Monastic realm / TUE 3-14-17 / Mystery writer Marsh / Anatomy of Murder actor 1959 / online money transfer facilitator / Journalist Nellie / Gesture to punctuate great performance / Asian gambling mecca / Rice-based Spanish dish

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: SALAD DAYS (58A: Youthful time in one's life ... which this puzzle might harken solvers back to?) — theme answers are actors whose last names are also salad types:

Theme answers:
  • SID CAESAR (20A: *"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" actor, 1963)
  • LEE J. COBB (24A: *"12 Angry Men" actor, 1957)
  • ORSON BEAN (36A: *"Anatomy of a Murder" actor, 1959)
  • TOM GREEN (53A: *"Road Trip" actor, 2000) 
Word of the Day: NGAIO Marsh (18A: Mystery writer Marsh) —
Dame Ngaio Marsh DBE (/ˈn./; 23 April 1895 – 18 February 1982), born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966. // Internationally Marsh is known primarily for her creation Inspector Roderick Alleyn, a gentleman detective who works for the Metropolitan Police (London). She is known as one of the "Queens of Crime" alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't dislike this theme, but I also don't fully get it. Like, why are they all actors? What does SALAD DAYS have to do with acting? Also, what does DAYS have to do with ... anything, where the theme answers are concerned. I see that the last names of the actors are all types of salads, but how do the actors relate to SALAD DAYS, or "days" at all? Is it because they are all old (sorry, Tom Green)? And so when we see their names, we're like "ah, yesteryear!" I don't quite follow. Beyond that, it seemed fine. Had trouble with the first three letters of AW, GEEZ! (5D: "What a bummer!"). Was not alone (apparently NGAIO = not on everyone's cultural radar):

Misread 9D: Monastic realm as [Monarchic realm] and so needed every cross. Might've needed every cross anyway, because ABBACY? ... not a word that comes readily to mind. Or, to put it less kindly:

That whole NE corner is pretty rough, tbh. I mean: AEROBAT?? (11D: Stunt pilot)

A couple of not-terribly-iconic older names means a lot of opportunities for younger solvers to get totally stymied:

I have done enough crosswords not to be terribly troubled by any of the names. My trouble was CAWED for COOED (32A: Made bird noises), ESOS for ESAS (54D: Those, to José), blanking on COMPORT (not a terribly common term) (42D: Behave), and stumbling on HOLY ARK (mostly because I just think of the ARK part—is the phrase HOLY ARK a rock solid thing? Why *wouldn't* the ark be holy? Seems like a given...) (46D: It stores a synagogue's Torah scrolls). In the end, I guess you can roll with the puzzle's humor ...

Or you can just diplomatically move on:

Happy snow day!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Mike in Mountain View 12:11 AM  

The crowd-sourcing of the blog turned out to be more interesting than the puzzle.

I have no idea who TOM GREEN is, and ABBACY??????

It was not a painful solve, but not a joyful one, either.

Unknown 12:20 AM  

When one of your "younger solvers" is 42, you have a "category after AARP" problem with your puzzle. :)

I liked many things about this puzzle, but it definitely felt a day early to me. After the crazy easy week we had last week . . . it's like the NYT is taking back some of the hard.

Doesn't help when the phrase that your puzzle is built on hit its peak usage in 1936. I'm a lit major, voracious reader, life-long learner and I've never heard the phrase "salad days" before. I have to confess, when we did Shakespeare, we didn't read Antony and Cleopatra, so there's that. I'll have to get out the Riverside to see it in context, just for kicks.

The ñ words—AÑO & SEÑOR—always grate on me when they aren't crossed by other ñ words. That's simply not an "n" in Spanish. So why should it be in English?

One confession, though: I loved the clue on GOOIER. Stupid simple, in a way, but I can see the constructor's mind at work on that one. And it's viscerally true, so hard not to love.

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

Isn't the natick that the twitter guy referenced in the NE and not the NW?

Unknown 12:22 AM  
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Unknown 12:22 AM  

@Anonymous, YEP.

-The Twitter Guy

Unknown 12:26 AM  

Thanks, @Rex, for your review of @Damon Gulczynski's puzzle. First @Shortz-era mention for TOMGREEN ... are his fellow "Road Trip" actors envious?

Assuming most of you will read this on Tuesday, March 14 (and some of you may even be snowed in ...), may I recommend for this exact date last week's Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, entitled "The Mathematics of Baking," found by clicking here. The puzzle was constructed/edited respectively by my friends @Chris Adams and Brad Wilber. Enjoy!

Anonymous 12:29 AM  

There's a good chance I'm going to die tomorrow. I'm only spared terror of TrumpCare by the fact that I'm going on Medicare in 1 month, spent 40 years of my life smoking like a chimney, and am expecting 2' of snow on my 400' driveway tomorrow. Worse, my driveway is due North-South with a hill on the west side from 2' to 6' high. When the snow's falling in a nor-easter it blows straight across my driveway until it hits the hill, then stops. The east side of my driveway usually accumulates 50% more snow than the rest of the neighborhood, the right side 2' more. So, I've got 3-4' of snow to blow with my antique snow-blower. The same one that 3 years ago my mechanic told me that I need to replace the drive belts, but I said no sir, by the end of this spring I'll be retired in Fla and won't need no stinking snowblower.

Did I mention I have a flat roof on my house? A roof that I have to shovel because while there's no problem having snow on the roof, having melting snow on the roof is a disaster. It piles up along the against the walls of the partial second floor and the flashing there only goes up so far. When it melts and there's no path to the drain it finds a path to inside the house then down to the main level. You want to feel stupid? Try shoveling your roof.

So, I may well have a heart attack sometime tomorrow. That in and of itself isn't a problem, we all have to go sometime and, frankly, my future isn't that promising.

What bothers me was that this was the last puzzle I did. I always thought that when I met my maker, if I could muster the courage to ask a question it would be along the lines of "what was the purpose of my living?", or, "did I please you?". Instead it will likely be "who the fuck is Ngaio Marsh?"

Lemon Curry 12:36 AM  

"Sam Peckinpah's Salad Days"

sid quaestor 12:44 AM  

I realize he's no Marlon Brando, but is Lee J. Cobb really that obscure? He was in On the Waterfront and The Exorcist, on top of 12 Angry Men. Pretty iconic movies.

I can see the issue if you're not into movies, but the same thing could be said about any number of crossword themes/answers. Then again, Tuesday...hell, I dunno.

Unknown 1:00 AM  

@sid, I think that's perfectly fair. I felt the same way when Messi first showed up. It was a gimme for me, but if you don't follow soccer . . .

My problem was that you've got two names, both of them long dead, both of them relatively obscure (I don't follow old movies . . . like them, but I wouldn't know Lee J. from Ty if I saw him on screen) on a Tuesday. The only saving grace—and Rex pointed this out to me on Twitter—is the theme. Fell into place once I knew what salad I was dealing with.

@Lemon Curry that episode aired two years before I was born, and I'm 42. Watched a decent amount of Python growing up, when it was on late at night. Never saw it. That's the definition of obscure to me. But language is funny that way. May be a super common phrase and I've just never encountered it—or found reason to remember—until now.

Mr. Fitch 1:05 AM  

I feel like "abbacy" should be a word for something terrible that happened at the abbey--a portmanteau of "abbey" and "travesty." Or maybe a monks' revolt that overthrows the abbot.

Anonymous 1:21 AM  


Just admit that you got your ass kicked by a Tuesday puzzle.

Also, if you're going to make up a fake name, you can do better than Jeremy Vero-Haub. It's like you're not even trying.

Trombone Tom 1:27 AM  

@Mike in Mountain View, you took the precise words out of my mouth.

As a member of the "Post-AARP" (sic!) generation the one actor I didn't know was TOM GREEN.

How is it that many of the puzzles I do so often happen to clue the same things (today it is OBOES) on a given day? I'm sure it relates to vowels.

All in all a typical Tuesday.

Unknown 1:32 AM  

Gotta love when an Anon makes fun of your (actual) name and gets it wrong twice.

Anoa Bob 1:32 AM  

Got the theme early with CAESAR & COBB. I thought SID was an enormously funny and creative guy.

I remember ORSON BEAN as being on some TV game show. "To Tell The Truth"? "Hollywood Squares"?

I agree that the reveal didn't stick the landing. SALAD, yes. DAYS, huh?

Jeremy@12:20, glad to see someone else shares my distaste of using an Ñ for a Spanish word in one direction and an N for a non-Spanish word in the other. I do wonder if they know that ANO in Spanish means "anus".

DAN! 1:35 AM  

I broke my personal record for Tuesday with this puzzle, and would have done even better if it wasn't for ESOS/ESAS. I'm 31, so I guess I'm the right age to have heard of all of these names. Other than ABBACY and HOLYARK, I really liked the downs. But hey, different strokes.

Moly Shu 1:36 AM  

@Rex asked for tweets about the puzzle, I obliged and he sorta cited me (@TiltoJeff). Loved NADIRS, liked the theme, couldn't parse PERSE (dook?) and hated ABBACY. While I was typing this I got a tornado warning on my phone saying "seek shelter". @Anon12:29, maybe I'll see you at the pearly gates later on today.

Moly Shu 1:40 AM  

Match Game, maybe?

CDilly52 1:44 AM  

I am a regular if the Chronicle and its puzz. Last week's was fun indeed!

Carola 1:46 AM  

The only one of the actors I'd be able to pick out of a line-up is SID CAESAR, but the crosses made the others easy to get, especially knowing we were looking for SALADs. As a fan of mysteries, I knew NGAIO. However, ABBACY was a new one for me, the only snag in a fast solve.

Bonus points: When Cleopatra speaks of her SALAD DAYS, she's referring to the time when she was in love with Julius CAESAR:("My salad days, when I was green in judgment." She's since become the lover of Mark Antony, whom she calls "My man of men" - pretty close to MAN'S MAN. (Antony and Cleopatra, Act I, Scene 5)

CDilly52 1:57 AM  

Anonymous 12:29, I hope your dire predictions fail to come true! Sending good thoughts.

This was a tale of two puzzles for me. Couldn't get a toehold until NAPE, COOED, STY, ORSON BEAN (my Grans watched him on Hollywood Squares in the afternoon). The entire bottom half did itself. Enough Spanish to get ESAS (had ESOS first, but the dulcet tones of the AMATI set me straight). Working bottom up led me back up to the top where thankfully the crosswordese helped me out with ABBACY and MACAU. Slowest in the NW. Nothing special and a bit too crunchy for Tuesday but overall pretty enjoyable.

jae 2:05 AM  

Easy-medium for me too as I knew all the actors except for TOM GREEN. So, I IMDbed him and nothing he did rang a bell. Apparently, he was once married to Drew Barrymore. This happened after her famous birthday gift to Dave Letterman.

ABBACY??? @Mike in ...

This was OK for a Tues., but, as I've said before, my expectations for Tuesdays are not high.

Larry Gilstrap 2:07 AM  

No problemo this Tuesday; no tilde required I hope. When I was a kid, I loved TV, and remarkably, SID CAESER was before my time, LEE J. COBB and ORSON BEAN were of my time, and TOM GREEN was after my time, but I pity the poor younger solvers. Why are you wasting your time? Did I just say that?

Anyway, the puzzle contained some classic fill: NAPE, AMATI, EWERS, ARTSY, EPEE, etc. Mark those down in your file, Grasshopper. You will see them again and again.

I am not a coffee drinker, I know. My wife loves Starbucks and will seek one out when needed. I find the whole experience both intimidating and precious. To my way of thinking, the only satisfying thing they offer is a bathroom.

Taking a risk here, particularly since it's not PC to be PC anymore, but SPASTIC was used as a pejorative by adolescents back in the day. I haven't heard it used since, well maybe referring to a colon. Enjoy your breakfast.

chefwen 2:55 AM  

Like Rex, cawed before COOED, also had arid before SERE, easily fixed. What I didn't fix was NjAIO to NGAIO, for some obscure reason I want to spell GEEZ with a J, and I'm not a big mystery reader so that name was not familiar.

Didn't know TOM GREEN, but the SALAD DAYS (which I have heard often) theme took care of that.

Think of a multi course meal where the salad comes not first, but early, thus being an younger time in ones life.

Roberta 3:39 AM  

If you're snowed in watch 12 Angry Men. Lee J Cobb is amazing.
Sid Caesar was in Grease in his post-salad days!

Unknown 4:34 AM  

He's had his own show Many movies and was married to drew berrymore

Robin 4:56 AM  

For all the bee-aye-tee-cee-ache-ing about the age of the clues here, it would be nice if some of the folks hereabouts would remember the so-called "glory day" s of Eugene Maleska when every other effing clue wainvolveds a silent movie actress of the 1920s.

Which is to say, give it a rest, people.

The puzzle was average. Not great. But frankly, not terrible, as the whinging around here suggests. Not to mention, it was just a Tuesday.

My fave on this one was the clueing for MOOCHER.

John Child 5:15 AM  

I agree with @Mr Fitch that ABBACY begs for a fractured definition. Nordic tribute band? Training in self-humiliation?

AEROBAT Something to hit a whiffle ball with? Commissioner Gordon's secret signal?

The Bard 5:48 AM  

My salad days,
When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.

Antony and Cleopatra, Act I, scene V

Anonymous 6:06 AM  

Combining the names of older actors with a bunch of Spanish clues seems a bit unfair. Granted, the Spanish clues weren't too tough, but as a solver just under 30 I only knew Orson Bean from TV Land reruns of Match Game and have never heard Lee J Cobb's name even though I've seen all his biggest film appearances per Wikipedia. Shows my age that Tom Green was the only gimme. Way too many proper names, especially from older American pop culture, for a Tuesday. ABBACY, SERE, and AEROBAT are also very unusual words for what they signify. The rest of the puzzle was a cinch in comparison.

Anonymous 6:10 AM  

I didn't know some of this stuff, so it sucked. Should I tweet that?

Michael Palin 6:13 AM  

Sam Peckinpah's Salad Days



evil doug 6:19 AM  

I treat posters with hyphenated names the same as anonymous people here. Too much work. Are you supposed to pause at the hyphen? Which side is more important? Just pick one damn half and go with it....

Lee J. Cobb is a brilliant character actor.

Funny. I've used the term "aerobatics" forever, but never have I uttered AEROBAT. My 3 grandsons are all LEGO Batman nuts, so maybe I'll call myself AeroBatman. Notice: no damn hyphens....

Hartley70 6:22 AM  

I'm apparently the right age for this puzzle. I knew the actors and enjoyed remembering them in these rolls. TOMGREEN seemed out of place age-wise, but perhaps he was a sop to younger solvers. Lorne GREENe might have been more of an age, but there was that pesky e. I favor Sydney GREENstreet, myself. What a guy!

SALADDAYS aren't obscure to me. I'm sure I've used the phrase in comments fairly recently. It just appeals to my nostalgic bent. On another topic, I have been having some SALAD DAYS myself in 2017 (hi, @Gill.I) due to way too many dessert DAYS in 2016.

Lewis 6:26 AM  

There is a Russian salad called an Olivier salad (veggies, meat, eggs, mayo). I can't think of any other theme answer possibility. I loved the clues for MOM and NAMES, and the answers MOOCHER, COMPORT, PERSE (a dook?), and ATOMIZE. The grid is clean (and if it wasn't, we would have heard about it) and has a couple of oppositional crosses (MANSMAN/MOM and NAKED/TANKTOP). A pleasing solve.

On top of that, it took me elsewhere. The cross of OBOES and COINOPS first got me picturing instruments that would only play if you dropped quarters in a slot found on the instrument -- this was a funny thought to me. Then I pictured an arcade, but instead of pinball machines and such, it consisted of instruments that you could play by dropping quarters in their slots. Maybe there'd be a fancy room with AMATIs. Oh, it would never work, but I actually spent some fantasy time there. Thank you for that, Damon!

BarbieBarbie 6:31 AM  

Anon@12:29, there's an Uber-like app called Shovel. I have no experience with it but what a great idea. Once I had a tree catch fire from a power line leaning onto it during a nor'easter, and the fire department came and plowed my driveway to get to the tree. So thats another option. If no tree, plan to plant one this Spring and in forty years whover owns the house can try this.
I never read a Ngaio Marsh book, but my parents had a whole shelf of them and I used to wonder how in the world you pronounce "Ngaio." For some reason I now believe the answer is "NYE-oh" so either someone answered me or I made it up. Anyway, a gimme for me, making the puzzle Easy even though I never cottoned to the salad theme until reading about it here. Cute.
Wasn't Lee J Cobb that really mean-looking guy with the pointy nose?
Our mid-atlantic snow turned out to be freezing rain and mush. Kids get a snow day anyway because it's been a warm winter and they aren't hoarding them. Enjoy the white stuff, you guys.

BarbieBarbie 6:35 AM  

Sorry. "That's." IPad plus reading glasses plus no proofreading.

Hartley70 6:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarbieBarbie 6:46 AM  

Pointy-nosed evil-looking guy was Lee Van Cleef. Sorry!

TonySaratoga 6:49 AM  

Yes, and sorry, Nellie Bly is not "a journalist." She's a super famous journalist feminist icon badass muckraking globe circumnavigator. Lester Holt is a journalist. Definitionally you can't have a Natick if Nellie Bly is one of the two pieces.

Stanley Hudson 6:54 AM  

SALAD DAYS a great documentary on 80s DC punk scene.

Hartley70 6:55 AM  

@Anonymous at 12:29. Oh, believe me. I have a flat roof house in northern New England and there is a big problem with snow on the roof even if it's not melting. It's a Hobson's choice between rain coming through the ceiling lights or roof collapse. Shovel away! It makes you look smart, not stupid.

NGAIO Marsh is an old favorite of mine. I discovered her mysteries in my twenties and read every one in chronological sequence, that's when I wasn't shoveling my roof.

@Lobster from yesterday, I'm ashamed to admit my procrastination tendency has defeated my parsimonious side. That's what got me into the problem in the first place of course. I'd feel guilty laying that on PB1.

@BarbieBarbie! Thanks for the tip. "Shoveler" looks like a brilliant app, especially if one lives in a city. I'm passing it on to friends and relations.

Vicky Smith 7:17 AM  

Thank you, @TonySaratoga. I was trying to formulate a similar response, but you far outshone anything I could muster.

Anonymous 7:33 AM  

Enjoying a snow day in Brooklyn. Missing Rex's chosen music video for today. How about Beach Boys song in a sporty car (16A)? Here's the link for: Fun, Fun, Fun.

rorosen 7:45 AM  

@Anonymous at 12:29 wishing you weren't anonymous so I could attribute your hilarious rant. just let it melt. The house, however leaky, will still outlive you. I always justify my handyman inactions by comparing the structural integrity of our house to a lean-to or a manger. It could be worse,..

Trixie 8:01 AM  

Abbacy and aerobat??? 😝

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

Snow on the roof? Snow day? Slush? Greetings from Brazil. The summer is ending, the hand clapping-singing in the streets-haggling meanly with the locals-refuse to learn Portuguese-love Brazil but hate Brazilians - Argentinians have mostly gone home and the nights are finally cool enough to sleep.

What? No mention of Rex's Kiwi wife who did/didn't read Ngaio Marsh as a youngster? He could have slipped in a Sir Robert "Piggy" Muldoon comment at 35A, too, but somehow we were spared.

Love the Antony and Cleopatra quotes in general and the John Child comments in particular. This guy's a wordchef.
"Abbacy" = Nordic tribute band?
"Aerobat" = Something to hit a whiffle ball with? Commissioner Gordon's secret signal?

Tuesday puzzles? Keep moving, folks, nothing to see here.


Gerry Kelly 8:08 AM  

Extremely easy for an old guy like me

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

@rorosen, just let it melt? You obviously have never had ceilingfuls of wet plaster collapse in a 2-story edifice. I think it's a good time to see how foolish you feel snow-blowing your roof.

Am enjoying y'all's rants.


Unknown 8:11 AM  

@evildoug the accepted practice is to pirouette at the hyphen, even when writing it.

Also, it's perfectly acceptable to say, "out, evil hyphen" at the end of your sentence you may get some evil looks in mixed company. God knows, I have.

chefbea 8:13 AM  

Too many posts to read...will read them later. What's not to like about this yummy puzzle. All the salads and a gooy marshmallow for dessert!!!

Have fun in the snow all...just heard that Ct. is shut down. All my Ct. friends will have to play in the snow...roads are closed!!!

DJG 8:25 AM  

For more on this puzzle, including my thought process behind the theme (which admittedly didn't *quite* turn out as I would have liked), feel free to visit my blog:

Also, ABBACY is a perfectly cromulent word.

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

OMG I just watched Sam Peckinpahs Salad Days on youtube. Why have I never seen this before?

Exubesq 8:34 AM  


Bill Feeney 8:35 AM  

So far I seem to be the only one who confidently entered TOM GREEK for the famous actor. That made the down answer for me either KAYES or KATES...perhaps Danny had some famous sisters or kids...I dunno...
And ABBACY...isn't that just a word to describe the easiness of something? "I found that test had an ABBACY about it."

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

Yeah, Peckinpah. Also The Young Marble Giants.

kitshef 8:41 AM  

AEROBAT fails the skyey test, and it's not even close. AW GEEZ is probably the puzzles NADIR, though.

BLY was a WoE, but I'm OK with that as you really have three chances to get it, BLY, COBB (the actor) and COBB (the salad).

Thank you @Michael Palin for the memories.

Phil 8:44 AM  

Kind of like 'I got a great clue for OBIT, and Im putting it in the center and the rest I'll make fit'

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

@DJG - hormone therapy might be your solution.

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

Spanish: año = year
ano = asshole
Get it right, Will.

evil doug 8:57 AM  

Speaking of ano, whatEVER you do, don't look up 'tossed SALAD' in the Urban Dictionary.

Wm. C. 9:14 AM  

@Evil --

Your post above gives rise to the question: "I wonder how he knew that expression?"


Anonymous 9:18 AM  

I'm always amused by ageist tweeters like "Laurie" in the write-up, who, if they thought about it for two seconds, would realize that with some good fortune, they too will someday live to be "post-AARP" age.

G. Weissman 9:25 AM  

Long-winded anonymous poster's verbiage: no thanks.

seanm 9:28 AM  

wednesday time for me. several late-in-the-week crossings and proper nouns.

never heard of lee j cobb or orson bean and vague idea of sid caesar (yes i agree it is sad the person i knew was tom green).

PERSE with DEY and COMPORT gave me trouble. the C in abbacy and the B in bly both seem unreasonable (though if i had understood the theme better i guess Cobb should have been obvious). NGAIO another one that didn't seem tuesday

abalani500 9:28 AM  

There should be a rule: when the theme is based on proper names, there should be no other proper names in the grid...or at least not crossing each other. LEEJCOBB crossing BLY, plus the need to know what an AEROBAT (wtf) and an ABBACY (WTF) is? Solve time: 50% longer than normal; enjoyability factor: 5%

TOCraig 9:35 AM  

Seemed easy, enjoyable, and reasonable. I must be in the post-AARP group...?

Nancy 9:43 AM  

Dare I say it's "crunchy" for a Tuesday? Quite appropriate to the theme -- or at least it consistently would be, so long as the BEANs in the bean salad are al dente. I really like the fact that all the theme answers are clued by actors -- somehow that makes it look like there was more thinking involved in the construction. Since their surnames are more unusual, I'd imagine that SID CAESAR and LEE J COBB occurred to the constructor before he planned anything else in the puzzle, and then that he built his puzzle around them. Am I right, Damon?

I was hoping that the answer to 48A would be GOOIER and was quite pleased when that came in. Decadent gooeyness is what makes toasted marshmallows so delicious.

Question: Why does the UEE, UIE, UEY thing get everyone up in arms, while the AAH, AHH thing is always ignored? It's never spelled the same way twice in a row.

I struggled in the NW, because I had ANa before ANI and didn't know MIC DROP. But the clue for MOM (1A) is one of the all-time great clues. I liked this puzzle -- making this two early week puzzles in a row that I've enjoyed.

Mohair Sam 9:44 AM  

So there's an APATOW salad?

Agree with every single nit @Rex's Twitter pals picked. Never enjoyed ORSON BEAN's work. Nobody played a complete shithead better than LEE J COBB, nobody. A wicked Saturday clue would be "Name an comedian living in 1963 who did NOT appear in Mad, Mad, Mad World."

Loved the Peckinpaugh SALAD DAYS clip. Sick - we do miss old Python around here.

L 9:45 AM  

HOLY ARK is the proper translation of ארון קודש or aron kodesh, but no one really says that in english. I generally hear it called simply the Ark. I thought this was an awkward answer.

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

So it's come to this, Michael has to post tweets from nay-saying solvers who affirm his negativity. Sad! (as some might write).

Nancy 10:00 AM  

@Anon 12:29 -- I don't know from apps, but if there's a snow-shoveling app, you should employ it ASAP. If not, use the solution from an earlier, pre-gadget age: Hire a 14 year-old kid who's never smoked and pay him whatever it takes. Under NO circumstances are you to shovel anything yourself! I hope I've made myself completely clear.

Unknown 10:04 AM  

Dear anonymous, you just got this old bird to chuckle uproariously. For that I thank you on a cold and snowy day. And send you wishes for continued long windedness of this delightful sort, which will help with shoveling for sure!

Badmom 10:10 AM  

As the author of the post-AARP tweet, I can only say it was simply a joke. Please all, take no offense. As someone who regularly throws her invitations to join AARP in the trash ( because I simply can't handle the idea of joining when still paying back student loans) I am no ageist, actually quite aged by some's standards.And yes I knew Orson Bean, but not Lee J Cobb, perhaps if the latter was a presence on Tattletales reruns I might...

Unknown 10:10 AM  

I speak Spanish, just learned something! Never did anatomy in that language. Also: yes to your distaste of Spanish words needing to cross Spanish words.

Unknown 10:20 AM  

Easy, fast Tuesday for me, an old guy. Not only did we have clues from old movies, there was also a clue from a 1960's Beach Boys song.

Seriously snowed in, I agree with Nancy about not shoveling it yourself, got my people coming later. Additionally after a certain age never-ever climb up on a roof, especially one with snow and ice on it. It's really dangerous and the fall can kill or cripple you

Be careful out there

Hungry Mother 10:25 AM  

Another PR for me today. Young people should have better things to do.

Da Bears 10:27 AM  

Any mention that each of the actors has a salad in his last name?

Happy Pencil 10:27 AM  

@Lewis, like a player piano, perhaps? Some of those were coin-operated.

@BarbieBarbie, you're saying Ngaio correctly. I believe it was her middle name -- I suspect she used it as her writing name to disguise her gender, although that's just speculation. I'm surprised by the complaints, since she appears in crosswords with some frequency. I enjoyed seeing her and Nellie Bly in the same puzzle -- a little tip of the hat to women whose names should be much better known.

@DJG, thanks for the puzzle -- and for using the word "cromulent"!

JC66 10:31 AM  

Happy PI day, everyone.

Unknown 10:32 AM  

Thanks to every single commentator for an enjoyable 1/2 hour of reading pleasure from this (no longer silent) fly on the wall.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 10:33 AM  

So how does one say "salad days anus" in Espanol?

Bax'N'Nex 10:48 AM  

Not my favorite puzzle...thought rex would hate it (but my chances of that being right on any given day are about 90%)
Just wanted to respond to the "Happy Snow Day". 88 degrees here today!

Gwinns 10:50 AM  

FWIW, inspired by previous crossword mentions, I recently read "A Man Lay Dead," the first Inspector Alleyn mystery by NGAIO Marsh, and it's fantastic. Inspector Alleyn is hilarious, a great character.
So if you're a fan of Agatha Christie-style mysteries and want to bolster your crossword reference level, I highly recommend it!

RooMonster 11:03 AM  

Hey All !
84 comments already... Wow. Does a lot of comments make a puz good? Or bad?

Probably gonna repeat, but, the only "old" name I recognize is CAESAR. Know GREEN, as in my age range. COBB and BEAN WOEs.

Not thrilled with the squeezed NE and SW corners. SW corner was tricky as clued. And NGAIO! Geshundheit.

Was nice to see old friend EWERS though.


Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:09 AM  

Walked Orion, my avatar over there, to the dog park this morning. Mostly we went south, and a bit west, it wasn't that unpleasant a walk. To his astonishment there were no dogs to play with. Coming home we walked north, a bit east. There's a Nor'easter going on. Walking home was kind of unpleasant. We got home to this puzzle.Luckily it's a Tuesday so I got all the modern crud on crosses. Thought some of the cluing was off. I question that TANKTOPS have straps, and oboes are not as slender as, say, flutes and not very slender in comparison to clarinets.

GILL I. 11:15 AM  

@Anony 12:29...There are several posters here who have your Bon MOT. I'm trying to think who you might be? I haven't cachinnated so hard in a long time. Thank you for the morning pleasantry. Who ARE you?
I thought this was a delightful Tuesday. Lordy, everyone is always bitchen about Tuesday and this one was sweet.
I love SALAD DAYS. Tthat is one phrase I learned early on. Mom and my grandmother always talked about their SALAD DAYS and when they did I knew I'd be in for a story telling treat.
@Hartley you old dog....I had a whole paragraph dedicated to you. I still liked your #19. You gotta try tuna, white beans and cucumbers....
@larry G. Also laughed about your bathroom at Starbucks. I don't go. And I would never order a VENTI anything. What? 20 grinded beans?
DJG. I liked your puzzle - don't listen to anybody who has never hear of LEE J COBB hand me down that can o beans....

Joe Bleaux 11:19 AM  

(And if you get the movie with a click from a list, be sure it's not the unneeded remake. That one is done well enough, but like nearly all remakes is in no way an improvement upon the original.)

Joseph Michael 11:21 AM  

First of all, Happy Pi Day. Was expecting a pi theme of some kind today but got served salad instead.

Salad days are, I guess, what usually follow soup days and appetizer days. Thought this particular salad could have used a little more dressing.

I knew all of the actors, but didn't enjoy writing their names in a crossword grid. Became a little more forgiving when I saw what united them in a theme.

But still it's hard to get past that NGAIO DENALI cross much less entries like ABBACY, AEROBAT, and COINOPS and lots of annoying three-letter fill (hello, AKC).

Didn't like ARTSY as a clue for "Bohemian," which as a lifestyle is a little more substantial and honest than the clue would imply.

AW, GEEZ, I don't mean to be so negative. I usually enjoy this constructor's work and appreciate the sense of humor that went into the theme.

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood because I didn't get my pi.

old timer 11:31 AM  

13 minutes pen on paper, a typical Tuesday time for me. And this member of the post-AARP generation had the same trouble you whippersnappers had: Knowing the name of the movie did not mean I knew the actor's name. You can get it on crosses only because you probably have *heard* of LEEJCOBB and ORSONBEAN.

ABBACY was a little misclued I thought. Abbeys do not have "realms" to rule over in the sense that bishops have dioceses with a fixed boundary. A more usual use for the word is to describe the tenure of some particular abbot, as in, "During the ABBACY of St. John of Nimes, the order reached its greatest renown."

Numinous 11:43 AM  

I'd have to say this was a perfectly cromulent puzzle. History is the thing many of us lack. If you lived through the Maleska era you would have had to know all sorts of silent screen actors and a lot of other obscure ancient stuff. You would have had to learn them through crossword puzzles. So some of y'all learned some stuff here. Let us not forget Pola Negri, Buster Keeton, Charles Chaplin, Theda Bara, Art Acord, Florence Lawrence and Sessue Hayakawa. Just because an answer isn't in your "wheelhouse" doesn't make it bad as is so often pointed out to @Rex.

I hated LEE J COBB with his nasty wet-lip sneer. My recollections of ORSON BEAN are vague but I do recall him. TOM GREEN was an unknown to me but he was easy enough to learn from the cross words. ABBACY was new to me but easily figured out considering the ABBey and the land surrounding it growing grapes for brandy or whatever else the monks specialized in.

For a while I had AbC before AMC. So instead of MOOHCHER I was trying to get bludger to fit. I am, however, not whingeing.

@Lewis, Though I can't remember where I saw them, I recall that at several Arcades or other places, like museums or, well, I don't really remember where. But I have seen big old machines with real instruments inside them that would play a tune for you if you inserted maybe a nickel or a dime. They were fascinating to watch. There were also machines like that in the center of merry-go-rounds. They were old when I was a kid but I seem to recall them being around in my 20s too.

@Anon 12:29, My father smoked for only about 20 years. He died recently of emphysema. If I were you, I'd follow @Nancy's advice, hire a 14 year-old.

Joe Bleaux 11:50 AM  

On this day 24 years ago, a blizzard pretty much shut down Atlanta. This morning is a sunny one. To those not enjoying their snow day, I wish we could take a few inches off your hands here in the Atlanta burbs.
For a Tuesday, this was, I thought, an exceptional puzzle, in that it wasn't ridiculously easy. Hey, at least it HAD a theme, right? No, I can't applaud ABBACY, but nearly every puzzle has its NGAIO. I was sure Evil Doug, whom I thought was the commentariat's resident expert on all aviation matters, would by now have weighed in on whether AEROBAT is legit, but as of this writing, he has not. Well, Doug?

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

I have heard of salad days but never used that term. It may only really 'exist' in crossword puzzles in today's world. Holy ark seems like green paint. I have never read that term in any English Bible translation. Ngaio Marsh is normal ancient crosswordese. I saw that in nearly every other puzzle I did in late 70s and early 80s with my grandmother. I saw it so much I could never forget it. I finally read one of her mysteries. It was ok, but not tempting me to read more.

Joe Bleaux 11:57 AM  

And another thing (yup, he's AARP eligible, all right): I solved this morning's LA Times puzzle, which appears in the Atlanta paper, in my head! It was that easy. Try solving DJC's without physically filling in a blank.

evil doug 12:02 PM  

Joe: "I was sure Evil Doug, whom I thought was the commentariat's resident expert on all aviation matters, would by now have weighed in on whether AEROBAT is legit, but as of this writing, he has not. Well, Doug?"

I think I kinda did, at 6:19....

And I flew through Atlanta during that mess. I think we were delayed about three hours waiting for fuel--only 4 or 5 fuel truck drivers showed up for work.

Warren Howie Hughes 12:09 PM  

If 7D is such a popular typeface, then why can't I find it in ANI of my four Dictionary's?

mathgent 12:18 PM  

@JC 66 (10.31): Thanks for noting that today is Pi Day (3/14). I haven't seen any of the usual clueless articles in the paper yet about the day and that historic number. These articles often say how amazing pi is because it is represented by an endless decimal that never repeats itself. That's true of all irrational numbers. And almost every number is irrational.

I like numbers with historical significance. For example, the square root of 3 begins 1.732, the year George Washington was born.

Dr. Thor Axe 12:28 PM  

Pretty good puzzle and no problems for me. I've heard the term Salad Days used before, but not as often as halcyon days

@Anonymous 12:29


Gotcha beat dude. I smoked Marlboro Reds for 50 years, and only stopped when my doctor told me I was was gonna be parting ways with the lower lobe of my right lung. Its been 5 year since the operation, and so far,so good. I miss the smokes, but still have booze and sex. If my doc says I have to give up either one of them, they'll find me dead beside my empty bottle of Vicodin within a week!

As for the snow, haven't shoveled that crap in years. A big-ass honkin 4x4 and spring sunshine render the problem moot in my world.

In regard to shortness of breath, have you tried Symbicort? I don't use it myself,but its supposed to work great. The active ingredient is Ford Motor Oil. I kid you not. Listen to a commercial if you don't believe me. I could see where is might be very beneficial for your lungs, since my 4x4 runs for miles without wheezing.

Enjoy your retirement. I'm looking at places in Ocala right now.

Nancy 12:37 PM  

@Anoa Bob (1:32 a.m.) -- ORSON BEAN was on To Tell the Truth. God, I loved that show! Sometimes, especially in godawful weather like we're having now, I Google old episodes. The oldest -- those moderated by Bud Collyer -- are the best as far as I'm concerned. I used to be so good at guessing the real person back in the day -- or at least that's how I remember it. I'm not nearly as good now -- I get fooled at least as much as I'm right, probably more. Are young people better at discerning impostors than older people? It used to seem so easy. God, I loved that show!!

@Hartley (6:55 a.m.) and especially @Gwinn's (10:50) -- As a former Mystery Guild Editor at the Literary Guild, of course I know NGAIO (whose name I think is pronounced Nigh-o, though it could possibly be NAY-o). But I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never liked her a quarter as much as Christie. Is she a better prose stylist? Yes, of course. Is she more literary? Without question. But here's the thing, anti-intellectual though it probably is: I don't want literary in a whodunit. I want a Great Headscratching Puzzle with no pretensions of greatness and no excess verbiage with which to contend. And please, no long, superfluous physical description -- of people, of places, of objects. I want the suspects to be accorded their Full Two Dimensions and not a single dimension more. Mostly, I want a fantastic surprise twist -- and nobody, but nobody does/did that better than Christie. Oh, yes, I always took NGAIO as a Club Selection, natch, but I never loved her all that much myself.

Anonymous 12:42 PM  

Dear Anonymous 12:29 AM: Enjoyed your writing so much I read it twice. Should you survive the day - and I really hope you do- I suggest you share more of the right angles of your life. ( G. Weissman must not be a reader.)
Also: I have an extensive library of Marsh novels a friend once sent - I haven't gotten to them yet but he claims they're great. Shall I send you a few?

Lewis 12:44 PM  

@numinous -- A nickelodeon, perhaps? Actually my image was that this arcade-ish place would have instruments that the visitors could play (rather than just listen to), ten minutes to a quarter. Like people who go into music stores and sit down and play the guitars. But this place had winds, strings, keyboards, percussion, all sorts of instruments just there for the playing. Kind of a cool vision...

Masked and Anonymous 12:50 PM  

HOLY ARK AERO BATMANSMAN … This TuesPuz was mighty crisp!
Thanx to The Bard, we now have our theme connection to both actors in general (Shakespeare) and to the (SID)CAESAR themer in particular. I'm pretty sure old Cleo was referrin to her fling with (Julius)CAESAR, when she tossed out that "salad days" line.

Knew all the actor names, but the TOMGREEN one was a bit on the dim side.
Due to space limitations, some salad dudes didn't quite make it to the big bowl, today: William Waldorf (Astor), Mr. Potato (Head), and Charlie Tuna. But then again, not a lotta actin chops in that group. More TOMGREEN-like.

Knew NGAIO thanx to numerous crosswords from my cinnamon roll days. ABBACY and AEROBAT were bat-crazy, but knew all their crosses, so nanosecond leakage was manageable. Don't do Starbucks, so VENTI was new news to m&e. Solvequest went tolerably smoother than snot, at our house.

fave weeject stack goes to the NW's MOM+ANI+NEC. Honrable solo mention to USD, tho.

All M&A's best wishes go out today to that Anonymous 12:29am poster with the bad snow/roof/TrumpCare problems. And to everyone else, diggin out from under it all. Be careful and do it in increments. Don't make the EMTs come down there.

Mr. Spock: "Cold in judgment, green in blood".

And thanx, Mr. Gulczynski, at least from all the over-the-roof older-than-snot trans-AARP Ngaio-phobes in the crowd.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


MBI 1:16 PM  

My god, the complaints. Am I that much of a film buff that I got all the actors immediately? Orson Bean is John Cusack's boss in "Being John Malkovich"! Come on!

Masked and Anonymous 1:16 PM  

Oh man …
… he coulda been a contender.


extra "Snow Day" runt pile:

chefbea 1:23 PM  

Just read in our paper...Chopt Salad Resaurant is going to open here in Wilmington this spring!!! Can't wait.

Teedmn 1:29 PM  

SID CAESAR and TOM GREEN yes, ORSON BEAN, not so much, LEE J COBB? WOE. I know Tom Green from playing the under-socialized goofball "the Chad" in the first of the Charlie's Angels remakes - and he was married briefly to Drew Barrymore. Any of his solo stuff, I run screaming from.

This was a bit of a slaw for me - a minute over my average Tuesday time. NGAIO way did I expect 18A to go with the last name Marsh. Said NGAIO and Nellie and ANI and MOM were the women who balanced this ABBACY MAN'S MAN puzzle of themers and I'd argue they do a good job of it.

I've heard the revealer phrase but I appreciate @Carola putting it into perspective with her Shakespearean explanation and, of course, for WS himself giving the quote (that's the Bard, not Mr. Shortz :-).)

Thanks, DJG.

gifcan 2:15 PM  

DNF. I looked for the error but couldn't find it. I thought it was in the NGAIO. Nope, misspelled CAESeR and ARIeL. Watching too much Disney with the grandkids.

jberg 2:15 PM  

Back from t.5 weeks in Florida just in time for this blizzard -- which fortunately seems to be not all that blizzardly. I'll wait for the rain rather than shovel, I choice I may regret.

most things have been said, so just two from me. First, I got Sid, Lee, and Orson, and tried to predict the revealer. All I could think of was SALAD DAYS, which I rejected as not good enough -- so that was kind of a disappointment.

Second, have a listen of Cab Calloway singing about this famous MOOCHER. Almost as famous as Nellie BLY.

oldactor 3:07 PM  

I appeared briefly in Lee J Cobb's "King Lear" at Lincoln Center. Also worked with Sid Caesar in Mel Brook's
"Silent Movie" and played oboe in the So I'm "Artsy" and well past the AARP age. I'll be 85 next month.

Düdie 3:33 PM  

I was thinking the same thing. In English we never use the word holy, we just say ark. Maybe Damon translated the puzzle from Hebrew? ;-)

QuasiMojo 3:49 PM  

Lee J. Cobb was the original Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on Broadway. Great actor. Very crossword worthy.

LOVED this puzzle today. Aerobat was easily sussable. Abbacy is a new one to me. Like it. Knew all the actors. Orson Bean was also in the indie cult classic "Forty Deuce" by Paul Morrissey about hustlers in Times Square.

I find it hard to believe that people would bother to tweet Rex about their disdain for a Tuesday puzzle.

My only quibble is "mic drop" -- new to me and we always called them "mikes" in theater or performance. But what do I know? I'm on the verge of AARPhood.

E.J. Copperman 4:20 PM  

I am old (59) and therefore the names were easy for me, although I barely remembered Tom Green. I had trouble with MOOCHER and COMPORT but the rest of it was pretty easy for me.

Numinous 4:20 PM  


Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon,
All I want is . . . Music, music, music.

Yeah, I think they came in many forms and were very interesting to watch. I remember some that you could even see the music roll going and trying to figure out which hole played what instrument.

I think there are some music stores where you can do that for free if they think you're serious. I used to go to Valley Arts Guitar in Studio City to play their guitars and keyboards when I was trying to figure out what synth I wanted. Trumpets and tubas would be a bit problematic, though, since they are spit collectors. Saxophones and flutes probably have a similar problem but if you want to try the tambourines and harps, feel free.

Karma's a bitch 4:22 PM  

Anon 12:29 here - While I appreciate all the concern about my health, what I wrote earlier was a highly exaggerated preamble just to make a joke. Yes, my driveway is 400', I hate the snow, I feel stupid shoveling my roof, blah blah blah. It was all just a setup for the joke . All the nice people here made me feel bad about putting them on.

So, as cosmic retribution for my putting you all on the damned drive belts on my snow blower decided to break 1/10th of the way into clearing my driveway . I got my car stuck trying to get out to buy a new one.

I figure we're even, no?

Mordechai 4:26 PM  

HOLY ARK just doesn't work for me. I've never heard it called that in English albeit I agree that it is a literal translation of the Hebrew term. I just can't see the Gabbai telling a congregant - "you'll open the holy ark when it's time to take out the torah". Also in the prayer book the instructions say things such as "The Ark is opened, please stand".

Mordechai 4:44 PM  

Upon further reflection the answer HOLY ARK is just wrong. The Hebrew words, ארון קודש, literally translate as "holy closet" or "holy chest" because the word אָרוֹן means either closet or chest. Used together with קודש it means simply the Ark in which the Torah scrolls are kept. Since Ark has only two meanings in English - either Noah's Ark, or the structure that holds the Torah scrolls I would argue that HOLY doesn't belong in the answer. In addition the Ark itself is not Holy, only the objects kept in the Ark are Holy. An empty Ark has no religious significance and can be discarded when it is no longer needed as opposed to a Torah scroll which is actually buried.

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

I'm a pretty new puzzle solver and really not that good yet but I always get it after the fact.... EXCEPT for SALAD DAYS. I have never heard of that in my life and think NGAIO MARSH is nothing to that. I still don't get it.

DJG 5:16 PM  

So I guess I should probably remove HOLY ARK from my word list.

With that said, it is *not* made up, and it's *not* "green paint." It's a stand alone entry in all three of the dictionaries I consulted.

See here, here, and here.

Jewish customs are not something I know much about, so all I can do in defense of HOLY ARK is direct people to the dictionary links above.

Alison 5:30 PM  

Heh! Of course, if you were in Ngaio Matsh book you would turn out not to have had a heart attack but to have been murdered

Sherm Reinhardt 5:43 PM  

Not hard except for the SW, where I couldn't remember the Breaking Bad network and all I could think of for FBI employee was GMAN, which was once classic fill. I figured did a smith's job would be SHOED but it sounded wrong because I think of SHOD much more quickly. But there was enough there to suss it out, including classic Ms. DEY of LALAW. Those were the SALADDAYS of crosswords when both those clues were regulars.

rorosen 5:59 PM  

actually Anon 12:29, I have had high plaster ceilings fall down in my ancient house and repaired them (sloppily) plus the plumbing leaks at fault. I've also fallen and had to have my quad re-attached. So if my choice is either fall off the roof now or the ladder later, I choose the latter. Sounds much like your snowblower car karma- if I can't win, I would rather repair things than bones,..

iamjess 6:07 PM  

Wow. So completely out of my wheelhouse, it was a slog from beginning to end. Not knowing ANY of the actors names, or who they are, when I got to the revealer and had _____DAYS, I confidently put in happyDAYS, with a shrug of "maybe those guys were all in that show". I was way off. But that makes me think of all kinds of potential Happy Days themes.

I also had BEAN, and GREEN, and was going in a legume direction for a while.

However, loved GOOEY. So long as it doesn't refer to my lettuce...

Unknown 6:17 PM  

@QuasiMojo I can't speak for everyone else, but at least on my part, I wasn't tweeting my disdain. Just the thought that with all of the proper names—many of them crossing—maybe it was a a bit early in the week for this puzzle. Feels like a perfectly reasonable thing to say to @Rex & to this community, but different strokes for different folks.

I liked tons about the puzzle, enjoyed the solve, thought many of the downs were sparkly, etc. Just didn't love all of the proper names. But again, different strokes.

@Anon 12:29, I loved your short story, and yes, I think the universe has repaid you for your (intentional, but not malicious?) deceit. I mean, I don't speak for the universe, either, but if I did, I'd say you're good.

@oldactor sounds like you've had a heck of a life . . . here's to hoping we're all going strong—and still wrestling with the crossword—when we're 85. If there was some way to do it, I'd buy you a drink and pepper you with questions about what you've seen and experienced!

QuasiMojo 6:50 PM  

@Jeremy-Vero-Haub -- I was not referencing you by any means. Although I will say that you should know Nellie Bly. She is one of the sainted celebrity ladies of years gone by who pops up often in crosswords. I liked your Ty joke. And your avatar or whatever that decal thing is called.

I thought of another themer: Gugliemo Marconi. (Just kidding!)

One last word on "salad days." To me that is a very common expression, still in use. At least by me, who remembers my own with increasing fondness.

Space Is Deep 7:18 PM  

I found it hard for a Tuesday, but that is a good thing.

Anonymous 9:07 PM  

Does anyone remember Lee J. Cobb?

RooMonster 9:57 PM  

Here's a neat thing.
Write down Pi, as in 3.14, with the closed 4 like it is here, on a piece of paper and hold it up to a mirror.


Unknown 10:22 PM  

Did not know the actors . Abbacy seems ridiculous . I hate it when the constructors make up words

ahecht 1:14 AM  

Bly *was* a "super famous journalist feminist icon badass muckraking globe circumnavigator". She retired in 1895 and died in 1922. 19th century journalists definitely qualify as Natick material.

Leapfinger 8:31 AM  

19th century journalists definitely qualify as Natick material

I guess Pepys is in serious trouble. Probably Shakespeare also.

Well, @Beizer Rebbe, I don't agree with you. And the Lubavitcher Rebbe called and said to tell you this is not the place for pilpul

Not sure what Esai MORALEs was doing in the SALAD puzzle. Maybe he's the window dressing on the side. What with the intelligent kickass ladies in the grid, the discussion of NGAIO and Agatha at least should extend to Dorothy Sayers, not for her Whimsy as much as her Montague Egg.

I always enjoy a good food-based puzzle, and on Pi Day I spose we can enjoy some healthy SALADS in place of just desserts.

Burma Shave 10:29 AM  


In his SALADDAYS he was an AEROBAT, a TEAS, and a MANSMAN. No spit!
But in the NADIRS of his NAKED ARIALs? AWGEEZ, he suffered SPASTIC fits.
He couldn’t COMPORT himself ONEIOTA, with unease IGUESS we’ll read his OBIT.


this stream of unconsciousness brought to you by PAYPAL

spacecraft 12:18 PM  

Oh, come on. Or, as the puzzle says, "AWGEEZ." Saying that ORSONBEAN is an "Anatomy of a Murder" actor is like saying that Peter Cushing is a "Star Wars" actor. Yeah, he was in it, but...AWGEEZ! Talk about your CAMEOS! Contrast SIDCAESAR's antics in Madx4 World, or LEEJCOBB's powerful linchpin performance in 12. Oh, and just who is TOMGREEN? Sounds more like TOMGREENpaint to me.

I did like the theme PERSE, though finding salad-y names amongst the famous isn't easy--and the resulting constrictions proved near-fatal to the fill. It's amazing how many different Natick spots there were for different solvers. Mine came in the dreaded NW; this techless wonder never heard of Asian electronics "giant" (???) NEC, and the term MICDROP must refer, IGUESS, to a performer dropping his microphone, for whatever reason. Seems a stupid, or at the very least clumsy, thing to do onstage. It certainly makes no sense to me. Possible letters in that square include D, S, and even X. That I settled on C was nothing more than a lucky shot.

There is serious contention for DOD today, including perennial xword faves ANI DiFranco and Susan DEY, along with, of course, JADA Pinkett-Smith, but I'm going for my #1 hottie Daniela Ruah as Kensie BLYe. I know the spelling is off, but it looks like this is the only way she'll make a grid, and I MUST have her.

Hard to imagine a GOOIER fill: ABBACY? OBOES EPEE ESAS--again? RVER???? I did know NGAIO--from earlier puzzles--but didn't know she was a woman, so thanks for the WOD, Fearless One. Par--and you can thank 27-down, even without the E, for that.

leftcoastTAM 1:30 PM  

Crunchier than usual Tuesday. SALADs are common enough but a couple of the ingredients are not.

TOM GREEM? Okay, but never heard of. IGUESS I didn't see "Road Trip". ORSON BEAN? Sure, know him, but as actor in "Anatomy"? Saw the movie, but not a shred of memory of him in that one.

NGAIO? Another never heard of, but crosses introduced me. And in the NW, MICDROP is a new one, too.

Finally, also in the NW at 1D, stuck with MeNS MAN, which left me with an embarrassingly misnamed eNI DiFranco. dnf.

Mixed feelings about today's menu.

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

It appears that to avoid the usual Tuesday criticism you run a Thursday level puzzle.
This was NOT a Tuesday puzzle..

Jentaps 3:00 PM  

Rex: Orson Bean was often on What's My Line. Probably those others ,too.

Jentaps 3:04 PM  

Late to the party due to syndication, but I take issue with shoed. Farriers shoe horses, blacksmiths make wrought iron implements.

Diana,LIW 3:48 PM  

Guessed the C in NEC/MICDROP - so I finished, but not due to knowledge of same.

Ngaio Marsh is well known to me. Know Tom Green from crosswords. Remember Mr. BEAN from What's My Line?

Didn't we see another ABBACYish word recently? Or was that in one of my anthologies. Seems like ABB could lead anywhere...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 3:49 PM  

"Never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow" - Orson Bean

I also knew SID CAESAR (crazily funny at times), LEE J COBB (movies mentioned above). TOM GREEN? Just a salad eponym to me.

I see nothing wrong with SALAD DAYS as the revealer. I usually eat SALAD in the daytime. All the "problem" entries were easily got using the fair crosses.

My favourite salads are Salade Nicoise and the Startin Salad, but those would be difficult to make themers of. There you go, @leftcoastTAM.

I think a theme for OFL today would be, "Hey, I want to say nasty things about this puzzle. Send me your nit-picking Tweets". But, I liked it.

rondo 6:01 PM  

Well all of those actors were in all of those films, but there were bigger names and higher billings for those others than for our puz people. I knew the names, but would not necessarily associate them with those films.

There’s an ad on TV right now featuring a MICDROP. Still don’t really get it, seems self-serving.

I had a ’58 TBIRD and a 1997 TBIRD. Still miss the ’97, what a great car.

JADA and ANI and Ms. DEY are always winners for me. Yeah babies all.

Better than a lot of Tuesdays, IGUESS.

rondo 6:06 PM  

Forgot, as someone above mentioned, the premier Russian SALAD (a glorified potato SALAD) is SALAD Olivier. Now there's one that would have top billing. Most of those others were just "in" the flick.

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