Largest island in the Philippines / MON 11-4-2019 / Be too sweet, possibly / Earner of at least 21 merit badges / Wing-to-wing measures

Monday, November 4, 2019

Constructor: Trent Evans

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: METAL MUSIC — The first word of each theme answer is a metal,and the clue is related to music.

Theme answers:

  • NICKELBACK (17A: Rock band with the 2001 #1 hit "How You Remind Me")
  • SILVER BELLS (23A: Classic Christmas song with the lyric "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks / Dressed in holiday style")
  • PLATINUM RECORDS (38A: Million-selling albums)
  • TIN PAN ALLEY (47A: Old New York song publishing locale)
  • METAL MUSIC (59A: Genre for Slayer and Iron Maiden...or a hint to 17-, 23-, 28- and 47-Across)

Word of the Day: ASTOR (First U.S. millionaire John Jacob ____) —
John Jacob "JackAstor IV (July 13, 1864 – April 15, 1912) was an American businessman, real estate developer, investor, inventor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish–American War, and a prominent member of the Astor family.
Astor died in the sinking of RMS Titanic during the early hours of April 15, 1912.[2] Astor was the richest passenger aboard the RMS Titanic and was thought to be among the richest people in the world at that time with a net worth of roughly $87 million when he died (equivalent to $2.26 billion in 2018).
• • •

OMG you guys i am so sorry for being late!!! I just completely forgot. Kind of ironic bc my mom and her twin forgetting that they were supposed to post was the whole reason I started writing for Rex! But I'm here now. Hi! 

Image result for francisco goya
Witches' Sabbath by Francisco Goya
I wanted to like this puzzle more than I actually did but I keep getting hung up on METAL MUSIC. Correct me if I'm wrong but I've never heard anyone call it anything but "metal." I mean seriously! One thing I did love, though, is how all the second words of theme answers connected to music just as much as the clues did--BELLS, RECORDS....and, uh, ALLEY. I guess you could play music in an alleyway?

One last gripe: "Gone with the Wind" is not the only possible clue for TARA! Other than that though, nice easy-breezy Monday.

Anyway, my new fellowship is awesome but tbh some days I almost consider going for an MBA because I had to get a second job and I'm soooo tired. 
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired.

 [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Bea 10:01 AM  

Someone please teach Anabel about Tin Pan Alley. I can’t even...

Unknown 10:03 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lewis 10:05 AM  

An aspect of the theme that made it richer, IMO, is that each answer reflects a different side of music -- A specific band, a song, a type of record, and a songwriting locale. Kudos for that, Trent!

There's also a mini-theme of double-L's (7), and I see an opening band at 10D (EAGLESCOUT).

Other theme answer possibilities: STEEL GUITAR and BRASS BAND.

Peter P 10:07 AM  

Easy peasy, but I, too, did find METALMUSIC to be a bit forced. I originally penned in Heavy Metal there, but quickly figured out that whatever the answer was, it started with METAL, but I wasn’t sure what the ending could be until I filled in the MU. I grumbled a bit when I realized it was MUSIC.

OffTheGrid 10:07 AM  

I thought this was a pretty good Monday.

Little extras:

Line one-Body references, also 52A
Line two- A words
Line six-AS endings
Line nine-NONE vs ALOT
Other music-EMO, (though not musically clued)

The only thing I would criticize is that 2 of the theme answers aren't METAL MUSIC. BELLS, RECORDS are music but not PANALLEY and not BACK.

Lewis 10:12 AM  

My favorite clues from last week
(in order of appearance):

1. You're out of it if you're in it (6)
2. Useful cryptography tool to have on hand? ((7)(4)
3. Marine mollusk exoskeleton vendor, in a tongue twister (3)
4. Ones turning up the volume (10)
5. Commanding lead? (5)(8)


Nancy 10:14 AM  

Heavy, light, in-between, HEAVY METAL's not my thing. But I pride myself on knowing that 1)METAL MUSIC is not actually a genre and 2) that, even though I know little to nothing about metallurgy, TIN is a light metal, a cheap metal. Why it's even used to describe things that are weak and crappy: tinhorn, tin ear. Therefore either HEAVY METAL had to go or TIN PAN ALLEY had to go in creating a consistent puzzle. The constructor says as much in his notes.

As for me, I wouldn't know NICKELBACK; ERIC/BANA; Slayer or Iron Maiden if I fell over them. I was not thrilled to see any of them in the puzzle.

Dorothy Biggs 10:26 AM  

Word on the street is that “Tin Pan Alley” (near the Flat Iron district in NYC), was so named because of the sounds of composers’ pianos wafting out of the windows and into the streets of 1930s NYC.

It was called that because the pianos were awful and sounded like tin pans clanging together.

And Annabel is correct. The music is called Metal. Metal rock, maybe. Rock Music is a thing, Metal Music is not.

And how was Metallica left out of this grid??

Captain Smith 10:27 AM  

John Jacob Astor went down with the Titanic. According to one source, he remarked “I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous!”.

tbd88 10:35 AM  

I put in HEAVY METAL first, since that's how I think of the genre, thought about DEATH METAL but that obviously wasn't working either. Actually had METAL METAL for a second and then realized that METAL had to go first... which feels forced.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

TARA King was the second to Mrs. Peel. More rubusto figure, though. Saw her decades later on a L&O episode. Hadn't aged well.

chefwen 10:43 AM  

Too easy, even for a Monday, but a cute theme. It was over so quickly I had to dig into my stash of Liz Gorski puzzles to satisfy my puzzle needs.

dadnoa 10:45 AM  

+1 for getting hung up on Metal Music......I always thought Iron Maiden was Heavy Metal so kept looking for “heavy” metals such as uranium, plutonium, and the like. Didn’t know Metal Music was a thing. I must be tired, too. Nice, pithy write-up, Annabel.

alex 10:46 AM  

The Rays don't play in Tampa. They play across the bay in St. Pete.

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

TARA = Other title for "Hood Rat"

Carola 10:59 AM  

My kind of METAL MUSIC...confined to a silent crossword grid (I liked the cross with DINS). Early qualms of Monday difficulty at the unknown NICKELBACK gave way to inner smiles of nostalgia at SILVER BELLS, favorite PLATINUM RECORDS, and the greats of TIN PAN ALLEY. Also liked the parallel EAGLE and TOTEM.

kitshef 11:11 AM  

Not sure to characterize this with a THUD, as in the revealer landed with a ..., or with a WHOOSH, as in the themer did not land at all. HEAVY METAL, yes. METAL, yes. But METAL MUSIC, no. Also, I'm never really sure who NICKELBACK are. I know they were very popular but somehow they failed to make any dent in my consciousness. See also Radiohead.

Malsdemare 11:16 AM  

@unknown, please be nice to our beloved Annabel. She's been with us since high school! Lapses are allowed.

Very easy, but that's Mondays. I blew through it in RECORD time, didn't meet any hiccups anywhere. It would have been nice if the second pieces of the themers were also music-related, but it’s Monday and adding complexity may have upped the difficulty. I could have done without the reminder that all to soon we're going to be hearing Christmas music wherever we go. At this age, I've heard these same songs for so long they no longer bring cheer. I refuse to play any holiday music in the house until just a few days before Christmas.

thfenn 11:27 AM  

I was starting to think the world had ended, glad to see you here, Annabel. Fun Monday. Definitely wanted HEAVYMETAL, but have no clue as to whether the metals involved are actually heavy, or, better yet, heavier than rock. Also, sad to say, thought some downs might be wrong when jIngleBELLS didn't work, but the words in the clue bouncing around in my head to that tune also signalled a problem. Fun Monday.

RooMonster 11:30 AM  

Hey All !
Wondrous how much of an empty feeling I got when there was no blog all morning! Am I addicted to Rex Parker Does The New York Times Crossword?
No, I'm not, I can stop blogging anytime...

Put in hEavyMetal first, like probably 90% of y'all. Cause that's what it is. METAL MUSIC? Mayyyybe to those who don't partake in said MUSIC. But as @Annabel said, it's METAL or Heavy METAL. So that's that. :-)

Wondering if Gwen IFILL does crosswords? If not, she's not living up to her namesake.

Noticed as @Lewis the double-LL fest in puz. Also noticed the closed off NW and SE corners. I'm sure Rex woulda make a stink about that.

Did enjoy puz, lots of easy-Monday clues. Fun sorta word-latterish MBA NBATV NAAN. Or maybe that's just my weirdness.


Hungry Mother 11:30 AM  

Just a minute above my PR, even though my wife, celebrating her Birthday, engaged me with some conversation during the solve. Grunts are conversation aren’t they?

Loren Muse Smith 11:41 AM  

Even with LUZON and IFILL, I finished this Monday fast. I saw the METAL deal but had no idea what the reveal would be. Didn’t know METAL MUSIC – just heavy METAL MUSIC. At first I felt like the themer choices were kinda arbitrary, but then I saw that Trent chose a man, a song, a thing, and a place. Nice.

I’m reminded of a call from my son’s basketball coach once. He had been driving a couple of boys somewhere, and a song came on his radio. My 4th-grade son piped up and said, Black Sabbath Iron Man! Turn it up. How he knew this song from my youth I have no idea.

“Elegant ballet bend” – as opposed to the unelegant (sic) ballet bends? Was Trent spying on me at Georgia Southern when I was taking ballet as a PE credit? ‘Tweren’t pretty.

ODOR. Ammonia. I think I’ve shared this before, but when I buy the only Brie available to me, I let it sit on the counter until the day I walk in and smell a trace of ammonia. Finally ripe enough.

The clue for MOTORS pleased me. At the beginning of the year I have to figure out how to connect with my roughneck students and figure it out fast. This fall one of my classes went to the gym because the ac in my room wasn’t working and the gym was much cooler. Said roughnecks went straight up to the top bleacher to sit and commence boneheadery. I followed straight up behind them and sat with them, asked them what they wanted to learn at the vocational center where they will start next year. Most of’em said auto mechanics. I said I was the idiot who thinks that everything under the hood is the “engine,” even the radiator and coolant holder and stuff. Then I asked if you could call the engine a motor. They said yes. I asked if there was a difference. They said no. So I said that my blow-dryer had a motor, but no one would call it an engine. This brought them up short, and I had their attention. We tried to come up with a difference, and I think someone finally decided an engine is gas-powered. Hmm. So my sister’s Tesla has no engine? They didn’t know from Teslas or coils. Anyhoo, I’m still shamelessly courting these guys and making a bit of headway every week. Am I being fakey and disingenuous? I dunno. But I’m getting work out of them and they don’t skip my class.

Nice job, Trent. I noticed INANE DIN crossing METAL MUSIC. Man, I feel old.

chefbea 11:42 AM  

so glad you woke up Annabel. been waiting all morning!!!

CDilly52 11:46 AM  

Holy moley, I really expected to be engaged and like this after the NW, but truth be told, I did a marathon drive of 600 miles on Sunday and absolutely passed out on the couch last night after I whipped through the NW. Not only that, but I went into my “couch coma” with my phone in hand and never dropped it, so my thumb put lots of interesting “ad libs” that had to be corrected once I regained consciousness. And I didn’t find a couple until after I thought I had finished!! So, I have no idea what I thought of this but it’s done, and I do know that I found nothing terribly objectionable so on to Tuesday friends!

pmdm 11:50 AM  

This puzzle might have been easy for those here (including myself), but as Jeff comments at XWordInfo, it has enough oddball entries to turn off some newer solvers, and that should not be.

The constructor has requested that we discuss whether tin is a light or heavy metal, or something like that. I'll pass. But if anyone else wants to opine ...

jae 11:55 AM  

Medium. Smooth grid, choppy theme, weird reveal, too much crosswordese fill for a Mon., nuff said.

Geezer 11:58 AM  

99.99% of those who solved this puzzle know what is meant by METAL MUSIC. It's simply crossword license so unbunch yer britches.

jberg 12:18 PM  

Yeah, the revealer leaves a bad taste, albeit a metallic one. TIN is OK, thought:

"The earliest known metals—common metals such as iron, copper, and tin, and precious metals such as silver, gold, and platinum—are heavy metals. From 1809 onward, light metals, such as magnesium, aluminium, and titanium, were discovered, as well as less well-known heavy metals including gallium, thallium, and hafnium." (Wikipedia)

Gold is not structurally strong, either, but it's certainly heavy.

I always like to see CLOY because it reminds me of Cleopatra:

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.

Fun, quick puzzle except for the revealer. And Annabel, I didn't even notice!

motor mouth 12:20 PM  


Motors are electric. Electric energy is converted to kinetic energy. Engines use combustion. Burning a fuel (usually gasoline or diesel) releases energy which is converted to kinetic energy. As LMS points out we don't usually refer to motors as engines but sometimes the opposite is true.

QuasiMojo 12:26 PM  

@Roo, Gwen Ifill died a few years ago. A new stamp will be coming out honoring her.

Tin Pan Alley made me think of @Joe. But I'm afraid to mention it lest he posts more Tom Wopat crooning.

As for music, I prefer Nickel Creek.

Joe Dipinto 12:31 PM  

I've got your number
I know you inside out
You ain't no Eagle Scout
You're all at sea

And for our next number...METAL MUSIC *is* used as a generic term and it googles well enough, so I have no problem with it. Doo wop was often sung in ALLEYs, and -BACK in music could be da capo, so yeah, I could see...nah, I don't see any intentional connections to music there.

A nice, relatively unassuming Monday puzzle all in all. I hope you become untired one day. How about some Astor Piazzolla "Libertango" to pick you up?

Brookboy 12:32 PM  

Metal music by any name is not my thing. Not heavy metal, not light metal, not medium metal. Even so, I kind of whizzed through this one.

I didn’t even see the clue about Gone With The Wind. I got all the crosses first.

Nice, easy way to start the week.

Finally, as always, it’s a pleasure to see that Annabel is the reviewer. And another pleasure is reading LMS’s remarks.

btgrover 12:36 PM  

My buddy who I compare puzzle notes with told me his solve today was a Monday PR, so I buckled down and also turned in a personal best time. Friends, this was an EASY crossword puzzle.

Leslie 12:44 PM  

@Malsdemare ditto on the Christmas music!
@RooMonster 11:30 Very sad to say Gwen Ifill has left this world. An exceedingly sad loss to PBS news hour.

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Wondering if Gwen IFILL does crosswords? If not, she's not living up to her namesake.

considering she's been DEAD for a few years so not much living it up, that would be a miracle. Christian or otherwise.

Joe Dipinto 1:05 PM  

@Quasi – I could have linked to Tom Wopat doing "I've Got Your Number". I happen to like his singing. He's been on Broadway you know.

Teedmn 1:20 PM  

Very little CAP'N Crunch to this puzzle. In fact, that clue answer was my only write-over - I reflexively filled in oAts upon seeing Quaker but Bob oOSTAS made me look again. Quaker CAts? I finally read the clue far enough to see the Crunch. This still only held me up for picoseconds.

Isn't NICKELBACK, along with Coldplay, a band everyone loves to hate? That's the only reason I know anything about either of them. I'm sure I have heard songs by both but couldn't bring one to mind. My heavy METAL MUSIC days are over (I'm not suggesting the aforementioned bands belong to that genre) - I've morphed into folk and indie rock. Never could stand death metal, ugh.

Trent Evans, this puzzle was all that Monday needs to be, thanks.

Unknown 1:24 PM  

Haha, you need to get out more. None of those clues was particularly esoteric.

tea73 1:27 PM  

I've occasionally wondered why there is "heavy METAL" but no light METAL. My son listened to Finnish METAL (HIM, Apocalyptica), Danish METAL (Volbeat heavy METAL with a rockabilly tilt), Symphonic METAL (Nightwish also from Finland). We ended up taking him to a lot of concerts and became converts.

My favorite band is Apocalyptica, which started off as four cellos covering Metallica, but now performs original work as well as some wild covers of classical music. This is my favorite: Hall of the Mountain King

I liked the puzzle!

Unknown 1:28 PM  

She was a poor replacement. Mrs. Peel set the bar pretty high. I still recall the episode when she left the series.

Richardf8 1:30 PM  

Heavy Metal. Hair Metal. Both more reasonable responses to the revealer clue than METALMUSIC. What would be the natural habitat of such a turn of phrase.

Scene: An apartment in a bedroom community in the 1980’s. Teenager is listening to Iron Maiden on the Stereo Grandfather shouts "Turn that Dadburned METALMUSIC down! Kids today!"

Yeah, maybe. Grandad has fond memories of all those TINPANALLEY tunes, but is a little sick of hearing SILVERBELLS every year from October to January. Would be shocked that Number of the Beast could be a PLATINUM RECORD. Thinks NICKELBACK is where you find a buffalo.

But it’s 2019, and Grandpa grew up on Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult. And this revealer feels INANE.

Unknown 1:33 PM  

Knowing what something means doesn't mean it was well constructed. Like a Trump tweet.

BobL 1:56 PM  

Moderator - thats four posts from unknown. Four too many.

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

Moderator - thats four posts from unknown. Four too many.

HEY!!! S/he knows whereof Mrs. Peel and TARA King, and, likely, Cathy Gale (who went on to Pussy galore). What's to object?

Anonymous 2:42 PM  

Some day I will learn the difference--once and for all--between ORZO and OUZO. Today is not that day.

G. Weissman 2:48 PM  

Like OMG you guys, this puzzle totally got the review it deserved.

Masked and Anonymous 2:52 PM  

Torn on the METAL MUSIC issue, also. HEAVY METAL sounds more correct, Iron Maiden music-wise -- but then TIN and some of the others ain't exactly what you'd call heavy metals. But hey -- still a mighty fun MonPuz solvequest, while waitin for our late-mornin breakfasts to arrive at the pancake house, sooo … ok-dough-k.

staff weeject pick EEC next to ELK. Sorta like antlered critters with sound EffECts.
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Leaf-gathering tool} = RAKE. Solidly simple and timely.

Toughish (Mondayish) ones: LUZON. ERIC+BANA. So, mostly about right, actually.

Thanx, Mr. Evans.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Joe Dipinto 2:58 PM  

The lyric "heavy metal thunder" in Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" is often cited as the whence for the designation "heavy metal" as a rock genre. I'm a little skeptical though.

choochoo 62 3:02 PM  

Granted Metal Music is not a phrase used by anyone, but if you can say Rock Music, Country Music and Classical Music I see no reason you can't say Metal Music in the context of a crossword revealer.

Birchbark 3:24 PM  

METAL Machine MUSIC (Lou Reed) is one of the foremost contractual obligation albums of all time. I have it on vinyl --four tracks of distorted guitar feedback loops, no key (that I discern), no melody, just variations on noise. Lou Reed said he recorded it cynically to fulfill a recording contract he thought was unfair. But as a tool for catharsis or what have you, it has few peers.

RooMonster 3:59 PM  

It seems I riffled some feathers about Gwen IFILL. Sorry if I offended. As a non-news listener/watcher/reader I 1) didn't know who she was and 2) didn't know she died.

I just thought her last name was cool!

RooMonster Foot In Mouth Guy

OffTheGrid 5:02 PM  

Your comment was innocent. The offender was Anonymous 1:02. Very disrespectful.

JC66 5:22 PM  


I agree with @OffTheGrid, there was nothing wrong with you IFILL comment.

Anonymous 5:56 PM  


You're fine. OffTheGrid is right. No need to do pennace for an innocent mistake.
Anon 1:02 however was petty and nonsensical. Christians do indeed believe in miracles, but there's no such thing as a Christian miracle.

Bill 6:20 PM  

Easy....never ever heard of metal music...ever....and Anabelle, love your contributions, but frankly tired of your complaining how tired you are...sorry

Leslie 6:25 PM  

@Roo There was nothing wrong with your comment. I only wanted to say what a sad loss her death was.

Tony 9:06 PM  

Easy, even for someone like me who struggles with Tuesdays. But, yeah, the genre is metal (period). "Music" was the last thing I got in the puzzle. And I've played in rock bands for 40 years!

KevCo 12:00 AM  

I'm sure the guest poster is a lovely person, but this is a site read by at least hundreds of people each day, not a text message. Can we leave the shorthand ("OMG" and "bc") on the phone where it belongs? (To the extent it belongs anywhere...)

spacecraft 12:21 PM  

I was looking forward to the revealer; I knew it was going to be METAL something--or something METAL, but the rest of it was going to tie it all together. Instead I get...METAL MUSIC?? That's it?? That's all? No, that's the opposite of all: NONE. What a letdown.

Theme was half-OK: BELLS and even RECORDS are music. Not so much BACK and PANALLEY. Partial credit, I guess, for NICKELBACK being a music group, and for TINPANALLEY being a place where music is written, but still not tight.

What IFILL is spotty too; we have the unabashed crutch of SSNS, NBATV, and that definitely non-Monday journalist. So we have a so-so effort, with a couple of DOD contestants, oft-sashed TARA Reid and Teri Hatcher, the LOIS of LOIS & Clark. Take your pick. Feeling generous today: par.

rainforest 1:56 PM  

One of the easiest puzzles, Monday or otherwise.
I was actually on the verge of saying I didn't like it, but I didn't quite get there. But I can say I didn't like the revealer.

Burma Shave 2:01 PM  


The RECORD’s gone to PLATINUM,
but my EARS ACHE, they’re OUT of whack.
if ya GOYA take yer NICKELBACK.


leftcoaster 2:14 PM  

A model of a model Monday puzzle; i.e., a meta-model?

rondo 2:37 PM  

Well, let’s see, there’s your traditional heavy METAL, thrash METAL, death METAL, glam METAL, industrial METAL, and . . . lots more. Then there’s NICKELBACK, the band everybody loves to hate.

How about a yeah baby for LOIS Maxwell, portrayer of long-suffering Miss Moneypenny.

This METALMUSIC puz kinda dropped like a Led Zeppelin.

John F. Maloney 11:43 PM  

I only just got into the NYT crossword a couple of weeks ago and this was the first one I was able to finish without looking anything up. Agreed that METAL MUSIC was a clunky clue.

sdcheezhd 12:43 AM  

I came here to see if people were going to hate on METALMUSIC. Was glad to see the answer is yes.

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