Jokey 1978 Steve Martin song / TUE 4-23-19 / Shrek's wife / Charge for some goods bought out of state / RVer's stopver for short / Futuristic movie of 1982

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Constructor: Amanda Chung and Karl Ni

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (probably more Medium) (3:31)

THEME: "PET SOUNDS" (64A: Beach Boys album with the hit "Wouldn't It Be Nice" ... or things hidden in 17-, 31-, 37- and 49-Across) — MEOW, WOOF, OINK (!), and HISS (!?) can be found embedded in the theme answers:

Theme answers:
  • HOMEOWNER (17A: One who may have a mortgage)
  • TWO OF A KIND (31A: Twins)
  • TATTOO INK (37A: Liquid supply for body art)
  • THIS SIDE UP (49A: Message between two arrows on a shipping container)
Word of the Day: MUFTI (22D: Civilian clothes for a soldier) —
  1. a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. (google)
  1.  also:
  1. ordinary dress as distinguished from that denoting an occupation or station 
    a priest in muftiespecially civilian clothes when worn by a person in the armed forces (m-w)
• • •

This was just goofy enough for me to like it. Given the cover of the album in question, I really would've liked to have seen a goat sound somewhere in the puzzle, but I can live with the sound assortment I've been given. This theme was pleasantly light-hearted, and even though the latter two "pets" aren't exactly as common as the first two, I liked that the "pets" got more improbable as you worked down the grid. Guessing that was just coincidence, but whatever. It works. I also liked that the theme actually meant something to me *while I was solving*. I sort of spilled down the grid from the NW to the SE. Hmm, maybe I took a brief trip north to pick up the NE corner, but otherwise, I just fell diagonally down the grid and got "PET SOUNDS" before I really noticed what was going on (at that point, hadn't even noticed the MEOW or the WOOF). So the sounds were on my mind when it came to parsing the second two themers. Always nice when I can enjoy (and use) the theme while solving. With early-week puzzles, that doesn't always happen. I have some issues with some of the fill, but overall, I think this holds up, especially for a Tuesday, which, after Sunday, is the day most likely to bomb.

The most eventful thing to happen during this solve was the horrible decision I made to yank CORONET. I put it in off just the "C," and immediately wrinkled my nose and worried I had the word wrong. "Is it CORNET? CORONET? Which one is the horn and which one the crown?" I went to confirm the answer off the first short cross I could find, and that was 35A: Indian flatbread. Knowing ("knowing") that [Indian flatbread] = NAAN, I pulled CORONET. Ugh. NAAN is leavened, ROTI not (paratha and chapati, also unleavened, in case that ever comes up, which in crosswords, it probably won't). Mistakes are Killing me lately. It's one thing not to know an answer, but it's kinda worse to plunk down a wrong word with confidence. Somehow TRIED TO and HOLDS ON, with their twin two-letter endings, were slightly hard to parse coming at them from the top. SASSINESS felt wrong, in that SASS all on its own seemed like the correct answer for 34D: Cheek. SASSINESS feels different from backtalk. Somehow I relate it more to swagger or style in general. Mainly I think people just say SASS if they mean lip (or cheek) (weird how two different facial parts are slang for sass). So I had SASS and then had no idea where to go. Luckily SW was very easy.

Five things:
  • 3D: One with a squeaky wheel? (HAMSTER) — tough clue for a Tuesday. Also, can't decide if it's wonderfully apt or annoyingly superfluous, given that it involves around a pet ... sound.
  • 11D: Send beyond the green, say (OVERHIT) — Maybe this is a valid golf term, but I don't like golf and this answer feels like it should be OVERSHOT so I have only side eye for this answer
  • 60A: Digitally endorsed (E-SIGNED) — woof. No. Put an "R" or a "D" at the front of that thing or lose its dumb E-ass entirely.
  • 43D: Jokey 1978 Steve Martin song ("KING TUT") — sincerely read this as [Jockey in a 1978 Steve Martin song] and thought "yeah that sounds like a thing that might be in those lyrics." I was likely confusing "jockey" with "donkey" and "honky." Luckily for me, [Steve Martin song] alone would've done the trick.
  • 63D: Big D.C. lobby (NRA) — because nuns' rights are very important*
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*I figured that today instead of yelling about the NYTXW's continuing to boost white supremacist terrorist organizations, I'd just pretend NRA meant something else

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Runs with Scissors 12:07 AM  


Who the heck is AL SORAN and what race did he lose? :=)


So I had fun with this puzzle. Kinda all over the place; the HOMEOWNER SMEARed TATOO INK with OIL.

We get SEXY DATES. Is a TWIX HIKE as painful as a tax hike?

Only an ECHO of FIONA. She went on a diet of ORES.

We even got one of the worst movies ever made. TRON.

Lots to like, though. Good, solid clues and workmanlike answers with some hilarity if you look at it sideways. Kinda like Doug’s “missiles at right angles to reality,” though they weren’t in the puzzle.

SO TO tomorrow and hope it is at least as fun.

BTW, NRA does mean something else. National Recovery Administration. Niggling Radical Arts. Nefarious Racist Activists. Narcissistic Relationship Addicts. Okay, that last one is made up.

Necrophilic Rec - no, never mind.

Mark, in Mickey’s North 40

TokyoRacer 12:11 AM  

Wow, the Roches! What ever happened to them? All right, I'll go to Wikipedia.
Just want to lick your shin again....

jae 12:25 AM  

Medium. Pretty good Tues. Mostly smooth with a classic album as the reveal, liked it.

ILL see before ASK.

The best song on PET SOUNDS is “God Only Knows”, which is also one of the best rock and roll songs of all time.

Bourbon Street 12:33 AM  

Get outta here with OVERHIT. Having been a miserable golfer for my entire life, I am fully aware that the correct term is “over shot”.

Tom 12:36 AM  

Fast Tuesday for me self. Big west coast Beach Boys fan, so since Surfin’ Safari didn’t fit, had to be PET SOUNDS. Some tough ones for a Tuesday, like TINTIN, MUFTI, TWIX (if it’s not Skor and it’s four letters, gotta be TWIX. Enjoyable Tuesday ‘cept for the gun nuts sneaking in there again.

Gunnar 1:18 AM  

Had a fun time with this one, which, after Monday's... thing, was a nice change of pace. Not much more to say about it, except that I appreciate a puzzle with a dated (to me) revealer and a dated (to me) clue or two that isn't so hard on the crosses that I just can't figure it out. Nice Tuesday puzzle.

webwinger 1:34 AM  

C’mon, @Rex—wouldn’t today be a great day to finally give up on your NRA-in-the-NYTXW fixation? It’s inconceivable to me that they have gained a single supporter, nay a single dollar of support, from all of their appearances in the puzzle, or that they have lost a single dollar as a result of your endless kvetching about them being in the puzzle. As I suggested in recent post, the TSARs were responsible for much more human misery than the NRA, and that word appears about equally often in the grids, but never evokes a negative comment. Please, let’s call the whole thing off…

Liked this puzzle. MUFTI is a wonderful word! I got to 44A with CORONET the only cross filled in and just knew it had to be “looN”—too bad, would have been such a nice flashback to one of last week’s high points.

chefwen 3:00 AM  

Would have been a lot more fun without the circles, I guess they made it Tuesday easy. MEOW and WOOF made me smile right from the start.

@jae, totally agree with your take on “God only knows”, one of my favorites.

Groaned when the NRA showed up again, not looking forward to another rant. Rex your comment would have been funnier without the postscript.

Frog Prince Kisser 3:21 AM  

OOO - Several double Os in this fun puzzle - TOOTH, TATTOO INK, STOOGE, plus a bunch of answers containing two Os - OREO, HOMEOWNER, TWO OF A KIND, O’CONNOR, HOLDS ON, ON TOE, SOTO. No bOOs - cOOl!

Loren Muse Smith 3:22 AM  

I got that the embedded circles spelled PET SOUNDS, but I forgot to go back and look at the reveal’s clue. Since I’m not familiar with that album, I thought PET SOUNDS was only that – pet sounds. So I almost just put the puzzle down and extend my little hiatus from here one more day (I’ve been in NC helping Mom). I figured Rex would eviscerate the puzzle because of the arbitrary reveal, and sometimes I just can’t face evisceration first thing, ‘specially after a tough weekend.

What a pleasant surprise! Hah! @jae – I’ll have to seek out God Only Knows.

Looking at the album cover now, I almost have to agree with Rex that a goat sound would’ve been elegant. NBA ALL-STAR There you go. Wait. That’s a sheep. THELMA AND LOUISE. Bam.

Rex – interesting observation on giving someone lip or cheek. I tried to find other body parts whose meaning (if you give it to someone) is farther removed than, say, a hand or an ear. I couldn’t. I do agree that SASSINESS and SASS feel different from each other.

HAMSTER is a great entry here. It also reminds me of @Larry’s wicked-funny comment a few months ago about a hamster firing up the exercise wheel at 3am. That still makes me laugh.

People can have a pet SWAN, too. Ask Lisa Vanderpump. She has at least two, and one of them is a real grouch.

“Meaning of a raised index finger” – I had “and” before ONE. I mean, sheesh, is there anything it *can’t* mean?
Be quiet for a minute
Let me finish chewing
That’s enough sassery…

My son had a pet snake, Shaggy. When we bought him the pet store guy told us to be sure to handle him a lot ‘cause this particular snake enjoyed it. I’m like, Yeah. Right. A reptile can communicate well-being and happiness. But I have to say that as I got to know Shaggy, I did sense his delight when I took him out for a little visit. I swear it made him happy. But [raised index finger] if he had ever hissed, even in his cage far away from me, I would have (changed my pants and) immediately returned him to hippy snake guy.

Lewis 6:06 AM  

@rex -- You wrote, regarding the hamster's squeaky wheel that it "involves around a pet...", and my brain cut in with "revolves around a pet" -- a genuine "Hah!" moment.

A cute theme nicely tied up with the album title bow. There was a mini-theme of double O's (5) (Hi @FPK!), and two neighboring words I love -- THWART and WINNOW. There were those other animals in the menagerie -- HAMSTER, SWAN, CROC, and ANT (and even an anagrammed RATS) -- all of which make sounds, by the way. Yes, even ants make sounds (by rubbing parts of the abdomen together). Then I started wondering what animals don't make sounds, and giraffes came up, but it turns out that they do make sounds after all, so I got a nice nature lesson out of this.

54A answers the question as to the best place to store a Ho Ho.

Steve 6:33 AM  

Has anyone Googled MUFTI?
Holy crap. This is ONE BAD WORD! The single non-offensive definition is thin at best. Go to urban dictionary and prepare to lose your breakfast/lunch/dinner.
How do the editors not Google this shit??

Hungry Mother 6:35 AM  

A bit faster than usual. Easy and helpful theme. Wife beater and gun toter today.

amyyanni 6:43 AM  

Agree with God Only Knows, with Caroline No as runner up. @LMS, entire album is classic and worth a listen.
Lively Tuesday, made me grin, as did your comment, @Lewis, from revolving to Ho Ho. Very clever.

JHC 6:55 AM  

FWIW, I work for a company that provides back-office support to non-profit arts organizations. In order to enable us to serve multiple companies at once, all our work is done in the cloud, including signature processing. All of which is to say, I use E-SIGN[ED] all the time.

I share Rex's disdain for e-cig and e-mag and all the other e's, but E-SIGNED is a real thing.

SouthsideJohnny 6:57 AM  

Help - can anyone explain the clue for 40D ? I thought KOA was a tree !

kitshef 7:15 AM  

My exact comment to myself after solving is that Rex will HAVE to like this as it had a consistent theme and his beloved revealer.

Good theme, Monday difficulty. Nice O cluster in the middle which includes two winning tic-tac-toes. Grid felt very O-heavy in general.

Leon 7:16 AM  

From Beach Boys: ‘Pet Sounds’: 15 Things You Didn’t Know':

12. The band had a less-than-harmonious relationship with the animals on the cover.
The Beach Boys and photographer George Jerman traveled to the San Diego Zoo on February 15th, 1966, to shoot the cover art for their new album. The final image showed five of the bandmates (the newly enlisted Bruce Johnston couldn’t appear on the cover for contractual reasons) feeding goats in the children’s petting paddock. The scene looks wholesome enough, but apparently, the band didn’t endear themselves to the zoo staff.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Zoo officials accused the Beach Boys (reportedly Dennis Wilson in particular) of “mistreating the animals.” The group, for their part, claimed that they were the ones who were mistreated. “You know the big white [goat] on the front? The most obnoxious animal I’ve ever known in my life,” Al Jardine complained during a 1966 interview on Hartford’s WDRC. “Pushed me, and all of us, all over the place. If you had a little piece of something in your hand, he’d know it. And he’d almost trample you trying to get that thing!” Even decades later, Bruce Johnston never forgot the ill-tempered creatures. “The goats were horrible! They jump all over you and bite. One of them ate my radio. The zoo said we were torturing the animals, but they should have seen what we had to go through. We were doing all the suffering.”

kitshef 7:26 AM  

@Southside Johnny - KOA = Kampgrounds of America - they run a lot of campgrounds and for some reason use a "k" rather than a "c".

@Steve - interesting; I Google MUFTI and I get a bunch of perfectly innocuous definitions about Muslim jurists and civvies. And the Indian politician. Urban dictionary will define a lot of words in a bad way - look up TWIX and ALVIN, for example. Best just to stay away.

Eric NC 7:27 AM  

@SouthsideJohnny. Kampgrounds of America

I Tina 7:34 AM  

This was cute. Nice to see young constructors paying homage to a classic album from 1966. The NRA must be the only white supremacist organization that welcomes people of all races. 😱

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

SouthsideJohnny::KOA is an acronym for an RV club --- Kampgrounds Of America. Tougher Tuesday than usual. Enjoyed it.
Don't forget to support Rex with his commitment to this rock solid blog. Oink oink.

Mo-T 8:28 AM  

@ Leon

Goats know. In the early 1970s we had a dwarf Congolese goat who was named after our high school history teacher, George Briggs.

George knew when someone was afraid. Mostly, he was a nice boy, and he loved our horse, Cherokee. George didn't even come up to Cherokee's knee, but they were fast friends.

One day, George saw my city-bred mother-in-law get out of her car and sort-of shy away from him. Off he went at her, and he got one of his horns tangled in the strap of her pocketbook. I rescued her, but I had to hold my breath trying not to laugh.

I am not a goat expert, but don't avert your gaze from a goat (alternately, run really fast). Don't hold goats' horns or pull their horns or move them using their horns. They do not like that either.

I love The Beach Boys a little less today.

scaupnyc 8:37 AM  

Kampgrounds of America

Alex M 8:47 AM  

If anyone has a hamster or other small pet at home and is losing sleep over a squeaky wheel, let me wholeheartedly recommend the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner! Unlike other so-called "silent" wheels (lookin' at you, Kaytee Silent Spinner) the SR actually spins with ZERO sound, and it's safe for long-tailed pets like sugar gliders and squirrels too due to its lack of center axle! It's also light for its size, which is key for large Syrian hamsters like mine - she needs a 12 inch wheel, and other brands are too heavy for her to use properly. They also sell extra wide versions for hedgehogs, and the same brand also makes fabulous all-metal silent saucer runners, for pets that prefer those! It's also comparable in price to the Kaytee if you live in the US, but I'm Canadian and was willing to pay double for the shipping - the good night's sleep it provides is worth every penny!!

Suzie Q 8:54 AM  

Being an animal lover got me in a good mood with this puzzle.
There were a few couple of spots that did make me pause however.
I did not know Tai Chi was considered a martial art. I think of it as an exercise suitable for all ages.
Agree about over hit. I come from a family of golfers (I don't play but I'm a great caddy!) and never heard over hit.

I used to have that Roches album. Very good but not for everyday use.
Their vocals are a nice example of how voices within a family can create the most enjoyable harmonies.

I really had to call myself out for being a hypocrite this morning.
As I filled in the NE corner I cursed the puzzle for another stupid Shrek clue. "Who cares about this secondary character from a cartoon I've never seen?" Then encountered Alvin! "Hey, there's a cartoon I know!" Oops.

Good fun on a Tuesday.

Wm. C. 8:56 AM  

@kitshef7:26 --

Apparently you did not read far down enough in the Urban Dictionary meaning of MUFTI. I never heard of this meaning, as I'm sure that most did not.

mmorgan 8:57 AM  

I don’t like puzzles with circles. God only knows why.

I thought Rex would hate this. Wrong again.

Crimson Devil 8:58 AM  

Whassa RPG ??

Odd Sock 9:02 AM  

Plenty of musical clues/answers to start your day.
This certainly was better than the usual Tuesday and passed the tussle test.
Thanks for sparing us (almost) from your weekly NRA rant Rex.
I think you may be basing your opinion on second- or third-hand info.
You might be surprised how many women and people of color support and are members. Considering how many legal gun owners there are in this country, if they actually were the problem you'd know it.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

I'm no solving pro but I thought the ROTI x MUFTI cross was kind of Natick-y if one can be such without proper nouns.

And ditto on the RPG question.

Nancy 9:10 AM  

I once OVERHIT a green. This was such a rare occurrence that it stands out in my memory. (If the last thing you want in your life right now is an @Nancy golf story, I'm giving you fair warning: FORE!!!!)

Back in the days when there were caddies at golf courses and I had one, I had been hacking my way around the golf course -- topping most of my tee shots, slicing most of my fairway woods, and taking the world's largest divots out of the grass with my short irons. (I had seldom tried to hit any iron longer than a 7-iron, which is one of the points of the story.)

We come to a hole with a water hazard right behind the green. I'm on the fairway, I don't know how far from the hole. The caddie pulls out a 6-iron. I had never hit a 6-iron. I took it and swung and THAR it sailed, straight and true, much, much farther than any of my tee shots or fairway woods hit that day. Over the green it sailed, straight and true and, kerplop, into the water. I was assessed a (1-stroke?, 2-stroke? don't remember) penalty on the very best golf shot I had or have ever hit in my life. I was aghast.

"You overclubbed me," I said to the caddie. "Why did you overclub me?"

Without missing a beat, the caddie, a grizzled-looking veteran, replied: "I'm so sorry. I didn't know you were going to hit it that well."

@merican in Paris 9:11 AM  

Took me the same time to finish today's as yesterday's. Had to guess an "N" at the crossing of FIO_A and _IA, and a "T" at the crossing of RO_I and MUF_I. Regarding the latter, the word's meaning in Australian slang, according to the Urban Dictionary, is "any of several small and irritating breeds of dog such as the Pekingese, Shiatsu, and various long haired Miniature Terriers." There's more to that concept, but I'll let others look it up, point being that MUFTI, too, potentially fits with the theme.

I like the Beach Boys, and the Pet Sounds album, but until I got to the reveal I was thinking Old MacDonald's farm. A HISS could be a sound made by a SWAN or a gander, by the way.

The other mini-theme, besides the double O, was TW and TH words, beTWIX and beTWeen the others, including THWART, which combines the T, H, and W in one gorgeous diagraph. TOO TWOO!

As for the NRA, it does seem to get into the NYT crossword with inordinate frequency. But my bugbear is ETHANOL (1D "Gasoline additive"). What a scam. The whole idea of putting it in gasoline started with big agri-business (specifically, Archer Daniels Midland). It appealed to Carter, and was later championed by G.W. Bush. Environmentalists embraced it for a few years, but then rejected it as its true environmental impact became known. Yet the political right still blames environmentalists rather than their own senators for its continued favor by government policy. Grrr. (That's a PET SOUND.)

In any case, a lovely Tuesday puzzle. Thanks Amanda Chung and Karl Ni!

TJS 9:21 AM  

Had to jump down to comments section to straighten out one thing: God Only Knows may be your favorite song, but is by no means a rock and roll song. Gimme a break! Reference Bob Seger if you need help defining rock and roll.

CT2Napa 9:21 AM  

I think RPG means Role Playing Game

GILL I. 9:29 AM  

PET SOUNDS....Yay. I didn't know the album so after I finished I looked it up. I'm not much of a Beach Boys fan. Living in So.Cal when they became popular and listening to them every single minute of the day, dulls the senses. Maybe it was because I didn't want anybody encroaching on The Beatles. Anyway, I saw the goat on the album and also had hoped for a BAA. Didn't they sing something called baabaabaaran?
We had a goat named chi chi. Dad got him so that he didn't have to mow the lawn. I loved that goat. We also had a donkey named Pedro and the two of them were fast friends. Adding to our little finca's menagerie, we had several of the MEOW's and WOOF's taking over our property. Too bad Amanda and Karl couldn't turn KOA into a KOI - then we'd have a fish as well. I don't think they make sounds. Maybe glub glub?
The OINK was my favorite sound except piggies really squeal. The big ones snort. I think George Clooney was one of the first to have a pot-bellied pig as a pet. They started appearing everywhere - especially the miniature ones. Now it's de rigueur to parade one around. Once Paris Hilton starts the fad, the rest follow. Remember Tinkerbell, her purse chihuahua? Now she has a little pig that fits in her Louis Vuitton.
Nice little Tuesday puzzle. I did wonder why anyone would write a book called "Love in the Time of CHOLERA." I bet someone is now writing "Love in the Time of Measles."

Wm. C. 9:31 AM  

RPG => Role-playing Game

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

@merican in Paris,

Ethanol is a scam, but you didn't mention the scammiest part. far from helping with energy efficiency--the claim which was used to get all the fed help--it actually COSTS energy. That is, the amount of energy needed to produce is greater than what the final product provides. It's simply a boondoggle for Midwest corn growers. Period.

As for over hit. Um, no. The term nearly univerally ised in that situation is sailed. As in, "Oh God, I sailed it (right over the green) into that bunker".

Peter P 10:00 AM  

PET SOUNDS is my favorite album, tied with My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, so that put a smile on my face alone. It is very much a work different from their previous works to that point, and a great example of Brian Wilson's "pocket symphony" pop experimentation. If all you know of the Beach Boys is three-chord Chuck-Berry-inspired surf music (and that was great, too!) it's worth having a listen to this album. And it's an album that rewards you with careful listening. The orchestration and arrangement on that album is sublime, with atypical pop rock instruments like accordians, electro-theramins, woodwinds, timpani, glockenspiels, temple blocks, harpsichord, ukuleles, bass harmonicas, sleigh bells, even orange juice cups and Coke cans. Sure, "baroque pop" was a thing that utilized some of these instruments, but not with the complete palate of musical textures Pet Sounds did--the way individual timbres combine with other instrument timbres to create lush new sounds. As I said, it is a sublime piece of work.

I agree with the previous posters that "God Only Knows" and "Caroline No" are standout tracks, but every track is solid. I'm especially a sucker for the well-known "Wouldn't It Be Nice" as well as "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." Now, the album didn't click with me until I was in my mid-20s, c. 2000. One day, I borrowed it from a friend to have a re-listen, and I had an Emersonian "I am a transparent eyeball, I am nothing I see all" moment of transcendence where the music became a part of me and I was no longer listening to it, but rather experiencing it.

Anyhoo... I've wandered a bit. As you can tell, I love that album. Easy puzzle today. Second fastest Tuesday for me (I thought I had a record, but got snagged at ROTI (had "naan", which is also a flatbread; flatbreads can be leavened). And for some dumb reason, I tried to jam "Asterix" as "Astrix" in the TINTIN spot, as that was the only Euro comic I could think of (though TINTIN did come to me later as the down clues filled a couple letters out.)

Z 10:03 AM  

Pet CROCs? ALVIN. SWAN. An ANT farm. Quite the non-theme menagerie.

@Runs - Nicely done.

@LMS - Methinks giving someone the finger is the height of SASSINESS.

@Anon9:09 - Maybe not technically a natick, but definitely not a typical Tuesday crossing. Hand up for wondering why naan didn’t fit, but I was very confident in FACE PAINT, so I filled it from the crosses. With MUF-I in place MUFTI looked like a word I’d seen, so I went with it.

If you don’t think the NRA has become a white supremacist organization you need to take the blinders off. here, here, here, et cetera.

FrankStein 10:16 AM  

Why don’t they use FDR’s NRA?

Aketi 10:21 AM  

Geese also HISS as I discovered when I took a walk around Beebe Lake about two years ago and encountered two of them blocking the path that they clearly decided was their territory.

I had a friend that had a snake that never HISSed and a goat that I practiced rugby with. Shamrock was a good training partner and never used his horns on me.

I have lived through CHOLERA, measles. and meningitis epidemics when I was working internationally. Measles was the rock bottom worst and thinking about the children I witnessed suffering and dying from it just makes me enraged when those who live in a bubble of denialism spew out “it’s only a childhood illness”. It used to make me want to haul their a$$$&$ on an airplane and show them what it looks like, but sadly now they may end up seeing it themselves here in NYC.

Fortunately I’ve found a great barista who makes me soothing coffee art so I can scrub the images out of my head.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Your links aren't advancing your argument. Bill Moyers? Your first link is himself a propagandist. You're old enough to know exactly what I'm talking about. That ad has been roundly criticized by both the right and the left. He simply has no moral standing.
The second link is an opinion piece. It's the author's opinion. That's not a fact. Besides, his claims are demonstrably untrue starting with this whopper: The NRA is preaching insurrection. That's nonsense.
The New Republic piece, your third link, describes the NRA not as a White power group, but a media outlet. A media outlet for God's sake!
Finally, The Post dispatch piece is all over the place. But even granting it's main gist, that the NRA failed to condemn bad actors is not the same as they themselves being bad actors. They are simply not moral equivalents.
We get it. You don't like the NRA. Or its policies, but millions upon millions of Americans do like the NRA's advocacy. They regard article II as a civic treasure; you would trash it because you don't like the folks who like guns or NRA members or it seems, anyone who disagrees with liberal orthodoxy of the moment .
If you don't like the gun rights, start doing some real work and amend the constitution. Have Article II repealed. Until then, my goodness, stoop trying to stifle speech. THAT's the danger here. Folks like you, who smear people with half truth to promote an agenda.

RooMonster 10:47 AM  

Hey All !
Liked the phrases that had animal sounds. Who knew? How many more common things have animal sounds? @LMS provided two.

Last letter in was the T of MUFTI/ROTI. Oof. Tough cross. Not much dreck elsewise (is that a word?) Do have a fix to not include NRA:
With OST being German for East.

But anyway, a fun TuesPuz. Nice open NW/SE corners. Time to ESIGNED my post.


jberg 11:36 AM  

My Spanish isn't very good, but at one point in my life I tried to improve it by reading Spanish novels. In Spanish, it's "...en el tiempo del colera," which I think means "Love in the time of the cholera." I don't really know if my Spanish translation is correct, but in any case it was published in English without that particular the in the title, so I guess this is OK.

Moving right along from Colombia to Trinidad, I thought a ROTI was some meat (e.g., goat) or vegetable mix wrapped in a piece of flatbread -- not the flatbread itself. But I could be wrong on that, too.

The printed paper had shaded squares, not circles -- it still would have been better without them. I mean, once I saw MEOW, and then got ---F, I could just write in the WOO.

KOA campgrounds are not just for RVs; I've camped in many in a small tent -- a good cheap way to travel across the country, as they are much less than a motel room.

My two sons were totally obsessed with D&D for several years, so I knew what a RPG was -- but I was thinking Final Fantasy was something like Final Jeopardy, so that one was hard to see.

I do know somebody named FIOrA, but NIA Long is such a crossword regular that I didn't have to worry about that one.

Welcome back, @Loren! And thanks for the golf story, @Nancy, that one made my day.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Yep. That nit bugged me too.

Moderate Democrat 11:46 AM  

@anon 10:33- I think you meant the 2nd Amendment not Article II but otherwise well put. I’m no fan of the NRA but to call them a White Supremacist organization is ridiculous and people who do will never be taken seriously by open minded people who would support changing the gun laws.

jb129 12:27 PM  

This was more fun than most Tuesdays (didn't want to give up Naan for Roti tho!)

jae 12:49 PM  

@TJS - Yeah, I hesitated on that one but I didn’t want to start a classical vs. rock debate so I went with the Billy Joel definition instead of the Seger one.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

@Moderate Democrat

D'oh!!! Yes, I did. or do.
Thanks for the gentle correction. Oh man, I feel like an imbecile.


Chuck Heston ( LOL)

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

Great Tuesday Puzzle! And it's great that they featured one of greatest albums ever, Pet Sounds.

Fun Pet Sounds trivia - Brian Wilson was obsessed with the Beatles' Rubber Soul and was determined for his next project to equal it. The result was Pet Sounds. Upon hearing Pet Sounds, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were so amazed that they wanted their next project to equal it. The result was Sgt. Pepper's.

Masked and Anonymous 12:59 PM  

Heckuva golden opportunity for a good, stupendous goat BLAT*.
Also liked all the pop tune references in this puz: KINGTUT. PETSOUNDS. ALVIN. LARAS [theme]. IKE [Turner]. Wasn't there also a "Does Yer Chewin Gum Lose Its Flavor on the HAMSTER Overnight" tune?

staff weeject pick: OOO. Admire its purity ... and gaminess, as clued.

ALSORANs: ESIGNED. RPGS. SOTO. Pretty clean fill, actually.

Hey @RP: NRA sure helped fill that SW corner, but, for yer piece of mind …
58. Ancestry tracers
62. "Does Yer Chewin Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Hamster Overnight", e.g.
66. Satanic targets
67. ___ Spring
69. Fill in for
50. Stanley K.'s main squeeze
59. Massage joints
62. Checkpoint org.
63. Summer Games holder [brief case]

Thanx for the fun TuesPuz, Amanda & Karl. Good job.

Masked & Anonymo4Us



Teedmn 1:04 PM  

A fine Tuesday puzzle. PET SOUNDS and a W fest, with TWIX, THWART, the double-ended WINNOW and 38D TWINE-ing right behind the snake's HISS.

I entertained myself by a brief TWO OF A KINk typo and the fact that I couldn't come up with any word that belonged before "fairy". I needed almost all of the crosses before TOOTH bit me on the behind. And that's after having seen part of the ridiculous TOOTH Fairy movie starring Dwayne Johnson not that long ago.

Good to know ROTI is unleavened - no leavened bread during Passover, not even in the grid. (Yeah right, tomorrow, we'll probably see brioche).

Thanks, AC and KN!

Wm. C. 1:13 PM  

@Anon10:33 --

Not trying to be too much of a nit-picker, but in defending gun ownership you refer to "Article 2" and suggesting iits repeal.

In fact Article II is in the body of the Constitution, dealing with the Executive branch. There is no provision for its repeal, obviously.

Clearly, you mean the Second Amendment to the Constiution, part of the ten-part Bill of Rights.

The entire issue of guns in this country is clearly a controversial one. Personally, I'm in favor of things like background checks and gun licensing and mandatory gun training, as do most citizens in other advanced democracies. And very strict control of handguns, which are used in most armed robberies, murders, and other illegal activities. Yes, one can argue that they can be used for home protection, but statistics show that many more lives are lost in accidental or erroneous shots at family and friends, than in protection against illegal entries.

Carola 1:25 PM  

Loved it. After the introductory MEOW, I eagerly anticipated what the other animal SOUNDS would be. Great reveal! So nicely constructed, too, with all 4-letter vocalizations and spanning two words.

A movie recommendation: the documentary The Wrecking Crew depicts the studio musicians who played on this and many other classic albums. Fascinating background.

@Gill I - LOL at "baabaabaaran" - too good!. Back in 1966, after a number of weeks as an exchange student in Germany, the two things from home I would have killed for were hearing "Barbara Ann" and having a hot fudge sundae.

@jae, chefwen, amyyanni - Huh. I need to go and relisten to the album. I can't get enough of "Sloop John B."

Canis Nebula 1:48 PM  

I agree with JHC that while many e-things are made-up, ESIGNED is very real. I'm totally fine with it showing up in the grid.

tea73 2:10 PM  

I'd confidently put in NAAN and then sheepishly erased it as MUFTI was a gimme. I've always thought it would be fun to do a puzzle composed of all the gimme clues with different answers (Indian bread, medicinal plant, black and white cookie.)

Loved the tight theme and reveal. Agree Pet Sounds is a great album.

Cassieopia 2:18 PM  

@Nancy - priceless story.

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

@Moderate democrat,

Duh!! Thanks for the gentle correction. Of course it's the second amendment.

@Wm C.
Reread my post. I'm not defending gun ownership. I'm defending the constitution which grants American that right. I'm guessing neither you, nor anybody on the board, doesnt know my feelings on gun ownership. I haven't shared them. And that's part of my point. The facts don't care about feelings mine or yours.
The NRA is a licit organization. Stifling their speech is totalitarian. It's what dictators do. I want no part of muzzling speech which is legal.

Anonymous 3:54 PM  

If you're old enough to have been in WWII, or parents that were, or you watch TCM a lot, then MUFTI is familiar and is correctly clued.

Wood 3:55 PM  

Agree. There are a couple of online services designed specifically to enable formal signing of documents online, such as for mortgages, legal docs, etc. Have done it numerous times myself.

BobL 4:19 PM  

Dear Mr. Shortz,

For the sake of many who read this blog, please clue NRA differently. Thank you.

Joe Dipinto 4:33 PM  

The revealer clue was the first thing I saw when I opened to the page, so I put that in and the rest was a romp. A good Tuesday effort, I'd say. But I don't recall Alvin being the *leader* of the Chipmunks -- he was the one that always seemed not to be paying attention.

As an aside, I also wouldn't mind a moratorium on having NRA in the grid, only because it's become more ubiquitous than Star Wars trivia.

And speaking of trivia, more on "Pet Sounds": "Caroline, No" was the first track to be issued as a single, but the artist was credited as Brian Wilson. Also, "God Only Knows" was the B-side of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" in the US, but in much of Europe it was the A-side and did very well chart-wise.

JC66 4:58 PM  

@Joe D

FWIW, they were called ALVIN and the Chipmunks.

bauskern 5:36 PM  

FWIW, I think Pet Sounds is perhaps the most overrated album in the canon of rock music. I think Rolling Stone lists it as one the top-5 all-time albums, and I can't for the life of me understand why. I get that the Beach Boys were trying to emulate the Beatles, but with the exception of God Only Knows (and perhaps the somewhat juvenile Sloop John B), the rest of the record is mediocre at best. Still, I liked the theme of today's puzzle and thought it was well constructed. For what it's worth, NWA's [!!] album Straight Outta Compton is far superior to Pet Sounds.

Musik Maestro 5:38 PM  

@Carola. Barbara Ann was #3 for 4 months in Germany from March 66', so maybe you didn't miss it that much. We rocked it in Hamburg.

webwinger 6:11 PM  

As a high school student in the Midwest I wasn’t much into the Beach Boys—thought they were kind of juvenile—and didn’t pay much attention when in 1966 PETSOUNDS was first released, not met with huge initial enthusiasm I recall. It seems to have garnered increasing respect over the next 10 years or so, by which time I was in medical school and increasingly out of touch with pop culture. What brought home its significance for me was a bittersweet moment from the “Doonesbury” comic strip during its heyday, in the late 1980s. A gay character named Andy was in the hospital, terminally ill from AIDS, when a friend brought him the eagerly awaited first CD release of Pet Sounds. He was found dead the next morning, with his last words recorded on a beside tablet: “Brian Wilson is God.”

Unknown 6:19 PM  

It was good for my ego for you to think a puzzle was middling hard when I, not really great at crosswords, thought it was pretty easy. Thank you.

Joe Dipinto 6:40 PM  

@JC66 -- it looks like Alvin got separate billing a la Diana Ross once they were turned into animated characters. On the Christmas 45 they were "The Chipmunks with David Seville".

Petsounds 7:05 PM  

Nice to see my online moniker used as the themer to this puzzle! That aside, I really enjoyed this one and had no trouble with it at all. The HAMSTER clue was my favorite--made me smile.

Bea 7:44 PM  

OVERHIT was awful.

Carola 7:49 PM  

@Musik Maestro - Thanks for that tidbit -I had no idea! I also had no radio in my rented Zimmer, not sure why I wouldn't have heard it elsewhere, though. Studying too hard, I guess :)

Barbars 8:44 PM  

Whar does the red square mean in each of your solves?

Barbars 8:47 PM  

What does the red square mean in each of your solves?

JC66 9:02 PM  


@Rex solves online in AcrossLite and the red letter is the letter that he entered last. It has no other significance.

VictorS. 9:49 PM  

So how about National Recovery Act an important part of the New Deal

Voice of Reason 10:06 PM  

NRA is a big DC lobby and that’s how it was clued. Only the crazies would object to that. I think it’s a good thing that Will Shortz doesn’t kowtow to crybullies like Michael Sharp.

Burma Shave 10:39 AM  


I TRIEDTO find just ONE more SMEAR,
or TWOOFAKIND for ODD Mister Gere,
I’LLASK where the HAMSTER was found
that was making SEXY PETSOUNDS.


spacecraft 11:23 AM  

Well, look who took a happy pill! Guess I'll have to be the curmudgeon today. I give this TWOOFAKIND props for making sure that all the PETSOUNS (I know zero album titles) crossed two or more words in their respective theme entries. But the fill! XERS? A tic-tac-toe line??? And suddenly, the NRA is all right? OFL's reaction is inexplicable. These kids must be teacher's PETS or something. Besides those clunkers, there's a lot of overused stuff--OREO, ERE, TSAR, etc. NIA Long is DOD, but I can't share OFL's enthusiasm. Bogey.

rondo 12:55 PM  

I like the revealer, and there are some PETSOUNDS hidden away including a WOOF for Rin-TINTIN, but really, how many pet pigs are there? And is that a cat or a snake making a HISS? I guess it’s the cat’s MEOW that counts.

OFL needs to get with it. I know that he dislikes E-stuff, but getting things ESIGNED is for real. Talk about a time saver.

This grid is probably the only place where DRUGS on DATES is OK. Still makes it ODD.

NIA has been yeah babied to tears, so musician FIONA Apple is right there with her today.

Not a great ONE, but like Harbor Freight - good enough.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

For those snowflakes in the Lunatic Fringe:



Diana,LIW 1:08 PM  

Wow - who gave OFL drugs?

His mood is especially odd as it may have been my easiest Tuesday ever - a real fill-in-the-blank.

Hey Lassie - what did you say? Timmy is down the well? Arf!!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 3:06 PM  

Beach Boys at their best, with PETSOUNDS and an ODD menagerie of PETs: cats and dogs, pigs and snakes.

The HAMSTER's squeaky wheel could get annoying, while FIONA and TINTIN might add some dissonance.

ROTI displaces naan for a change.

Good one.

rainforest 4:34 PM  

While I liked the Beach Boys well enough, after the Beatles, Stones, Hollies and Moody Blues, I didn't cotton much onto PET SOUNDS, especially Good Vibrations. Good harmonies, though.

I don't know whether it would have been difficult to pick out the various animal sounds without the circles (probably you'd have to get the revealer and then go back to peruse the themers), but for a Tuesday, it was just fine. The revealer was perfect for this theme though. I had a pet tarantula once, but she didn't make any sounds.

FACE PAINT crossing TATTOO INK was kinda cute. I think that OVERclub, or maybe OVERshoot work better than OVERHIT, but the meaning is clear.

Pretty good Tuesday. And hey, another name to add to the cohort of female constructors. Woo hoo.

strayling 7:06 PM  

Fun puzzle. SASSINESS is good word. I wanted it to be SASSITUDE, which may not be a word, but should be.

leftcoastTAM 7:54 PM  

An after-hours question (prompted by today's puzzle) for some of our right-wing supports of Mr. Trump: When he deigns to GRAB a SEXY woman's hoMEOWner, does that not make you wonder seriously about his character and fitness as our country's leader?

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