Blue creature of old Saturday morning TV / MON 2-8-16 / 1962 007 villain

Monday, February 8, 2016

Constructor: Paolo Pasco

Relative difficulty: Normal, probably

THEME: IT COUPLES (61: Tabloid twosomes ... or a hint to the answers to the starred clues)— theme answers have a couple of "IT"s each:

Theme answers:
  • ITSY BITSY (17A: *Like a nursery rhyme spider)
  • NITTY GRITTY (11D: *Basics, informally)
  • SWIMSUIT EDITION (39A: *Big seller for Sports Illustrated)
  • CAPITAL CITY (26D: *Place often marked with a star on 24-Down [i.e. MAPS])
Word of the Day: ATP (22D: Org. for Nadal and Federer)
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was formed in September 1972 by Donald Dell, Bob Briner, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Drysdale became the first President. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the organization's name. In 1990 the organization was called the ATP Tour, which was renamed in 2001 as just ATP and the tour being called ATP Tour. In 2009 the name was changed again and is now known as the ATP World Tour. It is an evolution of the tour competitions previously known as Grand Prix tennis tournaments and World Championship Tennis (WCT). // The ATP's global headquarters are in London, United Kingdom. ATP Americas is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, United States; ATP Europe is headquartered in Monaco; and ATP International, which covers Africa, Asia and Australasia, is based in Sydney, Australia. // The counterpart organization in the women's professional game is the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). (wikipedia)
• • •

My time was ridiculous on this—Wednesdayish—but that's because I had a typo that led to a cross I could Not get, namely 22D AT- / 32A -RIT (should've been -RIG). I had no idea what the tennis org. was, and the only answers I was considering were ATA and ATF. If that final letter had been inferrable, I'd've caught my typo much quicker. Gah. I often make typos on early-week puzzles, because my fingers are awful clumsy on the keyboard, but those typos rarely lead to my getting (fake-) Naticked. While the fault is entirely mine, I don't understand putting ATP in this puzzle. It's not a well known initialism, not like NFL or MLB or NHL or NBA, so while it's definitely valid, it's not something I'd use unless I *had* to (i.e. it's not, uh, good). And here, you don't  have to. LOB / OTT is better. Even LIB / ITT is better, frankly. It is true that PRIG beats TRIG for, let's say, color, but ATP is sub-desirable, for sure, and since it's easily eradicated, it should've been. Still, I must concede, I'm probably not pointing out this minor infelicity if I don't typo my way into a mess there.  Maybe OTT would've been seen as too close to OTTO, and ITT to ITSY BITSY (?). It's possible.

The theme! It's pretty OK. I had to look up to see if people still use the term "IT COUPLE(S)," and it looks like they do. Mildly impressive there are zero "IT"s outside the theme answers. The fill was clean and lively for a Monday. I especially approve of GOLFCLAP, as I was the first person ever to put that answer in one of his puzzles.* And in *exactly* the same position in the grid, too. Thanks for the homage, Paolo.

 [LAT, Jan. 19, 2011]

I should also point out the impressive arrangement of themers, with that central SWIMSUIT EDITION cutting right through the two long Downs. Always tricky to run long themers through one another. I also wanna give a shout-out to SNICKERS, which was the name of my childhood cat, as well as the name of the candy bar that my wife and I *demolished* in Wegmans today. I mean, I grabbed it at the register, total impulse buy, then the cashier asked if I wanted to "hold it" and I was like, "Do I!" Then I tore it open and bit and handed it to Sandy and she bit and that thing was gone before we hit the exit doors. It really satisfied us. Thanks, SNICKERS.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*Someone in comments claims that GOLFCLAP was in a Jonesin' crossword from 2004. Not in any database I use / have seen, but it's entirely possible. Also, "my" LAT puzzle from 2011 (pictured above) was actually *co*-constructed with Angela Olson Halsted.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:15 AM  

Everyone calls it the swimsuit ISSUE, not edition, but minor quibble. 15-20 seconds slower than Monday average, so I guess that's good. I knew ATP, but only because I'm a tennis DORK.

Diana,LIW 12:25 AM  

Calling all commenters - an OPEN HOUSE invitation from SyndieLand.

Sorry if you've already RSVP'd in your mind, but wanted to be sure you knew of our very own Burma Shave's accomplishment of writing a poem about the crossword for one full year, every day. I, for one, am impressed.

BS's poems are silly and (often) a bit off the wall, errrr, blueish, but always fun.

So Tuesday, Feb. 9 where you live in the future (we're still in January in syndication) we're having a party for BS. Bring a poem, your favorite snack (Nova Lox anyone?), libation (Asti, of course, is always welcome, as is tea) and just a shout out to a special poster who travels the road after you are 5 weeks gone.

Special bonus - it's Fat Tuesday. Laisez les bon temps rouler!

Directions to Syndieland - go to the top of your screen. See the Syndicated Puzzle button? Yes? Click there, and you'll get a blast from the past.

Yo Tita, you can get a ride in the deLorean. I'll wait...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 12:25 AM  

"Swimsuit edition" 511k results
"Swimsuit issue" 4,611k results.

Of course, why I'm worried about this after just having watch commercials with people kissing wild animals in that way is beyond me.

Da Bears 12:29 AM  

This puzzle and Rex's comment reminds me of Bernie Sanders’ campaign and the Super Bowl. It’ all rigged and let’s do away with everything.

kozmikvoid 12:36 AM  

Really? ATP? Weird thing to complain about. It's, you know, of the most popular sports in the world? That's the name of the association that ranks all those guys you see play. It's pretty well-known to, I don't know, half the world population maybe...

George Barany 12:42 AM  

I read @Rex's discussion of ATP with interest -- even to someone with passing familiarity of the men's professional tennis tour, isn't adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule that serves as the energy currency of life, naturally crossword-worthy any day of the week? @Paolo Pasco's puzzle already has LAB and CATALYST running through ATP, so why not complete the trifecta of scientifically relevant allusions?

Just a few more things: Nice coupling of palindromic AVA and OTTO, but poor EVE must be feeling left out. I've never heard OJ the breakfast stable pluralized with an S, so maybe "Simpson and Anderson" might have been more current. OJ Anderson was a running back for the New York Giants, and MVP of Super Bowl XXV--and as such, was part of the Joe Namath-led parade of past MVP's just before the start of Super Bowl L. On the other hand, OJ Simpson never played in a Super Bowl, but we are reminded of him again in the riveting TV series "The People v. OJ Simpson" that just started this week.

Also, kudos to @Paolo for anchoring part of the puzzle with a quote from the great Vince LOMBARDI, who coached the Green Bay Packers to victories in Super Bowls I and II. The puzzle did not include Peyton's brother ELI, a crossword staple who is himself a two-time Super Bowl MVP (XLII and XLVI) but it does anticipate what's just on the horizon now that football is done and baseball spring training is yet to start: the Sports Illustrated SWIMSUIT_EDITION!

jae 12:55 AM  

Medium-tough for me but I'm still a tad under the weather. Plus, this was so good I actually slowed down to enjoy it.

Excellent Mon.!!

Unknown 1:26 AM  

The revealer usually just confirms a pattern that I had already deduced. It's always a treat when the revealer actually reveals the pattern. This happened to me today. I solved three of the theme answers (ITSY BITSY, SWIMSUIT EDITION, and CAPITAL CITY), but it took solving IT COUPLES (a nice answer on its own) to flip on the light bulb.

I'm no fan of the Sports Illustrated SWIMSUIT EDITION. (Goodness knows there's enough objectifying of the female body elsewhere, but there's something especially grating about the "swimsuit" pretense.) However, the answer sure worked well in this grid: not only is it 15 letters, but it's the theme answer that best disguised its ITs,

Only minor complaint is that ITSY BITSY and NITTY GRITTY strike me as rather similar. NITTY GRITTY is necessary for it's cross with SWIMSUIT EDITION. Perhaps SWITCH HIT instead of ITSY BITSY?

Enjoyed the fill. DORKS next to SNOOT amused me. I MISS YOU, GOLF CLAP, and SNICKERS were fun. Nice cross-reference between MAPS and CAPITAL CITY.

Good timing on LOMBARDI, and I always enjoy a clue with a good quote (Coach who said, "The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work"). I also enjoyed the clues for PETER (Name repeated before "pumpkin eater"), HOOD (Part of the Grim Reaper's getup), ALEX ("I'd like 'The New York Times Crossword' for $200, ___"), BLOT (Rorschach test element), AMISH (Barn-raising group), and TOO (When repeated, pretentious).

Whenever I hear CATALYST, I think of T.S. Eliot's wonderful analogy in "Tradition and the Individual Talent": "The analogy was that of the CATALYST. When the two gases previously mentioned [oxygen and sulphur dioxide] are mixed in the presence of a filament of platinum, they form sulphurous acid. This combination takes place only if the platinum is present; nevertheless the newly formed acid contains no trace of platinum, and the platinum itself is apparently unaffected; has remained inert, neutral, and unchanged. The mind of the poet is this shred of platinum."

My sister watched Buffy the Vampire SLAYER when it was on TV, and, for a long time, I just assumed that it was as cheesy and terrible as it's title. Boy, was I wrong!

Sarah 1:56 AM  

No, you weren't the first person to use GOLFCLAP. It was used back in a 2004 Jonesin' puzzle.

chefwen 3:29 AM  

That was a fun, little Monday puzzle. At first I thought it was going to be all cutesy wootsy after filling in ITSY BITSY and NITTY GRITTY, then I ran into the other ITs. Phew, thank you for sparing us. Liked seeing my Packer hero Vince LOMBARDI. I'll pas on the SNICKERS and opt for a Heath Bar or Butterfinger, now I must have a piece of chocolate, right NOW!

Only one write over, DORKS over neRdS.

Finally finished the Sunday puzzle while watching that less than scintillating Super Bowl game, I didn't think it was so bad, actually kind of liked it. The real slog came when I started reading all the negative comments, some bordering on violent. WOW!

ZenMonkey 4:30 AM  

Rather fun after a painful Sunday's.

Loren Muse Smith 4:33 AM  

Perfect reveal. Just my cup of tea. My first two themers were ITSY BITSY and NITTY GRITTY, so, I was thinking they'd all be rhymers and counted to see if "hither and thither" would fit at 39A. It doesn't. Still almost felt like a bait and switch.

Liked the nitwit DORKS mixing it up with the hoity-toity PRIG and SNOOT. And also the ASPCA with DOES GOOD.

Had "Nan," then "Eve" before AVA. And, yeah, New Year's EVE was my first entry. Sheesh.

Rex – I hadn't seen your puzzle and hence didn't know GOLF CLAP, but what a great phrase. Wonder if there's such a thing as a GOLF GASP.

@Chaos from yesterday – about that dog - Come here, Dammit! Sit, Dammit! Nuff said, right?

About Wordplay - Deb Amlen is funny, insightful, intelligent, and down-to-earth. And kind. The commenters at Wordplay are erudite and clever. Great bunch. My single issue is that Wordplay has to adhere to the format of all the NYT blog forums, and it's much too cumbersome and time-consuming to dig out just where any new comments show up, since people reply under other existing comments. What's more, it took way longer to access the comments when I had only my phone. So I found that participating there was taking more time than just waiting until Rex approved the next slew of comments and reading them en masse. My experience did show me that, just like we have plenty of people here who aren't consistently negative, there are plenty of people over there who voice their dislike, but - I have to add - said dislike is expressed more amiably. All generalizations are false and all that, right?

Spot-on Monday fare. Thanks, Paolo, and congrats, Broncos – great D. I'll lick my wounds and focus on ACC basketball now.

Anonymous 5:24 AM  

I'm personally more familiar with the slow clap as a sarcastic expression. Wow! what's with the English? "Minor infelicity". "In one of his puzzles." Tasty puzzle and blog.

TrudyJ65 5:37 AM  

GOLF CLAP was entirely responsible for me turning on the hints on a Monday for the first time ever. Seriously, what? Never heard that phrase in my life. I assumed the hint must refer to the thing I know as a slow clap, but with the rest of the letters in place I could only think, "Is WOLF CLAP a thing? Like a wolf whistle maybe?" No clue, and I couldn't grasp GASPS from the Down clue so no help there.

GILL I. 5:52 AM  

Now look at that...We have ELSA, AVA, TYRA and KIM showing off their ITSY BITSY bikinis in the SWIM SUIT EDITION. Makes the MAJA desnuda look a bit like a PRIG.
My favorite IT COUPLES is/was Julia Child and her husband Paul and watching them lovingly make Boeuf Bourguignon. It DOES a body GOOD.
DORKS and SNOOT is my favorite law firm and my chiropractor is on LOMBARDI street.
Fun Monday...Now I shall look up GOLF CLAP. Isn't CLAP that thing you get when you have LOL SEX NOIR?

Lewis 6:18 AM  

A Monday with bit of grit -- my favorite kind. GOLFCLAP is a terrific answer, and there is a MAPS out and HOOD down. And I very much like the rhyming long down couplet: NITTYGRITTY/CAPITALCITY. Great start to the week!

Hungry Mother 7:35 AM  

Easy enough, not interesting.

Dorothy Biggs 8:28 AM  

This puzzle went fast for me...not best time fast...but fast, nonetheless. No real hangups and the theme/revealer was really a non-issue until after all was completed. I agree with Martín Abresch and others who thought ITSYBITSY and NITTYGRITTY, because they rhymed, were similar. But, since I wasn't looking at themers per se, it didn't matter in the solve. But those two themers do appear to be misleading...perhaps intentionally? And again to Martín Abresch's suggestion of "Switch Hit," I agree that would have been more in line. But I'm just a solver...not a maker.

As for the LOMBARDI trophy game last night, defense indeed wins championships. I had no dog in the hunt, but hats off to the Broncos' D...forcing turnovers is not an easy thing to do, and taking the ball away so many times almost guarantees a win. That said, the Cotchery "incompletion" was a black-eye on the officiating. It. Was. A. Catch. And it probably had an affect on the outcome of the game to some extent. It certainly set up the Broncos' first TD...which was, well, Carolina's fault. So there's that.

As with so many post Super Bowl Mondays, I'm glad that's over for a while. The NFL has become too TOO.

RooMonster 8:31 AM  

Hey All !
Zippy MonPuz. Although 62D has me flummoxed. TOO TOO as pretentious? Isn't it FOO FOO, or something along those lines? Seems to be a long way to go for TOO. Clue could've simply been "And". Weird.

Anyway, fill good, much better than yesterday. :-)
OKS, I like OJS. But not with SNICKERS. NOT ME. Call me a PRIG if you must. The IDEA LANDS like a SMURF GOLF CLAP. DR, NO IDEA about EGOS, so LIE TO me. TMI?

The preceding jibberish didn't SLAYER me!


k 9:34 AM  

I had "DAYTRIP" in rather than CARTRIP and sat there for a good while trying to figure out what a DATALYST was. Then it hit me. "Ooooooooooooh" I went, and fixed the D, but had absolutely no clue what a CAYTRIP was but I figured it was something I from an older generation. And then that hit me too. If you couldn't tell, I'm new to these things.

jberg 9:36 AM  

Magazines have issues. Each one has content that is different from the one before. Books have EDITIONs, each of which has much of the same content as the one before, with some additions and/or revisions. SWIMSUIT EDITION would be what we would have if, say Penthouse -- or perhaps the more crossworthy MAXIM -- published an issue with a lot of nude pictures, then published another version where they were all clad in their bathing costumes.

But, hey, we all got it, and a central 13 would not have made the grid look so nice.

@George Barany has already made my point about ATP, so that's all from me!

John V 9:37 AM  

I will admit that I, and at least one other Westport tourney solver who I will leave unnamed, thought that the revealer ITCOUPLES meant IT=Information Technology, producing an WTF moment.

Note to self: get a life.

Z 9:53 AM  

10 minutes, which is a Wednesday time here, so played tough. One self induced Brain Fart, writing in goJA where MAJA belonged, a real Cronus moment. PRIG is a fine insult word, the kind of person who often receives the GOLF CLAP. A fine solve with minimal dreck.

@kozmikvoid - I don't know about half the planet, but otherwise what you said.

@GB - Uh... No. Exactly how would one clue Adenosine TriPhosphate to be Monday appropriate? Maybe late week, but not on a Monday.

@LMS - I follow Deb A. on Twitter and everything you say about her is true. I read Wordplay only rarely and there is something mildly off-putting about the comments. I wouldn't even venture to describe what without more thought, but that is always the feeling I get the rare times I visit. Still, you are correct, people seem able to express negative views, they just have to do it in a way to get past the moderators. Rex is far more laissez-faire.

Sir Hillary 10:00 AM  

Enjoyed the Super Bowl outcome. Enjoyed this puzzle. The unpleasantness of yesterday's puzzle is now a distant memory.

Unknown 10:05 AM  

Cool! A puzzle by Pablo Picasso!!…(puts glasses on)…Oops, that’s Paolo Pasco. Well, it could have been the former. this seeming like an offbeat kaleidoscope of clues and answers akin to Pablo's colors and shapes.

As with what are, IMHO, good puzzles, not much fun in the word juxtaposition department. There are a few of interest:

Like many, I watched OJ’S CAR TRIP, TOO.


RAT AVOWS OCTET. ‘Bout time he fessed up.

Plus an unusual across/down combo:

How about that ARIA IDEA? TMI: NOIR SEX.

Digressive rant:

About GOLF CLAP. The Urban Dictionary compares it (as clued) to “the quiet clapping sound heard on televised golf tournament coverage. Due to the distance between the microphone and the crowd, the golf clap sounds like a nearby crowd of people clapping at minimal volume.”

Oh really. Maybe for days long gone by. And just how many golf tournaments have you watched on TV lately or even 20 or more years ago? It sounds more like “the crowd” are spectators at a football game!

Also, THE microphone? --- The executive producer for CBS’s golf broadcasts for 37 years (’59 to ’96) wrote ‘the book’ on how to produce golf for TV. Among other things, he “ensured as many microphones as possible were placed around the golf course to pick up the sounds of the tournament and golfers' conversations.” (Wiki) Those “sounds of the tournament” included picking up those crowd reactions one hears so very clearly: loud clapping and cheering, as well as some guy(s) ALWAYS >screaming< “IN THE HOLE!!!!*” or “YOU DA MAN!!!!”

* This is yelled even for a golfer hitting a tee shot on, say, a par 4 hole where reaching “the hole” is well-nigh impossible. I don’t get it either. A strange golf yell someone infamously initiated is “Mashed potatoes!” This makes as much sense as yelling “Free Bird!” at a rock concert where Lynyrd Skynyrd is nowhere to be seen.

There is also this aspect accruing from the intentional “airing” of the crowd reactions and texting: ”Did you hear me yell ‘mashed potatoes” on the 14th?”

Ah yes. We’ve had “The Stone Age,“ “The Bronze AGE,” and are now up to “The ME Age.” Technology, for better and [sic] worse, has given most everyone a voice that can be heard around the world…instantly, just like that guy on the 14th. This is drawing the world together and fracturing it at the same time on both micro and MACRO levels.

There’s little that’s very ‘special’ about having “15 minutes of fame” these days, it’s more like 15 seconds.

“Everybody's doing a brand-new dance, now. Come on baby, do the Techno-commotion,” i.e.: ”I’m da man!” (if only for a moment).

/digressive rant


Carola 10:18 AM  

The Platonic Form of a Monday puzzle, I thought. Easy, but interesting all the way, with a nicely hidden theme, solid theme answers, many other fun-to-write-in entries, and some clever clues.

GOLF CLAP was new to me; I liked the cross with SNICKERS, as another possible way of indicating disdain.

The NITTY GRITTY happens to be the name of a restaurant-bar - a campus institution - in Wisconsin's CAPITAL CITY. Nice parallel placement on the part of the constructor :)

Nancy 10:19 AM  

A quite cute "after the fact" theme. I solved without paying any attention, then looked at the starred clues and answers and said: "Oh, how cute."

But will someone please tell me what on earth a GOLF CLAP is? I often applaud, and I sometimes play golf (badly, but that's another story), and I can't possibly imagine how to combine the two into one sarcastic gesture. I couldn't come up with such a gesture if I had the rest of the week to think about it.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:21 AM  

Rex quite properly reviews puzzles without reference to the personal profiles of the constructor, but since no one else seems to have mentioned it, I would point out that at Westport Will Shortz told us that Paolo Pasco is fifteen years old.

Andrew Heinegg 10:23 AM  

This was a fun, fast and entertaining little Monday jaunt. I was surprised, to say the least, at the SB outcome. But, I was also pleased for Peyton Manning. Watching Cam Newton sulk his way through the post game press conference, I was reminded of what Rodney Harrison, the ex safety and now NBC announcer said on Seattle sports talk radio. He said that, if he had a son playing football and the son did one of Mr. Newton's showboating acts after a good play, he would take him aside and tell him if he ever did that again, he would not be playing football anymore. You have a boatload of talent and you are a smart guy Mr. Newton but, you have some maturing to do.

chefbea 10:34 AM  

Did not get the theme. Never heard of it couples. Also never heard of a golf clap. and what id TMI???
Guess I'll go now and use the oven...or clean it from all the use yesterday.

fiddleneck 10:36 AM  

What is macros? Why does it make a typist's life easier? How is it a timesaver?

old timer 10:59 AM  

I had a Wednesdayish time too. GOLF CLAP? Never heard of it. Nor the SWIMSUIT EDITION (rather than "issue"). CARTRIP = Green Paint IMHO and DOESGOOD is not much better.

The theme was very good, though. Except Mr. Pasco should have had a clue that read, "the real San Francisco treat", which, as everyone knows, is an Its It. A round ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate, available at a gas station or convenience store near you, at least if you live in Northern California.

Doug Garr 11:22 AM  

I think the ATP was legit as it didn't slow me down any, and I'd heard of it before. But on the other hand I'd never heard the expression, GOLFCLAP until today. Oh well. And I never played tennis (though I watch the majors) and I did play golf for years before I sold my clubs at a yard sale and took up skydiving again. Let me tell you, folks, my stress level has gone way down.

xyz 11:36 AM  

53 years playing golf, never heard GOLFCLAP. The fill struggled on this puzzle, a few awkward areas but a better than usual Monday quality wise

Tita 11:39 AM  

So nice, I solved it twice.
I blame Paolo for not winning Westport. There were so many smile-inducing entries in this, our first puzzle, that made me stop for a nano-second and smile... That cost me precious time... (!!)
During my first trip to Ireland, I delighted in seeing the many varieties of STILEs, cleverly crafted to SE with cloven hooves.

Thanks Mr. Pasco. Btw, Will spoke very highly of you when he introduced this puzzle.

Banya 11:44 AM  

Bravo for the use of SLAYER, one of the best shows ever.

Easy puzzle, but fun and light. I got hung up on ATP/PRIG as well but the rest was breezy. Great Monday.

Gene 11:49 AM  

Absolutely ridiculous complaint by Rex about ATP. There are millions of things familiar to some people and not to others. Extremely poor form to pick one and complain.

RooMonster 12:02 PM  

Hopefully not gonna make y'all mad (at me or in general), but it amazes me how almost no one's heard of GOLF CLAP. It's a sarcastic clap done by you, or others, depending on who does what, when you do something either average that you're proud of, or something bone headed. It's been in movies, and TV, I believe. I thought everyone knew about it! But, apparently not.

Anyway, you put your left hand out, palm up, flat (parallel to the ground), take your other hands fingers, and lightly clap them in your palm. Often with a SNOOTy look on your face. Priceless when broken out at the correct time!

Now ya know!


Z 12:07 PM  

A GOLF CLAP is that quiet, fingers on palm, slight sneer on face, clapping one does when one is being sarcastic.

@fiddleneck - On a computer you can often program keyboard shortcuts, called MACROS, so that a simple ctrl/option/letter fills in repetitive text. For example, if you were writing a research paper and didn't want to type out Adenosine TriPhosphate over and over you might program your keyboard.

@Andrew Heinegg - No one likes a sore loser. At the same time, no one ever seems to complain about Aaron Rodgers' show boating. Rather, he gets an ad campaign out of it. What is the difference?

puzzle hoarder 12:09 PM  

This was a very enjoyable Monday l got the first themer by the usual filling in from the NW. From 18D I just took off and zig zagged from one answer to the next without stopping all the way to the SE just to do it. Sometimes I look for ways to make easy puzzles more entertaining. It's not that there's anything dull about the puzzle it's just easy enough to play with.
I thought the reveal concerned two tech specialists. I had COUPLES and couldn't imagine what those first two letters could be. I filled in with the crosses and never looked back until I checked over the grid. That's when I did the goofy reading. That shows how much attention I paid the theme.
I haven't checked to see if my rather late comment was posted yesterday. I enjoyed that puzzle too. Where the the difference in fill was between the two puzzles that should cause such contrasting reactions is beyond me.

AliasZ 12:29 PM  

In my world, Sports Illustrated has a swimsuit issue, not edition. Otherwise a very enjoyable Monday puzzle by the Pablo Picasso of crossworld.

Chaos344 12:59 PM  

Average Monday, Average Monday time. Good puzzle to start the week. Favorite answers: 61A ending with 65D.



@Da Bears: LMAO! Next year in the reign of LomBernie, the Lombardi Trophy will be melted down. The proceeds will be evenly redistributed among the 30 teams who failed to reach the SuperBowl. After all, they did participate, right? BTW, good call on the MVP.

@LMS: Re: the dog, gotcha! Face palm! I know a fantastic poem about dogs. You'd love it. I'd post it here, but I'd have to include a "Trigger Warning."

Re:Wordplay. Fair enough! I agree with everything you said up to a point, especially the explanation of why you prefer to post here. Having said that, I still have certain issues with that blog in general and the NYT in particular. However, this is not the correct forum to discuss them. BTW, you just managed to hold on to my Laugh Of The Day award. I knew Leapy would make a strong stretch run at you, but you held her off by a nose at the wire. Anything else new on your DISH IT LIST? ;-)

Re: Golf Gasp. Yes indeed there is such a thing! It's that chorus of almost inaudible exhalation emanating from the gallery, when the leader misses a four foot putt on the eighteenth hole sending the match into a playoff.

@Martín Abresch: Couldn't agree with you more Martin. SWIMSUIT EDITION does an excellent job of disguising the ITS in the puzzle. Then again, Sports Illustrated has always done and excellent job of disguising ITS. Sometimes they tease you with a little side IT, and sometimes they tease you with sandy ITS or transparent Bikini top ITS, but you never see full frontal ITS. The trend must be catching on in the magazine industry, because now even Playboy has adopted the no bare ITS policy. That must make you very happy, no?

Rabi Abonour 1:02 PM  

Fine Monday. I will say that I didn't love the theme because, like other solvers, got ITSY BITSY and NITTY GRITTY first and expected everything to rhyme. Have one themer rhyme is fine, but having half the themers rhyme feels weird to me.

Teedmn 1:03 PM  

IT's a theme, literally. Very fun, I thought, with the surprise that SWIMSUIT EDITION delivered when it didn't rhyme like 17A and 11D did. I got to look up the Goya painting afterwards as that was an unknown to me. And my original CAPIToL needed fixing along with GOLF CLub (what is "sarcastic" about a GOLF CLub? Oh, I get it).

Slightly slower than my usual Monday time, not sure why. Was wondering what a CART RIb was for a bit until my sarcastic CLub straightened itself out. No EGO bruising DNF today.

Thanks Paolo Pasco, for an enjoyable follow up to your debut last year.

r.alphbunker 1:13 PM  

Like others I got complacent about knowing the theme once ITSY BITSY and NITTY GRITTY were in place.

First appearance of ATP in a NYT puzzle was in a Maleska puzzle in 1986. It was clued as
{Muscle-energy source}


Masked and Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Nice theme! Great fill! DERN good rodeo, Paolo.

@muse: Deb Amlen is a real sweetie. She once sent m&e a mighty neighborly e-mail, which included an invite to visit the ACPT. I used to look at Wordplay comments, but now they kinda freeze up, on my old computer. Am now wonderin if I come across as a "negative" comment gallery member, here? Think not, but can't be "positive". I usually shoot more for "unintelligible".

fave moo-cow MonPuz eazy-e clue: {New Year's ___} = EVE. Well, OK … I guess it could be = DAY.
fave weeject: ATP. Missed opportunity clue: {Atop of the muntain??} Too hard for a moo-cow puz? Thought so.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

**gruntz** link undergoin repairs.

Chronic dnfer 1:46 PM  

In couple gave me noo so a dnf. Wrote in macros but don't know why. Guessed at blot and Elsa. Harder than usual Monday but fair. Second Monday dnf in a row. Embarrassing!

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

@fiddlenect - macros, in a nutshell, are a series of commands grouped together as one function. For example, suppose you're a typist where the formatting required of you is, at the end of every paragraph, to triple space to start a new paragraph, change the font for the first letter of the new paragraph, type the letter, then resume the original font. What you can do is to create a macro (all word processing programs have record macro functions which encapsulate the return, return, return, select start of a paragraph font) and let you store the macro you just defined as, say, F11. That way at the end of each paragraph you only have to press the F11 key rather than go through the whole rigamarole. You would likely also program the "return to original font" as another macro.

aging soprano 3:56 PM  

I enjoyed @Chuck McGregor's description of TV golf, since I never watch golf but am right up to date with the ATP. Whatcha know is all a matter of whatcha watch. I had sOLe CLAP at first and needed to dig up SMURF of distant memory, and GASPS in order come up with GOLFCLAP. I had never heard of one but figured it was some kind of SNOOTy TOOTOO clapping. Watched the SB this morning since it was on here between 1:00-4:00 am. It was pretty boring but worth watching just for Lady Gaga's rendition of the National Anthem. We have to record the Australian and US Open games and watch them in delay, too. The last time I got up in the middle of the night to watch a live sports broadcast was when my alma mater the Fighting Illini played in the NCAA basketball finals. They lost,and I came down with pneumonia.

kitshef 5:42 PM  

Across only solve attempt undone by MAJA, which seems way more of a Monday outlier than ATP, and O_S was unguessable without looking at the clue.

Hand up for never heard of GOLFCLAP. Hands and feet up for the brilliance of Buffy - through the first half of season 6, after which it all fell apart.

Rob 6:39 PM  

I cannot believe you gave him a pass for swimsuit edition. Ever since I was a prepubescent boy it has been referred to as the swimsuit issue. That has not changed.

xyz 10:03 AM  

Being a golfer seems an impediment ot understand the street jive GOLFCLAP

So be it!

ELS AOKI TEE , nevermind ... ;-)

Masked and Anonymous 12:27 PM  

On a slow U's day, the highlight of this puppymonkeybaby was:
Brilliant anti-revealer! Did U mean to do that, Lynn darlin? In any case, it rules.

Fun TuesPuz. Only thing missin was, of course, a _____ HIT themer.

Backward HAR from the piked position. Primo. (yo, @Lewis)

WeejectLand pick: SRO. Hard to find anything to pick on, in these fillins, actually. Solid job, Lempelmeister.

@muse: Deb didn't know she was emailin with the M&A. It turns out that the same may have happened, with U. But, enough about my day-um emails ...

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Anonymous 4:21 PM  

I do think it's a bit odd that GOLFCLAP came to signify snarky applause, when that was never what clapping at a golf event was about. That would be more like "polite, restrained" applause but certainly not insincere. Somehow, the fact that it was a quieter form of applause must have led to the current idiomatic sense of sarcastic, barely-there applause.

Burma Shave 11:40 AM  


my IDOL TYRA was in STILE, almost TOO pretty.
She’s no SNOOT nor PRIG about SEX with any lover,
she’d say, “POPS, let’s get down TOO the NITTYGRITTY.”


spacecraft 11:59 AM  

Can't wait to see @BS's take on today, with SWIMSUITEDITION*, SEX, LAYLA, etc. Of course, in a grid crowded with bombshells--yes, I include the classic beauty of the naked MAJA--I have to give the nod to TYRA. If I'm not mistaken, she did appear in the 39-across. And well she should.

Filling in the SW I could not fathom what was going to appear in 51-across. It looked like two normal words next to each other, but having absolutely zero relationship to each other. GOLF CLAP?????? 100% absurd. ANY outdoor applause is going to dissipate quickly, unless it's a huge throng crowded into, say, a CAPITALCITY square. How that phrase was ever adopted is beyond me; even farther beyond me is WHERE. I've done my share of traveling, but I can assure you I have NEVER been anyplace where that's a term. To me it doesn't even make any sense. I do agree with those who said that top-of-voice shouts in the middle of the golfer's follow-through are extremely rude, and quite out of character with the genteel sport of golf. Me? I'd throw those idiots off the course the first time they opened their vulgar yaps.

I suppose ITCOUPLES is a real term, within the confines of tabloidism, in which I do NOT participate. The whole genre gets a big fat "Who cares?" from me.

Despite outliers like the above and CARTRIP (c'mon, man, it's "ROAD TRIP!"), I kinda liked it. IMISSYOU--but you're not you when you're hungry. Eat a SNICKERS. Better? Yeah. It DOESGOOD. LOL. B.

*Changed from the proper "issue" to fit the theme. No one says "SWIMSUITEDITION."

leftcoastTAM 2:16 PM  

Simple snack with some bite, as a Monday should be.

The small bites I took were MEYER and MACROS, and a bigger one was GOLFCLAP, which I've never heard of.

Oh, and I didn't see the theme until I finished.

rondo 2:40 PM  

After getting ITSYBITSY and NITTYGRITTY I was expecting them all to be two word rhymers. But Sports Illustrated took care of that.

Yeah baby TYRA Banks was the cover girl for the SWIMSUITEDITION about 20 years ago and that was well-deserved. Laura DERN also LANDS a yeah baby nod today as well as EVE Hewson. AVA as in Gardner? OKS. And even Steph MEYER POPS into my mind as a yeah baby, TOO. But KIM Kardashian is voted off my island; no sir NOTME, I wouldn’t LIETO you, or next to her. Before she’s done KIM might LAYL.A.

So IT IT was OK for a Monday. A proper GOLFCLAP, please.

Diana,LIW 4:14 PM  

Off to a roaring start this week. I confidently finished with InCOUPLE and nOO nOO. Thot the last time a celeb was called "it" was the It Girl in the 1920's.

Obviously, I missed the theme entirely until I came here. Must. Pay. Attention.

Mr. Waiting has a car named Layla, and he's coming home from a 4-day trip today, so I wrote I MISS YOU to him yesterday - nice to see those two so close together.

Oh well. When I fail, I fail in STILE.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting fo Crosswords

rondo 8:22 PM  

@D,LIW maybe it was Spot or Puff that got frisky at some point. Or got Frisky at some point.

Cathy 10:22 PM  

Nice Monday. Had a bit of trouble at CAR TRIP. Car ride? SWIM SUITE... That's what I get for bouncing around. Fun way on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday..

Thinking about netflixing Buffy the vampire SLAYER. Nah.

Golf clap. Understand the technique. Same I guess as playing a violin with your fingers. Guess no ones come up with that term. Please don't.

ITSY BITSY PETER got GOLF CLAP. Sorry, had to do IT.

rondo 11:50 PM  

@Cathy - funny as all get out. Now I'm the one impressed. That one DOESGOOD for syndiland.

Diana,LIW 11:53 PM  

Hey @Woodrow Smith from Saturday. I saw your comment. And my quite amazing comments from earlier today didn't get published. I think it is due to "technical difficulties" rather than editing. Anyway, I don't think there is a time limit to writing/posting.

And thanks for responding, @Rondo!

Diana, LIW

Unknown 9:04 PM  

@Diana,LIW thanks for answering my question. I just now completed Monday's puzzle. It's odd seeing all the Super Bowl comments. That game was so long ago. When do you find time to complete each puzzle every day?

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