TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2009 - D. Kantor and J Kaskel (Risk-taker's credo / Two-seated carriage / Hockey fake-out)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "MIXED NUTS" (63A: What 17-, 26-, 38-, and 52-Across contain) - consecutive circled squares in each of the theme answers contain various arrangements of the letters N, U, T, and S.

Word of the day: DEKE - (v.) To deceive (an opponent) in ice hockey by a fake; (n.) A fake, intended to deceive a member of an opposing team. (answers.com)

I'm back from my comical adventures in freezing cold morning flat tire repair. Those words should probably be hyphenated in some fashion, but my fingers are still numb from the cold, so no way. Wife's tire was low on air, so she went to the gas station, and in the process of figuring out that their air pump was not working / frozen, deflated the affected tire even more. She's using my car to buy a new air compressor now, as the one in my car is a piece of @#$# and refuses to do anything but provide meager illumination with its stupid lamp component. Anyway, kwik write up today (had KWIK in a puzzle I'm constructing yesterday ... then realized it might be a deal-breaker and so, sadly, removed it).

Today's puzzle was a theme I swear I've seen before. And I don't mean the general anagram concept. I mean "MIXED NUTS" in particular. AHA! Here it is, in a far more interesting / challenging form, with different kinds of nuts anagrammed inside each theme answer. The good thing about today's puzzle is that the theme answers themselves are inherently interesting, vibrant, and ... grabby. No surprise that my favorite is AUNTSELMA (17A: Marge's sister, to Bart Simpson). There is no other show that has crossworthiness to a depth of 10+ characters. Well, I haven't done the research, but I really doubt it; there's all five Simpson family members and MOE and NED and OTTO and APU and ABE ... "Simpsons"-haters should get used to seeing at least those names for ... I'm going to say 'the rest of their lives.'

Theme answers:

  • 26A: Not a good way to buy a car (sighT UNSEEN)
  • 38A: Risk-taker's credo ("no gUTS No glory")
  • 52A: Seasonal Arctic phenomenon (midnighT SUN)
This one was very easy from the get-go, with the two Aussie clues in the NW opening the doors to the entire top half of the puzzle. What else could those clues be but EMU (2D: Outback runner) and KANGAROO (3D: Outback hopper)? There was lots of crosswordy words in the puzzle today - not junk, exactly, but stuff you see and know instinctively if you do enough of these things. DEKE is the first one that comes to mind (1A: Hockey fake-out). I wrote this in first, and instantly, but today when I came downstairs, the "D" was one of only two letters my wife didn't have. Of course the other was the "I" in IMAC (14A: Apple variety), so she must not have been fully awake yet. I am seeing A-TRAIN an awful lot lately, esp. for a 6-letter answer (35A: Transport in Duke Ellington's theme song). Maybe not surprising, given all the common letters. As repeating fill goes, I like it. AD OUT (16A: Deuce follower, in tennis) is tennisese worth knowing, as is its more common cousin AD IN. IHOP returns after a long hiatus (72A: Flapjack eatery, for short), and we've also got a couple more abbreviations of note - SAS (62D: Carrier to Oslo) and LOL (6D: Online guffaw). I learned SAS from crosswords, and LOL from histrionic net denizens everywhere. I didn't learn SURREY from crosswords (12D: Two-seated carriage) - I learned it from "When Harry Met Sally" - but I did learn its cousin HANSOM from crosswords, so look out for that.


  • 56A: 1972 treaty subj. (ABM) - anti-ballistic missile; don't see that much anymore. It's all ICBMs these days (the word that both Clinton and Stewart both got easily when solving the puzzle in "Wordplay")
  • 58A: _____ Report (luxury lifestyle magazine) (Robb) - There's a VA senator named ROBB. He would have been welcome here.
  • 68A: "Need You Tonight" band, 1987 (INXS) - four improbably combined letters? That earns you crossword credibility for years and years to come. Music!

  • 28D: Moonwalking Armstrong (Neil) - More moonwalking for you:

  • 46D: Steakhouse offering (ribeye) - I don't eat RIBEYE, but I have to say that as a piece of fill, I ADMIRE it (47D: Regard highly)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


chefbea 8:43 AM  

Heavens!! I am the first. Will wait for Rex's comments but we all know he will love 2 of the answers. Do you think Aunt Selma eats at IHOP?

Parshutr 8:55 AM  

Easy? For sure. Interesting and fun? Very! This puzzle is proof positive that you don't have to completely misinterpret words to get good cluing...Apple variety, crucifix, three horizontal answers containing X...

Parshutr 9:01 AM  

@chefbea...I woulda been first, but Rex hadn't posted when I finished...tant pis!

joho 9:14 AM  

Rex, you a such a good husband!

I thought this was a great Tuesday puzzle. Lots of fun and fresh phrases.

My favorite is NO GUTS NO GLORY. (Not to be confused with the lesser known, "No nuts no nookie.")

Thanks Daniel, Jay and, of course, W.S!

Kurisu 9:15 AM  

For me this was an easy puzzle except for the crossing of DEKE and DIA; I assume at least one of these is crosswordese I just haven't seen that often.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

Easy and FUN--my favorite of course is no guts no glory--sort of like starting out on a Saturday puzzle. And hello to all you mixed nuts on the blog--

Kurisu 9:26 AM  

Oh and BTW, am I the only one who had AUNT PATTY in for the Simpsons clue at first?

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

No other show character worthy enough to pull off a 10 letter answer? How about CAPTAINKIRK, PETERBRADY, JIMROCKFORD, EDITHBUNKER, etc., etc., etc.

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

@Anon. 9:43

That's not what he said.

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

Also let me add that that depth is simply a result of puzzle makers and Shortz being enamored of the Simpsons. ABE? Really? I'm thinking that there are a hundred ABES that can be clued instead of the Simpsons' one, but they keep using him. Lincoln, Vigoda, um...I take that back. But if they chose, you could clue lots of series the same way...KIRK, SPOCK, BONES, UHURA, SULU, SCOTT, KHAN, CHEKOV, BORG, DATA, etc.

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

Steve I: I agree. Constructors should definitely try to expand their thinking "out of the Simpsons box" to include other popular television programs.

Jeffrey 10:09 AM  

Easier and better than Monday. Much to ADMIRE, including the return of Cheryl TIEGS, the Outback..., outback..., outer... consecutive clues.

This could have been a Canadian-centric puzzle with DEKE, GOAL, MIDNIGHT SUN, SURREY [British Columbia].

santafefran 10:15 AM  

Nice to see your avatar.

@steve I said...
I second your vote for more Star Trek answers and Stargate, etc. would work as well! I'm in mourning due to the series finale of Stargate Atlantis, and that this is the last season of Battlestar Gallactica. Wondering who is going to take us where no woman has gone before.

NO GUTS NO GLORY wins it for me as well. One of my husband's favorite-ever gifts was a No Guts No Glory Sandra Boynton mug which sadly got broken. Thanks to e-bay, it is now replaced.

hazel 10:18 AM  

I liked the theme answers alot.

But TIEGS as a Supermodel? She's got to be almost 60. My guess is that there is an age limit on being an official supermodel.

Not that old isn't beautiful, I think you find beautiful people at all ages, but not supermodels at all ages.

@Rex - why no RIBEYES?

Glitch 10:18 AM  

Although I don't enjoy (or appreciate) "The Simpsons" as some others do, I don't "hate" it (them).

I just put them in the same catagory (you know it or you don't) as:

Books of the Bible
European Rivers
Random Popes
English Monarchs
Russian Czars / Tsars
Hebrew Months / Letters

Learned from crosswords, handy to know for both constructors and solvers, but no longer contributing to wow, neat or Aha! quotient of the puzzle, (unless clued in a refreshing or clever manner).


elitza 10:21 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle, but had my daily "d'oh!" with IMAC. Yeesh. Also got DEKE (mostly) from crosses. Finished in about 5 minutes though; first daily done online! score!

Loved KANGAROO, SIGHTUNSEEN (also a bad way to lease an apartment, as I'm learning--hate hate HATE long-distance rental shopping), and XXX. Really?!?

ArtLvr 10:28 AM  

Rex, you gave us the DEKE explanation some time in the past year -- and I remembered it! But in googling kwik, kwix, qwik and qwix, I was glad you decided against those. No qwik fix! Sorry about your flat tire and frozen fingers...

We might have seen another anagram of the NUTS: Stun. It could have related to the huge amounts of money involved in "TARP"? The puzzle was fun, yet almost too easy!

As for more made-up words for future stardom, we'll probably include W's complaint that the press often "misunderestimated" him, and the senator who pleaded for government to become more "transpicuous" (transparent and conspicuous)?


Orange 10:31 AM  

I daresay Star Trek and other TV sci-fi shows are beloved by a smaller niche of the population than The Simpsons.

A live-action show's cast of characters is limited by how much money they can afford to pay actors. Cartoons can pack in more characters by having a smaller group of versatile actors voice multiple characters. And when a network TV show has been popular for two decades with the same large cast of characters—nobody's gotten written off the show because the actor decided to pursue movies instead—a great swath of the American crossword-solving public is going to be familiar with their names. The Star Trek shows over the past two decades simply didn't reach as many millions of viewers. Same with BSG and Stargate—ardent viewerships, sure, but smaller and not 19 consecutive years.

Orange 10:32 AM  

(Wow, I rambled on there as if I actually cared about this.)

HudsonHawk 10:38 AM  

Seemed OK for a Tuesday, although I felt I was back in my Spanish 101 class with DIA, TIO, SENOR and SALSA. Also nearly had a derivative of a malapop with URSA Minor only to have URSI pop up elsewhere.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

Not bad for a Tuesday. Yes, the theme is hackneyed but enough good stuff elsewhere. Two random examples: the clue for 45D:DYE, and 21A:PIG -- not that I care for pigs live or dead, but it's surprising how rarely one sees this familiar 3-letter word in the grid, unlike 2D:EMU which one rarely sees outside xwordland.

1A:DEKE is short for "decoy", not the etymologically unrelated (though appropriate) "deception". Either way it feels too early in the week for DEKE, especially at 1A (though I guessed correctly thanks to having seen it in another NYTimes crossword not long ago).

To 6D:LOL and 62D:SAS, add another palindromic TLA (Three Letter Acronym): 36D:TNT, also a Down, and this one smack in the center. (Also linked to 23A, whose clue gives away one of the 36D letters.)

68A:INXS, on the other hand, I can do without -- I don't need to see this ugly four-letter "word" in a Tuesday grid, nor do I need their one-chord rock. If that's the price for 64D:XXX then stick to XES (changing 54D:TWINE to TWICE).

17A:AUNTSELMA also goes with 65D:TIO, or should I say 65D:TÍO, which in turn goes with 29D:SEÑOR and maybe 1D:DÍA. Who was it who used "Spanish uncle" as the clue for NOMAS? :-) (And does seeing TIO or DIA without the accent disturb Spanish speakers in the same way that a tilde-less SENOR does?)

Another link: intersecting "sew" and "hem" in 57A/53D.

Apropos "Aunt Selma", it must be legitimate to clue KWIK using "____-E-Mart"...


Ulrich 10:44 AM  

@joho: Thx--you added a gem to my collection of American adages with which I like to astound my American friends.

As to the puzzle, I liked it, too, and I have been amusing myself for the last hour in trying to find phrases that included the other 19 permutations of NUTS--it's surprising how many actually work, given that 3 of the letters are consonants.

jae 11:07 AM  

Nice puzzle but seemed more like a Mon. I thought the theme seemed familiar, thanks for the link Rex.

@Orange -- I read somewhere (TV Guide?) that the folks who voice the Simpsons were among the highest paid TV performers, if not the highest.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

I did not know deke (or 24 horas) so I guessed it was d or z because I liked how they sounded and I chose z, of course. As for surrey, I am not a romantic person by nature but I loved "When Harry Met Sally" and the scene when Bill Crystal sings about a surrey with a fringe on top and his ex-wife shows up. I am reading a lot of Nora Ephron right now and have discovered she wrote that movie. And Madeline Kahn was hysterical in "Young Frankenstein." I also loved that movie and can start laughing just by thinking about it.

treedweller 11:29 AM  

I know Rex hates musicals, but how does everyone associate SURREYs with "WHMS" rather than "Oklahoma?" Is it just me, being from Texas?

I think that's like saying you like Three Dog Night's song "Mama Told Me Not To Come" or that Jack Black really knocks you out with his song "Sweet Caroline."

I almost entered Patty, but a quick glance a the SASE clue saved me from that mistake.

I liked the long phrases and found this one pretty fun overall.

Meanwhile, I noticed an annoying trait of the NYT applet today. Whether because of my computer or because the internet tubes were clogged up, there was a delay between my clicking "Solve the puzzle" and actually seeing the grid and clues. Apparently the clock did not have the same problem, as I started with 18 seconds on the clock. Then I submitted, and the rankings reflected another three seconds above the time reported by the applet timer. Of course, this is not a scientific or reliable comparison to others solving (since anyone can cheat in any number of ways), but it would be nice if it reflected my time accurately, at least. Someone get on that, please!

Two Ponies 11:44 AM  

Nice Tuesday puzzle. Where was this yesterday?
@Hudson Hawk - I had the very same near-malapop experience.
@Treedweller - I also heard "Oklahoma" in my head for 12D.
When I saw XXX I was thinking, "Well, I guess no clips from Rex on this one!"

jubjub 11:47 AM  

Noam D. Elkies, thanks for the etymology on DEKE -- I thought it was just some silly hockey player trying to think up the word juke and getting confused :). I have no idea where juke comes from -- perhaps it is the other way around?

Rex, I have the same air compressor -- the gauge measures about 5 psi too high and the compressor just makes a lot of noise. but, the flashlight works great.

My only trouble solving the puzzle was that I put REIGN instead of REINS. Oops.

joho 12:03 PM  

@ulrich: It's not exactly an "American adage" since I made it up this morning, but I'm glad you like it.

Pete M 12:08 PM  

There is no other show that has crossworthiness to a depth of 10+ characters.

@Rex: You mean besides "Ally McBeal", right? ;)

Chip Hilton 12:12 PM  

Apparently, you haven't seen Ms. Tiegs lately. Still incredibly Super. A Hall of Famer, at the very least. And speaking of Hall of Famers, congratulations, Jim Rice. This Yankee fan always hated to see you walking up to the plate. It's about time that the writers focused on your on-field accomplishments.

I'm preparing for Westport by trying to hurry through these. Today was sub-nine minutes...which I'm sure is pretty mediocre. Then I noticed the blank I left at 14-Across (the I in IMAC). Although I also feel The Simpsons are overused in these parts, that rated a loud, "Doh!"

I can't recall ever detecting a rebus theme answer more quickly than this one.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

for those of you looking to test your simpsons knowledge (or a giant time sap): http://www.sporcle.com/games/simpsons.php

mac 12:15 PM  

Stop, don't give Will any ideas! I just invested in 4 seasons of Simpsons, don't want to get Star Trek as well!

This is not going to help you, Rex, but kwik is the Dutch word for mercury (quicksilver).

Smooth sailing today, every once in a way had to wait for one or two
crossings, but everything was gettable. Probably have Rex and the NYT to thank for deke. I thought the theme answers very good, and all in all it was a solid Tuesday.

Let me pull an Andrea: many years ago we were on a short vacation on a motor yacht in the Florida keys, when we moored right next to Sen. Armstrongs boat. Our captain knew his captain, and next thing we knew we were having drinks with him and his wife. He seemed to think our little boy wanted to be an astronout, which had never entered his mind.....

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

A question, please, from a novice Across Lite user to some of you experts: sometimes when I put in the last letter the box pops up with some friendly comment like "you have solved the puzzle correctly" but more often all it says is "puzzle is completely filled" which I take to mean there's an error somewhere. Yet I have gone through every block thoroughly and can't find any errors. I'm not looking to time myself, I guess I just want the little pat-on-the-head feeling when they say "you're right, kid!" Is this an oddity of the program, or should I assume, as usual with computers, that the error is mine, even if I can't see it? Thanks for any enlightenment!

Doug 12:24 PM  

Check out this DEKE. If you like watching these there a lots of related videos, but they get a little repetitious, kind of like watching the NFL highlights: LT goes left, and right, and scores. LT goes right, then left, and scores. LT goes left, and left, and scores....

When my son was about 12 he used to practice picking up the puck like that and I encouraged him to try it in a game if he was close to the net with no one around. I'll be damned if he didn't scoop it up and try to stuff it in! The puck fell off his blade and he swatted it in for a goal, but there were a lot of double-takes from the parents (and opposing coach.)

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

DocRuth, I've been wondering about the same thing! The day following the issue date of the puzzle, the Times web site has a four-letter code that you can use to unlock the puzzle, but all that does is reveal the solution. Not sure how to have it check the puzzle and note where the errors are.

Any more savvy users out there know how this can be done?


Anonymous 12:30 PM  

Enjoyed the puzzle- but I always enjoy the puzzle-

Was just explaining DEKE to my 8 yr old daughter the other day after her hockey game.

Didn't know AUNT SELMA -- I'm one of the few who doesn't watch the Simpsons.

@Rex- you are a good husband for changing the flat tire, but it just can't be that cold there! -18 degrees at daughter's bus stop here this morning- and -35 windchill! Now that's cold! :)


Anonymous 12:33 PM  

this could easily have been the Monday puzzle, and vice versa

proud moment: getting MIXEDNUTS while still in the Northern hemisphere

not-so-proud moment: falling for apple misdirect and writing in ROME! (i stopped when the M went under the K) I have never fell for that before...must need more coffee!

fikink 12:42 PM  

@treedweller, I think WHMS is thought of the way some of us think of Annie Hall, INSTEAD of WHMS, when we hear, "It Had To Be You." (My FIL thinks of a movie from 1939.)
Where's greene's exegesis this morning?

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

The NYT solution is not available until the next day, so that's why you never see that "You have solved the puzzle correctly" message. If you choose the "Reveal" option to see the completed grid, you'll need the code.

The other Across Lite puzzles online (LAT, Onion, etc.) have the filled grid available in the Reveal option, so that's why you see the "Congratulations" message when you complete those grids correctly.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

To continue Orange's arguments, South Park is a long running cartoon with a cast of many recurrent characters, that don't show up often in the crossword. Kenny, Eric, Stan, Kyle, Ike, Chef...but in addition to having fewer viewers, they also seem less crosswordy in the vowel/consonant combos in the Simpsons. Makes me wonder if Matt Groening does many crosswords.

DocRuth, Kathy, it should say 'filled correctly' if you got everything. No answers until the next day, although Orange's blog sometimes helps out with the hard clues a bit earlier.

PlantieBea 1:09 PM  

This was an easy and smooth solve for me. I agreee that this puzzle and yesterday's should have been flip-flopped in their daily order. Although I'm neutral on the Simpsons--have only watched the crossword episode--Selma filled in easily. We have a Selma's cookie factory here that makes very delicious cookies, so I am now hungry.

I, too, thought of Oklahoma and the Surrey with the Fringe on Top! And, how did MJ do that moonwalk?

chefwen 1:21 PM  

Liked the puzzle but thought it was a little too easy, Monday for a Tuesday and Tuesday mixed up with Monday. But fun nontheless.
Rib Eyes from Cosco are wonderful with a nice bordelaise sauce.

allan 1:36 PM  

Due to too much caffeine at last night's card game I was up til 3 am, and I never thought to do the puzzle online. Instead, I wasted time trying to get my printer back up and running. This was such an easy puzzle I was actually able to solve it west to east with very little help going north to south.

jeff in chicago 1:38 PM  

Liked this one. Clever theme. But I could have lived without the circles. I would have rather gotten to 63A and then looked back at the theme fill for my AHA moment. The circles, to me, we just screaming "Look here! Here's the gimmick! Look at me!"

Got DEKE right away partly because I just put it into a puzzle I'm making. (But let's not deke the Duke.) Loved the XXX stack. PIG near AUNTSELMA got me to singing the song from the Simpson's movie. (Spider-pig. Spider-pig. Does whatever a Spider-pig does. Can he swing from a web? No he can't He's a pig. Look out. Here comes the Spider-pig.) Clever to have the outback pairing in the NW. Also love the clue for DYE.

All the theme fill worked for me, especially NOGUTSNOGLORY. I think I like the fact that STUN wasn't used. All the variations we see are non-words. Truly mixed nuts.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Not a big fan of the circle puzzles and didn’t find anything that got my wankel spinning. Finished with no over inking from north to south. Tuesdayish and blandish.
My high school hockey coach had a tic of repeating the same sentence over and over and looking at the team with a demonic/impish grin between each sentence. “Deke him here” [grin eerily]. “Deke him here” [grin eerily]. “Deke him here” [grin eerily]. Predictably he is now in confined psychiatric care.

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

I was STUNned how much I liked the puzzle, how smooth and fast and fun.
Esp the XXX.

I somehow missed the puzzle Rex has pointed to from last Feb
(before I joined this fest) and I agree it's much more clever in some ways.

I didn't know AUNTSELMA. After spending half the day with Rex's blog, who has time to watch the SImpson's!?
Actually, not 100% true when somehow I have found the time to watch the new Tyra Banks/Ashton Kutcher trainwreck "True Beauty" where Ms Tiegs is indeed one of the judges and lovely.

By the way, MIDNIGHTSUN is the name of one of the SF gay bar names I'm collecting for a story about great names in SF heyday.
Walked into a bar yesterday (start to a good joke?) and approached 5 old-timers who immediately rattled off close to 100 now defunct gay bars with names from the notorious White Swallow to the Ramrod and gentler/genteeler Blue Muse.
Now I have to figure out what to do with all this!

Thanks for the shout out, but if every time someone starts an interesting story that might have a name we recognize in it as
"Pulling an Andrea", I will have to shoot myself in shame.

From Malapop to Oryx to Fastare, I am vainly/in vein trying to leave a legacy of name-creating, not name-dropping!

One bleedover from two days ago:
25D KAHN may be a shout out to D.J. Kahn, last Sunday's constructor!

Orange 2:23 PM  

@Andrea, "fastare" looks like an Italian word. Does "turbo-stare" do anything for you?

@CinEdina, good lord, Minnesota does get inhumanly inhospitable at times! It's 18 above in Chicago, as the blizzardy winds and cold snap have been postponed.

"Surrey With the Fringe on Top" is known to musical non-fans from its inclusion in When Harry Met Sally. I gotta say, that song is not exactly a good advertisement for the rest of the musical. Musicals have their advantages, though. I have read very little of the Bible, but I picked up a bit from Jesus Christ Superstar. Big time-saver, that.

mrbreen 2:31 PM  

Simple trick for car tires: It's relatively easy to inflate a tire with a standard issue floor pump provided you jack-up the tire first. Comes in handy if you don't want to buy an air compressor and live in a neighborhood where "eco-terrorists" are constantly deflating tires with bb pellets.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

@mrbreen You sure about that? Maybe you could inflate a tire 30psi when jacked up, and it would go to 32psi when you let it down, but 30psi is pretty much 30psi.

joho 2:56 PM  

@Orange & @andrea: it doesn't matter what you name it, that staring thing just doesn't work for me. Too bad because I love the idea that staring is the new thinking.

It's minus 11 wind chill here. And getting colder as the week goes on. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

dk 3:02 PM  

@joho, you are so bad.

@steveI and others, How about themes from 24:

Form of discussion: KnifeinKnee
Point of discusion: Bicinear
Off the roof top: Push
Hot Nerd: Chloe

@Cinedina, hope you did not have to drive anywhere this AM it was brutal

@mac, Pulling an Andrea LOL
@Andrea, XXX to you.

Oh, the puzzle. Easy going and I know IHOP is a shout out to Rex. My favorite fill was MIXEDNUTS but thanks to @joho now it makes me feel....

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

@orange: I love your description "inhumanely inhospitable!" The best I could come up with was frozen, frigid, freezing, and frosty. I did see a high school girl walking outside the school with no coat, hat or boots and a guy shoveling with only a sweatshirt on (well, pants, boots, and gloves too). Let's hope SethG is not frozen. Look out though, these temps are probably coming to you soon!

@Doug: AMAZING deke. Daughter can't do that.


Anonymous 3:16 PM  

Combining two running threads, my favorite name for a gay bar (now defunct) is the Nut Bush.

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

@Anon 2:54: It is easier to put air in a tire when the pump doesn't have to have the ability to lift the weight of the car versus just filling an empty tire. It has little to do with PSI.
Also might recommend you loosen the lugs (just slightly) before jacking up the car - prevents the tire from spinning against the torque of the wrench loosening the lugs. Opposite when putting the tire back on: tighten fully once car is removed from jack to avoid same/opposite torque. Or call the AAA and have them do it for you.

Anonymous 3:33 PM  

@mac: Neil Armstrong has never been a Senator. Fellow astronaut John Glenn was a Senator, who went back into space during his last term.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla), who was on the committee oversseeing NASA's budget, somehow wrangled a seat on the Shuttle.

I think that covers the entire topic: Senators in space.

I feel so much better now.

--------> Joe in NYC

chefbea 3:53 PM  

@rafaelthatmf - it seems that "how to fill tires with air" is going to take over "how to cook those red veggies"

Jeffrey 4:04 PM  

We should rate puzzles on the buzz factor. A puzzle's buzz factor is the time at which comments are no longer discussing the puzzle but have moved on to other matters. The buzz factor is fairly low for today (around 2 hours), while Saturday's was over 24 hours. Average is likey around 4 hours.

Anonymous 4:11 PM  

love it, buzz factor...
sometimes puzzletalk gets rerouted when Rex's asides are more interesting...like I'm trying to figure out if his need for a definition to KWIK is bec he is trying to devise a puzzle that is made up entirely of Simpsons characters!
Beets me.

Anonymous 4:48 PM  

@raefalthatmf - Now if you could just drive the car home while it is still on the jack.

Anonymous 5:30 PM  

I like only "The Princess Bride" and "This Is Spinal Tap" when it comes to Rob Reiner. (Maybe some meathead, but... meh)
SURREY sounds like a celebrity baby name... *nudge nudge wink wink grin grin say no more*

mac 6:07 PM  

@Joe in NY: thank you so much, what a mistake..... It was John Glenn. I guess this whole family is not much into space travel.

@Andrea: sorry to hurt your feelings, but I meant it as a compliment!

Got to get dinner ready: Crow.

SethG 6:13 PM  

Deke Slayton was an astronaut, and I sometimes drive past the Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bike Museum somewhere in Wisconsin. Just last night I showed off my Australian pictures of EMUs and KANGAROOs and AD OUTs. INXS is Australian, too, and I heard them elsewhere. I do not DYE. I do speak Spanish, at least much better than French.

This would have been my fastest Tuesday ever except that I kept trying to enter NO PAIN NO GAIN. Which doesn't fit. Or work with the clue. And I'd already caught the theme. I even erased AGAIN and URSI and GRASS to do it, but TIEGS finally showed me the error of my ways. Methinks I was still cold or something; luckily, it's almost up to 0 now.

Orange 6:18 PM  

@Joe in NYC: You forgot Jake Garn, who flew in the space shuttle during his U.S. Senate career.

Anonymous 7:08 PM  

Deke Slayton is from Sparta Wisconsin; near La Crosse Wisconsin on the border of Minnesota - also known as the bicycling capital of America.

edith b 7:18 PM  

I liked the fill today and, I don't know why TNT crossing NOGUTSNOGLORY. Gives a nice crunchy feel to the whole thing.

I think I would have liked the puzzle more if there were no circles and MIXEDNUTS was allowed to imply some sort of anagram happening. Maybe a little much for a Tuesday, I guess.

MIDNIGHTSUN had me thinking of the Robert W. Service poem The Cremation of Sam McGee. Did anyone else think of that or is that a little much for Tuesday also?

SELMA was there in her full form and Rex is right - the non-Simpson's people are just going to have to make peace with the whole situation just as we seniors have had to make peace with all the hiphop stuff.

Anonymous 8:18 PM  

My chuckle today: mental image of a KANGAROO pronouncing "IHOP, therefore I am." >Rock Rabbit

Anonymous 8:20 PM  

I just tried to email you offline, but it bounced back!
Mostly to say zero hurt feelings!
Are you kidding? I adore you... and
a) I warranted it
b) just trying to nip it in the bud
c) it's that thing where to me it's just stories from my life that I think are germane to those who dislike me, it's insufferable name-dropping!

I know the context it was mentioned! Not offended at all.


I liked the double OO's of MOOR/OOMPH/KANGAROO/ROOD and the whole DEKE/EKE

Anonymous 8:24 PM  

Ursi = Bear's (not bears)

fergus 8:36 PM  

Not to be deliberately contrary but I found this one rather ho-hum compared to yesterday's scintillating example.

Did this with one of my students toward the end of class today, so I was sorry not to have a better (in my interpretation, of course) introduction to offer.

Wretched kerning again, to be found at 57A: Dam Starting with S, so??? SET, SIN?, SIC, SIT, SOK?, SPA, STY, SUB?, SUM??, SUV??? SOW or SEW could work, maybe -- and then I saw it was Darn. Right.

mac 8:57 PM  

@anonymouse 824: I think it is both "of the bear" or "the bear's" as bears. Plural of -us is -i.

fergus 10:22 PM  

NYTimes readers,

I just discovered the 'After Deadline' column buried in the newspaper's websight (sic). It deals with all sorts of minutiae that arise from time to time concerning usage, outright errors and possible accidental solecisms. I figure we've got the Crossword covered, but it is amusing to see how others comb through the rest of the news.

qv 1:14 AM  

Just a note on 39 down, URSI, it's nearly 40 years since I studied Latin but I seem to remember it goes like this:

URSA is a female bear. First declension noun, so plural and possessive are both URSAE

URSUS is a male bear. Second declension noun, so plural and possessive are both URSI

We are probably more familiar with URSA these days because of the starry constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, who I guess must both be female bears...maybe just missing one little star at crucial spot?

elitza 1:14 AM  

I'm all hoppity over Wednesday's puzzle. Yeeeee!

Deborah Boschert 9:57 AM  

How about MASH? Potter, Hawkeye, HotLips, Blake, Peg, Radar, Hunnicut, etc....

I still agree that Simpsons is very deep, but if we're looking for additional options, I say you can't go wrong with a comedy about the Korean War.

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