Loud subgenre of punk / WED 1-16-19 / Dubious Tibetan sighting / Bakery-cafe chain

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Medium (4:12)

THEME: double puns — so ... imagined spoken phrases where the first part is left blank, and instead of a familiar two-word phrase, there is a phrase made up of homophones of both words, i.e. a wacky phrase, which is suggested by the rest of the imagined spoken phrase in the theme clue (note: any theme that takes this long to accurately describe is almost certainly a hot mess):

Theme answers:
  • "BUTT WEIGHT" (17A: "___, do these jeans make me look fat?")
  • "AISLE BEE" (25A: "___! The flight attendant just swatted a bug!")
  • "BUY CHANTS" (36A: "___, would you like to purchase some religious music?")
  • "EWE GUISE" (53A: "___ and those crazy sheep costumes!")
  • "CZECH PLEAS" (62A: "___! Petr, I'm begging you again to let me get this!")
Word of the Day: SCREAMO (46D: Loud subgenre of punk) —
Screamo (also referred to as skramz) is an aggressive subgenre of emo that emerged in the early 1990s, emphasizing "willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics."[2] It was pioneered by San Diego bands Heroin and Antioch Arrow and developed in the late 1990s mainly by bands from the East Coast of the United Statessuch as OrchidSaetia, and Pg. 99. Screamo is strongly influenced by hardcore punkand characterized by the use of screamed vocals. Lyrical themes usually include emotional pain, romantic interest, politics, and human rights. "Screamo" has often been mistakenly used as an umbrella term for any music that features screamed vocals. (wikipedia)
• • •

Painful from start to finish, but particularly painful in the themers. There is no concept here. There is nothing clever holding this together, giving it definition, making it ... in any way meaningful. The homophonic phrases are totally random, have nothing in common, are not the same part of speech even ... make no sense on a grammatical level ... The cluing concept is atrocious. This is the editor's job. Doesn't matter if the constructor doesn't know what he's doing, the editor has to make this thing work, and its "working" depends *entirely* on the clues. And what do we get? Horrendously forced and awkward sounding quotes. The answers appear to want to be plays on words *and* work within the context of the imagined quote, but they just can't do both. And the relationship between the answer and the rest of the quotation is all over the map. What is the rest of the quotation supposed to be doing? It's providing a context, but what kind and how much? "Do these jeans make me look fat?" is a question about BUTT WEIGHT, but "Petr, I'm begging you again to let me get this" appears to be the CZECH PLEAS themselves. The worst and most confusing of these is the "by chance" / BUY CHANTS substitutions, since it's asking you to imagine an imperative (BUY CHANTS!) followed by an interrogative ??? ("would you like to purchase some religious music?"). It's all just so sloppy. There has to be some better way to tie all this double-homophone stuff together. Ugh, EWE GUISE is off too. "Those crazy sheep costumes!"? The wording just makes no sense. It's all torture. Any wordplay fun is completed drained out by the incompetent cluing. These kinds of clues have to work TOAT (ugh, one of my least fav crossword answers), and they have to be Funny; these failed on both counts.

This kind of cornball clunker should not be seeing the light of day in 2019. Also the fill is all over the map. THE? EELY? ITTY? SOAMI? TOAT? But then SCREAMO? (46D: Loud subgenre of punk) A genre literally none of you (OK, maybe like 6 of you) know anything about? Why put that in a puzzle? Because it's "new?" New is not inherently good. It should resonate with someone, somewhere. I might buy it in a different puzzle with a different vibe, but here it just looks like "Hello, fellow youths! What dope sounds are you listening to? SCREAMO, right?" Don't just throw something in because you think it looks hip and cool. A robust wordlist is not a substitute for a good eye and a good ear. Again: discernment. Where is the discernment? The personality? The craft? The Everything Good About Puzzles??? I want to challenge someone to take this *exact* set of theme answers and make an actually good puzzle. I believe it can be done. But this ain't it. 

Difficulty-wise, it was a little rough up top for me, esp. in the NW. The clue at 1D: Research assistant, informally was not nearly specific enough to get me LAB TECH and I know nothing about Billy the Kid's ALIAS and the clue on HAT didn't mean much to me etc. But once I got out of there, it got a lot easier, themers aside. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld (Twitter @rexparker / #NYTXW)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Unknown 12:05 AM  


TomAz 12:10 AM  

Rex is wrong about SCREAMO. Or maybe I'm just one of the 6 people he refers to. I don't like SCREAMO music, mind you -- but the genre came right to me without hesitation. And I'm not exactly young.

Pretty much everything else, though, I agree with Rex. the cluing on the themers was particularly painful. Seems like Bruce/Will could have come up with a different cluing conceit.

mmorgan 12:16 AM  

I sometimes have a very similar solving experience to Rex, although our responses often differ wildly.

And I sometimes find that I’m exactly on this constructor’s wavelength, and in this puzzle, I was on his wavelength on steroids. I absolutely tore through this.

It was a pleasant solving experience, and I think I liked it overall, but I felt a sense of dread when filling in 17A. I agree that it can (and will) be construed and critiqued as fat-shaming, but I also have to tip my hat to the way both words of all the homophone themers create real phrases that do indeed fit the clues. That’s a nice bit of wordplay, and (in sharp contrast to Rex — no pun intended) I saw almost no drek fill here at all.

I’m rarely surprised when Rex detests a puzzle I enjoyed, but I didn’t see this one coming.

Even after reading Rex, I still liked this.

But still, 17A...

Thomaso808 12:17 AM  

Well, I thought this was a very fun puzzle from beginning to end, i.e. BUTT to PLEAS. Every themer was an aha, a groan, and a grin. Well done, Bruce Haight!

Carola 12:18 AM  

I thought that EYE ROLL and SCREAMO were perfect entries, given what I anticipated @Rex's reaction to the puzzle would be. As for me, I thought the theme was great, and I'm still laughing. If you want to go wacky, well, go big or go home.

AISLE BEE was the first one I got, then I went back and finished BUTT WEIGHT, which - I'm sure indefensibly - struck me as hysterical. I liked how it was so hard to predict what the puns would be - making BUY CHANTS all the funnier. Lest my enthusiasm pall, I'll stop here.

@Bruce Haight, I always like your puzzles, but here you've outdone yourself.

Phaedrus 12:21 AM  

Huh, I enjoyed it. Thanks Bruce.

And, by God, I’ll never understand why anyone goes on twitter. Seems like a giant cesspool of whining/complaining strangers trying (and failing) to be witty.

jae 12:45 AM  

Easier than yesterday’s. A bit tortured...again mixed feelings or mostly what @Rex said. If you are keeping blogger score Jeff kinda liked and Amy kinda didn’t.

chris b 12:47 AM  

SCREAMO isn't even a new genre of music. It peaked about 15 years ago, but it was all the rage when I moved to Seattle in 2003.

JOHN X 12:53 AM  

Ha ha Rex hates this constructor so this review was totally expected. Whenever Rex has to plumb Twitter to validate his screed you know he's desperate.

This was a pretty good Wednesday puzzle and the themers were okay. They were puns and puns are always painful but they were inventive and added a second layer to the solving process. I figured a couple of them out from the clue (after I caught on to the gag) and that's pretty cool. The rest of the grid was just fine.

Stop being so jealous.

Whirred Whacks 1:06 AM  

Another Bruce Haight GEM!

I especially liked BUTT WEIGHT and EWE GUISE.

I am also glad that Bruce was able to use ESTEE again. If you remember back about three years ago or so, Bruce made a puzzle that emphasized word phrases that began with S and T, and the theme revealer was ESTEE. Matt Gaffney was guest-blogging for Rex that day, and wrote a nasty and mean-spirited review. How nasty was it? So nasty that Will Shortz had to come here and weigh in on the positive merits of the puzzle. Fun times!

Again, good job Bruce! Keep up the good work.

CDilly52 1:14 AM  

Call me crazy, but after yesterday’s wonderful effort right in my wheelhouse with a good theme, albeit lacking a revealer, this seems like something slapped together around the inconsistent word play just for the sake of the constructor getting to show us the weird homophobes he figured out. A record for me on Wednesday so it was also easy.

Mark 1:14 AM  

I loved the puzzle. The puns were great. And good puns are supposed to lead to eyerolls, so I don't see that as a complaint either.

Larry Gilstrap 1:40 AM  

Somebody is getting trolled here, and it's not me. Decent puzzle with word play is what I signed up for. Some principals in this discussion should DO LUNCH at perhaps PANERA. Oh to be a fly on the wall, if PANERA allows flies. There is one near your local CHICO'S, I'm guessing. Observing a one way feud is exhausting.

Fun with homophones with as much crappy fill as any Wednesday. One quibble: folks are concerned about body image, particularly involving how their BUTT looks in jeans, or so I've heard.

Paris abducted Helen in Sparta and headed off to TROY, so cluing "took" left me wondering. He took her one place and brought her to another. Now, even I'm getting feisty.

More about me: I like to cook and premium seafood is just that. In this area, Santa Monica Seafoods is one of the best purveyors. For a few years, they had a retail establishment near where I worked and visiting was a delight. One time I strolled in and saw signage for OPAH, but the bed of ice was devoid of fish flesh. My number came came up and I asked,"Do you have any OPAH?" The guy said that he would check in the back. He came out holding this incredible looking round, colorful, massive carcass and calmly said, "How much would you like?" Delicious!

chefwen 1:50 AM  

I guess I’m really easy to please, I liked it, even brought on a couple of chuckles. I’m not usually into puns, but I thought this was kinda cute.
CZECH PLEAS being the favorite, BUY CHANTS coming at number two.

Greg 3:05 AM  


Anonymous 3:10 AM  

I went through a phase right after Bruce's "Zs rise to the top" puzzle where I boycotted anything done by him, but I have to say I enjoyed his last 2 puzzles. I had fun doing this one, so no complaints from me except I had written in "gaily" instead of "gayly"..but the cross made that one clear.

Loren Muse Smith 3:41 AM  

Rex. Never know if you’re gonna be a nice man or an ice man. Today’s the latter. How heartening to read all the people reporting they enjoyed today’s puzzle despite, yeah, that Twitter Hate Posse.

I do agree that the clues are confusing. But once BUTT WEIGHT fell, I didn’t care. I laughed and settled in to uncover the other themers. With each one, I was delighted. Admittedly, I just squinted to see the basic idea of the clue and didn’t fret over much about whether it worked grammatically or situationally or punctuationally or whateverly. I just wanted to see the wordplay.

So, @CDilly52 - I’m very happy Bruce was able to show us the weird homophones he figured out. (You did mean homophones, right?)

Here’s my question. Are these oronyms or just homophones? Most of the oronyms I know are phrases that sound alike, but the word breaks occur in different places:

I scream/ ice cream
the stuffy knows/ the stuff he knows
new deal/ nude eel

This is timely since Monday I had a picture of a cake on my smartboard background that said, “Happy Birthday Mark with the Sea.” Some got it, but most had to see that the buyer had just wanted “Marc” on the cake. So I wrote out both Mark with the sea and Mark with a cee and had’em read each phrase. Explained the word oronym. More useless information learned in Smith’s English class, I know. I know. Hey – they’re engaged and paying attention. It’s a start.

Cool, though, that the next day, a student came in with a pair of her own. She had seen the phrase money well spent and thought it could also be money whales spent. (Works close enough in both our dialects and I understand that in yours they don’t rhyme but that’s ok calm down), so she made the wall of fame.

Bruce – I’ll continue @Carola’s gush. And join the well-over-half of the commenters so far in their praise. This really brightened my morning. Sew Suite! Took me away from CNN and MSNBC with its treason, the FBI, collusion, the Steele dossier, Trump's new direction…

Anonymous 5:08 AM  

A very fun solve. I enjoyed the bad puns!

jammon 6:30 AM  

I think it was clever. I think twitter is for twits.

Lewis 6:44 AM  

It was skillful and clever to take common two-word phrases and make homophones of both words. Bruce, you had me there on the theme because I am a lover of wordplay. The jokes you made on them didn't land on my punny bone so much, but I didn't care, so captivated was I by the theme answers. On top of that, the cluing overall was vague enough to engage some good problem solving, and I had me a lovely time with this offering. This Haight male gets no hate mail from me!

OffTheGrid 6:45 AM  

How true and AMEN to that.

Eliza 6:48 AM  

It usually doesn't take long for me to think "On no. Rex is going to hate this!" Can't believe I was so wrong this morning. Loved it. Never heard of Screamo but the crosses got me there. Nothing wrong with learning the occasional obscure word.
Good one, Bruce!

Hungry Mother 6:52 AM  

Good old wordplay; I love it. Spare me the trivia.

btgrover 7:14 AM  

Agree that some of the fill was shaky, but these themers were a lot of fun. Great puzzle for a Wednesday. As someone else already said, spare us the anguished tweets from the Association of Joyless Crossword Solvers, please!

CDilly52 7:17 AM  

Sorry for the typo (1:14), I meant homophones. Maybe “homophobes” is a new crossword review term describing people who shudder at frightfully forced sound-alike wordplay used by crossword constructors!

kitshef 7:19 AM  

Theme was pretty pathetic, so the fill or the cluing would have needed to be spectacular to save the puzzle. They were not.

Of the frequent NYT constructors, Bruce Haight seems to be the most variable. He makes some really nice puzzles, but also some dogs.

Time for a poll: Favorite SCREAMO band?

Anonymous 7:20 AM  

Just a heads up that SCREAMO isn't trying to be young or hip or "fellow youths-y." It was popular in the 90s, and I thought it livened up the (fun) puzzle.

Come to think of it, your "fellow youths" criticisms often seem misplaced. Probably because you're, well, not a youth. What you think is painfully trying to be hip is often just a...word that young people actually use.

A 20-something-year-old solver

OffTheGrid 7:22 AM  

I never waste time or thought to wonder "what Rex will say''. I like to read his take on a puzzle but I also respect my own non-expert opinion. My bar may be lower than his but that's OK. I liked today's Xword. The theme answers were fun and the fill was fine, Myriad- HOST, Fate-LOT, GAYLY used in the old-fashion sense. I like the word ROUE(not the meaning). Any word with a 3-1 vowel-consonant ratio can't be all bad.

Unknown 7:23 AM  

The way I felt about the screamo clue is the way other people feel about clues about random sports figures. It was very familiar and I knew it right away. (And it’s definitely not “new”; it has been around at least two decades.) That was a refreshing change of pace.

Anonymous 7:34 AM  

Sounds like Rex had a bad day. So grouchy. I thought this puzzle was really fun.

Homo(phone)phobic 7:52 AM  

This is something that an 8 year old would do and think is funny. Tortured, ham-fisted, ridiculous.

Fun with homophones!

amyyanni 7:55 AM  

Aw, I enjoy an awful pun or three. Used to have a running chum who was rife with them. Made me stay a step ahead of him. Ewe Guise gets my vote. Had HEAP instead of HOST for a bit in the SE. Say @Larry....I like to eat premium seafood 8>).

Anonymous 7:55 AM  

As opposed to this site?

Jamie C 8:00 AM  

@LMS: "Gray day/grade a."
Rex's review: "I don't like puns." Odd for someone who is otherwise a word guy.

Gulliver Foyle 8:07 AM  

Puns are best when taken to an extreme, IMO, and these fit that bill. I enjoyed the puzzle. I don't understand why some foolish consistency among the themers need be the criterion for enjoyment.

RavTom 8:36 AM  

I wish all the puzzles were this much fun.

Talese 8:39 AM  

I liked it fined. My pedestrian time was 10% faster than yesterday’s. My only nit is that 54d is a variant form of gaily and should have been clued as such.

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

My wife and I enjoyed this puzzle, chuckled at the theme answers and had fun doing it. We knew Rex would hate it.

One wonders if Rex actually enjoys doing his blog; one wouldn't think so. Rex, maybe bear in mind that many of your readers are not at the same level as you or other excellent solvers.

Rex: have fun! Life's too short.

Bryan 8:43 AM  

As I was solving this, I was thinking: I guarantee Bruce made this puzzle specifically to piss off Rex because it has everything Rex is going to rant and rave about!

Bruce Haight 8:44 AM  

What you have to find interesting about this puzzle is that so many people either love it or hate it- very little ambivalence. Do the people that hate it need pun sensitivity training? Do the people that love it need to take medications to control their tendency to throw puns randomly into daily conversation? Hard to say, but I say Viva La Difference!

Bernie 8:45 AM  

Yeah. Screamo isn’t that obscure of a genre.

Z 8:48 AM  

The puns are hilarious in that “OMIGAWD that’s awful” way that is the paradox of punning. The best puns are the worst puns and these are those.

But there is no way this is a high quality puzzle. First, “puns” ain’t a theme. It just isn’t. We’re in a bedroom, then a plane, then a music store, then it is Halloween, then, hell, I don’t know where. The only apparent reason this set of puns were chosen is that they fit symmetrically. Second, the cluing. I get what’s trying to be done but it just can’t be off. Personally, I’d have made a little story out of the puns. Tie the puns into a theme while making it easier to clue. As is the puzzle just screams “good enough.” Finally, the fill. Ughly. ESTEE crossing TOAT, EELY, SEE IN, SOAMI. Again, it just feels like a lack of polish. It certainly doesn’t help that I did this after I solved the latest AVCX themeless (a debut, no less). It’s as if I had a fine dinner with AVCX puzzle then the NYT served me a deep fried twinkie for dessert.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

I liked the puzzle, hated the nasty review, thought it said a lot more about the reviewer than about the puzzle. What a wretched, joyless existence it must be, to turn what should be a pleasurable pastime into a continual search for something to take offense at.

Crimson Devil 8:53 AM  

Much enjoyed pun fun puz.

A guy in nampa 8:57 AM  

and Panera has the best almond croissant around... as good as eidelweiss bakery in Rancho Bernardo... the only thing I miss about San Diego. Well, that and going out to the back yard and picking lemons or lines off the dwarf citrus in the middle of January...

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

AVCX puzzles are just slightly above People Magazine.

Crimson Devil 9:03 AM  

Hands up, all who wish they had Smith’s English class...moi, ...

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

@LMS - chuckles - when you wrote "hey, they're engaged..." and having read your stories to date, all I saw was a roomful of the affianced.

A classmate of mine secretly married his pregnant girlfriend while in junior year of high school - they were, thirty years later, among the few who were still together with their first spouses.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

Loved it. I really wish the editor would withhold the constructors’ names for one day. I’m certain that this guy’s reviews would be completely different.

Cato Rosenbaum 9:15 AM  

That Bruce Haight gets to make more money per puzzle simply because Will shortz seems to love him or be blackmailed from him and publishes whatever drivel theme crosses his mind is itself proof of the utter insanity and paying for mediocrity of the new NYT crossword payment scale.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

While one may lash down a lid, say of a garbage can to protect from wind and critters, but that with which they do the lashing down is not a LASH. It's a rope, or a bungee cord, or a belt or whatever it is. Unless you're using a Lunging whip to tie down your lid, and it has a 7' lash attached to its 6' handle, but that would be kind of silly, no?

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

@Bruce Maybe the people that hate it like puns but puns that are done well and make sense in context? Or maybe you just need straw men to fight against to make yourself happy with this slipshod work? Two can play at that game

thursdaysd 9:19 AM  

Tried to post this to the New Times Word Play page and it got censored. Maybe it will work here.

EYEROLL. Absolutely hideous, expletive-inducing waste of time. Next time I see this constructor's name I'll know not to bother.

@merican in Paris 9:26 AM  

I liked this puzzle a LOT. As @Carola writes, "If you want to go wacky, well, go big or go home." Exactly. And it involves very, very clever word play, which as @Larry Gilstrap and @Lewis underscore is what we signed up for.

Actually, I confess that I am surprised that @Rex decided to LASH out at it. We didn't have a theme the other day around things one might say at a bar. Today's seemed much more themey to me.

I had honey before AILE BEE. BUY CHANTS it took me until EWE GUISE (my favorite!) to get the theme, and then the rest fell into place. I had more than a few chuckles during the solve. Makes me want to come up with similar phrases of my own.

Nice to see BUTT WEIGHT above TMI and crossing SIT IDLE. HOW TRUE: doing the latter too much will certainly ADD to those pounds! And if you continue eastward from the CALM SEA you'll run into an ISLAND.

I don't always thank constructors, but I appreciate this one, Mr. Bruise Hate!

Unknown 9:29 AM  

I have to say that I am getting very weary of Rex's blog posts being just complete teardowns of puzzles just looking for things to take affront about and then just posting tweets that support his feelings. I have to go to the comments to refresh my outlook and see that I am not in the minority that I enjoy some groan worthy puns now and then and silly themes. I am constantly amazed that constructors bend the language to get it to fit in a box and play nicely with other words so I am forgiving of some less than ideal fill like partials, acronyms and slang or things that are indeed a very real part of our society such as the NRA and our current president even if I don't like their politics. Rex's blog just feel like a daily witch hunting. I did donate this year but it was not for Rex, it was for access to all of you lovely commentators who weigh in every day with your unique perspectives about the puzzle and often hilarious personal experiences. So thank you for keeping the puzzle what it is to me, my morning source of joy and entertainment before I have to start my day in this too complicated world.

Rainbow 9:33 AM  

GAYLY dictionary approved. Sometimes crossword puzzles are tricky.

k dub 9:35 AM  

Yeah, is referencing a style of music that came out 30 years ago really pandering to young people?

QuasiMojo 9:37 AM  

I didn’t hate this puzzle but I thought it was sloppy and sophomoric. Aisle Bee as a pun for example makes no sense so the pay off is undercut by its inanity. Reminds me of when I was five years old and made a joke asking what a dapper donkey sleeps in. The answer: an ASS COT. The play on words is there but why? There’s no connection between the before and after that is unexpected or clever. It’s just a pun for pun’s sake. Which is not what makes something witty. I’m surprised this got published. The concept was great but execution was a C-Plus. BTW it’s “Vive la différence” not Viva.

Sir Hillary 9:37 AM  

All I can say about this one is...haighters gonna haight.

I really wanted to haight this puzzle, but it's all-in goofiness won me over. BUYCHANTS actually made me laugh.

"____, are you sure that ballplayer Gehrig is a legitimate doctor?"*


Nancy 9:39 AM  

Bruce Haught used his PLAYPEN today, and the results are lighthearted and ADORBS. But, as usual, the blog will be split between the pun lovers and the pun loathers. I, as usual, am among the former. Groaning, as long as I'm not in pain, is one of my favorite pastimes.

Is there really a "music" category called SCREAMO??? Where they BLAST the instruments and someone BELTS a song? SICK! Those who listen to it will soon be DEAFO.

DO LUNCH, as in "let's do lunch," is one of my least favorite phrases. It's always said by people who have absolutely no intention of doing lunch or anything else with you...ever.

Are you happy that we got this fun-filled puzzle today? SO AM I.

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

@Anonymous 9:17

The clue refers to eyelid. (eyeLASHes)

Ornery 9:44 AM  

Today is a snark attack.

Dick Veit 9:47 AM  

For me today's theme was clever, witty, coherent, and fun.

ArtO 9:48 AM  

@anonymous 9:17. That LASH is the "lid" attachment that closes the eye.

As for the puns, the worse the better. And I suppose puns can be a theme. And, I knew @Rex would hate it...maybe it's inevitable due to Bruce's last name. (yes, pardon the pun)

Grandmaster N A Z I Paikidze 9:53 AM  

I do NOT SEE a problem with SCREAMO

GILL I. 10:05 AM  

I like puns. A ton of things make me laugh. I know you sometimes have to be in the mood or in the right atmosphere to laugh at a groan worthy pun, but when it's right, it's just right. You can even get me laughing at an elephant joke - especially if I'm sitting with friends at a bar.
So today I wanted to grin. Lots. Here's the thing... the first thing I thought was that @Rex would have a good go at this. I wondered what would he dislike the most. The cluing! I was right.
The cluing didn't land it for me. I can't really put my finger on why it didn't, and even so, I did kinda chuckle at the theme answers.
I kept thinking these phrases needed something more. BUTT WEIGHT needed Billy Mays, "There's more!"
AISLE BEE seemed to need a "well" in front. EWE GUISE seemed to miss the "oh" and so on. That's just my two cents.
I think Bruce constructs some clever puzzles. This was one of those that needed some fine tuning or tweaking in order to get a AAA rating from me (or maybe I just needed to be in a bar).... TMI?

cuteslanghater 10:09 AM  

I feel about adorbs the way you feel about do lunch.

jberg 10:17 AM  

Loved the puns, and unlike @Z and @Rex I liked them better because they were all over the place-- different parts of speech, etc. I even liked EELY; SEE IN not su much.

Gotta go get my teeth cleaned now, so that's all for me.

thursdaysd 10:17 AM  

Interesting. My comment for the NYT Word Play page finally went up after I posted it here. Usually my comments there go up immediately and I sent it yesterday evening...

Joaquin 10:18 AM  

"____________, Isn't he the guy who takes all the fun out of obstacle courses and crosswords?" WRECKS PARKOUR

B Right There 10:20 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed it! Felt like a light romp through silliness. Our time was an average Tuesday, so if anything, I felt a little cheated out of a longer time enjoying a puzzle. It was actually nice to have only one ARIA (5D) and only one name (TROY, 61A) as all those '16th century Flemish painter' clues and 'place where some cultural also-ran author I never heard of is from' clues usually give me a disheartened feeling when xword puzzling. @Sir Hillary, still chcuckling about your LOUSPATIENTS!

Robert Grady 10:25 AM  

I agreed with most of this review except for the comments on Screamo. It’s not obscure at all.

Suzie Q 10:30 AM  

Czech your snobbiness at the door, put on your silly party hat, and come on in!
If a pun doesn't make you roll your eyes it isn't a good pun.
I love the homophones that everyone is using in the comments today.
Bruce H. shows us again what a funny classy guy he is by coming here, as he frequently does, and schooling the grouches in what a mellow sense of humor looks like. Thanks for the joy ride today.

Nancy 10:32 AM  

Of course, you do, @cuteslandhater (10:09)! BUTT WEIGHT! So do I! Whenever I put ADORBS in full caps, the way it appeared in the NYT puzzle on the day I encountered it for the first time, understand that I'm making fun of it. If you're able to track down my initial comment about ADORBS on that fateful first day, you'll see that my comment was absolutely scathing. I'm sure you can track it down if you try. We really are on the same page.

Oh Please 10:38 AM  

SOME of us love terrible puns! I thought the themes were all very clever, an AHA-ha-ha experience

Happy Clam 10:43 AM  

Two great solving experiences so far this week. Loved it!

Malsdemare 10:45 AM  

Huh! I thought it was pretty nifty. The nits Rex picked were too “nitty” for me; I’m perfectly happy with loosy-goosy if it leads to fun puns. I wasn’t crazy about some of the fill, but other stuff — ALUMNAE, EYEROLL, TRESTLE — were decent. It IS Wednesday, after all, an I-don’t-fit-in-anywhere sort of day. I’m an ALUMNA of three universities; does that make me an ALUMNAE all by myself?

Great new term, just for Loren: Rhetorical cul-de-sac.

JC66 10:51 AM  



Ethan Taliesin 10:51 AM  

Using MYRIAD as a noun is something that rubs me the wrong way. I know it's not wrong, but it sounds wrong to me. (insert angry emoji here)

David 10:53 AM  

Being a 62 year old composer of concert music, I have an affinity for puns; this is, historically, something composers have had. Also, contrary to popular belief, being a composer means, rather than living in an ivory tower, I know more about music of all genres than pretty much any popular music maven does. Not only am I aware of Screamo, I have a young friend who heads a Screamo band -- AND he writes string quartets; sometimes with the players screaming as they play. Very cool, and deep, stuff.

Yes, these were all groaners, which is half the fun. The only one which fell flat for me was "Czech pleas", without the e at the end. I suppose this was an attempt at conveying a "Hogan's Heroes" type onomatopoeian rendering of a Central European accent? I can assure you, most of the people who say "ucet prosim" in their native language have no difficult saying the English word, "please", as, presuming they were born during or after the 1980s, they've been studying English since childhood. They also can probably express the same desire in Polish, Slovak, Russian, and German with aplomb.

Probably not French though; as a Polish producer once asked me when I told him I speak French, "Why?".

Fun puzzle for me.

Yesterday I expected Rex to go on an "alcoholism is not to be made fun of" rant and instead he choose to go off on a common street name. If we need to get rid of "Oriental Avenue" do we likewise need to get rid of Occidental Avenue? How about Eastern and Western Avenues?

Cassieopia 10:53 AM  

Homophones and puns, what’s not to like? Put me in the <3 category! This is one of those puzzles that I’ll remember years from now; it’s different, fun, and made me laugh. It also inspired me to give a go myself, and homophonic puns are harder than I thought, but was pleased to come up with at least this one:

A hippie’s t-shirt with an immortal pattern? DYEKNOT

Marvelous, Mr. Haight, thank you for the super fun Wednesday!

Molson 10:57 AM  

This was not a good puzzle.

Is Wednesday the new Tuesday?

olfuddud 11:02 AM  

Loved this puzzle.

jrstocker 11:10 AM  

I only stop by here occasionally anymore, but I always do when it's this guy constructing to see Rex's predicable whiny nitpick fest. It's always pretty fun.

Malsdemare 11:16 AM  

@Sir Hillary and Joaquin, Those are priceless. More, please!

I’m joining the chorus of Twitter haighters; if ugly tweets are evidence of your rightness, you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel..

Thanks, Mr. Haight, for stopping by.

TomAz 11:20 AM  

@Bruce Haight 8:44a

I like puns just fine, and your puns were clever. It's the puzzle I found lacking, not the puns.

jb129 11:22 AM  

I loved it - thanks, Bruce. And like yesterdays, over too soon.

Banana Diaquiri 11:24 AM  

one of the days when the NYT wasn't delivered, and appears to be one fun to run. I don't get Rex, et al's, objections. it's homophones making punny replacement to reasonably familiar phrases. not everyone will use the *exact* version of each phrase all the time, but so what?

Tita 11:25 AM  

Haven't finished puzzle yet, but had to stop by to abashedly name drop that I personally know 21A, and at times babysat for him. When he was 15 he asked me if I would sell him my red Toyota Celica to him when he was old enough to drive.

There - what does that say about me? (Don't answer that, anyone...)

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

Thank you very much, Mr. Haight, for a challenging and enjoyable puzzle.

Doug Garr 11:37 AM  

I enjoyed reading the comments more than I enjoyed solving the puzzle. Bruce should be proud of the mixed reviews.

RooMonster 11:44 AM  

Hey All !
I don't think the puns/homophones were the problem. They were indeed groan worthy. It was the odd clues for them.
BUTT WEIGHT could've been "___ makes me look fat in these jeans?" A tad better formulation, no? I think the commas are part of the problem.
AISLE BEE, clue good, just should've had it reversed, "The flight attendant just swatted a bug! ___!"
BUY CHANTS, same reversal, "Would you like to purchase some religious music, ___?"
EWE GUISE is okay, because there's no comma. Maybe change the "and" in the clue to "with"?
CZECH PLEAS was the funniest for me. That clue also should've been reversed, "Petr, I'm begging you again to let me get this! ___."

But, for someone who constantly gets their puzs published, I'm really a nobody to correct his work. (Even though I just did!)

I liked this puz. Rex always says Go Big or Go Home, well, this fits the bill. I knew he'd hate it, though. With the wacky clues and being Bruce Haight. He's only liked maybe two of Bruce's puzs.

All four corners were nice and open. Some dreck/-ese, as per usual for a puz. Some different type cluing in here today. Made me use the ole brain a bit.

Two DOOKs today, TOAT and SOAMI. No F's! C'mon Bruce, where's the love?


@merican in Paris 11:47 AM  

@David 10:53: It's not PLEASe, but the plural of PLEA: PLEAS, as in "I'm begging you again to let me get this."

Razumikhin 11:51 AM  

I also didn’t have a problem with ‘SCREAMO,’ and despite disliking the genre, knew it without too much fuss.

I think we need to be wary of false consensus bias. That is, we tend to dramatically overestimate the percentage of people who believe the same things we do. So when we see a trivia clue that know, we tend to think that most people will know it too. When we see one we don’t, we assume that most people don’t know it. Making obscurity judgments is hard without concrete evidence.

Masked and Anonymous 12:05 PM  

har. This was a truly neat WedPuz, in its own, funny, unique, raised-by-wolves way. thUmbsUp, Haightmeister. Now, on to a coupla solidly digressive stories …

1. My bro-in-law and I watch schlock (usually sci-fi or horror or Charlie Chan or Tarzan or well lotsa other stuff like that) flicks almost every FriNite. He tends to sometimes/often specialize in older horror-type (screamo-?) movies, from the 30's & 40's.

A lot of these old-timer flicks seem to follow a tried-and-true pattern, which includes one character in the cast that's a little out-of-synch with the rest of the plot's general mood of doom and gloom. U sometimes hear this particular dude/darlin referred to as "the comic relief" role.

Bruce Haight kinda gives M&A the same general feelin. He's like the "NYTPuz comic relief" character dude, to m&e. And he does a heckuva consistently good job at it.

2. Yikes. And maybe ouch. M&A just started buildin a xword last night. I swear this is true. [Surely U can trust an anonymous dude wearin a mask, right?] Anyhoooo, I really thought I had a unique, new set of themers that the NYTShortzmeister might really go for. Each themer was a pairin of homophones! They were all in the same air-tighter-than-snot category. A coupla discards that didn't much fit the category, for examples:
* HOLESAILORS. Part of a maritime category, perhaps.
* WEAKDAZE. Part of a symptoms triage category, maybe.

Thankfully, I had just gotten to the point of proudly splatzin the oh-so-tight themers into the empty grid, and then daubin a collection of symmetrical black squares in, that left the resultin partial puzgrid entries all look like they might be fillable, with only a gentleman's smidge of desperation here and there. M&A may now have to table the whole 15x15 project for a while, until the Shortzmeister gets his nerve back, on usin them homophone pairs in a theme mcguffin. Day-um; the Haightmeister beat m&e to it. And then the @RP beat him thoroughly afterwords, so to speak.

------ End of digressions, as much as possible. -------

staff weeject pick: THE. Nuthin at all wrong with this lil darlin. But just got a hoot out of @RP rippin into it, like it was some Ow de Speration whippin post candidate.

Cool LASH clue. Better CHATEAU clue = {Had the runs in the Louvre??}. Eww ick ugh? … yeah, kinda thought so.

DOLUNCH next to PANERA. Like.

Thanx for the comic relief, Mr. Haight. Enjoyed it, at our house.

Masked & Anonym8Us

Anonymous 12:06 PM  

@Tita - I went to look at 21A to see what you were talking about. Turns out remembering the clue from last night was important, as I didn't and thought "No, she can't have baby-sat for Adam!? She is that old?

DavidL 12:11 PM  

Disagree with Rex on this one. I thought the themers were funny, no issue.

I don't think C-PLUS has been an above average grade since the 1950s. I read somewhere recently that, after decades of grade inflation, A is the most common grade at some colleges, especially top schools. Which really bothers me. It's the participation trophy phenomenon at work in higher education.

Aketi 12:20 PM  

The puns did cause me to EYE ROLL, BUTT that still doesn’t turn me into a pun lover. It’s just not my thing.

BUTT WEIGHT runs in my family. During high school when we were supposed to be as skinny as Twiggy, I tried to starve that BUTT WEIGHT off to no avail. All the diet accomplished was to shrink other parts until they were ITTY bITTY, BUTT the BUTT remained as big as ever. So that was the last time I ever went on a diet. I’m glad that extra BUTT WEIGHT has become more fashionable and jeans are now made with stretchy fabric to accommodate it.

SCREAMO seemed pretty easy to infer from EMO. Didn’t Yoko Ono initiate that genre?

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

Think “eyelid”...

Whirred Whacks 12:41 PM  

Here’s a thought:

I bet that all the people who dislike Bruce Haight puzzles love the new GILLETTE woke ad encouraging men to rid themselves of their TOXIC MASCULINITY.

And the people who like Bruce Haight puzzles would never dream of getting their moral views from a corporation trying to improve its ROI.

pabloinnh 12:43 PM  

Just another grumpy primate day here in Rexworld, i. e., a day ending in y. So it goes.

I like puns and double puns enough that I saw what was going on with the two t's of BUTT and the w of WEIGHT and couldn't wait for more or the same, and was not disappointed. Of course I labeled a Gregorian piece that we were singing one time as being from the "Fat Chants" collection, so there's that. Mr. Haight is dead on when he says folks either love or hate this stuff, and great thanks to him for showing up today.

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Think “eyelid”...

tport 12:49 PM  

SCREAMO not obscure, or "hip," at all.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

@Ethan Taliesin, did it ever occur to you
that objecting to using a word
as it is used
and for what it means
is a sign that you
might be an idiot?
Because "myriad" is a noun. First and foremost,
"myriad" is a noun. It is a number.
It has meaning.
Words have meanings,
even words you don't want to have the meanings they have,
they have meanings.
You might be...

Unknown 1:16 PM  

Me too

thfenn 1:16 PM  

I really enjoyed this one, thought the puns were fun, and think it's been a great week so far. Plus, I'm still thrilled with the fact that by and large it's Thursdays now where I start to struggle. Was just waiting for a chance to see some BRAKING GNUS, or maybe SEIZE HER SALAD. Or hey, spice things up with some AURAL SECTS, or kick up a fuss over a BOARDER WAUL. But apparently there was plenty to argue about here. Count me among those giving this puzzle a thumbs up.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

Bruce Haight, this was just fun! I didn't quite get the full picture at first so 25A was "AISLE fly" first and EWE GUISE was "disGUISE" but I eventually got that both words were changed and that the clues did relay a hint to the end result. The one that didn't work for me was CZECH PLEAS because Petr didn't SCREAMO "Czech" to me but the phrase was fun anyway.

EWEs GUISE - Our neighbor lady, when I was growing up, had grown up in Savanna, Illinois. When she was exasperated with something her kids had done, she would say with an EYE ROLL, "Youse guys!" For some reason, this drove my Mom nuts. I'm sure there were some southern MN gems of Mom's that were equally as weird to the neighbor.

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

@ Whirred W (12:41), Exactly right!

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

@Whirred: Your theory works for me, Put me in the pro Bruce anti Gillette column.

Adam Lipkin 1:56 PM  

I still have fond memories of sweeping a three-part bonus question on SCREAMO at a trash trivia tournament at UT-C some twelve years back, so I'll add to its defense here (although I won't pretend I loved the puzzle overall).

Ms. Goldberg 2:35 PM  

Glad to see some others enjoyed this puzzle. I did, too!

JeffQ 2:48 PM  

As someone terrible at solving crosswords, I like it when I come here and Rex is on a rant about the puzzle. Occasionally it provides an ITTY bit of relief from my frustration.

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

Yes!! Yes! yes!!!

You know full well Rex's objection is to Bruce Haight himself. He's almost maniacal in his dislike, and his criticism is the worse for it.
As for @z, He knows his masters voice; whatever Rex says goes double for the discman.

Mr. Haight,
Count me in the love it camp please. Thanks

Whatsername 3:04 PM  

Well I guess I’m no crossword connoisseur because I loved this! Yes the puns are painful, but that’s what makes them so funny. After figuring out BUTTWEIGHT (my favorite), I could hardly wait to see what was going to be come next. Great fun and a very clever concept. Thank you Mr. Haight and thanks for joining the conversation today.

Monty Boy 4:13 PM  

I liked this one a lot, 'cause I like puns. At first I was miffed that I couldn't get any themers, but with crosses, started to see what was going on. My first aha was BUTT WEIGHT and I knew what to look for. I wasn't disappointed.

I've been watching reruns of "Who's Line is it Anyway" and that give me a fill of puns in a short time. Those folks are inventive masters.

@Crimson Devil 9:03: I'll sign up for the @LMS English class and hope to make the Wall of Fame. Or maybe a fly on the wall. Or a BEE in the AISLE.

Tita 4:16 PM  

@lms - please tell me that your last 2 words are NOT an oronym...

@anon - yes, I'm that old. )But not THAT old...!!)

@Bruce Haight - I hate puns, but...I liked this puzzle just fine.
BUYCHANTS was my favorite.

(I'm sitting at LGA, one $17 glass of red wine into waiting for the flight after my cancelled flight to leave. I miss Germany, where all glasses have lines ETCHed in to show you how much of the paid-for liquid you are getting. I really doubt that I am getting the 9oz that I (over)paid for.)

JC66 4:36 PM  

@Tita A

Thanks for pointing out @LMS's oronym "Trump's new direction…" I missed it the first time around.

GILL I. 4:49 PM  

@Whirred W. 12:41.......Boy, you get the best comment award of the year (so far). Isn't Gillette clever as hell? You think they're promoting a more gender-equal society? HAH! What a way to get coverage and a boost in sales. Their ad agency needs a bonus. Do you happen to work for them?
@Tita...That's why I don't travel anymore. The hours - nay, the years I've spent in airports waiting for flights. But see, in my days, I anticipated waiting and I would be damned if I'd do it without a drinky poo or two. I'd order a tall glass of water with a ton of ice, drink the water then grab my trusty flask and fill it with good scotch. Alas, times have changed.....so has the cost of a glass of cheap wine..... Have a safe, if not, sober flight!

GILL I. 5:03 PM  

@Loren...I'll put you right in the same slot as @Whirred. "Trump's new direction." I don't know if I should laugh out loud or cry at the thought!

Joe Dipinto 5:04 PM  

Where's discretion of the heart?
Where's passion in the art?
Where's craft?
-- Stephen Sondheim, "Liaisons"

I knew I'd heard that line before. I'd rather solve a slightly awkward but very enjoyable pun-filled puzzle than endure a plagiarizing, spluttering blog entry complete with chorus of Twitter sycophants. This puzzle hit the spot as far as I'm concerned.

michiganman 5:10 PM  

All these comments about @whirred have piqued my interest. I watched the ad on you tube as I had not seen it.
It made me want to throw up. Toxic masculinity? Seriously? Many men behave badly and they need to be held accountable but sheesh! Talk about a broad brush. It reminds me of Nancy Reagan's "just say no", a simple answer offered for a complex issue. I liked the puzzle so I don't know where that leaves me. Not sure what the Gillette ad has to do with Bruce Haight.

Smolney Institute 5:26 PM  

Also have definitely heard of Screamo, which is a subgenre of Emo that has become pretty common fill. I am over 40, so not young either. The rest of this puzzle is pretty much dreck and unpleasantness, so agree with Rex on the rest.

Z 5:34 PM  

@michiganman - “Nor sure what the Gillette ad has to do with Bruce Haight.” Me either. I find the reaction to the ad pretty illuminating. I’m not sure what exactly there is to argue with a message of, “Hey, men, don’t be assholes. Your sons emulate you.” Seems pretty benign to me. How is it different from the Army’s “Be all you can be” or even “Make America Great Again” (well, aside from the whole racist “America First” origins of MAGA)? The ad does use a broad brush, but toxic masculinity is pretty endemic so a broad brush may be too appropriate. That Gillette thinks pointing out that toxic masculinity is endemic will help it’s bottom line is also interesting. It’s not often that you see a corporate entity take it’s primary customers to task. Or maybe it is genius because the ad has generated lots of discussion.

Loren Muse Smith 5:45 PM  

@Tita, @Gill I. Ahem. I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about. ;-)

mmorgan 5:52 PM  

@Whirred — I’d have assumed it’s the other way around.

Malsdemare 6:00 PM  

Oh my, Loren! You rock; Trump's new direction indeed. Definitely doesn't pass the breakfast test.

Chad Greene 6:02 PM  

@Z re: Gillette : Men do not become more compassionate and responsible citizens by renouncing their masculinity and embracing feminism. The culture of obscenity, meaningless sex, and perpetual adolescence is the result of failing to develop masculinity within men. The excesses, abuses, harassment, and violence we see as a social concern are the consequences of young men lost and left to their own devices.
Boys are not lost because of toxic masculinity; they are lost because their fathers have been taken away from them and they cannot figure out how to fill that void with anything but rage and shame. The social change Gillette and progressive activists want, it turns out, is a return to the moral and social values the conservative movement has been shouting from the rooftops for decades.

I don’t know what this has to do with Bruce Haight but the guy who made the correlation between Haight haters and fans of the ad seems to have been right.

JC66 6:14 PM  

@Chad Greene

Just curious. Did Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Space, Mike Tyson, Roman Polanski, et alii all grow up without fathers?

Crimson Devil 6:19 PM  

LMS: Go ahead (sorry), take credit/blush if you must.

Anonymous 6:29 PM  

I’ll answer that one JC. Tyson grew up without a father. I don’t know about the others. They probably grew up with fathers, but you’re missing the big picture. A disproportionate number of abusers, and it’s not even close, grew up without fathers. I’m sure Gillette and their supporters have good intentions but their solutions to the problem are suspect, to be charitable.

Escalator 6:54 PM  

One of my fastest times ever. I do the puzzle in pencil and barely had to pick it up to think about the answer.

Bauskern 7:36 PM  

I liked it, and I thought that the themers were cleverly constructed. So much angst from Rex. Sheesh

Anonymous 9:00 PM  

@JC66: Anyone can provide anecdotal evidence to support their claims. Ray
Rice’s father died when Ray was one. Mike Tyson never met his father. Kareem Hunt was arrested at least 35 times for domestic violence. Don’t make specious arguments. You’re better than that.

Anonymous 9:10 PM  

Dont take the bait. Of course absentee fathers are a scourge that we all pay for. So is the sexual revolution. Bankrupt morality.
We need men. Real men. The kinds that are punchlines in pop culture.
Its wonderful, really wonderful, that wise heads like rex and z are here to guide us to rectitude. Lol.

Vernon'sdad 9:32 PM  


Anonymous 7:38 AM  

Dumbest take I have seen on this blog in a long time.

Georgia 1:42 PM  

I enjoyed it, clever and just challenging enough for a Wednesday. Thank you.

Geoff H 9:39 PM  

The theme might be trash but objecting to "screamo" is full-on Old Man Yells At Cloud.

TN Jed 9:20 AM  

The more it ticks Rex off, the more I like it. I love Haight!

Anonymous 12:19 PM  

I automatically assume that any puzzle Rex loves I will hate, and any puzzle Rex hates I will love. Enjoyed this more than any puzzle in the last six months! No bad or stretched clues, proper nouns filled them in from context, no specialized knowledge required. As close to perfect as a mid-week puzzle could be. Congratulations to Bruce Haight! As for Rex, what more can be said? His whole concept of what a crossword should be is fundamentally wrong.

doghairstew 4:32 PM  

You just need the right context for this one. I'll give it a try.

Q: Why did the narcoleptic donkey always wear a decorative piece of material around his neck?
A: He didn't like to go out without an ass cot.

I'm sure someone can improve on that!

Gino 10:33 AM  

I found this crossword a lot of fun. The puns were excellent groaners, the way great puns should be.
Kudos to Bruce. Cheers

spacecraft 10:46 AM  

In England there was this super racehorse named Santa Claus. Fresh off a spectacular Derby win in which he was dead last going into the final turn, he raced at Royal Ascot. What a place! I was surprised they even let us in. We bet on him, of course--heavily I'm afraid--and he refused to run past a filly in the field. Indeed he was: ASS CAUGHT!

Yeppir, I had some fun with this'un. I'm always happy when OFL and I diverge; renews my faith in my own sanity. Hey, that's how EYEROLL. I was mildly surprised that he didn't take up the offense flag with 17a. The expression certainly has offense potential. How do I answer that unanswerable question? "I dunno, honey, take 'em off so I can get a comparison model." Much later, "Uh, what was the question?"

There's some ICKY fill; I do agree with OFL about TOAT. But not a lot of it. For me, this puzzle works. There's no direct DOD, so I have to stretch: Grace Kelly starred in "THE SWAN," so she's the ONE. Birdie: THATSIT!

Steve G. 11:03 AM  

Has there ever been a puzzle you like ?

thefogman 11:07 AM  

I loved it. And of course Michael Sharp's ALIAS Rex Parker hated it. Aren't you SICK of him? Well SOAMI. I want to SCREAMO my god what do we SEEIN him! And YET we always come back for more. *insert EYEROLL* DNF because I had GAiLY and TROi. One square defeated me. THATSIT. Even so, I liked it a LOT. HATs off to Bruce Haight. AISLEBEE looking forward to his next one.

Burma Shave 11:42 AM  


DOLUNCH a LOT with THAT playmate?
Her HOTSEAT’s THE right size,


Diana, LIW 12:04 PM  

Well, I come here to read the Synders, and agree with much that @Spacey and @Foggy had to say already.

This was an example of he type of puzzle that was easy, then impossible, then one got the theme, one changed some answers, then one prevailed. I'm number one, at least in that last sentence.

Diana, One for the Day

rondo 12:17 PM  

More Haight mail from OFL. I was at least bemused by THE themers, and almost chuckled at EWEGUISE. CALMSEA is a good example of green paint; I put GP in THE margin as a reminder.

I’ve heard SCREAMO in THE wild when a coupla young ladies were trying to describe what a band in a popular club was *not*.

ESTEE Lauder products have been helping glamorize for generations. For the effort ESTEE, wherever you are, yeah baby.


Anonymous 1:44 PM  

The solvers seem to overwhelmingly like this puzzle. Is it possible the Critic in Chief has a grudge?

leftcoastTAM 3:38 PM  

About as clever and amusing a puzzle as I've seen in some time -- on Wednesday or any other day.

Favorite themer: EWE GUISE, which cues the EYE ROLL, the "lid attachment", and the LASH.

Least favorite: AISLE BEE. I just don't think of a bee as a "bug". (Something of an insult to any self-respecting bee, IMHO.)

PANERA/SCREAMO cross in the SW, along with sussing out CZECH PLEAS made that corner just a bit trickier than expected

Liked this one a lot. Thanks, Bruce Haight, for the fun.

Mondegreen 3:04 PM  

Eloquently stated. I agree wholeheartedly.

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