Battle of Normandy locale / TUE 10-8-19 / Mark who won 1998 Masters / Kathy with #1 country hit Eighteen Wheels Dozen Roses / Repeated lyric in 1987 Michael Jackson #1 hit / Chronic rapper informally / Cellist at Obama's first inauguration

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:38)

THEME: CURLING STONES (36A: Items guided by brooms in the Winter Olympics ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) — names of precious gems (or "stones") sort of "curl" around the corners of the grid (inside circled squares): SAPPHIRE, EMERALD, DIAMOND, AMETHYST

Word of the Day: WINGLET (25D: It turns up at the edge of a plane) —
a small wingalso a nearly vertical airfoil at an airplane's wingtip that reduces drag by inhibiting turbulence (
• • •

Rough. And then, when I finished, I saw why. It's actually very hard to make clean, smooth grids when you run words all diagonal or will-nilly through the grid like this. Locks you up as bad or worse than a dense theme would. So the fill today is not exactly good, but it's predictably, explainably ungood. I wish the theme had offered more of a payoff. More of a smile or "yay!" I got my smile/yay early with CURLING STONES, which is a nice answer all on its own (though when I put it in, I had no idea what it had to do with the theme) (if I'd just stopped and looked at the grid for a few seconds, I'm sure I would've seen it, but [shrug]. There are no proper theme answers beyond the revealer, which also gives the whole endeavor a kind of characterlessness. It's hard to love a theme that you can't really see except in retrospect, that has only one true theme answer, and that is *directly* responsible for fill like ALD, SAPOR, and SAYST. Harder to blame HBAR (?) ORD and CAEN on the theme, but you can try.

Slow start (as usual!) because 1A: Home squatters? (UMPS) meant nothing to me despite my having watched some playoff baseball just last night :( Also the clue on STENCILS (16A: Spray-painting tools) was never going to land with me, since I think of spray-painting only as an act of graffiti. I realize there must be other uses for spray paint, I just never see them. I certainly don't see STENCILS. I'm not questioning this clue, I'm just saying it lies somewhat outside my spray-painting experience (which mainly involves seeing it on TV / movies). Never heard of a WINGLET, so that heard. I confidently wrote in WINGTIP, because, well, that is essentially what a WINGLET is, it turns out. Sigh. Wrote in TBILL for TBOND (of course) (51D: Long-term security, for short). Thought 37D: Matchless (UNPAIRED) was going for a kind of metaphorical matchlessness (like "peerless" or "unparalleled"), but no, it's just literally "without a match." I like CREEP OUT (60A: Give the heebie-jeebies), even if my brain keeps parsing it CREE POUT [Sullen expression of a First Nations person?]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Solverinserbia 6:11 AM  

Loved the clue on UMPS. Theme was a good idea. Agree that the fill was atrocious. Not worth it to have a theme that makes the fill so bad imo.

Lewis 6:19 AM  

When I saw the theme early on, it quickened my solve, much like those broom-swishers do for CURLING STONES. I confidently slapped in EROICA for the Beethoven symphony, but soon enough the puzzle gods demanded its removal. I keep wanting to change that G in WINGLET to an S, fan of Kate that I am. Lotso' threes (24) here, countered by my favorite clue, [Matchless] for UNPAIRED, and my favorite answer, CREEP OUT, which has never appeared in the NYT before (but which has shown up in the LAT a couple of times), and which is a good Halloween precursor.

EMEND made me look up the difference between itself and "amend", and it's subtle, but good to know.

I rarely veg out in front of the TV, but I find myself doing that when the Winter Olympics rolls around and curling is on. I find it hard to tear away. My wife looks at me like, "Who did I marry?"

OffTheGrid 6:20 AM  

Umps don't squat but otherwise a fine Tuesday.

Hank 6:37 AM  

LOL to Rex for CREE POUT :-)

NW was hard as I did not know SAPOR (a new word for me). And not knowing the singer named MATTEA did not help.

STENCILS are big in Banksy style wall art (and similar works such as the famous Obama profile by Shepard Fairey). If someone wants to put up a large "finished" work with a relatively short application time a stencil is pretty helpful.

So a stencil is a pretty common graffiti accessory.

Treasury BILLS are for less than one year. NOTES are one to ten years. Treasury BONDS are the over ten year debt issues (often 30 years). So short, medium and long.

Hank 6:51 AM  

@ Lewis - I too wanted Eroica, but could see it was wrong. "Choral" is more a descriptive term as opposed to a title so it didn't occur to me for a while. I can see that it is used as a title too, but it seems informal or at least less formal.

In grade school we were prompted to remember that the a = "add" or "alter" in amend while the e = "edit" (as in change) in emend.

I think nowadays we ask amend to mean both, at least in spoken usage.

My wife was insisting to me that emend isn't an actual word. She went to a different grade school.

kitshef 7:19 AM  

MATTEA was a bit of a shock for a Tuesday. Never heard of her. CAEN and PALMAS also a bit beyond the regular Tuesday fare.

UPSETS gave me a surprising amount of resistance mostly because I only considered the cartoon Underdog – the normal everyday definition didn’t’ come to mind until way too late.
Delivery men from beyond: U.P.S. E.T.S

GILL I. 7:39 AM  

Yeah...well at least you didn't have SKIN for 13A. I sometimes don't know my country from rock and roll so Ms. Kathy's name at 2D wasn't in my repertoire ... Moving right along. Got my favorite gem SAPPHIRE at the get go. Left that corner and went on my business to just go ahead and fill in the rest of the gems I love. Just off a few letter. Got to the reveal section in CURLING STONES (although I toyed with corner STONES).
So we have IAM AIM AMSO IHOPE and look! SHARIA crossing CREEP OUT. That it does. Actually it does more than CREEP me out. ISIS had shoved humanity back for centuries. Heaven forbid if you are gay. OK, I don't want to think about their atrocities... instead I'll think of the jewels my lovely husband has given me over the years. Everything mentioned here except an AMETHYST - only because my Dad had already given me one. Men in this country are so wonderful.
Doesn't SAYST miss his E?
Fine Tuesday despite the three-fests......

Hungry Mother 7:43 AM  

Got the theme right away and then filled in the other STONES. A bit of crunch made it a fun, but fast, solve. Perfect Tuesday.

GHarris 7:53 AM  

Must have to do with where you live but I never understood the attraction of watching persons feverishly sweeping ice. Matches up with watching paint dry. Never grokked the theme but no matter, finished with a minimum of difficulty and enjoyed it.

morecoffee 7:59 AM  

I'm right with you on the spray painting confusion. I confidently had "AEROSOL" in that spot right up to the end.

Suzie Q 8:03 AM  

I thought the saying was "Looks aren't everything". The other saying is "Size doesn't matter". I don't like how that has crept beyond what it is referring to into the realm of advertising and used to sell bags of corn chips and even movie monsters for children. It's a sexual "saying" created by feelings of inadequacy. And yes, it does matter.
There, I got that out of the way.
I was not amused by this one. Too many names. I'm not a contractor but I don't believe H bar is a thing. Beam yes, bars in building are metal rods.
A tepid Tuesday. Even @ Lewis seemed to struggle to find a silver lining.

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

Please! Could we all learn that there is no such thing as an HBAR or IBAR. Bars do not have flanges and cannot be "H" or "I" shapes. Bars can never be "girders" or "beams" because without flanges they would deflect laterally.

The term is I-BEAM.

pabloinnh 8:13 AM  

Going across, then down, then across, and so on got me SAPPHIRE and CURLINGSTONES zip zap and then it was a matter of finding other sinuous gems, which turned out to be pretty easy.

Like @Lewis, I get sucked into curling on tv. Used to be on Canadian stations often when we lived near the border years ago. A friend tells me that being a little stoned and watching curling is just great good fun, don't know, never tried it, not once, ever. Honest.

I'm not a member of the Real Academia but I don't ever remember hearing buenos dias in the singular as a greeting. BUEN DIA? Really? Interesting that bonjour and bongiorno are in fact singular. Don't know why Spanish is different.

Fun enough for a Tuesday, so thanks RT, even if it felt more like a word game than a crossword puzzle to me.

Joe R. 8:16 AM  

Several minutes after finishing, I’m still really annoyed by the awful clue on 38D. Any loop has NOEND. What makes a Moebius Strip different is that it has only one side. Poor clue, poor editing.

Joaquin 8:17 AM  

I found this to be on the easy side and it reminded me of yesterday. Monday was very easy - dropping in the square roots required no thought at all. And today the stones *almost* filled themselves with just one or two letters. And once the stones were there, the rest fell easily. Was hoping for more of a challenge but, you know - You Can't Always Get What You Want!

kitshef 8:42 AM  

@Gill I - I'll see your SKIN and raise you a ZEST. I was pretty desperately trying to find anything that could make sense of that xxTTEA string. I even tried the clearly wrong CORE.

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

Rods are round, bars and beams aren't. Bars are exclusively vertical, beams are used for either vertical or horizontal support.

Nancy 8:47 AM  

There are two problems with annoying tiny little circles. 1) They force you to squoosh your letters. I DON'T LIKE HAVING TO SQUOOSH MY LETTERS! 2) They often are, as they are here, arranged in a completely arbitrary manner. Put them wherever the mood strikes you and you can create any effect you like. But the effect won't be apparent to most solvers unless and until they go back and piece it all together. And by that time, the puzzle's already been filled in.

Take away the tiny little circles and would anyone have noticed the SAPPHIRE, EMERALD, DIAMOND and AMETHYST? Didn't think so.

This is not my kind of puzzle and it never will be. Reactions may vary.

BTW, I just love @GHarris's description of the sport of CURLING.

pmdm 8:59 AM  

I know, I guess from past experience, that EROICA and CHORAL have the same number of letters. So I somehow remember never to fill in the entry until I am sure of a cross letter (except O). Sometimes it helps if that I usually spell it CHORALE.

Misdirects are less common earlier in the week, for the sake of new solvers. So the Möbius strip clue was unexpected. Nice to see it annoyed at least one solver.

The need for Tuesday-level fill with the constraints of the theme answers resulted in fill that predictably would annoy Mr. Sharp and others. I've come to expect it so it really doesn't bother me. Certainly not as much as some of the late week cluing which I feel is someties off the deep end.

I've watched curling and considerate to be more cerebral than athletic (kind of my feeling towards chess). That's OK. Just as this puzzle was OK.

Sir Hillary 9:06 AM  

Cool idea, but I'm with those who think the poor fill is too high a price to pay. DIA, ALD, SAYST, AWS, HBAR, ORD, IMBAD, AMSO -- please, not all in the same puzzle.

If your revealer is Winter Olympics-related, at least clue OHNO with Apolo.

Government-related overload: EPA, FEMA, TBOND, PAC.

Never would have known Kathy MATTEA had I not recently watched the Ken Burns "Country Music" series, which is excellent.

Having gotten much of my music education from Rodgers and Hammerstein, I have a hard time accepting SOL. That is not a needle pulling thread.

Never heard of PREAMP, but assume it's a real thing. Always good to learn.

Clue thoughts: WINGLET's is good, NOEND's is poor, PGA's tries too hard.

Third and eighth row could be good Spoonerisms: pencils steered and sterling cones. Yeah, no idea why I noticed that.

@Joaquin -- Nicely done. I didn't get much Satisfaction from this puzzle.

Z 9:07 AM  

I sussed out EMERALD fairly early and saw the four corners and thought we’d have some sort of baseball diamond revealer. Thus, mildly surprised and pleased by the CURLING STONES revealer. On review there is a teeming roil of three-letter answers, but the theme had amused me enough that I barely noticed while solving. Early impressions can really affect one’s response to a puzzle.

Watching a little baseball last night reminded me of our earlier UMPS discussion. I heard the home plate guy say “ball - outside” when it was quite obviously high but not outside. So the call (“ball”) was correct but the descriptor was way off. What’s that old saying?... Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove any doubt?
And @OffTheGrid - I believe the technique still taught is for UMPS to set their eyes at the top of the strike zone, which would involve frequent squatting.

@Joe R. - Had the exact same reaction. One side. One edge. But NO END could be a circle, an oval, or the alternator belt in my old Pinto before it snapped and left me stranded in Grand Haven outside the house of the girl who had just dumped me. Not wrong, but hardly the distinctive characteristic of a möbius strip.

@pabloinnh - “Honest.” Perfect.
@GHarris - Try it sometime. Then both the skill and the strategy involved becomes more apparent. It’s actually a pretty good sport for people who like solving puzzles.

@Hank - Emphasizing Eeeemend in speech makes one sound a wee bit pretentious or pedantic, so it is practically impossible to know which one is saying ñ normal discussion. Hence, yep, pretty much always becomes “amend” in speech and increasingly writing as well.

Dan Miller 9:11 AM  

If you want to see a good demonstration of stencils in graffiti, there's a scene early on in "Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse" that features it. It's a really great movie, worth checking out.

Z 9:12 AM  

Why did my iPad change “in” to “ñ” and why didn’t I notice before posting?

SouthsideJohnny 9:13 AM  

Very poor quality effort today. Mistakes in clues (see 31A), and 38D (all strips are continuous), awful fill as Rex pointed out necessitated by yet another too-cute theme, a country singer that less than 1% of the population even In Nashville has heard of, and worst of all THE CHRONIC ? ? Dre squeeze more F-words, N-words and B-words than you can keep count of into a two minute intro. Vulgar, crude, women-hating and gun and violence-worshipping all rolled up in one, which the NYT deems acceptable. Very sad.


RooMonster 9:13 AM  

Hey All !
@Gill I & @kitshef
The first thing that popped into the ole brain was peeled. Har.

Another funny, had OHmy for OHNO first, which got me imPAIRED for 37D Matchless.

Liked puz. Counter to Rex's plaint on *technically* only one themer, there is 5 themers. Only they are CURVED, but they are there with @Nancys "annoying little circles." So SAYST me.

Stupid one-letter DNF today, LEar/PEaRED. Dang. Know it was an E. A bit UPSETS.


B. Jean 9:22 AM  

So many despicable human beings are routinely deemed off-limits for puzzles in RexWorld. Yet, the child rapist Michael Jackson routinely gets a pass.

David in Brevard 9:30 AM  

Nice theme and enjoyable solve. Last to go in was WINGLET after WINGTIP, WINGHET (???) then even with WINGLET I got no happy face. It took me a full five more minutes to note that STENCILE was in fact a plural as was AWE!


So that came up 4 minutes slower than average and more than double my best Tuesday.

Loved trying to remember CURLINGSTONES and when I got it I looked back and wrote in the circled ‘rocks’ which speeded up my solve enormously. Never seen TEUTON without its IC before. In my sleepy brain I wanted MAMAYO (A sort of home made salad dressing?) and I note that HANNAH is a six letter female name palindrome. Hard to spot a favourite clue or answer.

That’s it from Brevard.

Conrad 9:48 AM  

EMEND = Online fix?

jberg 9:52 AM  

I don’t squish my letters for circles, but then I often have trouble telling where they were. Is there some rule about when to use the and when to use shaded squares?

When I took a course on Shakespeare we read plays in scholarly editions. Since the first printed editions were full of typos we’d get lots of notes to the effect that some scholar had suggested this or that EMENDation. Outside of puzzles I’ve never seen the word since.

Better clue for 18A: if you eat beets, you may do this.

Dorothy Biggs 9:53 AM  

I was thinking of a tool for spray paint as something more associated with house a de-clogger kind of tool, or a compressor. Then I thought about airbrushing...and de-clogger or compressor still didn't fit. It took a few crosses to finally see it was THAT kind of spray paint.

Good thing I know who HANNAH Montana is, or I never would have guessed HBAR. I think those are actually called I-beams...? Depending on how you look at it, but the shape is definitely an I-beam shape. Now that I look at it, it could also be called a "Tie FIghter" beam, too. Come ci, come ça.

Had WINGtip to start. Most planes now have the tips of their wings flipped up. Also wanted online instead of ONSITE.

Whatsername 10:09 AM  

Very surprised to find Rex called this rough today as I found it extremely easy. CURLINGSTONES was obvious, and by I had enough to figure out EMERALD and SAPPHIRE. Didn’t take long then by just the number of letters to know that the other two were going to be what they were. I agree with @GILL that SAYST needs an E but was not bothered by what others consider substandard fill. Thought it was a perfectly nice Tuesday and a fine job by Ross T.

I wonder if anyone has ever tried curling stoned.

Newboy 10:10 AM  

Context can really help a solver & such was our experience today. Just back from a visit to Vermont with side pilgrimage to search for Louise Penny’s Three Pines locale in lower Québécois country that included two visits to lapidary displays, so mental alert chimed at SAPPHIRE and a glance at 36A confirmed the CURLING STONES theme. Game, set, & match!

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

A wingLET is not the same as a wingTIP. The wingtip is just that---the outermost portion of the wing. All wings have 'tips' (ends). Winglets are vertical attachments affixed to the tips with a designed purpose to reduce drag. The clue as worded is appropriate for wingLET.

TJS 11:00 AM  

What is this B.S.? Umpires do not squat. Leaning over from the waist is not squatting. The only one squatting is the catcher.
I am not a fan of the NRA, but what kind of hypocrisy is it to decry any mention of NRA and give Dre and "The Chronic" a pass ?
I'm calling this @Lewis first negative rating. Just going by the lack of euphoria.

Ethan Taliesin 11:04 AM  

I liked the puzzle just fine and didn't notice that the fill was unusually bad.

One interesting word today was WINGLET, which is the airliner equivalent to folding up the ends of your paper airplane, which somehow improves aircraft aerodynamics.

More aerodynamic equals lower fuel costs. So much so, in fact, that airplanes were retrofit with WINGLETs. This was done at considerable expense, but the price was well offset by the money they saved

My family and I pronounce ORD as a word, like board or gourd. That reminds me, isn't American Airlines just the worst, though?

JC66 11:19 AM  


Isn't this a squat?

jberg 11:35 AM  

When I first looked at the circles, I thought they were not in any kind of symmetry; but of course they are. That really raises my appreciation for this puzzle -- it can't have been easy to do that!

I always thought they were I=BEAMS, not BARS, but now I know why, thanks to those who explained it today. I've heard that most buildings in the crossworld collapse under the first high wind; perhaps that's why.

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

spray paint and stencils are arcane???? drive down any street to a multi-lane intersection. see those right-turn, left-turn, straight-and-turn thingees in the pavement??? spray paint over a stencil. now you know.

Treasury BILLS are for less than one year. NOTES are one to ten years. Treasury BONDS are the over ten year debt issues (often 30 years). So short, medium and long.

and thanks to Our Dear Leader, they've seesaw-ed over and back to inversion. that's a really, really bad thing.

thanks to NASA: " Richard Whitcomb's research in the 1970s at NASA first used winglet with its modern meaning referring to near-vertical extension of the wing tips." the wiki. your tax dollars at work, and something other than invading countries that didn't harm us.

freaking captcha -- can't even see what's there, so grainy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7700 11:48 AM  

Agree with anon@1043 and Ethan @1104 about winglets v wingtips

Masked and Anonymous 11:55 AM  

Curlin cornerstones! Well, shoot ... I liked it.

This puppy had some unusual words -- I like the unusual. Fave things that U don't see in puzs every day: ELVES. ALD (staff weeject pick). SAYST. IHOPE/IMBAD ununpaired. CREEPOUT. IAM/AMSO ununpaired. CAEN. MATTEA. PALMAS. WINGLET. SHARRA. HANNAH. VARIABLE. TEUTON. GLENNS [shiver].
Whether some of that stuff seems desperate or not is up for some debate, I'd reckon. We probably can all agree on GLENNS & ALD, tho. har

2x + 3y = 15? All things bein equal, I'd say yer answers are 3.

Got the idea of the theme mcguffin (mcgemmin) pretty early on, so most of the circle contents became gimmes. Spellin AMETHYST was the only thing that mighta burnt a few precious nanoseconds. Made it a relatively nice, eazy-E TuesPuz. And always hard to beat The Circles (yo, @RP & @Nancy).

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Trudeau. Congratz on yer #20th NYTPuz. Woulda been neat & satisfaction-gettin to have a Rolling Stones dude in one cornerstone, tho ...

Masked & Anonymo4Us

and, another circle …

Flying Pediatrician 12:04 PM  

Agreed. See also: SHARIA.

On a happier note, how about that TENTH inning walk-off by the St. Louis Cardinals just before this puzzle was released?!

A Grimwade 12:25 PM  

The best CURLING STONES are made of granite from the Scottish island of Ailsa Craig, which was visible from my childhood bedroom window on the Ayrshire coast. I have a hard time associating gemstones with that rocky maritime outcrop,

Joe Dipinto 12:28 PM  

I have never seen or heard "size isn't everything." As Suzie Q said, it's "size doesn't matter."

This puzzle was mostly boring to me – and not because of the curling theme, which I actually liked. YO-YO MA is to "cellist" as AMANA is to "oven": they really needn't bother putting other words in the clue. Glenns Miller and Close are a weird combo. I'd have gone with Close and Ford (actors) or Miller and Frey (musicians).

But dig those crazy colors, man. I'm in an amethyst haze. ♪ 'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy ♪

mathgent 1:11 PM  

I'm fascinated by meta. Like the meta puzzle in the Friday WSJ. It's a puzzle about a puzzle. (It's not an ultimate meta which would be a crossword puzzle about a crossword puzzle.). And like metamathematics, mathematics about mathematics. Godel proved several metamathematical theorems which are some of the greatest in the science. (One proves that every mathematical system has a statement which can neither be proved nor disproved.).

The reason I mention meta is that we often do meta here, when commenters criticize Rex's criticism. And then there are those who criticize those who criticize Rex's criticism.

TJS 1:36 PM  

@JC66, have to admit its a lot closer call than I thought. Dont think its going to qualify in weightlifting, but I guess its close enough to not be worth arguing about. Thanks for the response.

old timer 1:46 PM  

Any puzzle that mentions Kathy MATTEA is OK by me. 18 Wheels was a huge hit in our house, and we loved pretty much every song she sang.

tea73 1:47 PM  

An h-bar is a thing, but it has nothing to do with architecture. From Wikipedia, "In applications where it is natural to use the angular frequency (i.e. where the frequency is expressed in terms of radians per second instead of cycles per second or hertz) it is often useful to absorb a factor of 2π into the Planck constant. The resulting constant is called the reduced Planck constant. It is equal to the Planck constant divided by 2π, and is denoted ħ (pronounced "h-bar"): "

I've never seen Beethoven's Ninth refered to as the "CHORAL" symphony. Luckily I have seen PREAMP in previous puzzles. I've heard that country song, and the name looked vaguely familiar once it filled itself in.

Did not remember to go back and look for the corner stones.

Joseph M 1:49 PM  

Nearly one third of the grid answers are proper nouns.

To borrow a response form yesterday's puzzle:


Daniel S 1:49 PM  

Agreed! I lost many seconds being annoyed after filling in this answer.

LorrieJJ 2:03 PM  

You're obviously not Canadian.

LorrieJJ 2:10 PM  

Where have you been ... absolutely wonderful song ... gives me chills every time I hear it ...

john towle 2:15 PM  

Leer = to read…pejorative in English; an irregular verb in Spanish.

No hay de qué,


Anonymous 3:04 PM  

It's number six

Buenos Aires 4:51 PM  

@Pabloinnh. It's a regional thing, in Argentina the norm is singular.

Whatsername 5:04 PM  

@Ethan Taliesin: I recently flew American to Myrtle Beach and it was not a pleasant experience. But it seems to me that one is just as bad as the other and the airlines are all equally failing in more ways than financially. I’ve also always referred to the airport as ORD. Good thing we don’t live in Sioux City which really SUX.

pabloinnh 5:21 PM  

@BA-Pues gracias. Argentina is still on the bucket list, so hadn't heard that one.

Juanito-I was thinking of LEER=to read when I wrote it in too. I wouldn't call it terribly irregular though. "Leyo" (accent needed), "leyeron" (and the Imperfect Subjunctive based on that). Anything else?

Unknown 7:01 PM  

Sapor is too obscure? Im doing the 93/94 puzzles which are filled with more obscure words and I'm not young enough for that to be an issue. So don't say th puzzles atre getting worse and gripe when they revert a bit to form

Monty Boy 7:07 PM  

I liked this one a lot. A little over average time, so medium seems right.

For the construction pieces, the I's are usually beams, the H's are usually columns. Neither are called bars. There are structural elements that are bars, but are rectangular, not letter shaped. Then there are angles (L) and Z shapes.

My first job out of school was in Bemidji Minnesota. We very quickly got drafted into a mixed curling league so I know about curling stones. They do more curling than bowling up there. It's a lot of fun to play socially and the experience helps with my enjoyment while watching. I can see how the watching only could get tedious.

I'm kinda that way with watching soccer. I've never played it so the long games with one or two goals seems boring. I don't know enough to appreciate the subtlies of the game.

California Curler 7:24 PM  

@Whatersname asked:
> I wonder if anyone has ever tried curling stoned.

The answer is definitely yes. It's far more often done drunk than stoned, but as a California curler, I can attest that stoned curling has definitely been done.

Preferred Customer 8:42 PM  

Actually, the term now is W-shape. The more you know the harder toto solvesolve the clue...

Todd 10:25 AM  

How is a Italian director's last name and a French comic book series not a Natick cross? Never heard of either.

CS 11:10 AM  

Better late than never?

I just thought the theme was cute and loved solving the puzzle of what the circled letters represented. Creative and fun.

Monty Boy 11:34 PM  

FWIW, the W shape is for wide-flange, a special beam with stiffer properties.

Burma Shave 11:37 AM  


IHOPE they don’t MISLEAD themselves –
It’s a CREEPOUT with NOEND that gets me:


Unknown 12:38 PM  

For the recored Mark Omeara also won the British Open in 1998 and was a member of the PGA (see the southwest corner).

spacecraft 1:13 PM  

Not a fan of circles, nor of DRE and cohorts, but the solve wasn't that BAD. At least it was over in a hurry; I make it easy. Not often I'm below OFC's difficulty rating. Perhaps it's because the STONES are one of my all-time favorite bands. Har.

Wife thinks watching CURLING is like watching paint dry; I'm intrigued by it, as it is probably one of the very few remaining sports I could still do. I mean, c'mon. All those folks look to be in decent shape, but calling them "athletes" has to be a bit of a stretch, no? The most rigorous part is the sweeping; I do as much with a Swiffer Wetjet.

DOD is femme "Fatal" GLENN Close. Fill has some iffy spots, restricted as it is by the STONE placements, but not awful. Wanted THREES for 10-down but that was 2 short. didn't even notice ALD, as I was working downs there. Par.

P.S. I still wonder about that garbage can symbol; how did it get there, and what does it mean? I am tech-clueless here.

leftcoaster 1:53 PM  

Aha! So the CURLING STONES in the corners are GEMSTONES, colloquially known as ICE.

Clever/cute adornments: UMPS as home squatters (most bend, few squat) and ELVES (Keebler cookie makers?)

Had to finish in order to see the clever graphics.

Great Tuesday wordplay.

rondo 3:24 PM  

Yes, those are CURLINGSTONES. I have actually donated money to the Canadian women’s CURLING team. And the reigning men’s Olympic CURLING champs are from right here in MN. CURLING does not need to be like paint drying, green or any other color.

About 25 years ago I got tossed out of yeah baby Kathy MATTEA’s sound check at the MN State Fair. Or rather I skedaddled when I saw getting tossed was imminent. They seemed to be doing plenty of rehearsing as well, so it was like a free concert.

Not so BAD as Tuesdays go.

Diana, LIW 4:13 PM  

Whooray - the Syndie button is working.

Are these little gems really the color (colour?) of CURLINGSTONES???

Eh? Where's our Canadian?

Lady Di (LIW)

PS - Garbage can symbol???

spacecraft 6:22 PM  

Yes, right after the blog time stamp. The avatar looks exactly like a garbage can; I don't know what else to call it.

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Newcomer here....just wondering if there is ever a puzzle that Rex likes. Seems like negative comments for the most part.

wcutler 9:25 PM  

This is my periodic posting to express my appreciation to the commenters and to Rex for providing the ____ (what's the word? - not "yenue". How do I ever complete these things anyway?). Today I'm happy to have learned the amend/emend distinction, the tbill/note/bond distinction and some beam/bar distinctions.

I liked the puzzle too, particularly that getting the theme helped me get some of the answers. To me, that's what the themes are for, and why I prefer themed puzzles, because I can use help from anywhere (well not ANY anywhere - my rule is that asking friends is ok, but not asking online resources. Speaking of which, a joke from the Canadian Reader's Digest I read today while waiting for the dental hygienist: I was asked as part of a job application form to give three references. I wrote Google, Wikipedia and OED. I didn't get the job.

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