Fermented milk drink / THU 9-13-18 / Pre-snap signal / Tatooine has two of them / Three barleycorns as defined by Edward II / Start of some hybrid music styles

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Constructor: Alex Eaton-Salners

Relative difficulty: Medium (5:56)

THEME: IN BOX / OUT BOX (69A: Where work piles up ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme / 72A: Where finished work goes ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme) — rebus puzzle with an IN box and OUT box in each of the four long Acrosses:

Theme answers:
  • CARP(IN)G AB(OUT) (18A: Finding fault with)
  • THE FOUNTA(IN) OF Y(OUT)H (30A: Goal for Ponce de León)
  • FROTH(IN)G AT THE M(OUT)H (47A: Incensed)
  • RA(IN)BOW TR(OUT) (60A: Colorful food fish)
Word of the Day: CHARLY (10D: Oscar-winning Cliff Robertson title role) —
Charly (marketed and stylized as CHAЯLY) is a 1968 American drama film, directed and produced by Ralph Nelson, and written by Stirling Silliphant. It was based on Flowers for Algernon, a science fiction short story (1958) and subsequent novel (1966) by Daniel Keyes.
The film stars Cliff Robertson as Charly Gordon, an intellectually disabled adult who is selected by two doctors to undergo a surgical procedure that triples his IQ as it did for Algernon, a laboratory mouse who also underwent the same procedure; additional roles are co-played by Claire BloomLilia SkalaLeon Janney, and Dick Van Patten. Robertson was reprising his previous portrayal of the same role in a 1961 television adaptation, "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon", an episode of the anthology series The United States Steel Hour. (wikipedia)
• • •

I really like this theme, particularly the way the revealer answers resemble (in their stackedness) the thing they describe. I also like how tightly the theme is expressed: one IN, one OUT, with the former always preceding the latter, in each of the four themers. IN, OUT, IN, OUT, IN ... sounds a little dirty when I say it that way, but you get the picture. Consistency! But a hidden consistency that you have to suss out (i.e. where's the IN!? where's the OUT?). One big problem with the theme was FROTHING. The phrase is "foaming at the mouth." I lost valuable time wondering what the hell was going on with this non-foaming answer. I see that people (allegedly) also use this FROTHING expression, but (per google) less than half as often as they use the real, better expression. I don't know why "food" is in the clue for RAINBOW TROUT (60A: Colorful food fish). It adds nothing to the answer's gettability. It's just this weird extra bit of information—yeah, people eat it. Nobody cares, puzzle. [Colorful fish] would've worked just fine.

I found this one pretty easy as rebus puzzles go. Started very quickly in the NW (not surprising, given that everything up there is a short answer) and then got predictably bogged down in the NE all around the area of the first themer. I thought CARPING AT was a perfectly good answer for 18A: Finding fault with, so the rebusness of it all eluded me longer than it might have if I'd drawn a blank for that clue. I think I actually wrote in FATISH (?!) at one point for 12D: Somewhat stocky (STOUTISH). I finally figured out something weird was going on with the Ponce de León clue, which I *knew* had to be THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH ... but the letters I had appeared to be in the wrong place. But I had OF and then the terminal H, and so I put OUT in there and then I realized 9D: "Dancing With the Stars" co-host Andrews had to be ER*IN* and after that, things got Very easy. I spelled AHH "AAH" and there was the whole foaming/frothing confusion, but otherwise, I sped through this thing to the end. Nice to have it all end, thematically, at that strange revealer set-up in the SE. This (and only this) is why God invented random Roman numerals—to make worthwhile tricky corners work.

Pretty motley group of pop culture names today. Mostly older, occasionally marginal, all male. I barely know who Cliff Robertson is and I sure as hell don't know the movie "CHARLY"—he won an Oscar for that? It happened before I was born so I probably shouldn't be so surprised at not knowing that. And cluing Mark HARMON as just [Actor Mark] is hilarious. I feel like his level of fame require some extra info, like "of 'NCIS' fame" or whatever. I've never seen "NCIS" (which is somehow Still On The Air and has been since 2003!!!!). All I know about HARMON is he's married to Pam Dawber (of "Mork & Mindy" fame) and once pulled a guy from a burning car. Dick ENBERG and Jay LENO are also in this puzzle. It's a really weird men's club meeting today, is what I'm saying.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Harryp 12:02 AM  

Both a Rebus and a Pangram for this Thursday gem. It was Easy, but I liked it a lot. Kudos to Mr. Eaton-Salners.

Melrose 12:38 AM  

Deked? Dojo? What are they?

Katy 12:42 AM  

I generally go through the across clues first and then the downs, so I was delighted with the side-by-side clues/answers of Mark HAmill and the two SUNS of Tattoo(in)e. Alas, it was not meant to be...

Marc 12:43 AM  

Fastest Thursday for me in a while, although I'm not hung up on how fast I complete a puzzle. But it lets me know it was easy. Knew something was up on The Fountain of Youth (I was there, drank some, doesn't work), like Rex, and was smooth sailing from there, except KEFIR and CARPING ABOUT, which took a few minutes to get. Also had HAMILL for HARMON at first, which seemed to work since the next clue was a Star Wars reference as well.

puzzlehoarder 12:44 AM  

Since Tuesday my times have been right on average. This was a routine Thursday difficulty wise.

Starting in the upper middle I knew something had to be up with 9D. The IN thing didn't become clear until I got YOU AGAIN. SNOUT was where I caught onto OUT.

I tried starting 47A with FOAMING but I immediately corrected myself. 30A was then obvious but the NE corner still went in last due to it's theme density. It didn't help that I had to work around CHARLY and ENBERG.

In the SE I was slowed a little by reading the 60A clue as "Colorful fish food." This was in large part due to the akwardness of "food fish." Game fish is a phrase. Food fish just looks like green paint.

The theme didn't directly address it but you could say this was all about getting the INs and the OUTs of the puzzle.

TomAz 1:19 AM  

This puzzle was fine, for all the reasons Rex mentions. Except I found the revealer to be unbearably clunky. Nobody has actual INBOXes and OUTBOXes any more do they? I mean, as a way of distributing work and moderate workflow, these concepts went away sometime in the late 80s. Now, INBOX has retained a metaphorical usage, sure. You can say "I got stuff piling up in my INBOX" without literally meaning a physical INBOX. but OUTBOX? not in any office I've worked in in the last oh say 25+ years. Not literally, not figuratively. OUTBOX a non-thing, and hence thud. A disappointing ending to an otherwise decent puzzle.

jae 1:31 AM  

Easy. Pretty good Thurs., liked it.

CHARLY was based on the short story/book Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

Larry Gilstrap 1:33 AM  

I tread warily when it's a Thursday and I smell rebus in the air, and sure enough the puzzle met and exceeded my expectations. Once I caught the trick, the solve was satisfying.

Definitely an L.A. vibe to the fill. Trader JOE'S began in Monrovia and IN-N-OUT began in Baldwin Park, both becoming iconic brands. Mark was the quarterback at UCLA and his dad Tom HARMON was a Heisman Trophy winner, war hero, sports broadcaster on KTLA, and play-by-play announcer for UCLA football, just to name a few of his accomplishments. Dick ENBERG became a legend in L.A. sports when he was the announcer for UCLA basketball, back during the Wooden Era when they would rarely lose a game. He was the voice of the Angels for many seasons, and even when the team was deplorable, he teamed up with Don Drysdale and I have rarely heard such joyful chemistry between two men. Oh, my!

Cooked up some RAINBOW TROUT Sunday night and it was delicious, much to my surprise.

What was up with that whole ERIN Andrews hotel peephole story? Sordid and puzzling to say the least. Fortunately, she seems to have risen above that despicable nonsense.

Thursday enough for most of you, I bet.

Mo Pariser 1:42 AM  

My favorite puzzle in months. Could probably have been an early-week offering based on my time. My fastest Thursday to date and a blast zipping through. Thank you AES.

French word count: 1

Dolgo 2:06 AM  

DEKED? Hey, you sports fans. Don't complain about opera clues after such obscurities ( hockey term, indeed!).

Robin 2:40 AM  

As @jae says, CHARLY = Flowers for Algernon. Classic stuff. I pity the folk who haven't read the book or seen the movie.

OTOH, have to agree the clueing of "Actor Mark" for HARMON was extremely weak. Before looking at the grid and counting squares, my first thought was "HAMILL"? Harmon was a name in the 1980s; not so sure what he's done since then, but I stopped watching print-time TV about 20 years ago.

Anyhoo, originally entered FOUNTAINOFYOUTH for the PdL clue, and it fit. But then started to see there would be problems in the crosses. Quickly enough realized there would be rebuses.

Robin 2:43 AM  

@TomAz, there may be no INBOX on my desk, but when i go to work in the a.m., I effing dread checking the contents of the INBOX in my e-mail app.

The OUTBOX, on the other hand, I love. Proof that I have done something, even if it's blowing off someone's asinine question.

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

FYI "Rex:" NCIS was the top-rated show for many years, and may still be in the top five today. That is why it is "somehow Still On The Air"--DUH!!

chefwen 3:20 AM  

After getting QUIZ, ETRE and DEKED for some odd reason I flipped to the SE corner and discovered the IN BOX, OUT BOX dealio. That made this, one of the easiest rebus puzzles I have ever done. Of course, I still enjoyed it but it was over before I wanted it to be over.

Biggest hang up was trying to figure out why FoamINg AT THE MOUTH just wasn’t going to work. Must be regional.

Love me a rebus but this one was a tad bit too easy.

Gotta get back to the Midwest so I can partake in some RAinBOW TRout, I do miss freshwater fish.

Loren Muse Smith 3:25 AM  

So early on with YOU AGAIN, I thought I had gotten the theme. I even figured the reveal would be IN BOX. Ok. No biggie. Run-of-the-mill rebus. But when I saw both reveals, stacked (!), I was delighted. Nifty nifty nifty.

An aspect I really appreciate is that (save THIN OUT) each IN and OUT is truly disguised in the phrase. So nary a FALLING OUT or FOOT IN MOUTH. Even the downs caught in the crossfire disguise IN and OUT. Elegant. Think about it. ;-)

Oh, and if the rebus isn’t fishy enough for you, Alex went with CARP and TROUT in two themers. Hah. We have grass carp in our pond the size of small refrigerators. But they seem nice enough.

@TomAz – yeah, I was thinking that there was no OUTBOX anymore. Kinda wish my msn email had one. I could pop off a snarky email, send it to the OUTBOX, sleep on it, then think the better of it. I guess the “draft” section serves that purpose now, but I usually send the damn thing and regret it later.

But BUT… I think it’s totally in the language, still, and is fine. So are typewriter, payphone, camcorder, yellow pages, and common decency, all stuff we don’t use anymore.

I rather liked STOUTISH. If I pack on a few, I guess being described this way is a little better than stout. Like I’m headed that way but the jury’s still out.

@chefbea – have you evacuated? Sending positive vibes to all in the path of Florence.

Brookboy 3:34 AM  

Nice puzzle, relatively easy once I sussed out the rebus. Nice write-up from OFL.

I’m old enough to remember outboxes, which were often on everyone’s desk in the office. This was when the common sound throughout the workday was the pleasant clicking of typewriter keys. Then it was a real pain in the butt when the boss wanted to insert a sentence or even a word in the document that had just been typed. Usually meant you had to re-type the entire document. And woe to anyone who forgot to mark the paper in the typewriter to leave a bottom margin. If you typed down to the bottom of the page you had to retype the entire page again.

Those were the days...

DeeJay 5:25 AM  

I'm turning 60 this week and Charly was my favorite movie for many years. Heartbreakingly sad, but it taught me that however different we seem to be from one another, we all have a lot in common.

Terrific puzzle, imho. I do the perimeter first so the erebus was snagged early on.

Nemo 5:58 AM  

Why specify FOOD fish? I suspect because there are a lots and lots of colorful fish, but not all are food fish. Some will kill you if eaten.

Carola 6:02 AM  

Very cute. The right side of my grid was peppered with question marks until YOU AGAIN signaled the squeeze on FOUNTAIN and CUB SCOUT popped into mental view to finish up YOUTH. It was fun to locate the other INs and OUTs. Re: the existence of electronic INBOXes and OUTBOXes, my Mail program has an Outbox which curiously enough is where unsent messages end up.

Hungry Mother 6:50 AM  

Happy day! Nice rebus puzzle without much trivia. Theme entries were a bit easy, but the rebuses made up for it.

Hungry Mother 6:56 AM  

The best way to understand why NCIS is still on the air and has multiple spinoffs is to watch it, not wonder why. We enjoy all versions and did some mean binge watching to catch up with all of them a while back.

king_yeti 7:03 AM  

No time for the old IN and OUT luv, just came to read the meter.

Taffy-Kun 7:10 AM  

"Deke" move esp. In ice hockey to fake out an opponent by getting them moving thevwrongbway.
" Dojo" hall for Martial Arts such as Karate, Judo...

Rainbow 7:12 AM  

I think you tried really hard (and succeeded) in ruining this fun puzzle for yourself. Sad.

Dawn Urban 7:20 AM  

Agreed, game fish would have been more accurate, but I would have been thinking "Nemo the Clownfish" if "food" hadn't been clued.

I wonder if most solvers fell for "Hamill" over HARMON.

Besides the STAR WARS clue, CUBSCout was also in this puzzle, so it would have been even more appropos for Hamill to be the answer,

Because in 1981, Mark, Kristy McNichol, and Dennis Quaid made an excellent indie flick- THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN GEORGIA. (Not even loosely based on the song.) The final line of the movie, spoken by Mark to Kristy, included the phrase "Boy Scout".

A laugh out loud ending, for sure!

Dawn Urban 7:27 AM  

BTW, just looked for DVD-THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN GEORGIA on my favorite bookseller's site. They have 3 copies ranging from $999.99 to $3,000.00.

Don't want to see it again THAT badly!

Small Town Blogger 7:32 AM  

Microsoft Outlook email has both an Inbox and Outbox - when you hit Send the message stays briefly in your Outbox before it’s sent - sometimes it even gets stuck there!

BarbieBarbie 7:47 AM  

OK so. If FROTHING is used half as often as FoamING, then FROTHING is used one third of the time. End of discussion, unless you’re one of those people who thinks being in a 2/3 majority means nobody else matters. Don your red cap, @Rex.

michiganman 7:55 AM  

I had a good time with this one. I move around the grid a lot when I solve. I found the rebuses (rebi?) at RAINBOWTROUT. The food modifier was unnecessary but narrowed the options. I got a second extra fun moment when I got the double revealer at the end. Is it TET YET? Liked "Partners of haws", put HEmS in first. Didn't need help today but almost naticked at AFRO/KEFIR but made a semi-educated guess (F) that was right. I enjoyed the puzzle 7 times as much as Rex, 35 minutes.

George 8:23 AM  

Once again, Rex hits it out of the park with that Frenchy, mod IN/OUT music video!!

GHarris 8:24 AM  

Enjoyed this and found it relatively easy. Disagree with Rex about utility of food in the fish clue. Absent that I would have spent a lot of wasted time thinking about aquarium fish where the colorful usually reside. I, too, have both an in and out box on my computer, the latter where aborted emails go.

QuasiMojo 8:32 AM  

I really enjoyed doing this timeless rebus puzzle. The old In/Out trick. I caught on to it early after putting in STOLID and it didn't work. STOUTISH is not a word I imagine that is used very often but once I grokked it, I was off to the races. DEKE is becoming a constant in crosswords of late. No problem there, even for this aging PUCK. The ZEES thing is a bit overused in my humble opinion. But what's the sense IN CARPING ABOUT that?

Cliff Robertson was once married to Dina Merrill, so I always assumed he was a nice guy. He usually played them, with some notable exceptions. Occasionally a very stiff actor (he reminded me of a grown up Speed Racer) he was very good in CHARLY and deserved his Oscar. But I prefer him in "Autumn Leaves" with Joan Crawford.

Thanks for the hilarious video of Serge Gainsbourg, Rex. The 60s really were a more innocent time, at least in the mod, mod, mod world of television.

RAD2626 8:32 AM  

I thought this was a terrific puzzle. I usually find this constructor's puzzles very difficult but with ERIN Andrews a gimme, the rebus fell and FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH established the in/out trick after which it was smooth sailing. Liked the long down fill like CUB SCOUTS and ONE INCH a lot. Wanted to stare INto space but it did not fit.

Um, I still have In and Out boxes in my office. Wood. Snail mail and other Intraoffice stuff in one, filing, drafts in the other. Did not think that was quite as dinosaurish as carrying an actual newspaper onto a plane but I I guess I will have to rethink that.

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

Hey Loren Muse, you should have concluded your penultimate remark as “the jury’s still outish”.
Excellent puzzle

Cassieopia 8:40 AM  

A truly excellent puzzle, for all the reasons mentioned above. CARP in the NE, TROUT in the SW, and two spanners that feel related to me, in sort of a watery way in keeping with the fish ("I'm frothing at the mouth because the fountain of youth didn't work"). A stretch? But all that consistency, even when unnoticed, adds up to such a clean and fun solving experience. Well done, Mr. Eaton-Salners!

@Hartley, GILL, and Nancy on the petit fours story: thank you for your kind comments about my brother; yes, he really is a great guy. To @Nancy's question, I was 11 and he was 9 at the time. Memories like that and Gill's (Roy Rogers cap pistol) are reminders of how even small kindnesses can stay with us and brighten our way for a very long time.

GILL I. 8:45 AM  

What a very nice, but a bit too easy, Thursday. Thank you YOU AGA[IN] for giving me the IN and CUB SC[OUT} for my OUT.
Like @Katy 12:42 green paint Mark was Hamill for a while. ARGOTS changed everything. Never heard of ENBERG but that whole section was easily fixed.
My first day on the job as lower management I was presented with two beautifully carved mahogany boxes. My boss, who was promoted to El Jefe, gave them to me. He proudly and loudly said I'd never see the end of the IN BOX and the OUT BOX would probably gather dust. I used that one for extra pens.
So glad those days are over. My IN and OUT days now consists of using the oven to roast something.
STOUTISH is so sweet. Much nicer than saying you're a bit on the obese side. Stoutish is something you'd call a king like Henry VIII. He had gout didn't he?
I'm a Foaming rather than FROTHING type person but I'm easy to please.
Thanks for taking care of my rebus cravings, AES...This was a delight.....

Z 8:47 AM  

My second Eaton-Salners puzzle in less than 12 hours (I did his Fireball puzzle last night). Both had WOE names in them, one much too young for me, the other a little tooo old. I’m familiar with CHARLY, more familiar with Flowers for Algernon, but no idea that it was Cliff Robertson in the movie. Not a big deal, since the crosses were fair, no mysterious transliterated names to suss OUT today.

Anyone else think relying on -ING twice is a demerit? It is a very minor thing, but I find RAINBOW and FOUNTAIN to be more elegant answers.

Besides it being Thursday, something about the grid itself just screamed “rebus” at me. I haven’t been able to identify what exactly made me think this, but something about the odd looking black blocks and the grid spanners with narrow hallways to the corners made me suspicious.

My own theory on the disappearance of the OUT BOX is tied to development of the desktop computer. We no longer need a secretary to take our output and distribute it. The funny thing is that it has been fairly difficult to demonstrate an actual increase in productivity as a result of widespread computer use. The productivity paradox discussions always strike me as more reflective of a wroter’s own assumptions than actually illuminating about what’s going on. I sit here having left the work forced and bemused by friends discussing all the technical “solutions” to problems that are probably better solved by meetings or having talented secretaries assisting people.

Nancy 8:48 AM  

So enjoyable. Over much too soon. I tried to make this last longer, like a too-tiny scoop of ice cream, but it didn't really work. I just love these kinds of puzzles and this one was especially well done.

Pretty easy as rebuses go, and I raced through the rebus-less NW in a heartbeat. But crunchy enough in the NE that, when I was having some trouble, I skipped immediately to the revealer. That's not something I always do.

What I especially love is that all the Across theme answers have both IN and OUT embedded within. I also love THIN OUT (59D) and the fact that the IN BOX is directly above the OUT BOX.

My only write over? I had M--E for "Give the silent treatment" and confidently wrote in MutE. (And, actually, I like my answer better.) Wonderful job, Alex!

Z 8:50 AM  

wroter? It’s a constant mystery to me what auto-correct “fixes” and misses. Oh well, I see at least one other typo. You’ll just have to deal with it.

Foldyfish 8:52 AM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle. That is all. :-)

Clueless 9:01 AM  

@LG ~1:00 AM

LA trivia- Exactly! With my youth on the Westside got many clues.

Whatsername 9:06 AM  

It’s Thursday, there’s a rebus, and a nice aha moment; I am a very happy solver. I started in the southeast and then just for grins, worked backwards today. Easy peasy but great fun. Well done Alex. Simply delightful!

Nancy 9:16 AM  

@Quasi -- I also wanted STOLID for 12D, but immediately saw it wouldn't work, so I never wrote it in.

Agree with all those singing the praises of the novella, "Flowers for Algernon" and the movie, CHARLY. I read the book first and think it's slightly better than the movie -- but not by much. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, you're missing something quite wonderful. Do one or the other and, either way, you'll be very happy you did. That's a promise.

@Cassieopia -- Only 9 years old? Wow! What a mensch. He wouldn't happen to be currently single, would he?

Suzie Q 9:19 AM  

Having both in & out in the theme answers is pretty slick. Well done.
I liked the cool trivia about barleycorns and inch.
@ kingyeti1 7:30 beat me to the Clockwork Orange reference. It was the first thing I thought of as soon as I got the rebus.

RooMonster 9:37 AM  

Hey All !
INteresting puzzle OUTcome.
Caught on to the trick at the two Revealer clues. Originally had THins for the rebussed THINOUT, and SHack for SHELL. Said to myself, "Could 58D possibly be THINOUT in a rebus? Making the two across clues INBOX and OUTBOX? Meaning there will be an IN and OUT BOX in each themer? Is that why the black squares are so wonky? Hmm."
Really, I thought all that. :-)

Turned out, I'm a smart feller! Once that thought process fully materialized, changed SHack to SHELL (since aBB and kXX didn't make sense), and smiled a bit at the oddness of stacked BOXes. Then went exploring for the other rebi.

Got stuck in NE. Had to Reveal Word for CHARLY. Ugh. Not on my movie/TV radar. Once I did that, the unforseen GULF URSI LLCS came into view.

Had a ton of blocks, 45, with 38 as usual max. But with all the INs and OUTs of puz, I can see the problems of getting real words to fill. Savvy, KEMO Sabe? :-)


gfrpeace 9:40 AM  

I am very much enjoying listening to the TR(OUT) Quintet right now, courtesy of Rex. Surprisingly. Actually one of the things that initially hooked me on this blog was the snippets of pop music he posted, things I was apparently supposed to know and had never heard of. I found it educational. But I like this better.

Hartley70 10:18 AM  

This was a terrific rebus and I can’t ask for more on a Thursday. I kept waiting for the burger joint to appear, but I don’t think they’ve made it to the East Coast.

I too wanted “stolid” and “mute”. I needed the crosses to fix them.

I’d rather FROTH than FOAM any day. It’s so much lighter.

I knew the Cliff Robertson movie at once, but I forgot it wasn’t called “Flowers for Algernon”. The CHARLY bit escaped me for awhile and BTW, what happened to the “e” in that name? It screams for an “e”!

I maybe the last person on the planet to have missed seeing NCIS, so I tried Mark Hamill. With his recent return to the Star Wars franchise, he’s much more topical. I too think of HARMON as Mindy’s real life husband. I bet that would cheese him off.

I had to let DEKED just sit there because it made no sense to me. OHDUH from a recent puzzle...sports.

I’m off to get some of @Malsdemare’s pot cheese at Trader JOE’s today.

Whatsername 10:28 AM  

@Brookboy: I also remember those days when you could hear the sound of a file folder landing in someone’s OUT box as they tossed it to the corner of their desk. Also the clicking of typewriter keys, an apparatus which is pretty much archaic these days. When we transitioned to the IBM Selectric it seemed like a huge leap in technology at that time. I always thought the rhythm of that little ball hitting the paper was so much more efficient sounding than the clacking of the old keystroke forward. It was a constant battle to keep hands and clothing clean from carbon smudges, stencil ink and that foul smelly purple mimeo. Thank heaven for the wonders of Xerox, the INS/DEL keys and the magic of cut & paste. Now if only someone would figure out how to get autocorrect to stop being my worst enema. LOL.

Joseph Michael 10:52 AM  

Excellent puzzle. Found it almost impossible at first — almost nothing seemed to click — and then suddenly felt very smart as I entered FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH and went on to complete the grid.

Liked all the themers and thought the fill was solid. No problem with the existential status of OUT boxes or the description of TROUT as food.

My most challenging moment was the cross of KEFIR and AFRO, with the F my final grid entry.

OLE for Trader JOE’S, one of my favorite stores.

Masked and Anonymous 10:57 AM  

M&A Mystery Milk entry: KEFIR. Slowed down the discovery of the rebus meat at our house, by many a nanosecond. Had AKC/K????; considered KOW-DO. Kinda sounded like a kool brand-name. Surely U'd hafta give any product called KOW-DO a Trump A+.

Primo over-the-top-scrabbly NW & SE corners, featurin the weeject stacks of Utah. Gotta give LXX the staff weeject pick, as it contributed so heavily to the INOUT theme cause.

Worst faux splatz ever: Puttin good ol' Mark HAMMEL in [&out] at 43-A, instead of HARMON. If you're gonna mess up, at least spell yer mistake correctly [HAMILL]. M&A is just too often a solvin bull in a china shop.

As already half-mentioned, great grid design, with them Utah-like block structures in the NW & SE. Beefs up yer shady-square count, ZIP-pronto.

Speakin of the SE, all our good wishes for folks in the Florence Hurricane path -- for U and yer homes. We have some very precious friends around there. Scary storm; be safe.

Thanx for the OUTwittIN-ishly fun ThursPuz, Mr. E-S.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Tom 11:07 AM  

Fun to solve...but still don't understand QED for "the end of mathematics?" Will probably be a Doh! moment when one of you sages 'splains it to me. Thanks in advance. Doh!

Abalini 11:23 AM  

When you provide a math solution you end it with “quod erat demonstrandum”, or QED. It is Latin for “what was to be demonstrated”. That said, I like to think of QED standing for “quite easily done”.

jberg 11:29 AM  

I started to get the theme with YOU AGAIN?, so I wasn't looking for OUT; but I finally saw that I needed it. After that my main problem was how to spell LITRE. And thinking bears were neuter, so writing URSa.

I did want HemS as the partner of haws at first, so I was ready to complain about hems and AHEM in the same puzzle, but then that went away.

I'm thinking of having neon tetra for lunch -- anyone have a good recipe?

Cassieopia 11:39 AM  

@Nancy 9:16 he’s very happily married with 6 (!!!) kids :)

Chip Hilton 11:52 AM  

If not my fastest Thursday, pretty darned close. I went to the theme clue, saw the Roman Numeral, and broke the rebus immediately. My only hiccup was confusion after entering FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH for 30A. and wondering what those empty boxes meant. THE came in handy. I thought the puzzle was mostly elegant but could do without AHH and SHH. I’m never sure what the middle letter is supposed to be.

Malsdemare 11:55 AM  

Yup, Hamill before HARMON, but only because I couldn't quite dredge up the other Mark's name. He demonstrated an appalling lack of musical ability in Mama Mia! but made up for it as eye candy. And he was part of a heartbreaking story line on West Wing. So I knew who I wanted there; just couldn't pluck the name from the porridge that's my brain. I didn't get QED either and while I deeply appreciate the answer, @Art, no head slap here; that's completely new to me. Robertson was wonderful in CHARLY, but I, too, think the book may have been a little better. It's disappointing that neither Netflix nor the libraries have it available.

This was one of those times when something was in the mists and then suddenly, clear as a bell; I'm looking at you, KEFIR and DOJO.

@Hartley please report back on the cheese!

Fun puzzle!

Banana Diaquiri 12:02 PM  

I didn't see any remarks about why 'Charly' and Robertson are famous, and I won't give the spoiler, but the story isn't as simple as described.

jb129 12:03 PM  

I also had Hamill for Harmon for the longest time.

I LOVED this puzzle! Does that mean I'm finally getting into this constructor's (his/her?) head??

ArtO 12:11 PM  

Love a Thursday rebus. Superb puzzle.

Dawn Urban 12:30 PM  

@jberg- Neon Tetra on Rye? so funny

Without revealing the plot, I believe CHARLY was spelled without an "E" because the main character is developmentally disabled and could not spell it correctly. Oddly, it was my daughter's favorite movie, at the ripe old age of TEN!

Reasonablewoman 12:31 PM  

I was pleased to find the double rebus in RAINBOWTROUT and knew to look for other IN/OUTs. I happened upon the revealers later, which made it like finding another theme answer. Much more satisfying than doing the revealers first, I think.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Outstanding puzzle. Lots of OGOC's ("Oh, God, of course!") I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a puzzle this much.

pabloinnh 12:37 PM  

Hand way up for joining all who really liked this one. My high school did a nice production of "Flowers for Algernon" once upon a time, and it's a very moving story.

One day it struck me that "deke" is probably a perfectly good short form of "decoy". I haven't bothered to fact check this but it's so wonderfully obvious that I'm sure it's true, so I'm just congratulating myself and moving on.

I have to agree with OFL's assessment of "Charly" being outside his realm of knowledge since it was made before he was born. I have the same problem with Roman numerals.

Sir Hillary 12:40 PM  

Late to the party today, but really liked this one. No way I'm gonna whINeabOUT it.

YEP, Mark HAmill. It was ENBERG who corrected it to HARMON. As a Southern California native (and sports nut) I found this apt, because HARMON was UCLA's quarterback in the early '70s, while ENBERG was the Bruins basketball announcer. I had hoped to discover that ENBERG did UCLA football as well, but nope -- poor guy was stuck in Pauley Pavilion announcing the greatest dynasty in the history of major college sports.

In general, it would be offensive to refer to sOUTh carolINa as backward. But today...

Warren Howie Hughes 12:50 PM  

Ye Olde IN and OUT, it worked for our forbears, therefore it should still work for us nowadays! Heh Heh Heh

CaliMarie 1:01 PM  

Wasn’t Mark HARMON selected as People mag’s “Sexiest Man Alive”? That’s all I remember about him. Never saw CSI or Mama Mia.

Mike Rees 1:05 PM  

The real accomplishment here is pulling off a pangram without OFL complaining about it. That’s how you know you’ve built a solid puzzle.

Teedmn 1:06 PM  

I was DEKED right off the bat in the NW. Dropping in "nth" for "The end of mathematics", "oTo" at 2D and IRe at 3D had me scrambling for a bit. The ZEES of the puzzle center got me back on track, though I left in IRe for a while and figured the DEeE_ would be part of the Thursday trick until I looked again.

Throwing "CARPING on" in at 18A left the NE a bit difficult to see but I eventually found my way INto and OUT of the theme and cleaned it all up. After that, this puzzle was mine! I admired the SE corner's revealer and circled three ? clues that I admired: 16A's "Made a false move?" as the aforementioned DEKED, 35A's "Give the silent treatment?" = MIME, and 63A "Beach house?" = SHELL.I liked costumes being GET-UPS, a phrase common around here, used snarkily.

Nice Thursday, Alex.

Mark 2:05 PM  

I wish the puzzle had been 17 wide so there could be this clue,
"Serge Gainsbourg 1966 song"
or if you want only 14 wide, then
"Serge Gainsbourg 1966 song:'Qui __________"
or 11 wide,
"Serge Gainsbourg 1966 song:'Qui est _____________".
I'm afraid, though, that someone might complain it does not google very strongly.
(Actually, 5,150,000 for "serge gainsbourg qui est in" ain't bad.)
But it sure holds up as entertainment!

Lindsay 2:10 PM  

Lots of fun today. I was thrilled to see Trader Joe's here (rather than the older Trader Vic's). You can get all the BEST stuff from TJ's - I got a husband there about 35 years ago!

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

Please explain 59D

Crimson Devil 2:25 PM  

Outstanding puzzle, best this quasi-new kid has seen.

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

@Anon 2:14PM "...An Anglo-Saxon unit of length was the barleycorn. After 1066, 1 inch was equal to 3 barleycorns, which continued to be its legal definition for several centuries, with the barleycorn being the base unit.[13] One of the earliest such definitions is that of 1324, where the legal definition of the inch was set out in a statute of Edward II of England, defining it as "three grains of barley, dry and round, placed end to end, lengthwise".[13]..."


As with anything even vaguely British, it has to do with The Battle of Hastings. It's been shown that the answer to 40-46% of questions in pub quizes in England have the answer "1066, The Battle of Hastings".

Anonymous 3:49 PM  

In 1968 I was a freshman at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. The film Charly was partially filmed using the Tufts campus as a setting. I remember
the 1968 version of an RV parked outside my dorm. Cliff Robertson was sitting in the window awaiting his call.

Unknown 3:59 PM  

Little of the old, in out, in out. Could've clued, "A Clockwork Orange".

Doc John 4:03 PM  

For the record, that was Pierce Brosnan doing the I'm-here-for-my-looks-not-my-singing in Mamma Mia, not Mark Harmon. Mr. Harmon has been quite the TV staple. He was even on St. Elsewhere for a few seasons.

And you really should read Flowers for Algernon.

Finally, when I think of the word FROTH, I think of this.

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

@Anon 2:14 Re: 59D

The crowd will THIN OUT when the band leaves.

Rainbow 4:37 PM  

That's wonderful. I hadn't seen that in a long time and did not expect it when I clicked your link.

Suzie Q 4:54 PM  

@ Doc John, Oh, dear. There are some things I'd rather not know.

jae 6:56 PM  

I read a fair amount of Science Fiction in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s and have noticed that over the years certain books and stories seem to be more memorable. Flowers for Algernon is one of those along with Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, Stranger In A Strange Land, Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, the Dune series, 2001, Childhood’s End, The Mote In God’s Eye...not a complete list, but certainly some of the highlights.

Anonymous 8:15 PM  

Anonymous 3:49,
What was Jumbo's status in 1969? Was he intact, or already, you know?
FWIW I loved a Tufts grad very much. And miss her very much.

Gopman 9:34 PM  


Malsdemare 10:11 PM  

@doc John, my face is red. Mea culpa to Mr. Harmon for my unfair allegation. But he was fantastic in West Wing.

Banana Diaquiri 10:28 PM  

note to self: if it's Thursday it must be Rebus Filbin.

Noam D. Elkies 10:45 PM  

Fun puzzle. Yes, I too was reminded of Co...um, _*Clock*work Orange_. Thanks for the link to the Trout Quintet (which alas couldn't be a theme answer because it has OUT and IN in reverse order). As it happens one of my few appearance on Youtube is playing this piece two summers ago:



mmorgan 11:36 PM  

DEKED may be an obscure sports term but it feels like a fairly common crossword answer these days.

CHARLY was a great movie! See it if you haven't, if you can.

Terrific puzzle, thank you!

kitshef 11:30 PM  

Agree that Flowers for Algernon was a bit better than CHARLY, and that they are both fantastic. Had an odd DNF when I paired gEE with HAW and didn't check the cross - even though it was a themer.

thefogman 9:44 AM  

I started at the top and thought this was a tough non-themer until I finally hit the SE corner and solved the INBOX/OUTBOX stack. After the aha! moment everything fell into place nicely. I liked this one a lot. Bonus! Even Rex liked it - in spite of a few precious nanoseconds of his completion time wasted because of the gimmick.

Burma Shave 9:46 AM  


it IRKs her HEES such a CUBSCOUT.


rondo 10:22 AM  

Probably saved by gimmes CUBSCOUT and yeah baby ERIN Andrews, otherwise THEFOUNTAINOFYOUTH woulda made quite THE inkfest as FOUNTAINOFYOUTH without THE THE fits in there. So no CARPINGABOUT THE rebusiness in that area. Nary a write-over in ABOUT 2.5X Rex time.

As far as Serge Gainsbourg goes, I really only know of his Ford Mustang and Bonnie and Clyde (featuring Brigitte Bardot) works. He was making videos long before they became so popular in the U.S.

Tonto's cancer treatment must be KEMO.

Normally I'd be FROTHINGATTHEMOUTH about a rebus, not so much today.

spacecraft 10:57 AM  

All male, Fearless One? Really? ERIN Andrews? DOD Tina FEY?? AHEM.

I too wanted FOUNTAINOFYOUTH (don't we all?) but the few letters I had IN needed a THE to begin; way too long an answer. So I restarted IN the sOUThwest with those common skirt features: pLeatS. That caused some confusion, but along the way the long across was making no sense at...wait a sec. If you put...oh wow! An INBOX and an OUTBOX! One of the premier aha! moments of recent history. And there it is: RAINBOWTROUT.

NE was last to fall, as I wasn't sure about MEANSTO (tries to? wants to?). But a little work there and it was done. A very pleasing solve, pangram and all (cool that OFL didn't even mention it). This works. Eagle.

centralscrewtinizer 11:58 AM  

Oh my IRe when I DEKED myself with DEeED. IRKsome. Ah, well, no HARM dONe.

Diana, LIW 12:39 PM  

I caught on to the INS and OUTS before finding the office BOXES, so I solved the rebus. But still needed help with a couple of names. ENBERG of course - again with the sports references.

Ha ha @Ron, KEMO was never so funny.

I'm "this" close to getting my new car. Mr. W saves the day!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rainforest 1:26 PM  

Great puzzle, even for a rebus one. Up here, FROTHING AT THE MOUTH is the phrase of choice. CHARLY was a great and very sad movie. My email app has both an INBOX and an OUTBOX folder. One of the few times the RRN is used to advantage.

@Lady Di - why is it seemingly so complicated to buy a car? Must be a very exotic auto.

This was a very satisfying solve.

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Ignore the convoluted theme and just work the puzzle. Enjoyable.

leftcoastTAM 1:56 PM  

This was just plain fun to do. Rebuses can often be that way, as you go on a search for them all as in a treasure hunt. It was like that today.

FROTHING AT THE MOUTH came first, and opened up the hunt, which was pretty rewarding.

OUTRE was the odd OUT of the bunch, and the two BOXes in the SE looked pretty weird, too.

Clues for ZEES and CCS were neatly misdirected, and even got a little kick out of them, too, as I did out of Edward II's measure of ONE INCH.

Middle North was the last to go.

I think I smiled most of the way today. Rarely do that.

leftcoastTAM 2:24 PM  

Oops! OUTRE not so odd; there is YOUTH, too.

spacecraft 6:35 PM  

Two memorable CHARLY moments:

that that is is that that is not is not is that it it is*

and: "A TV in every room." (Both the best and worst results of new technology)

*That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is.

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