactly? And I'm also wondering if I can find the Joan Rivers spoof that @Quasi mentions on YouTube, since I'm pretty sure I never saw it.

@JOHN X (5:03) -- "...before the room got dark." You are too funny, @ JOHN X!

@Chefwen (from yesterday) -- I love your cattle names, @Chefwen. I assume if you name them, you don't eat them. Or sell them to anyone else to eat, either. To live in Hawaii and raise pet cattle -- now that's what I call the good life!

Mohair Sam 9:08 AM  

@Anon (8:53) - Thanks. The only comics I read regularly were Pogo, L'il Abner, and Smokey Stover (scram gravy ain't wavy) - they must have been ACK! free.

Suzie Q 9:12 AM  

When I saw 1A & 1D both were commercial names I was prepared to hate this. Then ASL was a sad reminder of Koko. But then "cut to chase" appeared and could see there was some funny business going on. As the rest of the theme answers filled in I couldn't imagine what was going to explain the missing The. So even though I've never heard of the famous advice it still struck me as funny. Well done Mr. White and nice job Ms. Segall.
I don't know why 1/3 of an ellipsis is a dot.
Tranq was a big issue recently but using a Q instead of a K made it easier to swallow this time. ;)

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Inline skates

GHarris 9:18 AM  

Only misstep, first put in a row of ssssss for 6d. The crosses straightened me out and the rest was a breeze. Haven’t read comics in an age but don’t recall ever seeing ack.

Anonymous 9:19 AM  

So you had to do it for him. Let it go.

GHarris 9:21 AM  

Btw the Yankees have won the World Series once in the last 18 years so stop with the Evil Empire.

Nancy 9:22 AM  

@Suzie Q (9:12) -- Here's what an ellipsis looks like: ...

In fact, I see I just used one in my 9:07 comment.

oldbizmark 9:34 AM  

i thought that 3/4 of this puzzle was Monday easy... then the SW happened. ICESKATES never came(I have never heard of DUVALIER so that cross didn't help). UTERI and OCHRE were also problematic, especially with having put EEK instead of ACK. I thought the them was okay and the puzzle was fun but it just didn't work out for me today.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

Unless the chauffeur actually lives with Kevin, in which case why his house, he/she actually takes home [the] Bacon.

QuasiMojo 9:42 AM  

@Nancy, at 9:07Am, I looked myself but couldn't find it. I'm wondering if I'm mistaken and it was Bette Midler in one of her live shows. Anyway it involved Princess Anne being asked to count and she does it by banging one of her feet on the ground several times.

Nancy 9:55 AM  

@Quasi -- Now I don't have to see the clip. I'm laughing out loud as I type this. Thanks!

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

At Z.
Found the museum's web page wanting. Is this in Dearborn? Is it new or newish? I went to a pretty great museum in Dearaborn in the spring of 1984. I'm embarrassed to admit all I really remember was a stunning 1957 Ferrari Testarosa. It was wide open, and I actually manipulated the gear shift. I'm pretty confident it's as close as I'll ever get to anything from Maranello.

Wm. C. 10:22 AM  

@First-Time-Karen --

Re: "...TRANQ not a word I'd heard to describe calmer..."

Sounds like you may have interpreted the word as an adjective. As a noun it makes sense.

GILL I. 10:39 AM  

ACK....@Mohar @GHarris...Please tell me you've read Bloom County and you now remember Bill the Cat and his ACK?
I thought this was enjoyable and so was the write-up. I'm hoping @Rex would have enjoyed this as well but I can't remember if he likes Ned White.
AETNA first entry - without batting an eye. Ooof. Remembering LEACH lead me to FEUDS which led me to AFLAC and nobody cares. Speaking of LEACH and names you would want to change...I remember being intrigued by peoples real names (probably because of a crossword clue). Cary's seems to come up often but I wish constructors would include maybe Michael Caine's Maurice Micklewhite or Truman Capote's Strekfus.
Leaving out the THE was clever. I like POP QUESTION the best. I kept thinking BEGS THE QUESTION and leaving out the S. Nope, it's THE.
Does anybody ever buy Reynolds WRAP? I've never bought ALCOA. Is that a regional thing?

Hartley70 10:58 AM  

The theme was silly enough to tickle me this morning.

I knew the answer was ALCOA @Gill, but I've only ever used Reynold's. Wasn't there an ALCOA presence on 1950s television?

Poor Anne seems to do vastly more of the ghastly "meet and greets" than anyone else in the family with a less enthusiastic response from the masses.

If you live in CT you know Hartford as Insurance Central and the home of Aetna. The AFLAC duck always had a midwestern twang to my ear, not a southern drawl.

Lovely review, Karen. Come back soon!

Banana Diaquiri 10:58 AM  

ALCOA stopped selling aluminum foil back in 1974. you can look it up. phooey. says Nero Wolfe.

old timer 11:18 AM  

Nice Wed puzzle. Nice Python clip too.

Didn't Cathy of the comics also say ACK all the time?

Now the reason it was "the" Facebook is that Zuck started it in college as a collection of student photos, sold to fellow students as a way to put a name to the pretty faces one might see in class or on the Quad. When I was at Stanford decades ago, the authorities put out a little book with pictures of all the freshmen (and women) and every Frat had several copies to help their members get dates. It sometimes led to a young man POPping the QUESTION if things worked out over time.

Oh, BTW, the Phillies (NL) are very much in a different league from the Yankees (AL).

katherine catmull 11:31 AM  

First class job, blogging novice!

I loved the revealer--nice little but of humor.

Joseph Michael 11:46 AM  

Got stumped briefly at 32D after misreading “ellipsis” as “eclipse,” had EEK before ACK, and wanted either an angel or a star at the top of my Christmas tree until I had to face the fact that eight letters were required.

The puzzle was otherwise pretty easy but quite enjoyable. Nice to be reminded about what a difference a THE can make.

Liked the clues for ICE SKATES, ANTS, and POEM. Not so crazy about ISN’T IT TIME or TRANQ.

Ned, has anyone told you that you kinda look like Archibald LEACH?

Gulliver Foyle 11:55 AM  

Welcome, Karen! Thanks for the interesting and pleasant write-up. A great start to your blogging career.

jb129 11:59 AM  

Fun puzzle!

Anonymous 12:31 PM  

@banana diaquiri...ALCOA bought Reynolds Group in 2000 (so it technically was making foil) then sold the consumer products part in 2008. Look it up.
I thought this puzzle was well constructed and fun. Thanks guest blogger Karen!

Joe Bleaux 12:32 PM  

Strekfus at Tiffany's 😋

Unknown 12:44 PM  

This one was very satisfying -- as I put in the theme answers, I first thought "shouldn't it be THE Bacon?" then noticed other dropped thes, and finally got to the really clever revealer and it all made sense. Just how a theme should work.

I also liked the two Archies.

My one disappointment was that ETS and ETO were not joined by ETA and ETD.

I won't even start with IRANI.

Masked and Anonymous 12:58 PM  

This puz HITSITOUTTAPARK(ER). Good job.

M&A tried desperately to extend (the) (the)me into the opposite [KEEPTHETHE] direction:
* ICE(the)SKATES... ={Give up on all rinks??}.
* SANTA(the)HAT… ={Claus's "made" name??}.
* DUVA(the)LIER… ={Lazy boxing promoter Dino??}.
* E(the)STAB… ={Bring one's treachery online??}
* LATELA(the)TIN… ={Recent city of angels popular cookie box??}.
* SSH(the)APE… ={"Don't wake up that day-um gorilla!"??}.

Like I said. Desperate.

Should definitely point out that any -- any -- crossword with both RATTY and GASSY in it has got M&A's complete respect.
staff weeject pick: ACK. Hard to beat a good gurgle word. Better clue: {Back back??}.

Thanx for the WedPuz fun, Mr. White.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


**gruntz**

Monty Boy 1:00 PM  

Great write-up, spot on!

Easy for me. I got the theme early, at POP[the]QUESTION and that helped a lot in getting the other themers.

I usually work all the Acrosses, then all the Downs and fill in the rest. From comments here, I tried working an area, so I got most of the top third, then middle third, then bottom. Just a few words to fill in and a few corrections. A first: I got the happy tune when I put in the last letter. No time spent hunting for that one letter that’s wrong.

My notes:
• @GHarris: Hand up for SSSSSS. That looked like a slalom course to me..
• I needed most of the crosses to spell do-val-yay. I knew the name, but not the spelling.
• @wgh, @Dave C. Jones: I learned a new plural [sites for development].
• I haven’t heard SWATS for hits to the outfield. Maybe flies (insect and baseball), line drives, base hits. The only baseball swat I recall is the Sultan of Swat and his hits were over the outfield.

ICESKATES made me think of skating in our small town in Montana. We played a game called Pump-pump Pull Away, which Google tells me is played other places. I always wondered if that weird name was a local thing we made up. Google knows everything.

Dick Swart 1:03 PM  

A nice write-up, Karen!

I was slow on the third 'Kevin" ... couldn't make 'Costner' or 'Kline' work. 'Bacon' at last although it took me all six degrees.

And I use the ellipses a lot (see above). A better clue than the traditional reference to Morse. I ay be in the last generation of Army intermediate speed radio operators (26 wpm) trained in the hot sweaty headphones at Ft Hood in 1957.

Anonymous 1:15 PM  

@Banana
Nope. Nero Wolfe said "pfui." Why don't you look it up.

Charles Flaster 1:24 PM  

Loved Al Rosen but I was a N Y Giant fan at the 1954 World Series.
Yankees are young and quite talented.

ArtO 1:48 PM  

Nice write up, nice theme. Thought @sanfranman49's MEDIUM rating more appropriate than guest bloger Karen's.
In fact, I find his ratings, in general, the best judge of a puzzle's difficulty. So, a big thank you for your effort.

Anoa Bob 2:34 PM  

COOL puzzle. Not too much to MOAN about. ATTEN does look a little weird in the grid, though.

Is there a more grid-fill-friendly sequence of letters than EENIE? I believe ISIN is a break-away group of former ISIS insurgents..

ALCOA is still big in the aluminum biz. One of their main production facilities is in ALCOA, TN.

Banana Diaquiri 4:53 PM  

ALCOA hasn't sold Alcoa Wrap since 1974, or anything else that qualifies to the clue. It is the only logical entry for that space, but it's still a wrong clue.

GILL I. 5:04 PM  

@Joe Bleaux. Good one. Strekfus of champions...!!!

Suzie Q 6:02 PM  

@ Nancy, Thanks for the explanation. I should have known that but all I could think of was that squashed circle thing.
Alcoa, Aluminum Company of America? Just a guess. Sure, I could look it up but I would rather not. Tossing it out there is more fun, right Nancy? )

mathgent 6:11 PM  

We just got back from a week in Vegas. Broke even (I don't gamble any more) and saw five excellent shows. I had already done the NYT and WSJ crosswords today and stuck USA TODAY in my bag for the plane (where we were staying gave them away.). I was delighted to see that the puzzle was by Brendan Emmet Quigley. The easiest BEQ I've ever seen but smart and immaculately clean. BTW, the puzzles there are now edited by Fred Piscop.

sanfranman59 11:25 PM  

@ArtO ... thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you get something from the numbers I post.

Gulliver Foyle 12:23 PM  

Cool puzzle and nice write-up. Thanks, Don!

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

This was quite challenging for me for some reason and DNF due to not knowing some of the names. I really liked the theme though.
I don't really get KOS. Does it mean KO as in knockout? I don't think of knockout as a synonym for laying flat.

Calman Snoffelevich 12:54 PM  

I cannot make sense of 54A: Cry after "Company", despite furiously googling.

Karen Segall 5:46 PM  

It’s a military command. Like “about face” or “right march.” Company halt means the troops stop marching. ❤️

Calman Snoffelevich 6:14 PM  

Thanks, Karen Segall!

spacecraft 11:02 AM  

ACK makes me think of that too-soon-gone comic strip Cathy.

This was kinda fun; at first I thought all the theme endings were gonna be names of people; first one in was ...BACON, then I went back to NW and picked up ...CHASE. Who knew there was a LATELATIN? I thought Latin was...Latin. Thinking about it, though, it would be silly to think that every language doesn't evolve over time. Ours certainly does! "Remember when 'grass' was something you mowed?"--And that joke is now at least a generation old! Maybe two.

I'm not a fan of SSHAPE, or any other single-letter add-on, and for the second day in a row now we have a really awkward partial: ISIN. When you have to convolute your clue till you make the reader's brain play Twister, you're in trouble. ISNTITTIME we fix those?

Aside from that we have a solid effort. DUVALIER and MADETOLAST are COOL highlights (no, I don't think the family was cool, only the sound of the name).

ANNE gets lots of DOD sashes; why not give today's to HANA Mandlikova? Done. Birdie.

Burma Shave 11:22 AM  

NINE'S TEN BABY

I met IMAN INN KUALALUMPUR,
ARMED with ANOTHER BRIEF LIETO see just whether
by DESIGN it would ENDUP her
and ITHE ones doing the DEED INN the ALTOGETHER.

--- LEBRON MYERS

Burma Shave 11:43 AM  

Oops, that was soooo yesterday . . .
By the way, an ellipsis is not just three (and only three) DOTs in succession. There are spaces between them, as well as before and after the DOTs for a total of four spaces and three dots. Clear? All according to the ALWD Citation Manual, A Professional System of Citation.


ACK ACT

ANNE, ISN’TITTIME a POPQUESTION was asked?
When ODEs and POEMs rhyme, are they MADETOLAST?

--- EARL ARTHUR DUVALIER

thefogman 12:56 PM  

My comments got swallowed by a cyberdemon.
ISNTITTIME for someone to fix this?

The The - This is The Day

Diana,LIW 1:00 PM  

Got all but the SE - *^&% sports reference crossing UTERI of all things.

I can be forgiven, however, as I brought Mr. W to the ER last night - he thought he was having a stroke. No, but they did all kinds of tests and the sedation for his MRI (he gets a tad claustrophobic) knocked him out like a light. Retrieved him from ER about 1:30 this morning.

And it's my birthday. Good enuf excuses for ya?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for no other shoes to fall

leftcoastTAM 1:26 PM  

Easy is THE right description.

UTERI as "Sites for development" is THE cleverest entry/clue.

Zuckerberg may have to drop more from FACEBOOK than the THE.


thefogman 3:54 PM  

Mr. Z will soon lose FACE.

rondo 4:01 PM  

No write-overs so I didn’t have to facemusic for that. Wonder if Will gets some ad revenue at 1 for AFLAC and ALCOA.

I am not perfect because ISIN.

ISNTITTIME to sing “Sugar” since we have THE Archies? Scuse me, Archies.

Yeah baby HANA used to clean up nicely back in day. These days? ACK!

Well, at least I did not missboat ontheme. Sounds like Boris Badanov. COOL!

leftcoastTAM 6:02 PM  

@Diana, Hope all goes well with Mr. W -- and with you on your eventful birthday.

thefogman 10:13 AM  

Ditto TAM's comment.

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