Oil-producing matter in shale / TUE 3-1-16 / 2000-03 Disney Channel series with Shia LaBeouf / Sumatran swinger informally

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Constructor: Freddie Cheng

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium ("Medium" only for KEROGEN !?)

THEME: ALL ABOUT EVE (56A: 1950 Bette Davis film hinting at something found 15 times in this puzzle) — Well, I'm not counting, but apparently the letter string "EVE" appears 15 times in this puzzle.

Theme answers:
  • "EVEN STEVENS" (19A: 2000-03 Disney Channel series with Shia LaBeouf)
  • EVEL KNIEVEL (26A: Daredevil who survived more than 400 bone fractures)
  • SEVEN ELEVEN (44A: Place to buy a Slurpee)
  • ...and the rest! 
Word of the Day: KEROGEN (37A: Oil-producing matter in shale) —
Kerogen (Greek κηρός "wax" and -gen, γένεση "birth") is a mixture of organic chemical compounds that make up a portion of the organic matter in sedimentary rocks. It is insoluble in normal organic solvents because of the high molecular weight (upwards of 1,000 daltons or 1000 Da; 1Da= 1 atomic mass unit) of its component compounds. The soluble portion is known as bitumen. When heated to the right temperatures in the Earth's crust, (oil window c. 50–150 °C, gas window c. 150–200 °C, both depending on how quickly the source rock is heated) some types of kerogen release crude oil or natural gas, collectively known as hydrocarbons (fossil fuels). When such kerogens are present in high concentration in rocks such as shale, they form possible source rocks. Shales rich in kerogens that have not been heated to a warmer temperature to release their hydrocarbons may form oil shale deposits. // The name "kerogen" was introduced by the Scottish organic chemist Alexander Crum Brown in 1906.
• • •

I guess the "ALL ABOUT" means "strewn all over the grid"? I only noticed that there were two in each (apparent) themer, i.e. long Across answer, and didn't think the revealer worked for a 2 x EVE puzzle, but I guess if it's ubiquiteve we're talking about, then yeah, on some level, it works. This is another example of the NYT trying to cover up a pretty flimsy concept with theme Density: an EVE in each long Down, two in each Across (excepting the revealer) and then assorted EVEs strewn about. There is some noticeable effect on the fill: there's a lot of iffy / old short stuff (AMATI ENERO ORANG ERTE STEN OLEO ANO HEXA, etc.), and then two outer-space answers: "EVEN STEVENS" (!?!?!?!?) (19A: 2000-03 Disney Channel series with Shia LaBeouf) and KEROGEN, which stand light years apart from the other answers in terms of general familiarity. KEROGEN is far too unfamiliar / technical for a Tuesday puzzle. I like that the puzzle is weird and kind of ambitious; its "flaws" are almost endearing. The inclusion of so many long Downs livens up an otherwise dull grid. So this puzzle has its charms. I'll just leave it at that.

Mistakes? I made a few. SPADE for SIEVE (2D: Forty-niner's tool). Actually, that might be the only outright mistake.  I was very unsure of spelling of KOPECK, so had to work all the crosses there (8D: Fraction of a ruble). No other struggles of note (except the aforementioned KEROGEN disaster). I need to go get coffee and properly wake up. Have a nice day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS HEXA is junk, but I must admit I like [Tri and tri again?] very much. 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 7:17 AM  

@rex -- "Mistakes? I made a few." -- Good one!

Kudos to those who figured out the theme before the end; I solved this as a themeless and saw the theme afterward. Having the EVEs symmetrical is impressive, but did that help anyone's solve?

There's a mini-theme of double EEs (9), as well as a couple of EVE wannabes: VEE and AVE. The cross of SEVENELEVEN and NEVERMIND aligns pretty well with my world view. And ALEVE backward would be a great given name for EVELKNIEVEL's wife.

I enjoyed the solve, and there are some candidates for whom I believe today will be ALL ABOUT EVE.

Loren Muse Smith 7:31 AM  

I thought it was a clever, clever concept, not flimsy at all. I gained admittance with EVERY, and very early saw lots of V's. Had most of it filled knowing that it was something about all the V’s, but when I guessed the reveal, went back and noticed all the EVEs, I was impressed.

Hey - I would've been happy with just the three themers, each with two apiece, so all the added ones ramped it up a lot.

The only goofs I had were "yikes" for YIPES and "green" for GREEK. Yes. I accepted that the Parthenon was green. Sheesh. In my defense, I had CNN on and was listening to a discussion about Chris Rock's Oscar HOST performance.

ENERO/ANO and AWOL/GETAWAY – nice. And can’t SEX be another prefix for 6? And it crosses HEXA? Nice again.

In Lilburn, Ga, we had loose bay leaves placed all around in the cabinets. Just takes one time to bite into a Poptart and see weevils… talk about yer "yipes."

I tell you, the utter, utter symmetry of the four pile-ups of EVEs is a sight to behold, especially those due east and due west. Just think about what that took – find two pairs of 9's, each with an EVE that shifts one space. Make sure that the pairs'* shifting EVES are symmetrical. Make the crosses acceptable. Yeah, I'll take the KEROGEN to see that, especially since it was fairly crossed.

The three double-EVE acrosses, the symmetry and the, uh, clever reveal made this one a winner.

*Carola, @rain forest – I think the sentence Make sure that the pairs shifting EVEs are symmetrical works, too, without the possessive. Rain forest – your window shopping example was excellent. I do know the rule but many times feel conspicuous observing it. I can almost always rationalize the objective case in front of a gerund. Of course, there are some instances where the meaning shifts:

Bobby is already on the stage; I heard him singing.
Bobby needs to drop out of the talent show; I heard his singing.

chefbea 7:35 AM  

Found this rather difficult for a tuesday. I found 12 EVEs. Will go back and try to find the other 3. Why are fingers in the ears for la-la-la?

chefbea 7:37 AM  

Am up to 14 now. Cant find the last one

Dorothy Biggs 7:45 AM  

This was, evidently, easy for me since I set a new Tuesday best time. I don't know what the previous time was so I don't know how much of a new time this was. (I was only :02 away from beating yesterday's time...I must be getting smarter).

My only hiccup was misspelling EVELKenEVEL. I guess I never really looked at his name to see that the KN was pronounced like that. Heh. Learn something new every day.

31A I also had tabu, but UKES fixed that in a hurry. 23A I had roost, but ETHEL changed that quickly too.

The theme didn't help nor did I pay much attention to it except at the revealer clue...and then, like @Rex, I just figured there were EVEs in the themers and actually didn't even see the part of the clue that said there were 15 of them. I guess, in retrospect, I did notice a lot of Vs in the grid.

Ah well...it's Super Tuesday here in TN. Is it me or is there a concerted effort by the media/advertisers to make everything a holiday-like event? The Super Bowl has clearly become a thing, but if my Twitter feed is to believed, Oscar night and now Super Tuesday are supposed to be big, big, BIG! Are we that bored that we need for every little thing to become a national holiday?

George Barany 7:55 AM  

It's quite humbling to think that with 40+ years experience as an organic chemist, I had to learn the word KEROGEN from a New York Times crossword puzzle. ALL_ABOUT_EVE was a fine movie, though. "Tri and tri, again" was a terrific clue, as @Rex has already noted, so congratulations to @Freddie Cheng for that!

Lobster11 8:16 AM  

I'm with Rex on everything today, especially his point about the two answers "which stand light years apart from the other answers in terms of general familiarity." It seems to me that Tuesday and Wednesday puzzles are all too often like this: i.e., basically Monday-level puzzles with a couple (Tue.) or a few (Wed.) Friday- or Saturday-level clues/answers thrown in to raise the overall average difficulty.

beaglelover 8:17 AM  

I thought it was easy so it definitely was easy!!

jberg 8:37 AM  

Yeah, I put in KEROsEN at first, but was saved by the doc.

As for the theme, I changed my mind as I went along. At first I didn't like the miscellaneous single EVE words, but noticing that they were symmetrical made me like them better.

Do barracudas eat EELs as a mainstay of their diet? Or are they in there as a random marine predator? I thought the latter, and was annoyed by it, but a web search turns up a few videos of barracuda-eel combat, so maybe it really is a thing.

Finally, I'm glad there's no Q -- using ZEE to get a pangram would have been horrid.

RooMonster 8:43 AM  

Hey All !
Almost a 16th EVE with WEEVIL. I did count 'em all, and yes, there's 15.

I think the fill is rather remarkably dreck free with the constraints. Sure there's some, but easily overlooked.

The Down EVEs are even in symmetrically, which is hard to do! Find 4 words/phrases with equal length, with EVEs 1st and 2nd from top and bottom. Nice!

Missing F,J,Q for the pangram. F apparently a hard letter to get in a puz, as yesterday's also missing F,J,Q,X.

Got yer EEL ans ASS(T) today! No RRN or RGL (Random Greek Letter), but do have GREEK! Also, SEE, VEE, ZEE! SEEP, GREEK, WEEVIL, PEEVES. Double E's abound.


Steve M 8:52 AM  

Evel kerogen!

Hungry Mother 9:00 AM  

Simple except for one impossible word.

Z 9:07 AM  

"Almost endearing?" I am not deared. 15 EVE's is barely a theme. All those EVEs nattering about was more annoying than endearing to me. And isn't having EVE go down just a tad on the UN P.C. side?

Now that I'm counting, excessEVE PPP really leaps out at me. Or maybe it is just that of the 26 PPP infected clue/answers, 17 are in the across axis. YUCK with a capital Y U C K. That's 1/3rd of the puzzle infested with Pop Culture, Product Names, or other Proper Nouns, running around the puzzle like WEEVILS in a bay leafless cabinet in Lilburn, GA.

EON/EOS and GOV/HOV - WEEVILS or features? I vote WEEVILS.

Tri and Tri again? did bring a smile. Too bad it was the only one.

quilter1 9:16 AM  

For awhile I thought the theme was "v's" then saw the revealer and all the EVES. I liked it. Wasy enough for a Tues. but mildly challenging as well.

Nancy 9:20 AM  

This seems to have gotten a lot more love than I can possibly give. KEROGEN notwithstanding, I found this EVER so boring.

Unknown 9:29 AM  

As if often the case, @LMS thankfully provides great insight to a remarkable feat of construction that I did not see nor, apparently, did @Rex EVEN. I see, it’s just a bunch of "EVE"s “strewn all over the grid" like yard lines are strewn all over a football field.

With the wonderful (not!) audio quality of many phones these days, answering “Hello” only to hear, “Hi, IT’S ME,” often doesn’t tell one much.

I would have had a clean finish if I could remember that “I” before “E” thing and that “ZiLDA and “eAN” are probably not how those names are usually spelled, regardless (irregardless*?) to whom they belong. Easily corrected, but still….YIPES! (Yikes at first).

* Irregardless: Decided to look this up. My Mom aka Ma (and, for the record, my dad was Dad, aka PA) used this word a lot. So, if you are not saying NEVERMIND and also wondering about the word, read on.

(Edited from Wiki) Speculatively, ‘irregardless’ is a blend or portmanteau of ‘irrespective’ and ‘regardless’. It is variously cited in dictionaries et al as: erroneous, humorous, substandard, nonstandard, colloquial, and dialectical. The Cambridge Guide to English Usage, 2004 even suggests that ‘irregardless’ has become “fetishized.” Now, there’s a lexiconic concept! For the record, the spell-checker for Word doesn’t like it either.

Irregardless of that digression, at first I thought this was going to be a “too hard for a Tuesday”….for me. However, a slow start accelerated to a fast finish with lots of “Duhs!” as I sussed out the answers. I usually don’t like to know what the theme is until after a solve as was the case here, rather than using it to help solve. I find it more fun to play with that afterwards. So there really are 15 EVEs? Sure enough. (I was able to check that as, fortunately, I can count to all the way to 19.)

As such, I saw this puzzle was indeed ALL ABOUT “EVE.”

Happy to see AYES after yesterday’s CAP’N Crunch. My first encounter with my Cap’n Crunch, and actually the first encounter being under the command of one in the Navy, I said, “Aye, Aye, Mr. [name],” as is the normal way to address commissioned officers. Except, I was quickly admonished afterwards that “captain” (or “cap’n” if you will) is “mandatory” for one holding that position. Oops. That readily explained the nasty look he gave me when I said it. :>) Thus were the protocols for HANDLES in the Navy.

The USS Eugene A. Greene, DD-SEVEN ELEVEN (DD-711) was a Gearing class destroyer, my ship DD-710 being the prototype of the class. I doubt this ship was the source of that franchise’s name, but (trivia) Enterprise Rent-a-Car, was so named as a tribute to the aircraft carrier CV-6 of WWII fame. There have been 8 Navy ships so named with an 9th on the way.

To some, EVERY GOV. ASST. is a hand-out.


ArtO 9:38 AM  

How could it be easy with KEROGEN? And why so much ado about a Tuesday with terrific theme density? Why doesn't that count for something positive? Let's give the constructor some credit here.

Sir Hillary 9:40 AM  

Perfectly serviceable, but a 57D.

Unknown 9:56 AM  

cheabea: (in sing-songy voice) "LA-LA-LA-LA, I can't hear you! I can't hear you!"

old timer 9:56 AM  

WEEVILS reminds me of a joke made by Captain Jack Aubrey in one of the early Aubrey-Maturin books, the one where he refers to "the lesser of two WEEVILs". An important protein source for a British sailor back in the day, you know.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

Greetings from Natick. Kerogen was hardly the disaster here, if you've been paying attention to the Keystone issue for a decade. It was the first thing I put in. No, the disaster was right center. If you don't know motorcycle daredevils, Twitter, Gandalf or Nintendo, never mind pain killer brands, that section was absolutely impossible, and not something that could be sorted out by common sense. Follower of "wye" could have been "mee" just as much as "zee." Rex should have slammed the puzzle for that reason, not Kerogen.

Tita 10:37 AM  

I liked it, but probably more because that is such a great movie than that is such a great theme.
There are plenty of green paint answers...
-LEDGE?? Pigeons roost on anything. Just like that puzzle about things dogs will chew on... Literally, anything can be the answer. Statue? Park bench? Lamppost? Fence?
-Barracudas? Same.
-And not just green paintish but off?...ALEE as a sailor's heading.
Hmm...it describes where a thing is in relation to another thing and the wind direction, but it can't be a heading in and of itself.

But, it let's me tell a story -
I was teaching my 100% bilingual French nieces how to sail - today's lesson was tacking. When we got back on the hard, they made me a drawing of our outing. THe 3 of us in my little boat, and a balloon with me shouting "Ready about, heartily"! (Instead of "hard alee", of course...)
While they were fluent in French and English, they were not so fluent in nautical-speak.

I like being reminded that communication is the goal, not a vocabulary-fest.

And to continue the sailing theme, I am reminded of the old terrible joke that Russel Crowe retells in Master and Commander - something about "the lesser of two WEEVILS".

So Captain Jack Aubry might commmand his helmsman to head for the LEE of that island, by setting a heading of 270. Not by heading ALEE.
Anyway, maybe a more accomplished sailor can chime in here.

I liked the puzzle, Mr Cheng. Thanks.

Hartley70 10:51 AM  

This was a perfect Tuesday theme and the density gave it some punch. I agree with Rex that there were only two points of moderate difficulty.

I filled in the NW which gave me EVEN for a Disney show. Knowing that rhyme or alliteration is the obvious choice in kids programming, EVENSTEPHEN came to mind immediately. It took the crosses to get STEVENS instead. It seemed pretty fair to me.

KEROGEN is an impossible get unless the crosses are easy and it's Tuesday, so they were. It's a good lesson for beginners on how to solve when clues are Saturday level, so I think of it as a teaching tool that's a vocabulary enhancer as well. Good one!

AliasZ 10:59 AM  

You be very clever, Mr. Cheng!

However: "The ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks (sometimes written as kopecks or copecks, Rus. копе́йка, kopeyka...)" --Wikipedia. When was "var." outlawed by the NYT?

I grieved, but somewhat relieved, when the revelation came: I can't achieve the same level of revelry at my age as I did two score and seven years ago. It's gone forever, severed from me, never to be retrieved. My ability to revert to it is severely curtailed. The slowly developing dishevelment of the human physique and spirit increasing at feverish levels for everyone, thieves included, is a clever way for nature to reveal this truth, and it applies whether you believe in revenge, and in beverages served in cups with beveled edges, or not. Once the trapdoor lever is pulled, it is irreversible, there is no reprieve.

Now off to a Steve Reeves revival -- some truly awesome peplum (sword-and-sandal) films from the late-'50s, early '60s.

But before I go, let's try this scary cantata titled "Seven, They Are Seven" by Sergei Prokofiev evoking some very early demonic gods from Mesopotamia. If this is not your cup of beverage, then Monteverdi surely must be.

And don't call me Shirley.

Leapfinger 11:06 AM  

Good LARD! OLEO again??

Was somewhat led astray by first noticing EVEN-EVEN and EVEL-EVEL repeats, so was intrigued enough for the reveal to surprise.

At solve's end, review revealed a nugget -- a Down EVE crossed an Across EVE in every case possible (Wow!)...except one (Boo!)... where STEVEN is crossed by WEEVIL. EVEN though it borders on the obscure, Eastern Carolina University (abbrev) could have been tossed in to replace ICU, even at the loss of the (cute) ICU-ORS pairing. That would have restored the elegance* of having every possible V in an EVE crosses EVE situation. However, since that would mean losing our resident WEEVILS, I'm trying not to let foolish inconsistency hobgoblinate me into small-mindedness.

Thought the hitherto unknown KEROGEN would have something to do with KERatin. Apparently not. @BaranyG, somehow I never HIT_ON the 'Tri-tri' clue, so thanks for that --Good one!

@Z (et alia who mourned that a BOX remained a BOX), I'm adding a little something to yesterblog). Something for the Maine Man, @Chuck McGregor, also.

Not A DAM thing more to say right now. Thanks for the highly SEXED puzzle, Freddie.

Joseph Michael 11:13 AM  

Didn't know KEROGEN, but it was easy to get from the crosses.

Like the movie and like the theme. So many EVEs in one place and symmetrically arranged to boot. Well done, Freddie.

Andrew Heinegg 11:18 AM  

Because when someone is not wanting/unwilling to hear what is being said, they put their hands over their ears and intone la la la repeatedly to be 'certain' they don't hear what the other person is saying.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:20 AM  

Good one!

One w/o, entered while I was in a phase of thinking that the theme answers used "E" exclusively, EVEL KNEEVEL (yes, it looked odd) >> EVEL KNIEVEL.

Thanks to Rex for pointing out "Tri and tri again?" As often happens with easy puzzles, I hadn't noticed that clue.

Didn't know KEROGEN, but now I do (maybe), so that's a good thing.

puzzle hoarder 12:08 PM  

I didn't write it in but 19A could have been EVEN STEPHEN. I was sure of 1A but misread 1Ds' Merman as the opposite of Mermaid. That was probably the most interesting mistake of the whole puzzle. I actually tried to think of a musical with mermen in it. Yes 2D could be spade but the p did nothing for 13A so I didn't write that in either. 3D was the aha moment. I put it in along with ESSO and the rest was a snap. That applied to the remainder of the puzzle. I knew there was something going on with "eve" before seeing the reveal.
KEROGEN went in completely by the crosses. I kept waiting to see the mistake and it never showed up. This was a good puzzle I just think the work required to construct it had to be rather disproportionate to the solving difficulty.
One more thing, today is my birthday and it got me thinking that I've never really introduced myself. I a fireman in my 30th year with the Chicago Fire Department. We work 24 hour shifts. Being at work makes me solve late some days. I can't start until we're done with the day's busy work. There may be something special scheduled and there's no control over when the bell rings. I've enjoyed reading the blog and people's comments. There have been a lot of points brought up which I would have otherwise missed and I'm sure it's helped my solving ability.

chefbea 12:26 PM  

Thank goodness ....found the last eve

Carola 12:37 PM  

I enjoyed solving it, even without appreciating the EVE theme, much less the placement of the theme's CORE letters. Plenty of nice answers - WEEVILS, SEA LEVELS, NEVER MIND, KOPECK, and the can-it-really-be-right KEROGEN.

@Loren, yesterday I emailed my nephew to commiserate about his unsuccessful application to a post-grad program in a year in which there were an unusually low number of slots available. Before hitting send, I went back and added the 's: "....bad luck on this year's having such limited availability." Not without a bit of hesitation.

Leapfinger 12:59 PM  

Howcum Shia LaBeouf can't spell LeBoeuf? Trying (and failing) to use all the vowels in sequence? Yeesh.

Forgot to asteriskate.* was for the missing elegance of a BOX remaining a BOX. Yeesh and YIPES. (Everything clear now?)

@Chuck McG: Nineteen, eh? Missing a toe, are we?

@oldtimer: Lesser of two WEEVILS - Renting a brace from WEEVILS R US

@Alias, a thing of beauty you pulled off there. I had several moments of increasingly developed revelry in your gathering dishevelment. (Imagined tossing plates across a chasm, Knevel-style.) How did you know I have a thing for pepla? Thanks ever so.

Reminded that one of our OR'S nurses was named Rhonda Revels. She did, but R. Revels now has ended.

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

"All About EVE" being one of the few classic films I've actually seen made this an enjoyable outing for me. And @AliasZ's EVE fest seemed to be channeling TS Eliot, with "beverages served in cups with beveled edges" standing in for coffee spoons.

And the little chicks are being SEXED again today so those capon crunchers are obviously still busy (thanks @Leapy and @Bob Kerfuffle, for that riff yesterday.)

Maybe IT'S ME, but I thought this was a GAS, NEVER MIND the VEE, SEE and ZEE. Thanks, Mr. Cheng, for a Tuesday that was in no SENSE a BORE.

jack 1:36 PM  

No one with a problem with UNPC sitting atop KEROGEN? Kind of ugly clue; only one in the bunch, and also suggesting that it is impossible for most people to be acceptable socially.

Masked and Anonymous 1:38 PM  

KERO GEN. Ain't he that new Star Wars darkside villain dude? M&A has got to think ...

fave crossin: HOV HANDLES. (But, M&A is unusually easily entertained.)

The Freddie Chengmeister has had 1 Sunday, 1 Monday, 1 Tuesday, and 1 Wednesday puz, so far. Surely y'all can see where this trend is headed … [ker-cheng] … a perfect one-cycle. It's like all the planets and Pluto alignin with Donald Trump, or somesuch. Primo. Keep up the good work.

fave clue, weeject, abbr., and crook: RMN.

@009: "This puzzle has its charms." Darn straight. I thought it was a great excuse for building a crossword. And pretty well-built, too boot. Wish @009 had been so kind, whenever masked constructioneers had snuck thru these parts. snort.
Bullets o'charm:

* 45 E's and 10 V's. EVE-angelical.
* Thought two tri's would get me a HEXI. Swingin O-RING of Sumatra! rodeo. Wrong again, M&A breath.
* Forty-niners used SIEVEs a lot?! To strain out the popular lute pieces? M&A lives in a state of constant a-mazement.
* UNPC = not socially acceptable. Don't care. I'm stickin with my Mac. Social acceptability ain't all it's cranked up to be, anyhoo. Let yer hair down. Let some GAS out. Blow yer lute.
* LALALA. Suspect. Does not have Patrick Berry Usage Immunity. Neither does LALA. No one has EVEr dared to use LALALALA, btw.
* EVENSTEVENS. Mystery themer. Also … Only plural themer, for second day in-a-row. I know. Gotta have all 2-EVE themers be exactly elEVEn letters long. Karma, universal balance, and law & order. Sorry, BIEBERFEVER (1 EVE and 1 EBE) and NEVERNEVERLAND (too long).
* VEE. This poor lil weeject weasler really wants into the themer ballgame. The theme taunts him/her. So sad, to the M&A. Need another c-roll, now, to cheer self up.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

themeless & eveless

Alby 1:39 PM  

Too much crosswordese for me. Appreciated ZELDA -- nod to the anniversary. I wouldn't define UNPC as "Not socially acceptable," given how pejorative PC has become. To be UNPC these days is to be refreshing, honest, rebellious, methinks.

Leapfinger 1:53 PM  

@Teedmn, I remember a whole lot more from that book about farmyard artificial insemination (the other AI) than I SEED about old PhiChi174. If you're ever bored and want to learn some fascinating stuff about boars and the sows who love 'em, just drop me an emale.

Masked and Anonymous 1:55 PM  

Wrong again, a la M&A dept.:

Standin up to be corrected -- @Anne Meilof darlin has become the first every crossword solver to use LALALALA, to explain a crossword clue for LALALA. Close enough, to a LALALALA puz usage, in my book.

And another thing: Research shows the NYTPuz usage of FALALALALA, on 12 Jan 2014. Also of FALALALALAMA, on 12 May 2002. day-um.


M&A Semi-Auto Correct

kitshef 1:58 PM  

Another delightful puzzle. Shaping up to be a good week. Way easy for a Tuesday. KEROGEN a WoE but crossed fairly.

PPP's were nicely spread, from ALLABOUTEVE in the 50s to EVELKNIEVEL in the 70s to EVENSTEVENS in the 90s (barely) to Chris Rock two days ago.

Would have preferred a Nirvana clue for NEVERMIND, and of course Wye precedes Zed, but that is just being picky. The whole thing was great, and as @Loren Muse Smith points out, a mantlepiece of construction.

Anoa Bob 2:20 PM  

Either Rex or Shortz got the constructor's name wrong.

Is it ironic that the NYT now includes Spanish translations of selected articles and also has launched an all Spanish edition (New York Times en Español), yet we find 56D ANO again clued as "Year in [some Spanish speaking locale]?

Here are the facts of the matter:

N and Ñ are two different letters in the Spanish alphabet.

ANO and AÑO are pronounced differently, "ah-noh" and "awn-yo".

And they have very different meanings, "anus" versus "year".

A less charitable commenter might see this as an example of anglocentric arrogance: "Hey, it's just Spanish so we can play fast and loose with it. No one will notice or really care. Besides, it's only fill."

It's perplexing because there are other ways to easily and correctly clue ANO ("Is that ___?"; "Wheel of Fortune request"; and so on).

For those who don't care, may I offer you a belated but heartfelt Próspero Ano Nuevo.

black_phoebe 2:32 PM  

Pros of being a Millennial who was 9-13 years old during '00-'03: EVENSTEVENS comes without a second thought.

Cons: Spend a good 2 minutes trying to figure out Merman...I was thinking Ariel (as in an actual merman!) and then quickly this was the only thing I could think of. :(

Unknown 2:40 PM  

I say "meh" to this long string of mediocre NYT xwords. Enjoyed the LA puzzle much more today. [LA Times Spoiler Alert] Happy National Pig Day!

Dick Swart 3:25 PM  

An olde guy's footnote:

I saw all the eves ... and a level or two. I use different fountain pens for the xword. I had received a Pelikan LEVEL a while back and filled it up last night to see how it writes. Just fine this AM.

A really olde guy's footnote:

The Pelikan LEVEL was a strange deviation for the very classic German Pelikan company. A whole new ink system and design of the pen. It was aimed at teenagers, later adults with some design changes. 1995 -2001, then discontinued.

Dick Swart 3:36 PM  

For "All About Eve" fans:


"Fasten your seat belts!"

Aketi 4:14 PM  

No BOREDOM yesterday reading all the CAPN and CAPoN CRUNCH comments.

I thought the options of things to EAT in today's puzzle such as OLEO and LARD were a bit of a BORE until LMS spiced things up by introducing the possibility of eating WEEVILS. Personally, my worst experience of the unintendedly close to potential ingestion of unappetizing insects was when I lived in Balltumore. I was not the least bit amused when I set down a carton of milk for exactly one second and picked it back up again only to feel something brush my lips. Turned out said insect was of the subphylum HEXApoda. While I have eaten termites fried in palm oil as a Peace Corps volunteer, the fact that the insect in question happened to belong to thr same order Blattodea as the termites did nothing to allEVEiate my horror. I did, however, discover the merits of yesterday's ARMY ANTS as a volunteer. They are far more effective than any pesticide at wiping out infestations of both WEEVILS and the almost ingested vermin in my milk carton. SEIVES are also useful if you live in areas where flour is rare and expensive on a Peace Corps salary and WEEVILS are plentiful.

As for all the VEEs, I just kept thinking how M&A would have preferred that the sharp bottom edges of those VEES had been rounded into his favorite letter,

archaeoprof 4:18 PM  

The theme reveal made me smile, and that's all I'm really hoping for on a Tuesday.

Nighthawk 4:40 PM  

I looked all about and thought this puzzle had 2 more long themers, 2 downers (or uppers,if you look on the bright side): 11D - "PET PEEVES" and 33D - "PREVENTED", which gave the themers, and the puz, a much more balanced symmetry than a mere 3 themer of all acrosses.
Or am I seeming something that isn't there?

Nighthawk 4:46 PM  
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Nighthawk 4:50 PM  
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smalltowndoc 5:49 PM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle. The theme density was terrific and the revealer was spot on perfect! Like everyone else, KEROGEN was new to me, but easily obtained from the crosses. I don't mind the tough (but legitimate) word here and there, EVEn on Tuesday. That's one of the added bonus of a crossword puzzle, learning new words. I'll bet good money that Im not the only one who Googled it to get a definition.

Enjoyed it much mure than @rex.

jae 6:21 PM  

Mon. easy for me. Liked the theme and I appreciate it even more after reading @lms comment. Agree that there are fill issues, but the theme trumps the fill for me, liked it.

Diana,LIW 8:50 PM  

A few weeks ago, in Syndie Land, a commenter posted after a lovely tribute puzzle to a musical legend:

"A nagging question about tribute puzzles (and this is a good one) is: do we have to wait until the person passes on before we have one. I certainly wouldn't mind a tribute puzzle to a living person, celebrity or not. Another thought: how do we determine who should be tributed?"

There must have been tribute puzzles to living folks. Can you remember of them? Just sayin'

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for your response

Nancy 9:11 PM  

@Leapy (11:06 am) -- Very nice OLEO pun!

Elephant's Child 6:58 AM  

What with all the coeval commentary, you'd a thought there'd be one Wee Evil Dropping by.

Warren Howie Hughes 8:44 PM  

I was thoroughly convinced that 31A was UGLY, that would've been decidedly UNPC!

Burma Shave 9:14 AM  


there was NUN other to HITON, one of her PETPEEVES.
“ITSME”, he would greet her, “ICU. You can’t GETAWAY,
there’s no other MENS PETER.” She went AWOL that day.


rondo 10:15 AM  

Saw the EVELKNIEVEL exhibition when they had it at the Harley museum in Milwaukee. Kinda cool.

I’ve got a Ukrainian 10 KOPECK coin in my desk drawer here. Brass-colored, smaller than a dime, worth about 2 cents in 2008. About 4/10 of a cent today.

So sorry, ETHEL and ZELDA (Gilroy?), looks like it’s an EVE yeah baby day, though I couldn’t name umpteen of them.

@D,LIW – have you taken the Delorean 5 weeks into the future lately? Just wondering if @Geo Barany has made any mention of the MN Xword Tourney, since he seems to be a ringleader. I’m still planning to take it in. Anyone else interested? I haven’t any extra room to HOST, but can GETAWAY for drinks and other things.

Today the 4 corners spell EASE, with which I did this puz.

rondo 10:27 AM  

missed my opening line

You can’t GETAWY rom it, there’s EVEs ALLABOUT this puz. Probably the only time EVEs will follow DAYS (yesterday’s puz).

spacecraft 11:38 AM  

Besides UNPC itself (ugh!) the most UNPC thing in this grid is ITSME, the most ignorant possible response on two LEVELS. (1) It should be "It is I." (2) WHOEVER is there is not telling you anything, since self-reference is universal. Dumbest response I ever heard. I KNOW it's you, you idiot. Now WHO the hell are YOU?

Which brings me to "Brains" for SENSE. BeliEVE me, I've known some folks who had lots of the former but not much of the latter. I knew a valedictorian who didn't have the SENSE God gave a goose. It's a Tuesday, dude. Just say "Sight, e.g." or "Intuit."

This was as easy as yesterday; the dreaded KEROGEN went in on crosses, so NEVERMIND that. HowEVEr, the fill is quite a bit rougher. Two bits of crosswordese are fast becoming tiresome in their ubiquity: ENERO and ERTE. I bet a good half of us can't name one other Spanish month, but we surely do know the first one! Yeah, I know, don't call us Airplane! fans Shirley. Ain't no thing.

Closest I can come to a babe today is Eva Marie Saint as EVE Kendall. I would LOVE to answer that chilling question: "What do I do with him in the morning?" #NNW. Let's call it a C+.

rain forest 3:51 PM  

@Spacey - but, but, but it's what people say (either one). I remember once when a friend was at my place unsuccessfully helping me wire in a dishwasher, and he phoned his wife and said 'Hi Lynn. I'm over here." M&A could make something of that.

Fun puzzle, and as a neighbour of Alberta where the oil sands reside, I've heard of KEROGEN.

Yesterday a lot of holidays; today, a lot of EVES. Oops @Rondo - I kind of repeated what you said, but in an extremely more interesting way, doncha think?

@Loren - I don't remember my "excellent example" (I'm old), but I'm sure I was sincere.

Sharp-eyed readers will recall that a couple weeks ago I successfully overcame an infestation of Indian Closet Moths, mostly with my vacuum cleaner. Wish I'd known about Bay Leaf.

Diana,LIW 4:24 PM  

Had a Natick at EVENSTEVENy and "what a Guy." Never say What a Gas, even tho the Rolling Stones made it famous.

Agree with those who say "Monday easy with some Thursday thrown in." Seems like we had that last week, too.

Rondo - when I fly to the future it is but to comment on some pressing issue in their past. I try not to read their comments and spoil my future solve. (Not that I'd remember...) I'm really considering the Minn. tournament. It could be a mini-vaca.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Sailorman 6:26 PM  

Great puzzle. A nit however. The Lee side is the side sheltered from the wind. Alee is not a direction.

rondo 9:56 PM  

@sailorguy - perhaps given an order, or direction

@D,LIW - I might be able to come up with a few ideas of things to do in the area. and accomodations, etc. Let me know if you want to save a few bucks and/or if there is something you'd like to see. Depending on schedule might even be able to save a cab ride from MSP to wherever.

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