Suffragist Carrie Chapman / WED 2-11-15 / Overzealous copy editor / Kool-aid alternative / Region next to Chad / Competitor for Jules Verne Trophy / Former barrier breaker

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Constructor: Will Treece

Relative difficulty: Easy (with wide variations probable)


If you solved in the actual newspaper, this:

[Note the much cruddier western section, which they realized was TOO cruddy TOO late to make changes in the paper version. TOO BAD]

THEME: Overzealous copyediting (?) — musical acts (with oddly spelled names) spelled like they sound:

Theme answers:
  • DEAF LEOPARD (3D: *"Hysteria" group, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
  • THE BEETLES (18A: *"Rubber Soul" group, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
  • LUDICROUS (23A: *"Chicken-n-Beer" rapper, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
  • LINCOLN PARK (26D: *"Meteora" band, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
  • BOYS TO MEN (53A: *"Evolution" group, to an overzealous copy editor?)
  • MOTLEY CREW (60A: *"Dr. Feelgood" band, to an overzealous copyeditor?)
Word of the Day: Linkin Park —
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries. Their following studio album Meteora continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200album chart in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium. Billboard ranked Linkin Park No. 19 on the Best Artists of the Decade chart. The band was recently voted as the greatest artist of '00s in a Bracket Madness poll on VH1. In 2014, the band was declared as the Biggest Rock Band in the World Right Now by Kerrang. (wikipedia)
• • •

Love this theme, though I'm not sure I like the cluing—presumably even overzealous copy editors are familiar with proper nouns and the fact that they might be spelled all kinds of ways. Also, if the copy editor has never heard of The Beatles … I wouldn't trust her to feed my goldfish, let alone edit my writing (she'd probably have the album as "Rubber Sole," too, btw). But the cluing makes its point effectively enough, I suppose—all the band names (and the one rapper's name) look, in their proper forms, like misspellings, and an overzealous copyeditor would zealously "fix" all misspellings, so … OK. Cluing aside, this is a great concept. Not sure why ONE wasn't built into the center of the grid (where ICE currently sits). It's clued thematically (47A: Chart position reached by all the albums seen in the starred clues in this puzzle), so … yeah, that's weird. I think I'm realizing now why I don't like the theme cluing—seems like the cluing could've been a *lot* funnier (or, funny, period) if the musical acts were clued in relation to their (often ridiculous) copy-edited names. I want a good DEAF LEOPARD clue! Just having them all end "… to an overzealous copyeditor" is monotonous and humorless. Still, I am down with this concept of "properly spelled" band names. Fresh, fun, contemporary, playful, good. Helps that the fill is pretty good. Slightly above average for an easy puzzle, I'd say, EHS and AHH and OLA and EDUC and AND notwithstanding.

CHEESES made me laugh, solely because it's in almost the exact grid location that the much-loathed (by me) SWISSES was in a few days ago. DARFUR did not make me laugh (4D: Region next to Chad), but I like it as fill. I had ERROR instead of TO ERR and WINE instead of WINO for a bit (41D: Grape nut?), but no other missteps, resulting in a very fast solve. I think many will not find the puzzle so easy, but only because of musical ignorance, i.e. I think it highly likely that many solvers won't ever have heard of LINKIN PARK. They're nearly too recent for me (I actually couldn't tell you a single thing they've done, but I've seen their name a lot). Many won't know Christopher Brian Bridges, aka Luda, aka LUDACRIS either, even though he's been crazy prolific for well over a decade. Won't surprise any of you that rap is a blind spot for your average crossword solver. But then so is contemporary music generally. I know that feeling locked out of a puzzle's cultural playing field can be frustrating, so I'd understand if this puzzle were less than thrilling for some of the less pop-musically inclined. But I liked this a lot.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    PS Looks like dead-tree edition has different clues in the west. Well, that's … idiotic. Two words: regime change.


    wreck 12:09 AM  

    Pretty fair assessment by Rex. I knew exactly where it was going at THEBEETLES. While, the actual album names usually escaped me, I could get all the artists pretty easily with a few crosses. I like this one a lot!

    Steve J 12:16 AM  

    Nice debut puzzle from Will Treece. Fun theme. Agreed that there was missed potential in the theme cluing by giving unique takes on each answer, but it still worked rather well.

    Things would have been a little cleaner had a properly spelled CELINE Dion been left out of the puzzle. But I don't know how else to clue CELINE in a Wednesday-appropriate way.

    Loved the clue for WINO.

    John Child 12:24 AM  

    Congratulations Mr Treece on becoming the 776th published constructor in the Shortz era! It's a cute idea: to take answers that wouldn't be very interesting - musical acts - and mess with them to make them fun. Six theme answers and clean fill: Make us some more like this!

    I hung up with restATE for ITERATE, making DARFUR hard to see. Didn't know TODD or CATT and Naticked at the latter.

    jae 12:35 AM  

    Easy-medium for me.   Knew all the bands except Linkin Park.   In order to appreciate the theme I had to look up some of the actual spellings post solve.   That said, I thought the theme was clever/refreshing, so...liked it.  Nice debut.

    59d could have been clued "Tiger has them"

    According to Xwordinfo the cluing was Will's idea.

    Dean 12:37 AM  

    "Rio hello" is Portuguese OI, not Spanish OLA. Yes, I know they sometimes say it in Portugal, but it's rare in Brazil.

    dreisands 12:38 AM  

    Linkin Park reminds me of 2002 and 7th/8th grade. Bad time, bad music.

    chefwen 12:50 AM  

    Like @jae, knew all the bands except for LINCOLN PARK, got the LINCOLN part and much younger renter boy gave me the PARK. Your Tiger comment really got me laughing. Good one.

    Easy/medium for me also.

    Don't know where my head is, but I filled in orgies before BEASTS at 51D. Might have to examine that further.

    Put me into the liked it column

    Billy 1:06 AM  

    The overzealous copy editor isn't supposed to be a real person who has to have been aware of the "Beatles." It's just a fictional character, gotta suspend your disbelief a little there! ;-)

    Anonymous 1:47 AM  

    I liked the 10-down meta-clue, since many phones might auto-correct the band names to their "correct" spelling.

    Hartley70 2:23 AM  

    The only album I knew was "Rubber Soul" and the only groups I knew were THE BEETLES and BOYSTOMEN. I could dredge up all the others with just a few letters, however, even though their music was a mystery to me. I don't know how I know this stuff or why it's taken up space in my brain. Couldn't I have remembered my high school French vocabulary instead?

    This made for an easy Wednesday with a one letter exception. The C in CATT could have been any letter to me since I expected Nation to fit into 4 spaces. And HWT seemed like a good guess for the down. And that takes me on a trip to Natick where the snow drifts must be above my head by now.

    Thomas808 3:51 AM  

    Very fun solve. Even us solvers of a BEETLES age have kids of a LINCOLNPARK age. Got to listen to what's going on in that minivan space!

    Moly Shu 5:07 AM  

    What, Salt-n-Pepa, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and INXS didn't want any of this? Liked it, right in my wheelhouse. Agree with @Hartley on the CATT/CWT cross. No idea what CWT is, but CATT just seemed correct.

    Steve Marcotte 6:48 AM  

    The paper version has completely different clues and answers for the middle western portion. For example, 38 across-Clinton's Arkansas birthplace.

    wordie 6:49 AM  

    I didn't really like it, bc of unfamiliarity as Rex predicted. I got the conceit quickly, but had to get the performers' names with the help of lots of crosses.

    I take issue with two of the clues:

    56A: I don't think an ARRAY is necessarily impressive. You could have an array of recycled bottles, e.g.

    65A: How is a SARI a Delhi order?

    Anonymous 6:51 AM  

    CWT = hundredweight. I don't really know why I know that, but it's common enough so that AUTOcorrect filled it in before the end.

    Jim C

    johnnymcguirk 6:58 AM  

    Soul is a word. Def and the other theme answers are not. So why would she change it to to Rubber Sole ?

    St. John Travel Forum 7:05 AM  

    Any puzzle that has "and" as an answer should be rejected by NYT.

    Danp 7:09 AM  

    All of these bands or musicians named themselves to sound like something obvious. To clue the "obvious" strikes me as a really dumb theme.

    It might have been more interesting if it had gone something like:

    Former Robert E. Lee gym teacher - LEONARDSKINNER
    Inventor of farm equipment - JETHROTULL
    Novel by Sinclair Lewis - ARROWSMITH
    Hesse novel - STEPPENWOLF

    jberg 7:17 AM  

    Didn't we just have CHEESES with the same clue? Sunday, maybe? Or was that CHEESE TRAY? Anyway too close for my liking.

    Although I've certainly heard of Ludacris, for some reason I put in dangeROUS off the ROUS, which was second biggest problem in this puzzle.

    The biggest was not realizing that the Seven Dwarves were playing "Farmer in the Dell," so wanting e-I-e-i-(o) at 67A. I just realized that I have the wrong farm, though, that's Old McDonald's. I still don't recall any HI HOing on that other farm, though.

    Meanwhile AUTOcorrect doesn't like those Dwarves in the last paragraph; I thought it was pushing for dwarfs, but it turns out it wants 'wharves' instead. That's from the sequel, "Snow White Goes to Sea."

    Pitiful attempt at doing the theme in reverse: "Marriage of Figaro, if written by a Stooge" -- MOE'S ART.

    evil doug 7:19 AM  

    A theme in which all we do is correct spelling errors is commendable? Pleeze.

    The Beatles had a clever reason for the choice of their name (a nod to the inspiration of Buddy Holly and The Crickets), and the subtle spelling shift to emphasize the key element of rock and roll music.

    Subsequent acts had no such creative rationale, but likely just an alcohol or drug induced desire to appear cleverly twisted. Instead their goofy misspellings look like tiresome clichés.

    My own garage band, "Hay Eddy", played the same game with a takeoff on the common Leave It To Beaver line addressed to Wally's troublemaker pal: "Hey, Eddie!" Our excuse? We were in junior high school....


    Glimmerglass 7:31 AM  

    @jberg: "Hi ho the derry-o, the farmer in the dell."

    mathguy 7:33 AM  

    Like @Hartley70, I didn't know the music but knew the musicians. A pretty easy solve. And an enjoyable one.

    Numinous 7:34 AM  

    The clue for 5 D is only partially correct and it bothered me because my awareness of CWT comes from Anglo-Saxon ccountries.

    The hundredweight or centum weight (abbreviated cwt) is a unit of mass defined in terms of the pound (lb). The definition used in Britain differs from that used in North America. The two are distinguished by the terms long hundredweight and short hundredweight:

    The long hundredweight is defined as 112 lb (8 stone), which is equal to 50.802345 kg.[1] This is the definition used in the imperial system.
    The short hundredweight is defined as 100 lb, which is equal to 45.359237 kg.[2] This is the definition used in the US customary system. This is also the usual hundredweight in Canada. The short hundredweight is also called a cental, especially in places which normally use the long hundredweight.
    Under both conventions, there are twenty hundredweight in a ton, the long ton being 2,240 lb and the short ton being 2,000 lb.
    Before the 15th century in England, a hundredweight was a different unit equal to 108 lb.
    –Wikipedia for more on the subject.

    I knew all the bands. I didn't say I liked them, I just knew them. I even owned a MöTLEY CRüE album back in the 80s. I've also owned a plethora of BEETLES albums. It's funny how perceptions change. I grew up in an apartment building on the corner of Durant and Telegraph Avenues in Berkely, California. There was a row of fraternity houses along Durant. Weekends and even during the week they would blast the Beatles as loud as they ccould while they partied at night. They kept me awake. Preferring jazz, blues and folk to pop, I hated that. But then, I went to see the movie A Hard Day's Night and was won over by the quirky personalities of the lads from Manchester and came to see their early music as just plain fun. I haven't listened to much pop music over the past 16 years but raising tweens and teens, hearing some is unavoidable. Hands up y'all who know Savage Garden and Good Charlotte.

    This was a pretty good puzzle and I finished it in about a third of my average Wednesday time according to the iPad app. Maybe my mind is waking back up.

    Will Treece is to be congrtulated on the acceptence of his first submission to the NYT. The theme seems appropriate to someone who plans to teach high school history. He did say he wanted snappier clues for the individual bands but Will vetoed that notion and provided his own. He says that it was Will who found that all the bands had a number ONE album and concludes, "It's a testament to his editing skills that he can make a theme work in ways that the constructor never imagined."

    So, a good one for me, You go, Will.

    John V 7:37 AM  

    This ONE broke my perfect score at Westport. Could not get the NE with TODD, DARFUR, DEAFLEOPARD et. al. Hand up for feeling culturally shut out. Had no idea about the song titles for anyone other than the Beatles. Tilt. Very frustrating DNF, having torn through the first two puzzles.

    Patrick Merrill told us that the most common error was 5A, where many solvers had TOOD, which seems perfectly reasonable, of course.

    We also learned that this was Will Treece's debut -- anywhere! Congrats! The constructor was present in back of the room, having driven in from RI.

    Over all, I guess I think this puzzle played to a too narrow audience and that the NE should have been sent back for re-work for better crosses.

    Anonymous 7:39 AM  

    Super easy for me but I can see some solvers completely stumped if they are not familiar with late 20th century popular music.

    Dorothy Biggs 7:40 AM  

    This was an easy one for me...even though I don't know the music of a couple of the names mentioned, I've still heard of them.

    As for the "blind spot" Rex mentioned, hell there's all kinds of blind spots in these puzzles which is, I think, half the fun. Literature, classical music, pop culture (TV shows, TV actors, films, film actors, etc), and a host of languages, biology, and measurement units all fit neatly into someone's blind spot.

    Rappers are the most noticeable because of their blatant misspellings and the fact that I seriously doubt there is a strong common cross section between xword solvers and rap fans. I could be wrong. But we complain most about rapper names because we don't know who they are and the spellings are randomly misspelled.

    Anyway, I left the two vowels in THEB--TLES open until I saw the conceit...which I finally did somewhere around BOYSTOMEN and MOTLEYCREW. When I sussed out that the answers were indisputable, I saw that they fit into the theme and the "aha" light went on.

    Had nAan for Dehli order (65A) first. I didn't know that square dancers moved their hips so much...feet yes, hips no.

    Potential natick at the CATT/AHH crossing...with (to me) O being a viable alternative. I guessed the A for no good reason except it's the first vowel that came to mind.

    Anonymous 7:46 AM  

    Yes - Delhi Order: sari

    is an order ever a unit of clothing?

    Rhino 7:48 AM  

    I was also stymied at CWT/CATT. It was the last letter on the grid so I ran the alphabet (didn't take long, obviously) and kept my streak intact.

    So if I'm successful tomorrow I'll have a new record, but sadly it will have an asterisk.

    RooMonster 8:00 AM  

    Huh? Are you sure you have the right day? 38A is HIPS...

    RAD2626 8:04 AM  

    A totally enjoyable solve. Fill was good, cluing good and knew some theme answers from clues and recognized all after a few crosses. Congratulations Will Treece on a great fun debut.

    John Child 8:07 AM  

    @anon 7:46
    That coat I ordered, has it come in yet?

    Numinous 8:12 AM  

    @John Child
    So SARI, it has not.

    wa 8:12 AM  

    Lynyrd Skynyrd, the group thinks is the correct spelling.

    Fun puzzle.

    L 8:16 AM  

    I'm a printed paper solver and I have totally different answers for the Midwest part of the puzzle, as Steve Marcotte noted above. Eg: 39D is "clairvoyance for short" for ESP, giving us "Clinton's Arkansas birthplace" HOPE at 38A, etc. Or am doing the bizarro puzzle?!?

    L 8:17 AM  

    (I get the home delivery paper, Late Edition, here in NYC). Weird!

    joho 8:18 AM  

    Having four stepsons who were into Linkin Park made that a slam dunk. (I even remember one of them telling me that I was spelling it wrong ... so appropriate for today's theme.)

    LOVED this puzzle! Fresh, original concept and smooth execution, Will Treece, what with the theme density. Well done! And congratulations on your debut!

    Wish I could have been at the Westport tournament with you, too. That must have been a thrill watching the contestants solve your puzzle.

    Mak57 8:20 AM  

    I think it should be too not Tao hope not hips
    Abash not awash and add not and on the middle if the left side. The current fills just don't make the grade!

    Anonymous 8:25 AM  

    You realize that the entire left midsection is incorrect.
    I.e.abash, carpet, add, and the accompanying downs

    Anonymous 8:25 AM  

    Yes, the paper version has the clues "inordinately" for 33 across, and "that's unfortunate" for 30 down, in addition to the other clues mentioned above.

    Tita 8:27 AM  

    I chatted with Mr. Treece after the tournament. An impressive guy - what fun that he drove down to be there.
    He was gracious, and excited, and really anxious to hear what everyone thought about his oeuvre.

    Re: the differences in the clues/grid. Will T. said that the MW section got changed, due to having 33a TOO crossing 30D TOOBAD, which he realized was not ok. (In fact, that was my last section in, cause I couldn't believe that it could having crossing TOOs.)
    To all you AND haters - it had been ADD.

    Absolutely loved this, even though it robbed me too of my perfect score at Westport.

    Maybe I loved it so much because I hated last Thursday's so much...
    those pointless grid-spanning songs.
    This is one of my fave puzzles ever.

    The Natick-du-jour was a double - my reasoning for lWT was thinking if we were talking boxing here, a "L"ightWeighT boxer would weigh a mere 100lbs or less...
    That made loTT a more likely name than lATT.
    Curse you, Will (either one will do...)

    Anyhow, thanks so much, Will Treece, and congrats on a fabulous debut. This is for sure a puzzle that lots of people will remember.
    (And I'm only kidding about that "Curses" part...)

    Lewis 8:28 AM  

    For someone who "liked this a lot", Rex, you sure didn't sound like it. It was more "I like it, but..."

    Your impetuous double-letter checker finds the second unusual count in a week, after many weeks of absence -- more than 12 double letters (13). Not a record, but high.

    I liked the clues to WINO, SST, and PACES, and correctly guessed C at square 5, but truly had no idea. The theme is cute, and the crosses fair for those who didn't know the bands' names. It felt easy for a Wednesday to me. But it felt like it had spark; a fun solve.

    @jberg -- I think Will likes to do this, have the same answers or very close answers two days in a row or twice in three days. He seems to have done this a lot over the last year.

    Tita 8:31 AM  

    Weird that the original version went to print in some places! Save that page - it might be like the inverted Jenny stamp...!

    AliasZ 8:35 AM  

    Things didn't start off well when I saw that the two first across clues were names I didn't know. But it turned out to be an OK puzzle AWASH with misspelled band names and average mid-week difficulty. SALINE Dion could have been a theme answer -- did I SAY LEAN? SARI to say, HURTS Rent-a-Car is not a rock band so it doesn't count.

    A few EHS, AHHs and HIHOs aside, the fill was just hunky-DORY, but outside the theme I see no real sparkling entries to spruce (CEDAR?) things up a little.

    Would you care to join me in a little slow TANGo?

    You are welcome.

    Don McBrien 8:36 AM  

    Liked this one, but have to admit, being a child of the 80s, DEAF LEOPARD, MOTLEY CREW and BOYS TO MEN were all gimmies, as was BEETLES. First time I started a puzzle by filling in the theme answers. Only error was CWT / CATT. Guessed NWT / NATT.

    Also was going to mention not liking TOO crossing with TOO BAD, but it seems that part of the puzzle must be different in print. Not sure what's up with that.

    Zwhatever 8:38 AM  

    The Paper Has A Different Solution

    I T E R A T E
    T O O
    H O P E
    A B A S H
    C A R P E T
    A D D

    33A - Inordinately
    38A - Clinton's Arkansas birthplace
    43A - Embarass
    48A - Cover completely
    52A - Put on
    30D - "That's unfortunate..."
    39D - Clairvoyance, for short


    mac 8:49 AM  

    Yes, I got the newspaper version with the old West section as well.

    I got this one, knew all the groups/artists except Linkin Park, but it filled itself in. Love that term Motley Crew. That one is easy to put in a sentence!

    Good Wednesday, Will!

    Anonymous 8:52 AM  

    Could Rio indicate Rio Grande or any other Rio in a Spanish speaking land?

    Ludyjynn 8:52 AM  

    I am intrigued by the variation between the pen/paper cluing and answers v. Rex's version of the Midwest quadrant. Has WS addressed this quirk somewhere?

    Hand up for a Natick at CWT, Thanks, @Numinous, for your scholarly explanation, which my pea brain will most likely fail to absorb.

    It is LUDICROUS to expect a person to equally enjoy all categories of music, but it is reasonable to expect a person to be familiar with them. So I thought it was fair game to cover the gamut here.

    Speaking of songs, "She's Come UNDONE" is running through my mind(in a good way)!

    I HOPE we see more from this constructor. Thanks, WT and WS.

    Lewis 8:55 AM  

    Factoid: MOTLEY Crue co-founder Nikki Sixx's original idea for the band's name was "Christmas". (Wikipedia)

    Quotoid: "ONE forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die." - Evelyn Waugh

    Zwhatever 9:00 AM  

    I see that many have commented while I typed. Thanks to @Steve Marcotte who caused me to look at that section.

    Let's see, a 60's band, a couple of 90's, a couple of 80's, and a late 90's/aughts. It seems Mr. Treece has a disco sized hole is his musical knowledge. Or maybe it's an Glam Rock sized hole. All these bands are enough in the ether that I knew them all, although the only album here I own is Rubber Soul.

    Easy. Fun. Sort of an "anti-pun" feel to the cluing.

    RooMonster 9:03 AM  

    Hey All !
    How bizzare that the paper has a different solution. How the heck did that happen? I printed today's puz off the NYT site, and got the (corrected?) version. The TAO/HIPS/AWASH/CARTED/AND version.

    I did like this puz, I also knew the bands, got the trick with CREW/Crue and DEAF/Def. Easy-medium, I thought the C in the 5 square, basically because her first two names started with C. Only onw writeover, War for some reason for WOE. For the Caged Talker, only put in the M and wait to see if it's MACAW or Minah.

    I have to live vicariously through the people who get their first puz in the NYT. I'm close to giving up. So, congrats Will Treece!


    John Child 9:11 AM  

    FWIW, the Asian edition of the International NYT has the TAO / HIPS version.

    Ludyjynn 9:12 AM  

    Thanks, @Tita, for clearing up my confusion. Funnily enough, the original TOO/TOO crossing didn't bother me TOO much as I solved; I was TOO busy trying to fill in the blanks for ITHACA, totally forgetting Cornell is located there. Duh!

    HI HO, hi ho, it's off to the pool I go.

    Sir Hillary 9:18 AM  

    I got the paper version that @Z shows. Very strange.

    I'm kinda with @evil on this theme -- it's a bit of a wet squib, especially as clued. Still, any debut is cause for celebration, and the fill is pretty snappy.

    For almost all the puzzle, this was probably the easiest Wednesday I had ever done. But then I dropped in BEingS and nAan in the SE and spent more time sussing and fixing that than I had for the entire rest of the solve.

    Know all of the artists, even though a couple of the albums were unfamiliar. For 53A, I briefly wondered if there were some homophone of "journey" that I was unfamiliar with.

    Anonymous 9:18 AM  

    Yes I knew THE BEATLES but I had no idea of Rubber Soul. And really never heard of the other bands. So it is a bit of a stretch to figure out a band name that you have not heard of.
    Rex's enthusiasm not withstanding I hated this puzzle with unrestrained passion. Needless to say that I DNF nor did I care to finish.

    NeilD 9:21 AM  

    Absolutely loved it. The only theme answer I got from the album was Ludacis - Chicken N Beer. Also to me, Linkin Park is a throwback, so I guess that shows my age...

    chefbea 9:33 AM  

    No time to read all the posts. Hated the puzzle. DNF.
    Didn't know any of the songs or groups... Oh the Beatles I know.
    Of course knew 17Across and loved the cheese tray with edam etc.

    Once I post this I will get an e-mail saying this was not able to be sent to RParker's mail box. Rex has no idea why this is happening...anyone know why I am receiving these messages??

    Steve M 9:41 AM  

    Dyer Straights

    quilter1 10:17 AM  

    Have to comment on Carrie Chapman CATT who was a. from Iowa! and b. was a leading suffragist. I think anyone familiar with American history would know her name.

    Anonymous 10:22 AM  

    Hey Evil! Hay Eddie was a straw man!!

    Haw haw

    Fred Romagnolo 10:24 AM  

    Northern California edition has the original West: TOO, HOPE, ABASH, CARPET, & ADD. If anybody pays attention to my blog comments, that person knows that no way do I know any of the songs, or the singer (even THE BEaTLES are AFTER my time, think Glenn Miller, Artier Shaw, Benny Goodman, the Dorseys) but something clicked and I caught on. So, no DNF. I thought a natick was 2 proper nouns crossing. CATT doesn't cross another proper noun. See yesterday's comment from @mathguy. I loved the WINO clue (clew?)I also noticed the CHEESES recurrence. Welcome, Will Treece!

    Fred Romagnolo 10:25 AM  

    That's Artie Shaw (of course)

    Anonymous 10:27 AM  

    anonymous @ 918: nice sore loser rant. "I didn't want to finish?" Patently false.

    Fred Romagnolo 10:29 AM  

    @quilterone: as a teacher of American History, an
    "alas" is in order.

    Arlene 10:41 AM  

    I had no idea what I was solving, but managed to finish anyway. Got THE BEETLES - knew MOTLEY CREW - but not the others. It's Wednesday, so I knew not to give up. Rex had it right about some people having problems with this puzzle. Raising hand here! Didn't have fun with this but can appreciate how some would.

    Andrew Heinegg 10:47 AM  

    A mostly easy 'survey' of some groups but, I find the listing of all of the other groups in the puzzle next to the Beatles as ahem ludicrous. The others are minor leaguers. And, with YouTube being available, give Rubber Soul a listen. Positively one of the very best albums ever;

    AZPETE 10:55 AM  

    And growing up she castrated pigs, too!

    RooMonster 10:57 AM  

    Just to stir the pot... disagree with Andrew H. Def Leppard have been around since early 80's, an icon in the rock world. Same with Motley Crue. Now, although the Beatles are loved by many, and are considered an iconic band by many, personally I think they were Pop music before anyone knew what pop music was. Certainly (again, to me) not in the Rock music category.

    Let the Roo bashing begin!


    pmdm 11:03 AM  

    I solved the version that had the crossed "too" words. interesting that I did not notice the intersection while I was solving, so it had zero effect on my reaction to the puzzle. Now that I am aware of the intersection of identical words, it doesn't change my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of having solved the puzzle. Were it not for the comments here, I would be blissfully ignorant of the violation of one of the solemn crossword puzzle construction prohibitions.

    I was listening yesterday to a radio broadcast of Wagner's opera The Master-singers. In the opera, someone writes a song that breaks the rules of songwriting, resulting in condemnations even though the song is nicer than competing songs. Kind of reminds me of what happens with today's puzzle. Because of the rule, the puzzle has to be changed, resulting in "and" being one of the words in the grid. Is this really an improvement? No, I think not. Perhaps Mr. Shortz should reconsider mindless enforcement of arbitrary rules.

    Zwhatever 11:07 AM  

    @Andrew Heinegg - Read this and feel free to rant about kids these days.

    Andrew 11:17 AM  

    Where's my Limp Biscuit?

    chefbea 11:37 AM  

    @Andrew Gordon sorry ....I ate it with my cheese

    Gene 11:45 AM  

    Didn't know the music, but knew all the names, so found this easy. The theme reminded me of a proposal for a computer system I once wrote , which included a specification for a "two MIPS" computer - that's one that could execute two Million Instructions Per Second. Then, to save money, we reduced the proposed machine to "one MIPS", and of course, the copy editor changed it to "one MIP".

    Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:56 AM  

    fave weeject: A(D/N)D.

    This WedPuz theme was TAO clever for words. (Plus, the fill was TOO TOO, for a semi-overzealous editor. har)
    Primo debut. Congrats, Mr. Treece.

    Good fill, in my version. Even was partial to AND. Never heard of any of the album names except Rubber Soul (which an overzealous editor probably wouldn't spell that way, btw). Well aware of all the groop names, except for Linkin Park. So and ergo the SE corridor was my most astringent solve vent. Wanted ENActED, to make matters worse, there. Finally got BEASTS, and happy pencils were here again.

    Great theme, multiple choice fill and clues, weeject themer (ONE), above avg, on yer U haul.
    Well, there's yer [Western area attraction] (!)


    @63: Yeah, yeah... A top clues list for Deaf Leopard. Workin on it.

    old timer 11:58 AM  

    I got the theme early, with DEAFLEOPARD, and had no trouble completing the puzzle.

    My West Coast paper edition has the original fill and clues, and as I crossed TOOBAD with TOO, I asked myself, "Isn't this TABOO?"

    I've heard of all the bands/rappers but not *heard* all of them. So some were easier than others.

    AliasZ 12:01 PM  

    @pmdm, I think you are right, the TOO/TOOBAD crossing was the GAFFE that had to be UNDONE in the on-line version(s) after the original had already been sent to print.

    Apropos of nothing special, here is a special offer for a special lady.

    As you were.

    M and A Help Desk 12:25 PM  


    Top Deaf Leopard clue choices...

    1. Spotted howl ignorer.
    2. Cat with Leo for a middle name?
    3. Dead leopard alternatife??
    4. Flaw of the jungle?
    5. Never herd animal?
    6. Kwiot Kitty.
    7. Dude always asking the laughing hyenas to "speak up!"
    8. Yellow sign on a busy jungle road.
    9. Physically challenged cheetah's cousin.
    10. Ear-tagging side effect.


    Carola 12:34 PM  

    Cute idea, tough solve. I knew only one album (you can guess which), but had at least seen the names of all of the groups/people in print so was able to get them with some crosses.

    Interesting about the section that Will REDID. My paper has the version with the TOO/TOO cross, which I, like @Tita, hesitated to fill in.

    St. John Travel Forum 12:34 PM  

    Actually, cwt is a word recognized by Scrabble. It is not an abbreviation.

    John V 12:34 PM  

    The finalists solved tomorrow's puzzle on the board.

    Help Desk extension 12:38 PM  

    ooooh, ooooh....
    Make that:
    10. Overzealous ear-tagging side effect.

    Day-um. Almost missed that one...


    Anonymous 12:39 PM  

    Enjoyable puzzle to make up for Tuesday.

    Teedmn 12:42 PM  

    Great puzzle and debut, Mr. Treece!

    Hand up for a DNF at CATT/CWT and for the same reason as @Tita, wanting a boxing link. I did the on-line version AND didn't let AND bother me.

    I didn't go quite as far down the road to Old MacDonald's farm as @jberg, but I had to sing "The Farmer in the Dell" to get eieiO out of my head.

    A fun Wednesday, not holding my breath for a Thursday rebus but it would be nice.

    wreck 12:55 PM  

    CWT is a common freight term meaning
    "hundredweight." ($50/CWT = $50 for every 100 pounds of freight shipped). I see it often, but I'm guessing if you don't ever ship anything heavier than what UPS or FED-EX handles,you would never run into the term!

    Outlaw M and A 1:07 PM  

    Too bad AUTO is already in the puz, or they coulda replaced "an overzealous copy editor" with "autocorrect". Woulda been funnier, in a what-could-go-wrong-with-A.I. sorta way. Third puz version, anyone?!?

    Hey! -- AREA is in both the grid and a clue -- so might as well go ahead with that Third puz version...


    Chip Hilton 1:28 PM  

    Anon @ 9:18: Oh what you're missing if you don't know Rubber Soul! Played the grooves off, as they say. I survived the Natick crossing with a lucky guess on CATT. I figured the C made sense in anything hundred related on the down clue. Congrats to Will Treece on a clever, well-constructed debut.

    Anonymous 1:29 PM  

    All that stuff about having a blind spot for popular music is exactly how I feel about their frequent reliance on silent film stars.

    Anonymous 1:37 PM  

    I was waiting for LIMP BISCUIT or show up.

    Anonymous 1:41 PM  

    Looking forward to the newspaper's Thursday crossword. To see how it handles the answer(s) to the Wednesday crossword. Could be a first. And a second.

    Lewis 1:54 PM  

    @andrew and @chip -- True that re Rubber Soul
    @Roo -- I wanted to email you but I couldn't find an address when I clicked on your name. Email me -- want to tell you something about submitting puzzles.

    mathguy 1:58 PM  

    @Lewis: Loved the Evelyn Waugh quote. It inspires me to read some more of his work.

    Anyone have a recommendation of what Waugh I should read besides Brideshead Revisited? I just finished reading the #1 NYT best seller, The Girl on the Train. Can't really recommend it.

    Happy Pencil 2:11 PM  

    In defence of copyeditors everywhere, I do feel obligated to point out that no one worth her salt would simply change a seemingly incorrect proper noun without actually fact-checking it first. Or if she did, she should be fired!

    But apart from that, I agree with those who've said Rex needs to lighten up a little. I thought the clues were a perfectly fine way of providing more links between the theme answers. And while I liked but didn't love the puzzle overall, I was impressed to learn that this is a debut. Always good to be introduced to promising new constructors.

    And @johnnymcguirk, I don't know if anyone else has answered you, but Rex's point was that the overzealous c/e would change "Soul" to "Sole" not because it's misspelled but because (in her eyes) it's misused -- she'd be thinking of a rubber-soled shoe.

    Happy Pencil 2:17 PM  

    @mathguy -- and anyone else looking for a good book -- please try CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. Yes, it's allegedly young adult, except it really isn't in any meaningful way. It's a special book that really should be more widely read, and I always recommend it when given half the chance (and no, I am not Elizabeth Wein!).

    I cannot tell you too much about the plot or I will ruin it for you, but it is set during WWII and revolves around the female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary. Even you might like it, @Evil Dead!

    Hungry Mother 2:53 PM  

    I don't think I know anyone from Iowa. Oh wait! My sister-in-law.

    joho 4:02 PM  

    It just occurred to me: did this run today on Lincoln's birthday because of the LINCOLNPARK answer? It's subtle for sure, but ....

    nkmcalli 5:05 PM  

    Def Leppard in the NW corner of the NYT puzzle? Congratulations! And that also made this puzzle super easy as I recognized Hysteria instantly. Fun, easy Wednesday. Loved it!

    aging soprano 5:25 PM  

    Try an item of clothing that Indian women wear.

    John V 5:29 PM  

    The finalists solved tomorrow's puzzle on the board.

    dick swart 5:37 PM  

    I am an 80-year-old subscriber to the NYT Xword.

    I took a quick glance at the clues and thought that I'd never heard of the tunes let alone the bands let alone whatever the challenges to that over-zealous copy editor might be.

    And I thought, in keeping with a continuing thread of age-related knowledge as a prerequisite of the puzzles for encouraging renewal of subscriptions, "Oh. Shit!"

    So, with trepidation, I put my 1980's Dutch school pen to paper and started out.

    I was surprised at how easy the puzzle was.

    The crosses were simple and would elicit the longies from some cache of miscellany undoubtedly gained from doing previous xword puzzles since I am not a follower of the more modern music scene.

    A rewarding Wednesday!

    aging soprano 6:13 PM  

    I got a chuckle from how all of you were able to get the theme answers from the fill. After getting THE BEETLES I knew that I would have to Google the albums and get the fill from them. That's how we beginners do it: backwards.
    Carrie Chapman Patt was the most interesting item in the puzzle, in my opinion. I enjoyed reading all about her. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have enjoyed listening to those albums nearly as much.
    I see that I am posting this at 6:10 pm but it is after midnight over here so, good night...

    aging soprano 6:13 PM  

    I got a chuckle from how all of you were able to get the theme answers from the fill. After getting THE BEETLES I knew that I would have to Google the albums and get the fill from them. That's how we beginners do it: backwards.
    Carrie Chapman Patt was the most interesting item in the puzzle, in my opinion. I enjoyed reading all about her. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have enjoyed listening to those albums nearly as much.
    I see that I am posting this at 6:10 pm but it is after midnight over here so, good night...

    foxaroni 6:16 PM  

    @Roo: with the utmost respect, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. :-) If the Beatles are not "rock," then no one is. The whole British Invasion of the mid/late '60s was the re-shaping of Amerian rock'n' roll, lead by the Beatles. As noted, their name was a tribute and homage to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. And if the Beatles aren' rock, then what genre description should we use for Elvis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, et. al.? Pat Boone? Frank Sinatra? Barbra Streisand? THEY were "pop." The Beatles--never!

    aging soprano 6:16 PM  

    Try an item of clothing that Indian women wear.

    foxaroni 6:22 PM  

    Meant "American," of course. ( blush!)

    aging soprano 6:27 PM  

    Oops. Carrie Chapman Catt. My telephone is always correcting me. Thinks he knows better.

    aging soprano 6:28 PM  

    Oops. Carrie Chapman Catt. My telephone is always correcting me. Thinks he knows better.

    bwalker 7:24 PM  

    At the end of the 19th Century, my great-grandfather Lincoln Park was a Methodist circuit minister in Waterloo, Iowa. Weird to see his name in the NY Times crossword.

    Zeke 9:01 PM  

    Speaking of regime change, I actually had a dream within the past week that Will had retired to take the Chair in the new Puzzle department at his alma-mater. Honestly.

    Anonymous 9:05 PM  

    @mathguy - A Handful of Dust. But you may want to reconsider whether to read it or not, as I believe the Evelyn Waugh quote was actually by Shevlyn Waugh, not Hevlyn Waugh.

    Anonymous 9:21 PM  

    As a retired copy editor, I'd rather have seen the blame put on Spellcheck!

    Unknown 9:22 PM  

    Hi all - Will (constructor, not editor) here. I'm delighted to read all your comments, both kind and critical.

    @Tita, good to meet you online! Glad you enjoyed the puzzle, and I'll let you know if I feel particularly cursed anytime soon.

    @M and A Help Desk, your alternate DEAF LEOPARD clues made my day.

    As for the two different versions of this puzzle, all I can say is...where there's two Wills, there's two ways.

    Wood 12:12 AM  

    I'm not at all pop-musically inclined, and nearly 50, but I knew all the band names. I didn't know a single one of the song names though, so it made teasing out the band names fun. Had a Natick at CWT/ CATT. Thought it had to be an H!

    Leapfinger 12:12 AM  

    What a very nice late surprise!
    I really must try to stay in step with the gen pop.

    Which reminds me: given today's constructor (and Hooray on the debut!), I thought for sure we'd hear from Pa Treece ... Munsel.

    Wood 12:14 AM  

    Ha, they're albums, not songs? Told you I wasn't pop-musically inclined.

    Leapfinger 1:24 AM  

    @aging soprano, six hours' difference would put you somewhere in Europe; closer to London or Budapest?

    For real about the great-grand? That makes you a Wqlker from the Park!

    pfb 10:29 AM  

    Did the paper version. Pretty fast solve although I did not know Carrie Chapman CATT. Sorry to say the only group/artist I could name from the album name was The Beatles, but at least I have heard of the others.

    Pat 10:27 PM  

    First time here but over 50 years of NYT puzzles. Can anyone tell me what Natick is or means?

    Tita 8:45 AM  

    Welcome, Pat! I'm on my phone (typing and linking is a pain) I'll just redirect you to the FAQ on Rex's blog...answers that question, and much more!

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    Burma Shave 12:06 PM  


    The RODEO WINOs had come UNDONE,
    SYRIA didn’t ALLOW them to PRAY,
    even the HEBREWS thought it TABOO.
    Simply LUDICROUS to the last ONE,
    those SARI BEASTS made quite an ARRAY.

    --- DORY YACHT

    rondo 12:34 PM  

    EZEZEZ – not even a hint of a write-over today. And fun, fun, fun, despite a host of 3s. I really appreciated this puz!! (did not have the alternate version).

    There’s a public radio station here in the Twin Cities on which it could be possible to hear all of these artists in a single day. Now that’s eclecticism. You can stream it here:

    I’ll take a bash at @RooMonster – simply insipid to say Beatles do not belong in the Rock category. They were among the trailblazers. Pop music was more like Brasil 66, Mamas and Papas, Lovin’ Spoonful, etc. To lump the Beatles with that ilk is preposterous! There, I said it, so it must be true.

    If this was Mr. Treece’s first RODEO, I say ride ‘em cowboy!

    spacecraft 1:14 PM  

    I was going to versify again, but I don't think I can beat @Burma Shave's effort.

    I wasn't sure what was up with all that overzealous cluing, but the NE seemed to want to be simply THEBEETLES. Could it all be THAT simple? Um, yeah. So then I didn't have too much trouble elsewhere, though LUDICROUS had to go in on crosses, and so did LINCOLNPARK. Never heard of 'em. Only thanks to OFL's WOD did I see how that group tweaked their spelling.

    There seem to be an awful lot of capitalized entries today, with TODD and CATT and ITHACA and TAIWAN etc. Are we entering the era of the crossNAME puzzle? There's a twin challenge: create a grid with all words and no names--or vice versa.

    There was some fun to it though. The MOTLEYCREW sailing their DORY right next to the YACHT. For a debut, this certainly isn't the worst I've seen, NCAR and that raggy NE corner (acrosses all good, but URL STE ESS? Yikes!) notwithstanding. A generous B. The Fab Four enhance any grid.

    DMG 2:58 PM  

    With absolutely no knowledge of any of the titles cited in the theme clues, I eked out enough crosses to recognize the wanted words, and, somehow, aced this one! Couldn't be more surprised. CWT crossing the famous Ms. CATT was a given from crossword experience, so my only do-over was changing nukE to TASE. Now for Thursday!

    Syndicate Bob 4:33 PM  

    Hands up, as we sometimes say, to the Natick at CATT and CWT. I had kATT and kWT but Google tells me that instead of kilo something, as I was guessing, the abbreviated words are centum weight. The clue indicated the answer must be an abbr. by having one in it: 100 lbs.

    I learned how to spell correctly Motley Crue (with dots over vowels used wrong) and BoyzIImen from the crosswords but I have no idea how to correctly spell the proper noun ludicrous.

    rondo 6:26 PM  

    Ludacris real name Chris Bridges

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