1980s Pakistani president / TUE 4-25-17 / Wind tile in mah-jongg / WW II era British gun

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Constructor: Gary J. Whitehead

Relative difficulty: Probably normal ... don't know. I stopped to take a screenshot mid-solve, so my time tells me nothing ...

THEME: HOME (71A: There's no place like it ... or a word that can precede either half of the answer to each starred clue) — just what it says...

Theme answers:
  • BODYGUARD (17A: *V.I.P.'s security agent)
  • GAMEBOY (22A: *Nintendo hand-held)
  • COMPUTER PORT (27A: *Place to plug in a USB cable)— ouch. I think the answer you're looking for here is "USB PORT"
  • MOVIE THEATER (48A: *Multiplex, e.g.
  • ICELAND (56A: *NATO's smallest member, populationwise) — I had IRELAND briefly :(
  • FRONT PAGE (63A: *Where a newspaper's biggest stories go)
Word of the Day: ZIA (41D: 1980s Pakistani president) —
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (Urdu: محمد ضياء الحق‎; 12 August 1924 – 17 August 1988) was a four-star rank general who served as the 6th President of Pakistan from 1978 until his death in 1988, after declaring martial law in 1977. He was Pakistan's longest-serving head of state. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is the second time in recent memory where I would've stopped solving if I hadn't had to write about the puzzle. And in this case, I would've stopped almost immediately. Wrote in 1A: IRAQ, then went straight to "Q" for the cross ... QTY? First thought: "Dude, that "Q" was not worth it." Went on to next answer: 14A: Suffix with refresh or replace. And right there, I was out. Done. I'm three answers in and the fill is already a war crime.

This is a small corner. There is noooooo reason for -MENT to be in your small corner unless your small corner is Very compromised by the theme *or* you don't know what you're doing. You can look at that corner and see that it didn't get better. REORG URI and EGESTS? Disaster. By the time I made my way to the center, with its improbable (and ultimately self-referential) ZZZ string, I figured the theme was some weird thing with "Q"s and "Z"s because why else would they be in this grid when the fill is so terrible. There must be a reason .... there was no reason. The theme type was one of the oldest in the book, one that provides all the pleasure of re-reading the theme answers while inserting "HOME" before each part. Which is to say, no pleasure whatsoever. On the day that the NYT takes it mini puzzle into the land of Snapchat (something called Snapchat Discover), it continues to take its *real* puzzle into the grave and heap dirt upon it. We're in an astonishing run of non-inventive puzzles, non-current, running-on-fumes-of-the-1990s puzzles. But hey, you can get the mini crossword in Snapchat now, so everything's fine, I guess.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I love this article about the NYT's move into Snapchat Discover because it contains this sentence: "It even includes a mini-crossword puzzle for its younger readers."

P.P.S. the Philadelphia Inquirer has changed its crossword to the "Universal Crossword," which would not be notable at all except that Universal = notorious crossword plagiarist, whom you may remember from this story at fivethirtyeight.com last year. He's still widely syndicated. Even merriam-webster runs his puzzle (on their website, I just found out). There's no law against his continuing to be published, just as there's no law against my occasionally reminding you that "unrepentant crossword plagiarist" is a concept that exists in the world. (Thanks to Evan Birnholz for calling this to my attention)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 6:30 AM  

@rex -- If the fill is bland, then trying to spice it up with a Z pyramid might not be a bad thing.

There were some lovely answers -- NUZZLES, CHIMERAS, TRUISMS, IMBUE. I like seeing SAME near AGREES. In a couple of places, the puzzle brought my brain to alert, which is what I live for in solving, so while the theme wasn't necessary for the solve, I liked doing this. And there is even a bonus theme answer in the grid -- STAY.

I will be a-travelin' for about a week, and will rejoin y'all after that. Wishing you some special solves!

Anonymous 6:44 AM  

Things I liked: The words I, me, and mine. Things I hated: Will Shortz.

Passing Shot 6:49 AM  


Hungry Mother 6:52 AM  

Quick solve, but a few unknowns.

ZZZ 6:56 AM  

I wondered if this was a joke or parody. It's hard to imagine a puzzle with less pleasure in it. Dull theme answers and atrocious fill. Aaack!

Leo DiCaprio's private jet 6:59 AM  

I loved this puzzle thanks Gary.

Alexander 6:59 AM  

MITZI crossing ERTE seemed a little unfair for a Tuesday, especially having been born after 1980...

Anonymous 7:08 AM  

Rex, I implore you, please take a sabbatical.
Lately your blog is too dour and fanatical.
Go spend a week in Aruba or Sanibel.
Leave the critiquing to Loren or Annabel.

Mr. Fitch 7:09 AM  

I thought URI crossing ANDIE was bad. You either have to know Dawson's Creek characters or an obscure collegiate athletics conference. Or you just guess, which is what I did.

Glimmerglass 7:10 AM  

C'mon, man. It wasn't that bad. It's Tuesday, so the theme, Oz revealer, and fill are very easy. However, some of the fill is a bit harder, because it isn't Monday. There were for me some nice moments (NUZZLER, PRANK, CBGB, ROSA, URI). Nice moments were unavailable to you because of righteous indignation (a problem I try to avoid, except for moral issues).

kitshef 7:23 AM  

@Anon at 7:08. Don't agree with the sentiment, but love the presentation.

I note that the Peanuts cartoon at the end of Rex’s column advises me to give my secretary a hug during national secretaries’ week.

I’m pretty sure this would earn me a) a knee to the groin or b) a lawsuit or c) both.

Oh, the puzzle? Yes, what @Rex said. Dull theme, sub-basement fill. LII, COS, IMAGO, MENT, ERTE, ONER – it looks like someone hit autofill and left it at that. This one actually deserved a classic Rexing, rather than the tepid disapproval we got today.

@Lewis – in counting doubles, how do you account for ZZZ? Is that not a double at all, or one double, or two doubles?

Irene 7:31 AM  

For once I agree with Rex. Stupid puzzle and beyond-stupid theme. When you use a word as ubiquitous as "home" you expect some liveliness in the theme answers.
I don't expect much from Tuesdays, but I don't expect to be annoyed.

chefbea 7:36 AM  

Is there a reason I am unable to get the puzzle this morning??? Can someone send it to me. I usually download it from puzzle fiend's site. Please help!!!

GHarris 7:40 AM  

Only brief hang up was the NE. Other sections where I didn't know a pp (e.g. Andie) were quite workable from crosses. For me, a satisfactory experience.

Johnny 7:45 AM  

Speaking of wonderful guest bloggers:

Just coincidentally I did the 4/24/10 puzzle last night, which is pretty difficult but fair. Anyway, at the end of the Rex review was a birthday greeting to Puzzle Girl!

I'm assuming it's still true, so Happy (day late) Birthday Puzzle Girl!

As for this year's puzzle, I was going to quit after the first letter but I finished it because I had nothing better to do.

Aketi 7:50 AM  

Given that it sounds like it is raining outside and I'm too tired to look, catching ZZZs and LAZing around at HOME seem tempting. Charlie our big fat male cat has already NUZZLEd up to Faith our female cat and attempted to bite her NAPE. After she gave him the daily ritual swat on the nose, they are snooZing next to each other at the foot of the bed with the 12 inches of personal space between them that she insists is necessary. It's going to take a third cup of coffee to force myself to get up and going today. Maybe I'll just hit the snooZe button on the clock radio again.

L 7:51 AM  

DEGUM??? wtf

Lewis 7:53 AM  

@kitshef -- I count it as one double. The first two Zs count as the double, leaving one Z, which is not. This puzzle, by the way, had a low count (6), but not extremely low (anything less than five). This from your resident alphadoppeltotter.

Forsythia 7:55 AM  

What does CBGBS stand for? I got it but no idea what it stands for. Still fastest time ever FWIW. This could go in a Dell puzzle book in the medium section!

btgrover 8:14 AM  

Got hung up on Arizona Neighbor, looking at _E_ I was sure it was NEV. Should have gotten OXEYE sooner, but IMAGO didn't do me any favors. Oh well, I blame Trump for my slow solve.

Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, I believe.

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

GBGB stood for "Country Blue Grass Blues" but nobody and I mean nobody ever called it that or probably even knew that's what it stood for. It was universally known as CBGBs. That clue threw me because it referred to "CBGBS" as the "informal" title which maybe it was (or maybe not), which made me avoid filling in CBGBS even though it was the first and only answer I thought of.

Sir Hillary 8:18 AM  

No, sorry, this didn't work.

[HOME]GUARD? [HOME]PORT? If you say so.

I'm not on a first-name basis with Patti Smith, Deborah Harry or David Byrne, but I'm pretty sure it was just CBGB. No S.

IMAGO abutting DEGUM is bad on any day, to say nothing of a Tuesday.

I did like ICELAND as a themer.

IRAQ, ISR[AEL], IBIZA, ICELAND -- I love geography, and geography loves I.

Anonymous 8:27 AM  

There's this thing called Google

Glenn Patton 8:34 AM  

According to the Constructor's Notes on the Wordplay blog, this puzzle was constructed 7 years ago ... doesn't say when it was submitted. (Thanks to Amy for calling attention to this on the Crossword Fiend blog)

Colby 8:51 AM  

It wasn't great, but it wasn't as awful as Rex would have you believe.

Nate 8:51 AM  

Big kudos for GAMEBOY, ICELAND, NUZZES, PRIORY, and CHIMERAS. Those were very solid, non-crosswordy answers.

That this puzzle was constructed 7 years ago helps a bit. I mean, it doesn't reflect well on the NYT, but it explains the constructor's thinking, at least. Dawson's Creek was a cheesy, ultimately forgettable teen drama that gets more and more forgettable by the year. 7 years ago it was at least a little fresher in people's memories than today. You can't ask for character names from a show like that on a Tuesday. Actors? Sure, that's fair game (Michelle Williams! Joshua Jackson! Katie Holmes! James Vanderbeek? Okay, I'm out). But not characters.

How often is a "state neighbor" answer a different country? I had NEV there for far too long.

ERTE/MITZI is grade-A, dictionary-definition Natick material. In its defense, at least it was guessable.

I was DNF'd by one measly letters - the EGESTS and GATO cross. I haaaaate foreign language clues. It's pure rote memory, and if I don't have it in my memory bank, I don't have it. EGEST is crosswordese and it didn't come to me. T was maybe the third letter I tried.

Z 8:52 AM  

@Glenn Patton - 7 years? UnF#>€ingBelievable. At least that explains the dated Dawson's Creek reference.

I perused (the "quick" meaning, not the "in depth" meaning) the article on Snapchat. Once again proving that the "olds" do not understand younger generations and resort to pandering condescension. 1. 20-somethings prefer reading news to watching news. 2. 20-somethings are perfectly willing and able to tackle NYTX, please leave the irrelevant pre-1990 trivial trivia somewhere else 3. At least they're trying, but maybe consider treating your younger audience as adults.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

@Anon 8:16 - Perhaps alleged informality alludes to the club's full name being CBGB & OMFUG.

Unknown 9:04 AM  

Haven't done the NYT crossword in a month or two. Had some time yesterday evening and solved this one. I regret that decision.

G. Weissman 9:06 AM  

No, it was as bad as Rex would have you believe. GATO, AVEC: if you have to go to another language for your short fill, your puzzle is poor. EGESTS, IBIZA: lame, lame.

RooMonster 9:10 AM  

Hey All !
Can't heap on the bile for this puz like some of y'all. Wasn't the best ever, but it was a serviceable, comfy theme TuesPuz. Yes, some of the fill was ick-ful, but really, that happens quite a bit. ONER needs to go. Haven't heard of it as clued. How about ONEL, clued as something to do with the Lama/Llama saying. That'd be neat.

Did like the long Downs. I remember MITZI Gaynor only because there was another actress named MITZI Capture in the 80's who I thought was a babe. Schwing! :-)

No real problem with pyz, had same writeover as Brian Grover 8:14 nEv-MEX. Ended up with OvEYE and said Wha..? Laughing at @M&A's URI in again, and clued as one of the ways he provided yesterday. Good stuff.

So most SEZ ZZZ about this, but I AGREES I HAD FUN with no EGESTS.


John Child 9:15 AM  

I really liked CHIMERAS, NUZZLES, KEEP AT IT, and GADGET. I wish there had been more pluses. SEZ me.

Nancy 9:18 AM  

Agree with Lewis. There were some very nice, unTuesdayish answers and a bit of crunch. This is the 2nd early week puzzle in a row that I didn't find a complete ZZZ. I do question how "legendary" CBGBS is. I wonder how many other New Yorkers have never heard of it. Studio 54 -- now there's a legendary club. As for the theme of the puzzle? Ignorable, which is always just fine with me.

GILL I. 9:27 AM  

I really really look forward to Tuesday. I can bank on @Rex hating the puzzle and I always always feel sorry for the constructor. I now know that April 24 is National Secretaries Week and this puzzle was conceived 7 years ago.
@Z..."consider treating your younger audience as adults." I so AGREES. Sometimes, even in my old age, I feel I've been dumbed down.
Has it already been 14 years since we invaded IRAQ sniffing around for WMD? Seems like yesterday.
DEGUM is cute. My sister had beautiful blonde hair that she combed about 20 times a day. She loved her hair; everybody loved her hair... then one night she forgot to take her gum out before falling asleep. GUM loves hair - especially long shiny blonde hair. I watched with sick amusement as my mom cut it all off. It took her 5 years before it grew back to where it was. For her birthday I gave her a pack of bubble gum. I love my sister.
Don't Walk Away RENE.

IAGN 9:31 AM  

@And the Oscar goes to (from yesterday) -- It was meant to, I'm surprised so few people picked up on it, and I'm sure you're right.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Where does the S in CBGBS come in? I went to CBGB back in the day, and there's no S. I saw Patti Smith at CBGB, not CBGBS. No one said CBGBS, except in sentences such as "That floor is almost disgusting as CBGB's" which is not how the answer was clued.

Amie Devero 9:34 AM  

Home body
Home computer

jackj 9:35 AM  

I can't imagine that every Universal puzzle is constructed by Parker, but each puzzle has no constructor credit, simply "by Timothy E. Parker".

The Daily Ant 9:35 AM  

Full agreement with those hating on this puzzle. The NE corner is just... unreal for a Tuesday (at least for those born in 1991 or later, such as myself). CBGBS, HELOT, and IBIZA... wtf. Also, I propose that NEVE crossed with AVEC is a Natick. An unusual name crossed with an uncommon foreign word. ERTE crossed with MITZI is fully absurd for a Tuesday and a Natick as well, as noted by @Nate and @Alexander.

I usually don't fully agree with Rex Rage, but in this case, I found myself wishing for /more/ Rex Rage - I feel like he barely touched upon the full hideousness of this puzzle!

Amie Devero 9:36 AM  

Seriously Rex....you do seem a bit cranky!
I was stumped by Helot (got through crosses) and the URI-Andie cross. Never filled in the shared I, so technically DNF. The rest was a cinch... but ok for Tuesday.

Tita 9:38 AM  

@lews...thx for the Z Pyramid...I like it!

I have to admit that the NW is a disaster.

And the add-a-word thing is not a favorite because I can't guess it on my own. Never can. I waste many seconds trying. Then I look at the revealer. Oh. Ok.

No love for the daisy reference today? I'm happy, because it lets me tell you all what I forgot to say yesterday...
Sideways spoiler only...

The Portuguese name for 39A is Amor Perfeito, or Perfect Love.
Until last week, I always thought that it was IMperfeito, which made perfect sense to me, as it is an asymmetrical flower, and hence imperfect. As love usually is.
And THAT would have made Scarlett's original name actually quite perfect.

Oh...and as I'm sure y'all remember from skipping over my yesterday's post, 39A's twin sister is Daisy.

Tita 9:45 AM  

@7:08 Anon...thanks for your poem...I like it and its suggestion!

@Gill...great DEGUM story... and what a twisted sister poor RENE has!

QuasiMojo 9:48 AM  

@Anonymous 7:08, a week in Sanibel? Only if being bored to death is a type of rest cure.

I am embarrassed to admit I had DNF today. I had no idea what the title of that song by Sam somebody was. And I had "Game Box" since I've never heard of "Game Boy." Not complaining! Just pointing out the fact. And my knowledge of Spartan slaves is wanting.

I always thought "Bebe" Neuwirth was a "babe."

This puzzle would have been much more interesting if the word "Home" had worked as a front word and then as a back word for the second half. e.g. "Team Mobile." :)

I think I can guess who Glamo(u)rNazi is (was?) but I don't want to spoil her/his surprise.

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

CBGB facade

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

That "Z" guy is very impressed with himself.

IAGN 10:01 AM  

Guess away, @Quasi. If you're right, I'll confirm. In blue.

Charles Flaster 10:18 AM  

Very EZ with lots in my wheelhouse.
Another creative clue for SLEET as we recently had one.
Thanks GJW

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

@Anonymous 9:57,
If you're new here, you won't believe how highly Z thinks of himself. Or maybe you would, after all today he redefined a word.
So far as I can tell, the only thing that surpasses his smug arrogance is his ignorance.
Stick around, you'll see.

one could spend a week at Ding Darling ( Sanibel's best part) and not begin to plumb its depths.

Richard 10:57 AM  

I agree it was pretty icky for a Tuesday; the theme is too much work for too little reward. I did like MEX for "Ariz. neighbor." I couldn't find ONER as an actual word.

QuasiMojo 11:03 AM  

Okay, @anonymous -- I'll grant you that. I thought you meant the town where they roll up the sidewalks at 4:30pm after the all-you-can-eat buffet. Or did. I haven't been back in a while. I did like your little poem though!

@IAGN, but if I'm wrong, I'll be the one who is "blue."

Rita Flynn 11:05 AM  

There was a lot of outdated crosswordese in this, like oner, and I hate suffixes as answers. At least it didn't have abbreviations for directions, like ENE or WSW. I HATE those. If it was put together seven years ago, I guess that explains it, somewhat.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Touché viz Sanibel. But I can't take credit for the poem, though I think it's aces, or the first crack about the board's favorite letter (z) though I think @anon 9:57 is dead on.

Hartley70 11:16 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hartley70 11:22 AM  

@Gill I, and your little tale of your sister's woe is exactly why I enjoy you so much!

old timer 11:27 AM  

I liked the puzzle fine. Not a great puzzle, but serviceable and with a few highlights. Normal Tuesday time for me. My only problem was right at the end, in the SE corner, but it came together.

Mont. and even Idaho sometimes have "Can." for a neighbor. I was delighted to see MEX for Arizona, and almost decoyed into writing in Cal.

Hartley70 11:29 AM  

The answer is none, @Nancy. I see it's now on the National Historic Registry and it was a music landmark for over 30 years. I first lived and went to school in the West Village when I moved to NYC in 1970, so maybe that's why I was always aware of it. However, I do think the S after CBGB is a problem as clued.

I found this really easy. I only paused at ANDIE and the crosses gave it to me. I remember the show, but Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams stole all the limelight. Who remembers ANDIE?

URI isn't obscure to all of us, @Mr. Fitch. I can't imagine that many of the state land grant universities could be considered obscure. Did I mention I'm from RI?

PRIORY, NUZZLER and CHIMERA were very fine answers on a Tuesday.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Exactly. Except that my guess
for 3-D (ANDRE) was wrong.

Happy Pencil 11:58 AM  

@Sir Hillary, I agree with you about HOME PORT, but HOME GUARD is valid. That's what the volunteer local defence force in the UK was called during the Second World War. It was mostly made up of people too old to serve in the regular forces. They guarded the coastline and places like ammunition depots, and were supposed to sound the alarm in the event of a German invasion.

That was one of the few answers I actually enjoyed seeing in this puzzle, I'm sorry to say.

Masked and Anonymous 12:01 PM  

@RP: yep. About average TuesPuz difficulty, after I decided to build that there little black-square wall, to seal off the NE corner. (Which the IBIZAns will pay for.) Chose the A in AVEC and the E in NEVE, as my black wall squares.

ZZZ? Aw con-trair. This puz's erection strategy seemed to be to splatz in the no-place-like-home themer answers, and then bulk everywhere else up with lively, scrabbly, raised-by-wolves fillins. Made for a fun, nanosecond-guzzlin solvequest. This did, howsomever, make it powerful hard to confidently identify the choice desperation points, altho PAH-DEGUM-AGUY seems pretty solid.

URI! Today, notice they used the URI-clue #3 "academic" option. M&A hereby declares this to be URI Week, at the NYTPuz. (Some days I bet they try to "hide" the URI, but they cannot fool the M&A, now … he smells *meta* meat!)

LII! For U beginner solvers out there: Get to know yer random Roman numerals. Quick review:
* I = ONER.
* V = fiVer.
* X = sTEN.
* L = V x X.
* C = U on its side (lil sleepy darlin).
* D = V x C.
* M = Masked.

Thanx, Mr. Whitehead. Wowzo. Seven years is a helot-ta long time to wait, for URI Week.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Bill Feeney 12:13 PM  

I looove coming here for all the interesting personalities who write such interesting things and write interestingly. I haaaate coming here to be constantly reminded how dumb I am. Music club? Spartan slave? Resort island? Why aren't you all ranting about the impossibility of the NE?
I sometimes think I should have started a notebook about 20 years ago, filled with obscure crossword answers that I could pull out every time I'm faced with a Spartan slave who vacationed at some resort island after a tough night of clubbing somewhere I've never heard of.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

I think CBGS'S is an acceptable (informal) colloquialism. Not mysterious that a place named CBGB would come to be known by many as CBGB's over time.

GILL I. 12:35 PM  

@Hartley...why thank you!!!! I KNEW I'd enjoy you too, after reading your "Bats Under the Umbrella."

AZPETE 12:40 PM  

Thx for link to free puz.

Sir Hillary 12:50 PM  

@Happy Pencil - Thanks for the HOME GUARD info. Very interesting. They sound like heroes.

The Name of The Game is Fame 1:01 PM  

I'm betting on The Glamour Nazi 3/1 that it's Nancy.

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

@Happy Pencil @Sir Hilary
Every single Navy ship has a HOME PORT, as do most civilian ships. It is a fairly common term.

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

URI - I'm familiar with it (Hi @Hartley70 and @r.alph) but I have no reason to know what conference it is in so I say PAH to that clue. In fact, I got the answer because someone in late comments on yesterday's blog had the spoiler that URI was in the puzzle today. As hard as I might, I could not stop thinking of that pink elephant.

I like this genre of puzzle. When I finished, I carefully went to every themer and put HOME in front of the sections. HOMEBODY and HOMEBOY. HOMEMOVIE and HOMEICE. Fun.

And dumbness of the day - I rearranged US maps and had Ari. neighboring tEX, sheesh. ItAGO in no way looks right but you have to look at it to notice! Plus, when I learned about the stages of insect development, it went egg, larva, pupa, adult. None of this IMAGO stuff. So every time I see that in a puzzle, it is as if it is the first time, sigh.

CBGB, no S, is my vote.

RAD2626 1:20 PM  

Did not particularly care for the puzzle for many of he reasons cited re fill. Thought the theme was okay and some of the longer fill pretty elegant. But short fill had some ughs. Thought the NE was really hard for Tuesday. Apart from GAMEBOY and GLIB to me here were no gimmes. Wanted Blue Note or Birdland but no way to squeeze in. HELOT a woe to me. And took the crosses for IBIZA as well.

Larry Gilstrap 1:20 PM  

Wow! Must be Tuesday. So, I'll just riff on some of the fill for a few minutes. I never had heard the phrase HOME ICE until the NHL came to LA. There's something quaint and Canadian about it. I had never heard the phrase HOME THEATER until video took over modern culture. There's something grandiose and American about it. Be it ever so humble, it better have surround sound?

I know it's a wheelhouse thing, but if it's Art Deco and four letters, it's gonna be ERTE. The film South Pacific transcends popular culture. The show features a heck of a lot more than just dancin' and singin', and MITZI Gaynor is terrific as Nellie Forbush, a complex character dealing with her troubling racist emotions. Dawson's Creek is way down on my Netflix queue.

Two milestones on this man's road to adulthood were when I chose to SAY I DO and and when I was chosen to be the one who CARVES the Holiday bird.

Anoa Bob 1:26 PM  

Lost heart and quit about half way through, down around the LII ONER area.

Not trying to be an apologist for the puzz, but HOME PORT is totally legit. San Diego was the HOME PORT for the ships I was on in the Navy. Many commercial and private vessels have the name of the ship and its HOME PORT clearly marked on the hull, usually on the stern. My Cape Dory 28 sailboat has "Zephyr, Port Isabel, TX" proudly displayed on hers.

chefbea 1:35 PM  

I'll ask again...can some one e-mail me the puzzle PDF Please. I have always downloaded it from Diary of a crossword fiend but today I can't get it...says there is a problem

Anonymous 1:47 PM  


Can't you pony up $39.95? So sad.

tea73 1:57 PM  

In my experience usually US States aren't adjacent to other US States, they are adjacent to Canadian provinces or Mexican states - not the entire country.

I hated the northeast. URI? ANDIE? plus ugly fill.

Anonymous 2:01 PM  

I have an odd crossword habit, which I think others share. I run through all the acrosses in order, refusing to check anything against the downs, and then start making corrections as I do the downs. Then keep repeating until puzzles solved.

For 56A, my light ink answer was "Andorra." Though I did wonder about Andorra in NATO. What's in it for Andorra? Or, better, what's in for NATO, having Andorra?

BTW, Andorra, in my puzzle, left NATO and my puzzle very quickly, at 44D, when it confronted the British Sten.

Anonymous 2:04 PM  

Any of you alt-left hatemongers watching the stock markets?

Marty Van B 2:07 PM  

@chefbea, you might consider going directly to the source rather than relying on Puzzle Fiend's website. Make sure your subscription is current and are logged in at the NYTimes website. Either of those issues could be your problem. Beyond that, it looks like Puzzle Fiend links to the "newspaper version" of the puzzle which isn't very home printer friendly.


Direct Link to Home Printer Friendly Version of Today's Puzzle:

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

@anon 2:04
Oh they see it. But they're people of principle. Smarter and more virtuous than the deplorables. So, they'll be donating all the gains their 401k, mutual funds and or teachers union/admin pension plans enjoy back into the community.

gifcan 2:29 PM  

@Daily Ant - The NE killed me. I finally looked up Majorca to see what was next to it. Even with that I failed with sBGBS.

Nancy 4:43 PM  

@The Name of the Game is Fame (1:01 p.m.) And bingo! to you! I thought that no one was paying attention, but evidently you were. Congratulations! Like me, you are tuned in to different writers' own, idiosyncratic styles. (I would have solved a similar puzzle four days ago.) So, yes, to the three wonderful people on this blog who truly and deeply care (as well as to the 976 people who couldn't care less, and why on earth should they?) I am/was Glamour Nazi. Whew! Glad I could finally get this off my chest.

QuasiMojo 5:10 PM  

@Nancy, I knew it! You were my first guess. Primarily because of phrasing and syntax. I only wish I had been bold enough to state it outright earlier today, but it's kind of like @LMS's cautionary tale about asking a woman when she is expecting. If she's not, you're sunk. I know, I did it once to a lady I knew. She was on the subway and well, let's just say the light wasn't flattering. I offered her my seat, eyeing her belly. She was not amused. I"m glad, Nancy, that you have outed yourself. In that spirit, I'm going to out myself too -- as the erstwhile "MotsCroisés"-- not that anyone cares. :)

Anonymous 5:21 PM  

"Running on the fumes of the 90s"? Do not get the meaning of that. What do you mean?

Nancy 5:34 PM  

@Quasi (5:10 p.m.)-- I knew you were almost certainly right in your early post today, had you decided to take a guess, just as I was sure that @The Oscar Goes To (from late yesterday) would have been right, had he/she decided to take a guess. Not to mention @The Name of the Game is Fame today. (By the way, are you all, perhaps, the same person?) I'm surprised you didn't take a stab at my identity, @Quasi; I was waiting with bated breath for you to do so. Even if you'd been wrong, who could possibly be insulted by being mistaken for the droll, witty,(only slightly sarcastic) Glamour Nazi? Certainly not me. I would have been flattered. It's not at all like asking a non-pregnant woman if she's pregnant.

QuasiMojo 5:55 PM  

@Nancy, haha, true. But what if you weren't and for some unknown reason hated IAGN? I hadn't seen all the posts -- was there really only one? So I was slightly wary. Nevertheless keep on postin'... glamour, glamour, toujours glamour... (French accent required).

Anonymous 6:05 PM  

Consider me 1 (and only 1) of the 976.

chefbea 6:06 PM  

@Kathleen Vernon and @ Martin VanB thanks for sending me the puzzle....to late to comment. Just tried the way I usually download it and it is working now. Hopefully it will tomorrow

jae 6:59 PM  

Not much left to say about this just one..mostly meh wit a couple of bright spots seems to be the consensus and I don't disagree.

Anonymous 7:35 PM  

Really? I was surprised by gameboy for the opposite reason. The gameboy was their handheld over 10 years ago. Maybe it's because I'm younger but that was weirdly dated.

RooMonster 8:06 PM  

Well, @Nancy, I'm not sure if you like me or my posts, which is why I went undercover as The Name of The Game is Fame (which I thought was a clever Anon!). But I was 95% sure it was you. To further boost your ego, my second guess was @LMS!

And although you don't know me IRL, it really was me, in case anyone else tries to take credit!


Nancy 8:26 PM  

Of course, I like you Roo! You didn't have to go undercover -- I would have been delighted to answer you under your real (blog) name. But now I know who you are and you know who IAGN is, and all's well that ends well. I congratulate you on your sharp, observant eye. And, yes, I'm extremely flattered! Thanks for the lovely compliment.

Teedmn 8:40 PM  

@jae, re: your suggestion from yesterday of 6/22/1996's NYTimes puzzle: ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I didn't find it all that hard, unlike some of the other gems you've recommended, if you overlook the three errors I had. But the running Rex commentary I was imagining as I uncovered 26D, 36D, 46D (ugh) and the mustiness of 15D, 30A, 53A (which is where two of my errors were, yes, the SW was a humdinger) and the winner for utter moldiness - 48A.

It sure makes today's puzzles shine in comparison. But thanks for the heads-up; it was great fun. Hard to believe it was from 1996 and not 1946!

RooMonster 8:46 PM  

Okay, time to piss off @Anons 2:04 and 2:27.
How about some real facts?
Under Bush 2, stocks fell an average of 4.6% a year. So, -4.6% ending for Bush. Obama gets in, inherits the shitty market, and we get a crash. However, by the time his 8 years are up, stocks have gained 12% a year. So, +12% total. Only two Presidents have done better over their time in, Clinton #2 (14.9%), Ford #1 (18.6%).

So far, Trump is +6.2%.

So much for you with your blinders on. Facts speak better than fake news. By the way, info from Fortune.com.

RooMonster 8:51 PM  

I've said before, I'm an Independent, so whoever is in office I don't really care for! :-) But I thought I would throw out some facts just to get things straight. Yes, Trump Market is doing well right now. But so has others.

Call me a fence sitter! :-P

Rebel Roo
4 and the Door...

Anonymous 9:00 PM  

Room monster,
You should really be quiet when the adults are speaking.

Unknown 9:40 PM  

It drives me crazy that when I get stuck and look at the answers I still don't know the words :
Imago, Helot, chimera, priory, - had to look these up. Am I alone?

Unknown 9:47 PM  

Forgot about oner. Even with google this one hard to find .

Unknown 5:47 AM  

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Leo DiCaprio's private jet 7:05 AM  

Last two times (and first times ever as per xword info) oner has been clued thusly, gonna have to keep they in the memory bank.

teevoz 11:55 AM  

Exactly right.

spacecraft 10:21 AM  

No. Just...no. What OFL said about the start; the difference is, I DON'T have to finish it out--and I didn't. After the painful NW I arrived at the inscrutable NE.

Note to constructors: Everybody in the world does not live in Manhattan! Legendary music club--a string of consonants? LEGENDARY??? Oh, God, I wish I had boldface: LEGENDARY?????? And who in the Sam Hill is Sam Smith? Needless to say, I went no farther, since that corner would be a DNF anyway.

I was in it long enough to see one of the best DOD's ever: ANDIE McDowell. A ray of sunshine poking through a dense cloud of abbrs,. awkward partials, random everything including RIHL's (that's random institutions of higher {?} learning), and stuff only locals would know. The New York Times crossword puzzle is dying. How long can it last if it commits garbage like this to the printed page?

Perhaps it is time for Mr. Shortz to retire. Apparently the Z in his name makes him fond of Z-clusters. I can't think of any other reason he would let this one through.

Burma Shave 11:32 AM  


with his PRANK and SEZ he AGREES,
that AGUY who’s already SCENE_I
won’t say, ”ITSONME” when he PEAS.

this stream of unconsciousness brought to you by EAST ICELAND, HOME of TRUISMS

crushi.com 12:15 PM  

thanks again for all the times I checked out your amazing blog over the years of doing the NYT crox. Thank you. www.crushi.com is my website and i'm not ashamed to share it.

rondo 12:36 PM  

I’ve only ever known the club as CBGB, no S. Maybe for the impaired locals. Did not get the connection of the themers until the revealer on the last clue, as it should be.

I guess that COS will nevermore be Bill.

The Arkadia area of Odessa, Ukraine, right on the Black Sea, has a club named IBIZA, though I much prefer the nearby Itaka, where of course, I HADFUN.

Plenty of yeah BEBE-ness for AGUY with ANDIE and MITZI and NEVE.

RRN and RIHL and the extra S and ZZZ notwithstanding, it was OK.

Diana,LIW 1:39 PM  

Glancing thru the comments, seems like an awful lot of unlike for the puzzle. I thought a lot of it was quite fine, and I don't ever get angry at the Easy A's (Areas).

I often DO NOT begin in the NW, so wasn't offended at all by that area. However, I was Naticked by a couple of places. HELOT? Better remember that. Knew CBGB(S). Should have gotten CHIMERAS. A nun walked into my bar, and there she stayed. Don't know my daisies, and missed out on that insect stage. Gotta watch them lil critters more often. Most of my other woes were sussable thru crosses.

@Rainy from late yesterday - I knew a woman whose maiden name was April Mae Joon. Yeah, she changed it when she married. But if you name your kid Pansy, at least in the US, you obviously don't remember the torture that was junior high school.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 2:54 PM  

CDGBS? TGFCS. (Thank God For CrosseS.)

The string of Z's represent the sound of snoring, but they are are not a "Snoring sound". (I can be picky, too.)

ONER? Not familiar with the term. DEGUM? Okay, I guess.

A bit rough for a Tuesday, but gettable enough.

rain forest 3:26 PM  

Well, I'm hanging in here, for the time being, especially since I implored @leftcoastTAM to stay on, but it's getting harder. The reason has nothing to do with the puzzle, but rather with the changed nature of the blog. I'm pretty well fed up with OFL's nasty characterizations of the puzzles, the constructors, the Editor, and the NYT. He's become the Donald Trump of puzzledom (Let's make puzzles great again!).

I'm also tired of those whose seeming purpose here is to point out things they dislike, and to pontificate about them. What is the point, I wonder?

I like solving the NYT crossword puzzle. I do not like it being used as a forum for trashing all that goes into constructing and publishing a puzzle. It is more than irritating.

Though I hesitate at mentioning individuals, let me say that commenters like M&A, Lewis, LMS, Mohair Sam, Roo Monster, and several others have the "right" idea here. I enjoy their commentary. I enjoy the Syndies who in their heart support these puzzles and their continued publication. What would @Burma Shave do if his muse ceased to be? I'd say more, but then I would run the risk of saying nasty things about certain individuals which would defeat my stance.

Anyway, I thought today's puzzle was just fine. RRNs don't bother me. Partials don't bother me. Themes that have been done before don't bother me. Maybe I have no standards, but I continue to see a crossword puzzle as a diversion, and an enjoyable one. It isn't High Art, though the occasional one might approach that level. Keep constructing, constructors. Keep editing Mr. Shortz. NON ILLEGITIMUS CARBORUNDUM.

BS2 5:26 PM  

@rain forest - nice finish, won't be ground down here.

fakt chekker 6:08 PM  

Samuel Frederick "Sam" Smith(born 19 May 1992)is an English singer-songwriter. In December 2014, Smith was nominated for six Grammy Awards, and at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in February 2015 he won four: Best New Artist, "STAY with Me" for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and In the Lonely Hour for Best Pop Vocal Album.
For his and Jimmy Napes' song "Writing's on the Wall", the theme for the James Bond film Spectre (2015), Smith won the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Diana,LIW 6:43 PM  

@Rainy et al - I had a prof in grad school, we'll call him Dr. X, who had had a difficult life. And he was angry. So he tried to make us angry with him. He was critical of every and all. Students hated him. Students did poorly in his classes. Our cohort had to take 2 of his courses. I planned my revenge. I wouldn't play his game. I took his (horrid) comments and rolled them off my back. "Ha ha," said I. "I'm going to learn anyway - that's why I'm here." I did quite well. Many students got C's or lower - in grad school, that's failure. I take the negative comments here, by OFL or the commentariat, in the same spirit. I look for the gold, and side-step the $h!t. Think of it like walking in the streets of Paris - there's beauty but mind the dog poo.

So @Rainy - I applaud your decision to not always read Rex. Just as he wanted to stop doing this puzzle, I suggest you stop reading his comments as soon as you get a whiff of negativity. Same with the commenters.

There are only so many commenters I read completely (you mentioned several of them) - the others I scan (in the brief sense) first. But I'd hate to miss out on learning Nancy's alter-ego today - I THOUGHT IT WAS HER! I scan for puzzle haters and political ranters. Just as I draw a mustache on the photo of a certain politician, I draw an imaginary rain cloud over some posters, get out my umbrella, and scamper for shelter. Anything that gets me to scamper can't be all bad.

So please stay here, but feel free to scamper. TEMPUS FUGIT like an arrow. (or perhaps, in an alternative universe, like a banana) CARPE your own bloomin' DIEM!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Civility to Conquer All

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