Popular hair-coloring technique / TUE 7-2-20 / Taj Express destination city

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:09)

THEME: twenty twenty — Differently punctuated variations provide all the theme clues:

Theme answers:
  • TIE SCORE (16A: 20-20, e.g.)
  • NEWS MAGAZINE (23A: "20/20," e.g.)
  • RATIO (40A: 20:20, e.g.)
  • VISUAL ACUITY (52A: 20/20, e.g.)
  • LEAP YEAR (65A: 2020, e.g.)
Word of the Day: LO MEIN (67A: Chinese noodle dish) —
a Chinese dish consisting of sliced vegetables, soft noodles, and usually meat or shrimp in bite-size pieces stir-fried in a seasoned sauce (merriam-webster.com)
• • •

The theme concept is very cute and clever. The theme answers themselves aren't exactly scintillating, but that's OK; the fill is clean enough and the theme concept strong enough to make the solving experience sufficiently enjoyable. VISUAL ACUITY is definitely the wobbliest of the set, in that it reads more like a clue than an answer. It's got a definite green-paint vibe (i.e. it's a phrase you might say in ordinary conversation but it doesn't really seem strong enough to be a stand-alone answer). It's also the themer I had the most trouble with (though not too much trouble, to be honest). Did this one faster than, and enjoyed this one Much more than, Monday's puzzle. Would've loved to have seen this one yesterday and yesterday's not at all ever. But a belated Monday is better than no Monday. I feel like Tuesday has at least partially paid Monday's debt. I don't know if I was ALL FIRED UP about this one, but I definitely thought "WHAT A SHAME" about yesterday's. You get the picture. The only irksome part of today's for me was the SE corner, specifically OMBRÉ, about which I know nothing (though I can tell it's etymologically related to the French and Latin words for 'shade' or 'shadow' ... when I google [french ombre] I get pictures of people's (finger and toe) nails! Looks like OMBRÉ *hair* is when the lower part of the hair is lighter in color than the rest of it.

I'd probably prefer a real human DIEGO and not some ancillary animated character (15D: Dora the Explorer's cousin), but that's OK—I got him pretty easily from crosses. ["C'mon, man"] is a very reasonable clue for "DUDE..." if you say the answer with the proper intonation, but because the proper intonation is required, it's actually a pretty hard clue. I had WHAT- and then just No Idea what could come next at 29D: Comment made while shaking the head ("WHAT A SHAME"), so had to work the crosses through there. Got AUTOPEN solely because I had seen *and* complained about it recently (don't let anyone tell you complaining serves no purpose—it's mnemonic, apparently!). I wouldn't watch "Dancing with the Stars" if ... well, I just wouldn't, ever, is the point. I think I know ERIN Andrews from ESPN (?) but the "Dancing..." clue meant nothing to me, and RAKE was also hard (60D: Tool by a golf bunker) (I hate golf more than "Dancing..." — in hell, the only thing on TV is "Golfing with the Stars"). And RAKE and ERIN ran through OMBRÉ, so, yeah, by far that was the roughest part of the grid for me. But not really rough at all. Hope you liked this one. See you tomorrow!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I saw a great blue heron today and yesterday I saw a bald ****ing eagle! When the world gets me down (so, every day), I walk to the river and just stand there and see what's up. So much bird business! I love how little they care about me!

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:03 AM  

Easy. Solid and reasonably smooth. A fine Tues. Liked it.

OMBRÉ was a WOE which required all of the crosses and which apparently has nothing to do with a cockney pronunciation of an Elmore Leonard novel.

Joaquin 12:06 AM  

Note to Rex re: yesterday's puzzle - Let it go, man!

When I saw the constructor's name on today's puzzle I thought I would enjoy it. And it turns out my foresight was 20/20. Very clever theme, though the rest of the fill was super easy.

GHarris 12:10 AM  

I’d give this one a 20 out of 20. I don’t know whether or not that’s a good score. I’ll leave that to you all.

Harryp 12:13 AM  

I knew Mr. DUMPTY, LUKE and ICET, but the rest of the names filled in by the crosses. OMBRE, same thing. Still beat my tuesday average by 4 1/2 minutes, so Easy Peasy. Double 20's duly noted.

Mr. Alarm 12:27 AM  

Right on, man! Overall a fun puzzle. I think my brother-in-law to call it “vision score” rather than “visual acuity”, but I do love word the word “acuity“ in a puzzle, or anywhere. SE corner was tough for me too. And watching golf or “Dancing with the Stars” would be painful, like watching grass grow in both cases!

Pamela 12:34 AM  

Yep, cute. I liked it. Visual acuity was fine with me. From the first themer on, I was looking for something, anything to do with eyes. I take soooo many vision tests. But here, I had to wait til the end. No problem, I didn’t mind, there was plenty of entertainment along the way.

ICET showed up again. I always got such a kick out of seeing him trying to act. Was he trying? Hard to tell, looked like maybe not. But I always thought it was cool to see a rapper in a role that had absolutely nothing to do with his other life, and I didn’t care that he was such a terrible actor. All he had to do was be there. Here too, he doesn’t have to do anything but be in the grid, and it’s cool with me.

DUDE, ALLFIREDUP. spoons on the KNEE... all good. Now I’m ALLtIREDUP, so off to bed.

Hated today.

Good night. 😴

CuppaJoe 12:35 AM  

I wanted to just give your blog post a simple “like” instead of declaring I’m not a robot, Dude!! Loved filling in my childhood nickname which was short for “dude, the dopey dude rancher”. Fun how it has changed meaning over the years. Hang ten, man.

rlpgoog 1:28 AM  

Bald eagles are quite common up here in Alaska, in fact in Homer they are practically a scavenger bird with all the fishing that occurs there, but they are still majestic to see soaring high in the sky

egsforbreakfast 1:34 AM  

Puzzle was Tuesday good. The P.S. paragraph from Rex revealed a vulnerability in him that I don’t like to give him credit for. I kind of imagine he’s a tough-as-nails guy squaring off against me, another tough-as-nails guy. When he reveals a soft underbelly, it makes me want to tell him everything he says is all right. Except it isn’t. I still think way too many of his critiques are based on ignorance or virtue signaling. But I still love you in some twisted way Rex. I truly hope that you eventually have some days when the world doesn’t get you down.

Robin 1:56 AM  

Congrats on seeing the BFE. As an apex predator, their presence suggests you are not living on a total … unpleasant… place.

Anyhow, this was one of the more engaging themes that I've seen in the NYTXW in a while, despite the fact that I do the puzzle on-line and pay 0 attention to the theme. But I've recently undergone eye surgery, so 202/20 clues and VISUALACUITY were really way TF up my alley

Frantic Sloth 2:07 AM  

I kinda hate it when I have no nits about a puzzle. But I also kinda love it when it's so clean, so tight, so...professional.
Such anomalies are no longer expected so when one crops up, it's like a Sasquatch sighting.
I'm struck dumb(er) with appreciation and awe. So... just gonna pack up my crank kit and hope for worse tomorrow. 😉


chefwen 2:13 AM  

Golfing with the stars, now there’s an idea. A bad one, yes, but you may have planted a seed in someone’s head. Perish the thought.

Cute idea and a fun Tuesday puzzle, well done. Keep cranking them out C.C.

Alex M 3:23 AM  

USE UP, EAT UP, and ALL FIRED UP all in the same grid and Rex isn't even a little FIRED UP about that?? Jeepers. I also had a gripe with the OMBRE clue, but it was that it described it as a "popular" technique... No excuse for you not knowing it Rex but OMBRE hair is sooo 2010s. It's all about the balayage now, should have been described as "once-trendy" or something. Also ERIN Andrews has been recently fired from DWTS, along with OG host Tom Bergeron (they're "going in another direction" with it, aka bringing in Tyra Banks). A conscientious editor would have tweaked that clue to represent her now former host status, imho.

mathgent 4:10 AM  

I subscribe to USA Today and usually check out the constructor of the crossword. It’s almost always a woman and that woman is frequently Ms. Burnikel. She’s a machine. A few days ago, I saw her byline on a WSJ puzzle. Today, it’s the NYT.

There is an inverse relationship between the volume of artistic work and the quality of artistic work. Rex is a good example. He knocks out a column almost every day and they’re usually not very good.

So it is for Ms. Burnikel. No time to come up with a clever clue for FRI so let’s just go with “Thur. follower.” And how to key SAND? “Beach bucketful” will do. There are twelve clues like that.

But let’s not dwell on negatives. What are the good things about today’s puzzle? Good question.

Hungry Mother 6:05 AM  

I missed my puzzles yesterday due to a trip across the Delaware Bay to Cape May for dentist and dermatologist appointments. So it was good to get back with this easy one. Very nice theme.

ChuckD 6:11 AM  

This was not a great effort from a constructor who is typically right on the mark. You wouldn’t get that from Rex’s review because she’s not a white guy he despises but understand that today’s theme and fill were no cleaner or tighter than yesterday.

The 20/20 concept is boring - is that NEWS MAGAZINE show still on? and VISUAL ACUITY isn’t exactly bouncy and fun. What’s with EAT UP, USE UP and ALL FIRED UP - thought that was a no no. The rest of the fill had an ERECT ODOR to it that while being an easy fill - was also unenjoyable. Goes to show that even top notch constructors have bad days.

Lewis 6:20 AM  
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Lewis 6:38 AM  
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Lewis 6:39 AM  

@rex -- "Golfing with the Stars" -- Hah!

Fresh theme -- CC has a remarkable knack for coming up with them; she's wired that way. It's a gift for a constructor to have, and a gift as well for us solvers.

Junk lite -- it's a CC grid. She is a scrubber of the first order.

Something to learn -- OMBRÉ. And in doing a quick read about it, I also learned "balayage" (a similar technique). I just might remember both of these, not that I'm a connoisseur of hairstyles, but they're both gorgeous words.

What I loved most about this puzzle was the answer TIE SCORE. In my post-solve perusal, it hit me that 20-20 is not only a tie score, but it is also a tie of scores!

Many thanks for this little oasis, CC!

jsloate 6:56 AM  
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kitshef 7:20 AM  

I get irritated when there are more than two CECs in a puzzle! Today, we get five! And all five end in an exclamation mark! It’s like the Sunday funnies!

“That’s great to hear!”, “Gross!”, “C’mon, man!”, “Didn’t expect to see you here!”, “Well, I declare!”.

Shame for such a fun theme to be sabotaged by such unpleasant cluing.

Discussion question: OMBRE: Tuesday-worthy or “what in perdition is OMBRE?”

Petsounds 7:30 AM  

A line I wish I had written: "...in hell, the only thing on TV is 'Golfing with the Stars'." There are many more ways we could describe hell, given this year and the past 3 1/2, but that description just rang my bell.

Kind of surprised at all the love for this puzzle, which I found extremely meh, if such a thing is possible. The theme was OK, but the rest of the clues just felt phoned in. I tied my Tuesday solve record, but I'd rather have had something more inspiring and fun to solve than "Made in the ___" and "This ____ a test" and "Thur. follower" and on and on. Weirdly, another such clue--"Gross!"--led me to a wrong answer: ICK instead of UGH. There just wasn't any weight to this puz.

One positive: No OREOs.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

Baseball season must be cranking up. Right in the middle of the puzzle, diagonally (SW to NE), I saw an Astro straddled by two A's.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

OffTheGrid 7:34 AM  

Speaking of birds. I went on my first paddle of the year yesterday and was entertained by kingfishers and cedar waxwings. I was alone and it was quiet. Also, last night I watched "The Big Year" on HBO. It's a movie with Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson in a birding competition. And their personal lives are woven into the story. It was interesting and a pleasant diversion. Lots of birds to see as well.

QuasiMojo 7:43 AM  

The style OMBRE is not of French derivation. It comes from the movie "Hombre" starring Paul Newman. He was making a salad in his dressing room in between takes during shooting, and accidentally spilled some vinegar on his hands. He then wiped the back of his neck and the hair on his nape turned ashen. The director Martin Ritt liked the look and made the makeup artist recreate it for co-star Diane Cilento. She rocked it, using a melange of bleaches and iridescent dyes to create a fascinating rainbow effect. It caught on with the grips who styled their exquisite mullets thusly. Since then it's de rigueur among the haute Hollywood set and spokesmodels on HSN.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

Cool Hand LUKE was Newman, too.

GILL I. 8:16 AM  

Well I haven't been to my hairdresser since March and I have the natural OMBRE from hell. One part of my hair (the top where everyone can see it and stare) looks like @Rex's bald eagle took a big shat on it. It sits there like this fat white thing that screams "put a lid on it."
@kitshef 7:20. I'll disagree (but I'd still like to sit down with you over a cocktail)...I love CC's cluing. She has this ability to clue ordinary words and make them into something interesting. Take a ho hum word like TRAY and clue it with an airplane seat attachment. Or take the usual "Taj Mahal location" and make it into the "Taj Express destination"....little things that she clues that make them more interesting.
So 2020 is a LEAPY EAR? Imagination goes off and running. I've never checked Trumps ears. For some reason, I always go to the mouth. Have you noticed how puckered his lips always are? I can't imagine that thing opening up for a hamburger. My VISUAL ACUITY is getting the better of me.
Happy Tuesday to all. Sacramento has now confirmed another 360 new Corona cases since yesterday. What a country we live in! Right now, I'd like to be a bird.

Nancy 8:19 AM  

A nice idea for a theme and the theme itself is nicely executed. But it's completely wasted on a dull-as-dishwater puzzle. I always know when I'm bored because I try to guess answers without reading clues, while I also try to guess what the clues will be. Does this really make the puzzle more enjoyable? Alas, no.

The only vaguely interesting answer was the unknown-to-me OMBRE for the hair-coloring technique. I thought I remembered from Latin or French or somewhere that OMBRE means shade or shadow. Shadows are gray. Does that mean that the OMBRE hair coloring technique makes your hair gray?* I thought most people wanted to make their hair UN-gray.

Found the puzzle a DRAG.

*No need to tell me. I Googled the OMBRE hair-coloring method and I now know what it is.

pabloinnh 8:23 AM  

I don't know any people that do particularly fancy things to their hair, so OMBRE was news to me, except as the proper pronunciation of "hombre", so a good day as learning was involved.

Agree with the general observation that this was a nice theme with too many easy clues.

I'm with @Pamela on lots of vision tests. One a month these days. Things are holding steady, which is good.

And no surprise, the DUDE abides.

Thanks for the fun CC. Next time make us work a little harder.

EJames 8:23 AM  

Fun and easier than yesterday for me.

But, MACE? I cook a lot and make a pretty mean pumpkin pie. If I say I'm going to the store to buy MACE, it's for self protection and you wouldn't want it going anywhere near a baked product.

I looked it up and saw that it was related to nutmeg, which...I also don't use. Try ginger. It's better.

Nancy 8:24 AM  

That's telling it like it is, @mathgent (4:10)! I love the [well-earned] negativity of your critique. Couldn't agree more.

Z 8:29 AM  

See. No need to skew dead. Anderson Cooper, ICE T, EDDIE Redmayne, ERIN Andrews, all not just alive but actually currently active. Sure, we get our late cultural icons, but there is some balance.

De Gustibus and all that, but if you think the short fill yesterday equals the short fill today I have to ask if we did the same puzzles. Yes, there is always some unavoidable dreck and ese like AGRA or ETA. But the unforced ZERO, the MYMY that’s not nYnY, words like RAKE and DUDE that we don’t see six out of seven days, there’s a lot of short fill today that is simply better than what we got yesterday. The greatest of these is ZERO. How often does the appearance of Z feel forced? But today it is part of the flow.

Regarding yesterday’s discussion of Stages of Rex, #5 should be “Acceptance that Rex is mostly right.” I know some of you are in denial that you will ever reach that stage (and some of you are in denial that you’ve already reached it) but you will.

Elaina 8:30 AM  

“The Peace of Wild Things”
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently.

JD 8:30 AM  

This is a puzzle from someone who hears the spoken word in a world where people get all Fired Up or say "Dude, what a shame!"

There's no meaning twisted out of shape for a clue that's struggling to be clever. Not much skewed to any one particular generation. Checks all the boxes for a Tuesday.

@Egs, You've reached Stage 5, Acceptance.

@Quasi, Dude, how did you come Up with that!

Joe R. 8:30 AM  

I immediately dropped in SHITSHOW for 65A, but then none of the crosses worked. I guess that LEAPYEAR is also technically correct, but it seems less specific to 2020.

MarthaCatherine 8:44 AM  

egsforbreakfast: I think most of his critiques are because he hates Will Shortz. I often wonder how his tone will change once Shortz retires.

Can't speak for his curmudgeonliness outside of crossword puzzles. He definitely should walk to that river more often.

Chim cham 8:49 AM  

Best Tuesday puzzle I’ve ever come across. I’m a hardcore Saturday fan, so I like ‘em tough and obtuse. This however was clever, challenging and breezy all at once. Loved it.

OffTheGrid 8:59 AM  

@Elaina. Thank you for the Wendell Berry poem.

webwinger 9:05 AM  

What a great Tuesday puzzle! Sparkly theme, nice long downs, very little junky fill. Bonus themer, for this retired ophthalmologist, was ALIGN, what for many years I did surgically with eyes to correct strabismus.

@Rex: VISUAL ACUITY has a green paint vibe?! On what planet do you reside? But I agree that this puzzle was easier than yesterday's, and should have run yesterday, the twentieth of the month.

Joe Welling 9:09 AM  

So Rex's review today seemed to be self-contradictory. He said it was a good Monday puzzle on a Tuesday, which sounds like he means it was too easy for a Tuesday. Then he proceeded to complain about a number of clues that were too hard.

albatross shell 9:11 AM  

In days of yore we kids would play ping-pong to 21 have to win by two. We would call 20-20 deuce. We scored volley ball the same way. So 20-20 was a special TIESCORE. The first deuce. Today its more like a green paint tie score. Also 20-20, the news magazine, is called that , I think, because it is a phrase for visual acuity. And a 20-20 ratio is just a one to one ratio isn't it? So the theme dwindles a little the closer you look at it. But while solving it was quite enjoyable.

DHL always bums me out a little because it was half of a nasty natick and totally unknown to me. For some reason I haven't forgiven it, even though I bear no animus toward 'etui' or many such others. A personal quirk.

Finally got around to your LA puzzle. Much fun with a pesky north center-east. Hard to choose between the preacher and the carpet bomb for fave.

Whatsername 9:18 AM  

Very, very nice Tuesday. Loved the unique theme, my favorite being TIESCORES, a tie of scores of a score. I liked 20/20 the NEWSMAGAZINE best when Barbara Walters was on. She was the quintessential pro at nailing those interviews. If you have not read her memoir, “Audition,” I highly recommend it. A true pioneer for women in journalism, she has led a fascinating life.

For snow bunnies, LEAPYEAR means an extra day to SKI. I’ve never put MACE in a pumpkin pie, but it wouldn’t be pumpkin pie without its sister spice, nutmeg. I was not aware that OMBRE was something I could get at my hair salon. Appreciate the explanation but think I’ll pass on the application. Ahem.

IMGLAD Rex had the privilege and thrill of seeing a bald eagle but WHATASHAME that he has to refer to it so crudely. One of God’s - or if you prefer, Nature’s - most majestic creatures, it deserves dignity if not reverence. I can’t think of a time I ever saw one that it did not take my breath away.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

‘Tis a shame more people should care little about you!

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

VISUALACUITY is the actual term for what you're testing with the eye chart. There's a lengthy Wikipedia article about it. No green paint here.

JD 9:44 AM  

@Z, amended. Will this work?

5. Acceptance, a fluid-dynamics-like stage which ultimately may be complete or situational.

@Elaina, Can't thank you enough. I've copied it and know there will be times when I'll go back to it.

burtonkd 9:54 AM  

@Quasi - thanks for the great story about Hombre/Paul Newman. I'm just going to assume it is all true and spread the gospel.

I was able to work the fact I learned about ASTRO and Scooby-Doo were voiced by the same actor. (Well, I may have steered the conversation...)

Eagles do fly majestically, but I am wondering about them as an apex predator. I suppose they have no natural enemy that preys on them, but I have a hard time giving that title to carrion eaters. People laughed at Benjamin Franklin for campaigning for the wild turkey as the national bird, but I always get excited to see them. They aren't the noblest bird, but they are scrappy survivors - might be better as a metaphorical symbol for our country. I second OffTheGrid's recommendation of The Big Year (and kingfishers in the wild)

I wanted SCHUSS to fit for 69a. Had EWW before UGH.

@Z - inre stage 5: You may be right that he is right, but over the top personal beef rant nature of his delivery doesn't allow me to trust or believe it. That aside, he does have a unique voice, makes astute observations and consistently finds conversation starting things to write.

Hand up for stage 3, which I condense to "correct the correctors". Z's advice (to someone else) that it is more interesting to post original content than go layers of meta has been taken to heart and helped IRL as well, so thanks:)

inre NARWHAL from yesterday, it is the animal equivalent of xwordese such as ORR, OTT, SADE. The "unicorn of the sea" appears in children's books and shows enough that you'd think they are as prevalent as seagulls.

TTrimble 10:05 AM  

Interesting commentary today. The puzzle was unproblematic, to be sure. I actually thought the fill was ho-hum (e.g., ICE-T and ECO we've seen a lot of recently, as we have UGH, AGRA, LEE, OIL, UGH, ETA, CAPRIS). I was actually expecting some spleen about this from you-know-who, and about some of the cluing, as in "C'mon, man!". Because I actually don't want to believe that Rex's disposition towards a puzzle is *that* heavily correlated with his solve time -- the hypothesis seems too simple to be true, and not kindly reflective. And yet, a la Occam's razor, that really might be the most likely explanation. Sad.

Anyway, I cannot see that this puzzle is so much better than yesterday's. I mean, I don't actively dislike this puzzle, not at all. It's fine. The theme is nice, and there's some good stuff like VISUAL ACUITY (and I like OMBRE too -- I think I had uMBRa at first, which is etymologically connected, and it was pleasant getting that sorted out). But I'm not getting a whiff of consistency coming from Rex.

No way. Or at least I don't think so. I'd have to get an awful lot more grouchy (more accurately, splenetic) before I reach such a high level of acceptance. ;-)

Your etymology is hilarious!

---[SB Alert]---

Wow, yesterday's was not easy IMHO. Despite my smug satisfaction with myself yesterday over my progress, I wound up missing QB by two: LUNULA and TACTUAL. Now LUNULA I find amusing because I was trying to imagine something along the lines of "cuticle" which is a near miss (no "e"). But TACTUAL isn't in my lexicon -- how come I've never heard that word? I just looked it up, and as I expected it means the exact same thing as "tactile", but somehow it's eluded me all these years. Huh.

There are a *bunch* of answer for today's.

jberg 10:11 AM  

Isn’t golfing with the stars called a pro-am tournament?

I loved the theme. The fill? Well, it’s Tuesday, and some nice entries ZERO VIALS LO MEIN MACE. That last item can make you high, but simultaneously sick.

Old phone with a dial? No, with the old phones you’d lift the handset and ask the orator for the number you wanted. Ours was 830-J, a party line.

I do think the triple UPs were a fault.

mathgent 10:20 AM  

What is junk? According to my definition, UGH, OHHI, and MYMY all qualify.

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

FWIW: LEAP YEAR doesn't add a day, just a date. Yes, there is a difference.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

So much bird business! I love how little they care about me!

Don't hang around when there's a hawk or two looking to fill their tummies. Dive bombing a bi-pedal meat sack is their version of fun.

Anonymoose 10:32 AM  

@TT. Please put "Spoiler Alert" when you post answers. Many people work on the Bee into the next day.

Maybe I'm wrong, but would appreciate a moderator's input. Thank you.

RooMonster 10:32 AM  

Hey All !
Holy cow, how did Will miss this puz for Yesterday? As @webwinger astutely pointed out, yesterday was the 20th! A 20-20 puz on the 20th! This actually SHOULD have been YesterPuz, for that reason and the fact it was way better. Cleaner, a tad bit easier. Still a great CC puz! (Ain't they all?)(Does she make a puz a day? Sure seems like it.)

@CuppaJoe 12:35
You are "blue", you DO NOT have to hit the "Prove you're not a robot" button. Just hit "Publish comment" once you're done. It'll go straight through, without the hassle. ☺️

I liked this puz. Amazing theme hasn't been done before (has it?) CC really cracks 'em out. Slight nit (gotta have one 😋), two 20/20 clues. although one in quotations. Too bad she didn't use 20,20 or something. (Can't think of a clue for that one, is it a math thing? @TTrimble?)

Three UPs again, but no stress about it. Only a few POCs for our @anoabob. Is ANOAS the proper plural? Or ANOAS? ANOAPODES?

One F

TTrimble 10:39 AM  


(SB again)

Will do. Please accept my apologies. Some time back I had read on this blog that mentioning answers the next day was acceptable, but you're right that including the words "Spoiler Alert" would be a nice gesture. Again, sorry about that.

TTrimble 10:43 AM  


Another thing that could be done -- and I tender this suggestion to other SB-ers out there as well -- is encode yesterday's answers using ROT-13. That would probably be a sufficient buffer, except for rare individuals who are so used to ROT-13 that they decode them instantly.

Crimson Devil 10:46 AM  

Much enjoyed tie of scores.
And reference to one of original ESPN announcers Chris Berman, (a/k/a Boomer), who coined, I think, C’mon Man!
And to ex ESPN sideliner, ERIN Andrews, she of keyhole fame.
Tried hard to fit Gauchos into CAPRI slot.

Whatsername 10:55 AM  

@Quasi (7:43) Great story about Newman and the salad dressing. A similar thing happened when he was filming Lady L with Sophia Loren. He accidentally spilled a jar of spaghetti sauce on her hair and a new trend - Salsa Capelli - was born.

@GILL (8:16) You had me in stitches with the VISUALACUITY of your observations on hair color and puckered lips, but I may never eat a hamberder again. Gag.

Elaina (8:30) I absolutely love that poem but don’t think to ponder on it often enough. Thank you so much for the reminder. It is especially noteworthy in these stressful times.

@burtonk (9:54) I don’t know of any natural predator of a bald eagle but I suppose they do encounter certain dangers. My brother once saw a coyote carrying a piece of a deer carcass and watched a bald eagle swoop down from behind the coyote and snatch it right out of his mouth. While I also admire the wild turkey, I don’t see it as superior to the exalted eagle as our national symbol. But it would certainly make an apt logo for the year 2020, I’ll grant you that.

bauskern 10:57 AM  

@ Z Stop drinking the Kool Aid. It feels more than a little cultish.

Re: the puzzle, loved the theme, very clever, and made me wonder, What's coming next?
Easy for a Tuesday, but in the global scheme of things, who's really going to quibble?

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

Physician here- VISUAL ACUITY is no green paint answer! It's the correct ophthalmologic term for... that thing.

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

Something everyone should read

Masked and Anonymous 11:05 AM  

CC Burnikel is one of my fave constructioneers. Could be she submitted this puz around New Year's Eve, to celebrate 2020, but evidently it always takes months and months for them to carve up the wooden stampin blocks for printin it, at the NYT.

staff weeject pick: TEN. Better clue: {20/2.0, e.g.}. [math humor]

some stuff M&A mostly learned/relearned about today: OMBRE. LOMEIN. DIEGO. MACE in pumpkin pie.

Admired the VIALS & DIALED pair a lot.

Thanx for the roarin 20's fun, Ms. Burnikel darlin.

Masked & Anonym007Us


burtonkd 11:08 AM  

@jberg - good point about the pro-am. We always used golf on TV as grounds for a pleasant nap: the monochromatic green visuals and monochromatic announcers along with polite applause that sounds similar to a rolling ocean wave is a perfect soporific for a somnambulant Sunday siesta.

Pete 11:42 AM  

I live in central NJ, and the river by (and in) which I walk my dogs daily has nesting Bald Eagles about every 5-10 miles. I've had a juvenile Great Blue Heron spend 15 minutes trying to seduce me with its display.

It took 50+ years of environmental activism, pollution control, land preservation and cleanup to make this a reality.I thank who participated in that 50 years, and all who will work to continue that.

Oh,the puzzle. Much better than yesterday. To all those who are jumping all over CC, well,

1) The fact that several of her puzzles have appeared within the past week doesn't mean she cranks out several a week, it's a random function of scheduling.
2) Clues are way more the responsibility of the editor rather than the constructor.
3) If you're so bored with predictably easy early week puzzles, how can you not be bored with your predictable complaint about how easy early week puzzles are?

Sir Hillary 11:48 AM  

Very nice puzzle from one of the great early-week constructors. The attempts to contrast its quality with yesterday's is lost on me, but c'est la vie. I will concede that having a Z in a theme answer certainly means said Z isn't forced into the grid; not sure it could be otherwise.

EATUP, USEUP, ALLFIREDUP -- do we call this a dUPe? I like 'em all.

Love the way COST is clued; could have been a DRAG, but instead it has some zip.

Always good to LEARN new things; today it was AUTOPEN and OMBRE.

@Poggius -- Excellent VISUALACUITY on your part to spot the A-flanked ASTRO. Keep on that line to see Bruce LEE making a second appearance.

@Crimson Devil -- Good stuff with ESPN. I associate "C'mon, man!" with Cris Carter, but Berman could very well have coined it.

Joe Dipinto 11:51 AM  

So, @Quasi – re Newman's Own: It's a salad dressing! It's a hair dye! It's a salad dressing! It's a hair dye! It's a salad dressing *AND* a hair dye!

(oh wait, I think you never watched SNL. Never mind.) :-)

RooMonster 12:22 PM  

@Pete 11:42
Maybe on the scheduling thing, but she sure does get a lot of puzs published. Each year. I can only hope that every puz she makes gets accepted, because if she has rejections, then I can't even fathom the amount of puzs she makes.

RooMonster Want To Be Like CC When I Grow Up Guy

noparking 12:32 PM  

I was thinking the same thing. You get Humpty ___, Hit the slopes, Standing tall, Zones, etc which were way too easy, and them the Ombré clue.

Pete 12:43 PM  

@Roo - Just looking at the NYTimes, this is her third puzzle in 2020. In 2019 she had 9. That's a lot, but not by much. Bruce Haight (random example) has 2 in 2020, 8 in 2019.

Swagomatic 12:47 PM  

This puzzle was so nice, I solved it twice. I was solving on my Kindle, and just as I finished, at about 12 minutes, our internet went down, so the solved puzzle never made it to the NYT server. A bit later, when the intertubes came back, I checked, and the puzzle was totally pristine. The second time, I finished it in 4:03, so I guess I'm pretty darn good now. ;-)

Ernonymous 12:49 PM  

@Nancy I was doing an archived puzzle today from 12-14-19 and the clue was: network showing Barry. I knew the answer because I had just done your puzzle. In your puzzle, I only knew the answer because I had read your post here.
I still have not heard of this show! I think it's strange to see this clue twice with all the HBO shows, even though one was LAT and the other NYT. I know Will often uses a previous clue, like they are so overworked they just grab a former clue they used. I think this saves time as they don't need to fact check it.

Teedmn 12:54 PM  

Har, I almost spewed Famous Amos cookie crumbs when I got to Rex's "Golfing With The Stars" comment. Good stuff.

I associate OMBRE with yarn, but when applied to hair, I could picture what effect was being referenced - many of the 20-something women I know have done it in various colors. Sometimes it's awesome, sometimes just weird.

With __AL__ in at 62A, I wanted a clock that was diALed but that was already in the upper right corner.

My one writeover today was at 27D. I had "Do it" for "C'mon, man!" with that "hold my beer" intonation.

As always, CC serves up a smooth, entertaining and original theme. Thanks!

JC66 12:58 PM  


As to your Occam's razor comment, not only was the puzzle easy for OFL, but the constructor is a woman.

Mary McCarty 1:00 PM  

@Nancy 8:19. Ombré (From Latin “umbra”) is a popular term to describe fabrics that are “shaded” in tint (one color, different intensities) or blended. Google “ombré fabric” for lots of images.

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

@Z count me with bauskern and TTrimble. I’m not sure why you think I’d come around to thinking Rex is right. So much of his criticism is colored by his beliefs. And a great many of his beliefs run counter to mine. Why on Earth would I find things I’ve spend a lifetime believing be replaced by ideas I’ve rejected for many decades?
You agree with Rex’s politics. And not only that, I suspect you agree with Rex when he says things like and member of the GOP is now “a straight up racist”, or “a white supremacist”. He also rails against men. Mostly white men, but men very often. He describes them as the problem. These are both things he’s written many times on his twitter account. And that belief bleeds into his critique of the Times puzzle. I reject those two assertions, and his criticism which is a fruit of his poisoned tree.
You’ve made the wild claim that people will certainly come around to Rex in the end. I assure you, you are mistaken.

burtonkd 1:15 PM  

@whatsername - I witnessed a seagull plan a sneak attack on an unsuspecting beachgoer last week and rip a sandwich out of a man's hand while he was looking elsewhere. The gull was focussed in from at least 100 yards out and was masterful swooping undetected in an arc from behind.

@Giovanni - I gave a little ODELET to "Barry" in the comments the other day.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

Whatshername et.@“.
Eagle eggs, and nestlings have a lot of predators. Great horned owls are the most deadly. But other raptors and some mammals, raccoons e.g., do their fair share of killing.
As for adult eagles, man is their biggest killer. And you can thank wind farms for it. One of the earliest big ones was Altamont. That beauty had killed 2000 golden eagles as of 2013. Wind turbines slaughter about 500,000 to 700,000 birds a year by current estimates. But yay. Renewable energy. And it’s so inexpensive.🙄

Mark Rosenfield 1:32 PM  

Loved the puzzle, but as a Professor of Optometry, I can tell you that the term 20/20 should have been retired 25 years ago. Firstly, it is almost the only parameter left in medicine or science that is still measured with Imperial (non-metric) units, and secondly, the top number is supposed to represent the viewing distance, but you find an eye doctor's office in Manhattan that is 20 feet long (who can afford that amount of real estate).

Doc John 1:34 PM  

And again Rex misses the opportunity to post a great music video!

QuasiMojo 2:04 PM  

@Whatshername, hah! Good one! I think that would work to get bubble gum out of your hair as well. :)

@Joe DiPinto -- You're right but I still got it! :)

Thanks to @JD et al for the comments. And Mathgent for speaking my mind.

Re SB: today's gave me a headache. I needed an Anacin! But it didn't take.

GILL I. 2:07 PM  

@burtonkd 1:15. You haven't lived until you've had a seagull poop on your head. Not to be outdone, my husband and I were enjoying a nice little lobster lunch in Monterrey, sitting outside this lovely restaurant, minding our own business, when just as I was about to take a bite of the finely sautéed little tail, smothered in butter, that this little bastard swooped down and practically took it from my mouth. It even came back when we ordered dessert.

TTrimble 2:23 PM  

@JC66, @Anonymous 1:13,

If anyone cares what I think (or even if not!), I believe diversity is generally a good thing, and if Rex is trying to send a message out to Will Shortz to promote greater diversity, then I have no complaint about that per se. (Of course I have no idea to what extent such messages may be getting through. Just as I have no idea how much of the commentary here gets through to Rex.)

I actually don't know if Michael Sharp is letting any prejudices against white males color his commentary -- which I view as logically independent of his general stances on diversity. It's possible he does, but I just don't know. For one thing, I haven't followed his blog long enough. All that said, I do think it might be good or useful if he could blind himself to the name of the constructor and write his reviews accordingly. (That will never happen, of course.)

For example, I have heard that orchestral auditions are often held behind a screen so that the judges make a judgment based only on what they hear. In my opinion, this is a very sound idea, and the same idea should be applied more often than it is.

Joe Dipinto 2:29 PM  

Hey, @Nancy – How about today's Cryptogram? So easy, I sailed right through it.

Anonymous 2:34 PM  

and member of the GOP is now “a straight up racist”, or “a white supremacist”.

well, riddle me this Batman: how many of the GOP called out The Orange Sh!tgibbon (not my coinage, but I cleave) after his Charlottesville rant, or his love of the Confederate flag, or labelling BLM as 'terrorists', or sending Stasi into Portland, or insisting the CP5 should be executed after DNA conclusively cleared them? and so on. if you work to enable a dictator, you are too. many 'real Republicans' have bolted. they can be found in 'The Lincoln Project'. may be you should join them?

ghostoflectricity 2:34 PM  

The Rolling Stones: "What a Shame."


GaryMac 3:02 PM  


re: SB

Ditto on hating today's SB. Yesterday also. I thought I was getting pretty good but I'm on a 4-day run with no QB and not even close on 3 of those days. There have been some rather obscure words in there recently. Oh well, I'm sure I'll try again tomorrow.

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

Blind auditions for orchestras are now under assault. There was a piece in the Times this week. The idea is that blind auditions aren’t generating enough people of color. Yep. Best musicianship isn’t the idea.

Amon cleaver.
Plenty of Republicans are appalled at plenty of things Trump has done. Why, Im one of them as it happens. But Sharp says I’m
a racist and white supremacist. He’s never met me, never spoken to me, never read any of the scripts I’ve written. (Though he may have heard them). But he’s declared me a villain. And I can abide a lot of things, but not being vilified for rational, reasonable , moral positions.

JC66 3:15 PM  


I'm all for diversity, too.

I've been reading this blog for longer than I'd like to admit, and I was just adding to your point that not only does the speed of OFL's solve appear to affect his evaluation of the puzzle, but so does the sex of the the constructor (except where his bros are concerned).

Your concert curtain idea has merit, but I can't think how it could be implemented.

pabloinnh 3:44 PM  


One time when we were staying in Maine a gull swooped down and captured a hot dog and flew away eating it. This was poor judgment as the hot dog in question was cooking on a charcoal grill at the time and was, yep, hot. I'm guessing is was the avian version of burning the roof of your mouth on can't-wait pizza.

Anoa Bob 3:51 PM  

My favorite course to teach when I was still in the chalk-and-talk trade (does anyone still use chalk and a chalk board these days?) was the upper division Psych course "Sensation and Perception". All the senses were covered but since vision is our dominant sense, there was an emphasis on the VISUAL system. VISUAL ACUITY is the correct technical term for the amount of fine grained detail that can be be detected, so seeing that in the grid was fun.

20/20 is a relative measure of VISUAL ACUITY. If you have 20/20 vision then you can see from 20 feet the same amount of detail as the average, normally-sighted person would see from 20 feet. If it's 20/40 you are nearsighted and see detail from 20 feet that the average person can see from 40 feet. Some birds of prey are estimated to have 4/20 sight. The average human would have to be 4 feet away to see the same fine detail that the bird can see from 20 feet.

When I saw ACTS, NICKELS and TERMS coming right out of the gate, I thought we might be in for a plural-of-convenience (POC) fest. But in the end there was only a moderate fill boost from POCs, and not a single one of the two POCs with one S variety, where an Across and a Down share a final S. So nothing to say MY MY about.

@Roo, I believe that the Indonesian language where the anoa roams does not distinguish between single and plural nouns (like Japanese, e.g.) so it's one anoa or several anoa. Fitting since the anoa is the smallest of the buffalo, about the size of a deer, and it's one deer or several deer.

Joe Dipinto 4:02 PM  

@Anon 3:12 – I read that piece about blind auditions. The gist being that, around 1970 when blind auditions were first implemented, they did improve matters for awhile, mostly in terms of getting more women into orchestras. But now, you have so many top-caliber auditionees who are essentially indistinguishable from each other in terms of execellence, that if you really do want to bring diversity into your organization, you have to look beyond technical skill at what else you want players to bring to the table – a connection to the community you are serving, for example.

Lol, I almost wrote that "blond auditions" weren't working out so well.

Joe Dipinto 4:36 PM  

Excellence, that is.

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

Plenty of Republicans are appalled at plenty of things Trump has done.

as I said: silence is enabling. just being appalled and taking no steps to get rid of this psychopath is enabling. give money to 'Lincoln Project'. tell your fellow GOP to not support this psychopath. and so on. y'all are getting what you want: judges that are partying like it's 1859. admit it, for cryin out loud.

TTrimble 4:57 PM  

Hi @JC66,

Thanks. I understood that's what you meant (about OFL), and I have no reason to disbelieve you. And yeah, the curtain idea is just a pipe dream in this case.

It seems you and I would agree that blind musical auditions aren't themselves a problem. Apparently they have been helpful in addressing gender imbalances. I'd be interested in reading the article you mention.

I do believe that lack of diversity is a concern, whether in localized human communities (of whatever sort: living spaces, artistic and intellectual societies, you name it) or at a macro level, in ecosystems. With regard to human societies, my feeling is that there has to be a bottom-up groundswell of recognition of this fact, and personal commitments to change on a broad scale, before significant change can take place. There's a lot that ordinary but relatively privileged people can do to be more welcoming to underrepresented populations. I suppose the point I set out to make is that while some top-down measures may make sense, the sense that they are imposed from on high often creates friction and resentment.

(Yes, the issues are complex and nuanced and this is just some limited and abstractly worded blog comment -- take it for what it is.)

It's unfortunate that so often in comment sections, mentioning any such healthy concerns is greeted with sneers of "virtue-signaling", "SJW", "PC", "woke", etc. -- pejorative, reductionist conversation-enders. [I often think of that song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding", especially in the Elvis Costello rendition.] I think I do detect a lot of such jeering directed at Michael Sharp or other commenters in many comments in this blog, and a lot of it is pretty disgraceful and childish and trollish.

Barbara S. 5:01 PM  

****SB ALERT****

"Well, I never felt more like singin' the blues
'Cause I never thought that I'd ever lose
Your love, dear *SB*
Why'd you do me this way?"

(Slightly modified from the Guy Mitchell version, 1956)

Yeah, brutally rough the last few days. I've missed it by 3 and by 5 but those days were good in comparison to yesterday when I missed it by 7! That number takes me back to the earliest days of my SB career. Congrats to @TTrimble for getting as close as you did. Today's is a monster! But all things considered, I feel I'm not doing too badly at 45 words out of 49.

I had to look up ROT-13 after @TTrimble's mentioning it -- I had no idea. My nom de blog in ROT-13 is ONEONEN F. I could shorten it and call myself 11NF. [Giggle!]

kitshef 5:16 PM  

@TTrimble - you probably already knew this, but (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding was written by Nick Lowe -who co-constructed the Sunday Acrostic that got a lot of play in yesterday's comments.

Liz 5:38 PM  

A good Tuesday. Loved the 20 20 playfulness. It helped make the year 2020 look less annus horribilis.

Anonymous 5:45 PM  

@TTrimble - Your last paragraph was very well said. I find that people who use terms like “virtue signaling” and “woke” pejoratively are best kept at a 10 foot pole social distance as they have nothing useful to contribute to anything.

TTrimble 6:01 PM  

I did know, but hadn't made the connection between the two facts! Thanks!

---[SB Alert]---

@Barbara S. (aka 11NF!)
Yeah, it's been pretty annoying recently for me too. I was one away today and finally threw in the towel. [I didn't know the word.]

There are some great words in the batch if one is lucky to think of them (and sometimes it is luck).

I've been thinking of taking Prevagen again, which they advertise all the time on the 6:30 news. They keep telling us that it helps with mental clarity, memory, etc. for people of a certain age. (And, as they helpfully tell you, it's made from jellyfish! W00T!) I had tried it for a while and couldn't really tell if it was helping or not, and at $2/pill it felt a little pricey. But maybe I'd be able to tell if I started up again. This SB has hooked me more than I'm comfortable admitting, it seems.

Anonymous 6:14 PM  

Loved this one, too. Just enough to puzzle out to make it satisfying. Some interesting answers. I didn't know ombre (and I used to be a copywriter for a haircare products company, so don't feel bad, Rex) but got it through crosses. Enjoyable. - newbie

Crimson Devil 6:34 PM  

Bburtonkd and Whatsername, re wild turkey: unmatched for combination of visual acuity, hearing, including sense of location, and gorgeous male plumage (perhaps matched only by male wood duck). If they could smell, they’d be unhuntable.

Xcentric 6:47 PM  

Took me longer than average to finish this puzzle - mainly because I am never on the same wavelength as this constructor. I don’t know why, but I have never hit the groove on a Burnikel puzzle. I’m always “OK, I can see that” when solving, but it’s never an aha moment that makes me smile at how clever the clue is.
Theme answers today a typical example, all made sense, but none left me with any sense of “How cool is that.” Not one of the other long phrases popped into my head upon reading the clues. Every single one took a few crosses to parse. Never heard of ombré hair, but that seems to have been the case with most folks.
Maybe someday I will grok this wavelength.

Barbara S. (11NF!) 6:57 PM  

Isn't there a court case pending against the makers of Prevagen for making false claims? I should have looked up the details before posting. I have a naturally occurring skepticism about such products, but I think this one is set to go before the courts.

jae 7:14 PM  

@TTrimble - The evidence for prevagen is not encouraging.

JC66 7:18 PM  


I may medicinal help myself, but from my perspective, you're doing fine.

TTrimble 7:37 PM  

@Barbara S., @jae, @JC66

Appreciate the responses about Prevagen. About a year and a half ago I went in thinking, "what the hay, it probably couldn't hurt; I'll give it a shot". But as I said, it didn't produce any noticeable difference in my case.

I am a potential sucker for such things because there is incidence of Alzheimer's on both sides of my family, with my father dying of it 2 years ago, and it scares the ever-loving shit out of me. It's actually heartening to see the people here, many of whom are older than me (I was born in the early 60's), taking care of themselves and staying physically and mentally active. Taking care of one's body is particularly important, mens sana in corpore sano and all that. Anyway, thanks again.

Nancy 7:43 PM  

*Cryptogram alert*
@Joe Dipinto (2:29) -- One of the easiest ever. In every cryptogram, I first look for the letter pattern of the 4th word in this one; if it's there, I know I've probably cracked the puzzle already. And if it's confirmed by the first word that's in today's puzzle, game over.

But it's funny, Joe. Everyone here knows I hope each day for very hard crosswords and hate it when they're too easy. With cryptograms, it's the opposite. I find them difficult, am not especially gifted at solving them, and need all the help I can get. There have been two of them that I gave up on: one was that German word horror and I forget what the other one was. So that when I see an easy cryptogram, my reaction tends to be "Whew!"

Anonymous 7:47 PM  

Crimson Devil,
“... if they could smell, they’d be unhuntable”. I take it you don’t subscribe to Pennsylvania Game News.
Perhaps, dollar for dollar, America’s best periodical.

Joe Dipinto, are you seriously explaining the meaning of an aric,e I introduced to the board? And I believe you missed the gist. The gist was to get more poc in big-time orchestras. But why? The connection of an orchestra with the audience is the music. That’s why the very, very best orchestras make tremendous money on their recordings.

albatross shell 8:15 PM  

Well getting home and reading thru the comments, I find I made a mistake calling TIE SCORE green painty. I missed that 20 is a score. That adds some color. TIE SCORES would even be better, I believe. Thanks to @whatshername for that, but it sounds like she did think the answer was TIE SCORES.

Crimson Devil 8:30 PM  

Thanks for hint; I just checked it out, and will further. My favorite is/has been South Carolina Wildlife, multiple award winner.

ow a paper cut 8:43 PM  

The perfect puzzle when taking a break for coffee : )

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

My Grandfather was in a bed, in diapers for close to two decades with Alzheimer’s. My mother seems to have it too.
I feel your pain. But please, please, don’t believe unproven antidotes. Physical fitness appears to have no affect on the big A.
We can eat all the kale we want, do all the pushups we want, it won’t matter. I hope your family history proves an aside to your own life. But save your money, energy, tears and heartbreak. Go to a reputable neurologist. Hell, disregard me. But don’t get suckered.
I will pray for you and your father. Good luck.

Joe Dipinto 11:28 PM  

@Anon 7:47 – I was elaborating on the content of the article you cited, as you didn't go into much detail and didn't provide a link – here it is, for those who want to read it. I understood it quite well.

Pamela 11:57 PM  

So many great comments today that I missed responding to because of a long busy day. I really came here to gloat-

I just hit QB! Nine zillion words today, and the last 3 appeared at the last minute! Whoopee!

I’ll have to tell you all again tomorrow- I’m sure you’re all gone from here by now.

thefogman 10:17 AM  

Breezed through this one with no write-overs. This ISNOT CC’s BEST. On a scale of ZERO to TEN I give it a six.

Burma Shave 10:53 AM  


and I'MGLAD we STEAMily necked,


rondo 11:00 AM  

This was a fun puz but I'll give it three somethings UP, like EATUP, USEUP, ALLFIREDUP. I always use a Penn, so the 4 corners get me SEAN. ERIN Andrews gets another yeah baby. C.C.'s puzzles are always solid.

spacecraft 11:59 AM  

Yeah, not only is a pro-am golfing with the stars, so is the annual celebrity tournament for charity. In fact, all PGA events pour millions into charity every year. But you go ahead and hate golf, sir. It's your right. Just don't leave the RAKE in the bunker.

I liked this one, small wonder, despite the trio of UPs and the awful OHHI. That one is extra awful for me, because it reminds me of a door-to-door sales job (encyclopedias, if you can believe it) where I was supposed to greet the (assumed) woman answering the door with "OHHI, it's the mister I wanted to see." As if I knew the guy. I hated the dishonesty of it, and quit after two weeks.

But the rest of it is typical, breezy, in-the-language Burnikel, and gets a birdie.

P.S. Hand up for DOD Erin Andrews.

leftcoaster 2:32 PM  

"Cute and clever" and better than yesterday's, ala Rex. I'M GLAD to agree.

The E in MACE was the last letter in. Have grown too used to thinking of it in another, much less pleasant context.

Diana, LIW 3:14 PM  

Didn't even see CC until I got here. Easier than yesterday for me - hindsight and all that.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

strayling 4:49 PM  

What a pleasant puzzle this was. A bit like yesterday's - which I also enjoyed - only with the rough edges smoothed off. Plus, I always like to learn a new word to use:

"My beard isn't turning grey, I'm just rocking a natural OMBRE."

Anonymous 7:50 PM  

I would say Sasha Cohen (skater, actress) for another DOD.
Good one Burma. LOL !

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