Starchy substance found in some plant roots / TUE 8-23-16 / Soda brand introduced in 1924 / Bond player after Brosnan / Duchess of Goya subject / Many flower children these days / Aaron Burr Hamilton song with rhyming title

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative difficulty: Medium, leaning easy

THEME: SWIRL (60A: Ice cream feature represented four times in this puzzle) — four flavors of ice cream are "swirled" inside nine-letter blocks in the grid; from L to R, top to bottom: CHOCOLATE, RUM RAISIN, BUBBLE GUM, PISTACHIO

Word of the Day: INULIN (32A: Starchy substance found in some plant roots) —
Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants, industrially most often extracted from chicory. The inulins belong to a class of dietary fibers known as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a means of storing energy and is typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants that synthesize and store inulin do not store other forms of carbohydrate such as starch. Using inulin to measure renal function is the "gold standard" for comparison with other means of estimating creatinine clearance. (wikipedia)
• • •

This puzzle was Easy + INULIN. That is some outlying outlierness, that is. Otherwise, things stayed on the easy side of Tuesday, which is impressive considering how big those NW / SE corners are. When I see that much white space in a themed puzzle, I expect a tougher-than-average experience. Not so today. I don't particularly like or even fully get the theme. CHOCOLATE swirl is a thing, but the other swirls are not, as far as a I know, so ... I guess it's just nine-letter ice cream flavors that are spinning. With no theme answers (besides SWIRL), this one just felt conceptually wobbly. As an exercise in easy themlessness, though, it was pretty enjoyable, with fill roughly 100x better than yesterday's. Leaving INULIN aside, there are only a smattering of ugly answers—well below my tolerance level. I really wish LOW-ENERGY had gotten the timely political clue it deserves, even if it would've meant mentioning a certain [choose one: a. DUMBO; b. SLUG; c. BEELZEBUB; d. HOSE] by name.

  • 39A: Gift in a relationship that's getting serious, maybe (KEY) — I have no idea what this means. What year is this from? Did you give him / her your house key? As a "gift"? I don't understand people.
  • 10A: Verbally attach (BASH) — had LASH
  • 58D: Seven Dwarfs' workplace (MINE) — recently watched "Snow White" as part of our ongoing "Watch All The Allegedly Great Movies" campaign. Have any of you seen it recently? It is so fantastically insipid, so intolerably boring, that we just shut it off half-way through. I'm sure the animation was a stunning achievement for its time, but as *movie*? Man, it does Not hold up. Her voice alone made me want to shut the whole thing down immediately. As I said elsewhere, it was like listening to Betty Boop's terribly boring cousin. Don't even get me started on the stupid MINE, where fully cut and polished gems just ... lie about. Intolerable. "Overrated" doesn't even begin to describe this movie.
  • 45D: Drug kingpin on "The Wire" (MARLO) — still haven't gotten around to this show. If it's a "Wire" clue and the answer isn't OMAR, I'm out. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Da Bears 12:05 AM  

@Rex, my avatar on Wordplay tonight is Jeb Bush. Make the NYT Puzzle great again. You're inching closer.

BTW, I special ordered a blue baseball cap with the words "Make Da Bears Great Again" in red orange. Love it.

jae 12:12 AM  
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jae 12:15 AM  

Medium-tough for me if you don't count the time I spent triple checking INULIN (RUM RAISIN took a bit of staring) and ZAPF. Spelled MORTGAGED wrong at first, misread 44a, and started to put in nolo contendere for 16a, all of which made this one tougher for me.

A couple of fine long downs, mildly amusing theme, nice stack in the SE corner, liked it.

Anonymous 12:58 AM  

ZAPF crossing ZOE was tough. Never heard of Saldana and put "JOE" instead..

George Barany 12:59 AM  
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George Barany 1:02 AM  

@Rex, I love your spot-on review today, especially your comment about LOW_ENERGY. Some of your other observations uncannily mimicked my own, as elaborated below.

@Joel Fagliano's puzzle played incredibly easy, and that's quite a cruciverbal feat "underneath the hood" to find and arrange all those SWIRLs-- these were not needed to solve, but could certainly be appreciated post-solve. I understand that the print version improves on the on-line solving presentation, by using lines instead of circle to better indicate how each spiral works. I also wonder whether RECOILING was intended as a bonus answer (CHOCOLATE SWIRL being the first, and the other three flavors just RECOILING) or fortuitous fill.

I read my first biochemistry textbook (Fruton and Simmonds) as a TWEEN, filling time in my father's office at the Institute for Muscle Disease in NYC, and some of my own research has even made it into biochemistry textbooks (Lehninger, e.g.). This is not to humble-brag or anything, merely to confirm that INULIN is way way off my personal radar screen. Sure enough, it's a @Will Shortz-era debut; even @Eugene Maleska never used it though there is one example from 1976 (@Will Weng, editor) and three more examples under the editorship of @Margaret Farrar.

Off-topic, some @Rex-ites might enjoy this 13x tribute puzzle ... just a couple of days late.

Larry Gilstrap 1:05 AM  

I have lived in Orange County for many years and first went to Disneyland in the Fifties, but people love the Disney stuff. I know people who go the park more than once a week. They're adults with no kids in tow. Really! A Tuesday puzzle gives us "spiral shape" in the header and SWIRL as a revealer. INULIN, if you say so. ZAPF, doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it? I'm a heart patient, so I only eat ice cream on the birthday cake of people I really like. When I was in high school my friend worked at Baskin Robbins and maybe that is why I am a heart patient. Ever hear the phrase: "They have really good ice cream."? Ever hear the phrase: "This is really bad ice cream."? I thought not. I, for some reason, watched lots of hip TV when I a lad. I was a fan of the MATCHGAME and its host Gene Rayburn. It was hip and savvy, but the guest that I fell in love with was Jayne Mansfield, and not because she played the bimbo thing. But she was so funny and clever and pushed the censors to the limit. Even when I was 16, I recognized her comedic genius. Q: Name something that is hard to get through a door. Jayne: followed by feigned consternation, "A bed." Oh, and her daughter is pretty bad ass. Thanks Joel for the cool memories.

Richard Rutherford 1:12 AM  

In my day, giving a significant other a key was a big deal. It meant a flavor of relationship past plain vanilla dating and sleeping over. The recipient was free to come and go, perhaps move in.

GILL I. 1:13 AM  

Jeez @Rex....Snow White came out around 1938....everyone was still happy then... no war yet... and Disney made the Brothers Grimm sound like George and Ira Gershwin. Whistle while you work and make mine a cappuccino.
I really liked this puzzle. BEELZEBUB and a SWIRL MANGO...icing on the CHOCOLATE SWIRL.
It was a fantastico Tuesday because we always hate Tuesdays and this was the cats MEOW.

Aketi 2:32 AM  

I liked NAP crossing LOW ENERGY which is how I'd feel if I ate a cone with scoops of all those flavors of ice cream.

If you've ever been to 16 handles you know that you can swirl almost any flavor into a giant peak or if you're less artistic it may just end up a messy blob.

I think going to Disneyworld was even more fun when my son was a TWEEN, than Disneyland when he was a preschooler. Except, I do admit that I missed the flying DUMBO ride.

I prefer WOBBLY crossing GELS to BEELZEBUB crossing STYX.

I loved this puzzle and didn't cheat at a all. Haha, THATS A LIE. I did check INULIN.

@Nancy I know you're going to hate the SWiRLs so I made you a SWIRL quilt.

ZenMonkey 3:18 AM  

You give your inamorata a key when it's serious enough for them to have the same access to your house that you do. Usually the step before moving in. Was not aware this was a confusing concept. Fun puzzle, I like a bit of challenge on a Tuesday.

Loren Muse Smith 3:22 AM  

I agree – really, really easy. I had CHOCOLATE filled in before I even realized it. So it was cool to look back and see what was going on.

I'm with @Larry - great memories on this one. Larry – when I was in high school, my family would go to Baskin Robbins fairly often. Dad and I would angle cannily to get the server with a strong-looking wrist. It's so devastating when the serving size is smaller than someone else's. Then we'd all sit abreast along the back wall of the tiny place to eat. One sister, Dad, and I would make very low, keening noises in the backs of our throats when anyone who would come in and stand at the counter to order. Deadpan. They'd casually turn around to investigate, but the three of us looked normal, quietly eating our sundaes. Mom and my other sister usually would just go finish their ice cream in the car, embarrassed.

Rex – I agree on Snow White. And since I've come clean about not understanding the appeal of Jane Austen, let me add that I have your Snow White reaction on lots of old movies – non cartoon – that I see. Sheesh. Are these actors wooden, or am I missing something? Heck, even the library scene in Gone with the Wind – can you imagine what Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis could do with that?

SLUG and TWEEN both could've been clued as "creature leaving a slime trail."

Cool to have two toons cross: BUGS/DUMBO

But, but, But… the take-away here was the clue for EMIR. "Sheik's peer." Sly.

Joel – nice corners, nice theme. Nicely done.

Anonymous 4:13 AM  

Surprised by the LOW-ENERGY Hillary call out.

Laura the Kiwi 5:24 AM  

I assumed it was SWIRL like soft serve.... not that swirl needed to be part of the theme... more like how the top of a soft serve ice-cream is a swirl.

I quite enjoyed it.

Anonymous 5:47 AM  

Thought you would have liked 58D. It's one of the three words you most often use, the other two being I and me.

aging soprano 6:22 AM  

I liked this easy solve. Figured out the ice cream flavors first, then the swirls from the graphics. I thought the fill remarkably good for such an easy puzzle. I'm actually quite up on INULIN, and was thrilled to see it in the xword. I was looking for ways to cook Jerusalem artchokes, also called Sunchokes, when I discovered this polysacchride. Sunchokes are the root of a wild sunflower plant native to the USA, and high in iron and INULIN, which is reputed to help lower blood sugars, so are good for diabetics. I use them as a potato substitute in soups, puree, stir fry, etc. In fact just yesterday I cooked up a big pot of delicious vichyssoise compatible using them. Their name is coincidental and has nothing to do with Jerusalem or artichokes. Apparently the misleading name came about when they were introduced to Europe in the 17th Century. Girasole, which is Spanish for Sunflower became Jerusalem and the artichoke was added on to make it sound more appealing. They are popular in France.
I wekcome the chefs among us to supplement this information.

aging soprano 6:58 AM  

By the way, Jerusalem Artichokes are quite a bit more expensive here than potatoes. I never shopped for them in the U.S. so have no idea as to their availability.

aging soprano 6:58 AM  

By the way, Jerusalem Artichokes are quite a bit more expensive here than potatoes. I never shopped for them in the U.S. so have no idea as to their availability.

Lewis 7:04 AM  

@lms -- Good catch on "Sheik's peer", and clever clue, Joel! Went right over my head when I solved.

I love seeing ZAPF in the puzzle, and I loved the clue for KEY in this Gray Lady puzzle. DETACH and aSEVER in symmetrical words: nice touch. And reCOILING echoes the theme. I would rather have seen SIAM in the Far East rather than the Far West.

Easy, breezy solve, and a stunt (because the theme didn't help the solve) that didn't feel ego driven. That is, it didn't detract from the enjoyment of the solve. And my Libra sensibility was satisfied with all that chilly ice cream balanced off by BEELZEBUB and STYX. Good one!

kitshef 7:05 AM  

BEELZEBUB, which is super, means ‘lord of the flies’.

Very solid fill, interesting grid (33 across clues, 43 downs), some nifty clues.

First MOORE, now CRAIG. I’m guessing LAZENBY tomorrow?

Anonymous 7:18 AM  

To me, someone who could not construct even a basic crossword puzzle, it is really cool that there are words within words that swirl! That must be really hard to accomplish!

Hungry Mother 7:26 AM  

DNF on ZAPF. I don't care what it means, just disgusted.

RAD2626 7:57 AM  

Really liked this puzzle a lot. Lucky guess on the Z in ZAPF/ZOE. Neatest feature for me was tha ice creams swirled clockwise in the west and counterclockwise in the east. Like a weird crossword equator.

Anonymous 8:02 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith
You are clearly missing something. If you think the library scene from "Gone With The Wind" is wooden acting, I'd hate to see what you think is "good acting." Maybe you should stick to reality TV or read comic books for a living.

George Barany 8:12 AM  

Hi again, after perusing the first wave from the commentariat, I think it's time for a shoutout to legendary font designer Hermann ZAPF. Click on the link, and I'm sure you'll agree that this is a New York Times-worthy entry.

I also found the cluing for GAY, KEY, and MWAH, among others, quite educational as well as different from what one might normally expect from the newspaper of record. Also, I would respectfully disagree with the lack of love for Disney's "Snow White" ... that was definitely a revolutionary entry in the history of cinema.

Finally, having now seen the puzzle in hard-copy now that our morning home-delivery person has completed her rounds, I can see how the use of lines to direct the solver through the spiral would have made this even easier (INULIN excepted). Plus, those of my friends who solve on the Puzzazz platform have pointed out that the effect was preserved there as well ... well done!

chefbea 8:29 AM  

Fairly easy puzzle. Loved swirling all those flavors around. Did not know Inulin or zapf..but love mango chutney!!!

NCA President 8:46 AM  

So disappointed in Rex for not linking Bohemian Rhapsody in his review. "Beelzebub has the devil put aside for me...for meeee....for meeeeeee!" (cue raucous rock and roll interlude). Or "Brand New Key" by Melanie...which I think is about a stalker girl who wants a guy's roller skate key.'re slipping, man.

Pretty easy for me too.

INULIN and LUMET were the outliers but I got them easily from crosses. The only problem they posed was when I was finished and had a typo hidden in the puzzle, my first reaction was to look for the weird words...and I kept coming back to both of them, but felt like the crosses were pretty firm. Finally found my typo with MWAw...

The theme didn't help the solve and circled squares are obnoxious, so I wasn't too keen on figuring it out either. But I get the "SWIRL" part is just a spirally way of saying ice cream flavors. I admire the thought process behind coming up with stuff like this. My only issue is that swirls usually are two flavors together...these were just one. But still, you get an A for effort.

Hartley70 8:48 AM  

While I think no one has mentioned it, I think REBUS is part of the reveal. It's location matches SWIRL and I would call the ice cream flavors "picture puzzles". It's a SWIRL REBUS day!

I'm with @Gill I in thinking this is a primo Tuesday puzzle. To get two totally obscure entries, INULIN and ZAPF, and the visual swirl flavor feature pushes this right to the top of my "all time favorite Tuesday" list (which is very, very short, sadly).

While I'm the right age, I'm the wrong temperament to ever have been a HIPPIE. Although I did have some daisy print bell bottoms in '68, I bought them at the very un-HIPPY Bonwit Teller in Boston. (non sequitur: That was the most gorgeous domed white marble store I have ever seen.) Most HIPPIES that I knew were exceedingly LOWENERGY because they were feeling "groovy". Today the reason might well be arthritis. So sad. We all finally have something in common.

KEY was a gimme. It was a milestone in a dating relationship in my day. Even today, you'd have to be pretty close to get one of mine and you'd need the alarm code too.

Daniel Peirce 8:48 AM  

Surprised Rex didn't dis the ETDS at 49A. WEN at 43D would have made better fill -- and a nice follow up to ZIT yesterday.

Zoe Saldana got a lot of attention in Avatar, but I particularly enjoyed her lead role in Colombiana.

Hartley70 8:54 AM  

@LarryGilstrap, actually I have. We once stopped at a roadside stand in July to get cones and discovered that ice cream can go sour just like milk. Blech!

Nancy 8:56 AM  

I was going to make a political comment about the LOW ENERGY answer, but there's no way I can possibly improve on Rex's. Right on, Rex! I also had the same reaction he had to KEY. It may be proof of a significant relationship, but it's hardly a "gift." A very odd clue.

Very briefly I thought this might be a REBUS, because I wanted NOLO CONTENDERE at 16A. Strictly speaking, that is what the plea is called. Then, this would have been a very hard puzzle on a Tuesday. Once I had the right answer, I knew that the puzzle would be NO CONTEST for me today.

Here, for me, is yet again another example of a constructor pulling off a pointlessly difficult feat that adds no interest or pleasure to the solver's experience. I went back after the fact to look at the ice creams. Oh, I said, there's CHOCOLATE. And PISTACHIO. Yawn. I didn't bother looking at the other two ice creams. Yawn again. This puzzle didn't do much for me.

Lewis 8:58 AM  

And, by the way, greetings from my home town, Asheville, NC, EXHIPPIES' heaven!

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Rex, did you not appreciate the Queen in Snow White? One of the most terrifying villains ever. I feel you about the rest of the movie, I suppose. I haven't seen it since I was young enough to not be very critical.

NCA President 9:14 AM  

RUMRAISIN? Is this 1924? I'm sure there are some of you who eat rum raisin ice cream to this day...but seriously. I've been to many ice cream places in the last 6 months...from the boutiquey ones to the straight ahead BnR ripoff ones. Maybe I'm just not looking for it, but rum raisin just isn't a flavor any more.

I'm guessing the people who like rum raisin also like mince meat and fruit cakes and oatmeal raisin cookies and probably Sen Sen. There's probably a reason you don't find Edy's or Breyers or B&J (they discontinued the flavor in 1981) or Jeni's or even Stuarts making rum raisin any more. I see that Haagen Daaz makes it. So there's that. In fairness, it's probably better than BUBBLEGUM...but that isn't saying much.

Let's just say of the four themers, that one is the outlier to the vast majority of people who eat ice cream.

Nancy 9:18 AM  

Oops. One wrong letter -- a letter I guessed at and then completely forgot about. I had jOE/jAPF instead of ZOE/ZAPF. Well, c'mon, people. You tell me why jAPF makes any less sense than ZAPF. I say ZAPF-JAPF (my new word for PHOOEY) to both of them!

Thanks for the quilt, @Aketi. I actually didn't hate the swirls at all, swirls being much less annoying than tiny little circles. I just didn't pay any attention to them.

ArtO 9:22 AM  

Why vent so much spleen on a movie made almost 80 years ago and targeted to children who had not been exposed to television or Internet and the sophisticated animation of today's films.

As always, Joe Fagliano's puzzles are works of art.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

I completely agree with Rex's comment about Snow White. I feel the same way about Gutenberg and the printing press. At LEAST start with dot matrix. And Ford, internal combustion? Really? One word Henry, Tesla. And finally, the HIGHLY overrated Edison. Wire filaments? Ha! If he were really smart, LED to start. Snow White? Where's the irony? The bite that a feminist Snow could have brought to the thing? That's what kids needed in the depths of the Great Depression. Insipid pap.

QuasiMojo 9:55 AM  

And I thought I was being too negative lately... haha. Rex, you need to watch Snow White with some stoners. But seriously, I've always felt that Disney movies in general are torturous and hard-to-sit-through, except for "Dumbo," which I loved. As for the newer variety, well I don't watch any movies anymore made since "Dumb and Dumber." I found this puzzle a conundrum. It's design baffled me. I've never seen a "swirl" that looked like a box of lugnuts. And I doubt pistachio has ever been swirled in the first place. Nor rum raisin. This puzzle was "somewhere out there," and couldn't carry a "toon." That said, I give it bonus points for including Sidney Lumet, who directed "The Wiz."

QuasiMojo 9:57 AM  

Addendum and errata: Before the "pedants" get me, I did mean "its" not "it's"! Back off! :)

Roo Monster 10:05 AM  

Hey All !
Grid looks more like a themeless, with the three stacked 9's. Agree with the odd answers INULIN and ZAPF and LUMET. Those are know-em-or-not words. Even OSX is non-Tuesday.

Usually like Joel's puzs, but this one didn't do much for me. Wonder how many iterations of the SWIRLs Joel had to go through to get the easy answers in the grid. Impressed with that. Solving experience, not so much.


jberg 10:09 AM  

It was nice to see Jessica from yesterday (or was it Sunday?) elevated to duchess and portrayed by Goya. Nice going, girl!

But DNF for me -- instead of jOE, I had cOE, figuring Saldana for a first name, and liking cAPF better than pAPF. I've got to get out more.

On the plus side, I saw right away that the top little spiral said CHOCOLATE, and when the next one looked like it could be FUM RAISIN I was off and licking, with just a slight pause while i figured that PISTACHIO went up rather than down at the end. But it took the revealer to make me see that these were SWIRLs, not just scoops of ice cream..

RoundeD up before REMAINDER, ETa before ETD; otherwise all fine except for that one letter at 42A/D.

I use Word for small writing jobs, and Nota Bene for serious work; neither of them has ZAPF dingbats as a font -- only wingdings.

Nice catch on the bard, there, @Loren!

Tita A 10:30 AM  

@Larry - My husband's favorite flavor at Il Bacio, the most amazing ice cream place ever, is "Cardiac Arrest" - 4 kinds of CHOCOLATE SWIRLed together... It was invented (and named) by one of the cardiologists at the medical center across the street.
(And lol to "This is really bad ice cream".)

To defend Rex on one point - while giving a key is certainly a relationship milestone, *gifting* it is kinda weird. In a condescending way... It's not something you gift.

@Gill and ArtO - well said re: Snow White. I admit to not having watched the full-length movie since being a kid, but let me add that the beauty of the drawings themselves are stellar. My reaction to today's cartoons is that they are all about the shock value of the content, and not at all about the artistry of the drawings.
So I suppose it's not fair to compare.

Whoa, @NCA Pres - please don't marginalize us RUMRAISIN fans!! (I also find it hilarious that you researched the market availability of said flavor. Makes me feel good about all the hours I spend lost in the intertubes on some similar, inane "gotta-know" quest.)

I liked the puzzle, even though the other flavors aren't legit as SWIRL flavors. No - it is not defensible.
@Laura, with all due respect, here in the USofA SWIRLed ice cream always means one flavor (usually vanilla) into which another flavor (usually CHOCOLATE) is mixed, just so, to produce said feature.

Love the crosses y'all pointed out.

Z 10:38 AM  

@Rex - I had to laugh at your first lines. "Outlying outlierness" is the perfect description of my reaction as I double-checked every cross. You pretty much nailed my take on the puzzle. My one point of departure is that I have seen things added to ice cream described as "mix-ins," "stir-ins," and SWIRLs. On the other hand, right with you on the idea of a KEY as a gift. I give may things that are not gifts. Giving a significant other a KEY to my place is not anything like giving her earrings, say.

ZAPF Dingbats were emojis before there were emojis, a part of my Macs' font set for as long as I can remember. I did wonder how known they would be these days, having been replaced by emojis.

@LMS - I was watching Now, Voyager the other night, #23 on AFI's list of top love stories in American cinema. As a cultural artifact it is fascinating. As cinema - not so much. Because of the mores of the day so much has to be inferred. Based on what we see the Bette Davis character will die a virgin, yet the obvious implications is that she lost her virginity at 20, was discovered in flagrante delicto by her mother. Later, the central romance clearly is an affair with a married man. Despite all this obvious passion, it comes across as wooden because of how the central relationships are presented. I had finally had enough and my wife's comment was "I'm surprised you last that long." Casablanca and The African Queen still hold up for me, though.

@anon8:02 - I think you may be adding something. We can argue whether or not the film-makers do enough to lead us to the point of adding that something, but turn the sound off and watch. "Wooden" certainly is one word that comes to mind. That scene might as well be on a proscenium.

@Lewis - "ex" hippie heaven?

Numinous 11:05 AM  

@Quasi, is that peedants or pehdants? I liked Dumbo too but the one I'd love to see again (and sadly cannot) is Song of the South.

@Lewis, sorry, mate, but if you're from California, Siam/Thailand IS in the far west. I can actually recall having a conversation in a junior high school geography class about the Near East and the Far East being, for us reversed; Near being further than Far.

@NCA Prez, LUMET should be a gimme. I can't think of any other director named Sidney.

@Hartley 70, Neither was I ever a hippie. I have a sister who still is but I was more a beatnik. Politics were never my thing. I will confess to wearing bell bottom Levis into the '80s though.

I thought this puzzle was pretty good for a Tuesday, just under average time for me and I totally ignored the ice cream SWIRLs until I went to xwordinfo. I like PISTACHIO and CHOCOLATE but would never eat the other two, not even out of curiosity. I was really surprised to see the nine stacks when I opened the app and thought, Ok, now I'm in for it. They proved to be surprisingly easy. Joel's work generally impresses me, I see it every day in the mini.

Oh, yeah, the typeface designer. ZAPF is probably a name that anyone familiar with computers and fonts should know.

old timer 11:08 AM  

I didn't enjoy the puzzle because I kept expecting the coils to be part of the answers. Solved it though, but my 13-minute time was high for a Tuesday.

I don't understand the kvetching (or is it kvelling?) about the clue for KEY. "Give" is the only word for providing a key to someone so they can come in your house. We give a key to our house cleaners, our neighbor when we're away, etc. True it is more of a loan than a "gift", but I see nothing wrong with the clue. It was hard for me to fathom because I have never been in a relationship where the gift of a key preceded the decision to move in together. Nor do I recall having friends who gave a key to their girlfriends who did not live with them. But it probably happens.

Rum raisin has always been a popular flavor of ice cream in the Bay Area. Bott's had the best. But Mitchell's in San Francisco must have it too, because they call their online photo collection the "rum raisin archives". When I lived in the neighborhood, I preferred macapuno (a Filipino-style coconut flavor). Mitchell's is legendary -- by far the oldest family-owned ice cream store in San Francisco, and the only older one, still at the same location, is Swenson's, at their original Hyde and Union location. If you want to drive the Crookedest Street in the World, stop at Swenson's first -- the city fathers have been kind enough to put a 15-minute parking zone next to the store, so you are likely to find a place to park.

Fortunately, my heart doctor has not forbidden ice cream, though I know it is not good for my blood sugar, and can play havoc with my INULIN (did anyone else think the answer there required borrowing the adjacent "s" from the swirl?)

Karlo Kitanovski 11:33 AM  

I breezed through this EASY puzzle with a sub-5 time and because my time was flowing at lighting speed, I overlook INULIN thinking it was INSULIN. I didn't carefully read the clue to think about if it made sense. After getting CHOCOLATE, I followed by writing each "swirl" as soon as I got the first letter conforming to the pattern; bang, bang,bang. That knocked it out of the park. My only problem was ZAPF because the across proper name was foreign to me and I'm not so good with fonts. I mean I know Ariel and Serif but that's about all. I had to give an educated guess. I had the first letter (of each clue across and down) narrowed down to J, M, Z (and maybe C). After a few seconds of thought, I guessed correctly and disregarded JAPF, MAPF, and CAPF while leaning to MAPF with MOE. After that it was 50/50 between MAPF and ZAPF. Much to my joy, I chose correctly. The construction had a nice theme but the fills weren't too impressive. I give it a B-. Cheers Michael!

evil doug 11:36 AM  

I move that the phrase "spot on" be assigned 'intolerable cliche' status and never be employed again.

G.Harris 11:38 AM  

Sorry but zapf crossing remainder is simply not fair especially if you didn't watch the Wire and Carlo seems so much more likely than Marlo.

evil doug 11:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 11:45 AM  

You should bold the word WOBBLY in your write-up.

Anonymous 11:47 AM  

Mostly enjoyable but DNF due to quasi-multi-Natick pile-up on KEY, KOI, ZOE, ZAPF. Who, what, huh?

mathgent 11:59 AM  

I'm from the sexual Dark Ages. When we were I college in the fifties, a guy might give a serious girlfriend a key, but it wasn't a key to his house. It was his fraternity key. A charm attached to a key chain displaying the logo of the fraternity, like a Phi Beta Kappa key.

Like @Nancy, I usually dislike puzzles where the theme doesn't help with the solving. But I liked this one. MWAH. VASSALAGE. EXHIPPIES. BEELZEBUB. ZAPH (which I learned from the crosses and then lookied up.)

Z 12:03 PM  

@Karlo Kitanovski - INsULIN would be appropriate in this puzzle.

@oldtimer - the clue is Gift. If the clue had used give there'd be no kvetching or kvelling. All gifts are given, but not everything given is a gift. Giving a key to your place to your lover is fine. Gifting a key to your place to your lover is ... odd.

Numinous 12:29 PM  

@Old Timer, Wow, double wow and even a triple WOW. Botts is one place I never expected to see mentioned here. I must say I think of it fondly. Loved the way they would pack a container and weigh it to make sure they were giving the correct amount. The containers were always piled high with ice cream, RUM RAISIN, PISTACHIO, or any other flavor. Of a summer evening, I would go walking with my grandfather down College Avenue from his apartment house on Derby to Botts. He'd buy a pint container and I'd get a cone. I don't really recall if they had rocky road but I imagine they did, it was my favorite. I can also recall getting brain freezes from their malts.

Masked and Anonymous 12:32 PM  

@RP: Several reply items:

1. I pick c. BEELZEBUB. Definitely BEELZEBUB. Solid har, to all yer choices, tho. But BEELZEBUB has the symmetric-entry thing goin for it.

2. Primo write-up bullets.

3. I don't think these SWIRLS are meant to be actual "-swirl" flavors. I Googled "pistachio swirl" and didn't get many hits, other than for pistachio swirl donuts. I think they are just regular (non-swirl) ice cream flavors, arranged in swirl patterns in the grid.

4. Printed grid version was somewhat more swirl-friendly, as it didn't use the circles. Used bold lines, to highlight the swirl pattern.

5. Yo! WOBBLY!

fave clue: {One hell of a river?} = STYX.
fave weejecta: KOI and TOI. Hey … {Carp cougar's younger romantic catch??} = KOITOI.
fave funky letter patterns: ZAPF. MWAH. OSX.

This puz hadta be mucho hard to make. 3x3 swirls of ice cream flavors are tough seed entries to build on, I'd wager. Disappointing, that there ain't more real superb desperation thereby, to revel in.

Thanx, Mr. Fagliano. Yer primo-est swirl:

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Lewis 12:47 PM  

@numinous -- Good point re Far West!
@Z -- Oh yes, we have ex-hippies, neo-hippies, and never-having-changed elder hippies here, and some occasional non-hippies, and, fifteen minutes away in all directions, many hippie haters.

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

Spot on, Evil Doug!

Leapfinger 1:10 PM  

Looks as if there's lots of fascinating discussions going on that I haven't rtead yet...

Agree with @Rex and @Barany that, even in the Wonderful World of Biochemistry, INULIN is a definite outlier. As an asnide, the INULIN I know is neither the 'chicory' I know nor the 'endive' I know, both of which I experienced when I was NEHI to a grasshopper. The INULIN came much later, and was remarkable chiefly as being the S-less INSULIN.

Liked yesterday's CURLED revived as today's SWIRL, and had no problem seeing the SWIRL as soft-serve ice cream. When I fix myself a SoftServ, you'll find me COILING and RECOILING it as high as I can go. Joel was kind of tricky starting the SWIRL in different places, mostly causing trouble in the CHIP...ISTAO(?) flavour. Seemed a shame to spoil all that good ice cream experience by throwing a TWEEN_KEY in the midst of it; that's something a Ho-Ho-Hostess with the Mostess would never do.

@Anony12:58am, do you s'pose your not knowing ZOE Saldana has something to do with your missing Avatar?

@Larry Gilstrap, nice riff on Jayne Mansfield and I also agree on daughter Mariska (btw, where's @Maruchka?). Pig Latin makes Hargitay almost on Target; remember that Mickey himself was also HUNG. [Hi, @Alias!]

Didn't like being REM_INDEd of the tiny (4mm) SLUG I found in the downstairs bathroom, but loved BE'ELZEBUB and the other non-LOWENERGY entries.

Flawed = I'M PERFECT
Anyone see anything wrong with this sentence?

Anonymous 1:15 PM  

You know you're getting old when...

You are watching Snow White with your grandkids, and the Queen looks better to you than Snow White does!

AliasZ 1:16 PM  

@Da Bears, the circles will eventually get you. Don't listen to anyone telling you otherwise.

-- My personal preference is gelato, and it does not SWIRL.
-- MEOW and MWAH, ETDS and ESTS: as low as one can get and still get a B.
-- ZAPF is now acceptable as a Tuesday entry. What next? VASSALAGE? INULIN?

@Rex, I am in complete agreement with you. I also call people I don't like, or with whom I disagree, a. DUMBO; b. SLUG; c. BEELZEBUB; d. HOSE; e. worse. Especially the LOW ENERGY ones.

This beautiful work performed by the Helsinki Chamber CHOIR, titled One Foot in Eden Still, I Stand is by English composer Nicholas MWAH (1935-2009).

Enjoy this sparkling late-summer day in NYC.

Teedmn 1:19 PM  

A more timely ice cream flavor (I see it everywhere) would be "green tea" but it doesn't have enough letters to make a SWIRL. And I had some amazingly tasty MANGO ice cream last week at a Nepalese restaurant in St. Paul. But I have to use extreme caution when handling ripe MANGOes - touch the skin to my face and it's as if I've been rolling in poison ivy.

I liked seeing SWIRL and SWAY, making me want to saSHAY around the ice cream shop, the opposite of LOW ENERGY.

It's a wonder I was able to solve crosswords at all before watching "The Wire" last fall - MARLO was a gimme (and Omar is too, as it is for @Rex). I highly recommend it.

Nice concept for a puzzle, JF, thanks.

Tom 1:24 PM  

Easy Tuesday, no problem with ZOE or ZAPF, having been a Mac user for 30 years, and who hasn't heard of Saldana? Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar, Columbiana… how could you miss her?

Only unusual word was INULIN, but easily gotten with crosses.

Had the misfortune of reading Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg) by Thomas MANN. Rex, you think Snow White was bad? Try spending months at a tuberculosis sanitarium with the most boring people to ever populate a work of literature.

Enjoyed Joel's easy Tuesday and agree with Rex's comment on DUMBO. But I live on the left coast, so what do you expect?

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

Sydney Pollack comes to mind.

Now Voyager is the goods! But it wasn't even the best Bette Davis movie on TCM that day ( Sunday was it?).
And anyone who doesn't think Snow White was a towering achievement in cinema is woefully ignorant of the form.

Carola 1:41 PM  

Seeing how CHOCOLATE wound around, I thought it was an image of the way ice-cream curls into the scoop when you dip it, and I wondered how the constructor was going to phrase that in the reveal. So, SWIRL was a bit of a let-down. I enjoyed going to the other three scoops and seeing how quickly I could get them. Also enjoyed learning here about ZAPT Dingbats.

foxaroni 1:48 PM  

I am so thankful JF didn't use the incorrect spelling of EXHIPPYS.

@M&A...KOITOI--excellent. I laughed out loud.

We tried watching DUMBO years ago with my daughter, then age four or five. When we got to the scene where Dumbo is rocked to sleep, held gently his mother's trunk, while the mother is chained and locked in a circus wagon, my daughter burst into tears. Pretty strong, sad stuff for a little one (and a lot of adults!).

Masked and Anonymous 1:57 PM  
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Masked and Anonymous 1:59 PM  

After further review of the Comment Gallery prose, M&A was horrified, at the lack of detailed SWIRL analysis. So, as a public service that just plumb needs to be done …

1. Two of the swirls are counter-clockwise. Two are clockwise. No outliers, in this alehouse. Two northern-most-hemisphere swirlboxes go clockwise.

2. Three of the swirls start in the topmost swirlbox row. One of the swirls (PISTACHIO) starts in the patoot-most swirlbox row.

3. Three of the swirls start in the rightmost swirlbox column. One of the swirls (BUBBLEGUM) starts in the lefttmost swirlbox column.

4. It is real fun to say "swirlbox".

5. Two of the swirlboxes, CHOCOLATE and RUMRAISIN, have prexactly the same swirl pattern. The other two are unique.

6. Two of the swirlboxes have U's. Lil darlins.

7. Grid is divided into six sections, plus a small "TWEEN" section in the middle. The swirlboxes are arranged asymmetrically, within the puzgrid. But they do inhabit the symmetrically-situated NW, SE, W, and E sex-quadrants. SWIRL takes up the SW sex-quadrant. NE gets REBUS, but that turned out to be a sorta red herring thingy.

8. Odd (desperate) stuff egested outta the swirls: INULIN. That's about it. TOI gets a pass, on account of KOITOI [see previous message]. INULIN is a Shortzmeister Era debut word, @RP Word of the Day award winner, and seemed to get a lot of Comment Gallery ink. But, hey -- I'm just glad there ain't no INULIN ice cream flavor.

M&A Help Desk and Swirl Analysis Prefect (SAP)

chefbea 2:00 PM  

Speaking of ice-cream ...there is a place here in Wilmington called Fermental...they serve wine and beer. They also have Wine Ice-cream. I will have to try it

Leapfinger 2:39 PM  

@evil doug, you have a spot on your chi; Yeah, right there under the corner of your lip. I think it's frum something you've been raisin.

tea73 2:40 PM  

Kind of surprised people were bothered by ZAPF. Does no one try out all the fonts in Word to see what they look like? Not too long ago someone was complaining about HTML - which you'll see at the end of nearly every web URL.

As for Dumbo - my kids discovered it in high school - and consider it the best pro-drug movie of all time. Elephants on parade anyone?

Aketi 2:43 PM  
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Aketi 2:49 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Numinous 2:55 PM  

@Anonymous 1:40, Pollack has seven letters, not five and he spells his name with a "y", otherwise, you are right.

Aketi 2:58 PM  

@M and A, Hahaha, I did notice the directions of the swirl boxes, but thought I might be considered a PEDANT for mentioning it. Glad I'm not the only one who noticed.

@leaofinger, I think that a topographical map is needed for the SWIRL as soft serve versus SWIRL as a flavor debate. Rather than the top down view in the puzzle, I tried a side view since creating 3D images is beyond my capacity on an iPad. Of course now that I'm done I probably should uncoil and RECOIL my SWIRLs to match their direction in the puzzles.

The images available in ZAPF Dingbats preceded emojis. It was the most fun font to play around with when I was procrastinating while pretending to write my dissertation. Whenever i couldn't understand something I wrote during an all nighter, I'd amuse myself by using the change font function and see what little pictures the words would turn into.

I think I got INULIN because I had to TA a nutritional biochemistry course and it must have buried itself in some dark recess of my brain.

Yes, as someone who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, RUM RAISIN is one of my favorites. .

Anonymoi 3:00 PM  

Dang(bats ZAPF)! I see a controversy brewing between the soft-serve SWIRLers and the one-flavor-in-another SWIRLers!!! I'm with @Laura and her Kixi SWIRL.

@Z, how much stuffing do you have to do to button up your shirts in the morning??

Teedmn 3:13 PM  

@Tom 1:24, I totally agree on Thomas MANN's Magic Mountain. I read it in college while studying engineering. Compared to reading texts filled with heat and mass transfer differential equations, it was a nice divertissement. Fast-forward several years, I tried to revisit it and couldn't get past the first chapter. Boring doesn't cover it.

evil doug 3:41 PM  

Jerry is teaching George his patented move....
Jerry: Now, the ending is kind of an option. I use the swirl. I like the
swirl. I'm comfortable with the swirl. *I* feel the swirl is a great capper. Puddy uses the pinch, which I find a little presumptuous.

George: Is it a clockwise swirl?

Jerry: I prefer clockwise, but it's not written in stone.

evil doug 3:42 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
the redanman 3:42 PM  

Puzzle Solve in A-Lite left a lot to be desired, I think it more fun on paper, but I did get to remember to send Rex a photo I had been meaning to.

Aketi 4:03 PM  

@z, sorry must have skipped over your earlier comment on ZAPF dingbats

John Ogrady 4:16 PM  

You're so right about "low energy".......who wants to mention Hillary Clinton

Leapfinger 4:16 PM  

Plentiful chuckles throughout, but my LOL was Nicholas MWAH. I'm either a pee-dant, or maybe just best-wrong, in thinking the title should be "One Foot in Eden, Still I Stand".

Comma toes

Carola 4:27 PM  

@Tom, @Teedmn, as an undergrad German major, I received my college's German prize. It was a hardbound copy of Mann's "Der Zauberberg." The icing on the cake was that a chunk of pages in the middle of the book were blank.

Anonymous 5:23 PM  

The construction of this puzzle was very clever, and very few people could do it. Therefore, since Rex's review is unfairly low, I am giving his review the grade of 'D.'

beatrice 6:33 PM  

@G Barany - thank you for the link.

I have to stand up for 'Snow White'. Many years ago my then husband and I saw it at a drive-in theater, and then endured a lame Disney live-action feature in order to see it again. It may well be that it is one of those (many) films which really needs to be seen on a large screen. Plus I loved her voice.

@LMS - not sure about that library scene, but I agree that there was much wooden acting in 'classic' cinema - not least in film noir. Many actors and actresses were apparently chosen on looks alone - that, and somebody's idea of sex appeal (I imagine Numinous has some thoughts about this).

Thanks to @Lewis for pointing out the hot-cold vibe of the puzzle! Not sure I ever knew that BEELZEBUB was a Romanized combination of the familiar 'Baal' - 'Lord' - and 'Zebub'...which is not quite so straight-forward. The Wiki article is quite interesting.

So solemnity and the CELLO led me to finding 'Requiem for Three Cellos and Orchestra', by a composer of whom I had never heard, David Popper (1843-1913). He was a professional CELList and wrote mainly for that instrument. A less STYgian composition of his is a tarantella for cello and piano. The Wiki article on the tarantella is interesting, as well.

Numinous 7:25 PM  

@beatrice, I suppose I do have some comments to make. Probably quite a few, actually. Too extensive to go into here. After giving this some thought, I've decided to write about it on my blog which can be found on my profile page. Don't go there now unless you are interested in other "musings". I won't start it until tomorrow. I'll let you know here when I'm done.

Anonymous 8:18 PM  

B+ for me, deductions for INULIN, ZAPF on a Tuesday, and the theme being something I didn't notice until I was already finished.

Big points for the technical accomplishment of the swirls without too much crap, the 9s are all good, all Tuesday, and a few are wonderful: BEELZEBUB, NO CONTEST, EXHIPPIES, LOW ENERGY. I also definitely think that REBUS is part of the theme -- it's symmetrical to SWIRL.

I have only seen bubble gum Italian ice, but I'm sure it's an ice cream somewhere; rum raison is definitely alive in NYC, much to my chagrin.

Slowdowns, ALIa, HuN, BEEZleBUB (I can't spell, I guess), ios over OSX for about 2 seconds, LOWENERGY took every cross to see the L (and INULIN did not help).

Sidney LUMET and ZOE Saldana should have been gettable if you do crosswords. INULIN/ZAPF, okay, they are absolutely brutal on a Tuesday; ESTS and ETDS along with ALII, ALBA (as clued), and INRE are just -- yuk!

But the rest is enjoyable enough and the crosses are fair. Very fast for me today, could have broken 10 minutes on paper if I did it at home and not on the subway.

Chronic dnfer 10:03 PM  

Dnf. Ridiculous for a Tuesday. You are all on something today.

Garett 11:10 PM  

Having MATCHGAME show up not only as an answer, but as the first answer, made me unnecessarily happy.

Z 12:34 AM  

@Aketi - Hm - No worries. My first thought was "why is Aketi apologizing?"

@anonymoi - Too funny. No idea what caused that response, but to answer your question I wear a shirt with buttons maybe ... maybe, once a month. I'll let the mathematicians here explain the difficulty of dividing stuffing by zero.

@Beatrice (and @numinous and @lms) I think a lot of the "woodenness" is a function of two things besides just the acting. First, lots of the staging is as if they are filming a play. Second, the rigid wall between the sexes.

@Lewis - We'll have to meet for lunch sometime and see if we can get a count of ex-hippies. I'll be back in October.

ANON B 1:13 PM  

P.S. And that goes for Star Wars also.
I would like to think of myself as an adult.

Anonymous 6:46 AM  

No No No... it's MUAH

You people are too old...

Burma Shave 9:55 AM  


the REMAINDER just have LOWENERGY for their IMPERFECT endeavor.


BS2 10:25 AM  

VASSALAtE (not vacillate) could’ve been a thing, like a sultanate, that would have put that t right at the end of 12d (Creature leaving a slime trail) instead of the G, but apparently SLUG was the correct answer.

spacecraft 11:55 AM  

My printed grid had no circles, so I was blind to the theme. Could have stared at the completed grid for hours with no hope of seeing the "SWIRLS." The closest I came after twenty minutes was the SW of SWAY, the R and I of CRAIG and the L of BEELZEBUB (fantastic entry!), which form a sort of misspelled counterclockwise "SWILR." Without circles it's pretty nigh impossible.

So I'm going to treat it like a themeless, and as such I liked it. Lots of fun entries with clues more playful than one might expect on a Tuesday. True, the outliers lay WAY out; three for me. In addition to INULIN, there were ZAPF--now how in blazes did the creator of this font come up with that, grab a handful of Scrabble tiles out of the bag?--and OSX for this TECH-challenged reporter. Still they were gettable on crosses, and the whole thing wasn't much harder than your typical early-week offering. In fact, Those nine-stacks flowed.

I had no problem with seeing KEY as a gift, sort of a pre-"Let's move in together" gesture. Now "EXHIPPIES" is something else. Don't you find that they still are? It's like saying "Ex-Marine." There's no such thing. DOD is the exotic ZOE Saldana. I know Ms. ALBA is hanging around for an encore, but let's give her a rest. Big pass play: first down in the red zone.

leftcoastTAM 1:32 PM  

This otherwise nicely themed puzzle was obscured not by any of its word content but by hard-to-see outlines of the SWIRLy theme answers. Yes, outlines in my local paper, not circles, which would have been obvious.

Took some scrutinizing to make them out and seeing the two counter-clockwise and two clockwise ice cream SWIRLs. Good idea, but taxed my aging vision.

Would have had to make a wild guess at UNULIN if it weren't for RUMRAISIN, and ZAPF, lying out there on its own, was filled solely by the helpful crosses.

It's a good puzzle, and I liked it except for the IMPERFECT graphics.

leftcoastTAM 1:48 PM  

@spacecraft-- Would have acknowledged your similar comments on graphics, but usually like to make my comments before reading others.

Diana,LIW 2:15 PM  

That left-of-center Z was my Natick-maker. Did not see the "outlines," and stared for a while, not seeing anything swirlworthy.

In the midst of the Clinton Administration, the government decided to shut down an entire Bureau - the Bureau of Mines. At the time I was a counselor (and career counselor) at the local community colleges. They were asked by the Bureau and the Employment Security Office to provide a counselor for the two offices of the BOM in Spokane. Moi. It was an unusual task, for many reasons. Such a well-educated group of folks (Master's and Doctorate's in mostly sciences, mostly geology) who had little if any experience in looking for a job. Most had gone from grad-school internships to career-track government positions. You really have to dress up for an interview? What do I put in a resume? Brilliant folks with impressive publications. A pleasure to work with them.

I'll never forget one day, after I had helped him with his resume some days before, a geologist met me at the door. The personnel office he had visited the day before was impressed with his resume - and the paper it was on. When I had asked him (earlier in the week) if he had his resume paper with him so he could print out a copy, he had no clue what I was talking about. Well, everyone in the building was job hunting, so we found some pretty quickly. He was amazed that the personnel officer had noticed and even mentioned it to him. What a bunch of sweethearts to work with.

On the last day the BOM offices were open, I was there to say my goodbyes. Everyone was packing up their final odds and ends, and someone put Snow White's "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go" on the PA system, over and over. A bittersweet memory.

Diana, LIW

rondo 3:15 PM  

My print version had a little line bolding going on to show where and in which direction the SWIRL was taking place. Perhaps IMPERFECT, but as close to a SWIRL as you can get with squares. Probably mentioned above, but I didn’t have time to read. Saw CHOCOLATE right away and figured it’d be 2 tasty puzzles in a row. NOCONTEST at all after that, even INULIN fell in.

Reruns of the MATCHGAME can be found on one of those extra digital broadcast channels we can get now due to a federal mandate, even if we’re in the Gulf of Mexico (a hundred feet off shore).

ALBA not clued as yeah baby Jess like yesterday, so ZOE Saldana is it today. Too often made up with blue or green paint. But not “green paint”. Yeah baby.

The idea of BUBBLEGUM ice cream doesn’t do much for me, but this SWIRLy Tues-puz was better than what usually seems to show up. No w/o on my grid if anybody CHEX.

BS2 3:57 PM  

If my earlier post was too opaque, 12d (Creature leaving a slime trail) turned out to NOT be a SLUt. Just a SLUG.

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

Easy Monday puzzle, with six hateful answers unknown to most.

BS3 5:27 PM  


Our MATCHGAME is NOCONTEST, I’ll be KOI to begin,
but I’ll SWIRL and I’ll SWAY when I’m WAY INULIN.


leftcoastTAM 7:17 PM  

Scrolling through many comments above, today and often (yes, I'm retired and have the time), I'm struck by the pervasiveness of ego-involvement.

Puzzle solving among other things is clearly a competition for status and esteem, both personally in our own minds and as we compare ourselves to others.

Nothing at all wrong with this--in fact it can be quite positive. But I think it may help to be aware of this as we critique the puzzles and assess our own and others' proficiencies with them.

rain forest 7:42 PM  

Pretty good puzzle, as I had 3x3 squares for the themers within which the flavours did SWIRL.
Dindn't know INULIN, but the crosses filled that in. Didn't know either ZOE or ZAPF, and so thought it was a toss-up between mOE and jOE. Despite the DNF, I enjoyed doing this. I've heard of Wingdings font but not the one in the puzzle. Prefer Arial anyway.

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