Greek sauce with yogurt and cucumbers / TUE 4-2-19 / Dressed like hundred dollar millionaire / Who says speak hands for me in Julius Caesar

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Constructor: Natasha Lyonne and Deb Amlen

Relative difficulty: Challenging (for a Tuesday) (4:30)

THEME: BOB / FOSSE (65A: With 66-Across, choreographer whose life is depicted in the starts of 19-, 36- and 50-Across) — first words of the themers form the title "ALL THAT JAZZ":

Theme answers:
  • ALL FLASH, NO CASH (19A: Dressed like "a hundred-dollar millionaire")
  • THAT CAN'T BE RIGHT (36A: "I think I made a mistake here")
  • JAZZ UP THE PLACE (50A: "Add some throw pillows or a pop of color around here, why don't you!")
Word of the Day: BOB / FOSSE (65A) —
Robert Louis Fosse (June 23, 1927 – September 23, 1987) was an American dancermusical theatre choreographerdirector, and film director.[2]
He won eight Tony Awards for choreography, more than anyone else, as well as one for direction. He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning for his direction of Cabaret. (wikipedia)
• • •

Having truly godawful crosswordese at 1A (CASCA) and then an opening themer I've never heard or seen, ever, in nearly half a century of life on this planet, made a pretty bad first impression on me, but then TZATZIKI, YOGA POSE, COPOUTS, and (ironically?) NOT FOR ME won back a lot of good will. And even though the theme concept is pretty thin (it's just a three-word first-words progression, and there are roughly a jillion phrases that begin wth "ALL" or "THAT"), it's hard to be mad when you're remembering BOB / FOSSE, and when the themers themselves are this, uh, jazzy. Congrats to Natasha Lyonne on her debut puzzle.

Five things:
  • 20D: Actress Blair of "The Exorcist" (LINDA) — should've been a gimme, but a much more recent 5-letter "Actress Blair" was the only "Actress Blair" my brain would provide me. I seriously believed, for much longer than I should have, that SELMA Blair might've starred in a remake that I missed.
  • 16A: Queen's domain (REALM) — again, should've been easy, but I must've gotten the middle letters from the crosses before ever looking at the clue, because my first answer in here was SEALY (!?).  
  • 6A: Poehler vortex of funniness? (AMY) — oof, this pun. Didn't care for it. Knope. Not one bit.
  • 47D: Slow, in music (ADAGIO) — aargh, some day I will get all my tempi (?) straight. I had ADANTE in here. Is that a thing? [checks] No, no it is not. ANDANTE is a thing. And it means "moderately slow." But ADANTE is just an Italian poet and nothing else.
  • 6A: 52D: Facebook founder's nickname (ZUCK— not a fan of the guy, but am a fan of this nickname as fill. I would say they Scrabble-f***ed the hell out of this SW corner, but when you've got JAZZ down there to begin with, as part of your theme, then even just one "Q" in close proximity is gonna look like Scrabble-f***ing. And I gotta respect a puzzle that goes right up to the pangram but stops just one "X" short. They coulda forced an "X" into this grid (it's possible), but it woulda been ugly. Three cheers for restraint!

I'm still on the tail end of a head cold, so I need to get some sleep. Apologies for the short write-up. Also, a sincere thanks to everyone who sent me condolence messages last week after I announced the death of my good old dog, Dutchess. In the comments section, on social media, and even through the dang US postal service, you people were exceedingly kind, and I appreciate it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 1:32 AM  

Slightly north of medium. Zippy theme answers, smooth grid, I’ve seen the movie...a fine Tues., liked it a bunch.!

...and, for the record, Russian Doll is next on our watch list after we finish Catastrophe.

Abigail 2:52 AM  

Oh Rex, I missed the post about your dog. I'm so sorry! Sending lots of love.

And yeah, I thought today was a pretty enjoyable puzzle. It didn't win me over at first, but BOB FOSSE. Doesn't hurt that I absolutely loved "Russian Doll."

chefwen 2:54 AM  

Well, that rating surprised me. I more or less flew through this one until I happened upon the lower left corner. At 57A I had l blank UI blank, didn’t know 51D, 38D wasn’t coming to me as clued. Put it down, went to get another glass of wine, came back and immediately saw I QUIT, COP OUTS, Doh! Also, had a little difficulty remembering how to spell TZATZIKI, man I love that stuff. Can’t get Gyros here on “the rock”, Sure do miss them.

I really liked the movie ALL THAT JAZZ, I also really liked this puzzle.

Brookboy 4:13 AM  

Tougher than usual for a Tuesday for me, but once I got going it all came together. Liked it very much. Rex, I think that’s one of your best reviews. You pointed out some stuff you didn’t like, then praised the noteworthy fill, all the while keeping your notorious temper in check.

Kudos to both Ms. Lyonne and Ms. Amlen for a nifty crossword challenge. I read Ms. Amlen pretty much every day (well, most days, anyway), and I always appreciate her kind and encouraging remarks about the puzzles and the constructors.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Lyonne in Russian Doll, and we love the concept and the episodes. We are eager to see the next season, and we look forward to following Ms. Lyonne’s career, which surely should be meteoric.

And what can anyone say about Bob Fosse that hasn’t already been said? Good or bad. We have seen Chicago four times on Broadway and once in London. The dance moves never get old. If you go ahead and spring for the best seats for Chicago (up front in the orchestra) you are in for a treat. You can watch the best Broadway dancers do their stuff to the very best choreography, all up close. It’s a real treat.

Wonderful way to begin a Tuesday.

Lewis 6:14 AM  

Much to love here, even before starting the puzzle. I read WordPlay for the commentariat, which is quite wonderful (i.e., a commenter there today pointed out that ONUS [Cross to bear] is literally just that, crossing with URSA), and for the blog itself, and love Deb's humor, keen eye, down-to-earthness, and heart. Then, Natasha, the soul of "Russian Doll" which is haunting, and makes you think.

Much to love in their creation. The wordplay, which had to spring from this pair -- I see it from Deb often, and if you listen to Natasha speak off the cuff as I did on Fresh Air yesterday, you know she is a wellspring of wordplay. And here it is in the clues for BLIP, DOOR, SEAL, NIT, AMY, and especially JILT and EIDER. And lovely puzzle entries: PROFFER, JILT, TZATZIKI, ALL FLASH NO CASH, and JAZZ UP THE PLACE.

I'd like to see more from this pair, just as a pair of constructors, not just celebs. And thank you, D&N, for hitting many happy buttons today.

GILL I. 6:45 AM  

Unlike @Rex, I was secretly hoping for a TAX/X-RAY corner.
This was a mighty fine Tuesday...probably the best, so far. Clever cluing.
ALL FLASH NO CASH told me I was going to be in for a treat. A BOB FOSSE treat, no less. Then our co-constructor, Natasha Lyonne proves that not only is she a fine actress, she has a ton of smarts and a sense of humor. "Creature to get down from" was my favorite. I was thinking maybe a dragon. Nope, it's our friend, EIDER. The jokes ON US.
As much as I love it, TZATZIKI always causes spelling angst. So does MAHRE and maybe Dr. Dre's THANG. Those were my only little head scratchers.
I tried watching "Russian doll" but every time she lit up a cigarette (and it was every five seconds), I had this screaming desire to run outside, look for a butt and light one up. All these years sans that despicably wonderful habit and the desire still creeps up....I QUIT.
I hope we see more from these two talented women.....

webwinger 6:46 AM  

Didn't have a great time solving this (maybe in part because I had just been thoroughly creeped out by watching the first two episodes of the new "Twilight Zone"), but have more appreciation after reading the comments here (especially from @Lewis above, re crossing bear). Can't complain in any way about "All That Jazz", though, possibly the number one favorite movie of this film buff. Had never heard of "Russian Doll", but will be sure to check it out now. Deb Amlen's sunny take on the puzzles, which I only recently discovered, is something that I much appreciate, a welcome contrast to our usually sourpuss FL, though I have to admit @Rex remains my go-to-guy.

DeeJay 7:00 AM  

It solve the borders first, so I saw there was a reveal and attacked that.

The remake of All That Jazz is being advertised so that was relatively top of mind.

amyyanni 7:15 AM  

Loved it. Also enjoyed your review, Rex. A good start for Tuesday, which always seems to require effort to get going.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

Occasionally, we get a puzzle that reminds me that although many of us live in the same country, we don’t all live in the same world. In my world, no one says ALL FLASH NO CASH, or knows what Portlandia is or what station it’s on.

No one thinks “Poehler vortex of funniness” or “It might have golden locks” are worthy clues.

No one capitalizes the F in Downward-facing dog. Come to think of it, no one says downward-facing dog; they say downward dog or sometimes just down dog.

No one uses ZUCK as a nickname for Mark Zuckerberg – nor for anyone else.

I’m not saying any of these are wrong or bad … just that they are outside my REALM.

Suzie Q 7:22 AM  

Very nice fun puzzle. It was a pleasant surprise since I went into this expecting much less because it was a celebrity crossword. To know that, however, I needed the editor's note because I have no idea who Ms. Lyonne is.
Some of the clues were on the verge of being too cute but no real stinkers in the grid.
I don't get the joke of "golden locks". If it is a diversion to make us think of blond hair OK, but why does the door have golden locks?
That's my only nit. Other than that I liked it and I admire Bob Fosse's work.

JHC 7:23 AM  

It seems an oversight to be so glad to see BOB / FOSSE in the puzzle, and not provide any actual Fosse in the video clips. Here's one of my faves, from Pippin, featuring Ben Vereen:

70 in nampa 7:34 AM  

Just a tick over average time, but seemed easy-ish... pleasant puzzle.

Hungry Mother 7:36 AM  

No time for crosswords in the past two days while on the road in the Tampa Bay Area. I felt guilty about it, so I’m definitely addicted. Loved the BOB FOSSE movie and the line, “Show Time!” Crunchy one today, but a pleasant return to the grid.

QuasiMojo 7:38 AM  

Well as someone who is not a fan of Bob Fosse’s choreography or style of dance (but who admires his skills a director) this was a mixed bag. Good composition but the theme didn’t thrill me. I was watching Kiss Me Kate, the flick, recently and learned that halfway through one of the dance numbers the choreographer Hermès Pan let Fosse choreograph part of the number. It switched from grace and charm to jazz hands and sizzle without any grace. And enough later on with the cheesy top hats and razzle dazzle.

ZUCK is indeed a nickname for Mark Zuckerberg. I just read the new book ZUCKED by Roger McNamee who was a founding investor in FAcebook and is now an outspoken critic of the company and its management. Fascinating and rather frightening backroom insights into the nightmare FB has become. It’s one of the reasons I deleted all my social media accounts.

And on another synchronicity note, I happened to be watching a campy old horror film recently about a phony sorceress with a pawn shop played by Gale Sondergaard. She had a painting by Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son, in her shop. I ate it up.

Brutus 7:43 AM  

Casca is a pretty famous name that’s been in the Tilmes puzzle less than once a year on average this century? I don’t see how he qualifies as crosswordese much less godawful crosswordese.

pabloinnh 7:56 AM  

Smooth ride AQUI. I'm thinking ALLFLASHNOCASH is the new version of "All hat and no cattle", an expression that has always amused me.

Was zipping along but somehow got FOSSE before BOB and the only FOSSE I could think of was Ray, who was flattened badly by Pete Rose in a collision at home plate in an all star game.

Otherwise, a fine Tuesdito. Thanks to NL and DA.

GHarris 7:56 AM  

Loved this puzzle and especially the all flash no cash answer. Had a feeling Rex might tag this challenging and though I pretty much zipped through it still came nowhere near the time he achieved while “struggling “..

catpez 8:04 AM  

I also had SEALY before REALM, since EA were neatly waiting there and I figured Queen was referring to a mattress.

The NE corner gave me the most grief , since I had SPAIN before PRADO, but once that was corrected, things began to fall in to place.

Overall, an enjoyable puzzle!

ghthree 8:18 AM  

Au contraire. Lots of people use "ZUCK" for Mark Zuckerberg.

I just finished reading a book by Roger McNamee, a former advisor to Zuckerberg.
The title is "Zucked." McNamee uses it as a (derogatory) verb, meaning
just what you think it does.

The gist of the book is that Facebook tricks people into giving up lots of
personal information, which it then sells to advertisers. If the service
is free, you are not the customer. You are the product. Advertisers are the customers.

This fact is bigger than Facebook. McNamee applies it to Twitter, Google What's App, and Snapchat as well.

My wife and I, who solve jointly on paper over breakfast, had two "wrong" squares:
We agreed on "THAT CANT BE RIGHT" for 30-across.

Neither of us suspected that Dr Dre used the word "THANG" and we had never heard of the Greek sauce. We had also never heard of Portlandia, but we got 23 Across (IFC) from the crosses.

Who knew that the International Finance Corporation sponsored a TV series? ;-)

DavidL 8:29 AM  

Very surprised by Rex's "Challenging" rating. For me this played like one a very easy Tuesday. The Rex Ratio (multiple of Rex's reported solving time to my solving time) was almost exactly 2x. Usually it's 3-4x.

We have TIKI torches in our garage, but didn't know that the name comes from "Polynesian carving." Good learning moment.

Maybe it's because it came out when I was a kid, but I still consider "The Exorcist" to be the most terrifying movie I ever saw. Must have been a tough act for LINDA Blair to follow - I don't recall that she did much after that.

This was a clean grid with very little junky fill and a few JAZZy long answers. Well done.

Bruce R 8:30 AM  

For "Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' but a 'G'" I was initially torn between THING and THONG. Turns out it was THANG. Live and learn.

Fosse Posse 8:33 AM  

If you get a chance, watch the video on YouTube of Fosse dancing for the Little Prince (he's a snake in the desert, I think) set to Michael Jackson's Billy Jean ( Jackson was not only influenced by Fosse, but he downright stole stuff from him, including the moon walk.

I've worked with a couple of Fosse choreographers and the similarities to ballet is pretty uncanny...everything from the unique names he has for each move (not the usual French names) to the attention to the smallest details like hand positions, tilt of the head, etc. (even how you touch the brim of a hat) makes his choreo very difficult. I would recommend seeing the production on Bway of Chicago, but the choreo in that show is pretty sloppy. When it's done correctly (like MJ) it's pretty stunning.

Z 8:35 AM  

“Dressed like ‘a hundred-dollar millionaire’” and ALL FLASH NO CASH are worth the price of admission all by themselves. Who didn’t immediately picture someone who fit those descriptions? I immediately pictured two gents, one familial, one political. I also liked the Poehler vortex clue. Language is so much fun.

@kitshef - Yep. We all speak English but we don’t speak the same language.

@Brutus - And how often does the average NYTX solver read or attend Julius Caesar? I am either once every 28 years or once every 16 years. Assuming the once every 16 years is typical (which I suspect is a wee bit generous) and CASCA appears twice every three years, that means CASCA appears 10 times as often in Crossworld as in the real world. That seems pretty esey to me. Granted, not as bad as Brian Eno and Yoko Ono’s Oreo Suite, but hardly fresh.

Sir Hillary 8:50 AM  

Hmm, let's see...
-- Nice tribute to a one-of-a-kind choreographer.
-- Theme answers that pop.
-- Good Scrabbliness in the grid.
-- Some terrific cluing.
-- All on a Tuesday?

YEAH, I'm good.

Thanks to both constructors for a job well done.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

We liked it, thought it was cute, fun and enjoyed the cluing. Deb Amlen's online crossword column is pleasant and upbeat; we like reading it after we've solved the puzzle together, usually on paper, at breakfast every morning.
Actually, we thought this puzzle would be rated as "Easy" by Rex; we felt it was almost Monday-ish. Go figure.
Hey, Rex, there are two women constructors! Where is your comment about that?

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

The clue "Wharton grad" leading to MBA is misleading. All Wharton grads are not MBAs. Some are just regular old bachelor's degree holders. The guy who currently lives in the White House is a good example of a Wharton grad who only has a bachelor's degree (though he would want us to believe otherwise.)

The clue should have been "Wharton grad sometimes."

gfrpeace 9:05 AM  

Just for the record, Andante is a walking tempo, from the Italian Ando, Andare, to walk. And ADAGIO is twice as slow as andante, that's two steps to a beat.

Is it Ok to have REHAB with the clue 'Where one might kick a HABit? Aren't those etymologically the same habs?

Nancy 9:12 AM  

What was a fairly ho-hum theme produced a colorful and lively grid. It was harder than the usual Tuesday, which made me very happy. One of the best celebrity puzzles I've seen. Some thoughts:

Even mere FLASH requires at least some CASH, doesn't it? Costume jewelry can be pretty pricey. Ditto SATEEN, even though no one who's anyone would be likely to wear it. Wear it at your wedding and someone might JILT you. But "Ghost" you???? That's a usage (50D) I've never heard. Maybe I'll look it up in the Urban Dictionary later.

Are the Mets still "Amazin'" (7D)? Back in 1969 they were -- when I almost (but not quite) managed to transfer my JILTed (by my beloved NY Giants) allegiance over to this initially hopeless, hapless team. Then, when they became hopeless and hapless again soon after their Miracle Year, I QUIT watching baseball entirely. How good are the Mets now? I have absolutely no idea.

Along with JILT = GHOST, I also don't understand the door with the golden locks. But any puzzle that begins with CASCA is fine with me. A nice job.

CDilly52 9:24 AM  

What a red letter day here!! For once I am smack-dab at the freaking helm of the wheelhouse! I flew through this puzzle, including the SW corner in under Monday average time and loved it all. Sorry @Rex, I especially adored the “Poehler vortex...”

My daughter has danced since she was 4, including some professional work before she decided that the “triple threat” life was not for her and settled into married life and using all of her creativity (and her Master’s degree from NYU in creative arts therapy) to work with special needs kiddos in NorCal, Sonoma County. She still spends summers up in the Travers City MI area as a founding member of the Parallel 45 Theatre company. In fact, she will be in the troupe’s 2019 production of “Hair” in July and August. Her first love was ballet, but as she got older and branched out, she became a Fosse-phile of the first order. “A Chorus Line” was big as she approached teenage, and we were fortunate to see it on Broadway and of course at the movies. She actually wore out two videotapes watching and learning. She was fascinated by the parallels to classical ballet and to this day can rip through several of the group and solo dances from the show. Having Fosse as the theme triggered such happy memories and fueled my excitement to see “Haor” this summer. If you are in the Traverse City area late July, you will be impressed with what this group has done to stick with a grass roots effort to bring exciting, legit, imaginative professional theatre to northern Michigan.

Great start to the day to be one of the “this was easy” people and on such a wonderful premiere effort! Congrats to Ms. Lyonne!! Well done!

John Child 9:25 AM  

This was great fun; best Tuesday in ages.

All dogs go to heaven.

Hartley70 9:44 AM  

It only took two female constructors to finally give us a dance theme. Take THAT baseball! I know FOSSE has many talents but in my mind he’s an amazing choreographer first and foremost. Thank you, Ladies!

ALLFLASHNOCASH is very familiar. I only needed ALLF. Perhaps it’s an era or an AREA thing.

AMY and DOOR and Portlandia fell quickly so I guess my realm is “No Country for Old Men”, @kitchef. Sorry, sorry, couldn’t resist when it popped into my head. You could be twenty and I always enjoy your posts.

The Z made Mark’s nickname an easy guess. It’s kinda great. I’m just old enough to vaguely remember BONZO as a chimp, but that’ll be tough for some. I wanted a dance clue for ADAGIO, but it was just a minor disappointment in a stellar solve. The clueing was spot on, the theme was terrific, and this has set a new bar (barre) for Tuesday in my mind.

Banya 10:01 AM  

Good coincidental timing with the new mini-series Fosse/Verdon coming out next week.

Unknown 10:10 AM  

Nice article about constructor in today's NYT:

Nancy 10:16 AM  

So once again we're on the same page, @Quasi (7:38). I've never been a fan of FOSSE's choreographing style either. It's always seemed to me to be much of a much of a muchness -- very predictable, with no surprises. My favorite choreographer? Michael Kidd, whose dance numbers in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" were the most original, infectious, and character-driven I've ever seen. Watch the barn-raising dance sequence. Watch the "Lonesome-- (Hound Dog? Polecat?, can't remember) dance sequence. Just wonderful. Even better to me than Jerome Robbins' work in "West Side Story" -- which was pretty darned wonderful too.

And @CDilly52 (9:24) -- I would imagine that you and your daughter have both seen the documentary "Every Little Step" about the making of "A Chorus Line." But if you somehow missed it, you absolutely must see it. First, it's perhaps the best behind-the-scenes look at Broadway ever made and second, because your daughter will really identify if she performed herself in "A Chorus Line."

nyc_lo 10:21 AM  

Nice, challenging Tuesday workout. Didn’t even realize it was a “celebrity” puzzle until I got here, since I rarely check the constructors. Loved ALLFLASHNOCASH. Sounds like something Nicky might say on “Orange...”

QuasiMojo 10:28 AM  

@CDilly, it wasn’t clear in your comment re Fosse but I did want to credit Michael Bennett for the choreography in A Chorus Line. And @Nancy, don’t forget the slightly less Amazin’ Mets won the World Series again in 1986.

David 10:33 AM  

All flash, no cash is definitely a thing. It's even a thing some folks might say about Fosse.

This was very much up my alley, and I enjoyed the cluing as well.

Dropped in "goose" and immediately saw it wouldn't work, so "eider". Also stopped for a second or two on "I quit". I might have misspelled "Mahre" if I'd ever seen the clue.

No baseball, no football, no basketball; only 2? proper nouns besides the honoree? Wow!

Only near Natick (a town I know well) was the reference to a pay-to-play channel. I gave up on those about a decade ago.

For me, this was fast and fun. Many thanks.

Joseph M 10:42 AM  

TZATZIKI on a Tuesday? Two “I” statements? Two “ME” statements? I wanted to say ZUCK you, but I did like ALL THAT JAZZ, so I decided NIT to.

RooMonster 10:43 AM  

Hey All !
Natasha (can I call you that?), you're a great actress, and quite good looking! *Blush* (No, I'm not a creep!)(Or a CAD)

Nice puz. Got a huge kick out of that SW corner! Wow, two Z's, two K's, a J and a Q. (And three U's!) Holy TIKI, you almost got the pangram right there! Liked the lack of dreck, also.

Nice F count, too. Always like seeing an F in the themers! Some fun clues, BLIP for one. Simple theme, but as Tuesdays are the odd duck of PuzWeek, this one was great! Nice resistance, cool theme phrases, and a Revealer where it is apropos. Good job, ladies! (Where was Rex's boast about 2 women constructors??)


jberg 10:51 AM  

I’m sitting in the waiting room while our car gets a new airbag—apparently the old one was prone to exploding and sending metal fragments out to kill you. First they sent out that scary recall notice, then they said they were scheduling the replacement seven weeks out. Fortunately we survived.

Ah yes, the puzzle. Seemed like a lot of proper names, of which I mainly knew the old ones, like ELIAS & CASCA. Fun solve though, and I loved learning ALL FLASH NO CASH—@kitshef, I’ve never heard anyone say it, either, but it’s fun to imagine it!

Making TIKI cross TZATZIKI at the final I was cool.

Ethan Taliesin 11:11 AM  

Went in thinking "celebrity crossword, why even do this?"

Turned out it was a fantastic Tuesday crossword! Lively, interesting, and drawing from broad and wide-ranging terms and subjects. Nice cluing, too!

Was the theme a bit thin? I don't care a nano-whit.

More from these people please--maybe a Friday

QuasiMojo 11:16 AM  

P.S. @Nancy, I wish I’d waited to comment until after yours above re Michael Kidd. I totally agree. He always delivered an extra frisson. I have seen the film you cite many times, and was lucky enough to see a stage version of Bells Are Ringing he directed in LA ages ago. It had a roller skating chorus number in it that brought the house down.

tim 11:23 AM  

How is CASCA any worse than ZUCK? Didn't you at least have to read "Julius Caesar" in high school? (And, come to think of it, they're both figures best known for contributions that were supposed to be for the common good but instead brought about chaos and civil conflict.)

Pamela 11:24 AM  

This was easy and fun. Soon after moving to NY, at the age of 25, I saw Gwen Verdon in cabaret on a twofer (remember those?) with my room mate. Back home afterwards, we leaped around the apartment singing Hey Big Spender at the top of our lungs. It took a while for the delight and euphoria to wear off. Later in my career, still star struck, I was fortunate enough to meet both Gwen Verdon and Anne Reinking In very positive circumstances. Both were lovely, in completely different ways. This puzzle brought all those memories to the fore, an added bonus. I’m still smiling.

JC66 11:25 AM  

One of the best Tuesdays in quite a while. Not only the puzzle, But @Rex's wrote-up, as well. {He even responded to the Poehler pun with his own (Knope - a character Amy played in Parks & Recreation).

@gfrpeace. REHAB = Rehabilitate

@Nancy It's early, but the Mets are currently 3 and 1.

jb129 11:30 AM  

I agree - one of the best Tuesdays in a while. Thank you, Ladies! Hope to see you both again soon!

old timer 11:35 AM  

I'm with OFL on this one. Super hard for a Tuesday, and except for ALL FLASH NO CASH, the themers stank. The favorable tune today is based entirely on the fact that the constructors are women and one was a virgin (virgin constructor, that is, though I don't remember any by Deb Amlen, myself.)

Oh well. I had a fine night's sleep, with visions of my Giants beating the hated Dodgers. In L.A., no less. With Pablo Sandoval one of the heroes of the day.

Pamela 11:42 AM  

This was easy and fun. Soon after moving to NY, at the age of 25, I saw Gwen Verdon in cabaret on a twofer (remember those?) with my room mate. Back home afterwards, we leaped around the apartment singing Hey Big Spender at the top of our lungs. It took a while for the delight and euphoria to wear off. Later in my career, still star struck, I was fortunate enough to meet both Gwen Verdon and Anne Reinking In very positive circumstances. Both were lovely, in completely different ways. This puzzle brought all those memories to the fore, an added bonus. I’m still smiling.

Masked and Anonymous 11:43 AM  

Great TuesPuz. Much more 'tude than yer average Tudeday.

Several trouble spots, but not nat-tick level trouble. Didn't know of: ALLFLASHNOCASH. TZATZIKI. CASCA. THANG. ZUCK. IFC.
Suuuu … slight nanosecond zuckers. Fun solvequest, tho.

staff weeject pick: ICH. Better clue: {Fraction of an inch??}. That clue woulda actually fit in pretty comfortably, with this puz's primo raised-by-wolves litter of clues, such as {Poehler vortex of funniness?} = AMY, or {Ghost at the altar?} = JILT. har. Bring it, Natasha & Deb darlins.
Honrable weeject mention to WEE, of course.

@RP: Sure sorry about yer dog. Dogs are the very best.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Lyonne & Amlen. And congratz on yer superb debut to Natasha Lyonne. More, please.
Ok … which one of U did that DOOR clue? AWMAN … Darn near sounded like part of a Trump Tower tour, or somesuch.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Anon 9:03,

You're dead on, except that It's MOST Wharton grads, not just some that aren't MBAs. I am curious, why you included the gratuitous attack on the Pres. I've read him and heard him speak many, many times and never heard him claim to have an MBA. on the contrary, he used to mock MBAs and lord it over them when he felt he had bested them in business.

Ethan Taliesin 12:01 PM  

One unimportant thing I forgot to mention. Fred Armisen is constructor/actress Natasha's partner. Fred stars in Portlandia, and Portlandia was in one of the clues.

The More You Know ...---*

Peter P 12:35 PM  

@Nancy - "Ghosting" is leaving a relationship without communication/explanation. For example, if you went on a couple of dates with somebody, and then they simply disappear without any explanation and don't respond to your phone calls and/or texts, that would be called "ghosting." It is a generational word, I feel, but it's mainstream enough that it is at least in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (see the third verb definition: It may very well be a usage that has an old history (I can't find any info about first usage in this sense), but it's a word that seems to have become more common in recent years.

As for the "It may have golden locks"/door clue. I think that's just a simple misdirect. Rather than refer to hair, it simply means that some doors may have golden (as in "gold-colored" locks) And many do, if you consider brass "golden."

oldactor 12:41 PM  

After hearing Natasha (whom I had never heard of) on Fresh Air, I was so struck by her that I went straight to Netflix and watched all eight episodes of Russian Doll. I am a fan for life.

My creature to get down from was a CAMEL for a brief moment. I once was on a camel by the pyramids. I felt like I was 10 feet off the ground. The driver(?) wouldn't make the thing kneel so I could get off. I think he thought the longer I rode, the bigger would be his tip. I've never felt so trapped in my life. It made a great picture though.

I met a man there whose address was: One Sphinx Square, The Pyramids, Egypt. My all time favorite.

ghostoflectricity 12:53 PM  

Agree it was a bit tough for a Tuesday. Also never heard "all flash no cash," but sounds plausible to me. Willing to cut this one some slack; Natasha Lyonne is terrific, and "Russian Doll" is the best TV I've seen in recent years. Don't mind that she referenced her partner Fred Armisten and her colleague/pal Amy Poehler either. I'm a baby boomer, but I'm a bit surprised that most of her pop-cultural references dated my era rather than later, but then again the two most prominently-used pop songs in "Russian Doll" date to my pre-adolescent/adolescent years (Harry Nilsson's "Gotta Get Up," 1971, and Love's "Alone Again Or," 1967). As for a Fosse theme, doesn't offend me. I thought "All That Jazz" (1979) with Roy Scheider as Fosse alter-ego Joe Gideon, was a very good (not quite great) movie. But I also agree with those who found Fosse's choreographic style stilted, limited, and bound by the same few repeating moves and gestures. Also, I think Rex, as a lit prof, should not be so harsh on "Casca," the third of the most prominent kill-Caesar plotters (after Cassius and Brutus, in Shakespeare's play) for 1A- I liked it.

Teedmn 12:55 PM  

This played "challenging for a Tuesday" for me also. venDER-TRADER, ConS-CADS, and DOll-DOOR were all part of the problem along with a blank slate when it came to PRO____ = PROFFER. This all was cleared up but at the cost of a speedy solve. Well, DOOR went in but I'm still hoping someone will come up with an explanation more pithy than the one @Peter P proffers - I think he's right but so sad if so.

But other than 33A, I liked the puzzle. The clue for 50D and TZATZIKI really JAZZed UP THE PLACE.

Congrats on your debut, Natasha Lyonne. It sounds like you greatly enjoyed the construction process. And thanks to you and Deb Amlen for ALL THAT JAZZ.

OffTheGrid 1:09 PM  

@Anonymous 9:03. You wrote "All Wharton grads are not MBAs". But some are. You meant "Not all Wharton grads are MBAs". Big difference.

albatross shell 1:30 PM  

Three cheers for BONZO. My favorite word for making fun of an ex-president and his acting. Also announce bedtimes got myself and others with bedtime for BONZO.

I went into NYC to see the movie ALL THAT JAZZ (opening week I think) but more importantly to see Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys at the Lone Star. Their drummer announced he was in the movie: he would be the one wrapped in tin foil. Next day, sure enough he was. At least I hope I have the right movie. They're not makin Jews like Jesus anymore.

JILT for ghost I got before I understood. A modern definition that I see in movies and books, but never use myself.

Most embarrassing it took me ten minutes to realize I had switched the 62 down and 53 across clues so both were going the wrong direction with the wrong # of letters. That made for a very difficult puzzle. With EA in I chose bear before seal. Don't bears balance on balls? Do you see either at the circus anymore?

Judging from youtube and Google Downward-Facing-Dog is commonly used for the name of the pose, and writers on Yoga like to capitalize the names of poses as one might a book title.

Grew up on Alley OOP

Proud to be an asshole from el paso. Well not really and I'm not.

albatross shell 1:42 PM  

Why should it matter whether All FLASH NO CASH is known or not? I know it with an and in the middle. But it's so pithy, and better than the hat-cattle parallel, wouldn't be even a better answer if it were original? Or widely unknown?

Crimson Devil 1:57 PM  

excellent Tues. been away for few days, good to be back.

Joe Dipinto 2:29 PM  

@Pamela 11:42 -- I think maybe you saw the show "Sweet Charity", from whence came "Big Spender"? Neither Fosse nor Verdon was involved with the Broadway run of "Cabaret" that I recall.

This was a very fun affair (and way easier than Rex thought, imo). I must thank the puzzle for reminding me that today is the last day of Whole Foods' sale on tzatziki, and I must pick some up. I prefer the 1960's Tony Hatch "Call Me" (Call me -- don't be afraid, you can / Call me -- maybe it's late but just / Call me -- call me and I'll be around )

Thanks, DA and NL, for jazzing up the week.

Z 2:33 PM  

I saw a couple of references to PPP so did a quick count. I found 19 of 74, or 26%. Quite reasonable but a bit more than the two someone claimed.

My list of Pop Culture, Product Names and other Proper Nouns in the puzzle:

Bedtime for BONZO
FOSSE (I counted this as 2)

AREA (BART clue)
CALL ME (Blondie hit)
IDES (Caesar clue)
Nuthin’ but a G THANG
TOMB (Taj Mahal clue)

@gfrpeace - I’m with @JC66. “Habit” is close in origin to “have” while reHABilitation is from something related to “condition” or “ability.” I looked at the OED Online for the info.

Crimson Devil 2:49 PM  

Re Albatross: good to see reterence to Kinky, great pal of Imus’. Fun am radio, ‘til unfortunate description of Rutgers women’s bkball team.

john towle 3:50 PM  

The hauntingly mesmerizing opening to Cabaret (Joel Gray & Liza Minnelli) lingers in my mind as one of the most frightening scenes in all of cinema.

Heartfelt condolences on the loss of your dog, Rex. As a book once stated: No Bad Dogs & imho they all rest in Doggie Heaven.



Anonymous 3:53 PM  

My spelling of tzatziki was "szatziki" since I had the answer for 36A as "This can't be right" (since the clue was "I think I made a mistake here." The word 'here' in that clue led me to put "This can't be..." instead of "That can't be..."). I still avow my answer was correct :-)

Anonymous 5:07 PM  

Of course. Think Homo habilus (handy man) And In German habt have).
My source: 10th grade.

CDilly52 5:12 PM  

Loved it . . . Every time we see it, 😍

CDilly52 5:13 PM  

Too true, I mixed my comments, but yes, am aware. Thanks!

Z 5:30 PM  

@anon5:07 - Funny. The sourpusses at the OED say both have roots in Latin. No mention of your 10th grade German class.

The Bard 7:19 PM  

Julius Caesar, Act III, scene I

CASCA: Speak, hands for me!

[CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and

CAESAR: Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar.



Julius Caesar, Act V, scene I

ANTONY: Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers
Hack'd one another in the sides of Caesar:
You show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like hounds,
And bow'd like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet;
Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind
Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers!

Anoa Bob 8:17 PM  

The Bard is back! Flattery to Caesar's face and stabbing him in the back. That sort of thing never happens these days, right? I think one thing that sets us apart from other species is our penchant for deceit and treachery. Unlike dogs.

Never heard ALL FLASH NO CASH before but I like it. I agree with @albatross shell that an "and" would give it a truer ring. Another in that vein is "All Show and No Go".

burtonkd 9:39 PM  

@Nancy: to Ghost someone is to just disappear on them. Used in social media.

Z 10:27 PM  

@anon5:07 - Just noticed that my response can be read in a way I didn’t intend. Your response was funny, gave me a chuckle, but those dang sourpusses at the OED say no German was involved.

Burma Shave 9:08 AM  




BS2 10:31 AM  




spacecraft 10:56 AM  

This was hard for a Tuesday! Wanted all hat no cattle for 19 across. Fixed that, went for DOll instead of door because "locks" in a crossword clue means hair 95% of the time. Fixed that. Then came the SW. It was so funny: When I started filling in 37 down I thought: THATCANTBERIGHT! TZAT....? But it was. That corner was awful to solve; all I could think of for parting words was "I'm out." But AMUI had to be wrong. Yeesh, I live in Vegas and I don't know Spanish for here?? Oh YEAH, now I remember (doh!): AQUI.

This is a remarkable debut for brand-new DOD Natasha Lyonne; I know you had help, sweetie, but keep at it. This is good stuff. Birdie.

leftcoastTAM 2:33 PM  

Terrific Tuesday, and a celebrity puzzle at that. (Not usually into them.) Great theme, and BOB FOSSE revealer confirmed it.

Wasn't sure at first about getting the popular culture stuff (THANG came late), but all fairly clued and helpfully crossed.

Best part for me was the SW corner. Loved the JILT/IQUIT cross, and AQUI shared the Q. That corner also helped in the spelling TZATZIKI.

Thanks for the fun, Natasha and Deb.

rondo 2:35 PM  

I had the same idea as @spacey in the SW with ImouT, but figured they wouldn’t let that T be the cross with COPOUTS; not two OUTS like that. So IGAVE up on that answer and let the real one fill in. There are some teeth in today's solve.

After The Exorcist LINDA Blair ‘starred’ in some teen roller-skating flick and grew into quite the YEAH baby. Unfortunately, her acting ability did not grow along with her. OOPs.

Tough Tues-puz TREAT.

leftcoastTAM 3:14 PM  

Vintage Burma Shave.

rainforest 4:26 PM  

Just a terrific Tuesday tussle today. Really liked it. I also like saying "Casca". What's with that?

Unless you're some sort of dance maven how can anyone not like Bob Fosse's work? I don't get it.

In my late teens/early twenties I tried to be a 19 Across guy. Got into some financial difficulty as a result. I blame my Dad. I like TZATZIKI both as a condiment and as a crossword entry. It has that Greek equivalent of "je ne sais quoi".

I'm babbling here. I QUIT.

Anonymous 9:33 PM  

Great debut for Natasha. Love that name.

I'm in agreement with spacecraft. Usually am unimpressed with first timers but this is definitely an exception IMHO. Great clues, answers, and aha moments - just what one asks for in a crossword.

And I think many of us men were all flash no cash at some point in our lives, but often the flash made up for the lack of cash. Just happy it wasn't a permanent thing for me..... although I kinda miss those days too.

Hope Wednesday's puzzle is as enjoyable as today's.

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