Illegal pitching motion / TUE 3-28-17 / 18th-century mathetmatician who introduced function / Inspiring 1993 movie about Notre Dame football team / Tom who coached Dallas Cowboys for 29 years

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Constructor: Ryan Milligan

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: adjective --> adverb: relatively famous people have their adjective last names turned into adverbs, as they are imagined saying things in a manner befitting their last names

Theme answers:
  • 20A: "Sorry I'm in your space, it's a n actress thing," said GLENN CLOSELY
  • 28A: "Don't interrupt me on my radio show," said HOWARD STERNLY
  • 46A: "Gotta run, pop concert calls," said TAYLOR SWIFTLY
  • 54A: "Right to the point: You're beautiful, it's true," said JAMES BLUNTLY 
Word of the Day: ALDO Gucci (17A: Designer Gucci) —
Aldo Gucci (26 May 1905 – 19 January 1990) was the chairman of Gucci Shops Inc. from 1953 to 1986. He was the eldest son of Guccio Gucci, who founded the company bearing his name in 1921. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is out of a can. The Tom Swifty, one of the oldest and lowest forms of wordplay, has been used A Lot as the basis for crossword themes, both NYT and otherwise. I rarely like such puzzles at all, but I have seen them done with a certain degree of thoughtfulness and polish—where all the theme answers are thematically linked somehow, for instance (here's a WSJ one that Sam Donaldson did where all the answers are imagined as things a tailor might say). But this one just seems lazy—find (relatively) famous people with adjectives as last names; turn last names into adverbs; write wacky clue. You could do a lot of these. Judith Lightly, Martin Shortly, Jean Smartly, Barney Frankly, Christopher Crossly, Michael Sharply (wink), etc. Today's themers have nothing in common and the clues aren't that funny and The End. Also, the fill is middling to less-than-middling. It's a bust all around. In short, it's a Tuesday.

I saw people (well, person) on Twitter saying the puzzle was extremely easy. My time was totally normal. Theme felt mostly easy, but I had a bunch of little things slow me down slightly. DNA for RNA (31D: Material in strands), for one. Then somehow cluing DRAMA as a "class" made no sense to me and I needed every cross (9A: Class with masks?). Then I rediscovered that I can't spell SPORADIC (I used a "T" !?) (38D: Occasional). Do people really remember who James Blunt is? He strikes me as a one-hit wonder who is not at all on the level of the other theme answers, fame-wise. Also, his one hit is nothing I care to remember—like nails on the chalkboard of my soul. Wincingly cloying. It was massive, for sure. But that clue did not clearly point to a person when I first looked at it (54A: Right to the point: You're beautiful, it's true," said ___), and I imagine it will be the least familiar themer of the day for most folks.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 6:35 AM  

Nice to have a puzzle now and again that you smile through and don't have to bear down on. Some good answers: EULER, DEALMEIN, SPORADIC, YIPS, and a terrific clue for WELL.

"I have no flowers," said Tom, lackadaisically.

BarbieBarbie 6:43 AM  

@Lewis, best one yet! Yep, never heard of James Blunt but still figured he must exist after a few crosses. Super-easy, half my average time. Probably my only single-digit time ever so I think I'll stop looking.
The jokes seem like things my parents would have said, but no issue there. An enjoyable puzzle.

Loren Muse Smith 6:44 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 6:46 AM  

Yeah – I figured that Rex would be unimpressed by this as he doesn’t care for Swifties. And, yeah, yeah, let the sharply jokes begin:

“68A is not talking about me,” said Michael sharply.

I love Swifties, love that so many are sneaky. It can be such a sly pun that many may not even catch, and that pleases me. I really liked this puzzle. Ryan found four adjectives that don’t require any kind of spelling change – just slap that LY on and you’re done. No Oliver stonily or Kevin spacily. Nice. I’ve poked around Google and found this one:

“Don’t change that channel! It’s The Wonder Years,” yelled Fred savagely.

For the revered Star Wars guy, I had a misspelled “Jaba” then “Yoda” and then JEDI.

I have managed to teach my kids some pretty useless things, and as I’ve said here before, a biggie is that NAÏVE has a diaeresis over that I. Well, ok, it’s disappearing, but still. I put the font on 48 on the smartboard and type a sentence to show them how Word automatically adds it. “Do it again,” someone usually whispers. Funny how you get their full attention on some things. (Another attention-getter is to call my son or daughter on speaker phone to see if they can spell one of the vocabulary words of the week. Said son and daughter are learning just not to answer the phone if it’s my number during the day. I mean, can you blame them? Who wants to be put on the spot and have to spell conscientiously in front of 28 kids?)

Ryan – I'm with @Lewis and @BarbieBArbie - good fun this morning. I think I’ll turn on some Hungarian Rhapsody. I’m just feeling a bit sluggish…

Glimmerglass 6:56 AM  

Easy as 1-2-3. Never heard of BLUNT, but I didn't need to, the answer soon emerged from the adverb. Not much else slowed me up. I like Swifties if they're clever ones, but these ones weren't. So I'd have panned this Tuesday -- too easy jokes, and too easy a solve.

Lobster11 7:06 AM  

"In short, it's a Tuesday." 'nuf said.

Jeremy Mercer 7:15 AM  

James Blunt has songs with 158 million listens, 95 million listens, and 75 million listens on Spotify... Maybe he's more of an international star, but it amazes me that he is considered an unknown or a one-hit wonder in the US...

Elle54 7:25 AM  

Liked "you're Beautiful" by James Blunt! But have to admit I usually don't know Rappers' names

kitshef 7:27 AM  

Liked it. Like words, like wordplay, like swifties.

Easy -- easier than Monday -- because so many of the themers could go in off only a couple of letters.

Poor James Blunt. My first reaction was 'who?', but eventually the memory came crawling back. He seems to be a decent person as pop stars go - big supporter of Medecins Sans Frontiers. Just not memorable;.

You're Beautiful is one of those songs that pops up on lists of the worst songs ever, along with the likes of Sussudio and Who Let the Dogs Out.

Forsythia 7:32 AM  

I don't know BLUNT but not a problem. This could have been a puzzle in a puzzle book, no zip, lots of 3 letter words.

Marcie 7:35 AM  

@Elle54 James Blunt is not a rapper! Wonderful performer.

Hungry Mother 7:46 AM  

Very quick solve today, concentrating on the downs and the theme entries. Faster than yesterday.

chefbea 7:49 AM  

Hand up for never heard of James Blunt...but I love swifties. and I love pesto...make it all the time when my basil is blooming.

Anonymous 7:52 AM  

Rex's point is well-taken, but to be fair if the constructor had used the additional clues he mentioned, then he really would have been repeating this puzzle:

FPBear 8:29 AM  

What are those big ugly animals in the water said Tom hippocritically.

pmdm 8:30 AM  

BarbieBarbie et. al: I really wasn't being defensive yesterday. I enjoyed Z's comment. Sorry if it came off that way.

Loren Muse Smith: Loved your comment. Made me laugh.

QuasiMojo 8:38 AM  

I'm always amazed that people find these sort of ghastly puns funny. I had "Glenn Close Up" first which I thought might lead to some other interesting acrosses, especially since she played that dame from Sunset Boulevard who said she was ready for her "close up" Mr. DeMille. But this was just mindless nonsense. The only thing Taylor can do "swiftly" is write a song about her last boyfriend. At least we get H. L. Mencken. Now that guy had a sense of humor.

mathgent 8:52 AM  

Why is this puzzle so weak? Compare it's unimaginative Swifties to the zingers above.

mathgent 8:55 AM  

My iPad likes to put apostrophes where they don't belong.

Moly Shu 9:00 AM  

oast before KILN and SAKi mucked up the south for me. Those were easily fixed with OFFLINE and BALK. That SW corner was my nemesis. Had JEDI and SPORADIC, but just couldn't see anything else. Finally tried USC, saw CYNIC and finished.
"Now you kids get off my lawn" said Moly Shu(ly). Nah, doesn't work. Terrible.

Leapfinger 9:02 AM  
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Mohair Sam 9:03 AM  
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Mohair Sam 9:04 AM  
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Unknown 9:06 AM  

"We all need to love our brothers," said Dr. Philly.

Leapfinger 9:06 AM  

I think my keys are in the glove drawer, said Tom intermittently.

Never hurts to have a bit of tried & true, esp with the DRAMA of EULER and ADELE snugged up in a corner, and Tuesday CHESTS to follow Monday's TOPHEAVY. To be BLUNT, I'd no idea of JAMES, and discovering I knew his biggest hit didn't make me much happier. OTOH, it was a minor triumph to remember Tom LANDRY.

Another thing I liked -- there's plenty of grist in the non-theme mill:
*You may believe me or not, said Tom RIP-LY (or REAP-LY, if that's more ingrained)
*I don't know how to use a KILN, said Tom DREI-LY
*Did you hear about the wildebeest couple? They were GNU-LY wed.

Alas, 'tis FAA-LY, 'tis true, but some puzzles are a gift that keeps on giving. I call that a good DEAL, MEIN Schatz

Still feeling lisztless? Check out the PSA, LMS!

Mohair Sam 9:06 AM  

Well I like Swifties so this puzz was fine by me. And a tip of the cap to @Lewis for the best Swifty of the day and one I've never heard before.

Liked that we got an H.L. Mencken definition for CYNIC, he may have mastered in cynicism. Hand up with the "who's BLUNT?" crowd (sorry). Did the @lms thing with Yoda before JEDI, bet lots of us did.

Listening as I type to Mike Golick on ESPN radio argue vehemently that NFL players are no more likely to get in trouble in Las Vegas then they are in any other NFL city. Sure Mike - that's why the city's marketing campaign features its public parks and museums.

MarthaCatherine 9:07 AM  

"Oh no! He dropped the toothpaste," I said, crestfallenly

Passing Shot 9:08 AM  

Record time. Too easy even for a Monday, let alone Tuesday.

Tom4 9:09 AM  

Weird...I'm a slow solver, and pretty new at it, but I breezed through this one. Not a single correction. Somehow found it easier than the Monday. Weird.

Wait no, there was one correction. I merged gnu and emu into a hybrid poke-monstrosity: the dreaded enu.

Tim Pierce 9:12 AM  

Did not remember JAMES BLUNT. Do not think I had ever heard of JAMES BLUNT and did not understand the clue at all. Finally looked up JAMES BLUNT on the intertubes and don't recall ever hearing this song before. Now that I have, I hope I don't ever have to hear it again.

I don't mind the Tom Swifties, but that one just didn't land. I liked the CYNIC clue and the YIPS, though!

Leapfinger 9:13 AM  

I almost lost a finger, said Tom off-handedly.

Thanks, @Steve L!

Unknown 9:23 AM  

Am I wrong or was this theme done very recently, with both Howard Stern and Taylor Swift as answers? I might have been doing an archived puzzle. Either way, I had seen something similar recently and so breezed through this. New record time for me, 30% faster than previous record.

Don't be so Blunt to James about his one hit wonderness, he's very sensitive.

chefbea 9:24 AM  

We all need to give to our local charities said Ellen DeGenerously

Arlene 9:27 AM  

I've always loved Tom Swifties - so I'm fine with this puzzle. I remember giggling about them as a teenager.
And I also faintly remember doing some puzzles with a Swifty theme many years ago. I'll leave it to the archivists to dig them out.

RooMonster 9:29 AM  

Hey All !
Since neither Rex nor any of y'all have pointed this out, I figure I'll be the nitter. Very segmented grid, with a Whopping 44 black squares! Normal limit os 38. And 25 threes. Yow. 16-18 usually max. Good for @M&A, though.

Did like the puz, agree on the easiness. YIPS was new as clued. Don't golf, so my walks aren't usually spoiled.

DEAL MEIN - Illegal Chinese noodle selling?


Apost8 9:30 AM  

I thought that NAIVE is something you find in a church, near the AIPSE.

Parish the thought, eh?

Unknown 9:33 AM  

As often happens I know the answers that others don't - james blunt - but never heard of Euler or the movie Rudy or Shia LaBoeuf

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

I haven’t posted here in a long long time, but want to shout out to the Rexonians I saw in Stamford, both those I knew from previous years (thanks @Tita for asking me to join the group for dinner!) and those who have joined the blog since I faded out.

Oddly, the most memorable moment for me last weekend had nothing to do with crosswords at all: I was lying on my bed Saturday morning trying to think relaxing thoughts when these tubas start lowing in my ears. Loudly. And trombones & trumpets & drums. Looked out my window and, yep, the Oregon band was playing the women’s basketball team onto its bus as they left the hotel to play Maryland.

In particular I am posting because I told several of you that I was planning to do a talent, which did not in fact happen. I had emailed Will in February, but at the tournament itself he told me he wasn’t sure what my talent was as it didn’t involve music, but that I should talk to his impresario. So I talked to the impresario, and he said “maybe” but wanted to know if I could rewrite to make it funny, and anyway he preferred professional performers, but “maybe”. Then never cued me to me to perform.

(Close observers of the talent show would note that it included both spoken word AND amateur acts). Being a crack (#170!) puzzle solver I have deduced that neither Will & Pete cared for my offering, but couldn’t find the body parts to tell me either by email or to my face.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed composing the jingle, and had looked forward to presenting it in the hope that you would enjoy it as well. So I have pasted it in below.

Again, good to see everyone,

Lindsay (Kinley)


It’s that time of year again
To crawl out of my winter den
Drive down to Connecticut
And check into the Marriott.
Friday night I meet & greet
Roam the mall across the street
Eat a bite and hit the hay
So I’ll be rested for the fray.

Once the tourney has begun
My troubles start with puzzle one.
I don’t know it at the time
To me, my answers look sublime.
But later when I see the scan
Dear lord I’m just an also-ran!
There’s the yellow kiss of death
I feel faint, I catch my breath.

Do you think it’s really fair
We have to fill in every square?
Every single little frame
Must have a letter to its name?

Say I don’t inspect my truck
If I get stopped, with any luck
The cop will say “We all forget
Just a warning, you’re all set.”

But does Will Shortz show charity?
Or highlight the temerity
Of anyone who leaves a blank
(I start to think the man’s a crank).

Then they pass out puzzle five
Though clues are missing I contrive
To fill in every single block.
The answers look like poppycock
But that’s OK, I beat the clock.
Check the grid? My brain would break
I’d never notice a mistake
But only get confused again.
I raise my hand and turn it in.

I finished 5! Callooh Callay!
Hallelujah! Frabjous day!
Until I check the scan good grief!
Elation turns to disbelief.
THREE blanks I didn’t see before
That sure didn’t help my score.

Why me? Why can’t I pencil in
All the squares? Adrenaline?
Or possibly I’m just not bright
Too dim to solve a puzzle right.
Flummoxed at the sight of fill
Not smart enough to hang with Will.
Sad to think I’ll always be
Mired in Division D.

Lewis 9:41 AM  

"Pardon my flatulence", said Tom astutely.

Lindsay 9:41 AM  

Sorry, my previous comment was supposed to be from "Lindsay".

Haven't been here in so long, I've forgotten how to post :~)

QuasiMojo 9:43 AM  

"I'm afraid I can't sing any more carols," said Noel cowardly.

Elephant's Child 9:59 AM  

@ChefBea0924, that's hilarious!

Churlish Nabob 10:04 AM  

H..L. Mencken was an antisemite and a misanthrope. Why are we normalizing him?

jberg 10:13 AM  

Quick and relatively painless, once I put the second N in GLENN CLOSE. Yogi before CHAI, and I thought the JEDI were an order, not a single revered figure -- or are all of them revered? But it was nice to see OTTO without all the fake precision about the dates of his reign.

Charles Flaster 10:15 AM  

Agree with Rex and also very EZ. Clues for YIPS and DRAMA were odd ducks. Actually the clue for BALK should have been "illegal pitching move".
Lots of CROSSWORDease but too numerous to mention.
Like @Roo-- DEAL MEIN could be served at a Vegas Chinese restaurant.
IMO the Raiders will be wildly successful in LV.
BTW--JAMES BLUNT is not a rapper.
Thanks RM

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

Pretty similar to @leapy, but...

"It's raining off and on," said Tom intermittently.

Ellen S 10:53 AM  

@churlish nabob, I know Mencken was antisemitic, and a misanthrope (so Jews would have been included in the general category); and I'm Jewish, and yet, he was smart and funny, can't help admiring his barbs even if they're aimed in my direction.

I've been haunting so I can encourage their advertisers to pull their ads. The editorial content is actually not as horrible as I expected, but nothing clever or funny. And my definition of funny is pretty easy to meet: I love Tom Swifties. The worser the pun, the better I like it. The offerings in today's comments are a delight.

Numinous 11:07 AM  
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Numinous 11:13 AM  

"You're singing out of tune," Tom said flatly.
"I am not," she replied sharply.
"But I believe you are," he sounded off.
"I think you have a naturally tin ear." She intoned.

Jeeze, enough already. In a book or two I've read about fiction writing it has been mentioned that "he said" and "she said" was sufficient: that adverbs were both unnecessary and distracting. "I've adhered to that rule," he persisted.

All that stuff is worse than "savoring the dark liquid" instead of "drinking the coffee."

I've never heard of James Blunt either but the crosses saved me. An LAT blog commentor might say, "the perps saved me," he said crossly. I don't know whether I liked this puzzle or not, I did it out of duty because I do the puzzle every day. I'm still not entirely awake yet and that's terrible to say. I've just had a change of meds, maybe that's the problem.

I don't know how this got a POW from Jeff. None of the longer downs were particularly interesting. There were far too many 3s. I suppose my attitude to swifties is about the same as my attitude to this puzzle but simply adding "LY" to the ends of folk's names just didn't float my Hobie Cat.

yaffa 11:36 AM  

I, too, misspelled sporadic with a "T" and had Yoda for Jedi. overall, though, easy Tuesday.

JC66 11:39 AM  

@Lewis's last one was a pisser.

Geometricus 11:48 AM  

I had GLENTOOCLOSE before I figured out the Swifty thing. Enjoyed it because I got done quick.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

shoot! I sis this one faster than any of you. You're all dumb.

Brian 11:59 AM  

I flew through this one, near-record Tuesday time. It did help that I got JAMES BLUNTLY right off the bat, but geez, out of the dozens of names that would have worked there, he picked a one-hit wonder from 2005.

Abstruce 12:02 PM  

Huh, I've been attributing "You're Beautiful" to Ed Sheeran for years. Also, this was a phenomenally easy puzzle, my fastest Tuesday in a while.

Charley 12:16 PM  

Don't know who James Blunt is. But I can say immodestly, I got an A in Drama class in college.

Anoa Bob 12:33 PM  

Yeah, @Roo, first thing that caught my eye was all the black space in the grid. So many grid-unfriendly strings of letters in the themers, especially the -RTLY, -FTLY & -NTLY endings of the last three required 44 blocking/black squares to pull it off. Not much room left for good fill. I'm looking at you, HARRYS EAP DONOW. Very theme heavy, and that with only has four theme entries.

Could there be a more convoluted clue for 32A PSA than "It gets better" spot, e.g., in brief"?

Shake any tree and a bunch of Swifties will fall out, as evidenced above. In the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey", toward the end Dave (Keir Dullea) is literally pulling out Hal the Computer's brain. Instead of having Hal sing "Daisy, Daisy...(On a Bicycle Built for Two)" to indicate that he had reached his lowest, most primitive level of cerebral functioning, Hal should have started mumbling Tom Swifties to show he had bottomed out and that at the next level down, his EEG would go totally OFFLINE. Does that make me a CYNIC?


Anonymous 12:40 PM  

"This is a really great idea for a puzzle, but it requires a do-over," wrote Will Shortz, taking a Milligan.

GeezerJackYale48 12:49 PM  

Well, Mike was a long time player, so I'm with him.

GeezerJackYale48 12:54 PM  

The puzzle may have been less than thrilling, but the comments are clever enough this morning (It's morning where I am)to make up for it.

Nate 1:04 PM  

Wow, record Tuesday time for me, as well. And not far off from my record time for a Monday.

Nancy 1:07 PM  

I'm late getting here today, so I'll just echo @Glimmerglass, @Quasi, @mathgent, et al -- Tom Swifties can be great fun, but these were beyond feeble. Several Rexites have come up with much better ones -- though admittedly it's a low bar. Boring and lacking in humor.

Teedmn 1:14 PM  

@Lindsay Kinley, thanks for sharing your composition. I think it would have compared favorably with the fare offered at the talent show. It was nice to meet you at dinner Saturday night.

I remember a Tom Swifty puzzle from about a year ago (maybe two?) and I laughed so much reading the comments that my husband became exasperated with me (and even more so when I tried to share the fun). Good stuff, folks!

Like @Geometricus, I assumed 20A would be GLENNtooCLOSE so I slapped CLOSE in at the end of the answer, feeling smug, only to find the phrase didn't fit but the North Central fixed that. My other problem was in the SW where I had an ACPT flashback and wanted something else in 54D due to mixing up the answer I was thinking of with Jabba the Hutt. All this got fixed and I was barely over my Monday average time so this played easy in my book. (BLUNT = WOE for me too - I guess I should check out the songs to see if I'm so far behind on my music or just ignorant of the performer's name.)

Tuesday puzzles are SPORADIC, quality-wise, so I don't worry too much about them. I found this one fun so thanks, Ryan Milligan, nice sophomore effort.

Masked and Anonymous 2:06 PM  

Nice, that this TuesPuz was done somewhat U-lee, said Peter Fonda-ly. Speakin of Gold …

How'bout them primo NE and SW weeject stacks, shorts fans? Also, let's hear it for the weird-ladder of: NEW-->GNU-->GUN. Nice co-incidences. Puz also had some longer, pleasing-ly crisp, don't-often-see-em entries such as: PRONTO. DEALMEIN. ENTITY.

Knew James Blunt -- and, yep … U is beautiful.

Thanx, Mr. Milligan. Congratz on yer NYT sophpuz.

Class with no drama, Masked & Anonymo5Us


Unknown 3:42 PM  

Not terribly exciting. By far my fastest Tuesday time ever. Very Easy.

CDilly52 4:04 PM  

@Lewis, Barbie, LMS et al: I'm right there with you. It is Tuesday, after all. Sure, as evidenced by the collective's creativity, these could have been more clever but then again, the swifties had to fill the grid. . . on Tuesday. With the spiffy other fill (as documented by others), this was good fun and not terribly taxing despite the fact that I could not remember Blunt's first name. hand up for loving diacritical marks generally, @ LMS. With all the language, grammar and spelling gurus among my family mentors (from Germany, by the by), spelling including the diacriticals, if any, was always a given. We played Scrablle in German with an English set. Yes, we "markered" the umlauts on some tiles. I miss the "Maternals" as we kids called them, and have tried to pass on their generous spirit and loving tutelage.

Greg 4:10 PM  

much faster than average for me. I didn't find myself doing much groaning over the fill. Fine for a Tuesday, IMO.

QuasiMojo 4:54 PM  

When Fred twisted his dance partner's ankle during a waltz, he led her across the floor gingerly.

Z 4:59 PM  

@pmdm - Re: Color - I hope I didn't come off as strident. Writing quickly and running isn't always best for clarity.

@LMS - Instead of your poor kids you should get the numbers of some Dept. of Ed. dignitaries and give them a jingle. Spellcheck, online dictionaries, heck, I can click on conscientiously and get definitions from four different dictionaries to make sure I'm using the right word. The only thing spelling tests are good for is proving the lie that that "teaching to the test" is somehow bad. Imagine giving a student a list of ten words on Monday, have them write sentences using each on Tuesday, giving a practice quiz on the list on Wednesday, then testing 10 different words on Friday. Of course you teach to the test. Duh.

Loren Muse Smith 5:02 PM  
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Loren Muse Smith 5:03 PM  
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Loren Muse Smith 5:10 PM  

@Lewis, I echo @JC66 - "astutely" was brilliant!

"Please pass me another lobster bib and some wet wipes," said Lionel messily.

Anonymous 5:12 PM  

I occasionally enjoy smoking a blunt, the grim-faced hippie said stonily.

I'm a contrarian by nature, he said knowingly.

jae 5:32 PM  

Monday easy for me too. I like Tom Swifties so this was fine with me, and it is a Tues. after all. Add me to the throng not knowing James BLUNT.

@Z - Only if the test actually measures what you want the learner to know or be able to do, which should be obvious but often isn't.

evil doug 5:32 PM  

"I think it's a greenstick fracture," said Napoleon boneapartly.

chefbea 6:11 PM  

@Quasimodo...good one

BarbieBarbie 6:31 PM  

Oh my gosh. my end-of-day comment was going to be how laugh-out-loud great these comments are, and how @Lewis gets the prize for astutely, but where is evil doug since he always has something hilarious to say? And then here came boneapartly. I think I still award the prize to Lewis, but now my day is complete. Nite all.

Nancy 8:10 PM  

"I'm wearing a wedding ring," said Tom with abandon.

No, don't give me any credit. I cannot tell a lie. I stole it.

RooMonster 8:58 PM  

"Thanks for the gut punch", Tom gasped breathlessly.

Late... worth it?


Anonymous 9:36 PM  

"Imagine giving a student a list.... having them...."
Ah yes, Z the ignoramus explaining things to us.
Imagine an educator who understood singular pronouns.

Adam 9:56 PM  

I knew James Blunt primarily because this was in my twitter feed over the weekend.

Anonymous 10:05 PM  

@Lindsay Nice ode Lindsay. Shame on Peter and Will for not giving you your 15 minutes of fame!

Lewis 10:06 PM  

Oh, the "astutely" Swifty wasn't my creation, but I loved it when I saw it.

Hartley70 12:37 AM  

Lindsay/Kinley, I too was hoping you'd get a spot in the ACPT talent show. Your jingle is fun and would have been a hit. Better luck next year and I'm glad I got to meet you at dinner. Stick around for a while, won't you?

I have never heard of the term "Tom Swifties" but reading the comments has made me love them. Great posts today!

kitshef 12:07 PM  

"Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?" the singer crooned adamantly.

Chrisco 6:55 PM  

I think you are a bit unhinged with anger issues. I enjoy you railing against the puzzle for this or that reason, but I almost never can follow the reasoning. It is weird form of Art Criticism.

Unknown 8:50 AM  

Loved the Mencken quote. Reminds me of "a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" by Wilde. Also, I much prefer Emily Blunt to James. Other than that, I disliked this puzzle because I dislike swifties. If there's an 'easier than Monday category' then this one gets it.

Burma Shave 10:28 AM  


NEW DRAMA emerged as GLENNCLOSELY watched ADELE BALK to unzip,
a CYNIC might say, “WELL, CONCEALed CHESTS give me the YIPS.”,
but that SATAN, HOWARDSTERNLY RAILed, “ONO, I don’t give a RIP!”


spacecraft 10:52 AM  

"I don't like Swifties," said Michael sharply. WELL, I do, says space craftily. That includes DOD TAYLOR. This was fun, and very easy--despite my joining the crowd who don't know Mr. BLUNT.

The poker player in me loves DEALMEIN. A tip of the fedora to Tom LANDRY, whom I always admired despite coaching the archrival to my beloved Eagles: you know, that team with the star logo. Can't say the name; I'm out of money for the swear jar.

Honorable DOD mention to Barbara Hershey, whose appearance in the thriller "The ENTITY" featured her, um, 8-downs. OK, enough of that. Fill is almost squeaky-clean (ONS). Solid birdie.

leftcoastTAM 2:22 PM  

Pretty much with Rex on this one, although I liked it more than he (no surprise there).

Theme is Tuesday-worthy, even if fairly well-worn. The names were gimmes except for James Blunt, as Rex noted.

About a dozen names of other celebrities or well-knowns are worked into the grid, spanning decades, including MEL (Brooks), ALDO RAY, OTTO (Preminger), and (Tom) LANDRY up to ADELE, LEO (DiCaprio) and SHIA (LaBeouf) today. Got to give a little extra credit for that.

Would give it a B in my grade book.

rondo 2:54 PM  

No real complaints and I went through this puz PRONTO. Woulda preferred yeah baby EMILYBLUNT(LY) rather than JAMES, but then she’d be competing with uber yeah baby TAYLORSWIFT(LY) and that’s hardly fair.

CHAI is how much, perhaps most, of the rest of the world pronounces your regular ”tea” (TEE). And if a cowboy went golfing you’d likely find TEX’s TEE. Cue the Beverly Hillbillies theme.

“I love these grasslands”, Custer said plainly.

Prince HARRY’S NEW girlfriend may not be invited to Pippa’s wedding. No ring, no bring.

WELL, not much DRAMA to get to the end, for goodness SAKE.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

I am surprised at all the flack James Blunt is taking. He is not that obscure a artist. Nobody has mentioned that he had a pretty good song called 1973 that made it to 18 on the US Billboard Adult Top 40. That was back in 2007. So he is not a one hit wonder here in the states.


Anonymous 3:07 PM  

Also want to mention it is a Tuesday puzzle so thematically it is not going to be complicated. Though there have been harder ones on Tuesdays.

Diana,LIW 3:17 PM  

Whilst you may not recognize JAMESBLUNT's name, I can almost guarantee you would recognize his "You're Beautiful" song. I mean, even I have heard it about a million times. Is it in a commercial? Google it now...I'll wait while you do. (Waiting...)

Yes, you do recognize it!

I still remember (from last year?) Tom relating that he had just fed the alligator, off-handedly. Now that drew a laugh.

These drew a few smiles. And I knew that Rex would simply adore them. And it don't rain in Minneapolis in the summertime (Hi T and R). Enough of the CYNIC.

Who knew that LEO GNU ONO? Right there in the center of the puzzle. Should have known when the puzzle started with a SHAG and ended with YENS.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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