French wave / SUN 12-2-12 / Small rented farms in Britain / Woodcutter of legend / 1957 #1 R&B hit for Chuck Willis / Nuuanu Pali Lookout locale / 11th century king of Denmark / Belarus neighbor

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Constructor: Steven E. Atwood

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Lo and Behold" — "LO" is added to familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: Clive BARNES (11D: Critic Clive) —
Clive Alexander Barnes CBE (May 13, 1927 – November 19, 2008) was a British-born American writer and critic. From 1965 to 1977 he was the dance and theater critic for the New York Times, the most powerful position he had held, since its theater critics' reviews historically have had great influence on the success or failure of Broadway productions. (wikipedia)
• • •

A simple theme that yields pretty decent results. Lots of white space meant lots of 7+-letter answers meant a Sunday puzzle that felt a little tougher than usual. Some of the LO-answers were easy to come up with (e.g. LOIN JOKE), others took some effort (e.g. GLOAMING TABLE). A puzzle with some teeth that is mostly clean in terms of fill—that's enough to make me happy most Sundays, including today.

Only a few unappealing areas. Don't like A BUST and A PEST, especially so close to each other. The SE corner, with its IDAS / DSCS / SYNS mash-up, is awfully ugly. AS FAR / AME / SHAR isn't much better. I'm surprised at the foreign words required today—neither PUER not ONDE (31A: French wave) strikes me as something your average, or even your reasonably well-educated, solver would/should know (I knew both, but I also have a Ph.D. in medieval literature, so I oughta know both). Otherwise, I got nothing to fault this puzzle for. Had trouble putting together longer stuff like FOLK HERO and LIVORNO (42A: Italian port on the Tyrrhenian Sea) early on. Had no idea ALI BABA cut wood (20A: Woodcutter of legend). Was sure that the "Facebook" part of the clue at 5A: A pop group might have one on Facebook indicated something internet-specific, namely FAN PAGE. Later, FAN SITE. But no ... it's just a FAN CLUB. Don't like the disingenuousness of that clue, then, I guess, but again, that's a pretty minor quibble. None of the theme answers really tickled my funny bone except LOIN JOKE, though I do like the idea of FLOAT TUESDAY. I would participate in that particular celebration, with pleasure.

Just a few missteps and struggles. At first, I thought 1D: Loan figs. (PCTS) were APRS (?) and, as a result, that 19A: Head of a family (CAPO) was PAPA. Never heard of the place in the clue for OAHU, but it seemed Hawaiian, and in four letters, it's almost always gonna be OAHU or MAUI  ... maybe HILO. LATVIA (9D: Belarus neighbor) was hard to see because of my FAN PAGE and FAN SITE errors. "C.C. RIDER" is always a tricky one to uncover (14D: 1957 #1 R&B hit for Chuck Willis). Maybe I should remember to associate it with this Chuck Willis guy I've never heard of. Needed almost every letter to get AKRON, which is just embarrassing. Less embarrassing is not being able to come up with CROFTS (95D: Small rented farms, in Britain). Not a lot of small rented British farms around these parts.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Consideration in choosing a deli? (THE LOX FACTOR)
  • 28A: Part of a butcher's stand-up routine? (LOIN JOKE)
  • 35A: Laundry basket of just colors or just whites? (CLASSIFIED LOAD) — I don't think I quite get the "classified" here. [Top secret] would've hit the "classified" part more clearly (and entertainingly)
  • 46A: Wise lawmaker most likely to be re-elected? (FAVORITE SOLON)
  • 61A: Artistic expression on the slopes? (SLALOM DANCING)
  • 67A: Causing Election delays? (SLOWING VOTERS)
  • 84A: Chart indicating the progression of darkness after sunset? (GLOAMING TABLE)
  • 93A: Power in Hollywood? (DIRECTOR'S CLOUT)
  • 103A: Paintball weapons? (BLOB GUNS)
  • 113A: When there might be a two-for-one special on ice cream drinks? (FLOAT TUESDAY)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:42 AM  

NaES instead of NOES gave me LIVORNa and did me in. Grrr.

Finally got to OHS / MARI / RAVINGS in center-right.

Coming up with ALI BABA finally fixed the FANpage section, which was the last to go.

Had SUCKLEt for SUCKLER for a long time.

jae 1:37 AM  

A solid medium-tough Sun. for me, but not very amusing or zippy.   Not a slog but not really memorable.


Erasure: inTS for PCTS and boXED for FAXED.  I thought maybe they came by and boxed it up for you.

Only reason to pay attention to current events: LANI (who almost was an AAG under Clinton) and maybe SANA which should end in 2 As.

chefwen 2:03 AM  

Tried to download it with the NYT's format and was cut off at 74D. Husband worked his magic and got the whole puzzle to print out but the clues and the squares were so small it would have taken superman to read it. Gave up and turned to the Badger/Nebraska game and had so much fun watching that I forgot about the puzzle. A first for me. Go Bucky!

Hopeful they get their s#%& together by tomorrow. Would like to solve a puzzle without this nonsense. Otherwise, I want a refund.

Anonymous 2:58 AM  

Fourteen proper names (including Olive OYL) seems excessive - almost 10% of the answers.

How is Ali Baba a woodcutter?

Loved the theme though: Favorite Solon made me laugh.

Brian B 4:52 AM  

I saw "Hollywood" in one of the theme clues and was hoping for CLOONEY ISLAND but came away disappointed.

Doris 5:24 AM  

Most New Yorkers would love the LOXFACTOR, which is particularly appropriate today, since the fabled Stage Deli has just announced that it's closing, O tempora, o mores!

Anonymous 6:02 AM  

I haven't been able to open/download any puzzles from the NYTime site since yesterday afternoon. I've tried Firefox and Safari and have had no luck.
I've never had this kind of problem before.
I pay them money so I can wake up Sunday and do my puzzle :(

Anonymous 6:07 AM  

now it will let me play online, but when i try to download for across lite, it just says, "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable". And it's been like that for a couple of days.
Sorry, I know this isn't a tech support site, I'm just hoping someone here has had and solved the same problem.

Anonymous 6:58 AM  

@Anonymous2 Yes I have the same problem, in 4 different browsers x 4 different machines x 3 different internet connections.

laura 7:11 AM  

caliente in spanish refers only to temperature, not spicyness. "Hot" would be picante.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:16 AM  

Decent Sunday. Must have been easy, since I had only a below-average four write-overs: 1 D, APRS before PCTS; 27 A, VON before VAN; 62 D, OAT before OHS; and 89 D, POINT AT before POINT UP.

As always, takes a clever mind to come up with these theme answers! Kudos to the constructor.

Glimmerglass 8:15 AM  

My printout had no clue for 6D. Solved without it, but ALFRE meant nothing to me. Now I look at the on-line version and "Actress Woodard" means nothing either. So a clue wouldn't have helped anyway. CLASSIFIED means "sorted into classes" so CLASSIFIED LOADS just means the laundry was sorted. Good Sunday puzzle. The theme ain't much, but I liked the fill.

Nickyboy 8:22 AM  

My nit to pick today was clued twice! "Mr. Monopoly" is not the mascot's name. He is "Rich Uncle Pennybags". Come on! That is basic stuff little kids know.

Smitty 8:57 AM  

This from Wikipedia
"One day Ali Baba is at work collecting and cutting firewood in the forest,.."
Whoda thunk

Thanks @Rex for the FAN CLUB comment. Had to be said....

All in all this was a break from the usual SUnday. Nice job!

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

I hope everyone with an online subscription will call and cancel it. They clearly don't have any interest in fixing their problems. Maybe loss of revenue will wake them up.

Milford 9:30 AM  

Fun puzzle, able to work it to the end without googling, so I'm content. Major logjam was the ALI BABA (who knew? I would have guessed the story took place in a desert) and FAN CLUB area, had FANpage first, like many. FAN CLUB feels dated.

THE LOX FACTOR was my first theme entry, loved it. Also love when my H.S. Latin gives me PUER. It's a word you learn the first day of class, but isn't one that shows up much as a root in English, except puerile, which means childish. So I'm guessing tricky for many.

Grew up in western Michigan, where VAN and VANder names are a dime a dozen. But my first entry was Del.

Never been SLA(LO)M DANCING myself, always avoided the dance floor when that started.

Charley 9:35 AM  

NY Times really need to fix the new widget.

BTW, a Gringo error in the puzzle. Salsa is picante if it's hot. Not caliente (112 across). Caliente refers only to temperature, not spiciness. If you order salsa caliente they will look at you like you're nuts.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

to chefwen - click on the date of the puzzle you will then get a popup. click on download for play on across lite. you will then get the puzzle as before the changes.

Tita 9:50 AM  

Meh theme, though I did love FAVORITE SOLON and FLOATTUESDAY!

NW - ouch - VoN gave me UBOoTS, which seemed perfectly fine. Not knowing any of the 3 actresses clustered there - OLIN? NIA? ALFRE? Boo...
CBs for CBC, and not ever having seen, though heard of, XFACTOR, made for a major DNF there.
SW tough too, not knowing LANI, not wanting to believe BoOBGUNS would cross BCUP, finally made BLOBGUNS seem plausible. (Coulda been any size CUP, after all.

jackj 10:02 AM  

The first theme answer, THELOXFACTOR came easily and clearly showed that the gimmick was to drop the LO and then “behold” the LO-less phrase, (THEXFACTOR in this case), to reveal the straight man in this comic teaming.

But then, moving slightly right in the grid, the constructor rather sloppily clued SEALOFF and ENCLOSES and since neither SEA FF nor ENC SES are relevant theme participants, these wayward LO bits are indeed a sight to “behold” as they needlessly taint the theme. Not a fatal flaw but an irritating one.

Of course, the trick begs for JLO as the puzzle’s star but she’s nowhere to be found and when I Gorskiesquely connected all the LO’s, looking for JLO in a memorable graphic, sadly that didn’t produce an image of the lovely lady.

Some random rantings, hated ONDOPE but liked IMBUE; liked ONAIR and hated CAGER; ATRANDOM was good, BCUP, not so much. All the down entries in the upper right corner combined to give us a Babelian mess with CONJ, USDO, BEOK and ESME looking utterly ridiculous in their grouping.

A clever clue, “Bits and pieces, e.g.: Abbr.” for SYNS (Synonyms) was wasted by its placement as the last down entry in the puzzle and merely acted as the catch basin for the four across endings instead of being a clever misdirect on its own.

The puzzle actually wasn’t all that bad, just ripe for the nit-picking.

Zygotic 10:10 AM  

Nits to pick - Facebook has FAN pages, not FAN CLUBs. An ORANG isn't a "critter." An Eve preceder is an afternoon, not an AFT. Salsa is not CALIENTE it is picante. I don't think of a PIER as a building support.

Points of interest - MME crossing MARI. Thrust used as past tense making HEAVED hard to see. A BUST of a MIDSIZE B CUP. ELKE Sommer, MAUD Adams, ALFRE Woodard (adding SUCKLER at this point would be PUERile, so I won't).

Not Ellen S. 10:17 AM  

For all of you suffering through the "upgrade," this is from ELLEN S yesterday:

One suggestion:
"Just keep retrying the link. I need to click-back-click two or three times before I get the download screen instead of the http 1 error. I don't clear the cache or anything in between."

But I wonder if that was just lucky timing. In the post preceding that one, Deb Anlen said:

Welcome to Wordplay, and I'm sorry you (and others) are having trouble accessing the puzzles. The tech team is aware of the issue and yes, they are working on it. No, no one is on vacation, although I'm sure they wish they were.

If you are having trouble getting a response from general Customer Care (they have been DELUGED with emails and phone calls, and need to respond to queries in the order they receive them), PLEASE try writing to:

That is the help desk that has been specifically set up for crosswords issues. And please be patient. No one is being ignored, but they get a huge amount of traffic and have a very small staff that deals with the issues. If you don't hear from them in 48 hours, write again or call:
(800) 591-9233

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

I appreciate the input from Ellen S., but none of the suggestions work for me or hordes of others. I have a tough time believing they are "working on it", and haven't cleared up the problem in 4 days. Screwed up redirects and http/1.1 errors are very basic issues.

I and others have received an e-mail saying NYT can't reproduce the problem, try refreshing the web page. That shows an absolute lack of interest and effort.

John V 10:38 AM  

Fun, medium. Unlike @Rex, LOINJOKE was the last to fall; crossing with CONJ was tough. Nice to see our friend, letter J show up from time to time.

oldActor 10:53 AM  

to Z

My house is built on a pier and beam foundation.

MaryBR 11:01 AM  

Glad to see by the time I got here many others had pointed out the picante/caliente error, which got me caliente under the collar.

I was done in by a number of annoying, minor errors: VoN for VAN (a silly error, was parsing the clue as mine layers instead of minelayers so thought it was just some mining term I'd never heard of), NaES for NOES (never heard of the Italian city so this was a Natick for me), and gCUP for BCUP ( somehow gLOB GUN seemed feasible, should have done my alphabet run since earlier in the alphabet is better for this clue!)

Overall impression: meh

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

It's hard to believe that the NYT or anyone involved with the crosswords is taking their 'upgrade' problems seriously. Where the f... is Shortz? A number of issues that have been raised could be fixed immediately, but they clearly have their own priorities and controlling the method of distribution and access is clearly very high on the list.

My subscription will be allowed to lapse. There are too many excellent crosswords available from other sources to put up with (reward) this.

When Jobs told us that we were 'holding our phones wrong' instead of admitting to design flaws, that was the last straw and I abandoned the iPhone and upgraded to the Galaxy series. Missed the iPhone for about a week.

No-Loam D. Elkies 11:06 AM  

Besides "puerile", there's some Latin or partly-Latin carol texts with "92A:PUER natus" (a child is born). Also, from Carmina Burana, "Si puer cum puellula" [diminutive of puella (girl)]; that text continues "...moraretur in cellula [tarry in a little room], Felix conjunctio!" [no translation needed, but cf. 28A:LOIN_JOKE].


mac 11:12 AM  

This one was completely in my wheelhouse, took less time had was more fun than most Sunday puzzles.

Write-overs were ashen for waxen, and van for von!!

Isn't it possible to have a salsa caliente, such as mole, or verde (such as the one I make with pork), both of which are served warm?

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

This one just wasn't a fun fill for me... And a major problem with 112a. Salsa specification. CALIENTE refers to the temperature of an item and is not cognate with PICANTE (spicy). Salsa caliente is therefore possible but gross, and ordering it will probably get you laughed at. Really surprised to see a mistake like this in a Sunday.

chefbea 11:22 AM  

Pretty easy puzzle!!

I too had trouble with down loading today. I had to sign in to my NYT account in order to print it out.

Carola 11:37 AM  

I'm with Rex on this one - found it tough for a Sunday, in a good way, had about the same solving experience. The incorrect aprS at 1D had me wanting "rye" something-or-other for the deli consideration and that slowed me down for a while.

Couldn't care less about THE LOX FACTOR, but count me in for FLOAT TUESDAYS! Liked the OLDE-time feel of GLOAMING and CROFTS. Also fun to encounter SOLON and CAGER as words learned long long ago from my crossword-loving Dad.

@jackj - LOL at looking for the JLO outline.

@chefwen - Yes, how about those Badgers! Amazing.

jberg 11:55 AM  

Little new to say - FAN CLUB held me up, as I was sure page must be right; ALI BABA not so much, though it surprised me. When you think about it, he came upon the thieves' cave, right? So he was up in the mountains, not out in the desert. Still fairly obscure.

Didn't mind PUER and ONDE. It's true I have a PhD, too, but I learned both of those words in high school. And I guess "critter" means to call Mr. Orangutan (who seldom wears a TOP HAT) by his informal name.

My favorite theme entry was THE LOX FACTOR. Never heard of LOIN JOKE, though I can imagine it easily enough. The theme really sped the solving on this one.

Z 12:04 PM  

@oldactor - That may be but Piers and Piers seem to validate my nitpick.

GILL I. 12:07 PM  

Fun puzzle - perfect for this dreary, rainy day. BUT dang, ALIDABU did me in because my Clive was BURNES. Besides, I like my name better - sort of sounds flinstonesque
I too, had a big ? next to CALIENTE...Maybe Salsa CALIENTE is supposed to mean dirty dancing?
My first LO AND BEHOLD was LOIN JOKE and then it was off to the races.
I downloaded with Firefox then downloaded the PDF. It took several tries but I got it....

Mr. Benson 12:10 PM  

I found this to be a real slog and lost interest after a while. I didn't finish the "Montana" portion of the grid because of my certainty about FANPAGE at 5A. And frankly I didn't care enough to stick with it, so I just accepted the DNF and came here for the answers in that part. (I did finish the rest.)

Sandy K 12:24 PM  

Had a pretty enjoyable solving experience altho a bit SLOW.

Had FAN page for a while, but I had seen some TV movie where ALI BABA was a woodcutter- overhears thieves saying "Open Sesame"...that got me CBC and BARNES> FAN CLUB.

Was held up by SLALOM DuNkING for too long til I HEAVED some CDS.

And VoN instead of VAN, but U BOOTS didn't look so CALIENTE so the LOIN JOKE was almost on me...Whew!

FAVORITE answer- THE LOX FACTOR! Perfect for a Sunday morning- with bagel or bialy...

syndy 12:30 PM  

Once again took multiple tries but once again it finally downloaded( I solve online)Multiple problems with this as has been hashed already.Insuffient "wackiness" to make up for it.Kinda sad when LOIN JOKE is the best of the bunch!Actually the fill has some good moments but where it's bad it's a real SUCKLing PIG!

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

There are so many things wrong with the new format at NYT. Can't save, keep losing it, can't download in Across Lite, can't easily switch between across/down clues etc. etc. It ruined my Sunday puzzle.

Sparky 1:05 PM  

DNF. Holes in NE and MidE. Sort of a slog, not in my wheelhouse though I got ALIBABA from the I_ABA. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Happy Sunday.

It's my birthday. I am as old as the hills.

chefbea 1:19 PM  

Happy b-day Sparky!!! I must be part of your fan club cuz I wished you HB on Facebook!!!

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

Did you actually read your second pier reference. Says building support in the first sentence.


Davis 1:21 PM  

No love for today's puzzle from me. At some point I just started getting irritated with the proper name game happening here: ELKE (crossing LEW, which was guessable but novel)? ALFRE? MAUD Adams? Clive BARNES? I gave up and Googled those last three. I guessed correctly on ANTONIO, and got LIVORNO, SANA, and CC RIDER (the D was a pure guess) on crosses, but those all meant nothing to me. Honestly, there was way too much guessing, and way too much reliance on names for my taste.

And ONDE. Ugh. I took French for four years and never encountered that word. At least PUER was a Latin 101 word.

For me, the theme just doesn't make up for the slog of having to guess random names all across the grid.

Loren Muse Smith 1:23 PM  

I got a kick out of all the pairs today:
Two legendary woodcutters, Paul Bunyan and ALI BABA (right, who knew?)
the TOP HAT and CANE accessories
as @Z pointed out, the MME/MARI cross

And after I finished, ADAM ANT miraculously appears in the grid!

@Gill I.P. Good save on the CALIENTE Salsa dance. I regret to report that that my Salsa is merely perfunctory.

I started in the SE and finished in the NW. So my, um, “aLOha” moment was OAHU/CAPO.

Nice fun, Mr. Atwood.

Now to LIE LOW at the club – we’re doing a ‘tea” for 160 children. There’s a poor soul walking around in a Gingerbread Man suit, and kids are shrieking because it’s kind of a creepy suit. Good times.

joho 1:34 PM  

Hey, @Sparky, Happy Birthday!

When I could't get the puzzle AGAIN I got dressed and drove to the nearest supermarket to get the actual paper. Cost me a big chunk of my already paid NYT subscription but at least I got to lounge around in my bed watching news shows and enjoying my coffee and puzzle.

Oddly my last theme answer to get was THELOXFACTOR and it ended up being my favorite.

My only nit is with DIRECTORSCLOUT in place I was sure UNDERCUT would be UNDERbid or something else without the CUT. Minor quibble.

Stepson Bryan used to do a lot of paintballing (yikes that doesn't sound right!) but I've never heard the term BLOBGUNS. Makes sense, though, but BruiseGUNS might be more accurate.

I am happy I got to have my Sunday morning puzzle experience and am hoping that next Sunday I won't have to drive to get the paper!

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

I was also frustrated by the tech problems with this particular Sunday. I persisted because I have to have my puzzle Saturday night and eventually made do, but today and yesterday I've also had trouble with 3 other websites that are usually OK. Two happen to be on the East Coast I know nothing about IT, but I do wonder if the problem isn't a bigger one caused by the storm or other problems?

Sandy K 2:06 PM  


Happy Birthday!

Always enjoy reading your comments-for the wealth of
Sparky-ling expessions! : )

Sandy K 2:10 PM  

Make that
Sparky-ling expressions!

paulsfo 2:32 PM  

I download the Across Lite versions (on Saturdays) and that has always worked for me, first try. Maybe I've been lucky.

I thought HPS was particularly weak but otherwise it was fine, though I agree it was not memorable.

Tita 3:04 PM  

Happy Birthday @Sparky!!!!!

@Loren - aLOha moment - you're an unqualified genius!

@Anon@1:48 - you are too generous to give the folks at the NYT the benefit of the doubt...
No, there is no chance at all that this is related to Sandy's damage to infrastructure.
It is due to poor design and careless testing, nothing more.

Anonymous 3:20 PM  


Aren't those both valid solutions? I've seen other clues that are neutral with respect to spelling in the native language.

Joe in Montreal 3:51 PM  

I had LO(-)FAT TUESDAY at first. Rex, if you'd like that, you might check out Jeudi Gras, if you have a Polish bakery or deli nearby.

Zygotic 5:43 PM  

@Anon 1:20 - Why, yes I did. And I read more than the first sentence. "In American English, pier may be synonymous with dock." This particular sentence, way at the end of the first paragraph, is totally in keeping with my nit, "I don't think of a PIER as a building support."

To all the download complainers - I sympathize with your frustration, but the frequent conclusion that the NYT doesn't care and is refusing to do anything to solve the problem(s) is unfair. I hate every time I have to live through an upgrade, but even the best companies sometimes stub their toes on a roll-out. Does Apple's Maps fiasco ring a bell? I try not to be an early adopter on technology exactly so I don't have to live through these kinds of frustrations. Unfortunately, crossword subscribers weren't offered this option. I am also very sure that the NYT, like Apple, will fix the problem.

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

"may be synonomous"
Sorry, I probably misinterpreted your original nit. If you don't think of a pier as a building support then you don't. Some of us do.

Zygotic 7:03 PM  

@anon 5:56 - (I got your post in my email even though I don't see it here) - PIER and CALIENTE are both technically correct (someone mentioned Molé as an example of a salsa that would be served hot) but are not common usage in "American English" (by which I mean the English I speak, not the weirdos in California or Maine or Nebraska). If this was intentional, then they are good clues. Since Sundays are clued at Thursday level, not Saturday level, I have my doubts about the intentionality of these "misdirects." On Thursday I would expect a "?" to suggest something unusual going on.

I think I've hit my limit - so three and out.

retired_chemist 7:25 PM  

Fun. Temporarily thrown by FORESTER @ 4D, POLAND, then SERBIA @ 9D, and D CUP @ 103D (think BIG!).

Thanks, Mr. Atwood.

paulsfo 7:37 PM  

@Z PIER, as part of a foundation, really isn't an obscure usage in American English (and it's certainly a less obscure word than are, say, WEN or PUER).
I think that even the most simple explanation of how a skyscraper (or a cathedral) is built would quickly mention PIERs. And, though I don't live there, I've heard that you have some of those in New York. :)

Unknown 7:50 PM  

Nothing to add. Read Rex's remarks and just kept saying "Yes, yes, yes..."

Unknown 9:16 PM  

The only reason I had the puzzle in my hand was because my husband kindly copied and emailed me a copy as I was at work and the other normal methods I use didn't work. NYT was so greedy and has screwed us over.
The puzzle itself I found easy. Didn't use any google clues. Hurrah! and finished.

skua76 9:44 PM  

I was in San Diego all week with no time for puzzling...the plan for today's flight back was to pick up the Sunday NYT at the airport so I had plenty to read as well as do...THEY DON'T SELL IT! So I ended up downloading the puzzle in Across Lite to do on the worked the first time (but s l o w l y due to the slow Wi-Fi. And I had to buy something else to read.

Did NOT like FAN CLUB. Even after putting in LATVIA and UBOATS I still couldn't see it...didn't know BARNES and wasn't sure about any of the actresses. But after a slow start it was fun. Here's to FLOAT TUESDAY!

Tigers Fan 10:08 PM  

@Paulsfo - Z doesn't live in New York.

Miss Priss 10:23 PM  

When you remove the lo from loinjoke and get in joke, what does in joke mean? Don't get this term.

skua76 10:45 PM  

@Miss Priss...

It's an IN JOKE. (If you're not in on the subject matter/secret or weren't at the party, you won't get the joke.)

nurturing 4:10 AM  

So nice to see the incomparable Clive Barnes, who, in my opinion, was the best ballet critic a newspaper or magazine ever had, in the puzzle. Nice tribute to a great reviewer. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

I downloaded Google Chrome and it solved my access/format problems.

Anonymous 7:39 AM  

I don't really want to her about everybody's technology problems on this site. It should stay a site to hear comments on the puzzle. Or shall we all discuss our issues with getting our copies of the puzzle - wet in Chicago, late in Texas, wrinkled in ???.

Spacecraft 12:57 PM  

DNF. The central east was an awful mess. OK, i knew I had to erase OAT (What on EARTH else would you fill in for "Quaker cereal?") because of the end of 67a, but the rest? You see, the answer to 61a has to be SLALOMDuNkING, doesn't it? Isn't that a "slam-dunk?" LO and behold, I look at the answer and it's SLALOMDANCING. "Slam-dancing?" HUH???? What the hOLY hell is that? That doesn't even make any sense. And CDS in jewel cases? Who knew? Where do you keep your cd's? Why, in my jewel case, of course. God forbid I should buy a cd holder!

After being stymied in that section--what with all the obscure stuff like MARI and SANA--gettable by Google only--I just didn't bother to do the bottom, so never got to the Hispanic hot vs. "hot!" quibble I'm reading about. Also never experienced your techno-glitch; I do mine in that quaint old invention, the newspaper. Remember those?

I might have continued had I been more impressed with the theme (stick a couple of letters into familiar [?] sayings and wack-clue them: gee, THAT's new! [airquote]) or the fill (PCTS, AME--and in one corner CONJ, USDO and BEOK!), but as it was, I just dropped it.

Dirigonzo 4:36 PM  

Puzzle Partner and I stuck with aprS at 1d and the oft-mentioned FANpage at 5a for too long, so the NW took a while to fall - it definitely wasn't a SLAMDuNk(ing) for us. "Das Boot" was a critically acclaimed movie (was it really more than 30 years ago?) so I agree with whoever said the name part at 27a could be either VON or VAN.

GLOAMINGTABLE made no sense whatsoever until I googled it post-solve, and PP really, really disliked BEOK for "Suffice" (she'll get over it).

Best comment award goes to @LMS for coining "aLOha moment"!

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

Hard to believe only one person on here thought salsa might be the dance! I got it right away.

Anonymous 2:51 PM  

Sorry to be so late putting in comments on this one, but we get the puzzles here (in Nova Scotia, Canada) about 2 weeks later than the NYT.

So...What the heck is an AME (52A Protestant Denom.)? American Mormon Evolution? I know it's French for "Soul", but surely that can't be right...?

Zygotic 3:11 PM  

Nova Scotian anonymous @2:51 - African Methodist Episcopal Church

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