Early Westinghouse collaborator / TUE 8-21-12 / Old Indian ruler / Father of dialectical idealism / Lincoln moniker / Chair designer Charles / Emperor of A.D. 69

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Constructor: Josh Knapp

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: PLO(pening) — familiar phrases have PL- added to their beginnings, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: OTHO (28D: Emperor of A.D. 69) —
Otho (LatinMarcus Salvius Otho Caesar Augustus;[1][2] 28 April 32[3] – 16 April 69), was Roman Emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. (wikipedia)
• • •

Apologies for a very short write-up today, but I wasted a good chunk of my allotted write-up time writing up the WRONG puzzle because of an error at the NYT website. It was a puzzle from two years ago. You'd think I'd notice, until you think of how many damned puzzles I've written about since them. Also, the puzzle was totally forgettable, so it's no wonder I forgot and began to blog it Again. Anyway, my eye caught the Aug. 3, 2010 date, and then I started breaking things and yelling, then I publicly berated the NYT crossword website folks for their *repeated* incompetence, then I did the Real puzzle, which is also kind of forgettable but at least solid. Very solid. Answers need to be funnier than these for a simple add-a-letter (or two) theme to work for me, and the only one that really made me laugh today was PLEAT MY SHORTS.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Magazine for arithmetic lovers? (PLUS WEEKLY) 
  • 24A: Bizarre demand to a dry cleaner? (PLEAT MY SHORTS)
  • 39A: Zales or Tiffany's (PLACE OF DIAMONDS)
  • 51A: Overfish? (PLUNDER THE SEA)
  • 60A: Light shower? (PLACID RAIN)
OK, quickly now:

  • 9A: Old Indian ruler (RAJAH) — I'm used to think of RAJA(H)s and RANEEs as timeless entities, because they are and will forever be part of the crossword landscape. So "Old" actually took me aback a little. 
  • 33A: Took part in a bee, British-style (SPELT) — Awk. phrasing. I don't think one can take part in something "British-style." You spell or you don't spell. I get that it's the spelling of SPELT that's British, but ... still. Also, do they even have spelling bees in Britain? SPELT is a grain. I'd go that way.
  • 44A: Early Westinghouse collaborator (TESLA) — was expecting a name associated with dishwashers, not physics.
  • 57A: Philosopher who was the father of dialectical idealism (HEGEL) — I don't think I've ever seen the phrase "dialectical idealism" before. The "dialectic" part tipped me to HEGEL
  • 66A: Chair designer Charles (EAMES) — recently saw a great documentary on him and his (largely unHERALDed) designer wife Ray.
  • 9D: Bounce around a canyon, say (REECHO) — ouch.
  • 10D: Lincoln moniker (ABE) — "Moniker" made me think answer would be something more nicknamey.
  • 28D: Emperor of A.D. 69 (OTHO) — my only real misstep of the puzzle. I had the final "O" and wrote in NERO. I was off by ... one year.
  • 34D: N.Y.U.'s ___ School of the Arts (TISCH) — learned it from xwords, and it seems to have stuck.
  • 53D: Taste that's not sweet, sour, bitter or salty (UMAMI) —I see this word a lot in the world of vegan cooking—can be challenging to get UMAMI flavor into dishes w/o meat.
  • 59D: Pope who excommunicated Martin Luther (LEO X) — had the "X," so LEO went right in—only three-letter Pope I know.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 1:04 AM  

Medium for me.  Liked the theme and the smooth grid.  Best by far PLEATMYSHORTS.   Not sure the significance of "add PL" if any.   Did not see a revealer but could easily have missed it.

Erasures: Tape for TIVO, afrO for UPDO, and GnP for GDP which gave me a pair of NOPEs briefly.

Pretty good Tues. Mr. Knapp. 

@r.ralph --  Short answer to yesterday's question is no.  Long answer involves rhapsodizing about purity, portability (we don't need no stinkin' WiFi), the shear joy of pencil on paper.....yadda...

Anonymous 1:47 AM  

Rex writes:

"9D: Bounce around a canyon, say (REECHO) — ouch."

Weird-looking word, for sure. But it's more than just a roll-your-own creation. It even has a separate dictionary entry.


Leroy Parquet 2:16 AM  

Umami taste is common to foods that contain high levels of L-glutamate, IMP and GMP, most notably in fish, shellfish, cured meats, vegetables (e.g., mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, spinach, celery, etc.) or green tea, and fermented and aged products (e.g., cheeses, shrimp pastes, soy sauce, etc

chefwen 2:23 AM  

I didn't even look at the date of the puzzle that I pulled up on the NYT site. Finished said puzzle (it seemed faintly familiar) came here for the write up and it was a totally different puzzle. The one I pulled up and printed out was a Paula Gamache puzzle from Aug.3rd 2010. ???? Anyone else?

chefwen 2:31 AM  

Sorry Rex, didn't read your write up cuz I wanted to save if for when I was able to get the correct puzzle. Just went back to read the beginning, how and where were you able to get the Aug. 21 puzzle? I'll save the rest of the write up 'til then.

Anonymous 2:33 AM  

The iPhone app had the correct puzzle.

jae 3:07 AM  

...as did the Stand Alone iPad app

Aaaaah Clan Marshes 4:29 AM  

You're right, there was no reveal.
A couple of years ago, Michael Blake and I collaborated on a similar-style puzzle with SP
(we also had SPACEOFDIAMONDS, clued the same way!) it was based on the reveal SPIN (SP + in).
BUT I think we got the idea from yet another similar puzzle, where it had a reveal that could be parsed into two words.

I don't know what reveal Josh Knapp could have had...maybe PLAID (PL + AID) but that's not perfect.

So, I think it just stands on it's own: an addition of PL that makes the phrase interesting and seen in a new light.

Of the five of them, PLEASTMYSHORTS is super amusing and PLACIDRAIN seems really original and the others feel solid if not hysterical.
(Maybe there can be a Will puzzle with EATMYSHORTZ!)

There is something about PL that feels PLayful...PL is a fun way to start words: PLOP, PLUCKY, PLEBESCITE.
so a reveal is perhaps unnecessary, in the scheme of things.

The theme helped me change PItch to PIPES.

And tons of weird synchronicity for me. Just spent the day writing a whole puzzle with Lincoln nicknames...and the evening cluing one dealing with ENVY!

PLUS, yesterday at a Scrabble tourney, someone played REECHOS without the E (It is only good as REECHOES) and we had a fifteen minute conversation about REECHO, if it was a word to begin with AND how the plural should be SPELT!

Here's another thing I liked about the puzzle, the mild REECHO of words like SCORSESE, LALAW, UMAMI.

Know you were in a rush, but no love for "ELLA Enchanted"?

Anyway, it was a PLeasant PLuzzle.

Z 6:41 AM  

Two crosses caused me problems. OTHO/HOPI or OTtO/TOPI. What's more likely, a tribe I haven't heard of or a four letter emperor I haven't heard of? Then there was EAMES/UMAMI. I've only ever seen UMAMI in the NYTX, and I'm not up on my chair designers, so that M was a guess. Ofer.

After a little late night discussion of the Boston Tea Party it was interesting to see that old smuggler Sam Adams appear in a clue.

TESLA, SCORSESE, and HEGEL practically on top of each other. I got HEGEL off "dialectical." I never noticed "idealism," which would have slowed me down. I will take solace in getting these three easily, and will have to put the chair designer in the filing cabinet for future use.

Loren Muse Smith 7:05 AM  

Easy for me. Like @jae, I considered “afro” before UPDO. LOL and “hah” have three letters.

ADVISE right next to HEED - I AM impressed. MANE crossing ENVY. . . THINK lions have MANE ENVY?

NEW DELHI – Like the Dahli/Dhali/Dalhi Lhama/Lamah. . .I never know where to put the h!

I liked ITHO crossing HOPI – it’s well known that ITHO’s style of rule was adopted by early HOPI tribes, and if you believe that, you don’t realize that I JOKE ALLOT. It was in fact HEGEL’s beliefs that they adopted.

Yeah, I felt bad for Josh with REECHO, but two things redeem it: it just plain looks funny and it’s so over-the-top redundant. I revisited it again and again. ;-)

My husband is on a health kick and insists on SPELT bread.

I liked the theme – I really enjoy the add-a-letter ones (I ran GROUND CHUCKLE and WHAT THE HECKLE by Andrea, and we kickled it around for a while.)

Wouldn’t it be fun to do one adorning only crosswordese? PLUMPED a game, sea PLOTTER, PLURAL mountains, PLANTS in your pants. . .

Thanks, Josh. OLE!

Milford 7:08 AM  

I didn't have the annoyance of the puzzle not being available (I use the iPod Magmic app), so maybe that made me less cranky, because I actually enjoyed the theme entries. PLACE OF DIAMONDS was the least amusing for me, but I really like the idea of PLACID RAIN.

Yes, SPELT would have been better if clued as the grain. Reminds me of curst awhile back.

I was oh-so-sure of 28D being Nero, not just because it's four letters, but because I really looked at the date and thought that looked correct for Nero. Ugh. One year off. OTHO? Emperor for 3 lousy months? If it had been clued as "decorator in 'Beetlejuice' " I would have gotten it.

I liked some other names: SCORSESE, EAMES, TESLA, HEGEL. A nice mix of knowledge there.

Loren Muse Smith 7:12 AM  

Oops - typo - OTHO

Milford 7:26 AM  

@lms - I agree that REECHO is redundant. Even after looking up the definition I still think it's the same thing as plain echo. And it makes me want to say "reecho suave" :)

Reminds me how my h.s. Latin teacher told us that "reiterate" is (ironically) redundant- re=again, iter=again.

r.alphbunker 7:32 AM  

This puzzle revealed a major gap in my knowledge of economics. I had never heard of GDP. That combined with not being up on the current? slang for "excellent" caused me to finish with GnP/nObE (as in nobel). The incorrect b was from AbU which I had changed from APU because there already was a NOPE in the puzzle.

I am not confident about how to use dope to mean excellent. "That's dope" or "those are a really dope pair of shoes" seems safe. But I don't think it should be used as a comment when grading a student essay ("dope!").

How about PLAN D clued as {Medicare prescription drug benefit or a hint to the theme of this puzzle} But perhaps that would be too many drug references for a NYT puzzle.

John V 7:57 AM  

Wrote in SHIRTS before getting the theme so ended with that one, one letter error. OTHO? Hmmmm.

Google says 22a [as written] works for SIC, which I've always understood as, "That is to say."

Wrote in AFRO for 67A initially.

HEGEL just happened with the crosses; never noticed him. Sorry, dude.

Pretty easy, fun Tuesday.

OT, but what the heck: Picked up a collection of Maleska era puzzles, billed as "Easy". Pretty sure I would have solved all of them over the years, BUT: "Scottish novelist, 1779-1839" in an EASY puzzle? Really? (Extra credit for anyone knowing this one.) BTW, the instant puzzle was constructed by Maleska himself. Has Will ever run a Will Shortz puzzle?

Z 8:04 AM  

@John V - any time I've used SIC my definition has been, "I know how to write - it's the source that's the idiot."

jackj 8:31 AM  

The CAPYBARA kid of 10 days ago comes back to us with a snappy early week offering of “PLay it again, Josh” and announces, “Game on!”, as the obvious seed entry, PL EATMYSHORTS, echoes (REECHO(es)? off young Bart Simpson.

In addition to the clever theme, Josh treats us to some sprightly fill, from PIPES and UMAMI to HEGEL, EAMES and TISCH with two longer entries of note, ONCEAGAIN and SLEEPWEAR , (though the latter word is probably only ever seen on Department Store directory signs, not used by real people).

It was fun seeing Martin SCORSESE in the puzzle. He has been all over the TV recently as he does a star turn for a most enjoyable Apple IPhone 4S commercial, chatting with his charming droid personal assistant, Siri, as he wends his way downtown in a Manhattan taxi cab, learning from Siri that traffic is terrible and that she’s “not allowed to be frivolous” among other bits of banter and instruction, until Marty succumbs to Siri’s charms and tells the delighted P.A., “Siri, you’re going places.” (In addition to their skills in developing all kinds of clever gizmos, once again Apple shows they have mastered the ability to market them, as well).

Nice puzzle from Josh; “it would SEEMTO me” that he has a future churning out these crossword goodies for our solving pleasure.

joho 8:37 AM  

@chefwen, I did the same thing! Solved the Paula Gamache puzzle late last night never noticing it was two years old! I just picked up today's puzzle at Cruciverb.

jberg 8:41 AM  

The puzzle delivered to my front porch was the correct one, fortunatly!

I did like PLUNDER THE SEA, as well as PLEAT MY SHORTS and the cute PLACID RAIN - maybe because the local fishing industry screams and wails whenever it's pointed out that if they catch all the fish today, there won't be any tomorrow. Not to be unsympathetic - they've been swindled into investing scads of money in expensive gear and boats that now they can't use - but we do need a reminder that overfishing really is PLUNDER.

OK, off the soapbox - and back from two non-puzzle days watching my wife's cousin do his first Iron Man up in Quebec. This one was fun; I thought OTHO was a nice misdirection, since once we had the T we were bound to think OTtO, even though the date was wrong. I also had DIrt before DISH, REvErb before REECHO, and AhH before AAH, but it was still quick and easy.

And I learned something! Up till now, I thought UMAMI meant the sauce made of fermented plums that you get in Japan.

efrex 8:59 AM  

Like others, had trouble with the OTHO/HOPI crossing, but otherwise was very pleased. Thought PLEATMYSHORTS was LOL-funny, and the others were more than adequate. Very enjoyable Tuesday puzzle. Thanks, Mr. Knapp!

Lewis 9:19 AM  

For the longest time I saw REECHO as a two syllable word REECH-O. Though I learned a new word. Even planned to use it today a few times. Then I saw the light (heard the sound?).

Talk about the NYT crossword website and their repeated incompetence, I know I'm the only one who ever mentions this, but have you noticed that Patrick Berry's meta week answers from LAST OCTOBER is STILL on the puzzle page? I will be quiet about this unless it is still there a year later. Then I'll be up for a celebration of some sort!

Lewis 9:21 AM  

oops, "thought" instead of "though"

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

5A David Bowie's rock genre, informally - GLAM. Is glam really "informal?" I thought it was just what the genre was called. I get that it's short for glamour or something, but nobody really says "glamour rock" do they?

mac 9:34 AM  

Fun and easy Tuesday. Pleat my shorts is hilareous, but they could have had a little more fun with the clue for Plus Weekly!

I needed all the crosses for "dope" as well, hadn't heard it before.

Poor Siri. I so often have to tell her: I don't need you! when she shows up uninvited.

Eric NC 9:37 AM  

@Rex Same thing happened to me yesterday. Didn't realize it was an old puzzle until I came here and your write up bore no resemblance whatsoever to my answers.

Same thing today, same old puzzle came up but this time I was ready and checked the date.

orangeblossomspecial 9:38 AM  

44A Nikola TESLA was a colleague of George Westinghouse in the battle against Thomas Edison about which electricity delivery system - AC or DC - was best. Edison won the battle in the US, but Westinghouse/Tesla won in Europe, which is why we must carry adapters and transformers when we travel. A physicist can correct me on the details.

The Pajama Game had a cute song about 20A STEAM heat.

chefbea 10:04 AM  

Difficult for a Tues. Had to google a bit.

I know someone who will love the clue for 6 down.

This chef bee has used spelt many times!!!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:10 AM  

@mac - Seeing the reference to PLUS WEEKLY reminded me of something I have commented upon once before:

I remember well deducing that there really were magazines of narrow interest when, almost 50 years ago, I was aimlessly browsing in the stacks of a library at MIT and came across The Journal of Quadratic Equations!

That was true, but now googling brings up not the journal, but my own comment.

quilter1 10:18 AM  

Shirts before SHORTS and dirt before DISH but otherwise smooth sailing. I liked all the theme answers. PLEAT MY SHORTS reminded me of when I threatened to iron starched inverted pleats into my husband's shorts when I was miffed.

Norm 10:30 AM  

Didn't realize I'd already solved the old puzzle until I went to save it and was asked if I wanted to overwrite the file. Huh? Had to log out and in again to get today's puzzle.

Carola 10:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JFC 10:36 AM  

Rex said: "Anyway, my eye caught the Aug. 3, 2010 date, and then I started breaking things and yelling, then I publicly berated the NYT crossword website folks for their *repeated* incompetence, then I did the Real puzzle, which is also kind of forgettable but at least solid."

Some people will think you are joking....


Carola 10:36 AM  

LOL for PLEAT MY SHORTS, also liked the PLACID RAIN.

I really understood UMAMI only after I became allergic to tomatoes and it went missing from favorite dishes that call for some canned tomatoes or a little tomato paste. Not easy to find a substitute. Roasted red peppers and mushrooms are a start, also recently followed an online tip about nutritional yeast flakes and was surprised at the savory richness they added.
About Siri - on a road trip I asked her for the location of a site near Effingham, IL. She told me I could find "effing ham" in three restaurants in Springfield, IL.

I SEEM TO becoming ever more robot-like, as it's taking me longer and longer to get the captchas

10:35 AM

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

@orangeblossom... TESLA won the AC/DC war, or rather AC won the war, but that's not the difference between US & Europe. They're both AC, just at different standard voltages and frequencies.

In actuality, the war should be resumed, and DC should take an equal part. Look around your house, how many things do you have plugged in that are really, or should be, AC? All your lights should be LEDs, a DC technology. Every piece of electronics you own is DC. With the exception of major appliances drawing high current, everything is essentially DC. If we had dual power supplies, both AC & DC, we could eliminate the need for rectifiers in approximately of our powered appliances. LED lamps would cost $5 rather than $25. Solar power would become viable at home.

Sparky 10:52 AM  

A bit tough at first but then got in the groove. Once I figured the PL moved right along. Afro before UPDO, otoe/HOPI, hear/HEED. 15A nOPE first but 29D fixed that. Then a Natick because never heard DOPE spoken. Used Evan's rule to fix it. Didn't we just have ONYX?

Nice start to the day. Thanks Joe Knapp. I am trying to stop printing out at night. I pay for the paper so might as well use it. So this A.M. that worked out well although I probably would have enjoyed the 2010 puzzle.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

Overheard in 50 Shades of Grey:
"PLease my pain!!"

chefbea 10:57 AM  

@Carola have been to Effingham many times. On the way to St. Louis.

dk 10:57 AM  

A snoozer except for the SHORTS fill for which I REECHO the praise.

☔☔ (2 PLACIDRAIN umbrellas)

Pop 11:24 AM  

Am I the only one who has no reason to know that GLAM is a rock genre, informal or otherwise, and that DOPE means "excellent" in modern slang? Neither answer can be arrived at intuitively and unless one has a reason to know that APU is the improbable name of a character on the Simpsons, the GLAM/DOPE stack can't be solved with crosses.

Mr.Nahasapeemapetilon 11:34 AM  

@Pop -- I've been a staple of crossword puzzles for over a decade. Perhaps you need a new hobby.

joho 11:40 AM  

Everything's been said. I'll chime in to say I really liked this easy, breezy puzzle by Josh. PLEATMYSHORTS!

John V 11:43 AM  

@Pop: I disagree that the GLAM/DOPE stack cannot be solved with crosses. GDP and LOL are plainly in the language as is MESSY. PLUSWEEKLY is gettable from the theme, leaving just the A and P of APU and GLAM. This 60 something thinks that's a fair proposition. APU has appeared 42 times in the Times puzzle and 140 times in all -- including twice in the Wall Street Journal. DOPE is a little more iffy, having been used just once as clued a few months back in the Times. But DOPE falls into place with APU and LOL, so that seems fair enough.

And, FWIW, I cannot name a single David Bowie song, nor have I ever watched the Simpsons. Just learned this stuff -- like most of my pop culture knowledge -- from the NYT puzzle.

r.alphbunker 11:46 AM  

Anonymous @10:38AM

Great post. Wouldn't it be great if there was a crossword puzzle with the theme of replacing "AC" with "DC". The title of the puzzle could be "Smart energy move" For example, beacon -> beDCon clued as {Bunk thief?}. This will probably be as hard to pull off as the electronics.

Sandy K 11:54 AM  

For me, a medium to easy-PLeasy solve.
Liked the theme all right. Was there a secondary "repeat" or "rePLete" theme going with RERUN, REECHO, ONCEAGAIN and TIVO?

I SPELT SPELT wrong at first, but Mr. TISCH made me go AAH...wasn't sure of UMAMI, but NOPE, IAM not a DOPE today- whew!

IBET ALLOT of USWEEKLY solvers are familiar with the PLethora of popes...and wait for the cross to see if its OTTO, or OTHO, or LEOX. (SEEM TOooo religious?)

DBGeezer 12:02 PM  

What's with the New York Times? Last night I resolved the two year old puzzle. I hoped they would have fixed it by this morning, but no, it's still the old puzzle. And they charge me for this.
Any ideas on how to complain or get them to fix this problem?

Ben 12:03 PM  

"Luke, I am your father" is not a quote from the Star Wars movies. In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader and Luke have the following exchange:

Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough. He told me you killed him.
Vader: No, I am your father.

If the majority of people misquote a movie, does that make it acceptable for the New York Times crossword to join in on the error? If the puzzle is opting to go that route, shouldn't it be noted in the clue that it's misquoted?

Shame on you, puzzle. Don't butcher the classics.

joho 12:14 PM  

@John V ... how about "Changes." I'll bet you know that one. Or, "Space Oddity" with "Ground Control to Major Tom ..." Or maybe "Let's Dance."

GILL I. 12:34 PM  

@Loren: PLEDGING the flower bed?
Having DIRT at 1A drove me nuts. When I got DISH, for the life of my I couldn't parse that word into gossip. Is DOPE like phat? And why do I always have trouble with EBOLA? I can never remember if it's ecoli or eboli or enola.
Fun, different Tuesday that took much longer than usual. I would certainly like to see smore.

John V 12:40 PM  

@joho: I do recognize, "Changes" and Ground Control ....". Did not know that these were David Bowie.

paul 12:53 PM  

great theme, but i had a natick at the crossing of EAMES and UMAMI. in retrospect, i've halfway heard of EAMES but have no clue about UMAMI.

syndy 1:10 PM  

Malapopped the NOPE early and said AhH at first,also SPELT SCORcESE .It had a little more traction than the usual tuesday but I didn't do the puzzle until this morning and didn't spin my wheels on the older model.

ANON B 1:36 PM  

I could live without
Never heard of those.

This puzzle seemed more like a Thursday to an old guy like me.

ANON B 1:37 PM  

I could live without
Never heard of those.

This puzzle seemed more like a Thursday to an old guy like me.

Bird 1:38 PM  

Liked the theme (got it at PLACID RAIN), but alas DNF with UMA*I crossing EA*ES (any number of letters made sense, but I picked the wrong one) and even had one error after I changed OTHO to OTTO (knew HOPI, but figured OTTO made more sense than OTHO).


Did not like REECHO (it’s like recirculate and reiterate – the “re” is redundant). Had REVERB until I got SIC and HOT (but took 2 aspirin and felt better . . . badum-ching).

@Rex - I guess there were no Popes named Bob or Tom?

@Carola – there’s a beer aficionado's heaven in Bellmore, NY called Effin Gruvin’.

Pop 2:13 PM  

John V @11:43
Thanks for your comment on my post. I don't think the solution to a puzzle should depend upon one's familiarity with the NYT usage of obscure words or names. Otherwise, puzzle solving becomes an exercise in retrieving bits of esoterica. I've never constructed a puzzle so I don't know if the use of DOPE as a response to the clue of "excellent" is a necessary tool. In this puzzle it seems to be a showy effort to appear into a very obscure piece of slang which is likely to disappear from usage before very long.

Regards, Pop

Mom 2:22 PM  

@Pop - 1) 42 times in the NYT XWord is NOT obscure. 2) Mondays and Tuesdays are good easy puzzles for beginners to get their feet wet. 3) After a while the obscure become familiar.

Tthe CAPTCHAS on the other hand can be a bear any day of the week. Needed to reload 8x before I would attempt to prove I'm not a robot. Jeez.

Acme 3:25 PM  

I feel for you, because sometimes I feel by the time the NYT lets constructors use contemp slang in an early week puzzle it usually already is passe... I cite the DORAG/DAWG cross of last week.

Tricky balance, they are trying to appeal to a younger hipper demographic, but are balancing it with wanting us to give the puzzle a longer shelf life so they can keep repackaging the puzzles into books, etc. so it always seems (to me) a slight step off...
and yet I welcome any attempt at getting away with "fresher" clues in the earlier week puzzles which can be limited in the ways in which you can clue.

But for the APU, OTT, DRE glue words, those are only esoterica depending on the individual, and are a necessity for getting the longer more interesting themes, so I wouldn't fight them. That said...

your argument for DOPE/APU/LOL doesn't quite hold up there... It could totally be super hard generationally unless you were a daily solver... Obviously population of Rexville is not representative of average solver!)

However, I am relieved you do know Bowie after all! Youtube "Let's Dance" and I bet you could add that to your list!

chefwen 3:26 PM  

@joho - Got the right puzzle, thanks for showing me the way. Where's your cute little doggy?

Really liked this one, had the same faves as everyone also.

@pop - You have to watch dancing and singing judges to hear "that was DOPE man"

Like @syndy spelled SCORcESE fixing the C to an S was my only write over. Of course reading the top line of Rex's write up last night, trying to figure out why it was so different from what I had got me off to a flying start.

Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon 4:37 PM  

@pop & Acme - Obscure?? Esoteria?? Try ubiquitous! I happend to be on the longest running show on television. Our audience is multigenerational. You could turn on your set right now and probably find a rerun. I am not known solely because of the NYT. YMA Sumac, however, ...

Really, Really Mean Guy 4:52 PM  

@Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon - So sad. Yes, you're on the show. Barely. You're just a bit player. You're insignificant. You're not even as well known as the dog, Itchy or Scratch or Barfy or whatever his name is. No, Barfy is famously from that cartoon that's famously not funny. You're not even famously not funny, you're simply not funny.

Ginger Amelia perry 6:07 PM  

Difficult for a Tuesday. DNF by a long shot.

Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon 7:35 PM  

@ Mean Guy - I'm much too polite to respond to your crass attack. The dog you are trying to remember is Santa's Little Helper.

Unknown 7:58 PM  

Gotta say the fav clue was by far Tesla and Westinghouse, as an ex GE guy it is fun to see DC current coming back into play, let alone mentioned in a crossword...

Rex Parker 8:40 PM  

Apu wins.


fergus 10:29 PM  

Troubled sleep last night had me reading Suetonious at 4am , so OTHO was a welcome puzzle gift. Not especially fond of Robert Graves as an original writer, but as a translator of the classics, he's excellent.

Really Really Mean Guy 10:49 PM  

@Rex - With all due respect, I reject your assessment out of hand, as

1) You're biased towards all things Simpson, an
2) You've shown, time and time again, your preference for fake cartoon characters over fake humans.

You really should have recused yourself from this discussion.

child puzzle 2:08 PM  

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Pedro M. 9:16 AM  

As I once famously asked, "Who's umami?" (Or was it "Daddy"?)

Ginger 1:46 PM  

DNF because I have 2 NOPEs. Knew one was wrong, but couldn't find it. GrossNationalProduct seems to be common knowlege, and so Domestic just didn't occur to me.

About re-iterate, re-echo, etc usage. When I hear someone say re-occur my ears cringe and I want to yell 'it's RECUR!'.

As has been said, lots of fun stuff today. Thanks Josh

Spacecraft 1:50 PM  

Wait a minute...what day is today? TUESDAY? With OTHO and (OMG!) UMAMI?? Sheesh, UMAMI should marry UOMO and beget Anne UUmelmehay!

I started out on the wrong foot, filling in the NW with DIRT, ABLE and BEER. Then I looked vertically and saw RLE... and TER.... Later I was ABLE to correct to DISH, but look at that clue: Gossip. 999 solvers out of a thousand are going to write in DIRT without an inkling that it might be wrong. But how in the WORLD do you make the leap from gossip to DISH? You can't. You'd have to have a bridge or a helicopter. Not even a kangaroo can jump THAT far.

On to further troubles. Naturally, I put in GNP for 5d. I bet a lot of you did too. Then we come to 15a: NOPE---but wait! NOPE is already in the grid! That's like a commandment stored in the crossword ark: you just can't DO that! Besides, NOPE didn't make sense at 15a. Oh, okay, our product isn't national, it's domestic. The former just seems to always occur first in my mind.

Finally, I took counsel for a noun (ADVIcE) instead of a verb. So I had EA_EC as the furniture guy's name. That didn't feel right, so I changed the C to an S. Hmmm. EAMES? I think I saw that once before, I'll try it. Wish someone would clue it as Goren's partner.

UPDO and HEGEL didn't make this any easier. Medium-challenging for me--on a Tuesday! Yeah, PLEATMYSHORTS is almost worth the price of admission, but ONCEAGAIN: what a God-awful clue for 1a!

Solving in Seattle 3:00 PM  

This puzzle was the DOPE. And, I see that TISCH REECHOed (was that correctly SPELT?) again. Wasn't he in Sunday's puz? Is this National Laurence Tisch Recognition Week?

If I continue to be a CW solver I'm going to have to start watching "The Simpsons" and listening to Rap.

Anyway, I liked the twist that Josh Knapp put in the PuzzLe, especially PLACIDRAIN.

ADVISE and HEED next to each other was cute.

GO SEAHAWKS! Sorry Cheeseheads.

Dirigonzo 3:23 PM  

Geez, I don't even have any original mistakes to write about, even though I did make just about all of the ones that everyone else has mentioned. And unlike, @Spacecraft, I never changed ADVIcE and didn't know UMAMI, so EAMES remained invisible and I DNF. Did anybody else try bOss before DOPE? - I guess my idea of "modern" slang is more than a little out of date.

DMGrandma 4:16 PM  

Got caught with nObE at 15A, and had no inkling it was wrong. Just too many clues from areas out of my experience.

@Spacecraft. I started with DIrt, as well. However, when the crosses started sayin "no way", I realized the clue was a verb, not a noun. It's a common crossword ploy. I got caught last week with something a drawer holds, interpreting drawer as furniture, not someone drawing. At least nobody complained about the center of gravity today,so I guess we're all learning!

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