Sneaky shelters / TUE 1-19-16 / Criticized niggingly / Nearest target for bowler / Bubmling detective of film / Eye layer whose name derives from Latin for grape / Eyed caddishly

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Constructor: Byron Walden

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (both oversized *and* harder than usual)

THEME: GONE FISHING (59A: Classic out-of-office sign ... or what this puzzle's author has done?) — theme answers are all past-tense verbs that follow the pattern [some kind of fish]-ED:

Theme answers:
  • CARPED ABOUT (19A: Criticized nigglingly)
  • PERCHED ATOP (21A: Roosted on)
  • FLOUNDERED AROUND (36A: Struggled to make progress)
  • SKATED ALONG (56A: Proceeded without trying very hard)
Word of the Day: GINO Torretta, 1992 Heisman Trophy winner (27D) —
Gino Louis Torretta (born August 10, 1970) is a former American college and professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons. He played college football for the University of Miami, won the Heisman Trophy in 1992, and was a member of the Miami Hurricanes' national championship teams of 1989 and 1991. A seventh-round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, he was a member of several NFL teams, but never became a regular starter as a pro. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. (wikipedia)
• • •

This felt like it took forever, but considering that it's oversized (16x15), my pace managed to come out somewhere within normal range (albeit high-normal). Not sure how that happened, given how I often I hit walls. Never saw the theme—not sure how I got GONE FISHING without noticing it was a revealer, but I did. Without the revealer, those theme-answer phrases all seem a little wobbly. The second words in the phrases (all of which, interestingly, start with "A") had a tendency to make the answers seem not quite stand-alone. Actually, this is only true in the top half, where the phrases end with prepositions that require objects to make full sense. You can flounder around and skate along just fine, but you have to perch atop ... something, and carp about ... something. So up top, the themers felt weak when I first encountered them. I think the revealer ties everything together nicely, though.

What's weirdest to me about this puzzle is how it managed to have so many way-harder-than-Tuesday-level clues / answers and still come out plausibly Tuesday-level (for me). BADPR was a nightmare to parse (9D: Celeb's arrest report, to the celeb, say). I paid no attention to college sports when I was in college, so GINO Torretta (!?!?) is a name I only just learned today. The only GINO I know is Vannelli (I thought quarterback GENO Smith was a Gino, but ... no). Getting to PIECE from [Gun, slangily], not easy. I had OLD BLOOD before I had OLD MONEY (38D: Aristocratic ancestry), but I realize now I was conflating the answer with BLUE BLOOD, so that struggle's all my fault. EMO POP is dodgy as hell and not a convincing answer at all (48D: Fall Out Boy genre). I'll buy EMO, but POP shmop, man. Still, the hardest answer, for my money, was TAX DODGES. That clue was bananas (35D: Sneaky shelters). I just kept wondering "How can a shelter be sneaky?" I was picturing tents that somehow became animated, a la the brooms in "Fantastia," and then crept around the campsite at night. TAX DODGES! Great answer, but yikes on a Tuesday.  Luckily SIR GALAHAD KEPT IT REAL and there were enough easy things for me to keep from fluking up the puzzle too bad.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


kozmikvoid 12:15 AM  

Finished under my Monday average. Loved the rare actual bowling reference. Normally bowling is used as a mere ploy to sneak in a curling or cricket or whatever dumb sport calls something a bowler that has nothing to do with bowling. I "finished" at the sneaky sneaky shelters/halite cross with TAXlODGE and thought "what the hell is a salt lome?" Got the error message and realized duh, it's a SALTDOME. Otherwise, simple Tuesday.

George Barany 12:45 AM  

Ha-ha, @Rex, I see what you did, fluking up your review.

If @Byron Walden ever feels like fishing for compliments with respect to today's puzzle, he's come to the right place.

GINO is part of a long line of Miami Hurricane quarterbacks who achieved considerable success at the college and/or NFL levels; others include Vinny, Bernie, and (Jim) Kelly, and surely there are others. My one unknown for this puzzle was, interestingly enough, X. TAX_DODGES emerged slowly but made sense, offsetting my unfamiliarity with the Beano competitor, whatever either of those products are.

chefwen 1:58 AM  

Got the theme pretty early after CARP and PERCH showed up and just went searching for the other little FISHies. Did not know 3D ANDREA or 27D GINO and just relied on the crosses to fill them in. TAX DODGES and the SALT DOMES were both head scratchers, but they worked out so I just figured they were both right, and they were, lucky me!

Wasn't sure about 66A SKYING, the golf nut in the family confirmed. For all I knew it could have involved baseball or some other sport that I know little about.

Only one write over at 58D EttE before ENNE, easy fix.

jae 2:17 AM  

On the tough side for me too but didn't realize it was an over sized grid until @Rex. Tried havens before DODGES but ran into ANNE.

Also never heard of GINO.

Kind of whimsical, liked it.,

madchickenlittle 2:44 AM  

This was a very enjoyable puzzle for me. Just really liked it. A couple of head scratchers and excellent cluing really made it good.

Anonymous 3:33 AM  

Here's a thought: Any gun reference = no blog entry, from Rex or anyone else. If you aren't crying with "Weeping pot us?" you're lucky; I count seven people I've been close to who killed, wounded or devastated by the violent death of a loved one. Not to mention two suicides and three hope-ending prison sentences. I puzzle to escape to a place where half-remembered history or geography or pop culture makes for an hour of pleasant little surprises on Friday night (yeah, I'm slow). When one of those surprises is another damn gun...well, thanks for taking me back to a funeral I wish I could forget, Will Shortz. If you're going to do it, let's go all out: "Unwelcome guest at a Memphis motel?" "Elementary implement?" "Columbine propellor?" "Ended the dougie for good?" (Google that funeral if you don't yet have a burned-in image of a child in grief in your head.) I'm too goofy to make up good clues, but even "A dose of 3.14?" would have been more acceptable today. When firearm reference happen so often that they become more, please, no more!

Loren Muse Smith 4:13 AM  

Well, this wasn't a typical Tuesday snap per se, but I didn't find it overly tough. That northeast tripped me up for a while, even though BETCHA was my first entry. I wanted "Columbo" for CLOUSEAU. Thinking "Yuri" for URI, I thought I smelt some tricky shenanigans afoot, ridiculously. I also led there wrong with Ali but fixed it in snap, perhaps because I finally saw CLOUSEAU.

And it took me forever to see "Cap Lock" as a keyboard thing and not some famous part of yet another damn dam I'd never heard of. Oh. You're gonna see the Mratinje Dam? Be sure to get a picture in front of the Cap Lock. It's amazing. Idiotic, odd to go there first, huh?
I hesitated for the same reason as Rex on EMO POP. Feels counterintuitive almost.

That BAD PR caused a couple of erasures for me, too.

BAD PR: police raid, prison riot, pack rat, Palmer raid
Good PR: pot roast, pay raise, pain relief, piggyback ride

I, ME, Mine. Seems like just yesterday my kids were toddlers. Sigh.

Back in the day here, the whole particle/preposition discussions always piqued my interest and confused me a little bit. I see the point about ATOP and ABOUT being full-on prepositions, and ALONG and AROUND being more like particles. Still, I'll take the group with all their initial As. Cool.

So here's what I found so elegant.

1. Second parts all end in A
2. All past tense (past participles, actually, if you want to match the reveal; they work)
3. Two stacks of themers. This always pleases me to no end.
4. FIN coming down off FISH

Byron, what a pleasure to see your name at the top of the grid this morning. Well done!

Hungry Mother 4:53 AM  

About a normal Tuesday for me. Had to use a lot of downs today.

Little brown bear 6:26 AM  

Rice seeds? Who calls them that?

Lewis 6:52 AM  

The theme was cute, but the strength of the puzzle was the plethora of interesting answers: DELVES, KEPTITREAL, INRAGS, CLOUSEAU, TAXDODGES, SIRGALAHAD, PERCHEDATOP, and ONEPIN. I had two moments of triumph -- Getting KEPTITREAL from the K alone, and when GINO (Toretta) popped into my head from some deep dark cave somewhere. I like the ANNE/ENNE cross, the clue for SENATE (I was trying to think what war they served in), and this squeaky clean grid.

No need to mullet over, this one was fun!

Z 7:16 AM  

I have exactly one Waterboys album, so just a little weird seeing that cover appear in the blog.

EMO POP is definitely a thing, as my youngest was big into it in high school (now a college sophomore, I haven't asked him if he is embarrassed by this, yet). EMO is a punk off shoot, EMO POP (as far as I can tell) keeps the EMOtional part, but is POPpier, say something more appropriate for the balcony scene's background music in a 2013 remake.

A, BOUT, TOP, ROUND and LONG, what is it with A words and why are there so few The words, The rapist, the ory, The ocracy, ETC ETC.

Stumbles - I wanted KEEP IT �� (100), because I watch The Nightly Show. In basketball and ultimate SKYING is what the person does, not what the ball or disc does, so I started with arcING. I was RESnApping a pic before I became I saw the CANOEISTS. As a result, I pretty much agree with Rex that this was a little tougher than expected.

jberg 7:19 AM  

I was going to complain that the verb FLOUNDER, unlike the other theme fish, meant to act like the fish, i.e., to flap aimlessly (the fish out of water, that is). But apparently I'm wrong -- suggests that the word is a combination of 'flounce' and 'founder.' Who knew?

I got the theme with PERCH and FLOUNDER, which made the others easy, though I agree that there was some tough cluing. Fun, though.

Dorothy Biggs 7:50 AM  

This week is only two days old, but somehow it feels like forever. Maybe it's that the last few puzzles have been on the more challenging side so that I'm still kind of hungover from last week. Is it me or have the puzzles been a bit more challenging lately?

This reminds me of a puzzle last week where I experienced no particular "wall," per se, but my time was longish anyway. I didn't really have any particular difficulties (nor did I curse a clue/answer), except maybe just one:

CONK/ECO. I do not know Umberto ECO, so -ONK was one of three things for me...either zONK, kONK, or CONK. Conk was my last guess...which was a guess because Umberto! Personally, I liked zonk better.

SKYING and CANOEISTS look weird to me as words. Canoeist? CANOEIST??

Lobster11 7:52 AM  

Pretty crunchy and enjoyable for a Tuesday, with nice long themers. My only complaint was what was IMO an unfair cross of ECO/CONK at the C. I haven't the slightest idea who "Umberto ____" is/was, and with "E_O" in place the missing letter was not at all uninferable. I had "zonk" for 55D, which I thought was a much better answer than CONK (Crash, with "'out"), and "Ezo" seemed every bit as reasonable as ECO to me.

ArtO 8:15 AM  

There should be no "carping"" about this puzzle. Definitely a cut above and tougher than the average Tuesday.

Truly well done Mr. Walden.

Unknown 8:21 AM  

Had TAX HAVENS before I realized it was TAX DODGES. A haven is a shelter, after all. Needed a few cross answers to get onto DODGES.

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

@Anon - 7? Well, you're something of an outlier.

Anonymous 8:25 AM  

@ Barany - regarding "those products," doth thou protest overmuch?

blinker474 8:26 AM  

It's nice that a constructor whose name conjures up a fishing hole created a fish-themed puzzle. And a puzzle that has a large number of really good answers as set out in Lewis said...Really enjoyed this one. Thank you Walden and Shortz.

Unknown 8:27 AM  

@ Nancy yesterday –

If you are on a PC, not a Mac (may be the same, don’t know),there is a simple little program that comes with Windows named CHARMAP.EXE, short for character map.

In the “Start” menu you should be able to find a thing called “Run.” If you type in just CHARMAP it will run. If you can’t find that “Run” thingy, do a search for the program and double-click on it. Or (maybe best) read this which has other info to get it running and what it does:

This little widget is self-explanatory (REALLY obvious as to how to use it). It will allow you to find and copy/paste ANY character from the complete set for any font installed on your computer. This includes ALL those “diacriticized” letter forms, Greek letters, symbols (like the degree), ETC ETC.

As a writer, you will LOVE it……Gol-darn-gar-un-teed.!!!!!


chefbea 8:31 AM  

Got the theme after I saw perch and flounder. Then saw gone fishing. Never heard of emopop!!
Fun puzzle..hope all you soles enjoyed it too.

mom 8:41 AM  

Not very hard except for Salt Domes. First, I've never heard of it and second, I thought it should be a fish and started with Salmon...

Jyp0625 8:47 AM  

Challenging for a Tuesday. Confidently put GONE sailING instead of GONE FISHING. And was never able to sort out the bottom. Still nice puzzle.

Hartley70 9:08 AM  

Here we have another day appropriate, yet very satisfying, Tuesday offering. WS has hit a pocket of gold in the towering piles of puzzle submissions that must be strewn about his office.

I didn't find the cluing difficult, but I had one snag that probably didn't catch anyone else. While I'm aware of both OTC drugstore gas products, it took me a bit to see GASX. I saw "Beano" and went right to the British comedic magazine. I was struggling to find a counterpart besides "Mad" magazine because I was fairly sure it wasn't "Madd". I have a funny cousin in Scotland who writes for "Beano" so that's my excuse.

Ludyjynn 9:10 AM  

After yesterday's elegant puzzle, this was a let down for me. As @NCAPrez. noted, ugly words, CANOEISTS, SKYING, plus the awkward word endings Rex zeroed in on stand out as I RESCAN the grid.

Enough CARPing. There was a high point and it was FLOUNDER. As an adult, I have never ordered this dish in a restaurant because I just know it will never taste as good as the fresh flounder my Dad, LEO, and I routinely caught right off the pier at Dodd's Basin in Belmar, NJ when we had run away from home and GONE FISHING for a few hours. The deal was I would help catch 'em, Dad would filet 'em and Mom would prepare 'em. Simple is best: SALT and pepper, broiled with a bit of melted butter. YUM. My mouth is watering at the thought.

Timely answer was TAX DODGES, as I heard on the news this morning that today is the first official day of "tax season". Also heard that there are phone scams being perpetrated by con artists posing as IRS agents and demanding payments or threatening incarceration. Depressing that folks would be taken in by this, but many are.

Stay warm, everybody. Thanks, BW and WS.

quilter1 9:17 AM  

Pretty easy and definitely fun clues and answers. A good and different Tues. Haven't GONE FISHING since a visit to the Outer Banks at least 20 years ago.

Proud Mamma 9:41 AM  

Too hard for a Tuesday, although I liked the theme. Missed the past tense which had me use keep it real, confusing things. Somehow thiught USCGA was golf related so was thinking assn or amer. Forget emi pop. Gave up and looked up a few fact clues. (Shudder)

archaeoprof 9:42 AM  

@chefbea: I've never heard of EMOPOP either. But today I mourn the death of Glenn Frey, who wrote much of the soundtrack for my teenage years.

Unknown 10:00 AM  

@ jberg 7:19 AM –

I think the phrase works quite well for the fish in spite of the “suggested” etymology. It IS what FLOUNDERS do in the bottom of the boat (had GONE FISHING for ‘em many a time as a MERE lad) and IS what the phrase essentially means, and therefore IS what I always assumed was the origin. It is just TOO apt for me to buy the other in whole.

Had some grief in the SE with TAXhavens off the “T” and “X,” so a small cluster of write-overs there. “flYING” before SKYING and, for some odd reason, started to write in Charlie Chan, off the “C” in BETCHA, who was anything but bumbling.

Speaking of bumbling, I agree the construction was anything but. He KEPT IT REAL

Loved DELVES. Also, you BETCHA I liked that the shout out to Caribou Barbie was poignantly placed in the far upper left.

I note the more or less complete lack of any notable (to me) word juxtapositions. As I’ve said before, I think this somehow bespeaks of really good grids.

So, got nothing else, except that I can be ANTI the 90 mins before the ETD at the Portland ME airport (PWM). It’s never been THAT busy in my experience.


Jorge Arschenbach 10:07 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. I often don't finish Monday or Tuesday puzzles because they don't challenge or entertain, but happily finished this with few write-overs.

@George Barany, I heartily recommend either Gasx or Beano to you as they reduce gas.

Steve M 10:08 AM  

Best to stay in many a moon

Z 10:11 AM  

Generally speaking, other people's areas of ignorance is unremarkable. I have maintained for some time that the set "what I know" is orders of magnitude smaller than the set "what I don't know." Still, @NCA Prez and @Lobster11 - What‽. Umberto ECO is one of those writers who I imagine all crossword solvers have read at least one novel by AND he's high crosswordese, right there with Yma Sumac and Yoko Ono. I am shocked that not one, but two of the commentariat naticked there.

Nik 10:14 AM  

Fast for me this Tuesday, though I never time myself. I'm more of a Sunday driver when doing puzzles. I got hung up on CONK out, had ZONE, which gave me Umberto [Mario P] UZO. SKYING is new to me. Going to have to DELVE into that.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:23 AM  

Won't be koi about it, I liked this puzzle.

One write-over I will blame on early-week overconfidence (and probably intentional mis-direct): 49 D, S. E. ASIA (true, but not what was wanted) >> SENATE.

Nik 10:25 AM  

DELVE complete: this form Urban Dictionary
- When high or stoned

- To be out of it or have no clue what's happening
- She was so high she was skying."

Interesting little SW corner.

Sir Hillary 10:28 AM  

I'm pretty much with @Lewis -- decent theme, but the real strength today was the interesting non-themers.


Joseph Michael 10:31 AM  

Holy mackerel. Thought this was a little roughy at first, but I sang a different tuna after I stopped floundering around and woke up and smelt the coffee. So rather than carp about the puzzle and pike it apart, I wanted to trout out a few compliments for the constructor. but this was my sole opportunity for some free time, so instead I've gone fishing.

Nancy 10:38 AM  

Another really nice early week puzzle that offers some challenge. Like Rex, I was fooled by the "sneaky shelter" clue and was looking for some kind of lair or safe house. I thought TAX DODGES was a great answer. I liked the clue for RODEO, too, and I liked the answer OLD MONEY. Plus, I thought the theme was quite cute. Enjoyable to solve.

Nancy 10:43 AM  

Lovely pun, @Lewis. If I didn't already know you were a constructor, I might have guessed.

Unknown 10:50 AM  

@ Nancy. OFL (as far as I can tell) uses the Verdana font for the blog. So hare are just a few characters I know you've seen before I copied en mass from the Verdana character set using Charmap and thus should be visible in this post: © Ω ° ¿ ¢ № § € and the ever-popular Armenian capital letter feh: Ֆ

Hope I'm right and they all appear here (9 of them).


Warren Howie Hughes 10:54 AM  

It certainly was a pleasure to Walden a-Pond this Tuesday offering by Lord Byron, top (fishing) hole, I dare say! IMIR Bagatelle, heavens no! It took but a Minnow and not EONS to realize we were in for a Whale of a time! "PIECE in our(NY)Times" Byron and get one free...

RooMonster 11:02 AM  

Hey All !
Saw the 16 wide grid right off. At least center themer warrants it this time.

Fish! Never heard of Skate, though...

After the X of GASX, wanted foXholes, didn't fit, then TAX shelters, didn't fit (and then saw "shelters" in the clue!), thwn TAX havens, finally TAX DODGES. Dang.

Some real nice long Downs. No dreck to speak of. Liked the two "time" clues. S harder than N. Took forever to come up with OLD MONEY. SE a toughie with EMOPOP and SALTDOMES.


Nancy 11:07 AM  

@Chuck McGregor -- It is so thoughtful of you to provide this info, and I'm really grateful, but I just went to the CHARMAP site for Dummies and broke into hives. It is just what I feared: drop down menus and double-clicks and all sorts of things entirely separate from the function and site you're involved with at the moment. Would I go to all that trouble for one teeny little French accent Grave or squiggly Spanish line above El Nino? If you knew me better, @Chuck, you'd know it's not bloody likely!

Still, I do have two questions: 1) Once you click on this app, is it there for all time, or is it a onetime thing? And 2) Can you have this character map appear on your screen without leaving the site you're on? Would it appear right on the email you're in the process of writing or on the Rexblog comment you're typing. If it does, that would make it much easier.

I've heard of people opening more than one web window on their screen at a time. I have absolutely no idea how to do that. No one's ever taught me. But thanks again for your thoughtfulness.

dick swart 11:32 AM  

I had 'Tao Lodges' for too long. Figured it was some form of eastern mysticism. Finely saw 'tax dodges' ... what a great clue.

mac 11:36 AM  

Outstanding Tuesday puzzle by a great constructor. Class act from top to bottom. Made slightly easier for me since yesterday I did a word puzzle by Howard Richler that involved hidden fish. I did spend too much time looking for a critter in "canoeists".

@Roo Monster: skate (wing) is delicious. Brown butter and lemon, and hopefully the bones have been taken out.

Unknown 11:43 AM  

I was focused on the burst of prepositions aka "anywhere a mouse can go" ABOUT ATOP AROUND ALONG before I picked up on fishing. Then again I never could get into it despite every family member in every direction loving it.

Sneaky shelters TAXDODGES (aka tax avoidance) are nothing more than tax code, not sneaky, not illegal but CODE written by SENATORS who have in general served only themselves. Certainly Kerrey and Kerry.

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

@ Gun guy. Sorry for your losses. But honestly you need to make better choices in friends. At 62 I haven't lost anyone to gun violence nor can name even an acquaintance. Maybe a sheltered life? I don't think so.

thfenn 11:54 AM  

Fun, albeit hard, Tuesday for me. Liked the reveal because I had FLOUNDEREDAROUND and then nailed GONEFISHING before CARP, PERCH, and SKATE fell into place. Struggled a bit because I couldn't tell if the long downs were going to be part of the theme or not (or some of the long crosses like CANOEISTS and SALTDOMES) and kept trying to tie those to fish in one way or another (maybe that's because I like fishing from a canoe but still something I need to learn - how to tell what's part of the theme and what isn't when the app or clues don't make it obvious). GLUGS before GULPS, ANGERS before STEAMS, TORNUP before INRAGS, POPING (as in a POP FLY) and ARCING before SKYING, RETAKE before RESCAN, not to mention trying to understand why BLUEBLOOD and COLUMBO, oh, and ETCETERA wouldn't fit all needed fixing. And never heard of GASX.

But the reveal worked, I love fishing and boating, and when you can include other fun ties to knights, old money, football, democratic senators, FDR, and the pink panther, it can all only be fun. Nice puzzle, even if it took me forever.

chefbea 11:56 AM  

Meant to say earlier..this puzzle was spot on. There is a Spot festival here every summer. Too many bones

Wileyfex 12:15 PM  

40D ought to have been clued "tetra."

Oscar 12:22 PM  

For "Address of Juliet's balcony?", "Verona" fit so nicely, that it tempts me to switch to pencil.
The correct answer to (52A) is
"O Romeo." Juliet begins: "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet."
I still feel like I'm missing something that makes a better connection between the clue and the answer. Not sure ... This puzzle was a tough one.

Unknown 12:48 PM  

@ Z 10:11 AM: Oh my! How could you not have included Camus along with Sumac? (Har)

@ Joseph Michael 10:31 AM: A while ago I posted about "holy mackerel" as a humorous interjection when used with regards to another fish. You not only validated that but hit the jackpot today!


Masked and Anonymous 12:56 PM  

fave weeject: IME. This lil fella had to anchor a lotta criss-crossin giants. IME is like 3/4 of its crossin EMIR, in reverse.

APAL. har. Kinda yer opposite of 6-Down. Or, for a creationist-pleaser clue: {Like Trump's not-so-distant ancestors??}

Cute theme, that pretty much used up all the fish names that can be used as verbs. Only obvious omission: SMELTAGASLEAK. (yo, @muse: Complete yer own SMELTA___ phrase!)

74 words is pretty wide-open, for a 16x15 grid. Would've hoped for more desperation than we got.
Didn't even have to dip very deep into the French barrel, here. M&A did struggle with spellin CLOUSEAU, however. That word didn't come up, during my French tutorial regimen (Watchin "At the Earth's Core" flick with French subtitles turned on). So, nice job, on the fillins.

EMOPOP, BADPR, GASX, and 6 U's. Well, shoot -- there's yer RODEO! Thanx, WaldenPondmeister.



AliasZ 1:09 PM  

Lovely, if a bit fishy puzzle today. Has anyone noticed that Byron slipped a NEON tetra into it? Clean, fresh and almost as amusing as a CLOUSEAU pratfall.

Happy Tuesday.

Tita 1:27 PM  

@Mom...SALTDOME was a gimme for me because I recently watched a documentary about the Teapot DOME Scandal, and realized what it was named for. That. And watching another science show about extracting oil for said structures, meant I actually retained those bit o'data.

Wiki the scandal, will fill you with despair to know that nothing's changed, politically. Btw, that field is still producing oil...

Oh such clever folks, who smelt the tuna and fluked the puzzle...and yes, @lms, I'm on to you and your group eruption... Who knew that the pale wife was such a pool shark...
At ChuckMcG...are you continuing the alternate themers with your CHARmap?

Byron...great revealer...Though I think you shoulda slipped in an EEL somewhere, just for the halibut. (Yes, @lms...I saw that too...)

Teedmn 1:33 PM  

I agree with @Rex's difficulty rating on this one but my grid doesn't show it. Only one writeover, but what I saved in quantity, I made up for in quality - I've never heard of an LeD PC screen but it snuck into my solution.

I was glad to see Umberto ECO as the clue for 54A rather than some "green" prefix. I have read 'Name of the Rose' and 'Foucault's Pendulum'. I think I enjoyed them at the time but they haven't stuck with me. And a double King Arthur reference with AVALON and SIR GALAHAD. I briefly wondered how to put Nam into the six lettered 49D but luckily didn't have to (and yes, both SENATors were there though I didn't know that until after I finished the puzzle).

Thanks, Byron Walden, for a fine Tuesday.

old timer 1:54 PM  

Took me forever to find a NYT in a store as my home-delivered version was soaked through and through. But when I got to the puzzle I found it quite easy. SIR GALAHAD was a pleasant surprise, and KEPT IT REAL was delightfully in the language. My only hangup was FLOUNDEREDAROUND, which I had thought would begin with a C like two other themers. But: FDR was a gimme. The best misdirect: SENATE, because I thought the answer might be some branch of the military.

Tita 1:59 PM  

My personal motto is "Blessed are the lazy, for they shall find the easiest way."

Easiest for me, to get accented CHARacters, is simply this...

I like it because you don't have to memorize anything or perform unnatural Windows acts.

It is actually quite intuitive...and WAY easier to show than to me if you want me to tell you, as it will take 30 seconds...
@Nancy...I PROMISE this is waaaaaaay easier than it sounds...I know you, and I know that you can do it!!

All you do is, type the accent you want, followed by the letter you want.
The only thing you need to remember is to type it with the ctrl key...

If you want é, hold the ctrl key, type the comma, then let go and type the e.
Want an à? Hold ctrl, type ` key (next to the 1), then let go and type the a.

So, all you need to remember is to hold the ctrl key while you type the key that most closely resembles the accent you want...

For umlauts, it's the semicolon... For circumflex, it's the little carat above the 6. Want the tilde? It's that first key next to the 1 again...
HINT...These few need you to hit SHIFT to make it happen, just as you would have to if you were typing them normally.

Here is a handy chart you can bookmark as a reminder...

Loren Muse Smith 2:21 PM  

@Tita - Hah! I like your "halibut" better than my hidden one, but I'm beyond thrilled that you spotted it. Group eruption, indeed. Good one!

Unknown 2:34 PM  

@ Nancy 11:07 AM: Oh dear, it’s worse than I thought, your distaste for computer things, but I actually applaud that. Bravo!

In answer to your questions then, no and no, especially for the uses cited. I’m very Sorry it won’t help you. However, for example, for some professional copy those non-QWERTY characters (accessible through charmap) can very well be needed. That’s why it’s available to supplement the keyboard in place of what would be a mess of physical keys for people needing those literally thousands of characters. Consider all the different fonts that, say, just one of those non-QWERTY characters might appear. The computer has to be told the difference.

So, no worries. QWERTY on, M’Lady!! I’ve zero problem with that as I stand in my glass house with nary a stone to be seen!


Doug Garr 2:51 PM  

I thought sneaky shelter should have had a question mark. I couldn't finish because I absolutely could not conjure up TAX DODGES, even missing only 2 squares. Otherwise, pretty good puzzle.

puzzle hoarder 3:04 PM  

First entry. Typical time for a Tuesday. Have been following all your comments for months. Yes I thought it was havens at first too. Look forward to exchanging with you all in the future.

MikeM 3:52 PM  

CANOEIST? Next we will have PIANOER awful, rest of the puzzle was great and a bit hard for a Tuesday.

Martha 4:16 PM  

What's an ETD? And why do you have to get there 90 minutes early??? I had Clousseau spelled wrong, GENO instead of GINO, and guessed ITD, which gave me PESCI for "Gun, slangily." Made sense to me!

Z 4:38 PM  

@dick swart - TAO LODGES, for when you've lost your way.

@anon 11:51 - This pro gun site puts annual deaths from gun violence at 32,000 (60% by suicide). At 62 this means 1.9 million deaths by guns since you've been born, or roughly 1 in 150 Americans (I'm playing a little fast and loose with the math, so let's call it 1 in 300). Based on this you are no more than one or two "friend of a friend" away from a death by gun violence. The most likely reason you don't know this is our cultural stigmatizing of suicides, so many of us don't know we know someone who died from gun violence, and when we do know we don't discuss it in polite company. Still, death by gun is much closer to you than you realize.

@Oscar - I'll address you. I think you got it.

@Chuck McGregor - I bet the next time the "Incan Princess" shows up on a Saturday she'll go right in. ;)

@Nancy - By far the easiest computer to enter diacritics with is the iPad. If I want œ or ö or ø I just hold down the letter "o" on my virtual keyboard and 8 options appear. On a regular Mac it's a little more complicated for some symbols, holding down the option key and then the right letter will result in all kinds of funky characters. Of course, you either need to memorize that "option p" gets you a Greek pi or use the keyboard viewer to see where all the special characters are. I looked up how to do this in Windows 10. My advice after reading the instructions is don't bother.

Leapfinger 5:22 PM  

@GeoBar, will it help if I tell you that GAS-X = simethicone?

@AliasZ, after NEON Deion, how could I help it?

Just so long as @JFC/@DaBears doesn't give me any haddocks about double-dipping a comment, I'll just copy in what I ROTE on another blog. Just random happenstance which blog I read first on any given day.

Isn't there also a fish called THE DAB? In the Walden Pond of today, that's excuse enough to bring up THEDABARA, star of countless Silent Era movies. If no-one else could Vamp a movie reel, Bara coulda.

It's no fluke I had to troll for an opener; by gar, you come late to the party, you find the waters are pretty well fished out. After Deadline's and Laszlo's exhaustive presentations, not to mention the Wags 'n' AlanJ comedy duo*, you're reely sturgeon for something to say. I saw we're even down to dredging parts of fish -- I'm looking at You, FIN and (headslap) 'barbel shops'. I think it's time to scale back, or risk suffering Buyer's Remoras.

Seriously, though, like Deadline, I smelt a rat when CARP came hard on the heels of PERCHED_ABOUT (do fish have heels? -- no matter), and I sussed the theme of making fish past tense (do fish get tense?) and following with an A word that made 'some sort' of phrase. I promptly abandoned any thought of speed-solving (usually my No. ! priority, as y'all know) to cast about for other possibilities. When I later discovered that my best finds (FLOUNDERED AROUND and SKATED ALONG) were actual themers, I wasn't sure whether to be disappointed or chuffed.

However, I plaiced abet I could find s'more. It was easier to find fishy phrases if the rules were relaxed, to varying extents and in variable ways:
Herring around the Rosy
Congered a spell (Do do that Voodoo)
Sardined alone (Table for one) or
Sharked alone (Ye Olde Moneylender)
Coded averse (Hated scanning poetry, even in motion)
Rayed Aden (I'd rather raid a refrigerator)
Koied aglance (in his direction)
Piked away (toll-free driving)
Porgied Abbess (Nun finer)
Suckered ASAP (There's one born every minute)
Shaded astern (ala Ogden Nash, sketching sunbathers)
Crappied abed (testing the system)

Apologies to anyone I've soled apiece of goods. Thanks to Mr Walden for a halibut good time, and to all others for your indulgence. In the greater scheme, it doesn't amanta hill o'beans, does it?

That's all she Roe, Roe, ROTE.

*@Wags: Good puzzle, but once I figured out the theme, I was hoping we'd get scrod.
@AlanJ: Very Freudian of you. But you know, sometimes a sea gar is just a sea gar.

Margaret 5:48 PM  

Enjoyed the theme -- though it took me a while to see it. But I have a question about 26D ("Mimic"). The answer works out to be "aper," but having never heard of that word -- surely the answer should be "apes" -- I looked it up, and found no such word. Is this an actual error, or do I just need to look in a larger dictionary?

joho 5:49 PM  

Hey, Loren, I saw the snapper, too ... fun!

Margaret 6:08 PM  

OK-- Searched further. "Aper" is in the ODE -- an aper is one who apes, or mimics. So, the word goes with the clue. Live and learn.

Z 6:09 PM  

@puzzle hoarder - welcome.

@Martha - ETD = Estimated Time of Departure. ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival. Early in the week there'll be a hint as to whether you are coming or going. Later in the week you have to wait before you put in an A or D.

Nancy 6:23 PM  

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time and trouble to deal with my technophobia and technoignorance. @Tita -- your suggestions actually sound as though they might be do-able, with a minimum of effort. Although I do take exception to your characterization of me as lazy. MOI???? I can't imagine what possessed you to think so. Nonetheless, that notwithstanding, I plan to take you up on your kind offblog offer of help over the phone and call you. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I'm hoping that your technique will work for italics, too, though you don't mention it in your comment. That would prove MUCH more important than diacritics in my online life, as you can plainly see. :)

Unknown 6:55 PM  

Tita 1:59 PM Things I could have looked up but didn't. There is lots of stuff "buried" in Windows I don't know (a lot I do), in spite of being quite PC savvy and using Windows since its first incarnation. I did not know that Ctrl + [accent] tip. Great! Thanks!

A favorite I use a lot in the Office suite is the F4 key to repeat the last operation. Say you highlight and "bold" a word or letter. Immediately highlight something else, hit F4, and it too will be bolded. A good tool for going back and applying most any kind of formatting or style in multiple places after you type things in.


John V 8:04 PM  

It seems to me that the Times cluing has ratcheted up, overall.

Anonymous 8:05 PM  

I think you need to boycott your boycott and seek therapy.

John V 8:09 PM  

And, oh yes, the it is FOUNDER, not FLOUNDER, add in, ships FOUNDER. Tilt.

Diana,LIW 8:35 PM  

@Tita - thank you, thank you, thank you for the John Oliver "head's up" regarding his stadiums rant from 5 weeks ago. Too funny and spot on.

@Anoa Bob - This puz - what? Ou est monsieur Nova? (Waited with baited breath for that one?) ;-)

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

kitshef 10:13 PM  

Wednesday difficulty level. Liked the themers but not the puzzle. I'm with @Little Brown Bear that RICESEEDS are not a real thing, and with many of you that SKYING is off. Throw in ETCETC and BADPR and the atrocious UTNE and APER and ICEE and you've lost me.

MR. Burns's yacht on the Simpsons is called GONE FISsIon.

Anonymous 11:15 PM  

This is twice in about a week I see "baited breath". It is "bated breath".

Z 5:41 AM  

@Anon11:15 - I dunno, seems sorta fishy to me. {wink, wink}

Pisces 5:47 AM  

Dear Anony@11:15pm,

I'd like to plaice abet you've never Gone Fishing.

Maria Rothschild 5:57 AM  

Nice non-theme extra:

The nod to Pyotr Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene ONEPIN, based on the novel inverse by Alexander Pushpin.

Wileyfex 11:20 AM  

Yes I did, and said so. See above.

Diana,LIW 2:39 PM  

Hey Anon@11:15 - to badly misquote a line from The Godfather, "Take the bait. Leave the pun."

Anoa Bob even referred to having a "debait" for those who didn't get the pun the first time.

;-) means wink, wink, as Z points out.


Burma Shave 8:48 AM  


I was PERCHEDATOP him craving a PIECE, though I KEPTITREAL.
After an HOUR in the RACK SPED by, I finally cried, “OROMEO!”
before I exclaimed, “SIRGALAHAD, this ain’t my first RODEO!”


Jaime 10:18 AM  

Interesting. I've never heard the mouse trick for prepositions. I was taught - anything you can do to a cloud. Thanks for sharing!

spacecraft 11:45 AM  

But Oz never did give the tin man
What he didn't--didn't already have
And Cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the Tropic of SIRGALAHAD

Well, thanks for that earworm, Byron. I liked this one. Weirdly, I laid down BADPR as if a gimme--not quite sure how. Maybe it was a recently-viewed episode of "Family Feud" in which a question involved Lindsay Lohan's to-do list. Anyway it played easy-medium for me. Had a "Wha-?" moment when the sneaky shelter started TAX...and I'm staring at the word I want to write--in the clue! Thought "heDGES" for a while.

Some of the answers are a bit wobbly: RESCANS (could be clued "Dorm bathrooms"), OLDMONEY. It's possible to be of aristocratic lineage and broke. Ask some titled Brits, for example. Didn't know SALTDOMES, yet when it filled in something about it rang familiar. ANNE crossing ENNE is a tad dodgy. As Boss Hadley said, "Some contraband here, but nothing to get in a twist about."

@anon 3:33, I sincerely hope you can find someone you trust to talk out your grief to. I hate guns too, but like ADOLF, it's only an entry in a grid. Please don't take it to heart. KEEPITREAL. I choose to think of it as just another PIECE of the puzzle.


leftcoastTAM 1:15 PM  

SKATED ALONG pretty smoothly from NW to SE, on a very smooth ICEE surface.

Paused in an upper channel to hook a couple of themers and the rest was like shooting fish in a barrel.

OROMEO completed the enjoyable outing. Thanks, BW.

ronodo 1:52 PM  

This was a really good Tues-puz and pretty much a cakewalk. Especially after catching CARP and PERCH right off (which I actually have done). Didn’t notice it was oversized as I SPED right through it.

GINO Toretta was a gimme as he was drafted by my very own MN Vikings back in the day. Lotsa Heisman guys don’t do much in the pros.

They certainly do TAXDODGES in MN. I just got the license tab renewal form for the Stratus in the mail yesterday.

Furious EVA Mendes is a high fast yeah baby, although ANDREA Mitchell is probably more my speed. Wouldn’t mind being PERCHEDATOP either. ETC.ETC.

One construction season when I was a construction inspector the contractor’s guys called me CLOUSEAU the whole time. Except the superintendent.

I SKATEDALONG through this puz and quite enjoyed it. You BETCHA!.

Diana,LIW 4:26 PM  

All the fish stories have been told, even about the one that got away. Had lucky guesses with Emo pop and Cera/Icee.

Did anyone else notice that Anne Klein is back again today? She just can's get enough of the puzzles. Maybe she'll start posting on the blog.

Diana, LIW for Crosswords

Cathy 5:08 PM  

So please believe in me
When I say I'm spinning round, round, round, round (thx @ spacecraft)

About the 35D clue/answer SNEAKY SHELTERS- TAX DODGES. A tax dodger is someone who dodges taxes. So shouldn't it be SNEAKily SHELTERS? I dunno. I may need some GASX for my brain.

CANOEISTS, SKYING? Other than that a fine puzzle:)

rain forest 5:23 PM  

Well, I'm late, as usual on Tuesday, but I thought "What the hake. Let's do it".

Another really good puzzle with a theme I was double-crossed on, thinking that it would have to do with the second words of the themers. Wrong, tuna breath.
The red herring was that the first words of the themers held the key. Good one. My sole area of slowdown was at the ECO/CONK cross, which was silly, as @Z so kindly pointed out, but for a while zONK sounded pretty good to me.

@Spacey - I really like that song by America (the whole album, really), but I have never understood the last two lines of the verse you quoted.

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