Crepes in Indian cuisine / WED 6-12-19 / 1933 James Whale sci-fi horror film / Mathematician John who discovered logarithms / Eponym of world's largest tennis stadium / Builder of Domus Aurea / Adan's mate in la biblia / 1938 Alfred Hitchcock mystery / Title meaning commander

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Constructor: Nancy Stark and Will Nediger

Relative difficulty: Medium (4:31)


THEME: LACK OF CHARACTER (53A: Amorality ... as suggested by 17-, 25- and 41-Across?) — movie titles that suggest that a "character" goes missing or is "lack"-ing:

Theme answers:
  • "THE LADY VANISHES" (17A: 1938 Alfred Hitchcock mystery)
  • "RUNAWAY BRIDE" (25A: 1999 Garry Marshall comedy)
  • "INVISIBLE MAN" (41A: 1933 James Whale sci-fi horror film, with "The")
Word of the Day: DOSAS (13D: Crepes in Indian cuisine) —
dosa is a cooked flat thin layered rice batter, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made from a fermented batter. It is somewhat similar to a crepe in appearance. Its main ingredients are rice and black gram ground together in a fine, smooth batter with a dash of salt. Dosas are a typical part of the Southern Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil diets, but the dish is now popular all over the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, dosas are served hot along with sambar, a stuffing of potatoes, and chutney. They can be consumed with idli podi as well. (wikipedia)
• • •

The revealer is just a clunker. A huge let-down. A massive disappointment. Anticlimax epitomized. First off, I don't even think LACK OF CHARACTER means "amorality"—the latter strikes me as something much more severe than some kind of character deficiency. But mostly the phrase just fizzles. It's weak and old-fashioned and decidedly lacking in pizazz or elan or verve. I had LACK OF and (given [Amorality...]) immediately tried to write in CONSCIENCE. So I got LACK OF CONSCIENC ... There's a germ of a theme idea that seems interesting, but that revealer just made the whole thing go pfft. Not that it was really humming before then. I nearly slammed my computer shut at MALE NAME (4D: August, e.g., but not May or June). Blargh. I was very proud when I saw right through that clue and wrote in MAN'S NAME. Not sure I like either one, but MALE NAME just rubs me the wrong way somehow. Also, "June" is not a MALE NAME, eh?:

June Sheldon Jones III (born February 19, 1953) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach and general manager of the Houston franchise in the XFL. Jones was the head football coach at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 1999 to 2007 and was the head football coach at Southern Methodist University (SMU) from 2008 to 2014, before resigning on September 8, 2014. Previously, he coached in the National Football League (NFL): a three-year tenure as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994 to 1996 and a ten-game stint as interim head coach of the San Diego Chargers in 1998; he also spent 1½ seasons as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League (CFL). (wikipedia)

And NAIVER?? (15A: Not so savvy about the ways of the world) LOL who says that?? Any sane human would say "more naive." I also didn't like how heavily segmented the grid was, with a bunch of 3x4 sections (i.e. a lot of short fill) and only one fairly narrow way to move from the top half of the grid to the bottom (i.e. right through the center). When I got to J--- at 35D: Don't you believe it! (JIVE) and wrote in JOKE, that pretty much killed all momentum and I had no choice but to head into Empty Territory and try to start over. Hate that. Had to go all the way down to the DTS (hate that, a lot) (59A: The shakes, for short) and build my way back up.


NAPIER (57A: Mathematician John who discovered logarithms) over EX-ALLY (60A: Former friend) is ultra-unfortunate. Obscure over awkward. Down there with DTS and the revealer, those answers really added to the unpleasantness of the last 1/4 of my solve. I'm just glad I knew "THE LADY VANISHES" and had some idea of DOSAS because if you didn't know the Hitchcock film or the Indian "crepes," you could easily have found yourself with "THE LADY VANISHED" / DODAS. Not keen on the fact that "THE LADY VANISHES" gets its definite article, but "The INVISIBLE MAN" has a definite article that has vanished, run away, gone invisible (actually, it's just been stored in the clue). Tiny detail, I know, but when the puzzle doesn't deliver much in the way of pleasure, those tiny details come to the fore. Today's errors included the aforementioned MAN'S NAME (for MALE NAME) and JOKE (for JIVE), as well as TEE (for CEO) (16A: Top of an outfit, for short?) and AVERS (for AVOWS) (18D: Asserts openly). I will never, ever be able to keep "aver" and "avow" straight. I should stop trying and just accept my fate.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

103 comments:

Andrew 12:38 AM  

Missed opportunity to have two mathematicians here: NAVIER (*) instead of NAIVER, a letter away from NAPIER. But then we might have had a word ladder.

* See the Navier-Stokes equation. Raise your hands engineers.



Runs with Scissors 12:59 AM  

NAIVER? Grid requirement, I suppose.

I like cold (not debilitatingly arctic) weather; I've never donned a PARKA.

For a Wednesday, it seemed . . . easy. Not much that leapt out at me.

EXALLY got a double-take. VERMEER is a brand of booze, ain't it? :-) Over-indulging in same will result in DTs.

That's about all I have to say about this puzzle.

WARM PRURIENT CLAM
Mark, in Mickey's North 40

puzzlehoarder 1:01 AM  

@Nancy, congratulations on your second NYT puzzle. While this came in at slightly under my Wednesday average the solve was engaging.

It started out so easy and then I tripped over that big can of green paint you'd set up at 4D. I'm thinking MATURITY but TELEVISE says otherwise. Between that and the old "Is it AVER or AVOW?" question I just moved on.

There were a few more such spots, easy to get around but they all managed to redirect the flow of the solve as they often coincided with choke points.

I got a snicker out of CREVICES crossing PRURIENT in the SW. I don't mean to be CRUDE but it reminds me of the puerile phrase "crusty CREVICE." It just appeals to my inner 8th grader.

Thank you for including my favorite Dutch painter. I originally put in DICES at 46D so when I read the clue for 44A I drew one of my patented mental blocks. I'm thinking "Girl With the Pearl Earring", "View of Delft" but the damn block wouldn't clear. A quick look at the 44D clue gave me VALID and all was well but that was another example of the solves' little twists. Fast but fun. You never LACKCHARACTER. Congrats to your co-constructor as well.

John Child 1:13 AM  

Boy, there are a lot of clever clues here! That elevated my solving experience from Wednesday to Wow.

Loren Muse Smith 1:45 AM  

Ok. So after THE LADY VANISHES and RUNAWAY BRIDE fell, I almost wrote in “cherchez la femme” for the reveal. It’s a 15, too. I once shopped this reveal to someone hoping to collaborate but was told the French phrase isn’t common enough. Pfft.

A quick cross-check showed me I was wrong, so it wasn’t till the end that I got the reveal. Hah. So the character in a movie is awol, as it were.

Loved the plumb-some clue for SHOE.

I ended up with a dnf ‘cause my “chops finely” was “diced” crossing a ridiculous “Vedmeer.” (Morning, @puzzlehoarder.) No biggie.

NAPIER has Patrick Berry immunity, but I know it only as those earrings at any department store that are *always* on sale. $7.50 for the perfect black hoops to go with my new dress? Sold.

Rex – I had that same reaction to “amorality” and LACK OF CHARACTER. But then I gave it a think and decided there’s some wiggle room in the clue because it uses the word amorality and not immorality. Amoral doesn’t feel as deliberate as immoral. (Akin to the difference between disinterested and uninterested maybe?) Like if you’re amoral, you just lack any sense of right or wrong. (A pelican who swoops down and steals your ham sandwich is amoral.) If you’re immoral, you know full well the difference between right and wrong, and you choose to do wrong. (A husband who steals your ham sandwich is immoral.)

In other words. . . a sociopath who lacks the empathy, the ethical code to behave any differently is an amoral imbecile. Regular non-sociopaths who don’t speak out against the sociopath but actually know better are immoral weenies.

Nancy, Will – great food for thought this morning. Nancy – congrats on your second NYT! I enjoyed staring off and working out the difference between amoral and immoral and then spelunking into cyberspace to verify.

jae 2:32 AM  

Medium. Solid theme with a little bit of cringy fill. @lms - thanks for the amoral/immoral insights. The puzzle...liked it.

DOSAS and NAPIER were WOEs.

Robin 2:46 AM  

Yes, NAIVER, what a POS word. My sophomore HS English teacher would have said a few things about that.

Nice to see the move clues, but as Rex complains, the revealer pretty much sucked/

chefwen 2:48 AM  

I enjoyed this one, especially the revealer. I thought it tied the whole puzzle up very nicely, even brought a chuckle.

EX ALLY and NAPIER in the south were my sticking point. Mathematicians are equal to aliens to me and EX ALLY just wasn’t coming to me. Ended up checking with my great Uncle Goog for the math guy. Hate doing that on a Wednesday, but it was necessary.

Like @Puzzlehoarder loved seeing VERMEER in the puzzle, he’s also one of my favorites along with Jan Steen.

Congratulations @Nancy and thank you Will.

Frog Prince Kisser 2:57 AM  

Congrats to our Nancy and to Will!!!

I had fun looking for your missing characters in this great Wednesday puzzle! And, there was so little crosswordese that Rex really had to search hard to come up with his daily nitpick quota. He was “very proud” of “MAN’SNAME,” but angry about MALENAME. And, coming up with an example to the contrary doesn’t change the fact that June is NOT considered to be a male name. Ridiculous complaints!

I also enjoyed the many tricky misdirects - especially 61 across! Thanks!!!

Anonymous 3:02 AM  

VERMEER crossing RICED is a bad crossing. It nearly bit me (I wrote in dICED first) before I went back and fixed it because I've seen VERMEER's name *somewhere* before. I also thought the cluing in the center around JIVE/AIMS/EMIR was trying to be way too cute for a Wednesday.

I also felt the same visceral disappointment at the revealer that Rex did.

Evan 5:50 AM  

"Lack of Character" would be a good revealer for a puzzle where the theme answers are movie titles that contain a character's name, but they've been omitted from the grid. This has probably already been done though.

BarbieBarbie 5:54 AM  

I’ve never heard of “Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window” but with a title like that and its accompanying mental image it pretty much had to be VERMEER. So that one is fine IMO. Some of the others, though, made me wonder why you sometimes hear constructors complaining that the editors didn’t leave many of their clues untouched, and sometimes it seems as if the editors just moved on to the next puzzle. LACKOFCHARACTER is a great phrase and wonderful punny theme. But I agree with Rex about that clue. Also WATT should have been clued differently. You could claim English Major Immunity for cluing it as “brightness” of light, but not “amount.”

Isn’t the HGW book/movie “The INVISIBLEMAN” while “INVISIBLEMAN” is Ellison?? Big Editing Fail there, if I’m right.

Maybe I’m NAIVER than most, but what I admire about this puzzle is the 15-letter themer finding a 15 and two 12s that fit the theme so well and aren’t things your computer would find on a word list. I love a human-brain puzzle.

Curtis Whatley 6:03 AM  

Dices is the correct answer to the clue chops finely. To rice is to force through a sieve or ricer.As a Chef this disturbs me.

Hungry Mother 6:23 AM  

DNF on DOdAS. Kind of a nasty cross.

amyyanni 7:33 AM  

Another VERMEER fan here. Congrats @Nancy. Well done. Fun revisiting those movies. Might have stumbled at NAIVER but was sure of TRIPODS (& PARKA, having lived for a time in Bemidji, MN w/ a plug in on my car.) Grins to all.

tb 7:46 AM  

I'm surprised a self-appointed grammar cop like @Nancy would pass NAIVER.

QuasiMojo 7:48 AM  

I didn't read the names of the constructors when I did this puzzle, but I had a feeling the authors of it were on my wavelength as I made my way through it. "The Lady Vanishes" is one of my favorite movies, the original by Hitchcock, that is. I was sure after typing in "Runaway Bride," a film I've never heard of, that the theme was going to be types of women. Ladies, brides, perhaps "queen." But then we got "Invisible Man" which surprised me. So when I got to the theme revealer "Lack of Character" I let out a "wow." I had not been expecting the theme to be the other words in the long crosses. "Vanishes"; "Runaway" and "Invisible." I should have known Nancy was somehow behind this tricky enigma. "Lack of Character" made perfect sense to me. The characters in these themers have pulled a Rimbaud. They disappear.

I enjoyed it. And can't agree with Rex's sniping. How can you not like a puzzle with PRURIENT in it?

Some things did not sit well with me, however. "Ex-Ally" is not exactly a former friend. You don't have to agree with or even like your allies. Think of Roosevelt and Stalin, for instance. I was thinking of the speed of light, so WATT was not my first write-in. Okay, INDIRA was a Gandhi, but the clue gives the impression (at least to me) that they are a family, not a list of names. Not saying that is bad, but it led me to scratch my chin rather than my head. I'm also not sure a corporation can be considered an "outfit." But then I am always too literal, and usually wrong. As in DICES vs RICES. I lost that battle years ago. Apparently in cooking "ricing" is considered a type of chopping. They sell "riced cauliflower" and other veggies in the supermarkets these days, ugly looking fare that is not squeezed through ricers. What's next, Broccoli Orzo?

I love learning new things and was surprised by EMIR meaning "commander."

If I were composing this puzzle I would have clued NAPIER as the guy who played Alfred in the Batman series. It would have fit better with the movie theme (he was ubiquitous in flicks, too.)

Congrats Nancy and friend on a fine puzzle. I seem to recall another "second" puzzle but that may have "appeared" somewhere else.



pabloinnh 7:55 AM  

This was fun. After 17A I was hoping for some kind of rebus with LADY missing somewhere but then remembered the day of the week and that was that.

Everyone I know owns a parka.

Big VERMEER fan here too, my absolute favorite, along with Velazquez. Saw "View of Delft" in The Hague many years ago and became an instant fan.

Also not a fan of NAIVER, but very much like WARM for "getting close".

Congrats to @Nancy (and Will too) for a slightly prickly Wed., which I enjoyed.

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

We had trouble with NAPIER and EXALLY.

I wonder how many other men Rex can find men who have the first name JUNE. Rex surely knows that June is almost always a female name. It is a bit of nitpicking, but he likes doing that. By the way, as many people may also know, ANDREA is usually a male name in Italy, although it can be used as a female name, as well.

The novel, "Invisible Man," by Ralph Ellison, published in 1952, is a brilliant and an important literary achievement. It made a big impression on me and many others who went to predominantly "white" universities in the South, during the 1960s. It is still quite relevant today.

Frank3038 8:18 AM  

Came here for this

Jeff Flake 8:21 AM  

Anybody else microagressed by Nero ? He was a bad dude even worse than Joe Paterno.

GILL I. 8:35 AM  

I love @Nancy's thought process. When I finished I thought how in the world does she come up with these ideas...? I thought this was a delightful puzzle - my favorite Wednesday in a long time.
First, you have to find the movies to fit in with the LACK OF..... It's done perfectly. The CHARACTER VANISHES it's a RUNAWAY and it's INVISIBLE. How clever is that? Now you try it....
When I finished, I went around looking for any harp OFL would find because I knew he would. I guessed right on the NAIVER and the EXALLY but that was it. He doesn't disappoint . I wish @Lewis hadn't run off to Barcelona; I would love to hear his take on this fresh, smart puzzle.
The cluing was so good in many places. My favorite was 16A > CEO. Wonderful misdirect. RICES gets me every time and I know the nitpickers are going to nit.
Love me some VERMEER and PRURIENT is my favorite descriptor of anything lascivious. I want to see libidinous next...!
My thinking of amorality would be Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas....
Good job, @Nancy. This was a classy puzzle. And you too, Will.

Sir Hillary 8:36 AM  

The best thing about this puzzle is the theme, which I assume was @Nancy's brainchild. Well done, @Nancy, and congrats on your sophomore (not sophomoric) effort!

Nice clue for OCHRE. I also like the dupe clues for AVOW and PROFESS.

The fill is pretty rough though.

Good friends of ours named their female dog August. I scratched my head.

If one RICES, they're grating something rather than chopping it, no?

For the zillionth time...brilliant avatar from @LMS. So obvious in hindsight, but I wouldn't have thought of it. Ever. Despite reading (and hating) the book.

By the way, the vanishing lady and RUNAWAYBRIDE are in plain site -- SHE is right there at 38A. The INVISIBLEMAN remains at large, unless his name is VERMEER, NAPIER, ASHE, BEN, PHIL or NERO.

Crimson Devil 8:38 AM  

Congrats to our own Nancy !
CEO and PLUM well-clued, and as has been said one cannot not like puz containing PRURIENT.

Nancy 8:50 AM  

WARM appreciative thanks to all who liked it and to those who have emailed me off-blog to say so. But I also think the puzzle would have provoked a lot more mid-solve curiosity and an earlier and bigger "Aha Moment" had the revealer and the theme answers been clued in the way they were submitted. That is today's Topic For Discussion. See what you think.

The revealer LACK OF CHARACTER (53A) was clued: Moral sleaziness -- with no cross-reference to any of the theme answers. The cross-references were instead all in the clues to the theme answers. Which read:

17A Hitchcock's 53A-sounding movie title
25A Garry Marshall's 53-sounding movie title
41A Ralph Ellison's 53-sounding book title

Solvers were meant to look at the clue to the revealer and wonder -- once the answer came in, that is -- why the lady in THE LADY VANISHES was "morally sleazy"? And why that RUNAWAY BRIDE was "morally sleazy"? This was supposed to make you extremely curious and a bit baffled. And then, when LACK OF CHARACTER finally comes in, you were supposed to have a really big "Aha" Moment at the pun.

But there's nothing about a bland, straightforward clue such as "1938 Alfred Hitchcock mystery" or the other themer clues to provoke even the slightest bit of curiosity. I have to tell you that I was more than a little bit disappointed when I saw how the relationship between the theme clues and the revealer clue had been reversed. "Bass-ackwards." I believe the term is. I think that reversal really weakens the puzzle and makes it a lot less crunchy than it might have been. Wondering what you all think?

But in any event, thank you all for your warm and mostly positive comments. I do appreciate them!





mmorgan 8:59 AM  

Wow, @Nancy -- thanks for the backstory! One can only try to imagine what the intended solving experience might have been like, but it sure sounds fun. Ah well...

Pierce Arrow 9:00 AM  

There were some nice moments in this puzzle. Naiver and the theme really struck sour notes for me. When I was a child in the 70s I recall several men named June. Must be a southern thing.

Zwhatever 9:16 AM  

@Nancy - I like your cluing better.

Can we talk about the grid? This is three puzzles connected by the barest of threads. I had the middle diagonal solved when I realized that there was no way into the corners. This lends a false difficulty to the puzzle because you only have a single way into those sections. I prefer more interconnectedness to my puzzles.

VERMEER. How can anyone not know VERMEER? And that painting is appropriate for a puzzle with PRURIENT LACK OF CHARACTER as a theme.*










*Kidding about everyone knowing VERMEER, fascinated by how encoded extramarital sex was.

Glenn Patton 9:18 AM  

Yup, @Nancy, the editor(s) did you no favors.

PattyA 9:19 AM  

Napier didn’t “discover” logarithms, he invented or created them. It would like saying that Alexander Graham Bell discovered the telephone.

Sir Hillary 9:22 AM  

@Pierce Arrow -- As a Bond geek, I have to ask...what's with Hugo Drax? Love seeing him, just curious as to why.

Anonymous 9:32 AM  

Congrats Nancy.
One quibble. I don't thin 1 down works. the amount of light is measured in lumens, or candlepower or the like. A watt is strictly a unit of power. A case might, might be made for using watt with light bulb of course, but that's not what you or Will or the other Will went with.

Curmudgeon 9:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon 9:38 AM  

Garry Marshall‘s role in “The Runaway Bride“ was so small he wasn’t given screen credit.

Nancy 9:49 AM  

@Curmudgeon: Garry Marshall was the director of RUNAWAY BRIDE.

Stanley Hudson 9:50 AM  

The puzzle did skew a bit old but that’s okay since I’m a bit old.

Well done @Nancy and ALLY. As has been said, Shortz did you no favors with his ham-handed editing.

Wood 9:50 AM  

I thought the themers and revealer were OK as clued... Had all the movie titles, saw there was some element of "gone-ness," smiled at LACK OF CHARACTER. That's all I require of a Wednesday. But hearing Nancy's original intent, I do agree it was a more original approach. Not sure about "53-Across sounding" though... "LACK OF CHARACTER-sounding?"

pmdm 9:58 AM  

For some reason I become elated when those who comment here construct a puzzle that gets published in the NYT. A hearty congratulations. I would imagine that those who post here have learned to ignore silly nit-picking. Or at least take it in stride.

The original clueing in my opinion was much better than the edited version. I guess Mr. Shortz disliked something about the cross referencing. Too bad.

I'm sure creating a puzzle in partnership is a lot of fun. But how nice it would be to discover a solo effort that's published. If you need any encouragement, here's some from me.

Did I say I enjoyed the puzzle?

I wonder how many pop songs would fit this theme. Where art thou, Nowhere Man?

David 10:01 AM  

@Sir Hillary, not grating, using a ricer, which is a tool that has a bucket with small holes in its bottom and a plunger to push the cooked stuff (usually potatoes) through. It has nothing to do with chopping and it's been mis-clued in the NYTimes puzzle before. You'd think once would be enough, but I guess the editor is lazy. I had "dices" there, which would be a correct answer to the clue, but then lovely Vermeer came up and I just groaned at "ricer" again.

Other than that and the weirdly clued 15A, which could have been "Less savvy" I enjoyed this one.

Nice misdirect on 11D, where I had "oasis" at first; love the clue for 29A; not so much for 34A, which I mightclue "Word over-used by news organizations which shows just how little they care to actually report news"

avows, profess, crude, prurient: well, the amoral among us tend to avow and profess many things they claim to be axiomatic, sometimes through Twitter, and they're often crude and prurient individuals as well. It's not that they lack character, though they often do.

Love those two older movies and have never seen the newer one.

jberg 10:02 AM  

I'm commenting without reading. Our transit meltdown is continuing, and I have to drive my wife to work in a few minutes. But what a delight! This puzzle was just a continuing series of revelations and shifts of perspective.

I got THE LADY VANISHES from the SH, so I thought the theme was going to be things that only made sense if you stuck a female name in there someplace. Then I got INDIRA and NORA -- female answers to clues that could have been other (Nick or Sanjay would have fit). Then I'd never heard of RUNAWAY BRIDE, so I left the first three letters blank. I had heard of The INVISIBLE MAN (though not the 1933 version with someone named James Whale), so I thought maybe the themers were missing a MALE NAME as well. So my head kept spinning until finally getting the revealer, when it all made sense.

"Copier option" is a tad too tricksy -- you can't FAX from it unless it's more than a copier. On the otherhand, I just love NAYSAY, the clue for PDA, and so much more. Nancy and Will, thank you! I hope your creative partnership continues for a long time.

@merican in Paris 10:05 AM  

Wow! I didn't make the connection with @Nancy until coming here. Congratulations!! (And you, too, Mr. Nediger.)

I solved this puzzle on paper, at a table at a café, with a coffee and croissant, while waiting for one of my favourite stores, Au Vieux Campeur (which is actually a collection of about 20 small shops, each specializing in something, like hiking shoes, spread out through the area just north of the Sorbonne), to open. It was a great way to pass the time away.

I'd rate the puzzle a medium, too. Easy in most places, but for some reason JEEPS wasn't coming to me, so I didn't see JIVE or EMIR until it did. Also resisted slotting in FAX, as I haven't seen a copy machine that includes that function for years. Needed all the crosses down there to get NAPIER.

VERMEER ranks among our top 5 favorite artists. If you haven't seen the film version of Girl with a Pearl Earring (staring Scarlett Johansson Colin Firth) and you love art, please do. The very, very last scene took my breath away.

OCHRE is also one of my favorite tints, or hues. Not sure it qualifies as a "shade", but I can see some poetic license has to be allowed for the clue to work.

We've been getting a lot of ASHE lately; wonder when somebody is going to clue that as "___ would."

With fronds like you have here, @Nancy, who needs ANEMONEs?

Joaquin 10:06 AM  

Someone needs to tell Rex that "lack of character" is just a play on words; it is not something that will affect the future of mankind. My god, this man is easily triggered/offended/bruised.

RooMonster 10:10 AM  

Hey All !
Dang it, @Nancy, puz #2, while I still wait for an acceptance. Poor me! Har.
Seriously, congrats on puz 2.

Thought the theme was good, even as clued. Mind you, @Nancys original clues were better, but that's the price of fame! Had my famous one-letter DNF today, dICES like a bunch of y'all, and not knowing painters, @Z- well known or not- had me sunk. Writeovers included Rex's MAnsNAME-MALENAME, PROFfer-PROFESS, anitA-CLARA. For the AVER/AVOW conundrum, I write in the AV and wait on crosses. Same with Mauna ___ clues, write in terminal A, wait for crosses. Doesn't make things BLURRY that way.

More of @Lewis' observations rubbing off on me, noticed three ICEs, ICE, RICES, CREVICES. Plus JIVE, NAIVER. IVE might got a problem!

@Nancy, at least Rex didn't complain about puz skewing OLD, so there's that. :-) Keep 'em coming!

PRURIENT NAYSAYers
RooMonster
DarrinV

TomL 10:13 AM  

Someone should have caught the chops/ricer error. It's diced. One uses a sieve to rice something. No chopping.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

My thoughts exactly!

TomL 10:15 AM  

To rice uses a sieve. No chopping. Dice should be the answer here.

Ralph Ellison 10:49 AM  

[The] INVISIBLE MAN appears in the NYTimes Xword (almost) on Juneteenth and it's about movie? You all know black people exist, right?

Nancy 10:55 AM  

@pmdm (9:58) -- I thank you for the kind words and encouragement. But I couldn't create a crossword grid -- not even the simplest and most prosaic -- if my life depended on it. I'm not being coy or modest; this is just a fact. Not until I noticed that some puzzles in the NYT are co-constructed did it occur to me that maybe, just maybe, if I could find a willing collaborator who was a talented grid-maker, I might actually be able to participate in puzzle- creation. I am very, very lucky to have found Will Nediger and lucky to be able to focus on those aspects of puzzle-making that are both feasible and enjoyable to me: coming up with interesting themes and cluing in ways that I hope will (at least temporarily) baffle the solver. So thanks for the compliment, @pmdm, but you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for my first solo effort. And, btw, I love, love, love NOWHERE MAN as a possible themer. Unfortunately, it has the wrong number of letters to have worked in this puzzle.

John Hoffman 10:56 AM  

I don’t understand PDA for Bussing on a Bus. Who can help?

QuasiMojo 11:02 AM  

"Cauliflower rice has magically worked its cruciferous ways into kitchens as a low-carb, paleo, and vegetable alternative to grains. When broken down by chopping or grating into tiny rice-sized pieces, the appearance may fool you for a moment for the real thing."

Chopping or blading in a blender. No sieves or ricers used.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

@puzzlehoarder:
I got a snicker out of CREVICES crossing PRURIENT in the SW. I don't mean to be CRUDE but it reminds me of the puerile phrase "crusty CREVICE." It just appeals to my inner 8th grader.

Well, then I can recommend the tune 'Vikki Dougan' to you. Kind of old, but what isn't these days? She's still around at 90, per the wiki.

@Unknown/9:18
logarithms are facts of math. They can be discovered, but not invented. They are the result of God/Mother Nature/whatever not Man. If they could be invented, they could be patented, but that's not allowed.

Nancy 11:25 AM  

Bussing = kissing. (That thing you do ferrying people around in a conveyance is busing).

PDA, long before it was used to refer to one omnipresent gadget or another, meant/means: Public Display of Affection.

The sun is shining. It's rather cool out -- with very low humidity. I'll be away for the remainder of the day. Thanks again, everyone.

Woman Doing Crossword In Windows 11:28 AM  

@Nancy, Loved it. The theme was so much stronger that the usual "Wah?" experience I have been having for quite a while now.

Vanished, invisible, ran away. Lack of character. I see absolutely no flaw here.

TJS 11:31 AM  

john hoffman, "bussing" meaning kissing, "PDA" meaning public display of affection" I think.

Katzzz 11:38 AM  

Nancy,
I think Mr. Shortz improved the puzzle. I get what you were going for theme-wise originally, but sorry, those "-sounding like movie title" clues are terribly awkward. Yes, Shortz made it more straightforward. but no complaints. I thought the theme as printed was lots of fun. As for Rex's complaints, his super-anal criteria for themes has become a personal tic with little relevance for the vast majority of solvers. Air-tight logic in themes and clues is great if it can be achieved, but is not at all necessary to create a successful puzzle. Your theme makes sense, as is. You and your collaborator did good!

Btw, the above also applies to the ricing disupute. If you insist that you need a ricer or sieve to rice, fine. But I don't own a ricer and have no problem making recipes that call for ricing. I chop whatever it is fine. Until it's about rice-sized. Chop until riced. Done.

Pierce Arrow 11:45 AM  

@Sir Hillary Apparently I am a finger-tenter, which -- my friends reliably inform me with great enthusiasm -- connotes sinister intent. So now I just twirl my mustache ... but they'll probably find something wrong with that. :)

TJS 11:48 AM  

@Nancy, Liked this puzzle upon completion, then, when learning it was your co-creation, raised my opinion even higher. It seems that my usual gripe about Rex favoring his constructor friends in his reviews needs some re-thinking.
Also, your informative comment on your initial clueing was intriguing. How could Mr. Shortz possibly think his alterations were an improvement ? And I was not aware that constructors had no final approval over changes made to their creations. Doesn't seem right. Don't authors have to approve suggested changes by editors in the literary world?

old timer 12:04 PM  

One of the blessings afforded to my kids, but not to me, was not having to work with logarithms and log tables. There was no such thing as a pocket calculator in my youth.

Was gonna say, you don't need a ricer to rice foods. Just a knife and a lot of patience. When you dice, you cut into small even pieces maybe quarter-inch cubes, maybe larger. When you RICE you cut into oblong pieces about the size and shape of a grain or RICE.

CDilly52 12:32 PM  

HAHAHA! @puzzlehoarder: SOOOO glad you said it first. The PRURIENT CREVICES CRUDEly made me think of a police lineup of guys with “plumber’s droop!!”

Klazzic 12:34 PM  

I'm delighted that you loved the puzzle, Rexxy old boy. It's wonderful to be greeted this morning with such laudatory prose.
Carry on, matey.

Joe Dipinto 12:41 PM  

Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum

Congratz, @Nancy! I thought this was a terrific effort. THE LADY VANISHES was my first entry -- a favorite movie ("Miss Froy's name! On the window!"). I think the revealer clue is fine, and -- no offense -- that the revised themer clues work better: your original version would indicate an adjective at 53a ("characterless?") rather than the noun phrase that's there.

Rex is clearly straining to complain here. I mean, June as a common male name? Risible.

This is the first time I recall that ECRU and OCHRE have occupied the same puzzle. Lots of cool answers -- VERMEER, BLURRY, NAYSAY. And PRURIENT is inspired...

And they walk together past the postered walls
With the crude remarks


I was hoping you'd tie up The Green Paint Mystery in the grid, though. But that's okay. :-) Brava!

Speedweeder 12:48 PM  

Great clue! No doubt it would make it to Lewis's top 5 of the week, if he were here.

CDilly52 12:51 PM  

Clever girl our @Nancy. I’ll add my hearty congrats for a job well done. Poor@Rex missed the clue entirely. Enjoyed the play on words enormously. I was a bit long in time but enjoyed all the traps that caught me for a bit. Especially “Bussing in a bus,” that I read (several times) as “busking” and convinced myself that gig just had to be right. Thankfully I figured out AMEN and cleaned up that spot. So many good words. I PROFESS; PRURIENT CREVICES are CRUDE and if given a choice would choose a PDA on a bus any day!

Joe Bleaux 12:52 PM  

@Nancy, I solved your NYT debut puzzle before looking at the byline and, from the blog comments, realizing you were the constructor. Today, your name leapt out right off. Fame! Congrats on No. 2, an extraordinary Wednesday effort!

Whatsername 12:52 PM  

@Nancy: Congrats on your repeat performance! You’re no longer a rookie. I certainly understand your frustration at having your original submission so drastically changed. It wasn’t an improvement and basically didn’t work. I’m doing well to construct a cup of coffee in the morning but with all respect to you pros, my thought for the 53A revealer: DISAPPEARINGACT

On the subject of old movies, just curious if there’s ever been a NYT puzzle using Gone With The Wind for a theme. If you ask me, that’s a title that’s made for a crossword.

I started out with AVOWS crossing VERA Charles, the fictional best friend of Auntie Mame - one of my all time favorite literary characters. Agree If anything should have been edited, it was RICES for DICES, but if a recipe told me to DICE a potato I would cut it in small cubes. If something is to be chopped “finely” I’d expect it to say MINCE . . . to put a fine point on it.

Nice Wednesday. THanks Nancy and Will.

Fred Romagnolo 1:04 PM  

@chefwen: Vermeer (usually) people; Steen (usually) domestic architecture. Love both of them. @jberg: James Whale was the director; also Frankenstein, and Bride of Frankenstein. @anon11:12: but surely "man" invented (or devised) the decimal system, due to the number of fingers. Good for you Nancy, but I cringed at NAIVER, I, too, was an English teacher.

BarbieBarbie 1:07 PM  

@Nancy, if I had known the themers/revealer clues HAD been edited into today's form, I would not have been nearly so nice in my comments above-- I thought they were kind of klunky clues that could have been much better, so why didn't the editor fix them? Then I read your note and all is revealed-- Ye Ed. is responsible for **injecting** the klunkiness!! Aaaackkk! Your clues were brilliant and would have totally made the puzzle. More please, if you can somehow convince Shortz not to Dell-ify the next ones. Or maybe just not to give them to his summer interns to edit.

@Anon 9:32, that was my point too, but you can't expect normal usage to include distinctions like radiance vs. irradiance, or a word like lumens. So I would have overlooked a reference to "amount of brightness." But "amount of light" is basically "how many photons," which is energy, not power. Some really careless editing on this one-- but no surprise, see above.

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

A slow solve for a Wednesday for me today. I knew my friend, @Nancy, was co-constructor, so I figured here there'd be dragons. Treading cautiously, I slowly poked under rocks with a stick, looking for the traps...After the solve and looking at the theme and thinking, hmmm, I finally remembered it was Wednesday, NOT Thursday, and that I should have realized from the start that there wouldn't be any rebopodes in the grid. All of that tip-toeing around for nothing.

Not that I think the puzzle would have gone quickly in any case. Clues were just that side of tricksy so that I had to think about most of them. AIMS crossing JIVE was the toughest for me, with vague clues for both.

I laugh at PRURIENT (great word!) crossing CREVICES (another great word). And BLURRY photos at that!

With Rex saying that LACK OF CHARACTER is an old-fashioned phrase, is he implying that we are in a post-moral age? Given some of the current issues of today, I might have to agree.

Nancy and Will, you made me work for my Wednesday entertainment today and I thought you did it elegantly. Thanks!

Hartley70 1:12 PM  

It’s not often I have to take a pause on a Wednesday to reset the gray cells and try again, so this was a terrific Wednesday for me.

I loved the theme and the movies were familiar so no problem there. I had LACKOF for a while before I corrected my spelling of CREVICES and saw CHARACTER. It was a perfect revealer for me and gave me a chuckle.

I didn’t know NAPIER and wanted BLUNTS but I knew the plural was wrong. I had the P but PHIL eluded me for a while, so this puzzle took a scootch longer than usual.

Congrats to Nancy and Will!

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

@Fred:

It makes no difference what words we attach to the Natural Numbers (those finger things), they (the numbers, and may be the fingers) exist by dint of God/Mother Nature/whatever. Numbers of all kinds would exist even if humans didn't. The decimal system (thanks, Arabs) is just a naming convention, and no different from naming your brood of kids.

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

barbie,
I confess that I didn't read your original post. Can't agree with you that watt could be used for brightness. As you know, it simply doesn't mean that. And while a lot of folks use watts to describe their lights, that doesn't mean they know what they're describing.
But I think we all agree the editing should be better. I only wish Rex had even a scintilla of mechanical knowledge. He didn't give this error a pass; he doesn't know what a watt is.

JC66 1:26 PM  

@Nancy,

I really enjoyed this one. Great theme/reveal and some terrific cluing.

Thanks to you & Will.

If I'm counting right, that’s 2 days down and 5 to go.

Mazel Tov.

Masked and Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Cool theme idea. Liked @Nancy's themer-cluin approach slightly better. Especially cluin non-THE INVISIBLEMAN as the novel. Shortzmeister & Co. musta thought havin all movie titles would make things more consistent, but then U get one title with a THE there, and another title with yer lack-of-THE-characters -- so not consistent, afterall.

The suggested "53A-sounding" cluepart probably made Shortzmeister & Co. uncomfortable, becuz:
1. They don't normally go for them A and D abbrevs for Across and Down.
2. They probably didn't appreciate the cool weirdness of "53-Across-sounding".
3. Lack of character-sounding is a bit awkward-soundin, in translation.

Possible compromization, on clue wordin:
1938 Hitchcock movie title implying a 53-Across?
etc.

staff weeject pick: PDA. Admired its punny clue.
fave fillins included: TELEVISE. PRURIENT. JEEPS. CREVICES. And thought EXALLY looked kinda neatally.
@RP: Darn right, on callin out MALENAME, since there's sportsdudes with name June. Also, consider Willy MAYs.

Everybody is right on RICED; clue just ain't quite accurate.
Learned new stuff, on: DOSAS. NAPIER. Didn't gobble up many extra precious nano-seconds, however. Thought the solvequest went pretty smoooth.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Nancy darlin and Will dude.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


biter:
**gruntz**

Kanye??!? 1:43 PM  

Not gonna lie, I'm a big RP fan. I also think people who bitch about his opinions constantly should just stop reading the blog and go away.

But I'm pretty surprised, this late in the day, that no one has called him out for posting a Kanye video. Rex, seriously man...What in the actual F*ck?

And if the moderators so choose to delete this post or not allow it to be posted at all, I would hope they'd forward it on to RP...cuz, well...wow.

I had a lot of comments about the puzzle, like: EXALLY is a rather weird way to think of a "former friend;" I just don't think of my friends as "allies;" did ICE need the clue "rocks" to be in quotes?; NAIVER is like "worser" or "curiouser"...both of which I say and both of which pass spell check so I'll continue saying them; how many different ways can you clue ASEA?; I understand that JIVE was a word once, but no one uses it now, at least not non-ironically, and so it should be struck from the English language.

Really, people add words to the English language...seems they can retire them too. JIVE needs to be retired.

Crimson Devil 1:47 PM  

Forgot on previous post to compliment PDA cluing: well done.

CDilly52 2:22 PM  

@John Huffman “Bussing” is an old term for kissing, “a buss on the cheek.” I misread it as busKing as in performing in a street corner for money so that messed me up!

john towle 3:50 PM  

This puzzle…jim dandy!! Been doing NYT puzzles since 1948; this Nancy/Will/Will gem ranks right up there with the B.E.S.T. ‘Nuff said.

Noblesse oblige,

john

tea73 4:00 PM  

NAPIER's bones are one of my favorite math things. I agree ricing generally does not involve chopping.

I'm not a big fan of cross-referenced clues, but it certainly would have been a tricksier puzzle as Nancy had intended it to be.

Congrats to Nancy!

mmorgan 4:05 PM  

@pmdm and @Nancy at 10:55 -- Hey, how about "She's Not There"? (!)

Joseph M 4:05 PM  

Congrats to Nancy and Will. Great original theme and a grid that kept me thinking.

Other themers could have been GONE GIRL. MISSING, KIDNAPPED, and THE LOST BOYS.

But I don't get CEE.

Hungry Mother 4:26 PM  

Leopold Kronecker once wrote that "God made the integers; all else is the work of man." I believe that the Natural Numbers, that I denote as 1,2,3, ... , exist “naturally” as the abstraction of the property of quantity in collections of objects. I can discover that 2 plus 2 equals 4, by setting the proper conbtect, but I can’t invent that fact. Logarithms were invented, not discovered, and not created by God. Mic drop.

Monty Boy 4:58 PM  

I liked this one a lot. Did the top half fairly easily but had to ponder and get lots of crosses to do the bottom half.

That said, I put in NAPIER with no crosses, since I taught math for 15 years. On logarithm day,I'd take my college calculator (slide rule, or Napier's bones) to class and show the class how it adds logarithms to multiply (apologies to non-mathers). Then I'd tell them my old calculator has one big advantage over the TI-84: In 6 years (BS, MS), the batteries never died.

@amyyanni 7:33. We spent 2 years in Bemidji in late 60's. Got to know Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox by the lake. Every car has an electric plug in the grill so the car would start at -20. My wife taught 2nd grade and had kids come to school in their hockey gear. Did you get to the walleye fish fries and fry bread at Red Lake? Great place, good times.

Anonymous 5:25 PM  

@HM:

Fur cryin out loud: 'He criticized Georg Cantor's work on set theory' [the wiki] Such a knucklehead.

The notion that anything in maths was 'invented' by humans is silly. The universe runs on God's Laws, and maths (along with the periodic table, speed of light, gravity, etc.). The law of logarithms exists with or without Napier having written it down. Just as the speed of light is ~186,000 miles/second whether any human figured it out. Or even if there were humans to do so.

Again, you can't patent anything maths because you can't invent anything maths.

Amelia 6:35 PM  

I'll add my congratulations to Nancy and pal, with this comment. Reading Rex and his vicious critique, I said to my husband wow, he was just mean, mean, mean to someone he had to know was a regular and who is among the people who rarely criticize him.

Hub-E's response? "Haven't you figured out by now that he's just mean?"

Aketi 7:07 PM  

@Nancy, I did the puzzle before rushing off to BJJ at 6:45 am.I don’t see the constructor names in the iPad, but I did enjoy the puzzle and the thought crossed my mine that this was the type of puzzle you would like. I had only a brief break before I went to the dentist to realize and verify that you had obvious coauthored this one, but not enough time to post.

I first thought of disappearing women and thought that the June clue might had something to do with June in the Handmaid’s Tale. The Invisible Man put me back on track. Thanks for the fun puzzle.

Doc John 7:46 PM  

"Excuse me, miss, I speak JIVE."

Zilla 7:47 PM  

Love the blog: 1) Perspective: Rex's negativity is refreshing. If a person can have such virile feelings about crossword puzzles, I might be focusing on the wrong things in life. 2) Passion: Such dedication to solve and blog about an innocent pastime is admirable, especially a pastime that clearly gives him angst. And 3) I learn something, seriously, about what might and might not offend other people. Had RUNAWAYBRIDE, THELADYVANISHES, and LACKOFCHARACTER and I immediately came here to read how a woman's choices exemplify LACKOFCHARACTER... nothing. But historical figures and accent-less foreign words offend to no end. Just part of the fun, I suppose!

Nancy 8:00 PM  

Just got back from a drop-dead gorgeous day in the park and had the pleasure of settling down to savor treat of reading all your lovely, warm and flattering comments. I love this community so much!

As for Rex -- didn't read him today, just as I don't read him any other day.. Thought I would be curious about what he said, but wasn't. Which surprised me, but perhaps it shouldn't have. If I'm not the least bit interested in what he says about other people's puzzles, why should I be interested in what he says about mine? I gather from the blog comments that what he said was awful, but what else is new? Today, just as I do every day, it's you guys I look to for interesting insights, intelligent critiquing and colorful commentary. All of you are every bit as knowledgeable about puzzles as Rex; most of you certainly appear to be much nicer people; and I have long considered each and every one of you to be a better and more graceful writer than Rex -- a pretty low bar, actually.

Still, I do have one favor to ask: In the unlikely event that Rex ever writes a glowing review of a puzzle of mine in some hard-to-imagine future, may I count on you all to give me a heads-up? I'd sure hate to miss it :)

GILL I. 8:23 PM  

@Amelia...You and your husband are invited over for a cocktail. They have a lot in common. :-)

Anonymous 8:30 PM  

Sigh. I am a mathematician and I had to Google John Napier. Never heard of him before. Didn't have a clue who first figured out logarithms as a wonderful tool for simplifying multiplication.



GILL I. 10:35 PM  

@Nancy... Ever the classy lady....Don't hold your breath, though. I'd love to know what would push the @Rex happy button.
Just to be clear, I read @Rex every day. He points out things in puzzles that may need a tweak or two; he'll tell you why something may or may not work and he points out things that may or may not make sense. This sensibility of his is what makes me go aha. It's the nastiness in his descriptions that is a turn off. The NO ONE SAYS THAT.... NO ONE, EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS PLANET WOULD.....TAKE THAT AND SHOVE IT....F.....CK THE NRA....THIS IS A SLAP IN THE FACE OF WOMEN....that wears me down. If it makes him feel better, so be it. I come, hoping I can learn something, but more importantly I come here for the wonderful people on this blog. I guess you can say he's to thank for that, no?

Birchbark 11:09 PM  

@Nancy, et al. -- Owing to work and travel, I just solved this. And I regret not weighing in earlier. The revealer was more interesting, and debatable, than any I remember. I wanted the review and comments to discuss. I think @Rex has the capacity to respond in kind. But maybe time constraints or strategic rhetoric get in the way.

I also really liked the accuracy (finally) of the clue for old crossword friend DADA. Thanks for a fine puzzle --

Anonymous 12:02 AM  

I have no problem with Nero being in the puzzle . Or Che, or Mao, or Paterno, or DeVos. The people, such as Rex, who are inclined to advocate banning names and organizations should list their ground rules. It doesn’t make sense.

albatross shell 12:59 AM  

@Nancy
Wonderful cluing. If you read my comment about the PASCAL answer not too long ago, and how I was hoping it would be NAPIER, I assume it must have brought a smile to your face knowing you had this one queued up. I love the way both of your puzzles have traps in them that seem designed to lure you into incorrect answers. This is different than the normal misleading punny or double-meaning clues.

I also appreciate the bussing on a bus clue because the existence of the word "bussing" was the primary reason busing is spelled with one ess instead of two like it should be. I researched it when I local paper had a headline reading " School has a busing problem". Sandusky?

About Rex's review: His 2 major complaints were about the "the" buried in the clue for INVISIBLEMAN and the theme revealer, both of which were Will's doing, not yours. His only other real complaint was MALENAME for which he preferred mans name. Why? It just rubbed him the wrong way, no reason. I don't see it.
Thank you for two delightful puzzles plus your daily comments.





albatross shell 1:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kitshef 9:55 PM  

I'll join a few others in saying I like Will's version of the clues better. I believe that the submitted clues would have been frustrating, but not in a good way.

Clues that would up in the final puzzle that I really hope you (Nancy) were not responsible for are those for JIVE and IMOK. Really, I thought the fill was the star today, NAPIER, ANEMONE, PLUM, VERMEER, INDIRA.

Still have no idea who Dr. PHIL is - a crosswords-only name.

Burma Shave 10:13 AM  

PRURIENT LACKOFCHARACTER

I’ll PROFESS that THELADYVANISHES, it’s TRUE SHE cockeyed,
that’s how THE INVISIBLEMAN manages a RUNAWAYBRIDE.
AMEN.

--- EVA VERMEER

spacecraft 10:24 AM  

Aw, I thought the revealer was kind of a cute bit of JIVE. Too bad we couldn't work in "Waiting for Godot."

I do agree on the constricting grid form; I got down to J___ and pretty much stalled; had to do a OFC and go down to the DTS and work back up. Also on NAIVER; that one reeks of desperation.

As to NAPIER, I don't know the math guy but do know actor John with the big chin and the axe handle looking for the Blues Brothers' heads to bash in. Never heard the term EXALLY; it's not EXACT-ly common. DOD will be INDIRA Gandhi, stateswoman par excellence. See what I mean about the title, folks?

Some funky clues make for a semi-interesting solve, and as I said, I don't mind the revealer. Birdie.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

Lot of fun to work, despite severe spelling challenges before my first cup of coffee...

leftcoast 3:42 PM  

North was on the easy side, though needed crosses for DOSAS, and resisted the odd-sounding NAIVER.

South was more of a challenge, with CREVICES/PRURIENT in particular requiring a couple of overwrite ink splotches.

Theme and revealer were fine, but tend to agree with Rex's critique of the revealer with its "amorality" clue.

IMOK with this one.



rainforest 3:58 PM  

Good Wednesday puzzle following two admirable efforts this week. I thought the theme and revealer were just fine, and the clues were superior to the submitted ones. So I disagree with the NAYSAYers who thought there was an editing miscue.

The overall solving experience was likewise a good one, although I didn't like 1D, 4D, and 15A. Otherwise, a pretty good offering with some strong answers and an excellent set of clues.

This is shaping up as a good week for the NYTX. Looking forward to Thursday (will it be a rebus puzzle? Hope not), Friday and Saturday.

rondo 4:00 PM  

A coupla small write-overs at MAnsNAME and dICES. A bigger one for not reading the last word of the clue for 11d - Shade in a desert (landscape) – so I was taking some shade in an Oasis, not shading a landscape OCHRE; must read entire clue.

INDIRA Ghandi and CLARA Barton both pioneers and each worthy of a yeah baby.

Those themers all seemed to have a LACKOFCHARACTER; VALID in my book.

Diana,LIW 4:30 PM  

I truly enjoyed Nancy and Will's fine puzzle. As ever, I'm gobsmacked by the ability of constructors.

I started a discourse on the YB/DOD discussion, but wonder if such a lifeless horse needs further flogging. And so

THELADYVANISHES

LIW

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