Scoffing remark to ignoramus / TUE 3-12-19 / Modern acronym for seize the day / Creator of logical razor / Bird in flycatcher family / Old Turkish title

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Constructor: Jules Markey

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (3:36)


THEME: BUTTON DOWN (30D: Very conventional ... or a hint to the starts of the answers to the four starred clues) — themers (which all run "down") all start with kinds of "buttons":

Theme answers:
  • SNOOZEFEST (3D: *Bo-o-o-ring event)
  • "LIKE YOU KNOW" (24D: *Scoffing remark to an ignoramus)
  • BELLY UP THE BAR (6D: *Go order a drink)
  • PANIC ATTACK (9D: *Flop sweat producer)
Word of the Day: PEWEE (65A: Bird in the flycatcher family) —
any of various small largely gray or olive-colored American flycatchers (genus Contopus(m-w)
• • •

Felt like I was flying on this one, but ended up with a time pretty close to average. I think the grid is so choppy and fussy that I spent more time on cursor management than I might have otherwise. 80 words!? 78 is the max ... for a reason! Why would a theme this basic need to go to 80 words!? And higher word count should mean easier grid to fill, which should mean cleaner grid, but that's not really true here. So many 3- and 4-letter word, useless little NE / SW corners not connected to anything ... really don't like the way this grid is built. I do like the themers, and the theme, though a common ("first words...") type, is neatly executed. But again I wish the editor cared more about the overall solving experience, not just the theme. I wish he insisted on cleaner fill, and sent grids back for revision or did a little grid-fixing himself. EEKS is really rotten, esp. up there with ASA and OTOS (the second crosswordese tribe of the day) (see 35A). The SE has some issues too, with CPL ELEA and PEWEE kinda mucking things up. But the main problem, as I said up front, is the grid design—it just invites crosswordese, which, even when it's not bad (say, IRE), really does pile up after a bit. Still, if you tear this thing down to just the themers, you've got something.


A couple more things. First of all, UNGARBED? I am sure that the dictionary will tell you that that is, indeed, a word, but wow, why, why would you use that? Who says that? Is there a more contrived, more fake-ye-olde, less sexy way to say "Naked" in all of the English language? I might give you GARBED, if you were going for "ironically fusty," but UNGARBED I will not give you. Actually, the U--A-B-- letter pattern (necessitated by the grid design) is very unfavorable, and UNGARBED is probably the best thing that could go there, but this brings us back again (again again) to grid design. Maybe make a grid where you aren't trying to run an answer through *three* themers. That's brutal. Running answers through two themers is tricky enough. If you run one through three, then you have to basically *start* filling your grid there, and if you can't get a good answer to fit with a completely stripped-down, themers-only grid, then yeah, You Need To Rebuild Your Grid.


Lastly, whoever wrote the clue for PANIC ATTACK has clearly never had one (9D: *Flop swear producer). "Flop sweat"? Yeah, no. A person having an actually PANIC ATTACK *wishes* they were experiencing mere "flop sweat." Sigh. Just look up what a PANIC ATTACK is, maybe? They often come out of nowhere, in situations that do not look stressful at all. They are not about performance. They are about your body being out of control and you feeling like you are dying but you don't know why. Like someone turned your fight/flight response on and just ... left it on. With no threat in sight. Anyway, "flop sweat" is insulting. PANIC ATTACKs can be debilitating and have nothing to do with bombing on stage or whatever one-off situation "flop sweat" is supposed to imply. I had PANIC ATTACKs for a brief, terrible period in my early 20s; flop sweat shmop sweat.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

86 comments:

Unknown 12:21 AM  

Ha! I posted this on Wordplay comments section around 45 minutes before you posted. This is how I know I read this blog too much, I now feel like I know what you're going to say before you say it. Obviously you don't read Wordplay column, but funny to pick out the similarities:

This felt so clunky while solving, average time, but really just slogging through a strange mix of long downs and lots of extra glue-y gunk blegh. I will say I like the theme, the revealer was the last thing I put in the puzzle since the clue on 44-A tricked me into _UTsONDOWN and UNGARBED is weird. Is that a NWFM*? It doesn't feel like a word...checking...yeah Merriam Webster says no. Ugh, yeah I really hate that, so goopy. Anyways, finally got BUTTONDOWN which is great and was like "ohhhh buttons...nice, that's nice". And the themers are all well....very nice. Certainly in the language, like em' all. The problem is five long ones puts sooo much strain on the grid that this thing is dripping in Bad Fill. I can't say the end result was worth it since it felt so awkward while solving.

Good Fill: ZAP BEEP FAKE(clue hehe) YELP(fav app) YOLO ZERO(clue) TOOTED(lol again) RETROFIT ; these are good, just not enough

Bad Fill: AGA ARI ASA CPL IRE/IRS(bad cross) ISR NEZ PER EEKS ELEA OTOS ATSEA HELGA(clue) OCCAM(bc tuesday) PEWEE UNGARBED(still not a word) ; way too much, wasn't very picky either

Best Clues: 38-A Got chicken, say (meh word + great clue = fine by me) ; 44-A Play mates?

Worst Clue: 42-A Modern acronym for "seize the day" ; hahaha hello youths! I'm sorry but no, YOLO is used far more commonly in place of "f*** it, why not?" and not "let's get after it gang!"

tl;dr A very mixed bag, but ultimately a lot of glue ruined a solid theme ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

*New Word For Me

Sara Dacus 12:29 AM  

WHAT ABOUT THE HALLMARK MOVIE.

Sara Dacus 12:32 AM  

WHAT ABOUT THE HALLMARK MOVIE.

You were watching it so we didn't have to.

Time posted by Arkansas girl who has been solving for a year and a half: 33:30. And I'm kind of embarrassed. Above my average.

jae 12:33 AM  

Tough. Cute theme, liked it. Rex is right about panic attacks.

puzzlehoarder 12:41 AM  

This was a lively solve. It took me a couple of minutes over my average for a Tuesday. Primarily this was due to a UTES/OTOS and a matching OTO/UTE write over.

The theme played no ROLE in the solve. That 35A write over prevented me from getting the revealer until the very end of the solve. I did the puzzle as an easy themeless and given some of the long crossing fill it wasn't bad.

The 10D clue was an unwelcome reminder of Sunday's theme. At least it gave me something to work around in that NE corner.

UHB 12:48 AM  

Loved it. Shout out to Jules. I don’t know whether Jules is a he or a she or some other preferred pronoun. I don’t suppose it matters so I’m not going to check.

Pete 12:50 AM  

Yes to flop sweat having nothing to do with a panic attack, unless we're trivializing everything

But on to fun!! Everone "Button down" +phrase in your search bar, then find an entry other than buttonED down. First one to find one wins

TomAz 1:18 AM  

I would like to add to Rex and the other commenters' statements: a PANIC ATTACK is not a trivial event, and they arise totally arbitrarily (it seems). It sure as $%^# is not the same thing as flop sweat (which I've also had). For those who don't know, imagine it this way: an allergic reaction (not what it is, this is an analogy) in which you don't sneeze or itch or swell, but instead your fight-or-flight instinct kicks in big time. No control, no reason, no logic, it just does. For no reason. Now, make sense of your body, on the fly, without warning or apparent trigger, in that situation. I went to the ER the first time because I thought I was dying. I was fine. I've learned to recognize them now, which helps a lot.

But I digress. The puzzle is not a total loss just because of one faux pas. Euler's Identity made me very happy. I have no tattoos (for god's sake, no) but if pressed, if I faced "tattoo or death", I would likely opt for Euler's Identity. The most beautiful mathematical equation ever. I swear I am not making that up.

In between these two poles the puzzle played sort of ok. Some of this stuff just not in my wheelhouse, I admit. HELGA, OTOS without an 'e', UNGARBED, TITAN (valid entry, just my ignorance), PEWEE.

This took me like 13 minutes and change. Wednesday territory for me.

Carola 1:33 AM  

I spent a few moments AT SEA when confronted with the three-word phrase BUTT ON DOWN, the parsing made difficult by my not knowing this particular way of being of "conventional." Otherwise, an enjoyable solve, with SNOOZEFEST, BELLY UP TO THE BAR, NIMBUS CLOUD, and EDENIC next to UNGARBED. I really hesitated over PANIC ATTACK, though - resisting it all the way until each ACROSS answer confirmed it; I agree entirely with @Rex about the inaptness of the clue.

Larry Gilstrap 2:04 AM  

BUTTON, BUTTON, who has the BUTTON? Bob Newhart's seminal comedy album was "The BUTTON DOWN Mind..." Themes rarely help me solve and symmetry sometimes helps me solve and I'll never be a speed solver: lesson learned today, especially up in that NE corner. Lots of floundering for a Tuesday.

I'm a birder and my Cardinals sit on baseball bats and my flycatchers are Saye's or Black phoebes. A PEWEE must be an eastern bird; he/she doesn't come around these parts.

I appreciate a good Wyeth and I remember that whole HELGA sensation. Dude asked his neighbor to pose nude and she feel for it. Power of suggestion had me thinking about art. My oil had nothing to do with a RIG. Is it too late to learn how to draw?

I am familiar with the terms Schrodinger's Cat and OCCAM's Razor and may boldly reference them in conversation from time to time. Full disclosure, I'm not sure I really know what they mean. Yup! I know how to Google and I know how to glaze over, apparently. Maybe, I'm over thinking it?

Loren Muse Smith 2:21 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 2:24 AM  

@UHB - Jules is a guy, a very gracious nice guy. If y’all go to the ACPT you could meet a lot of these people. For a constructor groupie like me, it’s a veritable candy land of Big Deals whose names I’ve seen at the top of my grid lo all these years.

What’s not to love about BELLY UP TO THE BAR and then, well, the SNOOZE BUTTON the next morning? I didn’t know what “flop sweat” was, so I couldn’t get upset about PANIC ATTACK. I thought I had had PANIC ATTACKS before, but they didn’t involve ER visits. Are there degrees of an attack? I mean, I couldn’t really function for a while, but just lying down and trying to breathe usually got them under control. I’ve sat here trying to summon up the anger for the clue, but I just can’t.

Can you belly up to anything besides a bar? I guess the expression describes making your way up to the bar so that your stomach is flattened against it? Does that mean it has to be a crowded bar? Like, would it be creepy to belly up to a bar when you're the only customer? But then can you belly up to a police line? An airline counter? A post office window? Maybe belly up to the next bank teller (to be told you’ve gone belly up)? I dunno. I’ve overthought this now, so they all feel weird.

I own a pair of pince NEZ. Anyone out there who uses reading glasses and never has them, this product is brilliant. They absolutely stay on your nose. And when they’re not on your nose, they’re in the nifty little phone case.

Love, love, love YOLO. I guess it’s an interjection, so there’s no wondering how the word will grow and progress as it comes into its lexical being. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a noun, so I can wonder if down the road we'll have fomoesque, fomoistically, fomoless… I just learned last week a newer one: JOMO – Joy of Missing Out. Chaperone an all-day field trip to an amusement park? Four-hour school bus ride both ways? Nah. I’ma stay at school and revel in myJOMO. This type of JOMO stems from FART(Fear Any Recreating Teenager).

@Larry – I feel ya, man, on throwing phrases out in conversation but not really understanding them. My go-to is naked bootleg.

Jules – nice job. I saved the reveal for last, and it was terrific. I barely noticed any of the Styrofoam peanuts. (Pam – I failed to commend you on this most brilliant metaphor for crosswordese that cushions and protects the themers.) Oh, and LIKE YOU KNOW pleased me with its LIKE as a conjunction. I mean, this place is like rife with grammar snobs so like, you know, maybe they’re scowling at it.

Oh, and speaking of (newish) conjunctions, I keep meaning to bring this to your attention, @’mericans. Brace yourself.

chefwen 2:58 AM  

This was a tough, little Tuesday for me. The northeast and southeast corners especially. Had aVa at 15 A and IPaDS at 21A, took a while to sort that out. 28A UNdress and oops, I ran out of squares, guess that’s not right. Thought I was up on my birds, but the only PEWEE I know is Herman, or is that PEEWEE? I thought of Towhee, again too many letters.

I’m going to buy some stock in Wite Out.

chris b 3:00 AM  

PEWEE/ELEA is a bit of a Natick for me. I've seen ELEA in puzzles before but never remember it. Never heard of a PEWEE. Pronounced like Pee-Wee?

Lewis 5:59 AM  
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Lewis 6:02 AM  

PANIC ATTACK and comments so far about it -- Good learning experience for me, and probably the NYT editors. I'm guessing it won't happen again.

The theme very nicely adds a dimension to the goes-with-first-word genre, and it's fairly tight, as there are not many more two-word phrases (on button, off button, hot button, reset button) around. I love BELLY UP TO THE BAR and SEGUED the clue for NAG, and there's a mini-theme of double E's (5). Lots of gimmes made for a solve with few hitches, but the theme and long downs made the solve worth the doing, IMO.

It's always a risk to put SNOOZEFEST in as a puzzle answer, because if the puzzle is colorless, that answer will show up in comments again and again. But not today. Too much appeal. Thanks for the ride, Jules!

Brookboy 6:03 AM  

I thought it was a little tough for a Tuesday. Maybe it was all the small stuff slash esoteric words. (@LMS: I just read the piece about slang slash use of the word “slash” from your link and I really enjoyed it. Thank you for that delightful diversion. You can see that it’s another neologism that I’m gonna be overusing shamelessly slash endlessly.)

I want to take issue with the criticism of the word “ungarbed”. It’s a word; it’s in the dictionary; it’s not an offensive word, apparently except here. OK, it’s not seen very often and you might not want to use it in your own lexicon, but that doesn’t make it any less a word. And isn’t the exercise here a crossWORD? Let’s hear it for the poor slash misunderstood word (or “woid” in Brooklynese) “ungarbed”.

I meant to post yesterday but never got to it. One thing I did wanna say was about the subtleties between the words “odor” and “fragrance”. What I was gonna say was that you have never smelled an odor slash fragrance (in the most negative sense) until you have walked into a NYC subway car where a homeless derelict has taken up residence. It is enough to make your eyes water and your stomach turn over. I’m a lifelong New Yorker, in my dotage (so to speak), and I spent three memorable years (to me) in the Army, and I can tell you that I’ve never encountered such an, um, “aroma” anywhere else. It’s the only reason you’ll see an apparently empty car (that actually has the one passenger) in a packed train during rush hour. I mention all this because such a subway car is often described sarcastically as “fragrant”.

JOHN X 6:09 AM  

What a delightful Tuesday puzzle, full of so many wonderful words and a very pleasing grid design.

SLEEK. FAKE. ZAP. SLAP. RETROFIT. Those are some top-shelf words. I use HARK and UNGARBED all the time in both my personal and professional life.

Lots of words with multiple definitions too. ZERO can be a Japanese fighter plane or a candy bar. The HOOD was sunk by the Bismarck. A TITAN can be a football player or even better a missile that shot the Project Gemini astronauts into space. The Gemini TITAN was modified to accelerate slower off the pad so the two astronauts wouldn't be squished into goo during the launch. The TITAN didn't need LOX.

I saw 15A with a V in the middle and I said "ha ha that's always AVA" and I kept laughing until it wasn't.

I'm pretty sure PEWEE isn't pronounced "peewee" but is probably "pah-WEE" and that's what you'd say to the fellow members of your birdwatching society when you saw one. I didn't look it up.

I have a really funny story about a PANICATTACK, but I can't tell it here. That's too bad because it's great ha ha ha wow it has everything.

Christy 6:37 AM  

Yeah I was straight up guessing there. On a Tuesday! Unacceptable.

Anonymous 6:54 AM  

I thought SNOOZEFEST was an apt revealer.

KRMunson 7:18 AM  

Shouldn’t 46D be DOE not ROE?

Karl Grouch 7:19 AM  

The Segue from yesterday's SnoozeFest to today's PanicAttack TookATollOn me, that's for sure!
I was AtSea for quite some time, wondering how the *beep* I could Zap this.
Yesteday we lost one hour, today we lose one day.
Kudos to the constructor for this fine puz that deserved a place much later in the week.

btgrover 7:20 AM  

Pewee/Elea also a natick for me. Annoying to get to the end of the grid in decent time and run into this.

kitshef 7:24 AM  

Can’t recall ever having a Tuesday clue that I could not figure out, but ‘screening area’ for DEN has me bewildered.

I enjoyed having the themers in the downs. Don’t know why the convention is to have them in the acrosses. Mix it up!

Mahershala Ali’s last name appears in grids a lot. His first name, not so much. His given name should you ever need it in a puzzle, was Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore.

amyyanni 7:33 AM  

AVA, scratch that, EVE, ACE, ASA, AGA, ALI, ARI: we almost had a word ladder too. NE was tough. Still an interesting Tuesday. Yes, what about the crossword movie?

tim 7:35 AM  

Yesterday, OLIN/SNEAD; today, ELEA/PEWEE. Why not just a random "guess what word I'm thinking of" game?

Small Town Blogger 7:39 AM  

I believe this refers to Roe v Wade

Joe R. 7:44 AM  

I wish you had saved some of your IRE for the racist clue “Gung-ho”. While not as bad as some of the outright racial slurs that have appeared as answers recently, the origination of this term is pretty bad, and I know many Asian Americans who find the term rather offensive. We should steer clear of it.

@kitshef - people watch movies in their den, hence it’s a screening area. Lousy clue.

Hungry Mother 7:45 AM  

Another E4 NCO? This played about average for my Tuesday grid. Fun to have the themers in the downs and then ACROSS in the solution.

Karl Grouch 7:48 AM  

I think it's John Doe.
Jane Roe refers to the Roe v Wade Supreme Court case.

Sarah 7:50 AM  

Also had trouble with PEWEE/ELEA, and briefly considered whether CPL could be COL. Associating NCO with CPL is one of those kneejerk associations I know only from crosswords, but I thought maybe I'd misremembered it. Got things worked out after I realized SLAP/PET made more sense than SLAM/MET.

ghthree 7:54 AM  

The original form of Euler's identity was
e^(pi*i) = -1 (read "e to the pi i equals minus one").
The identity follows directly from the series expansions of
the exponential, sine, and cosine functions.
This makes sense to anyone who has had a calculus course or two.
No reason it should be in the wheelhouse of anybody else
(the majority of the population).

But someone (neither Markey nor Shortz) gussied it up by introducing zero.

"Two plus three equals five" and "Three times five equals fifteen"
make good sense as they stand, whether written in English or with mathematical symbols.
Turning them into "Two plus three minus five equals zero"
and "Three times five minus fifteen equals zero"
does not improve them.
Fact: if ANY two numbers are equal, their difference is zero.
DUH!
As the Bard said: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily"
I say it looks better without the paint!

Hungry Mother 7:56 AM  

My panic attack in 1988 caused me to spend a week in doctors’ offices. I felt as though I couldn’t breath for a couple of days. Horrid experience brought on by an overly aggressive lifestyle. Definitely not to be taken lightly.

Hungry Mother 8:08 AM  

According to lifeisgood.com:

“One of the most familiar mnemonic phrases is for the Black-capped Chickadee which is found throughout a good portion of the northern half of the United States and the lower half of Canada — “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee” (but the Black-Capped Chickadee also has a sweet spring mating song, “pee wee”, not to be confused with the Eastern Wood Pewee, which sounds more like a “pee-a-wee, pee-ur”).”

GILL I. 8:09 AM  

I don't notice things like word count. Should I? I thought this was a nice little meaty Tuesday. Speaking of meat: PANIC ATTACK brought me back to my first one. They didn't have a name for it then - I think it involved something to do with the heart. Anyway, I was at Corti Brothers standing in line waiting for my number to be called when all of a sudden I froze. The butcher asked me how I wanted my lamb chops and I couldn't speak. I started shaking like a leaf. Dropped all of my purchases and fled. @TomAz has the best description. It's hard to explain to someone who has never experienced the most god-awful sensation on this planet. Yeah, I ended up in the hospital as well. A million tests and then sent home with the brand new wonder drug - Xanax. Xanax withdrawals are just as bad as the PANIC ATTACK. I, too, never heard of a flop sweat. You don't sweat, amigos, you run.
SNOOZE FEST was my first entry and that one made me smile. BELLY UP TO THE BAR was my favorite uncle's phrase. He taught me how to enjoy doobers at the BAR.
Liked that Jules started this AT SEA and ended with LANDS.

kitshef 8:21 AM  

@Joe R. Thank you. If that is the intent, it's terrible. By that logic you could use 'screening area' for car, or grocery store, or airplane, or kitchen, or toilet ... all places where people watch movies nowadays.

Danny 8:36 AM  

Thanks for the Sia video. She's such a goober / excellent musician. I've liked her for a long time.

Re: PEWEE/ELEA: I've been thinking a lot about how many people, including myself sometimes, get frustrated about being Natick'd. (I actually live near to the actual Natick, and I can get upset going there sometimes. But anyway.) Just the very passive nature of "I was Naticked" seems off to me, as though the puzzle was doing it to you and you have no control over the Naticking. Thinking back to when I first got into crosswords, I can recall many answers that were then Naticks but are now not. Do we not have control over our own knowledge? And isn't it a part of the learning journey to be presented with unknowns, even in crosswords? Wasn't everything once a Natick until it wasn't?

Sir Hillary 8:37 AM  

Wait, isn't "very conventional" BUTTONedDOWN? I guess you could say BUTTON-DOWN, but it seems a real stretch to me. Why not just clue the revealer as a shirt type?

On the plus side, the theme answers are lots of fun, as is most of the longish connective tissue (UNGARBED aside). @Rex makes a good point that there's a lot of short crap in the grid, so overall it's a meh.

"Tollon" seems like a good name for a big pharma product, as in, "I was having a PANICATTACK, so I TOOKATOLLON." Perhaps not though, because "tollon" is actually pronounceable (try saying "Myrbetriq" ten times fast).

Space Is Deep 8:53 AM  

Learned two things today. YOLO and PEWEE

Flo 9:10 AM  

If you've never been on stage (the origin of this phrase), and know that in front of hundreds of people in your big moment you're failing badly, how would you know what flop sweat might mean? What makes your panic attack worse than another's whose you haven't experienced.

This puzzle almost ended my long Tuesday streak (nothing to crow about but still...), lo, so worth the price of the Times for 33A.

BarbieBarbie 9:16 AM  

It’s interesting how LIKEYOUKNOW can mean two different in-the-idiom things, both the older “like, you know” slightly hippieish interjection and the more current “as if YOU would know” remark we see in this puzzle. Huh.

Not sure YOLO has a classification. People used to say “here goes nothing” instead.

Suzie Q 9:19 AM  

I really enjoyed this. The clues seemed fresh for some familiar words.
A genuine panic attack sounds awful but people use the phrase all of the time for less serious events. It's a common phrase in everyday language.
I saved the revealer for last and thought it was great.

The complete saying is "As happy as a clam at high tide".

Nice Tuesday, thanks Jule.
Jule is an unusual name and reminds me of Jame in Silence of the Lambs.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I always thought it was buttoned down to describe a conservative or old-fashioned sort, and button-down to describe the shirt. Gad to have seen the Newhart album to see the usage verified.

Most glad pewee is the word of the day. It's one of my favorites. And like most birders in the eastern US, the (wood) pewee was one of the first I learned to identify simply by voice: pee-a-wee, pee-a-wee, pee-a-wee, peeeeer. That last syllable, the peer, s slurred downward. We should be hearing them again soon. Can't wait.

Crimson Devil 9:28 AM  

Better than most Tuesdays. UNGARBED and BUTTONDOWN last to fall, but did.

oldbizmark 9:34 AM  

I thought this was very tough for a Tuesday. Had problems all over the place. Finally finished and couldn't figure out what TAKE A TOLLON was. That is how slow I was with this puzzle. Finished it but it was not a fun solve. Still, it was harder than any other Monday-Thursday in a while, so there's that.

QuasiMojo 9:34 AM  

I only know the expression as “buttoned-down.” And I blanked on what a snooze button is. I don’t use an alarm clock. Mother Nature takes care of that. Like clockwork. The expression YOLO always makes me wince especially when I see people doing wacky stunts or jumping off roofs into a pool. When I caution them later they say YOLO. Exactly my point! And I wonder if Shirley Maclaine ever says it. I liked this puzzle a lot and adore the word Ungarbed. And since I over-posted yesterday I’ll leave it at that.

Nancy 9:36 AM  

Uh oh. There's an answer that's wrong and it wouldn't matter so much if it weren't the revealer. The correct phrase is BUTTONED DOWN, not BUTTON DOWN. I tried to put in BUTTONED UP (the BUTTON is "up", i.e. on top, get it?), but I was stopped by NIMBUS CLOUD. Thank you NIMBUS CLOUD. I also wrote in TingE instead of TRACE at 17D, but LADY and EDENIC had me correcting almost immediately. Thank you LADY and EDENIC.

Other than that there was some quite good cluing for a Tuesday. I liked ACE (25A); ACROSS (47A); CAST (44A); and NAG (27D). Simple words, but the clues make them shine.

Thought for the Day: If you BELLY UP TO THE BAR too often, you'll have one helluva BELLY to BELLY UP with.

pabloinnh 9:38 AM  

Liked seeing TITAN. That's where the sirens live, according to Mr. Vonnegut. Hand up for a)finding the grid choppy, b)seeing UNGARBED as a real outlier and c)very much liking the theme. Should add d) having a better understanding of what constitutes a PANICATTACK. Have never had one and now hope more than ever that I never will.

Thanks to JM for a preponderance of fun.

Blue Stater 9:41 AM  

Others have doubtless already pointed this out (I haven't been through the other comments yet), but even Rex's charitable assumption that UNGARBED is in the dictionary is wrong, as is much else in this puzzle. UNGARBED is not in Merriam-Webster, and, if it exists at all, does so only by English's rules of word-formation. This mess is just terrible for a Tuesday, as Rex's careful analysis makes clear. No sign of editorial intervention here. We deserve better.

oldbizmark 9:42 AM  

@chris b - yes, Pewee is pronounced Pee-Wee. It is named after the sound it makes. They are cute little birds.

Laurie 10:06 AM  

Fake orange tan? Love it.

Z 10:08 AM  

A Pewit! A Pewit! My kingdom for a Pewit!

@Sara Dacus - This was a slog, here, too. I didn’t time myself but I’m guesstimating twice my usual Tuesday time.

@kitshef and @Joe R - I thought it referenced that many dens now have TV screens and computer screens and tablet screens... screening areas.

John Doe and Jane ROE are common legal usages for either unknown people or people whose identities are being protected. Roe v. Wade is just one of the most noted usages of Jane ROE, not an exclusive usage.

As a non-constructor, today’s post is the sort I find particularly interesting. UNGARBED struck me as especially stilted. Seeing how going through three theme answers limits the possibilities is not something I would notice without reading Rex. There’s some good stuff here, but I do feel like going with four theme answers instead of five would have made the solve more pleasant.

David 10:09 AM  

I'd like to nominate the clue/answer to 33A the best of the decade. Well done, Jules.

I liked the long answers and, as usual, didn't bother even thinking about the theme, now that I'm here I get it.

The Eastern wood pewee ranges from the east coast to just about the middle of the country all the way through north and south, at the middle, it becomes the Western wood pewee and continues to the Pacific coast; they're found all over America, even into lower Alaska. When I see "pewee flycatcher" I always think of one of the greatest shortstops of all time. (Yeah, I do know a bit about old-time baseball.)

It was slow for me, but I got it done.

Anonymous 10:29 AM  

Z,
Not sure what pewit has to do with Richard III or today's puzzle.
But if anyone cares, the pewit is almost always called the northern lapwing. It's common throughout Europe. Not so much in the US, though one did appear in New Jersey a couple of winters back, in of all places, New Egypt.

Magpie 10:39 AM  

so much yes for your comment about panic attacks.

here's the bloggess writing just the other day about them: https://thebloggess.com/2019/03/11/i-suspect-my-body-is-trying-to-do-a-murder-on-me-and-i-dont-appreciate-it/

also, 33A = FAKE = excellent!

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

Drop in rarely but always find this place to be a ridiculously flaky and strangely self-righteous culture of complaint.

(Save LMS who should start her own cheerful, informative xword blog).

As Dylan wrote - I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, you'd know what a drag it is to see you. Feel better.

DavidL 10:46 AM  

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't realize the ROE of Roe v Wade was a pseudonym, and that ROE is used like DOE. Live and learn.

RooMonster 10:55 AM  

Hey All !
This ranked as a tough TuesPuz for me. I'm usually around the 8 minute mark, today was double, 16:28. Not sure why I was AT SEA on this puz.

Pretty cool theme. I got all the themers, but was still flummoxed what the Revealer would be. What does SNOOZE, LIKE, BELLY, and PANIC have in common? Finally getting UNGARBED (which I thought was humorous) got me to BUTTON DOWN. Then the "Ah, Cool1" moment.

A J and Q from a pangram. Thinking a Q could've been wedged in the NE corner. Already have a Z in the first themer. How about
FAQ
EMU
MAO
ADS
with 11D AMAD clued "It's ___Mad Mad Mad Mad World". Just sayin'. *Raises fist* Pangrams rule! (Of course, still a J short.)(And really, who am I to say anything?)

Anyway, liked this puz. Great for a Tuesday, as we know, the F of the puz week! Har. Speaking of F, two today. Decent, considering the void of them lately.

And Really wanted PEWIT first for PEWEE. One day...

NIMBUS sounds like an insult. LIKE, YOU KNOW, NIMBUS.

AVID UNGARBED (unless it's cold)
RooMonster
DarrinV

jberg 11:05 AM  

I needed the revealer to see the theme, despite trying hard. So that's good, by my criteria. I admit it was a little much to put the OTO (slash OTOE slash OTOH)S in the same grid at the UTE, but the PEWEE is fine, a common bird after all. As for ELEA, you need that to differentiate him from Zeno the Stoic; paradoxical, maybe, but there it is.

@Loren, I think an ungarbed bootleg is some kind of football thing.

There's a store here called YOLO Watersports; they rent jetskis and take people out for parasailing. I'd been coming here on vacation for 10 or 15 years before I realized what the name meant.

GILL I. 11:23 AM  

@Flo 9:10: I had to look up "Flop Sweat" since It was new to me. I think the difference between the two is that when you have a real PANIC ATTACK, you don't begin to nor never experience sweat. When you go on stage or when you have to face a large crowd and make a speech, you are already anticipating some sort of fear or panic. I would probably sweat too. With a Panic Attack, it comes out of the blue. You haven't anticipated anything. You're even asking your brain what the hell is it doing to your body. In my day, they sent you to a psychiatrist and prescribed anything that produces a calming effect. It works for a while but then you live in a stupid stupor.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

Never heard of flop sweat. This had some of the easiest answers for a Tuesday, and also some really puzzling ones.

albatross shell 11:48 AM  

My favorite academic subjects: math and philosophy. Also a backyard border. So knew the ELEA-PEWEE cross from both directions - and how to pronounce them. ZERO and OCCAM glimmers. The razor just means the simple explanation with commonly used and accepted facts and reasoning is to be chosen over explanations that require undue complexity, supernatural interference, and unproved assumptions. No, it wasn't space aliens. But the razor is not infallible. Euler's equation is often called the most beautiful equation in math in that it states an unexpected and concise relationship between 3 fundamental creations of math. Comparable to E=MCC. Different E.

My near failure (on the verge of giving up)
was play mates. I put in HARP for kvetches and probably took a third of my solve time trying find what was going on.

LIKED the themes. Certainly some was short fill on the meh side but some real good stuff to. UNGARBED fine by me as long as the crosses all aren't obscure. BEEP and TOOTED an HOOD YOLO SLEEK etc. work well.
EDENIC seems weirder to me than UNGARBED.






Anonymous 11:59 AM  

Started right out with TRAUMATIZED at 16 across. That TOOKATOLLON my time. Good puzzle!

Tex 12:19 PM  

Jane ROE is a pseudonym, most notably used in the ROE v WADE case, but Henry WADE was definitely a real person, and the long-standing Dallas County District Attorney.

The 1970 constitutional challenge to Texas abortion laws was filed in Dallas County, and so Wade, as District Attorney, was automatically named as the defendent. The case was always intended to advance up the court system to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wade was also the prosecutor of Randall Dale Adams in 1977, convicting Adams of killing a police officer and securing the death penalty. Errol Morris's 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line examined the evidence in the Adams case and led to his exoneration and release. Several other Wade convictions were later thrown out after further examination.

On November 22-24 1963 Wade was front and center before the world's cameras, giving press conferences in the Dallas Police Headquarters regarding Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested for killing President Kennedy and patrolman J.D. Tippit. He gave several press conferences in the chaos of the building, and footage of these is common in documentaries about the assassination. Wade would have prosecuted Oswald but Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby. Wade prosecuted Ruby.

Z 12:20 PM  

@Anon10:29 - Sorry. Just a long-time commentariat inside joke. Pewit is a prior Crossworld bird. Today’s PEWEE, of course, immediately suggested a return of the Northern Lapwing to the puzzle. If it had I might not have taken double my normal Tuesday time to solve. As for the Shakespeare reference, pure hyperbole with no greater significance than that. If the Scarlet Tanager appears this week expect similar silliness.

Masked and Anonymous 12:25 PM  

M&A bet heavily on the over/under for a @RP five-honk salute to either EDENIC or UNGARBED, co-residents of row #6.

@Z & @ Roo, re: PEWIT. yep. Occurred to the @M&A, as he had the P?W?? part, and gazed upon that there "Bird in the flycatcher family" clue. Had me a PEWIT ATTACK. Which, based on some nice folks here's accounts, ain't near as bad as a PANIC ATTACK, at least. I had more like a bad GAS ATTACK, I reckon. Real hard to fault the SE fill, if it involves a PEWIT-bypass.

Cool ACROSS clue. Surprised to hear the puz had 80 words, until I noticed it had 29 weejects. Grid design is sneaky crowded. 57 squares of theme stuff, tho … y'all know what that can do, to yer desperation ratio.

Agree with @RP, re: crossin 3 themers with one of yer long balls. Usually don't work out. In a runtpuz construction: On the rare occasion where it does, M&A knows that a runtpuz was "meant to be". When it don't, M&A says "ahar!", knowin it's "meant to be desperate".

Thanks for the funky TuesPuz fun, Mr. Markey.
Hey -- U promised, on that Hallmark Mystery review, @RP! snort. :-(
[M&A especially enjoyed the runaway orange pingpong ball incident.]

Masked & Anonymo5Us

p.s. staff weeject pick = NEZ. Has some subtle zen to it. Nice weeject stacks in the NW & SE, btw. Lil darlins. Was gonna withhold my weeject pick from @RP, until he gave us that there Hallmark review, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it...

**gruntz**

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

"Flop sweat" brings to me an image of someone perspiring so heavily that their hair is soaked and droplets of sweat are "flopping" everywhere. Lovely...

I had to retrofit my thoughts several times about the clue for ACE, 25A. Are ACE baseball players hitting into the upper decks? The ? in the clue ruled that one out as too literal. Aviating ACEs are in the upper, um, decks? Finally the cards tie-in came to me but because so many games have the ACE as either the highest or the lowest card, it didn't give me a smooth "aha" but more of a grudging, "I suppose".

Jules Markey, I had to work a bit for this one, so thanks for the Tuesday puzzle.

Anonymous 1:24 PM  

When I have panic attacks, I don't get flop sweat. My hands curl up into little claws, so I can't really move my fingers, my heart races, and I can't focus on anything.

Joe Dipinto 2:48 PM  

I liked this puzzle a lot, except for the absurd clue at 49d. Why not "Ingrid Bergman and Alicia Vikander, e.g."? Instead we have a Tuesday puzzle explaining how to count to 5 in Swedish. Utterly silly.

Unknown 2:54 PM  

And for me. I had PIWEE and ELIA. The former didn’t look right but ELIA seemed better than ELEA.

Hartley70 3:28 PM  

I love a PEWEE. Year after year a couple nest near our kitchen door. One time the fledglings didn’t leave and fell onto the grass in the middle of an early morning rainstorm. I ran out in pajamas and saw that their legs were conjoined and had been held together with some kind of thread. We got them in a shoebox and drove to a wildlife rehab center that got them sorted out over time and released. It was a lot of excitement before breakfast.

Hand up for absolutely vicious PANICATTACKs, also in my twenties. No sweat but knees of jelly and trouble breathing. The subway was a trigger. I only wished that lying down would have helped.

CAST was also my last entry even though it seems obvious in retrospect.

I’ve always referred to a “button down” collar, although in that case you don’t push the button down, you push the collar down to the button. As to the missing “ed”, I’m fine with it. This was a very fine classic Tuesday puzzle.

Anonymous 4:48 PM  

Thank you for "UNGARBED." You really made me laugh. Awful.

Anonymoose 4:50 PM  

I initially had Soccergame at 3D, then realized Hockeygame would also fit. Ha!

Crunchy for Tuesday but a fun solve.

tea73 7:07 PM  

I thought the counting in Swedish was cute. It looked enough like German I figured it was probably one of the Scandanavian countries. The only reason I know YOLO was that Tufts had it as one of their optional essay topics back around when my youngest was applying to colleges. A lot of parents were scratching their heads about that one. My kiddo did a different essay (really more of a short story) where he imagined what would have happened if the British had one the Battle of Lexington.

I loved the themers, but agree that some of the short fill was wretched.

What She Said 7:09 PM  

The BUTTONDOWN shirt collar originated in 19th-century England, where polo players were required to wear collared shirts during competition. Unbuttoned shirt collars kept flying up in the players’ faces, hence the buttons added at the collar tips to keep the collars from going astray. The first clothier to bring this style Stateside was John Brooks of Brooks Brothers — which is why labels in Brooks Brothers button-down shirts have long borne the phrase “The original polo shirt”.

Heather 8:24 PM  

I can tell you the first (and maybe only) place I heard FLOP SWEAT: Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. One of my favorite comedies. It was prescient about the then-future of news. This clip shows the flop sweat. He calls it that elsewhere. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A5xTu6AMxq4#menu

Adam 10:26 PM  

A fourth for the total guess. Really any vowel could have fit here. Not good.

Pdxrains 12:33 AM  

Thanks for the comment on PANIC ATTACK. I’m a long time panic disorder sufferer. It’s not fucking flop sweat.

William Hanisch 2:03 AM  

The form e^(iπ) + 1 = 0 is very common among mathematicians as it involves all the basic mathematical contants, viz. 0, 1, i (the imaginary unit), π (the Archimedian constant), and e (Euler’s number), as well as the three basic operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation. It also unites geometry (with π) and analysis with e, as well as complex analysis with i. And it does so with one simple equation. The form you prefer is slightly less aesthetically pleasing to me as it omits zero and addition. At any rate, the form not very important.

Burma Shave 9:28 AM  

YOLO YELP

ONE EVE HELGA TOOKATOLLON me,
LIKE,YOUKNOW how those SWEDES are:
For ACTONE she’d WEAR OUT my PEWEE,
then that LADY’s BELLYUPTOTHEBAR.

--- SIR ALI OCCAM

centralscrewtinizer 11:09 AM  

Happy to see my natick was a popular one.

spacecraft 11:41 AM  

Now, fergodsake, gung ho is offensive??? Oh PLEASE. I can't stand it.

This one was a tad harder than yesterday's, so yeah, easy-medium. The math thing was utter gibberish to me--in fact, I almost didn't solve that tiny NE corner. Finally guessed EVE (the UNGARBED EDENIC LADY) and AVID for the g*** h* clue.

A goodly number of EVEs would qualify for DOD, and no doubt a HELGA or two, but the sash goes to ELLE McPherson.

I agree with OFC about the fill. The theme was lost on me till actually filling in the revealer. LIKE button? I guess that's what they call that little circle beside the word Like "o" on Facebook. Whatever. Also unknown was "flop sweat." Never heard of it. luckily it didn't matter, as the term pretty much filled itself in.

One square written over: dOE instead of ROE. Choppy grid with its attendant fill problems knocks this one down to a par.

rondo 3:25 PM  

I could just copy @spacey's comment right down to the one square write-over and yeah baby ELLE Mc, but I won't. Flop sweatiness I'm familiar with, but not PANICATTACKs as described by OFL. A clue about something there?

To me ASA is the American Softball Association. Been playing by their rules for 47 years.

Long clue to get to SWEDES; the giveaway is that diacritical mark in the word två, which gives that å a long o sound. If we'd have counted to six, we could have had 'sex' (six). Har.

At least 20 threes and plenty of black squares TOOKATOLLON chopping it up.

Diana,LIW 3:58 PM  

Nova - the best and only, IMHO. YOLO

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 4:13 PM  

Lost my comment. No big loss. See @spacey above, last two paragraphs, but with a birdie.

Runs with Scissors 1:29 AM  

Meh. PANIC ATTACKS and all.

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