1971 title role for Charlton Heston / THU 8-22-19 / Outdoor section of zoo / Versatile offensive football positions, for short / Often abbreviated outburst

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Constructor: Emily Carroll

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: DIVE BAR (40A: Seedy hangout ... or a hint to finishing four Across answers in this puzzle) — four Across answers end by taking a "dive" downward; the part that dives is also a kind of "bar":

Theme answers:
  • SNAIL/SPACE (1A: Extremely slow speed)
  • GE/MINI (11A: Sign of spring)
  • TRAN/SPORTS (49A: Conveys)
  • ES/CROW (62A: Something to hold money in)
Word of the Day: "OMEGA MAN" (18A: 1971 title role for Charlton Heston, with "the") —
The Omega Man (stylized as The Ωmega Man) is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston as a survivor of a global pandemic. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 novel I Am Legend by the American writer Richard Matheson. The film's producer, Walter Seltzer, went on to work with Heston again in the dystopian science-fiction film Soylent Green in 1973.[2]
The Omega Man is the second adaptation of Matheson's novel. The first was The Last Man on Earth (1964) which starred Vincent Price. A third adaptation, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, was released in 2007. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a really lovely puzzle. The theme is impeccably executed. I've seen "words that shift up / down / diagonally" themes before but this one has a novel rationale for the veering, and a themer that is both lively in its own right and perfect as a revealer. Here's how you know the theme has been very well crafted. It's the little things—the fact that the Across parts of the themers look just like ordinary crossword fill, so it's not just that "bars" "dive," but that the Across answer at first appears to be a real answer that just isn't quite right ("How is a GEM a sign of spring!!!?"). Further, the bars are all different from one another. That is, they all take the meaning of the word "bar" differently—there's one you drink at, but then there's the small fridge in your hotel room, a key on your keyboard, and a lever for ... prying or jimmying or whatever. The grid isn't overly dense with theme stuff, so the fill can breathe and therefore Be Interesting. There's a few things I would wish away if I could (ELIELI, TES, ATOB), but most of it is, at worst, solid. I don't think of LITERATI as "scholarly," perhaps because I work with scholars and LITERATI seems far too broad and fancy a term to describe most of them (15A: Scholarly sorts). LITERATI sounds urbane and sophisticated, whereas "scholarly" evokes "professorial" to me. Also, LITERATI sounds superficial, somehow—like it's more about the fame (?) of the person than the actual erudition. I am clearly overthinking this. The point is that LITERATI evokes Tom Wolfe to me, whereas "scholarly" evokes someone you've never heard of writing things you'll never read. Fame v. obscurity.

Loved the double dose of Women's World Cup (champions Team USA and coach Jill ELLIS). Also loved 29D: One crying "Uncle!" for NIECE. Totally got me. OMIGOD is weird, in that it is clued as an [Oft-abbreviated outburst] when it, too is an abbreviation (isn't it?). "Oh my God" --> OMIGOD --> OMG. I feel really bad for whoever inspired the clue for FLIRT (26D: Use goo-goo- eyes and make small talk, say). The latter strategy has too much in common with "passing time at some dumb job thing you don't want to be at" or "talking to your mom's friends," whereas the former strategy sounds sad, desperate, and possibly predatory. *Use* goo-goo eyes? Not *make*? "Use" makes it sound like a weird strategy. "Use the goo-goo eyes, Luke..." Anyway, I don't know if I know how to FLIRT, but I feel like this clue is not giving you good flirting advice.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. anyone else SLOP when they should've GLOPped??? (7D: Hardly Michelin-star fare). I had SUCK for 7A: Have a sudden inspiration? (GASP), and I was really, really happy with that answer. Oh well.

P.P.S. TES today is short for "tight ends" (71A: Versatile offensive football positions, for short)

P.P.P.S. This exchange made me laugh


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Hungry Mother 7:53 AM  

Less than half of my average Thursday time today. Loved the theme and saw it right away.

El Gran Jugador 8:02 AM  

“scholarly” evokes someone you've never heard of writing things you'll never read.

Love this definition. Right up there with “A PhD is someone who knows more and more about less and less”

Suzie Q 8:05 AM  

A tad too easy for a Thursday but I liked it. It did take awhile to find all four theme answers and that was fun.
My favorite misdirection was the clue for knight. Weren't we just talking about mailmen the other day? Pizazz is another recent repeat.
Nit to pick: Landfills reek, junkyards rust.
I figured the female constructor and World Cup answers would keep Rex happy.

Richard Stanford 8:05 AM  

Totally used SLOP. Goo-goo eyes to me evoked baby talk, not flirting, and the mental juxtaposition was a bit off-putting. I also went for OHMYGOD (which didn't fit) and was quite annoyed at the half-abbreviated solution.

mmorgan 8:08 AM  

Great puzzle, well-designed, fun to solve. Hoping it gets heaps of love. There was a bunch of stuff that I didn’t know at all — ELLIS, UNTER, UNC, TES, among others — but all was gettable from crosses or otherwise inferable. Just what I needed after yesterday.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

ROUSE (32D) absolutely does not mean "get out of bed." Bad clue.

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

Incorrect rant about 63D. Firstly, SEGA (like Nintendo) is a Japanese company; and second, SEGA (like Nintendo) generates all its earnings from the creation of video games for consoles (Nintendo loses money on its hardware). Hence it is very much an ongoing rival of Nintendo (ever heard of Sonic the Hedgehog?). Lastly, what a strange thing to be "furious" about, considering the world today.

Lobster11 8:15 AM  

Speaking of the awesome USWNT, google "Carli Lloyd" to see a video of her kicking a 55-yard field goal at the Philadelphia Eagles' training camp the other day.

kitshef 8:21 AM  

Very fond of this puzzle. Nice and tough, and had a great aha when the theme emerged and again when the revealer revealed the second element of the theme.

@Rex, the semi-negative sense you get about LITERATI is probably confusion with Twitterati (and thanks for providing excellent examples of that) and glitterati.

Really a shame about that OMIGOD thing. Just a bad, bad clue.

Harryp 8:22 AM  

I started with a rebus at 1Across-6Down, putting in SPACE in that space, but subsequently found out I didn't need it. This fell in a little over half or a Thursday average, but had some great moments. I really liked the answer to 31Down Converse, and 45Down mailman. Thanks Emily Carroll for a nice Thursday diversion.

puzzlehoarder 8:23 AM  

A low end of average Thursday time for a puzzle which felt easier than that. The theme was incorporated so seamlessly that the first themer went in without my even noticing it. My SLOP/GLOP write over at 7D had me thinking that 7A would be the first theme answer. The time I wasted there largely explains my average solve time. Moving on there was so little resistance to the fill I had to search for the fourth themer when I got done. Initially 49A was confusing (which also cost time) but after I got the revealer I wound up back filling that section without ever looking at the 49A clue again. That was the one I had to look for.

I haven't commented since last Saturday as Sunday I had to drive to PA for a cousins funeral and got back late Friday.

Carola 8:23 AM  

Very easy, very cute, extra-admirable with the four different sorts of BARS. With SNAILSPACE, I saw the corner-turning, which led to my correcting "leo" to GEM+INI. However, it didn't occur to me that SPACE and MINI were both BARS, so the reveal was a delight. I enjoyed keeping an eye out for the remaining two and the little jolts of crossword triumph in filling them in with minimal crosses.

Nice pairing of NIECE and UNC and SNAIL'S PACE with LUMBERED. Do-overs: Grub before GLOP; OMyGOD.

QuasiMojo 8:24 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Smooth as a baby's... I plopped in GRUB before GLOP since it was "fare." I agree about LITERATI clue being off. They are the folks the scholarly types study. Although of course there is some lapping over. The word GLITTERATI, I think, has made us hear Literati in a different light. Am I the only one who doesn't think of OMIT as a passive act? I use it to mean I deliberately left something out. The KNIGHT clue was my favorite. "The Omega Man" is a camp classic but I prefer the earlier version of the tale starring Vincent Price.

@Nancy, from late yesterday, I think Porter wrote it specifically for her and that film but I'd have to do some further research to confirm that. Is Blazing Saddles the one that ends with the cowboys crashing a chorus boy musical led by Dom Adelaide? Or was that "a History of the World?"

Z 8:25 AM  

If I had a complaint it would be the middle placement of the revealer making it to easy to get the theme early, but that’s a minor thing in my opinion.

Outdoor section of a zoo -> APES? APES is a “section?” I guess this works, but not how I think about zoos’ organization. It took every cross and I still looked at it long and hard before deciding I was done, fully expecting some weird DNF when I checked the grid.

My only writeover was Grub before GLOP. Not remembering ΩMEGA MAN (even now it barely tickles a deep recess in the memory) was made harder because of the Grub hub error. Soylent Green is memorable bad science fiction. ΩMEGA MAN not so much. Well, bad, but not memorable.

SEGA existed before game consoles and still exists post making game consoles, but Genesis or are the only two broadly recognized ways to clue the company I think. “Nintendo Competitor” hasn’t been true for a long time. Probably too recent for an “archaic” modifier, but maybe a “once” appended to the clue would increase the accuracy.

Lewis 8:27 AM  

@rex -- Hand up for "suck" and "slop".

Oh, this was a brilliant theme. When the "bar" angle hit me, it was a huge "Oh cool!" aha.

Lotso' vague cluing to conquer, and a jank-lite grid. Great appeal to my Libra sense of balance with DIVEBAR, junkyards, and GLOP as the ANTITHESIS to ISIS (the goddess), MUSE, and DENCH. And what a splendid reveal -- DIVEBAR -- to base a puzzle on!

Thank you Emily for a nifty Thursday, and thank you Will for bringing along young talent. Once again, I'm smiling about the future of crosswords.

QuasiMojo 8:30 AM  

Deluise not Adelaide, in my comment above. I'm turning off autocorrect for good.

amyyanni 8:31 AM  

Just lovely. At the airport, going to Phoenix for Rim2rim2rim Friday and Saturday at the Grand Canyon. Have super weekends, all.

Jeff 8:34 AM  


Old guy in Nampa 8:36 AM  

Easy. Bland.
Not what I’m looking for in a Thursday.

Solverinserbia 8:37 AM  

I don't know how I got a golden Thursday but I did (in 23:39.) Great and well executed themes. I got from the DIVE of DIVEBAR that the answers would be going down and I even spotted a few (though I just thought SNAILS was weird without realizing it was part of SNAILSPACE.)

The fill was worse than rex let on though. ATOB and ELIELI are completely unknowable (at least the latter's clue made the answer being doubled make sense.) and ELIELI under OMEGAMAN, a movie few have seen is rough since both are quite long answers you can't solve until you have all or nearly all the crosses.

OMIGOD I've never seen. I had OMYGOD which I've also never seen until near the end.

Three really bad answers doesn't sound like much but it's actually a lot of letters because these arent three letter nonsense.

I had SLOP for GLOP. I love clues that can give two answers that differ by only one letter like DICE/RICE for chop finely. You can have the wrong answer and really not see it since almost all the crosses are right. Finally saw that sASP must be wrong and sorted that out.

Bruce R 8:46 AM  

@Suzie Q, you beat me to it. There's no reason a junkyard would REEK. A garbage dump would, but not a junkyard.

thfenn 8:46 AM  

I enjoy an Thursday I can actually complete in half an hour or so, and today's offered not only that but also all the loveliness in the puzzle itself. LEO and SLOP for me as well. Agree with comments on LITERATI and junkyards and with Z on APES - thinking something related to aviary or atria. Would've improved my time if I hadn't had OMYGOD crossing YSIS - took a long time trying to figure out why I was only 'almost there'. Great start to the day.

BobL 8:51 AM  

Where is RP's time stat?

Z 8:52 AM  

@anon8:12 - Good point.

@anon8:10 - dictionaries disagree

As for LITERATI, dictionaries support the clue, but the connotation of some level of fame and influence can be found in some of the example sentences. I don’t think it is particularly recent and “glitterati” and “twitterati” derive their humorous connotations exactly because LITERATI is more than just “scholarly.” I’d say the LITERATI is a subset of “scholars.”

@El Gran Jugador - Yep. Whenever someone comments on Rex not knowing some work of literature I’m reminded of the “know more and more about less and less” definition. I also like comparing solving crosswords to earning a Ph.D. To solve a crossword your knowledge needs to be a mile wide and an inch deep. To get a doctorate your knowledge needs to be an inch wide and a mile deep.

GILL I. 8:54 AM  

Well, yeah...I thought about GRUB too. But only Victoria's Secret is the ubiquitous ABCD CUP. Ends in P, must be GLOP.
Boy was this a nice welcome compared to yesterday's crumb. Started out solving this as a themeless. Like @Rex mentioned, SNAILS and GEM on their own seemed plausible. Got to the DIVE BAR and let out a squeak. Oh, says I...SPACE and MINI are BAR's.
Had two dumb mistakes. I thought beneath in German might be the misspelled UBBER and my acquaintance was the odd OLDE. Easily fixed with Dame DENCH to the rescue. Love her!
What a weird thing to be furious about. I plopped in SEGA without a blink. I'm betting this clue has been used before. Please GOD let's not fuss about this today. Instead, reflect on this lovely puzzle.
Let's see...what made me smile? B CUP...kidding. Toss those things out. Didn't Charlton Heston only want to act in Biblical films? But then he went on to The Planet of the Apes. And...uh oh, he was president of the NRA at one point. Oops. I haven't seen The OMEGA MAN since I'm not really into survivors of apocalyptic wars - even though I adored the Walking Dead. Shows you how much I care about our planet.
If you love Judi Dench as much as I, watch her in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Thank you Emily Carroll for restoring my faith in NYT puzzles.

jberg 9:01 AM  

Great puzzle, despite the clues for REEK and APES (I mean, some apes may be on an island in a moat outside, but others -- esp. chimpanzees and gorillas -- need more temperature control, and are inside for much of the year.) But that's the editor, not the constructor.

On ROUSE, you have to see "get" as transitive, as in, "go get your brother up/go rouse your brother, he'll be late for work."

Beautiful theme. I got SNAIL'S PACE pretty quickly, but didn't notice that it was the SPACE bar until the revealer. Icing on the cake.

xyz 9:10 AM  

That's it? Why not put the revealer in the dead middle?
NYT Thursday 101, I guess.

I am overwhelmed with the amount of praise for this puzzle. Am I not on the inside of a Faint Praise practical joke somehow?

GLOP does not really apply to food, it really should be SLOP as probably 92% entered first. Only truly serious gaffe.

Nice to see Tennant & Lowe, today's highlight.

Missy 9:21 AM  

Please explain 45down - mailman?


Jay 9:32 AM  

After Wednesday monstrosity of a puzzle this one was an absolute delight. I did not finish it and did not get the theme until I got here. But then I do not finish most Thursday puzzles.
Beautifully conceived, elegantly constructed and highly engaging.

Carola 9:34 AM  

@Missy, think of a KNIGHT in chainmail.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

@ Missy 9:21

Knights wore chain mail. Hence, Mail Men

RooMonster 9:39 AM  

Hey All !
Fun ThursPuz. Got the Revealer first, so amazingly enough the ole brain said, "Aha, the four answers will dive, ala go from Across to Down." Proud of myself for that, after getting ROUSEd today. However, didn't notice they were all different types of BARs. There's the brain I know!

Again, as is often the case, one-letter DNF, UsTER/UsC. Yargh! What do I know of UNC being more powerhousey than UsC?

Did like the execution of the theme. As Rex notes, not only are the Across and Down parts of the themers actual words, but the Down parts are types of BARs, and clued as regular words. Nice.

Wanted AWESOME HIGH TOP SNEAKERS for 31D Converse.

OMG has taken on its own meaning. Technically it's still short for Oh My God, but to the young-uns these days it just means "Wow" and is read ad the initialism O M G. Or am I wrong? Some youngster out there help me out? IS IT TRUE?

Evening smell from a landfill? - REEK NIGHT.
Grinding your manual transmission? - GEARS WEAR
Powered artificial limb? - GAS PEGLEG
Wants someone in a text message? - NEED U

I'll leave some for others to come up with. :-)


Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Knight's armor - chain mail.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

It didn't baffle me for too long, but it did baffle me enough to make me really like it. The bafflement was in 1A where I only saw SNAILS. Once I got to 11A, I saw GEMINI immediately and therefore had the theme before I got to the revealer. Not terribly hard but an interesting solve that was enjoyable.

My favorite clue was the double meaning of "pirate's prop" for PEGLEG. "Prop" in the theater sense if it's a pretend pirate onstage. "Prop" in the "it's the only thing holding the poor guy up" sense if it's a real pirate.

Nice job, Emily.

Birchbark 9:43 AM  

I'm with @Rex on LITERATI and see their relationship to scholars as more of a Venn diagram than a subset.

ESC-CROW is a handy macro for the socially awkward. Just as you are beginning to talk yourself up, you realize that your pants have fallen to the floor. Fortunately, no one is paying attention. You hit ESC-CROW and, rather than eat crow, return to studying the bookshelf without even a ripple to the vibe.

Linda R 9:50 AM  

@Missy 9:21 AM - 45D - a knight wears a coat of mail (armor).

Nancy 9:54 AM  

OMIGOD. This puzzle is even better than I thought!!!!! SPACE BAR!!!! MINIBAR!!!!! SPORTS BAR!!!!! CROWBAR!!!!! I didn't notice any of it, as might be expected of the World's Most Unobservant Person. This puzzle is genius!!!!!

John 9:55 AM  

I think they were going for “get (someone else) out of bed”

CDilly52 10:13 AM  

@Suzie Q: ha d waaay up for Rust not REEK. That one had me hung up!

OffTheGrid 10:15 AM  

Another take on "Mail man?" 45D. Wayne KNIGHT played a mailman in Seinfeld, Newman of course.

TJS 10:15 AM  

7 twitter quotes in 2 days, and 3 of them get to include "f___" Wow, and two girls get to swear just like the guys do ! Way cool, Rex. Keep those twits coming. Whoops, forgot that you don't read your comment section.

"Apes" ?

Anonymous 10:19 AM  


WTF is omegamegaman?

Lobster 11
Nope. She kicked a 53 yard FG or maybe a 48 yarder. Check out the video. The field has convenient hashes to demarcate yardage. She's on the 38 or or 43. Not the 45.

CDilly52 10:22 AM  

The man wearing (chain) mail is a “Mail” man. ‘’Twas one of my favorites of the day...and took me several return looks!

David 10:24 AM  

Nice puzzle. I had to look up "omigod" to discover it was brought to us by the new cutesillerate (Illiterati?)crowd so must be spoken with both upspeak and fry. Is there really any wonder 90210 is back? [Not to mention our devolutionary new political reality?]

We lived upstairs from a dive bar in Brooklyn for 18 years. You can find it on line if you search for "scariest bar in Brooklyn" although it was replaced by Brooklyn Roast in the 00s. Its main clientele were Hasidim and NYPD detectives (both on and off duty; and the cops brought their own booze with them and, when the owner complained, shut the place down until he relented).

Never saw the Omega Man but I remember the posters. Charlton was never one I had a desire to spend money on.

Few Americans could name the 6th President, cluing his wife is wonderfully brutal.

I'm with those above pointing out that junkyards don't reek, except perhaps with possibilities for those mechanically inclined. And I have roused people out of bed.

Odd to have Eli Eli along with Unter den Linden. A bit too close for comfort for me, but that's my trigger, obviously.

GHarris 10:31 AM  

A most enjoyable solve and a right on write up by Rex. Like Nancy I didn’t appreciate the full appeal of this puzzle until I came to Rex’s description of the various bars which enhanced my regard but made me feel a bit sheepish for not spotting myself.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

It's more fun to aROUSE someone into bed.

Melrose 10:49 AM  

Someone please explain 11 across.

Hungry Mother 10:59 AM  

@amyyanni: Gutsy choice of season for an r2r2r. Are you going straight through or overnighting at PR? My wife and I did an August r2r in the 90s (http://www.capemaybeach.net/rimtorim/). The soles of my boots melted.

@El Gran Jugador: those of us that have ‘em prefer Bull Shit, More Shit, Piled Higher and Deeper.

Joe Dipinto 11:01 AM  

Eeee-li's comiiiin'
Eeee-li's a-com-iiin'

This puzzle is a nigh perfect creation. Having started in the top left corner for once, I got the theme with SNAIL'S PACE. What was good was that you couldn't immediately tell where the other ones were going to be. My only quibbles are in the cluing: as a number of astute commenters have noted, non-Michelin food is SLOP, not GLOP. And Suzie Q and Bruce R correctly observe that junkyards are not famous for reeking.

I also realized that ELI! ELI! (MY GOD! MY GOD!) is placed symmetrically opposite OMIGOD! in the grid. That's kind of clever-nifty.

I thought I read fairly recently that INDIGO has been plutoed as a spectrum color. I'm fine with that, it was never in the old Crayola boxes. Which is not to say I don't like it as a color; but it needs to admit that it's just another shade of blue like cobalt or turquoise.

@Quasi -- yes, you are thinking of "Blazing Saddles".

@melrose: 11A is a theme answer, the INI of GEMINI (sign of spring) takes a "dive" to become MINI (certain skirt) BAR.

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

@Melrose - GEMINI is a astrological sign in the spring, i.e. the answer to the clue. The trick of the puzzle is that the across clue answer goes across for a while, then dives down GEM (11A) / MINI (13D)

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Outdoor section of a zoo -> APES? APES is a “section?”

Back in my youth, when Forest Park had a conventional northern zoo, the large animals, cats and primates were housed in the 'monkey house'. Smelled about how you would expect. Haven't been there in decades, but last time the erstwhile 'monkey house' was now offices. I suppose the locals found that conversion rather humorous.

Can never remember how many t in LITERATI.

If you've ever had a GLOP of (99.44% flour stretched) beef stew, you know what it means. still, one's instinct is for SLOP.

Hack mechanic 11:17 AM  

Was looking for the "dive bar" at 44a & 45d struggled with knight before realising it was 49a &50d transports.

Newboy 11:20 AM  

Yep, Rex nails it again. Loved the solve, but didn’t get the reveal until the last letter entered, the S in ESCROW. And only saw the brilliance of MINIBAR , ETAL from commentary above. The misdirects of clueing like “converse” provided sheer delight as I GLOPped my to the end. Bravo for the new constructor as others have noted and an amen brother to GHarris’s nod for Nancy. The exchanges and insights that appear almost daily here double my enjoyment and raise interesting new ideas, I.e. “What’s in that third circle of the Venn diagram?”

xyz 11:26 AM  

@Melrose, dive at the end to get GEM-INI


RooMonster 11:41 AM  

Probably will get answered a bunch of times, but 11A is part of the DIVE theme, and you have to include 13D to get GEMINI as your Summer Sign (Astrological sign). Nice misdirect as almost everyone threw LEO in there.

RooMonster Answerer

old timer 11:42 AM  

The GEM makes not even remote sense as a sign of spring, unlike say SNAILS as a slow speed. But if you DIVE down, you get GEMINI, which is a Spring sign of the Zodiac. My last entry, too.

All in all a delightful puzzle for the reasons OFL gave.

Hard to be triggered by UNTER den Linden, a boulevard not much associated with Nazis. It was one of the Electors' answers to the Champs d'Elysees in Paris, though not so successful. As for ELI ELI you may not know the song if you are not Jewish, but you certainly know the words if you are a Catholic, or a Protestant who reads her Bible. They were about the last words of Jesus as he lay dying on the Cross, and are printed in the New Testament: Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani, which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Joseph M 11:46 AM  

Thank you, Emily. This puzzle is a GEM.

Enjoyed reading a mostly positive review from Rex for a change. However, I could have done without the Twitter twits who really need to get a life. A crossword clue about a video-game company makes you furious?

Figured out the diving aspect of the theme almost immediately with SNAIL’S PACE, but didn’t realize until after the solve that the vertical themers were types of BARS. Brilliant!

Had the most trouble in the NE where I thought for a while that the lousy fare was slop and that Mr. Heston had been The Omaha Man. Meanwhile ELIELI seemed like a mishmash of vowels until I finally realized it was two words.

With TRANS, OUT, SAL Mineo, and an INDIGO rainbow reference, the puzzle seems to have an LGBTQ MINI theme.

What? 11:55 AM  

GEMINI Dive down to MINI (also a BAR).

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

@melrose - gem/ ini. Gemini horoscope sign
RE:Tuesday’s puzzle. Cool documentary on avicii on Netflix called true stories

WhatDoing 12:08 PM  

Excellent puzzle today. But now all I want is a Star Wars universe where Obi-Wan encourages his protégée to “Use the goo goo eyes Luke.”

John Hoffman 12:13 PM  

OMIGOD is completely new for me. I was sure at there was an alternate spelling of the cross of “YSIS” for OMYGOD.

Anonymous 12:26 PM  



13D answer dives down (and MINIbar) is one of the 4 answers hinted at in 40A clue.

Happened to get my foothold in the SE, so picked up on ESCROW answer bending down, which gave me the DIVEBAR revealer, but I still missed the additional BAR-connection of all the diving elements until reading Rex.

Only other slowdown was thinking that 44A/45D was another themer, but could make no sense of REEKNIGHT - have to agree that the better clue would have been landfill or dump. Then I saw that MINI completed the #4 bending themer.

2 thumbs up for Emily and today's write-up.


JOHN X 12:43 PM  

This was too easy for a Thursday puzzle. The theme was thin and mostly solveable without even knowing it.

Lots of cutesy answers though. That one Twitter guy seriously needs to get laid.

Masked and Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Great & fun puz. Do agree with @Roo -- NEEDU is a mandatory extra themer.

Worst: AG BARR.

80-worder! More for yer moneybucks.
faves of the 80: KNIGHT. OMIGOD. FIRMUP. PEGLEG. OMEGAMAN [cool schlock flick]. NIECE + UNC. ANTITHESIS. LUMBERED. MUSHROOM. And more(l). Primo stuff.

staff weeject pick: IVS. Better clue: {What drunker-than-snot Caesar would crawl on, after all??}. Honrable mention to UNC.

Thanx, Ms. Carroll darlin. Ach und sehr gut, mit UNTER, btw. Es gibt har-ig, leicht.

Masked & Anonym8Us

@RP: Very nice blog write-up, altho I enjoy the bullet points more than the twitter points; personal preference. Just sayin.


Anoa Bob 12:45 PM  

Never heard the phrase DIVE BAR and I've been in some seedy BARs. (Thought at first it might be scuba diving related, something akin to a DIVE reef.) A seedy, run-down place would be a DIVE (noun), but to use DIVE as an adjective for a BAR, hotel, diner, etc., doesn't ring true to my ear. It has an ad hoc, made up just for this puzzle feel to it.

Nice word nerd GEMs at LITERATI and ANTITHESIS. I wanted to put two Ts in the former, but I guess that would be cats who are persnickety about where they do their business, the feline LITTERATI.

There's a MINI tutorial here for aspiring constructors who are having trouble getting theme candidates with matching letter counts. If one (TRANSPORT) is a letter short of its symmetrical counterpart, just bump it up with the ever so useful S, aka Plural Of Convenience (POC).

Anxiously waiting for more people who don't have a Ph.D. to tell us what it's like to have a Ph.D.

I AM FURIOUS!!! 12:51 PM  

I thought this was a lovely and fun puzzle. I will say that, as usual, the screen shots of the Rex twitterati I find irritating and actually disturbing. I’m 60 so = old but I’m not sure what’s going on with our society being so “straight from thought to mouth” —thought forms in head to immediate tweet. All the world appears to be a drama major these days. FURIOUS at a crossword clue/answer....really!?

Teedmn 12:59 PM  

sigh, that's what I had as an inspiration at 7A based on 7D's sLOP. Wrong in both ways - a sigh isn't sudden nor is it an inhalation but it did GLOP up the top center for a brief moment.

I started out rebusing SPACE into the top of 6D but 16A FIRMed UP the wrongness of that and I reluctantly SPACEd out the word along the 6D squares. By no means does that indicate I didn't like the puzzle - it was nice for all of Rex's reasons.

I think my brain is getting olde and inflexible - I forgot the spelling of 61A and thought I was in Ye Olde Shoppe rather than in Auld Lang Syne. That campus add-on was an Ell but I knew ROUND ONE was the start of the fight so AMES, EDU, ELLIS came clear.

Emily Carroll, thanks for the sweet Thursday puzzle.

Rex, thanks for the giggle re: the goo-goo eyes clue.

Fred Romagnolo 1:05 PM  

Leo is a summer, not a spring sign. In my whole life, I've only heard DIVE, never DIVE BAR, am I the only one? I got the gimmick at ESCROW, then went back. Without Me too, would we have all this gushy praise for a woman-oriented puzzle? From Rex, of course, it's taken for granted; he is consistent for the most part, but how come no rant about Heston? I will be leaving this collection of comments after Nov. 18, and I will miss some of you regulars, especially the ones who have been the targets of anonymous vindictiveness.

Janice 1:23 PM  

To anonymous at 10:19

You stopped looking too soon. There are several clips of Carli Lloyd kicking field goals, and one is, clearly, on a “5” line. Now, I suppose everyone who was there could be lying about it...seems unlikely

Oh, wait, this is a puzzle blog. I liked it a lot. Happy Thursday, everyone.

Joe Dipinto 1:26 PM  

@oldtimer -- being unfamiliar with ELI ELI I just listened to it. I had assumed it was an older song but I see it's from the WWII era. It's very haunting. Why should Rex prefer it not be in the puzzle, I wonder. Yes, it's a strange looking letter combination, but it *is* a genuine song title.

@David -- I was intrigued so I did your Scariest Brooklyn Bar search. Was it the Navy Yard Cocktail Lounge? I never went there, but the description seems to point to it.

Anonymous 1:35 PM  


Please direct me to one of those Carli Lloyd videos.


JC66 1:47 PM  

anon 1:35

Carli Lloyd's 55 yard FG.

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Howdy Y'All! Tex Barker here, Rex's alter-ego from the heartland. I've gotta go clear some brush in a few, so I'll keep this writeup short and sweet!

Let's talk about a few elephants in the room. First and foremost, OMIGOD, the NYT Is taking the lord's name in vain, and not even spelling it correctly. Congratulations, you've just offended 2B Christians worldwide -- think about that next time we're talking about being sensitive to a population.

The other big elephant, Women's World Cup Soccer. Now I'll confess this story about American Women beating the world warmed my cold heart a few degrees, but let's get real, this is a second-tier sport at best and once we get over the Coastal Media Elite hype-story, we're not left with a topic worth two mentions in a single puzzle. One I'll give you, but two, no.

I'm conflicted about TES. On one hand, yeah, questionable fill. On the other, we are talking about the most versatile position in the greatest sport ever invented. Worthy of a pass and arguably offsets some of the world cup overreach.

A final complaint -- if the constructor ever left her ivory tower on the coast somewhere, came down to Texas and observed a proper junkyard, she'd realize that the smell would be of rust and kerosene. Perhaps not the nicest smell imaginable, but hardly the REEK of New York City in the summer.

Until next time, don't squat with your spurs on!

See y'all next time!

Anonymous 2:12 PM  

" you've just offended 2B Christians worldwide"

well, based on the ones I know, about 99.44% of said folks let out with "Jesus H. Christ!!!" when they manage to hammer their own thumbs. not a big deal, or that widespread. we're not as obsessed with the Diety's name as certain other religions. just so ya know. and remember, ya caint eat oil. or breathe gas.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

JC 66

Thank you. I take it she hit a few, because I definitely saw one three yards after a 5 yard mark.

XQQQME 2:28 PM  

Ala Larry King...”a really lovely puzzle” because the constructor is female?...outrage over SEGA not only not right, but not right that it’s not right...if you don’t know if you know how to flirt, you don’t.
All in all, a lovely puzzle.

Doc John 2:29 PM  

Whenever I see ATOB, I always think of the criticism that Dorothy Parker gave of Katharine Hepburn early in her career: "She runs the gamut of emotion from A to B."

Sir Hillary 2:30 PM  

A “turn downward” theme? With acrosses and downs also fine as standalone words? In which all the “downturning” portions can be paired with the same word? And that word can also be paired with a different word that means “turn downward”? All of which results in minimal non-theme junk, including eight additional answers of eight letters or more? Check, check, check, check and check.

Very fine work indeed.

Jstarrracewalker 3:01 PM  

The goal posts are 10 yards back from the goal line, so add 10 to your estimate.

Fred Wollam 3:02 PM  

That would be "roust."

pabloinnh 3:59 PM  

Late to the party, but:

Thanks to all for your insights and commentary. I just finished binge reading and am smiling.

Joining the consensus on this being a very fine piece of work.

In short, I think we have us a Thursdazo!!

Z 5:25 PM  

@I AM FURIOUS!!! - Hyperbole is an oft used humorous device on Twitter.

@Joe DiPinto - I took Rex’s comment about ELIELI to be related to the answer being the esey ELI doubled. ONOONO or ENOENO would have gotten the same reaction.

@anon10:19 - I thought maybe I had a copy and paste error (that’s how I got the nifty Ω in my post), but it looks correct to me. So no clue why you’re seeing an extra mega.

Missy 6:02 PM  

Thank you @ Linda R....it was driving me crazy!!!

Missy 6:04 PM  

Thank you @Carola - totally stuck!

Missy 6:05 PM  

Thank you also @anonymous could not get there

GILL I. 6:29 PM  

@Z...So, Hyperbole? Kinda like It's fake news? And Carlie Lloyd could have knocked me over with a feather.

Z 7:17 PM  

@Gill I - The danger of hyperbole is it can be taken seriously. So your second example works but many people take usage of your first example as literal. Same with those tweets, I doubt the Tweeter was actually “furious.” I read it as “look how my fake outrage demonstrates how cool I am.” Same with the over-the-top dropping of the F word. But to us olds it looks serious. Whether or not he was successful at demonstrating his coolness I will leave to you.

Why am I getting spellcaster follow-ups from a 2015 Blog? Apparently moderation isn’t retroactive.

GILL I. 8:48 PM  

@Z...so true...and scary. You almost have to be in front of the person - maybe over a drinky poo - to see their face. We have to measure our words when in print. You can't take them back.
Just to be on record, I (my opinion ) think Twitter is exactly how it sounds. Like a bird looking for a worm: tweet tweet, looky here, I found a worm.

laura R 10:15 PM  

I felt this puzzle was tough enough that I finally stopped, took a screen shot, and sent it to my dad to see if he could give me any hints. I had figured out the "DIVE BAR" theme but couldn't see where the last one was ("ESC CROW"). Anyway, I mostly want to point out that the spelling for "ELI ELI" is very misleading because the song sounds like "Ay-lee, ay-lee" or just however you'd spell a long A sound. I read that answer like a long E. The way it is spelled in Hebrew is with an aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (crosswordese often spells it "alef") and also, when using a vowel under the letter, it signifies the long A sound. So, really, the answer to the clue should be "Ayli, ayli" or something like that. I wonder who decided it should be spelled "ELI, ELI" in the first place!

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

Syllabuses? Rex, I'm utterly aghast as I work on my own syllabi.

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Finished puzzle. My only prediction was that ms would rag on ELIELI. Why, you ask?

spacecraft 10:47 AM  

Well, I did finish, with no mistakes--but did I really? I stumbled across TRANSPORT early, before finding the revealer. And when I did find it, it seemed to me that it should've just read "DIVE." No one puts "BAR" after that. I thought about the "BAR" part being black squares...but no, that didn't fit. So the revealer seemed off to me. Only after coming here did I realize that all the down parts were, in fact, bars! This adds a whole layer of wow! to the puzzle, and almost makes me think I DNF.

Today's Damsel is not in the puzzle--not even in the clues. She's in the comments! Carli Lloyd wins: not for kicking a 55-yard field goal, but for doing it at an E!A!G!L!E!S! training camp!! Also, she's cute.

I like the ANT with her NIECE. Some might balk at OMIGOD repeating in the clue for ELIELI; no biggie here. I'd frown at TES, except my favorite Eagle is TE Zack Ertz. How about a name that begins and ends with Z? Care to work him into a grid, constructors?

Now I must prepare to go to the SPORTS BAR, as you-know-who is playing tonight. In honor of football (in both the American and international sense, BTW), I say that Ms. Carroll has scored a touchdown (GOAL!) today. This replaces the usual golf-oriented rating.

Burma Shave 12:36 PM  


She RAISES her MINI skirt with FLAIR


rondo 2:45 PM  

Did it more quickly than at a SNAILSPACE. Better than a rebus. I used to have a favorite DIVEBAR until it sold, got cleaned up, and beer prices skyrocketed.

The ultimate Bond girl is his boss, what a Dame Judi DENCH.

Diana, LIW 3:58 PM  

Played from the inside out, so I had the DIVEBAR firmly in place. (If you are ever in Philly, go to "Dirty Franks" at 13th and Pine and have a drink for me - my youthful handout dive bar of all time, with murals of everything Phila and Phrank on the outside. Back in the day, no murals. Just sawdust, hot dogs, and cheap drinks.)

Knowing what to look for, I counted off the diverse divers. In French and Spanish. And German. Don't know the Urdu, nor the Greek - Roman numerals, natch.

So another Thursday firmly under my belt, no errors, no rebii. Hoo rah!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 3:59 PM  

Forgot to mention, we have the ultimate Bond Concert this weekend in Spokane, with the Symphony and Bond tunes.

Diana, LIW

leftcoast 4:23 PM  

The trick showed up early in three corners, NW, NE, SE..., but what about the SW? Its theme answer not placed like the others, but okay, I guess. And DIVE BAR? Oh, the unrelated SPACE, MINI, CROW, and errant SPORTS bar, all taking a "dive" apparently.

Stuff I liked in the fill: GASP/GLOP, EDU/AULD, INDIGO instead of orange, and LITERATI and OMEGA MAN in the NE corner. Also the unknown but inferable ELI, ELI. Elsewhere, vaguely remember LOUISA, but needed crosses for her and UNTER.

Didn't ADORE it, but liked the solve of a pretty good, medium Thursday puzzle.

leftcoast 6:21 PM  

Message from cyberspace:

Haven't thought of ANTITHESIS as synonym of "converse". Rather, ANTITHESIS as opposite of converse, and "converse" as synonym for slangy "inside-out" linguistically? LMS? Are you out there?

wcutler 9:30 PM  

Anoa Bob 12:45 PM If you know it's a crummy bar, you would just call it a dive, but if you're talking about that sort of place that your listener hasn't heard of at all, you would say dive bar to distinguish it from a dance hall or greasy spoon.

fritz 9:08 PM  

Take omigod, put it in a box with amirite, and bury it at sea.

Steve Hoffman 6:33 PM  

I take vast exception to "extremely slow speed" being SNAILS (without even so much as the required 'pace') and would love someone to explain to me how "conveys" could be "TRANS." Is this kind of sloppiness allowed because it's "only" a midweek puzzle?

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