Tiered Eastern temple / TUE 8-15-17 / Rousing audience response informally / Pageant title since 1983 / Multiple jobs metahporically

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Collection agency — All theme clues follow pattern [___ collector?], where the clue phrase is a familiar one, but the answer reimagines the meaning of "___":

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Stamp collector? (PASSPORT)
  • 28A: Record collector? (GUINNESS BOOK)
  • 45A: Bill collector? (CASH REGISTER)
  • 57A: Shell collector? (PASTA BAR) 
Word of the Day: TOOTLE (43A: Play a fife) —
verb: tootle; 3rd person present: tootles; past tense: tootled; past participle: tootled; gerund or present participle: tootling
  1. 1.
    casually make a series of sounds on a horn, trumpet, or similar instrument.

    "he tootled on the horn"
  2. 2.
    go or travel in a leisurely way.

    "they were tootling along the coast" (google)
• • •

I think this works, at least at the most basic level. All the clues take familiar phrases and reorient the meaning of the thing being "collected"—so, not postage stamps but ink stamps in a PASSPORT; not vinyl records but record-setting accomplishments; etc. So it's passable. That said, GUINNESS BOOK really really really doesn't stand alone well at all. It's kind of meaningless without "of World Records" after it. Looks like the official title of the organization is just Guinness World Records (no book needed). So I'm highly dubious that GUINNESS BOOK, on its own, is a thing. The other themers are things, though there was a wide variety of negative responses to PASTA BAR on Crossword Twitter last night, ranging from "What is a PASTA BAR?" to "How many kinds of 'shells' are there, really?" (The clue was pretty forced)

Yesterday felt slowish but was pretty fast. Today felt fast but was just normal. Wrote in MISS AMERICA before MISS TEEN USA (date in the clue means MISS AMERICA was clearly wrong, but I saw "Pageant" and I had MISS and my brain just reacted). I read "happy" instead of "unhappy" at 34D: Final and unhappy outcome, so despite my having END, BITTER didn't fly right in there. Had an odd lot of trouble getting / understanding 19D: Word after mountain or before season (PEAK). I am notoriously bad at the before / after stuff. Just terrible. I had the PEA- and still no idea. That's how bad I am.

Theme is pretty light today, so there's room for some nice longer answers, and the overall quality of the fill isn't too bad. Not good, but not irksome. Happy to give this one a highly-qualified thumbs-up.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:05 AM  

Easy for me. Smooth and a tad meh or just about right for a Tues. Liked it ISH (or what @Rex said).

Jon Hilgers 12:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:21 AM  

It should be pointed out that the theme description on this blog post is incorrect. The answers don't reimagine the meaning of the "___", they reimagine the meaning of "collector". A collector is usually a person, but here it's a PASSPORT, GUINNESS BOOK, CASH REGISTER, and PASTA BAR.

Anonymous 12:22 AM  

It turns out that I spoke too soon. They reimagine both the "___" and the "collector"!

Anonymous 12:56 AM  

There need only be one type of shell for a pasta bar to "collect" shells, in the plural.

Anonymous 1:00 AM  

There need only be one type of shell for a pasta bar to "collect" shells, in the plural. Unless there's only one shell.

Johnny 1:17 AM  

Wow those Twitter comments sure betray the ignorance of the writers. Just because you've never heard of something doesn't mean it doesn't exist, folks. And to poor Andrea, who HAS heard of a pasta bar: read the clue again, sweetheart.

I firmly believe that anyone with a Twitter account is a f***ing moron, and that includes you.

Cassieopia 1:21 AM  

Thumbs up here too, just not as highly qualified. Had tom kha for dinner so THAI was not only a gimme, it was delicious. (BTW Fairbanks has a crazy excellent Thai food scene. Despite my decades in Philly I've not found anywhere on the east coast that even comes close.) Solve was so fast (for me) that I blew past the fact that there even was a theme.

Great misdirection on the cluing ("line of clothing" and "stamp collector" were faves). Got TOOTLE immediately from the cluing with no crosses! Haven't used that word in forever yet there it lurked, in the interstices of my brain, just waiting for a fife to coax it into the light. So freaking satisfying. What a fun puzzle. Ms Z has not disappointed me yet!

Unknown 1:52 AM  

Pretty irksome that both ENT and EMT were in the fill, both clued as medical acronyms.

Larry Gilstrap 2:04 AM  

Obscure vowel needed to solve the NW corner crossing first names. Even those solving on devices saw that tiny black hole.

I solved in a distracting environment, fun! But, now I see that I missed a theme. My current goal in life is to not become a dust collector. How did I miss that?

One quick story: around the early 90s, my friend was the director of our local MISS TEEN USA Pageant and she recruited me to be a judge for a three day event. My resume was pretty thin, but the first year was rewarding and fun. Weird in a way, judging young women, but she held us to a very high standard and I only cringed a few times. The next year, the judges inadvertently selected a candidate who was big on inner-beauty and not so much outer-beauty. I was never asked to judge again.

chefwen 2:29 AM  

Hand up for Miss America until it didn't work, don't pay too much attention to dates.

My pasta was in a jar before it was at a bar. Have to transfer pasta into a sealed jar before those creepy little black bugs get into it. Hate those things. But I've never JAA in shear terror so I pretty much knew that was wrong. Otherwise, pretty cute puzzle C.C. I'll give you a STANDING O.

Mike in Mountain View 3:04 AM  

@chefwen: i had PASTAjAR, too.

Good puzzle.

andrea carla michaels 4:06 AM  

Fwiw I had to run the alphabet on PEA-
(I seriously considered PEAr and PEAt... Maybe Mountain PEAt was a kind of moss?)
and those are my fave kinds of clues
(along with its cousin "a kind of this or that" where the two words don't seem related at all.. They give me the biggest AHAs!)

Still smiling at "just else" from yesterday

Unknown 4:34 AM  

Nice Article , It Really Helpful

Thomaso808 4:55 AM  

@ACME then I guess your possible crosses were GUINNESSBOOr and GUINNESSBOOt? Both very possible scenarios at a neighborhood Irish pub, right?

I liked the fact that the theme was totally in the clues, and not in the answers. I finished the puz and went back looking at the theme answers and thought "What's the theme here?" because there's no revealer, I didn't get it. Then I did. That was an aha. Very good, CC! Love it!

Fooey on Rex, GUINESSBOOK is a great collector. Yeah, maybe not so much on PASTABAR.

Lewis 5:57 AM  

What a fine Tuesday puzzle! Brilliant theme -- who has come up with this before? Some terrific cluing -- SEAM, PIPES, BAA, PASSPORT -- which is often rare on Tuesday. Very nice answers in STANDINGO, MADDASH, and BITTEREND. Clean grid, and some lovely pesky grit. In every respect, a collector's piece!

da kine 6:23 AM  

Are all Twitter users pedantic bores or just the ones Rex screencaps?

Exubesq 7:13 AM  

I call foul on the notion that the Philadelphia (Seventy) Sixers are a professional basketball team. Have you seen them the past many years?

Z 7:32 AM  

I've got The Real War by Richard NIXON on my night stand. Yeah, he's definitely spinning in his grave.

Aren't PASTA BARs usually pretentious and over-priced? Or is that just a stereotype? We don't seem to have one in Detroit, although I found one close by in Windsor that doesn't seem to fit that image. Our latest culinary kerfuffle was the local paper's restaurant critic crying "enough already" with the pretentious and over-priced burger joints in Detroit. Restaurateurs took offense but I'm with the critic. Just because you can stick peanut macaroni butter beet between the buns doesn't mean you should. And just because you charge $30 for your ⅔ lbs creation doesn't mean it tastes good. Blurgh. Anyway... PASTA BARs are firmly stuck in my mind with haute burger joints as places to avoid.

Hand up for giving GUINNESS BOOK the side eye. GUINNESS Beer is a thing. GUINNESS BOOK (without the "the" and "of world records") not so much. Granted, we all got it, but it stretches and stretches thingness into near nothingness. Still, amongst the sins committed by Tuesday puzzles, this probably doesn't make the top 100. The other themers are nifty, so I'm prepared to say, "best Tuesday ever."

kitshef 7:35 AM  

Surprised at that so many people (or, anyone) has not heard of a PASTA BAR. Whenever that happens, my first guess is it's regional. I bet I could find twenty restaurants within five miles of my house with a pasta bar.

It was the outlying themer, though. The others collect their items (stamps, records, bills) one or a few at a time. A pasta bar collects its shells in a big flood.

I have to go with easy as solved downs-only a) successfully b) with no help from the theme.

Currently earworming Goo-goo Dolls' IRIS

Nice to see @LMS make an appearance in the grid.

LaurieG in Connecticut 7:37 AM  

My reaction to seeing the collective snark/stupidity shown by the tweets, as well.

Birchbark 7:40 AM  

Why is SUNDAE spelled with an E at the end? The Supplement to the OED says "Origin unascertained. Perhaps merely a respelling of Sunday." Other dictionaries follow suit. The word "sundai" first appeared in a New York paper in 1901. The current spelling debuted in the Minneapolis Times in 1904.

Two Ponies 7:48 AM  

I've seen a pasta bar featured in Pizza Hut ads.
Restaurant food needs to be hot and fresh so any "bar"
besides a salad one is not for me. Even those annoy me.
I enjoyed the idioms today like hit the sack, bitter end,
and the wearing of many hats. I'm pretty good at that
last one.
I miss Thai food badly. Out here in the wilds the nearest
Asian restaurant has food that makes ChungKing chop suey
from a can seem like haute cuisine. However, the plentiful
supply of fresh venison at home makes up for it.
Twitter sure looks like the perfect platform for people with
nothing useful to do.

Hungry Mother 7:50 AM  

Could have been any letter at the front of PASTABAR in my thinking. The perp supplied the P. Can I have an example of one?

QuasiMojo 7:59 AM  

I love how the people who tweet Rex use the F word for emphasis since their comments are pretty dumb without it, or even more so. What planet are they living on? One run by that idiot comic with the deep gravelly voice? This puzzle was a mixed bag. Pasta Bars are definitely a thing. But I agree there are rarely a variety of shell offerings. Guinness Book was confusing to me because I thought it was a rebus of some sort coming after Standing O for ovation. (A too frequent display in my opinion. Everyone gets one nowadays no matter how awful the show or act is. Bring back the hook!) I made one big mistake today. I had HITS for jobs rather than Hats. I guess I was in a mood. Nice one Z!

Andrew Goodridge 7:59 AM  

I think pasta bars are great because they offer so many pastabilities.




Anonymous 8:03 AM  

@ da kine 6:23 - was thinking the same thing, what a bunch of geeks

chefbea 8:13 AM  

Great puzzle...hand up for pasta Jar!!! Tough and had to google once!!

GHarris 8:15 AM  

Easy and enjoyable. Only erasure, started to write in Miss Universe until I ran short of boxes.

Tita 8:24 AM  

@Z...haute burger...love that term.

In the 90's I was fortunate to be traveling lots on business, and some for pleasure, that I needed to get pages added to my passport. Sent it in, along with the requisite $150 for expedited processing, as I had another trip coming up fast.
A week later a passport arrived. Sadly, it wasn't mine. It was some nice lady's from New Jersey. I called her, confident that the bureaucrat had simply swapped them.
No such luck.

They issued me a new one, sans my collection of visas and stamps. Sigh.

Rex... now today is an example of a careless flower color clue. IRISes come in many colors. It's like saying "Showy yellow car" for LAMBORGHINI.

And its a shame that companies don't spend a little bit of time on *using* their USER interfaces. They might actually get it right if they did.

Fun Tuesday, CC, as long as I pretend not to see GISTS!

Anonymous 8:25 AM  

Definition of mansplaining: see Johnny, 1:17 am.

The point could have been made without the demeaning insults, sweetheart.

Nancy 8:34 AM  

There's a STAB being made at creating a few interesting clues: e.g. PASSPORT and CASH REGISTER. Mostly, though, there's nothing OF NOTE here. It was over very quickly and I won't miss it at all.

evil doug 8:35 AM  

Maybe Stan Dingo ate your baby.

RAD2626 8:38 AM  

I wonder if anyone doing the puzzle looked at the clue for 6D and said "Oh yeah, I remember back in 83. That was when MISS TEEN USA started." Had to get from crosses. Clue no help. But pageants had one collateral benefit: led to the hideous younger girl pageants which ultimately gave us Little Miss Sunshine, a great movie. I hope all those events have gone the way of the VCR.

Terrific Tuesday puzzle.

Nancy 8:57 AM  

Re: the tweets that Rex has been trying to force-feed us for the past year or so. I haven't read, nay even seen, a single comma from a single tweet on a single day. My scrolling finger has never worked so fast as it does when whizzing by them. I don't even scroll through Rex that quickly. And my reason has nothing to do with what's in the tweets, since I don't have any idea what's in the tweets. No my reason is quite...odd:

For someone who is not usually annoyed by anything visual -- aural being an entirely different matter -- I find all tweets physically ugly and distasteful-looking. Unappetising. It makes my skin crawl to even glance at them. It could be a tweet from. I don't know, St Teresa, and I still wouldn't want to look at it. I have no idea why this is so, but it's so. Is it the shape or size of the print? The color of the background? Somehow, tweets look dirty to me -- in the physical, not the sexual sense. They look like they need a nice bath. One that includes a good scrubbing. Is there even one other human on the planet who has ever had this reaction? I doubt it very much, but do let me know if someone has.

Hartley70 9:24 AM  

This was a much better than average Tuesday. It was elevated by the last letter, the B in BAR. I couldn't imagine what letter was called for until I finally saw the misdirection in "shear". I loved that stuff!

PASSPORT got nicely complicated when I wanted DEfER instead of DETER. When I sorted that out I had SPORT which led me astray for a bit. The POINTGUARD's job was quite enough of that for me, but it led to an interesting solve.

The collector theme felt fresh and new. I'm a fan, C.C.

Mel Torme 9:30 AM  
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Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Bravo, evil doug. I was wondering if someone would call DOOK on Stan Dingo.

TOCraig 9:53 AM  

Generally easy and enjoyable. But I had pasta jar, and couldn't figure out what jaa was or why it was a bad pun. Standing O!

Kendall 9:56 AM  

I don't remember ever seeing a PASTABAR, which seems odd since I eat out on average 4 times a week, but it didn't bug me as an answer. I just assumed it was a sub-section of a salad bar and never had another thought about it. STANDINGO, on the other hand, was not my favorite. No puzzle is perfect, but in this instance I would have loved that to be standings crossed with ISS. Do people ever say standing O? It seems like it was invented specifically for this puzzle.

Count me in the thumbs up for a Tuesday. Finished it I'm very good time as well.

Wm Martin 9:56 AM  

Pasta bar??? Well, I googled it and they are all over the place! I'll be!

Joseph Michael 10:06 AM  

For me, the theme was half good (STAMP COLLECTOR and CASH REGISTER) and half not so good (GUINNESS BOOK and PASTA BAR) so that makes it kind of a "meh" puzzle themewise. I'm surprised that Rex could be so positive about it.

On the other hand, there was a lot of great fill. such as STANDING O, MAD DASH, TOOTLE, and BITTER END.

Also liked PIPES as puff pieces, BAA as a cry of shear terror, and BRO as a type of hug.

Have to agree with the disparaging comments about Rex's Twitter pals who come across only as twits. Is the age of Twitter a warning sign of the crumbling of the empire?

In a film whose name unfortunately I can't remember, when a time traveler from the past arrives in present day and learns about Twitter, he wonders how anyone could ever say anything meaningful in only 140 words. He then has to be told that the limit per Twitter is not 140 words, but 140 characters. How times have changed.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

I'll have a shot of pasta!

Z 10:15 AM  

@Hungry Mother - I don't know about you, but to my way of thinking rASTA BAR > PASTA BAR.

@Tita A - The problem is that the USER interface makes sense to the people designing them. On occasion I've tried to answer the question, "what the hell were they thinking?" and have found that the answer helps make the interface more useable. Of course, it would be nice if I didn't have to do that little exercise.

@Two Ponies - I might be wrong here, but I don't think PASTA BARs are anything like a salad bar. I think they tend to be more "we make our own pasta in the traditional manner" type places. But, again, we don't have any in my neighborhood so maybe @kitshef could illuminate us all.

Blackeyedsusan 10:26 AM  

I solve the puzzle on paper. I'm confused about themes. Rex said the theme today was Collection Agency. Only the Sunday paper puzzle indicates a theme. Is the theme stated Mon-Sat on the online version or is it something you try to figure out after the fact? Help please.

RooMonster 10:30 AM  

Hey All !
So far no o e has commented on the little [sorry!] after the 61D clue. Figured that would get some kind of response. Wonder if it was CC, or if Will added it.

Liked this easy TuesPuz. Only holdup for me was Oops for OHHI. Slowed the NE corner a bit, until figuring tom kha gai had to be THAI. Then finished up nicely.

PASTA BARs were common in Pennsylvania where I grew up. Usually had spaghetti, shells, and elbow macaroni. Different sauces and cheeses and whatnot. Think they might've fallen out of f(l)avor recently. Now we have Cici's (pizza buffets, not Burnikels!)

Liked UFOS, but UNOS wrankled a bit. Sure, there are multiple Pizzeria Unos out there, but rang off to my EARs.

Just watched 'The Watchmen' movie, not the worst movie ever, but seemed like it could've been better. It's a Long movie, 2 hours 42 minutes, but the point I'd that in it, NIXON was still President in 1985, having not been impeached and winning both the 1980 and 1984 elections. Then at the end, there was a comment about Reagan running in 1988, and a comment by one of the people that was along the lines of "who wants an actor as president?" Funny stuff.


Two Ponies 10:43 AM  

Since food seems to be the guiding theme today

@ Birchbark, I believe that an ice cream Sundae with an E
not a Y came from the notion that calling it after a Christian holy day was a no-no. To avoid this controversy the shop owner found a loop-hole. That's how I remember the story anyway. There probably is more to it.

@ Z, At a pasta bar you cruise past the premade lukewarm overcooked
choices and pile them on your plate. Many casino buffets have a special area just for this array of mediocrity. They ain't no oyster bars.

Mohair Sam 10:45 AM  

Note to those in @Rex's twitterverse - He'll put you out there.

Reliably solid Burnikel puzzle, we enjoyed. I believe she'll be an example under "prolific" in the next edition of the OED. If the shells at your PASTA BAR don't include orecchiette your PASTA BAR is a fraud, you can actually chew that stuff a little. I'm fine with GUINNESS BOOK standing alone, say it that way all the time. Spent a few evenings at the BITTER END in Greenwich Village in the early '60s, just Googled and see it's still open and doing the same thing. Amazing.

@Andrew Goodridge - Once bet on a race horse named PASTABILITY. She finished up the track.

@Exubesq - Good call on the SIXER clue, "pro" indeed! It's my belief that the term "Trust the Process" was stolen from the Madoff Group.

@Nancy - Loving your Twitter rant.

mmorgan 10:46 AM  

I got GUINNESSBOOK (which I agree feels a bit off) and, thinking that the theme was "book," decided that Stamp Collector must be PASSbook -- those things we used to use to record deposits etc. (stamped in the passbook!) when we used to actually go into banks instead of using ATMs and doing most banking tasks online. But the corresponding downs quickly disabused me of that notion.

I kinda liked having both EMT and ENT, and felt the same way about UFOS and UNOS.

Unknown 10:46 AM  


jberg 10:46 AM  

I didn't much like GUINNESS BOOK -- you might say "we're trying to get into Guinness," but I think if you say more you probably say the whole thing. But I could be wrong, it's not something I talk about much, and I'm willing to let it go for the nifty theme.

21A is the President ofEgypt, currently.

Unknown 10:48 AM  

Totally agree. Tweeting is not part of my world.

jb129 10:51 AM  

I liked it & found it closer to Easy than Medium, which doesn't happen to me with ZB puzzles. I heard of pasta bars, but not standingo, but I got it.

a jazz listener's thoughts 10:53 AM  

Also never noticed the theme because of how easy the fills were. Lots of college dining halls have pasta bars, but usually it one or two pastas and many types of sauces. And the Guinness BOOK does collect the records, just like a passport collects the stamps. Not clear why everyone likes to complain though -- I thought we do these for the fun and the challenge. Bah humbug

Sir Hillary 10:57 AM  

Congrats to @Rex's Twitterati for comments which rival POTUS's in terms of stupidity and snark factor, albeit not importance. I wouldn't have thought it possible.

Oh yeah, the puzzle. Liked it. CC is on a fabulous roll, IMO.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

@jberg 10:46 a.m. : as per xword info "sisi" has been in the puzzle seven times since Sisi became president in June 2014. Six times clued as some variation on Spanish assent and once as Egyptian President. I prefer the latter , though maybe not on Tuesday.

kitshef 11:17 AM  

@Z - Our pasta bars come in two formats. One, as noted by @RooMonster, involve a series of heat-lamped food poisoning invitations, and often include pizza as well. The second type, which I think is what your initial post posited, is similar in concept to an omelet station. A chef will be there with a few types of pastas, sauces, and add-ins and will cook up your pasta while u wait.

Robert A. Simon 11:25 AM  

It's too bad there was this whole collection thing, because a much better clue for 57A is "Found at bad Bat Mitzvahs," which is where I learned that a) pasta bars exist but b) the choice isn't which pasta, it's which sauce.

puzzlehoarder 11:46 AM  

Unlike yesterday's puzzle this one is worth commenting on. The theme entries were for the most part entertaining. I thought the clue for PIPES was much more clever than the theme entry it is adjacent to and the point of it was to make up for that theme entry's weakness. I had a couple of minor glitches while solving. When I first entered STANDINGO I momentarily doubled that G in my mind and for a split second wondered what a STANDING GO WAS. The other was caused by an OHHO/OHHI write over. Even with the B of STAB in place this made BISTRO difficult to come up with. I knew there was a very common word I'd normally come up with instantly but this time I needed the STR to recognize it and fix the mistake. CC's a reliably entertaining constructor. Today's real debut did not show up in red as it was really in the clues. The term "BRO hug" stands out from the actual debuts because at least to me it's a new term.

Cassieopia 12:24 PM  

A M-W puzzle nearly always have a theme that emerges while solving. Thursday is usually a trick puzzle, and Friday and Saturday are usually themeless.

Cassieopia 12:30 PM  

I don't, but what an interesting perspective. Great and original post, glad you shared it.

Nancy 12:38 PM  

@Cassieopia (12:30 pm) -- Which "great and original post" are you referring to? I have absolutely no idea. Can you possibly please in the future cite the poster you're addressing. Perhaps you have some gadget that links your answer with the post you're responding to, but the rest of us don't. All we see is a free-standing comment that could be meant for...just about anyone. Thanks so much.

Carola 12:54 PM  

Cute idea, easy puzzle, with those nice long Downs that elevated it above a usual Tuesday, I thought.
I'd prefer a SUNDAE BAR to a PASTA BAR, which, like @a jazz listeners thoughts, I associate with college dining halls as a cheap way to fill up ravenous students (hot: stuffed shells with marinara, cold: a "salad" with thawed frozen peas and mayo).

Master Melvin 1:06 PM  

I believe the origin of the phrase BITTER END is nautical: the end of a line which is secured to a bitt, a piece of hardware on a deck. It appears the usage in the clue is now the primary one.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

Monday easy today - I had a rare no-writeovers experience. I thought the theme was cute and got it right away at GUINESS BOOK. When I got to 18A, I paused, horrified by the idea that the answer would be PASSbook (they used to stamp your savings account book) - that would be an annoying duplicate, but PASSPORT presented itself for inspection soon after I ran into that brief DETERrent.

The thing I don't understand about tweets is why, when a publisher reprints them, they show both the original tweet, a la @Rex and they also print a text version of it. I start reading the text and then realize it's just repeating the tweet. On the other hand, it does provide someone like @Nancy with another way of getting the GISTS of the tweets without having to look at the actual thing.

Thanks, CC, nice Tuesday.

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

Yes,a hundred times yes. The last tweet ... I wanted to punch him.

Wm. C. 1:36 PM  


You should have mentioned that in the movie "The Watchmen," after beating impeachment, Nixon managed to orchestrate a repeal of the 22nd amendment that limits a President to two full terms. A necessary condition for him to be still serving in 1985, of course, since he was first elected in 1968,

P.S. 2 hours and 43 minutes. ;-)

Anonymous 2:01 PM  

@anon. 1:17 a.m. The Algonquin Round Table it ain't. @Nancy it's called an IPhone, learned that recently myself

Joe Bleaux 2:04 PM  

Thanks, CC, for a puzzle that's a notch above typical Tuesday fare. And the pun didn't call for an apology (but here's one that does: "He got his law degree but doesn't practice, 'cause he couldn't PASTA BAR.")

Hal 2:17 PM  

My turn to be pedantic. The RR who's running for president is Robert Redford, not Ronald Reagan. Hence, the jokes about, "Who'd want an actor?"

Hal 2:19 PM  

Or at least, that's how it was in the original comic books. I don't remember a specific line in the movie, and maybe Mr. Snyder got it that wrong.

Hal 2:35 PM  

Austrian Empress might be fun.

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

Master Melvin,

I like the nautical etymology but I know others who believe it simply means to go on to the direst extremity. Even death. Check out proverbs 5:3-5

@Larry G,

Obscure vowel?! There are only five maybe six of them. All really well known. even that crafty Y;)

Cassieopia 4:40 PM  

@nancy, whoops sorry I "reply"ed to your post on my iPhone and it looks great to me! :-/ I was replying to your post. I really enjoyed your thoughts about Twitter.

Nancy 6:53 PM  

Son-of-a-gun, @Cassieopia!!! Moi!!! I wasn't fishing for a compliment, truly I wasn't. I had absolutely no idea you were referring to me -- especially since your comment came more than 3 1/2 hours after I posted mine. I never would have guessed in a million years. Many thanks for saying such a nice thing; it's helping to cheer me up on this otherwise absolutely appalling news day.

Birchbark 8:33 PM  

Thanks, @Two Ponies, for the Sunday/SUNDAE background. Makes sense. Or maybe the shop owner just thought it was cool (if they had that in 1901), akin to Motley Crue.

Michael Leddy 11:41 AM  

I do the syndicated puzzle now, but I’m here because I wrote something about IRISIN (iris-in) in a 2013 puzzle, and I’ve seen a slew of visits to that post yesterday and today:


The clue “Silent film opener” is a bit of a problem. Some references on film define iris-in as the narrowing inward, with iris-out as the opening outward. Other references reverse the terms. So does an iris-in begin a scene or end it? “Silent film effect” — or better, “Silent-film effect” — is a better clue.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Really liked shear terror/baa combo.

Dave S., NJ

Burma Shave 9:17 AM  


DUETO his BIAS, a certain Trump OFNOTE
thinks MISSTEENUSA is a MUSE and a HOE.
That PHONY BOSS DAUNTS her, and I quote,


thefogman 10:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 10:54 AM  

No. PASTABAR did not pass the bar of acceptable cluing. If anything, a PASTABAR is a distributor of shells, not a collector. With all due respect, C.C. wasn't using the old noodle when she opted to go with that one. (PUN intended). Basta!

While it may not merit a STANDINGO, this puz delivered plenty of effervescent sparkle and jammy PUNs. Quite refreshing. In fact it was infinitely more stimulating than ginger ale.

I finished quickly for a Tuesday with only one write-over (tAUNTS before DAUNTS) so I would rate this puz as easy not medium as OFL did. Now if I could only do as well on S̶U̶N̶D̶A̶E̶s̶ SUNDAys, that would be nice. TOOdLEs!

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

@ Nancy

A quick look at your bio shows why you hate Twitter. You're a "Writer/Lyricist." You like well-considered words, well-considered sentences, and well-considered thoughts. All missing in tweets.

rondo 11:45 AM  

OHHI. Again C.C. proves to be *the* constructor OFNOTE when it comes to the use of two word phrases. 3/4 of the themers and some others fill that bill. She went a bit long on MISSTEENUSA (any alumna of which is today's yeah baby) DUETO necessity I s'pose. I made a MADDASH to the BITTEREND with no w/os. So pretty nice puz, C.C. SISI!

thefogman 11:51 AM  

I wonder if C.C. ever considered oyster bar instead of PASTABAR for 57A. Aside from that, this puzzle is well done, compared to the usual el dente fare we are served on Tuesdays.

spacecraft 12:36 PM  

I've often said that though I'm of German-English extraction, my stomach thinks it's Italian. Still I have never seen an UNO'S, or a PASTABAR. Must be local. In fact that P was a problem. Puff pieces are PIPES how? Like, say, bagpipes? I guess you have to send puffs of air through them to sound them, but really, that clue is off the wall--and definitely not Tuesday. What happened this week, did they lose Monday's and move everybody up one? Other clues today seem to shy away from the gimme.

Theme is nice, a little different. The north, with OHHI, SISI and IOS, could have stood a REPEAL and a rework, but elsewhere the puzzle's pretty solid. There's little choice for DOD, so we heartily welcome MISSTEENUSA--whoever she is. I'm sure she's worthy of a second sash. I'll score this kinda sorta a birdie. ISH.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Think of Santa and his pipe.

Diana,LIW 2:18 PM  

Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed glancing at the puz was CC's name. So I plugged in my "CC translator" and the puzzle was smooth as silk. Of course a puff piece would be PIPES in the land of CC. And a CASHREGISTER would be a bill collector.

Still, had a dnf due to not enuf due diligence - failed to notice a blank square. Lambo must have DETERed me from looking over my solve. Sure. That's it.

TATA from my TATAMI.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 3:06 PM  

What's left to say after all the above? Just about nothing. Anyhow....

Didn't see the oblique "collection" theme; clever.

The trickier stuff was concentrated in the NW.


Aren't beauty pageants getting a bit passé?

On the challenging side of medium, which makes for a better Tuesday than most.

leftcoastTAM 3:24 PM  

Adds to the OFNOTE entries: EMT-ENT and SOS with IOS-ISO. (Any more?)

rain forest 3:48 PM  

Two nights ago I had dinner at a lovely restaurant featuring a PASTA BAR - a nice collection of fresh pasta (including shells) and a variety of sauces. This type of place is very popular in Vancouver.

Why is everyone talking about Tweets? Did Rex do his odious thing of including some to back up a point he was making? Glad I don't read him any more.

I thought this was a very good Tuesday puzzle with an interesting theme based on the clue wording, some excellent downs, and also cute cluing.

Want to check on a random record? It'll be in the GUINNESS BOOK.

Back when I was way cool at University, I fancied leather patches on my corduroy jacket and puffed on a PIPE. For awhile I collected PIPES, both made from Brier and from Meerschaum. I think I was more attracted to the paraphernalia and the different tobacco aromas than the actual puffing. God, I was a geek.

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