Fake eyelash slangily / WED 6-24-20 / Jed's adviser on West Wing / Hungarian sporting dog / Closest dwarf planet / Geometric figure with equal angles / Barrier dismantled in 1991

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Constructor: Joe Deeney

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (4:58)

THEME: COLD OPEN (59A: Start of each "S.N.L." episode ... or a hint to the initials of the words in 17-, 24-, 35- and 47-Across) — "OPEN"ings (i.e. the initials) of the words in the themers are I.C., which, when said aloud, make "icy," which is a word meaning "COLD":

Theme answers:
  • IOWA CITY (17A: It served as its state's capital before Des Moines)
  • IRISH COFFEE (24A: Joe and Jack, say?)
  • INFORMED CONSENT (35A: Medical ethics topic)
  • IRON CURTAIN (47A: "Barrier" dismantled in 1991) (the "quotation marks" are weird here)
Word of the Day: SLOVAK (55A: Bratislava resident) —

The Slovaks (or SlovakiansSlovakSlováci, singular: Slovák, feminine: Slovenka, plural: Slovenky) are a West Slavic ethnic group and nation native to Slovakia who share a common ancestryculturehistory and speak the Slovak language.
In Slovakia, c. 4.4 million are ethnic Slovaks of 5.4 million total population. There are Slovak minorities in many neighboring countries including AustriaCroatiaCzech RepublicHungaryPolandRomaniaSerbia and Ukraine and sizeable populations of immigrants and their descendants in AustraliaCanadaFranceGermanyUnited Kingdom and the United States among others, which are collectively referred to as the Slovak diaspora. (wikipedia)

• • •

Monday concept with Thursday cluing. The result: weird and mostly unpleasant. COLD OPEN is a great idea for a revealer, but more for a Monday puzzle where all the first words of themers are cold or can follow the word "cold" (CUT, COMFORT, etc.), something like that. But "I.C."??? That's corny, and using the initials (plural) as OPEN (singular) feels awkward. The fill is all over the place, too, as the grid appears to be trying desperately to be ZANIER than your average grid (what with the "Z"s all over) but somehow it did not have a sizzling feel. Came out clunky, though that was also a result of the cluing, which was oddly (and not very cleanly) ratcheted up (I guess 'cause the theme was so straightforward). ET TU, TNUT!? NYE, NYSE! AMO, LIS! These are just random entries that I didn't care for, that seemed to pile up. The puzzle started out seeming very easy (in the NW), but then when I hit the ISOGON (?) GRAYLY (??) part, things slowed way down. Ditto the R.H. MACY part, wow, initials? (21D: Department store founder). Yeeeesh. FALSIE is a word I've heard, but Not for eyelashes (?) (26D: Fake eyelash, slangily). Anyway, INFORMED CONSENT (a fine answer) took a lot of work, and the whole middle just bogged me down in unpleasant ways. Oh, and one other thing about the themers: since when does Tennessee whiskey go in IRISH COFFEE (24A: Joe and Jack, say?). That clue was brutal, in more ways than one.

So proud to know VIZSLA, but not proud enough to spell it correctly. Even now it feels like the "S" and "Z" should switch places. That little letter transposition hurt more than it should have. I had a very very hard time parsing "NO TAKERS?" (38D: Anyone? ... ANYONE?"). It started with NOT so I wanted NOT phrases, oof. Forgot Lindsey VONN's name, which is definitely my bad (56D: Winter Olympics star Lindsey). I know the word NARY but somehow [Old-timey "not"] didn't do it for me. ["My turn"] is a terrrrrrrible clue for "I'LL GO," since "I'LL GO" is a phrase of volunteering, one you'd use when it's not clear who should be going, whereas "My turn" is a phrase of certainty. If you say "My turn" it is definitely your turn, whereas if you say "I'LL GO" it is not at all clear that it is your turn, but since no one else is stepping up, well alrighty then. If you can't hear the difference between these two phrases, I can't help you, and since I can't help you ... I'LL GO.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. huge thumbs down to not one not two but three [___ tourist destination]s (two of which are "Italian"). Write a clue, why don't you?

P.P.S. base on early Twitter chatter, I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict that the VIZSLA / ZAC crossing is gonna mess a bunch of people up today (it's a very bad cross)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:03 AM  

Reminded me of this:

“I C by your outfit that you are a cowboy”

Perhaps the least likely thing one would hear on the streets of Laredo.

jae 12:06 AM  

Tough. I made a bunch of errors so this was a slog for me...sOle before LONE, IRAnIS before IRAQiS, aim before END, spelled EEYORE wrong, got thrown off by the hyphen in Superman’s name...The puzzle is probably fine but it did seem a tad PPP heavy. That said, my lack of enjoyment was mostly my own fault. I spent way too much time trying to make sense out of nonsense.

Harryp 12:34 AM  

I agree with OFL that this is a challenging Wednesday, but only because the pure Natick 42D, 53A. Otherwise not much of a problem.

Richardf8 1:04 AM  

Falsie is multivalent. When the word appears between a teen and a parent, each recognizes the real meaning, but assumes the other is thinking “Eyelashes.”

Unknown 1:16 AM  

I love how guys who can name dogs from 50s TV shows are complaining they've never heard of the Zac Brown Band. Welcome to the 2000s.

Ron 1:51 AM  

Maybe it's just me, but I had three really brutal Natick crosses: 53A, 11D/16A, and also 59D/65A.

Frantic Sloth 2:08 AM  

I don't think FALSIE means what this puzzle thinks it means. At least a false eyelash isn't the first thing that comes to my mind.
Not my job to edify and so I won't. Besides, I'm sure I'll be proven wrong.

Cool theme. ICy, as it were, and I found myself on the constructor's wavelength in the weirdest ways. A lot of the fill seemed original and fresh to me and yet I was dropping letters in that grid with a familiarity that surprised me.

It was spooky, but I liked that.


Plus any puzz that references LAKECOMO and AMALFI (and what the hey - Roman numerals!) is gonna make me happy.


DeeJay 5:58 AM  

I do hope LMS returns from her break.

ChuckD 6:14 AM  

I liked this one - theme was a little corny but thought the fill was excellent. I’ve seen ZAC Brown a few times and knew VIZSLA from watching Westminster so that corner went in clean for me. Never made it south to AMALFI but love the lake area in the north especially LAGO DI COMO. Agree with Rex about the IRISH COFFEE - it’s a cute clue but just doesn’t work - “Joe and Jameson” would have been better. Always like to see EEYORE and the GRAYLY cross was fitting. Overall a pleasant start to a Wednesday - hopefully to continue with a nice long, hot and humid run.

Lewis 6:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
amyyanni 6:21 AM  

SANDLOT right there going down the center made me think of Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline, who went from the sandlots to the majors (never played minor league ball). Nice. But then I remembered there is no baseball. Sad.

Lewis 6:21 AM  

The combination of early week theme and later week clues/answers gave the puzzle an odd duck vibe, to which I say, "Yes!". Break the mood from time to time. Keep us guessing. Don't let the same-old be predictable.

This felt like a themeless. With lovely bite, yes, but not the bitter battle of Friday and Saturday, and so it felt different, refreshing.

Thank you Will et al for going with this, and Joe for making it. And Joe, congratulations on your new daughter!

QuasiMojo 6:24 AM  

Having never seen SNL except in crosswords I had no idea what the themer was. I still don't get it. But really not interested.

From SPF to LUV, this was a contrived exercise in FALSIE cleverness. Absolutely dull and pointless. It needed to be put in the ICU and sent back for some TLC.

No wonder Monday won POW

Anonymoose 6:42 AM  

I was so thankful for the "?" after the Apple pickers clue. Without it I never would have wondered if "Apple" might refer to computers and not the fruit. I always get fooled by this even though it's in 2 or 3 puzzles every week. I am so dumb.

Steve 6:44 AM  

Who would have thought that the names of TWO Hungarian dogs would fit in 42D? I originally had KUVASZ in the slot for VIZSLA!
I'm a dog nut, don't judge me!!
I also knew Zac Brown Band because I actually saw them open for another two country rock type bands, "Drive By Truckers" and "Old '97s" (at least I think that was the concert - I've been to a few...😄).
So lucky me today! LOL

Stephanie F 6:45 AM  

Am I the only one who felt fairly uncomfortable with "Informed Consent" as the grid-crossing themer in a puzzle that led with AZIZ Ansari, who has violated that very thing?

Hungry Mother 6:46 AM  

Proper names get boring and spoil the fun. An almost good puzzle.

kitshef 7:09 AM  

By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth, this was misplaced. Hard for a Saturday.

And it is as though the editor read my rants from earlier this week and designed a puzzle specifically to irritate me.

We get a Roman numeral and a direction clue.

We get three of the dreaded colloquial equivalency clues.

All the difficulty is generated by proper nouns: LEO, RH MACY, DIXON, ZAC, LAKE COMO. Well, I take that back - VISZLA?????

Add in a poor excuse for a theme, and I doubt there will be a worse puzzle this year.

Diver 7:09 AM  

10 two-word answers and only 5 related to the theme? Fail.

Todd 7:13 AM  

Irish coffee is not simply a whisky and coffee. It is Irish whisky. Hence the name. Last thing I finished in the puzzle because it wasn't tricky, just blatantly wrong.

pyroclasts 7:18 AM  

If I, a math major who minored in Classics, can’t get ISOGON until I’ve got 4 of the letters, it’s a dumb unused word

I’ve been a fan of some of the recent themes Rex has hated (FIELDOFDREAMS, TRAFFICJAM) but man, these last two suuuck

Snoble 7:23 AM  

This was truly a whack-a-mole experience for me. I would finally get an answer, which usually opens things up, only to run into another barrier. I liked the clue for Irish coffee, even if it is the wrong kind of whiskey. All in all, I feel like I was hitting myself in the head with a rubber mallet for a half hour--not deadly, but far from pleasant.

Joaquin 7:28 AM  

@Quasi (6:24) - You don't have to have ever seen SNL to know about this puzzle's theme - COLD OPEN. Although SNL is well-known for its COLD OPENs, the concept is widely used in other tv shows and films.

pabloinnh 7:33 AM  

I can't be the only expectant father who attended a LAMAZE class. I'm not outraged, but I do find that interesting.

Saw what was going on with the IC thing early so was looking, like Joaquin, for an "I see" revealer. To continue his thought

I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy
I see by your outfit you are a cowboy too
We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys
If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy too.

Any puzzle that makes me think of the Smothers Brothers is aces with me. I saw one of their last live performances in Lebanon NH(!) of all places, and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Wish they were around now.

Nice job, JD. Joe and Jack took some crosses, and then some retroactive thinking, and that's a good thing.

KnittyContessa 8:05 AM  

I agree with Rex 100% today.

@jae I made those exact mistakes.

@StephanieF I had the same thought. The more I think about it the more unsettling it is.

Irish coffee is made with Jameson, or any Irish whiskey. Joe and Jack might be a cute answer but it's just wrong.

I know there's a mascara named FALSIES but never heard false eyelashes called that.

ncmathsadist 8:08 AM  

The ZAC VIZSLA crossing is total crap. And the theme was utterly useless. The IC - cold opening thing did nothing for me. I saw the revealed and said, "WTF?"

BTW, TNUT has a certain unwelcome ubiquity. That's an iniquity.

rageismycaffeine 8:10 AM  

@Steve, not to worry, no judging here. I'm also a dog nut. If I hadn't had the V first I easily would have made the same fill error you initially did.

When I got COLD OPEN and realized the terrible "IC" pun, I truly almost rage-quit the puzzle. What a mess.

EdFromHackensack 8:13 AM  

Joe and Jack leaves a bad taste I my mouth. I visited LAKECOMO and the AMALFI coast a few years back. Have yet to visit BALI (Or IOWACITY for that matter). Never heard of ISOGON, VIZSLA or LEO. Finished no errors, which makes for a great start to the day. Thanks Joe Deeney.

The Rose of Tralee 8:19 AM  

There is whiskey-spiked coffee....and then there is IRISH coffee. The latter has Irish whiskey AND whipped cream with a dash of nutmeg. Joe and Jack is not Irish.....unless the inference is to a couple of Kennedys.

Joaquin 8:20 AM  

@pabloinnh - We have a lot in common. I, too, am a dad who attended LAMAZE class (but I must admit I enjoyed the Smothers Brothers concert I attended a lot more!).

I saw them in a small, outdoor venue in Cleveland years ago. Great fun, and Dickie himself sold me (and signed) a "Mom Likes Me Best" T-shirt (which I wore to several family gatherings). While most of their edgy stuff is tame by today's standards, some could not be done today (e.g. "My Old Man").

Wm. C. 8:56 AM  

When we lived in Paris on a company international assignment years ago, we drove south and spent two weeks traveling around Northern Italy. (no interest in seeing Rome.). We spent a couple days in a hotel on the shores of Lake Como... Just lovely!

Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Monteriggioni, Florence, Cinque Terra, La Spezia,, Pisa. Beautiful places, friendly people, and the world's best food!

Also spent a few days some in very nice French village inns.

Thank goodness for those lo-o-o-ong European vacation days!

Pamela 9:05 AM  

Fake eyelash. One single hair. Who would be bothered with such an insignificant thing! Even the so-called ‘individuals’ are small clumps of lashes. I worked with these little things for decades, first on myself, in the Twiggy days, then on all kinds of interesting people. For a while, in the ‘natural look’ days, they wanted only a few cheaters as fillers. In the Kardashian Era, we piled them on- the more, the merrier. Sometimes we called them FALSIES. Now I think it’s gone the other way again, but I’m out of the loop. I finally retired last year so I’d have more time for the violin. And puzzles😉

I did the puzzle last night because I couldn’t sleep, but must have only been half awake because the brain cells weren’t firing very well. ZOOMINto messed me up for a while. IRISHCOFFEE meant nothing to me as clued, got it from the crosses. Nearly Naticked with VIZSLA/ZAC but squeaked through somehow. Geometry was never a strong point- wanted Isosceles but it didn’t fit. Also had INFeRrEDCONSENT for a while, until the Apple fell from the tree. Shouldn’t that be a thing? Like when you really want to do something, and there’s no one saying you can’t?

William of Ockham 9:12 AM  

Let's see, today's clues

Croswordese ✅
Clever ✅
Bad ✅
Horrible ✅
Awful ✅
Stupid ✅
Redundant ✅
Natick ✅


I am a Proud SLOVAK

Jury's Out 9:18 AM  

@Stephanie. I do sympathize with your Aziz Ansari concern. From accounts I read, his date willingly went to his place and willingly engaged in sex play-to a point. If he forced her in any way, that was not described. Some men behave despicably if not illegally. It is impossible to know if this was either. No other women have made allegations against him. His real crime is that he's not funny.

Nancy 9:18 AM  

Very hard for a Wednesday -- and in the way I most dislike. Solving is dependent not on wordplay and vocabulary, but on tiny bits of pointless knowledge -- mostly names that will be entirely forgotten in a couple of years. Nor did I know the Japanese sword. Is that something the educated person should know? I have no idea. I do think I should have known ISOGON -- but I didn't.

I kept wanting BERLIN WALL instead of IRON CURTAIN for 47A, but it didn't fit.

LET GO before LOOSE at 31A. Written in and slow to erase.

The only baseball "Roberto" I know is Clemente. Anyone else?

Really disliked this -- other than VIZSLA -- which I had no idea how to spell. More about a wonderful VIZLA in my next comment.

Katzzz 9:26 AM  

A first for me. I agreed with every word Rex wrote today. My downfall was not knowing the Hungarian dog or the dwarf planet. Had visela and celes which gave me equale for even. Looked wrong because it was.

Lorelei Lee 9:30 AM  

Felt like I was walking through a maze hauling a backpack full of rocks, stopping at each square to sort through them and drop one in.

Just typing in Grayly depressed me. From 1D to 66A, an Iron Curtain descended on my brain.

Just thinking about the false promise of weeks of Lamaze classes (bring the drugs Now!!!) caused pain.

Anti, litter, rat. It was tough, but fair.

@Frantic, I would reverse the party favor/brain rating (aha! Just typing party favor made me laugh .. I'm ok now). Btw from days ago, for years I said the accent followed up with bless your heart, made anything acceptable!

pmdm 9:32 AM  

A Monday puzzle should be baby simple. I, for one, could not figure out the IC pun to understand the theme. For me, the puzzle seemed like a themeless. I suspect, for many solvers the theme got sussed out after solving the puzzle. That should never ever happen on a Monday. Yes, the theme entries were easy enough. But how they added up was more difficult than should be for a Monday newbie solver. Perhaps appropraite for a Tuesday. But I take exception to classifying this as a Monday theme.

J is the only missing letter. Even so, I felt I was solving a pangram puzzle. That's not a complaint, just an observation.

I am truly embarrassed I had a hard time with 55A since all four of the grandparents were of Slovak descent (although they referred to their old home as in Austria-Hungary).

Anonymous 9:33 AM  


Me Too!

Nancy 9:40 AM  

When I used to lie on the hill overlooking Court 13 in Central Park, there was an enchanting VIZSLA who adopted me. She adopted me by blindsiding me from time to time, crashing down on the grass beside me and rolling playfully (and heavily) into my hip. Then snuggling up next to me while Maggie, her owner, was paying more attention to her Rhodesian Ridgeback who was only interested in chasing squirrels. Maggie explained how sporting breeds tend to love people whereas hounds such as the Ridgeback tend to like chasing small animals. "If you ever get a dog, Nancy," she said, "don't get a hound. It'll yank you all over the city."

One day I saw Maggie only with her Ridgeback and learned sadly that Tisha, the VIZSLA, had died. I almost felt as though it was my dog who'd died -- just the sweetest, sweetest, most loving dog imaginable.

Not long after that, I saw Maggie -- an athletic-looking but much older woman possibly in her early 80s -- wearing a cast from her wrist to her shoulder. The Ridgeback had chased one too many squirrels and dragged Maggie down right with her. She'd broken her arm.

Then Maggie vanished from the park. I never knew her last name or where she lived -- other than it was on the UWS. I wondered what had happened to her. It's been at least five years, maybe more. I miss her and I miss Tisha. An irresistible dog.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

aren't all bras these days padded? no point to the falsie adjective. back in the 70s and 80s, cups were just a thin sheet of nylon/etc. moulded into the preferred shape (for those not of sufficient age, think the original cover of "Blind Faith"; if you have one, you've got some moolah) around an underwire. high beams galore, even on minimally endowed girls. ah, those were the days, my friend, I wished they'd never end.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

Roberto is a baseball player with a spitter who is not a pitcher.

RooMonster 9:51 AM  

Hey All !
Missed IRON CITY BEER as a themer! Or IC LIGHT. It's a Pittsburgh thing.

Not the best puz in the world today, but don't think it deserves stones thrown at it either. Kind of a tougher TuesPuz. Got bogged down with wINe for VINO, and the ole brain not being able to come up with INFORMED. I had INteRMED because at the end of a puz, my brain shifts from "let's get this puz complete!" to "I can't figure this out and I want to end it!" so I just put in letters to get the Almost There! message, and then hit Check Puzzle and fix my wrongness. Not sure why I run out of patience at the end of a puz, by then take my time to fix the wrongness. Weird.

Anyway, ended up with ISeGeN, wINe, wIZSLA. 4 letter DNF, 5 words.

A J from a pangram. My crazy brain always wants a pangram when one is this close. C'mon man, fit a J somewhere! 😊

**SB part next**
Missed one word YesterBee which I would've bet my life that I tried. Has that happened to anyone before? This isn't the first time when I look at the previous day's missed words, and say, "I tried that!" Not sure what the hell is going on. Maybe is a side-of-the-eye thought-I-saw-something phenomenon. Gonna get that QB today, though, I'm determined!

**SB over**

Four F's (three in themers)

QuasiMojo 9:56 AM  

@Joaquin Thanks for the info. I did know what a cold open is from tv shows I watched as a child. Honey West et al. But for all I knew SNL feature jugglers or animal acts or spoofs of the news as intros. Johnny Carson always started with a bunch of jokes. My point, stated badly, I admit, was that I didn't get the theme from the clue as written and didn't see the ICEY thing until I got here. I still think it was a weak idea for a theme. And tends to underscore a point I made a while back that the NYT puzzles are becoming more and more gimmicky, even groaningly absurd, rather than mentally challenging or worth the time to do them. I'd go away and comment on puzzles elsewhere but frankly this is the only blog that has good commentators. Some of the others seem to have no followers and others such as Wordplay require more patience than I can muster.

mathgent 10:01 AM  

I liked it. As usual, the theme was irrelevant to solving but it didn’t restrict quality fill this time. Lots of I-C combos. And after solving, I went back to the grid and found what the long entries had to do with COLDOPENING. Amusing.

Quality fill. I had fifteen red plus signs in the margins. Very high for a Wednesday.

Another math major who hadn’t heard ISOGON before. I haven’t studied much geometry.

Too many Terrible Threes (22) but they didn’t crowd out longish entries. Almost 45% six letters or more.

I can’t find the comment about the false promise of LAMAZE classes but my wife loved it. She’s with you. Give me those drugs ... now!

Is PATTI Smith married to John McEnroe?

Whatsername 10:04 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wm. C. 10:05 AM  

@Pabloinnh:33 --

In re: Lebanon NH (of all places)):

We had a vacation house in west-central NH years ago, and always went to Lebanon (of all places) for the July 4th fireworks. We also went through Lebanon on the way to Hanover to dine at the several excellent restaurants there.

Ernonymous 10:14 AM  

I had a lot of trouble with Lake Como. I'm very familiar with Italy and I could not think of a tourist destination that started with LA. First I thought it was one word, but then I wondered if it was not a city, but La something, like LA Piazza. I then ran the alphabet, but I skipped the letter K, because there is no K in Italian. Mama Mia!
I had so many brain blocks. I was reading the clue for Zanier as out there, like outside. Then Skier seemed impossible too.
I knew VIZSLA because 2 of my friends have them, but like Rex, I wasn't sure of the position of the S and the Z. That is not an easy dog to raise, they are very energetic, and will tear up a sofa if you don't provide them with tons of exercise and stimulation.
@roo They used to sell Iron City beer in Albany NY when I lived there as a poor student the choice was between Genny and Iron City, both cheap. I used to say: you need an iron stomach to drink that stuff!

Ellen S 10:19 AM  

Yeah, but @Steve, a Kuvasz isn’t a sporting dog, is it?

Z 10:19 AM  

I sometimes get irked that I am accused here of being Rex in disguise and then I read a post like today’s and have to admit they sort of have a point. So if you wonder what my reaction was just reread Rex. Well, I’d have added a lengthy howl against the RRN.

@DeeJay and other @LMS fans - She’s reading but doesn’t have good internet access for posting. I don’t know when she’ll be back.

@amyyanni - My jersey number is 6. And not in honor of Stan Musial.

@Unknown - 1950’s? Hell, I can name a 1930 movie dog!

@anonymoose - LOL funny. I can’t decide if you’re serious or not, but it got me laughing either way.

@Steve - I haven’t seen ZAC Brown but I do have a Drive-By Truckers Dance Band of the Resistance t-shirt.

@Pabloinnh - It wasn’t LAMAZE, but I had to go through the equivalent three times to be allowed in the delivery room. The VBAC class was interesting. By far the funniest, though, is my friend’s experience. Child #1 - You wait here and we’ll let you know when it’s over. Child #2 - You can be in the delivery room until it gets close. Child #3 - Would you like to cut the cord?

Hack mechanic 10:24 AM  

No that would be "IC they caught a cowboy wearing paper pants, apparently he was rustling"

Sir Hillary 10:29 AM  

What do the following people have in common?
-- Bob Iger (former Disney CEO)
-- Gavin MacLeod (late actor)
-- David Muir (current ABC News anchor)
-- Jessica Savitch (late former NBC News anchor)
-- Alan Colmes (late former Sean Hannity foil)?

All attended Ithaca College, frequently referred to as I.C.

That's the only Intelligent(?) Comment I Can make on this Indifferent Crossword.

OK, I'll Cede the floor...

pabloinnh 10:30 AM  

@Wm. C.-We've also been to the Lebanon fireworks, and Hanover restaurants are slowly reopening with a lot of outside tables. My favorite pub has just closed its doors, though, so there goes my hootenanny. We're just north of Hanover and have many, many connections.

The world is a handkerchief, as someone in Spain told me once.

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Last time I heard someone say NOCUTS I think I was in the second grade. Also, although I'm not a fan of Zac Brown, dude is selling out sheds every summer. And not knowing that FLY is slang for stylish is just showing your age.

estraumanis 10:32 AM  

Great to see my old hometown, IOWA CITY, not just as an answer, but a themer no less. It really is a great Midwest university town with plenty of diversity, music, literature and art. My first ever NYTXW puzzles were solved there!

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:33 AM  

Bootstraps. Not outfit. I see by your BOOTSTRAPS that you are a cowboy....

Newboy 10:34 AM  

No ERRs today & I loved that clue. Liked the double letters and end of the alphabet focus today. Besides any puzzle that prompted me to recall VINO & LAKE COMO as well as BALI is sure to win me over. Never made it to BALI as the state department closed travel to Indonesia on the Friday before our Monday flight—one of few regrets. But still happy memories of the semester of studying the history & culture in preparation for the trip. So disappointed with the cancellation that we took off for a totally free form visit to Greece; no plans & no reservations, but an all time adventure. And I even learned how to spell VIZSLA !

Would you really call a slug of JD in Starbucks IRISH COFFEE? Gotta be Bushmills doesn’t it. Hope others kept their PPE in place and enjoyed the solve. Off to read above.

Karl Grouch 10:38 AM  

From Webster's:
- zoominon: computer chat virus
- isogon: kind of prehistoric lizard
- alomar, lamaze : normandy beaches (see d-day)
- katana: sicilian tourist destination
- macuser: glasgow slang for drug addict
- eeyore: frequent misspelling of eye sore.

This could go on forever...


R. H Vonn Krapp

burtonkd 10:43 AM  

@Joaquin and pablo - hands up for being a Lamaze class dad, seemed like it was kind of the point, at least the way it was run in our group: it was all couples.

@Rex - Who wants to go out and pick up the sandwiches for lunch? Oh, you went last time? I guess it's my turn, I'll go.

None of the Naticks bothered me today since I got them all right:)

@Pamela - Is the Kardashian era over? You'd never know it from the padded fake butts being worn in my neighborhood:)

@Jury is still out: my thoughts also. The situation was way more nuanced than merits reducing him to a poster boy for informed consent.
An Atlantic article at the time:

Born in IOWACITY, but moved away too early (6mo) to learn this historical tidbit, so needed a few crosses.

Once again, citing Tweets on the blog proves to me that I'm not missing anything by not inhabiting Twitter. I guess I did learn in a minimum of characters that Lee Coller has never heard of the term "fly" as in superfly or flygirls, etc.

bauskern 10:46 AM  

Was it tough? yes, for a Wednesday. Were there some killer crosses? Yes. Is ZAC Brown Band unfair? Not if you're a country music lover, which most of the country is (although perhaps not the cohort who does this puzzle). ZAC is certainly as fair as the rappers who REX admires.
Remember, these puzzles are created to make us think & enjoy part of the day.
Enough dumping on the constructors and the editor. It's old.

gloriosky 10:46 AM  


Alphadoppelwhatever 10:46 AM  

@Lewis, you should check out today's Wall Street Journal puzzle.

Ben C 10:46 AM  

I enjoyed this one more than most. Refreshing.

burtonkd 10:47 AM  

@Lorelei - was going to comment on LAMAZE also. It sold us on the beauty of natural birth to the point that my wife held out on the epidural to the point the hospital staff was feeling cruel. 2nd child - "hook me up"

Joe Welling 10:49 AM  

My issue with FALSIE is that at least when used for eyelashes, it cannot be singular. They're not glued on lash by lash, right?

toddh 10:56 AM  

24A would’ve made a lot more sense with “Joe and Jamison,eg” as the clue. And it would have still been alliterative.

Carola 10:56 AM  

It seems to be "Letter Week" on the puzzle theme calendar (Monday and Tuesday solvers will know what I mean), and at this point the idea, at least for me, is losing its shine. Lotsa work for a modest payoff. I liked AMO x COMO and, along with AMALFI, the nod to Rome with ET TU.

Me, too, for doing some hair-tearing in the SW. Around here, it's not "NO CUTS!" but "NO BUTTS!" (as in butting in). Also was led astray for a while by IRAnIS. Had to guess at VIZSLA x ZAC.

Help from previous puzzles: CERES. Help from being married to a researcher: INFORMED CONSENT. Help from experience seared into memory: LAMAZE.

Nancy 11:01 AM  

"The world is a handkerchief"???????????????????

Hartley70 11:02 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed this one! It feels like mid July today and I-C was a cheery thought. LAKECOMO, my very favorite destination, upped the pleasure ante. Like yesterday, I found this a strange theme, but today it’s a good kind of strange. I didn’t have trouble seeing it, and it gave me a smile. The cluing was a little left of center and right in my wheelhouse. I only slowed down to put that S in VIZSLA, such an elegant dog.

Lorelei Lee 11:10 AM  

@Roo and @Giovanni, You checked all the boxes on Iron City, but the best brew of SW PA was Rolling Rock (two bottles for 50 cents at a Penn State dive The Rathskeller back in the '70s).

Also @Giovanni, same thought process on that NE corner and La ___.

@Nancy, yes on Clemente.

Lewis 11:11 AM  

@alpha10:46 -- Thanks for the heads up, and my alphadoppeltotteristic brain zone broke into a big smile at the theme.

GILL I. 11:14 AM  

OK, so here's my story. I started this late last night...after watching the last episode of "Pacific." It was about 10:30 or so and I was sad because some of the Marine's I came to like, had died. So I dig into this and wondered what day of the week it was. The only thing I had and stared at was LAMAZE. It doesn't work. It only makes you hyperventilate and makes you want to smack your spouse silly - especially when he's yelling YOU CAN DO THIS. Epidural, my friends...save yourself the agony. Eyes drooping so I'm off to bed.
1:30 rolls around so I get out of bed to tackle this thing. I'm hungry so I toast some olive bread and make myself a cup of tea. What are all these name? AZIZ PATTI ALOMAR RHMACY? Yawn. Just try and keep going. You can do this - after all, it's only Wednesday.
So my first theme entry is IRISH COFFEE and I wondered if Bushmills was a Joe or a Jack. Didn't see the IC connection. Started nodding off again so I thought I could probably finish after a few hours of shut eye.
Get up at 7:00 and the dogs do their happy feet dance. Walk around the neighborhood, pour some COFFEE and try to finish without a cheat. I looked at 59A and saw that the theme had something to do with SNL. Dang, says I....I haven't watched since Roseannadanna died. Will I be able to suss out the theme? Nope. So I just solved as a themeless.
In my world growing up, FALSIES were never anything you put on your eyes. NO SIREE BOB. It was the Kleenex my best friend stuffed in her way too big bra. She could never quite cram them in all the way and some of it would kinda find its way out of her blouse. To make things worse, they were lopsided. She always had one boob bigger than the other. It was an ILL GO moment.
Well, I did manage to finish but It was hard and it took a long time. I did cheat at the VIZSLA and ZAC intersection. I thought I knew all of my dogs, I guess I don't
I still don't know what a COLD OPEN means. Do I need to go back to sleep?

Unknown 11:18 AM  

Love seeing vizsla after owning and rescuing vizslas for many years I still spell it wrong most of the time!

Hungry Mother 11:18 AM  

Kentucky coffee?

PGregory Springer 11:19 AM  


Hungry Mother 11:20 AM  

Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey Coffee

Birchbark 11:24 AM  

I knew 21D's initials from the early scene in "Miracle on 34th Street," where they're all in R.H. MACY's office coming up with the nationwide "friendly store" campaign. The shot is composed like a Dutch master painting, only with executives, one of whom calls the avuncular titan "R.H." I wish it were like that in real life.

@Z(10:19) -- re RRN Howl: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by random Roman numerals.

GHarris 11:36 AM  

I wasn't at Superman's bris so I had fey going down and needed autocheck to open the fly.
@Nancy a very touching tale, I was moved.

Ethan Taliesin 11:42 AM  

I initially had ARK for the Kentucky museum. I was so glad when I realized my error.

Like Hungry Mother said, too many people, but good puzzle though. I loved the "Jack and Joe" clue.

My time wasn't terrible but it seemed really hard for Wed, esp the SW quad

pabloinnh 11:42 AM  

@Nancy-That was a quote. Many years ago I happened to be talking to a guy I'd just met in a bar in Benidorm, Spain. We had a lovely nice long talk and when it was time to go I said something like "fun time, but we'll never see each other again" (we were speaking Spanish), and he said, ah Pablo, the world is a handkerchief, meaning, it's a small world. Made sense to me. I still use this occasionally in an anti-pollution kind of way by saying, remember, the world is a handkerchief, but don't blow your nose on it.

Masked and Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Brrrr. I-C reception, for this WedPuz. Theme there might seem to be a bit bland, on your initial "I see" moment. Puz sure had a lotta interestin stuff in it, tho.
Also, M&A has been to IOWACITY. Cute little college town, with a big medical center. I even have some friends that live there-bouts.

sparklers: ZOOMINON. INWANTOF. VIZSLA. KATANA/AMALFI [both of these have been in real recent runtpuzs, and thus were gimmes, at our house].

Cool progressions:
* MonPuz: 74 words, 1 ?-clue.
* TuesPuz: 74 words, 2 ?-clues.
* WedPuz: 74 words, 3 ?-clues.

staff weeject pick: ZAC. Didn't ZAC-ly know this country band. Did know CERES, tho.

Thanx for all the IC-fun, Mr. Deeney.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Hartley70 11:45 AM  

@ Steve 6:44, Me too. I once had a Maremma, often mistaken for a Kuvasz, even by a vet once.

Swagomatic 11:49 AM  

This was a very rare under two Rex time for me, and a Wednesday record. I guess I kind of lucked out with the trivia in this one. I guess I got the theme, but I thought that there was no way I was right.

What? 11:52 AM  

Lebanon of all places is where Dartmouth professors live because Hanover is too expensive

Joe Dipinto 11:57 AM  

@mathgent – John McEnroe was married to Patty Smyth, lead singer of the group Scandal.

(I see the Zac Brown Band also has a song called "Warrior" on their newest album. How could a younger person not have heard of them by this time? They've won lots of awards, including the Best New Artist Grammy in 2010. I'm not familiar with their music but they seem like a pretty high-profile country-rock band.)

Ernonymous 11:58 AM  

@lorelei I remember Rolling Rock. It came in little green cans I think. It tasted like water. It went down very easily, like drinking water. Genny Cream, on the other hand, tasted sweet like root beer. Iron City Beer was just bad.

old timer 12:04 PM  

What a wonderful bunch of comments today, even without @LMS being able to entertain us, as she so often does when back home in West Virginia. I found the puzzle tough but satisfying, even though the cluing had a few flaws, and the Revealer gave me NARY a help. But then, I almost never even understand Revealers.

INFORMED CONSENT was just brilliant. Yeah, it comes up in date rape cases, though consent there depends little on the "informed" part. A seducer can lie about almost anything, except the physical nature of the act, so long as the seducee is not so far under the influence of drugs or alcohol as to be incapable of consent. But INFORMED CONSENT is vital when it comes to performing medical procedures, and the adequacy of pre-operation warnings and caveats is a major, major factor in many a lawsuit against medical providers.

You can make Irish Coffee with Jameson's, though many consider using it a waste of perfectly good whiskey. It is traditionally made with Tullamore Dew, which has been used by he iconic Buena Vista bar in San Francisco since the beginning. Probably the BV buys more TD than is sold in all of Ireland. And few are the tourists who do not pop in to the Buena Vista at least once -- it is right at the end of the Hyde St cable car line.

Falsies! Popular with some teenage girls 60 years ago, to make them look from a distance as though they were as well endowed as the Hollywood stars of the era. And a horrible mistake almost always if worn on a date. The padding was too obvious and in the end off-putting. In the Sixties, small-breasted girls learned they would be far more attractive to boys if they simply wore no bra at all.

Hands up for having undergone all those prenatal classes for expectant dads and moms. A total waste of time if you ended up needing a C-section, as we did.

ChuckD 12:05 PM  

@mathgent - the great PATTI Smith was married to the late Fred Smith who played guitar for the MC5.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

I thought this puzzle was fun. Remember, they're puzzles, not fill-in-the-blanks. You are supposed to reason it out.

Loved 24A. By the time I was ready to fill it in from crosses, I immediately saw the answer. Looked back at the clue to see why I'd missed it earlier and actually laughed. That's why crosswords are interesting. You are forced to see words and/or word combinations (clues and/or answers) in ab unexpected way. I got 42D entirely on crosses; where's the Natick? Typical Wednesday in my book, maybe a cut above.

Crimson Devil 12:09 PM  

Loreili and Giovani
I believe they still make Rolling Rock beer, in LaTrobe, PA, also famous as Arnold Palmer’s hometown.
Loreili, enjoyed your tale of asymmetrical pal; discovery of existence of falsies was a sad day in my adolescence.

bigsteve46 12:14 PM  

I am kind of a country music fan but I never heard of the Zac Brown Band. I am also older than dirt and "country" to me is more likely to bring up Hank Williams or Tammy Wynette than these newer folks - but after a little googling Zac Brown seems like quite a legitimate entry. Looking at the personnel in the Brown ensemble, my only quibble might be: as a 100% paisano myself, I wonder, what kind of a country music band has two Italians (Jimmy De Martini and Matt Mangano) in it? Weren't there any openings with Johnny Puleo or Al Martino?

pabloinnh 12:22 PM  

@What-Lebanon of all places is also where a lot of Hanover High School teachers live, for the same reason, only moreso.

Z 12:25 PM  

Interesting serendipity with this week's AVCX crossword. I liked it more than the NYTX, but not a lot more.

kitshef 12:25 PM  

INFORMED CONSENT is a limited in scope to health care, I believe. And as far as I know AZIZ did not provide medical treatment to anyone.

I thinks folks are confusing it with "affirmative consent" or "expressed consent".

jb129 12:28 PM  

I didn't know Zac but I knew Vizsla - all in all, I liked this puzzle.

Lorelei Lee 12:31 PM  

@Giovanni and Crimson, I was a waitress at the Skeller where back in the day Rolling Rock came in green, 7 oz. "pony" bottles. All you had to do was walk in, sit down, and raise two fingers like a peace sign, meaning bring me two. The tips were awful cause every quarter counted.

@Burtonkd, etal, I suspect Lamaze classes are a plot sponsored by the insurance industry to avoid the expense of an anesthesiologist.

The dental insurance people would probably try it if they thought anyone out there would fall for a dentist saying, breath fast in and out, I'm going to fill this tooth.

sara 12:34 PM  

guess i'm a minority with great success and gratitude with LaMaze (51 years ago, it was new then)... when the doc interrupted my breathing to do a check on dilation, i felt the pain, holy S---, it's bad... but this breathing really works! we all had such pride in being "natural" which in retrospect seems overdone - no shame for those who gave up and went for the drug fix..

jberg 12:58 PM  

I got IOWA CITY, then INFORMED CONSENT pretty early, and asked, "Is that it? Just I.C.?" But I could never have guessed the revealer, which made it all make a little more sense (at least after I read the clue properly--somehow, the first time through I somehow read S.N.L as Star Trek -- and the answer does have that _OLD in it.

I know there's a comic actor named Ansari, but can never remember his first name, and don't keep up on what he's accused of. But really, the concept applied to sex is just consent (or 'non-consensual.' INFORMED CONSENT is basic in research ethics (as well as medical care).

@Nancy, what a beautiful story! My stepdaughter has a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I believe it did pull her off her feet once. She could only control it by getting one of those choke collars with spikes pointing inward -- sounds cruel, but if barely fazes him. He's very affectionate, but really bouncy.

@Pablo and others -- yes, fathers need to be in the classes, since our role as coach more or less requires us to know what we're doing. (For those who haven't done this, it's not really calling out encouraging phrases, but timing the pants and saying when to push, etc.) That was with my ex, who was born in IOWA CITY.

All those tourist destinations made me a bit sad; my wife and I had such a great time on the AMALFI Coast last year that we were planning a trip to Sicily this month. It was not to be.

@Diver, two word answers are a feature, not a bug--at least with regard to the NYT.

@Z -- maybe I'm unclear on the concept; I thought an RRN was somethinc clued as "mid-fifth century date," e.g. the clue for 18D points to a specific -- i.e., non random -- Roman numeral. It's still kind of lame, but less aggravating while solving.

I admired the NYE/NYSE crossing in the SE corner. The three letters of the former each appears in the latter, but only the N keeps the same meaning.

egsforbreakfast 1:03 PM  

Some friends and I spent a summer about 40 years ago drinking Rolling Rock every day. From the glass-lined tanks of old La Trobe, claimed the bottle. We eventually got to wondering why the number “33” (complete with the quotation marks) appears without context on the back of the bottle below the text reading:

“From the Glass-Lined Tanks of

We Tender this Premium Beer
For Your Enjoyment, As A
Tribute to Your Good Taste

It Comes
From the Mountain Springs
To You”

I was eventually nominated to call the company and ask for an explanation. Surprisingly, they don’t know for sure, but related 3 explanations that have been circulated over the years. None of them seemed very powerful, and the nice woman agreed with this assessment. I’m not sure why I told this uninteresting story.

I did actually like the puz and the theme. It was definitely wheelhouse material for me.

IN FOR ME DCON SENT seems like an awkward way of saying that someone is trying to poison me.

Really liked the feel of ALI BALI one above t’other.

Frantic Sloth 1:04 PM  

Well, after reading the majority of comments here, I can see that I was right to feel weird about my solving experience. There is no explanation.

HOWEVER, there are minor confessions...

IRISHCOFFEE I had no idea about the intricacies of the different whiskeys, etc. and that the clue was essentially wrong. I guess it didn't matter to me because I got the answer they were looking for and moved on.

VIZSLA Admittedly this was a gimme for being a Westminster quasi-fiend, as I've been watching it faithfully for many years now. And still don't know several of the breeds, but the VIZSLA is a very pretty dog, so I remember that. (So, too, the Kuvasz, but I'm always confusing it with the Great Pyrenees.)


KATANA The one and only reason I would know this - actually know it, - is I used to play "hidden object" games compulsively and there are always a certain number of Japanese-y objects hidden. You think sussing out the word is tough? Try finding the actual object. It's maddening. So, KATANA was often on the list and now I know that.

Useful. Very useful information. Well, smell me!

NARY is obscure? I can tell you not to at least 3 people here. Myself and you know who you are.

@Lorelei Lei 930am I see your ratings point. Glad "party favor" packs such a wallop. I'm sure we both know that "bless your heart" and variations thereof mean anything but. The wife is from Texas and explained that whole southern belle subterfuge to me early on in the relationship. Hmmmph. I wonder why...

@Nancy 918am My very thought on Roberto. It's Clemente and none other. The end.
And 940am That is the sweetest story ever! I just wanna cry for an hour because dogs. Dogs can easily break my heart - even when it's a "happy" story, and yours is only partially happy.
Now I've gotta go with the inappropriate humor or I'm sunk.

@Anonymous 945am Stay classy, dude.

All you boys complaining about the LAMAZE class "diss" can just grow up right stinkin' now. Isn't it enough that today's terminology is "we're pregnant"?
"We" most definitely are not. When you push a small car out of your pee-hole, then we can talk.

Rant over.
And now, I run away to avoid your wrath because that's how I roll.



@Roo I can't tell you how many times I've delayed entering a small word because it was part of a larger word(s) with "oh, I'll remember to put that down later because it's such an obvious one." Then the little bugger becomes the lone 4-letter QB killer. I've been in your boat many times, but I'm still not convinced I'm always the one at fault! There are definite shenanigans afoot! 😉
F is Slo

Unknown 1:15 PM  

Katzzz I did the same thing! Tacked an “e” onto equal
just to fill in the damn box (better wrong than empty). “Square” never occurred to me until I checked the answers.

Teedmn 1:25 PM  

NO ifs ands or bUTS, this was a tough Wednesday for me, in Friday territory, time-wise. Double DNF in the SW - I knew I'd seen vizsla before but couldn't come up with the Z (should have guessed Z with all of the others in the grid!) and with NObUTS (and my shaking my head because it's bUTTS, c'mon) I ended up with a VIcSLA listening to cAb Brown's Band (Cab Calloway on my mind, perhaps.)

13D was EatSit for "wipes out" because Roberto ALOMAR is a WOE. Reading 24A as Joe or Jack made IRI____O___E hard to see. I had an aim instead of an END goal (redundant but often heard phrase).

So yeah, tough.

I loved the clue for MAC USERS though the ? made it one of the easier answers today.

Joe Deeney, thanks for the Wednesday challenge.

Barbara S. 1:53 PM  

"Next time I C you, remind me not to talk to you." - Groucho Marx

"I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I C a snake, which I also keep handy." - W.C. Fields

"The more I C of men, the more I like dogs." - Madame de Stael

Old Actor 1:59 PM  

pabloinnh: I got it. Liked it. Also like "picolo mundo: (sp?) Trying to think what's handkerchief in Spanish.

Nancy 2:16 PM  

I'm gratified by how many of you responded emotionally to my VIZSLA story. Evidently Tisha's endearing personality shone through my reminiscence. For all of you dog lovers out there, there's a gorgeously written and extremely moving novel that's not to be missed: "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. I know I've mentioned it here before, but it can't hurt to mention it again. Here's my promise to you: It will almost certainly make you cry, but it won't make you unhappy. It's plain wonderful.

Joe Dipinto 3:27 PM  

Handkerchief in Italian = fazzoletto. There's a pasta shape called fazzoletti della nonna (grandma's handkerchiefs).

I'm gonna remember that saying: "The world is a handkerchief, but don't blow your nose on it." Thanks, @pablo.

RooMonster 3:35 PM  

@Lorelei Lee
Although Rolling Rock is good, the all-time best PA beer, hands down, is Yuengling. I miss that beer. Americas Oldest Brewery.

RooMonster Pennsylvania Native Guy

Anonymous 4:12 PM  

liked the theme because it actually helped me solve the puzzle! Made the toughness of the PPP and the crosses easier. Never heard of a Vizsla, but I thought I had heard of ZAC brown and so that helped me.... Struggled more with the s in VIZSLA because I wanted _QU___ to start with an "E".

Lorelei Lee 4:14 PM  


Your's truly, Pennsylvania Native Gal (SW side where we say pop and not soda :)

*Beer Alert*

@egsforbreakfast, Great story! 33 words of pure poetry.

BenM 4:18 PM  

Bloody awful puzzle

Barbara S. 4:20 PM  

@Teedmn 1:25
In your post is WOE an acronym, or simply the word "woe"?

Lorelei Lee 4:24 PM  

Oops, 30.

pabloinnh 4:34 PM  

@Old Actor, @JoeD-In Spanish it's panuelo, tilde over the n, which I still need to learn how to do. As for sayings,think it was Sam Goldwyn who heard a good one and said "I wish I'd said that" to which his friend replied "You will, Sam, you will.".

Anonymous 4:35 PM  

Barbara S. WOE is "What On Earth"....

JC66 4:36 PM  

@Barbar S

What On Earth

I think @jae coined it.

jb129 5:46 PM  

They have been firing "illegal" fireworks for days. My baby (dog) has been upset.

Now Deblasio wants to extend it for from 6/29 through 7/2.

What an asshole - obviously he doesn't have a dog (or maybe he does - his wife)

RooMonster 5:56 PM  

@Lorelei Lee
NE myself, a little town approx. 10 minutes north of Scranton.

As you are typing, when you get to the n, don't just tap it and move on. Hold it down for a decor two and the ñ should appear. Slide your finger to it and let it go. Works on other letters, too. Æ å ç ê í œ ö ß ù


Ann Witt 6:10 PM  

Informed Consent is an Institutional Review Board (IRB) topic. And for the future, “where patients go after surgery” is the PACU, not the ICU!

Joe Dipinto 6:15 PM  

@pablo – you don't have the ñ on your regular keyboard? If I hold down the "n" key, a pop-up "ñ" appears which I can insert. Same thing with letters that take accents, umlauts, cedillas, etc. I even have the ¡ and ¿. I use an Android but apparently the iPhone has this feature too.

If not, there must be a special character menu you can utilize?

Anoa Bob 6:23 PM  

I join the "Jack and Joe? That ain't Irish whiskey" throng. I would often have an Irish whiskey just before beginning a Friday happy hour shift behind the bar. I spruced it up a little with a shot of Tia Maria liqueur and some half-and-half cream on top of the Irish whiskey---I used Bushmills--- and coffee. Got a little boost from the coffee, a few readily available calories from the Tia Maria and cream, and a bit of a happy buzz from the whiskey, which always helped dealing with customers, which was always good for my lagniappe jar. Used an empty beer pitcher for that. Yeah, it was that kind of place.

@Pablo Use HTML codes to do tildes, accent marks, and the like. Take "pañuelo". When you get to the letter needing adjustment, start with an ampersand. (The few codes I know all open with &.) Then type the letter, here "n", immediately followed by "tilde". The code is then closed with a semicolon, and you continue with the rest of the word. So it would look something like pa & n tilde ;ueno, with the spaces closed up in the code part. ¡Es muy fácil y útil!

jae 6:32 PM  

@JC66 - I didn’t coin it but I saw it somewhere in this blog or Amy’s blog a long time ago and started using it regularly as it seemed more polite/civilized than the alternative.

******SB ALERT*****

Today’s SB is quite doable.

Anonymous 6:47 PM  

Anon Bob,
Bushmills?!!! Get thee behind me you Protestant devil. I’ll pray for you. And send you a bottle of Jameson’s.

pabloinnh 7:10 PM  


Muchas gracias for the tilde hints and advice. I will see if any of them are successful, although if I keep saying "needs a tilde", it's all on me.

GILL I. 7:36 PM  

@Anony 6:47...Bushmills single malt whiskey aged with Oloroso Sherry in a bourbon seasoned cask. Eat your heart/gut out, my friend, and take Le Jameson's for a walk. I'm sitting with @Anoa..... :-)

Z 7:41 PM  

@Fra Slo - “We’re pregnant” immediately makes me think they’re headed for divorce. It is fingernails on chalkboard to my ears.

@jberg - The clue writer can always come up with something to make a Roman Numeral seem non-random. No constructor ever chose to have CLI in a puzzle*, it’s just a random collection of letters that happen to be clue-able as a Roman Numeral. In a crossword context every Roman Numeral is inherently “Random.”
(*With the notable exception of Peter Gordon’s Worst Crossword Ever)

Ethan Taliesin - I’ve probably have mentioned this before, but your Ark comment prompted a memory. I have a friend who makes museum exhibits. He went to Kentucky’s Creation Museum and he was very impressed by the quality of the exhibits. Not the snake oil they were peddling, of course, but how they presented their material. Going to a museum with Joe is a different experience than going with any other person I’ve ever known. Some of his stories about Museum Boards are also interesting.

JC66 8:25 PM  


Since we're solving this puzzle, not constructing it, CLI for "151 in old Rome" isn't random, it's precise.

And, BTW, aren't all the clues the constructor or editor came up with to match the answers?

Anonymous 9:32 PM  

What are you on about? In youe example CLI are anything but random. They are the unique three letter combination that completes the grid.
Yours is a category error. You make them a lot.

TTrimble 10:21 PM  

I suppose it's okay to hate on De Blasio. (Although it's pretty off-topic.) But the crack about de Blasio's wife being his "dog" is just as stupid and vile and unfunny as it was when Rush made the same crack about Chelsea Clinton. Don't be that guy (I'll assume "guy").

Barbara S. 10:25 PM  

Thanks to all concerned for input on WOE. I had myself convinced it must mean Word of E...(something starting with E).

Frantic Sloth 11:07 PM  

@Z 741pm Now I understand what you mean by random. Initially I was thinking CLI was not because the clue gave an exact year instead of the ever-galling "early- or mid- or late- whatever" century. But it's not really the Roman Numeral that's random in this case, for example, it's the year it represents. Nothing special about the year 151. Your point though, if I understand it correctly, is that these RRNs are used more as crutches to make the fill work. I just like figuring out Roman Numerals so they don't bother me. Not the fanciest hobby, but there it is. 😉

@TTrimble 1021pm Amen and thank you! (you beat me to it.)

Z 11:21 PM  

@JC66 - See @Frantic Sloth.

JC66 11:49 PM  


But how does one construct a crossword puzzle without crutches?

My point is there's a difference between RANDOM Roman numerals: clued as "Early fifth century date" which one can only get from crosses and Roman numerals: clued like "551" which is not random and, if one knows a little Latin, can be entered just like any other useless piece of trivia (which every crossword puzzle is full of).

You have every right to dislike both, but they're not the same, IMO.

thefogman 10:28 AM  

Burnt by the VIZSLA-ZAC crossing. Guessed M instead of Z. I.C. I wasn’t the only one to die on that square. Where’s the editor when you need him?

spacecraft 11:20 AM  

I pure-guessed the Z. just lucky. But there was so much desperation everywhere I looked that by then I wasn't surprised. I mean, come on. GRAYLY??? Be serious.

In fact I got lucky in a couple places. The NE was a mess. Double Italian tourist destinations, wow. And what is with that Joe and Jack thing? How does that get to be IRISHCOFFEE? Thank goodness, ironically, for the IRONCURTAIN, or this would've been a DNF for sure. I didn't even see the theme, till coming here. Hell, I never even heard the term COLDOPEN--and I've been in theater! I assume it means with no rehearsal.

This was definitely the opposite of my wheelhouse; it's a wonder I got it done. DOD Lindsey VONN was a badly needed gimme that brightened things up, but I still have to go with bogey.

I will, however, make it a point to adopt a VISZLA.

Burma Shave 11:52 AM  


I've got NOTAKERS for EXTRAPAY there,
they're INWANTOF NO job CUTS.
I'LLGO ASSESS that they're all NUTs.

--- R.H.MACY

rondo 12:01 PM  

ZAC a gimme. More trouble with AMALFI and AZIZ, I can never remember that name. Doubled up with a NO NO. Did not read comments, seemed rather high in PPP.

Besides the RRN, this puz actually has ESE in it.

From MN, SKIER Lindsey VONN. Famously in S.I. wearing only body paint. Yeah baby.

I see - what he did here.

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

"Weird and unpleasant" says it. A real pisser infestation.

leftcoaster 3:00 PM  

Okay theme and revealer, but not much fun.

Obscurity of the day: VIZSLA. Spoiled the SW corner.

Anonymous 3:18 PM  

Sheldon said it on Big Bang Theory.
But, then again, he often acted like a second grader.

rainforest 4:19 PM  

I have a friend who once had a VIZSLA and a Komondor, another Hungarian dog.

I think a COLD OPEN is one with no preamble.

You can never go wrong putting EEYORE in your puzzle.
Liked this.

Diana, LIW 9:26 PM  

I like dogs. I really like dogs - I think they are getting us through the pandemic with their happy faces. But this one gave me a one letter dnf.

I still like dogs.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 9:30 PM  

@Spacey - Just like @Rainy said, a COLD OPEN is one where suddenly you're in the show, with no theme song, name of program, introduction, etc. Think of SNL - you have a bit of a skit, and then one of the players announces "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" SNL is famous for doing a COLDOPEN every week.

Lady Di

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