Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Constructor: Christina Iverson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium - ~2 minutes below my average Tuesday 

THEME: STARTUP CAPITAL (38A: With 40-Across, money required to open a business ... or a hint to 18-, 24-, 47- and 57-Across) — Theme answers each start with capital cities.

Theme answers:
  • RIGAMAROLE (18A: Petty set of procedures)
  • PARISH PRIEST (24A: Local officials in dioceses)
  • BERNIE SANDERS (47A: Longest-serving Independent member of Congress in U.S. history)
  • ROMEO ROMEO (57A: Part of a Juliet soliloquy)
Word of the Day: HORUS (25D: Falcon-headed Egyptian god) —
Horus is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities. He was worshipped from at least the late prehistoric Egypt until the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists.[2] These various forms may possibly be different manifestations of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncreticrelationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality.[3] He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner falcon or peregrine falcon, or as a man with a falcon head.
• • •
Rebecca Falcon here, filling in for Rex today. Thrilled to see a woman constructor - and even more excited to learn that today is Christina Iverson's debut puzzle! On to the puzzle!

This was a solid Tuesday puzzle. I'm always a fan of puzzles that have seemingly unrelated theme answers and a nice AHA moment with the revealer and this one delivered on that. Like many Tuesdays, it wasn't the most exciting, but certainly an enjoyable solve overall. I did spend some time after solving trying to figure out why these specific cities, but it doesn't seem like there was a reason for these choices beyond the grid.

Theme-wise, RIGAMAROLE was my favorite, and also probably the hardest for me to get - I kept trying to parse it as several words and even when the word clicked I was unsure of the spelling, but once it settled in there it was a great start. ROMEO ROMEO feels an O short, but works for the theme, and this proud theater geek will never be mad about a Shakespeare reference. My feelings about BERNIE SANDERS aside, he's a timely entry and a great city selection. PARISH PRIESTS feels a little green paint to me, but it suits the theme perfectly well.

(47A and CARDI B together!? - it would be a crossword crime not to post this)

Non-theme thoughts - some really excellent bonus fill happening in the puzzle, with SNOWSUITS, BABY BUMPS, IT GIRLS, and DREAM ON among my favorites.  These long downs made up for some of the gluey fill in the puzzle which I was never bothered too much by because each section had its bright spots that made me smile. The clue for FOXIER (36A: More cunning) seems wrong to me - I suppose it's definitionally accurate, but I'm not sure I've every heard someone use FOXY that way in real life, so even when I knew that's what the puzzle wanted, I hesitated to enter it. I've also never heard the phrase GIN UP -is this a thing people say?

Fav Clues of the Day:
  • TENNIS — 4D: Something you'll have to go to court for?
  • SNAP — 66A: Lead-in to chat or dragon
  • BDAYS — 9D: They're almost always shared by twins, informally
  • DENT — 42A: Feature of many an old car
And I know I can't be the only one with this stuck in my head thanks to FANTA (36D: Fruity soda brand) - I bet you can hear the song before even pressing the play button.

Congrats to Christina on a great debut!

Signed, Rebecca Falcon

Before I go - some shameless promotion - if you're in California and a fan of crosswords and comedy check out Zach Sherwin's Crossword Show - it is a show like nothing else you've ever seen and the grid is by yours truly.

[Follow Rebecca on Twitter]
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


chefwen 3:22 AM  

Cute Tuesday puzzle. Didn’t catch the theme until I got to the reveal. Ah so, lookie there, PARIS, ROME, BERN etc. Fun.

One write over, my tip was an ace before it was a pro, easy fix.


jae 3:49 AM  

Easy-medium. Smooth and clever, liked it. A fine debut!

Loren Muse Smith 3:52 AM  

Rebecca – I agreed with your take word for word. Thanks for the write-up.

I saw that the starts were gonna be world capitals, but I couldn’t imagine what the reveal would be. Nice. And as Rebecca said, IT GIRLS, DREAM ON (BERNIE SANDERS) and the two bonus long downs BABY BUMP and SNOW SUIT are lively.

Boy, I remember those days of stuffing my kids into their SNOW SUITs, boots, mittens, hats blah blah. By the time we were ready to go outside, I had worked up such a sweat that I was happy to go out in just a t-shirt. After the kids toddled around for just a few minutes, stiff-legged little automatons encumbered by all the padding, we went back in for hot chocolate. Good times.

“Obvious signs of pregnancy” – this is a slippery slope, people, and you know it. I don’t care if the woman looks like she’s carrying triplets. Do Not ask about a due date until she confirms she’s indeed pregnant. I bet we’ve all made that mistake once, and there’s no recovering from it. None.

One more little piece of advice. But it requires a prereamble. A few years ago, I was checking out at Walmart and one of my items wouldn’t scan. As the girl kept trying to scan it, I said, I’m not gonna joke that it must be free ‘cause you probably hear that all day long and have to laugh every time like the person is just oh so clever. She stopped everything. She turned. She looked at me. Deeply. She said, You. Have. No. Idea.

So my degree is in linguistics. I’m a linguist. The word “cunning” appears today in two clues. You see where this is going. I hate it when people make that joke. It’s not funny in the first place, and I’ve heard it a million trillion bajillion times. Instead I wish they would just ask how many languages I speak, the second most common response to my being a linguist. I won’t have to fakey laugh about their “cunning” joke and can instead explain just what a being a linguist means. It’s much more pleasant.

Christina Iverson – enjoy your day in the spotlight! Congrats on this NYT debut!

PS – thanks for all the charcoal advice yesterday. I do own a charcoal chimney thing and know how to use it, know to wait until the coals are all white. It’s my husband who always uses the unnecessary lighter fluid and then tries to jump the gun and start the meat before the coals are ready. And don’t even get me started on the Christmas standing rib roast he insists on carving before it has properly rested. . .

Frog Prince Kisser 5:01 AM  

😄 O slow, yes. Mad riddles in this puzzle. Am managing to solve without a male helper. Do have Mr. Google though. 😄 Thanks much Ms. Iverson!

BarbieBarbie 5:55 AM  

@Rebecca and I guess @LMS: PARISHPRIEST is a thing. Not green paint.
Easy puzzle, nice debut. Loved BABYBUMP.

Klazzic 6:01 AM  

Beautiful write-up, Rebecca. I'm with you re Romeo-O-Romeo. But alas, Parking Is Such Street Sorrow. A solid Tuesday and yes, the revealer was finally unwrapped at the end of the journey. I was convinced early on that the PP in PARISH PRIEST had something to do with START UP CAPITAL, but that assumption was not TO BE or NOT TO BE. I can still Feel the Bern on that one. Which, by the way, the Democratic Debates are on tonight. Yippie!! I'm in my wheelhouse! Anyway, keep the faith, kids. Next year, the Racist Rapisr will GO BACK. TO WHENCE HE CAME: under a rock. Tally-ho and OSLO-a-meo!

amyyanni 6:17 AM  

Lively write up, Rebecca. And who knew Cardi B is so civic- minded? Thanks! Congrats, Christina. Looking forward to more from you. Liked BABYBUMP a lot, and re-learned HORUS.

Lewis 6:22 AM  

Seeing FOX (of FOXIER) in there satisfies my Libra tendencies, nicely balancing BERNIE SANDERS.

I saw that sneaky plug for "Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood", with PITT, AMPED, and BABY BUMP. Brad, among others, is a joy to watch in it. My heart just started smiling again, thinking of his performance.

A solid Tuesday puzzle, with a clean grid and clever theme -- excellent debut and fun solve, thank you Christina. I loved the answers RIGAMAROLE and IMBUES, and having PARIS and ORLY in the same grid. This puzzle heralds polished, joy-producing puzzles ahead, which makes this every-day solver happy. And it is lovely to have a new voice in that passionate cluster, the cHORUS of crossword constructors.

Anonymous 6:57 AM  

It’s “O Romeo, Romeo ....” so the answer’s accurate, though I’d bet that many (maybe most) would put the O in between the Romeos.

btgrover 7:09 AM  

Using both TAXI and CAB as fill is fine, I guess, but at least clue them differently. Definitely felt like a Monday puzzle IMO.

pabloinnh 7:09 AM  

Nice theme and excellent revealer, my only complaint that I thought it was on the Monday side of Tuesday as far as difficulty goes. Just too many straightforward clues.

Re BABYBUMP--Anyone else remember the commercial (I think it was for Special K) with Lily Tomlin by the pool saying, with maximum snark, "Oh, you're not." (underline or italicize "not", I can't). Anyway, a classic.

I also remember SNOWSUIT times. Once after a real dump of snow we got our son into his gear and just sent him out the back door, as he had zero mobility. My wife had a classroom aide position in an elementary school that involved dressing and undressing kids before and after recess, which of course took longer than the actual recess.

Nice work and congratulations to CI. May this be the first of many.

kitshef 7:15 AM  

I like the theme, although it played no part whatsoever in my solve so the pleasure was purely post-solve.

Some really great clues today, my favorite of which is for DENT. But I’ll be the curmudgeon on BABY BUMPS … a term that really sets my teeth on edge.

My quick and dirty themer list:
Jubal Early
Lo mein

Suzie Q 7:33 AM  

Very nice debut and great aha moment because I had to go back and look for the cities. Although, without a long history of doing crosswords I probably wouldn't know Riga.
I have always been offended by baby bump. It dehumanizes the baby into a fashion accessory for the mother. I'm sure there are plenty of people who think it's cute.

Hungry Mother 7:50 AM  

Very nice theme, which helped with the solve after the reveal. I loved the “BD” and “PD” starts for answers.

The Bard 8:11 AM  

JULIET: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo and Juliet, Act II, scene II

JULIET: Can heaven be so envious?

Nurse: Romeo can,
Though heaven cannot: O Romeo, Romeo!
Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!

Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scene II

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

Really didn't care for this one. Too many car related clues/answers, and Riga isn't a capital that's on the tip of my tongue. And I've never seen a Fanta ad in my life, so no I couldn't hear that song in my head before hitting play. Is that a west coast thing?

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Got a lot of the across clues easily, so I had a personal Tuesday best of 3:32 (well below my average, which is closer to 8). The only thing that tripped me up was I wanted to add the "O" with Romeo originally.

Brit Solves NYT 8:57 AM  

Pleasant enough solve, the only difficulty for me was that the word in the UK is RIGMAROLE not RIGAMAROLE so I kept on wondering what I was doing wrong until realising that, for whatever reason, you must add an 'A' to the word in the States!

Oh, just checked Merriam Webster - it has the UK spelling as the main entry and only lists RIGAMAROLE as a variant. Surprised no-one else has commented on it, then.

GILL I. 9:01 AM  

When I was, oh, I don't know, maybe six months pregnant, I went back to the gym for some toning up. One of those yoga guru's came up to me and said" man, you've really gained weight." I told him I was pregnant. He said "I figured you were because you sure look bloated." BABY BUMPS is right up there with preggers, hubster and "We're pregnant." It doesn't do anything to my teeth but I'm apt to scream at you.
What a nice, upbeat write-up. I don't mind OFL's snark from time to time because at least 6 thousand anon's say "get a life." Why do people say that? Today we have kindness and optimism. I like that.
I've heard of IT GIRLS. I guess the Kardashian's are the epitome. I wouldn't want to walk in their shoes for even an hour. Imagine getting up in the morning and spending 18 hours on your makeup and going through your 100 acre closet to find the right costume...Nah...I'm a roll out of bed, crawl to the kitchen to make my latte, down-load a crossword and BASK in my lounge kinda GIRL.
Nice debut Christina Iverson...gave me a smile.

Z 9:08 AM  

RIGAMAROLE is just a fun word. Fun to say. Sounds so much like what it means that it seems almost onomatopœic. This word alone is worth the price of admission.

When I picture the old man on his porch shaking his fist at a bunch of teenagers while yelling “Get Off Of My Lawn,” it is BERNIE SANDERS. When I hear “people want solutions, not policy positions,” I hear shade being thrown his way.

I was at a meeting the other night and lucked out, the BABY BUMP news was being discussed within earshot so I got to use, “apparently there’s some news I haven’t heard.” Otherwise, I’m with @LMS, anything beyond “what’s new with you?” is fraught.

@LMS - Is he one of those guys who takes pride in his grilling skills? My best advice is to find things for him to do because by this time the likelihood of change would seem remote.

@RF - GIN UP is a term my mother might have used. Definitely a term, but not one I’ve heard with any regularity in a few decades. “GIN UP interest” is the phrase that comes to mind.

Nancy 9:14 AM  

Congrats to Christina on a smooth, very professional debut. I didn't notice the theme until I hit the revealer and I certainly didn't need it to solve, but the theme answers are varied and well disguised and START-UP CAPITAL is a marvelous revealer.

I didn't know there was still such a thing as IT GIRLS. I think they had them back in the '20s or '40s or one of those decades of YORE, but the 7D gals mentioned here sound more recent. Wouldn't know -- they're probably famous for being famous and don't actually do anything. If they do do something, I've never seen them do it.

PDIDDY. He's the rapper who changes his name as often as @LMS changes her avatar, right? Wasn't he Puff Daddy at some point? And is he also the Dogg guy, as in Snoop Doggy Dogg and plain old Snoop (only one) Dogg? Or is that a different rapper who also changes his name as often as Loren changes her avatar? Is one of the rules of being a rapper that you have to keep changing your name?

Anyway -- a nice puzzle, but one that didn't make me work very hard.

Z 9:20 AM  

@Brit Solves NYT - Well, obviously, because it sounds better as two trochees. Seriously, I’ve only ever heard it as a four syllable word was surprised to verify that RIGMAROLE is the “correct” and “more common” version.

jberg 9:26 AM  

I’d always heard Clara Boe described as THE It Girl, so I’m surprised to learn there were others. Guess I’d better do a little research. I enjoyed the capitals— wanted it to be Berne, but I take it that’s wrong.

Joaquin 9:58 AM  

Two current expressions that I cannot abide: BABY BUMP has been so overused (particularly by internet news sources) that seeing it in the NYT crossword gave me the heebie-jeebies. The other word, which thankfully did not appear today, is "rock", when used to mean "wear" (as in "She rocked a tight outfit that showed off her baby bump.")

David 10:21 AM  

Yeah, they keep bringing back It Girls. Time to let go. Past time.

Nice write-up Rebecca. I guess you weren't very old in 2003, when our forever-war in the Middle East was ginned up by W, Dick, Condi, and company using cherry-picked and/or faulty intelligence assessments. But the current administration is busy trying to gin up a move into Iran, so perhaps you'll hear the phrase again in context.

Nice puzzle for a Tuesday. Of course I didn't get the theme before coming here, but that's me.

My only nit is all the plurals. CSIs? Baby Bumps? Soys? Ughs.

The D at 42A/D was the last letter to go in. I really really wanted that to be vents. We had vents in old cars with no AC, and I've owned many old cars without dents.

Hack mechanic 10:22 AM  

But then the capital would be "Rig"
The British variant of "outmaneuvered"
just caught me out in a recent Guardian crossword. Two people's separated by a common language?

Uylis Mecihok 10:26 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ethan Taliesin 10:31 AM  

Again, a theme totally lost on me until after the fact. Solid puzzle (SOYS notwithstanding), but I prefer themes that help you along, rather than ones that are useless in the solving.

If that's too much to ask for in a Tuesday maybe the constructor should have gone themeless and concentrated exclusively on coming up with a spicy, sundry assortment of primo fill.

I guess this "world capital" gimmick contributed to it being accepted in the first place, but that shouldn't have been a consideration if no one's going to even be aware of it while solving.

RIGAMOROLE, OSIER and PDIDDY were decent, and like I said, it was solid enough.

Rapper's Delight 10:36 AM  

@Nancy 9.14am. Stop it. Just silly or cunningly covert?

Newboy 10:39 AM  

I enjoyed the subtle hidden capitals when they finally clicked in. Definitely nice to see that sisterhood is powerful in the NYT puzzle realm today. Too bad OFL missed his chance to reflect on it? Thanks to constructor & guest commenter for their contributions respectively.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Why the ketching over FOXIER??? Every night in every bar in the USofA there's one gal who is FOXIER than all of the competition. And she knows it. And so do the guys whose blood streams have departed from the brain rather far south.

VictorS 11:00 AM  

And bonus answer 54D Lomé is the capital of Togo.

Carola 11:02 AM  

Nice one! I liked having the reveal at the half-way point so that I could try to get the two remaining CAPITALs without crosses. Not that that should have been hard, but I have to admit that with B-E-R in place, my first (fleeting) thought was, "Wait, BERlin?"

The parallel BABYBUMPS and SNOWSUITS is priceless. One of those things that no one warns the Upper Midwestern potential parent about, at least not this one ("Thinking of having a baby? Do you realize you have years of SNOWSUIT-stuffing ahead of you?"). Seared into memory are the SNOWSUIT-resistance techniques of a collapsed-on-the-floor toddler who doesn't want to go home from a play date: alternating the Floppy Rag Doll gambit with the Stiff as a Board maneuver. And after that you still had to deal with the boots.

Do-overs: My bacon came in a Slice, and I considered "dorm" row to get the O in O ROMEO, which, however, would have violated the reveal.

@Christina Iverson, I'm looking forward to your next one. Congratulations on the debut!

oldactor 11:24 AM  

I'm old enough to remember when old cars had "vents", those little triangular windows you could open for air.
Didn't take long tho' cause vreamon doesn't make much sense.

By the way, I've been wondering if I'm the oldest one on this blog. I'm 87. Can anyone top that?

Anonymous 11:43 AM  

Rebecca said...Before I go - some shameless promotion - if you're in California and a fan of crosswords and comedy check out Zach Sherwin's Crossword Show - it is a show like nothing else you've ever seen and the grid is by yours truly.

I just bought a ticket for the August 7 show! How could I not? The theatre is a mere 2 miles from my house!

This will be my first crossword related Outing since seeing Wordplay in the theater years ago.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

@Frog Prince Kisser 5:01AM
I see what you did with those hidden startup capitals. Did you mean Male as a fifth one? Very clever - very funny!

OffTheGrid 11:59 AM  

Randy-"I can't put my arms down!"

Mom-"Well, put your arms down when you get to school"

I will join those who dislike BABYBUMP. Equally distasteful are "baby mama" and "baby daddy". YUCCH!

RooMonster 12:01 PM  

Hey All !
Fun CAPITAL puz. Tuesdays are starting to ramp up a bit lately.

Thought of you with all those damn car clues! :-) And PDIDDY and Snoop Dogg (who went by Snoop Lion for a bit) are indeed two different people. Snoop is a Steelers fan, so he's OK in my book. :-)

A nice debut, still have to DREAM ON for mine. I SAY!


Z 12:04 PM  

Best IT GIRL song ever. it is from 1978 but the bite applies still today.

@Joaquin - “Rock” means so much more than just “wear.” In scale it is “feast” as opposed to just “eat.” Is your complaint about the word or that it gets used when it doesn’t apply?

@Ethan Taliesin - I think the early week game is usually more along the lines of “how do these theme answers relate?” Almost never does getting the theme help with the solve. Some solvers pointedly avoid the revealer to see if they can figure out the theme themselves. The only times getting the theme helps with the solve are the occasional Thursday and Sunday.

Joaquin 12:55 PM  

@Z - As it was originally used, "rock" did, indeed, mean more than just wear; it suggested "stylin' PLUS". But the term has become so overused and shopworn that now its use simply means "has on". And I'm tired of it! Plus, why we need to know what anyone else is wearing is beyond me (the exception being Jake from State Farm!).

Masked and Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Capital idea. But … sure, use up all the easy capital startups, why don't yah? Chistina darlin didn't leave the next constructioneer much well-known material, for a Capitals II followup puz.

Some mighty good suggestions from @kitshef and @Frog Prince Kisser and @Muse darlin, tho. Gives m&e hope…
Sure wish OTTAWA had more meat on its bones to pick at, tho. More NYTPuz folks have heard of OTTAWA, than MAPUTO.

Great debut puz! Makes all us puzjunkies flat-out obsess on findin more themers. It's like @Muse done sprinkled magic starter fluid all over us. A weird, unendin form of Capital punishment, sorta.

staff weeject pick: XII. Nice friendly RRN.
fave fillins included: BDAYS. GINUP. PDIDDY. SNOWSUITS. Luved themer RIGAMAROLE, too boot.

Thanx and congratz, Ms. Iverson. Hope to see U start up -- and finish off -- some more of these lil gems, real soon.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Teedmn 1:01 PM  

I took a while to see the cities because I went with the Starting Capitals of the theme answers and was wondering how BS (see 47A) was going to play. PARISH the thought.

I don't eat bacon so I was serving it by the Slice. This led to being stunned with a lASE (hmm, that's new, I thought) but 17A's iUIN ruined that for me. Good night IRENE!

Christina Iverson, congratulations!

Baby bump blues 1:06 PM  

I thought this was a wonderful debut puzzle. I may be the outlier on the term baby bump. I think this is kind of a replacement for “she is “showing”. Not to be confused with the concept that @LMS brought up, which is...don’t speak to a woman’s pregnancy until you are told by them that they are. No conversation should raise the mere possibility of pregnancy nor should there be an assumption question opener, “when are you due?”. No one should ever say...”hey, I see you have a baby bump....when are you due” either. At any rate, I think we can all agree that the term is preferable to “big baby belly” or “you look like you’ve got a watermelon stuffed under clothes” !

Joe Dipinto 1:16 PM  

Laura is the face in the misty light
Footsteps that you hear down the hall

The body of Laura Hunt had been found at P. Diddy's estate, and Sam Spade was there questioning some of the guests from Diddy's annual Romeo Romeo Party -- to gain entrance you had to repeat your name, if you could remember it. The It Girls were all there: Mae, Irene, and Dinah, each looking foxier than the next. A voice Spade recognized wafted from the distance.

The laugh that floats on a summer night
That you can never quite recall

Sam knew that voice. Could it really be...? No -- it was Rhoda, who had hired him to find her stolen dented Tesla last year. She sashayed into the room in a cunning teal sheath with osier trim, sporting a visible baby bump. "Hola, Sam" she exhaled, and laughed. "Soaking up the atmo?"

"Whose is that?" Sam cracked, gesturing toward her midriff. "Bernie Sanders's?"

Rhoda laughed again, and perched herself coyly on the piano stool. "It's the parish priest's. Wanna play some tennis, wink wink?"

Sam ignored her disgusting euphemisms. "What time did you get here?"

"Ex eye eye, baby, ex eye eye. Best time to arrive anywhere. Everything starts up at ex eye eye, isn't that right girls?" The It Girls giggled. "I took the train from San Enero."

And you see Laura on a train that is passing through
Those eyes, how familiar they seem

Sam remembered a train station encounter with Laura several years ago. They were both wearing snowsuits and shared a cab to the strip. Suddenly his memories were jolted by the sound of a commotion in the other room.

The door opened and in stumbled Laura Hunt herself, followed by the CSIs who had been tasked with the rigamarole of gathering evidence. "Hello, Sam. They thought I was dead but I'm not. Let's get out of here. I say, there's a debut puzzle in the paper by Christina Iverson that I simply *must* solve, I hear it's capital."

Sam stared at her. Why did she suddenly take on a British accent? He was sure this was a ruse.

"Dream on, sugar," he snarled. "I'm opting to go to Brad Pitt's house. He invited me and not you, nyah nyah."

She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura, but she's only a dream

Why did she have to ruin my evening, Sam thought as he walked past Frat Row. "Taxi!" he called, snapping his fingers. It would be a long ride to Brad Pitt's house, but he'd brought a book, "The Maltese Horus", to read on the way.

pabloinnh 2:13 PM  


Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

Doug Kalish 3:07 PM  


JC66 3:30 PM  

@Joe D

Great job!

I think Sam might have forgotten the GREEN PAINT. ;-)

Nancy 3:42 PM  

So funny, @Joe D! Really inspired! I laughed out loud at ex eye eye. But you missed one guest at the Romeo Romeo party where everyone has to repeat their names. "To" (pronounced "toe") was there. He was one of the last guests to arrive. Guest #63.

Ethan Taliesin 4:46 PM  

@Z Yeah, you're right, but it doesn't mean I agree with it. Guess it was more of a gripe. How much enjoyment do I get out of a early-week theme? None.. ..unless it's some niche weirdness I happen to be really interested in. Today's WSJ's crossword theme was things that have a string attached, but that gave the constructor more to work with. It was better

I suspect these early-week themes compromise the quality of the puzzles--and for what? So we can say "that's very clever the constructor could shoehorn all that stuff in there"? The trade-off is a lousy deal, in my opinion.

Point taken with your remark about constructors often wanting the solver to figure out the theme in the end, and I do love me a good meta at the finish, but mostly these themes are not worth a SOU.

Joe Dipinto 6:33 PM  

Thanks, all, you are very kind.

@Nancy -- Well, I was sure to miss something. Maybe Toto left the party before Sam arrived. I've heard P. Diddy doesn't serve the best canine canapés.

@Brit solves NYT 8:57 -- I've only ever seen it as RIGMAROLE as well. The King Arthur character sings the word in "How To Handle A Woman" in "Camelot", and it's a very smooth three syllables. It would sound awkward with a fourth.

BobL 6:55 PM  


Just wow!

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

I also thought it was RIGMAROLE but finally had enough cross letters that I surrendered to RIGAMAROLE.

albatross shell 8:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn P. 9:01 PM  

Autochthonous Dakota

albatross shell 9:16 PM  

You have to love that at least, yes?
Go back to LMS's post from Sunday on meters.
Rinse, repeat.
S sure likes to serve up the repeats. If he plays pingpong that way, he might be easy pickings. But 3 times the same, fourth different isn't a bad strategy. Or save the switch for crunch time. But I think he likes training us. Create an addiction. Good marketing. Ask WV etal.

The theme is a bit obscure. I noticed PARIS and BERN while solving and still took a few minutes to get the theme. Doh.

I'm fine with FOXIER meaning sexier or more clever, and the sexier you are the easier it is to be more clever.

PARISHPRIESTS in mystery books, whether detectives or murderers, are seldom green paint.

Mary Jane 9:29 PM  

The objection to “baby bump” is a refusal to acknowledge that a pregnant woman is carrying a human child and not a rhinoceros, thus
making it more palatable to kill.

Adam 9:58 PM  

I thought it was completely meh. Loved RIGAMAROLE, DREAM ON, PRO TIP, GIN UP (yes, it's something people say), but SOYS? CSIS? OSIER and LOME (to be fair, they were inferrable from the crosses, but really?)?

Liked some of it, didn't love all of it.

Runs with Scissors 11:43 PM  

Weird. Bernie made me gag.

Other than that, typical Tuesday. Good solve.

Mark, in Mickey's North 40

albatross shell 12:42 AM  

@maryjane 929pm
Yeah, right

Burma Shave 9:47 AM  


during that RIGAMAROLE in the SHED.
Her BABYBUMP'S now what's DRED,
so by the PARISHPRIESTS they were WED.


rondo 10:14 AM  

Better than many Tuesdays, at least that's what ISAY.

Admit ITGIRLS, who's FOXIER than yeah BABY LAURA Linney?

Even the RRN and PDIDDY BDAYS didn't RUIN this puz.

spacecraft 10:45 AM  

A debut that shows some promise but is still rough around the edges. Theme & execution are fine; the original 18-across was "rigmarole," but the extra A has become an acceptable alternate. I like this crossing: can BERNIESANDERS become president? DREAMON!

Love BABYBUMP but agree the term should be left unsaid. Like our guest blogger, I never heard of "GINUP." Sounds too much like "chin up." It's when the fill gets shorter that things get a bit wonky. How many SOYS can there be? ATMO? And especially LOME: there's one that clearly doesn't belong in a Tuesday grid.

Several ITGIRLS crowd the DOD stage today, but in a macabre sense of timing, RHODA appears on the heels of star Valerie Harper's passing, so in honor she gets the title.

I think, with a PROTIP or two, Ms. Iverson can do this. For the STARTUP, she earns a par.

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

Struggled with rigamarole. But am I the only one who never heard of osier?

rondo 11:57 AM  

@anon 10:46 - OSIER is a word almost nobody has heard of, however for xword fans it is fairly well known 'crosswordese'. It has a bunch of vowels that work well with other fill. For some reason I associate it with the singer (H)OSIER.

rondo 11:59 AM  

OOPs I guess it's Hozier. Vowel arrangement and sound alike.

Jaime 12:40 PM  

I suppose a qualifier would help. In the Army I was an Arabic linguist and so it would be natural for people to assume that I spoke other languages as well. ;)

leftcoast 2:47 PM  

Very impressive debut by Christina I. and very nice write-up by Rebecca F. First-rate performances all around, with Christina of course in the lead role.

Got a pleasurable "aha" from the revealer which spotlighted the four European capital cities.

Unknown Togolese city of LOME was on its own as an outlier. Egyptian god HORUS a was new one too.

BABYBUMPS and SNOWSUITS were delightful bonuses.

Thank you, ladies.

wcutler 3:22 PM  

A rose wine I had recently is called RIGAMAROLE, spelled this way. It's the first wine name I've been able to remember.

Diana, LIW 4:15 PM  

So...what do Romeo, Parish priests, Rhoda, Tesla, Bernie Sanders, and Romeo have in common? (Hint - "not" in common with Oreos and Nova (Lox) )

Why - the Rigamarole of this puzzle, that's what!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for the **!* Oncologist to call back (don't call us, we'll call...those who wait)

Diana, LIW 4:17 PM  

PS - I agree with @Rondo - even I, a crossword baby, have seen OSIERs. But ONLY in crosswords.

Diana, LIW

rainforest 4:46 PM  

Very nice puzzle for a Tuesday, particularly for a debut. Good theme which I didn't pick up on until the spot-on revealer.

I first learned the term as RIG_MAROLE, but of course lazy Americanese rules, just like "pentathAlon" from yesterday. Anyway, we'd have lost a capital if it was spelt correctly.

There was much in this puzzle to GIN UP interest in solving - among those I liked were BERNIE SANDERS, TESLA coil, STASIS, HORUS, and DREAM ON.

Well done.

Nullifidian 1:21 AM  

Writing late from syndi-land.

I liked the puzzle, but I got hung up in the north partly because of RIGAMAROLE (which I'd always spelled without the second A) and partly because of IT GIRLS. Edie Sedgwick is before my time and I've somehow gone without ever having heard of Kendall Jenner (or forgetting about her directly after having heard of her, which is something I'll try to do again now).

The only criticism I have to make is that some of it had awkward plurals that seemed like autofill, and LOME was far too obscure for a Tuesday, though admittedly it was easily inferred. Still, I think a better approach would have been to have BTU as the across and BRAT and TOME as the two downs.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP