Deep-sea fishing nets / TUE 8-13-19 / Flight amenity that costs extra / Bill killer's position

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:14)

THEME: STAR-CROSSED (23D: With 38-Across, like Romeo and Juliet ... and like the circled words) — words that can precede "star" in common phrases "cross" one another four times in the grid:

Theme answers:
  • ROCK (1D: Alternative to rap and R&B) / CHILD-PROOF (16A: Safe for youngsters)
  • LODE (15A: Rich supply of ore) / MORNING DEW (10D: Droplets seen early in the day)
  • LEAST OF ALL (28D: Lowest in importance) / FILM (63A: Old camera need)
  • STRIKE GOLD (61A: Hit the jackpot) / LONE (57D: Solitary)
Word of the Day: KATIE Ledecky (19A: Ledecky who has been named World Swimmer of Year five times) —
Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky (/ləˈdɛki/Czech pronunciation: [ˈlɛdɛtskiː]; born March 17, 1997) is an American competitive swimmer. She has won five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer. She is the current world record holder in the women's 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle (long course). She also holds the fastest-ever times in the women's 500-, 1000-, and 1650-yard freestyle events.
In her international debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games as a 15-year-old, Ledecky unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 800-metre freestyle. Four years later, she left Rio de Janeiro as the most decorated female athlete of the 2016 Olympic Games with four gold medals, one silver medal, and two world records. In total, she has won 34 medals (28 golds, 5 silvers, and 1 bronze) in major international competitions, spanning the Summer OlympicsWorld Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships. During her career, she has broken fourteen world records.
Ledecky's success has earned her Swimming World's Female World Swimmer of the Year a record-breaking five times. Ledecky was also named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in 2017, international female Champion of Champions by L'Équipe in 2014 and 2017, United States Olympic Committee Female Athlete of the Year in 2013, 2016 and 2017, and Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundationin 2017. Ledecky's 11 individual gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships and 15 combined individual titles at the Olympics and World Aquatics Championships are records in women's swimming. (wikipedia)
• • •

This felt so easy that I was slightly surprised that my time wasn't faster—a fast time, for sure, but twenty seconds off my recorded best. Truly felt like a Monday, and played like one. The weird off-centered cross-referenced revealer, plus a few hesitations elsewhere (one of them fairly significant), was enough to inflate my time to merely Regular Easy, as opposed to Spectacularly Easy. The theme seems pretty solid to me—nothing very twisty or wordplayish going on, but the execution is consistent. The whole thing feels very well crafted, and the fill, while light on sparkle, stays clean throughout the grid. This is a good example of a how a puzzle can feel "old" (or "old-fashioned") but still be good; the frame of reference here is decidedly not current, and much of the fill is very familiar crosswordy stuff, but the grid never drifts into crosswordese (e.g. names you never see outside crosswords), and has very little in the way of abbrs., partials, marginal foreign words, obscurities, etc. Feels like a fine Tuesday puzzle from the '90s (the clue on KATIE is the only thing that marks this thing as a 21st-century product). "Polished" is the word that comes most readily to mind as I look over this grid. I wish more constructors took the time to make *every* corner of their grids this neat.

Don't have much to say about this one. I'm not sure about the revealer—why cross STAR and CROSSED? I mean, I get it, there's a whole "cross" theme going on, but the themers cross for very specific reasons, following a pattern that the revealer does not follow itself. And since the revealer cross is wonkily off-center, it kind of makes the whole thing weird. It's an added flourish that actually adds little and creates inelegance. This is a minor criticism, but I think about these things. Maybe you could've done the cross with STAR crossing the central "S" in CROSSED, thus forming a kind of cross? No, that would be a "T," and a top-heavy one at that. STAR is probably in a fine place, all things considered. It just messes with the tidiness of the "cross" theme a little.

My slowness came almost entirely from the bottom half of LEAST OF ALL. Everything after LEAST was ???? since LEAST seemed to encompass the entire meaning of the clue, 28D: Lowest in importance. Even LEASTO- didn't help. And then when I went for help with crosses, I got a misleading clue at 51A: Flight amenity that costs extra (WIFI). That clue *needs* "usually* at the end of it, as several airlines, including Emirates and JetBlue, offer free WIFI. Even with the terminal "I," I didn't know what was up. Considered TAXI (??!). Also really couldn't see FILM, which tells you a bit about how old I am (63A: Old camera need). "Old"! How dare you! Lastly, as far as that corner is concerned, why in the world would you use Desdemona, of all people, as the clue WIFE (51D: Desdemona, to Othello). Me: "well MURDER VICTIM doesn't fit, so ...?" Of all the WIFEs in the world (so many), this paradigmatic example of domestic violence is your example? I'm in no way offended. Just baffled. [Lucy, to Desi] [Marge, to Homer] [Penelope, to Odysseus] etc etc etc. any of those would've worked. Not a strangulation among them.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:44 AM  

Just when you think you know someone ...
I thought Rex would HATE this puzzle and I was willing to bet he was going to need his safe space because some of the themers were stand-alone words and some were partials from longer entries.

Oh well. I enjoyed it but found it super easy, even for - or more accurately, especially for - a Tuesday.

puzzlehoarder 12:57 AM  

A Monday time inspite of a few mistakes. The fill was just that easy. I ran into the theme at 38A and both halves went right in.

The only challenge was finding the shaded squares with the star entries in them. Even printed out at full tone they're nearly invisible.

jae 1:20 AM  

Easy. Smooth and delightful. A fine Tues.

JOHN X 2:13 AM  

Wow, this was a really great puzzle. I mean really solid.

Music Man 2:29 AM  


Big Jim Slade 2:45 AM  

I did this puzzle at a party at Mel Gibson's Malibu compound, while I was snorting coke off a stripper's back.

Mel is awesome, just like this puzzle

File as fog 3:26 AM  

Indeed. Thought Rex would be all over that

BarbieBarbie 5:49 AM  

SOLIDER, ugh. Otherwise a nice puzzle, though very Monday:bland. Why does Rex seem condescending today?

I liked that the STARs In the West were people and the STARs In the East were not. If that had been North and Southit would have been cool. Cooler.

The Bard 6:01 AM  

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes(5)
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth, with their death, bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,(10)
Which, but their children's end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

Romeo and Juliet - The Prologue

Lewis 6:01 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:05 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:13 AM  

Smooth as silk, as always with LL's puzzles. With the plus of two double-o palindromes, and a bevy of 4-letter semordnilaps (IRAS, ENID, LONE, AVID, STAR, and IRIS), and the 5-letter double-proper-name one OPRAH..

I would like to thank Lynn for bringing my wife to life in this puzzle. My wife, who is ANTI-MEAT, SABLE-PROOF (would never wear it), disdains FIRE ANTS, and for whom OPRAH is KEY. My wife Susan, who is my GOLD-STAR, ALLSTAR, ROCK STAR.

Hungry Mother 6:56 AM  

Ignored the theme and dashed through it. The rtheme is coming to me as I write this in spite of myself.

amyyanni 6:56 AM  

Solider gave me pause in this most solid puzzle. Otherwise, very smooth. Finished in less than three Rexes. Tonight is the last conference call with my Rim2rim2rim Grand Canyon group before we go next week.

Solverinserbia 7:07 AM  

My fastest Tuesday ever (only started this year.) Simple but good puzzle.

kitshef 7:18 AM  

What the blooming bunion is a LODE star? That is such a complete outlier. I’ve seen SOLIDER themers, is what I’m saying.

My prediction was that Rex would pan this because the themers in the NW don’t cross, they just sort of T-intersect. And that everyone else would either think it was too easy, or love it. Rex surprised me.

Patrick Kellogg 7:18 AM  

Oh! I thought the theme was LOVERS, and was wondering why they used
ROCK LOVERS crossed with CHILD LOVERS, and thought “ick”

Dan M 7:26 AM  

Felt easy but took me longer than it should have, largely because I had a typo in the SW but was convinced my error was in the center, because how on earth is a "baffling question" a POSER? Is that real? Has a human ever used the word POSER that way?

OffTheGrid 7:45 AM  

@Barbie. You ask "Why does Rex seem condescending today?" Because you and others look very hard to find a reason to gripe about Rex. He liked the puzzle today and said so and why. When he doesn't like a puzzle he says so and why. Sounds like the way it should be.

pabloinnh 7:57 AM  

Agree with the SOLIDER objections, it looks like a misspelling of SOLDIER. Even our "star crossed" author would have used "too too solid", the dieter's lament.

Definitely a Tuesday that knows how to Monday: read a clue, write an answer. As others have pointed out, smooth as a smelt.

Nice job again, LL, and thanks.

sidneyellenwade 7:59 AM  

I went through this very quickly, as everyone else did, but unlike everyone else, I can't figure out what crossing CHILD and ROCK makes? or MORNING and LODE? or any of the others--can someone clue me in?

GHarris 7:59 AM  

Agree, this should have been a Monday. No challenge once I changed gleam to glint.

FLAC 8:02 AM  

"Plato thought nature but a spume that plays
Upon a ghostly paradigm of things;
Solider Aristotle played the taws
Upon the bottom of a king of kings."

If "solider" was good enough for Yeats, it's good enough for me.

Bruce R 8:06 AM  

The "Turf" part of surf and turf is (usually) BEEF, not MEAT. Lobster is meat. Both the surf and the turf are meat. I'm supposing this is a result of the notion that seafood is somehow not meat. Try having a vegetarian over for dinner and explain that you're having lobster for dinner, and not to worry, because lobster is not meat.

QuasiMojo 8:20 AM  

Beat my fastest Tuesday time. I didn't even realize how easy it was. A pleasant diversion, but not exactly STELLAR. I would have been more impressed if the stars had two places, before and after. Child Star made me think it might be that way as Star Child sounded plausible to me. Child Star seemed the weakest themer. Although Morning Star left me a bit cold since it already is a Star. All the others are using the term either metaphorically or as a shape.

I suspect the constructor chose Desdemona and Othello because they are Star-Cross'd. Desi treated Lucy pretty badly and she would hardly have recommended him as a role model for a good husband. I have no idea about Marge and Homer. Are they Muppets?

Z 8:29 AM  

Lynn Lempel’s puzzles and grids are generally SOLIDER than just about everyone else’s, so it is easy to elide past a toe stub.

My mind is still mud from the weekend (my fit bit tells me that I walked 22 miles running a tournament while I typically walk/run only 17 miles playing in an ultimate tournament) so no opinion on difficulty, but the ese is squeaky clean (well, there is that one comparative of convenience streak in the NW). I do wonder sometimes if there are any other four letter cities in Oklahoma, but I’m going to be sure to check out their BBQ the next (first) time I am there.

“Condescending?” Huh? Brutally honest often, over-the-top candid too often perhaps, but I never consider anything Rex writes as condescending. He obviously wonders why some puzzles and some constructors get published, but never in a way I’d describe as “patronizing.” I usually feel quite the opposite, we are so used to being patronized and condescended to that direct, declarative criticism seems harsh.

Suzie Q 8:30 AM  

This played ok. Like @ kitshef I didn't know what a lode star was. I looked it up. Always good to learn something.
Desdemona is such a lovely name. Speaking of names, today I learned why the frequent answer Enid, OK is called that.
I'll take a Teaching Tuesday any week.

Carola 8:36 AM  

My favorite kind of grid set-up, where the reveal is in the center, so that I can try and guess the lower-tier theme answers without crosses. On that, I batted 50%, getting FILM and LONE right off but needing help for GOLD and ALL (talk about STAR-CROSSED: I got IRIS mixed up with IRAS, so had iLL where I should have had ALL. ILL-starred exists, right? Flummoxed state ensued.)

Lovely puzzle, and yet...a theme based on lovers who kill themselves, with the "bonus" of a wife who's murdered. Perhaps ENID is there as a balance, the non-STAR-CROSSED wife of Erec/Geraint.

Z 8:38 AM  

@Bruce R - Do you know any pescatarians? I would slice the hair this way: Lobster has meat but lobster is shellfish, not meat. No one ever said “I want meat for dinner” meaning they wanted lobster or crab. Before you yell at me, I take your point, but crosswords play fast and loose with the marginal meanings of words so to solve one always has to look at how a clue might work, not for reasons it doesn’t.

Anonymous 8:44 AM  

Dan M 7:26

pos·er (2)

noun: poser; plural noun: posers
a difficult or perplexing question or problem.

CDilly52 8:48 AM  

What a lark (oh wait, the bird puzzles has flown)! My only negative comment (OK, there was SOLIDER-that I had filled in through other clues and then read as SOLdiER) is that I blazed through this in record Monday time for me and didn’t get to enjoy it until after it was completed. Solid, solid, SOLIDER puzz! And @Lewis, what a wonderful sentiment to share. It is exactly what I was thinking about my now departed husband as I looked over the theme answers! I’m a LL fan and this was a gem!

Speedweeder 9:05 AM  

Quasimojo 8:20

Even if you've never watched an episode of The Simpsons, which I haven't, it's hard to avoid running into them. The main characters (Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa) appear frequently in crosswords, as do neighbor Ned, bartender Moe, and convenience store proprietor Apu. It's best just to memorize them all for future puzzles.

Nancy 9:24 AM  

I'm feeling pretty STAR CROSSED myself this MORNING. A puzzle without a single genuine POSER in it. One that pretty much INKS IN itself. So easy a CHILD could do it.

Why haven't we MANAGED to STRIKE GOLD yet this week? Why such SLIM pickings? Don't you have in your pile of acceptances, Mr. Shortz, many puzzles that are a lot SOLIDER than this?

(Google is balking at SOLIDER. I'm balking too.)

It's now after 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday and at LEAST one AVID solver hasn't needed to employ a single little gray cell in solving the last two puzzles. C'mon, let's have at least a DASH of challenge. A GLINT of imagination. Please.

rageismycaffeine 9:39 AM  

Wow, I did not enjoy this puzzle and was sure Rex would too. More than once I said aloud "that was a bad clue" or "what?!" SOLIDER was a mess. The clue for EDIT was not good (especially not for a Tuesday). And never in my life, nor my crossword-solving career, have I heard of that definition for TOOT (and I can't believe I'm the first to comment on it).

Old-fashioned, yes. Good, no.

pmdm 9:41 AM  

The comments here pushed me into looking up the definition of vegetarian. Apparently, the work refers to a person who eats neither red meat nor fish. Who knew? I did not. I suspect many use the word as only referring to red meat. As Will would say, good enough for crosswords.

Mr. Sharp may often be vicious and may sometimes be inaccurate, but I rarely find him condescending. I don't see how one can call his comments today as condescending. Perhaps an explanation (if possible) is needed.

Solved the entire puzzle without knowing the theme, which to me seems irrelevant. But it is enjoyable for me to admire the craft of pulling off the theme so smoothly. Just a little over a decade before hitting 100 published in the NYT. If you asked me to describe Lynn's puzzles in a word, I would unhesitatingly say "egoless." I say that as a very high compliment.

Did you gather I really liked this puzzle. And not just because it was easy.

QuasiMojo 9:55 AM  

Where's the BEEF?

I agree with @Bruce R above about Turf being more specific than MEAT. I'd feel cheated if I got turkey served with my lobster.

Thank you @Speedweeder for the handy list of Simpsons figures. I will memorize it for future use.

Kenneth Clark, who was a stickler for le mot juste, had no issues with SOLIDER: "the Gothic villa of 1830 was solider, perhaps more Gothic, than the silly summer-houses of the preceding century." He should see the ones being made today.

Einstein 10:23 AM  

Lobster is surf not turf because it lives in water.

Ellen S 10:27 AM  

I know more than several people who call themselves vegetarians because they don’t eat red meat. They eat fish, crustaceans, and fowl. I always object - “how can you think chickens are vegetables?” i guess they could say to me, “Hah, you call yourself a vegetarian and yet you eat fruit.” But they don’t say that; they’re just baffled by my objection. I am a hypocrite, actually: I take glucosamine/chondroitin tablets which are made from shrimp. But I don’t usually admit it, let alone cite that as an example of how I’m a vegetarian. I’ve heard rumors that there are vegan sources but haven’t been able to find them. The stuff I give the cat, which really does keep her agile, is made with “patented green-lipped mussels.” Really? Patented? Mussels have lips?

In other news, @QuasiMojo - I think the MORNING STAR is usually Venus, which is generally considered a planet, though pescatarians might differ.

Finally, I kind of liked the puzzle, didn’t find anything objectionable, but despite all the STARs, it didn’t really sparkle for me.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

why not cross/intersect STAR and CROSS? well, that just might be too much of a give-away to the revealer.

Rob Mc 10:31 AM  

George knew that lobster equals meat.

jberg 10:33 AM  

Fun theme, and I guess on a Tuesday it was best to go with shaded/circled squares; personally I would have preferred something like "as found four times in this puzzle," though.

What's more fun, however, is coming here and learning once again that words that seem perfectly ordinary to some people (poser, toot, lodestar) seem exotic or unreal to others. I don't say that to be condescending -- I imagine everyone here knows some words that I don't, too. It's just interesting.

Joaquin 10:59 AM  

Anon @ 10:29 - Two things: If you're going to blast another poster, at least have the cajones to post under your name; and speaking of trite tropes, how 'bout the well-worn idea of putting a period after every word for emphasis. Gag me!

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

there are many classifications of vegetarian.

may the argument begin.

GILL I. 11:01 AM  

TOOT is a drinking spree? I only know it from a poem possibly from TONTO: Beans, beans, the magical fruit the more you eat, the more you TOOT.
I usually like all of Ms. Lempel's crosswords. This one felt like she did it in her sleep. I agree, it's clean as a whistle but it's a tad ho hum. She usually adds more zest and zing. Maybe it needed a bit more GLINT.

dadnoa 11:01 AM  

I, too blinked twice at solider.......really thought it wasn’t a word. I mean just adding er to a solid word doesn’t really count. And, as with so many others, I chuckled at the husband-wife pair. Of all the couples in the world, THAT one was chosen.....must be summer.....

Joseph M 11:04 AM  

INGOT We Trust

Super easy puzzle that asks us to pretend that SOLIDER is not in it. The trick apparently worked on Rex who didn’t even mention the puzzle’s most conspicuous wart.

I hope for a little more MEAT in a Tuesday puzzle, but the grid was fairly free of crosswordese and the theme gets three STARS from me. Just noticed that for almost every themer, STAR can work after the word as well as before it.

The only pause came from wanting GLEAM before GLINT and wondering why the crosses weren’t spelling anything that made sense. That lasted for about twelve seconds.

Ninth row of the grid could be a headline in a western newspaper: LASSO GETS MEAT.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

I liked the throwback except for one instance: 66A Class for US citizen hopefuls as ESL. It should have been conditional; the idea that ESL would be required or even needed by all immigrants is not only inaccurate, but tone-deaf given the current political climate. Otherwise enjoyable and easy Tuesday for me.

mmorgan 11:06 AM  

I usually wince when I see circles and rejoice when I see Lynn Lempel. The latter cancelled out the former and this was a delight (though I also found it Monday-ish, but that's not a criticism). Thank you!!

RooMonster 11:12 AM  

Hey All !
Have an O fest in North of puz. Also in the middle. But alas, no U's for @M&A (who is on vacation, I believe.) There is three F's. Nice.

Nice TuesPuz. CROSSing STARs. Agree placement of Revealer is askew, but it ties into all the others crossing randomly.

Where's the Wars clue? (STAR Wars) Or Trek? Just sayin'. :-)

Almost got my one-letter DNF, just about to put in the G of MANGLED as my last fill, but looked up to see TRoWLS, and said, "What the heck is MoNGLED?" Reread clue, said, "Oh, MANGLED!" and overwrote it just in time
to avoid the Almost There! message and finish error free.

Finished exactly 5 minutes slower than Rex, 8:14. Good for me. I don't go for speed, I actually like to count the number of blocks before I solve it. Why? Who knows? But, that sucks up seconds, nano or otherwise.



Amelia 11:13 AM  

All you people letting Rex off the hook? He's questioning the use of that misogynist, Shakespeare! "Of all the wifes...."

Stupid puzzle with a glaring mistake.

The plural of RBI is RBI.

In the words of Casey Stengel, you can look it up.

RooMonster 11:13 AM  

Oh, wanted to thank @Teedmn and @kitshef for the Birthday wishes yesterday. To the rest of ya, Phooey!

Har, just kidding.


JC66 11:15 AM  

@Anon 11:05

Based on the clue, the ESL class could be an elective...not necessarily required.

fifirouge 11:42 AM  

I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle like a whole bunch of folks. Blew through it at record pace and then....sad face from the applet. Whaaaa? I went through the whole thing twice looking for my error (convinced it was somewhere in TOOT even though all of the crosses were rock solid). I can be impatient, so I finally gave up and asked the app for help.

Yeaaaahhh....I had 28D as LaASTOFALL. My brain skipped over the double a at least 3 times. When I first dropped the answer in I parsed it as "last to fall," which definitely doesn't mean "lowest in importance." Re-read it and decided it was "last of all," which sounded a little off, but not wrong.

As for the cross, I missed the "computer" part of the clue and just saw "company....predator". There has to be a car called Predator. And if Le Car is a thing, A Car seems no more bizarre. Sigh.

Now I'm going to go back and re-edit that report I just finished reviewing. Clearly my brain isn't paying attention to detail at the moment...

BobL 12:01 PM  

Amelia - sure if the words are spelled out. It is never said, "He had three RBI today."

pabloinnh 12:27 PM  

One of our Red Sox announcers says "RBI" to indicate a plural, the other says "RBI's", which is the way I've always heard it.

I'm waiting for the inevitable compromise, "R'sBI", which I think is technically correct, but sounds absurd.

Suzie Q 12:37 PM  

Boy, you know it is a clean puzzle when nits to pick are such a stretch as today. So I'll join in on the fun.
@ Rob Mc (10:31) I think the story line with George and the lobster referred to being kosher not vegan.
@ GILL I., I know that little ditty as "musical fruit".

QuasiMojo 12:42 PM  

@Ellen S, I did not know that re Venus. I should have. I just watched The Planets on Nova. Excellent point. Thanks!

albatross shell 12:50 PM  

I wonder how many times here I've read people complain about an unfair cross when "technically" it was corner or T intersect. I wonder how many are the ones now complaining. Many star-crossed lovers die together.

Solider is a perfectly normal respectable word. Probably in every dictionary. You may think it looks funny and sounds ugly and rolls off your tongue poorly. So what. Crocodile tears. Two syllable words take an -er in the rear or a more in front. If you do not like it, OK. Thanks for your personal aesthetic judgement.

I did not take note of the theme until I was done, and I thought it was done well.

Maybe Monday and Tuesday got crossed this week.

chasklu 12:51 PM  

Does today's Monday puzzle on a Tuesday make up for last week's Wednesday puzzle on a Tuesday?

John Hoffman 12:55 PM  

POSER was new to me. Puzzle had few partials, odd stuff. One exception is SOLIDER but no more. That’s good. I enjoyed this puzzle!

Yam Erez 12:55 PM  

Ants are visitors at a cookout? Not really. They don't come close to fire. How about "picnic"?

foxaroni 1:15 PM  

Another thank you to @Speedweeder for the Simpsons summary. Many here often say they know nothing about Star Wars\Trek, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, etc. For me, it's the Simpsons. And thanks to @Joseph M for the excellent INGOT pun.

A belated happy birthday, @RooMonster. ;-)

Teedmn 1:18 PM  

Tuesday, the LEAST loved OF ALL puzzles of the week. I found it smooth, and nicely LEAVENed with TRAWLS, EXTERIOR, GLINT and SABLE. The SPOON reference to one of my favorite CHILDhood poems was appreciated.

As a pescatarian, I would eat only the surf half of the surf'n'turf dinner. @Ellen S, I do know someone who claimed to be vegetarian but ate chicken, calling chickens "free-range vegetables" [eyeroll]. I do cheat, occasionally taking a bite of a gelatin-based food (marshmallows) or not checking to see if my cheese was processed using rennin.

Lynn Lempel, another successful construction, thanks.

A Moderator 1:31 PM  

@albatross shell - No idea on your problem. Sorry I can’t help. My best advice is to restart your browser and hope that corrects it. Also, there are multiple moderators here and lots of more tech savvy people, so if restarting your browser doesn’t work feel free to try and post what’s happening and maybe somebody else can help.

Anoa Bob 1:59 PM  

The TOOT version is certainly the Sunday School safe homage to beans, but it just doesn't have the punch of the option that appeals most to my inner nine year old:

Beans, beans, good for the heart.
The more you eat, the more you fart.
The more you fart, the better you feel.
So you better eat beans every meal.

On a more serious note, taking dried beans, such as pinto beans, soaking them overnight in water and then draining off that water and rinsing the beans a couple of times before final cooking PREVENTS any flatulent infelicities and makes the beans a SILENT meal. You won't find SOLIDER advice than that.

albatross shell 2:01 PM  

I did look it up. And in addition to the argument below if you believe RBI stands for runs batted what do you do with: I had one RBI.

Some people reason that since “RBI” stands for “runs batted in,” there is no need for an additional “S” to indicate a plural, and speak of “120 RBI.” However, though somewhat illogical, it is standard to treat the initialism as a word and say “RBIs.” In writing, one can add an optional apostrophe: “RBI’s.” Definitely nonstandard is the logical but weird “RsBI.”

The same pattern applies to other such plural initialisms as “WMDs” (“weapons of mass destruction”), “POWs” (“prisoners of war”), and “MREs” (“meals ready to eat”); but “RPMs” (“revolutions per minute”) is less widely accepted.

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tea73 2:01 PM  

Nice puzzle, whizzed through it.

My SIL is half-Japanese when she announced to her mother she wanted to be a vegetarian, her mother said she couldn't be Japanese and not eat fish. So she's a pescatarian. Most of the vegetarians I know are perfectly happy eating cheese (without worrying about rennet) and eggs. It's the vegans who get picky. (And won't eat honey or drink milk either.)In any event, in my book you can't eat meat, poultry or fish and call yourself a vegetarian.

Maddiegail 2:20 PM  


Speedweeder 2:34 PM  

Along with the Simpsons' character names, it also helps to remember Homer's trademark catchphrase, "d'oh", usually uttered after he does something stupid. I have seen it in multiple puzzles, so I'm sure it will be back again soon.

Bruce R 2:55 PM  

One RBI, multiple RBIs. That is the most common take. Once you start using an initialism then it doesn't generally matter what the initials stand for or how the words are punctuated. Similarly, you might say "a run batted in" but you wouldn't say "a RBI."

xyz 2:58 PM  

I have nothing to say, so I won't post today.

SOLIDER. CW-ese or not, ouch!

Solverinserbia 3:45 PM  

All the shaded words can be followed by STAR in common expressions.

Child star
Rock star
Morning star
Lode star

Amelia 4:14 PM  

@ all the people complaining about my comment about RBI.

The announcers I listen to ALL say RBI for the plural. They're employed by baseball teams and sports networks. Not universities. They are baseball people. Not grammarians.

That's my story. And I am sticking to it.

The first part of the Casey Stengel quote, since no one asked, is most people my age are dead.

john towle 4:34 PM  

It’s been my observation in over four score years on this beleaguered blue dot of ours that all vegetarians own a few things made from leather.



Hartley70 4:50 PM  

Awww, @Roo. Happy Belated!

Z 5:14 PM  

Why all the talk about vegetarianism? The clue was “‘Turf’ half of surf and turf,” so the only question is whether or not MEAT meets the clue.
@QuasiMojo - my other example applies, poultry is poultry, not MEAT, even though a turkey has meat. Fish and fruit, for that matter, have MEAT.

@Amelia - I’m such a baseball person that I still watch my triple A Tigers, hoping beyond hope that they don’t break the 2003 group’s record for infamy. It’s been RBIs my entire life. @Albatross Shell accurately recounts my understanding, either is correct but RBIs is more common because it has become a word of its own.

Monty Boy 6:12 PM  

Another interesting (to me) thing about the puzzle is the lodestone, a naturally magnetic mineral (magnetite). It can be used to locate magnetic north by suspending on a string or floating on wood in water. A natural compass.

So is a star used to guide you. Polaris and the North Star for example.

GILL I. 7:46 PM  

@Z....Maybe because some like to go off the beaten know, like you do with your fit bit?
I think it's interesting how we got from MEAT to vegetarians. Why not? I've had lunch with @Ellen S and I can vouch for her. She won't touch any of that Surf nor Turf stuff. Nosireebob. Both @Deb from Sacramento and I stuff our faces with the moos and the oinks, but by gum, @Ellen won't eat an animal that can find a home in her house. Interesting, huh? I like stories like that.
Carry on.

Suzie Q 8:00 PM  

Thank you @ Monty Boy, Lode star was unknown but vaguely familiar. Now I remember that lodestone is what I was thinking of.

Anonymous 8:47 PM  


and it's AttorneyS General, too. not Run Batted InS

BarbieBarbie 9:28 PM  

@Z, meat is muscle tissue. Bird, fish, cow, whatever. Not fruit.

OK, well, probably nobody is looking by now, but two people wanted clarification, so: when I asked why OFL seemed condescending today I guess it was because there were some glaring issues with today’s puzzle that he didn’t so much as mention, while waxing enthusiastic about parts of the puzzle that were at best okay. I definitely did not ask because I look for things to criticize about the write ups, because I don’t. Usually when I say something even a little bit challenging it is to disagree with a factual assertion. Generally done not as a complaint, but as above, only that was for @Z. This is Sharp’s blog and he gets to write what he wants to write. But when his tone changes radically and I can’t figure out why, about 1 percent of the time I’ll make a comment to see if there’s enlightenment to be had. This time, it made me think of separate tees, and I wondered if others thought the same. That’s all.

Anonymous 7:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Burma Shave 12:37 PM  


to, LEASTOFALL, BEA aloof.


leftcoast 2:19 PM  

Nice, but too easy. Looked for something a bit more MEATy as a theme.

Diana, LIW 3:50 PM  

Yes - easier than yesterday's Monday offering.

Even after finishing I didn't get why the words were crossed. Then - duh. O I C U R saying my stars.

Diana, LIW

rainforest 4:10 PM  

GOLD STAR for Lynn Lempel. Always a pleasure.

Nice, consistent theme, and I thought the crossing revealer answers were a bonus, and don't care where they are placed.

Maybe I shouldn't read all the comments, and probably shouldn't refer to them, but is anyone else a little tired of @Nancy's tedious complaints about puzzles that don't make her "think"?

Solid construction, and though the puzzle was/is easy, it IS Tuesday, people.

spacecraft 7:58 PM  

As we open up the paper today, we STRIKEGOLD, seeing the LL byline. Nice theme, and not obvious until revealed. Clean fill, as long as no one fusses about TSP crossing SPOON--which is what the SP stands for. Doesn't bother me.

Katherine ROSS leads off, and wears the DOD sash today. She takes her (Etta) Place at the head of the grid. A cool one; birdie.

Diana, LIW 9:55 PM  

'Scuse me, @Spacey. Katherine? Katherine? Yes, a lovely lady. but Diana is the ROSS of the day.

DIANA, Often Imitated, Never Replicated

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