Pulitzer-winning journalist Weingarten / WED 6-12-13 / Polynesian beverage / Singer who said Thanks for listenin / Brooklyn team since 2012 / Number of hills of Roma / Carrier name until 1997

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Constructor: Todd Gross

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Single / Double / Triple scoop — three 15-letter Downs feature ice cream flavors: one flavor in the first Down, two in the second, three in the third.

Theme answers:
  • 4D: Single scoop (COOKIES AND CREAM)
  • 7D: Double scoop (VANILLA MINT CHIP)
  • 10D: Triple scoop (LIME LEMON ORANGE)

Word of the Day: GENE Weingarten (28D: Pulitzer-winning journalist Weingarten) —
Gene Weingarten (born October 2, 1951 in New York) is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winningjournalist known for both his serious and humorous work.[1] Weingarten's column, Below the Beltway, is published weekly in the Washington Post Magazine and syndicated nationally by The Washington Post Writers Group, which also syndicates Barney & Clyde, a comic strip he co-authors. (wikipedia)
• • •

I didn't like this theme while I was solving because whoever heard of VANILLA MINT CHIP? But by the time I got over to LIME LEMON ORANGE, I realized that after COOKIES AND CREAM, the answers were not single flavors, but combinations. Turns out I wasn't really reading/understanding the theme clues—I was just inferring what the answers should be from COOKIES AND CREAM (a single flavor). So now that I look at it, loopy and arbitrary as the theme is, I kind of like it. At least it's different. Different is good. And the fill is really polished, such that it was a pleasure to solve *beyond the theme* (all puzzles should be that way—NYT puzzles often aren't).

The puzzle was very much on the easy side. Finished it faster than yesterday's. Only trouble was with proper nouns, here and there. PONCE, the first clue I looked it, probably took me longer than any other five-letter answer in the grid—why I can't remember it is beyond me (1A: Puerto Rican port). It's Puerto Rico's second-most populous city after San Juan. After that, the only answers that gave me any pause were KATE SMITH—no idea what that clue means (32A: Singer who said "Thanks for listenin'")—and DOGS, which has one of the more tortured-for-"humor" clues I've ever seen (22D: They may be measured by the pound). I'm sure GENE Weingarten, a persnickety crank who complains about everything, will agree with me. Or not. (Follow him and his pile-of-poop avatar on Twitter @geneweingarten).
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    AndYetAnotherDietLady 6:40 AM  

    This is so weird for me, I have been doing this puzzle and reading this blog for a long time. I love to read all the comments, I just don't usually feel I have too much to add. In all my years, I have never finished the puzzle, gone to the blog and found 0 comments. Then I realized that since I just traveled to Europe for the first time and I'm 5 hours ahead of my usual self, maybe I really am the first poster because of the time difference! So I decided I'd better write something. I thought the puzzle was easy for a Wednesday. I also was confused at the vanilla mint chip answer, (because everyone knows its really chocolate). Then, like Rex, I realized the gimmick. Anyway, easy-breezy puzzle. Have a great day everyone,

    Jack Lee 6:42 AM  

    Took me a while to figure out why "yellows or grays" was AGES (I had *HUES initially). Had real problems with the E side because I had put down *SPED instead of TORE. Thought the theme was cute too.

    Z 7:09 AM  

    DNF because of my general ignorance of rap artists. NapE (Dogg) crossing SEpTE seemed just fine to me.

    "Saw wood" is a tumescent clue with apnea for an answer.

    @EVIL shares billing with COCO CHANEL, KATE SMITH, and JOHN DENVER. Congratulations.

    Milford 7:17 AM  

    One of my fastest Wednesdays, but felt slower while solving. Having the normally-themed long accrosses be proper names (mostly) had me pause, but soon got the ice-cream theme.

    KATE SMITH was my last completed entry because I had jAVA for my Polynesian beverage until the bitter end.

    So, MUSCLY is a real word. Really? I think it's "muscled". Plus, it just looks weird.

    TONYA Harding - wow, there's a person I haven't thought of in a long time. Wonder where she is now.

    May have told this story before, but my junior year abroad we were in Prague, very shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, and were in a bar drinking (of course) and at some point the whole group of Czechs were singing JOHN DENVER songs. Naturally we joined in.

    John V 7:27 AM  

    The sun is out in Albany! What's up with that?

    Really easy here, too. Only thing to add is the observation that themes lately seem to have a mix or all entirely composed of Down answers. Not sure what to make of that. In today's case, I'm guessing that when you build an ice cream cone, the scoops go on top of each other, so the theme answers look like that! So, fun, abeit easy.

    Tita 7:34 AM  

    @YetAnotherDietLady - welcome! And welcome to Portugal too (or Ireland/Scotland?England).

    Love the idea of the theme. THe actual answers, well, I wish were really flavors. I've only ever seen MINTchocolateCHIP.

    If you're ever in or passing through Danbury, stop in at Il Bacio - the best ice cream anywhere. Tony is constantly coming up with new flavors, and uses only real, and carefully selected, ingredients. Yumm!

    @Rex must be in a good mood, as he didn't slam MUSCLY or HOER.
    (@Anoa - what do we call "occupation of convenience" I remember a big todo over SCOOPER some time ago - woulda been better used here!)

    And ugh for RRN combined with Superbowl questions, but that was inferrable, even though I had blip before TVAD (great clue).

    SETTE looks like Settee, which I tried to misspell into answering Piece to lounge on (dangling participle police, where are you?)

    I will be visiting the hills of Roma soon - can't wait!

    Also liked clues for HANDS, and the non-French Riviera clue for NICE.

    In all, a fun, if easy, Wednesday.
    Thanks Mr. Big.

    Loren Muse Smith 7:41 AM  

    Bravo, Todd! I had the same thoughts as Rex @AndYetAnotherDietLady (hey – two firsts: Europe and posting! Yay!) and then saw that VANILLA was separate from MINT CHIP. What a novel idea! Three ice cream cones, the scoops stacked! I marvel every day at the creativity of constructors and their inventive ideas while I quietly, uselessly, plug away at my stinky little add-a-letter or lose-a-letter themes that Will has even announced that he doesn’t want. SNORE.

    How elegant that three long ones coming across are full names! If Todd had gotten, say, “Alan Arkin” to fit where SEE NO EVIL is, it would have *really* been a wows-er.

    A couple of weird things happened to me as I started out. I had break “me in” gently and then saw TONYA, erased “me in” and rewrote it right below, thinking I had spelled MIEN correctly and thus had had a massive malapop. Sheesh.

    As I jumped around the grid dispatching the low-hanging fruit, I confidently put in “Helen Reddy” for JOHN DENVER, humming Danny’s Song to myself, when actually it was Anne Murray who sang that. All three names fit. Sheesh sheesh.

    Me, too, for “sped” before TORE.

    I had to GUESS at the N in the MUNRO/NATE cross, but I GUESSed correctly.

    TENSE reminds me of a joke that could possibly be made into one of those cool Schrödinger puzzles. The joke absolutely doesn’t work written out – it has to be spoken, but y’all are all bright enough to get it- a guy complains to a psychiatrist, “I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee. No, I’m a wigwam. Well, no, I’m a teepee.” The doctor says, “I know your problem. You’re too TENSE.”

    In Lilburn, GA, we used to go to Baskin Robbins sometimes after dinner. There was one worker there who we had decided had the most MUSCLY wrist and hence gave the biggest scoops, and we always tried to angle to get her to serve us. Then we would sit in the seats lined up against the back wall and eat our cones. Dad, one sister, and I would every now and then make quiet, low pitched, peculiar hummy-whiny noises as we ate, and customers would turn around to investigate. But we had perfectly straight faces that betrayed no funny business. Mom and my other sister invariably went to finish in the car because they were so embarrassed. Good times.

    Bob Kerfuffle 7:58 AM  

    Fine puzzle, delicious theme.

    But I finished with one wrong letter. In the far SW corner, it seems several people have had a wrong letter, but not all the same one! In my case, it was the T of NATE/SETTE (to me, NASE/SESTE looked perfectly alright. Rappers aren't my thing, and I really thought it was "Snoop Dogg" anyway.)

    (Was thinking of @evil when I finally understood 31 A! I mean, words as just words.)

    Unknown 8:02 AM  

    What's not to like about an ice cream puzzle? Makes me wanna run out and get my first scoop of the season of Tulmeadow Farms' insanely yummy red raspberry chocolate chip! But I promised myself I would hold off until at least the first official day of summer. Anyhoo...I had the same line of thinking as Rex: "Who ever heard of vanilla mint chip?" But eventually I got it all sorted out. For the record, Inliked the DOGS clue.

    MetaRex 8:08 AM  

    Oo la la what a nice grid...v. pretty combo of the three ice cream cone long downs w/ the four long acrosses...the three names are a nice bonus.

    Was grumpy right after I solved about MINT CHIP...doesn't it mess up the ice cream/sherbet theme cuz it's not a kind of ice cream unless ya add CHOCOLATE?! But I see plenty of Google references to MINT CHIP as a stand-alone. Grumpiness overruled...

    joho 8:11 AM  

    With it being hot, 90+ today, and humid here I can't think of a more delightfully refreshing theme.

    I love that the ice cream is actually dripping down. Or I GUESS you can see the scoops piled up,on top of each other. Either way, it's a fun visual.

    Thanks, Todd: cool!

    joho 8:12 AM  

    @AndYetAnotherDietLady, welcome!

    dk 8:32 AM  

    @AndYetAnotherDietLady, tells us where you are and you will have the benefit of unsolicited travel advice from the Worldly lot that haunt these environs.

    My first job was at a Carvel Store in Dewitt, New York. I was told with a smile that a perk of the job was all the ice cream you could eat. Within 2 weeks the sight of ice cream elicited a gag reflex. Although… I came to love Cherry Sodas made with Black Cherry Ice Cream… no doubt due to the line from The Rolling Stones song: "You can't always get what you want."

    Anyway my point is ice cream downs had me going but like @Rex I came to appreciate them.

    🍨🍨🍨 (3 bowls of ice cream) NIce treat Todd

    jackj 8:40 AM  

    I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!

    (And you can make mine a double scoop of maple walnut in a sugar cone).

    A fun puzzle from Todd Gross who seemed to be weaving a theme based on interesting women, starting with COCOCHANEL and KATESMITH with Dame EDNA sowing confusion and her favorite “gladdies”, until ice cream flavors began evolving in the long verticals that became the grid’s cones and the puzzle’s theme.

    If these are the only ice cream options today, I’ll settle for the triple scoop of sorbets, the LIMELEMONORANGE, to be consumed while wondering whether the DOGS that “may be measured by the pound” are DOGS as in frankfurters, measured by the butcher or DOGS as in stray mutts, measured by the dog catcher.

    Kudos to Todd for “The hots”, (no question mark), cluing good old fashioned LUST.
    I couldn’t help but notice that the last two times “The hots” was clued as such in a Times puzzle, the constructors, separately, were unlikely sinners, Lynn Lempel and Paula Gamache. (Maybe there actually is something going on here with that interesting women idea).

    Major puzzle props also to Todd for protecting his theme entries with fill that was as much fun as a banana split with triple maraschino cherries, hold the jimmies; there is not a single entry that was a grumbleable stretch, not even MUSCLY, (which proves it is at least as much fun as TONYA).

    Todd Gross has only given us 5 other puzzles, a Friday, a Saturday and 3 Sundays; hopefully we can look forward to him expanding his horizons, even if it’s only for another ice cream thingie, (Howard Johnson’s gives 28 flavors to work with, after all).

    Thanks, Todd!

    John V 8:55 AM  

    I see my earlier comment got gobbled by blogger. So, easy for a Wednesday, fun. DOWN theme answers mimic an ice cream cone! More down theme components of late, whatever that may mean.

    jberg 9:07 AM  

    I put in COCO CHANEL right away and looked for alliterative names as a theme, but I eventually figured it out. huES before AGES, BanKER before BROKER, but otherwise no problems. Very easy if you know PONCE, I think.

    Also, much as I love Ogden Nash, it's nice to see those LAMAS appearing without him.

    chefbea 9:28 AM  

    What a yummy cool puzzle. I ate it up (or should I say down?)

    @Loren love your joke

    @And yet another diet lady - welcome. Continue to chime in.

    JenCT 9:59 AM  

    @Jack Lee: same mistake with HUES before AGES.

    @ Milford: I've seen TONYA Harding when I've been channel surfing on some show about "World's Dumbest Criminals" or something like that. By the way, nice cat! Tuxedos rule! (right, @Tita?)

    @loren: I like your joke, too

    I meet Justice, a yellow lab who may be my new service dog, on Friday...

    Paul Keller 10:04 AM  

    Seemed like too much crosswordese was packed into the SW corner. DNF for me on an otherwise easy puzzle.

    GILL I. 10:20 AM  

    Now that's cluing...and yes, this was a pleasure to solve.
    You fill up my senses Todd Gross with the OOLALA COOKIES AND CREAM. Love John Denver and I was so upset at his sudden demise. He and Jim Crocce left us too early.
    Didn't TONYA use her MUSCLY boyfriend to IMPEL Nancy to say ADIOS. Just noticed STEAL and HOER next to her name!!!
    Just finished reading yesterday's comments. Wow..and @jenCT double wow on the new puppy.

    mac 10:26 AM  

    @Tita: RRN? Where?

    Good puzzle, but I had a lot of trouble in the SW. I thought I was so clever putting in NMEE at 55A.
    Blip for TV ad as well. Coco Chanel had several (numbered) perfumes, and the posthumous one is called Coco.

    Welcome, DietLady, and good luck, Jen!

    Sean Dobbin 10:28 AM  

    ORANGE, LEMON, and LIME ice cream?

    That's kind of hard to swallow.

    Not too hard though. What @Rex said.

    retired_chemist 10:38 AM  

    I found this puzzle easy and fun overall but, like yesterday, DNF due to a typo.

    6A was ICON and, when crosses ruled that out I saw the light and entered TV AD. Or so I thought. Actually typed the next-door S instead of D and thought no more of it. No Mr. Happy Pencil at the end. Checked downs and found SSL (for Secure Socket Layer) an acceptable answer for 9D. You computer gurus will no doubt tell me is isn't but I thought it was at the time. So, the perplexing couple of minutes searching for the error turned a decent Wednesday time into a bad one.

    Loved the theme (yum) and the fill was good overall. Got EDNA, MUNRO, and JOHN DENVER immediately and the rest of the longer proper names with a few crosses. MUSCLY is fine - it's in my dictionary.

    Yet another way to clue OMOO. If there were a list of answers that publishers would dock constructors' checks for using. I would nominate OMOO. Are there EELS or EELERS in OMOO? What would be on your list?

    Thanks, Mr. Gross.

    Two Ponies 10:43 AM  

    Easy for a Wed. Those citrus flavors are only known to me as sorbets. Oh well.

    @ Evil Doug, I loved your comment from late yesterday. Very well stated and so true.

    Ambrose Bierce 10:48 AM  

    @JenCT - I owned a dog name Justice once.

    Tita 10:59 AM  

    @Mac...RRN in clue, not grid...I don't mind them all that much, in fact, I like that, like musical note clues, they limit the set of letters from which to guess..
    But I really hate rrn and super bowl in same clue!

    Minor nit, as the puzzle was fun...and tasty.

    jae 11:09 AM  

    Easy medium with an educated GUESS on the NATE/SETTE cross.  I'm a tad shaky on my Italian numbers.   Only other problem was @Milford jAVA for KAVA and anAL for ETAL which gave me jAnE SMITH who was a major WOE.  LEDGE fixed it.  

    So, I was staring at this last night wondering if there was any more to it than scoops? I mean we have two singers, one monkey and a fashion designer.  Didn't see any connection. Apparently no one else did either.

    Smooth grid and a fun theme with only one thing grokked from crosswords: OMOO. Liked it!

    Mel Ott 11:37 AM  

    Re 3D: As indicated here before, Leo the Lip was talking about my namesake when he said (or didn't), "NICE guys finish last."

    Mz.D 12:00 PM  

    Am I the only person who thought "See No Evil" was a comment on the ice cream and sort of tied the theme together?

    Benko 12:02 PM  

    Only hiccup I had in this very easy Wednesday was KATE SMITH. I've wracked my brain and still don't remember her name.
    PONCE is easier for us Floridians, I think, due to the number of immigrants from Puerto Rico and the number of times we hear about PONCE de Leon.
    I have a recording with NATE Dogg with the Ultramagnetic MCs.
    MUSCLY is fine, I've heard it many times spoken aloud, but the only time I've heard the word HOER it had nothing to do with gardens.

    joho 12:19 PM  

    @JenCT ... how exciting! You'll have to take a pic!

    LaneB 12:28 PM  

    I had fun with this one, made more so in that I finished in less than an hour. By my lights I just TORE through it . A little early for all that ice cream but easier on one than 3 shots [not scoops] of single malt scotch.

    @ Loren Great joke! A pattern is definitely emerging.

    Lewis 12:45 PM  
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    Lewis 12:48 PM  

    @loren -- when I played in the Army band, whenever we would tune up and the trumpets played the tuning note, I would, with a straight face, hum a tone that was about an eight of a tone off so there would be a terrific and annoyingly glaring vibration in the sound. Everyone grimaced and looked around every time I did it, but no one ever figured out where the sound was coming from. When you're in the army, you have to stretch to find fun things to do.

    I don't know how I plopped in ODIN, as I'm not good at the gods and goddesses. I like having COCO..., OOLALA and OMOO in the same puzzle. M&A is waiting for a similar collection of U's, I'm sure. I don't know about those MUSCLY USERS, NATE and RITA (of OREM) under the DIVAN, however.

    Masked and Anonymo4Us 12:50 PM  

    Fun puz to work.

    VANILLA MINT CHIP sounds like one tasty flavor. I'll have two scoops, please. Pass on the LIM ELE MONO RANGE, tho. Also, rather than just handin me the two VMC scoops, I'd kinda prefer 'em put into a cone. Could have a little "V" at the bottom of the scoops columns, for that. Throw in three scoops of a flavor with some U-power, and I'm totally sold. See how easy we are to please around these parts, Todd?

    BUTTERBRICKLEV. Nope. Only 14 long...

    fave fillins: SEENOEVIL. MUSCLY. Rapper DANE Dogg. AINT.

    BURNTDATENUTV. Nope. Like how it ends on TV, tho...

    fave false scent: "Brings to a boil"... Wanted CYOWFS. [Catch Yer Own White Fish 'S]

    ahar! BANANANUTFUDGEV! ding ding ding!

    Carola 1:25 PM  

    LUST is about what I feel for ice-cream, so I liked the puzzle a lot. I found if more cone-like crunchy than soft and yielding, though. It took me a long time to parse out those scoops but I had a lot of fun nibbling my way along. Loved COCO CHANEL and KATE SMITH sharing the puzzle.

    @Tita - Please eat some gelato for me in Rome! Have you been here?

    @Mitzie - I was thinking of LIME, LEMON, and ORANGE sherbet, but this orange ice cream is one of my favorites.

    Bird 1:47 PM  

    The SW corner ruined it for me. Theme was OK and the fill is so-so, but crossing MUSCLY (whatever that is) with MUNRO and SETTE and NATE left me with 4 blanks in that corner. I was trying to see if BULKLY, HUNKLY and other combinations would work but did not even think of trying MUSCLY. Only Dogg rapper I know is Snoop.

    Hand up for wanting MINT Chocolate CHIP.

    To me, LIME, LEMON and ORANGE are not ice creams so I would say the theme is Frozen Desserts.

    Happy Humpday!

    oldbizmark 2:13 PM  

    no issues with the puzzle other other than "SETTE" for which I had "setNe" crossing with "riNa." Otherwise, fastest time of the week. A fun puzzle but I do wish it were a bit harder. I enjoy having to spend more time on the puzzle. It gives me something to look forward to on my commute home.

    Andrea Carla Michaels 2:19 PM  

    @masked and anonymo4us
    Exact same thought! Little Vs below the grid for cones or as the last letter with 14 letter ice creams!
    Felt fun and original theme and I'm glad it didn't take a lickin' here!

    I was momentarily confused thinking cookies and cream were two different flavors...what a clever way to sneak oreos into the puzzle @Todd!!!

    I love yellow labs so much, I'm flying to Mpls for a week to dogsit one I met a few years ago! I miss the lakes and a dog to walk around them, so I'm going to spend a week just to center myself...
    If there is Justice in this world, you will have a good dog soon!

    Ambrose Bierce 2:32 PM  

    @ACME - Ah, but Justice is dead.

    M and A also 3:20 PM  

    @Andrea, darlin: yep. Love ice cream. If I don't get the malts, I get the shakes.

    Since Todd probably didn't want tired ole OLAV lickin' up to his single dip cone, I reckon I can tolerate his leavin off the V's, in this case.

    Maybe instead, could just sneak in a 5-letter Down entry somewheres, with the clue "Quad dip delight in a cone". Answer could be

    Bet Andrea could team up with Liz Gorski and do a whole new puz with picture-y little stuff like that in it. That'd be a tough puz to top with nuts.

    chefbea 3:39 PM  

    Speaking of ores... had guests for dinner last night. They brought dessert...oreo truffles. Best things I have ever tasted!!!!!

    Masked and Conenonymous 4:04 PM  

    "Raker's tool" =
    "Yoyo doin the sleeper trick" =
    "Frosty the pregnant snowman" =
    "Horned cat" =
    "Masked and Anonymous on drugs" =

    This is a goldmine of time well wasted.

    Sfingi 4:37 PM  

    When the moon comes over the mountain...
    and I assumed she was the mountain.
    Way before Rex's time.

    @M&A - I also get the shakes if I don't get enough Ice Cream.
    And love the Os and V.

    Also had huES before AGES.

    Never heard of this NATE or GENE.

    Wouldn't want to call someone a HOER. Around some sections of UTICA, they're called hoors, in the local accent.

    @Lewis - my sister and I used to sing like that to annoy my mother.

    The Polynesian drink is actually KAVAKAVA.

    Saw TONYA on a game show.

    Doesn't everyone know how to count in Italian? - but I bet y'all do in French! Though we all need to know in Spanish.

    Rather easy for Monday.

    sanfranman59 4:50 PM  

    Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

    Wed 9:32, 9:47, 0.97, 45%, Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Wed 5:51, 5:40, 1.03, 60%, Medium-Challenging

    Charley 4:50 PM  

    MUSCLY? I'm a certified personal trainer and I've never heard this term.

    Ellen S 5:38 PM  

    @Charley, sometimes these puzzles are harder for people who know what is a legitimate word. @Retired Chemist I believe has fallen into that trap. We amateurs just fill in whatever fits. Though MUSCLY shows up as a legitimate adjective in several online dictionaries (not just Urban Dictionary), and in my printed New Oxford American (which says it means having a lot of muscles). Oh, hey -- we used to have the OED Compact edition, too. I could read it without the magnifying glass. Nowadays I can't read ANYTHING without a magnifying glass, but that's just my cataract surgery wrecking me for close-up viewing.

    @Jberg, I knew PONCE and so yes, it was easy.

    @Two Ponies and others, I didn't see a reveal saying it was ice cream. Why couldn't it be three scoops of sorbet? But, see above, the fact that I didn't see something may be just beause I can't hardly see anything like I used to when I was blind nearsighted.

    @Lewis. Funny army story. I'd tell you my husband's, but I've gone on too long. (I may know PONCE from having vacationed in Puerto Rico, but maybe also taught to me by said hubby, along with ADIT and Saki's real last name. (I have read at least one of his stories, a dreadfully disturbing one about a puppy. )

    Unknown 7:30 PM  

    I hate to be the contrarian because I truly appreciate all of the hard work and imagination that it takes to put together a puzzle. When I did the puzzle I saw all of the ice cream flavors and thought, that's it? there must be something I'm missing. Came here to find out what it was. Turns out I wasn't missing anything, it really was just a bunch of ice cream flavors. And some are a stretch - when was the last time you saw lime or lemon ice cream? Sure they could be flavors and some specialty shops might sell them, but how could they be included and chocolate, strawberry, rocky road... not be?

    Considering the lack of wordplay or having the theme tied together on some other level, I thought at best the reviews would be meh. I guess it didn't just (ice cream)float my boat.

    Well now I feel like an old man who just yelled at everyone to turn down the music and stop having so much fun. So at least I'll say the fill was very good.

    Sean Dobbin 7:42 PM  


    I've learned that if you want to be the hit of the party, you bring Oreo truffles. They are AWESOME.

    chefwen 7:42 PM  

    Y'all are in fine form today. Laughed my way through all the comments.

    @loren - Great story.

    @Milford, @JenCT & @Tita - Sign me up for the tuxedo/oreo Kitty Kat Club.

    Very easy, tasty puzzle. Hand up for the write-over of the day sped/TORE.

    retired_chemist 7:54 PM  
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    retired_chemist 7:59 PM  

    @ Ellen S - if MUSCLY is in the dictionary (and it is), it is fair game, whether or not the people who might use it in a professional capacity would eschew it.

    For a chemical example, I would find MURIATIC acid acceptable even though there is probably no chemist alive who uses that archaic term instead of HYDROCHLORIC acid.


    Todd G 9:36 PM  

    I wish I'd thought of having a V at the bottom! I especially like the idea of OOV stacked vertically clued as [Double dip] or something like that.

    You guys are a creative bunch. Maybe I should hang out here more often.

    -Todd Gross

    sanfranman59 10:03 PM  

    This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 6:13, 6:12, 1.00, 52%, Medium
    Tue 8:17, 8:16, 1.00, 54%, Medium
    Wed 9:26, 9:47, 0.96, 44%, Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:55, 3:49, 1.03, 65%, Medium-Challenging
    Tue 4:55, 4:54, 1.00, 53%, Medium
    Wed 5:36, 5:39, 0.99, 47%, Medium

    Sfingi 10:12 PM  

    @Rob C - before you say, "is that all there is," remember, the Greek gods, the Norse gods and most of all humanity that ever lived - the silent majority - never had ice cresm.

    adios cookiesandcream muscly 10:14 PM  

    @todd, yes!
    I meant to mention, I don't know PONCE as a port, only as a pimp! (And the de Leon guy)
    Again, delicious puzzle, sweet idea.

    +wordphan 2:06 AM  

    Yes, it's me late-owl Linda. Rex, MUSCLY? Really? Under the radar, was it? Feh! I'm going for Double-Double Vanilla to ease the pain!

    Anonymous 2:39 AM  

    VANILLA MINT CHIP sounds like one tasty flavor. guild wars 2 gold I'll have two scoops, please. Pass on the LIM ELE MONO RANGE, tho. Also, rather than just handin me the two VMC scoops, I'd kinda prefer 'em put into a cone. Could have a little "V" at the bottom of the scoops gw2 gold columns, for that. Throw in three scoops of a flavor with some U-power, and I'm totally sold. See how easy we are to please around these parts, Todd?

    BedfordBob 10:33 AM  

    Can someone explain "yellows and grays" = ages?

    Fun Wednesday puzzle.

    I hate when this happens to me. 10:37 AM  

    @BedfordBob - yellow with age. Gray haired

    spacecraft 11:22 AM  

    @Benko ET AL: You surely never lived in Philadelphia or thereabouts, or at least were never a Flyers fan. I tell you, when KATE SMITH opened every home game with "God Bless America," the goosebumps did NOT come from the ice.

    Of all the NATEs in the world, did you HAVE to clue it as a rapper? That whole section was weird. Hand up for never hearing MUSCLY. Then I got hung up for a while thinking of aircraft carrier names (doh!)--and, as we all know, the flavor is spelled "Cookies 'n' Creme." OREM was unknown and filled in on crosses. I'm just lucky I knew H.H. MUNRO, or I'd have been in a real mess down there.

    The four long acrosses: proper name, proper name, PHRASE (?), proper name. TVAD, ETAL, DSL, SRI, ITTO...clean fill? Not so much.

    I'm with @jae and @RobC: yeah, a bunch of flavors--ice cream for the first two; clearly sherbet (or sorbet, if you prefer) for the last--and so what? They're stacked vertically; that's the least Mr. Gross could do. I am just not nearly as impressed as OFL with today's offering. I think it has a great deal to do with our diametrically opposed attitudes toward rap. God, I hope that's a fad that burns out soon.

    Waxy in Montreal 12:02 PM  

    Count me in with those who resorted to a wrong GUESS at the NATE/SETTE nexus - in my case, it was NAPE/SEPTE.

    Idle thought: wonder if KATE SMITH and JOHN DENVER ever sang a duet? Maybe God Bless America at a Flyers-Rockies (anyone else remember them?) hockey game...

    Syndi Solver 1:28 PM  

    This puzzle had a simple theme but was well made and fun to do. And I liked the fill. Unlike others, I liked MUSCLY. It's that kind of word that looks wrong even though it's correct.

    So, kudos to Todd Gross! (and I love it when constructors come by here to post their own comments)

    One wrong letter for me today. My GUESS was NAyE/SEyTE. Even though NATE works fine as a name somehow I thought two Ts in a row for SETTE just looked wrong. It's siete in Spanish. First I thought, hmm, maybe it's seite in Italian. But NAiE? That *really* looked wrong. So then I guessed a Y since NAyE looked plausible.

    But now that I think of it, I don't remember seeing a lot of Ys in Italian words, LOL! So much for my tortured logic! I hope this means I'll remember SETTE from now on.

    I actually had no trouble with (H. H.) MUNRO. For some reason I learned that bit of trivia many years ago.

    captcha - highngry = high and dry?

    DMGrandma 1:43 PM  

    Loved the ice cream, even if I can't eat it! Fortunately guessed correctly on the NATE, only ever heard of Snoop. Spelling the French thing OhLALA, left me with DhGS for the measured thing, and I fear I have to say I left it at that. MUSCLY gets my vote for the weird word of the month.

    Captcha: Boonlo -what happens when Richard is sad?

    Mary in Oregon 2:06 PM  

    Kate Smith was a popular singer in the 1950s. She regularly appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and always sang "God Bless America" at the end of her set. She was beloved by most folks.

    Dirigonzo 2:42 PM  

    I discovered three more things I do not know: 1. how to count in Italian (SEpTE looked reasonable); 2. Saki's real surname (or who Saki is); 3. any rappers named __Dogg other than Snoop. I did, however, like what I consider to be a personal shout-out at 27d (Like some sunbathers - NUDE)

    Since my ignorance of so many things is on display, let me compensate by once again by showing off my newly learned skill. Here for your listening and viewing pleasure, is Kate Smith.

    Solving in Seattle 7:49 PM  

    After filling in COCOCHANEL, then with 4D starting with COOK, I figured we had another C--C theme. Wrong.

    ADIeu before ADIOS and Tight before TENSE.

    I'm thinkin' a little like @spacecraft on this puzzle - didn't do a lot for me. Not much sizzle.

    BTW, I'm a big scoop of pralines and cream kind of guy.

    @DMG, I once sat (with my dad) at the Santa Anita racetrack in a box right next to Richard Boone, who was dressed entirely in black. He was sitting with Audie Murphy.

    Capcha: osrikto. Hamleto's courtier?

    Solving in Seattle 7:52 PM  

    Email followup

    englishteacher59 12:07 AM  

    The ice cream theme is nice, I guess, although in it Mr. Gross seems to be conflating ice cream and sherbet. I'm surprised that nobody has taken issue with the identification of Nate Dogg as a "rapper." That seems like stereotyping to me. Nate Dogg was an R&B/funk singer who sometimes contributed to the albums of rappers. I'll leave aside the question of whether Mr. Dogg is too obscure to be included in a Times puzzle.

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