Tessellating artist / THU 4-23-15 / Cloisonne artisan / Singer recognized as King of youtube in 2012 / Commodity-trading card game / Product of zymurgist / Garden of Oscar Wilde poem

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Constructor: David Steinberg and Bruce Leban

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


Word of the Day: MORNAY (27A: Sauce made with roux, milk and cheese) —
  1. denoting or served in a cheese-flavored white sauce. (google)
    "mornay sauce"
• • •

Canned humor like this is lost on me. I've never really understood "jokes." Like, "did you hear the one about the guy … horse walks into a bar … minister, priest and a rabbi …" Stuff that can be told by anyone. You hear someone tell it. Then you tell it. Maybe it's in a book. I don't know. I don't know because since I was 10 I've tuned out the second anyone breaks into one of these. I realize this quip is not a joke. It's a quip. But still at the end I am mentally supplying an anxious voice going "… get it?" Yes, I do. Just today a guy walked into the cafe where I hang out almost every day and I heard him tell a joke about a Roman ordering … something … drinks, maybe? … anyway apparently the guy holds up two fingers, making a "V" shape, and says "I'll have five." GET IT? Yeah, you get it. Anyway, the quipster thought it was hilarious. I realize this joke / pun stuff is a matter of personal taste, so I can't fault the puzzle. The puzzle is a quip puzzle. There's nothing to say about quip puzzles. You like the quip or you don't. Non-quip elements seem fine. No stellar fill, but no gunk either. I really like my Thursdays tricky, but you can't always get what you want. Let corn lovers have their corn once in a while, I always (well, never before, but now) say.

[35D: 1980 hit with the lyric "That sweet little boy who caught my eye"]

Solving experience was weird because I knew I was going to have to just hack away at crosses to get the quip going, so I did so, diligently, methodically, effectively. Quickly. But early on I got into that far west middle section and came up with the second quip line starting "TOKL." I stopped, 'cause that letter string was setting off "Wrong" alarm bells. Checked crosses. They seemed good. So I thought "Nothing starts 'KL-' except … 'kleptomaniacs'? Can that be…?" And then I mentally inserted it and checked each letter, each cross, one at a time, and they all fell right into place. Or at least they did  as far as KLEPT-, when I knew I was right. That bit of luck blew open the middle of the grid and made the puzzle very easy—for the most part. I did struggle in the SE with BATTLE (clue vague) and ESCHER (clue suggesting type of artist, not a Specific Artist) and a couple other answers. I somehow remembered CIMINO (46D: Michael who directed "The Deer Hunter"). "Setting" is one of those clue words that can be very hard to pin down, meaning-wise, and I got slowed up by it twice today, first with 39D: With 48-Down, setting for Toledo (LAKE / ERIE) and again with 52A: Setting for many old films (TCM). Former made me think time zone, then maybe continent or other land mass; latter made me think of film shooting location. Wrong and wrong.

I loved Rebecca de Roux Milk and Cheese Sauce in that movie she was in with Tom Sea Voyage, "Dangerous Commerce." Classic Tom Sea Voyage.

    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:08 AM  

    Medium-tough for me.  Mostly I'm not that fond of quip puzzles but early on I had "YOU CAN'T sELL gUNS TO KLEPTOMANIACS" and I was really looking forward to the punch line.  Kind of a let down when I had to change it.  

    Also LAPdog before CAT.

    HEINE and MODISTE were WOEs and MAN didn't seem to fit the clue so,the center was the last to fall.  The SW corner was also tough as I barely @Rex remembered CIMINO. 

    Thought HE'S SO SHY was a '60s song but google informed me I was thinking of He's So Fine by the Chiffons.

    Not bad for a quip puz.  Mostly liked it. 

    jae 12:08 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    dmw 12:20 AM  

    I really miss my Thursday rebus. Someone want to explain TCM?

    Wood 12:21 AM  

    OMG, I could NOT get the quip at first. I kept trying to parse it as "You can't tell puns to [do something]..." And that something was KLEPTOMANIACS, which I could not form into a verb phrase no matter how punny. Do you really "tell a pun" anyway? You tell a joke, but... I don't know. My mind would not go there.

    Wood 12:22 AM  

    Turner Classic Movies.

    jae 12:23 AM  

    @dmw - Turner Classic Movies TCM is a "setting" on your TV.

    Gaurawalla 12:24 AM  

    Turner Classic Movie cable channel. A venue for B&W movies

    Steve J 12:28 AM  

    Rex's writeup was worth it just for "Rebecca de Roux Milk and Cheese Sauce".

    I still haven't met a quote/quip puzzle I've liked after completing this one. But this one was better than most of the ones I've done of this ilk. The typical dodgy-to-crappy downs are pretty much missing, which is welcome. And while there's some decent fill - SLAMMER, CELLMATE, ESCHER - there's nothing thrilling. Pretty pedestrian for a Thursday.

    wreck 12:31 AM  

    I had to get many of the down clues before I could get a foothold on the quip, but one I did, it fell pretty fast. I got PUNS and the first few letters of KLEP, then deduced that TAKE THINGS were likely related possibilities. The SW was the last to fall as CIMINO and ESCHER were not familiar to me. While the puzzle didn't have much trickery to it, it still took me longer than an average Thursday. I liked it!

    Whirred Whacks 12:32 AM  

    Fun and enjoyable. Went pretty quick (which happens if you get a few words of a long quip). KLEPTOMANIACS broke it all open for me.

    Fourth time we've dropped some LSD in the past two weeks!

    For some reason, it made me think of this quote from a friend from back in October, 1968. He was talking about the last ten minutes of the then-just released film 2001: "If you go in straight, you come out stoned. If you go in stoned, you come out on acid. And if you go in on acid, you don't come out."

    EPIC! (Third time in recent puzzles.)

    John Child 12:42 AM  

    Hands up for not being a fan of grip/quote puzzles, but I'm with the gang that this is better than most and fairly free of groaners (apart from the quip).

    I think LAP CAT is funny enough to excuse how awful it is. Hard to find redeeming value in CIMINO though.

    dmw 12:50 AM  

    Thanks @Wood, @jae, and @Robert Klute. Clue should have had "abbr" or something, but I still would not have gotten it!

    RAD2626 1:24 AM  

    At least if the theme is a quote, you can sometimes have a moment of recognition. With a quip, it is just a slog through the crosses for a minimal payoff. Like doing an acrostic. That said, liked the cluing and fill. Liked the clue for GEESE, and for reasons still unknown to me, knew MORNAY, which opened up that section.

    Anonymous 2:20 AM  

    Get your directions right. BATTLE and CIMINO are in the SW, not the SE.

    - Brennan

    Andy in Vancouver 3:31 AM  

    New Update for the iPad App

    Anyone else get unexplainable data ?

    Says I have 2 best times under 2 minutes (I beat 5 once)
    Says I have an 82% completion rate . (I Always finish every puzzle on time)
    And just generally has daily average times that do not reflect reality

    I wrote tech support but they never helped me when my app was hacked the first time. Now it's happened again. Whoever is hacking my account sure is fast though, lol.

    Just curious if anyone else is having similar issues

    Charles Flaster 5:12 AM  

    Agree with Rex in rating but not with his analysis. Enjoyed the quip and easyish to infer.
    BATTLE and ESCHER were well clued. I liked cluing for SYNERGY, MAZE and TCM.
    Naticked at 35 down/ 66 across.
    CREWS was a fun "aha" for me.
    LENO does not drive a HEAP.
    Thanks DS and BL.

    GILL I. 5:42 AM  

    Quips can be tedious - dragging out one letter at a time....This, however was FUN! The first word I got was PUNS and I had the Y from PSY so I dashed in the rest of the words. Yay me!
    Manolo Blahniks was first SHOES, then SUEDE and then finally, I remembered a pair of $600.00 PUMPS I fell in love with.
    TOKLEPT just sat there for quite a while...AHA! got the rest from MODISTE...
    LAP CAT, CIMINO and HES SO SHY were the hardest - otherwise this was a fine Thursday - lots of lovely words. Oh, I don't understand CREWS for "Posses"...
    No matter, I still loved this puzzle.

    SAKeyser 7:27 AM  

    That would be SW not SE

    steveo 7:29 AM  

    I also enjoyed hacking away at the quip. And I enjoyed the quip. So sue me.

    Did Rex do "de Roux Milk and Cheese Sauce" for us or just as mnemonic for the next time MORNAY comes up?

    jberg 7:54 AM  

    @Gill Your CREW or your posse are the folks you hang with. Or chill with. Or whatever.

    I didn't know TCM, even though I figured it must be Turner something -- and I failed to remember CIMINO. It was my second choice -- but I went with CIrINO/TCr, so DNF. I think it was a hangover from TSR a few days back.

    I believe the last time I played PIT was about 60 years ago, another of my grandmother's Methodist non-card games. Is it still around? I guess it is, since no one is complaining about it. Nice to see it in the puzzle.

    What I learned: NOB and knob are different words. Somehow I'd never noticed that before.

    demit 8:02 AM  

    You have to like puns to like quips about puns, I guess. Ditto with wordplay. Not all wordplay is knee-slappingly funny, nor is it supposed to be. For example, I don't think Rex, in his last two sentences, was going for anything more than a polite golf clap.

    Anonymous 8:05 AM  

    I guess kleptomaniacs are not the only ones who take things literally. Monomaniacs seem to also.

    chefbea 8:08 AM  

    As a lover of puns and jokes...I try to post one every day on face book...I loved this puzzle. Today's pun was this..

    I tried to finish the leftovers, but ... foiled again.

    PS - Haven't made mornay sauce in quite some time!!!

    Lewis 8:09 AM  

    @rex -- your writeups this week have been a joy to read, witty and nonjudgemental. Me likey.

    This was fun for me. The quip itself elicited a grunt, but figuring it out, and pecking away at the puzzle until it finally caved -- that was good stuff. There were things out of my wheelhouse, such as MODISTE and cloisonné and the author of De Lorelei (though I've heard of HEINE, I didn't know he wrote that), and so for me it was medium/hard. But never a slog. There's an art to creating a difficult puzzle that doesn't feel like a slog.

    I teach a style of yoga (Ashtanga) that itself teaches patience, humility, and persistence -- because it is not easy. But, bit by bit, it brings rewards, progress, and makes you feel really good, through and through. This puzzle was like that for me today, in miniature. I say bravo!

    Twangster 8:33 AM  

    Not knowing any commodity trading card games, I finished with YOU CAN'T SELL ... and couldn't figure out where my mistake was.

    mac 8:38 AM  

    I liked everything today: the puzzle, the quip and the write-up. I love The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. One line stuck with me, something like: good cooks are always tired and a little overweight.

    Agree, chefs?

    RnRGhost57 8:40 AM  

    A pleasant, if not terribly challenging, Thursday..

    AliasZ 8:40 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Rhino 8:42 AM  

    I agree with @lewis and others: rex is on a roll!

    I liked the puzzle fine. I don't love puns in general but this particular bit of wordplay worked for me.

    I trapped a bee under a dish last night and, in just a minute, I'm planning on lifting the dish and whacking it with a shoe.

    AliasZ 8:43 AM  


    @Steve J, I agree, @Rex's line "I loved Rebecca de Roux Milk and Cheese Sauce in that movie she was in with Tom Sea Voyage, "Dangerous Commerce" was his best line since I have been following his blog. I haven't thought of Rebecca for years. Whatever happened to her? I haven't seen a decent movie with her since "Hazardous Pursuit" with Male LAPCAT "POSSES". The best part of the puzzle was that MORNAY | RISKIT business. Cute, guys!

    Quip puzzles have a major problem in that the quip (or joke or quote) has a separate life independent of the puzzle. You either love it or hate it, which may color your opinion of the puzzle, which may be great or sucky. Hence, I am neutral about quip puzzles. In many cases I find the hard work to put it together as expertly as this one was is barely worth it.

    Favorite words today: GAEA, M.C.(Maurits Cornelis) ESCHER (1898-1972) (MC Hammer, u can't touch this M.C.), the SLAMMER | CELLMATE cross ref, and the Toledo / LAKE ERIE misdirect, but I couldn't care less about Michael Kimono. MODISTE and SYNERGY go well together, sort-of like "barrister" and "ergonomic", as words that have acquired a sophisticated aura despite their common meanings.

    Otherwise, like @Steve J, I thought the puzzle was pretty pedestrian, not unlike some you can see walking busy downtown NYC streets on a beautiful spring day.

    But how could I pass up this perfect opportunity for "Die Lorelei" by Heinrich Heine in this setting by Franz Liszt? This performance is "As Good as It Gets" (with Carlift Half-Dime Male Offspring and Zeus's Daughter Chase).

    Have an awesome Thor's day.

    Hartley70 8:45 AM  

    With my incomplete understanding of "Green Paint", may I offer LAPCAT? Of course it may be just dopey. Does anybody like this answer?

    Bob Kerfuffle 8:55 AM  

    One write-over: 35 A, HESSE before HEINE (and, MAN, did that make 26 D and 31 D hard to get!) But finished Medium, clean.

    joho 8:56 AM  

    Since we can't have a rebus every Thursday, I'll take a quip puzzle as fun as this one, no problem.

    Plus it wasn't too easy. BECAUSETHEYTAKE/ THINGSLITERALLY came quickly. TOKLEPTOMANIACS came next (KLEPTOMANICS: great word to see in the grid!)and YOUCANTSELLPUNS the last to fall. gUNS makes sense, too, but it had to be an X on the MAP.

    My only negative is after finishing I walked away with a severe case of ASITIS.

    Thanks, David and Bruce!

    Gracie H 9:07 AM  

    I'm not a fan of quips, so plowed through this. Also didn't help that I would have started the thief word with a "C."

    ASITIS, what EATSAT me are vague multi-word answers that make me want to RISKIT and reach for some ZANTAC!

    Z 9:12 AM  

    My two favorite games, quote puzzles and whac-a-vowel, and this one has both. Not even cluing HEINE with coffee would have helped me. As for MODISTE, I would assume it is now a word used ironically by hipsters. I got the "I" right because it looked least wrong in both directions.

    @Twangster - Yours is better.

    @Hartley70 - I have never seen the term before and the very notion seems contra-felinity.

    Whenever I see a woman wearing PUMPS I think that feminism has failed. They look like something we would sentence people to wear for bad behavior. Shoplifting - 90 days of wearing PUMPS. Possession of LSD - 6 months of Blahniks. Writing Quip Puzzles - Ten Years.

    Unknown 9:15 AM  

    So why was "Posses" in quotation marks? My only guess is because it's not a word that normally comes in a plural, but that's never been a particular concern in the world of crossword puzzles.

    chefbea 9:19 AM  

    @Mac..I agree..just a ten minute nap in the afternoon and I'm good to go.

    Hartley70 9:24 AM  

    @Z I'm with you on the PUMPS. LOL! Give me a shearling lined Birkenstock any day! And as per a recent New Yorker piece, they are the height of fashion worn by the very best of MODISTES.

    Norm 9:24 AM  

    @Twangster, Me too. :(

    Name that tune 9:25 AM  

    I will only say this: I never understood jokes. I hate quips. The only good ones are the ones I make up, like the one at the end of my post today. It's good because I made it up. But if you tell anyone else about it, it will be canned and boring, and they will probably tune out the second you start telling it. Quips and jokes suck. Except mine.

    Tom Sea Voyage 9:34 AM  

    Rex just came up with an excellent puzzle theme: Clue: Movie with Rebecca de Roux Milk and Cheese Sauce and Tom Sea Voyage. Answer: Dangerous Commerce.
    Ok here's one: "Movie with George Scalds and John Capital of Colorado." Answer: Gee, Yahweh.

    I'm certain the geniuses on this board can come up with countless (and better) others.

    AnnieD 9:34 AM  

    I often find pun/quote puzzles harder than usual, but this one fell faster than normal, a Wed pace for me. I like puns in general and this one is okay. But the best xword pun, or at least the most memorable, was the one from 25+ years ago about the pastor who could only think of sects, sects, sects.

    dk 9:36 AM  

    🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

    LAPCAT?????? Is that salacious?

    Speaking of jokes Rex does not like:

    A penguin is told it will take a while to complete the diagnostics on his car. Penguin espies a DQ and waddles over for a vanilla cone. Penguin eats the cone and due to his flippers it is a messy affair. As Penguin walks into the auto repair shop the technician shouts: "Looks like you blew a seal!" Penguin turns bright red and stammers: "No way man. I just got some ice cream."

    Liked the theme other than the LAPCAT thing.

    dk 9:37 AM  

    Liked the theme and fill other than…

    quilter1 9:38 AM  

    Hand up for LAPdog. DNF because I spelled GAEA with an i and so GEESE became invisible. But otherwise an easy OK puzzle. And I like puns.

    Z 9:43 AM  

    @Joseph Welling - Both "Posses" and "CREWS" are slang. I understood the quotation marks to mean something was going on, but it took having CRE-- in the puzzle to parse it as "plural posse."

    JC66 9:58 AM  



    GILL I. 10:14 AM  

    @jberg. Thank you. That sounded like a BEQ clue/answer...
    All you thumbs down on ladies PUMPS. You can't wear Birkenstocks to a wedding nor a cocktail party (Well, you can, but the waiter won't serve you any champagne....) There are some beautiful ones that aren't 30 inches high but those cost even more!
    @dk: I heard that joke eons ago and I laughed for days. Today, it made me laugh even louder. I guess you have to imagine the scenario!
    I love puns....!

    Anonymous 10:27 AM  

    Wow just when I think Rex can't be any more of a curmudgeon: "I've never really understood 'jokes.'"

    Tom Sea Voyage 10:29 AM  

    Natalie Lumber and James Important College Guy in "Insurgent Lacking a Purpose."

    Joseph Michael 10:32 AM  

    Not a fan of quip puzzles, LAPCATs, ENAMELERs, or MODISTEs, so this was kind of a drag, especially for a Thursday.

    Liked the clues for MAP and MA'AM and the remembrance of Michael Cinino which brought to mind not only the great film "The Deer Hunter," but also the EPIC flop "Heaven's Gate."

    Onward and upward. I think I need a ZANTAC.

    Anonymous 10:36 AM  

    I had a very similar take on my solving experience. A challenge, not a slog.

    Tom Sea Voyage 10:38 AM  

    Bob Aspiration and Lucille Orb in "The Data of Being." Ok I'm done for a bit.

    Generic Solver 10:42 AM  

    Hand up if you Naticked at the top left: PUMPS/PSY.

    Otherwise, oddly enough, I pieced the quote together from bottom to top, because I saw "... LITERALLY" and then "BECAUSE THEY TAKE" made sense and added the "THINGS" to the last line.

    Carola 10:42 AM  

    A rare "super easy" rating from me - marched through it (or, theme-related: BLEU through it) from top to bottom, with two brief hitches at LAPdog and surprise that someone would call GEEks "sinpletons." Many nice downs. Hope there's a diabolical rebus coming up in the pipeline soon.

    Mohair Sam 10:46 AM  

    The game PIT is of course named after the various commodities "pits" at the Chicago Board of Trade. George Horace Lorimer, writing as the ficticous meat-packing magnate John Graham, said: "The Wheat Pit is 30 feet across and reaches clear down to Hell." Amen brother.

    Played PIT with the family decades ago just like @jberg above. I can thank the game for knowing that flax exists at all.

    Hand up with the crowd getting a huge laugh from OFL's Rebecca line. Good stuff.

    Usually don't like quip puzzles at all, but this was fun.

    Anonymous 10:46 AM  

    I've got one: Sarah Jessica Valet and Cynthia Tricky Dick in "Copulation and the Metropolis."

    Nancy 10:51 AM  

    My heart sank when I saw that this was a Thursday quote puzzle instead of a Thursday rebus. Put me in the camp of people who don't generally like them -- partly because I find them harder than other puzzles, with fewer crosses to rely on. But as quote puzzles go, I thought this was pretty zippy and I enjoyed it.

    I have no idea what
    "tessellating" is (and I refused to look it up), but I was helped with ESCHER, by the fact that I knew we couldn't have both ETCH and EtSCHER in the same puzzle.

    I'm a canine chauvinist -- hence I also had LAP dog instead of LAP CAT (sorry @Aketi). To me, LAP CAT is a little green paint-ish (Hi, @Hartley 70), but I suppose it is a real thing, just like a lap dog. It was the BECAUSE of the quote that finally gave me CAT.

    At any rate, I found this a challenge and I had fun.

    mac 10:52 AM  

    One small nit: A couturier is a male clothing designer, a modiste a female one.

    Nancy 10:53 AM  

    Hi, @OISK -- Hope you find this today. I've gotten a ticket for 5/16 and I'll be in the cheap seats -- 2nd row balcony, aisle seat. Will I be able to find you? will you be sitting anywhere nearby? Please let me know -- assuming you see this.

    Unknown 11:05 AM  

    In my continuing exploration of wrongness, I offer this: Where would you go from here?

    I haven't looked at the answers. I'm curious, though, about the psychology of deep wrongness and seek a kind of uber strategy for jarring it loose. All of my fill is responsive. But I am blocked everywhere in the puzzle. What would you erase first? try to imagine that you don't akready know what the sokution is.

    @jae? @z? @SteveJ? your comments appreciated.

    Anonymous 11:05 AM  

    @jae I'm with you. I had SELLGUNS and liked that PUN better. And ugh to LAPCAT. LAPCAT really? Who says that? Plus my Mac dictionary comes up with this instead:

    Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies

    No feline to be found.

    Ludyjynn 11:08 AM  

    CIMINO went in first. He had the dubious distinction of directing my least favorite movie of all time, "The Deer Hunter". I avoided the follow-up, "Heaven's Gate" as did the rest of the viewing public.

    On the other hand, was delighted to see the deMORNAY reference to "RISKy Business", one of my favorite films. Thanks, Rex, for the pun and link to one of its iconic scenes.

    Regarding LAPCAT, this was feasible to me as Felix is usually sprawled across my lap every morning as I solve the NYT puzz. Admittedly, had dog first, since I have one of those, too.

    Nice SYNERGY, DS, BL and WS. Thanks a HEAP.

    Anonymous 11:10 AM  

    It is your mindless, pointless and personal attacks on the blog post that really suck. Go somewhere else with your unwarranted and unamusing vitriol.

    Nancy 11:13 AM  

    @Casco -- You didn't ask me, but I did take a peek at your "wrongness" fill for today and to your query: "Where would you go from here?", my answer would be: "Back to bed."

    A more serious answer would be: Step 1: GIN is wrong.

    Zeke 11:15 AM  

    @Rex Porker - Please pay attention, this is complicated.

    Years ago I developed the notion of "free cognitive ability" (FCA). In a nutshell, it seeks to measure how much cognitive ability one has left over while doing another task. Say you're watching a TV show, and your spouse starts talking about something. How well can you pay attention to your spouse while still paying attention to the TV show - that's FCA. It's clearly highly mutable, as it depends on whether the TV show is a boring rerun of Seinfeld you have memorized, or an enthralling show you've never seen before. Obviously, it also depends on the native intelligence of the person being tested.

    This had many applications, i.e. what is the average person's (or someone in the lower 10 percentile) FCA while driving? Can they talk on a phone, dial a phone, etc. Acceptable ancillary behavior while performing a specific task is directly related to FCA. It also turns out that a person's FCA is developable, with time, practice, and a recognition that we waste it by habit.

    So, Rex Porker, back to you. Say you're reading @Rex's write-up. First, you should practice not moving your lips when you read, it's a waste of FCA. You may not notice that you not do so, or think it's reflexive and there's nothing you can do about it, but neither is true. What is true is that it's a waste of FCA, FCA you might want to apply elsewhere. FCA that you might want to apply to a situation where @Rex puts something like " Rebecca de Roux Milk and Cheese Sauce" in his write-up. Then you might realize that this absurdity was just that, a deliberate absurdity put there to highlight the absurdity of making bad puns.

    Z 11:15 AM  

    @Casco - You have some of the same wrongness I did, so keep going. I did go with some ese where you have a perfectly reasonable wrong answer. You also have a wrong answer that lots of people had, so you aren't that far off. Keep the mind flexible on those vague clues and remember how young DS is.

    Speaking of puns and copulation - Shakespeare. @LMS - if you ever end up teaching Romeo and Juliet send the snarky ones here.

    Anonymous 11:26 AM  

    Casco--you're fucked. The only very easy answer I see is 61d, because if you got NOS you should get YES, but I don't think it would have helped you a lot. MTA needs to be in your "abbreviation having to do with transit" ammo bag. EARN ends up in puzzles for "make money" clued any which way, whereas, although "make" fits, I'm not sure I've ever seen it used an a crossword this way (a;though I'm sure it has been). 42d should be pretty easy--RUE in all its forms comes up a lot for "regret" or "sorrow" type clues. Other than that, keep practicing, I guess?

    Anonymous 11:27 AM  

    Since when is down measured in yards. It's measured in pounds.

    wreck 11:32 AM  

    @ Casco Kid

    You didn't ask for my help, but I can only suggest what works for me. Personally, I don't use the "pen" function until I am 99% sure an entry is correct. That also goes for plurals, a "U" after a "Q" etc.
    Otherwise, I use the pencil function on guesses I'm less certain about. That prevents me (most of the time) from going off on tangents and compounding the problem.

    get down tonight 11:37 AM  

    Anon@11:27: Hope you're joking. Yards as in a football down.

    I had "fills" at first (as in 800-fill down). Which reminds me of a joke in honor of Rex:

    Q: How do you get down off an elephant?
    A: You don't--you get down off a goose!

    Hartley70 11:50 AM  

    @IGill while Manolos and the gorgeous red soles of Louboutin are wonderful. There is the occasional wedding or cocktail party where silver Birkis blinged out with a rhinestone buckle are just the ticket! Funnily enough I ordered them from the NYT Magazine section, and they were a fortune, but so welcome if you're standing for hours.

    @Nancy apropos of fashion faux pas, leave your NYT crossword puzzle t-shirt in the closet, and just carry a folded section of the paper discreetly in your hand at intermission.

    You're welcome ladies,
    Rexworld Stylist

    Anonymous 11:54 AM  

    Good to know which people enjoy puns and which don't.

    GeezerJackYale48 12:03 PM  

    Tessellating artist worked out to be"Escher", so I accepted it and went on. What intrigues me (must admit no knowledge of Escher's works) is that there was an "Esherick" whose mosaic woodworkings can be seem at the Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern, PA. Okay, maybe the name similarity is not interesting to anyone but me. But there you are.

    MartelMoopsbane 12:19 PM  

    I'm convinced that 25A is in the puzzle as a nod to Grammar Nazi.

    Lewis 12:30 PM  

    Factoid: While Mount Everest is the tallest tip-to-ground-level mountain on Earth at 29,028 feet, MAUNA KEA is the tallest tip-to-base mountain at 33,476 feet (13,796 feet above the water and 19,680 below).

    Quotoid: "How many people HERE have telekenetic powers? Raise my hand." -- Emo Philips

    TimJim 12:38 PM  

    Challenging and fun for me. I like the occasional quip or quote puzzle, for a different kind of solve. Even better when the quip is fresh and clever, as this one was.

    AZPETE 12:38 PM  

    Love it! Really made me laugh.

    ESP 12:40 PM  

    "Shitty humor is lost on me" - Rex Parker

    AZPETE 12:46 PM  

    Problem is staying with obvious, but wrong, answers too long!

    AZPETE 12:47 PM  

    When you're talking about football!

    Steve J 1:03 PM  

    @Casco: You have some of the same wrong answers I had during my solve and that I was able to correct. The first thing I do when I'm stuck like this is erase anything I wasn't positive about. And definitely erase anything that could have multiple answers that would fit. As you've seen, there are at least two three-letter cars games (there are more). There are many places that start with Sierra. Etc. That at least removes misdirections.

    RooMonster 1:04 PM  

    Hey All !
    This ran to the challenging side for a puz. Got the N first, then stared at mostly white blocks in the S for about an hour! Had atta first for HERE, (sure I couldn't have been the only one), BLEU changed that, IRA and also NOB. Took a while to think of HES SO SHY. I do believe my biggest hang-up was having TO KeEP T, and thinking that e was right. Never would've parsed KLEPTOMANIACS. Even when eAPCAT made no sense, I still wanted KeEP TO something.

    Also thought "posses" wS a misspelling of possess, so wanted something about a dropped S or some such. Threw in the C as last letter, figuring the pet would be CAT, and only figured out CREWS meaning when explained here!

    Other wrongness, MODeSTE/HEsNE, LEONa/DATaS. Simpletons=GEESE seems odd. Like the jail cross clues. Bean=NOB had my NOB hurting.

    So a tough-un today. Had to look at the filled in portions of answers to get into the SW rather than going on just clues. I guess one must RISK IT to EARN it. Hey, that could be a great saying! But I claim firsties!


    Mette 1:05 PM  

    DNF. Unlike @jae, would not let go of sell guns. @Casco - maybe if you had seen KLEPTOMANIA--, it would have helped.

    Jyqm 1:09 PM  

    Casco, my biggest tip for moving forward: be wary of deciding on one particular answer when the clue is designed to trip you up or make you think of multiple solutions. The crosses will help you figure out where you're going wrong.

    For example, it seems very unlikely that 1A could be _GM_S. Since the M from MAUNAKEA is clearly right, the G is probably wrong. Can you think of any other three-letter card games?

    Similarly, 27A almost certainly is not _DRN__. ALUMNA seems correct (and that L should make 16A glaringly obvious to anyone who's solved more than two crosswords in their life), as does RISKIT (since the K checks out with KELP). So, can you think of any other five-letter words that might follow "Sierra ___"?

    Elsewhere, even if you don't know German, it should be at least somewhat obvious that "Die Lorelei" is not an English title, so probably not from Keats or Yeats. (If it were English, you'd probably need a comma in there, and even then, I don't think Keats or Yeats were ever so violent and mean in their titles. ;))

    Someone else already pointed out that EARN is more likely than "make" at 50A; that's perhaps an institutional kind of knowledge that comes from doing lots of NYT crosswords and getting a feel for how certain common words tend to be clued. But you can also notice that it seems unlikely that 26D would end in M.

    mathguy 1:09 PM  

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

    Clever word play. "Literally take things" versus "Take things literally."

    Cute cluing. "Way-out challenge" for MAZE. "Some like them hot" for DATES. "Setting for many old films" for TCM. "Currently" for ASITIS.

    Learned. Manolo Blahnik, zymurgist, modiste.

    Dredged from the depths. GAEA, MORNAY, PIT.


    Mohair Sam 1:14 PM  

    @Casco - If your first guess on Sierra is "Madre" you're watching too much TCM.

    I skip M-W 1:29 PM  

    I agree with OFL. At least as far as as swords go. This quip sounds like something from the Maleska era. Punchline ridiculously obvious, and therefore not at all a source of laughter by the time one has eked out the exact words. Also, as in Gilbert and Sullivan " I've known that old joke from me cradle."

    At least @Rex's was fresh.

    GILL I. 1:29 PM  

    But @Hartley...I would then have to pain my toenails!
    @mac...I think couturier just refers to a fashion designer for either male or female. MODISTE is definitely a female talented women who can sew anything a woman may want...In Spain, it was called a MODISTa. I had one and so did my other foreign friends. If you were a tall senorita in the 60's 70's living in Spain, You couldn't get clothes off the rack that fit you....

    I skip 1:30 PM  

    That's xwords.

    Nancy 2:12 PM  

    I'm just catching up on all the shoe comments now. And there are a LOT of shoe comments! And I'm with Z's absolutely hysterical observations about pumps in general and Manolo's in particular. I've long thought that high heels are the West's version of Chinese foot binding. They're pure torture. I remember back to my teen years when the most God-awful uncomfortable high heels with pointed toes were de rigueur for a dance: you dyed these cheapo instruments of the devil to match your dress and then never wore them again.

    Because I hate being physically uncomfortable for any reason, I like to think I was one of the first women in the country to ignore fashion and just wear whatever the hell felt good and that I could walk in for long distances. Steinem and Friedan were way ahead of me on everything else in '60s feminism, but not on this. But @GILL, I just know you have always looked and CONTINUE to look far more elegant than I!

    Unknown 2:44 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Rug Crazy 2:44 PM  

    Loved the joke.
    Could have used Sonia (Sonya?) for Heine to make it faster

    Unknown 3:03 PM  

    @Nancy, thanks for your comment. GIN & UNO as the two card games. they both discard, but only UNO involves "commodity trading" as in "Do you have any 2's?" I trust Will and DS to use commodity to describe an abundance of cards in an UNO hand.
    @Anon, Yes, I missed YES in my survey of clues. Low hanging fruit, that.
    @Z OK, I'm carrying on, trusting nothing and yet everything.

    @Wreck. I'd have to leave the puzzle largely blank as my right answers are often wrong in Will's & the constructor's minds. Sussing is better than knowing, I find.
    @Mohair Sam my first guess on Sierra was NEVADA, with a rebus, natually!

    _E_ _ _ _ clued as a German poet's name came back as GÖTHE or the rebus [GO]ETHE. EAPOE wrote about Lorelei. But _EATS is the best guess. They lived when poets wrote in each other's languages. TSELIOT wrote Wasteland in how many languages.? OK, the only other German "poet" libretist I can think of is Kurt WEILL. Gotta be WEILL. 5 letters and the E is in the right place. I'm going with WEILL . . . Still haven't peeked.

    RooMonster 3:10 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    RooMonster 3:10 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Unknown 3:20 PM  

    The Settlers of Catan is a board game that involves cards representing commodities?! Players trade them during the game, I think. Maybe not. SOC in three letters?!

    Guys, this puzzle is Saturday hard!

    Unknown 3:20 PM  

    The Settlers of Catan is a board game that involves cards representing commodities?! Players trade them during the game, I think. Maybe not. SOC in three letters?!

    Guys, this puzzle is Saturday hard!

    wreck 3:20 PM  


    My idea to use "pencil" is really the same idea that Steve J and most others have suggested - don't "commit" to an answer too quickly. For me, the pencil mode lets me put up trial balloons until I'm confident the answers are correct. Sometimes I will have 3 letters or so confirmed in pen, a few letters in pencil and some left blank. As you get adjoining answers to confirm a shared letter, go ahead and change it to pen.

    Anonymous 3:22 PM  

    Casco, I didn't mean to give away answers. I thought you had peeked already. Good luck!

    DigitalDan 3:29 PM  

    Self-referential pun requiring implicit punctuation for the alternate interpretation: who could ask for more? Not the tyrannosaurus, it appears.

    Wood 3:51 PM  

    I respectfully disagree with Anonymous. The vitriol is amusing, and well-written enough to rise above the level of your standard troll. Plus, @rex often deserves it. Who knows, his gentler but still authoritative tone this week might even have been influenced by this subversive metacriticism.

    Anonymous 3:53 PM  

    I loved the quip (because I love puns), though I don't really like doing puzzles with quips because they are annoying to solve. I put ZANTEC instead of ZANTAC because I had never heard of MORNAY and MORNEY sounded just as good. Also stupidly had MATES instead of DATES (didn't know MODISTE). So basically I thought I'd finished relatively easily but had errors.

    Wood 3:54 PM  

    Hear hear!

    Leapfinger 4:00 PM  

    How could I not take a proprietary interest? Not since JOANNE K. Rowling took me there, has a bit of wordplay been so much down my Diagon Alley.

    To my ear, PUNS really pop; they have rhythm, they rock and they definitely have a role. Some may sneer "PUN crock!", but I choose to ignore that, 'kay?

    I actually know a soft grunge group, couldn't get off the ground and barely managed to survive by shoplifting. They're now thinly disguised as the PTOMANIACS... It's enough to make you sick.

    Another guy I know is a rap artiste;off stage, HE'S SO SHY it's ludicrous. When my friend, Ginny Aten, asked his name, he could barely stammer out "Goethe B. HEINE, Ms Aten."

    You see, it's true, it's true: you may survive the grunge rock PUNS, the glam rock PUNS, the alt rock PUNS, the indie rock PUNS, even the littlest equine foal crock PUNS... but if you don't let down your hair, the Rap PUNS'll get you every time.

    Kinda Grimm prospect, isn't it?

    Bless you all for your indulgence, and be grateful there was no EPIC on Rebecca,da Mornay Eel.

    Molto grazie to David S and Roy's brudda Leban.

    Anonymous 4:03 PM  

    I disagree with anon @ 11:10 too. Porker's comments may be unwarranted and unamusing to many, but even squinting I'm not seeing vitriol. It is fun to watch people get all in a lather about him, though.
    Zeke's long-winded scolding at him for not being able to tell the difference between a "joke" and an "absurdity" is a pretty good joke unto itself.

    Name that tune 4:09 PM  

    I take Cialis on Friday night so I, like this puzzle, can be "Saturday hard."

    Anonymous 4:12 PM  

    Headlines from today's puzzle:

    Daedalus PUMPS EPIC MAZE.

    After a garden accident: Lost SNAIL AIDE, ALAS!

    Boston Brewing Company NAMES ALE "MTA."

    Lewis 4:34 PM  

    "The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability." -- E.A. Poe

    Fred Romagnolo 4:58 PM  

    @Jyqm: don't forget "War" as a 3 letterer. Hands up for being forever thwarted for wanting "to keep to." Otherwise I would have made it. I appreciated the HEINE, but needed crosses to get HE'S SO SHY. Not seeing the comma left me figuring either "atta" or "it's a" for HERE, boy. I'm not quite sure why an E.M.T.'as cry is CLEAR, does it mean "get out of the way?"

    Fred Romagnolo 5:00 PM  

    If I'd seen Steinberg's name I probably wouldn't have bothered; he and I are definitely in different centuries.

    RooMonster 5:02 PM  

    Hey @Fred,
    It's CLEAR!, as in when you zap someone with a difribulator to jump start the heart.

    Too many cop/hospital shows!


    Fred Romagnolo 5:03 PM  

    @Evil Doug: it takes that long?

    EMT Phil 5:03 PM  

    Yes, Fred--before shocking a patient, EMT's yell "CLEAR!" to make sure nobody is touching the patient or the stretcher so they don't get shocked. It's on every hospital show that features resuscitations.

    Fred Romagnolo 5:04 PM  

    @Roo Monster: Thanks

    Fred Romagnolo 5:07 PM  

    EMT Phil: another thanks

    Fred Romagnolo 5:08 PM  

    This is number 6, but it's the time lag so to Hell with the unwritten rule

    Benko 5:15 PM  

    @emt Phil: I was talking to an EMT friend last weekend and he told me they don't use those defibrillator paddles anymore. They have pads which are much more effective.

    MED Nit-Picker 5:18 PM  

    Except it's a dEfibrillator, which tries to stop the fibrillation, allow normal heart rhythm to return. DIfibrillation sounds as if there'll be twice as much fibrillation.

    And it's usually an ER doc (or other Emma Dee) whoplaces the paddles and calls "Clear!"

    Will the "real" Evil D ever return?

    EMT Phil 5:18 PM  

    Benko, your friend is correct. Still should say CLEAR before delivering the shock.

    Anonymous 5:23 PM  

    Have done the NYT CW for years and red Rex's comments but never read the blog. Sometimes the comments are better than the puzzle. I can't stand quips.

    Zeke 5:34 PM  

    @Anon 4:03 - "long winded"? I make up an entirely new concept of intelligence as background and all you see is "long winded"? Granted, I could have just come out and said to Rex Porker that if he's too stupid to get an obvious joke that perhaps he should give up his career as a lampoonist/parodist/satirist/whatever mean-spirited thing he thinks he is, but where's the art in that?

    Oh, Anon 4:03, you cut me to the quick, and make me despair of humanity.

    Leapfinger 5:37 PM  

    Never heard of PIT separated from EYE, Sorry.

    @jberg, you reminded me: in third grade, Valerie Cerini was the only classmate who had TV, so we'd watch Howdy Doody at her house.

    Wonder whether people who don't like PUNS feel the same way about ESCHER? I had EtCHER at first.

    Must go back and recheck the comments, see what all the shoe fetishing is about.

    Do KELPTOMANIACS only see weed?

    jae 5:46 PM  

    @Casco - One thing you might try doing before you put in an answer is a quick check of the crosses. Take UNO for example. The N doesn't seem to work with "Hospital worker" and the U doesn't hint at anything for "Huger than huge". I left that blank and let PIT (which was a WOE for me) fill itself in. Another example is 1a. As the puzzles was coming out of the printer I was reading the clue on the AcrossLite screen. My first thought was heels, but when I saw the 1d clue I knew the answer was PSY so heels was out. (PSY I knew from both crosswords and grandkids).

    That said, there is a pattern recognition component to doing crosswords successfully that can only be acquired by doing lots of crosswords (think expert chess players/10,000 hour rule). Your GM combo in 1a across suggests you could use more practice. I would council you to get a couple of Peter Gordon's early week crossword books from Barnes and Noble and work through them. That's the way you get to Carrnige Hall.

    Benko 6:16 PM  

    @jae, @casco: I agree. Get a book of easy Mondays. Then, if you finish and feel like you've mastered that level, get a book of Tuesdays, and so on. Asking someone who has trouble on early and midweek puzzles to do a difficult Saturday themeless seems like throwing them in the deep end.

    Teedmn 6:28 PM  

    Friday level for me today. @jae, I almost fell off my chair when I saw your "sELL gUNS" 'cause I couldn't imagine anyone else would have made that connection. I left it in long enough that it wasn't until I was re-doing the puzzle in AcrossLite (which I like to do to check for errors on my hand-written version) that I saw my mistake. And I totally DNF with TCv crossing CIvINO.

    Quips not being my favorites, I didn't expect to enjoy this much but it was fresh and fun. And @Leapfinger, love the rock riffs. PTOMANIACS, indeed!

    Thanks, DS and BL!

    Elephant's Child 6:50 PM  


    So Rebacca de Mornay and Zooey Bechamel went out and got sauced together...

    Anonymous 8:42 PM  

    It's clear that you're very proud of yourself for your "new" concept. Sadly, people have been studying and discussing multitasking for about 50 years. But if it works for you, call it FCT and keep telling yourself you invented it.

    Z 8:50 PM  

    @Zeke - Let me remind you about engaging in battles of wit with the unarmed.

    @Elephant's Child - Now there's a cooking show I'd watch ....

    Unknown 9:28 PM  

    Thanks to everyone who responded to my desperation. I did finally solve the puz but I had substantial help from a local expert solver who showed tremendous patience while I argued vigorously for my excellent wrong answers.

    I'll classify my errors thusly:

    Blindness (dope slap administered) or blanked or blocked by other wrongness: EATSAT HESSOSHY SYNERGY EPIC PSY HASTEN SLAMMER SIEGE

    Ya-got-me misdirected: LAPdog LEONE NOB

    Clue so vague as to be effectively unclued: AIDE and the theme, of course.

    Clues so misdirected that I rejected the right answer as non-responsive: PICA, MAAM

    I didn't even know what the clue was asking: "Posses" CREWS, (Manolo) PUMPS, (Couturier) MODISTE (zymurgy) ALE, (Roux) MORNAY (calico) PIED

    Bad luck: GAIA

    Unsussable ignorance: PIT ZANTAC EROS MTA CIMINO

    Deep wrongness: _EATS->WEILL

    All made That. Much. Harder. because 45 theme squares were effectively uncrossed.

    My expert solver friend thought Rex's "easy-medium" was harsh. It was unambiguously easy for him. And many of you. Wow.

    I've been solving for two years next week. I blush to consider the hours I've dumped into this. I'm still far short of @jae's recommended 10,000, but, well, I can only salute you all for your flexibility of mind and breadth and depth of knowledge.

    Lastly, regarding WEILL, the composer who worked with [BR]ECHT and several other librettists: he was separated by 100 years from Heinrich HEINE. While WEILL wrote copious Lieder, he probably never wrote a single lyric. I was really reaching on that one.

    From now on: rightness or silence.

    GILL I. 9:34 PM  

    @Leapy...."Goethe B. HEINE, Ms Aten."....I wish you could have seen my puckered mouth when I read that!

    GILL I. 9:36 PM  

    p.s. If I were wearing false teeth, they would have popped out of my mouth!

    OISK 10:00 PM  

    I liked the quip, and got it long before I finished the rest of the puzzle, so it was a help. Felt good finishing after a very slow start, not knowing what Blahniks are, nor who Cimino is, nor PSY (???) Zantac is a brand name I know, but I still don't like product clues, never heard of "He's so shy,"... but the puzzle was not overloaded with any particular genre. In all, I enjoyed it. Nice Thursday. Nancy, if you are reading this, I will post my seat location as soon as I find out where it is. Tis a glorious thing I ween to be a regular royal queen...

    Lewis 10:05 PM  

    @leapy -- I echo Gill. That Goethe line was classic.

    Z 10:19 PM  

    @Casco Kid - "...while I argued vigorously for my excellent wrong answers." Right there. That's what ensnares you.
    UNO or Gin? Both fit the clue, both are "right," but one of them doesn't work as well with MAU as the other (UM/gM, NA/iA, OU/nU) (One is also fairly common ese and the other isn't). From that -OU I guessed YOU, lighting up PSY, giving PUM-- meaning that the funky name must be a shoe designer of PUMPS.
    Another example, MAZE, ALAS, and ALUMNA, ESSAYS gave me ZA---- with a crossing M-A. "Grand Central" suggested "Transit" yielding MTA crossing ZA-T--. That was enough to dredge ZANTAC out as a possibility.
    My only actual writeovers today were -dog to CAT and CaMINO to CIMINO, but I had "wait for crosses" at madre/LEONE and Paar/LENO. My "I've no idea" included Blahniks, PIT, ZANTAC, MORNAY, HEINE, MODISTE, "Posses," GEESE, and Cloisonné. But they were all spread out and there were enough crosses. It was because of BECAUSE that I finally fixed LAPdog, figured out "Posses," and fixed CaMINO via AS IT IS.

    Anonymous 10:34 PM  

    I would have liked this puzzle a lot more if I hadn't heard the joke many times before.

    dk 10:51 PM  

    @zeke, click on my icon and tell me more about FCA or direct me somewhere. Thanks dk

    kitshef 11:40 PM  

    Earlier there was a comment that TCM should have been clued with an abbrev., and I was wondering if there is some kind of Network Exception Convention. Would ABC or CBS demand an abbreviation note?

    Also, there was discussion about "posses" being in quotes. I still don't get that. Aren't "nob/BEAN" equally slangy?

    36D clue worst I've seen for that particular answer.

    Earlier poster felt that 21A should be a gimme for anyone who has done "more than two" crosswords. Been solving on and off NYT, Washington Post, Daily Telegraph for, oh, 35 years and never run across that.

    Enjoyed ETCH and ESCHER, KLEP and KELP. Did not understand 67A until it was explained in an earlier comment. I was trying to come up with something to do with racetracks (e.g. Churchill Downs), but that would be furlongs.

    Unknown 11:55 PM  

    @Z Now *that* is how to explain a solve. Bravo! Every step you made was credible. I'd have to have used UNO in place of GIN even though UNO fit better elsewhere in the same puzzle. Hmm. Well, had I done that, I imagine I might have accomplished a very similar solve -- had I also been less daring with the guesses and had looked at the clues in the most constructive order. One thing all successful solvers have in common: a handful of write-overs. @Wreck said it more than once. Wrongness, once in, is very, very hard to get out. When will I learn?

    Fred Romagnolo 3:12 AM  

    @Casco: here's a tip - I do the paper puzzle, I start with red ink, use only a quarter of the square, then have room for write-overs, in extreme write-overs I use black ink. Works for me.

    Leapfinger 7:35 AM  

    @Gilly - [grinning] MWAH!
    And one nother one for @Teedmn. Always happy to elicit a smile, a groan, or a pucker.
    A quick peek behind the curtain: my poisonal fave was the RaPUNzel, which took some grammatical gymnastics to reach.


    Anonymous 11:00 AM  

    I, for one, scroll down immediately to your entries. Please keep them coming.
    Pity the fool who can't see the humor in mocking the rex god.

    Unknown 3:54 PM  

    Z said: "Both "Posses" and "CREWS" are slang."

    There's no crossword convention for putting slang usages in quotation marks. In fact, slang is often the source of intentionally misleading clues.

    Burma Shave 10:14 AM  


    Ms. De MORNAY has a beautiful HEINE,
    MAN, I’ll RISKIT to say it’s not tiny.
    YES, it’s CLEAR she DATES a guy
    he won’t SLAMMER BECAUSE her rear looks so shiny.

    --- IRA LEONE

    rondo 11:49 AM  

    I had small bits and pieces spread out all over the grid before I wa able to make a few connections ans start filling it in. LAPdog did not help the cause (used the d for dawgS) and finally I figured the feline; don’t remember ever hearing the term, but why not I s’pose. So it was much more than easy-medium for me. Again the dead center letter was last to fall, but with the Deutsch clue the I was a good guess.

    Couldn’t remember which mount, so naturally started out MAUNA__A just to get going.

    Don’t use much for MEDs, so ZANTAC took a while.

    Rebecca De MORNAY, today’s yeah baby. She could be my CELLMATE in the SLAMMER anytime. Definitely closer to my age than many others found in grids.

    Due to some of the aforementioned write-over spilled ink this HERE was more of a BATTLE than it was easy.

    323 - pretty good

    BS2 12:35 PM  


    BECAUSE THEYTAKE and yammer
    THINGSLITERALLY became a clamor
    until the female guard would RISKIT - don’t damn her,

    --- YUAN GAEA

    DMG 4:13 PM  

    Struggled mightily, but got there. Think there was bit of a tilt toward the seniors here. Used to play raucous games of Pit with the family in late 30's. Courtier immediately made me think Madamoselle MODISTE, which I think was an operetta about that same time. Do people still call cars HEAPs? Hardest for was not changing KLEPT... to KeEPT.... And dredging up the proper names. CIMINO had to come from crosses, as did confirmation of HEINE. (spell check elf thinks this word should be a beer!) Knew Erte wasn't the artist, but he stood in fronts of ESCHER blocking my view far longer that he should have. Liked the clue for MAZE, when I finally unravelled it. Enough!

    DPJ 5:11 PM  

    Since when do you etch with a chisel (23d)? Got it right, but seems mis-clued to me.

    leftcoastTAM 8:47 PM  

    Is @Burma Shave really BS2, etc., as well? No matter, BS is consistently entertaining. Thanks, BS.

    alina 2:57 AM  

    Nice Post. Really bravo electric pump for inflatables works very good. You should try this

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