Call to the hounds / WED 2-6-19 / Port up the lake from Cleveland O / Bygone Pan Am rival / Contribution of Gilbert but not Sullivan

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Constructor: Queena Mewers and Alex Eaton-Salners

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (not sure of my time 'cause I got suckered into reading the stupid Note, so the clock was running while I was trying to understand what the hell it meant) (actual solving time probably in the high 3s?)


THEME: English / Spanish — Downs and Acrosses that share a first letter have an English word in the Across and the same word in Spanish in the Down (apparently in the paper the clues are all printed in one giant list (???). I don't see the point, but OK)

Theme answers:
  • SUN / SOL
  • MOTHER / MADRE
  • FIRE / FUEGO
  • HELLO / HOLA
  • CITY / CIUDAD
  • NIGHT / NOCHE
  • EAST / ESTE
  • ENGLISH / ESPANOL :( 
Word of the Day: DIP DYE (59A: Hair-coloring technique) —
Dip dye (also known as "tip dyeing") is a hair coloring style that involves dipping the ends of the hair into dye. The dye used can be either a naturally colored dye or a bright colored dye, the latter being the more popular choice.
The method has become increasingly popular as a result of social media and its usage by celebrities. Dip dye originates from the process of tie dyeing clothing (especially T-shirts). (wikipedia)
• • •

Lots of problems with this one, but the biggest problem is: Who cares? I don't understand the point. English in the Across, Spanish in the Down. So what? Random words, many of them actually just solid crosswordese (ESTE!? Why would anyone be glad to see that?). I sincerely don't understand how this puzzle could be pleasurable beyond the generally pleasurable feeling you have when you get the idea and the puzzle is doable. HALLOO? (11D: Call to the hounds) Terrible. I NEED A NAP!?!?! Yeah, well I ATE TWO COOKIES, but you don't see me putting that in a grid. Yikes. This puzzle's whole raison d'être is beyond me. You just do technically odd stuff ... just to do it? That's not constructing, that's noodling. ERIEPA, lol, no no no. I am not an ADORER of that answer. DIYER hurts my soul. And does a DIYER really "practice self-help"?? (52D: One practicing self-help, informally). Bizarre contention, or bizarre phrasing, at any rate. ALTEORI?!? The very existence of this puzzle is baffling. Perhaps the most irksome part of the puzzle, given how Spanish-centric it is, is its total middle-finger disregard for the importance of the tilde. ESPANOL? In a puzzle that is *about* Spanish, you're gonna go with non-tilde'd ESPANOL? ESPANOL? When I Google it, Google asks me "Did you mean ESPAÑOL"? I wish I did, Google. I wish I did. Again, I refer you to the aforementioned adjective "baffling." I also didn't appreciate the cheapness of the clue on NIGHT (54A: Prime-time time), which I initially had as EIGHT, of course. NIGHT is dreadfully non-specific and only there to trip you up. If you're gonna try to kneecap solvers, your actual answer (the correct answer) better be spot on. NIGHT ... is not.


My theme Downs all said [see notepad] so that was slightly confusing, but eventually I figured out that SUN was not crossed by SET or SON (?) but by the Spanish word for "SUN": SOL. After that, all themers were easy and boring, and since the fill was wobbly and weak in many places, there just wasn't much joy to be had. Had trouble with HALLOO (because what the *&$^?), and then later with NIGHT (as I said above), and then finally, in that SW corner, with a number of answers. Never heard of DIPDYE, and had TEACUP before TEAPOT (47D: It might be left holding the bag). DIYER also gave me some trouble (because dear lord look at it, it's a monstrosity). Still not over the un-tilde'd ESPANOL. Puzzles routinely disregard the tilde, but *this* one ... really shouldn't have. It's a glaring omission. Now *I* NEED A NAP. Good night.

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

PS With half a woman constructor today, the 2019 count of women constructors is up to .... 4! (out of 37)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

139 comments:

Anonymous 12:07 AM  

Don't forget about 'RATATAT' which sounds, if I'm honest, not like a rap sound but like a Pokemon having a stroke

Jeff Eddings 12:15 AM  

Like the idea, I think it's clever to mix two languages, but agree that the execution left something to be desired. Seems to much of a gimme to do the first letters. MOTHER / MADRE, HELLO / HOLA, etc all have similar roots, so duh they would match up. And I just wish there was more *something* to it. Un poco mas FUEGO, por favor!

TomAz 12:17 AM  

I dunno, maybe it's me. But on a night when our Cretin-in-Chief is gabbling on about building a wall, the intersection of English and Spanish words was an astute, subtle, necessary statement. Heartwarming, even. The absence of the tilde on ESPANOL didn't bother me in the least; my keyboard doesn't have a way to put one in easily. It worked just fine, and bitching about it is just silly, Rex.

Yeah, HALLOO was kinda weird, and DIYER kinda dumb, but so what? I NEED A NAP is a thing people say. Maybe Rex doesn't say it, but I do. It dropped in just on the P. ERIEPA, less than elegant but not fatal.

I think this puzzle was fine. Rex's review was not fine.

Harryp 12:27 AM  

The hardest section for me was the GOTYE, TEEN, NANA cross. I wanted something like Tally Ho, for 11 Down, but altogether it was doable, and a little tougher than most Wednesdays. OK.

Pete 12:37 AM  

I finished with tIPDYE in the puzzle, was 95% the lack of Mr happy pencil was at the t, and I didn't care

puzzlehoarder 12:46 AM  

An easy boring theme in an easy boring puzzle.

Larry Gilstrap 1:40 AM  

My early days of solving forced me to learn some crosswordese, or stuff that appeared as fill, but not in the real world. HELLO to AVERS, which could also could have been AVOWS, depending upon wind direction. Fond memories of the days before each year featured 500 new TV shows as fodder for fill.

The tilde expired horse gets beaten again? Shouldn't we be building bridges not walls between the two languages? Asking for an amigo. How about those phantom apostrophes that clutter the King's/Queen's ENGLISH?; I'm looking at you ISN'T, DOESN'T, WASN'T, etc.

Wow! A drinking game where the penalty is a SHOT of liquor: formula for disaster. Truth be told, I regularly enjoy an adult beverage, but does anybody really drink to get drunk? Rhetorical question, based upon observation. I gave that up years ago. Something about Quinn's Mill somewhere in the South and a sassy server. Sadder and wiser after that encounter.

I'm not good at much, but give me a TELESCOPE and a spectacular night sky,or a spotting scope and an interesting bird and I amaze even myself.

Mike in Mountain View 1:49 AM  

Mi gusto es crucigrama.

I loved the theme idea and enjoyed the puzzle, even if I did fall into the same eIGHT/NIGHT trap as OFL. This was one of the most creative, ambitious ideas for a puzzle we've seen in months.

Not bad for a NYT debut for one of the constructors.

Also, thank you to Rex for John Prine. If you've never heard it, and even if you have, do yourself a favor and listen to "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore." Written during the Vietnam War and unfortunately still relevant today.

Anonymous 1:54 AM  

Weirdly liked this one. I feel like it was meant to be a Thursday, but it ended up being too easy and got published on a Wednesday.

Graham 2:10 AM  

You didn’t even call out the HELLO/HALLOO near-repetition. I was certain I’d see that here.

Mark Tebeau 2:28 AM  

Liked the ESPAÑOL. Simple as that. I've been doing crosswords off and on for many years. I've not seen it before, so there's that.

chefwen 2:41 AM  

This was a lot of fun, but I think I would have enjoyed it more without “the note” that made it a little too easy. Of course, without the note I would have complained that it was too difficult. Just no pleasin’ some people.

Our house and animal sitter arrived tonight with her new boyfriend who had blue dyed ends on his black hair and I got to ask him if he DIP DYED it. Never heard that terminology before and was curious, he said no, tomorrow I’ll find out his process.

chris b 2:53 AM  

yeah, the fill is fairly blah and the cluing rather pedestrian but the theme is a fun change of pace. i liked it.

also, love the John Prine; an American treasure!

jae 2:59 AM  

Easy. Cute but the fill suffers...ADORER, UPI, ORI, REL, OCS...

That said, liked it a tad more than @Rex did.

Loren Muse Smith 3:08 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc 3:09 AM  

Don;t get the ran for no tilde on Espanol (which would have forced one on KNOCKOUT). For fun, I went back and tried to put one in (ALT + 0209) but it did not work. Like complaining about standard answers like CREME not having an accent or standard clue "Rock band with umlaut Motley ____" not having the actual umlaut in the answer (CRUE).

Puzzle itself was fine for me...had EIGHT for Prime-time time at first, which gave me EOCHE down, which thought the answer was German (whatever), which, before getting ESPANOL, thought multiple languages were involved (also had BIGGEST for LARGEST, ASSIST for DEALIN, EMO for ORE, adding to my confusion). Had SAS for TWA, embarrassing because TWA is always the answer and I was a TWA brat for 25 years. Sorry, dad.

@merican in Paris 4:16 AM  

¡MADRE mia! what a KNOCKOUT puzzle. I looked first at the clue to 1 across, and thought: no, it can't possibly be that simple. But then I looked at 1 down and says to myself, says I, "Let's have a look under that information button." Ah. Yes, it took some precious nanoseconds to read it, but what's worth more, a nice challenge or a slightly faster solve time? (Oh, and good point on the note, @chefwen.)

I'm 100% in the campo with @TomAz, @MarkTebeau, and @LMS. Just look at the grid. It's symmetrical along the SW-NE axis. Clean, and wide-open. Gorgeous! Of course there will be a bit of dreck, like HALLOO. (What puzzle doesn't have some?) But then there's ARSE.

And all throughout, I kept thinking, @GILL is going to love it! (I hope I'm right.) I never studied Spanish -- all we had were some "lessons" broadcast for five minutes over the intercom each day, or perhaps once a week, in 4th grade -- but all the puzzle's answers in ESPAÑOL were words any citizen of the USA should know. Now try to fit pairs of ENGLISH and ESPAÑOL words within that grid that are familiar. Unlike some puzzles, for which the feat of construction becomes apparent only after @Rex or somebody else points it out, this one's cleverness was evident from the get-go.

Hey, @GILL, happy belated birthday! I've never bungee-jumped. Perhaps some day when I'm 90. But I have made 100 parachute jumps. When I started, all there was to ensure my safety was a static line -- a cord firmly (one hoped) attached to the jump plane and the other to the pin holding your parachute bag closed. Today, beginners are tethered to an experienced instructor, and all they have to do is close their eyes and think of Spain. Oh, and unlike a bungee cord, there is a reserve (back-up) parachute in the event that the first one fails. Don't wait until your 80th birthday to try it.

Finally, since it is Canadian Maple Syrup Day (thanks @LMS), here is a true story. I retired recently from an inter-governmental organization once LED by a former Canadian politician who loved his maple syrup, and would give little bottles of it away to honored guests. I gather his supplies were sent in care packages from Ottawa. Then one day the following memo (dated 6 March 1996 -- yes, I kept it) was sent to all staff:

If your mail is a bit sticky today, it is because someone ordered Maple Syrup and had it delivered to the office. Unfortunately, the container broke in transport and spilled on some of the other mail. The mail room cleaned things up as much as possible and is sorry for any inconvenience.

Don'tcha like that anonymous "someone"?

The Scarlet Rag 4:33 AM  

No comment on ARSE? Given sensitivity to ICE etc I would have thought something would be said. As a native English speaker rather than American I believe ARSE is offensive and vulgar. Yes it has the er broader meaning of bottom but only offensively. Specifically ARSE refers to rectum and mostly it means something like butthole. Not for family puzzles maybe?

Loren Muse Smith 4:52 AM  

Aw c’mon, Rex – this was fresh, different. I got a kick out of it, especially the reveal, and especially after I beat back my panic at the intimidating note.

“…but the biggest problem is: Who cares?” Heck – you could make that argument about a ton of puzzle gimmicks. Who cares that GRUDGE MATCH has a hidden gem? That PUBLIC OPINION has an undercover cop? That PRINCESS GRACE and PEANUT GALLERY are both PG 13’S? (I’ll tell you who doesn’t care – anyone in my life who is not part of this blog. “Comment made while yawning” – my husband asking perfunctorily How was the puzzle today?

I care because the harmless little puzzle diversion delivers me briefly from a world of witch-hunts (and possible strikes) and deposits me in a world of Language, a world that is my security blanket happy place.

Another comment made while yawning: Oh yeah? Please do tell me about your latest visit to your doctor and how you’re tweaking your thyroid medication. That’s the only reason I called you. I’m. All. Ears.

@TomAz – I know, right? I could not disagree more about I NEED A NAP. This is firmly an in-the-language phrase in my book. One of my favorite entries today. And I’ll second your appreciation for the John Prine song. That guy. I knew it was a good sign when my then boyfriend husband put on that very song the first time I was at his house. My favorite mondegreen is a Prine song: It’s a half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown.

@Larry, I was already gobbling up your post (as is my wont) - terrific from start to finish – and then you threw in Quinn’s Mill. What a peach.

@Mike in Mountain View – where ya been, man? Missed you.

I’ve tried and tried to get all upset over the tilde-less issue, but I just can’t find any outrage.

The Darling dog NANA was a newfie – the supreme dog of the universe. If dictionaries had pictures instead of words, the word wondrous would be represented by a Newfoundland.

OCT is the month for World Smile Day? Hah. I just checked, and today, Feb 6, is both Lame Duck Day and Canadian Maple Syrup Day. We missed World Nutella Day yesterday, but that stuff just doesn’t do it for me, so no biggie.

I kept going back and noticing NIBBLERS crossing LARGE. From time to time I decide to become a nibbling dainty eater, to stop being a shoveling barnyard eater, because you read all the time that eating slowly can help with weight maintenance. Plus, I want to appear classy. But the “fat” connotation for LARGE is, for me, is fairly weak, though, so I was moving on ‘til I was transported back to the two or three times in Japan that someone said to me 体大きいね!? You have a LARGE body, don’t you!? Now. Listen. There’s a specific way in Japanese to say someone’s fat. And a separate way to say someone is tall. I was neither; I was LARGE. My Japanese was pretty limited, so all I could do was smile and concur. そうですね! But then I was afraid my smile could be threatening ‘cause I had been told, again several times, that I had strong teeth. I was the big bad wolf to the all the Japanese little red riding hoods. Seriously. With my large body and strong teeth, I felt conspicuous. Dangerous. So the very Japanese act of covering the mouth with the hand while smiling began to make sense. We wave to signal we don’t have a weapon. I started covering my teeth when I smiled for the same reason. Didn’t want anyone to get all jumpy and stuff on me.

Anonymous 5:13 AM  

"Arse" is one of the most fantastic words in the British lexicon, and I use it all the time (I am British), but it is considered offensive. I'm not sure I agree with said considerers, but they do still consider thus. As they tend to.

Joe Dipinto 5:16 AM  

I haven't done the puzzle yet. I'm pulling an allnighter because I have to be in Manhattan by 6:30 am (anathema!) and I didn't trust myself to wake up in time. And actually, I'm not tired at all anyway.

So I thought I'd stop by here and not look at the solution or read Rex's write-up, but rather peruse the always insightful comments to see if I could figure out the puzzle before actually doing it.

So let's see. Can't tell how John Prine might be connected, but clearly Español is in the mix somehow. Aaand...that's all I got. Oh, and I see another half-woman constructor is on the loose (I did look at the byline). Rex must be pleased.

Maybe I'll have more to contribute to the class later.

Music Man 5:29 AM  

32D: “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye (featuring Kimbra) hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late April, 2012 and stayed at #1 for 8 weeks. It was also Billboard’s #1 song of 2012.

Anonymous 6:26 AM  

@LMS: Hilarious avatar! I need a nap!

Lewis 6:29 AM  

This was a novel theme, and those are hard to come by, and props for that. It also must have been hard to pull off, with eight right-angled pairs of theme answers spread all over the grid, and knowing the effort that went into this puzzle gave me more appreciation for it.

The solve went quickly. I'm guessing the decision was to keep the cluing easy, so the crosses would help those who didn't know all the Spanish answers, plus other answers that were probably obscure to many solvers (for me, those included DIPDYE, HALLOO, ESCH, and OCS). As a result, the cluing was straightforward, and the puzzle felt more like a Martes than a Miercoles, a bit less mano a mano than I'm hoping for on this day. Nonetheless, the original theme and elegant construction easily won me over. Buena!

Anonymous 6:42 AM  

Gotta agreed with TomAz here about the meaning of this puzzle after the SOTU last night. There were certainly flaws in the construction, but the Spanish-English connections made me smile today. These are two languages that are connected in building a puzzle instead of divided about building a wall. Well done.

I am surprised too that ARSE makes it into these puzzles (not the first time), but at least it isn't an ethnic slur this time! I suppose that's... a win?

Jeremy Keeshin 6:46 AM  

I enjoyed the theme and thought it was a fun puzzle. I got caught up on prime time writing seven, then eight... then night. I also had a lot of trouble in the north east corner with ODETS/ERIEPA/HALLOO and couldn’t get it from the crosses. I thought the puzzle theme was fun because the trick helped me figure out clues where I didn’t know either one, like FIRE/FUEGO.

tankerman 6:49 AM  

Yawn. The theme of this puzzle is "There are some Spanish words that begin with the same letter as their English counterparts and have the same number of letters". So What. Beyond that nothing ties the themes together. Easy Wednesday, even without reading the note, which by the way, no puzzle should ever have.

Brian Grover 6:55 AM  

Do most people start the puzzle in the SE corner and work up and left? I don’t understand getting tripped up on “Prime Time Time” as a clue, because by then I’d long since figured out the theme and Night/Noche was simple fill. Eight obviously doesn’t work.

It’s been softball city so far this week, but agree with the poster who said nice timing on this one, a subtle rebuke to the racist garbage on display again at last night’s SOTU.

SJ Austin 7:02 AM  

I'm totally down with your reason for counting the women constructors, and until today it made sense to count co-constructors as half. But I wonder if maybe it would be more considerate to count each woman as an entire person. You'd also count each male co-constructor as a whole person too. Then you'd get an actual number of women who have appeared, and the only cost would be that you'd have more constructors than days. Which, I mean… there are. Solves any potential challenges of 3-person teams, too. Just a thought.

imsdave 7:05 AM  

I did this at the Westport Library tournament last Saturday. The presentation there (as in today's paper edition) is clues, 1 through 70. A bit jarring, but once you get that 2. Sch. with a campus is Providence is a down clue you can work the puzzle. There may have been a note as to what to do with the intersecting across/down clues (1, 4, 8...), but I never noticed it, so it took a long time to figure out.

The really hard part about solving this as constructed on paper was continually looking in the wrong place for the clue (your brain 'knows' the location of 24D in the clue list and your eyes go there). This played challenging for me solving the way it was intended to be, and dramatically slowed down many of the top solvers as well.

GOTYE was a mystery to me and several other solvers of my vintage.

Everything I know about Miley Cyrus is from crosswords, and endless replays of the twerking display at the Grammys. I had _S_ which had me somewhat incredulously writing in 'Party in the ASS'.

It's a shame everyone didn't get to solve this the way it was intended. I thought it was brilliant.

IrishCream 7:10 AM  

You please the crossword, but did the crossword please you?

Diane Marimow 7:11 AM  

When I finished, I said out loud, "Ugh." I can't wait to read what Rex has to say. I found the "diyer" especially annoying. Ugh.

BarbieBarbie 7:11 AM  

Cool. Someone outed themselves as a moderator today.

Always amazing to me when OFL semi-rants over some answer that he is just ignorant about. I’ve said it before: read the rest of the paper too. HALLOO is a hunting term. Tell us how you object to inhumane fox hunting, if you want, but don’t complain about being expected to know something that isn’t on TV at NIGHT. Read books.

OffTheGrid 7:14 AM  

Angst over ARSE? Is that all you got? Not every blog needs a PC battle.

QuasiMojo 7:14 AM  

Count me among the Yawners. For the puzzle and for Rex’s tilde fetish. We don’t put in accents, or cedillas, or Umlauts, or diareses, so why start with tildes?

The app version I did had no note but the clues kept mentioning a notepad? Hunh? I just filled the grid out in a few minutes, waiting for something interesting to happen, mostly by doing acrosses only. Still waiting. Way too easy for a Wed, and flat. I put in Ten PM for prime time and then Eight, like Rex. But Night?? Right!

Amy Yanni 7:27 AM  

Enjoyed LIBRETTO & OPERAS in the same puzzle. Didn't read the note and had no issues, but if it had been French instead of Spanish it would have been a tad ICKy.

mmorgan 7:32 AM  

Well, that was interesting. Once I figured out that the corresponding downs were all in Spanish, it was muy, muy facile y sencillo. But I still had problems in the NE, with RAN instead of LED for 23A and no idea about HALLOO, even with most of the other answers in that area in place. Overall, a pretty nifty idea with some pretty cool answers (TELESCOPE! I NEED A NAP!) but I felt I would have enjoyed it more if it had been un poco mas dificil. That sounds snarky, but I don’t mean it that way.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

The puzzle was fun but too easy. The review was worthless. The tilde rant was ridiculous. What a grouch.

Joe R. 7:45 AM  

I enjoyed the theme. My knowledge of Spanish is fairly limited, but I got through these OK. And I appreciate the cultural value of having a bilingual puzzle in the NYT. I’m actually imagining a puzzle where all the acrosses are in English and all the downs are in Spanish. I don’t know how hard that would be to construct, but I imagine it would be nigh impossible for most solvers, since many of us are not bilingual.

I agree with Rex on the fill, though. Some really bad clues and/or answers. I don’t have a problem with ERIE, PA as an answer, but why the heck was it clued relative to Cleveland, O. rather than Cleveland, OH??

And to all those talking about ARSE, in America, all British variations on words sound charming to us. We have no idea that arse is considered vulgar, especially since we mostly encounter it in Britcoms, where it’s used for comedic effect.

Sir Hillary 7:48 AM  

I found this puzzle to be quite novel. It's not often that a theme feels fresh, but this one does.

Amazing how much longer it took me to find clues when they weren't split into Across and Down. My eyes kept going to the wrong places.

I say INEEDANAP more than I say READYWHENYOUARE.

Great clues for DEALIN and TELESCOPE.

Lack-of-tilde outrage = hilarious fake anger.

Only downside today was some dicey fill -- DIYER, DIPDYE, HALLOO, ERIEPA, ADORER. If you color your own hair, are you a DI[PD]YER?

Tish 7:55 AM  

@Off, T'would appear we have arse and anal up the wazoo these days. No angst. Just appears to be a race to the bottom in the NYT.

Hungry Mother 7:58 AM  

Didn’t read the note and had no problems except for having eIGHT/eOCHE for too long before seeing the lIGHT.

Danny 8:00 AM  

I don't comment very often at all, but I wanted to stick up for ERIEPA. As a person born and raised in Pennsylvania, I can say that people there have a strange habit of including "P-A" after cities. It's immensely common, and I don't know know of any other state that does this.

But also—it reminded me of this clip from the under-appreciated movie "Doing That Thing You Do," which uses the phrase ERIEPA:

https://youtu.be/8683QtUDLTU

DeeJay 8:16 AM  

Fantastic puzzle. I couldn't make the Westport Library event, but I heard there were multiple people who gasped in delight at the reveal.

Again, we divert ourselves for a few minutes every day, trying to solve a puzzle. Let's not overcomplicate it.

Irene 8:20 AM  

Really Rex? I thought this one was clever and delightful.

Loved the concept, loved DIYer and Adorer and even Halloo, which is not at all the same as Hello. My only total blank was Gotye, but that's my age.

Just how do you propose they add a tilde?

El Niño 8:28 AM  

Didn’t like it either. Don’t care about missing tilde on Español any more than I care about the myriad diacrital marks that aren’t included in puzzles. Dont know why that rankles Sharp. Don’t care about the gender or race or sexual preferences of the constructors.

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

Mountain Mike, "I liked this crossword" translates as "me gustó este crucigrama".

Jordan 8:44 AM  

Some good parts to this puzzle, but in my opinion the pressing issue here is that ESPAÑOL doesn’t mean “English” in Spanish...did it bother anyone else that the core theme answer violates the theme itself?

Nancy 8:46 AM  

What I liked enormously about this puzzle:

*How the set-up of the revealer mirrors the set-up of the theme answers.

*How the Spanish words selected are those that even someone who never studied Spanish, like me, sort of know anyway. Imagine if the Spanish words required had been some of the other answers in the puzzle: RENDER; KNOCKOUT; ADWARE; RANKLE; NIBBLERS. Whew! A narrow escape.

What I didn't like about this puzzle: Having to fish for the clues every single time. Everything was in the wrong place on the page. I've been doing crosswords for a long time and old habits die hard. Searching for clues took me much more time than figuring out the answers. But still...

A puzzle that was different and a puzzle that was fun. To paraphrase that old Levy's Rye Bread ad: "You don't have to be Spanish to love..."

Carola 9:00 AM  

A fun one. I thought it was very creative of the constructors to notice both languages handily starting with an E and running with it. I solved in the newspaper, with the one long list of clues, and liked the added twist. With 1A&D, I didn't recognize SOL as Spanish, just another word for "sun," as in "Old Sol." With the next one, FIRE x FUE??, I thought "FUEls? That's kind of lame." Then the Aha. Me, too, for eIGHT before NIGHT. Liked RINGTOSS, RANKLE, KNOCKOUT. No idea: GOTYE, ASCH, DIPDYE

@Larry Gilstrap, to your AVERS I'd add RATATAT and ERIEPA.
@Loren, thanks for NIBBLERS x LARGEST. That's me, eating just one more roasted almond.

Wm. C. 9:06 AM  


So-o-oo, @Rexy, does this mean you didn't like the puzzle?

Brit solves NYT 9:07 AM  

Super, super easy as someone with decent Spanish - first ever 5 minute Wednesday solve.

A bit surprised by ARSE as yes enough Brits would say they find that word offensive although personally it's not too bad, just not one for polite conversation. Then again I don't think NYT screens for words that are offensive overseas - we had POOF on 22nd January which has one very offensive meaning here and would never, ever have made it in had that been checked as I'm sure lots of British solvers were taken aback by that one.

Z 9:08 AM  

Note: The clues in this “uniclue” crossword appear in a single list, combining Across and Down. When two answers share a number, they also share a clue.
Once again, it seems at least some of the software isn’t as adaptable as simple print.

That the shared clues were English/Spanish became apparent pretty quickly. I thought the puzzle a little too easy for a Wednesday, with the biggest challenge being that I look down and right for Downs clues and they weren’t there.

I understand that the diacritics are critical to some people. I’m not one of them. Since ano and año have such different meanings in Spanish I think it best to avoid the Spanish cluing, but no one snickers at ESPANOL so no big deal in my humble opinion. I do see why one would argue that since Spanish is part of the theme Spanish diacritics should be used. I just don’t agree that it matters.

ene is not eñe 9:10 AM  

To the arrogant English speakers in the room: IN A PUZZLE FEATURING SPANISH, YOU REALLY OUGHT TO RESPECT THE SPANISH LANGUAGE.

Look up the Spanish alphabet. N and Ñ are two different letters. That is why Rex is upset. TWO. DIFFERENT. LETTERS. In a puzzle that gives the Spanish language a featured position in the theme. In Spanish, "espanol" is misspelled. Try it. Type Espanol and Español into your comment box. You'll get a red-line for the first one cuz it's misspelled.

For English speakers who don't speak Spanish to think that it's no big deal, just think about how pissy you get when people misspell they're/their/there. It's wrong. Rex isn't being nitpicky here...this isn't the run o' the mill misspelling of a Spanish word with an eñe (which happens all the damn time), it's a freaking puzzle featuring another language.

This is also different than leaving out an apostrophe for a contraction in a puzzle. While that has its own problems, this is about using the actual wrong letter to spell a word...an ene is NOT an eñe. Spelling "didnt" without the apostrophe is different than some other language puzzle spells "good" as "qood". Hey the small g and and small q look the same, right? Who cares? Why picking so many nits, Rex?

And...here's the important part worth repeating...IN A PUZZLE FEATURING SPANISH, YOU REALLY OUGHT TO RESPECT THE SPANISH LANGUAGE.

His criticism in no ways minimizes the poignancy of the puzzle using the Spanish language the day after some Orange stained sh*tgibbon yammers on about a wall and whatever else he yammered on about. It was a nice, if not slightly, ironic (maybe coincidental) nod to our neighbors to the south. A rare moment of lucidity from WS. It was probably an accident, but still.

What do you call a person who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call a person who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call a person who speaks one language? American.

This puzzle was the xword equivalent of the stereotypical ugly American traipsing around Europe acting like you own the joint. The irony here is that the puzzle is supposed be a kind of tribute...and yet so many of you support the middle finger that Rex pointed out. eñe shmeñe...it's all the same, right? No. It's not.

Z 9:15 AM  

App Update: PuzzAzz replicates the paper. The NYT proprietary crossword app does not. Amazing.

@Anon12:07 a.m. - Loved your comment. I got 17 out of 20 on this Slate Quiz. Considering I know less about cholesterol meds than I do about Pokémon I was surprised I did so well.

Wm. C. 9:19 AM  


Re: Above comments finding ARSE objectionable:

I'd like a response from an Englander, but ...

... I would have thought that it refers to an equine animal, not a body part.

Brainpan 9:22 AM  

Take a break, man, you hate every puzzle. Your is just watching an addict suffer at this point.

Also, do you assume gender/sex or do you know these constructors in some way? Assigning Alex Eaton-Salners as male despite an ambiguous first name and a hyphenated last seems dicey.

TJS 9:24 AM  

The things that your mind retains never ceases to amaze me. One of the joys of crosswording. Knew "View Halloo" related to fox hunting for some strange reason. Just looked it up. Something yelled when a fox breaks cover and makes a run for it, usually used to alert the dogs. Apparently english hunting dogs are fluent in 16th century English. Derived from the French, so I'm wondering if the "view" was originally "vous" or "vu".

Mr. Benson 9:26 AM  

Well of course I thought of EIGHT, but that obviously wouldn't work since the down there could only be OCHO, which, as some may have noticed, doesn't start with E and doesn't have five letters. So I was sensible enough not to put that in.

GILL I. 9:27 AM  

Well, we eat a lot of the same old white bread and today it's nice to see some good deli style rye. I thought this was great. A tad easy, but great.
Give me ESPANOL in my puzzle (Hi @'mericans) and pair it with INGLES and I'm a feliz campista.
For the first time ever, I wasn't lured into reading the note. I always consider the notes to be freebies so I read them hoping for the chocolate. Today I didn't and I'm glad. I pretty much figured out the conceit at SUN/SOL, and MOTHER/MADRE sealed the deal. I only wish there had been a ton more.
@Nancy: Ok....here goes your wish (some of it made up by moi - feel free to jump in, amigo @pablo)
RENDER: Clarificar
KNOCK OUT: Se termino - hasta la vista.
ADWARE: Just pronounce it adware - sorta like the Cubans do with window.
RANKLE: Me cayo mal
NIBBLERS: Mordisquitos de pan con chocolate.
I don't know how to put the accents in but just go with the flow and you get the idea!
@Scarlet Ray: No, no, no. ARSE is perfectly acceptable and it's a lot more quainter and polite than ASS. I use it often (and I'm polite) as does my Scouser husband. We could've had ANO instead, but we didn't.
Thank you all you know who's from yesterday and your wishes. We had Thai last night - no TV angst - just good food and company. It's the year of the cochino.... !
Gracias Queena (love your name) and Alex Eaton for a change of pace. We need it.... a lot !

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Re: Rex's "Where's my Tilde?" I see from the comments that Rex is riding his tilde hobby-horse again. Now, I don't have a tilde-making key on my computer. Do you? I think I remember someone posting here a while back the 8 complicated steps you have to go through to make one (1) tilde. (Well, maybe I exaggerate, but probably not by much.) Whatever it was one has to do, I tried it, it took ten minutes of repeated unsuccessful attempts, and I wound up with all sorts of surprises on my screen, but not a single tilde. I had wasted 10 minutes I'll never get back. And I was trying for only one (1) tilde. Imagine of I'd been trying for many, many tildes. So I say this to Rex:

Someday, you're going to wake up, you'll be 106, and you'll realize that you've wasted 28 years of your life making tildes.

Patrick Butler 9:28 AM  

Agree that there were some groan-worthy answers, but I liked the theme and some of the cluing was great - for DEALIN, TELESCOPE, TEAPOT, SPA ...

Fourth puzzle in a row that went very fast for me.

Finally, gotta ask. Is Queena Mewers a real name or a nickname for a loud female cat?

Dorothy Biggs 9:47 AM  

@Nancy...you can usually make a tilde on your computer by pressing Opt-N, then you type in the n. Same as you would do for an umlaut or accents in French.

All WS has to do is to cross a tilde letter with another tilde letter...that would be then understood that it is that letter. For example crossing Español with Señor. Even if the puzzle had a regular English N, you would understand that it was an eñe because the crosses used that letter.

It's not that difficult, trust me.

Hope that helps.

CDilly52 9:58 AM  

Not always the same number of letters: MOTHER/MADRE, HELLO/HOLA, CITY/CIUDAD. Clever nonetheless

BHS62 9:58 AM  

Yes, a bit surprised to see ARSE. You wouldn’t find A**HOLE in an American puzzle, and for a similar reason you wouldn’t find ARSE in a British one.

CDilly52 10:01 AM  

Or watch the original Disney “Mary Poppins” when they go through the chalk pavement picture and end up in the cartoon “alternate universe” in which one vignette is fox hunting with the Master of the Hounds yelling “View Halloo!” And of course, the Fox outsmarting everybody.

Crimson Devil 10:03 AM  

Ditto re difficulty finding clues. Somehow finished but way too many lucky guesses: gotye, dipdye, asch, alte, rpg, adware, halloo, odits, ...aarrgghh.

CDilly52 10:06 AM  

As often happens with technical or discipline-specific language, ADWARE in Spanish is ADWARE.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:07 AM  

I was at the Westport Tournament on Saturday, with @imsdave, I made the NIGHT/NOCHE mistake, and it cost me a fourth place finish.*

It's unfortunate that little twists, like the single list of clues, don't come across to all solvers (i.e., those who do the puzzle online.) It really did make a difference, by making solving somewhat frustrating, as someone noted above, but also by emphasizing the point that certain clues applied both Across and Down.

I entered the fatal cross of "Prime time time" with _IGHT. I was rattled by the layout of the clues, pressed by the stress of competition and the ticking clock, couldn't imagine any answer but EIGHT. I had _OCHE going down, but missed, thought it might be some Spanish word unfamiliar to me. I failed!

*At Westport, only the top three finishers are ranked. Everyone else who finishes with three perfect puzzles (as @imdave always has, and as I have had in previous visits) gets a Will Shortz-signed certificate, which we all call a fourth-place win.

Paco 10:14 AM  

“Puzzles routinely disregard the tilde, but *this* one ... really shouldn't have. It's a glaring omission.” Why, pray tell, is that ? I see an un-tilded niño, for instance, in the puzzle all the time and Rex doesn’t complain. Seems pretty arbitrary.

jberg 10:16 AM  

After reading the note, I had high expectations for a different kind of gimmick. One where the clue could be interpreted in different ways. You know, like DEAL IN and HELP OUT both work with the clue for the former (I know, they don't start with the same letter -- I can't think of any of those, which is why I was so excited about the idea.) So the actual gimmick, which is good in its own right, gave me a feeling of let-down.

It was also too easy. I think omitting the note would have helped there. It was really a pretty good idea, and it would have been fun to figure it out.

@Jordan, if you read the clue for 44, you will see that it works for both English and Espanol (like @Nancy, I can't figure out how to type Español --I got this one by copying from my word processor.) If you do insist on having the ñ in the puzzle, then today's is impossible, since Spanish words appear only in the downs.

@Rex and others -- it's not NIGHT because they're trying to fool you, it's because OCHO a) doesn't start with the same letter as eight, and b) is a letter too short.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

@Dorothy Biggs -- HOLA and muchas gracias, but I don't have an "Opt" key on my 2008 ASUS laptop. I have a "Ctrl", "Alt", "Tab", "Shift", "ESC" and "Delete" key, but not an "Opt." That's probably the problem.

@Hungry Mother (from yesterday) -- So I screwed up my courage and went BUNGEE jumping with you just now. Should have taken the Dramamine I said I would take. Didn't, and I'm now rather dizzy/queasy. That's mostly from the "GoPro" video -- much scarier than the "Official" video -- in that I was right there in the harness (or whatever it is) with you. I loved that you tried to talk-sing yourself into complete calmness. Didn't quite work, did it? But I admire your courage in doing it. You do understand that I also think you're completely nuts. Some additional thoughts:

1) When they wrapped...and wrapped...and wrapped your lower legs up like that, did you think: maybe they're trying to keep me from breaking them? That would have made me even more terrified, if possible.

2) The music in the Official video is godawful. I had to mute it.

3) You're a real cutie, @Hungry Mother!



Ethan Taliesin 10:18 AM  

Ignoring a tilde? I thought always turning ñ's into n's was straight-up crossword dogma.

pabloinnh 10:21 AM  

Easy for me, and I'll resist the urge to correct any errors made by those of you who were dusting off your high school Spanish in your comments. A+ for effort.

I used to easily be able to add a tilde when I was teaching and the school supplied a Mac, but now my laptop is a PC and it's so tricky that I just don't bother. The "ene" (needs a tilde) is indeed a separate letter in Spanish,I used to fool kids when we played hangman in class by choosing a word that had one. Or an ll, or a ch, or an rr, which all technically occupy one space. Tlde vs. nontilde is always most amusing in the ano situation.

@ GILL I-I'm on board with your translations, which are no doubt better than anything I could come up with. I think NIBBLERS refers to people who are eating, so I'd add "los que comen" to what you already had.

Muchas gracias to both constructors. Muy divertido.

Z 10:22 AM  

@ene is not eñe - You seem angry. And so you’ve made some assumptions about those who disagree that just aren’t valid. What you are articulating is, at its core, a prescriptivist argument. Letters are fixed and there is a single correct way to use them. I’ll grant that if ever there were a time to use current Spanish spelling, this puzzle would be it. But crosswords use a diacritical free alphabet as a constraint of the form. Would it have been an improvement for Clue #61 to have an Ñ for the second letter? No, because it would have been an outlier without a matching English word sharing the same clue. Since KñOCKOUT is just as mispelt as ESPANOL the puzzle reverts to the diacritical-free convention. Would it be better if diacritics could be incorporated into puzzles? Sure. But I just can’t get into a lather that the form doesn’t easily allow it.

@Brainpan - Huh. You could be correct. But Crossworld is relatively small and Rex knows many constructors, so I’m guessing he probably knows how Eaton-Salners identifies. But maybe not. Eaton-Salners is relatively new and routinely gets panned by Rex, so I can imagine them not going out of their way to meet Rex. Sidenote, these days people who hyphenate tend to both hyphenate and their offspring are hyphenated.

Roo Monster 10:24 AM  

Oigan todos!
Google tells me that that is ESPANOL for Hey All. pablo?

Neat puz. Put me in the group who thinks puzs are a fun diversion to real life, regardless of theme, fill, tildes... Just solve it, and be happy! Now mind you, there are days where I'm not all that, but I'm really trying to de-stress my life and not worry about stuff I can't control. Like the Presidency, por ejemplo.

Liked the ENGLISH-Spanish mesh. Also cool to make one list of clues. The NYT site has both versions, but I printed out the one with just the single lust,xas it was meant to be solved. The one that had the Across and Down clues as normal, also had a different Note.

A KNOCKOUT puz, no ICK for me. ERIE PA has been in puzs before, so stop complaining about it. :-) I'm from the tiny town of JERMYN PA, and agree with whoever said we use the P-A!

LOL at @imsdave Party in the ASS!! ARSE ASSORT, indeed!

HELLO ADORER
RooMonster
DarrinV

CDilly52 10:27 AM  

Fresh, well-executes theme. Accessible to most solvers, I think with the possible exception of CIUDAD. I truly dislike constructor’s (and editors) who believe the solving masses are too stupid to figure out the theme and leave a “note” that detracts from the solving experience. I eschewed the note and got it from the jump simply by checking the rest of the NW corner and I was off and running.

Including NANA brought back “happy thoughts,” first of all because I adored all things “Peter Pan” from the original black and white Mary Martin TV broadcast, to seeing Kathy Rigby live with my daughter when she was very young and reading the story many, many times. @LMS, I completely agree that NANA was a Newfie and that they are wonderful animals. I used to live for the times my junior high orchestra teacher would go on vacation and I got to care for his two adorable Newfies, Pablo (Casals) and Lili (Kraus). They were such gentle, playful and fun animals.

Sure, there was a bunch of crosswordese, but no more than a typical grid of shorter answers and no more obnoxious than usual, in fact less, I think. Overall, a clever idea, well done and appropriate for Wednesday. I agree that a puzzle all english across and all Spanish (or possibly French or German) down would be challenging and fun.

What? 10:33 AM  

I’ve seen puzzles like this before with sequential clues. They hurt my eyes as I have to keep roaming. Fie.

eñe not ene 10:42 AM  

@Z. I'm not angry...maybe disappointed that so many dismiss Rex's opinion as being out of line.

Yes, and someone else mentioned it above, since diacritical marks are not possible, (some are on the website), you should cross an eñe with another eñe...even though it would look like an ene.

Hey pal, it's just an opinion. You don't have to agree.

Pete 10:55 AM  

My favorite line from my favorite musical, "My Fair Lady"

Eliza at the horse race, "Come on, Dover, move your bloomin' arse"

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

@LMS - sooooo da neeeeee
You are the reason I come here to read nonsense from nonsensical people
and truth from LMS

arigatooo, domo arigatooooo.

(^_^:)


Kappa, ne? angata kappa.

Laurence Katz 10:57 AM  

Do Spanish crossword puzzles have diacritical marks? I don’t know the answer, but I am guessing they do not.

Hungry Mother 10:58 AM  

@Nancy: thank you/gracias for the kind words.

Escalator 11:21 AM  

This puzzle had me at “Hello”

Gregory Schmidt 11:25 AM  

Not a fan of the GOTYE/ESTE section. I had to guess if the characters in the Baby Sitter's Club were Mean, Lean, or TEEN(s).

Blue Stater 11:37 AM  

B-O-R-I-N-G

Banana Diaquiri 12:01 PM  

irritating, with no upside. the worst part is, with the remnants of a headcold, tracking the clues to the grid required massive eyeball shifting that across/down cluing, which is all I'd ever seen before, doesn't. erggg.

cordwainer 12:34 PM  

"View Halloo!" will be very familiar to Anglophiles or fans of British authors. Crossword solvers seem to be pretty peaceable lot, however, and perhaps hunting is not the foremost activity in their minds. "Halloo!" has also historically been used as a general shout to call others' attention to something, and "View Halloo" might reasonably be translated as "Look! There!" (assuming "translated" applies where only English is involved) E.g.,"Werewolf?" "Halloo wolf!"

My favorite use of the phrase is in a story by P.G. Wodehouse, "The Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court", where several normally pacifist characters find themselves unconsciously (and to their eventual horror) succumbing to the thrill of the hunt. It includes the poem "Good Gnus", which reads in part:

When Afric's sun is sinking low,
And shadows wander to and fro,
And everywhere there's in the air
A hush that's deep and solemn;
Then is the time good men and true
With View Halloo pursue the gnu…

Though it's unclear whether hounds are present on safari.

QuasiMojo 12:48 PM  

We don’t put an umlaut in Bjørn Borg’s first name in crosswords, except perhaps by hand because we want to. We don’t put in “don’t” either. Nor do we put in a cedilla for “ça va” which has been used often. It’s not necessary. We don’t use a hyphen either for words like “twenty-five.” Not do we put an accent in the word “debut” even though some publishers, most notably The New Yorker, do. We don’t need an accent in “a la” for people to know it is French for “in the style of” etc. We also don’t combine letters into one space when writing Aeneas or Oedipus as is customary in other formats. I understand the desire to distinguish between different letters or meanings or spellings but it is an accepted tradition in crosswords that they are not needed. The mind can grasp it without being exceedingly exact.

old timer 12:57 PM  

I was irritated by the puzzle for the same reasons @Rex was. And yes, in this particular puzzle, the constructor should have figured out a way to have ñ (with a tilde) work in both directions. I am sure it can be done -- and the same goes for ç (with a cedilla). And there. there is a cheat: you could cross garçon with a soft c as in place and I would not complain.

I suppose ARSE is not used in polite speech in England. But, pace our friend who says he grew up there, it by no means means "anus". Means the same thing as our slang "ass" meaning rear end. A kick in the ARSE does not have to land square on the ARSEhole, and if you are run down by a lorry at a zebra crossing, it may send you ARSE over heels.

Good luck to @LMS on getting improved pay and conditions in the district where she works. Just remember, all politics is local, and Mr. Trump has little to do with school funding or who gets elected to the local school board.

Z 1:04 PM  

@eñe not ene - And you’re not alone. I couldn’t find it, but I know AVCX has banned año without its ~.

pabloinnh 1:07 PM  

Oiga Ru!

"Oigan todos" is perfectly fine for hey all. Literally it means "listen everybody" but the idea is there and translation is an art not a science.

On a somewhat related note, when you answer the phone in Spain you say "Diga" (speak) or Digame (tell me) until you find out it's your friend and then you switch to "Dime", which is the familiar form. Talk to me! Fun with cultural differences.

Masked and Anonymous 1:11 PM  

Mooey wowzers! 16 themer entries, and 76 letters of theme stuff? Desperado del Ow surely must ensue. (Oooh, yes … please, please)

Ok, sooo … As U can see, M&A speaks very little Spanish. Poco & loco. Did have a frequent doubles tennis partner and amigo [yo, Sergio] for several years that spoke Spanish and no English. We got along great and I did learn some bueno Spanish cuss words off him, plus a bit of other essential Spanish lingo, especially numbers. We did not ever happen to discuss tildes.

Anyhoo … This WedPuz was real different, and I admire that, above all else. It also had the nice "+" symbol in the puzgrid middle, indicatin unity. Unity of all the clues, f'rinstance. Also, unity of lotsa ESPANOL/ENGLISH stuff, joined at the hip. Bridges. Bueno way to go, constructioneros.

fave desperate moments:
* DIPDYE. I believe this is pretty close to one of them Spanish cuss words I learnt from Sergio. However, here it means addin different color tints to the ends of a long hairdo, yes? I used to think that look was due to some sorta slight Easter egg dyin accident.
* HALLOO. This kinda sounds like HELLO version #3, to m&e.
* DIYER. Debut word. Paves the way for numerous desperate possibilities: LOLER. BTWER. HARRER. M&AER.
* ORI. Woulda been staff weeject pick, but …

staff weeject pick goes to: The SUN/SOL bridge partners. Also, beholdeth with reverence the curious 2x2 weeject formations in the NW & SE corners. Ground-breakin stuff. Mas, por favor.

fave fillins included: CIUDAD [Primo word, no matter what the lingo]. TELESCOPE [great clue!]. KNOCKOUT. RANKLE.

Thanx, Queena & Alex, for gangin up on us. And congratz to Queena darlin, on her debut.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

p.s.
I once made an all-German runtpuz. Had written it up for a friend now livin in Berlin. Went over like a lead balloon tied to the Hindenberg, among the regular test solvers. De busta gut.
Also made one in Polish for a recent addition to the extended fam; she was impressed, except for one botched translation. But she got er anyway, from the crosses. But, I digress (yo, @Trumpmeister).

p.p.s.s.
I think primo means cousin, in Spanish. Just sayin.

**gruntz**

LorrieJJ 1:11 PM  

Goodness Rex, do you have a thorn in your paw today? You have ranted on this thing is though it was a personal affront when in fact it is just a crossword puzzle. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Anyway, I kind of enjoyed it, since I'm just starting to take Spanish at night.

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

I tried to solve the missing tilde issue by using the French version of ESPANOL - I couldn't figure out why ESPAGNOL didn't fit and later when I worked that out, couldn't figure out why I wanted ESPAGNOL in the first place until Google translate, post-solve let me know my French was showing. Along with misspelling CuiDAD at first and having a Tip line on a receipt, I also wanted DIP DiE (d'oh) which made DIYER a real head-scratcher. That clue was screaming self-help books. ("Is it some kind of guru?", I wondered).

This took me longer than a usual Wednesday. How much longer? I was so busy reading the note, I forgot to write down my starting time and I feel surprisingly bereft for not knowing the stat. Weird.

I had the gimmick figured out by FUEGO and thought it was fun. I looked forward to seeing the next English-Spanish crossing. I like this puzzle so thanks, QM and AES.

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

Loved it! Never put the pen down. Muy bueno. Gracias!

Mitchs 1:45 PM  

"Yeah, well, I ate two cookies but you don't see me putting it in the grid." Love it.

Jeff Evans 1:46 PM  

Do you even like crossword puzzles, Rex?

albatross shell 1:48 PM  

Did not know HALOO from fox hunting, but it seemed right to me. Glad to know why. DOIT YOURSELFER is common enough, so DIYER is just fine for me. Appreciated many of the across phrases that seem to beg for clever clues. Nearly indecipherable language: TEEN ENGLISH. Beauty leaving hair salon: DIPDYE KNOCKOUT. Greeting to distant observer: HELLO TELESCOPE. and more: INEEDANAP NIGHT, ETC.
Did not check the downs.

Eugene Trainin 2:01 PM  

Cretin-in-chief? Rex cannot keep his political views to himself. I am deeply offended by his snarky comments,especially after a terrific speech last night. Re the puzzle, I think it was most clever and enjoyable to solve. Rex thinks he is so high and mighty but a Philistine is more descriptive.

Anonymous 2:04 PM  

As a Southerner, ERIEPA is almost a Natick for me. I have heard "Erie" before, but that's it. Wouldn't have known it was in PA or the relation to Cleveland,O (yes, why not OH?).

I was so proud of myself for dredging up ODETS and GOTYE that I was especially frustrated when I couldn't finish because of HALLOO, ERIEPA and the rest of that corner. Both DEALIN and TELESCOPE required thinking of a second meaning, and I failed at that.

Clues that reference businesses that don't exist anymore (TWA ended 18 years ago) are not favorites. It reminds me of when I moved to my current city and everyone gave directions based on where something used to be. Were there no better points of reference? Did people consciously or sub-consciously decide to point out to the newcomers how new they were? Was it yet another way to say "You're not from around here, are you?"

D. Bruce Brown 3:23 PM  

Hear! Hear! Well said.

D. Bruce Brown 3:26 PM  

Agree. Made me even question what day it was.

Doug Kalish 3:29 PM  

Happy enchilada and you think you'll drown. Has there been a puzzle of mondegreens?

D. Bruce Brown 3:32 PM  

I may need an explanation here. I do crosswords for the fun of it. I do not understand the race every day to see what your time is in finishing. Are you perhaps really too busy to even be DOING a crossword? Do you lack competition in other areas of your life? To me this seems as unsavory as betting on sports. Is the game itself not enough for you? Oh well l appreciate that there exists such a place as this giving me the chance to um... express myself.

Nancy 3:51 PM  

@M&A (1:11) -- You created a puzzle completely in German? You also created a puzzle completely in Polish? How many languages do you speak, @M&A? Wow! Nor did I know before now that you're a fellow tennis player.

@Pete (10:55) -- Probably the funniest line, ever, in a musical! Partly because it was so unexpected. I attended the original Broadway production and the line brought down the house. I was still laughing at the end of the Intermission. Thanks for a delightful antidote to some of today's more, um, sensitive comments.

Z 3:55 PM  

OT here for @D. Bruce Brown

First, I see you’re posting from your phone. Anyone not using a phone has no idea what your 3:23 and 3:26 posts are in reference to since Blogger only has that “reply” feature on the mobile version. People use the @ convention when replying to comments so that everyone knows the intended message. I know, archaic, but what are we going to do. Rex doesn’t seem likely to move to a more modern blog platform any time soon.

Second, Many people who post here agree with you about solving quickly. The commentariat has all kinds of solvers. But not all who time are racing to finish. Timing one’s solve is a piece of data that lets one track their own improvement as well as the relative difficulty of a puzzle. Some have even suggested a new unit of measurement, a Rex. As in, “I can do a Monday puzzle in 1.5 Rex* but Saturday ipuzzles take me anywhere from 2 to 7 Rex.” No one here will force you to be a speed solver, so don’t let the speed demons bother you.


*What should the plural of Rex be? I think it should be “Rex” like the plural of deer is “deer.”

AdamW 4:17 PM  

As usual, I don't share any of Professor Crankypants' comical grievances.

Masked and Anonymous 4:22 PM  

@Nancy - yo. Well first of all, bear in mind these were 7x7 runt puzzles.
Anyhoo … In my checkery past, I've had 4 college classes in German, one college class in Russian, and two high school years of Latin. I made the Polish runtpuz totally with the help of Google-Translate.
I can speak some pidgin German and mostly pidgin English.

M&A Language Lab

Doc John 5:12 PM  

HALLOO?
I'm with ya on this one, Rex!

Robert Affe 5:40 PM  

loved the construction and the clues. Would love to see other languages in the same format.

john towle 6:03 PM  

Eugene Trainin@2:01 PM

You nailed it brother…it’s why I don’t feed curmudgeons (money)

Abrazos,

juanito

Aketi 6:39 PM  

I had to take a NAP first before doing the puzzle because it’s been a busy week and I woke up too early this morning thanks to the cats. I figured out the ENGLISH/ESPAÑOL trick at FIRE/FUEGO. Got ERIEPA from crosses and when I spotted it I initially thought maybe it was something to eat in español,

@Nancy, now I have to go back and read all of yesterday’s comment to try to figure out why you seem to have done some sort of virtual reality bungee cord jumping.

jae 6:59 PM  

@ Dr. Brown & Z - Another reason some of us focus on how quickly we solve is that, after doing literally 10s of thousands of puzzles, self timing provides an additional incentive for solving, especially the easy ones. Plus, it provides baseline data for stroke detection.

Anonymous 7:01 PM  

Has anyone else noticed that ERIE, PA is down-lake from Cleveland, O., not up-lake?

My brain went through every town upstream from Cleveland and could only come up with Toledo that fit. Arrgh!


Aketi 7:14 PM  

@HungryMOTHER and @Nancy, I did the go pro trip and watched the bungee jump fail video at the same location. It made me grateful for the fact that my son is now an adult and doesn’t need me to ride in sky trams and zip lines anymore and if he wants to bungee cord jumping he can so it all on his own. He once tried and failed to convince me to ski down stairs in a terrain park when he was about seven years old and did it himself on a snow board.

Anonymous 8:14 PM  

Looks uplake on my map. Is your map upside down? You do know that up is north (NE in this case)

Nancy 8:44 PM  

@Aketi (7:14) -- Yikes. If your son had been my son, I'm sure I'd be dead.

Banana Diaquiri 8:59 PM  

cleveland - erie. both answers are correct.
1) on the compass, erie is NE, approx., from cleveland, therefore UP
2) in terms of water flow, erie is DOWNstream from cleveland (water flows through the GL to the St. Lawrence)

Peter Meidlinger 9:57 PM  

Eriepa was my favorite solve. Whats not to like? Count me a magi of this puzzle.

Peter Meidlinger 10:03 PM  

Im with you. Great answer. Made perfect sense.

Peter Meidlinger 10:08 PM  

A voice of reason and generosity. Thank you!

Joe Dipinto 10:56 PM  

Oh, I was wrong -- once I got 23a I thought the John Prine video tie-in would be "Hello In There".

Anyway, I liked this puzzle, even though it struck me as a supremely odd idea to come up with. The l ack of diacritical marks in foreign words doesn't rankle me. French has an accent on practically every other vowel -- ecru started out as écru -- how do you deal with that? X-word puzzles aren't intended as a language class, but I'm sure people do learn many new words from them, even without a circumflex here or a diaeresis there.

Pues buenas noches, mis amigos. Ya me voy a comer un plato de eriepas.

Geo 11:39 PM  

Test

Joe Dipinto 1:43 AM  

That should read "lack of", not "l ack of"...

Unknown 10:36 AM  

The Down clues would have been better written as "Refiérase a 24 Través" or something similar rather than "[See notepad]", and which notepad didn't even come through on my application.

Brad Johnson 7:32 PM  

This was a delight to solve on paper.

kitshef 11:17 PM  

One of my favorite puzzles EVER.

Burma Shave 9:51 AM  

LARGEST ARSE

IVANA was once a KNOCKOUT,
I ADORER APART from the others,
but I’m RANKLEd by the CRUEL lout,
who one NIGHT made her a MOTHER.

--- URI ODETS, UPI

spacecraft 10:39 AM  

Very close tp what OFL said, except that NIGHT didn't bother me, and neither did the non-tilde-ness of 44-down. I realize that we're dealing with a printed language in which diacritical marks do actually make a difference, but our standard keyboards don't have them (at least my lo-tech one doesn't), and so we just type, or print, without them and call it "understood." Trying to cross both ways with a tilde would be just too much of a constraint, so I say just chill.

But for the rest of it, I have to agree. I expected some very clever double meanings after reading the note...but it was simply a Spanish lesson. "Comment made while yawning." My bottom line is the same as OFL's: why? Bogey.

rondo 11:16 AM  

Try this gimmick in Swedish and you'll likely have more than one type of diacritical missing.

Can't name a Trump, not even an ex one, wouldn't be prudent. From the clue, former wild child and yeah baby Miley.

INEEDANAP.

Diana, LIW 12:41 PM  

I had two errors -

One. Forgot the Spanish CIUDAD (everybody now, one, two, three "duh!")

Two. Began reading the review by Rex. But then I stopped.

After looking up "duh No. 1", I finished up. And loved ADORER and DIYER - and especially TEAPOT. (Had "cup" for a while, in the pre-CIUDAD era.)

INEEDANAP is one of those phrases we often say and seldom do. So I don't think of it as green paint.

I think lots of folks found a good place to be in a blizzard this winter. Mr. W spent a few days in Florida, and we always winter with the Monarchs. (Yes, I am a lady-in-waiting, but these monarchs are butterflies.)

Thot it quite clever and puzzley, especially for a Wednesday.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, and the ACPT in 2 weeks!!

Diana, LIW 12:46 PM  

And yes, in case you wondered, Rex had to complain tilde cows came home. No mas.

Lady Di

Diana, LIW 1:17 PM  

Let's try one week and two days. I should try some coffee.

Lady Di

leftcoastTAM 2:28 PM  

This one RANKLED a bit, from the "uniclue" note down to "Nessie's home". Nessie? Hope the cute little Nessie is happy in her LOCH home.

The interlocked GOTYE/TEEN/NANA set required a couple of good guesses.

Some annoyance, but did like solving it.

BedfordBob 4:46 PM  

But the clue had a huge error which took me time to figure out. Erie PA is DOWN the lake - not up the lake. The water flows from west to east and the lake is tipped down. Otherwise I enjoyed it.

manitoba 4:52 PM  

What a stupid fucking puzzle.

Anonymous 6:41 PM  

Rex, you *DO* need a nap! Either that, or cut down on the coffee. Perhaps take a Valium. It wasn't THAT bad ... :)

I do the NYT crossword in the syndicated version in my newspaper, so I'm a month out. But I can assure you that the theme here works MUCH BETTER in the printed version with just one set of clues. Still and all, it doesn't do much to fix NIGHT or HALLOO.

strayling 7:26 PM  

Different, kinda fun. I saw ESPANOL as an English transliteration of a Spanish word, which is why it lost the accent.

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