Some Eurasian deer / WED 6-10-15 / Regatta foe of Radley / Shampoo introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947 / Coastal inlet / Faddish 1960s jacket style / Bipedal Aussies informally

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Constructor: Tracy Gray

Relative difficulty: Medium (maybe harder depending on how much the gimmick threw you)

THEME: head over heels — common phrases related to turning, where the thing that turns literally turns (in the circled letters in the grid). Thus:

Theme answers:
  • MEGOROUND (17A: Ride on which to try for a brass ring)
  • Y R
  •  R
  • SPINNINGWHE (29A: Textile machinery of old)
  •         S E
  •          L
  •     D O
  •     LR (48A: Once-popular TV serial set in Oakdale, Ill.)
  •       S O
  •        EN (64A: "Gimme Shelter" band)

Word of the Day: MAISIE Williams (37A: Williams of "Game of Thrones") —
Maisie Williams (born 15 April 1997) is an English actress and dancer. She is best known for her role as Arya Stark in the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which earned her the 2012 Portal Awards for Best Supporting Actress – Television and Best Young Actor, and the BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British Actor in 2013. She has also received nominations for the Scream Award for Best Ensemble (2011), and the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actress(2013) for her performance. (wikipedia)
• • •

We've had a gimmick very much like this one recently—a Thursday puzzle from back in February:

The February puzzle was quite a bit trickier, in that theme answers had to loop up and then come back down and rejoin with their base answers again. Also, the loops in the February puzzle were actual loops, by which I mean they were symmetrical, and thus plausible approximations of circles or ellipses. Today's circled square arrangements get pretty wonky, and the spun word doesn't have to meet back up with the base phrase, creating a feeling of discontinuity (except in the two theme answers where the spinning happens at the very end). Still, today's concept was cute, and the theme execution, while not elegant, was reasonably consistent. The fill was a jarring mix of cool and terrible. IRENEE!? (60A: The "I" in E. I. du Pont). Yipes. That made me look back fondly at NOEAR, which is saying something. But beyond those, only AFTS and (to a lesser extent) OSTEAL were really jarring. Longer Downs were always at least interesting, and while ROT OUT seems slightly made up, it's vivid, and it gives the grid some character.

  • 8D: Revitalizing snooze (POWER NAP) — I accidentally fell asleep at 8pm only to awaken at 10pm, disoriented and untoothbrushed. So I got up and did the puzzle and now here I am. Toothbrushing, presumably, to follow. I think once the sleeping goes past an hour, it ceases to be a "nap." It certainly ceases to confer "power." 
  • 43A: Precisely (TOATEE) — always looks dumb in the grid. Like a diminutive form of its other incarnation, TOAT.
  • 39D: Like some rye (SEEDLESS) — Had SEEDL- and without even looking at the clue wrote in SEEDLING. Reading clues—always a good idea.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]


jae 12:05 AM  

So, Thurs. on a Wed. which works as this was medium for me too.  Actually this was mostly easy except for the SE corner.  IRENEE crossing the often naked   (or maybe nekkid, hi @ lms) LENA and the tricky clue for ETON could be tough.

TOUtED before TOURED which had me briefly wondering if some band other than the STONES had a version of Gimme Shelter.

WOE: MAISIE (have not seen the show)

A fine use of circles and a fun/clever idea.  Liked it a lot.

dmw 12:15 AM  

Add my vote to a rebus any day of the week.

Moly Shu 12:17 AM  

Agree with @Rex on the wonkiness, disagree on the cool fill. I just see ADDSON, ROTOUT, NOEAR and PAYTO. Maybe too easy for a wed. also, not sure. Did not like.

Anonymous 12:25 AM  

Fun puzzle, but the clue for LGA bugged me - they're not initials!

Anonymous 12:52 AM  

The inconsistency in the circular stuff was off-putting. I generally dislike geometry in my puzzles--mirror that was so praised here, drop-down or point up, all just foolishness. Let's have good wordplay, good fill, etc. All I ask.

raittd 1:08 AM  

Total Natick on LENA/IRENEE. Never watched Girls and had no clue on E.I. DuPont.

LaNA/IRaNEE seemed as good as anything...

Aketi 1:43 AM  

From backward upward looping ROLLER COASTERS in February to forward and downward looping MERRY GO ROUNDS in June; we've gone from terrifying to tame. The February loops followed the actual trajectory of roller coaster and paper airplane loops. Too tired to check which direction I loop my shoelaces.

Since the ovoids in this puzzle are read clockwise:

the merry going round in this puzzle must be European, not American
the world's turn should be viewed looking down at Antartica
and the spinning wheel could be anywhere

At least according to the ever reliable Google.

Tonight I figured the cartilage in my ribs would rip apart in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since it stayed intact during the three hours of my black belt test. So I finally dared to try it again. Our warm up consisted of shoulder rolls, leaping forward rolls and the cartwheels I haven't done since I was 16. Turns out I can only do counterclockwise cartwheels. Clockwise cartwheels were an embarrassing fail. All this rolling and turning and spinning has gone to my head. At least I didn't have to do spinning side kicks tonight.

Aketi 1:45 AM  

PS, if I got the direction of the turns, spins and rolls wrong, I'm blaming it on the cartwheels.

Aketi 2:16 AM  

Ugh, I left out the very important "not" in regards to my rib cartilage ripping apart. Way past my bedtime.

George Barany 2:16 AM  

It was my pleasure to get to met @Tracy Gray at the ACPT in March of this year, and we've been exchanging e-mails on and off ever since. For example, @Tracy wrote to me that this puzzle has been in @Will Shortz's accepted pile for some two years now, and she is convinced that based on everything she has learned since then, the fill could have been improved. That said, her puzzle was definitely in my (SPINNING)_WHEEL_house, and there is so much here to be proud of starting with the overall creativity of the theme itself. The puzzle's charms continue with evocative phrases/words like POWER_NAP, ANGST, and ANTILOG. The LSU clue, i.e., 'Sch. whose sports fans shout "Geaux Tigers!"' was hilarious, especially in view of '"Beau ___"' for GESTE relatively nearby.

Moreover, @Tracy Gray's puzzle had a distinctive '60s vibe to it, with the NEHRU jacket, Peter YARROW of Peter, Paul, and Mary, and the SIRS clue for McCartney and Jagger, which more than made up for my complete cluelessness about "Game of Thrones." Sir Paul shows up in the WALRUS clue (bringing to mind the famous "Paul is dead" controversy), and Sir Mick was prancing around on the University of Minnesota campus with the ROLLING_STONES a mere week ago (several of my colleagues were there).

Finally, I was pleased to see that @Hayley Gold pays tribute to @Tracy Gray's puzzle with her weekly webcomic. Definitely worth checking out!

A quick P.S. to @Billy C, two of your posts yesterday were addressed, at least in part, to me, and I would be happy to answer them off-Rex; my e-mail address is readily found at my crossword site.

chefwen 2:18 AM  

Here I was all set to brag about my unblemished puzzle only to find out I had made the same mistake as @raittd, LaNA/IRaNEE crossing. DANG! Looked fine to me.

Anyway, other than that goof the puzzle was one of the fastest, easiest Wednesdays I can recall. Almost a little too fast. It did allow me extra time to get into my book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. So far, fascinating!

John Child 3:05 AM  

I'm with @chefwen and @raittd about the Natick! I didn't mind seeing the gimmick again, done differently to good effect. POWER NAP and BLOWUPS are nice.

@chefwen, did you misspell "The Goldfinch" by Donna TWEET?

Anoa Bob 3:13 AM  

Feeling some ANGST here. I'm not seeing how MERRY fits in with WHEELS, WORLD & STONES. Those last three can be things that turn and they do so, sort of, in their respective five shaded squares. But I'm thinking it would have to be the entire MERRY GO ROUND, not just Merry, that turns and it would require twelve shaded squares to pull that off. Stumped on that one.

I have heard the soap "As the World Turns" derisively called "As the Turd Whirls".

jae 3:50 AM  

@chefwen - If you are enjoying "The Goldfinch" I would recommend "All The Light You Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr if you haven't already read it.

MDMA 5:14 AM  

no gory murder

English pens win

worthless tundra

longer tonsils

A short story:

Strolling ones. One troll sings. Lost neon girls. Snort: ills gone. No ill songster. Sin lots longer.

PuzzleCraig 6:25 AM  

Clearly, Irénée was a sop to all of us native Delawarean solvers. Delaware:

- Where you might have gone to P(ierre) S. du Pont High School or Middle School depending on how old you are, or maybe A(lexis) I. du Pont Middle School, or or maybe H(enry) B. du Pont Middle School.

- Where your parents may have worked for the DuPont company, founded by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours.

- Or maybe where they married/celebrated their anniversary at the Hotel Du Pont.

- Where, as a child, you might have had to be treated at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

- Where, to get upstate or downstate, you might take Route 13, the [Thomas Coleman] DuPont Highway.

- ad nauseam....

Mohair Sam 7:10 AM  

Very much agree with ofl's comments today.

Have no idea why I know LENA Dunham's name, but I do - thereby avoiding the natick that troubled several others here. Otherwise a very easy, but pleasing Wednesday puzzle.

Tip of the hat to casting at GoT - MAISIE Williams is that rare actor who absolutely captures her character from the book.

joho 7:16 AM  

I say let's all give this puzzle a big round of applause!

Tracy turned a clever concept into a really fun solve for me ... Brava!

I think tinEAR is more the phrase than NOEAR, though, which made me think of Van Gogh.

IRENEE was an unknown but the crosses were fair so no problem there.

I really enjoyed this unexpected tricky Wednesday and am now looking forward to what kind of shenanigans we're in store for tomorrow!


nikthefin 7:29 AM  

Ugh. Had ISTO, which gave me LENI.

Glimmerglass 7:33 AM  

As the Stomach Turns.

AliasZ 7:41 AM  

As my stomach turns, my spinning head gathers no moss, and my rolling eyes follow the merry widow go-round like a whirling dervish. I am getting dizzy. Dizzy and maisie. What goes up must come down, I always say.

Keeping a stack of logs around the fireplace is hazardous unless you're a log-rolling champeen. Personally I am anti-log although I've already written a pro-log. I haven't got to the epi-log yet, and hope I won't for a while yet.

Come to think of it, a toatee is one who is being toated, in contrast with the toater who does the toating while making cartwheels look easy as falling off a log. Are all users of teatowels teetotalers like Tito, but Ti no?

Is that stalag mite or tite? Me and the merry widow are this tite.

Did I make your head spin? Take it out of spin cycle and toss it in the dryer with your oreo cookies.


JTHurst 7:42 AM  

I liked the puzzle but my theme solution was not forthcoming. My first thought was on 17a "This has to be 'merry-go-round' as that was the only ride that had a chute with brass rings which you leaned out to grab, at your own peril. My next thought was, for what are those shaded boxes. Finally 'spinning wheel closed the gap in my brain synapses and the puzzle evolved smoothly afterwards except for 'roes' and 'sorts'. Afts., seedless and toatee caused some problems.

Thank goodness we are in the northern hemisphere as the spirals (they aren't circles as they did not enclose) were clockwise. If in Australia it would have been harder to clue since they would have to be phrased counter clockwise.

The antilog answer made me get out my slide ruler and fondle it, remembering those 7 AM cold morning Math classes at Purdue.

RAD2626 7:46 AM  

I liked the theme which I got right away from MERRY GO ROUND, and I liked the long answers a lot, but I thought the fill pretty much mailed it in: ORR, OCH, OHS, OSS, RIA, NOEAR, making the overall feeling SOSO.

JTHurst 7:49 AM  

I don't know why Rex did not use the song "Spinning Wheel" from Blood, Sweat & Tears, it was of the same time frame as the Joni Mitchell song.

What goes up
Must come down
Spinning Wheel all around

NCA President 7:58 AM  

Add me to the swelling number of people hung up on the IRENEE/LENA crossing. Pick a vowel...any vowel...given the weird way people can spell their names, any vowel could work there reasonably well except maybe the O. LiNA, LaNA, or LuNA...are all plausible and the resulting IRiNEE, IRaNEE, or IRuNEE are just as plausible as IRENEE.

Tusker? According to wiki, it may refer to a lot of things...none of which are WALRUSes.

I didn't care for the wonkiness of the shape of the circling. The puzzle in February did a much better job of approximating the shape. According to Ms. Gray, a perfect circle is impossible in a grid...except that the February puzzle actually kinda did it. So, no excuses for the rough not-round "rolling" themers.

I won't say I disliked the puzzle, but I'm glad it was easy and I blew through it so quickly.

The NYT puzzles are becoming, for me, like a bowl of cherries. You get that one cherry that tastes like a sweet cherry that, if you looked up the definition of cherry taste, that cherry you just ate would have its picture as fig. 1. But the next two cherries are sour. The next two after that are close, but not really as good as that one you had a few cherries ago. Then you get another delicious one. And so it keep eating hoping to get that great tasting one, enduring the sour ones, the bland ones, and the ones that are close but not quite. And of course there are the ones with pits in them...

But yeah, I keep doing these puzzles hoping for a really good one and enduring the not-so-good ones way more often than not. But I keep coming back for more...hoping...waiting...expecting a gem. This puzzle wasn't sour, but it definitely wasn't a definitive effort.

Z 8:04 AM  

Are ROES related to Does or are they related to OREOS? The rarely seen Eurasian OREOS can be found from the Oise to the Ural Mountains.

TINO and TITO. Bonus.

RHO DEO STALAG should be a Swedish black metal band.

I am the WALRUS, The ROLLING STONES, and SIRS Paul and Mick in their NEHRU jackets. Hello, Goodbye. Or maybe Sticky Fingers....

Thomaso808 8:08 AM  

Wow. I usually try to be positive, but this one just was yuck. ROTOUT, NOEAR, TOATEE, ANTILOG, BLOWUPS, ATTAR, culminating in a big DNF because of the IRaNEE/LaNA cross that others have mentioned. When failing on a cross like that, I have come to understand that my circle of knowledge is limited and there are things out there unknown to me that are still commonly known by many people, but this one just feels wrong. I am supposed to know LENA?

On a more positive note, I got an e-mail from Hayley Gold today!

Smitty 8:15 AM  

I think I figured out why I have such a hard time with puzzles like this and Saturday's "Mirror". Verbal skills are high - but when you throw in anagrams, some kind of dyslexia kicks in. I'd make a lousy decoder. Hats off to you John Nash (RIP)

George Barany 8:24 AM  

The New York Times puzzle can be a chance to refresh/expand one's knowledge of pop culture, and this one is no exception. LENA Dunham is all over the news, not just for her role as creator, writer, and star of the HBO hit series "Girls," but also as the author of the best-selling memoir "Not That Kind of Girl." Coming soon, the ultimate accolade: a voice-over in "The Simpsons," as explained further in this article.

Loren Muse Smith 8:24 AM  

@George – what a lovely comment. You always say the nicest things and put them so well. I agree with everything you said, except that I didn’t get to meet Tracy at the ACPT. We have corresponded, though, and I will wager the "dendrologists' concerns"/TREE was all Tracy. Probably the clue for ROT OUT, too.

@joho – “round” of applause – excellent! And NO EAR always reminds me of how Dad pronounces noire.

STALAG reminds me of the cave puzzle a few days ago. No doubt in a typical STALAG mites were a big problem.

As a fill-in-the-blank starter, I had as my first entry not AREA but rather "cut a" rug. And I used to could* flat cut a rug, boy. A coupla gimlets, a skirt with a "slit" (before TRIM), upper teeth biting lower lip, eyes closed, feet shuffling like nobody’s business, head energetically bouncing back and forth… At the point I went from my enviable bipedal moves to alarming quadrupedal moves, I knew it was time to climb down off the table and go home.

Man, that poor tuskered, whiskered WALRUS. I can only imagine that he feels a bit of relief whenever he sees a proboscis monkey, swims past a blob fish, or notices the nekkid mole rats dancing up on the tables.

Speaking of bipedal Aussies in HEELS, I’ve recently accepted that my shallow TV watching habit had reached a real low with The Real Housewives of Melbourne. I’m trying to eschew the Bravo channel and have started a biography of Catherine the Great. I just felt so stupid watching these shows as my daughter read Anna Karenina this summer – FOR FUN- and my husband has just finished Gibbon's writings on the Roman Empire and Toynbee's A Study of History (all %$#%^ volumes), and has now begun a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. Does your chewing gum lose its flavor?

GIRD. Cool word. To plagiarize a famous poem:

Beware of GIRD, an uncommon word
That ends like weird but sounds like heard.

Tracy – I loved this idea and will remember this one for a long time. Good job! I thought the theme and its execution were terrific, and the circles’ circles worked fine by me.

*Yes. I wrote “used to could.” Y’all all might oughta should relax a little bit and enjoy Language.

ArtO 8:26 AM  

Once the trick was revealed, and it came with MERRYGOROUND, the puzzle was pretty easy. Too easy a rebus for Thursday so here it is. Not from Delaware but somehow knew Irenee.

Anonymous 8:38 AM  

@Barany: I LOVE how you directed Billy C. to your website to get your email address. Most hilarious thing I have seen here in a while. Well done.

GeezerJackYale48 8:44 AM  

PuzzleCraig, I'm with you. I lived forty-some years in Delaware, most of it as a DuPont employee, so words like Irenee, Eleuthere, Pierre, etc. are pretty familiar. And most of us olders have fond memories of our own Pete DuPont as Governor and (almost) Presidential candidate...that's Pete as in Pierre, of course!

dk 8:47 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

Cute as rex wrote. Not a rebus fan but this worked well.

Note: Grandfather called 48a: As the worm squirms. My grandmother's "show" was Days of Our Lives -- cue "Just as sand…." Opening monologue for the uniformed

Find WERU (Blue Hill Maine) on the internets. Station founded by 20a and yet another reason to live in Mid-Coast Maine.

In a funk as i learned that delivery of the NYT is being canceled in my neck-o-woods. As usual the NYT customer service rep had none of the details and could only tell me that I could read the paper on-line as I have the digital addition. I pointed out that as I had the digital addition I knew that but what I wanted was the paper. Alas no help. Thus after nearly 100 years (includes dear old dad's subscription) no NYT will plop on a dk stoop. A sad day.

GIRDing my loins for another round with NYT customer service (sic).

Rex Porker 8:47 AM  

I'll keep it brief: this theme has been done recently, and better than today's version, but for some reason I won't make a comment like "any constructor worth their salt should do their research and scrap any puzzle that has a theme even remotely related to any theme from the past 50 years." I'll leave it to you, understandably baffled reader, to try to figure out why I gave this one a pass.

Uncle Rebus 8:53 AM  

Man of you commenters (@12:15, 8:26, and 8:47) have called this puzzle a rebus. I thought a rebus was a puzzle that had answers which contained more than one letter in one or more squares, which would make today's NOT a rebus. Any crossword mavens or gurus care to elucidate?

Roo Monster 9:01 AM  

Hey All !
Nice twirly puz, had ya thinkin for a bit. Figured 17A was MERRY GO ROUND, but forwent that (past tense of forgo?) and made my way S to 64A, which had to be ROLLING STONES, so then I knew the answers circled. Wanted the circles to come back and line up with the rest of the phrase, but alas, not to be. SPINNING WHEEL green paintish? Loved @Alias Z's take on TO A TEE (is TOATEE a DOOK?), along with his whole rambling post. Had TItO at 6D, till I saw TITO at 24D. Wanted PLEBEs for FROSH, but again, saw PLEBE at 62A. ESSO clued differently, must be a huge gas in Canada! (Pun intended on that one!)

Give this puz a SOSO. Easyish solve, hardish to construct, regular -ese. IMO, which I'm sure Tracy doesn't give two shakes about!


TonySaratoga 9:03 AM  

Is Excel a word processing program? Does anyone sort in MS Word or similar?

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

@Roo: SPINNING WHEEL is most definitely not green paint. It denotes a specific mechanical tool that can not be called anything else.

Mohair Sam 9:21 AM  

@Tony Saratoga 9:03 - Point well taken.

Charles Flaster 9:30 AM  

Theme was easily decipherable as I checked my byline to see if I slept an entire day and missed Wednesday.
When I taught antilogs I called myself "Uncle log" and if a mistake was made it was called Bump( as in " bump on a log").
LSU was a hoot.
Writeover--TOURED ~ TOUtED.
Thanks TG

mathguy 9:35 AM  

I don't expect much on a Wednesday so no disappointment here.

Even though I must have done it, I don't remember the earlier puzzle with the same gimmick. Not memorable then, not memorable now.

Like @Rex Porker, I was surprised that the other Rex was so uncritical of this blah work.

I've stopped reading mathematics and I couldn't immediately remember what antilogs are. The anti-logarithm is the inverse function of the logarithm function. The logarithm function (base ten) turns 100 into 2, because 100 is 10 to the second power. The anti-logarithm function goes the other way and turns 2 into 10.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

I had the same thought as @TonySaratoga--SORT seems mpre of a spreadsheet function than a word processor function.
By the way--the BAABAA correction this week is the first I've ever seen where Will fessed to a truly inaccurate/mistaken clue/answer pair. Does anyone here have other examples?

Z 9:52 AM  

@LMS - I believe the correct construction is "used to coulda." Mayhap you wish to issue a correction?

@TonySaratoga - My word processing program allows me to insert a table and SORT it. I try my best to use neither Word nor Excel.

Mares eat toats;
ROES eat toats;
Little lambs eat ivy;
If I were a kid I'd eat ivy too.
Wouldn't you?

@Uncle Rebus - I found this definition: "a puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters; for instance, apex might be represented by a picture of an ape followed by a letter X." This has evolved in xworld to any puzzle where multiple letters are used in a single square. I would not consider this a "rebus" puzzle in either sense, although it is closer to the original meaning (with the "round" images of the round words) than the usual xworld usage. I do not think it is commonly understood to mean any puzzle with an unusual solving feature (so the MIRROR MIRROR puzzle would not be considered a "rebus.")

lawprof 9:56 AM  

Near Natick (welcome back, DOUG Flutie) at the IRENEE/LENA crossing, but the E seemed to be the most probable vowel, so a big "whew!" there.

Otherwise, picked up the theme early at MERRYGOROUND, so the rest fell quickly.

Wanted "poodle" at 22D, skirt embellishment, but no fit. Wouldn't TRIM qualify as green paint?

All-in-all a nice rebus Wednesday. (I'm using "rebus" here in its generic - some might say imprecise - sense, i.e., any kind of goofiness in a puzzle). Thanks, Tracy.

JC66 9:56 AM  

For those who didn't know LENA, you might have thought of Irene, Rene or Renee

joho 10:01 AM  

@dk, NYT doesn't deliver to my neck of the woods, either. If I want a real paper I have to get to the nearest Kroger at 6:00 to snag one of the 2 copies available.

@Loren, literally crying laughing today! And speaking of shallow TV, I DVR "The Young & The Restless" every day ... but I don't watch it while it's running ... so I'm not really watching, right? (BTW, we've been calling it "The Hung and the Horny for years.)

Bob Kerfuffle 10:03 AM  

Fun puzzle.

I think Tracy Gray may be a proponent of string theory, in which many of the eleven dimensions (one of time, ten of space) must be thought of as tightly curled, rendering them invisible on our macro scale.

oldbizmark 10:06 AM  

oh, come on rex, this puzzle was third-rate bs. come on. i came here expecting (and hoping for) a tirade. easy, ugly and with crappy fill. this deserves more vitriol that you have afforded it. perhaps you are saving it up for tomorrow? will shortz... more like will snortz.

RnRGhost57 10:09 AM

Nancy 10:09 AM  

Thursday-ish, making it an unusual Wednesday treat. Not all that hard, but very clever and zippy and I liked it a lot. You're right, @Uncle Rebus (cute nom de blog), it's not a rebus; it's a trick puzzle. But any kind of trick is welcome here.

LENA is one of the few pop names I know; she's been all over the news and she's a writer, as well as a performer. (I pay more attention to writers; guess why.) So I didn't Natick on the IRENEE crossing, though I surely never heard of her.

But there were things I never heard of here, and in a tougher puzzle, they might have caused problems: ANTILOG? TEA TOWELS? (I thought they were dish towels or dish rags.) And I suppose I've never been powerful enough to take a POWER NAP. Napping is something I find hard to do at best, and my most frequent kind of NAP is the I'm-running-a-fever NAP. Closely followed by the I-had-one-too-many-martinis-at-lunch NAP.

Hoping for a wonderful tomorrow, as well, and that my Thursday "fix" isn't over for the rest of the week.

Arlene 10:12 AM  

I got the theme right away with the MERRYGOROUND. Guessed right with IRENEE/LENA. Nice that the theme answers weren't anything bizarre or forced. Very pleasant Wednesday (and I wouldn't call this a rebus either.)

chefbea 10:15 AM  

No time to read all the comments..will do that later . Was a fun puzzle!! I thought the theme was Things that goaround or turn. Has this been mentioned??

Joseph Michael 10:17 AM  

ORR OGLES the EWER and OREOS on the DAIS in the RIA AREA near ETON.

Way too much stale fill plus a weakly executed theme makes this a SOSO Wednesday at best.


Ludyjynn 10:29 AM  

No ANGST here because my knowledge of POP culture enabled me to easily master the trick (unlike last week's physics nightmare). I find LENA Dunham and the whole "Girls" concept fairly repulsive after five minutes OGLing. Not quite as bad as the self-absorbed, no-talent Kardashians, but close.

Thanks, Rex, for the Joni Mitchell clip. I love her music. Am quite concerned about her critical health issues which have caused her to remain hospitalized. Hopefully, she will rally.

Liked the LSU and SIRS clues.

My body involuntarily takes a POWERNAP every AFT. c. 3:00 pm. Amazingly refreshing. The folks down Mexico way are on to something!

Thanks, TG and WS. I give this one a seven out of TEN.

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

@chefbea you are turning into a self-parody.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

Ok@RnRGhost57, I see your replacements and raise you an Antje:
Antje Duvekot Merry Go Round

Nancy 10:34 AM  

@dk & @joho -- Re: Times delivery. My brother, a born and bred New Yorker, now lives on a golf course in Cromwell, CT, (truly the middle of nowhere). He was successful in putting together a large enough group in his community to persuade the Times to deliver there. That was at least 5 years ago, maybe more, and the Times may be less persuadable now than it was then. Still, it might be worth a try. Of course, @dk, CT is a lot closer to NY than WI, so who knows? @joho -- I have no idea where you live.

jberg 10:36 AM  

I was sure enough of the theme to put in __GO ROUND, but for some reason couldn't figure out how the circles worked until I got YARROW -- I was trying to make the loop feed into the word directly, which would have put RY into those two blank squares starting at 17. Once I got it the other ones were nearly gimmes.

My wife grew up in Wilmington and went to Alexis I (the "Dupont" part of the name is so taken for granted it's often not uttered aloud), but I would have got IRENEE anyway, due to a high school teacher who had me write a report on a book about the history of the Dupont Co. I remembered LENA enough to write it in, but wasn't as sure as I should have been, given that that was the name of my late grandmother, the former LENA Rehagen. And a friend who went to LSU has "Geaux Tigers" in his email sig, so that was easy too.

You CAN sort all kinds of ways with a word processor -- all the words in alphabetic order, all the paragraphs the same -- it's just that you don't often want to, so it was really tempting to go with copy.

@dk, now you've got me worried. Heading for our annual two weeks in Stonington just over a month from now; we've never tried to get home delivery in our rental, but I definitely count on being to walk down to the local store to buy a copy of the NYT every morning. I hope that doesn't stop!

I did enjoy the puzzle -- but I kept thinking it was a brilliant way to avoid having to make your theme answers symmetrical! (Not fair, I know, since the loops were rule-governed, not arbitrary.)

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

Ok I fold. Let's try that link again:

Antje Duvekot Merry-Go-Round

Malsdemare 10:42 AM  

@chefbea. I have no idea how someone who is as nice and interesting as you are has managed to attract a really ugly anonymouse. But I hope you'll ignore it. I scroll quickly past the vitriol here, but when attacks are personal, it infuriates me.

I use the Word sort function in order to avoid having to manually alphabetize lists I make as a copy editor. So, yeah, it's a Word function.

Puzzle was fine; some gimmies that helped me past the inevitable "who the hell is THAT?" spots (yeah, looking at you, Ms. DuPont!). And I always love the chance to relive my youth with the Beattles and shakin' my booty til dawn. Good times!

GILL I. 10:49 AM  

Easy peasy okay puzzle. I like the concept and don't mind seeing more of these. I just don't like a plethora of proper names - they always make me say "oh come on!"
@AliasZ...hee hee - good post!
I think there should be a prize for the constructor who comes up with the best OREO clue....
@Anony 12:25 is correct. LGA is not an initial, it's an airport code.
@chefwen. I loved that book. Isn't Boris super crazy zany fun?
It's raining today which is so welcome in California. Maybe I can take a shower today and not feel guilty...

Roo Monster 10:50 AM  

Aha, thanks @Anony 9:12am, guess it was the best name for it!

Some Random Nonsense for youse,
Standing in front of the La Brea pits= AT TAR
ADD SON, newborn baby boy?
Lincolns informal shirt= ABE T
New fury -> IRE NEE (ouch!)
Is a line of pirates a YAR ROW?
Is CHI LI a relative of JET LI?

That's enough torture for today!


Anonymous 10:54 AM  

Um, did anybody else notice that the theme was "things that spin" and the letters in the "things that spin" go around in a circle? I'm too lazy to read Rex'a post and all of the other comments so I'll just post this asinine comment in a vacuum and it would be mean of anyone to make fun of me for it.

Carola 11:07 AM  

Easy, cute theme, really nice long Downs - lots to like about this one.

@dk - Commiserating with you on losing home delivery.

@lawprof - TRIM is definitely a thing - something like lace or rickrack that you'd find in the notions area of a fabric store.

Haiku Nerd 11:19 AM  


Lewis 11:25 AM  

With those 60s references, a good title would have been Turn Turn Turn.

A fun solve, though I would have liked some more clever cluing, which we should get on Wednesday. I liked POWERNAP, and think back with smiles at NEHRU jackets (and dashikis). Tracy mentions in her notes that she doesn't like EWER. I've never liked this word, though I've tried to since we see it so often. Just for fun, to make it especially ugly, it should be clued, "One reacting to a disgusting sight".

Yesterday's constructor, Roy Leban, made the point that he's okay with the three-letter answers being ugly if they give the longer answers more pop. I found that interesting, because that's a view I don't hear much of here.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:30 AM  


OSTEAL ROTOUT! Hey, I got that!

Today's Names Parade:
* ANN Curry. check.
* Peter YARROW. check.
* ORR. check.
* MAISIE. nope. Don't have HBO; see it occasionally in hotels. Don't watch the thrones show, as don't know what's goin on.
* IRENEE. nope. Sounds like one of them Wile E. Coyote dealies.
* DOUG. check.
* Rio NEGRO. check. Kinda a nice bookend with YARROWSEA.
* SETH Rogen. check. McLovin cop.
* ROOS. check. {Famous puz blog commenter and namesakes}.
* TITO. Would also except any Marx Brothers name, right? Thought so... check.
* TINO Martinez. nope. I only watch my own (Twins) team's games a handful of times, per year.
* NEHRU McJacket. och. check.
* LENA Dunham. nope. Girls is just too big a category, for poor m&e.
* Beau GESTE. check.

re: 57-Across... Really likin this "tusker" word. Opens up a whole new vocab to M&A. Top picks:
* Antennaer
* Schwanstuckerer
* Hairdogger
* Eyepitter
* Blowholer

Thanx for the fun rodeo, Tracy Gray. Lookin forward to fifty more shades of... yer grid squares.


p.s. nice bullets, @009.


old timer 11:31 AM  

Surely I am not the only reader of this blog to have sung "koo-koo-ka-choo" to myself as I gleefully wrote in WALRUS.

I really liked the puzzle. Since I do it on paper, there were visible wheels to make it clear that something circular was going on. Slower to solve than that one back in February, though, because the pattern was more irregular. At the end, I knew I had to write in STONES but exactly how remained a mystery,

Really the only cringe-worthy bit of fill was TOATEE. And AFTS which would be fine if clued "rears on board" (really, Shortz, why did you not think of that?) I had no problem with IRENEE for two reasons: First, because I knew the answer already, but second, because the whole point of doing these puzzles is to learn something new. I would therefore never complain about learning what the I in Mr. DuPont's name stands for. My nit to pick in that corner is certainly not LENA, who is someone you read about all the time, it is the obscure clue for ETON. How about, "on whose playing fields the Battle of Waterloo was won, it is said" for a clue? I do think IRENEE ought to be gettable by crosses.

Thanks, George (may I call you George, sir?) for the link to today's brilliant Across and Down. In my day, Hayley Gold would have joined the ranks of R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton and Justin Green in the underground comix business -- the first two, at least, made a good deal of money out of it.

Lewis 11:32 AM  

Factoid: In 1988, at LSU, during a home game, a crowd of near 80,000 reacted to the game’s final pass loudly enough to register as an earthquake by a seismograph located about 1,000 feet from the stadium.

Quotoid: "If all the economists were LAID end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion." -- George Bernard Shaw

r.alphbunker 11:44 AM  

I too finished with LENi/iSTO. Was thinking of Leni Riefenstahl.

Converting 2 to binary also gives 10.

Hartley70 11:52 AM  

I'm too eager to say how much I liked this puzzle to read all the previous comments first, which I usually do. Wow, I thought this was a super Wednesday. I could learn to look forward to the hump. The clues were Wednesday appropriate, nothing obscure to me, even IRENEE after I gave it some thought, but the clues were so fresh! Even that tired, tasteless old Oreo cookie gave me pause because I didn't know Wonderfilled at first glance. It took me just the right amount of time to see the gimmick, not too hard for a Wednesday. I don't mind that we've seen something similar before because how many ways can you manipulate a grid of this size? Tracy Gray, if Rex is giving this a hard time, just come right here for a little positive reinforcement. Good Job!

M and Also 11:55 AM  

Errata again, M&A breath...

TITO bullet: "accept" instead of "except".

MAISIE: Upon further reflection, I may actually know of this William s Maisie dude. Wasn't he in one of them Jurassic Chomp dinosaur flicks?

For-got the fave weeject of the day (FWOD). No individual standout, but OSS-POP is a kinda neat pair. ({Pogo's daddy??})


DragonsMom 11:55 AM  

You can sort alphabetically, by date, etc. in WORD

DragonsMom 11:59 AM  

La Guardia Airport

Joseph Welling 12:02 PM  

You can also draw geometric shapes in Word, but I wouldn't consider drawing tools to be a word processing thing either.

Z 12:07 PM  

Isn't the antilog of 2 100? Typo I presume, or I could just be wrong.

Explaining why one was mean still makes one mean.

@M&A - MAISIE eats TOATEES, and I think she is a dudette, not a dude. Also not a GoT fan, so I could be wrong.

I think Will Shortz's acknowledged xword errors are still countable on one hand.

LGA, besides being the airport code for La Guardia Airport would also be the initials for La Guardia Airport, unless of course you think La Guardia is wrong and it should be LaGuardia - one word - which is how I see it written. Yet, it is named for a person whose name is written as two words. Mistake or Shortz/Gray being tricky?`

Indypuzzler 12:14 PM  

I got in late from an out of town trip so check blog late and noticed that Roy Leban (constructor)posted a comment last night. I read through today's blog and I don't THINK that has been mentioned.
I had a real DOH WOE with Mick and Paul. Kept thinking OBE but had OIR and stared and stared at it for way too long before OHO, OHS DOH!

chefbea 12:30 PM  

@Malsdemare - thanks for the complement!!!

Tita 12:33 PM  

Have seen where the NEGRO meets the Amazon - they run side by side without mixing for about 5 miles...mind-blowing!

Never got the idea of wearing nice comfy shoes, but carrying uncomfortable HEELS to change into. And they call us liberated...

@Aketi - ice skating is what taught me that we are right- or left-footed, just like handedness. I can skate backwards in a clockwise circle to put Sonja Henie and her tutu to shame - but not so much in the other direction.

TRIM = red paint.

@Anon @9:48 - At the Westport Library tournament a coupla years ago, Will listed off the actual mistakes made...there were about 6. The one I remember is the erroneous clue for 5-Across, seeking the answer “Scarlett O’Hara’s final words in “Gone With the Wind” are “After all, tomorrow is another day” — not “I’ll never be hungry again.” (That is the last comment she makes before the film’s intermission.) Will admitted that his staff watched the film, but thought that the intermission was the end.

@oldtimer - check the NYT article on France's reaction to Belgium's minting a coin commemorating Waterloo.

I would be in total awe at this clever idea and its execution were it not for that totally fabulous loop-the-loop puzzle (about which I had totally forgotten till coming here...).

That one was the cleverest of the two, but this one still had me wishing I could be clever enough to have had the idea.
Thanks Ms. Gray for making my head spin today!

mathguy 1:11 PM  

Sorry, everybody. I didn't notice my typo until I just read @Z. The logarithm of 100 is 2 so the anti-logarithm of 2 is 100.

GILL I. 2:04 PM  

Okay....Nitpicking time: The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) assigns a system of codes (not initials) to all global airports. You never ask what is the 3 letter initial of an airport. It's always the code...
Some airports lucked out i.e. MAD for Madrid, ATL for Atlanta and LGA for La Guardia...the list goes on.
30 years of being in the business finally paid off! Can you guess which aiport code is SUX?

weingolb 2:19 PM  

Anyone struck by the British and Canadian mood here?

TEATOWEL, ESSO (even though it was clued the American way), ETON, and then there's the influence of Paul and Mick (they helped popularize NEHRUs and combine for 3 other answers in the grid). Thought of Canada with ORR, DOUG Flutie and the Montreal street clue. Actually, I always think of Montreal when there are French clues, and there's no shortage of those today.

JFC 2:20 PM  

LENA crossing IRENEE is definitely NOT a Natick. Everyone who is anyone knows that Lena Durham is the plump plain Jane who likes to see herself naked on TV. As for DuPont, well, he's dead, so I won't comment on that one.


chefwen 2:44 PM  

@John Child - Donna TWEET, cute, made me laugh
@jae - Just received All the Light, will be reading that next.
@GIL I. Haven't met Boris yet, only up to chapter three. Reading on the slate for this afternoon.
@chefbea -Ignore the troll, not worth your time.

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

I guess @Gill doesn't read previous comments either. Alas.

Don McBrien 3:22 PM  

I left open the middle letter in P_P for a while, hoping the answer might be PAP.

GILL I. 3:43 PM  

Uh Oh @Anony 3:15...what did I miss? I have a cold...does that excuse me?

Anonymous 4:09 PM  

Sorry. Didn't realize, @Gill I, that you were repeating YOUR OWN comment. 10:49AM.

Wood 4:40 PM  

I've started trying to do M-W puzzles using downs only. So far no perfect finishes: but today I finished after giving myself only the first 3 across clues. This puts the challenge back into the early-week puzzles, as there is no cross-checking individual squares. You have to rely on pattern recognition to get the acrosses, hoping you can fill in enough downs to give you a fighting chance. I grokked the theme at SPINNING WHEELS and knowing I had to find something that turned for the other shaded squares helped a lot. Wil probably go back to using all the clues tomorrow, but this is a fin new way to do M-W!

Questinia 5:05 PM  

My Urban Delinquency

There's a statue of Mayor LGA in NYC near NYU.
He's in mid-stride with one foot making its next step.
So I put a banana peel under his shoe.
And I left it there.


kitshef 6:32 PM  

Not a fan of clues for LGA (as has been pointed out, not initials) or AFTS, as to me the clue implied a Spanish answer.

Definitely calling foul on IRENEE/LENA on a Wednesday. Got it right as I have heard or Lena Dunham, but not to my recollection seen the name in print before, so if LINA/IRINEE had been correct I would have DNF's on an otherwise easy day.

2nd day in a row with lame clue for AREA.

Other than that, it was OK. Some nice memories (PRELL, Gimme Shelter, Peter Paul & Mary, Doug Flutie) with some modern clues as well (MAISIE, LENA).

GILL I. 7:26 PM  

@Questinia...Hee hee...If ever you're up this way, I'll buy you a banana daiquiri - or maybe a good Manhattan.

Anonymous 7:40 PM  

So, La Guardia Airport has the international airport code LGA, on that we can all agree. How exactly does that obviate the fact that LGA would be an initialism of La Guardia Airport? Further, does anyone have dispositive evidence that the code LGA wasn't based on the initials? DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) certainly is based on the initials, who has proof that the LGA comes from [L]a [G]uardi[a]? Bueller? Bueller?

foxaroni 9:42 PM  

SUX--the airport code for Sioux City, Ia. Having lived in Sioux City, I can affirm that the town does, indeed, suck.

Anonymous 9:52 PM  

A little fun with IATA Airport Codes:

1. DIK - Dickinson Airport, USA

2. NOB - Nosara Beach Airport, Costa Rica

3. KOK - Kokkola/Pietarsaari Kruunupyy Airport, Finland

4. BOG - Bogotá Airport, Columbia

5. BUM - Butler Airport, USA

6. PEE - Perm Airport, Russia

7. POO - Pocos De Caldas Airport, Brazil

8. SEX - Sembach Airport, Germany

9. EAT - Wenatchee Airport, USA

10. FAT - Fresno Yosemite Airport, USA

11. CAT - Cat Island Airport, Bahamas

12. DOG - Dongola Airport, Qatar

13. DOH - Doha Airport, Qatar

Leapfinger 10:09 AM  

Dang. Made it ARCSINE before ANTILOG, but caught the trick right off the bat when I saw CAROUSEL(s) wasn't going towork

@Z: '...and the painted ponies go round and round'. Not my first RHO DEO, sooo... Goo goo ga joo.

Tres Si bon, Mme Grey. No circling the drain today.

old timer 11:42 AM  

They really do use initials for airport codes whenever possible. SFO is "San Francisco Oakland" though what of poor OAK? A real airport and way more convenient than its big brother. FAT stands for Fresno Air Terminal, the original name. "X" is shorthand for "International", hence LAX and PDX. Of course they eventually have to improvise. The little airport north of Santa Rosa (now grandly called "Charles M Shulz Sonoma County Airport) ended up being STS. Probably short for SanTa Rosa Sonoma. It has lots of Peanuts character statues.

Kate Mark 12:56 PM  

I am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for over 9 years and we had two kids. thing were going well with us and we where always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treated me and the kids. later that month he did not come back home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditional spell hospital for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he casted on him that make him come back to me. my family and i are now happy again. Thank you Dr. Aluta for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay. He cast spells for different purposes like
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) You want to be rich.
(7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial assistance.
(9) Herbal care
(10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery
Contact him today on:

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Friend out there are you searching for a real and genuine spell Dr ,that have all the black magic too perform and solve all your problems , I mine self is testifying of his good works . He is dedicated and committed too the his job and very helpful ,are you in any kind of problems just name it, he is ever ready too help here are his private info( i have experience so man.y scam , so beware of. Scammers ,thanks too you all ,just contact him and see for yourself

Burma Shave 11:02 AM  


ASTO that woman in HEELS,
she’s a TEN, but just SPINNINGWHEELS
tho’ she draws OGLES, ORR is the SORT to get paid.
But there’s GESTE one thing I’ve found
I say, “EAU, SARI, I never PAYTO get LAID.”


rondo 11:18 AM  

This solve wasn’t terrible, but there sure seemed to be some funny feel to the plurals.

TINO and TITO were here, what about TIVO and the others?

@evil doug’s favorite dolls – BLOWUPS.

SARI, neither LENA nor MAISIE make yeah baby status.

Mini Beatles and ROLLINGSTONES theme for SIRS Paul and Mick and the WALRUS, koo koo kachoo.

SPINNINGWHEEL’S a song by Blood, Sweat, & Tears. Isn’t it a about a MERRYGOROUND? Another musical mini-theme?

SOSO puz today, can’t give it a TEN, but no big complaints.

spacecraft 2:01 PM  

DNF because of LONI/ISTO and that silly DuPont thing. "Is to" is every bit as valid as "as to" when discussing comparisons. Flip a "kern," as Ed Norton would say. The rest is unknown natick and ruins a decent grid.

It wasn't hard to lock onto the trick. I love that the grid is chock full of three of my favorite bands (yeah, I know, I'm SO last-century. Whaddya want: I'm OLD.) The third? See @rondo's post above.

Some of the fill is subpar, but I still think I would have given a B if it weren't for that SE debacle. INC.

leftcoastTAM 4:39 PM  

I saw the theme and trick at SPINNINGWHEELS, which made the rest of the puzzle easy--and made me think of what often goes on with many of the posts on this blog.

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

I have to brag and say this was EASY, after getting Rolling Stones and thus figuring out a lot of the top part. Thank you T. Gray for an excellent workout and a very cute wordplay. This one fell quite fast so it must have been all the coffee I had at lunch with a friend.

Get this. Gal friend (old work buddy) talked me into a pedicure after lunch and I did it. I'm in my 70s, this was the very first pedicure, and it blew my mind. I am now suggesting and endorsing same for every man & woman on Earth. Really great and I feel like I have new feet.
We sat next to each other like two old geezers on a park bench. Even the dog sniffed my toes and muttered, what in hell is going on with you. Please treat the above very seriously because the word "pedicure" just might come up in a puzzle over the next 10 yrs.

Ron Diego, skipping "Barefoot in the Park."

loreun jeny 2:54 AM  

Eurasia situated in Chicago for the fifteenth Eurasia Conference on Chemical Sciences to be hung on 15-18 December 2017. We are managing in different choices like eurasia, eurasia13, eurasia meeting, eurasia bangalore, eurasia chicago , eurasia chicago and chicago eurasia gathering. Every item is having its own particular quality.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP