Marine mollusks that cling to rocks / SUN 9-15-19 / Film monster originally intended as a metaphor for nuclear weapons / "Way to go, team!" / Quattroporte and GranTurismo

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Constructor: Andrew Kingsley

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: "Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter" — Several long downs are puns with bowling terminology, plus ten down answers feature ten PINs in formation

Theme answers:
  • STRIKE ZONES (3D: Perfect places for bowlers to aim?)
  • NO TIME TO SPARE (5D: Comment when you need a serious comeback at the end of a bowling game?)
  • SPLIT DECISION (12D: Whether to aim at 7 or 10, in bowling?)
  • LANE CLOSURE (14D: Disappointing news for a bowler?)
  • FRAME RATE (73D: Pace at which bowlers complete their games?)
  • ALLEY CATS (78D: Hip bowling enthusiasts?
Word of the Day: MEZCAL (32D: Smoky agave spirit) —
Mezcal or mescal is a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave. Most mezcal is made in Oaxaca. It can also be made in Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan and the recently approved Puebla. A saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink is: "Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también." ("For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.").


• • •

Happy Sunday from beautiful St. Louis, CrossWorld! Matthew back today, filling in for Rex after emailing him only yesterday morning request for a guest blog appearance. The King delivers!

I'll be honest: I much prefer weekday puzzles, both as a solver and now as an emerging constructor. There's so much that goes into a good puzzle — I'd recommend you all to try constructing even *one* puzzle to share in this appreciation — and the Sunday stakes feel much higher with the larger grid and increased budget for theme squares.

I enjoyed Andrew's theme set here, and I especially liked going back and spotting the 10 PINs after I finished my solve (impressive, especially given that I didn't feel tripped up by all the strings of Ps, Is, and Ns!). Definitely appreciate how unabashedly all-in the puzzle goes on bowling.


So, pro: there's something related to the theme in every corner of the grid.

Con: The corners of the grid were absolutely brutal. I don't understand why the SW and SE are so segmented, with only one way in or out. With as much space as a 21x21 grid allows and with as top-heavy as the long downs are, it definitely feels like there was a missed opportunity in grid construction to open up into the center a bit more (and bring the word count down from its current 140, the Times Sunday limit) (perhaps take out the cheater squares below 54D and 56D? The squares between 97A/98A and 99A/100A? That weird cross thingy at the bottom? All certainly easier said than done).

To make matters worse, those corners are full of crummy short fill. NOTER ERSE TNUT (rising rapidly on my least-favorite-short-fill list with every passing day) are all kinda yucky. So is REGS — even VSIGN (?) and OPART (??) left a sour taste in my mouth working through the bottom of the grid alone. With some more bummers in the top and some truly strange cluing choices along the way that I don't really care to track down, it's a fine puzzle but nothing to write home about.

Another con: There are no TURKEY references in this puzzle! One of the best sports terms out there deserves its day in the sun and today should have been it!



Bullets: Looking back through the puzzle for bullets, I realized there's no single answer outside the theme set that I really truly love besides GODZILLA. Better luck next week.

Signed, Matthew Stock, Alley Cat of CrossWorld

[Follow me on Twitter for podcast recs, crossword talk, and stories from teaching 9th graders!]
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

74 comments:

Joe Dipinto 12:27 AM  

♪ And we'll have fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away ♪

Very fun puzzle, I thought. Liked the abundance of car/driving references: TAILFIN, PILEUPS, MASERATIS, STEEP ROAD, (go for a) SPIN, METERED, LANE CLOSURE...

♪ My Maserati does one-eighty-five
I lost my license, now I don't drive ♪


I'm always surprised to find out at XWord Info that a certain answer is making its debut when I'd swear I've seen it in the puzzle before. Today I'm definitely getting a déjà vu vibe from MEZCAL. But no, Jeff C. says it's its first appearance.

Weird we just had bowling at 1a yesterday. The bowling ball looks like Mr. Bill from SNL. I like it. And I love that the "pins" are all positioned accurately. (XWord Info inserted images of actual bowling pins in its solution, which looks cool.) It's true those two bottom corners were rough to manage, especially the SW for me. The theme puns are not magnificently groanworthy, but they do their job well.

I'd have preferred a Link WRAY clue, but what the hey, it's all good. Andrew gets a V-SIGN. Riverdale, huh? I knew someone who lived not far from where that school is. Steep roads up that way -- good luck! And nice write-up, Matthew.

jae 1:00 AM  

Easy-medium. Cute and, as a former league bowler, fun. Liked it.

Harryp 1:31 AM  

I didn't know singer ALVY, or "Bridesmaids" co-star WIIG, or Fashion brand with a rhinoceros logo, but the crosses must have been fair, since it was quick work for a Sunday and I found the ten PINS in the theme. It never ceases to amaze me as to how these concept themes work out, but I guess a part of it is some iffy fill. Good Puzzle by Andrew Kingsley

chefwen 2:44 AM  

Got the theme, finished the puzzle, but was unable to see all the PINS going down. Now that I see it, I can admire the creativity. I was looking for the PIN numbers. One, two three, etc. Big DOH on my part now that’s it’s been spelled out for me.

After I was done and was told what to look for I highlighted all the PINS in PINK, looked pretty cool. Oh well, it was still fun to do.

Anonymous 3:47 AM  

What does ise have to do with Sussex?

Hank 5:07 AM  

" What does ise have to do with Sussex?

3:47 AM "

It may just mean " In English ".

The Ise is also a small river in England. But it isn't in Suffolk (as clued).

Elle 6:03 AM  

that was what I wanted to know as well...

Ry 6:20 AM  

Brits use “-ise” at the end of most words where Americans would use “-ize.” Personalise vs personalize for example.

OffTheGrid 6:59 AM  

666: When I worked for Michigan Sec. of State (DMV), an eager 16 year old came into the office to get his driver's license. In Michigan a DL number consists of an initial (first letter of last name) and 12 digits separated into 4 sets of three. Each set is coded for certain things, e.g. birth date. These are computer generated. Well , one of his sets was 666 and his mother had a fit. This was unacceptable. A different number was possible but could not be created at the branch office. It had to be done in Lansing by the central office and would take a while. So this poor kid had to leave without his license because of his mother's stupid superstition. "Happy birthday, son." I'll never forget his crestfallen expression.

Z 7:51 AM  

I think the ten PINS put a little too much strain on the grid, hence the segregated and tough corners in the south. If you really like the ten PINS in position then that strain probably doesn’t bother you. For me, though, the repurposed theme answers were sufficient and all the PIN words were more annoyance than entertainment. Once again, less would have been more.

I saw that Dirigo Beer in Maine is closing, making me wonder what @Dirigonzo, former syndiland regular, is up to these days.

mmorgan 8:13 AM  

I just flew through this thing... except for a few spots in the SW. I had ABCd for 71D and PINe for 82D and FRA_fRAmE for 73D so I got in a big fat hole over there, after getting everything else in the blink of an eye. But otherwise it was super easy for me and it seemed kinda okay even though I'm not into bowling. When I was a kid, we had duck pin bowling, which was kinda fun. Once ten pin came in with the big balls and the finger holes and two balls per frame, I lost interest.

I never saw the PINs while solving and just focused on the theme answers. Now I see them... okay, clever construction but they had nothing to do with my solve.

Now I'll read Rex's review to find out why I should have hated this. I do feel good about myself when he and I get stuck on or hate the same stuff. The only one that raised my hackles here was NOTER... Huh????

[Oh well, no Rex... but thanks, Matthew!]

Hungry Mother 8:26 AM  

Too fast today. I’m taking a long break from running due to a 24 hour event next weekend, so I had plenty of time this morning to take my time, but this one just flowed along. I’m not a bowling fan, but i’ve done my share of it, so the lingo was all familiar. I enjoyed the time I spent. BTW, is it just me or have the New Yorker xwords become Wednesdayish? Not a complaint, simply wondering.

QuasiMojo 8:48 AM  

I used to bowl when I was in school, and was eager to tackle this puzzle but it ultimately felt more like one of those bowling games in a bar than something taking place in an alley. First off, I don't like this trend of putting gimmicky images into the grid. Did we need that bowling ball? Also pluralizing Strike Zone seems wrong to me. I suppose you could say there are different strike zones depending on if you are left or right-handed. But I think there's only one strike zone per person. I may be wrong about that. But it shows how all this extra thinking was required to plow through this. Even the design of the grid is off-putting. Yes there may be ten pins hidden there but the black splotches throughout look more like an early PONG board than a bowling game. Same with the Spare joke. A spare in a final frame wouldn't be a disaster. The goal however is to get a turkey as someone pointed out already. If you miss the first strike in the last frame you're not gonna catch up many points anyway. It would have been FUN to see Hook or Hambone in the grid rather than junk like Noter and Tnut.

And when did Godzilla stop being a metaphor for nuclear war? That was obvious to me even as a child. But the clue makes it sound like the idea was dropped or evolved into something else. Most 50s radioactive behemoths were responses to the ABomb. And am I alone in never hearing of Claire Foy? That held me up because the ABCs clue made little sense to me. I never went to PreK and learned my ABCs in grade school. I still struggle with them.

I counted at least a dozen names here too not including LULU. If you put your ear to the page, you can just about hear her singing "To Sir with AMOR."


Sorry for any typos.

Nancy 8:53 AM  

What on earth is a FRAME RATE??? Boy, did I suffer in this section, because I knew neither CLAIRE, the Netflix lady, nor SUMNER, the Billy the Kid fort. The only fort I know is Fort SUMTER, and that's too close to this answer for comfort. And so the truly peculiar FRAME RATE in that same section nearly did me in.

NRA/UPRISE instead of WPA/UPPING almost did me in in the mid-section. But who was that dictator, --SIN? LENIN enabled me to straighten it all out.

I don't see the PINS (109D) that are supposedly "appropriately arranged" in this puzzle. I never seem to see anything that requires visualization. I'm sure you'll all point them out to me when I go back to read the blog.

Quite hard for me in two sections, but also pretty blah clues and answers. I never found it engrossing and didn't enjoy the puzzle at all.

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

Came for a Rex freakout about Odessa, El Paso and pistol. Left disappointed.

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

What pins? I'm looking at the finished grid and I see some sets of three black squares stacked vertically and horizontally, some single black squares, a cross in the middle... Don't see anything remotely resembling a bowling pin. Help?

SouthsideJohnny 9:24 AM  

It’s refreshing to see a reviewer who can offer some constructive criticism without the vindictiveness. As Matthew pointed out, overall it’s a good effort with some bumpy spots (and not over-laden with trivia). Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of this week since last week was such a mess.

Can anyone explain the clue for 8 Down - WORD ? Is “word” some type of modern slang now, or am I just not seeing it ?

Nancy 9:24 AM  

Thank you, thank you, @Joe Dipinto, for sending me to xword.com where I found the bowling pins beautifully drawn so that even a clueless non-visual dummy like me could see them. I missed them, I suppose, because they're vertical! Yes, that must be it. Although, of course they're vertical -- what else would they be? Otherwise they'd already be knocked down instead of standing upright waiting to be knocked down. A brilliant piece of construction...

...And completely wasted on me, as per usual. I completely missed the whole thing.

Z 9:45 AM  

@Anon9:14 - The one PIN is in UPPING, then PINOT and PINTA, PINY, SPIN, PINK, PINT, VAPING, ROPING and PINS.

Dorothy Biggs 9:50 AM  

NOTER. At the very best, that terrible word describes someone who takes notes. If NOTER is an actual word (which it might be but is never, ever used), then memoer should be a word. A person who takes notes is a noter, a person who takes memos is a memoer.

QED.

It's too bad such a small indiscretion can cast a pall over the entire experience.

Added bonus...why do I think the past tense of "pet" is "pet?"

GILL I. 9:56 AM  

Not to worry, @Nancy...you are not alone.
I loves me some puzzle art but I was s exhausted by the time I finished so I didn't go looking for the PINS. Now that I see it, I wish I had. Kinda neat.
Solving at 4 in the morn is not recommended. You miss a lot - especially any AHA'S. I like ahas and I like oohs and I like eureka moments. Dang...I really had none. Can someone please explain whyWORD is the answer to 8D: "You got that right?" Or why 44A ZEST is the answer to Zip? And the beat goes on.
I wish I could spell VEINIER and MASERATI. What happened to the poor STENO note taker. Has she been replaced by a NOTER now?
I've never liked the color PINK. It doesn't look good. I so wish "breast cancer awareness" was the color white. Think "Dove."
My smile today is MIAMI. Cuban food, "I Love Lucy" and Calle Ocho.

Teedmn 10:02 AM  

I found this appropriately Sunday tough. Solving randomly, I came upon the revealer on my second jump so there was no real aha on the theme but that didn't change my enjoyment of watching the theme puns emerge. I never used the PIN giveaway to help my solve for some reason, and it would have helped in things like UPPING. Sigh.

FRAME RATE fell like a thud for me at first but then I realized what it was in real life and I appreciated it being near the Three REELERS down in the SW.

LANE CLOSing caused a PILE UP of problems in the east central section which I eventually fixed. And I didn't like the way MASiRATIS looked but METRic poetry at 40D fit so well with 68A's cARE NOT that I was loath to change it. DNF there.

Thanks, Andrew Kingsley, nice job!

Nora Bensahel 10:04 AM  

“Word” is old-school slams, from the 1980s. We used that often enough then that I knew this answer immediately.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

a FRAME RATE is the count (per second) of still images used by various types of moving picture gear to make a moving image. for olde style film, the standard is 24 per second. for your average smartphone? no idea. I don't make moving pictures, or still ones either, with a phone.

Nancy 10:15 AM  

Unlike you, @GILL, I did go looking for the PINS and I just remembered the real reason I didn't see them. It's not just that I was looking horizontally instead of vertically -- it's even more that I wasn't looking for PIN/PIN/PIN/PIN, etc. I was looking for ONE/TWO/THREE/FOUR...TEN. And it wasn't there.

So not just lack of visualization, but also an idee fixe.

Rob 10:22 AM  

I'm fine with the theme despite hating bowling, but both the cluing and the answers are just terrible.

What? 10:38 AM  

FRAME RATE refers to frames per second, a parameter in video and film.

What? 10:40 AM  

Easy and enjoyable but VEINIER (94 A)? Boo.

Nampa Bob 10:46 AM  

Dang... Wednesday/Thursday easy, for some reason.
Enjoyed it, but it went by too quickly.

The Traveling Texan 10:47 AM  

I’m from Texas and noticed those right away. Seems monumentally insensitive for Mr. Shortz to have let that run.

webwinger 11:10 AM  

This played harder than usual for me, no obvious reason. Longer themers were OK. Liked the nicely arranged PINS, though it might have added to the experience if their squares were highlighted with circles or gray tone. I thought at first that the bowling ball would figure into some of the answers surrounding it.

Wondering how @Rex would have reacted to LENIN and its clue. Probably second only to Hitler in terms of bad impact on the 20th century, though his contribution tends to be less noted (by NOTERs?) I thought the clue was perfect: Called attention to his badness without betraying bias. Also positioned so he’ll be taken out right away by the rolling ball…

davidm 11:12 AM  

The puzzle was OK, but since I don't bowl, it wasn't up my alley.

TJS 11:16 AM  

My last quarter at SIU, way back in the Woodstock era, needed 9 credit hrs. of any type to graduate. Since Spring quarter was only about hard-core partying, I signed up for Bowling (one day a week), Home Ec. for Men, and Rocks and Minerals, (the latter two, I was told, required no mandatory attendance and an absurdly easy final). Sucked at bowling, and went to the two finals, only to learn that there had also been mid-term exams in both. Uh-Oh. D, D, and D.

puzzlehoarder 11:17 AM  

I did this before going to sleep last and I found the puzzles' effect to be quite soporific. Nothing was that hard but it was never that easy either. If I remember correctly there was some kind of revealer that implied there were pins in the puzzle but I wasted no time in looking for them. Seeing the graphic at xwordinfo confirmed what a waste of time it would have been. Every entry that had a PIN in it needed no help in being figured out. I went to xwordinfo just to make sure all my answers were correct and no surprise they were.

The only thing of mystery I had to look up after solving was what this "Vols." abbr. in the clue for 77A stood for. I was hoping for a less famous Lady Di or Lady Day but no it was just some boring team name.

A couple of people have asked about WORD at 8D. My understanding of this slang is that when someone VIRTUESIGNALS you say 'WORD that." This is a form of affirmation like saying 'Amen!" This let's the VIRTUESIGNALer know that you agree because you're WOKE.

Who says xwords can't teach you anything.

Lewis 11:18 AM  

Even though it didn't help my solve, I'm very glad that Andrew put those pins in the puzzle. On XwordInfo, the grid just looks so lovely with the images of the pins inserted (Hi, @Nancy!). It's just icing on a puzzle that provided a very nice solving experience for me.

Grateful for the sterile neutral clue for EL PASO so soon after the terrible event there. I liked seeing STIR in the grid, echoing yesterday's IN STIR, and there was another little find -- in the South, WII butting into a backward SEGA -- that I'm sure was there through pure serendipity; I just love when that happens.

Bowling made me think of Bowler hats, and I wondered if the two were somehow connected, but no, says Wiki, the hats were created by London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler. Just a bit more icing, and thank you for today's sweet treat, Andrew.

BobL 11:21 AM  

Puzzle scores a "300" with me!

Joe Welling 11:40 AM  

A lot to do this weekend in "beautiful St. Louis," Matthew--Taste of St. Louis Downtown, Taste of Black St. Louis in my neighborhood in Tower Grove Park, Greentree Festival in Kirkwood, etc.

FWIW, the Bowling Hall of Fame used to be in St. Louis. I think it was here longer than it's been anywhere else.

Birchbark 11:54 AM  

@M&A (yesterday) -- There is so much that is wrong with the PEWIT, whose "note is a human sigh" (John Burroughs). You took a big risk early on in voicing what so many were thinking. I could see your brand of thought-leadership on our local watershed district commission, and I encourage you to consider running in 2020.

Also, the PEWIT is a metaphor for nuclear war.

It all TIES IN. As Walter says in "The Big Lebowski" after the fiasco with Donny's ashes, "!#$% it Dude, let's go bowling."

Unknown 12:14 PM  

Loved this puzzle. "Framerate?" No problem. I watch a lot of movies.That said, I seldom pay attention to actors so "Wiig" was determined only by its cross "war." "Word?" I raised kids. I'm really bad at sports anything so such a relief to have only one ballpark to contend with. Fortunately I lived in Ohio for a few years. I now live in the land of The Kid, so Sumner (recently visited) was word easy.

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

What's wrong (even in Rex land) with ELPASO and ODESSA?

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

I also found the highly segmented nature of this puzzle very frustrating. My wife and I blew through many of the isolated pieces very quickly, but each such success didn't provide any real leads into the rest of the puzzle, so some of the segments took forever for us to get going on.

Carola 1:06 PM  

My erratic solving path took me to the lower right corner's reveal before I had all of the other PINS in place, so that led me on a PIN hunt and allowed me to write sPINY and PINE in the otherwise blank SW corner. Earlier, I'd noticed the parallel VAPING and ROPING, but without spotting their internal PINS. I agree with others that the SW corner was a LULU to sort out; even knowing CLAIRE FOY, I struggled to come up with FRAME RATE (@Teedmn, thank you for pointing out the nearby three-REELERS).

I'd hoped that all of the theme columns would be complete LANEs, running from grid top to bottom, and was a little disappointed that only two of them do. However, those two do indicate a kind of completion: STRIKE + FRAME and LANE + ALLEY, while the others are still only partial and need to be completed: SPARE and SPLIT, so only deserve part of an entire column.

Ed Rorie 1:07 PM  

Annie is the only person who sings in “Annie Hall.” Alvy Singer is the name (first and last) of the main character, a comedian played by Woody Allen.

GILL I. 1:31 PM  

If you want a really enjoyable puzzle (at least for me) try Gary Larson's "It's a Living" in the WSJ. It's the Saturday puzzle. 105A...yup.

Crimson Devil 2:00 PM  

Liked cluing for ISE and ASAP. WAR, VEINIER not so much.
N/HO WORD, or WIIG.

sixtyni yogini 2:19 PM  

Good one ☝️ 🧩☝️. Liked it all. ❤️ the 🎳🎳🎳+1 s

Masked and Anonymous 2:53 PM  

The PINs were very helpful, in solvin the bottom puzgrid half. Always enjoy the E-W grid symmetry, especially when it leads to yer grid art, as it did here. I reckon a 3x3 square bowlin ball [with a pic inside, if U do the printed version] is kinda raised-by-wolves-good, too boot.
And easy solvequest -- didn't need to punch the reset button, much.

Must. have. bullets. …

* GODZILLA. Best schlock flick entry. Like. That funky lizard's been in more movies than many "big" human celebs.
* WENTMAD. Shakespeare had a lotta his characters kinda flake out, I guess.
* TAILFIN. Tail pin cousin. Just lacks a little sideways U dealie.
* RAWDEAL. What a lotta Shakespeare's characters end up with.
* WEDIDIT, IKNEWIT. Nice Pronoun-bloop-pronoun sub-theme.
* MEZCAL. Debut word meat. Thought it was spelled MESCAL, tho. Lost few precious nanosecs, thanx to GODZILLA.
* ISE. runaway staff weeject pick. Suffolkise?!? Must be talkin about -ise vs. -ize, maybe. Anyhoo, nice, juicy butterball gutterball.

Thanx, Mr. Kingsley

M&A

LorrieJJ 2:54 PM  

My first thought was Ugh! Bowling ... never played, never wanted to play, know nothing about it except there are 10 pins and a ball. Liked the puzzle though and was actually impressed at the end when all those PINs came to light ... I hadn't even noticed them.
Funnily enough, while lots of the comments were how tough the SE and SW were, I blew through them but was almost shut out by the North ... took me ages to put it all to bed, especially NSFL (a new one for me) and shiner ... wanted it to be slime or the like.

Anonymous 3:14 PM  

Totally agree. Was expecting this to be called out right away. What were they thinking??

Anonymous 3:57 PM  

Thanks, @Z.

OffTheGrid 4:29 PM  

Most comments today are about the puzzle. Imagine that!

MassBookworm 4:53 PM  

Erse? What the hell is that? Very disappointing puzzle. Last Sunday was the best in a long time but this was a drag :-/

Masked and Anonymous 4:54 PM  

p.s.

8 U's in this SunPuz, btw. This'd be about average, for Sundays, so Andrew and M&A can still be friends.

Virtue Crossed-Signal Bowl entry: M&A once bowled a 256 game, while still of high school age -- had two semi-reliable witnesses. (However, M&A lifetime bowlin average was probably more like 125-135.)

fave Ow de Speration: The ER Squad: VEINIER. EATERS. REELERS. And of course best of all: NOTER. har
SHINER gets a pass, on account of its totally awesome clue.

In case I was unclear as usual … overall, I really liked this SunPuz, warts and gutterballs and all.

Masked & Anonym8Us


**gruntz**

Anonymous 5:33 PM  

Beloved in Latin is amatus, amata, amatum, not AMOR which means 'love'. That is a terrible clue. NOTER as memo taker is similarly awful. If so much care goes into writing and editing puzzles, why can't they get these things right? I guess something had to give for the symmetry of the pins. It almost worked, but to me, it didn't.

Always check your grid 5:40 PM  

@LorrieJJ - If you had NSFL you had a DNF. - It’s Not Safe For Work.

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

Why are all the people on this blog such snowflakes? Should we just eliminate these words from vocabulary and move on? No one gives a shit if Pol Pot is in the puzzle, or Idi Amin, or Hutu. Why is everything a trigger word instead of just a word? Why does Odessa have to only be known for a mass shooting?

Fred Wollam 5:57 PM  

Look for P
I
N 10 times, in front of the ball.

jberg 5:59 PM  

Probably everyone’s gone home. Liked the puzzle, forgot to look for the PINs until I got here.

@LorrieJJ — NSFW, not L That’s why people are querying WORD! Not Suitable For Work.

Fred Wollam 6:16 PM  

WORD is shorthand for WORD to your mother, which in turn is shorthand for... ahh, nevermind.

Fred Wollam 6:17 PM  

Re. VOLS: WORD to your mother.
(A VOLS fan in TN, the VOLunteer State.

Neil Nathanson 6:36 PM  

Why clue 77A as "Lady Vols' home: Abbr."? First, the "Abbr." seems unnecessary since Vols' is short for Volunteers. Second, cluing it "Volunteers' home: Abbr." would have misdirected from the university a tad, whereas, "Lady Vols'" can't be a reference to anything other than the university. Sunday clues should have a little challenge!

Anonymous 8:01 PM  

Apparently there were visible "pin" drawings (?) in this puzzle? I get there were 10 different answers all having to do with bowling but I don't see how any of them are pins. And there's no bowling ball icon on my puzzle, either (I do the online version). Still a pretty easy solve, even without seeing all the pins. Okay, time to try and correctly figure out the 47 captchas before I post this reply.

JC66 8:36 PM  

@Anon 8:01

See @Z's 9:45 AM post.

Matthew B 9:03 PM  

I got the "pins" immediately from the title. Since they were symmetrical, the puzzle went fast. The long down bowling puns were a bonus for me. Like dessert.
Not a great puzzle but I've seen far worse. And I'm so tired of complaints about particular entries. Is El Paso tainted forever ? Pistol? C'mon...

Newboy 11:16 PM  

Got the reveal after bouncing about and the symmetry helped with PINK matching PINY, etc. Agree with @Neil that some clues were a tad MondayISE, though I had to chuckle at others (79d had me turning in my Realtor license). Thanks for an amusing way to spend the brief flight time from GEG to BOI; Andrew & scotch made flying Southwest tolerable 🤠

PatKS 3:23 AM  

I finished pretty quickly but never noticed the 9 PINS (109D shouldn't count). Hated veinier & noter, Never heard of ecko or lady vols. Thought WTF for NSFW (people have cell phones so why are they still using work computers for porn?)

I did love alley cats and Citifield.
#LGM

kitshef 8:50 AM  

SW corner almost beat me. Lots of '?' clues, the terrible NOTER, some Billy the Kid trivia, a CLAIRE I've never heard of, a terrible clue on ABCS, and the least common of the themers almost conspired to beat me. Only by holding my nose and trying NOTER was I able to bring it together.

Doug 8:05 PM  

I'd say 2nd to Stalin

the redanman 12:14 PM  

Done late, don't like bowling, didn't like puzzle.

Not a fan of big grids with their necessary(?) crap fill/answers

Funny - reading comments how many gimmes to some are others' dead ends.

spacecraft 11:35 AM  

Absolutely astounding, that this stunt could even be pulled off. Sort of a huge triumph point total for the constructor! Not that easy to solve, with late-week bendy clues abounding. DOD is old-old school: Fay WRAY. Birdie.

Diana, LIW 2:38 PM  

I started this...does it get better? Looks like @Spacey liked it. So far it has led to major ennui hereabouts.

Diana, LIW for too-cut-to-handle puzzles

Burma Shave 3:19 PM  

ANN EYES THETOP

GEE, there's NOTIMETOSPARE,
WE're READIED, since WE've PETTED,
IKNEWIT was a DARE,
NOT SAID before WEDIDIT.

--- CLAIRE SUMNER-ASTIN

rainforest 3:41 PM  

Not a hard puzzle overall, but I wended my way slowly through it. The entire NE section was actually pretty easy, highlighted by the two long downs, but the cluing was ramped up elsewhere in the puzzle. "Ise" in Suffolk was sort of a reach, but I think I understood it (digitise vs digitize, eg).

If you tried VEINIER in Scrabble, a big argument would ensue, although here the meaning is semi-clear. Judging by the current state of diplomacy in the US, I don't think FINESSE applies. Actually...oh never mind.

Really nice job of placing 10 "pins" accurately. Icing on the cake.

rondo 6:00 PM  

Quite the constructioneering. Interest factor iffy. About 40 minutes spent. Well? Would never have noticed the PINS without the clue/answer.

Many fond memories of ODESSA, Ukraine. EVENTFUL.

I DARENOT say other than yeah baby CLAIRE Foy.

@spacey and @rainy - WEDIDIT.

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