Edward VII familiarly / THU 7-20-17 / Shorthand system inventor Pitman / Fictional swordsman / Screenplay directive / Massey of old movies

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Constructor: Randolph Ross

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (my exceedingly slow time was probably highly idiosyncratic)

THEME: ugh, I don't know, some puns on interrogative words or something god it was awful

Theme answers:
  • "WATT'S THE PROBLEM?" (17A: James is keeping me from getting a steam engine patent?)
  • "HOWE'S BUSINESS?" (35A: Hockey, to Gordie?)
  • "HU LET THE DOGS OUT?" (56A: A former leader of China gave his shar-peis some exercise)
Word of the Day: LOBAR (11D: Lung-related) —

adjective: lobar
  1. relating to or affecting a lobe, especially a whole lobe of a lung. (google)
• • •

Painful. Painful because the theme is so groany and old and thin, painful because the puzzle is 100 years old in all the worst ways, and painful because I spent a hard 3-4 minutes just stuck in the NW wondering if I was ever going to get the last four squares. I blame EXEDOUT, one of the dumbest crossword entries in modern times. No One Would Write That. But look, let's just blame my problems in the NW corner on me and get back to the real problem, which is ugh. There are only three of these theme puns. They aren't funny. There is no rhyme or reason to any of this? Why these people? Why not Where or When or Why puns? Why not why (OK, so no one's named WYE probably ... still). Watt and Howe have clues related to what they did, but Hu? Hoo boy, no. Howe and Hu are exact homophones, but Watt is natt. It's a wacky weak not-funny pun puzzle. You wanna pun, you better bring heat. Fire. Or go home. No more of this soft dad humor b.s. It's depressing.

And I haven't even started in on the multiple answers that are deserving of contempt. I have "F.U." (or a longer version thereof) written All Over my marked-up grid. I've already introduced you to EXEDOUT, which crosses COSA (I did not know this meaning) and CUTTO (dear lord that is terrible fill ... "phrase" more than "directive" ... just ugly in the grid). This was my long dark night of the grid. Here's the squares I *didn't* have, for an awfully long time:

EXE---T just would not compute for me at 15A: Edited, in way. Thought for sure that Spanish thing was ESTA or ESTO or ... something like that that I'd maybe seen before. And C-TT- looked utterly wrong. Totally impossible. It got so bad, I was doubting "REBECCA" at one point (1A: Hitchcock film with Laurence Olivier). Only after I ran the Big Ten in my head did I think *O*SU at 24A: Big Ten powerhouse, for short, and that finally unclogged things. But I actually don't have "F.U." written next to any of that (though I probably should). Instead, it's written next to:

  • REWARM (1D: Nuke, maybe) — no. WTF is REWARM. If you "Nuke" something, you REHEAT it, for *$&%'s sake. That's what nuking does. REWARM, ugh, boo. Terrible.
  • OLEOOIL (59A: Margarine ingredient) — stop. Just stop. OLEO is a thing. OLEO OIL is just some vowelly nonsense. Fill your grid better. Your fill is about as scrumptious as OLEO OIL (whatever that is!)
  • BERTIE (25A: Edward VII, familiarly) — What Year Is It? How on god's green do I know what pals called some bygone king who died before I was born. He died in 1910. "Feel the Bert!" Make it stop!
  • ISAAC (31D: Shorthand system inventor Pitman) — Shorthand. Shorthand? Shorthand. Soooo many ISAACs in the world and ... shorthand. Like the puzzle isn't already a parody of the dated NYT old white dude puzzle ... you had to go ahead and add shorthand. Fine.
Also, stacking French words is terrible form (see AMI over ÉCOLE). The end

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. apparently OLEOOIL (I can't believe I have to revisit this junkwad) has a different clue on other platforms. Why ... I have no idea:


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


AP 12:12 AM  

The clue for LOBAR is an actual error. It means lobe-related, not lung-related. An infection in the lung could cause a LOBAR pneumonia. An operation for liver cancer might be a LOBAR resection. Really bad bleeding that affects an entire half of the brain is a LOBAR hemorrhage. The word is used for every organ that has lobes!! As a medical person, this messed me up SO bad because I was racking my brain for the longest time for some five letter word that could possibly mean "lung related", only to finally discover that the answer doesn't.

Ron 12:12 AM  

Tough puzzle for me too. I didn't know the Gordie that the central theme entry referred to, so that was by far the slowest part for me. At one point, I had StOpS instead of SLOWS crossing MARtA (MARLA) and HOpE (HOWE) ... perfectly reasonable crosses that really held back my ability to see the theme for a long time.

WhoisMark 12:21 AM  

It was not a good puzzle for ink on paper solving. My worst mess was taking a flier on WATTSTHEBIGIDEA.

Unknown 12:32 AM  

Interesting review by @Rex of Thursday puzzle by veteran constructor (over a hundred New York Times puzzles in a shade over a quarter century) @Randolph Ross. I solved this while still infected by yesterday's "Student Prince" earworm. As befitting my demographics, I didn't have much trouble with REBECCA, but had to make an educated guess on ISAAC which still left me wondering about ArmeNIA ahead of ALBANIA. Did anyone else see HUL... and -- still influenced by the presence of hockey great @Gordie HOWE in the puzzle -- consider another hockey great @Bobby HULL (or for that matter, his son @Brett)?

It should be noted that OSU is not the only powerhouse in the Big Ten.

To the best of my knowledge, @ED MEESE's boss, @Ronald Reagan, was the first divorced/remarried President [a few election cycles earlier, that was considered a disqualifying trait for @Nelson Rockefeller--and don't get me started on his life-ending TRYST]. Of course, both exes of the incumbent have five-letter first names.

Off-topic, godspeed to Senator @John McCain.

puzzlehoarder 12:40 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. The experience was much more akin to Tuesday's than to yesterday's. Looking at the clue list makes it obvious there's a lot of the same kind of fill as yesterday's but it never had the same numbing effect. There was enough quality material and quirkiness to maintain my interest. You may think of LOBAR as a non term but it's also something you're not likely to guess off the bat. I saw "The King's Speech" but that royal title rang no bells. Having the B of BASIN provided no help either so it was fun to get the sense of recognition while back filling that section from the south. I also got a kick out of the EHLE section. Like REBECCA and TIS it's one of those entries I ought to be more familiar with but they haven't quite sunk in. That !ittle bit of mystery makes for a slightly greater degree of puzzling.

Maxine Nerdström 12:46 AM  

i found this one very challenging. Especially the north. It was hard to get a toehold.

in the NYT app, 59A is clued as "Extract of beef fat." I think I'd have solved that much faster if I'd had the margarine clue.

Melrose 12:50 AM  

Slow start, but once I got going it moved along. Oleo oil is dreadful, and I didn't know Ehle, so didn't quite finish.

Hartley70 12:53 AM  

I'm still recovering from the shock of remembering COSA from the Spanish class I took more than half a century ago. The cells may be gray, but there are still a few still firing, I guess.

I liked this much better than Rex did and I would rate it Easy in difficulty. I probably got some help by remembering HOWE, WATT and HU. It sounds like a law firm related to Dewy, Cheatham and HOWE from the "Car Talk" brothers on NPR. That alone made me happy. I loved those guys.

The Kings of England and their lives are fair game in my opinion. BERTIE was a piece of cake as was EDMEESE. I was interested to consider that HONOLULU is way south of Florida and that ALBANIA is into eagles too. Oh and I was surprised that Pittman wasn't a woman. I suppose that was a sexist thought, but all the male stenographers must be dead by now.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

Had fun and finished it. Not so much cruft. The themers made me smile.

Johnny 1:50 AM  

I loved this puzzle. I really loved it. It was a constant challenge all the way around. My first pass through I had almost nothing but got a little traction in the bottom and advanced my forces from there. WATT and HOWE were obvious from their clues it's just what do I do with them; HU was not so obvious but I got it. Almost every answer needed crosses, and that's cool.

I knew BERTIE (with a cross or two) from "The King's Speech" because his Movie-Name is BERTIE even though the clue said Edward VII yet the movie is about George VI but I thought "well maybe Edward VII was his Prince-Name or something of that nature" which didn't sound very right to me but who cares the answer is BERTIE and I don't give a sh*t how I got there.

More gimmes were EDMEESE and HONOLULU and ALBANIA which were hard for some people but were easy for me because I went to school at one point in my life and they sure opened up a lot of answers with their crosses and you gotta like that. This grid had semi-isolated sectorss but there was just enough interlock to open up all of them.

Happy Moon Day!

Clark 1:52 AM  

I'm no fan of puns, but I really liked the theme answers, especially, HU LET THE DOGS OUT. I guffawed even.

Larry Gilstrap 1:54 AM  

An ode to interrogative pronouns that are homophones of people I should know. Lots of Asian ballplayers in MLB, so it's not so unusual to see HU on first. Is it really Thursday? Sure, I know it's trash day in my neighborhoods, but this one leaves me wondering if I might have put my cans out one day TOO soon.

OLEO OIL is a WATT the heck? HOWE does something like this show up in the puzzle? HU signs off on this stuff? Read the comments! Somebody's gonna talk about how they wrote a masters thesis on beef rendering in the Chinese hockey industry. Live and learn.

Take a CONTAC or swallow some OPIATES? I don't like where this is going. Chicken soup, hot tea with lemon and honey, Vicks VapoRub, or just feel crappy for a few days.

One more nit: CAN TOO needs the playground qualifier.

I'm writing an article on famous former wives of US Presidents. It's gonna be a short article. Jane Wyman won an Oscar for her portrayal of "Johnny Belinda." Wow! My phone tells me that ADLAI Stevenson, Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain had also been previously married before their unsuccessful bids for the highest office. The maxim: Cheaper to keep her totally discounts romance.

Robert A. Simon 2:01 AM  

I solve by looking for nouns, not synonyms. No wiggle-room on nouns. And sports-related nouns are gifts. So unlike OFL, OSU was the first thing I filled in, and second was CUTTO because I write screenplays. (That's "write" as opposed to "sell.") We all have our strengths.

But yeah, this puzzle was so dated, I should have solved it using a Parker T-Ball Jotter.

Lee Coller 2:49 AM  

Got hung up in basically the same place Rex did (but did guess OSU early on). However this was slow all around. Didn't help that I really didn't recognize Howe or Hu. Watt I knew, but there are too man James out there.

Loren Muse Smith 3:16 AM  

HOWE and HU hi the mark in my dialect, but my what rhymes with cut, so there’s that. But the song Who Let the Dogs Out is just so endearing (hi, @Clark), that I was happy to see that play on the name. @Larry – I’m sure you’ve seen this picture.

@Hartley – I got COSA easily, too, and was pleased. I also put in MESA and ATHOS with no resistance, chalking all that up to doing a lot of puzzles. I have to say, though, that I briefly considered “Zorro” and “El Cid” first for the swordsman.

I noticed the SPOUSE/TRYST/TEARS crosses. Damn HOE.

And the triple ONO cross over in the west. Bet @Lewis saw that one, too.

I had a dnf because I had “lobal” for LOBAR, and hence didn’t notice my royal nickname, “Beltie.” Hah.

@M&A – first of all, a hearty congratulations for the 1000 runts! That is one grand accomplishment. Remember – your runts were up and running before the NYT started running their Minis. Post hoc propter ergo hoc and all that but… just sayin’.

Secondly, I bet you had the same reaction that I had with OLEO OIL. Its desperation is breathtaking and hence, kinda plucky. I looked. It last appeared in a NYT 20 years ago. With SOCK HOP, PUG NOSE, and ON ONE LEG there, I’m ok with Randall pulling OLEO OIL out, dusting’er off and running with it.

I thoroughly enjoyed HU LET THE DOGS OUT. Thanks for the ear worm, Randall.

(The REBECCA clue reminded me of this - the day STAIRCASE WIT appeared, Mom coincidentally sent me some terrific zingers, all thought of by people who definitely didn’t experience that “Man. I shoulda said…” I’ll post it after this post.)

Loren Muse Smith 3:21 AM  

Philip Of Macedonia in a message to Sparta: You are advised to submit without further delay for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.”
Sparta’s reply: “If.”

Montagu: Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox.
Wilkes: That will depend my lord, whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.

Benchley: My good man, would you please get me a taxi?
Uniformed Man: I’m not a doorman. I happen to be a rear admiral in the US Navy.
Benchley: All right then: get me a battleship.

Opera audience member: What do you think of the singer’s execution?
Calvin Coolidge: I’m all for it.

Playwright Noel Coward: Edna, you almost look like a man.
Novelist Edna Ferber: So do you.

Henry Clay: I’d rather be right than be President.
Thomas Reed: The gentleman need not trouble himself. He’ll never be either.

A House member, after rubbing Speaker Nicholas Longworth’s bald head: Nice and smooth, feels just like my wife’s bottom.
Longworth, running his own hand over his head: Indeed, it does!

Actress: I enjoyed reading your book! Who wrote it for you?
Author Ilka Chase: Darling, I’m so glad that you liked it. Who read it to you?

Dorothy Parker: Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.
President Calvin Coolidge: You lose.

Reporter: How many people work at the Vatican?
Pope John XXIII: About half.

Shaw: Have reserved two tickets for opening night. Come and bring a friend if you have one.
Churchill: Impossible to come to first night. Will come to second night if you have one.

Drunk man: I can’t bear fools.
Dorothy Parker: Apparently your mother could.

Actress Mary Anderson: What is my best side, Mr. Hitchcock?
Hitchcock: You’re sitting on it, my dear.

Member of British Parliament: Mr. Churchill, must you fall asleep while I’m speaking?
Churchill: No, it’s purely voluntary.

Reporter: What do you think of Western civilization?
Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

Anonymous 3:51 AM  

White dude puzzle? WTF?

jae 4:31 AM  

Tough Thurs. for me but alcohol may have been impairing.

Yep for REheat before REWARM.

According to Xwordinfo this was inspired by the classic Abbot and Costello "Who's on First" routine. For me, and apparently @Rex, what....?

Liked it just slightly more than @Rex did.

three of clubs 5:21 AM  

still don't believe OLEO OIL exists though several online dictionaries do.

Thomaso808 5:58 AM  

On the tough side for me, too, especially with the LOBAR / BERTIE cross. Just didn't sparkle, but I'm not a hater. I did like the themers, especially the first to fall, which was HULETTHEDOGSOUT. That gave me a chuckle and piqued my interest in getting the others. But OLEOOIL is pretty awful in a crossword, and probably also as a real thing. As @Maxine noted, the clue on the app was "Extract of beef fat" which was a WOE.

@M&A, the comment by @LMS above was about causality, not quality. Your runtz are waaaay better than the Minis. You have the power of the ??. It took me a while yesterday to figure out that "Came back to square 40??" clue. Har!

BarbieBarbie 6:08 AM  

Anon @3:59, see HU.
My iPad clue for 59A was different, and harder. Something about tallow. I got it, but only on the 2nd or 3rd pass. I cry foul.
Would have been an average time for me if I hadn't DNFd exactly like @Loren. Good ol' BELTIE.
Two extra words in your first Dorothy Parker quote. Not Coolidge's two.
I like puns, and I like answers that give me an aha and a giggle, so I liked this puzzle.
If OFL left New York occasionally, or even stepped down the hall to the Linguistics department to ask somebody, he'd realize that a good chunk of this country does pronounce "what" like Watt. Or the first syllable in "water." Outside of, you know, where Rex lives, where they drink wooter.

Moly Shu 6:18 AM  

A self described baseball nut couldn't come up with the 'D' when faced with E-T, and a clue about an O's game setting? Cmon @Rex, I'm calling bullshit. I'll add EHLE (who?) to the less than stellar fill list. Didn't really care much for this one, seemed all over the place. Not very "tricky" for a Thursday.

Lewis 6:20 AM  

My highlights were the clues for TSETSE and ACT and the heartbreaking crosses of TRYST with SPOUSE and TEARS (Hi @Loren, and I missed the ONO trio -- good catch!).

I chipped and chipped away at this like a sculptor, cursing and screaming all the way, and when I successfully finished I thought "Wow! What a terrific experience!"

Anonymous 6:47 AM  

How many will be killed in Chicago this weekend?

Stuart 6:58 AM  

Variation on old Abbott and Costello routine?

Hu's on 56 Across, Watt's on 17 Across....

Glimmerglass 7:22 AM  

HONOLULU is not the southernmost US major city -- Hilo is. I guess one could argue about "major," but Hilo is a major city and much more common in xwords. The clue might better have been "southernmost US capital." However, HONOLULU was quickly obvious from crosses. I agree with @Rex that OLIO OIL is very lame. I'm still waiting for @Rex to write that he both had a slow time and loved the puzzle. When the MLB triple-crown leader strikes out with three swings, he tips his cap to the pitcher. He doesn't cry foul, and he can't blame the umpire.

QuasiMojo 7:32 AM  

I can't imagine too many young solvers will know who James Watt is or what a problem he was.

Yes, the themers were silly and perhaps even groaners, but I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle. Some interesting fill. And any time I can throw in ILONA Massey and pat myself on the back for remembering her, I feel triumphant.

Thanks to @Loren Muse Smith for those hilarious put-downs.

three of clubs 7:40 AM  

@QuasiMojo agreeing with you and our OFL. James Watt is some white Scottish dude from the 18th century. No longer relevant. Get with the program NYT!

Anonymous 7:40 AM  

This was a straight up cluing mistake. Edward VII was BERTIE's father, and BERTIE was George VI. I agree that it's a little more recent vintage than @Rex gives credit for due to his central role in "The King's Speech", but this is a sloppy and careless error on the part of the NYT (to go with their recent error thinking that Bill Clinton was an ELI).

Unknown 7:55 AM  

Soooooo slow today, because the NW made no sense, and also, WHY WHY WHY is the NYT so committed to the last century? I amused myself last night trying to fix this ....

Suzy 8:15 AM  

Enjoyed this puzzle very much, with the exception of oleo oil, which is pretty bad. @LMS-- thanks for the put downs-- I especially liked
the Montagu couplet. @Anonymous-- Bertie was the nickname of both father and son!

Mohair Sam 8:17 AM  

Chin-lung HU played for 5 years in the Major Leagues (2007-2011) and was indeed on first base more than once. "HU's on first" is only ten letters, but the theme had to be reworked to get that baby in there. Had to be.

Easiest Thursday ever for us, no Wite-Out, no write-overs, no problem. We're geniuses today. WATTSamatta with you guys? Especially Rex.

Saw REBECCA a couple of days ago on TCM so that was a gimme, EXEDOUT seemed obvious, ATHOS then easy, CUTTO, and off we went. Jennifer EHLE best Elizabeth Bennet ever. The Big Ten has always been about two schools: Ohio State and Michigan State. And yup, you got SOCKHOP in your puzzle and Rex is gonna cal it dated, and you can't argue.

@Lauren - Fun list.

@George Barany - Cannot believe you're shocked! shocked! at good old Rocky's death in the saddle. Hell, he left his 27-year-old lover a bunch of cash and a condo. All Clinton gave Monica was a book of Walt Whitman poems and a bad rep.

gcedwards10 8:17 AM  

According to Wikipedia at least, both Edward VII and George VI were known as “Bertie” so the clue for 25A is in fact correct.

Two Ponies 8:20 AM  

So knowing a little history is a bad thing?

What is wrong with being an old white dude? I'm pretty fond of the one I'm married to.

kitshef 8:21 AM  

Didn't have any of the objections of OFL, but still did not especially enjoy the puzzle, and it's hard to say why. Theme is cute, fill is mostly good (ignoring the occasional OLEOOIL or CUTTO), so I think its down to the cluing.

Felt more like doing jigsaw than a crossword. Just kind of work through it with no aha moments.

Surely there must have been a temptation to continue the inventor theme with Elias HOWE.

Hand up for having BELTIE before BERTIE, and getting a good chuckle out of that.

mmorgan 8:22 AM  

And here I was thinking Rex would like this one.... Sigh. I just can't predict his responses a priori (though they do follow a pattern post hoc). I sure liked (and enjoyed!) this one -- to me it had lots of clever and tough and fun cluing.

FST 8:23 AM  

Is that a mesa?
No, that's a butte.
And a right pretty one.

chefbea 8:23 AM  

Too tough for me!!!

The Hermit Philosopher 8:32 AM  

Another angry screed from @Rex. What a pain in the ass he must be to live with.

Unknown 8:45 AM  

This was a cluing mistake. It should have read "Edward VIII", not VII.

Edward VIII was the king who abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson the following year. He was also known as "Bertie" to his close friends and family. Edward was replaced as monarch by his younger brother George VI. After leaving the throne, he was given the title of Duke of Windsor, which is how he was known by people of my generation. He died in 1972.

ArtO 8:47 AM  

Started out with zero in the NW and "enlarge" for 8A in the NE and so needed quite a while to work through the puzzle. But, work through it I did and got much more satisfaction out of it than OFL who seems to find more ways to hate puzzles that give him a hard time.

ArtO 8:48 AM  

P.S. Thanks to LMS for those wonderful, classic ripostes.

George 8:50 AM  

Hmmm... Looks like the NYT crossword solvers aren't too familiar with arcane British royalty. Queen Victoria's eldest son, whom she considered to be a bit of a dolt, was Bertie AKA Edward VII. His second son George became George V, and George's second son who was also called Bertie became George VI, who was the current Queen Elizabeth II's pop.

I had the exact same problems as Rex. Also though Nuke was ...ARM, NEWARM? Got REBECCA and looked at REWARM thinking what is a REW ARM?

Smitty 8:56 AM  

Yes it's hard to keep track of the Royal names, but I disagree that the name Bertie is absent in modern culture.
It's what Queen Victoria calls her son Edward VII in the movie Mrs. Brown 1997
As someone mentioned, it was what Eliazbeth - and Lionel Logue - called King George VI in The King's Speech (2010)
I'm sure there are others...

Tracy Bennett 9:09 AM  

I had the old king's nickname as "Beltie" crossing lobal.

He was famous for always wearing that fancy belt. And he liked tossing back shots of tequila. Good old Beltie.

Saunas cause lobal warming.

Joseph Jakuta 9:16 AM  

I was excited about the puzzle since I got HU LET THE DOGS OUT first and thought we would be treated to two other hip hop song puns, but alas.

Tita 9:19 AM  

DNF thanks to that random product name CaNTAC. Seems as likely as anything.
Didn't see that I spelled HONaLULU wrong.

I made the shortlist on Car Talk, and got to talk with Tom & Ray about my Mini Cooper. But they never picked it to air. I think it was because Tom (or was it Ray?) conjectured if my need for the seat heater in winter with the top down was due to menopause.

One of my mom's specialties is a delightful pastry called Paris-Brest. Basically a giant cream puff. Mmmmm...

OK. Done with puzzle-inspired tangents. The puzzle itself was a disappointment as a Thursday. I need more cleverness on this day.

SW was toughest. Wanted OLEstra, but held back. keY wasn't working, nor was ISAia or ISAih. ILiNA kept DiGSOUT obscuring the answer. Oh - dONS for princes. All-in-all, a mess. (These faults lie in myself - not the puzzle.)

Black Sun 9:35 AM  

Cutting remarks about old white dudes from an old white dude.
Why the self-hatred?

Nancy 10:06 AM  

HULET does not sound especially Chinese to me. Nor does HU LET. And despite my having had the privilege of some supposedly top level education, Chinese dynastic history seems to have been left out of it entirely. I wonder if things are different now? Anyway, unlike Rex, my difficulties came in the South, not in the NW. In fact, the NW was so easy for me, that I was planning to say that the puzzle was lacking in crunch. But there was some crunch after all -- just not quite enough for a Thursday, I thought. And, like @mathgent, I also "mourn the dying of the rebus." (I don't know if he's posted here, yet; I'll go back and look. But that's what he likes to say on Thursdays like this one.)

Still, the puzzle was lively and had some wit. And I found out that Sean Lennon is saddled with the dreadful puzzle answer ONO for his middle name. Poor kid.

clk 10:08 AM  

I might have gotten OLEO OIL from the margarine clue but not from the beef fat clue. I did learn something new though--I always imagined it was a wholly artificial product. I do have lots of handwritten recipes from my mother and grandmother that call for a stick of oleo (though never for OLEO OIL).

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

My two cents:
Edward VIII was called David
George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) given name was Albert and was called Bertie.

RooMonster 10:21 AM  

Hey All !
This is a Thursday puz? I'm surprised no one has mentioned it's just a straitforward puz. No trickery, no chicanery. Three themers that don't really solicit a chuckle. Well, the HU one did. But, this most definitely should've been a Wednesday. Then it might've garnered a better review.

Agree (and LOL) with Rex on REWARM. Had REheat, of course, cause that's what it is. CAN TOO clue suspect TOO. Just felt clunky overall.

Writeovers, cAnISEE-MAYISEE, pinON-TIEON, ImpReSS-ENGROSS. PiG-PUG. Had a DNF, OLEOOIL never gonna happen. Wrote in OLEO dot. Har.And LOBAl. Also aLONA, because what is a Brest friend? Is that a city in Italy?

So I'm with Rex's Ugh-ness on this one. TEARS sPOOLED my PUGNOSE.


r.alphbunker 10:26 AM  

41A. {Low island} AIT-->CAY
Last entry was 58D {Mr., abroad} SRI. I was thinking Europe not India and thought that Mr. signalled an abbreviation.

Regarding the contest celebrating M&A's 1000th runtpuz yesterday, I put the 13 people who responded in a list, asked Google for a "Random number between 1 and 13" and got back a 3 which was Tita A. I will contact her to find out where to send the book.

Details of my solution are here.

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

Guess you all should go repair the various Wikipedia Edward VII entries where it is noted he was called Bertie his entire life.

boomer54 10:38 AM  

Bertie was the Eric of his day ...

TOCraig 10:39 AM  

Enjoyed it. The puns were fine. Why is it that when one doesn't know an answer it's automatically slammed as a bad clue? Perhaps it's just something you don't know. No one knows everything. It's OK. It's OK.

Sherm Reinhardt 10:39 AM  

Talk about an old white dude puzzle. Even this old white dude had forgotten about Contac.


Even the guy that took the medicine in 1982 was an old white dude.

RooMonster 10:39 AM  

Ah, after reading more closely, I see a few have mentioned this non-trick pony ThursPuz. And wanted to yell at EHLE, just because it's a messed up spelling. :-)


Anonymous 10:45 AM  

53 down: Who the Ehle is she?

Stanley Hudson 10:45 AM  

Perhaps it skewed _slightly_ old, but a fine puzzle overall. Have to say, if I never hear the execrable "Who Let the Dogs Out" again I can die a happy man.

GILL I. 10:45 AM  

My husband is married to an old white dudette. He's lucky.
Easy Thursday. Pun Thursday. Had a Sheltie named BERTIE. TIS was such a disappointment after the sad and yet funny Angela's Ashes. His brother Malachy tried to fit in his shoes, but his "A Monk Swimming" didn't have that same kind of Irish humour. God bless the Paddy's.
I thought this was kinda cute. A bit blah for a Thursday but WATTS THE PROBLEM conjured up some fun snotty images.
One day the fictional swordsman will be ZORRO. Que COSA ILONA.
So a YAHOO is a lout and not a bungling idiot?

jrstocker 10:51 AM  

The theme was...not great. And I really had to fight with the entire South part of the grid.

But the BERTIE thing is a pretty well known historical factoid. I find it interesting that you never whine about crusty white 200 year old composers and painters in grids because those happen to fall right into your wheelhouse.

Joseph Michael 10:54 AM  

I enjoyed the top half of this puzzle and hated the bottom half.

OLEO OIL should be punishable by law. And please don't ask me to remember brand names like CONTAC or the name of anyone related to shorthand. My response to a discouraging comment is "Please, BERTIE, save me from puzzles like this."

On a positive note, I did like HU LET THE DOGS OUT. I was also proud of myself for remembering ATHOS, ED MEESE, and MARLA Whatshername and for figuring out that it's ALBANIA with the black bird on its flag. But this puzzle has way too many proper nouns for my TASTE.

Unlike Rex, however, I don't attribute the puzzle's PROBLEMs to the constructor's age, race, or gender. And I don't think it's HOE CAY to do so, even when the solving experience makes you MAD.

Chris 10:56 AM  

A little hard for a Thursday, but no biggie. I first encountered BERTIE on the Masterpiece Theater series Lillie, about Lillie Langtry, Edward VII's mistress (played, BTW, by Francessca Anis, later horrible miscast as Jessica Atreides in the horrible Dune.)
I generally understand but don't care about the "skews old" complaint, but really, I haven't seen CONTAC on the shelves for years. Feel the same way about SANKA.

Jack 11:02 AM  


Nancy 11:15 AM  

@Larry G. (1:54 a.m.) -- Did anyone know at the time that Adlai Stevenson was divorced? I was awfully young at the time, but I was "for" him and don't remember it having been mentioned. What I do remember is that he came to my Dalton graduation (or was it a class play; I don't remember) escorting Marlene Dietrich!!!! I didn't see them in the audience myself, mind you, -- I was too busy either graduating or lousing up the play in which non-actress me had one line to predictably botch up. But I heard about them from my parents who were in the audience that night...and heard about it...and heard about for days after. It was well after his unsuccessful run at President.

@George B (12:32 a.m.) -- Don't get you started on Nelson's "life-ending TRYST"? Why George, I'd love to get you started! I can't imagine what you'll say.

@Hartley (12:55 a.m.) -- Don't you understand that gray is exactly the color your brain cells are supposed to be? It's not an age thing at all.

@Loren (3:21 a.m.) -- Wonderful compendium of delicious putdowns!

jberg 11:20 AM  

So basically all male English royalty are called BERTIE unless they're called Harry, I guess? Useful knowledge for future puzzles.

@Johnny, I went to school as well, but all I could remember is that everybody East of the Rhine had one or more eagles (or at least one or more eagle heads) on their flags, so I needed the crosses to see it wasn't Croatia. Then I needed ALBANIA to see that the double A was legit, so it had to be ISAAC. I've been binge-reading the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, and the eoponymous heroine is always going on about Pitman's shorthand, but I don't recall her mentioning his first name there.

@Loren, another vowel party down there at the OLEO OIL/TIE ON crossing. Bring Your Own Olive Oil, Or Else.

But I only got OLEO OIL because (scared of the double o) I looked up OLEIOIN in my dictionary to see if it was a thing (it wasn't, and probably still isn't), and spotted the right answer there in the suggested alternates, so DNF by my rules.

CONTAC is not made any longer, is it? I had a bad cold a couple months ago; my nose was running like a soda fountain, so I looked for it, but had to settle for some other stuff.

old timer 11:22 AM  


Grace Coolidge, on a Sunday she stayed home from church:

Grace: What was the sermon about"

Calvin: Sin

Grace: What did he have to say about it?

Calvin: He was agin it.

Thanks for the laffs, @LMS!

I finished the puzzle with no outside help and no writeovers, But it was a challenge. I knew in advance OFL would hate it, because he has no sense of humor at all. I liked it, especially HULET THE DOGSOUT and HOWES BUSINESS. The only head-scratcher was OLEO OIL, which I never heard of before.

Prince Albert was the loving husband of Queen Victoria, and a pretty frequent lover too, given the large number of children they had. Their eldest son was named Albert, hence the nickname Bertie. As is the custom, he had many other first names, and when the old Queen finally died, he chose to be Edward VII rather than Albert I. Bertie's oldest son died, which was a good thing for the monarchy, historians say. Hes brother was named George and became George V in 1910. His oldest son probably had an Albert in there too, but also David, which was his nickname. When he abdicated in 1936 in order to marry the woman he loved, his brother took the throve as George VI, but his nickname in the family had always been "Bertie."

jb129 11:31 AM  

I knew this would be hard when I saw RR was the constructor...

Did okay at first & then had to go to Rex to cheat (which I hate, no offense)

Who is Jennifer Ehle??????

Embarassed to say I got stuck on "Footed" - probably b/c of Lobar

Malsdemare 11:35 AM  

OLEOOIL did me in. I have no clue who Jennifer of Pride and Prejudice is and I thought that 59A was maybe OLEOsin. I was pretty sure that the response was CANTOO but I couldn't make it fit with OLEOsin and finally threw up my hands and paid a call on Rex.

But the rest was fine. I like it when the puzzle takes a little time in the morning; I'm in no hurry to continue editing Introduction to Kinesiology, so the fits and starts here and there are just fine. I had zorro before ATHOS but once I got HOWE, I felt confident to fill in WATT, which gave me REWARM which gave me REBECCA, and so it went.

And I felt quite smug that I knew BERTIE, EDMEESE, ALBANIA, and HONOLULU. Not quite that smug about knowing MARLA; I see a reference to her and it dredges up that unwelcome memory of her announcing, on TV, that sex with The Donald was the best she'd ever had. Poor dear!

Thanks for the fun quips, @LMS.

Kinesiology calls.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

I am so, so sick of words like "dad humor" and "white" being used as pejoratives. I am a dad and I am white and I am not a villain. I am a good guy who works hard, supports his family and pays taxes.

JC66 11:50 AM  


Thanks for the ripostes. LMAO

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

Anon @ 7:40 a.m., sorry to tell you, but you're wrong about Clinton as well. He went to law school at Yale, making him an Eli.

I don't remember that particular clue, but if it simply said "Clinton," it could also, of course, have been referring to his accomplished and well-educated wife. But not to the ignorant slob in the White House, needless to say.

Bob Mills 11:55 AM  

I found the puzzle easy, and quite clever. Rex was clearly in a bad mood today.

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

I only knew Bertie because of the Dirty Bertie nickname in the tabloids. Since he was obese, he had a chair made especially so he could have threesomes in a bordello: http://www.edwardianpromenade.com/royalty/the-amorous-life-of-edward-vii/

Boola 12:30 PM  

Eli traditionally refers to students and alumni of Yale College. Only in the NYT puzzle of late it seems does it mean someone who went to Yale law school or grad school. Same with Old Blue.

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

I agree, frustrating and annoying puzzle for all the reasons Rex cites.

PLUS as others noted, this is yet another white boys' club puzzle. So tired of all the arcane sports clues every day, male names, etc - even clued 'Rebecca' star as the male lead. Arrrgghhh.

Masked and Anonymous 12:36 PM  

Would also accept OLIOOIL. Or OLDEOIL. OLEOOLIO would be cool, if it'd only've fit. When U luv desperation as much as M&A, U set a pretty LO BAR.

HU? har. Luv the answer that used HUever-that-is, tho.

WIETHELONGFACE = "You'll need a day-um rowboat oar for this golf shot, Michelle." Or is it more of a "Michelle is drawing a blank" = WIEDONTKNOW type of pronunciation? HU knows.

fave weeject: AMS. Opposite of PROS, to WIE.

Thanx, Mr. Ross. Fun but kinda easy-ish for a ThursPuz. Lotta grids over the dam, for this long-time constructioneer. Admirable body of work, @RR.
Congratz on yer gettin booked, @Tita A.

Masked & Anonym6Us

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

Especially because he was the subject of recent TV show and movie. BERTIE totally legit.

Gerrythek 1:11 PM  

Prof. Sharp has said that he doesn't read this comments section. He expresses glee when he realizes he doesn't have to write the blog on a given day. He doesn't like a majority of the puzzles and often bemoans the state of the industry. So I have to ask: "why bother?" Maybe he would be happier and better off if he just ended this blog.

Dick Swart 1:13 PM  

I love old guy puzzles! Very reassuring.

In fact, my pen for this exercise was a Lamy 27 from the early '60s.

Rex does seem to be a poor looser.

Anoa Bob 1:14 PM  

There was a soccer player from ALBANIA in the 1950s named Shëtim Ooil. He played one year, 1957 I believe, for the Argentine National Team. In his last game there he scored the winning goal and was given a rousing "OLÉ OOIL" sendoff by the adoring crowd. It was especially inspirational because a childhood accident had resulted in an amputation and he FOOTED the ball while playing ON ONE LEG!

Wasn't it ED MEESE who proudly exclaimed at the end of his Reagan administration tenure that "I remain unindicted"?

So, EHLE and ILONA walk into an École....

Kurious Kayisha 1:15 PM  

Looking at the clues and answers plus all of the comments I'm seriously asking what about this puzzle skews old, white, or male?
What would the puzzle look like if it was young, black, and female?
Would you be happy then?

Black pride - yes!
Girl pride - you go!
Native American, Jew, Homosexual - all cool.
White men - no pride for you, racist. Just shut up and pay your taxes.

JC66 1:21 PM  

@Anoa Bob

Good one. I googled Shëtim Ooil to check him out before I got it.

BarbieBarbie 1:28 PM  

@FST 8:23: ... the one with the ever-widening hole in it?
He's done it again... it's coming up...

Teedmn 1:33 PM  

I join @Rex in thinking this puzzle was challenging. Post-solve analysis, I can't imagine why but it was as if James WATTS had hold of my (still gray? Hi, @Hartley70) brain cells - everything came to me SLOWSly.


But none of that presented insurmountable obstacles. So I shrug and say "HU knows?'

So the "trick Thursday" puzzle seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs - TEARS!

MadBum's Theft 2:10 PM  

As usual, I have missed the wheelhouse of the EST commentary and weigh in terribly late with my West Coast, mid-morning solve. I did have one issue with this puzzle: Why is 27-Down clued with "copier" instead of copy? Ape as a noun is a monkey; as a verb is means "to copy" -a copier would be an "aper" not an "ape." It seems to me the correct clue would be "copy" to yield the answer "ape." What say the people?

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

I think Shortz is losing his marbles.

Nancy 2:19 PM  

@Madbum (2:10) -- This person had the same reaction, though I forgot to mention it in my comment. I do that a lot.

Tim Aurthur 2:20 PM  

Saw Jennifer EHLE recently in OSLO. She's a great, great actress. And bi-accental, speaking both American and British English perfectly, having spent her childhood on both sides of the Atlantic. And yes, the embodiment of my favorite character in literature, Elizabeth Bennet.

KevCo 2:20 PM  

Maybe I'm simple, but I thought "Hu let the dogs out" was hilarious.

AW 2:23 PM  

Agree with you wholeheartedly, MadBum's Theft. I know that APE is a favorite crossword puzzle word for "copy," but a "copier" is definitely an APER.

Unknown 2:27 PM  

This was a very tough puzzle based on cluing, not theme. But "Bertie" really is OK. The story of Edward the VII was the central point of the file 'The King's Speech', and currently in 'The Crown' showing on Netflix. Both high quality productions that many people have seen.

Unknown 2:39 PM  

LOBAR does NOT refer to lung. Who the hell is EHLE?. And what could COSA word combo like OLEOOIL to show up anywhere?

mlm 2:50 PM  

I liked the theme, cheesy in a bad dad-jokes kind of way. I Hated the fill though, and DNFed for the 1st time in quite a while thanks to BELTIE/LOBAL, which is just as goos the right answers, IMO.

Had a horrible time in the SW, too. I was trying OLEOATE, OLEADIC, all kins of shizz down there. Those crosses could have been anything: TIE IN, rather than ON, CAN'T DO, instead of CAN TOO, T_S could be any vowel there (heck any letter really). And for Ms EHLE, sorry, I never heard of you. Finally went with OLEOOIL as looking pretty good and had no idea where else to turn.

Joe G 2:51 PM  

To echo others: Watt in my idiolect rhymes with Not, and Cot, and Bought.

I did not think of Letting the dogs Out. I thought of Running Dogs, which is a neat and Chinese-specific phrase. Didn't fit of course, and messed up my southern third.

Agreed as to the general cultural timefulness (opposite of timelessness) of this grid. NYT: do better.

As to Cosa: does noone know what Cosa Nostra means? Whether or not you watched Sopranos, "This thing of ours" is a familiar translation.

Chronic dnfer 2:52 PM  

Opioids for opiated did me in.

Masked and Anonymous 3:22 PM  

Only 3 themers (albeit grid-spanners) = less cause for desperation in fillin the grid.
Wide-open grid: only 72 words and only 30 squares in the shade = desperation resurrection.

REBECCA was a gimme, and EXEDOUT was no problem-o, at our house. Reckon we lucked out, in
our NW solvequest. REHEAT vs REWARM plaint seems kinda like a question of degrees. But, de bustagut.

HONOLULU. Nice choice.



Anonymous 4:28 PM  

RIP Chester Bennington

Joe Dipinto 5:12 PM  

On behalf of famous Berties, I submit Bertie Higgins, who back in 1982 had a Top Ten hit with this ditty:

We had it all
Just like Bogie and Bacall
Starring in our old late, late show
Sailing away to Key Largo

Here's lookin' at you kid
Missing all the things we did
We can find it once again, I know
Just like they did in Key Largo

D 5:28 PM  

huh... i zipped through this in about 12 minutes , though brainfarted edt and est. Bertie was used pretty liberally in the King's speech "ba-ba-ba- bertie". this is the third or fourth time rewarm has been in, and Rex bitches about it everytime.

Anonymous 6:01 PM  

@tim Aurthur

Jennifer Ehle is marvelous. She is the daughter of Rosemary Harris, who played her aged character in "The Camomile Lawn" (see acorn.TV). So much talent.

My favorite Bertie will always be as played by Hugh Laurie in "Jeeves and Wooster".

Mohair Sam 6:09 PM  

@D - Puzzle was a lark for those of us who know that Jennifer EHLE was the woman who played the wife of the guy who stopped the King (Colin Firth) from saying "ba-ba-ba- bertie" in "The King's Speech". And she also played the Jennifer at 53D who was the King player's love interest in "Pride and Prejudice" - such important knowledge made this puzz a snap.

old timer 6:38 PM  

If you have Pepys's diaries, you will learn that "cosa" is his term for the genitals. As in, "I touched her cosa with my cosa." Yeah he wrote in shorthand, but even in shorthand he resorted to foreign languages for certain terms. (As I recall, back in 1660 ISAAC's version of shorthand had not yet been invented).

Tita 7:12 PM  

No kidding...???!!
Oh frabjous day.
This must be my lucky year... I won grand prize at the Candlewood Valley Knitting Guild last month, and now this!!

Thanks, @r.alph and @M&A!

Hungry Mother 7:15 PM  

Easy thime, and if I had seen OLEOOIL, it would have been an easy solve. Instead it was a DNF.

muskox 7:19 PM  

59A was clued as "Extract of beef fat" also in the hard-copy paper delivered in Buffalo. Wonder when this got changed and why (though not what, how, or who, particularly).

Patricia Markert 7:46 PM  

I wish just once Rex that you would not blame the poor quality of the puzzle on its datedness. This puzzle was just plain bad. It had nothing to do with what era the constructor was referring to.

Unknown 7:58 PM  

Yes, but history (even involving subjects a college English major knows) is outside the critic's "wheelhouse," as someone put it yesterday. This is a guy who'd never heard of The Student Prince," didn't know who Richard Rodgers is, and had never heard of "Six Characters in Search of a Play." Unless it's a clue to comics or rappers, he is at sea. To go wild about rum raisin ice cream because the clue included the word "popular," or to rant about the difference between "reheat" and "reward," is inane. For those of us who do not compete with the clock but instead take out the puzzle with a cup of coffee for an interesting exercise, and who know something about the art and science of criticism, the blog is amusing but of no intellectual value.

hankster65 9:35 PM  

DNF. Nothing fails like failure.

Brooke 10:14 PM  

It bothered me how much of the cluing was just...wrong. Completely inaccurate. I can understand fill here or there needing to be a little obscure just to fit, but there's no excuse for bad cluing!

What bothered me most: opiates are not "downers." Downers, aka depressants, would include barbiturates, for example. Opiates are...opiates. They are a completely separate class of drug.

Lojman 10:53 PM  

Thank you so much for posting this. I wanted to scream when I finally figured this out. Plainly wrong.

Amy 11:45 PM  

Look, esto and esta and este are terrible fill. Cosa is at least the actual Spanish word for thing instead of just "this" or "that" which drive me crazy every time I see them.

I liked TRYST crossing SPOUSE.

Anonymous 7:10 AM  

What Happened? How did it happen? Who did it? Thought the puzzle was great. Of course, I am an old white lady with a love of British history so maybe that explains it.

El Amor . . . Prohibido 1:55 PM  

OLEO OIL should offend all etymologists.

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Burma Shave 10:15 AM  


You SAPS CUTTO the chase – Sam knows what a TRYST is,


BS2 10:32 AM  


WATTSTHEPROBLEM with the TREE where your four-FOOTED friend goes?


spacecraft 12:40 PM  

I was waiting. If the word "easy" appeared in OFL's blog I was prepared to leave home with a deadly weapon. It's bad enough he put "medium-" in there. This is strictly a Saturday puzzle, so I've confirmed: I've lost two days somewhere. I have to get my computer fixed, 'cause it too says it's Thursday.

Clues were not just hard; they were brutal. The search for a way in took me to KLEIN in the SW. Even so...but then I remembered going to the Flamingo with son and grandson, and taking pictures of the birds standing ONONELEG. I inferred rather than knew that Sean might have ONO for a middle name, and that was enough to get me SOCKHOP. The southernmost city was obviously not Miami; Galveston wouldn't fit... Holy Moley, are the Islands that far south? I guess they must be: HONOLULU.

It went on like this, line by line--sometimes square by square. No area went faster than 23-down. I didn't like the fill any better than OFL did, but the triumph factor was huge. Yuge, even. Oh no, he's got me talking like him! Help! If you ever see me in a blond wig, please: shoot to kill.

The theme puns were...puns. Whatever. But the first one I uncovered was the bottom one, and the aha! moment was yu--big. Had HULE_____ and thought something was wrong. Then I reread the clue, and it landed with a thud. That, I admit, was a chuckle. So there was a Chinese leader named HU: HU knew?

DOD is--or was, anyway--the luscious MARLA Maples. She was what Huxley would call "pneumatic." Or...LOBAR. I agree this was really, really old stuff, with ILONA Massey and a super-early Hitchcock. Hey, I'm a fan, but I sorta start with "Strangers on a Train" and go from there. I didn't much like doing it, but I sure appreciated FINISHING it. I live in fear of tomorrow and Saturday: after this, what horrors might be in the pipeline? How to score all this? The fill was just too junky. Bogey.

Lurking ,just behind you! 12:45 PM  

I'm in syndication land, so I hope you see this.

I've been reading this blog for eight years, and your comment is the best one I've ever seen. Amen brother (or sister as the case may be).

billy 2:01 PM  

Not that you'll see this, since I am a syndicated solver, but Hilo, with a population leas than 44000, is not a major city

billy 2:01 PM  

Not that you'll see this, since I am a syndicated solver, but Hilo, with a population leas than 44000, is not a major city

rondo 2:34 PM  

A little thin on the theme, but better than a rebus. Two w/os with ABLe and the ever popular BElTIE, both easily fixed. After figuring themer #1 the other two were a piece of cake. There was a thing on the interlinks a long while back with Dubya doing a take-off of “HU’s on first”. Funny at the time.

Dual entries of O and OUT TIEON ONONELEG, EXEDOUT . . . DOGSOUT. Might have been yesterday I did a WSJ puz with the same “Brest friend” clue/answer. Been doing a few extra puzzles lately.

TEETIMES tonight for golf playoffs. First place regular season, we’ll see what happens in playdowns.

@spacey hit it with yeah baby MARLA. I’m sure she wasn’t blinded by the $$$.

I’ll take OLEOOIL over a rebus any day. Maybe I set a LOBAR.

leftcoastTAM 2:41 PM  

Rex had a cow with this one, almost in TEARS, it appears.

Yes, the theme was pretty simple, and some of the fill was a bit obscure, but it was also quite gettable with crosses.

Thought COSA was Italian, not Spanish. Maybe both? Have to look it up, I guess.

OLEOOIL looked strange, and it's crossing with EHLE didn't help much, but there it was.

I liked it well enough, but was expecting more on WATT is usually a trickier and more entertaining Friday.

leftcoastTAM 2:43 PM  

Friday, I mean.

leftcoastTAM 2:46 PM  

I'll get it right yet: THURSDAY!

fakt chekker 3:06 PM  

REBECCA HOWE is a fictional character of the American television sitcom Cheers, portrayed by Kirstie Alley and created by Glen and Les Charles. REBECCA appeared in 147 episodes of Cheers between 1987 and 1993.

thefogman 3:30 PM  

DNF for me. The SW was a beast but I slayed it after I went with the awful OLEOOIL. I met my Waterloo in the NE corner when I wrote down aduLATE instead of INFLATE and stubbornly stuck to apPS when it was ISPS. I did solve the dubious LOBAR but in total five letter squares were bad guesses and just plain wrong. For a while, I had high hopes and thought victory was at hand (just as Napoleon surely believed before he invaded Russia) but I fell on my sword and alas it was not to be.

Anonymous 4:59 PM  

Some of these clues were certainly obscure. However I kept at it and did the entire puzzle without any hints. Four Thursdays in a row now.


Diana,LIW 7:52 PM  

Good for you, @Mark! I can see you're getting better and better. Ain't it a good feeling?

Unless the only movies you go to are about rap or Harry Potter or sci fi, BERTIE's 2011 movie makes his name current. C'mon @Rex - get with it! Just 'cause you were slow(er) today doesn't justify TEARS.

Must admit I didn't get everything, so I shan't INFLATE my experience by putting my PUGNOSE into the air. Not that it's really PUG...

Haven't read the Futureland comments, as I still have 8 days to catch up on so I hope to not repeat others' comments. Instead - a funny story. Yesterday, as I was winging my way back home, I was filling out crosswords in a book of "mid-level" (whatever that means) puzzles. One had me scratching my head, as I "got" the answer thru crosses, but it didn't make sense. Clue - call or email, Answer - TACT. Huh? I said. Then, today, I had another glorious three hours in the dentist's chair. With my Daffy Duck inflated lips and nitrous-addled brain, I suddenly figured it out - add a "con" prior to that, and all the other, theme answers. Was more like a Thursday than today's puz in my book. The dental folks were all telling me how brave I was, while I was truly in lalaland solving yesterday's traveling puzzle. Ha!

So there. Enjoyed it more than @Trump. Or @Rex.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

thefogman 9:14 PM  

@Diana,LIW When the clues get really tough, I recommend mental floss.

Diana,LIW 10:07 PM  

Hey @Foggy - that would be a toothsome cleanup.

Lady Di

Jimmy Wood 11:37 PM  

A fine Thursday puzzle. I'm with those who enjoyed it. I can also understand others who don't care for it. But Rex's crucifixion of constructor Ross's effort is astounding. Now 86, I well remember being what seems to be the King of CrossWorld's age, mature yet far from old age, how my era was the apex of all eternity before and after, everything should relate to my time. I've tried to construct crosswords, forget it! I'm convinced those who do one after another must have the kind of brain that bends spoons or detects flaws in Stephen Hawking's theoretical reasoning. But if I ever succeeded, I think I'd avoid Rex's highly entertaining but often crushing critique.

Longbeachlee 12:50 PM  

Guess what Jimmy Wood? I'm 87, and it fell in my lap too. Solved on the LA Blue Line between Long Beach and Compton. Wheelhouse, wheelhouse

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