Twins Phil Steve who won gold silver in Sarajevo / SUN 1-20-19 / Spanish pastries often dipped in chocolate / Sartorial choice for Columbo / One of fish in Italy's Feast of Seven Fishes / Banking org since 1933 / Stock valuation phrase / Duke basketball legend informally / Occasional aid in crossword solving / Bridge historic span across Mississippi / Title film character with catchphrase very nice / Moistened finger in another's ear

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Constructor: Richard Crowe

Relative difficulty: Medium (11:16)

THEME: "Question of Responsibility" — so I guess the idea is that the theme answers are familiar interrogative sentences clued (based on the reorienting of key words in the answers) via the profession that might be (wackily) saying them:

Theme answers:
  • "IS THAT A FACT?" (23A: Copy editor)
  • "WHERE'S THE PARTY?" (33A: Political strategist)
  • "HOW'S IT HANGING?" (45A: Museum curator)
  • "WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?" (63A: Football line judge)
  • "WHO'S CRYING NOW?" (80A: Maternity room nurse)
  • "WHAT'S EATING HIM?" (96A: Parasitologist)
  • "ANYBODY HOME?" (108A: Baseball scorekeeper)
Word of the Day: EADS Bridge (64D: ___ Bridge (historic span across the Mississippi)) —
Eads Bridge is a combined road and railway bridge over the Mississippi Riverconnecting the cities of St. LouisMissouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. It is located on the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede's Landing, to the north, and the grounds of the Gateway Arch, to the south. The bridge is named for its designer and builder, James Buchanan Eads.
Opened in 1874, Eads Bridge was the first bridge erected across the Mississippi south of the Missouri River. Earlier bridges were located north of the Missouri, where the Mississippi is smaller. None of the earlier bridges survive, Eads Bridge is the oldest bridge on the river. (wikipedia)

• • •

Kept trying, and failing, to find the joy in this one. Took me a while to figure out exactly what was going on with the theme, and even then, it felt hit-or-miss. Not very coherent. You just need a bunch of questions? You could've kept this theme going for a long, long time. "WHERE'S THE BEEF?" [Rancher] or [Mediator]. "AIN'T THAT A KICK IN THE HEAD?" [Soccer referee] Etc. Also, the title "Question of Responsibility" seems only to fit for the "Who" questions. Not sure how "responsibility" fits in with most of the themers. Is it that the clue professional in the clue is the one "responsible" for asking the question? That is ... tenuous, and rough.

EEW is always eww (as in it's gross and also I never know how to spell it). Ditto the tilde-less ANOS. ASASON is bleeping ridiculous, especially crossing TOAMAN which is crossing NOPAR (???). That SE corner needs lots of help. INKA? There's no call for stuff like that. What does ADA-compliant even mean? Compliant ... with the American Dental Association? Oh, the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wow. OK, if you say so. CLAMS and CHI-CHI had me wondering what year it was. GLI x/w GARY is some nonsense. Tertiary SpongeBob character and Italian def. article? GOAS is awkward. SSR RRS ENNE SYNS. . . There's just nothing very pleasing about this. It's a puzzle to be endured, not savored. It's not that there's zero charm in the theme, it's just not very tight, and the answers are more polite-nod or maybe light-chuckle. Not wacky enough to carry the day. Also, I could really have done without cat poop in my puzzle (40D: Where to get the latest poop?). And "the latest"? Like you're just hanging out by your cat's LITTER BOX waiting for the fresh stuff? We've done cat feces, like, well, at least twice in the past couple months (remember that "litter box" puzzle a while back?). I wonder what new and glorious types of feces we have to look forward to in the new year. I mean, the seal's broken on feces-land, so why not go nuts?

Five things:
  • 57A: Sartorial choice for Lieutenant Columbo (RAINCOAT) — that's not a TRENCHCOAT he's wearing? RAINCOAT just sounds way too pedestrian. He's a detective. Detectives wear TRENCHCOATs. Which are a type of RAINCOAT, it's true ... still.
  • 33D: Year of the ___ (2018) (WOMAN) — yeah, no, that was 1992. You can look it up. There's zero consensus that 2018 was the Year of the WOMAN. Why isn't this even attributed? It seems dumb and condescending, like "here's your one year, enjoy it, ladies, see you in another quarter century! [burp!!]." I wanted this to be MONKEY but it wouldn't fit and also that was 2016. 
  • 37D: Thrilled cries (OOHS) — oof. I had OLES
  • 39A: Make toast? (DOOM) — this stumped me and is also a good clue
  • 5D: Fab Four name (STARR) — so bad did I want RINGO that I literally just now wrote in RINGO as the correct answer in this bullet point
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld (Twitter @rexparker / #NYTXW)

P.S. 2019 constructor count—Men: 19 / Women: 1

P.P.S. the NYT eds. really have to stop tripping over themselves with their race / gender / sexuality cluing. Check out this gem from a recent mini:

You could've just Stopped The Clue after "pronoun." Just stopped. There, it's accurate. After that, it is fundamentally inaccurate. Fuddy-duddy prescriptivist sticklers are not "grammarians." Actual grammarians have no problem with THEY as a singular pronoun. No problem. No "chagrin." None. Zero. The American Dialect Organization MADE SINGULAR "THEY" THEIR GOSH DANG WORD OF THE YEAR in 2015. This clue has not only gone and made something normal look like it's "controversial," it has gone and done it with a stupid, inaccurate clue. Total own goal. Mysteriously incompetent cluing. Baffling.

P.P.P.S. Update: THEY fixed it:

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:11 AM  

Being ADA compliant is something anyone building or operating a commercial building has to be concerned with. it is a very common term.

jae 12:21 AM  

I solved this while watching the news for coverage of The Women’s March so I kinda poked through it. That said, it seemed tough. The NW corner was particularly resistant and if the pet snail GARY had not been lurking somewhere in the dark recesses I probably would have had a DNF (FTR I’ve never seen SpongeBob so I have no idea how I knew that.)

Liked it a bit more than @Rex did.

TomAz 12:25 AM  

Re: Rex's PPS regarding THEY in the mini: Grammar is not math. Certain stick-up-the-butt types want to try to make it be math (see: double negatives), but it's not. It's language. Language is malleable, mercurial, influenced by necessity and trends and class and other languages and god knows what else. I'm a math nerd but I love language and know that it's a living breathing thing like the weeds in my front yard.

As regards the Sunday: yeah, it was ok. I'm not as annoyed by the themers as Rex, but I wasn't wowed either. Nothing in here wowed me at all, really, but then again nothing annoyed me.

Will 12:48 AM  

ADA is not an obscure term. It especially shouldn't be for someone who is concerned about social justice. Ableism is part of intersectionality.

Fobin 12:52 AM  

Dude, I'm the "curator" of a government website. ADA-compliant is like the offing bane of my existence.

BTW: I'm hearing impaired. But jeebus, so much work, so much work.

mmorgan 1:08 AM  

I didn’t love this but I liked it a lot more than Rex. I thought the themers were pleasantly fun. Most of the puzzle was fairly easy for me, and (as usual) I didn’t notice much drek or just ignored it. I did get totally screwed up with bASHED for 2D, and I had no clue as to _AHRES, so that was a bummer. And it took me forever to understand why SYNS was the answer for 76D. And GLI!!?!?! EWW!!!

Except for those GLItches, this was pretty easy and an enjoyable way to spend some time.

Jon Hilgers 1:22 AM  

Rex, I agree generally with the sense of awkwardness in theme and cluing. But mostly I liked this puzzle, including most of the stuff you specifically called out as objectionable (LITTERBOX, ASASON). I like a movie clue that leads me straight to a correct (if weird looking) answer, so long as I know the movie. And as long as I'm not solving over a bowl of cereal, there's nothing wrong with a little cat poop. I got to RAINCOAT with no TRENCHant distractions. Considering how long women have waited to be finally listened to, I guess I don't really object to calling 2018 (another) Year of the Woman. On that note, I seem to mostly agree with your politics; I'm a golldang lefty, definitely. But sometimes it does feel like you're stretching, e.g., the call-out of the 4-Down mini clue about a gender-neutral singular pronoun. I thought the clue made these chagrined individuals look sort of fusty and stupid, which is fine (in spite of my love of DFW and all other militant grammarians).

Harryp 1:42 AM  

The bright spot for me in this grind is that I was able to halfway figure out the theme answers and finish it.

chefwen 2:22 AM  

Every year is The Year Of The Woman”, right ladies?

Easy Sunday puzzle, but a tad bit of a yawner. I enjoyed all the questions, but none brought on a chuckle. It just was missing a little pizzazz, a little oomph. Oh, WHO’S CRYING NOW made me smile.

Only one write over cache before STASH at 90A.

Mike in Mountain View 2:43 AM  

When I did the mini, the clue for "THEY" was different: "Word increasingly used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun." Congratulations to the Times for changing it.

isobel 2:53 AM  

His name is actually spelled G5ary. The 5 is silent. If you’ve never watched Spongebob you don’t know what you are missing. I liked this puzzle.

CDilly52 4:01 AM  

@TomAz- I agree. Grammar and the Constitution must be responsive to sociey’s changes over time or neither functions well. The referenced “stick-up-the-butt” types create difficulties for writers, editors, teachers as well as the regular folks who just want to be well informed, well spoken and members of an inclusive free society. My Constitutional Law prof called them “hide-bound textualists” a phrase I find descriptive of inflexible grammarians and judges alike.

As for the puzzle, I rankled at DOER because my brain could not get out of probate (thinking ex-EC’-utor rather than EX’-e-cu-tor) and consequently I did not understand the relationship of the clue to the answer until the “aha” hit me an hour or so after finishing. Therein lies the proverbial “rub” of crossword solving: the dreaded wheelhouse. Fortunately today, the mushy theme aside, as captain in my wheelhouse, I steered a slow barge up river in a stiff current, but finish, I did. Had trouble at the jump in the NW because nobody thinks of the Fab Four by surname and the answer had to be Ringo, dammit! Then I disbelieved that CHURROS belong in Spain as well as Mexico, Central and South American environs. Eventually stoked the engines and reached port, but did not have any special enjoyable moments other than the happy sound of finishing. Kind of an average Sunday slog after two good ones in a row.

JOHN X 4:34 AM  


I didn't look at Rex's post or any comments. I'm doing the Sunday puzzle and I'm totally baked on legal California weed. I don't smoke pot very often these days, but as a youth I was no stranger to the bong. I'm a very good crossword solver.

Right now I've been at it for thirty minutes and I have six answers filled in. I'll give you an update on Tuesday.

Hungry Mother 5:41 AM  

Very frustrating Natick at GARY/GLI. An otherwise fun solve ruined by that DNF. Not happy.

Lewis 6:37 AM  

The theme was clear after getting the first theme answer, and the fun for me was in guessing the other theme answers with just a few letters filled in. I succeeded a fair number of times and each time produced a satisfying "Aha!". I also loved the clues for DOOM [Make toast?] and FARMHOUSE [It may have corn on the side]. My last square was the cross of GLI and GARY, and I guessed right.

If a puzzle makes me think and makes me remember things (these are two different feats), I'm usually happy. If it makes me smile, or nod at cleverness, or go wow at a construction feat or a twist of words, that's gravy. The New York Times puzzles usually pass my bar, and today's fun solve -- a lovely debut -- was no exception. Thank you Richard!

Unknown 7:02 AM  

WETWILLY? Huh??? One of the main things that comes up in Google is "Florida man arrested when he gives his girlfriend a 'wet willy.'" Another form of "wet willy" that comes up in the top 10 Google answers doesn't even involve saliva or water but another moistener. Sounds 1000 times more vulgar than LITTERBOX.

ENNE was tough when there are the more common ETTE, ESSE, and ESSA, especially when crossed with SYNS.

HOPIS is plural; tribe is singular. The tribe is called the Hopi. Shouldn't the clue have been Southwest native American people?

I expected something a lot more "over the top" than simply EMOTE.

Georgia once was the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. Somehow my brain insisted that therefore the answer had to be GSR, which was OK because EGOBESO looked just as correct to me as ESOBESO.

Charles Macintosh 7:23 AM  

The raincoat/trenchcoat question skews more favorably towards raincoat. Google searches with "" using "Columbo raincoat" or "Columbo trenchcoat"(and trench coat) confirm a raincoat bias.
A fan site gives TMI about this famous raincoat.

Interchangeable? Sure.

53. Familiar raincoat wearer : COLUMBO 01/16/1996

57. "Columbo" trench coat? : FALKJACKET 08/29/2012

pabloinnh 8:04 AM  

Smooth sailing here, and I liked it fine. No real ahas!, but fun enough.

The LITTERBOX is a morning ritual for me, and something I will put up with as the price of having a couple of goofy cats. Indoor guys they must be, as the countryside is fraught with peril.

I'm assuming CHURROS started in Spain and crossed the ocean. A ritual in Madrid is to go out for chocolate y churros after a night on the town, which typically ends at something like 4AM. This is often why a siesta is not just a pleasant interlude but an absolute necessity.

Z 8:06 AM  

21x21? Takes a lot more than this to overcome my meh inertia. I did crack a smile at the notion of a museum curator asking HOW’S IT HANGING. GLI/GARY seems like a crossing loved only in Natick.

As for “RAIN COAT”... What? Colombo wears it regardless of the weather. Over COAT or trench COAT I would buy, but i don’t think it was ever worn in the rain. Unless someone can provide video evidence of Colombo calling it his RAINCOAT I’m calling bullshit.

Rainbow 8:12 AM  

Me Too

Marathon Man 8:15 AM  

Just go for a run. You'll feel better.

@merican in Paris 8:18 AM  

I'm more with @Rex on this puzzle today. I found the cluing often tough, but for the most part sussable. But the RAE-GARY-GLI area killed me, as did MAHRES and COACH K, both of which I had to look up in order to finish.

Working from the SW out (the first place I could get real purchase), I got the theme at WHAT'S EATING HIM? Meh. The one that took me the longest to get was WHO'S CRYING NOW? Kept parsing it as WHO SCRe___, not sure if that "e" would be followed by "wed" or "amed".


-- BON BON means candy in French. Where does it mean a dessert?

-- I thought that the plural of HOPI was HOPI.

-- I know of nobody WHO abbreviates ECOLogy as ECOL. Nobody.

@Z -- Now I know why I used ORIENTATE the other day. It's a Britishism, and working for an inter-governmental organisation, I guess I picked up some of that version of English's habits. I agree that ORIENT suffices when working with a map.

Charles Macintosh 8:22 AM  

In an interview with "TeleStar" magazine in February 1998, Falk tells the story:

"In 1966..., I was walking on 57th Street in New York when it started to rain. I entered a shop and bought a raincoat. When I had to find one for Columbo, I simply took this one."

Dagger of the Mind features Columbo being caught in London rainstorm:
"All the scenes of Columbo sightseeing in London are a joy to behold, as Falk is at his most adorable scampering around with his camera to secure the snaps he’ll want to show Mrs Columbo. But the highlight for me is that scene on the London streets when it’s teeming with rain.

After a dozen episodes in which there appears to be no danger of him ever really needing it, the raincoat finally earns its keep. And if you look closely it actually looks to be pretty good at repelling the rain.

Not only a fun scene, it also has a pay-off as Columbo learns that Joe has lost him umbrella after hanging out with Nick at the pub – and that’s the trigger Columbo needs to really formulate his case against them."

Z 8:25 AM  

@merican - I just wish the Brits would learn to speak English properly.

three of clubs 8:32 AM  

On a related note, I don't know why one must stop at a red light when there is no traffic.

Michiganman 8:33 AM  

What a great morning! It's 2 degrees F in the northern lower peninsula and the sun is up. I worked the puzzle while enjoying coffee, french TOAST, OJ, and a smoky link. Andy, my min. poodle, was curled up next to me. The puzzle itself added much to the pleasantness. I don't look at the title on Sunday. It's distracting. I loved the theme answers and lots of answers made me chuckle or at least smile. Standouts were WETWILLY, INKA, LITTERBOX (not really funny but just that it was in puzzle). New meaning of SOP was interesting. Best comment so far-@JohnX.

QuasiMojo 8:47 AM  

I had quite a time with this one. First Because of yesterday’s conversation about the Chinese Zodiac, I was expecting the Year of the Rat kind of answer. Monkey, Rooster, Dog, etc didn’t fit! So I wrestled with maybe Wombat, Weasel, but nothing worked. Finally it dawned on me. Clue reminded me that Raquel Welch played “Woman of the Year” on Broadway, after Bacall. I also could not shake GROGS instead of HOOKS. Wanted TNOTES. And ASLANT before the odious ASLOPE. RAHS before the unctuous OOHS. Etc. I also thought CACHET might be a pouch hidden in an armoire to hide valuables. I tortured myself like that throughout. “Up the ??” made me chuckle. Wanted wazoo or perhaps something British. Anyone see “Prick Up Your Ears?”

Columbo always wore a wrinkled raincoat as far as I recall. A trench coat has a different design, with a belt and often lapels. Sometimes even large pockets on the front, not slots on the side.

As for the Mini issue, seems weird to me that a clue would have more words than the puzzle itself!

JOHN X 8:53 AM  

I'm still only 20 percent done with this puzzle, due to my being high on legal California pot.

I still haven't read Rex's post or any comments, so as to not give me a hint.

GILL I. 9:07 AM  

So SpongeBob has a pet snail and his name is GARY? Who comes up with these things? Why GARY?
Does Will know what a WILLY is in Brit-speak-over the pond country? Why in the world would you want to stick a WET WILLY in someones ear? I guess if it doesn't work where it's supposed to, you might just try it in someones ear? So, IS ANYBODY HOME?
I actually enjoyed this in a flying in an airplane and I have to keep busy for a while, sort of way, so I'll do the puzzle. You know the type....
I liked all the Questions. Each one brought on a SMIDGE of a smile. I would've like a McDonalds reference to a WHERES THE BEEF instead of PARTY. Remember the commercials of those two little old ladies eating some hamburger and the 90 year old pipes in with the BEEF? Maybe it was Wendys.
Loved seeing CHURROS although I can't stand them (Hi Pablo). The first time I ate them was in Madrid on New Years Eve. You eat them with hot chocolate and if you've been out partying and drinking all night the last thing you want in you stomach is greasy food mixed with sweet sludge. I had such fun in my youth.
I don't think I've ever come across anyone saying HOW IS THAT HANGING ( and it crosses the WET WILLY) but I thought it was cute in a curator way. In one of my lives, I wanted to be a curator.
Nothing sweeter than NEW DADS COOING. And that is a FACT.

Canadian friend 9:21 AM  

French has a prescriptive body, which regulates what is acceptable and what is not. English traditionally has been much more alive. The OED lists examples of "they" for a singular word centuries ago. But this only works in a community that still understands what is being said. Our word "idiot" comes from Greek "idios", "one's own" - an 'idiot' spoke a language that only he or she understood.
Americans have this charming blend of freedom ("the language is always evolving"), innocence ("well, you know what I mean"), and arrogance ("I can do what I want, s***w you"). Add to that the fact that you do in fact have ruthless language police and the mix is not always pleasant.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

As others have said, Rex, your dismissal of the importance of ADA compliance is ignorant and offensive. Given how frequently you chastise others and DEMAND apologies for poorly chosen turns of phrase, I'm sure we'll see a retraction and mea culpa in tomorrow's blog?

thursdaysd 9:26 AM  

Had to wait for this morning to fix the SE corner. Changing gaME to HOME did it, but while bad, I think ASLant is preferable to ASLOPE (who ever says that?), and I am more familiar with atPAR. But still naticked at GLI/GARY, despite running the alphabet. Grrr.

Disliked LITTERBOX, and what on earth is the hideous-sounding WETWILLY? I grew up in England, is this some American playground thing?

I have reached the age when ADA-compliance is becoming important. I just wish businesses would consider people on crutches as well as in wheelchairs when allocating handicapped spaces. And it's amazing how many buildings with big and heavy doors don't have automatic openers.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

@Thursdaysd, me too! This is my only DNF. Ever. I got Natcked by Gli and Gary.

relicofthe60s 9:45 AM  

A trenchcoat is usually double breasted, with epaulets and a belt. Columbo isn’t that stylish. He wears a raincoat, ratty one at that.

kitshef 9:47 AM  

Naticked by GLI/GARY cross (Hi, @Hungry Mother). Actually had a complete and correct puzzle at one point, dithered over that cross for a while, and changed it to IARY/ILI before checking the result. Kid’s show proper name/foreign word cross would have been hard to avoid, though. MARY/MLI would work but introduces the dreaded random Roman numeral.

The whole orient/ORIENTATE thing came up while back. I was going to comment that the latter seems to be more common in the UK, but it was late in the day and at that point everyone was sick of seeing ORIENT over and over in the comments.

WHERE'S THE PARTY feels like an outlier – the others are all pretty common phrases.

The Voice of Realizations Yet to Come 10:01 AM  

@John X, This is your future speaking. Don't communicate using the keyboard or phone for the next hour or so. You'll thank me later.

Teedmn 10:15 AM  

Tough on the random solver today! I had a SMIDGE of traction in the east but the NW quadrant remained a mystery for a long time. The cluing was particularly vague today. Or maybe it was just me - I couldn't come up with CLAMS, PACED, CHURROS, DOOM or AIR BRUSH for far too long. ADA-compliant? (I was considering EEO but 11A had to be either "nave" or APSE).

The EADS Bridge was a total WOE for me. Has everybody heard of the 2nd oldest bridge across the Mississippi? Probably not, but, according to Wikipedia, it's the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis and it's much more beautiful than the link indicates.

I got a chuckle out of LITTER BOX, breakfast-test notwithstanding. WET WILLY, not so much. Columbo's RAINCOAT was a nostalgic memory and I liked the FARM HOUSE next to the field of corn. I thought the "royalty" misdirection on BMI, 109D, was good. And I thought 33D was going to be "The Year of the hOrse" a la yesterday.

As far as the theme goes, I thought it was great. I tried to decide which ones I liked best and really, I liked them all equally, which never happens. Richard, I think you have a lot to CROWE about today! Congratulations on the debut.

Nancy 10:16 AM  

What delightful wordplay! All the puns were different. All were clever. And best of all, they were all surprising. Nothing was telegraphed. My favorites were HOW'S IT HANGING, WHAT'S EATING HIM and ANYBODY HOME. Surround those theme answers with some deceptively clued non-theme answers -- DOOM (39A); THRONE (74D) -- and some nice fill -- CHICHI; POSITED; AIRBRUSH; OEUVRE -- and you've got a puzzle with a chance to STUMP even the most ASTUTE. One of those rarest of Sundays -- a puzzle where I was sorry when it was over. Very entertaining throughout.

Crimson Devil 10:20 AM  

Was hoping for over the top “big/Sunday” puz after excellent/fun Fri and Sat: alas, not to be, at least for moi.

RooMonster 10:22 AM  

Hey All !
Sensitive farmer - HOW NOW BROWN COW

Missing the WHY and WHEN for the cycle. Got a WHO's and a WHOSE, plus a THAT. STUMPed me a bit. Speaking of STUMP, what an odd clue. Plus crossed with the really odd clue for SOPS, well, turned into a DNF. Had SO AS, and BdI for BMI, ended up with STUda (because, why not?)

The Questions as answers to innocuous clues is interesting. Different. Nice puz, overall.

Regards WET WILLY, as a young 'un, it's when you wet your finger with a saliva, and stick it in a friend's ear. Nothing to do with anything further down the body. :-) Seems kinda gross now that I'm an adult. (Notice I didn't say grown-up) Har.


Anonymous 10:29 AM  

Or anyone who teaches in a public school or private college or university, for that matter. Or anyone with a disability themselves or the friend or family member of someone with a disability, especially though not solely a disability requiring alternative or enhanced access. Once again Rex is shockingly siloed.

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

Agree! Got (and smiled at) "What's eating him" and then the rest filled in fairly easily. Made getting fill go much faster, obviously. Loved "litterbox". Didnt know GLI but limos so ok.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

Almost like it was planned as a Copy Editor/Journalism Who What When Where Why How puzzle but "they" couldn't quite make it work.

Had to run the alphabet on Gary/Gli until I got the app music.

Outside The Box 10:47 AM  

Never heard of it. Just another government made alphabet soup (remember that?) concoction.

The LAW is right on the money. The reference is arcane.

David Sinclair 10:51 AM  

Dumb me. My brain insisted that “menace” in 104 across was a noun rather than a verb. I filled in “bearcat” and got stuck. It didn’t help that I’ve never heard “sop” (104 down) used as a negotiation term. Ah well...I guess I leaned something new today.

BarbieBarbie 10:56 AM  

Opposite reaction from @Nancy. Felt like a slog and the themers were not so much aha-chuckles as Oh-OKs. Definitely a good illustration of the humor-wheelhouse. My reaction is colored by DNFing due to not getting any kind of foothold in the Seattle area, which can be depressing.
@Canadianfriend, I never know what it means when a Canadian refers to Americans. Too bad there’s no word for UnitedStatesians. Maybe we should turbo-evolve one.

Aketi 10:57 AM  

@Quasi, I was right there with you going through the Chinese Zodiac animals first.

@GILL I, my son and the restaurant at the ski resort where we stayed have killed CHURROS for me forever. He and his friends stayed in one of the two time share units and they decided to invite my husband and I over for a home cooked dinner. He decided to augment the dinner with dessert by picking up CHURROS as takeout from the restaurant. The CHURROS were as thin as pencils and so rock hard that you couldn’t bite into them. I’ve never seen such tiny CHURROS. Fortunately, he redeemed himself when he picked tiramisu to accompany the next dinner that they cooked for us.

My whole secret fight club is dying over WET WILLY being featured in the puzzle since one of the guys uses them as a threat to get his partners to laugh and lose focus. Thankfully he uses the tame little kid version of the technique as a threat, not the triple EEW version. He also cheats by tickling. Basically he’s a fun loving five year old in an adult’s body (unlike some adults who are stuck in the tantruming two year old phase).

@Rex, clearly you did not watch enough cartoons with your progeny. I still secretly miss watching some of the kid movies and cartoons of my son’s youth. GARY is probably the only snail I can truly love (thanks to @Lewis’ factoid about snails with teeth and my unfortunate experiences trying to keep them alive long enough to cook and eat them in Peace Corps). GARY is one of my favorite Sponge Bob characters.

A guy in Nampa 11:12 AM  

Easy, but not especially clever, in my opinion. About three-quarters of my Sunday average.

Graphics Kat 11:19 AM  

I really don't understand GLI. I looked it up on Google Translate and got nothing. Am I missing something?

@merican in Paris 11:27 AM  

@Teedmn from yesterday -- Thanks for the link to the Chinese zodiac website. I had no idea that there were sub-species of those annual animals. I learned from it that I'm a water snake. Combine that with my occidental zodiac sign, which is Scorpio, and I guess that makes me especially venomous.

@Canadian friend -- Thanks for weighing in. I grew up with the idea that the purpose of most language (apart from intentionally playful or artistic) is communication, so what bothers me most is the increasing selfish attitude of many writers (and speakers), which prioritises their ease of writing or speaking at the expense of the comprehension and time of the reader or listener. As for playful speech, it takes two to tango. I have heard many a colleague complain about people (usually men) in positions of authority who think it cute to respond to serious questions from younger colleagues in a jokey-arrogant way.

@BarbieBarbie -- Well, there's always 'mericans. :-)

@Roo Monster -- I like your proposed clue and answer: HOW NOW BROWN COW! The puzzle could have used more like that.

Graphics Kat 11:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 11:31 AM  


re: "Where's the beef?"

I think this is the commercial that made a star out of Clara Peller. (Well for 15 minutes, anyway).

TomAz 11:31 AM  

@GraphicsKat 11:19a:

GLI is the third person, singular, masculine indirect object pronoun. Analogous to "lui" in French.

RooMonster 11:38 AM  

Speaking of Zodiacal types stuff, late yesterday I posted that I am indeed a Rooster. How apropos. Looking at @Teedmn link, it turns out I'm an Earth Rooster. Delving further, I'm also a Leo, and according to what I read of Rooster-Leo (Leo-Rooster), I'm the total opposite of how I'm supposed to be! It's take charge! Leader! Ambitious! Gets things done!
Well, I will take charge if the situation warrants it, but for the most part, I like to follow someone else. :-) And, I'm a lazy procrastinator!



kitshef 11:47 AM  

@BarbieBarbie - I use "US Americans", which I'm pretty sure I did not make up, when referring to ... well .. US Americans. It seems to be well understood both here and abroad. I got into the habit after hearing a Guatemalan friend rant about being an American, dammit.

@TomAz, @Graphics Kat - while GLI is also a pronoun, in the puzzle it is being used as the article "the" when used before a plural masculine noun that begins with a vowel or a Z or S sound (or, for some reason, before "deis"). Here is a site that explains it pretty well

Leslie 11:47 AM  

I'm sorry to say that this puzzle did not pass the breakfast test with me. I was fine until I got to "How's it hanging?" and "wet Willie," two phallic-centric answers that grossed me out. Constructors and editors should take a quick look at urban dictionaries if an unusual clue comes up. Ewwwwww. Then there's to a man, just to finish it off. Year of the woman doesn't make amends. Still, I thought the theme was more fun than Rex did. Also What is GLI?

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

GLI also means "the" when applied to a (masculine?) noun that begins with a vowel.

The snag is that for most nouns the plural for "the" is "I" as in the opera "I Puritani."

It looks like the correct word for "the" can be il, lo, l', la, gli, i, or le, depending on the noun that follows. Ugh.

QuasiMojo 11:56 AM  

There used to be a band in Italy “Gli Opera” which means The Works. Per a little googling... Gli is used when the word following is masculine and begins with a vowel as in Opera. Or begins with a Z. Or sometimes an S if the s is followed by a consonant. Gli specchi.

Graphics Kat 11:57 AM  

@TomAz 11:31am and @kitshef 11:47am:

Thank you! I *thought* I was a fairly decent grammarian, but that one really had me stumped.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

I laughed out loud as "litterbox." As for the singular "they"? I'm no grammarian, but this usage makes me CRAZY. I'm sorry, but "they" is a plural pronoun, now and forever. I also detest "u" for "you." Call me a "pronounist" if you will...we really need to come up with some new words for transgender people, imho.

QuasiMojo 12:03 PM  

Oops... And if it is plural.

Dennis Doubleday 12:08 PM  

Nothing wrong with THEY as a singular, if you don't mind sounding like a Jed Clampett: "They was good yesterday, but they wasn't bad the day before that, either."

Nancy 12:11 PM  

Of course, you haven't ever heard anyone say HOW IS THAT HANGING, @GILL. Neither have I, since that's not the phrase -- either in real life or in the puzzle. But HOW'S IT HANGING? -- now there's a phrase I've heard often. It's always, for an obvious reason you alluded to yourself, said by men to each other -- never by a man to a woman, or by a woman to anyone at all, even a man.

Speaking of women, @Quasi and @Aketi, Year of the WOMAN flew right by me too, since, like you, I was looking for a Chinese zodiac animal from yesterday. Never thought of WOMBAT, though.

I forgot that I Naticked on GARY/GLI. I still don't understand the clue for GLI. "Him, in Milan", yes. Or maybe a [masc] "It, in Milan." But the clue in my paper says" "THE, in Milan." Can someone who speaks Italian provide a really good example -- i.e. a sentence in Italian followed by the English translation? Thanks.

"Where's the beef". One of the funniest commercials of all time. Right up there with Alka Seltzer's "spicy meatball."

Dennis Doubleday 12:12 PM  

Nothing wrong with "As a son" and "To a man". I got those immediately, and I appreciated the symmetry.

Z 12:18 PM  

More than a little familiar with ADA compliant (being an administrator in a school district where most of our 30+ buildings were constructed between 1920 and 1960 means the issue came up a lot), but I’m hardly surprised that there are people unfamiliar with the term. This is exactly the reason excessive PPP is unfair in my opinion, ADA is more important than GARY the snail, but it is still a matter of if you know it, great, if you don’t how is GARY more inferable than mARY or lARY or cARY or even hARY or tARY (since it’s a cartoon). Likewise, if you don’t know that insuring buildings are compliant with the ADA is a big deal how are you supposed to infer it. FDA compliant, is that a thing? Is CDC compliant a thing? TSA compliant? My first thought was non-compliant. Me, I just can’t get upset about what people don’t know.

@Canadian friend - Isn’t it France, not “ French,” that has the prescriptive body? Québécois is to “French” like what I speak is to British English, so I don’t think the French language scolds are any more effective than the English language scolds. Heck, we can’t even agree on when a trench coat is a trench coat (I see you, wishy-washy “usually” modifier) and when it’s a RAINCOAT. The whole notion that some sort of ruling body can prescribe language is laughable in a whole 1984 scary sort of way. Personally, I like that I can differentiate between the animal, oxen, and the people, oxes, and at least one person in the world will know what I mean.

Tita 12:27 PM  

And just HOWSITHANGING in and of itself meeting the Gray Lady's own sense of decorum? I mean, they DO know what the "IT" is, don't they? I think I'll go clean out the LITTERBOX now - it's been 2 days...!!

@Aketi - hand up for wondering if there is a Year of the Whale...

I found this really hard. Lots of very vague questions, and no really consistency across the theme to help. Or maybe I'm just rusty.

Here's ORIENTATE again. In Portuguese, being "desnorteado", or "without north", can be worst than "desorientado". I suppose that comes from the age of exploration, where knowing where the North Star was meant being able to find your way to the Orient.

@'mericans - I balked at BON too - it's a candy - not a dessert...

K of COACHK was last letter in the grid. OleS and wondering what chinese animal left that section a mess...WOMAN, followed by alphabet-run gave me HOOK.

Not the most memorable Sunday solve.

Z 12:27 PM  

They as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary with a useful Usage Note.

TubaDon 12:34 PM  

Started in the NW and managed to fill in answers continguously clockwise areound the edges, but got stuck in the center. Happily filled in ADA thinking it was approval of a toothpaste. ORIENTATE is a word I hate (why do people add the final ATE?) yet it keeps turning up in crosswords. Spent a lot of time trying to think of Chinese animal years before settling on WOMAN. Final letter was the G in GLI since I guessed a pet snail would be more likely to be GARY than MARY or CARY. Whew!

Karl Grouch 12:35 PM  

When noun starts with vowel or s+consonant, normal plural "i" becomes "gli".

Betty Jones 12:41 PM  

I challenge the claim that he tried to find joy in a puzzle by a middle aged white guy he’s not friends with. He was looking for any excuse to hate it and he found a few.

Karl Grouch 12:43 PM  

There is in Espanish: Estadunidense

Heather 12:53 PM  

Also grossed out by WET WILLY, both the clue and the double entendre (intended or not) of the answer, which I had never heard of.

I've always thought "How's it hanging?" sounds vulgar. ....googling.... yep. It is exactly what it sounds like.

Adam 12:53 PM  

I loved the theme, and particularly enjoyed "WHAT'S EATING HIM" as the answer for Parasitologist. Never, ever heard of GLI, but I thought it was crossed fairly (I'm 54 and have watched SpongeBob only intermittently at best, but I still got this, although at first I thought it might be CARL).

Had the W to start Year of the _____ (2018) and wanted WOMBAT, although (a) it didn't fit, and (b) I'm pretty sure the animals represented in Eastern years don't include wombats, so I left it blank until I had filled in more crosses.

I had thought "toffee-nosed" was akin to "brown-nose"; couldn't understand why SNOOTS worked, but there you go.

Overall I enjoyed this, and particularly the theme, way more than @Rex did. Yeah, so "responsibility" didn't exactly work for all of them - so what? I was amused. Perhaps that's a low bar, but still.

Stanley Hudson 12:59 PM  

@Anonymous 10:29, well stated.

SJ Austin 1:06 PM  

Surprised you don't know ADA COMPLIANT, given that you do generally (and genuinely) seem to care about things that matter to marginalized populations. Relatedly, check out what's going on with the Disability Integration Act, which hopes to make a federal law requiring both public and private insurances that cover any kind of long term care to give equal coverage to home and community support services.

Sweetie 1:10 PM  

WTF? I have candy for dessert frequently.

Dick 1:13 PM  

@Leslie, I am 70(ish) and am familiar with the wet finger in the ear WETWILLY but did not know of an X rated meaning. Sometimes the clue is just a clue and not meant to offend. Same with HOWSITHANGING. Men say it and I assure you they are not picturing, or really asking about, the position of someone's penis. As an expression it is pretty much de-sexed.

Suzie Q 1:16 PM  

No need to gnash your teeth or gnarl at this silly Sunday puzzle.
My favorite was What's eating him? Hilarious.
For the maternity room nurse I was hoping for Who's your daddy?
Wet willy cracked me up.
Too much to like so why pick it to pieces? I had fun.

nyc_lo 1:23 PM  

Super Natick-y, but completed without incident. Enjoyed the themers, especially HOWSITHANGING, as a former museum worker. And bonus points for WET WILLY. Silliness on a Sunday is a welcome thing.

old timer 1:38 PM  

I thought OFL had some good criticisms today, to go with his usual instances of ignorance. GLI was tough, but my limited knowledge of Italian ended up saving the day. I liked the themers, especially WHOSCRYING NOW. Brought back memories of the birth of my oldest child, when the custom was to put all the babies on display where the dads and other visitors could see them, bringing them to their mamas only on a predetermined schedule. The main OB nurse did love the babies, though -- I could tell she had landed her dream job.

I've got a CHURROS story for you. In the summer of 1966, my best friend and I went slowly around France and Spain in a VW bug I had bought earlier in the year. One night we camped out in a forest in the mountains north of Madrid. When we drove into a little village the next morning, I proposed CHURROS for breakfast. My friend was amazed that in so tiny a place I only had to ask, "Donde esta' la churreria?" to be directed to the local churro maker, who was up and doing business before 7 in the morning. But I knew the churro was the universal morning treat throughout Spain, and was confident that if a village had two cafes, it would have a churro maker. We took them to one of those cafes, and enjoyed them with cups of chocolate.

GILL I. 1:40 PM  

@Nancy...I would LOVE to say HOW'S IT HANGING to a man and would go a step further and tell him he might get one of those WET WILLY's unless he cooperates.
@JC66. That's the one! Isn't she the cutest? Maybe Clara knows Willy?

Masked and Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Theme is sorta cute, but it ain't got no WHEN or WHY themers. Seems like a clear openin for extra themeral affairs. But … M&A's fave extra themer suggestion, after mullin it over for several intense nanoseconds, would be this one ...

118. Crossword solvers of 51-Across *

Anyhooo …
staff weeject pick: 51-Across.

fave fillins: NEWDADS [Rhymes with DOODADS]. COACHK. ABOUNDINHUMAN [The two INanswers oughta be combined thusly, and clued as {New dad every friggin month??} ].

Solvequest trouble brewin caldron: MAHRES/CHURROS. Lost precious nanoseconds.

Fairly wide-open-lookin puzgrid. Desperation should surely ensue. (yo, ASLOPE, ASASON & ORIENTATE.
INKA seems ok, tho; seems kinda nostalgic and funny.)

Thanx and congratz on yer debut, Mr. Crowe. A debut SunPuz, tho? Sheeesh! Better construct a few daily NYTPuzs now, until U get yer nerve back.

Masked & Anonymo5Us



sixtyni yogini 1:51 PM  

What Rex said.
Clever sometimes. Boring mostly.

madsymo 1:51 PM  

"Where's the beef?" was Wendy's.

Anonymous 2:07 PM  

The theme answers are not puns as was suggested.

Unknown 2:14 PM  

How can someone named @Dick be so unaware of the alternate meaning of WETWILLY?
Not to mention thinking that when a guy gets another guy with that phrase, that theirth not both thinking about their dicks?
If not, then why wouldn't a guy greet a girl that way?

Sorry if I seem obsessed, but you might remember my first job was at Wang Labs... There is no way to reference a penis that I haven't heard!

MassLurker 2:35 PM  

It is vulgar. But we’re grownups; is an allusion to an off-color image more than we can handle?

Jimmy Hall 2:44 PM  

Wet Willie is a Southern rock band. They are best known for their hit "Keep On Smilin'." Their Street Corner Serenade is terrific

Anonymous 2:59 PM  

Slog for me. The whole thing was counterintuitive. I don't know if it was "objectively" tough or just one of those when you're not on the same wavelength as the constructor.

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

I don't get the DOOM clue? How does Make toast? make sense with DOOM?

TAB2TAB 3:02 PM  

Having grown up with the more innocent moistened-finger-in-ear version of 'wet willy', and having received (and delivered) a few when I was a youngster, the "adult" version seems more like made up green paint than a true alternate meaning.

On the other hand, never in my life have my ears had exposure to the phrase "to a man". Do people still say this in everyday language? Seems like this could be a candidate for offensive language and perhaps we could update it to "to a them"? :)

Crimson Devil 3:17 PM  

Not too enamored of this, but only sense I could make is consider Doom a verb, as in condemn someone to sad fate, or render him/her/them (?) toast.

Brums 3:25 PM  

Rex, no par regarding a stock is a phrase to mean the stock has no value, usually written as $.01 on a stock certificate. “Going par” means a stock’s value just hit $100. It’s gibberish that probably comes from bonds maturing at $100.

Anonymous 3:30 PM  

Thanks very much for an enjoyable puzzle Mr. Crowe.

brian 3:31 PM  

As usual, Rex, I appreciate your commentary. I came here for EEW and stayed for your litany of grievances with the SE corner.

I'm not good at crosswords, so I often wonder if I'm missing out on some in jokes or clues. This puzzle did nothing to assuage my fears.

Stale PPP is a major grief for me. I ha to Google MAHRES and ARKIN and had to check ORO and SOPS.

Nonsense words are a pox on puzes. I have never seen "eww" written "EEW." I never would have gotten GLI without looking it up.

BTW, to your critique of the NYT cluing for "THEY:" not only do grammarians not care, they'd inform you that "THEY" has been an acceptable impersonal pronoun for centuries.

brian 3:32 PM  

I've heard "to a soul," but not (often) "to a man."

Johncape 3:41 PM  

I had “Who’s Your Daddy” for maternity ward nurse. It cracked me up when I filled it in and then the joke was on me when I discovered it was wrong! I liked my answer better!

Unknown 3:41 PM  

You’re better off using wiktionary for a lone word. As a rule.

Nancy 3:51 PM  

I don't claim to be an expert on what men are thinking about when they greet each other (or even when they're not greeting each other, lol), but many different men have said HOW'S IT HANGING to each other right in front of me and right in front of other women. And there's no self-consciousness on their part at all. Nor, for that matter, on ours. They say it as casually as they would say "How's it goin'?" So whatever male commenter here said that the phrase has become "de-sexed", I'm thinking he's probably right. I imagine that many phrases born from sexual innuendo have gone into the language without anyone even knowing their derivation. I wonder if you can Google that? All the common phrases that have an original sexual meaning? Maybe I'll try. I've had all the outdoor exercise I can stand in this biting wind. Heaven knows I don't care if the Rams beat the Saints or vice versa. And, because I didn't spring for The Tennis Channel, I have to wait till 9 p.m. for the Australian Open on ESPN.

Marie Kondo 3:55 PM  

Puzzle gave joy . No joy from review.

Escalator 4:07 PM  

If you accept the theme for what it is, the gluing and answers were very clever. This played easy for me. Did not have to look at any of the theme clues as they got filled in by the crosses.

Hartley70 4:10 PM  

I really liked this puzzle and thought the difficulty and humor were a cut above the usual. I’m not the least offended by WETWILLY since it was around when I was a kid and most phrases were understood in a gentler context than today. A little moist ear tickle was no big deal. HOWSITHANGING gets the same response from me. It’s a 60’s thing. I have to save my outrage for the news each day or I’ll stroke out.

As did many, I had to run the alphabet to get the blank before LI to get GLI. Who knew such a trio existed?

Anonymous 4:23 PM  

Shouldn't there be a running tally of transgender and people of color alongside the binary constructor count you have posted?

Carola 5:27 PM  

Medium here, mainly due to some opaque-to-me cluing. I thought it was a solid Sunday theme, with WHAT'S EATING HIM? my favorite.

While I was surprised @Rex wasn't familiar with the ADA, I wasn't surprised to read here that the phrase ADA-compliant isn't on everyone's lips. As a wheel chair user, though, it often is on mine. As it was the other day, when faced with an imposing flight of marble steps up to a museum entrance - I said to my husband, "Well, they have to be ADA-compliant, so...." Sure enough, a moment later we spotted the ramp.

Brother Campion Lally 5:46 PM  

The theme questions are the responsibility of the persons named in the clues to answer.

Preferred Customer 6:54 PM  

@mericans I have heard native New Yorkers useuse orientate.

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

Never mind Rex's ignorance, 2018 is very widely called The Year of the Woman in recognition of how many women were elected to Congress (and other offices) in the November elections.

jberg 6:59 PM  

I'm getting here very late; spent most of the day trying to soften up the ice on our steps so we could go out without falling down (and this after getting out there at 6:30 and clearing all the snow that had fallen by that time), and other tasks -- then came home and finished up the puzzle. I loved the theme answers, but was blocked for a while by thinking of this song at 62A. Unfortunately for me, which has the same number of letters as WHOSE.

I've been distracted from work over the last two days as I first used my Delta miles to book round-trip travel to Italy, then found a place to spend 5 nights on the Amalfi coast. This will be our second trip; my wife forced me to take some Italian lessons with her before our first, so I knew GLI was an article, but still needed _LI before it occurred to me. (@Nancy, several people explained it already, so go back and look for them. Basically, the word has two meanings, one a pronoun, the other a plural article.)

@quasi, @aketi, and many others, I had the same problem with "Year of..." including trying to think if wombat, wolf, or weasel would fit. Fun fact: in the land of 90D, where they pride themselves on the (not quite true) belief that every single element of their culture is adapted from someplace else but improved in the process, they pay very little attention to the actual Chinese New Year, but love to dress up as the Chinese New Year animal on January 1.

I am sorry that we are now running spoilers for mini-puzzles, but since we are: those of you insisting that THEY is and always will be plural need to explain why you aren't saying the same thing about "you."

Andy 7:53 PM  

Anyone who thinks Columbo wore a raincoat and not a trenchcoat has no business writing or editing a crossword puzzle. Geez!

JOHN X 7:58 PM  

Ha ha finished it!

Anonymous 8:41 PM  

You consider it sub-par puzzle. You imply that they discriminate against women constructors. You hate the editor. You continue to review it. Do us all a favor. Critique another puzzle. You’re not helping.

Banana Diaquiri 10:05 PM  

Anyone who thinks Columbo wore a raincoat and not a trenchcoat has no business writing or editing a crossword puzzle. Geez!



Mark 11:18 PM  

Agreed. Is this a regional thing? Living in California (and not being an aforementioned builder, teacher, etc.) this is still a very familiar term.

Anonymous 11:30 PM  

Correlation does not imply causation. The fact that 95% of the 2019 NYT constructors are men is interesting. What percentage of the puzzles submitted were from men ? I know Will Shortz. He would never discriminate against someone based on their gender. C’mon people. Don’t let haters like Sharp influence the puzzle.

Swagomatic 12:19 AM  

Columbo wears a raincoat, it's kind of a signature.

Anonymous 12:44 AM  

Yeah, was either grossed out by how's it hanging or relieved it wasn't as vulgar as I thought. Definitely grossed out by wet willy. Actually really enjoyed the theme - thought it was clever and it helped. Enjoyed the solve generally, but someone please help on why SYN is the right answer for Destiny and fate, e.g.

Anonymous 12:46 AM  

Oh, and with you on the THEY clue in the mini. Kuddos to the Times for changing it. The grammarians comment was anachronistic by the lights of articles which have appeared on the Times' own pages. But, as between having discussion on it, and not having discussion on it, I'm pleased with the discussion and progress. I once hated it, but have come around to understanding it as clever and right and even in keeping with longstanding grammatical conventions in many ways.

EricStratton 6:49 AM  

Synonyms, Kid.

Caz 4:23 PM  

I just saw that episode!

Enjoyable Sunday puzzle.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

Hi rex- been awhile' your takedown of this goofy puzzle was spot on from the ringo/starr which of course I wrote Ringo first!39a got me too as I was stumped by 39D and I had which not whose for 63 a and that really balled up the works. 108 a does not fit w/ the rest of the theme at all ditto for 23a. all the others were thw who what where etc, I had say I for 80d and I knew it couldn't be right because I came to the answer of 80a pretty quick . but I didn't know thw song for 86aat first I had fathers for 15d and that messed me up until I realized new dads worked w/ the crosses. Anyway, up here in Whitesboro ny we got buried last weekend and now its rain and some places have flooding. I am up on a plateau so the neighborhood doesn't have that issue. anyway, I actually got most of this weird puzzle,

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

one more thing _ thought it was ADA- dental too!

AnonymousPVX 1:45 PM  

The GLI/GARY spot got me.

Burma Shave 2:12 PM  


YOU can SAY,"NO,
WHO YOU banging?",

but not TOA WOMAN
and don't SNARLAT her,


spacecraft 2:12 PM  

I was surprised to see no rant about HOWSITHANGING in the @Rexblog. We're not talking about your painting! This, plus WETWILLY, BORAT and LITTERBOX, make doing this apart from meals a must.

Okay, so two four-letter chapel areas. ___-compliant? Why, NON-, of course, ergo NAVE. [cue trombones] Wah wah wah waaaaah. This was perhaps the misdirect prize winner of the year. I was soo sure...

Also had ASLant before ASLOPE, two of those a-words that people never use.

Somebody please explain how "Make toast?" = DOOM. Why not clue it "Nickname of Tom Cruise's cue"?

In general, an OK theme with less-than-OK fill. The real outlier is GLI. That's an article in Italian? If you say so. I was convinced I'd messed up thereabouts, but could find no alternative, so I left it. GLI indeed.

No real difficulty, so not that many triumph points. DOD WOMAN to SHAG (sorry) is CATE Blanchett. But she'd SAYNO. Bogey.

rondo 2:48 PM  

I, too, was surprised about no rant on HOWSITHANGING. Also surprised at OFL's lack of knowledge about being ADA-compliant. More evidence that he needs to get out into the real world more often.

Even more obvious than ADA features in buildings are those pedestrian curb ramps you see at every street corner. Not only sloped for wheel-chairs, but those plates with truncated domes near the gutter line are tactile to a blind person's cane, so *THEY*, can tell where the driving surface begins. Yep, required because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Common as hell.

1d CHICHI shoulda been golfer Rodriguez. Ask Les Nessman.

ITSADEAL, CHER for yeah baby today. What a WOMAN.

The art one was the only one I got right away. Thought the football one was funniest. Not bad, NOLIE.

rainforest 3:00 PM  

@Spacey - think of DOOM as a verb.

Liked this puzzle. In fact I emitted a chuckle upon getting the first two themers. Looks like this puzzle is the entirety of Mr. Crowe's OEUVRE (at least in the NYT) and if so, I think he shows promise, except for maybe foreign language articles. I did get it, though.

Yes, Colombo wore a RAINCOAT. "Oh, just one more thing, sir"...

Crafting new themes is becoming increasingly difficult, so this constructor must be lauded for something completely different. Overall I thought the fill was just fine for the big guy. Nice clues, too.

Diana, LIW 3:37 PM  

Enjoyed the themers, but wasn't always in "tune" with the rest of the puz. Just a tad more "male oriented" than my wheelhouse. That's just me, tho. But it made a Sunday more sloggy than usual, for me.

Diana, LIW

Diana, LIW 6:08 PM  

I was in a rush earlier, and forgot to mention - a moistened finger in another's ear? That must be the oddest thing I've ever, ever heard of in a crossword - or anywhere beyond First Grade.

And, also, Mr. W always cleans out and scoops the LITTERBOX. This allows him to opt out of many, many other household chores.

Lady Di

Diana, LIW 6:10 PM  

Also.......when I was studying ASL, our teachers discussed the ADA frequently - quite enlightening.

Signed, Diana

John E in Seattle 3:37 PM  

C'mon, this term has been around for more than a quarter century. Not obscure at all.

ryan gray 3:14 PM  

The missing tilde in años makes it anuses in Spanish. As in Happy New Anus (Feliz Ano Nuevo)! Ha!

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