Famed Broadway restaurateur / SUN 1-29-17 / Linc's portrayer in 1999's Mod Squad / Composer Max who was called father of film music / Last mustachioed president

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Constructor: Jim Hyres and David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Normal / Medium

THEME: "Hit the Deck" — a visual representation of "TWENTY-ONE" (i.e. Blackjack) (69A: Game depicted in the circled squares) with imagined PLAYER hand on left side (1A: One side of a  69-Across showdown) and DEALER hand on right (14A: Other side of the showdown), with the PLAYER hitting twenty-one ("I WIN") (123A: 1-Across's cry) and the dealer going BUST.

Word of the Day: Max STEINER (87D: Composer Max who was called "the father of film music") —
Maximilian Raoul "Max" Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian-born American music composer for theatre and films. He was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and became a full-time professional, either composing, arranging, or conducting, when he was fifteen. [...] Steiner composed over 300 film scores with RKO Pictures and Warner Bros., and was nominated for 24 Academy Awards, winning three: The Informer (1935); Now, Voyager (1942); and Since You Went Away (1944). Besides his Oscar-winning scores, some of Steiner's popular works include King Kong (1933), Little Women (1933), Jezebel (1938), Casablanca (1942), The Searchers (1956), A Summer Place (1959), and Gone with the Wind (1939), the film score for which he is best known. // He was also the first recipient of the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, which he won for his score to Life with Father. Steiner was a frequent collaborator with some of the most famous film directors in history, including Michael Curtiz, John Ford, and William Wyler, and scored many of the films with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Fred Astaire. A lot of his film scores are available as separate soundtrack recordings. (wikipedia)
• • •

Hard to concentrate on / care about this puzzle right now, with immigrant families being literally torn apart as I write. Yep, that's blackjack ... there it is. PLAYER v DEALER, I WIN v. BUST ... cute. Shrug. Even if I weren't depressed at the thought of living in a racist police state for four more years, I don't think this puzzle would've amused me much. Buncha face card / numbers in circled squares ... I'd hardly call those proper theme answers. It seems like a pleasant enough diversion, but pretty old-fashioned and largely boring. Some of the fill was irksome, but mostly it was serviceable. It's "Gimme five!" not "GIVE ME FIVE" (which is what aliens say, with perfect enunciation, when imitating human life forms). GRAU is OFFAL. But the worst is SUM TO. I have no idea how that's even used. Does it mean "come to," as in "add up to"? Blargh, IMO.


Circled squares made "themers" easier, but the N and ENE sections of the puzzle were really hard for me, so the whole thing evened out to average difficulty. LOB, OMAR EPPS, and TVSPOT were all really hard for me to see, and so were TOOL BAR and VAMOOSE (without the "TV" part of TVSPOT, very hard to see the long Acrosses up there). And then the SUMTO (ugh) DAY TRADER part was also really hard for me. Lots and lots of methodical hacking in those parts to get them to work out. The rest flew by pretty easily.

  • 54A: Jane Rochester, nee ___ (EYRE) — guess who's back? Back again. (See yesterday's puzzle) (Charlotte Brontë wrote "Jane EYRE" under the pen name Currer Bell ... but you knew that)
  • 101D: City that's home to the Firestone Country Club (AKRON) — forgot about their association with rubber. Kept thinking of Flintstones.
  • 88A: Investment seminar catchphrase (CASH IS KING) — ??? This has some specific context of which I am unaware. Wikipedia entry on it is murky and mentions "investment seminars" not at all.
  • 57A: Matchmaker of myth (EROS) — this makes him sound more like a dating service. He hardly puts happy couple together.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. looks like a federal judge just ordered a temporary stay of the stupid immigration ban Executive Order, at least for those in transit / detained at airports. Small victory. I'll take it. Good night.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


A Loser But Not a Loner 12:34 AM  

Two DNFs in a row! This never happens!

I finished in no time at all, but it would not give me the "Congratulations" box (on an iPad). I checked and checked, even looked at this site, and I couldn't find anything. Finally, I hit "Check Puzzle" and I had LOnER at 120 Across. I just never noticed it no matter how many times I looked at it. Darn it.

Also, "Son of Kong" is the greatest movie ever made. Released 9 months after the original, it opens with impressario Carl Denham living in a boarding house trying to hide from all the process servers because everyone is sueing him for all the damage King Kong did. He escapes with the sea captain to a tropical island where they go see an all-monkey night club act (with intentional horrible music by Max Steiner). Little Kong's stop-motion fight scenes are all based on cheesy professional wrestling moves. This movie is fantastic.

Unknown 12:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moly Shu 12:37 AM  

Way way to easy for a Sunday. No hangups at all. Theme was ok, not great, not terrible. It is gimmie not GIVEME. My forays into blackjack seem to be the exact opposite of the puzzles. I'm usually the one BUSTing.
Yes yes yes, a million times yes to the Specials video. Thank you @Rex. I now forgive you for continuously interrupting my Pegasus World Cup viewing with your tweets.
F&$@ Jane EYRE.

Unknown 12:42 AM  

Amen, @Rex.

@David Steinberg's second game-themed Sunday in the past half year, and (from information posted elsewhere) a milestone puzzle on @Jim Hyres' cruciverbal CV.

That Southeast corner has a bit of Deutsches Spiel, mit das GRAU DREI crossing. The perils of knowing too much about Broadway restaurants, @Toots Schor (misspelled, that "c" is wrong) entered before correcting it to SARDI. No complaints from this chemist on ENE and its clue. It was jarring to see CHRISTIAN in the puzzle, given the current news @Rex already alluded to. Good catch by @Rex on our being primed to answer EYRE, to which I can add O_TOOLE, the actor playing TE_LA(wren)CE from a few days ago.

Speaking of SERVICE_ACE, I've set my alarm to watch the Federer-Nadal match, their first head-to-head meeting in a Grand Slam final since my father passed away; I still cherish memories of having watched the previous one with him.

GILL I. 12:44 AM  

Puzzle was super easy.
I always like COOL BEANS but don't like RED REW.
Double GRAU...

Pete 12:53 AM  

I had lunch today in a restaurant seated next to a couple, Muslim immigrants they, and it was awful. The food that is, it was awful. The couple were quite charming.

Ken Wurman 1:12 AM  

Very easy.. under an hour for me (which I am proud of).. loved the theme.

zevonfan 1:31 AM  

Did anyone get a DNF because of the FENDI/ENDO cross? I know many slang words for marijuana. "ENDO" is not one of them. Never heard of Fendi. Looks like it has been used several times in the Shortz era. I don't remember it nor have I seen any Fendi products in stores.

Easy puzzle otherwise.

chefwen 1:46 AM  

Other than Thursday's puzzle I can't remember such a streak of easy ones. Only one write over ZEN over Tao at 33A. That's gotta be a first for me on a big Sunday puzzle.

Someone wake me when we're done talking politics on this "Crossword blog".

jae 1:48 AM  

Very easy for me too, it's been that kind of week except for maybe Thurs. Fun theme, some lively fill, liked it.

@Loser but not Loner - if you had LONER for 120a you did not have a DNF. DEST is not a word. Check your grid again?

jae 1:51 AM  

@chefwen - I was writing while you were posting, I think we had a 72d. And, amen to your parting comment!

Anonymous 2:22 AM  

Yeah...not a very realistic puzzle...I go 2, 3, 6, 6 and my dealer goes Ace, 5, King, 5.

Anonymous 2:24 AM  

I am not surprised that Rex found it medium when I thought that it was the easiest Sunday puzzle in a long time. Does anyone call the game Twenty One? The theme was easy and the few clues that Rex complained about were very standard - Cash is king is such a common saying, day trader, money tree.

Rex knows all of the eleventh century poets, but nothing about corporate life. Together, we would be unstoppable, Rex! And, I am a Binghamton grad, albeit about the time when you were born.

Paul Rippey 3:10 AM  

Very easy Sunday and fun for me. Meanwhile my daughter's sending video stream from protest at SEATAC airport. She's fighting fascism and I'm doing crosswords. Seems like maybe not the best use of my time.

A Loser But Not a Loner 3:16 AM  

My mistake. I had LOsER and DEsT. I should have noticed DEsT, but I didn't. I honestly thought the puzzle app had malfunctioned because I was convinced I had no errors. Stupid app.

Charles Flaster 3:41 AM  

Third very easy one in succession.
No write overs . Never realized the theme until I got here. Thought it simply listed some cards in a deck for a possible blackjack hand.
Never heard of ENDO or OFFAL.
Favorite themer was SERVICE ACE.
I would wager not many of us would be able to pick teams in the ELITE EIGHT for 2017.
Thanks JH and DS

Steve 4:03 AM  

For me easiest Sunday in recent memory. I don't think I stalled once except at FENDI/ENDO. That D was my last square and even that I guessed right first time.

WS, if you're reading, I want these Sunday puzzles to last me 2 hours while I eat breakfast and laze about with my tea.

Unknown 4:40 AM  

Pretty easy for me too. But I had a DNF because of CAMO / IWON instead of CAMI/IWIN. I guess I'm not up to speed on sexy lingerie terms. Loved the Dali quote.

'mericans in Paris 5:10 AM  

Easy for us. Didn't find the theme exciting, challenging, or funny.

The fill was of medium quality, with not too many proper names or places. Funny how words and phrases such as BEST, DEALER, BOASTING, I WIN, and VENT take on new, more ugly meanings these days.

All the terms like MONEY TREE, DAY TRADER, and CASH IS KING should be familiar to anybody who cracks open the business section of the newspaper from time to time. SUM TO was familiar to us, but perhaps it's a Britishism.

Regarding @Rex' s political commentary, it's his party and he can (out)cry if he wants to. More people should, starting with the cowed politicians in Congress.

Loren Muse Smith 5:41 AM  

If you add the cards up that are above I WIN on the left, you get 21. Add them up on the right over BUST, you get 24.

For that 79A place where you can hear taps, and with the B in place, I figured it’d be some kind of BAR, so I wrote those letters in. Funny that they were right but for the wrong reason.

Speaking of bars, I guess you could say that lounge lizards go to TOOL BARs.

I kept going back and appreciating the ambiguity of the clue for FIFI – “Standard poodle name.” But there again, I’m a linguist, so I like ambiguity more than most people. ;-)

In Chattanooga, Aggie B. had one of those CRAYON BOXes with the sharpener, and I was wildly jealous of her. I thought it was the epitome of wealth and privilege.

I. Hate. Facetime. It’s like picking that picture of yourself that you’re horrified to see and then making it move and talk to someone. Hate it hate it hate it. Plus I feel dumb and conspicuous. And I don’t know where to look.

I really, really appreciated ASNER and SPUNK. RIP, Mary.

TWENTY ONE is the only poker game I understand. Nice job, guys.

evil doug 6:01 AM  

I don't think this is the appropriate place to discuss the refugee issue, Michael.

... But if it was, I'd agree with you.

Eric 6:45 AM  

@chefwen. Amen to the politics comment..

smalltowndoc 6:48 AM  

If you follow the "cards" in order from top to bottom and consider this the order in which they were drawn/dealt, this makes for an EXCITING round of blackjack.

The PLAYER is dealt a pretty poor hand (a TWO and THREE for a five). PLAYER hits and is dealt a SIX, giving him an eleven--things are now looking good. He hits again: JACK! TWENTY-ONE! PLAYER can shout "I WIN" (which would be really poor etiquette), unless the DEALER also has a TWENTY-ONE (which is a good possibility, roguhly 33% chance, seeing how he has an ACE showing).

We move to the right side of the puzzle to see how things play out. The DEALER, with an ACE and FIVE, has either a six or "soft" sixteen. Either way, he must hit according to casino rules. He deals himself a KING for sixteen. Again, he is required to hit: EIGHT, a BUST! PLAYER wins!

smalltowndoc 6:49 AM  

^ Oops, "exciting" wasn't supposed to be in all caps.

Anonymous 7:26 AM  

Endo? Never heard that. Easy 20 minutes.

chefbea 7:28 AM  

Easy puzzle...finished it last night. Didn't understand that it was the player against the dealer. Could be that when I go to a casino I play the slots...not black jack

Anonymous 7:41 AM  

26 across: I think that a corporal has two stripes, and a lieutenant has one bar, not stripes.

Anonymous 7:46 AM  

Fact check much, NYT? I spent 30 years in the military and heard a "Lieutenant" called many things, but never a "TWO STRIPER." "Two-stripers" are junior enlisted, not junior officers.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

Does anyone else remember the old jazz standard that starts "I'm [or You're] walking along the street or dining at SARDI's"? I can't remember the name of the song or any other words though. I have memories of staying up late on school nights to watch the old Steve Allen show. I found him funny and loved the old jazz on the show. I felt a little grown up even though I was still in grade school. SARDI brought it all back for a few moments.

- Jim C. in Maine

Ms. Absinthe 8:18 AM  

Very easy for me, too.
Why is this blog NOT an appropriate place to discuss whatever its author chooses? Politics permeate our culture--never more so than now. Some crossword mavens may prefer to pretend otherwise, but I welcome Michael's engagement with critically important issues.

r.alphbunker 8:19 AM  

Thank you Ann M. Donnelly.

Finished with 123A {1-Across's cry} IWoN/108D {Intimate garment, for short} CAMo.

Details are here.

Lobster11 8:24 AM  

There are few things more frustrating than flying through a super-easy puzzle, hardly ever lifting pencil from paper, and then winding up with a DNF because of a single #$%^*! square. I do not travel in social circles in which FENDI is a known thing. Fair enough; maybe I should. However, I do travel in which marijuana is a known thing, but I have never heard the word ENDO in this context. There are so many other ways in which ENDO could have been clued. Why this??

Now that executive orders are being spewed out at an even faster rate than tweets, and with about the same amount of thought and planning, I am more terrified than ever. I thought it was going to take a year for this idiot to destroy the country, but now it looks like it might not take more than a week or two. God help us.

BarbieBarbie 8:25 AM  

My first week using the app so of course I checked at 7:10 last night -- and was done before 7:30. Completely agree with @Steve that these things should take a couple of hours on a Sunday morning (well, okay, that Saturday evening part was my fault). I am not normally a particularly good solver, so twenty minutes is just disappointingly ridiculous. Never even paid much attention to the theme. The fill was just way too Monday (or I was possessed by the spirit of Eugene Maleska). Booooo.
This being Rex's blog, he gets to mention politics if it's what's on his mind while he solves. Other than that, I count maybe five political references so far, and all but one of them are just complaints about political references. Lighten up. We need to hear as many views as possible so that we can remember how to listen.

Anonymous 8:27 AM  

@chefbea: The EO to ban people from our country is not politics, it's a human rights issue. Maybe you remember this poem etched at the base of our Statue of Liberty?

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Nothing political about it.

Dorothy Biggs 8:31 AM  

Very easy puzzle. I also had LOsER at first, I didn't see DEsT until the end when I had to play "Find the Typo," a favorite puzzle game I play after almost every Sunday puzzle.

I did not know ENDO either. Now I do.

I liked FOYT and JACKLONDON, did not like EYRE (again). What is it with crossword puzzles and the Brontë sisters?

chefbea 8:38 AM  

@Anon at 8:27...why did you select me to tell what an EO is???I have no idea what you are talking about

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

I meant @chefwen. How many chefs are there in this place?

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

A "two striper" must mean a navy lieutenant. But it would still be "bars," not "stripes."

RooMonster 9:08 AM  

Hey All !
Fairly clever puz, at first thinking the "cards" were just randomly placed, but looked again, and added up the PLAYER column and the DEALER column, and got more appreciation for the theme. Also, puz has left/right symmetry instead of top/bottom to further help in the seperation/grocking of theme. Nice. @smalltowndoc 6:48 explained it well.

Agree with most on the easiness of puz. Got through pretty fast, with only two writeovers, ImONboarD-IDONTMIND, SUMup-SUMTO. To borrow a Rexism, Blargh on SUMTO.

Light dreck, nice Downs, a god puz, even if it was easy. SPUNKy, if you will.


thursdaysd 9:21 AM  

Guessed right on ENDO, but how on earth do you get that for marijuana? Had a problem instead with OBI/BEBE - didn't know BEBE and thought the sushi restaurant wrap should be some kind of seaweed.

People who have lived in the US for years, with jobs, houses and families here, and who have gone through the vetting process for Permanent Residence status, are being denied entry. Will naturalized citizens be next?

People who have spent years and a lot of money getting student visas are being denied entry.

People who worked as interpreters with US forces, risking their lives on a daily basis, who have spent years, still in danger, before finally getting visas, are being denied entry.

How can you not be outraaged?

RooMonster 9:21 AM  

That would be a good puz, not a god puz!

Politics. Oops! I done did it. :-)


Teedmn 9:23 AM  

It's finally my turn to say that I agree with @Rex almost 100% re: this puzzle and the news. I love his Coneheads' evocation with GIVE ME FIVE and I was squinting at SUMTO also. I didn't have any of his slow downs though - this was totally a paint-by-numbers solving experience.

I did have a few random weirdnesses as when I saw the DOOK CASHISKING as one word with the accent on the second syllable (ca-SHIS-king) and wondered at the crazy jargon that different disciplines come up with. And when I put in BARRooms for where taps were heard and tried to imagine how hard one would have to pull that ale tap down to make a noise. Sheesh!

Thanks, JH and DS, for the Sunday distraction and a very cool looking grid.

Tim Pierce 9:25 AM  

Several missteps today:


With that last, I was so anchored to the "BAR" in my "bar rooms" answer that I came away wondering what on earth a BAR RACK was supposed to be. (I get it now. Not "taps" but "Taps.")

I call Natick on FENDI/ENDO. I'm clearly not hip any more. Maybe if Massachusetts manages to sustain marijuana legalization through the Trump regime and our gutless Gov. Charlie Baker, I'll pick up more of what the kids are saying these days.

OldSourPuss 9:25 AM  

Do they call it "endo" because it turns you into a mental endomorph? I truly believe that half of what is wrong with America today is that half the population is stoned. I can't walk down the street without smelling it these days and anytime I visit someone in an apartment building the halls reek of the weed. Now that it is becoming legal across the country I am worried that we're evolving into a race of zombies. Pathetic.

I finished this puzzle in 25 minutes, no cheating, no pausing, no enjoyment. What can be less intriguing than watching someone else play "Twenty-One." Did David Mamet compile this one?

Dull. Like most of the people in America these days.

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

I'm not interested in compartmentalizing human rights violations.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Easiest puzzle for me ever. Never even thought about using Google.

Nancy 9:31 AM  

I came here thinking this was just about the dumbest theme I'd ever seen -- then came here and saw the first paragraph of @Loren's 5:21 a.m. post. Thanks, Loren, for helping me see that there's a lot more here going on here than meets the eye. At least more than met my eye. Still, the solving of this puzzle (done yesterday so that I can watch the Federer-Nadal match this morning) was no more fun because of it. Thought it was a dull, mindless solve. Off to watch the tennis now.

Rob 9:36 AM  

I'm a square who has never smoked pot, but if I remember my Snoop Dogg correctly, isn't it "Indo," not "Endo"?

Mohair Sam 9:37 AM  

@Anon 8:09 - "This Could be the Start of Something Big" (probably six will post this before I hit publish - Hi Nancy)

Super easy - Although we had to count on a memory jiggle on FENDI because we haven't touched grass in 40 years. Expect more of a challenge from David Steinberg cluing, always ready for a battle when I see his name. Can some druggie out there tell me where the term ENDO originated? Or don't you care?

Have to admit that when I was stuck in barracks in the military there was something awfully peaceful and reassuring about taps after a tough day.

SARDI's has been an answer before and I've mentioned that I have a 1963 menu from the place (in a Vincent Price cookbook) - Oh, the prices! Also has the recipe for Emince of Chicken Tetrazzini au Gratin (I'm sure you're hungry now).

kitshef 9:43 AM  

My pleasure at the different and interesting theme was almost undone by the terrible FEN?I/EN?O cross. Guessed correctly, but if had been a T or a Z or K or an N or a half dozen other letters I would not have been surprised.

ENDO is known by, what on one-hundredth of one percent of the solving audience? That needs to be crossed by "dog" or "food" or something common, not an obscure designer.

But that theme - so well executed with everything left justified/right justified, plays out like a real hand. Just super.

Z 9:44 AM  

Hmm, maybe from the classic Dictionary of Service Slang? I found this usage of TWO STRIPER on page 43. Everything else that turned up when I searched for "two striper slang" seemed irrelevant. What? You don't have this on your bookshelf? Well, why not?

I missed the clue on ENDO or it would have befuddled me. FENDI is a LFC, so no problem here. I do think crossing a German number with a German color is ... What's worse than "less than optimal?"

No politics? Okay. How about a parable:

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

jberg 9:52 AM  

I looked at the grid (shaded squares, not circles, in the paper), read the first clue, and thought maybe it was an inaccurate depiction of a backgammon board. Fortunately, that didn't fit; and even more fortunately, I had already ruled out blackjack with crosses by the time I saw what it was.

Me too for no idea about ENDO.

Nice to see ATE IT; AcE IT was becoming hackneyed.

As for the real world, I'm more of a glass-half-full guy, tremendously heartened by all the people who rushed to their nearest international airport. I'm about to leave for a solidarity rally at the memorial for Kahlil Gibran.

Tita 9:53 AM  

I liked the theme idea ok, but it did play a little meh. Though I needed the theme to help me out of a few spots.

@lms...precisely what you said about that giant box of Crayolas!!!!!
That was right about the time in my life when I held Silly Putty EGGs In high esteem. Still do, come to think of it... I thnk my favorite use was lifting color comics off the page.

And thank you, btw, for learnin' me that we do, in English, do that Pro drop thing, and for giving it a name.

Lastly, the most bone-chilling feeling of dread I experience is when I accidentally hit the webcam button in Skype. Omg. Panic. Haven't brushed hair. Still in robe. Quick...thumb over the camera, tilt screen way back so it's pointing at the ceiling.
That reminds me...I really need to put a piece of tape over that cam. I'm tired of those NSA and Facebook flunkies watching me.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Meh. Numbers on each side, game of 21, what great fun. Not. Finished in what felt like 15 minutes though my last square was the FENDI/ENDO Natick, and somehow I correctly guessed the D.

Totally agree with Rex.

GHarris 10:06 AM  

@anonymous 8:09 the song is This could be the start of something. Enjoyed the solve, had few problems.

Jackie 10:08 AM  

"This Could Be The Start of Something Big"

QuasiMojo 10:10 AM  

Does anyone recall the ad campaign "This Can't Be Yogurt?" Guess what, it wasn't. lol. Tasted like melted "poi."

Count me among the unexcited by today's puzzle. I will give the constructors credit however for the ingenuity of the game plan.

As for "Fendi" -- c'mon guys, it is NOT an obscure fashion brand. It's one of the biggest names in international fashion and has been around for a long time. Just because you never heard of a "Fendi Bag" (as famous now as Chanel or Kate Spade or Coach) don't blame the constructors. I remember back in the 80s when the Fendi sisters tried to break into the furniture business. That was a failure, but the Fendi bag remains iconic.

Sometimes I wonder who these smartypants NYT puzzle-doers are? Do you not READ the NYT? How can you have missed the gazillion Fendi ads over the years?

As I've said before, get out more, read a book now and then, open a newspaper, turn off your TVs and video games. Live a little.

Hartley70 10:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 10:12 AM  

I liked it because it felt correctly paced and the theme was consistent and a little clever.

Hartley70 10:14 AM  

@r.alphbunker said it first. I was doing this most enjoyable puzzle (TWENTY-ONE is my game) as my son was flying through Chicago to NYC, so I was getting protest updates from each airport. I was delighted to get a NYT alert on my phone that a stay was issued and I thought that judge was one brave fellow knowing Trump's penchant for revenge, until I discovered it was Ann. "Sisters are doing it for themselves!" It's getting impossible for an iPhone solver to keep the xword separate from the real world.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

(military, slang) an officer who has a stripe or stripes on his uniform, esp in the navy: a two-striper (lieutenant)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Charley 10:30 AM  

Ending? Really?

Tita 10:30 AM  

A request
Can we please go back to honoring our unspoken rule of no spoilers? Not everyone solves every puzzle in a linear fashion.

Last Sunday, my struggle with Saturday got blown wide open when the answer to grid-spanning 3D was posted
Then again today with the reference to the OTOOLE answer from Thursday. (Yeah, I'm done with Thursday, but I wasn't done with Saturday!). Make the references to earlier answers oblique enough that they don't give it away.

Thank you to my friend @George for causing me to be outraged at this unforgivable breach of etiquette, taking my mind off the current burning of Rome for a few minutes.

Charley 10:31 AM  

That should endo, not ending. Damn spellcheck.

Joe in Newfoundland 10:32 AM  

I also didn't get FENDI/ENDO. Never heard of COOLBEANS but I suppose that is a thing. Meh. We'll take refugees who can't get into the States, but they won't come to Newfoundland if they know anything about the weather here.

Andrea 10:36 AM  

A very easy puzzle. I finished it in about 35 minutes, where it normally takes me almost an hour to finish a Sunday.
Also, this is @Rex's blog. As I understand it, he can talk about whatever the hell he wants; if you don't agree, then don't donate to him.
(We should ALL be talking about what's going on, btw, or else we will be found to be like those silent observers of atrocities that never did anything)

GILL I. 10:43 AM  

Thanks @Loren for pointing out the beauty of the puzzle. I finished this so quickly last night I didn't really admire the trick.... Never heard of FENDI? If you've been to a flea market you can buy Gucci and Fendi hand bags for maybe $20.00. Those knock offs are everywhere....so that gave me ENDO which I had never heard as well. I went to the weed blog to see what the current weed jargon is and sure enough it's there...followed by esra. My favorite though is either "goblet of jam" or "hippie lettuce."
@Tita. FACETIME should be banned for life. When my family uses it, I'm always either on the john or in my jammies. I always point my phone up to the ceiling or fix it on one of the pups.
I'm debating whether I should read the paper or not. Or maybe try the LA Sunday and then go for a walk. I think I'll watch reruns of "Sex and the City."

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

Stick to criticizing puzzles.

Hungry Mother 11:05 AM  

Needed my wife to get me FENDI. Back in my toking days, we didn't call it ENDO.

St. Augustine Orchid Society 11:17 AM  

please, no more politics!

Surphart 11:26 AM  

Breezed through this one in 42 minutes ...a personal best. I did however spend the last three minutes parsing through the fendi/endo crossing before guessing correctly .After seeing that I wasn't the only one with this problem, I decided to check the urban dictionary. Via that source, endo could be clued may ways.However, for its reference to weed the best explanation is this. There are two different strains of cannabis...sativa and indica. Indica gives you a more relaxed high while sativa is more of a cerebral or energetic buzz. Endo apparently comes from the misspelling of the shortened Indo. I much prefer the sativa when surfing or solving for that matter!

Unknown 11:39 AM  

To clarify, the stay only prevents them from being deported. The people being detained at airports are still not being allowed to enter.

DESievers 11:43 AM  

Yep, an easy one, but I liked the cute theme, conceptually and visually. Though my political and sanity values align with our blog host's, I'm with @chefwen, and even @evildoug today, on their related comments. Have a happy day, all.

Anonymous 11:45 AM  

YOU in at least one text is abbreviated to its FIRST letter, as in TTYL. And developer's don't purchase LOTs. Builders do. Developers develop LOTs.

Grown-Up 11:52 AM  

Poor Rex! I'm sure he cried himself to sleep last night.

To all of you whose heads are exploding, get a grip! Ever since the establishment of Homeland Security and the TSA, there have been various procedures and changes implemented which have caused tie-ups and inconveniences. This is not the end of the world. It will all be sorted out in a short time.

As for the order issued to ban enforcement, here is a part of the statement released this morning:

"Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the White House, said, "Nothing in the Brooklyn judge's order in anyway impedes or prevents the implementation of the president's executive order which remains in full, complete and total effect."

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

@Z While I can appreciate the parable, the analogy is suspect. Jesus wasn't suggesting mercy for the robbers. And in this case the robbers are rife within the horde of refugees.

Malsdemare 12:07 PM  

I finished too quickly. My biggest struggle can be blamed on having adSPOT, leaving me scratching my head about ??? BAR and ???OSE. Once I took that ad out, I sort of saw VAMOOSE, which gave me TV and then the awesome TOOLBAR; terrific clue, David.

Thanks for the explication of the play; I know twenty one, but as we all know by now, I rarely spend sufficient time admiring the hidden depths of puzzles until someone here slams me upside the head. I did know FENDi, though not because I'm part of that crowd (once upon a time, when I was an Executive Wife, I was unhappily part of that milieu, but now I'm just a jeans-clad ex-academic). It's another instance of knowing something and have no clue why. Did not know ENDO. But I'm ready to learn if Illinois decides to legalize Maryjane.

I liked OEUVRE, agree that it's GImmeFIVE, and as someone who's trying to learn as many languages as she can before she croaks, enjoyed GRAU and DREI. Thanks for the reminder of "This could be the start of something big." My mom was a pianist and those old standbys were part of her pre-dinner ritual. I hear Gershwin, Porter, "Begin the Beguine," and I'm a kid again, back before my father died and our family was happy.

Rex can do what he wants in his post; I saw his sober discussion of the refugee ban as a lament that he didn't enjoy the puzzle as he might have. But I'm okay with politics / human rights discussions here, as long as they're respectful and brief. We've become a community, and sharing one's reactions with friends to what is happening with our country is reasonable. Decisions are being made that will impact every element of our lives. I envy those who can park that by the roadside while they do other things, but I know I can't. We can easily skip those digressions if we don't like them. Between Z's parable and the Emma Lazarus poem, I'm a puddle today.

@Tita I'd forgotten that comics trick with the Silly Putty. That was COOLBEANS! And yes, about FaceTime. My grandkids love it but between trying to figure out the best angle for my iPhone camera so I don't give them nightmares, and getting dizzy as the nine-year-old waves it around to show me her mom, the guinea pigs, her brother, the ceiling, I'm ready to declare a ban on the thing.

CDilly52 12:11 PM  

While I did find this easy, I was slow on "two striper" because only in the navy do lieutenants wear two BARS (not stripes). In all the other services, two bars is a captain not a looey. That and the fact that I, too wondered what the heck BAR RACKS are, kept me head-scratching for a bit. Still speedy time and an overall enjoyable experience. And @LMS, I will NEVER AGAIN see a lounge lizard and fail to think that I must have wandered into a TOOL BAR. Fun day. Thanks everybody!

Carol Curren 12:17 PM  
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Carol Curren 12:20 PM  

Maybe my best time ever for a Sunday. I found the theme enjoyable and creative. As far as the political comments go, I will not stand silent in the face of evil and I'm sure glad Rex isn't either.

TarheelEd 12:24 PM  

Two-striper is a Navy/Coast Guard term, not Army or Marine Corps. They carry their rank on their sleeves.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  


Wrong again Dilly. Navy lieutenants do indeed wear a two bar devise on their collars. But, they also wear two gold stripes of equal size on the sleeves and shoulder boards of their jackets.

The crossword did not specify branch of service, and is therefor correct.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

Have to say that, even more than political diatribes, I resent the implicit moral superiority vs turpitude aspect of having scripture quoted at me.

Considering the theme, it seems that lowly Lieutenant should be accompanied by General Black Jack Pershing.

As you were.

ALPAPilot 12:35 PM  

Having been a Naval Officer, I can guess this probably comes from the Navy Dress Blue uniform. A lieutenant has two stripes on the sleeve. An ensign has one, a commander has three and a captain has four.

However, I don't recall any lieutenant being called a two striped.

Andrew Heinegg 12:56 PM  

This was far too easy for a Sunday with Monday like clues and, with a card theme and being a non-card player, not interesting for me.

As one who is terribly upset with the state of politics worldwide (if you are thinking that the U.S. is the only country going through a big swing to the right, you are not paying attention to France, Germany etc.), I think you are going to have to realize that every day is going to bring some new horrific or stupid development. E.g., Trump just issued an executive order directing the Joint Chiefs Of Staff to come up with a plan within 30 days to destroy ISIS.

OK, sure. And the Joint Chiefs Of Staff have been sitting on their hands since the rise of ISIS. It just took Donald's election and order to get them to come up with a simple plan that will not cost thousands of American lives, trillions of dollars and not rebuild the resentment of the indigenous people towards us for getting involved in another area of the world's politics. Oh sure, that will be easy.

Cassieopia 1:05 PM  

Easy and fast for me as well except I didn't get the happy music at the end. Pored over the puzzle twice, my friend pored over it once, for the life of me I could not find the error. Finally realized it was LONER not LOsER, and DENT not DEsT. I figured "a bit of progress" was DEsT because DEst is a "part" of "destination ". Ugh. Of such mind freezes are errors made.

Otherwise, liked the puzzle.

Aphid larue 1:05 PM  

In the Navy, lieutenants wear 2 bars on their collars, 2 stripes on shoulder boards or on the sleeves of dress blues.

Lojman 1:10 PM  

That D was the last entry I had - I figured it would be a DNF, but I guessed right! Personal best time of just over 20 min - caught the theme and layout scheme early and proceeded without any really hiccups.


Joseph Michael 1:10 PM  

This one was a snoozer. Got no joy from filling in numbers that do or don't add up to TWENTY-ONE. Who cares?

Though the solve was surprisingly easy, I ended up like others with a DNF at the FENDI/ENDO cross. With no idea what either might be, I guessed that one would carry one's enzo in a Fenzi bag.

Just realized that it's not BAR RACKS where those taps can be heard but rather BARRACKS.

Stanley Hudson 1:12 PM  

Nice to have a pleasant diversion while the current regime drives the nation, and perhaps the world, into ruin.


Numinous 1:13 PM  

On Navy sleeve cuffs and epaulets an ensign has a single stripe. A lieutenant junior grade has one stripe and a very thin stripe. A lieutenant, the equivalent of a captain in the other services, has two equally wide stripes on his cuff and epaulet. Since my step-daughter was in Officer Candidate School for the Navy. I know what the ranks and their insignia are. Believe me, thay always totally confused me in the past.

Sadly, my step-daughter was given an honorable discharge because she couldn't pass the physicals and they had an unusually hard assed selection of drill instructors while she was there. The administrators there were particularly encouraging about her ability to get into the FBI if she will just work on getting more buffed up. She's moved to Colorado and is working on acquiring residency so she can work on some advanced degrees at the U of C. She is, however, now considering getting a law degree and becoming a prosecutor. To her credit, she's more interested in justice than she is in the nuances of argument to defend (guilty?) clients.

An ENDO is the tip of a marijuana branch where the buds have accumulated the most resin and crystals after being hung upside down for drying. About three years ago, after a hiatus of maybe thirty years, I tried a toke. What a disappointment. My COPD lungs can no longer handle the harsh smoke. it's not that I miss it all that much, I was merely curious to see what it would be like to watch TV and become an instant art critic. Which brings to mind the joke I told last night for @Larry Gilstrap's and @Roo's benifit. Once, maybe fifty years ago, while I was sitting around in my livingroom with a bunch of "art critics", someone suddenly broke the silence by asking, "What is a hootenanny?" Someone piped in with , "Think of it as a cross between an owl and a goat," Instaantly, someone else chimed in with, "Oh no! That's a flying buttress." Maybe there is a themeless seed entry in there somehow.

I got nearly and hour's worth of fun out of this puzzle and another hour's worth of fun reading the comments. I used to fancy myself a writer and in doing research for stories I was working on, I learned about a lot of random stuff that might never have attracted my interest. So I know what a FENDI bag is. Not much else impressed me but I did think it was COOL BEANS. To have a SKA BAND on the cruise ship. I've never been on a cruise ship but I have sailed from Southampton to New York on the Queen Elizabeth but that's another story.

Have a lovely Sunday, y'all and I hope none of your relatives or friends are being turned away at the door.

'mericans in Paris 1:21 PM  

To those of you who hate showing your faces on FaceTime: press the bar on "Audio" instead of "Video".

You're welcome.

Leapfinger 1:23 PM  
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Anonymous 1:37 PM  

But it is a piece/bit of ”destination.”

Alan_S. 1:41 PM  

Agree with all those who thought that this and many recent Sunday puzzles have been way too easy, and agree with Rex on the mehness of the theme. (Wow! I'm surprised autocorrect didn't try to alter mehness; and here I was
thinking I made up a new, and legitimate, word.)

Also, with Rex and so many of us who are now seeing the reality of the, heretofore, alt-right circus become the all too real nightmare we thought it might.

Everyone: Take those silly "Pussy Hats" off your head and get serious about what needs to be done to keep this madman in check. Acting like a left wing version of a Tea Party nut job will not do the trick. I'm not really sure what will, but certainly not foolishness like that.

Sorry for getting political. I usually don't, here, but Rex started it!

Greg 1:51 PM  

SUMTO = ????

irongirl27 1:55 PM  

Amidst all our troubles . . . SPUNK reminded me of one lovely ray of brightness in the world. We'll miss that smile!

Alan_S. 2:02 PM  


Alan_S. 2:11 PM  

Have another drink!

Eric Fredericksen 2:15 PM  
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Eric Fredericksen 2:17 PM  

A more apt Specials tune, Racist Friend

Masked and Anonymous 2:35 PM  

Like many of U nice crossword players, I went bust on that there FEN?I/EN?O bagful of pot. Wanted ENJO [short for ENJOy, I figured.] M(&A)isery luvs company.

In the army a TWO-STRIPER would be a corporal. Or perhaps a skunk, if they were discussin varmints. Army 2nd looies had two bars. TWO-BARRERS.

fave weeject: OBI. Mostly becuz of its clue of {Sushi restaurant wrap?}. In that case, are the obiae made of strings of ginger roots? Or do people workin at some Sushi places wear robes? Never seen that; waiters just wear civvies. Confuses the M&A.

Had some trouble figurin out the theme cards. At first, thought TWO+ACE+THREE+FIVE = 21. Wrong again, M&A breath.

COOLBEANS. Have never heard anyone say this, except for crossword constructioneers. Will hafta try to make an effort to use it, somehow…
Maybe: "Cool yer beans, @RP!" har.

Thanx, JH & DS, U endo-heads.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Crane Poole 2:45 PM  

Quickest Sunday I can remember, could that be? Nothing obscure or problematic other than that ENDO/FENDI cross. And I struggled the last two days while you all sailed.

I truly did not know FENDI @Quasi. Similarly there may be a musician in my wheelhouse of whom I'd feel/say the same. Together we make the world go 'round. Still enjoyable! But some more devious cluing might have been in order. Theme, fine. Fill, fine.

William Occam 2:45 PM  

Fairly straightforward puzzle.

As Rex has the vapors about immigrants from seven countries Obama already identified as posing extraordinary risk for visa entry and 5 of which he has been bombing the s*#t out of for some time does anyone care to guess which president deported more illegal immigrants than the next two combined?

Oh!, The Humanity 2:55 PM  

Liberal heads are exploding because the president has had the temerity to actually do what he promised he would do. That must be a totally foreign concept to some?

17 presidential edicts so far. More work in the first week, than the former president accomplished in his last year. Unless of course, you count all the pardons from U.S. prisons and releases of radical prisoners from Gitmo.

Most of those 17 presidential directives dealt directly with campaign promises that either reverse executive orders issued by Obama, or reopen issues that Dirty Harry Reid blocked for his fearless leader. Lets take a look at some of the president's signings:

Promised to withdraw from the TTP: Check

Promised to start unraveling Omamacare: Check!

Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. Check! Three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline.

An order to reinstate the so-called "Mexico City Policy" – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion.

An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of this ridiculously bloated government. This excludes the military.

Multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.

Yeah, he's doing a terrible job so far! Y'all better head to your safe spaces. Better bring that box of Crayons that has a sharpener. You might be in there a while!

Anonymous 3:47 PM  

Per Urban Dictionary: Endo - The bottom tips of the marijuana plant that accumulate the most resin and crystals after being hung to dry.

Anonymous 3:51 PM  

Really enjoy your political commentary...please continue!

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

@Oh!, The Humanity, thanks so much for the completely pointless regurgitation of information we all know with no actual analysis attached. Typical deep thinking from a Fox News viewer. Now go away and try to understand, if you can, how this latest EO makes the country less safe, the cancelled TPP makes it less prosperous, and the ridiculous wall will do nothing to stop illegal immigration.

I won't bother appealing to your humanity, because clearly you have none.

Joe Bleaux 4:45 PM  

Oh!, The Hanninanity ...

Oh! The Humanity 5:00 PM  

@Anonymous 4:06 PM:

Stop "Virtue Signaling!" Typical Proggie! The whole basis for the Progressive agenda is your totally misguided belief that you are morally and intellectually superior to all those who disagree with your ideology.

I don't have to provide ANYTHING in the form of analysis, because everything I said is factually accurate. You're asking me to provide opinions defending the possible outcome of those facts. If you don't understand the difference, than you are the nescient one!

Get off of your soapbox and stop trying to convince everyone how wonderfully sympathetic and empathetic you are! Stop bemoaning the plight of every suffering individual on the planet! We have veterans who are dying because they don't have access to timely healthcare! We have people living in cardboard boxes on the streets of major cities! Downtown San Francisco smells like a sewer! We have a record number of 48 million people on foods stamps or some other form of government assistance! Yet you and your kind think we should just throw open our doors, disregard our borders, and let everyone come! Forget that the taxpayers of America would ultimately foot the bill for their healthcare, nutritional requirements, and housing.

Look at how that's working out for Europe!
Perhaps you'd like to let a family of Syrians live with you? Even if that family contained three unvetted adult males? I suggest you put your pecuniary assets where your maxillary orifice is located!

You need to start living in the real world my friend!

Ashkitty 5:01 PM  

Agree with "endo" never heard that one before..I had loser but S didn't make sense. Took me about 1 hour but I wa watching tennis!

Anonymous 5:29 PM  

Let the church of cruciverbalists shout "Amen!"

jae 5:34 PM  

For anyone looking for a tougher weekend puzzle, Brad Wilber's Saturday Stumper in Newsday (Google it) does not disappoint. It took me longer than the NYT Fri. and Sat. combined.

Oh! The Humanity 5:49 PM  

Sung to the tune of Just A Gigolo:

I'm Just A liberal Prog,
Virtue Signaling on this Blog,
The Other Proggies
Know The Game I'm Playin'.

They All Listen To My Rants,
Our Agenda To Advance,
Ooohh, What We're Sayin'.

But There Will Come A Day,
No ones' Buyin What We Say,
How Will They Live Without Us?
When The End Comes For Us Progs,
We'll talk Crosswords On the Blog,
And We'll All Respect The POTUS!

Rick 5:53 PM  

Also naticked at FENDI/ENDO. Never heard of either one. The rest of the puzzle was a breeze.

daveyhead 5:54 PM  

One, I think this was the easiest Sunday puzzle I've ever done. Like a giant Monday. Or as I texted my friend, like a giant TV Guide puzzle.

Two, let me add my voice to those who think that the time to confine politics to "political" conversations ended on January 20th. This country is being run by a vindictive 8 year old who is still complaining about the size of his inauguration crowd. Everyone, everywhere, who is afraid of what he might do ought to go to the window, open it up and say they are as mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore (feel free to choose your own venue and method of protest). The time for politeness is past. Michael, keep speaking up. Those of you who don't like it, take a hike.

Mr. Grumpypants 6:09 PM  

I am astounded at some/many of the posts here today. Just goes to show that you can solve crossword puzzles and still be an ignorant fuckwit.

Joseph Michael 6:20 PM  

Well said

Leapfinger 6:21 PM  
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Numinous 6:30 PM  
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Leapfinger 6:38 PM  
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Grown-Up 6:42 PM  

"Vindictive 8 year old"? Is that the best you got? No mention of the fact that the Lame Stream Media was the first entity to compare inauguration crowd sizes? No mention of the fact that "technically" President Trump did have the greatest overall viewership of his inauguration?

If, after almost two years, you're still too obtuse to understand that the president is a counter puncher, than you're hopelessly naive. Is he brusque or politically incorrect on occasion? Damned right! That's totally honest and refreshing. You wanna hear real locker room talk? Go to an all female sex toy sales party or Bachelorette party! The president has to fight the totally leftist main stream media every day. By comparison, you're just a gnat. Maybe less?

According to you, "Everyone, everywhere, who is afraid of what he might do ought to go to the window, open it up and say they are as mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore (feel free to choose your own venue and method of protest)."

Were you even alive when that movie was released? If so, you should be ashamed of yourself, because you're old enough to know better!

NO! What people like you need to do is grow a pair of BALLS, or OVARIES! Most female soldiers could probably kick your sorry butt. You have no concept of what real fear is! When the cold war was at its height, you were probably still swimming around in your daddy's scrotum.

Go to that window, open it, and scream like the little wussy that you are! Then go back to your safe space!

Remember that only about 1% of Americans ever serve under the flag of our nation. I'm pretty sure you'll never be one of those people?

BarbieBarbie 7:08 PM  

Hey, Oh Hannity showed up when Evil Doug went silent. As a STEM type I love a good mass balance. OH is exactly right: ol' rhinestone-underpants is stepping down his campaign spreadsheet, one EO per promise, whether they make sense or not. It's what CEOs do. Where I work, we say of the b-school types: they can't read, but they can count.

Norm 7:12 PM  

Ha ha ha ha. @Grown-Up demonstrating that s/he is exactly the opposite. I love the contrast.

Larry Gilstrap 7:15 PM  

BEBE Neuwirth appeared in the role of Lola in Damn Yankees at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. She sang and danced through Whatever Lola Wants. I nearly fell out of the balcony.

Anonymous 7:35 PM  

Respecting a person with profound mental illness in the form of psychopathic and malignant narcissism (among other issues like the maturity of 10 year old) is not on my list of things to do.

Z 7:37 PM  

"Implicit?" No, quoting scripture in a crossword blog is a dick move. But hey, politics was off limits, so what better way to poke a stick in the eye of Alt-Christians and their alternative facts take on the world?

So many to skip over, today. In these fraught times, if you want your comment read you better get your nom de blog blue or be pithier. Otherwise you're joining the spellcasters in the trash.

So Predictable 8:33 PM  


It's about time!

I should have followed my earlier impulse. I was going to warn those who responded to your earlier posts, that you would never allow them to have the last word on any subject.

You are indeed the Grand Guru Of Google. the Wizard Of Wiki. The alacrity with which you claim definitive knowledge of all subjects is truly mind boggling.

Alt-Christians, Alt-Right, Alt Left, Alternator, what's the difference. Bottom line? Rex brings it up, its fair game.

I was going to try and guess how many comments would be posted before somebody challenged Rex. I was thinking maybe ten, and I would have been right except for Pete@12:53am. I think Pete was just trolling, so I'm claiming a correct guess.

As for your contention that only those with blue lettered blog names garner attention, I would say that such conjecture might be wishful thinking. Today is a perfect example. Many, many replies to anonymice and other screen names. If you don't want your ideology refuted, don't bring it up.

The occasional "one sentence trolls" as easily recognizable. Today, excluding Rex and Pete the troll, @Paul Rippey at 3:10am started the ball rolling with his allusion to "fighting fascism."

So please Z, spare me your thoughts about spellcasters and trash.

BTW, I just bet my lady that you will not be able to resist answering this post. The "last word" thing and all. If she wins I have to watch Pretty Woman AGAIN! If I win, I get oral when and where I chose. Help a brother out dude! LOL.

Cassieopia 8:47 PM  

Wish this blog UI had an "edit" feature, as I catch typos only after the fact. In my post, I meant to say:

I figured "a bit of progress" was DEsT because DEsT is a "bit" of "destination ". And isn't destination progress?

Masked and Anonymous 8:55 PM  

Altho I did duty in Nam and later in the National Guard, I'm sure not into feelin I'm better than any others for havin done it. The little gal down the street from us, who's takin care of her husband with Altzheimer's … now, there's yer person worthy of all the respect one can muster.

thUmbsUp and COOL BEANS to:
* free speech. [I think most every comment here is interestin, in one way or another.]
* free press. [I kinda like PBS News Hour, on account of no drug ads.]
* peace.
* good will toward mankind.
* your best wish comin true.

Really wanted to also put "cinnamon rolls for everybody" on the list, but don't wanna ram anything down y'all's throat. ... But, maybe consider that it's the thought that counts?

@RP: Very nice write-up and primo bullets. Enjoyed the KK schlock flick poster, also -- great choice! Most of yer beans are mighty cool, in M&A's book. Here's hopin for more beauties and fewer beasts.


Slight clarification, on earlier msg. An army lieutenant actually has one bar on each individual uniform insignia, for a total of two. 2nd looie (single)bars are goldish. 1st looie (single)bars are silverish. If U have two bars on one insignia, that's a captain.

Moly Shu 9:08 PM  

This is exactly why I read this blog. People calling each other names. Awesome. And throw in a little xword analysis just to sweeten the pot.
@Z, I never skip a comment, just in case I might learn something or get a good laugh. Today was a banner day for the latter.
@Leapy, yours are the only posts that I ever considered skipping. Not because of what you say, but how you say it with wordplay. I feel so stupid when I read your comments because I rarely grasp what you're getting at and I feel like I'm the only person who doesnt get the joke. Please don't take this as an offense, it's meant as a compliment. Simple name calling I get, even relish. You're on such a higher level, one I struggle to comprehend. Keep it up, maybe I will become smarter.

Robin 9:10 PM  

Pretty easy. But... saw that the circled squares were card names and that other clues had to do with playing blackjack, but didn't notice some of the specifics of the theme that others above have pointed out

Anyway, finished in 16:45 using the version on the NYT website. Possibly my third best time ever on a Sunday. Certainly my third best time in the last 6 months, as there two others in about September and November that I know were easier and faster.

Few of the clues/answers struck my fancy. Maybe TWOSTRIPER and SERVICE ACE. Had to agree that GIVEMEFIVE sounds wrong.

Diane 9:18 PM  

To "oh the humanity"

Loved your song!

johns 10:59 PM  

Rex- thanks for your morality and reminding us that puzzles are for fun and the consequences of politics are serious.

Anonymous 11:50 PM  

The Trumpistas who have invaded this blog (and who may have some crossword skills) have one thing right: those with un-American values who threaten the fabric of the nation have no place here. Starting with them.

Welcome To Reality 1:00 AM  

@Anonymous 11:50PM

Here's a clue my friend. The Trumpistas were always here, they were just waiting! They were waiting like the millions of Americans who bit their tongues at work, at family gatherings, in social circles, etc. They waited while being called racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, and every other "ist" and phobia you can think of. They didn't respond to polls or queries from family or friends. They clenched their jaws and they patiently waited! They knew their time would come. And when that moment finally arrived, the wait was over. They made their statement in the voting booths all over America!

Now its YOUR TURN to wait! Wait until 2018 and pray that you don't lose even more seats in congress! Wait until 2020 and pray that you don't witness a Republican landslide! Wait and pray that president Trump doesn't get the chance to appoint more than one or two Supreme Court justices!

We all know where your kind is coming from. Yes, you're scared! Yes,you're frightened! And yes, you're apoplectic! But its not because you are afraid that president Trump will fail. Its because you are afraid that president Trump will succeed!

Your ilk is so transparent, yet you think you are so clever. A fish does not know it is wet. Think about that while you agonize over the next four years or longer!

Andrew Heinegg 1:00 AM  

This was far too easy for a Sunday with Monday like clues and, with a card theme and being a non-card player, not interesting for me.

As one who is terribly upset with the state of politics worldwide (if you are thinking that the U.S. is the only country going through a big swing to the right, you are not paying attention to France, Germany etc.), I think you are going to have to realize that every day is going to bring some new horrific or stupid development. E.g., Trump just issued an executive order directing the Joint Chiefs Of Staff to come up with a plan within 30 days to destroy ISIS.

OK, sure. And the Joint Chiefs Of Staff have been sitting on their hands since the rise of ISIS. It just took Donald's election and order to get them to come up with a simple plan that will not cost thousands of American lives, trillions of dollars and not rebuild the resentment of the indigenous people towards us for getting involved in another area of the world's politics. Oh sure, that will be easy.

Odin 1:49 AM  

@Andrew Heinegg:

You've already made this post. O.K; you think its worth repeating. I get it. Fact of the matter is, you have absolutely no idea what the Joint Chiefs Of Staff are going to tell president Trump! You also have no idea what the Joint Chiefs Of Staff told president Obama! Don't assume that the recommendations to president Trump in regard to dealing with ISIS are the same recommendations that were conveyed to president Obama. Even more questionable would be how you could possibly expect Trump to process and act on that information in the same manner? I'm pretty sure that if president Trump draws a red line that's crossed, their will be blood.

Please spare me the platitudes about thousands of American lives, trillions of dollars and rebuilding the resentment of the indigenous peoples. Trump is not into nation building or imposing democracy on people still living in the 13th century.

Last time I checked, we still had an all volunteer military, so if you've never had skin in the game, you don't get to offer opinions about how our current military might feel as to when and where they're deployed.

I do agree with you about expending manpower and U.S. dollars for ambiguous or questionable purposes. If both assets are at the ready, they must only be used to protect American security and interests.

Let Allah take care of his people, the U.S. military will take care of ours!

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

FENDI/ENDO was just unfair. Easy fix would've been ENDS/DST/GIT.

Andrew Heinegg 12:03 PM  

This was far too easy for a Sunday with Monday like clues and, with a card theme and being a non-card player, not interesting for me.

As one who is terribly upset with the state of politics worldwide (if you are thinking that the U.S. is the only country going through a big swing to the right, you are not paying attention to France, Germany etc.), I think you are going to have to realize that every day is going to bring some new horrific or stupid development. E.g., Trump just issued an executive order directing the Joint Chiefs Of Staff to come up with a plan within 30 days to destroy ISIS.

OK, sure. And the Joint Chiefs Of Staff have been sitting on their hands since the rise of ISIS. It just took Donald's election and order to get them to come up with a simple plan that will not cost thousands of American lives, trillions of dollars and not rebuild the resentment of the indigenous people towards us for getting involved in another area of the world's politics. Oh sure, that will be easy.

aphidlarue 12:23 PM  

How do I change my e-mail address for this blog? I'd enjoy getting any replies, but not to my google address.

Address any thoughts to aphidlarue@yahoo.com

Thank you ever so?

Unicorn Slayer 2:47 PM  

Snappy little puzzle, blasted right through it.

Read some of the late comments from yesterday. Very spicy! LMAO at some of them.

@ Andrew Heinegg from late yesterday.
You stated that you are "one who is terribly upset with the state of politics worldwide." I'm guessing you're a political junkie, so I thought you might be interested in this article . Especially in light of the fact that Iran just tested another balistic missile. I'm sure you won't like the source of the article since its not written in a bible from your church, but I'm guessing you're probably open-minded enough to read it? The choice is yours. Like the man said, "You can lead a horse..."

Anonymous 4:35 PM  

Weird. Usually you're calling EASY SCHMEEZY and I'm struggling. This one ranked so ridiculously easy that I was really surprised to read that you struggled. It's all in the brain-wave connection to the constructor, I guess. As for the theme, you were too kind. Lame.

Unknown 12:20 AM  

Written by Steve Allen.

rondo 12:35 PM  

What @Rex said about the puz, mostly. Not medium. Really, really easy, somewhere less than 25 minutes (as fast as I could read/fill) and not much of a theme.

Abounding in yeah babies. JAMI with her 1980s hair, perpetual yeah baby DYAN. Always had a thing for BEBE as Lilith and now on Madam Secretary, yeah baby.

Good day for a quickie like this puz. Watch the big game today for interesting TVSPOTs.

rondo 12:38 PM  

One last thing. I thought a corporal was a TWOSTRIPER and a looey had two bars. Maybe it was discussed above. Haven't read comments yet.

Burma Shave 1:19 PM  


and IDONTMIND the KID TAKIN’ FACETIME with anyone.
But YOU SAY the BEST chance that VAIN LONER has is prayer
to EARN a LEI from any gal over AGE TWENTYONE?


Uke Xensen 1:29 PM  

This was easy, except I never heard of "endo" for bud, and I had trouble seeing "cash is king." For a long time I thought that would end "skill" instead of "sking," which gave me "leg" ibstead of "gig" for "part of a tour." Fortunately, wife knew "Fendi" & with that help things fell into place.

spacecraft 1:31 PM  

Once again, PLEASE, PLEASE! On the cusp of the month ESPECIALLY! Get your syndicated page up to date! PLEASE! It is SUCH a hassle to get here I can't describe. Come on, HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

I feel a little better now--but not much, since if I want to read this later, I have to jump through all these hoops again. Grrr!

Anyway. You are right, @rondo, stripes (like the Bill Murray movie!) are for noncoms. Calling a looie a "two-barrer" would be awkward. But not as awkward as SUMTO. Come on, David, you're better than that. The whole section, over to BOFA (ugh!) and including GIVE?MEFIVE should be torn out and redone. The rest of the puzz IDONTMIND; ITSFINE, though a bit more simplistic than I'd expect from DS. I see the hand played out: my personal experience concurs--with the hands switched. No, on second thought it doesn't. Assuming DEALER UPCARD (from yesterday) is a TWO, I would stay at 16. But I would still lose (of course!) because his hand would become 2386 for 19. *sigh*

DOD DYAN Cannon rocks the sash today. It's somewhat ironic that this puzzle appears on Super Sunday for us Syndilanders, in that when I saw the first clue and went right to 69-across, SUPERBOWL also contains nine letters. Almost wrote it in. Score? Let's see. Excluding JACK and KING, which are not numbers, we have 1,2,3,6 and 8 for a five-hole total of 20--or 4 per hole. Par.

AnonymousPVX 1:48 PM  

Nice easyish puzzle for Super Bowl Sunday. No issues, other than some clumsy clueing.

leftcoastTAM 2:11 PM  

Familiar with David Steinberg's work but not Jim Hyres'. DS has tended to mellow out since his earlier souped-up trickiness and penchant for young-guy slang clue/answers.

This one was smooth, easy, and on the simple side. Probably my best Sunday time ever, though not interested in setting any records. I like the leisurely pace of paper and pen solving, savoring it as it goes. Not a whole lot to savor here.

Only hold-up was the EN_O/FEN_I crossing. Guessed that it needed a "D". Seemed that both words would sound about right with one. Never heard of either. Suspect that this was one of Steinberg's contributions.

Don't really know what a TOOLBAR has to do with a strip of buttons.

The puzzle overall? IDONTMIND it, ITSFINE.

leftcoastTAM 2:32 PM  

TOOLBAR: Never mind, I get it (after checking it out).

rain forest 2:37 PM  

Love your math, @Spacey, and arriving at par is about right. Very easy puzzle except for the FENDI/ENDO cross. I did guess correctly, but for a while I thought that FENzI sounded like a pretty kick-ass bag.

Blackjack. Never hit 17. The dealer always wins whatever I do when I play, which isn't often. You can lose a whack of money in short order. Nice to see that the player won this hand, though. Gimme five! Gimme Bebe! Liked the puzzle. I always prefer an easy Sunday to a slog. Good practice for Monday.

As to the politics, I notice that those who are less than happy with your President, as I would be if I were American, simply express their unhappiness and/or fear, or both without calling out the Trump supporters. On the other hand, the latter are always name-calling, swearing, spouting vile at the protesters. That tells me something. In Syndiland we now know that Washington State has enabled a nation-wide ban of the EO - a good thing. The legal hassle coming up will be interesting to watch. Still possible an impeachment is in the offing.

Eric Selje 2:59 PM  

Yep, that was the last square for me too. I still call it weed.

William Heyman 3:28 PM  

Started doing crosswords at 65, because the doc said to keep the brain going. Gravitated to the NY Times and now (79) can do most days. Anyway, I am a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College (for joint forces planning) and The National War College (strategic planning.) I only mention that because I have worked with all branches. A two-striper may very well be in some arcane reference to the US Navy, but it is misleading as it is the usual reference for a corporal. And in fact, in 26 years, from private to colonel I have only heard it used that way, and no other way. I got it anyway, but it is a stretch.

Diana,LIW 6:10 PM  

99% pretty easy Sunday, with a dnf in the ENDO area. Had something other than FENDI and knew it was wrong, and had leg instead of GIG. And then I stared.

Looking forward to Super Bowl commercials.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for half time

Jay Freedman 8:13 PM  

Alternative fact alert! OMAR EPPS didn't play Linc on Mod Squad - he was a teenager then. The role was played by Clarence Williams III.

Jay Freedman 8:13 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 8:31 PM  

@Jay Freedman - He was in the 1999 movie, though

Phillip Blackerby 12:50 AM  

Not a single one so far!

Phillip Blackerby 1:12 AM  

Not to mention that cutting funds for foreign reproductive health agencies that also provide abortion services will reduce the availability of contraceptives, which will lead to... wait for it... more abortions!

Phillip Blackerby 1:18 AM  

She also played Roxie in "Chicago" on Broadway. A great performance with all that razzmatazz!

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Regarding 85D: In light of the fact that his novel "Silence" was just made into a movie by Martin Scorcese, Shusaku ENDO would have been a more timely and slightly less obscure source for a clue.

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