Series of golf courses that host the British Open / TUE 11-12-13 / 1987 movie with hit Hungry Eyes / Boxer Roberto with hands of stone / Mathlete stereotypically

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Constructor: Mike Doran

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: IN 2D (67A: Lacking depth … or like 17-, 23-, 37-, 48- and 58-Across)— theme answers are two-word phrases where both words start with "D"

Theme answers:
  • 17A: 1960s dissident (DRAFT DODGER) 
  • 23A: 1987 movie with the hit "Hungry Eyes" ("DIRTY DANCING")
  • 37A: Smash-hit entertainment? (DEMOLITION DERBY)
  • 48A: Fast-food chain with an orange and pink logo (DUNKIN' DONUTS)
  • 58A: Jump-rope style (DOUBLE DUTCH)

Word of the Day: ROTA (53A: Series of golf courses that host the British Open) —
"Open rota" is the term applied to the rotation of golf courses that host the Open Championship. (
• • •

Nobody says "In 2D" except, perhaps, ironically.  "I'm gonna go see 'My Dinner With Andre' in glorious 2D!" So the revealer is contrived and awkward. Also, a bra-size revealer is going to be soooo much better here. You'd have to ditch DOUBLE DUTCH, but surely there are other DD answers out there for you to use. Friend of mine suggested DDS would work as a revealer as well (interesting twist on the dental degree, which is a common crossword answer). Not a big fan of this revealer, as I've now made overly clear. Also, the crosswordese in this grid is kind of overwhelming. And then there's ROTA, from out of nowhere, an answer I've never heard of, and even had trouble looking up. Someone told me the constructor works in the golf world, but that's no excuse—for the answer, or for the severely uncommon and un-Tuesday clue (never been clued with reference to golf before, per cruciverb; more commonly [Film composer Nino]). Didn't slow me down, really, but yuck. And another thing—there are 3 Ds in DRAFT DODGER. If you're gonna do a puzzle like this, even though the key thing is the first letter on both words, you damn sure shouldn't have extra Ds lying around. Consistency! Polish! Something besides ROTA!

DEMOLITION DERBY is a lovely center answer. HERMIT CRAB, also cool. Don't care for most of the rest of it. Didn't have much trouble. Across Lite wouldn't accept the "2," so when I hit the Reveal button and that square was, indeed, a "2" … I was confused. Besides that, my only problem was writing in RIBBED for TABBED (46A: Like some schoolbook folders). No idea what prompted that.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:12 AM  

Easy-medium for me too.  Pretty zippy theme for a Tues. plus a tricky reveal.  Liked it.  

WOE: ROTA and I'm a golfer and golf fan.

Could have had an additional theme entry if 44a had been clued with say... 
"Hungry Like The Wolf band when doubled."

Anonymous 12:18 AM  

Across Lite kept telling me that the "2" in "Act2" was wrong. Is this a bug in Across Lite?

Evan 12:25 AM  

This felt easier than yesterday, but it was a weird solving experience. At first I was loving the NERDy kind of answers (JEDI, DOMO) along with the cool, longer fill. Then I ran into stuff like ROTA, APORT, TODDY, IRAE, ESE, and SAS, and my opinion soured a little. Nice to see a number in the grid on a Tuesday, though I think Rex is right that it's not really something you'd say in real life. You'd say IN 3-D, most often.

It bears mentioning that Alan Arbesfeld did a similar DD puzzle like this in June 2000, with six themers plus a reveal (D-DAY). Three of the today's theme answers were the same as in 2000 and were in the same exact positions in both grids. That was a long time ago, so this isn't exactly a criticism of today's puzzle. I'm not even sure Mike was aware of that previous puzzle when he built this one. But all the same, I wish that today's grid didn't reuse half of the theme entries from the 2000 grid. Personally, I'd love DOUBLE DRAGON, but you'd have to be a video game nerd from the 80s and 90s to appreciate that, I'd think.

Unknown 12:37 AM  

The Play is a murder mystery thriller where a famous theater group in Kolkata is ravaged when the members of the group gets killed one by one in a span of one night. Only three of the members survive. The task of finding out the truth falls on one member, but the answers the member was looking for are not the answers the member will get. Will the truth kill the member or just make the member even stronger. Find out as The Play begins. watch:

August West 12:47 AM  

Wicked fast.

Enjoyed the themers, especially DEMOLITION DERBY, in that, "Oh, that's Tuesday-cute" sorta way. Liked HERMITCRAB. And that's pretty much it. Waaaaaaaaaaaay too much ESE, and too many POCs, to be justified by such a micro-payoff. Quibble: There is nothing in the clue for 45D, is there, to hint that the strings sought should be the abbreviated, or shortened nickname of the UKElele? Lanai strings are ukeleles, or ukes, for shortz.

wreck 12:52 AM  

I liked it! I really don't have any complaints. ROTA was new to me, but just about every puzzle has something I have never heard of before! Magmic app took "2" - so all is well.

Steve J 1:03 AM  

Weird for me to have such a split reaction to the theme. The theme answers themselves are good to very good, especially DEMOLITION DERBY (although, people who don't like proper nouns in their puzzles are going to hate 2-3 of the theme entries). But I did not like the revealer. Came across as overly gimmicky to me, and it's not a commonly used phrase (although it gave me more search results than I expected).

(And agreed that if 2D is your theme, as good as DRAFT DODGER is, it should have been left out of the puzzle.)

For once, the Magmic iPad app actually manages to do something right: It had no problem accepting the numeral 2.

Outside the theme, both the long downs were quite good. I especially loved NAMED NAMES (a phrase which always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets her Communist boyfriend blacklisted from the one Chinese restaurant that would take in people blacklisted - including his dad - during the 1950s Red Scare).

I didn't really notice the crosswordese as I was solving, as this was another day where I tore through this very quickly. It doesn't look that bad to me even now. I've certainly seen far worse. The Great Lakes area seems to have the worst of it, although its mirror on the bottom is scarcely better. That said, ROTA was a complete WTF, and I was briefly convinced that had to be wrong.

Glad Shortz over at Xwordinfo copped to the clue for 60D. It would have been a shame for a constructor to put in a brown-nosing clue like that, so I'm glad to see that Mr Doran didn't do that. Not that Shortz's choice to call out his own thing is much better.

@August West: I nearly spit out my wine when noticing what you did with your avatar. Nicely done.

(And post spam already (12.37 a.m.)? Usually the spammers wait till everybody's stopped posting for the day to post.)

Apogee Cede MGMs 1:08 AM  

@Rex,in sync with you tonight, right down to almost writing in riBBED!!!

I liked this quite a bit till I saw that Alan did indeed have three of the same entries! That IS a lot!!!
Esp as they were colorful ones
How is that possible???!!!

I love Alan Arbesfeld and often have to abandon ideas (most recently Madame Ovary) bec he's already done them.

Doubtful the writer didn't know about the previous puzzle, but sadly it IS up to us these days to double check the database so as not to have that sort of unfortunate synchronicity.

DEMOLITONDERBY is such a fun huge entry, and DD is pretty simple, and DUNKINDONUTS is delicious,
so Mike DOran should have tried to come up with others... DIRTYDOZEN, DOUBLEDARE are two 10s instead of his two 11s et coila, totally different puzzle, save DRAFTDODGER.
ANd that should be replaced too, to prevent replication AND as @Rex said it had three Ds.

I liked JETS/JEDI right out the gate...and APOGEE is close enough to ACME to make me smile.
Plus wheelhouse to say the least!

Bleedover CEDE. I liked the light echo of CCS.

acme 1:11 AM  

CORRECTION: obviously, I meant it was doubtful the writer DID know know about the other...
(as it were...) ;)

Evan 1:29 AM  


This is why I find I'm more at ease building themeless puzzles nowadays -- there are only oh-so-many types of themes in use today and the chance of duplication with a themeless is much lower. I just check to see if anyone else has used my marquee entries, and if so, where they used them, how often, and with what clues. I wouldn't mind taking an answer that appeared, say, only once in CrosSynergy eight years ago and building a puzzle for the NYT around it.

Matt Gaffney wrote an interesting piece in November 2009 about duplicating crossword themes -- and his duplication was way more eerie than today's.

mac 2:36 AM  

Easy-medium here too. I even considered "uno" at 61D for a moment, but act 2 had to be right.
Pretty serious inconsistencies in that and the 3D draft dodger.

Learned a new word: mathlete. Cute.

Nice to be in a different timezone so I can comment a little earlier.

Beecher 2:49 AM  

As Anonymous above pointed out, you couldn't do this and get the "successfully completed" pop-up by filling in "2" in that southeast corner. Across Lite was a little disappointing today.

Carola 3:01 AM  

Fun to write in DIRTY DANCING while humming "Hungry Eyes." - I love the movie - as well as DEMOLITION DERBY, HERMIT CRAB, and even PRONG. Found it a little hard for a Tuesday, as DOMO, LORI, DURAN, and ROTA weren't on any of my RADARS.

I liked the law-and-order JEDI and EARP sort of cornering the DRAFT DODGER.

gifcan 3:19 AM  

Changed ACTI to ACT2 pretty quickly when INiD did not compute.

Cute and quick Tuesday, though I didn't particularly like DOS as a response to 'Opposite of no-nos'. There are dos and don'ts.

A hot TODDY would be nice about now. Or a glass of PORT. Yet, I'll have to settle for a Red Stripe, mon. Puzzling is such demanding work.

Loren Muse Smith 4:45 AM  
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Nick D 4:46 AM  

Not much of a commenter, though I follow your posts daily.
Just wanted to point out the Puzzazz app for iOS. It's got a direct link to the NYT crosswords and allows all of the things you can do on paper - numbers, words, colors, etc. it's what got me into doing crosswords

Loren Muse Smith 5:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
MetaRex 5:45 AM  

Lotsa ESE, including ESE itself. My Eseometer total was 74, which ties for the Esey-est puzz of the ones I've rated over the last few weeks.

Is all the ese a good tradeoff for a dense theme (65 squares, including the asymmetrical reveal) and the rest of the puzz? Not for me today...the EGG DEE GER/HOP ERR RIO/MGM LEE YDS/DOS ONT USA 3 x 3 boxes in the N and S are too much of a not good thang. As always, opinions can and should differ...the 3-letter boxes are there partly because of HERMIT CRAB and NAMED NAMES, which are indeed nice.

Loren Muse Smith 5:49 AM  

Ok, @Evan and Rex – I beg to differ on the IN 2D's not being in the language. (@jberg – there's your possessive gerund for you – I did it just for you!) I recently saw Gravity with my son, who hates seeing 3D movies. I bet I've told ten people that I saw it "IN 2D." It feels quite natural to me.
I agree, though, that some kind of cheeky cup size reveal would have been fun.

@jae – same thought on DURAN (DURAN).

Anagramitical cross: BALE/ABLE.

"Lectern." Well, yeah. Hardly anyone calls it that anymore. I have no idea why this is so important to me - maybe because it was important to Mr. Parcels, my college English professor. I have to let this go. Descriptivist and all that. . .

It should surprise no one here that I loved the movie DIRTY DANCING. I saw that IN 2D, too.

USA crosses STATES. Neat. And I always think of Jeff Chen when I see nice long downs, as I did today with NAMED NAMES and HERMIT CRAB. My son called them Kermit crabs.

I liked the puzzle and having a number in the grid on a Tuesday. A derring do! Thanks, Mike!

Elle54 7:20 AM  

Didn't know numbers were admissible ! Good to know!

Mohair Sam 7:31 AM  

Unlike many I didn't mind the reveal clue a bit, thought the theme was kinda clever. Nice Tuesday.

But ROTA? Like @jae I'm a golfer, and a golf fan. Also lived in England for 3 years and the Open is my favorite tournament. Yet I don't ever recall hearing or reading the word ROTA. Awfully obscure for a Tuesday.

Z 7:52 AM  

Like @gifcan I had ACT I at first, but I changed it to ACT II crossing IN II D.

On a related note, Pibgorn has been doing a web comic version of Romeo and Juliette since late July. Shakespeare works in any medium, it seems.

Flew threw this, but I have to believe if you are relatively new to crosswordese that IRAE/ID EST/ADEN, especially, are going to cause slow downs.

DUNKIN DONUTS did not occur to me at first because I don't think of it as "fast food." The big thing in these parts is to have Baskin Robbins/DUNKIN DONUTS combo stores. I assume this is a nation-wide phenomenon. Interesting that DUNKIN DONUTS double-downed on the sugar and fat market while Tim Hortons promotes a healthier image. I currently have III Tim Hortons within a mile of the house, but only one DUNKIN DONUTS. Timmies are challenging Starbucks for caffeine franchise density in SE Michigan these days.

@ACME and other Beatlemaniacs - NYT Arts page has a story about early Beatles recordings from the BBC being released.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

In many analytical sciences, 2D is considered a spend-worthy advance: If you dont own one, you scramble to find capital funding to buy one. Examples are 2D-NMR, 2D-LC, MS/MS=MS^2 aka "MS squared" or the even sexier MS^n, "MS to the n."

dk 8:15 AM  

@Z and others, Science page (today's NYT) also has a "good drone" article.

Ahem, solvers I have a thought. Buy the paper, get a pen and avoid all problems with x-word apps. So sayeth the last living Ludite.

Tuesday's try so hard and it makes me sad when they get so close to the finish… reminds me of all the ABDs in the world. You pass the ORALS, take the EXAM but no dissertation.

I wanted 3 holed for the notebook although some are in fact TABBED. As I now worship Charles Portis (no contractions in True Grit) CMON rubbed me the wrong way. Finally I had IN1D as I find the grays give depth to to photos…. but never mind.

🌟🌟 (2 D STAR) digital smart technology for amateur radio for the non-NERDS. Thanks Mike

Unknown 8:22 AM  

It's not a bug, Across Lite wants you to buy the premium version in order to be able to enter numbers.

I was also anticipating a bra size answer at some point. We see BRA so would have been fun.

jberg 8:22 AM  

@Loren, thanks! I appreciate it. I also shared your thought about 2D - something you'd say when you saw a movie that could have been 3D.

As for ROTA, it's not used only for the British Open, it just means a list that makes you eligible if you're on it -- I don't know golf, but it was inferable from the basic idea of a limited list.

@Z- Dunkin' has been adding sandwiches, to get into the fast food market. Don't know how they are, I've never had one.

AliasZ 8:28 AM  

Easy and quick solve for me while trying to guess the theme as I approached the bottom of the grid. The revealer was a letdown. I would've preferred Alan Abersfeld's D-DAY, or DEE-DEE Ramone, or bra size.

I found the fill mostly bland, nay, boring, except for HERMIT CRAB. For a second I thought NAMED NAMES would be part of a two-N theme entry, but one entry does not a theme make. The two or three more challenging entries did not do much to spice up the whole. I was not glad to see TUTEES, but one tee would've been worse. And DINOS? Why not Italian film director Risi and others? The constructor came >|< this close to a self-referential entry with DURAN.

Messrs. Doran and Shortz went to great lengths avoiding any reference to composer Nino ROTA (1911-1979). It would have been a much nicer clue.

Signore ROTA was an extraordinarily prolific composer. Besides his over 150 film scores, he composed ten operas, five ballets and dozens of other orchestral, choral and chamber works, as well as concertos for such diverse instruments as double bass, cello, trombone, harp, horn and bassoon. Here is his Concerto per archi (concerto for strings - not UKE).

@Evan, thanks for the link to the terrific Matt Gaffney article. It's a must read for all x-word enthusiasts.


Anonymous 8:32 AM  

Oddly, if you enter ACT2SC2 in 55 Down, Across Lite accepts it and indicates successful completion. The balcony scene appears in Act II Scene II so that answer makes sense for 55D but NOT for 67 across.

Unknown 9:00 AM  

Agree with DK! Doesn't anyone do the puzzle in the paper any more?

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

Having spent the first 30 years of my life in the UK, I can tell you that rota is a very common word over there. For example, my Dad was a pharmacist, and they used to have a rota of pharmacies that would state open late during the week (well before the days of 24 hour openings).

Z 9:21 AM  
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Z 9:22 AM  

@Sheila Bell - The early commenters are generally electronic solvers. Once the morning arrives on the east coast you will start seeing more paper solvers. The Syndicated Posters are all paper solvers. I'm paper and pen unless I'm on the road (and pen only because pencils really need a hard surface, not because I'm "all that").

@ACME - Did you see the late posts last night? A heartfelt apology was posted there.

@DK - As previously noted, I'm more of an Elvis Costello guy, but them there's fighting' words for many.

Have to agree with @LMS - with the recent increase in IMAX screens and 3D movies specifically designed to take advantage of them, seeing movies in IID (that's "two dee" for the RRNally impaired) makes it very much in the language these days.

joho 9:23 AM  

@Mohair Sam: "But ROTA? Like @jae I'm a golfer, and a golf fan. Also lived in England for 3 years and the Open is my favorite tournament. Yet I don't ever recall hearing or reading the word ROTA. Awfully obscure for a Tuesday."

I'd say ROTA is awfully obscure for *any* day of the week! With the "R" I place I was thinking R and A, Royal Lytham & St. Anne's, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool, Royal Troon, Royal Birkdale ... RAAGCSA?? Royal and
Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews?

Now that I think about it, this answer brought up a lot of memories about my favorite tournament.

I like others would have loved a naughty DD reveal.

@Acme, your comment is well taken. It's really difficult coming up with an original theme. That's why when we all see one we should appreciate it even more!

OISK 9:40 AM  

I am always grateful for the absence of hip-hop pop slop, and it it is increasingly rare to find a puzzle, like this one, that has none of it! Liked this one very much, average time for a Tuesday (for me), and a very cute reveal at the end, as the very last thing I filled in was the "2". I don't have a problem with the extra "D" in draft dodger. All of the theme answers were two words, each beginning with "D", so one could interpret "in 2 D " as referring just to the first letters. Nice, crisp puzzle of appropriate difficulty, and the one obscurity "rota" was nicely placed where it could be nothing else.

Norm 9:54 AM  

I've seen (and used) ROTA to refer to a group of employees rotating through a given duty (maybe a military usage left over from Colonel Dad?), so I agree the answer was inferable, but also that it was pretty obscure.

quilter1 9:55 AM  

I'm a pen and paper solver. Easy puzzle but I never saw ROTA. It filled itself in with crosses. I enjoyed HERMIT CRAB and DOUBLE DUTCH and much more.

First snow yesterday. It will be gone by noon.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:03 AM  

Others have already said it, but: I had fun solving, was intrigued by what the reveal would be, but was disappointed when I got it. Sorry, but to me it is just off enough not to fit.

Yes, on paper, no write-overs.

Another paper and pen solver 10:11 AM  

Totally in agreement with Rex.

Thought there would be more outrage at POCs eg TUTEES, DINOS, and RADARS?

Two Ponies 10:39 AM  

Quick and easy. So much that I didn't notice the things that bugged Rex.
@ dk, You're not the last ludite.
I get tired of all the electronic complaints so I skip those comments.
Fine Tuesday Mr. Doran.

AliasZ 10:41 AM  

If I knew DAVID DINKINS, I would’ve joined him at the tennis courts, but instead I was enjoying myself at the racetrack in the company of DORIS DAY, DINO DELAURENTIIS and DANNY DEVITO. DIZZY DEAN and DAN DURYEA had to take the row behind us because the large egos in our seats left no room for anyone else. This was during the DOG DAYS of summer.

I wanted to play the horses, even though DEEP DOWN I knew I should avoid the DAILY DOUBLE. To explain, I have the DUBIOUS DISTINCTION of suffering from DELUSIONAL DISORDER and a touch of DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY, thus I don’t know or care if I am a DEAD DUCK. I didn’t DILLY-DALLY; I rushed to the windows with DOGGED DETERMINATION and placed my bet with the DERRING-DO of a DARE DEVIL. [OK, this should be one word, but what the hey…] Luckily my trust fund arrives into my account via DIRECT DEPOSIT. On the way back to my seat I DOUBLE DIPPED in some jalapeño salsa, bought some DESIGNER DRUGS from a friend, and picked up a DELICIOUS DAIQUIRI. Frozen. [OK, I made this one up for effect. There is no “Delicious Daiquiri” as far as I know]. A cop almost arrested me, but I got off with some clever DOLLAR DIPLOMACY.

When I heard the DING-DONG of the starting bell, I thought it was inside my head. I tried to do my DUE DILIGENCE and read the Racing Form, but some idiot printed my copy upside down. I had no idea if I won or lost. I thought I’d better leave before being DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED. I didn’t want to be arrested as a DRUNK DRIVER, so I looked for a suitable DESIGNATED DRIVER [sorry I double-dipped on “driver”]. Luckily I ran into DROP-DEAD gorgeous DIANA DORS (she ain’t no DUMB DORA neither) who gave me a ride on a one-horse open country road. Or was that DANA DELANY? The only excitement for our DYNAMIC DUO on the way home was some DUST DEVILS chasing us, but we DIPPED & DUCKED and got home safely.

This is the stupidest 2-D story I have ever heard or told.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 10:56 AM  

Really liked how old, sly 9-Down got plumb ignored by its puz and everybody else. fave weeject.

Better ROTA cue = [Female rooter?]

AZPETE 11:05 AM  

So Rex ... we should put you down for a big DNF?

GAR 11:22 AM  

Across Lite accepted the 2 in 55 down/67 across as correct when I entered it after hitting the insert key.

GILL I. 11:35 AM  

To D or not to D...Dang @AliasZ has used up all the D's in the OED.
This was just a really fine Tuesday puzzle. All done on paper and pen disguised as a pencil so that my neighbors don't think I'm a snoot.
I wonder how @Rex would clue IN2D as a bra size.
I remember DINO'S restaurant in West Hollywood. Would that have been ATAD too much for a Tue.?
Thank you Mike Doran, even if your answers appeared in some other puzzle era, I thought this was just fine and fun to boot!

jae 11:35 AM  

@Z -- Although I get the puzzle from the NYT web site, I always print it out from Across Lite (saves ink because you can change the black squares to light gray) and solve with pencil (Paper Mate Clear Print .05) on paper.

Not sure whether this makes me a Luddite or not (I was on the original ARPA net) it's just personally a more pleasant way for me to do these.

retired_chemist 11:37 AM  

2D is fine. Lots of appearances in the sciences, or otherwise as Loren has pointed out. Had trouble getting AL to take the 2, so tried the rebus (two), then gave up and asked for the correct answer, which AL said was 2! AL only likes it if it does it itself. Is AL constructed by Anti-Obama republicans?

Theme OK. The extra D in DRAFT DODGER didn't bother me as I considered the theme to be "two words beginning with D."

Couldn't think of RATED G - R was the tamest rating I could think of. Tried crosses and got bEl for 10D - RATED b? Finally saw GER - D'OH!

RADARS and DINOS sound, well, weird. Definitely the former is a POC. T. Rex is a valid scientific abbreviation, like E. Coli, and DINO is a comic book word. That jars. Rest of the fill is pretty good.

THanks, Mr. Doran.

Dick S 11:40 AM  

Striped animal's tail in London


M and Also 11:42 AM  

Hmmm... the Monolith has appeared. Cue that "Also Spracht" music...

Uppsala University
Upper Uganda
Under Utilized

Revealer: HERES2U. or... U2MISSION. or...?

Bop bop-a-loo-la-bop a wop bam boo
2-D Fruity, oh Rudy, (...times 5)
A wop bop-a-loo-la-bop a wop bam boo

Got a gal named Sue.
She knows just what 2-Do...

but I digress...


retired_chemist 11:45 AM  

FWIW General LUDD was the villain in The Blacklist last night. Pertinent in view of the Luddite claims here.

May start referring to AL as ACROSS LUDDITE if it sabotages Mr. Happy pencil any more.

Notsofast 11:56 AM  

Well, this was fun. The theme was forced but the fill was nice. Add me to the golfers/British Open fans who,ve never heard or read the word ROTA. Oh, and IN2D is ridiculous. No one says that; and numbers don't belong in crosswords. IMHO.

Linda Lewis 12:18 PM  

Thought using the digit 2 was a cheat. Love your blog.

MikeM 12:19 PM  

Easy. Never even read the clue for DUNKINDONUTS. ROTA got from the crosses. Only hesitation was the cross of ADEN and IDEST. I do the hard copy on the bus in pen (UniBall is my choice), but, like Z a pen is just easier than pencil. Especially on a abus..

chefbea 12:22 PM  

Pen and paper solver here!! Pretty easy puzzle and learned Rota!!

Questinia 12:36 PM  

A. Think I remember this puzzle from 13 years ago.
B. When I did do the puzzles in ink on paper back then I wrote in script because it was faster.
C. Imagine Rorschach crossed with Rauschenberg.

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

How do you write in script for the down clues?

Lewis 1:17 PM  

Never heard of DOMO arigato, but have heard of ROTA, not that I approve of such an ill-known word on a Tuesday.

@acme -- your posts over the years have consistently had spark. I enjoy them a lot.

Let's see... grid gruel: ism, idest, ese, irae, rota, yds, spf, dos, ont, dee, ger, uni. That's a lot.

DEMOLITIONDERBY looks terrific, and I do like PRONG sticking right out there. Quick solve and I never got bored, so thanks Mike!

LaneB 1:41 PM  

OK, I didn't put the number 2 at 67A. Used II instead which worked for 55D but left me a little confused even with the 67A clue. Figured what the hell and left it. Do I have to take a DNF? You may think so, but I'm not about to.
Otherwise the puzzle lived up to the 'easy/medium/ description. Lots of extra Ds, including DEE for Billy Williams, TODDY, DURAN, YDS ,DYED and IDEST.
I'd give Mr. Doran an A [rather than a D]

Arby 2:00 PM  

I'm not a boxing fan, but my thought was "Wow - who remembers Roberto Duran?" Answer: Someone with the last name Doran.

Mark 2:30 PM  

Our church has always put out a ROTA (a schedule, essentially) to indicate who is preaching, celebrating communion, reading the lessons, etc. each week. So I was able to infer it from that. I assumes it was a common term in churches, at least.

Anonymous 2:46 PM  


@Two Ponies

hello fellow Luddites

I Rota Final Silver Bullet 2:48 PM  

ROTA with a dealy over the o is written up to be some Old Norse goddess that brings rain and storms. And the ROTA is also a special symbol used by the Pope to sign stuff. And it's a volcano in Nicaragua. Day-um... There's about a dozen **more** semi-interestin meanins for it, too. I'm startin to warm to this ROTA concept quite a bit. I mean, shoot -- how many different meanins can PEWIT claim to have?

I learn more neat stuff, by bein dumb...


mr b 2:50 PM  

A joyless puzzle..opposite of yesterday's pizzaz- Tosca, alto, Genoa

Is DRAFT DODGER what you think of when you think of a 60's dissident rather than a member of SDS or a writer for Ramparts, or an anti-war activist/protestor, or, I don't..a Quaker?

But let's hear it for the non-dissident Draft Dodger, the former V.P. who had "other priorities" than Vietnam, but who grew up to wage preemptive war upon a functioning civil society, turning it into the havoc still going strong in Iraq.

Steve J 3:13 PM  

@Lewis: Just listen to this song a few times, and you'll never forget DOMO. And you'll never be able to encounter the word "arigato" again without getting the chorus stuck in your head. It's a curse for everyone around my age, as the song took over radio for a while c. 1983.

@Arby: ESPN just aired one of their "30 for 30" documentaries on the famous Roberto DURAN / Sugar Ray Leonard "no mas" fight. I haven't watched it yet - it's sitting on the DVR - but past docs from this series have been quite good. And it is probably one of the most famous boxing matches in history. I'm guessing for those of us over 40 who paid a decent amount of attention to sports, he'll always be recognizable.

@Z: No Dunkin' Donuts on the west coast, but there are scattered Baskin Robbins, so obviously the combo isn't universal. From what I recall from visits back to the Midwest (Chicago, Minneapolis), Dunkin' usually sits solo in urban cores but is often combined in the 'burbs. I'm guessing it's similar in your corner of the Midwest?

sanfranman59 3:32 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)

Tue 7:58, 8:15, 0.97, 39%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:05, 5:09, 0.99, 42%, Medium

ahimsa 3:39 PM  

Cute puzzle! Not much else to add to what has already been said.

@evan, thanks for posting that link to Matt Gaffney's article - very interesting!

@Steve J, so true about DOMO Arigato becoming an earworm! In fact, I posted a link to the song a few months back when arigato showed up in the grid. :-)

Also, I think we have a few Dunkin Donuts here in Oregon. (that counts as "west coast" right?)

But here in the Portland area I think everyone would rather go to Voodoo Doughnut. I like the ones shaped like a voodoo doll with raspberry filling and a little pretzel stick through its heart.

Z 3:54 PM  

@Steve J - More worthless knowledge... There are 35 DUNKIN DONUTS within 20 miles of my zip code (minus Windsor, which did not have any - plausible given Timmies' Canadian dominance, but could just be that the DD website only includes US locations). 25 of 35 include a Baskin-Robbins. Only one lists Detroit as an address (on 8 Mile - barely Detroit) although several are right on the city limits. All the nearest to Detroit seem to be combos. Meanwhile, there are 34 Baskin-Robbins in the same area, so 25 Combos, 10 DD only, 9 B-R only. That works out to a little than 100,000 metro Detroiters per store. Meanwhile, Tim Horton's has 26 stores within 10 KM of my house (their website doesn't let me set the distance but does include 9 stores in Windsor). I also now see the occasional Timmies/Wendys combo stores, a marriage made in heaven. Perhaps I could set up a DD-BR-TH ROTA. Nahhhh.

GILL I. 3:55 PM  

@Steve J. There used to be a few west coast Dunkin Donuts. I know of one that was on the U.S. Marine base in San Diego.
If you're hankering for their good coffee, they are opening about a 1000 franchises here in California in about 2 years.
And that is your daily food for thought - thank you very much.

Lewis 4:55 PM  

@stevej -- Oh, I know THAT song -- thanks for refreshing my memory!!

Steve J 5:08 PM  

@Gill I.P. and @ahimsa:

Did a little googling: Dunkin' Donuts has entered and retreated from the west coast a number of times. Apparently there were a few stores in the Portland area, but they closed down a while back. Currently, there's one shop in Oceanside (near Camp Pendleton). They're apparently planning another big expansion push into California, Oregon, etc.

Ellen S 5:20 PM  

I don't know nothin' about golf, but ROTA was no problem. Maybe I know the word from a lifetime of reading Brit murder mysteries, none of them about golf.

Am I the only one for whom "DOMO Arigato..." was a wee bit tough?... Oh, I see... It's a song... From an album called "Kilroy Was Here." Now that I would have had no problem with!

I started solving with pen a few years ago after losing my #1 pencil which was the only thing that almost made dark enough marks for me to see my answers. I prefer ball-point to roller-ball, since it's easier to make the marks light enough to write over in case of (frequent) errors. And still darker than any pencil.

AcrossLite's premium version only activates the Rebus function when the puzzle involves a Rebus. Thus, you have paid for the privilege of having the app give away the trick. Maybe they've changed since I gave up using it, but that's one reason I stopped. I want to do my own cheating, not have it done for me.

Ellen S 5:30 PM  

I thought I remembered a Dunkin' Donuts in San Jose a long time ago. Now it's all Krispy Kreme; even the name will clog your arteries. Maybe that's truth in advertising.

ahimsa 6:53 PM  

@Steve J, thanks for the update on Dunkin' Donuts.

I don't eat doughnuts often but when I do I go to Voodoo Doughnut because they have vegan options. [ Surprised? Hey, it's Portland. Of course they have vegan options! ]

Which reminds me of that conversation about using veggies in rissoles (or pakoras) a few days ago. Here's yet another example of eating something vegetarian that's most definitely not healthy. :-)

Milford 9:16 PM  

Late to the party, but just wanted to give the puzzle a thumbs up, if only because we got a little rebus in a Tuesday. I solve online, with little incidence ever. It's just an easier option for me.

RATED G was g-rated at first, which feels more in the language to me. Kind if like SIDE B yesterday really felt more natural as b-side, IMHO.

Definitely frequent the Tim Ho's in our neck of the woods (barely suburban Detroit), but I think there's a DUNKIN DONUTS nearby. When we were little, if we saw that orange and pink box on the kitchen table we'd all yell, "Yay! Dad made breakfast!"

Michael Hanko 9:21 PM  

@ellen s: that rebus function appears on the screen all the time since the latest update of across lite. The developers really listen to feedback, it seems.

August West 10:06 PM  

Magmic costs 15 bucks a year for the daily and access to over 6,000 archived puzzles. Very rarely is a required rebus insert (e.g., a shape) not available or accepted by the app for "completion."

The M-Sat NYT is $2.00; Sunday is up to $5.00. Since I would never, ever buy a subscription to that socialist rag, it'd cost me $886.00 a year to go out of my way, daily, to purchase the bygone "pleasure" of ink hitting paper. Magmic'll do just fine, thankyeverymuch.

Z 11:03 PM  

"Socialist rag?" I'd put the NYT slightly right of center on international relations and $, right down the middle on social policy. They publish Tom Friedman, hardly liberal or socialist by any fair definition of the words. If you want to not read something with an actual liberal bent don't read The Nation.

August West 11:22 PM  

That too.

"Right down the middle on social policy."

::..face palm..::

I'll never forgive them for perpetuating the Duke Lax Rape Hoax. Or for giving voice to that POS Krugman.

Paul Krugman 11:44 PM  

I just Googled Nobel Prize winning, well any discipline, and the name August West didn't appear.

August West 12:14 AM  

Said the dumbest Nobel-winning Princeton professor ever.

Rokstar 12:18 AM  

As a paper solver this puzzle left me very angry with the "II" or "2" in the south east corner. "TWOD" is very easily placed into the puzzle with the DOUBLEDUTCH theme answer.


UMT is the only sticky bit, but can be clued by "Big sky college". Alternatively you can use ULT with this configuration which keeps SHOD at the expense of a poor prefix.


My personal preference would be the former.

sanfranman59 1:59 AM  

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 6:03, 6:06, 0.99, 45%, Medium
Tue 7:59, 8:15, 0.97, 39%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:49, 3:46, 1.01, 54%, Medium
Tue 4:46, 5:09, 0.93, 21%, Easy-Medium

acme 2:20 AM  

The way you used IN2D sort of proves their point. You really wouldn't use that in the language except when you are emphasizing "as opposed to IN 3D" which is more more a phrase. You know?

I don't think IN2D is in the language except as sort of a retronym like having to say rotary phone.

@Two Ponies and @dk
I'm sure you are very much not alone...but ironically/paradoxically, the real luddites would likely not be joining you any time soon on a blog on the internet!

Thankyou! I put that in the Mr grant category of telling Mary she's got spunk! (altho I think he then said he hated spunk!) But spark! I like that!!!

Larry the Lurker 2:32 AM  

I don't comment often, but it seems to me that the closing posts today have degenerated into douchery. No, not you sanfranman59 or you Rokstar.

Larry the Lurker 2:35 AM  

....or you acme.

+wordphan 3:09 AM  

This ran hot and cold. The ACT2 threw me. Atad cad.

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Litsoft 1:32 AM  

Just a note regarding the 2 in the 11/12 puzzle: We investigated the problem based on a user report and it appears that there are two versions of the puzzle floating around. The one linked at the NY Times web site does NOT have the rebus flag set in the puzzle which causes the observed behavior.

We requested and received the file from their internal repository and this file does not have this problem. The file we received is linked at

Nov1213 puzzle

Not sure where in the production process at NY Times, this problem occurred. We have asked them to investigate to prevent such things in the future. We, at Litsoft, are not involved in the puzzle production.

PS: the latest Across Lite for iPad update does have the options to have the rebus key appear all the time or not appear at all until manually invoked.

spacecraft 10:45 AM  

Oh, the problems of the webapp solvers. Old school, folks, it was never broke. Don't fix it.

And what of today's DDelight? Only one DURAN? (BTW, they just ran "Barbarella" on a movie channel last night--which featured a character named Duran Duran. As nutty as anything else in that flick. Makes about as much sense as Larry, his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl.) Now there's 2D's! Too bad DIRTY DOZEN is a couple letters short; it's a much better film than the one given.

And what of those reality mainstays, the DOUBLE DIVAS? No love? As has been said, no huge payoff--and the price is high. I too would have appreciated NAMEDNAMES a bit more--if it hadn't been the third time I've seen it this month. And among all the other WAY-overused bits of xwordese, I'm no "dies" but my IRAE is building to a crescendo. Enough already, for at least a couple of weeks!

Solving in Seattle 2:03 PM  


Have you ever heard SANER out loud?

I really cannot believe this blog had an extensive discussion about donut hangouts.

Were any of you ever a TUTEE? Or wore a tutu? I wonder if Bishop Tutu was ever a TUTEE. Oh, TUTEE Tutu, are your wearing you tutu?


George Smith 3:01 PM  

I didn't "lectern" was unusual. Ever since Silence of the Lanbs I've asked people what teachers and other speakers in Samuel Clemens' home town have used to hold their notes . . . yes, a Hannibal Lectern!

DMG 3:56 PM  

A fun puzzle, only pause was the boxer's name where the middle letter could have been N or R, but I guessed correctly, and DF.

A bit surprised by all the clamor over an App not accepting a "2". In my experience, computer things often act in unexpected ways. As a ( long time ago) programmer, I understand the need to be 100% accurate doesn't always happen! so just accept it!

@SIS. Have you tried a cold compress and a bit of a lie down? Maybe skipping some of the agitated blogs would help? It's what I've been doing lately. At any rate, feel better soon! We don't want to lose you.

Captcha: hoomrso, and does she know Mr. P?

Dirigonzo 4:19 PM  

TODDY has 2 Ds, so I believe I'll have one. Et tu, @SiS?

I wonder if anyone has tried to construct an x-word puzzle IN3D?

rain forest 5:00 PM  

@SIS too too funny! So, tata.

ROTA I knew, because I heard Tom Kite once say he was glad that Royal St. Georges was back in the British Open rota. Or maybe he rota book about that.


The puzzle was just fine-about right for a 2sday.

Dirigonzo 6:22 PM  

We need a "groan" button.

Solving in Seattle 6:27 PM  

@DMG & @Diri, I tried the compress and laid down with a TODDY. It worked!

@Rainy, lol at "ta ta."

Ginger 6:53 PM  

Sunday we had a wonderful PB. Yesterday was by the great Liz Gorski. How can anyone follow that? CMON guys, this was a fun Double Dipped confection. The themers were cute, the fill not so much.

I've noticed that when a puzzle doesn't reach the pinnacle of a PB or a Gorski, the posts degenerate and the blog can become a slog. Not all mind you, but enough that I will skip some of the more rancorous comments.

strayling 7:18 PM  

Naticked! Never heard of Lori or Duran, but I'll chalk that up to being an alien and concede that the rest of the puzzle was enjoyable.

Anyone else hear Will Shortz on the radio last week, saying that his favourite puzzles are British-style cryptic crosswords?

Will, if you're listening please try and introduce them to the papers here. The fun of being able to figure out a clue which defines the answer as a word you don't know, but which *must* be right is one of the joys of those puzzles. No knowledge of obscure celebrities needed.

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