Swing wildly back and forth / TUES 3-31-20 / Tiki bar cocktail / Some future Girl Scouts / Earned in the end

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Hi, everyone! It's Clare for the last Tuesday — and also the last day — of March. What a very, very long year this last month has been. I hope everyone and their friends and family are staying safe and also sane while staying at home. I've been cooped up in my apartment for a while now, as my law school class were moved online. I've been stress baking, reading more, having Zoom birthday parties with my extended family, getting obsessed with BTS (they're seriously the best), etc... Plus, lots of time in lockdown means even more time to do crossword puzzles!

Constructors: Christina Iverson and Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Pretty easy

THEME: CLAP BACK (63A: Respond quickly and sharply to criticism ... or a hint to 17-, 28- and 46-Across) — The word CLAP can be added to the BACK of each of the theme answers to be a type of clap

Theme answers:
  • DISC GOLF (17A: Frisbee sport)
  • ROLLING THUNDER (28A: Name of a celebrated 1970s concert tour with Bob Dylan)
  • LETS TAKE IT SLOW (46A: "We shouldn't rush this")
Word of the Day: MENSCH (8D: Good-hearted sort)
Mensch means "a person of integrity and honor." According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, a "mensch" is "someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being 'a real mensch' is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous." The term is used as a high compliment, implying the rarity and value of that individual's qualities. (Wiki)
• • •

I wanted to give the puzzle a hearty clap, but instead it gets more of a golf clap from me. The general approach to the theme of the puzzle seems standard — add a word to the back end of the theme answers — but the revealer didn't really work for me. When I saw it, I expected the work CLAP to appear backward in the theme answers or something like that. And, it would be much more natural to say that CLAP should appear at the end of the word rather than at the BACK of the word, right? It seems significant that one of the constructors noted on Twitter:
Not sure what to make of that — but I do love the clapping emojis! One other nit about the theme: From what I can tell, that Bob Dylan tour was actually called "Rolling Thunder Revue," so...

My biggest complaint was that northeast corner. Having NETTED and EXITED on top of each other and crossing DEEP and ODDS gave me a headache. How many T's, D's, and E's can you fit in 18 letters? (11, if you must know. Yes, I counted.)

The best part of the puzzle for me was the long downs. The construction of the puzzle really seemed geared around those words — BROWNIES; KITTEN HEEL; HATE MAIL; INTIMATE; ONLOOKER; and LEAP SECOND. I found INTIMATE to be the least interesting, and KITTEN HEEL did give me some pause because I think all of my heels are at *least* three inches high. I think because of the construction, we did get a lot of small fill words (RIO; UNO; IRA; AIL; ADDS; ODDS; etc...). But overall, I liked what the long downs added to the puzzle.

We also got a mini theme of drinks in the southeast corner with MAITAI, ICEE, and SODA. We've also got a small Mexican theme in the southwest corner with GUAC and the Mexican flag. Now I'm craving a margarita — seeing that we're in quarantine rules where, as with airport rules, anything goes (at any time).

  • I still can't believe that ABBA got their start on Eurovision. Here was their winning performance:  
  • EGOS (45A: Problems that a group project might face) — More often than not in group projects, I feel like it's more that one or two people take charge while the others are content to just let it happen. At least, that's how every group project I've ever been a part of has gone.
  • The best clue/answer for me was 41A: Means justifiers, perhaps, as ENDS.
  • I got confused in the southwest corner with 65A: Like the middle band of the flag of México. I had "blanco" instead of BLANCA, and it took me a while to catch that hiccup.
  • My Cal-grad sister texted me to tell me she literally grimaced when she was forced to type UCLA into the puzzle. She wants me to tell you that UCLA is merely the No. 2 public school in the country. Can you guess what No. 1 is? GO, BEARS!!
  • It blew my mind when someone pointed out to me that "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and the "ABCs" are to the same tune. Wild.
  • One of the constructors is named ROSS.... and that's the Friends character who made it in. Coincidence? Well, if I ever construct a puzzle, watch out for "County Clare."
Anyway, hope you all stay safe! Have a great week.

Signed, Clare Carroll, social distancer extraordinaire

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:39 AM  

Easy-medium. Smooth with some nice long downs. Never heard the phrase CLAP BACK but then I’m not on social media unless this blog counts. Cute theme, liked it.

okanaganer 12:58 AM  

Hi Clare, thanks for the ABBA video. For some reason I love the original Swedish version..."Jo, jo, vid Waterloo Napoleon fick ge sig".

On another blog, Ross Trudeau commented: "ROSS is by far the worst friend".

I just love the clue "electrically flexible". Say it a few times in a row and you'll love it too.

Never heard the term CLAP BACK (I was convinced it would be SNAP BACK) but nice to learn something on a Tuesday.

Loren Muse Smith 1:11 AM  

It took a minute for the penny to drop once I saw the reveal. Like Clare, I kept looking for CLAP backwards in the themers, like in municipal court. Nothing like overthinking. As far as I can tell, this is pretty much the complete set of phrases. I have to disagree with Clare, though, on how the reveal works; I think it’s spot-on.

I love the sarcasm of a slow clap. And I had heard the expression CLAP BACK but never had really processed it. “Respond quickly and sharply to criticism.” It’s a SAD DAY when we have to MAKE DO with such, such… I have no word. I’m not sure if the word even exists.

Clare – “Baa Baa Black Sheep” can be sung to the same tune.

I noticed the Swedish beginning and end. Little known fact: MAI TAI is Swedish for overpriced sugary rum drink with umbrella garnish.

KITTEN HEEL is so fun. I think a lot of my dress-up toy shoes had kitten heels, right? With furry tufts over the toes? Or maybe the shoes the starlet is sporting as she returns from slipping into something more comfortable? I just investigated, and it seems KITTEN HEELs originated in the ‘50s as training (w)heels for youngish girls. Never knew that they were considered short stilettos; I would argue that any pretty low heel that tapers from heel to ground would qualify. Personally, I hate’em and think they’re unflattering on just about anyone. The cap sleeve of shoes.

“Problems that a group project might face” – staggering rate of absenteeism. Mrs. Smith, we can’t work on this ‘cause Dakota is absent, and he has all the notes.

I keep seeing HAT EMAIL. The email reminding teachers that we’re not to allow hats in our classrooms. What a dumb battle to choose in our demographic. I know a lot of you will disagree with me, but that fashion/respect rule has just about died out. I’ve asked the principal if we could consider the school building a kind of federal government, but our classrooms are states where we can have our own rules. So I can allow hats. One word response: No. I honestly believe that if I had some kind of if-you-bring-your-own-pencil-you-can-wear-your-hat policy, I wouldn’t have to buy so many pencils.

@okanaganer - I sat there and said "electrically flexible" several times and am a convert. Here's one for you - say "cinnamon synonym" several times.

Christina, Ross – nice job. I’m with Clare on enjoying KITTEN HEEL, HATE MAIL, BROWNIES, and ONLOOKER. Oh, and I had never heard of a LEAP SECOND before. Now I’m just a little bit smarter.

Anonymous 1:27 AM  

Never heard of CLAP BACK *or* GOLF CLAP.

Tom R 1:51 AM  

I, too, have never heard of golf clap. Sounds completely made up to me. Never heard of kitten heals, either, but easily gotten from crosses. Typical Tuesday. Theme and theme revealer did not even enter the picture until I got to it, then it was a shrug.

okanaganer 2:29 AM  

@Loren, your "cinnamon synonym" phonically reminded me of something (it sounded like that)...hard to remember... took a while to find it: Incense & Peppermints (skip the ad).

chefwen 3:05 AM  

So good to “see y’all” again. We had a major storm roll through here Friday night with some ROLLING THUNDER but mostly loud CLAPS. Took the internet out and no tech available until late today. Three days without crosswords, blog, Facebook etc. thank God I had an old Merle Reagle book that I hadn’t quite finished. Wanted to give the Spectrum guy a big hug when he righted my world, but that’s taboo these days.

Never heard the term CLAP BACK, got the CLAP part, so I’m with Clare with this one, kinda lukewarm. I sure do like your Airport rules though and they fit right in with this household.

An aside to @Nancy and @GIL I. Enjoyed and laughed at both your replies to our email exchange. Didn’t get to see them until tonight.

Alina 3:56 AM  

Actually, UCLA is the #1 public school in the country, Cal is currently #2.

Sallie 4:19 AM  

What is a golf clap?

Alex M 4:53 AM  

No such thing as a low stiletto, kitten heels are their own animal. Boo for that.

BarbieBarbie 6:36 AM  

@Clare and @LMS, also Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

pabloinnh 6:40 AM  

KITTENHEEl is news to me. I don't see very many women in any kind of heels around here, and a woman of my acquaintance once described someone in town as "you know, the other woman that wears makeup". Yeah, we're rural.

Hoped the frisbee clue would lead to "Ultimate" for Z. Instead, DISCGOLF, which my son plays and has explained to me. You need several different discs. Who knew? Which leads to GOLFCLAP, the kind of unenthusiastic and muted applause you might find on a golf course, which when not on a golf course means it's totally sarcastic.

Saw Dylan and The Rolling Thunder (Revue) in Montreal at the old Forum. Some show. A couple near us spent the whole concert making out. Guess they finally found a place to be alone.

Learned CLAPBACK which makes perfect sense. Thanks to CI and RT for a nice smooth Tuesdecito.

Alexander 6:49 AM  

It’s a very subdued, barely audible clap - comes from the kind of clapping you’d hear on the green after a good putt.

Anonymous 6:51 AM  

Please, what is a golf clap? How was the revealer originally clued?

GILL I. 7:02 AM  

@chefwen...glad you are back with us, Mrs. MENSCH. I was getin worried.
This puzzle has received the biggest HUH award of the year for me. I'll start with DISC GOLF. What? A frisbee and I never saw eye to eye. I always threw them into a wild spin that never landed. Not even my pups could catch them. Then I'm off to KITTEN HEEL. Who comes up with these names? Never mind that I've never worn a stiletto in my life but why saddle a cute KITTEN with probably the most uncomfortable shoe on this planet.... I'm betting the person that invented the brassiere also invented that god-awful shoe.
Next we get to Dylan's celebrated tour of the 70's. ROLLING THUNDER? Ok, if you say so. Dylan and I never did gel. He sings through his nose and never knows when to pause for maybe a breath. Is this a take on his Rolling Stone song the never ended? Then I mosey on over to LEAP SECOND. Who is this master clock changer? I know about a leap year and all that but jeez louise, what are you doing to me.....
Finally- without much ado - you throw a never heard by me CLAP BACK revealer. What is that? my gutter mind couldn't stop thinking of gonorrhea. Where is this thing going?
Maybe I should read what Christina had in mind? Never mind...this was the biggest WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED crossword I've ever done. Thank you. You can sit down now.

amyyanni 7:20 AM  

<...standing in corner with the 'what's a golf clap?'crew..> Hi Clare! Hope you construct a puzzle soon, and with "Irish county" or somesuch in it.
Despite the theme going over my head, found this pleasant. Leap Second and Clap Back are fun.
My job finally is allowing those of us with medical conditions or who are over 65 to "telework." Good for me, but ridiculously awful for my co-workers. We so envy all of you with Governors who put people over profits. Stay well, all.

kitshef 7:21 AM  

ABBA at 1A is normally a signal that you are in for a delightful gem of puzzle … but not today.

Just too many non-interest words in the glue: AHS, SOAMI, STA, ATAD and the like.

Worse, the revealer is a modern bit of ridicu-lousiness. We have a word – a perfectly good word – for a responding quickly to criticism. ComeBACK. The top definition of CLAPBACK on the Urban Dictionary calls it “a dumb-assed replacement phrase for … comeback”.

I somehow completely missed KITTEN HEEL while solving – must have gotten it all from crosses. What the dickens is KITTEN HEEL?

Does anyone know what Clare means by BTS? I suspect it is not Bratislava airport, which is the only one that comes to mind.

BAMstutz 7:24 AM  

I play DISCGOLF so I am thrilled that my hobby made the puzzle. That is all.

Anonymous 7:39 AM  

It's always amazing to me the number of people who don't realize that Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and the ABCs are the same tune. I mentioned it in passing at my book club once (don't remember the context), and all six of the other ladies' jaws dropped. Silence. then a SLOW CLAP. "Oh. My. God." says one. "How could I never have noticed that." Rocked her world.

My three-year-old grandson is currently living with us. We listen to a LOT of nursery rhymes on the phone and ipad. It is amazing how many of them use the same tunes. Wheels on the bus (talk about an ear worm!) is used for a large number of them.

Hungry Mother 7:42 AM  

Slow today because of a concert and a shoe. I needed perps for both. Nice run in the dark this morning with my lights and no other person in sight the whole four miles.

Hungry Mother 7:50 AM  

I spent the summer of 1960 on a student internship in the Radiology Department at UCLA. I was helping a cancer researcher working on detection with an irradiated protein. I also worked with pneumococcus one day. I worked with pleural fluid from cancer patients on a daily basis.

Suzie Q 8:09 AM  

I'm disappointed that Rex is off today. I was wondering what he would say about this. Would he give Uzi a pass because it is in a rapper's name? In my mind seesaw does not mean swing wildly. Trying for a new way to clue Ahs fell flat today. Slap back is slightly better than clap back but it is already stupidly included in 48D.
I usually like most of Mr. Trudeau's work but not today. So Will changed the clue for the most important answer in the grid?
When a puzzle is submitted does the constructor have to sign a waiver or something?
No fun in Crossworld for me. I guess that makes it a sad day. Boo.

webwinger 8:11 AM  

I’ll go you one better: Unfamiliar with CLAP BACK, GOLF CLAP, and SLOW CLAP. Never ever remember a theme landing with such a thud for me. Also had not heard of DISC GOLF or KITTEN HEEL. Did like seeing LEAP SECOND and MENSCH, and the reminder of ROLLING THUNDER Revue. Despite my cluelessness, finished in about average Monday time, faster than yesterday.

No problem accessing the site today! Thank you @Rex and your tech elves. And nice write-up, Clare.

Lewis 8:11 AM  

A golf clap is the deliberately subdued clapping that occurs on the tour when a player taps the ball in the hole -- subdued so as not to disturb the play of nearby players. If you ever watched golf on tv, you'd hear it -- it sounds like the pitty-pat of light rain. But all bets are off if the player sinks a very long putt; then the crowd can't restrain itself from whooping and hollering.

QuasiMojo 8:16 AM  

Thank you @Okanaganer for that hilarious ABBA clip. I wonder if Tootsie got her wardrobe from the same designer.

After making an AHS out of myself yesterday, I am going to steer clear of commenting today except to say that I did not understand one bleeping thing about this puzzle! What on earth is a CLAPBACK?

Z 8:20 AM  

@pabloinnh - The twitching began the second I saw the clue. I don’t think DISC GOLFers are quite as disdainful of Wham-O™️ products as Ultimate players, but I don’t think I have ever seen a Wham-O™️ golf disc, either. Showing up to an Ultimate game with a Frisbee™️ is roughly akin to showing up to CPAC wearing an “I’m with Her” lapel pin.

@kitshef - A CLAPBACK is a comeback on steroids. A comeback can be said with a smile, a CLAPBACK can only be said (or rapped or Tweeted or posted or e-mailed) with a snarl. I’ll go farther and say that Top Urban Dictionary definition is flat out wrong (and more than a little racist). Here, Merriam-Webster has a good explanation, including what “CLAP” referred to originally.

KITTEN HEEL? Okay. If you say so.

@LMS - You’re giving me flashbacks. Stupidest rule ever, and has a religious basis making it constitutionally suspect in a school setting. My favorite was the institutional hypocrisy exposed at conferences, because nobody ever asked a father to remove his hat inside the school building.

I liked the theme. It seems like the fill could have been polished a little more.

thfenn 8:22 AM  

Went straight to ultimate before DISCGOLF and it pained me to let go of that but otherwise enjoyed this one. What do we call Pelosi's clap from the State of the Union? Rolling Thunder Revue on my playlist for today once conference calls are over

Joaquin 8:23 AM  

Never heard of CLAPBACK in this context. However, there was a girl at school who guys could date and she would give you clap back in return. But that's a story for another day ...

Frantic Sloth 8:33 AM  

If you arrive too late to go first at the High Jump event, do you get to LEAPSECOND?

A LEAPSECOND and a NANOSECOND walk back into a bar and the bartender goes "I told you two times we don't serve your kind here!"

Q. How many LEAPSECONDS are there in a New York minute?
A. Nobody knows because there's no such thing as a LEAPSECOND!

TJS 8:35 AM  

For those blown away by the ABC/Twinkle phenomenon, you might want to check out You Tube/Axis of Awesome/4 chord song. Sorry I don't know how to embed.

@GILL I,and others : Just in case your interested, "Chimes of Freedom" is a four CD collection of Dylan songs performed by other artists.Depending on individual tastes, the enjoyment levels can very widely, but the sheer variety of Dylans' song writing is on full display. I thought I knew his music and recognized about half of these songs as his work. Pretty eye-opening. Or just check out Adele singing "To Make You Feel My Love".

In case you can't tell, I'm using much of my time these days organizing and playing my music collection. And drinking beer.

Frantic Sloth 8:43 AM  

A LEAPSECOND and a CLAPBACK walk into a bar. The mayor, dips his OREO in some green paint and ERUCTS before spitting a brief, TAUTENED "Welcome to Natick!" Everyone TEHEES because the population has just increased by two.

Birchbark 8:45 AM  

ABCS -- Here are Mozart's 12 variations on the same tune ("Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman" -- "Should I tell you, Mama?"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bK9h12Qdvs.

I only listened to the first 30 seconds or so, after which, I get the point.

@Gill I. (7:02) re ROLLING THUNDER -- Your Dylan comments are almost too insightful and spot-on to say you've never gelled with the gentleman's music. Is it possible that on some level you secretly gelled, despite your efforts to the contrary? The last time I saw Bob Dylan (about 10 years ago) he was over the top with rearranging his pauses between words. He was about 3/4 of the way through "Blowin' in the Wind" before I recognized the song -- interesting.

xyz 8:48 AM  

I never liked ROSS

Puzzle was a real ROSS

OffTheGrid 8:49 AM  

@okanaganer. I loved the clip. The visuals were terrific, a time travel in performer fashion.

@Kitshef. I googled to find that BTS is a Korean boy band. My 15 year old grandson is obsessed with them too. (I can't be sure that's who Clare meant.)

The puzzle was fine. I didn't get the theme but it makes sense.

A relevant SEINFELD reference

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

It's "snap back."

Birchbark 8:57 AM  

@Frantic Sloth (8:33, 8:43) -- Doubly good. Put an upright bass/brushed snare drum track on low volume behind those jokes and there's no telling how far you could go.

Kathy 9:02 AM  

@LMS. “The cap sleeve of shoes” Delicious!

@pabloinnh. “The other woman who wears makeup” Scrumptious! This rural minimalist trend has gained a lot of traction this past month. And thanks for explaining what a golf clap was.

@okanaganer. Strawberry Alarm Clock, yeah! I had the LP. “And right now I am with you, and together we can make it through...”.

Remember this one? “Something in the Air” by THUNDERCLAP Newman? (I can’t embed a link)

I agree with @GILL I, the theme wins the Huh? award, hands down.

But I had fun with the puzzle anyway. And the bloggers have been in rare form!

Michiganman 9:06 AM  

There are 2 NYT items that caught my eye today. "Trump’s Virus Defense Is Often an Attack, and the Target Is Often a Woman" This expands on what was mentioned here yesterday regarding T's verbal abuse of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The other story is "Days After a Funeral, Virus ‘Hit Like a Bomb’". It's an account of an outbreak in Albany, Georgia. Interesting and scary.

Lewis 9:07 AM  

Solidly made puzzle, and the theme of "different clap types" is fresh. Made me think about clapping besides applause -- clapping someone on the back, the clapping that accompanies flamenco (fresh in my memory after my trip last summer to Barcelona), cymbals clapping, claptrap nonsense, clapboard siding, clapperboards that start movie scenes, Lil' Abner's creator Al Clapp (okay, I'm getting carried away)...

Nancy 9:09 AM  

First of all, I've never heard the word CLAPBACK in my life. I initially had CLAwBACK there, but the SLAP of the Three Stooges straightened me out. (Question: Does slapstick always require SLAPS? I hope not.)

Second, I didn't/don't get the theme. Not even after skimming the explanations on three blogs. Okay, there's a THUNDERCLAP and I suppose SLOW CLAP is some sort of Thing, but what on earth is a GOLF CLAP? I suppose I should ask my brother the golfer.

It didn't affect my response to the puzzle, though. I solved it as a themeless, which, after skimming the three blogs, I still feel that it was, really. And as a themeless, it was...good enough for a Tuesday, I suppose.

RAD2626 9:12 AM  

Nice puzzle. Long fill the highlight. When I got to the revealer I looked back at DISC GOLF and saw FLOG so looked for other backward words of similar ilk. Duh, none.

Anyone who had a child do Suzuki violin knows how many variations there are on Twinkle, Twinkle. Many inadvertent.

David 9:14 AM  

Not bad. Never heard of a golf clap or a clap back or a kitten heel. My only nit was "give the stink eye" would be "glare at" and not just glare. How about, "cause of many rush hour traffic jams"?

R. Duke 9:15 AM  


Antonius Block 9:17 AM  

Such an oddly vanilla clue during these times for 44A, the setting of Albert Camus' "The Plague."

S. Snead 9:21 AM  

Sadly, the golf clap, as well as those announcers whispering conspiratorially into their microphones, seems to be a thing of the past.

Lewis 9:22 AM  

And if you wish to be amazed at things humans are capable of, go to "Clapping" on Wikipedia, and at the first picture, titled, appropriately enough, "A man clapping", watch it (it's a video, just over a minute).

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

"Disc Golf"?? Any good Seinfeld fan knows it's actually "Frolf"! My only real stumbling block was "kitten heel." I got the heel part right away, but never heard of this. I guess I'm no fashionista. "Golf clap," on the other hand, was immediately recognizable. It's the kind of applause Nancy Pelosi gave Trump after one of his speeches; highly sarcastic. Loved it.

pmdm 9:54 AM  

Even though negativity can turn me off ...

I tend to dislike Ross's puzzles a great deal. Usually there's a lot of what I would call PPP that I don't know. Today seemed like no exception, except as a Tuesday puzzle the crosses were easy enough to let me finish the puzzle. Still, as with most of his puzzles, it seems to me like he tries to cram in as much offputting-garbage into a grid as he can. If you're on his wavelength, you'll like his puzzles. I'm off, way off, his wavelength. It doesn't help that I am unfamiliar with the tern CLAPBACK and simply am oblivious to the theme.

Sadly, if I see his name attached to a late week puzzle, I might just pass it by.

Sorry to vent. Maybe it's the isolation.

RooMonster 9:55 AM  

Hey All !
Y'all need t watch more movies. GOLF CLAP is seen in a few comedies. Hey, I thought was common knowledge. As others have said, it originally was clapping on a golf course for a nice shot someone made, but softly and quietly so as not to startle other golfers in close proximity who might be in the midst of a swing. But it's also sarcastic if done to someone who thinks they are or did something great that isn't really great. (Dang, now I see how Rex gets carried away on his rants!) Proper technique: Extend (usually) left hand palm-up straight out, take the four fingers (three, sometimes) from your right hand, at a T angle, and "clap" them in the palm of your left hand. Viola! GOLF CLAP.

Have to admit (so much for common knowledge!) that I didn't grok the theme. Like @Clare, went looking for the backward CLAP in the themers, but when I didn't find it, just completed puz and came here. Oh well, I still consider it a 100% correct puz, as in competitions you don't need to get a theme to win. And that's my rationale!

Thanks, @Z, threw in ultimate without a second thought! Har.

Did enjoy the puz, was kinda tougher than a regular TuesPuz. Decent fill, and a decent theme for the "bad" puz day that is Tuesday.

Laughed at BLANCA. Know the Mexico Flag colors from the movie (see, couch potatoeing is a good thing!) Blue Streak. (Martin Lawrence as a jewel thief who is on the run immediately after stealing it, hides the diamond in a building being built, gets arrested, goes to jail, gets out, goes to building to see that's it's a new police station, and becomes a fake detective to get it back.) The end scene he's on the Mexican border saying he's a Federale, for "the Red, the White, and the Green", ala the flag.

That long paragraph aside, I liked puz overall. (Could've just said that!)

One F
A DINGO ate my baby!

Nancy 10:10 AM  

Oh, @GILL, you poor benighted non-Dylan person, you: When you listen to Dylan, you don't listen to Dylan singing his own stuff, natch. He can't sing a lick* but he writes like a dream. The greatest troubadour of the folk-rock era -- and I include such other faves as Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, and Leonard Cohen. Here's your playlist. Go to YouTube and click on anyone not named Bob Dylan singing any of the following:
Mr. Tambourine Man
With God on Our Side
Blowin' in the Wind
The Times They Are a-Changin'
Like a Rolling Stone
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

I'm guessing that all of these have been performed by other singers, although maybe not.

*My extremely musical brother, who will forget more about music than I know, thinks I'm wrong. He thinks that Dylan's growly, raspy, highly idiosyncratic renditions of his own work imbue the songs with an authenticity and grittiness that give the songs greater power. I like the more euphonious versions sung by better voices, and I think you would too, GILL, if you give them a try.

Wm. C. 10:10 AM  

Like others, never heard of CLAP BACK, didn't get how it made the theme until I came here, and even then it took a while. Also, KITTEN HEEL??? LEAP SECOND??? Needed most of the crosses to get these.

@OffTheGrid, @Kitschef. -- Yes, BTS is a Korean BoyBand. And I'm pretty sure that why Clare mentioned it, while cooped up in her apartment cobbling together things-to- do, is that they were on the Late Late Show last night. Just a guess ...

Overall, a very confusing puzzle. A bit more difficult than the average Tuesday, which is normally good because, for me, Tuesdays are usually a bit too easy. But again, the difficulty wasn't due to challenging clues/fill, it due to the fact that I had to stare at CLAP BACK for a long time, thinking that there was something wrong with the crossing vertical fill. But no ...

xyz 10:20 AM  

GOLF CLAP is a non-golf creation. Don't ask the golfers in your life. GOLF CLAP is like the gifts noon-golfers give golfers for X-mas, things that go to the Goodwill Box.

Technically I suppose it's a polite clap. The Scots, who invented golf have it right, at tournaments held in Scotland, only the exceptional shots merit applause. True Irony for GOLF CLAP.

Now #CLAPBACK we talkin' twitter cool here ...

L 10:33 AM  

Never heard of DISCGOLF whereas ULTIMATE fit in perfectly and that's a frisbee game that's far more widely known, no? And Golf Clap...never heard of it. Weird to be stymied on a tuesday. This quarantine is making my brain mush.

Whatsername 10:48 AM  

I ignored the theme so it didn’t matter to me how it was worded. I knew CLAPBACK from reading Internet stories but it does seem odd to use that term instead of just saying at the end. I liked GUAC, TACOBELL and the Mexican flag all grouped together. Somewhere in the house I still have one of those little talking Chihuahuas that says “you are getting hungry, very hungry.”

I agree with @AlexM (4:53) about the KITTENHEELS. They are definitely a thing but I would not correlate them to stilettos, kittens being short and squat, often in an hourglass shape, and stilettos resembling small pointy spikes. Speaking of tall expensive shoes, where is Melania? Haven’t seen her or heard from her in weeks. My guess is she’s isolated in one of her mansions with many minions to do her grocery shopping.

@OffTheGrid (8:49) Love the dingo clip. I miss Seinfeld.

Z 10:57 AM  

Apologies @Roo

@L - There’s a professional DISC GOLF tour and endorsement deals (the big one is 4 years, $1,000,000). I know lots of Ultimate players who play DISC GOLF and lots of retired Ultimate players who continue with the easier on the body DISC GOLF. As much as I wish it were different, DISC GOLF is probably the more widely played.

Dylan? I mostly agree with this guy.

Barbara S. 10:58 AM  

I'm with many in not knowing CLAPBACK, GOLF CLAP, KITTEN HEEL -- thanks for the enlightenment on all fronts.

21A I was so glad that the sounds in a dentist's office were AHS and not Ows. (Yeah, dentiphobic here -- shudder.)

28A I think a lot of Dylan's more recent tours have been called "Never Ending" (and if you hate his music you probably fervently agree). So I half-heartedly tried to put that in, although quickly realized it didn't fit.

A couple of my favorite words are in this puzzle: MENSCH and BODE. Here they are in a sentence: "Having a mensch running the country bodes well for our future." Hmm. The outsider asks: Have there been many mensches who became President, would you say? Jimmy Carter occurs to me. OK, OK, don't jump all over me --just a thought.

65A For those who speak Spanish, why is BLANCA right and not blanco?

29D ODIST is one of the oddest words I've seen.

In the category of
Electrically flexible and Cinnamon synonym
try the simple Toy boat. (But you have to say it super fast.)

Quinn 11:07 AM  

I read the review. My only comment is that the Byrds' version of "Mr Tambourine Man" is elevator music.

Newboy 11:10 AM  

Quick & easy romp following the across lite’s prompts without pondering crosses. Loved 8D, but the clue should have been Joe Biden according to my inbox yesterday. Reveal seems very strained...DISC GOLF CLAP?? Didn’t know TAPS, so add that to AWNS & ICEE for future gridage.

Today’s bullet on EGOS showed a marked contrast to the theme of Marge Pierce poem featured on today’s http://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-march-31-2020 We need more poetry as well as PPE in these trying moments.

Thanks to the whole crew of fine folk who make the morning look more sunny even as the snow continues outside; blog moderators to rejected constructors to shy returning posters are all suppressing those EGOS to keep us sane.

Now back to see how others respond

CDilly52 11:12 AM  

@okanaganer. “Electrically flexible” made me smile, too! Sounds like some sort of backhanded compliment or something. She thinks she’s so cool with her battery pack sneering at me all plugged in. Wish I were electrically flexible.

Newboy 11:14 AM  

If you wanna try singing, any Emily Dickinson poem fits hand in sanitary glove with “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”

CDilly52 11:19 AM  

Thanks to @LMS I just figured out the phrase CLAP BACK. I have never heard it spoken or written before but have performed it many times! And it is indeed a SLOW CLAP.

jberg 11:20 AM  

I'd never heard CLAPBACK used this way either; but you should drop everything and go read the definition that @Z linked on the Merriam-Webster site. But don't do it if you are one of the rap haters.

Someone asked about Pelosi -- that was a SLOW clap.

I got lucky on this one. I only know DISC GOLF because one day I went to walk in my favorite park and found the whole thing set up with flags and buckets. Seems there was going to be a competition later, but meanwhile some of the players were hanging around to explain the game, hoping more people would take it up. The most interesting (because of the weirdness) thing to me was that the various discs (right, @Z, no Wham-O) were named for golf clubs. There were woods, which you could throw a long way, and putters, which wouldn't go far but were very accurate. So my only problem was that one was leaving the C blank in case it turned out to be a K.

@Gill, I think the Dylan tour wasn't a parody of the Stones, but of Operation Rolling Thunder, the US bombing campaign in Vietnam from 1965-1968. Count me for liking the raspy voice, especially for his early music.

And just so you know, LEAP SECONDs are indeed real -- they are occasional adjustments to the atomic clocks that are the standard for setting other clocks, to account for small variations in the lengths of days and years.

Crimson Devil 11:25 AM  

I’m with kitshef: Whas BTS ??

Anonymous 11:26 AM  

What the h**l is BTS? No obscure esoteric rap or faux word (clap back) clues, please. Some erudition would greatly be desired.

KnittyContessa 11:39 AM  

So many new words and phrases to learn! Never heard of clap back, disc golf, golf clap, slow clap. I would never consider a kitten heel a stiletto. No, just no. Overall a fun puzzle though.

CDilly52 11:41 AM  

I have been working 90% from home but still have to make an appearance at weekly meetings. My rural county elected officials believe that if some of the staff must continue to occupy the county offices for purposes of continuity of government it is unfair of them to eschew the public meeting and go to conference calls or video streaming. Unfortunately, the level of technology available in two of the three counties I serve will not allow more than a conference call. Yesterday, we had a small cadre of folks show up just to be forced to stand outside the meeting room which is too small for more than the six people that needed to be there if we were to remain six feet apart. That started their protest. They claimed that the virus is a hoax and went on from there. I am glad to be working from home again today.

In between email (no HATE MAIL or hat email this morning) I solved the puzzle. Odd jerky start. Possibly just because I’m tired. Clare, your review gave me a boost and a great idea: a Bloody Mary for lunch since “airport rules” do indeed seem to be in effect. Our Governor designated liquor stores as essential I guess since the bars are closed, and their business is booming!

I completely agree with Clare on the puzzle. Expected a little more fun but it was certainly Tuesday worthy. The KITTEN HEEL is ugly. @LMS, you hit the proverbial. All with your analysis! I also disagree that it is a “stiletto” but the constructor’s couldn’t use the word heel in the clue, so I give them a pass. Stilettos are very high and taper to a tiny point at their base. So little upon which to balance and yet exactly enough to make contact with the tiniest sesame seed or piece of rock and the slip and fall is on!

Learned what to call the derisive action of slowly clapping as a response to criticism, so the puzzle hit the right marks for me.

Clare, I don’t know if I would have survived law school by distance learning. Of course it wasn’t possible back then; no internet mobile phones, etc. stay healthy everyone!

Azzurro 11:48 AM  

Curious what the original clue was for the reveal. I’ve definitely heard CLAPBACK and GOLFCLAP but found the theme confusing.


Lewis 11:57 AM  

To add to the Bob Dylan side discussion -- and I am a huge fan of his, his older stuff (hi @jberg!) as well as newer, he just has a one-of-a-kind remarkable wonderful way with words and music -- if you want to hear his songs performed by other artists, listen to the soundtrack from "I'm Not There", a 2007 movie based on him. Definitely worth a listen, IMO.

By the way, in that movie, Dylan was played by a number of actors, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, and Heath Ledger (in his final film released while he was alive).

foxaroni 12:06 PM  

@pmdm...I'm late with this, but wanted to thank you for the explanation of how to get my Saturday puzzles from the NYT Replica edition on line. It's bizarre getting up on Saturday mornings and no papers have been, or will be, delivered. Now, thanks to you, I can at least still do the puzzle. Thank you again.

Barbara S. 12:14 PM  

OK, I've done some research. ("Oh no," they all groan.) The following is cribbed from Wikipedia. The tune of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" is a French melody called "Ah! vous dirai-je, maman," published in 1761. There are various versions of the original French lyrics but this is the first one cited (in English translation, which I know you don't need!):

Oh! Shall I tell you, mommy
What is tormenting me?
Daddy wants me to reason
Like a grown-up person,
Me, I say that sweets
Are worth more than reasoning.

Hey, I'm with the kid, but I guess children had to grow up fast in the eighteenth century and maybe now, too.

The tune has been used for songs and Christmas carols in a whole bunch of countries: Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Turkey. And an even longer list of composers have referenced it in their work. These are but a few: Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Liszt, Saint-Saens.

As probably everyone knows, traditional tunes and melodies often have lives that go way beyond one song. There's another example in the puzzle:

23A TAPS (Tune also known as "Butterfield's Lullaby")

JC66 12:15 PM  

I was fortunate to have seen Dylan numerous times in the 60's (when he first came to NYC) at the Gaslight Club in Greenwich Village and also at the Newport Folk festival where we booed him when he "went electric." I got beyond that and remained a fan (still am) over the years.

What? 12:20 PM  

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an educational crossword before. So many new words.

Pamela 12:25 PM  

This blog is wonderful! I’m only a few posts into it and already laughing out loud!

Sadly, for me as for so many others, today’s offering was no fun at all. Disc golf? WTF is that? The crosses were unquestionably correct, but frisbee does not evoke any connection to golf within me. Also never heard of clapback, came here to discover that ‘clap’ was to be added to the last word in the theme answers. Oh. Ho-hum. Would love to know what the original master clue was.

bookmark 12:33 PM  

Don't forget that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016.

For his words. Not his singing voice.

Nancy 12:34 PM  

Okay -- my thoughts on DISC GOLF, which in NYC seems to be called Frisbee Golf, which to me is an absolute outrage unless it's played on a Frisbee Golf Course. And I'm not even sure there is such a thing. Is there? But when it's played in Central Park, of all places...

(Rant coming. Fair warning.)

So my tennis partner and boyfriend at the time are sitting on the lawn behind Court 11, chit-chatting and half-watching some friends playing doubles... and then all of a sudden, THWACK!!! A Frisbee, thrown from a great distance at great velocity comes out of nowhere and hits Dick in the lower leg -- taking out a chunk of flesh the size and shape of a walnut. A minute or two later, two 20-something male heads appear from the top of the hill up by the Reservoir. It's been quite a number of years, so I can't remember if they called down: "Oops. Sorry about that!" or if they called down "Excuse me, but have you seen our Frisbee?"

Whichever it was, Dick was his customary, laid-back, low-key [Norway-born] self. A small "Oof" when the thing hit him had been -- and remained -- his only response. My response was, as you might imagine after knowing me for some time now...different. It went something like this:

"You guys are so @#$%$# lucky that your @#$%$#$ $%@%&& hit him and not me, because if it had *%$#^% hit me, I would have taken your %^&$#@ Frisbee and &*&$%ed it down your @!@%$# *%&^$%s!!!!" Oh, yes, I absolutely would have!!! OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!"

And now you have my DEEP and INTIMATE feelings about DISC GOLF.

MJB 12:34 PM  

Dylan just released Murder Most Foul five days ago. Hard to listen to, very long, but extremely interesting. Google it if this doesn't work:

CaryInBoulder 12:47 PM  

Count me among those who didn’t get the CLAP, except for THUNDER. Not necessarily a bad thing, btw. Mi esposa had never heard of KITTEN HEEL either, so that makes it count as dubious, too. LEAPSECOND took a while to come into focus. Since I live in the city where the atomic clock is base, it’s at least something I’ve heard of. An otherwise ordinary Tuesday in an otherwise extraordinary time. At least it’s warm enough to get out for a bike ride today.

For the Dylan-deficient, or those who just can’t take his voice, here’s a brilliant contemporary version of his “Masters of War” done by two musical masters, Lucinda Williams and jazz great Charles Lloyd. (If you’re wondering how to create a working link, go to https://embed.ly and the site will do it for you.) We saw Dylan in the ‘90s at New Orleans JazzFest. Since you almost never know what you’re going to get from him, we thought, “well, we’ll give him three songs and then decide whether to move on.” He was excellent and actually personable. A classic moment that we still chuckle about: During a reworked version of “Maggie’s Farm” a woman comes walking out of the crowd towards us going, “That’s not ‘Maggie’s Farm.’ I know ‘Maggie’s Farm’ and that’s not ‘Maggie’s Farm.’” He just released a 17-minute track called “Murder Most Foul,” but I was only able to listen to it for about two minutes.


Teedmn 1:07 PM  

I thought a SLOW CLAP and a GOLF CLAP were somewhat the same thing so I'm not filled with excitement over the theme. And I found FLOG in 17A like @RADAR2626 but gave up on it as the theme explanation when nothing about ROLLING THUNDER made sense backwards.

Is there any reason to choose STA over STN for the abbreviation for "station"? It's one of my "always guess wrong" answers.

Clare, you almost made the puzzle at 31D.

Christina and ROSS, thanks for the Tuesday (that could have been a Monday.) KITTEN HEEL and LEAP SECOND make the grid for me. And does anyone have the recipe for INTIMATE BROWNIES?

Pamela 1:07 PM  

I neglected to say before that his puzzle was just fill-in-the blanks for me, super easy. I solve in pen (because I can see it more clearly) so am in the habit of checking crosses as I go. Rarely needed here.

As for KITTENHEELS: Once upon a time when I was young, I flaunted spike heels- better known now as Stillettos. In those days, 1” or 1.5” super skinny heels were for the chicken livered little prisses who looked ridiculous trying to do the same..

Dylan was an acquired taste for me. In the early days, I agreed with @Gill silently while others fell at his feet. Eventually that sour whine grew on me, and now I think it works perfectly with the protest content of his songs, which I also have come to think of as epic. When I hear his voice I’m transported back to the attic party on Beacon Hill, where I first heard it before moving to New York and ahead with my career. Right around then I stopped wearing spikes and switched to flats, mini’s and eyelashes. Lots of eyelashes ;/

puzzlehoarder 1:14 PM  

I just lost my comment because this websites' commenting software (or whatever it's called) didn't function as usual. I comment using my phone and am now very practiced at using it to comment here. Some days it just goes haywire and I lose whatever it is I've wasted time "one finger composing." Unfortunately the increased use of the internet is making this more common. This puzzle was a Monday.

Arnie 1:26 PM  

A GOLF CLAP I kind of like a sitting ovation.

Another Anon 1:35 PM  

covered above

Aketi 2:32 PM  

Oh Nancy, my afternoon coffee went up my nose because I can perfectly envision you chewing out the frisbee thrower.

I knew CLAP BACK thx to my now 20 something son

I kind went wandering beyond the CLAPs and into the BACKs. There was a TAKE BACK and ROLL BACK. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we also do BACK TAKEs and BACK ROLLs. BACK TAKEs are worth 4 points while BACK ROLls are worth 0.

Barbara S. 2:34 PM  

I'm sorry that no one touched my question earlier today (10:58) about which U.S. presidents turned out to be mensches in office. I'm genuinely interested in the answers a group like this would give. My intention is to ask in a non-partisan way, but maybe such a question inevitably devolves into partisanship, with Red people thinking one predictable thing and Blue people another. And maybe the middle of a national emergency under the current leadership isn't the right time to pose the question. Or maybe "mensch" is too non-specific a term to act as a viable criterion (integrity, honor, highly-developed sense of responsibility, drive to do the right thing for the country you serve). Or maybe all our brains are mush due to quarantine. But my husband and I had a lively debate over lunch about which presidents from the past hundred years or so might be considered mensch material.

The whole issue raises serious questions applicable to all countries. Do mensches run for high office or do the kinds of compromises, shortcuts and deals-with-the-devil necessary to the enterprise rule them out? CAN one run and keep one's mensch qualities intact? How often do mensches get elected if they do run? And even this: are mensches the people we need as our political leaders or are other characteristics more desirable and necessary?

OK, folks, obviously I got carried away. But if anyone has any views on past presidential mensches, I'd be most interested.

albatross shell 2:49 PM  

I have not read comments yet. Two days in a row with constructors' names in the puzzle. Didn't that happen last week, too?

GILL I. 2:51 PM  

@Nancy....Might they have said " We Spotted Dick?" Inside joke. We've never met, but yeah, if I'd been seated next to you I would've added a few pendejo words. As for Dylan, we had this conversation once before when he received his Nobel. I think I cried AAAAACH. You made me read his songs sans his voice. He also reminds me of Joan Baez. She has a pretty voice but it's monotonous to me...and her songs are always sad. Give me Adele anytime. She's never been trained and yet she can hit notes with a purity I enjoy.

Ok, if you can stand it, I'm going to tell you my grocery store story that happened this morning. You know how everyone is telling you DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE because that's how you get this thing? Well as soon as I enter the store, every single orifice on my face needed some attending to. My eyeballs all of a sudden itched. I had this incredible urge to pick my nose (although I don't do that in public), my ears all of a sudden felt like some little spider crawled in there and I had something stuck between my teeth that needed some serious hand picking. I resisted. I get into the mandated 6 miles behind the nearest customer and this very sweet elderly lady turns around and smiles at me. Her dentures were falling out. I'm not making this up. She casually puts them back in with her dainty fingers. I carry hand sanitizer in my purse and I gave her my last little bottle. She asked me if she was supposed to gargle with it. Oh dear lord.
I went to the market to buy groceries for my neighbor.....empty shelves. I wanted to get flour to make my weekly bread....gone. I'm using precious toilet paper for Kleenex. I'm going to buy a bidet.

Masked and Anonymous 2:58 PM  

yep. ok. Not bad. Had heard of GOLFCLAP before, at our house. Had not heard of CLAPBACK, tho.
But, but … ain't GOLF thereby more kinda like a CLAPfront? Or is CLAP the back of GOLFCLAP, so therefore it is a BACK part and a CLAP [a la BACK + CLAP]? Confuses the clap outta M&A.

KITTENHEEL & LEAPSECOND both definitely have the call of the wild in em.

staff weeject pick: LIL. Speaks for its wee self.

Can't think of too many other CLAPs. Maybe ERASERCLAP? HANDCLAP? THECLAP [yo and tmi, @Joaquin]? EVERYBODYPLEASECLAP? CLAPONCLAPOFFCLAP?
@Lewis: AL CLAPP. har

Thanx for gangin up on us and for givin us the CLAPPER, CI darlin and RT dude.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


What? 3:02 PM  

I’d like to see a crossword with fills like that.

Last week's pun 3:14 PM  

You know you're a pervert if food porn gives you an eruction.

Anonymous 3:19 PM  

A puzzle you might find in a local newspaper that is looking for space to fill on a particular page.
Not a very good effort by the constructors or the NYT, frankly.

CaryInBoulder 3:30 PM  

Well, it looks like my embedly attempt didn’t work. But the Lucinda/Charles Lloyd “Masters of War” is well worth a listen if you search for it on YouTube.

Whatsername 3:38 PM  

@GILL (2:51) Just reading that made my nose itch. I know it’s no laughing matter, but if we don’t find some humor somewhere in all this we will go crazy. I’ve had to resort to online ordering to find a few things like powdered milk…if you have not already given that a shot.

john towle 3:43 PM  

Paul Simon deserves the Nobel Prize that Dylan thumbed his nose at. Mis dos centavos.


Droog 3:47 PM  

I had the CLAP BACK in high school, but it cleared up with a little amoxicillin.

Z 4:22 PM  

Wow, @Barbara S.2:34 - That’s a four year undergrad degree in political science. My opinion on which Presidents qualify as MENSCHes is far fewer than we like to believe. Washington and Lincoln probably, Adams and Adams, FDR and DDE. And Obama. Some oft cited presidents had some pretty major flaws (Jefferson and Teddy come to mind), and a whole slew of them were flat out racists. So out of 44 men to serve (Cleveland is #22 and #24) there are only 6 or 7 who fit the bill.
As for your other questions, our whole system of checks and balances is predicated on a pretty simple premise, never ever ever trust anyone who wants the job.

@bookmark - kind of embarrassing, isn’t it. De gustibus non est disputandum and all that, but here’s a short list of more or less contemporaries that I will listen to before Mr. Zimmermann: Prine, C. Simon, Gaye, P. Simon, King, Taylor, Stevens, Marley, Lennon, McCartney, Cohen, Wonder, Mitchell.

Anonymous 4:37 PM  

Don't forget Eric Clapton.

Between Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, I'd have given the Nobel to Cohen, no hesitation.

pmdm 5:01 PM  

foxeroni: Your very welcome.

BobL 5:13 PM  

Geez, you guys. It's Seger. Knopfler, and Truman.

Anoa Bob 5:17 PM  

Like Barbara S. @10:58, and I'm thinking others too, I considered BLANCO at first for 65A. This seemed like another example of the answer being a word in Spanish where the end could an A or O, and which of these is correct is often determined by crossing fill. But, aha, there's an additional element at play here. The clue mentions the Mexican Flag and flag in Spanish is "la bandera". So the info was there to determine it was BLANCA without waiting for the crosses, but that's kind of tough, especially for an early week puzzle. Fun if you know some Spanish but of no help to others.

I recall seeing a few incidents in sports where one player's trash talking to an opponent is answered with a demonstrative CLAP BACK to his face. Sometimes the CLAPping starts first, TRASH CLAP I guess you'd call it.

I think of a GOLF CLAP as a muted, SLOW CLAP. By rounding or cupping my palms and CLAPping them gently, I get a nice approximation, more of a ploop ploop ploop sound, whereas an ummuted, vigorous CLAPping with flattened palms makes a sharper plapp plapp plapp sound. Must do more research.

GILL I. 5:18 PM  

@Barbara S....In Spanish, a flag is called a bandera. It is a feminine noun - ergo, the white center would be referred as BLANCA.
Now on to your MENSCH and any president. You mentioned Carter. I think of MENSCH as someone to admire or maybe honor. You mentioned Carter. Remember his dismal failure to release the American hostages held in Iran? He sat back while the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. During his reign we had a horrible economic and energy crisis. Remember waiting in line for hours to get gas for your car? Remember when Paul Volcher raised interest rates so high that buying a house was impossible. I guess we can all pick our nits.
I have't lived here long enough to admire any president. All of them had caca they inherited from their predecessors. My grandmother always though Ike was the best thing since sliced bread. Reading some history, I would agree with her. And I love sliced bread.

pbc 5:20 PM  

Couple of responses from a Spanish speaker and father of BTS fans:

I'm not positive that the stripe in the Mexican flag needs to be BLANCA rather than blanco, but here is the best reasoning I can offer: The flag seems to be referred to simply as la bandera (flag) de Mexico. Because bandera is feminine, it needs a feminine adjective. If the flag had a distinctive name, a la Old Glory, that name could determine the gender of the adjective. In the absence of such a name, I'd guess that BLANCA pairs with bandera.

Yes, I am sure that Clare's reference to BTS relates to a Korean boy band. It has relatively recently become quite popular in the U.S. (My 20-something kids love it.) The music isn't for me (strikes me as simple pop), but they seem like nice young fellows, and the choreography is a sight to behold. Here is a sample:


Armchair Editor 5:26 PM  

Just throwin' this out there.

YOUR-2nd person possessive
YOU'RE-contraction of you are
YORE-the past

THERE-place, position
THEIR-3rd person possessive
THEY'RE-contraction of they are

albatross shell 5:56 PM  

Thanks for mentioning LEAP SECONDs are real. Read about them in the paper when ever they happen. Surprise the science crowd here were not out in force.

And DISC GOLF also real. And KITTEN HEELs. Google and look at images. Not even a new thing. Didn't know the name, though. I have seen them. BTS, a simple Google. Saw them on TV, but only recalled Korean band.
CLAPBACK was new to me. I thought comeback was an adequate answer, but now I know a new one, I might see again outside a crossword.
I've been hit by tennis balls, and been more graacious than that, but you folks have a weapon in your hand.
@TJE (I think it was.)
That yellow rose of Texas stuff may only work on Dickinson's edited poems. Then again, a few days ago, I was reading blog comments to the Sounds of Silence. Thanks again Z.

Baez ruined most of Dylan's songs. Dulled down the rhythms among other things. Regulated too much? Hendrix was the first one I ever heard do a Dylan song better than Dylan. And I take that as a sign he was a better singer than many folks think. And he wrote for his voice. Guthrie said the Kid ain't much with lyrics, but he has a great voice. Looking at the songs he sang to Guthrie, Guthrie was right.
And if you can't find (as claimed in @Z's link) meaningful lines about today's world in Dylan's old songs, you are not listening.

One starts with:

Senor, senor, do you know where we're heading?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?
Seems like I been down this way before
Is there any truth in that, senor?

And ends with:

Senor, senor, let's disconnect these cables
Overturn these tables
This place don't make sense to me no more
Can you tell me what we're waiting for, senor?

Or to sum up a recent movie that people found meaningful:

The peddler now speaks to the countess who's pretending to care for him
Sayin', "Name me someone that's not a parasite and I'll go out and say a prayer for him"

I liked the new stuff today and the theme. But still enjoyed yesterday's more.

DRAB SAD DAY, but an ICEE MAITAI and DINGO should bring cheer.
Stay smart.

TJS 6:05 PM  

Okay, @Z, I refuse to bite on your obvious intention to ignite some knock-down, drag-out war, ala your ridiculous M. Jordan list... However... I'll give you John Prine, Paul Simon,Carole King, L&M, and Stevie Wonder. But, Cat Stevens on the basis of ? 2 albums ? I mean they are two of my all time faves,but 2? Could the C.Simon be Carly ? Hah!
Again, I would recommend listening to the "Chimes of Freedom" collection to get an idea of the breath of Dylans' writing. Like many others, I'm sure, I gave up on following his career at some point during his Jesus trip, but his later work is definitely worth hearing. Of course, I wouldn't go across the street to hear him sing Sinatra tunes.

Anonymous 6:11 PM  

This was an easy solve without the theme reveal. DiscGolf, RollingThunder, LetsTakeItSlow - all easy accrosses, and yes you can stick clap at the end of each. But the revealer "clapback"?? Wha?? For a humorous take on this word, see - https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=clapback

kitten heels: Sure I've heard of them. I don't think they're very flattering, but my wife doesn't like a very high heel, so ...

Monty Boy 6:13 PM  

I liked this one a lot. Mostly easy except for the odd uses of CLAP. I especially like all the comment/humor about all the odd entries.

My grandson plays ultimate in high school and I was all set to send him a screen shot and pat on the back until the disc golf reared it's head.

Sorta related to @LMS reasoning for absences causing missed group work. I taught algebra for about 15 years and discovered that algebra tests are a leading cause of sickness and deaths in grandparents. I missed the test because my grandpa _______. Fill in the blank any number of ways.

Joe Dipinto 6:58 PM  

@puzzlehoarder 1:14 – For some reason I can no longer preview or publish posts on my phone when I am in Mobile mode. They just vanish. I now have to do everything in Web mode, which I hate. This started about 3 weeks ago, I have no idea why.

Barbara S. 6:58 PM  

@Z 4:22 Thanks much for your comments. You know, I never took a single Poli.Sci. course. Did I miss my calling? Nah!

@Gill 5:18 Thanks also for your thoughts on presidents and mensches. And, on another topic: are you saying that Joan Baez is sadder than Adele? Are you saying that ANYONE is sadder than Adele??

Thanks also to all responders about BLANCA vs. blanco. Maybe the clue should have read "like the middle band of the bandera de Mexico." That would have made the gender clear and maybe non-Spanish speakers like me could have intuited what "bandera" meant.

Anonymous 7:10 PM  

re: Carter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Surprise_conspiracy_theory aka, another Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Not to mention the rogue sandstorm

Z 7:28 PM  

Forgot Jimmy Webb. That’s my kind of protest song, fools you into thinking it’s just another silly love song...hey what’s that about cleaning your gun and being afraid of dying?

@TJS - So five in my list that are just as good? 😉 (BTW - I own the I’m not There soundtrack - mostly because I love Calexico, though)
As for Cat Stevens, he has done a few more than two albums. This could be the theme for Westworld and this one has so many cover versions that I had to scroll for Yusuf singing it.

@albatross shell - re: finding meaningful lines - Sure. There must be some kind of way out of here / Said the joker to the thief /There's too much confusion / I can't get no relief is scarily appropriate today.

@Gill I - I disagree just a wee bit about Carter. Well, actually, with everything you wrote about him. Two things, though, bear correcting. It was the Carter Administration that secured the hostages release and Volcker was so good at economics that his Bloomberg Obit called him “a one-man economic clean-up crew.”

pabloinnh 7:40 PM  

Huge Dylan fan here, but I had to adjust my idea of what made a singer a good singer. In our house it was Andy Williams or Perry Como. Some tweaking needed there. The early Dylan clearly modeled his stuff on Woody Guthrie, and as he says in "Talkin' New York" about trying to get started in The Village-

Got up on the stage to sing and play
Man there said come back some other day
You sound like a hillbilly
We want folk singers here.

The talkin' blues of course being a Guthrie staple.

My favorite album has to be "Blood on the Tracks". A lot of these songs spoke to me personally during a roughish emotional patch a long time ago, and I could still play you most of them, although "Tangled Up In Blue" would be a challenge, as it's practically a novel.

Seems John Prine is still hanging in there. Good.

@Monty Boy-well, the obvious fill-in is "ate my homework". As a retired teacher, I have to say I'd be awful at the online approach, as I enjoyed the personal connection aspect of the classroom immensely.

GILL I. 8:55 PM  

@Z....Nah. He screwed up the Iran Hostage crisis and you know that. We all did. That he took responsibility for the helicopter collision - well, good for him, and his sad face in front of his church and the cameras. Carter was a decent human and a lousy President.
Volcker.....Were you around when interest rates were 20%. No supply of money or credit? Yeah, he was peachy. Don't bother explaining....I was around during that time. Now we have someone else that needs explaining.....If we can.

Nancy 9:30 PM  

@GILL (5:18) -- Ike was probably a better president than my family and other Democrats appreciated at the time. But he was never forgiven for having defeated Adlai Stevenson -- who would have been [we thought] the most fabulous, brilliant, incredible, incomparable President in American history. And maybe he would have been. Who knows? His greatest strength -- his intellectual prowess -- made him suspect: the country called him an "egghead" and the country didn't like eggheads back then. They still don't.

I was a schoolchild during Ike's presidency, but I still remember the joke made about him: Question: "What's an Eisenhower doll?" Answer: "You wind it up and it does nothing for eight years." And, in fact, he didn't do all that much. The one biggie: Warning the country about the "military-industrial complex." The country, of course, paid no attention.

But looking back on it now, I'm thinking that for eight long years, Ike didn't do anything bad. Who could have imagined how wonderful a president who doesn't do anything bad can be? We would kill for such a president right now, I'd venture to say.

Anonymous 10:03 PM  

To correct the record:
"The oil embargo is widely blamed for causing the 1973-1975 recession. U.S. government policies helped cause the recession and the stagflation that accompanied it. They included Nixon's wage-price controls and the Federal Reserve's stop-go monetary policy. Wage-price controls forced companies to keep wages high, which meant businesses laid off workers to reduce costs. At the same time, they couldn't lower prices to stimulate demand. It had fallen when people lost their jobs."
here: https://www.thebalance.com/opec-oil-embargo-causes-and-effects-of-the-crisis-3305806

Carter/Volker inherited Nixon's follies. I was there, too.

Unknown 11:48 PM  

flag, bandera in spanish is feminine. blanca is feminine
blanco is masculine

GILL I. 2:12 AM  

@Anonymous 10:03.....Name me one single President that didn't inherit some sort of "folly" from a previous POTUS. That's why many didn't last long. Some lucked out because the economy rebounded. Oil prices went down, stocks went up, some of the wealthy poured back money into the nation and anyone in power who happened to be around took the credit.
Maybe we need an Abe or two.

pdplot 8:14 AM  

I worked briefly on Wall St. in 1955-56. There was a saying: "Eisenhower Cocktail. Business on the Rocks". We elect our Presidents, then spend 4 years tearing them down.
I'm a golfer. Never heard of a golf clap. My wife knew Kitten heels.
Stay safe everyone.

Anonymous 7:03 PM  

Didn't see this posted so, Papa, Mama and Baby are the names of the places clued. Papa is in Hungary, Mama in Russia, Baby in Poland.

Burma Shave 9:39 AM  


ACTORS BODE worse than ONLOOKERs I reckon,
[. . . TAPS]


thefogman 11:10 AM  

Did anyone find out what the original reveal was?

spacecraft 12:12 PM  

Easy enough to complete, but...last letter in was the first C of ACDC. I knew that had to be right, but CLAPBACK?? Where do people GET this stuff? On what planet is that a thing? And then I looked at the themers: OK, CLAP can go on the end of THUNDER, if "end" means the same as "back." Hm, the backs justify the means. (And BTW, the ends should NEVER justify the means; that way lies the excuse of tyrants--are you listening, Donald?)

But the other two, GOLF and SLOW, those eluded me. I never knew either of those was a "familiar phrase." That's like a "phrase" that Wheel of Fortune producers might put up for the final puzzle when they want to make sure the contestant doesn't win. Which they do. I suppose I can see the one for golf, though to me it seems more like that polite, subdued bit of applause given after a missed putt rather than a made one. And I have seen an example or two of the slow clap, but again, a thing? I sat staring at the finished grid and just shook my head.

So, the theme was an almost total bust for me, giving the feeling that I ought to count it a DNF, practically. The fill also had a WOE: KITTENHEEL, though I'm not surprised at not knowing ladies' footwear. All I know about that is that it's absolutely insane to pay four figures for a pair of shoes just because some designer who the in-crowd decides is "famous" has their name on them. Same thing with sunglasses.

LEAPSECOND, however, is very real. Periodic adjustments have to be made to account for the discrepancy between the standard second and the astral one. On a larger scale, we add a leap day every four years. The leap second is merely a finer adjustment.

As to the rest of the fill, it's pretty solid. ROSIE Perez takes a curtain call as DOD. Seems like our constructors missed the putt [GOLF CLAP], so: par.

rondo 12:52 PM  

For me, the term GOLFCLAP goes back to July 4, 1976. Yes, that exact day. It’s a long story involving 33 people celebrating the Bicentennial with me on my Dad’s houseboat. Bare-chested men and women participating. Did you know that if 30+ people simultaneously SLAP their stomachs like bongo drums it sounds like a TV GOLFCLAP? You do now.

What’s the ROLLINGTHUNDER without the Revue?

ELLE MacPherson, yeah baby.

Might not get it, but I’d ask for a LIL better on a Tuesday.

rainforest 2:09 PM  


Decent puzzle overall, and I saw what the revealer was doing, with CLAP following the ends of the themers, but the term CLAPBACK is new to me. It made me think of what Nancy Pelosi did at the end of the State of the Union (not the one where she tore up the printout). Whatever. maybe that was a form of a CLAPBACK.

Other than the theme, the puzzle was well put-together, and the fill was pretty good, and I liked it. Not bad for a Tuesday.

leftcoaster 3:29 PM  

Bizarre theme and revealer.

THUNDER CLAP holds up okay, I guess, but GOLF CLAP? SLOW CLAP? Got all the words and letters in correctly, but theme and revealer Just. Didn't. Make. Sense. to me.

Two unknown long downs, KITTEN HEEL and LEAP SECOND provided some challenging relief.


leftcoaster 5:38 PM  

@rainforest -- I like your idea about Nancy Polosi's CLAP BACK (or, maybe better, SLOW CLAP) to Trump's SOU address. Not clear the revealer clue would support it, though.

Diana, LIW 5:42 PM  

I'm also in the "huh? CLAPBACK?" crowd. Heard of the others, but had to look that up. Oh....I see. Looks like it's popular in some rap circles. Had not heard that one.

The rest was Tuesday solvable. Now, on to killing the Murder Hornets here in Washington.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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