Secures as climber's rope / TUE 6-2-20 / Knickers wearer maybe / Cute pudginess in toddler / Science fiction her of 25th century / Al Capone chasers informally

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Constructor: John Guzzetta

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (3:30, though I really fat-fingered this one, so it might've been easier ...)

THEME: PART COMPANY (56A: Go their separate ways ... or a description of 17-, 24-, 35- or 47-Across?) — each answer is part company (in the sense that a labradoodle is part poodle); the part that is the company appears in circled squares in the grid:

Theme answers:
  • BISCAYNE BAY (17A: View off the coast of Miami)
  • VOCAL COACH (24A: One who helps you hit just the right note)
  • SAINT ELMO (35A: Patron of sailors)
  • BUCK ROGERS (47A: Science fiction hero of the 25th century)
Word of the Day: BUCK ROGERS (47A) —
Buck Rogers is a fictional space opera character created by Philip Francis Nowlan in the novella Armageddon 2419 A.D., subsequently appearing in multiple media. In Armageddon 2419 A.D., published in the August 1928 issue of the pulp magazine Amazing Stories, the character's given name was "Anthony". A sequel, The Airlords of Han, was published in the March 1929 issue. [...] The adventures of Buck Rogers in comic strips, movies, radio and television became an important part of American popular culture. It was on January 22, 1930, that Buck Rogers first ventured into space aboard a rocket ship in his fifth newspaper comic story Tiger Men From Mars. This popular phenomenon paralleled the development of space technology in the 20th century and introduced Americans to outer space as a familiar environment for swashbuckling adventure.
Buck Rogers has been credited with bringing into popular media the concept of space exploration, following in the footsteps of literary pioneers such as Jules VerneH. G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs. (wikipedia)
• • •

Crossword puzzles feel a little trivial right now, what with the country burning down and the full force of the military unleashed on peaceful American citizens, all because some of y'all thought electing a white supremacist / fascist / actually illiterate boob would be just fine, but diversions are diversions because they divert, so let's be diverted for a little bit, shall we? This puzzle wasn't good. I do not actually understand the revealer. Or, rather, I think I do understand it, now, but I did not, at first. I could not get my head around what the PART part of PART COMPANY thought it was doing. I thought maybe it was "part" like "part the Red Sea," because the "company" names in the answers are broken (i.e. parted) by the space between the two words in each answer. That is, the "company" names break across two words. Break into parts. But now I think it just means that the "company" name is "part" of the answer, so the answer is PART COMPANY in the sense that a skort is part skirt. *Partially*. Anyway, whatever, it's bad. "Company" is sooooooooo broad a concept that it's practically meaningless. This set of "companies" has nothing in common. And there's just four. Four Random "companies." Also, are KROGER supermarkets a nationwide thing? Never saw one in CA. They were all over MI. But haven't seen one in NY. Anyway, the revealer is a real let-down, the concept is pretty dull, and the fill overall feels stodgy. This feels like something from last century. Not cringey, just blah. VADIS OCHOA ISAAK OTO SRO EMIR blah blah blah. Cluing RAPS as a noun didn't really help. "Oh yeah, sure, I love RAPS. They're bitchin'," he said, convincingly.

A LAD wears knickers? I was thinking of knickers as a decidedly female undergarment (British), so I was slow there. I have absolutely no time to read your eternal clue for APT (10A: Like the anagramming of A DECIMAL POINT to make I'M  A DOT IN PLACE), and man I'm glad I didn't actually read it, 'cause what an enormous anticlimax. Wrote in FLOG before FLAY (29D: Whip). Could not relate to the clue on "SADLY, NO" (43D: Response to "Did you win the lottery?") because only people who hate having money and math play the lottery, so that whole deal didn't compute for me.  I think my favorite part of the solve was getting to this clue ...

... and looking down and seeing these letters in place:

I double- and possibly triple-taked on that one.

Hey, if you want to do some puzzles by some of the best constructors in the country *and* support the struggle against systemic racist violence in this country, here are a couple options.

  • Erik Agard is raising money for 1StruggleKC, a bail reform group (to donate and for more info, go here). Send a screenshot of your donation to agarderik at gmail dot com and Erik will send you a bunch of unreleased crosswords. He doesn't really make bad puzzles, so I'd roll the dice with this one if I were you. Full info here
  • Further, the great Paolo Pasco will send you a 17x17 puzzle (by him) *and* a 25x9 (!) puzzle (by Sid Sivakumar) if you send him a screenshot of your donation to *any* Black Lives Matter-related org (pascopuzzles at gmail dot com). And if it's over $50, he'll make you a midi (I think that's 11x11) with a clue/answer of your choice. That's crazy generous. Please overwhelm him now. Full info here
Thank you, and stay safe.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. here's a BLM/activism-themed puzzle from Ross Trudeau, who is also encouraging $$$ contributions to BLM-related groups.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:13 AM  

I didn't mind the theme at all. A quick get, an easy solve.

But I wasted a few minutes reading that god-awful clue for APT. I just blacked out and stared at the wall for a while before realizing where I was and what I was doing.

Too clever by half on that one.

GHarris 12:19 AM  

Agree with Rex on all counts; the puzzle was easy, the theme is silly; this country is governed by a dangerous ignoramus. I know we try to leave politics aside here but come on folks. We are at a perilous tipping point in our history. Our democracy is being turned into an autocracy with civilian rule being ceded to the military. Speak up, act out before it is too late.

Joaquin 12:43 AM  

I ripped through this puzzle, all the time thinking this has got to be the easiest Thursday ever. And although I don’t keep time, I just knew it was my fastest Thursday ever.

About 30 minutes after finishing the light came on and suddenly I felt like Omar Khayyam’s brother, Whataschmu Khayyam.

I’m not saying I’ve lost track of the calendar, but what century are we in?

tkincher 12:53 AM  

I thought the revealer was sufficiently "oh!" because the companies *didn't* have anything in common so you couldn't suss it out too easily. Then the wordplay with the reveal, on the parsing of "PART", gives it a kick. It's a fun reveal for a Tuesday.

jae 1:03 AM  

Easy. If yesterday’s was @Bea “issued on day after Sunday and the day before Monday” then we now have Monday’s. Not too bad for a Tues., liked it slightly more than @Rex did.

Like Jeff at Xwordinfo, I also appreciate KROGER’s drive-up and they put it in your trunk service, during these times. I ran into some glitches when I first tried ordering online, but everything seems to be running smoothly now.

@Rex in CA Kroger is Ralph’s.

Tale Told By An Idiot 1:10 AM  

I did not want to part company with my vocal coach for I knew it would bewilder her but as I told her, I was about to disavow my lovely Eleanor and renounce my singing. But “quo vadis?” said Mrs. Garde. “I will enter an all male monastery on an island in Biscayne Bay,” I said.

I went to the point of embarkation but before leaving decided to have a night on the town. There was, sadly, no gin to be found, only java, tea and aqua. Perhaps life in this town imitates life in the monastery.

Suddenly a scream pierces the air and rips into my heart and I know: it was all a lie. I don’t want to go to a monastery and never again make a tee shot or sing with the angels. I want to fly with Buck Rogers and sail through Saint Elmo’s fire! I want to do it all and regain total cred. And I will. Lucky me!

chefwen 2:27 AM  

Had no problem with this one other than filling in seatac at 64A, well both of the A’s worked, too bad nothing else did. My only fix. Newbie puzzle partner even beat me to the finish line with his copy. My excuse, I had to feed the fish, I know, pretty lame.

Would have been a little more “Tricky Tuesday” without the circles. But I still enjoyed it.

Coniuratos 5:28 AM  

So I should have realized this was far too niche, but I got the revealer after throwing in SAINT ELMO and crossing the second half of BISCAYNE BAY, and thought the themers were partly made up of companies that make or deal in computer parts (which, admittedly, would be an oddly specific definition of Ebay). I'd never heard of Alcoa, but figured there are probably plenty of PC component companies I'd never heard of. Then came Kroger, and with it, some very nerdy disappointment.

Lobster11 6:10 AM  

Since this is the second time in a few days that Rex has referred to a puzzle as "last century," I thought I'd share my recent discovery about exactly when "last century" ended and "this century" began with respect to NYT puzzles: It was smack-dab in the middle of 2003. Since I started doing the daily puzzle every day a few years ago, I've also been slowly working my way backwards through the archive solving all of the Wed-Sat puzzles. I started noticing a significant change a week or two ago in July 2003, and now that I'm in May 2003 I'm thinking about stopping and going no further. In that stretch there has been a dramatic change in the quality of fill, with a massive increase in arcane trivia, random Roman numerals, foreign-language answers, etc. Natick City everywhere you look. I often can't finish Wednesday puzzles because of some ridiculous cross that would never pass muster today.

I assume this is because mid-2003 must have seen the advent of some major breakthrough in crossword-constructing software and/or word lists. Anybody know exactly what this was?

ChuckD 6:16 AM  

Nice Tuesday - easy but I thought enjoyable. Yea - the revealer was a bit awkward but really didn’t need it anyway. I love to see Biscayne anytime in my puzzle.

Counting the days until moron in chief is gone - but this thing has other issues right now. I used to live in the Fordham section and still have friends there - people who own businesses. Last night I got texts from some of them saying groups of mainly white kids were burning and defiling storefronts on Fordham Ave. Those shops are all owned by POC - something is not right when it goes down like that. There’s gotta be a better way.

Hungry Mother 6:32 AM  

I didn’t notice the theme as I flew through the grid. There was an appropriate amount of challenge for a Tuesday. Nice to see BUCKROGERS. I used to watch the show with its rudimentary special effects when I was a kid.

webwinger 6:38 AM  

I thought this was one of the better recent Tuesdays. Close to average time. Found the revealer spot on. Liked that the companies had nothing in common.

@Rex: …in the sense that skort is part skirt? Great almost at 39 down. Kroger in Colorado is King Sooper (dumbest name for a store ever, IMO). I believe it remains one of the biggest grocery chains in the US. I kinda liked the goofy clue for APT.

@jae: Ralph’s—never heard of it outside The Big Lebowski, but that was enough to make it stick in my mind forever; same for In-N-Out Burger.

@chefwen: sEAtAc fits perfectly at 64A. I would definitely have made the same error if not for entering COG early.

Anonymous 6:56 AM  

I think you missed the point of the theme: the name of the company crosses the break between two words, so each answer is literally "parted".

mathgent 6:56 AM  

I never got interested in Buck Rogers in the Sunday color comics. As I remember, the art wasn’t very good. I did like Prince Valiant.

The only entry with any sparkle at all was BABYFAT.

Unacceptable number of Terrible Threes, 24. I appreciate that they tried to give them fresh clues, but the clue for APT was desperate.

GILL I. 7:00 AM  

If you look at a pair of Dolce & Gabbana knickers for over $300 you will definitely tell people not to get them in a twist.
Ah, Tuesday. The evil stepsister. The gorp of puzzles. The "What will OFL be thinking today?" I liked supremacist, fascist, illiterate boob. Imagine those three walking into a bar. Which one will order the GIN?
I also liked BABY FAT. My little granddaughter is the queen of it. You want to give those things a little squeeze of loving. I see FLAY and I wish John had clued it along with Bobby and his Fritto Misto.
When I see the name Lorena why do I only think of Bobbitt? I think her husband had his penis reattached. Can you imagine what it looks like? imagination runs away with me at times.
COP CRED SADLY NO.....I love FAVA beans but not Chianti.

OffTheGrid 7:21 AM  

It's time for this again

amyyanni 7:22 AM  

What Rex said. I can't even fathom how we get through the next five months. Waving bibles?

George 7:22 AM  

When I was a kid, many, many decades ago, I used to help my dad with LUBEJOBs on our cars (a 1971 International Scout and a 1969 MG-B.) He would put the grease gun on the grease nipple and I would pump the grease gun until the grease came out the fitting. Modern cars all have sealed bearings and LUBEJOBs are a thing of ancient history. If you went to a car repair place and asked for a LUBEJOB, the kid working there would look at you like you had three heads, probably thinking you were making some stupid, perverted joke.

Bruce 7:23 AM  

Thanks. Worth going to Rex’s blog this morning to read his comment about Trump whose tenure cannot end quickly enough.

Irene 7:29 AM  

I came here looking for an explanation of the revealer and I still don't get it. At first I thought that those were companies that sell parts of things but that's clearly wrong.The whole thing was super easy but made no sense. Or maybe, like Rex, I'm in a funk because of the state of the country.

kitshef 7:35 AM  

So far this is starting off as The Week of Inscrutable Themes. I did not fully understand yesterday’s and don’t understand today’s at all. Or rather, I think I get the theme but the revealer seems to be a swing and a miss. [Update: having read Rex, I have no reason to change that thought.]

VOice COACH was so obviously correct that it took me a little while to give up on it.

And you know what else fits at 64A? dulles.

I’m never knowingly seen a KROGER, so I was all set to agree with Rex it’s a regional thing. Turns out there is one about two mile from my house.

Anonymoose 7:36 AM  

The constructor and editor really shouldn't be holding our hands during this time of social distancing.

Z 7:40 AM  

FLAY does not pass the breakfast test. Paired with the FAVA bean clue seems especially egregious. Torture and cannibalism. Alrighty then.

Otherwise, a final example of the Tuesday genre.

Qosmonaut 7:58 AM  

Rex, your screenshot of _UCK_ME for that clue was priceless. I laughed out loud for 20 seconds. Also, no Krogers in my part of the world.

H. Gunn 8:10 AM  

In the DC area it is known by its authentic name - National Airport. It is never called "Reagan." Never. And it never will be - despite the best efforts of Grover Norquist to impose his misguided hero worship upon the the local citizens.

Laura 8:10 AM  

Boringly easy. Need some sparkle in the clues.

OffTheGrid 8:14 AM  

@Irene. The revealer says "Go their separate ways *OR* a description of 17....etc". Thus PART COMPANY. The answers to the theme entries are part company (names). E.G. saINTELmo.

Whatsername 8:18 AM  

A rather vanilla Tuesday. I didn’t hate it but really feel like Rex’s review was more or less fair without being overly critical. I kept thinking maybe these companies were offshoots of other companies and had at some point PARTed ways. But no, random and completely unrelated. That 10A clue would be a dynamite combination in a puzzle with an anagram theme, but here just seems inAPT.

When I was a child, KROGER was a store on the corner of the small town where we did our shopping. I still remember the big blue and white sign. Now it is the United States' largest supermarket by revenue ($121.16 billion for fiscal year 2019), the second-largest general retailer behind Walmart. (Wikipedia) I had no idea. @webwinger: I loved the King Sooper stores when I lived in CO. They were called Dillon’s in the Midwest but sadly they are long gone now.

Rex is so right that that we do crosswords as a diversion from the horrendous reality of the times, and that has never been more true for me. I made the mistake of reading the news this morning before coming here and man, things are bad. Even one of the high profile right wing cheerleaders on Fox took down trump yesterday, saying there’s nobody in charge. I wish I knew the answers but all I can think of is November can’t come soon enough.

What would REAGAN do? Fire them all.

Petsounds 8:21 AM  

Kroger is the biggest grocery store chain the country; if that doesn't sound right to those of you who've never seen a building with "Kroger" affixed to it, it's because the company went on a buying spree and bought up supermarket chains all over the country. They kept their names but they're owned.

But in terms of the puzzle, that's irrelevant. There are eleventy-billion companies in the world. You're going to use four companies as the theme of your puzzle. And you can't find four names to work with that have something in common in some way? Please.

Also, LAD. What a way to start a puzzle that turned out to be rather boringly easy! Who wears knickers? In my world, Englishwomen and old-timey golfers. A style of pants that no one wears any more is your clue for the partner of lass, a Scottish or Irish or northern English boy, or Bert or Freddie Bobbsey? It probably wouldn't have bugged me so much had it not been the first clue in the puzzle. But it was and it did.

Like Anonymous 12:13, I just stared--slack-jawed, I'm sure--at the clue for 10A and then moved on and let the Downs "solve" it.

Still, I'm happy for any even mildly pleasant diversion during these truly terrible times, made vastly worse by this horrendous "administration" and the profoundly stupid and amoral and...OK, crazy creature that leads it.

pabloinnh 8:23 AM  

I guess I have read enough early American lit to always associate "knickers" with what boys wear before they graduate to long pants. And of course the British version too. Untwisted, please.

I too have done LUBEJOBS in a company garage, but with the power driven version of a grease gun. Nothing like crawling under a truck, getting your nozzle on what you think is a grease fitting, pulling the trigger, and discovering you were on a bolt. A very messy oops.

No Krogers around here either, FWIW.

The news always makes me think we have an Exacerbator in Chief, and that makes me wonder about the appended "in chief". How does "chief" work there? Noun? Adjective? Anyone? LMS? At least it's a momentary distraction from this awful ongoing reality, sort of like today's puzzle, for which thanks to JG.

A.N. Pee 8:48 AM  

if you have a Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’s, King Soopers, City Market, Fry’s, QFC, or Harris Teeter near you, then you have a KROGER. They are all regional KROGER grocery stores operating under a local familiar name.

RooMonster 9:07 AM  

Hey All !
As @Offthegrid 8:14 noted, the theme is "companies that are partially (part of) the answers", ergo, they are PART COMPANY. Plus, as Rex noted, they are PARTed across two words. So a double whammy. I'm of the group (ok, maybe I'm by myself) who thinks it doesn't matter that the companies are unrelated.

I did enjoy this puz. What more can you ask for on a Tuesday? 😀

@Gill I
John Bobbitt not only got it reattached, he started starring in porn movies for a bit. I guess it was revenge for the revenge? Moral here is just stay faithful to your wife, yes?

We have In-N-Outs here in Las Vegas, and they are awesome! You can see the back area where they take whole potatoes and slice them for their fries. Fresh! And their food doesn't upset your stomach like McD's.

Kroger out here is Smiths. Great store. They opened up a new one about two years ago, in an area I call "the boonies", as it's at he edge of civilization (read: nothing else after that and new housing, just desert [har, I meant just dezert!]), and it's huge! They have a clothing section, a Starbucks (because Starbucks), even a bar! Although, since this whole virus shenanigans, the bar is closed.

Lots of threes for our Resident weejects lover. Funky L's in the black squares make the grid look like it's "Walk(ing) Like An Egyptian". 😋

Dulles first here also for REAGAN. Wanted Pretty freakin' cool for 10A, APT a letdown. Har.

Two F's

Frank Lynch 9:11 AM  

Oh, dear... Rex has dissed lottery players because he only knows two parts of the equation, expectation and value, to come to expected value. Rex, there's a third component, U, for utility. A non habitual lottery player might be willing to throw away a dollar on the lottery because the utility of his dollar is low, while a win could be so transformational that the "value" of the jackpot exceeds its numeric value.

Think of the reverse: a mere expected value perspective would suggest that buying insurance is only for "people who hate having money and math," because on average no one expects to "win" and collect on their insurance premiums and the premiums won't "pay off" (otherwise insurance companies wouldn't be profitable). But to "win" and lose your entire house in a fire and possibly people's lives would be devastating. So we are willing to transfer that risk to the insurance company and pay them for bearing the risk. Lottery players do the same, in reverse.

Xcentric 9:12 AM  

Easy enough, but I take exception to clueing flay as whip.
According to Merriam Webster it is an alternate to the third definition of flay, as lash sense 1b
Please, how obscure can you get?

Nancy 9:45 AM  

All I ever ask from a puzzle is that it require me to think, and this one did -- more than usual on a Tuesday. So even though the theme was very ho-hum, I didn't care: I ignored it and solved the puzzle as a themeless.

Someone here didn't like the clue for APT (10A). I loved it.

FLOG before FLAY for "whip" was a write-over. And I also misread the 26D clue. I was wondering why anyone would want to cause a tree to swing?

MRS Claus is a thing? I had no idea what the answer was when I read this clue.

My Boeuf Bourguignonne doesn't need an ALA inserted. @GILL?

Does BABY FAT always stay BABY FAT (as opposed to grown-up FAT)? SADLY, NO.

Ignore the theme and this is a pretty good Tuesday puzzle, I think.

CaryinBoulder 9:50 AM  

Writeovers slowed me down a tad: FLORIDA KEYS crossed by MUFFLER and ENLIVEN right out of the chute, ARGYLE for TARTÁN. Fixes were easy, though, and still finished in 3/4 my average time.

I did my editorializing about il Douché yesterday. I’m no fan of George Will’s ideology (nor his often pretentious language) but when he says there is no bottom to the depravity of Captain Chaos you know we’re in trouble. The malignant buffoon has got to go, and I’m not particular about how.

David 9:52 AM  

Protesters are peaceful. Rioters and looters are not. Simple as that.

jberg 9:56 AM  

The theme answers were bland, but the revealer made up for it. Rex misunderstood the PART part. Not in the sense that a skort is part skirt, but in the sense that sKIRt is part alcoholic beverage.

I considered FLAY but went with FLog, telling myself that “flay” means to remove the skin, as happened to Marsaias (if I remember the name) in classical mythology. Too subtle by half.

I was glad to see our old friend Yachty in the clue to 48D, less happy to see the French “no” crossing the English one down in the SE.

Have to take our dog to the park, I’ll come back and read the comments later.

Lorelei Lee 10:04 AM  

Flew through this, except for that Apt, Pierce crossing. All I could see was _ierce and A_t. It actually came down to that one letter. Could've run the alphabet but it was late at night and I just couldn't work up the energy.

@Joaquin ...Whataschmu Khayyam. Hilarity ensued!

How to know when you're in a Kroger that's not a Kroger - look at the fine print on the store brand. They parted a of a bunch of small chains from their owners and inserted their products. Invasion of the market snatchers.

Anonymous 10:09 AM  

Protesters are peaceful. Rioters and looters are not. Simple as that.

the ones Cheetohead ordered attacked with teargas and rubber bullets just so he could hold up a book he defiles with every breath, in front of a church (that he's never set foot in, other than the Inaugural traditional?) were peaceful and quiet, just in his way. he does have absolute power, according to him. Simple as that.

his notion of god:

Norm Brust 10:11 AM  

stupid errors in today's NYTXW clues
1. Flay is not a synonym for whip (look it up). Flog, as you had it, is correct.

2. Boeuf bourguignon is misspelled. Further, it does not take the 'A LA" form

Norm Brust

Lewis 10:19 AM  

If you're looking for a terrific clue today, you need look no farther than 4D in the mini.

Like @nancy, I did have to stop and think a bit more than the average Tuesday puzzle, then I had to think harder about what the theme was (you nailed it in your first paragraph, @jberg). Then I was plopping wrong things in: DISAVER instead of DISAVOW, FLOG before FLAY, GAB before YAK. So, all in all, this was more involving than a typical Tuesday for me, and thank you for that, John. Also, I must, as your resident alphadoppeltotter, report that the puzzle only has four double letters (highly unusual to have less than five).

While things elsewhere in the world may be off kilter, at least here the ANGELS are on high, and the TOE at the foot.

Joe Dipinto 10:20 AM  

I'm proud of my speed on the Cryptogram today. My two initial guesses were right on target, so I zipped through the whole thing.

Kinda boring puzzle. Never heard of Kroger. Wasn't there an SNL cast member named Kroger or Kroeger in the distant past? Rex's gridshot with the incomplete LUCKY ME made me laugh.

As always...

Barbara S. 10:29 AM  

Apparently there are a bunch of alternate names for that French beef dish including the one used in the clue (46A).

Boeuf You-Know-What

xyz 10:36 AM  


So - CA? Know Ralph's (more SoCAl)? Owned by Kroegers, as are Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter and others like King Soopers where I buy my lift tickets in Colorado.

About Trump, maybe he's all those things but he is a shining clinical example of a Narcissist. Textbook.

This was not textbook Tuesday, it was a bit of a letdown.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Frank Lynch,
Almost all lotteries are what economists call a tax on the naive.
The real question is why do states sanction predatory behavior. The overwhelming percentage of lottery players occupy the bottom of the economic ladder. That states sponsor lotteries— usually with worse odds than the street number run by OC— isn’t just a failure of duty, it’s downright criminal.

MR. Cheese 10:44 AM  

App tells me that this was my fastest Tuesday by a wide margin.
but..... I don’t understand “APT”. Explain, please.

rosebud 10:45 AM  

I appreciated the recognition to VOCALCOACH, on a day when the Met Opera announced cancellation of the fall season, and it is no longer safe to sing in choirs together, and professional musicians are struggling to stay afloat. I also loved BISCAYNEBAY, a favorite view to imagine again and I laughed at Drive-thru convenience in these days of everything being drive-thru or curbside, but nothing is really convenient. Thanks for the always make me smile. 🎶❤️

tea73 10:51 AM  

@Lobster11 as it happens I've been working my ways backwards too, but I start each year in January. I've already done the first half of 2003 and currently am in October. I have not really noticed that the puzzles from earlier in the year were more obscure. I don't think there were more than one or two puzzles where there was a cross I had to guess on. I have noticed that when they refer to what would have been lively contemporary fill, I often can't remember who these once famous names were.

Anonymous 10:59 AM  


Any gambling is a tax on the mathematically challenged or holder of an addictive personality. Any bet one cannot afford to lose is taxing. The answer is in the work of B.F. Skinner - intermittent reinforcement is the strongest operant conditioner known, ask the pigeons in the cages, not the ones on the streets.

As a PhD I know once said, a $100 million lottery is worth the $2 for the fantasy alone.

Life is understanding the continuum.

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

@anon/10:40 -
isn’t just a failure of duty, it’s downright criminal.

well... absolutely true. OTOH, even Blue States (my birth state of MA, fur instance) have been using lottery proceeds for decades, just because they're too chicken to tax the very rich, so they tax the very poor. which removes the burden from the very rich. for which they are ungrateful since they still have to pay some taxes. the Red States suck at the hind teat of the Damn Gummint, which money flow comes from the Blue States. they, too, are ungrateful as Cuomo has displayed in prurient detail during his Covid talks rebutting Moscow Mitch. the USofA is, after all, a republic, which by definition is power in the hands of the few. from Plato's time, it was assumed tht the 'few' were the educated and capable. these days it's the snakehandlers those keening for the days of slavery.

dated, but relevant:
the author, btw, is a nemesis of The Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave).

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Since the name on the door is how anyone knows what supermart one's entering, the fact that KROGER is a holding company for an array of own-named supermarts across the country isn't something one might know. Here in the Blue Northeast, some foreign outfit owns Stop&Shop in the Boston area and Giant in DC. And I only know that when I went into a Giant while visiting in DC, got to the checkout, and my S&S customer card didn't work. Turns out, the foreign outfit didn't bother to integrate (ooo, a pun!).

mathgent 11:18 AM  

@Petsounds. I agree completely. Just some random company names.

Definition of faint praise. Better than most Tuesday puzzles.

Carola 11:22 AM  

Liked it....the fact that the theme answers were, in PART, COMPANY names, but that those names paradoxically united the two PARTs of the answers....the triple BE's in the center, not quite as magical as "bewitched, bothered, and BEWILDERed," but BEWILDER, BEHEST, BELAY were pretty good...and theme-wise the pedestrian KROGERS hidden in the swashbuckling BUCK ROGERS.

I'd have said we didn't have a KROGERS here either, until I started to get curbside pick-up from our neighborhood Pick 'n Save and discovered that I was paying KROGERS.

@Tale Told By An Idiot. Thank you. Please keep them coming.

Commie 11:41 AM  

It's not a burden for the rich to pay taxes.

Lorelei Lee 11:50 AM  

@ Coniuratos, Miss Know-It-All here. You've probably used some can or foil, maybe even a knife, that started with Aloca (Aluminum Company of America). Ever use Reynolds Wrap? They sucked up Reynolds Aluminum 20 years ago.

@Tale Told, I meant to compliment you earlier. Your tale was was sublime.

Michiganman 11:53 AM  

My first job was at a Kroger in Hillsdale, Michigan (Yes, the same town as the right wing college). I bagged groceries, carted them to the customers' cars and loaded them into the car. This was standard service in the 60's. At $1.25 an hour I had plenty of money for 45's and English Leather.

I bought lotto tickets in the 80's, one ticket 2 times per week. I won $100 once and that evening my son called from Ft. Stuart (GA) and needed about that much for a car repair. Never bought another ticket.

Z 12:03 PM  

@Frank Lynch - I like how you snuck the "A non habitual lottery player" codicil in there. The irony is that the less you need to win a lottery the more economic sense it makes to play the lottery (i.e. - the more you make the more discretionary income you have).

Having said that, before states ran lotteries criminals did. So all the Anons complaining about state sanctioned lotteries should remember that criminalizing gambling has never succeeded at getting people to stop gambling. Anyway - everyone opining might find this old Freakonimics podcast interesting.

Crimson Devil 12:19 PM  

Fully concur with Rex re Le Grand Orange. As I said upon his surprise election (he was as surprised as anyone), and later learned that Obama did too, we were about to find out just how resilient this country is.
Puz diversion helps: I, too, harken back to Mrs Bobbitt every time OCHOA is clued. She certainly did her PART in PARTing, and that musta been a helluva scavenger hunt along roadside...and quite the restorative surgery.
Also am reminded of quote attributed to another ROGERS, Will, whenever lottery comes up: I figure ma chances of winning are ‘bout tha same whether I enter or not. Came to represent two lottery winners over the years; both died broke.
Seen bunch of classic movies lately, now that there’s time. Streetcar last eve and Casablanca recently too. Reminded of by GIN: Of all the GIN joints....Many good lines therein. Also great lines in Bull Durham, many from Annie Savoy.
Speakin of our now having time, we used to think/say that reason we deferred cleaning out/organizing was lack of adequate time, but many are now discovering that wasn’t the reason.

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

@Z, There's a difference between playing a number with your bookie and walking into any number of establishments and feeding your cash into a machine. My mother has blown countless, ruinous thousands on the machines. We could've controlled it with the local book. We finally figured out what she was doing with the money when someone we knew whose mother had blown six figures of the family inheritance suggested what was probably going on.

Since then, we've heard other stories.

Petsounds 12:33 PM  

@Michiganman: Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane--45s and English Leather! I feel my hair getting grayer by the minute, but that comment made me smile.

@Anonymous 11:01: Thanks for all that lottery info and giving me something to think about.

Smith 12:47 PM  

@petsounds 8:21

Bert or Freddie Bobbsey!!

Masked and Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Weeject stacks galore! Got them trip stacks in the N & S central, plus the rare (outside of runtpuzs) quad stacks in the NE & SW. This TuesPuz is truly PARTWEEJECT.
Staff pick: LEE. Cuz it has a hidden jeans company in it. Hard to spot, I'd grant. But ... nice weeject themer meat.

Speakin of the puztheme, that revealer did have a nice semi-cryptic tinge to it. Really liked seein BUCKROGERS as a themer, too boot. Great old Buster Crabbe cliffhanger serial, and also funny, antique-schlocky comic strip (I own a compilation book).
Of course these themers have somethin in common … they have company names, hidden but intact, stuffed within them. (Try hidin ETSY in the middle of somethin, some time, f'rinstance.)
[Well … ok, BETSYROSS, maybe. But it's generally still hard to do…]

Some fun fillins: The BEWILDER + BEHEST row, with BELAYS be-bonus in the symmetric(al) row. Nice 7-stacks in all four corners.

Thanx for the feisty [74-worder] fun, Mr. Guzzetta. Liked it.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Teedmn 1:08 PM  

The theme was easy enough - by the time I got to 35A, I was ready to splatz in INTEL off the IN. By the time I got to 47A, I forgot to look for the company. A quick post-solve Google shows the nearest KROGER store to me is 142 miles away, in Wisconsin, and they're all listed as PNS (Pick-N-Save) over there.

Other than Rex's FLog before FLAY and a momentary blank on "en GARDE" (I tried to add to M&A's U tally), this gave me no trouble and played right at my Tuesday average.

Don't tell anyone, but I rather liked the long, involved clue for APT, 10A, and the oddball answers at 39D and 43D. Getting to ANIMATE from "Give life to" always brings Frankenstein's monster to mind. And why does BELAY mean both to "fix (a running rope) around a cleat, rock, pin, or other object, to secure it" and "nautical slang
stop; enough! "“Belay that, mister. Man your post""?

Thanks, John Guzzetta.

Speedweeder 1:12 PM  

@Gill I. and others on the subject of John Wayne Bobbitt - Post-surgery, he starred in a porno movie spoof called "Frankenpenis".

George NYC 1:13 PM  

SPAM is pretty much a thing of the past, as email providers effectively filtered it out more than a decade ago. And I was trying to remember the last time a LUBE JOB was an auto maintenance requirement when I came across @amyyanni's evocation of her dad's 1969 MG-B. I don't have a daughter by that name, but I did have an MG-BGT (1967) on which I regularly performed the procedure just as she described. If only the rest of the work on that fine auto was so simple... cf. master cylinder slippage, brake fluid loss, oil cooler leakage, oil pressure failure, mysterious electrical shenanigans, etc. All well worth it.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

It never makes sense to play the lottery. Of course the 4ich can afford it more easily. It remains though, nonsensical.
And the fact that the lottery was once the exclusive preview of criminal networks tell you all to know.

What? 1:42 PM  

I had an MGA. Tuning the twin su carbs involved listening to the swooshes! Never could get it right.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

I am currently trying to get a pair of SUs to run correctly on a 75Spitfire. I kid you not!
What’s more I owned a 61 MGA for a long time. Restored it myself, save the paint which I wisely farmed out. Won a couple of times at The New Hope Auto Show.

Anonymous 2:10 PM  

And what,
I know in the US, the spitfire ran a single stromburg in 75 but I work with what I got...

CDilly52 2:52 PM  

Everybody, I am exhausted. I am too old for this much emergency, threatening, dangerous, scary and extremely stressful “stuff.” I have advise public officials for nearly four decades, but never ever have I experienced this much dangerous chaos. I barely have time for this daily diversion but am so grateful for it. The puzzle occupies my mind for as long as I can make it last, and although I simply do not have enough time to post every day, I enjoy and am grateful to all of you that do. Keep on keeping on everyone and please take extra precautions if you live in areas currently experiencing civil unrest, and be aware that it can erupt in a moment if your community is presently quiet.

As citizens, we hold the power to make the madness stop and begin the healing. I firmly believe our Republic is threatened. As much now from within as it ever was from outside forces of evil. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, good people are out there who want to represent us. Find them. Encourage them. Or become one. And vote.

ChuckD 2:55 PM  

@Anon - I thought the later Spitfires ran Strombergs like my TR6. They were a beast to tune and maintain - although everything on that car was the same way - especially the electrical system. Loved to drive it - but haven’t missed it since I sold it

Barbara S. 3:11 PM  

@Masked and Anonymous 12:51


OK, I admit it's obscure, but my aunt had this condition so it's out there.

Joaquin 3:15 PM  

@ChuckD (2:55) - Tuning the Strombergs on your TR6 was child's play compared to adjusting the side view mirrors on my TR-3s. They were mounted on the front of the fenders and required either two people or a lot of running back to the car, sitting behind the wheel, running back to the front (about ten times). Then, the slightest thing would knock them out of adjustment!

But I did love those TR-3s.

Whatsername 3:33 PM  

@CDILLY52 (2:52) Very eloquently stated and I’m with you. Hang in there.

@Barbara S (3:11) I have a good friend who suffers with that. It may be obscure but it is very real. Poor thing can barely tolerate wearing shoes.

Joe Dipinto 3:57 PM  

Woh. 8pm curfew in NYC every night until Sunday. Some of the turmoil in Brooklyn last weekend was a block away from me.

Better get to the store to get my ice cream.

noparking 4:21 PM  

Well said

Masked and Anonymous 4:36 PM  

@Barbara S. - Nice!

Now -- with them solid EBAY & ETSY themers in the bank -- if we can just hide REDDIT, GOOGLE, and TWITTER, we've got a pretty consistent web-like PARTCOMPANY theme set. har

REDDIT sounds the easiest. I automatically ruled out FACEBOOK, btw.


Lobster11 4:36 PM  

Hey @tea73: That's really interesting. Based on my own experience I would have expected that you would have noticed a dramatic change when you went from December 2004 to January 2003. (If I understand correctly that's what you did, right?) I'm not sure what to think now, because to me, going backwards month by month, the transition could not have been more stark. Any ideas?

Z 5:00 PM  

@Anon12:26 - “We could've controlled it with the local book.” What an interesting assertion. Just how were you going to do that? I also find it interesting that you call it the “family inheritance.” Last I looked parents get to decide what to do with their money, not the family. If she had spent the “family inheritance” on cruises would you have wanted to criminalize sea travel? How about if she decided to waste it all at fancy restaurants? Ban restaurants? Or maybe they just adore independent crosswords and donate lavishly to AVCX and BEQ and Crossword Nation. Ban crosswords? Personally, I don’t see the attraction of casinos, betting on sports, playing bingo, or even playing poker. But if a parent decides to waste their money on such things rather than wasting it on their overly entitled off-spring I don’t see a problem.

@Anon 1:39 - Take it up with @Frank Lynch and then get back to us. Or maybe listen to that podcast I linked to.

I find it just a little odd that I pointed out how @Frank Lynch minimized some issues and the anons responses to me make @Frank Lynch’s argument stronger.

Anoa Bob 5:16 PM  

Like @Michiganman, I got my first job (that required a Social Security Card) as a sack boy at a KROGER store, though mine was in Tennessee. We used brown paper sacks, loaded them up, mostly with canned goods, and carted them out to the customer's car. Worked afternoons after school and on weekends. My grandmother was the only one who ever tipped me for carrying out the groceries.

Don't know how the British sports car thread got started, but I learned that I needed something to help sync the three(!) SU carbs on my 1962 Austin Healey 3000. I still have a carb synchronizer, one that I use these days to tune the carbs on my Kawasaki Vulcan 500, like this one here. Easy to use, accurate and a must-have for multiple carbs.

Like others, I put in FLog at 29D. I think of FLAY, with its meaning of "to strip or peel away the skin". as even more sadistic than FLog. There was a scene in the book "The Sand Pebbles" where a crew member from their boat was captured and then FLAYed alive in full view of the other crew members. Gruesome stuff. I would have gone with celebrity chef Bobby FLAY.

With 38 black squares, four themers and a reveal, there isn't much space left for the words-crossing-one-another part of the puzzle. Mostly a parade of three's. Seeing KROGER brought back memories and I used to eat at a local Luby's cafeteria, so if someone asked what I had for lunch, I'd say I got a LUBE JOB. Let's see, anything else grab me? SADLY NO.

syracusesolver 5:49 PM  

This was an adequate Tuesday but yet another puzzle dumbed down by circles. The revealer was sufficient, and the hunt would have made it a bit more challenging and fun.

"Beside Bert and Freddie, the Rover boys, the Hardy boys, and even Tom Swift are LADs," she said additionally.

Some folks use bumper stickers to silently express themselves. I use T-shirts. The well-worn one I have on today says THE ELECTION IS COMING. ( But not soon enough for me.)

Anonymous 6:01 PM  

There was a young man from Boston
Who drove a little Austin
He had room for his ass
and a can full of gas
But his balls hung out and he lost'em

Barbara S. 6:16 PM  

@Masked and Anonymous 4:36

VERTIGO OGLE (Dizzy stare)
GOO GLEAM (Sheen off slime)

ADORED DITZ (Much-loved eccentric)
TIERED DITCH (Trench on many levels)

OUTWIT TERMITES (Get the better of wood-munchers)
TWIT TERRACE (Balcony for dummies)

Right, OK, back to work. I'm supposed to be editing an extremely boring document. So much more fun to seek out distraction.

Anonymous 7:46 PM  

@Z, Everyone in our small town knew how to play a number back in the day before the lottery put him out of business. I'm serious. And no, if my mother had enjoyed a cruise we would've thought it was a great activity. If she kept going on cruises until she was flat broke, not so much. Since my father died, we're basically supporting her.

She kept up the ruse for a long time by taking out some kind of shady reverse mortgage where they gave her all the cash at once and she spent all that too. We're not sure how she got my father to sign the papers because he was later surprised to find out what he'd done. It's a long and ugly story and nothing you can write it will make it right.

kitshef 7:49 PM  

RIP Wes Unseld who appeared in the puzzle quite recently. Only player besides Wilt to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same year.

Anonymous 7:55 PM  

Hey Z - You obviously consider yourself a paragon of virtue. One word answer please. Are Z’s posts and Michiganman’s posts written by the same person ? Do the right thing guy.

RooMonster 8:41 PM  

@Barbara S
Those were awesome!
Allow me to add a not great one for @M&A
BRIEF A/C EBOOK (Quick online cooler guide?)

RooMonster Har Guy

BarbieBarbie 8:42 PM  

Knickers for boys were certainly in the Music Man.
The moment he leaves the house... does he rebuckle his knickerbockers.. *below* the knee?!? (TROUBLE!! trouble! Trouble! Trouble!)

Joe Dipinto 9:36 PM  

@AnoaBob – that scene is in the movie of "The Sand Pebbles" too. The crewman is played by Japanese-American actor Mako. He's basically screaming at his shipmates to please kill him. Steve McQueen finally does him the favor. Gruesome indeed.

Richardf8 11:48 PM  

Finished this up and I as like “Wow! what is this, the world’s smallest index fund?”

Richardf8 12:07 AM  

Or put another way, a single ticket gets you a possibility. The move from impossible to insanely unlikely is worth the cost of entry, but no more.

thefogman 9:22 AM  

At first I thought the reveal was about companies that parted ways, or did the opposite of merging with their partner. SADLYNO. Pretty bland stuff...

Burma Shave 9:53 AM  




spacecraft 11:37 AM  

I overthought this theme. Here I am, BEWILDERed, wondering what these companies have to do with "PARTS." I would expect ROCK AUTO, or AUTO ZONE...but SADLY, NO. It was only that the theme answers were PARTCOMPANY--and part not. That kinda let all the air out of my CARTIRE (green paint?).

The fill, however, provided the lion's share of entertainment this morning. A couple of mini-themes: DOD Lorena OCHOA hitting a TEESHOT, the aforementioned CARTIRE with a LUBEJOB, and a little "BE-"hive in the center.

Memory jogged: "As always, if any of your IMF team are caught or killed, the Secretary will DISAVOW any of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds."

And now, my friends, we must PARTCOMPANY, but not before I render my gratitude:

Bedebedebedebede, thanks, BUCK. Birdie.

Diana, LIW 12:32 PM  

And here I thought the answers were companies that produced parts. Hey - I still think that.

I did consider the aspect of some sort of "couples" who "part ways," or "Goodyear tires" for examples. But I was fine with the parts produced, and the puzzle itself seemed easier (for me) than yesterday.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for the virus to be over so I can go to another puzzle tournament

leftcoaster 2:53 PM  

Neat, clean, mostly easy, and nicely done theme and revealer.

Will always remember FAVA beans because of Anthony Hopkins' gruesome taste for them in his horror movies. APT is apt for the anagrams, and MRS Claus doesn't get the CREDit she deserves. Needed crosses for BELAYS, and had Dulles's airport before REAGAN's.

Enjoyed it. Thanks, Mr. G.

Anonymous 3:02 PM  

If you put a dot after APT, it becomes the abbreviation for apartment, which is a place.

Anonymous 3:13 PM  

While this is true, 35 states have stores that operate under the name Kroger, so even if there are none in your neck of the woods, it doesn't mean there are none in your state. I grew up with A&P's and NATIONAL's as the two huge supermarket chains, with the neighborhood CLOVER FARM stores within walking distance.

rainforest 3:27 PM  

An enjoyable Tuesday puzzle featuring lots of 3's which allowed 7-stacks and a few other longer entries. Kind of a blah theme, but I liked the themers, and it Niners' safety Ronnie LOTT in the corners. No BLIPS during my solve. Liked it.

rondo 6:15 PM  

@rainy, I was going to give the option of Ronnie or Trent LOTT in the corners to come out fighting. Money on Ronnie. Saw yeah BABY (no FAT) Loren OCHOA play in person. @spacey - that must have been one of Mel Blanc's last gigs.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP