They don't keep their thoughts to themselves / SUN 7-21-19 / "However," in textspeak / Someone who might engage in a hobby with some frequency? / Dangerous substance that smells like bitter almonds / Org. with an Inspiration Award and an Award of Valor

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Constructor: Jason Mueller + Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: easy (6:30)

THEME: "Fifty Years On" — a tribute puzzle to the Apollo 11 moon landing

Theme answers:
  • APOLLO ELEVEN (3D: Long-distance traveler of 1969)
  • MAN ON THE MOON (14D: Achievement of 1969)
  • TRANQUILITY (23A: Name of a sea first visited in 1969)
  • ARMSTRONG (71A: Newsmaker of July 1969)
  • ONE SMALL STEP (32D: What 71-Across took in 1969, as represented literally in a corner of this puzzle)
  • ONE GIANT LEAP (36D: What 71-Across took in 1969, as represented literally in another corner of this puzzle)
  • THE EAGLE HAS LANDED (110A: Announcement of July 1969)
Word of the Day: RBG [59A: The Notorious ___ (Supreme Court Nickname)] —
[Ruth Bader] Ginsburg has been referred to as a "pop culture icon". Ginsburg's profile began to rise after O'Connor's retirement in 2006 left Ginsburg as the only serving female justice. Her increasingly fiery dissents, particularly in Shelby County v. Holder 570 U.S. 2 (2013), led to the creation of the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr and Internet meme comparing the justice to rapper The Notorious B.I.G. The creator of the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr, then-law student Shana Knizhnik, teamed up with MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon to turn the blog into a book titled Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Released in October 2015, the book became a New York Times bestseller. In 2015, Ginsburg and Scalia, known for their shared love of opera, were fictionalized in Scalia/Ginsburg, an opera by Derrick Wang. [Wikipedia, emphasis mine]
• • •
Christopher Adams here, filling in once again for Rex. Fun fact: today's puzzle was originally scheduled to be by me, but then it got pushed back to next week because this puzzle needed to run today. So that means I don't get to self-blog my own puzzle. It also means I had a pretty good hunch of what the theme was going to be, although the title may or may not have given things away, depending on how much you've seen in the news about the anniversary.

In any case, this one definitely played easy, and about the only stumbling block I hit was right at the beginning. After filling in TSA (an agency I don't care for, with a cutesy clue I don't care for either), my brain decided that the [Long-distance traveler of 1969] was ALAN SHEPHERD; folks more knowledgeable about this sort of thing will realize that I messed up both the spelling of his name (it's SHEPARD) and the landing he was in (his was a few years later). But thankfully, lots of easy answers like ROE and OTOH, coupled with some old standbys like ETO, OSLO, PALEO, etc., led to me fixing that error very quickly.

I didn't particularly like the spelled out ELEVEN (instead of APOLLO 11), but symmetry dictated it. OTOHI did like the ONE SMALL STEP / ONE GIANT LEAP symmetry; I've never noticed before that they're the same length. From those, filled in the lower corners very quickly, thanks to the theme clues, and then most of the bottom. I'd like to call attention to the bottom middle, which is (a pair of helper squares aside) essentially a 5x7 region, and filled very cleanly, and with some good answers. FOOD CHAIN is my favorite there, but IDLESSE and DELTA (whose clue, [Dirty mouth?], I absolutely loved) ensured that I was SOLD ON that area.

Most of the theme answers in this one filled themselves in pretty fast, especially once I got confirmation on the theme. None came as fast THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, though, which I dropped in without any crosses. Despite being the last theme answer, though, I encountered it maybe a third of the way into solving, thanks to hopping around the grid. But I like that it's at the end; it's like the entry itself is landing on the bottom of the grid.

Otherwise, though, the rest of the solve was just that—a solve. Not too much stood out, good or bad. Finished up in the center, which was a bit closed off from the rest of the puzzle. Would've liked to have that connect more to the rest of the puzzle, or at least contain some longer answers; definitely felt a bit choppy, and AMBIT (a word I could do without) didn't help either. But RBG, COOKIE JAR, JOR-EL, even CYANIDE (more for the fun fact in the clue than for the word itself) were enjoyable, so I can't complain too much about that area.

Also: that center area kinda looks like a face; not a happy face, not a frowny face, just a face. It almost wants to say that "yeah, this was a puzzle" and nothing else; I'm a little more upbeat about this one. It may not have knocked my socks off, but it was cleanly filled (which is always my top priority) and, unlike some recent tribute puzzles, didn't make me wince and groan by stuffing way too much in there. And sure, this one may feel a bit encyclopedic at times (especially with the repeated "1969" in clues, which wore a little while solving), but at the end of the day, there's nothing that feels out of place here, nothing that feels missing, and the little touches in the bottom corners are a nice bonus.

  • OMANI (65D: Nationality seen in most of Romania) — More of a cryptic clue than a normal clue; OMANI is literally found in Romania, sandwiched between the R and the A. That said, definitely on the easier side of cryptic clues, and with fair crossings everywhere, it's the perfect place to use such a clue.
  • BEER ME (88A: Request for a cold one) — Debut yesterday, second time today. I've noticed Will has a tendency to phase in some newer answers with short intervals between appearances, which is a good way to reinforce learning; in any case, given the weather, make it a really cold one.
  • NBA TEAM (95A: Wizards, but not witches)  — The masked capital strikes again! (Masked capital meaning that the first word is a proper noun and is not just capitalized because it's the first word in the clue.)
  • SATS (4D: 800 things?) — Didn't care for this. For one, the clue doesn't have a surface meaning w/o the question mark, so it's not good wordplay. For another, the SAT isn't out of 800; only the individual sections (but not the essay!) are. Finally, it's just a meh plural initialism; with SITS ATOP nearby, I might've changed this.
  • MAIA (90D: Mother of Hermes) — Forget Roman Greek mythology, let's clue this as American ice dancer and Olympic medalist Maia Shibutani, who turned 25 yesterday, and who  also merits a tribute puzzle.
Yours in puzzling, Christopher Adams, Court Jester of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Graham 12:16 AM  

No mention of the ASTI / TATI cross? Seems like that was the outlier — two obscure proper nouns crossing at a vowel that could plausibly be A, E, or O.

Z 12:19 AM  

Is that a man in the moon grinning at us?

Runs with Scissors 12:25 AM  

Blast from my past. Loved it. All the Apollo-related stuff was great.

TSA & TROOPERS right outta the gate was off-putting. NPR later was kind of a drag, too.

TELEPATHS in the COOKIE JAR. Har. I had a NOTION this was gonna be space-centric.

The outlier IN/"STEP"/MOMS in the extreme SW was weird. Only one rebus entry???

The only objection I have in the entire puzzle is IDLESSE at 117A. I have never seen that word in the wild, nor in a puzzle. I call BS.

BEER ME again!!!

Still liked it. Lots.

Mark, in Mickey's North 40

travis 12:36 AM  

A lot of Manchester United fans consider Man U derogatory and a reference to the Munich plane crash. I'm not 100% convinced[plenty of people seem to use it in a non-derogatory way], but I try not to use it anyway. And as a rival fan, I have to chuckle at calling them a powerhouse at least as far as the last 5 years are concerned.

jae 1:09 AM  

Easy. Nicely done, liked it.

@Z - Yes, I believe it is.

Thomas 1:25 AM  

Or a man ON he moon?

Joe Dipinto 1:37 AM  

Welcome back, BEER ME! It's been too long -- how you be?

Chain, chain, chain
Chain of foods

No, that song was from 1968. This seemed like a nice old-style Sunday puzzle, vaguely reminiscent of a Liz Gorski creation but with less intricacy and finesse. Though it does have idlesse. What's that saying, "less idlesse is more?" Something like that, more or less.

I actually did like the grid, but it could use a better title. "50 Years On" suggested the puzzle would have an angle of time having passed, but this is just a catalog of references from the original event. Which is fine -- just make the title more reflective of that.

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toque over the line

No, that was from 1971. I remember these things, I have a mind like a Steele strap. Which brings us to another item: what's with that LEAP thingie in the SE corner? The STEP in the SW corner has been nicely small-ized into a rebus, but is that really what a giant LEAP looks like?

To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquility

NO. That's 1968 again, Donovan to be precise.

Good catch on the cryptic clue for OMANI, Christopher, I didn't pick that up. Probably should have had a ? at the end. And yeah, there's the "face" in the middle of the grid. I like your description: not a happy face, not a frowny face, just a face. It almost wants to say that "yeah, this was a puzzle" and nothing else. I actually *think* it's supposed to be an entire man --i.e. Neil ARMSTRONG, whose name spans it from ear to ear -- with arms extending out of FOOD CHAIN and legs and feet planted on the "ground".

In any case, the theme answers are all good choices and nicely ensconced in the design. Other entries I liked: ARAMAIC, IT'S A GO, REINDEER with its funny clue, I HAD TO, CYANIDE, also for the clue, RADIO SET.

What goes up
Must come down

YES, finally! No. 3 on July 20th of 1969, by Blood, Sweat & Tears -- and a cleverly apropos clue at 6d. But the No. 1 song on July 20th, 1969 was

In the year 2525...
NOOOO! Aaah, my ears! Turn it off!!

Cool tribute puzzle, Jeff and Jason. And a cool write-up from you, Christopher. And people, beware: yes it's a marvelous night for a moondance (1970), but with the weather conditions up there, a person can develop a cold (1950). Achoo.

chefwen 3:24 AM  

@Z, I don’t think he’s grinning at us, I think he’s screaming OMG someone’s just landed on me, get him off!

Predictable but still an enjoyable puzzle. 1969 was a memorable year for me, graduated high school, was legally able to say BEER ME, and the moon landing was happening. All great memories.

Our renter’s girlfriend works for TSA in Lihue, she hates it, but it ties in nicely with our mini Hawaii theme of MAUI and OAHU.

File as fog 3:32 AM  

Awful. I’ll remember July 20 1969 in 50 years time; hopefully I’ll forget this puzzle tomorrow

SJ Austin 5:47 AM  

I quite liked this puzzle, including the cutesy stuff in the bottom corners. A nice tribute, and as you say, not overstuffed. I appreciated your posting out the bottom middle; that's the kind of thing a constructor would notice that most solvers would not appreciate. Thanks!

And yeah, security theater can GTFO, and that TSA clue is gross, especially considering the many accusations of misconduct by agents during pat-downs and in evaluating the images on the Rapiscan screeners.

Lewis 6:07 AM  
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Lewis 6:11 AM  
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Space Cadet 6:29 AM  

The face is an astronaut. You have to step back from it a bit to see it. Armstrong meant to say, "One small step for A man" but he left that part out. It makes more sense but I prefer the way he said it.

kitshef 6:54 AM  

Celebrates one of mankind’s top achievements. landing on that PALE O. Right up there with mastery over fire, public sanitation, and ice cream.

MANU is one of those places everyone should go before they die.

Liked the clue for NBA TEAM.

Ran across an article yesterday that said 6% of US Americans and 11% of millenials don't believe we landed men on the moon. That makes me something between sad and mad and feeling bad.

Sam Buggeln 6:56 AM  

Great write-up! Interesting insights from a pro constructor’s knowledge set, without all the, um, tonal, um... well, great writeup!
This is my least favorite kind of themed puzzle but it played fairly and the small step-giant leap thing was nice. I love how small the corner “step” is, but the “leap“ seems more “normal-sized” than “giant”. Can’t think of a way to actually make it giant though, so.
I def read the face as the man in the moon, implacable...
My Natick was CLIC / CHAIM, always interesting to see who Naticks in different places, one solver’s arcane trivia is another’s household name.
Fun puzzle, great writeup, I’m going back to bed!

Stanley Hudson 7:04 AM  

If that’s indeed the man in the moon, then this puzzle is constructed brilliantly.

Lewis 7:37 AM  

Poor Buzz Aldrin. To go through life as the Second Man On The Moon, and now, to be left out of this puzzle. He WAS there and he DID walk on the moon. I remember you, Buzz, and I always will!

Terrific clues for REINDEER, DELTA, and especially OMANI.

A lovely grab-bag of Moon Landing reminders. I remember exactly where I was that night, watching the first steps on the moon on a grainy TV image -- a most unforgettable night.

John H 7:46 AM  

"Beer me" is just stupid and of inexcusable frequency.

Four squares (team) is not "giant" compared to a single square (step).

Otherwise pretty enjoyable.Loved the clues for "Omani" and "TSA."

Z 7:51 AM  

Squint a little and that could be THE EAGLE landing module instead of a face.

@kitshef - Could be worse. Our level of stupid around evolution is mind-boggling.

Brian Clark 7:53 AM  

Not realizing that the bottom left corner was a rebus, I just mashed the keyboard until it told me I was done. So I ended up with INS and SMOMS, which I was confused by.

Which raises the question: why did this happen? Does the app only check the first letter of a rebus?

Nancy 8:09 AM  

Now, there can only be one Anniversary Tribute puzzle per event, right? And you wouldn't want to waste time and effort constructing a puzzle that duplicates what someone else has done, right? And you certainly wouldn't want such an overlap on a Sunday puzzle that requires so much more time and effort than a weekly one, right? So I'm wondering how this works?

1) Will Shortz contacts a favorite regular puzzlemaker -- one who is good at and likes doing tribute puzzles -- and says: "I need you for the man on the moon landing 50-year anniversary puzzle. Can you do it?"

2) The constructor contacts Will S. and says: "I'd love to do an 50th anniversary tribute puzzle celebrating the man on the moon mission. Anyone else on it or can I have it?"

Seems it would have to be one of the above.

How did I feel about the puzzle? All I can say is I did it yesterday and couldn't for the life of me remember the theme this morning until I looked at it again. This kind of puzzle never thrills me. But for what it is, it's very well done. The small STEP is a really nice touch. The giant LEAP, however, doesn't seem all that giant, to tell the truth.

Z 8:33 AM  

I guess in an absolute sense LEAP isn’t all that giant, but it is 4 times bigger than the STEP. A giant the same relative size to me would stand 12’8””, weigh 1,040 lbs., have a 70’ waist (guessing there). Besides, I don’t know how better to represent a “giant LEAP” in a grid without the LEAP being discontinuous. I had that same “that’s not ‘giant’” reaction, but I’ve convinced myself that this is an acceptable representation in the puzzle.

Klazzic 8:34 AM  

Great write-up. Thanks for clearing up my OMANI befuddlement (I kept thinking, "All of these refugeees from Oman ended up in Romania? What a funny place to emigrate to). Still befuddled by IDLESSE. Yes, @Lewis, poor Buzz. But don't forget the Uber driver, Michael Collins, too. I'm a Mercury, Gemini and Apollo nut so I loved this puzzle. Couple pieces of trivia: the US flags left by the 6 landings are believed to be completely black due to radiation exposure. Most people will answer 18 to the question, "How many astronauts went to the moon? (3 x 6 landings). The actual answer is 24. Apollo 8 orbited the moon on Christmas 1968 and the crippled Apollo 13 orbited the moon once for the slingshot effect to return to Earth. Here's something to ruin your breakfast: the astronauts left 90 lbs. of ,uh, waste on the moon.
Good morning campers!!!

GILL I. 8:42 AM  

Unless you weren't born yet, I'm betting everyone who comments on this blog remembers exactly where they were during the moon landing. In case you care, I was in London. We were staying at a hotel called The White House. I found out later that it was a favorite hang-out for prostitutes. Imagine that! Anyway, it was around 4 or so in the morning and a bunch of us gathered around a very old black and white tv drinking wine and whooping loud. The next day, walking around town and shopping, EVERY SINGLE BRIT who heard my American accent came up to me and congratulated me as if I had been the one who landed on the moon. I love the Brits.
I don't usually like tribute puzzle; this was ok. I wish Jason and Jeff had included HOUSTON. That might've made me smile a bit more. I loved listening to the Texas accents even though I couldn't understand them. I'm glad the astronauts did.
Let's see.....what made me smile...Ah: COOKIE JAR. My grandmother never hid her money in that thing. It was always the freezer. She said no one would look in a package of ground beef wrapped in dollar bills. I remember when she passed on to heaven, I went rummaging through the freezer because I didn't wan't anyone to steal her money. There was nothing to be found. Rats. She bequeathed me her Bible, though, and inside it, in new crispy bills, was $100.00. Thank you NANA.
Here's hoping all of you easterners have air-conditioning. Yikes. Between the landing on the moon anniversary and your dreadful heat, there's not much else in the news. Stay cool!

Nancy 8:48 AM  

@Z (8:33), re..."but that would be discontinuous." And so it would. And that's exactly why that would have been an inspired way to represent giant LEAP. The idea came to me after I read your comment. Because a LEAP, giant or not, is always discontinuous. You leave the floor at one destination and you arrive at another -- without touching the ground in between. So: an LE, delineated in gray so the solver notices it, in squares 1 and 2. And then, just as you have it now, an AP in gray in the last two squares (129 and 130).

Joe Dipinto 8:50 AM  

@Z -- it could be the landing module, containing Armstrong (but where is Aldrin?). The feet sort of resemble those of the module, and "the Eagle has landed" is right there in the grid. But the large circle sort of resembles an astronaut helmet with a face inside. So hmmm. Either way, it's depicting the actual landing. I think.

amyyanni 9:02 AM  

Lots of fun and cleverness. @Lewis, and don't forget Mike Collins. (His daughter Kate acted in All My Children, the Susan Lucci soap.)

Teedmn 9:35 AM  

Pretty easy today with all of that gimme territory. Even someone who wasn't alive in 1969 would have a good chance with this one, considering all of the celebratory specials that have been in the media lately.

I remember being called in from playing outside to come watch the moon landing. It's now a memory of a memory, but at least my parents recognized the significance of the event - most things they were oblivious about, or maybe they just didn't talk about things in front of the kids.

Nice clues for 1A, TSA, 33A TELEPATHS, 50A HAM 65D OMANI (this one threw me a bit), 89D REINDEER (not Amazon Prime!), 105A FOOD CHAIN 95A NBA TEAM. When I was solving, most of these didn't register, but it is a well-constructed puzzle.

I was thinking 124A should be TV MOMS, because once again, I didn't finish reading the clue or I would have realized Camilla is not playing a step mom on TV, har.

Thanks, JM and JC, nice tribute puzzle. And Jeff Chen, congrats on hitting the 100th puzzle mark.

CDilly52 9:51 AM  

Thanks to both @Nancy and @Z for hatching up such a good “fix” for my biggest objection to the puzzle! I thought the “small step” as the only rebus was very clever but the weird square “leap” decidedly off-putting if not worse.

QuasiMojo 9:54 AM  

This was an oddly meager way to pay tribute to such a phenomenal achievement but then it is a crossword after all. I appreciate the effort. Collins and Aldrin deserve to be included, however. I was a kid at camp that summer and we were taken at night to a building high on top of a hill that could receive the television signal so we could watch the moonwalk. We all leapt with joy and something beyond awe. I'm embarrassed to admit I had a DNF today since I did not know Superman's father's name. Brando didn't fit! And I thought the hiding place was a Bookie Pad. Lol. Getting up at 4:30 am didn't help. I thought IDLESSE was a typo or perhaps a rebus.

Anonymous 10:08 AM  

How does someone do this in 6:30? I could not even read all the clues I needed to and write the letters in their proper spots fast enough to fill it in in that amount of time even if every answer popped into my head immediately. Took me 1 hour and 15 minutes which is good for me.

Anonymous 10:09 AM  

Seems to me the dark squares are clearly the full moon shining.

davidm 10:20 AM  

This was hopelessly easy, a no-brainer. The title itself was a dead giveaway. Titles are supposed to be obscure hints whose meaning you have to struggle to decipher. Once I read the title, I just looked for the theme clues and began writing them in: ARMSTRONG, MAN ON THE MOON, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED … who doesn’t know this stuff? I had most of the themers before I got anything else — the exact opposite of the way a Sunday puzzle ought to go, in which you have to fight for the themers line by line, box by box, in a form of cruciverbalist trench warfare.

The only real trouble I had with the fill was 34 down, because, even though I’m a Shakespeare fan, I misread the clue and was scratching my trying to recall who Ronald Reagan’s father was, and how he possibly could have a four-letter name ending in EAR.
In desperation I ran down the alphabet and when I got to L I had the ah-ha! moment

The visual part of the puzzle is by far its best quality. Not only is that the moon, and the man in the moon, in the center, but the man *on* the moon, Armstrong, is cleverly perched atop the mouth of the man *in* the moon. But more, the black boxes in the middle of the puzzle, seen from to bottom, look, to me, as forming a stylized rendering of the Lunar Excursion Module, and also as a stylized rendition of an astronaut in a bulky spacesuit with his arms raised at the top and his feet planted firmly on lunar soil at the puzzle’s bottom. So, kudos to all that; it’s brilliant.

RAD2626 10:35 AM  

Liked the puzzle a lot. Thought the STEP/LEAP gimmick was inspired as was the Man in or on the Moon diagram. Like all Jeff Chen puzzles or collaborations, very clean. After all, PRELL and NIVEA in the same section.

For those old enough to care or remember, in one 30 day period in 1969 between mid-July and mid-August, we had the Charles Manson massacres, Chappaquiddick, Apollo 11 and Woodstock. Pretty heady stuff. Today social media would explode. Maybe a Woodstock tribute coming next month.

oopsydeb 10:35 AM  

Thank you for clearing up OMANI! I filled it in, spent 30s or so wondering why there was such a large OMANI population in Romannia, and then moved on.

I'm not a fan of the back to back BEERME puzzles. Now if it had been back to back GANDT puzzles....

Overall, easy but for a tribute puzzle seemed pretty clean. I like the alternative plan for LEAP y'all came up with.

I was a few months shy of 2 years old, so I have no recollection of where I was. I'm the youngest of four. The two oldest would almost certainly remember (they were 9 and 5), so I'll ask them. Our family didn't have a television until 5 or 6 years later, so I'm guessing we were at a neighbor's house.

Jon 10:39 AM  

Fun tribute.

Admit it took me longer than it should because of the bottom left corner. I couldn't get anything to work there, then remembered 32D after what seemed like an eternity.

CDilly52 10:39 AM  

Down memory lane for sure and an enjoyable trip for me. Just out of high school, and itching to get to college, I enrolled early and was in a tiny apartment in an old old house in Urbana Illinois with its creaky, uneven floors and the landlady downstairs who didn’t want any men in her house (those were the days). We (three of my male besties and me) had a 12” portable black and white tv that only made the grainy picture grainier. Luckily, Mrs. Jenson downstairs was nearly deaf so we could hear Walter Cronkite in stereo (sort of) all crowded together nearly sitting on top of each other at my tiny kitchen table.

My whole family were super fans of the space program. We watched every spacecraft launch and return, gobbled up all news of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo adventures, read all the magazines, saved many issues of Look and Life.

My husband served in the USAF during ‘Nam and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of “all things space.” He indoctrinated our daughter early on and by imparting his love of astronomy and space to her, forged a special bond between them. When Challlenger exploded in front of her entire elementary school who were watching (as I remember doing during my primary school days) in their cafeteria, she (at age 7) was inconsolable for weeks. She felt that she knew Christa McAuliffe personally, and it was her first experience with human loss. She wrote a letter to the family and the school where “the First Teacher in Space” had taught and plastered her room with tribute pictures.

As always, Dad came to the rescue and guided her to understand an accept this tragedy. When he died this past year, it was she that started my healing process. A few months into my crushing grief, one night when she and her husband were visiting, she took me outside on a dark, crystal clear night and said, “Mama, just look up. Daddy’s spirit is now free to soar up to the stars just like Christa.” And so, this very special anniversary and its media coverage has helped me remember so much: excitement, the promise of discovery, the ingenuity of humankind and the hope for the future. All that from a crossword puzzle.

Lewis 10:39 AM  

@amy and @klazzic and @quasi -- You are absolutely right; I should have included Michael Collins.

Birchbark 10:46 AM  

We too were called inside from playing to watch the landing. I was five. It was after lunch. We had moved a few months earlier from the apartment on Oakland Drive to the house where my mom still lives. We had a 19 inch Westinghouse black-and-white TV in the family room. I don't remember the actual small-step/giant-leap, just what seemed like an eternity of not-much-going-on video feed before then. And interesting AUDIO space-talk.

I am not among the landing-nay-sayers but have seen intelligent people take up the position and try to hold it. I wonder if the Northwest is a veiled tribute to them: TSA TROOPERS SITS ATOP APOLLO ELEVEN -- SHOE!

Dragoncat 10:55 AM  

I think not only is it a face, there are antennae up top and feet on the bottom, maybe some arms. So I think it's a little alien jumping into this puzzle.

pabloinnh 11:23 AM  

If you like tribute puzzles (I do) then you liked this (I did). Nice one, guys.

In 1969 I had just graduated from college (I know the "from" is disappearing, but I miss it) and was working at the summer resort in NH that my wife and I would later run for 30 years. The only working tv was in a bedroom belonging to the quintessential little old lady who did most of the cooking, and it was in her bedroom which was located on the main floor of a big old barn, part of which had been converted into a sort of apartment. Lots of us crowded around the 12" grainy screen. Yep, unforgettable.

Charlie Pierce wrote a great essay in Esquire yesterday about the moon landing and explained his favorite quote from Mr. Armstrong, which was not the slightly botched "giant leap" but his preceding prosaic "OK, I'm gonna step off the LEM now". Like, "I'm going to the store" or "I'm mowing the lawn". Wonderful understatement by a man changing history forever.

On to the acrostic, too hot around here for anything else.

Dan Miller 11:23 AM  

The rebus stumped me too (and in the app I got a solve for filling it with just "S"), but in retrospect it's a nice visual pun on small step (SW)/giant leap (NE).

OffTheGrid 11:25 AM  

This was a great Sunday Xword. I worked pretty steadily from the NW and went counter-clockwise, leaving the center which I found to be the gnarliest part of the puzz. I liked the write up. Like many of Rex's it was overall positive but gently pointed out some weak spots. A rebus for rebus lovers but only one, for rebus haters (hand up). It was a bit toward easy but interesting to solve. Still took me an hour.

albatross shell 11:26 AM  

I saw the lunar module. My K saw only the face. Make that the man in the moon or module or both or any other black square interpretations you want. It's a well-designed grid for the theme.

I know I am in a very small minority, but I was never much impressed by sending a man to the moon. The sacrifice and bravery of the astronauts, yes. The technology that developed because of doing so, yes. The effort of all the people and teams involved, yes. Actually getting a man there? So what? Moon rocks? Kind of cool, but so what? They kept track of them the way we keep track of asylum-seekers' children today. It's as if Columbus's discovery of the New World had no effect except changing sailing technology. Yeah, I know just wait another century or 3.

Nice commemorative puzzle. Took me way too long to realize I needed a single rebus, but an excellent small step. Clever. Still have to look up AMBIT and IDLESSE. rOMANIa took a while to understand. My Dads side was from Transylvania and I know Romanian ethnic groups. Had some trouble in the center North.

Aketi 11:33 AM  

@Z and Joe Depinto it’s either the MAN in THE MOON as seen from earth or the face of the MAN ON THE MOON with his head inside a helmet.

@Nancy, I too was disappointed in the square LEAP.

@Z, if you look at the height of the gray step on the left, it is half the height of the gray box on the right. So that really isn’t much of a LEAP unless you are recovering from knee surgery. So glad I’m past that episode in my life.

Joe Dipinto 11:36 AM  

@Jeff Chen, this is Houston. Please dock with Space Station Rexwordpuzzle Blogspot to explain artwork in Sunday puzzle. Over.

Ellen S 11:42 AM  

@CDilly52 - that was a lovely story. I’ve always been a. Sci-Fi fan, so while I can see the reasoning behind those who say we should have spent the money on pressing social problems here on earth, the space program was fun (Challenger aside) and at least we weren’t spending those billions bombing and destroying people in other countries.

I don’t remember where I was at the time of the landing!!! We had just bought a house in San Jose, moving from an apartment in Chicago. It was the day after my birthday, but so what. We had a TV, a color set given to us by my father. I had bought a Dalmatian puppy and was busy with him and my new job. That’s all I remember. I do remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot.

I had the same question as others about the teeny LEAP - making it discontinuous is a great solution! I have a problem with a couple of non-theme clues/answers: 38A “End of a rope”. NOOSE? Yuck. Don’t like judicially sponsored hangings, and really don’t like lynchings. And 33A “they don’t keep their thoughts to themselves”, I don’t think that’s correct. TELEPATHS don’t broadcast their thoughts, they read yours. Everybody knows that.

Unknown 11:42 AM  

I've been doing crossword puzzles for years and this is the first time I've ever encountered " AMBIT ".

Newboy 11:46 AM  

Thanks for filling in Christopher & thanks for thinking outside the box. I loved the OMANI clue almost as much as the visual clue of ARMSTRONG being the first man on the “moon” graphic in the puzzle’s center. That small STEP and giant LEAP tied down both corners amusingly. And package delivery by REINDEER cracked me up. Like most Sunday efforts this was mostly a slog, but the occasion itself and those brief shining moments it engendered made donning the Wellies worth the effort. And congrats to Jeff for hitting the century mark in acceptance, no small feat that one.

xyz 11:47 AM  

Best quasi-rebus moon landing puzzle in the NYT today.

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

pabloinnh at 11:23: Right on! Where did the "from" go? One graduates FROM college. To say "graduated college" (or high school or kindergarten) sounds like you did something TO the institution. One graduates FROM.

Rant over...

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

From the start of 1967 through 1969, crazy, crazy stuff. Assassinations of the best and the brightest, the war ramping up and taking brave young men with it, widespread civil rights, cultural, and political rebellion.

And right after that, an imperial president who thought he could sidestep the constitution and use the bully pulpit to bully private citizens, stopped by brave people in the press and congress who stepped up and did their jobs.

And in all that, the moon landing. A mission by three who had the right stuff.

It wasn't the good old days, but there was a gravitas and intelligence the met the challenges at hand. I'd like to see that part of it again.

Thanks for a the puzzle today. It brought a lot of thing back to mind.

JC66 12:11 PM  

I'm not a speed solver, but AcrossLite shows the time when I finish so I couldn't help noticing that I finished in 15 minutes and my average for Sundays is about 20, so this was probably one of my fastest Sundays ever.

That said, I found it well executed and very enjoyable.

I thought the small STEP and giant LEAP were great (the leap's 4 times as big as the step).

As an aside, 1969 was a memorable year for NYC sports fans. Our teams beat the teams from Baltimore to win three major championships, In January, the Jets upset the Colts to win Super Bowl III. In March/April the Knicks beat the Bullets on their way to the NBA Championship. And finally, in October the Miracle Mets upset the Orioles to win the World Series.

Deke 12:21 PM  

@Klazzic 8:34 AM

Apollo 13 did not orbit the moon.

The flags are believed to be bleached solid white by now.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Well... The only two places I recall being at (for National importance) in the 60s were
- on the first floor staircase in my junior high school when the announcement that JFK was shot/dead
- hitchhiking past Woodstock with an Atlantic Monthly writer (he's driving not thumbing) who'd just been there

Aketi 12:24 PM  

@Gill I, I definitely remember watching it and then later going out to look into the night sky with my telescope. I bought that telescope with money that I saved up from selling packets of seeds to households in my neighborhood. I was slightly annoyed because the landing on the moon had originally been scheduled for my birthday. The astronauts returned to earth on my birthday instead.

sixtyni yogini 12:29 PM  

Love it when theme matches day, but this puzzle not so much. Haha I get impatient when it’s easy - don’t want to finish. Okay it was a pretty good puzz... minus buzz (@Lewis). πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ§©πŸŒ–πŸŒ•πŸŒ”πŸ§©πŸ‘πŸ½

sixtyni yogini 12:32 PM  

Oh and LOVE the man in or on the moon! Okay much better 🧩than my attitude.

gfrpeace 12:56 PM  

OK, I looked it up, for the sake of those of you who are pretending to already know. IDLESSE is the quality or state of being idle, it originated around 1590 and the only example they give is

“Wise meditations, that be fruitful in good works, be far away from idlesse,” quoth he.


Whoever and whatever that is.

RooMonster 1:19 PM  

Hey All !
Just missed being alive on July 20, 1969, as as I born August 12, 1969. (Hint, hint, the big 50 coming up!) :-)

This was a very well done puz. Haven't read xwordinfo yet to see if Jeff intentionally designed center blocks or if it just worked out that way. Either way, got alot of us coming up with very clever ideas about it.

Fairly easy, just a couple of writeovers, dSl-ISP, oAhu-MAUI (21A), AmORE-ADORE, ENAblED-ENACTED.

Having ENAblED in, I got the answer below it, DISABLE, and thought that that was neat. Then thought everyone would hate it, as ABLE twice in a row. But having bAB and lBS for 81 & 82D not matching the clues, was ABLE (har) to change it.

MUD EELS - getting specific-eely now.
ROE, close to ROO.
What if I want to play POLO leftie?
Gonna go back to IDLESSEing.


Aketi 1:31 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
paperkin 1:35 PM  

Please no more BEERME clues, it sounds so stupid!

kitshef 1:41 PM  

@pabloinnh - once up on a time, graduation wasn't something you could do - it was something done to you. So you have would have needed to say "I was graduated from college".

@CDilly52 - thank you.

Carola 1:53 PM  

I thought the combination of APOLLO ELEVEN-related words and phrases and grid art (which, like all good art, elicits multiple interpretations) made for a terrific tribute. As a puzzle, yes, very easy theme-wise, but, for me at least, it had plenty more to keep it interesting. I loved the surprise of REINDEER, the fake-out of OMANI, the parallel CURATOR and ARTISTE, the words of Jesus, learning IDLESSE. The biggest head-scratcher was "Classic place to hide money"; "under the mattress" didn't fit, nor did "in your bra." I had no idea.

Count me in among the "graduated from" crowd.

JC66 2:05 PM  


4 squares vs I square = 4 times as big to me.

BTW, that doesn't mean @Nancy's idea wouldn't be better.



might be the best.

Aketi 2:05 PM  

@JC66, it’s not if it’s stacked in a cube.

Glinda 2:09 PM  

I usually hate easy Sunday puzzles, but this one was so nostalgic for me, I got a little teary. Beautiful execution of the theme especially the punny rebus answer. (I'm still searching for the anti-rebus leap). And the fill was very good and often very clever. "The idlesse of the noblesse oblige".

albatross shell 2:09 PM  

Telepathy includes thought transference and mind reading. Clue is good.

The from went the same place the a did in 'I drive a truck'. It's just 'I drive truck', now-a-days. More manly, maybe?

Unknown 2:14 PM  

Nice write up! I had “log on” at 98d and never heard of, or was able to figure out, “idlesse” (which I’m happy to report my apple spellchecker also doesn’t recognize) so I had a fatal error.

Malsdemare 2:19 PM  

Puzzle was fun. I made a beyond stupid error with AGIANTSTEP, which made that whole SE impossibke. It took forever for me to figure out my error. In my defense, my family is in deep crisis mode and I'm not focusing as clearly as I'd like.

@Nancy, from yesterday: our family shares Amazon Prime. I order 2-3 times a week and my kids are also frequent users. We've had NO problems. Meanwhile, a credit card that went from delivery to my door to our safe was hacked and used at an Italian resort (to the tune of $3000); the best guess is that someone at the credit card sold the data. If you set your card privacy settings so you get a notice every time $10 or more is charged, you will know instantly if there's any fraud.

I do remember the moon landing. I was at work and we gathers in the lunchroom to watch the almost-impossible-to-see live video. I have a copy of the LIFE magazine with the landing on the cover. Pretty cool.

Now to distract myself by reading what y'all have to say.

Glinda 2:19 PM  

Doh! There it is in the other corner! Such great construction and a lovely tribute!

Fred Romagnolo 2:30 PM  

FWIW: I was at a farewell dinner in a small Austrian Alpine town with my freshmen students when it happened. The next day we landed in Paris. Every lamppost in that city had the great photo of Armstrong in his spacesuit. Everywhere, to be an American was to receive congratulations. What a feeling of pride!

Joe in Newfoundland 2:32 PM  

Generally enjoyed it.
re OMANI I prefer crossword clues, not cryptic clues.
Re second and third largest islands of Hawaii, if this were a puzzle about Hawaii I would suck it up, but as it isn't, the editor shouldn't have allowed it. If a solver doesn't know the second largest island, he or she probably won't know lesser islands.
re Anonymous at 11:57 - if one is going to rant about "graduate X" instead of "graduate from X", then perhaps one could revive rants about "graduate" being an intransitive verb - one "is graduated from X", one does not "graduate from X"
IDLESSE and Pope Julian III smell of a data base, not an actual human crossword puzzle creator.

Nancy 2:39 PM  

A face. The moon. Feet. Arms. Hands. Antennae. Helmets. Modules. Aliens. Y'all see a lot of stuff in the grid, don't you -- but to me it's all just one big Rorschach Test. Call me a "grid art agnostic", but I didn't notice it first time round. Now, if I squint my eyes, I can sort of see it, but it's pretty sloppy and I'm not sure it's even deliberate, Jeff Chen doesn't say anything specific about it other than he's good at creating "circular patterns".

On a different subject: While I remember exactly where I was when JFK was assassinated and when the 9/11 attacks took place, I don't remember anything about where I was during the moon landing -- other than in front of a television set. I did learn one thing from today's blog though: I now know the ages of at least a dozen different people. (I will forget them, of course, so try not to worry.) But the sad news is that pretty much every single person whose age I learned today is younger than I am :)

Masked and Anonymous 2:58 PM  

This tribute SunPuz landed pretty well, IM&AO.

That face planted in the middle is great weird stuff.
Cute small STEP.
Kinda hard to make LEAP giant-size. How's a constructioneer supposed to do that, in a puzgrid? Maybe LE up in the NW corner, and AP down in the SE corner? yep … didn't think so.

fave moon-cow eazy-E SunPuz clue: {Request for a cold one} = BEERME. Cool dejavuosity.

staff weeject picks: ALA & SEP. A giant leap, for all weejectkind. 34 to choose from, today; lush.

Them little upside-down black-blocked T's, at the puzbottom, look sorta like LEM legs. Sooo … maybe this grid art shows the LEM takin off from the moon, its rock-collectin mission havin been accomplished?
Probably not -- cuz then a far better puztitle woulda been "Gettin Our Rocks Off", or somesuch.

Some folks think the lunar landin in 1969 was a hoax. Not at our house. There is the little matter of them footstepprints which can still be seen, at that Sea of Tranquility site. So, yay US! (Like some wise commenter already said, we could use more yay US, these days.)

Thanx for the memories, JM & JC, and for gangin up on us. Thanx for the primo blog-sub, CA/CJ. Good jobs.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Suzie Q 3:08 PM  

I will never forget the moon landing. I was camping with my family and someone put a TV on a picnic table so we all could watch. As we watched the footage on that little screen up above us in the sky was the moon. Amazed me then and still does now.

Anonymous 3:33 PM  

@CDilly52 I read this blog every Sunday, but do not contribute. I signed in only to say how much your “tribute” touched me. I too remember watching the landing. I stood In the kitchen with my family, watching the landing on a small tv on our kitchen counter.
What you wrote was beautiful and touched me deeply. Thank you for conveying the shared awe and magic of the moment. So generous.

albatross shell 3:33 PM  

You sure about the footprints?
I thought evidence of the Apollo landings were not visible to any earthbased telescope. Had any pictures been taken with satellite telescopes?

Masked and Anonymous 3:43 PM  

Almost forgotz:

* Luved the E-W puzgrid symmetry. Enabled the mysterious cookie monster in the middle.

* Startin to really miss @Muse darlin. Drop by and moon us a couple times, LMS why don't yah? Let us know U are OK, soon. In any case, take care & be happier than snot.

* Stay outta the day-um heat, all U sweet E-coasters.

* Thanx, all U 60's NASA folks. Incredible job.


Anonymous 3:51 PM  

I would have loved the 29 across clue to refer to Gil-Scott Heron rather than fish!

Gretchen 4:30 PM  

Yes, an easy fill. I finished with only a few hiccups. me dumb...I dont get the bottom corners. Yeah, step and leap. But why are the leap squares gray and the step isnt. And I dont see the rebus.

pabloinnh 4:49 PM  

@albatross shell-Haven't heard the "I drive truck" one yet. I was thinking poor old "from" was in the same place as the "for" in "I babysit for my granddaughter". I miss that one too.

Knick Fan 4:58 PM  

I agree that 1969 was a great sports year for NYC. But, the 69-70 Knicks beat the Lakers on May 8, 1970. Willis Reed !!!

Anonymous 5:03 PM  

Just so you know, TELEPATHS are make-believe. I can tell that you know that.

JC66 5:19 PM  

@Knick Fan

I stand corrected.

Anonymous 6:53 PM  

I think this puzzle should have been printed with a “moon page” insert of the NY Times, as a novelty puzzle, and something more challenging given us here. The only interesting comments I see are about the design of the background or whether the “giant leap” reference could have been handled differently.

Does anyone besides myself find the “small step/giant leap” quotation, which the press is constantly gushing over, utterly banal? For me, “the Eagle has landed” is perfectly fine and even elegant, but the small step/giant leap dichotomy is something a third-grader would come up with. (The third grader should be praised for this, but that is not my point.) I’ve not seen one word in the NY Times or elsewhere raising this as a question. As for controversy about the space mission, the NY Times discusses race and gender. The Times seems obsessed with race and gender. While it criticizes Trump on race constantly, it seems to be more than willing to stir the pot. The only other controversy about the moon landing that the Times has mentioned (at least that I have read) is that some (Ralph Abernathy and others) believed that space money should have been used to relieve poverty. But there were a number people, myself included, who did not like the way the US government attempted in the late 1960s to tie space triumphalism to our winning the war in Vietnam (some in NASA, to their credit, resisted this, and others did sort of). Walter Cronkite (sp.?) denounced us “space skeptics” on the air as “funny-looking people” (I remember hearing this). Nowhere does the NY Times mention this. It can’t, of course, since Cronkite is a reasonable, moderately progressive voice, and if we have him denouncing “funny-looking people” he will sound like Trump at his worst.

One thing never mentioned in the NY Times coverage is that while we were sending into space nitwits, the Soviets were sending poets (women as well as men–they were way ahead of us here). Greetings from cosmonauts to the Italian actress Anna Magnani are refreshing compared to the blather coming from our own. Most Soviet thinkers, at least before Khrushchev, knew that their economic system could not match that of the West in terms of productivity. This meant that ultimately they would lose the arms’ race, and finally the space race. But they could hope to maintain a higher level of culture. Their astronauts would not be idiots. Even, and, alas, especially in the Stalinist period the Soviet youth had a thorough grounding in the classics of Western Civilization (as Isaac Deutsher’s study of Stalin, denounced by Stalinists, points out). Liberals in American universities, who are fundamentally reactionary, have driven out this curriculum as “Western” and racist (conservatives claim to defend this, but they do not do it well).

As for clue 9D, the best example of the culture of the "communist man" (or, in this case, a woman) came when Gorbachev's wife Raisa visited the Ronald Reagan White House with her husband. Nancy Reagan got the thankless task of escorting Raisa around the White House. Raisa, who had some level of culture, began asking Nancy questions about certain paintings, and she made comments about the same. The nitwit Nancy of course had no idea as to what she was talking about. The two evidently emerged from the tour with Nancy seething in anger. I would have been angry too, but I would have learned from this not to make disparaging remarks about "Soviet" culture.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Abu Afakski 7:18 PM  

Yes! Thank you!
How did he not notice?

Unknown 7:26 PM  


John Tjia 7:51 PM  

It's a rough diagram of the lunar lander, I think, in line with the man on the moon theme.

Anonymous 8:21 PM  


My high school was on par with New England prep schools of its day, which meant, among other things, that Russian was on the menu. The teacher was a Jewish Commie, but not a native speaker. After my first year The Powers That Be decided to curtail this Fifth Column by putting him in a pointless 'management' job. No one was hired to continue the language. Thus endeth my Russian instruction. In the middle of the Space Race, no less.

I imagine that logographic/tonal languages are the most difficult for an American English speaker to master, but Russian (along with dead Latin) is the most structured and foreign looking. If you speak/read/think in a Higgledy-Piggledy language, you'll mostly develop a Higgledy-Piggledy brain.

Whether the Russian people, on the whole, are better off with a continuing succession of Oligarchs than they were (and would be) under Tsars is another question.

OTOH, Russians have centuries of history to support a massive paranoia with respect to The West.

Z 8:43 PM  

@gfrpeace - I didn't know IDLESSE before today, but figured it was just an older term for idleness. -ESSE is not a very common suffix, "finesse" and "largesse" come to mind (although spellcheck insists it is just "largess").

@Anon/Poggius - I think you are romanticizing the other. Who is more American, Carter or Reagan? Obama or Trump? Martin Luther King or George Wallace? Jackson Pollack or Thomas Kinkade? Ursula K. Le Guin or Jacqueline Susann? So what makes "American Culture" American Culture. Likewise, your examples of "Soviet Culture" omits what we know from works like The Gulag Archipelago or can infer from Solaris (to pick two). Trying to say any country's culture is one thing or another is flawed. Hell, "American Culture" can't even agree on what a "Pig-in-the-blanket" is. How can we be surprised that the culture that produced Thomas Kinkade also produced Nancy Reagan? We can't. But don't forget that it also produced Barack Obama and Frank Lloyd Wright.

CDilly52 11:35 PM  

AHA!!!!! @JC66, you are the first person to make any sense of the small “leap” and it’s 4 times more “giant” LEAP! Thanks!!

Masked and Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Ahar! I had not noticed @Nancy's idea for LE/AP, when I wrote my (similar) suggestion. Sorry to step on @Nancy's notion so blatantly. Wrong again, M&A breath.

As far as footsteps on the moon, they evidently have been re-verified by other lunar surveyin orbiter devices. Of course, naysayers will just not trust them other devices, either. But the footsteps remain there … no one around to sweep em under the rug.

M&A, the mornin after.

Bruce Fieggen 12:53 PM  

Quick search turned up the following education levels of some astronauts. I stopped copying and pasting when I had proven my point.
Aldin, with a Ph.D. in astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Armstrong received a scholarship from the U.S. Navy. He enrolled at Purdue University and began his studies of aeronautical engineering.
Collins attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and received his bachelor of science degree.
Anders, Bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from U.S. Naval Academy; master of science in nuclear engineering from Air Force Institute of Technology.
Bean. Bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from University of Texas.
Borman. Bachelor of science from U.S. Military Academy; master of science in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology.
Chaffee. Bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University.
Cervantes. Bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Purdue University; master of science in aeronautical engineering from U.S. Navy Postgraduate School.
If these men are nitwits, I’m a total moron.

Bruce Fieggen 1:05 PM  

Quick search turned up the following education levels of some astronauts. I stopped copying and pasting when I had proven my point.
Aldin, with a Ph.D. in astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Armstrong received a scholarship from the U.S. Navy. He enrolled at Purdue University and began his studies of aeronautical engineering.
Collins attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and received his bachelor of science degree.
Anders, Bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from U.S. Naval Academy; master of science in nuclear engineering from Air Force Institute of Technology.
Bean. Bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from University of Texas.
Borman. Bachelor of science from U.S. Military Academy; master of science in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology.
Chaffee. Bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University.
Cervantes. Bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Purdue University; master of science in aeronautical engineering from U.S. Navy Postgraduate School.
If these men are nitwits, I’m a total moron.

Unknown 1:44 PM  

20A on the qui vive..........?had never seen that

Unknown 2:29 AM  

I agree with others that the center area is meant to be a face, as in "The Man On The Moon".

And the more I look at it, the more I think the puzzle is meant to show the entire "man on the moon". The large arms and legs look like an astronaut in a spacesuit.

And people who liked the clue for OMANI might really enjoy doing cryptic crossword puzzles.

Burma Shave 11:55 AM  


he ADMITS to MAN's ability,


spacecraft 12:09 PM  

This is a really dense theme, and so IHADTO STEELE myself against the probable fill detritus. Hmm...well, maybe there might be ONE too many textspeaks or Hawaiian islands, and a RRN and a rapper, but on the whole: THEEAGLEHASLANDED. Fine job, I say. Yeah, the center does look like a face, and the "feet" resemble the LEM's. These are plusses. So is working JOR-EL into the grid. Nice! "They're a good people, son; they want to be." Sometimes I'm not so sure about that...

Hey, the face also looks like the smiley face you often see on a COOKIEJAR! Let me be the first to honor the historic courage of Rosa PARKS by giving her the DOD. Am I glad I did this easy puzzle? YESIAM. ITSAGO: birdie.

rondo 12:16 PM  

Like @teedmn, we kids were called in from outdoor play to watch the moon landing. We were *never* called in to watch TV, especially in the summer. Helped us GRASP what a big deal it was.

Not really a yeah baby puz, but The Notorious RBG by a landslide.

Fine as tributes go, even with the crutchy text shorthand.

Diana, LIW 1:26 PM  

Even though I "landed" on the theme very early on, I had a bit of a hard time with some of this. You could have thought I was a 116-D, as I was in a fowl mood. Not sure why. I'm not always on Mr. Chen's wavelength. For example, I couldn't believe IDLESSE. I mean, really?

But then I was saved by the REINDEER delivery service. That brought a smile to my face.

I was working at a place called Buxton's Ice Cream Parlor the summer of 69. A new HS grad, I was working with a bunch of my friends. The manager brought in a TV, and we all watched the landing sitting around one of the counters - there were no customers, a very rare day on both accounts.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for the next step

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