Players last produced in July 2016 / 1-1-17 / Pope with longest reign between St Peter Pius VI / West coast city known as Track Field Capital of world

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Constructor: Matthew Sewell

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Rolling in the Aisles" — theme answers are places that have aisles, and those aisles are represented visually by a space (circled square, in the grid)*** in which you put the laugh syllable "HA" (supplied from the Down cross), because "rolling in the aisles" means laughing so ... yeah, I think that covers it:

Theme answers:
  • GROCERY (HA) STORE (102A: Farmer's market alternative)
  • ORCHESTRA (HA) HALL (3D: Place for bows and strings)
  • MOVIE (HA) THEATER (24A: Marquee locale)
  • AIR (HA) LINER (72A: Passenger jet)
  • WEDDING (HA) CHAPEL (50D: Hitching post?)
  • U.S. (HA) SENATE  (54A: Capitol group)
Word of the Day: ADRIAN I (20A: Pope with the longest reign between St. Peter and Pius VI (A.D. 67-1799) —
Pope Adrian I (Latin: Hadrianus I c. 700 – 25 December 795) was Pope from 1 February 772 to his death in 795.[1] He was the son of Theodore, a Roman nobleman. [...] An epitaph written by Charlemagne in verse, in which he styles Adrian "father", is still to be seen at the door of the Vatican basilica.[2] Adrian restored some of the ancient aqueducts of Rome and rebuilt the churches of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, decorated by Greek monks fleeing from the iconoclastal persecutions, and of San Marco in Rome. At the time of his death at the age of 95, his was the longest pontificate in Church history until it was surpassed by the 24-year papacy of Pius VI in the late 18th century. Only three other popes – Pius IX, Leo XIII, and John Paul II – have reigned for longer periods since. (wikipedia)
• • •

I solved this and then immediately had dinner and then watched "Singin' in the Rain," which, now that I'm back at my desk trying to write about the puzzle, is all I can think about. Make 'em laugh! Gotta dance! Good mornin', good MORnin'! Etc. When your daughter asks to watch "Singin' in the Rain," you drop whatever you're doing and watch "Singin' in the Rain," esp. on New Year's Eve. This is surely some kind of rule. But the puzzle ... right, the puzzle. I remember thinking it had something—a certain spark of an idea. It seemed very simple, but the whole idea that the space in the answer *is* the aisle, and that there is a laugh sound coming from there, well that's all at least a little bit interesting. Some of these aisles you might actually have people rolling in (MOVIE THEATER, possibly ORCHESTRA HALL), others not so much (though I'm sure I've laughed many times in the aisles of GROCERY STOREs). I thought AIRLINER was one word—weird to break that one into to parts, but it had to be done, I guess. I guess you can make a case for breaking the word, which you couldn't with AIRPLANE, and so that's why we get the LINER version? At least I think that's the logic. All of these themers are places with aisles, and there is laugh part in all of their gaps, so ... there it is. Love it or leave it.

Fill-wise, nothing much stuck out to me. We get another random pope. I don't know what any pre-20c. pope ever gets any clue besides [One of them there popes, who knows what they did, just get some crosses already]. Who'd we have yesterday, URSINI? And now ADRIAN I (not ADRIANI)? Fine. Maybe less fine if you didn't know the crosswordesey ODETTE (2D: "Swan Lake" role), but I did (and you should too by now, come on). I got my new "Star Wars" names are muddled, writing in REN at 29A: Companion of Han in "The Force Awakens" but then having ACHE at 14D: Sore for some reason, and then having to take some time to figure out ACHY is the much more appropriate answer for [Sore] and REY was Han's companion (whereas Kylo-REN was his son, long story, you should see the movie).

ORG CHARTS (82D: It lays out the lines of authority) are not things I think about ever—in fact, I know about them only from crossword— so that was one of the tougher answers for me to come up with. I still don't believe ROSE TEA exists anywhere besides crosswords, but it didn't cause me any trouble. Nothing else in the puzzle registered pleasure, displeasure, or eventfulness of any sort. Oh, I liked that my daughter's name was in the puzzle  (her mom didn't want to call her "EERO," but I insisted) and I always like being reminded of Peter SELLERS (77A: Actor with the line "Gentlemen, you can't fight here! This is the War Room!"). I think I'm done here. Happy New Year!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

***the newsprint version has little aisle borders separating the HA from the word it sits inside. A nicer visual.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:06 AM  

Easy for me and I agree with @Rex about the fill. I really didn't catch the aisle part of the theme until I finished as the solve went pretty quickly. Cute visual, liked it. Happy New Year everyone!

Trombone Tom 12:21 AM  

Did this on the computer printout which showed circled spaces. Got the HA early on but there seemed no rhyme nor reason as to choice of Across or Down HA's. I must be missing something here.

SiSAL before MORAL fiber. And INstepS before INSOLES to be underfoot.

Given my view of most politicos the potential of US(HA)SENATE did not escape me.

Here's to a kinder, gentler year ahead.

Unknown 12:34 AM  

HA HA HA HA HA HAppy New Year to you too, @Rex, to @Rex-ites, and very special congratulations to @Matthew Sewell for his third New York Times puzzle in a little over four months.

Thanks too for reminding us of a true American hero, the late @John Glenn, with the clue for 13-Down (which also broke open the trick), and an honorable former President whose Center at EMORY is invoked in the 9-Down clue.

Now if you don't mind, aisle resume watching the original "Manchurian Candidate"--wow does it meet the STRESS TEST of time. MAHALO and ARIGATO (my two new vocabulary words) again!

Unknown 1:06 AM  

Following up on @Rex's open, I was inspired to revisit this 4-minute YouTube clip -- if it doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will.

Again, Happy New Year to all!

puzzle hoarder 1:11 AM  

Happy New Year. Not an auspicious start puzzle wise. How do you construct a puzzle with a theme of rolling in the aisles with no humor in it? Simple, don't put any in. What you've got is 140 entries of routine solving made slightly more tedious by the rebuses and a lot more by doing this on a tablet. I forgot take a note of the title so I was clueless to the theme until I was well into the solve.
I used the tablet as I'm at the firehouse. At least the fireworks outside are tapering off.

Anonymous 1:26 AM  

It's funny -- I'm new to crosswords and thought most of this fill was so obscure but Odette and orgcharts I got in snap. Happy New Year!

allan 1:48 AM  

The print version used darkened lines to simulate the aisles. The lines ran in the direction of the answer that had the aisle. That actually made for a better solve. Happy New Year. Here's to peace on earth and good will to all.

Ellen S 2:11 AM  

On the iPad, with Puzzazz, the squares containing the rebus HA are not circled. They have a different kind of special effect: either the top and bottom edges are bolded, or the left and right sides, thus forming a horizontal or vertical "aisle" through which either the the across or the down word travels (containing the rebus as part of the word, like PIRAN(HA)) while the intersecting word is divided by the aisle in which the HA is rolling. So not quite what @Rex said--the laugh syllable is supplied sometimes by the down word and sometimes by the across. But I hadn't realized until coming here that the words interrupted by the laugh syllable were all "things with aisles." The aisles in AIR LINERs are so narrow I think of them more as capillaries any more. Not remotely wide enough to roll in.

Starting out I found the puzzle harder than yesterday but eventually got moving and finished it. I was ensconced on the sofa with a comfy pillow and a warm cat and fell asleep only to be awakened at 10:30 by the pain of the corner of the iPad digging into my wrist. And so, even as recently as, oh, two weeks ago, I rarely or never went to bed before midnight, this New Year's Eve I'm heading for the kip even before midnight Mountain Time. Tsk.

Oh. -- that reminds me. In what I guess was 1977, I had a date for New Year's Eve, or thought I did, but the guy didn't show up. Hell, I didn't like him that much anyway. Instead I turned on the telly and watched a performance of "Come Back, LIttle Sheba" featuring Carrie Fisher. And apparently starring Laurence Olivier and Joanne Woodward, but that memory got lost along the way. What I do remember is thinking it was a better spent New Year's Eve than if I had gone out.

dmw 2:12 AM  

Any Sunday I get the entire puzzle is a good one, but compared to some recent Sundays I found it a slog.

Arna D 3:29 AM  

I suppose 'rose tea' is a shortened name for what I have always heard called 'rose hip tea', which is definitely a real thing.

Anonymous 4:05 AM  

Silly, easy puzzle. I don't think ARCHWAY adequately describes Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Elysees is between Place de la Concorde and L'Etoile. One goes around the arch not through it so it's not a "way".

Kevin 5:20 AM  

I think that maybe the title is a little more clever. I think it's supposed to convey a second meaning: ROLLING IN THE AISLES also means BUNCHES OF AISLES. Like "rolling in butter." But there are only six HA spots, so maybe not.

Z 5:58 AM  

Liked it. Once i got the HA rebus, though, it got lots easier because I popped them all in.

No circles in my version (PuzzAzz, which I prefer because it most faithfully recreates the print version), rather heavy dark lines showing where the aisle is. Neat, but more obviously "aisles" than circles are, making it a little easy to figure out that a laugh sound goes there.

Agree with Rex on ADRIAN I (played by cross friendly Talia Shire in the movie, I'm sure) and Odette (played by Padmé Amadala). I also did the REn to REY thing (did you know her first name is Fey?). Our movie also gets Lando, a couple of ANDYS, and ELLA singing some scat and she rides in on her OKAPI. Admit it, you'd pay good money to see this movie.

There was some other interesting fill, CUGAT, solving an addition problem in French, and wanting TOsSLE. Contrary to @dmw I found this less sloggy than most 21x21 puzzles I've done lately (I don't get the WaPo, I hear good things about @Evan's efforts).

I hope everyone had a safe New Year's Eve and may 2017 be your best year ever.

Moly Shu 6:55 AM  

Got the trick early at EDHARRIS and pretty much just sailed through. Only trouble spot was the TRENTE/RAINGOD/RIAL area. When I got to the clues for EUGENE and REESES I thought "damn, I should know this, I do know this, why can't I think of this?" moved over a section and they both came to me. The old think of something else trick.
Didn't get liquored as planned last night, just watched hockey and fell asleep, so, easily in my top 5 New Year's Eve celebrations.
Happy New Year y'all.

Lewis 8:00 AM  

"Cute and clever" is what I thought when the theme became clear, but while the solve gave my brain the workout it craves, there were, especially for New Year's Eve, not a lot of fireworks. I am choosing to see this as a good portent for the year ahead, because what I do not want for 2017 is a lot of fireworks. Here's to a year ahead short on the fireworks and MACABRE, and long on the MAHALO and ARIGATO.

Stuck in 1880 8:23 AM  

Add LANDÓ to the list of names that should be permanently banned from xword puzzles. Spineless traitor

Dorothy Biggs 8:41 AM  

Relatively easy for me too...not the the easiest, but things went quickly.

Along with Random Pope Name and Numeral™ we also got the bonus of the rare Really Random City Compass Headings™. I kinda know where Venice is, so I knew that not many towns could be west of there...well, at least Italian towns...but while I've heard of Trieste (thank you, xword puzzles), I don't know where it is, especially relative to Venice. East, probably for starters. It was pretty obvious once EUGENE came into view.

I had leaCHED at 1A for a while. I think I like that better than MOOCHED, actually.

I didn't know that STRAFES are attacks from above. I was probably mistaking it for chafes. I wanted STRikES...idally, soRtiES.

As for the theme...I agree with @puzzle hoarder...something funny thrown in would have been good. And, my god I can't believe I'm saying this, even a p*n would work as some kind of meta joke in the revealer. Something. Anything to tie it all together. Instead of myself "rolling in the aisles," it's like I was watching a bunch of people "rolling in the aisles," which is never funny. Unless they are doing it funny. But this puzzle wasn't doing it funny. It was just reporting what it saw. People. Rolling in the aisles. Welp...there you go. Cool.

I did find the qualifier "Boy's name that's an Indiana city" interesting. Boy's name? GARY seems like a perfectly fine man's name as well. Why a boy? To me a "boy's name" would be some kind of Richie, or Tommy, or Bobby...and there are certainly men named like that, but generally you see "boy's" names being distinct from men's names with an added "y" at the end. And yes, Gary has a Y at the end too, but still. There is another town in Indiana I used to live near called Elwood. I was kinda disappointed that didn't fit.

Happy New Year to all...and here's hoping that 2017 does better at being a year than 2016 did. But sadly, as the baby boomer generation gets older, we'll just start seeing more of our favorite celebs succumbing to the inevitable end we all face. Sad, but true. While that might not be particularly cheery for the New Year's Day thought, the beauty of it is that we all cherish what we have while we have it. Hug someone you love one extra time this year...or today, if you can.

So in that spirit, I will figuratively sidle over to evil doug and moly shu and a couple of others here who disagree with 90% of what I post...and give them a warm side hug. Hey, in the grand scheme, all the garbage that goes on in the comments section of a blog are really hardly worth the energy, right? It's okay to be passionate, but let's remember to keep things in perspective as we turn the page on another year.**

**Which means it will take me until July to remember to write 2017 on forms instead of 2016...

Michael Hanko 8:47 AM  

I was coincidentally sipping at a cup of ROSE TEA while solving this one. It's got rose petals along with other ingredients--sometimes black or green tea, sometimes herbal stuff. Very distinctive sweet and perfumey fragrance and taste.

Loren Muse Smith 9:46 AM  

I was way overthinking this when I saw that the circled HA in ORCHESTRA HALL and WEDDING CHAPEL both had another iteration of HA following. Was thinking I’d come here and see what I had missed.

As it stands, though, it’s fine to have the HAs rolling in the aisles. And Matthew pretty much covers all the possibilities for aisles.

So which aisle do you spend the most time in in the GROCERY STORE? I have to be honest and say that recently it’s in the Kleenex/TP/napkin aisle standing there looking for the Puffs Plus with Vicks Vap-o-Rub. Mother’s love in a nifty little box. (I’ll take another one for what I hope is at least a small little team here for admitting to using paper Kleenexes.) Anyway – you have to stand there forever and move around boxes and stuff before you can find them. But they’re always there.

Sometimes I stand in the book aisle (too small at Walmart), thumbing through a Harlan Coben novel, looking for my name so that I can startle a passer-by and brag that that “Loren Muse” is really my name. It’s my plan to whip out my driver’s license for proof before the person pulls her child close and backs carefully away. I haven’t had any luck yet, but I swear I do this sometimes. (And don’t get me started on how long I leafed through NYT crossword book compilations at a bookstore this weekend looking to see if my name is one of the by-lines. Nope. (Say nope with a little aspirated pop on that P.)

I had a dnf with the LANDO/LSAT/CREON area. I didn’t even guess, but “panda/pande/pando” could’ve worked just fine for me. Sorry, Mr. Calrissian. And CREON? Sheesh. Waaaay out of my mythunderstanding.

STOOD BY is really interesting. If it’s transitive, you’re being supportive. If it’s intransitive, you’re being a weenie.

I STOOD BY my mom when she followed her heart and bought a dress like this but purple and black and she was in her ‘50s and I’m not making this up.

I STOOD BY as the people in church stared.

@phil-phil from yesterday. I really don’t weld that much. I was just being a smart a_ _. I’ve done some mig and some stick – Hated stick until I switched rods and stopped having it, well, stick, every two inches. I’m just trying to learn a bit so I have some common ground with most of my students who spend half their days at the Career Center. I was serious, though, when I said Oxi-fuel is next.

@George – so you learned two ways to say “thank-you” – great! Serendipity – yesterday I got a text from my son who’s seeing in the new year in DC with a friend.

Mom - quick - how do you say “thank you” to a guy from Ethiopia? I need it fast.

I texted right back – It sounds something like this: AM AH SEKI NAH LO.

He texted back words that I never, ever hear as a mom –

I’m impressed.

So two hours later, he wanted to say “thanks” in Arabic. SHOOKRAN.

By then he had loosed The Beast. I texted, You could say this first: MAR HABA but for that H? - make a little sound like you have a small non-threatening hairball in your throat.

No response.

Hey, Listen.. if you happen to be in a bookstore in DC…..

Just stop, Mom.

Happy 2017 to my best favorite people in the world.

Nancy 10:01 AM  

I knew that 48D was one of the SATS, and I figured lawyers were likely to be tested on their abilities at logical thinking. Guessed right. Neither my knowledge of Star War actors (48A) nor my command of Hawaiian (44D) is very good, but I thought that Hawaiian has more As in it than any other vowel. So I guessed right there, too. Wanted PRIAM before CREON (don't remember Antigone very well) but the N from the US SENATE made that impossible. Eventually got all of this one (and only) difficult section.

Other than that, an extremely easy puzzle. I filled it in dutifully, without once ROLLING IN THE AISLES while doing it. I thought the concept was very cute and a little bit different -- but, alas, cute and different do not alone a great solving experience make. Okay, but no more.

Nit-pick in' Wm. C. 10:05 AM  

@anon4:05 --

Re: "... Champs Elysee ... Around .. The Arch de Triomphe ... (Not a "Way")

True that one must go around the Arch in a vehicle, since there is no roadway under it. However, one can certainly go through it on foot, so the Arch in that case is legitimately a "way."

QuasiMojo 10:07 AM  

Who says "orchestra hall"? It's "concert hall." I doubt people laugh in "wedding chapels." Most of the attendants (those who aren't being paid to be there, I suppose) are in tears. If you've never seen a Star Wars movie you may not have gotten "rey" and "achy." So that seems to me to be a Natick. And a needless one to boot. I have to agree about "rose tea." I've heard of Rose Marie, but not Rose Tea. Way too much forced and slightly off fill in this one to get a "Ha" out of me. Only "ho-hum."

Suzy 10:09 AM  

@George Barany-- Happy New Year to you, too!! And, yes, Donald O'Connor is truly amazing! What a talent! Arigato!

Unknown 10:09 AM  

I feel like I was just trolled by this crossword puzzle.

noreen 10:10 AM  

Medium for me too. I was stuck for a while on orgchart (82 D); is org an abbreviation? And on the Hawaiian (44 D). Not much fun, no laughs or 'Ahas' of recognition.
One other question; I solve on paper in pencil and in the past several months, the pencil doesn't fully 'take' on the semi glossy paper of the NYT Magazine. Any solutions?

Unknown 10:15 AM  

We're definitely getting the New Year off to a good, peaceful start.

Nice to hear from @Michael HAnko, @Lewis, @Loren "HA HA" Muse Smith, @Molly Shu, @Nancy, @NCA President, @Suzy, @Wm. C, @Z ... looking forward to others checking in as the day progresses.

To @QuasiMojo, I wonder whether @Matthew Sewell was telegraphing his local biases. See:

evil doug 10:16 AM  

Noreen--Be courageous! Take a chance! Yes: Use an extra-fine ballpoint. You can do it!

Nancy 10:20 AM  

@noreen -- Use pen. You can buy a PaperMate Erasermate pen, (which erases beautifully in the "now", but stops erasing by the next day and becomes permanent.) Or you can use a regular non-erasable pen and simply write very lightly when you're not sure of an answer and very darkly when you're completely sure. This has the advantage of letting you know what you should think about changing when something's not working. Ink is much easier to see than pencil and I make this prediction: Once you've been solving in pen for a while, you'll never go back.

I may be a robot 10:22 AM  

The puzzle would've been impressive if the theme answers were consistant with the idea of what rolling in the aisles and ha mean. Because if you're rolling in the aisle of an airliner you're probably having a heart attack or something else that isn't ha related. Same with the grocery store, otherwise you'd be ushered out. Little bit of a cringe here.

r.alphbunker 10:23 AM  

At the end I was staring at 34D {Like some salsa} VER?E/48A {Calrissian of "The Empire Strikes Back"} LAN?O

I used the following reasoning to come up with VERDE/LANDO: Salsa is a kind of dance that the composer VERDE wrote music for. Wrong in so many levels but it got me a smiling Will Shortz.

Details are here.

Eric NC 10:48 AM  

@Nancy totally agree with the pen comment. Besides which if in the airport it really impresses the heck out of people looking over your shoulder.

Greg 11:01 AM  

I see that MICAS is actually the plural of Mica, but I don't like it. ORES, yes. MICAS, no.

GILL I. 11:03 AM  

Cute enough but I really wanted my Rolling in The Aisles to be at least a bit knee slapperish. I think the HA's were kinda wasted. Oh look ORCHESTRA HAHAHA HALL...and I agree with @Quasi - Concert HALL sounds more like it.
If I recall, I think Delta Air Lines is the only one who separates the AIR and the LINER. All the rest are AIRLINERS...
Loved the clue for PIRANHA and HANKIE. Where have all the HANKIEs gone? That use to be my go-to Christmas or Father's Day present. I think my dad had about 2 thousand of them - all unused - in his dresser drawer. I inherited a few and used to tuck them in my jacket pocket but I don't think I ever used one to blow my nose.
Did CREON hoist with his own PETARD?
Happy happy 2017 to all of you kind souls. Brunch is at 11:00 so I shall raise a Segura Viudas Cava to mankind and kindness and God rest Ye Merry Soul......!Etc.

Teedmn 11:29 AM  

Well, this didn't have me rolling in the aisles, but @r.alphbunker's randomization function saved it from sloggishness. Even more eye-opening was that I accidentally had his new function on of only showing across clues so although my cursor was jumping around on the grid to both acrosses and downs, I only saw the one set of clues. Thus, I saw "Takes from stage to screen" at 14A and then again at 14D and thought, "Wow, another one of these mirror puzzles so soon". I can't pinpoint when I finally figured out I had to turn off the across only function but hilarity ensued. Okay, that's overstating it but some headshaking did occur. FWIW, I'm not suffering from any post-New Year's Eve celebration aftermath. A good start to 2017? Only time will tell.

A lack of clever cluing made this rather workaday, not my FAVE (which is one of my annoying go-to choice words). I rather liked the clue for UKES (Instruments played close to the chest, informally) and I liked how the HAs didn't play a role in the theme answers which provided the aisles, but did in the crosses. A Sunday rebus, always welcome.

Thanks, Matthew Sewell, and best wishes to you all in 2017.

Z 11:41 AM  

@Noreen - Let me 4th the use a fine point pen. And don't limit yourself to airports, just quietly mention that you solve the Sunday Times in pen. There is absolutely no reason you have to add that it's a vision thing.

@Quasimojo - I am sitting within walking distance of Detroit's ORCHESTRA HALL, which opened in 1919 and has been on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1971. To me (and maybe only me) a concert hall is where I go see a rock band but not an orchestra.

GHarris 11:42 AM  

Simply not fair to cross a Creon with a Lando. I had Panda and Crean and therefore dnf.

Joseph Michael 12:06 PM  

Pretty simple theme for such a big grid, but I liked the concept. Figured out the rebus early on with REHAB and then had the second aha -- these are places with aisles -- at MOVIE THEATER.

I agree that rolling in the aisle on an AIR LINER would not be a good thing. It also would be a rare event in the US SENATE. But, if you've ever dropped a can of beans at the GROCERY STORE, you probably witnessed it rolling in the aisle for at least a moment.

Rex, this is the second time you have denounced the existence of ORG CHARTs because you were unfamiliar with them. I assure you that they do exist and are a common ingredient of corporate culture.

Could have used fewer foreign language terms and would have liked a little more fun during the solve. But squeezed enough enjoyment out of this to say that I liked it. However, DNF due to the LANDO and CREON cross. Did not remember either of them.

And, boy, am I glad that 2016 is over. Happy new year to all.

RooMonster 12:07 PM  

Hey All !
Happy First Day of 2017! These damn years need to slow the hell down, though... Happened to be talking to someone who was born the year I graduated High School, to realize he'll be 30 this year, and physically watching my hair (what little is left) get grayer before my eyes.

Puz was ok. Didn't like all the Foreign French and Spanish in a 67-75 chunk of Acrosses. And PPP fest in the NE. Ouch. Gave up up there. ORGCHART a major WOE.

The Rolling in the Aisles thing makes sense to me. Thete are "HA"'s in things with "aisles". E.G., a MOVIE THEATER has an aisle, ergo it has a "HA" in it. It doesn't mean places to have a good laugh. And there are 4 Across themers, and 2 Down themers, with corresponding "HA"s. See? Easy. :-)

Wanted a New Years theme of some sor, but oh well. Maybe tomorrow. Hopefully y'all don't need REHAB after last night.


Carola 12:12 PM  

Happy New Year, @Rex and all. I'm definitely happy to look forward to another year in your company. Wish I'd been happier with the puzzle: I'm with @puzzle hoarder who found the single HAs rather weak. My first aisle was in ORCHESTRA HALL, so like @Loren, I thought we'd be getting a complete HA HA laugh with each theme entry. Thus I refused to write in THEATER and STORE....until I had to. And I don't think of a lone HA as a laugh, more of an exclamatory bark. Plus points, though, for the nice array of venues.

I don't think anybody yet has mentioned Chicago's ORCHESTRA HALL.

@Stuck in 1880, I hear you about LANDO, but Billy Dee Williams did such a nice job he's one of my favorite characters.

Joe in Nfld 12:14 PM  

@Noreen - I was wondering the same thing about ORG. The clue should have signaled an abbrev.

Didn't like "what might cost you an arm and a leg?" - too "crypticky". In any case a PIRANHA doesn't go for arms and legs, it (they) goes for anything it can bit. And did this need a cryptic clue? No ordinary clue? Why is HANKIE "something to tear into, informally?"? I blow into mine, I don't tear into them. Does RIGATONI really come "in tubes"? It "comes" (i.e. exists) as tubes, but in my limited experience it comes in boxes or plastic sleeves that are too soft to be considered tubes. I agree about ORCHESTRAHALL. I have only heard CONCERT HALL. Could be an orchestra, could be a choir, could be a string quartet.Me I speak the French. I don't mind having "gimme" clues with answers in French. But still and all, wouldn't one per puzzle be enough? We had 3 today. And doing math in French? Very weak. And finally, ARCHWAY? If the answer was to be in English (and it's a bad answer), shouldn't the clue have had "Elysian Fields"?
I like difficult, or even tedious, not "well, I overthought this one again".

jberg 12:26 PM  

DNF, I fell for the REn/ACHe thing. Also, I didn't get that the theme answers were things that would have aisles in them until I came here; I like it better now. I had the same reaction as @Loren when I saw ORCHESTRA HA HALL. Huh? I thought maybe the rolling would mean that the answer turned sideways at the aisle, but that didn't work either.

Btw, I did get "ASHY" instead of ASHe, at least!

I'm not a jazz musician, but I did think that current usage of AXE(S) is to refer to any instrument, not just a saxophone, as in "What's your AXE, man?" "Pipe organ, mostly."

ORC crossing ORES deserves some mention, too.

All for now, I'm off to celebrate. Happy New Year, everyone!

old timer 12:32 PM  

I shamelessly Wikipedia'd for LANDO. Once I did all the rest fell together including CREON which I knew once. I got the HA thing with REHAB and merrily filled in HA in every other aisle. I had been wondering until then why MAHALO didn't fit, or CHART.

Hands up for "leeched" before MOOCHED.

I vaguely think that before the era of the modern automobile at least some vehicles passed under the Arc de Triomphe. Maybe only carriages with kings in them, I dunno. Looking it up, certainly Napoleon's remains passed under the arch on their way to Invalides. It seems no soldiers have marched under it since the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1920.

Russell 12:41 PM  
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Numinous 12:49 PM  

Domo ARIGATO Mister (I am not a) Robato. Happy New Year, alla y'all.

I wonder how many of ya watched Magnum P. I. In the past. If you did, and you thought a bit, you'd remember MAHALO. @chefwen, I'm betting, didn't even have to think about that answer for a second. How is Rice doing, by the way?

Egad, I read Antigone in tenth grade. That was well over 50 years ago. When I saw ON, I immediately remembered CREON. Memory at this age seems so weird to me.

I got the trick at REHAB. This would have gone a lot faster for me if I had filled all of the |HA|s in then. Technical DNF for me as I had to look up ODETTE and ADRIAN I. I had the list of popes up from ORSINI yesterday and ADRIAN was easy to find. Problem was I had Chief Technical Officer instead of Information so ADT was off-putting. I'm going to have to agree with those of you who didn't have fun with this one. It was a work-out for me.

I fell asleep on the couch waiting for 12 midnight in New Orleans but I was awake for the big apple to drop in my time zone. I figured I was going to be miserable this morning but not so much as a headache today. I have the quirky notion that New Years Day sets the tone for the rest of the year. Now I'm primed for a lucid and pleasant 2017. I hope y'all are too, every single one of ya.

Dragoncat 12:50 PM  

Got the gimmick early with REHAB and ED HARRIS. I thought some of the fill was lame: org chart-- not a thing. Not near? Not something one says. But enjoyed it mostly.

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

How is a single "HA" between two black lines, "rolling in the aisles"? Merriam-Webster defines "HA" as "used especially to express surprise, joy or triumph". Rolling in the aisles laughter would consist of multiple "HA's" "HO"s", HEE's", "I'm going to piss in my pants"...According to this clue if a comedian did a 15 minute show and got a few "HA's" from the audience, he had them rolling in the aisles"> If "HA" signifies lots of laughter then my rating this puzzle with a "WTF" means it's the greatest puzzle that has ever been--or ever will be published...

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

@Noreen Some of us prefer pencil for paper solving. Is the magazine grid small enough to fit on a paper copy?

Mohair Sam 1:45 PM  
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Masked and Anonymous 2:07 PM  

Happy New Year, Comment Gallery! U 2, @RP.
"Singin in the Rain". Primo pick, Daughter of @RP. When in doubt, always go with elision.

Back to the SunPuz…

1-Lane HA-Ways! Like. (HA part is short for HAR.)
Bündchen! Well, there's yer '17 rodeo premiere.

fave themer: U.S. (har!) SENATE. Honrable mention to ORCHESTRA (harhar) LL.
staff weeject pick: GNC. Wanted QVC, at first.
least fave easy as French math lesson: TRENTE = quinze + quinze (30 = 15 + 15).

tough as toenails region: (VERDE + CREON)/LANDO. Torturous, as I sorta knew but didn't quite recall LANDO. Started out RANDO, tho -- which weren't bad, with a mah-moose-hair HAngover.

Domo ARI-MA-HALO, Mr. Sewell. Always neat, when the GROCERY STORE has the last laugh.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Anonymous 2:21 PM  

I use pen every day. Writing in pencil, unless you have one of those old style mechanical ones or you press on it very hard, makes it difficult for me to see. What I do is, if I am very confident of the answer, I write it in firmly. If I am not confident, I do it lightly and then write over it if I change my mind or darken it if I decide it is right. People have seen me solving with pen in hand and inevitably have commented that I must be a very confident solver. I just smile so I can appear smart and not have to lie!

I was disappointed in this puzzle. It is reasonably challenging and neither too easy nor too hard. But, it lacks snap, humor (as Rex noted, why would you have a ha themed puzzle without any humor in it?) and overall interestingness. It is damaging to have a long answer that is a non-entity like orchestra hall, even if it is easily filled in by the crosses.

The point of a long answer is to struggle a bit to figure out what it is but give a quiet shout of recognition (and self congratulation) upon getting it. The other long d wedding chapel was better but, it gave up without any struggle at all. I had hoped that the NYT would have reached for the sky to start off the year but, I guess not.

Best of the New Year to all. If you want to get an idea of the difficulties ahead, Google the subject of the interviewee of today's NYT Magazine, the Surgeon General of the U.S., Vivek Murthy. In the Wikipedia bio on him, it states his nomination was opposed by the NRA because Murthy had advocated that gun violence is a threat to public health. He promised to be quiet on that issue and was confirmed by a 50-43 vote.

His nomination was also opposed by former Surgeon General in the GWB administration, Richard Carmona. I recommend reading what Dr. Carmona had to say about his time as Surgeon General. Not good; Everything but everything is politicized and polarized and, if it leads to many more deaths and tragedies, so what. As long as the political agenda of the powerful is taken care of, mission accomplished.

QuasiMojo 2:51 PM  

Hey guys, I saw your comments in response to my query about "Orchestra Hall" vs "concert hall." And I posted several replies but all vanished into the internether. I know there are buildings named "Orchestra Hall" but my point was that people don't normally say "let's go to the orchestra hall tonight to hear a concert." They are more likely to say "they're playing Monteverdi at the concert hall tonight. Let's go!" The way the clue was worded did not specify an actual edifice but a more generic term, hence my preference for "concert hall" in regular usage.
At this point who cares? N'est-ce pas? Happy New Year's Day to all. I hope 2017 brings us all a cornucopia of scrumptious puzzles to savor!

'mericans in Paris 3:10 PM  

Mrs. 'mericans and I actually went to bed at 9 p.m. last night, as we needed to get up at 3:30 to catch a flight back to Paris. We were in Cyprus, which doesn't make a big deal over the changing of the calendar, so we actually managed to get some sleep.

Didn't pick up the puzzle until this afternoon. Caught the theme at MA(HA)LO -- Hi, @Chef Wen! -- which for us was a gimme. But didn't catch the "aisles" link until coming here.

As for the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, we would agree more with @Anonymous 4:05 AM than with Nit-pick in' Wm. C. It's been a long time since that monument served as something that vehicles or pedestrians passed through on a regular basis. In any case, an archway to my mind is something that leads into a building or courtyard, not something that stands on its own. But I suppose the answer to the clue passes the "constructor's license" test.

Here's hoping that 2017 is not as bad as it potentially could be.

Unknown 3:20 PM  

@Rex - "When your daughter asks to watch Singin' in the Rain you drop whatever you're doing and watch Singin' in the Rain." This might be the truest thing that you've ever written. That movie gets better each time I watch it.

@Mohair Sam - I haven't seen that interview, but I love the Men in Blazers. Roger Bennett is a treasure.

To the puzzle! I liked this more than most. Pretty grid design, clever theme, and solid cluing.

I liked how the different theme answers evoked different types of aisles. Weddings and walking down the aisle; airplanes and aisle seats; congress and reaching across the aisle; grocery aisles. The ORCHESTRA HALL and MOVIE THEATER are the only two that evokes the same image.

TOUSEL by RASCAL seemed appropriate. The TOLEDO Mud Hens are one of the great team names in all of sports, and who doesn't like being reminded of Whitman's great poem O KAPI, My KAPI? Tolkien's books had many appendices, but I don't recall an ORC CHART.

I liked the clues for RECORDS [They may be sealed or broken], WHOA ["Mind ... blown!"], and (my favorite) HANKIE [Something to tear into, informally]. Didn't like the MACABRE clue for PIRANHA [It might cost you an arm and a leg?].

Z 3:29 PM  

@QuasiMojo - No worries. People around here do reference going to ORCHESTRA HALL, mostly to distinguish it from the Detroit Opera House. "Concert hall" is not a usage I hear much at all, but that's probably just regional variation. I imagine having a building named ORCHESTRA HALL impacts usage considerably.

@Anon2:21 - Last line of first paragraph- Yep.

@Joe and @Noreen - regarding ORG CHART, the term is used commonly as is. I think early in the week we would have gotten a signal for an abbreviation or slang, but terms that stand alone don't always get that shortened hint later in the week. Don't ask me exactly how common a phrase has to be for Shortz to forgo an indicator, but apparently ORG CHART is common enough despite Rex's protestations to the contrary.

@Mohair Sam - Perhaps tonight while the Packers are (inevitably) beating the Lions I'll catch up with the interview. Of course, there is strategy and then there are moments like Giroud's goal today.

Mohair Sam 3:52 PM  

@Z - When prompted by Bennett, Guardiola explains that he manages his defense like an ORCHESTRA and his strikers like jazz musicians (to a degree).

Arsenal's Giroud looked every bit the Jazz man there, didn't he?

Malsdemare 3:58 PM  

In my neck of the woods, we'd say, "going to a concert at Kirkland / Krannert / Assembly Hall / Music Hall," using the name of the venue. I think some places are built for orchestras (Music Hall in Cincinnati certainly is) so I was fine with that. @Gill, my husband's mother always gave him handkerchiefs, which he, being a guy, never used. I appropriated them (avert your eyes, guys, if boobs offend), as nursing pads. Even back in the 70s, use and toss seemed rather profligate to me.

I would have liked some funny as well. After the first HA, I looked at the title and filled in all the circles. And, bless my soul, I actually looked for the aisles upon finishing, a first for me. I thought, "self, that's nice," and moved on. Sadly, I had to Google for Lando; that name just wasn't going to come out of hiding. Otherwise, a pleasant, uneventful New Year's puzzle, and if that's a harbinger of 2017, I'm good with that.

QuasiMojo 3:59 PM  

@Z, thanks. I get it now. :) I've been to the Detroit Opera House! Loved it.

RooMonster 4:00 PM  

Hey All !
Happy First Day of 2017! These damn years need to slow the hell down, though... Happened to be talking to someone who was born the year I graduated High School, to realize he'll be 30 this year, and physically watching my hair (what little is left) get grayer before my eyes.

Puz was ok. Didn't like all the Foreign French and Spanish in a 67-75 chunk of Acrosses. And PPP fest in the NE. Ouch. Gave up up there. ORGCHART a major WOE.

The Rolling in the Aisles thing makes sense to me. Thete are "HA"'s in things with "aisles". E.G., a MOVIE THEATER has an aisle, ergo it has a "HA" in it. It doesn't mean places to have a good laugh. And there are 4 Across themers, and 2 Down themers, with corresponding "HA"s. See? Easy. :-)

Wanted a New Years theme of some sor, but oh well. Maybe tomorrow. Hopefully y'all don't need REHAB after last night.


Larry Gilstrap 4:06 PM  

If the rest of this new year is anything like the first day, I'll be doing lots of sleeping. Why not? I did catch the "aisle" thing after the solve and don't feel that the specific places were where the laughter was supposed to have happened.

I print out the puzzle and like the look and feel of pencil on printer paper, smudge-free erasures. I will attempt an early-week solve in pen on newsprint if that is the only option, but using ink gives me stress. Actually, I like the freedom to take a wild stab at an answer and sort it out later. Just like life, sometimes.

I have lived my entire life in Southern California and have traveled throughout the West. For some reason, I balked at seeing EUGENE called a West Coast city. Sure, it's only fifty miles inland from Florence, but something in my brain doesn't like the "coast" part of that clue. Track and Field Capital of the World is more than sufficient to describe the great tradition of the sport at the University of Oregon. I guess the clue works, as in: "Well East Coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear..."

Mohair Sam 4:10 PM  

@Martin A. -"Men in Blazers" is an absolute delight. If you're a soccer fan you'll enjoy the Guadiola interview. Bennett did an amazing job, pulled out the man's philosophy of life as well as his philosophy of football.

JerryH 4:41 PM  
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RAD2626 4:50 PM  

Fun puzzle. Had a DNF with REe/ACHe but no big deal. Pretty easy once you stumbled into an aisle. Surprised @evil doug did not expound on STRAFES. When we would get shelled during most nights, after ten minutes or so we would sit up on top of the bunkers and watch our planes STRAFE the enemy launching location. A beautiful sight every time.

MUD HENS is a great name. Up there with the Rancho Cucomongo Quakes and the Chattanooga Lookouts. But none as good as the Macon Whoopies.

Anonymous 5:39 PM  


I make a paper copy, giving you a non-shiny surface for either pen or pencil. It fits perfectly on the top of the copy machine.

chefwen 6:47 PM  

Got the trick right away wondering why MAHALO wouldn't fit. Oh I get it HA HA! Aloha @ Numinous and @'mericans. Numinous, Ricey is fat, happy and loving life, thanks for asking. 'mericans, safe travels.
My mother in law used to pronounce mahalo as MAY HAY LOW, drove me batty.

@Noreen, always pen, if you're a neat freak like me, you can use Wite Out, works like a charm.

kitshef 7:26 PM  

Late in today ... no hangover, just a busy day. CANT I was awful, truly awful, but I got to it fairly late in my solve and it was the first one I noted as problematic, and that's good for a Sunday.

I always get my leeCHED and leaCHED confused, but like NCA President and Old Timer, I went there first. Also my usual EMeRY/EMORY problem.

@Rex, if are in the DC area, swing by and I will provide the ROSE TEA and REESES. The key is you put the REESES in your mouth first, then drink the tea through it, which makes it go all melty and wonderful.

Nancy 8:56 PM  

@Joe in Nfld -- Can't believe a whole day's gone by and no one's answered you on the HANKIE clue. The clue isn't something to TEAR into, TEAR rhyming with CARE. It's something to TEAR into, TEAR rhyming with BEER. Tears as in crying. Absolutely horrible and unnatural usage -- but at least you now have an explanation.

Leapfinger 10:12 PM  

The one time I literally almost rolled in the aisle was at the theater showing The Full Monty; I was in an aisle seat, and fell at least halfway out of it. Loved those guys' routines. Remembering that had me also wanting at least a HAHA in the rebus squares, but the symmetrical placement of alternating HA/[aisle] with [aisle]/HA made up for that. Nice touch.

I liked the SENATE themer (love every time one of them says 'My friend from across The Aisle...') and pretty much exactly what @Martin Ab liked. No surprise, I guess, that I also thought of "O KAPI, my KAPI", esp as presented in Dead Poets Society. And of course, the STOOD BY antonymicity echoing yesterday's SANCTIONS. I do wonder whether Clifford ODETS' wife went by ODETTES.

I suspect a determining factor in liking a solve is if it grabs your attention early on, as this one did me in the NW today. First of all, there was Minnie the MOOCHED; then there was 3D. With --CHE in place and the clue citing 'bows and strings', the entry obviously had to start with ARCHERY. That bit of self-induced shoot-in-footery tickled me for a personal reason. I realize not every family has an Archery story, but a few do. In our case, it involves the Grandboy's grade school class being assigned to demonstrate a science project of their choosing. He had taken some archery lessons, and had come across an intriguing tidbit in a book very likely titled "Oddball Tricks for Kids With Time On Their Hands". Purportedly, if you shot an arrow into a carton that had been treated with lemon extract, the carton would burst into flames. Preparations proceeded, despite the small size of lemon extract bottles compared to the needs of the average-sized carton, and despite uncertainty over exactly how saturated the cardboard needed to be. The day of the demonstration, with classmates and interested onlookers gathered outdoors at a respectful and safe distance, the first arrow fell short. When the second arrow just knocked the carton off its stand, the teacher felt enough had been demonstrated. Fairly recently, when this event surfaced in conversation, it turned out that EVEN NOW, the Grandboy remembers it ending with the carton satisfyingly ablaze. I don't have the heart.

Grandboy's best friend's name is MICAh and I also like to TOUSLE his hair.

Time for LEAP'S daily dose of MORAL fiber. Hope y'all will be hip deep in HAagen-Dazs whenever there's a clean-up on Aisle 7. Happy '17.

Teedmn 10:54 PM  

@Leapfinger - but you can leave your hat on! I remember finding "The Full Monty" pretty entertaining myself (and "Calendar Girls" also). One of my FAVE Monty scenes was in the bank.

Anonymous 11:36 PM  

@martin abresch -- yes, it only gets better the more you watch it. I've probably seen it 30 times (no exaggeration). Once in the 70s I watched it 3 times in one night. Heaven. About 5 years ago I saw it for the first time in about 20 years... I was afraid in my mind that I'd overhyped it and was thrilled to see that it was really better than ever. Last year I saw my daughter perform the Kathy Seldin (Debbie Reynolds) part in the stage version. Four times. The production was "okay" but the four principals were fabulous and it only made me appreciate the movie more than ever. So when your daughter says let's watch it, yes, let's watch it!

Hartley70 3:34 AM  

I didn't get the blahs while solving this Sunday behemoth, so to me this is a winner.
I solved 95% of it this morning before I got distracted and now hopefully Rexworld will put me to sleep. I had a dnf on the ACHY letter Y. I went with an E and REe sounded fine to me. I have her final scene, walking away from Carrie Fisher, engraved on my brain, but I messed up her name. Go figure. I'm okay with the loss because I thought it was an overall satisfying finish.

While the thought of boomer celebs dropping like flies gave me a frisson of fear as I scrolled through the comments, I'm prepared to meet the challenges of 2017 with hope on this Day One. It may be insanely optimistic, but after all, what reasonable alternatives exist if one wants to avoid despair, which I suspect is bad for the health of even this non-celeb baby boomer.

Hartley70 3:39 AM  

BTW, I love the sound of "Lando Calrissian". It's almost as musical as "Edna St. Vincent Millay".

Cassieopia 7:28 AM  

@Nancy thank you for answering @Joe, I was headed there too :)

Puzz was ok once I got the HAs. Lots of names I didn't know though including NWA so had to google.

Happy New Year everyone!

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Can anyone explain to me 99D "elephant pluckers of myth" ? Rocs???

Tita 1:19 PM  

Love Rex's distinction of which aisles might actualy have people rolling in them.

@Evil Doug - meant to thank you for your personal memories about meeting John Glenn. And of his response to Howard Metzenbaum, which was shown on PBS in the tribute they did just after his death.

I thought this puzzle was kind of off...I finally did get the HA bit, but it had no reason...then I finally took the little post-it note that I use to cover up the title, and got my aha moment...cute!
@Roy Leban - I've mentioned this before - add the option to hide the title - I use that as another layer of solving - I don't want that hiint until I'm ready for it.
btw - Puzzazz always shows the grid properly.

@Arna D - I just ordered a box of ROSE hip TEA for my cat sitter, who mentioned she likes it. (Not my cuppa - some of those flavored teas taste like I dropped a potpourri sachet in my teapot.)

Seems like I've missed alot with my only random appearances this week.
Yes - I've done both kinds of welding too...!
I prefer pencil so I can draw an doodle in the margins, Oh - and erase. And I solve 99.9% on a tablet.
My occasional avatar is my own ASHY pet - start a fire, and he will curl up right in front of it, to the point where his black fur is too hot for us to touch.

Happy New Year!

irongirl27 1:58 PM  

This was an easy solve for me for some reason. I thought it was clever but objected to a few things like "Archway"?? My husband taught Rob Thomas, creator of Party Down (and Veronica Mars, Cupid, etc.), in high school. They still keep in touch. Just to say that he is one of the nicest, sweetest guys on the planet. His success makes us very happy, so that answer made me smile.

Z 5:12 PM  

@Anon1:08 - Not up on your Sanskrit epics, eh? Me either, I think I saw it in some cheesy Sinbad movie or other.

Unknown 6:46 PM  

Rose (hip) tea: cold cure-all.

noreen 8:26 PM  

Thank you to all for your many responses to solving in pencil (or pen). I will give it a try. Or use 'white out' as per suggestion. Good one.

Anonymous 7:46 PM  

why the still from Double Indemnity? posted in error?

Anonymous 8:38 PM  

Rocs were huge mythical birds capable of messing with elephants.

Diana,LIW 11:40 AM  

It's 8:40 am - no paper yet.

Diana, Waiting...

spacecraft 12:37 PM  

Was hoping to hear from Arigato Covert Mahalo, but she visited yesterday, so I shouldn't push it. I'm betting she liked this one; I did. The theme is a bit different, and as Bill Murray said in the final scene of "Groundhog Day," anything different is good.

It so happens that the clues were split with 77-across near the top of the second column, quoting the most hilarious line in a most hilarious film--and an all-time FAVE of mine: "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." A tour-de-force for Peter SELLERS, who plays the President (utterer of that HA! line), a British junior officer, and the title character. And I DO mean character.

Thus in with a GREAT memory, I had fun doing this. Even had NWA filled in on downs before reading the rapper clue, so minimal pain there...just had to hope that there is such a group. Apparently there is. A bit of resistance here and there, but largely easy-medium. Last letter was my only writeover and a good catch: I had PAlE for show anxiety--you know, like when all the blood drains from your face. But then I didn't recognize MIlAS--oh, it's MICAS, and of course, you PACE like an anxious new dad in the waiting room. That was a close one. Always check your crosses!

DOD is unquestionably the superbeauty GISELE. We could roll down the aisle of a WEDDING CHAPEL any time. ARIGATO, MAHALO and all that stuff, Mr. Sewell. Birdie.

rondo 1:54 PM  

Sorry @D,LIW, my paper came at 2:55 a.m. but I had to get some shuteye before puzzling. 35 minutes of error-free ink fill. Went from NE to SW, filled the SE, then SW to NE on that other track and over to the NW with that random pope last.

Packer HAHA Clinton-Dix will be playing later today. HAHA indeed.

I like the recent trend of supermodels. Yeah baby GISELE's husband Tom Brady will be playing next weekend. The missus calls him Ken, after the doll.

I guess we all have to become familiar with a LOT of foreign languages. EVENNOW I'm surprised that the TRENTE/ARIGATO cross didn't doom me to a DNF.

TAR finally used correctly! Thank you Matthew.

Random pope and direction. Will @spacey throw the HANKIE?

@rainy - from yesterday. You're killin' me; I'll try that at te LOCAL Wal-Mart. But if I remember correctly, Port Townsend had a really cool LOCAL radio station as the missus and I passed by a coupla years ago.

Mpls venue is aptly called ORCHESTRA HALL. Lotsa imagination on that side of the river.

Brunch is calling. Oops, it called, now it's an hour later. This puz moved along nicely, but I don't think I set any RECORDS.

Burma Shave 2:24 PM  


EUGENE went to REHAB and STOODBY his MORAL word,
BADGER him and he RAMBLEs like an UTTER nerd

today's TRENDY stream of unconsciousness brought to you by your LOCAL GROCERY STORE and other SELLERS

AnonymousPVX 3:33 PM  

The first pass through looked like a snowstorm, lots of white. Hard to get a toehold, plus no clue on the Gimmick. But worked the lower middle up and right, and went from there. As above, Ed Harris gave me the gimmick. Still quite a workmanlike effort if I must say so myself.

Diana,LIW 3:55 PM  

As soon as @Teedmn offered to send me the puzzle (I had the deLorean out to pick it up) the paper arrived.

Got the joke (HA HA) quickly - was a tad disappointed the HAs only went one way on the aisles. But the paper had those aisles lined up correctly. After that it kind of dulled out for me...

The solve was unremarkable except for the SELLERS line - "this is the war room" indeed!

So I was surprised that Rex was so mild - even a little sparkly. Maybe he had had something sparkly to cheer him up. A rating of 3 tequila shots to the review - definitely safe for @Rainy.

We're having the rainy/windy weather we need. Stay warm and dry, y'all.

Diana, Lady-who-Waited for Crosswords

rain forest 4:39 PM  

Pretty easy, but also pretty sprightly, and definitely not sloggy. I wrote the across HAs horizontally, and the down ones vertically, so I visualized them rolling in those imagined "aisles".

Ah, Gisele.

I thought the puzzle fell together well, and I can't see much cringe-worthy areas in there.

Two years ago in France, Toulouse I think, (really nice city, btw), I was asking a local Toulousian for directions to a bank (banc), and he pointed me to a washroom (bain). I discovered that if you want a banc, you must enunciate the "c" at the end, otherwise it just sounds like you want a toilet. It was all OK. In lieu of bank, I went to the loo.

Liked this puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 6:04 PM  

No paper because of winter fall, sleet and snow but no AVALANCHE. Got small sized copy of puzzle from printer. Eye strain all the way.

Theme was okay. The six HAs and directions of the aisles (is that what they were?) helped.

Lower middle diagonal area was toughest, specifically the LISPS, LEAPS, HANKIE, OKAPI, GRIPS cluster. No good reason why, except that I stuck with OpAkI instead of OKAPI for too long, though that's not a good reason either.

GISELE made it all worth it. I was AMAZED by her walk across the stadium floor at the Rio Olympics, the highlight of night if not the games. No eyestrain there.

Nomad UK 3:01 PM  
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