Supermodel Lima / SUN 1-13-19 / Frequent co-star of Mastroianni / Arthur who composed Yeoman of Guard / Eponym of Courage Award given at ESPYs / Females whose gender identities match their gender assignments at birth / Wine from Central Tuscany / Vegas establishment with giant guitar sign

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Constructor: Andy Kravis

Relative difficulty: Medium (10:33)


THEME: "Parlor Tricks" — familiar phrases clued as if they were orders at an ice cream parlor:

Theme answers:
  • PARADE FLOAT (23A: At the ice cream parlor, the grand marshal ordered a ...)
  • SINGLE MALT (39A: The confirmed bachelor ordered a ...)
  • TRAFFIC CONE (42A: The crossing guard ordered a ...)
  • KARAOKE BAR (67A: The amateur singer ordered a ...)
  • SUCTION CUP (70A: The dental hygienist ordered a ...)
  • HARLEM SHAKE (92A: The Apollo Theater usher ordered a ...)
  • BAKING SODA (97A: The pastry chef ordered a ...)
  • INSIDE SCOOP (115A: And the homebody ordered an ...)
Word of the Day: EYEPIT (101A: Ocular socket) —
(now rare) The eye socket; the concave area of the face around each eye. (wiktionary)
• • •

THANK YOU to all who contributed to my blog this past week. It's been lovely to hear from so many different people from around the country (the world, even). I really appreciate the support, as well as the warm words, not-so-warm words, encouragement, comments, suggestions, memories, and the occasional cartoon!


I have no good way of gauging how many readers I have or where they are, so it's nice to have a week where people check in from all over. You are of course free to contribute at any time during the year—you can always find the PayPal button and snail mail address in the sidebar of this blog. But this is the last time I'll put this info in the body of my write-up until 2020 (!):


Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905

Here's to a challenging, entertaining, representative, and inclusive NYT crossword experience in 2019! (Hey, I can hope!). Now on to the puzzle!

• • •


I love this type of theme—it's the good kind of whimsy—but this one in particular got very confusing to me because ... well, there are not one not two but three valences for ever themer. There's the ice cream order word, the final word (1), which is repurposed in the context of the overall phrase (2), but then there's the repurposing of the *first* word in the phrase, which often took things into yet another context. At first, I thought it was gonna be a simple two-context deal, because a float is an ice cream parlor order as well as something in a parade. A grand marshal might also ride a PARADE FLOAT. So, two contexts—ice cream shop, and parade. But then the others. A malt is an ice cream parlor order, and a SINGLE MALT is a kind of scotch, but then there's this bachelor ... he's just single. No necessary connection to the scotch. So ice cream, scotch, unmarried dude: three contexts. I kept getting turned around, wondering what, for instance, a dental hygienist had to do with SUCTION CUPs (nothing, of course—the hygienist provides suction; nothing in the clue relates to the plain meaning of the answer in the grid). So this is all misperception on my part; since the first themer had a clear connection between the person ordering at the parlor and the *complete* answer in the grid, I kept wanting subsequent answers to do the same, and they just wouldn't. It was weird.


Also there were names that were just beyond me. All supermodels? Beyond me. Don't care. Do not follow, do not care. Don't even like the dumb term "supermodel." I guess I know some classic supermodels, like say IMAN or GISELE, but the rest, pfft, pass. So ADRIANA? No way. Also no way (for a bit): ASHLEE Simpson. How long has it been since she had a hit. I barely remember. 2004 hit? Wasn't really paying attention back then. Also, didn't know SULLIVAN at all. Is that the SULLIVAN of "Gilbert and Sullivan?" Yup, it is. "Yeomen of the Guard" = meaningless to me. I assume it's from "HMS Pinafore" or some such musical. COHIBA totally eluded me (weirdly, I know ELROPO much better). There's a HARD ROCK *HOTEL*? LOL, I was like "Cafe.... nope." And that was the end of that. No idea. What is an EYEPIT? What (I mean *whaaaat*) is a BOATLIFT? Oof, that was the worst. I had BOATLINE (I mean, why not, makes as much sense) and thus TRANSIT CONE (!@?!?!?!0) for a while. Rough. It's not that the puzzle was hard; it wasn't. It just felt bumpy and odd to me. Not bad by any means. I just didn't groove on it the way I wish I had.


Five things:
  • 28A: Weak-minded type (DOTARD) — had the D- and wrote in .... DIMWIT! I really really didn't want to let that one go.
  • 92A: The Apollo Theater usher ordered a ... (HARLEM SHAKE) — LOL six-year-old memes that were popular for a nanosecond (i.e less than two months). Nice. I'm all for being "current," but this ... we need a name for this. Something that's current but then becomes decidedly dated almost before you can finish putting it into a puzzle...
  • 56D: Writing of W.S. Gilbert (LIBRETTO) — Oh, hey, look ... a little hidden Gilbert & SULLIVAN dealie. (I struggled a bit with this one, too, shocker)
  • 22A: I.S.P. option (AOL) — I get ISP and IPO confused. I would like to think that is why (having the "L" in place) I wrote in URL here, but ... honestly URL doesn't make sense either way
  • 78A: Home planet of TV's Alf (MELMAC) — again? Again with MELMAC? That is two times in less than two months. And ... I mean ... that last time (in November) was 27 years (!!!!) after its last appearance (a 1991 debut—Gene Maleska at his wildest!). Let's put it back in the time capsule. ORK is more than enough 80s-sitcom-home-planet knowledge for one solver to have to carry around.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld (Twitter @rexparker / #NYTXW)

P.S. here are some ballerinas backstage at the NYC ballet solving the recent NYT Super Mega Crossword (photo via Brendan Emmett Quigley)


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

126 comments:

mmorgan 12:41 AM  

Overall, this was moderately enjoyable for me, but it harked back to the kind of Sunday of yesteryear — with a ton of pun-filled and groany and connected themers that all made great sense and fun in toto — so I absolutely loved it. This is what Sundays used to be and should be. Thanks for the pleasure, Mr. Kravis! I’m not into ice cream or parlors but anyone who didn’t like it is a poopyhead

Most of it was quite easy for me but the SW really slowed me down and took a long time.

I expected Rex to hate it, but he tripped me up again. I agree with him as to ASHLEE and ADRIANA (who????), but BOATLIFT and COHIBA and HARD ROCK HOTEL fell right in. And I know that we all have our own wheelhouses, but I was truly surprised that the clue for SULLIVAN would take Rex (or anyone) more than a nanosecond. And so close to 56D! The moral is to stay humble. But I truly shocked myself by knowing MELMAC. The mind is a scary thing.

I know the term cisgender, but not cismen or CISWOMEN, but that didn’t hold me up.

But what surprised me the most was Rex’s reticence to comment on the implications of DOTARD, given its recent usage. I’ll leave it at that.

Roth 12:44 AM  

I'm 70 & love light opera, so the Gilbert & Sullivan clues were easy. But the SE corner! PSY, EWA, EYEPIT, and AERIFY did me in. Have you ever heard anyone call it an EYEPIT?

Robin 12:50 AM  

Jinkies, I never realized until reading Rex's write-up that we had both Gilbert and SULLIVAN in this puzzle.

So you can carp that the cluing of SULLIVAN was perhaps obscure, but that there was a clue that explicitly named Gilbert might (might!) be a hint to the astute solver.

I will admit (brag?) that I got LIBRETTO off the clue and the initial L.

Anonymous 12:52 AM  

I had _ _ TARD for "weak-minded type" and thought "holy doly, last week's fiasco about 'BEANER' was bad enough, apparently Will is doubling down... And for those keeping score, in Boulder Colorado BEANER is completely offensive and has nothing to do with baseball.

jae 12:58 AM  

Easy. A nice breezy Sun. puzzle. Liked it.

puzzlehoarder 1:12 AM  

Not a bad Sunday. The highlights for me we're the more obscure entries. Things like MELMAC, EWA, LAIKA, EID and (as clued) NEBULA all give a puzzle that little EXTRA edge.

Without Gilbert even SULLIVAN looked obscure. Of course I hadn't found LIBRETTO yet and when I did I'd already forgotten all about SULLIVAN. Didn't see that until just now.

I had to clear some cobwebs to get to PSY. That gave me the odd looking AERIFY. My Webster's can't be bothered with AERIFY but my Scrabble dictionary loves it.

No problem getting a clean grid as the crosses were always clear. This was a few minutes faster than yesterday's solve because I just worked around the unknowns instead of trying to get them without crosses.

Harryp 1:17 AM  

This seemed easy for a Sunday, about 3 Rexes. I too didn't know Hard Rock had a Hotel, but that was soon figured out with BAWLED, ASHORE, WHOLE HOG, etc.

chefwen 2:10 AM  

Pretty easy Sunday puzzle, but I didn’t find much enjoyment in it. Just kind of filled in the little squares. No AHA’S no chuckles, just did it, no great SHAKES here.

Liked it, didn’t love it.

What the hell is a DOTARD, never heard that before. I’m sure before all is said and done someone will find that offensive.

Off to the LA Times.

Anonymous 3:00 AM  

I found the southeast to be FAR harder than anything else.

Never heard of HARLEMSHAKE, EYEPIT, EWA, or ASHE as an award (though that was guessable). Forgot ETO (pure crosswordese). WHARFS as a plural (refused to put that in for a very long time because it looked so wrong)? Don't like the clue for APRIORI (though I guess it's legit). And as far as I can see, AERIFY means aerate (infuse vapor into a liquid), not vaporize (turn a solid or liquid into vapor).

Also, how is ALANON a family support group?

And elaborating on Rex's comments on the theme:

A PARADE FLOAT relates to a grand marshal, a TRAFFIC CONE could relate to a crossing guard, a KARAOKE BAR relates to an amateur singer, and BAKING SODA might relate to a pastry chef (though it's more likely to be used to clean the sink than as an ingredient in pastry).

But the full phrases SUCTION CUP, HARLEM SHAKE, and INSIDE SCOOP do NOT relate to the clues (dental hygienist, Apollo Theater usher, and confirmed bachelor respectively); only the first words do.

That really messed me up in the southeast, because I kept trying to look for a HARLEM something with a theatrical connection, and finally had to give up and admit that only SHAKE fit with the downs.

Lewis 6:11 AM  

The French kisser ordered a... *

The puzzle not only kept my solving chops active and happy, it brought back a memory of my youth. My mom sang in the chorus of a well-known Gilbert and Sullivan troupe that had a temperamental director. My mom was a talker, and this director once kicked her out of a production of The Mikado because she was gabbing during a rehearsal when she should have been listening to him. He kicked her out in front of the whole troupe by shouting, "Shirley, turn in your fan!"

I must add that Arthur Sullivan had a superb talent for melody. I will also add a memory triggered by the puzzle: Far and away, my favorite ice cream treat in my youth was the ice cream sandwich. Wondering what were favorites of other commenters?

Thanks for the memories, Andy!

* LICKEDY SPLIT

Loren Muse Smith 6:19 AM  

Ok, so the huge Huge themer that’s missing is _ _ SUNDAE. I looked into this just now and it seems that sundae is the result of ice cream professionals scrambling to spell sunday differently ‘cause some people go their nose out of joint about using it spelled sunday – the religious-some day. This happened in the late 1800s. Our offensive expression dismaydar has deep roots, people.

@mmorgan and @Robin - I had a dnf: “Libratto/malmac” - pfft.

@chefwen – I’m sure Trump scrambled to look up DOTARD a while back.

@Lewis – eewwwww. Good one! Memories of spin-the-bottle and Michael N…

On coat LINER – I came in yesterday from an aborted pre-snow trip to Walmart, where the power had gone off three minutes after I got my cart up and running. The emergency lights kicked on, and we were all smiling at each other in that way you become instant friends when you’ve entered the twilight zone together. Funny, that. One worker with a walkie-talkie and clipboard (so I trusted him) said we could shop for 30 more minutes before The System shut down. I flew to the back to get the deluxe mixed nuts, free-range happy hippy eggs, and salmon that is not available at my nearby Piggly Wiggly. Still about 23 minutes to go, I panicked and just went and stood in line, probably ‘cause I had my Saturday and Sunday Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy and knew the minute they were in my cart the melt clock was ticking.

So long story even longer, I walked in to see my daughter wearing my Harley Davidson leather jacket and my husband trying to zip it up for her in the front. He kept saying the zipper was broken. I looked over and pointed out that he was trying to zip the outside zipper to the inside zipper – the one that the lining zips into. It’s not the LINER. It’s the lining. Ruined the whole damn solve for me just kidding Andy love ya mwah.

Fortuitous that both JOHN and LOO cross LOREN. Scatolophile and all that.

That SUCTION deal with the dental hygienist? The most supreme, best, spot-on imitation that I do is of that tube thingy that hangs where the tobacco snuff goes and vamooses extra saliva. I can sound just like that thing.

I’m loving this emerging -burger suffix. I had never heard “nerdburger” before. Nothingburger, nerdburger… Hmm. I can’t get a firm sense of the meaning, but it’s certainly not a good meaning. Does it have to hook on to a word beginning with N? Nonsenseburger? Nocollusionburger? Maybe not – could we call this Dreamer mess a big ICEburger?

Andy – I enjoyed this ice cream theme. Nice one.

Lewis 6:31 AM  

M&A, surely the glorious return of EYEPIT has made your day, no?

Anonymous 6:40 AM  

A tangent on the ice cream theme: Did you know that only Michigan has Superman as a flavor?

michiganman 7:53 AM  

@Anonymous 6:40

Superman ice cream is the most disgusting looking thing that is (probably) safe to eat. I have never been willing to try it.

Eliza 7:57 AM  

Hey! Doesn't anyone recall Kim Jong-un calling our man-baby pres a dotard!?

Anonymous 7:57 AM  

The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

Small Town Blogger 8:03 AM  

Alanon is the name of the support group for the families of alcoholics. There is also a version for teens. Very useful to help families understand there isn’t a lot they can do until the alcoholic decides they want to change. I wish it existed 50 years ago when I could have used it.

Amy Yanni 8:12 AM  

Real old fashioned Sunday(ae) experience. A pleasure. Smiling at Gilbert & Sullivan. @Lewis, I was always torn between a fudgsicle and a creamsicle (orange sherbet covered vanilla).

SouthsideJohnny 8:23 AM  

What is ETO ?

Robert A. Simon 8:26 AM  

For LMS: "The overweight person ordered A MONTH OF SUNDAES."
Just trying to help here.

Salty 8:29 AM  

“Yeoman of the Guard” is its own operetta (not musical), and not a song from “HMS Pinafore.” I always chuckle at Rex’s frustration over theater/music clues (my wheelhouse), especially after yesterday’s bro-tastic sports puzzle (NOT my wheelhouse).

Also, this is the second time I’ve put in OPERETTA for LIBRETTO. Dang!

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

@michiganman 7:53: I totally agree!

Anonymous 8:38 AM  

We actually have a BOATLIFT at our cottage in Ontario, so I got that one easy.

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

@Southside Johnny: European Theater of Operations.

relicofthe60s 8:42 AM  

Two near Naticks: DEMIJOHN/COHIBA and AERIFY/EWA/PSY (a double). Had to guess on both and got lucky, but still. I guess AERIFY is a word but I’ve never heard it.

kitshef 8:51 AM  

I honestly had not realized that all people TOOTing their horns on the highway were just being friendly. I’ll have to start hitting the horn a lot more, as I love spreading happiness.


Got MENS rea solely due to Legally Blonde, and JAH from Futurama:
We didn't choose to be bureaucrats;
It’s what the almighty Jah made us.
We'd treat people like swine and make them stand in line
Even if nobody paid us.

Crimson Devil 9:02 AM  

European/eastern Theater of Operations

QuasiMojo 9:05 AM  

Having no clue where ALF came from whoever he is and having skipped LATIN in my American high school, I had a DNF at MENs MeLMAC. Mens I thought had sonething to do with CISWOMEN.

I know nothing about pop music but I do know that Ashlee Simpson is currently on a major tour across the country, so she is not exactly pop trivia.

Despite or because of my great passion for opera, I never really got into Gilbert & Sullivan, although I once played the Foreman in “Trial By Jury.”

@Lewis, I think my childhood fave, at least from Good Humor, was a Creamsicle. Now I’m addicted to frozen yogurt popsiicles. Especially Yasso!

Did anyone else notice the mini theme of alcoholism? Enabler, DTs, Alanon etc. Not a sot nor wino anywhere. Thank you!

Crimson Devil 9:13 AM  

Loved harkening back to Rocket Man 28A !

Ike 9:25 AM  

@Crimson Devil 9:02 AM

ETO meant "European Theater of Operations"

It was the western front, not "eastern" anything.

Dan Steele 9:30 AM  

Well, I’ll never figure out what OFL is looking for in a puzzle. To me this was the most generic (“vanilla,” if you will) Sunday (ha!) theme in, like, forever. I expected to witness a royal spanking when i came here. But no...he likes it! Must be a sweet tooth.

Anyway, good Sunday (ha!) workout for me.

John Hnedak 9:33 AM  

Responding to anonymous, ALANON is no the same as Alcoholics Anonymous, it is a support group for friends and families of alcoholics.

GHarris 9:42 AM  

Ewa and Psy required to get aerify? No way. Also stumbled by writing nebuli as crossing Nis. Finally, had faker for 52d which left me with a snowman named Alaf. Didn’t even know I had these missteps. Otherwise pretty smooth sailing.

Mr. Grumpypants 10:00 AM  

Ugly and annoying and boring. Not a fun of this kind of theme and thought the fill stunk.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

Cohibas were Fidel Castro's favorite cigar; "aerify" and "eyepit" were the only answers that made me cringe. A good Sunday for me. Brush up on your G&S, Rex! I highly recommend "Topsy Turvy," a great film about the pair and their struggles to produce "The Mikado."

Teedmn 10:05 AM  

What a lot of different types of ice cream products! And no boring pints or quarts or gallons.

I have had a couple of winter garments with a COAT LINER - I never bothered to take it out because it is such a pain to deal with the zippers and snaps. @LMS makes my point. If I want a lighter coat, I wear something else. They are nice in that they have the built-in layering effect.

I had fun with this and it came in right at my Sunday average. Thanks, Andy Kravis.

F.O.G. 10:13 AM  

Naticked at COHIBA and CISWOMEN. Had never heard of HARLEM SHAKE but got it by the down clues, and later found a few entertaining videos of it on YouTube.

Areawoman 10:20 AM  

Being from the NY fingerlakes region I have a boat lift. Very common term here. Keeps your boat clean by lifting it out of the water, prevents damage from bobbing in the waves and makes it easy to get into.

https://goo.gl/images/FJVnfh

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

Re: 16a, as of August they no longer (officially) identify with “Mormon”.

Hartley70 10:25 AM  

This was a sweet old-timey Sunday puzzle. I can’t find an answer that was obscure, but the clueing was very well done and kept my interest.

BOATLIFT is so common in marinas and private docks that I have to think Rex has spent too long in landlocked Binghamton to have a reasonable opinion on it. Also ASHLEE and her husband have a reality show on E that aired this past fall. Her mother in law is Diana Ross, so she also benefits from that reflected glory. I don’t think you can consider her obscure at the moment.



Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Ciswomen ha ha ha. I’d never heard that one before. Add it to the list of retronyms.

JC66 10:38 AM  

I never watched ALF that much, but MELMAC always stuck in my head because it was a send up of Tupperware's step-sister dinnerware brand.

Joe Bleaux 10:40 AM  

Thanks again those who kindly helped me with my log-in / posting problems.

GILL I. 10:41 AM  

@Lewis....If someone (French or not) tries a LICKEDY on me I will SCOOP out his EYE PIT and tell him to KISS OFF.
This was enjoyable. Who doesn't like an ICE cream parlor? Plus, it felt very grown upish.
The only area that gave me pause was the EYEPIT/ETO/APRIORI. I get my ETO/EDO/EMO/ELO's all mixed up. I had EYE lId and just left it. Who cares?
The theme was easy enough to get and actually fun. I kept wanting a banana split since that was my first big American surprise - that and hot dogs. I remember first food eats all the time. Chocolate MALT (or maybe SHAKE) in Sarasota Fla. School bus stop. Get off around 3:00 walk into the corner drug store, leaf through new Archie comic books, sit on my favorite stool and drool. I did this every day until we moved to California.
COHIBA slid right in. @Anony 10:02: Right you are on the COHIBA being Fidel's favorite. My dad used to smoke them until he found out Castro puffed them. Dad changed to H.Upmann's - so did JFK.
Is it important for me to know that there are no verbs in Esperanto? Just curious.
I haven't been to a KARAOKE BAR in ages. My first virgin experience was getting a bit tipsy and singing Neal Diamond's "I am a chair" at the top of my lungs.
Thanks, Andy...I'm glad @Rex liked it as much as I did.
My favorite ice cream is Sunnyside's "Death by Chocolate."

Bernie 10:43 AM  

Am I the only one who had SPITINACUP for the dental hygienist clue?

Roo Monster 10:43 AM  

Hey All !
I pass by the HARD ROCK HOTEL daily on my Limo-ing. It's on the corner where the Airport road splits into the in-road and the out-road. Corner of Paradise Rd and Harmon Ave, in case anyone cares. :-)

I liked this puz. Thought Rex was going to scream that it was Horrible, though. Figured he'd think it was too simple, with no revealer, etc. But he liked it! Hey Mickey! Har.

Quirky writeover at 16D, had LATINA MExICAN. Didn't think LOxEN was a viable name, but then haven't heard of Mastroianni either. (It is a place that sells suits here in town!) Couldn't get the ole brain off the LATINA part, was wondering why that was clued as much of the Western Hemisphere. Oooh, LATIN AMERICAN, I see...


That, plus EYElId, got my DNF today. Yeah, I know, an EYElId can't be a socket, whatever. :-)

A few plural weeject meat (Hi @M&A!) entries, LDS, IDS, DTS, GPS (Har on that last one!) DEMIJOHNS a new one. I LIKE IKE always fun to see. WHOLE HOG, too. MELMAC should be known by now, no? Doesn't anyone remember ALF? Mork was from Ork. As far as I know, they were the only aliens on 80's-90's TV, no? Besides the X-Files. :-)

6 F's, no ROO's. But lots of other double-O's, BOOS, SPOOLS, TOOT, SCOOP, LOO. Overall, a good Sunday Sundae puz. Maybe a Sherbet puz next?

KISS OFF JOKES
RooMonster
DarrinV

TubaDon 10:50 AM  

Starting with SEABED was able to fill in the entire puzzle contiguously, though several, like HARLEMSHAKE and COHIBA were pure guesses. Rex, for once again failing to identify immediately two of the most famous contributors to British music and literature, I sentence you to memorize the 13 Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas before tea.

Hungry Mother 10:58 AM  

Nice Sunday outing. I had LIBRaTTO for a while until the “E”came to me. Injoyed.

JOHN X 11:05 AM  

Oh Alf . . . when I think of the 1980s, I think of the space shuttle exploding, I think of VHS porn, and I think of all the times I never watched Alf, which is every single time it ever aired. I also think of the cold war and of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, may they both rest in peace.

Thank you and God bless.

nyc_lo 11:07 AM  

Does anyone still get their internet service provided by AOL? I mean, can you, even? Does it still come on a floppy disk? I know folks who still defiantly cling to their @aol.com email addresses, but that doesn’t really qualify as an ISP, does it?

JC66 11:13 AM  

@GILL

Just curious, what was your second virgin experience. ;-)

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

A "boat lift" is most definitely a "thing" if you keep your boat hoisted out of the water on a dock. Granted, it's not a "thing" to 99% of the world, but among those who use one, this is a normal word/phrase.

Nancy 11:28 AM  

Started the puzzle yesterday, got quickly bored with the very easy, very meh NW corner, and decided not to bother with the rest of it. Came to the blog earlier this a.m., saw that the crowd reaction was largely favorable, stopped reading the comments and went back to the puzzle. I ended up enjoying the rest of it more -- it was harder, for one thing -- so thanks, everyone.

The answer that gave me the most trouble was AERIFY (125A). I had -ERIF- and experienced no word pattern recognition that was a synonym for "vaporize". PS- (117D) was no help at all. Eventually, by the art of elimination, I got it.

SET instead of LOT for the "filming locale" gave me problems in the SW. ASHLEy didn't help either. IKEAS helped in that section, but c'mon -- is that a Plural of Convenience or what?

Just wondering from yesterday: Is today's SUCTION CUP a C CUP?

My favorite clue/answer was PARADISE at 30A. Needed lots of crosses to see it.

While the theme puns didn't especially FLOAT my boat, the surrounding fill offered some resistance and made up for it. Ended up enjoying the solve.

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Alf (and I suppose by extension Melmac) must be making a pop-cultural comeback - he was also featured prominently in a recent episode of Young Sheldon.

I too was surprised that Rex let the hanging-fastball-straight-down-the-middle of *dotard* go by without smashing it over the fence.

Also, most anyone who's been at a lake big enough for boats would be familiar with boatlift - a very real thing.

QuasiMojo 11:43 AM  

@nyc lo, I still use AOL for email which is why I am not blue on here. I can’t figure out blogger without gmail. And AOL still offers browsing I believe but I rarely use it. Too many intrusive ads. I like the ease of AOL email and the swiftness if it. It loads immediately. No lag. Plus I can switch back and forth between accounts. Perhaps I’m a Luddite. But a happy one.

David 12:01 PM  

Pretty fun Sunday. I also had "tard" and thought, "oh no you can't"; then one could. Disagree entirely with the clue for "a priori" but that was about it for complaints. Liked the proximity of "libretto" and "sullivan" and don't think I've ever heard or seen the word "aerify", but whatever.

@chefwen, Dotard is what Kim Jong-un called our own dear leader when they were talking about having a nice nuclear war. It was a good description and it gets the base riled up.

Rex, Gilbert and Sullivan wrote operettas, not musicals, hence the "libretto" as opposed to a "book". Their work has been put to very good use in The Simpsons and other cartoons. They also still make a whole lot of people a whole lot of money and bring joy to many. The Yeoman of the Guard is the name of one of them.

@Hartley70, the Susquehanna River goes right through Binghamton and there must be at least one boat lift at the Eyerock Marina, and probably more than one. So that's not the problem.

@Anonymous, my wife was a pastry chef for 20 years and she used lots of baking soda in her time. I guess you've never made pancakes without a mix or something. Baking is all about chemistry, sodium bicarbonate helps things rise.

Nancy 12:02 PM  

Fun comments today. @Lewis (6:11) -- "Shirley, turn in your fan!" may be the funniest thing I've ever read on this blog, though surely (wordplay intended) it wasn't at the time to your poor, chagrined Mom. I do hope she came to see the humor of it eventually. And she did get to sing GILBERT & SULLIVAN, at least for a while. And she didn't even have to do it at a KARAOKE BAR.

Speaking of KARAOKE BARS, @Gill (10:41), you and I have to make a date to sing together at one. I'm going to research what's happening in the NYC KARAOKE BAR world and see if I can find a place that's not down somewhere in the lower depths of Manhattan, reachable only by subways that are so undependable these days that it's like playing Russian Roulette. But don't worry -- I'm working on it.

And speaking of G&S, please give them another chance, @Quasi. I can't believe that someone of your taste, education and musical abilities doesn't like them. Love them, even. Such wonderfully melodic music! Such ingeniously clever lyrics! Such trenchant social satire! (If you happen to read this, OISK, feel free to chime in.)

@Teedmn and @LMS -- I'm totally with you on COAT LINERS. Trying to take them out or put them back in is an endeavor invented by the Marquis de Sade. I wear my lined raincoat, lining and all, in the weather for which it's most comfortable. For different weather -- either warmer or colder -- I wear a completely different coat. Tying a scarf is about as far as I want to go in the manipulation of clothing.

Frank Grimes 12:03 PM  

Bart sells his soul to Milhouse to prove that souls aren't real, but regrets it when bad things start happening to him. He tries to get his soul back from Milhouse, but Milhouse had traded his soul (to Comic Book Guy) for pogs featuring Alf. Milhouse then says "Remember Alf? He's back, in Pog form."

Banana Diaquiri 12:06 PM  

@anon/12:52
but, but, but... who was it that correctly guessed the Orange Julius is a DOTARD???

for once, I do agree with a clue: a hygienist uses a SUCTION line, at least all I've had do, so SUCTIONCUP is nicely indirected.

Joseph M 12:14 PM  

The webmaster ordered...*

The politician ordered...**

Pleasant, SORTA old-fashioned Sunday morning puzzle. Filled itself in without nary a complaint except for the crosses of JAH / ALANON and COHIBA / DEMIJOHNS. Made me think of what I used to think crosswords were like before I started doing crosswords.

*A computer cookie

**A majority whip

Masked and Anonymous 12:32 PM  

BRAIN FREEZE Theme! Allrighty, then. Highly CALORIC.

@RP: M&A is all for representative and inclusive, but check this out …

SunPuz counts today:
A - 46
E - 49
I - 29
O - 28
**U - 4**
EYEPIT - 1 (yo, @Lewis)
PEWIT - 0 [the good news, here]

Other entries that were sights for sore eyepits: EWA. JAH. EID. har, har, & har. staff weeject pick (yo, @Roo): EID. Better EID clue: {Eyepit's SSN??}.

@muse: primo choice, securin an emergency deluxe nuts supply. A fave M&A snack, also.

I SORTA extra-ike-liked fillins LATINAMERICAN & HARDROCKHOTEL, as they dared to be longer than any of the themers. Also a fan of WHOLEHOG, which sounds like a kin of "Gotta Have It", in yer ice cream order lingo argotese.

Thanx for the oversized treat, Mr. Kravis. Make mine a "Love It" banana ice cream with chocolate chips mixed in, please. Maybe a sprinklin of extra U's, too?

Masked & Anonymo4Us


illustrated:
**gruntz**

B Right There 12:35 PM  

This one left me feeling blah. A real 'meh' (to use a word I only know how to spell from doing xwords). The themers didn't have a great chuckle or wow factor for me. Hands up at SUCTION CUP feeling wrong since the previous themers had been more on point to the clue. After getting the gimmick at the first themer I was all agog since my first job was at a diner with a real old-fashioned style soda counter and loved, loved, loved our oreo cookie milkshakes! I’d suck one of those bad boy calorie bombs down on my break so fast that I’d get a brain freeze. So, anyway, I was hoping for something cuter, I guess. Gave myself a pat on the back for knowing 31D DEMIJOHNS (Bulbous, narrow-necked bottles). Now if I could only commit to memory the olla (ceramic jar I learned only from xwords). *Goes to check on Google* Oh, look at that... I got it right! Of course my favorite word learned from xwords is yegg (safe cracker). It was my first and I have a theory that you never forget the first word you had to look up for a crossword. But back to the puzzle. Will admit that I had a Doh moment at 6D (It can symbolize an open mouth...). Wanted it to be an O, but how do you spell that in three letters? OOH? OOO? OHH? Hubby finally clued me in that a D could also work. And he texts even less than I do! : O He also came in handy at 20A (Co. w/ a Roman centurion) AMEX. I got an image of some college sports team or other stuck in my brain and could not get over that, whereas he uses his AmEx for EVERYTHING! Loves those points he gets. I ended up working the rest of the grid slalom style from the NW toward the mid-Atlantic, riding DEMIJOHN down to SE and going back up the diagonal in the middle with things I knew. Then filling in the grid as needed in the gaps I had left. Only real write-over I had was 76A (What an auctioneer's gavel indicates). Confidently put down SoLd! until I had a chance to see 60D (Scruffs) and the NAPES cleared up my SoLd to SALE.

Also skipped over the supermodel at 3D as I, just like OFL, pay little attention to that culture. Though I would add Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks to his list of the few names I can come up with in that industry. And this despite my not-so-secret addiction to America's Next Top Model! BOATLIFT was a gimme for me as I am the Secretary for our Pier Association. Biggest WOE was definitely EWA/AERIFY. Never heard of either and though I know aerisol spray, my brain was stuck on vERIFY which just didn't help at all. The A was my final entry as I started to run the alphabet on that square.

And a nutty note -- once I saw 89A CHIANTI (Wine from central Tuscany), I was really hoping to find fava beans in the puzzle somewhere. Has anyone done that? Could be a theme of famous movie quote items. NAPALM and MORNING. OFFER and REFUSE (wait, not that one since they are not both nouns). Sound of Music song My Favorite Things alone could provide a bunch like RAINDROPS and KITTENS. Hmm.

Anyway, the puzzle had the average to easier-than-average feel with lots of familiar stuff clued pretty straight-forward but the abundance of names left a slightly odd taste.

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

I too liked the puzzle and my compliments to Kravis, and to the person who remarked that the puzzle was like the Sunday puzzle "used to be."

I remember laughing when Kim Jong-un called Trump a *dotard*, not because I hate Trump but because the term is so offensive and old-fashioned. In a vicious attack on one's intellect one could perhaps use an ugly term like *dimwit*. But dotard is never used by heads of state, because it always means one who is dim-witted due to age. It would never be used even in pre-PC days, I think.

I was tripped up by the Cohiba/Nebula cross, partly because I thought the 82A was *nes*--I'd seen that word, which I don't know, in puzzles, and also have never heard of Nas. I know what a nebula is, and if I had run the alphabet instead of coming here I think I would have gotten it. I smoke cigars but don't for some reason know Cohibas. I've had Cuban Monte Cristos overseas, and the version normally in the US is a knock-off. I think Cuban trademarks are not protected (is that right?), and popular Cuban cigars and rums have had names and trademarks and even box designs stolen. I read recently that when JFK decided to impose the ban on Cuban exports to the USA, he had Pierre Salinger go around the Washington area and buy up all the Cuban cigars he could get his hands on.

Speaking of dotards, I have to post anonymously since I can never remember my user name or password. I sent Rex a little money recently by snailmail and asked him to tell me how to find them. I don't use Facebook or other online things normally, though I'm sure I once registered some way here. He sent the promised card-reply by snailmail but didn't give instructions.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

CDilly52 12:42 PM  

Me too! I performed G&S for years here and loved today’s references. I think of days where I am definitely not in the wheelhouse as “outhouse days.”

@LMS: I would have been stuck on MELMAC had I not been in the parenting range during the show’s run. ‘Twas my daughter’s favorite show. I still confuse MELMAC with the post-WWII hard plastic dishware (and other things) I think called melamine (?). We had a ton of it growing up and it shattered when dropped after a few years.

Blue Stater 12:52 PM  

This was another of those puzzles for which I wished the NYT crossword-solving program had a mechanism for indicating errors of fact and language. This one was *full* of them. Absolutely no fun, obscure, smartass in the WS manner, ecccchhhh. We deserve better. We've deserved better for many years.

Z 12:54 PM  

What @anon10:23 was apparently referencing.

Yes, AOL is still an ISP. The latest stat I saw was from 2015, citing 2 million users.

Yes, I still have my AOL email. I still remember sitting in my first class for my Masters and being part of the roughly half “advanced” group who had their own personal email accounts. My very advanced computer had a whopping 160MB hard drive. The iPad Pro I’m holding in my hands as I type this has 128,000MB of storage. Anyway, it’s a perfectly functional email. I’m always a little amused by AOL snobs. GMail is pure crap and, shall we say, less than completely secure. Yahoo, Outlook, Groupwise, Comcast, iCloud, ... I’ve used lots of email providers. Some have different strengths than AOL, and features come and go, but not a single one is demonstrably better than AOL in any sort of long-term conclusive way. I mostly use it these days for businesses who want an email to send me junk mail later, but I still do use it.

Oh, the puzzle? Yawn. I sussed the “theme” early and not a single smile emerged while solving. Check that. A pewit’s EYEPIT always causes a sardonic smile here.

CDilly52 12:57 PM  

The experience for me took me way way back to Sundays with my grandmother who got me hooked on crosswords. I learned so much from her about so many things, but the puzzle was her daily treat and I had to be invited to actually participate. We always chatted about her daily experience while I helped clean up the kitchen after family dinner. Remember that? When families sat down together for dinner?

I am looking for a small property on Mobile Bay. It must have a BOATLIFT so that fell easily. Had bootLI NER rather than COATLINER because in OK we so rarely have such cold weather to nee to line coats but the last few years have been uncharacteristically wet and many of our farmers and ranchers do in fact line their boots. C’est la vie.

Such a nostalgic day today. Old school Sunday with little that was off. I thought AERIFY was a bit weak but gettable. The theme was vintage, clever and enjoyable.

old timer 1:04 PM  

have a song to sing, O!

Sing me your song, O!

It is sung to the moon by a love-lorn loon
Who fled from the mocking throng, O

It's the song of a merry man, moping mum
Whose SOUL was sad and his glance was glum
Who sipped no sup and who craved no crumb
As he sighed for the love of a lady.

From Yeomen of the Guard, and if you had children when I did, you heard that song on Peter, Paul & Mary's children's album. Over and over. But I did not mind. I'ts a great song.

Amusing puzzle for the reasons many have given. For some reason I never got TNOTE hence a personal DNF.

Z 1:04 PM  

@Poggius - Go to google.com. Look in the upper right corner, there should be a “Sign In” option. Click it. Then look for “forgot password” and click on it, then follow up with whatever it says to do. Or, if use gmail, the log in is probably the same as your gmail log in so use those credentials. Or, just create a new account and make sure your computer remembers your log in credentials.

QuasiMojo 1:05 PM  

@Nancy, I didn’t say I don’t like G&S, just that I didnt get into them. Perhaps I will now that I have more time in my dotage. I do admire witty lyrics. Which reminds me, did the Korean leader actually use the word “dotard” in English? Or was it translated as such? I’m sure Z will know, and oddly enough he and I seemed to agree on much today.

Peter Meidlinger 1:07 PM  

Chocolate therapy! Ha!

Sigmund 1:12 PM  

@John X. Jim Bakker is alive, went into real estate.

@Gill, "COHIBA slid right in" reminds me of this from the Starr report:

Afterward, she and the President moved to the Oval Office and talked. According to Ms. Lewinsky: "[H]e was chewing on a cigar. And then he had the cigar in his hand and he was kind of looking at the cigar in . . . sort of a naughty way. And so . . . I looked at the cigar and I looked at him and I said, we can do that, too, some time."

Suzie Q 1:36 PM  

This theme was sort of a head-scratcher for me. I figured it out enough for it to help me solve so there's that but I like the suggestions posted here better.
Dotard was new but dotage I know so inferred the answer.
Eye pit cracked me up.
Demijohns? No jokes yet about that?
Loved "whole hog".
Fun enough for a Sunday but why no sundae theme answer? Too obvious for this day of the week? I think it was a missed opportunity.

I'm still an AOL emailer and have been since before there were so many choices. Too much hassle to change and it does fine for me.
Heck, when I first got it was back when the internet came via dial-up and I couldn't use the computer and the telephone at the same time!

MassLurker 1:44 PM  

Thanks for your funny post today. It made me laugh. However, in reference to @Lewis’s definition of a French kiss as a Lickedy Split, your Ewwwww (which I shared) got me thinking: Is there a word for presentation of something positive (like a wet kiss from someone you like) in a way that elicits disgust? I think we do this in political discourse all too frequently, and it’s probably not a good thing.

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

Thanks very much, Mr. Kravis, for an enjoyable Sunday puzzling experience!

Jim Hendler 2:10 PM  

Ok, am I the only one that thinks 113 across had to be clued in the plural for this to work? Got it, but didn’t like it... “spot for ...” is A dive, right?

JC66 2:18 PM  


@Jim H

Both the NY Times web site and my AcrossLite has 113A clued as "Places for cheap drinks."

GILL I. 2:20 PM  

@JC66....Hahahah. I was using my gringa's trope. I meant it in the "purist" sense!
@Nancy. Uh oh...OK, Sure. I'm good at emptying the place out......

oldactor 2:22 PM  

Another recommendation for "Topsy Turvy" for anyone wanting to know more about Gilbert & Sullivan. My favorite scene is when Gilbert or Sullivan (can't remember which) is dining with D'oyly Carte, their producer, who talks about building the Savoy hotel (the first luxury hotel in Britain. He says that every room will have its own bathroom. To which Gilbert (or Sullivan) replies: "Who do you expect to stay there, amphibians?!!!"

Mo-T 2:24 PM  

@Lewis

I grew up in a NYC suburb, and the Good Humor man jangled his bells just about every evening. Kids came running from all directions.

One favorite was the Good Humor man's "Toasted Almond" ice cream pop. Vanilla ice cream coated in, well, toasted almondy-crunch stuff.

And around 4th of July, the "Red, White, and Blueberry" ice cream pop.

Funny, but I rarely eat ice cream now. Could go for one of the above, though.

Cato Rosenbaum 2:50 PM  

One important note: it's cis women and cis men, not ciswomen and cismen. Just like it's trans women and trans men, not transwomen and transmen. The trans/cis is the modifier of women and men, emphasizing that these people are indeed men and women and not some whole new being that transwomen or cismen would be,

Paula 2:58 PM  

I agree! The puzzle in my newspaper had 113 clued as spot for cheap drinks. Should have been plural!

Carola 3:00 PM  

I liked this brain-twisting theme, even with, or perhaps beccause of the different number of twists in the answers (as @Anonymous 3:00 am poiinted out.). My favorite was SINGLE MALT. Like others, I found the puzzle easy, with one answer leading right to the next (mostly), but engaging all the way. Me, too on going wrong on operetta before LIBRETTO and having to puzzle out EWA and COHIBA.

@Lewis - I'm sorry your mom got kicked out of the chorus, but what a great dismissal line! It reminded me of my getting kicked out of yoga class for chatting during the few minutes before class time, when we were supposed to be already sinking into a yoga-like state. I hadn't thought of public shaming as part of yoga practice :)

Z 3:10 PM  

@QuasiMojo - I found the following in a NYT story dated 9/22/17:

The Korean word Mr. Kim used for “dotard” was “neukdari,” a common derogatory term for an old person. The connotation is someone who is lazy, useless and demented. Jean H. Lee, a former Pyongyang bureau chief for The Associated Press, said on Twitter that she had visited the offices of KCNA, the North Korean state news service, and found the agency using very old Korean-English dictionaries for their translations.


I take this to mean that DOTARD was actually chosen by official translators.

Nancy 3:14 PM  

@old timer (1:04) -- OMG, this is too much! Do you believe in ESP? In Eastern philosophy's "Universal Mind"? Now, I know I've mentioned before on the blog that when I do my aerobic walking, no headphones for me. That I provide my own soundtrack. That I sing (or at least hum, if too many potential "captive audience" people are around) one or more songs of my own choosing. That the song/songs come to my mind that day unbidden and unplanned. And that sometimes I'm so enamored of the song I start with it that I stay with it for the entire 45-50 minutes.)

I stayed with one song today, @old timer. I was walking while you were posting, so I never saw your comment until I came home. And the song that I've just been singing for the last near-hour is G&S's: "I Have a Song to Sing-O." Of course, I had G&S in my mind because of the puzzle and the blog. But they've written hundreds of songs and that is the one my unconscious chose. (FWIW, it's the perfect walking song -- jaunty enough to keep you moving, happy enough to make you very happy, but not so fast that you get winded.

@Quasi -- Delighted to hear you'll take another stab at G&S. @GILL -- If the other patrons flee our KARAOKE performance, I'll blame it all on you :)

thefogman 3:32 PM  

Rex is often accused of being a negatron, but he's right about this one. Especially EYEPIT. A decent enough puzzle but lacking a certain zip. I finished in about average time. Now, time for a wee dram of multiple-malt scotch....

jberg 3:32 PM  

Got here very late -- the puzzle was easy, but I had to write the syllabus for my spring course first. So I'll just say two things:

First, AOL was bought by Verizon, which promptly transferred its email business to them. They let me keep my verizon.net address, but if I want to read it online, I have to go to the AOL set. Nevertheless, Verizon is still my ISP.

Second, to echo @old timer, but more strongly -- "A Merry Man and his Maid" is maybe the greatest song in the whole G&S repertory. @Rex, you should extend your sphere of theater interest. Have a listen!

Josie Owens 3:35 PM  

https://www.npr.org/2013/02/21/172615268/where-does-the-harlem-shake-actually-come-from

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/nyregion/behind-harlem-shake-craze-a-dance-thats-over-a-decade-old.amp.html

GB Bartley 3:52 PM  

For everyone who stumbled on "eyepit," you are absolutely correct. I am an ophthalmologist with more than 35 years experience performing surgery of the orbit (a much more appropriate term for "ocular socket") and have never come across "eyepit." The term "optic pit" is used in ocular embryology, but "eyepit"? Nope.

Karl Grouch 4:14 PM  

Ashley had a wagy hike, what a dotard!

Aketi 4:15 PM  

Hahaha, I drove through Natick yesterday and I Naticked this afternoon when I finally felt up to doing the puzzle after yesterday’s event filled long drive home. I liked the PARADE FLOAT.

I probably should have had SINGLE MALT Friday night when we managed to make it to Boston via bus after Hertz had proposed that I ride with the tow truck driver all the way to Portland Maine and drive all the way back again with a new car to pick up my husband, son and his friends. This would have been mere 300 miles of extra driving for me while the rest of them had to wait in the ski lodge since we were supposed to check out of the time share and would have been followed by the 6 plus hour drive home. We rebelled and they eventually paid the bill for the bus that we took to Boston where we stayed the night and rented an SUV in the morning for a much easier 4 hour drive home. My husband has now promised to leave the car rentals to me and will never ever again question the wisdom of my suggestion to rent a 4 wheel drive SUV for ski trips. He also now believes me that RentaCar agencies will often pass off cars as having four wheel drive when they don’t.

I admit to a few moments of wanting to engage in actions that could have led to empty EYEPITs during the three hours of useless phone calls to some of the Hertz employees that have zero knowledge of dealing with cars in extremely cold snowy weather and make the same useless suggestions over and over. .

The “kids” (who “adulted” very nicely on the trip by fixing dinner most nights) thought it was hilarious when I kept asking them to take photos of the Natick exit signs.

I’m now going to catch up on all the crosswords I missed last week.

XQQQME 4:15 PM  

Did no one but me answer Donald instead of dotard for 28a?

Suzie Q 4:29 PM  

Thanks to @ jberg for the link and everyone for the recommendation re: G&S. I watched the song-o and it was hard not like! Perhaps I need to look for some others.

OffTheGrid 4:40 PM  

Kim nailed it!

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

FWIW

eye-pit - Wiktionary

English[edit]. Noun[edit]. eye-pit (plural eye-pits). (now rare) The eye socket; the concave area of the face around each eye.

Rainbow 4:51 PM  

@Nancy

Can't believe you quit after one corner.

"Willie Boy" Johnson 5:27 PM  

At John Gotti's funeral, someone gave a Cohiba floral display.

Joe Bleaux 5:39 PM  

Odd ... My puz, in the NYT Magazine, has it clued (properly) as “Places for cheap drinks.”

Sara Dacus 5:42 PM  

Time posted by Arkansas girl who has been solving for a year and a half: 1:17:01.

Difficult places: eye pit, Ewa Beach, aerify.

Still hoping to do a Sunday in under an hour!

Anonymous 5:49 PM  

bus? tow truck? Hertz? What happened?

Joe Bleaux 5:51 PM  

Late to the party, as always, but ... yes, it was a good old-fashioned (like an ice cream parlor) Sunday puz. Thanks, Andy. To my surprise, no one posted that only a DOTARD would tweet about someone getting off “Scott (not SCOT) free” — but one did, and was ridiculed for it ... a LOT.

Anonymous 5:51 PM  

Now I feel mildly ashamed for the fact that ASHLEE and ADRIANA were the first two answers I filled in. DEMIJOHNS/COHIBA was (as noted) a near Natick (call it 0.5?), and EWA didn't look right at least to me (revealing my possible ignorance)

Jkol 6:09 PM  

I urge you to watch some Loren/Mastroianni movies!

Nancy 6:17 PM  

@Aketi (4:15)-- I join Anon 5:49 in wondering what happened? I hope it was reluctance to drive a rental car lacking four-wheel drive and not an accident in said rental car that led to the bus/tow truck situation. "Extremely cold, snowy weather" -- isn't that the very definition of a ski vacation? It's why I instead became a tennis player -- that, plus my aversion to falling, plus my failure to invent the GLM ski system. (Hi, @pabloinnh.) Anyway, I hope the skiing part of the vacation was a lot better than the trip home.

Anonymous 6:22 PM  

Hey Nancy,
This is the one time roaring anonymous turned carping anonymous.
Not sure my old pals Euclid and Russell would call a priori knowledge theortetical.

Signed,

Some apodeitic dude.

thefogman 6:41 PM  

EYEPIT-y the fool who uses EYEPIT in his puzzle.

- Mr. T

Aketi 8:21 PM  

@Nancy and Anon 5:49 pm. The car did not have the four wheel drive we were told it had, so it could not manage an even 10 degree slope on a road that had been reasonably well plowed. It only had a two inch coating of packed snow. The car just FLOATed on the snow with zero traction. So we didn’t use it for 2 days because it wasn’t worth the risk of having it slide down the hill. Fortunately we had bought lots of good and the ski slopes were within walking distance. I did deice it every day and make sure it could get in and out of the parking spot without trying the hill. On the day of departure, the ignition froze so I couldn’t even turn it on even when I warmed up the key. The Hertz guy on the phone insisted I turn the wheel back and forth in a way that I knew would lock up the wheel. I was not happy tell him “I told you so”. We lucked out that there was an afternoon bus on Friday that got us to Boston. The Hertz manager in Boston was fantastic and empathetic and appalled that no one listened to me about getting a four wheel drive SUV. We were heavily reimbursed thanks to her.

Lee Coller 8:30 PM  

Internet Service Provider or ISP has a very specific meaning - its the company that give you connectivity - most people these days get it via their phone company (even if they don't have a land-line) or their cable company. AOL has never provided ISP service via anything other than dialup. They are still used in other forms (email provider - content provider) but only a couple million Ludites still use them as an ISP (as of 2017). Cluing them as an ISP is like cluing Polaroid as an instant photo option.

Crimson Devil 8:42 PM  

Amen. Quite apt.

Joe Dipinto 8:57 PM  

Oh, the happy days of doing
Oh, the sighing and the suing
When a wooer goes a-wooing
Oh the sweets that never cloy!


(Which reminds me, I love in "Midnight Train To Georgia" when the Pips go "Woo-Woo!")

A couple of nits to pick: the two longest answers in the grid, 16d and 54d, have nothing to do with the theme. I don't know if there's a rule about that, but to me it made the puzzle seem out of whack.

Also, like LMS, I was expecting a reference to a SUNDAE; after all, it *is* the Sunday puzzle. I realize with the altered spelling it couldn't be in one of the themers but put it *somewhere*, fer chrissake.

Otherwise it was okay. Having the final ILL in place, I confidently plunked down VINCE GILL for the country singer -- oops. (Well, it *could* have been OLAV for the snowman). And I just realized I never filled in the P in GAPS -- how ironic.

Doug 9:19 PM  

I have only posted once. I do the puzzle because it relaxes me, so the time to finish is of no interest. However, I enjoy this blog and everyone’s comments- very erudite group.

Posting today because I was interested to see I had the same issues as Rex, with one exception (Hard Rock Hotel- never stayed in one, but have eaten in the one in LV).

I also contribute modestly each year... I really admire the effort of Rex and his surrogates.

Thanks and hoping 2019 is a lot better than 2018.

Z 9:22 PM  

@Lee Coller - Actually, there are reasons for using dial-up.

mmorgan 12:34 AM  

I somehow had the first comment of the day on this puzzle and it would be cool to have the last. I loved the sharply bifurcated comments on this puzzle, but I still think that anyone who didn’t like it is a poopyhead.

pat sanchez 8:28 AM  

Easy puzzle except for SE (like everybody else). Never heard of demi John or eyepit or Ewa or Laika. Thought the plural of wharf should be wharves. Why wasn't loo loos? Shouldn't the Dee emoticon be sideways? How is vaporized aerify?

Just kept thinking of all the great soda parlors that used to be in Brooklyn and how I miss them.

Really wanted 1A to be Senate (lol) and 28A to be Donald which it sorta is. (Magat was too short)

Maruchka 11:40 AM  

@Small Town - Indeed. But there is hope for us grown ups, too: Adult Children of Alcoholics. I eventually recovered from my crazy childhood, thanks to the fellowships in those rooms.

John Dice 1:59 PM  

Yeah, Topsy Turvy..
GREAT movie!

Burma Shave 11:52 AM  

ART'S ENDS

ISIT Uptown he NEGLECTS, NOH INSIDESCOOP will he TAKE?
SULLIVAN's SLYEST LIBRETTO, ASIS, IS no HARLEMSHAKE.

--- WILMA ISLEY

rondo 12:32 PM  

I questioned yesterday whether OFL had ever been in a cigarshop; his COHIBA comment confirms: NOH! This puz was so EZ with only one redo of seT to LOT.

Been to plenty of DIVES in my time. PARADISE, EACH of 'em. ASIS. Might be time to go ENDIVE some more.

Where to start? ADRIANA, JEN, LOREN, ASHLEE, ELLA, FAITHHILL; TAKE your pick, all CISWOMEN I presume. INSIDESCOOP: ADRIANA reportedly held onto her virtue a LOT longer than most.

I LAIKA Sun-puz with NOH stress.

spacecraft 2:27 PM  

As @M&A said, this baby had such high CALORIC content that I felt ten pounds heavier just filling (!) it in. I thought SINGLEMALT was something of an outlier, as you won't find that in an ice cream parlor--unless you *split* it and emphasize the "MALT" part. I guess that was the point.

Nothing too terrible; nothing too brilliant. A Sunday confection, which I found easier than OFL did ('course, being a Las Vegan, HARDROCKHOTEL was a flat-out gimme). I must've done this in no more than 2 1/2 Rexes, a low RATIO for me. ADRIANA Lima is DOD; par.

Unknown 2:39 PM  

The bottom right killed me.
Does theoretical=a prior? I doubt it.

fakt chekker 2:50 PM  

from an on-line dictionary:

A PRIORI

ADJECTIVE
relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge which proceeds from theoretical deduction rather than from observation or experience.

rainforest 3:02 PM  

All I ask of a Sunday puzzle is that it not be a slog, and this one filled the bill. The theme became transparent with the first themer, but that's OK because some cleverness was called for. I can tell you that I'd sooner order a SINGLE MALT than a BAKING SODA, unless my stomach didn't take kindly to one of the other themers.

I once looked up PSY and Gangnam Style on YouTube, and I couldn't believe the number of hits and the content of the video. "Hideous" would be a mild descriptor there.
I'm not going to look it up, but I wonder about AERIFY. To me it sounds like a synonym of "aerate" while "vaporize" is more like "zap". Anyway, there was no choice with that first letter.
Decent puzzle.

Diana, LIW 3:30 PM  

I agree with @Rainy's first line - no slog Sunday/Punday.

Didn't take too long, whilst watching HGTV - Chip ate a coakroach! No kidding.

I, OTOH, ate ice cream. Back t that.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for a Sunday Sundae

Diana, LIW 4:38 PM  

And thank you very much, @Foggy, for the EYEPITy quote from Mr. T.

Lady Di

-e2e- 12:09 PM  

I can't remember a puzzle that generated comments that were as clever and nice as this one. A tip of the cap to everyone.

Anonymous 9:09 PM  

By far, the best and most enjoyable puzzle in ages. Eugene T. Maleska would have approved.

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