Sublime physical performance / MON 1-18-16 / Smallville family / 2002 Tom Cruise sci-fi film / Fictional pirate who shares his name with bird

Monday, January 18, 2016

Constructor: Kathy Wienberg

Relative difficulty: Slightly tougher than usual Monday...

THEME: POETRY IN MOTION (49A: Sublime physical performance ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters) — the letters in "POETRY" are rearranged (i.e. put IN MOTION) contiguously inside three theme answers:

Theme answers:
  • "MINORITY REPORT" (20A: 2002 Tom Cruise sci-fi film)
  • PYROTECHNIC (24A: Related to fireworks)
  • PARTY PEOPLE (44A: They know how to have a good time) 
Word of the Day: OUZO (36A: Greek liqueur) —
Ouzo (Greek: ούζο, IPA: [ˈuzo]) is an anise-flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus. (wikipedia)
• • •

Is this a debut? It's not bad, as debuts go. Very common theme type, but this incarnation is new to me, and kind of creative. PYROTECHNIC violates the usual policy of breaking the "hidden" (or "circled" or "whatever") part across two words in the themer, but when you're dealing with this many letters, it's probably not easy to find good themers that do that, and PYROTECHNIC is nothing if not, uh, sparkly. Fill is not fancy, but it's polished like mad. I mean, this thing has been well and truly scrubbed. Lots of common short answers, but nothing that makes my face do that thing it does when things are really off. The one part that slowed me down today did involve crosswordese. You just don't see the CZAR spelling much at all anymore (unless it's related to a "Drug CZAR" or some other Americanized phrase like that) (5A: Ivan the Terrible, for one). So since it's clued as your standard Russian leader-type person, I went with TSAR. Easily corrected, of course, but seconds are seconds when it's a Monday, and all that scrambling to fix a mistake cost me. Also had OVERLORD instead of OVERSEER at first (40A: Boss)—another repair required, more time lost. Couldn't remember Jack SPARROW (41D: Fictional pirate who shares his name with a bird) and didn't know at first what was being shot out of the slingshot (STONE), so just getting into that SW corner required more work than I was expecting. Stupidly went with SKID over SLID (64A: Lost traction) (tense of SKID doesn't match clue, hence "stupidly").

I've got "ANT-Man" sitting here on Blu-ray, courtesy of Netflix, so maybe I'll go take a peek at that. Or else I'll just go read. See you all tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. please enjoy this refrigerator magnet that a couple of my readers made for me. Slightly hyperbolic, but basically fair.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


chefwen 12:15 AM  

Just what the doc ordered after the brain workout we went through yesterday.

Like Rex I had to change tsAR to CZAR. CHARGE set me straight there. And MAELSTorm to MAELSTROM, I always get that wrong. Storm just sound better to my ears. The ever popular OREO helped me out.

Not your usual "stroll in the park" Monday, but easy enough. Liked it!

George Barany 12:18 AM  

Enjoyable debut puzzle by @Kathy Wienberg, and a pleasantly reasonable review by @Rex, with a new-to-me sound track [I would have used this Bobby Vee track], and a lovely bonus cartoon from outside admirers. Congratulations, @Kathy, and looking forward to many more from you.

Funny thing, I filled a grid earlier this afternoon where I specifically needed CZAR, rather than TSAR. I'm quite sure that in the real world, CZAR is actually preferred, but TSAR has a much more convenient letter array for the crossworld. In any event, @Rex's comments on this point had a special resonance for me.

For those who missed it yesterday, @AliasZ (under his real name) also has a debut puzzle, though the venue is not nearly as prestigious as the New York Times. Hope you like it!

kozmikvoid 12:47 AM  

I keep forgetting to solve a Monday on the computer instead of the phone. I'm curious how much time drag can be attributed to henpecking each letter instead of actually typing it in on a real keyboard. Monday's the only real test because it's the only day my solves are always around the same time. Has anyone else already tried this? I feel efficient now using the app but I have to think I'd shave time off on the computer.

This one was OK for a Monday. Finished well below average but I looked at the downs for 5A so CZAR went right in. Not much else to was a typical Monday.

jae 1:04 AM  

Medium for me. Familiar theme very nicely executed, or what @Rex said, liked it.

Carola 1:46 AM  

Very nice! Trying to figure out the circles from the three theme answers, I was flummoxed: all I could see was TYPE something-or-other, so the reveal was a delight. Also liked CADANCE, RENEGADES, and SPARROW; EASEMENT alongside ROADS and MAELSTROM beneath IN MOTION. HEART is apt in the very center, also aptly identified by its cross with SHAPE.

Unknown 2:16 AM  

You still have Netflix send you things?

GILL I. 5:45 AM  

Did that comic make you think of a flushing MAELSTROM, @Rex?
This was a great Monday puzzle. Just a little set-back with the Tzar/CZAR thing. I always think of a mogul when I use the "C" and I guess a lisping cavalryman could loudly yell THARGE for the guns!
Lots to like here - especially the reveal. Liked the clue for OREO since I'm always wondering how else can you clue something clever for that cookie that only can be eaten while dunking it in milk because otherwise it's really not very good as cookies go...
Good job Kathy Wienberg. I hope we see more of your puzzles.
Are there any STENOS left on this planet?

Loren Muse Smith 5:54 AM  

Spot-on Monday for me, especially after I changed it from A "Tail" of Two Cities. Sheesh. I was having a dickens of a time due east because of that goof.

I didn't even notice that PYROTECHNIC was the outlier, not spanning the letters across two words. Very nice segue from yesterday's tour de FORCE with MAELSTROM there, right under MOTION.

Loved the HEART/SHAPE cross dead center, and I appreciated the addition of "down on his luck" to our HOBO stereotype. (Go back and give "stereotype" a glance.)

Without glancing at the clue, I was thinking "party pooper." Hah. "Pootry" = flatulence. Morning, @M&A.

Your debut, Kathy? Congrats!

Lewis 6:08 AM  

MINORITYREPORT is a good answer to have on Martin Luther King Day...

This puzzle is clean and intelligent, with a theme that is Monday simple and well executed. There's even a RAISE up and a NAIL down. Very nice debut, Kathy, and now that you've got the bite, keep at it!

Hungry Mother 6:59 AM  

Smooth sailing. Went with CZAR right away for some reason.

RooMonster 7:44 AM  

Hey All !
Nice zippy, fun, fast MonPuz. tsAR-CZAR writeover, and 100% correct. That's all I look for on a Monday. Keep the ole brain happy.

Cool seeing MAELSTROM on Monday. Agree with Rex on cleanliness of grid. Only 9 threes also. And two 14 themers that I'm surprised Rex didn't mention, as he loves 14 letter themers. I love when I CAN DO easy puzs in 5 minutes or so! Makes me feel like an elite solver!


Z 7:50 AM  

Liked this a lot. Took a (relatively) long time for me to get into the south. I didn't pause to unscramble the circled letters and the "sublime" clue was sublime so I needed several crosses. Hand up for not remembering SPARROW, but I avoided the SkID error by leaving the second letter for the cross. I disagree with Rex on the tenseness of SkID. Skidded sounds wrong to me. SLID, SkID, and lost all share a tense.

I was surprised to read in the NYT (right above the puzzle) that Blackstar has become Bowie's first #1 album. Lots of opportunities to catch up on all things Bowie this week. Most fascinating to me was watching a 1974 interview with Dick Cavett juxtaposed with a mid 90's Storytellers. In the first Bowie is practically squirming as he is asked questions. In the latter we see a comfortable professional. All of this widely and easily available material won't stay around for long. If you are interested in modern rock at all, spend some time with Mr. Bowie.

jberg 7:52 AM  

I got MINORITY REPORT and PYROTECHNIC so I knew we were scrambling letters -- but somehow I didn't notice that the E had a circle around it, so I was wracking my brain for a good anagram of T Y R P O -- it took the revealer (specifically, MOTION) before I realized what was actually going on, and grew much fonder of the puzzle.

Me too for OVERlord, which isn't nearly as good as the actual answer. I liked the KNELL/KNOLL crossing, but don't OUST the OUZO!

Anonymous 7:55 AM  

Very nice. I count one partial, one abbreviation, one interjection, and one real-word obscurity. This one really brought home for me how those low counts enhance enjoyment. Rex was right all along.

AliasZ 8:13 AM  

POETRY IN MOTION is more like POETRY IN shambles or scrambled, or POETRY an' a gram of clever.

I especially liked EASEMENT, MAELSTROM, CADENCE and SPARROW. EASEMENT is also the name for the gradually increasing curve section of railroads and highways that lead from a straight line into a circle. Geometrically it is an Euler spiral, and we all know who Euler was, don't we?

If you forgot you have read "A Descent into the MAELSTRÖM" by EAPOE, you should re-read it.
Who can forget Edith Piaf, the Little SPARROW?

An impressive debut by Kathy Wienberg.

Enjoy your Monday.

Dorothy Biggs 8:28 AM  

There were no equivalent "STPAULMN"s in today's puzzle, so I was happy about that.

I did manage to finish just better than average, but a full minute off my best time. I felt like parts of the puzzle went in easily, and other parts...not so much. Looking over the puzzle post-solve, I can't say that anything in the puzzle is overly unusual (PARTYPEOPLE doesn't seem like a thing to me, but the crosses made it easy), so I'm going to blame the cluing on my hang-ups this time.

Slingshots can shoot lots of things, I think Peas can be hard to shoot (unless you have a pea shooter), a person chews NAILs (plural) when they are nervous, and "Boot from power" was pretty tricky when all I saw was a boot that you wear.

I thought the KNELL/KNOLL crossing was interesting. Like Rex, I had OVERlord first.

Not a bad Monday. I wouldn't complain if they were all a little more challenging like this.

Ludyjynn 8:35 AM  

WOW! I SAVORed every moment of this awesome puzzle. It was gorgeous. When I grow up, I want to be Kathy Weinberg, whoever you are! So many beautiful words and on a Monday, no less!


This was truly POETRY IN MOTION. Ignore Rex's unwarranted nit-picking. I'm not a puzzle constructor, but I know IT when I see IT. Thanks, KW and WS. May I have some more, please? Loved it.

quilter1 9:09 AM  

Very easy and very enjoyable for all the reasons everyone has given. I liked the not often seen fill and the theme. Thanks, Kathy. It was over too soon.

Pete 9:19 AM  

@Music Man - Of course - Half of Netflix's catalog isn't available for streaming, it's only available on DVD/BluRay. Further, if you care about video quality, there's no comparison between a BluRay and a streamed (i.e. compressed) feed. Streaming is wonderful, but the video quality is crap. It's like listening to music on ear-buds/mp3 player vs a decent stereo system. The mp3 player is remarkably good for a cheap, convenient, portable solution, but really isn't an excellent audio system.

Instant gratification is a great thing, but not the only thing, not even the best thing.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:41 AM  

Bravo! Very nice puzzle, taking a familiar idea but amping it up a bit.

I took notice, as did @Gill I., the clue for OREO. Is this a new clue? I know that this common word has brought forth great creativity in cluing.

And, ripped from the headlines, 63 A, Lost on purpose = THREW. Awoke this morning to the BBC telling of a big scandal of tennis players who THREW matches to enrich gamblers.

Hartley70 9:54 AM  

I really have nothing but complements for this puzzle, except.......the moment I got to TONI, which was 5 seconds in, "Muskrat Love" wormed itself in my ear. Suddenly it was the 1970's and I first learned to scream, "Make it stop!" out the 81st Street window. I assume Susie and Sam have passed on to that muskrat heaven in the sky by now, thankfully.

I do like the constructor's choice of verbiage here. CADENCE is a very nice choice for a Monday, as is KNELL and MAELSTROM. I thought the theme was smooth and beautifully executed. It's a Monday that doesn't dumb down. This is a most accomplished debut.

Nancy 10:05 AM  

Didn't realize that this was a debut puzzle until I came here. A nice job, with some interesting words you don't often see on a Monday: CADENCE; MAELSTROM; EASEMENT; PYROTECHNIC. Give this gal a Saturday, that's what I say. I also love the revealer phrase: POETRY IN MOTION. I love the sound of it and the images it brings to mind. Nice and lively.

Bronxdoc 10:05 AM  

Really nice Mon puzzle. Particularly liked knoll & knell, raise & razed as well as easement, cadence& maelstrom - all in addition to a theme. Yet, what about MLK? Was there really no submission that even made passing mention? (And no, I do not consider a 2002 Tom Cruise film to meet the criterion)

thfenn 10:08 AM  

A Monday puzzle to SAVOR, instilling a CANDO attitude. Went from MOUND to ATOLL to KNOLL in the east, and got held up with ENJOY over SAVOR for a bit in the SW, but came in under my average and hey, a solve like this from me felt like POETRYINMOTION, if I don't say so myself. Lots of NODS and a big HEART SHAPE for this one.

chefbea 10:24 AM  

fun easy puzzle. Kept wondering what all those circled letters meant...then got to the revealer.

@Chefwen...did I miss something yesterday. Belated happy birthday. Will of course bake you a cake

Unknown 10:34 AM  

A very impressive (using my decidedly faulty metric) 9.17 seconds per clue.(I know you don't want to do the math so that's a very unimpressive 18.5 minute solve.)

A fun PARTY, PEOPLE. With my coffee and RYE TOPped with jam, I first had to decide whether to I should TYPE OR pen-paper it, choosing the latter. (PSST….RE TYPO, I fell PREY TO, “MAleSTRuM” for a YET PROlonged time, so ASEA in the SE.) Would that fireworks relation be PYRE TO something? That answer? YEP, ROT. OPE….TRY again.

61a – I live in the PINE Tree state and am SAVORing the ODOR of a non-PYROTECHNIC, PINE-scented candle burning and a still-up balsam Christmas tree as I write. It was easy to SLIP on the ROADS here a couple of days ago with the snow. Speaking of ROADS (was I doing that?) The one adjacent to the PrOpErTRY is really a long driveway, TECHNICally just an EASEMENT for several residents.

CHARGE? SEAMY! (porno bust)

HER IMPS (Snow White’s cadre)

HEART NAIL (a “Dear John” letter or the stake for offing vampires)

ROSY NAP (What a stalwart riveter was never known to take on the job)

ADEPT MANO ITCH (you actually reached that one on your back with your hand)

PITA CZAR CAN DO (hands-on middle-Eastern restaurant boss)

ATOM HOBO (a free electron)

ATOM HOBO ADIEU (a free electron bonding to another ATOM)

OUZO SHAPE (likely drunk is the one you’re in after a few)

SAVOR MAELSTROM (now that would just be weird)

CADENCE KENTS*, 3, 4, 1, 2, [pause], three-four! (military, ya had to be there…)
* (OK, a big stretch for “count”)

OREO (a treat for which milk was invented)

OREO (what the Taijitu symbol really represents)

AESOP OREO (bet he would have liked one as nobody doesn’t like ‘em; if so, he might have SAVORED it with some high-PROOF OUZO….on second thought, that’s probably something only GOATS would like)

EMPTY ONION TRIO (cool name for a band as an anagram of POETRY IN MOTION, which hopefully, their music would be. Just THREW that in).


Steve M 10:37 AM  

Excellent puzzle as compared with yesterday's debacle

mac 10:44 AM  

Very polished Monday, with beautiful words and a solid theme. Congratulations, Kathy!

I learned how to do steno, and it's always been a great help when taking notes when on the phone. You never lose it once you know it.

Joseph Michael 11:03 AM  

An excellent Monday puzzle. Clever theme, clean fill, and some great words, such as MAELSTROM, PYROTECHNIC, and ZODIAC.
Congrats, Kathy, on a successful debut.

old timer 11:45 AM  

I was racing through this puzzle looking at a 6-minute time when I got to the SE and was totally thrown. Didn't think of MAELSTROM, though I've known the word since I was 8 or 9 and read Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." So I put in "give" for CEDE, therefore "urge" for ITCH, and I also had "skid" for SLID for a while.

11 minutes, terrible for a Monday. But a good and clever puzzle. I suppose the Theme is clever, but it being a Monday I did not need to *use* a theme to help solve the puzzle, so it was lost to me. I knew OFL would explain it all here.

Antimidas 11:54 AM  

I think this was the fastest I have done a NYT puzzle with no help. 30 minutes flat. I actually got CZAR. TSAR never cam to mind. Perhaps I am archaic.

gifcan 11:57 AM  

Noticed some PINE CEDE in the lower corner.

Kevin M. 12:09 PM  

I solved this while waiting for a table for dinner, so my phone naturally brought some misspellings that were a pain to track down. But I really hope I'm not the only one to read '2002' as '2012' and immediately fill in EDGEOFTOMORROW, because that caused me all sorts of correction excitement.

archaeoprof 12:09 PM  

One writeover: OVERlord/OVERSEER.
Just the other day my xword class skyped with Andrea Carla Michaels, and when she described what makes a good Monday puzzle, she could have been talking about this one.
Thank you, Kathy Wienberg!

Rabi Abonour 12:26 PM  

Theme has been done to death, but the revealer is solid. Had the same issue with CZAR.

I admire the amount of work that clearly went into the fill here. Every single NYT should be this clean. Anything less, barring the constraint of an amazing theme, is just lazy. So bravo to the constructor for putting the work in.

Anoa Bob 1:25 PM  

Very nice puzzle with a few treats to quicken a word nerd's pulse, MAELSTROM being my favorite.

This is what it looks like when the letter S appears at around the same rate in the grid, about 7%, as it does in standard English text, about 6%. I think it gives a noticeable more-grain-less-chaff quality to the fill. I say AMEN to that.

One glitch for me, and judging from the comments so far, I may be the only one, was the Ñ in 11D NIÑO that gets changed to an N in 19A DANES. The N & Ñ are two different letters in Español. NIÑO means male child and NINO is a masculine nickname or an affectionate term for godfather (padrino). This indifference to the Ñ/N distinction usually shows up when AÑO (year) in one direction gets changed to ANO (anus) in the other. I guess we are supposed to, wink-wink, look the other way, and pretend it doesn't happen, as is the case with missing spaces between words or missing punctuation marks. YOUVEnoticedthisbeforehaventyou?

Teedmn 1:30 PM  

Congrats, Kathy Weinberg, on a great Monday debut. I thought the theme worked great with the revealer. Indicating an anagram with "in motion" would be totally fair in a Cryptic puzzle so I felt it meshed well. Loved seeing MAELSTROM; it's one of those words that Fantasy writers tend to use but you don't see it out much in the wild.

A bit of writeover ink at 46D because trying to solve fast on Mondays has me plunking down things faster than I can process the whole clue, so I put in POny up first, then POstED, as in bail, but POOLED flowed in from the revealer and I was able to maintain my CAN DO attitude!

MANO man, we have KNELL crossing KNOLL and I would OUST OUZO (not fond of anise flavoring). @Loren has already noted the HEART SHAPE crossing but I also appreciate the HEART EASEMENT. We have PINE CEDEs rather than PINE nuts to SAVOR. I may be the only person who doesn't dunk my OREOs in milk because I hate crumbs in my drinks, so I almost never eat OREOs because I agree with @Gill I that they just aren't that great. Give me Famous Amos any day.

Happy Monday folks, and stay warm if you're in my neck of the woods.

chefwen 2:51 PM  

Yeah @chefbea, it was a biggie this year and I was trying to ignore it, best I could, but no one else would let me, so I pulled out all the stops and embraced it. What kind of cake? I'm ready!

Leapfinger 3:32 PM  

Oh so TONI, whether debut or no!

Sweet theme revealed itself when MINORITY_REPORT was followed by a few letters that had to be PYROTECHNIC; promptly zipped to the reveal spot and entered POETRY_IN_MOTION, even though the MOTION was more of what could be called Brownian.

Non-theme fill had a lot of character and POETRY of its own, as noted by many. Unfortunately, EASEMENT isn't always as pleasant as it sounds, despite its CADENCE. MAELSTROM is very evocative, and definitely masquerades a Thurs-Monday kind of word. No surprise, it reminded me of one specific MAEL, STROM Thurmond, who served in the Senate for 48 years, even past his 100th birthday in 2003. Given his controversial history, in a sense that epitomizes the old adage that only the good die young.

Liked the polar opposition of THREW/ CANDO, and AESOP with a A_TALE about the KNOLL KNELL. The central HEART SHAPE seemed a little early for Valentine's Day, but I spose you can't ever have too much prep.

@NCA_Prez, I agree that people bite their NAILs, but only one at a time, so I give that a pass.

@GILL, if Beetle Bailey burnt his tongue on some hot soup, he might yell for "THARGE!", so you're vindicated in my lexicon.

I wonder what made so many of us put OVERLORD for OVERSEER; I know that no boss of mine was particularly Lordly. Maybe it was the AMEN OUZing down from 4D. Jack SPARROW was slow to come, since I don't consider him a real pirate like Blackbeard etal. I was also pleasantly reminded of the Little SPARROW (hi @Alias!), and her signature song "La Viand ROSY", about PEOPLE who like their biftek medium-rare.

@Ms Wienberg, a super Monday! Always nice to have another Kathy, and I wish YE MENI happy returns to these boards. Would love to see you go for the cycle.

As for the rest of y'all, check out @GeoBarany's link and see what the RENEGADE DANES CAN DO.

We all Have a Dream.

Anonymous 3:44 PM  

next up from anoa bob-a few words about the chevy nova and nova lox. bob, ffs, give it a rest.

as mentioned, the puzzle was awash in good clues and good vocal. a great debut to a promising career.

maybe rex can include a short bio so we can learn a little about new constructors.


gifcan 3:56 PM  

No such thing as a bad OREO. Or and ODOR STONE. Liked PAR PROOF PSST.

Really good puzzle, but then I tend to go with the crowd and am heavily influenced by you clever people.

Blue Stater 4:03 PM  

In which we see that not even Mondays are free from trickery. Sigh.

Bill L. 5:00 PM  

Terrific puzzle! Nicely done, Ms. Wienberg.

It seems like I’ve seen MANO in a lot of puzzles lately. Checked it out at xword info and it has appeared a bunch, clued either as someone’s hand, as the partial “Look ____ hands!”, or as “____ War”. Man o’ War, in case you were wondering, was 16-hands 2-inches according to Wikipedia.

I happened to solve a Thursday puzzle from the archive today that also had MANO in it. That one also shared STENO and the singular KENT with today’s puzzle. In the archive puzzle STENO was clued as “Gregg grad”, which I knew nothing about so I got steno from the crosses. I checked out Gregg post-solve and found out there is a Gregg Reference Manual, a style guide for stenos and typists. Does anyone know if there was (is) a Gregg School? All I found was the manual. Just curious.

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

I would pay for that magnet!

old timer 6:05 PM  

The hierarchy as IU knew it in any manufacturing or agricultural outfit:

Plant manager (or in a smaller outfit, VP for operations)
Supervisor (or "superintendent" where there was only one boss in charge of factory or project operations))

The foreman was in charge of his team, but also worked on the line or in the field as needed. The British term for "foreman" is "gaffer". In, for instance, a coal mine, the gaffer always went below with his crew; the super stayed topside. The super was an overseer, but in America, that term has a racial connotation: the overseer, always white, supervised the work of a plantation, while the lead workers on a large plantation were always black -- and took the job because, chances are, the master would be paying them some money in addition to room and board, money that could someday be used to buy a slave's freedom. So in Northern outfits, "overseer" was a term that fell out of favor.

A Foreman, North or South, cannot hire or fire, though his advice might often be heeded. A Superintendent can hire or fire, and in the old South, a Superintendent had the power to whip or flog recalcitrant workers.

Aketi 6:31 PM  

I HEART this puzzle.

Z 7:37 PM  

@Anoa Bob - Seriously? Or are you doing a little leg pulling? Diacritics are exclusively used in English for words borrowed from other languages, and even then not consistently. When I see "facade" I don't think to myself "should be 'façade.'" When I read "Angelina Jolie is tres jolie" I don't demand the correct "très jolie." The first hissy fit over "ano ain't año" was amusing. Now it just seems excessively pedantic. Sure, if I'm writing for a Spanish speaking audience (i.e. all my cousins on my mother's side) I'm going to use the correct diacritical marks. For a xword puzzle, though, it just doesn't matter. /pedantry

Mohair Sam 7:39 PM  

Another delightful Monday puzzle. Loved the theme. And how about MAELSTROM, CADENCE, and PYROTECHNIC on the first day of the week?

MINORITY REPORT a favorite flick in this house. Big day for the silent K with KNOLL crossing KNELL. Nearly naticked with an "s" at OUZO and RAZED but Mrs. M. saved the day.

Loved OFL's fridge magnet. Gave us a good laugh over dinner after a particularly long day - much appreciated Rex.

Terrific debut puzzle Kathy Wienberg, congrats!

Pete 8:46 PM  

@Blue Stater - Genuine curiosity - what trickery?

Leapfinger 10:08 PM  

@Wednesday's Child, @Teedmn, it was nice surprise to find those PINE CEDES, wasn't it? I checked online, and those little pignoli go for somewhere from $20-100 a pound, depending on the source and the package size, so this is quite a perk. Download the puz-file a few more times, and pretty soon there'll be enough for a pretty respectable pesto! Good to boost the basil metabolism, too.

SEAMY after class.

Had another memory jog from SPARROW. About (eek) 40 years ago, a friend and I drove into NYC from N Haven to see the Mighty SPARROW, King of Calypso, perform at the Madison Square Gardens. When the lights went down, I could see at most a dozen scattered white faces gleaming palely in the darkened arena. There was no threat or hint of animosity throughout that great show, but that sudden feeling of being so palpably in the minority seems in a very small way a suitable memory for today.

SAVOR fare and ADIEU for now.

Megan Sayre 10:28 PM  

Wonderful debut Kathy! Looking forward to seeing more from you.

Elephant's Child 10:50 PM  

@Anonymouse[3:44p.m.] aka zippy

Perhaps Rex has enough to do and doesn't need to take away from what time he can muster to moderate the furshluginer comments.

If you want some background on the constructors, you can always tippy-toe over to WordPlay (link provided on Rex's page) or to xwordinfo.

You call is important to us and we appreciate your interest.

Nancy 11:10 PM  

@Anoa Bob and @Z. We should put the correct accent marks above foreign words? Where on earth would you find them? I'm not even able to ITALICIZE on my keyboard, which is why I use FULL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS on this blog -- which I never needed to do when I used an old-fashioned typewriter and was able to underline for emphasis. I also don't seem to have a degree sign and have to type out: It's 20 degrees in NY right now. So I'm always a bit GOBSMACKED when someone here produces an accent grave in French or the squiggly line over El Nino. Are these signs on your keyboard, or do you have to go to some sort of drop down menu -- which I CERTAINLY couldn't be bothered to do. Just wonderin'.

Tim Pierce 8:40 AM  

I'm probably alone in this, but what the hell, I'll say it anyway: the clue for 38D ("Counterpart of his") is not a Monday clue. HIS is so strongly linked to HERS, especially in crosswords, that I actually thought the answer could not be HER and that they were looking for something else. "Counterpart of him" would be a fine Monday clue; this was a Wednesday or Thursday clue.

The Grand Inquisitor 10:38 AM  

@Nancy - Most of your questions regarding accents etc are answered in Tuesday's comments, though probably in a way that you will not care to follow.

But you can save a few keystrokes reporting the temperature by using Option/shift/8, all at the same time, for degree: it is about 17° in NYC this morning.

Also, just below the box in which we type is the key to italics and bold: Open with the characters shown to open bold or italics and close with the same characters, but with a / between the opening caret and the letter.

spacecraft 11:05 AM  

Remarkable. In a 74-worder, only five entries need capitalization (the Cruise film, as such, would be, but the two-word phrase per se does not require caps). What else? Oh gee, the partial ATALE, and the unfortunate--but at least accepted for use--PSST. I'm certain Ms. Weinberg, a budding PB1 if I've ever seen one, tried mightily to get rid of that one. But the rest? As OFL says, "scrubbed clean." We're talking Brillo!

The reveal line could have been clued "19 [okay, this timeline flunker asks you to fill in the appropriate year]xx Johnny Tillotson hit, or...etc." I think it was eighty-something. Nice, simple song. Goes along with this nice, simple offering. KW, you've set your own bar pretty high; hope you can keep up with yourself. All the above glitches serve only to take the plus off the A.

Burma Shave 11:57 AM  


and in HER HEART she had a SEAMY notion.
Just go OVER,SEER SHAPE as she walks away,


BS2 1:11 PM  


only a MINORITYREPORTed how he ruled.

this stream of unconsciousness is a result of PYROTECHNIC OUZO

rain forest 1:19 PM  

Very good Monday puzzle, especially for a debut. I think that's two Mondays in a row for excellent puzzling.

The fridge magnet cartoon is spot on.

Good on ya, Ms Wienberg.

leftcoastTAM 2:34 PM  

More than middling Monday.

Nice theme and execution.

What would we do without good old AESOP,a CZAR aka tsar, an AGA, and a HOBO, et alia?

rondo 2:38 PM  

Let’s PARTYPEOPLE! Break out the OUZO you RENEGADES (had the RENE and was hoping for yeah baby Ms. Russo again). What a slick puz.

There was a time when rights-of-way, such as for ROADS, were obtained by EASEMENT. These days they are purchased fee simple and are their own platted piece(s) of property. Some EASEMENTs, such as for grading backslopes, are temporary and the duration lasts only as long as construction. Other EASEMENTs, usually in urban or suburban areas, such as for drainage or utilities, are permanent, but are not rights-of-way. Just sayin’.

@Cathy – it’s (up)right there in the HEART of this puz. Still have my HEART on for you.

TONI Tennile gets yeah baby status by default. For back in the day. Prefer Sharon STONE.

NINO Niederreiter scored an outdoor goal for the MN Wild yesterday.

POETRYINMOTION for a debut puz. SAVOR it.

Diana,LIW 4:11 PM  

This puzzle was POETRYINMOTION. Which brought a smile when it reminded me of a cartoon card with a dancing chicken, Poultry in Motion. Little things like that amuse me.

Easy, yes, but smooth as silk. I'm glad I'm not into "speed solving" so I could SAVOR the language loveliness.

Hand up for doing the tsAR thing.

Hand up for knowing StenoScript, a form of steno that's half alpha and half symbol. A bit like texting. I took Gregg shorthand one year in HS, but didn't get good enuf to remember it. Then, after college, I went to an 8-week course called "Entrée" (yes, there's an accent in there somewhere) at Katharine Gibbs in NYC. K Gibbs was kind of a finishing school for secretaries/admin assts. This 8-week course was for college grads only - the only time I've had to show my diploma to get into anything. All we did, was typing, StenoScript, and Business English, all day long. Oh, on Fridays we had a guest speaker and learned interview skills. That day we had to dress for an interview - that meant no pants. You'd get sent home to change if you did. (At least we didn't have to wear a hat and gloves, which K Gibbs used to be famous for.)

I've used those three skills every day of my life since then. Ended up teaching grammar, among other things. StenoScript got me thru grad school, and it comes in handy daily for taking notes on the phone, jotting down something to remember, etc. And typing - hey, look, I'm doing that right now!

The Gibbs school I went to was in the (then) Pan Am Building, attached at the lower hip to Grand Central Station, where I'd go for lunch.

Now, on to OREOs. In the store the other day I noticed there were about 157 different types of OREOs. Double flavors, odd flavors, thin ones, fat ones, chocolate covered ones. Apparently this has been going on for some years now. Why didn't you guys tell me? I wonder when we'll see clues based on the new flavors.


DIANA, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 8:40 PM  

Eerie (next to Erie, most used xwrd answr)

I did not put the accent on Entrée. (Nancy was wondering how to get those little extras in our posts.)

Ahh, I see the program automatically does so. For Entrée.

Never mind...


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