Handmade products website / MON 11-27-17 / Cover image on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of Moon / Trip inducer in brief

Monday, November 27, 2017

Constructor: Kevin Christian

Relative difficulty: Normal easy Monday, maybe slightly on the Easier side (2:51)

THEME: MULLET (68A: Much-derided hairstyle seen in 1-, 17-, 24-, 39-, 47- and 58-Across) — I guess there were people in those movies who had that hairstyle...

Theme answers:
  • 1A: 1997 Nicolas Cage film (CON AIR)
  • 17A: 1987 Kiefer Sutherland film (THE LOST BOYS)
  • 24A: 1987 Patric Swayze film (DIRTY DANCING)
  • 39A: 1982, 1985, 1988 and 2008 Sylvester Stallone film franchise (RAMBO)
  • 47A: 1987 Mel Gibson film (LETHAL WEAPON)
  • 58A: 1994 John Travolta film (PULP FICTION) 
Word of the Day: LOESS (46A: Fertile soil) —
Loess ( /ˈl.əs/, /ˈlʌs/, /ˈlɛs/, or UK: /ˈlɜːrs/; from German Löss [lœs]) is a clastic, predominantly silt-sized sediment that is formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust. 10% of the Earth's land area is covered by loess or similar deposits. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is the strangest theme. Some movies with mullets in them? [Shrug] Sure, why not? I don't hate it. I've seen far, far worse excuses for themes. One issue, though: I really wouldn't call what Travolta's sporting in "Pulp Fiction" a "MULLET." He just has long hair, not the classic "business in the front, party in the back." Here, look:

I mean, it's *somewhat* shorter in the front, so ... MULLETish, maybe. But it's a stretch. Also, is this really a MULLET?

This is what I think of when I think MULLET:



I dunno if these movie MULLETs are true MULLETs. Gibson's just looks like a spectacular mane. 

Ooh, Kiefer's is pretty spot-on:

And ... well, what the hell, let's check in on RAMBO and Nic Cage:

Yeah, OK, respect. So on the MULLET scale of MULLETness, it's
  • Cage: 10
  • Kiefer: 9
  • Swayze: 3
  • Stallone: 7
  • Gibson: 6
  • Travolta: 1
It appears the print version of the puzzle has photo clues (?!). So everyone can see that Travolta doesn't have a MULLET? Interesting choice.

I don't remember anything else about this puzzle now. Happy MULLETs.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


allan 12:11 AM  

Worst excuse for a puzzle. Thank goodness it was over in no time. Barely looked at the downs.

Tom 12:12 AM  

Able I was EREI did this puzzle. Sunday eve on a rainy left coast, and finished this so fast I have to look for other entertainment this eve. Weak theme, didn’t pay attention to it until I came
here. Does RCA still make televisions?

Good old xword staples: UTA, ENO, SLR, etc. Easier than usual Monday, meh.

Larry Gilstrap 1:19 AM  

What? The MULLET is much-derided? Note to self: buy a mirror. Googled some images for PULP FICTION and Travolta is sporting a hairstyle in some shots that qualifies, but I enjoyed OFL's gallery of archival coiffures. What were/are guys thinking? Suggested future puzzle theme: sweeping comb-over.

Nasty Monday fill mitigated by fair crosses: ADEN, PACA, and LOESS. Didn't we just have a pilot's cry from a DOG FIGHT recently? Of course, FISTS are referenced when we put up our dukes, but I'm a pacifist.

Honestly, I hate to go to bed and I hate to get up, so I'm no early RISER. Maybe I should become a coffee drinker. People seem to love it. Caffeine pushes me immediately to jangled, totally skipping the energized phase.

In my youth, a Hula-Hoop was so cool. One time, I stood in front of the TV and swiveled for the duration of a half-hour program, just because. No problem. A few years back at a party of fit adults, someone dragged out a HULA-Hoop and I presented a challenge: I'll give $100 to anyone who can keep it up for one minute. Boy, they tried, but no money was exchanged. Phew!

Fun puzzle and fun write-up, in spite of himself.

ALF Landon 1:20 AM  

A government is free in proportion to the rights it guarantees to the minority.

tkincher 1:44 AM  

Easy puzzle, fun movies to remember. OED’s “appeals” page has some interesting background on potential sources for the word MULLET (mostly in the comments): http://public.oed.com/appeals/mullet/

chefwen 1:51 AM  

What @alan said. Only fun crossing was PILL/SPILL.


Thomaso808 2:25 AM  

Super easy, fastest Monday ever.

Nice pictorial retrospective from Rex on the art of the mullet.

Robin 2:43 AM  

Originally thought the puzzle theme was just bad 1980s movies until I hit PULP_FICTION (1994). Finally ran into the theme in the last across.

Somehow I always think of mullets in terms of hockey players with poor haircuts. 1980s hair I think of in terms of "big hair" and fluffy squirrel tails.

Okay for a Monday.

Johnny 3:30 AM  

The fourth mullet-wearer (holding the broom stick) is David Spade from Joe Dirt, which is a movie people either love or they hate. Well I love Joe Dirt so there.

Anonymous 4:01 AM  

Nobody sees that the inner black squares form mullets?

Can Of Pineapple 4:08 AM  

I mean, I love a reference to a mullet, but most of the actors in these movies just had "that hairstyle lots of dads had from the late 80s until the early 90s".

You wanna mullet? Jagr shows you how it's done:


There are very few things in this world that truly represent Beauty. Botticelli's Birth of Venus. The French actress Marion Cottilard. And, finally, the light glinting off the Stanley Cup to shine through Jagr's gorgeous hockey hair.

Anonymous 4:10 AM  

I had to get up at 3:45 this morning. Maybe I'm still half asleep, but I thought the mullet reveal was hilarious.

Fountains of Golden Fluids? 4:19 AM  

Does anyone remember Billy Ray Cyrus?

Lauren Bacall 4:22 AM  

I’m active enough, thank you.

Alka-Seltzer 4:23 AM  

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

Anti-perspirant 4:25 AM  

One shot and I’m good for the whole day!

Loren Muse Smith 4:56 AM  

Ok. I didn’t see THE LOST BOYS or PULP FICTION, but they went in no prob. If they’re anything like RAMBO, DIRTY DANCING, LETHAL WEAPON, they’re my kind of movies. I loved CON AIR. Any movie where the bad guys are thwarted by some unexpected kick-ass fly in their ointment (Air Force One, Under Siege, Die Hard…) makes for a great story for a low-brow movie lover like me.

Rex – you reminded me of one of English’s terrific phrases: “business in the front, party in the back.” I think some dresses are described that way. Our faculty meetings fit this descriptor.

A hairstyle is popular right now among some of our teachers where it’s shortish in the back but the front sides come down much longer. So it’s kind of a reverse mullet.

I told a story here recently of the time a woman much older than me broke up a fight while I stood there and shrieked for someone to go get help. When I later expressed dismay that I had dropped the ball, that this woman had the cajones to wade in and stop it while I panicked and hopped around like a big weenie, another teacher explained the reason very succinctly and, I really believe, aptly: She has a mullet and you don’t.

I run my mouth so much here that it’s hard to remember what I’ve written and what I haven’t. I usually try to search a bit to see if I’ve already told the story. In looking back for this one, I noticed some threads where I really took a beating for my long posts. Hah. I sure deserve it, but I’m glad I missed most of the complaints.

I kinda got a kick out of the fact that Kevin not only had the dupe BOYS/BOY, but that they cross. That’s right – own it. In for a penny, in for a pound…

My husband recently shared a statistic that he had read – that the number one thing a man notices and is attracted to in a woman is her hair. Oops. I’ve have a pixie since I was 30 and have never looked back. Oh well – I’ll count my blessings.

I liked this puzzle and theme. Wonder how many Thanksgiving pictures were taken last week where the kids 66, 67, 68A’ed - HID DAD’S MULLET.

Anonymous 5:52 AM  

It is a pretty silly theme. Puzzazz did show photographs of the actors at the top of the puzzle, which mostly served to show the haircuts weren't really mullets. Wordplay says the PDF had photos too, but you have to choose the "newspaper" version to see them. I wonder whether the printed paper I receive will have color photos.

Lewis 6:11 AM  

Superman sported a mullet for four years. President Polk had one, as did Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart. And Iran formally banned the mullet in 2010. Furthermore, the Wikipedia article on the haircut comes before its article on the fish in Google. Certainly the mullet is theme-worthy (thank you, Kevin!), but may it be relegated to just being an answer for at least a score of years to come.

Anonymous 6:33 AM  

Isn't there a problem with "boy" crossing "boy"?

clk 6:42 AM  

I’m not so sure Nicolas Cage should get mullet points for that hairdo. Isn’t his just a balding dude with long hair?

puzzlehoarder 7:03 AM  

There's been a streak of repeated entries lately. Today it's PACA. This animal has the distinction of having its own picture in Webster's. Maybe it's just me but there seems to be a connection between that and it's appearance in puzzles. AGOUTI and COATI are two more examples of this phenomenon.

Webster's is like the Bible to me. For years it was the only place I could go after solving to see if what I'd put in was actually a word.I don't know how true it is anymore but back then I felt it was a major source for constructors as well. When obscure words were used as entries the clue was often the Webster's definition taken verbatim.

My version is a 1989. It's full title is Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. My sister in law gave me it for my birthday as she knew I liked words.

kitshef 7:17 AM  

I'm on record as not being fond of hairdo-themed puzzles. Unlike most of them, this one had the advantage that the hairdos did not interfere but were just along for the ride, so I'm OK with it.

I've probably mentioned this before, but DIRTY DANCING is my least favorite worst movie I ever sat all the way through (as opposed to movies so bad I didn't make it through, like Transformers). I also hated DD's 1980s dance-themed partner, Footloose.

QuasiMojo 7:18 AM  

Terrible fill to help create a stupid puzzle with a gimmicky photo trick. One does get sick of seeing OD'ed and UTA, NSEC, URL, CPU, OSHA, IMO, and eColi and especially LSD, etc. Is there no end to the dumbing down and lazy dreariness of the NYT? I disliked all of these movies when they first appeared (except Con-Air which I never saw.) And most of the actors were not sporting mullets. And even if they were, who gives a PACA's ass? One has to have the patience of JOB to even do the NYT puzzle lately. An empty SAC. Which reminds me, it's "cojones" @LMS.

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

@Anonymous 6:33, just ask Mike Pence

The Hermit Philosopher 7:30 AM  

What? No vitriol from Rex/Michael? He musta loved it.

Perfectly acceptable puzz, btw. For a Monday.

Teedmn 7:38 AM  

Why do MULLETs get such a bad rap when so many people have worn the look? My high school junior year picture reminds me that I, too, have worn that hairstyle, not a source of ENVY to anyone, certainly; I was cutting my own hair at the time. But it does make for an amusing crossword puzzle theme.

Thanks, Kevin Christian, for a nice start to the week.

chefbea 7:40 AM  

I'm back...Had a great thanksgiving week away with family...am glad to be back at puzzle solving...did not do any all week

Oh the puzzle...very easy...but no food...guess I had enough to eat all last week!!!

Birchbark 7:41 AM  

The crossword-friendly four-letter "Bono" would have been a nice lagniappe here, even though it doesn't fit the action-movie theme. Bono's mullet entered pop culture before the theme answers did and, IMO, had something do with its popularity. Full disclosure, I laughed at the revealer.

G. Weissman 8:14 AM  

I’m reminded of someone talking very loudly on a cell phone in a public toilet stall.

Hungry Mother 8:25 AM  

I saw all of the movies and liked some of them. Typical Monday offering, but the ASTIN/ORKIN cross almost got me. Back in the 90s I used to get one haircut a year, on the autumnal equinox.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 8:38 AM  

Who’s the tard riffing on old commercials?

mathgent 8:48 AM  

According to Wikipedia, a mullet is a hair style where one's hair is long in back, covering the back of the neck. Like Rex, that's not what I think of when I hear "mullet." I think of the style where the sides of the head are shaved bald and there is a thick and high mass of hair on top. I'll have to ask my grandson if he considers his hair to be in a mullet. I've never heard him use that term about it.

Not a bad puzzle but too many Terrible Threes (23). I don't hate them as much as I used to because that execrable puzzle on Saturday didn't have a single one.

UTA is the cover girl for the Crosswordese Gazette. She was in the first crossword I ever did.

Sir Hillary 8:55 AM  

My 1986 MULLET was pretty sweet, so no way I'm complaining about this theme.

Hell, we get enough of DOS and AFRO and UPDO and COIF in our puzzles -- why can't MULLET get equal time?

Good call by those who noted Bono and Jagr. Their hair was pretty epic.

Swayze in "Roadhouse" -- now there's a real MULLET. For that matter, check him out when he hosted SNL (the great Chippendale's audition with Chris Farley).

Favorite clue was the hilariously and needlessly long one for JUSTINCASE. Kinda goofy, but funny.

pabloinnh 8:56 AM  

@quasimojo--Thanks for the gentle correction on cojones, although LMS may have been commenting on her friend's drawers.

Now can we get people to stop saying "no problemo"?

Two Ponies 9:15 AM  

Mullets just look like shags taken a bit too far.
One of those things where you should quit while you're ahead.

John V 9:34 AM  

Worst. Puzzle. Ever. Pure trash.

Rob 9:42 AM  

I got a laugh out of the theme. Pretty fun for a Monday. My only complaint is the inclusion of LOESS in a Monday, since virtually no one knows what that is outside of Crossworld.

Travolta is a stretch, I agree, but the rest of these are mullets. They don't have to be cartoonishly large to qualify.

Gwinns 9:47 AM  

Best Rex review ever.

ArtO 9:48 AM  

I'm with John V. Dumber than dumb. But, I guess I'm just showing my age!

mmorgan 9:49 AM  

There was a lot of discussion here yesterday about a comment Laura made regarding an article in the NYT about a Nazi. For those who are interested, the Times itself has an article today describing the very strong controversy the article evoked over the weekend and their editorial response to it.

I'm not sure if I'm correctly inserting a link to the NYT article

If that didn't work, here's the URL: https://nyti.ms/2k3kPhB

Foldyfish 9:51 AM  

Ugh. What an unpleasant puzzle. Did anyone else have a problem with putting up your...FISTS? If you did, please raise your HANDS. Who puts up their fists??? No one, that's who.

pmdm 9:54 AM  

For those who want to view the photos printed in the Times (which were way too dark in my paper copy to make out the hairstyles), the easiest way to do that if you son't use the NY Times web site is to go to XWordInfo.com and click on the link within JimH's comment on the solution page.

Interesting concept but not my cup of tea.

Suzie Q 9:55 AM  

The theme over-shadowed some other fun moments.
Two root beer clues.
The iconic prism album cover.
Early riser not early bird as the owl implied.
Did one of the Hall and Oates guys have a mullet?
Does bling give you street cred?
This is a Monday puzzle that doesn't take itself too seriously.
That's what Mondays are for.

Nancy 9:57 AM  

Is this a cute idea for a puzzle or is it a terrible one? The whole photo shoot thing, I mean. Whichever it is, it's ruined by absolutely awful fill, full of crosswordese, brand names, and pop culture that extends way beyond the theme. I'm supposed to remember the cover image of a pop album???!!! Oh, c'mon. But even with all the junk, it was very easy and required almost no thinking.

"Sometimes-bad bacterium"? I thought that ECOLI (49D) was an always bad bacterium.

Re: the MULLET. If it's "much-derided", that's not without very good reason. An incredibly ugly hairstyle, no doubt about it. Except for Patrick Swayze's. He looked really, really hot in DIRTY DANCING, and if his hair was too long in back, I didn't even notice.

Unknown 9:58 AM  

Worth doing this crossword just to be reminded just now of that great Pavement song!

evil doug 9:59 AM  

EPSOM, or EPSOn? Always confused by those. Also Aristocats vs Aristocrats--but be careful if you think you're getting the former for your kids, and you accidentally pick up the latter. It's a bunch of comedians taking turns telling the dirtiest joke in history. You've never seen Bob Saget like this before....

jberg 10:08 AM  

I never saw any of these movies, but had heard the titles, so that was ok. Never heard of CONAIR so the N was a plausibility guess. The time interval could have been Pick second or microsecond, after all.

I’m a tolerant guy, so a BOY/BOY crossing doesn’t bother me in real life, but in the crossword I do appreciate @Loren’s ability to make the best of it.

@chefbea, apparently the PACA is food, at least for jaguars. I don’t have a recipe though

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Cinephiles may call cine-foul on the fact that "Rambo" (1982) is inaccurate as to the first installment in the franchise. That film was entitled First Blood, thus the cluing is hazy at best.

GILL I. 10:32 AM  

Oh boy...we get pictures for our Monday puzzle. What a concept.
I don't think Nicolas wore a MULLET. His hair was just long and greasy.
Kinda like the end here "HID DADS MULLET." Some men could get away with it. Women...not so much. Speaking of hairstyles... remember the beehive? Talk about a rats nest. I remember reading that this girl had a huge beehive that she never washed - she just kept hair spraying it every day and eventually a tarantula or maybe a SCORPION found its way into her hairdo and laid a bunch of EGGs. How do these stories get around? My favorite do was the twiggy cut.
On to despicable Tuesday... cajones and all.

Mr. Benson 10:45 AM  

Had the same thought on the mulletude of Travolta. Also Cage -- not sure why you classify that as a mullet either. It's just combed back and coupled with a receding hairline.

QuasiMojo 10:48 AM  

I apologize for being an old sourpuss this morning. As for Bono popularizing the mullet didn’t Donna Mills sport an iconic Brady bunch type of mullet in Play Misty For Me? The style looks better on females.

Stanley Hudson 10:51 AM  

@Rex, thanks for the Pavement link. One of the best rock ‘n’ roll shows I ever saw was those guys playing in a little dive bar in Chico, California with about 30 people in the audience on a Sunday night. They were absolutely fantastic.

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:51 AM  

Two parades in five days! Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, and Crosswordese Parade today! Woohoo!

Fill: I mean, yes, this is a Monday puzzle but OHBOY, right off the bat we start with ODED, ASSISI, OSHA, NSEC, (Ron) ELY and move onto ENO, EPSOM, ADEN... It gets better later on, I guess, but not enough to get rid of that initial taste in my mouth. 10/25

Theme/long answers: When I read that the puzzle had pictures of actors, I imagined that they would be in the black squares. Now that I saw the actual physical page, I'm disappointed. I guess one can only imagine. I mean, I appreciate the effort to get creative, but why not go full-on crazy? 13/25

Clues: Meh. Not frustrating, not sparkling. I liked "sometimes-bad bacterium" though, because when you think of ECOLI you immediately think of illness but I guess we need to stop and think about how the ECOLI feels too. I mean, not everything it does is bad, right? 13/25

Pleasurability: I mean, it is one thing to have an easy Monday, but this one was just... Not fresh, despite the pictures and the mullets. At least it wasn't painful, I guess. 10/25

TOTAL: 46/100, C-, 2.5/5 stars.

Elmer Fuddyduddy 10:53 AM  

@ Nancy, Pink Floyd is not pop. Stick with what you know.
E. Coli is fine as long as it stays where it belongs.
Some people call the mullet a ShoLo (short/long).

Robert A. Simon 11:02 AM  

@LMS: If we do ever meet in person--are you listening, God?--we will sit you in front of some screen somewhere so you can watch PULP FICTION. Simply cannot believe you haven't seen it.

If you're ever in Chicago...

Masked and Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Believe I've seen all the flicks except for the "The Lost Boys" one. "Pulp Fiction" was best of the bunch by at least a hair or two. Zed's dead, etc. Am all in favor of havin pics that reference puz entries. In this case, (as the Shortzmeister note admits) didn't need em to solve the puz … more there just so @RP could rate the mullet dos.

OK, sooo … when I Google up "mullet pics", I get a pretty wide variety of dos; not much help for the confused M&A. Other than I learned a new term: Skullet = bald in front and long in the back.
The Official M&A Research Dictionary defines "mullet" thusly …

" 2 a hairstyle in which the hair is cut short at the front and sides and left long in back."

Based on that definition, I ain't real convinced that any of the six puzpics show anything mullet-ish except "hair allowed to grow out long all over". Combed back, in Cage's case, but surely he don't rate a "10" from @RP for that?

I give the puz a hairy 9 out of 10, for bein different and havin a superb collection of weejects (yo, @mathgent). staff weeject pick: CLE. Always admire them scoreboard abbreevs. Also had some nifty long-ball entries: JUSTINCASE. DOGFIGHT. SCORPION. STREETCRED. AANDW. OHBOY.
Better clue for OHBOY: {"Wow look at what I just crossed in the grid!"??}. har

So, what important lesson have we gleaned from this overall experience? It is most clear... @muse needs to check out a DVD of "Pulp Fiction", pronto.

Thanx, Mr. Christian. This puz rated 8 hairs and a har.

Masked & Anonymo5Us
"Hairstyle of Choice: Dullet"


jb129 11:07 AM  

Disappointing - even for a Monday.

ncmathsadist 11:09 AM  

I never bothered with the theme.

kitshef 11:12 AM  


most strains of ECOLI are harmless, some are beneficial - and even used medically, some are harmful.

And while no, those who know and love you don't expect you to remember the cover image of a pop album, any more than you'd expect me to know - well - anything opera-related. But that particular album was on the top 100 album chart for more than fourteen years and is one of the best-selling albums ever(third or tenth, depending on who you believe). So, for a lot of people, that will be a fair clue. It's a tremendous album, though likely not up your alley, musically.

Joseph Michael 11:29 AM  

Fun quirky puzzle and an entertaining writeup by the constructor on Jeff Chen's site.

Liked Rex's photo analysis and the video clip from @LMS. On Rex's 1-to-10 mullet scale, Michael Bolton in the video gets a 12.

Not sure which is worse: the mullet or the man bun? It's amazing what men can do to themselves in the quest to look cool.

DUEBY is a DOOK. Something that gets passed around when a group of men with mullets want to get high.

The PACA returns after coming out of hiding a few puzzles ago and brings a whole lot of crosswordese, from CLE to URL, with it, but it's hard not to like a puzzle with a sense of humor.

Two Ponies 11:33 AM  

@ LMS, Everyone is so concerned about your cultural education and feel it is incomplete without Pulp Fiction. If you ever watch it do not apologize if you find it lacking. There are some memorable moments to be sure, but it seems to be a blatant homage to the director's favorite era. "Look at me. I'm so hip and you're not."
I watched it for a second time just recently and this time it just seemed that Hollywood kept reminding Quentin Tarantino how cool he was and he believed them!
Travolta and Jackson are the bright spots.
Sorry for the long movie review but all of the praise needed a counter point opinion.

Buggy Bunny 11:46 AM  

"Why do MULLETs get such a bad rap when so many people have worn the look? "

because The Mob is generally asinine?

CashPo' 11:46 AM  

I agree with @Two Ponies. Loren, don't waste your valuable time, even at 4:30 in the morning, watching Pulp Fiction. It is pure hyped-up junk. And embarrassingly overrated (this time for real.)

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

@mathgent 8:48 - you wrote a perfectly fine description of a MOHAWK. A mullet is what is on hand (or on head) today.

Masked and Anonymous 11:51 AM  

@Two Ponies, re:Pulp Fiction … well, I for one especially got a kick out of somethin weird happenin to John Trovolta thru-out the flick, every time he came out of the bathroom.


Lewis 11:56 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

"A new one is nearly invisible" (4)
"Chip maker" (6)
"Brave person, typically" (8)
"Entertainers for whom lines quickly form" (9)
"Does his name ring a bell?" (10)


AW 12:54 PM  

@Lewis, isn't an Atlantan a "Braves" person? Isn't the team called the Atlanta Braves? IMHO, that is a poor clue that sacrifices accuracy for over-cutesy obfuscation, a trend I find discouraging.

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

I agree with Rex, most of those aren't mullets. Travolta is just long hair combed back. Gotta be near crew-cut top and sides, and long in the back.

Should have picked Roseanna Arquette from Pulp Fiction for the mullet.

RooMonster 2:12 PM  

Hey All !
I had long hair for about a 15 year stretch. Wasn't a MULLET, however, as the whole thing was long. Now, I'm balding. My father says it's because of years of pulling on my hair to put it in a pony tail. I blame genetics...

Mis-saw the Revealer clue as desired instead of derided. The ole brain said, "How is a MULLET a desired haircut?" Har. Good stuff.

Liked puz for most part. Agree a bigger than normal three and dreck count, but it is a MonPuz after all. Had dukeS for fists first as I'm sure a bunch of people had. Most movies from 1987. High MULLET years, later 80's. Then came the Hair Rock Bands. Better hair, teased to all hell.

Liked whoever pointed out the middle left black squares as MULLET grid art. Nice.
"It's pronounced Deer-Tay." Funny movie.


mathgent 2:42 PM  

A couple of months ago my credit-card company gave me a new account because the previous one had been compromised. AT&T charges my credit card every month. I knew that I should contact them to give them my new number but I hate fighting my way through their automated phone system and I couldn't find something convenient on their website. Let them contact me, I decided.

Well, they didn't contact me and they still charged my new correct credit card account the next month. Do companies have the authority to receive a new credit-card account number when the one they have has been cancelled?

Anonymous 2:56 PM  

Did this on a tablet and was sunk by typoes, so I ended up a bit slow for a Monday since it took a while to track them down. Managed MiLLET/CPi and ended up with AaSISI instead of ASSISI. And SnI instead of SKI. Other than my own inability to type, though, this was pretty standard Monday fare, but the theme did seem weak.

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

I'm pretty new to puzzles but I can usually get close on Monday or Tuesday minus a couple squares

This was by far the hardest Monday I have ever seen. I got maybe 10 answers filled in. 90 percent of the grid was blank.

Figured out mullet which was no help at all. Never even heard of some of these theme answers.

To me this was like Wednesday difficulty wow

Anonymous 3:21 PM  

Seriously that top left corner was brutal!!

I filled in pop fly from the beginning even though it seemed weird with 1 down. Was wrong though.

Seriously that top left corner is INSANE for a Monday

Never heard of con air or the lost boys. Never heard of st Francis of Assisi. Maybe if I liked baseball I'd know a sac fly. And putting that with other things that I've never heard of like osha and isopropyl....who the heck writes NSEC? And early bird would be a better opposite for night owl imo

God I just thought that corner was brutal

Joe Dipinto 3:22 PM  

@Quasimojo -- Donna Mills had more of a shag haircut in PMFM. Shags were faddish at the time; mullets came later, I believe. They're both ugly hairstyles, imo.

I have to agree about the misrepresentation of the photos, though: the only one of those that qualifies as a true mullet to me is Kiefer's.

RooMonster 3:55 PM  

Forgot to say I didn't get the pics in the standard NYTXW-downloadable-computer-printout-thingie. There is two options, maybe later I'll check out the other option, see if they're there.
@M&A, never thought about the Travolta character out-of-bathroom thing. Is that one of the many Meta things that were in the movie?

Jules:"Know what they call a Quarter Pounder in France?"
Brad:"Uh, no."
Jules:"Tell him what it is, Vincent."
Vincent:"A Royale with cheese"
Jules:"A Royale with cheese. Know why they call it that?"
Brad:"Um, because of the metric system?"
Jules:"Whoa! Check out the big brain on Brad!"
(Probably not verbatim) :-)


Nancy 4:11 PM  

Hi, Anon 3:21 p.m. -- Your comment is one of the reasons this blog is so interesting to me, showing how everyone's wheelhouse is so utterly different. You complain about the NW corner being brutal. For me, it was a snap. Almost all of the Downs were gimmes: CATS, OSHA, NSEC, AIL and RISER. SAC was for me a gimme, too. So even if I hadn't known ASSISI, which to me was another gimme, this corner wouldn't have been a problem. I didn't know ISO, I didn't know CONAIR and I didn't know THE LOST BOYS without crosses, but even so, one of the easier corners in puzzledom, IMO.

JC66 4:58 PM  


I recently had to get a new card from AMEX for the same reason.. When I complained that I'd have to change the number with all the accounts that automatically charge me each month (cable tv, iPhone, maintenance, etc), the customer service person told me that it wasn't necessary even though these charges would be submitted using the old number, since AMEX could identify them as proper.
As a matter of fact, just today a charge for my yearly subscription to the NY Times went through even though I hadn't notify them of the change.

Hope this helps.

jberg 5:06 PM  

@Evil Doug, just remember that you shouldn't put salts on your printer.

David in CA 5:14 PM  

Damn! A couple solid months of successfully channelling my inner Muse to see the good in every puzzle, and then this "crossnames" thing comes along. Somebody explain to me how 6 movie titles linked by a hairstyle of one of the actors qualify for an art form supposedly (I thought) dedicated to wordplay in the English language?

Almost went with "The Lost Boss" to avoid the boy-boy crossing; "ELS" being a perfectly reasonable name for a crossword.

And I don't do winter much, so , is 1 ski (singular) really any use to someone on a T-Bar?


Anonymous 5:53 PM  

@David in CA: re - "one ski" - you could watch "Better Off Dead" for the grand finale answer to that question!

jae 5:54 PM  

To bad Kevin couldn't squeeze in an '80s Kurt Russell film. Now there was a mullet! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens with a recreated 80's Kurt, mullet and all.

Girish 6:04 PM  

@Foldyfish 9:51 i always thought it was "put up your dukes..."

mathgent 6:09 PM  

@JC66 (4:58): Thanks for your helpful comment. I've just learned that all the major credit cards all offer this helpful service.

Unknown 6:09 PM  

LOESS, ORKIN, RCA (grandparents TVs) , PACA, FISTS, FLO....combined with thinking of something that would be needed (11D), brutal northeast for me.... and a Monday??? Worst puzzle I've come across since I started my subscription a year ago.

Girish 6:27 PM  

@ Oldflappyfrommississsappy 8:38 AM Aren't haircuts more topical, flappy? So, it's either "a liitlrle dab'll do ya" (Brylcream) or Butchwax for your mullet.

Anonymous 6:44 PM  

There's a phrase "put em up!" And it means to make two fists and hold them up , ready to fight.

nick strauss 8:23 PM  

like so 70's. eight track tapes.

Anonymous 8:55 PM  

@nick strauss - confusing the 70s with the 80s will win you lots of friends here. Really.

Joy2u 9:29 PM  

@Anonymous 8:55 PM

I enjoyed my eight-tracks in the late 60s and early 70s. Where were you?

Mark 9:37 PM  

I liked Rex's review. His hairstyle pictured and grades were great. I liked the puzzle too. I'm not sure why so many are complaining about it; if you want variety in themes, you're bound to get unusual ones. Maybe it's because crossword solvers tend to orient toward words, and this theme was more visual. But I am glad for the variety.

Lojman 9:44 PM  

Bravo, good sir. Bravo.

Loved the puzzle, spent the whole time trying to figure out what the theme was, gave a shout when I filled in the last answer.

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

@Joy2U - yes, exactly. So what do your eight tracks have to do with mullets in 1980s films? I called out nick strauss for confusing the era of eight tracks with the era of 1980s mullet movies, and you called me out for, um, being right?

Carola 10:09 PM  

I thought this was a blast. The line-up photos of MULLET perpetrators in the paper was hilarious. I've only seen one of the movies, DIRTY DANCING, but the other titles were easy enough to get. RAMBO seemed to get extra attention, flanked by FIGHT, REEL, and FISTS.

TomAz 12:10 AM  

This puzzle was fine.

But man, Rex's writeup. This was some good stuff. The pictures of the mullets, rating them on a mullet scale, and then the Pavement video? oh hell yes. (this is not sarcasm, this is genuine praise).

THIS is why I read Rex.

the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד 3:50 AM  

Hahaha! Thanks.

thefogman 11:37 AM  

I didn't have to MULLET over much. This was a fun little Monday puzzle which I finished in a flash. Quite a contrast from Saturday's torture fest. Happy New Year 2018 to all!

thefogman 3:13 PM  


In his glory days as a Pittsburgh Penguin, Jaromir Jagr was the undisputed King of the Mullets.


Anonymous 10:37 AM  

I've had better New Years. First my Eagles failed to score a single point in a loss to rival Dallas--and then I open a puzzle to the dreaded ampersandwich! And it wasn't even the only root beer! BTW, best root beer ever is the in-house brewed offering at Ellis Island Casino here in Vegas, to go along with to-die-for ribs.

I was thinking, so what, just a list of macho flicks? And then the last across...really? Those guys all had that? Meh to that. This is the payoff to endure 33-down and a host of other crap fill?? Including BOY going both ways and two "on scoreboards" cities stacked?

And yet there is some cool longer fill. Ya gotta love STREETCRED and DOGFIGHT. But I'm afraid they only save bogey. There isn't even a DOD. FLO? No-o-o-o. I'd rather vacate the title.

Diana, LIW 11:07 AM  

@Foggyman - I've noticed you hop on the deLorean on Sundays and join the Futurelanders, so I'm commenting on your Saturday final post today. Your use of "pompous ass" to rhyme with a puzzle answer made me laugh. Tee hee and har.

Haven't yet done today's puz, but just had to tell you since you're not as around on Sundays.

Lady Di

Burma Shave 12:17 PM  


are FISTS to ENVY AND to covet,
AND in a DOGFIGHT he won't LETGO


rondo 12:38 PM  

ISO wondered where this list of movies was going, and, OHBOY, a MULLET! And PHI coulda been the third scoreboard answer. What ELSE? Oh, 23 threes if my count is correct. Maybe I should just LETGO . . .

The gals can take their yeah baby pick from the options in the clues, leaving us fellas with who was described above as the cover girl for Crosswordese Gazette, UTA Hagen. Unless you want to pick you-know-who from SCORPION.

A toast to all with an AANDW and a DAD'S to the new year. I was up late last night so I'm gonna take a PILL, JUSTINCASE.

Anonymous 2:04 PM  

I first read the clue at 68 across, "much-derided hairstyle" , and was sure it was going to be the combover.

leftcoastTAM 2:25 PM  

Rex didn't rank Agassi, maybe because his mullet looks more like a coonskin cap?

Yeah, this is an easy Monday, but the ISO crossing THE LOST BOYS rang no bells for me.

leftcoastTAM 3:06 PM  

Okay, so Rex didn't rank Agassi's mullet because he wasn't in the puzzle, but CLEET SYSPILLS was, and he definitely had a mullet.

William Heyman 4:14 PM  

It's New Year's Day and I'm two months short of eighty, and I've been doing the NYT puzzle for fifteen years because my doctor wants to see when I go senile. So far so good. And this is my fourth post, so I apologize for the verbosity. Anyway, you all should be kinder to constructors who come up with unique themes, like mullets, which is unique as far as I know. I have never found a puzzle that I did not enjoy. Otherwise, why do it? So this new year's resolution should be to be nicer and kinder to your poor put-upon constructor. It seems easy to critique, not so easy to construct. Good Year everyone!

Diana, LIW 5:55 PM  

Full disclosure - Mr. W has a MULLETish" hairstyle, usually pulled back with a ponytail band. Our cat, Quincy, loves to play with those hairbands - they are his Frisbees.

I found the puzzle easy except for the mistake I made, which hid SCORPIO from me for the longest time. Didn't really pull the theme totally together - MULLET was hidden by its easy crosses.

Happy New Year all. Here's to 2018!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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