Halloween cry / TUES 10-30-18 / "Get lost!" / It's prologue, they say / JFK Alternative

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Happy almost Halloween, everyone! Most people celebrate by dressing up or doing something festive, while law school professors seem to celebrate by giving us even more work than usual. Yay! I've been getting into the Halloween spirit by watching The Haunting of Hill House (a new Netflix show that's pretty great). Kinda creepy, not too scary. Except for when I watched an episode this weekend and literally screamed. Did I just say that out loud?

Constructor: Jules Markey

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: GRAVEYARD SHIFT (34A: Late night for a working stiff ... or a hint to the shaded squares) — RIP shifts across the puzzle from top to bottom.

Theme answers:
  • RIPOSTES (13A: Witty comebacks)
  • TRIPTYCH (16A: Picture often used as an altarpiece)
  • MRRIPLEY (27A: "Talented" title character played by Matt Damon)
  • SUNRIPEN (42A: Put on a windowsill to mature, say)
  • EGOTRIPS (57A: Narcissists' excursions?)
  • GIVEARIP (60A: Care about something, in slang)

Word of the Day: TRIPTYCH (16A: Picture often used as an altarpiece)
Triptych: A triptych is a work of art (usually a panel painting) that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works… From the Gothic period onward, both in Europe and elsewhere, altarpieces in churches and cathedrals were often in triptych form. Although strongly identified as an altarpiece form, triptychs outside that context have been created, some of the best-known examples being works by Hieronymus Bosch, Max Beckmann, and Francis Bacon. (Wikipedia)
• • •
The theme was clever, obviously given that Halloween is this week. It might have been even more on the nose if the New York Times waited until it was actually Halloween for this puzzle (though this might have been a bit too easy for a Wednesday puzzle). The shift aspect of RIP was fun, even if I'm not a huge fan of the grey squares aspect. The shift was symmetrical, and I thought that the theme answers were all pretty good/clever.

Overall, the puzzle wasn't too hard, but I definitely got tripped up in a few places. Is SEEPY even a word? I tried to make "seeps" work there, which messed me up for STYLIZED coming down. BOO (55D: Halloween cry) was on-theme, albeit quite easy, but the clue for PLURALS (44D: like ghosts and goblins?) seemed to just be a way to throw some more theme in there; it didn't make a whole lot of sense as the answer. AOKAY is a pretty odd form of "aok." And, who ever saw OPIE clued based on Sons of Anarchy? I've seen maybe two episodes of Sons of Anarchy and had no idea of the names of any of the characters.

I liked the rest of the fill, though. Maybe my favorite was PAST for 41A: It's prologue, they say. That was just a perfectly clever clue and answer. I also loved GO FLY A KITE (10D: "Get lost!") and EGOTRIPS. The way the constructor used 29D: JFK Alternative and 36D: J.F.K. Alternative in 1960 to clue to an airport (LGA) and a president (RMN), respectively, was also fun. I tried to make LBJ work for 29A at first but soon realized that it was meant to be an airport. But then for 36D I tried to think of another airport that could work before realizing that this one meant a politician. I can't decide if AYE for 31A: Assent at sea is clever or just annoying.

Misc:
  • I really liked TRIPTYCH. I studied those a lot in art history classes, which I always enjoyed. The photo above is of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch. I saw that in a museum with my sister and have been weirdly fascinated with it ever since.
  • I got SRA easily for 42D: Lady of Spain: Abbr. but DAMA (30A: Lady of Spain) took me longer; I wanted to make "doña" work instead.
  • Matt Damon was amazing as MR RIPLEY. Matt Damon is amazing in every movie. 
  • I liked SPIN for 53D: What a pool shark puts on a ball. I wanted to put "chalk" there, but SPIN definitely makes more sense for the clue — as well as being the right number of letters. I once thought I might have a future as a pool shark, but then my dad sold our table. He opposed having anyone break my hands.
  • Although there weren't too many crossword-y words, some did jump out: like ERL, LENAPE, and EGIS.
  • Ah, the age-old problem of ENT vs. "orc." It feels like constructors just flip a coin or something to decide whether they want to use one or the other in the puzzle for a "Lord of the Rings" creature.
Signed, Clare Carroll, a torts-happy 1L

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

73 comments:

Greg 12:13 AM  

The aEGIS of Athena is referred to in several places in the Iliad. "It produced a sound as from a MYRIAD roaring dragons (Iliad, 4.17)

jae 12:18 AM  

On the tough side for a Tues. NW with RIPOSTES and TRIPTYCH did not go easily. Cute and clever, liked it.

Lee Coller 12:52 AM  

Egis has no place in any puzzle. Crossing Egis with Lenape is brutal.

TomAz 1:07 AM  

I got the shaded square trick on the first three up there in the NW. Then I went and filled in the rest of the shaded squares throughout the puzzle without even reading clues. They were gimmes, as if I were finishing a crossword puzzle that someone else had started.

Otherwise this puzzle was remarkable only for being so steadfastly unremarkable. None of the answers or clues were bad; none were particularly good. I could point out those that seemed odd (POPPER, PLURAL, UNPEGS), those that seemed bland (READS ALOUD, most of the short stuff) and those that actually seemed good (STYLIZED, GO FLY A KITE, ... that's about it). I didn't know LENAPE or ERL, but they wound up being pretty easy from the crosses.

In the end this was so dull I can't even think of a catchphrase - clever or otherwise - to close my comments. On to Wednesday.

Larry Gilstrap 1:19 AM  

Clare is cool. Both OFL and his designees are honest about their solving dead ends, which is admirable. Step away from the EGO TRIPS! I thought I knew about fencing metaphors, so Ritortes felt good for way too long. Isn't that a new entree at Taco Bell? DOH! when RIPOSTES showed up. Self-inflicted concussion. Weird fascination with a Bosch TRIPTYCH seems hardly unusual. We used to call Art History classes Art Appreciation classes. Discuss!

Once again, I print out a puzzle with indiscernible shaded squares. Value added difficulty, like solving while sitting in a chair with no table or clipboard. Hi @Loren.

Totally went after the old airport code for the JFK rival. I guess there's no airport in Yorba Linda.

When we die we Rest, unless the afterlife is filled with torment, for some reason. Yet, some Rest In Peace? May memories of you be peaceful to all those who knew you. I'm going with.

e.a. 2:04 AM  

is LENAPE rly a "crossword-y word" tho

Anonymous 2:13 AM  

What Lee said. Can someone explain Protection - Var.?

chefwen 2:34 AM  

GIVE A RIP was weird, I’ve heard I don’t GIVE A RIP about that, I have never heard anyone say it in a positive sense.

Once I had all my RIP’s in place it was pretty easy, the only hang up was at 44D, once I figured the clever but tricky PLURAL, I ughed!

chris b 2:57 AM  

I found this puzzle downright BRUTAL for a Tuesday. Got most of the theme answers right away but still struggled to finish. Perhaps because I am a bit of a newb, but I've never heard of the following words: LENAPE, EGIS, AUSSI, ERL, DAMA, or RIPOSTES. And as a medical person, ASPIRATE means to extract fluid from a body compartment or tissue, not whatever they are talking about with "H."

Nearly double my average Tuesday time and that was with a few google cheats along the way.

teevoz 3:30 AM  

Ok stop what you're doing and binge Sons of Anarchy. Hamlet on motorcycles. Really.

Brookboy 4:06 AM  

Pretty tough for a Tuesday, I thought, otherwise a nice crossword puzzle. Like @TomAz, I got the RIP theme pretty quickly and did the same, I.e., filled in the rest of the shaded squares without even reading the clues. I thought this was another example of a nifty puzzle construction. Thank you, Mr. Markey.

I thought this was a nice and fair review. Thank you, Ms. Carroll.

Hungry Mother 5:07 AM  

DNF on ERL again.

Anonymous 6:13 AM  

Why on earth does Hog Heaven have a "?" ???????????????????????????

Lewis 6:15 AM  

Cute and timely theme, with tRIPle theme answers ATOP and UNDER the reveal. Even a backward RIP in ASPIRATE. A big RIPper of a puzzle that got me to thinking about Cal Ripken, which reminded me of his MLB-topping 2,632 games in a row without an absence, a good thing to remember whenever my head starts swelling over the size of my NYT crossword streak.

Lewis 6:21 AM  

By the way, the grid is an unusual size -- 14 x 15.

DeeJay 6:55 AM  

Under the aegis of...

Anonymous 6:55 AM  

Aegis

The protection, backing, or support of a particular person or organization.

In classical art and mythology, an attribute of Zeus and Athena (or their Roman counterparts Jupiter and Minerva) usually represented as a goatskin shield.

EGIS is an alternate spelling

Anonymous 7:00 AM  

EGIS is a variation spelling of Aegis

John H 7:03 AM  

RIP = meh. Dama is just wrong. Dona or señora, but not dama. Italian, maybe.

Jon Alexander 7:04 AM  

For some reason I spent the last four minutes staring at P - - RAL and my brain finally had to reboot to get the answer (not knowing the ERL and AUSSI answers - the L and the U respectively). I just kept looking at the last AL and (totally ignoring the R) just kept saying “paranormal”? I thought it was ELF King (I guess ERL means elf?) for the answer too and threw it out cause I was pretttttttty sure the PF combo from the themer would be incorrect. Overall, that section killed my time but it felt a bit hard in general (more wed appropriate in my eyes)

R. Corman 7:11 AM  

ENT vs ORC vs ELF

Sounds like a B - direct to drive-in - movie (if any of those are still around)

kitshef 7:16 AM  

Once you get a couple of RIPs, you can fill in huge chunks of real estate. Despite that, this played spectacularly, absurdly difficult for a Tuesday. Partially this is due to some obscurities (LENAPE? EDA?? ERL???), and partly due to the cluing.

Why is a STY hog heaven? It isn’t … it’s a cage. Why is ROT corruption from deep inside? If it had been clued as corruption, ROT would have been the obvious answer. All them extra words made me think it had to be something more specific. And that’s not the OPIE I know.

Should have run on Wednesday when both the theme and the difficulty would make sense.

jberg 7:19 AM  

On the one hand, once you get a couple of RIPs you can just fill in the rest, making the puzzle a bit too easy. OTOH, it’s a big plus that the actual RIPs are symmetrical, not just the words they are in, so I’ll take it. AUSSI, I thought there was a lot of clever cluing— and I learned about ORONO (bet he was not a LENAPE).


I’m not sure if the clue for 16A is fair, though— to say “a picture” seems to imply a specific work, eg “The Last Supper,” rather than a format. @Teevoz, thanks for the viewing tip. I’ll try it as soon as I finish “Mozart in the Jungle.”

Suzie Q 7:36 AM  

The progression of RIP through the theme words and having those words be symmetrical in the grid made for some nifty construction.
I can't decide if it was worth it. Els, Eda, urn, erl, and ova make for some pretty excessive "ese".
I don't get the clue for unpegs.
Aussi is new to me and looks like a misprint from Down Under.
I'm not sure about aspirate as clued but I immediately thought of 'Enry 'Iggins and Eliza trying to blow out that candle.
The theme answers helped the solve and I like that so it was a happy Tuesday for me.

Niner fan in Nampa 7:40 AM  

Rite (var.)... and "gage" is a variant of "gauge".
Just stop, already, with "egis"...

pabloinnh 7:58 AM  

Thought this was pretty easy, probably because I knew what could have been the harder answers like RIPOSTE and TRIPTYCH and ORONO, where we know some people. Guessed right on LENAPE and that was that.

Nice write up from Clare, but if she's putting chalk on the ball, she's not going to be a pool shark any time soon.

GHarris 8:00 AM  

Found it easy until I flamed out with erl and aokay crossing aspirate. Wanted mukay for swell (like a high mucky muck) and elf king.

QuasiMojo 8:09 AM  

It seems like Halloween goes on for ever nowadays. When I was a RIPped college student with PECS I used to love dressing up as Adam from the Garden of Eden. Pre-expulsion. But that’s because it only happened one night a year! Today it’s a monthlong monster mash. Cue the Xmas music.

Putting in UnTIES before UnPEGS really slowed me up. And UnDead before Plural.

Pointless theme, really. There’s no haunting at all if they’re all resting in peace.

Thanks Clare for the write up but I’ll take Alain Delon as MR. RIPLEY any day over Matt Damon.

John Child 8:21 AM  

RIPsnoring Tuesday.

I’m not sure if I’m in for “Hamlet on motorcycles” @teevoz, but Sons of Anarchy is compelling TV. YMMV; not for all viewers.

GILL I. 8:29 AM  

I'll sit next to @ketshef. Tuesday? Good grief this took forever.
I kept thinking RIPOSTES and TRIPTYCH on hateful Tuesday? Not that I didn't enjoy a lot of the entries today. The problem is that you get your mind set for the day of the week. You know, Monday - easy, Tuesday a little bit harder. This could have run on Wed. for the day it was intended for. Kinda like the DO'S and don'ts of puzzledom.
Still can't figure out why a GRAVE YARD SHIFT would include RIP. I mean that's a tombstone word, no? The word is being shifted? Scratch head.....
I think I've seen GIVE A RIP somewhere in the nether but I'm more familiar with "Doesn't give a rats ass."
Thanks for un-dull puzzle, Jules. I like to be flummoxed once in a while.
@John Hnedak....DAMA is AOKAY in espanol. Haven't you heard Damas y Caballeros?

Lewis 8:42 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Lawn order (3)
2. Secret DC headquarters (7)
3. What may blossom from buds (8)
4. Fluff pieces (4)
5. Transferrer of stock? (5)


SOD
BAT CAVE
BROMANCE
LINT
LADLE

Z 9:26 AM  

I’m feeling a little embarrassed that EDA and ERL went right in. Ese of the highest order, sort of Ono and Eno on steroids. OTOH, crossing a Native American tribe with a variant spelling of a word from Latin is a definite Whac-A-Vowel moment. Had “a” then decided a terminal “a” isn’t really a native American thing and went with E. Woo Hoo. Don’t even come at me with “it had to be E because you say ‘aegis’ with a long E sound.” We don’t even have vowel pronunciation consistency from one region of the country to the next. Do you really think there is a single known “correct” way to say a vowel sound over three languages and two or three millennia? There is no good reason for a variant to be EGIS over aGIS.

Anyway, I liked the theme and chuckled at the revealer and all the little bonus halloween stuff. @kitshef - dead bodies ROT from within, just another little bonus way to clue a simple word and make it halloweeny.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Weren’t Paul Newman’s thumbs broken for being “The Hustler”, not his hands?

RooMonster 9:53 AM  

Hey All !
I finished up like @Jonathsn Alexander 7:04 with looking at P__RAL, when finally had the lightbulb moment. Crossers ERL and AUSSI not helping. Did get a good chuckle once I figured it out, proving @M&A's U rule once again.

Once I filled it in. I was all happy that I finished puz, but then the Almost There! message POPPEd up. Argh! Turns out, had two wrong letters/four wrong answers. Had an S for D at AIDEs/STYLIZEs and an R for P at LENArE/UNrEGS. BOO!

@R. Corman @7:11
Out here in Las Vegas, we still have one Drive-In movie theater. It's actually just about two miles from my house. There are 5 screens set up in sort of a circle. Funny thing, I've never been there to see a movie.

A fun pre-Halloween puz. Those complainers saying it should've been tomorrows, don't worry, we'll more than likely get a Halloween themed puz tomorrow. AYE.

SEEPY SOCIAL
RooMonster
DarrinV

Nancy 9:59 AM  

It seems all of you were thinking Halloween and finding the puzzle very appropriate. I'm afraid I was thinking about the slaughter in the Pittsburgh synagogue, and finding the puzzle very inappropriate. Well at least, I was thinking, there are 6 RIPs in the puzzle and not 11.

Not your fault, Jules Markey. Taken on its merits, it's a cute puzzle with a cute theme. But there's nothing cute about it today. Today I find it's publication incredibly tone-deaf.

I'm someone who always tries to separate puzzles from social issues and politics. But it's a bridge too far today. Today, I just simply can't do it. Sorry, everyone.

ArtO 10:14 AM  

This could easily have played tomorrow and been on point for Halloween and a slightly easy Wednesday instead of a fairly tough Tuesday.

What a wonderful write-up from our guest blogger. Great job Clare.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Not really.

Nate C 10:27 AM  

Damas y caballeros? I feel like I heard that an awful lot in Spain.

yaffa 10:38 AM  

Got the theme right away but still though for Tuesday. Live near Lenape so give away there.

Unknown 10:44 AM  

Lots of new words for me today - luckily just read The Last of the Mohicans or I would have been completely stumped by LENAPE crossing EGIS (another new one for me - need to google).

Have never heard or seen TRIPTYCH before, but now that I see what it looks like, I've seen them before, just never knew that word. PLURAL was the last one to fall for me as I didn't know the french cross or the composition, but a few guesses got me there finally.

Had to come to the blog to understand that RMN wasn't an airport code - well done.

John Hoffman 11:59 AM  

Yes.

Masked and Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Fairly wide-open puzgrid. Only 73 words, includin the six rippers.
Happy Halloween-Eve theme. Like.

Best raised-by-wolves (for a TuesPuz) crossin: LENAPE/UNPEGS. har

staff weeject pick: BOO. Gotta be the winner.

fave fillins: GOFLYAKITE. TRIPTYCH [Knew, thanx to college art courses]. MYRIAD.

Thanx, Mr. Markey.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


**gruntz**

Carola 12:28 PM  

I'm a fan.. I thought the theme was very clever, and the one-letter-over SHIFT a real grid tour-de-force. I agree that it was on the hard side for a Tuesday; POSIT and LENAPE slowed me down. But previous puzzles helped me with ORONO, EDA, ELS, ENT, EGIS. Loved RIPOSTE, TRIPTYCH, and GO FLY A KITE.

Speaking of crosswordese, it's too bad that ERL has descended into that category, as Goethe's poem is wonderful, as is Schubert's setting of it. Here's a nice illustrated version, including a translation - the German is a little shaky in spots, but it captures the mood perfectly.

Masked and Anonymous 12:40 PM  

p.s.
Thanx to 1-L CLare, for the primo subjob.

When I said only 73 words before, I plumb forgot about the slightly runty 14-15 grid size. Sooo … 73 is about right, actually. I know that the 34-A revealer was splatzed in the puzgrid center at 14-long, which is probably why Jules didn't just chip in an extra row, to get a 14x16 grid. Coulda gone 14x17, I suppose, and kept the revealer centered. De busta gut.

M&Also

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

I played the "A or E" guessing game at LENAPa-aGIS crossing and lost and for the very reason that @Z says he won - to me, the A ending for Native American tribes is very common (Oneida, Seneca, Lakota, Dakota, Chippewa, Ouachita, etc.). It doesn't help that I've been mispronouncing the Ae sound all these years as a variation of a long A where I see it is shown in dictionaries as closer to E or short I. Thinking about it post-DNF, I realized that if it was an A, the G would be hard and...who can think of all that stuff when solving?

I liked the puzzle and the non-Tuesday vocabulary - I thought the shifting RIPs was a clever idea. Thanks, Jules Markey.

@Nancy, the shootings in Pittsburgh are heartbreaking, nauseating, hateful and utterly incomprehensible. My heart goes out to all the families and the community.

Anonymous 1:30 PM  

I consider my thumbs to be part of my hands.

Z 1:32 PM  

@Teedmn - Luckily I didn’t think much longer than I did. What’s it called when you avoid a DNF through your own ignorance?

Rainbow 1:44 PM  

@Gill
The revealer clue is "a hint" not an equivalence. "GRAVEYARD" is the hint.

My brothers used to call graveyards "marble orchards".

Joe Bleaux 2:21 PM  

OK Tues puz. @Clare: Good job. (And your dad was wise to sell the pool table if he saw you putting chalk on balls. It goes on the tip of the cue stick.)

michiganman 3:10 PM  

@Nancy

Of course the Tree of Life massacre is horrendous. We are all thinking about it and are overwhelmed--again. Millions share the pain, you are not alone. I would bet that every solver today (I hope) is saddened and outraged. I don't think it's appropriate to suggest that it is otherwise. The shooting and today's puzzle are not related.

JC66 4:07 PM  

@michiganman

I don't think @Nancy suggested that any solver thought what happened in Pittsburgh was anything but horrific. She did, however question the timing of publishing the puzzle, although I'm not sure what kind of lead time is needed to make changes/substitutions..

I honestly didn't consider it while solving, but after she so eloquently pointed the problem out, I agree with her.

Anonymous 4:19 PM  

Any day of the year is filled with tragedy. 189 people just fell out of the sky. It's horrible. If we internalize every horrid event we could not rise to face another day. Every day someone dies, every day someone is born. Savor the joy of being alive. If doing a simple thing like a puzzle brings a small glimmer light to your world do it and never feel guilt about it.

Z 5:13 PM  

I know constructors know a week or so ahead of publication, so there is quite a bit of lead time. I’m speculating here, but I imagine there is some sort of special typesetting (or whatever the 21st century equivalent is) that requires some lead time. Making a change on 48 hours notice is probably not impossible but is probably not easy.

@michiganman - After re-reading I agree with @JC66, @Nancy was giving a personal response, and one that is hardly surprising.

Casimir 5:16 PM  

This is a very sane post. Thanks anonymous 4:19pm!

Anoa Bob 7:05 PM  

In a former life I worked the day shift and every morning would see the GRAVEYARD SHIFT (midnight to seven) workers as they were getting off. I guess they did it for the extra pay and the 7-hour rather than the normal 8-hour shifts, but they always looked like zombies, tired-as-hell and the sun just coming up. I'm thinking many of them had a touch of Circadian Rhythm Disorder.

I've spent a fair amount of time in GRAVEYARDs. Comes with getting older, I guess. I don't recall ever seeing RIP on a marker or headstone. So this theme didn't work as well for me as it seems to have for most of y'all.

Interesting that 44D PLURAL is singular. There were a few PLURALS in the grid, though, including two of the themers that needed a POC assist in order to fill their slots.

OISK 7:10 PM  

I have seen it before, and it always bothers me...Schubert's the ____King. The poem (that Schubert didn't write, but set to music,) is Der Erlkonig. I don't think "ERL" is an English word, so if one wishes to clue it, it would be better to write "Schubert's Der ___ Konig."

That said, I found this to be a more difficult than average, but apt Tuesday puzzle. Interesting that I didn't think about Pittsburgh until I saw Nancy's post, although I have several relatives in Squirrel Hill. (all safe, fortunately.)

Wanderlust 7:26 PM  

I agree LENAPA and AGIS seemed just as likely to me. Not a Tuesday cross. This one was a dud overall to me.

Nancy 7:49 PM  

You're absolutely right, @JC66, and thanks for your understanding and support. It is indeed all about the unfortunate and tone-deaf timing of this particular puzzle's publication. If I had been Will Shortz -- regardless of whether I had a lead time of 72 hours, 48 hours, 36 hours or only 12 hours -- I would have said: Stop the presses! This puzzle cannot and should not be published now. Hold it back and wait for a happier moment in our nation's history. Let's find something in our ginormous, absurdly backed-up NYT queue of already-accepted puzzles* to replace it with. Considering how very, very, very, very long that queue is, finding a replacement will definitely not be a problem.*



*I know, from personal experience, whereof I speak, btw. With any luck, I'll still be alive when the big news finally can -- and will -- be revealed.

GILL I. 9:13 PM  

@Rainbow... thanks.... I know, I saw the hint. Still it seemed weird; you have the poor slob of the red eyed worker and then you have the Tombstone. Maybe I overthought it. By the way, My dear old grandfather called it "Boot Hill."
@Nancy: I know...sob and then some. Wait for "happier moment in our nation's history"....Wouldn't that be something.
You'll still be alive when the big news come.....I'll give you a call. ;-)

burtonkd 9:15 PM  

@oisk, I was thinking the same thing, but upon looking it up there seems to be tradition of erl-king as the translation. Goethe wrote the famous poem - character/legend already in existence.
Schubert famously said of the song accompaniment "let the devil play it, I can’t"
Take a listen and try tapping your whole right hand along with the triplets for the duration of the song. Only a couple of moments of respite. If you ever want to feel the burn, this will do it...

SusanT 10:49 PM  

Very nice write-up, Clare, at such a busy time for you. Like others and minutes, I stared at p_ural. Knew Lenape from when my younger brothers went to a jr high of that name in PA.
Clare, I don’t know what torts textbook you are using, but about this time twenty-eight years ago when the work was coming on strong, my text got to the slip-on-banana-peel cases, welcome comic relief! Nowadays I take my torts with an “e”.

GILL I. 11:28 PM  

By the way, Clare. I love watching anything that will make me jump out of my seat. Our daughter has been telling us to watch The Haunting of Hill House for ages now. After reading your recommendation, my husband and I put it on. Dang....That first scream made me wet my pants!
Have you ever watched "Repulsion" with Catherine Deneuve (sp?), directed by Roman Polanski? It's a black and white film that gave me nightmares for days. You can probably see some trailers on Youtube. It was/still my all time favorite "scare the pants off you" film....
Happy Halloween.

Azzurro 12:54 AM  

Nice write up, disappointing only because I was looking forward to see Rex tear this one apart. I was not very impressed with the theme, and it had way, way too much crosswordese.

Margie 10:31 AM  

Loved this one ! Clever, timely, puzzle. Never heard of pea gravel or Papa John but they were inferrable. Thanks to Bruce Haight and Will Shortz.

Anonymous 5:13 PM  

@chris b .... aspirate has a linguistic meaning, not just medical!

thefogman 9:21 AM  

RIPpped through this one in no time flat. And YIPpy for me! No BOO-BOOs.

Burma Shave 10:29 AM  

COY ARTS AIDED SPIN

AYE, he won’t GIVEARIP
in the BROAD SOCIAL sense.
He got PAST EGOTRIPS
to POSIT a STYLIZED defense.

So MR.RIPLEY READSALOUD
to his GRAVEYARDSHIFT all the night
RIPOSTES OFUSE to that crowd
should he DARE GOFLYAKITE.

--- SRA. EDA LENAPE

spacecraft 11:52 AM  

I almost DNF this, with that weird SE corner. No idea for 47-across, 51-across, or 54-down. So 44-down was a mystery. I had P__RAL. Then the DOH! moment hit, but what's a sideways clue like that for PLURAL doing in a Tuesday puzzle? Come to think, why are we cluing OPIE that way this early in the week?

So AUSSI means "too" in French? "Too! Too! Too! Oy! Oy! Oy!" Doesn't sound right. Oh well. I did eventually remember about Internet Service Providers, but it took a while for this tech-poor soul. Same with UNPEGS. Most of this puzzle was easy to solve, but in spots, not so much. I'd say for a Tuesday, medium-challenging.

Theme and revealer cleverly done, with some primo long fill. No direct DOD in the grid, but in the clues we find Ke$ha, so let's go with that. Par.

Diana, LIW 12:35 PM  

Like @Foggy, I had a Rip-roaring time RIPping thru this.

@Spacy - you never heard "moi AUSSI"? P'raps even Miss Piggy said it, in her "moi" stage. Just as well.

Diana, Et Toi?

leftcoastTAM 4:48 PM  

DonA before DAMA. Learned LENAPE. RIP, President Bush.

rondo 7:00 PM  

Buncha tough words. Do I show my TRIPTYCH at the boarding gate? Are my sardonic words on this blog RIPOSTES? Does a French baby take LENAPE? If you're short down under are you a mere AUSSI? Duke duke duke, duke of ERL? For a Tues-puz you really had to URN this one.

I guess a sailor might have an AYE, baby. Or DAMA. Do you GIVEARIP?

Somehow no write-overs, so I guess I PAST.

Diana, LIW 8:00 PM  

The Lenni Lenape Indians live near where I grew up. So, for once, I had a gimme. Religious TRIPTYCHs all over Europe.

Lady Di

rondo 10:26 PM  

I get the fold-up thing with TRIPYCHs. I've seen TRiPTYCHs in the former USSR, Austria, and at home in MN. Just never in a xword puz. On a Tuesday.

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