Onetime radio host Boortz / TUE 9-11-18 / Rapper/actor Gibson / Epithet for British beauty with fair skin / 1996 best-selling guide for grammarphobes / Slack-jawed feeling

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:02)

THEME: FLOWERY LANGUAGE (35A: High-flown speech or writing ... or a description of 17-, 22-, 51- and 57-Across) — common phrases where last word is a type of flower:

Theme answers:
  • SHRINKING VIOLET (17A: Shy sort)
  • ENGLISH ROSE (22A: Epithet for a British beauty with fair skin)
  • GILD THE LILY (51A: Try to improve what is already beautiful)
  • AS FRESH AS A DAISY (57A: Full of energy and enthusiasm)
Word of the Day: TYRESE Gibson (3D: Rapper/actor Gibson) —
Tyrese Gibson (born December 30, 1978), also known mononymously as Tyrese, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, model, VJ, screenwriter, film producer, author and television producer. He played Joseph "Jody" Summers in Baby Boy, Angel Mercer in Four BrothersRoman Pearce in the Fast and the Furious series and Robert Epps in the Transformers film series. After releasing several albums, he transitioned into films, with lead roles in several major Hollywood releases. (wikipedia)
• • •

Zoom zoom. A full minute and change faster than yesterday's solving time. Not sure how Monday and Tuesday got so badly flipped, but the difference was dramatic. I occasionally solve Tuesdays faster than Mondays, but never by this much. And when I first looked at and started the puzzle, I was sure it was going to be tough. That NW corner is so open-looking, and usually big open corners spell trouble, or at least some real elbow grease, and my first moves into the grid felt pretty dicey. "MOSHES?," I wondered, as I wrote it in, tentatively. But then ERS, OK, that felt right, and HOED, sure, fine, both not great entries, but both work. And then AMID and the rest of the short Downs and things really fell into place. Really easy to move into / out of the NW and SE corners, despite their being relative cut-off. Got STELLAR and ANNAL (in the NW) and TARGETS and LEADS (in the SE) really easily—those are hallway words or bridge words or whatever metaphor you want to use for words that connect one part of the grid with another. Hallway words? Corridor words? And then most of the fill (outside the themers and the four longer Acrosses) was short, and short typically means easy. Despite all the short stuff, the solving experience was not unpleasant. The themers were interesting, though ENGLISH ROSE is not a term I know at all—IRISH ROSE, I've heard, but not ENGLISH ROSE... not that I can remember, anyway. Looks like the flowers are all used metaphorically here, which is a nice way to express the revealer.

GAWP, though, man... I really have a hard time accepting that as a word (56D: Stare slack-jawed). If I stare slack-jawed—which I'm sure I do; my dad is infamous for this, and (except for politics) I am more and more like him every day—then I GAPE or I GAWK. I am quite sure I've never GAWPed in my life. Doesn't Whitman talk about a "barbaric YAWP"? Am I making that up? Aha! No I am not. See, I've never actually read Whitman. But I sure as hell saw "Dead Poets Society" when I was in college, which, you know, is almost the same thing:

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, GAWP is slop. Pass it on.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:16 AM  

Easy. A fine Tues. Cute theme, a smattering of fun fill, liked it.

puzzlehoarder 12:33 AM  

Other than ENGLISHROSE I did very well with the theme. With the first two in place the revealer and the bottom two went in without my having to read their clues. The phrases are so familiar as soon as I saw where the puzzle was going recognitiion required a minimum of letters.

Some stumbles on the fill kept this to an average Tuesday time. I had to laugh when I saw all the themers together. Someone yesterday actually advised the "time obsessed" to stop and smell the roses. So have at them. There was a lot of "savoring" advice dished out. Unfortunately I've noticed a trend here that when some of those people run into an entry/clue that they might actually get a chance to "savor", they Google it. I guess everyone has their own idea of how to savor a puzzle.

JOHN X 12:49 AM  

Well I kicked the hell out this puzzle (while watching football - I targeted it with the crown of my helmet) but it's a Tuesday, a very nice Tuesday puzzle, and I've been doing this for a long time.

But that little mini puzzle, which I do as warm-ups, that thing was devilish.

Larry Gilstrap 12:54 AM  

Not easy for me at first. The theme helped the solve, plus we get three big, old gridspanners. Nicely done! All themers are very much in the LANGUAGE, even ENGLISH ROSE, according to Elton John. Also, my print out featured minute font size, resulting in some peering.

From my youth, I remember certain phrases that opened up the concept of figurative language. GILD baby slippers, but what can augment the beauty of a LILY? Nice puzzle. OXYMORON clued that way on Tuesday?

OFL coins a new descriptor: hallway words. Will it catch on? Anyway, you heard it here first.

I taught Eight grade English so I know my rudimentary grammar. WOE is the subject of the sentence, IS is the linking verb, and I is the predicate nominative pronoun that is, of course, nominative case. Unless, some rebels have overturned the apple cart of English. Hi,@Loren.

For some odd reason, the three styles of Classical columns were well taught. DORIC, Ionic, and the one with the Acanthus leaves.

CDilly52 1:24 AM  

English Rose is completely legit exactly as clued. Easier than Monday. Fine for Tuesday and very little drek.

teevoz 1:30 AM  

Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana: "Goodbye English Rose" to the tune of "Candles in the Wind". It's a thing.

TomAz 1:34 AM  

Hey Rex. You like cool music. You should stream (or whatever you do) the album All Mod Cons by The Jam. Not only does it have "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", which is a #$%*ing amazing song, but it also has a nice little ditty titled "English Rose". If that's not doing it for you, you could try "English Rose" by Motorhead (no longer on Spotify, alas) or "The English Roses" by the Pretenders. And that's just for starters.

This felt normal to easy Tuesday for me, but gave more resistance than yesterday, as it should. The flowers theme was fine and FLOWERY LANGUAGE a very solid revealer. AS FRESH AS A DAISY fell a little bit flat for me, but, you know, it wasn't unknown and it was gettable.

I totally agree on GAWP though. Not a thing I would say, but I bet Paul Weller would have thrown it on a song during their "look how British we are" phase if he'd thought of it.

Monty Boy 2:17 AM  

I liked this one better than yesterday, although yesterday taught me the lesson (again) about reading clues closely for tense.

63A is my favorite answer. I don't know how to do the link directly*, so copy paste this link for a laugh about "correct" usage.

[*Can someone give a brief lesson in how to do this?]

Loren Muse Smith 3:45 AM  

I dunno. I breezed through yesterday’s, so I found today’s to be yer garden-variety Tuesday. The reveal is perfect. Perfect. And I found the cluing pretty cut and dried, so my solve was uneventful.

GAWP has Berry immunity. That’s enough for me. When PB says it’s a viable word, I immediately add it to my daily walking-around language.

Got a kick out of the anagram cross of SNUG and SUNG.

FLOWERY LANGUAGE exhausts me. I’m teaching 9th grade honors English this year, and they’ve just turned in their first writing assignment. Sheesh. Complicated, ornate, trying-too-hard gobbledygook. Teachers do a disservice by insisting on a certain length for a writing piece. NO! We’d be grooming better writers if we set a maximum, if we had students work on concise readability. Fewer fancy words. I even begged them to make their paragraphs “as long as a string,” to just get the job done efficiently. A little plot of nice, neat grass and a couple of dandelions is preferable to the full-on assault of orchids, pansies, and irises I’m machete-ing my way through.

The clue for PTA had me gawping. They often meet in a gym? Seriously? That’s one lucky school. Ours could meet in a broom closet.

@Monty Boy – here is your link. I bet @Z can walk you through how to do it better than I could.

@Larry – you nailed the grammar thing. “I” is the predicate nominative, so WOE IS I is “correct.” So is everyone was here, but he left. Sigh.

META DATA is something I’ve never seen. But it’s kicky in a DORIC way:

How’s your daughter doing at college?
Great! She just pledged Meta Data Toi and is having a blast.

BarbieBarbie 5:08 AM  

LOPS clued as chops feels like cheating.
Somehow I got GAWP right away so it’s at least a latent Thing.
Easy puzzle.

Matthew G. 6:16 AM  

@teevoz The Elton John song was “Goodbye England’s rose,” not English, but that being said ENGLISH ROSE is definitely a phrase I’ve heard before to refer to a young English woman. Until solving this puzzle, however, I’d never picked up on the connotation that she had to have fair skin.

Hungry Mother 6:25 AM  

I alternated acrosses with downs as I flew through this one. The theme came fast and helped with its entries and the reveal. I don’t think I knew that Otis had a first name.

Rainbow 6:39 AM  

"cut and dried" could have been in the grid today.

Anonymous 6:49 AM  

@Monty - remove the returns from the below text, swap in the url, and you'll have the link that LMS created:

here is your link

(note the vertical quote marks: " as opposed to “ or “.)

michiganman 6:50 AM  

Enjoyable Tuesday with a lot more bite than yesterday for me. The NW was just not going so I roamed and came back. TYRESE? Never heard the name. EXHORT came slowly even though I had the X. It was fun to see first name of elevator Otis.

Elisha Graves Otis was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.
Born: August 3, 1811, Halifax, VT
Died: April 8, 1861, Yonkers, NY
Nationality: American
Full name: Elisha Graves Otis

Cassieopia 7:05 AM  

Super fast, super easy, super clean. I work in tech so METADATA at 1A fell in immediately and I was off to the races. Nice that all those blossom analogies have the same number of letters as FLOWERYLANGUAGE, that for some reason was the puzzle highlight and delight for me.

GAWP is a fantastic word, I’ve encountered it occasionally in my reading, and must use it more in everyday language. To grandchildren: “please, don’t gawp while eating”. And what a perfect word to describe how many people look when watching tv: “...gawping at the set...”

Nice Tuesday puzzle with everything coming up roses.

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

@Monty - trying again. Replace square brackets below with angle brackets (<, >):

[a href=""]here is your link[/a]

Dawn Urban 7:15 AM  

As usual, tried ionIC before DORIC. (In protest, ionIC colums are more FLOWERY than DORIC, so that answer would have been more appropriate for today's puzzle!)

Adored the flower theme....I could wax eloquently for many an hour upon the glories of these delicate messengers of cheer. (FLOWERYLANGUAGE)

Is there a proper usage for AMID rather than "Amidst"???

Suzie Q 7:25 AM  

I never follow anything on Twitter but yesterday I checked Rex's account and he left some pretty cryptic messages suggesting he might not be here today, or any day, ever again. I'm glad it's not true.
I also noticed the change of font for the clues. Agree with @ Larry G. that it's way too small.
Gawp is one ugly word I could do without seeing ever again.
Who is this Boortz person?
Ha! Gary Larson again.
Lastly, I have never heard of the book in 63A but it sounds like something more for grammarphiles than grammarphobes.
Yes, easier than yesterday and English rose is a familiar phrase.

ghthree 7:40 AM  

"Woe is I." and Woe is me." are both grammatically correct, but parsed differently.
Woe is I: "Woe" is the subject, "is" is the verb, and "I" is the predicate nominative.
Meaning: "I am sorrow." Compare "I am legend." or "I am the Ghost of Christmas Past."
Woe is me: "Woe" is the subject, "is" is the verb, and "me" is the indirect object.
Meaning: Someone or something gave me woe. Compare the German (or Yiddish) "Weh ist mir."

Which brings us to the proper answer to the question "Who's there?"
A Brit or an American will say "It's me." or "It's I."
Social class and education determine whether the speaker feels guilty or awkward about it.
A Frenchperson (is that a word?) proudly says "It's me." (C'est moi!)" He/she is correct.
A German finesses the issue: "Ich bin's." (literally "I'm it.") That's diplomacy!

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

Saying "woe is I" is correct is not correct - it's a back-justification that reinterprets the phrase incorrectly ("is" is not a copula because the phrase does not mean "I myself am woe."

"Woe is me", the frozen form, preserves the dative pronoun me, now indistinguishable from the accusative. Thus it means: woe is to me, woe is at me. "Weh ist mir" is the German analog, where the dative pronoun shows.

Unknown 7:44 AM  

Fun and fast- which two do not always go together. Of course, I was sure that GAWP was gape & it was a pleasant frisson when it wasn’t. I’da thought GAWP to be a Depression-era regionalism but I’m happy to welcome it to the party. ENGLISH ROSE is a common term for a fair haired, pink cheeked beauty back from the days when women’s looks might be discussed in terms suited to china settings one was considering to purchase.

Anonymous 7:53 AM  

Never heard of English rose but according to the internet it’s a thing. It’s nice to learn new things,The lyric to the Elton John’/Bernie Taupin paean was “Goodbye England’s Rose.”

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

@lms, Cut and dried. Thanks!

Gawp goes viral today. I'm saying It to both coworkers I talk to before lunch.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Hi. Barbara here. @Rainbow I bet Timothy Polin is kicking himself right now!

GILL I. 8:17 AM  

Fun write-up, @Rex. I like your "Hallway Words" coinage. I found a few: SLO SOL SOT FEE NEE DON DOW a deer, a female deer.
An enjoyable Tuesday. Flowers bring happiness to me. I always have a vase full in the living room. Thank you Trader Joe's for your affordable selections.
OXYMORON...I learned what that word meant when I first came to the Sates and looked at a menu that had jumbo shrimp on its list. I knew what jumbo meant and I knew shrimp was something little. My grandmother proceeded with her ENGLISH tutorial and I learned a new word. I like Crash Landing and Found Missing. I guess we use these phrases every day and think nothing of them.
@Loren....You are certainly on a roll today. Broom closet made me laugh. Or maybe I should cry?

mmorgan 8:22 AM  

Fine, easy, not especially exciting or unpleasant, just fine. Gawp!

Harry 8:36 AM  

this one was a lot of fun. I had yawp too, but otherwise did pretty well. Anytime there are a lot of long open spaces and they fill in pretty smoothly, its fun. The theme answers were easy to catch on to, which made everything flow.

I liked both yesterday and today, both fun, but I agree that today could have been Monday and yesterday could have been Tuesday.

QuasiMojo 8:37 AM  

If I knew how to embed a link I’d add one for Ivor Novello’s patriotic song “Rose of England.” He was Welsh, btw. Never read Walt Whitman, Rex? You should read “Song of Myself.” Seems so apt in your case. Puzzle was okay. These type of themes are much tighter at the WSJ or LAT. As for “gawp” we’ve seen that before. Why the dislike? Grateful to learn what “oxymoron” means. It’s aDORICable. I tried to come up with other flowery phrases but could only dislodge “Zoroaster” from my brain. That’s what crosswordese will do to your little GRAY cells.

Sir Hillary 8:37 AM  

Fine early-week puzzle, although yesterday's sparkled a lot more.

Some fun pairs:
-- AKA and ALIAS
-- OXYMORON and DOGOWNER. They own us.
-- ELNINO out over the OCEAN
-- OONA OPAL. Sounds like the Letterman gag at the Oscars.

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

Time midway between best and average, but it felt like a slog.

Didn't help that I fell for ionIC instead of DORIC (52D), and was wanting GApe and then GAWk instead of GAWK (56D). Struggled with DOGOWNER (64A) initially; was thinking breeders did the registering, and that owners did the buying. And STEWPOT is not a thing to me, and TEASET only barely so. Alas, the SE was fun.

Mr. Benson 9:27 AM  

Super-fast for me, mainly because I was able to get most of those long across answers without having to hack through many of the shorter downs. The clue on 1A is one of those on-the-nose clues where the answer can literally only be one thing, so I was off to the races.

Nancy 9:36 AM  

There's not one but two perfect examples today of when you would choose to say something incorrectly because saying it correctly will leave absolutely everyone saying "Huh?"

The first one is the wonderfully witty WOE IS I, which I find an inspired title for a book about the peculiarities of English grammar. Never read that book; maybe I will.

But the second one I only think a handful of people will get and that's GILD THE LILY. I can recite the poem from which it's taken. The first line is: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily..." But if I went around saying, "I'm afraid you're painting the lily," you'd look at me as though I'd lost my marbles. And so I say GILD THE LILY just like everyone else.

A pleasant, easy Tuesday puzzle.

pabloinnh 9:36 AM  

The new font filled up nearly a whole page on my printed version, which made me think I had somehow stumbled into Sunday. Maybe that's why the whole thing felt longish.

Here's my "It is I" story: I was in Madrid doing a Junior Year Abroad program after only two years of Spanish(not recommended) and living with a family that spoke no English. We were all sitting at the table and someone was kicking someone else and they said "Pablo!" and I protested "No es mi!" which I thought was an acceptable denial but everyone at once said "No soy yo!" which made aN impression and was certainly grammatically perfect. My problem is that this literally translates as "I am not I" which while being correct raises existential problems. There are some mistakes in English which simply do not arise in Spanish, verdad GILL I?

Hartley70 9:42 AM  

This had a sweet little theme, but after the first example, I could fill in the others before I had any crosses in place. ELISHA was the only difficult answer and DOGOWNER was by far my favorite, although I don’t discriminate by AKC status. I found this easy but enjoyable.

@Malsdemare you are certainly a superhero DOGOWNER! Only a couch potato dog wouldn’t adore being yours and I have no doubt you’d get him right into shape. Thanks for the Trader Joe’s Pub Cheese tip and I’ll send back to you the Mixed Nut Butter, my current obsession.

Z 9:46 AM  

Hand up for faster than Monday. META DATA/MOSHES were gimmes and nothing else caused much of a pause. The two exceptions were choosing between FLOWERY LANGUAGE and the flowerier FLOWERY verbIAGE. I also had to fix MEld to MESH.

Hand up for also not remembering ever hearing ENGLISH ROSE, although those songs mentioned sound familiar, now.

The longer fill is nice, the short fill is bland but doesn't call attention to itself or intrude or make you go, "again!?!!" so a very nice Tuesday that probably was better for Monday.

@Anonymous7:14 has perfect embedding instructions. Just remember that you cannot use smart quotes (this might be a setting on your device) and the spaces and symbols are all required.

Z 9:53 AM  

The Rose Of England but not Ivor Novello.

Malsdemare 10:37 AM  

METADATA went in–bam– and I was off to the races. I never really had a slow down. This puzzle was a perfect example of why time is less important to me than level of challenge. I really like to try to get the longer entries first, resorting to the shorter crosses if I’m stumped. This puzzle was a perfect union of the two; I was able to get many of the long ones without much help but needed MOR-N to get OXYMORAN. Nowhere was I in much doubt although I’ve never heard of WOEISI (and I’m a freelance copy editor with a bookshelf of grammar and style guides). All the flowers except the ROSE bloomed early and the reveal was great. I may have to go out today and get a bouquet of LILies, ROSEs, DAISies, and VIOLETs for my dinner table and raise a glass to those who died 17 years ago.

Lovely start to a melancholy day. Thanks, Mr. Polin.

RK Beatrice 10:39 AM  

- Can't believe we all just solved a puzzle with not one but TWO "long in the tooth" clues and everyone else is just letting it go. Rex?!?!

- As a freckly, ruddy-cheeked redhead, can confirm the very real existence and expectation of the perfectly pale "English Rose" ideal of beauty. It's a whole, somewhat oppressive, thing. Recently delightfully skewered by one of my favorite actresses, Karen Gillan: "😂😂 I'm f**ckin' Scottissshhh"

- "Talking" in quotation marks for ASL feels a bit offensive to me. It's a language. Full stop.

TJS 10:41 AM  

NOT AGAIN !! Never read Whitman. Got around to Gatsby 4 years ago. No knowledge of George Bernard Shaw or Gilbert and Sullivan works. Etc, etc,etc.
But just finished a Raiders of the Lost Ark comic book. What was your PHD thesis, Archie or Little Lotta ? {Whoops, probably body- shaming).

Rex, try "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon. I mean, I know its an actual book and the dialogue doesn't come in baloons, but it did win a Pulitzer. And is has a comic book writing theme !!!

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

I seem to remember seeing gawp in the Harry Potter books.

GILL I. 10:54 AM  

@Quasi...Just for you:
Novello's Rose of England
@pablo. Until I went to Spain I could never figure out why everyone said Ojo [eye] to mean "watch out."

The Clerk 11:00 AM  


jberg 11:03 AM  

Er, um, @Rex, they are not all used metaphorically. FRESH AS A DAISY is a simile. That bothered me a tad, but not very much.

@Loren, sometimes you're too subtle for me. I didn't notice that BROOM CLOSET was another flower metaphor until @Gill pointed to it.

Malsdemare 11:09 AM  

It would appear @Cassiopeia and I are both headed to Hialiah today. And we both popped in METADATA without a blink. Separated at birth, mayhaps?

Skip the following if you are tired of my dog tales. So yesterday after ranting at anonymous about how my dogs are treated, said escapee left the yard (which means today I get to walk the fence to see how he got out). His GPS tracker dutifully tattled on him, I followed him to our neighbor's pasture, but he beat me back to the house. Maybe he just wanted to show me he can leave whenever he wants? Lordy, my dog pimps me? Anyway, later I took both pups to chiropractor, brought the miscreant in first for his adjustment, and then returned him to my van and his crate. I latched the top and bottom closures, and for good measure, added carabiners at critical points. So I'm telling the chiropractor the story of Ryley's walkabouts, look out the window and my van, and THERE IS NO DOG IN THAT CRATE. And at that moment, a woman in the building yells, "Mary, one of your mals is in the front yard." I step outside, call my dog, he flies to my side, and, all of us laughing hysterically, relock him in the van, now with the hatch down. As I return to the office, where Rose is patiently waiting for her adjustment, everyone congratulates me on my dog's wonderful recall. And, shaking our heads in wonder, we all crack up again. And the chiropractor/vet, who breeds and shows Clydesdales, solemnly recommends coyote rollers. Don't ask.

Crimson Devil 11:09 AM  

Certainly agree re “maximum” instead of minimum length. Reminds of wise response to inquiry “Why did you write such a long letter/essay?”....”I didn’t have enough time to write a short one.”

RooMonster 11:13 AM  

Hey All !
Interesting grid, with those big NW and SE corners. Don't normally see that on a TuesPuz.

Speaking of phrases that don't sound correct (like my last sentence), boy, there are some well educated people here, breaking down the idiosyncrasies of the Americanized English language. I've forgotten what parts of speech are what, I just speak as what feels good to my ears. Y'all know what I mean. :-)

Couple of Sorta Themers, (symmetrical) HOED, GNAT. I was in the garden, HOED the ground, kept being annoyed by a GNAT. WOE IS I.

SNUG as a bug in a rug.
Is THE SIS a relative of THE BRO?
WOEISI sounds like a variety of WASABI.
TAR GETS messy when it's hot and muggy.
Quieting oneself? ME SH


Joseph Michael 11:14 AM  

I GAWPed at 56D when STEWPOTS made me realize that the answer could be neither GAPE nor GAWK Otherwise this was a lickety-split friendly puzzle that was easy as dandelion pie.

Liked META DATA, OXYMORON, and MOSHES as well as the themer SHRINKING VIOLET. Clues in general didn’t offer much fun or resistance, though I did like the one for ACT I.

The clue for 32A seems off since “Buffalo Bill” is more a nickname or stage name for Mr. Cody. I think of ALIAS as more false or deceptive — for example “Baby Face Nelson” for Lester Gillis or “David Dennison” for Donald Trump.

Odd Sock 12:02 PM  

Today is one of those dates etched forever in our minds.
For some older folks the question might be "Where were you when you heard JFK had been killed?"
Now the question is regarding today's date.
I will always remember where I was and how I felt.
Buy that bouquet, raise that glass, never forget.

Reasonablewoman 12:19 PM  

I maintain that jumbo shrimp is not an oxymoron when food is the context. Shrimp, the creatures we eat, come in different sizes. The largest are jumbo shrimp.

H. Bob 12:22 PM  

To beat the dead "English Rose" horse:

"Portobello Belle," Dire Straits:

She thinks she's tough
She ain't no English rose
Oh, but the blind singer
He's seen enough and he knows

RooMonster 12:26 PM  

Off topic/puzzle question for everyone: Was talking to someone yesterday, and the word "forgo" came up, as in "I will forgo getting a coffee today". The question is: What is the past tense of forgo? "He forwent his coffee"? "He forgone his coffee"? He forgoed his coffee"? " He skipped his coffee"? (Har)

English teachers?


Masked and Anonymous 12:56 PM  

yep. Didn't think I had Chance One of gettin "in" at that there beginnin NW maw of a corner, but then I noticed the neighborly weeject stack, and quickly splatzed in DON. DON was enough to suggest METADATA, and the game was a-foot.

Flowers, huh. But, what … no RAGWORTs?

@muse: Primo PB1-Immunity call, on GAWP. Way to stay ever-alert. Proud of U.

staff weeject pick: TOI. Is A-ok, as it performs a vital OXYMORON save. Very attractive weeject stacks poppin up like POPPIES, all over tarnation, btw.

The bouquet of desperation was somewhat faint in these parts, other than maybe: ACTI. Perhaps MOSHED? Don't know much about moshin. Also ... hadn't met TYRESE before, but he has rapper immunity/anonymity.

Thanx, Mr. Polin.

U-shaped poppy:

Banana Diaquiri 12:58 PM  

the Brits are such blanky morons. almost no rose is 'fair' or white or ecru.

ArtO 1:07 PM  

METADATA and MOSHES certainly slowed down the NW for this old timer. Once that worked out the rest went fast. Cute puzzle. Liked it.

Teedmn 1:09 PM  

Thanks, @Nancy, for providing the "source" of the GILD THE LILY phrase. I hear the phrase with more negative connotations than the clue would imply; in my mind it involves laying it on too thick. Perhaps I am misinterpreting the phrase - it wouldn't be the first time.

I once heard an Englishman reply to a "How are you today?" inquiry with "I'm FRESH AS A DAISY" when riding a bus to a ski resort, possibly the only time I had ever heard it spoken. My husband and I parroted it all day on the slopes, trying to match his lovely lilt. The next day on the bus, the same gentleman was obviously worse for drink, not feeling fresh in the least, poor dear. The phrase still occasionally rears its spritely head at home. (Online dictionary says "spritely" is archaic usage, but I'm GAWPing at the more popular alternative of "sprightly" as if I've never seen it before. Weird how that works.)

I really liked the way the revealer described the theme answers. Very nice, Timothy Polin.

JC66 1:11 PM  


Take your pick, but watch out for the thorns.

GILL I. 1:13 PM  

@Reasonablewoman. Haha....Food, notwithstanding, they contradict each other in definition.
Shrimp: Small crustacean.
Jumbo: Very large.
@Banana: You do like to stir the pot don't you? Have you ever heard of rosy cheeks? And yes, there are plenty of white roses.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

gawp made me race to reference fearing i have misspoke [gawk] for those of my fifty years i have chose to.

Banana Diaquiri 1:45 PM  


I said almost no. not none. and rosy cheeks mean pink, not fair. it's a fact that a skin condition, showing blotchy redness, is named for the rose, rosacea. nothing fair about that, either.

no more pot stirring than any other commenter who complains about clues and/or entries. I'm not allowed because I'm drink that can't spell? discrimination of the highest odor.

Nancy 2:40 PM  

@Teedmn (1:09) -- You're dead right on the phrase having a negative connotation. It means trying to improve on something that's already beautiful, perhaps even perfect. Using the embedding technique that you yourself taught me, here's the full passage. Begin with the third line -- no one ever quotes (or cares about) the first two.

Suzie Q 2:40 PM  

My take on "fair" is a synonym of "lovely". A poetic phrase might say "fair maiden" with no particular shade of hair, cheek, or skin tone in mind. Merely fair to look upon. Am I getting too romantic for all of the cynics? Probably.

QuasiMojo 2:48 PM  

@GILL, lol, thank you SO much for the link. You’re a peach!

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

RK Beatrice,
The hearing impaired aren't one of Rex's protected classes. Scream all you want, but he'll never hear you.
My ASL class starts 16 days from now. Unlike some around here, at least you and I aren't tone deaf.

Anonymous 3:16 PM  


You surmised that we don't like your comments because "I'm not allowed because I'm drink that can't spell?

Not at all. It's that you're so frequently wrong. We all love your stridency and know-it-all attitude. why, you're almost as delightful as @Z. Keep up the good work

Banana Diaquiri 3:20 PM  

@Suzie Q:
A poetic phrase might say "fair maiden" with no particular shade of hair, cheek, or skin tone in mind. Merely fair to look upon.

well... OK, except this is the clue -
Epithet for a British beauty with fair skin

not rosy. or a riveter.

Tim Aurthur 3:34 PM  


gawp, v.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ɡɔːp/, U.S. /ɡɔp/, /ɡɑp/
Forms: Also 17 Sc. gap, 17–18 gaup.
Etymology: dialect survival of galp v.

intransitive. To yawn or gape; to gaze in astonishment. to gawp up: to devour. Also = gawk v.
1728 A. Ramsay Daft Bargain in Fables & Tales 12 Syne till't he fell, and seem'd richt yap His mealtith quickly up to gawp.
1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 18 Syk is the nature o' that grot To echoe sae, e'en should there not Be gaupin body on the spot.
1855 F. K. Robinson Gloss. Yorks. Words 69 ‘He gaup'd and gloor'd at all he saw’, gaped with wonder at new sights.
1881 S. Evans Evans's Leicestershire Words (new ed.) Gawp, to open eyes and mouth in stupid wonder.
1915 D. H. Lawrence Rainbow v. 121 The little crowd at the gate gorps and stretches.
1930 R. Campbell Adamastor 43 Funnelled with roaring mouths that gorp like cod.
1952 J. Cannan Body in Beck vii. 134 I'm here to get on with the job, not to gawp at the clients.
1969 J. I. M. Stewart Cucumber Sandwiches 39 He would bring down mediums and other psychically well-accredited persons to gorp and gape at that lake.

Ellen S 3:57 PM  

@malsdemare, I’ve been absent from the blog for a couple of weeks (actually fell behind in my solving, retired, no excuse, just happened). Keep up the dog tales! Today’s, anyway, is so much more interesting than my ancient foster dog (waiting out a court case) constantly peeing on my walls and in my furnace air return vent. And my 2-year-old dog that I foolishly adopted, continuing to anoint throw rugs and mats that I try to keep at door entrances. And one of my foster kittens just won’t use the litter box, insists on using the dog bed I have for her and her sibs. I think I have one animal (cat, not mother of the felonious kittens) who is reliable about pottying where she’s supposed to.

I enjoyed today’s puzzle and as usual, enjoyed these comments even more.

Unknown 4:12 PM  

Almost a DNF due to GAWP and LOKI :-/ ended up just being much slower than normal trying to find those errors - esp with GAWK and EL NINA plugged in originally.

Anonymous 4:13 PM  

"Gawping" is a thing...a British thing perhaps, but a thing.

25-ish seconds in.

Ellen S 4:13 PM  

@Nancy - thanks for the link to the Shakespeare. He includes “smooth the ice” as an example of excess. Two thoughts:
1) I guess they didn’t have Zambonis.
2) I guess they didn’t have Lake Michigan — on whose surface waves freeze as they crest. Quite a sight. At least when I lived there; maybe lake temps have risen and the waves don’t freeze any more. But they probably did in Shakespeare’s day.

On the other hand, sidewalk ice is ... smooth as ice. So I guess may be it’s a good example.

teevoz 5:35 PM  

Ok, but that's what he was talking about.

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

Hah! Anon 7:43 am wishes to meet Anon 7:40. We posted nearly simultaneously and to exactly the same effect. Staunend, was?

Suzie Q 6:12 PM  

@ Banana, And I think the clue was poorly written.

Unknown 10:10 PM  

Too many proper nouns .

thefogman 8:59 AM  

I wouldn't exactly say this one was easy - at least not for a Tuesday. I had a whoops-a-daisy moment when I started writing the front part to 57A (after DAISY was revealed) but without the AS. But that was my only erasure. I did not comprehend/parse WOEISI until I looked it up after the solve. DORIC was also outside my wheelhouse but Mrs. Foggy came to the rescue on that one. All in all, this was a nice bouquet of flowery phrases and a STELLAR puzzle. Bravo Timothy Polin!

spacecraft 10:38 AM  

Funny how minds work. I think this was a little harder than yesterday, so in the proper order. Off the get-go, I was facing a double Natick at sqs. 1 and 3. Did not know that the 1d dance was "violent," but seemed to recall something called a "mosh pit" at concerts, so figured 1 was probably an M. Then it was either MEgADATA or METADATA. GYRESE or TYRESE? The T looked a little better so I went with it. You didn't really expect me to know a tech term or a rapper now, did you?

Never heard of the term ENGLISHROSE as clued. I do know the EJ tune, but have trouble understanding lyrics when SUNG by most artists.

More "WOEISI" items: Buffalo Bill is hardly an ALIAS for Cody. It's more of an AKA (weird both terms appearing together). ALIAS implies that the subject wishes his/her real name be kept secret. As would Jaime Gumm in "The Silence of the Lambs," for example.

Hand up for the GApe/GAWk/GAWP progression. What are STEWPOTS? I guess they're pots that you...yeah. I just don't recognize the term. And this was easy?

I also think the clue for the last themer is a bit off base. Full of energy and enthusiasm? Well, sorta, I guess. To me ASFRESHASADAISY means more like "clean and well-rested." Am I being too literal? I'm not calling the clue "wrong," know, off.

DOD finalists crowd the stage, but since I slighted ELLE McPherson the other day I'll correct that oversight now. Honorable mention to OONA--and to the long-suffering wife in the comic strip "Pickles," (one of the best strips of this generation, IMHO) OPAL. Par.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

What's the reason for the picture of Vincent Gardenia with no comment?

Z 10:48 AM  

@anon10:40 - Gardenia fits the theme.

leftcoastTAM 2:13 PM  

This one virtually filled itself in.

Obvious themers and easy crosses put everything up for grabs, including MOSHES and WOEISI, the latter needing a bit of parsing to see.

"Long in the tooth"phrase, used twice no less, is beginning to bug me.

So-so, but it's a Tuesday.

wcutler 3:27 PM  

@LMS wrote at 3:45 AM, "So is [correct] everyone was here, but he left. Sigh."

It might be correct, but it's clearly useless for conveying meaning, as is "John was here, but they left", which is what a local (Vancouver, BC) university teacher tells me is what the teachers are being instructed to say (to use gender-neutral language). I'm less than 50% in favour of having a prescriptive grammar for English based on Latin rules, and I am pretty much aGAWP at prescriptive PC grammar.

I was expecting this puzzle to be held up as an example of good puzzle construction. The subject was fun, clues were amusing, good mix of long and short words. And just the right amount of sports trivia.

rainforest 3:37 PM  

Petty well a Tuesday Tuesday, once you get 1A/1D. I never METADATA I didn't like, btw.

However, the puzzle itself, I liked, especially the entry WOE IS I. If you parse that grammatically, that must be the motto of @Rex as he prepares daily to launch into a wrong-headed criticism of any puzzle. GAWP is a wonderful word, one I'll use at every available opportunity.

One write-over: MEld before MESH, other wise fairly straightforward in a flowery sort of way. Felt AS FRESH AS A DAISY when I got up, but a heavy-ish breakfast has me dragging a bit. Time for a walk.

Burma Shave 4:35 PM  


At his AGE I’m FLOORed what he GETs,
he’ll “GILDTHELILY” and then DIVEST.


Diana, LIW 4:42 PM  

I used o use "WOE IS I" in my writing course. (I have about every funny grammar guide ever written about English.)

EZ for me. Now, day 19 and counting for my car buying experience, I have a puzzle that doesn't seem fixable.

Hey @Rondo - you've bought out-of-state cars. Ever have a nightmare experience? (Ah, but they were used - right?)

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords and a ride to the store

rondo 6:48 PM  

Kinda what’s been said by fellow syndies, especially AKA vs. ALIAS. Hand up for GAWk before the STEWPOTS showed. Plunked in METADATA and MOSHES with no second thoughts, but TYRESE came from crosses. Right around 3X Rex, so about as fast, or SLO, as I can fill ‘em.

Didn’t realize NEE was for high society; see it in the obits all the time.

@D,LIW - Many (+/- 15 since 2001) out-of-state cars, but all used. Been driving for nearly 50 years and have never had a new car. Worst experience was buying from a CA dealer and paying 10.5% tax when in MN it was 6.5%, plus an extra year of CA license plate. $800 down the proverbial toilet. Caveat emptor. But the month long drive home was priceless. Whaddya gonna do?

Yeah baby OONA Chaplin seems to be anything but a SHRINKINGVIOLET.

Not a STELLAR puz, not bad.

Jack 10:20 AM  

Nice post! Thanks! Jack - 123 help essay

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