Libertarian pundit Neal / SUN 8-6-17 / Malodorous animal / Governess at Thornfield / 1997 action film set on plane / Fruit mentioned in Odyssey / Choice for online gamer / Pharma watchdog / Chicago based fraternal order / Longtime retailer hurt by Amazon / Revolver in roaring twenties slang

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Anchors Away!" — boat puns, (ah)oy...

Theme answers:
  • GALLEONS OF MILK (gallons) (24A: Sailing vessels that Cap'n Crunch might commandeer?)
  • WARSHIPS AT THE ALTAR (worships) (31A: Heavily armored vessels getting married?)
  • ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROWBOATS (robots) (54A: Kids' game in which small vessels attack each other?)
  • SEMI TRAWLER (trailer) (66A: Fishing vessel that can pull only half a net behind it?)
  • AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YACHT (yet) (76A: Recreational vessel that's never left the harbor?)
  • DIRTY DOUBLE CRUISER (crosser) (100A: Luxury vessel with a pair of decks, both of which need swabbing?)
  • APPLE FREIGHTER (fritter) (111A: Cargo vessel full of iPads?) 
Word of the Day: Neal BOORTZ (12D: Libertarian pundit Neal) —
Neal A Boortz, Jr. (born April 6, 1945) is an American author, attorney, and former Libertarian radio host. His nationally syndicated talk show, The Neal Boortz Show, which ended in 2013, was carried throughout the United States. It was ranked seventh in overall listeners, with more than 4.25 million per week. The content of the show included politics, current events, social issues, and topics of interest, which Boortz discussed with callers, correspondents and guests. Boortz touched on many controversial topics and referred to himself as an "equal opportunity offender." [ooh, original] (wikipedia)
• • •

Wow, this is startlingly mediocre work from the Best Constructor On The Planet™. Terrible boat puns. Just ... off. Unfunny. Dumb. I guess ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROWBOATS has some charm, but SEMI-TRAWLER? GALLEONS OF MILK? These are bad. Come on. They are. Even if  you like puns, you shouldn't like these that much. This is the kind of puzzle I associate with people whose skills never made it out of the '80s. AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YACHT doesn't even make sense grammatically. Also, if it's AIN'T, then it's NOTHIN', that's the rule. The worst part for me, from a purely personal taste standpoint, was that the place I struggled most was made strugglesome by some libertarian guy I'd never heard of. "He has [...] caused a stir among some Southerners, by coining the term "Flaggots" during his frequent jabs at them and at Confederate issues (such as governmental support of the Confederate flag)" (wikipedia). Great. Great. Sure. Lovely. Wonderful. "He has repeatedly stated his belief that global climate change is not man-made" (wikipedia). Wow, you don't say. Fascinating. Keep these wonderful folks coming, NYT. They make the puzzle delightful. (sidenote: if the puzzle had been better overall, I wouldn't have had the time or inclination to care about one stupid name).

Beyond BOORTZ, that NE corner was rough for me. Stupidly put in AMA at 26D: Pharma watchdog (FDA). Couldn't make sense of [Testing times]'s frame of reference (ORDEALS). Couldn't parse NUMEROUNO. Thought it was D.C.'s National PARK (baseball?) (15D: MALL). Rough all over. But the rest was pretty dang easy. No idea what "soubise" meant, so ONIONY took some doing (64D: Like soubise sauce). No idea Houdini's actual last name was WEISS (69D: Ehrich ___ ak.a. Houdini). Never thought of SEARS as particular hurt by Amazon, any more than every other retailer on the planet has been "hurt by Amazon." Had SAKE on my mind (from yesterday's puzzle) so I managed to put that in instead of SUMO this time (119A: Staple of Shinto rituals). Best clue / answer was probably 77D: It may help remove a curse (TAPE DELAY). Very tricky, very satisfying wordplay. Bravo. You can scuttle the rest of this puzzle, though.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Seth 12:08 AM  

Weird "Almost There" at 9A: Walk on the edge? where I had LURK, not CURB. The names going down from the L and K were so utterly unknown to me, and LOOKE and KOORTZ seemed perfectly fine to me.

puzzlehoarder 12:40 AM  

I just followed the path of least resistance and went through this thing in what has to be for me a record Sunday time. You really have to go out of your way to dnf on a PB1 puzzle. Today I rose to the occasion with NEYSON at 42D. The misspelling of SUNDAE was bad enough but not recognizing the name NEESON in the xwordinfo solution was much worse. Of course "Kinsey" was ringing no bells. I actually clicked on the clue list to see who this mystery NEESON person was and read it in disbelief. It really was as if some black hole had sucked that actors name into a void and I'd never seen it before. This was probably the single oddest mental glitch I've ever experienced from solving. That is all.

Trombone Tom 12:57 AM  

Well, unlike OFL I really enjoyed this PB delight. I'm a sucker for corny puns and the puzzle served them up in spades. I chuckled frequently as I worked my way through.

Had one rewrite: SUNDer-->SUNDAE. And the NE was a real tail-twister as I had no clue on BOORTZ. Also I am not familiar with Oreo-O's and the thought is not a pleasant one. I'm reminded of Ogden Nash's rhyme:

And our daily diet grows odder and odder,
And breakfast foods are dusty and cold -
It's a wise child
That knows its fodder.

Liked the clues for TAPE DELAY and SEQUEL.

I always find pleasure in doing a Patrick Berry and this was no exception.

Anonymous 12:57 AM  

On the other hand, it could have been worse.

jae 1:37 AM  

Easy for me and what @Rex said.

Johnny 1:39 AM  

This puzzle was like doing a 45-minute-long Junior Jumble.

Larry Gilstrap 1:41 AM  

Wow! Never looked behind the clip on my clipboard to see the name of the constructor. Really, I used to love Sundays, but lately Monday is a breath of fresh air after filling in those tedious little squares. Even Homer nods. That's a right-handed compliment.

I've been known to throw around a bit of salty language, for emphasis. Certainly if something is downright terrible it SUCKS, but I'm eating here! I'm afraid to follow the etymology of that idiom; guessing it all depends on the direct object.

Some states have depressed economies based upon their former dependence on outdated technology: I'm looking at you coal and steel. Alabama could use a boost, so how about reviving that COTTON industry? Think of all the job opportunities.

I'm no math guy and my gambling is restricted to video poker, but 72A Rare craps roll, got me to thinking. At first, I thought aren't all numbers resulting from a roll of the dice equally random? Great clue. At first I was going to throw in ONE, but that would be even rarer than TWO; rare enough to be impossible. Like I said, I'm no EULER.

Any fair that features CRAFTS makes me as edgy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. A vest made of aluminum can pull tabs, for example. Where's the EGRESS?

I came to appreciate George and GRACIE as I matured. I realized that she was a comic genius just in time. At first, she seemed DIPPY, vacuous, but I was watching a talented, appealing woman who stole every scene. Smart as a whip and always in character. He must have loved her, because everybody else surely did. Say goodnight, GRACIE.

Ishmael 1:52 AM  

As morning mowers, who side by side slowly and seethingly advance their scythes through the long wet grass of marshy meads; even so these monsters swam, making a strange, grassy, cutting sound; and leaving behind them endless SWATHS of blue upon the yellow sea.

Andrew Heinegg 2:19 AM  

I am in total agreement with everything you wrote, especially the Gracie Allen 'analysis'. I simply loved her character even if I thought the writers could make her be too too. But, she was terrific. George adored her and it was not hard to see why.

chefwen 2:21 AM  

Got pretty happy seeing Patrick Berry's name as I printed this out, but I have to side with Rex on this one, pretty disappointing. About the only one that brought a smile was AINT SEEN NOTHING YACHT, that was cute.

Thomaso808 5:24 AM  

I'm a sucker for puns, especially long puns, so this was a good one.

My first impression looking at the grid was how many black squares were spread out all over the place, creating a lot of 3, 4, and 5 letter entries. Wow. But never fear, PB1 does not do dreck, and sure enough, no dreck was to be found. Well, I do fear for a @M&A weeject overload.

I am thinking "___ Os" has to be the most original clue for OREO ever, so I looked it up on Xwordinfo and there are 392 times that OREO has been used. Sorry, I did not go through them all to confirm my theory. But I can tell you that in the 106 pre-Shortz usages, ALL the clues referred to the meaning of OREO as relating to a mountain, and NOT to the cookie. In the Shortz era of 286 entries, I only saw one that referred to a mountain and the rest referred to the cookie. A telling example of how WS changed the NYT puzzle editorial policy to allow the use of product brand names (for better, IMHO).

Great clue on TAPEDELAY -- "remove a curse" -- har.

Rex put a TM on the "Best Constructor on the Planet" reference to PB1. No argument from me, but is someone hoping to make a profit on selling T-shirts here?

Unknown 5:41 AM  

Wow interesting! !!first i was read this article i was amaze,hope many readers you may help.. Goodluck!!

He found Santa Barbara Invisalign

Lewis 6:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:08 AM  

Every boat in the theme answers comes from the "Oxford Learner's Dictionary: Types of Boats and Ships". And yet Berry gave no credit to this article -- shameless!

Agree with others with the superlative clues for SEQUEL and TAPE DELAY. The grid, of course, was PB clean. I thought for years that FOGG's first name was Phineas -- but it's not! My holdup came for putting in MOLE_RAT instead of POLECAT.

Canoe hear me now?
Ferry Godmother
Naked Launch
Tanker Bell
Sloop 'N Slide
Punt of no return
B.F. Schooner
Hop, skiff, and a jump
She should tanker lucky stars

Ketch ya' later!

Roberta 6:30 AM  

Decided halfway through not to bother finishing. Sundays used to be my favorite. Oh well. More time for the rest of life.

Loren Muse Smith 6:42 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 6:44 AM  

Rex – I didn’t know BOORTZ, either, but what a name. Maybe he puts the BOOR in BOORTZ? (If PB had gone with 9A SKIS and 21A PENH, then 12D would’ve been SHORTZ. Wonder if he considered that.)

My first themer was ROCK’EM SOCK’EM ROWBOATS, and it made me laugh. I also liked APPLE FREIGHTER and WARSHIPS AT THE ALTAR. When the first themer fell, I tried to think of stuff to expect. I came up with WELCOME BACK CUTTER and WHALER DEALER. But no dice. Hmm. FERRY DICE.

I’m not really a punster and have never sat down to think of the rules for making puns. I did notice that the only changes in this set of themers revolve around the vowels. So nothing like “witch raft” or “straw ferry.” And, with the exception of gallons-GALLEONS, they’re actual vowel changes, so no “tooth fairy.” So I’d say we have a tight little set here. (In PB’s defense, somehow that L sound to LY in gallon/galleon doesn’t feel brazenly consonantal; you could argue that you’re just adding an ee sound.)

I do agree that the clue for TAPE DELAY almost upstages everything else. I also liked the clue for HUG. “It brings people together.” I still marvel when I see two people meet, and one person eschews the handshake, leans in for the hug. Says, I’m a hugger like that is his ticket to invade your space and force you to be extremely uncomfortable. And his ticket trumps your Non-Hugger Ticket to the extent that it’s just a given. If you’re reading this, and you do this to people and you think it’s endearing and stuff… think again. Sometimes, maybe with the right person, but I guarantee that you’re making other people resentful and a little miffed.

@Seth – I like your “lurk” instead of CURB.

@Lewis – love your list! Especially the tanker lucky stars! (And I snorted at your plagiarism snark.)

CRAFTS has to be a sly little theme wink to us, right?

@Larry – I totally agree on the craft fair deal. “Vest made of aluminum can pull tabs” – Hah! I know, right? My mom used to make wallpaper fans to go in front of your fireplace off-season, and she went to a bajillion craft fairs. Made a bit of money. Sometimes I had to go along to help set up and sell. Hated it. Bunch %$@ huggers at craft fairs. Just kidding.

Sure, Berry has written some tour-de-force puzzles, and this isn’t one of them, but I liked it all the same and got a kick out of the themers.

Anonymous 6:55 AM  

I totally agree with everything Rex said, because that's what we do here. I also loves me some Liam Neesons.

Aketi 7:19 AM  

Yawn, a whole fleet of NOTHING YACHTs. I know many of you like puns, but it's NOt my THING. On the other hand, it gave me an excuse to laze in bed a while longer before I face the day.

@Lewis, haha, you almost pushed me to the "punt of no return" with that list.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

I don't see any problem with the pun on "Ain't seen nothing yet". The song doesn't say nothin' so what is wrong with the answer. If you follow the news at all, you know that Sears is different from any other retailer because recent news articles have talked specifically about Sears. Boortz is not well-known but I have heard his name bandied around. It might be good to step out of the classroom sometime and find out what is happening in the world. I thought puns were ok and they gave me a few smiles.

Seth 7:33 AM  

You roll two dice in craps, not one. So to get a roll of two, both dice need to be one, which only happens 1 in 36 times.

tkincher 7:38 AM  

I'm a sucker for puns, I guess, so I liked this. That aside, "The Secret Life of Houdini" is a pretty entertaining biography of Mr. WEISS, recommended for anyone interested in the man; it is, as I recall, a pun-free book, as well.

Rob 7:50 AM  

Different tastes, I guess. I often don't like Patrick Berry's puzzles, but I thought this one was very nice and pretty easy. (I've never really been in tune with Rex's difficulty ratings. Nothing worse than banging my head against the wall for a puzzle he thought was Easy.) My favorite themers were AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YACHT and ROCK EM SOCK EM ROWBOATS.

I always forget whether it's Tea LEONE or LEONI, so that hung me up briefly while I worked out the rest.

chefbea 7:52 AM  

I love puns...but this did nothing for me. @Lewis...liked yours much better!!!

LisaG 7:56 AM  

I can't complain, because I finished the puzzle (yay me!). I must have had the Eric Bolling story on my mind becaues I originally had SICKO for "is downright terrible".

Leaving tomorrow for a camping trip. Two teenage daughters, two dogs, a 6'4" husband and me in a pop-up camper. Prayers are welcome.

Anonymous 8:18 AM  

I didn't hate this. Sundays never do much for me, but for me this wasn't as terrible as it was for Rex.

I'm hungover. How much coffee is too much coffee? I'm cutting myself off at a gallon (please appreciate my restraint at making a bad pun!).

Generic Solver 8:24 AM  

The problem I see with the dice odds clue is that rolling two 2's, two 3's, two 4's,, etc., is equally as likely as rolling the pair of ones, so it isn't any rarer than five other possible outcomes. So why single out the snake eyes as being especially rare? It's not a "singularly rare" event.

'mericans in Paris 8:31 AM  

AVAST, me hearties! We're HEP. Include us with the group who didn't think this puzzle SUCKed. Very little dreck, even among the three-letter words and abbreviations, including the ever-present LEI. (Hey, @chefwen!)

However, DNF because we got stuck in the Michigan region, not knowing who first performed 9D nor the name of some semi-retired shock jock. DERN! So we Googled COOKE (who I then recognized) and managed to guess at the rest.

Our favorite themer was ROCKEM SOCKEM ROBOATS. Some nice juxtapositions, too. The aforementioned ROBOATS over NOAH, and SAGA over SLAY. OREO (Greek FOR "mountain") just before URAL. Just INCAS you were thinking of it, I wouldn't recommend partaking of SAKE and LSD at the same time, however: EWE might see RED.

In addition to 77D, we liked the clue for ECHO ("Return from a trip to the Alps?"). Shout it from the HILLTOPS!

Have to go MAO the lawn now. Have an enjoyable SUNDAE, y'all!

Glimmerglass 8:48 AM  

I like PB, period. So, I liked this one, including the awful puns (but then it's the nature of puns to be awful). I nearly screwed my head into the ground trying to make majoRdomO fit "head honcho." As is my usual experience with PB, I struggled, was sure I was defeated, and eventually got it right. I know not to give up on a PB puzzle -- he always gives you a way around stuff you don't know (BOORTZ, URAL, NEESON). In my freshman year at Harvard (1950s), I was amused the emergency exit doors were marked EGRESS.

Two Ponies 8:57 AM  

The puns were amusing and the suggestions here added to the fun.

Someone recently referred to Anais Nin as the duct tape of crosswords. Very good. I think the same of Oreos.

Roscoe crossing roughs caught my eye. So did the two women's magazines and monthly.

Who invents these fake postings like the one today from Zinnia Hollis? If they expect me to take the bait at least do it with proper English. Pretty funny actually, love those exclamation marks!!!

jackj 9:19 AM  

With two monumental occurrences today, Patrick's first ever offering of mediocrity, ("the mighty Berry has struck out"), and more notably, that for the first time ever, I'm in complete agreement with a Rex review, I'm stirred to write to recognize these startling seisms.

Thankfully, the @Lewis List helped quell the rumblings.

Brian W. Ogilvie 9:21 AM  

Generic Solver: 2 and 12 are the rarest because there's only one permutation out of 36 possibilities that produces each. In contrast, there are three permutations that produce 4 (1-3, 2-2, and 3-1), so 4 is three times more likely than 2. Seven is the most likely (1 in 6 odds).

Bill Feeney 9:24 AM  

I thought the puzzle was hunky dory.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

Neal Boortz is a famous person and a perfectly legitimate clue/answer. His politics are irrelevant. The puzzle is not and should not be an extension of the editorial page. Quit your whining and go back to the cocoon of academia, where there is no viewpoint diversity. Don't listen to the haters Will.

Unknown 9:35 AM  

I liked it and I give this constructor the benefit of any doubt. He makes really solid puzzles and he does (most of) the small puzzles in the print edition and those have improved my mood after lots of Sunday crosswords. Interesting clueing for LEI - I have not seen that before. 8.5/10

Mohair Sam 9:46 AM  

@Lewis - lol on PB1 failing to credit Oxford Learners - shocking that Rex overlooked this. Loved your list, btw.

Rolling a TWO was never rare for me when I shot craps.

Speaking of rare, this was that rare Berry puzzle that didn't really light my fire. Most of the puns were a little too strained for my taste I guess, although ROCKEM was awesome. Loved the TAPEDELAY clue. Like @Rex we had a hard time sussing NUMEROUNO for some reason. Had "fatale" before MADAME, makes sense when you think about it.

Tea LEONI was so damned funny in the first season of "The Naked Truth" that I've never been able to take her seriously as an actress. Speaking of funny women - I recently saw some kinescopes of the old "Burns and Allen" show - GRACIE could make you laugh like hell.

I'd heard the name Neal BOORTZ but didn't know a thing about him, he was clued as "Libertarian" - Libertarians are bad now? I can't keep up.

Nora Bensahel 9:48 AM  

Rex: 15D (D.C.'s National ____) can't be the ball park, because both the team and the ball park are plural -- nationalS.

RooMonster 9:56 AM  

Hey All !
I wondered why the ball appeared to be getting closer, then it hit me.

A punny PB1 SunPuz. (Say that fast 5 times!) An okay puz, but agree with it not being a PB best. Will liked it, apparently...

Seemed relatively easy, hardest part was NE and SE, before getting those sections, looked at timer, and it was 33:00ish. Wow, said I. Finished at 46:00 after the ole brain decided to kick in. Still had my famous one-letter DNF at the O in GALLEONS/COOKE. Ugh. Wanted an R there, not sure why. Then tried Y before I concentrated and saw it must be COOKE.

Lots of threes, 40 of 'em. High for a Sunday, and for a Berry. If you get rid of the middle cheater squares, that would reduce it to 34. Two more would fall by not having cheater square after6A/ before 123A. But hey, sometimes you need those for a cleaner grid.

Liked overall. GOBS of ONIONY SWATHS.

I saw an add for burial plots, and thought to myself, that's the last thing I need.


Teedmn 9:58 AM  

A clever theme, changing the vowel sounds of one word to make a boat name. I visited a Wikipedia page listing types of ships and boats to see what else was out there. I came up with (and I see @Lewis already beat me to several of these plus he had many more):

PLAY KETCH Seagoing theater

PIG SLOOP Glutton's vessel

FERRY GODMOTHER Transport the baptismal sponsor

CONTINENTAL RAFT Former airline cheap seats

Yup, all pretty lame (just one more reason I am not a crossword constructor!) (And ketch and ferry don't change the sound much if at all.)

This was fun, had a bit of crunch. 81D was whiner, then GRiper, then GRinCH, before GROUCH. kmARt was damaged by Amazon for way too long. Foolish was sIllY (which worked with "farsI" just fine). I don't remember ever seeing ROSCOE as 20's slang for a revolver. And I'm not sure if I accept CURB as a "walk".

All in all, a fine Sunday. Thank you, Mr. Berry.

Hartley70 10:00 AM  

My last answer was BOORTZ and it took me an overnight to see it and finish that NE corner. I also had a hard time seeing/hearing the puns for "robots" and "trailer". I've never heard of the children's game and trucks are just "trucks" to me, although I can recognize the UPS and ice cream varieties.

This Berry puzzle was not easy for me and took a really long time to complete. It felt like an all-day sucker, the big rainbow colored kind. I enjoyed it, but was ready for it to be over.

Andrea 10:02 AM  

"It brings people together" is the best clue ever! It warmed my heart :^)

eferb46 10:03 AM  

Not sure I'm understanding one of the complaints right? Semi retired shock jock , Dern? Maybe you should look him up, he's a very fine actor not a shock jock. And a world class triathlete at one point in his life. Also father of Laura , also an actor . Try watching some films of his. I recommend Coming Home

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

@anon. 9:33 I had never heard of Boortz before and don't think he's a very famous person, certainly not among my crowd, but the crosses were inferable so I have no problem with his being in the puzzle. I agree that his politics are irrelevant. Seriously, who's going to be the arbiter of who's eligible? The McCarthyism shown by Rex is risible. Are you now or have you ever been a Libertarian?

Tita 10:15 AM  

@ Thomas...I think yuve unearthed the Most Impossible Thing to Google". Your discussion re: pre- and post-Shortzian OREO clues was most interesting, and prompted me to read up on the Greek mountain etymology.

Well, OREO must be the most successful product name ever. Ever. Even the hits I got with "oreo mountain greek" reference the cookie.

@Lewis...fantastic list! Especially love ferry godmother, as my French goddaughter believed, for the first 12 years of her life, that I was her fairy godmother.

@Larry G...I'm no statistician, but wouldn't any doubles roll be as rare as any other?
OHO...@Brian W. learned me something new's not the fact that it is a double that makes it is the fact that there is only one way to get to the quantity 2 with dice. Cool!

@Lisa of luck! Sounds like the stuff sitcom episodes are made of.

Thanks, Patrick. Not the best ever, but fun. My favorite is YOUAINTSEENNOTHINGYACHT. I think I'll name mine 14.5' of sloop ain't seen nothing other than the inside of the tarp it's under for 3 years now...

Tim Aurthur 10:27 AM  

As someone who used to engage in pun slams ("I'd like to pasta time talking about noodles, but I'm Alfredo what might happen"..."If I cannelloni say a few words orzo"...) I liked this puzzle, Boortz and all.

Tita 10:36 AM  

Must add...
Ive seen that pathetic movie CONAIR. back on the days when it was one movie for all (or two or three, depending on duration), airlines self-censored.
One thing you would be certain never ever to see was any film with a plane crash scene.

That was when I was traveling a lot. Really a lot. When I would get back home, puzzspouse would have a wonderful dinner, and sometimes a movie from Blockbuster. He got tired of me saying "oh I saw that one", so he started renting movies that he knew I would not have seen. In that era I got to see Airplane, Air Force One, Snakes on a Plane...

And finally, speaking of @lms...
We've had the hug/kiss disscussion befor. I'm one of those people.

1. If it's the first time meeting someone (in a social setting), I always shake hands. By the time the evening is over, we have undoubtedly had such fun together, that the doublekisses are warranted. I'm pretty sure. I think I have developed pretty good radar for sensing a person who isn't at all gonna like it. (But most likely, I am fooling myself.)
2. Culture/upbringing. In Portugal, as in much of Europe, from when your momma holds you in her arms and presents you for those doublekisses to say hello, and later goodbye, to Every Person In The Room, that is what you do. It is a really tough habit to break.
And woe is me if I meet someone who does only the singlekiss...thriws me completely off balance for the rest of the evening.
Be warned!!

So, I ask...are there people for whom it always remains extremely uncomfortable, no matter how great friends you are? I do know a few of those. They're all men.

Maruchka 10:42 AM  

Oh, PB. Aye kin knot till aye lye. Sore eye, nut year beast, bat stall butter thin mast oaf thee wrest. ORE yew list-en-Eng too mi, jay suss?

The steam(er) ran out in the South. I chuckled for WARSHIPS AT THE ALTAR, sniggered for SEMI TRAWLER. Down below went a bit slog.

George and GRACIE - Grandparents did not have a TV set as early on as us. Every week, they came for dinner, and a hair-do/GRACIE fest for Grandma. I remember her constant sweet laughing to this day. Thanks, Ms. Allen, wherever you are.

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

I have not finished the puzzle yet, nor have I read Rex or anyone else's comments. But I want to say I can forgive anything in a puzzle that includes "RockemSockemRowboats" which probably reveals my age!

John V 10:46 AM  

I only do Sundays based on the constructor. I always solve PB puzzles. This one was a disappointment.

Lewis 10:47 AM  

It should be noted that Patrick had the perfect editor for this puzzle: Themeboat Willie.

Z 10:52 AM  

@puzzlehoarder - I hate when that happens.

@Larry Gilstrap - 21x21 ennui struck me a couple of years ago. I don't quite know why, but at some point the doubling the size led to halving the enjoyment. It's gotten better late, but give me a good 15x15 themeless over a good 21x21 any day.

@Lewis - Zing! Point taken.

@Mohair Sam - "Libertarian" tends to be a cover for misogyny and racism. I'm sure you can find exceptions, but they get filed in my mind right next to "Bernie Bros" (an example I share to reinforce that misogyny and racism are equal opportunity blights on our society).

I thought the puns were fine, but then I liked my puns tortured and inane. Early on all the 3 letter answers were getting to me. Only real hold ups were tOnS before GOBS (giving me the plausible tRACIE and nANNER) and not remembering ROSCOE. I had WE so WEISS seemed reasonable and got me to the finish.

I was half way through the comments before the TAPE DELAY clue made sense. The USAU Ultimate Open is this weekend with 49 games being shown on Facebook, YouTube, ESPN3, and ESPN2, some on TAPE DELAY because many games happen at the same time. This is mostly US teams, but the Colombian team shocked Riot out of Seattle to make the Women's Final. Lots of high quality Ultimate if you're interested, with the Mixed Final airing today (8/6) at 7 pm eastern on ESPN2. The Open is in Blaine, MN this year, which led to a moment of ultimate/crosswordese confluence when I started seeing tweets from Edina Ultimate

Marcie 11:01 AM  

I liked the puzzle. Fun puns. Always approach new faces with my hand extended. Military upbringing. Just not a hugger. I save them for those I love.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

Played medium for me.
Actually enjoyed the silly puns.
Never heard of Oreo-O's...
Vaguely remember hearing boortz's name...
guess it's okay to clue to some obscure rapper, but not some ex-nationally syndicated libertarian talk show host...

thursdaysd 11:08 AM  

I despise puns and these were particularly bad, so a rare disappointing PB puzzle, although a not rare disappointing Sunday puzzle.

Have never heard of COOKE or BOORTZ, and couldn't believe OREO-Os actually existed, so DNF.

Birchbark 11:16 AM  

Good to see NOAH right in the middle, afloat on a flood of puns.

From the same Moby Dick chapter as @Ishmael's nice SWATH passage: "Yea, foolish mortals, NOAH's flood is not yet subsided; two thirds of the fair world it yet covers."

evil doug 11:18 AM  

Doublekisses SUCK, Tita. They never land, there's no contact. Airhugs, too. So here's what you do: pull me in close with your left arm, grab my ass cheek with your right, slip me the tongue, and we're good....

emmet 11:22 AM  

Mistake at 108 down. The LPGA is not the women's open organization. That event is USGA.

Unknown 11:29 AM  

Completely agree with the naked truth reference. So many years later, I never see Leoni without thinking I have to dig up season one of that show. Too bad it was one of the most poorly used shows ever in prime time. Network brass outdid themselves to screw up that show.

Teedmn 11:35 AM  

@Z, thanks for saving me a Google look-up to find out why, only a week or so after the annual International Soccer tournament was held in Blaine, the National Sports Center (whose parking lot I cycle through twice a week day) was once again filling up with cars and people. I couldn't think what all these people were gathering for. Ultimate, aha!

ArtO 11:40 AM  

Always love to see PB as the constructor but this one disappointed a bit. Agree with @Rex that most were not particularly funny but disagree on "AINT SEEN NOTHIN Y(ET)" since that's the basic expression. Why quibble with the double negative and lack of grammar. Had no clue what ROCKEMSOCKEMR(OBOTS) are. An age thing, I guess. My grandkids live too far away (alas).

'mericans in Paris 11:44 AM  


Read it again, please: "However, DNF because we got stuck in the Michigan region, not knowing who first performed 9D nor the name of some semi-retired shock jock."

The semi-retired shock-jock was a reference to Neal A. BOORTZ, Jr.

"DERN!" Was a play on words, instead of "Darn!"

Get with the program, man!

Joseph Michael 11:48 AM  

I usually love PB puzzles. but I have to agree that this one kind of SUCKS. There seems to be a plague of bad puns afoot in the NYT lately.

As usual for PB, there are some clever clues and solid entries to admire here, but overall the theme doesn't hold water.

DIRTY DOUBLE CRUISER was for me the worst offender. Or was it APPLE FREIGHTER? Somebody get out the lifejackets. This ship is going under.

I know I'm probably overlooking something obvious, but I don't get CURB as a "walk on the edge." Can someone please explain?

Amy 11:49 AM  

Sorry Rex, we thought this was mad fun and laughed out loud at the puns. Love Patrick Berry.

GILL I. 12:08 PM  

Ooof and I'll add a little meh and a BAH.
Had to crawl all the way to the end to get my one true HAH. Ha Ha at DIRTY DOUBLE CRUISER. And I love puns!!!!
I'll say this much about PB's puzzle today,...he never cuts corners. Every clue and answer is well thought out - no willy nilly in sight. But many three's and so many names.
Had a huge ???? next to the TAPE DELAY answer. When I finally got it, I did laugh - sort of.
@Tita...When I first went to Spain, it was the norm to double cheek kiss. No one ever shook hands. Now, it's just one cheek good-bye. I do, however, like @evil's cheeky suggestion.
HUG is my middle name. I'm a huge hugger. I do raise my radar though when I first meet someone. A non hugger sends out this eye contact that says "don't you dare touch me." That's when the hard hand comes flying out. @Loren, if we ever meet, can I give you a hug?
Had to look up the soubise sauce. I thought I knew my sauces but this was new to me. Sounds awful. I do like creamed onions on Thanksgiving but I can't imagine a bechamel onion sauce poured over my dish.
@Lewis. At least I got a laugh today.
Sunday brunch at the river awaits. Eggs.

Alan_S. 12:09 PM  

Well, I am a hugger and I still didn't like this puzzle. Bring on the space invaders; Hugs not Drugs!

GHarris 12:16 PM  

Always like my Berrys, with or without cream.

Ted Cole 12:32 PM  

What Amy said.

JC66 12:36 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 12:37 PM  

When I saw who the constructor was, I anticipated a fun solve.

Turned out to be very disappointing.


Beware - I'm giving you a big hug when we meet. (@Evil - we're just shaking hands).


Great first post (especially the plagiarism barb).

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

Any of your kids get enrolled in Comic Books class yet?

Stanley Hudson 12:46 PM  

@evil doug, LOL "slip me the tongue."

I'm a lefty academic but don't see the problem with BOORTZ. Among political junkies he was fairly well known not that long ago and anyway the answer was inferable from the crosses.

Not a fan of puns but this was a tolerable Sunday morning workout.

And now, that all-important second mimosa.

Masked and Anonymous 12:59 PM  

DIRTYDOUBLECRUISER had the most excellent vowel selection. PB1 don't seem to do a whole lotta NYTPuz themed stuff, anymore … mostly Friday themelesses. When he does do a themed one, it's usually a SunPuz. M&A has no problemo with desperate puns, tho … so this puz was fine by m&e.

fave fillins: HANGSITUP. SUCKS [sparkliest entry]. MONTHLY-SWIRLY-ONIONY. RE-SOLE-S (has a lotta desperate soul]. RATTRAP. POLECAT. FOGG. Honrable re-mention to SUCKS.

Oodles [40] of neat weejects abound, herein (yo, @Thomaso808). staff pick: Our good old friend CAL. [Most of the weejects were squeaky clean, a la PB1.]


Thanx, Mr. Berry. Fun and kinda solve-friendly. Pretty shipshape, except needed some JUNK. Or some ship-shape grid art. Somethin. And ... if U really want to float @RP's boat, yer theme needs to have some of them circles. In this case, they coulda been like bubbles, comin offa yer sinkin boats, or somesuch.

Masked & Anonymo9Us


mathgent 1:04 PM  

I usually don't do the Sunday, but when I saw the PB byline I jumped in. Enjoyed it immensely. I spent a lot of yesterday doing his Saturday variety puzzle in the WSJ. Another winner.

Kimberly 1:07 PM  

All the "y" adjectives felt like childish cheats: DIPPY, SWIRLY, ONIONY. The puns were childish, too. It's as if NYT is catering to the lowest common denominator.

Come on, NYT. That type gets enough of the world catering to them. Leave this one thing for the rest of us.

Anonymous 1:11 PM can't pay their rent.

Mohair Sam 1:19 PM  

@Z - I'm so out of it politically I had to Google "Bernie Bros." Like I said, it's hard to keep up.

DoesItinInk 1:23 PM  

A number of people have comment on how much they liked the clue for 77D DUCT TAPE. @Z even commented "I was half way through the comments before the TAPE DELAY clue made sense.". But no one explained it, and I am still in the dark. If someone could illuminate me, I would appreciate it.

dhdes 1:39 PM  

DoesltinInk, When someone curses "on air" a tape delay allows it to be bleeped.

The most pleasure for me in this puzzle was anticipating Rex's critique, and he didn't disappoint.

I had "SURF" for 9A, which I knew had to be wrong as I had never heard of a singer named "SOOKE." I wish I still hadn't heard about Mr. Boortz.

Tita 1:41 PM  

@ED - yer doin't it wrong...

@DoesItinInk...many "live" TV shows are actually on a TAPEDELAY to give censors a few seconds in which to jump in .
and bleep out an offensive word or wardrobe malfunction.

@Joseph take is that when you CURB your dog, you are walking him on the edge of the sidewalk/street. Not sure if that's right...

jberg 1:42 PM  

I liked the puns, even though I couldn't figure out what APPLE FREIGHTER was supposed to be. (Fruiter? no). Only when I read @Rex did fritter occur to me. On the other hand, I loved AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YACHT precisely because it was so ungrammatical.

I didn't know BOORTZ, but c'mon, it crossed PEZ, so what else could it be? On the other hand the NEESON/DERN crossing was an almost pure guess (that is, it seemed more plausible than NEESOr or DERm), but fortunately I got it.

I was going to say that any puzzle with Blazon in it was good with me -- disappointed when it turned out to be BANNER.

Mostly, though, I'm just feeling really old when I realize that so many people did not know Sam Cooke.

Unknown 2:02 PM  

Thanks for mentioning about people not knowing Sam Cooke... Definitely not an obscure artist, and You Send Me would have been a good song to post versus Ain't seen....

Masked and Anonymous 2:08 PM  

@Kimberly -har. yep. One the other hand, if there had been enough MONTHLY-SWIRLY-ONIONY-DIPPY-DAISY-& CAL stuff, it coulda been a sorta cool 7 Dwarfs family reunion of lesser-known cousins. No offense at all meant to PB1 -- it woulda just been an entertainin coincidence.

OTOH, M&A may be an overly-easily entertained type …


clk 2:12 PM  

My clue for DERN says "Bruce of "The Hateful Eight". Are there different clues on different platforms? I'm using the iPhone app.

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

HuffPo poll said two days before election that Hillary had a 98.4% chance of winning the election. That's why I read them.

Trombone Tom 2:25 PM  

@jberg "Amen" as to Sam Cooke. "You Send Me" has to be one of the greatest slow dance songs of all time.

Otto 2:30 PM  

We're out of Boortz license plates. We need more Boortz license plates here.

Lurker Librarian 2:35 PM  

Too young to know the singer (and I'm not that young) and didn't know the libertarian (but not bothered by his presence). I think the main issue here is the decision to clue CURB with a question mark clue that didn't make enough sense. It created a nasty little arwa of unguessable trivia crossed with a shrug. I suspect a lot of DNFs will happen there, or that will be where people finish, and when people finish on a sour note like that (regardless of the actual content), it diminishes the pleasure of the solve.

In answer to @Tita, YES there are those of us who will tolerate determined huggers but will never welcome or enjoy the experience. It's a case of not wanting to hurt the hugger's feelings but wishing they'd be more respectful of my space. I really don't like to be touched. And don't even get me started on the people who want to rub your arm or shoulders!

old timer 2:42 PM  

Sam COOKE was a great singer and songwriter, shot down in a motel room, and far too young to die.

I found the puzzle very tough and I agree it was not very satisfying, coming from PB.

Aketi 2:52 PM  

@Evil Doug, haha, can't resist. My preferred method of hugging is rear naked choke.

Aketi 2:59 PM  

As for the ROW BOATS I owe @Nancy a ride in one of those in Central Park. Durin peak tourist season it is more of a KNOCK EM, ROCK EM, ROW BOAT experience since so few people seem to know haw to ROW without knocking into other boats.

Aketi 3:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Gilstrap 3:26 PM  

@Birchbark - Chapter 58 Brit in Moby-Dick is my favorite. It is a magnificent poetic digression, haunting and inspirational. The essence of the novel in a few pages.

Raised in a culture of non-huggers, but these days if it's being offered by somebody I like, I'm all over it. Next time I see @Tita or @Loren, maybe a fist bump?

Mohair Sam 3:29 PM  

@jberg - I just knew you'd link us to "You Send Me" and I was right. While enjoying the old favorite I noticed that it had 275,000 views on YouTube. Curious as I am I keyed in Jimmy Buffett's "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw" which @M&A had referenced yesterday. It had nearly 2,000,000 views. Sigh.

@Evil Doug (11:18) - You the Man.

Carola 3:42 PM  

On this one, I felt like the ship sailed without me. I needed @Rex to understand the ROWBOATS and FREIGHTER, and felt no waves of enthusiasm for most of the others. I did like the YACHT. Agree with all about the TAPE DELAY.

Hungry Mother 3:47 PM  

I got so blocked at "Ari Gold" of "Entourage", that I couldn't get ELI, even though I watched every episode of "Good Wife." I even coun't write down OLE, even though I knew it. I liked the two-hit "You Send Me" and "Summertime" 45 even better than the "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" 45. Have I given away my age? Celebrating our 51st Anniversary today.

GPO 3:47 PM  

OK, I guess here is my standard retort to the "oh these are bad puns" complaint.


They are puns. They are bad. And that is that.

I enjoyed this one, and agreed with the medium rating.

Joe Dipinto 4:13 PM  

I thought this was a perfectly fine puzzle. Not wowza!, but I like the puns. Though, since I'd never heard of an "apple fritter," I couldn't figure out what the pun there was supposed to be at first.

I don't understand all the love for the "tape delay" clue. It's vaguely cutesy, but yes, a tape delay enables curse removal. Fairly obvious clue, imo.

Bill L. 4:41 PM  

"Attached sidewalks" are directly next to the curb. "Detached sidewalks" have grass, trees or decorative bricks, etc. In the northeast the area between the curb and walk is called snow storage (I'm sure you all care). Anyway, I took the clue as referring to an attached sidewalk.

Had Rock'em Sock'em Robots as a kid and have two refrigerator magnets with the red and blue boxing cyborgs that my sister gave me a few years ago. Enjoyed that pun the best. I thought this was a pretty good (and easy) Sunday puzzle.

Oh, also had sAgE at first for 13A, which gave me D.C.s National gALL for a brief moment.

Thanks, PB1

Mohair Sam 4:43 PM  

Sam COOKE is one of 10 Performers who are charter members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Anonymous 5:15 PM  

@Lurker 2:35 PM: You're not too young to know Sam Cooke, who died before I was born, anymore than you're too young to know Enrico Caruso, who died in 1921, likely before any of the commentariat here were born.

Robert A. Simon 5:18 PM  

@Trombone Tom--Thanks for the Ogden Nash. Here's my favorite. Its his "Ode to Ketchup":
"Shake and shake and shake the bottle
Nothing comes, and then a lot'll.

And I think I've figured out who "Anonymous" is. The way he attacks @Rex, it could only be Will Shortz.

And BTW, I enjoyed the comments today a lot more than the puzzle which, although they were mostly well-crafted, had way too many 3-letter answers. (Especially since a lot of them were so well-crafted I couldn't answer them right away, and I kinda count on the 3-letter answers to gain something resembling traction.)

And yeah, I know a lot of you went, "What does he mean, 'shake' a bottle of ketchup? You squeeze it!"

Cyclist227 6:06 PM  

I'm not in the same league as most of the Crossword mavens here, but I found this puzzle relatively easy with some effort. It was just clicking for me. I agree that some of the puns are lame, but some are amusing enough.

Anonymous 6:33 PM  

"sucks " was unnecessary and shouldn't have been in the puzzle. Anything goes now apparently except the n-word and the c-word. Defining deviancy downward.

Nancy 7:07 PM  

What an unBerryan puzzle. I was tied up with a phone call this morning, didn't finish the puzzle, didn't much care, still haven't finished it though I probably will eventually, so I can't really read any of your comments, but I'm guessing more than a few of you were disappointed. The wordplay/puns seem as feeble as you'd expect from someone who's not Patrick Berry. The clues are mundane. If I finish it, it'll only be because it is PB, though I don't expect it to get better. I am curious, though, as to the reaction of the commentariat.

Rina 7:46 PM  

I've done the Sunday puzzle for about forty years. I only do about 20-25 or so each year, but always on paper. Unlike Playboy, I actually do read the articles. I seems to me the best Sundays were about 15-25 years ago. Like the perfectly formed Big Dipper, or the one with the running gag about encountering a high school classmate from long ago. Sure, there are some really clever clues like for TAPEDELAY, so is it just me or are we in some kind drought in the meteorological puzzle cycle?

Dick Swart 9:01 PM  

I find puns fun, particularly if they are real groaners.

If didn't like this, he would have hated the LAT:

Fish ...

I never told a sole
Pick a cod, any cod
Piano tuna
Platform eel
Don't be koi
Emotional shock
Good carp, bad carp

Good carp, bad carp: particularly ggod!

Nancy 9:50 PM  

Finished it, then went back to glance at the comments, and I see that a large proportion of people here were also disappointed in this PB effort. It was the East that I hadn't gotten to earlier and I found it the hardest part of the puzzle. I had HUb before HUG for "It brings people together." (Well, a HUB does, doesn't it?) On the other hand, I do look forward to hugging "Huge Hugger" GILL (12:08), if we ever get to meet!

At 100A, my most written over answer, I had DIRTY DOUBLE DECKER, then DIRTY DOUBLE CROSSER, and only finally DIRTY DOUBLE CRUISER. Like many others here, I really like Lewis's list. It's time for another puzzle of your own, Lewis. As for this one: Patrick Berry is a genius constructor who creates unusual puzzle concoctions that are far more intricate and impressive than even the most impressive straight crossword. I think he polished this one off one morning while shaving. He's given me hours and hours of pleasure. Just not today.

Don't be rude 10:29 PM  

@Dick Swart et. al. (youknow who you are) Please don't give away answers to puzzles that other solvers may not have completed. It is fine to recommend other puzzles, just don't spoil them.

sKALLA_8 10:38 PM  

Wow, Evil! (11:18AM) Do you write popular novels? Where can I buy one? Can I get one tonight?

mmorgan 10:43 PM  

Yeah, expectations for PB are crazy high and this was kinda meh at first glance but the more you looked at it the more you had to tip your hat to the PB Magic. It wasn't always easy coming but thank you for all you do!!!

DoesItinInk 10:43 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
DoesItinInk 10:46 PM  

Thanks. Now that you explain it, it seems obvious and I wonder why I could not see it myself.

Kes 11:14 PM  

Got stuck with RAINDELAY instead of TAPEDELAY, thinking it was referring to the Cubs World Series win

kitshef 11:58 PM  

Never heard of either BOORTZ or OREO-Os, so basically just guessed there (L was my other option).

Only do DNF by foolishly putting in SEMI-TRAiLER - the pre-pun, rather than post-pun, term.

I thought the puns were fun, and in particular liked GALLEONS OF MILK.

Joe Bleaux 12:02 AM  

Were plastic bottles around in Ogden's day? Squeezing glass ones (which are still around) won't get you anywhere.

Joe Bleaux 12:04 AM  

Duh. It's late. I missed your "Iot of you" line, as I hope you don't come back tomorrow and read my dumbass reply.

Joe Bleaux 12:09 AM  

AND, not AS I hope ...

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Anonymous 12:53 AM  

I have a quibble with the Houdini clue. His real name is one of the pieces of clutter in this solver's attic. He was Hungarian and the family originally spelled it Weisz. It got Germanized later, apparently. To be fair the German spelling of his first name did finally tip me off. But in the meantime I lost several minutes trying to get a z to work. I never heard of ROSCOE, so that was no help. So many Weisses in the world. Why nor choose a clue that isn't annoyingly ambiguous?

gzodik 2:16 AM  

The phrase is not "Anchors Away", it's "Anchors Aweigh". It's an order to raise the anchor, not to drop it.

Joseph Michael 8:33 AM  

Thanks @Tita, your explanation is better than anything I could think of.

OgdenNashBigBigFan 10:20 PM  

...but the best Nash poem has to be the one that begins:

Camille Saint-Saens was wracked with pains
When people addressed him as "Saint Sains."

I was in Old City Prague a couple of years ago and they were having an Ogden Nash festival. True!

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

I had some genuine smiles solving this, and not just with the themers. I thought the clueing was charming.

Fred 7:34 PM  

One typo no one seems to have noticed: Gracie: A Love Story was published in 1988 (not 1998). George Burns died in 1996 at the ripe old age of 100.

Agree with the majority that the thematic answers were pretty dumb...

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rondo 11:54 AM  

Was going to skip today, but saw it was a PB1. Guess his rep is why few if any said this puz SUCKS, which it nearly does. Better than a rebus is all I can muster.

Another day with OLE and no Sven. OLE does have an accent, BTW, if you tell the jokes correctly.

No question about yeah baby Tea LEONI from MADAM(E) Secretary.

Usually NUMEROUNO PB1 CRAFTS a better puz. This one made me want to take ipeKAYAK.

Burma Shave 12:18 PM  


Yes SIR, HENRI ASPIREDTO be a SUAVE night crawler,
but that SLOTH'S a NUMEROUNO troubled boozer,


rain forest 2:07 PM  

I really feel sorry for solvers who say their day has been ruined by a puzzle, or who express disappointment when PB expectations aren't met. I wonder what the rest of their lives are like.

In my case, the paper said that the puzzle was constructed by Peter Broda and Erik Agard, for some reason, and I have to say I enjoyed it. This was possibly the easiest Sunday in memory, and I flew through it with the only pause coming at the CURB/BOORTZ cross.

The puns were funny in a goofy way, and the fill was pretty clean. Some nifty clues, as to be expected.

My son-in-law is one of those "guys" who absolutely will not hug, except for my daughter. Even on their wedding day, only a firm handshake would do.

I like it when it isn't a slog, and this fit the bill.

Diana,LIW 2:44 PM  

"Only the truly mediocre are always at their best." Don't remember the source (a time management book?) but I'd tell my students, "if you ace every assignment you aren't pushing yourself enough. So while this wasn't a PB A+, it would be my best ever. (Tho I was a bit surprised at the use of one word. You can guess.)

Had a lot of fun with my eraser today. Lots of bad guesses. I kinda like it when I'm wrong at first and then get to laugh at myself. Finally finished in the middle. Then came here and saw the errors of my ways. Had "meh art" for the uncreative creation. Creative, huh? (Didn't know Stephen, so mEA looked fine to me.)

And I loved how coming up with the puns helped the solving experience. Except, of course, for the miscreant AINTSEENNOTtINGYACHT formed by the aforementioned meh art.

Pretty sure I've seen Houdini's name in a xword before. Off to put a GALLEON OF MILK into my coffee URN.

And I'm off tomorrow on a vaca - may be a bit scarce for the next week+.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 4:53 PM  

The way I learned the saying: "A pun is the worst form of humor--when the other guy thought of it first." Come on now, if puns were banned, ROCKEMSOCKEMROWBOATS would never have seen the light of day. I'm puzzled by a general expression of dismay at a Berry offering by the group here. When have you ever seen such a squeaky-clean 21x21 layout? In all of it, only five acronyms, GPS, RNA, GPA, LPGA and LSD--every one perfectly in the language. One re-verb, RESOLES, but here again very common--in an area or time frame where (or when) one would have that done.

Despite the included tribute to him (81-down), OFL thinks the puzzle SUCKS. I for one hope Mr. Berry continues his cruciverbial labors for a long while before he HANGSITUP. Clues made this a medium-challenging day for me. One writeover at tOnS before GOBS. DOD has to be Catherine Bach as DAISY Duke. Those legs made such an impact that an entire style of APPAREL was NAMEd for her. Birdie.

AnonymousPVX 5:08 PM  

Well, it's no secret that I dislike theme/gimmick puzzles, especially when they involve puns and whatnot. So I didn't particularly like this one. Even getting the solve left me....meh.

leftcoastTAM 5:11 PM  

Mix of the tricky, the elusive, the obscure, and the subtle. And somewhat surprisingly in a Patrick Berry puzzle, a little DIPPY as well, especially in some of the themers, all of which seemed a bit forced.

Found the SE most resistant. Griper before Grinch before GROUCH. Renee before HENRI. Some nonsense word before SEQUEL, and some more before IRAQI.

Last letter in was the first "O in BOORTZ whom, apparently fortunately, I've not heard of.

Even Mr. Berry couldn't avoid the Sunday slog factor, but he nonetheless kept it sufficiently interesting.

Unknown 1:14 PM  

I find some of these comments to be pretty pretentious as well. When one is a constant critic, one cannot see the forest for the trees. I would call it a cocoon of priggishness and not academia (which insults those academics with broadmindedness), but I agree with you in theory!

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thefogman 8:57 PM  

I loved this puzzle. It took a while but it was worth it. The themers were clever and funny. I wish all puzzles were this good.

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Jason Martin 2:41 AM  

It would take much time to resolve this one.
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Anonymous 10:49 AM  

Singularly rare = one pip on each die is my guess for an excellent clue

Anonymous because of all the borderline asberger and look at me comments which while sometimes humorous are too often sad

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