Ewing DeBusschere Frazier / TUE 7-19-11 / Cleanser with old slogan Nothing can hold can to / Sci-fi blockbuster 2009 / Meshlike / Banks daytime TV

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Constructor: Mark Feldman

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Knew beginnings — "K" is added to front of "N" words in common phrases, creating wacky homophonic phrases, which are clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: RUCTION (46A: Noisy fight) —

A riotous disturbance; a noisy quarrel.

[Possibly alteration of INSURRECTION.]

• • •

My favorite fact about this puzzle is that the base phrase of the first theme answer means "hooker." The add-a-K thing is cute in a remedial, must've-been-done-before kind of way. Thumbs down for inconsistency—one last word, three first words? All one way, or two and two, none of this 1 and 3 baloney. Inelegant. And speaking of inelegant, was there really no way to build that SW corner without RUCTION? Were all other possibilities exhausted? SUCTION and SECTION and FACTION and DICTION etc.? Because I'd have switched the first and last theme answers here, or done whatever it took, to keep sore thumb RUCTION out of my grid. People are already gonna be a little peevish from having had to endure NETTY. You really don't want people doing what I did: ending on RUCTION.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Guinevere to Lancelot? (LADY OF THE KNIGHT)
  • 26A: Shopper for woolen goods? (KNIT PICKER)
  • 44A: Ewing, DeBusschere and Frazier? (KNICK NAMES)
  • 59A: Universal tie? (KNOT FOR EVERYONE)
To the puzzle's credit, those long low NW and SE corners are kind of cool. I especially like the AGNOSTIC HAITIAN. I started out lightning fast, then hit a few snags, but still expected to have a superfast time. Ended up only just south of normal. Guess the snags were snaggier than I'd imagined. First one was DIETARY, where I had the entire back end of the answer and still couldn't make it out (24A: Like some restrictions). Ended up getting it all through crosses (kind of like with RUCTION, if RUCTION were a real word). Went with ATTA instead of IT'S A, and had not idea how to get to GEL from that clue (54D: Many a drain cleaner nowadays). Somehow write in YOKED (?!) instead of RAKED (46D: Gathered (in)). And then ... RUCTION! What's weirdest about my solving experience was having NETTY be the first thing that popped into my head when I read the clue ... and with only the first "T" in place (13D: Meshlike).

  • 21A: Cleanser with the old slogan "Nothing can hold a can to ..." (COMET) — Must be pretty damned old. Don't remember it at all. Hey, did you know TV ads used to be really terrible:

  • 41A: Sci-fi blockuster of 2009 ("STAR TREK") — most people associate "STAR TREK" with a much earlier TV show, so this *might* have caused a mild slow-down for some.
  • 63A: Not-so-big big bird (EAGLET) — nice clue. Had me wondering for a split second "what kind of bird is Big Bird?"
  • 36D: Cost in dollars of world's first TV ad (NINE) — Seems like a bargain, even if hardly anyone is watching.
  • 55D: Banks of daytime TV (TYRA) — Formerly of daytime TV. "The TYRA Banks Show" aired its last new show in May of last year.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[The following announcement will be up all week]

I'm coming to NYC for the Lollapuzzoola Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 6 (you should go—info here). But you know that. What you don't know (yet) is that I'm coming several days early to do some interviews for a crossword project I'm working on, and I'm hoping to interview some of You (New Yorkers) about your xword habit. I'm especially interested in talking to people who think they are unlikely solvers, or who solve in weird / interesting / iconic places, or who have good solving anecdotes, or who are famous / prominent in their fields, or any combo of the above. I'm also interested in ordinary everyday solvers. I'm not looking for fast or accomplished solvers. Just interesting solvers. If you live in NYC, this (probably) means you! If you are going to be in town on Aug. 4-5 and are willing to talk to me for a few minutes, drop me a line at rexparker at mac dot com. I'll be exceedingly grateful. I'll see what kind of response I get and set up a schedule from there. If I don't hear from you, I'll just have to wander the streets harassing anyone I see solving a crossword, even though this may result in my getting punched, or worse. So help me out. Thank you!


Anonymous 6:38 AM  

Perhaps 'Ruction' could be the hybrid of 'suction' and 'erection.'

GILL I. 6:47 AM  

Wow...The only thing missing is Knotts Berry Farm.

shrub5 7:26 AM  

Hurling another rotten tomato at RUCTION. That word is just loathsome. On a more positive note, I liked all the theme answers, Ks at the front-end, back-end, whatever. Chuckled at HAS-BEENS. And 'out but not about' SEDATED. Also liked the clever clues for AGNOSTIC and ARK. Nice one!

@rp: did you want to add your Lollapuzzoola project message?

christie 7:51 AM  

Bg Bird is a canary (which also fits, and sat there getting in my way for a good while).

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Ruction strikes me as a perfectly fine word, though perhaps because I'm a fan of Irish drinking songs like "Finnegan's Wake": "Then the war did soon engage, / Woman to woman and man to man, / Shillelagh law was all the rage, / And a row and a ruction soon began."

Z 8:14 AM  

Enjoyable puzzle. A little more misdirection than seems typical for a Tuesday. RP pretty much described my solving experience except I got NETTY through the crosses. I also had to piece together KNITPICKER and ISSUE as those just weren't coming. Answer seems obvious after the fact.

After yesterday's discussion, I really really really wanted an s instead of an R at 46A.

Anon @ 8:04, thanks for the quote.

joho 8:45 AM  

My dog, Riley, created quite a RUNCTION this morning. There, I've used a newly learned word in a sentence. BTW, he usually creates a ruckus.

The only real trip up was writing in an "S" for "Pound parts" but that was quickly fixed.

Loved the "Couples retreat?" clue.

I enjoyed this Tuesday, thank you, Mark Feldman!

jberg 8:50 AM  

Yeah, RUCTION was fine with me, though I didn't know it was particularly noisy. Only write-in was that aTtA at 28D. Fun and quick.

dk 8:50 AM  

@Z, I was very happy see RUCTION and not the word that shall not be named.

Please note that in a MAY LA Times puzzle Mark used DREAMT. I think you are on a slippery slope Mr. Feldman... I expect to see brillig in the grid before long.


Not so bad for the day we love to hate. AGNOSTIC alone is worth a star or six in my book.

*** (3 Stars)

mitchs 8:54 AM  

Here's some fun: watch the Comet commercial and imagine that Josephine is completely insane.

Hated netty. Tougher Tuesday for me than most.

John V 9:03 AM  

Everything said about ruction, which I thought could have been a rug auction. Last to fall for me was the NE, APEMEN/PENCE took a bit.

Played easy for me, knot for nothing on a steamy Tuesday.

jesser 9:11 AM  

No writeovers, but I don't know from daytime TV, so the Y in TYRA was the last to fall.

The cluing today was lively and grin-inducing, so I'm going to forgive the Unholy Trinity of RUCTION, NETTY and RETOSS. 51A should have been clued ___ Cruces.

The local sex/porn shop is called EROS. My best friend lives in a Very Rural Area where he can't buy decent lubricant, so I go there every few weeks and get him his favorite brand. It's an interesting clientele and a wonderfully quirky staff who are simply and abjectly unafraid to talk about Anything At All. I have overheard conversations at EROS that still have me shaking my head in wonderment.

Today's Las Cruces Sun-News front page is warning residents of our area to have their dogs vaccinated against rattlesnake venom if they plan to take walks in the DESERT. There is no vaccine for humans or cats; only dogs. This strikes me as unfair.

That will be enough out of me. TGIt!

Brian 9:15 AM  

Here was my thought when I penned in RUCTION: "Ruction? Never heard of it. I hope this is Rex's word of the day." How glorious to find it so.

I found the cluing fun. Clues for for AGNOSTIC, SEDATED. HASBEENS and KNOTFOREVERYONE I found particularly enjoyable. I also very much liked the cluing for NINE, which I thought was a fine example of how inventive cluing can energize an otherwise mundane answer.

I must protest APEMEN. There is only one Tarzan. There are no "others."

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Wasn't the kid in the commercial a young Robbie Benson?

Bob Kerfuffle 9:32 AM  

I'm in the "happy to have learned a new word - RUCTION" group.

Otherwise, can't ignore that the puzzle is aimed right at me: Not in pronunciation of my name, but figuratively, the K is seen but not heard. And so many words I can relate to: AGNOSTIC, KNITPICKER, HASBEENs, OLDIE, EGO, and should be SEDATED.

chefbea 9:34 AM  

Harder than usual Tuesday. Had trouble with the NE and SW. Wanted ounce instead of pence.

We should have had Josephine the plumber yesterday.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

Isn't the Comet lady old-time actress and singer Jane Withers?

jackj 9:43 AM  

If you got to 13 down and cringed while writing in NETTY and fumed to yourself, "Oh, no! Another Tuesday clunker of a puzzle!", take heart and keep going because this crossword is a pleasant dose of serendipity.

A clever and fun theme is buttressed by stellar fill like AGNOSTIC, RELATE, ARK HASBEENS, SEDATED, etc. and, yes, RUCTION which at worst causes one to learn a neat new word.

Hats off to Mark Feldman for his version of Super Tuesday!

slypett 9:49 AM  

My dictionary notes that RUCTION originated in Ireland in 1798 as a corruption of insurrection. It further notes that its use is now chiefly in dialect, which jibes with my hearing it only in the South.

thursdaysd 9:50 AM  

Enjoyed this one, although count me in the aTtA camp. Not sure we needed GEL and COMET after yesterday. Does having been around when JENNER won his medals make me a HASBEEN or an OLDIE or both?

Don't understand the hate for RUCTION. Could this be a UK/USism? It's not in my American Heritage dictionary, but it is in my Concise Oxford - 1825, of unknown origin.

Tobias Duncan 9:50 AM  

I think we ran off our milder friends yesterday will all suction discussion, so ruction was not such a bad choice.
Atheists are sometimes seen as an argumentative group, if you have ever wondered what they argue about amongst themselves, the answer is the word AGNOSTIC.

I used to work at very hip restaurant in Silver Lake called Netty's.The Beastie Boys even wrote a song about it.Too obscure unfortunately but would have made a much better clue for me.

Lindsay 9:53 AM  

Hand up for thinking "Either RUCTION is Word of the Day, or I have an error."

But I'd rather learn new words than new tv actors, so it's all good.

Mike Rees 10:01 AM  

What's with all the RUCTION nonsense? I personally love learning new words from the crossword. It's the reason I do the NYT instead of the cheesy paperback ones.

Favourite part: ALL IN crossing RAKED (in). Coincidence?

retired_chemist 10:05 AM  

@ Anon 8:04 - thanks for the reminder of wher ai knwo RUCTION from - was/am a big Clancy Brothers fan.

What everybody said about the puzzle. Kind of a Nike puzzle - just do it. Not a lot to say.

JaxInL.A. 10:13 AM  

I surprised myself-- when I saw that ruckus wouldn't fit, I popped in RUCTION from no known source. It was in my head somehow.  

Probably not appropriate for a Tuesday, but it would have been fun to clue SEDATED with The Ramones.

Sfingi 10:26 AM  

Fast, humorous puzzle. Theme was cute as was EAGLET, AGNOSTIC.

New word: RUCTION.
Iffy word - One of my word processors (and this blog comment) accepts NETTY, but none accept nettier or nettiest?
@Tobias - is Netty's on the jetty?

RETOSS is yucky, but RETOSSer would be worse and RETOSSers worst.

HASBEEN? OLDIE? I resemble that remark.

miriam b 10:27 AM  

My father-in-law was from Kansas and not only used the word RUCTION but subliminally influenced my Long Island-born husband to use it too.

Two Ponies 10:32 AM  

I had an enjoyable solve with this one. My only problem is that I don't understand (k)nicknames.
Who are the people in the clue?
Note in the margin next to 54A
"Plumbing again?"
@ jesser, Thanks for the snakebite info. Must ask my vet about that.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

@Two Ponies - They were famous basketball players for the NY Knickerbockers, aka The Knicks.

Tobias Duncan 10:41 AM  

@ Sfingi : No I'm afraid not, and if you were planning on ordering the spaghetti, I have more bad news for you...

Matthew G. 10:42 AM  

Hand up for never having heard the word RUCTION before. Would not have believed it was correct if it hadn't been my final entry, causing the Happy Pencil to appear. But I don't mind learning new words -- RETOSS and NETTY (ugh) were much worse. I say that even though, like Rex, I thought of NETTY immediately off the T and then thought, "Nah, they wouldn't do that." Yeah, they would.

I was also among those slowed down by STAR TREK because I had already forgotten the rebooted franchise, even though I saw the film. (By the way, is J.J. Abrams capable of telling a story without random time travel excursions? Maybe someday, we hope?).

Other than those three questionable fill choices, I liked this puzzle. Basketball is the one major sport that I don't follow, so I struggled mightily with KNICK NAMES even though I live in New York, but I like the elegance of that answer. I loved both of the 15s also -- LADY OF THE KNIGHT makes up for a lot of sins, in my mind (is that irony?).

wabe 10:47 AM  


See Matt Ginsberg's, Thursday, April 08, 2010 offering for *BRILLIG*.


evil doug 10:50 AM  

I think people who say they have a "favorite brand" of lubricant should be forced to do a blindfold test to prove they, or their mates or farm animals or who/whatever, can tell the difference. You can get perfectly serviceable, "decent lubricant" at every drug store on the planet. Maybe you just get a rise out of visiting EROS regularly....

"Little Johnny must go to bed tonight without his favorite lubricant; please give to the Benevolent Lubricant Issuing Social Society ("BLISS") today so we can end this horrible scourge!"


Anonymous 11:13 AM  

ruction was fine with me. if i was only interested in stuff i already knew, i'd not spend as much time with the times and more time with its competitors.

Seamstress 11:28 AM  

How is it that 26A "Shopper for woolen goods" can be KNIT PICKER? This is someone who picks a knit? What exactly is a "knit". The verb "to knit" I know but not "knit" as a noun. Can someone help me out here?

efrex 11:46 AM  

Seamstress: "knit" does indeed have a noun definition - "a fabric or garment made by knitting."

Enjoyed this tremendously. I didn't mind RUCTION at all, and the great clues for AGNOSTIC, ARK, SEDATED, combined with a whole lot of great words & phrases, makes for a really nice Tuesday puzzle. Bravo, Mr. Feldman!

Jon J 11:47 AM  

I fall in the pro-ruction camp...glad it appeared today when I could get it on crosses rather than on a Saturday when it may well have caused much more heartache.

Can anyone explain BOSNS to me...that was a new one for me that I could not decipher. I figure it's some sort of abbreviation???

Tobias Duncan 11:48 AM  

Oh @Seamstress, you are just begging me to open up a big ol' can of Dr. Seuss on your ass...

Matthew G. 12:00 PM  

@Jon J:

BOS'N is a contraction of "boatswain," which is a term for a non-commissioned officer on a ship or boat who supervises other non-commissioned men.

jackj 12:06 PM  

A quick peek at Jim Horne’s XWord Info shows that when Mark Feldman used RETOSS and NETTY he wasn’t the only constructor who has had to compromise by using these clunkers.

Those who have used RETOSS include Elizabeth Gorski (twice) and Rich Norris.

And, for NETTY, the list is stacked with more Hall of Fame names:

Robert Wolfe
Manny Nosowsky
Cathy Millhauser
Randolph Ross
Sherry Blackard (twice)
Barry Silk
Jim Page

More fun facts that are interesting but don’t mean diddly-squat.

Rex Parker 12:18 PM  

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about why I (or anyone) might have a problem with RUCTION.

"I like learning new words." Fantastic, continue patting yourself on the back while I explain my objection. Here's the problem with RUCTION: we are talking about it. We are talking about it because it's big and weird and not familiar to a LOT of people. That's all well and good, perhaps, in a late-week / low word-count puzzle. But No Good Constructor wants a major outlier like RUCTION in his/her M/T-level puzzle. The only way a constructor lets RUCTION into his/her (easy) puzzle is if it is *impossible* to avoid *and* it's propping up something *awesome*. Otherwise, a good constructor is going to go for a much more in-the-language word, to avoid the outlier syndrome (i.e. that weird word that people end up talking about instead of talking about your puzzle). I would call this the JEWFRO syndrome, except JEWFRO was awesome. And far better known than RUCTION, that's for damned sure.


Pete 12:22 PM  

Or, maybe Mark Feldman went all meta on us, and is laughing about the fact that his inclusion of RUNCTION caused such a runction.

syndy 12:35 PM  

yup lots of fun at finnegan's wake? Why is it allways ATTA boy but ITSA girl? Guinever was NOT the LADY OF THE KNIGHT she was the damn QUEEN and don't you forget it!IS it a co-inkydink that RUCTION is in the same place as SUCTION yesterday or am i paranoid?(and crossed with CLOGS) maybe WS is a sadist CAPTHA=KNOCKS ??!!

Sfingi 1:00 PM  

@Jesser - years ago, Hubster had a particularly well-paid year doing "1st Amendment" law; in other words, defending pornographers. Mostly it was book stores. I walked in and the place emptied out, but I checked out the many strange categories, each of which had at least one monthly "journal." The employees were always retired men. The whole 1st Amendment thing disappeared as a source of Hubster income when NYS had the stores zoned.

I'm not so sure cats would do well with a series of treatments. They don't tolerate cancer treatments too well. You can't "talk to them" about it like you can with dogs.

archaeoprof 1:00 PM  

@Rex: agree wholeheartedly about RUCTION.

Loved the clue for 44A. Too bad we have to go back to Ewing, DeBusschere and Frazier to find KNICKNAMES worth remembering.

chefbea 1:07 PM  

Every day I get Word of the day from Dictionary.com. Today's word is ..Zugzwang. Maybe someone can use that word in a puzzle and we can all discuss it!!!

Mark R 1:20 PM  

Might be a British thing. As an ex-pat Brit living in NJ and very new to crossword solving, ruction was the least of my problems. Agree with Netty though. And by the way, thanks Rex and all the contributors for a great site.

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

Did anyone notice that ATF(alcohol, tobacco and firearms) is an arm of the Treasury Dept, not the Justice Dept?

jackj 1:34 PM  

Anonymous@1:25PM- When the Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2002 the ATF was moved from Treasury to Justice.

Three and gonzo.

Lewis 1:59 PM  

I see there is still some fallout from yesterday's plungermania...

I agree with Rex about the inconsistency of the theme answers. It held me up on 17 across, in my last quadrant, which I was sure would start with a KN.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

I had a problem with "thick soled shoe" A clog doesn't have a sole, it is all-in-one - not an accurate clue in my opinion. Doc Maartens have thick soles.

Chip B 2:13 PM  

Yeah there were some odd words in this puzzle. Ruction and Netty are both just odd. My computer has red lines under them right now. My favorite part of this puzzle has to be 14A. I got Agnostic almost immediately but I chuckled with the clue.

Agreeing with Rex (today) 2:26 PM  

@jackj: Re: your comment on hall-of-famers using RETOSS and NETTY, I don't think the issue is with the words per se, but why these words were needed. Maybe you can go to the next level of research and let us know which days of the week these prominent authors used NETTY (or for that matter, RETOSS)?

ok, I will spare you the work: they all appeared Thu-Sun. Not a single Mon, Tue, or Wed!

that's why you should read the entire context of why Rex thinks certain words are bad.

@Rex: You are welcome!

agnostic clogs magma 2:32 PM  

loved it and had lots of fun solving it.
the 1 and 3 thing was unfortunate, but whatever...didn't notice till the end when looking it over.

The R is RUCTION was also my last letter and I laughed...esp with the C of RUCTION being CLOGS...
Still trying to get yesterday's disgusting visuals out of my mind.

Loved HASBEENS (esp over OLDIE ASIANS) and tried to put in AmNeSiaCS for AGNOSTICS.

I tend to think of TYRA and her fivehead as evening TV and hostess of my favorite guilty pleasure "America's Next Top Model".

@pete 12:22
HA!!! VERY very funny!

Sparky 2:48 PM  

I tossed in an S at the end of 8A so was looking for Seine as 13D. It sorted itself out but I was not happy with NETTY. As for "blank girl," which visits often, I fill in the -T-A and wait for the crosses. Same with cs/tsAR and as @Rube pointed out OTRo/a. SW my last section. Came in backwards INFER, TITLE, CLOGS. There you go. Nice Tuesday for me.

mac 3:03 PM  

Liked the puzzle, with some thorny areas to make it more interesting.

@Bob Kerfuffle: Not!

CoffeeLvr 3:16 PM  

So gratifying to see a shoutout to SEDATED, AGNOSTIC HASBEENS.

Mini-theme with GEL drain cleaners and CLOGS; an appropriate tie-in with yesterday's favorite post topic?

What did I learn today? RUCTION, Big Bird is a canary, and "fivehead." (Look it up, folks.) Thanks, fellow Rexites.

Rube 3:16 PM  

I'd rather be a could be,
if I cannot be an are,
for a could be is a someone,
with a chance of breaking par.

Bur I'd rather be a has been
than a might of been by far,
for a might have been has never been,
While a has been
was an are.


Anonymous 3:22 PM  

Not a bad puzzle. The R in RAKES completed RUNCTION for me. I don't mind one or two outliers in puzzles (even early in the week), but I do mind made-up words or abbreviations just so the constructor can take the easy way out. This is the NYT afterall.

sanfranman59 4:19 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 8:59, 8:55, 1.01, 58%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:48, 4:35, 1.05, 65%, Medium-Challenging

dk 6:05 PM  

Speaking of lubricants...

Anyone know a source for Belisol (sp?). It is a German emulsified oil invented in WW2. It is an all purpose light lubricant that may be used on metal, leather or skin.

I used to use it on my baseball glove when I was 10 on the advice of my grandfather.

I now want to use it on a metal bed frame.

Click on my little picture and email any info. I do not want to cause a RUCTION.

treedweller 7:12 PM  

I complained enough about NETTY last time that it didn't bother me much this time. I got to RUCTION early in the puzzle (not sure why) and thought this would be an extremely hard Tuesday, but then most of it fell right into place. Still a little slower than usual.

As an arborist, I know we all have personal preferences, and there is no KNOT FOR EVERYONE. I prefer the Machard-tresse as a friction hitch. My favorite true knot is the bowline. I also like the buntline hitch, which is essentially a running clove hitch.

mo pie 7:41 PM  

Loved ELIOT and ETHER showing up in the NE... seemed like a Prufrock shoutout.

"Let us go then, you and I, /
When the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherised upon a table..."

michael 8:12 PM  

I thought this was one of the easiest Wednesdays I had ever done...Perhaps I'm better at puzzles than at knowing the day of the week...

Anonymous 10:07 PM  

I like it when Rex rants. Rex has got to calm down. Ruction is not worth a stroke or a heart attack. Never heard of RUCTION or JEWFRO. It didn't make the puzzle impossible to solve, so I really don't care about it. Agree with Rex but I still liked it. Have to go now to take my medicine....

Marlo 11:50 PM  

Hello all from a former syndicated solver who finally ponied up for the premium subscription just so I can join in on the conversation (reading Rex and the commenters is one of the best parts of being a NYT xword addict).

Anyone else first put OUNCES for "Pound parts"? That was my only slow down for an otherwise quick and enjoyable solve at the end of a long day.

And RUCTION sounds like a word my 7-year-old would make up.

Greg 2:34 AM  

Hmph. I -liked- ruction. Got it from r and -ion. Netty is marginal, I agree, but it's nice to see an unusual but perfectly valid world like ruction in the puzzle.

Waxy in Montreal 10:58 AM  

Just gotta love a language that has at least three RU words (RUMPUS, RUCKUS, RUCTION) meaning essentially the same thing. Makes playing SCRABBLE & solving x-words way more interesting. BTW, would a major disagreement in a blog be known as an ERUCTION?

Anonymous 1:29 PM  

KNICK NAMES was the first theme answer to fall, but I didn't see it right away, as I was thinking Joe Frazier and not Walt.

Didn't even see RUCTION until I came here. Barely noticed the clue and got it entirely from the crosses.

BOSNS was the only word that really stumped me, as I ran the alphabet trying to thing of something else Afghans might be besides ASIANS. Eventually decided Rex would explain it to me and left it in. Thanks Matthew for picking up the slack.

@seamstress & efrex
Not only is KNIT a noun, but so is doubleknit.

rain forest 2:03 PM  

Always a secret pleasure to post a comment no-one will read. Coupla (no; three) thoughts: very enjoyable Tuesday. Ruction is fine, outlier or not. Who cares if the "kn" words come first or last in the theme answers? If you have five theme answers, then you are what is commonly known as "scuppered", I guess. This puzzle had an elegance that just didn't jibe with some others' ideas of elegance. Come on! It's a puzzle, not a geometric trick with axial, radial, centripetal or letter placement symmetry. Ach!

Anonymous 2:45 PM  

I thought this puzzle was cute and clever and the cluing made me smile.

@Mathew - Thanks for the explanation of BOSNS - I had it but thought it should be BOSUN and was not aware it could be spelled with an apostrophe.

@thursdaysd and @sfingi - It was a little disconcerting how quickly JENNER came to mind. But we are not OLDIES or HASBEENS - I prefer to think of it as drawing on a wealth of experience.

Hand up for ounces before PENCE and atta before ITSA but they were remedied quickly.

An enjoyable solve. RUCTION is new for me (my first thought was RUCKUS). Had NETTY but did not believe it was actually a word until I checked the dictionary. And RETOSS? Has anyone ever said "I guess we'll have to RETOSS that coin?"

Deb 3:21 PM  

@Pippin - I've seen it abbreviated both ways (bosun/bos'n).

I predicted that RUCTION would be the WOTD, with BOSNS as an alternate. Disliked NETTY a whole lot more than RUCTION, but have to agree with Rex that it's a poor choice for a Tuesday puzzle.

ogishe: Oh, gee, is he?

Red Valerian 3:56 PM  

Missed reading this blog yesterday. (Sabbatical is coming to an end, so I was actually doing some course prep! @Rex--what's your secret? speeders? clones? time travel?) Saw the comments today about yesterday, so had to go have a look. HILARIOUS!!!

Liked both puzzles. I'm a little unclear on 18D on this one. Don't you win somebody over BY endearing yourself to them? You don't endear them, it seems to me. Like many others, I especially appreciated the clues for 14A (agnostic) and 66A (sedated).

If I don't have time for it come September, I'm going to miss this blog, even though I'm five weeks late for most of it. Maybe I'll think of some way to work it into one of my classes...

@rain forest--hey!

Dirigonzo 6:21 PM  

A friend of mine just moved to Hawaii so seeing MAGMA reminded me that I had not heard from him - and then I received an email. Gotta love Kismet.

@Red Valerian - surely there is something else you can give up to make time for the blog. Sleeping or eating maybe? Perhaps @Rex will share his secret with us mere mortals as he has way more going on in a day than I could fit into a week.

SEDATED made me think of the Ramones, so glad somebody posted a link - but I couldn't hear any audio so I guess I'll have to go find the video myself.

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