Devon cathedral city / TUE 1-31-17 / Hilarity in Internet-speak / Seinfeld stock character / Sean who played Mikey in Goonies / Pope who excommunicated Martin Luther / Item that might be wanted fervently by prisoner

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Constructor: Neil Padrick Wilson

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (somewhat north of my normal Tuesday time)

THEME: IN A BOTTLE (61A: Words that can follow the ends of the answers to the starred clues) — what it says:

Theme answers:
  • CARGO SHIP (18A: *Vessel with a  large hold)
  • QUALITY TIME (23A: *What a family spends together at the dinner table) (big assumption)
  • FORKED LIGHTNING (whatever that is) (38A: *Branches in a storm?)
  • TEXT MESSAGE (55A: *Its arrival may be signaled by a ding) (you're thinking microwave oven)
Word of the Day: Channing FRYE (43A: 6'11" Channing of the N.B.A.) —
Channing Thomas Frye (born May 17, 1983) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 6'11" power forwardcenter played college basketball for the University of Arizona. He was drafted eighth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2005 NBA draft, and was the first college senior to be selected in that draft. He has previously played for the Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, and Orlando Magic. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was brutal, as my wife can attest, as I could hear her laughing from the next room at my groans and profanity. Let's leave aside the fact that I have no idea what FORKED LIGHTNING is. None. That "K" was the last letter, and there were a few seconds in there where I thought "O my god I'm going to get Naticked on a Tuesday" (I may even have said this out loud, hang on ... wife says yes, I did). Also, SIR BARTON!?!? But whatevs, let's say those are Greeeeat answers and get to the two big problems. First, the theme. IN A BOTTLE!? Revealers can't just be random phrases. That phrase can't stand alone. I did something like this once with an ALL IN revealer, but ALL IN is a stand-alone phrase, and in my puzzle it preceded a lot of other phrases, not just the first / last word. IN A BOTTLE is a very weak revealer, and the whole theme feels like an interesting concept that got destroyed on execution. But the (much) bigger problem was the fill. I wasn't out of the NW before I was saying "Oh, no, this is gonna be bad." When you can't get out of a corner on a *Tuesday* without ABU and Dan bleeping ISSEL, yikes. And I knew ISSEL. I remember him from my childhood. But no. No. And it got worse from there. Eventually, the number of non-word / abbr.-words got downright comical. INCOG *and* COHAB!? What is happening? AGAZE? O, man, no.

  • Channing FRYE — unless you are a pretty serious basketball fan, you don't know who that is
  • LOLZ — I thought "lulz" was the preferred ... plural? 
  • LE OX — it goes in Le YOKE
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:09 AM  

Tough Tues. for me too! Many WOEs: FRYE, SIR BARTON, ELIZA (as clued), ISSEL (he seemed kinda familiar once I filled it in), LOLZ (although I may have seen this in a Gaffney puzzle recently). Plus stuff like COHAB and INCOG is pushing it.

Liked yesterday's a whole lot more, or what @Rex said.

Moly Shu 12:14 AM  

I sorta liked the INABOTTLE thing. Played super easy for me, the two basketball guys, gimmies. DEVO, ACER, BOZ, ASTIN, gimmies. SIRBARTON, super gimmie. Being from the south, of course I drink SWEETTEA. No real complaints other than I was hoping for a DEVO video and instead got ......
I also thought it was LuLZ.
@Rex, never heard of FORKEDLIGHTNING? Hmmmmm.

Mike in Mountain View 12:42 AM  

When I took A-GAZE at COHAB and INCOG, I knew I would enjoy Rex's review more than I enjoyed the puzzle.

It was proper noun tough for a Tuesday (WOEs: Woman who sings "Burr" in "Hamilton"? Really? bus driver from the Simpsons'? Aladdin's monkey? Sean who played Mikey in The Goonies?).

SOUP NAZI is still fun, though, and I have to give either Neil Padrick Wilson or Will Shortz credit for not trying to squeeze in a J to make this a pangram.

Liked the theme better than Rex did. The puzzle? Not so much.

Anonymous 12:45 AM  

Hated it: the theme, the crazy obscurities, and the horrible jargon-y words Rex noted, incog and cohab. dreary, dreadful, and very fucking lame.

Mike in Mountain View 12:54 AM  

An addendum: If they really wanted to get a "J" in there, they could have crossed KEj and jOKE instead of KEY and YOKE. KEj could be clued as Grammy-winning New Age composer.

So, yes, this puzzle could have been worse.

Thank you, Rex, if your campaign against needless pangramming has made all of our lives a little bit better.

puzzle hoarder 1:05 AM  

Solving this on a tablet was just miserable. I couldn't find the TEST/TEXT mistake in forever because I'd forgotten the clue and TESTMESSAGE looks unquestionable. Checking clues by tapping entries is tedious. ASTIN looks wrong but ASRIN is worse. I had EENO in place of ERNO until TEXT allowed me to see EXETER. I find it difficult to keep track of the four letter garbage and can be quite dependant on crosses at times. A half hour to a clean Tuesday grid! It's way past time to go to sleep.

Mr. Fitch 1:09 AM  

A godawful puzzle.

SIRBARTON crossed with both BOZ and ASTIN is a cluster of obscurities that shouldn't be allowed on any day, let alone a Tuesday.

Cohab and incog should be banned. This sort of puzzle really degrades the NYT franchise.

John Child 1:35 AM  

I had no problem conjuring up FORKED LIGHTNING or a mental image to accompany it, but it doesn't google well, especially with the fantasy games hits removed. I think it was fairly enough crossed though.

To counterpoint the fair criticism of some of the fill, consider the PULSE and LEGUME pair, GALLANTRY and QUAFF, CHENNILE, TRESPASS, and ADROIT. That's some good stuff.

I doubt we'll see SIR BARTON in Mr Wilson's next puzzle. Congrats on the debut sir.

Greg 1:41 AM  

I had a really stupid DNF at AGApE/BOp, otherwise I thought it was super easy. Not good, but easy.

Anoa Bob 2:05 AM  

ISSEL may be tough for a Tuesday opening corner, but having GALLANTRY & CHENILLE along each side more than make up for any points lost. I kinda liked COHAB & INCOG. REPIN not.

I'm not familiar with SIR BARTON or ASTIN, so that crossing T was just a lucky guesstimate.

Unless LOLZ qualifies, I don't think there's a single plural of convenience (POC) in the entire grid. I've never seen this before. Never. Only a couple of words even end in an S, e.g. LENS, and in those the S is an integral part of the word and not just an S added to boost the letter count. Amazing. I think it gives the overall grid a more robust feel to it. Your mileage may vary.


chefwen 2:05 AM  

Not the easiest Tuesday, but only a few stumbling blocks. LOLZ was a new one for me, ZIP helped me out at 33D. Cute reveal, liked it!, but I hate SWEET TEA, makes my teeth hurt.

Robin 2:37 AM  

"SIRBARTON crossed with both BOZ and ASTIN is a cluster of obscurities that shouldn't be allowed on any day, let alone a Tuesday."

I had no problems with that, although I might have clued BOZ with "Lido Shuffle" instead. Maybe I'm just a different generation. But despite being that generation I didn't exacty remember ASTIN being in Goonies, but it wasn't a tough guess.

"Cohab and incog should be banned."

On that, I completely agree..

Hartley70 2:39 AM  

What @chefwen said, but I'd add that I could see an effort to elevate the usual Tuesday lackluster cluing. I loved "House wine of the South." and "Everyone" in Dixie.

Charles Flaster 4:06 AM  

Still on the easy side as the proper names were in my wheelhouse.
CROSSWORDease was helpful--ERNO and DEVO.
Guessing we have a basketball fan--ISSEL, FRYE, MAGIC, SPUR, and HAYES. Hope I did not miss any.
Liked it.
Thanks NPW.

Unknown 5:01 AM  

NAZI over BAN? Very timely. Not sure if it was intended or just coincidence?

Marty Van B 5:46 AM  

Wouldn't mind seeing the SOUP NAZI berating Will and the constructor for today's effort. Oh man, this was awkward. Early week puzzles I grade through the lens of how a beginner solver might react the puzzle. It's hard to imagine a neophyte wanting to stick with the hobby with puzzles like this on the menu.

Unknown 6:37 AM  

My fastest Tuesday time ever, LOLZ! Disclaimer: I live in Louisville, KY where every household has Kentucky Derby glasses and we know all of the winners. Dan Issel played basketball here. I'm also a weather buff and I love forked lightning! However, I've never heard of Lightning in a bottle-no clue what that is.

Phil 6:59 AM  

Maybe asKin can star in a new movie about sirbarKin so this guy can make another crappy puzzle natnicK. LOLZZZZ

Phil 7:08 AM  

Sir Barkon hah. Actually did make a good guess at the 's'. ' isn,t there an actor Sean Aikin. Don't bother, rhetorical Q.

Phil 7:15 AM  

I'm agreeing with Rex more and more with these puzzles. 'Forked lightening'?. Where's the fun in filling that answer in, by criss or not. The phrase has to have some sort of soul to it. And should you be able to either define an answer by the clue, or viceversa, or be able to swap them out in a sentence? It's just bleh.

Z 7:19 AM  

Lowdown live.

DEVO doing a Stones cover.

Maggie May live.

And now, for my anonymous brethren: Have you read Matthew 25:31-46 recently? You should.

kitshef 7:27 AM  

It occurs to me that by some standards, I may be getting old. SIR BARTON went in off no crosses. As did ISSEL.

Although I agree that the revealer is sub-par, I hope I never get to the point where that ruins my solving experience for the day. It's sub-optimal, not a crime against puzzledom.

COHAB and IN COG - now those are crimes against puzzledom. Yet overall, I only noted those plus UPN LOLZ LOEX ERNO UPFOR EXO ASSN as bad fill, which is a little high, but not outrageous. And of course there is interesting fill like SIR BARTON, GALLANTRY, SINEW, QUAFF to offset some of that.

I'm not saying I loved it - COHAB and IN COG are just too bad for that. But I did enjoy solving, and having a little extra bite on a Tuesday.

Rick "Boz" Deckard 7:31 AM  

I dunno. I think SIRBARTON is a valid answer, as are all the Triple-Crown winners. There's only 12 of them and they all have cool names (note: whenever a horse with a goofy name wins the Kentucky Derby, I know it will never make it to Belmont). ASTIN is also valid, but it should be clued for Sean's father John, who played Gomez Addams, and if you don't know who Gomez Addams is you are probably not from this planet or maybe you are actually a replicant and like in "Blade Runner" you might not know you are a replicant so you should look into that or have a trusted friend do it although you can never be sure that they aren't in on the whole thing so trust no one because you probably are a replicant I mean let's not kid ourselves here. Also BOZ is legit because how many guys named BOZ are there? Not many that's how many.

Dorothy Biggs 7:32 AM  

Do they still make "Ban?"

I have lived in the south for what seems like centuries and I've never, ever heard SWEETTEA referred to as "house wine of the south." That's a new one to me.

I had ROFL before LuLZ before finally LOLZ.

How is "elbow, maybe" a SHOVE? I guess I thought when you gave someone an elbow you either gave them a nudge (if it was gentle) or, with a little more force, it was a crack to the ribs. I guess if I elbowed my way through a crowd there'd be some shoving, but mostly if I'm throwing elbows around people are getting out of my way to keep from getting hurt rather than actually being shoved.

This puzzle was fun in places and not fun in others.

Anonymous 7:33 AM  

Time In A Bottle. Jim Croce died too soon.

evil doug 7:46 AM  


"Whip It"=best video ever!

GHarris 7:53 AM  

Finished quickly, was gloating,felt like I was king of puzzlers. Then realized I had not finished because I,too, had foundered on agape/bop.

Beaglelover 8:06 AM  

Sean Astin was Samwise Gamgee in LORD OF THE RINGS!!!!

chefbea 8:07 AM  

Hand up for tough puzzle. Had a natick at the sir barton and astin crossing...I put Barron. Never heard of Dan Issel

I live in the south but don't drink sweet tea...everyone else does

Hungry Mother 8:12 AM  

Had to use the red letters for the first time in quite a while. I was amazed to see five red slashes, which I easily filled correctly.

Eric 8:16 AM  

Agre with @robin I had a dnf due to my NATICK at BOZ/BOp and AGApE/AGAZE

Dr. Haber 8:18 AM  

Ship in a bottle, yes. Message in a bottle, ok. Time in a bottle, sorta. Though it's a song title, not a phrase. But lightning in a bottle? NO, NO, NO!

stevie o 8:19 AM  

I have some trouble tracking OFL's ethics on allowable content. When a literary classic like "Lolita" is referenced, he can't even bring himself to comment, such is his outrage. Soup Nazi? That's fine. Cute, even.

Anonymous 8:21 AM  

Agree with Rex.
This was a brutally tough one for me. I can't remember the last time I had a DNF of this magnitude. Epic fail as they say. Many blank spaces stared at me below the equator line. Never heard of FORKED LIGHTNING and could not even infer it from the crosses. For 61A I had IN A BubbLE. With this nonsensical theme it made sense to me.
And so many obscure trivia name.

thfenn 8:21 AM  

I'm definitely getting old, but still struggled a bit. Starting with CORDUROY before CHENILLE. Other trip-ups included DELL before ACER (just guessing at 4 lettered computer manufacturers), FOOT before SOLE, and even after correcting those it took me way too long to see SOUPNAZI (despite having watched plenty of Seinfeld) since I had ASSO, didn't know ELIZA, and didn't have COHAB. LUA before LOA and LMAO before LOLS left me wondering about SIP your lip and kept STOOD from falling into place for awhile.

Would've said Bourbon was the house wine of the south if anyone had asked me (BOURBONS?). No aha moment with the theme answers and revealer, but getting them eventually helped me solve, so, OK. But this was a slog, no LIGHTNING INABOTTLE to be found...

Unknown 8:28 AM  

Ran a little long, but enjoyed it. Forked lightning is a perfectly good answer. as I can remember my grandmother using the term to describe lighting during a big midwestern thunder storm when I was growing up

Issell was another gimme. He went to high school in Illinois the same time I did. We both played basketball, so I knew of him. He was a great player in high school, I was a bench warmer. Oh well,

TonySaratoga 8:32 AM  

Agreed except BOZ. Come on, is there any other famous Scaggs in the history of the universe? The clue "Scaggs" with a three letter answer is a gimme wrapped in a layup surrounded by a no-brainer.

pmdm 8:34 AM  

Seems to me that the best thing one can say about this puzzle is that the constructor consciously avoided plurals. (Lens in not a plural.) Others have ably pointed out the not-so-good characteristics of the puzzle. One asset a great ppuzzle does not make.

seanm 8:37 AM  

at least full wednesday time for me today, with a DNF on both ends of BOZ, having AGAPE and no idea what the first letter would be.

Unknown 8:51 AM

Nancy 8:52 AM  

There was some crunch, and for that I am very grateful on a Tuesday, but I nonetheless don't think it's a very good puzzle. COHAB as a noun is an abomination. What in the world is LOLZ? Shouldn't more than one LOL be LOLS? And isn't one LOL one too many, in any case? "Time IN A BOTTLE" is a thing??? Never heard of it. Use it in a sentence, please.

I would make life so much easier for myself if I could distinguish ERNO from EERO. I always confuse them. Always. Well, at least the puzzle held my attention -- so there is that.

QuasiMojo 8:56 AM  

Death, where is thy Sting? "Message in a Bottle..."?

Boz is usually clued as the pen name of Charles Dickens, is it not? So I was happy to see Scaggs here.

I had no problem with "in a bottle" as a reveal but what about filling it with something more interesting? Something classier than "sweet tea."

As a literary professor, Rex, I would imagine you're up on your Dylan Thomas...?

"Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night..."

Happy Pencil 8:59 AM  

This is a debut puzzle, and I highly recommend reading the constructor's comments over at He acknowledges the problems with the puzzle, explains why he included certain answers, and talks about the things he'd do differently now. I'm prepared to cut him a little slack, and I liked SIR BARTON, even though I know nothing about horse racing and got it solely from crosses.

Played hard for a Tuesday. Seemed more like a Wednesday to me.

@stevie o, Rex's objection was not to Lolita the book but to the way it was clued.

Happy Pencil 9:04 AM  

Oh, and LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE is absolutely an expression. It refers to something that's extremely hard to do, such as ... um, catching lightning in a bottle. I think maybe it has something to do with Benjamin Franklin, although I could be wrong about that. It was actually my favourite of the theme answers.

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

From World Wide Words_

The full expression is “like trying to catch lightning in a bottle”, sometimes “to keep lightning in a bottle”, and it describes something that's extremely difficult, perhaps bordering on the impossible.

RooMonster 9:21 AM  

Hey All !
Talk about a puz skewing old. Surprised Rex didn't make a deal out of that. I think the newest one is SOUP NAZI, and that was the 90's, right? Then BSIDE (with clue) BOZ, DEVO, LEOX, ERNO, HAYES, SIRBARTON, TIME IN A BOTTLE. Wow. Puz could've come out in 2000, maybe earlier. Just sayin.

LOLZ really wrankled. Seriously? Had I submitted this, that (plus INCOG and COHAB as others have noted) would've garnered a "Nice theme idea, but those words aren't acceptable" or a variation thereof. Is this a debut? Don't remember constructor name.

CHENILLE is a WOE. Along with ISSEL that corner was a toughie. Natick alert at Z in LOLZ/ZIP. Couldn't get bite your lip out of the ole brain for that. Actually had to run the alphabet for the Z.

After all that nit-picking, will say it was still a nice diversion from the current crap happening with the Rump. Wondering when supporters are gonna admit it was a bad choice. Curiouser and curiouser.


Blue 9:28 AM  

@Mr. Fitch, the NYT puzzle franchise has been seriously degraded for a long time. The only question is whether TPTB at the NYT will do something about it. Alas, I think we have the answer to this question by now. This hot mess was one of the worst I can recall.

Blue Stater 9:30 AM  

Uh, the source of the 9:28 comment is "Blue Stater." Something happened when I proved I wasn't a robot.

Wayne 9:36 AM  

The only lightning in a bottle I know is white...

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

Genies don't live in bottles. That song is a lie.

jberg 9:45 AM  

As I was starting to read these comments, I saw a bluejay outside my window-- 8th species of the morning, but I wish he'd been in the puzzle instead, as I do love me a pangram.

As it is, DNF, as I fell for the AGApE/BOp error, except that, not noticing I had the O from SHOVE, I went with SIR MARTIN. As soon as I was BOZ Scaggs mentioned here I realized that I knew him, but I didn't know him while I was solving. At 73, these things worry you!

Well, tomorrow is another day.

Jim Crotchety 9:45 AM  

Time in a Bottle was the most popular song in the fall of 1973. I know you're old enough to have heard it. If your memory is that bad, try Google.

Happy Pencil 9:49 AM  

@Roo, you may enjoy It's both infuriating and encouraging.

That's my three. Have a great day, everyone!

Canon Chasuble 9:50 AM  

What a great Tuesday puzzle, and I DID find it challenging. Sir Barton was a given for me, and as usual I had no idea of clues for a Simpson character. Solving "in a bottle" came before any of the starred clues were filled in, but even getting them partially made it easy to get them all. Good clues and answers overwhelm any that could be nit-picked. First rate.

kitshef 9:56 AM  

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
'Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

Written and most famously recorded by Jim Croce

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

I never heard of the song "Time in a Bottle". I also wish we would quit seeing clues about the musical Hamilton. For all of its hype, there is only a wee number of crossword solvers who have seen it or who really even care. I hope we don't get more stupid clues from Hamilton in the future. I don't know Boz Skaggs but will try to remember him for the future. I thought lightning in a bottle was hooch but I must be confusing that with white lightning. Cheers.

Leapfinger 9:58 AM  

Odd NW start, for a Tuesday. Either ambiguous (MAGIC vs TRICK) or unknown (ISSEL, ABU) or drew a blank (Plush fabric? You mean like PLUSH?) or afraid to commit (LENS? Too obvious.) Had to back into that corner at the end to finish.
Also had AGApE/AGAZE and DRAFT/QUAFF. (quaff, quaff)

Had half an eye out for the theme while solving, and kept coming up empty, so the reveal was a nice surprise, and it worked for me, when it was all linked up. Afterwards, noticed some stray themish entries, and wondered whether Neil Patrick had made a pint of litering the grid with other things that come IN A BOTTLE, like RYE, QUAFF and SWEET_TEA. Maybe even LEGUME SOUP.

For real, you can find a PEAR IN A BOTTLE. Does Poire William get that PEAR in the BOTTLE with MAGIC, or SHOVE it in with SINEW? ER, NO.

I miss @Lewis, who'd likely point out that A_DROIT is not A_gauche but en_haute, and wonder whether @Roomie will change his blog-name to @COHAB.

Odd puzzle that has a meetup of DEVO, OTTO and LEOX, but I 'liked it', Neil Patrick not-Harris!

PS: Please tell us about the family with the QUALITY_TIME dinners.

Tita 9:59 AM  

Ever notice how so many languages are biased to the right? ADROIT is means to the right. Sinister is bad...means left.
There are countless examples. Gauche, right-minded... Conspiracy?
Some fun reading here...

I hesitatingly agree with the general mood on this puzzle, though I can't think of a better 1A...that's a great opener.

Tita 10:00 AM  

I must defend LOLZ...definitely a thing if you are fluent in Lolspeak. Run, don't walk, to

kitshef 10:00 AM  

Oh, and lulz is not the plural of LOL, but represents a different intention more akin to schadenfreude.

Greg 10:07 AM  

Dumpster fire. 'nuff said.

Malsdemare 10:12 AM  

I have to agree with REX on this one. While I got it in my usual Tuesday time, there was a lot to groan over: another pope, the awful COHAB and INCOG, BOW and AFT which just chuff me; yes, they're correct, but if in the same puzzle, can't you be symmetrical? BOW and STERN, FORE and AFT? I didn't know the horse or basketball player though I got them easily in the crosses. I did like the SOUP NAZI's appearance, and I have heard of FORKED LIGHTENING. Anyone else do a head shake over GALLENTRY? Somehow I don't see that as Courage in battle; what am I missing?

Now to read what Y'ALL have to say and take my dog to obedience class.

Passing Shot 10:19 AM  

Enjoyed this. Had no problem with a partial phrase as the revealer. Like Rex, I found the NW corner brutal and had the entire rest of the puzzle done in record time, but for that section. Part of the problem was having trick for MAGIC; once I saw GALLANTRY and CHENILLE (I was thinking ABASe for ABASH), the rest fell. Chewier than normal for a Tuesday but still under my average time.

Leapfinger 10:32 AM  

Sorry. Padrick, not Patrick.

@John Child, so ya noticed the PULSE/LEGUME pair? Nice pick-up.

And thanks for the bit of Dylan, @QuasiM (I think it was)

Lightning in a bottle: remember the Leyden jar from high school Physics?

Ellen 10:35 AM  

The spouse and I have been having intermittent hysterics over NAZI INABOTTLE.

(Oh, that wasn't a themer? Why the heck not? Timely, and all.)

Anonymous 10:42 AM  


Aren't you always railing against republican and their theocracy? Now you want to invoke the gospels as the ultimate authority? Pick a side. Be consistent. Either rights come from God, and with them morality etc. Or they come from the state. The current ballyhoo comes from us living in a civil society. Law is king. Not the Good News of Jesus Christ. Foreign nationals do not have a (US) Constitutional right to enter this country. A moral right? probably.
And I'd be happy to submit to the mercy of the gospel, but I'm not so dim and craven as to pick and choose which verses or which statutes to follow.

GILL I. 10:46 AM  

Before I even started I looked at Neil Padrick Wilson's name and exclaimed "Oh you poor, poor got Tuesday - you dead."
Maybe because everyone hates any Tuesday, I rather enjoyed this one. I didn't have any trouble with any of the themes and IN A BOTTLE jumped out at me. TEXT MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE.
When I was about 10, my dad told me about finding letters in a bottle. I was amazed that someone could toss out a sealed bottle and it would wash up thousands of miles away. I diligently wrote a little poem with my address, sealed it in a wine bottle and tossed it into the Caribbean. No one has replied. Of course, my address then was in Havana and some commie I'm sure took over the house.
I read that SOUP NAZI was first referenced in "Sleepless in Seattle." "This man sells the greatest soup you have ever eaten, and he is the meanest man in America. I feel very strongly about this Becky. It's not just about the soup." So Seinfeld writers stole it?
NPW I like your style and I liked this puzzle and I like MAGIC and FORKED LIGHTNING is just fine by me.

AliasZ 10:47 AM  

Wasn't there a pop group way back in the stone age called "Captain and CHENILLE"? Sounds awfully familiar.

This was sorta fun, but SIR BARTON, COHAB, INCOG, LOLZ, LOA, LEOX and bagels, and quite a few others B-SIDE these, took some of my enjoyment from fine entries like GALLANTRY, ADROIT, QUAFF, LEGUME, EXETER, SOUP NAZI and a few others.

Thus instead of concentrating in a bottle on the shortcomings of the fill in a bottle, or the iffyness of the theme in a bottle, I started adding IN A BOTTLE to random words around the grid in a bottle:

MAGIC IN A BOTTLE -- [see below]
PEAR IN A BOTTLE -- Trick akin to a whole egg inside a thin-necked vessel.
SWEET TEA IN A BOTTLE -- Southern sot's house wine order.
SHOVE IN A BOTTLE -- What you do with a cork.
ARC IN A BOTTLE -- Neon light, essentially.
STOOD IN A BOTTLE -- "He was so thin, he____."
COHAB IN A BOTTLE -- Pear and egg rooming together in tight quarters.
TRESPASS IN A BOTTLE -- Pear encroaching upon egg's property.
RODE IN A BOTTLE -- Went over Niagara Falls in a novel way.
INCOG IN A BOTTLE -- What the person who did the above was after the ride.
NAZI IN A BOTTLE -- Best storage container for formaldehyde.
Y'ALL IN A BOTTLE! -- "Everyone's drunk!"

I could go on, but why bother in a bottle?


Leapfinger 10:52 AM  

@Nancy, odd how your EERO/ERNO confusion hews to the Finno-Ugric classification. The best rubric I can suggest is the pair of double vowels in EEro and SAArinen.

@Z, it's bad enough with politics by its lone self. Am asking you very sweetly not to add religion to the mix.


Anonymous 11:07 AM  

It was the Captain and Tenille, not Chenille.

Mohair Sam 11:15 AM  

Played easy/medium here, must have hit our wheelhouse. Liked it a lot, you're all a bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism (OK, I didn't make that up).

Seriously - All your gripes are nits: FORKEDLIGHTNING is out there, Y'ALL should know it. There are only 12 triple crown winners, not a long list. You gotta know your BOZ Scaggs, my goodness (although "Lido Shuffle" is more Tuesdayish). People travel INCOG these days, "nito" died years ago. And every puzzle is allowed one numbered Pope or King. Back off.

Great factoid on "Maggie May" - a favorite here. Hand up with the crowd learning LOLZ today. Also learned SWEETTEA (heading for South Carolina next week, have to try some).

Great debut Mr. Wilson, keep them coming.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:16 AM  

I went to a conference in Georgia once, and I do remember that the tea they poured us at break was pre-sweetened. Ugh. Also the bagels at the breakfast buffet had sugar in them, and the bacon was cured in brown sugar.

I think the original definition of GALLANTRY was courage in battle, the secondary sense was attentiveness to women,

Cassieopia 11:32 AM  

Oooh, this was a debut? How do y'all know it's a debut puzzle? All I know is it was under my Tuesday average, so found it fun and enjoyable, thank you Mr. Wilson!

Not so happiness: LOLZ was the worst offender here. I only see LuLZ online. Also still have no idea was either CW (clue) or UPN (solution) are; I got them from the crosses and got the happy music so that was that. Was also less than thrilled at COHAB and INCOG...but all that was offset by...

Much happiness: LEGUME! CHENILLE! KETTLE, not because of the word but because when was the last time you heard "Fine KETTLE of fish, this..." I do love those old sayings/idioms/whatever the heck they are. Also ADROIT when the solution to that clue is so often "adept". It was fun to see a different answer to a stale clue. And who can't get behind seeing BOZ? Brings back memories, that.

So I really liked it for a Tuesday and really liked the theme. Got a bit teary at "time in a bottle"...RIP Jim...

old timer 11:36 AM  

15 minutes for me so a little slow for a Tues. I vaguely recalled SIRBARTON which helped. certainly knew BOZ Scaggs. What I never heard of is TIME in a bottle,

Very good puzzle I thought.

Yvonne 11:43 AM  

I have to disagree with Rex and the posters who object to Sir Barton on obscurity grounds. The Triple Crown gets a lot of attention every spring and the list of winners is pretty short (only 12). As the first in this elite series, Sir Barton occupies a special place in horseracing history. He is no more obscure than the many lesser-known figures from other sports who regularly appear in the puzzle. Fans have no problem, but nonfans may be stumped. One solver's obscurity is another's wheelhouse. That's what keeps things interesting.

kitshef 11:45 AM  

@Cassieopia - CW and UPN are a current and a former US television network. My memory, which may be faulty, is that WB and UPN merged to form CW.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Ugh, just ugh. My last letter was also "K".

Nancy 11:55 AM  

@Leapfinger (10:52) -- Your mnemonic device for remembering EERO is terrific. Spot on. You have no idea how grateful I am. Now can you find me one for ERNO?

@Kitshef -- (9:56) -- Many thanks for taking the time to provide the source and the lyric. I'm on my way to YouTube to take a listen [my first]. Will I like the song? We'll see.

@Quasi (8:56) -- One of the greatest poems ever written, IMO.

CDilly52 11:59 AM  

If it were not for the CHENILLE bedspread that I snuggled under during my childhood, I would never have gotten a toehold in this Millenium. Many of you remember the fuzzy ribbed fabric with wideish spaces between the fuzz and pretty floral designs. Used for bathrobes and bedspreads in the 40s and 50s. I saw a "repurposed goods" shop on my travels recently that was using old chenille products to adorn and combine with well worn denim to make "new" children's garments. Very cute. Other than that walk down memory lane, the "blargh factor" was very high (for me anyway) and the theme weak. But I did manage (just barely) to finish.

CDilly52 12:06 PM  

Funny "in a bottle" usage! Not unlike the game often (in my experience) played in a Chinese restaurant adding "in bed" to the end of all the fortune cookie prognostications read aloud at the table.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

I got hung up on the theme for some reason. I just couldn't make "nazi in a bottle" sense. A puzzle where you can't figure out which are the theme words is problematic.

Nancy 12:19 PM  

Son-of-a-gun, I have heard TIME IN A BOTTLE. It rings a very faint bell from the past -- probably because it went in one ear and out the other back in the day. It still does. One of the most bland and completely forgettable songs I've ever heard. Sorry if I've offended anyone. But for suggestions of unforgettable folk songs from that era and earlier, I could provide you with such a wonderful list...

Doug 12:53 PM  

Wow. I still have no idea what FORKED LIGHTNING is either. If I didn't know SIR BARTON I may never have gotten started.

Masked and Anonymous 12:56 PM  

M&A Crossword Yoga Word of the Day: O De Speration. Softly embrace the INCOG. Softly caress the COHAB. Let the LOLZ flow all over U, like whisperin REPIN breezes lapping at yer bare FRYEs … visualize the suddenly now-obtainable ultimate nirvana … NAZI INABOTTLE! There. See that? It's all good now, dudes and darlins. [har o saurus Rex] Be happy, My Children. Go out and play in neighbor @RP's yard.

Congratz to young J-less jedimaster Neil "Forked" Wilson, on his primo debut. Ditto to that there random race horse. Reckon BOLTOFLIGHTNING didn't make for friendly-enough fill opportunities? [It coulda also been yer guest racehorse name, right there.] Still scratchin the old M&A brain pan, tho, on why SIRBARTON came outta the long down-gates first; I mean, shoot … Well, my son, let's maybe talk constructioneerin on the side, just for a nanosec or two ...

****** Construction Interlude ******
Ok. So U got some themers FORKEDLIGHTNING [which I have honestly heard of, before, btw] and TEXTMESSAGE [which I hate cuz I get charged for each one of em but I digress] to cross. And U need only dredge up a "J", to get yer pangram (yo, ever-hopeful @RP). Very first instinct has gotta be: JIMCARREY. Recognizable celeb name. The "J" up top won't hurt yah much, cuz it's pretty much walled-in (yo, @Mexico!) within that east-central edge zone. Friendlier than snot letters, otherwise. Et viola, yo-yo! Call up Patrick Berry, it's almost Miller Time (in a bottle).
****** end of interlude ******

Yo-hey. Where's the day-um pluralz, today? (yo-hey, @Anoa dude) U don't mean to say that … !?! … they've been entirely bottled up?!! nginx! Now that's crossword GALLANTRY, to try to do that. Purple Hayes far-out, Mr. Wilson.

staff weeject pick: Tie. Betwix BOZ and EXO. Addin to the Scrabble twerkin carnage of a Q, 2 X's, and 3 Z's. Each lil darlin really do have "some sort of soul to it" (yo, @phil phil -- primo phil phil phrase).

Thanx, N Padrick W. Debutz thUmbsUp, for encouragement's sake. M&A would like to see more, puleaz. Soo … git them forkz outta yer mouth, and git to work. ("Ain't nuthin to it but to do it and it ain't gettin done." -- source: old bud Brother Dean)

Masked & Anonymo5Us

some sorta soul…

Leapfinger 12:58 PM  

4&back_in, briefly

@Anony 11:07 (headbonk)

@Nancy, I thought you just wanted to distinguish them. If EEro SAArinen is the Finnish architect guy, ERNO Rubik Cubic is the other one.

Alternatively you can mentally link it to the Wildely popular play, "The Importance of Being ERNO".

If all else fails, as a last resort, pretend you were born Hungarian, and it's suddenly easy. Almost everyone has an Uncle ERNO. (Rhymes with the French 'jeu', btw)

Numinous 1:01 PM  

I had a bit of fun with this and came in under my usual time. I feel really sorry for poor @Rex, he had to think instead of just react.

@chefbea, I live in the south too. I have drunk SWEET TEA but don't as a rule but there is a pitcherful in our fridge all summer long. Yes, it gets changed regularly. @Whomever, no, I've never heard it called "house wine of the south" but I knew what the phrase meant instantly. There is this thing people have that they believe everything in a puzzle must come "from the language". I've said it before and I'll say it again, if it makes sense it's fair. Restricting puzzles to things that are "in the language", it seems to me, limits the vast opportunities for creativity in puzzling.

I was in the Bay Area in '75 or so when BOZ Scaggs was popular. He was from SF, you know. My then girlfriend knew him. I never met him but I liked his music. To me, he sort of separated Rock "N Roll from Pop and his shows were really flash to the extent he never actually money from them. @Tony Saratoga? My fourth grade teacher at Emerson Elementary in Oakland was a very cool Mr. Scaggs. He had been a Marine on Iwo Jima. We once asked him what that had been like. Knowing a bit more about that war than I did then, I now understand his terse reply, "We had Japs for breakfast, Japs for lunch and Japs for dinner." I used to wonder if he and BOZ were related.

I was in Australia in 1973. Jim Croce wasn't popular there so I never heard Time In A Bottle. Nevertheless, I have often wondered if my whole life hasn't been an attempt to capture LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE.

Just in passing I'll have to say that I'm pleased to no longer be a COHAB. I now have COHABs of my own. The previous lessee on this house skipped town suddenly so we have taken over the lease and now have roomies of our own to help out with the bills. It's a good feeling to no longer be technically "homeless".

This is a debut puzzle. It's not the best but it got published. Mr. Wilson submitted his first puzzle ten years ago. Gotta give him credit for sticking to it. I thought the theme was pretty darn good. I challenge all y'all gainsayers (except M&A) to come up with one that is seriously better and still not trite.

Numinous 1:04 PM  

@Nancy, can you solve a Rubik's cube int 45 seconds? "Er, No".

puzzle hoarder 1:20 PM  

I have a pretty good ear for the common idiom so I'm always intrigued by who is and isn't familiar with them. MESSAGE INABOTTLE and TIME INABOTTLE were in the language before they were made into songs. The only pop culture reference for LIGHTNING INABOTTLE I can think of is from an old John Cusack movie. I looked it up on Wikipedia and it's called "Money for Nothing." Cusack plays someone who finds a bag of money that fell from an armored truck. When he takes it to a fence the fence tells him something along the lines of "what you've done is caught lightning in a bottle." Somebody watch it and let me know how the hoaders' memory is holding up.

Teedmn 1:21 PM  

I should have known that with the clue for 3D being "Courage in battle", the revealer would not be "IN A BaTTLE" (maybe that's where I got it) but I just had to write it in, briefly, until the OTTO cross made it clear we were talking about things like blond hair and beer.

I love that SOUP NAZI is described as a "stock" character, hah!

I was ApAlled (yeah, I know it's "appall" but I always have to spell it wrong before fixing it) at not putting ABASH right in - CHENILLE fixed that, and I was AGApE until BOZ Scaggs came to my rescue (I'm sure Y'ALL are drinking SWEET TEA while singing Georgia) and Harry Belafonte's version of Sylvie came to mind when seeing that prisoner fervently wanting the KEY.

I can hardly believe "Maggie May" was the B SIDE - someone owned the 45 when I was in seventh grade and we played it to death, as have many radio stations ever since. Could be the most popular B SIDE ever. (Google tells me ER,NO).

Nice debut, thanks, NPW!

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Have you read ISBN 1500385131 recently? You should.

BTW, how are the no-go zones in Dearbornistan working out?

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

Howdy, y’all!

Sorry that many of you did not enjoy today’s puzzle. I agree that some of the fill is a bit choppy. Were I to reconstruct it today I would make some changes (e.g., dropping SIRBARTON or at least changing BOZ/AGAZE to BOP/AGAPE; changing REPIN to SEPIA/ACES/BAA; and reworking the EXETER/LEOX/ERNO section).

That said, I think the theme is strict and tight. For those confused about what answers are themed, please note that only starred (*) clues are for theme answers, as indicated in 61A.

I originally submitted the puzzle with BOTTLE as the revealer, but Will and Joel thought that would confuse too many solvers and specifically asked me to try INABOTTLE instead. I am not sure how else to properly convey the theme here (save for literally having all of the theme answers be inside a bottle of black squares, as well as having all of the theme answers crossing through -- or being “inside” -- of the phrase INABOTTLE. Both of which I tried). If there are tricks I missed, please know that I am eager to learn!

I think it is a positive that this puzzle hits several areas of knowledge. For me, solving crosswords has almost always been a group process. I started doing puzzles with my grandmother, and even today I solve crosswords with colleagues at work. When I visit home I try to solve a puzzle or two with my mother (and I can often rope in my dad or sister if I throw out clues that seem to be in their wheelhouse). Puzzles where we can all contribute answers are the best kind of puzzles – there is more of a feeling of teamwork and accomplishment. I actually enjoy learning things while doing the crossword; if I already know everything, what’s the point?

Examples: I don’t know much about sports, but I had a coworker who literally only scanned crosswords for sports clues (and so ISSEL and FRYE were gimmes to him when I first threw this puzzle to the wolves). I do not follow actors and actresses, but the moment my test solvers figured out that Sean ASTIN (often clued as Samwise Gamgee) got his big break as Mikey in “The Goonies” was great. I know ZIP about horse racing, but many do. (You should also look up American Triple Winners; there are only twelve, and chances are you have heard of more than you think!) And I admittedly love me some music, including the great BOZ Scaggs, Rod Stewart’s Maggie Mae (who knew it was a B-SIDE – it’s such a great song!), ELIZA’s wonderful love/hate ballad “Burn” from Hamilton, Jim Croce’s TIME in a BOTTLE…

I certainly did not anticipate such a large pushback against COHAB and INCOG! I actually thought those were selling points of the puzzle, being interesting and current five-letter-words, which are not easy to slip into a themed puzzle. (Oops?) I don’t know if it’s generational or regional or what, but plenty of people browse the net in INCOG mode, and I know several people who COHAB with others to split the costs of owning a house -- including myself! Lesson learned, I suppose.

If it’s any consolation, when I constructed and clued this puzzle, I thought of it as a difficult Wednesday. I was a bit surprised Will though it was better for a Tuesday, but after seeing the changes he has made to the clues (which were originally slanted to be significantly more difficult), I can see how this puzzle can be slated as a Tuesday.


AliasZ 2:05 PM  

@Leapy 12:58, LOLZ!!!

tea73 2:17 PM  

I liked the theme and found it helpful in solving the puzzle which is not always the case. "Message in a bottle" is also a song BTW. Like others I just loathed COHAB and INCOG. I thought SIRBARTON was fair, but I didn't know it. I thought the other two sports clues were very obscure. Luckily I used to sail a lot so appreciated boat parts. Took me a while to suss out SWEETTEA as iced tea didn't fit. Never watched Seinfeld, but even I have heard of the SOUPNAZI. I've definitely seen LuLZ more often than LOLZ.

I thought it was quite hard for a Tuesday.

Sexistretariat 2:19 PM  

Where be all the feminists? Thought for sure that the distaff side would express extreme Regret that Sir Barton is getting all the glory here?

Pretty easy puzzle for an older solver. I liked it, but please, no more COHAB and INCOG!

Mike E 2:41 PM  

Pretty surprised at all the DNF comments and the "brutal" nature of the puzzle. Guess being older made Dan Issel and Time in a Bottle and Boz Scaggs seem old hat. Lolz, on the other hand, was new to me but easy enough to get. Did it all pretty quickly and just shrugged at cohab and incog. Stuff like that shows up too often to be either flummoxed or teed off at.

Cassieopia 2:45 PM  

@anonymous 1:45 aka Mr. Wilson: thank you so much for dropping by and explaining your puzz-constructing process! I really enjoyed the details; maybe one day I'll try construction myself. It seems infinitely harder than solving. Also enjoyed your comment about solving with family members, as my sister and I greatly enjoy teaming up to do a crossword. Still have to push back on INCOG; I often browse incognito but must not hang out in hip sites because haven't ever heard it shortened to "incog". Either way, I think it's super cool that you stopped by and gave us the privilege of looking behind the scenes - thanks again!

Numinous 3:06 PM  

@Cassieopia, I also browse incognito from time to time but I must say that henceforth I will be browsing INCOG. I enjoy learning new words and terms and I think this one is pretty cool.

Once, a long time ago, The Reader's Digest did a poll of its readers asking them to provide made-up words unique to their families. I only recall one of then but have adopted it and used it since. It describes the state of the garbage container in the kitchen when nothing more can be added to it: garpaction. Regardless of its provenance, I'm adding INCOG to my list of coinages. I shall be adding COHABs also. I see a difference between roomies or roommates and COHABs. Roomie implies a closer relationship like in college where two people share a room and are constantly in each other's company when at "home". We don't have much interaction with our COHABs. They have thier own rooms and all we share is the kitchen basically. So I think COHAB is a really useful word that replaces roommate where I never felt it was apt.

cwf 3:07 PM  

@NPW Thanks for your thoughtful post. I wish more constructors would engage with the Rex community. You know they know it's there!

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

Would have been much more fun if it could have included:
Jim Croce's Time?
The Police's Message?

GR 3:16 PM  

I must admit enjoying seeing LOLZ. Wanted TAR (?!) for the longest time instead of TAN. Whoops. Also very nice to see the constructor's comments.

Jenskis70 3:19 PM  

Rex didn't object to the novel but the derogatory usage of the name 'Lolita' in a clue. That usage was completely contrary to the spirit of Nabakov's novel.

Nancy 4:01 PM  

@Numinous (1:04) -- Perfect! Between you and @Leapie, I'm guaranteed to get them both right from now on! Thank you so much.

QuasiMojo 4:03 PM  

Absolutely, @Nancy, I agree. It's a villanelle. As is "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop, another all-time favorite.

Btw, I wonder if you can capture "Greased Lightning" in a bottle! I'll have to ask Louis Licari.

chefbea 4:28 PM  

@NPW...thanks for stopping by and explaining how you constructed the puzzle

iamjess 4:46 PM  

@Numinous, from yesterday
Last night when I got home, I was commiserating this clue with my husband (who had also done the CW on his lunch break at work, and also got hung up on this clue). We googled, we you-tubed, we Wikipedia'd, and decided that this song was, in fact, popular enough for a Monday. Why NEITHER of us had hear of it....?

iamjess 4:48 PM  

@Numinous -- we call that "garbage jenga" :) I like your term better.

Freddy Murcks 5:09 PM  

Rex - The fact that you found it difficult makes me feel much better. Usually I can finish a Tues puzzle left to right and top to bottom. But I had to do an unusual amount of cherry picking to pull this together.

Z 6:16 PM  

@Leapy - Moi? It is funny, though, that sitting just a few pews apart from each other as teens can result in Betsy De Vos and me, isn't it? For you, though, I'll stop. It really is just playing chess with pigeons, after all.

RAD2626 6:49 PM  

I knew SIR BARTON although I wanted to put in WaR Admiral first. In the many years I have done the NYT puzzle this would go on my list of ten least favorites. Just did not enjoy the puzzle or the cluing although I thought theme was just fine. Maybe I am just in a foul mood. Can't imagine why.

Crane Poole 7:11 PM  

Fast but not satisfying, hate to say. Despite the good time, not a good time. Specifically the INCOG abbrev group noted above and the three somewhat obscure sports names. Some good fill and did not hate the themers as much here. BARTON in a bottle?

Mohair Sam 7:17 PM  

@Neil Padrick Wilson

Thanks for dropping in. Always great to hear form the builders. Got your back on INCOG, I see and hear and see it all the time - and don't give up on SIRBARTON.

Congrats on the debut.

@LindaPRmaven 7:21 PM  

Yes, definitely on the challenging side of medium for a Tuesday but fun. For some folks SIRBARTON may be a later-in-thew=-week answer but since my dad loved horse racing (had a portrait of Man o'War on his den wall, usually paid for the vacation in Saratoga Springs with his winnings at the track)the name popped out of my memory bank off the S R. Got ISSEL and FRYE off the crosses but I find both obscure for a Tuesday.

Liked the INABOTTLE theme. And SWEETTEA reminded me of vacationing in Charleston. SOUPNAZI gets the prize for best answer. In sum a pleasurable experience.

Anonymous 7:52 PM  

Politics ain't beanbag. McConnells's going nuclear on this one. As Obama said elections have consequences deal with it. Oops wrong blog.

Anonymous 8:13 PM  

You can thank thank Harry Reid for killing the filibuster for Judicial appointments and Cabinet nominees. No way they can filibuster this guy, especially with Dems up for reelection in states Trump won. That would be suicidal.

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

I really feel bad for those who are proggie.
They drank so much power, their head got too groggy.
They changed all the rules when their vision was foggy.
All they can do is complain,
And their shorts are real soggy.

Nebraska doug 9:31 PM  

Really hard Tuesday! I would even say a really hard Wednesday puzzle.

Ranter 9:50 PM  

Rex Parker I love
That you allow me to cheat
And I love your snark.

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

Neil Gorsuch ! Thanks Trump.

beatrice 1:09 AM  

I'm surprised that no-one came here to explain that FORKED_LIGHTNING is, well, LIGHTNING - the four most common 'forms' of lightning are all forked, varying only visually, depending on other features of the weather. (Or so I understand. Had to look it up, wasn't quite sure.) Also, that the clue should have said 'for short', since it's scientific name is 'Cloud-To-Ground/Ground-To-Cloud/Cloud-To-Cloud Lightning'. (Did not know this, and just kidding.) The web-site that clued me in has some stunning photos, here.

As a southerner born and bred, I don't know the clue term for SWEET_TEA, either. The SO, who has much more familiarity than I with such things, says he's heard WINE_OF_THE_SOUTH. All I can say is, if you go into ANY restaurant around here and ask for iced tea and don't specify unsweetened, and that's what you want, you will be very unpleasantly surprised. But you could then use (plenty of) lemon - a QUAFF I find refreshing every once in a very great while. - Where's LMS when you need her?

@Numi 1:01 p.m. - amen, brother. Except in my case I think I've ceased wondering. Oh, nice to hear the news on Y'ALLs new status!

I am perennially in awe of those who have a gift for writing beautiful music, and that of the great composers of Renaissance polyphony seems to me utterly preternatural. Pope LEO_X was a larger than life character with extravagant tendencies both good and 'unworthy' (Wiki), but he had a great passion for music and supported it handsomely. The first piece is by Pierre de la Rue, who died the year after the event of The Ninety-five Theses. The second is by Ludwig Senfl - a good friend of Luther who, though he remained Catholic, had 'sympathies', and composed some music, in German, for Lutheran worship.

@kitshef -thank you. @Nancy - I think TIME_IN_A_BOTTLE is a beautiful song, both words and music - it's a sort of wistful meditation Croce wrote for his wife and their unborn child. He died in a plane crash less than three years later. BUT - chacun de gustibus his own, as they say.

the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד 1:54 AM  

I thought the singer's name was Boss Skaggs.

Acer Cargo Message 2:16 AM  

Boz Scaggs is still around... met him recently at the bar he still owns... it was a Beatles singalong in honor of his son who apparently loved the Beatles and died of an overdose. It's ironic bec I always thought Scaggs was a stage name as some in-joke for heroin...but it's his real name.
I arrived much earlier than the person who is close to him who had invited me and was embarrassed to show up alone at such a personal gathering without knowing the host...but he came right up, introduced himself and could not have been more gracious.
(Prob is related to your teacher!)

I loved the puzzle's theme! I like those "!0,000 Pyramid"-type themes where it's ...things found INABOTTLE...go!
And more constructors prob would drop by if their hard, creative, underpaid work hadn't been shredded mercilessly and needlessly many a time!

Butch Audacity 1:55 PM  

The lightning itself is forked branches because lightning bolts spread out like branches

spacecraft 11:21 AM  

All that OFL said ("COHAB" is not even a word!!) plus one more. As some humorist said--and I can confirm:

"In the south, 'Y'ALL' is second person singular, 'All Y'ALL' is second person plural, and 'All Y'ALL's' is second person plural possessive."

So that clue is essentially wrong. This abomination should have been rejected. Here's another. To ROAST, as applied to people, is to have a party where everyone makes fun of the guest of "honor." It's all in fun, so it does NOT mean "criticize severely."

Thank goodness I knew SIRBARTON, hardly an obscurity as the first triple-crown winner. It was a travesty to SHOVE that noble beast up against the likes of INCOG and AGAZE, both of which are--incredibly--actual words.

What is it with all this SUSHI craze lately? I had no clue what those three things were; _USHI was in on crosses so I had to guess "S" because at least I've seen the word.

Barbara EDEN is one of those "stock" DODs, like UMA, that you can trot out any time; but today I think I'll give her honorable mention. Who can resist ELIZA Dolittle as so fetchingly played by all-time DOD Audrey Hepburn?

Well, at least I wasn't bored to death. Bogey.

Burma Shave 11:56 AM  


Let’s watch ELIZA’s SWEETTEA get SWEETer,
after some QUAFFS of RYE INABOTTLE I’m
sure we OTTO see ELIZA’s EXETER.


Diana,LIW 12:29 PM  

Whilst I did think this puzzle was a bit crunchy for a Tuesday, I did find it enjoyable. And doable. With a one letter dnf with SIR BARrON crossing the, unknown to me, ASriIN.

The rest of the solve was a QUALITYTIME experience, with a few writeovers. Had ABASe, and wondered what fabric began with "CEE." Then I got it - I had a CHENILLE robe when I was little. Pink, of course. With ABC on the pocket. No wonder I'm here on this blog.

One of the first definitions of ROAST in the dictionary is "criticize or reprimand severely." Probably the origin of the current "fun roasts."

A couple of fun musical memories today, with Scaggs and Croce showing up. Thanks!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Fun puzzle. Many unknowns, but could be worked up to the point of a good guess by filling in the crosses. Themes totally irrelevant, but got and enjoyed this one. Agree with "MASKED" on "exo". Huh? EXO?

leftcoastTAM 1:33 PM  

Tuesday's too often get no respect. This one earns some.

Like yesterday's, it has a little bit and more of bite and crunch, and that's always good. Didn't mind the partials at all. SIRBARTON was an outlier; don't remember hearing that Triple Crowner's name.

Helped in the NE that my PC is an ACER, but the slogan
isn't familiar to me.

Always cringe a bit when seeing NAZI used in a light vein, particularly in a context of TV comedy.

Pretty ADROIT work by Mr. Wilson.

rondo 1:43 PM  

I knew OFL would go off on INCOG and COHAB, probably with good reason. And a RPw/RRN, how many LEOs were there? LOLZ? Beats me, easy enough on crosses. And get over it @Mr. Fitch – BOZ is a gimme and ASTIN nearly so, if you can’t get SIRBARTON on crosses that’s on you.

The commander of the CARGOSHIP and his plush girlfriend = the Captain and CHENILLE?

IVE said it before, so nothing NEW, ELIZA Gilkyson is an all-time musical yeah baby. Listen here:

I’m not as up in arms as some. Maybe the YOKE’s on me?

rain forest 4:01 PM  

I'm not up in arms at all. I see this puzzle as a playful little gem throwing out some current expressions (INCOG, COHAB, LOLZ) along with a wide array of knowledge areas (sports, geography, POP, music) and a theme/revealer that is tight. The absence of plurals is unique, so maybe having a random Pope and a RE--- is to be expected.

Regardless, I liked it, but I knew SIR BARTON and Sean ASTIN and both b-ball players. That sort of thing always affects one's solving experience. As an aside, well I guess not so aside-y since I'm saying it, I prefer to see Aladdin's monkey than The Simpsons' bus driver.

I agree @D, LIW that ROAST was known as severe criticism long before it was a playful send-up of someone by his peers.

A somewhat quirky, but interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

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