On Beach heroine / TUE 4-4-17 / Defunct gridiron org / Old fashioned theaters / Stiller's longtime wife comedy partner / Old airline with slogan We have to earn our wings every day / Fifth member in noble line

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: PINOCCHIO (58A: Disney character hinted at by the circled letters) — circled squares contain letters N, O, S, E, which stretch farther, as a sequence, with each subsequent theme answers:

Theme answers:
  • NO SERVICE (17A: What zero bars on a cellphone indicates)
  • NORSE LITERATURE (23A: Viking tales, e.g.)
  • NEUROSCIENTISTS (37A: Experts on the brain)
  • NATIONAL PASTIME (46A: Baseball, in America)
Word of the Day: "On the Beach" (51D: "On the Beach" heroine) —
On the Beach is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, that stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins. This black-and-white film is based on Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war. Unlike the novel, no blame is placed on whoever started the war; it is hinted in the film that the threat of annihilation may have arisen from an accident or misjudgment. (wikipedia)
• • •
Hello darkness, my old friend. Sorry, did I say 'darkness'? I meant 'non-consecutive circled-square themes.' The NOSE stretches, OK, cute, but there should've been some added level of elegance to the construction where the NOSE-expansion was concerned, by which I think minimally the expansions should all have involved keeping the letters in NOSE symmetrical. That third iteration, the one in NEUROSCIENTISTS, is GRATE-ing because of the loppedness of NOSE. Push the "E" one more square out and you have something, but as is, it's wonky, and anomalously so. The fill is mostly dull NYT-standard with not much of interest unless you follow the school of thought that jamming some Xs and Js into your grid makes it inherently more interesting than it would be otherwise.

The NOSE concept made getting the theme answers *very* easy (after the first two themers were set, I just entered NOSE in the remaining two themers), but this easiness was somewhat compensated for by a few tough moments:

Tough moments:
  • 34D: Recreational device that holds 35-Down / 35D: See 34-Down (SCUBA / AIR) — Cross-referenced clues side-by-side in a very narrow space. Tough to suss out quickly, especially since "Recreational device" is not a term I'd use for SCUBA and has nothing specifically SCUBA-y about it.
  • 38D: Reads carefully (SCANS) — for the millionth time, most people use this word to mean the *opposite* of what the clue indicates. 
  • 24D: Modern prefix with skeptic (EURO-) — nice and modern, but very hard to come up with without several crosses.
  • 36D: Imitating (MIMETIC) — Had the first few letters and wanted some version of MIMIC ... which I guess this answers is, on some level, but MIMETIC is terribly uncommon (and in my mind, specifically literary).
  • 51D: "On the Beach" heroine (MOIRA) — this is the most preposterous clue of the day. What is "On the Beach" and since when is it famous enough for me to know the name of its "heroine"??? I see that it is an old novel and a not-that-famous movie (though one that stars famous people), but really, "heroine"? Come back to earth. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:44 AM  

I finished this and said to myself "let's see if Mikey likes it!"


Lewis 6:50 AM  

I loved the concept of the nose growing, and Timothy has done well here, but I'm thinking this could have been a Thursday puzzle by toughening the clues in general, and making the clues for the theme answers actual lies. That is, the clue for NOSERVICE being "What full bars on a cellphone indicates", for NORSELITERATURE "The writings of Poe, Emerson, and Hawthorne, i.e.", and so on. This would have made the answer LYING make more sense. Just a thought.

I did like the cross of NOSERVICE and EASTERN, and wonder if anyone has used AGASP in a sentence.

Pinocchio was one of my son's (who is now 31) favorite stories when he was a tot, and he would have me read it over and over to him, so this puzzle filled my heart with warm smiles.

webwinger 6:56 AM  

Anyone who grew up in the "duck and cover" era of the 1950s is likely to have vivid memories of "On the Beach", possibly the first great Hollywood anti-nuclear war movie, though soon to be overshadowed by the much greater "Dr. Strangelove". Also memorable for bringing the song "Waltzing Matilda" to American ears. But the name of the female lead character? Only guessed right after a couple crosses because Moira sounded vaguely Australian.

Anonymous 6:58 AM  

Hey what's up? I'm a big effin dick.

kitshef 7:13 AM  

Much easier than yesterday, but I guess flipping them would not have made sense, given yesterday was opening day.

I can see that ICHAT/MAURA/ENOKI run giving problems – all three are WoEs for me – but the crosses are all unmistakable. Hand up for On the Beach being crossword-worthy, despite forgetting MAURA.

I like the puzzle, but the one thing that really bothered me is that there is a space between O and S in the second themer, but not in the third one. It’s as though while the nose as a whole was growing, a bit in the middle shrunk.

Forsythia 7:28 AM  

I enjoyed, quick but a bit crunchy, just right for Tuesday morning after coughing all night after taking Mr F to urgent care last eve and he tested positive for flu AND strep (no he didn't get the flu shot although I did). Wasn't positive about XENON/XFL cross but thought it likely. Always happy to remember FRODO. Tried Mimicry first. TENTS for refugee camps is timely and sad.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

The SCUBA clue was pretty bad. SCUBA refers to the whole apparatus which of course includes things that very much don't hold AIR, if they had added "with tank" I could go there.

GHarris 7:54 AM  

I find the criticism unfair, it comes strictly from a constructors point of view. For solvers like me it was fun and just a tad challenging. In fact did not finish because I had tae crossing emoke sand thought both were right.

JHC 7:59 AM  

While I agree with Rex that "On the Beach" is not famous enough for its characters to be crossworthy on a Tuesday, it's nonetheless a terrific book (and depressingly timely, again). I recommend reading it for reasons that have (gulp) nothing to do with crosswords.

chefbea 8:00 AM  

Fun puzzle!! Once I got Pinocchio....the rest was easy.

Weird foods today..enoki and curd...to be washed down with a cosmo!!!

Unknown 8:02 AM  

I have to get ready to teach chemistry for the day, so will keep my comments on @Timothy Polin's puzzle brief. Agree with @Rex on SCAN. Lovely cluing suggestion from @Lewis. XENON with its chemistry clue juxtaposes with the later appearance of INERT in the puzzle. One of the great achievements of mid-20th century chemistry was the discovery of stable compounds such as XeF4 from column VIII of the Periodic Table!

Nancy 8:03 AM  

Amen on SCANS, Rex. It definitely means the opposite of the clue. But overall, I found this an enjoyable and engaging early week puzzle that's devoid of junk, has some interesting cluing, and required some thinking. For instance, when I had just the ---ID of 9A, I was thinking of politics (aren't we all these days?), and couldn't see STAID for a long time. While solving, I ignored the tiny little circles as I always do, and then, after LYING and PINOCCHIO came in and I went back to examine the grid, I thought: Hey, this is pretty nifty. Timely, too, since right now we have PINOCCHIO in the White House and LYING has become the NATIONAL PASTIME. (Oh, please don't yell at me, everyone; that ball was really teed up so nicely...) Anyway, I liked this puzzle much more than most Tuesdays. Good job.

QuasiMojo 8:03 AM  

I'm not sure, especially these days with fake news abounding, that we should encourage "lying" but I do like @Lewis's suggestion that the answers could have played off that idea. Otherwise we just have the board serving to illustrate Pinocchio's problem rather than being essential to it. Funny, I was just watching "The Manchurian Candidate" on TCM the other night and in one scene Frank Sinatra's character, along with Janet Leigh, pass by a movie theater playing Disney's "Pinocchio." And speaking of TCM, anyone who loves old movies, as Rex says he does, would probably know "On the Beach." I would have preferred a clue referencing "Moira" Shearer, but I suspect she also is too recherché for a Tuesday.

RAD2626 8:31 AM  

I was thinking On The Beach was famous for its kiss scene but then realized that was a scene from From Here to Eternity "on the beach". Oh well, they both had good casts.

Thought puzzle was clever and well done. @Lewis cluing suggestion would have made it special.

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

INERT: "lacking the ability or strength to move." INERT therefore can not be "sluggish". No stationary object is "sluggish". This is the second time recently this clue and answer occurred in the puzzle. Doesn't Shortz know what INERT means?

John Child 8:41 AM  

A GASP and a low moan were the only signs before he had the VAPORS and fainted.
The Ottoman doctor checked the AGA'S P before offering a diagnosis.
"AG! ASP, get away from my breast!"

Millions more, I'm sure.

Good clean fun. Thanks Mr Polin.

Nancy 8:46 AM  

@Lewis (6:50)-- What an inspired suggestion for the puzzle. That would have been a really nifty gimmick!

@Quasi (8:03)-- Too much! Would you believe we were both watching "The Manchurian Candidate" on the same channel, on the same day, at the same time this week. Even though I've seen it often, I hadn't seen it for a while, and it really resonates right now in a way that wasn't even imaginable when it was released. A really great movie based on an absolutely wonderful novel.

L 8:48 AM  

The NOSE circles made this theme particularly lame and easy to suss out. Too damn easy, even for a Tuesday.
I agree 100% that the SCUBA AIR clues were ridiculous and yes, SCAN is not careful reading. How is this even up for debate? smh

RooMonster 8:55 AM  

Hey All !
GRR. Rex sure gave a REVOLTing JAB to this puz, WAXing poetic on the non-JAPE-ness of it. I'm AGASP, as though it wasn't a GEM, I found no reason to SCREAM "I'M HOT" at it. Kinda neat, not an INERT EMBER. YIP.

OK, now that I got that silliness out of my system :-), I did like puz. I do agree with nits of others about the NOSE growing inconsistently. After the first one, would've been nice to have them each one space apart sequentially. TUT. The XFL was a "league" started by the WWF. Lots of hype, but I believe it lasted one season, maybe two.

Weird clue on EURO. Really wanted AS YOU WISH clued with a "The Princess Bride" clue.


Tita 9:06 AM  

Absolutely love @Lewis' idea.

Still liked the puzzle, though, and found nothing objectionable about the fill. (Well, ODEA is odious.)

Oh...and ALIBI might be part of the LYING theme.

Blue Stater 9:07 AM  

Yup -- INERT and SCANS, both wrongly clued. Two (at least) unforced errors in one puzzle. This is an editing problem not a constructor problem. We and the NYT deserve better.

Vincent Lima 9:09 AM  

I was surprised to see scan defined the way it is in Merriam-Webster. I was one of Rex's "most people" who "use this word to mean the *opposite* of what the clue indicates."

Dunno why I thought tASER rather than LASER, but that was the only other resistance this puzzle put up. XFL, XFt, whatever.

Aketi 9:09 AM  

Since a lance can extend the reach of a JAB, I liked the JAB/JOUST combo. My arms are short so I always have to slipnto the danger zone to land a JAB on a sparring partner's head. We're not supposed to JAB to the NOSE but it happens.

@the tea drinking Anonymous 12:36 am from yesterday's blog, what makes you think coffee drinkers don't also savior tea? My tea savorinh is reserved for the interval between morning coffee drinking and evening wine sipping. And yes there was a fairly recent discussion about ROIBOS, one of my favorite types. My son is a tea snob. He thinks that the bagged tea that my husband drinks compared to loose leaf tea that he prefers is like instant coffee is to those who prefer espresso.

My SCUBA gear consists of a regulator, an octopus, and a buoyancy compensation device, not the tank. I agreee that the clue was off, but it was easy to figure out anyway.

Z 9:13 AM  

@Lewis - Yep. I had a Meh squared sort of reaction and thought "where are the lies (or is it "lays") making his nose grow?"

SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Device, so the clue is actually more technically correct than we often complain about.

As for SCAN, I noted that Rex referenced how the word is used as opposed to what it means. Anyone besides @Ellen care to discuss eke? I know I'm looking for a "frugal" reference in my EKE clues....

Z 9:17 AM  

Also looking forward to the day when we stop using "wrong" wrongly. Note definition 1.1 for INERT.

TOCraig 9:18 AM  

Enjoyed the whole thing. Thanks TP.

TOCraig 9:23 AM  


A perfectly good clue.

Mohair Sam 9:39 AM  

@Rex and @Nancy - Next time one of you guys go in for a CAT SCAN let's hope the tech uses definition 1.0 referenced by @Z above. That's the beauty of the word here in Cruciverbia - it's one of those that gives us a natural misdirect. Fun.

Enjoyed this one, to tell you the truth. I don't think t liar's nose has any obligation to grow in symmetry as @Rex suggests, somebody wanna check that? Seems like "On The Beach" may have begun the anti-nuke movement. As I kid I saw the movie and read the book - but who the heck remembers the name MOIRA? - Saturday clue for sure. Ate a mushroom in the wild when I was about 8 years old, yuck. Didn't touch another one until I was over 40 - hence ENOKI tough here.

Glimmerglass 9:45 AM  

SCAN means (today) "to read quickly and accurately -- usually with an electronic device." Not quite the opposite of "read carefully." I didn't remember MOIRA, though the book and movie were very familiar, but which letter of MOIRA gave anyone a problem?

Hungry Mother 9:52 AM  

Good one! Loved XENON making an appearance on a Tuesday with a tough clue. I left square one blank while I went out for a 10K run. I got the "X" on mile 2.

RooMonster 9:54 AM  

Hey @Z,
Wanted to correct you before the haters heads explode and rant at you like crazy people.SCUBA is Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus , not Device. That would be SCUBD. :-)


Nancy 9:55 AM  

@Mohair (9:39) -- If you ever have to have a CAT SCAN (and I certainly hope you never do), you'd better pray that I'm not the one reading it!

Hartley70 10:01 AM  

The first @Anonymous at 6:44 gave me a good laugh to start the morning. Thanks!

The nose grows! The theme has a serious cuteness factor but I'm sad to say it is very obvious, even for a Tuesday. @Lewis made a suggestion that the entries be lies and that would have made this one memorable. As it is, I think a swap with yesterday's puzzle was in order. Yesterday's puzzle had a few tough answers that would have been better today, BAE, and RHEA crossing SCRAG. I didn't find any more challenging entries today with the possible exception of MOIRA. I'm from an era who found both the book and movie "On The Beach" both gripping and topical. Neither was forgettable!

Stanley Hudson 10:08 AM  

Does any blog regular know of any human being that has the VAPORS more often than OFL?

GILL I. 10:16 AM  

Good one @Lewis. You should construct a puzzle some time....!
I enjoyed the "odious Tuesday." I thought for sure someone would say that its already been done a million times and that SCAN doesn't mean reading carefully. I actually learned that it does from reading this blog.
Wasn't at all put off by the NOSE placement in NEUROSCIENTISTS. That's a wonderful answer and you can see that the NOSE is starting to grow. Yeah, after getting NOSER VICE, I knew we were in for a LYING treat. Too bad it had to be sweet PINOCCHIO.
COSMO!!! After watching "Sex in the City" I had to try one. They're like a Shirley Temple - only with vodka. Do real men drink it?
Does anyone remember the Moonlight Specials offered by EASTERN? They added some seats on their cargo flights and offered them for about $3. What fun! If you flew from SFO to MIA it took you about a week to get there. Lots of students and poor people took these cattle flights. Good times eh?
I often wonder why TOAST means you're done for...as in Bye Bye. Why TOAST? Why not marmalade? or even butter.
MOIRA - what a name. Do you pronounce it mow-ira?
Thanks TP this was fun. Too bad you got stuck with Tuesday because you know @Rex won't like it.

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

SCUBA = Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

Nancy 11:02 AM  

My biggest issue was that I wanted 11D (AS YOU WISH) clued referencing The Princess Bride. "I love you," according to Westley?

DJG 11:03 AM  

"On the beach" + "movie" returns 66 million Google hits. If you replace "movie" with "novel" you get 21 million Google hits. It's main female character seems totally fair game to me for a Tuesday puzzle, as long as the crosses are fair (which they were in this puzzle).

It's a huge pet peeve of mine when people claim something is obscure or not "crossworthy" because they personally haven't heard of it -- not that Rex is necessarily doing that here... but he might be.

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

"On the Beach" is a great movie (GO WATCH IT!!), but the character's name was completely lost on me. Otherwise, one of the easier Tuesdays I've done in a while.

QuasiMojo 11:10 AM  

@Nancy, I'm sure we weren't the only ones. :) I agree it is uncannily relevant today.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Because I own a facility that tests SCUBA cylinders, and because we call the cylinders "scubas", I had no problem with the clueing for scuba and air. But yes, technically the self contained breathing apparatus is more than just an air cylinder. It is an air delivery system, and the cluing could have been improved.

As for SCANS, the word has two meanings. When referring to scanning something like the horizon, it implies carefulness. When referring to a printed text one would otherwise read, scanning is a cursory overview without attention to detail. So yes, "Reads carefully" appears to mix these two discreet meanings in a way that is just wrong.

Z 11:23 AM  

@Roo - Thanks.

Lojman 11:27 AM  

Great idea, @Lewis! It's a good Tuesday - a little crunchy, but not unfair, and the nose gimmick works nicely, even if it's a little vanilla.

Speaking of words being used with their opposite meaning: vanilla is the brown fruit of an exotic Mesoamerican orchid. And it's freaking delicious. So it makes perfect sense that 'vanilla' means white, plain, boring.


Graham 11:36 AM  

I actually liked the clue for EURO, but it should have been spelled as the Brits do -- Modern prefix with sceptic -- because it's the Brits who are saying it.

old timer 11:56 AM  

Nice tune ("Better at Lying") @Rex. Pretty much agree with the review.

Gobsmacked by the ever-changing meaning of SCAN. The origin, as you of all people must know, is in poetry, because if you, the poet (or the poor Latin or Greek student) carefully go over a poem and analyze where the stresses are and what the meter is, you are SCANning it, or doing "scansion". Latin bored me to tears, but I took it, did my scansion as required, and almost (but not quite) came to understand that *stress* in a Latin poem is different from English or Spanish stress: the stressed vowel may or may not *sound* stressed, but the long vowels take twice as long to say as the short vowels. I also took Spanish, we the poetry is much more understandable to Anglophone ears. VERde que te QUIEro VERde. (I fell in love with Garcia Lorca from the start). And back on topic, SCAN in the most modern sense is to read very quickly, but with the help of a scanner, very thoroughly as well.

old timer 12:01 PM  

@Gill I., MOIRA is pronounced "Mora", at least in my wife's Irish-American family.

wgh 12:10 PM  

You typically hear SCAN in a context like "he scanned the page, looking for her name." Its usage connotes the conscious choice of speed and efficiency over careful and thorough. So in that sense, describing it as "careful" is the exact opposite of how it's usually intended.

Anoa Bob 12:11 PM  

So, FRODO, MEARA & MOIRA walk into a bar and order a COSMO. JAPES, the bartender, was AGASP. That's REVOLTing, but AS YOU WISH said he.

Is NORSE LITERATURE painted green?

For a NEUROSCIENTIST, a sympathoMIMETIC drug would be one that stimulates and arouses the autonomic nervous system [he said, taking another sip of coffee].

NEUROSCIENTIST also would be by far the best of the themers except for one big glitch. It is only 14 letters long and its slot requires 15 letters. I think it should be a deal killer if one of the themers needs a gratuitous S tacked on (POC) to make its letter count symmetrical with its theme mates. It's too much of an easy short-cut, too fast and loose with the heart and soul of the puzzle for my liking.

Father Mapple 12:18 PM  

He goes down in the whirling heart of such a masterless commotion that he scarce heeds the moment when he drops seething into the yawning jaws awaiting him; and the whale shoots-to all his ivory teeth like so many white bolts upon his white prison.

Punctuated equilibrium 12:34 PM  

Great theme and execution!

Larry Gilstrap 12:45 PM  

When I was a kid, I loved watching pro football so AFL went right in and sat there for a long time. I figured AENON was some warlord from a fantasy series I had never read. In retrospect, I guess the AFL was a more viable enterprise than the "defunct" XFL. Super Bowl III happened and the league was assimilated.

I was a sensitive kid, so my first memories of PINOCCHIO were dark and scary. I have seldom had to resort to LYING as a strategy and am certain that I am lousy at it.

I agree that MOIRA, as clued, appeared a bit early in the week, but was fairly crossed. Speaking of dark and scary, "On the Beach" portrayed a world with the possibility that we, like Mathilda, might be "waltzing" into nuclear annihilation. Somber thoughts on the 49th anniversary of an event from another dark ERA of human history.

Hartley70 12:46 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:54 PM  

"Scream" only had 3 sequels.

Warren Howie Hughes 12:58 PM  

This Tuesday outing by Timothy Polin, was simply GRATE IMO, and I'm so pleased to see that he STAID the course, because he RELAY NOSE his business, and a MEARA image of myself! Hee Hee Hee

Hartley70 1:00 PM  

@Gill I and @old timer, Moy-Ra in my IA world. @old timer, could you be thinking of Maura, instead?

JC66 1:04 PM  



For those who might have missed it


Teedmn 1:07 PM  

I enjoyed this Tuesday puzzle very much. I didn't use the circles to fill in NOSE in each themer because I thought it might be a word ladder theme so I just plugged away as usual and finished below average in a sub-seven Tuesday. I liked seeing nose grow after I got the premise.

Great idea for a further extension of the theme, @Lewis!

I've always morbidly fascinated with the idea of nuclear armaggeddon ever since I found out that I was born on the 15th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Like @Mohair Sam, I didn't remember MOIRA's name but I consider "On The Beach" the iconic nuclear holocaust story. I have read the book and I saw the 2000 remake of the movie. Not exactly a subject to wax enthusiastic about. (Did I mention that I also used to like to read the encyclopedia section about "death rituals", especially the Egyptian mummies?)

Thanks, Timothy Polin.

Nancy 1:08 PM  

I'm amazed at all of you people of a certain age who actually went to see "On the Beach". Coming from the generation that, at an impressionable age, was forced to "duck and cover" in school in absurd *preparation* for a nuclear attack, a movie about the survivors of a nuclear holocaust was not exactly my idea of entertainment, thank you very much. I've never seen it and I never shall. Just as, since I don't regard terrorism as a wonderful topic of entertainment either, I never watched and never will watch "Homeland."

@Hartley (12:46) -- I also pronounce MOIRA as Moy-ra, but what on earth is your "IA world"?

Blue Nancy at 11:02 a.m. today sounds like a lovely lady, but she isn't me.

Masked and Anonymous 1:16 PM  

@Lewis: yip. This puztheme without an added lying clue component is in-con-seeve-able (yo, @Nancy) Now that Mr. Polin has that general primo guidance, perhaps he can do a follow-up puz with circled DONGs, or somesuch? Everybody deserves a second chance, in M&A's puzbook.

Best x-weeject: XFL.

@RP: Told yah. The Circles will return. Like beautiful spring days.

SCAN's first definition, in The M&A Research Library dictionary:

"1 look at all parts of (something) carefully in order to detect some feature: he raised his binoculars to scan the coast."

Or, better example: scan a puzgrid, in order to count the U's, perhaps. (5 of em. Lil darlins.)

M&A Help Desk


Dr. Bunger 1:18 PM  

In Moby-Dick Chapter 83, Jonah Historically Regarded, the author walks a very thin line between whimsy and blasphemy. A Yankee whaler would have a thorough knowledge of cetacean anatomy and know that a literal interpretation of scripture is preposterous. Various theories are suggested to reconcile this apparent contradiction. On the other hand, Monstro is a fantastic whale who could have very well swallowed and maintained a little wooden boy.

nemo paradise 1:38 PM  

A clever assault on Trump, who, as the LA Times pointed out, exaggerated the size of his inaugural crowds and claimed that government surveillance of Trump Tower comprised "spying" on him. Surely these are grounds for impeachment.

Charley 1:58 PM  

Totally agree that scan means to speed read, not read carefully. And the XFL? I'm a huge football fan and I barely can remember such a thing existed.

CDilly52 2:01 PM  

Fun, tests one's mettle and appropriately Tuesday with possibilities of more. Adore @Lewis's suggestion.

Anne H 2:13 PM  

I read all of Nevil Shute's books as a teenager. "On the Beach" was my favorite, but until I got the crosses I couldn't remember Moira!
Nice Tuesday puzzle (IMO);

Ed 3:08 PM  

NY Nancy, "Blue" Nancy came on the blog 2008, a few years before you in 2014. And one is to limit posts to 3 per day.

Rug Crazy 3:23 PM  

The puzzle left me AGASP, although nobody was there to see it.
I mostly came on line to see what "Old Rex" had to say about it.

OISK 3:26 PM  

@Anne - I think I liked "A Town Like Alice" better than the very sad "On the Beach." ( It was made into a really fine TV movie with Bryan Brown and Gordon Jackson). Didn't remember MOIRA, but it was evident from the crosses.

I almost had a DNF, with AFL and Aenon . Fortunately, I didn't have my phone with me, and couldn't "google" Aenon to see if I was right! Then, somehow, I recalled the XFL, and there was Xenon, and me, a chemistry teacher. For shame!

I really liked this puzzle, and didn't mind the clue for inert. It did cause me to recall an exchange from early in my career "What does it mean for a gas to be inert?" Student answers "It means dat it's found in de ert!"

kitshef 3:27 PM  

Hmmm... I wonder how many times I've appreciated a post from one Nancy and mentally credited it to the wrong person.

The solution would seem to be for one of you to change your name to "Greater Falls River Committee for Peace & Justice"

RooMonster 4:01 PM  

Hey @Z,
Wanted to correct you before the haters heads explode and rant at you like crazy people.SCUBA is Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus , not Device. That would be SCUBD. :-)


Anonymous 4:20 PM  


"Scream 4" is the third sequel.

JC66 5:23 PM  


jae 5:36 PM  

Medium for me and OK for a Tues. (for which I have low expectations).

Hand up for aENON before XENON and knowing "On The Beach" but not MOIRA.

The three Cold War era movies millennials and Xers like @Rex should see are "On The Beach", "Dr. Strangelove", and "The Manchurian Candidate" (the Sinatra original, not the remake). Fittingly, all three are in black and white.

old timer 6:29 PM  

My mother-in-law Moira has always been "Mora", and it makes sense because the diminutive, Moirin, is "Maureen" here, pronounced MorEEN. I don't know, is the Irish spelling of the name, Maire (with an accent grave over the a) sometimes pronounced "MOY-ruh"? Never heard it myself, but the Iowan pronunciation could be just as legit.

Quo Vadis 6:34 PM  

Pinocchio is not a Disney character. Nor is Snow White or Cinderella (or Obi Wan Kenobi, for that matter). He is just another European victim of Disneyfication. Why not give the nod to Carlo Collodi who created him in a village near Florence in 1883? That sadly Mickey Mouse clue spoiled the puzzle, made it just one more example of the American insularity which has so recently seized your political imagination.

G. Weissman 7:43 PM  

The bigger the nose grew the more this puzzle became a great big snore.

Aketi 7:53 PM  

@z, you've already been corrected on the different between "apparatus" and "device". The "device" is the BCD which is part of the "apparatus".

Aketi 7:56 PM  

@oldtimer, yes I know of a "MOY-ruh" whose name was spelled Maire, but I never knew that it needed an accent grave over the a.

Mohair Sam 7:56 PM  

@Quo Vadis - Do I have this right? You're blaming Trump and his supporters for the sadly erroneous Pinocchio clue. Please. The fault lies with Disney's marketing people, and has for decades.

Nice catch, however, wish I'd noticed that.

@jae - When you're watching "Strangelove" again keep your eye on the Russian Ambassador during the final scene where Pete Seller's overacts brilliantly and steals the movie. He cannot keep a straight face.

Anonymous 9:41 PM  

Reread your first sentence. You seem to have ten same color and of subject verb agreement as you do internal combustion engines.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 9:48 PM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

Anonymous 1:35 AM  

Aussies would pronounce Moira as Moyra.


Anonymous 9:29 AM  

XENON had a killer clue. Well done. MIMETIC has been used a lot lately in architecture and engineering, where it's used for designs that mimic the efficiencies of nature.

Miss Riggy 4:01 PM  

Rayon is not a synthetic fabric; it's made from cellulose. This is only the second factual error I've ever seen in a NYT puzzle. The first one, many years ago, was where "mint" was the answer and the clue was where bills are printed.

Anonymous 4:01 PM  

"On the Beach" is an award winning movie with Ava Gardner playing the role clued in the puzzle. Dated (except to the extent we are at risk of nuclear war) but legit, in my view.

Burma Shave 10:06 AM  


This EASTERN EURO chick ICHAT with would PREEN and then WAX,
it’s her GRATE NATIONALPASTIME, and she’s AGASP if you AXE.
ASYOUWISH you hadn’t STAID because getting NOSERVICE is trying,
she’ll SCREAM so in TENTS, “Gosh DARN it IMHOT, and not LYING!”


Unknown 10:41 AM  


Unknown 11:16 AM  

Nevil Shute would have been a good name for the leader of the NRA.
He wrote a good book. Never saw the movie.
OFL means awful, right?

spacecraft 11:33 AM  

As the NOSE grew, so did my appreciation of the theme. At first I was thinking: just a bunch of circled NOSEs, is that IT? Then I got to the SE, the source of all the questionable fill but the home of the revealer. And then I understood. Clever.

AGASP and MIMETIC are RWBNU: Real Words But Never Used. And ENOKI? Look, guys, I like mushrooms as much as the next fella, but really. On a Tuesday??

Couple of writeovers--just carelessness: Tsk for TUT and RANup for the awkward RANTO. DOD is the enchanting MOIRA Kelly. I like the clue for TOAST. Medium--thank goodness for the acrosses in that SE corner. Yeah, okay, you pulled off the X in square 1. Did you think that got you points? Not here. Hand up for the bad SCANS clue, but the rest is SERVICEable. Par.

rondo 12:08 PM  

Yeah, agree with what someone above said about PINOCCHIO NOT being a Disney character just because they laid their hands on the story. Not everything in this world is Disney, folks. I’ll give you the name Jiminy Cricket, just not the original idea for it.

As a one-time Scandinavian Area Studies minor, I can tell you that NORSELITERATURE, as generally presented, is not all that interesting. Maybe it was the DARN instructor.

So they mix it up and give us a brain cover clue for PIA instead of yeah baby Zadora. Did anyone really know it that way? Maybe some NEUROSCIENTISTS.

Decent enough Tues-puz, but ENOKI was a tough one to ENDON.

leftcoastTAM 1:32 PM  

NOSE ERVICE caught PINOCCHIO LYING pretty quickly.

Not so quick was going from jests>jokes>JAPES, and from tsk to TUT.

MOIRA and ENOKI filled in with easy crosses.

Liked this little GEM.

Diana,LIW 1:36 PM  

Aa fine Tuesday. Please, @Lewis, if you change the clues that way, don't do it on a Tuesday - my head would explode, and I ain't lyin'. The nose knows.

Speakin a lyin, X marks the spot where I had a dnf. Completely forgot that botched franchise.

These days, I want my entertainment to be entertaining - don't need to be reminded of end time possibilities.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 4:12 PM  

Way late and a buck short, but commenting regardless.

This puzzle has its charms, mainly in the themers and the revealer, but there were also a few nice clues. I actually worked in the Neil Bartlett lab at the University of British Columbia where Dr. Bartlett synthesized the first compound of Xenon (hexafluoroxenonplatinate). He also had a few explosions where the lab BURST OPEN. I've also prepared a couple of dishes which called for ENOKI mushrooms (savory and rich).

Since I'm way down here, I can perhaps sneak in the observation that I find it ironic that Sally Yates was fired and Mike Flynn was kept on for 18 days. Really, what's going on?

Oh, and liked the puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 8:43 PM  

@rain forest-- I tend to be a little late, too. Some of us check back in to see if we've missed anything (especially about our own posts, maybe).

What went on in the Trump White House in the Yates-Flynn case? Monkey business as usual.

Diana,LIW 9:45 PM  

Yo @Lefty and @rainy - now there's Comey. Who knows what's next?

Lady Di

rondo 10:02 PM  

Provocative photos of Melania?
Oh wait, that was 25 years ago.
Drain the new quagmire and out with any associated miasma.
And that's being kind.

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