Mesh (with) / TUES 7-31-18 / Hollywood and such / Oddball

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hi, everyone!

It's Clare again, because it's the end of the month as we know it. It's almost the end of the summer as we know it, too, so I hope people are soaking up every last little bit of sunshine they can find. I'm currently trying to do that in Lake Tahoe, where I'll keep enjoying my time as a server for another couple of weeks before I move to D.C. and start my next big adventure: law school!

Constructor: David Woolf

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: DOT DOT DOT (55A: Indication of more to come ... or what 17-, 28- and 43- Across all contain) — Three people who have dots in their names because they go by their initials.

Theme answers:
  • WEBDUBOIS (17A: Contemporary of Booker T. Washington)
  • JRRTOLKIEN (28A: Best-selling author who invented multiple languages)
  • FAOSCHWARZ (43A: Classic toy store founder)
Word of the Day: BOBBIES (3D: British officers)
In creating London’s Metropolitan Police (headquartered on a short street called Scotland Yard), Robert Peel sought to create a professionalized law enforcement corps that was as accountable to everyday citizens as to the ruling classes. Instead of the resented red coats, Peel’s patrolmen wore black jackets and tall wool hats with shiny badges. They went out armed only with a short club and a whistle for summoning backup, walking regular beats and working to gain the trust of the local citizens. Robert Peel’s system was a success, and by the mid-19th century large American cities had created similar police forces. In London, the policemen were so identified with the politician who created them that they were referred to as “Peelers” or—more memorably—“Bobbies,” after the popular nickname for Robert. (
• • •
Maybe I'm in a grumpy mood — I'm SORE from riding 50 hilly miles today as part of training to ride the full 72 miles around the lake — but I found the dot dot dot puzzle meh meh meh. A lot of the fill was uninspiring, and it felt at times like the entire puzzle was fill. It was kind of weird to have DABS and DAUB and also ANYA and ANNA in the same puzzle. Though, I did like some of the long downs in the corners — they felt elegant somehow. The theme was kind of clever, but it didn't particularly help me solve any of the puzzle. There is a slight problem with the theme, too, because the Wikipedia page for FAO SCHWARZ doesn't have any dots in the name, and websites referring to the company don't have any dots, either. Also a problem: 43A: Classic toy store founder refers to the person, not the company, and from my Google search it doesn't seem like Frederick August Otto Schwarz ever went by his initials. I got J.R.R. TOKIEN very quickly because I'm a huge "Lord of the Rings" fan, and I had a conversation the other day with someone about how Tolkien spent about 30 years perfecting the Elvish language for the series. I also learned a lot about W.E.B. DUBOIS in college, so it's nice to think my history degree can be used for something!

There just wasn't much of anything remarkable about the puzzle — or even much of anything for me to write about! There were a lot of words and abbreviations that frequent crossword puzzles, like: ENE, ENO, ANO, and SNO (a veritable word ladder of junk fill), as well as NIL, TBAR, ARTY, IDO, EDAM. i also had some nits with a handful of clues. Having two clues about cheese seemed kind of lazy. I'm not sure I've ever heard the word BOSH used in the context of "nonsense" before (then again, I just turned 22...). I also know that it's not possible to put accents in a puzzle, but it still always feels weird to me writing ANO for 6D: Year in Spain instead of año, like it should be. For 44D: Informal question of identification, I've never heard anyone actually say WHO DAT outside of the context of the New Orleans Saints. 

Only one or two of the clues/answers seemed particularly clever. My favorite was 39A: Professionals who put on coats for work as PAINTERS. When I first completed the puzzle, I just couldn't understand 51A: Dog unlikely to have a solid coat. After way too long, I finally got why it was SPOT and was quite amused. Maybe it's because I really enjoy math, but I also thought that 51D: Function associated with oscillation as SINE was a fun answer.


  • I watched probably every episode of CSI when I was younger, but it still took me a little while to come up with GIL because I honestly can't remember anyone ever calling him by his first name on the show.
  • With 4D: Setting in "Return of the Jedi," I tried to put "space" instead of ENDOR but quickly realized that was off.
  • I don't know why, but I really like the word JIBE.
  • It may not be worth noting, but I will note it anyway because there isn't much else to say about this puzzle: CEST was used in both yesterday's and today's puzzle — in different contexts, but it feels weird to see that answer back-to-back.
  • That the Scottish coat of arms has a unicorn on it is fun information.
  • There were a few pop culture clues in here. I got MINAJ and ANNA with no trouble, but I had absolutely no idea who TYE Sheridan is. He's apparently only 21, so maybe I'm getting too old for these crossword puzzles.
Signed, Clare Carroll, an Eli about to become a 1L

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:57 AM  

Tough. No idea about TYE and PANTONE (thought maybe crayola?), couldn’t dig up ANYA with out some staring, and was looking for a breed for SPOT. Also need several nanoseconds (@m&a) of staring to grok the theme.

Clever, liked it.

Harryp 1:15 AM  

Not being a New Yorker, I was sure that 43Across had a T before the Z, so it took a little longer to get that area straightened out, but a fairly easy Tuesday puzzle. I new 35Down had to be TARO, so that helped a lot. I guessed the Theme to be a dot after each initial, three dots each. Thx David Woolf.

Mike in Mountain View 2:18 AM  

Thanks for the write-up, Clare.

As a 1L, you may get acquainted with the work of H.L.A. Hart, one of the great legal minds of the 20th century. The Concept of Law Note that Hart could have been a theme answer for this puzzle if the solvers were readers of legal philosophy.

It just so happens that Hart explains his theory by discussing how a sovereign named "Rex" could create a system of law. Really. I could launch into an essay on Hart's rule of recognition, but you should enjoy what's left of your summer.

I was a 1L in DC in 2009. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You get to spend your time thinking about competing approaches to challenging queestions and confronting some of the inconsistencies in the way you look at the world.

I did better as a 1L than I did at this puzzle. I got naticked by the TYE/ANYA cross. I thought she was ANne Seaton, but II was confusing her with Anne Sexton, whose work I have actually read. I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle, though. Even if, unlike the work of H.L.A. Hart, it didn't mention Rex.

chrisborgia 2:35 AM  

For non-Spanish speakers (or at least those who didn't take a medical Spanish class like I did) ano without the tilda has a VERY different meaning. =P

Also: I've heard of triphop, but jazzhop? nope.

chefwen 2:52 AM  

Growing up in Scotland we always called policemen BOBBIES but I didn’t know why, nor did I wonder. Thank you Clare for the enlightenment. Wow, the things you learn here.

Nicki MINAJ is a little LOOPY but in a nice way.

Cute puzzle, liked it.

Loren Muse Smith 4:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hungry Mother 5:54 AM  

Natick in the mid-south, but I’ll be there in August. Very nasty crossing of unknown names. Am I just dumb or is it weak constructing? Anyhoo, not a happy camper this morning.

RJ 5:56 AM  

Congratulations the others, I hope you enjoy what's left of your summer.

For all the LOTR lovers, the audio version recorded by Rob Inglis is outstanding! He sings the poems and ditties and does lovely voices. The Ready Player One movie, however, was awful and reminded me that sometimes you just need to stick to the book. Supreme example of "money must be made".

Got naticked at the TYE/ANYA cross. It's lovely to have @LMS back...missed your humor.

Had a great time at BOSWORDS this past Sunday. I've gone both times as a volunteer - watching these whizzes solve is amazing. Got to see the lovely Laura Braunstein and her puzzle making skills again. John Lieb and Andrew Kingsley do an outstanding job of organizing in a beautiful venue. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Stay cool!

Loren Muse Smith 6:13 AM  

Clare – congrats on your new chapter. As I type, my daughter is headed to Colorado to start vet school. Exciting, scary times.

And I’m pretty sure I’ve heard my son say WHO DAT. But he’s dumb as dirt just kidding.

I’ve wondered this before – is this “rule” that a word can’t be used in a clue if it’s in the grid really a rule they follow up there at NYT crossword central? Or is in one we’ve made up? It happens enough to make me wonder. Anyhoo, the “coat” in the clue for PAINTERS and then RED COAT doesn’t anger me at all.

“Loony” before LOOPY. There’s a Loonyville, WV. Apparently people travel pretty far to mail stuff from there.

I rather liked the DABS/DAUB cross and investigated the difference. Here you go:

As verbs the difference between DAB and DAUB is that DAB is to press lightly in a repetitive motion with a soft object without rubbing while DAUB is to apply (something) to a surface in hasty or crude strokes.

So you dab on your make-up when you get up on time but daub it on when your alarm doesn’t go off.

I just love the way a CORGI looks. I’ve never gotten to know one well, but they always look confident and alert and bossy. Like the CORGI will show up for the outing with a fanny pack, sensible shoes, emergency rain poncho, and a plan. The lab will show up 15 minutes late with a hangover and mismatched flip flops. (Our dog, Molly, is said to be, quote, part kor jee. I swear that’s what the guy we got her from said.)

Seems pretty tough for a Tuesday to know that DOLCE can be an adverb.

I had a dnf ‘cause of the PANTONE/ANYA/TYE cross. (Hi, @jae and @M in Mountain View.) I actually forgot to go back and guess; maybe I would’ve gotten it.

Crunchy Tuesday, David. This is some serious symmetry serendipity. DOT DOT DOT and WEB DUBOIS – 9 letters. JRR TOLKEIN and FAO SCHWARZ – 10 letters. I can’t even think of another person who uses three initials like this, so terrific find. I bet when you counted these out, you were delighted!

zevonfan 6:24 AM  

ANYA/TYE crossing on a Tuesday was brutal. Took a guess and thankfully the happy pencil came up.

Good luck in Law School, Clare!!

Lewis 6:25 AM  

@clare -- Excellent intelligent parsing of the puzzle, as usual. You have a good eye for detail.

It is a terrific theme and reveal. And tight -- I tried finding others that had names with three opening initials, to no avail. More research came from the cross of UNICORN and J.R.R. TOLKIEN, where I found that nowhere in the latter's universe does the former appear. And yet more research revealed that WHO DAT (which has appeared twice in NYT puzzles and both times this year) gets more than three million Google hits (when put in quotes), so is apparently a Thing. It originated in minstrel shows and vaudeville, I have found out, and is part of a well-entrenched New Orleans Saints cheer, and as a noun can be used to describe a Saints fan. So there you go.

Guessed at ANYA/TYE, but Y seemed like the only sensible guess. If an O replaced that Y, we would have had ANOA/TOE, where at least one of the answers is well known, and might have been more appropriate for a Tuesday puzzle.

But that's a nit. I loved the grit-for-Tuesday of this offering, and grateful that it became a N.Y.T Puzzle.

FLAC 7:01 AM  

J.B.S. Haldane, for whom I have an inordinate fondness.

Excellent write-up — Rex-like but kinder in its tone.

kitshef 7:24 AM  

Nice one @FLAC.

W.E.B. Dubois was born in 1868 and died in 1963 – just one year before the Civil Rights act.

My own DNF (can't call it a Natick) came at JAZZ HOc/ScOT. Long before that I was thinking this was unduly hard for a Tuesday.

- P.D.Q. BACH.

emspop1 7:26 AM  

Clare seems a solid stand-in for Rex. Good amount of snark (see harping on FAO). Humble brag about bike rides. Fantastic info on bobbies.

Anonymous 7:27 AM  

Same problem with 39D,56D, and 58A.

Small Town Blogger 7:28 AM  

Clare - on CSI, Sarah called him Gil all the time given they had a thing going.

FLAC 7:34 AM  

Backatcha, @kitshef.

mathgent 7:55 AM  

Lively little thing.

The theme reminded me of the late and sorely-missed San Francisco columnist, Herb Caen. He would use "..." to separate a series of short items in one of his paragraphs. He called it "Three-dot journalism."

tb 8:11 AM  

@LMS DOLCE is sometimes used in music scores as a direction to play "sweetly."

Suzie Q 8:12 AM  

This was pretty smooth until it wasn't.
I don't have a remote control handy for me to check but if REW is still on them that seems funny and very retro since video tapes are a thing of the past. I guess you rewind a DVD but even those will probably disappear soon too.
Neo noir was a new one to me but easy to infer.
Nicki Minaj? What dat? Indeed.
Then there is Pantone. I thought it had to be Pantene since they make hair care stuff and I thought Color of the Year was some ad campaign gimmick. I guess I better look that one up.
Gil Grissom? My go-to Grissom is an astronaut.
Then lastly there is Item One. That sounds too formal for a to-do list but whatever.

Jay 8:38 AM  

This is really a classic example of ridiculousness!
The theme answers are three rather obscure names to most.

The puzzle is also loaded with trivia:

Beyond that, you have a rich assortment of crosswordese too long to list here.

In short, a very unpleasant experience.

Cristiano Ronaldo 8:46 AM  

The lack of a tilde in ano doesn’t bother me because it’s an Anglicized word, just as Spain is, but here is an easy way around it. Instead of year in Spain make it year in Portugal or year in Brazil. Ano is year In Portuguese and there’s no ñ in Portuguese.

puzzlehoarder 8:55 AM  

A perfect Wednesday time on a more difficult than average Tuesday.

A big reason for the extra time was stopping to carefully read the revealers' clue then look at the two completed theme entries and finally figure out exactly what was going on. This allowed me to change PANTENE to PANTONE come up with TYE and figure out the "dolce as an adverb" thing that @lms talked about.

I can see where a TYE/ANYA crossing could create a Natick but somewhere in that pile of puzzles I recycled is one with an ANYA list on it. I'm sure this ANYA is on it along with the character from "The Cherry Orchard."

I'm giving extra points to this puzzle for making the theme integral to the solving.

Sioux Falls 8:56 AM  

Good write up! Just one nitpick... the diacritical referred to is a tilde, not an accent. I wish I were on the verge of graduate school again! Best of luck.

Groucho 9:08 AM  

Of all the people in the world to have a unicorn on their flag, the least expected would be the Scots. Never heard of Tye or Anya and wasted time trying to suss them out so a little sore about that. Daughter's initials: MFLM. Wanted to name her after one grandmother and knew the other would get testy so threw both names at her. She's ok w/it.

Interesting thing about this puzzle was the circular solve. Started in the NW, went south then east, north, and closed it up in the north center. Was surprised at the things I knew and grouchy about the things I didn't.

Pete 9:17 AM  

No regular here has a right to complain about ANYA. Within the past week I transcribed an entire paragraph of faux Nordic historical romance nonsense, identified as being by ANYA Seton, to show what nonsense calves was a descriptor for small ICEBERGs. For this I was roundly and unanimously ridiculed. Ridiculed I say! Yet you cannot remember ANYA Seton for even 4 days.

QuasiMojo 9:27 AM  

Hi, Clare. You're just like me. You always slip in some comment (here at the very end, no less) to remind people you went to Yale. Haha. Boola Boola. Although my Dad always said to say "I went to school in New Haven." He never used the word Yale. He also taught me to wear my Yale t-shirts inside out at all times.

I thought this was an excellent Tuesday puzzle. I must admit I didn't get the pun in the PAINTERS clue until after I got here. DOH! Sadly a lot of painters today don't take the time to put enough coats on.

WHO DAT shows up in early African-American songs, and in Mark Twain.

Another famous Triple Dot: E.T.A. Hoffmann

Knitwit 9:28 AM  

Liked your write up a bit more than the puzzle:). I also DNF re to the pesky ANYA/TYA. I can’t even talk about the mess I made with JAZZHOP. Oh well!!Good luck in your first year!!

Nate 9:40 AM  

I was totally flummoxed by the Scottish flag clue. I guess I was thinking of something along the lines of a griffin or something. I would never have guessed UNICORN, and it took me staring at UNI_ORN for a few minutes before I figured it out. How odd.

The only reason I got the ANYA/TYA crossing was because I already had the ANNA clue in the northern part of the puzzle filled in, so I knew it was either ANYA, ANIA, ANEA, etc... ANYA seemed like the most realistic.

The only time I can ever remember hearing BOSH is a scene in the Simpsons making fun of Mr. Burns:

'merican in Paris 9:59 AM  

I'm with @Jay. DNF either Monday or Tuesday, mainly because of PPPs. Grrr. C'mon, Mr. Shortz, we have here, on a Tuesday, a long corporate name (PANTONE), crossed by four names (including a writer of romances novels who died 28 years ago, whose name is itself crossed by somebody named TYE).

And then there's TEEM (with). I can't recall ever encountering "TEEM with", only "it TEEMs with", or it "is TEEMing with."

Otherwise, I did like the crossing of DABS and DAUBm and the mini-theme of of PAINT and colors.

But, please, can tomorrow's have a low PPP count?

Z 10:03 AM  

Hey, @Pete, I got ANYA. Shook my head and said, “Really? On a Tuesday?” as I wrote that Y in. But I got it.

What @Cristiano said.

@LMS - And now I know why the slogan wasn’t “A little DAUB will do you.” As for SPOT, we had a CORGI and a Shiba Inu as the kids grew up. The CORGI was really smart and neurotic. I think both characteristics are fairly common in herding breeds. Now we have a Lab/shepherd/chow mix and a chihuahua mix. An interesting pair in a much different way.

Best Tuesday Ever. I mean that literally. Or littorally. Or not at all.

GILL I. 10:04 AM  

Wow...At least the theme is my favorite DOT DOT DOT.
I'm genuinely surprised that some of you puzzle folks don't know ANYA. She's been in puzzledom forever. Maybe it was Maleska that introduced her.
I didn't know the UNICORN creature; wanted some sort of lion. Was I the only WEIRDO who had QUEL magnifique? I think it has two LL's anyway.
@Claire...F.A.O. SCHWARZ has the dots on its store names. At least the one in Old Sacramento did.
I wish Nicki MINAZ would get her adenoids fixed.
I think I'm in Clare's camp today. At first I thought "Oh Great" a puzzle full of names - I really dislike names. But then I thought it was different and kinda clever.
My biggest set-back was the PANTONE. I always forget how to spell OHNO. OHNO, it's Apolo with ONE L. Haha. Maybe now I'll remember him.
Governor Moonbeam has CORGIs. The California Deputy First Dog he had was named Sutter Brown. Took him everywhere. That dog had more personality than his boss. When he had to be put down, the entire State mourned. He now has a few more; one is called Lucy Brown and another Cali Brown. He at least has a sense of humor.
California is still burning. The sky is still an eerie orange. I, at least, have a good book to read.
Clare...Tahoe looks good at the moment. Thanks for filling in.

Malsdemare 10:07 AM  

I finished this too quickly, though that's probably good as I have to take my partner to the airport in a few moments AND drop a dog at the groomer's for a bath and blow dry. Yoiks! I sorts like it when there's a similarity of clues but prefer the answers to be wildly different. On a Tuesday, though, two cheeses seems fair.

I don't think I'd call WEB DUBOIS or JRR TOLKIEN. Dubois is a huge figure in the Civil Rights movement; I'd assume he'd come up in a history class. And Tolkien? With the books and the movies? But, okay, the toy store could be an unknown. Easier to argue that ANYA SETON is obscure, though it’s probably fairer to say it’s one of the many holes in one's knowledge bank — we've all got them.

Oooh, @lms, and the Malamute will show up in a skintight t-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled in the sleeve, work boots, wallet chained to her belt, can of beer at the ready. Maybe sporting a black eye.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Trump told me WEB DuBois is up and coming. Looking for great things from him in days to come!

michiganman 10:28 AM  

Nice Tuesday puzzle, some gimmes with a little crunch. Mini cheese theme. Mini dog theme. LOOPY WEIRDO, Fantasy crossing, UNICORN/JRRTOLKIEN. Only stinker was ENLACE.

RooMonster 10:30 AM  

Hey A.L.L. !
LOLing at @Pete 9:17, because I sure as heck didn't know ANYA as clued. Cried "Natick!" and had to run the alphabet all the way to that Y. TYE who? Maybe he'll become more famous as the years/movies go on. Guaranteed if ANYA Seton shows up again Natick-ally crossed, I won't get it.

Low block count today, 31. Translates into lots of white space to fill, so considering that, puz came out relatively clean. I've said it many times, every puz has dreck. This puzs was not too LOOPY. OHNO. :-) Nice open corners, too

LORIE sounds like a Dr. Seuss character. Liked the two-fold meaning of the PAINTERS clue. Some nice Scrabbly letters strewn about. Have to look up PANTONE, (WHO DAT?) really wanted PANTeNE. Two F's. Again, we get more Z's than F's. Just sayin'. (And more J's)


pabloinnh 10:47 AM  

Our friends had CORGIS for years. After watching one attack some spilled popcorn once, and also owing to the exact similarity of shape, I suggested that they rename him "Electrolux". Apologies to you whippersnappers who are unfamiliar with these.

There's a nice piece in Slate Magazine online today about a couple who compete in the BOSWORDS competition. It's their first tournament, and I found the author's take to be informative and self-deprecating enough to make me want to try one.

And of course, the puzzle made me think of Colbert reading the president's tweets and always reading the ellipses as " dot dot dot".

gfrpeace 10:56 AM  

The lion and the unicorn
Were fighting for the crown
The lion beat the unicorn
All around the town.

Some gave them white bread,
And some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum cake
and drummed them out of town.

And when he had beat him out,
He beat him in again;
He beat him three times over,
His power to maintain.

The unicorns stand for Scotland, the lions stand for England. Why I do not know. BUt it probably goes back to James the sixth and first, of the King James Bible.

Gulliver Foyle 10:56 AM  

Good luck with law school? YMMV, but I actually enjoyed it.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Were you kicking around yesterday? I said the same thing.
Good luck with Juventus.

Joseph Michael 11:10 AM  

A for the originality of the theme and C- for fill.

This seemed unusually hard for a Tuesday due mainly to proper nouns like PANTONE, TYE, and GIL. ITEM ONE makes its second appearance in recent days (unfortunately) and ANNA/ANYA seems like a dupe.

Favorite entry is NEONOIRE. Not sure how it’s different from NOIRE, but it sounds cool. Also like the sound of JAZZ HOP which I had never heard of before. Least favorite entry aside from the PPP is WHO DAT. Yes, I’ve heard it before, but ... ugh.

Knew Apolo’s last name OHNO not from the Olympics but from Dancing With the Stars (guilty pleasure) and knew TURIN from the famous shroud which I first saw a photo of in fourth grade in Sister Providencia’s class. It inspired me to donate half of my lunch money to the missions.

Thanks to David fior the puzzle and Clsre for the writeup.

Carola 11:13 AM  

Huh. I would have said "easy." But then, I've read ANYA Seton (which I remember as sort of mild bodice-rippers for inexperienced high- school girls) and I waste my time on the Internet reading about things like PANTONE's color of the year.

I really liked the theme with the triple intitials....until I got to the reveal, which I found a let-down. I was hoping for something person-, not punctuation-, related to tie them together.

And I was also hoping that S.F.B. Morse might appear.

"X marks the SPOT with a DOT DOT DOT..." Anybody else?

@Loren and @Malsdemere - I love your dog characterizations.
@jae from the other day - Thank you for the puzzle recommendations; I'll print them off for tomorrow's plane trip.
@Banana Daiquieri from yesterday - It would be fun to do a STATE FAIR comparison. Unfortunately, for me Texas is out of range.

jb129 11:15 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot - thank you David!

Good to see you Clare & best of luck - you can fill in for Rex anytime!

old timer 11:24 AM  

A rare Tuesday Natick here thanks to TYE crossing ANYA, neither of whom I ever heard of.

Great review Clare!

Nancy 11:25 AM  

Very hard for a Tuesday, and I really liked that. But much of the difficulty was from the PPP, and I didn't like that. My shampoo is PANTENE, so I was very cross to see that PANTONE was the answer to 39D. Have no idea what PANTONE is. Another shampoo? Something used by PAINTERS?

BASEST for least dignified????? Good grief, no!!! Baseness connotes immorality and malevolence. Iago was the BASEST. The Three Stooges were the least dignified.

Clever clue for JEWELER (1D) Re SKIRT at 26D -- all I can say is I certainly hope so!

Despite all the names and brands, I liked this pretty well.

Anonymous 11:29 AM  

Ah, law school. Your brain will never be the same. In a good way. Congrats!

The puzzle was slow for me...I was sure we were going to have to Anna’s, but one was an Anya.

Live just 20 miles from OdeSSA. It’s where we go to have a wild time and not be seen.

Hartley70 11:29 AM  

Well the little beagle will merrily appear with some bacon and stinky cheese in his little backpack so his nose doesn’t get bored, and then he’ll proceed to eat everyone else’s snacks. Fashion is just not his thing.

Good luck in DC, Clare. It’ll be anything but boring in that town for the next few years. Note that you may have to read a scootch faster than you did in New Haven (I’m paying attention, @Quasi). I found that to be the trick.

I liked the DOTDOTDOT theme. I seem to recall dots long ago too @Gill. BTW, glad to hear you’re not in a ring of fire, though I have been checking the map. The people were fine except for TYE, but I had ANYA and Lord knows why. PANTONE was an easy switch from PANTeNE. I too appreciated the DAUB/DAB placement. I DAB, more than DAUB.

Whatsername 11:30 AM  

I know it’s a Clare kind of day but wanted to say welcome back to Rex since I missed the puzzle and the blog yesterday. I also missed his razor-edged critiques and share his affection for the clipboard. I keep one with about a dozen or so puzzles in the drawer of my coffee table. It’s perfect for when I am in between novels or just in the mood to solve. Nice one today.

Banana Diaquiri 11:43 AM  

if your into home decorating, at the least, then you know all about PANTONE colors. their the de facto standard in lots of places where exact, repeatable, colors are required.

newspaperguy 11:44 AM  

It matters not a bit whether Schwarz used his initials They are still his initials.

JC66 12:00 PM  


Nice avatar. ABC Carpet is big in NYC, but alas, no dots.


Love your Iago/3 Stooges comparison.

oldbizmark 12:13 PM  

very difficult for me. couldn't parse LOIRE (had Seine) and the JIBE wasn't coming to me. Didn't know the planet in Star Wars. Got naticked on ANYA/TYE/PANTONE. All this after easily (well maybe not easy for Sunday) finishing the Friday-Sunday run. Oh well.

jberg 12:18 PM  

I used to confuse PANTONE and Pantene, but one year for some reason I went to a lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts by the woman who was in charge of picking the color for Pantone. It was pretty interesting, and it stuck with me. They make those big rolodex-like wheels of color chips to use in picking one, although if you'r painting a room or a house you're more likely to get one put out by a paint company, which conveniently omits colors their competitors make.

The big thing about Pantone, though, is that they provide universal technical specifications for each color -- i.e., how to get it by mixing paint, or by running it through a color printer, or on a video screen -- so if you specify the color, it should come out looking just the same.

I always get the novelist mixed up with the saint (whose middle name was Ann), so I would have been lost except that TYE just seemed more likely than TnE (which could have been a theme answer, but was in the wrong spot for symmetry).

And thank God for trig, or I would have spelled the dog CORGy.

This coat of arms thing is pretty confusing -- James VI does seem to have had two unicorns holding up the shield, but I think the shield with the lion on is is the official Royal Arms of Scotland. But I never have understood heraldry.

Kind of a lame theme, but maybe it's just me, i'm having a blah day.

Joel 12:39 PM  

Just to nerd out a bit, you've actually linked to the non-Scottish version of the UK arms. The Queen uses a different set of arms north of the border, where the unicorn is on the left side, the St. Andrew's Cross flag is visible, and her Scottish motto is used (Dieu et Mon Droit is the English motto). See here for what I mean.

Masked and Anonymous 1:01 PM  

ULTRA Violet, dude. 2018 color of the year a la PANTONE.

Sorta knew all the names, but only themer initials I was pretty sure of was FdotAdotOdot.
Nice, solid names theme. Not just everybody has two middle names. In such cases, is there a specific term for each of the two middle names? Somethin more excitin than middle1 & middle2, hopefully.
Another possible themer = PdotDdotQdot BACH?

Nice 7-stacks in the corners. [Also, additional faves UNICORN & SHOWBIZ.] Gives the puz a near-themeless look. Only 74 words, sooo ... close to qualifyin, anyhoo. Maybe this themeless look made the fillins come out a schmidge more desperate? [The crossword gods generally demand it, as the word count plummets, within a themed puz.]

staff weeject pick: GIL. But, much much fairer TuesPuz clue: {Apt name for that half-fish "The Shape of Water" dude?} = GIL.

Primo write-up by Clare darlin. Outstandin miscellaneous bullets.
Thanx for the dotty fun, Mr. Woolf.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

Pish tosh is what I said to BOSH. After solving, I went to Merriam Webster online and found BOSH to be a REAL thing. Then I checked on pish tosh and was given the suggestion of pishposh. BOSH is in the bottom 40% of word popularity. Pishposh is in the bottom 20%. Hmmph. So then I went out to Google and tried pish tosh, where it did show up. I didn't think I had imagined that usage in all of those British novels I read in my youth.

I read several books by novelist ANYA Seton in the 70s (being one of @Carola's inexperienced high school girls at the time.) Her name was visible presence on my mother's book shelf so it presented no problem today.

1D had me thinking of an arranged marriage - I was expecting some heretofore unknown synonym for matchmaker so JEWELER made me chuckle a bit.

Thanks, David Woolf

TomAz 1:52 PM  

I got the three themers. I got PANTONE for some reason I can't explain, and I lucked into GIL. MINAJ and ENO were gimmes and OHNO came pretty easy.

But man. That ANYA/TYE crossing was simply unfair. Intentional, or just lazy editing? Who knows. Either way it is bad, bad, bad ...

And it makes me want to criticize other things in the puzzle. Odessa 'to natives' is not Odesa; it's Одеса. DAB/DAUB, dumb. BASEST, baseless. BOSH, not a thing anyone has said for 100 years. WHO DAT, not a thing anyone has said ever (outside the NFL/Saints context, as Clare noted).

In all .. a highly subpar puzzle with just a few smiles.

Banana Diaquiri 1:58 PM  

I was expecting some heretofore unknown synonym for matchmaker so JEWELER made me chuckle a bit.

matchmaker == shotgun

tea73 2:13 PM  

Yeah, ANYA was a gimme for me too. I went to a girls school in the 1970s and we all read her - especially Katherine for the Anglo-philes. I had SPaT for way too long for the dog's name. Oops. Good theme, but a lot of icky fill.

ArtO 2:14 PM  

Pretty tough Tuesday. Never saw my error for TYE since I do these on paper and just put in ANNA for Seton. I don't time myself and don't get the auto check those that use the app do. Liked the theme. Certainly a disparate trio if ever there was one!

Jonathan Brown 2:27 PM  

This Who Dat feels cheated. Go Saints!

Aketi 2:59 PM  

I feel a bit sad that most of the brick and mortar toy stores of my son’s childhood have closed, including FAO SCHWARTZ. There used to be six toy stores within a 10 block radius and now there is only one. I’m sure my husband, however, has entirely different feelings about FAO SCHWARTZ because I once traumatized him by insisting he help me pick out presents for my nieces and nephews on Christmas Eve. This was before we had our son and when I was working 80 hour work weeks that I used to justify my late holiday shopping. He was a trouper and I felt so bad after the fact that I never made him accompany me to a toy store again. I don’t really find shopping for toys online nearly as fun.

Anonymous 3:05 PM  

JAZZHOP is reprehensible. There's no such thing. And even if there's recorded instances of it, there shouldn't be.

Bob Mills 3:15 PM  

Easy, but fun. "WHODAT" might better have been clued as "Identity question heard in the Bayou."

Anoa Bob 3:22 PM  

@Lewis, I agree that changing the Y in 56 Down/58 Across TYE/ANYA to an O would give a less naticky TOE/ANOA crossing but did a double take on the "at least one of the answers is well known" part. I think most folks are acquainted with TOE, so I say both answers would be well known.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  

And I've always loved that George and Ira Gershwin song, "I Loves You, Corgi."

Banana Diaquiri 3:37 PM  


I just happened to see the start of 'Safe in Hell' on TCM. not enough to continue, but enough to look it up on the wiki to get the background. it's a 'pre-code' 1931 mystery/drama. here's the relevant bit from the wiki:
The two minority actors also spoke in standard American English in the film, even though their lines had been written originally in "'Negro dialect'".[6] William Wellman's biographer, Frank T. Thompson, speculated that either McKinney and Muse, who were popular favorites at the time, had enough clout with the studio to avoid using a racially stereotyped style of speaking or Wellman "'just wanted to avoid a convenient cliche.'"

the movie is set in Tortuga, so while the actors were 'American Negroes' (at the time) their characters definitely were not. who loves you, baby?

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

M & A - you might could check out H.I.F. Biber (long lost cousing of Justin, I guess), one of the great violin composers and good for a dotdotdot.

Anonymous 3:54 PM  

"Bosh" is a rather old-fashioned word for "nonsense." I'm not surprised it was new to you. As for "who dat," fans of the New Orleans Saints call themselves the "whodats" as in "Who dat gonna beat them Saints?" Pretty meh puzzle, I must agree, but a great write-up as usual.

Z 4:06 PM  


Anonymous 4:14 PM  

There's no way on God's green earth that wild Bill would let an actor dictate dialogue. As for your claim that McKinney and Muse were popular. Well, no. I'm huge fan of McKinney. But it beggars belief to say she was popular--unless you're talking about theater circles in Europe. Why she was so popular, and the public clamor for her was so great she made all of two films for MGM.
Like I said, I'm a fan. But she weren't no star. Nor popular in any reasonable understanding of the word. Mr. muse I don't really know. But I know enough to say he didn't have a following either.

Anonymous 4:36 PM  

@banana 3:37

You didn't watch the movie yourself but you read the Wikipedia article instead, and now you're giving lectures. Wow.

RooMonster 4:58 PM  

At first, I wanted JEzEbel! Har.

@Anoa Bob
LOL! Nice...


GILL I. 5:08 PM  

@Hartley...Welcome back. Missed you. I hope your cheeks are now PANTONE rosy?
@Anony 3:22. Thank you for a very loud laugh. I MISS YOU CORGI indeed.
@Banana. You DO have some fans, don't you?
@JC66. Keep em comin.
Love this blog.

Banana Diaquiri 5:17 PM  

@the anons:

the quote was from the wiki, which your free to read. the movie wasn't interesting enough to finish watching (to me) as I said. the interesting bit was the observation, which is sourced in the article. if you want to argue popularity, go yap at the TCM folks. I only quoted them, not me.

SteveHikes 5:49 PM  

As a sociologist who taught for 30 years at Booker T Washington’s alma mater (Hampton U), I am appalled by the clue for W.E.B DuBois. BTW was anointed by the white rulers to preach black acceptance of subordiination. DuBois fought his entire life for equality and was the most important critic of BTW. It is galling and insulting to clue the latter as merely a contemporary of the former. What ignorance and insensitivity!

Anonymous 5:53 PM  

Really? I have your permission to read a Wiki article. Fantastic. The only thing that exceeds your film knowledge is your largesse. Many thanks.
My only questuon is why would I would yap at the folks at TCM for a ,aom made by Wikipedia?

Nancy 7:07 PM  

Thanks, JC66!

Wow 7:29 PM  

How can you be so secure in your thinking that no matter what you say, in your mind you are absolute and correct about everything? Wow. That's @banana. Never a doubt, never falter. Amazing. Sounds like the Chimp in Chief.
@banana, are you Trump?

Banana Diaquiri 8:08 PM  

My only questuon is why would I would yap at the folks at TCM for a ,aom made by Wikipedia?

for the simple reason that the quote, in the wiki article, came from TCM. which you would know if you red the article and followed the link. wiki articles are like that: most text has to be sourced; you can't really right an essay on the topic of you're choice off the top of your head. your essay will get spiked.

just so you and the other anons know, the reason I found the article, and that bit of it interesting, is that both 'Safe in Hell' and 'Porgy' were made within a few years of each other, by a bunch of white guys 'portraying' black folk, but, obviously, with a very specific difference. granted, 'Porgy' pretty much wouldn't work if the black folk talked like those in Hahhhhvad Yahhhhd. but there clearly was some explicit decision by someone to put the King's English in the mouths of those two actors. to be clear, once again, Tortuga is a Haitian island, so natives would speak either French or Creole (not much tourism then, so English very optional), not Southern Negro. then or now.

why anyone would get a wild hair up there sphincter over a, possibly, interesting coincidence of movie trivia is puzzling. may I query why??? why do you anons care one way or another???

sanfranman59 8:45 PM  

I'm way too pharmed up (for a medical-ish reason) to speed solve right now and won't include this solve time in my spreadsheet. I have no idea what my time should have been, but the puzzle seemed about Medium, in spite of my time. DW's been absent from the NYT for a couple of years. He's historically one of my tougher constructors. Of 75 NYT constructors with more than ten puzzles in my nine-year database, his ratio of solve time to six-month median is higher than all but seven others (Josh Knapp, Jacob Stulberg, Mark Diehl, Andrew Zhou, Randolph Ross and Jeffrey Wechsler). I'm surprised about JS, MD, RR & JW since I've solved a lot their puzzles over the years and haven't had nearly as much of a struggle with them in other venues.

Thumbs up to all of the themers (especially TOLKIEN and DUBOIS), JIBE (love seldom-used J-words), ERSATZ (and Z-words). Not so much the DOTty revealer, ODESA, BOSH (though I got it right off, for some reason), WHODAT, TYE or GIL (can never get Gus or Marquis out of my head with a "Grissom" clue). Learning experience: JAZZ HOP.

Anonymous 8:45 PM  

Hold on. The meds are on their way.

Anonymous 8:57 PM  

Your claims may be correct. But your vitriol is misplaced. Reread your origingal post. Nowhere does it cite TCM as the provenance of youur assertion.
Your inane claims are great fun, but fair's fair; you providedd no link.
Are you a day drinker? It would explain much. One last thougt: you seem to have abandoned one of tne putatively original reasons for your post. That is, McKinney's popularity.
My original post refjrting that absurd claim, stands. Does yours?
Enjoy yohr methadone or whatver you come down with. I ca wait.

sanfranman59 9:32 PM  

@Banana Diaquiri...

re why do you anons care one way or another???

I think I can answer that. You keep responding to them. Surely you must know by now that many an anon's raison d'être is to simply get a reply. I attempt to keep my cyber-sanity by ignoring such impulses. Sometimes, it even works.

Banana Diaquiri 10:18 PM  

Nowhere does it cite TCM as the provenance of youur assertion.
Your inane claims are great fun, but fair's fair; you providedd no link.
My original post refjrting that absurd claim, stands. Does yours?

cmon. I said: "here's the relevant bit from the wiki" so, if anyone wanted to argue the quote, it's just a click away at the wiki, 'Safe in Hell'. the links are there. you can see it in the quote in my comment: '[6]'. no, I didn't insert the physical url. so what? how popular was McKinney? I've no idea or opinion. I don't much care. that's not the major point to why I found the article interesting; which was the contrast with 'Porgy' (or Corgi). which is what I said from the outset. you may not find that interesting. I don't care about that either. someone decided how the characters would speak; a Wellman biographer is the original source of the quote. go read the wiki and the TCM piece. if you really care.

once again: go read the wiki article, and follow the links to the TCM piece if you really care. once again: the wiki only allows sourced articles, not opinion pieces. the fact remains that those two actors talk like regular white folks, while the 'Porgy' cast don't. again, not to say that 'Porgy' would make much sense if they did, but, as the TCM piece (quoted in the wiki) makes clear, someone in control of 'Safe in Hell' decided otherwise when doing so was extremely rare. the most accurate speech for the characters would be some form of English with, more or less, either French or Creole accent. that's what folks in Haiti speak. but certainly not speak in Southern Negro. would I believe some random blog commenter over the film historians at TCM? I'll let you guess.

But your vitriol is misplaced.

what vitriol? yes, I sometimes use big words, but that's not vitriol. but I don't cotton to the alternative fact universe, so popular in certain quarters. and I'll continue to say so when attacked. these days.

RandomPoster 12:48 AM  

I collect postcards and treasure one from Rex Parker. One year he used a box of Pantone postcards as “thank you for your donation to this blog” cards. Each card features a different color.

Burma Shave 9:56 AM  


it OOZEs with the BASEST WEIRDO sex.


spacecraft 10:33 AM  

Lots of WOEs: NEONOIR, JAZZHOP, PANTONE, TYE--but all are fairly crossed, so easy-medium. GIL Grissom a gimme. only momentarily confused with astronaut Gus. When Petersen left that series, so did excellence, IMO.

Impressive corner sevens, and wonderful USE of high-counters; not strained at all. DOD Nicki MINAJ comes to the rescue of the ends-in-J problem. Somewhat of a thin theme, maybe, and above criticism of including FAOSCHWARZ as "dotted" is valid, but the rest of it is so cool it doesn't matter. Birdie.

Diana,LIW 11:20 AM  

I agree with @Spacey - the same WOEs, but otherwise a bit easier for me than yesterday - which wasn't all that hard!

Must note @Rex's note about "Freakin' Spokane" yesterday. Freakin? It's a lovely city. Maybe we have adopted the old Seattle motto of "folks don't tan, they rust" to keep the town small. But summer is picture perfect, and the seasons are lovely. So I'm not surprised he felt at home. I think he and Penelope should relocate here and start a crossword tourney. (Thanks, @Teed, for the idea!)

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 12:01 PM  

Well I got all of the DOTs connected fairly quickly. JAZZHOP appeared magically by crosses. Almost put in grIffiN for UNICORN, but held off.

PANTONE was a gimme. A few years back when we restored St. Paul's Union Depot we were matching nearly hundred year old paint chips to the PANTONE chart to get authentic colors for anything requiring work by the PAINTERS. Engineering isn't always boring math.

Nit to pick with ODESA, especially since I've been there. To the natives it's ОДЕСА. The Cyrillic S sound is a C, like when USSR translates to CCCP as sometimes found in xwords.

Pick an ANNA, either ANNA, Paquin or Kendrick. Yeah baby.

Did you notice how few threes there were? It can be done. This Tues-puz hit the SPOT.

leftcoastTAM 3:32 PM  

Felt a bit mislead by "Indication of more to come..." theme clue. Thought it had more to do with ellipses than DOTs in name initials. Overcame that, but still....

The Y in the unknown TYE and in the crossing ANYA was a hold up, but couldn't have two ANNAs and TnE would have raised the question, WHO or what DAT?

Enough here to provoke some Tuesday-level thinking.

rainforest 3:48 PM  

Lovely puzzle with nice stacks and tight theme with appropriate revealer (and several DOD/yeah baby candidates).

The revealer actually enabled me to get FAO SCHWARZ because I'd heard the name but not the store (not in Canada as far as I know), dots or not.

Re BOSH: my mother said that many times, mostly to me. Sorry Mom.

Glad to see JRR TOLKIEN in there. He is one-two along with Robert Penn Warren as my favourite authors.

I liked this puzzle's STYLE. Now I must get down to ETON some lunch, maybe with some BRIE, though I prefer Camembert).

thefogman 4:35 PM  

I got off to a good start then things got a bit LOOPY. Maybe you could say this one was a Woolf in sheep's clothing. I had mutT instead of SPOT and the rest of that area soon became a real dog's breakfast of a mess. JAZZHOP and FAOSCHARZ did me in. FAOSCHARZ ? OHNO! Really? Even after viewing the solution I was left saying "WHO DAT?"I have to agree with Clare. Her comments were SPOT on without being too mean. I like Clare's STYLE

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

Moses Lake

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP