1948 John Wayne western / TUE 12-27-11 / 1954 monster film setting / Linda Ronstadt hit co-written by Roy Orbison

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Constructor: John Dunn

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: WATER COLORS (61A: Some Winslow Homer art ... or what five answers in this puzzle are?) — all theme answers follow the model [color + body of water]

Word of the Day: James LEVINE (17D: James of the Met) —
James Lawrence Levine (play /lɨˈvn/; born June 23, 1943) is an American conductor and pianist. He is currently the music director of the Metropolitan Opera and former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Levine's first performance conducting the Metropolitan Opera was on June 5, 1971, and as of May 2011 he has conducted 2,512 Met performances. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. (wikipedia)
• • •

Another very easy puzzle, and another puzzle saved by a great revealer. As I was doing this, I was like "oh, great ... colors." Then realized that they were attached to bodies of water. OK, mildly more interesting. Strangely, I *never* saw the answer WATER COLORS while I was solving. My eyes must have glided over the clue, but when it failed to register anything, I must have gone on and solved the entire answer via crosses. A good revealer is really valuable—it's an emphatic expression of the puzzle's organizing principle, and is successful to the extent that it is both accurate as a statement of what the puzzle's about and clever in its wordplay. Outside the theme, the grid is solid—vivid and interesting and light on junk. Very Scrabbly without feeling forced.

Theme answers:
  • 16A: 1954 monster film setting (BLACK LAGOON)
  • 22A: 1948 John Wayne western (RED RIVER) 
  • 50A: City that's home to the winner of the first two Super Bowls (GREEN BAY)
  • 10D: It's between Korea and China (YELLOW SEA)
  • 32D: Linda Ronstadt hit co-written by Roy Orbison ("BLUE BAYOU")

I confess to having no idea who James LEVINE is (17D: James of the Met). I was not even sure if "James" was a first or last name. That answer, and the entire southern region, caused the only hold-ups in the entire solve. In the south, I had GO FOR instead of GUESS (50D: Take a stab), and that took some undoing. Took a while to get to GAPS from 67A: Reasons for braces. CREATOR took a few crosses to see (45A: Brahma, in Hinduism). Otherwise, everything else just fell into place quickly (hence my never seeing the most important theme answer of the lot).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Tita 12:07 AM  

O frabjous day - commenter #1.
(I know, if i have to comment that I am commenter 1, I am a total nerd...guilty!)

this was a delightful theme!
Was an EXPAT in Germany for the EURO changeover - was quite an event! Learned the neologism Euroflation...And look at it now...

31D alternate clue - Portuguese man?

68A - I am sitting in front of a fire burning down to embers and ASHES as I solve.

A goodnight to you all!

blockhead 12:10 AM  

This is a beautiful achievement.

Tobias Duncan 12:12 AM  

Was sure REDRIDER sounded more John Wayney so I ended up with an error.

Hanging out with in Santa Fe with other Rexville denizens was a blast!DK and SantaFeFran are world class conversationalists.If the rest of you are anywhere near as cool in person as they turned out to be, I cant wait to meet you.
Andrea and Jesser were sorely missed, I hope they come to visit in 2012.

James Levine's Mother 12:23 AM  

If you want to show a picture of James Levine, you can find one here. That Legolus-looking dude is probably a Wikipedia editor.

JackLee 12:24 AM  

By the way, that's not a picture of James Levine, but a Wikipedia contributor featured in one of Wikipedia's fund-raising banners at the top of the web page.

Matthew G. 12:28 AM  

A much better than average Tuesday. It wasn't saved only by the revealer, it was saved by the entire unifying principle of water and by great fill.

I love it when I actually know a proper noun that Rex doesn't--it's so rare. LEVINE was a gimme. He just stepped down as the lead conductor for the Met, at least for the time being, because of back problems. I saw him conduct "Wozzeck" earlier this year.

I like Roy Orbison's own recording of BLUE BAYOU better than Linda Rondstadt's. Recently, some friends and I got together for karaoke, and one friend's rendition of that song was the highlight of the night.

Great puzzle, Mr. Dunn. Always an unexpected pleasure to see something with zest early in the week.

Anonymous 12:33 AM  

Two wrongs don't make a right!

santafefran 12:38 AM  

@Tobias, you are no slouch yourself. I thought our confab might last an hour or so, but was so charmed by you and dk that over three hours flew by before I knew it!

What a lovely concoction this puzzle was. Like @Rex, I liked the scrabbliness of it. The only part that gave me pause was were MACES were required to control the RIOT--brought to mind that pepper-spraying cop in the OWS in Berkeley.

Noticed a shout out to @chefwen with GREENBAY.

Santafefran 12:42 AM  

That' should have been: "where" MACES, etc.

Campesite 12:50 AM  

Love the James Levine picture: he looks a lot like Anita Baker in the Wikipedia I have on my shelf, also Edgar Winter.

Anoa Bob 1:06 AM  

Hate to sound a discordant note so early in this love fest, but the reveal is WATER COLORS while the five answers referred to are bodies of water that have colors for names, not five different water colors. I've heard of blue and green water, but not of black, red or yellow water.

Or maybe we are all missing the point and Winslow Homer used only black, red, yellow, blue and green water colors in his paintings.

Oh, and radar doesn't have a sound (55D). That would be sonar. I was a sonar tech in the Navy. One of our nicknames was "Ping Jockey".

davko 1:32 AM  

@Anoa Bob
Thanks for chiming in on what I too felt was a lot of misplaced ecstasy over the theme. The colors are all adjectives, and it's more properly "colored waters" -- not watercolors -- that these answers represent.

Not knowing James Levine's name (or likeness) must be tantamount to those who, like me, are clueless whenever there's any reference in a puzzle to a rap artist, no matter how famous. It's all about solving the crosses at that point.

syndy 1:34 AM  

Not having caught the theme yet i plunked down RIO BRAVO but that was my only writeover.I like the ORA of OMAR OWAR who gnu? captha FISATION- when you're no longer hung up on somebody?

aerie cree maces 2:20 AM  

Love love love love this theme!
Perfect puzzle except for the PING/sonar thing that @anoabob knows about!

Anyway, he may be right about PING but not about his lovely perfect theme...and yes, BLACK, YELLOW and RED are WATERCOLORS!!! There is at least one sea named for each.

Warning @ davko...

I loved this, you know why? He found 5 different colors, matched them effortlessly with famous films, etc and they matched in length, two 8s, two 9s, and an 11 matching a reveal 11!!!!

And all that Scrabblyness, just short FJZ of a pangram.

And QTIP, my new mantra, Quit Taking It Perfectly to boot!

With you on the whole Pepper spray thing! I feel a theme coming on...PEPPERSPRAY, SALT TALKS, COLONEL MUSTARD. See, all different lengths...
I know some solvers don't care but hou have NO idea how hard it is to get matching lengths for theme answers without compromising the strength of the theme answer or mess with the consistency.
YAY John Dunn!!!!

Acme 2:27 AM  

PS six Ys!

retired_chemist 2:53 AM  

Spot on for a Tuesday. Nice theme, well done fill. No interesting writeovers here.

Spent TWO MINUTES checking and rechecking a grid I KNEW was correct, eventually finding my usual 0 (zero) for (the letter) O error. Must try to figure out how to get another font in AL so they don't look so much alike.....

Rex, LOL re the James Levine picture. You surely must enjoy pulling the leg of two or three people a day with those Wikipedia pictures.

Thanks, Mr. Dunn.

Doris 7:41 AM  

Just avoid using those top left Wikipedia pictures for the foreseeable future. They are not of the person being profiled. There's often, but not always, a picture at the upper right that may be of the subject.

r.alphbunker 7:43 AM  


You must have solved the puzzle at something like 244 kilowords per hour to clinch the top spot.

Does anybody know where the Rex Parker avatar came from? I think I read a while ago that it is not really a picture of him.

I think dens have few windows because they are usually in the basement. It's not an animal den because those never have windows. :-)

An idea for a fund-raising drive: A randomly chosen donor of at least $50 dollars gets their picture displayed as a famous person in the blog.

evil doug 7:58 AM  

Please, Michael: Stop. They don't get it, and it's approaching "I'm just sayin'" levels of redundant repetition and repetitive redundancy.


dk 8:31 AM  

Y Y Y Y Y Y, a line that should have been in Romeo and Juliet. It might have been in the WestvSide Story version.

Nice and easy Tuesday. Reminded me of a box of crayons.

*** (3 Stars) thank you j. Dunn.

Campesite 8:33 AM  

I'm sure it has been mentioned in this space, but the video of our own @ACME at the Atlantic is quite sweet.

@Evil--the posting of the face of a Wikipedia person in the entry some famous tyrant/hack celebrity/or obscure historical figure etc. has become a rather popular pastime in the twitter-verse. Sooner or later Wikipedia is going to have to come up with other ways to appeal for cash rather than putting their faces right above the entry for Idi Amin or Jerry Sandusky.

Pete 8:34 AM  

@Evil - He had to use the faux picture of James LEVINE, it wasn't a continuation of the same joke. Had he used a real picture of James Levine, I would have pointed out that he sports the world's biggest and best jewfro, and the whole dialog today would degenerate to how offensive that term is.

Rob C 8:35 AM  

Nice theme with fairly solid fill.

@Tobias - made the same REDRIDER mistake initially, had to go back and find it when I caught on to the theme.

Two little nitpicks.

65A RETIE (Tighten, as laces)-can't tell you how many times the kids asked me to retie their laces to make them looser

60A IVY (Dartmouth or Brown)-shouldn't the clue be Dartmouth or Brown's league? I wouldn't clue AMERICAN as Orioles or Angels. Don't get it.

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

that is the most unlikely photo of Jimmy Levine ever. Maybe--just maybe--he looked like that a million years ago, but those of us who love him love a chubby guy with wild grey hair. Where did you get the picture?

Jp 8:38 AM  

I am amused when Rex draws blank on James Levine. For me it is a gimme. I am clueless however when it comes to sport personalities (baseball, hockey football), entertainers and rap artists, Greek gods and Shakespeare characters.
For me this was probably one of the easiest Monday puzzles. Only hesitation was LAX for airport abbreviation. Why use an abbreviation when LAX is a perfectly English word. Same complaint in using a baseball term for ERA instead of the perfectly English word.
Do I have any supporters here?

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

Not james levine.

retired_chemist 8:57 AM  

@ Rob C - the Ivy League school are frequently referred to as the IVIES. So while your analogy is logically correct it doesn't stand up in the court of common parlance.

joho 8:59 AM  

This was a great Tuesday even though I, like @Tobias, ended up with REDRIdER. Dumb. By then I had seen the revealer and should've changed it to RIVER.

Before seeing the theme I was even denser and didn't see all the bodies of water connected to the colors, so I was thinking what do all these colors have in common? All I could come up with was varying stages of bruises.

Thank you, John Dunn, it was so nice to have a beautifully thought out Tuesday theme surrounded by fresh fill.

quilter1 9:04 AM  

@Anonymous 8:36: It isn't him. Read the previous comments.

I enjoyed this so much. No quibbles here about WATER COLORS. I admired the theme, construction and almost no crosswordese. Smiles all around. Good Tuesday, all.

Z 9:16 AM  

@r.alphbunker - I believe Rex stole his avatar from a Wikipedia fundraising effort several years back. Rex is actually an African-American Albino.

@Evil Doug - since when is "they don't get it" your standard for posting?

chefbea 9:17 AM  

I'm baaack!!! With my own avatar. But feel free to click on my daughter's cuz she has a great blog...good recipes.

Any way...fun easy puzzle. Did not like the clue for Ivy but got it.

Now to get ready for New Year's eve. Big group coming over. Duck with orange and cherry sauce yummm

Rob C 9:19 AM  

@retired chem
thanks, don't relly keep up on college sports. wouldn't have guessed it.

Z 9:24 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Five themes answers going both horizontally and vertically. A great reveal which I did read and didn't realize immediately was the reveal. And for no particular reason, I always love seeing the Soo in the puzzle.

evil doug 9:37 AM  

Hadn't seen The Atlantic in a while, so I went to check out ACME (I'm going to presume that "if I could only do one thing, it would be making crosswords" is exaggerating for effect?). Noodled around there for a bit. Quite enlightening.

With reference to Red River, Yellow Sea, Black Lagoon, 'waxy', 'enorm', 'eggo', 'creator', 'gaps', 'squat', 'yank', 'goes ape', and 'I want to': There's a long article there about the rapid rise in waxing popularity entitled "The New Full-Frontal: Has Pubic Hair in America Gone Extinct?"

I was starting to lose faith, but in some ways civilization is actually improving after all....


retired_chemist 9:45 AM  

@ Rob C - it isn't just sports, actually - Google "The Ivies" and you will find the term used in several other contexts.

I do grant you that use of the term in the singular isn't usual but it does happen.

Matthew G. 10:02 AM  

Rex sometimes pretends, on his Facebook page, to be exasperated with those who don't understand his running joke of posting deliberate mistakes on his blog. But we know he actually enjoys the indignant and self-satisfied emails and comments he receives about them, or he'd stop.


jberg 10:12 AM  

"He was determined that his son would attend an Ivy - he didn't care which one." Not an actual quotation, but seems in the language to me.

I was pretty sure John Wayne hadn't made any movies based on comic books, but I had RED RoVER until I saw the revealer. No other writeovers, but a couple of squares left blank for the crossed because of ambiguities. LITRE or Liter? DWI or DuI?

I was still in my hometown, Sturgeon Bay WI - 35 miles from 50A - at the time of those 2 Superbowl wins. Quite a time. Today I follow sports only if the Packers are in the Superbowl or the Red Sox in the Series - so I can get clues about Stan Musial or Paul Hornung, but flounder with contemporary sports figures. James Levine, on the other hand, was a gimme.

Rex, I recommend you keep up the fake photos until nobody gets taken in any more. It may be some time.

Rex Parker 10:17 AM  


The pictures will continue until morale improves.


I have a 0.4 PSA, what's yours, boys? 10:20 AM  

YELLOW WATER = PEES in a POD? Yeller works as a SEA but not as WATER, so I don't get the elegance of this beautiful achievement, it's inconsistent.

They all work with SEA, but not WATER.

And that is NOT James Levine, BTW.

Lindsay 10:23 AM  

Started at the bottom, and was all the way up to YELLOW SEA before I realized that the theme involved colors *and* water, not colors *of* water.

Cuz I'm not the smartest. But really like the puzzle. Positive associations. Seascapes and dories and dead fish.

efrex 10:26 AM  

There's a reason why the phrase "a perfect Tuesday puzzle" hasn't entered the common parlance. I'm not quite as taken with this one as Rex, but I accept the solidity of the theme and the nice revealer. A bit too much repetitive junk in the fill for my tastes (ENORM, EEN, AYES, YESES, OWAR, OROMEO, ITOR, etc). Like the odd combination of cultural references for UNCLES, but otherwise pretty tame stuff.

Still, nice theme density (and my usual swoon over having both horizontal and vertical theme answers) make for a nice start to the day. Thanks, Mr. Dunn!

foodie 10:28 AM  

This was a great puzzle to come back to. I've had the whole family visiting and have been cooking non-stop. Luckily, they've been eating non-stop, so it all works out.

I totally agree with those who loved this puzzle. The play on "water color" was perfect. And beautifully evocative. As a kid, studying names of these bodies of water, I'd wonder what a Yellow Sea or a Green Bay would look like and it made me imagine magical looking places that I'd love to visit some day.

archaeoprof 10:31 AM  

@joho: I quickly (and overconfidently) wrote REDRoVER before even looking at the clue.

James LEVINE I know, but what is Wikipedia??

jackj 10:32 AM  

How did John Dunn overlook that noted vernal pool in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, fondly known as the Purple Puddle?

If Rex really wanted to stir the crowd, he could have grabbed the Wikipedia page picture for OKSANA Bauil which shows she has been rejiggered, (gasp), into a man.

Egads, oh dears and multiple tsk tsks would run rampant!

Sorry to further rain on your parade, John; it is a delightful puzzle.

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

For all I know that guy could be James Levine. When I saw it thought "My, what a cool guy. He's a conductor?" So Rex's joke (which is getting funnier by the moment) was lost on me.
Nice theme and enough crunch for a good Tuesday. I had the same mess down there in the Gaps area. All in all, good fun.

Jeffrey 11:09 AM  

That's not Roy Orbison singing Blue Bayou. It is Winter Levine.

I am not Crosscan

Tita 11:15 AM  

@jberg - with you on the W or I, but the clueing points to LITRE...

Brit's put petrol (not gas) in their tanks, and measure consumption in LITRES per 100 kms

JaxInL.A. 11:18 AM  

As a kid I used to watch Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons with my dad. He laughed in some spots that I didn't, at what I later learned were jokes not aimed at me. I could still have a great time watching, though. The blog comments feel a bit two-tiered like that, which I can live with.

Glad everyone is getting home safe, including @chefbea. It was fun seeing your roaming posts. And I loved the photos from the NM meet-up. Thanks for posting them, Fran. I, too, have found that solvers make really fun conversationalists. Which is another reason to start planning now for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in March.

I enjoyed the puzzle very much, for all the reasons already stated, but I did not remember the constructor. Turns out this is Mr. Dunn's 5th NYT puzzle, including 3 in 2010, but we have not seen him in over a year (according to XWordInfo.com). More, please.

mac 11:18 AM  

Wonderful puzzle! Enjoyed it so much more than I usually expect on a Tuesday. Worked it NW - SE, so the reveal was a very nice AHA moment.

@Andrea: was that your spell check at work?

Lewis 11:42 AM  

@efrex -- exactly my sentiments

@joho -- That, to me, is a very funny thought: A puzzle with the theme "the varying stages of bruises". I can think of other such themes, but it's still breakfast time...

Sparky 11:45 AM  

@Anoa Bob. I thought radars blipped so that could be a sound. But thanks for the clarification. Also paused at DWI/DUI? Got theme with LAGOON so filled in BLACK and then REDRIVER. Misspelled SAlte at first. Enjoyed slight chewiness, thanks John Dunn.

Please read comments bfore jumping in.

Computer trouble here. Can't access any of my email accounts or send on facebook. Spent hours with techies; nada. I am considering buying a whole new set up and hiring a Geeksquad guy. Boo Hoo.

Masked and Anonymous 12:04 PM  

Cute puz. Always real good to see Prof. #31 happy that it's the holidays. Gettin' downright frisky with the Wiki-extracts; nice.

Interestin' cartoon dept.:

Suggested New (YorkTimes)Year's resolution: more U's in 2012.

Peace on earth, good fill toward crosswords.

fvigeland 12:09 PM  

LOL @ the Wikipedia pictures.

At the risk of sounding very pretentious: as a student at one, I can say that the singular "Ivy" is very much in the parlance. "Most presidents went to an Ivy for either graduate or undergraduate school." (not sure if that's true, but you get the idea)

Loved this puzzle. Not sure I understand the quibble about water colors vs. colored waters — it worked for me!

Loren Muse Smith 12:15 PM  

@ Rob C - I, too, took issue with the cluing for RETIE. The few (unfortunate) times I've tried ice skating, I can't count how many times I retie the laces, trying to get them just a tad looser.

@ Anonymous - thanks for the suggestion on Mondays and Tuesdays. It was pretty challenging only looking at the down clues!

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

Is today's constructor the same dude who wrote the "No Man is an Island" poem?

r.alphbunker 12:55 PM  

@Anonymous 12:45PM

Good catch. I am surprised that, given his literary background, RP didn't mention it.

John V 1:00 PM  

Just scanning comments quickly, but just to add that I, for one, find the bogus Wiki-pic-gate to be highly amusing! And, yes, Jimmy Levine was a gimme, I believe, even for non-opera folks. He is a cultural icon in New York, like no other.

Good Tuesday puzzle. Found SQUAT over a QTIP to be an interesting approach; your mileage may vary.

Maybe more tomorrow.

Doc John 1:03 PM  

Is it just me or would a more Tuesday-ish clue for BLUE BAYOU have been, "Pirates of the Caribbean restaurant"?

chefbea 1:15 PM  

@JaxlLA where are the fotos from New Mex. I want to see them.

santafefran 1:51 PM  

@chefbea, Welcome back in your own avatar. Check out the blog posts from Monday for the link to the pictures.

David 2:04 PM  

Is it me or Rex has been more benevolent/less snarky since Will called him to task last week?

santafefran 2:05 PM  

For some reason, my Google account is now showing up again so I can have an avatar. You guessed it--the Santa Fe xword meet-up photo.

lessti--more coffi?

John V 2:39 PM  

@David, I'm thinking faux-snark motif. I learned motif from Jimmy Levine, FWIW.

chefbea 2:43 PM  

@santafefran great fotos and I love the mugs!!!!!

sanfranman59 2:56 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Tue 7:31, 8:52, 0.85, 11%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:28, 4:35, 0.98, 48%, Medium

Cassia Denton 3:56 PM  

As a California native, I was comically trumped with 26 Across: Drinker's road offense, for short. I absolutely refused to erase DUI, and was stuck for a solid thirty seconds until I realized that, of course, in New York such a thing is actually a DWI. Oh, geography...

JenCT 5:27 PM  

@Rex: Is that like "The beatings will continue until morale improves?" LOL

And no, my avatar isn't really me, just the last swallowtail I released...

Hand up for the RED RIDER mistake.

Liked the puzzle.

agra creator michaels 5:41 PM  

Maybe another puzzle lurking here,REDRIDER, REDRIVER,REDROVER some sort of chain...

I've often been told I speak in hyperbole for comic effect and otherwise...that interview was culled from a two and a half interview, so godonlyknows what else I said!

The thing is, this wonderful filmmaker Regina Rivard was doing a study on people's whose lives have a black and white element (check out her other work on the penguin lady, the excon domino league and the symphony piano tuner!) so that was the context.

She had asked me to rummage thru some puzzles citing the themes, so that is the rather crazycatladyeccentric recitation going on at the beginning...at least I'm not talking about publc hair!

It's also up on crucvierb.com, an amazing site, if anyone wants access to databases, etc. to begin their own crossword construction journey!

evil doug 6:23 PM  

ACME---you do come across very positively in the video---even though you mention your inclination to drive me crazy by offering shout-outs in your puzzles. Very artistically produced.

And I believe there was indeed a close-up picture of you getting a wax, Andrea (hey, this is just in keeping with the recent madness of bogus picture identification---I'm just kidding, you ACME stalkers).


foodie 6:47 PM  

I just finished watching Andrea's interview and came to say how great it was, but how can you top a compliment from @evil to anyone, much less to Andrea?!

I had not thought about puzzle construction as the combination of freedom to generate ideas with the constraints imposed by the pattern and size, and of course by the language itself.... But so much creative work is just that, working within certain limits to create something unusual-- architecture, design, etc.

Last night, I showed my extended family the recording of Dinner Impossible, and they got to meet Andrea, see Will Shortz and even got a glimpse of Rex. Some of them seemed a bit bewildered by this whole crossword fascination, but what do they know?
So, this has been the day of watching Andrea...

chefwen 6:56 PM  

@Santafefran - Thanks for the shout out. Husband was born in a house that was later torn down to build Lambeau Field aka New City Stadium, the lot is was on is now part of the parking area. I can only imaging how many tailgating parties have been enjoyed there.

MIL lives on Green Bay, upper Michigan side.

Thought the puzzle was great and had no quibble over WATER COLORS or colored water, never entered my mind to object to that.


Anonymous 8:50 PM  

Chefwen -- Last year I refused to accept your offer of a bet over the Greeen Bay - Bears playoff game, saying I don't bet (which I don't). But tonight I am willing to break that rule and bet you that Green (the color of my upper respiratory infection sputum) Bay will not repeat as Super Bowl winners. So what say ye?

PS. Rex, please go to Hawaii like Obama for some RANDR. I am so unsophisticated that I don't even know what either James Levine looks like.

Happy Holidays, John from Chicago

Anonymous 8:50 PM  

Chefwen -- Last year I refused to accept your offer of a bet over the Greeen Bay - Bears playoff game, saying I don't bet (which I don't). But tonight I am willing to break that rule and bet you that Green (the color of my upper respiratory infection sputum) Bay will not repeat as Super Bowl winners. So what say ye?

PS. Rex, please go to Hawaii like Obama for some RANDR. I am so unsophisticated that I don't even know what either James Levine looks like.

Happy Holidays, John from Chicago

chefwen 1:24 AM  

@John from Chicago - Sure hope you're feeling better, that cold sounds nasty.

O.K. What will be the price of admission? You wearing a Cheesehead to work for a week, I will supply. Or me wearing a Bears jersey for a week, which you shall supply, or will we make this a monetary wager?

Mighty Nisden 4:35 PM  

@David - I too think that after Will's rant Rex has turned more complementary. Funny (even five weeks later) that I was going to mention this today even if no one else did.

Hate to say I could not finish with the number of people I don't know LEVINE,OMAR, OKSANA. You would think that I was young!

@chefwen I'll bet anytime!! Of course it's much easier weeks after the event!

Dirigonzo 5:33 PM  

From the syndicate, nice to see a shout-out at 12d to our very own @WAXY!

My dad was a sonar-man on a Destroyer in the Pacific during WWII so I have heard lots of stories about "pinging" - still read right through the "Radar" error in the clue though.

A JFK reference at 44a - God, I wish politicians today were more like him!

Solving in Seattle 5:57 PM  

As a crossword newbie I must say that the comments on Rex's site are becoming my motivation to solve every day. You vets post such interesting observations about the subtleties of the constructs, and with some pretty good wit. I especially enjoyed the comments a few days ago when Will Shortz defended his recurring themes. All well worth my donation to the site.

Waxy in Montreal 6:32 PM  

Thanks for noticing, @Diri - I hadn't! As my hero The Cowardly Lion would say, "Shucks, folks, I'm speechless".

Hmmm, wonder if AMBER started off as a sixth water color but failed the breakfast test for obvious reasons?

Spacecraft 8:24 PM  

Clever reveal, and pretty good fill, the partials of ITOR and OWAR notwithstanding.
IWANTTO use a different LEVINE: Ted, the grisly Buffalo Bill in Silence. He really GOESAPE in that one.
Absolutely love Linda Ronstadt, so thanks for leaving that clue as is (I'm by contrast NOT a Pirates or Depp fan at all).
I note that the cluing takes two words--ERA and LAX--and turns them into acronyms, which makes the puzzle feel junkier than it really is. You guys use so many non-words out of necessity; why not at least clue the real words as real words?? Just askin'.

Anonymous 9:19 PM  

Got the color theme rightaway, but could get "watercolors".. noticed the 5 colors that are clued are the same 5 colors for the olympic rings, so thats what I was trying to figure out for 61A.

Anybody else?

Anonymous 9:21 PM  

Sorry. meant to say "could not get"

SharonAK 12:04 AM  

@ archeaprof (which I think I just mispelled) In case you get notice of late comments:
I loved "James Levine I know but what is Wikipedia"

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