Composer who's eponym of Helsinki park / TUE 6-5-18 / Lead-in to gender / Nearest target for bowler / Dodges of 1980s / Island off western coast of Scotland / Colorful ocean phenomena caused by dinoflagellates / Neophyte in modern lingo

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Constructor: Peter Gordon

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:31)

THEME: food-bodied — hyphenated adjectives where pre-hyphen is edible and post-hyphen is body part-related; clues are all one-word adjectives used to describe people:

Theme answers:
  • BUTTER-FINGERED (16A: Klutzy)
  • MUTTON-HEADED (30A: Stupid)
  • HONEY-TONGUED (38A: Eloquent)
  • CHICKEN-LIVERED (55A: Cowardly)
Word of the Day: LORELEI (34A: Rock singer?) —
The Lorelei (/ˈlɒrəl/GermanLoreley German: [loːʀəˈlaɪ, ˈloːʀəlaɪ]) is a 132 m (433 ft) high, steep slate rock on the right bank of the river Rhine in the Rhine Gorge (or Middle Rhine) at Sankt Goarshausen in Germany. / The name comes from the old German words lurelnRhine dialect for "murmuring", and the Celtic term ley "rock". The translation of the name would therefore be: "murmur rock" or "murmuring rock". The heavy currents, and a small waterfall in the area (still visible in the early 19th century) created a murmuring sound, and this combined with the special echo the rock produces to act as a sort of amplifier, giving the rock its name. The murmuring is hard to hear today owing to the urbanization of the area. Other theories attribute the name to the many accidents, by combining the German verb "lauern" (to lurk, lie in wait) with the same "ley" ending, with the translation "lurking rock". [...] In 1801, German author Clemens Brentano composed his ballad Zu Bacharach am Rheine as part of a fragmentary continuation of his novel Godwi oder Das steinerne Bild der Mutter. It first told the story of an enchanting female associated with the rock. In the poem, the beautiful Lore Lay, betrayed by her sweetheart, is accused of bewitching men and causing their death. Rather than sentence her to death, the bishop consigns her to a nunnery. On the way thereto, accompanied by three knights, she comes to the Lorelei rock. She asks permission to climb it and view the Rhine once again. She does so and thinking that she sees her love in the Rhine, falls to her death; the rock still retained an echo of her name afterwards. Brentano had taken inspiration from Ovid and the Echo myth.
In 1824, Heinrich Heine seized on and adapted Brentano's theme in one of his most famous poems, "Die Lorelei". It describes the eponymous female as a sort of siren who, sitting on the cliff above the Rhine and combing her golden hair, unwittingly distracted shipmen with her beauty and song, causing them to crash on the rocks. In 1837 Heine's lyrics were set to music by Friedrich Silcher in the art song "Lorelei"[2] that became well known in German-speaking lands. A setting by Franz Liszt was also favored and dozens of other musicians have set the poem to music. (emph mine)
• • •

Weird upside-down and backwards sensation of not caring for the theme much at all but loving the grid. Turning all of the themers into body parts with -ED suffixes (meaning "possessed of (said body part)") was an interesting theme cohesion strategy, but BUTTER-FINGERED? There is a candy bar called Butterfinger, and you might call a clumsy person "Butterfingers!" but I don't think I've heard this adjectival form much. "He is like unto one who has fingers made of actual sticks of butter, in that he is ever letting objects fall from 'twixt his digits." There's just something odd about seeing "butterfingers!" in this adj. form. And MUTTON-HEADED? I know I've never heard that. PIG-HEADED and even MULE-HEADED, sure. But MUTTON-HEADED? I'm sure it's valid, but it's not  exactly a bulls-eye. And CHICKEN-LIVERED??? CHICKEN on its own means "cowardly." He was cowardly. He was chicken. Same thing. You're LILY-LIVERED, or even YELLOW-LIVERED (though even there, YELLOW-BELLIED is better...). CHICKEN-LIVERED is absurd. HONEY-TONGUED is the one that lands best, I think, but then I'm a fan of Ralegh's* "Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," so I may be biased.

["A honey tongue, a heart of gall / Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall"]

So the theme felt all kinds of off and wobbly and yet (and this neeeeever happens in early-week puzzles, esp. on Tuesday) I really enjoyed solving this one because the fill was so sweet and smooth and the cluing was totally on point. On Tuesday, I'm usually squirming at least a little because of the fill, which is often overly common, or has been severely compromised by the theme, or both. But this thing was beautiful. Small junky stuff is kept to a minimum and kept marginal, and so we get the pleasure of having SIBELIUS and BUDAPEST and RED TIDES etc. just wash all over us. This grid is clean clean clean. And entertaining. Love the alliterativeness of PROUD PAPA. Love the word PIE-EYED. Very much love the clue on LORELEI. And that wasn't the only wonderful trick clue. 12D: Heat shields? for BADGES! 46A: Expert in calculus: Abbr. for DDS! The clue on MOTHER was a little, er, graphic for my tastes (41D: Person whose inner child has been released?), but it's still very clever. I think SOV. was the only moment of wincing that I experienced today (47D: Part of U.S.S.R.: Abbr.). Otherwise I really liked the grid, even if it was a little LECHEROUS and LEERING.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. this week's New Yorker crossword (by Anna Shechtman) is out and it's something.

*not a typo

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Seth 12:18 AM  

PIE-EYED is another themer.

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

As someone who is often butterfingered, frequently muttonheaded and at times known to have been chickenlivered (and to whom those expressions are all too familiar), I have to assume that Rex Parker is too adept, intelligent and courageous ever to have heard those terms. But it is probable that many know them all too well.

Jyqm 12:20 AM  

PIE-EYED is indeed a good answer. It’s also part of the theme, Rex. ;)

Anoa Bob 12:39 AM  

I'm thinking there might be another themer at 23D PIE EYED. Maybe the best of the bunch.

Marlon B. 12:45 AM  


Marlon B. 12:47 AM  

My apologies, I was thinking of buttered fingers. That's probably different, no?

jae 1:04 AM  

Medium-tough for me. Very smooth with an interesting theme, liked it.

Is not PIE EYED part of the theme?

Anonymous 1:12 AM  

No to "Sibelius" crossing "cerise" on a Tuesday. Guessed correctly, but still.

Jim Larkin 1:16 AM  

Maybe it's my age, but MUTTON-HEADED, BUTTER-FINGERED and CHICKEN-LIVERED all seemed quite familiar expressions from my childhood, which was in the mid-nineteenth century, or perhaps it was my reading from or about that period.

sanfranman59 1:16 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 3:17 4:30 0.73 1.3% Very Easy
Tue 6:16 5:26 1.16 79.2% Medium-Challenging

This might really be more of a Medium. I'm not on top of my game this evening. The SW corner did feel kinda tough for a Tuesday. NOTICE in particular has a difficult clue. I'm not even sure I understand it. LECHEROUS also seems like a later-in-the-week word. Oh, and what in the world is CISgender? I definitely had to look that one up. CERISE is a recent crossword repeat for me, but since I do a lot of crosswords, I don't recall where I saw it or if it was a clue or answer.

Now that I'm reviewing the puzzle, maybe it really is a Medium-Challenging Tuesday. SIBELIUS, ANTIART, LORELEI and GONERIL are great answers, but may belong later in the week. Though I really enjoyed the clever cluing, it felt a little tricky for Tuesday. So maybe this is a Wednesday

mathgent 1:22 AM  

My mother used to say PIEEYED as in "he was pie-eyed," meaning he was drunk. That was around 1950. I don't think that I've heard the term since.

Justin 1:34 AM  

The theme answers may be odd-ish, but the cluing was consistent and clever...enjoyed everything about this one.

Last time I checked their S-1 financials, the NYT X-word digital subscriptions pull in something like $20M annually which is over $50,000 per day. Constructors should get at least $1000 for the great content they contribute, like today’s highly enjoyable solve

Larry Gilstrap 1:36 AM  

Not sure I'm on board with OFL's quibble with the themers' -edness, but he does have a blog to write; better him than me. My brother was Bull-HEADED, according to my mom, And I've know too many students that seemed to be stupid, at least by cursory assessment. Sheep, I've read, are not critical thinkers. Melville describes a line of sheep running through a small gate. When a stick is held out in the stream the sheep leap over the stick. Pull the stick away, and the sheep continue to jump over a imaginary stick: orthodoxy. Lily-LIVERED is a castigation that rings true, something about humours and stuff. Nice Tuesday!

BUDAPEST is clued for Houdini and Rubik? How about the Gabor sisters? Seriously?

I don't use tobacco, but a chocolate cigar would seem more appropriate than the real deal. I might try a Cuban, under the right circumstances.

TERI Garr and hay in the same sentence makes me smile. Google it for a good time.

Gordon is a Scottish name and he has the audacity to reference the Scottish Play, the one whose name shall not be uttered. Theater people are superstitious. Apparently not constructors. I love the darkness of that play, and the language.

puzzlehoarder 1:59 AM  

My time was normal Tuesday but it felt slow. This is probably due to the speed with which I solved yesterday's puzzle especially since I was using a phone. Today's solve was on paper and any hesitation felt huge.

The first three crosses went in fine but I wanted to be sure of MOB. MARINA was no problem but 11D and 12D didn't just drop in.

SIBELIUS and GONERIL both went right in courtesy of being beaten into my head from puzzles. TOURDATE not so much because just off the T it could be anything.

BUDAPEST was slow due to reading Erno Rubik but thinking Eero Saarinen. I associate the latter with Finland and this made me temporarily blind to the answer even with quite a few letters.

I was hit or miss on the long material and I had a SILVER/HONEY as well as a LILY/CHICKEN write over.

These little problems were quickly cleared up by the crosses but today it just felt dumb.

Anonymous 3:00 AM  

I found this hard AF for a Tuesday.

chefwen 3:02 AM  

Just the opposite of Rex, HONEY TONGUED was the only one that seemed odd to me. Never heard that one.

Had the most trouble around PIE EYED, don’t know why. I had P EE ED and it just was not coming to me, which is odd as I’ve been there more than once.

Cringed a little at 41D, a little too graphic.

Maggie W. 3:13 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 4:16 AM  

Kudos to all of you who caught the PIE-EYED theme inclusion. I totally would have missed that, too. But there it is, dead center. Sheesh.

Rex – terrific write up.

I agree with the hesitation on the ED ending for BUTTER FINGER. But its addition doesn’t make me angry. I can imagine someone using it that way.

Why did you bench Bobby?
Bro, he was a candy-assed, butter-fingered guard who just couldn’t step up and deliver when we needed him to.

Agree that the cluing today is superb:

Rock singer?
Heat shields?
Person whose inner child has been released?
Expert in calculus
Sage (Ok. My daughter’s name. But still…)

Peter Gordon, you apple-cheeked constructor, you. I will remember this one for a long time!

Charles Flaster 4:25 AM  

Agree with Rex and a little more difficult than a normal Tuesday.
Only writeover was LOP for end so that slowed me down until PIE EYED made its appearance.
Some terrific clues for LEERING, DDS, and BADGES.
Enjoyed it. Thanks PG.

Lewis 5:56 AM  

I love the answer pairs PROUDPAPA/MOTHER and LEERING/LECHEROUS; the mellifluous answers CERISE, LORELEI and FEINT and the almost as mellifluous MARINA and ORACLE; the brilliant clue for MOTHER and the clever clues for BADGES, LORELEI and DDS. There was a satisfying aha at understanding the theme, and a bonus one at discovering the vertical theme answer.

This puzzle had spark and wit; nothing hare-brained about it. Well played, Peter!

Unknown 6:03 AM  

I loved LORELEI and the explaination from Rex, but I got it by thinking it referred to Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” who sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”

The Bard 6:36 AM  

Macbeth , Act I, scene I

[Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches]

First Witch: When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch: When the hurlyburly's done,
When the battle's lost and won.

Third Witch: That will be ere the set of sun.

First Witch: Where the place?

Second Witch: Upon the heath.

Third Witch: There to meet with Macbeth.

First Witch: I come, Graymalkin!

Second Witch: Paddock calls.

Third Witch: Anon.

ALL: Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

kodak jenkins 6:38 AM  

I'm 47 years old and have definitely heard CHICKENLIVERED and MUTTONHEADED, perhaps from old Three Stooges shows but definitely from that era television.

I also consider myself moderately educated and well-informed but can't say I've ever heard of CISgender.

Overall this was a solid Tuesday with only a few blips like SSE (is it ever SEE?), DDS (clever clue, though) and SOV (I loathe abbreviated acronym components).

I didn't like crossing SIBELIUS with IONA, CERISE and SSE.

Hungry Mother 6:47 AM  

The SW had me sweating before it fell. For some reason HITECH eluded me even though I professed Computer Science. I was also looking for lilyLIVERED in some spelling variant. Crunchy, but enjoyable.

Third Witch 7:10 AM  

I agree with Rex, Lily-livered is preferred through the years:

Yosemite Sam: Any one of you lily livered, bow legged varmints care to slap leather with me? In case any of ya get any idears, ya better know yer dealin' with.

MACBETH: Go prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-liver'd boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face?

kitshef 7:15 AM  

Unbelievably hard for a Tuesday.

Far too many errors to recount, but two of the worst ones:
new parent and new father before PROUD PAPA

And two of the best:
caprifOrm before LECHEROUS
vOlcano before LORELEI (a vOlcano doesn't technically singe rocks, but I still like the answer.).

'merican in Paris 7:40 AM  

Medium for a Tuesday for me (about ten Rex equivalents), and DNF because I couldn't guess my errors at NEW _ and _ _ TS. I thought tit was NEWBee, or suchlike. And I was looking for a generic term for non-kosher foods, not something specific like a BLT. I guess I should learn some more Shakespeare, as I would have probably finished had I known the name GONERIL. BTW, is that pronounced GO-NERIL, GON-ER-IL, or GONE-RIL?

Having entered TERI (Garr), as it were , the spell was broken when I rolled over to the write and encounterd SNOT. LUC! I mean, YUK! ISH.

I don't like equating GoatISH with LECHEROUS. Goats are adorbs!

I once had a Polish colleague and during lunch once had referred to somebody else as being used as a "scapegoat". She interrupted me and asked me what that was. When I explained, she got all huffy and said, quite loudly: "Why blame goats?! They've never done anybody harm?! That's unfair!" So for a going-away present when she moved to another city we gave her a coffee mug with "I don't blame goats!" written on it.

Nancy 7:43 AM  

Loved this one!. Yesterday I couldn't find a single interesting clue in the whole puzzle. Today I couldn't find a single uninteresting clue in the whole puzzle. Either they're tricky: MOTHER (41D); DDS (46A); BADGES (10D); LORELEI (34A); SALTED (28D); TOUR DATE (2D); LECHEROUS (58A). Or they reveal an interesting tidbit: BUDAPEST (35D); RED TIDES (36D); ANTIART (3D). Thanks for respecting our intelligence, Peter Gordon.

I also found the theme delightful. ADORBS, actually. Great Tuesday.

Bryan Goosmann 7:44 AM  

I thought that the theme would be centered around sweet after getting BUTTERFINGERED and PIEEYED. Turns out to be a simple tuesday theme.

GHarris 8:00 AM  

Always liked Peter Gordon puzzles. Once bought a whole book of them. Just fun and quite doable.

pabloinnh 8:02 AM  

Thought this was fun with enough good clues to produce several aha! moments.

Seeing "Peter Gordon" reminded me of Peter and Gordon (yeah, boomers' music, I know) and their big hit "Lady Godiva". "All the cats who dig striptease/Prayin' for a little breeze"--there's a lyric that will put a smile in your morning.

Mohair Sam 8:03 AM  

@Rex = Jake Arrieta can tell you that BUTTERFINGERED can be applied to whichever personage happens to be playing shortstop for the Phillies on any particular day, see also MUTTONHEADED.

Tough Tuesday, but lots of fun. Poor Cordelia the daughter we remember from "Lear" - maybe Regan, but never GONERIL. Learned the background on LORELEI today - neat stuff, thanks Rex. Enjoyed learning ANTIART as descriptor for Dadaism too.

@Third Witch (7:10) - Any post that finds commonality in Yosemite Sam and Macbeth gets my vote for Comment of the Day.

Amie Devero 8:20 AM  

Loved most of the clueing, but someone needs to explain DDS to me. Is this some calaculus-->calcium/tooth reference? I dont get it. Crosses gave me the letters, but feeling quite stupid....

chefbea 8:20 AM  

Tough puzzle for a Tuesday!!! But I did like all the food...and pie for dessert!!!

DAR 8:24 AM  

Agree. No problem with these adjectives.

jonah 8:31 AM  

Can someone explain the expert in calculus clue? That abbreviation has me stuck on a dentists and I’m not sure how it relates.

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

Please explain the lorelei clue ?

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

In dentistry, calculus or tartar is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by precipitation of minerals from saliva and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) in plaque on the teeth.

Stanley Hudson 8:57 AM  

Had to look up “calculus” to learn that it’s not only a branch of mathematics. Otherwise a rather smooth romp even if not in the hay.

#Runnymede 1215

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

Chicken HEARTED. Not Chicken Livered. Made the entire solve a nightmare, and to me a much more common phrase. But, I also like Lorelei and Sebelius.

Wm. C. 9:00 AM  

@Anon8:42 --

Tnx for the explanation on Calculus. But this is just not a Tuesday clue/fill. I'll go so far as to say it's not an Any-Day fill. My guess is that fewer than one percent of today's solvers have ever heard of the word. Humph-h-h!

Pete 9:09 AM  

The FOOD - BODYPART is certainly restrictive, but I winced at CHICKENLIVERED because LIVER is such a readily identifiable food, in and of itself.

jackj 9:14 AM  


Today's Boston Globe's Business section included a report by Bloomberg News that shows the affect the Rex Parker crusade has had while bemoaning the dumbing down of the NY Times crossword puzzles caused by the ineffective editing of Will Shortz as follows:

"Puzzle fans prompt surge in New York Times subscriptions

The New York Times’s online puzzle offering has surpassed 400,000 paying subscribers, roughly double the number from two years ago. In June 2016, the Times had 212,000 online crossword subscribers."

pmdm 9:16 AM  

Nancy: While I would thank Mr. Gordon for constructing a good puzzle, it would be Mr. Shortz to thank for respecting our intelligence, since Mr. Shortz is the person who decides which day of the week to publish a puzzle. I think.

Justin: In the music-recording world, the profits of pop-music have long subsidized the recording of classical music, which tends to lose money for the recording papers. Likewise, the Times' s crossword profits help subsidize those features of the Times which do not necessarily generate a profit. If the Times were to implement your suggestion, the paper would probably have to cut out even more features than it already has. I, for one, who have seen many of the features I liked go bye-bye, hope that the Timies does not follow your recommendation. Increasing the stipent is a good idea, but not as much as you suggest, methinks.

The only thing having to do with chicken-livered that is absurd is that anyone would call the term absurd. Just because you never heard of a term doesn't make the term absurd.

Sibelius is the person who wrote a piece of music that is said to have inspired Finns to revolt from Russia. I would call him an extremely important person in history for reasons that have nothing to do with his musical achievements. Since his inspiration occurred over a century ago, I can understand why many people today are less likely to be familiar with him. But I would think that one of the plusses of crossword puzzles is that they help prevent pop culture from totally obscuring the classical part of the Fine Arts from oblivion.

Hurray hor today's puzzle.

By the way, interesting that Jeff Chen stated he was put off by today's grid, which reminded him of a late-weekday grid, in light of Mr. Sharp's comment in the write-up.

michiganman 9:20 AM  

Just a great puzzle. For some reason, Alternative to "Woof!"/ARF amused me. I also loved seeing SNOT. PIEEYED xing SEE was nice. ...inner child..../MOTHER was clever. I hope Rex & others did not hurt their arms reaching to be offended by that.

RooMonster 9:27 AM  

Hey All !
As Foghorn Leghorn would say, "The Grid is ODd SON!" :-)

Liked puz. The -ed-ification of the themers didn't bother me, BRO. HONEY TONGUED was new. Know silver-TONGUED. Will try to call someone a MUTTON HEAD today. Har.

SW held me up a tad. Had kcarS for OMNIS, ORAtor for ORACLE, and that IMHO funny clue for MOTHER, had me scratching the head for a bit. Rest of puz SKEWed easy.

@Kodak Jenkins 6:38
In case you were serious, the N and S are the only abbrs. for compass directions that are doubled. NNE, NNW, SSE, SSW. Even if you go Manhattan to South Jersey, you're going SSW, not SWW.
So says WISE me. (ROO)t :-)


George 9:34 AM  

A few years ago I chartered a sailboat named LORELEI, and I thought, "Who the hell names these boats?"

oldbizmark 9:51 AM  

never heard of cerise/sibelis so DNF on that E crossing. otherwise, enjoyed the puzzle.

Z 9:53 AM  

Liked the theme, loved the fill. Like Rex, the eye-brow arched just a wee bit at the MOTHER clue. Good clue but, uh, wow. Only one writeover today, Noob to NEW B. I also had one anti-dook, NO TICE? NOT ICE? D’Oh.

@Third Witch - I’m in total agreement with @Mohair Sam. Comment of the Day.

@Wm. C. I don’t know about others, but every single dental hygienist who has ever done a cleaning has made some calculus comment. I’m fairly sure that clue will be fine for most people.

Reposting this link from late yesterday: 4 Changes to English People Hardly Notice.

Andrew Heinegg 9:57 AM  

It can be tough in deciding whether a answer to a clue is a 'thing'. I liked nearly all of this puzzle but, as anonymous at 9:00 asserted, chicken-livered should be chicken-hearted.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Anon 0840: maybe read rex's blog? It's right here, on this page.

Warren Howie Hughes 10:21 AM  

Rex, Did you give this Tuesday Xword a Medium rating because ORACLE was on-board @40 down? :-)

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Kodak Jenkins,
The reason you haven't heard of cisgender(ed) is because it's only recently gained any currency outside the bizarre world of modern universities. For almost all of human history one's gender was properly understood to be synonymous with one's sex. That truth has been over ruled with the untenable, risible and downright idiotic theories we have today. All kinds of mischief is wrapped up in it.
Try not to let it get you down. Just a spasm of silliness that won't last too long.

jrstocker 10:40 AM  

This pretty clearly should've been a Wednesday.

emily 10:47 AM  

That had me, too. Happy that Rex enjoyed (mostly) the puzzle!

Unknown 10:49 AM  

I just had my 37 day streak broken... on a Tuesday. Completely flummoxed by the Scottish isle, Ceruse (Cerise?) - two colors I've never heard of, Omnis which are supposedly cars, Lorelei... I got Goneril on the crosses but have never heard of her. Guess I need to go back and read more Shakespeare and Homer.

Still scratching my head over DDS? How is that an expert in calculus? Is that a cavity joke? Calcium?

Please help it's bugging me more than my streak being broken.

jberg 10:56 AM  

I had CHICKEN heartED at first, too, but LIVERED is still OK, I think. And I loved the theme. My understanding of it kept evolving -- When I had BUTTER and MUTTON, I was looking for some weird kind of word ladder, then I found myself asking "Which is it? Animals or things you put on bread?" before finally realizing that they were all food. I didn't notice PIE EYED until the very end (and @Rex still hasn't edited his posting to include it, as of this writing).

Great cluing, as many have said. I do wish there hadn't been an extra body part at 24A and an extra food at 62A. Is there such a thing as BACON-KNEED?

@Loren, for some reason your avatar did not load on the comments page for me, but fortunately I remembered to click on your name. Good one!

old timer 11:00 AM  

I thought OFL would rip WS a new one for putting this on a Tuesday. The words and cluing were Wednesday-level or Thursday more likely, if Thursdays were like other weekdays. I thought the puzzle was OK, but in comparison to yesterday's gem, not more than OK.

I'm irritated because for some reason the blog on my Mac desktop using Safari now looks the way it does on my iPhone, which is impossible to use for comments. Using Firefox, it is the same as always. Perhaps OFL can do something about it. It always worked fine using Safari on my desktop.

Thanks, @'merican for an amusing comment. Always good to see what you have to say.

Thanks too to whoever mentioned that you hear the word "calculus" whenever you have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist. I do, too. Maybe others have better brushing habits, and don't.

BTW I missed the Friday through Sunday puzzles. I was out of town, and canceled my subscription for those days. The town I visited, Bishop, CA, used too have the Times available, but no longer does, because the LA Times stopped sending their papers there, and of course the NY Times was carried by the same person. Every Starbucks that can get the NY Times has it -- some sort of deal between the Times and Starbucks I suppose. So I used to get mine at a local Starbucks in Bishop -- or at the bookstore in town which also used to carry it, but now cannot.

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

Anonymous 10:33 - cisgendered normals have *told* your story for thousands of years, and yet there's thousands of years of evidence to the contrary - of individuals who dare to go against the normals and stand up as themselves. The fact isn't that the *concept* of "boys must be boys and girls must be girls" is new - nor is the concept of "not me". It's only the concept of publicly challenging that NARRATIVE that is new. There have always been humans who don't line up - they haven't found collective voice until now. Anonymous - sorry to disappoint - but there wouldn't be Levitical rules against cross-dressing if cross-dressing was a 20th-century invention, now hunh? Take your bakery and shove it.

Amelia 11:03 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Anon 10:33,
Your rambling, incoherent rant isn't advancing your case.

That there have been deviants throughout history is true. This too is true: one's sex is one's gender.

As for what the supremes had to say yesterday. Te case turned on hostility. Much like yours. Hate is no argument, and when it's wielded by the state against religion it is unconstitutional.

kitshef 11:16 AM  

Sorry, @Z - in several decades of twice-yearly dental appointments, I have never heard anyone - hygienist nor dentist - use the world 'calculus'.

Tartar, yes. Plaque, yes. Root canal, many times.

'merican in Paris 11:19 AM  

@Z 9:53 AM -- Thanks for the link to the article on "4 Changes to English People Hardly Notice". I hadn't noticed American English "getting more progressive", but I have long noticed that shift, or tendancy, among Dutch when they speak English. They have a progressive form in their own language, but hardly ever use it. Indeed, one of the few attractive aspects of the language is it brevity. Where we would say, "Yes, that is possible", they would say simply "Dat kan" (literally, "that can").

On the other hand, when speaking English many favor the progressive form. I would say "Our meetings take place on the first Friday of every month", while many of my Dutch colleagues would say, "Our meeting is taking place on the first Friday of every month." In my case, I do notice. Personally, I prefer the shorter version.

By the way, earlier I wrote "the spell was broken when I rolled over to the write and encounterd". I meant to write (I meant to be writing), of course, "the spell was broken when I rolled over to the RIGHT and encounterEd."

GILL I. 11:19 AM  

Crossed my fingers that @Rex would enjoy this fine puzzle. It sure had a lot of crunch and munch going for it. I also thought he'd go all atomic because this certainly didn't seem Tuesday at all.
PIE EYED (good catch @Seth) was the hardest for me. I also couldn't see HONEY TONGUED. I know silver but HONEY was a new one for me. Just the thought that I might have to Google on a Tuesday gave me severe angst. Just put her down for a second cuppa and that solves the problem.
Our daughter's inner child is about to be released so that made me love the puzzle even more. She's about 10 days over-due but her Dr. is going to make little lazy pants come join the real world....
Thank you Peter Gordon for keeping the Tuesday exploding heads at bay.

Suzie Q 11:26 AM  

What a joy to have a Tuesday written & published for the well-read, intelligent solver but sprinkled with just enough modern stuff to keep us in the present.
If I listed everything I liked today I'd just be repeating almost every entry!
Thanks for the background on Lorelei and the funny goat story.
Now I have the munchies. Wonder why?

Anna 11:47 AM  

I am so happy to see CISgender show up in the crossword, just in time for pride month! My little queer crosswording heart is full.

Masked and Anonymous 11:51 AM  

Luved this muthah. 70-worder TuesPuz with some fesity clues mixed in? Primo solvequest!
A few of the themers were feisty, at my house, too. HONEYTONGUED and CHICKENLIVERED were news to m&e. Other 3 themers sounded pretty familiar.

Tensest crossin moment: SIBELIUS/CERISE. But mostly this pup had the superb gridfillins. Shoot -- it had m&e at SNOT. Not nearly as much desperation as I'da hoped for, outta a 70-worder with 5 themers.

staff weeject pick: SOV. Cute lil desperate darlin. So admirably bizarre, it's kinda hard to even come up with a better clue. More fun to look for trees in the longball fill … Hey! I found one! Two, if U also count RED + BUD. Three, if U count them informal ALDA-type trees. Sooo … like I was sayin … found one*.

@JC66 from yesterday: M&A ain't particularly modest; just not used to Comment Gallery runt respect. Thanx.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Gordon.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

* DATE tree.

Banana Diaquiri 11:56 AM  

the OMNI clue is crosswordese these days. would prefer 'old science magazine' or 'all power prefix' etc.

Anonymous 12:17 PM  

CERISE is French for cherry, NON? I read 41D as pro-life.

nyc_lo 12:44 PM  

Found in the comments section for CHICKEN-LIVERED at
“Andy Griffith Show-- Sam says to Barney, ‘There he is. There's the weak-kneed, chicken-livered, yellow-streaked turncoat.’ Barney says, ‘You got something to say Sam, say it’” Can’t argue with the Golden Age of Television...

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

This was great fun and just an IONA over my Tuesday average so what's not to like? I needed Jeff Chen to explain "calculus" for DDS to me. And perhaps CHICKEN hearted might have been better than LIVERED (both organ meats :-) ). But a really nice offering from Peter Gordon with a bit of an EDGE.

At 22D I started in with Oranges but unlike my usual MO, I actually noticed the "colours" part of the clue and the CIS gender made OCHRES with the Brit spelling obvious.

I thought some people might disdain Abstract ART for 3D but Dadaism is nothing like Abstract art and it didn't fit besides.

MUTTON HEADED people are stupid because their thoughts are all woolly - at least that's how I always picture it.

SSE vs. SEE, the really easterly direction, as @Kodak Jenkins 6:38 also noticed!

And the good stuff keeps coming - thanks, PG.

Anonymous 1:16 PM  


Anonymous 1:18 PM  

I read it as a clue/answer.

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

If the first letter of a 3 letter direction is "S", then the second letter must be "S". SSE & SSW are the only two possibilities (same with N, NNE or NNW). There is no such thing as SEE for a direction.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Chicken livered? That's not an expression. It's either Lily-livered or chicken-hearted.

Aketi 1:42 PM  

@Anonymous 12:17 pm, I read 41D as a euphemism. Released? I work with a lot of MOTHERs and very rarely do I encounter one whose experience would qualify as being as gentle as a mere release. I think some might equate it with the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala. But I did like the phrase.

@GILL I hope your daughter’s release goes well.

@Kodak Jenkins the term CIS gender has been around since the 1990s. Humans have always been varied in their manifestations of sex and gender as I learned when I did a brief internship in college with an MD who did genetic counseling back in the late 1970s. Back then I discovered were many intersex babies that were surgically altered soon after birth to fit into a comfortable category of male or female. The MD at the time often made the decisions often based on ease of the surgery to make the infant look “normal” rather than any consideration of chromosomes or allowing that baby to choose later in life. He did not present it as a choice to the parents of these babies either. He surgically altered most of them so they would look like girls. So I often think with some sadness about how these babies actually were deprived of their ability to become biological parents because they were born in an era when doctors made those choices for them. There are also mosaics of chromosomes as well that lead to people having cells that have different combos of the sex chromosomes. The most common is XY/XXY. It’s actually not that rare and many men don’t discover that parts of them contain that extra X..

@Normal Norm and the late night Anons from yesterday, you clearly lack a sense of humor which made me laugh all over again over the silliness of calling someone TOOTS in this day and age. Hopelessly dated.

The Bard 1:46 PM  

Love's Labour's Lost > Act V, scene II

BIRON: This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease,
And utters it again when God doth please:
He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares
At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve;
A' can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy;
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable terms: nay, he can sing
A mean most meanly; and in ushering
Mend him who can: the ladies call him sweet;
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet:
This is the flower that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whale's bone;
And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

Anonymous 1:49 PM  

See nyc_lo 12:44 PM

Trombone Tom 1:53 PM  

Wow! A nicely jazzed-up Tuesday with some terrific cluing. What's not to like? And it's potentially solvable by a relative newby.

Dear old Miss Altona, my high school German teacher, required us to memorize Die Lorelei.

Admirable construction and editing.

Anonymous 1:56 PM  


The funny thing is your threat.
And what pray tell are the many variations of gender? Please name them.

Z 2:21 PM  

@‘Mericans - My observation last night was that the headline writers never read this blog’s comments.

@kitahef - Well, obviously I have had better hygienists. ;)

@aketi - So much better than what I would have written. Thanks.

@old-timer - It sounds like your browser is in reader mode or something like that. I could not replicate your problem, though, so I’m not sure. What version of Safari are you using?

Exguyparis 2:39 PM  


Anonymous 2:41 PM  

on 30A and teedmn, at 1:16 p.m.

If you think about the farm, turkeys and other fowl are territorial, pigs are gluttonous and rather intelligent. Cows seem to have emotions (as those who have been around them regularly testify--I've not had their acquaintance much). Sheep are just plain stupid, or they act that way. They are filthy to boot.

When Christians, very early, took on sheep as role models, I think they were saying that a sort of unquestioning obedience was desirable. I don't think this is necessarily an undesirable trait (or maybe it is: I don't know), but I think it has always been there. If you go to the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, in Rome, you see Jesus (the "lamb of God") and the twelve apostles all portrayed as sheep. Jesus alone is lacking in genitalia (!!).

Anon. i.e. Poggius, in Florence

Z 2:43 PM  

@anonymous CIS NEW B - Here is one list I found. If you put “genders” in your search engine you can find lots more on the topic. The Classicists I follow on Twitter posted lots of classic texts with references to intersex people just the other day. The other anonymous had it wrong, it is Deuteronomy* that doesn’t like cross-dressing. The notion that this is a modern idea shows more than a little parochialism in your thinking. And, Puh Leeze, don’t suggest we need to obey the Old Testament unless you agree that we have to stone Trump to death.

*Deuteronomy 22:5 ESV
“A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

Z, at just above, 2:43 p.m. Good point! I made the point a few days ago in a post, that a "reliance" on scripture opens many doors to mischief. Or, as one could say, the texts are soothing, like sausages, until one inquires too closely into what they actually contain.

Anon. i.e. Poggius, in Florence

oopsydeb 3:36 PM  

Fun puzzle! Even though when I typed in BUTTERFINGERED I rolled my eyes because who puts an "-ed" on that? And thought similarly of the others. don't think I've heard MUTTON-HEADED or HONEY-TONGUED but was able to figure them out once I understood the theme.

45A is a bad clue. Radish and carrot tops are also edible. While I kind of roll my eyes at my friends who make carrot top pesto as some sort of badge of sustainable living, I have been eating sauteed radish tops for decades.

Ughed out by the clue for 41D.

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

Cross dressing is not an example of separate gender. And thanks for the link. But chromosomal abnormality is hardly proof of a different gender.
Finally. Stay in your lane. I was talking to Normn and Aketi. who the hell asked for your opinion. as for your link. Puh-lease yourself.
Do you believe there are 65 different genders? Really? You really insist on the lefts playbook right down the line, regardless of how nonsensical the postion is. Amazing.

Aketi 4:30 PM  

@Z I’m sure no amount of scientific evidence is going to convince Anon 3:39 pm to relinquish binary thinking. The WHO actually summarizes some of the variations in combinations of sex chromosomes and conditions that can cause variations in sex differentiation lead to intersex babies. Newer research suggests that there are actually more genes than was previously thought that can influence sex and gender. I think of the issue as being like the simplicity of Mendel and his pea experiments with dominant and recessive genes. He threw out the data that didn’t fit that neat and tidy model. It took Barbara McClintock and her “jumping genes” to rectify the overly simplistic thinking.

I find it sad that some people can dismiss the real live humans who are born intersex as merely deviants and therefore unworthy of consideration. I still think about some of the babies who could chromosomally be defined as boys who for various reasons were anatomically girls or surgically reassigned to grow up as girls by the MD geneticist. I wonder how they might feel now as adults? And how would they be treated legally?

Monty Boy 4:41 PM  

I like this one a lot. Medium for me. I agree with most of the comments (non-political). A few personal bullets:
• I have a son who is a deputy so HEAT SHIELDS is great.
• Impertinent sort = SNOT reminded me of LMS a few months back: I thought MUCOUS was misspelled, but it’s not.
• I teach math so calculus is for a math major, not DDS. And my dentist does say that word.
• Goatish is LECHEROUS? I’m 70 plus and so far haven’t minded being called an old goat. Maybe I should be offended.
• I always spell it NEWBie.
• I had darts before OMNIS.

Mr. Wonderful 4:54 PM  

Boy I'm glad I'm a straight white American male. Sure, the money's good and I like being able to do anything I want and all that, but I think the best part is not having to whine about anything.

Unknown 5:09 PM  

Agree. That made it a gimme to me. Never heard of OFL’s reference but Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend made famous by Carol Channing on stage and Marilyn Monroe on film.

Aketi 5:10 PM  

@Z, that was a really fun link, not what I expected. I loved the Tetrahymena thermophilia story, Nature is weird. Who knows, I might now be a mosaic thanks to the cadaver ligament in my knee. If it happened to have been a male that donated that ligament and it shows up with XY chromosomes maybe I can legally skip the long lines at the women’s bathrooms. Haha. I wonder what the Supreme Court would do with the challenge of moasaicism? Would it mean you get to use both bathrooms?

michiganman 5:46 PM  

You would "whine" if straight white males were the targets of beatings, murder, and all kinds of hate and discrimination.

Mr. Wonderful 5:59 PM  

And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. She doesn't, I'm not, and therefore I don't.

Z 6:55 PM  

@Aketi - You Sesquipedalian. Personally, it was the Apache Attack Helicopters for me. Question: Do you think our @Anon read past the headline? Sure doesn't seem like it.

Anonymous 7:43 PM  

You do know what sesqipedalian means, and wbo used it most famously rignt? I love that youre parroting him and dont even know it.
I know you went to a real university but methinks it didnt have that lux if you know what I mean. Oh wait; you dont.

Aketi 7:59 PM  

@Z, nope, he did not. Nor did he get the meaning of my “haha” from yesterday. No sense of humor at all.

Z 9:51 PM  

@Anon7:43 - Horace? Anyway - My link above begins with:
“Trigger Warnings

Basic ideas that are not actually as simple as you think they are
People who may be different than you
Sesquipedalian words
Apache Attack Helicopters
(special feature section at the bottom of the page)” (emphasis added)

Again, if you can’t keep up you might want to refrain from displaying the fact. Or not. You do you.

Mark N 10:46 PM  

Loved this puzzle. LORELEI's cluing had me think of the Cocteau Twins song first, strangely enough. And, looks like I'll skip most of the comments while I'm on mobile...

Adam 11:11 PM  

CHICKEN LIVERED? I agree with @Rex - I'm familiar with LILY-LIVERED, CHICKEN-HEARTED, and YELLOW-BELLIED, but not CHICKEN LIVERED. But a lot of posters seem to know the phrase, so okay. But that really ruined the theme for me personally.

Otherwise I enjoyed the puzzle.

retired guy 11:28 PM  

Can anyone explain how DDS = expert in calculus?

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

Calculus is a synonym for tartar which dentist removes from your teeth really love this puzzle never heard of cisgender just Google it

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

Really loved this puzzle kind of whizzed through it

Amie Devero 8:40 AM  

Ah... so I was on the right track. Thank you.

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

This was Wednesday if not Thursday difficulty for me.

Burma Shave 9:53 AM  


to SEE what was CASTE up by the REDTIDES,
so that LECHEROUS MOTHER didn’t NOTICE why


A.Buckle 10:18 AM  

I hesitated to enter TOUR DATE even though I knew it was right because it should be TOUR DATES. One date is not a tour.

spacecraft 10:34 AM  

I agree this is a good one, but I need two 'splainin's.

1. Common gender identity, familiarly = CIS???
2. Expert in calculus: abbr. = DDS???

Maybe I'm just MUTTONHEADED. I like the double (double, toil and trouble) Shakespeare reference, and the themer that OFL missed (!). I cheerfully hang another DOD sash on TERI Garr. Mostly thumbs up: birdie.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

Eliza sang, "What a MUTTON-headed dote was I," in "Without You" in "My Fair Lady.

@Spacecraft: google CIS. DDSs scrape calculus off your teeth.

thefogman 1:20 PM  

This one was more like a Wednesday or Thursday puzzle in terms of difficulty. The SW corner gave me the most trouble.

leftcoastTAM 2:26 PM  

Yes, the SW corner--plus some clever cluing, a tricky theme, and no revealer--made this one a Tuesday challenge.

OMNIS and LECHEROUS were the last entries. NEWB in place of newbie was okay, but not helpful.

LORELEI, GONERIL and Macbeth's WITCH added a classic touch.

Relatively tough, and liked it that way.

Diana,LIW 2:32 PM  

Heart shaped or pear shaped these rocks won't lose their shape. Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Thus spake LORELEI, via Carol and Marilyn

Only a couple of hesitations - most likely due to my own inattention.

Whenever I see BUDAPEST I think about how it is 2 cities, and yet is ever mentioned as one.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 3:28 PM  

CERISE? Didn’t he play for the Dallas STARs in the NHL? Had no idea that calculus was tartar on my teeth, so should I eat fish with calculus sauce? But no write-overs, so there’s that.

Uncle Google tells me that CISgender was added to the OED in 2013, first used in the 1990s in some obscure study. It is unlike CSI gender, which started not so obscurely in 2000 STARring yeah baby Marg Helgenberger. Who Are You?

Anyone else singing Styx’ LORELEI today? Earworm here.

Interesting that OFL missed PIEEYED, being right there dead-center.

Gotta be one of the better Tues-puz offerings, especially with LECHEROUS LORELEI LEERING going on.

rainforest 3:56 PM  

Really good puzzle, maybe one of the best Tuesdays ever. I think I've heard, or I at least acknowledge all the themers. I did wonder about CHICKEN LIVERED, but I think I'm too lily-hearted to protest.

I remember my previous dentist telling me "you have some well-brushed calculus there". Back-handed compliment, or maybe a hint I don't floss often enough.

Nevertheless, a fine, fine puzzle which I enjoyed from start to finish. Excellent.

leftcoastTAM 7:34 PM  

@rainforest -- Like the chicken and lily witticism.

Anonymous 11:12 PM  

To A. Buckle - The T-Shirt may be highlighting one tour date on a multi-dated tour. Say ... "Tour Date - June 14. 1964 - Omaha, NE , 1st American Tour." Maybe ?

This was as many have pointed out more of a Wed or Thurs puzzle but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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