In the Underworld Offenbach opera / SUN 7-14-19 / Trendy superfood / Numerical prefix from Grek for monster / Gloria in Madagascar films / Bygone monitor for short / Classical personification of ideal human beauty / Overlord for battle of Normandy / Computer guru informally / Old dentist's supply

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Constructor: Caitlin Reid

Relative difficulty: Easy (9:02)

THEME: "Are We Finished?" — "R" is added to the end ("finish") of familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued wackily:

Theme answers:
  • "IS THIS A BAD TIMER?" (23A: "Should I not use my oven clock?"?)
  • WORKS FROM HOMER (35A: The "Iliad" and the "Odyssey"?)
  • PICK UP THE PACER (52A: Give a ride to an Indiana hoopster?)
  • WATCH YOUR TONER (75A: Printer's low-ink alert?)
  • TOOK THE PLUNGER (89A: What a plumber did for a clogged drain?)
  • FIVE-SECOND RULER (105A: World's shortest-reigning monarch?)
Word of the Day: APPLET (48D: Mini-program)
  1. a very small application, especially a utility program performing one or a few simple functions. (google)

    "there's a useful control applet which can be used to center the picture"
• • •

Hello. It is I, the Rex Parker of "Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle," newly returned from the hinterlands of the U.S. southwest, tired but rejuvenated and ready to resume blogging duties, sir. Was supposed to be back yesterday (i.e. Friday) afternoon, but got a text early Friday morning saying "sorry, your flight was canceled, no, we have no explanation, we've rebooked you for tomorrow, enjoy your extra day in Colorado, no we won't reimburse you the cost for another day of rental car, have a nice day" (paraphrasing). So we went on a long walk in Longmont, CO (home of my sister) and saw blue herons and killdeer and literally hundreds of prairie dogs, most of whom just stared us down with a "keep moving, pardner" kind of gaze. Then we watched three episodes of "Stranger Things 3" and read our respective books and later bought my whole family pan-Asian takeout for dinner, then got up at 3:45 a.m. today (Saturday) to catch a plane back to NY. And that's just the last 36 hours of unplanned vacation—there were 10 days of planned vacation before that: Boulder! Santa Fe! Flagstaff! MOAB! (4) I solved the puzzle most days, and was happy to see the guest bloggers had it all pretty well covered—I didn't have to deal with a technical emergency once! Though one writer did worry that their write-up was "too short" (!?). I just laughed and ignored that concern. People will write and complain about allllllll kinds of stuff, but "too short"—nah, haven't heard that one yet. Anyway, I really enjoyed hearing so many different voices (especially since they were by and large judicious, i.e. in agreement with me). I'm back to blogging for two weeks, then away again for an other-side-of-the-family trip to Montreal, then home for good after that. I'll tell you about my trip out west here and there, as it occurs to me, over the coming week or so, as it seems relevant. But for now, back to puzzle-blogging.

Yes, we are finished, and not a second too soon, as this one wore out its thematic welcome pretty quickly. Hard to think of a simpler theme concept (it's just an add-a-letter), and the parameters aren't narrow at all, i.e. there are way more potential themers than one could ever use in one puzzle, e.g. phrases ending in BONE/R, STONE/R, LIFE/R, GAME/R, etc.). Because the theme is so simple and loose, I expect the theme answers to *kill* every single time, but the only one that really struck me as  funny and original is FIVE-SECOND RULER. Everything else is more of a shrug. Yeah, it works, but so what. The wackiness just isn't wacky enough. You can't carry a Sunday-size wacky-phrase theme with so little in the way of wacky. On the plus side, the grid is very clean, and the longer non-theme stuff is often quite good (see, for example, PET PROJECT, PHOTO BOMBS, COMBO MEALS, "OH, GROW UP!"). So I didn't groan and ugh the way I often do when puzzles are poorly filled. But I never got over my initial theme-inspired ENNUI (38D: It makes you yawn) (btw I think of ENNUI as somewhat deeper and more existential than mere boredom, but we'll leave that hair to split for another time).

Not much in the way of difficulty here. Most of my trouble, such as it was, came in the middle of the grid, specifically at the end of PICK UP THE PACER (which I initially thought ended in "HOOSIER"). I didn't know that ISLAM's calendar began in A.D. 622 (maybe 622 CE is more appropriate for this clue) and so APPLET, CLOTHE (oh, a verb!) (54D: Attire), and esp. MAU (49D: Egyptian ___ (cat)) gave me mini-fits. I also had BETTER and RICHER before POORER (64D: Comparative in a wedding vow).

Five things:
  • 114A: Sign of a packed house (SRO) — Sold Right Out!*
  • 66D: Computer guru, informally (IT PRO) — not great, but sooo much better than ITGUY
  • 35D: Got taken for a ride (WAS HAD) — me, for what felt like hours: "WASH AD ... WASH AD ... what is a WASH AD? ... wait, is it WASHED? ... no, it's definitely LAMA (57A: Teacher of the dharma), so ... WASH AD? ... what is a WASH AD?"
  • 79D: Old dentist's supply (ETHER) — yeesh, how old *is* this dentist?
  • 85D: Powerpoints? (OUTLETS) — I had OUTAGES. Speaking of OUTAGES, hope my NYC readers are surviving today's. Stay cool and safe, Gothamites!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*I know this isn't technically "correct," please, no letters

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:06 AM  

So many recent Sunday puzzles have been tedious slogs that provide me very little enjoyment. But today’s I found to be fun; easy, but fun. And picturing Rex’s head exploding as he made his way to his safe space after filling in 42D, didn’t distract from the enjoyment at all. And apparently, it didn't affect Rex, as he didn't mention it.

puzzlehoarder 12:44 AM  

MAU was a bit unusual and I had to think a second or two before I understood what PHOTOBOMBS meant. Otherwise the challenge was staying awake to finish this long and easy puzzle.

Nice pairing of LEMME and GIMME.

Joe Dipinto 12:57 AM  

Rex is back, just in time for Bastille Day! Play La Marseillaise!

Bonjour to @mericans in Paris! I was hoping the puzzle might sport a Bastille theme, but the only French we get is a measly BERET and the cancan from "ORPHEUS In The Underworld". And RENÉE Fleming, who isn't even French. Quel dommage, n'est ce-pas?

Anyway, to the puzzle. Better than most Sundays of late, though nothing will beat last week's chess game. The problem with the themers here is that once you have one figured out, it's too easy to get the rest of them. From the title I already suspected the "r" gimmick, and as soon as I had IS IT A BAD TIMER, I could immediately see the rest of the endings: HOMER, PACER, etc. -- the clues pretty much just gave them away.

Still, it was not unenjoyable. PET PROJECT, CALIPHS, ONION ROLLS, CODE WORD were all good entries. My favorite clue is the one for HIT MAN. I'm surprised Rex didn't complain about the ? in the PHOTO BOMBS clue, since it's not one of the themers.

Let's celebrate le 14 juillet with a rousing chorus of La Vie En Rose. I'll sing the lyrics, and you repeat them after me. Ready?

Me first:
La la la la la la la, la la la la la la

Okay, now you...Oh, very good!! Next part:

la la la la la laaah laaah

Now you...

jae 1:24 AM  

Easy-medium. My biggest hang up, was mOIre before TOILE.

Simple breezy Sun. with some amusing theme answers, so, once again, liked it more than @Rex did.

RLP 1:29 AM  

SRO=standing room only
RAWR? Hmm.

Anonymous 1:46 AM  

Can we talk about ROWR? I have never seen this anywhere ever. It is RAWR, if anything at all.

Even when I had KRANOS for Zeus's father, I figured it was some weird variant I hadn't seen (I usually see Cronos or maybe Cronus) rather than come up with the incomprehensible ROWR. Just. no.

chefwen 3:03 AM  

Welcome home, Rex, we missed you. Sounds like you had a fun holiday.

This was a cute Sunday puzzle. A little too easy, but light and breezy. After the first added R I just went ahead and added ER to all the long ones. I usually like a little more “trick” to Sundays, but this was fine for a change of pace.

Had a few write overs like açaí before KALE at 21A and yes no before GIMME at 104A, but other than putting the right word in the wrong spot, I do that a lot and it pisses me off, that was about it.

I did laugh out loud at 78A A POP.

Avatar was chuffed to see her name in print at 101D.

@mericans in Paris 5:23 AM  

Welcome back, @Rex! We'll be in SW Colorado, for my nephew's wedding, in a couple of weeks.

Mrs. 'americans picked up the newspaper and completed it on the metro and while waiting for and getting her hair done, so I had to wait until this morning to do it on the iPad. Took me 10 Rexes! OH DEERE!

The themers, while not whacky, were in a couple of cases amusing, IMO. IS THIS A BAD TIMER tickled me, and as somebody who now WORKS FROM HOME, I liked how adding an R changed the phrase's meaning completely. And, like @Rex, my first guess on 52A was PICK UP a hoosiER.

Anybody else notice that HATS HANG from HANG?

As a recent retiree, my first impulse on 3D was "coffee break", but THAT'S one letter too long.

One nit: I would never say that PULP is an OJ choice. "With PULP", OK. By the way, the grocery store across the street seems to always have "sans PULP" in stock, but hardly ever does it have "avec PULP", much less with extra PULP. I realize that some folks' digestive systems might have trouble with PULP, but OJ without it is mainly sugar-water.

Speaking of edibles, I was surprised that COD was the answer to 106D. According to this recipe for fish tacos, many kinds of fish are acceptable, including halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, flounder, grouper or tilapia, as well as COD. I had assumed that Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) were found only in waters considerably north of Mexico and Southern California, but upon further research, I see that their range reaches as far south as Santa Monica. So this mid-Atlantic person learned something new.


Lewis 6:06 AM  

Cute theme and a solid solving experience, with bits of flak causing me to stutter step rather than glide on cruise control through this. Stutter stepping builds character and makes the solve a deed rather than simply a get-through.

SWADDLE is a great word. Constructors, please don't overuse it and knock it off my pedestal!

And Caitlin, thank you, and keep throwing down that precious flak. More, please!

mmorgan 6:30 AM  

The themers didn’t do all that much for me, but I really liked the puzzle as a whole and had a very pleasant solving experience.

I knew from the first “wacky” in the write-up that Rex was back. I enjoyed most of the guest bloggers, but Rex’s return gave me an odd sensation of comfort. And I’m not a binger, but it’s very easy to watch three straight of Stranger Things 3.

Much more sustainable fun here today than the usual Sunday. Nice puzzle!

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

Even Urban Dictionary, which seems to have definitions for just about any combination of letters, can't really get enthusiastic about ROWR.

Otherwise, remarkable free of dubious clues or answers.

pabloinnh 7:50 AM  

This seemed to me to be more or less a throwback sort of a Sunday, reminded me of the kind of Sunpuzzes I used to do when I started doing them (cough) years ago. Find the theme, see if you can guess the long answer just from the clue. "Sundays Will Never Be the Same"? Or maybe they will.

All in all enjoyable for me. Started from the middle bottom and worked my way up and finished much faster than I at first thought I would, pleasantly surprising myself and leaving way too much time for all the work that needs doing outside. Duty calls, and no, my wife is not named Duty.

Thanks for the fun CR. Hey Rex--have fun in Montreal. One of my favorite cities. Have a smoked meat sandwich for me.

Lljones 7:50 AM  

Same question as @anonymous: what the hell is ROWR? (Saw one definition - Rehabilitation Oasis for Women Recovering - but that doesn't seem right.)

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

I don't get ROWR at all, nor RAWR. Can someone explain? The puzzle was quite easy--except for this!

Mohair Sam 7:55 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Klazzic 8:17 AM  

Welcome back, Rexxie ole boy. It's not the same without your daily snark. Found the puzzle quite enjoyable yet spent way over the five MINUTE rule with the tortuous ROWR. I wanted ROAR so bad I could taste it. But, alas, it was not to be unless EAES became a newly discovered flock of creatures. Also wanted KELP instead of KALE, kelp being the new trendy entree (at least here in San Francisco). Yes, yes, yes: the theme was easy but nonetheless very clever.

Greg 8:24 AM  

Totally agree on the ROWR comment, it seemed wildly random to me. But apparently it was used in the nyt crossword just two years ago so at least there's a precedent, I guess.

OffTheGrid 8:42 AM  

Glad to have Rex back. Enjoyed the puzzle.

Appropriate to 37D, here's a Seinfeld segment I always liked a lot.

QuasiMojo 8:52 AM  

Fun easy lazy Sunday. The only one that tickled my funny "bone/r", to quote Rex (welcome back; cute new pic, MEOWWWW!), was "Works From Homer." Or Hunger, if you're a kvetch.

@JoeDiPinto, aren't those actually the lyrics to "Those Were The Days"?

I was half-expecting you to cite Helen Reddy's "I am Woman. Hear me ROWR."

Lisa puzzle lady 8:52 AM  

What the heck is ROWR. I had roar and was stuck there for a lowng time. Just, what!?!?

Nancy 9:14 AM  

Thought for the day: Going around a puzzle filling in "S"s for plurals tells you just about nothing. But going around a puzzle filling in "R"s at the ends of answers tells you just about everything you need to know. And though I normally don't skip around puzzles, once I had the theme of this one, I went gleefully around putting in the final "R"s of theme answers and then filling in the spaces around them.

This made a pretty easy puzzle a great deal easier.

The funny phrases were all smooth and accurately clued. There were some nice non-theme clues as well: STEREO; BERET; CAMP; HITMAN. There are more, but no time to go through them: I have a tennis match to watch. Nice job, Caitlin -- a fun theme well executed.

OffTheGrid 9:18 AM  

I'll try again. Seinfeld

Carola 9:25 AM  

For me, a ho-hum theme until the (silent) yelp of delight at FIVE SECOND RULER. Nice Downs!
@Rex, loved your dentist bullet.

Teedmn 9:26 AM  

WORKS FROM HOMER is my favorite with FIVE SECOND RULER a close SECOND. This was clued straightforwardly, mostly, so pretty easy, but it is clean and clever. My favorite clue was "How balloons are price" = A POP. 9D's "Cover-up for a robbery" was pretty good also.

Maybe a few too many animated movie answers (EELS, COCO, HIPPO). WASHAD looks weird in the grid, though I entered it from the clue rather than seeing it from crosses. I didn't know ENO wrote the Microsoft sound on a Mac, which is fun.

ROWR is how I would write that kitty sound so no problem here.

Thanks, Caitlin, for a fun and easy Sunday solve.

Z 9:40 AM  

I agree that there is room for wackier, but these were fine. And the fill was much better than I’ve come to expect from a NYTX Sunday, so thumbs up all around.

Chuckled at my boyhood hometown appearing. And, of course, for TULIPS. Nigh on impossible to explain how truly bizarre that festival is if you think about it too deeply.

@‘mericans - COD got the slightly arched eyebrow here, too. I knew what the puzzle wanted but to my taste buds it is all about the spices, not the specific fish.

Regarding ROWR, is there such a thing as incorrectly spelling onomatopœia? I think RaWR more closely replicates how I hear that sound, but ROWR strikes me as okay, too.

Still chuckling at the assumptions exposed by REACTions to a fairly innocent conversation yesterday about whether or not a particular word is insulting in common usage. Since so many of you seem to care, Dutch on my father’s side, but my maternal grandmother immigrated from Spain. Unlike my mom, all her siblings married Mexican-Americans.

Suzie Q 9:41 AM  

I was ready for a nice fun puzzle and this one fit the bill. The clues had a light-hearted feel overall. I liked all of the theme answers esp. five second ruler. In a house with two dogs that rule takes on a little different slant since no food ever lasts five seconds once it hits the floor.
My favorite clue/answer was the balloon/a pop. Hi @ chefwen.
Welcome home Rex. It sounds like the break was good for you.

Nora Bensahel 9:48 AM  

Your list of answers en français forgot 12D, MER. :)

Rowr Rowr Rowr Your Bowt 9:56 AM  

Best Sunday puzzle ever.

JT 10:01 AM  

Fun and clever. I like that OH GROW UP crosses WATCH YOUR TONE(R)!

Joe Welling 10:05 AM  

A printer that is low on ink would never give any sort of alert about toner.

RooMonster 10:07 AM  

Hey All !
ROWR about the kerfuffle over that. I put that in from R__R. Have actually never seen in as RaWR. Different folks and all that. Or maybe I'm just odd. (Probably...)

Anyway, an add-a-letter puz that was pretty NEAT. Got a chuckle REACTion out of most of them. As @mmorgan said, as soon as I saw "wacky" in the write-up, I said, "Rex is back!"

59D, what, now I have to be a Rocket Scientist? Har.

Writeovers, SHOElACe-SHOERACK (which held up the PICK, as had P_CE_, thinking it might be PACERP___PACER, picturing the AMC car), acai-KALE (is acai passe?), tuxeS-LIMOS (embarrassing as a LIMO driver I never seem to get that answer correct), ITguy-ITPRO.

NE corner held me up for a bit. The tuxeS first not helping, and for some reason, LIMBS just wouldn't come to me. Did have HONE, but again, the ole brain shut down and couldn't see an animal from HI___. Ugh. So changed it to tONE, and put tIger in. Finally realizing my lightly written in CoCoa might possibly be CACAO, my non-musical knowledge broke open and revealed to me ATEMPO, which finally LEMME see HIPPO, and I was able to complete the corner.

And, no errors! Two days in a row of complete error-FREE puzs. Look out! On a roll!

Fun clue for ROGET. DRNO popular as of late. TOILE I believe finally imbedded into the mind. Thanks previous crosswords!


Anonymous 10:11 AM  

Don't like ROWR either, but I get it: to be said dramatically, with a clawing motion, to describe, like meowwww, something really catty. Did like APSE x APES and AGATE x AGAVE.

davidm 10:23 AM  

This was a pleasant enough solve, pretty easy. I got IS THIS A BAD TIMER right off and the rest fell into place. It’s not even close to last week’s grand epic, the magisterial (and long-awaited, by me) fusion of a chess game with a crossword puzzle. But then, I don’t expect to encounter such a great puzzle again.

However, the solving experience was spoiled for me by 18 across, which I filled in with gritted teeth while swallowing vile curses. No, APES are NOT the “closest relatives” of humans. Rather, humans ARE apes — specifically in the subcategory Great Apes, which comprises us, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Our closest relatives are CHIMPANZEES, defined as those with whom we share a most recent common ancestor.

Give so many misconceptions among even many educated people about evolutionary biology, it’s unfortunate to see the NY Times adding to the confusion. I did, however, like the crossing of APES with ASPE.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

rowr - Urban Dictionary
exclamation. Used to express one's arousal at a person or idea. The written form of the "sexy cat growl/purr".

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

I didn't like the puzzle today. The grid was fair but the cluing (largely) uninspired. I don't mind easy, but this just felt robotic and joyless.

The puns were OK I guess.

Amelia 10:41 AM  

I don't usually love, and rarely even like, Sunday puzzles, but I really liked this one. Not because of the theme, as others have mentioned. But because it was so well-thought out and clever and fun and not working too terribly hard to "get" us. I guess if you have 4 kids under your feet, you just try to amuse people. Which is what I felt. I have to say that the theme that I loved at the first point (Timer) fell down at the second, because I knew it would end with Pacer. The clue could have been better and I bet it was, originally. But after that, it was fine.

I'm embarrassed to admit that until I read @Nancy, I didn't realize that each theme ended with an R. I just thought, like Rex did, that it was add-a-letter. I think it's because I didn't read the title OUT LOUD. Or maybe I'm just stupid.

Anyway, nice job, Caitlin. Keep it up! Rex will be happy for you because you are a girl. And I don't care what you are, as long as you deliver! (And I don't mean children.)

Aketi 10:44 AM  

What I found on urban dictionary for ROWR might be applicable to our big fat male cat, Charlie, when he starts his morning pursuit of our female cat, Faith. Faith uses the Seinfield version of ROWR as she fights him off. This is then followed by his moaning about the inevitable rejection. They are very VOCAL cats, especially at 5 am which they consider morning and I consider the middle of the night. Charlie follows the nanoSECOND RULE. Faith follows the FIVE hour or possibly even longer RULE. As a result of her picky eating habits Charlie keeps expanding. She’ll eat a few leisurely bites in the morning while Charlie is locked up on the bathroom for an hour after he gobbles down a full bowl in less than a minute. Once we release him from the bathroom she’ll decide she wants more food and escalate to swatting and biting my feet until I cave and put a bit more kibble in her bowl. Then she’ll eat one single kibble and leave the rest for Charlie. I keep wondering when that stomach of his might POP.

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

Alas, back to the nattering nabob of negativism. So refreshing to have positive, upbeat critiques for a while.

When’s that next vacation...???


David 10:58 AM  

Meow stretched out that way is not a cat sound. People of a certain age will understand it to be a patriarchal slang expression of desire for a woman, often one involved in what was called a "cat fight". In my Google search, oddly, Rowr comes right up in the Urban Dictionary as an exclamation used to express one's arousal at a person or idea. I've never heard it either.

It took me quite a while to wrap my head around com-BA-me-als, guess I've been reading too much about Odysseus lately.

Easy puzzle; as usual the theme did not grab my attention, but lots of nice fill and clueing.

Happy 14th to those who celebrate. I may well make some aioli today.

Your captcha has tiny, grainy images by the way.

Newboy 11:17 AM  

Cute! Easy! They yowled! Glad Rex did not fall victim to altitude sickness in Colorado; welcome back.

Joe Dipinto 11:31 AM  

@Quasi -- Actually I was attempting to recreate a scene from "The Cheap Detective".

Don't understand the uproar over ROWR. It's what my cats used to say, or sometimes ROWRRRR. Never "rawr", which would be pronounced "rawer" and would be a ridiculous thing for a cat to say. Unless it was unhappy with how its dinner was cooked, I guess.

Fred Romagnolo 11:58 AM  

I found it fairly easy, but interesting. Since I wasn't aware of rawr or ROWR, I just accepted it. Hands up for figuring either TOILE or mOIrE. I found 28A rather cruel, since it was used during WWII. Is Gloria a HIPPO, or the voice-over's name?

Hungry Mother 12:07 PM  

On a bus returning from Berlin to the ship, so on the phone. Fat finger gave me a typo, but I had it.

OffTheGrid 12:22 PM  

@davidm, I might have a way to salvage your enjoyment of the puzzle with respect to "APES". The clue is plural
"Humans' closest relativeS". So, collectively the apes are our closest relativeS with the chimpanzee being THE closest. Does that work?

oisk17 12:38 PM  

I had "let me" instead of "lemme" for the longest time. Lemme is a word now? I don't like the clue, which just doesn't suggest slang to me. And rowr? Google says it exists, but it held me up for a long time, since I was sure it could not be right. Otherwise, I enjoyed this one.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

35 down is WAS HAD taken for a ride. Works well.

I questioned 37 down was ROWR I don't understand it at all.

Bob D 12:41 PM  

Three comments: 1. Hate "ROWR" 2. "Was had" works but is ugly. 3. SRO = Standing Room Only.

sixtyni yogini 12:41 PM  

Lots of creative, clues and answers! 👍🏽😎🧩😎👍🏽
Needed the easy theme to get them. Balance!

davidm 1:08 PM  

@OffThwGrid, thanks, I did think of that, but no, it doesn't work for me. Since we are apes, we can't be our own closest relatives. I get what you're saying, but I don't like the Times making things vague and potentially confusing people. Since I was an editor at the New York Times for eighteen years, I'm very painstaking, particularly about Times content. Also, I made a mistake earlier; I meant to write APSE and not ASPE. See? Painstaking!

QuasiMojo 2:17 PM  

@Joe, I'd forgotten about that flick. I remember it as being hilarious. Thanks for the memories. :)

Adam 2:20 PM  

I enjoyed this one, and thought the theme answers were all pretty good. ROWR is the only way I've seen it; never RAWR. Finally and enjoyable Sunday!

Z 3:10 PM  

@davidm - I’m a member of the Z family. My closet relatives are Z’s, too.

I’ll ask again, is there such a thing as misspelling onomatopoetic words? As for @David’s claim of “patriarchal,” Huh? News flash, nothing inherently patriarchal about sexual desire.

Larry Levinson 4:04 PM  


jberg 4:34 PM  

Late afternoon driveby just to let everyone know I was here. I thought ROWR was from Claudia Cardinale in "The Pink Panther," fwiw. Anyway, as Z says, it's just a phonic representation of a sound -- not even a word, really. So no problem for me.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

Mau was a gimme, as I have two Egyptian Maus. Beautiful cats!

pete 5:23 PM  

SRO=standing room only

Nancy 6:09 PM  

Welcome back Rex! I loved this puzzle. Sure, it wasn't terrifically challenging, but for me, the most important thing for a Sunday (especially a summer Sunday) is that it be fun, and I thought this one was. I was amused by much of the cluing, "pops up in a flash" and "how balloons are priced" in particular.

Unknown 9:27 PM  

So, if it’s not “technically correct” and you feel you have to apologize, why bungle it up it in the first place and then draw attention to it?
Sorry your vacation was “extended” by a day. Better if it was continued by another year or so. Maybe more.

Runs with Scissors 9:57 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Runs with Scissors 10:40 PM  

Gotta admit, the reason for the removal is beyond me.

kitshef 10:52 PM  

Longtime readers of this blog know that SRO = Sold Right Out, and nothing else

Had "IS THIS A BAD TIMEX" for the first themer, so it too a while for me to figure out that they all ended in Rs.

Despite that, an average Sunday = easy and not particularly entertaining.

Hated the clue for SETS.

Surprised ROWR was permitted. I don't see an easy fix, though.

Anonymous 11:18 PM  


Maybe it's because you gave away two answers to tomorrow's puzzle.

Sandy McCroskey 1:24 AM  

ROWR is wridiculous.
But… Rex says nothing about it? No complaint? Did I miss something?
It's a wonder what a vacation can do.

Tom cho 9:39 AM  

I am going with the overall consensus. Easy but fun. The one thing that kept tripping me up was the use of past tense. I usually prefill the -ed in past tense clues and that was not a good idea for this puzzle. WASH AD also gave me a bit to finally “see”.

WayneS 10:56 AM  

You were in Boulder and didn't say hi? Bummer.

Beagle Girl 2:23 PM  

Always last to the party. So glad Rex is back, but love the guest bloggers. Had a lot of fun practicing RAWR - new to me. Montreal in two weeks? Me too - Rogers Cup. Still nursing broken heart over Fed losing the historic final at W. A la prochaine.

Unknown 4:04 PM  

Agree. Couldn’t fit chimps or bonobos in that space; tried PANS (genus name, pluralized) but that led to chaos.

Anonymous 5:37 PM  

I think it's supposed to be the sound a loud cat makes when you step on its tail.

A much better clue for ROWR would have been, say, "18 seats away from the stage?"

Anonymous 5:42 PM  

ROWR should have been clued as "Where to find the 18th seat from the stage, usually."

bonbonj 10:33 AM  

SRO = Standing Room Only

Unknown 1:50 PM  

Goad one 😎

spacecraft 11:46 AM  

So many times I see OFC putting down theme answers: I expect [them] to "kill" every time; not enough wackiness, etc. I wonder just what would "kill" him? This stuff is so subjective, criticism like that is hard to support. I found nothing lacking in any of today's. They did their advertised job; what else do you want? In particular, WATCHYOURTONER I thought was excellent. Have I heard that (-R, of course) from a parent to a kid? You betcha. Other delightfully in-the-language entries: THATSIT! and OHGROWUP! More of this, please, and less INAPT and other words that no one ever uses.

Pretty clean fill, as 21x21s go, and another welcome offering from the distaff side. Are more of these getting published just lately? Does WS actually LISTEN?? We can hope. DOD goes to EVA Mendes; no explanation necessary. Did it in about 7 Rexes, so there was some resistance. Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:51 PM  




rainforest 2:31 PM  

So, let's see:

A Sunday puzzle that is not too hard. Check.
Solid set of themers that are consistently risible. Check.
High-quality fill with excellent downs. Check.
Thoughtful cluing. Check.

There was a lot to like in this puzzle, and like it I did.
I asked my cat and he agreed that ROWR is the correct spelling.

Diana, LIW 4:36 PM  

My kitty Lambo likes to ROWR in places in the house where he can find an echo. The movie/play didn't lie - they know!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting and liking this puzzle's TONER

Anonymous 11:25 PM  

Nice Sunday puzzle. Solid theme, solid clues, solid answers, and a decent challenge. For her first Sunday puzzle I'd say our lady constructor nailed it.

Uke Xensen 4:52 PM  

Very easy and lacks sparkle. No imagination.

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