Cousin of pollock / TUE 12-18-18 / New Jersey river bay / Model Chrissy who wrote best seller Cravings / Sports org since 1946 / Hicks Judge Major League Baseball

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium to Medium-Challenging (for a Tuesday) (3:46)

THEME: FASHION POLICE (35A: Wearers of 17-, 24-, 50- and 59-Across) — ordinary phrases where the last word can be an article of clothing, clued as if they related to the sartorial habits of law enforcement:

Theme answers:
  • DUST JACKET (17A: Proper attire for taking fingerprints?)
  • TRAIL BLAZER (24A: Proper attire for picking up a series of clues?)
  • HOLDING TANK (50A: Proper attire for detaining a perp?)
  • FOLLOW SUIT (59A: Proper attire for shadowing a suspect?)
Word of the Day: RARITAN (25D: New Jersey river or bay) —
The Raritan were bands of the Lenape people living around the Raritan Riverand its bay, in what is now northeastern New Jersey and Staten IslandNew York. (wikipedia)
• • •

Yeah, so, I actually thought this was an OK theme with an OK revealer. There's some inconsistency in the theme execution (someone in law enforcement might DUST or TRAIL or FOLLOW (uh, those are the same words, but whatever ...) but they probably wouldn't HOLDING—they would HOLD), but the revealer is snappy and ties the themers together in two ways: at the level of fashion and at the level of police. So it's a step way up from a simple "last words"-type of puzzle, where the last words all have something in common but, really, who cares? Weirdly, I think HOLDING TANK is the outlier for being the *most correct* of the bunch. The most parallel. Clues all start [Proper attire for verb-ING something], so the -ING in the clue is actually very appropriate-seeming. You could probably get a Sunday-sized puzzle out of this if you go to the -INGs and then add, you know, an ARRESTING phrase and maybe a GRILLING phrase, I dunno. Anyway, I thought this was fine, at least at the theme level.

The "?" nature of the themers and the highly segmented grid and some awkward / odd fill made this one play slightly tough for me. TRUE SELF and PAYABLES and EMERSION and especially THE (the!) NBA all required tons of crosses. Cluing THENBA as simply a [Sports org. ...], w/ absolutely no indication of what sport, when you've also gone and put the stupid definite article in there, is just weird and cruel. RARITAN is of local interest, I guess, because I don't know that at all. Or, rather, I know it as a ... literary journal? Is that right? Ah yes, a quarterly review from (geographically appropriately, I see) Rutgers. I sort of learned something!

Five things:
  • 29A: Hicks and Judge of Major League Baseball (AARONS) — pretty long name to pluralize, but nice attempt at trying to legitimize it by making both the AARONS baseball players. I was lucky to know these guys, as well as the nearby baseball answer FUNGO (22A: Bat for hitting practice fly balls), as I was not able to slide smoothly from NW to NE via TRAILBLAZER and so needed to reboot completely in the NE. Baseball!
  • 43D: Wino, e.g. (SOT) — laughing and sneering at alcoholics is one of my least favorite things the crossword regularly does. These are essentially slurs. Also, not great fill. I would avoid SOT if I could. You couldn't just made it YET. (Please don't tell me EEE is worse than EEO because that is manifestly untrue, as EEO is among the worst things a puzzle could ever have to offer)
  • 51D: Put into categories (GROUP) — ugh, this clue. I had GR- and wrote in GRADE.  
  • 31D: 1D: Cousin of a pollock (COD) — I thought this clue word was a slur as well. But it's a fish. Gotta love COD x/w OREO. Enjoy your breakfast!
  • 12D: Model Chrissy who wrote the best seller "Cravings" (TEIGEN) — glad they went with "who wrote the best seller..." as opposed to "married to John Legend," which she is, famously, but ... nice for women to stand on their own in crosswords (see also clues for AMAL Clooney). Actually, I think she may be more famous in her own right than he is (despite his EGOT). I'm surprised I haven't seen TEIGEN in a grid before.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld (Twitter @rexparker / #NYTXW)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Loren Muse Smith 6:39 AM  

Just stop to think how hard it was to find these themers. First, get a verb that a cop would do. (LEGAL BRIEFS is a non-starter.) Next find a phrase using this verb but the second word must have a secondary clothing meaning. And it must be a separate word. (WARDROBE is a non-starter and is stupid anyway sorry.)

As I sat and appreciated this, I kept thinking of the beautifully ambiguous pullover. Hah. And then my mind fixed on junk drawers. Nothing to do with the theme, but still. The go-to pants for Mr. Show-Off.

“Book” JACKET would work, too.

Hard not to note the tertiary theme stuff: FBI, ARMS, LA GUARDIA. And the Christmas panic reminders of UPS, COD, SENT.

As regards the clue for ART - the field of linguistics is the scienciest of the arts and the artiest of the sciences.

Loved the clue for RODE UP. You betcha that’s uncomfortable. The flip side is if your panty hose ride down so that the part that’s supposed to be up “there” is down near your knees, then you’re forced to take much shorter steps to get thyself to the bathroom to rearrange everything before your predicament becomes a spectacle ‘cause your skirt is just a tad too short and this happened to me yesterday ask Ms. Walburn.

I’ll take the FASHION POLICE any day over grammar police. And @Gill I – Ditch. Those. Gauchos. K?

'merican in Paris 7:04 AM  

Clever, admirable theme, with a nice revealer. Thought I was going to break my best time on this one, but in the end DID just 10% better than my Tuesday average. TEI_EN crossing FUN_O left me groping for letters.

This puzzle offered a few ol’ standbys, like APES, OREO, PER, and SOT, but a LOTT of fresh fill. I’m surprised that COD is not more of a regular weeject (hi, M&A!) in x-words.

Speaking of which, I would strongly recommend, to anybody with an interest in both history and food, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, first published in 1999 by Mark Kurlansky. One of the surprising revelations in that book is that Basque fishermen were already plying the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence long before Jacques Cartier, who is credited with "discovering" the mouth of that river, planted a cross on the Gaspe Peninsula, claiming the land for France.

The Basques, by contrast, wishing to keep their rich fishing grounds a secret, had never claimed the land for anyone. For them, tera firma was just a REST AREA. I assume that they had good HOLDING TANKs for those fishies and their ROE: not IDEAL to have big DAM CODs FLAILing around in your little dory.

We’re not going to have yet another debate about tildes today, I hope. (Frankly my dears, I don’t give a … .) GOIN’, GOIN’, gone.

P.S. to @Clark at 11:23 PM from yesterday: thanks for your story about your encounter with a bat. I was bitten by a stray cat [sic] some 30 years ago, in Northern Italy, and finally showed up at the Pasteur Institute in Paris (with great trepidation) for my anti-rabies vaccine. I grew up as afraid of anti-rabies vaccines as of the disease itself. So it was with some relief that I learned that the modern vaccine is essentially painless. Set me back around $120 at the time (perhaps $250 in dollars of 2018) for the full course of treatment. Would be curious to know how much the cost would be today for an uninsured person livin’ in the USA.

Rob 7:09 AM  

That was really good. THE NBA is my main nitpick, but the theme was clever and there's shockingly little junk. Never knew EMERSION was a word, but it was very inferrable and the crosses were fair. Nice puzzle.

Z 7:09 AM  

What @LMS said about the theme. I did this last night after a day of travel, so maybe that contributed to my slowness, but this was more Thursdayish for me, 13+ minutes. That’s more than twice a typical Tuesday time for me. Not knowing the bay or literary mag didn’t help, and PAYmentS didn’t PAY off either. Even though I understood the theme, neither FOLLOW SUIT nor HOLDING TANK were occurring to me. I think the north was pretty typical Tuesday for me, but the south was just one pratfall after another.

I draw a bright line between insults for what we are and insults for what we do. SOTS wrecks that bright line. On the one hand, over-drinking is definitely a “what we do,” but making fun of alcoholism is right there with making fun of cancer. When does misbehaving become a disease? You got me. But I do see Rex’s point.

Hey PPP aficionados, I’m without a paper for a month and it’s hard to tot up without being able to mark-up the puzzle. Don’t expect any PPP Analysis from me until mid-January.

OffTheGrid 7:09 AM  

Another baseball Aaron--Hank (The real career home run record holder)

kitshef 7:17 AM  

Pretty easy overall, but definitely some stuff I would not expect on a Tuesday. RARITAN, EMERSION, TEIGEN, AARONs not named Hank, and … is ALONZO something most people know? Legitimately famous in THENBA, but does he have any name recognition outside the sport?

amyyanni 7:18 AM  

LMS: as to pantyhose, another reason to live in Florida. We mostly go bare legged. (Except today maybe, as it's 52 this a.m.) So happy with the write-up. Every time I find a puzzle challenging, it seems Rex classes it easy. Not today! It's going to be an auspicious Tuesday. And lovely solve. Fungo is a fun word (and spring training is just 2 months away.)

QuasiMojo 7:27 AM  

I found Rex’s write-up today more interesting than the puzzle. The theme didn’t work for me as there was too much inconsistency in the themes. A book wears a dust jacket (I initially had LIFT there thinking of lifting finger prints and that a lift jacket is something you wear when being rescued by helicopter); a blazer makes trails; a tank holds, rather than a hold tanks; and a suit doesn’t follow, the person playing it does. Plus Fashion Police is a thing that refers to judging someone’s appearance, an activity not even hinted at in the answers selected.

Thanks Rex for mentioning the prevalence of sot and wino in the NYT. I’m very anti Thought Police but the excessive use of these derogatory and dated terms for drunks and alcoholics is offensive, even if only, if one is strictly non-PC, for its utter laziness. Constructors should toss out these tired cliches before submitting a crossword and Shortz should reject them or edit them out.

I have never heard of this model Chrissy or her husband whom you mention has won an EGOT. I need to get out more. :)

Lewis 7:31 AM  

A puzzle with FUNGO and TOADY has my adoration right from the start. I learned RARITAN, and EMERSION hasn't been tickled in my head for probably decades -- one terrific benefit of puzzles is how they expand the brain and keep it active. I had TIEGEs before TIEGEN, and BADluck before BADOMEN. Another terrific benefit is that puzzles often keep the ego in check.

Along with @Rex, I saw HOLDING TANK as an outlier, with the first word as an adjective, where I saw DUST, TRAIL, and FOLLOW as verbs (I see from his notes that Ross saw TRAIL as a noun). But I gave it an easy pass. I would have given even a misspelling in the puzzle an easy pass, because TOADY and FUNGO.

Suzie Q 7:31 AM  

I liked the theme and the clue for true self was so nicely phrased.
The rest of the puzzle had way too many names for my liking and so many were related to sports. I did know Alonzo because I always thought he had a cool name. DNF because of Teigen/fungo.
It's always a shame when the grid has to suffer so much to make a good theme work.

kld 8:01 AM  

DNF for me as well at Tiegen/fungo AND Tiegen/lats. Did not know Alonzo, but after _lo_zo it seemed like a good guess. Similarly did not know either of the Aarons, but the leading double As gave it away easily. I did enjoy the theme and agree with everyone that the biggest nit is THEnba. Happy Tuesday everyone.

Odd Sock 8:10 AM  

Since every theme answer has an article of clothing paired with a police term it kinda works for me. Tank is actually a tank top so that one's iffy.
Don't know the model OR her husband so thanks to fungo for coming to the rescue.
@ Z, Sorry man, but you came to mind at 15A.
@ Loren, So that's why penguins walk so funny! Their pantyhose are falling down!
Seems like a lot of arbitrary articles have been creeping in lately as in The NBA. Sloppy.

Allegra 8:10 AM  

What is the point in putting “for a Tuesday” after “relative difficulty” ? Seems redundant.

mmorgan 8:13 AM  

I agree with @Quasi, and am finding it decidedly strange that Rex liked a puzzle more than I did. That's gotta be a first. I'm stuck on what I see as inconsistencies in the theme. One will wear a JACKET, a BLAZER, or a SUIT, but not, as far as I know, a TANK. Or is there some other article of clothing besides a tank top that I don't know about?

keleng 8:22 AM  

the FUNGO/TEIGEN cross was a total natick for me. Funno?Funko? bah.....

Amal 8:33 AM  

Wino and sot are synonyms. No one is laughing or sneering at anyone.

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

Let's hope your fungo doesn't have rabies.

Z 8:44 AM  

@kitshef - Mourning strikes me as more crossworthy than Hicks. I’m guessing that they wanted first name consistency, otherwise Henry and Judge seems obviously more Tuesday to me.

TIEGEN’s husband just played Jesus in the televised live Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve always been partial to Ian Gillan’s performance on the original album, but Legend was mostly very good in the role. I was weirdly bugged by the tennis shoes.

@Allegra - This is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t issue. If Rex posts the disclaimer comments like yours appear. If he doesn’t post the disclaimer then “how can you call it ...” comments appear.

@mmorgan - No TANK Tops in your wardrobe?

pabloinnh 8:51 AM  

The AARONS should have been Hank and Tommy, but that's just me.

SENORS (sorry about the lack of a tilde) is NOT the plural of senor. That would be senores, and nothing else ever, so there.

He dicho.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

I am an alcoholic who is not offended by the inclusion of wino and/or sot. Sure they’re pejoratives. So what ? What bothers me is people who would exclude unpleasant things from the puzzle. It’s really getting ridiculous.

Hungry Mother 8:54 AM  

Another quick solve for me. I can’t give out too many details because I’m in Vegas. Fun!

Flying Pediatrician 8:59 AM  

So much to love, so much to disdain! Love: FUNGO and ALONZO Mourning. Zo was my second favorite hooper of the 90s (behind Hakeem the Dream). Also, ALONZO Bodden on Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me is hilarious. Anyhow, I used to watch Zo on “THE NBA on TNT” all the time. Oh wait! It’s “NBA on TNT,” a nice segue to the disdain section: if I never see EEO, ETTU, and/or SOT in a puzzle again, it’ll be too soon. As a doc, I couldn’t agree more with OFL’s stance on SOT; alcoholism is a disease, and a tragic one at that. I also disdain clues like “Part of m.p.h.” PER is the only three-letter word in the abbreviation! It’s like “Opposite of SSE.” Just fill it in for us!

If you haven’t seen Key & Peele’s “Substitute Teacher” sketch, do yourself a favor and watch it now. “A-A-RON!”

“Nolte or BUSEY” is the new “Pullman or Paxton.”

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

@LMS's raises my perennial question of whether or not her colleagues and charges have discovered this blog.

Andy Capp (wasn't funny) 9:07 AM  

FUNGO/TIEGEN...are we supposed to know either one of those that well? TIExEN could be anything, and FUNGO is not a word, it's more like a portmanteau? So you're crossing a proper noun with a made up word. Nice.

As for SOT...I remember reading the Sunday comics and thinking that The Lockhorns was a stupid comic strip...even back when it was somehow funny to the adults. It's the Jackie Gleason "One of these days, Alice..." kind of humor that just wasn't funny. SOT is in that same vein. Andy Capp was the comic strip that epitomized the sad sack husband with a nagging rolling pin toting wife that drove him (and all of his buddies...except for the bartender, of course) to drink.

I'm pretty sure this is 1950s humor that finally kinda died out with the authors of those comics. But SOT, in the NYT, is still mired in that old timey, guy staggering home from the bar to be met at the door with a wife and her rolling pin. HAHA, hilarious. Sunday after Sunday.

And then of course there were guys like Foster Brooks who, all through the 1960s, would somehow make my parents laugh.

All that to say, that stuff just wasn't all that funny because the stuff that everyone understood then as driving those comics/comedians to drink, was serious stuff. Abuse, failed relationships, bad marriages that wouldn't end because divorce was a stigma, terrible soul sucking jobs with assholes for bosses, etc.

My dad was a functional alcoholic. His life was work, a relationship that should have ended sooner, a troubled childhood he never came to terms with, maybe images from WW2 he couldn't shake, and I'm sure a host of things I never knew about. And yet, in the Sunday funnies and on TV, we laughed at drunks...just like him.

HAHA. F*cking hilarious.

Sir Hillary 9:16 AM  

Very nice theme! Not too often that a Tuesday puzzle feels fresh, but this one does.

I'm a fan of the NBA, but not of THENBA. Other than that, no complaints.

Crimson Devil 9:36 AM  

Agree re Aarons. Fungo perfectly acceptable. Pitchers and catchers report ~Feb. 13 !!!

RooMonster 9:43 AM  

Hey ALL !
Banner TuesPuz. As we all know, Tuesdays are usually the odd duck of puzs. This one was pretty alright. Consistent theme, apt revealer.

Ran into the writeovers others seemed to have, BADluck, TEIGEs. Had one more, pecS-LATS. When my JFK alternative wouldn't work, got rid of the P, and saw LAGUARDIA. Side story, LAGUARDIA always seemed a problem to fly out of. Used to live in CT, went to NYC alot to fly. JFK much better. Been about 12 years now, wondering if it's changed. New Yorkers?

Didn't FLAIL around too much today. Still 3x Rex time. But I like to read each clue, even when an answer auto-fills. Wouldn't cut it as a speed solver.

USA! UPS! Har.


jberg 10:03 AM  

Great theme, great revealer -- and a lot of other things to like about this puzzle. Top left, we have the Alt and the pollock bragging about their relatives; lower down, someone's undies are riding up on the left, and taking part in a wedg(i)e over on the right. EMERSION is kinda weird -- I mean, it means emergence, but is one letter shorter, so fair enough. But the only ROE I've ever had as sushi has not been a garnish, but the main event.

Writeovers: mUggy before HUMID, GRade before GROUP (Hi, Rex!) Fortunately, I did know there was a RARITAN in NJ; I didn't know of either the river or the bay, but didn't need to. And fortunately, TEIGEN is one letter longer than TEIGS. (Yeah, I know she's really Cheryl Tiegs, but I would have gone with it.) I was saved from BAD luck because I had FASHION POLICE already. The famous Nicole Hollander character is called "Fashion Cop," I think, but close enough.

Weirdest clue was "psychological wound," since any wound is a TRAUMA.

"Freeze FBI" is our president's recurrent plea.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

In addition to a river and bay (and literary journal), Raritan is also a town in NJ. I drive through it when I go to visit my parents.

GILL I. 10:04 AM  

I really enjoyed this Tuesday. It seemed quite original in concept. You can DUST a JACKET. Go on to TRAIL a BLAZER. HOLDING a TANK shirt could be cause for detaining a perp but I would have loved FOLLOWS a SUIT to be more of an ambulance chaser....Or not! this is my favorite clue (so far) for OREO. It seems that when that cookie appears, our constructors vie for the best way to get that little black and white treat to take center stage.
I had a feeling a clue or an answer would cause a discomfort. I guessed right. SOT.
We all have a word or maybe many that will bring on a memory that isn't pleasant. I'm pretty sure I first heard the word SOT in England. They use it a lot. Not in a disparaging way, more like referring to an older gent who likes to keep company at the pub. Wino, on the other hand is American. The connotation here is negative and has been associated with the poor and the impoverished bloke, staggering home after a night of drinking Thunderbird out of a paper bag. Pick your enemy.
@Loren. HAH. One day I will attend the ACPT. I will be easy to find. I will be the only one in the room wearing gauchos (lime green) with probably a scotch in one hand and a very old smelly cigarette in the other. I have a pack of Winstons from over 20 years ago that I keep in a drawer to remind me of how delicious it was to smoke......Can't'll love it!."
@pablo...Dang, you beat me to it. SENORES, please. No such thing as SENORS. The other one that bugs me is "yo te amo." Please leave out the yo because no-one says yo - ever.

Little Timmy from up the Street 10:30 AM  

Fungo bat was my favorite part of the puzzle. Such a fun word to say. Here's an opinion of the word origin, "“My guess is that the word, which is baseball slang, may be explained through the elements of a compound word, fun and go,” David Shulman wrote in the February 1937 edition of American Speech."

Fungo! If you say it with some volume and vitriol it can sound an insult.

"It's true I tell ya, it's all true."

"FUNGO! No it ain't!

Voltan 10:32 AM  

Tuesday is harder than Friday or Thursday. What, is the world coming to?

Nancy 10:37 AM  

A cute and enjoyable Tuesday, with a bit of crunch, even. I had the slowest going in the SE. EMERSION and PAYABLES (where I initially wanted EMERGING and PAY BILLS) were delightfully un-Tuesday-ish. I also wrote in BAD LUCK before BAD OMEN. And my underwear RUBBED me before it RODE UP. More writeovers than usual on a Tuesday. Some other thoughts:

I thought HOLDING TANK was the weakest. Don't you wear a TANK TOP and not a TANK. I certainly wouldn't want to go around saying: "I think I'll wear my TANK today." Someone might answer: "Maybe you shouldn't have the eclair."

Some people are just so wise and so brilliant and so discerning that you agree with them on absolutely everything. You're not always a TOADY when you agree on everything (15A).

I like that the FASHION POLICE are right above TUT. Isn't that what they say to the unfashionable. But I remember a childhood friend of mine who worked in the fashion industry and once said to me: "You learn that there's fashion and there's taste, and that they're not the same thing." I've always found her words...encouraging.

Nice theme, nicely executed.

Nancy 10:52 AM  

OY. But thank heavens it wasn't Google giving me a hard time. It was you, Rex. On my fourth (4th!) unsuccessful try to Submit my comment, I finally, finally noticed that the blog was instructing me (in oh-so-casual-and-barely noticeable fashion) that I would be asked to confirm my Google password. I told you I was non-visual and unobservant. I was thinking: what does Google want from me now, and why?. Then I couldn't find my password in my analog address book under "G" (which is really where it should be, I think) and I panicked. Fortunately the password came to me. Whew. But next time, please put your advisory in BRIGHT RED, FULL-CAP LETTERS so that I can't miss them. Thanks, Rex!

Anyone else flummoxed like me today?

Peter P 11:26 AM  

Like some others, I got snarled up with FUNGO/TEIGEN. I ended up guessing the letter correctly in the end, but I know that was because my TIE_EN fill and "model Chrissy" clue was being influenced by my subconscious with the model Cheryl Tiegs. Luckily, the G worked. Funny enough, in a demonstration of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (when you learn a word/concept/name/fact all of a sudden you see it everywhere), I just now, while browsing gifts for my brother and looking up the hot cookbooks off 2018, I see "Cravings: Hungary for More" by Chrissy Teigen show up in the article I was reading.

I found this a somewhat challenging Tuesday. It ended up almost a minute slower than my average. My main roadblock was the south with "PAYABLES." I had "PAYmentS" in there for the longest time, and my brain just couldn't conjure up another suffix for "PAY" for a good couple of minutes. Once PAYABLES finally went down, the rest of that fill was easy.

I enjoyed the theme quite a bit, even though the revealer didn't help me much.

Oh, yeah, THENBA -- that's the one that stuck out as a grumble from me. I was thinking, what 6-letter sports organizations are there out there? When I finally had the TH fall in the southwest, I thought, no, really? Are they really including the definite article in the name? I guess so. Yuck.

Masked and Anonymous 11:27 AM  

Fun theme. BULLETPROOFVEST? Grid spanner. No need to thank.

This TuesPuz had 'tude. Some very wide-open areas to FLAIL around in (With a weeject alley down the middle, to enable the openness elsewhere). Extra nanosecond flailin ensued, in the NE -- thanx to ALONZO+TEIGEN crossin AARONS. Didn't happen to know any of these folks, so had to guess my way outta trouble.

staff weeject pick: FBI. Seems the most theme-related of the litter. COD would work, if it stood for CEMENTOVERDUDS, or somesuch (yo, @mericans in Paris).

GASMASK? [an M&A fave unused themer]

Thanx for the funny puz, Mr. Trudeau. Double digit U's! thUmbsUp.

Masked & Anonym10Us


michiganman 11:46 AM  

Are some of you getting tired of bashing Rex and going after @Z now?

The best thing on the blog today is this from @Z.

"I draw a bright line between insults for what we are and insults for what we do. SOTS wrecks that bright line. On the one hand, over-drinking is definitely a “what we do,” but making fun of alcoholism is right there with making fun of cancer. When does misbehaving become a disease? You got me. But I do see Rex’s point."

This is thoughtful. It isn't easy to make these distinctions and everyone has "their" own issues, and buttons to be pushed. There is no one correct approach to many of the terms that are controversial.

Banana Diaquiri 11:51 AM  

Weirdest clue was "psychological wound," since any wound is a TRAUMA.

well... no. a TRAUMA center doesn't deal with anything less than life-threatening damage.

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

Enjoyable, moderately easy puzzle. Thanks Mr. Trudeau.

jb129 12:10 PM  

I was wondering why I wasn't zipping through this puzzle, like a usual Tuesday so I thought it was me. Finished it & saw Rex's "Medium/Challenging" for a Tuesday so I felt better.

All in all, a fun puzzle.

Master Melvin 12:17 PM  

As a recovering alcoholic, sober for over 36 years, I am not in the least offended by words like SOT. You get called a lot worse in rehab.

pmdm 12:37 PM  

A lot of comments about the issue of SOT and humor, so I'll add the following. My wife and I recently finished watching the complete film releases of Buster Keaton, then Laurel and Hardy, and currently in progress Abbott and Costello. For some reason of lot of humor involves the discomfort of others. The effects of being drunk certainly pop up more than rarely in the videos. I suppose it was just a continuation of what was successful in vaudeville. But I do wince at some of the gags, and I certainly wince at how blacks were depicted in the movies. (To say nothing of the use of blackface.) I am less bothered by that stuff (and not bothered at all by crossword entries) than by the mudslinging that has been part of the political world for a long time and has been amplified in recent decades up to its current explosion. I really wonder if some of the discussion here is a matter of losing track of the larger picture.

I have only one complaint about today's puzzle. If, like myself, you are unfamiliar with the term for a bat you use to hit practice fly balls, and you don't know the proper names of 11D and 12D, you are in big trouble in the NE corner. Perhaps a little too hard for newbies working on a Tuesday puzzle.

Johnny W 12:46 PM  

As a SOT, I take offense at those who would try to ban me from the crossword. I have just as much right as anyone else to be crosswordese. And, besides, it takes only three letters to include me now and then. It’s not as if I’m an ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANIST. So please get over yourself and let me have my little moment in the sun.

Teedmn 1:04 PM  

Sigh of relief when I saw my guesses in the TEIGEN-AARON-FUNGO area were correct. Otherwise, this was a pretty easy puzzle.

My favorite themer is FOLLOW SUIT - the change in meaning gave me a chuckle. At the first themer, with DUST in place, I thought it would be "DUST duster" and then the theme would consist of more things echoing the first word; DUST JACKET was a nice surprise.

G_O_P at 51D, I was coming up with weird words for "Put into categories". GlOmP, anyone? I only entertained that until RUB and BUSEY glomped in but still.

Ha, just found my typo of the day - what does RODEEP mean? Ack, it's BURT Reynolds, not BeRT. And I knew exactly what RODE UP should be but didn't notice the DNF.

Thanks Ross, this was a fun Tuesday.

old timer 1:08 PM  

@GILL I. I can think of one person who signs official documents with a YO: The King of Spain who signs as 'YO el rey." But too, "yo" is used when needed in ordinary speech. "Me too" is "YO tambien." I agree that it is usually left off when using simple verbs where the "YO" is obvious.

Anoa Bob 1:28 PM  

EMERSION (39D)? I did a side-eye double-take on that one. Spell check doesn't buy it either. How about "Author Ralph Waldo ____ (var.)" for the clue?

The themers looked a little disheveled to me. Two single clothing items, JACKET & BLAZER, an ensemble, SUIT, and a partial, a topless TANK.

Yo! To those objecting to SENORS as being without the tilde and being misspelled to boot, hey, this is America, and even though the NYT has an International and a Spanish language edition, we can use whatever orthographic version of foreign words that we want. Expediency trumps accuracy, right?

@Z, did you know that PPP has appeared in the NYT xword 28 times, 6 of them during the Shortz era? The most recent example was Friday, May 19, 2017. It's usually clued along the lines of "Musical marking for "very soft'". Would not "Proper Nouns" work as well for what you are referring to as PPP?

Amelia 1:41 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 3:24 PM  

Happy to see our old friend OREO today. Crushing it made one of my rare attempts at holiday baking a great success after baking it as a base for cocoa cream cheese cupcakes with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa powder and a semisweet chocolate swirl on top.

@banana daiquiri, haven’t you ever heard of suicide attempts or psychotic breaks? Some people do end up in the ER for psychological TRAUMA that leads to self harm.

GILL I. 3:49 PM  

@old timer: You're hablando with a pro here....
Amo means love and the te mean you. Ergo: I LOVE YOU. No need for the redundant yo.
Now as for the king. He needs the yo to be sure and remind them that "I, the king, now decree that we can only speak Catalan."

bauskern 3:50 PM  

I thought this was pretty easy all the way through. Clever theme, and clever clues. SOT for WINO doesn't bother me in the least.

OffTheGrid 3:55 PM  

I don't detect any laughing or sneering. It's just there. Maybe it shouldn't be but it's just a word exchange WINO/SOT.

Whitey 3:59 PM  

FUNGO crossing ALONZO and TEIGEN as really no-go for fun

Joe Dipinto 4:38 PM  

The *title* is Señor. If you write Señor a bunch of times in a row:


you have "Señor"s, i.e. a bunch of titles with tildes. Not "Señores".

GILL I. 5:02 PM  

Hi @Joe Dip...Then clue it " bunch of titles with tildes." There is no such thing as "Señor's in Español.

Anonymous 6:54 PM  

There seem to be a lot of comments that were deleted. Thus, Amelia’s 1:41 comment seems like a non sequitur. I guess it is now. It wasn’t earlier.

Unknown 6:57 PM  

Also famous for Rutgers school song: “On the banks of the old Raritan. Where Rutgers evermore shall stand. . . .”

mmorgan 7:26 PM  

@Gill -- Claro que si!

@Z -- that's my point. When people put on a TANK TOP, do they say "I'm wearing my tank"? I honestly don't know, which is why I'm asking. And, no, I don't have any in my wardrobe. That I know of.

Adam 8:27 PM  

I loved this theme - very clever, with a catchy revealer that has some meta-meaning. Other than THE NBA (I agree with @Rex on that one), I found it immensely satisfying in a way that the themed puzzles have not been of late.

Z 9:00 PM  

@mmorgan - I think it is fair to say that any two word noun is shortened to one word on a regular basis somewhere. I’ve certainly heard TANK top shortened to just TANK, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen ad copy that way, too.

@Gill I - You’re right, but the puzzle is in English and this sort of misdirection (e.g. 8 mouses - 8 examples of the word mouse as opposed to 8 mice), is in the same genre as “Mickey and Minnie beginnings” for “EMS.” I personally suspect that the clue writer cackles at the prospect of “fooling” people who actually know the language, whereas most of us just blissfully and ignorantly fill in the expected answer, not even realizing the issue.

Speaking of expectations; many of you SOT defenders have your prejudices showing. Consider what Rex actually wrote, “I would avoid SOT if I could.” For comparison, this is like saying “I would avoid saying ‘fuck’ at the coffee shop if I could.” But what Rex actually writes doesn’t seem to matter to the PC Police, who immediately decry that Rex in his omnipotence is after their right to insult people.

@michiganman - I have fans and I have fans. Such is life when you voice strong opinions. But then, people complained about @Lewis’s “Post Puzzle Puzzlers” (the original PPP here) and I’ve even seen people take swipes at @LMS (I know, right?). So I just remember what a great philosopher once said, “Haters gonna Hate,” and I shake it off.

GILL I. 10:56 PM  

@Z....English sminglish. Cierra la widow que esta reinando.
Oh.....I love the word "fuck" just have to know when to deliver it.

Kris Woll 6:24 PM  

No tilde is okay with me, but Senors is not a word in any language. Next we'll have "childrens" as an answer.

Anonymous 9:19 PM  

Thanks, @pabloinnh, for your comment about SENORS, and for the back of your hand re the tilde. Too many constructors don’t know their ano from first base - - Maybe we ought to institute an award for Constructor del Ano.

Burma Shave 10:23 AM  


they FLAIL a LOTT in each DAM class,
they FOLLOWSUIT and in THE END escape,
“TUT, TUT”, they say, “DID IPASS?”


thefogman 11:23 AM  

TUT TUT!!! DNF on a Tuesday NYT puzzle. I went with TEIzEN for 12D. YES I guessed wrong and had no idea about the practice bat. Therein lies the RUB - and that's the UPS and downs of solving. It makes me utter LOTTs of OYS and even a few veys. Where DID all the FUNGO? DAM the constructor! But seriously, it's not the END of the world. I'm not in any TRAUMA. I'm just ACTIN up. Not GOIN to say it was IDEAL, but my TRUESELF says good work Ross Trudeau.

spacecraft 11:46 AM  

Wow, OFL and Trudeau must be buds. This grid is littered with...well, just plain littered. First line across: CTRL ACTIN LATS; a no-vowel abbr., an awkward partial (with another one going down: ATA!), and a semi-acceptable shortening of a muscle GROUP that suffers from overuse. Not your finest leadoff. And we haven't even got to THE DSTUDENTS yet. This is just-don't-care construction.

Theme is OK; is TANK by itself an article of clothing? TANK top, fine. TANK alone? No tanks. Other than that, it works. On the bright side, I learned a new word today: EMERSION. And brighter still: DOD Chrissy TIEGEN.

I can't believe all the offense-taking about SOT. Soon we will not be allowed to say ANYTHING AT ALL for fear of offending somebody. We will become a race of mutes. But even then, when could we raise an eyebrow? Ridiculous! Stop!

Despite 10 U's for @M&A's approval, this one gets a bogey.

Diana, LIW 11:57 AM  

No tilde-ing at windmills for me. This was a Mondayish Tuesday for moi. No accent there, either.

Lady Di

Diana, LIW 11:58 AM  

LMS - junk drawer - har

Diana, again

leftcoastTAM 1:11 PM  

Found the theme to be a bit elusive. Themers showed up by a process of EMERSION, using crosses and inferences. Provided some intrigue.

RARITAN, TAKEI and TEIGEN required crosses. Wanted SENd before SENT. (Still thinking about that one.)

Agree with Rex that HOLDING TANK was the best and most apt of the themers.

Nice work, Mr. Trudeau. (Would like to put an X on the end of that fine name.)

rondo 1:45 PM  

And Inspector Clousseau has FRENCHCUFFS.
RARITAN was just waiting to be a Natick, but the crosses wouldn’t let it. Though at first I had sOy for ROE. Speaking of ROE, there are demonstrators (for both sides) at the MN capitol today on the 46th anniversary of ROE v Wade. IPASS, I ain’t GOIN’ there.

A little gratuitousness there at 9d NYT.

AARON Hicks used to be a MN Twin and now gets to play with AARON Judge of the NY Yankees. Somewhat better gig, and I guess MN DID not need him. Har.

Chrissy Teigen. Yeah baby.

Easy enough, had its UPS and downs.

William Heyman 2:34 PM  

We live in Pollock Pines, California, midway between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe, at the four-thousand foot level of the Sierra Nevada. The original Mr. Pollock owned the local general store, held a contest to name the place, and winner was Pollock Pines.

Diana, LIW 3:48 PM  

"On the banks of the old RARITAN, my boys, where old Rutgers ever more shall stand. For has she not stood, since the time of the flood? On the banks of the old RARITAN!" From the Rutgers glee song - sung every evening when the study hall closed. At Rutgers, my alma...

Lady Di, Livingston (Rutgers Univ) grad

rainforest 4:06 PM  

Interesting little Tuesday puzzle with a nifty theme (despite a tense issue) and great revealer. Well done, even if I've never referred to a tank top as just a TANK. Isn't that what some people (not I) call a "wife-beater"?

For some reason I like the word "emersion". I guess that's what I do on vacation after a graceful dive off the float. Must remember that.

I'm probably what some would call a WINO, wine being my beverage of choice. I used to be a "beero", and maybe a "Scotcho", but I've grown up. I do like a well-made IPA, though.

Who names a river Raritan? New to me, but thanks, crosses.

Far be it from me to criticize anyone for not knowing a certain term, but I was surprised by the number of people who didn't know FUNGO bat. On the other hand I didn't know EMERSION until this puzzle.

Pretty good. Liked it.

manitoba 4:47 PM  

Hank is the only one I have heard of. Not a baseball fan. I assume these are Hank's relatives.

manitoba 4:50 PM  

I would happily take 52 degrees this a.m. 4 more months before we see that.

rondo 5:09 PM  

@Manitoba - see my post above re: AARON Hicks and AARON Judge

Vidiot 11:08 PM  

No one else bumped on "Jewish cries" for OYS?

I thought it was a strange choice for cluing.

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