Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hello! It's Clare, again. Hope everyone is having a great summer so far! I'm up in Lake Tahoe enjoying the glorious weather and lake while wearing holes in my shoes from how much walking around the restaurant I'm doing as a waitress. I've been trying to squeeze in as much World Cup watching as possible around work. As a huge Lionel Messi fan, I'm rooting for Argentina to win, but they haven't looked so hot so far. I might have to get behind Mexico or Belgium (or Germany for my sister) instead.

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Fairly easy for a Tuesday

THEME: ALTOGETHER (45D: "One more, please")— Five answers have AL repeated back to back in them

Theme answers:
  • CENTRALALPS (3A: Popular European skiing region)
  • INLALALAND (18A: Spaced out)
  • KUALALUMPUR (26D: Capital of Malaysia)
  • HALALFOOD (33D: Meals permissible under Islamic law)
  • IAMMALALA (44A: Autobiography of Nobel laureate Yousafzai)
Word of the Day: IMAN (40D: Mogadishu-born supermodel) —

Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid (born July 25, 1955), mononymously known as Iman ("faith" in Arabic), is a Somali-American fashion model, actress and entrepreneur. A pioneer in the ethnic-cosmetics market, she is also noted for her philanthropic work. She is the widow of English rock musician David Bowie, whom she married in 1992. (Wikipedia)
• • •
I mentioned this so many times in my last write-up, and I feel the need to make sure you remember: The Warriors won the NBA Finals!! I'm pretty excited about that, if you couldn't tell.

Anyway, on to the puzzle. This might have been the easiest time I've had with a Tuesday puzzle — at least since I started these write-ups — and may even be my fastest time ever on a Tuesday. The fill was pretty easy, I thought, albeit often uninspiring, and the theme actually helped me solve some of the puzzle. The theme had answers that were both across and down this time, which was a nice change of pace. CENTRALALPS and HALALFOOD were bland theme answers, but KUALALUMPUR was interesting, INLALALAND was clever, and the book IAMMALALA is amazing. There were a good number of theme answers, and they were all tied together nicely with ALTOGETHER (59A).

I did have a bit of trouble with the southeast corner. For me, 63A: Boy of Mayberry: OPIE (a name I'd never heard of) crossed with 64D: Citizen competitor: SEIKO (a company I've never heard of), meant some fiddling. I also had never heard of a literary OMNIBUS. There were a few other answers that felt obscure, too: 14D: ASIANA, 19D: ANI, and 9D: POLECAT.

Miscellaneous:
  • Apparently I don't learn from my mistakes very well. On the last Tuesday of last month, there was a clue for 39D that was "snow many push them back, for short," and I really wanted to make it "etas" instead of "etds." Oddly enough, today's puzzle had a very similar clue. 38A: It may be delayed by snow: Abbr., and I again tried to make it "eta" instead of ETD.
  • Also, like last month, there were quite a few names in the puzzle: DEL TORO, LAILA, OPIE, SHERA, ADAM, ABEL, IMAN, ERROL, LEBRON, AND MYERS.
  • I had no idea that OREO was the sister brand of Nilla wafers. That's probably the most bizarre way I've ever seen OREO clued — and it's been clued a lot of ways.
  • My favorite fill clue was 60D: summer sign as LEO.
  • I've spent a lot of time listening to The Weeknd's music, but I had no idea his real name was ABEL Tesfaye. Fun fact: He chose the Weeknd as his stage name because he and a group of friends just left home one weekend and never went back. (He dropped the "e" because there was already a band called "The Weekend.")
  • 45D: "One more, please" as ANOTHER made me think of this scene from the first Thor movie (you only need to watch about the first 20 seconds):
  • In case it hasn't yet been made obvious that I'm a Warriors fan, I must once again point out that the Warriors swept LEBRON in the Finals.
  • 47A: "College GameDay" channel as ESPN. My freshman year, ESPN had College Gameday at Yale for the Big Game against Harvard. Harvard's football team won, sadly. And, I didn't get on camera.
  • Learn something new every day: Before this puzzle, I had no idea both bagels and vodka originated in POLAND. But I'm very grateful to the Poles for them. Sorry you didn't make it to the next round of the World Cup.
ANOTHER Tuesday, ANOTHER crossword puzzle. I'll be on the lake or waiting tables until next month. Happy almost 4th of July!

Signed, Clare Carroll, sunburnt Tahoe waitress

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

72 comments:

Anonymous 1:08 AM  

How exciting that a team which went 73-9 and then added the second best player in the world won against lebron and a team where a player couldn’t even keep track of the score... congrats warriors fans ._.

puzzlehoarder 1:39 AM  

This Tuesday had some late week elements to it. I couldn't just throw BBC in off it's clue. There's an epidemic of boring car shows on multiple channels. BABY could be BABE so I hesitated on that last letter. These were minor issues. Working around ASIANA was a bit more. I couldn't believe I'd forgotten such a classic looking piece of ese and later I couldn't believe it was a debut.

In the south I had to work around SHERA. This one has somehow slipped through the cracks. He-Man doesn't ring any bells for me and it's a debut clue for ADAM. On a side note HEMAN has been in the puzzle 33 x but has never been clued as this cartoon character.

In the SW corner I had a SEAT/REAR write over. Obviously I was working off the O or the A.

My KOALA/KUALA write over was better. It would make for a cute city. I followed this up with a SHEKEL/NICKEL write over. I tend to think too obscure for otherwise easy answers. Speaking of obscure, how about that ANI clue. It's not a debut clue but it's close.

I don't know why but getting SEIKO with just the S made me feel clever.

IAMMALALA was the only themer that went in completely by the crosses. All the others were easy to infer. I didn't use the theme while solving but it was obvious once I'd finished.

JJ 1:50 AM  

This past Sunday the LA Times Crossword had a clue: " I'm not listening". The answer was LALALA. I can hear MALALA saying it now.

sanfranman59 1:59 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

On the one hand, I really enjoyed the themers, though CENTRAL ALPS (3D) didn't thrill me. Lots of bonus points for the first appearance of I AM MALALA (44A) and the first Shortz-era appearance of KUALA LUMPUR (26D). On the other, there's AND A (29A), AMA (37A ... no idea), ADAM (31D), ABEL (49A), SHERA (65A ... she's gotten me before), I THE (56D) and the coup de grĂ¢ce, ANI (19D ... Alex and ANI? ... again, no idea). OMNIBUS (52A) and POLECAT (9D) seem tougher than is typical of a Tuesday. Do we have a world record for A's? 29 of 'em.

On balance, a thumb up.

Mike in Mountain View 2:00 AM  

Thanks for the write-up, Clare. One correction: The Big Game is Cal vs. Stanford; The Game is Harvard vs. Yale. One needs no adjective.

The Big Game is most famous for the touchdown Cal scored by returning a kickoff through the Stanford band.
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNsqpIfzeAQ

The Game is most famous for the best headline in sports history: Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. There's a movie of the same name, about the same Game, played 50 years ago this fall. Tommy Lee Jones is in it. (He was a Harvard offensive lineman back then.) Meryl Streep was dating one of the Yale players. (She was at Vassar back then.) And Yale quarterback Brian Dowling may not be familiar to you, but you may remember B.D. from the Doonesbury comic strip. Yep, that's him.

JOHN X 2:17 AM  

I was In Like Flynn with this puzzle, even though the theme was a little goofy. Not very hard, is what I'm sayng folks.

How can you not know SEIKO and OPIE? Maybe I can understand SEIKO, but OPIE is in the NYT puzzle roughly every four days, so I'm not sure how you missed it based on that alone. Is Clare the Yale law student? That probably explains it.

Also, you left poor ELI Manning off your list of names. That kid can't catch a break.

chefwen 3:52 AM  

It looks like C.C. is going a little Brit on us. BBC, DAFT, BINS. Of course for BINS it should have been clued rubbish holders.

We named one of our cattle after Crosswords favorite cookie, I think of that huge beast every time he shows up. Cute guy, but kind of bossy when you show up with some special food, has no problem at all shoving everyone aside so he can be first.

Pretty easy and fun, although with both IN LA LA LAND and I AM MALALA I was getting a little light headed.

Charles Flaster 4:40 AM  

Very easy as per the review.
The theme was the definite highlight of entire puzzle with CENTRAL ALPS my favorite.
Liked clue for TERSE.
Thanks ZB.

Lewis 6:07 AM  

It's a happy Tuesday for me when I have to scuffle with the puzzle for a bit, and there were enough answers I didn't know right off to make that happen. It's a happy Tuesday when there is sophistication in the construction, like the crossing of two pairs of long theme answers, as CC fashioned here. It's a happy Tuesday when the reveal and theme answers, after the solve, felt like a mega-clue with multi-answers -- a puzzle bonus. So... thank you CC and happy Tuesday, all!

Loren Muse Smith 6:25 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry 7:18 AM  

I too liked the obvious crosswordese of KualaLampur, but even for a Tuesday the clue could have required some effort. How about “peninsular capital?”

Anonymous 7:21 AM  

I always thought the phrase that meant on the whole was all together not al together. My bad.

kitshef 7:29 AM  

Odd puzzle.

One of the easiest Tuesdays I can remember and would not have felt out of place on a Monday.

Yet also a surprising number of things I’ve never heard of: AMA, ABEL Tesfaye, ASIANA, ADAM (as clued), Alex and ANI – that’s five WoEs on a Tuesday.

You can wear shoes, and you can wear holes in your shoes. What a funny language we have.

World Cup fan, Thor fan, Warrior fan, Clare was looking like the daughter I wish I had until she mentioned maybe rooting for Germany.

Larry 7:30 AM  

Good Humble brag about Game Day appearing at Yale. Saying New Haven, so the readers have to work for it would have been better in a crossword column!

QuasiMojo 7:39 AM  

I did this one in the ALTOGETHER. I NUKEd it in just a few minutes. I felt like THOR with his lightning bolts. IMAN is a fascinating and remarkable person. Silly theme. But well-executed.

mmorgan 8:07 AM  

I (mostly) liked this puzzle just fine, and I'm a fan of the constructor's work, but not knowing (1) Yousafzai, (2) the (any) Mogadishu-born supermodel, and (3) Tesfaye/the Weeknd, I actually got Triple-Naticked -- leaving a sad IAM_ALALA/I_ _ N/_BEL for all to see.

Thanks, Clare!

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Anon 7:21 ....Altogether is a word not a phrase.

DV 8:15 AM  

Not only was CORN repeated in UNICORN, but the answers crossed as well. I’m sure Rex was not happy about that...

Suzie Q 8:18 AM  

When I saw Hazed and Can I have another? some movie memory bubbled up. Am I remembering some scene about frat initiation and spanking on the rear?
Funny that Clare didn't know Opie. I felt the same way about all of the TV, music, and texting clues.
Well made puzzle but it didn't really entertain me.
I wish @LMS hadn't stirred the pot and set a foul mood for the comments that are sure to come.
Speaking of our funny language. 4A End up. How in the world would you define the Up in that sentence?

Z 8:32 AM  

Nicely done. I’m often minimizing my reaction to C.C.’s puzzle’s because most people here love her stuff and it has often left me just a little cold. Not today. Intersecting themers from all over, geography, movies, literature, religious dietary laws. Nice. Making ALTOGETHER a dook. Nice. The short fill was short fill, but it never made me go “ugh.” So nice, too. ALTOGETHER a fine Tuesday offering, something I say maybe 5 times a year.

I nominate IMAN and Bowie as the most attractive couple in human history.

Z 8:43 AM  

@DV - the CORN in UNICORN is in no way the same as the CORN growing in Iowa. If the answer had been popcorn it would have been a dupe. here, not so much.

@Anon7:21 - I’ve seen both constructions to mean “On the whole.” I have no opinion on which should be preferred.

@Larry - People graduate from Yale. Mentioning it when you are one of those people is not a “brag,” humble or otherwise.

Irene 8:48 AM  

I found this a really annoying puzzle with way too many proper names and just-off cluing. Even when every square was filled in I had to puzzle over the revealer.
Central Alps? Really? As Rex would ask, Do people really say that? I'm going to the central Alps this winter?

FLAC 8:49 AM  

@Mike in MV: Calvin Hill was Yale's tailback in the 1968 Game. And Harvard -- led by a reserve quarterback named Frank Champi -- "beat" Yale by scoring 16 points in the last 42 seconds. Pete Varney (who later played professional baseball for the Chicago White Sox) caught the two-point conversion pass that tied the game.

I liked the puzzle and the review.

Sir Hillary 8:54 AM  

C.C. is a rock star of early-week puzzles, and this is a nice example of why. @Z pretty much stated the reasons, so I won't repeat them.

As for IMAN and Bowie, if they're not the most attractive couple ever, they certainly have the best cheekbones.

Nancy 8:54 AM  

I thought this was a bit tougher than the usual Burnikel puzzle. A good thing. The clues were a bit less on the nose. Also a good thing. There seemed to be more PPP in it than the usual Burnikel puzzle. Not such a good thing. And then there was AMA. What dat?

I learned that LAILA Ali has a win-loss record her father could only dream about. I learned that bagels and vodka originated in POLAND. I learned more about He-Man than I wanted to know. (There were not one but two He-Man clues and I really didn't want to know anything about He-Man.) The theme wasn't all that interesting, but it did contribute to some colorful fill. Liked it OK; didn't love it.

Mohair Sam 9:01 AM  

@Suzie Q (8:18) - The movie line "Can I have another" reminds me of Joe Montegna's reaction to getting shot in David Mamet's wonderful "House of Games".

Puzzle played brutally tough for us. We are so ignorant of pop culture here that we learned just today that there is a (comic book I guess) character named He-Man and that he has a twin sister and a father we should know. IMAN cross could have killed us on the "M" but her name rang a bell somewhere (probably at the time of David Bowie's passing). KUALALUMPUR (@M&A's favorite city?) always spelled correctly here thanks to always remembering it is not the bear.

@LMS - Make peace with your dad - family is everything. Illegal immigration is that rare issue where both sides have a valid point.

@Clare - You're the first woman I've known who mentions Messi before Renaldo - and yeah, we're rooting for the Agentines here too.

Roo Monster 9:09 AM  

Hey All !
Easy TuesPuz. Lots of ALs corresponding to some LAs as well. Also surprised Clare never heard of Opie. Sure, way before her time, but as @Suzie Q said, it's in puzs AL the time. Like not knowing EEL or ASS.

Could've fixed the CORN dupe by changing the C to F and the O to E. ARF/LEE/FERN. Then you END UP with another F!

Symmetric POLECAT and UNICORN. Nice. Even though one isn't real. POLAND also originated PIEROGIS. Yum.

So ANOTHER fine CC puz. Requires lots of AREAs of knowledge. Was ABEL to finish BRIEFly, unHAZED. LOL. Can you NUKE HALAL FOOD? Ask IMAN.

DAFT, FRAID SO
RooMonster
DarrinV

Banya 9:15 AM  

I print the puzzles out and I do them in between things at work...oops...so I never really know my times - but I can say, without a doubt, that that was my fastest Tuesday ever. I just zoomed right through it.

Nancy 9:17 AM  

Does absolutely everyone on the blog know "C.C." personally?

I always call her "Z.B." or Burnikel because 1) We've never been introduced and 2) I don't know what C.C. stands for. I'm aware that we have a very "in" crowd on the blog, but still -- I always wonder at the profligate use of those initials.

@Mike in Mountain View (2 a.m.) -- Agree. Fabulous headline! And thanks for so much really juicy info in that last paragraph. You, too, @FLAC.

You raise cattle, @chefwen (3:52)? In Hawaii?

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

Suzie Q
You may be thinking of Animal House. There is indeed a scene where Kevin Bcaon is being paddle by a sadist. After getting wailed in the rear, he says" Thank you sir, may I have another."

Nice puzzle C.C. How you are able to construct something so fine in a language not your first is a marvel.

It was definitely a humble brag. Larry is right though. Take a cue from Fitzgerald in the Great Gatsby who has Nick say "I graduated from New Haven in 1915" ( I think)

As for that tourney in Russia. Die Mannschaft oder nichts.

As for ESPN Game day at Yale. Nice. Of course ther biggest EVER audience was from Franklin Field. Home to the Red and The Blue. Yeah, that's Penn Wm.C.

Lewis 9:34 AM  

@nancy -- AMA: Ask Me Anything

Z 9:35 AM  

@Nancy - Not even as well as I know Rex. But she does a crossword blog on the LATX, and is a profligate constructor whose byline everywhere else is “C.C. Burnikel.” Note.her brief intro on that blog. So much like I call Rex “Rex” when I write about him, I default to the much quicker to type “C.C.”

@Mohair Sam - No there aren’t. There are well debunked lies on one side and basic human decency on the other.

Three and out.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

Z
I don't think your position is full of lies, just a tad mistaken. Don't be so hard on yourself. Sure, the left is full of dissembling swells who use immigrants for cheap labor to watch their kids, cut their grass, pick their fruit, but that doesn't mean they're ALL liars. Just most of the. But thanks for calling our side decent. It is. Every nation has the right to secure its borders and admit who it chooses. That's the law of the land. and contravening is indecent.

Wm. C. 9:40 AM  

Lotsa unknown stuff (many after filling in with crosses) for me. Unusual for any day of the week, never mind Tuesday. I'm surprised at the many comments above about how easy it was.

AMA, IAN, ABEL, OMNIBUS, SHERA, ASIANA, ODIA, DELTORO, IMAN ...

Mohair Sam 10:05 AM  

@Z (9:35) - "I think that, in many ways, we’re in a crisis right now. Those who love truth, justice and the great American tradition of democracy have to determine that we’re not going to succumb to temptations to demonize. That is a dead end."
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Your arguments are invariably a dead end.

kitshef 10:16 AM  

@Mohair Sam 9:01 re M&A's favorite city: I always figured either Ouagadougou or Bujumbura.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Annoying is an apt description.

GILL I. 10:33 AM  

So @Loren stirred the pot and I missed it?
C.C. added a potage of meat to bare bones Tuesday. I'm enjoying her each and every day of the week. This Tuesday was primo in my humble opinionatta.
CENTRAL ALPS is definitely a thing. It's the Eastern region of Europe but it's referred to as CENTRAL. I personally prefer skiing the Bola in Navacerrada, Spain. I was self taught and pig-headed as hell. I was told that if you could ski down the Bola (ball) and not end up In the ski lodge down below then you've graduated. In those days the skis were 20 feet long and if you didn't know how to stem christie you were DOA. I wasn't quite DOA but exactly one nano second off the lift, I barreled down the Bola on my arse and it' a loooong way down. Thank goodness for Fundador in the ski lodge.
In a way, I'm glad Clare doesn't know OPIE. I mean really, to be honest, he was a whiny little brat that was always nagging Aunt Bee and never forgave her for losing his pet bird. And who names a boy OPIE?
Is HAZing still allowed in schools? FRAID SO?

michiganman 10:41 AM  

What a natick demolition derby: IAMMALALA, KUALALUMPUR, IMAM,ADAM, ODIN, HALALFOOD, DELTORO, ABEL. That's a lot of obscurity all jammed up. I found the theme rather forced, although the revealer helped me fill a few squares. Overall not much pleasure.


My turn to be a snowflake: Spanking is assault. Try spanking a stranger's child if you don't believe me. Parenthood should not earn you a pass to inflict physical violence on a human being.

Rainbow 10:49 AM  

You obviously watched very few (if any) episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Those of you who did know what I mean.

Canon Chasuble 10:50 AM  

An Omnibus volume might be another British-ism meaning a collection of novels (usually same-authored) collected in one book. A tough Tuesday for me since I have no knowledge of "people" such as He-Man, Shera, Adam, Iman, and Rae. And yes, I started doing NYT puzzles under Margaret Farrar, but don't miss Biblical references every other day.

old timer 11:16 AM  

Natick here at IAMMALALA crossed by the supermodel. Otherwise Tough Tuesday but doable.

Now I solve ink on paper. With an app I would have guessed MALALA and gotten that Happy Pencil you all speak of.

When I was little, it was the sacred duty of parents to spank. And when their parents were youngsters, it was the duty of a father to thrash his sons when they disobeyed or insulted their elders. Proves nothing except that times and customs change. In fact, I once read that in Belgium, corporal punishment was forbidden up to the age of seven, on the grounds that they reached the age of reason at that age, and could not be held responsible for what they did when they were younger.

Joseph Michael 11:17 AM  

What’s worse than an alternative name for He-Man? The twin of He-Man.

With proper nouns accounting for than 40% of the entries, this puzzle is an annoying namefest. For me, that outweighs any cleverness the theme has to offer.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

Another. . . Another Warriors "fan". Went to YALE? No one from The Bay Area goes to YALE, so whence are you from Clare and how came you to be a fan of the currently greatest team in the NBA?

Master Melvin 12:17 PM  

I counted 28 proper names. Ugh.

Kath320 12:41 PM  

Thanks for the "I've never heard of Opie" kick in the gut. Kids these days, sheesh!

Joanne 12:43 PM  

Thank you Clare for a lovely write up!

I was a waitress in Lake Tahoe years ago. Loved the summers!

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

I've searched twice but can't find LMS comment today.

Unknown 12:44 PM  

Once I had the B it more or less had to be ABEL; otherwise the crossing with IMAN would have reduced me to rollng dice. But I think I should have known her if she was married to David Bowie.

As for the theme -- first one I got was IN LA LA LAND, so I naturally thought the theme would be LALALA. That would have been neater. As it was, I think the superfluous As and/or Ls in some of the themers was a fault. Not too bad a one, though.

puzzlehoarder 1:09 PM  

I'm surprised at the number of people who find IMAN to be obscure. That name is a very commonly used piece of ese. My own issue used to be confusing it with IMAM.

@lms, I missed your comments. It sounds like you were upset about something. I'm sorry to hear that. I don't recall you ever taking down your own comments before.

chefwen 1:29 PM  

@Nancy 9:17 - Yes, we do raise a few cattle here, we do it for the AG tax break. We have along with OREO, Sir Loin, Bubba Burger, Bob. Big Red, and Stu.

Joe Bleaux 2:06 PM  

I did, and I do. (And as Andy would say about anyone who badmouths Opie, "Aw, just try to look over her. She ain't from around here, bless her heart.")

Joe Bleaux 2:14 PM  

This time, I'm doubly penalized for getting here late. Everything I might want to say about CC's puzzle has already been said, AND Loren deleted a provocative post before I got to read it. Dang! Wish I could blame something or someone besides myself!

Anonymous 2:48 PM  

I hope I'm not being too picky here, but Augusta National Golf Club has insisted that CBS, in its coverage of the Masters Tournament, refer to the two nines as "first nine" and "second nine", not "front nine" and "back nine" as suggested by the clue in 5D.

Teedmn 2:59 PM  

I liked the turnabout from thinking the theme was LA LA (which explains why I had to write over KUALA LaMPUR) to realizing it was celebrating AL Bundy and AL Gore, which is ALTOGETHER too weird a couple.

Thanks, CC, fun Tuesday.

Robert A. Simon 3:51 PM  

For 54D, "Citizen Competitor," did anyone else fill in TRUMP?

pabloinnh 4:11 PM  

Seems to be missing clues for "Deck the Halls" (FA....LALALALALALALALA) and "Now Is the Month of Maying", a lovely madrigal (FA...LALALALA...FA....LALALALALALALA).

Too seasonal, probably.

Anonymous 5:12 PM  

That doesn't even make sense.

Jason 5:53 PM  

FRAID SO made me want to stop and forget this puzzle ALTOGETHER.

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

Many months ago an insightful poster had poor LMS down pat.
Her posts are, among other things, far too confessional. I wish her well in general, and more specifically a good outcome with her dad.
But its a good reminder that this is a crossword blog. Its awful sad when i see Z boast about his frisbee exploits or Loren blathering on about some incipid WV classroom castrophe. Who cares about Nancys tennis games? OFLs tired grievances about Shortz are more than enough of personal gripes, glories or long stale guffaws.
I LIKE CROSSSORD PUZZLES. THIS WAS A

Good one. TNANKS Cc

Dad 10:24 PM  

My favorite band name of all time is Better than Ezra, legend has it they won a battle of the bands and the first runner up was named Ezra.

Burma Shave 8:53 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

thefogman 9:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 9:39 AM  

Meh. Not very remarkable. C.C. usually ranks in the NINES or TENS. A failing grade this time? FRAIDSO. Why even bother with a theme as flat as this? Am ITHE only one who thinks Rex might have had a few TERSE words about this puzzle?

rondo 11:13 AM  

Having ENDUP and LIETO very early made me look to see if the constructor was C.C. 'FRAIDSO cuz she'll have those short phrases, but those were about the end of that. Having INLALALAND and IAMMALALA had me mis-spell KUALALaMPUR for the only write-over, going for LALA instead of ALAL. HALALFOOD in the CENTRALALPS came along later.

If you haven't seen Benicio DELTORO (and a cast of many other well-known actors) in "Snatch", you really must. Hilarious flick. It takes several viewings to get all of the humor. Same with "21 Grams", also very good, certainly not funny. Both films underrated.

Supermodels like IMAN aside, I kinda like Carly RAE Jepsen as yeah BABY today.

ALTOGETHER a nice Tues-puz.

spacecraft 11:31 AM  

First thing I thought of was "LALALA I can't HEAR you!" This was fated to ENDUP an even deeper disappointment than it would have otherwise, because I noticed the byline before starting. "Can this really be C.C.?" I thought. The grid is littered with PPPs--some far too obscure for a Tuesday--and awkward partials, culminating in this beaut: ITHE. If you ENDUP with that in your grid, and don't rip it out and start over, you just don't care.

Theme entries were certainly restricted here, and that puts a great onus on the construct. Perhaps too ambitious, the whole idea should probably have been scrapped. DOD competition is fierce this time, with IMAN, LAILA and Carly RAE--but the sash goes to SHE-RA!

@Mohair Sam: agreed on the Mamet film: those who missed "House of Games" are hereby urged to see it. Does the vaunted Ms. BurNICKEL rate a bogey? FRAIDSO.

Diana,LIW 11:52 AM  

Ooh LA LA! Is Miz B our player of the day, I wondered as I wandered thru the grid. Si! Si!

See...always pick answer C if you're not sure.

Now I'll go read how everyone else had the same comments. But if anyone complained, I'll bet they didn't use my tried and true "flit about" method. Patent pending.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, Flitting like a Butterfly for another TKO

PS - Thanks to @Lefty for sicing Fifi on those golfing dolts yesterday.

leftcoastTAM 1:59 PM  

ALAL. ALTOGETHER. Is that all there is? Okay. To bad LAILA doesn't qualify, and she's bright star of the puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 2:25 PM  

Emendation: "Too bad LAILA doesn't qualify; she's one of the bright stars of the puzzle."

leftcoastTAM 7:06 PM  

Oh, and LAILAALI wouldn't qualify either, alas.

rondo 9:49 PM  

@lefty - if she ever writes her autobiography it should be I LAILA - which is ALI ALI backwards. Potential answer for a Friday WSJ contest puz.

thefogman 11:02 AM  

Easy one for me. I had eeK before ACK and CrisPS before CHOMPS but aside from that there were few snags. NRA is a trigger (pardon the pun) for the ANTI-gun crowd, but Mr. Shortz is COOL with it and RAN it anyways. Oh, and I guessed right with an "O" for the ETO/ROSEN crossing which was close call. I'll CUTTO(the)CHASE. While it isn't ATTEN, there isn't much to HANOY or MOAN about. AISLE even say it was pretty good for a Wednesday.

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