Certification for eco-friendly buildings for short / SUN 12-20-15 / Hogwarts delivery system / Who might say I'm IM / Early co-host of View / Admission of 1959 / TV character with catchphrase Booyakasha / Indirect objects grammatically speaking

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Constructor: Peter Wentz

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Rebranding" — "Corrected" slogans, i.e. well known commercial slogans that have been "corrected" (grammatically) to make new, terrible slogans:

Theme answers:
  • THINK DIFFERENTLY (Apple) (23A: "Corrected" slogan for a tech company?)
  • YES, WE HAVE THAT (Staples) (33A: "Corrected" slogan for an office supply chain?)
  • EAT FRESHLY (Subway) (49A: "Corrected" slogan for a fast-food franchise?)
  • EVERYBODY LIKES SARA LEE (Sara Lee) (66A: "Corrected" slogan for a dessert brand?)
  • A DAB WILL DO (Brylcreem) (83A: "Corrected" slogan for a hairstyling product?)
  • LET GO OF MY EGGO (Eggo) (97A: "Corrected" slogan for a frozen breakfast food?)
  • DO YOU HAVE ANY MILK? (Milk) (111A: "Corrected" slogan for a dairy product?)
Word of the Day: LEED (104A: Certification for eco-friendly buildings, for short) —
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most popular green building certification program used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods[8] that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well, I learned what LEED is. That was weird. The full name of LEED is so business-speakingly, motivational-posteringly awful that we should all be glad if LEED just takes off on its own and no one ever remembers what it was based on. This theme, also, weird. The slogans are all "corrected" in very different ways. "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" is a perfectly "correct" slogan, grammatically. In fact, "EVERYBODY LIKES SARA LEE" is decidedly *not* an equivalent. "Nobody doesn't like" implies that perhaps some are indifferent. "Do you like Sara Lee?" "Meh." The original slogan leaves that possibility open. This "corrected" slogan Does Not. Also, EAT FRESHLY is just wrong. It's nonsense. It's a grammatical abomination. The food (presumably) is fresh, not the manner in which I am eating it (unless I'm eating in a pert, saucy manner, which I suppose is possible). Also, "a little dab" is not redundant. Not necessarily. Surely we can all imagine that in the world of "dabs," there might be all different sizes. All dabs matter. Two of these "corrections" set out to "correct" "got" ... replacing it with "have" (and other words). This feels absurd. So I mostly don't get this theme. That is, I get it, but I don't Get It. Got theme? No.

RESORT TO BOWED TO AS TO TO A MAN. It's all a little too too. Or TOTO, I guess. Fill is not terrible, but it's not exceptional either. RETRONYM is cool, though (he said, having recently put that word in one of his own puzzles ...). I had very little trouble with this one. AJ FOYT definitely took some wrestling, and I had ENCASE for ENCAGE at first (77A: Confine), and I didn't know LEED (see above), but otherwise, no struggles. Just BUGGLES.

Here are some last-minute CROSSWORD GIFT IDEAS (for procrastinating Santas):
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Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


r.alphbunker 12:03 AM  

Some other ungrammatical slogans:

Re: Your comment on proper nouns yesterday

One problem with proper names in puzzles is that they may not age well. I think you would like a puzzle clued in a way that it will be solvable 100 years from now. You will see what I mean if you try solving NYT puzzles from the 40's.

Let me divide answers into a priori and a posteriori sets. The a priori answers are those based on the meanings of words (e.g., puns) whereas the a posteriori answers are based on empirical knowledge (e.g. proper names).

As an experiment I have divided the answers of todays puzzle into these two groups. The a posteriori answers are at http://puzzlecrowd.com/puzzlereportSun.html and the a priori ones are at http://puzzlecrowd.com/apriori.html

Do you agree with my categorization?

jae 12:12 AM  

Easy-medium for me too.  Not much to say about this one....meh, or what @Rex said.

kozmikvoid 12:35 AM  

I'm sure I won't be the only commenter to mention this, but I think the correction is for dab'll, not little dab. You can't contract a common noun with a verb. Otherwise, I agree with Rex. The theme is weak. And why choose two slogans that have the same correction of adding "ly"? Also, I don't care what anyone says, it's weenie, not WIENIE. The unforgivable for me on this one has to be THENHL. After seeing that, finishing this puzzle became more work than play. If I had to find any bright spots it'd be in the cluing for LIFELINE and SINTAX, which I thought were clever. Definitely one of the lesser-quality Sunday puzzles in quite some time, and a letdown after what I thought were a good trio of puzzles leading up to it. Oh well...at least the Jets won.

OISK 12:56 AM  

Finished it, enjoyed it, no errors. Like our leader, had no idea what LEED was, but otherwise, it all made sense. Didn't love the theme, but when I figure it out right away, it bodes well... A pleasant change after yesterday's disaster, which had a reference to Black Sabbath going down, and some rapper I never heard of ( who feuded with Dr. Dre - oh yeah, that helps...) across, leaving a hopeless (for me) Natick.

I worked the puzzle on the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and when I changed trains at 34th street I had just one empty square. ( I am not giving the details in case someone reading this hasn't done Saturday's puzzle yet.) As I waited for the number 7 train, I saw an intelligent looking young man working on the Sunday puzzle. I asked "Did you do the Saturday puzzle?" "No," he said, "I generally stop at Friday."

"Well, maybe you can help me with this one square." And wouldn't you know, he knew both the Black Sabbath reference, and the name of the rapper. I might have guessed the missing letter, ( had it narrowed down to 2 or 3 possibilities,) but I guess it goes as a DNF. My new friend disagreed. "It's not like you looked it up" he said. Really nice guy, and I understand that he reads this blog! I might have gotten it myself had I remembered that rappers can't spell...

And for those who didn't read my late entry last night. Worst Saturday puzzle in months. Hated it. Nancy knew I would.

George NYC 1:00 AM  

This whole theme is wrong wrong wrong. What Rex said. Also, "Think Different" is a word play. As are many slogans. It can be read as "think differently" but also as "think:different". That is, come up with something different. That's the raisin d'etre of the (bygone) slogan. It actually makes you think about it.

Anonymous 1:21 AM  

Wienie? Not weenie?

George Barany 2:07 AM  

A first foray from @Peter Wentz, legendary for his late-week high Scrabbly themelesses, into a Sunday theme. Not much to add to @Rex review, since my abnormally fast solving time (about 15 minutes) was due primarily to the fact that my friend
Christopher Adams typed in maybe 3/4 of the answers (see yesterday's post for some context), so I was far from fully engaged.

Another friend, Steve Bachman, is responsible for both Wit and Wisdom. His bachblog explanation includes one of the funniest videos (runs just under 4 minutes) that I've seen all month.

Thanks too, @Rex, for the gift suggestions. It's important that the crossword community supports each other (a la today's theme, that's probably grammatically incorrect, but the sentiments behind it are sincere).

Music Man 2:29 AM  

Man I hated this, actually stopped and kept working on yesterday's gaffney. Also, I think the correction was for the "dab'll" to "dab will"

chefwen 5:29 AM  

Too bad @Loren isn't hanging around these days, this puzzle could use some of her sunshine sprinkled on it.

Teedmn 5:30 AM  

This puzzle had a vibe similar to yesterday's in that there were multiple proper nouns that I either didn't know (CHLOE, STARJONES, SAHL) or didn't know as clued (JLO crossing JETLI) so it took me nearly an hour and I used the "Check" button because I can rarely resist when I'm solving in AcrossLite, so an official DNF.

That ALEXEI/RETRONYM/DATIVES/SAHL/TVMA section was the cluster that turned me into a cheater today. And not knowing the newer slogans didn't help. Of course I knew "a little dab'll do ya", "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" and "L'Eggo my Eggo" plus the billboard-plastered "Got Milk" but the rest needed all the crosses, so a bit of a slog.

The NE was blank until I finally got rid of Arabs for SUNNI and that finally fell. Not a lot of fun stuff today but I liked HEM clued as "Border line?" and I got a laugh out of seeing AMISH clued as "Buggy people". I liked the MLK reference in the RIOT clue and seeing BODES WELL as an answer.

Thanks, PW

Anonymous 6:16 AM  

It definitely got harder as you went top to bottom. The idea was ok but I was hoping to see "Winston tastes good..." Maybe if they had PC'd up some ads like Marlboro Man to Marlboro Person that would have made it a little more modern.

If you're "into" LEED buildings, check out the SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) building in SF the next time you're in town. They offer a tour but you have to book well in advance. Turbines, water management, low carbon footprint, high tech everything. It's all on their website. The outside of the building has some energy absorbing, moving metal pieces that look like fish scales. When the wind blows and the scales shimmer the effect is incredible. 525 Golden Gate Blvd, a few blocks from the City Hall.


Bob Kerfuffle 6:38 AM  

An OK Sunday overall, but agree that EAT FRESHLY grates and is wrong and WIENIE is just plain wrong.

The biggest grin I had was, after a great deal of puzzlement, finally starting to understand 82 D, "Submarine near the Gulf Coast," once I had PO _ _ _ and PO'BOY became evident!

Tangential and unfair: I hate LEED. The only LEED building I know well is our local public school, built within the last ten years. It is annoying to attend a meeting or activity there, because if everyone sits still for awhile, the lights go off. But the worst is that ever since the building opened, the roof has leaked, despite numerous repairs. Not a feature of LEED, possibly, but annoying none the less!

Lewis 7:03 AM  

Could use a visit from the GN today.

Seemed like a good idea for a theme, a fun idea that would bring smiles and laughs, but in the end it felt a little flat. I liked BODESWELL, JOSTLE and LIFELINE, and the clues for AMISH, IOU, POBOY, and DOOVER (it's a dook!). I wasn't connecting well to the cluing early on, then found the wavelength; what started as a word to word struggle soon became a quick fill in, like water spreading on a paper towel. So there was agony and ecstasy -- in a box!

George Barany 7:11 AM  

There are still some comments trickling in about Saturday's puzzle. Its constructor, @Damon Gulczynski, wrote about it on his own blog, in a post that was refreshing for honesty and self-critic. There were about a dozen comments, quite a few overlapping with regular contributors to @Rex's blog. All worth reading for their insights and thoughtfulness.

On other fronts, so pleased to see my friend @Ralph Bunker show up this morning (see first post today), with his analytical way of looking at crosswords. Now if only we could persuade @Loren Smith to again grace this blog; I know that many of us miss her always humorous, always upbeat, usually meandering contributions.

pmdm 7:31 AM  

The point of the theme is that each slogan tries to say something is particular, and says it incorrectly. What the Sara Lee slogan tries to says may be grammatically correct, but the meaning is at odds with what it intends to say. Perhaps it's an outlier with regard to the other theme answers, but I don't have a problem with that. Often after some pondering you assign the theme topic appropriately, it fits the theme. The actual theme need not be the obvious theme, no matter how much you want it to be. That's irritating to some, which I can appreciate, but crosswords don't have to adhere to scientific precision.

r.alphbunker, you make an excellent point about the property of timelessness in crosswords. Were I to ever start constructing crossword puzzles, I would attempt to construct one that would be enjoyable in 100 years as it would be today. [Granted, it might not be very enjoyable at either time.] If we consider the Fine Arts, we can identify those compositions of music and literature that have stood the test of time. I would think the best crossword puzzles would have the same characteristic. Sometimes it's tough to figure out what has lasting power. Schubert lost with his bet on the arpeggione. Berlioz had to revise his Symphonie Fantastique when the bass brass instrument he used lost out to the newly invented tuba. Tchaikovsky was luckier with the celeste. I guess, sometimes it's a matter of luck.

As far as my overall emotion toward todays puzzle, I preferred the acrostic. Enough said.

chefbea 7:44 AM  

Thought it was a fun puzzle. Started it last night and had several blank squares. Got up a little while ago and finished it. Amazing what a good night's sleep will do.
Lots of food themers...Subway, Sara Lee, Eggo, and Milk.

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Here's to subway puzzle solvers everywhere! #7train! LEED-certified buildings are beautiful. Saw one recently that had a bike room. As for the puzzle, I was stuck because I didn't know some of the slogans so could not "correct" them. (I ignore commercials.) Besides that obstacle, I wasn't thrilled with some of the clues. Groaning on a crowded subway is not cool but that's what I was doing.

Thanks for gift ideas!


Glimmerglass 8:05 AM  

@Zippy: The old slgan, "Winston tastes good," was grammatically correct, despite its moral shortcomings. Food tastes good. Taste buds taste well. "Winston tastes well" would be correct only if you were referring to Churchillian gastronomical expertise.

jberg 8:21 AM  

The puzzle also dropped the DATIVE from "A little dab'll do ya," which was very strange.

Anyway, I made two pure guesses on this one -- TVMA turned out OK, but not SeAN at 15A. I don't think Charlie Chan used AH SO the way it's clued here, and THE NHL is just wrong.When you have to RESORT TO throwing in a superfluous article, you should go back and do it over.

But I shouldn't criticize, since I didn't solve it.

Z 8:24 AM  

@Geotge NYC - Exactly. At the time Apple was still the other personal computer company so it also implied, "buy something different than the evil spawn of MS-DOS." Unless it's your parent or your teacher grammar nazis are bad, more so when they miss subtly or, the worst, are wrong.

At least this flew by. Buzzfeed had a puzzle this week where the clues were written in the voice of a mansplaining jerk. Like this puzzle, no matter how well done the conceit is, the concept is just inherently annoying and joyless.

@r.alphbunker - I haven't looked at your links, yet, but proper names fall into two categories. OISE will be useful ese 50 years from now. I doubt that JLO or ENO will be.

Phil 8:28 AM  

Yep rex is right, the intent regarding thinking and eating is definitely with nouns not adverbs.
Not sure if you can think differently. Think rationally or irrationally. Logically or illogically.
But maybe the puzzle theme is a form of crossword SCAT.

Dorothy Biggs 8:40 AM  

@Music Man: I think you and Rex are both partially correct. The full slogan is "A little dab'll do ya." I think the "little" was dropped, the contraction was dropped, and so was the redundant "ya." As a musician myself who has written a jingle or two, the original slogan sings much better.

I find it ironic (?) that in a world where puns reign supreme, that there is a theme based on the correction of wordplay in slogans. "Le'go my Eggo" is more about the rhythm of it than about the grammar. There is no need to "correct" it any more than there is a need to correct "That's a punny yolk." It's wordplay. We know what it says, and it says it in a memorable way. It's not that I don't get the theme's attempt at being a theme, but wordplay is the name of the game here and having a theme "correcting" the wordplay is funny to me.

I take points off for having AXLE and AXELS in the same puzzle. Can someone give me an Axl?

LATEN...yeah, if this was 1846.

Unknown 8:53 AM  

The complete slogan was Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should. All of my English teachers liked to use it as an example of the incorrect use of "like." They'd tell us it should be AS a cigarette should. The issue is not with "good."

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Hi Mx Glimmerglass. Yes, you are correct. I think the issue was "like a cigarette should" vs "as a cigarette should."

Not to worry. I do the puzzles for fun, and enjoy reading the comments. Win win.


Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Winston even ran an ad campaign highlighting the incorrect grammar -- people crossing out "like" and writing in "as" on billboards, etc...

gb 9:25 AM  

I was telling my dear friend the Contessa all about my dear not-too-far-from-my-town neighbor, John McEnroe, when she asked me about today's puzzle. I opined that it was brilliantly and flawlessly constructed by a dear, very close personal friend of mine, but that I also agreed with Rex that it sucked.

There. Now I have the smarmy suck-ups and name-dropping out of the way. On to the self-promotion portion of this post.

Since Rex inadvertently left out my own puzzles from his Christmas selection, here is my latest creation of genius. Submitted for your enjoyment, edification and as proof of my greatness.

Geometricus 9:28 AM  

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger really called ARNIE by his "fans"? I had AhNod for the longest time, but I eventually got it.

@OISK: I don't know why, but I don't consider asking bystanders to be cheating, but looking it up on Google definitely is. I knew the rapper but had to look up the Black Sabbath clue, so I cheated.

Unknown 9:35 AM  

You failed logic and are 100% wrong about the Sara Lee slogan. Think harder about it. If "nobody", as in not one single individual on this planet, (does not) like it, they must like it. Obviously it is clumsy wording and therefore confusing, hence the correction for the double negative. But with double negatives you just get rid of the two negatives (I do not not drive a car = I drive a car). Here that would mean, at first blush, Nobody does not like Sara Lee = Body likes Sara Lee, and in this case since the nobody is an unusual all inclusive negative, it changes to Everybody does like Sara Lee. Using a more readily understandable example, "Nobody alive does not breathe" means "Everybody alive does breathe".

I could invoke Venn diagrams, but I don't know if you grew up in that era. Try this, if the above did not work. There is a room of fifty people. You ask the question, "who in this room doesn't like Sara Lee?" If someone didn't like it or were indifferent, there would be at least one out of 50 raising their hand. But If the answer comes back "nobody", you know everybody likes Sara Lee. Liking it is an affirmative thing. If someone had been indifferent, they would have said so, given that those are the only 3 choices (not like, indifferent, like). Now expand the room of 50 to the entire population, and you have it. Sara Lee is asserting that the entire planet, or at least by inference that of all on the planet who have tried their product, "Nobody does not like it" or Everyone likes it.

Check with the person that teaches symbolic logic at your university. They will tell you I am right.

You are right about eat freshly. That describes the manner in which one eats, not the content of the dinner plate.

Dorothy Biggs 9:51 AM  

@phil phil: heh. SCAT. I see what you did there.

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

Like a cigarette instead of as is what's questionable I believe.

Nancy 10:09 AM  

I scrolled past all of you, just in case I change my mind at some point and decide to tackle this puzzle again. But how can a person do company slogan wordplay when she doesn't know any company slogans? I've been muting TV commercials ever since the mute button was invented. My eye skips over any ad that happens to lurk near a newspaper or magazine article I'm reading. I get up and walk away from my computer whenever a pop-up ad dares to appear. And don't even get me started on movie theaters that have the colossal gall to run ads before the feature. (That's what bathrooms were invented for.) So my heart sank and my eyes glazed over as I settled down with this puzzle. What's more, the sun's out. Maybe on the next rainy day I'll try again. But I doubt it very much. Have fun, all the rest of you.

RooMonster 10:15 AM  

Hey All !
Theme concept was valiant, although the finished product isn't as clean as it seems it should be. But hey, Will liked it enough to accept it, so Bravo to Mr. Wentz.

I agree with the "ly" added haters. Serious(ly)? Just chuck an -ly onto the same exact phrase? At least the others reworded the ORIGINAL phrase. My two favs were LET GO OF MY EGGO and DO YOU HAVE ANY MILK. They're just funny when you say them like that. Like British English. Pardon me, but DO YOU HAVE ANY MILK? (With the opposite American accent, No, I ain't got none. )

Some odd fill. LATEN? Who says that? "It's getting late, let's go", or "It's LATEN, let's go". A very large partial, AS I SEE IT. And THE NHL was just horrible. Was actually happy to see both AXEL and AXLE, thereby not misspelling either one! Liked the DOOVER dook, and having --CK for 106D, making me think of something else!

Aside from the few "ick" answers, rest of puz wasn't too shabby. Some nice clues, clean enough grid. Just a few writeovers, gOoDMOVE-> BOLDMOVE, YikeS-> YEOWS, AWASHed-> AWASHIN. Did have a DNF, however. Reversed the vowels in RATIVES (A&I), and had CELLs/PSs for CELLI/PSI. TSK.

Didn't have to RESORT TO a cheating LIFE LINE at least. Always fun to see FJORD in a puz. Especially a BACON FJORD! Qless and Zless from a Gram. So, fun? YES WE HAVE THAT.

Like to see a TOAST OASIS...


Lobster11 10:17 AM  

I don't understand why all the teeth-gnashing about the theme. The word "Corrected" is in scare quotes in every theme clues, and the title of the puzzle is "Rebranding," not "Improving. No one has claimed that the theme answers are any more or less correct, grammatically or otherwise, than the original slogans, and no one has claimed that the answers retain the exact meaning of the originals. Geez.

On the whole, I thought this was a typical, middle-of-the-road Sunday puzzle. My only gripe was the unfair crossings of ALEXEI with RETRONYM and DATIVES.

Nancy 10:17 AM  

@r.alph bunker -- It's so nice to see your name again (!) and, while I haven't checked out your categories lists (since I haven't done this puzzle yet), I'm sure I'll agree with you. I like your rule that you should be able to do a puzzle 100 years from now, and I agree. But also, there are no "aha" moments with proper names; you either know them or you DON'T know them, and that takes away all the fun. I appreciate your reaction. Can we expect to see more of you in the future? Hope so.

Oops. I see my friend @OISK "loved" this puzzle, and since we so are so often on the same page, maybe I should give this puzzle another look. On the other hand, he may watch commercials, whereas I don't.

MI Nana 10:21 AM  

Here in Grand Rapids we pride ourselves on our high number of LEED certified buildingshttp://www.experiencegr.com/about-grand-rapids/green-grand-rapids/

AliasZ 10:24 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot. It was good to the last drop. I caught on early that the "corrections" were done tongue-in-cheek, as Peter Wentz notes at xwordinfo, I enjoyed the humor in them rather than the grammatical pedantry. He clearly understands that "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" is not equal to EVERYBODY LIKE SARA LEE, and that the slogan "Eat fresh" doesn't mean EAT FRESHLY, or dine while telling dirty jokes and throwing insults at your guests. At least I hope he does.

I liked the confusing Instant Message PEI and I.M. CHATS, and AS I SEE IT, a WIENIE is a terrible thing to waste.

I took OTELLO appearing the third time since November 5th as a sign that I must not neglect it. Therefore let me offer two versions of "Ora e per sempre addio" sung by Enrico Caruso: the original as recorded in 1910, and a remastered version using his voice from the 1910 recording, but editing a modern orchestral recording over it. In the reedited version not only does the orchestra become more lifelike and at times overpowering, but his voice also picks up a little extra weight that I am not sure existed in real life. I wonder if there is anyone still alive who has heard him sing. You decide: is the rerecording a blessing or is it blasphemy? Is it live or is it Memorex?

I trust you are enjoying your Advent season.

Nomi 10:25 AM  

Does anyone have a problem with 82A calligraphers-- "penmen."
Some calligraphers, I'd say.

GILL I. 10:26 AM  

Well....I rather enjoyed this one. I'm a horrible English grammarian and sort of abide by "if it sounds all wrong, change it." I didn't think any of these were offensive; I found them kinda cute.
I will agree about EAT FRESHLY sounding all wrong though,. If I had to use that phrase I would have omitted the LY and added fruits and vegetable at the end...
Like @Teedmn, I didn't know the proper nouns. Well, I guessed at JLO and JETLI because who hasn't heard of Molly IVINS.
The two words, for some strange reason, that took me the longest to get were DATIVE and DOOVER. I kept looking at DOOVER thinking it was some sort of grapefruit and vodka drink. like "Let" the party begin....
Oh, and CELLI looks plum awful.

Ludyjynn 10:26 AM  

I have @Numinous to thank for filling in ALASKA, recalling his recent post about statehood.

Two hands up for WeENIE, not wIenie.

Am I the only one who always has to self-correct the spelling of FJORD? I have to resist the urge to spell it w/ an I.

Best clue and answer: PO BOY. It made an otherwise sloggy puzzle worthwhile.

I'm noticing a pattern in my solving technique. For some reason, early week puzzles get done from top to bottom, late week puzzles from all directions and Sundays from bottom to top. I wonder why; any ideas?

Don't you just love the sound of the word, WAFT?

One last thing: Alan ALDA, was recently quoted in AARP Magazine as saying that the secret to his and wife Arlene's 58 year marriage is forgetfulness. Hmmm.

Thanks, PW and WS.

Charles Flaster 10:37 AM  

Agree with Rex in his sentiments.
Write overs: BUGGLES for BanGLES and WIENIE for WeiNIE.
Did not like clue for ARNIE-- easily could have used "Man with an army".
Liked clue for ORIGINAL. Cluing became more difficult as I went north to south.
Thanks PW

Aketi 10:38 AM  

@Nancy, after two days of puzzles that were AWASH IN proper names, do you want to sign up for a class in onomastics with me? Haha, I Seriously DOUBT either one of us would enjoy it. The only two I solved easily were JET LI and LEAH (thanks to the last and worst book in Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series). HECK, my WICK was so dimly lit this morning that I spent far too much time reading a Wikipedia post about some guy who got arrested for manslaughter in the 1990s before realizing that there was a space between ALi and G.

As for the dweeb Anthony, I give him credit for having a last name that is so unforgettable given the nature of his exposing his own via text, that I had an easy avoiding the double EE trap and use the IE.

@r.alph.bunker, nice categorization. I did notice that SGT appears in both of your lists.

noreen 10:42 AM  

94 D; can anyone explain how 'let' means do over?

'mericans in Paris 11:01 AM  

So much "Bah, humbug!" As a frequent peer reviewer, I appreciated the conceit of this puzzle's theme. I agree with @Rex that most of the slogans don't need "correcting", but this is a puzzle for cripes' sake. Speaking of grammatically incorrect slogans, the one I recall best is from the mid-1960s: "Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch!" That one attracted all manner of criticism. But, as is said in the business, when it comes to marketing something there is no such thing as bad publicity. (Or, alternatively: all publicity is good publicity.)

ALAS, Mrs. 'mericans and I found the puzzle more medium than easy, especially in the east. Not being able to watch programmes such as "Duck Dynasty" here in Paris, we hadn't a clue what network airs it. Had never seen "The Boy Next Door" (which crosses the archaic LATEN) nor "Romeo must Die" (which crosses IVINS (?)), so that was a personal Natick. Had to RESORT TO Google for those. 36D and 44A also DREW a blank, but at least we were able to solve them via the crosses. We're all for striving for puzzles that stand the test of time.

On the other hand, I knew LEED. But I'd agree it is not an everyday acronym.

Here's a holiday TOAST to @Rex and everybody who comments here. Peace on EARTH, and good will TO A MAN.

Chaos344 11:30 AM  

Meh! Agree with the consensus. Average Sunday time and not much sparkle to the theme. A few good clues. Had to get LEED through the crosses. Didn't know 99D, so I had MAYER. Changed the A to an E and up popped MHP.

Think I'll mosey over to WaPo and see what Evan Birnholz has to offer today. Can't say I've been overly impressed with his first few Sunday offerings, but look at whose shoes he is trying to fill. I sure do miss Merle! His puzzles were never that difficult, but they were a laugh a minute. He was definitely the King Of Punsters.

Carola 11:30 AM  

The theme: @Z said it for me - annoying and joyless. I kept at this one only out of respect for Peter Wentz for his late-week puzzles.

I knew LEED from much green talk on the University of Wisconsin campus. With the grammar bent of the puzzle, it's too bad DATIVES couldn't have been complemented by "genders" instead of SEXES.

@Bob Kerfuffle, I agree about PO'BOY.
@OISK, I love your subway story.

Unknown 11:37 AM  

I'm all for saving adverbs from extinction. Still EATFRESHLY is not just awkward. It's wrong. I simply don't know how to eat freshly. Slap the waiter? Shower just before eating? Or just take a whole new approach to eating? Hey that could be a New Year's resolution. Till then I'll settle for eating fresh (food) where food is implied.

kitshef 11:52 AM  

Am I the only one who remembers Edwin Newman on Vermont Today on Newhart saying it's not 'weenie', it's 'weiner'?

Very unpleasant slog - fairly typical for a Sunday. Lots of shows and show references that were from shows I've never seen: The Boy Next Door, The View, High School Musical, Romeo Must Die, ALIG. And as has been noted, many of the corrections make no sense.

To give credit where it is due, all of those were inferable and/or crossed fairly.

Also, the BUGGLES!! Hoped @Rex would link to Video Killed the Radio Star, but I guess I'll need to go YouTube it myself.

Sara Lee 11:57 AM  


Do you like Sara Lee? The answer is either yes or no. If somebody is "meh" on Sara Lee, that means they do not like it. The original slogan does not, as you claim, leave open the "meh" option. In fact, it's explicitly saying that NOBODY is "meh" on Sara Lee. It's saying that . . . well . . . everybody likes Sara Lee.

Everything is either P or Not P. Something cannot be Sort of P.

Mohair Sam 11:59 AM  

Well we were happy with a nice-and-easy-for-the-busy-Holiday-weekend puzzle. Enjoyed @Rex's rant too, kinda funny. Had to search for the unknown LEED after he pointed at it, we had filled from the crosses.

Liked the theme. Of course advertising copy people murder the language - gotta make us remember. Jesus, you guys are still talking about the Winston cigarettes slogan 50 years after the advertising ban - now that's good copy writing!

Last entry was the "I" at CELLI and PSI at the cleverly misdirected clues for 61 down and 81 across, nicely done Peter Wentz.

@Nancy - Tip of the cap for your brilliant prediction about @OISK yesterday. But I'm not in agreement on the proper noun thing, or the 100 year puzzle. Sure, a puzzle can't have too many nouns specific to any one solving group - but we're all expected to have a little general knowledge - and a lot more on Friday and Saturday. In short, EAZYE may be unknown to us, but the flaw was in the eye of the beholder, not the constructor. Get hip.

Unknown 12:04 PM  


The full Winston slogan was, "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should." The ad campaign consciously played with the notion that it was incorrect because the "like" should be "as." I suspect this is why Zippy brought it up.

old timer 12:17 PM  

I still know this:

Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya
Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair
Brylcreem, the gals'll all pursue ya
They'll love to run their fingers through your hair.

For me, at least, a successful jingle will stay in my brain the rest of my life.

I think a Sunday puzzle based on some long-running jingles would be very amusing.

Today's puzzle was a slog for me, because so many proper names. I ended up writing AIDE for "second" because my other choice, "abet" just would not cross. That left me with ALIG, a character I've never heard of at all. I had heard of STAR JONES, but did not know she hosted The View. Took that one on faith. And had "Flo" and "Fetli" for JLO and JETLI, so a technical DNF here.

The trickiest portion: the center West edge. Put in "CPI" for PSI -- I bet many were misled there. For 71 across, I wanted to rebus "board" MOVE. Only when I wrote in BOLD did I get CELLI, and was asking myself, "Surely there are plenty of Moms out there who do not use CELLI." Oh! That Ma! Hiya, Yo Yo.

Anonymous 12:42 PM  

Agree on EAT FRESHLY, disagree on "nobody doesn't like"---that's a double negative.

Unknown 12:46 PM  

Agree with @David Krost. Nobody does not = everybody does, even in galaxies far, far away.

EAT FRESHLY: To sup anew.

Then there is act freshly and talk freshly, both of which, I imagine, could be done while EATing FRESHLY. Though I'd leave if they were doing any one of the three.

A favorite T-shirt "slogan":

The answer is BACON.
What was the question?

I'm FRESHLY out of fresh or even more polite thoughts. So I'm going to leggo of this and refresh myself with some EGG nog.


deerfencer 12:54 PM  

Bah, DNF, DNCare

Amelia 1:12 PM  

@OISK. The #7 doesn't stop at 34th Street. I suspect you changed for another train. :-)

I have spent many years writing ads. I worked on Sara Lee. (Met the real one, too.) Rex is absolutely right. We had long discussions about the tagline when we got the account. It had been the slogan for many years and we correctly decided not to change it. And promptly updated the campaign with Debby Harry. As for the Apple slogan, I worked at that agency, too, and I started a whisper campaign that ended with me that the tagline was ungrammatical. Clearly, I got nowhere. But that was okay. I created a campaign for a depression drug that had Who does depression hurt as the first line. I was sure I'd get letters. I never did.

Andrew Heinegg 1:18 PM  

I liked it. I have to believe that the advertisers of all of these products were aware of grammatical errors, inconsistencies etc. The only thing they cared about was whether the slogan had any staying power. i.e., would the average person remember the slogan when he or she was shopping. And, if there was incorrect grammar and that caught the attention of the consumer, that was fine as well because that is what advertisers want: YOUR ATTENTION.

All of the above aside, the title of the puzzle was 'Rebranded' so the author was not technically claiming that the advertisements were grammatically flawed, although you could certainly take that implication.

I am in complete agreement with the blogmaster that are far too many crossword dreck words here.

Mr Day Late 1:46 PM  

If you please, sir, I had a question on your comment yesterday, but I didn't want to ask it here because I'm not sure if it's ok to discuss yesterday's puzzle here. So if you don't mind taking a look and answering it there (allowing time for moderation) I'd be grateful. Thx.

Z 1:50 PM  

@Lobster11 - Even with tongue planted firmly in cheek this falls in the DNL category. One example is enlightening. 7 is just as pedantic as the pedantry being made fun of.

@Sara Lee - You might want to read some Hegel. Heck, I can even come up with a scenario where someone is sort of pregnant.

@wEEnies - Do you call hot dogs wieners or weeners?

Regarding double negatives - Sure, wrong in formal English because two negatives make a positive. But language doesn't necessarily work like math, so in some languages, and even some English idioms, the double negative signifies emphasis, a multiplicative function as it were. Indeed, it seems that the grammar where double negative signifies emphasis is more natural, so it could be argued it is better everywhere except the most formal of academic writing.

Herodotus 1:56 PM  

A good puzzle should be timeless? Horsefeathers.

Some of you really need to get out more.

Wm. C. 1:57 PM  

@Noreen --

I guess you're not a tennis player.

When the serve hits the top of net, then falls into the proper service box on the other side, it's a "let." When a let is called, the server gets a free do-over."

madchickenlittle 2:13 PM  

It's funny, because the Black Sabbath reference is how I cracked into that section. I never even read the rapper clue. And I knew LEED, right off. I am definitely eclectic. :)

Hartley70 2:20 PM  

This just didn't do it for me and it took me longer than usual so I'd give it a medium. I wasn't current on the slogans, except for EGGO and SARALEE. They feel very 1970ish to me. It seems to me that MILK does a body good. I too make liberal use of the mute button and who has time for print ads anymore?....except for those 4C spread ads that appear in the NYT magazine of course, for any potential media buyers out there. We love those!!
While I'm very fond of @Nancy and @ralphbunker is a homie of mine (yo Ralph, good to see ya!) I have to cosy up to @LudyJynn and raise my hand for loving a mix of pop culture and proper names in the puzzle mix. I may not be a twenty-something any longer, but I want to stay current with what's happening in all aspects of our culture as long as I'm around. It's fun to see how norms evolve. My 80 year old mother was know to ask her 15 year old granddaughter if boot-cut jeans were in before a trip to Macy's, and we loved her zest for everything new. She was a great model for aging gracefully without living in the past.

Tim Aurthur 3:04 PM  

@George NYC & Z, I disagreed with the criticism of "Think Different" because the verb "think" has taken adjectives before, notably in the phrase "think big." Yes, it's pop-ad grammar, but this is an ad. I can imagine a brainstorming session at a fashion magazine where the editors are exhorting the writers to "think sexy" and "think bold" etc.

North Beach 3:07 PM  

Thank you, @Rex, for drawing my attention to the availability of Patrick Berry's definitive crossword book. I have been scouring second hand bookstores for years since reading about Crossword Challenges for Dummies here. This is it in PDF form. Thrilled!

Anonymous 3:53 PM  

"Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" and "nobody dislikes Sara Lee" are equivalent. "Nobody dislikes Sara Lee" and "everybody likes Sara Lee" are not equivalent. @Rex is right.

chefbea 4:28 PM  

Go Panthers!!!!

Rug Crazy 4:58 PM  

Didn't enjoy it. Finished it although I didn't get the meaning ALIG and DOOVER at first. I want a Mulligan!

Rug Crazy 5:00 PM  

Noreen - let is a do over in Tennis

Joe in Nfld 6:59 PM  

Ia "dative" a term used in English grammar? Latin, yes, but not in French or, in my experience, English. We say "indirect object", don't we?

Anonymous 7:07 PM  

There's nothing more fun than a puzzle which reminds me how much I always want to smack grammarians who "correct" me. Especially when 3 out of 7 corrections are flat out wrong.

Z 7:16 PM  

@Joe in Nfld - Who is this "we" of whom you speak?.*

*The worst thing is that this article more or less made sense to me, so don't get all accusative.

Nancy 7:31 PM  

I tried again, OISK, truly I did, because I trust you. Not only that, but on this go round, I had information I didn't have the first time. I tried to avoid picking up any puzzle info when I scrolled down, (squinting all the way, btw,) but I inadvertently learned what I didn't know this a.m. -- that the companies'"corrected" slogans had to do with bad grammar. I also inadvertently saw that the first answer was THINK DIFFERENTLY. So how much did all this inadvertently-acquired info help me in solving this puzzle> Not one iota, that's how much! THINK DIFFERENTLY enabled me to change 7D from GIST TO WAFT, and therefore MINOR to MAJOR at 20A. Giving me AWARE at 6A, instead of Ag--E. So I'm off and running now, right? Wrong! I have AJFO-T for the driver and I'm sure I'm wrong. And I just don't know any slogans and I'm not going to figure out any slogans and there are all these other names I don't know either, and I can't for the life of me figure out how OISK, with whom I don't ever remember disagreeing about a puzzle, not only solved this, but "loved" this. I give up everyone -- this time for good.

Anonymous 7:34 PM  

Since we are discussing both Saturday's and Sunday's puzzle, I thought they both contained too many obscure words derived from the publishing and entertainment businesses. If you have to read and watch garbage to complete Times crosswords, at age 85 I guess I'll go do something else.

Sixty-five years ago the late-week NYT crosswords were tough, but they were designed for Times readers. Now they're for puzzle mavens who need to get a life.

OISK 8:25 PM  

Amelia. You are correct, of course! I changed trains at 42nd street! However, the last stop, where I got off IS on 34th .

OISK 8:28 PM  

@Nancy, I don't think I said I love it!! I wrote "Finished it, enjoyed it, no errors," and "Didn't like the theme..."

If I "love" it, you'll like it too. I am sure of it!

Unknown 8:52 PM  

@Anonymous said

""Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" and "nobody dislikes Sara Lee" are equivalent."

Absolutely wrong.

It is completely obvious that if you do not (not like) something, you like it. Someone says to you, "You do not like Fords." You respond "I do not not like Fords" means you like Fords. If you responded "Well, I don't dislike Fords" then you are saying you are neutral or positive. But it clearly is not saying the same thing as "I do not not like Fords". Again, check with any logician.

I am waiting for ex to admit he was wrong, and especially since he stated it with such certainty. Maybe he is going to check with a logician first.

Nancy 9:40 PM  

@Hartley 70 (2:20 pm) I just love the way you portray your 80-year-old mother. She sounds like she was a whole lot of fun, very youthful and "with it", and someone I'd love to have met. However, she really didn't need to ask her 15-year-old granddaughter if boot-cut jeans were "in". All she needed to do was ask herself: 1) Do I LIKE them? and 2) Do I look GOOD in them? Bet she would have looked great in them, too. Even if they were "out".

Leapfinger 9:52 PM  

OH HI, @NCA President,

Are you saying that doubling an AXLE* ought'll be gwanna what we newt all along?
That's a tad polarizing, isn't it?
*(You overlooked the anagrammed ALEX E-I E-I, O; no biggie)

Reminds me of when the Geico gecko got hitched, was so farshimmelt he could barely shamble down the carpet to the altar. They decided he was temporarily experiencing a 'crept aisle' dysfunction.

Aside from having too many AXELS rise, we got the JOSTLE SABERS to give us a little Shake Spear, and the Milkmaid's handful of TEAT to make sure we Got Milk. Even though the theme resoled colourful phrases with dusty-dry grammar, we got IVINS to Mollify us. The woman had STILE, could THINK DIFFERENTLY and PEN FRESHLY. She's one I'da LET GOOF MY EGGO any day of he week.

According to the PEN MEN, the new rules of ENCAGEment say there's to B A CON in CELL I; less likely to be a WEINIE than a weenie or weanie, but we can't rule out a DOOVER Ham. Can't wait for the meating.

Hope all y'all's Sundays were SUNNI and DELIcious. Me, I'm putting down Adventitious roots.

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

At 33 across, instead of YESWEH, AVE THAT, isn't it supposed to be YAHWEH, AVE THAT?

kitshef 10:37 PM  

@Nancy -not trying to talk you into persevering, but thought you should know that everything you posted is correct, including AJFO_T.

@Mr Day Late. It's a good idea not to post answers or themes from recent puzzles, but general comments like 'not as tough as Thursday' are OK.

old timer 11:19 PM  

To go back to Friday's puzzle, yeah, we regulars would have aced that Jeopardy category. But you have to remember, Jeopardy tapes weeks before it goes on the air so the contestants did not have the advantage of having solved last week's puzzles.

Elephant's Child 12:19 AM  

O CELLI, O mores! No matter what you PEI, that SINTAX'LE get you. O TOES, even you get nailed!

Scratch that PO'BOY and that WEINIE (no matter how SWELL) and bring me a muffaletta. Maybe with some YAK MILK on the PSI'd. Guess the hour has LATENed past where I could DATIVES Montand.

If the AMISH can be clued as 'Buggy peoples', I see no reason they can't be abbreved as BUGGLES. Hiya, LEAH LEA, you know that's where their horses run.

"AMISH is ASH good ASH a shmile"

JenCT 12:48 AM  

@Anon 7:34 : Ouch! I know lots of "puzzle mavens" who are some of the smartest, most well-rounded and interesting people I've ever met.

Didn't even get to the puzzle yet: The NY Giants broke my heart today......kudos to the Carolina Panthers.

Leapfinger 8:52 AM  

Love to read all the language logicians and categorical thinkers. Of course, if you set up your system, you can define it any way you please, but reality has a way of turning into a much messier sprawl.

'Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee'? Aside from the truly indifferent line-straddlers (and they're out there, refusing to be lumped with the likes'), what about the millions world-wide who've never tasted, the millions who've never heard of Ms Lee? Nobodies from a different fire-department, I s'pose. What about the nobodies who like the cake part, but not the frosting? More likely, I admit that would be versa vice, since nobody doesn't like butter-cream. See? No matter how fine you break it up, it's still crumby.

Just to prove that baked goods aren't a special case, let's check out another example that was offered up earlier with 'I don't not drive a car'. Which lot are you in if you drive a bus or a truck? (Tank you very much.) What if you drove in the past but not in the present? What if you have a chauffeur? What if you have a self-driving car? Are you driving the car or is the car driving you? Easy to see that at some point, the whole verschluginer system goes into overdrive.

Not 100% sure what I'm driving at, beyond warning against too much insistence on seeing all things as neatly stuffable into little binary boxes. I assure you my motives are pure as the driven Snoo.

Leapfinger 8:54 AM  

Forgot to say:

@r.alphbunker, I love it when you say 'a posteriori'.

Robert Berardi 10:45 AM  

I wanted to "Correct" ENCAGE to CAGE.

spacecraft 10:48 AM  

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing." But I did, and am I stuffed! This wasn't a slog, it was a near-drowning in quicksand. Thankfully, I was able to grab a LIFELINE near the end and extricate myself.

I am reminded of that TV ad in which they try to knock down a building with a big stuffed rabbit. As it thumps harmlessly into the bricks, an onlooker says:

"Uh, that's not gonna work." Well, back to the drawing boards, Pete, neither is this. When you have to RESORTTO awkward partials, and your fill is AWASHIN such as THENHL and AANDE, you know something's wrong.

Oh yeah, and it's "AHNIE." Arnie is a golfing legend. C'mon, man.

ASISEEIT, another D-. *sigh*

Next time, though. Next time, I'm gonna come running along and I'll kick that ball SOOOO HARD....

Burma Shave 12:28 PM  


no DOUBT any MAJOR NEW PLAY or PITCH to her must prove


rondo 1:00 PM  

Another uninspired Sun-puz, or is it uninspiring (corrected)? Incorrect – EATFRESHLY; as in “eat fresh foods”; it’s not an adjective as in how to THINK.

The WIENIE as spelled should be roasting over a campfire, perhaps served with beans as in beany-WIENIE.

Speaking of food, I won a contest once with my version of a POBOY; makes me hungry for one now.

I work with LEED certification stuff from time to time on architectural projects; it’s a big deal. Another instance of OFL stuck in an ivory tower.

A couple of yeah babies among all the names – JLO not clued as jiggly Gigli and then VANESSA Hudgens who BODESWELL as a hottie ASISEEIT. Did I mention TEAT?

THENHL can go away. Not the league, THE answer.

There was a kids TV show in the Twin Cities in the 1950s – 60s called AXEL’S Treehouse. Broken Scandihoovian speaking ex-sailor telling jokes and introducing cartoons. You can find some of it online. Oh, what used to pass for entertainment.

There was too much of this puz – ADABWILLDO, maybe you ELECT to THINKDIFFERENTLY?

leftcoastTAM 7:27 PM  

I liked the rebranding clues and answers because they were all gettable and fun despite not knowing the pre-corrected brand slogans.

The SW was the last to go. The AXLE here and the AXELS in the NE made me pause.

Clever cluing for ELEGY, POBOY, AMISH.

Questionable answers: "The" in THENHL; OGRES in bedtime stories? I guess it depends on the scariness of the ogres and the ages of the kids.

Anonymous 8:20 PM  

Nobody gonna post this clip from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"?

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