Jazz trombonist Kid / TUE 3-22-11 / English theologian Watts / Emu's extinct cousin / Greg's sitcom mate / Considered good by Moody's

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Constructor: Albert R. Picallo

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: TWIST OF FATE (35A: Unexpected development ... or what the answer to each starred clue contains?) — eight different arrangements of the letters F, E, A, and T appear in symmetrical answers in the grid.

Word of the Day: Kid ORY (42A: Jazz trombonist Kid ___) —

Edward "Kid" Ory (December 25, 1886 – January 23, 1973) was a jazz trombonist and bandleader.[...] Ory was a banjo player during his youth and it is said that his ability to play the banjo helped him develop "tailgate," a particular style of playing the trombone. In "tailgate" style the trombone plays a rhythmic line underneath the trumpets and cornets. // He had one of the best-known bands in New Orleans in the 1910s, hiring many of the great jazz musicians of the city, including, cornetists Joe "King" Oliver, Mutt Carey, and Louis Armstrong; and clarinetists Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone. [...] The Ory band was an important force in reviving interest in New Orleans jazz, making popular radio broadcasts—among them a number of slots on the Orson Welles Almanac broadcast and a jazz history series sponsored by Standard Oil—as well as by making recordings. Ory retired from music in 1966 and spent his last years in Hawaii ... (wikipedia)
• • •

First reaction: FEAT? Just ... different letter arrangements? Why? Then I went to type in all the standard info (above), such as Constructor, Difficulty Level, and Theme. What should I call it? I know: TWIST OF FATE ... wait. That really, really should have been this puzzle's title. WAIT! It's the answer smack in the middle of the grid! Wow, way to not pay attention, Rex. Anyway, TWIST OF FATE makes all the damned circles and random letter arrangements somewhat more tolerable. Annoyed at the doubling up of theme clues about musicals, as it detracts / distracts from the actual theme (also, musicals schmusicals). Also annoyed at ORY, a terrible bit of crosswordese, as well as ITRY, which is somewhat less terrible, but somehow still irksome to me (32D: Modest response to praise). Rest of the grid seems pretty solid—impressive for a puzzle with such theme density. Hmmm, on second look, there is a little more not-so-nice stuff than I like to see in an easy puzzle: OST, OID, EXEL, MVI, ORY, EEC, EFOR = none of it great. Nice modern clue on SLIDER (47D: Small burger) (at least I assume it's modern, as I'd never heard of a SLIDER in my life until I started seeing them appear on menus about 3-5 years ago).

[One of the 80s-est videos / songs you'll ever see]

Theme answers:
  • 4D: *Song from "No, No, Nanette" ("TEA FOR TWO")

  • 18A: *Dining area (CAFETERIA)
  • 21A: *Result of collapsed arches (FLAT FEET)
  • 21D: *Daredevils' doings (FEATS)
  • 36D: *Kind of position (FETAL)
  • 34D: *"It Might as Well Be Spring" musical ("STATE FAIR")
  • 53A: *Nevertheless (AFTER ALL)
  • 56A: *Didn't disturb (LEFT ALONE)
NW and SE corners went down Very fast — except for the musicals clues, which required some crosses — and the rest felt like an ordinary Tuesday, with the ORY-ish middle being probably the most trying part of the grid.

  • 27A: Greg's sitcom mate (DHARMA) — Mmm, bygone sitcom characters. I guess a literal (or Kerouac) clue for DHARMA wouldn't be as Tuesdayey.
  • 31A: Period following homework completion, perhaps (TV TIME) — sounds original, though originality credit belongs to a 2003 Liz Gorski puzzle (the only other puzzle to use this answer)
  • 40A: Considered good by Moody's (RATED A) — they rate bonds. Speaking of which, the trial of Barry Bonds began today. No idea what Moody's would rate him.
  • 7D: English theologian Watts (ISAAC) — weird. Don't think I've even heard of this guy. Wikipedia say he was "recognized as the "Father of English Hymnody"" ... yep, sounds like something I wouldn't know.
  • 51D: Bob Cratchit, for one (CLERK) — ugh, slowed way down here because I was thinking Scrooge, not Cratchit.
  • 48A: Dee Dee, Tommy, Joey or Johnny of punk (RAMONE) — now there's an answer I can get behind.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. here are a handful of photos from this past weekend's ACPT ...

[From right, commenters Bob Kerfuffle, Mac, and imsdave]

[Me, gazing intently at ... I have no idea]

[Me, Andrea Michaels, and Patrick Blindauer]

[Sandy—patiently explaining to me how a "camera" works]

[Constructors Caleb Madison, Tony Orbach, and Brendan Emmett Quigley, solving Tony's CrosSynergy "Sunday Challenge" puzzle—I think Brendan has just spotted ITUNE (singular) ...]

[Me, Caleb, and, a trophy that, as my sister put it, makes me look like I "took 5th at a regional speech & debate tournament."]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Anonymous 12:27 AM  

You got me all sorts of inspired to look up Hymnody. Talk about disappointment.

syndy 12:35 AM  

I'm sorry what opera clues are you talking about? I must have missed them.Do you mean the Musicals? anyway very easy puzzle.Do find the daft deft clerk kinda interesting

Anonymous 12:40 AM  

The Ramones made the puzzle!!!! That's the best, best, best.

DJG 12:40 AM  

Constructually, I think this puzzle is nice, with good theme density, symmetry, stacked rows of circles, and revealer in the middle. But...

This theme -- rearrange letters of a word to get strings of letters in longer entries -- has just been done too many times. (Usually there's a revealer like "twists of fate" or "mixed nuts".)

I'd like to see editors retire this theme type for a while.

Tobias Duncan 12:50 AM  

Ugg my early week times have been off for some time now. I wonder if I have a brain tumor.Listening to the Coltrane Rex provided and loving it.
I know its yesterday's news but I did not get enough ACPT.We need a chatroom or something...

JaxInL.A. 2:08 AM  

@Tobias, please don't sneak off to a chat room somewhere. I wager this is the perfect space for the chat you crave. Well, not chat, exactly, but talk and exchange. I wasn't even there and I can't get enough of ACPT. I Loved @nanpilla's lovely, long atmospheric essay yesterday. Loads of info, and her quivering hand peeking up into the air... Rex's unusually effusive love notes, color commentary from @Sparky, @JenCT, @sugar acme's exclamation marks, all those cool constructors stopping in and, well, everyone's contributions whether you went or not. I love this blog.

I quite liked today's puzzle, too. Is this a debut?

My husband got a kick out of the Ramones clue. He is always complaining that "those things are too clever by half." I think he just likes saying that phrase, but he is definitely not a solver. So when I reeled off the names of one of his favorite bands, he perked up and admitted there might be some appeal here.

But Rex, you can't possibly be lumping together Broadway musicals with opera, can you? That smacks of either reverse snobbery or willful ignorance. Not that you have to know the shows, but not to know that No No Nanette or State Fair are not operas? Hmmmm... I bet you are just being inflammatory so that folks like me will fly up in the boughs.

When I was 13 I got to stand behind a piece of scenery at the California Theatre in San Bernardino during the I Want To Be Happy number in No No Nanette and hand a glass of water to the late great Martha Raye after she finished a show-stopping tap dance, did a quick change, and dashed back onstage. She was Fabulous.

lit.doc 2:12 AM  

What @Rex said about the crosswordese on a Tuesday, and what @DJG said about the anagram-wannabees.

I appreciate that a grid of this sort is reeeally hard to design and fill(even asymmetrically), but why go to all that trouble for a bunch of theme answers that, beyond the impressive mechanics, evince no further wit whatever?

@syndy, the only opera clue I could spot was the one about the chic diva's ensemble at 35D.

Muskrat Ramble 2:18 AM  

ORY is tough fill for a Tuesday, but he's certainly puzzle-worthy.

1st recording by a black band: ORY's Creole Trombone, Society Blues by Kid ORY's Sunshine Orchestra 1921.

During the 1920's Kid ORY performed on Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings – probably the most influential jazz recordings of all time! It's impossible to play traditional New Orleans jazz without ripping off Kid ORY.

"Jazz on a Summer's Day" Anita O'Day 1957
Anita just kills on "TEA FOR TWO" (begins at 4:30)

chefwen 2:38 AM  

I just left a rather long comment and then did something stupid and erased the whole damn thing. Shoots!

Anyway, in short, I liked this one and had only one write over at 48D with at TASK before ON TASK when I knew the the RAMOtE was just not going to work. ORY was a new one for me and I had to Google him after the fact.

I'll go into my rambling at some other time, it had to do with Dear Old Dad and puzzles, blah, blah, blah! Later.

Anonymous 2:39 AM  

Edward "Kid" ORY

Search: site:redhotjazz.com kid ory

Red Hot Jazz





PastelLady 5:37 AM  

Does crossword construction lead to hair loss? That's what I wonder about.

JenCT 7:24 AM  

ORY took me forever! I had to try almost every letter of the alphabet, since I didn't know REEL either.

I saw the Ramones in Brooklyn in the late 70's - the singer was so wasted that he fell down on the stage, and the rest of the band just played on without him. Don't remember much else from that night...

I've decided to stop timing myself, since the ACPT - who needs that kind of pressure???

mmorgan 7:43 AM  

Last week we had "The best use of circles EVER." This week... well, ok, I guess it's cool how many anagrams one can work out of FATE. I guess. At least some (or more) of this felt fairly fresh and zippy.

I'm a big fan of Kid ORY (42A), Nipper (50A), and Tati (6D), and it's nice to see them here.

Just minutes before doing this, I took a shower and on the radio I heard a really terrific jazz version of "It Might As Well Be Spring" (34D) sung by Stacey Kent in French on our local NPR station.

Whenever I see a picture of Rex, I always think,"What, he doesn't look like the icon on the blog???"

OldCarFudd 8:13 AM  

@mmorgan - There are 24 permutations of 4 different letters taken all at a time.

I figured Rex, who hates circles, would wax apoplectic about ovals, but he showed remarkable restraint. I thought this was a pretty good puzzle.

Enjoyed seeing what some of the constructors/bloggers look like.

Yes, Yes, Yvette 8:37 AM  

Jaxin, did you get married in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout?

Rex said nothing about operas in his his writeup. He merely dismissed musicals in a phrase ("musical schmusical"). That seems unobjectionable to me.

I want some Orbach quotes. Does he always get the good closing zinger in the cold open?

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

Sliders have been around forever here in Chicagoland. A delicacy found at White Castle. And lately restaurants have been putting their own version of the mini burgers on the menu. Hopefully, with better ingredients.

joho 8:43 AM  

Absolutely LOVE the pics, everybody looks great!

8 theme answers is admirable. If this is Albert's debut: congratuations!

I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I've had enough of circles.

retired_chemist 8:55 AM  

@ PastelLady re "Does crossword construction lead to hair loss?"

Actually elevated dihydrotestosterone levels can lead to hair loss. Draw your own conclusions.

Enjoyed the puzzle - one of those rare times when I go a theme early and it was useful in solving.

Didn't see Still do not think Nick Van EXEL deserves the crossword play he gets.

Had the phrase as "A FOR effort," leading to CAFATERIA and the thought that the Editor really screwed up. But, of course, no.... figured my error out soon enough.

First shot at 15A was CIA. Again, not...

Nice one, Mr. Picallo.

jesser 8:55 AM  

Thanks for the photos, Rex. Nice to put faces to names. Caleb is adorable.

Slid right through the puzzle, even though I've never heard of STATE FAIR the musical. I'm lucky Sea Bisquit wouldn't fit or I'm guessing I'd have entered it and had to unwind the mess. Was that even a musical? Is this a PRANK?

I agree that the DAFT DEFT CLERK is by far my favorite part of the completed grid. OMERTA over THE MAFIA also is kinda cool, in a swimmin' with the fishies (catfish!) kind of way. Much better than E FOR FETAL.

I'm loving all the ACPT stories, so please keep 'em coming, folks! And more photos! With that, I have a crazy day ahead, so AFTER ALL, FINI!

Elisop! (Eli had his 'roids removed) -- jesser

Quibble 9:15 AM  

I would think an artist would proudly (and stereotypically) say "Voila!" rather that "Fini", unless he was referring to the meal he just had eaten.


Anne 9:15 AM  

Rex, thanks for pictures - good to put names to faces. And Pastellady, so far so good.

Howard B 9:24 AM  

Pretty good, solid, accessible puzzle, not easy to do for a Tuesday level.

And now I have "Sheena Is..." stuck in my head on a loop. Heard it on my commute home yesterday, and now again here. Could be worse :).

quilter1 9:36 AM  

I really liked this puzzle and admired the FEAT of 24 anagrams. Then I came here and geezerhood crept up on me. ISAAC Watts was a gimme. His hymns in their original (not modernized) forms are lovely poetry. I knew both the musicals. I like musicals and STATE FAIR was set in Iowa, (forget the movie version).

Thanks for the pix. It is nice to put faces to names. Sandy, mac and acme are lovely. Bob Kerfluffle looks like I imagined. Caleb is a doll.

steedish: kinda like a horse

chefbea 9:40 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Liked the circles and they did help.

When I prepare a salad I do not use tongs. Use them to serve the salad.

When my kids were young we use to have Rice-a-roni all the time. Haven't had any in years.

Thanks Rex for the fotos

Anoa Bob 10:01 AM  

Eight starred clues with a central reveal is quite a FEAT. Only one of the entries for the starred clues has circles containing an anagram of FATE, 21D FEAT. The rest of the starred clue entries just have rearrangements of the letters in FATE. Except 21A which has five circles with the letters FATFE. Seems odd.

SethG 10:04 AM  

ORY is certainly puzzle-worthy, though KID ORY would be so much better. But I wish if they were gonna clue ORY with Kid Ory they'd taken a more straightforward clue for REEL. Or the reverse. That felt like an avoidably oddly clued cross.

Tobias Duncan 10:05 AM  

Went to bed last night right after doing the crossword and commenting here.Must have had ACPT on the brain because I dreamt my tournament application was rejected because of poor grammar in the essay portion.I guess part of my subconscious was trying to give me what I was asking for.Stupid brain...

Bob Kerfuffle 10:07 AM  

Surprised that so far only @OldCarFudd mentioned that instead of the series of circles which appear in Rex's completed grid, the printed grid in the Times had ovals, or what I thought of as cartouches, to contain the various TWISTS OF FATE.

In 1967 I mailed away for a Publicity Chairman's Handbook. One of the rules therein was, "Some members of your organization will be more flattered by not having their photographs printed." I was reminded of that rule when I saw my picture here!

jackj 10:12 AM  

Six theme entries yesterday, nine theme entries today, will we have twelve of them tomorrow?

This was a most auspicious debut puzzle from Albert Picallo and, though not especially challenging, still great fun.

The pay-off at TWISTOFFATE gave the eight related anagrams an extra shine which hadn't been expected when solving the puzzle.

chefbea 10:30 AM  

@Aona Bob the first F in 21 Across is for 21 Down

Torbach 10:33 AM  

Yes, yes Yvette - I love your nickname ... (I saw Bernadette Peters in "No, No Nanette when I was an impressionable, hormonal teen. If Rex had been there he might have skipped the "SCH-").

A favorite zinger of my dad's came at the end of an episode. On a mission to Mirandize and cuff, the detectives enter the high-floor, corner office of the hateful and smarmy white-collar felon, who is on the phone with his feet up on the desk, and Briscoe grabs the receiver and says "He'll call you back in 25 to life". Though that one was not his, he took some pride in coming up with a lot of those lines. And I wonder why I love bad puns?

Fwiw, I think BEQ is actually looking at LOVERBOY in the grid and thinking: "Maybe I should wear a bandanna at my next gig".

Let the spirit of ACPT reign all year, or at least until Lollapuzzoola, an event equally worth of everyone's attendance.

Tony O.

Mel Ott 10:39 AM  

The dead tree version has ellipses stretching across 4 squares instead of the 4 adjoining circles of the on line version. Completely different look and a new one for me.

Probably expecting too much, but I would have really been impressed if the anagrams spelled out real words!

I remember short-sheeting from my long ago college days, but (I hesitate to ask) what's "T.P.'ing"?

Nice pix, Rex.

Shamik 10:40 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: Thanks for explaining that the ovals were in the print version. So confusing when you think you're having a senior moment because you can't recall any ovals!!!!

Easy puzzle for a Tuesday. If this is a debut, congratulations!

Liked seeing SLIDER as a new entry. Refreshing! And ORY only fell from the crosses.

If I knew how to repost it here, I'd repost Parnell Hall's song about the ACPT that a friend posted on FB. Alas.

efrex 10:43 AM  

Hey, no hating on the musicals in my presence!

I think we last saw this type of theme nearly two months ago (<a href="http://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com/2011/02/milnes-absent-minded-mr-tue-2-1-11-pre.html>Mixed Media</a>), and here we have a higher theme density plus a central reveal... makes for a nice puzzle, IMHO.

ONCLE crossing OID, NSA, and EEC is really my only quibble on the fill. There was quite a bit of crosswordese elsewhere, but all fairly gettable from crosses. Solid Tuesday in my book

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

When I saw the ovals in the dead tree version I went Whoa what's this? I intentionally circumvented the center revealer just to add to the suspence. It was fun.
@ Bob K. Cartouche! Yes, that's exactly what they look like. good one.
Where I grew up there was a greasy spoon that served coney dogs and mini burgers. The dogs were called sliders (made sense because of their shape) and the burgers were gut lumps. Thus I never understood a sliding burger.
Great photos Rex. I think you are just yanking @ Greene's chain about the musicals. We'll see if/when he shows up.
I am smitten with Caleb.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:00 AM  

@Mel Ott - Something I know only from movies, etc., not personal experience: T. P.ing is throwing rolls of toilet paper in trees, on house, gates, etc. to create a mess as on Halloween etc.

@mac and imsdave - you can easily crop me out of that picture if you don't mind sacrificing the accidental shot of Ryan Hecht!

jackj 11:07 AM  

No doubt, the ovals in the print version are a way to soften the incongruity caused by having an extra circled F in 21 across.

Howard B 11:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard B 11:14 AM  

First off, Rex, you beat me out on puzzle #5. I believe I mentioned that, but it deserves rementioning. You owned that one.

Second, congrats on the trophy! Also know that you took fifth from me in the debate tournament; I suppose my impassioned argument that "Spaghetti-Os are actually not pasta" probably cost me the trophy, as in retrospect it didn't quite touch upon the assigned topic.

Neville 11:34 AM  

I TRY should be clued with reference to the Grammy-winning Macy Gray song, IMO. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsTk2xp0nvY

Why was Tony solving his own puzzle?!?

fikink 11:36 AM  

@Jaxin, @Two Ponies, yes "musicals schmusicasl" must be a dart from Rex's pea-shooter toward IMSDave, Greene, Torbach, et. al. Speaking of that, @Torbach, I believe I've seen that line delivered, but mostly I remember your dad from The Fantastiks, like forever! @quilter, agree with you re: STATE FAIR, the movie.

I thot this was a solid Tuesday with a playful fill, but perhaps it is just where my eyes roam. Down the California coast from PLANED EAR LAP to ON TASK at RCA. Did anyone see Nipper?

Thanks for the photos, Rex. Looks like a wonderful time. 2012, be swift!

Masked and Anonymous 12:01 PM  

Puz does get the Fickle Finger of U-Lessness award. But I'm inclined to cut the dude some slack. Debut puz. 9 theme answers, including the center reveal. Avoided the dreaded (but tempting) SMELLYFEAT answer. So, thumbs up.

31! Nice job, 44. Enjoyed yer photos. Always good to place a face with a name.

31 flavors. 31 = prime number. 31 + 13 (inverse of 31) = 44. 31 days in March (2011 ACPT month). 31 millimeters = height of Rex's trophy. Yup. It was written. I'm in. "31" it is.

Kinda humblin', that Dan Feyer can solve a hard puz on stage, faster than I could've written the letters in, if I'da just solved it in advance in the back room.

Mel Ott 12:31 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: Of Course! Thanks. Never did any TP'ing - I think it got popular after my youthful days. I will admit to having perpetrated a short-sheeting or two. If I was victimized by same I've surpressed the memory.

syndy 12:45 PM  

Today Rex's writeup says Musicals schmusicals last night He was ranting on about all the opera clues! when he came in to post the photos he (or someone)altered the text.It is a hazard of posting in at night!but @yes yes yvete Jaxinla was not imagining things!

Torbach 1:48 PM  


Torbach 1:55 PM  

...and then I said: "Good Question, Neville". I was actually grading the completed puzzle Orange submitted (I think I had the red pencil out: she's very careless, you know) several moments before the other speed demons were done. If I had been solving my own puzzle this gang would probably still have finished faster - including Caleb, Mr. D-Division trophy winner!

By the way, I neglected to say congrats to Mr. Picallo - that was another heap of theme today in a workable Tuesday degree of difficulty puzzle: not easy to achieve. Looking forward to the next.

Tony O.

Gil.I.Pollas 2:14 PM  

It was worth doing this (strange? weird?) puzzle today just to get my daily dose of REX and see the wonderful pictures.
Everyone looks happy and that's a good thing.

Stan 2:35 PM  

Another good debut.

Notes: Two musicals I've heard of are fine with me, esp. when balanced by Kid Ory, a Bob Dylan song, and the Ramones.

I ran into Kid Ory's name just last (I'm reading Mezz Mezzrow's jazz autobiography "Really the Blues"). Like Bobby Orr and Mel Ott, puzzlers should get familiar with him.

Props to Rex and Deb Amlen at Wordplay for posting Ramones videos from Musikladen (a 1978 German TV show). These have far better sound and image quality than other early clips.

The photos are excellent!

KarenSampsonHudson 2:50 PM  

Wonderful photos, Rex! Looks like great fun to be there!

CoffeeLvr 3:01 PM  

ECHOing others, thanks for the photos - good selection.

FETA in 36D is also a true anagram of FATE. Tasty, too.

Arundel 3:06 PM  

A good Tuesday, for the most part. There are things that look funny in retrospect (17A, for instance) and slightly irritating (52A, Nick Van Who?) but all entirely get-able from the crosses.

The ACPT pictures, though, are the best part. The one of Rex, Andrea and Patrick is a truly fine example of people who really know how to smile! And Rex's trophy looks more suited to fifth place in the Winter Diving Competition of the MMMLXI Mt. Olympus Games.

@Bob Kerfuffle - I've always said that if my photos looked like a big gray cat, I'd be a lot happier!

Muskrat Ramble 3:11 PM  

@Stan ... Mezz Mezzrow, the "Johnny Appleseed of Weed" "Really the Blues" is fantastic! It appears to be out of print.

sanfranman59 3:51 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 8:33, 8:55, 0.96, 42%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:36, 4:34, 1.01, 58%, Medium

william e emba 4:14 PM  

Bob K: when I saw the picture with you in it, I had the odd luck of looking at the picture when the fellow's head standing behind you was just cut off in my browser. So the disembodied gray jacket of the fellow behind you looked a lot like your own hair--too bad you ran out of hair dye--and too bad if there's only room for one Bello Nock on this planet.

While I never heard of Kid ORY, REEL is certainly well-known, so I had no problem with that cross. On the contrary, I nearly went nuts on the EXE-/S-IDER crossing. I correctly went with the L, probably because I've seen Nick Van EXEL in the puzzle before. He was also, unfortunately, in the news about a year ago.

So, am I the only person here who has never heard of the small hamburger SLIDER before? I mean, I was aware of White Castle, but I never ate there and had no idea they had a special vocabulary. For what it's worth, I almost never eat out anywhere: kosher in Philadelphia is extremely limited.

mac 4:17 PM  

Excellent debut! Those ovals were a surprise this morning. Agree with all the good things said before.

@Bob Kerfuffle: never!

If the artist says "fini" shouldn't he be artiste?

Husband is a native Nutmegger, and he doesn't know the word slider. I've heard him refer to White Castles as "mouseburgers". Probably because of the mystery meat.

Returned home from NY this morning, so now the ACPT experience 2011 is really over....

nanpilla 4:38 PM  

Thank goodness @Bob Kerfuffle wears those great shirts. My sister, Beth, who also goes to the ACPT, has one bad foot and one worse foot. Greg (@The Big E) was leading us to a local Thai place he loved which was more of a walk than my sister can usually handle. Marion (@mac), Dave (@imsdave) and Greg were charging ahead, and Karen (formerly @karen from the cape) and I were staying at a speed that was comfortable for Beth. Bob was thoughtful enough to lag behind the front runners by half a block or so, making sure to keep eye contact, so we wouldn't miss the turns along the way. That shirt made him hard to lose!

SethG 5:11 PM  

If you went with TWISTS OF FATE, you could have a symmetric CRUMBLED FETA for the rare double reveal.

chefwen 5:11 PM  

Thanks for the pix Rex, that was fun!

Sfingi 5:12 PM  

I tried to comment twice and was wiped out. The third time's the charm?

Kid Ory could "pass," but passed on that. He preferred Black or mixed groups, the latter of which were disappearing. He was one of the first to commit his work to LP, 1921, CA. He did write the Muskrat Ramble (as opposed to the dreadful Muskrat Love).

Sicilian Hubster says Spaghetti-os are not even food.
Mini-theme MAFIA/OMERTA' - remember, accent on last syllable!

@Rex - looked at all the photos on Flickr. Is there really a test to get into ACPT? Speed? IQ?

fikink 5:23 PM  

@SethG, genius and two 12s! nice!

@JenCT, might be a message for you on Orange's blog, if you are the Jen being spoken of.

@william e. emba, @Orange, growing up in Chicago, I seem to recall White Castle having the tagline, "where onions go to die."

@Bob Kerfuffle, I thought you had a Nordic knit cap on your head at first. Good to see you, of whom many have spoken so highly. (Also, it doesn't hurt that you bear a striking resemblance to my dad when he was your age.)

Noam D. Elkies 5:25 PM  

Congrats to XXXI. Didn't catch you this time in my after-hours visits to Brooklyn, so I'll have to trust the photographic evidence.

34D:STATE_FAIR? I don't know it either. I expect it's still better than the shmap and other shmop culture and shportz that Rex gushes about regularly here. (Hm, shm- + sportz = Shortz? That would explain a few things…) Nor did I remember that 4D:TEA_FOR_TWO is from No, no for 9 ;-)

7D:ISAAC Watts, now that I do know, since he authored manyy hymn text — and I'm Jewish… Still didn't think of him as a theologian (and being Jewish I can think of a better route to clue ISAAC).


quilter1 5:41 PM  

And yet, Noam, this is a fresh way to clue Isaac.

archaeoprof 5:47 PM  

I'm jealous. By a TWISTOFFATE I spent the weekend at an academic conference at Vassar. ACPT was obviously way more fun! Maybe next year...

Enjoyed this puzzle today.

joho 5:58 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle ... I think that's a fine picture of you and I, like @napilla, love your shirt, even more knowing the back story of the restaurant trip ... but at first glance I did think you were wearing a hat! On a closer look I saw the gray shirt and realized that guy's back was not a hat. Much better!

JenCT 6:00 PM  

@fikink: Thanks for the heads-up! They sure were speaking about me, and I answered on Orange's blog.

Stan 6:43 PM  

@Muskrat: You (and @Sfingi) obviously know way more about jazz than I do, but yes "Really the Blues" is fantastic. I got my copy for cheap from Alibris.com.

Captcha: esseses -- Every constructor's dream-word for the bottom right corner.

Anonymous 8:18 PM  

I hope this is taken in the way I intend, which is only in good fun. Rex, that pic of IMSDAVE reminds me of the crazy ex-Congressman from Ohio, Jim Traficant, with the wild toupee because IMSDAVE’s hair blends into the background with the shirt behind him.

Bob Kerfuffle 8:53 PM  

@Anonymous, 8:18 PM - Please take another look at Rex's caption. Imsdave is the George Clooney look-alike on the left. Bob Kerfuffle is the poor schlub with the clownish appearance (an earlier comment cited Bello Nock) on the right.

chefbea 9:03 PM  

@nanpilla loved your story!!!!

chefbea 9:06 PM  

@quilter1 e-mail me. Have something I want to show you

fikink 9:11 PM  

@Bob Kerf, no poor schlub, Pet, you are among family.

"pessm" - lazy text talk for da blues

Sparky 9:20 PM  

Arrived safely in Miami. Loved NYC. Printed puzzle last night and it had circles. Did not see the pointy ovals till read @Bob's comment. Wierd looking, like blimps. Puzzle: pretty much caught on at 21A-ATFE. Thought pretty blah but revealer put things to right.
I like Dick Haymes singing Might As Well Be Spring. @Anon 8:41: I remember White Castle little burgers in castle shaped boxes but not the word sliders. @retired chemist: A for effort, D in the course.
@nanpilla: they need a nice guy award. Bob K took care of me too seeing that I could manage with my cane and hung back to be sure I got out of the restaurant okay. @BobKerfuffle. The picture is fine. You look like a great guy to me.

Com'on in August and next March. You all will meet some great people.

mac 9:26 PM  

@Noam: I though I saw you slinking through the bar on Saturday evening! Thought I had to be mistaken because I hadn't seen you during the competion. Sorry to have missed you.

@Bob Kerfuffle: I had to go back to that picture and now I see what they are talking about. How funny! Knowing what you look like I never noticed.
And by the way, people, he is very unlikely to wear a hat! He doesn't feel the cold, came to the tournament without a coat, and it was cold when we went out for lunch and dinner!

andrea feta michaels 1:07 AM  

Hope not too late to say I loved this puzzle. Thought there was a lot of theme, nicely done and I loved the center "reveal"...
so much fun stuff inside...
@DJGdo we have to retire this theme type just yet?
I want to try one!

As for the pics...
a) there is no one alive who has met him that does not have a crush on Caleb... young, old, male, female, balding, hirsute, wearing Hawaiian shirts or berets!

(Speaking of which, @arundel...it IS proof of how fabulous the ACPT is in that I was actually very happy in that moment, despite being a bit teary and not-as-ready-as-I-thought-I-was-to-be-in-public mode! So I will treasure the photograph as a testament to many, many things...)

Macy Gray's "I Try" was the song that got me to buy music for the first time in 15 years! LOVE it.

Fabulous to have you chiming in more often...
now that I think about it, you give Caleb a run for his money as the most instantly beloved person at the ACPT.
"He'll call you back in 25 years to Life..." Ha!

Christopher 5:05 PM  

Although I agree that I don't think of Watts as a theologian, I am willing to bet that viertually everyone doing this puzzle knows at least one Watt hymn--Joy to the World, most likely. And if you ever went to any of the churches in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition, you know at least 6 more, even if you don't know it.

Anonymous 2:12 PM  

My wife saw your picture and said Rex must be "T Rex" since he is tall
We liked the puzzle today

Dirigonzo 3:41 PM  

Once again the syndicated puzzle in my local daily rag lacked the promised italics referenced by the reveal and once again it made no difference - the ovals in the grid made the theme apparent (after they were filled in, of course).

My WOD, thanks to @BobK: cartouche (and it wasn't even in the puzzle.

Great pictures - nice to see what some of the prime-timers look like!

Only quibble: In my experience one gets an "A" for effort, usually when they have done poorly otherwise. 18d should have been clued differently, I think.

NotalwaysrightBill 8:09 PM  

Syndi-late paper solver.

Nice, easy Tuespuz, RATEDA.

Actually having a little more trouble with the other puzzle that comes in a Star Tribune every day. As yet unanswered clue: "Middle of a tassel?" All my head wants for an answer is PASTIE. Probably thinking too kinetically. But when I try to focus on the middle of a tassel itself, all I get is THEOTHERPASTIE. Damned kinetic thinking!!

NotalwaysrightBill 4:40 PM  

Postscript: answer to "Middle of tassel?" was ESSES. I always fall for the DUH! ones.

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