Sylvia of jazz / SUN 9-8-19 / Alternative to Martha Stewart Weddings / Famous conjoined twin / Aristocratic Italian name of old / Exams given intradermally / 1995 crime film based on Elmore Leonard novel / Star Trek catchphrase said by Dr. McCoy / Con briskly in music / Far eastern fruits that resemble apples

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (9:31)

THEME: "Well, Well, Well, if it isn't ..." — familiar phrases that have been parsed to seem like they are people's nicknames:

Theme answers:
  • BURY-THE-HAT CHET (23A: ... the guy who vows to take his Stetson to the grave)
  • HEART BRO KEN (33A: ... the fraternity guy who wants to be a cardiologist)
  • SHORT-SIGH TED (51A: ... the guy who barely shows he's exasperated)
  • POP-IN JAY (56A: ... the guy who always shows up unannounced)
  • WHAT-A-DIS GRACE (70A: ... the gal who delivered the greatest put-down ever)
  • DRONE DON (86A: ... the guy who takes aerial photos for the military)
  • GROUND NUT MEG (91A: ... the gal who loses it when pass plays are called)
  • ROLLERS KATE (108A: ... the gal who spends all day at the hairdresser)
  • FORT LAUDER DALE (121A: ... the guy who can't stop bragging about Bragg)
Word of the Day: J. Carrol NAISH (49A: J. Carrol ___ (two-time 1940s Oscar nominee)) —
J. Carrol Naish (born Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish; January 21, 1896 – January 24, 1973) was an American actor. He appeared in over 200 credits during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Naish received two Oscar nominations for his supporting roles in the films Sahara (1943) and A Medal for Benny (1945), the latter of which also earned him a Golden Globe. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. (wikipedia)
• • •

Full disclosure: I drank at Joe DiPietro's bar last month. And we had a long talk (over the considerable noise). And I liked him a lot. Still, I was fully prepared to find Sunday kind of old-fashioned and tedious, yet again. But I gotta say ... this one worked for me. As I have said many (many) times, if you are going to go wacky or corny or punny or whatever, Go Big. Don't send in tepid little safe answers, a har here, a tehee there. No, bring in GROUND NUT MEG and BURY-THE-HAT CHET, for chrissake, and let them take over the dance floor, wreck the place, and then burn it to the ground. These nicknames are ornate in their dumbness, which makes them great. Well if it isn't HEART BRO KEN! I want Ken to be real. I want to hang out with WHAT-A-DIS GRACE. I have no idea who this NAISH guy is, and RATED A sounds dumb, and U THANT is old-school crosswordese, but do I care? I do not. I'm going out for a drink with SHORT-SIGH TED because he's fun to be around and even though he's got problems (like all of us), he's not all long-winded and dramatic about them. Not like that DON guy, yeesh. Seriously, how can you not love the idea of a guy who just goes around praising forts all the time. Apache, Knox, Collins ... we get it, DALE.

I love that "Bones" was a show that someone apparently watched. I have seen exactly zero episodes, and can't imagine watching one, but somehow just knowing it existed and had fans is comforting. This is all to say that I did Not know TAMARA, but I pieced her together (the way the stars of "Bones" were always "piecing" bodies together ... or so I imagine) (130A: Actress Taylor of "Bones"). Longer Downs on this one are also, like the themers themselves, entertaining. Never heard DRUNKATHON, but I believe it exists, and anyway it's inferrable (2D: Prolonged period of excessive imbibing). "COME TO PAPA" is an expression that kinda creeps me out, but I also kinda like that it's next to THE RIDDLER, who is clued as ... a papa (79D: Father of Enigma in DC Comics). Honestly, this puzzle had me at DOCK ELLIS (83D: Pitcher who famously claimed he was on LSD while throwing a no-hitter (1970)). There's a doc(k) about him on Netflix and if you don't know the story of his acid-trip no-hitter, you should definitely watch it. Or just watch this.

Not too thrilled to see NRA in here again, though at least this time they didn't try to cute-it-up with some dumbass "magazine" pun or whatever. I can just pretend that the [Big D.C. lobby] is the National Restaurant Association, so that's what I'm gonna do. Have a nice day.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    jae 12:15 AM  

    Easy, fun, amusing, liked it, or what Rex said.

    Joe Dipinto 12:28 AM  

    ♪ Clams on the half shell, and roller skates, roller skates ♪

    Good times! It's the return of my almost-namesake fellow-Brooklynite doppelganger! He hasn't had a puzzle here in quite awhile.

    Maybe I'm partial, but I really liked this. The theme and its clue-answer combos are inspired. DRONE DON was the only one that didn't get at least a chuckle out of me. I'd have to pick HEART-BRO KEN as my favorite, with WHAT-A-DIS GRACE a close second.

    ♪ You got mud on your face, you big disgrace ♪

    Pretty easy solving all the way through. I started with HE'S DEAD JIM (which also cracked me up) and the rest of that corner, leading me to POP-IN JAY and lo and behold the theme.

    The non-theme fill is generally fine. Though RATED A seems kind of vague. What would that be used for? I got nothin'.

    ♪ Oh, I got plenty o' nuttin', and nuttin's plenty for me ♪

    Speaking of which, constructor Joe previously owned a bar called "No Idea" and I thought maybe 74d would be I GOT NO IDEA, as a little in-joke.

    And hey, we get two symmetrical Madonna references with 3d: LIKE A VIRGIN WOOL and 78d: COME TO PAPA, DON'T PREACH

    For me this ranks as one the primo Sundays of late. Grazie, Joey. I'll have to check out the new place.

    puzzlehoarder 12:50 AM  

    I don't like puns so this puzzle had little to offer. The phrases are easy to recognize and by the time I got the first few filled in I had forgotten the clues. This spared me from the theme for awhile. Once I did get it I wished I could unsee it.

    I'm just glad NAISH and DOCK are names. The crosses said they were but it's always good to see it in print. I got a clean grid and was relieved to be done.

    Anonymous 2:42 AM  

    I'm wondering if maybe Will Shortz really is trying to annoy Rex with NRA. Forget about distasteful groups. How about simple variety? Why is it never clued based on National Recovery Administration or National Recreation Area. The latter is a very current and important part of our culture.

    Got the Z of 60A and immediately put in cruZ, thus costing lots of time.

    Anonymous 2:44 AM  

    Unusual forms of PEARS, two days in a row. (Not sure how to say this without it being a very slight spoiler. Delete if inappropriate.)

    chefwen 2:53 AM  

    Loved this one. I did wince when I filled in NRA thinking, “damn, here we go again” but he went easy on it this time. Phew, I was waiting for another tirade.

    Hard to pick a favorite, but I’m a little partial to POP IN JAY followed by WHAT A DIS GRACE.

    Fun Sunday puzzle.

    Anonymous 3:11 AM  

    National Restaurant Assoc.? They are contributing to the obesity epidemic! I'm highly offended by it's inclusion in a puzzle that's supposed to have some integrity and not show support the nefarious forces plaguing our nation.

    Loren Muse Smith 4:44 AM  

    Rex – your tableau of these imaginary people was as entertaining as the puzzle itself. You do positive write-ups WELL.

    Man oh man did I love this. SHORT SIGH TED was the first one I met, and I whooped. Not only is the idea of such a person really funny, being shown these phrases reparsed to modify a name just blew me away. I relished the uncovering of every themer. HEART BRO KEN was my favorite.

    The clue for SUCH AS threw me. “For instance” feels like some kind of ADVERB and would usually follow the cited example, but SUCH AS feels prepositiony and hence would precede the example:

    At Walmart, I bought lots of stuff I really shouldn’t eat, such as M&Ms and Pringles.

    At Walmart, I bought lots of stuff I really shouldn’t eat - M&Ms and Pringles, for instance.

    Here’s a reminder of just how startling SUCH AS sounds in a “sentence”-final position.

    “Dove” bar before DIVE bar. Understandable.

    Liked the BRIDE/VIRGIN cross.

    And in the spirit of the theme, FARMERS TAN can also be FARMER STAN. Hah.

    “Prolonged period of excessive imbibing” – grad school.

    “Go(ing) downhill in a hurry?” - BLAMED ON

    lujoc 5:14 AM  

    Wait wait wait ... am I the only one (so far) who noticed that this puzzle and today's Washington Post Sunday Birnholz puzzle have the same theme?

    Lewis 6:05 AM  

    I liked that all the theme answers were very in the language, and the theme made me look for other answers that ended in names (that were not meant as names): ASLEW, SALON, TAMARA, FARMERSTAN, ABBESS. I loved the misdirect [Permanent spot?], where I totally overlooked the clue's question mark and confidently filled in STAIN instead of SALON. For me, this solve was kind of a lovely mishmash of smooth sailing and rough waters, serving my ego and humility simultaneously, while maintaining and improving-through-exercise my solving chops.

    It takes guts to put WHAT A DISGRACE right in the middle of the grid, risking having it echo back in reviews and comments if the puzzle doesn't make the grade. But there's too much quality here for that to be a worry. Nice one, Joe!

    Anonymous 6:51 AM  

    Can someone explain "dieter's i"?

    OffTheGrid 6:59 AM  

    Pat, I'd like to buy AVOWAL.

    oopsydeb 7:02 AM  

    I don't usually like puns, but this was so well done.

    Lolly, lolly, lolly! Cheers to ADVERB making its way into the puzzle. It seems adverb use is in decline. Boo hiss.

    I groaned when I saw NRA in the puzzle, in anticipation of eye roll inducing comment after eye roll inducing comment complaining about Rex's dislike of it showing up in puzzles.

    Anonymous 7:18 AM  

    I think Dieter is a German name. So, the clue seems to be asking for the first person pronoun in German: Ich

    Kal 7:27 AM  

    “Dieter” being a German name...

    Anonymous 7:32 AM  

    National Restaurant Association is not much better than the one with guns. You can thank them (& slavery) for servers getting paid way below minimum wage. Read “Forked”.

    Nick D 7:33 AM  

    I found this puzzle to be a bit of a slog and Not For Me with its tortured “whimsical” cluing. Having said that, HE’S DEAD JIM gets a gold star from me and honorable mention in my Hall of Fame.

    JeffK21 7:34 AM  

    Dieter is a German name and Ich means “I” in German.

    mmorgan 7:36 AM  

    I had everything except the __ in ABB_SS and wasn't sure if it was yNG (ABBySS) or eNG (ABBeSS) and I guessed wrong. Oh well. No matter. This was a super fun Sunday puzzle where (to me, at least), every themer was a groaner and a keeper and a joy. Just the way they used to be. Getting the theme didn't actually help, but made getting each theme answer even more fun. So thanks, CHET, KEN, TED, JAY, GRACE, MEG, and all the rest of you for reminding me of the good old days.

    Matt “Machine Gun” Kelly 7:42 AM  

    NRA was my favorite answer.

    OffTheGrid 7:50 AM  

    A couple of commenters have equated the national rifle association with the national restaurant association in terms of their harmful influences in our society. I don't always make the best food choices but it is always my choice. If I'm gunned down while shopping or teaching a first grade class, I have no choice.

    Dr. Gary Johnson, Board Certified Gut Doctor 7:51 AM  

    “Dieter’s I” refers to the German male first name “Dieter” (pronounced “Deeter “) as opposed to “Dieter” as in someone on a diet Like a big fat tub of lard or even worse some skinny vegan or health food person, who are very repulsive mainly because they cut atrocious farts that not only stink horribly and are flammable but even raise the humidity in that particular area. ICH means “I” in German.

    Unknown 8:02 AM  

    Three cheers for Mr DiPietro; three RAHs for us.

    John H 8:31 AM  

    I liked this, too, but wasn't sure that Rex would. This reminded me of a couple of old NYT Sundays under Maleska: Sequel to Dad's Awakening: The Son Also Rises. Medusa's Coiffure: The Curl of the Wild. I am a fan of puns.

    Loved the misdirection on Dieter.

    83D/102A (Dock Ellis/Kesha) was a total Natick for me.

    QuasiMojo 8:54 AM  

    I got NO IDEA as well, @Joe. Rather than plenty of Nothin'. Fixed it but quick. I had fun with the puzzle which I finished in record time with nary a SIGH. My only quibble was SHORT being so close to SHORTY, but it is a SHORTZ puzzle after all. (Which reminds me, that Z in Ynez was too reminiscent of IZAAK, in that I almost had a DNF due to it.)

    Count me among those taken in by DIETER. In the end I thought it referred to a member of the DIET. So ICH worked for me.

    Did not know HE'S DEAD, JIM. Count me among those of my generation who found "Star Trek" far too pedantic and kitsch for its own good. Or mine. I was a snob even as a child.

    FARMER'S TAN was my fave.

    CORN SALAD, however, was ICK.

    Nancy 9:02 AM  

    I've almost never met a pun I didn't like, so I found this diverting if uneven. There were the answers I found really clever and well-clued: WHAT A DIS GRACE, POP IN JAY and FORT LAUDER DALE. And there were a few I found a bit off in the cluing: GROUND NUT MEG (You're a "ground nut" if you prefer running plays to passing plays? Isn't there a better way to clue this? Like "the girl who lies on her lawn 24/7 and refuses to get up"?) Also ROLLERS KATE: (First of all, rollers went out with the hula hoop; it's all blow-drying now. And second, even with rollers on, you wouldn't be at the hairdresser "all day"; it's 30 minutes under the dryer for short hair and 45 minutes for long hair.)

    But I'm nit-picking because even the somewhat "off" clues were enjoyable. I'm more annoyed about the DNF brought about by the DOC?ELLIS/?ESHA cross: I never heard of either one and I couldn't begin to guess. Still, I liked the puzzle anyway -- a puzzle that I pronounce "Solved!" as I always do in the case of crosses like this.

    kitshef 9:17 AM  

    Humor is very much a personal thing. I figured Rex would be all over this one for the tepid phrases and awkward attempts to be funny. I actually though he’d trot out his “go wacky or go home” as a means to bury the puzzle, not to praise it.

    As for me, I was bored within the first five minutes. Kept going in hopes that there would be some nice things in the grid, but for every THE RIDDLER there was a CTN. For every POPINJAY there was an OOO. For every KESHA there was A SLEW of yuck.

    Here’s something I always wondered about KESHA. It could also apply to Prince, or Snoop Dogg, or any artist who has changed their name. At the time she recorded Tik-Tok, she went by KE$HA. Today, she goes by KESHA. Is the correct answer the to 102A KE$HA or KESHA? I’d say it’s the former … the recording credits don’t get retroactively changed. But I don't know.

    AdamW 9:19 AM  

    Pretty sure they're kidding, Jim

    AdamW 9:20 AM  

    I was mildly annoyed by I GOT NOTHIN, because any time it's shortened like that, I always see it as "nuthin" with a U. So that messed me up for a minute.

    CDilly52 9:28 AM  

    Whether one enjoys puns or not, the craft this puzzle demonstrates is impressive. I am heart broken that while reading or conversing or just thinking, my mind would not ever come up with HEART BRO KEN. Even if I noticed and chuckled at such a discovery, I cannot fathom the process by which I would be able to find a slew of other similar clever and funny oddities.

    This puzzle hit all the Sunday marks for me. Clever and funny theme and some wonderful misdirection and word play. ICH was the last thing to fall and I had I-H!! Even after filling in the C (because the CRT gave me a tussle as well) I still spent a hot second or two until the head smack moment occurred and I realized Dieter was a German fellow. Loved the clue for SALON as well. My Grandmother would have savored this one. Standing O from me, Mr. D., NRA notwithstanding!

    Birchbark 9:53 AM  

    I would have failed but for Wikipedia. ESTE over UTHANT crossing big-stretch EURO?, KE$HA crossing what-the-K DOCK ELLIS.

    To @Nancy's cheat method from yesterday: only when truly stumped and after multiple stare-downs, I turn first to physical books in the house. If that doesn't work, a Wikipedia search, as today. Either way, I read enough about the answer to learn something, which seems a fitting price to pay. Today, I learned that KE$HA dreamed she was surrounded by beautiful women and thought that would be a good idea for a song.

    But the true cheat is that I didn't really read anything about UTHANT after finding his name on the list of UN Secretary-Generals. Instead I plugged in the "U" and got the pseudo-"Congratulations!" music. Then turned here to read @Rex's review of this pun-and-Natick perfect storm. What? He likes it!

    wilsch 9:56 AM  

    Excellent puzzle! The theme reminded me of the Sunday puzzles by the late, great Merl Reagle.

    Teedmn 10:40 AM  

    Well, (an ADVERB), that was fun! Solving randomly, it took forever for me to get one of the theme answers filled in enough to see what was going on. The first one I filled in was DRONE DON, but I didn't get the trick until I saw ROLLERS KATE. OHO, well, well, well, whaddya know? (And I, just now, noticed how this 85A clue echoes the title.)

    None of the theme answers elicited a real laugh, or even groan, but taken all together, I thought it was a fine Sunday puzzle.

    Favorite clue-answer pair: 73D's "Shade for a field worker?" = FARMER'S TAN. Biggest "ick" is 52D's SESH.

    I was definitely looking for "I'm a doctor,...." as the McCoy catchphrase, but it didn't fit.

    Nice job, Joe DiPietro!

    davidm 10:40 AM  

    The first one I got was DRONE-DON, and shrugged. I thought, I hope they get better than this. They sure did! Next I got ROLLERS-KATE, which brought a smile; then, in fairly quick succession, I got FORT-LAUDER-DALE, BURY-THE-HAT-CHAT, HEART-BRO-KEN, AND POP-IN-JAY — every one of them made me LOL. :-D Honesty, except for the bland DRONE-DON, every one of these was spot on. Glad to see Rex liked a Sunday for a change — I predicted that he would like this one! I’m usually pretty good at predicting how he’ll react to a puzzle.

    Nampa Bob 10:42 AM  

    Nice, medium Sunday.
    Chuck Brodsky is a terrific singer/songwriter. Loves baseball and has a cd of songs about interesting players and events.
    Here’s his Dock Ellis song...

    Newboy 11:08 AM  

    Great fun today! A few names gave grimacing pauses like the cross of KESHA with DOCK ELLIS, both of whom I vaguely recall from previous solves but neither from the world in which I live. Those FORTLAUDERDALES more than compensate. A quick solve allowing me time to head out to my Rent-to-own store to reserve my bagpipes; thanks @birchbark. And thanks Joe for enough amusement to keep me in chuckles all day long: you’ve given Rex a 😃 as well as a 🍺. I’ll drink to that any day. Wish I could have joined you.

    Ethan Taliesin 11:08 AM  

    Fairly fast and fun, but at the end I had one square unfilled: the "C" at the intersection of ICH (Dieter's I), and CRT (Dated PC hookup).

    OK, Dieter, as the masculine German name. Check.

    CRT is cathode-ray tube, like the old televisions. Check.

    If they come up again, I'll be sure to remember them. There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again. So true.

    DavidL 11:40 AM  

    Wow, Rex really took a chill pill today! Such warm fuzzies, I thought I came to the wrong blog.

    I'm usually much less picky than others on this blog, but I actually found this puzzle a slog, partly because of junky fill and partly because because of cluing that tried to be clever and was just a bit off.

    SESH? SESH??? That can't be allowed in a puzzle. And RETD, OOO, and again with the DEES.

    "Tip of Italy" for EURO: EURO (singular) doesn't really work as an answer for "tip" in my opinion.

    "Sort of person who's blue: Abbr." for DET: First, "DET" is junky fill. But also you don't really see "blue" used as an adjective when referring to a single policeman/woman. And regardless, it needs a "?"

    WHIRS plural? Not really.

    On the plus side, the clue for "ICH" was a very clever misdirect, and loved HE'S DEAD JIM.

    Phil 11:52 AM  

    make 42A. Casino and Hotel founder
    and you have HARRAH crossing RAHRAH.
    Out u go

    Phil 11:54 AM  

    I agree that is was fun and enjoyable. Thanks Mr. Dieter DiPietro

    Aphid Larue 12:37 PM  

    It’s worse than that, he’s dead Jim

    There’s Klingons on the forward bow
    Scrape them off, Jim!

    From a dr demento like record.

    Listening to nonsense sometimes pays off

    Anonymous 12:49 PM  

    @DavilL 11:40 - The blue person is DEM, as in Democrat, not a detective.

    Carola 12:57 PM  

    The puzzle and @Rex's write-up make for a double dose of pleasure. For the puzzle, I'll echo @Joe DiPinto with "inspired." My first, and favorite, grid denizen was POP IN JAY, partly because I find popinjay such a delightful term on its own; second place goes to FORT LAUDER DALE. Genius.

    As far as the other personages go, I knew NAISH, U THANT, and SYMS, but ADAM, TAMARA, YNEZ, and DOCK ELLIS were all new to me; KESHA and I have a nodding acquaintance from previous puzzles. After the fact, I remembered encountering Dieter in a past puzzle, but had forgotten all about him, so struggled with ICH until the end. Do-overs: NuTHIN and, in the WHAT A DISGRACE category, HulA before HORA.

    @Loren, thank you for VIRGIN x BRIDE.

    pabloinnh 12:59 PM  

    This one was aces with me. Reminded me of stuff I used to do to my boys when they were kids, similarly involving names. "Hey, where's Jungle Jim? You seen Clean Phil? Just saw a sing he's wanted. Maybe he's with Driver Ed ." And so on. They don't get any better, and clearly the other Joe D. is way better at this kind of thing, since he avoids homonyms.

    Wanted BEAMMEUP, of course, but no way that came close to working.

    DOCKELLIS has achieved legendary status among certain sports fans, myself included. Thank goodness, because KESHA who?

    Thanks for a Sunday that knows how to Sunday, Mr. D. Well done you.

    Joseph M 1:03 PM  

    Well, well, really liked this puzzle and was glad that Rex didn’t trash it. Fun theme with great puns, especially FORT LAUDER DALE and SHORT SIGH TED. A few more guests for the party:

    1. Automated guy who chimes each time he hacks a website.
    2. Gal who thinks bras should be illegal.
    3. White House guy who always lies about the number of strokes he needs for a particular golf course.

    2. TOP BAN ANA

    Masked and Anonymous 1:03 PM  

    M&A's kind of SunPuz … funny themers and cool theme idea. And a special "yo" out to FARMER STAN, who snuck into the Downs answer pool.

    staff weeject pick: OOO.

    Dieter was a best bud of mine, who worked at my company for several years as a visiting resident from the Germany factory. Lotta hard-fought tennis matches with banana malt end prizes at stake, over them there years. Rest in peace, Dieter.

    SESH. har. The runtpuz double-?? clue answers are startin to feel a lot more self-respect.

    Thanx for the fun, Mr. DiPietro

    Masked & Anonym8Us

    Nancy in Chicago 1:04 PM  

    This was a fun Sunday. I got several giggles from the themers (I love puns).

    GILL I. 1:08 PM  

    I haven't enjoyed a Sunday in a loooong time. I'd have a happy drink with Joe any old day.
    I like puns. You know...the ones that make you groan out loud then laugh. I mean who doesn't like an elephant joke? I guess you have to have been there. I'm so easy.
    I got to the first BURY THE HAT CHET and let out a loud squeak. Ooooh, I'm going to like these sez I. Every single pun made me smile. POP IN JAY made me laugh out loud. See? I'm really easy. I'm fun at a cocktail party.
    I always thought McCoy said "beam me up..." or what ever. Wasn't he called "Bones?" Anyway, I like that he told Jim that HE'S DEAD. Hah! My only cheat was DOCK ELLIS or however he spells his name. I guess I'm very un-American because I don't like baseball very much and I remember reading about kids taking LSD and jumping out of windows singing "I Can Fly."
    I'm in a good mood because @Rex enjoyed this one, too. That always makes me happy - especially when I've had fun.....
    FALL is in the air and we're up in Auburn for the month....I'm a happy camper.

    Mo-T 1:11 PM  

    At first glance, I thought this was our very own Joe! @Joe Dipinto 12:50 AM

    And I thought the title might refer to characters in songs and be lyric-rich.

    Then I looked closer. Wow. Joe owns a bar? And its name doesn't make any reference to lyrics?

    Closer still. Oh, DiPietro. Jeez.

    Anyway,I enjoyed the solve. Phunny.

    Ground Nut Meg should be a character in The Green Paint Mystery, dontcha think?

    RooMonster 1:18 PM  

    Hey All !
    ICH! My one-letter DNF spot. Deciding twixt the C or an S, put in the S. Last letter filled, came here and saw it was the C. Argh! I believe SRT is a Dodge car type. Dang it. Never would've seen Dieter as a name.

    Fin SunPuz. My favorite one was WHAT A DIS GRACE. Har. Although a FORT LAUDER is pretty funny too.

    Liked @Nancys alt clue for GROUND NUT MEG better.

    Some writeovers slowing things down a bit, mother-ABBESS, bermuDA-GRaNADA-GRENADA (Har, Granada is another car model, old Ford), bAwL-WAIL, pkg-CTN, AVOWed-AVOWAL, ATeaSe-ATREST. Also had DiCK ELLIS, because who had a nickname DOCK and not DOC?

    Two F's today. Eh, on the light side. Shout-out and a big Thanks to @M&A on the F Runt yesterday. Har, good stuff.

    If anyone's seen @Aketi lately, (where'd she GOETH?) I saw a license plate the other day that said JUIJITS.

    So an overall neat puz. One nit, someone explain BRIDES as clued? Thanks.


    ghthree 1:42 PM  

    Has anyone else noticed that 17 Down (HESDEADJIM) could be a themer? It might be clued as
    "Newly-minted MD who makes the most of his new-found authority to pronounce."

    My wife Jane was an Emergency Medical Technician. Once she spent a painful and frustrating half-hour trip from the victim's home to the hospital trying to keep "alive" an obviously dead patient. As an EMT, but not an MD, she had no authority to pronounce someone dead.

    Note that "newly-minted" and "new-found" illustrate the confusion between adjective and adverb. Somehow, "newly-minted" sounds right, as does "new-found." So sue me.

    sixtyni yogini 2:09 PM  

    Yeah, pretty good one ☝️🧩☝️. Though not all that fun for some reason.

    davidm 2:11 PM  

    I thought there was some great fill and cluing in this puzzle, too: HE’S DEAD JIM, SCHUSS, BSHARP (for the great clue), ICH (for the great misdirection clue), DRUNKATHON, COME TO PAPA, GET SHORTY. Also liked U THANT, which pushed me off my original answer on a crossing down, which I wrote as I GOT NO CLUE. For me, this was among the top three Sunday puzzles of 2019, joining the “stoner film festival” puzzle, and the brilliant chess-themed puzzle. Even the title was great, and how it segued seamlessly into the themers. Thank you to the constructor! :-)

    Matthew G. 2:17 PM  

    I agree with Rex that this is a much better than average Sunday. I generally skip Sundays unless I check Crossword Fiend and see that they have a high rating (by which I mean 3.5 or so). Most Sunday puzzles are bad because there is just too much puzzle to sustain more than one or two iterations of a theme. So you need really rollicking themes for a Sunday and this one passes muster.

    Anonymous 2:19 PM  

    And detectives aren't in blue uniforms, at least not on TV.

    Anonymoose 2:31 PM  

    Doesn't make sense.

    jberg 2:41 PM  

    Really fun puzzle, and for once I don't think I finished with any stupid mistakes. As has been said, the puns have one rolling in the aisles. (I was going to make a pun about Dorian there, but it's too soon.)

    @Loren, your avatar is great, but it cries out for a brilliant clue.

    Obviously, the way to a good review from Rex is to have a drink with him. (In truth, that's unfair--he's been known to pan puzzles by his friends.)

    I somehow remembered J. Carrol NAISH, though at first without the I in his name. He used to be in the old movies they showed in the afternoons, often standing around in white tie while some comedian made him look ridiculous. But according to Wikipedia my memory about this is completely wrong. Oh well, I got his name right anyway.

    1A was tricky, since 'well' is also a noun, a verb, and an adjective. I guess that sort of ambiguity is a good way to set the mood.

    I'm very late posting,because our dog has been sick since 3:30 AM, I keep having to take her out. Last time this happened we took her to an emergency 24-hour place, which was great but cost us $550; so this time I'm waiting until tomorrow when our regular vet is open. Hope i don't regret that decision! At least she's sleeping peacefully right now.

    Hungry Mother 3:03 PM  

    Another one started early, then a drive back from the Philly suburbs, solving now and then. It seemed a slog, but maybe if I had enough time in the morning it would have gone smoother. NRA must have a powerful lobby at the NYT also, betting lots of PR.

    Fred Romagnolo 3:16 PM  

    J. Carrol NAISH was famous for playing ethnic types; he ran a gamut of different ethnics, but he never played a member of his own ethnic group: Irish. If you run negative on an intradermal T.B. TEST, you have to get a chest X-ray. Isn't it time to banish IAGO from crosswordom?

    JC66 3:50 PM  


    Martha Stewart Weddings & Brides are both magazines.

    Anonymous 4:10 PM  

    this may only be urban legend, but it goes like this...

    JFK is in Berlin after the Wall went up, is giving a speech, and says to the crowd,
    "Ich bin ein Berliner"

    the intent, of course, was a token of solidarity. turns out, more legend, that to Germans a 'Berliner' is a jelly donut.

    Birchbark 4:17 PM  

    @jberg (2:41) -- I completely get your point about your dog. Several years ago, we took our yellow lab Georgie (who jumps like a kangaroo when she knows we're going for a walk) to a 24/7 hospital in the Twin Cities. The diagnosis, which recommended a $1500 surgery, cost a few hundred dollars. We (I, gambling without saying much about it) guessed it could wait overnight and took her to our regular vet in Osceola in the morning. Problem solved for about $100, dog happy within hours. Past performance is no guarantee of future success, but I hope things go just as well for you and your hound.

    Anonymous 4:19 PM  

    Regarding 58 across, a letter may contain X's and O's where the X's represent hugs and the O's represent kisses, as in "hugs and kisses". So, the only valid answer for 58a is "XXX", not "OOO".

    Anonymous 4:34 PM  

    JFK really said "Ich bin ein Berliner" and a Berliner really is a jelly donut.

    To what degree Germans understood and appreciated his remark, and to what degree they thought he was a fool for having said what he said without proper research, is more under dispute.

    Anonymous 4:38 PM  

    There have been discussions before about how notes like BSHARP and ESHARP have an obscure meaning, but to most of us schlubs the note half a step above B is called C.

    Jeff 4:44 PM  

    Got this from the crosses but I'm totally missing how "Creeped out?" gets to "seeped". Is there some pun or clever meaning here?

    Anonymous 4:48 PM  

    It's DEM. As in -ocrat. Blue wave, etc.

    Anonymous 4:53 PM  


    RooMonster 5:15 PM  

    Thanks. Magazines. Who knew? Well, you did. ☺️

    @Anonymous 4:19
    I think the X's are the kisses, meant to represent puckered lips. Anyone else?

    @Joesph M 1:03
    TOP BAN ANA had me really laughing out loud! That was awesome!


    Anonymous 5:43 PM  

    Completed the puzzle, but I am too feeble to figure out why “Dees” is the answer to the “Diamond brackets?” clue at 55 Down. Can anyone help me out?

    Anonymous 6:09 PM  

    Looooooved "What a dis, Grace!"

    JC66 6:13 PM  

    @Anon 5:43


    Anonymous 6:18 PM  

    Simply not true! Do your research.

    Pedro 6:28 PM  

    ANA is Spanish. The initial A is pronounced with short "O" sound. So doesn't really work.

    pabloinnh 7:54 PM  

    @Anon 5:43-

    To further clarify, you've got a D on each end of DiamonD, so they bracket the rest of the word.

    Isaac 8:36 PM  

    Had WHATADISaster for so long..........

    Carola 8:53 PM  

    @Anonymous 4:34 and 4:10, the "jelly donut" story really is an urban legend. This Wikipedia page has a good summary of the ins and outs of the grammar in question, with links to the more in-depth sources. There's also a nice audio clip of the speech, which records cheers rather than laughter. I happened to be in Germany that summer, living with a German family, one of whose members lived in Berlin; no one remarked at all at anything amiss in the speech.

    Monty Boy 8:57 PM  

    I liked this one a lot. Big fan of puns. I remember names (kinda) using puns. New fellow in the department. I told myself, "have you met the new guy who likes to dunk for apples?" Oh, you mean Bob? When I see him now, I see him with a wet face full of red delicious.

    I'd swear we had Dock Ellis in a fairly recent puzzle. I spent 10 years in Pittsburgh and watched him pitch several times. I watched the video recently. Any help?

    Anonymous 9:09 PM  

    Liked it, although I had “Drunkation” (like a vacation with an open bar) instead of “Drunkathon for too long...

    Music Man 12:31 AM  

    Next time I’m in NYC, I’ll be sure to visit Joe’s “One Star” bar. Looks like a fun place to have a beer! (or two...)

    Unknown 2:31 AM  

    Can someone explain 97A to me? What is the critical campaign it's referring to? Thanks!

    Rider 7:47 AM  

    Can anyone explain why “Dees” is the answer to “Diamond brackets”?

    Anonymous 10:30 AM  

    Ugh! Dieter's "I" thank you to those who explained that. I couldn't figure that out. Finally did figure out the Diamond brackets - to UNKNOWN the clue means. DiamonD - the word diamond is bracketed by D's
    Had to give that a think when I finally filled it in.

    Anonymous 11:50 PM  

    The month of October (OCT) is a critical month in U.S. general-election campaigns, which end in early November.

    Susannah 9:50 PM  

    That Dock Ellis video is amazing.

    Anonymous 9:43 AM  

    every day I click on syndicated puzzle, and it matches my newspaper, EXCEPT on Sundays. Why is that? Never matches on Sunday

    Burma Shave 10:57 AM  


    Your BRIDE'S DRUNK in THE city,
    while you're RAISIN' kids, FARMERSTAN.


    rondo 11:21 AM  

    I wasn't as enamored of this puz as OFL and others. I guess it's OK, but not RATEDA.

    My one write-over shows that I must still believe in some innocence; I had DoVE bar before DIVE bar. So there.

    I'll feel much better when DEAR Vanna lovingly gives me AVOWAL.

    KESHA (formerly KE$HA) gets the yeah baby TITLE today.

    IGOTNOTHIN' else.

    rainforest 3:08 PM  

    One of the better Sundays with a bunch of outlandish themers that somehow appealed to me. A lot of them, too.

    I think there might have been a record number of deceptive clues in this puzzle even not counting the themers. That made it fun.

    Dieter was brilliant.

    HE'S DEAD JIM - got it but I don't know why it is a "catch phrase". Help me, @Spacey.

    Diana, LIW 5:49 PM  

    wonderful wordplay. no rebus. I finished it. what's not to love?

    I had HESDEADsir before JIM, cause I'm lucky to even know the name of the series and players!

    Mr. W stopped taping a football game yesterday when it was a blowout. Oops. Turned into a 67 to 63 come-from-behind win for LALA land.

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

    spacecraft 6:03 PM  

    Hand up for looking for "I'm a doctor, not a..." But Bones did say the given phrase on at least three separate occasions. Twice he even declared Jim dead!

    Fun solve today, wack-filled grid. Held up for several nano-whatevers by Satire instead of SENDUP, but the rest not too tough. BSHARP gets a hall pass because of the clue. OOO = castles queenside, but OK. Fill could've been a lot worse. Birdie.

    Anonymous 9:49 PM  

    [raises hand]
    Was also stumped on this clue. I wonder if there was an intentional misdirect here using a German male name versus someone trying to lose weight? Kept thinking what is significant about an "I" for someone trying to lose weight?

    Unknown 8:09 PM  

    J Carrol Naish had a very popular radio show back in the forties called "Life With Luigi" about the misadventures of an Italian immigrant in the WW11, tho that was never mentioned. Think it was instrumental in a way for developing Americas love of thigs Italian, post WW2....italian crooners, Pizza , spaghetti etc etc Whatever J Carrol Naish and Life with Luigi are total earworms for me about about 75 years after the fact.

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