Old German money / TUE 1-21-20 / Subject of interest to a 23andMe user / Vacuum cleaners featuring cyclone technology

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Constructor: Carl Larson

Relative difficulty: High side of Medium for me, though it is v. early in the morning (3:56)

THEME: SIX PACK OF BEER (34A: Party purchase ... or a hint to each circled letter set) — "set of circled setters" is better, but whatever:

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: FOOFARAW (36D: Hullabaloo) —

1frills and flashy finery

2a disturbance or to-do over a trifle FUSS 
• • •

Wrote in ISMS at 1A: Ideologies and immediately wanted to quit. 1-Acrosses matter. They set a tone. They can be neutral, fine, or they can be flashy, great, but they cannot be the worst damn thing in your grid. I then proceeded to stumble all over the first set of circled squares, though this is likely due to having just woken up more than anything else. SLATE (?) for STEEL (4D: Shade of blue) and ... well, nothing for MANTLE (3D: Layer below the earth's crust). Just couldn't come up with it. Wanted MAGMA ... well, not "wanted," more "half-heartedly tried to write in." I think "I'M GAME!" (1D: "Sign me up!") expresses more willingness than actual commitment, so getting there from "Sign me up!" was weird. Couldn't see MALLET (23A: Xylophonist's need). I think I was just finding the clump of circled squares visually distracting—like they were a haze blocking me from seeing the grid properly. Things smoothed out from there, but I kept finding the grid fussy, a word I've been using a lot because, I think, that's an editorial style. Short answers clued oddly or weirdly or just-off or oldenly. Answers seemed fine, but clues were missing me somehow. LSD still exists, I think, so the '60s bit in that LSD clue was weird (25A: Hit from the '60s?). Do cellphones have "buttons"? (see clue on ASTERISK (!?!?!) (20A: Cellphone button) (!?!). And forget about FOOFARAW, a "word" whose second half I had to piece together entirely from crosses. Folderol, I know that word. But man ... that "RAW" part was rough. Again, seem like something you might say if you needed BICARB and took LSD with NEAL Cassady and listening to Mama Cass ELLIOT and ELO while spending MARKs and imagining that futuristic phones will still have "buttons."

I don't think themed puzzles are usually very interesting when there aren't really any theme answers. Plays like a weird choppy themeless, except for the revealer, which ... well, the revealer sounds like a robot or space alien is saying it. The perfect revealer would have been SIXPACKS. There are four, after all, and that is what people call them. Sure, you can get sixers of soda and other things, but still, the tighter, nicer, better revealer would simply be SIXPACKS. [What beer comes in ... as represented four times in this grid]. Instead some Martian pretending to be a human being is all "Would you care to try a delicious SIX PACK OF BEER. I enjoy the popular American brand of MILLER, don't you?" Feels wooden / alien. To the puzzle's credit, the fill is not bad, and the long Downs, while not splashy, are solid. Decent. Well, CAPITALA is more Chaotic Neutral, I guess. No real feelings about him. Anyway, this was not *my* cup of tea, though I don't think it's objectively poor. Hope you liked it more than I did.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Hungry Mother 5:51 AM  

I ignored the brewskis as I do in real life and had a quick solve, only slowed by which playground retort it was to be.

fkdiver 6:12 AM  

Belgium, the Netherlands, Mexico and the US.

Dogfish 120 Minute IPA 6:37 AM  

My new goal in life is to get a puzzle published in the NYT and have it deemed " I don't think it's objectively poor" by Mr. Parker.

GILL I. 6:44 AM  

Well I got up an hour earlier than you.
I agree that your first entry should really pop. I mention that all the time. It really does set the tone and makes me wonder if constructors ever read what solvers have to say.
Getting that off my chest, today the ISMS didn't really bother. It was followed by MEAT and I'M GAME. Perhaps using a STEEL MALLET to pound it to submission? Cute...if you have an imagination.
I don't drink BEER but my other half does. Ergo, we always have some in the fridge - even though he likes them at room temperature. There ain't a single one mentioned here that graces our home. He likes those dark smelly ones. I tried a MILLER once and almost gagged. CORONA is OK if you're eating hot Mexican food but all the restaurants put a lime on the bottle and spoil it.
As Tuesdays go, this was fine. The cluing was nice and didn't make me want to reach for a BICARB.
Back to bed.

Anonymous 6:56 AM  

How can Rex do it in four minutes? Knowing all the answers, I take longer than that to merely fill in the grid. Jim

Lewis 6:56 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:58 AM  

My eyes kept opening wider and wider at how fresh this puzzle felt. The great Seinfeld quote I'd never heard, the Hamilton song with the terrific title, a superb question mark clue for INLET [Tiny sound?], a misdirect clue I've never seen for BY FAR [Hands down]. Then there was mention of 23andMe, a lovely answer not seen in eight years (MALLET) and another not seen in 19 (FOOFARAW).

The freshness was what I took away from the puzzle, even more than the theme's lovely visual of the six-packs from above made by the circles. Thank you for perking up my day, Carl, and don't lose that freshness in your future -- and may here be more! -- puzzles, please. Auspicious debut!

Geezer 7:09 AM  

@Gill, I loved "...dark smelly ones....."

Anonymoose 7:13 AM  

Row 10 is for @ROO

kitshef 7:13 AM  

Felt a lot like a Monday – or rather yesterday’s and today’s each felt like a Mouesday.

Live and Let Die remains my favorite Bond movie and has my favorite Bond movie theme song.

FOOFARAW could have been clued as Kerfuffle. Still miss him.

@Gill I. - hand up for wanting fruit kept out of my beer.

David in Brevard 7:17 AM  

Sped through this in my head while solving it with my wife late last night. Then wrote it in this morning but came to a sudden halt in the SE.
FOO______ WOE?
FAMILY just didn’t come, couldn’t figure out what an AFT was (some sort of AF road vehicle?). Knew much about Mama Cass but couldn’t see what it was searching for... SINGER? It was hard, groping around in my poorly lit, early hours brain.
Finally the British came to my help with DYSONS bless them and then onto South Central where KIEV wasn’t helping me at all. Still uncertain as to BRS? Bedrooms? Oh dear, how pathetic.
Anyway it all fell into place with the aforementioned BRS and off to make some more tea.

David in his chilly LRM

Mickey Bell 7:22 AM  

I’m with Rex on this one. I lost a lot of time on this until I pretended it was 1992. At one time all phones had an asterisk button — not just cell phones. Clues shouldn’t misdirect and frustrate — sometimes the double entrendre should make one chuckle or head-slap after the answer comes to light. But it should never misdirect or throw off the silver and then turn out incomplete, wrong, or only relevant to time travelers.

Suzie Q 7:36 AM  

I agree that this was fun and just right for a Tuesday. Rex did not mention it but @ Lewis saw that all of the beers have six letters so they are six packs in two ways. Loved the clue for inlet.
Well played Mr. Larson.

Irene 7:36 AM  

This was harder than usual for a Tuesday, but in a good way. I loved the concrete-ness of the six-packs being six circles. Like Rex I started with the sigh-producing ISMS but after that it was a real slog. A nice slog.

Anonymous 7:36 AM  

That puzz was good for what ales ya.

ANI 7:41 AM  

I get objectively angry at factually incorrect clues. I teach stagecraft, so I was unpleasantly surprised to see ARGON as a clue for fluorescent lights, when it’s a gas that fills regular incandescent bulbs, while it’s mercury vapor that gives the fluorescents their glow. Harumph.

Anonymous 7:46 AM  



This puzzle belongs in a newspaper next to an ad for leeching and miracle elixirs. A few clever highlights in there overwhelmed by garbage.

SouthsideJohnny 8:09 AM  

Some off the clues just seemed a little off today, especially in the SE. There probably should have been a blank space in 43D (Mama Cass _____) for ELLIOT - if the answer were KING you wouldn’t clue it as “Martin Luther”, would you (well, maybe the NYT would). Seems like we get a vacuum cleaner brand (DYSONS) about once a week, which we could definitely do without. FOOFARAW may technically be a real word, but who cares really ? Similarly, the James Bond reference is also a little esoteric (does anyone over the age of 14 actually watch those movies, let alone remember anything about what passes for a plot?)., so that whole section is a little rough around the edges so to speak.

I think Rex is on to something when he talks about the Times’ puzzles lacking a “tone” or “voice”. Today is a good example, The puzzles just seem mediocre on a day-to-day basis - not really worthy of an outfit that aspires to be the “gold standard”, but maybe their time has just passed.

pabloinnh 8:13 AM  

I wrote in FOOFARAW off the F. As Nelson would say, "ha ha".

Liked seeing Cass Elliot after yesterday's Mamas and Papas cluing. Also had a problem with the "tiny sound" clue. Very nice misdirect.

My only problem with puzzles like this is that you tend to get the revealer before filling in all the things revealed, which somehow spoils the experience and eliminates the purpose of a revealer. I'd rather be surprised.

Also noticed that looking at the circles in the grid was like looking down on a six-pack of cans of beer, something I have done often, although not with any of these brands in a long time, as they only vaguely taste of beer.

Nice debut, CL. Keep 'em coming.

Peter P 8:13 AM  

@ANI - Argon is also used in fluorescent bulbs. The gases are typically a mix of mercury vapor and a noble gas, commonly argon (though it can be krypton, neon, or xenon.) You are correct that it is the mercury vapor that makes it glow, but argon is there, too. And it is, literally, a "filler."

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

Cellphone key is more correct than "button."

Joe Welling 8:19 AM  

The phone app (and pretty much all the other apps) on my phone does indeed have buttons coded into it. People thinking the word "buttons" only refers to a physical gadget are the ones behind the times.

Z 8:32 AM  

This put me in a G. Love mood.

I hate to tell you all this, but cellphones have buttons. Funny thing about language, we keep adapting words to new uses and to describe things that are like previous things in function. The buttons on my shirt, on my old car radio, on my old touchtone phone, on my touchscreen car radio and on my iPhone share exactly two features, they are round and one pushes them.

Speaking of pushing my button, you might want to take a few precious nanoseconds and look up how fluorescent lights are made before saying a clue is “wrong.”

@Gill I - for the sake of domestic tranquility, “malty” not “smelly.”

@Gill I and @kitshef - Whether it is garnishing a wheat beer with a slice of orange or a CORONA with a slice of lime, I’ve got no problem with either the look or that the fruit highlights the flavor. Well, maybe “provides the flavor” would be more accurate in the case of CORONA.

@Dogfish 120 Minute IPA - That’s OFL, always focusing on the positive. Also, Two-Hearted Ale, better name and better beer.

Trumpets. I can hear trumpets. I will let you ponder why ISMS and LSD reminds me of Under Heavy Manners. Upon consideration, “Z, the College Years” would be a fine title for this puzzle.

RooMonster 8:43 AM  

Hey All !
8 F's today! Wow!
See constructors? It's not that tough!
LOL @Anonymous 7:13, see also Row 11.

Fun, easy puz. Like others have noted, nice tight theme with all four SIX PACKs as actually six letters each, arranged as a SIX PACK of cans. @pabloinnh nailed it as looking directly down at the tops of the cans. Just make sure you are putting the plastic holder thing in the recycling bin.

No complaints from Rex about throwing in a Q today, not like the FOOFARAW of the J's yesterday. Maybe because it doesn't feel forced. Although, it does beget BRS. Maybe an alt. clue could be, "Short cold?"

My time online was 9:44, so BY FAR I FLEW through this FIERCly. FREE OF FAMILY distractions. Har, trying to use all the F words. (Har two, F words)

Anyway, for the worst PuzDay, (TuesPuzs get a bad rap), this was fun, nice theme, no hang-ups, it GETS an F! (Which, in this case, is a good thing!)

FED in a CAFE in SFO

Doug Garr 8:50 AM  

Like everyone else I never heard of FOOFARAW. In fact, that's why I checked it here. I figured it wasn't a word and I screwed up one of the crosses somehow.

Z 9:03 AM  

@Roo - Re:Q - Themer, and I suspect the “8 letter words with REL as the fifth, sixth, and seventh letters” list is not extensive. So not only not forced, but pretty close to necessary. I’m pangramnostic, but even the most adamant anti-scrabblef*%+er cannot complain about the X and the Q today.

mathgent 9:25 AM  

Not hard but enjoyable. Crisp cluing.

I haven’t had a MILLER for a long time, but I drink AMSTEL and STELLA. CORONA’s OK, but I prefer Modelo Negro among the Mexican beers.

Like Nancy, my memory is no good. Jeff Chen had a six-pack theme a few months ago (according to his webpage), but I don’t remember it.

Taffy-Kun 9:47 AM  

Modelo Negra. Let’s not have another “problemo”!

Nancy 9:56 AM  

If only all early week puzzles were clued with such BRIO. Lively, tricky or playful are the clues to CAMP, INLET, LSD, and especially FAMILY. FAMILY could have been clued in such boring ways and yet Carl Larson found this wonderful Seinfeld quote. I didn't know it, couldn't guess it, and needed crosses to get it.

The theme was adorable -- though totally irrelevant to solving. The construction is beautiful and the fill is sophisticated. And not at all slam-dunk easy, either. A lovely Tuesday.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

I enjoyed this.
Just enough challenge to keep it lively, and needed the revealer to finish. A nice Monday.

BobL 10:08 AM  

Refreshing puzzle.

Skunky review.

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

Can someone please explain five down, “symbol on a braves baseball cap”?

puzzlehoarder 10:27 AM  

I did both yesterday's and today's puzzles this morning. Today was Monday average and Monday's was below it's average. Looks like we're starting out easy this week.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  


Newboy 10:40 AM  

I’ll drink to 22A as a clue any day Mr. Larson. Maybe I’m USING those microbrews too OFT, but a first glance saw the circles for the ICON it was and FLEW through the grid. So easy, in fact, that morning time remains for SELFCARE. I’ll take long odds that OFL will be TESTY today!

Mr. Benson 10:46 AM  

For the Braves cap clue, I wrote in TOMAHAWK (which fit) and braced myself for an extended Rex Parker rant. Glad that wasn't the answer, actually.

Crimson Devil 10:48 AM  

Reminds of quote attributed to Ben Franklin: Beer is God’s gift and evidence that He loves us and wants us to be happy.
Agree re Mexican suds; one can enjoy them, but not the water.
Spare me tha fruit, and whasis with “new” seltzer brew ?

the redanman 10:50 AM  

WOW that was nothing special, standard fare without OREO, YAY

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

A GUI button is still a button. Ask your javascript coding kiddie next door.

Anonymous 11:07 AM  


Seems like a word for a 1930s movie. Let's go see... yes, yes it is:
"First recorded in 1930–35; origin uncertain"

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

Dear OFL:

Best ring up the Blogger folks. I keep getting, last few days, this --

when attempting to connect. The InnterWebbs say this is a server side problem. I found that if I keep on clicking 'Try Again' I eventually get in, but it sometimes takes a dozen or so 'Try'

jae 11:24 AM  

Easy. Smooth and fun. Liked it.

I know MR BIG from Sex and the City, Live and Let Die...not so much.

What? 11:24 AM  

I’m imagining the constructor desperately trying to come up with six letter beers. COORS, PABST, damn.

Los Bravos 11:32 AM  

The Braves, from Atlanta, have a CAPITAL A on their baseball hats.

jberg 12:01 PM  

Why all the hate for FOOFARAW? It's a wonderful word, and thanks to Mr. Larson for helping to keep it alive. One of the things that made me love crosswords is the whoop of joy my roommate let out 55 years ago because he found SKULLDUGGERY in the NYT puzzle.

We seem to be in the midst of a run of rhyming clues, such as "ham or lamb" or "baa baa mama;" on rhyming only with a fake Boston accent, like "cougar or cheetah." Cute, in moderation, but it could get out of hand.

The circles did help with the solving, for me -- once I got the top row of the sixpack, it was pretty easy to write in the whole beer, which almost gave away the rest of the word.

Z 12:04 PM  

@anon11:13 - A quick search of the interwebs yielded a whole lot of gunk. That it is just you and not everyone else strongly suggests that the issue is with your computer. I suggest making sure that you have the latest version of your browser. Also, I saw a suggestion that it might be your cache. Emptying your cache would fix that, but you lose stuff when you do that. You can test to see if emptying your cache might work by using "incognito mode" or the equivalent on your browser. If you have a different browser on your computer see if you can access Rex using it. Good luck - the stuff I saw on the interwebs was less than helpful.

@Crimson Devil - As you suspected, not when Ben said. Here's what I found:

We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.

(Source: Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. p.374.)

Please note, I found this on the web, not from Isaacson. Since the Edison biography I'm reading is doing a fine job of detailing what a jerk TAE was, maybe I'll pick up the Franklin biography.

Anoa Bob 12:09 PM  

STELLA is a character in A Streetcar Named Desire. The Belgium beer is STELLA Artois.

I was a bartender for a few years while working my way through grad school and we never used ICE TONGS (35D "Barkeep's grabber"). Much too slow. We always used a scoop for ice. But this was in a college area bar and speed, especially during Happy Hour, was more important than daintiness.

If I were betting on which square in a grid is most likely have an S in it, I would always go with the lower, rightmost one. That two-POCs (Plural Of Convenience)-for-one-S is grid-fill gold, equivalent to a cheater/helper square. That S square could be changed to a black square, the clues slightly tweaked, and nothing would be lost (other than symmetry). The word count remains the same, the sine qua non of a cheater/helper square.

Masked and Anonymous 12:20 PM  

Classy TuesPuz. And a classy debut -- congratz, Mr. Larson.

Any puz with crosses of QUARRELS/FOOFARAW and SIXPACK/BICARB rises above yer regular TuesPuz fare. Plus, it has The Circles … always a crowd [minus @RP] pleaser.

Theme is different, which is real nice. I thought the revealer was just fine, as is. I mean, yeh … U could maybe improve it all slightly with a LOOPYONBREWSKIS (= 15-long) reveal, but what the bock.

staff weeject pick: BRS. har! Primo-mess-amo Ow de Speration. M&A woulda twerked that fill ever so gently, to become BBS, instead. Then U have the bonus of BIGA, to go with that there CAPITALA, up top. And everybody's still semi-happy (Par for the coors).

Thanx for the no-trouble-brewin smoooth solvequest and, again, well done, Mr. Larson. Another round of this brand of puz, please. hic

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Anonymous 12:43 PM  


That might be true if the other Blogger cites I visit did the same. They don't.

Marco Polo 12:45 PM  

When I saw the theme I wondered if Brett Kavanaugh consulted with the constructor.

Teedmn 1:03 PM  

I was so surprised to find, over at xwordinfo.com, that FOOFARAW wasn't a NYT puzzle debut! With the FOOF in place, I knew what word was needed but I don't think I've ever written that word before, so crosses were needed to fill in the rest.

So it's a CAPITAL A on the Braves' baseball hats. I first tried B. I'm pretty sure the last time I watched the Atlanta Braves play baseball was when the Twins won the world series in 1991. Go Twins!!

Like many, I didn't get the theme until the revealer. Then I tried to use said theme to fill in the SW six pack. COR ONA read like a book. No wonder I had to do some writing over to get out of the ConAe and into my CANOE!

BIsmol before BICARB and elan before BRIO. I liked the clue for INLET (I kept trying to read the clue as a "tinny" sound rather than "tiny"). But the EWE clue, pee-yew. That one landed like a MALLET to the ANKLE.

Carl Larson, congratulations on your debut. I liked it very much.

tea73 1:47 PM  

I got seriously slowed down by not knowing how to spell FOOFARAW, cute word though. My computer's dictionary doesn't know it interestingly enough. It has now been added.

Well none of those beers are worth drinking, and I'd agree that the lime helps rather than hinders the tastiness of a CORONA.

I vaguely remembered that the Braves used to have a really ugly image of a Native American and wondered what they replaced it with. It became clear pretty easily from the crosses.

I've heard enough people ask for a STELLA that I didn't mind that the Artois was left out.

Rug Crazy 1:52 PM  

My favorite puzzle in quite some time. The theme "AMSTEL" helped turn LONG FOR into LUST FOR.
Didn't see a lot of the answers. LSD worked for me because TOKE didn't fit

Carl Larson 2:17 PM  

Thank you all for the great comments on my puzzle. They were a pleasure to read, positive and negative (I mean constructive). Here are some random responses to some of the words/clues discussed.

- I'm getting "Not Objectively Poor" put on a t-shirt
- I agree ISMS at 1A is bad. That corner was tough and chose ISMS to get at least one interesting vertical with IMGAME.
- The Seinfeld quote in 47A was clued by the editor. My original puzzle has 47A and 51A FAMILY QUARRELS clued together as "Disputes over chores and bedtime, for example"
- Clue for 22A "Tiny sound?" wasn't mine, I pulled it from a clue database
- I didn't think the clue for 48D MRBIG would make it past the editor. Live And Let Die is one of my favorite Bond movies, so it was a choice for my and my friend's own amusement. Thought for sure it would be changed to a Sex And The City reference, which it probably should have.
- FOOFARAW has caused quite a hullabaloo for many solvers. Mission accomplished!! :-) I stand by the word although I agree that the cross with RIGA is unfortunate and RIGA is too much of a crossword-ese word. But I fell in love with the FAMILY QUARRELS pairing that in the end wasn't clued. 54D's BRS was also a casualty. If I had known FAMILY QUARRELS would not be used as intended, I would have redone the corner.
- The clue for 43D "Mama Cass" ELLIOT was an editor change I didn't like. I had it clued as "E.T.'s pal"
- The clue for 5D CAPITALA was also an editor change. My clue was "Head of Amazon.com?" I had in mind that this would be a Wednesday puzzle, so this is a reasonable change to make it more Tuesday friendly.

Carl Larson 2:17 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carola 2:25 PM  

Worth if for “Tiny sound” and FOOFARAW (and its almost-echo SEESAW). Interesting that a SIX-PACK of MILLER is in the middle of FAMILY QUARREL.

@fkdiver, thank you for pointing out the international array and @GILL I. for I’M GAME x MEAT.

chasklu 2:25 PM  

Felt like a Wednesday to me. I got absolutely nothing in the NE corner and had no idea of how to spell or even know of FOOFARAW, which apparently even the spelling predictor doesn't know. INLET and LSD from their respective clues?... and everything from there up.

Speedweeder 2:29 PM  

I'd be happy to hoist a Two Hearted Ale with @Z or a Modelo Negra with @Mathgent (with or without lime) any day. Good company and good beer, good combination.

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

@anoa bob: If you want to get literal about it Stella Kowalski is a character in A Streetcar Named Desire. There is no beer called Corona either. It’s either Corona Extra, Corona Premier, Corona Familiar or Corona Light. Similarly, Miller High Life, Genuine Draft, etc. But why go there ? I wonder if there’s any other puzzle that must withstand such painful scrutiny.

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

What is “BRS”?

Z 3:51 PM  

@Carl Larson - I bet you could sell those shirts. Cross referencing theme answers in a non-theme way? I agree with Shortz on that one. Pretty much like yours otherwise, although 38 year old pop culture isn’t much better than 48 year old pop culture so I’d have preferred a Mr. Robot ELLIOT clue. I’m probably in a very small minority there, though.

@Anoa Bob - I think @anon2:35 is correct. When ordering all one typically says is “A STELLA (MILLER/AMSTEL/CORONA) please.”

BRS is real estate listing abbreviation for “bedrooms.”

@SSL Anon - I saw the server side stuff, but if it was truly an issue with the server (Blogger) all us Firefox users would be having the same problem. Rex is just a Blogger user so I doubt very much there’s anything he can do. It does look like somehow your browser is running into a bad security certificate. If updating Firefox or emptying your cache doesn’t work (which causes you to lose some things you might not want to lose) you might be SOL. Also, this seems to be a Firefox specific problem, so just using a different browser might work. Maybe somebody here has better insight to help you out. If it is actually something only Blogger can fix, you really are SOL. As far as I can tell Blogger is number 999 on Google’s list of 100 things to use resources on.

Newboy 3:56 PM  

3:03 Anonymous think those places you 💤

And since I’m bouncing back today, let me also congratulate Carl for a nice debut puzzle &say thanks for sharing constructor notes tied to Rex’s blog? I often get to xwordinfo for other perspectives, but not today, so I’m thankful to those posters above who took the time to share.

Anonymous 4:02 PM  

Thanks for dropping by Mr Larson and sharing your view on some of the commentary. Congratulations on achieving your goal with such a fine puzzle. Loved FOOFARAW but I needed the crosses to spell it correctly.

GILL I. 4:15 PM  

Ooooh...I love it when the constructor stops by and points out that his/her clues are SO much better than what the Will staff changed. I especially wish you MR BIG had been left alone with with Sex and the City (Hi @jae)
Nice job...really hope to see more of your efforts.....

Bourbon Street 4:19 PM  

Kept mistakenly reading “Brewers” for Braves, probably because (1) I got the beer theme early on and (2) I did the puzzle late at night instead of going to bed at a decent hour, so I couldn’t figure out how CAPITAL A fit. As Homer Simpson would say “Doh!”

Live and Let Die is one of my favorite Bond movies (great song, too), so no apologizes needed, Mr. Larson, (at least not to me).

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

... Yeah, but Moore was the least impressive Bond. May the debate begin.

QuasiMojo 5:44 PM  

Foofaraw might be derived from "Frou-frou" in French. It's older than the 30s. Fun puzzle! Great to hear from the constructor. I guess Rex doesn't drink Coke. We usually said "a six-pack of beer" so whoever was ordering supplies didn't come back with soda pop.

pabloinnh 6:50 PM  

Dear Mr.Larson,

Thanks for stopping by, interesting info for sure. And thank you and folks like you for keeping so many of us entertained and mentally active, and for a place to converse with each other about your efforts. Big part of my day, anyway.

Wishing you continued success.

albatross shell 7:34 PM  

FLEW FREE OF FED made me think of Johns. FED being a DEA guy.

Nice Tuesday. Fun.

Thank you Carl for the puzzle and stopping by.

Birchbark 8:47 PM  

@Carl Miller (2:27) -- I echo the general applause and agree in particular with @Carola (2:25) on the latent six pack of MILLER in FAMILY QUARRELS -- interesting gem of sorts.

Eyebrows raised on so-clued "Beat writer NEAL Cassidy" (10A). He was much more important as the subject Beat literature than as a writer himself. What little he published was due to who he was rather than what he wrote. His work is largely forgotten and unlikely to enjoy a renaissance, aside from a small core of scholars and true believers.

But as a muse to the other Beats Neal Cassidy was unparalleled. He was the inspiration for Jack Kerouac's main character in "On the Road," Dean Moriarty. Allen Ginsberg lauded him directly in several of his poems. And even after the Beat star faded and hippies ascended, Cassidy's unique and extreme way of being kept on inspiring -- he was the celebrated bus driver for Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, chronicled in Tom Wolfe's "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." Howe'er the clue, fun to see the name, and I now quit the stage.

Monty Boy 11:15 PM  

I liked this one a lot.

For my comments, I agree with @Nancy 9:56 and @pablo 6:50. I like all the positive comments and especially the constructor dropping by.

My Dad Joke offering for today: Nathan Hale originally said "I regret that I have only one * for my country."

Rusty Penguin 2:27 PM  

At risk of using an *
*DNE (Did Not Enjoy) but I don't want to quarrel about a capital A because I am so fierce and testy due to my lust for six packs.

spacecraft 11:19 AM  

Quote from somewhere: "Everybody has to believe in something; I believe I'll have another beer." There's your ISM.

I was not thrilled by the fill. CAPITALA is one of those letter-added jobs like SOFTC or SILENT-whatever. I'm TESTY about them all. Add to that, the clue refers to the most hated rivals of my Phillies, those tomahawk-chanting (UGH!) Braves. Who by the way aren't taking any of the non-PC heat that the Washington Redskins are: why?

On we go to CEES, letter clued as word, never good. Plus the always-horrid playground retort. There are others, yet OFC says "The fill is not bad." Don't tell me I've out-curmudgeoned the curmudgeon!!

Never a fan of circles, but visually, I do get the point. I agree with OFC that the "OFBEER" revealer addition feels green-painty, but otherwise the theme works. Posthumous DOD to gone-too-soon Mama Cass ELLIOT. Bogey.

Burma Shave 11:29 AM  


but IAMSO FREEOF such morals


Anonymous 12:05 PM  

Corona is generally accepted as a watery, foul drink suitable only for those who drink it with their pinkie extended.

rondo 12:21 PM  

Good news about the CORONAvirus: You don't get it by drinking Mexican BEER.

Any puz with a SIXPACKOFBEER is good enough for me.

leftcoaster 1:43 PM  

4 X one SIXPACKOFBEER = a 24 bottle case of a nice selection of popular beers.

FOOFARAW: Once worked with a colleague who knew words like that; she aptly used them sparingly and well.

Pretty smooth solve with some slow-down in the NE corner.

Enjoyed the party but drank a TAB instead.

Diana, LIW 2:51 PM  

Just crunchy enough (for a Tuesday!) to make me consider crying UNCLE. But IAMSO glad I didn't. Finished in my second round. No beers involved.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rainforest 2:59 PM  

Entertaining puzzle with an innovative feel to it. Nice theme and appropriate revealer. Of the beers mentioned, I think STELLA would be my favourite, closely followed by AMSTEL. CORONA and MILLER are just awful although putting a lime in either at least gives you some flavour.

Some nice downs and cute cluing just added to the fun. I liked it a lot. I'll give it a CAPITAL A.

strayling 7:19 PM  

FOOFARAW was a gimme for me. I wonder if it's more common in English English?

The compiler's post up-thread was very cool, and now I want a "Not Objectively Poor" t-shirt.

@rainforest: MILLER High Life is the Champagne of Beers! Actually, I think my preference list is the exact reverse of yours.

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