Financial services corp with orange lion logo / MON 10-21-19 / Major athletic event along Thames / Positions one's toes off the surfboard

Monday, October 21, 2019

Constructor: Joe Deeney

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:12)

THEME: THREE ON (36A: Bases loaded ... or a hint to the contents of 17-, 26-, 44- and 56-Across) — "ON" appears three times in each themer:

Theme answers:
  • KNOWS ONE'S ONIONS (17A: Is highly versed about something)
  • LONDON MARATHON (26A: Major athletic event along the Thames)
  • "BLONDE ON BLONDE" (44A: Bob Dylan album that he called "the closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind")
  • SECOND HONEYMOON (56A: Romantic getaway for a married couple)
Word of the Day: KNOW ONE'S ONIONS (17A) —

know (one's) onions

To be very knowledgeable or skilled in some area. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. (
• • •

I just don't understand why this cuts the mustard (sorry, needed an idiom to go with my *$&%^ing onions). There are so many levels on which this is ill-conceived and mal-executed. First, the basic expression at the heart of the puzzle, the revealer: THREE ON. It's just ... not. Not a thing anyone says with any regularity. The clue phrase, "Bases loaded," *that* is the snappiest, most in-the-baseball-lingo expression for when three men are on base. "Three *men* on" is actually somehow better than THREE ON. Not saying THREE ON is never said, or is unintelligible. It's just ... limp. Sad to have limp baseball revealer just before the World Series gets underway. So the revealer is disappointing on its face. Then there is the concept. Just ... three ONs. OK, I mean, maybe you can do something with that. Or, maybe you can't, as KNOWS ONE'S ONIONS is grotesque. It's chiefly the ONE'S that makes it truly rank. ONE'S is the paradigmatic garbage possessive in a 15-letter answer. See, classically, A LOT ON ONE'S PLATE (15). You would normally say YOUR if you were actually using it, but since you're just staring at the phrase out of context, your possessive is ONE'S and nobody's happy, and the unhappiness is compounded by the fact that ONE'S was used to pick up one of the three "ON"s. Cheap. Not as cheap as just repeating an "ON"-containing word and also just putting the word "ON" in your themer, but cheap nonetheless—seriously, what is going on with "BLONDE ON BLONDE"? You hide all your other "ON"s but just give up here!? What's most puzzling to me is how a constructor doesn't *agONize* over this type of crap. It should keep you up nights, honestly. Hide all your "ON"s! Jeez. How is that not obvious?

["... two men out and THREE men ON ..."]

The fill in here is stale and bland. Even potentially cool stuff like HANGS TEN is made kinda off by the verb tense, i.e. HANG TEN! = great, HANGS TEN = ... yeah, OK (9D: Positions one's toes off the surfboard) (LOL one's toes). The whole thing feels off-brand, like an ersatz crossword puzzle. Let's see what else. Well, once again, a NO CARB diet is absolutely positively not a thing (22D: Like a diet that prohibits bread and pasta). Carbohydrates are necessary for life and are everywhere, so shut the hell up, please. LOW CARB, sure, NO CARB, bullshirt. I don't really want to go on. Everything else I have to say about this puzzle is either boring or redundantly negative, so I'm gonna sign off. Peace.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


SouthsideJohnny 12:29 AM  

Wow, Rex is really, really pissed at the NYT (or maybe just WS) about who knows what. It is definitely obvious though. He goes easy on constructors he knows (or are of a different gender than he is), pontificates about inane items like the word “COED” or “ NRA” yet is silent regarding n-wording, gun-worshipping, women-hating rappers and cannot help spewing vile rather than offering an honest and fair assessment of a daily puzzle on its merits. Just contrast in your own mind his posts vis a vis any of his guest hosts and it is obvious who is more fair, objective and possibly more xword savvy. It’s a Monday puzzle, give the vitriol a well needed vacation big guy.

chefwen 2:25 AM  

@JC66 Here we go again with the mustard.

KNOW ONES ONIONS was a new one for me as was BLONDE ON BLONDE, but everything else was so easy I was on auto fill.

Questioned 61D NYE, why was the science guy associated with 12/31, oh, never mind, New Years Eve, DOH!


Anonymous 3:32 AM  

youre my favorite xword blogger rex, you really know ones onions

Solverinserbia 3:39 AM  

Probably a little unfair to make such an obscure expression about root vegetables a long answer on Monday. Three on is a little off too since bases loaded is said 100% of the time. But it was easy. It was funnish. I'll give it a solid B.

Brookboy 3:41 AM  

Rex, Rex, please! You really need to calm down. It’s only a crossword puzzle. I actually agree with some of your comments but not the vitriol that accompanies them. (OTOH, it is probably that same vitriol that keeps your blog as popular as it is.)

I didn’t really have any problems with this one, nor did I find it as repugnant as OFL did. I thought it was fine for a Monday.

jae 4:04 AM  

Medium. Was not all that fond of the theme, but liked the fill more than Rex did.

pabloinnh 4:50 AM  

I've seen KNOWSONESONIONS in 30's potboilers or tec novels or somewhere similar, usually as "that guy really knows his onions". Not sure how we express it without gender. Knows their onions? LMS? A little help?

Agree with the "three on" assessment. Never said by any baseball fan or announcer.

Everyone complaining about OFL's bilious reviews must be relatively new to the site. The negative reviews and lighten up complaints are pretty much the norm around here.

Thought the puzzle was fine for a Monday, and easier to do on a laptop than yesterday's. Maybe it's the practice factor.

Anonymous 5:30 AM  

One is welcome to stop reading Rex if he’s not one’s cup of tea.

BarbieBarbie 5:50 AM  

Um, there’s no (Intentional) octane in gasoline. Edit Fail. The octane rating is a comparison, not an ingredient list.
On a a Monday the theme just has to be doable, so ONONON is a fine theme.
Disagree about the THREEON complaint. Maybe it’s regional? I can definitely hear “three on, two gone” in my head.

Hungry Mother 5:58 AM  

Nice puzzle to start the week. I did a lot of downs and got the theme at some point, but didn’t make use of it.

Lash Canino 6:06 AM  


The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler:

Geiger can collect on these notes, unless you can show fraud. Instead of that he makes you a present of them and admits they are gambling debts, which gives you a defense, even if he had kept the notes. If he’s a crook, he knows his onions, and if he’s an honest man doing a little loan business on the side, he ought to have his money.

BobL 6:16 AM  

Maybe not every day usage, but bases loaded does imply "three on."

Geezer 6:31 AM  

I think a vacation would benefit you as well.

OffTheGrid 6:46 AM  

To the Rex bashers who have already posted and those who will add their screeds throughout the day. I do not think Rex enjoys giving a puzzle poor marks. He wants better puzzles. Don't you? I don't buy that he bases his criticisms on who the constructor is. I'm sure he has favorites but we all do. And seriously, all your amateur psychoanalyzing has become tiresome.

Mark 7:15 AM  

People say “one on,” “two on,” and “three on,” all the time in baseball. Have you ever watched a game?

kitshef 7:16 AM  

With AGE and EON in the grid, I was hoping ERA would make an appearance.

GOGO DANCER and TURKEY TROT are pretty amazing for non-themers.

Three rock-solid themers, and one shaky one. Should be KNOW ONES ONIONS – the extra ‘S’ is inelegant, though not fatal. Hard to picture a situation where someone uses that phrase as shown.

Dan Miller 7:28 AM  

I'm not as harsh as Rex on the NYT, but sometimes I can see where he's coming from. Today, though, I couldn't disagree more. I thought the fill here was fun (TURKEY TROT!) and refreshingly creative for a Monday, especially considering there were multiple long themers; I didn't hate the theme, either. Overall, just what I was looking for in a Monday puzzle. But de gustibus non disputandam and all that.

Suzie Q 7:30 AM  

Once again I feel like I did a different puzzle than Rex did. I really enjoyed it. The onion phrase was familiar and even welcome because it is so funny, to me anyways.
The Dylan quote was interesting.
I'm not a baseball fan so "three on" was close enough for me.
I thought Rex would focus on the SE corner and its cluster of non-theme Os and Ns.
I had plenty of fun and that's all I ever want from my daily diversion. This was better than most Mondays.
Calling Lyle Lovett a country singer never feels quite right. He seems to defy any genre. Whatever he is, I like him a lot.

RooMonster 7:31 AM  

Hey All !
I definitely didn't KNOW my ONIONS about KNOWS ONES ONIONS. How has that expression not made it across the pond?

Found puz easy peasy. Fun long non-themer Acrosses in GOGO DANCER and TURKEY TROT. Really light on dreck today, OKD probably the worst (or best, depending on ONES view.) Fun answers throughout. Trying to go for no writeovers, alas, had two, ciA-NSA (first agency that sprang to mind), evE-NYE (tricky, that ONE).

Rex's NO CARB rants are fun (but true.) Alternate clue for KENS - ONE found in the dressing aisle?

A little HAIKU for ya:
When there is THREE men ON base
To hit a Grand Slam


Dawn Urban 7:35 AM  

Just wanted to say that I'm thrilled to add KNOWSONESONIONS to my vocabulary. Will use the phrase at the dinner table tonight!

Anonymous 7:36 AM  

For those of us who like to do the Mini as a warmup, I was a bit disappointed to see there were two shared clues. Bit lazy, no?

Joe Dipinto 7:39 AM  

A bulb vegetable,
a satiric newspaper –
I know my onions

Oh, cool your jets. "Bases loaded" is the *clue* for the revealer; it can't be the answer too. It all works. And if you would deign to look up "no carb diet" you'd find out that it's an in-use term, even if "no carb" technically means "very low carb". And you're late with that Billy Joel song, I already used it on the 12th.

I like AGOG crossing GO GO DANCER.

Debra 7:51 AM  

Cute and easy Monday.

amyyanni 7:53 AM  

How 'bout dem 'Stros? They really know their onions. (Of course I'm partial to any xword featuring a marathon. If *one* chose 'two on' as a theme, voila, Boston Marathon, my favorite.)

CS 8:07 AM  

When Rex rises to this level of vitriol I just skip to the comments, which are the true value of this blog.

For example I never heard of "knows one's onions," although could readily fill it in from the crosses; but then I come here and read the reference to The Big Sleep (thanks @Lash Canino!) -- and voila, I learned something!

Thanks again to the posters!

-- CS

Z 8:21 AM  

I thought Rex went easy. My eyes still haven’t stopped rolling from KNOWS ONE’S ONIONS and the ON in BLONDE ON BLONDE.

Someone yesterday requested a pause on the comic book clues. I don’t really agree, but going Spiderman for your Kirsten DUNST clue does push me that direction. I guess Marie Antoinette wasn’t blockbuster enough and On Becoming a God in Central Florida is too, you know, actually current.

Speaking of, how old is this guy? GOGO DANCERS were passé when I was a teenager, about the same time that Fear of Flying stopped being scandalous. I see the attempt to modernize TURKEY TROT and NOAH, but this seems more fit for my AARP Magazine than the NYT.

@BarbieBarbie - I had the same arched eyebrow but then decided that OCTANE is a component of gasoline the same way aroma is a component of chocolate chip cookies.

BTW - I checked the constructor’s comments over at Boy Howdy. One sees the “if I were making this puzzle today I would...” comment all the time over there. It is the single most damning comment about Shortz’s editorship, and it gets made repeatedly.

GILL I. 8:33 AM  

Oh, I don't know. This was a fun little Monday that amused me. I suppose you can analyze simplicity till the cows come home, but If I get a smile on Monday, I'm happy.
So we get KNOWS ONES ONIONS and my mind immediately runs over to the pantry. I'm thinking shallots, leeks and chives and maybe even a cipollini. How can we make a puzzle with those? What would Gordon Ramsey say?
Then GO GO DANCER is floating on the top and memories dancing in my head of my thigh high white boots kicking up storms in a cage in Madrid. (long story).
SECOND HONEYMOON and remembering that my husband (of almost 35 years) and I spent it at La Jolla de Mismaloya in Vallarta. I can't remember where we took our first because we did an awful lot of traveling together, but I remember the second. I knew the manager and he up-graded us to the Presidential suite. It was the biggest friggin suite I had ever laid eyes on. Overlooked the ocean and came with a cook and a quasi butler. We had breakfast on the terrace, served by a drool-fest chef and the best juevos rancheros this side of the Mississippi.
Too bad THREE ON is the zone in ON, unintelligible, doesn't sound right, focus. I wouldn't know the difference if the bat hit me over the head.
Since my early retirement at the tender age of 50ish, I try and do the puzzle every single day. It's usually the NYT's. I'll branch out to a BEQ and the WSJ and try something else if it's recommended. What I want is finding a smile or two. I don't want to work my fondillo off but I do like learning new words. @Rex looks for flaws and I learn from them. I don't get bothered unless you fill my puzzle up with a zillion names and make me unnecessarily sweat. See? I'm easy. It's my 5 minutes or two hours of completely zoning out of the crap filling my head these days of depressing news. So, I only ask for a bit of a smile or some entertainment. Just don't clue CHE as a hero. See?

davidm 8:36 AM  

KNOWS ONE’S ONIONS … I have never, ever heard this phrase, in my life. Exactly nobody says this anywhere, ever. Maybe they did a hundred years ago, I don’t know. I am usually happy to learn new stuff, but this is completely … well, it’s not UTILE, to borrow a word I first encountered in a Times puzzle (twice in three days!), and hope never to encounter again. Moreover, if this is an implied infinitive, as it seems to be, it is just grammatically wrong! It should be KNOW one’s onions, not KNOWS, viz: “To know one’s onions…” One (!) could say: “One knows one’s onions,” but that would be beyond grotesque, making an exceedingly stuffy rendering of obsolete slang. Nobody talks or writes like that! And this was done purely in the paltry service of getting the word “on” three times in a single phrase? :-(

Greta 8:39 AM  

Great puzzle best Monday in memory.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

One is welcome to stop reading comments critical towards Rex, if that is not one's cup of tea.

I, for one, enjoy reading well-deserved Rex-bashing. The "don't read Rex if he upsets you" comments are the most tiresome of all.

Dorothy Biggs 8:59 AM  

@Anon 7:36am: The redundancies between the mini and the big show happen a lot. I think it must be some kind of inside joke that Joel F enjoys when he does his puzzle. I'm not quite sure if there is some kind of agenda to it (maybe to make things slightly easier for newbies?), but it's a thing that I've noticed so much that I kind of expect it now.

Whether you're a critic of Rex's style or not, BLONDEONBLONDE is objectively bad. SECONDHONEYMOON should have been the standard with which all other themers were measured. It's a real phrase and the ONs are hidden in ways that were obscured. LONDONMARATHON was okay, the other two, not so much. KNOWSONESONIONS sounds like something they'd say in 1923.

And the "ONES" really is's like something you'd find in a BuzzFeed article on 10 Things You Should Never Include In Your Crossword Puzzles! And You Won't Want To Miss Number 6! Where number 6 is "Never use "ones" in one's puzzle."

And is EXCEL an alternative to Google Sheets...or is Google Sheets the actual alternative to the ubiquitous EXCEL spreadsheets?

Finally, I echo Rex by saying that NOCARB is not an actual thing...but it does refer to an actual diet that is an extreme version of a low carb diet limiting carbs to the barest minimum. So I'll allow it...but under protest. It doesn't sound healthy to me. If we're going to create diets that help you lose weight and aren't particularly healthy, I may start an All Wine diet where I limit any food that is not wine to the barest minimum. Probably not healthy either, but I bet it would be more popular than most other diets...and it'd be pretty low carb too.

thfenn 9:14 AM  

Given the baseball/sports references, I would've thought cluing Lyle as 'Fireman Sparky' would be more fun, but enjoyed this. Blonde on Blonde is one of my desert island albums as well. Went with poleDANCER first, and never heard anyone saying someone else knew their onions, but those two only tripped me up a little.

Nancy 9:20 AM  

Quite colorful fill in this one. While I find KNOWS ONE'S ONIONS an incredibly ugly turn of phrase and would never use it myself, it's certainly a phrase I've heard of. I liked all the long themers and many of the non-themers such as GO GO DANCER, TURKEY TROT, TAN LINES, POSEUR and HANGS TEN are lively, too.

My complaint is some of the insultingly easy cluing such as "Mo. before April". But it might have been Will Shortz's clue, since he explained in that podcast that was recommended yesterday that he writes approximately half the clues. And if he's slotted you for a Monday and then he dumbs down your clues to make the puzzle more Mondayish, whatcha gonna do?

Anyway, a nice puzzle -- with quite a bit of pizzazz and not much junk.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

It’s no use to badger Mr. Parker for his statements as it has no effect on the real culprit, Mr. Shortz, whose time is well passed.

GHarris 9:25 AM  

Splendid puzzle with just the right bite for a Monday,Rex’s rant notwithstanding. On on base with Barbie and Marc, three on a venerable expression.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

@Lash Canino,

You win the blog today. How fantastic is that Sharp who is always pontificating about Chandler would savage one of the most famus phrases in his most famous work. Too rich!!!!! Thank you.

Someone else note the real failure today is the octane answer. That's simply incorrect. Octane is a measurement-specifically the resistance of the fuel to detonation. It aint a component.

Jyqm 9:43 AM  

Oh, I get it now — Rex suffers from some kind of mental disturbance where every aspect of constructing a crossword puzzle is acutely painful for him, and the fact that other constructors don’t experience the same AgOnIzInG pAiN drives him up the wall. There’s no forest, just tree after insufficiently-agonized-over tree.

Anyway, I rather enjoyed this puzzle. Not a big fan of ONE’S in long answers, but glad to learn a new phrase. And I’m certain I’m not the only person who didn’t even notice the second on in BLONDE ON BLONDE wasn’t “hidden,” or if they did notice, didn’t care, because what a nice answer in the grid.

I do tend to get mildly irked by junky short fill/abbreviations and unfairly crossed names. I can’t imagine the anguish of being violently triggered by every slightly subpar aspect of a puzzle. But I’ll try to keep in mind that some people do suffer from such afflictions and show more compassion in the future.

Nancy 9:48 AM  

I had a choice just now. I could have read Rex to see for myself the RP vitriol that so many of you referenced today and decide just how bad it was compared to his normal vitriol, or I could Google La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerto Vallarta to see for myself the luxury in which @GILL and hubby spent their SECOND HONEYMOON. I did the latter; trust me -- it was not a close call. And I greatly enjoyed my virtual tour -- which may be as close as I ever get to that fabulous, resplendent hotel and resort. Thanks, @GILL, for giving me something in the comments other than Rex's vitriol on which to focus.

jberg 10:15 AM  

I got a glimpse of the clue for 26A while I was folding the paper and thought, ah, Henley Regatta! But by the time I got to it I had _O_DO_...; I honestly spent a minute wondering how I could have made so many errors in the downs, until I noticed I had the makings of LONDON.

As @davidm points out, the problem with 17A is that it should be KNOW, not KNOWS.

Any HAIKU experts here? I’m certainly not, but I thought you were supposed to use words that pertain to a specific season, but not the actual names of the seasons. I’m ready to be corrected, though.

@Gill, I think you need to publish your autobiography! These little snippets you put in your comments are so tantalizing!

davidm 10:18 AM  

@Anonymous, but Rex did not “savage” one of Chandler’s most famous phrases. Chandler’s phrase was “he knows his onions.” What he savaged, and I also oppose, is the stuffy “Knows one’s onions,” especially ridiculous considering that it is ungrammatical if an infinitive, and because the whole point of idiomatic slang is not to be stuffy! I think the phrase “He knows his onions” would be perfectly fine as a solution, if given a clever and relevant clue. To include a pompous rewriting of Chandler’s actual words, in the service of the paltry goal of including the word “on” three times in a phrase, is what I, personally, object to.

gregg 10:20 AM  

Not true. Gasoline is a mixture of mostly 7-10 carbon alkanes heptane, octane, nonane and decane with smaller amounts of longer and shorter chains.

puzzlehoarder 10:22 AM  

Just over average Monday time for a puzzle that felt harder. A big part of that was my complete unfamiliarity with the first themer. Prior to that I'd read the entire 9A clue and came up with nothing until the crosses pointed the way. This was an above average level of confusion for this early in the week and a pleasant surprise.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Sounds like you've got some issues about certain skin colors.

Karl Grouch 10:32 AM  

People complaining about Rex's ethos, shouldn't. About his style, everybody are entitled to have an opinion. I, for one, prefer a deep-fried tortilla to a hard-boiled egg. Even if the latter is healthier than the former, (or, more to the point,precisely because it's healthier) it's less fun.
Rex is a tortilla, and a darn knowledgeable tortilla in xwords for that matter!

Joseph M 10:36 AM  

A fairly DANDY Monday puzzle with some nice bonuses, such as TURKEY TROT and TAN LINES. Wasn’t familiar with the ONIONS themer but enjoyed learning it.

It does seem inelegant, however, that in a puzzle built on ONs that there are so many other ONs in the grid — ONly, ONenil, sONs, eON, anON, dONna, pokemON, icON, and ONo.

So there may be THREE ON, there are NINE more waiting in the dugout.

gregg 10:55 AM  

Octane number is a standard for anti-knock performance. So you are correct there.

Karl Grouch 10:56 AM  

And by the way, interestingly, "pas tes oignons" in French is "not your business"

gregg 11:01 AM  

Au contraire. Google Gadoline and find it a mixture of heptane, octane, nonane and decane plus shorter and longer chains. Retired ( and petroleum) engineer.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

@Mark, 7:15am — I’ve watched baseball for over 60 years and don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone use the phrase ‘three on’. The expression is always ‘ bases loaded’.

Slow Motion 11:10 AM  

You’re right that octane, as used on gas pumps, is a rating that measures the fuel’s resistance to predetonation. But gasoline is a mixture of various branched and straight-chain hydrocarbons, and octane — eight carbons — is certainly one component. Perhaps the clue is misleading, but it’s technically correct.

Z 11:11 AM  

@Dorothy Biggs - I think Sheets started out as an alternative to EXCEL, but I haven’t used EXCEL in ages but “everyone” uses Sheets to collaborate. I’ve got 32 different Sheet files in my Google Drive from this year alone and I’m retired. For 2019 I think the clue works. As recently as 2015 I would have said “no.” I sometimes forget that it’s not EXCEL and am surprised by missing functionality, but less often than you’d think given the cost.

@Anon8:51 - Bitchin’, MetaBitchin’,* and now TeraBitchin’.** Where will it end?

* Bitchin’ about someone bitchin’
** I know, I know. Not the correct prefix. Still, it works in a whole “boy do we love to complain about people complaining” sort of way. Bitchin’ about people bitchin’ about people bitchin’ seems so fractal to me that I’m going with the numeric prefix.

Masked and Anonymous 11:33 AM  

@RP: har. Good Monday mornin, Sunshine. Hide all yer ON's … it should keep U up nights. Great stuff.

THREEON revealer seemed ok to m&e, tho. Baseball announcers often tersely set up the situation: 2 balls … 2 strikes … 2 out … 3 on … score tied 4-4 … etc.

KNOWONESONIONS is a cool phrase, which I guess I've heard before (tho not real often). Also, it has an extra backwards ON, near its frONt end. fave themer.

staff weeject pick: THX. Seems like there was an old schlock flick with that title … ?
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Neither's partner} = NOR.
fave arf-bark eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Chow chows and chihuahuas} = DOGS.

THX, Mr. Deeney. Knew all but NERUDA, so pretty friendly solvequest.

Masked & AnONymo5Us

rageismycaffeine 11:36 AM  

This avid POKEMON GO player wishes to point out that "fad" connotes something that's over and done with, and there are TENS of us who still play!

What? 11:44 AM  

Had Shortz gone crazy? Flrst he gives us a puzzle so easy as to be insulting. Then he allows ENG, OKD and NYE. Crossword rules do not allow terms “not in the language “.
Has anybody, does anybody write or say NYE for New Year’s Eve? OKD for OKED?
Shortz gets 150 submissions a week. This is the best he can choose? Rot begins at the top.

John Hoffman 11:50 AM  

I'm thrilled to add KNOWSONESONIONS to my vocabulary. Never heard of this but it sounds like something I would say.

Mme Laffargue 11:53 AM  

Never heard of sheets. Not retired.
The onions seemed familiar to me but then again I know English English better than the American version. In French we have an expression that translates to take care of or tend to your onions, meaning keep your nose out of it. Different meaning, same fragrant vegetable.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

TJS 11:59 AM  

And here I thought paternity leave for Dads would be Rex' starting off point. It's so "woke". Whoops ! Underestimated the onions issue.
Thought this was way better than the average Monday offering. And it elicited one of OFLs classic diatribes, so a good start to the day.

I'm just saying... 12:05 PM  

I think you went overboard. I'm not an ace solver and finding a Monday puzzle I could easily solve with as many references to popular culture I am actually familiar with made this kind of fun. Admittedly, the three "ons" was a nothing. I actually found nothing to struggle with in this puzzle.

old timer 1:07 PM  

After a rare Sunday fail, and a not so rare Saturday DNF, I was delighted to find an easy Monday puzzle. And more delighted at the end when I figured out the THREE ONs themers. Color me impressed.

albatross shell 1:16 PM  

I may not know my onions but I know the that colorful and crunchy phrase. And what a worthless nit. That it has to be his when her, your, my, their would be used depending on context. Oh the sin of using ONES. Sorry, but it sounds like BS too me. And actually I do know my onions, but not yours nor probably the chefs here. I grow chives and garlic and elephant garlic. Often have what are called walking onions Iin the garden here, but I think are called Egyptian onions elsewhere. They fall over and plant their seed onions on their own. Bit of a novelty. I had a Dixondale Farms onion catalog. That's a lot of onion varieties.

If you are upset about ONES, maybe you should be upset ONES is used to clue 4D gender-free, but the answer is male-gendered (Or maybe not in today's world). A smallish nit only.

I wonder if I've ever listened to a ballgame without hearing one two or three on usually followed by the number out and the count on the batter. Some folks sure live in different worlds.




Ralex 1:23 PM  

@rageismycaffeine 11:36
Thanks. I can now face the day while chuckling. This is as delightfully wry as Nancy Pelosi's daughter response to Trump's tweet this morning.

Donovan 1:32 PM  

Lmao did you seriously just complain about rappers saying the n-word

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

I'm pretty new to all this...just started reading Rex a couple of months ago. And even I groaned at NO CARB. Oy vey.

Magpie 2:07 PM  

I confess that I found the beginning rather off-puttingly sexist, what with NEWDADS (4D) and SONS (6D) and GOGODANCER (15A), and even KENS (12D).

Teedmn 2:08 PM  

Not much to say about this one. I thought it was fine. I agree with @BarbieBarbie that "three on" sounds like something I've heard in baseball play by play announcing so I have no quibble with it.

You know you've been reading this blog for a while when you roll your eyes as you fill in things, knowing that Rex will be complaining about it - this happened during both ONE'S and NO CARB. I give Rex points for being consistent (usually) and for quixotically thinking that his observations may make a change in editorial or construction decisions.

Thanks, Joe Deeney.

GILL I. 5:55 PM  

@Nancy...Had I known you "back in the days" I would've recommended you take Mexicana Airlines to Mexico City and then on to Puerto Vallarta. We were a pretty good airline. You would've had free champagne, wine and beer along with so-so food (unless you were returning to the States). The food prepared in Mexico City was authentic and good. We spent many a long week-end in all parts of Mexico...Still love that country!
@jberg. Thanks...I think? Half the people that even bother to listen to me think I make up these stories. I don't.... I've been fortunate having parents that were quite adventurous and forced that same sense of new, different and fun upon us children. I've lived in many places and by gum, I was going to join the natives. My mother always told me to try anything that sounded good as log as it was legal. Her favorite phrase (and mine today) is that you're only on this earth once. Make it count, don't do anything stupid or illegal because you certainly can't have fun in jail..... It's true.

Monty Boy 9:51 PM  

I liked this one a lot, especially since Sat/Sun kicked my fanny.

Three things:
What is the support group for people who talk endlessly? On and On Anon

Bob Prince use to say of three Pirates on: The bases are drunk with Buccos. Kinda fits today.

I happened to watch The Big Sleep the other night and remember the "He knows his onions" line. I've heard it somewhere before so knew wherefore he spoke.

WinthorpeIII 12:10 AM  

I've watched thousands, and nobody has said, "Three on."

WinthorpeIII 12:19 AM  

"Three on," no.

Santino 1:26 AM  

Are you guys using the ONe third person case a tON to stay cONsistent with today's theme?

sushma 6:55 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Avie 12:21 AM  

While Rex's rants are amusing, I assure a NO CARB diet is in fact a thing which people actually do. Take a trip into the r/carnivore Reddit and learn all about how fiber is not an essential nutrient and plants are full of antinutrients.

Burma Shave 9:41 AM  


decided to TRY THREEON,
“SOHO, do you DARENOT, ORE wanna


spacecraft 11:40 AM  

I dunno, maybe it's ONLY me, but the appearance of so many exo-theme ONs is inelegant. Still, the syllable is so commON in ENG. that it'd be pretty hard to keep out. ONe here, ONe there, OK, but not all these.

I don't know my onions, but I like 'em. No kitchen should be without, IMO. The expressiON? Never heard it. While I don't dislike this puzzle as much as OFC, I'm not cheering wildly either. Fill is OK; we've already covered the lo-vs. NOCARB thing. My beef with "Mo. before Apr." is not so much the dumbing down, but turning a perfectly good word into yet another abbr.! WHY??? Mr. Shortz, please, if an entry can stand as an actual word, do NOT turn it into YET ANOTHER abbr.!! THX.

A fierce battle for DOD has Kirsten DUNST crossing swords with DONNA (ONe of the outstanding ON's, BTW) Summer. "Hot Stuff" wins by a...nevermind. Par.

rONdo 12:03 PM  

Look at that SE corner. I could go ON and ON ANON, but ONO I won’t.

I saw LYLE Lovett and his Large Band last summer. The missus liked the Large Band, LYLE not so much.

ANI DiFranco is appropriately on Righteous Babe Records.

Easy Mon-puz, as we all shoulda NODE.

leftcoaster 2:32 PM  

THREE ON revealer/theme is a mini-version of yesterday's (Sunday) "Double Sixes". Add EIGHT[Y] other ONs in the fill to the twelve theme ONs = twenty ONs today. Including today's version of yesterday's theme, things feel a bit clogged up, don't they?

Diana, LIW 2:36 PM  

ONother wONderful mONday

Diana, the mONday puzzle fan

Diana, LIW 2:37 PM  

Oops - forgot to mention, that knowing my ONIONS is now in my vocab forever.

Lady Di

rainforest 6:49 PM  

My Dad used the phrase "KNOWS his/her ONIONS" more than a few times, so that was nice. Actually I thought the whole puzzle was pretty nice, especially for a Monday. Commenters confirmed my decision to not read Rex. Vitriol? Why? I'll never know, but I do KNOW my ONIONS, or at least some of them.

The theme was good, and I've heard the revealer often, particularly when asked what te situation on the field is prior to a pitch. In any case, THREE ON is an apt descriptor of "bases loaded" regardless of whether it is common usage.

MAR, pronounced "mare", is how I refer to my sister Marilyn, just so you know. I thought the fill, despite some easier-than-gimmes, was pretty good. Liked the puzzle overall. Oh, btw, OCTANE *is* the major component of gasoline. OCTANE rating is a whole other thing, to do with anti-knock components.

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