Greek city mentioned in Acts of Apostles / SUN 2-19-17 / Bloblike Star Wars character / Nickname for Miami 12-time NBA All-Star / Number of French kings named Charles / Backs anatomically / Theme for annual city-magazine issue

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Uh-Oh!" — familiar phrases, "uh" sound changed to "oh" sound, wackiness

Theme answers:
  • NOTE CRACKER SUITE (23A: Office for decoding messages?)
  • STONED SILENCE (33A: What one might sit in at a Cheech & Chong movie?)
  • NO GOATS NO GLORY (46A: Herder's mantra?)
  • HOT DOG BONE (61A: Quality control problem at Oscar Mayer?)
  • DIXIE COPES (63A: Title of a book about Southern Reconstruction?)
  • BREAD AND BOATER (75A: Two sights in a yacht's galley?)
  • PHONE AND GAMES (86A: Helpful things for killing time nowadays?)
  • HOMING BIRD FEEDER (100A: Pigeon trainer, at times?)
Word of the Day: HAVOLINE (74D: Motor oil brand) —
Havoline is a motor oil brand of Texaco, a former major oil company based in the United States that is now merged with the Chevron Corporation.
• • •

A single sound change. I am semi-stunned that this puzzle concept is still a thing at all, let alone a Sunday-sized thing. There is no older theme in all puzzledom. Well, there probably is, but the sound-change is ancient. And this one in particular is wafer thin. There are hardly any limitations on this thing, which means the answers should've been One Hundred Percent Killer. If you're gonna have this basic, this wide-open, this simple a theme, then those answers need to land and land and land. I'd say two of these landed (STONED SILENCE, NO GOATS NO GLORY). The rest range from mediocre to downright pathetic. HOMING BIRD FEEDER!? That doesn't even change the basic concept of the base answer. You just changed one bird into another ... bird. It's not funny. It's not clever. It's ... the first thing you thought of that was the right length to match the almost equally flat-footed NOTE CRACKER SUITE? And look at how off these clues are. [Helpful things for killing time nowadays?] What? This works for "phone," not for "games," which have nothing to do with "nowadays." Further, "nowadays," "games" are on your "phone" much of the time, so ... clunk. More clunk: [Two sights in a yacht's galley?]. I barely know what this means. So ... you see another human in the galley ... and that person is a "boater?" Or is he wearing a "boater" hat? There. Are. Other. Butter. Terms/Phrases. In the world. If you can't come up with a themer that's aces, find another. There are infinite ones available, since your theme is barely there. DIXIE COPES? Maybe you should take another look at "Reconstruction" history. Dixie didn't "cope" so well. "AYE, THERE'S THE ROBE." See? That's a themer. Come on come on come on. The NYT must really, desperately need Sunday submissions. This is ... scraping. 

They still make NEOPETs??? (48A: Virtual dog or cat, maybe). They still say DUDED up??? (92D: Dressed to the nines, with "up"). There were *five hundred and nine* kings named Charles!??? (92A: Number of French kings named Charles) (I honestly read the answer that way until well after the puzzle was finished, when I realized DIX was not Roman numerals, but rather French for "ten") (Maybe put something in the clue indicating the answer will be in a foreign language—this puzzle can't do anything right). 

"Reader Mail"!

Hey, I got reader mail! Let's take a look:
The Onion IS NOT fake news [51A: Fake news site, with "The"]. Both Wikipedia and The Onion itself refer to it as News Satire. Fake news is "completely made up and designed to deceive readers to maximize traffic and profit". News satire uses exaggeration and introduces non-factual elements, but is intended to amuse or make a point, not deceive. (both definitions per Wikipedia)
Fake news one of the real problems in our society today. The NYT should not make it worse by misrepresenting it. 
Minister Craig Trueblood
Philadelphia, PA

If you want to appear in future installments of "Reader Mail," just send your message to rexparker at icloud dot com and write "OK to publish" somewhere therein.

Also, an announcement: I will be at the Fifth Annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition on March 18 (see info below), giving some preliminary talk but mainly just hanging out and talking to people about crosswords. Probably going to be taping some stuff for a future "On the Grid" podcast (Episode 2 up very soon, maybe later today). My podcast co-host Lena Webb will be there too. If you're in the area (central NY), you should come.

Tompkins Learning Partners (TLP) of Ithaca announces Central New York’s premier crossword event, the Fifth Annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 from 1-4:00pm. This event is an important fundraiser for TLP, a LiteracyNY affiliated non-profit organization, which provides literacy tutoring, free of charge, for over 100 adults in our community. Puzzlemaster Adam Perl will once again create three original crosswords for the event. Individuals, or teams of up to four, are invited to compete for prizes in one of three levels of difficulty.

For the first time, rather than a set entry fee, players may choose to pay what they can comfortably afford.

To see individual and team pricing, rules, schedule and online registration forms please go to our website at
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Unknown 1:04 AM  

I carved this up; one of the easiest Sundays for me in over a year. Only two snags: NENE vs NIÑO or NIÑA? [87d: Spanish kids]; and the DIX/DUDED cross. I wanted TEN for 92a [# of French King Chucks] which gave me NIKON for 94d [Canon rival], which just left me scratching my head in that SE, especially since the STENO cross still worked. Changing TEN to SIX got me closer, made less sense, and led to further headscratching. I had a feeling it wanted a French spelling and...eventually...after staring at that corner for a good 2-3 minutes...finally sorted it out.

Greg 1:04 AM  

Unfortunately, I have to agree with Rex on this one. Not much bite, not much to be excited about. Though I love JANKY. I would have called it more on the easy side, but either way, pretty dull all around.

chefwen 1:36 AM  

Easy, but I loved it. Every theme answer brought a chuckle. STONED SILENCE and NO GOATS NO GLORY resulted in a guffaw, a muffled one, but it was a guffaw. Husband kept looking at me like I had lost it.

Finding a HOT DOG BONE would be truly unsettling.

Anonymous 1:40 AM  

What @Rex said. Although I thought HOMINGBIRD FEEDER was fine.

SIX before DIX. CRAWfish before CRAWDADS.

John Child 1:53 AM  

I fell for all the rabbit holes enumerated so far plus a few more, but the fill was easy enough and very clean IMO that none of the mistakes stood for long. On paper, so no time. It felt like I was working quickly though.

No complaint about the theme idea from me. I'm not a punny guy but some of these felt smack on to me. GOATS and BOATER both made me laugh. Not so all the others, but eight themers nonetheless... And very scrabbly -- got yer 4 Xs for 32 points right there...

Today is George Barany’s birthday. Wish him well. You’ll find out which birthday it is if you solve this puzzle: <a href="”></a>.

John Child 1:53 AM  

Bah! What's wrong with that HTML tag?

Larry Gilstrap 1:54 AM  

I filled up this Sunday grid with very few erasures and due to fatigue, only had to take one short break around the Mason-Dixon Line. In retrospect, I see very few black squares and only a handful of three letter fill. I can't imagine the complexity involved in constructing such a large themed grid, so kudos to Haight or anybody whose puzzle doesn't suck.

Shout out to my mom's family from the Ozarks of SW Missouri. I bet there were more than a few DIXIE COPES, as well as some Union COPES; brother battling brother, no doubt. Are will still fighting that war 150 years later?

RBIS pluralized? Not so much anymore, based upon the baseball reporting I hear. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Lots of good young bands choose lousy names and then, much to their surprise, gain notoriety, I'm looking at you Goo-Goo Dolls, Bare Naked Ladies, Butthole Surfers, et al. Thank goodness the artist Nick Murphy realized he was better than Chet Faker and not yet as good as Chet Baker. Embrace being eponymous as opposed to being anonymous. My life is an open book.

jae 1:56 AM  

Easy-medium and I'm kinda with @Rex on this one. NO GOATS and STONED were the highlights, the rest...not so much.

CDilly52 2:36 AM  

Well, I won't rant about the Onion being satire rather than fake news, Rex having already taken care of that. My solve was kind of like driving my 1979 Karman Ghia in its death throes. I would just get to cruising speed and wham!- vapor lock. Loved "no goats..." but agree that the others were weak. Sprained both my ankles from falling in the aforementioned rabbit holes, too, including thinking that DIX was 509. Persevered and finished,

Moly Shu 3:07 AM  

Holy crap, HIS and UNU crushed me. Just couldn't see HULAS and INEPT. Liked GIZMOS and BOOZE.

Unknown 3:08 AM  

Can't put my finger on why, but this was just not an enjoyable puzzle. Kind of felt like a slog the whole time. Probably because the theme answers didn't strike me as funny or clever. Oh well....on with the rest of my Sunday.

Carola 4:28 AM  

About halfway through solving, it occurred to me that "Uh-Oh" was an apt title, as I was pretty sure a thorough evisceration would be coming from @Rex. I didn't think this was one of Bruce Haight's strongest efforts - it was short on the crisp wit I'm used to in his weekday puzzles, with the exception of STONED SILENCE and the GOATS. For the latter, the GLORY might have fit better with a prize-winning chevre maker.

ST[unn]ED SILENCE over I VOTED reminded me of watching the Wisconsin returns come in.

'mericans in Paris 5:24 AM  

We completed the first 90% of the puzzle in record time, but then got stuck in the western NY State area, not knowing the name of Burma's first Prime Minister, and refusing to accept that HULA could be an answer to the clue "Great shakes?". But that's because we were thinking of HULA Hoop (which requires rhythmic motion), not the original dance. So, we CEDE that one to Mr. Haight.

The second Hawai'ian answer (hey @chefwen!), NENES, we got wrong. Like others, we first had NiÑoS, but then had to change the "i" to an "E" to fit RELEASE. Forgot to change the "o" to an "E", so ended up with CANo at 105A. AW HECK.

The theme itself is decidedly Unfriendly to Masked and Anonymous. It shuld have invulved changing "o" sunds to "U's", right M&A?

We agree with @Rex that the theme answers were weak, but agree with others that the fill is pretty good. The cluing, on the other hand, could have been better. I got in XEROX and then CODEX, and just automatically stuck in sIX instead of DIX. Despite living in France, we haven't paid much attention to its Kings. We're much more familiar with the Louis's and Henri's than the Charles's.

Also Naticked at the DWAnNE-BOnD crossing, and the NEtPET-MyS crossing. So we didn't even get close to a clean finish. Call us INEPT.

Greetings to all of you just WAKING UP!

Lewis 6:29 AM  

I appreciate the effort and skill that went into making this. I learned JANKY and like it. The puzzle made me try to think of alternate answers (and the best I could come up with was something the Wicked Witch of the West might say: "I'm a soaker for punishment!" -- so I saw that it was not easy to come up with good answers (like @rex did with "Aye, there's the robe"). It was an excellent excellent brain workout. And yet, in the end, I felt exhausted rather than elated, like I had just finished a grueling test in school. So, overall, I'm grateful for your puzzle, Bruce, truly, but also glad it is behind me.

Anonymous 6:29 AM  

2 wee bits o' push-back. One can read that PHONE AND GAMES are helpful *in combination.* Didn't St. Jon Stewart hisself refer to the Daily Show as "fake news?" I'm old enough to remember that.

Joseph Bleaux 7:11 AM  

39:00 to fill in everything except those two dumb squares at 10 and 11. HULAS just was not coming to me (and for good reason) and those two downs are just . . .

All that and I get a DNF. This proves that God is dead; hell, I'm an Archbishop so it must be true.

RAD2626 7:14 AM  

Agree that GOATS was the funniest themer but only objected to the BOATER one as being nonsensical rather than whacky. put STONEy SILENCE in first before I got the theme which looked perfectly fine. Assumed PHONE AND GAMES "nowadays" referred to apps which is apt if inelegant. Enjoyed the puzzle overall.

Loren Muse Smith 7:27 AM  

I was happy to see Bruce’s name at the top this morning because I knew the trick would be some kind of phonetic deal. This always fluts my butt. Always. I don’t care how long this kind of theme has been around – it’s always a nice little trip into the wacky.

Lots of Greek life today – ETA, BEREA, AGORA, IRENE, ATHENA, LETO. And MUSE. Sigh. Bruce always has to do that for me. Stop it – it’s embarrassing.

Fun crosses – HULAS/LEI and BOOZE/PIZZA. I’M IN, man.

I liked the two “Canon rival” clues – especially since both answers had O as the fourth letter. I bet I’m not the only one who had NIKON first down there for XEROX. And like @Jerome C. Posatko and others, that N had me putting “ten” before DIX.

Loved seeing the ONION in the grid. Here’s some (fake) news for you. The cool thing about good satire is that it really, really flirts with believability. If I saw this on Facebook, I’d almost believe it. Sad.

As always with a theme like this, I, too, have to stare off and think of other possibilities. I liked Rex’s “Aye, there’s the robe” and @Lewis’s “soaker for punishment.” I came up with some meh ones: hockey poke, phony papers, budget coat, pope tent, home dinger, nip and toke, creep soap… I’ll be hearing words all day through this filter.

Nice one, Bruce. A pleasure, as always!

Anonymous 7:38 AM  

Always Sony in Philadelphia.

Leapfinger 7:45 AM  

@Anony0629,with you on PHONE AND GAMES. Manohman, IdomissJonStewart

Happy Birthday to @Perfessor George, who's still just a Babe in Arms. GB, you're fairly close to Toronto, so I can say May you be forever Yonge? [mwah]

@JohnChild, lovely puzzle. I won't tell how long it took me to parse 47A. There's no Mount Astarte in Minnesoda, I guess.

I love my wife, but O U kid!!

Kdunk 8:26 AM  

A Tone of Bricks

TomAz 8:38 AM  

This was fine. Yes the swap-out-sounds-for-hilarity thing has been done a million times before. That doesn't bother me like it does Rex. It's a staple.

The themers themselves were hit-or-miss, and mostly miss. NO GOATS is the clear winner, I am going to see if I can work that one into a conversation this week. But DIXIE COPES is as bad as NO GOATS is good.

I had CRAWFISH, then stopped myself and said, no east coasters say CRAYFISH. Change the Y back to W was easy, but the DADS part took me a little longer.

My stumble was I had MALTS where HULAS should have gone, making that part of the puzzle the last to be completed.

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

Agree with Rex. A slog throughout. Very flimsy theme.

pmdm 8:54 AM  

In a living language, words changes their meaning. As I was growing up, if you called someone Black you were insulting the person. You were supposed to say Negro. Over time, the connotation of the words changed, altering the actual meaning of what you were saying.

I would imagine a word can change its meaning faster when its coinage is fairly recent. I am quite troubled when two ideas like "satire" and "fake news" are confused. But I have certainly noticed different people giving different meanings to the term "fake news." When our single-minded president uses the term, he seems to give the meaning "news published by a media outlet that criticizes me" which really not what the term means. Perhaps enough people use the term in a way to justify its inclusion of web sites that publish satire. The comments here make me happy to know that not everyone has started misusing the term.

On a different note, themes that stand the test of time tend to do so because they deserve to stand the test of time. In classical music, Sonata Form stood the test of time well into the 20th century and I think it would serve contemporary composers well to reconsider using it more frequently today. In Jazz music, the 12 bar blues form needs no alteration, simple as it is. And so on. The vowel sound change theme in crossword puzzle remains an enjoyable theme, assuming it is used with skill. (Not every piece of music written in Sonata Form or Blues form is a gem.) It's about quality, not familiarity.

pmdm 9:21 AM  

Read today's Times after posting my comment. There is a one page story in the first section of the paper written by Deb Amin of the Wordplay blog. In case anyone is interested.

Generic Solver 9:23 AM  

MOS crossing with NEOPET == Natick for me. Had NETPET, seems like a reasonable guess for "Virtual dog or cat". For me, any rapper's name without DRE in it is random letter guessing. YMMV, I realize.

Also, initially had NINOS instead of NENES, is it child vs. infant (I'm not fluent in Spanish)? I thought maybe so, but only adds to the confusion.

RooMonster 9:39 AM  

Hey All !
Not a huge fan of this puz, but didn't totally suck either. Hslf and half. First world problems, and all that.

Lots of traps I fell into, CRAWfish-CRAWDADS, caCHE-NICHE, six-DIX (never changed, bad, bad answer), urge-GOAD, maLtS-HULAS (also didn't change, but a neat answer), lag-OWE, hitS-RBIS, coldCASE-OPENCASE.

Oh well, at least Bruce got it published.

Light weight? NO TON


AliasZ 9:46 AM  

@Rex, "...Maybe put something in the clue indicating the answer will be in a foreign language...". How about the word "French" in "Number of French kings named Charles"? LOLZ

@GB, happy birthday! Although if you are anything like me, you don't want to be reminded.

@John Child, fun puzzle. Here is the link again for anyone interested. Fave clue: 56A.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Charles Flaster 9:50 AM  

Easy and just fun. PHONE AND GAMES was favorite themer. Could not believe I knew MOS Def!
Thanks BH.

Debra 10:02 AM  

This type of puzzle done so much better in New York Magazine of all places.

Z 10:31 AM  

@John Child - The only hypothesis I have is that having the text also be the website made Blogger hiccup. I don't see anything wrong with the tag.

HOT DOG BONE also got a smile here, so three themers hit for me. I feel like this is the sort of puzzle theme type that would benefit from co-construction. Two people firing back possible themers will spark a lot of creativity and wackiness, yielding a larger pool of possible themers. I also feel like the cluing played it too straight too often.

I had a personal niggle at BREAD AND BOATER. "Boater" has a specific pejorative meaning where I worked, where second and third generation kids could be especially hard on kids who were "just off the boat." The term can hardly be new, but Is not one I've heard outside of Dearborn (a landing spot for waves of immigrants from Poland, Italy, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen amongst others) so I don't know that it resonates elsewhere the same way.

G. Weissman 10:37 AM  

So the idea is that stoned viewers at a Cheech and Chong movie will be silent? Because smoking pot typically makes folks watching comedies be very, very quiet, right? And abstain from eating popcorn too, no doubt.

Teedmn 10:44 AM  

NO GOATS, NO GLORY today. I was stymied at every turn. I couldn't see the obvious answers if my life DEPENDED on it (and yes, that was one I was blocked on, sheesh!)

Call me dense, but I'm not seeing HIS as the start of any emails. I liked GIZMOS and PIZZAS clued as "Circular things that arrive in square boxes" (another answer that took far too long for me to grok). But this was no PHONE AND GAMES for me - I think I'm just too tired for crosswords this morning.

Z 10:46 AM  

@Teedmn - One HI, two HIS.

Teedmn 10:47 AM  

Yup, you just have to see your comment in print and then the Uh-Oh sinks in. Emails might start with "Hi", plural, aha.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 10:51 AM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

evil doug 10:54 AM  

"I had a personal niggle at BREAD AND BOATER. "Boater" has a specific pejorative meaning where I worked, where second and third generation kids could be especially hard on kids who were "just off the boat." The term can hardly be new, but is not one I've heard outside of Dearborn (a landing spot for waves of immigrants from Poland, Italy, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen amongst others) so I don't know that it resonates elsewhere the same way."

1. It doesn't resonate here. I've never heard of that.
2. The clue referred to 'yachts'. Not exactly immigrant related. How does that stimulate your need to raise your hackles?
3. And so you're suggesting the word 'boater' should be eliminated from crosswords and perhaps all polite conversation since in one highly limited, localized and dated reference kids might have used it to be, gosh, mean?

Thanks, Z, for again proving that word usage should be free and open, and only known ill intent to insult or denigrate should raise concern. There's none of that here. Innocent until proven guilty....

Bruce Haight 10:59 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith
Kudos to you for coming up with some good alternate theme entries- as for Rex's AYE THERE's THE RUB and @Lewis's SOAKER FOR PUNISHMENT those don't work because they have UH sounds that didn't get converted to OH sounds. It's pretty challenging to come up with good theme entries, especially long ones, that don't have "a", "the", "one", "some", "up", and a buhnch of UHther words with the UH sound. Go uhead and give it uh shot!

Charley 11:03 AM  

Janky is a thing? Spellcheck wants hanky. Who knew? Spanish children are niños, not nenes. That's slang.

Nancy 11:05 AM  

Too many names. I crashed and burned in the left-middle of the South, not knowing ENOCH, WASHES, BOYD, DWAYNE, BEREA and SEOUL. Never thought of NHL for the group of Senators. Guess the horrors going on in the nation's capitol are too much on my mind. I had L---O-- at 80D, so I should have gotten LANE ONE. And, if I'd had MOO instead of MAA at 101D, I would have gotten SEOUL; I already had the U from ICU. Oh, and I never thought of PHONE AND GAMES; I was looking for PHONE App GAMES.

Enough out of my wheelhouse that this puzzle wasn't completely gettable for me. But it was more gettable than I made it.

Nancy 11:09 AM  

Wonderful avatar, @Loren!!!!!

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

This is one of the worst puzzles I have ever done. No fun. No laughs. No meaning. Just an annoying slog with no redeeming features. BREAD AND BOATER????????????? Yech!!!!!!

puzzle hoarder 11:17 AM  

My phone just lost everything I was texting in. I'll just say I had a single dnf. I changed IRENE to ERENE.As DEX seems the more likely way the French would spell the word ten. In my defence you won't find IRENE as a God in my Webster's but the Greek root of the word ironic is eirene so I favored the E for that reason too. Sure IRENE has been clued this way 14x in the Shortz era but that's in from list of 167 and these things get lost.

r.alphbunker 11:37 AM  

Same experience as @Teedmn

Details are here.

GILL I. 11:37 AM  

Wasn't on Bruce's wavelength today. Started off with JABBA (which I liked for a first answer) and stalled at JANKY. Is that the same as skanky? Took a while to get NOTE CRACKER SUITE and decided I would like this. NO GOATS....favorite but groaned at BREAD AND BOATER. So, I'll give it TWO smiles and one frown and an A for coming up with these Uh-Oh themes.
Are Dwade and Dwyayne related?
@Jerome. The NYT constantly gets Spanish wrong and it bothers me no end. I won't get into my ANO diatribe but, but NENES is wrong. They are not kids...they are BABIES or INFANTS. Kids and children are either hijos/hijas or ninos/ninas. And I don't know a single SEOUL that says they Arroyos their ropa. Arroyos = stream or brook.
Happy birthday George. May flowers produce February Aquarians. We are a special bunch, aren't we?

Z 11:50 AM  

@Evil Doug - I didn't suggest anything. In fact, I pointed out twice that my reaction is localized. Heck, even in my hometown a "boater" is just someone who goes out on the lake. As for pejoratives in general, my general (and oft repeated so I don't understand why people keep misrepresenting it) stance is always to say whatever you like, just recognize the words you use say a lot about you. Just spare me "it is just a word" defenses. If one* goes around calling people names don't act surprised when someone gives you a black eye or calls you a racist or doesn't want to associate with you or your business.

@Charley - JANKY is even in the Oxford English Dictionary, so definitely a thing. Also, Niños are children, NENES are babies. "Kid" can be used for children or babies so it is best to hold off writing in the vowels until you have the crosses.

@Teedmn - We've all been there.

@Gill I - Just in case you weren't joking, it is D. WADE. The D stands for Dwayne so yes, related. Dwayne, Dwight, Dweezil. Do we ever use "dw" for anything besides names?

I think that's my quota for the day. Toodles.

*See what Rex does to you? I almost used the too easily misunderstood "you" instead of the impersonal "one" there.

Bound To Happen: 11:57 AM  

LMAO! C'mon doug, yer just pokin the bear now aintcha?

You know @Z "virtue signals" every chance he gets. You also know he always has to have the last word. Ergo, I'm looking forward to the inevitable peeing contest that is bound to follow. Well done!

Wow! I couldn't even type these few lines and post before @Z was right back in your face. Its gonna be an interesting afternoon.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 12:02 PM  

Agree with Rex today. This was not fun. Except homingbird feeder is ok because a hummingbird feeder is something people hang up in their backyard to attract the little guys. So it is a different meaning of feeder. But I did not enjoy this much.

r.alphbunker 12:03 PM  

@John Child

You left off the http://

<a href=''>Barany birthday</a>

Teedmn 12:07 PM  

Happy Birthday, @George Barany!

And thanks for the puzzle, @John Child, though 47A was a WOE and it shouldn't have been for me!

Unknown 12:08 PM  

Maybe Dixie Copes refers to Cope Saws...ergo the reconstruction? No? Maybe?

Duane Allman 12:13 PM  

Happy birthday George B.

Duane Eddy 12:19 PM  

Happy birthday George B.

Blue Stater 12:41 PM  

Just awful, for all the reasons Rex and others set forth in detail. Worst in quite a while, and particularly annoying to have it fall on Sunday, which used to be relatively free of the "improvements" initiated by the current regime.

Numinous 12:49 PM  

BREAD AND BOATERS actually made me laugh once I got over my amazement that it was actually in the puzzle. I'm not going to get all @Rexish and discuss hanging a hat in the galley so I'll just assume @Bruce simply meant someone who "simply messes about in boats"*. I'd never use the term BOATER for those folks though. The only term. I know is "yachtie" which I've known since forever though professor google tells me that it's chiefly from Australia and New Zealand.

In thinking about this puzzle, especially with regard for @Mr. Haight's comment earlier, I think it is tight and tidy. So often @Rex will come up with the complaint that one vowel sound was changed in and answer while another was not. STONED SILENCE? Some things are mind boggling and can leave even a pothead speechless. NOTE CRACKER SUITE was the first thing to catch my attention.I just didn't know what to make of that. NO GOATS NO GLORY was what finally gave me my "DUH" (pardon the pun) moment. Sometimes it takes me all week to catch on to stuff.

This took me forever to do which made up for Friday's disappointment. I didn't think it was hard but it kept me pondering for a long time. I was thinking maLtS for "great shakes?" until I finally realized there was a clue in the downs there. LEI. HULAS just fell right in. The ? should have given it away. OH WAIT, actually, come to think of it, isn't a HULA more swaying than shaking. It seems to me that Tahitian dancing is much shakier than the HULA. Oh well, what do I know, anyway?

I know that this kept me engaged and kept me from getting to the tasks I'd set myself for today.

*Thank you, Kenneth Grahame.

John 1:38 PM  

Apparently there were 11 "onze" kings of France named Charles, not 10 "dix." Apparently there were two Charles IIIs, Charles III the Fat (881 to 888) and Charles III the Simple (898 until 922).

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

... and then there was Charles III-ter, the Fat & Simple.

'mericans in Paris 1:49 PM  

Hockey poke ("Foul on ice?"

Anonymous 1:55 PM  


Your right. The Onion is so close to reality people believe it. Actually, I was awaiting eSCAPE to cross GOAT and twittEr to cross FEED. After all, this is the NYTX. I could go on about the EVOKING STONEDSILENCE because IVOTED but was denied the result because of HACKERS, etc., but that would be just PHONEANDGAMES.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  


Sorry, forgot signature. GWood

Churlish Nabob 2:38 PM  

Could you believe the way Shortz bitch-slapped Michael the other day?

Hungry Mother 3:03 PM  

Found this one mostly easy. I stared at JANKY for a while before accepting that it must be so. I enjoyed the solve as I rested my legs after this morning's hot and humid half marathon in Naples, FL.

Orange Is The New Black 3:39 PM  


Great avatar! It shows you've got a real keen sense of humor, but of course, we all know that.

Speaking of humor, its not often that a little paper like The Aspen Times catches the eye of big media. Their take on the well known movie Thelma & Louise, is worth a look.

Like Larry The Cable Guy is fond of saying,"Now I don't care who you are, that's funny!"


jberg 4:05 PM  

@Z, I think there are non-name DW sounds in English, but I don't want to dwell on the point.

And in the category of weird pejoratives, a friend of mine who wrote a biography of John McCormack, late Speaker of the House, discovered that McCormack had lied about his father, claiming that he was dead when he was not. His theory was that McCormack didn't want it to be known that his family were "two-boaters," i.e. Irish who had settled first in Newfoundland but come to Boston later. It was considered superior to have come to Boston in the first place. I interpreted the answer as the hat, though.

In some Nancy Mitford novel, a French aristocrat who is sweeping a single mother off her feet deamnds of her son whether has learned the 40 kings of France yet -- then explains that it isn't all that hard, since 16 of them were Louis and another 10 were Charles. So I knew the answer, but I tried xIX anyway after TEN didn't work. And I finally got LETO only because I had tried LEDa first.

As for the theme -- I did find some of them a little weak. I was looking for PHONE GAMES, but I guess you can both call (phone) people and play games on the same device.

I was just happy to finish.

MetroGnome 4:47 PM  

Uh . . .
* "HIS" is the start of many emails?
* Spanish kids are "NENES" (not "NINOS" or "NINAS")?

These maketh no sense to me ...

Lili 4:54 PM  

"Cope" is an architectural term, so it's possible it's being used as one in "Dixie Copes". That was my interpretation.

wgh 5:04 PM  

DNF because I found it too boring

Norm 5:24 PM  

This was very entertaining. C'mon people, STONED SILENCE and NO GOATS NO GLORY should entitle the constructor to be cut a bit of slack on the weaker ones. If I have any complaint, it's with titles that give the theme away too quickly, although I have to admit that it still took me a long time to see NOTE CRACKER SUITE since JANKY was not in my mental database.

Anonymous 6:45 PM  

@Metro: HI'S.

Z 7:34 PM  

@jberg - Your "dw" knowledge obviously dwarfs my own.

@r.alph - was the single quote instead of double intentional? Happy Barany birthday one last time.

Norm 8:00 PM  

@Z and @jberg: Stop being such dweebs. :)

RooMonster 8:18 PM  

Yeah, don't dwell on the fact of being dweebs, it might dwarf your sense of being, and dwindle you in your dwelling.
Just sayin ...


Anonymous 8:23 PM  

@Lili - You're not doing outrage right.

Anonymous 9:47 PM  


Regarding the avatar, why no Barry with a 'fro over the last 8 years? Just asking.

bswein99 10:57 PM  

Not only was the answer "Dixie Copes" clunky, but it's also offensive. After the first few years of Radical Reconstruction ended, southern whites rapidly whittled away the gains made by the former slaves and re-instated a system of white supremacy and terror. Who would describe that as "coping'?

Anonymous 11:16 PM  


That case of white guilt you're experiencing might be terminal? I suggest you have a conscience scan as soon as possible before your condition metastasizes into a uncontrollable urge to join the Nation Of Islam.

Joe Bleaux 12:37 AM  

Uncle Joseph!? I heard you got religion after you got caught with ... well, no point in going into all that. But ARCHBISHOP? Wow.

Slappy White 1:23 AM  

@Anonymous 11:16, how bout I shove my black NOI Johnson up your white alt-right rectum?

Anonymous 9:01 PM  


Anonymous 7:41 PM  

We Canadians get this 6 days late. One thing I will say is these puzzles are so America First. TV, movies, food, brands, baseball, etc.
You all need to get out more.
Try the North of Sixty in the Toronto Star.

Burma Shave 11:12 AM  


as DWAYNE and I drink BOOZE TOTHEMAX with an OPIATE fix,
AWHECK, after these BREWs there’s nothing ELSE DOING with DIX.


spacecraft 12:02 PM  

Well, I finished with no errors and only the writeover of fish for DADS like a lot of others. AWHECK. I kind of agree with OFL on this one; a few of the wacks were funny but most were not. The overall experience was...meh. An amusing duo, DWAYNE DWADE, kept it from being an insufferable slog. Also liked the meeting of PIZZAS, GIZMOS and BOOZE. Sounds like every bit as much fun as 86-across.

The NW and SE corners are severely pinched off, creating problems for the solver. It took a while to come up with what the theme was going for; STONEDSILENCE didn't seem to fit the U-->O change at first. But when I got the hilarious NOGOATSNOGLORY the die was cast. Then I reread 33-across and finally--"OHWAIT-it's supposed to be stunned!" So it was only then I went back and worked out that great office ballet at 23-across. So, there's a BATES College? Um, I wouldn't recommend the dorm! JANKY?? If you say so. Guess there's no such thing as a "uLARM." Sorry, @M&A. And the SE was even worse! Didn't know LETO, and "Draw" could be anything. Finally remembered my French...DUDED up? Wow, "Y'all git DUDED UP fer the barn dance now!"

DOD? You're gonna love this: Olivia De HAVOLINE! Well, ya hadda be there. When your leadoff pitch is JABBA, you can't do worse than: par.

rondo 12:11 PM  

A few sticking points in the E and SE, especially entering “lag” where OWE belonged. That g in lag made a nice “graph” where it was actually poly ESTER. Inkfest ensued. NOGOATSNOGLORY made me SMILE. And maybe STONEDSILENCE. The others, meh.

JABBA’s from Star Wars, PIZZA’S from Spaceballs.

STEVIE Ray Vaughn crashed and died on my birthday. Heard the news while at the MN State Fair. A great loss. Immediately had a BREW in remembrance.

Looking AROUND the grid, butnot coming up with a yeah baby. Maybe UNU that. OHWAIT, anyone who dares sport a pair of Daisy DUKES?

Kinda JANKY Sun-puz, IMHO. Nose back to the grindstone even though IMIN the office ALONE today.

rondo 12:17 PM  

@spacey - Olivia De HAVOLINE - Tree.Mend.Us!
And if you thought Aly Raison was perfect at the Olympics last summer, well, the SI swimsuit edition proves it.

Diana,LIW 3:13 PM  

Well, you know I liked the puns.

The rest of the "solve" had its moments - highs (STONEDSILENCE) and lows (ARTILY). Finally caved in the middle after a couple of hours. Having AXers for AXMEN didn't help. At all. Neither did NiNoS.

My favorite moment was getting LANEONE off the L. I'm not often on BH's wavelength - not sure why.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 3:32 PM  

I found the puzzle very entertaining, and I smiled/laughed at most of the themers. This may be a much-used theme type, but it still works just fine. "Sire, is this your dressing gown"? "Aye, there's the robe". Good one, @rex.

Yes, I read OFL's post, and wished I didn't. Takes away from my fun, er phone, if I had read it on my mobile.

Anyway, the puzzle was pretty tight, I thought, with enough resistance to make me want to finish, but not so much that I would quit. Plus the light humour.

@Spacey - Olvia de Havoline! Right on. She coulda done Texaco commercials.

leftcoastTAM 5:32 PM  

Okay, Rex is right about the irregularities in the theme answers, but I was impressed by how they all worked out with a little tolerance for the sounds of U's substituted for O's .

And, contra Rex, HO[U}MINGBIRD FEEDER does not use one category of FEEDERs. The first refers to a person who feeds pigeons, the second to a thing, a feeding station you'd probably hang out on the deck or porch.

NOGO[U}ATS NO GLORY was the toughest and the last to decipher successfully.


It took a while (I mean a lot of time), but it was worth it. A gratifying finish.

AnonymousPVX 5:34 PM  

Took all day to get to it, finished but left me kind of "meh". Not a fan of the gimmick puzzle and this was kind of weak tea.

leftcoastTAM 6:52 PM  

@Burma Shave: Very clever and amusing short story. Thanks for the chuckle, again.

BS2 7:24 PM  

@lefty - Thanks. At one time I sort of DEPENDED on it. Great for a short time. Unsustainable. And at the time, couldn't have just LANEONE.

strayling 7:42 PM  

I so wanted DIXIE COUPS to be right.

leftcoastTAM 8:01 PM  

@straying: Apt idea.

Unknown 10:32 PM  


Unknown 5:08 PM  

I think it needs http://

Blogger 10:06 PM  

Do you need free Twitter Followers?
Did you know you can get these ON AUTOPILOT & ABSOLUTELY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP