Best Foreign Film of 2005 set in South Africa / SUN 2-5-17 / Moretz of "Carrie" / Mexican president Enrique Pena

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Constructor: Sam Trabucco

Relative difficulty: Easy-ish in the middle, Medium-ish up top, and Challenging-ish down south.

THEME: "Break The Glass Ceiling" — The names of notable women "firsts" literally break apart across answers that describe different types of glass- at the top- or "ceiling" of each name.

Theme answers:
  • BREAK THE GLASS CEILING (64A: Overcome a certain career barrier... or what the answers to the starred clues do?)
  • O'CONNOR (2D: *One who 64-Acrossed for Supreme Court justices...) breaking P(o)INT (1A: 16-ounce container)
  • RIDE (7D: *... for astronauts) breaking ST(r)AINED (6A: Material commonly used during cathedral construction)
  • THATCHER (15D: *... for British prime ministers) breaking S(t)AND (14A: Primitive timer)
  • ALBRIGHT (77D: *... for secretaries of state) breaking SP(a)Y (75A: Easy-to-carry telescope)
  • BIGELOW (88D: *... for Best Directors) breaking A(b)LE (87A: Pub vessel)
  • CURIE (98D: *... for Nobel laureates) breaking WIN(c)E (95A: Cab destination?)

Word of the Day: FLEXAGON

In geometry, flexagons are flat models, usually constructed by folding strips of paper, that can be flexed or folded in certain ways to reveal faces besides the two that were originally on the back and front. (Wikipedia)
Middle Schoolers Still Make These. Trust Me.

 My definition: Those eeny-meeny-miny-moe things that we made in elementary school... less elegantly known as "cootie catchers" as I've just learned.

• • •

    Hello CrossWorld! This is Jim Q filling in for Rex today (the conversation went something along the lines of this- ME: Hi, Rex… I know you know absolutely nothing about me, but I’d like to fill in for you one day… REX: Ok. How ‘bout now?)

    C'mon Across Lite... Make a Sad Pencil for Me. I Can Handle It

    As with some
    (read: most) Sundays, I had one wrong box that kept Across Lite’s Mr. Happy Pencil mascot from congratulating me on a perfect solve. But I’m gonna call Natick on that. I can’t imagine anyone saying “ISEULT and NEGEV are right in my wheelhouse!” So I missed that E crossing. Meh. Who cares? Virtually everything else about this puzzle was top notch in my book.

    THE THEME- It’s refreshing and timely to see a NYT puzzle celebrating the achievements of women. A couple of Saturdays ago, I walked out of Grand Central Station and found myself right in the middle of the Women’s March. It. Was. Amazing. (missed it? check out a quick vid from my phone:)

    BIGELOW tripped me up for a while, and I would’ve filled it in a lot earlier as I had -ELOW in place, but sadly (and somewhat ironically given the theme), the BIGELOW that comes to my mind first is Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. I only just noticed their last names are spelled differently. That’s a good thing. To my credit, I never saw or will see that idiotic movie, and I’ve seen two of the real Bigelow’s films. Both excellent. 
    I'm Pretty Sure "Deuce Bigalow" Inspired this Ebert Title.
    It actually took me quite a while to GROK that the names were breaking types of glass (ME: “Primitive timer is a STAND? If you say so!). This was enough for me to think YOU IDIOT! I mean, the letters are even circled (perhaps unnecessarily?) to make the gimmick that much clearer. WHY DID THAT TAKE ME SO LONG TO FIGURE OUT?!?! To be fair, of all those glasses, the only two I see and use on a regular basis are PINT and WINE. Using the former right now actually. And the latter is due up in about 60 minutes... I'll set my hour...errr... SANDglass. So that's my lame excuse. 

    Not Quite Sure What an ALE GLASS is... But I Don't Care What it's Called as Long as the ALE is Good.

    True 'Dat.

    THE FILL: When it comes to Sundays, I usually brace myself for awful fill. But Trabucco went through obvious pains to come up with the liveliest fill possible for a grid with a lot of restraints. There’s hardly anything to roll eyes at… I SPOSE "IT HELP" looks a bit ugly, but that’s me really searching for something other than the ISEULT/NEGREV cross. A look back at Trabucco’s past two NYT grids shows an emerging pattern of a constructor who cares about the solver’s experience once the theme has been cracked. And no one is allowed to complain about the partial I SEE A... because it made all of us hum Bohemian Rhapsody with joy. Don't deny it.

    THE CONSTRUCTION: This is remarkably well built. It’s not the usual 21x21 size, but it can’t be as it has to accommodate the 20-lettered BREAK THE GLASS CEILING grid-spanner. The fact that the constructor found truly notable names that balance out evenly throughout the grid in addition to finding types of glass that can be “broken”  while still making a legitimate "post-break" word using only the first letter of each name… I’m impressed. Wowza.

    My Cat, Abby. Currently.
    • SEXILE (74A: Send elsewhere for the night, as a roommate in modern lingo) — I never heard this word... but I love it. And I want ever so badly to use it. But I don't have this problem anymore. I SPOSE I can SEXILE the cat... but she could care less as to what I'm doing (see pic for proof). 
    • FOGGIER (80A: Less safe for a plane landing, in a way) — Just watched Sully. Think that guy is fearful of fog? Hell no. My dad was an awesome pilot too... and he was no Fog Fearer. 
    • DID I WIN (46A: Question after a photo finish) Normally I turn to this blog when I don't understand the clue... but... ummm... can't this time. Little help?
    • STREAKED (6D: Hurriedly showed oneself out?) I enjoyed this clue. I hope this happens during the Super Bowl. The ads just aren't doing it for me anymore and my boxes never hit. 
    • PADDING (1D: Superfluous part of an essay) I almost wish my middle school English students would throw some superfluous stuff in their essays. Something. Anything. Or at least just not conclude them with "This is the end of my essay." I'll settle for that.
    • EASTON (28A: Sheena who sang "U Got the Look" with Prince) My parents provided two options of music for a stint during my childhood. Huey Lewis and the News. Or Sheena Easton. I prefer Huey. 
    Thanks, Sam. This is my favorite NYT puzzle so far this year. 

    Signed,  Jim Quinlan

    Plebeian of CrossWorld (is that title still up for grabs?)


    Please enjoy this delightful 6 second video I made for y'all.

     [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    AnotO, Esq. 12:17 AM  

    I found it all pretty easy once I finally figured out exactly what the theme was doing.

    My last square was an "O" in the FLEX_GON / AR_ crossing. I tried an "A" and she was done.

    Trombone Tom 12:35 AM  

    Thanks, Jim, for an insightful and entertaining post.

    This puzzle had so much going on that I was dazzled. Themes and subthemes. How refreshing to have both women and the LGBT community recognized in the NYT. It took me quite some time to figure out the broken ceiling implementation even though I had the revealer early on.

    I am embarrassed to say that, even though I am a Napa Valley cabernet grape grower, the "cab destination" entry at 95A was, ironically, the last entry to fall.

    I was watching the Warriors-Kings game, so the misdirect at 52A (Org. with a travel ban) was appreciated. Thank you, Sam Trabucco, for an engaging and above-average Sunday puzzle.

    Andrew L. Rice 12:36 AM  

    I think the photo finish clue is weak. More appropriate would have been "who won" or "did he win". The person/car/horse finish a race in a photo finish usually isn't the first one around to ask the question.

    Unknown 12:42 AM  

    Nice to "see" you again, @Jim, and what a lovely account of your experience solving @Sam Trabucco's Sunday admirably ambitious, multifaceted puzzle. The theme came from heartfelt motives (described elsewhere), and was undoubtedly difficult to execute, so I'll look the other way on a few details and give an overall thumbs up. Still kind of curious what @Rex has to say about it.

    BETTY is clued White this time, not for the controversial, embattled Secretary of Education nominee. Both Bill and Hillary make a cameo in the ONEL clue, referring to their times at Yale Law School, and there is even a wink, with the RIG clue, at certain unsubstantiated claims currently in the news. That's not all, we find herein the spoiler from the 2000 election, the former mother-in-law of the current host of "The Apprentice," the Facebook take on feminism, a movement that recently won significant political victories that were confirmed by the Supreme Court, and (missed opportunity) the org. that advocated for the ERA. Still, my favorite clue in the entire puzzle was this non-political one, for NBA: "Org. with a travel ban?" How appropriate on America's annual secular holiday, albeit for a different league.

    Unknown 12:44 AM  

    Your video made me lol, so thanks for that!

    Jim Quinlan 12:48 AM  

    @George Long time no see indeed... and as a public educator, I'm damn sure her name is BETSY and am thankful she doesn't share the first name of America's favorite comedic actress.

    Usain bolt 12:48 AM  

    @Andrew - Did you watch the track and field events at the Olympics? Nearly everyone (but me of course) would look up at the timer / video and mouth "Did I win"

    Anonymous 12:49 AM  

    "Did I Win" is asked trackside by bettors who are wondering whether to proceed to the window to cash iin or whether to tear up their betting ticket in frustration.

    Great puzzle; great post!

    Anonymous 12:52 AM  

    I'm siding with the gay, immigrant Jew with the black boyfriend over those who break windows of innocent shop owners.

    Arden 1:15 AM  

    Really nice puzzle. Once I grasped the theme, it fell in record time.

    rudiger45 1:16 AM  

    SAND glass? If you say so; I guess an HOUR glass isn't primitive enough. Nevertheless, finished this off fast after I picked up on the gimmick. Perhaps too quickly - now I have 17+ hours to kill until SB Alternative Fact...

    Anonymous 1:30 AM  

    I'm still not getting Cab / Wince - would someone be willing to explain the joke?

    Jim Quinlan 1:34 AM  

    I made a note to address that clue... but failed to do so... methinks that the "destination" of a "cabernet grape" is that is becomes "wine." Still... it's a rough cluing for sure... let's look past it instead, and celebrate amazing women.

    Greg 1:50 AM  

    I almost found it very easy, but also got caught up on that ISEULT/NEGEV cross for a DNF. Otherwise, fun easy Sunday.

    Unknown 2:05 AM  

    Jim, I think you all of the broken glass answers should be read as "____ Glass". So the destination for a cab (the finished product, not the grape) is a wine glass. Not as rough as you say.

    Jim Quinlan 2:26 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    jae 2:27 AM  

    Easy-medium for me.

    Did not know ISEULT, FLEXAGON, and TSOTSI.

    @AnotO, Esq. - The constellation ARA (the altar) is basic crosswordese, remember it because you will see it again.

    Very clever, solid grid, excellent theme, some fun fill, liked it a lot.

    Larry Gilstrap 2:30 AM  

    Nice puzzle, nice write up. NADER gets billing as an "also-ran"?

    chefwen 2:46 AM  

    It also took me a while to GROK the gimmick, but after I did, pretty easy sailing. Coming up with the different glasses helped a lot with the solve. Coming up with the First Ladies required a little more thought on my part, but not too much.

    Started not too crazy about this one and ended up loving it.

    Moly Shu 3:24 AM  

    As a confirmed degenerate gambler, I can assure you DIDIWIN is exactly what you say when the 6/5 favorite gets up in the last few jumps to cross the line at the same time your 20/1 shot does. You ask anyone within earshot, not only because you don't know the answer, but also to let them know that you are a genius handicapper for having bet on the 20/1 horse in the first place.
    ISEULT threw me, but I knew NEGEV so no harm done here. Really liked this one, especially the broken and unbroken words all being actual words.
    @Rudiger45, I'm with you on the SAND glass thing.
    @ResistanceParker's twitter feed last night alerted me to 81d being offensive, so of course that was the first clue I looked at. Came up blank, so I just solved in my normal fashion and got it as I would any other entry. After I finished, I remembered something was SPOSE to offend me and went back to track it down. I'll admit I use that word and had no idea it is denegrating. But who does it denigrate? GYPsies? I'm clueless.
    Nice review @JimQ. Thanks for guest blogging.

    MommaJ 4:02 AM  

    Super easy for me. Finished in record time. The glass ceiling clue was obvious; the names of the "firsts" were the same. While it took a moment to get the "broken" glass clues, they barely slowed me down. I like at least some challenge in a Sunday puzle, and this was a real disappointment. I have to wonder what Rex thought.

    Unknown 6:02 AM  

    An enjoyable Sunday. But that chunk in the South killed me too. So I had a dnf because of that desert/princess cross. Oh - and I also didn't get the first letter of the astronaut. Oh well. Still liked this one.

    Loren Muse Smith 6:02 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Loren Muse Smith 6:03 AM  

    Hey, Jim Q – very nice write-up. Kudos to you! And you pointed out what for me is the most impressive part of this puzzle – that he found words that, when you take away the first letter of the woman’s name you get a kind of glass. Wowser indeed. That means you have to get a ceiling-breaker’s name, “Winfrey,” say, and then find a kind of glass whose word you can add that W to and still have a word. This is terrific. The only other one I could think of was EARHART/CUT(E). (Well, I got PATRICK/(P)LEAD), but I don’t know if she’s famous enough?)

    Embarrassingly, my first thought for others was Hattie McDaniel. But if she broke that glass ceiling, that meant all winners of Best Actress Oscar prior to 1939 were men. Yeah, yeah – OH GEEZ, YOU IDIOT.

    I think we’ve had a small GYP flap here before, but I had forgotten how to spell it. Hey, man, no offense. NONE TAKEN.

    I liked FLEXIGON (woe for me, too) and SEXILE. I like it when we mess around with existing words like that. As in I’m a flexitarian – meaning I’ll eat meat when no one is looking. (Hi, David Sedaris)

    I agree that figuring out the theme was pretty easy. I got THATCHER right out of the gate and then went in and filled in the other women.

    @Gregory Nuttle - I agree that ISEULT/NEGEV is a tough cross.

    @MommaJ - this was absolutely not a disappointment for me.

    Hey, Jim Q – I have seniors who begin their essays with “This essay is about…” and end it with, “This is the end of my essay. Hope you liked it.” Sigh. I’ve told them over and over, but, well, sometimesI feel like a potted plant standing in front of them. They can look at me and nod and stuff, but all the while they’re mentally reviewing the latest boyfriend flap or wrestling match. (Or home drama. I’m almost finished with this book Hillbilly Elegy, which has been a huge eye-opener, a look into the home lives of so so many of my students. Our county has a really cool program – if the police are called for any reason into the home of a student, the principal gets a text, and she emails us teachers with the student’s name and, simply, “handle with care” in the subject line. No details – just a heads-up that things were bad the night before. I’ve received several such notices.)

    Sam – I loved this puzzle and will remember it for a long time. Well-done.

    Lewis 6:30 AM  

    Nice review, Jim, with that touch of humor you had in that 2015 NYT times debut of yours.

    I loved the theme and the answers NONETAKEN and SEXILE. The solve had the kind of fair grit that excellent puzzles possess. The answer DIYKIT seemed a little desperate to me until I just Googled it and now see it is a real thing.

    I wonder if Sam thought about bringing the ceiling -- the horizontal theme answers -- down one row, and have the women break through it instead of just meet it. So instead of a stripe of black above those horizontal answers, the first letter of the woman's last name would stick up by itself, having broken through.

    But that's idle speculation. The actual solve felt fresh to me, not sloggy as Sundays can sometimes feel, and fresh as a tribute puzzle as well, not stale as tributes can sometimes be. Thank you greatly, Sam!

    Tip for tonight: If the restaurant is open, it will probably have seats available.

    Anonymous 6:39 AM  

    GYP is a slur and should never have made it into this puzzle.

    8D might get the award for most "technically" correct if you take "Astronaut" to literally mean only American space travellers. We should not forget that Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space 20 years (almost to the day) before Sally RIDE. We don't seem to have trouble calling Tim Peake a "British astronaut" or Chris Hadfield a "Canadian astronaut" though, so I think the clue should have specified American.

    TrudyJ 6:55 AM  

    Loved the video as I too got stuck and had ISAULT crossing the NAGEV.

    Anonymous 6:56 AM  

    Great Sunday puzzle as mentioned many times today. It was a great three-day streak. Friday and Saturday were above average. And tomorrow is, if I read it correctly, "Tired Annabel" Monday, an always welcome respite from #GrumpyRex.

    Not sure which is less safe for a pilot who is landing a plane: wind or fog. I'm instrument rated but always wait until the wind is pretty calm. I want to see tomorrow.

    There's another pilot on this site who takes some heat about what kind of plane he flies/flew in the military. I say cut the guy some slack. I can't speak to his generation, but nowadays the military training is very strict and to even get considered for this is an honor. I'm sure this was true, back in the day. It goes without saying that the IFR rating is the hardest test a pilot will face.


    Everybody's Token Black Friend 7:04 AM  

    Yes, gyp is a slur times two since it is a truncated form of the term gypsy which is, in itself, pejorative - kind of like the "illegal alien" of its day. I winced as I filled it in thinking of the extreme between the inclusion of LGBT, the celebration of women's achievements and the hurtful gyp.

    John Child 7:04 AM  

    Thumbs up here. This kept me entertained, and I was very happy to find the second theme layer, the various bits of broken glass. That elevated the puzzle for me.

    A very low word count. Yes, thanks, I do see that the grid is only 20 squares wide. But with 131 now, add four or even five for the missing 21st column, and it's still a low word count.

    TESSERAE is a lovely word. Thanks Mr Trabucco.

    Charles Flaster 7:10 AM  

    Liked the puzzle. Loved the review.
    DNF with DaY KIT. Otherwise very easy.CROSSWORDease for OSA.
    Favorite clues were for SHINER and NBA( hello George). In the fifties we would call it a Jackie Gleason--a little traveling music.
    Speaking of the fifties, nineteen fifties, a FLEXAGON was called a "slam".( I think)
    Thanks ST.

    chefbea 7:25 AM  

    Found the puzzle pretty boring...and couldn't figure out the theme. Even though I'm not really into sports, thought we might have a super bowl themed puzzle....what with all the food...wings, chili, dips, hot dogs, salsa etc!!!

    Have fun eating today and watching the commercials!!!

    Rex Parker 7:32 AM  

    GYP was jarring. Constructor had no idea about the pejorative derivation. Editor most definitely did.

    Sally RIDE was the third woman in space, but the other two were "cosmonauts" so ... that clue is correct, but only by technicality. Clue should have included "U.S." to be precise.

    Puzzle was largely fun. Thanks, Jim!


    Glimmerglass 7:42 AM  

    Superior construction. I didn't GROK until after I finished that the broken words were all iinds of glasses (ALE glass is a bit of a stretch). It's even cool that the broken words are also words. I had no trouble with NEGEV/ISEULT. In fact, they were almost gimmes. But I sweated bullets over the middle north. Didn't know the Poitier title (but inferring it gave me the key to the section), never heard of Zac EFRON (for a while I considered EnRON), and couldn't remember NIETO. Kind of a double Natck. Nice job, Sam.

    erf 7:53 AM  

    I keep wondering -- is this a Betty Friedan tribute? She was born on February 4 and she died on February 4, and her name is down there in the Southwest as though she signed the thing, which would be appropriate as the mother of the modern feminist movement. Well done if intentional. And if not ... what a coincidence! Perhaps a sign that she's on her way back from the grave in our hour of need.

    Dorothy Biggs 8:07 AM  

    Could someone help me understand what POINT is? I see that OCONNOR "breaks" PINT, but the resulting POINT doesn't make sense to me. This includes all of the themers. I guess I don't understand if the resulting "broken" word is supposed to relate to anything.

    I thought SPAY was a little weird in a puzzle about women of power.

    I thought ABLE was a better word for a puzzle about women of power.

    I don't know that I understand READIN as data entry. Thoughts?

    I also don't know what ONEL has to do with the Clintons. I wanted "elis" in there, but ONEL?

    evil doug 8:09 AM  

    I'm with your dad--FOGGIER was preferable to icier, stormier or gustier....

    Dolgo 8:19 AM  

    A professor, Edward White, who was popular for a while, wrote a book with a long list of basic cultural facts educated people should know. It was extensive. Iseult, as in Tristan (or Tristan) and Iseult) was in the list. Wagner's opera, "Tristan and Isolde," is based on the German version of the name. I'm surprised it was difficult for so many of you, especially since the Negev Desert has been in at least two recent NYT crosswords. But I also stumbled, like many of you, on the SW. I finished because of lucky guesses. The "g" in "flexagon made sense, though I had never heard of the toy. Another lucky guess was "rolo." I used to eat them when I was a kid, and they were often part of Halloween swag, but I don't recall ever having heard the name.

    Sunday puzzles are often a kind of a slog--just a matter of filling in the blanks. I enjoyed this one because the clues were interesting and there were quite a few words that you don't find over and over in crosswords but rarely anyplace else."Eskimo hunting knife" is an example of such clues. It and some others have happily disappeared from modern puzzles. A few still remain. For example, though I'm an opera fan, Ernani an "Eri tu" are obvious examples of what many contributors to this blog call "fill," and appear far too often. Other examples abound.

    Everybody's Token Black Friend 8:33 AM  

    @Dolgo - Needle case is rarely used today but it was a staple during my formative crossword solving days- back when TV Tarzan also frequently appeared. Now that surely dates me!

    Anonymous 8:34 AM  

    Nicely done, Plebeian! And yes, agree, the best Sunday experience in a very long time - kudos all around.

    Dolgo 8:37 AM  

    PS White's book came out in the late 80's, about the same time as several other critiques of American education, the most notorious of which was Alan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind."
    BTW, I meant "Tristram" as an alternative to "Tristan." Despite pretty careful review of what I write, I often run afoul of the cursed autocorrect feature of this blog.

    Dolgo 8:40 AM  

    Ron Ely was one of the better-looking of the long list of historical Tarzans though! LOL

    L 8:41 AM  

    My mind also went straight to Deuce Bigelow, lol. Some this you can never forget.

    Easy Sunday puzzle and thoroughly enjoyable. ISEULT is completely foreign to me, but thankfully NEGEV is in my wheelhouse.

    Great write up!

    Nancy 8:46 AM  

    This provided me with the biggest Aha Moment in recent memory. I smiled and laughed and giggled as I realized what this puzzle was up to (pun intended.) What an inspired, completely original concept! What marvelous execution! You go, girl! is what I was thinking as one female head after another crashed through the ceiling. Until I got to the revealer, I had absolutely no idea what was going on with some of the answers, and then -- bingo! The revealer made this more Sunday-ish than Saturday-ish in level of difficulty, but I'm glad it was there. It would have been a real shame to have finished this puzzle with a great big Huh??? instead of an Aha!. Of course, I am a female chauvinist who, when I watch a man playing singles against a woman at the Central Park tennis courts, always roots for the woman. Even when I don't much like her:) But Kudos to Sam Trabucco for conceiving this puzzle and carrying it out so beautifully. Puzzle of the week, certainly. Were it just a little it harder, I'd nominate it for puzzle of the year.

    Dolgo 8:48 AM  

    PS The clue "English cathedral town" seems to have edged poor Ron out of crossword-puzzle immortality recently.

    chefpee 8:48 AM  

    This puzzle has SUP in it so I am obligated to remind everyone that I am a chef and that SUP is a food-related word. It is my duty every day (for years) to remind people that I am a chef. Don't care for most of the puzzles, but...I'm just a chef. Now don't forget that.

    Lobster11 8:57 AM  

    Like some others here, I remembered NEGEV (probably from crosswords) and so survived the highly Natickable cross with ISEULT. Instead, DNF because of the crosses at TESSERAE/TSONTI (?!) and FLEXAGON/ARA (both of which were WOEs to me, and I incorrectly guessed I instead of A).

    Pretty clever theme and execution, ISPOSE, but it didn't excite me as much as it did others -- but maybe just because IMSLEEPY this morning.

    Z 8:58 AM  

    I like the puzzle, but take issue with the grid (think of this as a nitty observation, not a full-throated complaint). Both Minnesota and Texas are only tenuously connected to the rest of the puzzle, at the E in IRE and an E in ERE. This is not optimal grid design, creating two dangling mini-puzzles.

    @LMS - Nice program. As a new principal I was handed a list of potential students to retain in the 6th grade. ~25 names so I pulled their records. Every one of them save three had parents who divorced during the year. Kid/last kid leaving elementary school turns out to be a "good time" to get divorced. I am a big believer in having quality social workers on school staffs.

    @Lewis - I went night-skiing a few times on Super Bowl Sunday. A great time to hit the slopes. I don't know what we're doing tonight, but I do know it won't include the NFL.

    Regarding GYP, as a very young person I learned an "interesting" version of the Eenie Meenie rhyme. I had no idea, being five or six, what the words meant. Once I learned, though, I stopped using the rhyme at all, even the "tiger" version, because it was so tainted in my mind. Likewise, I now use straightforward English words where once I might have used GYP. It really isn't that hard to not insult groups of people once one learns the meaning/derivations of words and phrases.

    The Bride 9:05 AM  

    Cab- as in Cabernet Win(c)e.

    Now, will someone explain 'Onel' for Bill & Hillary Clinton to me.

    The Bride 9:07 AM  

    Agreed. I was surprised to see Gyp in this puzzle- although most people don't realise the origin of that word.

    Anonymous 9:10 AM  

    I don't understand. Your cat cares about what you do so it is sleeping?

    Anonymous 9:12 AM  

    @the Bride.... a one L is a first year law student.
    Can anyone explain to me why the NBA has a travel ban?

    Generic Solver 9:12 AM  

    I wonder if this is a modification of some earlier version of the puzzle about glass ceilings that had CLINTON as a themed answer (for example 2D is seven letters). Of course the whole NW would have required a rework, but it seems kind of ill-timed to be heralding the breaking of glass ceilings given the results of the recent election. My reaction to this puzzle was very simply "why now"?

    kitshef 9:26 AM  

    Just awful. ISEULT crossing ELENA is just the start.

    Garbage like ITS OK, NONE TAKEN, IT HELP, DID I WIN, SUP, I AGREE, SEXILE, I MEAN NO (really???), YOU IDIOT, DIY KIT, READ IN, OH GEEZ, I just can’t go on. There is more unpleasantness in this one puzzle than the last two weeks combined. I have to go on! I SPOSE?!!! ORA and OSA, the dreaded ONE L, aaaaaahg!

    The lovely stuff like TESSERAE, FLEXAGON and GUMBY are wasted in such a terrible puzzle.

    Whatever the opposite of puzzle of the year is, this is it.

    king_yeti 9:26 AM  

    one l is a first year law student. reasonably frequently appears in puzzle clued to Scott Turow's longtime selling book of that title

    rtkelly 9:28 AM  

    I'm no power solver, but this played super easy for me - after getting to the OCONNOR clue, referenced the long revealer which I entered without any crosses, which led to all of the other themes which didn't need any crosses either. That turned into a lot of free fill that meant mostly smooth sailing.

    I didn't like both PINT glass and ALE glass as themers, since a pint glass is the most common form of ALE glass, and ALE glass isn't a common phrase - sticks out compared to the others.

    I had the same reaction as many commenters at GYP.

    Struggled with DEGREASE because I have never heard that used with soup - always defat of separate the fat in my experience.

    Overall fun solve and cool construction!

    king-yeti 9:29 AM  

    traveling is taking steps without dribbling - a violation on NBA rules

    Passing Shot 9:33 AM  

    Late to the oarty and haven't read the comments, but no. Hated this puzzle. I'm sorry -- GYP? How on earth did this get through? This one word held me up considerably because I assumed there was no way in hell a derogatory term would be used in a puzzle. A nice theme that was ruined by the thoughless use of an outdated derogatory term.

    kitshef 9:37 AM  

    Have now read the comments, and boy am I the outlier today. I thought everyone would savage this one, and I was sure this would earn a completely over the top rant from Rex, and was disappointed to have a guest commentator (no disrespect to you, Jim Q - welcome).

    It's always surprising to find out the whole rest of the world is wrong about something...

    Teedmn 9:40 AM  

    As @Nancy declared last night, in yesterday's comments, this was a fine puzzle. I didn't notice the "glass" part of the circled answers until WIN_E and A_LE didn't make sense on their own. Of course, ST_AINED and S_AND didn't either but this is me we're talking about, who is ABLE to ignore just about every glaring meta clue when in the midst of a solve. But I got it, and it's nice.

    Super easy though and I forgot to turn on @r.alph bunker's randomization option as I solved so I didn't get the added challenge of not working with crosses. But it never became a slog, not something I can often say about Sunday puzzles.

    My favorite clue/answer pairs were "Hit record?" for SHINER, "Part of a stock exchange" for MOO and "Hurriedly showed oneself out" for STREAKED, har. I knew all of the "First Ladies" though BIGELOW needed a few crosses - I can rarely remember directors' names, male or female, don't know why.

    Sam Trabucco, a great puzzle, thanks for the shout outs to a bunch of great female role models. And per your remarks at xwordinfo, too bad your plan for more diversity didn't work out.

    Anonymous 9:47 AM  

    Your first year in law school is your 1L (or ONEL) year.

    Maruchka 9:53 AM  

    I would have been gob-smacked by the praise if I hadn't finally seen the (circles) light toward the end of a long slog. Very layered and clever, Mr. Trabucco. But - the clueing, the clueing..

    Nice to see Sally's name. When she flew off, we all jubilantly danced to "RIDE, Sally, RIDE" (hi @Nancy).

    GEEZ, doesn't anybody read Arthurian lit anymore? It's so mysterious. Maybe show John Boorman's "Excalibur" to inspire the young 'uns. Lots of SEXILE, too.

    @Anonymous 9:12 - 'travel'-ing is a basketball violation, if I remember correctly from high school GYm days.

    Loren Muse Smith 9:55 AM  

    @mathgent – I meant to tell you to look for us Rexites in Stamford. All you have to do is find the Hawaiian shirt – Bob Kerfuffle – and we’ll all be with him. (Bob – I know you don’t comment here anymore, but you better the heck be in Stamford. I’m counting on it!)

    Anyway, @mathgent - you should totally hang out with us if you don’t know anyone there. It’s so much fun!

    QuasiMojo 10:01 AM  

    "Did I win?" Nah. I got naticked at "Lean In" (never heard of it) and "DIY KIT." I had "Day Kit." The clue did not indicate an abbreviation, just informality. And DIY is a relatively new bit of gibberish.

    Other than that, I thought it was a very fine Sunday puzzle. Although I had "Hour Glass" for the longest time and must admit I've never heard the term "Sand Glass."

    Considering all the booze being tossed about in this puzzle, I am beginning to think that people who break glass ceilings should not throw back steins.

    Nice guest write-up!

    Anonymous 10:02 AM  

    anonymous: Can anyone explain to me why the NBA has a travel ban?

    "travel" as in take 3 or more steps before dribbling the ball.

    Passing Shot 10:03 AM  

    @kitshef -- I AGREE with you. The theme was nice, but the fill (even disregarding the GYP problem) was just awful.

    Laura 10:04 AM  

    GYP is as offensive as using JEW as a verb, and means something similar.

    I appreciate the technical achievement of this puzzle, and I can't argue with the theme. But there is something slightly ironic about the NYT publishing a puzzle (by a male constructor) about women breaking into fields dominated by men. Women constructors accounted for only 17% of puzzles published last year (15% in 2015). These percentages have gone *down* since the Weng/Maleska eras, when women constructed about 30-35% of puzzles (and when there were far more women editors in the field). Three puzzles by women this January; none yet in February. The Newsprint Ceiling was broken long ago, but somehow it has been reconstructed.

    AliasZ 10:10 AM  

    SAND glass is really an hourglass, but good luck finding another word by inserting any letter into HOUR. ALE glass likewise seems off -- see this Wikipedia page. A PINT glass is an ale glass, no? STAINED and SPY glass were my favorites, but I kept wondering if I'll find Philip Glass among all the glasses.

    Otherwise I found the puzzle thoroughly entertaining. Very clever the way these women literary break the various glass ceilings, but rather easy once the trick revealed itself.

    TSOTSI reminded me of the movie Koyaanisqatsi, to which Philip Glass composed the music.

    Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't. --Margaret THATCHER.

    JJ Kahle 10:21 AM  

    Disappointed with the "gyp" clue, in an otherwise culturally competent set of clues and theme, this derogatory term tripped my side eye. I see Laura mentioned this as well.

    Steve M 10:33 AM  

    Great write up take over the blog anytime or forever

    JC66 10:44 AM  

    I haven't read the comments yet, but I have to say the Sam Trabucco's puzzle and Jim Quinlan's post deserve each other.

    Thanks, guys.

    BarbieBarbie 10:47 AM  

    Anonymous at 6:39: Tereshkova was a cosmonaut. Though that's a silly quibble.
    This was a great puzzle and my second Sunday with the app. I had to re-solve in print to find my error, because the app causes me to skip clues for filled-in words, so I never saw that I had Iseult spelled wrong. I assume this is a skill that comes with practice... The print version went fine and I am awed by this puzzle's construction. No Naticks in the bunch-- maybe you have to be old enough for the Negev Desert to be a gimme.
    OK, time to make the salad components for tonight's potluck. Good luck with your boxes, everyone (I drew 3 and 3 so have to live vicariously through you all). Can anyone explain rhe NE logo to me? It's flat-out ugly, so it must mean something.

    Anonymous 10:50 AM  

    I hate it when there is on word(s) that make no sense. Would someone please explain 62 down. ONEL???

    Brooklynite 10:52 AM  

    Yes, "gyp" is offensive, but what about the clue for "sup?" I was surprised to see such a suggestive clue in the Times. Apparently "the fit to print" standard applies only to the news, not the puzzle.

    Numinous 10:56 AM  

    ONE L is the main first year of law school.

    Scaramouche, Scaramouch will you do the fandango? I loved seeing I SEE A. I could care less if it is a "partial". If the clue and the answer make etic sense as a unit, cool! I don't like the idea that a multi word answer has to be a part of the language all by itself. Maybe because of cryptics I have a different attitude to clue/solution relationships.

    I would have thought that anyone who had any knowledge of Middle Eastern wars would know about the NEGEV. My problem there for almost a nanosecond was that I think of ISolde before I think of ISEULT.

    I must be in a contrary mood today as I have no problem whatsoever with the word GYP. I don't believe it really comes from the word eGYPtian. My understanding is that it comes from the word GYPsie which does come from eGYPtian. But I don't relate the two. What did take me aback recently was a discussion with the previous lessee of the house I am now leasing when he said that he had Jewed the landlord down fifty bucks a month. I'm glad this house has changed hands.

    Did I like BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING? Yeah, I did a lot. I grew up with a single mother who bumped her head on that constantly. I suppose y''all would see me as a male chauvinist feminist. I absolutely support equality for women. Equal pay for equal work. I also believe that women who choose to stay in the home and care for it deserve far more credit than they normally get. The phrase, "Oh, she's just a housewife," really rankles. On the other hand, I'm a guy and was fully awake throughout the fifties. Attitudes then were what they were. My grandfather who lived near us was as male as could be and he was my paternal influence. I'm not saying there was teaching here, but I'm aware that there was assimilation of the prevailing attitudes that was shared by all of my contemporaries. My mother tried to get me to read Betty Friedan. I actually met Germaine Greer several times when I lived in Australia. All of my femininity leanings were learned, sometimes slowly, from about the beginning of seventh grade. I had problems sometimes with people who told me I should do some particular thing because I'm male. I don't really have a problem with chivalry. I'll take out the garbage to be nice. I won't take it out because I'm a guy. Is there a counterpoint to feminism? Could it be masculinism? I'm not talking about machismo, I'm talking about stereotyping. If the garbage weighed four pounds, my six year old daughter could have taken it out with only a little bit more difficulty than I. My mother worked, I was a latch-key kid. I grew up mostly alone. I learned to be self-sufficient. I admire that in others. When I used to make rope which is usually a two person job at a minimum, I designed equipment and methods so that I could make it by myself. I've had to learn to do a lot of things without help throughout my life. In fact, I'm not sure I even know how to ask for help. Well, at least not easily.

    Sorry about all of that but I'm just trying to make the point that this puzzle holds enormous significance for me. I didn't realize it while I was solving but as I've been thinking about it. I realize how strongly I feel about it.

    Way to go, Mr. Trabucco.
    Terriffic write-up Jim Q.

    Anonymous 10:56 AM  

    Saw the ONEL explanation in previous comments. Thanks and sorry for the repeat.

    Stanley Hudson 10:56 AM  

    Excellent Sunday puzzle and a superior write-up. Kudos all around.

    DIY has been around since the 70s, coined by the early punk rock scene.

    Anonymous 11:02 AM  

    My kitchen cabinet is so full, what with my ale glasses, water glasses, orange juice glasses, milk glasses, cider glasses and all.

    RooMonster 11:05 AM  

    Hey All !
    Already too many comments to read before posting, so apologies if repeats.

    Pretty cool theme. Liked how the "glass"es were made into actual words with the Woman who crossed them. (Mr. Mrs.?) Sam didn't necessarily need to do that. But that adds to the solve and the kudos to Sam. Couldn't have been easy to do.

    Was going to nit pick the segregated N and S centers, but will now let it go, as theme is pretty good, and trying to get more longer answers and open up those areas probably wouldn't have made puz better. There does seem to be alot of I(somethings). Maybe just me. And Miss Moretzs name is CHLOE Grace Moretz. I know, cause She's a Babe, Schwing!

    Speaking of Waynes World, awesome writeup by Jim Q! Made me LOL. Really. Please come back and blog again! Your refreshing view IMBUES us all, I'm sure. AMEN brother!

    Never noticed it was 20 wide. SUP with that? :-)

    TREE RAT sounds like an insult. No Offense... NONE TAKEN. LATISH is funny. You're either on time or late, right? Or is LATISH Fashionable Late? FLEXAGON a cool word.


    Aketi 11:10 AM  

    After yet another iOS upgrade my puzzle app is miraculously working again just in time for a puzzle of GLASS CEILING BREAKers.

    I got the POINT with the PINT. I thought it was a little bit STRAINED because the glass was not broken it was missing; it was the type of glass that was broken. A little nit that wasn't big enough to make me WINCE.

    Mulling over the concept of THATCHER taking a STAND in the SAND. Not exactly a firm surface.

    Wayne Famous 11:15 AM  

    Does anyone remember laughter?

    Z 11:19 AM  

    One Stop Clue Explanations
    These keep getting reanswered, so here are people's clarifications all in one spot

    ONE L - First year of law school. Frequent crossword answer, unlike two L or three L ... The clue references the years the Clintons started law school.

    NBA - In basketball, traveling, i.e. walking or running with the ball without dribbling it, is against the rules, "banned."

    DID I WIN - What the gambler asks, not the jockey or horse, after a photo finish.

    ISEULT - With various spellings is an archetypal tale so, even if you never read Arthurian Legends or love opera, be assured you will see her again in a crossword near you.

    Is ALE (glass) a thing? - Yes, but very green paintish.

    WIN(C)E (glass) - A Cabernet's destination - don't forget that all the broken glasses are glasses.

    Does Quinlan's cat care? - No. It's a joke.

    NEGEV - A cross desert. Learn it. five lettter desert? Try NEGEV.

    P(O)INT - The point is that the glass is broken and something new is formed. The new word is unclued.

    READ IN data - programmer speak. I think it is when you have a program do the work, but others here can explain it better.

    Do people really call it a SAND glass? - Apparently.

    Anonymous 11:27 AM  

    It's GAY pride not LGBT pride And hardly "refreshing" (@Roo). More like tedious or relentless or brow-beating or I-d-o-n-t-g-i-v-e-a-r-i-p. And I never want to see it in a crossword puzzle again. If that's what floats your boat, get Ben Tausig's puzzles. His are rife with that and a bunch of juvenile sexual innuendos.

    I'm surprised the NYTimes didn't work in MICHELLE, gush, gush Obama, first...

    And really @Rex you couldn't name the NEGEV Desert. You've heard of Israel right?

    Unknown 11:29 AM  

    A Cabernet's destination is a wine glass.

    GILL I. 11:35 AM  

    Do Mr. and Mrs. Google know when it's your birthday? I had to knock on their door to find out who the Arthurian princess was. I was greeted with birthday candles and an ISEULT.
    I was looking forward to this Sunday puzzle after reading @Nancy last night. I got my present. Terrific puzzle Sam T.
    GYP didn't bother that much - I don't think anybody says that anymore. I met Sally Ride at a women's conference here in Sacramento. She was charming as hell and told some good stories about her training. Everyone wanted to know how she went to the bathroom and she went on and on in hysterically funny pantomimes.
    I got a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Brut. Must get the champagne GLASSes out and celebrate that I made it to another year.
    I'm rahing for Atlanta...

    Unknown 11:38 AM  

    I was thinking too for a while that the new words would have something to do with female struggles. But the word spay did kind of put a stop to that theory...

    JC66 11:40 AM  

    As previously noted, Sally RIDE wasn't the first woman in space.

    And Margaret THATCHER wasn't the first female world leader.

    Unknown 11:40 AM  

    And, oh yeah. "One L" is what the first year of law school is called.

    Teedmn 11:40 AM  

    @AliasZ, your comment about breaking up HOUR made me think of the word HOURI, which not only doesn't fit the theme definition because the "glass" isn't broken, but would be terribly ironic fill in a puzzle celebrating women.

    @QuasiMojo, loved your "people who break glass ceilings should not throw back steins."

    skua76 11:41 AM  

    DNF because of the way the clues for all of these great women were written--I wanted the first word of 64A to be BRoke. Oh well. Great writeup Jim.

    Joe in Newfoundland 11:42 AM  

    I'm surprised that someone replacing Rex Parker would boast of his cultural ignorance not once but twice. - ISEULT/NEGEV and "never have never will" see that movie. Sometimes it's not necessary to snob-signal.

    r.alphbunker 11:44 AM  

    At the end I stared at {Material commonly used during cathedral construction} S_AI_ED for a while. Did not know {"J to ___ L-O!" (Jennifer Lopez album)} THA or {Mexican president Enrique Peña ___} NIETO

    Details are here.

    Jim Curran 11:49 AM  

    Praise for use of LGBT. Criticism for use of GYP. Wasted mental energy looking for PC oneupmanship. It's a crossword puzzle folks. Get over yourselves.

    Jackie 11:54 AM  

    Erm, GYP? Is that still a thing? I thought it was a, you know, racist slur? (I saw the clue and the three letter answer and was praying praying praying it would not be "Jew," but "Gyp" as a verb is basically the same thing.)

    Come ON, NYT. In the era of Trump/Bannon, can we please be extra careful not to normalize/legitimate racist stereotypes?!?

    jberg 11:57 AM  

    I just thought of a fun new game: after solving the puzzle, but before reading the comments, do what @Z just did (answer all the recurring questions), then post your comment as early as possible. Come back the next day and read all the comments -- you get a point for each time a question that you have already answered is asked.

    I knew NEGEV, but ISEULT was harder, as I think of that as the French spelling of ISOLDE. I guess that's not really correct, thought, so fair enough.

    The hardest part was that block in the South -- the only way in was from the last letters, and I couldn't see any of the answers. But I could see that 113A was going to end with UP, which gave me SUA (Cardinal Newman, we read him in English class), and that gave me HAVE A SAY. CURIE was a gimme, of course. She won her first Nobel in 1903, only two years after the first one was awarded, and is the only person of any sex to have won two. So that ceiling was pretty breakable -- but she broke several others, so that's good enough for me.

    I've never, ever heard anyone say "How's it hangin?" Always in the third-person plural, but maybe that's a step too far for the NYT.

    Jackie 12:00 PM  

    Also: nice to see a puzzle celebrating women's accomplishments. Also nice to see so many men here complimenting the male commentator for his comments and the male constructor for writing such a nice puzzle about the "first ladies." Would be nice to see the NYT publish a puzzle by a woman constructor sometime EVER.

    old timer 12:01 PM  

    Had to come here to figure out that 'glass' follows the broken Across themers -- the down First Ladies I got with OCONNOR. BIGELOW was the one I did not already know.

    If you ever read those books by Borrow, The Romany Rye and the one about Wales you find that the author was a great friend of the Rom and learned their language. They informed him it was entirely moral in their view to swindle the non-Rom, though not to cheat each other. So if they think swindling is OK, who's to complain about GYP? However GYP could be clued as "a college servant (Br.)" I don't think those who work in Oxford or Cambridge halls are thought of as dishonest.

    Anonymous 12:03 PM  

    right. the president of mexico was not in the news every day for the last two weeks so his name wasn't familiar. wtf?

    Laura 12:14 PM  

    @Jackie, 12:00PM: WORD

    mac 12:18 PM  

    What a nice Sunday puzzle! And a great write-up too. Thanks!

    Koyaanis Qatsica 12:22 PM  

    Lovely. Thank you.

    Alan_S. 12:24 PM  

    I like reading the comments every Sunday but I do wish some of you would calm down with all the ticky tacky PC complaints. American Indians don't mind the "Redskins", Jews don't mind being called Jews and most people who might identify as gypsies don't even know that the word "gyp" is derived from Gypsy.

    Might we all just stick to discussing the puzzles?

    Questinia 12:24 PM  

    Love ISEULT crossing the Negev, Professor Rex!

    After 77 straight solves I put in a 0 for an O and couldn't see it. The burden of keeping the streak has been lifted!!

    Malsdemare 12:26 PM  

    I loved it, both puzzle and Jim Q's writeup. My experience was like his, easier in the north than the south, for which I was grateful; I didn't want it to end too soon. I got the theme about 10% through, when RIDE rode into the STAINED glass. By the way, for those of us who work with the stuff, the correct term is "art" glass. Sometimes it's stained, but usually the good glass is IMBUED with the color; it's the reason it's so damn expensive. But since almost everyone calls it stained, we live with the error. I wanted fast food (remember I have malamutes) for TREERAT, but it wouldn't fit. Like so many, SAND made me WINCE just a little. The Clinton clue made me remember I have never read Turow's book and should. I really liked the clue for NBA though I needed crosses to get it. And I was thrown by Tristam's love; I've only seen her name as Isolde but that's just my own ignorance. Other fun clues were for ADHOC and MOO. SEXILE reminded me to Tom Wolfe's "My name is Charlotte Simmons," which I hated and now can't get out of my head. I shall go listen to Queen. Yes, Jim Q, Bohemian Rhapsody is indeed playing in my head, which is just fine with me.

    Cassieopia 12:29 PM  

    This puzzle yielded many layers of enjoyment - first the cluing, then the theme discovery, then the aha moment with the circled letters! Masterful, and thank you Sam Trabucco! That was an hour in front of my fireplace that was very well spent!

    Today's write up is also stellar - positive, engaging, and a custom video to boot.

    All in all the entire experience, from solving to reading, was delightful.

    Malsdemare 12:36 PM  

    Oh, thanks @Z for the list of answers; doesn't appear to have helped. When I post without reading the comments, I try to refrain from asking questions. I work from the assumption that if I have a question, so did others, and if I read the whole blog, the light will dawn.

    I think I will need some evidence that Native Americans don't mind the term "redskins." Those of my acquaintance (Navajos that I know from a stint teaching at Navajo College), find it awfully offensive. And the protesters who finally managed to get the U of Illinois to dump the Chief would agree. Maybe not all natives mind, but I figure if a term bothers some people, the language is rich enough for me to find another. I hadn't thought about the term GYP when it fell in the puzzle but I recognize it's another word that should go in the litter bin. So will laundries protest when we switch to "took to the cleaners"?

    Bob Kerfuffle 12:36 PM  

    This appears to have been a very interesting puzzle. Sorry I missed it.

    I'm really just dropping in to say what a great time I had at the Westport Library Puzzle Contest yesterday, with many members of the Rexville community, past and present, including mac, imsdave, Karen from the Cape, Tita, Hartley70, Ullrich, and others, and crossworld luminaries including Glen Ryan, Andy Kravis, Lena Webb, and others, and also Mr. Will Shortz himself. (Apologies to all I have failed to list.)

    My point is, even if you can't get to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 24, 25, 26), it's wonderful to get to a local tournament just to be among people who love puzzles and want to talk about them, while enjoying each others company, a few drinks, dinner...

    Yes, Loren, 9:55 AM, I really hope to be at the ACPT. I can't absolutely promise the Hawaiian shirt, though. I wore it to my first ACPT precisely so I could meet up with other Rexites (better than a carnation in a buttonhole), but it has been shrinking, getting tighter and tighter every year. We'll see.

    Aside to @Dolgo - I am puzzled by your reference to "Edward White." Did you perhaps mean E. D. Hirsch, author of the book "Cultural Literacy"?

    Bob Kerfuffle 12:44 PM  


    "enjoying each other's company"

    Alan_S. 12:47 PM  

    Exactly my p(o)int.
    Too much PC and we'll all turn into Republicans!

    Anonymous 12:56 PM  

    Anyone see the Ami Horowitz of him on Berkeley campus waving an ISIS flag around? One person confronted him - for smoking on campus. Hilarious.

    Masked and Anonymous 1:03 PM  

    Superb theme. Admired the breakin of them glass ceiling words with unchecked female letters. Classic.

    Vocab was kinda loosey-goosey on this puppy. Ok by m&e, as I always groove on desperation. [fave: ISEEA.] Seem to recall a lot of "I did it" entries in the grid.

    Cool sub-write-up! Primo bullets and great Adventures of ISEULT episode. I want to binge watch the series, now. [I knew NEGEV off the N, btw.]

    Thanx, Mr. Trabucco. Flexagonal, dude.

    Masked & Anonymo6Us

    Desperate? I'll show U desperate…

    Sherm Reinhardt 1:20 PM  

    @Jim Quinlan, Since you are a middle-school English teacher who likes crosswords and drinking wine, I wonder if you ever get compared to Paul Giammati in Sideways (I'm sure you're MUCH more mature than Miles, though). It's one of the great moments for crossword puzzles (and the NYT in particular) when Miles is on the San Diego Freeway doing the NYT crossword in pen with his steering wheel as a desk.

    Fun blog, by the way. Hope Rex lets you guest more often. From another middle school (Latin) teacher.

    John 1:28 PM  

    Isn't it "glass" and not "breaking," i.e., "pint" glass, "stained" glass, "sand" glass, "spy" glass, "ale" glass, and "wine" glass? And then name of each woman in the down answer "breaks through" the particular type of glass in the across answer. Don't think it has anything to do with "breaking."

    Exubesq 1:35 PM  

    Um. Using "jew" as a verb to describe the process of getting a seller to drop a price is what people here were referring to. Of course, since you apparently speak for the entire religious community I must be wrong. Smh

    Alexscott68 1:36 PM  

    I enjoyed this puzzle and thought the construction was really clever.

    However, I was really surprised no one else had a problem with the cluing of the circled answers. Shouldn't the clues have referred to the whole words (POINT, STRAINED, STAND, etc.) and not the answers formed by the circled letters? Isn't that what the circles are there for, to reveal the hidden words that lead in to GLASS? The way it was clued, the answers are unrelated to anything in the puzzle and seem superfluous (or PADDING). Seems like a poor editorial choice to me. Then again, I do like to nitpick--which I SPOSE is why I enjoy reading Rex's blog.

    Aphid Larue 1:58 PM  

    I was glad to see that the glass ceiling was being honored. I knew or guessed the entries, failed to string those circled letters into a sentence, and confidently announced to my husband that a spay is a small telescope and an able is a kind of beer mug. Had to come here to understand how truly clever the puzzle was. Glad I came, and that I'm no longer a robot.

    One of my retirement goals was to get better at the NYT puzzle, and I'm getting better. My other goal, as retired statistician, was to create and publicize a useful planning for older adults to help them estimate how many "good" years they have left. If any readers of this blog are 65+ years old, they might find it useful. It's at and is free and doesn't ask for your most personal information. Comments appreciated

    Aphid Larue

    redrube 1:59 PM  

    If I'm betting on a horse I ask "did I win"?

    Alan_S. 2:14 PM  

    I'm not referring to the word being used as a verb, of course that would be offensive.
    Please read carefully.

    RooMonster 2:15 PM  

    @Anonymous 11:27
    If you reread my post, I was saying Jim Q's reviee of puz was refreshing, not any particular answer. Clarification for clarifications sake.

    @John 1:26
    Great explanation of puz. And a short and sweet one. Often accuse myself of verbosity. :-)


    mathgent 2:20 PM  

    @Loren Muse Smith: Thank you for the kind invitation. Maybe I'll wear my beloved Hawaiian shirt. I just started to think about the best way to get from San Francisco,to Stamford. The nearest airport seems to be White Plains but there are no non-stops there from SFO. Maybe I should take a non-stop to JFK and hook up with some kind of ground transportation.

    I didn't start the puzzle until late this morning and just finished it a few minutes ago. Loved the theme once I tardily figured it out. Actually, I loved everything about it.

    The Enforcer 2:27 PM  

    @Gill I Said:

    "GYP didn't bother that much"

    Good Grief! Get a hold of yourself woman. Remember where you are. You do not have the option to not be bothered. Its mandatory!
    Don't ever let me catch you making a comment like that again.

    @ Alan_S 12:24PM

    Its called Virtue Signaling Alan. Here's a small excerpt from the linked article:

    "Virtue signaling is the conspicuous expression of moral values by an individual done primarily to enhance their standing within a social group. Virtue signaling is the new self-righteousness."

    Opposition to the word GYP is virtue signaling. If one member of the group pronounces displeasure over use of the word, all must follow lest they be seen as less sensitive or insensitive. The article is both scary and funny.

    Margaux O'Nolan 2:31 PM  

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for as lively a review of this puzzle as, well, the puzzle! While I figured out the big answer to 64-across, I still didn't suss, sorry, grok, the reason the horizontal trope answers were not actually answering the trope clues. At first I found it rather stRained, but I kept rolling with it and finished the puzzle; it was only when I read your post that I understood how the clever horizontal trope answers worked.

    Both you and this puzzle brought a cheerful dose to a Sunday in the early days of the Dark Ages. All we can do is raise a glass, break it, and resist while we wiNce and assure ourselves that everything is going to be Albright.

    Anonymous 2:41 PM  

    The first woman to "break the glass ceiling" in space was not Sally Ride but Valentina Tereshkova, as someone earlier I think pointed out. For all the Soviet faults, and there were many, they at least tried to maintain the principle of Marx that communists should be creating men (and women) of culture. Thus while we were sending into space nitwits like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, the Russians were sending, or were claiming to be sending, poets. News reporters have of late been gushing in praise of the late Glenn (even reporters supposedly on the left, comparing him unfavorably the narcissistic Trump). But Jimmy Carter, not exactly "Mr. Excitement," stated that after a meeting with Glenn he had never met anyone so boring. I still find the first words on the moon, which reporters, left and right, gush over, utterly banal: One small step for man ETC. How much more refreshing were the early words of the cosmonaut (Gargarin?? I don't know): please say hello for me to Anna Magnani! (or something to that effect). The best example of the culture of the "communist man" (or, in this case, a woman) came when Gorbechev's (sp.?) wife Resa (sp?) visited the Ronald Reagan White House. Nancy Reagan got the thankless task of escorting Resa around the White House. Resa, who had some level of culture, began asking Nancy questions about certain paintings, and she made comments about the same. Nancy of course had no idea as to what she was talking about. The two evidently emerged from the tour with Nancy seething in anger. I would have been angry too, but I would have learned from this not to make disparaging remarks about "Soviet" culture.

    Anonymous 2:50 PM  

    oops! In my 2:41 anon. post, for *unfavorably* [about Glenn] read *favorably*.

    Anonymous 2:56 PM  

    Patriots 26. Falcons 17. Falcons will claim because they gained more yards than the Patriots they rightfully should be champs and will whine endlessly and break things and hurt people.

    Anonymous 3:03 PM  

    I wonder how people like "The Enforcer" distinguish between so-called virtue signalling and polite criticism of outdated, offensive phrases.

    One suspects that to them, the very point is that there is only the former and no such thing as the latter - it spares them from the discomfort that might follow an honest appraisal of their own attitudes.

    Gobsmacked 3:04 PM  

    @Anonymous 2:50PM

    Are you saying that the state of Denial has no electoral votes? How could that be?

    Unknown 3:11 PM  

    Am latish to this party and have no new insights. Nonetheless, I will proceed.

    As with most everyone else today, I found this to be the best Sunday puzzle in a long time, but not until the epiphany about the names of each women actually breaking a glass ceiling. Of course the epiphany did not occur until sometime after half way which meant that I had to retroactively appreciate this nuanced theme.

    For a split second I thought that @Rex and I had totally agreed on both the difficulty rating AND the puzzle itself. Then I realized that it was @Jim and I who actually agreed. No matter. The review was pretty much spot on and an enjoyable read.

    Re: the growing angst over OFL's apparent crotchetiness, take a chill pill. Rex never fails to ignite a spirited conversation. Besides, crotchetiness is like ear hair, men acquire it with age. I'm crotchety and my adult kids seem to find it quite amusing.

    I comment only on Sundays but not every Sunday. I only do the Thursday through Sunday puzzles but rarely get to them the same day, let alone in a timely fashion. I should probably learn how to get the phone app, though I really enjoy doing the puzzles with pen and paper. Anyway, I read @Rex after every puzzle completed, and really enjoy him and enjoy this group. Would love to jump in every time but would feel stupid always being a day late.

    Is it snobbish to do only the Thursday - Sunday puzzles? Am I the only one or is there anyone else?

    Whew! What a screed. All finished now.

    @LindaPRmaven 3:37 PM  

    Hands up for ISEULT and NEGEV being in my wheelhouse. They were the key to the SCentral for me. On the other hand, GUMBY and EFRON are unknown to me (wanted POSEN the designer for the latter) so those are the BREAKs.

    Welcome @Jim. Wonderful writeup.

    JC66 3:38 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    The Enforcer 3:38 PM  

    @Anonymous 3:03PM

    "Polite Criticism" is simply LiberalSpeak for subliminally trying to control the narrative and the language. Guess what? You don't get to tell me what is offensive, outdated or otherwise. I'm part Italian. I tell Italian jokes and I laugh just as hard when other people tell them. That guy who keeps posting "Does Anybody Remember Laughter?" is spot on. He gets it.

    Berkeley University, once thought of as the birthplace of free speech, is now strongly associated with the movement to ban free speech. Is that irony lost on you pilgrim? Does destroying public property and beating people fall under "polite criticism?" Is that acceptable?

    Ah!, but I forgot the Liberal mantra. Everything is acceptable as long as the desired end result is achieved, right?

    BTW, my use of the temporary screen name The Enforcer was meant to be "tongue in cheek." It was meant to make YOU look inward, so that you may see yourself there, hmmm?

    JC66 3:43 PM  

    @ Anon 2:56 PM

    And the Pats will continue to insist the game was rigged.

    Gobsmacked 3:48 PM  

    @JC66 said:

    "And the Pats will continue to insist the game was rigged."

    But the Pats will be under greater scrutiny, because they've been caught cheating before.
    No harm checking the air pressure in those footballs every time a new one is introduced into the game, right?

    Malsdemare 4:00 PM  

    @The enforcer. We're hearing a lot about Berkeley infringing on free speech. Let's be careful here. The protection of free speech refers to government. Our government may not infringe on our right to speak freely, within reason. But If I don't like what you say, I can toss you out of my house. Which is what Berkeley did. That's not PC, or virtue signally. That's being factual.

    Anonymous 4:09 PM  

    Believe me, if anything like what happened at Berkeley was by the Republicans, (and I don't think anyone believes it was), it would have been labeled as anti-free speech and homophobic. Hypocrites!

    KlezBro 4:12 PM  

    To the issue of ‘political correctness’: I agree with Stephen M. Paskoff, Esq., the CEO of ELI (Employment Learning Innovations, Inc.). In ELI’s blog of July 11, 2016, Paskoff titled his entry, ‘Forget Politically Correct – Time to Be Humanely Correct’. He goes on to say, “Still, some say our words and related acts must not be limited to that which is “politically correct.” One often heard argument is that it’s wrong to monitor what we say because we have a right to speak our minds even though doing so may lead to “collateral damage” harming others. That’s just not right. The greater risk is that our unfiltered words and acts can inflict widespread reactive rage, nonproductive divisiveness, mistrust and public harm. We’re seeing that almost every day. I say it’s time for us to guard our words and acts to be “humanely correct.”

    To the issue of the word ‘gyp’: I refer you to the podcast, ‘Code Switch’, on NPR’s website. On December 30, 2013, Janaki Challa shared her contribution, ‘Why Being 'Gypped' Hurts The Roma More Than It Hurts You’. I recommend taking a look at the entire article, however for the purposes of this comment, I will include a quote from Ian Hancock. "I encounter a lot of people who tell me that they never knew the word 'gypped' had anything to do with gypsies, or that it's offensive — especially when the word is heard not read," says University of Texas at Austin professor Ian Hancock, who was born in Britain to Romani parents. "My response to them is, That's okay. You didn't know but now you do. So stop using it. It may mean nothing to you, but when we hear it, it still hurts."

    I believe we have a responsibility to make the world a better place than how we found it.

    The word ‘gyp’ should not have found its way into today’s puzzle.

    Anonymous 4:14 PM  

    @Alan_S., you were responding to what you referred to as "ticky tacky PC complaints," whatever that means. Those complaints were about using the word "Jew" as a verb. Lecturing someone else about failing to read carefully when that's what you're guilty of makes you look like a prick. You were caught out, my friend. Accept it and move on.

    Anonymous 4:15 PM  


    By the way, Berkeley isn't "your house". I live in CA so I figure it's more MY house than your since I live here and my taxes pay for it. Again, hypocrite.

    Phil Schifley 4:20 PM  

    I had sexize instead of sexile because it's been a while since I've had a roomie and even longer since I had to ponder a ridiculous portmanteau for getting some. Marriage will do that to you.

    evil doug 4:21 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    evil doug 4:24 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Anonymous 4:39 PM  

    @ The Enforcer, no one here is saying you can't tell ethnic jokes or use slurs to your heart's content. We just get to tell you back that we think you're a moron and/or a bigot for doing so. That's free speech too, "pilgrim".

    evil doug 4:45 PM  

    ...and after you toss them from the party you invited them to, Mals, you and your masked buddies mace them, smash their windows, burn their car, and fire off a few rounds. Sure, same thing....

    The Enforcer 4:48 PM  


    That's not the way I understand it Mal, but if you have credible information that I'm unaware of, I'd love to see it.

    The way I understand the controversy, a Republican group on campus invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak before them. The university was actually very accommodating and even hired extra security. Before Milo ever got close to speaking, the crowd outside started ramping up both actions and rhetoric. Milo had to be escorted off campus for his own safety.

    Now understand me. I'm not blaming the university. I'm blaming the crowd outside that forced the university to abort Milo's presentation. I think the main body of rioters was rather small, and I believe they were organized and financed by outsider shit disturbers, but I have no proof of that. However, there were hundreds if not thousands of people there. You can't tell me that the majority were not students. And, if they were students, then the inmates are running asylum. The university should use all the video tape it has available to identify those students and take action against them. You can't let students force cancellation of free speech simply because they don't like the speaker or the subject matter. That's not AMERICA!

    You know this is happening all over the country, and its been going on for ages. Students forcing the college to dis-invite commencement speakers, etc.

    It all gonna end badly Mal.

    This guy Yiannopoulos is actually well spoken and pretty funny. There's always two side to every story. I'm providing a link to his side of the story. If you have similar material refuting it, I be very interested to view same.

    Enjoy the game if you're a fan.

    Anonymous 4:49 PM  

    Maid @ 4pm. Not true according to the Chancellor of Berkeley . In a statement, which condemned Milo, Chancellor Dirks wrote of the Berkeley Clollege Republicans " only they who have the authority to disinvite Mr. Yiannopoulos." I'd link to the statement, but I'm a lousy linker. If you're interested in reading the whole thing just google "dirks statement " first hit, it's nice to know that there are reasonable people on the left side of the political spectrum. The loudest voices on both sides get the most attention, but they are in the minority, on both sides, in my opinion. Occupy Oakland does not repr sent the left anymore than the KKK represents the right.

    The Enforcer 5:08 PM  

    @Anonymous 4:39PM

    You can call me anything you like, and I'll throw it right back at you tit for tat. The difference between you and I, is that I'm not a snowflake. I don't think I'm special, I didn't have helicopter parents, I didn't get a participation trophy and I was not indoctrinated to believe there are no winners and losers in life. I don't need safe spaces, trigger warnings or protection from microaggressions. You can appropriate my culture till your heart's content.


    evil doug 5:12 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Alan_S. 5:25 PM  

    You also are not getting my point. I didn't say using "Jew" as a verb is ok, it's certainly not ok and is very offensive but that's not what we're talking about here. I'm talking about the overly sensitive, self righteous PC police who threaten the very idea of liberal values by trying to censor anything that doesn't comport with their own views. Maybe you're the prick!

    Anonymous 5:41 PM  

    @Mals and others of your ilk,
    Whether this quote is historically true or not, I believe it is appropriate for our time:
    "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve". This was by the Japanese Admiral Yamamoto after his attack on Pearl Harbor in "Tora, Tora, Tora". I'm not offering this for debate as it cannot be substantiated, but his hesitation to "perform his duty" is not in doubt.
    The left has assaulted a majority of our Country's institutions. Free speech, the definition of marriage, the filibuster rule in the Senate, who are "citizens", have "Constitutional Rights" as opposed to being prisoners of war, etc.
    I get it. Your power a few years ago gave you the hubris that has lead you to overreach what you thought was your "right". However, as even evidenced on this blog, you have intelligent people out here who have a dissenting point of view.
    I suggest that you look at alternate views than those of yours and actually consider them legitimate. Otherwise you will continue to lose elections and will become irreverent. However, I do want some of you to remain consistent with your posts. It will be a reminder for generations to come of what failed policies and opinions result in. GWood

    Anonymous 5:45 PM  

    Team. i think that place is called The University of California, Berkeley. Similar to: The University of California, Los Angeles. If you're cool you call it Cal. If you're from an alien planet, you call it Berkeley University. Just don't say it's near 'Frisco.

    Cassieopia 6:05 PM  

    Too late. I became irreverent *years* ago. ;)

    The Enforcer 6:07 PM  

    Apologies, I should have known better. Of course its Cal/Berkeley. I lived in San Francisco from 73 till 82. Beautiful city back then. I got out just in time. Last time I had an opportunity too pass through on my way overseas, I was shocked at what downtown has become. You can almost smell the human waste in the air. So sad.

    Anonymous 6:13 PM  

    Leftist = violent anarchists discussion will kick in high gear tomorrow after 24A in Monday's puz.

    Z 6:15 PM  

    @jberg and @Malsdamere - A few problems: 1. The "reply" function on the smartphone version of Blogger means that it looks like you are the first person to reply to a question; 2. Readers skip past lots of posts; 3. The comments page doesn't refresh automatically, so answers can appear while you type; 4. And (related to posting a FAQ early on) I'm never good at what people won't get. How many times have people asked questions that Rex answered?

    @Alexscott68 - I see what you're saying but I think the theme intent is different. The Revealer is BREAK THE GLASS CEILING, so all the clued circled words are types of GLASS operating as a ceiling. The women then BREAK that GLASS CEILING, forming a new (unclued) word. The only clue we have to that new word is that it does make a new word out of the broken word.

    @Evil Doug - The events in Berkley are being widely misreported (often by omission of relevant facts). The College Republicans invited a known troll. The College went to great lengths to accommodate the guy's appearance. Other campus student organizations were conducting peaceful demonstrations opposing the individual's noxious views. A group of people wearing masks showed up (reported at 100-150) and became violent. The individual's appearance was cancelled as a matter of public safety. The legitimate student organizations which organized the protests disavowed the violence (as playing into the troll's trolling). At no time was the guest troll's ability to exercise his free speech limited in any way beyond having one specific limited forum cancelled, in fact the guy has been using these events to drum up support. This is not, nor has it ever been, a "free speech" issue. The most troubling, and worrisome, aspect to me is that none of these people were arrested, so we don't really know their motives.

    @People - Has nobody noticed that @The Enforcer is virtue signalling? Classic bullying behavior, accuse others of the behavior you are engaged in.

    Malsdemare 6:28 PM  

    @ the enforcer
    I'd rather engage off blog, but you were thoughtful and deserve a reply.

    Your description of what happened at Berkeley is exactly what I read. I was not saying that what they did pleased me; I'm not in support of the riots, the violence, and I don't know that caving to that sort of violence is a good idea. But Berkeley was within its rights to do so.

    I was cautioning those who say that Berkeley's action violated our right to free speech. It didn't. The 1st amendment says essentially that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. That's it. Congress. Shall. Make. No. Law. Over the years that's gotten refined to include things like disallowing business restrictions of certain kinds of employee speech, but by and large, if we say things that others really don't like, there may be consequences, such as protests, firings, shutting down of facebook pages and twitter feeds, and so on. Milo has, can, and will say things I find offensive, and I can't legally stop him, just as he can't stop me from calling him a horrible racist. But I don't have to invite him into my home. And Berkeley can, if it wants, uninvite him,

    And yes, it does appear more and more likely that things will end badly. But it isn't protesting that's to blame, nor should we shame Berkeley from acting to protect its student body from greater violence. I'm a retired university admin. And I was in college in the 60s when labs were blown up, students were shot and killed at Kent State, and there were riots everywhere. Universities have long memories and they have an obligation to protect their students. I think we'd rather be faulted for being overly protective than for permitting a situation to blow up in our faces.

    I'm a Packer fan. I'll read tonight. Hope the game is fun.

    MetroGnome 6:38 PM  

    WHAT th' FRIG!?

    1. Bill or Hillary Clinton was a ONEL?
    2. A STRAINED is a "material commonly used during cathedral construction?
    3. A WINCE is a "cab destination"?
    4. A STAND is a "primitive timer"?

    evil doug 7:04 PM  

    Beyond the constitutional right to free speech, there has been a treasured, traditional, shared belief in a willingness to openly and civilly share diverging viewpoints. Many colleges have sadly surrendered this tenet to a few pampered students, and liberals who once championed the idea have turned into poor losers whose first answer is name calling, disruption, rioting and violence.

    Anonymous 7:19 PM  

    Milo alt right Rex alt left moral equivalence unfair to Milo he doesn't seek to ban things.

    The Enforcer 7:32 PM  

    @ Mal:

    Thanks for the reply Mal. Enjoy your book.

    @Evil Doug: Well Said!

    Anonymous 7:46 PM  

    Not listening to others ideas and intentionally being irreverent will make you irrelevant as well. Sorry for the spell check error.

    Anonymous 8:15 PM  

    I wonder if, for a word like "gyp," one should include in the clue something like "an offensive term." Old-fashioned dictionaries have such tags, for expressions which I have heard, but not recently, such as to "to jew someone down" (last heard by me "on the street" ca. 1970). If the etymology of "gyp" is dubious, perhaps the clue should state "sometimes regarded as an offensive term."

    Aketi 8:39 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Anonymous 8:42 PM  


    In other words, a trigger warning. Just what we need, a dictionary full of trigger warnings for the fragile among us.

    Anonymous 9:06 PM  

    Yawn. Another joke of a puzzle. Awful theme. Easy clues.

    Anonymous 9:14 PM  

    um, last I checked there's nothing unconstitutional about disparaging "entire groups" I'll reread it and check back

    Aketi 11:36 PM  

    @Malsdemere, I just laugh when people resort to the use of snowflake as an insult. I lived in upstate NY long enough to discover how readily snowflakes turn into blizzards. As for UC Berkeley, it's been verified that the rioters were outsiders, not students. The part that is unverified are the rumors about who might have sent the rioters to stir things up. Whether the rumored source of the rioters turns out to be fact or alt fact is hard to guess. I just cant take people seriously when they use a bunch of slurs as they are accusing others of not engaging in civil discourse or free speech. Some of the biggest "so-called" proponent of free speech (which usually means freedom to disparage entire grouos) dont seem to speak out against all the gag orders on governmental workers and scientists.

    Exubesq 7:25 PM  

    You still don't get to speak for all of us, or all Native Americans, or all of any group
    Please write carefully.

    Anonymous 10:55 PM  

    Sorry, I apologize for my ignorant comment above. Upon slightly more careful thought I realized that someone can hold repulsive, intolerant political views regardless of their background or choice of partner, and also it was ridiculous of me to think that protecting property comes before protecting vulnerable targeted lives.

    Unknown 6:11 PM  

    ISEULT/NEGEV = Natick for me. Ditto FLEXAGON/ARA

    Sam Buggeln 12:31 AM  

    Just reading down these comments, it looks like you're in a pretty deep minority. (Wait, are you Rex??)

    Sam Buggeln 12:32 AM  

    But not possible to discover that one is oneself? I feel a bit sorry for you.

    Sam Buggeln 12:46 AM  

    And a terrific, personal response sir. Fantastic to hear your stories and fantastic to hear how this puzzle moved you.

    Susie 11:00 AM  

    anyone able to explain wince as a cab destination - it makes no sense to me despite five days of trying to make sense of it.

    Z 11:49 AM  

    @susie - Yes. Multiple times. See the comments above.

    Susie 1:02 PM  

    the whine response to cab destination still makes no sense even with the cabernet and wine glass explanation. All the other responses that are linked to glass are logical responses - this one NOT so much

    spacecraft 12:10 PM  

    I saw what the first two acrosses were doing, adding a letter to form a real--but unmentioned in the clue--word. But H_OUR?? That's what that is; NOBODY EVER calls it a "SAND glass." That bit almost derailed me. "As sands through the hourglass, so pass the days of our lives." One of those RADIOERA soaps.

    Never heard of SEXILE, but like our guest blogger (welcome!) I'm jonesin' to use it. Um, not in our house, though. Also n.h.o. TREERAT for squirrel. Who would make up such an ugly name for such a cute little...YOWTCH! uh, never mind. I think ISEULT is just Isolde in a different language, but it took crosses to spell. Luckily I have run across (not literally, OHGEEZ!) NEGEV before: right here in crosswordland.

    A fun do, and extremely clever. BETTY White has always been, and will always be a wonderful DOD. Who loves ya, kid? Among the glass breakers--hats off to all--ISPOSE Sally RIDE was kinda cute at the time; don't know BIGELOW. But no, BETTY's my gal. With an honorable mention to Sheena EASTON. Perhaps our constructor was on the SPYGLASS Hill course when he shot this birdie at the Pebble Beach tourney.

    Burma Shave 12:35 PM  




    BS2 1:12 PM  


    Mmes. THATCHER and OCONNOR didn’t LOOKOUT for LGBT nor queer,
    I’ll HAVEASAY NOW about her honor and with IRE stick my POINT INNEREAR.


    Diana,LIW 2:16 PM  

    Wow. Right out of the box I got the first lady, and thus the revealer. Boom, boom, etc.

    Wow. 178 comments. Haven't read them, but I'd put my bets on comments re the women's marches.

    When I did my "public presentation" of my dissertation research, I had a 1/2 hour SANDGLASS to time the last part of my 50-minute hour. I also used handouts, a hand puppet, and a dollar-store Barbie wrapped in recording tape (she was all wrapped up in her research). I had watched other candidates over the years struggle with PowerPoint or other technology, requiring ITHELP at one's most nerve-provoking moment, so I went the low-tech road. The audience seemed to appreciate the show. I know I had fun.

    Had the same Natick as our guest constructor - otherwise fairly easily done for a Sunday lark.

    @BS - An entirely puzword poem - wow. I saw some of that coming. ;-)

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

    rondo 2:18 PM  

    Had to break my solve into two sittings, but did not feel STRAINED at all. Except being LATISH to work, if that’s a thing on a Sunday. My one guess was TEEINGUP the T on TESSERAE/TSOTSI.

    Always appreciate ACMES posts, when she shows up.

    Did I ever mention I opened for Johnny CASH?

    When I was a teenager I STREAKED a group of girls who were also teen AGERs. Stopped for a quick chat and some said, “It’s so big” while others said, “It’s so small.” Difference in experience ISPOSE. Offense? NONETAKEN.

    ALISTERS all: BETTY has had her yeah baby days. Gay-rohn-teed - you will be seeing much more of yeah baby CHLOE Moretz who was a teenager when this puz originally ran, but is now 20. Sheena EASTON is the only Bond theme performer to appear on-screen in that film, and for good reason. Yeah baby.

    IAGREE with all who liked this puz. And answers not hard to GROK.

    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, can you do the fandango? . . .

    AnonymousPVX 3:33 PM  

    I was kind of at sea when I finished, as much did not make sense…THEN I noticed the circles. Ahh.

    leftcoastTAM 5:09 PM  

    Very nice review by guest blogger, Jim Q. His upbeat mood influenced my own feelings about this Sunday puzzle, which I ended up admiring and enjoying.

    Indeed, some notable women featured here, including a few off-themers like BETTY White, ELANA Kagan, EUNICE Shriver, and, just missing the cut, SERENa Williams. Honorable mention goes to Sheryl Sandberg, LEANIN author and hi-tech exec. Princess ISEULT, on the other hand, rose from obscurity.


    spacecraft 6:52 PM  

    Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening!
    Mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia Figaro

    rondo 7:06 PM  

    Nothing really matters, anyone can see
    Nothing really matters to me

    rondo 8:02 PM  

    Sturgill Simpson deserves to win for both of his nominations, I've got the CD. Fantastic. He'd win if I could HAVEASAY.

    Diana,LIW 8:05 PM  

    @Spacey and @Rondo - I am so "duh" when it comes to pop culture. Is this about some awards ceremony? (ie, Grammys)? Don't get your references - anything to do with the puzzle?

    Lady Di

    rondo 8:48 PM  

    @D,LIW, my last one is about the Grammys.
    The others are lyrics from Queen's 1970s Bohemian Rhapsody, coming from a clue in the puz for ISEEA little silhouetto of a man . . .

    Sturgill Simpson really deserves a win tonight for his poignant concept "country" album that is a letter to his newborn son about the past present and future. Hard to call it your normal country album when the Dap Kings are the horn section so prominent in most of the songs. It is a work of art.

    rondo 8:50 PM  

    Therefore it has little chance to win.

    Diana,LIW 10:41 PM  

    @Rondo et al - I'm such a non-cultured bleeb. As Nick said in The Big Chilll, sometimes you have to let art flow over you. That's my take on knowing artists...I guess. As the TanTrump would say, SAD.


    Anonymous 1:08 PM  

    I got it all- except SUP
    Can someone splain that to me for"how's it hanging?"

    A rose by any other name

    Anonymous 4:48 PM  

    Actually true flexagons are not the same as the cootie catchers. Google them if interested. There are several types and some lore all their own. Martin Gardner discussed them in his column on Scientific American. Find the story about the guy who got his tie caught in one.

    wcutler 1:35 PM  

    @Anonymous at 1:08pm: SUP is short for "What's up?", which is the meaning of "How's it hanging?". I think I learned the term in the funnies.

    @Susie, as explained in a previous posting, WINCE has all but the C circled, so it's wine glass (broken by CURIE); wine glass is the destination of a cab (Cabernet wine, often referred to as "cab", for instance as "Cab Sauvignon").

    Tadpole 1:57 PM  

    "Couldn't care less" is the phrase. I loved the puzzle and loved the writeup, except for the "could care less" attitude from the cat. And Jim Q, you teach English? Sorry, I had to say something because this constant incorrect phrase is my lifetime pet peeve. But really Jim, I hope you do more filling in for Rex in the future. You did an excellent job.

    Unknown 2:55 PM  

    Which one is better? Tripod turnstile or Flap Barrier Gate ?

    Anonymous 12:58 PM  

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    Anonymous 10:11 PM  

    Good puzzle. However the First Lady to break the glass ceiling as an astronaut was Valentina Tereshkova..

    Blogger 12:23 AM  

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