Givee / SUN 4-24-16 / Botnaical cover / Biscuits with no sharp edges / Cave deposits / Selfies around 2012-13

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Constructor: Kathy Wienberg

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "'Tee' Time" — 'TEE' sound is added to the end of the first word in familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Theme answers:
  • CASUALTY FRIDAY (22A: Nickname for an accident-prone L.A.P.D. sergeant?)
  • PATTY DOWN (27A: Cry from an errant burger flipper?)
  • PANTY HANDLER (44A: Victoria's Secret job?)
  • BATTY MOBILE (66A: Gulf Coast port that's gone bonkers?)
  • REALTY NUMBER (89A: Three houses flipped this week, e.g.?)
  • BUSTY FARE (104A: Hooters menu?)
  • SAFETY CRACKERS (114A: Biscuits with no sharp edges?)
  • PETTY ROCKS (44D: Sign seen at a Heartbreakers concert?)
  • JETTY LINER (40D: Protective covering for a pier?)

Word of the Day: OMAR al-Bashir (86D: Longtime Sudanese president ___ al-Bashir) —
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (Arabic: عمر حسن أحمد البشير‎; born 1 January 1944) is the President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels in the south. Since then, he has been elected three times as President in elections that have been under scrutiny for corruption. In March 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting president to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur. (wikipedia)
• • •

This has been the easiest Fri-Sat-Sun stretch that I can remember. Of course, I can't actually *remember* any other Fri-Sat-Sun stretches, but I doubt I've ever had a combined time on two themelesses and a Sunday-sized puzzle come in under 21 minutes, as I have this week. 8:47 on today's puzzle, which probably a Sunday NYT record for me. I've done Sunday-sized puzzles in under 8 before, but those were Newsdays, I think. The theme here was so basic, and the overall cluing so straightforward, that once I got past 1A: Contents of some tubs, which probably threw me more than anything else in the puzzle (I wanted OLEO), I barely stopped entering letters until the end. I don't think this theme is really worthy of the NYT—not in the 21st century. It's just too vanilla, too hackneyed. It's executed well enough, but there's nothing very entertaining going on. I got a dark chuckle out of CASUALTY FRIDAY, but the rest of it was just ho-hum. Fill was also kind of, let's say, retro, with TSAR ALDA ALAR ARIL and ECRU getting the band back together, but it was all quite tolerable. Just old-fashioned and dull, despite the boobs (104A) and panties (44A).

Here are some memorable moments—there were little bits of trickery that might've caused a lot more trouble if the surrounding fill / clues had also been at all difficult. Thought the "band" in 8A: Military band (SASH) was musical. Thought 40A: Bridge (JOIN) was SPAN. I can never remember what AMPAS stands for, so ARTS was tough (71D: Part of AMPAS) (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences).  I had no idea what I was looking at at 103D: "Givee." I thought it was either some weird, possibly racist version of "gimme." Who in the world actually says "givee" to mean "one who has been given something," i.e. TAKER, even ironically? Yipes. I had trouble with but ultimately very much enjoyed the clue on TOKE (107D: It's a drag). Also had trouble with PILE, which I had as PILL, 'cause that's what some sweaters do ... and it gives the fabric a kind of NAPpy texture. It made sense in my mind. But none of these problems were really problems. No trouble. No TRAUMA. Cakewalk.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


madchickenlittle 12:12 AM  

I would like to see the Prince tribute puzzle come to fruition.

2016 has been a bad year for music.

Unknown 12:22 AM  

If I understand it correctly, the quotes around "givee" do not indicate speech. They're quote-unquote so-called "scare quotes." A giver gives; a "givee" receives.

Fast time for me. Liked some of the theme answers (CASUALTY FRIDAY and PETTY ROCKS) and disliked others (REALTY NUMBER). Did not find PANTY HANDLER or BUSTY FARE amusing. At all.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all may have been easy, but I think that Friday was clearly the class of the three.

Charles Flaster 12:36 AM  

Agree with Rex especially about the last three puzzles.
This one is Tuesdayish but had some nice cluing and not a whole lot of CrosswordEASE. ; save for the colorful PUCE and ECRU.
Did like cluing for CASUALTY FRIDAY, PRAYS, and RESOLE.
Only writeover ,a la Rex , was JOIN for spaN.
Thanks KW.

jae 1:03 AM  

Easy for me too. Reasonably smooth grid (I'm ignoring GUANOS), dense and sporadically amusing theme....not too bad for a Sun., sorta liked it.

chefwen 2:12 AM  

And easy week continues, I didn't expect that. Made some of the early mistakes as Rex did, oleo before LARD, span before JOIN, and a few of my own, Stan for LAND at 14D, tie PIN for HATPIN, dome before ARIL at 20D. In Milwaukee the botanical gardens are covered by three large domes, each one a separate climate. They are spectacular, we used to call them "the three boobs".

As easy as this was, I still liked it and was amused by some of the long ones, PATTY DOWN made for a funny visual starring me as a frazzled short order cook.

Will we have the ICE TEA vs. ICED TEA debate today? It seems to come with the territory.

Anonymous 2:31 AM  

Iced tea!! Not ice tea!

Unknown 5:42 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:27 AM  

As a wordplay lover, I enjoyed the theme, and had a good time figuring out the theme answers with just a few letters filled in, which happened three or four times. Each time brought the aha that figuring out a good riddle brings. I learned a new meaning for "hosts" in the WAFERS clue. There was enough vagueness in the cluing to give me a satisfying struggle, and I liked the clues for PRAYS, AMINO, FAD, and even TAKER (I laughed when figuring out the meaning of "Givee" -- that is wordplay! I like the anagram answers NEAR/EARN, one on top of the other, and I like that backward ECUP fairly close to the BUSTYFARE. CHOWMEIN hasn't appeared in a NYT puzzle since 1985, so it felt fresh to see, and when I got the answer, just for a moment I could see the dish in my head and relive the delicious smell. So this puzzle gave me many rewards, and I'm tres grateful to Katherine and Will for presenting it.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:28 AM  

Re: 86D - Too bad there is no other well-known person in the world named OMAR.

East End Golfer 6:29 AM  

I agree with your assessment, and have to say that overall it was MIGHTYBAD.

Loren Muse Smith 6:59 AM  

Rex - the fill-in-the-blanks didn't give me a toe hold, so I went back to 1A and put in "gins." That "s" on "contents" threw me. Dumb.

"Stan" before LAND (hi, @chefwen) and "raviolis" before RISOTTOS were two other big goof that took a while to fix.

The _ _ NKS for the Dodd Frank guys had me going straight to "finks," thinking that I had gotten it all wrong – I thought Dodd Frank protected the finks. BANKS. Sheesh. I was right.

PUCE – this is a word several students and I have worn into the ground. What a terrible name for a color.

A: I'm engaged to a bajillionaire!!
B: How exciting! Have you set a date? Picked a venue?
A: New Year's Eve at The Plaza! Taylor Swift will perform!
B: What color have you chosen for the bridesmaid dresses?

**** Wah waah*****

Interesting fact about TAI PEI. Wonder if some type A architect there will scramble to rectify that. Cool that CHOW MEIN crosses it.

I'm sure it's no surprise that I like a simple trick like this and the weird phrases that result. I liked CASUALTY FRIDAY, too, and PANTY HANDLER (hi, @Martin Abresch) and PATTY DOWN. Hah! You could name a fiber supplement POTTY LUCK (when you're after more than just a BOOTY HISS.)

Kathy – I'm with @Lewis. This wordplay brightened up a gloomy gusty morning here in Beautiful Downtown West Virginia.

Glimmerglass 7:50 AM  

We've recently had one or two challenging Sunday puzzles, which took a nice chunk of Sunday morning fun, so I was bummed by today's speedway. I usually think of NYT Sunday puzzles as long Wednesdays, but today's was a long Monday. Oh, and yes, it's ICED TEA, you idiot. Dropping the D is a characteristic of the uneducated. I once saw a sign at a school cafeteria that said STUFF PEPPERS, which I took to be an imperative from a disgruntled lunch lady.

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

For all the (justified) carping about how the NYT crossword trends old in the clueing, not one snarky comment about 68D "Like AARP The Magazine"?

I'm also slightly put off by 119A "Christ, with 'the'" = REDEEMER. I mean, can't you throw in a "to Christians" in the clue? Tone was wrong to my non-Christian ears.

Mohair Sam 8:22 AM  

Comments today are more fun than the puzzle. @LMS on a roll with her Dodd Frank protecting the fiNKS thought, and her plunge into bathtub gins instead of oleo at 1 across. Loved @Glimmerglass' reference to Stuff Peppers - so right about ICEdTEA.

Hand up with the gang thinking this was the easiest Friday - Saturday - Sunday run maybe ever. Keeping that hand up for oleo before LARD and span before JOIN. Also had Rita before REBA (how old are we?). Otherwise it was pretty much get a letter fill in an answer all the way through.

Thankful that today's constructor was named Kathy and not Joe so we were spared another sexism rant from OFL over the themers PANTYHANDLER and BUSTYFARE, and the clue "Chatty Cathy types" (are there no Blabbing Bobs?).

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

I loved it, and can excuse the easiness because there were vertical themers and they were positioned with crossword symmetry. Several of the themers made me smile for reasons beyond the wordplay. And when I got to the mascara clue, I checked to see who the constructor was--yep. Finally, one for my team.
True, "ice tea" is for low-rent diners. But honestly, people, don't sneer at that if you are someone who thinks "tub of oleo" is a thing. Unless this is another one for the x-chromosomes, maybe only a mean-girl phrase?
Very clever and a fun Sunday!

Loren Muse Smith 8:49 AM  

I meant to say this – the clue for TAKER had me off thinking about this "ee" suffix. The person you're gossiping about is the "referee" or the kid you're pulling back from the busy street, the "yankee."

@Glimmerglass – funny sign. At the country club, someone had taped up a sign that said, "Please keep door close."

But I just don't see the big deal between ICE TEA and "iced tea." I think it's going the way of "ice cream," "ice water," "wax paper," "king size sheets". . . an economy of sound. Any change like that is for me a welcome one. Welcomed one.

I wonder if "saber toothed tiger" is what people use to say. ;-)

Lobster11 8:50 AM  

This one played closer to medium for me, but that might because I'm feeling a little brain-dead after one too many tequilas last night. I thought the them was fine, if not thrilling. To me, the single most important aspect of a theme is that sussing it out then contributes directly to my experience in solving the rest of the puzzle, which this one did. Otherwise, not much to say.

Unknown 9:01 AM  

this puzzle seems like an old person talking a lot and making loud pun jokes about "panty" and "busty" and making everyone uncomfortable. in my opinion.

Old Lady 9:20 AM  

The original colors for SUNY Purchase - PUCE and heliotrope.

Z 9:21 AM  

I guess I'm easily amused this morning. I found the themers fun to suss out. Of course, starting off dark with CASUALTY FRIDAY and tossing in the puerile BUSTY FARE didn't hurt. The grid felt a little chopped up to me, so each themer seemed to anchor a mini-puzzle. Normally this would irk me, but today it just provided chances to let the dog out and refill my coffee, so no problem. If anything, it helped the puzzle to feel a little less sloggy.

@chefwen - the psychic nature of your ICE TEA comment was confirmed within minutes.
@bob kerfuffle - Apparently Epps was busy. I'm all for diversity in the puzzle, but genocidal dictators is a sub-optimal way of achieving it.
@Glimmerglass - I'm firmly #TeamIDon'tCare, but I do like the notion of "stuff peppers."

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, & Proper Nouns as a percentage of the puzzle. 33% is where things get skyey.

31/140, a low 22%. What is remarkable is 11 of the 30 are from the clues, so in the grid is just 20/140, 14%. I'll list the clue based answers first:



OWM Analysis
Rex was criticized for observing that the NYTX only seems to care about hair and conveniently spelt rappers were minorities are concerned. I've been keeping tabs.

Today we get REBA, LIZA, a genocidal dictator not named Idi and a Q.B.
Here are some overlooked opportunities:
OMAR, BANKS, JOSS, DAB (especially considering CAM's appearance nearby).

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

Their was a deli that always had a sign on the window,"today stuffed peppers" to which I always silently added, " tomorrow the world."

Z 9:31 AM  

@Anon8:05 - I was tempted, morely sorely tempted than I care to admit. But there's no snark worse than pedantic snark, so I refrained.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

I agree

Teedmn 10:00 AM  

This puzzle was quite enjoyable but I TORPEDOed myself in two different places. For some reason I left blank entries in two different spots so I literally DNF'd but didn't even notice. I was having trouble parsing 19D - even with RA_E, all I could think of was RAvE. ?? And not being completely sure of how to spell AIL_RON, I wandered away from there, never to return. Same thing with 48D: what may a limo be for, indeed? Since I didn't know what was in an Arnold Palmer, I went walkabout on that one too.

I have symmetrical black ink splotches. I seem to recall that earlier this week, I declared a moratorium on stream-of-consciousness solving but my swift "oleo" over "ripening" in the NW proved the point ONCE again. And having GeodeS as cave deposits gave me "donee" for "givee", with raised eyebrows over the clue/answer double e since ergS had to be the physics units, no? The theme finally came to the rescue but my SE looks like bat GUANOS, a whole PILE of deposits. And I'm with @LMS on the "PUCE is not a good color name" bandwagon. i never picture brownish purple when I see the word. If I see the color "brownish purple" I think "raisin", not PUCE.

I really liked CASUALTY FRIDAY and PETTY ROCKS as themes. I got lost in the Midwest with 66A when my BATTY _ O_ I_ E really wanted to become mOlInE but Illinois not being a state with many ports on the coast, I saved myself there and did the head-slap when the theme made BAT-TY MOBILE obvious.

So except for my blind spots in the grid, I enjoyed this puzzle. Nice sophomore effort, Ms. Weinberg.

'mericans in Kyiv 10:01 AM  

Easy peasy for us. Bought the INYT in the morning, were finished with the puzzle soon after lunch. We actually liked the theme. Like Lewis, we enjoyed trying to figure out the theme answers on the strength of just a couple of letters.

Personally, I liked BATTY MOBILE the best: in the Alabama presidential primary, Mobile County 45% of voting Republicans chose Donald Trump, and another 21.5% chose Ted "It's a big deal when I win my home state but not when Donald wins his" Cruz.

We liked most of the fill, with words like AILERON, SMIDGEN, HOYA (our son's alma mater), HALER, COVEYS, BRIGADE, and RIPTIDE. If we have to put up with a few GUANOS and RADS, I think it's worth the price for relatively clean fill.

@LMS: Good point about all the words that had drop their Ds or EDs. Had never notice that before.

Sunny, warm day here in Kiev (or as Ukraine prefers it be called now, Kyiv).

Nancy 10:08 AM  

An easy, pleasant, eminently forgettable pun puzzle that is about as bad or as good as all the other Sunday pun puzzles we've seen recently. Since I had DuAD before DYAD at 36D, I was wondering why a bANTu HANDLER would be found at Victoria's Secret. Oh, right, it has to be PANTY, I realized, and corrected.

A note to all HES out there: I do believe that most women would much rather be called "Hon" than BABE. Come to think of it, there really is a lot of male piggery re women in this one, isn't there? But I'm not complaining. I'm here to solve 'em, not to judge 'em.

For those who missed it, I threw in some RAREBIT recipe ideas (not from scratch though) late yesterday.

The Maven from New Haven 10:09 AM  

Extol the virtue of largesse versus largeness for those over sixty women that can't just lose that weight and pulling down what little fabric still exists on you blouse does NOT help at all

Steve M 10:11 AM  


RAD2626 10:13 AM  

Surprised about how critical the bulk of the comments have been so far. Thought the puzzle was well done, with very little junk for a Sunday puzzle and a clever enough theme, clued well. Do not agree with the hackneyed assessment. Liked CASUALTY FRIDAY a lot and others mostly made me grin. Surprised that PANTY HANDLER made the cut but the clue was more neutral than any alternative I can conjure up. Had RSTv for the Queue after Q which a) held me up a bit b) makes me hope I never get stopped for driving erratically. I can't do the alphabet forward let alone backward.

While I thought Thursday was not tricky enough for that day, liked Fri - Sun just fine.

AliasZ 10:13 AM  

I was surprised @Rex didn't mention Patrick Berry's puzzle from April 11, 2010 with the identical title and theme, until I realized that PuzzleGirl did the write-up that day.

Oh, the calamity of BUSTY and PANTY! It's party for the course. I am blushing. At least potty humor was avoided.

ICE TEA was an unfortunate duplication of the TEE sound. I have never seen or heard GUANOS in its plural form (except twice before in NYT puzzles). It doesn't mean that it can't exist, but it sounds wrong. I feel the same about manures. A few other glitches here and there, but otherwise an exemplary clean fill. For that, kudos to Kathy Wienberg.

You may enjoy this rendition of the aria I know that my REDEEMER liveth by Mattiwilda Dobbs (1925-2015) from Handel's Messiah.

Enjoy this beautiful Greek Orthodox Palm Sunday.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

@lms -- Although I certainly prefer language that's used correctly, I like the examples you cite in defending ICE TEA as something that's become accepted over the years. It's probably also possible -- with a wee bit of a stretch -- to defend it logically: Until the ice melts, it's ICE/TEA. Once it's melted, though, there's a problem. So better drink it fast.

Meg Greer 10:22 AM  

Piece of cake, sweet and easily devoured. Once I finally got my mind off of Baton Rouge, with the help of MEDICI and BIMONTHLY, the rest of the fill breezed along. I had a little trouble with the Mid-East section, because I had SPAN and AVEA in 40A and 42D. I also got stuck looking at RICOTTAS, RIGATONI and finally got RISOTTOS to finish out that part of the puzzle. Onto the rest of the day!

Meg Greer 10:24 AM  


Puzzler 10:24 AM  

Interesting. Today's "basic theme isn't really worthy of the NYT—not in the 21st century. It's just too vanilla, too hackneyed". But when PB published a
similar and looser theme on 4-11-2010 (which might be in the same decade), OFL
commented "Theme was very clear, very consistent." So which it? I think I'll
print this blog out cause I'm POT(TY)BOUND. Some people, like me, just like
to gripe. Hey Rex, have I got a CROSS WORD for you.

Meg Greer 10:33 AM  

If stalactite and stalagmite don't fit, it's got to be guano! 😉

chefbea 10:39 AM  

Couldn't do the puzzle last night...too tired and too many glasses of wine. This morning...piece of cake.

GILL I. 10:43 AM could always FARTY AWAY after your BOOTY HISS...
I rather enjoyed this. Made me smile and laugh a few times - especially with images of a PANTY HANDLER. Hmmm, I think I'll draw something.
To this day, I always think of PUCE as a green color. Sort of like lime jello gone horribly wrong.
What's the difference between ICE/ICED tea? I use both - just to see if anyone cares.
Fun puzzle for this fine Sunday morning.

Amelia 10:47 AM  

All the puzzles at the New York Times have become less challenging. All the crosswords. All the variety puzzles. I've stopped doing the acrostic which has become one big gimme. Something is up at the Times. Just don't know what it is.

Tita 11:03 AM  

I agree with @Bob K.

Love 1A - a great start to the puzzle. We were at a company dinner, very elegant, at the finest restaurant in Heidelberg. Amidst the flawless tablescape were several elegant white china tubs with an unctuous white spread inside. We asked what it was. "Why, that is LARD", said the waiter uneuphamistically.

Anyone else try xing before SLOW at 16D?

It was so nice and nostalgic to see ARIL - a word a learned in the 5th grade, and have retained to this day thanks to my earliest xword attempts courtesy Mr. Maleska. (For whom I hold no abhorence - diff'rent styles is all.)

My Givee was a TAKEE for a bit, thanks to ERGS as my go-to physics unit.

Thanks, Ms. Weinberg, for a bunch of fun phrases. This was a nice, enjoyable Sunday.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

@Mohair - Har. Maybe Shlomo could have gotten away with that clue for REDEEMER.

Izzie 11:44 AM  


Z 12:01 PM  

@Puzzler - I love The African Queen but anyone using those types of characters and basic plot today would get a "hackneyed" from me. The very fact that this puzzle theme is so similar (blander since every "tee" sound is spelt "ty") as a puzzle from 6 years ago supports Rex's observation.

@Alias Z - GUANO(S) does seem to be something that, no matter how much of it you have, is always singular. I was more caught up in the singularized PANTY. PANT seems to be singularized only as an adjective (pant leg) while PANTIES or PANTY can be singular in the wild. I wonder if one can be "pantied?"

Unknown 12:32 PM  

CongratTYulations to me for a no-cheat solve (as I SLID to the finish after correcting a SMIDGEN of TYpos from my recalcitrant keyboard). Got the “TY” theme early and this was a big AID. It wasn’t a SNAP, however it wasn’t too EDGY. Having ACED this, it was a REDEEMER for my solving TRAUMA of yesterday, although this was SLOW going. But I like that as it LENGHTENS the time for a ZES-TY Sunday’s diversion.

My great uncle, was a chemistry professor (Hi @ George Barany) at Oberlin College. He was the mentor for Charles Hall for his discovery of the low-cost Hall-Héroult process for extracting aluminum from the ore. The has led to many ALLOYS of that metal, such as those used for AILERONs.

I was SO hoping the ORBITER answer would be “Mariner.” Several of those space vehicles went to Mars PLUS Venus ALSO. Though they all did not LAND on them. Instead they were to HOVER over them. That would have been a totally AWESome cross.

SADly, RIPTIDEs have been a TAKER of the lives of several people who have gotten to close to the waves and washed into the ocean off the rocky BANKS of Pemaquid Point, which is LOCATEd NEAR to where I live.

At first, I went with RE-heel as the fix for a pump. I think this a more fitting answer given it is the distinctive feature of said shoe.

LA MER is most certainly not one of Debussy’s LAMER compositions.

I’ll OPT to not PILE on the clues/answers as I found no EXCESS drek. I thought this puzzle was most certainly more than A-OK. I ALSO suspected it had a low PPP count, which @Z has confirmed.

Thanks, Ms. Wienberg.


Sheryl 12:38 PM  

Rail away against the too-easy Friday, Saturday, and Sunday puzzles, but I was able to finish them all for a change - without cheating - and it made me happy. :)

RooMonster 12:40 PM  

Hey All !
Agree with easy rating. Still took me longer than 8 minutes! :-) Thought some of the themers pretty whimsical, like BUSTYFARE, BATTYMOBILE, SAFETYCRACKER, PANTYHANDLER. Had SoFt in first for SAFE, ans said, "What is a SoFtTY CRACKER." Good stuff. Only four other writeovers, which on a SunPuz is very low for me. easy-SNAP, stan-LAND, blt-PBJ, scum-ALGA. Didn't like HES, though. Awkward clue/answer, but that being only nit means good puz!

Wonderful color PUCE is back, it even sounds icky. And don't even mind the alphabet run.

Fairly open grid, liked a bunch of clues, give the puz a +.

Some rhyming together-ers,


robber 1:20 PM  

Liked it but meh......kind of easy, with some creative 'clueing' to keep it fun. I really enjoyed the 'in one ear' puzzle a couple of weeks ago. I would like to see more on that level.

Funny i was quite chuffed with myself on Friday and Saturday as i always struggle with those.....then i came here....;-( ...;-)
Oh well on to the next week, cheers all!

jclaireb 1:56 PM  

I so wanted 104A to be naughtier. But Bus Fare it is. And I think all Omar answers should forever be required to reference The Wire. Batty Mobile was my fave of theme answers - home to 4 HoFamers, so a different kind of batty works, too. Can you name them?

kitshef 2:25 PM  

Now, that's the @Rex I know and love. Rating an unusually tough for me Sunday as Easy, dissing a theme I really enjoyed.

Enjoyable puzzle. Not a fan of the clunky clue for HAIL, and personally I don't find Debussy's compositions to be LAMER than any others.

Knew we'd be in for the ICETEA complaint as soon as I counted the boxes.

The 'stuff peppers' sign reminds me of one seen on the way to the beach saying 'we use "real" M&Ms'. Made me wondere if they use real M&Ms or not.

old timer 3:02 PM  

PANTY is just fine when it precedes another noun. Think PANTY raid, once a favorite college-boy amusement. But if your wife wants you to fetch her undergarment she's gonna ask for her PANTies every time.

Laurie 3:15 PM  

Hoya two days in a row. I'm thought repeat answers were frowned upon.

Leapfinger 3:17 PM  

Pretty nifty. BTW @Rex, speaking of NAPpy...

@AliasZ, am right behind you with the GUANOS, perhaps less so with the 'manures', as there are green ones, also. Perhaps there's something to be said about varieties of DUNGS Beetlejuice.

I think having Robyn Weintraub and Kathy Wienberg in the same week was wicked, i.e. (e.i.?) was just designed to confuse us. At least both their first names are spelt with a Y.

Thank goodness that today had no
Lingerie luncheon? PANty PIZZA
Toad food? WARty FARE
Spunky buns? BREAD DOUGHty
Compassion location? PIty SQUARE
Worship Charles Lamb? AGNUS DEIty
Waltz King jokes around? LEVIty STRAUSS
Too much Erik? SATIEty

Just in case you haven't had...

Masked and Anonymous 3:43 PM  

@madchickenlittle: Rex's grid looks kinda tough to fill.
But, if UR ok with little, …


Masked & Anonym007Us

Cute-tee SunPuz. And, finally! … a day without TYREs.

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

Since when is "aileron" a maneuver? "Aileron roll" yes; "aileron" no.

puzzle hoarder 3:58 PM  

I suppose if a bat ate some bad insects it could refrain from leaving the cave by saying "Not tonight I've got the guanos." otherwise that word doesn't really exist
It's reassuring to know OFL is keeping his nose to the ground for racism. "Givee", it looks suspect to me.

Kimberly 4:10 PM  

After many moons the NYT crossword is once again psychic woohoo!

Over brunch my husband and I were discussing a friend of ours, the late great Warren Teitelman who, among many other brilliant software achievements, is the known inventor of the "undo" key on the computer. A few minutes later I came across the "edit menu option" clue, saw the four empty squares, and said "no way." My grin carried me across the rest of the puzzle. Don't care what was in there, it was great.

Vyv. 4:10 PM  

Personally, I think it would take me about 20 minutes to fill in two themeless and one Sunday crossword just with random letters.Is this like fishermen's tales?

GILL I. 4:16 PM  

@puzzle hoarder...."Not tonight I've got the guanos."
My sides are hurting. I've GOT to use that somehow.

Dick Swart 4:19 PM  

I like a pleasant Sunday. Sun is like a Big Wed/Thur I expect Fri/Sat to be work.

Puce, ecru ... can mauve be far behind? Try fitting those colors into ROYGBIV.

Lewis 5:17 PM  

@anon 3:45 -- Read the clue again more closely.

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

@Anon3:45 - you'd be on the mark if that's what the clue said. Alas, it's "maneuverER".

Anonymous 5:43 PM  

Surprised no one had WIPEOUT before RIPTIDE, as I did. I was certain I was correct when the "I" and "P" worked out, but

AliasZ 5:47 PM  

Anon@3:45 PM:

Read the clue more carefully.

Careful reader 5:52 PM  

@Puzzler - according the the comment by @AliasZ, Puzzle Girl, not Rex, wrote the blog entry for the 4-11-2010 PB puzzle.

@anon 3:45 - check the clue again, your "maneuver" is missing an er on the end.

kitshef 5:58 PM  

Anonymous at 3:45pm - double-check your reading of the clue.

Hugh 7:01 PM  

Seemed like a Monday/Tuesday difficulty level but nothing annoyed me or made me groan. As Rex said, very straightforward and vanilla but had a little fun with it at least.

A couple of good misdirects for me:

3D-Fix as a pump - RESOLE
8A - as Rex said, Military band - SASH
40-Bridge - JOIN, like Rex, wanted SPAN

Just one real mishap - spelled AVATAR incorrectly (had AVITAR) not having the fist A really caused a delay in the first themer falling for me (CASUALTY FRIDAY).

Liked seeing Petty in a Sunday puzzle (hope 2016 bodes better for him than some of my other favorite rockers)

While I usually like a bit more of a workout on Sundays but like this one just fine, albeit a bit ho hum.

Have a great week all!

Anonymous 7:19 PM  

A pet peeve: The clue for 98 down is not valid. Dynes are not "physics units". They used to be physics units, but they were thrown out around 1980 with the introduction of the international system of units (SI). Same story for ergs. These could be clued as "former physics units". Calling these "physics units" today is equivalent to calling Pluto the 9th planet from the sun.

Dynes and ergs were parts of a system of weights and measure called the CGS system which was mostly used by chemists. This was an alternative to the MKS system used by physicists, engineers, and others. Having two competing definitions of metric units caused a lot of problems. These problems were resolved around 1980 when the grand international committee for standardization of weights and measures chose the MKS system as the sole standard and killed the CGS system. This also required re-writing all chemistry textbooks at that time.

RAD2626 7:27 PM  

Hank Aaron ( who until a few years ago was the first entry in the Baseball Encyclopedia), Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and Ozzie Smith. Aaron talks often about growing up in Mobile and having Jackie Robinson as his role model.

Z 9:20 PM  

@Anonymous7:19 - What makes a planet a planet has changed, so calling Pluto a planet would be wrong. A DYNE is still a DYNE even if scientists don't use it anymore. Or do you think a yard isn't a unit of length since scientists use meters?

jberg 9:32 PM  

We spent the weekend in Newport, RI, apparently a NY Times-free zone. But the Sunday paper was delivered and waiting for us when we got home. I finished the puzzle about 9 PM, and came here to see that Rex has posted Monday already (managed not to see any answers in it).

So I'll only post my two complaints: first, the combination of the never-used singular ALGA with the never-used plural GUANOS. And second, that a LINER goes inside something, whereas a protective covering goes outside of it. That said, I did like BATTY MOBILE.

Not sure ICE TEA should have been in there either, even though I had an Arnold Palmer only yesterday. Make it part of the theme or leave it out, I'd say.

Was Debussy a LAMER composer than Chopin?

Unknown 10:34 PM  

There's no such thing as "ice tea." It's iced tea. Sweet tea if you're Southern.

jberg 12:06 AM  

To paraphrase some scientist I heard on the radio, green paint is paint and a dwarf planet is a planet, so Pluto is a planet !

Anonymous 7:51 AM  

Good morning, @Z. As always, you are So Right.

A couple of scientists who live on my street are frequently outside mowing their meters.

Puzzler 8:40 AM  

@Careful reader - scroll down and carefully read the 19th comment of the 65 posted.

Joe Bleaux 11:21 AM  

Check the clue more closely: It's "ManeuverER," i.e., the aircraft part used in making the maneuver.

Joe Bleaux 11:29 AM  

Um ... Iced tea is made from leaves and chilled by ice, whereas ice tea is made from ice? Please don't bring up the old wateredmelon controversy😊

Anonymous 5:05 PM  

'merican in Kyiv

It's always been Kyiv. Kiev is the English spelling. Same as München and Munich. Köln and Cologne.

Darby 5:56 PM  

But isn't guano already plural??

Angela 9:16 PM  

YES!!! This made me think there was a rebus somewhere. Inexcusably bad.

Unknown 10:56 PM  

Love the Prince tribute

spacecraft 11:17 AM  

Coulda been called "TEE-HEE TIME," with your PANTYHANDLER and your BUSTYFARE. Looks like we all have our own pet peeves today; mine is the never-used DYAD. PATTYDOWN, in light of Ms. Duke's recent passing, is most unfortunate. Perhaps it had already gone to press.

I had one writeover: in the NE I was thinking too East-Asia with the country names, and wrote STAN. Another fine mess. Not much else to get on about; it's certainly not the FLASHIEST puzzle ever, but does the job with a minimal groan factor. Love @LMS' fictional PUCE wedding.

The Damsel search...wait, there she is, and a deserved encore: BANKS! Or, any of the employees of the chain mentioned in the clue for 104-across. Even if it is easy to fill out, thus EARNing a C (and BTW, "Acquire" does NOT mean EARN; one might acquire a Powerball jackpot, but it was hardly "earned"), the relatively clean fill bumps it up to a B.

Eric Selje 11:21 AM  

I guess it's multiple piles of guano?

Burma Shave 1:03 PM  


she was the FLASHIEST BABE in town.
To rate her ORALLY? The BEST’S my type,


rondo 2:15 PM  

EZ puz except hand up for “stan” not land, and EXtraS in the SW.


REBA always gets a red dress yeah baby thumbs up from me, A SETI could like. @spacey found Tyra BANKS, JOSS shoulda been clued Stone, a really hot singing yeah baby, been around a dozen years and still not thirty, CD around here somewhere as is Alicia KEYS’. Honorable mention for LIZA.




CIAO ANYONE? Before too long.

UNDO[sic] EXCESS? Perhaps.


JOIN? Indeed.



Kinda OK puz, lotsa fun/funny words. HAIL and HALER together.
BESTS, bye.

SharonAK 5:31 PM  

I found 44A icky.
I loved 56A. Can't even remember the rest of the nursery rhyme, right now, but "the farmer in the dell" is a line I never forget.

Diana,LIW 8:41 PM  

Well it wasn't so darn easy for me. After a glance thru the puz, despair began to creep up on my shoulder. But bit by bit, I got two corners of toe holds. Then REALTYNUMBER gave me the theme. Let the fun begin. I love puns and wordplay! Thoroughly enjoyed!

Agree with @kitshef's review. So y'all found it easy...neener, neener, neener. Yours isn't any cleaner.

I cleanly finished it in about 2 hrs 15 mins. Which was just about my time in the Bloomsday Race today. Which I also finished. What can I say; I'm a finisher. Slow and steady.

One of my favorite colleagues in the Communication Dept. gave me a grammar exercise (for my class) based on the base sentence, "The cat sat on the mat." I changed it, with other variations, to, "The turtle jumped over the hurtle." I have since collected many replicas of leaping turtles. Perhaps a premonition of my slow but steady philosophy.

Worked at Bamberger's Dept. Store while in college - in the lingerie dept. Used to dream about refolding rows upon rows of panties. Women seem to have an insatiable need to rummage through a sale bin of panties, nicely put into rows by size, creating a mound of colorful underwear. So PANTYHANDLER was a familiar concept.

And I loved PATTYDOWN. Did NOT think of Patty Duke! Imagined someone yelling out, as if in warning regarding a hamburger's dismal fate.

And finally, to @longbeach - answered your Friday question - on the Fri. post.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting 'cause I'm just sloooooooooow

Wilbur Charles 7:49 AM  

NYTimes Sunday xword is very difficult for me and like the last responder very slow going. Only the relatively easy clueing made it possible. I start by trying to find one sure fill like CAM. Btw, OMAR Vizcuel would have clued or is that too obscure for the non-sports minded.
Apparently, college today give out PhDs for political correctness dissertations. PANTYHANDLER was exquisite. The best part of reading the blog is figuring out things like RESOLEing a Pump. Btw, ROLOs were Rollos when I ate them.

The Great UR

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

Decent puzzle with some real problems beside crossword chestnuts:
ICE TEA is a tea made from ice?
Was not aware that TAIPEI had been promoted to country from capital

Slight problems included:
Selfies have been a FAD I guess since they appeared if that is a possible of fad
RAMP would seem like more than “help” for a motorcycle daredevil, more like a prop

Yes we blazed through it and there were some decent clues but not a charmer

Anonymous because I wasn’t charmed

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