British PM between Churchill Macmillan / WED 11-30-16 / Preceder of barbara clara / Iraq war danger for short

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Constructor: Molly Young

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: imaginary new products from Apple, all beginning with "i" (a la iPad, iPod, etc.), all of which are puns on words/phrases starting with "eye": 

Theme answers:
  • iLIFT (14A: New push-up bra from Apple?)
  • iBALL (8D: New sports equipment from Apple?)
  • iSTRAIN (12D: New colander from Apple?) 
  • iSHADOW (40D: New tracking device from Apple?)
  • iDROP (52D: New parachute from Apple?)
  • iLASH (66A: New whip from Apple?) 
Word of the Day: Robert EDEN (36A: British P.M. between Churchill and Macmillan) —
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC (12 June 1897 – 14 January 1977) was a British Conservative politician who served three periods as Foreign Secretary and then a relatively brief term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957. [...] His worldwide reputation as an opponent of appeasement, a "Man of Peace", and a skilled diplomat was overshadowed in 1956 when the United States refused to support the Anglo-French military response to the Suez Crisis, which critics across party lines regarded as an historic setback for British foreign policy, signalling the end of British predominance in the Middle East. Most historians argue that he made a series of blunders, especially not realising the depth of U.S. opposition to military action. Two months after ordering an end to the Suez operation he resigned as Prime Minister on grounds of ill health, and because he was widely suspected of having misled the House of Commons over the degree of "collusion" with France and Israel. (wikipedia)
• • •

Found this one pretty GRIM, for a boatload of reasons. As soon as I worked out iLIFT in the NW, all hope drained out of me. A bunch of *&$^ing "i-" words? Nonsense words? All over my grid? Lord, why? At that point, I didn't see the "eye" pun, but once I did, I didn't care. It didn't add anything pleasurable to the experience of putting fake i-products in the grid. Further, the theme material here is Obscenely thin. 34 squares by my count. That is Nothing. Your thinnest themes usually have ~40. And there are a ton of potential themers on the table. iPATCH and iTEST and iLINER iLIDS iCHART iLEVEL iCANDY iTEETH etc. etc. Then there's the matter of non-theme i-answers in the grid—a serious elegance f*&%-up. If your (superthin) theme involves i-starters, then no other answers should be i-starters. It's not hard to do. In fact, this grid almost does it, but for the inexplicable IBID / IED crossing, and then INA. Why is no one thinking of these little details? Again, there's hardly any theme here. No pressure on grid. Make it nice. And the fill, ugh. It's probably not too far below NYT average, but I mentally checked out at BOTA (30A: Leather bag for wine). With so little theme pressure, grid should've been soooooooo much better than it was. There is a germ of an idea here, but it's very awkwardly and poorly expressed here.

Appears the puzzle was considered overeasy at some point and so some of the clues were toughened up. That EDEN clue, yeesh. Prime Minister for like 2 years in the '50s? Sure, I know that ... :( ... That one's position near BOTA made that section a little rough-going. I had FORESEEN before FORETOLD (42A: Predicted), conflated WMD and IED and ended up at first with IMD, totally blanked on the meaning of [Perfidy] (!?!?) (DECEIT), and then misread 1D: Casual greetings (HIS) as a singular and wrote in HEY. There were what felt like a bunch of non-theme "?" clues too, esp. up front. Still, low 4s is a pretty normal Wed. time for me.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Unknown 5:58 AM  


ClassAct 5:59 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 6:05 AM  

Hah! Molly gives us an Ifor an eye. Cool. I LIFT was my first themer, and when I got it, I loved it. Rex – I had the opposite reaction when I saw the “eye” pun. The thought of Apple branching out to bras just made me laugh.

That Apple Genius Bar could be called the I DOCTOR (Hi, Bruce)

Yes – there are lots of possibilities here. But it’s always fun to stare off and think of others. Always. I ROLL could be an Apple map app. And they should've named iMessage I CONTACT.

I think my favorite of Molly's was I SHADOW. Creepy. Don't people believe that that's just what our phones do? Keep track of us and what we buy, what we eat, who we call…

Nice flourish to have the MOM and DAD (with matching clues) symmetrically placed. I also liked the AVID/FAN cross.

BOTA was a woe for me. Who knew?

Rex – I did notice the IBID, IED, and INA. But they didn’t bother me overmuch. I briefly thought IBID could be an Apple Ebay app.

Also РI thought the HOBO purse would be that bandana tied onto the stick. Nope. I googled it - it's one of those biggish purses that sags down in the middle. So it looks like the couch pillows that the Million Dollar Listing guys fluff and then karate chop in the center right before the people arrive for the open house. Luis Рthose pillows look like Attach̩ Pillows. Run over and beat'em down into Hobo Pillows. Hurry!

Molly – I liked this theme and can't stop thinking about it. You make sure that for once today we all see eye to I. Nice.

Unknown 6:24 AM  

Eden was known by middle name, Anthony, never Robert.

Enjoyed the puzzle but seemed tougher than it proved to be time wise.

Lewis 6:41 AM  

This is a clever theme. It feels like it should have been done long ago (maybe as a Sunday puzzle with all its possibilities), but nobody thought of it until now, and props to you for that, Molly!

Didn't know BOTA or HOBO (as clued) and couldn't see THREATEN for a while; this was my only snag. I did like the FAN/AVID cross (hi, @Loren!), and liked the connections floating around in the puzzle: TRIM with SHEARS and LEANEST, MASTERED with LPS, and NAPS with BEDREST.

Today I'm an I-witness to a quick, bright, fun one -- thank you Molly!

Dorothy Biggs 7:06 AM  

@John Caden: A TWEE is what a wobin sits in.

BOTA box! Now I get it! Their wines are actually pretty good, btw.

HOBO purse? Is that that thing at the end of a stick that "hobos" are always pictured with? That bandana tied on a stick has a name?

6A TRIM...I had able, hale, and buff (which was in the mini puzzle today with virtually the same exact clue).

10A etal first, then IBID. Also wanted WMD, but couldn't remember any biblio abbreviations that start with a W.

And someone a week or so ago was all up in my sh*t about AIOLI not being made with mayo. Since then there have been two references to it being garlicky today's puzzle and I think in the Washington Post recently. So...yeah. Mayo. Aioli.

My work's done here.

Oh, and I didn't like today's puzzle.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

I really liked the theme today, even if it was a low square count. Rex must have been in a grumpy mood last night.

Hungry Mother 7:35 AM  

Easy Wednesday with some crunchy spots. Very enjoyable.

irene 7:40 AM  

Totally loved it. I barely registered that it was by a woman, but in solving thought that there were clues that only a woman would create: pap smear, hobo bag, ilift and istrain. Not that you guys can't solve them, but you probably wouldn't think of a colander.
Twee, by the way, is a perfectly acceptable bit of Britain-to-US slang.

File as fog 7:47 AM  

It's a thing. I thought it was chiefly British and falling out of use but maybe not

Oscar 8:00 AM  

If PAR is your golf goal, you're doing it wrong.

r.alphbunker 8:13 AM  

Finished with {16A In addition} ALSO instead of ELSE. As a programmer ELSE means otherwise as in if it is raining wear boots else wear sandals. Google gives "anything else you need to know?" as an example which is the meaning that the editor had in mind. And the crosses definitely indicated ELSE was the answer. TODO: check the downs ALSO!

Details are here.

kitshef 8:15 AM  

I imagine if you were solving on paper (I did not today) and drew in the little eyes, this might have been more entertaining.

Not that it is a bad puzzle - just middle-of-the-road. No really bad fill (well, PHS), but nothing that really boils my potato, either.

The only stray 'i' that bothered me was IED, as the others are not pronounced with the long i.

Leapfinger 8:15 AM  

Eye read the themers as I + (verb), which made them a little funner, and stopped just short of being TWEE.

I won't MINTS words, @Rex, I felt the same about allowing IBID/IED in the grid. (INA got a grudging pass for being shorter and not having a crossing I-starter.) The 10-square could easily have been an O, for an entirely legit OED; OBID (Ebed in Hungarian) might not be well-known outside the current Slovakia, even though it's mentioned in historical records as early as 1237, but a population of 1150 has to count for something. Especially since they have a public library. At the risk of a PPP, it could also be clued to OBID Asomov, though that diminutive comedian has become virtually invisible within his native Uzbekistan. "I must have done something wrong", he says on Facebook. Newspapers are forbidden to publish anything about him, even refusing to run his ad when he was looking for his lost parrot. And I'm not making that up.

Completely agree with Ms JenniferF about Anthony EDEN. @Rex's WotD heading got a quizzical I-brow waggle out of me.

I like those slouchy HOBO bags. The original bandanna-on-a-stick (and no, you shouldn't deep-fry them) was called a bindle, which made the hobos bindlestiffs. Great words, both.

The clue for ALABAMA got me to thinking that separation of Church and State is easier said than done.

Good Golly, Ms Molly, you sure had me wanting JAM on scone, but am glad you didn't have us BE DREST in BLOOmERS. Congrats on the I-LIFT in your Maiden formImean flight.

I'm not RAPpaPORT

Annette 8:44 AM  

Despite the fact that the original HOBO store is down the street from me, was surprised at the answer - thinking "tote" or "Mail." And if I hadn't watched The Crown then I wouldn't have known who EDEN was. I think of albums as re-MASTERED. Have never seen PH pluralized. I could go on and on; thank goodness it was over quickly.

RooMonster 8:53 AM  

Hey All !
Well, EYE liked this puz. Granted, there were a lot of missed themers that Rex pointed out, bit it was still fun getting all the "i" whatevers. Kinda agree with OFL about the IBID/IED spot, but it didn't register while I solved. The INA could've been easily cleaned up. But that also didn't bother me.

Odd clue on OMG. And of course had a DNF, a two-letter one this time. Had gEtREST for BEDREST, cause both BOTA and EDEN were totally ridiculous. I mean, who knows British PMs? Who cares? A large chunk of Americans can't even name alot of US Prezs. Just sayin.

TWEE could be Tweetys nickname, or where he taw a puddytat. (I ROLL)


Tita 8:57 AM  

I hate product-placements in my entertainment, so my first reaction was accompanied by a groan. But then I decided it was less an Apple tribute than a slam. Ironic that the funniest slam ever is Colbert's ad for their newest product...the Book...that has no leading i...

If you haven't seen it, google stephen Colbert Apple book ad.

I always tried to guess the folded-in picture before folding the page. Loved MAD. to my aha/head slap moment of the month...learning what BOTA really means, and why it is such a clever product name.
@NCAPres...I very abashedly admit that a BOTA Box is my go-to day-to-day wine at home. Well, night-to-night...don't want y'all thinking I'm a daydrinker...
And believe you me...I can squeeze every last drop out of that bag. Once it's "empty", I rip open the Box, snip a corner at the top, then hold the bag upside down over my glass. I get another glassful that way. And only a few of my clothes are now tinged with Mabel spatters.

Thanks for a fun puzzle, that generated lots of other eyedeas.

jberg 9:13 AM  

This was a nice reality check. Up to now, if you'd asked me who wrote Buddenbrooks I'd have said Hesse. Oops. I did know Bierce, though.

@Loren beat me to it with iBid, but I also came up with "New irrelevancy generator from Apple?" iNA; and, of course, "New replacement for Will Shortz from Apple?" iED. None of them work with the pun, though.

How come nobody's talking about ARIL?

Nancy 9:15 AM  

Well-conceived, well-executed, much fun to solve. Since I don't remember seeing Molly Young's name before, I glanced at the comments to see if this was a debut puzzle. But no one seems to have said that it is. Anyway, there's no junk, no crosswordese, and the clues eschew the obvious at almost every turn. Who knew that about ALABAMA (2D), for heaven's sake? Have there been any better clues for LPS (22A)? And I love the theme -- it's droll and amusing. If you've read a lot of British mysteries or known a lot of Brits in the flesh, then TWEE will at least ring a faint bell. The one WTF for me was BOTA (30A) -- I drink plenty of wine and I've never heard of it. Well, maybe that's because I have my wine delivered to me. By the case, so I only have to tip once. :) Nice job, Molly. Keep 'em coming.

Zwhatever 9:16 AM  

I liked this more than Rex but his critiques are spot on. I do wonder, again, how this will hold up in 10-15 years. My guess is that the iproduct naming phase will be as well remembered as Ipana toothpaste...

@NCA Prez - LOL. The first hit lists mayonnaise as the first ingredient. There is a reason for the assertion, but only if you take a prescriptivist view of food. I know it shouldn't irk me, but the random inaccurate assertions of anonymice always do. Especially since these comments do come up in google searches, it would be polite if people did a minimal google search before asserting beliefs as facts. More than once I've saved myself from exposing my ignorance by looking something up before hitting that "publish" button.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Yes, Anthony Eden, never Robert. Let's put it this way: I'm as bothered by that as you are by the puzzle.

GILL I. 9:20 AM  

I..thought this was fun. ILIFT made me laugh - imagining hefting the tatas.
BOTA: I still have mine from Spain. You can buy them at any touristy store and the cheap ones have plastic lining and a picture of a matador stabbing the toro. A true BOTA is made with goat skin and the lining is the goat bladder. Just toss some cheap wine in it and the lining gives it a pretty distinct flavor. Ole Ole.
@NCA Pres....[sigh] There are too many crimes against the language of food. Mayo+garlic (or anything else added to the mayo) It is an egg based emulsion that must contain garlic and olive oil. So what you have is Mayo, Hollandaise and AIOLI. punto final....Your welcome.
She always DESERTS him when they're in the DESERTS.
Molly - I'll had @Leapster's GOOD GOLLY - this was jolly for moi.

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

Crossword British prime minister is always Eden. It is not necessary to know other PMs for crosswords! I also did not like "phs"---this plural does not exist in the real world. Otherwise, I thought the word play on "eye" was fun.

pmdm 9:21 AM  

Oscar: Golf standard would have been a better clue than golf goal. Or perhaps "golf goal for some." Either way, its the type of clue that suggests the editor and his helpers allow their attempts to compose clever clues distract them from ensuring the clues are technically correct.

Whether one likes or dislikes this puzzle seems to me to depend on how one responds to wordplay. I enjoy this type of thing.

Molly Young says elsewhere that she constructs crossword puzzles without computer aid, which got me to thinking. I am happily impressed when I solve such a puzzle that has a relatively small amount of horrible entries and doesn't need a ton of proper names to fill out the grid. I would like very much a notation included with the publication of such puzzles indicated that the puzzle was constructed without the aid of a computer. Those who take the time to do thing totally by hand should receive recognition.

It seemed humorous to me that she constructed this puzzle as a revenge puzzle rather than a tribute puzzle, considering how much I dislike that so many people seem obsessively addicted to there i-whaterevers.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

@jberg, I too mixed up my Hesse and Mann, going back to my 20s, my two favorite authors. And I too knew Bierce (I always thought of him as the poor man's Mark Twain). Bota bag, for some reason, was around in the "70s. Was it a thing we sneaked into rock concerts? Can't remember that either, but I knew it.

Zwhatever 9:34 AM  

@Nancy - This is Molly Young's second NYTX.

@pmdm - "Golf goal for most" would be more accurate wouldn't it? Seriously, though, PAR is always the goal. Compare to me saying my goal is to solve a Monday puzzle in 5 minutes. If I solve in 4:50 I made my goal.

@Gill I - AIOLI can be an egg based emulsion with oil and garlic. Mayonnaise is an egg based emulsion with oil. So, yeah.

SouthsideJohnny 9:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
SouthsideJohnny 9:41 AM  

NCA - Mayo is a generic term for an emulsified dresssing containing egg yolk. Some AIOLI recioes call for an egg yolk to add stability to the emulsification, which would then make it a form of mayonnaise. So you are correct - that type of Aioli is in fact a "garlicky mayonnaise".

QuasiMojo 9:58 AM  

How 'bout "iTooth" -- a device to bite your Apple with? That's what I wanted to do with my iPad lately. Some clever clues here, relatively clean fill, some nice wording, but overall I wanted "a tad" more crunch. Yours truly, Ogden Gnash.

Mohair Sam 10:05 AM  

"My Heart Cries Out Perfidia" - somebody link to that wonderful song.

Suffering from schizophrenia this morning - read @Rex, agreed with him, read @LMS, agreed with her.

Anthony EDEN's muddled Suez conflict is a huge part of British, Middle East, and Cold War history - surprised Rex doesn't know the guy. And yes, @Anon (9:17), just using the name "Robert" Anthony kind of grates.

Like @r.alphbunker I did enough programming to stumble on ELSE for a little while - actually argued with Lady M when she insisted it wasn't aLSo. Otherwise the puzzle played easy here. New words TWEE, HOBO, and BOTA today - note that two are product related. I thought albums were "re"-MASTERED, whatever that means.

Ross T 10:14 AM  

GETREST works for BEDREST, result in GOTA and ETEN, which were perfectly fine-looking alternative answers to the trivial BOTA and EDEN.

I finished thinking, "Well, didn't know GOTA or ETEN, but still nailed this puzzle!"

Really, really, really frustrating when editorial oversights like that happen.

AliasZ 10:34 AM  

Loved this puzzle, except it would have been more elegant if there were no other entries starting with "I". As it was, I-BID made me pause. But the symmetrical MOM and DAD palindromes more than made up for it.

Where is I-PIT when you need it?

BOTA also made me pause, it's not a word I come across regularly. Wineskin is sorta inferrable, BOTA not so much. I was thinking that if BEDREST (which I loved) changed to REDRESS, BOTA could have been avoided. Still, I welcome the opportunity to learn a new word even if I'll never use it again, and forget it by tomorrow.

I am proud to link to the most inspiring and life-changing TED Talk I ever had the good fortune to experience.

@Leapy, you preempted my "Good golly, Ms. Molly" intro. Gotta be an early riser to beat you.

Thank you Ms. Young.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

Par is not a goal per se. It sure can be, but it needn't be.
Par is a standard. It is neutral. That goes for financial instruments as well golf.
if you happen to be an arbitrager, for example, be assured that par could be ruinous.

Joseph Michael 10:52 AM  

Eye guess this was okay. Theme does seem pretty thin and somehow familiar.

Think my favorite moment was coming here and reading @NCA President's definition of TWEE.

Charles Flaster 10:57 AM  

EZ and enjoyed the theme.
Liked cluing for MOM, DAD, LPS, and MINTS.
Thanks MY.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:04 AM  

Lovely puzzle, right in my wheelhouse. Of the many ways EDEN could have been clued, PM Anthony was fine, but I would have preferred 'The voice that breathed o'er ___', old Victorian wedding hymn. Truly ghastly and unusable today, though I think it was hinted at in Kate Middleton's marching music.

The voice that breathed o'er Eden,
That earliest wedding-day,
The primal marriage blessing,--
It hath not passed away.
Still in the pure espousal
Of Christian man and maid
The Triune God is with us,
The threefold grace is said.

Be present, loving Father,
To give away this bride
As Thou gav'st Eve to Adam,
A helpmeet at his side.
Be present, Son of Mary,
To join their loving hands
As Thou didst bind two natures
In Thine eternal bands.

Plenty more verses but they do not get better.

Malsdemare 11:16 AM  

Well, I'm a huge Apple fan and I thought this was cute. Lots of so-so fill, but all I ask of Wednesday is a little distraction before the day starts, and harder than mon-tues. So I got my wish.

@Tita, I'm with you on draining that box. Every. Last. Drop. I'm a seriously cheap date. Of late, though, I've gotten even lower rent, if such a thing is possible, drinking Frontera at $4 a bottle. Clearly I lack the sophistication to enter the AIOLI debate.

I DNFd at eRIL, which genuinely pisses me off; I know how to spell that execrable crosswordese word; just missed it in my review of the puzzle.

No one has mentioned that we had Marco RUBIO, ELENA Kagan, and DARTH Vader in the mini. That seems to me to be a combo ripe for some speculation about the showdown to come.

I'm sure you're all tenterhooks so I shall report that the new Mal Rocky has decided that being a house dog with a three acre yard is better than a kennel. And Rose thinks that having a playmate is worth having to share said house and yard. So far so good.

Lost Grandchild 11:22 AM  

Can't agree about the theme...thought it was TWEE.

But STEEPED TEA? What type of tea isn't steeped?

Hartley70 11:24 AM  

The cake is obviously gone. Perhaps a cherry danish, Rex?

Eye, i, eye, i. This puzzle was designed to torment me last night, as I was struggling to see. I had to get four different drops into my blurry eye after injuring my cornea yesterday. The. Last thing I wanted to dwell on was i or EYE. I needed distraction, thank you very much. IDROP, IBALL, ILID, etc. all drove me nuts! Not Molly's fault of course, and it was a nicely dense theme for everyone else, I'm sure.

I liked seeing BIERCE. I haven't thought of him for years. HOBO is a style of handbag that I find quite comfortable. It fits snugly on your shoulder and the body is crescent shaped with a single strap. I was surprised by this clue. I doubt many men would know it. PERFIDY, on the other hand, is a tsk, tsk, finger wag. We all have our blind spots, I suppose. PERF and TWEE are right up my alley, luckily...otherwise known as a fondness for Brit Lit that serves one well in xwordworld.

SandySolver 11:30 AM  

In what universe does PAP smear pass the breakfast test. Finallt put the blame things behind me--I thought!

SandySolver 11:31 AM  

Bad typing. FINALLY!

chefbea 11:35 AM  

late to the party. Had an I doctors appointment. Fun puzzle

old timer 11:36 AM  

I so much wanted to find ISCREAM (you scream, I scream, we all scream for ...).

I agree with OFL that this one needed more work. No excuse for PHS. But I did enjoy looking for all those imaginary iproducts.

Hartley70 11:38 AM  

BOTAs were everywhere in the late 60's college crowd. I just never knew what to call them except "leather thingy for wine" until now. And to learn that boxed wine shares the handle is a bonus. Now I can say, "Company's coming, Dear, and it's @Nancy, so hide your bota box and break out the good stuff!"

@Malsdemare, delighted to hear that Rocky is adjusting well!

Anoa Bob 11:40 AM  

INA seems to make regular appearances in NYT grids, always clued as a partial. How about Barefoot Contessa's ___ Garten instead?

New xword letter-count booster from Apple? iPOC

Cindy 11:42 AM  

how is "in addition" else? Shouldn't it be "in exclusion"? I don't get it.

1820 Stone Colonial House 11:50 AM  

I liked it.
Some recycled Apple names:
What you do with your expense account?
How you secure a seat on the plane?
How you protect yourself on a skateboard?

Numinous 11:51 AM  

Eye solved this on my eyepad. Eye must say eye enjoyed it. Would probably say it's TWEE. @Molly Young is to be congratulated on her handmade grid and pencil-made puzzle. It is no mean feat.

The Apple eBay app and the Apple editor didn't bother me particularly. I didn't even think about them as I solved. For me, those criticisms would be post-solve and would have nothing to do with the solving experience which is what really matters.

I have to consider an ILIFT as I have prominant epicanthic folds which essentially eliminate overhead peripheral vision.

I knew what a BOTA is though I've never heard of a HOBO purse. As someone has already pointed out to @NCA President, the bindle carried by the HOe BOy was usually attached to the HOe he was carrying in his search for work in the fields. Evidently the HOe BOy etymology is largely conjecture but it helps to differentiate betweeen HOBOs and tramps, HOBOs looked for work, tramps looked for handouts.

Then there is the Apple Texas Hold 'em app, iDeal.
From the days before he knew Wilbur, there was young MASTER ED.

I found this very easy for a Wednesday and finished in just over half my normal time. Thanks, @Molly.

Masked and Anonymous 11:55 AM  

OHS, It's a heartache,
Nothin but a heartache.
Hits yah when no U's late.
Hits yah at 63-Down…

Molly, Molly, Molly …
I know U really need some encouragement, after that there @RP blog review. Been there.
So, in the name of encouragement for a twee, "developin" constructioneer … Here's to the upside:

* The I-themers were all nice and symmetric.
* There ain't nothin in the world wrong with a good TWEE in a puz now and then. TWEE has Patrick Berry Usage immunity, btw.
* Superb 7-stacks in the NE and SW. And they contained yer longest themers! Not an easy detail to pull off. Mucho bravo.
* fave weejects = IED and INA. Gutsy move, gettin the little pups in on the theme action. Shows respect.
* BOTA is great, cuz I learnt somethin new. Crossins on it were all mighty neighborly and fair. Always cool, to have an odd word or two in there, for variety. [In case U ain't heard … stay away from PEWIT, tho.]
* A lil desperation is actually a good thing. Injects interest and humor into the fray. This grid had very few i-poppingly desperate moments, but nice minor brush stroke, with the lower right corner "S" of convenience. (yo, @Anoa dude)
* Clever i-theme. [Ever consider a U-theme follow-up puz?] M&A really got a charge out of @RP's sputterins, on that: "Nonsense words? All over my grid?", followed directly by complaints that there wasn't enough of em. har. Just chalk it all up to part of The joy of Cookin Up Puzs, darlin.
* IBID. Apple contract bridge app. M&A'da tossed er in, as part of the themer mix. Dare to be desperate.

Thanx, Molly darlin. Congratz on puz II. Keep em comin. [Maybe punch that U-count up a bit, next time]

Masked & Anonymo s


Masked and Anonymous 12:21 PM  

@Molly: … and most important of all, I had lotsa FUN solvin yer puz!

@Anoa Bob: yep! Another good "im-partial" clue for INA: {"___-Gadda-Da-Vida"}.


thfenn 12:31 PM  

When I can complete a Wednesday with no cheating I'm happy, not quite at a point where I can venture into whether or not it was good or bad. Thought the theme was fun, but sure, some more 'eye' options would've been welcome, like iSOCKET - a new charging device from Apple. And would've thought iCONTACT (good idea, Loren) and iLINER, or hey, iLINING, given that LININGS is in there, would be easy to include. Took me a long time - not knowing BEIRCE and BOTA kept me from getting CHORE for awhile. Stubbornly held on to ALSO for too long (don't like ELSE as the answer to that clue). Wondered for awhile why the clue for HAMLET deserved a ? but perhaps that was intended to keep us from thinking about the dog (though GERMAN would have also deserved a question mark I guess). But I thought the cluing was kind of clever, thought the theme was kind of fun, and enjoyed some of the fill. Happy with this one.

Chronic dnfer 1:14 PM  

Oscar. I have to disagree. If I always tried to make birdie putts I'd make a lot more bogies. Just want to get it close do you can tap in. Maybe you're on the tour? Tweet was a woe. Swee seemed to fit. Dnf.

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

I think Ms. Young's sophomore effort is great fun. There seemed to be more Apple-related clues as I was solving so I was surprised to find only six when I counted them up post-solve. The only one I can think of is iPIECE = New Apple weapon. Ew, glad that one didn't make the cut.

With _OTA in at 30A, BOTA was a gimme, based on the boxed wine brand, as @NCA President and @Tita mention. I drink a lot of boxed Chardonnay, though not BOTA usually. My husband likes to fill the empty plastic bags with air, like a pillow, but I'm not sure why.

Like @r.alphbunker, I found ELSE to be a poor answer for "In addition" but IED helped me see it before I put in pLus. And I FOREcast before I FORETOLD that @Rex wouldn't like this one, for reasons that are LEGION, apparently.

Nice Wednesday effort in my book; I liked the clues for OTTOMAN, ROSY, HAMLET and MASTERED.

Nancy 1:17 PM  

@Alias Z (10:34) -- At the risk of giving away too much, your Ted Talk link was hysterical. Thanks for providing it.

@Tita (8:57) -- Ditto your Colbert Apple Book ad. I enjoyed it. Of course, Colbert can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.

@Hartley (11:58)-- Yes, but BOTA's were nowhere to be found in the early '60s crowd. Our version, I guess, was $1 Chianti, otherwise known as "swill." And, @Hartley, I certainly would hope you'd bring out "the good stuff" for me. I would look forward to nothing less...

BTW, just how good is "the good stuff"?

kitshef 1:34 PM  

... and here I thought M&A would boycott after today's unsult.

Triple bogey is a goal. Par is a pipe dream.

foxaroni 1:46 PM  

In order for a song or album to be re-mastered, it first has to be MASTERed. Yes?

I don't think many recordings prior to the digital revolution were made direct-to-disk. Songs and song bits were gathered together and mixed by an audio engineer, who did the final mix-down, usually to two-track or four-track. That final mix was the MASTER, or master recording. That's how I remember it, anyway.

Enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks, Molly Young.

tea73 1:55 PM  

Eye enjoyed the puzzle. My first thought was that the golfer's I know about have something considerably better than PAR as a goal. Didn't know BOTA or HOBO but eventually found them through the crosses - and did recognize the link to the wine cartons. BIERCE gets me every time he appears in puzzles. I always confidently write down Pierce and have to go back and correct it. Every. Single. Time. I also never seem to recognize the tricky clues for HALOS even though they appear regularly. It took me a while to come up with EDEN - I'm belatedly watching Call the Midwife, but they don't talk politics much on that show.

Alex B. 2:06 PM  

Thankfully, I just finished watching The Crown, where Robert Anthony Eden is a prominent recurring character played by Jeremy Northam. Otherwise, nope.

Anonymous 2:18 PM  

As has been mentioned EDEN is practically crossword-ese for a 4-letter British PM. I know the name mostly from puzzles, since I don't quite date from that era, but as a history buff, I had vague recollection that he became PM after WWII hero Winston Churchill's unexpected vote of no confidence just a handful of years after VE Day.


Zwhatever 2:19 PM  

@Cindy - Oxford's first definition gives some excellent examples. Personally, I was a bit surprised to find it at the first definition, I assumed I'd have to scroll down a bit. Anything ELSE you want to talk about? Maybe some more on PARgate or AIOLIgate?*

*PARAIOLI - a somewhat odoriferous umbrella

Tita 2:23 PM  

@AliasZ - thanks for the TED Talk link. Loved it.

As long as I'm back, I'll pile on to those who raised an eyebrow at IBID.
(Which brings me to ask again - is the ability to raise a single eyebrow inborn, or can one teach oneself? And is there a dominant eyebrow - that is, are people left-eybrowed or right-eyebrowed? OMG - ibrows! New Google Glasses Groucho add-on from Apple. I crack myself up.)

And does anyone else hate that the word apple autocorrects to Apple??

Unknown 2:31 PM  

Eden is given some time in the Netflix series The Crown which I just finished watching. Interesting flashback on the earlier Elizabeth II.

Janice Rossi 2:55 PM  

Anthony Eden features prominently in The Crown, which I just watched on Netflix, so it was top of mind.

Tr 3:06 PM  

@quasimojo and
@ogden gnash
Made me laugh go with the iTooth comment. Thanks for the yuks

Carola 3:19 PM  

LIFTs and separates! Like @irene, I thought this one was amusingly pitched to the girls' side of the aisle. Fun to solve; my favorite was the ILASH.
Learned today: that those wineskin things are BOTAs; that Anthony EDEN's first name wasn't Anthony (I'm old enough to remember him in the news..
@Lewis - also CHORE and MOPPED.
@SandySolver - No kidding. And positioned right above ODOR....and ROSY....

jae 3:30 PM  

Easy-medium for me and I liked a lot more than Rex did.

I had cOin before HOPO which was a WOE for me and apparently many others.

The Crown is excellent although I knew EDEN from previous puzzles.

Cute puzzle!

Pdxrains 3:36 PM  

Yeah that one was a massive WTF for me too! Never, ever heard of it

Anonymous 3:52 PM  

iLIKED the puzzle and my iBROWS raised at Rex's review and "medium" difficulty rating - this was one of my fastest Wednesdays ever ever ever. iLIGHTS:

- Rings up? HALOS (looooooved this one)
- Great Dane? HAMLET
- Haven't seen BLOOPER, RAPPORT, LEGION, or CHORE in a crossword for a while if not ever so puzz felt fresh.
- This Botany major always enjoys seeing ARIL appear.
- Appreciated the TWEE nod to all of us consumers of English mysteries.
- BOTA crossing MAD magazine felt very 60s to me. When I went to college in the late 70s, it was still considered the height of sophistication to bring a bota bag of wine to a picnic. Of course, I went to college in Idaho so we were a bit behind the times...

Would have been fun to have a clue "Apple throws criticism?" iSHADE.

An eye for an i - eye for one liked it. Thank you Ms. Young!

Signed, Cassieopia incognito

Alex 4:33 PM  

I thought this was fun. FORETell instead of FORTOLD (d'oh!). getREST instead of BEDREST. Since "gota" means "leak" or "drip" in Spanish, and not knowing EDEN, that sction gave me a bit of trouble. Nothing complaint-worthy, though. And yes, I enjoy English mysteries, so TWEE went in with only the first T..anyway, fun.

Dorothy Biggs 4:57 PM  

TIL that some people are really passionate about their garlicky mayonnaise, otherwise known as AIOLI.

What I'm hearing some of you say is that if I go to my fridge and take out some Miracle Whip and add garlic to it, I just have garlicky mayonnaise and not aioli...unless it's clued like that in xword land, then it is aioli.

And yes, I know that Miracle Whip isn't technically mayo...but I loves me some Miracle Whip. Tangy, creamy, and wonderful on cucumber sandwiches.

jae 5:04 PM  

That should be HOBO not HOPO.

Tom 5:17 PM  

Reminded, not in a good way, of the most boring novel I ever read, a tale by Thomas MANN, Magic Mountain. Turned me off to his other works. Dang good sleeping pill, though. Rivals the penultimate Harry Potter movie for its boredom quotient.

MASTERED this one quickly after my iBalls hooked on to iLASH (I started from the bottom today…).

Agree with OFL that there could be a few more theme entries, but chuckled at each one there.

Enjoyed the reference to MAD Magazine, which I read religiously as a boy growing up in SANTA Clara.

John Child 5:24 PM

Anonymous 5:25 PM  

I'll just chime with the others and point out that Anthony Eden is far from an obscure figure in recent history, and that EDEN is indeed standard crosswordese for a 4-letter British PM. Ya gotta know this stuff. ATTLEE is a good bet for 6-letter British PM.

Anonymous 5:36 PM  

Churchill never faced a no confidence vote. He quit, with a little back room push

GILL I. 6:04 PM  

@NCA Pres. Miracle Whip...? You know you're a Neanderthal, right?

old timer 6:29 PM  

Churchill lost office in the great Labour triumph of 1945. In 1952 or so, the Conservatives returned to power and Churchill was PM again, before being eased out by his party. At that point, there was no procedure for the Conservatives to elect a party leader. So it was the Queen's prerogative to choose the new PM, after consulting with major figures in the party.

The Queen still has that power. In the event a parliamentary majority (typically in a 3- or 4- party scenario) could not agree who should be PM and who should occupy the other Cabinet positions, the Queen would have to appoint the Cabinet herself. There would be some back and forth first. But in the end, the Crown has reserve powers that on rare occasion must be exercised. The current Queen has never had to stage what would almost amount to a coup, but she has very often advised the politicians how to proceed in the event of a stalemate. It helps that every important politician knows her and for the most part trusts her.

Anonymous 8:39 PM  

Oh, please Rex, get over yourself. The "i" theme was fun.

Anonymous 10:27 PM  

OFL's off his sugar high from his birthday cake. Back to normal.

spacecraft 11:30 AM  

Didn't think much of this one. Simplistic theme--might be titled "The i's have it." More like "The meh's have it." No punch. A sort of MOM and DAD puzzle. Nothing really objectionable; learned a new word, BOTA. And no DOD. *sigh* PHS is kinda bad, but not enough to cost a stroke. Par--and that's a kindness.

Burma Shave 12:03 PM  

Commemorating the old or new “50 Shades . . .”:


This MANN’s no ROMEO, such DECEIT he has MASTERED,
it’s FORETOLD that he EARNS HIS DESERTS as the bastard
who said, “ILIFT and IDROP and ISTRAIN at the CHORE,
then ILASH who IBALL with such GRIM RAPPORT.”


Anonymous 12:09 PM  

Great puzzle! Fun, rewarding challenge (despite never having heard of bota or ted talk).A ten!

Diana,LIW 1:15 PM  

As a punster, "i" enjoyed this puzzle. At first i was worried they would all be computer products i don't know about - then the puns appeared. Eye was glad.

Even i have seen EDEN clued as the PM - a few times. And the BOTA boxes of wine - it's like Nova Lox - they are everywhere. Open your i's folks!

And i could be voted least-likely to be called a fashionista, but even i know about HOBO bags - even had one or two - they've been around forever. We're not talking some boy-band star, obscure actor or goddess, or the Urdu word for nose booger. BOTA and HOBO are common, everyday, wake up and smell the roses words. Once again, goes to show our wheelhouses are so personally developed.

Hi @Teed - in the crossword today. You'd be TEED off if i didn't notice.

Didn't remember ever seeing Molly Young's name before - bring more on!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 1:39 PM  

Cute puzzle; TWEE, even.

After I noted yesterday that several people mentioned that Rex was kinder to start the new year, I relaxed my embargo and read his post today. No joy there. It seemed he bashed the theme idea, but then further bashed the fact that there weren't more themers. Hmmm. Anyway, back to ignoring him...

I thought it was decent puzzle with pretty good fill and cluing - just the thing to while away a few minutes. Sure, PHS grates this former Chemistry major, but easily overlooked.

No complaints here.

rondo 2:08 PM  

I guess this puz is up to PAR, though when on the course my goal would be to shoot better than PAR. I’m happy with PAR, and will settle for PAR, but that’s not the ultimate goal. At first I had trouble with the ELSE clue, but if one thinks of placing an order and being asked, “Anything ELSE (in addition)?” it makes some sense.

A nod to @teedmn for the appearance of TEED, and also as our yeah baby today.

Somewhere on my personal library shelves is BIERCE’s “Dictionary”. Still apt and humorous today.

As I recently noted, I bought the Feb 2017 issue of MAD magazine and the back cover does not fold in. What’s up with that? Or what, me worry?

Well, back to work, would rather have NAPS and BEDREST.

leftcoastTAM 2:31 PM  

Lots of crossed eyes made an otherw-eyes challenging puzzle much easier.

Non-Apple of my "eye" sounds: AIOLI, IED. Then maybe add H-eyes, AR-eyes, AS-eye-DES, R-eye-DER, and SH-eye-NESs. Maybe more, but this is getting to be a CHORE.

Still, I found it fun.

Teedmn 2:40 PM  

@rondo, thanks, I'm flattered!

And thanks for the additional shout-out from @Diana, still patiently waiting...for her kitchen sink and everything else!

rondo 9:21 PM  

Deliberation, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.

Congress, n. A body of men who meet to repeal laws.

From collected BIERCE columns between 1875 and 1906.

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