Deceitful doings / TUES 2-4-19 / Jerry's partner in ice cream / 007, for one / Minotaur's island

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hi, everyone, it's Clare — this time for the first Tuesday of the month! Now that the football season is over (nice win, Chiefs), it's time for some baseball! Just 50 days until Opening Day. And even fewer days until the preseason, when a guy in one of my law school classes will almost certainly pull up every Mets game again, full screen on his laptop right in front of me. I do worry that my Giants will suck again this year, especially without MadBum, but at least no one can accuse them of cheating! Anyway... on to the puzzle...

Constructor: Alex Eaton-Salners and Queena Mewers

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: MUSIC (65A: What the ends of 17-, 23-, 36-, 47 and 57-Across make) — Each theme answer ends in a type of instrument that can be used to make music.

Theme answers:

  • SHOEHORNS (17A: Crams (in))
  • LOVE TRIANGLES (23A: Some romantic entanglements)
  • CHAMPAGNE FLUTES (36A: Things clinked on New Year's Eve)
  • TAPE RECORDERS (47A: Interviewing aids)
  • SEX ORGANS (57A: Subjects of health class diagrams)
Word of the Day: NEVIS (51A: St Kitt's island partner)

Nevis is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies. Nevis and the neighbouring island of Saint Kitts constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Nevis is located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, about 350 km east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 80 km west of Antigua. Its area is 93 square kilometres (36 sq mi) and the capital is Charlestown. (Wiki)

• • •
I found this to be a middle-of-the-road Tuesday puzzle — nothing particularly objectionable but not a ton to love. The theme was rather straightforward, and the revealer itself was pretty obvious. That being said, I did like some of the words that were used as the theme answers. I've watched many TV shows/movies and read many books with a LOVE TRIANGLE (though they're only really fun when the couple you're rooting for makes it; #MerDer for life). I also recently adopted SHOEHORNS into my vocabulary when my professor used the word about 12 times in one class, and I've enjoyed using the word since then. I did try to put CHAMPAGNE "glasses" instead of FLUTES before realizing that: a) it had too many letters; b) the puzzle was apparently fancier than I was expecting; and, well, c) it didn't fit the theme! I did think cluing SEX ORGANS as "subjects of health class diagrams" was odd. And, looking back on the theme answers, it feels a bit disjointed to have all of the theme answers be two words (with the second word being the one that "makes music") but have a one-word answer, SHOEHORNS, in there.

I may have just run out of steam by the end, but I tripped up some in the SE corner. I had trouble with SEX ORGANS because of the weird clue. I tried putting "NSA" in at first, instead of CIA, for 53A: Org. with code-named programs. It took me a bit to get INRI (54D: Letters on a crucifix), and RAM and GNU didn't jump out to me as the most obvious answers for, respectively, 58D: Animal in a flock and 59D: Animal in a herd. I did like the repetition in those back-to-back clues, though.

The repetition I didn't like happened in two other instances. One was with 9D: So many and 50D: So many. There just isn't anything clever about that repetition. And, 007 is used twice in the puzzle — at 10D and also at 57D. Again, this repetition just seemed half-baked.

I liked some of the longer downs — a couple favorites were CHICANERY (32D: Deceitful doings) and OK I'LL BITE (11D: "Sure, try me"). My liking those words was somewhat balanced out, though, with my strong dislike for IDNO (48D: Fig. on a driver's license or passport) and then CUBER (35D: Expert solver of a Rubik's toy). I've certainly never heard of a Rubik's CUBER before.

I found a little theme of my own within the puzzle: "bests." We've got the best male tennis player of all time — Roger Federer (27D) as the clue for SWISS; the best James Bond of all time — Daniel CRAIG (10D); and the best First Lady of all time — Michelle OBAMA (24D).

  • Do yourself a favor and go down the Internet rabbit hole of looking at pictures of BANFF National Park. It's legitimately stunning.
  • I definitely think of 14A: Olympics symbol as being the rings (not a TORCH).
  • Is it just me, or do we get way more UBERs than "Lyfts" in crossword puzzles?
  • Speaking of James Bond and Daniel CRAIG... that Superbowl teaser ad for the new movie looks incredible! I cannot wait.
  • I can't see the word ITSY (1D: Teeny-weeny) without automatically singing, "The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout..." in my head.
  • CITI (35A: Bank with M.L.B. naming rights, for short) may be false advertising. Are the Mets still in the MLB? They sure looked like a minor league team to me on the laptop screen of that guy in front of me:)
Signed, Clare Carroll, a hopeful Giants fan

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:49 AM  

Easy-medium. Pretty good Tues. except for the SE corner which isn’t all that smooth. The authors explain at Xwordinfo that the SE was reworked and their original theme clues were rewritten by the Eds. after they submitted it. I kinda liked their version better but I may have been NSFW. Liked it.

G. Weissman 1:33 AM  

This is a very nicely written review of a pretty meh puzzle.

Anonymous 1:39 AM  

Rubik's cube solvers (especially those that solve competitively) indeed do call themselves "cubers" or "speedcubers"! And we also often times say "cubing" instead of "solving". I get that it's a niche crowd, but the word (as used) is definitely in the jargon.

JOHN X 2:15 AM  

Hola amigos. I’ve been away serving as jury foreman in a mass murder case. We got pretty deadlocked so I said screw this folks let’s just flip a coin and get out of here. Well we reached a unanimous decision on that and so *poof* five minutes later everybody walks and I was back in front of my color TV with a cold one in my hand. I figure the odds of that guy killing me in the future are probably pretty slim now.

This puzzle highlighted obsolete things, and I love obsolete things. First there was PINSETTER. I originally had PINMONKEY here because that’s what they were actually called, and I felt so clever knowing this. Boys would do this for money, and usually drunk bowlers would try to hit them. TAPERECORDERS are still used in high-fidelity music studios but are rarely seen in general use anymore; same with the church key CAN OPENER. I own a collection of vintage can openers that is extremely valuable and is often called the finest of its kind.

Come now, the best James Bond is and always will be Sean Connery, and that’s simply indisputable. You can discuss who the second best James Bond is and even pretend that it really matters but Timothy Dalton once bummed a cigarette from me so there’s always that.

Who’s the best First Lady? Edith Wilson was probably the actual President for a spell there. Dolley Madison invented Zingers and some other dessert treats like the Hello Dolly and single-handedly defeated the British in 1812, or something to that effect. Betty Ford would have been fun to hang around with in her prime. “Let’s have another drink, Betty.” “No,” she’d say, “let’s have ten more.” Abigail Adams slept with a President and gave birth to one. She had the magic touch, although I guess Barbara Bush did too, but I really don’t like picturing that. Hilary Clinton slept with a President and almost became one; none of Bill’s girlfriends can say that. And the current one was a mail-order bride who came up from the gutter so you’ve got to admire her pluck.

Too bad Rex ain’t around to kvetch about SCOPE (as in sniper) and good ol’ Chairman MAO. I’d like to see a puzzle with all the greats in it: MAO, and then GHADDAFI, IDIAMIN, POLPOT, STALIN, MUGABE, BASHIRASSAD, and then HITLER in the Downs crosses all of them. Work NRA in there too, just for spice.

I’ve got some Victoria’s Secret super-models in the hot tub and I guess I should get back to them. Ciao.

Ron 2:15 AM  

I instantly got CUBERS thanks to Reddit!

Ron 2:16 AM  

Reading the blurb at Wordplay, I'm shocked at how much was changed!

Robin 2:30 AM  

Jeez, Clare.

You have been hanging around here too long. You've gone from always cheery summations, to not liking some clues and throwing some shade. But hey, I don't care for the Mets either, so have away in that direction.

Nice observation on the themes where most are two words but one is a compound noun. That's the subtle stuff, but it takes keen eye to notice.

I didn't like CUBER based on the clue so much as it crossed UBERS. That's just awful construction.

And yes, TORCH instead of RINDS, hey what?

Pablo 3:00 AM  

Surprised to see a puzzle by Alex Eaton Salners that is... normal. Not controversial. Not causing people to scream and throw their phone at the wall. Just a standard, ordinary, semi-clever but mostly meh puzzle.

I haven't been shy saying that he's the only regular constructor I actively dislike solving. Usually his puzzles are full of snobbery, obscure references, and cluing trying way too hard to be clever. Usually it's a constructor's experience, not a solver's.

So from that perspective, wonderful job Queena! Your influence here is much appreciated. If the alternative is AES trying to fit in a shaky "all the 3rd letters are Ts and all the 6th letters are Ms and all the themers are trademarks but it all comes at the expense of fill asking about unknown 14th century poets," I'm happy to have a dull Tuesday.

Z 5:41 AM  

The revealer felt a little, I don’t know... limp. So I went to I don’t know about you, but I read, “That grid revision, unfortunately, resulted in some infelicitous words being added to the puzzle,” and it’s not so much “shade” I detect as seething rage, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” level seething rage. When someone whips out the polysyllabic “infelicitous” you just know they are trying mightily to hide their anger. I’m with @jae here.

@anon1:39 - You went from third person to first person. It’s okay, crossword nerds aren’t going to look down our noses at CUBER nerds.

Hungry Mother 5:59 AM  

Very quick. I ignored the theme, but noticed it at the end. GNU is my favorite recursive acronym.

Anonymous 6:28 AM  

John X, I sincerely hope you’re joking about the coin toss.

Dave 6:34 AM  

Note to Clare and Rex: many people think baseball is a excruciatingly boring game. Why keep bringing it up?

Lewis 6:34 AM  

Reading the constructor notes (they're in XwordInfo and WordPlay) shows that this simple little Tuesday puzzle has a backstory that left me in somewhat of a a daze, kind of like the Iowa caucuses.

The result is a puzzle that I reacted to pretty much like Claire (nice writeup, BTW, Claire!), not a wow, not a dud, yet with some lovely sparkles. I love the word CHICANERY, as well as the casualness of all the first names - TINA, BEN, LUKE, ALF, ANDRE, CRAIG (yes, it's a last name here, but still). I like the echo to yesterday's theme with The RAM's HORN. I liked imagining the sound of a horn, triangle, flute, recorder, and organ quintet.

And I enjoyed the little tale the puzzle tripped off in me, involving the ORKIN man and the ANT, with the latter saying OK I'LL BITE, and who consequently will never be able to become OBESE on GUAC.

So, not only a pleasing enough solve, but a jog of the imagination. Thank you, Q&A!

kitshef 7:13 AM  

Happy to be proven wrong, but I don’t think I have ever seen and EAR as a symbol for an audio device. Speaker, headphones, microphone, those are your audio device symbols. And thus one terrible clue turns what could have been a pleasant Tuesday into misery.

Claire – there is a better way to appreciate the beauty of Banff NP than pictures on the internet...

Roger Moore for Bond, which I know is a minority opinion.

amyyanni 7:33 AM  

@Dave, it's the blogger's prerogative to mention a subject. Additionally, a lot of us love baseball, e.g., yesterday was truck day for several teams and we were cheered by it. Hi Clare, interesting review. Liked it more than you, although I bet the original (see Constructors' Notes) would have been a hoot. Trying to think of a good aspect of my day today; very grateful to be off to my little job and not employed by the Iowa Democratic Party.

Johnny Mac 7:45 AM  

Best tennis player of all time. FIFY.

pabloinnh 7:48 AM  

Caught the idea early and then was curious to see what other answers would be instrumental themers. Thought they were OK.

Nice to see TORCH, which lets me remind you all that I actually carried the actual olympic torch for a few hundred yards on a snowy road in VT during the run up to the 2002 Winter Olympics. I will never do anything cooler.

Nice call on "pinmonkeys", John X (hola a tu hermano Dos). Made me think of bowling with my folks way back when.

Also, 17A made me think of the old joke-Q. What kind of music do you play on a shoehorn? A: Footnotes. Sorry.

Any puzzle about music is aces with me, so thanks for a nice Tuesdecito, QM and AES.

Z 7:52 AM  

@kitshef - Me either, but I did find this, which makes sense. An ear should be a symbol for a device that helps you listen as opposed to a device that makes sound.

@Dave - Care to share your opinion of wild pitches?

@amyyanni - It’s a little time consuming, but there really is nothing better than a piece of paper and a pen for casting votes. Personally, any vote that happens before, say, May, shouldn’t count anyway. This whole 2 year reality t.v. election cycle is bovine fecal matter.

Suzie Q 7:54 AM  

This seemed more fun than most Tuesdays with some interesting words.
I also thought the revealer was a little dull but at least all of the instruments were other definitions of the words.
For me the only real clunker was I.D. No.

Thanks @ JOHN X for the amusing history lesson.

Betty 8:02 AM  

I’d vote for Federer, Sean Connery and Dolley Madison.

Laura 8:12 AM  

Quick little puzzle with not a single fun clue. I got more smiles reading the review. If a puzzle is going to be this easy it should at least have something funny to distract.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Sean Connery, Novak Djokovic, and Julia Grant.

GILL I. 8:25 AM  

I wish 35D had been clued as Island Nation overthrown by the three bearded brigands, ALA JFK. CUBER, indeed!
So this was a typical Tuesday with some cool beans stuff in it. Anything that brings on a memory or two is OK by me. First thought was how my in-laws across the pond hate BREXIT and that they'd like to do something with Boris Johnson's SEX ORGANS. I'm with our dear friend @JOHN X and Sean Connery. I wanted to like the rest but none had Sean's eyes nor his je ne se sais quois with the ladies.
Speaking of First vote goes to Dolley Madison. I have a picture of me (somewhere) in period costume playing her in a production we put on in Madrid. It was fun and I got to furnish the White House.
YSL are nice handbags but I'd rather you give me a Chanel or an Hermes. Thank you.
CHICANERY is fun to say. I thought is might be of Mexican origin but it's French.
LOVE TRIANGLES is never a good thing because someone usually ends up dumped.
Should I ever read OCCAM's "razor?"

Paul Emil 8:26 AM  

Agree with Dave. Baseball is boring, but it's a statistics burdened sports and nerds Love that....

Haley 8:29 AM  

I didn't love the puzzle, though I did find it pretty easy, and you summed it up nicely! One thing I have to VEHEMENTLY disagree with you on, though, is the "itsy"/"teeny weeny" thing. How do you go to the Itsy Bitsy Spider and not itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini!?!?!?

relicofthe60s 8:57 AM  

Michelle Obama is great, but have you ever heard of Eleanor Roosevelt?

thfenn 9:00 AM  

Any puzzle with MAINE and OBAMA in it gets a nod, but I didn't think this one had much to praise, though clearly the submitted version might have. BIKE was a letdown when you think HOGS. So was the clue for VAMP when you're seeing love triangles and sex organs. Even the themer ends don't make music any more than they make noise, unless you do something special with them. Clearly had potential but just felt like soggy granola in the end.

I'll see your Mets and raise you the Orioles, if we're playing 'teams not MLB-ready'.

RooMonster 9:13 AM  

Hey All !
As for Bond, James Bond, I'm just a touch too young to have seen the Sean Connery ones when they came out. (It feels great to say I'm too young for something!) I grew up in the Roger Moore era. So, although everyone postulates that Connery was the best one, my top two are Roger Moore, then Pierce Brosnan. Always liked Brosnan in whatever he was in. Daniel Craig is too monotonous-faced, he needs to convey emotions better.

@JOHN X at it again! You need to write a fiction book, it would probably be a bestseller. Oh wait, you've already written four books, and are living on an island you purchased with lobster and hookers flown in daily. On a bed made from old $100 bills.

I liked this TuesPuz. Quick and easy, just a bit of a slowdown in the SE as some of y'all. Had SEXO____ and wanted GRAMS or something at first! Har. And nice to see good old GNU back again. Nice sets of 9's Down in the NE/SW. Constructor Queena Mewers would actually be a great puzzle entry!

Too bad couldn't get symmetric 1A to include a themer. Oh well.

I haven't heard the moniker CUBER either, but when I was in middle-to-high school, I was quite the CUBER myself. I got the solve down to less that a minute, 45-50 second range. There's a system to it. And once you're almost done, there's only two ways for the cube to end up. So you basically just remember how to go from them to completing the cube. Of course, I couldn't do it now!

@albatross shell from YesterPuz (and @Z)
Pensyltucky! Ha! I haven't heard that in many a year. Grew up in a small town 10 miles North of Scranton, my one Grandmother lived out in "the Country", in an RD, which for those not in the know, stands for Rural District. The road she lived on didn't have a name, it was RD(number) Box(number), which corresponded to the house. Every "neighbor" was 1/2 mile to a mile away. Many farmlands around. My uncle kept the farm going for quite a while, til it wasn't financially viable to keep going. I blame the Chinese.

Did today's and yesterday's puz online, so got the times. 7:56 Monday, 8:01 Today, so by that progression, the puzs are properly placed. I'm either a good puz solver, or as some have postulated, it's alot of remembering repeated clues/answers. It all depends on if the ole brain decides to work!


jberg 9:21 AM  

ID O idea what a CUBER was— but that leads me to wonder: once you’ve learned how to solve it, why do you want to keep doing it?

Of course John X was kidding. Actually the flip went the other way, and the defendants were hanged.

Nancy 9:22 AM  

Very meh, if "meh" can be quantified. Because it was so easy, I didn't do my usual checking of letters, therefore writing in SIGHT before SCOPE for "sniper's aid" and OH I'LL BITE before OK I'LL BITE. The latter left me with ORhIN for the "pest control" and even though I (happily) don't know from pest control, I knew that no one would name their product ORHIN.

That's about all have to say about this puzzle. Maybe one or more of your comments will inspire me to write more. Otherwise, see you all tomorrow.

Nancy 9:44 AM  

Sean Connery was the best Bond by far. For those who are too young to have seen him, rent one of his Bond movies. Such intelligence. Such savoir-faire. Such a twinkle in his eye. You'll see it when you watch. Or at least the women will.

The "right" answers to the other questions are Roger Federer and Eleanor Roosevelt.

@John X -- You are a real treasure on this blog. Your IDLE ramblings today, into which you SHOEHORNed everything but the kitchen sink, brightened up my morning. You're a writer, John, I just know you are, you absolutely have to be.

Z 9:55 AM  

More of a Dominic Flandry fan, Rod Laver, and Abigail Adams. For suffering husbands who were better presidents than husbands I have it as a three way tie between Eleanor, Jackie, and Hillary.

@jberg - why were they hanged and not hung?

Governor Andy Beshear 10:00 AM  

You know what we call the regions of Kentucky populated by toothless galoots who raise hogs, cook meth and brew moonshine (It's a generational thing. The young 'uns cook meth, the peoply they're guessing are their fathers brew moonshine)? Kentylvania.

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

@Z - Because @jberg knows the difference between being hanged and being hung. As do I.

David Nivens, Bobby Riggs, Buchanan's best "friend".

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Keep your hopes up, Clare! This is a big year for the Gigantes!

Michiganman 10:17 AM  

@Z. This for you

Karl Grouch 10:46 AM  

Not only the end of 47a can make music.

kitshef 10:52 AM  

Rod Laver and Eleanor Roosevelt.

JC66 10:54 AM  

Sean Connery, Billie Jean King, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Chris 11:16 AM  

Did anyone catch the juxtaposition of BEN and NEVIS? Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in Great Britain (it's in Scotland, just east of the Isle of Skye).

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

"The best of all time" is a stupid way to rank first ladies. Best at what, smiling in photos?

Anonymoose 11:22 AM  

I see what you did there.

Unknown 11:22 AM  

I'm very surprised this was even found to be medium. I'm fairly novice to the XW (comparatively, anyway) and flew through this one. AERATE got me (AIRATE?) and admittedly the NW corner was somewhat tough.

I started in the NE corner with PINSETTER and CRAIG off the bat, revealed LOVETRIANGLES easily. Did not know NEVIS but did know ALF, even if it was before this 31-yo's time.

Nancy 11:29 AM  

Actually, I like your list, @JC66, more than I like my own. In addition to incredible natural athletism, the ability to improvise and surprise you, and unforgettable gutsiness in the face of pressure -- isn't she the one who once said "Pressure is a privilege"? -- BJ brought more pure and unabashed joyfulness to the game than anyone I've ever seen on the court, male or female. There is no one whose matches I ever enjoyed watching more. Not even Martina. Not even Johnny Mac.

@Z -- I love your concept of men who were "better presidents than husbands". They seem to be legion, actually. Well, at least the not-so-great husband part.

For the opposite -- a man who was much better husband than president -- think Ronald Reagan. I wouldn't have minded being married to him -- as long as he kept his mouth shut about politics and pretty much everything else. :)

TJS 11:39 AM  

Clare, Craig vs. Connery ? Fuggedaboudit !

xyz 11:50 AM  

Rings, not torch

SouthsideJohnny 11:57 AM  

The discussion around the GOAT in any sport is interesting and fun, but usually futile. For example, when Babe Ruth retired with 700 home runs, the next closest guy had about 350 (when Hank Aaron retired, Mays had over 600 for example). Additionally, when Ruth played, Yankee stadium had dimensions roughly equal to the Grand Canyon. I vote for Ruth.

In basketball, when Jordan retired, the Bulls still won 50 games a year. When LeBron left Cleveland they instantly became a lottery team. In any event, the Hoops top five include Bill Russell, Jordan, Kobe (R.I.P), LeBron and everyone else is competing for the fifth slot.

Who is the greatest golfer of all time ? Keep in mind that Tiger can do things with a golf ball that Jack never dreamed of (Tiger actual hits draw shots out of greenside bunkers on occasion for heaven’s sake).

I think we can all agree on one GOAT though . . . Drum Roll Pease . . . Secretariat !

PapaLeroux 12:20 PM  

Julie and I liked it. Strange that there haven’t been any comments about occam. Alexander Hamilton was born on Nevis. You really ought to give Iowa a try.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  


itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

Diana Taurasi, Jennie Finch, and Babe Didrikson

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

“Hanged” is the correct past tense when used with respect to someone who has died by hanging. “Hung” is the correct past tense with everything else.

mathgent 1:07 PM  

Terrible puzzle. Only four mild sparkles (SEXORGANS, VAMP, CHICANERY, LUKE - I didn’t know they were twins). Three pieces of junk.
23 Terrible Threes. Usually I like the work of Mr. Eaton-Salners. Maybe he needs to work solo.

My favorite First Lady was Barbara Bush. Salty, smart, cool. A loving wife.

Sean Connery, by far the sexiest. My wife agrees.

Happy to see Bill Russell mentioned above. I was on the freshman team with him in 1953 at USF. I had a great view from the bench of his swatting balls at the rim. Smart and enigmatic. Fiercely independent. I liked him a lot.

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

@Nancy, thanks for providing the laugh of the day, IN Re: Ronald Reagan. And @Gill I, good EAR on the CUBER remark.

I'm afraid I can't look away from row 13. 56A is just too close...

I liked this puzzle. CHICANERY crossing CHAMPAGNE. My muscle misfire of St. Kitts' island partner, bEVIS. loADS of black ink when I had to correct it to SCADS. And the crazy quinTET I imagine these musical instruments would make.

Thanks, Queena and Alex, it was fun.

OffTheGrid 1:16 PM  

Best first lady first name - Mamie (Eisenhower)

The Olympics have 2 well known symbols. There needn't be a battle between TORCH and rings.

@Nancy, JC66 might have been pulling our leg a little bit by nominating Billie Jean King. The category proffered by Clair was "best male tennis player".

Hanged is the correct past tense of the execution method ("hung" jokes aside).

Baseball has become somewhat boring for various reasons. It used to be the best.

JC66 1:22 PM  


I was being serious...didn't realize Clair indicated best male tennis player.

(For those not paying attention, my 1st mistake this year).

Z 1:50 PM  

@michiganman - HeHe.

I cannot believe that anyone would dare question the basic objectivity of our GOAT First Lady opinions.

@Nancy - Let’s see, the guy who fathered children by his late wife’s half sister who happened to be a slave, the one who was accused by his opponents of being a bigamist, the one sleeping with his secretary, the one sleeping with his driver, the one alleged to be sleeping with the movie star, the one getting blow jobs from an intern, the serial adulterer. At least in one area we’ve got bipartisan agreement, family values is a campaign slogan, not an actual way of life.

Anonymous 2:01 PM  

Anon1:39 here: Starting in 3rd person was for the sake of sentence flow - just thought it would've been unwieldy to write "We (as in Rubik's Cube solvers, especially those of us who solve competitively)...". Sure, there are probably more elegant solutions to this problem than switching tenses, but I don't know why you'd presume that I'd be worried about facing judgement from my peers (fellow nerds, as you say) with an anonymous post. If anything, I don't feel like I'm skilled enough of a Rubik's Cube enthusiast to even call myself a CUBER in good conscience!

GILL I. 2:07 PM  

@JC66...Nah...Second mistake. Mentioning you prefer a martini over a scotch.
@Z...Good ones. They made me laugh. You forgot Mr. CUBER. The one being tickled in his nethers by Marylin Monroe.

pabloinnh 2:27 PM  


I do pay attention, and she spells her name Clare, so that's two.

Anonymous 2:49 PM  


for those of us not with a complete Liberal Education, y'all really need to attach real names to those. the last two, may be not.

Unknown 2:52 PM  

As a pseudo-regular solver from Calgary... I'd argue to do one better than just look at Internet images... Actually go to Banff! It IS stunning!I am happy it was considered acceptable for an early week puzzle, too.

Carola 2:53 PM  

A CUT above the usual Tuesday, I thought, the constructors doing a fine job of transforming the meaning of five nouns into MUSIC and giving us the added bonus of CHICANERY. The ITSY IOTAS cross made for a smile-inducing start, too.

CDilly52 3:01 PM  

@JohnX-I agree, ‘twas a bit in the “older folks wheelhouse” in spots, but that in itself occasionally seems to put @Rex “off.” Being oldish, I didn’t dine it objectionably skewed. Quite enjoyed the theme; it is Tuesday.

CDilly52 3:04 PM  

@Pablo. I agree that (for me) Alex Sanders just generally seems to “try too hard,” and this collaboration brought us a very balanced pretty enjoyable and wholly “Tuesday appropriate” puzzle.

CDilly52 3:08 PM  

@Anonymous 6:28-AMEN (re coin toss!!)

CDilly52 3:33 PM  

@kitshef 7:13 Roger Moore is probably not only minority opinion, but many would consider it absolute heresy to put him ahead of Connery (although they were both elevated to knighthood by QEII). Although I prefer Connery as an actor, I really have never liked any Bond movie but saw them all because my dear, departed husband of 45 years loved them. I’d put Moore almost head to head with Connery from purely an acting craft (in that role) standpoint. But, so much of those character-driven roles and the films themselves have as much to do with directorial choices as they do the actors themselves.

CDilly52 3:39 PM  

I liked the theme OK, because it didn’t beat you over the head with itself and at least the revealer had been given some thought. Nothing outstanding but nothing horrific either. So, an appropriate Tuesday

jae 5:19 PM  

Been to Banff, worth the trip. The rafting trip down the Bow River past the HOODOOs (see previous puzzle discussion) was a highlight.

Unknown 6:11 PM  

Best tennis player of all time? Bill Tilden. Skip Banff NP and head to Jasper. Half the tourists. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Anoa Bob 6:26 PM  

Any puzzle that comes out of the gate with IOTAS, OOHS and SHH already has a steep hill to climb to win me over. Let's see...CHICANERY is nice, CAN OPENER not so much. Always like seeing OCCAM. His Razor shares similarities to the Principle of Parsimony and Lloyd Morgan's Canon.

The theme outlier for me was SHOEHORNS. HORNS is a class of MUSICal instruments or a section of an orchestra, while the others are all specific instruments, right? And I'm not too sure about how much MUSIC TRIANGLES can make.

Don't think I have heard anyone say GUAC (38D). While GUACamole rolls off the tongue nicely, GUAC sounds like some distressed bird's call.

Anonymous 6:39 PM  

It's Borg and Connery of course. Don't care much about which First Lady you call the firstest :)

As for the puzzle the very fact that it caused such a lively discussion on Bond movies and tennis tells me it can't be bad.

Anonymous 7:20 PM  

Banff is more spectacular than Jasper, though yes, it has more tourists. The Icefields Parkway, just into the very south end of Jasper, is the best part.

I believe RD means Rural Delivery.

Has anyone mentioned that Alexander Hamilton, of major current fame, was born on Nevis?

I knew INRI, but until I spotted that I was totally striking out in the southeast. Nothing really hard there, but nothing solid to get a foothold either. SCADS could have been score, ASEC could have been a bit, RAM and GNU could have been any number of other things, and ANDRE didn't have to be a French name, so there were lots of hypothetical possibles that didn't end in an E.

Monty Boy 7:56 PM  

@gill I. 8:25
You should read Occam's razor. Officially it's "Entities should not be multiplied without necessity" per Wikipedia.

I've always heard it as: The simplest solution to a problem is usually the best.

Bea 8:18 PM  

Never heard of 'cubers', but that could be because I was never able to solve one!

I had fun with this one. It was fairly easy for me (which isn't always the case with Tuesdays).

Joe Dipinto 8:34 PM  

@Anoa Bob – in classical music parlance the French horn is usually referred to as the Horn. As in this Wiki description of the Schubert "Octet":

The Octet boasts the largest scale for any chamber work by Schubert. It is scored for a clarinet, a bassoon, a horn, two violins, a viola, a cello, and a double bass.

The Horn is a member of the Brass section of the orchestra, which also includes the Trumpet, Trombone and Tuba. The Woodwind section is comprised of the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon.

GILL I. 10:36 PM  

@Monty Boy 7:56. See, here's the problem. Occam's razor has words like ...parsimony, adductive, heuristic, ad hoc hypotheses and a testable involving someone named Scotus. Now if he had something in his theory like aroma, buttery, carmelized, creamy and chewy....I'd consider it. Add some Talisker and I would read him.
Yours truly.....

Z 11:35 PM  

@anon2:49 - Jefferson, Jackson, FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Clinton, Trump. I’m sure there some late 1800’s shenanigans I’m missing. I omitted Buchanan because his partner was “just a friend” and I’ve never seen that he cheated on him. Ben Franklin reportedly really enjoyed his time in the French Royal Court, much to John Adam’s chagrin, but was never president. Who needs reality tv when we have politicians’ biographies. If you’re not into reading that much let me recommend Drunk History, one of all-time best TV documentary show ever.

And while I’m here late, let me say (with no spoilers), Tomorrow. 18A. OMFG who thought that person was crossworthy?

Gio 12:41 AM  

Greatest athlete of all time in any sport: Simone Biles

Burma Shave 9:31 AM  


YET the OBESE with ITSY SEXORGANS will say
that video TAPERCORDERS are their BANE.


spacecraft 10:38 AM  

Although his career was somewhat shorter, Bjorn Borg has to be in the conversation, at least. Also Lendl... As to the best Bond, sorry, but I'm a Conneryite. I watch them over and over. Besides everything else, he's also lucky at Chemin de Fer. Comparing First Ladies is a bit silly, but co-DOD Michelle OBAMA (with intersecting TINA Fey) is fine by me.

The puzzle is a bit simplistic--but then again, it's Tuesday. Straightforward theme and a duh! revealer, which wasn't even necessary. I take note (!) that Jon Batiste of Stay Human plays a RECORDER to introduce Stephen Colbert (and BTW, why does His Orangeness not say a WORD about Colbert's vitriolic verbal attacks? Not a single tweet. Strange.)

I remember PINSETTERs--in fact, for a short while I WAS one! Man, does THAT ever age a guy! Those twin nines really save this puppy; clearly CHICANERY is the marquee attraction. Makes up for the opening OOHS and SHH. Birdie.

leftcoaster 2:06 PM  

Another early week winner, on the order of yesterday's.

Good, consistent theme and solid fill. Long downs especially added to its strength. ORKIN and Schumer's DNY (wanted Dem) led to some hesitation.

Very nice work by QM and AE-S.

rainforest 3:18 PM  

You tend to hear a lot of OOHS, and SHHs, and always too many "Get in the hole!"s while watching a golf tournament. GOAT golfer: Tiger.

Only instrument I ever played (poorly) was the RECORDER.

Decent theme, decent revealer, decent grid. Appropriate Tuesday. Liked it.

Connery, Borg (though Federer is great), either Michelle or Betty.

Diana, LIW 4:03 PM  

Only one area where I wasn't 100% sure of the answers - the OCCAM/CHI... place.

Fairly quickly done for me - meaning no hesitations but the one already noted. I did bowl as a kid, but even then they had the auto pin thingies.

Diana, Lady

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

There are over 43 quintillion pattern possibilities.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP