Video game lover of Princess Peach / TUE 11-14-17 / Carved figurine popular around Christmas / Yale affectionately / UN agcy headquartered in Geneva

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Constructor: Jerry Miccolis and Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Challenging (a minute off my average, which on a Tuesday is a ton)

THEME: TRIPLE / DOUBLE (37A: With 39-Across, impressive basketball feat ... or a feature shared by the answers to the six starred clues) — themers all have three sets of successive double letters:

Theme answers:
  • SWEET TOOTH (17A: *Sugar craving)
  • WOOD DEER (21A: *Carved figurine popular around Christmas)
  • GOOD DEED (23A: *What never goes unpunished, it's said)
  • HEEL LOOP (53A: *Wheelchair foot strap)
  • FEED DOOR (56A: *Pet cage feature)
  • BOOKKEEPER (60A: *Figurehead?) (again with the dumb "?" in a non-"?" theme) 
Word of the Day: SPOT AD (33D: Expense item for a political campaign) —
a brief advertisement broadcast in a programme break (Collins)
• • •

I've never heard of half the themers, so yeah, this didn't go well. I can kind of sort of imagine what a FEED DOOR is (I imagine it's for ... gerbils or something?) and I can kind of sort of imagine what a HEEL LOOP is (does it keep the leg elevated?) but a WOOD DEER, no, that I cannot imagine, unless it is some kind of Rudolph figurine, in which case, a. it's a "wooden" deer, and b. those are not and have never been "popular." You've got three solid themers—much better to find an equally solid fourth, and then make a clean grid. No need to crowd the damn thing so much, especially when you're crowding it with weakness. Those mystery themers kept me far more stuck than I normally ever get on a Tuesday. Oh, I should probably mention, for you non-basketball fans, that a TRIPLE / DOUBLE is when a player hits double-digits in three of the five main statistical categories: points, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals (usually points, assists, rebounds).

I was over my *Wednesday* average. I mean, WOOD DEER, come on. And SPOT AD was another disaster for me. That crossing FEED DOOR, with a very vague INCIDENT clue (38D: Episode) and a clue for CRETIN that I did not know was the meaning of CRETIN (47D: Dimwit) all combined to make that SW corner hellish. Even that ACCT clue had me going "???" (46A: Website subscriber's creation: Abbr.) Considering how dense the theme is, the fill is actually fairly decent. I have of course seen ELI plenty, but OLD ELI—that's one I wasn't ready for. Since the SPOT AD clue mentioned political campaigns and I had "S" in place, I kept wanting something like SMEARS. Clue on HIDEF, also hard (70A: Far from fuzzy, for short) (I had HAIRY at first). Honestly, things basically went south right away, at 1-Across, where I wrote in OFAGE instead of GROWN (1A: No longer a minor).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. a fun game is coming up with other TRIPLE / DOUBLEs, e.g. QUEEN NOOR. You try!

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Tom 1:49 AM  

Got TRIPLE DOUBLE right away being left coast Warriors fan. Generally agree about some tough clueing because I was about a third slower than my usual Tuesday time. California motto is EUREKA, so that was a gimme. A satisfying Tuesday that made up for a mediocre Monday.

Larry Gilstrap 2:18 AM  

Well, that was a generous review. We get a theme about open compound words with DOUBLE letters that appear in a TRIPLE pattern. That's it? And, some of them are real things and some of them are WOOD DEER and HEEL LOOP? I was expecting a little push back on this Tuesday premise, but maybe it's just me. I'll check back later.

Definitely winced at CRETIN clued as Dimwit. That's some Three Stooges' abusive name calling, right there. "You've got the brain of a three-year-old and he wants it back." Maybe, that was Groucho.

I was looking for President LIR, GCS, MSG, or anything other than that Bridge. Add to that, Manhattan, KAN., or is there one in Kentucky?

Speaking of geography, I remember Niihau as "The Forbidden Island", and I'm pretty sure it is very dry there, so lush floral displays, not so much. The island is known for a LEI fashioned from the tiny, exquisite shells found on its beaches. Tourists were as uncommon as waterfalls. Perhaps, that has changed.

More fun with the indefinite article day III: let's clue 51A as something O.J. survived once, but not twice. Did you happen to see the SNL skit with the Juice on a Tinder date with the woman who had no clue? He orders a steak and they give him a plastic knife. I laughed. I was impressed when he played for USC; student body left, student body right, and O.J. up the middle.

Generous review, but I think I already said that.

chefwen 2:18 AM  

Yup, of age was my first entry. Oh, GMS doesn’t fit ORE doesn’t work, guess it’s not of age.

Our old friend ACNE is back, thought we had that cleared up.

Easier than Monday’s puzzle, for me. WOODDEER and HEELLOOP had me raising an eyebrow, but the rest were fine. Fun puzzle! Liked all the TRIPLE DOUBLEs.

Can Of Pineapple 3:35 AM  

Personally I feel that if you're going to clue "cretin", you throw in a reference to actual cretinism instead of being quite so casually insulting about it.

Mike in Mountain View 3:39 AM  

@Rex: I started with adult before finding GROWN, and like Rex I thought some of the themers were OK.

For fun, I wrote a computer program to check my NYT word list for triple doubles. The only ones that popped up were BOOKKEEPER, GOODDEED (and longer answers containing that expression), HAVE A LOT TO OFFER, LOTTO ODDS, ON NO OCCASION, SWEET TOOTH, TOOT TOOT, and TOOT TOOT TOOTSIE.

So it doesn't look like Jeff and Jerry had a lot of themer alternatives, although @Rex QUEEN NOOR would have worked, too.

Thomaso808 3:51 AM  

Got to agree with Rex on the Challenging rating, mainly because WOODDEER, FEEDDOOR, and HEELLOOP, were WOES and BOOKKEEPER had a big misdirect. But all good, I worked through it slowly but unscathed.

Very impressive that the top three themers and bottom three all share a common down answer.

@Larry, no change on Niihau, although folks don’t really call it the forbidden isle. People just know you can’t go there unless 1) you’re from there, 2) invited by the Robinson family, who own it, or 3) have a valid U.S. Navy reason to visit under the agreement with the Robinsons. And yes, the shell leis from there are still highly valued.

Loren Muse Smith 3:55 AM  

Well, huh. SPOT AD went right in off the final D. And CRETIN as clued was no problem, either.

I’ll brag that I’ve never been to any kind of Black Friday deal the way some here brag that they don’t own a tv. Badge of honor. First thought for the sights you see was “fights.”

First thought on the NYC landmark, a stupid thought, was JFK. But I snorted at the “land” mark wordplay.

Themes like this that push some kind of spelling envelope really float my boat. Say, I wonder how many blah blah we can get in a row… Sign me up. I’ll play. (Hi, @Mike in Mountain View. Cool program.) I’ve said before, back in college, I’d try to come up with ridiculous German sentences with all kinds of verbs in a row at the end.

Are there phrases with four doubles in a row? Probably not, but it’s fun to stare out and think about something like a chain of candy stores named SWEET TOOTH HEAVEN. Or the guy who knocks over these stores dubbed the SWEET TOOTH HOODLUM. Ok. I’ll stop.

I agree that WOOD DEER was the weak link here, but all in all, an enjoyable little exercise.

Trombone Tom 5:15 AM  

Being a Warriors fan, it was nice to see the TRIPLE DOUBLEs appear, but I, too, was disappointed in the clunking sound from some of them. I mean WOOD DEER, HEEL LOOP, and FEED DOOR; c'mon man, these might be real things, but only if you stretch. I have seen wooden (not wood) deer, but most models now are plastic. I'm no expert on wheel chairs, but I've not heard of heel loops and toe loops are a whole nother thing from ice skating. Finally, all our family pet cages over the years had doors, but they were used for all kinds of access, not just feeding.

Other than that this was a nice puzzle from Jerry Miccolis and Jeff Chen with a little resistance.

BarbieBarbie 5:37 AM  

I enjoyed this one and found it on the easy side. Maybe when you solve for time you get tripped up by different sorts of clues. None of the words Rex mentioned was a stumbling block for me. I didn’t like WOODDEER either, so I skipped it and went back to fill it in when the crosses had made it obvious that it couldn’t be avoided. Maybe you don’t give yourself that luxury when you’re speed-solving?

This was a fun puzzle. Loved seeing OZMA. Took me back. Remember those guys who could throw their heads? Scary.

Lewis 6:05 AM  

@rex -- Reading Jeff's notes, it looks like the constructors tried to get QUEEN NOOR in but it just didn't work. Maybe if they followed your suggestion and cut the theme answers to four plus the revealer. Jeff said, however, that four didn't seem like enough.

The difficulty seemed just right for Tuesday to me; a little bite but not too much; fun to solve. I especially liked the answers WIELDS and LAND GRAB. I see there is a GROWN up (which fits the clue), and I smiled at the visual of a crossword puzzle with a SPOT AD in the middle (as this one has). Could that be the future of puzzles? BOOKKEEPER flew in off of the B, as this is, I think, a very well known example of triple-double letters, but the answer is an outlier, as all other theme answers are two words.

This is an exciting day for your resident alphadoppeltotter, as I'm happy to report that the puzzle has 25 double letters -- highly unusual -- but alas, it comes with an asterisk, as it is directly related to the theme. Still, to an alphadoppeltotter's eyes, this grid is a beautiful thing to see, and the theme, to those eyes, is a dream.

Smitty 6:11 AM  

SPOT and AD are the same thing. SPOT is a broadcast ad.

puzzlehoarder 6:40 AM  

I struck out on 1A and 1D . On 10A I had no clue so I had to make the ignoble start of ACNE and ADO. That pretty much sums up the solve. There were enough unknowns that I often found myself looking for the easy material.

Todays GWB and Saturday's RMN make two random presidential acronyms in a row that I knew. Normally I can't stand them.

The 23A adage is one of my favorites. I've never noticed the embedded letter pattern but that's what constructors are for.

I have no idea what a TRIPLE DOUBLE is and I'm pretty sure it's come up in the puzzles before. That was another minor slow down. Just enough resistance to make it entertaining today.

Two Ponies 6:44 AM  

Our streak of clever, well-made puzzles is officially over.
Sweet tooth and good deed had my hopes up but wood deer? No way.
It sounds like a species of deer. Ornamental deer are wooden.
Heel loop? Not a crossworthy phrase ever.
Feed door? Maybe, just maybe, food door but even that is bad.
On top of this mess are far too many proper nouns.
I've written Eli too many times to count with no idea that Old Eli was a thing. When that is the most interesting thing in the grid you know you have a problem.
O.J. with a plastic steak knife is funny in a macabre way.

Hungry Mother 6:55 AM  

Nice one today, with good wordplay instead of trivia. Quick one for me.

evil doug 7:14 AM  

Never had a triple-double, but I enjoyed a double-double at In-N-Out in San Diego last week.

Glimmerglass 7:15 AM  

This one happened to be Monday-easy for me. I balked at WOOD DEER, but the theme plus either of the down Es left no doubt. I was very surprised that @Rex found it challenging.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

Hard to believe Jeff Chen had a hand in this. Green paint in a grid is bad, but green paint as a themer is unforgivable. This one deserved an epic Rex-rant, and I was disappointed not to get one.

Robert A. Simon 7:30 AM  

It has only been three days, but has anyone else noticed that we haven't had the benefit of @George Barany's warm, insightful commentary since OFL (still pronounced "offal") unfairly eviscerated his Saturday puzzle? I fear he won't be back and will be pleasantly surprised if and when he does return.

Happy, Rex?

Mr. Grumpypants 7:43 AM  

I have enjoyed the break from George's self-aggrandizing posts, and I thought Rex's review of the Saturday puzzle was spot on. YMMV.

Birchbark 7:51 AM  

Why does WOOD DEER tick people off? I might have clued it as "Front yard figurine, in these parts," but it works either way.

Anonymous 7:55 AM  

Because when something is made of wood it is wooden.

Knitwit 7:55 AM  

Enjoyed this one and caught on pretty quickly after SWEETTOOTH. But HI DEF took forever to “see”. Keep trying to understand how “hiding a f” had anything to do with that clue-clever!!!!

chefbea 7:55 AM  

Fun puzzle ....and I know nothing about basketball First had Major for 1across, then wanted adult!!!
Loved the clove of garlic!!!

GHarris 7:57 AM  

Just enough crunch to make it fun and slightly challenging in the SE. Don't understand why Rex can't bring himself to say something nice about this puzzle.

nongay 8:15 AM  

@birchbark, If you google wood deer you get about a gazillion hits but if you look at some of them, it's because the words wood and deer are on the site together. Also, it Etsy you'll find a lot of hand carved wood deer, by which should probably be written hand-carved-wood deer.

Other than those types of things, unless it's regional, it's wooden deer. A deer made of metal would be a nonwooden deer.

Also, I might actually be nongay, not that there's anything wrong with that, or I might not be.

Anon 8:25 AM  

I agree with Rex lower left was hardest part. And never heard of OZMA and as a New Yorker, I never thought of Manhattan, KAN, so that cross was hard.

evil doug 8:26 AM  

MOON NOOKIE: ass-kissing

Anonymous 8:31 AM  


Unknown 8:40 AM  


Hartley70 8:42 AM  

I'm ignorant of the TRIPLEDOUBLE so the point of the theme was lost on me, sadly. Happily, with one look at the completed grid, I knew that @Lewis would have a good day.

This was a cute puzzle that doesn't require any deep analysis to complete. In other words, a typical Tuesday. I liked it.

Nancy 8:52 AM  

I used the F3 function on my keyboard (which I first learned about here) to check and see if anyone else had protested Green Paint. I see that @kitshef beat me to it and even more, said it was terrible to build a whole theme around it. That was my reaction too, even though SWEET TOOTH and GOOD DEED are definitely Things.

I glanced long enough at Rex to see that he offered a challenge to the blog to come up with more of these TRIPLE DOUBLES. I haven't read y'all yet, but here's my contribution -- and I hope no one's beaten me to it: Clue: Crossword puzzle warning.


Despite the green paint and crosswordese, this was sort of pleasant to work on and I enjoyed it fine for a Tuesday.

G. Weissman 8:53 AM  

I hadn’t noticed.

Sir Hillary 9:00 AM  

Is there such a thing as a WOOLLY YAK?

Nice effort and on the whole enjoyable, but I agree with those who say that there are two themers too many.

I got the theme just off SWEETTOOTH, then went hunting for the revealer.

Does Niihau have any people on it? I thought it was owned by the military, or has that changed? Maybe one of our Hawaiian commenters can help. In any case, Niihau hardly evokes LEIs, so that clue fell flat.

Also, a LANDGRAB to me implies a free-for-all in which the land's ownership is not really established. Say, Oklahoma in the 1800s (conveniently ignoring the Native Americans, of course). I don't think of Russia seizing Crimea in the same way -- that was an invasion.

Only (brief) error was SIGNup, although I considered both adult and ofage at 1A.

51A rang true for me, as I have A-Fib. That and vitiligo are my only real maladies. I am a lucky guy.

rgards 9:00 AM  

I look forward to @Lewis's take on the puzzle. Also, fifty years ago, a high school buddy explained that a raccoonnookkeeper was the person who tended part of the small mammal exhibit at the zoo.

QuasiMojo 9:04 AM  

Never even noticed the theme. I got hung up on COSSET rather than CODDLE and misread SEEP as SLEEP so I had DOZE before OOZE.

WOOD DEER was a bummer. Why not use FEEL LOOSE then? I agree it all felt very GREEN NOODLE to me.

Mohair Sam 9:36 AM  

On my very first job upon leaving the military I programmed a Cost Report for a small bank in Upstate New York. The bank had an expense line it referred to as BOOKKEEPing. I spelled the line with two P's: "BOOKKEEPPing".

I was properly chastised, but I had myself a QUADRUPLE DOUBLE.

Beat that Jeff Chen.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Niihau is famous for its own particular type of lei, made from beautiful little shells. Why do so many people have an issue with Niihau? Weird. Just because most of you folks aren't welcome there doesn't mean it isn't a real place, and certainly doesn't keep them from employing their own traditional arts.
Look up pupu o ni'ihau in your google.

Z 9:50 AM  

Wood deck. Wood frame. Wood house. Nope, “wood” is a perfectly acceptable adjectival form. “Wooden” is not even necessarily “made of wood,” rather it may indicate a wood like quality as in “Al Gore’s wooden speaking style hurt him in the 2000 election.” A “wooden deer” might very well be an actual deer in the woods. I’m not sure where the wooden complaints come from but WOOD DEER is fine.

I also think the CRETIN complaints are reversed. The generalized insult was first, the inappropriate use of it to describe hypothyroidism came later. To clue CRETIN in relation to the condition would be insulting.

@Evil Doug - I’m thinking more PBR than IPA, but I’m a biased IPA drinker.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:56 AM  

The NYTimes has some sort of printing issue so I got no paper today, I had to print this off the Times Digest (where it comes out a little too small for me to see the numbers). And no paper to read so it was OK that it was harder than most Tuesdays, I had the time. But there was no cheer in it, and I wanted some. Especially since I'm waiting for my oil heat company to come restore heat to my house for the 3rd time in 5 days. Basically the problem is that there is no oil in the oil tank, but their schedule says there is supposed to be a quarter tank remaining so they are not delivering any. Sunday it got down to 52 before they came with another gallon to tide me over; so far it's only down to 56; B ut sitting reading the paper isn't what I feel like doing anyhow, better get active.

What is HIDEF?

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

I think Z proved Ev8l Doug’s point.

mathgent 10:01 AM  

@Robert A. Simon (7:30): I'm pretty sure that George Barany will be back. He gets swamped in work at the university periodically. A year or so ago, Rex trashed one of George's solo efforts and he took the criticism with his customary class. I don't think that a world-class leader in the field of chemistry will be mortally wounded because someone didn't like one of his crossword puzzles.

@Evil Doug (8:26): DWEEBBEER. Excellent. I'm also a lager man. Heineken, Sam Adams, and my current favorite Dos Equis.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

What about a woolly mammoth?

kitshef 10:23 AM  

@Birchbark - WOOD DEER is frowned on because it's not a common stand-alone thing the way, say, GOOD DEED is. Why not BEEF FOOT or FLEET TOOT or VACUUM MUUMUU?

RooMonster 10:29 AM  

Hey All !
I had a puz rejection with the title "Groupies", in which four of the same letter were together. Example, (and Wills rejection reason) KAZOO OOMPH. Had 3 other themes along with that.

So, I liked this puz. Cool to get three doubles together. This seemed like something @LMS would've thought of it first!

Thought S was tougher then N. Lots of O's in here, 28. Too bad double U's aren't more popular for @M&A. VACUUM MEET? (Dyson Dealer convention?)

Nice to see both myself and Bob Kerfuffle make the puz!

@evil Doug 7:14
Har. You can actually order a Triple Triple, or Quadruple Quadruple. Not sure what the limit is.

@Nancy 8:52
LOL, nice one. One might consider today's NOOK also if clued as "Reason for Space Shuttle delay?"

ROO OOZE (ick :-) )

TomAz 10:31 AM  

70A made me thing of a plausible Sunday puzzle theme where the letter "F" is hidden behind black squares and the resulting answers are clued wacky-style.

This was OK. I like the theme premise. WOODDEER was weak, yes, but so easily inferable from crosses that I didn't really care. I also opened the puzzle with OFAGE so that slowed me a bit.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Top puzzle, * [fill in: Jerry, Miccolis, Jeff, or even Will, as in the editor]

By the way, I'm sure there was this same theme in NYTimes puzzle some time ago (25 years??). I have some vague recollection of baseball clues, and perhaps they led to the "triple double."

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Joseph Michael" 10:42 AM  

Fun theme for a Tuesday in spite of that ugly WOOD DEER. If green paint is permissable, we might also have:


College grads seeking work - ALUMNI IN NEED

Temporary influx of pedestrians - BRIEF FOOT TRAFFIC

Clue for 27A seems a little off. To enroll is to sign "up" not ON. The latter is what you do after you have already created an ACCT.

"Lars and the Real Girl" was a hoot.

nongay 10:52 AM  

@Z, wrong. Never heard of a wood house. There's woodshed because it holds wood. There's a wood frame house, so that might support your point. But I don't think I've ever seen a deck in California that wasn't made of wood. Are they made of concrete or metal elsewhere?

Of course, using wooden to describe someone whose demeanor is stiff has as much to do with this discussion as describing someone as steely would have to do with describing something made of steel. Unless it was a Dan.

That would just be nonsense.

Glow 10:56 AM  

Ozma/Kan was a Natick for me, as being a New Yorker for so many years, Manhattan could have just as easily been in Kentucky as Kansas. So DNF, as I had Ozme/Ken.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

I don't want to brag or anything, but I'm a pretty cool dude. I drive a sweet-ass ride and have a nice chunk of change in the bank.

Unknown 11:10 AM  

I thought only CRETINs started solving with 1-Across...

Just playing though, thanks for the review.

semioticus (shelbyl) 11:20 AM  

A couple of good clues in SE corner, a basketball-related theme (sorta) made this OK. A lot of short words in a maze-y grid though. That's what happens to a densely-themed puzzle, I get it, but it could've been better I guess. This gets a B from me.

Austenlover 11:24 AM  

I live in Manhattan, KAN, and still only got it from the crosses. It’s known as “The Little Apple”, home of Kansas State University. The name came from easterners who moved to Kansas to keep the territory free of slavery in the period leading up to the Civil War. The first batch of abolitionist settlers named it New Boston, but people from New York came along later and changed the name to Manhattan. Maybe next time you’ll all remember we’re not in Kentucky. Of course, OZMA was a gimme.

Anonymous 11:27 AM  

@Z re cretin - you are once again completely ass-backwards wrong. Look up cretin and cretinism in dictionaries, encyclopedias, any source you can find and you will find the exact opposite of your claim. Cretinism/cretin described the medical condition first and only after a century or more was it adopted into general speech as an insult as clued in the puzzle today.

Bax'N'Nex 11:48 AM  

I'm fairly new here...what do the references to "green paint" mean?

I got triple double right away...Lonzo Ball got his the other night, youngest player ever...and though it would be a basketball theme.
Wasn't my favorite puzzle ever. Just meh...

Now, about that Green Paint??

GILL I. 11:50 AM  

I'm not sure why the blog uses "green paint" to perhaps describe a phrase that has no real meaning or is just a blah answer. I love the color green - especially if it's in an emerald or you happen to buy me a Jaguar.
I considered this puzzle more of a parfait pink. I really don't like that color. I thought of it when I wrote in WOOD DEER and especially HEEL LOOP. My dear husband uses a wheelchair and I'm always yelling at him to get his damn foot in the strap. I've never called it anything other than that damn strap.
I like Jeff Chen puzzles but I don't know Sr. Miccolis. This seemed to lack any oomph that I come to expect. It also bored me because I'm a CRETIN when it comes to baseball. Just my dos centavos.
@mathgent....You really like Dos Equis? Say it isn't so. Please. I'm no beer expert (@Z can confirm that) but Dos Esquis????? Do you also put a little lime on it? It's because of that pissy stuff that I dislike beer. Estrella para mi.

Carola 12:02 PM  

For me, the best thing about this puzzle are the submissions here to the Complaint Department. Special thanks to @Two Ponies 6:44 for expressing my reaction better than I'd have been able to. More thanks to @Evil Doug, @Nancy, @Sir Hillary, @QuasiMojo, @RooMonster, @Kitshef, and @Joseph Michael for the creativity and laughs.

Paperback Writer 12:06 PM  

Was only able to get though this puzzle relatively quickly (but slow for a Tues) because I had TRIPLE DOUBLE early in my solve and plugged in some letters in the crazy WOODDEER and HEELLOOP as a result. Agree with Rex that lower left corner was weirdly hard, and not in a good way. For one, SPOTAD just feels redundant to me in contemporary usage.

jb129 12:11 PM  

If I look at Rex's "Relative Difficulty" before I do the puzzle, it screws me up so I thought I'll never get this... but I did & I enjoyed it & I don't know anything about basketball.

Wileyfex 12:14 PM  

I found it entertaining, not difficult. Rex, perhaps you haven't had much wheelchair experience yet.

Nancy 12:16 PM  

DRAT, dear,
There's a WOOD DEER
And the RAW truth:
He wants treats galore.

Will you please feed
Him an ice cream tray.
To avoid trouble,
And he'll go away.

Dear, dear,
Who's here
At our FEED DOOR now?
It's candy-cravin' ELK
And a chocoholic OGRE
And a cupcake-crazy ORCA
(Think he said his name is NEMO)
And some custard-lovin' LOBOS
And a honey-lickin' LEECH.

GILL I. 12:28 PM  

@Nancy...You outdid yourself today. I'll drink what you're having...;-)

mathgent 1:06 PM  

@GILL I (11:50): I've never had an Estrella beer. There seems to be a beer called Estrella Jalisco which is a lager. I'll see if BevMo has it. I also found a reference to an Estrella made in Barcelona. As a full-blooded Spaniard, I may have a genetic taste for it.

Brava, Nancy!

tea73 1:26 PM  

@Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice

I was pretty mystified by HI DEF too. All I could see was HIDE F.

Don't like basketball, but the reveal was easy enough to suss out and sounded familiar. I too skipped over WOODDEER until forced to enter it. So not a thing.

kitshef 2:16 PM  

@ David Schinnerer Green Paint is an answer that is not a commonly used expression. So while there certainly is something called green paint, it's just paint that is green. Compare that to red tape or blue moon, where the adjective/noun combo is itself part of the language, and has a greater meaning than just 'tape that is red' or 'a moon that is blue'. Other examples of green paint include frisky ostrich, lumpy barkeep, and scattered inkwells.

The twist here is that its very use as an expression of uncrossworthiness gives 'green paint' just the kind of greater meaning that it is being used to deplore the lack of. There's something very Gödellian about that.

Joe Bleaux 2:30 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
QuasiMojo 2:48 PM  

Thanks @Carola for including me in such fine company. And @Nancy you have a real flair for weaving words together. Does anyone remember the movie version of “Oxma of Oz”? I saw it when I was about 12 or so. Ages ago. But I’ve never been able to find anyone else who has seen it. It may have been foreign.

QuasiMojo 2:50 PM  

Damn autocorrect. Of course I mean “Ozma of Oz.”

Joe Bleaux 3:12 PM  

From Rex's hoops clip: "He could have taken that from Natick ... "

Mohair Sam 3:18 PM  

@Nancy - Tremendous stuff!

Teedmn 3:20 PM  

HIDEF is the answer one needs to obey @Nancy’s HEED DOOK today. Some head scratching occurred with that one for me.

Raccoonnookkeeper, good one @rgards.

nick strauss 3:21 PM  

The SW corner was tough. FOODDOOR. But then ATEASE got it.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

You see this cage? It has a water door and a food door. Fill them twice a day. I'll be back in a week.

Anonymous 4:28 PM  


What is the "F3 function"? (I press F3 and nothing happens).

Nancy 5:06 PM  

Thanks so much for your comments @GILL, @mathgent, @Quasi, @Mohair and @Teedmn. I appreciate them.

@Anon 4:28 -- That I of all people should be giving computer function advice is pretty laughable. But here goes: The F3 only seems to work in the comments section and not for Rex's comment. Go to the comments. Press the F3 key and look at the upper right of your screen. There should be a small white rectangular box. Type in whatever you're looking for. In my case today, I typed in "green paint". Every reference to green paint among the comments will then be highlighted in yellow. If it works for Luddite me, it has to work for you, too, I should think. Good luck.

Rob 5:07 PM  

Didn't care for this one at all for all the reasons mentioned. Bunch of bad themers. Themers should be actual phrases in regular usage, not just words strung together. WOOD DEER is particularly half-baked, but HEEL LOOP isn't far behind, even if it was easy to suss out.

I've heard AD and SPOT as synonyms for each other, and I've heard AD SPOT, but I'm not convinced SPOT AD is a thing. Anyone feel otherwise?

P AS IN Psychology is unforgivable.

Another problem for me is that I've seen this exact theme before, in the NUT, and not that long ago. I've only been doing it regularly for a few years, so if I remember the theme, it probably hasn't been long enough to do it again. Ah well. I never remember the definition of a TRIPLE DOUBLE, so at least Rex was on hand to re-explain it.

Birchbark 7:46 PM  

On the other hand, WOOD and DEER both modify tick. Wooden tick be nice if something like that had been the clue?

@Nancy, there's a Pulitzer out there somewhere with your name on it.

Joe Dipinto 7:50 PM  

@Nancy -- Nicely done! Stephen Sondheim must be looking nervously over his shoulder. :-;

RooMonster 8:49 PM  

@Rob 5:07
Reread the clue for ASIN. It says something to the effect of "Not a good analogy" or some such. I don't have the puz clues readily available.


Anonymous 9:50 PM  

I went to Yale and NEVER, EVER heard it referred to as Old Eli. I am also from New Haven originally, and we always referred to Yale students as Yalies. I really don’t recall anyone at Yale, or anywhere else, using the term Elis.

Nancy 10:44 PM  

@Birchbark and Joe Dipinto -- SO flattering!!!! Thanks so much!

Anonymous 1:22 AM  

DWEEBBEER is ridiculously funny.

Rob 7:53 PM  

Oh, no, I understand the clue. I just think it's horrible.

run4it 6:12 AM  

Belated post, but I just did this puzzle and wondered why it seemed so familiar. I happen to be working my way through an old hard copy volume of NYT puzzles (vol 15 edited by Will Shortz) and puzzle 83 had a revealer of 'triple doubles' as one word across the middle and the themers include sweet tooth, good deeds and bookkeeper. Other clues were different but sheesh! No wonder I finished 3 minutes faster than average.

rondo 10:07 AM  

Something you never have to do in the Twin Cities on Sunday anymore: an exurBBEERRun to Hudson, WI, which was really a dumBBEERRun by those dwEEBBOOzers for not planning ahead. Or desperation. The paint in this puz had a lot of grEENNeSS. And perhaps desperation. Just look at that 1d column GMS GWB AFLAC

Some of the more upper-crust folks around here send their kids to CRETIN-Derham Hall H.S. CRETIN also recruits good athletes.

SPOTAD seems redundant and repetitive like saying something over and over again and again.

Maybe a GROWN EVE Plumb for a yeah baby?

Finished with no w/os, but did not cry EUREKA.

Burma Shave 10:25 AM  


she’s NOTED for GOODDEEDs and for being ATEASE.


thefogman 11:05 AM  

DNF for me on this one. I got stumped by the cross of 50D and 70A. Had H_DEF and couldn't for the life of me come up with HIDEF. And nicknames for ivy league colleges are not my forte. Screwed up 65A because of P-ASIN. Not fair I say. Not my day. On to Wednesday...

spacecraft 11:38 AM  

First of all, rant alert!

Again, the syndilink is caught on a Sunday. This means there is NO WAY for me to find the correct page without picking out a clue that is hopefully unique to this puzzle and add it to my search. Sometimes this works right away--today it did--but sometimes it doesn't, and then I'm in real trouble. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE THIS MUCH TROUBLE!!! PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF SANITY: WAKE THE **** UP!!!!!

Now. Today I was momentarily confused because there was so much baseball stuff in the upper half that I misread the reveal clue as "Impressive baseball feat" and wondered why TRIPLE PLAY or PERFECT GAME or HIT FOR THE CYCLE didn't fit. SIXTY HOMERS??? But then I saw what was going on in the starred entries, so that set me to rights. I saw the WOODDEER as being greenneedy paintwise for the theme. It's a wincer, but whaddyyaa gonna do?

Bottom half was too tech-laden for my taste; I did get it all but for me this didn't feelliike a Tuesday. It's probably Jeff's idea of a Tuesday. No CRETIN, he.

DOD is EVE, all right, but I'll take EVE Torres. There's one wrestler who could pin me to the mat any time. It was a trek getting through this, and not altogether a pleasant one--especially getting to the page. This soured my mood and the whole thing winds up a bogey.

Come on, guys, get this fixed...please.

Alien robot 1:09 PM  


If you note the puzzle number (assuming it is included with the puzzle), it is the also the puzzle date. This puzzle is from Nov 14. If not, they are from 5 weeks ago.
Use the web version offer's blog, and search the blog archive for the date you need.

Alien robot 1:14 PM  

web version of THIS blog

Alien robot 1:15 PM  

web version of THIS blog

Bananafish 1:23 PM  

Perhaps Rex could have related to the theme more if one of the entries had been DWEEB BOOR, which describes him to a tee.

Bananafish 1:25 PM  

Perhaps Rex could have related to the theme more if one of the entries had been DWEEB BOOR, which describes him to a tee.

leftcoastTAM 3:04 PM  

Clever with a couple of elusive theme answers NOTED by Rex.

Some tricky fill as well: OZMA, HIDEF (a DOOK maybe), and REF (most blow whistles or throw or wave flags; few, if any, cry "foul!").

Got stuck (ouch!) in the SW, insisting on INstance instead of INCIDENT. Looked it up to finish off that corner. A DNF.

"O.J." clue? Oh please, oh no.

rainforest 4:12 PM  

One with a full bladder pees soon - Confucius.

Fun puzzle. I'd actually like to see one constructed where "green paint" is appropriately clued.

Unknown 12:17 PM  

Lots of grumpiness over this one. I liked it!

SWEET TOOTH, BOOKKEEPER, GOOD DEED, and the revealer - all great. The other (shall we say, lesser-used) themers fell into place easily enough, once you knew what was going on, which I did early on. So I have no issue with them.

Nice clean fill, and just the right difficulty level for a Tuesday. Surprising that Rex had so much trouble with it. I believe he overthinks things sometimes.

arsene 2:18 AM  

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