Visitor to King Mongkut / THU 6-6-19 / Hawaiian entree for short / Direct-to-customer beef retailer / Navajo dwelling made of logs mud

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Constructor: Fred Piscop

Relative difficulty: Easy (4:56)

THEME: D-DAY (59D: Its beaches begin five answers in this puzzle) — yep, those are the five beaches of D-DAY:

Theme answers:
  • OMAHA STEAKS (17A: Direct-to-customer beef retailer)
  • GOLD ORE (40A: Calaverite or sylvanite)
  • SWORD DANCER (66A: Performer with a weapon)
  • JUNO PROBE (11D: NASA spacecraft orbiting Jupiter)
  • UTAH STATE (36D: The Aggies of the N.C.A.A.)
Word of the Day: LEE Krasner (42D: Abstract Expressionist Krasner) —
Lenore "LeeKrasner (October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984) was an American abstract expressionist painter, with a strong speciality in collage, who was married to Jackson Pollock. This somewhat overshadowed her contribution at the time, though there was much cross-pollination between their two styles. Krasner’s training, influenced by George Bridgman and Hans Hofmann, was the more formalized, especially in the depiction of human anatomy, and this enriched Pollock’s more intuitive and unstructured output. 
Krasner is now seen as a key transitional figure within abstraction, who connected early-20th-century art with the new ideas of postwar America, and her work fetches high prices at auction. She is one of the few female artists to have had a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art. (wikipedia)
• • •

I guess I don't have much to say about this. It's a fairly staid first-words-type theme. I don't know why it feels weird to commemorate such a bloody day with wordplay, but it does. Mostly I'm disappointed that I didn't get a proper Thursday puzzle. I mean, congrats on putting the D-DAY puzzle on actual D-DAY, but boo for bumping the tricksy / ambitious puzzle I've come to expect on Thursday. Best themed day of the week and poof, gone, not here. All so that we can trudge solemnly through a pedestrian theme with theme answers that feel mostly boring (GOLD ... ORE? UTAH ... STATE!? That's the best you can do with those!?!?!). SWORD DANCER is just ... what is that, actually? Well, in addition to being Horse of the Year in 1959, looks like it's ... a semi-militaristic phenomenon in other parts of the world that I know next to nothing about (Here's a not-terribly-helpful wikipedia page about it). JUNO PROBE is a cool and somewhat timely answer (it reached Jupiter just 3 years ago). I liked that, and the cluing of LEE as the artist Krasnick, and not a ton else.

It was all over pretty quickly, though the clues on BIT and BETS held me up a bit (!) in the east (I think of "memory units" as BYTES and I thought agreeing to "make things interesting" was maybe BIDding (not BETting). SE was hardest part for me, largely because of the DANCER part of SWORD DANCER, but also because the clues down there were often toughly vague (see clues on EVENT, CAST, TESTS, for example). Also took a while to get SHEDDER (25D: Labrador retriever or Alaskan malamute, notably) (I have a chocolate labrador retriever, and shedding isn't really an issue most of the time, so I can't relate to this clue), and the PISMO clue was hard (and I've been to PISMO Beach) (53D: ___ clam (mollusk found off the coast of California)). That's all, folks.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:04 AM  

Easy-medium. My uncle and my good friend and golfing buddy Jim were on the same beach (OMAHA) on the same day in 1944, so I knew the theme answers. My uncle was driving a LCVP boat (a troop landing craft) and Jim was a signalman (read target) on an LST (Landing Ship Tank). They have both recently passed away. Thanks for the memorial puzzle Fred.

Runs with Scissors 12:13 AM  

This was a fun puzzle. It seemed harder, and to take longer, while I was doing it than on reflection.

Some good stuff even being rebusless. Getting pushback on The Raven with EVERMORE is a thumb in Poe’s eye. 

The price of HOGANS in the greater Los Angeles area is getting ridiculous. What goes up, must come down. I fear the bubble’s surface tension is about to

METROS are known as subways and transportatation authorities out here on the left side of the map.

I got a chortle out of JUNO PROBE. Sounds like something involving aliens and UFOs.

SWORD DANCERS are crazy people. Good for them.

Short entry this evening, much to do and little time to do it. Liked it, probably more than some others.

Pismo (Beach) is the outlier that doesn’t fit; I’m thinkin’ there musta been a way to change that. Minor nit, though.

It’s the 75th anniversary of D-DAY, which the theme commemorates in honorable fashion. Omaha, Sword, Juno, Utah and Gold.

Take a moment and reflect on why it’s important to remember it.

Mark, in Mickey’s North 40

Brian 12:21 AM  

Nice. Easy. Good ambiguous clues like 20A that could be Repaint or Repanel or Repaper. Not enough of those these days. Never knew those beaches — Omaha yep — but not the others.

puzzlehoarder 12:57 AM  

A very easy tribute puzzle. I can see why the editor made the Wednesday puzzle a Thursday.

This puzzle reminds me of the story about some British puzzle constructor who was questioned by intelligence over a puzzle he had published shortly before D-Day. As I recall, from some book or article, he had used a couple of the British beach names as they are common words and are just likely to be used in a puzzle. He also one of the American ones as it would have been an unusual word to his British solvers. He probably used it to spice things up and it really got someone's attention.

RAD2626 12:59 AM  

So I have read Rex, Jeff Chen and Crossword Fiend and they all complained it was not a "Thursday Puzzle". Doh! Wednesday was a Thursday puzzle. Show a little flexibility. Nice tribute. Great to get all five beaches in. Learned some stuff. Thanks for the puzzle Mr. Piscop and thanks to Will for running it on the actual day.

Larry Gilstrap 1:59 AM  

Maybe just a bit too direct for a Thursday, but even with two cramped corners,the themers look good splayed neatly around the completed grid. My generation was fed a steady diet of WWII era media and culture, but I'm not certain I ever knew the names of all five beaches on that French Coast. Now I do.

Shipping frozen steaks delivered to your door has been the business plan of OMAHA STEAKS for ages. Seems preposterous, but I have weak marketing skills: I couldn't sell a glass of water to a man dying of thirst.

Anybody read the NYT Magazine and see the article about the SWORD Swallower? Yogic, indeed!.

Phaedrus 2:16 AM  

There is some interesting history with D-Day and xwords. In the months before the invasion, a bunch of code words associated with D-Day started appearing in the Daily Telegraph crossword puzzles.

Someone more clever than me could probably make a tribute puzzle incorporating the original clues/answers that got MI5 so flustered.

chefwen 3:44 AM  

Missed my usual tricky Thursday puzzle, being the Rebus lover that I am, but this was fine and on the right date, albeit a rather somber date.
Two days in a row we get to go on a scavenger hunt, Hi @Gill I. Yesterday WONDERful things, today beaches. Knew OMAHA and UTAH right away, but it took a panel of three to come up with the others. JUNO was the last to fall.

Had a wee bit of a problem with 25D had the SH and second D in place and plopped down SHow Dog. Wite Out to the rescue when EVER MORE showed up.

Loved yesterday’s puzzle and liked this one also.

Harryp 3:51 AM  

Easy Thursday, but at least the theme memorialized that horrific day. I didn't think of the beach-heads until I got D-Day, and the light went on. Knew of Pisco beach, so the clam was no problem, OVO is a well-used Scrabble word, so GOLD ORE went right in.
Liked it.

Harryp 3:52 AM  

Meant Pismo

Lewis 6:26 AM  

I can't imagine the horror of being a participant in the D-Day invasion, where almost 5,000 lost their lives amidst their fellow soldiers. Horror mixed with courage and love of country. I'm grateful for this puzzle which shunted me to a place of reflection and remembrance on this 75th anniversary, of that horror and courage, of the detestable and magnificent aspects of humanity.

Anonymous 6:34 AM  

If you "know next to nothing about" something, it may be advisable to avoid making a gratuitous remark about it. Rex, what would you tell your students in such a case?

This anti-war person nevertheless thinks commemorating D-Day in a crossword puzzle is a nice gesture.

Interesting that Rex doesn't mention anything about Omaha steaks. That is not exactly a sustainable business model from an environmental or ecological point of view.

As a big fan of W.C. Fields, I had a good chuckle over the clue/answer that reminded me immediately of the name of the character "A. Pismo Clam" in the classic Fields film "The Bank Dick."

Hungry Mother 7:03 AM  

I visited Normandy in 2014 and was stunned by what I saw.

RavTom 7:11 AM  

@Rex: If you’re going to put in the Wikipedia article about LEE Krasner, you could at least get his name right in your pan of the puzzle.

As for me, I thought it was excellent. It wasn’t until I got to the revealer that I got the theme. Nice job, Mr. Piscop. And thank you @Lewis for your tribute.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

Once again Pointe du Hoc gets short shrift, just because it doesn’t have “beach” in the name.

Odd to have another beach (PISMO) intrude upon your D-day puzzle. The number of reckognizable beach names is pretty small - what are the odds you end up having one creep into the puzzle?

DNF at ART SLOP/SLEDDER – not my best work.

Belonged on a Wednesday, but you’d have to wait quite a while for a significant anniversary to fall on a Wednesday, and putting this on the proper day calendrically was way more important that putting in the right day difficultically.

BarbieBarbie 7:21 AM  

A sword dancer is the entertainment that goes with the belly dancer at our local Moroccan restaurant. OFL probably only notices the BD.

Admirable puzzle. Theme did not help me even though I knew what it was, because I only knew one beach name. So I learned stuff today. Thanks!

Yesterday I learned how reCAPTCHA works and now I know why I never have to click pictures from one particular location.

OffTheGrid 7:24 AM  

I usually don't take issue with @Rex but today is different. It is truly unseemly that he and others have whined about "missing" their Thursday trick puzzle. Tens of thousands of young men missed their lives.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

Isn't a chord usually in one key, not a set of keys?

Ryan 8:13 AM  

I'd like to thank Bugs Bunny for assistance on the PISMO beach clue. "And all the clams I can eat!"

Anonymous @ 7:45: It's probably referring to a set of piano keys, not music keys.

Unknown 8:17 AM  

True, however each note on a piano is also a key.

mmorgan 8:21 AM  

@Anon 7:45 — think (e.g.) three piano keys, such as C, E, and G. They’re a set and they make a chord.

I was trying to figure out how to get “swallower” to follow SWORD, looking for some sort of rebus. Never heard of a SWORD DANCER but the crosses made it inevitable.

I have to admit that I didn’t know all the beach names (just OMAHA and JUNO, I think), so I didn’t recognize and appreciate all the theme answers.

There will be lots of thin and contrived sentiment out there today (not just on this blog!), but also stirring and powerful observations. Much to reflect on especially in light of today’s world. I’m glad this ran today.

pmdm 8:31 AM  

Anonymous 7:45 AM: Think of keys not as a scale sequence but as a set of notes, say on a piano.

And if you are familiar with Stravinsky (Petrushka, Rite of Spring) the answer to your question would be maybe usually but not always.

QuasiMojo 8:40 AM  

This was a grand idea for a puzzle to commemorate an historic EVENT. I learned a few things along the way. Including that there is no such thing as Voldore. @Lewis, well said.

Runs with Scissors 8:42 AM  

@Anonymous 7:45 AM

A chord is in a key, and made up of several individual piano keys together. Or guitar strings. Etc.

GILL I. 8:50 AM  

What an ignoble way to commemorate D DAY me thinks. You have it sitting on top of DOTTIER. You add it to STEAKS and PROBE? Am I supposed to go AHA? Such a sad and horrible event. I wasn't born yet but I sure heard the horror stories from my uncles. Dad was in France but he would never ever talk about the war.
Got that off my chest.
What did I like? Well, Scottish SWORD DANCERS are fun to watch. Speaking of UTAH, they have some mighty fine Basque sword dancers as well. You know, keeping with the theme and all.
What else did I like? Not much. Cluing was stale and a bit boring.
Every dog sheds - some more than others. The worst one for me was our German Sheppard. I could knit everyone here a sweater with the hair he shed in a day.

Unknown 9:07 AM  

Her name...

pabloinnh 9:09 AM  

Knew what was coming from the Omaha of OMAHASTEAKS, but was expecting "beach" to show up at some point. Instead, there were the names of all the other beaches, as explained by 59D. Then it was a question of retrieving them from the memory attic, which helped with some solves, especially the GOLDORE answer, which got me to change RAVE to RAGE, and voila.

Getting all the beach names in strikes me as more important than the inevitable inclusion of some non D-Day and comparatively frivolous fill. I'm as anti-war as anyone I know but understand the absolute necessity of our participation in WWII. Also I agree with @Lewis that even trying to imagine the courage and suffering of that day is next to impossible.

Thanks for a timely puzzle, Mr. Piscop.

Stanley Hudson 9:14 AM  

@Lewis, well said.

Canon Chasuble 9:24 AM  

If you ever visit Scotland you will see proper sword dancing. Today marks the most important date in the 20th century. It was the date that 10,000 Americans were killed. And don’t deceive yourselves that the Bomb did not save another 10,000 American lives. Go to Normandy and walk and climb the beaches and cliffs and visit the Memorials and cemeteries and then tell me you were not moved to tears. But I guess that is what it means to be old, and see your even older relatives and loved ones who fight for us die off one by one,and go their funerals with military honors, and hear taps played for them for the final time. Then think of how small puzzles are, and how many of us get annoyed at things that are so foolish and trivial. One this most important day think of what thes men and women did for us, and think of their sacrifices. And then stop whining.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

So this explains why we were treated yesterday (Wednesday) to a Thursday puzzle. Today had to be set aside for a not-especially-tricky D-Day tribute puzzle. Bet a lot of y'all have said that already.

But some nice clues raised the level of this puzzle and made it a lot less meh. I thought that CHORD (1D), ASSET (10D) and TESTS (73A) were on the difficult side and rather clever. As for the theme...

Every D-Day movie, every D-Day book, is about either OMAHA Beach or UTAH Beach, right? JUNO was somewhere in the haze of my memory -- but buried deep. As for GOLD and SWORD -- if I had stormed either of those beaches, I might be tempted to say: "What am I -- chopped liver?" You seem to never hear about either of them.

But other memories may vary. I'll be curious to know how many solvers -- solvers who are not military historians, that is -- knew all five beaches ahead of time.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

One of the benefits of actually reading the print NYTimes (and saving the crossword for last) is the inadvertent revealing of answers to clues. As in today’s paper and its article about D-Day. I wouldn’t have remembered the names of the beaches otherwise. But it made solving easier.

@mericans in Paris 9:38 AM  

I agree with @kitshef: "putting this on the proper day calendrically was way more important that putting in the right day difficultically."

The cemetery at OMAHA Beach is so, so overwhelming in its stark symbolism and beautiful setting. We took my parents there in December 2009, and stayed at a local B&B. The owners soon figured out that my parents were American, and asked whether they had been involved in the war. "Yes," my father answered, "I was in the Navy, and my wife worked as a nurse in a military hospital." The owner then immediately announced that he wouldn't charge for their room (2 nights!). I explained that my father fought in the Pacific theater, not the European, and my mom was stationed 'States-side. But the owner would have none of it. "Doesn't matter. That's good enough for me. Thank you for everything you did."

I still choke up just writing about that gesture, made so many years later, by somebody who was only a child at the time of D-DAY. Yet there remain some of my fellow compatriots who assert that the French are ungrateful.

I think I'll go for a walk now.

Hartley70 9:41 AM  

Last night ABC Evening News ran a segment on D-Day and happened to list the names given to the beaches. Tuesday I could have given you OMAHA. Today I knew them all. I don’t care that we didn’t get a typical Thursday challenge. Any commemoration of such heroism and loss deserves to be shown. Thanks to Fred and Will for their acknowledgement of that history!

Sir Hillary 9:47 AM  

Yesterday I wondered why a Thursday-style trick was appearing on Wednesday. Now I know why.

And it is oh-so worth it. In a vacuum, today's puzzle is nothing special. But we're not in a vacuum, and publishing this on the 75th anniversary of D-Day is a minor, yet wonderful, tribute to the heroism, bravery and sacrifice shown by so many soldiers all those years ago. If multiples of 25 are considered the "milestone" anniversaries, then this is the last one for which any of the participants will be alive. We should all take a moment to remember how epic that day and the participants were.

My wife and I visited the beaches back in 1990, and it was beyond moving. We sat in a German fortification, and I nearly vomited at the thought of the soldiers storming the beach as basically targets in a shooting gallery. The Allied military cemeteries, with their endless rows of white marble crosses, felt like the quietest places I had ever been to.

Today is a day of gratitude and remembrance, a humbling reminder that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Those of us who have benefited from freedoms delivered to us by selfless people would do well to never forget that.


Ike fan 9:55 AM  

If this was a “pedestrian theme” 9/11 must have been cakewalk. Thank God for the thousands of “pedestrians” who walked to their death on that day. Sheesh!

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

My father in law was on Omaha beach. His story is pretty amazing. He was an 18 year old French kid living in Shanghai when the French government conceded to the Germans. He snuck out of Shanghai on a cargo ship and worked his way to Africa where he eventually joined the British army. He fought with the Brits until he learned of the Free French Forces fighting in North Africa. He left the British army and joined up with de Gaulle and fought the remainder of the war, eventually taking part in D Day and the liberation of Paris. He died before I met my husband, and I wish so much I could have known him. Rest In Peace Georges.

JC66 10:15 AM  

@Lewis & @mericans

I always enjoy your posts, but today they were something special.

GILL I. 10:24 AM  

The only thing I like about today's puzzle is being able to read all of the excellent comments regarding remembrances of D-Day. Thank you for that.

Mr. Benson 10:25 AM  

@RavTom: *her* name

Fred Romagnolo 10:32 AM  

I was 12 yrs. old; my brother was in the navy, an uncle in the army. We lost a dear family friend in the Aleutians. Yes, truly, the GREATEST GENERATION!

kitshef 10:57 AM  

@Nancy - we tend to hear mostly about OMAHA and UTAH because those were the operations led by American forces. If we lived in England, we would hear more about SWORD and GOLD. My maternal grandfather was at SWORD Beach.

Nancy 11:00 AM  

@Larry Gilstrap (1:59 a.m.) -- I hadn't read the sword swallower profile in the NYT Mag, actually, so I Googled it online just now. And tried to read it -- only I had to stop. It immediately triggered my gag reflex.

I have the same reaction to people swallowing swords as I have to the hordes of climbers in a human traffic jam on Mt Everest, dying needlessly from exposure and lack of oxygen. My reaction: Why do it?????

Lovely and eloquent OMAHA Beach memory, @mericans. Thank you!

Nancy 11:01 AM  

We were typing at the same time, @kitshef. Thanks for telling me that -- I probably should have known, but I didn't.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

For once I was annoyed as well---I was seriously slowed by looking for a trick that wasn't there! Is it a rebus puzzle, something else.... Grrr!

Escalator 11:04 AM  

Any remembrance/mention of DDay is never bad. In large part, that is why we enjoy the freedom we have to complain about crossword puzzles 🙂

@mericans in Paris 11:13 AM  

@Nancy -- The much greater attention given to "Bloody" OMAHA over the other Normandy beaches is because the fighting there was so fierce, and the casualty rate, and absolute number (around 2,000 on the day, plus 135 dead and wounded during the taking of Pointe du Hoc), was so much greater than at the others. For example, Americans landing at Utah Beach suffered "only" 197 casualties. Allied casualties are estimated to have been around 1,000 at each of the other three beaches (GOLD, JUNO and SWORD).

By the way, of the 156,000 men who landed in France on 6 June 1944, 73,000 were American, and the rest British, or from Commonwealth countries (particularly Canada, followed by Australia and New Zealand), but also from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland. The Commonwealth naval contingent was twice that of the Americans.

@JC66 -- Thanks for the kind words. :-)

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

If we lived in Russia,or the Ukraine we'd be talking about where the European war was actually won. The eastern front where 400 divisions fought along a 1,000 mile long front. No one disputes Churchill's assessment that it was the Red Army that ripped the guts out of the German war machine. And hey, they only lost, give or take, 25 million men. But go ahead, revel in D-day as the key to crushing Nazi aggression.
Now the Pacific? That's where America did the heavy lifting.

jberg 11:19 AM  

No time to read all the comments -- I only knew OMAHA among the beaches, so needed the revealer to see the theme -- but it was a nice hard puzzle, so that was OK. I did like the little bonus reference to a different war, with Mars.

Crimson Devil 11:20 AM  

Figured today would have this theme. Ok here to switch Wed and Thurs, to be calendrically (?) correct.
We all owe those guys much. Le Grand Orange gave his best speech ever, actually rose to occasion.
Knew all beaches, so quite easy.Very curious xword coincidence leading up to invasion, much concern of leak,

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

Thanks to all who answered my question about CHORD. Once stated, it was obvious.
pmdm: Yes, I was thinking of this, which is why I wrote “usually”. :)
@newspaperguy - That was mean.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

I was born about two weeks after D-Day. In 2011 my wife and I traveled to Normandy and drove across northern France and into Belgium, basically following the Allied push against Germany. We spent a day at the Allied cemetery above Omaha Beach. Within a half hour I found six headstones of American troops who had died on the very day I was born. i don't remember ever crying after I was maybe ten years old, but I cried that day.

Joe Dipinto 11:47 AM  

Very cool to have a tribute to D-Day. Though I think the puzzle is not the smoothest effort -- it comes off as a bit clunky. Why not have the beach names as asterisked stand-alone answers? The letter count would be 5-5-4-4-4, plus 4 for D-Day as revealer-- they could have been situated symmetrically.

But not to cavil. A fitting bit of remembrance for a significant historic event.

Escalator 12:45 PM  

Anonymous @mericans in Paris said...

God bless you and your family

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

Just as an aside - where were the 1952 and 1994 olympics held?
I think the people of Finland will be upset...

bookmark 12:52 PM  

On a trip to the south of France about five years ago, we stopped at a winery in a small village. The owner said that the French and Americans sometimes disagree on things, but that they'd never forget what we did for them during the war.

CDilly52 12:57 PM  

Well, I had loonier instead of DOTTIER, and yee- rather than HEE, but once I discovered the revealer, I was home free. But this D-Day tribute once again demonstrated that the world works in mysterious ways.

A couple weeks ago, I was in Santa Rosa visiting my kids, daughter, Kate and LawSon, Jon (who dubbed me "LawMama" so I return the favor). We spent one long, beautiful day driving the back roads through vineyards up to Bodega Bay where we stopped to eat an unusual but delicious green chile/cilantro clam chowder at Fishetarian. 'Twas that lunch that educated me about the many types of clams, including PISMOs available in sunny Cali, but the lunch and the day gave me so much more.

The kids are both busy "discovering their (deep)roots" after doing one of those DNA swab kits I gave them for Christmas. The very early unknown relatives are fascinating, but it was the discussion of immediate family that fed my soul.

Jon started talking about their (hopefully) soon to be adoptive parenthood, and his concern that their child would grow up with the type of narrow frame of reference many of his high school students seem to have. This led to discussion of parenting, parents, grandparents, and our own respective family histories during which I learned that my father, who would not ever discuss with me his service in WWII, had several long discussions with his granddaughter. He shared stories of his pre-Overlord missions as a 1st Lt. in the US Air Corps during which he and his squadron helped force the Germans to pull back from the OMAHA and UTAH beaches to protect factories and repair depots of the Luftwaffe.

Kate went on to compare Grandpa Fatcat's (names and my family - another story for another day) service with her father's in the US Air Force as an Electronic Warfare Officer on a B-52 crew during 'Nam (again, something my late husband rarely mentioned to me and never with any detail). I saw such pride in her eyes, brimming with tears especially as she talked about her father, the guide star of her life, whom we both continue to mourn this first year after his passing.

For me though, the takeaway is the perspective both of them have about history and especially about war and military service as they enter their 40s this summer. They, and their "extended family" (as they call their large, worldwide circle of friends acquired during their high school years at the Interlochen, MI Arts Academy and later during their undergraduate and graduate studies) view the past and present atrocities of terrorism, war and "political conflict" (Jon's term for 'Nam and all military conflict since)through a vastly different set of lenses.

I experienced a remarkable paradigm shift and want with all my heart to embrace the potential for World Peace and Prosperity. We need to get out of the way and let bright compassionate young folks take the reins and lead. Let them be the architects for peace, as they, like young Arthur did with Merlin, soar high above the planet seeing a world without borders or boundaries, and people as people all with their own clans and customs, but also as citizens of one global family. I learned so much that beautiful Saturday, and look forward to watching the world through my own new set of lenses.

Georgia 1:02 PM  

I got my AHA moment at 59 Down, job done. Thanks!

Chip Hilton 1:03 PM  

@Anon 6:34, @OffTheGrid, @mericansinParis, @Escalator, and others - Thank you for expressing similar thoughts to mine. Posting this puzzle, on this date, is a wonderful tribute to the heroic men who gave their lives so that we might live free lives. My wife and I have been fortunate enough to visit Normandy twice and I wish every American could experience the solemn feeling of gratitude one gets at the American cemetery and the battle sites. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful area today - it’s almost impossible to imagine what occurred there 75 years ago. But, we must never forget the sacrifice of the men who never got to live their lives to old age. Bless them.

Easy puzzle but, that’s fine. Thanks, Fred & Will.

Masked and Anonymous 1:03 PM  

Never hurts for the puz to commemorate an important day in our history. Hard subject to twist into a tricky ThursPuz mcguffin, so they didn't do that. OK by m&e.

Not sure how hard the puz played out, as the PuzEatinSpouse gobbled up most of the puzgrid, before I even layed eyeballs on it. [M&A slept in -- U snooze, U lose]. Did mostly the nether regions, and often had entries already partially filled in, etc. Sure didn't have any trouble with the parts I took in.

fave nether fillins: DOTTIER. JORDAN. PISMO [always reminds me of PEPTO-BISMOL].
staff weeject pick: OVO. Very palindromical. Nice weeject stacks, in the NE & SW.
Cool clue for MITT.

Thanx, Mr. Piscop.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


ghostoflectricity 1:04 PM  

For once I have a deep conceptual disagreement with Rex. The 75th anniversary of D-Day was more important than a crossword critic/commentator's need for a "typical" NYT Thursday themed puzzle. Perhaps not the most scintillating puzzle, but timely and respectful, and a contrast to the annoying spectacle of "Bonespurs" lecturing the British govt. about how to run its affairs, insulting the mayor of the host city, and insulting the granddaughter-in-law of the monarch (and then, typically, lying about it and blaming his calling Meghan Markle "nasty" on the "fake" news media). Relax, Rex, there are sometimes things more worthy of attention than your need for a "clever" Thursday. Don't go all Trump and narcissistically make everything about you, please.

Carola 1:07 PM  

I appreciate the puzzle's tribute and commenters' touching memories.

Teedmn 1:23 PM  

I found this puzzle more difficult than yesterday's and nearly CRASSed and burned in the NE. Starting at ASSET, skirting the NE and coming down along the east coast meant that only SWORD DANCER was filled in, of the theme answers, when I got to PISMO (I just saw PISMO Beach before I solved this, on a list of CA sales tax districts). So at the 59D revealer, I thought PISMO was one of the answers and had to get hEE-haw out of the way before D-DAY filled in.

Like so many, I only knew OMAHA and UTAH so the theme was of no help when I was looking at PEEL OFF crossing NERF and wondering how to fill in the rest of the NE. JAN occurred to me as a likely first name for a van Eyck and then seemed a certainty. So, 12D, "Beginning" = A__F. Hmm, there's Alpha and Omega so AleF? But I would make things interesting by BETting the locale of the 1952 and 1994 Olympics, _eR, would NOT be seRbia so...

While I have you all AGAPE at such a rousing tale of puzzle derring-do, I will try to AWE you with my sudden brain spasm regarding JUNO which anticlimactically allowed me to finish.

Mountain-biking is the most dangerous thing I have ever faced as regards bodily harm. I cannot conceive of what bravery was required to fight at D-DAY or any other battle. Can't.

Thanks, Fred, for a great tribute puzzle.

I BET no one wears brogans in a HOGAN.

nyc_lo 1:27 PM  

Looking at the completed puzzle, hard to figure why it took me about 50 percent longer than an average Thursday. Too many answers/clues just felt “off” to me. Never think of ROMEO as synonymous with “beau.” Not enough of a dog person to think SHEDDER when hearing breed names (or anything, for that matter). Went to art school and worked in the graphic arts all my life and never went to an ART SHOP. They’re “art stores.” Sounds as alien to me as saying “I’m going to the grocery shop” instead of grocery store.

Not much fun to this one, but perhaps that’s appropriate given the theme.

JR 1:45 PM  

The 1952 Olympics were in Helsinki, Finland. I know because a friend was a medalist there.

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

Interesting. The ETO was won because the Germans wasted much of their army in the Russian winter. Big mistake. OTOH, the island hopping in the Pacific by the USofA was a colossal waste of life. Given a bit of time, blockading the islands would have done just as well, albeit over a bit more time. None of the islands did or could have supported a land invasion of the USofA. Some folks just had to have a big Boom.

Mark Rosenfield 1:51 PM  

Correct. Without the events of 75 years ago, I suspect some of us wouldn't be here to be able to do the puzzle. I know I wouldn't, being both European born and Jewish. I was also aware of the Daily Telegraph scandal of the codewords appearing in the crosswords, and so that made it even more appropriate. Let's just be grateful for all the soldiers, sailors and airmen on that day who allowed us to be able to enjoy our current lives. My Dad wasn't involved in D-Day, but he did serve in the Royal Navy during the war, and I am so proud of what he and the British nation did during those years. Let's hope and pray that we will never see the like of it again. Tomorrow will bring another crossword.

Bourbon Street 2:00 PM  

I’m married to a WWII buff, so the names of the beaches came very easily to me. We toured Normandy in 2010 and were awestruck. Both our fathers and uncles had served in the Pacific, so we had no relatives at D-Day but we are eternally grateful for the sacrifices of the brave soldiers.

Next time any of you are in New Orleans, visit the WWII Museum. It started out as the National D-Day Museum and then expanded as interest in WWII grew. The local connection to D-Day is that the “Higgins Boat” was used to land troops on the beaches.

@Anonymous 11:16: No doubt the Eastern Front was where the vast majority of Allied lives were lost. That fact does not mean that it’s wrong to honor those brave troops who invaded Europe from the West so people do get to “revel” in D-Day. Besides, opening a new front was key to ending the war in Europe.

BarbieBarbie 2:01 PM  

OR you could go to the military cemetery at Normandy on the 75th anniversary of D-Day and open your goofy-looking round petulant mouth that only ever shows your lower teeth because your mom was right, your face DID get stuck that way, and now you're in perma-pout, and complain about Nancy Pelosi and Robert Mueller.

Class tells.

Master Melvin 2:15 PM  

The 1952 and 1994 WINTER Olympics were both held in Norway.

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

Of course!! We should honor the men who gave so much. I salute them. It's just that The U.S., at least most of it, doesn't seem to have a very good grasp of the second world war. And your final sentence suggests you're one of the folks with a less-than-stellar grasp of what was happening.
The fact is, the Third Reich was done by June of 1944. As for opening another front, you do know that the Allies had been fighting in the West for some time. Hell, Rome had fallen a couple of days BEFORE D-day. No, D-Day accelerated a foregone conclusion. It was a terrific and very heroic landing. But no serious historian gives it anything like the weight our schoolbooks and Hollywood does. And that's bad, because while Normandy should be known by evrey student, so should Kharkov, Stalingrad and so many others.

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

It's Krasner, not Krasnick Rex. For a guy who never stops reminding us how feminist his sensibilities are, it would be nice if you knew some women artists too. Her place in modern art history is significant.

Zwhatever 2:30 PM  

I’m with @Gill I and Rex in having some conflicted responses to this. D-Day, 9/11, and similar events just don’t strike me as something that should be memorialized in something like a crossword puzzle. But I guess it’s never wrong to say thanks. Managing to have it on the right day seems like the lowest possible of bars.

As for remembering, I hope everyone spends some time today and tomorrow refreshing their memories about Germany in the 1930’s. To never forget means also remembering how we came to that day and making sure it doesn’t happen again.

As for the puzzle itself, just not my wave length. I have a Lab mix. Yes, he sheds. But I used to own a Shiba Inu and a Corgi. Those two were SHEDDERs. The Lab will shed as much hair in his life as Sam and Axle made in a week. REPAint before REPAPER. The entire SE corner. Just a struggle everywhere.

I don’t know what the Finland Brigade think happened. Wikipedia says Oslo and Lillehammer, both in NORway.

@RavTom - Sorta ironic that you criticized Rex for what was plausibly an autocorrect mistake and managed to misgender the artist while doing it.

davidm 2:39 PM  

Oof! This puzzle was fine, but me, not so much. Very early I had LOONIER instead of DOTTIER, which bollixed me up for a time on the themer. Then I immediately wrote in CRUDE for one across instead of CRASS. I am still ticked the answer was not CRUDE, because of the missed chance of a double meaning on the clue, “unrefined.” Someone who is unrefined is CRUDE, but unrefined oil is also CRUDE. So CRASS is an inferior answer to the clue, IMO. For SHEDDER I initially wrote in SLEDDOG for some reason that, in retrospect, is completely inexplicable. A Labrador retriever is not a sled dog! Oof!

Anonymous 2:49 PM  

Stop! Please, stop. There are simply no significant parallels betwen Germany of the `30s and the US today. Weimar Germany had experienced 4 years of hellish bloodshed, capped by a humiliating treaty, crippling reparations followed by hyper inflation. That and of course no history of democracy.
To suggest somehow that we need to remember Germany of the 1930s to avoid some catastrophe is beyond silly.

Bourbon Street 2:50 PM  

@Anonymous 2:17 p.m. Stalin was pushing for a second front in France at the Tehran Conference in November 1943 (and FDR sided with Stalin), so apparently the Soviets saw the value of D-Day. Stalin also thought that the Italian campaign by the Allies was a “diversion” (which is the word he used to Churchill) because Italy, being a mountainous country, was easy to defend and therefore defending Italy did not take up many German resources. The second front in France took a lot of pressure off the Soviets, and also the Germans had to transfer a large number of divisions to the West. The opening of the second front hastened the collapse of Nazi Germany, thereby saving many lives.

OffTheGrid 2:51 PM  

As has been pointed out, the Winter Olympics of 1952 & 1994 were in Norway and perhaps the clue for 19A should have included "winter". However, there were no summer games in 1994. There had been winter games just 2 years earlier in 1992. This was done to create an alternating schedule between summer games and winter games every 2 years.

1952 summer games were in Helsinki, Finland.

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

We agree. (though your use of second is bizarre, given what was happening in Italy) The western front had been opened long before Dday . And D day hastened a conclusion which was certain even without it. Hence the word hasten.

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

Not sure about your accounting. Surely the number of lives lost was similar, regardless of where the front was. I think you're confused because, apparently, you discount German loss of life. How nice.

Amelia 3:31 PM  

Two things to comment on. Lee Krasner. Her name. Feminism. From last weekend's FT about a show at the Barbican, which apparently should not be missed if one is in London.

"Nothing at the Barbican announces the work is by a woman artist. Krasner adopted an androgynous name. She refused to show in Peggy Guggenheim’s 1943 Women exhibition. Yet at every twist and turn as her mature paintings evolve, you cannot forget that Lee — née Lena — Krasner was Mrs Jackson Pollock. This makes the show doubly important: unmissable for the history of abstraction, and as unfolding social history, tracing relationships between a woman artist’s life, work, reputation and the impact of feminism, then and now."

The other thing, which seems to be on topic today was a bus side I just saw on Fifth avenue. (An ad, in other words.) It was advertising the Auschwitz exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This was the tagline (or slogan, if you prefer). This is the kind of thing about which ad people say I wish I had thought of that.

Not long ago. Not far away.

Zwhatever 3:56 PM  

@OffTheGrid - Thanks. I didn’t realize the summer Olympics were ever in Finland. Now those comments made sense.

@Anon2:49 - Interesting. You might want to reread what I wrote instead of what you think I wrote.

Anonymous 5:07 PM  

With regard to debates yesterday, and on other days, about the appearance of NRA in puzzles:

1. Constructors and editors routinely omit words/names that are offensive. HITLER, KKK, and FAG (which has an innocuous meaning in the UK) will never appear in an NYT puzzle. Exclusion equals censure (to some degree), so to some degree inclusion equals condoning.

2. The NRA should *not* be condoned or normalized. It uses near-terrorist tactics to achieve its aims -- zero regulation of guns or gun-owners -- despite the fact that 75% of all Americans want gun laws to be stricter than they are. It's not just that the NRA is, in some abstract way, holding the rest of us hostage -- it's that their fanaticism on this topic leads to thousands of deaths, injuries, and witness-traumatizations every year.

3. Canada and Australia -- two nations that are similar to the US (both young, both with a big wilderness/cowboy-kickass contingent) -- have gun ownership *and* sensible gun laws -- and no massacres. Australia enacted sensible laws after an indescribably brutal massacre in 1996 (in Port Arthur, if you wan to read about it).

4. I urge you to read Gail Collins's 6-5-19 NYT column, "Let's Ditch Mitch." Any piece of legislation that would do the tiniest thing to bring the US in line with other nations gets nowhere in the Senate bc McConnell, like many pols, is beholden to the NRA.

5. Buying legislators in order to shape policy is (theoretically) profoundly un-Democratic and un-American, and should be in practice. For this reason alone, the NRA should never appear in the NYT puzzles.

6. Excluding the NRA from puzzles is not in any way a limit on its free speech. The NRA has a website, print+online publications, and streaming content. Its voice is not in danger of being silenced.

7. If every constructor deleted "NRA" from their wordlist, then their software would simply suggest alternatives. Two commenters yesterday rewrote that corner; I did, too. Not hard to do! There's always a way around using problematic words/names/phrases.

Vanda 5:41 PM  

@Anonymous 2:49 PM, Though Z didn't explicitly write that there are significant parallels between 1930s Germany and the current US, I'll say that there are some -- and that choosing not to be wary is a foolish way to proceed.

* Not being wary is why the dangerous, stupid, unprepared, bigoted DJT is in office.
* Not being wary is why women's reproductive rights are under again under attack.
* Not being wary is why the dangerous hatemonger Bolsonaro was elected in Brazil, and why 52% of UK voters voted for Brexit.
* Not being wary is why the Great Recession occurred despite what should have been intense and ongoing financial prudence by all who know about the Great Depression. By which I mean the GOP who pressed and always press for de-regulation of financial institutions, because hey of course unfettered capitalism, and the greedy sociopaths who keep it churning, is gonna self-correct!

Being wary = being aware, and being aware is the only way to prevent catastrophe. I'm very alarmed by the rise of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment, propaganda and violence appearing in this nation and in Europe -- everyone who cares about others and about the survival of the human race is.

Monty Boy 6:21 PM  

I agree with having a D-Day puzzle (appropriately ) on the anniversary date. I'm in line with most commenters about the role the invasion had in shortening the war.

For @jae: the LSTs (Landing Ship Tank) were notoriously slow and hard to handle. The crews came to refer to the initials as "Large, Slow, Target."

Kinda related: One of the smartest things done for the veterans was the GI Bill which included college tuition. That educated Greatest Generation did much to keep America growing and becoming a dominant player in the years after the war. Free education proved to be a good investment then, and I would think it would be now.

mmorgan 6:58 PM  

The comments today are worth the price of admission, even those (and there are many) with which I disagree.

Harryp 7:09 PM  

@Vanda 5:41. Well said. I agree completely.

Gosnell 7:11 PM  

@Vanda - Totally agree 100%

Kermit G. 7:28 PM  

I totally agree with Vanda. Women have a choice. An eight month old fetus is not a living person. F Trump.

Anonymous 8:02 PM  

Please be more explicit. I believed you were implying that without vigilance, the US would find itself looking like Germany in th 1930s.
I refuted that idea. Please be so good as to explain what remembering how we came to that day means.

Anonymous 9:43 PM  

The comments today are worth the price of admission, even those (and there are many) with which I disagree.

Here's one that many might find difficult (and that the mods never printed the first time!). The war was won because of the USofA natural resource endowment, not the GI.

Zwhatever 10:14 PM  

@Anon9:43 - Rosie the Riveter was vital to the war effort, but a tank or bomber without a crew isn’t going to win a war.

CDilly52 10:29 PM  

@Carola: I admire your beautiful versal “C” avatar. I have been a calligraphy, book-arts hobbyist since I visited the old engraving business and school in Columbus, Ohio as a 7th grade Girl Scout. The beauty and artistry hooked me immediately and I made a pest of myself with a rather elderly gentleman named Paul who said he had been with the company for 35 years. He gave me several of what he called “broken in starter nibs and an old holder, some Spencerian instruction sheets and paper and invited me to come back in a few weeks to show him what I had learned. I love to make decorative versals like yours. Especially working with real gold.

Anonymous 11:42 PM  


It's commonly believed that the GI was the best fighting man in the war. May be yes, or may be no. But the salient fact is that it was materiel from Uncle Sam that made the difference:
"In the journal, Myth vs. Reality: The Question of Mass Production in WWII¸ graphs show America’s total domination of total output of war equipment. The American industry at least doubled the production of all other countries in the war in every category. During the year 1940 the United States production was equivalent to that of the U.S.S.R., Japan, United Kingdom and Germany. However, by 1943 the United States aircraft production was nearly triple of what the Japanese and Germans were producing."

The notion that the GI is what made the difference in victory is belied by history. Soldiers, on the whole, are pretty much the same the world over. Arms, on the other hand (esp. volume of such) make a bigger difference in a WWII kind of war. And the American War Machine won the war.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

"NO KIDDING!" does not mean "DON'T I KNOW IT"?

Aketi 3:24 PM  

@Vanda, I agree.

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

@Kermit Gosnell- Amen

rondo 9:31 AM  

As others have mentioned, the ‘tricksy’ $#!+ happened yesterday, or did we forget already? And why commemorate DDAY? Well, I’d ask my WWII vet father, but he’s no longer with us. CRASS to bring the question up.

Pick an ANNA, any ANNA. Yeah baby.

Appropriate puz for 75th anniversary of DDAY.

rondo 11:39 AM  

@anon 11:42 - all of those war machines didn't operate on their own. Someone had to put them to use. Who? the G.I.s

spacecraft 12:02 PM  

Well, I'm glad you all found this so all-fired easy. I never knew there was another beach besides OMAHA, never mind their names. And I'm with OFC on SWORDDANCER; I thought it was a horse, but never heard of such a thing otherwise. They name horses weirdly; ex.: Hoof Hearted.

Nor did I know which of five or six NCAA Aggies was being called for...I guess today I'm a big fat ignoramus. I do get OMAHASTEAKS; they're great, but that wasn't enough to take this one out of the medium-challenging range. Just not my wheelhouse.

As far as being well done, I give it props. Not too much to get in a twist about, theme- or fill-wise. Of all ANNAs we could name for DOD, why not the one in the clue, referring to Deborah Kerr in "The King and I?" Birdie.

Oh yeah. Not to fuss about the subject matter: it does us no harm to RECEIVE reminders from time to time how ugly war is. That's what makes it a thing to be avoided. In case anybody forgot.

Burma Shave 12:05 PM  


I’m AWED that the ARTSHOP is OLD but ONCE paneled.


Diana,LIW 1:02 PM  

Starting with SlEDDER and its cross, EVERMORE was an omen for my puzzle solve. One wrongish, one right.

Thought I'd never get it. But by filling in my, often wrong, guesses, they led to correct responses and changed the wrong to right. Bit by bit, I got it all!!! Sooooooooooo satisfying. Best kind of puzzle. Not so easy you wonder if it's Monday, not so hard that you wonder how many languages/rivers/TV shows/ancient gods, etc. you must memorize. And don't forget the periodic table.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

PS - I received 28 crowns a few years ago from my dear dentist. This led to my wearing a tiara, which I wore to the Minnesota Crossword Tourney (since defunct) where I met @Rondo and @Teedmn. (In ref of @Rondo from yesterday.)

rainforest 3:21 PM  

Finished with no write-overs.

I liked this one quite a lot; found it medium in difficulty and loved the variety in the answers. Another bonus: not a rebus.

Once I got SWORD DANCER, I read the revealer clue and, Bingo! With JUNO already in place, DDAY was a gimme. Looking around the places I hadn't answered yet, I concluded that OMAHA was likely the beginning of 17A which turned out to be true. My only real slowdown was at the ELLIS/METROS cross, and those were my last two entries.

Doing the puzzle 5 weeks later meant that the fact this was a DDAY puzzle escaped me until I read the revealer. The puzzle helped remind me that GOLD was the one beach I couldn't remember right off.
Nice one.

leftcoast 3:54 PM  

Noted the June 6 date on this puzzle, revealing DDAY and, and after a bit of work, the five beaches. Impressive and befitting theme.

Got in trouble on hitting the NE corner. The three-letter, three-stack was the stopper! Confused dates and locations of Winter (1994) and Summer (1996) Olympics, and wanted to put ATL (Atlanta) in 1994. Didn't work. So looked up (cheated to get) NOR, which helped finish off JAN and JUNO.

Overall, a nice piece of work by Fred Piscop.

Way in Montreal 8:28 PM  

Everyone seems to have forgotten about the Highland Sword Dance, one of the most common Scottish dances.

Great theme - could only remember 4 of the D-Day beaches until GOLDORE was mined. The STP & rogue beach PISMO cross was a personal Nattick. And had RAVE before RAGE at 28D.

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