Goddess of Pop / WED 8-8-18 / Very pixel-dense as TV picture / Teammate of Babe on 1920s Yankees

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Constructor: Andrew Kingsley

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:26)

THEME: GREAT / MINDS / THINK / ALIKE (1A: With 27-, 49- and 66-Across, phrase applicable to five innovations in this puzzle (as suggested by the starred clues)) — I guess it means that both the dudes in the clues ... innovated the innovations in question? Sure, let's go with that:

Theme answers:
  • LIGHT BULB (18A: *Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan)
  • CALCULUS (23A: *Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Isaac Newton)
  • PERIODIC TABLE (33A: *Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev and Julius Lothar Meyer)
  • ATOM BOMB (50A: *Leo Szilard and Joseph Rotblat)
  • TELEPHONE (54A: *Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray)
Word of the Day: Danny AINGE (50D: Longtime Boston Celtics executive Danny)
Daniel Ray Ainge (born March 17, 1959) is an American basketball executive and former professional basketball and baseball player. Ainge is currently the general manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). 
Ainge was an outstanding high school athlete. At Brigham Young University, he was named national basketball college player of the year and won the John R. Wooden Award for the most outstanding male college basketball player. While in college, Ainge also played parts of three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball(MLB), mostly as a second baseman. He was then drafted into the NBA by the Celtics. Ainge completed 14 seasons, playing for the Celtics, Portland Trail BlazersSacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, primarily as a shooting guard. He went on to coach the Suns for three seasons before joining management of the Celtics, with whom Ainge has three NBA Championships to his credit (two as a player, one as President/GM).
He is the only person to be named a high school first team All-American in american footballbasketball, and baseball. (wikipedia)
• • •

Trivia theme. Not very interesting to me, at all. Who are these people? Joseph Swan? Honestly, most of the names in these theme clues, I've never heard of. I mean, I could look them up, but I'd forget them quickly, no doubt, and anyway I'm not playing a trivia contest. What's bizarre is the gap between the clues (which are arcane to me) and the difficulty level (just a tad over Monday, i.e. super easy). The clues could've just been "some random dudes' names" and the puzzle would've been almost as easy (I think Edison and Newton and Bell probably helped a little). So it's a trivia theme (a minus, in my book) where the trivia is pretty much non-essential to not just solving, but destroying the puzzle. But honestly, I was negatively predisposed from 1-Across. Any 1-Across that wants me to look elsewhere, let alone at three elsewheres, can get bent. Audibly sighed and ughed when I saw that  1-Across clue. Nearly fell INAHEAP (more ugh), but I soldiered on. I'M OK. There's not much interesting here besides maybe CALL UP, which I like because I like baseball. I just looked at INRE and TATAS, so my displeasure is spiking. Let's move on.

OH WELL, there's not really anywhere to move to. I felt like I was struggling badly early on, but that was just my brain struggling to shake off the solver rage brought on by the 1-Across clue. Once I got MINDS, I went ahead and filled in the other words in the revealer, and then started building the grid up from the bottom, off ALIKE, so my path around the grid was bizarre, which usually results in a higher-than-average time, but not today. I feel like I could've been under 3 today if I hadn't let 1-Across throw me and I hadn't bounced around the grid so much. Man, that 1-Across clue. Sorry, but I can't leave it alone. I also lost time because that stupid clue also forced me to pause to adjust the clue box in my software, which wasn't showing the entire stupid stupid overlong grammatically atrocious and in all ways terrible 1-Across clue; "applicable," "innovations," "suggested by"—so much vague clunkiness gumming up the works). I need A NAP. Didn't have many missteps today. Wrote in OGRE for MAGE (8D: Dungeons & Dragons figure). That's about it. I guess I should say that though the fill is not good, it could've been much much worse. Almost every Down had to go through one if not two themers. Not a lot of wiggle room. So that's something.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I did an interview Osvaldo Oyola for the website "The Middle Spaces (comics. music. culture.)"—it's primarily about my experience teaching comics, but there's a ton in there about crosswords as well. You can check the interview out here.

P.P.S. a reminder that the MAMA clue (27D: Papa's mate) is heterosexist, OK bye

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Outside The Box 12:17 AM  

@naytnaytnayt: Who cares? You’re now going to politicize a crossword puzzle? Really? A crossword puzzle?

puzzlehoarder 12:24 AM  

Not much engagement with the theme in solving. There were some obscure names thrown in there but I just kept going after the easy stuff skipping over and back filling any confusing clues.

I was able to fill in 33A without ever reading it's clue thanks to the crosses giving it away. In spite of my MOAT/MAGE AND BEND/BARB write overs I still came in just over Tuesday time. This was like a short easy fill fest.

TomAz 12:26 AM  

Record Wednesday time for me. I mean I've been doing these online -- well first on the old Magmic iPad app and then on the NYT app and/or website -- for a long time. 10 years? I don't remember when that app came out. Or when the NYT took it over. (before that I never tracked my times). My point is: setting a record after all that solving, after all that data has accumulated, is really something. It says a lot.. not about me, but about the puzzle. A real statistical outlier.

I can't imagine why Will would slot this on Wednesday.

Like Rex I got to MINDS and filled in the other two themer clues. Like Rex I didn't really know the inventors, other than calculus and Edison and Bell, and I guess Mendeleev if I thought long enough about it.. but I didn't have to. The crosses were so easy. MAGE, I didn't know. TOD Browning? who? no matter. no resistance.

I am usually predisposed to like puzzles I find easy, but this was so easy I feel cheap.

Malcolm Gibson 12:31 AM  

Fastest Wednesday ever.

Harryp 12:47 AM  

Ten seconds faster than yesterday. Early on I saw I was looking for pairs of scientists and innovators with LIGHT BULB and CALCULUS, so the Theme Great minds think alike didn't need any great mind to suss it out.

Mark 1:01 AM  

This puzzle was great. I usually understand Rex’s objections, whether I agree or not; but in this case, I don’t even understand his objections. The first clue is complicated? Really, in a puzzle you found easy? There’s trivia, like crosswords don’t naturally have lots of Trivia?

newspaperguy 1:25 AM  

Two childish tantrums in two days. Can it get worse? I'm betting yes.

Tom 1:38 AM  

25% faster than my average. Had the same reaction as Rex when I read the first clue. Gimme a break. Never a good way to start no matter the theme. BTW, cars used to need lubes, but not so much any more. Need oil changes, but lubes are only Necessary if you're some sort of pre 90's classic. Got the theme from crosses about halfway through. Meh Wednesday. Oh. Even easier and more meh Tuesday...

Unknown 2:05 AM  

The themers were separately and independently invented by the two named persons. Thus the “think alike”

jae 2:11 AM  

Easy. Faster than yesterday’s. I’m not fond of cross referencing either, so I ignored it and still got the theme when I hit MINDS.

Learned something, and again, liked it more than @Rex did.

'merican in Paris 2:45 AM  

My fastest Wednesday, indeed one of my fastest solves to date. I was also closest to filling in the puzzle only through crosses (i.e., no downs) than I've managed so far.

I think the main criticism that can be levied at this puzzle is that it was run on a Wednesday rather than earlier in the week -- an editor's decision, not the constructor's fault. Either that, or the clues should have been made tougher.

Interesting to learn about contemporary inventors. I knew about Leibniz but not the others. Unfortunately, in the USA at least, there is a lack of appreciation for inventors who made or make their discoveries elsewhere: doesn't comport with the myth of American soil providing a unique spark to bright ideas, don't ya know. (Here is a good synopsis of the history of electric light.) What America has provided is an excellent incubator for the commercialization of new technologies.

Otherwise, today's puzzle sent me down memory lane. I attended a high school in the suburbs of MIAMI with over 4,000 students, and duing my sophomore and junior years I played in its marching band. I guess because the city surrounded a horse-racing track, our uniforms were those you see sported by British aristocracy when they engage in fox hunting. The band, like the school, was the largest in Dade County. Because we were big (and, presumably, could be hired on the cheap), in January 1969 we were engaged to play the AIDA march at half time (with yours truly playing a herald trumpet) at Super Bowl III, which took place in the Orange Bowl -- yes, that one, regarded by many as one of the greatest upsets in American football history. Basically, the NY Jets' brash Joe Namath beat the Baltimore Colts' Matt Snell and Johnny Unitas, making three field goals and just one touchdown. And I got to perform in the half-time show and see the game for free.

P.S., Can we please dispense with pointing out heterosexist or other alleged bias when there is nothing the matter with the answer, which is just one of several potential answers? IMO the main problem with MAMA as an answer to 27D is that the clue ("Papa's mate") was dull and too "straight"-forward. (Oops, I did it again!)

Anonymous 3:47 AM  

I couldn’t imagine living in your world of insanity

Loren Muse Smith 4:42 AM  

My only problem with 1A’s clue was that it was at 1A because I try to avert my eyes at a reveal clue – it’s fun to see if I can figure out the theme without it. I managed not to read it and, yeah, this was pretty easy to suss out.

If there had been a way to clue the two inventors and their invention separately and let the solver notice the GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE part, that would’ve been cool. Better aha moment.

Andrew – I don’t know if you read Rex, but you had to have had a little frisson when you noticed that the words GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE all have five letters. And then I bet you counted out TELEPHONE and LIGHTBULB, and your heart rate picked up. Then looking into it and finding the 8-letter CALCULUS and ATOM BOMB pair. PERIODIC TABLE, an odd number… Wow. And then, then… figure out that all these things had more than one inventor. Bravo! (But did they invent CALCULUS or just uncover it? Like, the Truths of calculus were already out there, and they just noticed them? Asking for a friend.)

I liked learning that these things had more than just the well-known person; I feel more informed now.

A while back, I had the idea to start a company selling bumper stickers HOW’S MY DRIVING? CALL MY MOTHER customized with the actual phone number. And a couch throw that would fold into a little sewn-on sack to make a pillow. But later I saw both products advertised somewhere. Sigh.

Andrew Kingsley – loved it.

JOHN X 5:15 AM  

This was a pretty good Wednesday puzzle! Easy but fun!

My favorite answers were ATOM BOMB and TATAS. That's good stuff right there.

Conrad 5:40 AM  

@LMS: Please tell your friend that the Truths of the light bulb -- electricity, tungsten and glass -- were already out there and Edison and Swan noticed them and put them together in a new way. Similarly, the Truths of the atomic bomb had been out there since E=mc^2 (1916) but Szilard and Rotblat ... you get the idea. So in a sense, all these innovations were "just uncovered."

Lewis 6:04 AM  

My favorite part of this zippy puzzle is its theme -- brilliant, in my opinion, fleshing out the known-by-everyone GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE by finding well known inventions credited to more than one creator. The only thing that might have improved it is if this puzzle had been a collaboration.

Unknown 6:56 AM  

Yes, super easy. My fastest Wednesday ever. But still fun. Agree that it’s disingenuous to complain about trivia in a crossword puzzle! What do you think the other puzzles we’ve been doing are full of? Some people get turned on by baseball; others by science. Maybe every thing does not deserve a rant?

Hungry Mother 7:15 AM  

DNFed the mini and almost hit my best time in the main event. The world is topsy-turvy.

Albert Einstein 7:17 AM  

(ATOM BOMB is not a thing.)

QuasiMojo 7:30 AM  

Someone actually complained about MAMA being the partner of PAPA? Geesh. Either you need to get off your P.C. high horse but quick, or you are a very poor COMIC.

A lot of effort on the part of the constructor today. But not a lot of enjoyment on my end. I also had a did not finish because I had BELLA instead of BELLE. I stopped watching Disney movies around the time The Jungle Book came out.

Jim Lemire 7:33 AM  

To add to the recurring theme in the comments so far, this was my fastest Wednesday time ever...and within a handful of seconds of my Tuesday record. It’s hard to judge the puzzle on its own merits since it was so much easier than a typical Wednesday puzzle. Would it have been a fine Monday puzzle?

kitshef 7:35 AM  

We recently went through a period of Really Hard Wednesdays … where they were harder than the Fridays or Saturdays that week.

Now we have moved into the period of Really Easy Wednesdays. This could have run on a Monday and I’d have thought it was normal.

Trying to think of anything that help me up for more than a nanosecond or two. I guess the EI/IE dilemma on MEIN? Oh, and RIALTO.

Fashionably LATE is a term made up by selfish and impolite jerks who put no value on your time.

It is true that MAMA is not the only possible answer to 27D. It is also true that OMITS is not the only possible answer to 7D, and MAGE is not the only possible answer to 8D, and so on. That’s why these are puzzles – you need to figure out which possible answer fits with the crosses.

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

@LMS: God created the integers; everything else is the work of man/woman/other/not sure

Rainbow 7:49 AM  

Agree with you, Outside. Be in the puzzle. Do the puzzle. Do your social/political work elsewhere.

FLAC 7:52 AM  

I commend Rex for including the link to his interview with Osvaldo Oyola. It's long, and awfully esoteric at times, but it's well worth reading for the insight it provides into Rex's critical sensibility. I often disagree with his assessments -- for example, I liked today's puzzle much more than he did -- but now I better understand where he's coming from.

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

That could be said of anything, going back to clothing, fire, and the wheel.

Suzie Q 8:00 AM  

This was easy enough to allow for some day dreaming but in a good way. I love that this is a science puzzle.
If I have heard the Ali quote before I have forgotten but it's great and very funny. He had a way with words for sure.
For some reason "quaint" in a clue irks me. Do they just mean old or old in an affectionate way? Either way, I almost always know the answer right away. I guess I'm quaint. Sure, I'll go with that.
I've never seen "Say Yes to the Dress" but it doesn't sound like a show from the TLC that I remember. TLC used to stand for The Learning Channel. What would I learn from that show?
Somehow I remembered Danny Ainge but with that impressive bio that Rex gave us why does he stand out in my memory? Because he had the bushiest arm pits I've ever seen!

Anonymous 8:03 AM  

Your last paragraph nailed it.

pabloinnh 8:06 AM  

Congratulations to all you record setters out there today. Apparently everyone has had their (hi LMS) coffee.

We take our various joys from doing these--mine today was finding out that by doing something I do all the time, I am emulating a Disney princess. Also learned some new names of inventors. Good stuff

Emmcee 8:36 AM  

Interesting to have ASL and Alexander Graham Bell referenced in the same puzzle. AGB waged a campaign against ASL, and supported the “oralism” method of educating Deaf children. His support of oralism was related to his belief in eugenics ( rootedinrights.org ). This debate continues to this day.

pmdm 8:46 AM  

For experienced puzzle solvers, this puzzle would be easier than normal for a Wednesday puzzle, and the comments bear that out. But for newer solvers, they might have more problems with the cross references and the fairly unknown inventors, which would justify rating this as a Wednesday puzzle.

Jeff Chen made what I felt was an interesting comment. "[Many would complain about] ANAP AWAR, TOD, harping on the two partials in particular. But you know what? While some constructors think partials are ugly, gloopy, inelegant, they're a heck of a lot friendly to solvers than esoterica or tough initialisms."

I suppose one could say the controlling factor involved is more innovation than invention - taking the known and using it in an innovative manner. But why quibble?

I had fun solving the puzzle today. So I guess I would rate the puzzle as a success.

RooMonster 8:48 AM  

Hey All !
Re: Yesterdays HOV - Son of a Gun, all the Googs and Wikis say High Occupancy. Huh, how does one go through their whole life thinking something is right when it isn't? Makes you step back and rethink things, doesn't it? Like politics and PC MAMAs. :-)

We've been getting puzs with a lot of blocks lately, there are 44 today. That's quite high. 38 is normally max. Only 4 threes Across, but 19 Down. But, it was a nice puz, with a lot of theme, which I always like. Instead of pointing out (complaining about) these type of things (like the closed off NW and SE corners), Rex instead either attacks Will or the constructor. It's supposed to be Constructive Criticism, not a stab in the gut. Just sayin'.

Funny STAR MAP can be clued two way different ways. Again, no F's I know they get no respect, but damn, throw one in for good measure! :-)

Overall, a good WedsPuz with a few LIGHTBULB moments that didn't require CALCULUS or TELEPHONE a friend to finish. Or trying to memorize the PERIODIC TABLE to find elements for an ATOM BOMB.


gfrpeace 8:49 AM  

The ATOM BOMB and the LIGHTBULB and the PERIODIC TABLE are trivia? Sheesh. Trivia is Disney princesses and TV networks that air junk and basketball managers.

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

I think TATAS could have been clued more humorously.

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

@newspaperguy You'll win that bet. How'd you like to be one of his students and ask what he'd consider a "dumb" question?

DNA Also 9:10 AM  

Thank you at @Richard Perlman for being the first person to recognize what was going on here. As to Rex's comment, I thought the very point of this puzzle is that half of these people are obscure because the other person got credit for things they sometimes didn't do (surprised we didn't see Ford/Benz).

The puzzle was enlightening (little bulb lit up in my head).

And we don't need a reminder that Mama is heterosexist, cause, ya know if the clue were papa and the answer was papa, that'd be kinda stupid. And no matter what, we all have mothers so maybe the clue was based on biology.

Great Tuesday puzzle, inane review.

Cc’d 9:14 AM  

Nice to see names in a puzzle that weren’t based on pop culture.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

Alumnus is used to refer to a male graduate or former student. Alumni is the plural of alumnus but can also be used to refer to a group of men and woman graduates/former students. Alumna is used to refer to a woman graduate or former student. Alumnae is the plural of alumna.

three of clubs 9:22 AM  

Not much fun for me. I would rather do a JUMBLE and I don't like jumbles. Jeep thinking I could regain 10 minutes of my day, close to a hundred hours a year. Wow. That's like the number of waking hours in a week.

Z 9:22 AM  

Best thing about this puzzle is OH WELL. (What? You were expecting Fleetwood Mac, maybe?)

Several people have wondered about Rex’s “trivia” plaint. They must be new here. Simple maxim: Wordplay>Trivia. If you want to play trivia, go to the bar on a Tuesday night. Good Crossword puzzles emphasize words and word play, not esoterica.

@‘mericans - The best way to marginalize somebody is to ignore our implicit biases. Sexism (and racism for that matter) are largely passive structures. Don’t expect Rex to stop pointing out hetero-normative bias any time soon. It’s akin to pointing out “chink” the other day. If someone hadn’t pointed out the slur I would have missed it. Being reminded that people are still called it and that it is hurtful is a good prophylactic against inadvertent insult.

And since I am on the topic of passive sexism, would it have been so hard to diversify our set of inventors? I mean, it took me 3.7 picoseconds to find women-inventors.com. Not doing so is just a little bit lazy.

Nancy 9:24 AM  

What a fun idea for a puzzle! I bet all the GREAT MINDS on this blog had a really good time with it. I was intrigued throughout, and I learned a lot, too. But it opened up a Big Question. Namely:

Why are half of these people household names, when the other poor schmucks have been relegated to the ashbin of history? (Since it's another miserably humid day in NYC, with thunderstorms predicted, maybe I'll spend part of my day looking up the various stories of the poor schmucks.)

If I knew my cars -- and you all know I don't -- I would have gotten the theme much, much sooner. But because I had aMC instead of GMC at 1D, I didn't fill in GREAT at 1A until after I already had MINDS/THINK/ALIKE. Would you have seen GREAT from AR-AT ? But speaking of GREAT, it's a GREAT puzzle!

'merican in Paris 9:35 AM  

@Z -- This is getting ridiculous. How in the world does 27D marginalize anybody? Do or did you have a MAMA? I certainly did, as is the case I suspect for @Rex and everybody commenting on this puzzle. So the answer itself certainly is a legitimate word and suggests zero bias.

Could there have been a different clue? Sure. Let's see, "__ mia!"? (Overdone, and plays to Mediterranean stereotypes.) "Yo __!" (Insult to women.) "___ Cass (Elliot)"? (Clearly somebody with a heterosexual bias, who in any case died too long ago to be familiar to people born after 1970.) And so it goes.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

@Z - you would have made your point better if you had produced the name of a woman inventor who satisfied the multiple restrictions involved in the theme.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Z, are you saying that Mama is an unacceptable answer in a crossword puzzle because it insults gay and lesbian couples? Also, did you find at women-inventors.com any evidence of misplaced credit for invention or innovation? And if you did, would those names have offended Rex based on their potential obscurity. And if you jumped those gates, did any of them have children? Because that would make them mamas and we can't have that.

The problem I have with these types of comments in this type of forum is that it actually gives fodder to neo nuts. I can just see it now: War on motherhood!

Don't help!!!

GILL I. 9:47 AM  

@Z....Of course there are female inventors. But, this puzzle was about 2 inventors discovering independently. I don't think you'd find a female pair. My biggest bugaboo is that I thought it was Oppeheimer who had the GREAT MIND for the ATOM BOMB.
Like @Rex...I sorta wanna scream when you send me on an errand first thing. I'm like a petulant child. NO....Don't do that to me especially after I've had a wonderful meal (prepared by me) and full of good wine. I'm all happy and eager to do a hump day. It made me so mad, I just watched TV.
Mornings are so different. I did manage to finish even before my last sip of coffee. Gave me time to sit back and ponder the elegance of Andrew's puzzle. Very clever. And I liked the ALI ALT DEE LEE. Speaking of ALI, I always hated boxing....still do, but ALI was so special. His quotes were famous and I always laughed at them. There is one that starts "Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee...."
Just noticed that ATOM BOMB A WAR OH WELL little corner. OH WELL, indeed.
Leave my MAMA alone.

Anonymous 9:56 AM  

@ Anon 9:18, Thank you for pointing out the reason for those pairs of inventors. I was waiting to see if anyone would. Hopefully it will cause some people to look into the stories of these great minds. It would be time well spent.

Nancy 9:57 AM  

@Loren (4:42) -- I'm going to make a non-Mathematician's stab at answering your Was- CALCULUS-invented-or-merely-uncovered question. I'd say that, while the "truths" of CALCULUS may already exist in nature, CALCULUS is the [invented] system that enables you to figure out those truths. Sort of like the gold is there somewhere in those mountains, but you need a prospector's map to find it. (If I'm wrong, @mathgent will point it out to me gently and nicely, because @mathgent does everything gently and nicely.)

Like @SuzieQ, I thought the Ali quote (58D) was hysterical. I'd never heard it, and it made me laugh out loud.

The other thing that made me laugh out loud was the answer to "emulates a Disney princess" (62A). Wondering if we'll ever have a Disney princess who doesn't?

Clueless 10:01 AM  

Heat setting => Miami


I recently watched Heat, the 1990s movie that takes place in Los Angeles

I haven't watched television in ages. Is / Was Heat on TV?

Colby 10:03 AM  

The ATOM BOMB answer just 2 days after the 73rd anniversary of Hiroshima is unfortunate.

ArtO 10:04 AM  

Clever theme. And, why not some names some of us have not heard of. Isn't it a nice bonus when we learn something new when doing a puzzle? Not fair of OFL o criticize that aspect. And, sorry you couldn't break your all time fastest Wednesday because of the 1a start.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

@Clueless - The Miami Heat is an NBA team

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

OK. So I see "papa" and I don't think people. I think bears. As in papa bear, mama bear and baby bear. the idea that papa bear could now be shacking up with another papa bear is not a realistic reason to attack a perfectly good clue. although, it does invoke a fairy tale...

Weber 10:41 AM  

At literally no time in human history would someone be criticized for making a MAMA-Papa link. Never. Ever. Until now. I suppose the 60s band of the same name should be thrown into the memory hole too? Your self righteous woke-ness act has turned into self parody and is equally whiny and grating.

Noam D. Elkies 10:45 AM  

@Conrad There's more to the 50A:ATOMBOMB than E=mc^2, just as there's more to a normal bomb than conservation of energy. (You need a nuclear chain reaction and a way to suddenly start it off; that's only barely possible, and the only known substances that allow it are the rare isotope 235 of uranium and the artificial element plutonium that must be made in a controlled chain reaction.)

Yes, ironic to see Rex complain about trivia when for once the shoe is on the other foot. In what world is a co-inventor of the TELEPHONE or co-discoverer of the PERIODIC TABLE less worth learning about than some sportz dude of decades ago?


P.S. Also funny to complain about the clue for 27D:MAMA but not the "friend to a Frenchman" clue for 22A:AMIE. (Besides, even in the relatively rare cases that Papa's mate is another father. the kids probably don't call *both* of them Papa -- one might be Papa and the other Daddy. Or Rex can pretend that it's a reference to some folk-rock group.)

JC66 11:00 AM  

Maybe both @Rex and @Z make comments just to stir the shit.

JC66 11:00 AM  

Or not.

jb129 11:02 AM  

I liked it - fun, easy - thank you AK.

Don't worry tomorrow is Rebus Thursday

Linda Vale 11:06 AM  

Oy. I am sooooo triggered by MAMA.
Time to ban the word.
Ban the Mamas and the Papas.
Mama Cass? Purge from history.
Any restaurant with MAMA in the name: protest!
Mamma Mia?
The song by Genesis? Banned.

I suggest that we replace the word MAMA with c*nt because that’s ok.

That first word from the baby? MAMA? Horrific. I demand that parents teach the baby to say c*nt instead.

Joseph Michael 11:10 AM  

My partner and I both completed the puzzle at exactly at the same moment, but I am taking the credit for it.

Got the theme instantly with MINDS and was impressed that the four themers are all of equal length. Kudos to the constructor for noticing that,

Did not mind the cross referencing in the clue for 1A because I don’t give a damn about my solving time. I enjoy delving into the mysteries of a puzzle and hope that the experience won’t be over too quickly.

However, I did think the clue for SINGS was toonist since it reduces Disney princesses to a stereotype.

JC66 11:17 AM  

@ kitshef

If one shows up for the cotillion/ball/Oscar Party a half hour late (s)he's fashionably late. If (s)he shows up for a dinner party/date/meeting a half hour late...that's rude.

FrankStein 11:22 AM  

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “c’est la vie” does not mean “oh well” or “alas” — it simply means “that’s life” which is much more upbeat than the NYT and its constructors think.

jberg 11:24 AM  

@Loren, it depends on your point of view. I suppose Platonists would say that no one invents anything, only discovers the eternal forms that have always been there. I'm on the other side -- the world is a chaotic jumble, and what inventors, scientists, and all other sorts of GREAT and lesser MINDS do is make up categories and assigning portions of the world to them, aka, abstracting. So in that sense all those things are invented. Even the periodic table -- invented as a device for understanding the combinatorial proclivities of different elements.

Brilliant avatar, btw -- I needed @Roo to figure it out.

Oh, the puzzle -- I just skipped over 1A because of the cross-reference and started working crosses from COMIC--I didn't know anything about Joseph Swan, but when I got to 23A, it was obviously CALCULUS, so the revealer was clearly going to be GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE if it fit -- and it did. After that the whole thing was pretty easy because I had so many squares filled in already.

@Al E. -- I thought that too, but then I thought some more, and realized that people say both ATOM and atomic BOMB more or less interchangeably.

@Suzie, I don't mind 'quaint' per se, but I don't see it with TATAS as a way to say goodbye -- people do that all the time. Could have been clued as 'one of the richest families in India,' but why bother?

Parting thought: you could make a theme out of things like SIN APSES, but could we clue it without evoking the disturbing thought of abuse by priests?

Hartley70 11:36 AM  

I’m on Nancy’s team big time. I loved it! It’s Wednesday. The most boring puzzle day of the week for me and I thought this was a very welcome change. There was plenty that wasn’t obvious, like AINGE. Who dat? DEE, is a bad grade. I’ve been to Venice and The RIALTO is a movie theater to me. RADAMES is not a household name in this household. TOD who? HEAT did not make Miami a gimme. ALI is all about butterflies and bees, much sweeter. I know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons. Is it a video game or a real dress up game? I hope it’s the latter. I’ll be a prison guard. I’ll get to feed the dragon. Shades of GOT!

Add to the fun, there were unknown inventors! They deserve their bit of fame in the newspaper of record. I’m all about learning new stuff in the puzzles, even if it’s ORIOLES flying around Camden Yard. I probably have that info stuffed somewhere but I try to forget it.

Thanks for the puzzle, Mr. Kingsley.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

two weeks ago, I would've taken great umbrage at your abusive priests comment and explained how it had more than a whiff of anti-Catholic bigotry. Now, I might gently suggest that you didn't go far enough. The McCarrick revelations are a stain on the Church and an indictment of the entire conference of American bishops and plenty of episcopates around the world. It pains me greatly to say it to say it. But it appears to be the awful truth. Makes my synapses hurt and my heart ache.
Anyway I'd do a puzzle with your sin apses clue/solution.

Crimson Devil 11:47 AM  

Interesting tidbit re AGB: President Garfield lingered months after being shot, while unsanitized docs probed around in him looking for bullet and AGB sought feverishly to invent sonar-type device to find it. JAG died from infection.

TOCraig 11:56 AM  

I'm not sure what all the beef is about. Enjoyed this one very much and find it reasonably clever. Yes, was very fast, but I'm okay with that. Meanwhile, the NYT has a lengthy article about the Bachelorette show. Not sure this is really news....?

Unknown 12:01 PM  

This is the most annoying thing I learned in HS Latin. Mostly annoying to my family members who have made it clear they no longer want to hear my comments about license plate surrounds that say alumni. I guess it’s too confusing/expensive to have alumnus and alumna surrounds for coed institutions.

Katie 12:06 PM  

"Get bent" has always struck me as vaguely heterosexist, while we're at it...

Unknown 12:08 PM  

While the solve seemed easy and close to a best time for me, I thought some of the clues were off. For example, how is "stress" an answer for "Drive home"? They're not the same thing. I felt the same way about the themers. Leibniz and Newton are not calculus.

Masked and Anonymous 12:12 PM  

yep. Thought I was becomin a real whizkid at speed-solvin a puz … then I waddled over here to the Comment Gallery. nope.
Did lose some precious nanoseconds, readin the lead-off puzclue. har. Different, tho. I like different. But but but … why the calculus italicize the themer clues? Leave em alone. Then U could cross-reference all of them in the 1-A clue, too, along with everything else. Dare to go long -- break the record!

Luv that a puz with a theme about great minds and thinkin led off with a LIGHTBULB themer.
Learned some new inventor names, along the way; a good thing.

Re: {Papa's mate} = MAMA [short for mate-mate]. Moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz-like clue, in a WedPuz. Outrageous. M&A is appalled. Don't make me come down there, Shortzmeister. snort

staff weeject pick: TOD. Schlock movie-related. Primo.

Thanx for the inventive puz, Mr. Kingsley. Great minds think differently.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

grated mind invention:

Bob Mills 12:17 PM  

Easy but fun. Good theme.

Unknown 12:38 PM  

Are you new to this forum? Politicizing crosswords is about 70% of what happens here on a daily basis.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Good one @ Joseph Michael!

Girish 12:40 PM  

@Lewus 6:04 AM Thank you, Lewis! Obviously, since we agree to disagree with OFL, not all GMTA.
Enjoy this summer day. ��

'merican in Paris 12:41 PM  

@Unknown at 12:08 PM -- "STRESS a point" and "drive home a point" may not be exactly the same, but they seem close enough synonyms to me to qualify for a crossword.

Unknown 12:43 PM  

Absolutely ridiculous PC Police stuff going on here with 27D. Of course MAMA isn’t thie only possible answer. Is it your first crossword puzzle guys? Lots of answers could potentially fit. That’s kind of the whole point.

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

@Linda Vale 11:06
LOL. Unfortunately, some people will take you seriously

OISK 12:56 PM  

Some here seem of the opinion that Crossword Constructors should strive for gender balance in their cluing. Or, perhaps, ethnic balance. Or that we should keep track of the genders of the constructors themselves. It's a PUZZLE! Someone was concerned with "atom bomb" only 2 days after the anniversary of Hiroshima. It's a PUZZLE !

The inventors were right up my alley, so the theme answers went in right away. Would have been faster than Monday for me, but for Disney Princesses, and Dungeon and Dragons. But yes, very easy, and I even knew "Dee" from prior puzzles. (River in Northern Scotland would be a much better clue AFAIAC. )

Unknown 1:04 PM  

@'merican, thank you. Of course you are right, I don't know how I missed that.

Teedmn 1:07 PM  

I DOOKed myself into an average Wednesday time. With PERIODICT____ in at 33D, I should have been able to fill in that last bit and move on but instead needed 37-,38, and 39D to see PERIODIC TABLE. The brain was coming up with PERIO-DICTA-PHONE? (too long) PERIODICTAtion (also too long), etc. etc. Forehead slap on the table of elements - sorry Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer.

Also, my little LaBoR of love in the NE for garage jobs, 13D. AMIE and MINDS fixed that one.

While I'm surprised this puzzle had enough of a BARB (hook) to get POW over at xwordinfo, I think it was well done. Thanks, Andrew Kingsley.

BarbieBarbie 1:46 PM  

@Z. did you find PAIRS of women who both invented the same thing at the same time? I'm guessing not.

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

Marie Curie & Henri Becquerel There, that didn't take long.

AdamW 1:47 PM  

I consider myself pretty liberal - but the amount of PC nonsense being spewed lately about the puzzle is just mind-bogglingly ridiculous. Pretty sure these are people that just love to hate things, particularly Rex vis-a-vis the NYT editor.

Mark N 1:52 PM  

Thought this one was dynamite. Very easy, yes, but fun and interesting throughout!

BarbieBarbie 1:59 PM  

@Anon 1:47, what did Marie Curi or Henri Becquerel invent? I know they both discovered a lot of cool stuff. But, invent?

Trombone Tom 2:11 PM  

Clever and engaging theme. Overall on the easy side for Wednesday. I liked it.

Thank you @Crimson Devil for that interesting "tidbit."

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

"heteroist"? oh my. Congrats on your wokeness, Rex.

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

don't bother. Z never admits error. He misunderstood the theme, and compounded his error by claiming even a cursory glance at his link would provide easy examples of women who cut fit the bill for today's puzzle. many have pointed out his error regarding the puzzle; that he has yet to repost, speaks louder tan anything about him.

ps. and of course his drivel about mama being problematic is being roundly and rightly scorned

Anon 1:47 2:24 PM  

@BarbieBarbie - XRay photography? The notion of sub-atomic particles? Spelling names correctly?

BTW, what did Leibniz invent that matches your understanding of "invent"?

Anon 1:47 2:28 PM  

@BarbieBarbie - BTW, Newton has a major invention, an important, actual thing (actually a process that makes a thing) still in use today. Any chance you know what it is?

Joe Bleaux 2:29 PM  

"Stress" is for those who have something against the more elegant and less ambiguous "emphasize."

Joe Bleaux 2:32 PM  

"Stress" is for those who have something against the more elegant and less ambiguous "emphasize."

Joanne 2:54 PM  

Archie's partner- Betty or Veronica?

Oh wait! It might be Jughead!

@Rex- I expect you to toss all your Archie COMICs INAHEAP.
They are heterosexist.

Anonymous 2:56 PM  

Liberals have managed to squeeze the joy out of everything.
Even a simple word puzzle now must conform or die.
No sense of humor.
This blog used to be fun and educational.
I don't recognize it anymore.
Introduce a different point of view and get run out on a rail.
Just think how many have been lost.

Anonymous 3:27 PM  

Anon 1:47
what are you talking about? Becquerel and the Curies--you forgot to mention Pierre--didn't invent the same thing. ( and necessarily, the temporal element required of the puzzle is also not there).
X-Ray photography? That's Wilhelm Roentgen.
Sub atomic particles? JJ Thompson and Ernest Rutherford. But not Marie curie. She did great work and a lot of it. But surely she is no fit for today's puzzle.

Who's your daddy? Oh sorry. who's your care provider? is that better PC police?

Doc John 3:36 PM  

Every friggin' day you have to look for something to get your panties in a bunch. Every. Friggin' Day.
You know, I used to come to this blog to either get clarification on an answer or theme that I wasn't able to grok or possibly some fun or interesting commentary.
Now it's just complaint after complaint, either about the puzzle or some word that just doesn't fit in with your ultra-liberal, this-close-to-fascist way of thinking. (And I consider myself very liberal, BTW.)
I'd say that I won't be back but that's not true, mostly because of the reasons above.
P.S. I'm gay and I still think that your P.P.S. reeks of uber "look how enlightened I am" smugness. You're trying too hard.

Banana Diaquiri 3:49 PM  

Unfortunately, in the USA at least, there is a lack of appreciation for inventors who made or make their discoveries elsewhere:

since the un-American entries occurred before there was one (the first stab at a periodic table was just before, and those foreign looking names for A BOMB did so here), not such a big deal. anyone whose had a 'liberal education', i.e. broad in the catholic (lower case c) sense, should have no problem recalling at least one of each pair, which is also the point.

God created the integers

actually, it was the Arabs. that's why grade schoolers learn about Arabic Numerals. or, God created all types of numbers, including complex. humans just dug them up. along with gold, coal, and oil. Science Channel has a continuing series (actually, more than one...) called 'How the Universe Works', which delves into how all this corporeal world came to be. fur instance: where did the water come from?

in general, humans figure out how God/Nature/the Cosmos works and claim to have invented. Ph.D. level maths tend to 'invent' artificial algebras and geometries. they appear to have too much time on their hands.

Anonymous 3:57 PM  

Help a brother out. Is anon 1:47 referring to the Newton-Raphson method? Is numerical analysis (functionally) a bit of calculus, or no?

Anonymous 4:14 PM  

Re: Anonymous1:47 PM comment

"Marie Curie & Henri Becquerel There, that didn't take long."

Does anyone see anything wrong with this as an example of women who both invented the same thing at the same time? Anyone? Anything at all.....?

GILL I. 4:54 PM  

@Doc John, I remember you from way back in the days that I was lurking and actually afraid (or maybe timid) to jump in here. I've been hooked for the last 8 or so years.
You know things have changed considerably, right? New People, @Rex evolving, new politics.
I come because of some of the wonderful regulars. I wish more would give themselves an avatar and sustain from being anonymous; leads to all kinds of hidden snark.
@Z puts himself out there even knowing a ton of people will jump on him. Good for him for hanging on to his beliefs. @Mohair Sam - one of my favorites - jumped ship because he couldn't stand the snark. I won't name all the others who have been incredibly turned off by OFL and his Debbie Downers. The list goes on...
What is not disputed is that there are A LOT of very bright people here. I think the majority who disagree on any given subject, do so with intelligence. I've learned a lot here.
@Rex is who he is. Agree with him or not. He makes a lot of sense at times and at the same time he can be tiring. Take it with a grain of salt. The other day, a blogger mentioned that there were so many other things to worry about (poverty, world hunger, etc.) than a simple word appearing in a puzzle that meant no harm. True...ain't it?
Stay with the crowd; add your feedback - I'll listen. and I bet others will too. :-)

JC66 5:04 PM  


Hear, hear!

Anon 1:47 5:49 PM  

@Anon 4:14 I never said was an example of two women. I just offered an alternative to an all male list.

Anonymous 5:51 PM  

Yes, right between Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days, August 6 and 9. Remember that Einstein said Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Nancy 6:08 PM  

@GILL (4:54) -- Mohair's gone? For good? [Sob] Please tell me it isn't so! And because of the snark? For the love of God, everyone, don't read the bleeping snark! Don't. Read. It.

@Anon (2:56) -- Please don't tar all liberals with that brush. I bow to no one in the generally liberal tenor of my politics, but I despise the kind of knee-jerk, humorless, smug, self-righteous and often completely laughable political correctness that I see on this blog. I agree with those who've said it reads like parody. I don't read any of the Outrage-of-the-Day comments. Not Rex's and not yours, either, to all those of you who are equally Outraged. I know there was some sort of absurd kerfuffle today about MAMA, but I have no idea what it was. I don't want to know. If I did immerse myself in these comments, I probably would have long ago flown the coop along with @Mohair (Sob, again. Come back, Mohair!) Not all liberals are politically correct, @Anon 2:56. Some of us actually have a sense of humor. And humor, I find, is not compatible with smugness and self-righteousness.

Anonymous 6:38 PM  

@Anon 3:57 - I would guess the answer lies in his work when he was in charge of the Mint. Coins at the time were of precious metal, and people would scrape a little of the edges. Newton invented putting ridges on the edges of coins to prevent shaving.

Voice of Reason 6:52 PM  

Look, people like Rex Parker,, Milo Yiannopolis or whatever his name is, Alex Jones, and Z will always exist. Just ignore them. They’re extremists. Alt right Alt left, whatever. Cooler heads should prevail.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

I dont mind extremism. But stupidity galls me. Milo is an exhibitionist. I think A. Jones is too. Z is a narcisist. And narcissists are a dime a dozen. Its his his mind boggling lack of intellectual rigor wedded to his arrogance that offends me. Not his morality of the moment or insipid wiki linking or any of his other shortcomings. We all have plenty of those. But few on this board are as smug. (There are some fruity exceptions)

clk 8:21 PM  

Today's blog reads like a parody of itself. I would so much rather learn the names of inventors from my puzzle than have to dredge up yet another baseball player from 20 years. This idea that word play>trivia may be true but it is completely negated by the vast amounts of sports trivia that we have to slog through. And then to complain about people who actually contributed something real and lasting to the world?
You have truly jumped the shark with your MAMA comment. I am very liberal but this is absurd.

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

I will come to this blog no more forever. Please relay my thanks to @LMS (I know she skips the anons) for her good humor and self-deprecating wit.

ZenMonkey 9:22 PM  

ASL is a natural language, not a system. This is bad enough to count as a legitimate error, especially given the number of signing systems that do exist and are absolutely not ASL.

Anonymous 10:26 PM  

Let's put this MAMA in perspective:
Rex - "MAMA ... is heterosexist, OK bye."
NaytNaytNayt - "27D (MAMA) Not always..."

That was the beginning and end of it. Not a rant. Not a lecture. Not a dramatic monologue of verbal victimization. Just a simple, gentle reminder that the world has many flavors, and it is richer for it. My love of crosswords stems from the moment where I suddenly see something in a context I wasn't expecting - that beautiful "aha" moment you get when you see a word or a concept from another perspective. When I read Rex's comment, I genuinely had one of those "aha" moments: I thought, "it never even occurred to me that MAMA doesn't have to be the pair to PAPA" and I actually was pleased that it broadened my perspective. And I actually think that was the point. Not to dictate that for every MAMA-PAPA pairing there must now be a PAPA-PAPA pairing or some such idiocy. Just a simple stop-and-think moment.

Then, there was the deluge of responses in these comments... I'd like to think that those of you who finish your crossword in single-digit minutes (better than I) represent a more-enlightened and open-minded group. That a reminder that there are people who differ from us would not set off such a firestorm of fury, resentment, and outrage. Paragraphs and paragraphs of people being so "offended" by political correctness. Yes, sometimes PC hype goes too far. But this time was not one of those times. If it really messes you up that someone reminds you that a dude is sometimes gonna be with another dude, you need to get to the root of your own outrage. Save that for your MAGA-hat-wearing friends. (That was intended to offend *someone* on here. Deal with it.

GILL I. 10:38 PM  

@Anonymous 10:26. Why are you anonymous? You write well and you make a valid point....a good one. Why not tell us who you are? Even if you make up a name, at least you have a more valid identity; you have a name we can refer to. Anonys are just cheap air. It hovers and we have to breath it. Some good Mother Earth oxygen is welcome.

Z 11:21 PM  

Wowser - Get busy living for a day and the blog goes off kilter. Oh, wait, it's off kilter most days.

@JC66 - Not Guilty. Although it's pretty predictable what the anonytwits are going to say, I don't let them shut me up. If they can't handle a different perspective that's their problem.

@'mericans - Yep to a MAMA, nope to any semblance of her being "Papa's mate." Oh, sure, there was a sperm donor my mom was once married to, but I remember meeting him exactly three times and the third time was his funeral. That was the best conversation we ever had. As for my own off-spring, two of the three will never be in a "papa/MAMA" situation, even if they do manage to procreate some day. So, from personal experience, the clue for MAMA was Ozzie and Harriet narrow-minded, exclusionary, and also hetero-normative in a world with a much wider range of normal.

Regarding my link - I guess I didn't explain my point very well, but I was in a hurry. No, I didn't even bother to look at the site (how long do people think 3.7 picoseconds is?). Maybe our constructor just knew this set of scientists. My guess, though, is that he had to do a little digging. My intended point was that it would have been an improvement if he had chosen to look for a wider diversity of inventors and discoverers. I guess I assumed people realized that independent discovery ain't that unusual. My bad.

@Gill I - Thanks. To be perfectly candid, I could not possibly care an iota less what the anonyhordes say. Mostly it is rehashed lame arguments they are cribbing from Twitter and Facebook. I often disagreed with Evil Doug, but at least he could form a defensible cogent argument. Most of the regulars and semi-regulars are the same. I rather enjoy and appreciate having my thinking challenged by thoughtful people. Further, the regular commentariat can disagree without being disagreeable. As for the tiresome anons - OH WELL.

Anonymous 11:30 PM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, and also the discussion, as always.
There is a feature on Rex Parker, his blog and this community in The Chronicle of Higher Education today. It appears not to be behind a firewall. You can search for it, or here's the link, if it will post:


Karen in NY

Anonymous 12:01 AM  

The Miami Heat is a basketball team

Bill Feeney 12:13 PM  

“You’ll never find your footwear in that messy closet.”
“Goody, two shoes.”

thefogman 8:47 AM  

For those of you who (like me)do not have the italicized clues on your syndicated puzzle, here is where the italicized text should have appeared:

18A, 23A, 33A, 50A and 54A.

thefogman 9:47 AM  

I see Rex's hatefest against themers continues. OHWELL ! I liked this one a lot. It was fun and educational, even though it was a bit too easy for a Wednesday. I got the gimmick immediately after I solved 1A and breezed through without any writeovers. Sometimes Rex is like a glutton who gobbles down food without even tasting it. He needs to stop and smell the roses along the way.

thefogman 10:06 AM  

PPS - Karen In NY posted the link above about the feature on Rex Parker. It is worth checking out. I loved this little gem: Will Shortz, the renowned puzzle editor at The New York Times, once told CBS that he had “mixed feelings” about Sharp and his blog, but appreciates what it does for the community. Gee. I wonder if Trump has "mixed feelings" about Bob Woodward? :-)

Here is the link:


spacecraft 11:32 AM  

Really? Offended by Papa's mate = MAMA?? You have GOT to be kidding. In protest, I hereby award DOD status to the late, great MAMA Cass Elliott. So there.

On these names, I think maybe: one invented, the other refined? Not sure. Does anybody know about the CALCULUS guys? I throw off OFL's comments; anything that costs him precious nanoseconds he's not gonna like. What a perfectly AWFUL way to live! I did find this puzzle to be rather easier than the average midweek offering, and with no real groaners in a theme-dense grid; that speaks to constructor skill.

Honorable mention to CHER, who could arguably be a DOD in each of six (!) decades--and of course, to the lovely BELLE. Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:31 PM  


GREAT MINDS THINK with some lapses,
they’re all ALIKE – COMIC clones –


Diana,LIW 2:04 PM  

I've been "doing" some Wednesday puzzle books, and this did seem on the "easy" side of their ILK.

Had to mILK that one.

I, too, didn't know most of the inventors, so I, too, learned some things. And I finally looked up "esker" from another puzzle, so I'm now ready for that, too.

Camden Yards always makes me think of Camden, NJ, which makes me think of Campbell's soup. so there

Do you think it's fall yet, or still summer? Discuss among yourselves.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 4:56 PM  

Again, I liked it more than OFL. Perhaps not GREAT, but pretty good. Most of the themers showed up pretty much by themselves with easy fill-in-the-blanks. THATIS, they were inferable.

Do scientists occasionally eat at the PERIODICTABLE?


Yesterday’s HARPO followed by today’s MEL – this is a week to remember my dad.

Who else SINGS like yeah baby CHER? She’s making another tour about 10 years after the farewell tour.

I’ll give this puz ALIKE. OHWELL, THATIS all.

rondo 5:00 PM  

@D,LIW - sunny and 80s here all this week; 18 holes yesterday, 9 tomorrow and at least 9 more Friday = summer

Anonymous 5:02 PM  

Nailed it!

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