Clothing brand with long vowel mark in its name / TUE 11-10-15 / Jazz combo's cue / Venom conduit / Sitcom equine of 60s / New Left org of 60s

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Constructor: Will Treece

Relative difficulty: Medium (normal Tuesday)

THEME: names that belong to two different famous people

Theme answers:
  • ANNE HATHAWAY (19A: "Les Misérables" actress  [or] Wife of the Bard)
  • GRAHAM GREENE (32A: "Dances With Wolves" actor [or] "The Third Man" author)
  • MATTHEW PERRY (39A: "Friends" actor [or] Naval officer who sailed to Japan in 1853)
  • STEVE MCQUEEN (53A: "The Great Escape" actor [or] "12 Years a Slave" director) 
Word of the Day: MATTHEW PERRY
Matthew Calbraith Perry (April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858) was a Commodore of the United States Navy and commanded a number of ships. He served in several wars, most notably in the Mexican–American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. Perry was very concerned with the education of naval officers and helped develop an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the US Navy and came to be considered The Father of the Steam Navy in the United States. (wikipedia)
• • •

Trivia theme. Not the most exciting. Theme clues are so straightforward that there's no real pleasure there for the solver, beyond the "oh, right ... those people have the same name" moment. Just not much interesting going on. No cleverness. Then there's the very odd grid construction, with these double stacks of 9s running parallel to the themers. On the one hand, they're the only interesting part of the grid. On the other, they create some disastrous fill situations (most notably that banks of 3s NE corner, yikes). And 74 words on a Tuesday? Would've enjoyed a higher word count and cleaner grid, I think (with less of stuff like GITS and ENDO and ASNO and RTE and OLEOLE and ATA etc.). Also, I prefer my long non-themers running Down rather than Across. There's nothing illegal about having them go Across; it just feels awkward. They're really long and running Across, so they feel like they could/should be themers, but they're not. But mainly I just wish the fill were cleaner. I don't think AIR INTAKE is good enough to justify the 9 stacks. Better to lose one of the 9s in each corner, release pressure on the grid, and fill it better.

Why is the cluing so incredibly straightforward and dull? I know it's Tuesday, so you want to be easy, but gah! Liven it up a bit. The clue on ECKŌ (54D: Clothing brand with a long vowel mark in its name) was the most interesting but also the most bizarre—accurate enough (the "long vowel mark" is also known as a "macron," btw), but ECKŌ is already the least well known thing in the grid, and that clue doesn't bring people any closer to it. It's not definitive / distinctive enough of a feature to really make a cluing difference. But again, I'll take weirdness over the painful ploddingness of the rest of the clues. My only hesitation today came at 1D: Muslim's headscarves (HIJABS), where I thought maybe NIQABS, and then tested the "Q" cross at 17A: Tilters' contest (JOUST) and briefly thought "... QUEST?" But I didn't end up stuck in that hole for long. Pretty easy Tuesday overall.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:06 AM  

Medium for me too, but I was familiar with all the theme names in both contexts.  

Obey before MEET was about it for erasures.

This is one of those where the theme trumps the iffy fill  (which wasn't that horrible) for me.  Liked it.


Are you a happy person?

chefwen 1:40 AM  

Easy/medium for me. The only person I didn't know was GRAHAM GREENE, but with a few letters in place it was easy to fill in around and guess his name. ANNE HATHAWAY I know is an actress, but not from Les Miserables which I have never seen, so that one I knew from Wife of the Bard. Mathew Perry and Steve McQueen I knew from their acting roles, but didn't know the other gents. We'll see how long I retain that information.

One write over at 40D EnTire before EXTENT and I really wanted Beefy at 61A but knew that three E's in a row wasn't going anywhere.

1A HIT IT set the mood for me. Nice one!

btimnelson 1:43 AM  

I had SURLY instead of BURLY and didn't know AQABA. In my experience, bouncers generally are more surly than burly.

DrLee77 3:51 AM  

Similar experience as @jae and @REX. Not my fastest Tuesday but not far off. hEEd for MEET instead as write over. Took several crosses before HIJABS was certain. I don't remember ever hearing of ECKO (with or without the macron) but crossing was fair. I agree with @jae that the sub par fill wasn't all that bad. I knew, but had forgotten the bard's wife's name until I was 2/3 through the answer. I enjoyed it reasonably well

George Barany 5:03 AM  

Count me among those who enjoyed @Will Treece's theme, and blazed through it because all eight of the the dual-named theme personalities were so familiar, even the director of the Academy Award winning movie from a few years ago--the less said about that, the better.

My mind wandered to an amazing puzzle of March 31, 2011, by @Jeremy Horwitz and @Tyler Hinman. Click here for that puzzle's review by @Rex, and here for a spoiler-filled appreciation in the New York Times,

Among the metrics by which we in academia are judged is the number of times we are cited. I have always wondered about less-than-discerning bureaucrats who are overly impressed by the number of hits garnered by colleagues with names like John Smith or Larry Miller. In the crossword community, we have @Victor Fleming and @David Steinberg, a fact each of them cleverly worked into their own puzzles: see here and here, respectively. Can anyone think of other examples?

Lewis 6:45 AM  

I thought the doppelgänger theme was clever. Has this theme ever been done before? (R.alph?) If not, props for originality. I only knew one incarnation of three of the themers, so I learned something as well. There is also a mini-theme within the themers: Names including double letters.

I liked the tricky clue for IRONED, and the answers EUPHRATES, SCREECHES, and HITIT (what a great word to start a puzzle with!). Never heard of HISNIBS, and will listen for it from now on, because I love the sound of it. Hadn't heard of this ECKO either. There is a TIED down, and I do like those TUTUS coming over the BURLY ASSES.

There is some ugly fill, but the puzzle never felt like ICK to me. Gave me a good sendoff to the day, and thanks for that, Will!

Glimmerglass 6:53 AM  

"Some beef cattle"? How about "almost all beef cattle" are steers?

Unknown 8:01 AM  

Agree with @JAE (only comment as I write.)

One (maybe only a personal) nit-pik gripe for 1a’s answer and clue:

HIT IT? I’ve played in numerous jazz combos of many genres over the last c. 60 years. From that experience I would say HIT IT is what non-musicians think jazz or other musicians say to start a tune. I’d say 99% of the time it was a count (e.g. 1..2..3..4, just 3..4, or whatever); played or sung upbeat(s); a nod of the head; “stick-taps” by the drummer; or foot taps. The other 1% might have included a HIT IT or two over that time, but I say that only as a statistical possibility. Favorite phrase preceding a count to repeat or restart a piece is, “Take it from the lid.”

One step further is “combo.” Not sure I ever say I play in such and such a jazz combo. Invariably I say I play in a jazz group, trio/quartet/…, or band. For that matter, this also applies to playing in a rock/folk/pop/dance/ bluegrass/pick-up/country/…group, trio/…, etc. So playing in a “combo” where tunes are started with “HIT IT” I’ll leave to Hollywood.

Interestingly, under Wiki’s extensive “Musical ensembles” entry, the word “combo” does not appear.

Booker T. & the ___ [MGs]. Have loved Green Onions ever since it was released. The organ is the smaller Hammond M-3, not a B-3 as some might think.



ZOO TRANS: a monorail




BETTER HIS TAR: Computer Savvy?

AliasZ 8:14 AM  

@George B, @Samuel A. Donaldson immediately came to mind.

I thought this was a fun theme. True, its a trivia contest, but well spaced out (every four-and-a-half years, say) these can work. Today's puzzle was made more interesting by mixing careers and gender. ANNE HATHAWAY is lovely as either The Bard's mate or a bridesmaid. MATTHEW C. PERRY (1794-1858) was certainly not in the entertainment industry, neither was GRAHAM GREENE, the author of "Our Man in Havana" (another novel turned into a great movie by Carol Reed who also directed "The Third Man"). The 2011 pitchers/singers version was more two-dimensional.

Eliminating the 9-stacks would not have helped much, since the most egregious fill (SDS/ICK/ENDO/ASNO/GITS/ATEON) would have stayed. As @Will Treece comments at xwordinfo, spacing out the themers a little more would have helped, since in retrospect he was not satisfied with some of the fill either. But I would classify EUPHRATES, TREASURER, AIR INTAKE, ON THIN ICE, the BURLY ASSES and JOUST HIT IT! as ASSEtS. JOUST HIT IT sounds like it could be a NIKE commercial.

I didn't like IRANI much, as Iranian is more common, n'est-ce pas? IRANI in crosswords, Iranian everywhere else.

Good one, Will.

[SCREECHES] Gotta run.

chefbea 8:39 AM  

Knew all the names, just didn't know they were shared with other people. Never heard of Ecko.
Never been to a Denny's, but one just opened here in Wilmington so might try it. Of course loved the other food items - pate, tabasco and tri color pasta.
And to anser a comment from late last night..I always wear an apron and take off my rings when cooking.

chefbea 8:40 AM  

@Tita it was you who asked about Aprons

GILL I. 8:46 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. It felt different and new (Hi @Lewis) so that's good. I really don't care or even notice things like 9 letter stacks and where they should go as long as the puzzles holds my interest - this one did.
HIJABS is more familiar to me than the (NIQABS) we had a few weeks back. Loved seeing EUPHRATES. Some say this river is crucial to the birth of civilization. Unfortunately it's drying up at a very fast pace, particularly in Iraq. There's and interesting theory in the Bible in Book of Revelations where it is prophesied that the river will completely dry up and this will be a sign of the end of time. Many Biblical scholars believe this will indeed happen. What the hell, our Folsom River is practically dead and we'll need about 40 El Ninos to get it back to normal....
Doesn't FOIE look funny without its gras. Our son calls it foygrass.
ECKO is very popular with the younger generation, at least around these parts. They sell lots of hoodies and bomber jackets.
Enjoyable Tuesday Mr. Treece - not an OUCH to be found for moi....

mac 8:48 AM  

Easy - Medium Tuesday for me. A few aha's with the names, otherwise not a lot of sparkle.

I had never heard of Ecko with macron, although I like and am interested in fashion. Have to look that up.

Have we had a lot of asses in the puzzles lately?

RooMonster 9:00 AM  

Hey All !
Enjoyable Tuesday romp. Agree with Rex on the odd grid. If you extend the black squares to get rid of the double across 9's, your grid improves and you only add four threes. Would lead to better fill. But, Mr. Treece did get this puz accepted...

As for the 9's, they're all good. Like how SCREECHES looks. Isn't that the longest (or one of the longest) single syllable words in English? @Lewis?

Surprised by the TRANS answer. NW corner last to fall. HIJABS a WOE. Wanted HI haT at first for HIT IT, slowed me up a tad. Otherwise, breezy and fun.

The store name is ECKO Unlimited, look for it at your local mall. (Although, thinking about it now, I don't remember seeing one recently, but it's also not my first choice of clothes shopping places, as I'm more of a T-shirt/jeans type of guy than a collared shirt wearer.) Nothing like a useless run-on sentence, OUCH!


jberg 9:07 AM  

Another sign of age -- the only show biz type I knew was STEVE MCQUEEN -- well, I did know there was an actress named ANNE HATHAWAY, and figured it must be a stage name -- but fortunately all the others are famous, so that was not a problem.

I hesitated at ECKO -- I thought that was cutlery, not clothing, but apparentl the knife people are EkcO instead.

I was going to complain about using AQABA to complete the pangram, but that isn't really fair, as the Q has to be there anyway, for the theme.

Nancy 9:29 AM  

The theme felt new to me and I liked it a lot, though I agree with Rex that the theme answers were clued in rather mundane fashion. I guess that's because it's a Tuesday. Nothing exciting about the rest of the fill, but no junk, either. Perfectly pleasant.

quilter1 9:31 AM  

Oh, @Rex, it wasn't that bad. I enjoyed lots of the answers and for me the puzzle was Tuesday easy. I liked seeing Anne Hathaway, the Bard's wife. I've always wished we knew more about her.

Hartley70 9:32 AM  

Oh brother, medium? Really? This was so easy I wanted to take a nap in the middle out of boredom. The themers were an interesting idea, but the execution was too obvious.

And the fill....MRED again? Somebody shoot that annoying horse, puhleeze. And, can we please visit somewhere else on the planet beside the Middle East? It's like a geographical and cultural travelogue playing on a loop. I'm sure that Pacific Islanders have some lovely vowels in their language too.

What happened to V? Did it get dumped at the last minute or am I too disinterested to find it. Yesterday's puzzle was much more entertaining and would have been a better Tuesday had they been switched. The only answer that was new was ECKO. Never heard of them so it was a relief to get an iota of pushback.

I think this is the first time Rex liked something more than I.

Ludyjynn 9:41 AM  

What I liked: the theme and its execution (sorry, Rex); JOUST in the grid. Jousting is the official Maryland state sport (since 1962) and can be watched at the annual Renaissance Festival in Crownsville near Annapolis. The jousting tournaments are done in a ring format and are exciting to watch, enhanced, IMO, if you rent or wear your own period costumes and chow down on a giant turkey leg while you're there.

Hopefully, Rex will print what I disliked: the clue for TRANS. In my world, until Jenner has SRS (sexual reassignment surgery), he is not there yet. Esp. disliked HIJABS. First the NYT subjected us to NIQAB a few weeks back, now this. What next, I wonder, a clue for genital cutting? Again, in my world, as an American woman, any so-called religious imperative which potentially restricts my TREASUREd freedoms, including how to dress, in public (TUTUS, anyone?) or private, or whether to dress at all (see NUDIST!) is inappropriate to include in a NYT puzzle. You may disagree with me. So be it.

That said, thanks, WT and WS.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  


Offset by IRANI crossing HIJABS and TITHE...

Also, a pangram.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:47 AM  

Nice enough little theme for a Tuesday.

My thought as I was solving, but I'm too lazy to look up the answer, is, "Are the names of the entertainers all "birth" names? Or are they just adopted names?" If they are simply adopted, that would open the theme to such possibilities as Jethro Tull and Englebert Humperdinck (and all the others which I'll bet LMS has listed elsewhere.)

Bronxdoc 10:03 AM  

Enjoyed it, but wouldn't be sorry never to see the words oaf, née, or asses again.

Hartley70 10:08 AM  

Oh yea, there's the V. Props for the pangram.

Anonymous 10:13 AM  


Never heard that before in my life.

Nancy 10:32 AM  

@Paul Johnson (from yesterday, at 9:21 am) -- I was overjoyed, to the point of ecstasy, to see LIE LOW appear as answer in Monday's puzzle. I have often thought that when I croak, the last living person to know the difference between "lie" and "lay" will be gone. Not a single TV commentator knows it. Not a single playwright or screenwriter. It's even possible that someone writing for my beloved NY Times has made the error at some point. And you, @Paul, who claim you DO know the difference, would choose to bastardize your speech to please your friends at Happy Hour? Oh, say it ain't so, Paul. Perhaps you need a different set of drinking buddies?

When I hear sentences like "I'm going to lay on the beach" or "we need to lay low", the hairs stand up on the back of neck and I start to break out in hives. One of my favorite people in the whole world -- really smart, really well-educated, extremely articulate -- makes this mistake all the time. And every time he does, I cringe. But I never correct him, because that's a great to lose friends. (Are you listening, Grammar Nazi?) That said, I won't bastardize my own speech in his (or anyone else's) presence. (I might also add, as an aside, that when I croak, the last living person to know the difference between "less" and "fewer" may also be gone.)

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

@Glimmerglass - No, steers make up less than half the beef cattle population. Bulls constitute about 1%, every year a cow has a calf, split 50-50 between a cow and (what will become) a steer. All the steers will be slaughtered by the time they're 16 months, as will most of the cows. So, at any given time about 60% of beef cattle population is female.

Arlene 10:41 AM  

I enjoyed finishing this puzzle - solving quickly and seamlessly - but sensed a darker side to the constructor.
TRANS, chaos (ZOO), SCREECHES, JOUST, NUDIST, UNISEX, risking calamity (ONTHINICE), ASSES, one-night stand (FLING), talks trash to (TAUNTS), OUCH, RACY, leaky tire, GIT, DENY, SHIN splints, OAF -
These are all either negative, sexual in nature, or painful. I don't see any happiness in here - or even sexual pleasure, just angst.
That's my take on this - which was rather unusual - puzzles don't usually send signals like this one did.

GILL I. 10:51 AM  

@Ludy...I don't necessarily disagree with you but I thought I'd share something with you regarding Muslim women's wear of the HIJABS.
Our son, a proud Marine, was recently stationed in Bahrain for a year. We have since shared many thoughts on dress customs, particularly the Burqa and how that so symbolizes (to me) horrible oppression.
While Bahrain is probably the most tolerant Middle East country when it comes to dress code, the vast majority of women adhere to their Islamic identity by covering up. They choose to.
I know it is a foreign concept to libralized women, but the fact is many, many, prefer, as well as feel, more comfortable by covering up as dictated by "God's commandment for modesty".
I remember seeing pictures of teenagers in Iran during the Shah's reign - all in hippy mini skirts. Not so today, as we know, but it is their tradition now.
By the way, the HIJAB can be just a scarf over the head. Some of them are quite beautiful.....! :-)

Charles Flaster 10:51 AM  

Medium as others have stated.
Liked cluing for NUDIST and MEET.
Not too much CrosswordEASE save for MR ED and ENDO.
As far as " Les Miz.." is concerned it was a horrible endeavor where ANNE HATHAWAY and Russel Crowe should donate all their earnings to a charity of their choice!
Thanks WT .

Carola 11:07 AM  

The puzzle won me over at EUPHRATES. I liked the theme, which I thought was original and interesting. I knew ANNE HATHAWAY right off but needed nudges for the others. Overall, the puzzle put up a little more resitance than usual for a Tuesday and I liked that.

Mike D 11:45 AM  

I suppose @LudyJynn must object to every religion, then. What with the Jews covering their heads and the Baptists telling you what you can drink, I suppose all religions limit freedom in some way or another. I'd suggest, however, maybe saving the Islamaphobia for another, more appropriate forum. Like, perhaps, tonight's debate, where the candidates will surely try to outdo each other to demonstrate their hatred of one particular minority or another. We expect it from Republicans; not so much from crossword solvers.

LindsayZ 11:45 AM  

@Ludyjynn "In my world, until Jenner has SRS (sexual reassignment surgery), he is not there yet."

Re: TRANS -- Your world is operating under a common misconception. Many trans individuals never go through SRS for a variety of reasons. It's incredibly expensive (averaging ~$10,000 for MtF and ~$20,000 for FtM) and many experience discrimination from insurance companies and healthcare providers -- not just for insurance covering the surgery, but even to get approval to have it at all. Also factor in discrimination in many other areas of life that lead to much higher levels of unemployment/underemployment, homelessness, etc., all of which make that $10000-20000 surgery even further out of reach.

Additionally, it is extensive surgery that has very real risks, and some people may not be able to have SRS because of medical reasons. Further, there's the complication of puberty (generally this is more of an issue for MtF individuals); if you have already gone through puberty in a male body and desire a more traditionally feminine appearance (which isn't a universal), you're more likely to need further operations like facial feminization. This will be considered solely cosmetic and thus even less likely to be covered under insurance than SRS.

All this is besides the point that the current situation of anyone's genitals is no one else's business, anyway.

Mike D 11:51 AM  

TRANSsexual definition: "a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex." It's not that hard, people. The good news is it's not up to anyone but the person affected to decide whether she is transsexual.

old timer 12:09 PM  

"Pre-op TRANnies" was an oft-heard phrase in Times Square, in the wicked old 1970's. I think it has long been the case that if you were born male, but act and look like a woman 24/7 you are a transsexual person (If you just cross-dress some of the time, then you are simply a man (usually gay) who enjoys drag).

I liked the puzzle because I had never really thought about the fact that those historical figures and modern actors had the same names. Though neither McQueen is historical, yet.

Joseph Michael 12:10 PM  

Enjoyed the two-for-one theme and the puzzle overall. Also liked the subliminal pairing of TRANS snd UNISEX, HIJABS and TUTUS, NUDIST and ASSES.

Plus I learned something new about the world that DENNYS serves breakfast 24/7 (never been inside one).

Masked and Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Primo different theme idea. And what luck, to find four themers that are all 12 long. Well, sorta lucky -- 12-er's ain't all that eazy-e to work with in grid layouts, I've found. One always likes to put yer first themer in row #3, if U can; gives the fill some room to breathe. No dice, with a 12-long entry -- it would leave U with a nice stack of three 2-letter-long answers, going down. Nice, but unacceptable, outside the safe and sane harbor of the runtpuz nation.

Row #3 did paint an intriguin picture, with JOUST SCREECHES.

As @009 so expertly pointed out, this is one wide-open TuesPuz grid. Openin NW corner is a 5x5+ expanse. Then there's the 9-stack in the NE, which gets crossed by another 9-long pup, all tryin to take the grumbler-blogs' attention away from the accompanying weeject stack. (The weeject stack provided courtesy of our old friend Mr. 12-Long. har.)

All that openness leads directly, as usual, to some delicious desperation opportunities. It's what constructioneers call "Pewit Time".
Desperation can ensue in several forms:
* Lack of U's. [bad] - Not today, tho; a nice count of 6; well done, Mr. Treece.
* Unholy weejects [better] - more on this, below.
* Long, emoting phrases tryin to pass for "in the language" [best].
* Crosswordese [a subjective, scholarly term that don't impress M&A much] - also called "glue".
* French. Examples: FEU, FOIE, FAUX, FUM.

exemplary weejecta:
* ATH. My dictionary didn't have this abbr. If it's "Greek capital", it probably stands for: Ain't Too High-valued.
* SSS. (yo, @Anoa Bob) Mighta gone with PEE/PSS/TRAPP, just to get some variety.
* SDS. Fortunately, IRONES ain't a word. Unforunately, HIJABS is.
* ICK. This always has great cluing potential. BEQ is the master at dealing with stuff like this. Lots of fridge leftover references, etc.

Best 1-Across intro-word in history of crosswords: HIT IT!

Best xx-Across rear-ward-word in history of crosswords: ASSES! (yo, @Anoa Bob)

Thanx, Will (and Will).



Lewis 12:38 PM  

@roo -- I found this online:

What is the longest one-syllable English word? The one that's most commonly cited is screeched (nine letters). But there are also schlepped, scratched, scrounged, scrunched, stretched, and the plural nouns straights and strengths (all with nine letters).

Unknown 12:42 PM  

Anonymous said:


Never heard that before in my life."

I only know it as one of the variants for "nobs" or "his nobs" from Cribbage. But that was enough to make me confident filling it in on this puzzle.

Anonymous 1:00 PM  

I had to look up Caitlin Jenner. But the problem was that an alumna could have a masters of electrical engineering (MEE) and air leaking could be "pss" so I ended up with "Tramp" which also seemed to fit. I consider this to be a problem with puzzle construction, since I had no idea how to fill in those three words.

Teedmn 1:40 PM  

When I saw the theme at 19A, I expected to see Jane Seymour clued as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman actress or 3rd wife of Hennry VIII" but the theme answers are all 12 letter

Teedmn 1:47 PM  

Argh, hit the publish button in mid comment, when half the time I have to hit it multiple times to get it to go, but not when hit inadvertently, I guess. Oh well, I wasn't going anywhere that interesting anyway :-).

I found this puzzle fun and appreciated @George Barany's examples of other puzzles with a similar idea. @Lewis, good catch on the doubles in the themers.

Thanks, Mr. Treece for a great Tuesday and now I'm gonna GITS before I get out ON THIN ICE (none here in MN yet, maybe next week, they say).

Jamie C 3:10 PM  

Hear hear, LindsayZ!

Alicia Stetson 3:44 PM  

TRANSsexual: "A person having a strong desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex.". It's not that hard. I'm surprised the moderators of this board allowed @Ludyjynn's transphobic (and Islamaphobic) comment through. Very well said, @LindsayZ.

dmw 4:11 PM  

Easy for me, I basically wrote (keyboarded) nonstop, in only 9 minutes. How do you guys do it in 3 minutes?

dmw 4:16 PM  

@Lewis: "His nibs" is a cribbage term. You may never have heard of the card game cribbage (it's the one where score is kept on a peg board). It is fun and surprisingly tactical. His nibs occurs when a Jack is turned up.

Just thought you'd like to know, as you mentioned learning something from the puzzle.

aging soprano 6:11 PM  

Liked this puzzle. Solved easily and then Rex Blog and subsequent comments clarified things a bit more, like who the TRANS Caitlyn Jenner is. Hated word ICK; liked the sound of JOUST and TAUNTS. Liked the clues for TREASURER, NUDIST (blush), and UNISEX, since Robin is my first name, straight out of the "Les Jeux de Robin et Marion", which was onced called Western music's first "opera".

aging soprano 6:28 PM  

To @Noam d. Elkies. About the last comment from yesterday's xword (Monday). Quarter tones, are a distance between 2 pitches, not 2 notes. Notes are a symbol which represent the pitches on the staff. They are the letters of musical notation.

Anonymous 7:15 PM  


Hee hee hee.

Lady Jane 8:28 PM  

@LindsayZ 11:45

I have to hand it to you. You make some very telling points and had me largely in agreement with you right up to your very last sentence. I'll admit to enjoying the occasional game of solitaire, but would hope that at least a very select few would make the current situation of my genitals their business, on an' off.

Sometimes I just don't feel like flying solo, y'know?

Anonymous 9:28 PM  

@LindsayZ, best post EVER on this blog. Thank you.

Leapfinger 1:44 AM  

HIS TAR ee HATHAWAY of repeating itself. JOUST to have Bathsheba all to himself, David sent Uriah the HITIT to the front. Clever ploy on Will Treece's behalf to follow suit.

Nice point made by the theme today, though I erred in thinking Will's Hathaway was Ann vs Anne, so was fooled into wondering whether it was Green/ Greene they say.

Also whether an EXTENT can be used as a tarp.

Others have already covered the NUDIST, BURLY ASSES and associated hangers-on, leaving nothing more 'RACY' than to DENY DENNY'S. I have no worse for EUPHRATES cats than noting the NEE suggests all alumnae went for the traditional MRS.
Safe to say it isn't all who TITHE NOT.


Burma Shave 10:34 AM  


I’ll NOT DENY it’s the ENDO things
He STEERS HIS horse and gives HIS lance a FLING
to the EXTENT he GITS aroused.


spacecraft 11:16 AM  

My eyes went to the highest-located long clue, which was 53-across. Strangely enough, ATTENBOROUGH fit in there quite nicely; glad I didn't plunk it down in ink without checking further.

Lotta long entries for an early-week puzzle; ambitious. Sure, the fill suffered a bit in the attempt, but not that terribly. I liked this. It included an Arabic mini-theme with HIJABS (crossing!) IRANI and AQABA, plus a hillbilly micro-theme with GITS and CHAW.

It is also (horrors!) a pangram. At times Mr. Treece (debut? If so, promising) skated ONTHINICE, but IMO he never broke through. B.

rondo 12:25 PM  

Interesting enough for me and a lot of long and longish answers, that’s pretty decent for a Tues-puz.

GRAHAMGREENE also appeared in my favorite TV show of all time – Northern Exposure. I’m tempted to binge watch it now.

How can you not like a puz with uber-yeah baby ANNEHATHAWAY in it? I TREASURER.

Two OLEs today, maybe three tomorrow? Still waiting for a puz that has both him and Sven in it. Lena would be an extra bonus.

Nary a hint of a write-over today, BETTER NOT pout. You know why.

rain forest 3:10 PM  

Very enjoyable puzzle today-one which felt somehow different from the norm. Well everyone I know differs from Norm, anyway.

I thought it was interesting to find 4 names owned by 2 famous people in each case, and I only remembered both ANNE HATHAWAYs. Should've known the director STEVE MCQUEEN, because that was a great movie.

"HIS NIBS" must be a British expression, unrelated to cribbage, which means what the clue says. EG. Q: Will Darren be coming for dinner? A: I think his nibs is otherwise engaged. Of course, it is also a crib saying for the suit of the jack in your hand matching that of the up card. Some people foolishly say "his nobs", which grates.

Also an effortless pangram which I didn't notice until I read someone up there parroting @Rex's aversion to same.

Nice puzzle, as was yesterday's, upon which I did not comment.

leftcoastTAM 6:01 PM  

I liked the interesting name-parallel theme. I paused at HIJABS and ECKO. Fair amount of crosswordese.

All in all, an easy-medium Tuesday. I think lots of solvers, newbies and oldies will like this one.

strayling 7:29 PM  

ATE ON is bothering me. The usage I know is "ate off [of]" to mean a plate or table substitute. You eat /on/ a boat; you eat /off/ a tray.

Unknown 10:04 PM  

Actually less than half of beef comes from steers. The balance comes from female cows and a few bulls. Gary from Texas

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