TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2008 - S. A. Anderson (1989 Bond Girl Bouvier / Professzor Rubik / Steely Dan's stellar seller / Slacker's bane)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Bird verbs - three theme answers (all phrased "_____ ONE'S _____") begin with verbs that are also bird names

Word of the Day: GORP (35D: Hiker's snack) - A mixture of high-energy foods, such as nuts and dried fruit, eaten as a snack.

Tuesday. More like a Monday. Birds are verbs. Believe I've seen similar theme before. Nothing new under sun, I guess. Theme density is really quite sparse - as sparse as I've seen in a good long while. Another 15 [whoops, 16! This grid is one square wider than your normal M-Sat. grid - not sure this weak theme warrants such shenanigans, but clearly I didn't notice, so maybe it's irrelevant] - starting over: another 16 might have made this more enjoyable. Or it might just have made it theme-ier.

Theme answers:

  • 21A: Strain to see over the top (CRANE one's neck)
  • 41A: Eat humble pie (SWALLOW one's pride)
  • 59A: Be a street peddler (HAWK one's wares)
Another about which there isn't a lot to say. The middle is oddly, delightfully Scrabbly, such that I can excuse the absurd density of abbreviations in there. XBOX goes nicely with GAMERS (27D: Arcade fans). ON KP (39D: Preparing hash for G.I. Joe, say) brings the total of military abbrevs. in this puzzle to three, though the clue makes it sound like the answer should be PLAYING WITH DOLLS - see also SSGTS (44D: U.S.M.C. noncoms) and PFC (65D: Low-rank inits.). I have never seen PEGS defined the way it is today (51A: Hard throws to first base, say). Did you hit the runner? The first basemen? That definition of PEG I know. Maybe you PICKED the runner off? Unclear. The "A" on Hester's chest is "Scarlet." I know this because of the title of the novel in question - "The SCARLET Letter." If it were "The RED Letter," then RED A would be right at 62D: Stigma borne by Hester Prynne. Not sure what to make of X AND O (58D: Tic-tac-toe alternatives); phrased that way, I'd expect to see X OR O. Honestly, I first expected the answer would be games of some sort - HANGMANS? I guess the plural makes it hard for that sense of the clue to be correct.

Best answers of the day - the symmetrical pairing of WIGGLE ROOM (19A: Margin to maneuver) and PAPER TIGER (65A: Toothless enemy). Wonderful, interesting, dynamic answers.

Valiant attempts to make this puzzle more exciting than it is can be found in the aggressive rhyming in clues like 3D: Hummus scooper-upper (pita) and 66D: Steely Dan's stellar seller ("Aja"). One of the hits off of "AJA" - PEG!


  • 17A: Ancient region with an architectural style named after it (Ionia) - highly desirable word for its voweliness. Along with AIOLI, one of the few five-letter words that are 80% vowels.
  • 28A: G.P.S. offering (map) - clue signals abbrev. Boo. No fair. I had RTE.
  • 69A: Norwegian coast feature (fjord) - with the nice OSLO pick-up (73A: Capital on a 69-Across).
  • 5D: Land-use regulators (zoners) - ouchy. See also SSS (53A: Sound of bacon frying), which is worse than it might have been given its role in adding "S"s to the ends of three different words. Feels almost like cheating.
  • 10D: Haberdashery accessory (tie clasp) - TIE CLIP wouldn't fit. What's the difference between a tie clip and a TIE CLASP. Turns out: nothing.
  • 11D: Slacker's bane (work) - don't I know it.
  • 14D: 1989 Bond girl Bouvier (Pam) - Mystery Answer of the day. Never heard of her. "Bouvier" is Marge Simpson's maiden name. You may need to know that some day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Chorister 8:52 AM  

Same issues here, except I held off writing anything for GPS offering until I had to write map.

Mistake that I didn't catch: put Ajo for Aja. Ajo is garlic in Spanish. It is also a town in AZ, which is my excuse for the mistake.

My big issue with the puzzle: the two long across answers that were NOT theme answers. That was irritating. If the rest of the puzzle hadn't been easy it would also have been confusing.

Anonymous 8:58 AM  

@63D: a hydrocarbon consists of hydrogen and carbon atoms. If there is at least one double bond between the carbons, it is an alkene (or "ene" in crossword puzzle world); if there are only single bonds between the carbons than it is an alkane ("ane").

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

Gorp??? Sounds as if it would stick in one's craw.

Kurisu 9:05 AM  

Luckily I knew GORP because the hiking club at my college was called "Gorp".

I was totally stymied on the middle of the puzzle -- I couldn't get ONKP, SSGTS, XKES, or PEGS.

joho 9:07 AM  

I also wanted RTE. for MAP and really disliked REDA for Scarlett Letter. It's just wrong.

I did like the crossings of STYX/XBOX and LEOPARDS/PAPERTIGER.

I also agree that this seems to be a Monday puzzle.

Oh, and ENO: enough already!

mac 9:16 AM  

I had some sticky moments with this puzzle, but ended up with no mistakes and a reasonable time.
Also wanted RTE, don't know Pam, tieclasp sounds odd, and "oneno" looks strange when you don't know bridge. Husband really disagreed with "pegs".

I do like the theme and the other two long answers, and I thought REDA was clever, especially next to XANDO. Gorp was new, first I thought it was goop, the name of Gwynneth Paltro's website.

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

GORP = Good Old Raisins and Peanuts


Kurt 9:19 AM  

I agree that it was easy ... and another Monday ... and that the theme was brief and not very exciting.

But after getting hammered hard at the end of last week, the puzzles of yesterday and today felt like a cool glass of lemonade and a seat in the shade after a hot summer workout.

I'm rested now. Bring on Wednesday!

treedweller 9:22 AM  

As a longtime camper and hiker, and a former Boy Scout, I remember gorp well--it's an anagram for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, or so I was told by my scoutmaster.

I was like Chorister, wondering what kind of bird a "paper" is. Well, I got WIGGLEROOM before I noticed the theme, so I guess I was half-life Chorister.

And I have been using a Garmin long enough that I just type/write GPS, but when it specifically had those periods, it really, really looked like it needed an abbreviated ans. I tried "lat" before just going to the crosses. To be fair, I forgot about it quickly and MAP just appeared without my noticing.

treedweller 9:23 AM  

thanks for presciently confirming my scoutmaster's claim.

treedweller 9:25 AM  

OOPS-- . . . half-like Chorister. I don't know how old Chorister is, but I hope to live at least as long.

a quick three-and-out today.

mac 9:28 AM  

There are a lot of animals in this puzzle: crane, swallow, hawk, tiger, leopard and wiggler. Do pest and udder count? Filet mignon?

Jeffrey 9:31 AM  

I am not a mathematician but it appears this puzzle has zero 15 letter answers. Go count. I'll wait.

Nothing special here but I liked it.

Parshutr 9:44 AM  

@treedweller, GORP is an acronym, like RADAR, SONAR, etc., not an anagram.
I think it was great fun. Of course it was easy but it is Tuesday and there was nothing questionable at all. No Naticks (although Natick is native for me, having grown up in the Hub of the Universe.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

I wouldn't have noticed that this was a 16 x 15 (??15 x 16) grid until Crosscan's comment. Are there rules about deviating from the 15 x 15 format, or can a constructor use whatever set of coordinates works best for that day's effort?

nanpilla 9:59 AM  

Good catch, crosscan! I didn't even notice until you pointed it out that the grid was larger than usual.
Also wanted LAT for MAP until crosses made it obvious that I was wrong. Confidently put in DAME for MAAM, too. Other than that, smooth sailing.
Still looking for restaurant or bar recommendations for this weekend. Any ideas from the foodies?

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

PEG as baseball term does not have what I would call Tuesday-level familiarity, but it is valid, usually describing a catcher PEG-ing a would-be base-stealer at second, for example.

PAM Bouvier was the character Cary Lowell played the Bond film 'License to Kill'. I guess being clued as a 'Bond girl', as opposed to 'actress in a Bond movie', makes it okay, but it seems like the kind of thing that usually raises hackles around here - IMHO.


Anonymous 10:07 AM  

S/B '... IN the Bond film...'. I even used the Preview, and still messed up - sigh.


Jeffrey 10:07 AM  

@nanpilla: I am not a foodie, but there is a guide on the ACPT site.

Anonymous 10:08 AM  

XKES crossing SSGTS.... huh. Not random letters I understand, but wow.

I kind of liked the RED A--sort of focuses the foofaw of "scarlet letter" down to what it would actually have looked like. Best word from that story: bedizon. Speaking of B words, Thanks Rex for Marge Simpson's maiden name.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Oops, "bedizen." Still a great word.

nanpilla 10:16 AM  

@crosscan: Wow! That's a pretty long list. Thanks!

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

I understand that HOBOs make a vehement distinction between themselves and BUMs -- the distinction being that HOBOs travel and work, while BUMs stay in one area and don't work.


Anonymous 10:19 AM  

the only time i have ever heard the word peg used to mean anything like what it is supposed to mean is in kickball in grammar school. I always thought it meant throwing a ball at someone in kidspeak. I watch a lot of baseball and I have never heard that term used.

retired_chemist 10:21 AM  

Agreed - a decent Tuesday but kinda Mondayish.

(pedantic here) anes, enes, ynes, - they all are hydrocarbon suffix possibilities.

Interesting to think of other 5 letter words with 4 vowels: queue, ouija, eerie, bayou (sort of).... I suppose there is a dictionary or three for constructors with many more.

Re 13D (again pedantically): From Wikipedia: "The Brazilian Carnival, properly spelled Carnaval...."

It was held last weekend as scheduled, presumably. Didn't go....

jubjub 10:21 AM  

The 16x15 grid is an interesting idea. I didn't notice, so it seems like a reasonable hack.

A new species of CHEETAH spotted using "camera traps" was in the news yesterday Rare cheetah captured on camera, BBC.

Random complaints:

"Friend in a sombrero" = AMIGO seemed like it might be offensive to some, I don't know.

I don't think GAMERS go to arcades -- my understanding was GAMERS played like Warcraft and other online games.

I couldn't figure out the K in the cross of XKES/ONKP.

The clue for SODOM struck me as kind of off. I guess it is standard to clue a story as a real occurrence, for instance the Scarlet Letter is fiction, and is not explicitly clued as such. So, I'm being overly sensitive :).

retired_chemist 10:31 AM  

@ Anonymous and Rex:

yourdictionary.com has peg defined as throw as the 8th verb definition after 10 noun defs. Hardly a landslide against the obscurity of the clue, but indeed I have heard peg used exactly the clued way - I think in radio broadcasts of baseball games. Which tells you it might be anachronistic.

retired_chemist 10:36 AM  

@ crosscan: Correct, No 15 letter answers. For symmetry it couldn't have just one. A 16X15 could in principle have an even number of 15 letter answers.

Two Ponies 10:37 AM  

Not bad for a Tuesday.
My only mishap didn't keep me from completing the puzzle but in my haste I misread the clue for 58D as an alternative for Tic-Tac so I thought Xando was some new breath mint I had never heard of! Ha!

SethG 10:49 AM  

Was the Pimpernel red? The Ibis? Are the Knights? No. Just, no.

I completely missed the bird verbs, I just thought the theme was ONES Phrases.

In many places ESKIMO is considered derogatory. In some countries, they pronounce LEOPARDS with three syllables.

Doug 10:58 AM  

Peg is not normally used as word to describe an infield throw. Baseball fans everywhere know that a peg is an outfield throw into the infield, usually to the cutoff man, or more spectacularly on one bounce to the catcher. My friend Steve Wulf once memorably wrote, after Darryl Strawberry got into a clubhouse fight with teammate Keith Hernandez, that it might have been the only instance in Strawberry's career where he actually "hit the cutoff man."

mac 11:00 AM  

And why not? How do you pronounce leotards? I can't tell you how many problems like that I've had over the years..... Isn't the meaning of Eskimo "raw fish eater"?IWGA about the ONES theme.

joho 11:01 AM  

@Seth G ... you are too funny. And what about O'hara of Tara? Your point is well taken.

@retired_chemist ... the expression on the pug's face in your avatar is priceless!

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

What is gorp an acronym FOR?

And i totally don't understand TALC.
What is the Mohrs scale .. Talc .. I thought that was a body powder!

deerfencer 11:15 AM  

Fun, easy puzzle with only a couple very brief uh-oh moments.

Agree with RC that "peg" is/was a familiar baseball broadcast term--I too got it immediately. That said, I'm 54, so maybe it is an older usage that's fallen out of fashion.

ONKP was clever I thought, and an interesting cross with XKES. Something just wrong about REDA even though it seems right. PAPERTIGER strikes me as au courant with the toothless SEC being in the news so much lately.

I'd rate the puzzle a solid B effort.

Orange 11:17 AM  

Now I'm thinking of Redd Johansson and Scarlett Foxx.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

TALC = 1 softest
ENE ANE gee, have to think for an extra sec.
I for one was grossly inmsulted by AMIGO, gringo
PEG is an S&M term for clothespin, would make good clue, OK as baseball clue.
GPS always fun as there are so many answers!

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

Hi Guys,

Newbie here (and will be a rookie at the tournament) although I've been lurking on this great site for a while.
Chiming in because I live in NYC and lived for three years right down the street from where the tournament's being held, so I'd be happy to offer any recommendations for things to do and eat in the area...

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

XKES are 1960 cigar shaped Jaguars, very collectible, esp. The V-12
SSGTS = staff sargents, standard military and crossword, no?

PlantieBea 11:22 AM  

Like SethG, I missed the bird theme and thought it was just using "one's" in the phrase. Otherwise, I liked this puzzle for WIGGLE ROOM, STYX (another 70's rock band), PAPER TIGER, etc. Funny, I noticed all the animals but not the animal part of the theme. I'm surprised to see the alk(ENE) ending in the puzzle. How many alkenes are commonly known (vs. alkanes)? Well, maybe benzene, ethylene (from its polymer product), styrene...nevermind.

Ulrich 11:29 AM  

FWIW: I learned on a recent trip to Africa that the long dark smears under the Cheetah's eyes indicate that it's hunting during the day--the smears have the same function as a quarterback's black smears under his eyes, to reduce glare. By the same token, one call tell that LEOPARDS hunt at night--at least that's what we were told.

Kurisu 11:29 AM  

Oh, by the way, from things like the Godfather and Sopranos, I am led to believe that CAPO and DON are not the same thing; the Capos work for the Don, who is at the head of a "family". Maybe one can say those are fiction, but I would argue that pretty much everything the common person knows about the Mafia comes from fiction.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

@ S&M Juan, Was it the sombrero that insulted you?
Calling me a gringo might offend me. Let's be careful.

jeff in chicago 11:39 AM  

As I solved north to south I thought that WIGGLEROOM was a theme answer, so with WIGGLE, CRANE and SWALLOW I thought the theme was "things people do?" How odd! Overall, a fun if not spectacular puzzle.

I like that we have segregated the TWERPs and CAPOS in different corners. We don't want those two groups to tangle.

And has LEO been hanging around the puzzle a lot lately?

Unknown 11:43 AM  

I had two Naticky errors (that don't involve proper nouns, so not sure what the term would be.)
Didn't know ONKP or PEGS, so put ONKD (on kitchen duty?) because it sounded like a plausible acronym.
I also felt that hydrocarbon suffixes could be almost anything (I am not a chemist) and don't know bridge, so I had ONETO because it sounded more parsible.
Two wrong letters on a Tuesday - oh dear.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Yes, a nice Monday puzzle, just outside Downs-only territory for me (got the theme, flubbed the West and SW corner). For once the clue for 20D:LEOI lets us figure out the Roman numeral.

According to the Wikipage on the Mohs scale, 1A:TOPAZ is also one of the Mohs minerals, #8 to 1D:TALC's #1.

Two triple-letter entries in one puzzle, 43D:EEE and (with an unkosher clue) 53A:SSS, plus two more palindromes, one familiar (6A:MAAM) and one less so (68A:ONENO).

"Bouvier" (in the 14D clue) showed up in the acrostic for that Sunday crossword with the Simpsons tie-in.

Is "Professzor" (in the clue for 61D:ERNO) the correct Hungarian spelling? Google seems to split about evenly between one and two s's.


edith b 11:49 AM  

My husband and I have listened to the Mets games on the radio in the evening for years and years and although PEG isn't used a lot these days, it generally describes a low hard throw on a line as a catcher trying to throw out a base stealer or an outfielder trying to stop a runner from advancing on a flyball and, to a lesser degree, an infielder throwing to first base, but it surely isn't anachronistic.

REDA strikes me as a problem in a corner solved because it actually has a meaning i.e Hester Prynne. I think the constructor got lucky.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

I liked it even though it was easy enough. Lots of variation, including the birds, which are quite different. I'm thinking birds already because it won't be too long before the first migrants come through.

I read "The Scarlet Letter" when I was teenager and remember thinking how ridiculous it was that someone could be marked for life for making one mistake. Sometimes I wish I were still that innocent.

My husband says KP stands for kitchen police. I learn something new every day.

And didn't we have wiggle room just a few days ago? I could be wrong.

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

Ginger, the Mohs scale rates hardness of rocks. The TALC is the softest, at a 1, and the diamond is the hardest, at a 10, everything else falls in between. I've no idea if talc's softness is what makes it good to use as a powder.

I was thinking XANDO was some exotic, Jenga-like game I hadn't heard of before. It is, per google, the name of a chain of coffeeshops.

I liked the theme, and having the birds popping out. I also like the center, although I don't like/can't remember the XKEs, I do appreciate having two answers beginning with X (and neither is Xray.)

Pisca, are you on the ACPT forum site? I don't think I've seen much discussion going on there this year.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

I did pop over there but nobody was really saying anything, so I thought I would come here and chat with you fine people-

Anonymous 12:15 PM  

And don't ever call an Aleutian hobo an Eskimo bum or he'll kick you right in the ice hole.

JannieB 12:16 PM  

I thought this was a fun Tuesday effort with some interesting fill - especially twerp, wiggle room and paper tiger. The theme was fresh, and there was very little groan-inducing fill. Lots of scrabbly x's and w's to keep it interesting. Liked the international flavor of amigo and amie - they make a cute couple.

Thanks for explaining "gorp".

retired_chemist 12:44 PM  

@ edith b - "peg" may not be anachronistic, but perhaps I am. :-)

Shamik 12:45 PM  

Found this to be a medium until I came here and realized I should proofread better. The only time my GPS is in my LAP is when I'm in the car and tired of holding it. What a silly LISHAP that turns out to be.

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Anne, I had always heard that KP stood for kitchen patrol.

If Lassie is a Collie then she is also necessarily a dog. Isn't a scarlet letter also red? Or do color-visioned people see this differently?

Parshutr 1:10 PM  

@Clark & Anne
KP = Kitchen Police [and MP = Military Police] in the U.S. Army.

evil doug 1:29 PM  

As long as people disagree on what terms are acceptable and which are "offensive"---and that means forever---then political correctness is a fool's errand. Be correct---forget the "political" modifier---ethical, thoughtful, and courteous; and if someone chooses to be offended in spite of your genuine effort to be polite or otherwise innocent of toxic intent, screw 'em.

If someone is being clearly, intentionally provocative or confrontational, either live with it or punch their lights out as you shower them with epithets of your own choosing. But don't play the, "hey, that offends me" card. Lame, unsatisfactory, pathetic and ineffective.

Y'know, the online FreeDictionary defines "objectionable" as, among other things, "beyond the pale". Can't wait to hear the PC gripes about that....


Unknown 1:54 PM  

Hang on. Kitchen Patrol? Kitchen Police? Why would the police be preparing hash?
If it had been guarding the hash, or interrogating the hash, say, I might have got the P.
Since PEGS seems controversial as well, I'm sticking with my D!

Ulrich 1:58 PM  

@evil: I'd be interested in your suggestions as to how I should call an Inuit, after he has made it clear that he does not want to be called a "raw fish eater", a "raw fish eater" in a "polite, thoughtful, ethical way"?

evil doug 2:01 PM  



Anonymous 2:18 PM  

I just found that in addition to being Mardi Gras today, it's also National Pancake Day! Free short stacks at IHOP until 10pm. I shouldn't count on the crossword to remind me of all major holidays...

miguel 2:30 PM  

Hey Amigos! Nope, not offended by a term that seems to be used more by people who are not our friends making an effort to be chummy. I do know 'Eskimo' is not an endearing term and I do not use it when referring to my brothers of the North. I am not looking to align myself closely with EVIL, but I am sure the constructor did not know the term is unacceptable, but even Gov. Palin knows to refer to the Inuits as Alaska Natives. There is a joke that there are 327 words for Sarah Palin in the native language. I can explain that if needed.
I, too, wanted to raise a scarlet flag about the RED A. The color in the novel is scarlet for a specific and well defined reason in the iconography of the Christian Church. A Red Letter Day is much different than a Scarlet Letter.
Finally, do you think it was a reference to this blog that the editor put in the phrase fire AT WILL?

Anonymous 2:30 PM  

You call him Inuitish.

I'll bet it was 16 bec there SWALLOWONESPRIDE is 16 and there isn't a shorter phrase with swallow in it.

Usually I'll think up a phrase, it will be 16, and I'll think DAMN!
and that will be the end of it...
Glad to see there is more flexibility...

(add here my usual complaint about long, non-theme confusing answers)

I started with OPALS instead of TOPAZ, which is a more beautiful word/answer.

Funny! See you soon!

archaeoprof 2:39 PM  

PEG is not anachronistic. But it's definitely got a classical ring to it, like "swish" in basketball.

Bart Giamatti said academics like baseball because it goes slow enough for us to understand it. Maybe crossword solvers too?

Orange 2:41 PM  

My dictionary says KP is from "kitchen police." What, you don't think a peeled potato feels like it's been taken into custody?

Eskimo is offensive in Canada and Greenland, but apparently it remains an uncontroversial word in Alaska (where it's an inclusive term that includes Inupiat and Yupik) and SIberia. Read the discussion at the link. The "eaters of raw meat" etymology is false, BTW.

Whenever the word Eskimo shows up in the clues or fill in an NYT crossword, Canadians have a sharp intake of breath and chide Will Shortz for his supposedly racist, offensive ways. But Alaska is part of the U.S., and the Times is an American newspaper, so the Times isn't violating local mores by using Eskimo. (It's not Alaska's fault that the NYT puzzle is syndicated to Canadian papers.) The Aleut people are a separate group, not subsumed under the Eskimo heading. (Who knew?)

Anonymous 2:42 PM  

@ACME - your post made me SWALLOWMYWORDS.

dk 2:46 PM  

If I had talent I would start a rock band and call it 10 Mohs.

XANDO was my favorite clue.

ZONERS the lamest IMHO.

Golly sethg everyone knows the Pimpernel is scarlet, I mean what if some one referred to Prince as the mauve one. Alas, the world is going to heck in hand basket.


chefbea 2:47 PM  

I found this puzzle hard for a tuesday mainly because I had rte for map which fouled up that whole area.

I think KP is kitchen patrol. I'll have to ask my marine husband

jae 2:50 PM  

Tried DART for the Dodge. Might be off by a decade. Also fell into the RTE trap. The theme seemed kinda bland to me but it is Tues.

retired_chemist 2:55 PM  

@ Orange - Wikipedia says "KP duty" is either kitchen police or kitchen patrol. It also says the formal expression is "mess duty."

Ulrich 2:55 PM  

@acme: LOL

But I fear my general point got lost: There is no "polite, thoughtful, ethical" way of calling people by a name they explicitly reject. And this maxim does not lose its validity if somebody attaches the "politically correct" label to it. The older I get, the more I realize the truth in the maxim that adjectives (i.e. labels) are ill-suited for carrying an argument.

@orange: Thx to the information, was news to me.

retired_chemist 3:02 PM  

@JAE - DART was a 60s - 70s vehicle I think, but I started with that at 16A too. I owned its Plymouth analogue (a 1977 Valiant) until it was stolen in 1992. As I remember, by 1977 Darts were no longer being made.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

@Retired_chemist - Someone actually stole a 16 year old Valiant?

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

@Retired_chemist - Someone actually stole a 16 year old Valiant?

Jeffrey 3:11 PM  

Further to Orange's comment, with the Canadian dollar only worth 80 cents US, papers here have had to cut back. For example, 41A is ALLOW ONES PRIDE, 43D is EE and 50D is SKIM. Except in Montreal, where the puzzle is translated into French and the clue for 7D is simply AMIE.

retired_chemist 3:15 PM  

@ anon -

Yes, amazing as that sounds! It turns out that felony auto theft in TX starts at $1000 valuation, or did then. I'm betting the teenage punks knew this and stole it for joyriding with no risk of jail time. It was found, trashed, with cheap lawn chairs and empty beer cans inside, in a field about 20 miles away a few weeks later.

But I got justice - I cleared $600 on the insurance after my $50 deductible. My friends jokingly said that *I* was the real thief. I deny now, as I did to them then, that I paid the kids to steal it.. :-)

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

Eskimo is fun to say. So is hobo. Eskimo-hobo is damn near divine. Eskimo Pies are tasty. When Quinn the Eskimo gets here everybody's gonna jump for joy.

Bill from NJ 3:35 PM  

In military parlance, "police" has a meaning beyond law enforcement. It also means to clean up and secure as in "police the area".

So KP may mean both Kitchen Patrol and Kitchen Police but I have only heard it refered to as Kitchen Police.

George NYC 4:02 PM  

@anne Ibelieve the term is Kitchen Patrol. I thought this better than avg Tues. Always like xke;theme anwers also all contained "ones". As noted above,PEG good baseball term. Liked wiggleroom and papertiger and all the xs.

AntiRush 4:07 PM  

I really wanted 65a. Toothless enemy to be saber tiger. Sabertooth tiger - tooth = saber tiger. Alas it was not. Still a fun clue though.

dsf 4:20 PM  

Rex, another great blog entry. But just to nitpick your nitpicking, the conjunction between X and O should be and, not or, since the clue is plural ("alternatives").

Anonymous 5:16 PM  

KP = kitchen PEGS, of course. hahaha

kreiz1 7:01 PM  

@Doug- you're right about peg not being an infield throw to first. Weak clue. In contrast, Steely Dan's "Peg" always satisfies. Love the song- its jazzy sound always makes me smile. Lots of fond memories- even though for those of us half a continent away from NYC.

Anonymous 7:13 PM  

Whatever a group of people feels offended about being called should be respected.

It doesn't take a lot of effort to be kind and respectful and listen to what people want to be called and follow up with that in mind.

Respect is the bottom line, and consideration.

The puzzle was okay, not as much fun as Monday's.

Kathy D.

fergus 7:39 PM  

On pain of tediousness, I learned KP as Kitchen Parade. And PEGS is totally natural if you grew up in the mid-west playing baseball.

Anything that starts with TOPAZ is cool. I really liked this puzzle, either despite or because of its having a sort of amateurish air about it. I don't mean that as a negative critique of Mr. Anderson's work, just that it didn't seem to have that tight, elegant polish so frequently seen in the NY Times.

Evil Doug, I completely agree with your PC statement. Not that we couldn't find a way to argue about the how and why though. Cheers.

fikink 7:49 PM  

All I ask is that, prior to taking umbrage with something I have said, please understand the language. Look at the brouhaha that arose from someone referring to a budget allocation as "niggardly."

retired_chemist 8:31 PM  

@ Kreiz1 - I don't see how to go to Steely Dan for a clue since the answer was PEGS, not PEG. Enjoy the reminiscence though......

chefbea 8:34 PM  

my husband the marine has assured me...KP= kitchen police

retired_chemist 8:51 PM  

Oh, why not call KP kvetching pfc's and let it go at that? :-)

Anonymous 2:56 AM  

@Karen, thanks for the info on Mohs scale; I always think of hurricanes when scales are in the balance. Hm?
Had "tip" for tax and I refuse to learn bridge, period. What's up with that "one no"? Rex, thanks for Marge Simpson's maiden name. To date, I have never seen an episode of the Simpsons or tasted Snapple. I'm a hold-out, y'all.
This puzzle was onerous (oneno???)

jubjub 7:15 AM  

For the record, I wasn't thinking that AMIGO might be offensive, but the Sombrero-wearing part. I wouldn't want to be called "conical hat"-wearing, myself. I'm not so easily offended in real life, but I feel like the NYT crossword goes out of its way not to be offensive to anyone, and I guess it bothers me when things that have been deemed to be inoffensive to all and perfectly PC have some amount of callousness in them, particularly toward groups that are routinely subjected to prejudice in this country. I guess with this puzzle I felt a bit like I was talking to my grandfather or something :).

Rebecca 8:02 AM  

I think that the Stelly Dan album should be Aja? I love your blog and educational comments. Thank you for providing reason for my Dad and I to communicate over coffee :-)

boardbtr 1:07 PM  

Five weeks later -- I wonder if the clue for 51A got changed. The preceding discussion seem to indicate a lot of upset with an infield throw being an "PEG". The clue in my paper doesn't say anything about where the throw to first originated.

I got thrown for a bit on both 6A and 28A. I didn't detect a hint that 6A should be a contraction for that 28A wasn't an abbreviation. Also the G.P.S. (Global Positioning System) really doesn't offer a map. It offers a location which is then, often, shown on a map.

Ah well, I managed to solve the puzzle and enjoyed it in the process anyway.

Waxy in Montreal 2:25 PM  

@Orange - 5 weeks ago:
Yes, the term Eskimo is generally not used any longer here in Canada and would be considered offensive except - one of the 8 teams in the Canadian Football League (CFL) is still known as the Edmonton Eskimos. (We can be as hypocritical as those Americans who find the term Redskins beyond the pale (so to speak) but have no problem with the Washington Redskins NFL franchise name.)

Anonymous 8:55 PM  

Interesting bit of blogging. Enjoyed the various comments and descriptions of "peg" as a baseball term. I am an 80 year old vet with many, years of amateur, professional and semiprofessional experience with a baseball and I have listened to broadcasts since Bobby Feller was the fireball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. You know, like I played the sport for over 45 years and have been involved in coaching it since 1953. With that, let me say the last time I ever heard the word peg as a baseball term was when I was a preteenager who snuck into the fair grounds for the purpose of shagging fly balls and collecting broken bats to be repaired and used as my own. Way back then the word peg only had to do with "peg that ball in here" as one player would say to another when playing catch or warming up. I have never heard the term used as being any specific "peg" to any base from any specific location on the field of play thus the example in the clue of being "hard throws to first base, say" means absolutely nothing. I would wager, even you Met fans, have never, ever heard the word peg to describe any throw of a baseball during any radio or TV broadcast be it recent or age-old.

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