Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Baseball + name puns-- Names of famous people clued in terms of baseball, then turned into familiar two-word phrases.

Word of the Day: BUGABOOS (25D: persistent problems) —
1. Something that makes people very worried or upset
2. An imaginary object of fear, see BUGBEAR
3. slang: An annoying person, especially one make unwanted sexual advances

(Question: which of these definitions appealed the most to the makers of the BUGABOO luxury baby stroller? Was it the fear, worry, or unwanted sexual advances? Don't tell me they just thought it was fun to say, it reminded them of "buggy," and no one looked it up.)

Hello there, it's me, Catherine Park, sitting in for Rex while he's on vacation. Tonight I was trying to explain to my sons why I had a super important job to do and could not read them a story, so I tried to put it in terms they could relate to. I said, "It's like he's the PewDiePie of the crossword puzzling world, and I'm hosting for him for one day." My 7-year-old said, "You mean he uses a lot of bad words?" My 11-year-old said, "From my perspective, it's amazing that this exists at all." Neither of which was the awestruck silence, the stunned new-found respect, that I was going for. (If you like watching other people play video games while making a profanity-laced English/Swedish running commentary, or you are a male between the ages of 10 and 25 years of age, you would just love PewDiePie!)

So today's puzzle is sort of what you want in a Tuesday. It's light and you don't have to be able to bend a spoon with your mind tools to do it. It has a little pay-off that you can turn this way and that for a few minutes and go, "I get it!" And then feel sort of a low-grade smugness for a short time before you set it down and it disappears from your memory entirely.

Theme answers:
  • PETER'S OUT (17A: "That makes three strikes for O'Toole!")
  • PAT'S DOWN (26A: "Oh-oh, Sajak has fallen in the field!")
  • JACK'S UP (40A: "Now we have Nicklaus at bat!")
  • MARK'S OFF (50A: "There goes Zuckerberg, trying for a steal!") 
  • CARRIE'S ON (64A: "Fisher made it to first base!") 
That being said, fluffy confection though it is, I found plenty of ways to ERR. I got off on the wrong foot right away, tossing in PABA instead of ALOE (14A: common sunscreen additive). I blithely threw down PAL instead of MAC (9D: Bub). I could not correctly spell HAYDN (13D: Joseph who wrote the "Surprise" Symphony). (I felt that HYDAN was a perfectly nice way to spell it, although looking at it now it's just like duh.) Thus I managed to get the whole north coast completely garbled up. The theme actually helped bail me out of my own sinking rowboat, however. I knew everyone's first name. I know a thing or two about baseball. I got it sorted out.

I really enjoyed the little Shakespeare motif going on, what with ROMEO (11D: The "Thou" in "Wherefore art thou?") abutting SHREW (12D: Headstrong woman, as in Shakespeare), and then the additional flourish of TEMPEST (48A: Shakespearean storm). I also liked the geographic references to my adopted home state of Ohio,  ERIE (67A: Lake in an old railroad name) and although I normally frown upon directions, I gave NNE (39A: Cincinnati to Detroit dir.) a dispensation this time because you have to basically pass my house to make that drive. I also enjoyed NEHI (68A: Classic soda brand), because it reminded me of Radar on M*A*S*H. Finally, I smiled at SLIP (27D: Freudian mistake), because it brought to mind my childhood hero, B. Kliban.

Catherine Park, Condesa de CrossWorld


wreck 12:47 AM  

Easy Peasy Tuesday! Anything I was a little fuzzy on was easily gettable with crosses. Not much else to say, thanks for the write-up, Catherine!

Steve J 12:49 AM  

Theme? Meh. One-trick pony, and I was quite bored with the trick by the second example. Even adjusting for Tuesday.

(Meanwhile, I put BOBBIES ON in at 64A at first. Never mind that that makes no sense. Never mind that he spells his surname Fischer. And especially never mind that his name's not Bobbie.)

Outside the theme? Much better. Some great downs: BOTTLE FED, BUGABOO, OPULENT and, my favorite, SORE LOSER.

Pretty much dreck-free, plus a great clue or two (like 55A for Saul). Pretty good for a Tuesday, even with the lackluster theme.

(Also meanwhile: All these years, and I had no idea CAP'N CRUNCH had a forename.)

Anonymous 1:10 AM  

Excellent theme. Very clever.
Wordplay at its finest.

jae 1:24 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 1:26 AM  

Very fine Tues.  Remarkably smooth grid, solid long downs, amusing theme, perfect Tues. level difficulty -- medium for me.   

BEQ might have switched the names for 40 & 50a. 

Wasn't ODD JOB a Bond villain?

Nice one Lynn.  A big cut above the typical Tues.!

And thanks for the laugh Catharine.

jae 1:28 AM  

Oops that would be Catherine. My bride spells it with a K and an A.

Ohio, huh...any where near Medina?

Anoa Bob 2:15 AM  

Anyone who counts B. Kliban as a hero is a friend of mine. For inquiring minds, check out The Biggest Tongue In Tunisia.

I think the puzz would have more pizzazz if JACK & MARK switched places.

chefwen 2:18 AM  

@jae - Jon working on his own copy said "I don't know the Zuckerberg guy, but I'm guessing his name is JACK, it makes perfect sense. Sez I "you already have a JACK in the puzzle, guess again. Sez he "I don't already have a Jack in the puzzle, so I'm officially changing his name to JACK, at least it's funny".

Cute puzzle, MAC (Hi @mac) over pAl, that was it for write overs.

ESP 5:50 AM  

The clue for PAT'S DOWN doesn't feel rooted in the game of baseball the way the others do, so that one stuck out awkwardly. I suppose you can't use "down" to mean "out" in that spot since another themer already has that covered.

John Child 6:03 AM  

Good fun Ms Lempel! This was easier than yesterday; I would have switched them. After solving I looked at the grid. It seems very choppy, but I didn't feel that while solving.

James Dean 6:29 AM  

I had my dumbest writeover ever - EARS instead of COBS at 1 Across. Stupidity can be humbling. The puzzle was better than me today, a nice easy one with some pretty darn good lingish answers.

Now I need some coffee.

Susierah 7:20 AM  

James Dean, I feel your pain. Was zipping along , then realized I had made a complete mess of this easy Tuesday.

All the wrong answers that had to be redone: me, too, ear for cob; PABA for aloe; pal for Mac; misspelled Aladdin with two l's and one d, brewery; a chocolate nibble is a kiss; bobby fisher; and "classic" soda brand is a Coke.

So, I had royally messed up this puzzle. It was all fixable, but yes humbling! I finally got it all sorted out.

AliasZ 7:55 AM  


O ROMEO, OLEO! wherefore art thou OREO?
Deny thy FLARE and ignore thy STATUTES,
Or, if thou Will Shortz, do not SLURP thy JACK SUP,
And I'll no longer be BOTTLEFED.


[Aside] Shall I veer NORTH, PETER SOUT,
Or shall I SLIP one to this SHREW?


'Tis but thy BONO that is my BUGABOO;
Thou art an ODD JOB, though NOTSO BREWPUB.
What's a BREWPUB? Never heard of it.
It is nor RAND, nor LOOT,
Nor ROMP, nor FACET, nor any other TRIM
Belonging to a CAMRY. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call OBOE
By any other name would sound as squeaky;
So ROMEO would, were he not ROMEO call'd,
Retain that SORE LOSER image which he owns
Without that TINSEL. ROMEO, MARKS OFF thy name,
And for that name which is no skin off thy nose,
I take off my SLIP.

chefbea 8:06 AM  

Fun easy puzzle..what with all the foodie stuff!! Surprised no one so far has quibbled about OXO. They make great kitchen gadgets!!

Now I'm off to the bookstore to buy @Dough Peterson's new Xword book

Hi @Mac

RAD2626 8:15 AM  

@AliasZ. Just brilliant. And such a quick turnaround.

@Susierah. Glad someone else has that problem with Alladin, er, Aladdin.

Week is off to great start. Two well constructed, fun puzzles with clever themes.

dk 8:28 AM  

OOO (3 Moons)

Pleasing conceit.
Light and fluffy.
A confection.
A Tuesday

I so wanted Zuckerberg's first name to be Jack.

Nice work Ms. Lempel

RooMonster 8:48 AM  

Hey All!
Nice, breezy Tuesday puzzle! Nothing like not having to wring the brain early in the morning! I liked the themers, PATSDOWN did strike (pun!) me as strange also, (hi @ESP!). I was thinking about the JACK at 50A also! (hi @jae, @AnoaBob, @chefwen!) especially after having _A_KSOFF!! Just the way the solving fell! Nice lon down fills, hardly any dreck (love that word) or crosswordese.

Two writeovers, pAl before MAC, IotA before IDEA.

SOHO, NOTSO bad today. The CAPN HAS said ADIOS on another vaca, the TEMP HOST was able to do a nice ESSAY, no SALT and SNIT. Every FACET was done with FLARE and was OPULENT. It's ALI know, inDEED.


Fred Smith 9:02 AM  

@Catherine --

I went to your fineyoungfauves.com site and enjoyed meeting your very nice family, and through you reliving the years (MANY moons ago) that we lived in Paris with two young kids.

How well do I know what you mean about the "ugly Americans" and their "ill-behaved" kids. It's not just that they're anti-American (though in truth many are), but more that they have different cultural norms.

They always dress well when out-and-about (our house cleaning lady dressed better than us, even while cleaning); and kids are expected to be seen and not heard -- no wonder there are so many up-tight French adults ( just kidding...).

loren muse smith 9:05 AM  

I disagree with those who found this one ho-hum. Catherine – enjoyed your write-up, but for me, this is not one I'll forget anytime soon! I found the theme tight, understated, elegant, and clever. I glanced at the clue for 40A before I started, saw it was going to be a baseball deal, and was momentarily crestfallen; I don't know a lot of baseball. But when my first themer fell, PATS DOWN, I stopped and smiled. And sat there loving Lynn Lempel.

Each themer is a first name that is spelled exactly the way the verb is spelled (so, say, CARY'S ON or PHIL'S IN) is, uh, out). They're easily-recognizable people – three actors, an entrepreneur, a TV HOST.

How 'bout "Dale's cartoon buddy is safe at home!!" CHIPS IN

Yesterday's HANDEL had me trying to remember if he's the guy with no E in that last syllable. Nope. It's HAYDN. To match CAPN. Cool.

I know lots of people just kinda skim over all the comments, but I want my spellhing buddy, @jae, to get credit for the "switch Jack and Mark" comment. He posted it first, folks.

SORE LOSER crossing OXO reminded me of those endless tic-tac-toe sessions with my pre-school daughter, my daughter who was a spectacularly bad sport if she lost even one game. To this day, I think I'd rather slurp down melted oleo than play that damn game with anyone.

REARS reminds me of the ENORMITY discussion yesterday. My husband sent me a link to watch a Weird Al youtube grammar clip, and the first thing I reported back to him was a snarky comment that this clip championing "good English" used "raised" instead of REARED for bringing up a child.


What a nice &%$& hypocrite I am. (Hey, @Numi!) @Steve J – you're so right about how we all pick and choose our little aspects of language that are changing and dig our heels in. I'll cavalierly use who when I know it should be whom, but you won't catch me *ever* saying just between you and I. Not only do I not say it, but I do an inward little sigh and head-shake when I hear it.

This was my favorite puzzle in a long time. Here's hoping it Ushers in some more beauts this week!

Z 9:11 AM  

I prevented the ear ache by looking down before I wrote anything down. I guess if you are going to give your cartoon cereal mascot a prénom it might as well be a pretentious prénom. And if one is going to write about pretentious prénoms one should ....

B. Kliban, Gary Larson, Bill Watterson - 1980 to 1995 was a great time for comics.

I loved everything about this puzzle except the middle 3-letter answer section. I see that for cluing the meat on a stick is spelled k-e-b-a-b, not that it will be spelled that way the next time it is an answer.

I-75 in Ohio, eh. I've played a little ultimate in Lebanon, Versailles, and Sylvania, so I'm sure I've passed the Condessa of CrossWorld's house. I'll wave the next time I go by.

Leapfinger 9:15 AM  

I was going to comment, but there's just no act can follow the Trembling Lance.

mathguy 9:38 AM  

Enjoyable review, Catherine. I like the way you write.

I have a feeling that Lynn is not a baseball fan. A fan would have "trying to steal" instead of "trying for a steal." 26 A could have been more in the baseball context as "Pat slips going for a fly ball."

Very nice puzzle.

Lewis 9:40 AM  

@jae -- Good one, the BEQ remark!

@lms -- I'm with you. I liked the spark here, the fun theme, OPULENT, BUGABOOS, BOTTLEFED. It felt like one of Acme's puzzles but had Lynn's vibe. Fun and dandy. Made me smile and I enjoyed the solve. Also, what a clean grid, grid gruel-less! I do believe Rex would have pointed this out.

Then there's the Words Ending In O mini theme -- NOTSO, OXO, OREO, AGO, BONO, OLEO, ROMEO, SOHO. And the Words Ending With The Letters O and E mini theme -- OLEO, ALOE, OREO, OBOE, ROMEO.

I think of SLURP more as a noisy drinker than eater.

I enjoyed the writeup, especially your kids' reactions, Catherine.

POST PUZZLE PUZZLE (PPP): Looking only at the across answers in the bottom five rows, there are four answers that can be grouped for a reason: MARKSOFF, IDEA, CARRIESON, and NEHI. What is the reason?

If you wish to post an answer, just write a word from elsewhere in the puzzle that can be grouped with these words. I encourage you to do this, to help those still trying to figure it out! I'll post the answer later.

Arlene 9:40 AM  

This was just my kind of puzzle - elegant, nothing weird. So glad there weren't any rap stars to fret over. YAY!

jberg 9:45 AM  

Well, you could say I DNF this one, as I had somehow folded the paper that I never noticed the last squares of 68A and 71A were empty, but I'm gonna count it anyway, as they were total gimmes.

@Loren, thanks for explaining why everyone was making the same joke. Read the comments before you write one, folks!

Also, see what H.E. Fowler had to say about rears vs. raised, etc.

I think the ERIE and Lackawanna is named for the city, not the lake (which is currently trying to poison the people of Toledo, in retaliation for our poisoning it), but the clue is legitimate enough. 22D less so; it's not a STATUTE until the President signs it, up to then it's an Act of Congress. Very minor point, though. Basically a great puzzle, and a fun write-up from Catherine. Thanks!

Bob Kerfuffle 9:49 AM  

Fine puzzle.

Thank you, lms, for pointing out the elegance of the answers. You seemed the first to point out the naturalness of the answer phrases in senses having nothing to do with baseball.

But, oh! the bad grammar we suffer in so many places. A few days ago on a plane crossing the Atlantic I watched the recent film "Noah", in English but with subtitles that could not be turned off. So there was no escape when Noah told his family, "Eventually we will die, and you, Shem, will bury your mother and I." AARGH!

jdv 9:50 AM  

Easy-Med. Very clean grid. PATSDOWN is something you'd hear at a boxing match. Liked ODDJOB and BUGABOO.

Whirred Whacks 9:57 AM  

Anoa Bob and Catherine: I'm another big B Kliban fan. I remember getting my first copy of "Whack Your Porcupine" in 1976. His drawings were (and still are) great mind lubricants!

Whirred Whacks 9:58 AM  

Anoa Bob and Catherine: I'm another big B Kliban fan. I remember getting my first copy of "Whack Your Porcupine" in 1976. His drawings were (and still are) great mind lubricants!

Mohair Sam 9:58 AM  

@lms and @Lewis - Yes! This was a delightful Tuesday puzzle. Very little 'ese', and OPULENT, and BUGABOOS, and freakin' Shakespeare references, and a simple theme that was clever and fun. What's not to love?

Great job Lynn Lempel, thank you.

joho 10:31 AM  

Oh, what a lovely puzzle, Lynn!!!

The theme is not only held together with baseball and active theme answers using names, but Lynn also tightened it even further with OUT, DOWN, UP, OFF and ON! I don't know when I've seen a better Tuesday!

OISK 10:41 AM  

An easy puzzle can still be a really enjoyable one, as this was. I love baseball references. Trying to come up with others…Sportscaster Caray enters the game?
(Chips in)

Carola 10:50 AM  

Add me to the cheering section for this one. I enjoyed seeing how the theme developed (@loren, thanks for explaining why so well), with the treat of the long Downs along the way: BOTTLEFED, ALADDIN, BUGABOOS, JAKARTA, OPULENT. And BREW PUB, ODD JOB, TINSEL, and TEMPEST added GLOSS.

TINSEL TEMPEST reminded me of when my daughter's kitten got at the Christmas tree.

Sam 11:23 AM  

@jberg & Loren Muse Smith
This is the first I've heard that there might be any question about which was "proper" -- raise or rear. Both words have a lot of history. I also couldn't find any comment by H.W. Fowler that weighed in on any difference between "rear" and "raise", not in his book on usage. In Fowler's dictionary, the Pocket Oxford, he simply defines each word. In the Universal Oxford Dictionary, that he contributed to, there is the comment that "raise" as in "raising a child", is now used chiefly in the U.S. (the book was published in 1933).

Leapfinger 11:32 AM  

Changed my mind.

I think you can tell a Really Good Puzzle when there's a spate of early comments, all rushing to get their reactions in. Like today. Had a bunch of pain with wifi going out and mobile access being temperamental too, so there was No Way I'd be early, but still enjoyed JACK being such a Hit.

Swung at all the curveballs, like ears, paba, mac, Alladin [because Allah]. 'For the lips', even thought of Estee Luster. Japanese model: an abbrev'd GEISHA?

Besides the really tight, funny and natural theme, liked:
O LEO in August
BOTTLEFED crossing BREWPUB with SLURP nearby
The SHREW SHREWd connection, something to think about. Even without going into the whole mole, chicken mole, soapy amole business.

I've been a Gahan Wilson, GLarson, JFeiffer fan since I was NEHI to a grasshopper, but Kliban is the only one I have a dish for, a Kliban-cat creamer. Since I don't fancy drinking anything that pours from a cat's mouth, it now holds a small plant.

I feel for Lempel's attempt at gender equity in the theme, and tried to help. Thought of CONNIE'S TOGA, though there isn't much waggin' in baseball...and then CONNIE turned out to be MACK, after all that.

Liked the Catherine-with-a-C blog, and, if @Roomie will share, think LaLempel has not only FLARE, but MAGIc.

r.alphbunker 11:45 AM  

Cruised along until the incorrect spelling Alladin brought things to a halt in the NE. It was all a din up there for about five minutes until I was able to let go of that spelling. I guess it is like Ali rather than Allah.

mac 11:46 AM  

I'm with @Loren, elegant, witty Tuesday! Loved it.
Getting the names, baseball terms, Shakespeare referenced clues, so much to have fun with!

Hardest part was the NE, because I spelled Aladdin with two lls and one d.

Two Dutch clues (three if you count Mac): Bugaboo and North Sea. I'll be on that shore next Monday!

mac 11:47 AM  

P.S. Great write-up, Catherine!

Leapfinger 12:08 PM  

Let me SLIP IN one other version of the ROMEO story

This is Not the version told in the NORTH.

mathguy 12:09 PM  

Just learned why penguins don't do crosswords. According to this morning's Science Times, they only have four words on their vocabulary. "I'm in danger," "I'm lost," "Come here," and "I love you." As babies they only had two words. "I'm hungry," and "I'm very hungry."

Andrew Heinegg 12:14 PM  

In some ways, it may be more challenging to construct an interesting Monday or Tuesday puzzle than the other days of the week. I would rate this as a decent effort. I did not get caught in the mini traps set out here but, I also did not have any' oh, I did not know that' or 'that is amusing' moments. Such as it is.

Lewis 12:22 PM  


Think outside the envelope.

Numinous 12:26 PM  

"Love to eat them mousies
Mousies that I love to eat
Bite they little heads off
Nibble on they tiny feet"

I don't recall if that was on a t-shirt belonging to the then girlfriend or what but Kliban cats were a part of my life for a year or two. Liked them better than Bunny Fo-Fo.

The first theme answer I got was PATS DOWN and I was thinking drug bust or something. I looked back at P____SOUT thought ETER but couldn't relate that to a three strike felony. It wasn't until later that I got the baseball gist. Face palm "DOH".

@loren, loved the way you pointed out the elegance of the solutions which sorta slipped past me as I was reveling in being able to type instead of stabbing one letter at a time with a stylus. In fact, much of the goodness of this Lempel effort slipped past me because I was grooving on typing instead of stabbing.(I would have said "niceties" but didn't want that misinterpreted.) I had to come here to read about what I'd missed. So, thank y'all.

And thank you Catherine for your write up and your blog. You brought back memories for me of Paris and honeymoons many moons ago. We stayed in St Germain a block or so from the Deux Magots and De Flor. Bought salt glazed candlestick and a few other goodies, including a Sabatier chef's knife that was still in use more that 20 years later though looking more like a filet knife, from a cluttered little shop that sold kitchen stuff in the street between them. I've eaten breakfast at both of those cafes several times and on other trips to Paris as well. A friend of mine in Geneva swore this was true: a college friend of hers, an American who was at the "silver plate" stage of speaking French was waiting for her at the Deux Magots. She had been speaking with an older man who had been hitting on her while she was waiting. She apparently told the guy that he was spouting existential BS. My friend turns up and the old guy turns away. Friend asks, "So, how do you know Sartre?" Yeah, another face-palm DOH moment from the annals of French cafe luncheons. Dunno if the story is apocryphal or not but my friend dined out it more than once.

I promise I'll get over the thrill of being able to type a puzzle and pay more attention tomorrow.


Hey folks, thanks for all the nice comments about my write up and about my blog. It's a cliche to say I'm just honored to be here, but honestly I am just honored to be here!

@joe, yes near Medina in sunny Bath!

@Fred Smith, ah the French. It's like they have a whole different culture. I love them, though, but I feel like I'm sort of in a straight jacket while I'm there, in a way. With rowdy boys even more so. Last year we took them to London, and found it to be also sort of "seen and not heard" environment for kids. Maybe Americans are actually the odd man out.

@mathguy, I think you're right about the "trying to steal" vs "trying for a steal" thing. Is "steal" a noun or a verb? That's the question. I think baseball people would say it's a verb.... don't know though whether this is Lynn's issue or maybe Will's!

@Lewis, I am actually sort of miserable that I forgot to point out how wonderful the long downs are!!! It's just the whole experience of getting a puzzle at 10 pm and trying to write it up before midnight. I have some regrets!

@numinous, that's a great story! I really hope it's true!! Too classic. I also love the Mousies song.

@whirred whacks and others, I was sort of weaned on B. Kliban, which may account for my strange sense of humor today. I remember actually being a child and looking at this Kliban drawing of an old withered man pointing into the distance, titled, "It was hell, recalls former child." And I understood that this was very funny, and that somehow I shouldn't think it was funny at the same time.

For one of my favorite funny but odd blog entries, read this one about a strange dental mishap. It was hell at the time, but now I think it's hilarious.


--Catherine (my son co-opted my google account, hence the "tiny buscus")

Masked and Anonymo4Us 12:59 PM  

Lynn Lempel is clearly a master at her craft. Also, really liked havin OLEO, OREO and ROMEO all in the one puz. And OBOE, which I've heard is an OBEO wanna-be. And ALOE -- but it's just got yer one O, so let's not rub that one in.

One side effect of such a masterdly work, is the lack of noteworthy weejects. Man, there's not a doggone desperate thing in the whole grid. Loosen up, Lynn. Slip in a STATOOTS, or somesuch. Toss me a bone.

Love the theme. Admire the coed nature of the ballclub.
And... Got yer UP and DOWN. ON and OFF. OUT and... whoop... Need an IN one, for the sake of utter, candy-assed obsessive-compulsive neatnik completeness. Gotta "Take It To The Limit", mon amigos. Leave no stone unturned. Stall for time, until U think of somethin that'd work... (CHIP'S IN is pretty good, @muse, btw)...

* "Dogg scores!" Pretty weak... SNOOP'S IN?
* "Limbaugh waddles home!"... RUSHES' IN has the spelling problems.
* "Warner crosses the plate!". Pretty ok... POP'S IN is kinda short for a themer, tho.
* "Old man Walton comes across!". There yah go... GRANDFATHER'S IN... primo length. QED.


Anonymous 1:32 PM  

I feel like any time a puzzle is based around baseball, its a total loss. It's just completely and totally anathema to me. Baseball clues annoy me, and baseball puzzles are just a lost cause. So this was a zero star puzzle to me.

Now if they ever got serious and someone made a hockey puzzle, I would be all about it.

Hartley70 1:39 PM  

I hope Lynn and Catherine can hear all the applause. Brava!!!

Anonymous 1:52 PM  

@Tiny Bicuspid, que horror! I'll never say 'unhinged' again.

It's a good thing your mouth went dry, you know, else you'd have been drooling into your lap all through that long drive. No strange looks from drivers pulled up beside you at traffic lights?

Hate to say, but thewhole episode is a set-up for Too Many Jokes.

Crowned as Queen for a Day!

Golden Dragon 3:11 PM  

Poor Rex, being compared to PewDiePie! At least compare him to TotalBiscuit.

Anonymous 4:08 PM  

Enjoyed this limpid Lempel from its start with COBS of corn to its end with Roald Dahl's Esio TROT.

sanfranman59 4:19 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 7:07, 8:01, 0.89, 17%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:42, 5:10, 0.91, 14%, Easy

Lewis 4:22 PM  


The reason is that these words begin with the two-letter state abbreviations.

Sfingi 4:42 PM  

I didn't catch on that it was all about sports, a subject I continue to know little about. Still finished Tuesday style.

Had debbIES ON before the daughter. I guess Eddie is totally forgotten, though he was the source of the name. Unless he made it up, Hollywood style.

Hubster is and my mama was a stickler for grammar. I could never figure out bring/take, so I said both together. What gets me are pronunciations. Did you know "terrorist" is a 2-syllable word, now? Even on NPR. And "tourist" is pronounced tore-ist? Yeesh.

spacecraft 11:47 AM  

A pleasant bit of fluff on the eve of the playoffs. Easy, and with few exceptions, well-filled.

Of course, ODDJOB does not make me think of a handyman, but of a certain gent who's handy with a metal hat. When he crushed the golf ball, he had MY attention.

I'd love to see a real game with those four on the field! For a non-taxing solve, this was fun. A.

4350: I won't be a SORELOSER.

DMG 1:23 PM  

A fun bit of wordplay. Only pause came waiting for Zukerman's name to appear from the crosses, but at least I recognized it! Oh, I suppose it's generational, but I also wanted Carie's dad, Eddie. He was BIG in my tuned-in years. My grandmother had one of those new (6"?) TV sets, and when we visited I got to see his 15 minute show. Remember those?!! Think of Douglas Edwards wrapping up the day's news in the time it takes a current broadcaster to "interview" some disaster victim who would no doubt prepare to be left alone. I now get my news from various papers which allows me to skip the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality. How did I get on this soapbox?

Got there by a different hand, but I join @Spacecraft at the 3's table: 1497.

DMG 1:27 PM  

That's "prefer" not "prepare". You wouldn't believe it, but I actually do try to proofread these things!

Dirigonzo 2:50 PM  

My completed grid is a pristine affair with nary a write-over - I even spelled Aladdin right with no crosswords. I guess I could say the puzzle was lacking any BUGABOOS.

@DMG - Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date in 1956 - were you among the 83% of TV viewers tuned in to the event?

105 - could be good enough?

DMG 3:31 PM  

@Diri|: Never was more than vaguely aware Presley. '56 was the year I finished school, took a job in a new town, no TV. My singers were more radio-juke box days. Remember "Huts Hut Ralston" (that was how it sounded) and "Marzey Doats"? Or, how about "A-huggin and a-chalkin"? Sometimes I think I'm older than everyone here!

New deal is 449. Sometimes it pays to come back!

Z 4:06 PM  

@ Ellen S - Yes, just like "source of milk" being "carton." You start writing U-D-D... and realize that you have an extra square so you say "WTH, must be a POC," and end up adding between five secs (Rex) to two hours (hi @Casco Kid) to your solve time. I loves me a good puzzling CLEW.

@Matt Gaffney - yes, I would have reacted less negatively to your posts from the get-go if you had said that the font was probably a style manual decision, not a Will Shortz decision. A bigger issue to me than the font size is the signing away of future publishing rights. The similarities of the power relationship to that of, say, indentured servitude are just a bit much. Okay, that may be an over-the-top comparison. More like a new band that signs away the rights to their music before they know enough to have a lawyer. Again, that's not Shortz, that's the NYT and their lawyers exploiting a situation in a way that should be illegal. Just One Man's Opinion.

Pretty sure I've exceeded my limit. Tomorrow is take #3 to college day so see you all Thursday.

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