Musician Montgomery / SUN 1-8-12 / Glen Canyon reservoir / Adaptable aircraft / Clive Cussler novel settings / 2010 Emma Stone comedy

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Constructor: Tony Orbach

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Doing Without" — familiar phrases with "WITH" have that "WITH" removed, resulting in all kinds of wackiness

Word of the Day: HOLI (69D: Hindu spring festival) —
Holi (होली), is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. In some states of India such as West Bengal and Orissa, it is known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) [...], or Basanta-Utsav ("spring festival")[...]. The most celebrated Holi is in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana. These places have become tourist destinations during the festive season of Holi. (wikipedia)
• • •

Didn't care for this. Theme didn't feel like much of one, and the resulting phrases just didn't yield much in the way of funny. Plus, the grid was Heavily segmented and a lot of the fill was less than stellar (my new word for "less than stellar" = ULNAR) (103D: Kind of nerve). Beyond that, I don't have much to say about this one. Felt slightly harder than normal, but only slightly. Had never heard of LAKE POWELL or HOLI or EARLE. I had heard of DULCINEA, thank god, because that might have been brutal. I think I wrote in CASTILIANS for CABALLEROS, and I know I wrote in RAT HOLE for RAT TRAP. Oh, and I went with the adjectival FLAKY over the nominal FLAKE (108D: Eccentric). The seven-letter answers up top are kind of nice, but nothing else really STAND(EE)s out for me.

Theme answers:
  • 24A: "Just do drills for now"? ("DON'T PLAY MATCHES")
  • 30A: Disturb one's neighbors at night? (KEEP UP THE JONESES)
  • 52A: Duffer's feeling toward a putting pro? (GREEN ENVY)
  • 54A: Meeting one's soul mate, perhaps? (DATE DESTINY) — [See a stripper?] having been discarded, presumably
  • 67A: Successfully perform a download? (GET THE PROGRAM)
  • 87A: Applied foil at the Hershey's factory? (SEALED A KISS)
  • 91A: One man's declaration to an upset party planner? (I'M THE BAND)
  • 105A: Drive by the United Nations? (PASS FLYING COLORS)
  • 117A: Impostor's excuse? (I ONLY WANNA BE YOU)     
  • 6A: Hannibal's foil in "The Silence of the Lambs" (CLARICE) — still haven't seen it, but know her name well (though I thought CLARISE, at first)
  • 38A: Inflation-fighting W.W. II org. (OPA) — Office of Price Administration; part of the Alphabet Soup group of abbrevs. that I can never keep straight.
  • 57A: Clive Cussler novel settings (SEAS) — I know the name, but not the subject matter. Wanted SIAM for a good deal of time.
  • 7D: Constellation whose brightest star is Regulus (LEO) — constellation, three letters: ARA! No? Dang.
  • 14D: "Little" singer of the '60s (EVA) — The quotation marks are ironic; EVA weighed 350 pounds.
  • 32D: 2010 Emma Stone comedy set in high school ("EASY A") — a common crossword answer with a new, cinematic clue as of 2010. I just read today in the New Yorker that Emma Stone and Taylor Swift are friends ... thus ends my Emma Stone news for the day.
  • 90D: Adaptable aircraft (STOL) — Short Take-Off and Landing. Learned it the hard way, from a crossword failure.
  • 118D: Musician Montgomery (WES) — how did I know this? I feel like he is a jazz musician ... maybe saxophone ... nope, jazz guitar. 

Gotta go watch my Lions get shredded by the Saints now.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:29 AM  

Acme,I liked your certsiorari yesterday. Actually lawyers refer to writs of certiorari as cert, so you could say the Supreme Court never received any requests for certs....

Rex, your commentary was so predictable that I could have done without it....

Evil Doug, if you mail your comment in today like yesterday I might have to call 911 to see if you are okay....

Chefwen, Ditka on ESPN today predictred NO would win the Super Bowl....

As for Tony's puzzle, I like Tony and I liked his father so therefore I like his puzzle. I especially liked EAT ME....


Deb 12:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb 12:55 AM  

Not much to say here, but I wanted to pop in to see if anyone might explain how drills and matches relate to one another.

I wanted "I'm only playing you" for the final theme answe and give full credit to this blog for spelling UKULELE correctly. Woot!

Anonymous 12:59 AM  

Deb, alas you have probably never engaged in organized sports. Not sure what sport the clue is referring to, but it could be tennis or golf (or even basketball). So instead of competing against someone (a match) the athlete does drills -- practice particular aspects of the sport. Matches are more fun than drills.


jae 1:17 AM  

Easy-medium.  Got the theme early which made this go smoothly.  Didn't need the clues for some answers.  Only real problems were in the SW corner. TEAL to CYAN to ... AQUA and MUSES for a while.  Also had to fix BEG for BUM after checking with my bride on the UKULELE spelling and, did anyone else try ESSEX first?  Nice breezy Sun.

foodie 1:37 AM  

I have mixed feelings about this puzzle. Some of the theme answers worked for me -- e.g. I ONLY WANNA BE YOU, and others did not===e.g. GET THE PROGRAM. I think Andrea commented recently that it's easier to add than to remove from phrases, and I can see the challenge. Some good words in the fill, though: e.g. SEMINAL, HARNESS, STYLIZE, and CABALLEROS.

MANNA tastes pretty good!

For a while, my daughter lived very near the UN in NYC (where you PASS FLYING COLORS). She was once on the roof deck of her building watching President Bush going into the UN to deliver a speech, and she was chatting with her dad on the phone describing the scene. Suddenly, she saw a security guard/special agent on top of the neighboring building aiming his sniper gun right at her! You never heard anyone scramble down so fast!

syndy 1:42 AM  

Ditto for that sw corner(muses and beg) but total Arexia-I loved this Rich,smooth and classy Orbach special!I wonder if I"D have gotten SINUS so easily (WITH)out yesterday's sinex?Two thumbs up.

r.alphbunker 1:42 AM  

The SW was my Death Valley in this puzzle. Write overs in that area included
teal -> AQUA
MUse -> MULL
optic -> ULNAR
lES -> WES
cDS -> ADS

Began to hallucinate and thought that SYNE was spelled SiNE. Erased and rewrote STAINED many times.

To make matters worse there really wasn't much to google in the SW either so there was no hope of getting help. I guess that is typical in remote desert areas.

Finally found water (AQUA) and then some AMISH came along to help and the ordeal was over.

Rookie 2:41 AM  


I responded to your comment of yesterday very late. Just wanted to let you know that it is on yesterday's comment section.

CoolPapaD 3:42 AM  

For a man-made reservoir, Lake Powell is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona (we share it with Utah). Though I'd never heard of it until I moved here, it is a very popular vacation getaway, especially if you enjoy houseboats.

I thought the theme answers were cute - this was a very typical and enjoyable Sunday puzzle for me.

ULNAR was quite in my wheelhouse - if you've ever hit your "funny bone," you've dinged your ulnar nerve.

In a college seminar, we were discussing an assigned essay in which Goethe was highlighted. I got there a bit late, and heard the professor and students talking about "Gurtuh," this and "Gurtuh" that. After a while, not understanding why we weren't discussing the subject mentioned repeatedly in the paper, I raised my hand and asked when we were going to talk about "Gothe." Dead silence. Stares. Embarrassment.

Anonymous 3:51 AM  

who dat

Jakarta Dan 4:14 AM  

What do you mean about Little Eva (of "The Locomotion" fame) weighing 350 lbs.? She didn't.

Nickyboy 6:44 AM  

Lake Powell is also the setting for the photos on the inside of Pink Floyd's album "Wish You Were Here".

evil doug 8:44 AM  


Well, you know I'm here for you and only you, fully at your bidding. Rather than 'call 911', I long for you to put a little more tension on my marionette strings---to take full control of my eagerness to fulfill your desires. Make me dance, twist and bend to all that you need me to be. For you, JFC, are my raison d'etre....

Your beast of burden,


Glimmerglass 9:18 AM  

Rex, Do yourself a favor. See Silence of the Lambs. One of the all-time great scary movies -- right up there with Psycho. Today was really challenging for me -- got it all right, but it took me forever. The NE corner drove me nuts. I knew ARLO (one of my favorite strips), and there was nothing else there I didn't "know." I just couldn't make it work for the longest time. Tried "the games" and a bunch of other stuff; never saw MATCHES until almost the end. A CERAMIC is a museum piece all right, but even when I got to xxxxxIC, I didn't see it. I don't think of ROTC as an "elective," though of course it is. Figured out that the Atlantic capital must be on the east side, but ACCRA was my last fill. AVOCADO (head slap) finally broke the roadblock.

FloridaPerry 9:23 AM  

It was an ok puzzle. I disagree with the author that you can take big strides with a stilt. You actually would need a pair of them. A better clue would have been "black-necked shorebird."

Ulrich 9:39 AM  

First: The clue for EMDEN is so wrong that it requires a correction by WS IMO. Saxony ("Sachsen", capital Dresden) is a land-locked state in East Germany that cannot possibly have a seaport. Emden is in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony, capital Hannover), a completely different state in West Germany.

Now to the Goethe quote: I was first puzzled by TO's selection. I mean, Goethe said many things in his very long life--why pick this one? But then I realized that TO wanted to pay the Germans a compliment: Drinking their wine seems to be the sensible thing to do, even if you hate the French, as opposed to pouring it down the toilet, as is done by French haters in another country I could mention.

But seriously, I have no idea what Goethe is talking about. We Rhinelanders at least got along splendidly with the French, like under the Napoleonic occupation, much better than with the Prussians, who became our masters after the Congress of Vienna. If you had asked me after the fall of the Berlin Wall if West Germany should unite with East Germany or France, I would have considered it a no-brainer: France of course!

When Chancellor Adenauer (der ALTE), who went to the same grammar school that I went to in Cologne, travelled by train from Bonn to West Berlin, he asked his aide, as they crossed the border with East Germany at the ELBE, to close the curtains b/c he did not want to see "this Asiatic steppe".

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

I didn't quite finish because I was locked into IONLYWANTTOBEYOU

One thing in favor of this theme is that when you remove WITH from most phrases, you're left with complete nonsense. So it must have a challenge to come up with these.

jackj 10:10 AM  

Looking at the title assigned to this puzzle, the question to be answered was simply, “Does WITHOUT mean that OUT will be in the theme answers (With [including] OUT) or that WITH will not be in the theme answers (WITH [is] out)?”

Once determining it was the latter, (helped by a Neanderthalish reading, “WITH not in; WITH out”), the theme answers flowed but, surprisingly, with answers which are, oddly, pizzazzless , causing the usually inventive Tony O. to offer up a rather disappointing puzzle.

For me, the only theme entry to even vaguely tickle the funny bone was 91 across, as the upset party planner learns that IMTHEBAND.

Nice mini-theme with the La Mancha cluing, (if two entries can make for a mini-theme), giving us DULCINEA and CABALLEROS .

But, it was disappointing to see that the AMISH have slipped in stature and are now looked at mainly as traffic hazards.

Ah well, off we go to a new week of cruciverbalizing.

quilter1 10:27 AM  

Medium is a fair rating. I finished before church, which I usually think means easy, but I got up early and took more time than usual. SW was the last to fall as I had the same errors as others--teal, muse, FLAKy. But it all worked out as the coffee set in.

Saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy yesterday. Excellent, cryptic, don't blink. I'm still MULLing over some of the characters. I recommend. Also the new Sherlock Holmes for tongue in cheek laughs.

Rudy Shankar 10:30 AM  

I marvel always at the challenge of constructing Sunday puzzles; 350+ letters and how they must hold our interest. This puzzle did not disappoint. I agree with some comments that while the theme was pretty easily discernible the answers were less obvious and frankly clever when they were revealed. SEALEDAKISS and DONTPLAYMATCHES were gems.

I was pleasantly surprised that Rex highlighted HOLI as the word of the day.

GILL I. 10:33 AM  

@CoolPapa if you're ever in San Francisco, GOETHE is pronounced GO THEE or, as I pronounced it and refused to budge, GETTY.
If you love Fench wines and a history buff "Wine & WAR" by Don and Petie Kladstrup is a terrific book.
I enjoyed the puzzle. It didn't have a ton of crappy fill and one of these day's I will remember the name of Prince Valian't son.
I always thought Don Quixote's love should have been Rosinante instead of DULCINEA.

JenCT 10:44 AM  

Worked at this, but some wrong answers threw me - had REED for Velvet Underground singer; couldn't get HOLI; I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU mistake (as Twangster said); didn't know DULCINEA.

@Rex: I was rooting for the Lions also. :-(

Go Giants!

Jon88 10:47 AM  

Based on everything I've seen and read about and by him, Bill Maher (like Jon Stewart) considers himself a comedian, not a pundit. I bet there's an Alessandra Stanley article in the NYT where she presumptuously imposed that status on him.

None X 10:53 AM  

I'm also curious about Rex's claim that Little Eva weighed 350 lbs. Googling doesn't support that.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

Evil Doug,

I wake up this morning a little bleary-eyed, have some OJ to down the many pills and supplements that keep me breathing and open up the Rex Blog and read your comment. I ask myself, “What did I do to deserve this cold blast of sarcasm on the day of the Sabbath?” Was it because I expect more from my idol than the milquetoast he served up yesterday? Perhaps he has grown tired of my daily praise and wishes to assert his thoughts free of critique. Or – perish the thought – he really has no reason to live other than moi? I surely hope not. I don’t have enough pills and supplements to keep me alive that long.


M07S 10:58 AM  

I went to WVU in the 60's. If you attended a land-grant college, ROTC was a requisite (for your first two years), not an elective. Of course I was subject to the draft and could drink at 18 at then. Time changes all.

Wood 11:00 AM  

@Ulrich: Interesting perspectives on Germany and France. I don't think of Germans as hateful at all. Now if you could just teach us all how to pronounce GOETHE.

@Jon88: Maybe we need to coin a new term: FUNDIT. A funny pundit. I think both Maher and Stewart could embrace that. Interesting that they are both on the liberal side. Hard to imagine a funny right-wing pundit. Unless you count Ann Coulter -- hiLARious.

This puzzle didn't do much for me. Found some of the theme answers funny (IM THE BAND, I ONLY WANNA BE YOU) but the grid was so choppy and with so much crosswordese-y fill that it was hard to get much joy. Finished in good time but it didn't make me feel particularly clever.

That's a good question. Do we do these things in order to make ourselves feel clever? What is it about xword puzzles that keeps us coming back?

MikeM 11:00 AM  

Great puzzle. The SW was difficult and I had the same issues as ralphBunker. On 2D "I'll have___" I had TO_EE and put in TOpEE. Started laughing and told the wife there's no way NYTs woudl allow that...

Jack Baldschun 11:01 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle; most theme answers were genuinely funny - both ways. Hard to get at first, then they flowed. Non theme answers were, as always, a mixed bag. Stilt - singular- was just wrong. Overall, challenging, but do-able, and most important, entertaining

hazel 11:12 AM  

I give this puzzle a like. Maybe a strong like. Like @Rudy, It kept me interested throughout. and it kept me distracted while Drew Brees shredded the Lions' secondary. i too wanted the Lions to win.

@jen ct - go Falcons!!

AnnieD 11:15 AM  

Standard Sunday puzz for me. Theme was ok and easily discernible. Fill was ok...last to fall was the dulcinea/nico cross.

I keep doing xwords because they are absorbing enough to keep my mind off of any unpleasantness and stress going on in my life. A true mental vacation.

JaxInL.A. 11:15 AM  

The NE corner killed me completely. I had a malapop by putting in style for Model, then getting STYLIZE elsewhere for that stick figure thing. The only answer I could write in that corner was MAHER. CERAMIC is a particularly obscure answer for Museum Piece. Guessed at EVA and still could not see AVOCADO, and ROTC is a College Elective? It's a whole program, not just a class. I felt that the Atlantic Capitol was probably African, but could not remember ACCRA. So big DNF for me.

On a cheerier note, since @quilter1 is recommending movies, we had a (surprisingly) great time with the new Mission Impossible. Brad Bird is an outstanding director and this one addresses all of the complaints about previous entries in the franchise. Fun team work, great pacing, interesting characters, and wonderful cinematography. And I didn't even mind watching Mr. Cruise.

r.alphbunker 11:28 AM  


Given that Oscar Wilde once said "I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china" I think that he would have liked your
"extra small china" answer. When you wrote it down did you imagine what color it was?

Anyway, Your answer has definitely raised the bar for me. But don't expect something like this every time you solve a puzzle. My guess is that most solvers never achieve what you have accomplished!

David 11:34 AM  

Echoing some of the early posts on UKULELE. As with my failure to recall OSRIC without multiple crosses every time it's in a puzzle, I just can't spell UKULELE correctly. Couple that today with my inability to nail the correct synonyms for Allotment, Tainted, et al, and the SW became unnecessarily thorny. Only by finally dismissing OPTIC for ULNAR nerve did the final section of the puzzle reveal itself to me.

The rest was mostly easy, except maybe for I'M THE BAND, which turned out to be my fav of the big answers.

Z 11:49 AM  

@Jakarta Dan and @Tom - One must realize that our fearless leader's barbs are sometimes oblique. That the clue puts "little" in quotes suggests that the term may be ironic. By pointing this out @RP highlights that the quotation marks were unneeded, maybe even inaccurate.

@Wood - PJ O'Rourke could be considered a conservative fundit. I also want to add that the idea of solving on an iPhone makes me wonder in amazement that it can be done.

I got the theme early and breezed through the top 2/3rds. Texas and Arizona just killed me though. Seems I wasn't the only one to struggle in that area.

GenJoneser 11:53 AM  

Nice mini "Animal House" theme as well:
TOGAE, FRAT, Coll.Elective, ROTC, Little Eva singer 60's (ok that one's stretching it, but I love that movie)
Go Giants! Go Steelers! (we're a divided household)

ARLENE 12:10 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle - favorite was GREENENVY - just thought that it had an interesting sound to it.
Also thought FUNKY, not FLAKY - or FLAKE. I still think FUNKY is a more creative answer.

elitza 12:14 PM  

No one else hated LATEN, then? No? Just me? Okay.

Anonymous 12:18 PM  

You're right about "laten", an ugly word never seen outside of a crossword puzzle

BocaBoy 12:40 PM  

This puzzle was not my cup of tea. "Seeress" isn't a word and "ukUlele" had me stumped. (The dictionary on my Mac doesn't show either of those as legit spellings." If I hadn't gotten "bum" I would have been even more frustrated with ukulele.

And for the record, while I got "eery" right away, variations always strike me as a constructor painting themselves into a corner and having to use the variation to make the puzzle work. Boo.

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

Was going along smoothly til I get messed up in the ceramic avocado corner, even tho I had DONTPLAYMATCHES. Oh well, will have to be DOING WITHOUT "The Good Wife" tonight, so I can GETTHEPROGRAM "Downton Abbey" ! New season starts tonight!

Bluto Blutarsky 1:02 PM  

@GenJoneser: Not only that but EAT ME was written on the cake covering the Deathmobile in the parade scene ...

Rhea58 1:20 PM  

Thought pretty easy save for the Iwannabeyou corner.

Onto the other fun one in printed edition: 3-D Word Hunt

chefbea 1:45 PM  

busy weekend so haven't chimed in and DNF Fri or Sat. Thought today's was pretty easy once I got the theme.

Have been to Lake Powell and of course have crossed the Tappan Zee many times.

ArtO 2:09 PM  

I knew Lake Powell right off the bat. Took the family (wife and two teens) on a visit to the national parks out west 30 years ago and opted for a "Lake Powell adventure," as the boating rental place promised. Turned out to be quite an adventure as many of the buoys marking a route to the spectacular natural bridge were present only sporadically and when an afternoon thunderstorm came up at 2PM, we lost our way back. We were in a small powerboat confronted by gale force winds, a lashing rain, four foot waves and thought we would perish.

Fortunately, the storm abated and we somehow found our way back. Definitely one of the most harrowing experiences of my life.

Toga, toga, toga ! 2:18 PM  


Character STORK played by co-author
Douglas Kenney.

Masked and Anonymous 2:29 PM  

Really liked the first six theme answers a lot. Then the wheels started wobbling, a little. Altho, the last three, along with DATEDESTINY, were kinda funny, in a funky kinda way.

Fave clue: "Forum fashions". Mainly because I thought the "29" in that tiny little grid box was a "20". Just couldn't get an answer to work for the above clue that looked like C?E??. Provided hours of entertainment. Snort.

Fave fill:
-STYLIZE. So, stick figures are stylish, nowadays? OK.
- ARLO. Have missed that dude. Been over a month.
- UkUlele. For the usual reasons.
- RATTRAP. Kept reading the tiny little print clue as "Hover". M&A needs new eyeballs, or longer attention span.

And no, I don't really reside in New Jersey.

Still trying to make peace with the puz title, "Doing Without". It's like I understand it, and don't understand it, all at once. M&A needs new brain.


DigitalDan 2:41 PM  

I like 'em all. I loved this one.

Lewis 3:33 PM  

@rex - your writeup crackled with humor

@evil -- sometimes you make me laugh out loud, and you certainly did today

@MO7S -- ROTC was mandatory for me too. I wrote a column for the school newspaper and praised ROTC because "it only required short hair only one hour a week".

The puzzle was a good workout but didn't have the pop and zing that makes a puzzle special, in my opinion.

JenCT 4:01 PM  

@hazel: my condolences.

chefwen 4:08 PM  

Had a similar solving experience as @Glimmerglass, that NE corner stayed pretty white for a long time. Knew ARLO, just received a signed copy of Beaucoup, Arlo & Janis. AVOCADO required another head slap, there is a avocado grove right next to our property. DOH! Finally, got 'er done.


SEALED A KISS and GREEN ENVY were my two faves.

Rube 4:22 PM  

Where I went to college, (N)ROTC helped pay tuition and would not have been considered an option for those in the program.

Didn't anyone else have (Tiny) Tim for the "Little" singer. Also tried Ara before LEO. Wanted NUMA for the Cussler answer.

I'm not sure about the significance, but I've mentioned here our trips to Lake Powell twice a year, for the past two years. We've actually been going for almost 20 years. Great houseboating, but, @ArtO, don't try any long day trips with a boat less than 22 feet. I made that mistake, once. The weather can get "real" bad in a short time. Also, great bass fishing. BTW, FWIW, and FYI, the "Planet of the Apes" remake, "Evolution", and the new "John Carter of Mars" were filmed there. Probably others also, considering the bleak, but beautiful landscape.

Like others, had a serious hangup in the NE despite having __MATCHES, MAHER and ARLO. The 1st C of ACCRA was my last letter. I guess I'd heard of Accra, Ghana before.

Enjoyable puzzle and easy enough that DNG.

Surphart 4:23 PM  

Longtime lurker from syndication land, now solving in real time on an android tablet. The NYT app for android does not include the puzzles title. Does anyone have an answer for this or how to get it before starting. Didn't have problem with the theme as the first two fell easily. Hand up for the SW. First went with naVy-Valor...then optiC-suCceed. Finally aqua-quota-amish and the last long one fell.

quilter1 4:37 PM  

My Thorndike Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary, copyright 1951, lists both SEERESS and UKULELE just as in the puzzle. I blame deregulation. And climate change.

cropodog: where the grass grows greener in the yard.

Doug T 5:57 PM  

The clue for "STOL" should have implied that the answer would be an acronym!

Anonymous 5:59 PM  

I too dislike "laten." @Ulrich, glad to see you back.

demit 6:50 PM  

I got tripped up in the NE corner by having DON'T PLAY GAMES(with)ME and never questioning it. I briefly thought Don't play coy with me? Don't play dumb with me? but never thought of anything else. Maybe I was remembering basketball practice—drills drills drills, then finally, a game!

Anonymous 9:00 PM  

This was harder than usual, but I managed to get it all within 75 minutes. Some of the clues were inapt, for example sports contest as TILT.

Stan 9:04 PM  

Splendid Sunday puzzle, but then again I like Sunday puzzles and most of you don't (or at least our leaders don't).

Theme answers were fun to guess and the fill was very even in its difficulty. Good stuff!

Sparky 11:38 PM  

DNF. Missed CERAMIC, AVACADO, CREAM, and HARNESS. Figured *with* left out early on. Chuckled at SEALEDAKISS and IMTHEBAND. Hate the song I Only Want to Be With You, that bawling voice kills my trip to the supermarket.

Big day today: Ballet, Football (sigh), Downton Abbey. And a bottle of Sauv Blanc in the fridge.

Here's to the new week.

pk 12:04 AM  

Wanted Ivy Gray for Avocado, even tho I eat avocados Every Single Day - would blame it on lack of caffeine, but I don't actually consume any caffeine, except for the occasional Hershey's Kiss.

Croaked along with many others in the far southwest. Ulnar crossing stained was instinctual, but everything else was WTF.

Tita 12:58 AM  

Pretty hard to take any strides at all with one STILT...kinda need two, IMHO.
CERAMIC? Any randome noun, then, could be the answer to Museum piece...

Did like the Overhead CAM - that was my onyl gimme in that rough corner.

@chefwen...thought my mother would be so happy to see can't be a master sewer without one!

Not a great puzzle...
But then, just getting back to it after a house full of friends and family - had many COASTERS out on all flat surfaces... Too much delicious food and wine!

Avocado cosmo matches (3 words i didn't get!) 2:19 AM  

Don't usually do Sundays but when I saw it was Tony, had to do it...glad I did!

I'd add 74D TILT to your mini theme of DULCINEA ( one of my favorite songs as a child) and CABALLEROS
( which unfortunately has the same number of letters as SPANIARDS, esp if you fudge and try SPAINIARDS to make it fit...tilting at windmills at that point.)

I loved KEEPINGUPTHEJONES and IMTHEBAND to the disapointed party planner!
Tony's being a musician shone thru with UKeLELE,
IONLYWANNABEYOU, Little EVA, IMTHEBAND... And CREAM and EARLE could have gone a musical way.

Had STOLY where COSMO was so didn't get the whole NE corner, till I peeked at MATCHES...then everything fell.
I had even thought about DONTPLAY with fire, with my heart, but MATCHES eluded me.

Tony, where would we be out you?

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Anonymous 1:57 AM  

Little Eva didn't weigh 350 pounds; not even close.

Anonymous 7:24 PM  

Lake Powell should be beautiful. Apparently Glen Canyon, which was flooded to make Lake Powell, was comparable to the Grand Canyon. We will never know what was lost.

Dirigonzo 3:14 PM  

There was a recent news item, which only syndisolvers would have seen prior to doing the puzzle, involving several Amish men who were jailed for failing to put orange warning triangles on their wagons. They could have paid fines instead but refused to do so. Well it helped me in that corner anyway.

gardeningsandy 3:58 PM  

I'm disappointed with the color clue, 22 across. Avocado and olive green are very different hues!

Anonymous 8:22 PM  

Spacecraft here. @Rex: What Glimmerglass said. And then watch any episode of Monk--and realize that the police lieutenant and Buffalo Bill, the villain of "Silence," are the same guy! Ted Levine by name; hard to believe. Also, why is "Little EVA" so surprising? Think back to the last girl you met whose name was Tina.
Well, a simple little glitch threw me out of the NW and all the way around this puzzle in a big circle till that was the only area left. Then, groaningly, I got it: I had put in TOGAS, quite naturally, and that damn S was so confusing--I couldn't figure out what getting misty had to do with tsetse flies, tsar(ina)s, or tsunamis, so I rejected STILT and--oh, fuhgeddaboudit, it was ugly. Such a simple little mistake...
Appreciated the Dusty Springfield shout-out at 117a. I don't quite know what UKULELEs have to do with Tin Pan Alley, but the crosses left it unmistakable.
Nothing wrong with it; an X short of a pangram--so what. I see LATEN all the time in xwords--and I wince every time. At least I can't say I OHED. Better you should've made that OHER, hero of The Blind Side, and CAMO for 55d, to get RACEDESTINY.

shipoli: boat bound for Libya.

SharonAK 11:00 PM  

Pass flying colors" wonderful!
Makes me want to go drive past the UN building.

@gardening sandy Huh?Out of all shades of green what one can you think of that is more akin to olive than avocado?

Anonymous 4:26 AM  

The Don Quixote references made me decide I needed to reread Cervantes, for I don't remember any of the people. Turns out Quixada {Quixote) made up new names for himself, his horse and his lady Aldonza Lorenzo {Dulcinea del Toboso)

Anonymous 4:44 AM  

Don Quixote named his horse Rosinante.

Anonymous 5:27 AM  

Sports contest = tilt???? Could someone please explain?

Anonymous 6:12 AM  

In Medieval days, the knights would get together and have tilting (jousting) contests, seeing who could knock the other knight off his horse with lances.

Byron Trist 10:36 PM  

I've often read sports pages where an athletic contest was called a "tilt." It used to be quite common in headlines.
Byron Trist

Unknown 7:13 PM  

I don't get 76a. It has a question mark, like the other clues, but I can't fit "with" anywhere in epicure. What am I missing?

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