Boss of Oompa-Loompas / WED 12-4-19 / Appliance company acquired by Raytheon in 1965 / Head in classic Hasbro toy / Group concerned with things that are NSFW

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Constructor: Evan Mahnken

Relative difficulty: So easy it was obviously misplaced. The whole world is setting personal records. I was groggy and typed *horribly* and still solved faster than most Tuesdays (3:27)

THEME: I think so: these appear to be logical fallacies, clued in the style of the argument that they represent (?), and containing the subject matter that they *appear* to represent, if you take their idiomaticness literally. Sigh. Themes that take this much explaining should maybe rethink their reason for being

Theme answers:
  • STRAW MAN FALLACY (17A: "Scarecrow thinks the only thing one needs is a brain. It's not!") — without context, it's hard to see that this is what it says it is, i.e. that this clue is an example of the the answer it's cluing. This goes for all of these themers, really. Maybe the scarecrow *actually* argued that the only thing one needs is a brain, How Would I Know?
  • SLIPPERY SLOPE (28A: "If we let our kids go sledding, what's next? Extreme skiing?") — this one works
  • CHERRY PICKING (43A: "As you can tell from these few examples, Bings are better than maraschinos") — doesn't work, for so many reasons, not least of which is no one making a CHERRY PICKING argument would tell you that they have cited only a "few examples," and anyway, how many damn cherries Do you have to eat to know that Bings are better!? I mean, those are really really Really different cherries. In fact, maraschinos are a treated cherry, not a variety like Bings. "maraschino cherry [...] is a preserved, sweetened cherry, typically made from light-colored sweet cherries such as the Royal AnnRainier, or Gold varieties." (wikipedia) What's the logical fallacy where you compare apples and oranges called? BOOOOOO!
  • MOVING GOALPOSTS (58A: "Expanding the bleachers isn't enough. We need to relocate the whole stadium") —again, without context, no way to tell this is actually an example of an argumentative fallacy
Word of the Day: DEBRA Winger (9A: Actress Winger) —
Debra Lynn Winger (born May 16, 1955) is an American actress. She starred in the films An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Shadowlands (1993), each of which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress for Terms of Endearment, and the Tokyo International Film Festival Award for Best Actress for A Dangerous Woman (1993). Her other film roles include Urban Cowboy (1980), Legal Eagles (1986), Black Widow (1987), Betrayed (1988), Forget Paris(1995), and Rachel Getting Married (2008). In 2012, she made her Broadway debut in the original production of the David Mamet play The Anarchist. In 2014, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Transilvania International Film Festival.
She currently stars as a series regular in the Netflix original television series The Ranch. (wikipedia)
• • •

Er. Uh. I guess your friends on the debate team might think this is cute? I just found it tiresome. But luckily I didn't really have to find it anything at all, because it was stupid easy. Like, how-is-this-even-Wednesday easy. I had a teeny bit of trouble getting off the ground (wrote in JIBES before JESTS because I don't know my JIBES from my GIBES (1D: Joking remarks); also, took some amount of working to see FALLACY instead of ARGUMENT), but after that, any resistance was created by my terrible early-morning typing and grid navigation. By the time I finished, I had no idea what this puzzle was supposed to be about. Just looked like idioms that someone was taking literally, and imagining it was somehow funny to do so, which is a child's idea of humor. But it turns out the idioms are all from the same world (argumentation), clued as a version of what they are ... which, I'll grant you, is layered, but in this smug aint-I-a-stinker kind of way that is just annoying. Give the solver a revealer. If what you are doing here is any good, it should a. announce itself clearly (it doesn't), or b. be announced clearly by a good revealer (it isn't). The grid is choppy and full of easy 3- to 5-letter answers, i.e. there's just nothing of interest here outside of the themers. Also, MOVING GOALPOSTS sounds weird to my ears. I'm sure that's the technical term for that particular logical fallacy, but I've heard it only with the "THE" in it. People will have good will toward this puzzle because it was ego-boostingly easy. But they shouldn't.

What is there even to say about this? There's nothing particularly remarkable outside the theme. The fill skews bland / stale (LAMAS, ORONO, ENO, ELLE, ODS, ONEND) but nothing you'd really yelp about. I'd call it Newsday-clean. If you've ever solved the daily Newsday puzzle (mine comes in my local paper) you know that 6 days out of 7 it is very easy, and the fill is not exciting but it is also only very rarely repulsive. They're fun to solve Downs-only. Good practice. Anyway ... oh right, OPRY OPERA OPAL OPEC OSHA OTTER ONO OER, just O's ON END, and who cares, O-nestly? 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. here's a huge list of fallacies, if you somehow care (note that here it is indeed MOVING *the* GOALPOSTS)
P.P.S. I do like the clue on OSHA (35D: Group concerned with things that are NSFW?); just thought I'd try to end on a hight note
P.P.P.S. Happy birthday, JAY-Z. You are now my age.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Lewis 7:10 AM  

This puzzle flew, as @rex said, and to be honest, I don't want my Wednesdays this easy. I want more wordplay and difficulty in the cluing. This is a NYT Wednesday, transition into the difficult segment of the week!

I did enjoy the off-the-beaten-path theme, however, and that motivated me to do a bit of scanning about logical fallacies, which awakened terms I haven't thought about in ages: Non-sequitur, red herring, ad hominem, begging the question, hasty generalization, and so on. Thank you for that, Evan!

I also found the puzzle timely, with NATO as an answer and that overseas meeting going on.

When I went over the puzzle's answers, I saw THERAVEN as a single word, and thought it would be a good name for a pharmaceutical, then saw TREXES also as a single word, thinking it would be a good name for hiking shoes.

Mark 7:15 AM  

My fastest Wednesday of all time.

DAVY 7:18 AM  


amyyanni 7:20 AM  

Lol, Rex. You covered all the bases and the pitcher's mound as well.

Loren Muse Smith 7:22 AM  

I, too, thought at first that they were a bunch of idioms revisited literally.

I, too, really liked the clue for OSHA.

Like @Lewis, I appreciated being reminded of all the logical fallacies. Purists still get their nose out of joint over the misuse of begging the question, but that ship has sailed.

No idea that SLIPPERY SLOPE was any kind of fallacy. I mean, I guess sometimes you could (wrongly) argue that taking a small step in some direction will lead to disaster. But heck, so many times that small step absolutely Does lead to disaster. Case in point: opening a box of ice cream sandwiches thinking eating just one will do the trick, but ending up dispatching pretty much the entire box standing at the sink looking out the window.

I guess the latest STRAWMAN FALLACY is the claim that there are lots of people out there who’re trying to get the name Thanksgiving changed? I’m probably using it wrong.

When my husband and I were dating, we stopped by the store to pick up a light dinner and decided, mystifyingly, on a box of All Bran. Neither of us had ever eaten any. Yes. This ends badly. Never noticing that the suggested serving was ¼ cup, we settled in. One bowl led to another, and in the end, we had eaten every bit of it. I mean, c’mon – it’s a really small box. I had some grading to do, and he had to go to the lab, so we separated with the plan of meeting back up later. . . Later arrived, and I was coming down the steps outside of Dey Hall at Carolina as he was walking up. We both stopped and stared at each other, having spent quite an eventful few hours. He finally said, I don’t know about you, but I experienced BLAST OFF.

kitshef 7:23 AM  

I love me a smart puzzle, and I love fallacies. Here is a fun one:

This sentence and the one that follows it are both false.
God exists.

The first sentence cannot be true, as it claims itself to be false, which would be a contradiction. Since the first sentence cannot be true, it must be false. If the second sentence were also false, then both sentences would be false, which would mean the first sentence is correct – another contradiction. Therefore, the first sentence must be false and the second sentence must be true.

mathgent 7:23 AM  

I admire the ambition of the theme. Cluing a type of logical fallacy with an example. Making STRAWMANFALLACY an example of a fallacy, though, is a bit tacky. I would have preferred that "fallacy" had appeared by itself to explain the theme.

I haven't heard a segmented market called a PIE. I'll go look it up.

Hungry Mother 7:29 AM  

Not quite a PR, but really fast.

Suzie Q 7:41 AM  

I was mystified, feeling like I didn't get the joke.
Like everyone else I liked the clue for OSHA.
No fun today. Phooey.

oopsydeb 7:51 AM  

Not a personal record for me at 6:40. But then my cat coughed up a hairball while I was solving and I didn't pause the clock while I cleaned it up.

If you're not going to make your own cocktail cherries at home (and I'm not), Luxardo cherries are the absolute best pick.

GILL I. 8:12 AM  

Interesting puzzle. I'm sure grammarians will have fun with the ambiguity in our everyday usage of the English language. Hell, even "Logical Fallacy" sounds all kinds of wrong.
Yeah...flew through this. I always want to spend more time on a Wednesday. I also would have LOVED a reveal. I'm trying to think if "error in reasoning" might cause the CHERRY PICKING group to explode.
I so remember the BIRD FLU epidemic and people waiting in line for hours to get vaccinated. Every time a dead bird was spotted, 911 was called.
I don't BLAST OFF from eating All Bran but eating a CHERRY PIE with a side of POTATO might make the MOVING GOAL POSTS stir a bit.
Love me some DEBRA Winger and thinking of the SOFTER Brie.

QuasiMojo 8:16 AM  

Well count me among those who nearly broke his personal record for the longest time for a Wednesday ever. I was sure the Muppets guy was TED. I was more a Wonderama kind of kid. Then Zoom!

The "step on it" clue made me want to throw my shoe at the wall.

I have nothing else to say except I found this one about as interesting as watching reruns of old Charles Kuralt shows. I'm actually googling British crosswords lately to find puzzles worth doing.

Big Fella 8:22 AM  

@kitshef, try

“Everything I say is a lie. I’m lying.”

mmorgan 8:22 AM  

I found this really fun to solve with all kinds of stuff in my wheelhouse even though I was, um, confused by the theme. (And still am, sorta.) I expected the young whippersnappers to complain that this skews old, but tough tooties, just deal with it and get off my lawn! Notwithstanding Rex’s critique, I repeat that I found this lots and lots of fun to solve.

Aro Stotle 8:25 AM  

"Er. Uh. I guess your friends on the debate team might think this is cute? I just found it tiresome."

As does most of the world, apparently, judging by the utter lack of attention to (or knowledge of) the rules of logic in public discourse and on social media. No need to employ logic when I have "my truth" and when I can yell louder than you.

And, by the way, does anyoneelse cringe at the rampant misuse and misunderstanding of the phrase "it begs the question." It is a technical term for a logical fallacy - not a phrase meaning "it raises the question." Apparently, it's become a thing to try to sound smart by use of the phrase; sadly such misuse just exposes the person's ignorance.

Kathy 8:29 AM  

This one came easy to me and I knocked it off before I went to bed. I should have known—the comments are coming in this morning and it’s been deemed so ridiculously easy that I will be sure to tamp down any feelings of accomplishment!

I didn’t detect a theme but expected I’d get some insight from the blog and, sure enough, a lively discussion is afoot. Everyone is inferring depth where I don’t think it exists. I’m fine with the lack of a theme but it’s clear that Rex and others wanted much more, even from a Wednesday. I don’t think all the answers to the italicized clues were supposed to be fallacies because the word FALLACY was actually used in one answer. I don’t consider them arguments either. I don’t even think the italicized clues were intended to be related, which would explain the lack of a revealer.

I’m taking an admittedly simplistic approach and looking at the them as nothing more than good old wordplay. And I love wordplay any day of the week!

American Liberal Elite 8:34 AM  

The Luxardo jar contains Marasca cherries, soaked in sweetened Maraschino liqueur. They are far superior to the dyed, grocery store maraschinos and essential for a good Old Fashioned. They also cost a buttload.

Nancy 8:37 AM  

While I've heard of STRAWMAN ARGUMENT, I was wondering if STRAWMAN FALLACY was a real phrase. But all I had to do was type STRAWM into Google and it popped right up.

The correct phrase is MOVING THE GOALPOSTS, but why quibble?

SLIPPERY SLOPE was the cutest and best-clued of the themers.

This was a fun idea and mildly diverting, but like @Lewis et al I like more challenge on a Wednesday. Trickier clues surrounding the theme answers would have helped a lot.

Karl Grouch 8:47 AM  

"Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana".

SouthsideJohnny 8:49 AM  

I’m agree with the consensus that this was Tuesday (or even Monday-ish) easy today, which of course is not the end of the world. I had to guess at the middle letter of the ORONO MOA cross because I had never heard of either of them.

I can see Rex’s point about the difficulty discerning the theme - which really should be just a quibble, but of course Rex is going to milk it for all it is worth. So far, the Mon and Wed puzzle this week are virtually gunk and garbage-free, so look both ways before beginning tomorrow’s offering !

Another enjoyable write-up by LMS - btw, does her comment re SLIPPERY SLOPE contain a mini-fallacy of its own ? I.e. saying you could (wrongly) argue that taking a small step in will lead to disaster (if t is true that so many times that small step absolutely does lead to disaster, then the argument is not wrong). Or maybe it is way too early for such deep philosophical and linguistic pondering.

Nancy 8:58 AM  

Yes, BIRD FLU is a really bad flu. That's the one I've learned to fear recently. But back in the day there was swine flu and that one may have been even worse. I remember a news article in the NYT about a guy who was sharply criticized at his job for taking a week off due to a case of the regular flu. The regular flu just wasn't considered serious enough that year to pay any attention to. Which led me, after reading the article, to write the following:

Swine flu
Is a fine flu
And it's mine, all mine.
Your flu
Is a pure flu
It's true.
But it's dull, sir,
Like an ulcer,
Not sexy like swine,
Like swine flu
That fine flu
That is mine.
Now their flu
Is a fair flu
But they share flu
All the time.
It's the same flu
Not a "name" flu
Like mine.
Don't coddle
Last year's model,
Let them rise,
Let them shine!
While I languish
In the anguish
Of the swine.
In the glory
And the story
Of the swine.

That is mine.

Sir Hillary 8:59 AM  

Interesting theme idea, but the execution is hit-and-miss. I would have enjoyed it better had I heard of STRAWMANFALLACY, which I hadn't.

Interesting to see DALLAS and GRASSY (knoll) together.

Executioner to Prisoner: You have a choice of how you die, based on your next utterance. If you utter a true statement, you will be hanged. If you utter a false statement, you will be beheaded.
Prisoner: I will be beheaded.
Executioner: OK then...wait, what? Oh crap...

RooMonster 9:03 AM  

Hey All !
I'm in the super-duper-easy-peasy group. I didn't even have one single writeover. Not a one. I always strive for no writeovers, by it rarely happens. Like less than one puz a month.

The ole brain apparently doesn't grasp "logical fallacies". Aren't they similar to oxymorons? Or am I just an illogical non-fallacy?

Funky grid. When you have 13 long themers, and set them toward the middle of the puz, you end up with the two on top of three black squares block that's here. I don't know why it's extended an extra square, though. I would've tried to get rid of that black square and the ones after SOLE/before ARON to open up grid a bit. Just sayin'.

Did like puz, after all my nits. Though like Rex, nothing really to write home about. Three F's which is nice.


CDilly52 9:08 AM  

Very funny @Lewis, THER’-a-ven for better circulation! Ask you doctor to prescribe it and enjoy life again!

CDilly52 9:12 AM  

Slippery slope indeed, @LMS! I never contemplated that All Bran was a food that could be in the “eating ice cream sandwiches by the sink looking out the window” category but you gave me a literal LOL moment!

Rainbow Warrior 9:17 AM  

@Aro @8:25. Not I, in terms of cringing regarding the misunderstanding of a technical term for logical fantasy. As to the tenor of the discourse on social media, there is no requirement that an individual’s opinion be borne out of some sort of logical foundation (as opposed to gut instinct or perhaps even personal preference, for example). I, for one, may actually prefer the chemically enhanced maraschino to its more natural cousin the bing (or skittles over m&m’s for that matter). - which begs the question, if you don’t care for what you are seeing or reading on social media, why not just read something else.

Mikey from El Prado 9:18 AM  

Yep. I had a slow start at the top, but when finished my time was a PB. But, I disagree with Rex.... while it was super fast to solve, I just think it was an easy Wednesday. Once in a while that happens, and no need to trash it for that.

CDilly52 9:19 AM  

@American Liberal Elite: AMEN on both counts! I had one of those jewels in my old fashioned and a bonus of three decorating my creme brulee at dinner in Chicago on Thanksgiving. Yum!

CDilly52 9:23 AM  

For probably the first time ever, I am absolutely in sync with the majority this morning. Easy, loved the OSHA clue and the added misdirect in 22D wasn’t bad either. My entire family being what we as kids called “grammar police” I also enjoyed the fallacies, but really, really enjoyed all the discussion here about said fallacies. Turned an overly easy Wednesday into a much more enjoyable experience. Thanks everybody!

pabloinnh 9:41 AM  

Yeah, too fast for a Wednesday. Disappointing, that.

Couple of things--

Scarecrows always make me think of my favorite lines of dialogue in "The Wizard of Oz"--

Dorothy: How can you talk if you don't have a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know.

I realize there is more to the scarecrow's answer, but this is perfect in its logic and simplicity.

Also, I thought the theme was very clear-Tactics used by Republicans to defend the president*.

Fun enough, EM. Next time throw in some crunchballs.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

Easy but for "L" in SO_E crossed with MORE_S. Thought clue ("Step on it!") Should have been a "?"

Like others, smiled at OSHA clue. Nice and new.

Z 10:09 AM  

I really liked the theme and the layers we get to play with. The fact that you need to think about the clues a little to see how they are examples of the answers is a feature, not a bug. Not every puzzle needs a revealer and it is okay not to get all the layers of a theme immediately. Agree that “few” should be left out of the CHERRY PICKING clue, but the clue writer apparently felt that two examples wasn’t obviously a small sample size.

The flaw, and the reason for so many PRs I suspect, is the high level of PPP (27/76 for 35.5%)(and that doesn’t include ALLEN wrench). High PPP puzzles often have the wheelhouse/outhouse effect on solvers. With high Ese PPP (ENO, ORONO, RPI) and lots of of PPP that lacks any obscurity (POTOMAC, Willy WONKA, THE RAVEN) this should be in most people’s wheelhouse. There are some dated PPP that might cause the under 40 solver issues (DEBRA Winger and Who shot JR), but probably not enough to cause too many major issues.

I think the most consequential SLIPPERY SLOPE fallacy is the “smoking pot leads to hard drugs” one.

Anyone want to point out the difference between FALLACY and paradox? Speaking of which, a FALLACY is not an oxymoron, either.

Escalator 10:20 AM  

Printed out the puzzle. When I did so, the clue for 4D came out with last letter “t” in “improvement” dropped to a separate line. First time I have ever seen a clue mis-hyphenated. Maybe it is just my printer settings but weird.

David 10:20 AM  

The strawman is used daily in opinion pieces. George Will often builds whole straw armies! It's used daily to bludgeon people who say they're Democratic Socialists by nearly everyone. Everybody should know and understand this logical fallacy. In that, the puzzle does a public service, apparently.

I can't say I liked this. It was far too easy for a Wednesday and filled with tired and old short answers. "Sole" made me gag. The theme answers were also easy for me. After the first 2, which both started with "S" I was hoping the others would also start with "S." In my mind that would have lifted the puzzle out of the "meh, is this a Monday?" area.

Hartley70 10:22 AM  

Nope. Too easy for Wednesday. Not amusing enough. The comments, however, are outstanding.

RooMonster 10:28 AM  

Ooh, I think I get I now. An example could be "Because I said so" or "Do as I say, not as I do". Right? Or am I just a total moron? (Bet on the over.)

RooMonster Brain Fallacy Guy

Todd 10:31 AM  

Best time ever for a Wednesday. I knew it was too easy,not me crushing it. Rex, good post of Luxardo Cherries. Anyone who takes their Manhattan seriously knows that they are the only cherries to use.

jb129 10:44 AM  

Is today Monday?

bagelboy 10:45 AM  

PR for Wesdesday, tied my best Tuesday, not far off my best Monday. I was initially very proud of my accomplishment, but it seems I am not alone.

Z 10:48 AM  

@RooMonster - Rex provided this link in his post. There is a lot more FALLACio going on then the four in the grid. Buttigieg, for example, just trotted out the Nirvana FALLACY to counter Warren’s Affordable Higher Education For All proposal. The link is just a list with each FALLACY having its own Wiki article. We could spend several weeks going down that rabbit hole.

Masked and Anonymous 10:53 AM  

Different. And yep, kinda on the eazy-E side of WedPuzness. Did have a precious nanosecond sinkhole moment or two at STRAWMANFALLACY/REC, at our house tho. Don't recall ever hearin of STRAWMAN connected to FALLACY to mean somethin logical, before now. And that there clue for REC somehow threw m&e. The app in {College app attachment, informally} evidently ain't a computer app, but awe-count-rare is maybe an APPlication for enrollment, or somesuch. And REC might then be yer high school RECord(s), or somesuch?

Obvious editormeister fail, today. ARON shoulda been edited up to be ALUM, instead. Buys an extra U, plus saves the last puzgrid letter from bein a dread double-POC (yo, @AnoaBob).

The good extra stuff, IM&AO, included: BIRDFLU/BLASTOFF. RWANDA. WONKA. You say POTATO, I say POTOMAC. But, I cherry-pick.

staff weeject pick: REC. Becuz it plumb REC-ed my otherwise ultra-fast solvequest time. Better REC clue: {Informal room??}.

Thanx for teachin M&A et al all about strawman fallacies [strawmen fallacy?], Mr. Mahnken. Liked yer puz, except for that fateful little ARON/ALUM road fork choice.

Masked & Anonymo3couldabeen4Us


Whatsername 10:55 AM  

@Loren: BEST avatar ever! (Everyone Else: If you didn’t happen to notice, go back up to LMS’ post at 7:22. It’s worth the effort.)

@kitshef: My brain felt like a pretzel when I got done reading your post.

@Nancy: Love your ode to flu. How melodious. I remember the swine and the Asian flu which was also pretty ghastly.

Interesting theme but Monday easy today. I learned that Raytheon owns AMANA, had no idea. For some reason the clue for SOLE tripped me up. I was thinking in terms of GOGO or ASAP and had a real head slapping moment when I finally got it.

jberg 11:00 AM  

Yesterday the NYTimes sent me an email saying that the paper would be delivered a day late, because of the snow storm. Today's delivery was only today's paper, though -- but it's nice to be back!

If you're making a list of fallacies, you get the STRAW MAN FALLACY, the CHERRY PICKING fallacy, etc. But if you are actually arguing you say "That's a STRAW MAN!' "You're MOVING the GOALPOSTS!" and so forth. So that part wasn't really tight, but the theme was fine otherwise. A theme's being difficult for a blogger to describe is not important.

@Lewis, then there's THE REMIN, an electronic musical instrument where you make sounds by moving your hands in the air. The music sounds much better than the description -- look up Carolina Eyck on YouTube or Spotify. Better yet, I'll do it for you -- here!

@Loren, your avatar better watch out -- if it gets any more political it may lose its tax exemption. I love it!

@Aro, see @Loren -- we've lost that battle. Or, to put it differently, Okay, Boomer.

Carola 11:11 AM  

I loved it. I thought the theme was inspired...creative...witty...funny. Admittedly, the first three are in a class apart, with their pairings of a theoretical lapse with an actual Scarecrow, sleds and skis, and 2 contesting varieties of cherries; with the GOALPOSTS, I missed a preceding "the," and zing in the clue.

Too easy for a Wednesday? Honestly, I was having too much fun with the theme to notice.

Rug Crazy 11:13 AM  

I think this is a political comment on the state of the Impeachment Hearings

RooMonster 11:15 AM  

Well, after reading up on fallacies, it appears to me that pretty much anything that someone speaks Is a fallacy. That last statement, E.g. was a fallacy.

It twists the mind, therefore my brain hurts. (Another fallacy!)


Anonymous 11:21 AM  

when I was into such things, I read/was told that maraschino cherry is not even a cherry, but a processed grape. The 'stem' is fake. easy way to tell, for those that have a bottle of them hanging around.
1 - yes, some kind of object with a real pit
2 - some kind of whole object that is pitless

let the voting begin

Peter P 11:26 AM  

Way too easy for a Wednesday. Finished it in half my average Wednesday time, and set a new record, like many others. Felt somewhere between a Monday and a Tuesday.

That said, I enjoyed the theme. I've never been on a debate team or anything like that, but I do like logical fallacies, and this one was a reasonably fun fill.

Newboy 11:27 AM  

OFL nailed it. Thought the reveal had to be “Twitter rhetoric style guide” or some such. At least today’s placement got NATO a nod in passing which seems appropriate. LAMAS two days in a row as clue / answer creates a subliminal gimme & perhaps even a tip of the hat today to OFL with TREXES. Easy to start down the SLIPPERY SLOPE on this stream of semi-consciousness. Hopeful that Tomorrow will have a rebus at least.

Andrew B 11:27 AM  

Easy. But I didn't hate it nearly as much as some others seemed to. My only quibble is STRAWMANFALLACY. Since "fallacies" is the theme, I bumped a bit that "fallacy" was part of the answer (none of the others had it there).

JC66 11:33 AM  


I thought it might be RECommendation.

Joe Dipinto 11:59 AM  

This puzzle illustrates the Anything Can Make A Good Crossword Theme Fallacy.

Have a Bing cherry.

Joseph M 12:01 PM  

This was so easy it solved itself while I poured a cup of coffee.

Logical fallacies are a timely topic as the impeachment hearings BLAST OFF. I imagine all of these fallacies and more will come into play as certain Republican POTATO heads attempt to discredit or distract from the evidence presented in the impeachment report. MOVING the GOALPOSTS has been their favorite tactic as the American people ponder what we should reasonably expect from our elected government officials. For the times, they are a-changin.’

Masked and Anonymous 12:24 PM  

@JC66 - Great point, on REC could maybe be RECommendation. Definitely makes some good sense.

The Official M&A Help Desk Dictionary recognizes these meanings, for REC.:

* RECeipt. Maybe if your mom is payin off the university to accept yer app(lication)?
* Fresh (in prescriptions). From Latin RECens. Maybe Latin stuff would appeal to the admissions committee? Worth a try, I reckon.
* RECipe. M&A likes this one. A friendly touch, to include a good tasty cinnamon roll recipe, with yer app.
* RECord. M&A's assumption, before havin his straw brain updated.
* RECorder. Not seein this one. But maybe this next variation …
* RECording. Well, sure! Attach a recordin of yerself, readin somethin cool. Like an essay about yer accomplishments and merits. Or a dramatic readin from that there Rodney Dangerfield "Back To School" flick. Altho -- Hearin M&A speak on tape might be sorta a personal disadvantage, I reckon.
* RECreation. Not sure how U attach recreation. Maybe a copy of today's runtpuz?
* Regional Electricity Company. (in the UK only -- sooo … maybe if applyin to Oxford?)

Today's puz had 56 letters worth of theme stuff. That's a lot, and yet there was very little in the way of good, solid Ow de Speration material. @RP rattled off quite a list in his blog writeup, but nuthin on that list had really registered with M&A.
Maybe YRS; that one comes close.
For some reason, @RP didn't like so many puzanswers havin started with an O- ? [The same number of em start with an A-, tho. More, if you change ARON to ALUM like you really oughta.]


Teedmn 12:57 PM  

Yup, super easy. Nope, don't agree with Rex at all on the need for a revealer. Putting STRAWMAN FALLACY first gave the theme away but in a cute, smile-evoking way, for me at least.

I found the clue for OSHA to be terrific, so I agree with Rex there.

@M&A, I like your alternative suggestion at 51A in order to get that extra U. And UTTER would have been nice with UDDER in the grid. OPRY had OPERA, after all.

Evan Mahnken, thanks for the breezy but clever Wednesday, and I love the one that got away (PROJECTION).

Unknown 1:05 PM  

Did not like this puz at all. Agree with Rex-most of the themes just don’t work

Groucho Marx 2:14 PM  

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, a book is hard to read.

Anonymous 2:51 PM  

Rex fails for failing to understand what is and isn't a logical fallacy.
Cherry picking and moving the goal posts aren't fallacies. Logicians use fallacy for a particular kind of failure. Petio principii is a grand example.
So is the slippery slope.
Cherry picking isn't fallacious it's just bad argument. So too moving the goal posts.

Richardf8 3:42 PM  

I enjoyed the hyperliteralism of the theme, and loved the OSHA clue. I thought it a very cute puzzle.

But, I was hoping for more than 18 minutes of solving pleasure from a Wednesday. (I sabor these things, so my times are never quick.

jae 3:46 PM  


I did not grok the theme so I went to Xwordinfo and found out that neither did Jeff, although, he said it had something to do with logical fallacies.

So, I did do some wiki research on logical fallacies and kinda grokked the theme. Then, this morning, I read Rex and nothing was any clearer.

The comments so far have been a tad more helpful.

I will say that my newly acquired knowledge of logical fallacies should come in handy while watching the news.

Fred Wollam 3:55 PM  

Yes, a peeve, in the peeve ballpark alongside "So, I thought to myself... . " (the clear implication being, all other nearby brains were currently in use).

tea73 4:07 PM  

I didn't exactly hate the puzzle, but I whizzed through it in record time and barely had time to enjoy anything. Fastest Wednesday ever. I didn't even bother to read the convoluted clues for the themer. It was easier to just skip them and then fill them in from the downs.

I was cross that I couldn't remember my African countries. My parents lived in Uganda for several years.

Molasses 4:22 PM  

The puzzle was fun, but the winner today is the comments. @LMS's All Bran story made me laugh out loud and @Nancy's poem is terrific. Plus, I learned about Luxardo maraschino cherries. I have both a BevMo and a Total Wine store within about a mile of my house. Google says they both carry the liqueur. Maybe I can make my own with some of those frozen cherries from Trader Joe's. Or maybe I'll just spend the $20 and order a jar from Amazon.

Thanks for the morning's entertainment!

Mike F. 5:22 PM  

10:25 -- a new Wednesday record. Students in my comp class presented on the strawman fallacy today.

GILL I. 5:23 PM  

@jae....You said what I was thinking when I solved this morning. Can you say something that someone else is thinking?
I tried to be clever - especially while watching the news....It seems Logical Fallacy is the new Orange.

Anonymous 6:37 PM  

I hate puzzles that are that easy.

bauskern 7:45 PM  

I thought this was clever. It was about bad forms of argument. I did think it was kind of easy, but so what? The glaciers are melting; surely we have better things to worry about.

Anonymous 8:32 PM  

The glaciers are melting; surely we have better things to worry about.

c'mon now. that's just a Chinese hoax. many people say it's really cow farts.

Solverinserbia 9:35 PM  

Wednesday record for me too. I think the theme/clues were fine although it is definitely Moving THE Goalposts. Should have run on Tuesday.

Whitey 10:50 PM  

Wow feeling very left out of the loop on this one. Maybe it's just that the proper nouns/trivia were out of my wheelhouse this time? The first SIX acrosses are all names or titles: JIM LAMAS DEBRA ENO ORONO ALLEN. Could not get a footing for the life of me (finally remembered Jim but that was not immediate for me).

OPERA counts as trivia with this cluing.



Z 10:52 PM  

@Anon2:51 - Not that you see will see this, but let me suggest that clicking on Rex’s link at the end of his post, which I also linked to, and doing a little bit of reading would have saved you the embarrassment of demonstrating ignorance while accusing someone else of the same. CHERRY PICKING and MOVING (the) GOALPOSTS even have longer wiki articles which touch on how they are logical fallacies.

Pete 10:59 PM  

Austin Burns is the smartest person ever.

Harry 10:10 AM  

There are a whole lot of O's in this puzzle - I don't think I've ever seen so much of one letter in a puzzle before without it being part of the theme.

pabloinnh 10:58 AM  

Hey David-I know where Contoocook is, and Nashua too, although I'd have to go two miles or so to get to a covered bridge.

I'm in the "liked it a lot" camp today. Fun to have the whole puzzle filled in and still have to work to make the gimmick appear. A genuine aha!, which you just don't get every day. Almost tried to make more of OREO than black and white, but rejected that quickly.

Fortunately I'm familiar with a rebus of this ilk, kind of the


for "I understand" school. There are lots of these and they always amuse me.

So thanks to Mr. Fogarty, and I like the Stan Rogers song about your cove, and your relative's (?) singing for CCR.

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

I liked the Debra Allen, aka Debbie Allen in the NE. In 1987, my best buddy and I attended the NBA all-star game in Dallas. His sister was married to an executive in the NBA who was able to get us a room in the hotel where the players were staying. As our taxi pulled up to the hotel, next to us arriving in a limo were two 7 foot men - Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. We were in a strange, but wonderful land.
To this day my friend and I talk about the fun we had that weekend as 25 year olds literally rubbing shoulders (well, almost) with the best basketball players in the world.
We, too, still marvel at the collection of the best looking women we have ever seen in one place at one time. I should add, with not-a-one giving us even a look. Among the dazzlers we saw (from a distance!) that weekend was Debbie Allen. We will never forget the entrance she made that night into the lobby. Accompanied by her husband - nba'er Norm Nixon - Ms. Allen glided down the two story staircase resplendent in a white fish-net outfit that did not leave much to the imagination. She was quite a dancer in her day - star on the show Fame - and, needless to say, was as fit as one could be. She stood out that night which was no easy task - it was one tall order.

spacecraft 10:45 AM  

Agreed that Debbie ALLEN is a first-rate DOD contender--but her actual first name is Deborah, not Debra. The honor belongs to the DEBRA in the clue: Ms. Winger. Of note, though, is the positioning of DEBRA and ALLEN in the grid. (Also: DEBbie [does] DALLAS?

This wasn't as easy for me as it was for so many others. It's been a lot of years since I was in logic class. STRAWMANFALLACY doesn't register with me, and neither does MOVINGGOALPOSTS. Fortunately, though, the rest of it was easy enough that it didn't bother me that much. I'd still rate it easy, but not RECord-breaking easy.

Shouldn't ONEND be NOEND, per the clue?? Otherwise I won't be CHERRYPICKING this one. It's a BIRDie, hopefully free of the FLU.

Burma Shave 11:36 AM  


ARMS and hands MOVING unbashfully,
PICKING THE GOAL – if there’s ANY hope –


Diana, LIW 11:42 AM  

Didn't even notice the "logical"ness of the statements - and I did teach some critical thinking in my courses. But that's 'cause the rest of the solve was pretty easy for me, 2.

And @Spacey - I'm still laughing at the picture of you standing by the copier yesterday, dousing yourself in a "beauty potion." Set the tone for the day.

And...ONEND and noEND seem to be interchangeable, whilst nonsensical. I did know well enuf to pause before entering the correct one for today.

Saw some TREXES at the nat. history museum in Philly last year - they were moving about. Kinda cool - go see them if you're in the neighborhood.

We have had several AMANA refrigerators. Good, basic, and dependable. Until they die. After many years. Not dinosaurs.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting (5 weeks) for Crosswords

rondo 12:14 PM  

One third of the way through I thought that OFL would e making a claim that the puz skewed old, with the Marx Brothers clue and ANN Landers and Jim Henson, etc., but he didn’t really go there. There’s more than one logical FALLACY in this puz. Four actually. MOVING the GOALPOSTS became quite a popular phrase during the Kavanaugh hearings and now the talking heads on the “news” channels use it whenever possible. It’s a SLIPPERYSLOPE.

In these parts MOA means Mall of America. Not far from here. A spectacular monument to capitalism.

Yup. DEBRA Winger. Yeah baby.

It ain’t a STRAWMANFALLACY if DEBRA really does DALLAS. SEE?

rosebud 12:48 PM  

I liked the theme and puzzle, except for having both OPERA and OPRY. Am I mistaken in thinking Grand Ole OPRY is just countrified Grand Old OPERA?

leftcoaster 2:15 PM  

Filling in the grid was Monday easy. Labeling the theme could take a number of variations. Mine (before looking elsewhere) was "poor thinking".

spacecraft 8:55 PM  

@rosebud: good catch. We all missed it.
@Diana: Thanks. Ready for the minstrel show.

strayling 10:06 PM  

The scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz sings, "If I only had a brain", so that clue works.

This puzzle gave me a feeling of what it must be like to speed-solve. I started, I finished, I didn't really have time to enjoy the experience. It lasted about 8 minutes and I plan to work on slowing that down, because the fun is in the journey.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP