Demotion victim of 2006 / SUN 8-12-12 / One of England's Cinque Ports / Like Tarzan's mannerisms / Besieged city during Spanish Civil War / Maisie star Sothern / Eisner's successor as Disney chief / Mechanical engineer Howe / Peabody Essex Museum city

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "The Meaning of It" — common expressions containing the word "IT" are clued in unexpectedly, amusingly literal ways

Word of the Day: ANN Sothern (23A: "Maisie" star Sothern) —
Ann Sothern (born Harriet Arlene Lake, January 22, 1909 – March 15, 2001) was an Americanfilm and television actress whose career spanned six decades. [...] 
In 1949, Sothern appeared in the Oscar winning filmA Letter to Three Wives. The film earned her excellent reviews, but failed to stimulate her career. During the 1950s, she made a few movies, including The Blue Gardenia (1953), but mainly appeared on television shows. In 1953, she landed the lead in the series Private Secretary. After Private Secretary ended in 1957 due to a contract dispute between Sothern and producerJack Chertok, she appeared in her own show, The Ann Sothern Show, from 1958 to 1961. Both were successful and earned Sothern four Emmy Award nominations. Ann Tyrrell and Don Porter were her co-stars in both series. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was pretty funny but awfully easy. Theme answers all came very quickly except for GET ON WITH IT (not sure why). Oh, I had OAT for HAY, that's probably why (93D: Stable supply). I guess a single OAT doesn't really qualify as a "supply." Makes sense. That SW corner was the only place I was slowed down even mildly. In fact, I got the final three theme answers without ever looking at their clues (which kind of tears the heart out of the puzzle, as the theme clues are clearly its raison d'être). But when I can look at the "IT" phrase and see exactly what it is without having to bother with the clue-hunting eyeskip, then that's what I'm gonna do. I can always look at those (funny) clues later.
Theme answers:
  • 22A: "Talking isn't going to reseal that wine bottle!" ("PUT A CORK IN IT!")
  • 25A: "Quit trying to make a paper doll by ripping the paper!") ("CUT IT OUT!")
  • 26A: "I can see why shoppers avoid this off-brand white bread!" ("IT'S NO WONDER!")
  • 36A: "I already know my homemade cold cream is useless!") ("DON'T RUB IT IN!")
  • 38A: "So you finally got the gist of that Stephen Hawking book!" ("IT'S ABOUT TIME!")
  • 63A: "Of course this car isn't voice-controlled!" ("IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING!")
  • 88A: "This tippy Christmas tree is driving me crazy!" ("I CAN'T STAND IT!")
  • 91A: "Stop dillydallying and use your boarding pass!" ("GET ON WITH IT!")
  • 104A: "How dare you climb a barbed-wire fence wearing my sweater!" ("THAT TEARS IT!")
  • 106A: "I'm in a hurry to see that bug squashed!" ("STEP ON IT!")
  • 110A: "Yeah, I'm asking for people's impression of this inkblot—so?" ("WHAT'S IT TO YOU!?"
Other than misspelling LAFORGE (11A: "Star Trek: T.N.G." character Geordi ___) and not being sure why BEAVER (58A: Furry feller?) was right (until just now), I skewered this thing. Sadly, smashing success doesn't give one (me) a lot to talk about, so I'm just going to highlight some odd or interesting words/answers, for my own amusement (and possibly yours).

  • 78A: Peabody Essex Museum city (SALEM) — Oregon? Massachusetts? That clue is basically [Three random words city] to me. (It's Salem, MA, btw)
  • 96A: Mechanical engineer Howe (ELIAS) — he invented something ... not the cotton gin ... how do I know this guy's name (this was a gimme)? Aha, sewing machine! Also, apparently his descendants also own the Big Boy restaurant chain, prompting a waitress to correct me and my sister when we referred to the place we were eating in as "Bob's." "It's Elias Bros. Big Boy." We may have laughed in her face. We were pretty young. Also, this has nothing to do with ELIAS Howe.
  • 23A: "Maisie" star Sothern (ANN) — ANN Sothern sounds familiar, but I know Maisie only as this mouse character I had to read far too many books about when my daughter was young. She's now reading Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series. On her own. Yes, I am bragging that my almost-12-yr-old can read! She also mostly knows her left from her right. Verrrrry gifted. 
  • 38D: Eisner's successor as Disney chief (IGER) — only name I had in my arsenal was ILER. Good name to have in your arsenal. Not the right name here.
  • 52D: Besieged city during the Spanish Civil War (OVIEDO) — Like Ovid, only ... vowelier. 
  • 62D: Like Tarzan's mannerisms (SIMIAN) — wanted something like "crude" or "wooden" or "improbable," before hitting on SIMIAN. Also, I am currently having an impromptu Twitter contest to see who can come up with the stupidest "50 Shades of Grey" parody idea. My first offering: "Tarzan, Jane, and lots and lots of vine in ... Fifty Shades of Greystoke!"
  • 74D: Demotion victim of 2006 (PLUTO) — Printed this out on one page, which made type really small, which made me read this as [Demolition victim of 2006], which made me think "Holy Crap They Blew Up PLUTO!?"
  • 86D: Kid aged 10-12 (TWEENER) — yeah, they're called tweens now, but whatever. I think a TWEENER is a tryst you have 'tween noon and dinner time.
Thanks, I'll be here all year, be sure to tip your waitress, etc.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


syndy 12:40 AM  

Well Rex's oat and my oat makes a small supply,maybe others can contribute ;) Most amusing for me "hold you end up-MOON" I smirked when I read the clue so when I went back...SALEM was a gimmee -from Lynn thought on 52d weren't they all?I read all the theme clues first to see if I could get them without crosses thanks PB fine and dandy

Deb 12:54 AM  

"Holy Crap They Blew Up PLUTO!?"


Sundays usually take me about thirty minutes and I tore through this one in just over twenty, so it definitely skewed easy for me. Fun puzzle though.

I think it's great that your daughter enjoys reading, Rex. I hope she holds on to that. My own daughter was a voracious reader at her age, but once she started junior high that was pretty much over. :(

jae 12:56 AM  

Yes Rex, a very easy-breezy Sun.  Only erasures for me were ref for UMP and ayes for YEAS.  NE took a little extra effort but not much.  I'd say this was the easiest Sun. in quite a while, but we'll see what Sanfranman finds.

I liked this one for the same reason I liked last week's Patrick Merrill puzzle.  I thought the clue-answer pairs were clever and amusing.   Nice one PB, gave me a chuckle.

Clark 1:10 AM  

We three skyping puzzlers laughed a lot. Enough that we were willing to overlook three (or so) weak clues. Semi-puzzle partner objects to the spelling of OMELET. He insists (and IHOP's web site confirms) that IHOP doesn't spell it that way. (I, in contrast, think that the clue can be referring to the thing not the word—de re as opposed to de dicto. That would make the clue legit.) We also wondered about "incessantly" being NO END. When we tried to substitute, we could only come up with substitutions involving TO NO END. Anyone? Finally, Barcelona Guy and I (both musicians) object to "slow and steady" being ANDANTE. Andante means walking or going. It might be described as a moderately slow tempo, but "slow and steady" is just wrong. But as the laughs kept coming, we decided it was more than worth it. Three thumbs up.

chefwen 2:30 AM  

Yup, easy but fun. Every theme answer brought a grin, smile and or chortle. But, then again, I'm easily amused. PUT A CORK IN IT was my favorite. WHAT'S IT TO YOU was pretty cute also, I guess I could cite them all.

Not being a Star Trek type person, LAFORGE was obtained only by crosses.

A nice, easy, amusing Sunday outing. Thank you Mr. Berry.

evil doug 5:00 AM  

An easy Sunday puzzle celebrating the grossly overused pronoun 'it'? No, thanks.

I wish more people spoke with the specificity, clarity and texture of the clues themselves---employing sharply defined nouns---which were much more vivid and entertaining than the tired, trite cliched answers that merely proclaim our laziness with language.

I think a 'tweener' is an early nooner.


Charlene 6:24 AM  

Mel Ott.

LindaB 6:51 AM  

Is "That tears it" a common expression?

orangeblossomspecial 7:11 AM  

My son came home happy during his sophomore year in university. "Dad, I read my first book all the way through!" I guess some read later than others.

Rex's strategy of filling in the words without bothering with "the clue-hunting eyeskip" works only if you have sufficient crosses to be able to figure out the words. For us mortals, that's not always a workable strategy.

38A also was the title of a tv show "IT'S ABOUT TIME, it's about space".

We can't let the opportunity pass to hear 37D sing "Goldfinger".

Pat Boone had a hit with 104D "THEE I love".

Anonymous 8:08 AM  

Tsk, Rex. There should be no apostrophe in "its" (before raison d'etre).

Wreck Sparker 8:17 AM  

This is a total aside but 79d ELON reminded me of an ad I saw yesterday for the University of Maryland University College. Why do you need University twice and College once in a name? And if they're really going for it, why not throw School and Academy in there somewhere too?

jberg 8:26 AM  

@Clark - "She complained about it NO END" = incessantly. Maybe that's a regional usage; I'm in the region of the Peabody Essex Museum which, were in in Salem Oregon would have to be Peabody Marion Museum. So that was a gimme for me, unlike the IGER/RENE/TOMEI crossing, which was almost a total guess - except that RENE resembled an actual name more than any of the other choices.

I agree with everybody (almost), easy and fun. I like Sundays that way - a hard Sunday takes up too much of my day.

I do agree that ANDANTE isn't right, though.

Milford 8:40 AM  

I found this to be an easy, breezy Sunday, like many others probably will. Solved while watching the men's 5K and other track events - wicked fast humans. My husband and I met watching the notorius Carl Lewis/Ben Johnson 100m dash in Seoul Olympics, so track events are nostalgic for me.

Kept circling back to 76D before finally seeing it was PLUTO - good one!

Loved the cleverness of all the theme answers. I actually liked that it sounded like the same bitchy person harping at me through the whole puzzle. Especially the high and mighty declaration about Wonder Bread (ew). Geez, relax already!

I'm not familiar with THAT TEARS IT! but I'm thinking it's a lot like my mom-ultimatum of "That does it!".

Sue McC 9:04 AM  

Once I filled in the first theme answer, I was afraid Rex was going to hate the puzzle, so I am glad to see I was wrong. I thought it was a lot of fun. Easy, yes, but lots of silly fun. My favorite was the Hawking clue for ITSABOUTTIME.

Lindsay 9:33 AM  

Well, Salem is in Essex county, and if you don't know that, then remembering that Hawthorne married a Peabody should help.

But British geography is another matter, so I had a glitch where the Cinque Port of DeVon crossed a barometer reading rAIn. Forgot to fix the r, so I ended up with LArorge.

joho 9:46 AM  

Any of you SILLES who rain on this puzzle just PUTACORKINIT!

What a delightful Sunday romp!
Easy sure, but not boring. In fact, I was sad when IT ended.

Patrick Berry, ITSNOWONDER to me that you've once again delivered a smooth, interesting puzzle with your always deft touch.

joho 9:48 AM  

Make that SILLIES!

Loren Muse Smith 9:51 AM  

What a total waste of my time. Who is this guy, Patrick Berry? NYET!

Truly a beautiful puzzle. I loved the elegance of the double meanings of the clues and by the oh-so-smooth two stacked theme entries. I dare anyone to call today’s admirers sycophants.

After my fill-in-the-blank strikes of EMILY, ETAT, and NTH, I revisited the NE and confidently, smugly actually, put in “hard c” for “conversation starter?” Serves me right.

Just before I left the club last night, I had a bit of a kerfuffle with a grumpy chef over ASPIC. Go figure.

I felt really smart when I filled in PIETY and ASCETIC with no hesitation. And @Clark, I never know how to spell OMELET.

Early on, my margin notes had the TOMEI/RENE cross, BELLY and PROW, the clue for LOOTERS, and how much I enjoyed the clue and answer for GOT LOST. But those pale in comparison to the theme and its execution.

Yes, it was easy. BUT, as @jberg said, that made it simply fun. Entertainment. I wish more Sundays could be easier. Too often the Sunday slog that reminds me of forcing down that last bite so as to clean my plate. With this one I was asking for seconds, and that’s a good thing. A sequel, Patrick?

Thanks, Mr. Berry. You nailed it!

jackj 10:09 AM  

There is such a thing as “too easy” and leave IT to Patrick Berry, best of the best, to demonstrate what that means and, in turn, to give us a most disappointing Sunday puzzle.

The theme entries seemed strained, reaching for sparkling wit but falling flat to obviousness with THATTEARSIT my favorite because of the way in which TEARS was meant as, “That does it!” or perhaps, something like “That takes the cake, you idiot!”

Compounding the puzzle’s problem, the fill was largely unremarkable with a raft of familiar three’s, (33 of them, a lot for Patrick), but of those that showed a glimmer of the Berry touch, there were two of particular note, the “Demotion victim of 2006” for PLUTO and a cute bit whereby Patrick, (blushingly, no doubt), dabbled with a racy clue, “Hold up one’s end” for MOON.

As one who prints out the puzzles and completes them with a trusty Bic, there was no speed solving involved, but when a Sunday Times puzzle takes only 11 minutes to complete on paper, (while also watching a Red Sox game on TV), that doesn’t indicate skill but, rather, a puzzle that makes no demands on the imagination and has precious little pushback.

Patrick should be allowed a rare off night and the courtesy of a “Mulligan”; after all, he is human, (apparently).

Jeff510 10:19 AM  

Demotion of 2012: my wife says if you are 31st best solver, you aren't the king, you are a baron.

r.alphbunker 10:28 AM  

I had an unusually large number of writeovers for such an easy puzzle. They all were quickly fixed.

3D Rwandan people [TUTus-->TUTSI]
2D Conversation opener? [hardc-->MOUTH]
42D Approximately one out of every two deliveries [BOx-->BOY]
43D Sea gull nesting site, maybe [InLET-->ISLET]
71D Opposite of "da" [Nein-->NYET]
107D Besides [and-->TOO]
109D Animal trap [PoT-->PIT]
93D Stable supply [oAt-->HAY]
27A One of England's Cinque Ports [walEs-->DOVER]
13D Barometer reading [high-->FAIR]
27D Peace disrupter [war-->DIN]
49A Carnival dance [SAlsA-->SAMBA]
32D Bullet points [sTEpS-->ITEMS]
15D Kia subcompact [neO-->RIO]

Shamik 10:46 AM  

I'm giving this one two E's: easy and entertaining. Yeesh...I didn't know Patrick Berry even wrote easy puzzles!

hazel 10:52 AM  

I didn't like being shouted at the whole puzzle! Last week we had Charlie Brown (yea!), this week Lucy (not quite as charming)!!

Because i solve downs first on Sundays to get toeholds for the long acrosses, i waded through some regrettable fill to get to the shouts, which were indeed funny.

I did very much like the vernacular of the shouts - a consistent kind of bygone feel.

jae 11:23 AM  

Rex's one page/small type blowing up PLUTO comment reminded me that I did have a kind of erasure that I never mention. I missread the clue number for "Sea gull nesting..." and put in BAY for 42d. When GOTLAST made no sense I changed it to BOY and wondered if it was a legit alternate spelling for BUOY.

John V 11:34 AM  

My first rule of solving is "See a Patrick Berry puzzle, solve it." Fun, easy, better than the August heat this morning.

Liked seeing SONATINA and ANDANTE.

50 Shades of **IT 11:48 AM  

"Admissions of failure/ignorance are inherently more interesting than declarations of gimmes."

If that is true, then most of our comments must be pretty dull today, since the consensus is that IT was easy-breezy.

Some even crow that they could fill in the theme without even looking at the clues.

IS IT JUST ME or did anyone else think of a different answer for 7D?

chefbea 11:51 AM  

What a great, fun, easy puzzle.

Had an omelet today while doing the puzzle - not at I-Hop. I'll have to go to the site and see how they spell it

Evan 12:38 PM  

Quick correction, @Rex: ANN is the answer for 23-Down, not 23-Across.

Evan 12:42 PM  

Easy puzzle for me too -- the only thing that slowed me up was THAT TEARS IT. Never heard that phrase before, and refused to believe it was right. But all the crosses worked, so there you go.

Still don't understand how STINT means "really economize."

JFC 12:59 PM  

@Loren - Who else could come up with all those?

It's got to be you....


Ken Wurman 1:02 PM  

That tears it?

Ken Wurman 1:04 PM  

That tears it?

Brookboy 1:16 PM  

Like so many others, I liked the puzzle. Worked the puzzle while watching the Yankees beat up on Toronto on Saturday, took me a while because I stopped to watch the game now and then.

Had an unusually large number (for me) of write-overs (InLET for ISLET, PIn for PIT, prEteEn for TWEENER, oAt for HAY, lIsTS for TILTS, etc.) But when the ballgame was over I was able to get them all sorted out.

I thought the puzzle was easy enough, made me wonder what Mr. Parker would think. Very glad and pleasantly surprised to see that he actually enjoyed it.

So did I.

hazel 1:19 PM  

Yes. THAT TEARS IT, - a phrase i (for one) have heard many times. Maybe its a regional thing - or more likely, something I heard (more than once) on screen or Tv. Either way, it went straight in - with few crosses!!

M and A 1:42 PM  


Played out Mesium for the likes of me. Part of prob was 43-Down = InLET. And if IT's part of the prob, IT ain't part of the solution.

Big theme thUmbsUp.

Evan 2:12 PM  

Just as a point of comparison: Putting in THAT TEARS IT in quotation marks in Google yields 390,000 hits. Putting in THAT DOES IT inside quotations yields 139 million. I doubt all 139 million of those hits are about the phrase "that does it!" but it's still a useful illustration about how much more common one phrase is compared to the other.

syndy 2:12 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
mac 2:15 PM  

Easy, but I enjoyed it. THAT TEARS IT is new to me, but it had to be.

I liked the furry feller.

Evan 2:15 PM  

Last comment, then I'll shut up:


A clue for IT IS WHAT IT IS: "Description of the Tao?"

syndy 2:24 PM  

try it again! THAT TEARS IT

edmcan 2:37 PM  

I guess some people just like to kvetch; not me, this was a fun and fast puzzle. Thanks Mr. Berry.

MaryBR 3:03 PM  

Breezed through til the end when I put in ruMBA for SAMBA and BArSEY and MIRu, both completely unknown to me, seemed reasonable. Know I mixed up my Cuban and my Brazilian, but that was annoying! Guess I need to push up on my astronomy.

Not necessarily a kvetcher 3:27 PM  

@edmcan: i guess some people like to have their own opinion..

mitchs 3:33 PM  

I really enjoyed the theme answers because they were mad fun. But after the north half I just filled in as many crosses as it took to fill in the theme answers. I may use that approach fron now on for Sundays. @Loren: nice analogy!

Carola 4:05 PM  

Fun! My favorite: IT'S ABOUT TIME! I got ahead of myself with the cold cream clue and wrote in DOesntcuTIt, thinking of the homemade product failing to cut through the layer of makeup.

Also liked the furry feller and the joke of ASPIC next to MOUTH. Kind of unfair to put the ASCETICS right next to the TARTS.

Screen Name 4:07 PM  

All hail Patrick Berry.

Give it a rest . . .

Lewis 4:34 PM  

I thought the theme and its clues were funny. The puzzle wasn't as easy for me as for some others, but I didn't Google, and as always with PB, I enjoyed it.

A Capriote 4:56 PM  

I get home from working the brunch shift at the restaurant ( not a lot of omelets today more eggs Benedict ).
Pull a couple of ice cold coronas out of the fridge grab a 2 hour cigar and the NYT magazine and go out to the patio crack the beers light the cigar and get ready for a nice long relaxing afternoon with the puzzle. I finished before I tipped my first ash and half a beer! That tears it now All I have to keep me occupied is the magazine and I really don't want to know "what's wrong with a boy who wears a dress?"!!

sanfranman59 6:02 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:20, 6:49, 0.96, 22%, Easy-Medium
Tue 9:49, 8:57, 1.10, 76%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 10:42, 11:47, 0.91, 30%, Easy-Medium
Thu 12:05, 18:52, 0.64, 3%, Easy (5th lowest median solve time of 162 Thursdays)
Fri 17:47, 24:38, 0.72, 10%, Easy
Sat 27:11, 29:20, 0.93, 33%, Easy-Medium
Sun 22:02, 32:47, 0.67, 3%, Easy (2nd lowest median solve time of 59 Sundays)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:38, 3:41, 0.99, 46%, Medium
Tue 5:38, 4:38, 1.21, 95%, Challenging (9th highest median solve time of 163 Tuesdays)
Wed 5:34, 5:54, 0.94, 37%, Easy-Medium
Thu 6:14, 9:21, 0.67, 4%, Easy (6th lowest median solve time of 162 Thursdays)
Fri 10:05, 12:13, 0.82, 25%, Easy-Medium
Sat 14:21, 16:38, 0.86, 22%, Easy-Medium
Sun 13:29, 20:51, 0.65, 5%, Easy (3rd lowest median solve time of 59 Sundays)

@Jae ... definitely quite easy, by the numbers.

ArleneWKW 6:14 PM  

It was a triumph for me! I used Google a few times, I haven't yet finished it with 100% accuracy yet, and it was easy (for Rex and others), but it was the first time ever I got most of the answers including the theme items and that I didn't feel entirely too inadequate to follow through with a Sunday puzzle. It was wonderful.

I enjoy your blog Rex and will soon tip the waiter.

Sandy K 6:38 PM  

Got a late start, so IT"S ABOUT TIME I got to this puzzle.
Seeing Patrick Berry, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that I was excited to GET ON WITH IT!
Surprised to find IT so easy-breezy- not typical PB fare, altho the clues were brilliant.
Alas, I finished IT too soon.
Is IT too soon?

JenCT 10:07 PM  

@jberg said: "...a hard Sunday takes up too much of my day." I SO feel the same way!

Just had to chime in at this late hour to say I loved this puzzle!

To those who did not, phooey.

paulsfo 10:40 PM  

I looked for "that tears it" in old movie scripts. Here are a few example usages:

Double Indemnity (1944)
– Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck),
screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, novel by James M. Cain

Phyllis: Mr. Neff, why don’t you drop by tomorrow evening about eight-thirty. He’ll be in then.
Walter Neff: Who?
Phyllis: My husband. You were anxious to talk to him weren’t you?
Walter Neff: Yeah, I was, but I’m sort of getting over the idea, if you know what I mean.
Phyllis: There’s a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
Walter Neff: How fast was I going, officer?
Phyllis: I’d say around ninety.
Walter Neff: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Phyllis: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Walter Neff: Suppose it doesn’t take.
Phyllis: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Walter Neff: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Phyllis: Suppose you try putting it on my husband’s shoulder.
Walter Neff: That tears it.


Searchers, The (1956) movie script

The Comanches have done their work, are riding away -- and
over the saddle of one lies the limp form of the dead Indian.
Ethan looks back at Sam.

That tears it, Reverend...From now
on, you keep out...

Also saw it in...
Lover Come Back 1961 Starring Rock Hudson, Doris Day.
Sphere (1998)
U Turn (1997)
Daddy Day Camp (2007)

Rex Parker 10:49 PM  


Thanks for reminding where I know the expression from ("Double Indemnity").


Anonymous 11:29 PM  

Samba! Samba! Hellooo Rio!!!

Z 10:55 AM  

Did this around midnight after completing a three day, 2,100 mile odyssey. I finished in about my typical 30 minutes, so it very easy.

"That tears it" was a gimme for me, but only as a spoken phrase. I can't recall ever seeing it in print. I would say, @Evan, that Uncle Google has a real weakness in the area of the spoken word.

Dirigonzo 11:22 AM  

On this most gorgeous syndi-Sunday morning I plunked down PUT A CORK IN IT from only the "O" and CUTITOUT from the "T", with only THou before THEE (except after C?) and Ruby before ROSE to spoil my otherwise pristine grid. "Easy and fun" is not a bad thing to me, at least as it applies to puzzles and dates.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

My barometer read RAIN, and I was so confident about that forecast that I never bothered to check the crosses. So DOVER became DOVEN. And LAFORGE became LARONGE because LARORGE looked stupid and NIO sounded plausible.

Other than that and the natick at 52d/82a a pretty easy solve. When your first grid entry is a theme answer (PUT A CORK IN IT) without even checking the crosses, you know things are going to go quickly.

I would have enjoyed seeing the once popular bumper sticker I FOUND IT at 106 a, followed at 110a by the response bumper sticker, I STEPPED IN IT.

That's it for me.

Spacecraft 2:12 PM  

In STTOS' "A Taste of Armageddon" (1967) Kirk has just radioed to Scotty that no one must be allowed to beam down to Eminiar 7, as they will become 'war casualties.' He replies:
"That tears it! That popinjay [another marvelous xword word!] Fox just went down!"

This was a nice, breezy Sunday, not too taxing after yesterday's brainathon. LAFORGE got me started and I never looked back.OK, so ITGOESWITHOUTSAYING I'm a Trekkie.

Liked the clue for PLUTO. My WOTD: SONATINA. Hmm, would you play that on a concertina? Also liked SPAREME right under DONTRUBITIN. A little Berry-ism there, heh heh.

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

Yup, easy puzzle today, but just enough for my brain to handle today. Not much bragging rights, but a gimme is occasionally a necessary reprieve.

jordan shoes 10:59 PM  

I liked this one for the same reason I liked last week's Patrick Merrill puzzle. I thought the clue-answer pairs were clever and amusing. Nice one PB, gave me a chuckle.

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