Protagonist in Toni Morrison's Beloved / SUN 10-27-19 / Ricochet like hockey puck / US island owned almost entirely by billionaire Larry Ellison / Display for tchotchkes / New Guinea port that was Amelia Earhart's last known point of departure

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Constructor: Michael Paleos

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (10:02)

THEME: CANDY STRIPE (68A: Pattern once used for hospital volunteer uniforms, with a hint to this puzzle's theme) — "candy stripe"s are formed by having six different Downs columns be made up of candy names:

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: EUBIE Blake (16D: Jazzman Blake) —
James Hubert "EubieBlake (1887–1983), was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtimejazz, and popular music. In 1921, he and his long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans.[1] Blake's compositions included such hits as "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find a Way", "Memories of You" and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie!, which opened on Broadway in 1978, featured his works. (wikipedia)
• • •

First reaction to this was "those are candy names ... and so ... what?" Then I saw the revealer, which I must have missed during the solve. The revealer makes it somewhat cute, though I really wanted it to be CANDY STRIPES, plural, as there are, in fact, six stripes (plural!) in this grid. But whatever, the pattern is CANDY STRIPE, it's OK. All the candy names can be (and are) clued in non-candy fashion, yes, good, OK. It's adequate. It's a shrug. Again. When the theme is a shrug, the fill better be sparkly, and while the grid has its moments ("FEEL ME?") there were some absolute atrocities in here as well. Too many. First, what in the world is ACI!?!?? (93A: Handel's "___, Galatea e Polifemo"). I don't know what ... I mean, is that Italian? Is ACI a name??? This answer appeared once in 2015 and before that, it hadn't appeared in 20 years! 1995! Oof. Hilariously, the only other appearance in the Shortz era came in 1994, and the '94 and '95 puzzles were made By The Same Guy (Bryant White, who, I'm assuming, really really liked Handel). Fun fact about ACI: before the Shortz era, there were Handel clues going back to 1985. Before that, it's *all* variations on [Chemical prefix] (!?) and before *that* it's exclusively [Seaport in Sicily]. Like, cluing for ACI doesn't toggle back and forth between types. It was all Sicily, then all chemical, and now all Handel. Anyway, it sucks, please never put it in your grid. See also LAE, which is more quintessential crosswordese garbage. That LAE and ACI are in the same damn grid is really damning. That MASSE / ULNAR / MMIII (!) stack is very rough, and it crosses ERI, Queen of the Crosswordese Ball. Also, why are you cluing ORE as ÖRE? (95D: Cent : euro :: ___ : krona) That is such bad decision-making. It combines unnecessary obscurantizing with the puzzle's always annoying diacritical blindness. Foreign currencies are like foreign rivers in that they are what crossword caricatures are made of. Stop stop stop.

The worst thing about this puzzle, though, is the clue on SUGAR DADDY (14D: Gold digger's goldmine). The concept of SUGAR DADDY is already pretty grossly sexist, and then when you throw in that clue, which imputes stereotypically avaricious motivations to the woman, it makes the answer that much worse. And over HOT TAMALES!? I dunno, man. There's just so much dudes making puzzles for dudes, chosen by dudes, edited by dudes, ad infinitum. Male gaze, all the way down.

Do people really use EHOW? (66D: Popular D.I.Y. site) It looks so bad in the grid, and sounds bad to say, and just adds to the seemingly endless array of E-prefixed words that pollute the grid daily. Dupes (i.e. repeated words) today are pretty egregious, in that they are bad and there are at least two of them. Repeating SEE is maybe not *so* bad ("I SEE" and SEES RED), but duping EYE (CRAZY-EYED and EYES UP), that hurt a little. I balked at EYES UP (107A: Regards covetously) because I'd already entered CRAZY-EYED in the grid. Figured it had to be EATS UP. But, no. So what do we have, really? A simple concept with a cute revealer, and then an occasionally interesting but too often clunky and stale grid. And some sexist cluing thrown in for "good" measure. Sunday!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 1:44 AM  

Very easy and delightful. A fun beginning for Halloween week. Liked it.

MommaJ 1:49 AM  

I thought this was way too easy until I hit my personal Natick at the masse/eri cross. Oh well, the rest of it was way too easy to offer much enjoyment.

chris b 1:55 AM  

I'm wondering if it would have been more fun/challenging if the "stripes" weren't circled?

Anyway, new personal best for a Sunday. Go me.

Joe Dipinto 2:05 AM  

This was like a classic from back when the Sunday puzzles were consistently entertaining. I'm not familiar with all of these as candy names, but no matter. Paydays and Moundses were two of my favorites back in the day. And Milky Ways. Delightful, delicious, delectable, delovely.

I saw "Acis And Galatea" at Lincoln Center a number of years back – the longer version which Handel set to English text – so ACI was no problem. I like ALMOND OIL being in there, not quite JOYfully. Also, HAUNT made me snicker. Terrific second puzzle, Michael Paleos.

Here's Manhattan Transfer with a song for the occasion. That's original member Laurel Massé in the black gown.

chefwen 2:24 AM  

Boy, do I ever know my onions, er candy. Actually, I don’t even like candy, although I will never say no to a WHOPPER, if offered, and I did go through a two year Twizzler addiction. Oh, and Sees Nuts and Chews, gotta have a box nearby at all times, but that’s chocolate, a whole different addiction.

I really had fun with this one, went ahead and filled all the candy stuff in first, just from the description. SPREE was the only one I hadn’t heard of.

Happy Halloween.

Horace S. Patoot 3:04 AM  

I can’t figure out how a quotation mark clues REW. The problem with living in Europe is that none of you have woken up to answer things like that. Wake up, people!

Hank 4:24 AM  

@ Horace - I believe that the quotation marks are there to let us know that the the item (the button, in this case) in the clue (40A) has an alternative name or a label.

Does that address your question ?

Anonymous 6:07 AM  

I’m also confused about why “ means rewind(?), and unfortunately Hank’s explanation didn’t not clarify things for me...
(I got the answer from the crosses.)

Anonymous 6:17 AM  

P.S. I checked another blog and it looks like the clue for REW was actually “<<“, which totally makes sense. But it didn’t show up that way on my iPad.

Lewis 6:25 AM  

The stripes made for some nice eye candy. ICE CREAM added to the puzzle's sweetness and ENDIVE nicely countered it, massaging my Libra tendencies. I'm not much of a candy person, but I can appreciate a hard-to-construct puzzle (i.e., look at the reveal crossing two theme answers), which this had to be, and Michael's persistence in coming up with it (there were several prior iterations at weekday-puzzle size). KISSES and OUI to all that. The solve it self was a bit pedestrian for me, and could have been punched up with sparkier cluing (more like [Mark of a scam artist] for SAP), but quite pleasant nonetheless, and thank you, Michael!

The STARLINGS brought my mind right to my bird feeder, which they and the grackles once hogged until I found an ingenious feeder design that clamped shut when they, heavy as they are, ALIT upon it, and for several years I enjoyed the goldfinches and other colorful lighter birds. Then, early in the summer three bears discovered it, climbed the steps up to our back deck, and decimated the feeder (very disappointing, but much fun to watch). Bears don't forget, and now the feeder can only bring us joy between December and April. Maybe because time with the birds will be more dear, it will, to get back to the puzzle, be even sweeter.

amyyanni 6:40 AM  

A Cole Porter reference, @Joe DiPinto, and a link to one of my favorite groups: thank you! The puzzle was a bit less delightful but certainly a serviceable Sunday. And I must run along before it gets too hot. For me to run.

mmorgan 7:19 AM  

Very few things about puzzles ever bother me but I really really really don't like circles. Gawd, this puzzle is lousy with circles. And candy's not my thing. Other than that it was fine. At least it was super easy so it was over very quickly. Happy Halloween.

Now I'll read Rex.

RooMonster 7:20 AM  

Hey All !
Rex is waaaaaaaaaaaay off on this one. This Is The Best Sunday Puz Ever. That's right, I said it. Michael Paleos got 16 themers in this puz! 16! Plus, there are all Candy names! Plus, they are all clued as ordinary words! PLUS there are four times the Acrosses cross Three themers! And many Two crosses.

Rex is complaining about the fill??? Give me a break. You try to get 16 (16!) themers in and get better fill than this. Very light dreck for this type of action-packed puz. I'm willing to let All the ACIs get a pass for this monster of a feat.

Liked it? Har. Ya FEEL ME?

Incredible job, MP. Now I know why my puzs don't make the cut.

Solverinserbia 7:27 AM  

Insane amount of garbage crosswordese. Almost threw in the towel but went golden in 35 min. Last month I sent a record with 20 golden. This month I'm at 24,so should finish with 27-28 probably. That's a massive leap and I think it's down to just getting better at crosswordese which is kind of sad in a way.

Jon Alexander 7:30 AM  

Flew through this one with a personal best 7:51....dunno if was super easy in general or just right up my alley. I garnered the theme after the second down answer which helped immensely going forward (although SPREE?!?!?) have never heard of it...but crosswordese worked in my favor hear since I don’t think I’ve seen the “Jag” clue answered with anything else.

Solid puzzle overall. Did wince a bit about the two EYE answers, but overall enjoyable.

SJ Austin 7:46 AM  

I think crossing UHURU and EUBIE is pretty unfair—neither are guessable if you don't know them, especially where the Us cross. Similarly aggrieved by MASSE/ERI.

But despite that, I mostly really enjoyed this, and I'm impressed by those long vertical stripes. Thumbs up from me.

Unknown 7:59 AM  

I liked the puzzle
Got it done in less than one hour
I had a 3 question ask my wife cheat factor

RooMonster 8:02 AM  

Had to run real quick, couldn't sign off my post with my, well, signoff. I know you were all wondering what happened. 😂

To add to my original post, I like me some candy. Chocolate preferably. So this was right up my alley. Even got an @M&A RUNTS in there!

SUGAR DADDY and HOT TAMALES were cutely clued. Rex, please get off your high woman horse. We get it, women are entitled to be treated exactly the same as men. I'm in the same camp, but damn, accept that crosswords aren't actively trying to squash women-anything, and move on.

Sorry for that rant. :-)



BarbieBarbie 8:14 AM  

DNF on mASSE/mUMMIES, entirely gettable. I just didn’t Get. Mourning my streak.
Agree with @Roo. Pretty amazing puzzle.

BobL 8:17 AM  

Wish the word "crosswordese" would be retired

kitshef 8:24 AM  

Lots of theme but without overly straining the fill. I really appreciate that. Could have used more whimsy in the clues, but still a very nice job.


Homeowners of the world: speaking for children of all ages, please do not give out PEEPS on Halloween.

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

I’ve never heard of most of these candies. I guess I am too into chocolate.
Maybe they are on the lower shelves at WaWa, and I can’t see them.

Fansince1939 8:46 AM  

How else could “sugar daddy “be clued I wonder?

Dorothy Biggs 9:00 AM  

I could be wrong on this, but even as a kid I understood "SUGARDADDIES" (the candy) to be a reference to sugar daddy's (the gold digger's goldmine). Is there another meaning behind sugar daddy that they would have named the candy for? I used to like Sugar Baby's stick involved and it was easier to chew. Also, not sure the difference between a Sugar Daddy and a Black Cow...or Slo Poke, for that matter.

I'm a "sucker," ahem, for chocolate candies and/or caramel...not so much for the Runts or Hot Tamales or Sprees. Snickers is really great frozen.

I guess this is a Halloween themed puzzle?

Nancy 9:12 AM  

Who knew there were so many candies I never heard of? They must have appeared after I was [mostly] past the candy-eating phase of my life. Anyway, I tried to think up descriptive phrases for the candies I didn't know:

WHOPPERS -- Candies so big you'll choke on them.

RUNTS -- Candies so tiny you'll think there's nothing in the package at all.

BOTTLE CAPS -- Candies so sharp they'll cut your throat.

NERDS -- Candies as socially awkward as you are.

PAYDAY -- Candies in the shape of cute little nickels.

AIRHEADS -- Candies that never sit with the NERDS. Or vice versa.

PEEPS -- Candies with embedded cameras to photograph your insides.

HOT TAMALES -- Candies that will set your throat and tongue on fire.

SPREE -- Candies filled with vodka, bourbon or scotch (my favorites).

ColoradoCog 9:59 AM  

I am really not getting where all the love for this puzzle is coming from. I gotta say, I knew where this was headed from the moment I saw all the shaded squares. A puzzle this dense better have one hell of a theme (it didn’t) because there’s no way around it; dreck is inevitable. This puzzle was full of truly terrible fill (as pointed out by others). At least it was over fast.

This is like the old story about the circus patron who points out that the dancing bear sure doesn’t dance well, and is told “The point isn’t that the bear can dance well. The point is that the bear can dance at all.”

Defenders of this puzzle are in awe of a dancing bear. I would rather see a more artful performance.

Teedmn 10:01 AM  

Being the sugar hound that I am, almost all of these "candies" (I think PEEPS are the worst tasting sweet I have ever encountered) are known to me, with the exception of RUNTS, SPREE, and NERDS. This didn't make the puzzle a walk in the park but it did go about 8 minutes faster than my 36-minute, random-solve average. So, easy-medium for me. I liked the bonus HAUNT and MUMMIES.

Halloween - I loved it as a kid but mostly for the candy. We didn't do elaborate costumes. I remember cutting holes in a paper bag and drawing a face on it one year - of course it was the year it rained. Now, I stay home and eat the candy I bought for the trick-or-treaters who never arrive. (We haven't had a sighting for at least 5 years, living in one of those semi-RURAL AREAS.)

Some tough clues and sectors today. The far right center with the crossing EDY and DREYER, the weird clue for AND UP. Below, MIA and ACI and the tough clue for ICE CREAM combined to make that AREA hard to break into.

Another tough clue that I admired was for PILLARS, 100A.

I couldn't think of a bi-weekly occurrence for many (48D). All I could think of was "therapy?" and it didn't fit nor is it a candy. Though I can think of many therapeutic uses for dark chocolate!

Rex's comment about E-HOW reminded me of a cryptic clue I saw the other day. I've been doing archived NYT cryptics to try to develop that solving skill. The clue: Provide online wisecrack. Answer below (I got it, eventually!)

Thanks, Michael Paleos, for celebrating the essence of Halloween.


Birchbark 10:04 AM  

Friday's DHARMA and yesterday's KOAN are today's SNICKERS.

QuasiMojo 10:16 AM  

Joe, I saw "Acis and Galatea" too. City Opera, wasn't it? Loved it. I liked this puzzle too.

Did male hospital volunteers wear Candy Stripe uniforms too?

Rex missed an opportunity to post a clip from a 70s erotic film about Candy Stripers. Would have fit in with his rant about gold diggers and sugar daddies. And my favorite candy of yore: Sweet Tarts.

I promise no rant from me today on CINE. Je m'en fous.

Jyqm 10:21 AM  

This was the kind of dull slog that I wouldn’t even bother completing if I didn’t get that minor dopamine rush from seeing my “streak” on the app.

Meanwhile, Rex hates that words exist, what else is new? Although I do always enjoy when a self-righteous #woke screed inadvertently reveals the author’s own blind spots. In this case, Rex seems to have forgotten that gay men exist. Plenty of stereotypical sugar daddy-gold digger relationships out there that don’t involve women at all.

RooMonster 10:22 AM  

Me again.
Agree with the easy rating today. My template is writeovers and sections which take ample amounts of staring. I only had two writeovers, curse-SWEAR, AdDuP-ANDUP. And no section that required more than the usual amount of time or staring to finish. So, easy. Which begets the question of why some here think this puz is dreckful?

ALL puzs have dreck. All of them. When you find a greatly made puz such as this, to me the dreck isn't that obvious. You can tear apart any puz on the fill. This fill was AOK. Alot better than some.

The NYT site had the puz with green tinged squares, not circles, to literally get you CANDY STRIPEs. With circles, you'd have CANDY circles, which is just plain silly.

So tell me I'm a fool to like this puz, but I'm'a gonna stick to my resolve. I SWEAR. Har.


Anonymous 10:26 AM  

there is a wonderful crossword/rapper solver on twitch. I encourage you all to check him out. His name is Insomniac_Rap. You can also find youtube videos of him. He raps while solving the crosswords!!

GILL I. 10:28 AM  

I'm going to mosey on over and sit with @Roo. I thought this was a SWEET little puzzle to do on this dismal, fire-infested, wind-blowing Sunday. I think I'll also ask @chefwen if I can share some of her chocolates.
I was so glad AIRHEADS didn't explode on the WHARTON clue. Imagine if Trump had been clued for 15D....
MILKY WAY was my favorite. The very first candy I knew was the "piruli." I'm pretty sure it was the national candy of Cuba. Pure sugar and rots your teeth. When I came to the States, I was introduced to sugar covered donuts and MILKY WAYS. I was in sugar rush heaven.
I didn't know some of the candy bars here but they were fun and easy to cypher. How can you not smile at SUGAR DADDY sitting on top of HOT TAMALE? I wouldn't necessarily call a beautiful, smart, woman a "Gold digger"...I figure if some "dude" - as @Rex likes to call them - wants to lavish his money on something pretty on his arm, then so be it. Go ahead and SNICKER away. I worry more about the homeless, stray dogs and people named Felicity not getting due process.
@Nancy for yesterday. Thank you for your thoughts on us here in "burning" California. I'm crossing my fingers we don't lose power. We're having a bunch of friends over to watch the 49ers game and the thought of my nachos going wimpy scares me.......

davidm 10:30 AM  

The only — ONLY — thing I liked about this puzzle was the crossing of WMD (Iraq war concern, in brief) with WHOPPERS (Big, fat lies). A stroke of genius, that.

About ten seconds in I got MILKY WAY, then I got MOUNDS, then I looked at the title, and thought, “This is all going be brand names of candies in the shaded down squares, right? Surely, surely this is more to it that that?”


About fifteen seconds later I got CANDY STRIPE, which was completely superfluous, since I already got the theme from the title! The only thing the actual revealer added new was “stripes,” but you could already see they were stripes from looking at the grid!

In short, this was even worse than last week, when the theme was given away in the clue to the revealer, rather than in the revealer itself. This time it was given away in the title!

OK, it’s a nod to Halloween, but my idea of fun is not trying to remember the stupid brand names of candies that I never eat anyway. :-(

Joe Welling 10:41 AM  

Birchbark said...
"Friday's DHARMA and yesterday's KOAN are today's SNICKERS."

Only if you ignore those saying their OMS while contemplating their INNIES.

Joaquin 10:43 AM  

In a candy-themed puzzle we get two - count 'em, two! - of the world's best boxed, assorted candy - i SEE and SEES red. For 98 years the SEE company has produced the SEE'S candies (though the company is now owned by - who else! - Warren Buffet).

Richardf8 10:49 AM  

Stripes were shaded in the app for me which was a good visual effect.

Richardf8 10:53 AM  

It’s obvious someone somewhere did not think to use HTML entities for those when publishing to digital media. Shame on them.

CDilly52 10:55 AM  

Thank you @Anonymous 6:17!! All I saw on the NYTXW App was “ so this never made sense. One of those “OK, so its right, but I have no idea why” moments.

Z 10:55 AM  

I was expecting a Cars video.

Rex pretty much described my reaction: Oh, candy. Meh. Oh CANDY STRIPEs. That helps. The Peanut Store in my home town (yes, you must visit if you’re ever in Holland, MI) has a wide variety of classic CANDY. I always go for the dark chocolate covered peanuts or dark chocolate covered pretzels, though.
As for the fill, it is always the biggest reason most Sundays are a slog. Twice as many squares generate four times as much crap fill.

@Jyqm - Good point. How long until we get a remade Pretty Woman?

Richardf8 10:59 AM  

Watch it appear in a puzzle: “Words like Oreo, Ego and NRA.

SouthsideJohnny 11:04 AM  

First of all, how cool is it that Rex used “obscurantizing” and “diacritical” in the same sentence ?

A high percentage of today’s grid played Monday-easy. Would have been much more enjoyable without the NYT-requisite amount of foreign words, foreign currency, nonsense like CAD and the atrociously clued OUI (which checks two boxes, as it is both foreign and garbage) - “avowal” is simply not a synonym for “yes” and it doesn’t matter what language you translate “yes” into.

Like many here, I’m not a fan of Rex’s daily screeds - definitely wish he would tone it down a bit and focus more on the grid construction and quality. But, eh - it’s his blog - it seems typical of the environment so prevent in academia, the “find something to be triggered about mentality” - so much so that sometimes poor OFL descends all the way into self-parody.

What? 11:09 AM  

Not a pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning. Never heard of most of the candies, got them all by the crosses which were too easy. No sugar high here.

CDilly52 11:10 AM  

@Dorothy Biggs: If I remember correctly, Slo Poke = Sugar Daddy, a caramel slab on a stick that could truly wreak havoc with one’s braces! My orthodontist begged me to switch to Sugar Babies if I had to eat sticky caramel!

Black Cow was similar but as I recall was chocolate caramel.

And my memory of 60 years ago could also be foggy, but I recall wondering this very thing and plopping down three nickels one day to figure it out. Remember the hefty size of those nickel candy bars? Would love to know exactly ounce for ounce the price differentials now.

Joe Dipinto 11:12 AM  

@Quasi – yes it was City Opera. I liked it enough that I bought a recording of it subsequently, by John Butt (!) and the Dunedin Consort.

You reminded me, I used to get SweeTarts at Pete's candy store quite frequently after school. And Turkish Taffy, sometimes.

Here's MJ being grossly sexist in 1972.

What? 11:12 AM  

Dear Nancy. Please do not think of constructing a crossword puzzle. No offense.
(Same advice to 99.9% of readers of this blog).

Nancy 11:37 AM  

No offense???

jberg 11:58 AM  

In the actual magazine the stripes were shaded gray. Green would have been better, pink best of all. Maybe too hard to write the answers in, though.

I'm with @Roo, with so many long downs in the theme answers, you really can't fit in many more, and the acrosses are pretty constrained.

I know what a MASSÉ shot is -- have spent hours trying to perfect one -- but when I saw the clue for 9d I wrote in preMIES without thinking twice, and almost convinced myself that it could be passe -- but ULNAR saved me there.

I went to a performance of ACIs and Galatea here in Boston sometime in recent years (or maybe it was the Lully version, Acis et Galatea), probably as part of the Boston Early Music Festival -- I guess that helped me some, but I had to convince myself that it was all right to drop the s. I finally noticed that Polifemo in the clue was Itlian, and and put it in. I realize it would be tough for non-opera fans.

@What? -- Huh? Nancy's two published puzzles in the NYT have been wonderful.

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

Increasingly, I find the comments on New York Times crossword puzzles rambling, unfocused, and trivial, most of them merely nit-picking other contributors. My advice to all contributors to this website (including myself): Stop wasting your time.

Instead of evaluating it's puzzles, I would recommend evaluating the publication's editorials, which ignore mankind's obvious need to ban all firearms and carbon dioxide emitting vehicles.

Joseph M 12:19 PM  

Congrats, Michael, on your first Sunday puzzle. It’s quite a feat to include so many themers in one grid.

Of the 16 candy brands, I’ve only heard of 5, so for me it was mostly like solving a themeless. However, I was able to do so without having to exclaim "@#%!"

In a puzzle built on brand names, it did feel SORTA inelegant to include non-candy brands, such as HI-LITER, DREYER, EDY, and SEARS. But there were some fun clues, such as the one for MOVIE SET.

Rex, once you have ALIT from your high horse, you might ponder your own sexism in automatically assuming that the gold digger in 14D is female. There are plenty of men with SUGAR DADDIES as well.

Birchbark 12:39 PM  

@Joe Welling (10:41) -- Well observed, 'tho I think the Snickers bar gets you there quicker.

Music Man 12:43 PM  

Thanks for clearing that up. Mine was clued as just “ so I was stymied, as well.

Fred Romagnolo 12:44 PM  

I didn't know a lot of the candies, but the acrosses made it possible to finish. That's what crosswords should do. Nancy's suggestions were hilarious; @What? sounds like a troll. Good for you, @Jberg.

sixtyni yogini 12:54 PM  

Easy (based on my time - not Rex’s!) . Agree about the clunkers. Kinda fun. 👍🏽

puzzlehoarder 12:54 PM  

Not that easy of a Sunday for me. I had several write overs starting with IED/WMD at 1A. Later there was RAMPS /RAILS and ETSY/EHOW.

A few of the theme entries we're unfamiliar to me and then there was the ESOTERIC crosswordese. MIA over ACI was particularly difficult until I realized that 86D was just plain old ICECREAM.

@what, your rudeness is matched only by your ignorance.

Masked and Anonymous 1:12 PM  

Extremely candy-educational SunPuz. Learned about several previously unknown candies. M&A puzfave candystriper: RUNTS. M&A overall candy fave: candycorn.
Impressive themer count. The stripes look real neat, as gray areas in the puzgrid.

staff weeject pick: ACI. @RP gave a pretty good history of this weeject's NYTPuz appearances. The music score premiered in 1708 [pre-Shortzmeister], btw. Better clue for non-Handel completists: {Partial acid influx??}.

Fun, tho not particularly humorous SunPuz. The candy kept M&A high, I reckon.
best Ow de Sperations [aka Tricks?]: EHOW. OLINE. MMIII.

A "Sunday-sized runtpuz" that M&A dropped in the 24 Oct comments ended up bein a slight (unintended) spoiler for this puppy. But, hey -- the Shortzmeister don't pass advanced copies by the M&A's nose, much.

@What?: I think @Nancy has not only thought about it, she done constructed some NYTPuzs. So have some of the rest of us Comment Gallery folks. Have U done some, too, then?

Thanx, Mr. Paleos, for the fattenin SunPuz treats. Mighty tasty job.

Masked & Anonymo10Us


Anonymous 1:36 PM  

What is E-HOW?

RooMonster 2:05 PM  

Where's the Swedish Fish?


Rebel Roo with a quick drive by

gregg 2:14 PM  

It's shaded in the print edition. Much better than circles.

JC66 2:38 PM  


Your comment re: @Nancy's construction skills was both uninformed and unnecessary.

Hungry Mother 2:54 PM  

I started on my phone while riding the Cape May ferry and finished on my iPad after lunch. Not sure what the theme was, but had an easy time solving.

Crimson Devil 3:32 PM  

One fine Sunday puzzle, per this SNICKERS fan: all other candies pale in comparison.

Jkol 3:50 PM  

Nothing wrong with having (or being) a sugar daddy as long as both are clear about the arrangement

Suzy 3:52 PM  

Loved this puzzle— just enough sweet crunch to be fun and relatively easy on a Sunday morning. Thank you, Mr. Paleos!
BTW— 40A makes perfect sense in the printed magazine. Also, any three letter answer clued with “tu” will always be ”eri,”
four will be ”eris!”

Anonymous 3:52 PM  

Yes, to << in print. So, obvious for us paper solvers. Sorry you were stymied.

David 4:59 PM  

Easy and pretty fun. IOU before OUI because IOU fits the clue better and it's English. I don't know a lot of these candies, but it's a nice Halloween puzzle.

Checked out the typically made-up abbreviation for station. Amtrak generally spells the word out, but when they abbreviate it they use the much more common "Sta."

Enough commenters here know Aci to refute Rex. And I certainly loved the cross of WMD and Whoppers. No clue on masse, so I'll look it up and learn something.

Newport Carl 5:29 PM  

Had to SNICKER at HOT TAMALE and SUGARDADDY but mostly in the knowledge that Rex would POP off as anticipated. Going to this blog gives me MOUNDS of fun because some folks want to read politics into a fun mental exercise. WHOPPERS are everywhere these days but when I go into the 'crossword zone' you won’t hear a PEEP from me about any type of correctness. I had a lot of fun with this puzzle.

Mitch 6:35 PM  

Re 114A, I googled the lyrics to The 12 Days of Christmas and there were only TEN pipers (11 ladies dancing) but I see no comments about this

Mitch 6:37 PM  

Re 114A, according to Google there were only TEN pipers piping (11 ladies dancing)

JC66 6:42 PM  


I think you miscounted

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Mitch 6:56 PM  

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Harry Belafonte
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree
On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Six geese a laying, five gold rings, four calling birds
Three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold rings
Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying
Five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Nine drummers drumming
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Ten pipers piping
Nine drummers drumming, ten pipers piping
Drumming, piping, drumming, piping
Eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying
Five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping, nine drummers drumming
Eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying
Five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Twelve Lords a leaping, eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping
Nine, drummers drumming, eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying
And five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree, and a partridge in a pear tree
Songwriters: Traditional
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

JC66 7:23 PM  


Check this out.

Z 7:51 PM  

@David4:59 - I’m not clear on what you think has been refuted. Seems to me that the whole extended riff is basically that ACI is horrid fill whether it’s Handel or chemistry or an Italian seaport. I’m guessing Yoko Ono is more widely known today than Handel, let alone “ACI, Galatea e Polifemo,” but that doesn’t make Ono good fill.

@Mitch and @JC66 - Wikipedia agrees with the puzzle but notes, “ The gifts associated with the final four days are often reordered.” (shouldn’t that be “reördered?”)

@What - I, for one, will never dabble in construction. @Nancy, @Lewis, @LMS (to name just a few) have already shown that they are better at it than I could ever be. So there’s that.

Hank 7:52 PM  

It could also be clued as : "Puzzle jargon ?

Or, a bit tongue in cheek, as: " Necessary fill ?

xraydoc 8:00 PM  

What are “Peeps”? Does that refer to the candy yellow birds ?

Anonymous 9:00 PM  

Geez, Rex. . . Get off your high HORSY. . . The clue for SUGAR DADDY is "GOLD DIGGER'S goldmine, not women's goldmine. . . Like it or not, there ARE gold diggers out there whose sole purpose in life is to land a sugar daddy. . . Keep the PC police out of our crosswords, please.

Joe Dipinto 9:29 PM  

@Mitch – sometimes the lords and ladies like to show up first and perform an avant-garde movement set to the accompaniment of bird calls. Other lord-lady teams wait for the musicians to arrive first so they can go directly into the choreography for "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".

Erin 11:31 AM  

I love coming to your blog and finding you saying all the things I was thinking(though less articulately)! This is the first blog I've ever followed, other than Hyperbole and a Half. Love it!

Erin 11:31 AM  

I love coming to your blog and finding you saying all the things I was thinking(though less articulately)! This is the first blog I've ever followed, other than Hyperbole and a Half. Love it!

JK 4:13 PM  

are you REALLY going to come to the sad stage of the totalitarian "politically correct" crowd? are you REALLY going to be a complete historical revisionist? you really find "Hot Tamale" and "Sugar Daddy" objectionable? i have an idea for people who refuse to recognize that there is"time" and "context" to language: immediately delete "Cosi fan tutte" from the Met repertoire; destroy all extant copies of the film, "Some Like it Hot"; establish an Academy Américain to review all language from the dawn of human speech for "sexist" words and expunge them no matter where you find them. i don't believe you realize how absurd your criticism of these phrases is...

Anonymous 6:41 PM  

To answer your question...yes, I did (male).

Unknown 4:15 PM  

Get over being so PC about a puzzle. Sugardaddit's exist, so do hot tamales. They don't seem to mind.

kitshef 4:59 PM  

Second Doja Cat video this week from Rec (remember Moo?)- is he falling into a rut?

trustedreviewever 10:19 AM  

Auto Trash Cans And Bags

Anonymous 2:20 PM  

The clue show 2 arrows pointing back. Apparently your version omits the arrows?

Burma Shave 12:30 PM  


she SAID, "ACTNOW, by gosh,
SUGARDADDY, you're RED ORE florid,


rondo 1:23 PM  

One write-over having RAmpS before RAILS. Not having read the clue I almost filled in MILKduds (failing cows?), but the space clue gave it away. I put a huge X in the margin next to the clue for HOTTAMALES, figuring OFL would go off on it. He did not fail.

I also put a GP in the margin for RURALAREA, I must be the only one who thinks that one's green-paintish.

And I circled the appropriate 69d for yeah baby TARA Reid.

Not sure I'd know SPREE or RUNTS if I bit them. Makes me one of those AIRHEADS, I guess. Doesn't MATTERTO me. This puz didn't STINK.

spacecraft 1:43 PM  

Some of those candies were new to me--and I used to work in a convenience store. I stocked all those weird Skor bars, and Swedish Fish, and like that. Never heard of RUNTS, AIRHEADS (how come no offense-taking there, Fearless One?) or SPREE--as candy.

Except for dark chocolate, which is very healthful, I have eschewed the sweet stuff. Still, I enjoyed doing this one; theme density is almost unbelievable, with six entire columns plus a revealer. I thought he did a pretty good job with it, only needing that RRN full house in the north. DOD Laura Dern is an extra sweetie. Birdie.

rainforest 3:29 PM  

Like others, I didn't know all the candies, but I knew enough of them to get the idea that there were candies occupying the entirety of each shaded stripe. Of course, the revealer sealed it (the title didn't hurt either).

After reading some of the comments I had a strong urge to read @Rex's post, but successfully fought that. Glad I did, I think. I'd probably just get angry.

This puzzle was a treat with no trick involved, except for maybe a smattering of tricky clues. Liked it.

Diana, LIW 7:47 PM  

did the ramp/rail error, too.

This Sunday (Sundae?) flew by.

Diana, LIW

strayling 9:32 PM  

Any puzzle which has STARLINGS in it gets an automatic thumbs up from me.

I do wonder how many diets this one ruined though.

JimTheFrog 4:31 PM  

Probably TMI, but French uses guillemets (« and ») for quotes, so a well-meant but badly designed algorithm probably converted << to “.

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