Word spoken before after James / TUE 9-4-18 / Pair of skivvies / Sporty Pontiacs of old

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (3:12)


THEME: THE EIGHTIES (58A: When Pac-Man and Rubik's Cube were popular ... or a phonetic hint for 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across) — two-word answers, first word starts with "A," second word starts with "T":

Theme answers:
  • ALL TOGETHER (17A: In unison)
  • ATOMIC THEORY (23A: The idea that matter is composed of small, distinct components)
  • AIRPORT TERMINAL (37A: Common taxi destination)
  • ANCHOR TENANT (48A: Big department store in a mall, e.g.)
Word of the Day: ANCHOR TENANT (48A) —
In retail, an "anchor store" (sometimes called an "anchor tenant", "draw tenant", or "key tenant") is a considerably larger tenant in a shopping mall, often a department store or retail chain. With their broad appeal, they are intended to attract a significant cross-section of the shopping public to the center. (store store store store store) (wikipedia)
• • •

What a bizarre set of answers. You could do A.T. answers all day long, and *these* are the ones you settle on??? ARMORED TRUCK, APPLE TREE, ANN TAYLOR, ANIMAL TRAINER ... etc etc etc. I'm particularly floored by the off-brand ANCHOR TENANT, which is ... I mean, the wikipedia entry is for ANCHOR STORE because that is what people call them. Our local mall is dissolving, largely because ANCHOR STOREs are moving out. Why are you dipping into the "sometimes called" jar for answeres when the world is literally teeming with other, more interesting, more in-the-language A.T. answers. Not coincidentally, the only trouble I had with this puzzle happened *entirely* along the length of TENANT. AND HOW made it worse. Super-annoying that I got thwarted by language out of a Norman Rockwell painting. AND HOW is exacerbated by "keister" and "skivvies" and other things Andy Taylor might say. All that aw-shucks nostalgia-talk is cloying enough as it is without its being involved in the whole TENANT-area train wreck. I have no problem with the theme concept here (though it feels awfully familiar ...), but choose better answers. Real answers.


There is nothing else memorable or remarkable about this puzzle except that the themers were an odd, arbitrary set, and the theme derailed at TENANT. The only marks I have made on the grid that are not in the TENANT region are:
  • The last two letters in I'M OFF (I had I'M OUT) (as in "I'm out (of here)") (1A: "Gotta go!")
  • The second word in PIANO TUNER (question-mark clue meant I needed a couple crosses to figure that one out) (11D: One involved with a grand opening?)
  • The last letter in AMAS (got my first / second / third persons all turned around in my head and forgot which way second person was supposed to go—I might've tested a "T" there) (27D: You love: Lat.)
  • The second letter in MITE (I had MOTE) (54D: Smidgen).
The end. I thought I was at least headed toward a smooth, non-disastrous solving experience with this one, but then TENANT happened (AND HOW!) and that dream ended. I should add that I could've gotten back on track a little more quickly if a. I had known what kind of [Racket] I was dealing with at 51D: Racket (NOISE), and b. I had figured out what the hell the context was for 53A: Word spoken before and after "James" (BOND). Clue makes it sound like anyone might "speak" it. Also, BOND here is not a "word," it's a name. You aren't encouraging James to get closer to his child. He is naming himself. UGH.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

105 comments:

Brian 12:02 AM  

Like an easy Monday. Nothing to it.

jae 12:06 AM  

Very easy. Cute and pretty darn smooth. Liked it more than @Rex did, although I agree that ANCHOR TENANT is a tad clunky.

Patrick O'Connor 12:10 AM  

A very low time for me (although TENANT also slowed me down a bit). I thought the fill was very clean, if uninspiring. Am I the only person who hears "A.T." in "ATM" and thinks of Dorothy crying for her relative in The Wizard of Oz?

Anonymous 12:11 AM  

I liked Spurn, Frosty and World Class. That's about it. Didn't love Knute, NoSir, ImOff, Ers, AsIAm, UpFor, AteIt, GotBy, or GTOs or STP.

I mean none of them are tragic, but ALLTOGETHER? UGH.

Calman Snoffelevich 12:18 AM  

What does Trebek have to do with this puzzle?

ghkozen 12:20 AM  

Disagree with the entire thrust of Rex’s reaction. To me, “Anchor Store” is not a phrase, not in the language. It’s an abombination. They are ANCHOR TENANTs, and only ANCHOR TENANTs. It is absolutely, positively, the word. Full stop. Criticism is parachial and unfounded.

Anonymous 12:27 AM  

Wikipedia not withstanding anchor enant is a very common expression used in the real estate and banking industries.

Greg Charles 12:34 AM  

22D Mo ='SEC? I'm not getting that one.

puzzlehoarder 12:38 AM  

This was just as effortless as yesterday's puzzle. I thought I'd finished in the same time but it turned out I still had to drop in 48D and 49D. Looking over my now supposedly finished puzzle I spotted CATTI at 7D

I thought that's PATTI you idiot. Somehow it didn't hit me after I'd already put SCORN in at 6A and was thinking CATHY? I finished the puzzle by entering SPURN.

I had to look up Patti Page after solving because even though I've heard the name I really don't know who she is. I listened to one song on You Tube and she's very pre- rock and roll.

Max Carpenter 12:56 AM  

Seems to me that there's a double-layered theme going on here which might account for the strange choice of ANCHORTENANT. That is, each of the four themers has two Ts, which totals to EIGHT Ts.

Mark Barrett 12:58 AM  

The theme answers also have 8 Ts to fit the revealer.

SMH 1:06 AM  

What a bizarre and unhinged rant re: anchor store.

ANCHOR TENANT is obviously the preferred usage, at least in the United States. Apparently Rex has never picked up the business section of a major American newspaper! Google “WSJ anchor tenant” - I dare you. PSST if you scroll down the page of that purportedly damning Wikipedia article you’ll see multiple references to “shopping centres,” so you may want to think before you link.

And for those interested I ran a quick search of SEC filings (10-Ks). “Anchor tenant” romps “anchor store” to the tune of 1,420 hits to 397.

Brookboy 1:07 AM  

Rex, I am baffled by your pique at not knowing that the word RACKET could mean NOISE, and that the name BOND might be associated with the word JAMES. You probably should have had a martini or two first. (Or maybe you did...)

Tom 1:35 AM  

Put in ANCHORstore and came up one short with a wtf? Got it later. Super easy Tues. Second day for AARP, Ubiquitous UMA. I'm a car guy, but getting tired of GTOS. Maybe clue it on Friday with "most expensive Ferrari sold at auction." That's a GTO of note.

Not ready for FROSTY yet. Looking forward to fall on the California coast.

Larry Gilstrap 1:36 AM  

Wow! NEIL Simon has died and then pops up in the puzzle? Nice touch Mr. Editor. The Odd Couple featured mature men in a believable life circumstance, and it was very funny. I just heard an archival interview with him on NPR, and it was terrific. He claimed to never have received a penny from the TV series. Show biz.

I made the most of THE EIGHTIES: the time was right and I was energized. I'm not vouching for the culture or the music or the political vibe, but I did alright.

PSST! and TSK! and STAT! are fine with me. Not exactly texting jargon, but no less acceptable as fill.

I grew up in America, so soccer was foreign. Mia HAMM was raved about, so I watched some of her games. She was a perpetual motion machine, which in that game is very important. I developed a crush, once again.

I have spells when I read science writers, you know, those guys who don't dumb it down for us English majors, but explain the latest research and findings. Darwin Comes to Town by Menno Schilthuizen, he must be Dutch, is my latest. He presents a THEORY that evolution can actually occur rapidly in urban environments.

Some malls have claimed SEARS as an ANCHOR TENANT from the beginning.

Didn't realize the constructor was Dr. Haight. I have friends who claim to credit him for helping them deal with diminished vision issues.

travis 1:46 AM  

I've heard of anchor tenant more than I've heard of anchor store. Mostly because anchor tenant centers the landlord's perspective and makes sense while anchor store centers the shopper's perspective, but from the shopper's perspective they couldn't care less if a store is an anchor or not. ie "The mall found an anchor tenant and therefore won't be going bankrupt" vs "I went to the mall because of the anchor store".

Anonymous 2:34 AM  

Ummm....Isn’t there a second theme, “The 8 “T’s”? There are exactly two “T’s” in each theme answer, for a total of eight “T’s”.

chefwen 2:46 AM  

The word medium never entered the equation here, we both thought this was super east. Puzzle partner finished his copy before me, always a feather in his cap. I think he got a head start and I’m sticking with that.

One write over at 43A NEaL before NEIL, I’m not counting that one. Pair of skivvies gave me pause, OH, he’s getting all cutesy with us playing the letter game, o.k. I’ll put in the damn VEES. Ha Ha!

Never know how to spell DALAI, always want an H in there, somewhere.

'american in Paris 2:48 AM  

I, too, was tripped up in the ATE IT-TENANT-EBERT-BOND area, which added precious hecto-seconds to what should have been a quick solve time for me. I agree with @Rex: ANCHOR TENANT sounds a MITE forced.

@Rex to WS: I SAY, T'IS THE EIGHTIES. MOOR is not less, NO SIR! Give it a WREST!

Is it still only a THEORY that the universe is comprised of ATOMs? I had thought that had been proven.

Otherwise, I zoomed through the rest of the puzzle. Some of the cluing and answers seemed Monday-ish, other Wednesday-ish, which I suppose yields Tuesday-ish on average. OLLA I get only through the crosses. ALWAYS.

Spoiler alert: I'm surprised that @Rex didn't remark on AARP appearing two days in a row. (Is Shortz sending a subtle signal there?) SOLAR on Sunday and today. And yesterday we had ASIANS, today ASIAM.

PSST! I'M OFF.

JOHN X 3:01 AM  

This was a fine if easy Tuesday puzzle.

All the themers were good. ANCHOR TENANT is a very real thing, and easily inferred if you couldn't figure it out in the first five seconds.

ALL the answers were good. The BOND clue was a little weird but in the end that was a real nothing burger.

Loren Muse Smith 4:12 AM  

I’m totally on Bruce’s wavelength. A couple of years ago, our @Joho and I had a “foreign” puzzle rejected (all themers had 4 N’s). Can’t remember the reveal. So I loved today’s offering. The way we pronounce EIGHTIES, the themers easily could’ve been A D phrases, too. Hey – how ‘bout THE FORTIES (tater tots, tattle tale, twitter bot, taste test).

Rex – you were spot on saying that AND HOW is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Is that so bad? I liked it. One man’s cloy is another man’s joy. Hah.

I had CNN on in the background the other day, and there was a show on THE EIGHTIES. I kinda miss the shoulder pads.

ASIAM is a dook. Did you hear? Marge went to the estate sale and picked up a gorgeous Asiam samovar for next to nothing.

@Larry – I, too, noticed SEARS sharing the grid with ANCHOR TENANT. (I’ve heard both ANCHOR TENANT and anchor store – so I didn’t get all bent out of shape.)

I get that phonetic plays aren’t everyone’s cuppa (see also clue for VEES). Hopefully for some they’re an, ahem, acquired taste?

Nice one, Bruce!

Anonymous 4:48 AM  

@LMS - You took the tater tots, didn’t you?

Jeffrey 4:56 AM  

He’s eighty.

Anonymous 5:26 AM  

Anything that has to do with the private sector is outside Mike's ken. When we're finally a thriving Socialist nation, we'll all be ok.

Anonymous 5:27 AM  

The 8 Ts

Great, fun decade.

Anonymous 5:30 AM  

From the Wordplay writeup in the NYT:

22D: I stared at “Mo” for a SEC and thought perhaps something had been left out. It comes from those instances — and I’m sure they’re out there — when someone says, “I’ll be with you in just a mo,” for “moment.”

If anyone ever said that to me I'd have to defriend them on the spot.

Mark Laser 6:16 AM  

“Mo” is short for moment, as in “ Can you wait a mo.”
“Sec” is short for second, as in “ i’ll be with you in just a sec.”

Lewis 6:27 AM  

@rex -- Wikipedia gets 420K hits for ANCHOR TENANT in quotes, and in its "anchor store" article, the first sentence is: In retail, an "anchor store" (sometimes called an "anchor tenant", "draw tenant", or "key tenant") is a considerably larger tenant in a shopping mall, often a department store or retail chain.

Lovely answers in SPURN, WREST, and AND HOW. I was thinking it was a theme with two angles, the A-T angle and the "eight tees" angle (as there are 8 tees in the four theme answers), but in Bruce's notes he said if he had it to do all over again, he's try to get ANKLE TATTOO in as a theme answer, so the 8-tees angle, apparently never entered his mind.

A quick enjoyable romp through a clean grid, leaving me wondering if the two double-T's in the grid could be called "vicinities".

Art Balini 6:33 AM  

Mo short for moment, sec short for second

George 6:52 AM  

I used to live in EAU Claire (which by the way has had a bit of an economic resurgence and is much nicer now than when I lived there,) and I personally love the word SKIVVIES, in fact I use it all the time.

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

YES

Anonymous 6:58 AM  

I think Rex merely said he wasn't sure which meaning of racket, not that he didn't know NOISE.

Anonymous 7:04 AM  

Maybe you are confusing theory with hypothesis.

Lobster11 7:05 AM  

Love me some Mia Hamm. Abby Wambach eventually passed her on the all-time goal-scoring list, but no one will ever come close to Mia's record for assists.

BTW, the US Women's national team plays its last friendly tonight (ESPN2, 10 pm Eastern) before World Cup qualifying starts next month.

Anonymous 7:05 AM  

Alex Trebeck would be another A.T. but doesn't have two t's in it. I would have looked for another answer than 'anchor tenant' even if it is legit. Quick easy Tuesday.

Anonymous 7:09 AM  

ASIAM a dook? I don't get it unless you are changing M to N. Asian????

Chris Martens 7:09 AM  

Yes! In fact, that’s what I thought the theme was before I came here.

kitshef 7:12 AM  

The theme was clearly 8 Es - there are a total of eight Es in the five themers (including the reveal).

michiganman 7:17 AM  

The theme was something to determine after completing the puzzle, not the kind of theme that helps the solve. I looked for 8 E's. Nope. Couldn't see anything else. EIGHTIES is ATE EES, not A TEES. I just wasn't thinking
loosely enough, I guess. I'm glad today's bone of contention, TENANT vs. store, is meaningless in real life.

Hungry Mother 7:18 AM  

No crunch for breakfast today. I’m never sad about a quick solve. No help from the theme except in getting the reveal.

Unknown 7:22 AM  

Saunas are dry with no steam. Tho old timers sometimes pour a cup of water into the heater (usually a bed of stones over a heat source) which creates a flash of steam for a sec and raises the temp for a mo. But normally you see no steam in a sauna. You have to go to the steam room for that.

TSG 7:38 AM  

Anchor store here. Anchor stores are pulling out of malls, leaving them at a full stop.

GHarris 7:41 AM  

I believe Rex was engaging in a little leg pulling with his rant on the anchor business. It was just a clean, simple, easy to do puzzle and he had to stretch for something to say. Kudos to the commentators who pointed out the real cleverness of the theme, counting the “t’s” and the “e’s”.

Z 7:51 AM  

Sauna

AS I AM

Hand up for team ANCHOR TENANT.

Does one not particularly funny pun provide enough of an “aha mo” to base a theme around? Maybe once upon a time around the fishing hole with Andy Taylor. Now, the whole thing just feels a little worn. Does having four answers with two T’s each add anything? Not really.

Rainbow 8:03 AM  

Love me some MIA Hamm? Creepy

mmorgan 8:03 AM  

I'm familar with the phrase Anchor Store, never heard of Anchor Tenant but had no problem with it. Now I know that the latter is more common for many/most and I continue to be fascinated by regional and experiential variations.

Moment of silence for all the dying malls....

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

Thanks for explaining the theme. I was looking for 8 E's and this made no sense. Oops.

AngryTirade 8:17 AM  

Puzzles that are all about the constructor's conceit, as this one here is, leave me cold. Okay, I can see how some might find it clever that there are 8 T's in the theme answers or that A and T sound like Eighty etc. But who cares?? We the customer have to do all the work to satisfy some ego trip on the part of the constructor. I jump into a crossword hoping to be challenged or amused or dazzled or even better to learn something, yet instead I am confronted by some blowhard at a party eating canapes and holding forth with a convulted anecdote that only he or she would find of interest. Yuck.

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

Could not have gotten off to a worse start in the NW. 1A SEEYA ("Gotta go!"), 14A GLASS panel ("rooftop installation"), 20A AYE ("vote in favor"). Also misdirected at 65A UMS ("Hesitant speech sounds") and 67A USURP ("seize forcibly").

I cannot remember the last time I fell for every possible trap on the acrosses. And then, just for good measure, I plunked down MoTE instead of MITE at 54D.

Still, managed to finish a respectable 3:52.

PS - and I love the 80s!

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

The Shrunken Whitemen Handbook for Rexwriting.

1. Leads: Blah theme...I could think of 10 other choices here, all better than this; No! No!; why would you...; only X number of theme answers; the reason my time was off (relating to sleep or time puzzle was done); this was decent but.
2. Middle: Harp on the clue that slowed you down...build to rage...keep harping; demand more women constructors; find a word that can be construed as an insult to some group, somewhere, somehow...express rage; move on to merely indignant.
3. Close: Revisit lead and middle; insult Shortz; make a pitch for something.

we don't h8 the Haight 8:53 AM  

Let's be clear, NYT lurker...we think Bruce Haight is a nice guy...his puzzles are awful. We're not attacking the constructor, we're attacking the construction, which btw, implicates the editor. He's a nice enough guy as well, but his editing is a problem.

crabsofsteel 8:54 AM  

If an ANCHOR owns its own space, is it really a TENANT?

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

Hmm. The blogger who make stinks at regular intervals about "wikiclues" - cites the fact that the wikipedia article ended up entitled "anchor store" when it goes right on to say "anchor tenant" - can we call to mind any of the million bazillion instances where Rexipoo has highlighted something in the wikipedia quote as a horrible, horrible, bad, bad thing, and then compare today's fiasco?

Rex Parker. Hmm. 1A: Piece of work, 9 letters?

Nancy 8:58 AM  

Fifty comments before 9 a.m.? Wow.

Very easy, but by @Tita's definition -- and btw, where are you, @Tita??? -- I didn't finish the puzzle. The revealer made no sense to me in relation to the theme answers. Came here to see the connection and did a quick head slap. Duh. Or is it Doh? I'm never sure. Anyway, while all of you were up with the roosters, or even sooner, I woke up too early this morning, am sleepy, and I hope that's why I didn't see the ATs. Nothing bad about the puzzle, but nothing especially wonderful, either.

Suzie Q 9:05 AM  

I saw the constructor and immediately was cheering for him because I knew that @ Rex would hate Haight. So easy to see that coming.
Reading the comments and seeing that there are three ways to play the theme turned my own positive bias into genuine admiration.
@ Anon 8:34, You've nailed it.
Some days Rex is such a predictable snob. What is so terrible about Norman Rockwell and Mayberry?

Q, Suzie Q

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Anchor Tenant popped right out for me. In not in commercial real estate or anything, but I'm familiar with that usage. I've seen it recently in stories about the decline of shopping malls.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Angry Tirade said @ 8:17 ~ You would make an excellent understudy for Rex, or, better yet, a worthy candidate for anger management counseling.

Mr. Benson 9:42 AM  

Rex once again finds something that isn't right in his wheelhouse and criticizes the puzzle for it. ANCHOR TENANT is very much in the language in the real estate world.

pmdm 9:51 AM  

The prime mandate for a Tuesday puzzle is that it is easy to solve for beginners. By convention, it has a theme, but that is just a convention. (Come to think of it, I suppose its difficulty level is just a convention also, but the prime convention.)

I usually fill in all the across entries and then all the down entries on Monday and Tuesdays (I am averse to jumping one place to another in the clue list), but today for no good reason, I started at the top and filled in the entire puzzle from top to down. That means I filled in all the theme entries before reaching the revealer clue, which resulted in the puzzle seeming like a themeless to me. Even after reading THE EIGHTIES I didn't realize the ET theme. And the solving experience for me was typical for a Tuesday. So to those who make a point of criticizing the theme, for me it makes absolutely no difference to the solving experiences. It just deprived me of an AHA moment concerning the theme. And that's not why I solve the crossword puzzles. Nice going, Bruce.

GHarris and others: for whatever reasons, Mr. Sharp seems to dislike Bruce. and needs to complain about all of Bruce's puzzles. So on a day like today, when there is little to complain about (considering the overall quality of the fill), there becomes a need to harp on something like ANCHOR TENANT. And because the complaint is more or less contrived, the rant has to be long to attempt to justify the complaint. I am sure you all have been visiting this blog long enough to realize this modus operandi. It doesn't exactly endear me to the write-ups, but I visit this site to read the comments, not the write up. So to all of you who write satiric comments about the write-up, you really ought to restrain yourseves. Everyone who visits this site knows what to expect and how to interpret the write-ups. Your complaints defeat your purpose because the complaints probably encourage continuation of the rants. And, at least for me, the combination of both get tiresome after a while. So there's my own "rant."

I'm sure Bruce doesn't really worry about how Mike responds to his puzzles. He seems very happy when most who comment enjoy his work. Good for him.

Bruce Haight 9:51 AM  

ANCHOR TENANT seemed educational to me, and it Googles three times better than anchor store. If you check out Googles Ngram viewer it's interesting that AND HOW has remarkably even usage over the last 200 years- if anything it has risen in the last fifty years. If I was going to ding fill in this puzzle I would go right after OLLA - who ever uses THAT word in daily life?!

Matthew G. 9:56 AM  

ANCHOR TENANT might be in the language, but the problem is with the clue. When referring to a mall, the term almost anyone would use would be ANCHOR STORE.

This one Tuezed.

QuasiMojo 10:09 AM  

No WREST for the wicked. Loved the clue for PIANO TUNER. "Pair of skiVVies" was A CUTE misdirect. My big mistake was trying to fit ELAINE into the PAGE clue, forgetting that it is Paige ANYHOW. Very little FAT in this one. Nice job.

Mary McCarty 10:14 AM  

Can’t believe the triple theme wasn't explicitly mentioned til SuzieQ at 9:05. Or is it a “just” a gimmick, seeing that it’s based on letter-play, not connotations or relationships. Would have been way cooler if those had been the only E’s and T’s in the puzzle, but that would’ve been near impossible. It is, after all, “just” a Tuesday, pretty easy.

newspaperguy 10:15 AM  

I come here to read the comments, especially those from Loren Muse Smith, and to dream of the day I can tie an anchor to the ankle of whining bloggers. Yeesh.

ArtO 10:15 AM  

I'm on the side of ANCHORTENANT. But, believe it's probably more in real estate lingo than consumer (store) language.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

Ugh. I was mystified by Rex's dismissiveness. I see now what I should've see from the get go; It's Bruce Haight puzzle. All is clear. Right down to the sycophant @Z piling on, or rather glommimg on to Rex's inane rant about Mayberry.

Anchor tenant is of course the phrase as several folks have ably pointed out.
And Alex Trebek is ridiculous as well. No surprise that Rex missed the missing T. He's a lot like a physicist ( minus the math skills); never in doubt, frequently in error.

Thanks for the fine puzzle Mr. Haight. for what it's worth I like your puzzle.

FLAC 10:28 AM  

I liked this puzzle. And it reminded me that among the great East Coast burlesque names of yore (Busty Russell, Fanny Foxe) was "Ann Howe."

Cassieopia 10:33 AM  

A Terrifictuesday. Very fast for me, and I liked thinking “the eighties? The eighties? Oh, the A Ts!” Although it could have been “the 8 Es!” But it wasn’t.

My favorite was PIANOTUNER, very clever clueing there. I always like seeing Bruce Haights name as a constructor, I tend to like his puzzles.

jb129 10:33 AM  

Not your usual BH puzzle, but then today is Tuesday.

Joseph Michael 10:51 AM  

Hand up for thinking that the theme was 8 T’s. Thought that was pretty lame and didn’t change my opinion much when I finally realized it was actually A & T’s.

Have to agree with Rex that the choice of themers left much to be desired, but the rest of the fill was decent. Liked WORLD CLASS PIANO TUNER.

R.I.P to the talented NEIL Simon, one of the theatre world’s most underrated playwrights. Hmmm. I don’t think Trump was invited to his funeral either.

And then there’s the movie “Rich Crazy ASIAMs.”

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

When you think about it, OF COURSE "Anchor Tenant" would be the more common American usage than "Anchor Store." In American writing about economics, the writer traditionally adopts the point of view of capital, not labor or consumer.

See, for instance, the use of the word "competitive" when discussing salary. A "competitive" salary is one that's lower than one's competitors if one is talking about the bulk of a company's workforce, but one higher than one's competitors if one is talking about top management.

Similarly, the daily "business" reports in the media (say, on NPR where I hear them daily) we get frequent updates on the amount of money flowing to investors--on any given day you're likely to be made aware of marginal movements of various indexes--but far less-frequent updates about the amount of money flowing to workers. Further, shifts of capital flow toward investors are generally presented as good news (with accompanying jaunty music, in many cases) whereas shifts of capital toward labor are presented as bad news ("increasing costs.")

A retail outlet is both a "tenant" and a "store." It's a "store" to the consumers who visit it, and it's a "tenant" to the real estate conglomerate that owns the mall. So, of course, in the American usage, it's that "tenant" perspective that dominates. We reflexively identify with the conglomerate and adopt its' point of view.

Carola 11:24 AM  

Like @kitshef, I saw (only) eight Es. It's very neat that the theme is a triple threat.
I was surprised at @Rex's objection to AND HOW - it's something I say, and not in any kind of cutesy aren't-I-being-retro way.
@Bruce Haight - at OLLA, I thought, "On a Tuesday?" But then, I decided it could be a good learning experience for new solvers, one to file away.

BDL in PS 11:31 AM  

I don’t get VEES. While undergarments in general can be referred to as skivvies, a” pair of skivvies” is decidedly underpants. Since when is a vee-necked shirt a pair of anything? Am I missing something?

Banana Diaquiri 11:36 AM  

@crabsofsteel:
If an ANCHOR owns its own space, is it really a TENANT?

in most malls, the owner is a corporation that owns malls. I'd wager there's no more than a handscount of malls where any store, anchor or otherwise, is the owner of either its space or the mall. it's also true, which I learned when complaining about something at a chain department store (name withheld to protect the guilty), that in such stores whole 'sections' are rented/leased to vendors; they're not of the store, only inside. you get no satisfaction.

David Schinnerer 11:39 AM  

Look, we all know Michael is a world class ass. (So sorry, Minnesota...if he actually does move there) But I will never understand how he ALWAYS feels his answers to the themers are ALWAYS better than that day's constructor's. Yes, Mikey, there ARE tons of alternatives, but these are the ones THIS constructor picked for HIS puzzle.

Why would yours be any better? These may be DIFFERENT than the ones conjured up in your megalomaniacal mind, but they fit the theme, so who freakin' cares?

Jeez, what a self-important comic book teacher...

Warren Howie Hughes 11:41 AM  

ACUTE Monday offering from the ALWAYS fertile mind of Bruce Haight, that was right up our ALLY! Now I can WREST my weary bones after having felt my OATES and done my DALAI Xword Puz from the pages of the Gray Lady!

Amelia 11:47 AM  

Look, I don't mind a stupid theme. (And this was a stupid theme. Totally agree with Rex on this one.) I don't mind an easy puzzle. ( I really should wait until at least Wednesday to do it.)

What I found insane were 24 and 25 down. Gets emotional at a wedding, maybe? What is that maybe? Wouldn't it always be cries? And why did I need a reference to that in the next down clue?

Isn't sheds a blank always going to be tear? Didn't need the connection and really, the clue is bad to begin with. I think they thought it was cute. It is not cute. It's embarrassing.

I'm going with bad editing on that one.

Reminder: Yesterday was a Monday and it was an Elizabeth Gorski New Yorker puzzle and it was nice and easy, but in a really good way.

S. Green 11:55 AM  

Is today's blog a parody of his usual petty criticisms? It's getting hard to tell.

David Schinnerer 12:06 PM  

Ooooohh...It's Bruce Haight. Now I see the origin of the pointless theme bashing. Guaranteed that if Mr. Haight had used the one's Mikey suggested, then Mike's "correct" choices would have been "ANCHOR TENANT", "ATOMIC THEORY" and "ALL TOGETHER".

JC66 12:12 PM  

@ BDL in PS

There are 2 VEEs in civvies.

Malsdemare 12:21 PM  

I love that Bruce appears here almost always to offer his point of view, despite Rex generally saying not nice things about his creation. Thanks, Bruce. I, of course, totally missed the 8 Ts and the 8 Es. All I saw, in my myopia, was A and T.

I had OLio before OLLA and that held me up a bit. I wanted firstCLASS before WORLDCLASS, which meant the Lama was rALAI; in my morning fog, I considered this for a bit before seeing my error. We installed SOLAR panels in our side yard, not on our roof, and saw our power bill drop by almost $2000 a year. I really liked SPURN and WREST, really great words, definitely in the language, but they don't get a lot of play in our pretty unsubtle current atmosphere. I'm the great granddaughter of a Coca COLA bottler; no pepsi in our house!

IMOFF to pay our tax bill.

Masked and Anonymous 12:22 PM  

A T and T's! Playful, double-edged theme. Good stuff.

Not sure I've ever heard of an ANCHOR TENANT, but if U told me a mall had ANCHOR TENANTs, I'da gotten the general drift. Sooo … ok by m&e.

Enjoyed the BOND clue. @RP does raise the point: is BOND a word? Well, yep. It's one of them kinda special words, actually. It's both a word and also a famous name. That's what makes the clue so cool, in a way. The kind of special thing U might see pop up in … say … a puzzle that tries to make U think outta the box, now and then. Even in a TuesPuz.

Evidently @RP ain't a big AND HOW fan. Or Mayberry RFD fan. Strange, as one of M&A's fave entries from a @RP-written puz has always been HOGCALLS. Confuses the M&A.

Evidently the Haightmeister constructioneer ain't a big fan of OLLA. [See 9:51AM comment.] It ain't somethin I hear said much down at the hog callin events, I'd grant. On its bright side, it does have Patrick Berry Usage Immunity.

staff weeject pick: TIS. Especially viewed as {Musical notes of note} = TI'S. Theme mcguffin reinforcer. [Nice weeject stacks in the NE & SW, btw.]

Sorta in that "enforcer" light, honorable fillins mentions to: ST80. F80. O80ES. 80EIT. P80TI.
Also liked havin FROSTY and PIANOTUNER and WORLDCLASS along for the ride.

Thanx for OLLA the fun, Mr. H8.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

Chris 12:23 PM  

Liked the puzzle. Definitely endorse ANCHOR TENANT. Much more troubled by the STEAM in the sauna. And I can never remember OLLA.

chefbea 12:26 PM  

Guess my question did not appear ?? Can someone explain 22 down? why does Mo = sec???

JC66 12:39 PM  

@chefbea

the answer may come to you in a MOment (SECond).

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Bond is a word.

Louis Lewis 12:55 PM  

In theory yes M.Anonyme, but in the salons of Paris fact is often fiction and hypothesis cured by penicillin.

jberg 12:56 PM  

@chefbea, You might say "just a mo'" or "just a sec'"

ANCHOR TENANT is fine, but I thought AIRPORT TERMINAL needed a better clue. The driver might ask me "which terminal?" after I say "To the airport!", but I doubt if anyone has ever said "To the AIRPORT TERMINAL!"

I didn't notice either the 8 Ts or the 8 Es before coming here; but I bet @Loren didn't either (check out her avatar). Once I did, I had to say it was brilliant.

When I was about 2, I fell into some fast water at the EAU Claire Dells. My mother managed to grab my heel, but couldn't pull me out, so my father had to run around from another rock. Fortunately he was in time.

I love the word WREST.

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

Monday-average time today so I'll join the "easy" crowd. Two write-overs, where I had PATTy Page, and off the H of TOGETHER, I put in isH before UGH for "Yecch".

SPOILER ALERT for yesterday:



Is "Yecch" a controversial usage, as yesterday's YIkES vs. YIPES was? Personally, I would always say "Yuck" or "Yucky" and can't think of any incidence of someone saying "Yecch" in my hearing.

SEARS no longer anchors any malls in MN, as far as I can tell, including the Mall of America. And the iconic Minneapolis Sears building is now an global marketplace among other things. At least they didn't tear it down.

I nearly joined @Nancy with a technical DNF after filling in the revealer and being unable to associate it with the theme answers until I said "THE EIGHTIES" enough times that it finally fell into place. I like the A-Ts, 8 Ts and 8 Es aspect of it. And I appreciate Mr. Haight's point about OLLA, which seems to be clued lately as if it were a common English word when I don't recall anyone ever saying it (I must not listen to people, first Yecch and now OLLA, har!). But it is crossword-ese so we'll keep seeing it. A fine Tuesday in my opinion, thanks Bruce.

tea73 1:24 PM  

Apparently only 7 seconds off my fastest Tuesday ever. In architecture school I learned that the ideal mall was shaped like a dog's bone with those ANCHOR TENANTS at either end. BOND made me laugh. I liked the wordplay of 80's and A + T. Fun puzzle. I agree that saunas are only occasionally STEAMy. The dry heat is what makes them bearable. I'm not crazy about OLLA, but got it via the crosses.

Anoa Bob 2:07 PM  

Long-time sauna user here joining those who don't associate them with STEAM (6D). Temps in saunas are usually in the 160-180 degrees F and if they were STEAMy, the participants would be cooked in short order. The extreme low humidity is the essence of a sauna.

While I'm at it, technically speaking STEAM is invisible. It becomes visible only when it cools into water droplets and forms a mist. Technically speaking.

@Q Susie Q, I see what you did there.

Just AS I AM (32A) is an old hymn that I remember being sung toward the end of services when people who had not yet done so were urged to come forward and declare their acceptance of the faith. Even though I long ago wandered away from the flock, the song still has an emotional appeal to me. Here's Alan Jackson's version of Just AS I AM.

Laurence Hunt 2:55 PM  

Aw, c'mon Rex. As a business news reader, I've seen the term anchor tenant more often than anchor store, and that one took me one second. I have never used the term anchor store to refer to anything. And going into my 8th decade next year, it's nice to see some reference to phrases that are very much a part of the world I still live in. Give us old timers a break. We're not all gone yet! This one was light and easy, and I quite enjoyed it!

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

Since only naval equipment suppliers qualify as ANCHOR stores, the correct term must be ANCHOR TENANT.

Suzie Q 3:19 PM  

@ Anoa Bob, Thanks! Glad to see somebody's awake:) My little nod to Sean Connery.

BDL in PS 3:39 PM  

Ah, I see. I really dislike the spelling out of the names of letters :-(

Dawn Urban 3:43 PM  

(@Patrick O'Connor: too funny. I will think of Auntie Em everytime we make a withdrawal.)

As a somewhat newer solver, 13:12 today gives me much encoragement!

Alas, it is only an illusion, because today's puzzle is a very easy Tuesday.

It is even easier than identifying the bridges or taxi cabs in the CAPTCHA Test, to prove that I'm not a robot.



Anonymous 3:59 PM  

I'm kind of wondering if anybody else thinks that "and how!" belongs more to Dennis the Menace than to Mayberry or Norman Rockwell?
"Sorry, Mr. Wilson!"

Jeff B. 4:48 PM  

Agree that the rant on ‘anchor tenant’ was way off base. It’s the most common usage regarding malls or commercial real estate. For me, it was the easiest of the themes. Oh well.

P&Z 7:09 PM  

@Calman Alex Trebek follow's the A-T's theme.

JC66 7:38 PM  

@ P&Z

The theme is threefold: A/T plus 8 T's plus 8 E's.

Alex Trebek only fits the first part.

CDilly52 7:57 PM  

TENANT only here as well. And thankfully a no-brainer since I have been negotiating contracts with ANCHOR TENANANTs for the last month.

CDilly52 8:05 PM  

HooBOY! I had to come here to get the “A-Ts” thing (or 8-Ts) - one of those wavelength things. Puzzle was easy except for “before and after James (a big “DOH” when I got that one from the crosses). Didn’t hate it.

Anonymous 9:00 PM  

P AND z,
Pleazze. Youre as dim as Rex. Try to keep up.
You too Rex. Oh wait, youre tweeting hate. Carry on then.

Joe Dipinto 1:19 AM  

"I think it's so groovy now /
That people are finally getting together /
I think it's wonderful, and how /
That people are finally getting together..."

-- from Reach Out Of The Norman Rockwell Painting" (1968), by Friend & Lover

TomAz 9:26 AM  

Put me also on team ANCHOR TENANT. I got ANCHOR and just dropped the rest right in. "Store" never crossed my mind until I read Rex.

I also do not understand Rex's objections to NOISE or BOND (each as clued). Maybe I'm misreading his description of his solving journey as a complaint? I can't quite tell.

UBUNTU did me in. Never heard of Jordan Peele or the "movie" (?) GET OUT, so I was Naticked.

This theme was fine, cute even. I approve.

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