Painter of maja both desnuda vestida / TUE 2-19-19 / Heyday of taxis in Beijing / Producer of Jacksons

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Constructor: David Alfred Bywaters

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:57)


THEME: TO BE / OR NOT / TO BE (38A: With 39- and 40-Across, classic Shakespearean question phonetically suggested by 17-, 23-, 47- and 59-Across) — first two themers have "two B"s (when they should have one), and second two themers have one "B" (when they should have two):

Theme answers:
  • 17A: One who's taking a polar vortex pretty hard? (COLD SOBBER)
  • 23A: One who cheats on a weight-reduction plan? (DIETARY FIBBER)
  • 47A: Heyday of taxis in Beijing? (CHINESE CAB AGE)
  • 59A: Defense against a charge of public nudity? ("WE WAS ROBED!") (if the base phrase here, "we was robbed!", is not familiar to you, it's a sports thing you say when your sports team lost because of a "bad" call by the ump / ref) (not sure what the origin of the bad-grammar construction is...)
Word of the Day: IMPECUNIOUS (24D: Lacking money) —
adjective
  1. having little or no money.

    "a titled but impecunious family" (google)
• • •

my nephew, playing Hamlet
To like or not to like, that is the question. I think I'm neutral on this puzzle. I didn't exactly enjoy it, but it's ... *trying* to do something that I think ... *kind* of holds up. *Kind* of withstands scrutiny. I think my main problem is that I have to do some gymnastics and lawyering, some gymnastic lawyering, in my head in order to justify the wording of the revealer. I'll give you the non-grammatical "two B" (instead of "two B's"), but something about the Shakespearean phrase doesn't really get at the deliberate wrongness of all the themers. Some part of me wants the "not two B" answers to lack a double-B. Like, say, BLUBBER to BLUER. FLABBY to FLAY.* But that's a much taller order, and is itself weird. In the end, I think this one comes in at Adequate, themewise. The non-theme fill was a chore, but an average chore, not an atrocity (except OLA, which feels inexcusable in a corner that untaxing, esp with that clue) (61D: Rock-___ (classic jukebox brand)).


Cluing on the short stuff was quite off for me today, in that the puzzle was asking me to think of words in ways I normally don't. To [Own up to] something is to ADMIT it; AVOW feels much more oath-y, like you're swearing something, not confessing it. It's the idea that you're saying something embarrassing or admitting guilt, implied by the clue, that did not compute for me. Then there's "OH, OK," which is one of those answer types where I don't have any good way of knowing what the first two letters are going to be (kinda wanted "UH" or "AH") (19A: "Ah, now I see") (Ah, now I see that "Ah" is actually in the clue ... ah). Put in "MOI?" for 30D: "Is that true about me?" and, as I was forced to change it by ADAPT, briefly wondered why, in my seven years of high school / college French, I'd never learned the word "DOI?" ("Dwah!?").** The clue [Cats' catches] just wasn't getting any traction in my brain. Something about the potential ambiguity of "cat" and the verb-to-nounness of "catches" had me needing every cross to get the simple RATS. Had ALONE for ALOOF (not that surprising) (64A: Socially disengaged). People go to REHAB, not houses (11D: Fix up, as a building). Lastly, I had IMPECUNIARY (it fits, and apparently means the same thing!) where IMPECUNIOUS belonged (24D: Lacking money). I use neither word, and no one would use either word these days except facetiously. It's a word, but it's a word the only proper response to which is a laugh or an eyeroll, depending on the seriousness of the user.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*hey you could do the trick twice with chef Bobby Flay (BOY FLABBY), though that would "Not to be or to be?" I guess...

**yes I know it's "DO [space] I?" please no letters thank you

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

132 comments:

cwf 5:56 AM  

Got totally hung up in the SE, trying to cram "were" in there.

@merican in Paris 6:01 AM  

Yeesh, COLD SOB(B)ER and SOTS together in the same puzzle. Think there’s a message here? ALSO, the same exact answer (TO BE), twice. I suppose because it’s part of the revealer, so that’s OH OK. REDO a phrase and ELBOW in a B; or OMIT one. SURE.

Speaking of Britishisms (from yesterday), I first heard the expression WE WAS ROBbED in Britain. (Has it since crossed the Atlantic?) It’s pretty commonly used in the UK, especially in a the context of sports, as in “Allowing that penalty shot was unfair. We was robbed! Th’ ref had’t in for us from the start!”

Nice seeing AMBER in the puzzle. Pretty interesting and scientifically valuable stuff. Although it is distributed around the world, its motherlode is the southern edge of the Baltic Sea.

ELBOW was not what first came to my mind as an answer to 52D (“Something a rude person uses in a crowd”). My answer had more to do with the effects of eating CHINESE CABbAGE.

Other observations:

— Anybody else notice TEA crossing …BAG… ?

— Three POCs across the bottom.

— One more Y (4) than Us (3). I wonder what @M&A thinks of that.

MISC. RATS USED MEN

@Nancy from yesterday — Thank you for the kind words.

Joe Jacobs 6:29 AM  

"We wuz robbed" was a boxing quote.

BarbieBarbie 6:41 AM  

MICE for RATS kind of messed me up.

Note that the “not to be” answers are in a sense buried. Cute.

When @Rex started bringing up the lawyering part of his brain objecting to the revealer I was in sympathy until the end of the sentence, and then... hey, that’s not the problem! Here it is: the constructor clues us with TO BE OR NOT TO BE, but then gives us 2 B **AND** not 2 B. Wrong conjunction at the junction. https://youtu.be/dfy5uN_wt3A (Sorry, don’t know how to link)

Still, a fun Tuesday that gave me a little tussle and had some good longer fill. I mean how can you go wrong with IMPECUNIOUS? So, thanks!

Anonymous 6:53 AM  

“We was robbed” is from On the Waterfront. It’s what the union reps say when testifing to when asked where their records went.

DeeJay 6:54 AM  

A nice, interesting Tuesday. Funny answers to boot.

Hungry Mother 7:05 AM  

Simple enough, interesting theme, but slow for me.

kitshef 7:13 AM  

Didn’t particularly enjoy this one. It’s perfectly serviceable, but nothing made me smile or go ‘aha’. A workmanlike offering.

Not familiar with REHAB in this sense, which introduced a tiny bit or resistance in the NE. Other than that, it was mostly read-and-type.

Loren Muse Smith 7:21 AM  

Fun idea! I’m surrounded by both COLD SOBBERs and DIETARY FIBBERS. My dogs will look me in the eye and insist they haven’t been fed yet. Right there, sports fans, is the one time a dog will flat lie to you. Otherwise, they’re completely honest. And the cold sobbers – people who’ve known me for decades - seem to think I’ll be happy right along with them when spring rears its ugly head, when the daffodils start crashing my happy freeze fest. I’ve always been such a loudmouth about loving winter, and this is just proof that no one listens to me, no one “gets” me. Except @Gill I. Honestly, I don’t blame’em. I get sick of myself, too.

I guess I had a dnf ‘cause I went with “he” WAS ROBED. So the “Holy smokes!” deal was “How?” I mean, if you squint and are a little buzzed, it works ok.

I had to look into this beautiful IMPECUNIOUS word. Never laid eyes on that one. Our school system is lurching toward impecuniousness, so we’re going all West Virginia Whoop Ass again. It’s not about our pay so much as their sneaky way to make it much more difficult to stay in a union, charter schools, and education savings accounts….

I’m headed to the Capitol and will try to post this from my phone. Some copy and pasting… Look for me on the news – I’ll be the one in red.

QuasiMojo 7:21 AM  

A DNF on a Tuesday! I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the Joint Enjoyer clue. I thought first it might be a carpentry term. “Enjoin”? And then I grokked a mini theme: sober, sots, per usual and put in TOPER. I don’t smoke pot so TOKER means nothing to me. OH OK is not something I would ever have thought of. I always used “okay” anyway. Maybe I’m just getting a bit stupid in my advancing years. Indeed, I tried out PEAKS IN PEKING before the silly Cabage thing. Crummy GRADE today. For the puzzle and for me.

pabloinnh 7:23 AM  

I caught on to this one quickly because I have been doing big books of Sunday puzzles and had just seen something similar. Helps to have a lot of free time

REHAB is way common on tv home improvement shows. See also, "DEMO".

Below zero again here this AM, but no COLDSOBBERS in my neighborhood. If you don't like cold weather, what are you doing here?

Today's coup was getting IMPECUNIOUS off the I. OFL's objection that it's a word that no one says much strikes me as curious, as in, so what?

Fun Tuesday. Thanks DAB.

ghthree 7:26 AM  

@merican in Paris
I have always associated "We was robbed" (sometimes spelled "We wuz robbed") with Brooklyn, not the UK. I just Googled the phrase, and got lots of different theories. TMI!

Jamie C 7:32 AM  

I won't have sex on a ship. I'm a land luber.

Jamie C 7:36 AM  

@LMS: White bonnet, too?

Lewis 7:49 AM  

Fun, engaging, and smart. Fun trying to guess the last two theme answers, and smiling at same. Engaging, with enough non-gimme cluing to wake my brain up. Smart to reverse the B/BB gimmick midway through.

Not to mention AVOW / WOW / BROW, and... IMPECUNIOUS! So many right choices made here, David, and thank you. It was brief, but a blast all the way through.

This was one of those themes that can only be done once, one that a quality constructor will work hard at to make worthy of the honor. IMO, David succeeded.

And dang, between yesterday's excellent offering and today's, what an excellent start to the week!

mooretep 7:49 AM  

A great puzzle, but then, I think all puzzles are great.

@LMS, as a fellow teacher from a bluer state, you have my support in your efforts to try to maintain living wage for a job that requires so much more work than the average citizen appreciates.
If you care about your students, as most teachers do, you can never do enough for them.
The work that we do outside of our contractual hours is substantial, especially if you teach English classes.

John H 7:54 AM  

Sorry, Rex, but buildings are in rehab all the time, have been for many decades. Just because something isn't in your vocabulary doesn't exist so your comment is really off the mark.

Joe Welling 7:54 AM  

YOYOs go up and down. Sure a YOYO can go back and forth, but that's not what they're known for. And quickly?

GHarris 7:56 AM  

My only agreement with Rex today is the odd use of avow, it’s opposite is often used to suggest denial or rejection but I never see it used as acceptance of responsibility. A most enjoyable romp with no problems. Kudos to Mr. B. Make that two kudos.

Peter P 7:59 AM  

I'm puzzled by the REHAB comment. Is this simply a term not common in some parts of the States? That answer went down as soon as the clue was read--it's an ordinary colloquial term, as I have experienced it, here in Chicago. And, for future reference, there's also the phrase "gut rehab" for when a building is gutted (i.e. much of the interior and infrastructure is torn out) and rebuilt from the inside. The phrase can be use either as a verb (to "gut rehab" a building) or, more commonly, as a noun ("Is that house you're looking at a gut rehab?")





Hartley70 8:04 AM  

Congrats to @Rachael, Rex’s sub last week, for her win last night on Jeopardy! I’ll be rooting for you tonight too.

This puzzle had a zany theme. I’m surprised Will went for the two to TO switch but I’m glad he did. I had a pause when I saw the bottom themers and that’s always a Tuesday pleasure. IMPECUNIOUS was an early week treat also. I’ve certainly tasted it before, but it’s not a regular part of my diet.

ArtO 8:16 AM  

REHAB related to housing is quite common among the r.e. speculators.

Looking for a double B in the lower half had me thrown for a minute. Clever, fun. Slightly crunchy for a Tuesday.

Dorothy Biggs 8:29 AM  

My husband is taking forever on this puzzle. He's still going. How do I gently hint to him that it's BLEU...and not the other way round?

35D Part of a web address I had "DOm" for domain...which is part of a web address. Then, well, I "remembered the TITANs."

Husband just finally finished. He appears to be angry.

Foster Brooks 8:31 AM  

I’ve heard the phrase stone cold sober, never without the stone.

FPBear 8:35 AM  

Really fine fun puzzle. A hair tough for a Tuesday.

gfrpeace 8:37 AM  

As the Harvard-educated chairperson of the Working Poor Caucus of a social justice organization, I use the word 'IMPECUNIOUS' all the time. I dropped it in on the I.

Z 8:44 AM  

I love that Rex bothered to explain his joke. I have done the same on many occasions.

As a Michigander living in the south, the COLD SOBBERs are a source of continuing amusement. I have to remind myself that cold is more dangerous than heat (people freeze to death but don't sweat to death) and that lots of people here just aren't equipped. But, seriously folks, put on some layers and get a decent hat that covers your ears and you'll be fine. On the plus side, the hiking trails are far less crowded in February.

Hand up for thinking Rex must never watch HGTV or DIY. REHAB Addict did a whole season on an historic home 200 yards from my old Detroit condo. REHAB is (mostly) for extensive remodeling of older homes and buildings. Interestingly, this is the older usage. The drug REHAB usage seems to be a 20th century creation.

As for IMPECUNIOUS, in my experience it is only used for someone one would not expect to be in such a state. Homeless people, no, the person upside down on their McMansion driving a Tesla, yes.

If all Tuesday puzzles were this good I'd never get to sarcastically write "Best Tuesday Ever." Loved the theme and the solve.

Z 8:49 AM  

@Dorothy Biggs - "no good deed goes unpunished" and "discretion is the better part of valor" came to mind as I read your post.

Sir Hillary 8:57 AM  

So, when commenters here claim that OFL Prof. Sharp's perspective is hindered by his blinkered academic existence, I guess they're saying he lives in his own "Michael Bubble"?

Anyhoo...this was a fun Tuesday, one which I assume was built around the discovery that TOBE ORNOT TOBE fits nicely in a 15-wide. The themers generally hold up, and the fill is tolerable. IMPECUNIOUS and BROWBEATING are a great DESSERT.

Thanks, DAB. IMSET.

Wm. C. 8:59 AM  

@Mooretep7:49 (and @LMS7:21), in re Teachers' pay and hours being unfair --

I'll agree that in the early years of teaching that hours may be over-long and the pay unfair for the hours.

But after that, the prep time recedes and the pay increases. Also, let's be clear, with summers and long holiday weeks off (amounting to about a third of the year's weeks), there is much more time off than with most other jobs (even when counterbalanced witih some evening work correcting tests,mpreparing report cards, etc.).

I'll admit that there are many dedicated teachers that go well beyond the minimums for their students, but it seems to me that they are pushing themselves rather than being pushed. Also, there are certainly several teachers to whom I owe a lot.

Now I'll duck and cover while waiting for responses to this. ;-)

Mark Tebeau 9:00 AM  

Liked the theme but TOKER nearly killed me. OHOK, I've said maybe once but the clue was not ok. I figured the theme immediately and liked DIETARY FIBBER very much; HE WAS ROBED was a close second, though I wish need have stayed that way. Eventually we will see a playful puzzle around that idea of being robbed that's clued in sports because the officiating is so poor in football: we waz robbed as an example.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

"I was as many young barristers are an impecunious party" Gilbert and Sullivan, "Trial By Jury".

Lorelei Lee 9:21 AM  

It was nice to have a man constructor!And what a great handle, Bywaters. I'm still not over Rex's great success from yesterday when he cornered the NYT into publishing a puzzle by not just one gal but two! Us girls are lucky to have him. Keep that count current!

Finished this one but it was more of a Wednesday. Finally got through it on the many useful crosses.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Peter P,
Rehab is very common. Don't let Rex be your arbiter for what's common parlance. He has a lot of knowledge, but nearly as much as he thinks.

Gypsyboom 9:35 AM  
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nyc_lo 9:39 AM  

Basically enjoyed this one. Although I would have enjoyed “we wuz robbed” more. Quote origins for that sort of phrase are always sketchy, but it gets attributed most often to fight manager Joe Jacobs after the Max Schmeling/Jack Sharkey title fight in 1932.

A guy in Nampa 9:46 AM  

This time, I ate the bear...
Monday easy, fairly enjoyable.

Wm. C. 9:50 AM  


@G-boom9:35 --

Re your query as to whether AEON should have been AN.EON ...

I too had the same thought. Your question prompted me to Wikipedia the issue and found that it is an alternative spelling. Who knew?

Nancy 9:50 AM  

It's so nice to have to actually do some thinking on a Tuesday. Adding to my pleasure is the fact that the theme is adorable. I'd say that this is the best Tuesday I've ever done -- if only I remembered any of those other Tuesdays. But one of the very best, that's for sure.

Look at how FLAT is clued (26D). And our old standby AMAT (54A) -- no longer just any old Latin I verb. And ATM (29D). And ELBOW (52D). And DESSERT (5D)! And my absolute favorite: YAWNS (67A)! Sure didn't see that coming.

And then there were the delightful theme answers -- the funniest being WE WERE ROBED.

So much fun! I tried to handle this in the exact opposite way from Rex and other speed solvers. I tried to make it last -- just like DESSERT. But now it's all gone, says SOBBER me.

CDilly52 10:01 AM  

I like what @kitshef said: “serviceable.” And ehat @Rex said about a decent idea with execution issues. I figured out the gag immediately but really didn’t like the TO/two problem with the reveal. The fill was clunky in spots but it didn’t really slow me down. I think this could have sparkeled with some more work and I didn’t hate it. Finished quickly (for me).

Molasses 10:17 AM  
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TJS 10:18 AM  

The "We was robbed"comment sent me searching for the great fight film collector, Jim Jacobs, who had archival footage of every great fighter from 1897 until his death in 1988. 17,000 films, frequently shown on tv specials in the 60's and 70's. Came across an interesting side note, Rex ; he also had a collection of over 800,000 comic books...

Nancy 10:19 AM  

Another hand way up on AVOW having been incorrectly clued. It took me aback when I encountered it, but I was so enthusiastic about the puzzle that I forgot to mention it. AVOWing is often done with enthusiasm and pride, and never with guilt and shame.

Thanks, @Hartley, for reminding us that last night's Jeopardy winner was our very own Rex sub, Rachel. I had no idea, even though I saw the program. I was, however, preening a bit, because none of the contestants last night got the Final Question and I did. Anyway, now that I know it's you, Rachel, I'll be rooting for you from now on. (I always mute the Q&A with the contestants, not because I don't like contestants, but because I can't stand Alex Trebek. Never could -- and I've watched this program for decades.)

Loren Muse Smith 10:20 AM  

@Dorothy Biggs- I like your style.

@Mark Tebeau- so did you have “he” WAS ROBED like I did?

@William C - where did you teach and what subject did you teach?

jberg 10:22 AM  

I got the revealer and immediately went back to complete the first two theme answers. Having done so, I was a bit disappointed to see that they were both TO BE answers--so I was even more delighted to find the NOT TI BEs down at the bottom. Re Rex's objection, I don't think you have to take out both Bs to make it work -- CAB AGE is 'not 2 b' already.

I was very proud to get IMPECUNIate off the I. It wasn't too serious an error as far as the solving went, and it's a lovely word. I'm sure I have said it (the correct version) from time to time.

@Quasi, I've never smoked the stuff either, but there's this song, a top 10 hit in 1971. I was 28 then -- I guess if you're much younger you might not know it.

@Dorothy b -- me too for wanting DOm before DOT, but it's only Tuesday and the clue didn't suggest an abbreviation, so that saved me.

Everybody puzzled by OH OK -- you pause and do a kind of double take between the two words. Like if someone criticizes me for eating asparagus with my fingers, and I explain that that's actually the proper etiquette, and cite Miss Manner to prove it -- whereupon my interlocutor might say "OH! ... OK"

@Loren, you've stumped me again. Why is Barney speaking Russian, and what's the joke about? But probably you're too busy to answer me, so don't worry about it. Go teachers!

Amelia 10:25 AM  
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Ethan Taliesin 10:26 AM  

Why carp on IMPECUNIOUS for being rarely used, it's not obscure vocab. It was the best thing in the grid IMHO. Thought you liked a little whimsy...

...plus, words that go up to eleven rock so hard. To galvanize my point and polish its edge to a razor, consider 10-letter IMPECUNIOU, now that would just be silly.

The problem I had with the grid was two too many REs.

Also, I would have preferred the center to read TWO B OR NOT TWO B. Suppose W's are a bear to cross, doh.

Suzie Q 10:28 AM  

This was a real winner for me. Cool words/clues and some humor.
What more could I ask for a Tuesday or any day?

Sir Hillary 10:31 AM  

@jberg -- Re: LMS's avatar, I assume Barney "Ruble" is saying something about money.

Unknown 10:33 AM  

got hung up on aeons vs eons for a couple of minutes then got it . but RATS ? the proper clue should have been cat's catchers judging by the size of the critters I've seen scurrying at night!

OTOH the B or not to (two) B was easy. don't know it just clicked. cheater /Fibber , Take hard/ Sobber, Robed as in clothed and golden age of cabs.

All in all it was fun!

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

From Rubble to ruble, I imagine

QuasiMojo 10:41 AM  

I apologize for my crabbiness this morning. To the constructor. He did a good job. @jberg, I kinda remember that song. But it’s lost in a haze. :) — as for “we was robbed” there is a lot of evidence it was said by boxer Max Schmeling’s coach after Max llost a fight. In 1932. So I suspect On the Waterfront was not the original source. And no doubt was common parlance back then anyway. James Cain used it in the story The Robbery, although I cant find a date for it. Probably 30s.

ArtO 10:42 AM  

Actually, in Brooklyn it was WE WUZ ROBBED.!

Unknown 10:45 AM  

Your comment on DOI made me laugh out loud. Thanks for a great start to the day!

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

Thank you very much Mr. Bywaters for an enjoyable Tuesday puzzle.

Banana Diaquiri 10:57 AM  

REHAB is euphemism for gentrification which is euphemism for toss out the poor black folks cause the rich white folks like those old buildings.

GILL I. 11:02 AM  

Well, I'm going to ask @Quasi if he'd like to sit with me in the DNF corner. I'd share a TOKER with him and tell him to not worry because if it's the right stuff, I'll make you laugh silly.
My problem corner was with the 5D clue: "Life is short___eat___first." Whaaaat is that? Then I had NEE for the MRS. I had the UNIOUS in place - oof could not see through the fog.
So I come here and see everyone had a jolly old time with this. I'm seriously crushed that a Tuesday got me good. Gee..I can't wait for tomorrow.
IMPECUNIOUS doesn't seem Tuesday fair to me. I've seen the word but would never use it out in the wild. I prefer "flat out broke." BROW BEATING is a fine word. It's one that makes you go HUH when you first run into it. Why beat your brow while bullying someone. I'd also like to know why CRABS are grouches....Never mind.
I liked that Bywaters clued GOYA as a painter of the nude Majas and not as a black bean. I'm an artiste, you know.
Way to go Rachel. I'm rooting for you tonight.......

Wm. C. 11:03 AM  


@LMS10:20 --

Sorry if my post was misleading ... I never taught. I do have two advanced degrees, but I was referring to elementary and HS teachers in my comments, which I assume is your interest of concern.

Malsdemare 11:04 AM  

Fast, fun solve. I loved BROWBEATING and IMPECUNIOUS. I don't care what Rex says, I have been known to use that word. I adore words that are that precise. Anyone else notice all the Ws there in the SE? What's up with that?

The themers were terrific and I chuckled at the reveal. I saw it as a question about adding a second B so I find Rex's querulousness (I think I made a new word) about 2 Bs unnecessary, but then I often do. I gotta admit, though, that the whole Bobby Flay suggestion, whoever he is, was pretty cute.

And now to read y'all.

Molasses 11:09 AM  

@Z thanks for the link to the Online Etymology Dictionary! Bookmarking and anticipate lots of word nerdy fun.

@LMS good luck! Thanks for what you do.

I enjoyed the puzzle, thought it was fun and clever, and made me feel clever for figuring it out and getting it done with no help from the internet. (Apologies if this shows up twice; tried to delete original after realizing I'd typed hep not help. Unintentionally.)

jae 11:13 AM  

Tough. This was more like a medium Wed. Misreading 13d as endeavor instead of enjoyer didn’t help. I also had problems making sense of WEWASROBED. Liked it, but yesterday’s was just better.

Aketi 11:16 AM  

@jberg, I was 14 at the time and definitely remember the TOKER song. Despite having been forced to watch Lawerence Welk when my grandparents baby sat us, however, I did not see the episode that featured the song. All this time I thought it was one TOE over the line, haha. Now the lyrics make much more sense.

Masked and Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Liked today's TOBE REDO rodeo. WEWASROBED is flat-out excellent & funny. tUespUzthUmbsUp.

Admired the obbviously-appropriate Utah-like blobs of shade on either side of the grid. The "B"-hive State.
IMPECUNIOUS just sounds like somethin that a David Alfred Bywaters dude would sneak into a grid. Or that Will Shakespeare would splatz into a grid, if he'da ever had a shot at one. Well-TEATRAY-spotted, old chap.

The AVOW synonyms do include "admit", in the M&A Help Desk Official Thesaurus. It is the ninth choice out 12, I'll grant. ["Aver" comes in twelfth, with a "formal" disclaimer tag on it.]

fave fillins: DESSERT. Crossin DIETARY. Beats CABAGE, CABBAGE, or CABBBAGE, any old day. Honrable mention to OHOK.

staff weeject pick: Tie. The co-winners are:
* DOI. Cuz it's another RE-DO, kinda like TO-BE. Would like to also point out his brother ducks HOI & LOI, for completeness.
* OLA. Sweet jukebox clue. Lookin forward to ZER bein clued up as {Classic jukebox brand Wurlit-___}. David Alfred'd surely do it, if cornered & unsobber.

Thanx for the primo fun, Mr. Bywaters. Like yer pic at xwordinfo.chen. Confuses the @RP-gendercount.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

p.s. Ok, but be safe out there, @pixie-cut muse. No not-be's about it. Work the runt, if U get hungry.


dessert2:
**gruntz**


Anonymous 11:22 AM  

No, Banana, gentrification is Chinese investment money buying up and tearing down every urban neighborhood they can find. That's where all those ugly buildings are coming from. Try to get yout racism right.

Carola 11:23 AM  

I thought this was a stellar Tuesday, with an inspired use of the famous quote and witty renditions of it. My favorite wias CHINESE CAB AGE. After "SOBBER" I blithely assumed all would be "two B's," so the lower half was an additional delightful surprise. Add to it BROWBEATING and IMPECUNIOUS - dynamite.

DESSERT x DIETARY FIBBER: Ay, there's the rub.

RooMonster 11:27 AM  

Hey All !
Being IMPECUNIOUS (or even IMPECUNIate) you'd figure I'd've heard of that word. I just call it being BROKE.

Re: AEON, I'm kinda surprised some haven't seen/heard that before, it's a great PuzWord. It's just an alternate spelling of EON. I think it's actually the AE together symbol thingie I can't do on my phone! And a movie, starring Milla Jovovich, AEON Flux. So now you know too much!

Pretty neat theme. TO BE, top TWO Themers are Two B's (when they should NOT BE), NOT TO BE, bottom Two are NOT Two B's (when they should BE.) Cool Beans. Resulting in Rex's Wackiness Ensues.

Fill was fine, some clues were very nice, a notch above a Regular TuesPuz. Got those extra black squares in the NW/SE due to the themers being 13's. That happens with 13's. Not a bug, just something I've run into with construction before.

TO BE TO BE DO
RooMonster
DarrinV

Ted Cole 11:28 AM  

Liked this on a lot.

old timer 11:28 AM  

A couple of observations:

As the Comte de Roquefort said to the Duc de Brie, "I'm BLRU."

I well remember hearing Steve Miller sing, "I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight TOKER." Always got a bit of a rise from the crowd at the Fillmore. Back then having pot on your person was a felony but there was still this distinctive aroma here and there in the hall. s

I trust the Sharkey story about "We was robbed" because it was surely in the papers the next day.

And I thought the puzzle was good for a Tuesday, with some flashes of cleverness.

Malsdemare 11:29 AM  

@william C. I was a university prof, so my experience is different from Loren's. But as a rule, good teachers are always changing up what they do, creating new assignments, finding better readings, working up labs, group activities. Pile on meetings, workshops, lunchroom duty, and the endless reports and you've got horribly long days. A dear friend of mine, after 30 years of teaching high school science classes has just now reached the point where he takes the summer off, but his school years hours are terrifying. In additon to teaching and grading and the other non-teach8ng tasks, he often meets classes for weekend labs, coaches science teams, guides ExploraVision projects. He exhausts me, as does Loren.

Go get "em Loren.

Lewis 11:33 AM  

This was one of those themes that can only be done once, one that a quality constructor will work hard at to make worthy of the honor. IMO, David nailed it.

jb129 11:33 AM  

Fun puzzle for a Tuesday!

jb129 11:34 AM  

Oh & congrats to Rachel - hope you continue to be the winner on Jeopardy this week.

Anonymous 11:47 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Hoffman 11:55 AM  

Excellent puzzle! Good theme! Just right for Tuesday.

Rainbow 12:27 PM  

AVOW I took the time to look into this. You can, too. The clue is legit.

fiddleneck 12:41 PM  

@Malsdemare: Thanks. You are right. And many teachers spend summers in school, either brushing up on their own courses, or teaching to supplement their pay. Teachers do not get equal pay, though unions have been helpful in getting equal pay for women.

Teedmn 12:52 PM  

I got 17A, COLD SOBBER, figured out what the base phrase was, and snuck a peak at the constructor's name because I was sure this must be a DAB puzzle. I solve a puzzle by David Alfred Bywaters every week and his touch is obvious - he does letter substitutions and additions so well and often has interesting clues. I like this, thanks Mr. Bywaters.

Even after the revealer, I wasn't expecting the B disappearing in the bottom two theme answers. I stared at 47A for a CAB's AGE, trying to figure out where I went wrong in the crosses. And ignoring "attachments" in 57D's clue led me to splatz in "bcc" before ALOOF brought me back to PDFS.

IMPECUNIOUS, what a great, Dickensian word.

tea73 12:58 PM  

@Z actually people, especially older ones, do sweat to death pretty frequently during heat waves. Our senior center operates as a cooling station for people without A/C. Rehab is a major part of my architectural business. I've worked on a number of gut rehabs. I loved the theme and don't get the kvetching about the reveal. I liked DIETARY FIBBER crossing DESSERT. Did you know that dessert is stressed spelled backwards? Now you do and will remember that deserts with camels only have one s.

Pete 1:12 PM  

@William C - Your reading skills are lacking. Loren didn't mis-construe what you wrote by thinking you actually knew what you were talking about, that was a polite "shut the fuck up about how difficult teaching is unless you've actually done it". Also, there are 180 days in a school year, the minimum # of working days in a year is 235 for 9-5 workers (52 wks/year, 2 weeks vacation, 8 holidays). That's 3/4, not 2/3. I know math's hard but even so, apparently you are bad at it. Maybe you had a sequence of those lazy, overpaid, slothful math teachers?

Joe Dipinto 1:13 PM  

I'm a joker, I'm a smoker
I'm a mid-night toker
I get my lovin' on the run


34a is Meat Loaf's real last name.

I thought this theme worked very well. 2B...2B...To be. Or. Not to be...not 2B...not 2B. It's sheer elegance in it's simplicity.

Z 1:14 PM  

@Wm C - That whooshing sound was @LMS' point flying over your head. Trust me when I say you don't want to go down that path (which you seemed to recognize). Any private sector person saying what you said gets a polite eye-roll at best. Teachers often leave teaching for less stressful, better paying jobs. Nobody in private industry has ever left their job because teaching was easier (or, if they did, someone like me quickly counseled them back out of teaching).

ÆON, EON, AEON, all the same word. Apparently "Æ" is the Latin transliteration of a Greek vowel (Hi @molasses - it is a useful site). As is often the case with transliteration, acceptable spelling is a little higgledy-piggledy, a fact constructors abuse and solvers need to take into account.

As for AVOW, Oxford says it means to "...confess openly." So the clue seems fine but certainly not how I have ever thought of it.

I'm pretty sure I knew WE WAS ROBbED from Bugs Bunny.

foxaroni 1:16 PM  

WOW, found this VERY tough for a Tuesday. For some unknown reason, wrote MTM for the Jacksons producer. I think I conflated the Jacksons with the Jeffersons, which was a TV series that I thought might have been produced by MTM. (Unknown reason, indeed.) Had nice instead of rats, worn instead of used, lay instead of lie. The 2/two/to seems to be punnish to me. Since I love puns, that's ohkay (!).

Brewer and Shipley are from Kansas City. Although one-hour wonders on the national scene, they are trotted out every now and then here for some reason or another--probably nostalgia.

My two sisters were both middle-school teachers. They may have had summers off, but they earned every minute of that down time, and then some. Go, Loren!

Hoffman 1:19 PM  

Had to finally check my answers since I had “HE WAS ROBED”. Not aware of it being an old quote and was just annoyed.

Z 1:46 PM  

@tea73 - I take your point - heat waves are dangerous and mortality increases during them - but hypothermia kills directly while hyperthermia is usually indirect or occurs when the body doesn't regulate heat well anymore (which is why heat waves kill mostly the elderly). So, yeah, "hardly anybody except elderly people without AC sweat to death" would have been more precise. Dark. But precise. Now, where's my tauntaun?

Anonymous 1:56 PM  

@z
Teachers in this country are a menace. Funding schools with local real estate taxes is an abomination and has resulted in untold suffering. Teachers unions are worse.
My god! Google "rubber rooms and NYC teachers" for just one egregious example. Of course even worse than unions are school administrators. Now, that's a bunch of parasites. There are 587 school districts in Michigan! 587!!! There are only 83 counties. Why all the districts, each requiring a bloated staff of administration?

Crimson Devil 2:16 PM  

I think that’s correct re boxer Schmelling’s manager, Jacobs maybe. Also was quoted from On the Waterfront; ‘nother great quote from there: I coulda been a contendah !!

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

I too thought *avow* was clued inaccurately. It's a word I never use, and I had never thought about it. I decided to look it up in my ever-trusty Funk and Wagnalls (1963), and this is its only definition: "To declare openly, as facts; own; acknowledge: to *avow* oneself guilty."

One benefit of an "older" dictionary is that it lets you see what's happened to words (and what have become words) in the last half century. Does *avow* make one think of *wow* and thus associate this infrequently used word with an expression of enthusiasm?

Anon. i.e. Poggius

LOL 2:37 PM  

Re:Anon 1:56—-Don’t take the bait Z

pabloinnh 2:39 PM  

Big shout out to everyone out there defending teachers. A friend and fellow teacher used to point out that in some ways people think about teachers in the same way they think about restaurant servers--everyone has seen them in action and supposes they know how to do that job. Nope.

I knew/know a substantial number of teachers, myself included, who did not take "summers off".In some cases, we were taking summer courses required to maintain certification. In others, we just needed the money, because, you know, pay scales.

Fight the good fight, LMS. A lot of us are rooting for you.

john towle 2:40 PM  

When Dem Bums were in Brooklyn, the NY (baseball) J’iints would sometimes clobber them. Dodgers fans far & wide would moan: “We wuz robbed.” The rivalry, one of the longest in sports, continues to this day, even though both teams…both great…now reside on the left coast. Leo “The Lip” Durocher, Hall of Fame manager of the Giants, no doubt echoed WWR myriad times when the tables were turned.


Best,

john

Banana Diaquiri 2:41 PM  

everybody knows you don't need no book larnin to walk behind a mule. too bad such morons can still vote.

Aketi 2:42 PM  

@Z, you have now explained what I suspected of the current President of Cornell who used to be at U MIch. She must have thought that the well over 50% of the student body that signed the petition to postpone classes on the day that temperature dropped below minus 20 with the wind chill factor were COLD SOBBERS. It was the same day that the University of Iowa student died. She has alienated most of the students with her decision and probably a fair number of parents, especially those that attended Cornell who know how steep the hills are and how cold the wind can get. Most of the students have to live off campus and even the who live in the dorms are a 20 minute walk from campus. Even if you have a car, which not all students can afford, I know from experience that some cars won’t start at those temperatures.

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

One toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line
Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line.

Toke is referring to a train token.

Anonymous 3:48 PM  

hey Mods,

why nuke my question to Z? lots of talk here about teachers and teacher's worth. What gives?

Michiganman 4:00 PM  

Betsy DeVos Now there's a name that should strike fear into the hearts of all who love education and teachers. Another gift to the nation from Agent Orange.

Wm. C. 4:01 PM  



As expected, I got a lot of flak about my comments about teaching hours versus pay. Many examples were made of teachers working well beyond actual teaching and other required hours. I have no doubt at all that this is true, but I still think that most of this is self-generated professionalism among most of those teachers, rather than a requirement of the job. Some valid exceptions to this were mentioned, and I accept this.

On the points that many teachers work summers to get extra money, no doubt that this is true. But this just adds to a good college-educated income from the base 180 days/year teaching. BTW, we haven't mentioned sick days, which I'd guess are free up to some limit of perhaps 10/year before pay is docked.

@Pete1:12 -- Speaking of math skills, I'm enlightened to learn that 52 work-weeks less two weeks vacation and 8 holidays yields "a minimum" of 235 days/year.

And finally, now that I've trashed many grade-school and high school teachers, let me move on to some University professors...

Again, I've had many of these, well over 100, and the large majority of them have my total respect and admiration. However, some slide by on the minimums, perhaps holding about ten hours per week of lectures, maybe about as many more in mandatory faculty meetings and administrative tasks, but with the rest (labs, workshops, exam proctoring and grading, etc.) left to support staff like TAs and administrators. I know for a fact that many of my former Prof's in engineering and business school get $2K+/day from former students now ex-colleagues in executive ranks, for miscellaneous consulting engagements that are far from personally taxing.

And btw, don't get me started on tenure protection. I'm not totally against some job protection, but the barriers against dismissal shouldn't be absolute or excessive, as they are in most cases. One sees very little of this in the private sector.




Wm. C. 4:14 PM  


And one more point .... I just googled the average BASE education-profession salary in my home state of Massachusetts ($61K/yr) versus the base pay of ALL college-educated professionals (~$72K/yr). Not bad, about 85% as much for about half the workdays.

Worldlyview 4:20 PM  

Careful, Rex, you almost gave an unqualified 'like' to this very clever puzzle.

Wundrin' 4:35 PM  

Were Prometheus and Epimetheus once Oilers?

Banana Diaquiri 4:53 PM  

if teaching were such a sucking the hind teat job (easy hours and fat paycheck), then why don't all those bloviating against teaching just go get a job teaching? BTW, it's such an easy job that 50% who enter leave after 5 years. such a sinecure. try it some time.

sanfranman59 5:21 PM  

Medium-Challenging Tuesday (5:27, 8% above my 6-mo Tuesday median, 1.4 Rex Parkers) ... IMPECUNIOUS (24D) is a great word, but decidedly un-Tuesdayish. Like Rex, I went with IMPECUNIary at first. I don't know if I've heard the stand-alone phrase "cold sober" without "stone" at the start. It sure doesn't Google well (48,000 hits without "stone", 320,000 with it). I'm often amazed at the blank spots in individual knowledge of our language by folks who are obviously adept with it. Rex not knowing REHAB (11D) as a term for fixing up a building is a case in point. But I don't understand why he doesn't look up things before criticizing them in his reviews or at least word his reviews as if he might be wrong. His comments about REHAB and AVOW (2D) are today's examples. I was surprised by the clue for AVOW also, but looked it up and it's accurate.

Jeff B. 6:08 PM  

Fun puzzle. A little difficult for a Tuesday.

Growing up in Brooklyn at the end of the Dodgers' time there, I know 'we wuz robbed' from their fans and from Gallo's drawings in the sports pages of the NY Daily News. But it makes sense that it originated with boxing.

Banana, I'm with you on supporting teachers. I do not associate REHAB with gentrification. Housing rehab is usually about helping people stay in their homes. The real gentrifiers, with little in the way of defensible motives, are the home flippers.

BarbieBarbie 6:23 PM  

All I can say is I wish I could get in touch with Mrs. Immel from East Avenue 7th grade and thank her so much for the profound impact she had on my life. And I don't think I'd be alone-- she had a long career. As did Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Beery-- two more I think of often. And Mr. Goldsmith. And Mr. Trimingham. And Mr. Harmon. And....

...you go @LMS.

KFC 7:17 PM  

@Unknown - before you post anything else that makes you seem uninformed you should read @Pete’s 1:12 comment.

Shawn P. 7:30 PM  

Susanville Godspeed at 7abc

Leslie 7:43 PM  

A really clean, fun puzzle. I really liked the lack of product and pop culture names.

Bureaucrat 8:37 PM  

@anon 1:57 —What you said is true not only of high schools but even more so of colleges and universities. It’s no wonder it can cost up to 300k to send a kid to a private university. Honk if your an administrator. Nice work if you can get it.

Unknown 8:40 PM  

If you are a little buzzed at 7 20 am, we may need to have a different conversation, @LMS.☺ I'm always on the rex parker evening shift. I sweep up the place after you're all long gone.

Unknown 8:42 PM  

Me, too. I hear it all the time.

Unknown 8:47 PM  

Yes, those were the best answers in this fun puzzle

Anonymous 9:01 PM  

Pete,
Are you still spouting off? Why dont you tottle off with your Amish pal of thirty years.
Wm C is correct. Teachers in the US have an easy gig. Lots of days off and decent pay. Any half wit can be a teacher hedeabouts.

Old Robert 9:03 PM  

Didn't care for COCA as a"lucrative South American crop" that also kills people.

Banana Diaquiri 10:24 PM  

@Jeff B.
Housing rehab is usually about helping people stay in their homes.

well... I lived on Capitol Hill when the white folk bought up row houses along Pennsylvania Ave. SE, tossing the black folk out into Anacostia and Maryland, and REHABbed the bejesus out of hundreds, if not thousands, of them. been there, seen that.

Mark Tebeau 10:53 PM  

Ha ha. I did indeed. Saved by the cross! Writing a note on my phone can lead to more brevity than usual. The clue might have been "Couple's defense against public nudity." Alas, that might be too risque for the NY Times X, with its odd sense of what is appropriate and not.

DavesNotHere 11:36 PM  

A wee bit harsh don’t ya think? Where I come from, buildings are reno’ed. People are rehabbed. Although reno didn’t fit - so rehab it was after some fill.

MLK Jr. Fan 12:00 AM  

@Banana: You should care about character content instead of skin color.

Mike 2:38 AM  

I am definitely a DIETARY FIBBER.

Loren Muse Smith 6:15 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 6:28 AM  

I sure didn’t mean to start a big Teacher Dust-Up here. I just wanted to give the inside scoop here to all my friends.

@William C – I have only one advanced degree, so you got me there. But I’ve taught at the university level both as a TA and then as faculty. And now I teach k-12 public school. So I can speak to both experiences.

Teaching at a university is like that walk in the woods I was joking about recently – you’re wearing an LL Bean outfit, walking through a Robert Frost forest with wide paths covered in pine-needles. You have a beautiful golden retriever named Archie on a leash. The air is crisp and clean.

Teaching in a public school is that hideous bushwhacking through a jungle rife with snakes and scorpions. You’re in the skirt and blouse you had on when your plane went down. The heel of the one pump you have left has broken off, but that’s a good thing ‘cause you’re using it as a possible weapon against a cougar attack.

When I taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, my students were present, engaged, motivated, reasonable. I imparted knowledge. My world was Norman Rockwell.

Where I teach now, my students are absent a lot, unengaged, unmotivated, unreasonable. I can’t blame them – their lives are rife with all the bleak stuff that accompanies poverty, drug addiction, and hopelessness. When it was announced we would strike, a student messaged me about it on Facebook. I don’t want to go down that path, that Being Friends on Facebook with Students path, but I kept thinking about the fact that she’s one of the 30-40 kids who gets a backpack of food every Friday for the weekend when they won’t be fed at school. That she has also been removed from her home twice because her mom has a meth problem. So I answered and asked if she’d be ok. She said she would. I wanted to ask more, but I didn’t want to insult her. So she and countless others are on my mind on this second day of our strike. To the heartache of witnessing hardship, add oversized classes, a lack of subs, broken computers, broken desks, too few textbooks, no money for supplies, bathroom stalls with broken doors, custodians who run out of bleach around April and we have to donate bottles, water fountains that don’t work… and pay so low that many of my colleagues have to have a side job just to make ends meet. When I say I cry at least once a week, that is not an exaggeration. My world is now Edvard Munch.

FWIW, our pay raise was in the bill that we rejected. We’re not striking for more money in our paychecks; we’re striking against charter schools and ESAs that would take even more money from our coffers, against making legal class sizes larger, and against lots of other things that would affect the quality of the education we’re trying to provide.

Blog regulars, if you want to continue this discussion, feel free to email me at nerol 2 at msn. If you’re an anonymous troll, either come out from behind your sniveling cowardly anonymity and email me or just go to hell.

Eric NC 8:22 AM  

@mls
I followed your link re the legislation. Hopefully the teachers will get this piece of sh*t changed or, even better, convince the citizens of WV that the legislators themselves need to be changed. Let us/me know if the crowd funding site has to go up again. I’ll be happy to donate having read the details of what you’re up against.

Wm. C. 9:05 AM  


@LMS --

Great post. It's clear that you're a dedicated teacher.

You do, however, generalize about public schools. What you say is, I'm sure, true about public schools in poverty-stricken areas. I and my children grew up in fairly well-to-do suburbs and got excellent educations that gained entry into excellent universities.

On the subject of Charter Schools, I'm of two minds: it's true that the exit of good students and funds from the public schools cause them harm; OTOH, it's hard to blame parents who wish to provide better educations for their kids than what they would get in public schools that are sub-par.

On the OTHER other hand, in my suburban Boston town with excellent public schools, ones with honor programs that rival or beat the educational experiences of the best local private schools, there are parents who still choose to send their kids to (admittedly excellent) private schools. For the most part, though with exceptions, this is just elitist behavior, IMO.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

Rex clearly doesn't watch HGTV or he would have gotten "rehab" instantly, as I did. As someone else said, just because you don't know the word, Rex, doesn't mean it isn't crazy-common to others. I enjoyed this puzzle, liked the theme, chuckled more than once, groaned only once (DOI). Can't ask for more than that.

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

Blog admins,

Really??? Really LMS can tell people to go hell? That flies these days? I know she's everyone's darling. I know teachers in wet Virginia are in fact underpaid. But there's no call for telling anyone, anonymous or not, to go to Hell. It's uncivil, and as I understood them, a violation of the board's rules. If that behavior is ok, so be it. But please, let everyone voice their contempt and vulgarity similarly, whether they're Ms. Smith or anonymous.

Loren Muse Smith 9:43 AM  

@Wm. C. – you’re absolutely right; sorry for getting my back up. I see the plight of public education through the lens of a desperately poor school system. I guess schools in more affluent areas have enough bleach to last the year, enough working computers, working water fountains, text books, blah blah and can hence afford to have some of their funding go toward giving brighter kids the chance to choose a school that would be a better fit. I shouldn’t have generalized. Shake?

Pamela 10:38 AM  

I thought the theme was cute and the puzzle fun and very easy. Got impecunious from IM, love WE WAS ROBED, would have loved WUZ even more. After a quick, sketchy run through, finished the lower half with just the acrosses. More enjoyable than many for me, made me feel really smart;/

spacecraft 11:51 AM  

@anon 3:28: OHOK, AWE SURE. Subway tokens. And grass is the stuff you mow.

I thought perhaps @the bard might favor us with the complete soliloquy, but I guess not. Hope he's OK.

This was another fun tilt, not as tight as yesterday's but quite nice. 17-across is why I now live in the DES[S]ERT southwest. I love IMPECUNIOUS; it's so Dickensian. I was prepared to defend 59-across via the subway rivalry, but I see that's been done. Does it and GOYA constitute a mini-theme here?

Agree that REHAB belongs to people vs. buildings, and that "Own up to" is a piss-poor clue for AVOW. A choppy grid with lots of threes, and fours to last an AEON, makes for sub-prime fill, but this one makes birdie anyway. DOD AMBER Tamblyn put it over the top.

Burma Shave 12:07 PM  

AWE SURE – CRABS!

TOBE SURE, we took a BROWBEATING
about that OLDE SEX AID we bought
when we USED TOBE ALOOF from cheating
whether WEWASROBED, ORNOT.

--- MRS. AMBER GOYA

Diana, LIW 12:35 PM  

A dnf with BUTS instead of OUTS - that's why I came in at #674 at the ACPT. Where the wind made for BBBBBrrrrr weather. I was going for the extra BBBBBs.

But ACPT was not a lot of YAWNS, that's fer sure. No one was ALOOF, even the stars.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 1:37 PM  

Perfect Tues. puzzle - fair and fun. It must of nearly killed Rex to grudgingly admit he was "neutral" on it....

leftcoastTAM 2:46 PM  

Cleverer, tougher, and more fun than most Tuesdays are meant to be, or not to be? No matter. This one is all those things.

A very satisfying "aha" came with the lower two one-B theme answers balancing out the upper first two, two-Bs, bisected by Hamlet's famous lament TO BE.... How good can a Tuesday get? Try this one.

The two long downs added a bit of additional sparkle, especially IMPECUNIOUS.

Great work by DAW.

rainforest 3:30 PM  

This puzzle was the Bs knees! I loved the re-purposing of the Shakespeare quote to serve as the revealer, and in my reading it was spot on. The themers were quite risible, especially - no, take that back - they all were great.

Reminds me (permit me) of a demonstration I used to give my chemistry students (way, to go @LMS) using two test tubes. I used to say "If this one is Tube A, would this other one be Tube B or not Tube B? Maybe you had to be there, but I still enjoy remembering that one. Destroying an overhead projector, or the time I blew a hole in the lab's ceiling, not so much.

I rarely contribute to blog controversies, particularly when I'm 5 weeks later, but I do think that @Wm.C needs smiting severely.

But the puzzle - a wonderful Tuesday, which is truly a "rara avis".

rondo 6:06 PM  

Like that OFL linked to B.B. King, or Riley B. King, whether you want one B or two. The new car has Sirius XM and B.B. King’s Bluesville gets plenty of play. I wouldn’t be surprised if @D,LIW also has that.

In my biz, we REHAB roads all the time. And I’m in the midst of a house REHAB, so I buy that usage, though I’m sick of that job.

AMBER Heard the FLAT out yeah baby today. No LIE.

Another good Tues-puz. WOW!

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