Concert pianist Rubinstein / TUE 7-10-18 / Old print tint / Sight at golf course grocery

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Constructor: Alex Eaton-Salners

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:08)

THEME: FULL HOUSE (57A: Hit 1980s-'90s sitcom ... or what the circled letters in 16-, 26- and 43-Across represent?) — five-letter strings that feature three-of-a-kind followed by a pair (in poker terminology, a FULL HOUSE)

Theme answers:
  • GRASS SEED (16A: Groundskeeper's supply)
  • WELL LOOKY THERE (26A: "Do my eyes deceive me?!")
  • THREE-EGG OMELET (43A: Hearty breakfast order)
Word of the Day: SERAPHIC (9D: Blissfully serene) —
  1. characteristic of or resembling a seraph or seraphim.

    "a seraphic smile"

    synonyms:blissfulbeatificsublimerapturousecstaticjoyfulrapt; (google)
• • •

Entirely adequate! Concept is interesting. If the three-of-a-kind and the pair had been in different parts of the answer, I would've side-eyed this puzzle until my eyes fell out, but keeping them all together gives the impression of an actual poker hand, so, cool. Still not a fan of these theme answers where the circled squares don't touch all the words in the answers (i.e. THERE in 26A and OMELET in 43A are just hanging out there, not in on the poker action at all), but I know the editor doesn't care about such things, and getting this theme to work out entirely in two-word phrases would probably have been pretty rough, so fine, whatever. My biggest harrumph involved WELL, LOOKY THERE! because it's LOOKY HERE. One does not LOOKY THERE. One LOOKYs (lookies?) HERE. Google only partially backs me up here (80k HERE to 27 THERE—I want that gap to be much, much bigger). If you are saying LOOKY, my sense is that you and your interlocutor are both in relatively proximity to the thing you are lookying at, and even if that thing were relatively far off, like a tall building, I still say you go for HERE. I can barely make my mouth say LOOKY THERE, so wrong does it feel.

Today's solve was 23 seconds faster than yesterday's. I've been keeping track of my times for about three months now, and roughly a quarter of the time, I'm faster on Tuesday than on Monday. I'm also faster on Friday than I am on Thursday more than half the time. It's actually kiiiind of interesting to see all the columns of data. I have lots of annotations too, like * for an AM solve and ∆ for an alcohol-affected solve (there are only a couple of these, don't worry). Bizarrely, however, today, despite flying through the grid, one of my only hiccups was OOLONG. And I had O-L--- in place before I even saw the clue (23D: Tea choice). That should've been automatic, but my brain just went "OIL ... something?" Weird tricks my brain will play on me when I'm trying to engage in pattern recognition at high speeds. Otherwise, I had some trouble with SERAPHIC (a word I know of but never use, or see), and then futzed around a bit at the very end, in the south, trying to get EFFS (51D: Lots of fluff?) and FRIA (61A: Arizona's Agua ___ National Monument) into place. The word "fluff" is mostly EFFS, in case you are wondering what the hell that clue is about. And [Longtime members of the bar?] are SOTS because alcoholism is hilarious in crosswordville. Lovable, kooky drunks who exist for our amusement. It's fun. The short fill on this one was kinda weak, and the choppy grid a little irksome (ultra narrow passageways all over the place), but I found it tolerable, and it's Tuesday—the one non-Sunday day where tolerable is really a win.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Birchbark 12:30 AM  


SODS symmetry with SOTS.

And SIEGE clued correctly, as a stifling strategy. Maybe a month or so ago, it was clued along the lines of "all out attack." I'm happy to see some rigor there.

And when you read the themers, the full-house letters have a nice phase-shift flow like special effects from years ago. SERAPHIC.

newspaperguy 12:51 AM  

"but I know the editor doesn't care about such things". Nor, I would bet, do 99% of solvers. But don't let that stop you from the endless whining.

Anoa Bob 1:04 AM  

I play a lot of poker, THREE or four nights a week. I know what a FULL HOUSE is. How THREE apparently random letters followed by two apparently random letters equates to a FULL HOUSE escapes me.

Am I missing something? Exactly what FULL HOUSE is being represented? SSS for three sevens and EE for, what the hell, elevens? I got no idea for LLL and OO or EEE and GG. Could THREE of anything followed by two of anything work for a FULL HOUSE? I think that's way, way too loose. Sheesh. I'd even go so far as to say pshaw.

Side note: 57 EGG OMELET gets about as many google hits as THREE EGG OMELET. As does four or five EGG OMELET.

Larry Gilstrap 1:11 AM  

My least favorite solving experience: finish the puzzle and then begin a CSI. Ok, I've played enough video poker to know that a FULL HOUSE ain't worth SQUAT, but surely I'm missing something here. Three of something followed by two of something is a thing? That's it? I was certain that OFL would make it all so much clearer, but he seemed to be on board. Did he miss something? Random letters representing cards in a hand? Sorry for all the question marks. Kinda baffled here. HAM SALAD, indeed.

My resident M-W puzzle person got real cranky when I tried to explain 51D. Spelled out letters as fill seem tenuous, at best, even to grizzled puzzle people. Hey, all you SOTS out there. Ever drink Effen Vodka?

We had a wonderful trip driving around NOVA Scotia a few years back. Scenic, culturally stimulating, with empty highways devoid of tourists, and the bonus of great weather. Fond memories.

jae 3:27 AM  

Medium-tough but I had to stop in the middle to help change the nectar in the hummingbird feeder. I kept looking for something more clever than 3 letters + 2 letters ...didn’t find it.

chefwen 4:00 AM  

Very fast Tuesday, faster than I like. Husband was also done with his copy in record time. Where did “Tricky Tuesday” go?

SERAPHIC was a lovely new word to learn, must remember and use.

I did have one write over WELL LOOK at that before LOOKY THERE, quick fix.

Cute theme and puzzle.

DeeJay 5:34 AM  

Mid-solve, it appeared like FULL HOUSE might be part of the reveal. Then, of course, I spaced on the TV show and got the reveal through crosses.

Lewis 6:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
'merican in Paris 6:11 AM  

Completed this in 6.3 Rexes today: a bit under my average Tuesday time.

The theme didn't do much for me, but I thought the fill was pretty clean. Some nice words, as pointed out. OFL seems to have been SERAPHIC when he wrote his blog, so the puzzle wasn't EXCORIATED. I agree with his observation on LOOKY THERE.

PHSCALE looks funny strung together -- like an alternative spelling for "fiscal" (as in "fiscal policy").

Kind of a sub-theme going on here. Voulez-vous coucher avec MOI? For those that don't read French, that's basically an invitation for SEX ... ENTRE nous, as it were. And SODS is a Britishism that I'll let people Google rather than define here.

Speaking of France, tonight (this afternoon at 2 p.m. in NYC) is the big soccer World Cup semi-final match between Les Bleus (France) and Les Diables Rouges (Belgium). You can be assured it will be a FULL HOUSE in all the Paris bars tonight!

Lewis 6:11 AM  

Not being a poker player, and not having learned the various poker hands to build my crossword solving vocabulary (that is about to change!), the theme eluded me. I kept trying to scramble the circled letters, figure how they related to "house", etc., until finally I looked up FULL HOUSE and received my "oh I see" aha. (I'm guessing I'm one in a million that doesn't know what a full house is.)

That didn't stop my enjoyment of the puzzle, with the beautiful EXCORIATED and SERAPHIC, plus the unknown FRIA to conquer, and a five-letter word that can be reversed to make another: RELIT. The bite was just right for Tuesday. Thumbs up!

QuasiMojo 6:29 AM  

My enjoyment of this puzzle was severely undercut by an error in the online software. I had filled in all the letters correctly but still got the DNF pop-up. I finally lost patience in searching for the alleged mistake and asked for the reveal. It told me I had not gotten the E in SIDLE/ELLIE. Well I certainly had. I even double-checked that Ellie beforehand. Not that I care about any streaks or such, but I am only mentioning it to see if others had the same problem.

As for the theme, the revealer should be FULL HOUSES, i.e. plural.

Good luck Belgium! (I'm a fan of Hercule Poirot.)

Jim Lemire 6:30 AM  

@Anoa Bob - I agree that the full house theme using arbitrary letters is weak. The theme of 3+2 sets of letters was clear right away so I didn’t need the revealer For help, so when I got to this one it took me a moment to see the connection. I looked back at the theme answers and was expecting the letters to represent actual possible cards. I was disappointed when I realized they did not.

fkdiver 6:31 AM  

Sevens, eights and ones . . OK. But what cards begin with L or G ? Weak execution of a theme.

Hungry Mother 6:55 AM  

I studied French and Spanish, total immersion style, in Quebec City and Malaga, respectively. I saw Guernica in Madrid and have been at TREVI Fountain twice.. This one felt very comfortlable and went down quickly.

FLAC 7:29 AM  

Also agree theme was weak, but puzzle was fun to solve.

And who is this mild-mannered impostor who has been playing Rex lately?

Nancy 7:31 AM  

Some of the most imaginative cluing I've ever seen in a Tuesday puzzle. Obviously a great deal of thought was put into it. Wish it could always be thus.

As far as the theme was concerned, I didn't get it at all from the revealer. (Or from anywhere else, for that matter.) I initially thought that all the letters of HOUSE in FULL HOUSE were the letters being repeated -- but that wasn't the case. So I came here to find out why there were so many Ss and Ls and Os and Es and Gs. Never would have figured it out on my own. A pretty dumb theme, I'd say, but I don't care. Give me clever cluing and I'm a happy camper.

Dan M 7:31 AM  

Re: “editor doesn’t care about such things”: I actually just had a puzzle rejected (after a fairly lengthy exchange) because, though he really liked the theme concept, two of the four theme answers included a word that wasn’t contributing to the same extent as the rest of the answers... so, should be doesn’t *always* care :-P

ghthree 7:31 AM  

Rex's comment reminded me of a Peanuts cartoon. Sally is jumping rope, and calls out "Lookit me Charlie Brown!" Charlie replies "I'm lookiting!" Linus, (puzzled expression) says "Lookiting?"

kitshef 7:32 AM  

I fully expected a Rexplosion along the lines of "Why these letters? Why SE? Why LO? Why EG? Because SELOEG??".

Funny thing is, I usually roll my eyes when Rex talks about a theme needing something extra to tie it all together. But today, the one time I would have agreed with him, he wanders off on a (fully justified) LOOKY HERE tangent.

Stacking of the FULL HOUSEs is a nice bonus, and some of the long downs are very pretty: OPEN DEBATE, EXCORIATED, INSTILLS, SERAPHIC.

All in all, good for a Tuesday.

And on daily difficulty, from easiest to hardest: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. Individual weeks can vary, of course. And it didn't used to be so. Fridays and Saturdays used to be notably, seriously harder than the rest of the week (20 years ago, I'm talking).

The Hermit Philosopher 7:39 AM  

Right on, newspaperguy!

kitshef 7:40 AM  

@Anoa Bob- you have to put the words within quotes.
"three egg omelet" 44,300 results.
"four egg omelet" 16,100
"five egg omelet" 9,200
"fifty-seven egg omelet" 0
or "57 egg omelet" 10

The "x egg omelet" hits peak at x=3.

Okay, now 'omelet' has stopped looking like a real word.

The Hermit Philosopher 7:43 AM  

Looky here, looky there. Whatever. I’ve heard both. But OFL gotta find something to whine about.

Suzie Q 7:46 AM  

Yesterday it was a crap puzzle with a cool reveal and today I thought the solve was entertaining but the theme/reveal was a dud.
Looky there didn't bother me and doesn't seem worth all the fuss.
The phrase went well with 54D Isn't that something.

When I saw "Lots of fluff" the E was in places and my first thought was Ewes!

Mohair Sam 7:55 AM  

@Quasi (6:29) - Love your reason for rooting for Belgium today, why not? I assume you'll be pulling for England tomorrow (Miss Marple). Then big trouble for you on Sunday when you may have an All-Agatha final.

I'm with the folks who don't think the theme holds together. If the letters had represented cards it would have worked for me. And I'd have liked it a lot if the constructor had put the threes over the twos (in poker terminology the player will announce his full house as "Kings over Fives", i.e.) I'm thinking constructors such as Rex appreciate the difficulty of three/two letter challenge and are more likely than solvers to give the looseness of the theme a pass.

@Anoa Bob (1:04) - THREE EGG OMELETS are very much a thing here in SE Pennsylvania where diners are common. Every diner menu around here includes THREE EGG OMELETS - in fact you have to request a two-egger in most diners, all they put on the menu are threes.

ArtO 7:57 AM  

I'm with @Nancy. Thought the clues were terrific and expected some kudos from OFL regarding the lack of "crap". All in all, I got a kick out of it and give it high marks.

ArtO 8:00 AM  

P.S. A full house is three of a kind and two of a kind. What's the griping about?

Z 8:16 AM  

“Entirely adequate” pretty much summed up my reaction. At least where I come from it is “LOOKY HERE,” so there was one square too many. There’s nothing wrong with LOOKY THERE, it just isn’t the phrase. That’s the thing with idioms, they are what they are. They may change over time or mishearing, but this one seems pretty set to my ear.

Anyone else notice that some people eloquently and wittily disagree with Rex?

The other day we were eating at a restaurant with an outdoor patio. A beautiful evening, so the patio was busy. the table next to us, maybe 6 feet away, had a group of four sharing food and drinks and conversation. Except from our position it was more like a dramatic monologue since the only voice that came through was the high, loud, nasally, finger nails on chalkboard voice of one woman. As far as I could tell she was the only one talking at that table. Sure, the other three spoke when she took time to breath, but in the normal voice where what you say isn’t heard by the people at a table six feet away. She, on the other hand, we learned has a child getting special testing, an ex who drives 110mph, is at least mildly interested in sleeping with her dining companions, and “my children have fucking manners.” The last caused both my wife and I to suppress our howls of laughter.

Unknown 8:17 AM  

your looky here rant made my day

TOCraig 8:20 AM  

Liked this very much.
Clever use of full house theme. Cards, kings, letters...all okay.
Seraphic = cool.
Agree it oughta be looky here, but I can live with it (or there).
Had phs filled in at 36A, and thought, "well, something's wrong here, this'll never work out..." And then it did. Cool.
A lot of nogs lately?
Thank you AE-S and Will (and RP, of course).

pabloinnh 8:24 AM  

Are some of us overthinking the FULLHOUSE thing? A full house is three of a kind and a pair,which is what we have. I don't think it needs to go any farther than that. Of course, opinions vary.

Nice to see espanol and agua fria and Picasso. Also the elusive ibex is back, assume it's been hiding on the mountainside somewhere.

Wm. C. 8:56 AM  

@pablo --

This is your grammar nit-picker here. " go any FARTHER than that." ???? ;-)

Speaking of nit-picking .... I'm among those who have problems with the letters in the circles having nothing to do with playing cards. Weak theme, IMO.

Teedmn 9:02 AM  

Odd theme. I figured it out with the revealer's help, but it seems weird to have a full house but the letters that comprise it have no relation to playing cards. And I see I have plenty of company with that opinion.


What is it about eggs that makes them so easy to eat a lot of? Scrambled, or in omelets, they never seem to fill you up even though you're ingesting plenty of protein (and cholesterol). I wouldn't have any trouble eating a three egg omelet but I wouldn't choose to do so. Big breakfasts aren't really my thing anyway.

I wanted to put in LOOKY HERE also but remembering this reminded me that LOOKY THERE is also a useful phrase.

Thanks for an interesting Tuesday, AE-S

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

Anoa Bob,

I feel kinda bad for you. A three-egg omelet is standard all over the Mid-Atlantic. And like our erstwhile discussion of engines, a three-egger isn't NECESSARILY bigger than a two-egger. Some places use a smaller egg to begin with, so a two egg omelet made with jumbo eggs is at least as big as three egger made with medium eggs.

hope you're in a place with some diversity of hummingbirds. We have four or five feeders and gets lots of hummers but only ruby-throateds.
I'm forever trying to make one an Anna's or some such, but so far just wishful thing.

Bree140 9:13 AM  

I guess Rex isn't a rockabilly fan, or he would have known
"looky there" from Rose Maddox's song, "Looky There Over

Looky there over there, ain't he pretty,
Looky there over there, ain't he neat,
Looky there over there, ain't he pretty,
Sittin' there over there, lookin' so sweet.

Phipps44 9:18 AM  

off topic but... so great to see the Mose Allison clip. He was our greatest modern day philosopher. I miss him!!

Mohair Sam 9:28 AM  

@Z (8:16) - Loved your dinner story. We've all probably been seated near "that person" every now and then. My brother-in-law was always that person - he had a voice that reverbrated for blocks, and (although he'd let others talk) said outlandish things that would shock entire restaurants. Once four of us were eating at the Cheese Cake Factory in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I was accompanied by our middle son Kevin, then a college Junior. The wait for our lunch was a bit too long so my Brother-in-law yelled to the waitress - "Hey Shortstop (she was about 5 feet tall), bring us some more calamari". My sister suggested that additional calamari might spoil our lunch, to which he replied in his booming voice: "Nonsense, Kevin could eat the asshole out of a dead skunk." Except for the clatter of dropped silverware the restaurant went dead silent.

AW 9:35 AM  

I like clever cluing well enough but not at the expense of grammatical or accurate cluing. There are lots of (i.e., plenty of) EFFS in "fluff," but there isn't "lots of fluff" (i.e., a whole bunch of fluff) in EFFS. EFFS don't come in "lots" so"fluff" doesn't comprise lots of them. IMHO, it's just a clue that's too cute for its own good.

GILL I. 9:39 AM  

Well I was so sure @Rex would go into detail about how FULL HOUSE doesn't really jive as the theme answer because, like @Anoa, I'm thinking FULL HOUSE of what? Didn't make sense to me. I guess @pablo explained it a tad better. Instead, we get a WELL LOOKY THERE mini rant. I'd say "Well looky there, you've gone and broken it."
This had lots of really nice- not seen to often- Tuesday words. I'll let you pick them out. I liked PICASSO although I don't really like him as an artist. He was a good communist, though. Guernica is always interesting. PICASSO painted it for the Paris World Fair in 1937. After that it hung in the MOMA, semi permanently. Franco pretended he didn't care where it hung but his regime was not at all happy about its display anywhere...what with Franco sanctioning the obliteration of that Basque town by the Germans and Italians and all that. Anyway, he pretended it never happened and Spain asked for it back where it proudly sits at the Reina Sofia museum. Nelson Rockefeller's estate bequeathed a tapestry of the same to the United Nations. They tend to cover it up with a blanket when foreign dignitaries come to talk about mass annihilation. Such a country!
@Wm C. Do you miss the grammar nazi?
I like the word Inculcates. I don't think I've ever used that word and I had to stop and think what it means. Ah yes...ASSAIL. Not quite SERAPHIC especially when it's an OPEN DEBATE.
@Z...Did I miss something? The lady with the loud obnoxious voice? Do tell us more......

mathgent 9:49 AM  

Over on Jeff Chen, Alex Eaton-Salners writes that this is his third NYT puzzle accepted but his tenth published. He must mean the other way around. He also seemed to say that when a puzzle is accepted it goes into a queue for the day of the week it is going to run. The early-week queues are the longest. I wonder how he knows that. Do the editors inform constructors how long they will have to wait?

I think that I have done other Eaton-Salners in WSJ. He is capable of much better than this.

Why early-week puzzles will continue to be dull: Chen criticizes today's because it contains SERAPHIC and IBEX. Such words will cause new solvers to walk off in a huff, he fears.

RooMonster 10:22 AM  

Hey All !
Not tOO ODD of a puz here. A FULL HOUSE in poker is three same card and two same card. Aces over 7's, e.g. So even though the letters in puz don't correspond to playing cards, who cares? You still get the three-two combo. Elliot NESS SEEs it. :-)

Didn't think fill lacked much. 3 F's today, with that cool Fluff clue. Heck, Marshmallow could be FluFF FOOd! Went back and forth on the IE of SIEGE. Had dinner at my parents yesterday, and talked about SPITing chickens when I was in the deli department at the grocery store I used to work at. A neat little tie in to today.

Was a tad sad about double letters elsewhere I puz, but I'm sure would've been near impossible to not have that.

OGLe at the shopping center? MALL LEER
Storied night site? GRIMM MOON
Damon's enamel? MATT TEETH.


old timer 10:44 AM  

Allez Les Bleus! (I always root for France in the World Cup).

I have heard LOOKY THERE far more often than LOOKY here. OTOH, "look here" is idiomatic and "look there" isn't.

Thanks for the great stories, gang! But say, what has happened to @LMS? Must be on vacay,

Bob Mills 10:46 AM  

Good puzzle, but very easy.

Howard B 11:01 AM  

The letters are no more random than a FULL HOUSE of 8s and 4s, Ks and 10s, or any other combo of 3 and 2.
There's nothing wrong with that concept.

jberg 11:05 AM  

Well, I did think that it would have been really elegant if all the 3s and 2s were actual cards, but I decided that that would have been too limiting -- especially since, once you get pas AKQJ and NO, every other initial means at least two different cards. So I think 3 of something and 2 of something else is perfectly fine.

But my mind went in another direction -- the only other repeated letters are in PICASSO and OOLONG. It would have really been nice if there were none, outside of the theme answers (Among which I'm counting the reealer). Oh, and ATTAIN-- I just noticed that one.

Despite all that, I liked the puzzle a lot -- maybe even more than "completely adequate."

I'm not going to look it up, but will spend the rest of the day trying to imagine why anyone would use the phrase "57 egg omelet" anywhere on the Internet.

Joseph Michael 11:10 AM  

“Entirely adequate?” “Tolerable?” Rex, calm down. You’re going all cheerleader on us.

This puzzle had an OK theme and some dynamite clues. Loved the misdirection in the clues for EFFS, SOTS, TATS, NCAA, SLED, and AREA RUGS. Also had some cool $5 words thrown in like EXCORIATED and SERAPHIC. Plus nice a construction feat in lining up the three full houses in the same columns.

For me, the revealer didn’t add anything that I didn’t already know and repeating letters don't really represent a poker hand very well.

But all in all this was a fun Tuesday from a talented constructor.

Lindsay 11:15 AM  

DNF - Was down to one letter and the clock was ticking, so I panicked, and put a 'T' into 61A, and earning an EFF for today.

Lindsay 11:18 AM  

p.s. HAM SALAD? Too early. Urp.

Malsdemare 11:27 AM  

I am so disappointed that Rex didn't embed the song "Lady Marmalade" by Patti Labelle. "Voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soir" indeed. The puzzle gets a triple A rating from me just for reminding me of that tune. Available, of course, on YouTube.

I finished this in a respectable time and then went looking to see if the threes and pairs were the letters in HOUSE. Schade! Nein. But so much to appreciate: SERAPHIC, INCULCATES, EXCORIATED, OPEN DEBATE. In my world, WELL LOOKY THERE is the correct phrase, said in wonder as the man at the table next to us — clearly on a first date and trying to impress the woman he was with — discussed, in a loud voice, his issue of erectile dysfunction. Not sure why he thought that was a plus in the dating department. Watching his date's increasing discomfort was the highlight of our evening, but then we've been married a long time and amuse easily.

@mathgent. Perhaps the constructor meant he's had three puzzles accepted by NYT and ten published anywhere.

Carola 11:41 AM  

Ignorant as I am of both sit-coms and poker, I could't really wam up to the theme. Enjoyed writing in SERAPHIC, EXCORIATED, HAM SALAD, SLEUTH.

Masked and Anonymous 11:47 AM  

Figured that @RP might be ok with this puppy. It's only got 72 words, so it kinda plays like a themeless, with lotsa longball answers to uncover. *Was* slightly concerned that The Circles might rub him the wrong way, but … nnnoo.

fave clue: 5-D's {Inculcates}. It just kinda rears up and says "Looky there! No more Mr. TuesPuz nice guy!" har

fave fillins: SERAPHIC. EXCORIATED. These two kinda reinforce the 5-D announcement. Then there's HAMSALAD, which tries to even things back out, a little -- almost as effectively as HOGCALLS might.

staff weeject pick: URL. Has a nice, moo-cow eazy-E clue. Sorta like anti-inculcates serum.

Didn't have much trouble graspin the SSSEE = full house theme mcguffin, altho they all just came off as weird circled letter strings, until I uncovered the revealer. Briefly even tried to make sense out of SSSEELLLOOEEEGG. [Sorta anagrams to "LO! GEESE!"] Anyhoo, the EEEGG was pretty much a simplified get, by the time I got to there.

Never ever saw the TV show; was it about poker players? Or did "full house" just mean they had 20 kids in a 3-kid-sized abode, or somesuch?
Or did they maybe have 3 boys and two girls? 3 dogs and two cats?
Hey … two days in a row with a SSS string, tho!

Thanx for the fun, Mr. E-S.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


FrankStein 12:31 PM  

I couldn’t give two hoots about whether it’s Looky here or there except that I’ve only ever seen it spelled “Lookie.” Another term for a Full House in Poker is “Boat.” Would have been fun to see one included here.

Frog Prince Kisser 12:36 PM  

On Wordplay, Alex Eaton-Salners further explains that the Tuesday nonthemeless publication queue has been the longest during the last few years. Therefore he is correct in stating that today’s puzzle was his third accepted puzzle but that seven of his later-accepted “other day” puzzles were published before today’s puzzle reached the front of the Tuesday queue.

Unknown 12:54 PM  

showalter is like the 'MY MAN' postman from rick and morty. at least as far as reverse whining.

Warren Howie Hughes 1:30 PM  

This Tuesday Xword Puz was totally SERAPHIC as far as I was concerned and AURA compliments to its constructor, Alex Eaton-Salners who gingerly separated the SOTS from the SODS!

Banana Diaquiri 1:31 PM  

for the poker illiterate, and wishing an education, ESPN has been showing, sorta live, the WSOP. you get to see each player's cards and get some amusing commentary. it is no-limit Texas hold-em, so the play is specific to that game, but hand values are the same.

frankbirthdaycake 1:37 PM  

I always thought it was “Look ye here,” and was just mispronounced over the years.

Banana Diaquiri 1:47 PM  

@Mohair Sam:
"Nonsense, Kevin could eat the asshole out of a dead skunk."

that's not as far fetched, in the general real world (I, of course, know nothing about Kevin), as one might think. the late, and much lamented, Tony Bourdain ate much the same:
"when Bourdain was handed an “unwashed warthog rectum” by the chief of the tribe that he was eating with."

Joe Bleaux 2:20 PM  

And SASS, and NESS, and ELLIE, and ASSAIL, and INSTILLS, and ...😋

Joe Bleaux 2:25 PM  

@Larry Gilstrap, a full house ain't worth diddly? Uh-huh. Larry hasn't played this poker game very much. "Now, fellas, remind me ... does a straight beat three of a kind?" You try such hustling at a pool table, and you gonna get your thumbs broke, boy.

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

what is the matter with you? ESPN's coverage of the WSOP is not only not live, but edited. Go back to the national seashore; you're all wet.

Banana Diaquiri 3:34 PM  


it's 30 minute delay, but live. has been for years. re-runs are another matter. what's on this week is the 2018 WSOP. it's live, but on 30 minute delay, dela, del, de, d

JC66 3:42 PM  


By definition, if it's delayed it ain't live.

Think Newman & Redford in The Sting, where they got the race results before they were posted.

Banana Diaquiri 3:47 PM  


and, of course, this is just the opposite of The Sting. just to prevent that scam. for 99.44% of "live" teeVee, there's a few second delay to bleep out the naughty words. same thing here. you see everything that happened, in real-time order. until the final few tables, you don't see every player and hand and table.

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

@Quasimojo, I’ve had the same problem with the software, where the “error” it finds is not an error...and I wasted so much time going line by line to figure out what I’d done wrong. Crazy-making.

Larry Gilstrap 4:11 PM  

@Joe, My comment referred to video poker as stated in my comment, where a FULL HOUSE is pretty hohum! As you observed, I know little about betting actual card games or pool.

Z 4:23 PM  

”At least 40 hours of live coverage.” Golly gosh gee whiz, @Banana Diaquiri seems to be correct. No mention of the time delay, but given that they are showing players’ hands 30 minute delay doesn’t seem all that unreasonable as opposed to the typical 7 second delay.

Bax'N'Nex 4:44 PM  

Now that Loren Muse Smith seems to have disappeared, I see we have a couple candidates for a replacement of longest rambling posts...

Used to be Gilstrap, but he's slipping a little.

Z is a strong contender, especially with multiple posts, so that helps with sheer volume.

A VERY close second goes to Masked and Anonymous.

But the new "Unabomber Manifesto Award" goes to Gill I. So long, to say so little.

Keep typing folks!

(And, BTW, I fully realize this won't get past the blog czar, but wanted to put it out there for some harmless joshing)

Banana Diaquiri 5:10 PM  

@David Schinnerer:

c'mon. I know I'm sorta, kinda new to this venue, but you have no idea how much effort goes into all these alliterative assembly of assertions of archaisms. it's not all stream of consciousness. what happened to inclusion of diversity?

QuasiMojo 5:15 PM  

Thanks Anonymous @4:06. I thought I was the crazy one. I'll skip it next time it happens to me.

Bax'N'Nex 5:24 PM  

Banana...don't be jealous, you are the new leader for number of posts!! I apologize to him (her?)confused with you somehow. Post, post, post!

Congrats and have fun!

newspaperguy 6:36 PM  

Lots of over-complicating here. Two of a kind plus three of a kind equals a full house. Quite simple.

Butters Stotch 6:48 PM  

I think Z and banana are the same guy or gal or person or whatever nomenclature the PC police prefers at the moment.

jae 6:49 PM  

@anon 9:02 - I’m in San Diego. We get mostly Anna’s with some Costas and Calliopes.

GILL I. 7:35 PM  

@David Schinnerer:
If you're going to toss me into the long, boring and winded pot at least compare me to Molly Ivans and her "Bushwhacked." Ted Kacynski? Jesse some class!

JC66 8:20 PM  


I enjoy you posts. Maybe if you paragraphed (is that a thing?) more, the @David Schinnerers wouldn't pick on you.

GILL I. 8:37 PM  

@JC66. I know....but that takes up more of my incredibly important time. I'm liking @Banana and his inability to capitalize or spell Daiquiri correctly.

Salud, amigos!

Anonymous 8:52 PM  

I'm not sure whether im more jealous of your species or address.
Ive never seen a Costas. For some reason a couple of Annas stick around the East coast deep into every winter. But Calliope.!! Oh wow. I have see only one, in NYC of all places. About 12 years ago, at Fort Tryon park. Thats on the Hudson river, just above tne George Washington bridge. It was a rock star for a good week, but it eventually succummed to the cold.
Glad you have a variety. Hummers are really great.

Mohair Sam 9:52 PM  

@Anon (8:52) - Fort Tryon Park is one of Manhattan's best kept secrets. Next time anyone here is in New York you might take the time to visit the Metropolitan Museum's Cloisters up there - or go to The New Leaf restaurant.
And wear your walking shoes - it's an oasis in the city.

Anonymous 11:34 PM  

Come on! The Cloisters is one of my faves.Thanks for The New Leaf. Ill check it out.

alex xander 11:38 PM  

thank you

thefogman 8:06 AM  

More Mondayish than yesterday's Monday. Okay overall. Not thrilling but as Rex said "adequate".

Burma Shave 9:10 AM  




spacecraft 11:17 AM  

For OFL (you're too young!):

I saw her standing on the corner {yep yep}
A yellow ribbon in her hair {yep yep}
I couldn't keep myself from shouting
Young blood...

The Coasters, Young Blood {1957)

That's back when music was music, my friend. Ya shoulda been there.*

I did, however, begin with WELLLOOKaTthat, so would ENSUE an inkfest. SLY, with or without the Family Stone, forced me to change it--and recall that great oldie. Thus began a fun solve, poker theme and all.

Some cool doubles: OAFS/EFFS, SOTS/SODS...but how many SODS can there be? And then the well-equipped groundskeeper. I am now hungry for a THREEEGGOMELET, which I will shortly whip up, with of course peppers, onions and some bacon on the side. Boo yah!

ELLIE Kemper serves cheerily as DOD. Birdie.

*This line OPEN to DEBATE.

Diana,LIW 12:29 PM  

Like @Spacey, I had my own kinda inkfest - in pencil, of course.

My yakker who "didn't stop," but instead "kept on." Which resulted in "Well Loowy There." Last year I officially added "skyey" to my vocabulary (even spellcheck doesn't like it - still), and I thought I'd have to add another phrase from crossworld. "Well loowy there, don't that beat all!? That themthere dripping sink looks like the TREVI fountain. Someone pass me an old lira to throw in."

But I didn't throw anything in. I took another loow. Or look. (Damnit Spellcheck, stop correcting me! I said loow and I meant loow.) Gotta be a "K." So where did I go wrong? Oh I see, it's that scientific number thingie that I wasn't sure about. You know, the ole PHSCALE. Even I remember that from high school chemistry - the lamest course our class ever had. First year teacher - assumed we knew some stuff. We didn't. In spades. I guess you could say we had a FULLHOUSE worth of non-knowledge.

I'm gonna sign off before the electric company turns off the power like they did yesterday without any warning.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 12:40 PM  

WELLLOOKYTHERE. The entire puz must be part of the theme because all of my answers are either spade or club flushes, since I used black ink. The only place I had to discard was at HAMonrye to make a HAMSALAD. But it was still a flush. Honest. I wouldn’t LIE.

One of the smallest known atomic particles is the little known KEPTON. You can’t even WEIGH it on the PHSCALE and it just goes TIC TIC TIC.

A quartet of hillbillies waiting in line for the one-hole privy is one instance of when a FULLHOUSE beats four of a kind.

Personally, I woulda clued it as singer and yeah baby ELLIE Goulding.

This puz ISNT the worst and it ISNT the best, it just is.

wcutler 2:14 PM  

Thanks for the fun, @Masked and Anonymous 11:47 AM! I laughed when I filled in FULLHOUSE and understood the theme answers, and I laughed when I read your posting. I always enjoy your postings. "Or did they maybe have 3 boys and two girls? 3 dogs and two cats?
Hey … two days in a row with a SSS string, tho!"
So good. Not one line too long.

leftcoastTAM 3:36 PM  

An okay Tuesday puzzle, but the theme is a thin stretch.

The strings of 3 and 2 letters may be remindful of FULLHOUSES in poker, but that's not saying a whole lot about them. Many such combinations of anything could resemble a poker full house if you really wanted to see them that way. But that wouldn't that be a silly thing to do? WELLLOOKYTHERE, indeed.

Some of the fill were more engaging, requiring crosses to uncover, like SERAPHIC and FRIA. Is TIVO still considered a "Big name in DVRs"? (That may be a LIE.)

TATS the end. (No lie.)

rainforest 5:08 PM  

I found this to be a fine Tuesday puzzle, mainly for some bang-up clues. The theme is perfectly OK, too. If you play Yahtzee you can get a FULL HOUSE, not using cards, but dice.
I actually didn't get the aha until the revealer, a show I never watched, btw.

What a neat word SERAPHIC is, first heard as an adverb in a brilliant skit by Jonathan Miller in Beyond the Fringe (look it up on youtube)".....and smiled SERAPHICally, as was his wont". Maybe you had to be there. Look it up.

Can't EXCORIATE this puzzle. Liked it.

leftcoastTAM 8:23 PM  

@Burma Shave -- Great all-entry puzzle entries in your posted entry.

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