Exercises that work the glutes, quads and abs / MON 3-2-2020 / Actress Loughlin of "Full House" / Clue for the clueless / N.B.A. player once married to a Kardashian

Monday, March 2, 2020

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Hard



THEME: NOTHING — Theme answers start with a synonym for "nothing."

Theme answers:
  • ZIPPO LIGHTER (20A: Butane-filled item for smokers)
  • SQUAT JUMPS (27A: Exercises that work the glutes, quads and abs)
  • ZERO MOSTEL (47A: Star of Broadway's "Fiddler on the Roof")
  • NOTHING DOING (53A: "Forget about it!" ...or a clue to the starts of 20-, 27- and 43-Across)

Word of the Day: IBSEN ("A Doll's House" playwright Henrik) —
Henrik Johan Ibsen (/ˈɪbsən/;[1] Norwegian: [ˈhɛ̀nrɪk ˈɪ̀psn̩]; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time.[2] His major works include BrandPeer GyntAn Enemy of the PeopleEmperor and GalileanA Doll's HouseHedda GablerGhostsThe Wild DuckWhen We Dead AwakenRosmersholm, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare,[3][4] and A Doll's House was the world's most performed play in 2006.[5]
(Wikipedia)
• • •
Hi, it's Annabel! If I seem extra tired that's because I moved into my first apartment today! It's so exciting. I'm living with a few housemates, but other than that, hey, it's all mine! This GRAD is GROWing.

This is the first puzzle in the New York Times' week of women constructors. Every puzzle this week will be constructed by a woman, to mark Women's History Month. I think that's pretty cool! I hope next year they take it up a notch, like Universal Crossword, which is using only woman-constructed puzzles this much in what they're calling "Women's March." I like that, and honestly I think the NYT has a lot further to go in terms of female inclusion than a single week--but I am definitely grateful for that week!

Back to the puzzle. Whoof, a tough Monday. ERMA Bombeck and ZERO MOSTEL had me stuck for a while because they didn't have super helpful crosses, and for some reason the bottom corner also had me clueless (or should I say HINTless); I had GRAN for NANA and SYMPATHETIC instead of SYMPATHIZER. But the difficulty is good for people who like a little bit of a challenge to start the week off. I just happen to like easing into the week. Fill was pretty interesting, not too many typical Monday words (lookin' at you, though, EON). I liked the Krazy Kat reference. Oh, and I've never heard anyone say they "don't give A RAP."

I thought for sure the "Forget about it!" in the theme clue was going to be some kind of New York "fuhgeddaboutit" thing. The combination of "nothing" synonyms was a little weird--it's typically ZERO, ZIP, NADA, right, not ZERO, ZIP, SQUAT? A perfectly serviceable Monday theme nevertheless. It would have been nice if such a tough puzzle had a theme that was a little more interesting, but that's okay.

Bullets:
  • TAS (22D: Profs' aides) — There's actually another way to clue this. TAS is short for Tool-Assisted Speedrun, which means programming a computer to beat a video game by hitting inputs way faster than a human ever could. It's a really cool rabbit hole to go down. Check it out: 

  • ERMA (35A: "At wit's end" humorist Bombeck "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart." - Erma Bombeck
  • ELSA (65A: Singer of "Let It Go" in Disney's "Frozen") — Andrea Carla Michaels, why would you bring this back?!?! Now I'm gonna have "Into The Unknown" stuck in my head for a week.
Signed, Annabel Thompson

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow Annabel Thompson on Twitter]

102 comments:

Rique Beleza 4:28 AM  

Clues for the RAP/CRAG crossing are terrible. For rock climbers, the crag is the whole bloody cliff, not a hold. And “Don’t give a RAP”?

The rest was very easy.

Loren Muse Smith 5:41 AM  

Hah! Acme delivers up a big goose egg… not. Er, NYET. Terrific Monday right across the plate. And lots of female entries to celebrate this month that I had no idea was Women’s History Month. SABRINA, ELSA, ERMA, TORI, LORI, UMA, NANA… and even HIP HOP and LAMAR ODOM have women in their clues.

Annabel, @Rique Beleza said... I’ve never heard I don’t give a RAP, either. I was thinking “fig” there.

I liked LORI right over her soon-to-be RAP sheet. Acme also crossed HOP/JUMP and NOSE/ODOR.

NANA, nanny, baby, mama, boo-boo, papa, mommy, daddy, mammal– all these words come from a baby lying there deciding to give speech a go. The consonants made with two lips or the tongue at the teeth and those vowels are pretty easy to mimic. Since the mom is often the one there while the kid babbles /ma ma/, she assumes that it’s referring to her. I called my dad Bobby forever since I babbled those sounds enough around him that he was so christened. And then my son happened to babble the same at his knee only once, and everyone was like Oh my God – he called him Bobby! Thus Dad was Bobby to my kids and to my sister’s kids. I was Nonny to my sisters and still am to her kids. Bet there are lots of similar stories out there.

Thanks, Andrea. I'm suddenly craving a bagel.

GILL I. 5:52 AM  

CRAG is the rock face. Certainly needed for a handhold.
Well....I read the little note and wondered out loud what exactly is a "Leading" woman crossword constructor. Leading as opposed to Secondary? Subordinate? Hah. Just kidding. I don't want to cause trouble.
Yay..an ACME Monday. Lots of names....a ZIPPO here a ZERO there and a SQUAT. A HEARSE being driven by a TROLL and Nicki Minaj singing out of her NOSE.
Should be a fun week.
@Loren....I'm a Nonie. I guess we can spell it any damn way we want, no?

Lewis 6:27 AM  

A Monday puzzle with three Zs, plus a J, K and Q? Must be an Acme joint!

As your resident Alphadoppeltotter, a role I have inexplicably taken on, I must report that today's puzzle has an unusually low number of double letters -- three! -- the lowest since October of '18.

I liked seeing BIBI near EL AL, the line of two answers that will never belong together (PRIM / ZERO MOSTEL), and the cross of ODOR and NOSE (Hi, @loren!). Because I confused LEMOND with Lance Armstrong, thinking the former was the one who doped, and thinking the clue should have mentioned that, a little research set me right -- Greg was clean as a Patrick Berry grid. But then Jeff Chen's review of this puzzle pointed out another cyclist, Marianne Martin, whose story is remarkably moving, and fits right in with Women's History Month. I highly recommend this short read (forgive me, I've forgotten how to do links): https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jul/06/marianne-martin-tour-de-france-feminin-cycling .

Suzie Q 6:58 AM  

Too many names. That little mash up of sports names was the worst.
We've seen much better from Andrea so this was disappointing.
I hope the puzzles this week are actually good and not chosen simply because of the gender of the constructor.
Since when is the B side of a record called "the bottom half"?

Anonymous 7:09 AM  

Just here to give my +1 about giving a rap. Not a thing. If I didn’t give a RIP, I wouldn’t have bothered.

Michael 7:13 AM  

One second off best time ever for Monday, very easy run through for some reason. Only bumps were TSAR -> CZAR and SIDE* -> BSIDE, everything else flowed pretty easily. I can imagine if you're not familiar with some sports LAMAR and LEMOND would be problematic. We've had some TOMs in the backyard every now and then this past winter living out here in semi-rural Maine.

Alexander 7:20 AM  

LEMOND crossing LAMAR, ODOM, ZEROMOSTEL, and NOTHING(g/D)OING was not Monday level at all...

pabloinnh 7:28 AM  

Well, I've heard (or read) give a RAP somewhere. Sounds vaguely British to me, and it's jarring enough to be memorable. You don't give a what?? A RAP?? Where did that come from?

I'm starting to find LOYAL to be offensive. It may have something to do with our current political situation.

Hoping @JoeD can link

My gal is red hot
Your gal ain't doodly SQUAT

Apologies to anyone offended by such a sentiment, I think it's a hoot.

Probably an age thing, but I thought this was a piece of pie. Easy as cake. Just right for a Monday, and thanks, ACM.

Bruce R 7:40 AM  

+1 for RAP. Never heard that.

Joe Dipinto 7:41 AM  

As you wish, @pabloinnh

V. Putin 7:48 AM  

Something a bit unusual today...

Though there is, of course, no hard and fast rule governing this, it is more common In the NYTimes Puzzle to see TSAR used when referring to a bygone Russian ruler, and CZAR used when referrIng to a government official specially appointed to take charge of a particular sector in crisis. Here we see an exception to the common practice.

In reality, the spellings are interchangeable. I have not yet decided which I will adopt when I finally come fully into my own.

Unknown 7:51 AM  

Zippo lighters do not use butane, never have. As a smoker, I assure Zippo uses a petroleum distillate that soaks into the wick, not butane.

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Fake Rex: "I can't believe that the NYT editor allowed Erma Bombeck to be in this puzzle. Apparently she joked about women who died on the Titanic!! How insensitive to make fun of such a profound human tragedy. And why single out the women? Should not men also enjoyed their dessert?" Clearly, we need to cancel Erma Bombeck.

Phil & Friends 7:55 AM  

Note: a Zippo lighter uses liquid lighter fluid, not butane.

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

don't give/care a rap for:
Worthless to me; without any interest. The “rap” in question was a base halfpenny that was worth only half a farthing and was circulating in Ireland in the early eighteenth century because small coins at that time were very scarce. Jonathan Swift described it in Drapier’s Letters (1724): “Copper halfpence or farthings . . . have been for some time very scarce and many counterfeits passed about under the name of raps.” Consequently the name was adopted for anything of little value and was so used by the early nineteenth century. W. H. Ainsworth wrote (Rookwood, 1834), “For the mare-with-three-legs [i.e., the gallows] I care not a rap.”

SouthsideJohnny 8:14 AM  

I cringed when I guessed at the R in “Not give A RAP”, thinking,”Oh, no - this can’t be true!”, but yes, alas - bogus, made-up words and phrases are now welcome on Mondays as well. That whole section with the TORI/LORI cross and the poorly clued CRAG is really substandard.

We’ve had a run of some really fine efforts the last few days and this one could have been included in that category as well - I just wish they would pay a little more attention to detail.

LAMAR ODOM is going to be a stretch for some people, fortunately it’s Monday so the crosses will most likely come to the rescue. I’m sure the clue for CHEZ is accurate enough for CrossWorld - though I thought it was more nuanced than that tough - CHEZ moi vs. CHEZ nous, for example. Maybe one of our French speaking friends can add a little enlightenment.

pabloinnh 8:21 AM  

@JoeD-

What a great version. Going to be smiling for a while.

You da man.

QuasiMojo 8:24 AM  

"I don't give a rap for the year, the month, and the day. Am I not above contingencies?" From the play "Pantagleize."

I thought the phrase sounded familiar. I was in that play shortly after appearing in The Fantasticks. Lol. (PS, @JoeDiPinto, did you notice Herb Ross directed that Hallmark production?)

Pepper 8:30 AM  

Wow what a great comment that you must be very proud of

Joaquin 8:31 AM  

Not giving ARAP is a leftover from yesterday's puzzle (long time no see/not care).

Not surprised that a youngster like Annabel would be tripped up by ZERO and ERMA. For this old guy, they're gimmes.

Madge 8:31 AM  

I love this puzzle cause I knew all this stuff.

If it's women's history month, Erma Bombeck deserves recognition even if its only in puzzles. She was an hilarious writer at a time when women weren't really seen in that sphere. The comic side of Betty Friedan's feminism. She just plainly thought all that house wifey stuff sucked.

Just a few of her books: I Lost Everything in the Post Natal Depression, Motherhood: The World's Second Oldest Profession, and Family — The Ties that Bind ... and Gag!

As a teenager in the 70s, her writing told me I was right about my sneaking suspicion that doing housework didn't make you a saint and there was nada in it for me.

Z 8:46 AM  

I’m with @Southside Johnny on LAMAR ODOM. I guess his time in the tabloid universe might make him more accessible to solvers. I wonder if the clue is a sly wink at our habit of defining women by their spouses. In this case, I think Kardashian is the more famous.

ZIPPO, ZERO, CZAR, and a bonus OMEGA. The TYPE Z folk are having a good day.

No problem with “Don’t give A RAP” other than “Don’t give ...” has about an infinite number of possibilities. A sou. A rat’s patootie. A flying f*&#. A monkey a gun. Et cetera et cetera.

TJS 8:49 AM  

This one got better as it played out. I think it's fine for a Monday. But I really don't give a rats ass.

Liked hearing from Annibel.

Knitwit 8:49 AM  

I solve the NYT and WSJ everyday. Andrea Carla Michaels constructed both today!! Congratulations! Is that the first time that someone has both puzzles on the same day?

Nancy 9:08 AM  

Other than putting in TSAR before CZAR and not knowing either Greg LEMOND or LEMAR ODOM (ODOM LEMAR?), this was a NTR puzzle for me (No Thinking Required). I'd estimate that I filled in about a third of the answers without needing to read the clue. The crosses alone were ample. Hope I'll have to do at least some thinking tomorrow.

New Fan 9:12 AM  

@Knitwit, I didn't notice that. The WSJ got the Waaaay better puzzle! Really well done.

Cig Man 9:13 AM  

To the Zippo experts; The next time you "know" something, maybe check it out before you pontificate on this blog. There indeed is a Zippo butane lighter.

Paul Harrington 9:14 AM  

Solved it, but, because I got there by getting the acrosses, I stared blankly for quite a while at the answer "I Man Age." Huh? Went back and forth between it and "I'm An Age" until it clicked.

webwinger 9:16 AM  

A perfectly fine Monday IMO. Nice to see the boost to women constructors. Can’t say WS isn’t at least trying.

For those who haven’t been around this blog so long, today’s constructor ACM(e), who is called the Queen of Mondays by some, used to post regularly using continually changing pseudonyms made up of puzzle answers that began with each of her three initials. Was always a joy to read; apparently left b/o some dust up with @RP.

Thanks Anon 7:56 for the scholarly exegesis on A RAP. So it’s definitely in the language, if not Mondayish.

I think LED in the sense of 51D may be the most often misspelled word in English. I’ve seen “lead” for the past tense of lead in many publications, including the NYT. Usually missed by spellcheck since lead is of course a word; confusion aggravated by read being the past tense of read.

Petsounds 9:16 AM  

Super-easy solve, but not much fun involved, and...yeah...CRAG is just wrong and (give) A RAP is inexcusably archaic and no butane in ZIPPOLIGHTER--adding up to the usual annoying Shortz sloppiness.

Joe Dipinto 9:17 AM  

No I didn't @Quasi.

(am in transit today, so minimal posting)

Lewis 9:24 AM  

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

1. Layers of stone (6)
2. Go off, but not without a hitch (5)
3. Something that requires thinking inside the box? (6)(4)
4. They're often high, but never dry (4)
5. Bugs used to be seen on it (3)


MASONS
ELOPE
ESCAPE ROOM
SEAS
CEL

B Right There 9:35 AM  

Flew through this in a little under our average time (@7 minutes). Did seem name heavy but all gettable. In fact, didn't see many of them since we were going through so fast that crosses just filled. Started with 1D where CHEZ was a gimme for me. 2D Bibi I had learned from xwords. And 3D, SNAP OUT OF IT, just reminds me of Moonstruck and that great slap that Cher delivers to Nicolas Cage. So, a delightful way to start off. I don't have an issue with Give A RAP, but really only ever heard of SQUATthrusts from P.E. torture back in school. But since one of my favorite authors is JRR, JUMPS fell into place easily. Dug out Greg LeMond from somewhere in the hindbrain (I think I remember watching him race back in the 80's on TV), just as Lamar Odom is a term I have heard often enough without knowing who that is, so he, too, bubbled up from somewhere. Only head scratch was when ZERO MOSTEL filled in. I never paid attention to who played that role. All in all, felt like a good Monday with very little trite xwordese despite the many 3 and 4-letter words. Nice one. Looking forward to the rest of the week!

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Did you not read the beginning of the comment? “Fake Rex”.

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

The only difficult clue(s) was the basketball player defined by a “celebrity”.
I wish all singers would not give a rap.

mrharmon7@gmail.com 9:55 AM  

Did anyone else chuckle at the double clue/pun for ITO?

Frantic Sloth 9:57 AM  

I thought the puzzle was about a late Monday/early Tuesday type deal, with enough proper names to stymie the sports- and generationally-challenged. Lucky for me that I’m old and “sportsy” enough to get by.

Also, I have heard/read “don’t give a rap” somewhere in my past, so I know it’s a thing — and there’s @Anon 7:56 (thanks for that!)

Not having been around that long, I appreciated @webwinger’s explanation for ACME. Now I don’t have to keep trying to figure out what crosswords and Wile E Coyote’s online purchases have in common.

Frantic Sloth 10:00 AM  

Oh, and completely spaced on ZEROMOSTEL — just wanted to enter TTOOPPOOLL so it would fit.

LeaveItToYourGoat 10:13 AM  

Came here expecting to see Rex TYPE A lengthy essay, showing how he's a PRO-equality, LOYAL SYMPATHIZER when it comes to the RATIO of female to male constructors and this might just be the week that makes him SNAP OUT OF IT since Will Shortz has finally given in to crossword CZAR Rex Parker's TROLL job, but NOTHING DOING.

Anyway, nice puzzle. On the difficult side for a Monday. If it wasn't for JRR and A RAP, this would've been stellar.

What? 10:36 AM  

Another wasted Monday. Finished before I finished my orange juice. I guess I’ll go back to yesterday’s Acrostic.

واجهات حجر هاشمي 10:42 AM  

واجهات حجر هاشمى
حجر هاشمى
واجهات حجر هاشمى
اسعار حجر هاشمى
سعر متر الحجر الهاشمى
حجر هاشمى
واجهات حجر هاشمى
اسعار الحجر الهاشمى
حجر فرعوني
واجهات حجر هاشمي
واجهات حجر فرعوني
واجهات حجر هاشمى
اسعار حجر هاشمى
واجهات حجر هاشمى هيصم
حجر هاشمى هيصم
واجهات حجر هاشمى
اسعار حجر فرعوني
واجهات حجر فرعونى فى مصر تتميز بجمال مظهرها الخارجى ويعطى انطباع جيد للماره ويتميز الحجر الفرعونى بالصلابه والمتانه وتحمله للعوامل الجويه

سعر متر الحجر الفرعونى ليس غالى وليس ايضا رخيص لكن اسعار الحجر الفرعونى واسعار تركيب الحجر الفرعونى تتناسب مع جميع فئات المحتمع المصرى عكس الحجر الهاشمي سعر متر الحجر الهاشمى غالي شي ما لكن سعر لا يتناسب مع الجميع

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

Zippo lighters don’t use butane. They use naphtha.

Carola 10:52 AM  

I thought it was a MODEL Monday, with a neat and tidy theme with some nice colloquial ZIP. I also liked the face-off between the long Downs as a response to one sunk in woe: SNAP OUT OF IT v. SYMPATHIZER.

I'd have rated the puzzle as easy, since I solved it quickly as Acrosses only, with only the BRIEFest glance at the Downs - which led to a double DNF at A RiP and ODeM, as I never checked the crosses.

@ACME - Very nice to see you.

JC66 11:03 AM  

What's better than a ZIPPO/butane controversy?

Nancy 11:04 AM  

@Old actor -- I sent you an email in regards to the link you provided to me on last night's blog. I thought the rest of the commentariat might have had enough of Schmidt and Jones for one week. :)

RooMonster 11:08 AM  

Hey All !
One nit, because to not have a nit a day, is un-American. Har. There are 42 blocks in todays puz, normal max is 38. The extra 4 are what puzzlers know as "cheater squares", as in black squares that are put in to get easier/cleaner fill that doesn't result in word count change. The 4 are at the end of 3A, the end of 24A, the front of 50A, and the front of 69A. So with those squares as blocks or as letters, you still end up with 76 words. This sounds like it bothers me, but it actually doesn't, I just felt an urge to explain. /urge over :-)

I did like this puz, it was fun getting NOTHING synonyms. SQUAT is a fun word no mater how you look at it. Nice to see ACME after an extended time off. Also refreshing to get @LMS's take on the puz, as she pointed out many things I didn't notice in here. Must be my primate male brain.

The middle part with ODOM over OMO is neat to me for some reason.Plus, down further is ODOR.
TYPE A and B SIDE. Nice. Where's HI-C?
CZAR, ugh. It's TSAR as clued like that! :-)
Looked like a pangram, but missing V W X, which is cool in the fact they are in order. Uh-oh, @Lewis' alphadoppeltotter-ness is rubbing off!
SW corner, What happened at Oldmobile when they tried to come out with their new line? DELAY OMEGA MODEL

Oh, @Nancy, as others will probably say also, you had a DNF at SABRINe/LeMAR. It's an A. You can check your grid at Rex's writeup without reading Rex, as it comes before his daily ramblings/screed.

No NADA. That was a fun sentence.

Two F's
IDLY OAFISH
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

JC 66,

There's no controversy. Facts are facts. Anyone who says Zippo doesn't have a butane lighter is grossly misinformed.
For the dunces who claim that Zippo doesn't have a butane lighter, please explain the pages devoted to that product on their website

Sir Hillary 11:24 AM  

Nada Surf is a long-time indie band from Brooklyn. I don't know them that well, but have liked everything I've heard. Would have been a good entry, but not well-known enough.

mmorgan 11:27 AM  

Great puzzle from ACME! I didn’t know LAMAR, LEMOND, or ODOM, but I got them all fairly from crosses. The usage in the NYT note bothers me — "a leading woman crossword constructor" — would we say "a leading man crossword constructor"? — I just don’t like "woman" as an adjective — but the point is well taken. But the notion of Black History Month or Women’s History Month drives me crazy — here, enjoy your little month, then we can go back to ignoring you. Sigh.

Chapps 11:28 AM  

I really worry about the future of crosswords when I see so many old, OLD fashioned references in the grid. I don't mind things like variations on TSAR (CZAR), but as much as I loved ERMA Bombeck and ZERO MOSTEL, I don't think anyone under the age of 45 will have ever heard of them. There's a point where you have to start acknowledging the current era (yes, LAMAR and ODOM will probably have confused anyone over the age of 40, but that's a good start). I'm 60, and really want to see more current pop culture references - it challenges my mind!

Giovanni 12:12 PM  

I'm a huge Greg Lemond fan so it was nice to see him in the puzzle. Lamar Odom had an incredible athletic body, a great career and life, but he ODed on cocaine and wound up on life support. He now has permanent disabilities due to this. It's sad. I saw him on Dancing with the Stars and he seems like a nice man.
It's too bad that Kim Kardashian is in the puzzle during Women's Week. She is famous for starring in a graphic sex tape. Before that video no one knew who she was. I honestly don't know how she walks around in public after that tape came out.To me she is the epitome of our Celebrity Worship culture, people famous for being famous and making a sex tape.

jberg 12:20 PM  

Great to see @ACME, just wish we were seeing her here on the blog. I think even Rex would have liked her puzzle today -- very fresh fill, and a clean theme. The bottom right corner was a challenge of options: NANA or Nona, CZAR or tsAR, STOCK or STOre -- but it was the kind of challenge that's enjoyable.

Less so, the one minor fault, is the crossing of LEMOND with both the first and last name of LAMAR ODOM. Two athletes, neither known to me -- but I must have heard Mr. Odom's name at some point, because I guessed it right.

Also, I've heard "I don't give a RAP" quite often -- people should get around more!

We arrived in sunny Captiva late yesterday, after a 4 day drive, so I can get the Times again (unless the one local outlet sells out). Good to be back!

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Annabel: You are a hard-working young lady making her way in the world. Congratulations! I know your parents are proud and you have a fine future in front of you.

BUT...you HAVE to stop opening your posts with "I'm so tired". We're ALL tired, girl. Tired is a state of mind. You are what you think. Tell yourself you're "great", "I'm NOT tired" "I'm ready to attack the day"...but stop telling yourself (and others) how tired you are. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. (BTW...check yesterday's posts. One poster was unhappy with "Rex" and then said "and tomorrow we have TIRED Annabel"). Don't allow that to be your legacy!

I'm sorry...went into uber Dad-mode there. I have a 23 year-old and you seem like such a bright, likeable young woman. I only post this out of caring, not as an insult. I tell her the same thing.

All the best, young lady, now and in the future and I thank you for your reviews!

Bax'N'Nex

Teedmn 1:08 PM  

I was amusing myself by trying to anticipate what an answer would be from a couple of crosses, not having read the clue. How many did I guess correctly? NADA, ZIPPO. I was sure OE_ of 23A would be OEd, that E__L of 4D would be EviL, and that 8D's BRIE_ would be the lesser-known variant of BRIar. I quit guessing after that one and resigned myself to reading the clues. Sad.

This was a pretty zippy Monday puzzle. I'm glad that the PPP was mostly well crossed, ODOM in particular. LEMOND was a gimme - Greg Lemond is from MN (as was ACME originally - do they know each other?) and last I heard, he was selling high-end bicycles of his own design, though whether that succeeded or not, I don't know.

Thanks, ACME, and happy NYTimes Women's Week.

(I have heard people say they don't give A RAP but I seriously think it's because they would rather say "A RAT's ass" but they're surrounded by PRIM people. Am I projecting?)

Unknown 1:19 PM  

I'm guessing I'm one of the most athletic people here in this little group, and I've never heard of squat jumps. Yes to squat thrusts. Lot of old fill in this (OMEGA, KAT, BSIDE) so yhe fact that this was from a female constructor means NOTHINGDOING

Music Man 1:20 PM  

That’s what I thought too... the B side us the other side, not the bottom half.

Z 1:21 PM  

@anon11:14 - Uh, maybe @JC66 was being sardonic. Something I, of course, avoid being at all costs.

ZIPPO.com sells butane inserts. Who knew? I mean, besides Shortz.

@webwinger - Those tricky curly quotes have gotten me more than once.

David 1:23 PM  

Two sports guys and a Kardashian. Very nearly made this a DNF for me, so I just guessed. Then there was the secondary character from an old TV show I never watched but, luckily for me, she's been in the news lately. First I had "Lara" but the downs killed that off.

The cool kids used to take the Zippo out of their pockets and light it up in one quick back and forth swipe against their pants leg. Back to open the top, forth to spin the flint wheel. One rarely forgets smells, and the smell of that lighter fluid was pretty unforgettable.

Put me in the solidly pro-Erma Bombeck camp, and it's always nice to see Zero pop up.

As usual I solved without regard to the theme, then looked up and appreciated it.

Thanks to Anon for the etymology of "rap," which I've never heard anyone say (not even the Irishman who lived with us for 6 months and never stopped talking), that's some arcane stuff.

Nice Monday puzzle.

Anonymous 1:29 PM  

Where is the bottom of a record?

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Z,
Uh. My point was plain facts are not subject to controversy. Uh. Maybe another word rather than controversy, uh, would've been more appropriate.
Also, stay in your own lane. No one was addressing you. Uh.

albatross shell 1:48 PM  

Weighing in on today's dust ups:

Yes ZIPPO makes butane lighters. Did I know that with certainty when I was doing the puzzle. No, but it seemed likely (they are a bisiness) so I filled it in and checked after the solve. Also have heard or read I don't give a rap. Googled after the early complaint. Yes, it is a thing with a history.

One for @muse from yesterday. How old were you on your boatel or floatel? I mean West Virginia is West Virginia, but who used Brylcream, Wildroot, or Vitalis after 1970? Be thankful it wasn't Preparation H.

A crag is a crag is a crag except when it's not. That is, the situation seems to be a bit fluid. Crag means a cliff as a whole with many dictionaries adding or "rock face". Then craggy means rough. And some dictionaries define "rough crag" precisely as the clue implies. So most dictionaries might agree the answer is wrong while just about suggesting the way I have commonly heard it used is correct. But, strictly by the dictionary the clue fails. Hah! My Webster's 2nd edition says "A rough broken cliff or a projecting point of rock." Now can that projecting point of rock mean the whole cliff, or does it mean a small point of rock sticking out from the cliff, and thus a handhold? A small broken rock is also called a crag.

When the Aside of a 45 is being played the Bside is on the bottom. Thus the Bside is the bottom half. Joke or pun or fact, good enough for me.

old timer 2:00 PM  

My time was a flat 10 minutes, pen on paper. It was a real help to have been watching the Tour since the LEMOND era. Of course for many of the following years, we worshiped Lance Armstrong and refused to believe those (including LEMOND as I recall) who thought he must be cheating with PEDs. Armstrong not only used the drugs himself (but so did the guys he beat) he organized his teams around drug use. Amazing and distressing. I almost cried when George Hincapie, Lance's loyal lieutenant and one of the nicest guys in the sport, fessed up.

I think you do have to be old to remember ZERO mostel.

Or Sid Caesar. CZAR was the original word for the Ruler of All the Russias. Came from Caesar of course, as did the German Kaiser. Don't know why the name became tsar, but I suspect that spelling is closer to the way the word was pronounced in Russian.

JC66 2:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
burtonkd 2:11 PM  

@ Frantic Sloth, I was wondering about ACME also. By the Way, the New Yorker had a fun comedy piece in their recent cartoon issue. Wile E Coyote vs ACME, with his lawyer explaining in legalese all the horrible things that went wrong with their products.

CHEZ used absolutely properly.

As a cyclist, definitely know Greg Lemond: bought his book on cycling to help me learn all the ins and outs or road biking.

Ron 2:13 PM  

Agreed, I struggled heartily on this Monday puzzle after having a great weekend!

JC66 2:31 PM  

@Anon 1:29

You're right. ZIPPO does make a butane insert which, BTW, few people seem to be aware of. And they are famous for their fluid fueled lighters. so the cluing could have been better.

Also, there are more important things to be concerned about.

And thank you @Z for speaking up for me. You know that it's not unusual for people on this blog not to read previously posted comments and make points ad nauseam that have already been discredited.

Maddiegail 2:31 PM  

Never heard of SQUATJUMPS and clearly (if you could see me) have never done one. Old enough to remember ZERO MOSTEL quite well. And would have finished a lot sooner had I written LORI in 15 Down, where it belonged. (P.S. I'm a NANA, which is probably why I remember ZERO MOSTEL so well.)

Anonymous 2:42 PM  

JC 66,

What? You seem concerned enough to have written about Zippo lighters at least twice. Your logic is as poor as your word choice. So you'll understand if I take a hard pass on accepting your thoughts on what is and isn't worth my concern.
To be clear my issue was you believing a controversy exists regarding whether Zippo makes a butane lighter. There is no controversy precisely because when it comes to matters of fact, there can be none. No amount of disagreement is reasonable when it pertains to a fact. Ideas, opinions and the like may generate controversy because they are not facts. Facts on the other hand are beyond dispute. People who dispute facts, are simply imbeciles. Many people claim the earth is flat. Surely there is no controversy on the subject of the Earth's shape. Only correct and incorrect positions.
And the clue is worded just fine. That folks don't know a fact is their shortcoming not the puzzle's.

Anonymous 2:47 PM  

among many, I got ZIPPO despite the misinformed clue. they had, then didn't, and seems to again have, a gas lighter. that sure doesn't mean their iconic lighter is a gas lighter. that's the stinky liquid lighter with the iconic wind guard. BIC is the iconic butane lighter, followed a distant second by Ronson (or was; Zippo recently bought them, thanks wiki). let's go see...
"As of January 1, 2016, production of the BLU line of lighters was discontinued. Zippo stated that they would continue to service all previously sold BLU lighters." the wiki

Anoa Bob 3:01 PM  

When I was addicted to that wonderful (but deadly) drug, nicotine, my ZIPPO LIGHTER became like a second friend. The feel of that chrome plated case was soothing, the heft reassuring. Even the sound of the lid opening and closing or the wheel spinning against the flint was pleasurable. Hell, even the smell of the lighter fluid was nice. And when that flame sprang to life, I knew I was only a few seconds away from a lovely nicotine kick.

On one of the many times I tried to quit, I used "But what would I do with my ZIPPO LIGHTER?" as an excuse to keep smoking! Crazy, right? But such was the thinking of my addicted brain.

After many attempts, I quit for good, but long before ZIPPO used butane for fuel. But when I saw butane in the clue, I figured that if they are still in business, that would be the way to go.

I kept that ZIPPO---it had a silhouette of the ship I was on in the Navy---for several years after quitting and then somewhere along the way, probably during one of many moves, it disappeared. [sniff]

otts 3:06 PM  

In 1949 coach Ira Shuttleworth had us do squat jumps in every FB practice Now I can only do the first part.Neat puzz methinks.

Pablo 3:27 PM  

I've been trying not to comment on here, because it was getting a bit negative, but after weeks of seemingly ageless puzzles we have... this.

Worst in a while and, were it not a Monday packed with otherwise non challenging fill, nearly a member of the "must have at least one broken hip to solve" club.

Let's do a recap:

BSIDE: Fair clue in isolation, but in a Monday filled with names and relics, leave the 30+ year old technology out of it
LORI: You'd have to be at least 35 to have even seen her on Full House, and probably 45 to appreciate this actress in her prime.
ARAP: This isn't a thing. Google barely even backs it up and mostly gives you results for similar phrases.
ZEROMOSTEL: 'Nuff said
CHEZ: I always think of French words as old because boomers were the last generation to favor french over spanish in school, but I'm aware that's shaky ground.
TORI: Crossed with LORI and ARAP, sloppy

Other bad clues include ZIPPOLIGHTER, CRAG, TYPEA, and the entirety of the theme, which was somehow thin, weak, and grid paralyzing. Little to no clever wordplay as well.

I'll just stop now. So much for being less negative.

webwinger 3:30 PM  

Surprised that so many seem to be unfamiliar with ZERO MOSTEL, if only because of his unforgettable name. He was supposedly not cast for the Fiddler movie lead because of his legendary feistiness. Best place to see him on film is probably Mel Brooks’s original The Producers, in which he costarred with Gene Wilder. He was definitely one of a kind.

For a hilarious riff on the fictional Acme company of Roadrunner fame (mentioned above without a link), see this recent piece in The New Yorker.

I will definitely sleep better tonight for at last knowing the whole truth about Zippo lighters.

sanfranman59 3:46 PM  

Point of order: Does anyone know if it's possible to get the non-mobile version of Blogger's comments section to show replies so I know to which message the commenter is replying? I know the version I get on my phone has this feature, but I usually read the comments on my computer and this version doesn't have the "Reply" link for each message or show when someone has used the "Reply" link in the mobile version. The computer version just lists the comments in order of the time they were submitted, irrespective of if they were posted as replies to a previous comment. This is why it's helpful when people include screen names and times in comments when replying to the comments of others.

john towle 3:46 PM  

Tsar is indeed the better phonetic spelling for the old Russian rulers…ts a r soft sign ц а р ь, a word of one syllable…anglicized to c z a r.

Best

john


JC66 4:11 PM  

@Anon 2:42

Here's what:

1. My original (11:03) comment referred to the fact that numerous posters continued to comment that ZIPPO butane lighters weren't a thing even after it was pointed out by @Cig Man (9:13) that they do exist and therefore, it seemed silly for them to keep doing so.

2. My second (2:31) comment was in response to (I assume) your 1:33 post attacking @Z for trying to explain my 11:03 comment. and referred to #1 (above) and the fact that ZIPPO is iconic for their lighter-fluid lighters, not their butane inserts, and many people aren't aware of that, so the clue was sub-optimum and to thank @Z for his support and understanding.

sanfranman59 4:17 PM  

Who'da thunk that there could be such passion about butane and Zippo lighters? But one thing you can always count on: Anons will be on Blogger message boards stirring the pot and trying to pick e-fights. My policy (unfortunately, not always followed): Don't feed the trolls (unless you're into that kind of thing, of course ... to each their own).

JC66 4:28 PM  

@sanfranman

Blogger seems to have two different OSs and the computer version only shows comments chronologically. That's why the regulars here
use @s to indicate who they're replying to.

Also, good advice. I, too try not to feed the trolls, but today I got sucked in.

GILL I. 4:41 PM  

OK...So I'm going to name drop and hope we can get away from ZIPPO.
I met ZERO MOSTEL in Madrid Spain, along with Michael Crawford, when they were filming "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum." This was many many moons ago. Zero and Michael came into this small little discotheque that I and several friends frequented where we would sing on a small stage. I was sorta a back-up singer and we would gather on Fridays, drink, sing and have fun. Franco still had reservations about youngsters actually having fun - so this was a bit daring. Anyway, ZERO was one of the funniest people I had ever met. I sat at the bar with him and Michael. Michael Crawford was incredibly skinny and between the two of them, (try and picture Laurel and Hardy) I couldn't decide who was more fun. Michael asked if I'd like to go out with him. I was awfully young then and he wasn't my type. I actually wanted ZERO to ask me out - at least for a vinito. He was quite charming and seriously, one of the funniest men I ever met. He never did.....but the memory still makes me smile.
So that's my story. Hi @oldactor....!

Joaquin 5:15 PM  

A final note on the ZIPPO lighter thread: While serving in Vietnam a Zippo saved my life. I carried it in my left breast pocket of my field jacket. One night on patrol it saved me - a Viet Cong bullet was headed straight for my heart just as the smooth, chrome lighter slipped from my hand. As I bent over to retrieve it, the enemy fire harmlessly flew past me.

BobL 5:44 PM  

Good story @Joaquin. Surely hope it is the final note on an absurd issue.

Sydney 6:32 PM  

Lamar/Odom/Lemond. Natick territory. Don’t cross obscure names like that. Otherwise nice puzzle.

Shane 6:38 PM  

👍🏻

johnnymcguirk 6:40 PM  

Good puzzle thanks.

pabloinnh 6:42 PM  

@Joaquin-

Why does this remind me of the time Woody Allen's life was saved because he carried a bullet in his breast pocket, and it once deflected a Bible thrown by a berserk evangelist?

Z 7:13 PM  

@sanfranman59 and @JC66 - First, @JC66, @sanfranman59 was posting twice a day when I started here. He did a data analysis based on the times available from the online app. When that data disappeared with the improved app so did he. It’s good to see him back.
As for this particular Anon, they have been here before (the “stay in your lane”” comment is a give away). I don’t think they are trolling so much as honestly not understanding what’s going on. I really think they don’t understand that @JC66 and I were agreeing with them.

Joaquin 7:27 PM  

@pabloinnh (6:42) - I'm not familiar with the Woody Allen story but I suspect if we sent a swab of my story and his to 23&Me we'd find a DNA match with the Panzonfyre family.

Anonymous 7:31 PM  

Z.
I did understand.
Reread the thread.
My point was quite small. The Zippo biz is a non starter. i.e. facts are inmune to controversy.
Im disappointed you havent followed the thread. My (tiny) quibble was the use if controversy referring to a fact. Thats all. Nothing whatsover to do w lighters per se
Its an epistemic argument.
Come on. Reread the thread. Youre better than the analysis yiuve offered.

L

Capn Charlie 7:49 PM  

Zippo lighters take liquid lighter fluid. Not butane.

sanfranman59 8:13 PM  

@Z ... FWIW, I still diligently track all my crossword solve times, calculate lots of stats and come up with relative difficulty ratings based on them. But I stopped posting the numbers-related stuff here because it seemed to piss people off. Believe it or not, I got some pretty nasty emails as a result of all that. (Weirdly, I had the same experience at CC Burnikel's LAT puzzle blog.) It really took me aback. I don't know why, but it seems that some folks who don't care much for numbers are actually hostile to speed-solving and get pretty militant about their view of CrossWorld. I'm not sure why these folks couldn't be content with simply skipping over my messages out here, but far be it from me to raise the blood pressure of fellow cruciverbalists.

Whatsername 8:46 PM  

@Joaquin: I am deeply grateful for your service and very glad that bullet missed you.

Anonymous 9:39 PM  

the ZIPPO argument is over whether there is, now, a Butane Lighter made by ZIPPO. the answer appears to be, NO. and it was a minor product when it was made.
https://www.edcforums.com/threads/why-did-zippo-discontine-the-butane-lighter-or-did-they.139681/

if NO, as it appears, then we're arguing about the accuracy of the clue. this is the most common sort of argument in these here parts. where parts is parts and Hatfields hate McCoys.

Nancy 9:42 PM  

But I did have SABRINA/LAMAR, @Roo.

Joaquin 9:46 PM  

@Whatsername - Many thanks (from one Chiefs fan to another) for your kind words. I did serve, including a 1965-1966 tour in Vietnam. The rest of my post, however, may be a more apocryphal than factual; who can remember that far back!

Teedmn 9:53 PM  

@sanfranman59, I am so surprised that people had that reaction to your numbers; I always enjoyed seeing your analyses of the week's puzzles as it gave me a standard to compare my own experience against. Of course, I love numbers and statistics, which is why I love the Down Home solving app. It's good to see you back here though, with or without stats.

Nancy 10:32 PM  

@GILL -- You sang on a small stage at a discotheque. You were sort of "a back-up singer". And I had the chutzpah to suggest at one point that if we ever met up, maybe we'd sing a duet????!!!! I must have been out of my bleeping mind!!!!!

Monty Boy 11:03 PM  

I liked this one a lot. Easy for me, close to a record; a result of the wheel-house syndrome.

@LMS on babies learning to talk: My daughter was the first granddaughter, so we spent a lot of time trying to get her to say Grandmother. We'd point and say: Grandmother, can you say that? We did that repeatedly for several days until she pointed at Grandmother and announced "That" whereupon we broke up. So for about 3 months, Grandmother's name was That.

Jessica 12:58 AM  

Lori Loughlin is very of the moment. She's currently on trial in the college admissions scandal, which got her kicked off the fifth season of the Full House reboot.

JW 4:44 AM  

This is definitely a puzzle for those of us firmly into middle age. I zipped right through it (Zippo'd maybe :) ? ), but did think to myself as I was working on it that a bunch of answers would have been a bit out of reach for anyone under about 40....
But I enjoyed it anyway.

Michael Page 10:51 AM  

“I carry a bullet in my breast pocket. Once, a crazy evangelist threw a bible at me, which would have gone through my heart if it wasn’t for the bullet.”
— Woody Allen (I think from Without Feathers)

kitshef 8:14 AM  

I'm with @mmorgan 11:27am - "woman" as an adjective irks me. Woman astronaut, woman constructor - should be female astronaut, female constructor.

Very nice puzzle, but the revealer did not quite hit for me. "Forget about it!" means "my pleasure", or "happy to do it". NOTHING DOING is more like "forget it!".

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