Fernando * painter of plump figures — TUESDAY, Oct. 27 2009 — High muck a muck / 1958 sci-fi classic with The / Post W.W. II demographic, informally

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Constructor: Chuck Deodene

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: CHEERLEADER's cheer (57A: Shouter of this puzzle's circled sounds) — circled letters spell out the cheer "RAH RAH SIS BOOM BAH"

Word of the Day: Fernando BOTERO (47D: Fernando _____, painter of plump figures)Fernando Botero Angulo (born April 19,1932) is a Colombian figurative artist, self-titled "the most Colombian of Colombian artists" early on, coming to prominence when he won the first prize at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1959. [...] Botero's work includes still-lifes and landscapes, but Botero tends to primarily focus on situational portraiture. His paintings and sculptures are, on first examination, noted for their exaggerated proportions and the corpulence of the human and animal figures. (wikipedia)


If the reveal answer here had been "1920s YALE CHEERLEADER" or "CHEERLEADER WHEN MR. BURNS WAS IN COLLEGE," I might have liked this better. Placement of the circles seems to have a kind of structure, but not a consistent one, and the circles don't do anything fancy like run across two words in an answer or anything. So theme feels dated and technically unimpressive. On the other hand, the first two theme answers — TETRAHEDRON (17A: Solid with four triangular faces) and RAHM EMANUEL (25A: Chief of staff in the Obama White House) — are fabulous (in the sense of feeling fresh and original). Rest of the grid is solidly filled — not as lively as yesterday's, but pretty good nonetheless. LOWBALL (34D: Like an offer that's under actual value) should have been clued as a verb — I've been explaining importance of active verbs in the margins of papers lately so I want to turn everything into an active verb. But LOWBALL in any form is a nice answer, as is DEEP END (29D: Part of a pool for diving), though that could have used a more vivid clue too. BOTERO and SAN MATEO are proper nouns that I don't expect a lot of people to know right off the bat. I knew both, but I a. like modern art and b. grew up in California, so both names are familiar. BOTERO's work is very distinctive. I can't show you a good deal of it (nudity and other allegedly family-unfriendly things), so in lieu of some of his more edgy work, here's some Loretta LYNN (54A: Loretta who sang "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin' (With Lovin' on your Mind)"):

[OMG her hair! Also, watch til the end, when she gets pushed aside for Bill Monroe: "That's fine, sweetie, let's bring your rhythm player out here in front of you and talk to him..."]

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Solid with four triangular faces (tetRAHedron)
  • 25A: Chief of staff in the Obama White House (RAHm Emanuel)
  • 35A: Start of the Bible (GeneSIS)
  • 37A: Post-W.W. II demographic (BOOMers)
  • 49A: High muck-a-muck (Grand PooBAH) — I always knew this expression as "high muckety-muck," but there may be some WB cartoon influence in there...

  • 6A: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" has five of these (iambs) — IAMBic pentameter = five IAMBS. Unstressed/stressed x 5. I start teaching Renaissance poetry today (Medieval is done and done!)
  • 47A: 1958 sci-fi classic with "The" ("Blob") — I especially like this crossing BOOB (37D: Idiot). Say BOOB BLOB five times fast. That could be your scary Halloween voice.
  • 66A: Bird of prey's dip (salsa)
  • 18D: First thing usually hit by a bowling ball (head pin) — Could only think ONE PIN. Need to bowl more. I probably don't mean that.
  • 42D: Driver's caution to reduce speed (Slo) — I guess the "driver's" part is supposed to tip us to the abbrev., because nothing else in the clue does. SLO is a horrible abbrev. You shed one letter? You need to shed at least half your weight to be a proper abbrev., I say. "CA" — now that's an abbrev.! "Goodbye, LIFORNIA. Don't need you any more."
  • 58D: Popular music style (emo) / 59D: Popular music style (rap) — EMO is crossword famous all out of proportion to its actual fame. If you asked me to name RAP acts, I could go on and on and on. Ask me to name EMO acts ... I don't really know. Wikipedia tells me Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco ... all names I recognize, but not well. No matter. EMO is here to stay, relieving Comedian Phillips of his long-held, burdensome cluing duties.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


JannieB 7:56 AM  

Seriously - I thought of "salsa' for the bird of prey too - but the "W" was already in place. Too funny.

Loved the fill, was luke-warm to the theme. Crunchy enough for a Tuesday but short on the word play.

joho 8:08 AM  


I have to agree with Rex that the theme struck me as dated. It did help me get HEADPIN, though. I had LEADPIN at first until I knew it had to be RAH. There were some fun, fresh words in the fill, just not enough for me to cheer.

Brendan Emmett Quigley 8:11 AM  

I don't want to sound like that asshole who was all X before X was popular, but I'm going to have to. Almost all of my friends were in emo bands from roughly 96-04 and it was a hideous parade of wimpy bullshit. I can't tell you how many times I saw all these shitty bands with quite possibly the worst names in rock history: Burning Airlines, No Knife, Mathlete, Planes Mistaken For Stars, etc. Ugh, I want my 20s back, please.

Jeffrey 8:27 AM  

I was bored before I finished this one.

Doug 8:28 AM  

Thought this was easy, especially since starting with RAHMEMANUEL. CHEERLEADER came after filling in five words. I thought TETRAHEDRON would be the word of the day. Loved the BLOB. Hated HEADPIN because I thought the clue was off. "Usually" is a bad modifier in this case, since pro bowlers usually hit the headpin and most recreational bowlers occasionally hit the headpin. Okay, so I'm nitpicking. Decent bowlers usually hit the headpin.

sillygoose 8:29 AM  

Elmo, yes. Emo, not so much.

La la la la, la la la la...

I liked seeing the BOOB BLOB in the middle of the CHEERLEADER puzzle, lol.

treedweller 8:46 AM  

I had no idea how to parse RAHM EMANUEL. Though the crosses all looked solid, I half expected it to be a mistake.

Easy-breezy, with just a little crackle to keep it interesting. All the obscure stuff had good crosses. Nice Tuesday.

Elaine 9:05 AM  

Other than trying OKLA for a second, and then muddling around over the spelling of RHAM/RAHM EMMANUA/EMANUEL's name....not much challenge; however, it did have words not often seen, which was very pleasing. Lived in CA, drove past the Redwood City exit signs often... I will mention that VIOLA made it into the puzzle when I talk with our daughter--she plays.

BOTERO....I may have seen a couple of his works, but hope never to again... Is the NYT puzzle raising folks from the dead?

@Foodie: thinking of you.
@ Deodene: thanks for the puzzle!

Laura 9:07 AM  

I just really didn't like the cluing of circled letters *boom* with boomer. That felt weak and tired to me.

Overall, fun enough to do, if you ignored the uninteresting theme.

balto 9:08 AM  

A couple stalls but no real stops for me today -- was happy to get Tetrahedron and Rahm entries immediately.

Elaine 9:44 AM  

Left you a note in the wee hours--on yesterday's blog comment page.

Writing from soggy, sodden Arkansas....please send blueprints for Ark.

dk 10:03 AM  

What @joho wrote +

My favorite road sign is SLO CHILDREN AHEAD. I mean, I guess if they are stupid you would need to watch out for them. The little wags where I used to live would add a W to the sign with the tag "we may be slo but we can spill (sic)"

Speaking of SLO:

The head of Fred Flintstone's lodge was the GRANDPOOBAH.

Downingtown, PA was the home of the BLOB and Steve McQueen our hero in 1958.

SWOOP SWOOP is a lyric from some Bryan Ferry tune.

Heard a PUNK (not EMO) band (female lead singer)with a great song in the late 70's: To drunk to go up? Get out! Sorry Ms. Lynn.

It may have been the Suburban Lawns. Now, @BEQ that is a great band name. Suburban Lawns hit (of a sort) was: Gidget Goes to Hell PRESS HERE

In the words of EMO Fudd: That's all folks!

william e emba 10:12 AM  

"Pooh-Bah" comes from Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado. He was the Mikado's right-hand man, and the ultimate in charming arrogance. "Grand Poobah" comes from The Flintstones. He was the head of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes, where Fred and Barney were members.

joho 10:26 AM  

@dk ... your SLO joke reminds me a guy I used to date from New Zealand. We drove by a sign that said DIP. He couldn't believe that in a country as wealthy as America (well, we used to be) that we'd put up a sign warning of a DIP instead of just fixing it!

Two Ponies 10:26 AM  

Perhaps my fastest Tuesday yet.
The cheer did sound like something from 20's perhaps yelled by a guy wearing a raccoon coat and straw hat.
Yes, Grand Poobah = Flintstones for me.
Just watched The Blob the other day on TCM. People were frightened of some rather slow moving things back then.
Favorite clue "carrion consumer." Makes it sound like a specialty store exists somewhere for hyenas and vultures.
Second favorite "gate guess" more aliteration! Fresh clue for a tired answer.
Is emo short for emotional (and whining)?

Geezer 10:36 AM  

Abbreviations like SLO remind of other strange signs, like END ROAD WORK. It would be terrible to end road work. Think how many pot holes we would have to circumnavigate.

Also @Rex. I didn't get your bullet for 66A as salsa???

CoolPapaD 10:44 AM  

Overall, I thought much the same as Rex. Re "sis boom bah," I found this chant from an 1880s football game:

Hip, hip!
Rah, rah, rah!
Tiger, tiger, tiger!
Siss, siss, siss!
Boom, boom, boom! Bah!
Ah! Princeton! Princeton! Princeton! (Wikipedia)

Isn't Rahm Emanuel's brother supposedly the inspiration for a common crossword fill, Leon Uris's Exodus hero, Ari Ben Canaan, or something like that? I swear I read that somewhere - in fact, I think it was on Wikipedia! I swear!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:48 AM  

Decent Tuesday.

LOL at Rex's bullet point for 66 A.

Didn't even think of putting it in, but usually isn't the first thing a bowling ball hits the HARDOAK of the lane? Or in my case, the gutter?

Larry 11:02 AM  

DIP sign:

I recall a BC cartoon from decades ago where the road sign was past by the character riding his wheel only to pass by a goofy looking caveman in the pay off panel.

Susan 11:04 AM  

Thank you, Rex, for the Loretta Lynn clip! The weird thing about the host's shoving her aside to talk to Bill Monroe is that they don't even show him at all during the song, so it's not as if the TV audience was at home thinking, "Holy cow! Is that Bill Monroe playing rhythm?!"

deerfencer 11:14 AM  


Rahm E is the brother of the inspiration for the Ari Gold character on the HBO comedy series, Entourage. Like his fictional counterpart, the real-life Ari is a high-powered Hollywood agent and in fact represents Michael Moore--amongst many others. Moore revealed in a recent interview that he was having trouble getting his agent to return his phone calls now that Ari's brother was in the White House.

Puzzle itself was very easy I thought, but in general well done.

archaeoprof 11:17 AM  

Loretta LYNN! Country music in the puzzle! It's a good day.

BAH 11:17 AM  

CHEERLEADER reminded me of the BOOB whose infamous words included "Heck of a job, Brownie!"


Ulrich 11:19 AM  

I got slowed down only when I put BooBah in for Poobah, which gave me BSH... for the start of "nonsense", and I confidently completed it with ...IT. But then I thought, never in the NYT, and corrected my errant ways.

Question: Does Rahm mean anything in Hebrew? In German, it means "cream", the stuff that collects on top of unprocessed whole milk and whole milk yoghurt (When processed for whipping or to be put into coffee, it becomes Sahne). So, I often chuckle when I see Rahm Emanuel in the news...

PuzzleGirl 11:33 AM  

I really liked this one. I don't mind an old-timey theme now and then. I remember as a kid making up some funny "Rah! Rah! Sis Boom Bah!" cheers. I don't remember what the cheers actually were, but I remember we made them up.

DEEP END and LOWBALL both made me chuckle. Pretty sure Mr. Cunningham on "Happy Days" had some sort of GRAND POOBAH thing going on too.

One of my favorite Ari moments on "Entourage" was when he called "his old college roommate," the director Peter Berg. Peter Berg really was Ari Emanuel's roommate at Macalester College back in the early 80s.

Anon in TigerTown 11:59 AM  

@pednsg: re the Princeton cheer: it's called the Locomotive. For that effect you are supposed to start out saying it slowly and gradually increase the speed, just like an old-time locomotive starting up. Isn't that fun??

SethG 12:33 PM  

I guess he couldn't make "U-G-L-Y, and you ain't got no alibi" work. Wildcats!

Aviatrix 12:38 PM  

A while ago you mentioned that OBAMA was getting overworked in the crosswords lately and I thought, "eh, it's not so much." But now can they stop already? Hardly a day goes by without an Obama related clue. Has any other administration been this dense in the grids?

Noam D. Elkies 12:41 PM  

Fun puzzle; I liked both the theme and a number of the colorful and/or long subsidiary answers, and of course as a mathematician I appreciated getting both 17A:TETRAHEDRON and the coordinate 43A:AXES. Only wrong turn was ALEUT for 14A:INUIT.

Does anybody in the 33:PEW actually sing Dies 32A:IRAE these days?

@Ulrich: Wikipedia confirms that R.Emanuel's given name is the same as the Biblical name usually spelled Ram (רם) in Hebrew. It means "high, lofty", but is surely not related with the German Rahm even though cream rises to the top. The Wikipage for the Biblical Ram explains that the extra H in Rahm Emanuel's name refers to another name, Rahamim ("mercy", with the h being the Hebrew ch (ח) sound: רחמים).


P.S. Is 37A/D trying to put us in the mood for Halloween? :-)

dk 1:00 PM  

Suburban Lawns

Sorry this link works.

kumar 1:09 PM  

Thank you, William Emba for the clarification between Pooh-bah and Poobah.

I was sure someone goofed as I stared at Poobah in my filled crossword, certain of my spelling. Obviously the result of a deprived childhood with insufficient exposure to the Flintstones.

Ulrich 1:45 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:46 PM  

@DK - I too am sorry the link worked. You've no idea how much gin is required to quiet the screaming in my head now.

Ulrich 1:48 PM  

@NDE: Thx--didn't expect any linguistic connection, but am delighted to see one in meaning.

Here's another Loretta Lynn favorite of mine--great to sing along, lustily.

chefwen 1:50 PM  

Shelbyville, Shelbyville, Shelbyville is it. SH for shelbyville IT for it.

My brother in Chicago has an art studio called Poobah Studio. Kind of crazy stuff, but then again, so is he.

Good puzzle but did get a little hung up on TETRAHEDRON and RAHM EMANUEL.

Stan 1:52 PM  

Apparently 'Emo' is not unknown as a surname (esp. in Ireland). So we really need one of these folks to become famous and let the musical genre fade to obscurity.

@Elaine, @Sfingi: Thanks for your late comments last night.

Hollis 1:54 PM  

Just starting to do these daily, and follow this blog (which makes me laugh every day!) I thought this one was pretty easy, actually, only stumpers were 40D and 32A, both of which emerged nicely. And now I know.

mac 1:57 PM  

Good Tuesday puzzle, with, as mentioned by so many, fresh, unusual fill. My only (funny) mistake was "so-and-so" for 21A.

@dk: my favorite traffic sign: in the town of Norwalk, CT, the children were allowed to design one. It says: Slow Down, That Means You!

I like Fernando Botero's work, and his wive's (Sophia Vari). A friend of mine always reminds me of it....

bookmark 2:10 PM  

Re: FERNANDO BOTERO. The web site artdaily.org had a reference today to Christie's New York Latin American Sale auction Nov. 17-18. Botero's work is one of the big draws, with his "Mujer fumando" estimated to go for $800,000-1,000,000. Hope to see all of you there!

Van55 2:48 PM  

I generally enjoyed this puzzle.

My only real gripe is the use (yet again) of the grounded supersonic transport fleet (SSTS)at40D. Seems lazy to me.

Jet City Gambler 3:49 PM  

There's a pretty hilarious take on the Sunday puzzle from the guys at Kissing Suzy Kolber, a football/humor site that has a weekly feature where they savagely eviscerate Peter King's MMQ column.

For one, they note that King spelled BEQ's name wrong in his column. Rex also gets a shout out, here's a bit of the exchange:


Anyway, the King-themed puzzle clogged up a blog run by crossword aficionado Rex Parker in New York, eliciting comments like: “This puzzle is about the weirdest thing I’ve seen in the NYT. It’s like a love letter to one guy…

Rex, join me every Monday. You have no clue how deep the self-love letters run…

Why anyone else should care, I don’t know. If you wanna put the guy in a puzzle, just put him in a puzzle. No need to beatify him like this.”

And from ‘Meg’: “I did not have a negative reaction to this puzzle. Actually, I feel kind of sorry for the guy. I mean, if your goal in life is to be mentioned in a puzzle … So I felt like BEQ was doing this poor sot a favor more than showing adulation.”

Did this chick really just use the word “sot”? Does this woman live inside a Wizard of Id strip?

And this: “For Peter King’s egomania to be rewarded so laboriously is icky.” And this: “Build it around a Winston Churchill quote, or even someone alive and not nearly as famous. But a blowhard sportswriter — with a Brett Favre infatuation — who has his share of critics?”

I love you, anonymous Times puzzle fiend.

CLark 3:51 PM  

I think, based on no evidence whatsoever, that this puzzle successfully makes fun of circle puzzles. It felt like a good Tuesday puzzle, with just enough ironic distance from the theme. I mean, c'mon, RAH RAH SIS BOOM BAH. And I like the soupcon of political commentary, with the symmetric placement of RAHM EMANUEL and GRAND POOBAH.

Bill from NJ 4:02 PM  

There was a group - I think it was in the 70s - called Elvis Hitler where the lead singer had a brush mustache and sideburns. It's catch phrase was "two of the great personalties of the 20th Century and we have have them both in the same band."

Meg 5:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 5:21 PM  

@Meg - Everything after the "***" was pasted from the other site - JetCityGambler didn't provide any of the commentary.

Meg 5:28 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 5:29 PM  

Meg, welcome to the internet,darlin'.

Glitch 5:53 PM  

Nice Tuesday puzzle, despite circles.

Even better, generated cogent comments [here] that didn't require flack jackets and asbestos underwear to get through ;)


Walter Winchell 7:14 PM  

Will Shortz Defends Suspect Contest! Scandal Rocks the World of Sudoku!

Two Ponies 7:36 PM  

Wow Walter Winchell, that was an interesting audio clip. I thought you were joking at first. Just insert Crossword for Sudoku and imagine the outrage here.

Anonymous 7:53 PM  

台灣處亞熱帶最適於它的繁殖,危害最嚴重的有家白蟻及大和白蟻。在每年四月至九月間,一大群白蟻集體飛出巢穴追逐(颱風或大雨來臨之前)雌雄配對後,迅速地脫落翅膀, ... 在台灣,住的房子雖多為鋼筋水泥,但早期居住的木造房子,就常受到白蟻的侵蝕。

michael 8:07 PM  

ok, this is really pedantic and maybe I'm just slow today, but...

clue -- series of steps between floors

answer -- stair

Shouldn't it be "stairs"? Actually, I would go for "staircase," but it doesn't fit. Or is one of those things a "step" and not a "stair"

Bob Kerfuffle 8:17 PM  

@Michael - According to my Webster's, the first definition of "stair" is "a series of steps . . . " But the second definition is "any one step of a series . . . "

Anonymous 8:36 PM  

@ Michael, In this neighborhood pedantry knows no bounds. Ask and in 10 minutes you receive!

Sfingi 8:39 PM  

Never heard of EMO or headpin but it didn't matter CUZ I didn't see 'em fall in. Took a quick listen on Wiki to the EMO bits, Yuck.

@Elaine - Botero is not dead!
I've liked Fernando Botero for quite a while. He's done an Abu Ghraib series recently, and I've thought of using his Mona Lisa as my icon, if I can ever figure how. There was some sculpture in NYC on Park Ave. Hope it's still there. Nietzsche's words, "Human all too human," come to mind when I see his nudes.

YouTube is down for maintenance!

It's apparently easy to speak English in iambic pentameter. Try for a few hours to do this - or assign your students to speak of common things thusly. However, not so in Italian. They tend to need another iamb - no surprise. The sonnet was invented in Sicily by Lentini in the marvelous court of Fred. II, and perfected in Italy by Petrarch.

@Joho - my whole life is dated.
@dk, Emba, Deerfencer - Thanx for the knowledge bits.

nanpilla 8:44 PM  

@mac "So and So" here, too. I thought I was the only one.

mac 8:50 PM  

@Sfingi: no, he is not dead, we had dinner with him a couple of years ago. He is charming and very smart.
There were a lot of his sculptures on Park Avenue, but I think there is only one left in the 70's.

@nanpilla: wasn't that funny?

michael 8:51 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle (and anonymous):

I guess I should have looked up the definition of "stair" before posting. But I've never heard the word used this way. "John fell down the stair." "Jennifer climbed the stair." "How many steps are there in the stair?" I don't think so...

PuzzleGirl 9:13 PM  

Hand up for "SO AND SO"!

@michael: Here's an example that works for me. "You can reach the Botero collection via the east wing stair." To me it sounds a little, I don't know, old-fashioned ... or maybe just snooty.

Elaine 10:56 PM  

OOPS--premature burial on BOTERO! (A nod to Poe, Halloween, the Acrostic, and so on....)

I think I was "saved" from guessing SO AND SO because I had ___ONE in before I read the 21A clue. But "unnamed person" = So-and-so....probably not. Usually I think of this phrase as replacing "rascal" or "difficult person." For SO AND SO ...I might say "Whatsisname" or some such. Anyone still up to chime in??

Elaine 10:57 PM  

DUH...I am obviously too tired to be posting.
For "unnamed person" I would say "Whosis" or "whatsisname."


Anonymous 1:14 AM  

my chip will swoop down to the salsa.

andrea karma michaels 1:31 AM  

@Elaine, PuzzleGirl
I'm still up!
My reading glasses aren't so good and I read it as "unmarried person"...and couldn't figure out the connection to SOMEONE!

Speaking of which, I've randomly picked up someone whom I met last week who has more or less moved in (speaks English! I'm just pretending this is a little birthday present) and now I have to share my world...so last night it was learning the crossword.

(An hour or two beforehand he was dragged to a storytelling evening. I was talked into getting on stage and telling a five minute story (the theme was "Creepy"). I agreed to do it for the drink tickets (I don't even drink but my "guest" does) and ended up winning the $50 first prize...which we splurged on Japanese food.
Then I took him home to bed where he had to first do the puzzle with me.
He is a starving artist/serious painter (who didn't know BOTERO!?) just back from India and I'm sure will be on to another adventure next week, but it's been fascinating to get someone who has NEVER done a puzzle to do one...
He was pretty good and gave me an answer I didn't know, but now I don't remember what it was! Oh yes, SANMATEO!
I had started to write in SANTA---.

After we got the CAD/CUR thing straightened out, I was AGHAST to have to explain why SYL was in a puzzle...but at least it wasn't AGASP.

It's interesting that AXES (as in cutting tools) and AXES (as in the math term) are the same word pronounced differently...what is that called again? It's a homonym without being a homophone, but are there a lot of those? Like PRODUCE, I guess.

Re: theme
I'm a bit miffed bec both Will and Peter had nixed my puzzle a year or so ago that was:
and that they were cheer LEADERS...
get it?

Altho Peter did let me rewrite it as STEFANFATSIS, LOWERTHEBOOM,
GRANDPOOBAH...but it took the Lead out of the Cheer...
(It was in the Sun like a few days before it went out of business if I recall... if anyone wants to track it down)

As for my new "roommate", what can I say, dk? Don't be jealous, I just turned 50 and couldn't wait for you forever!

Elaine 5:14 AM  

Okay, now I'm jealous.

But I am really writing to ask: STEFANFATSIS?????????????

I'm over the limit (on posts) but surely no one cares! I just did Wednesday's.

William Hughes Mearns 7:49 AM  

Yesterday upon the stair
I saw a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

"Antigonish" (1899

william e emba 4:28 PM  

Elvis Hitler? That reminds me of Don DeLillo White Noise, one of the all-time great modern novels, and funny too. The main character is a professor, who has a successful career having created the interdisciplinary "Hitler Studies". His colleague is inspired by his success, and wants to create "Elvis Studies".

Unknown 9:00 AM  

You're amazing, but sometimes even Homer nods - Sweet little things with points to them - chocolate kisses, not chips. It's correct in the grid but not in the list of 15s. I might not have noticed if it wasn't for my fixation on all things chocolate.

Tim 1:11 PM  

I don't understand why this got a "medium". I'm a novice solver and found this one easy. The theme came to me immediately (though I was born in the 60s not the 1890s) with the RAH in TETRAHEDRON. And because it was so simple, I thought there'd be an additional payoff -- other theme related fill, but sadly, no. Is there ever with this type of crossword?

Singer 1:52 PM  

I would agree it was easy, although it is hard to tell with early week puzzles. Sanfranman didn't give us his statistics, so don't have that guide for difficulty. Tuesdays are supposed to be easy, and the measure of "medium" is relative to Tuesday difficulty. I had a short brain fart with Aleut for INUIT and wanted to put "so-and-so" in for SOMEONE, although I waited for the crosses on that one. Those were the only holdups, and contrary to my usual style to ignore the theme until I am done, I did use the theme to fill in the circles of BOOM and BAH, which sped things up a bit. The Aleut thing only held me up long enough to enter the correct answer, otherwise completion was continuous and without stopping, so easy to easy-medium would get my vote.

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