Longtime media columnist David / SUN 8-2-20 / Bird also known as little auk / Longtime Yankees first baseman Mark / Hedge fund titan nicknamed Palindrome / Gish novelist of Resisters Typical American / Mixed Marriage playwright st john greer / Mythical creature on old Bhtanese stamps

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Constructor: David Levinson Wilk

Relative difficulty: Average

THEME: "Puzzlin'" — familiar phrases with -ING words in them are reclued as if the "G" were the first letter in the next word in the phrase and the -ING word were changed to a slangy "-IN'" ending:

Theme answers:
  • STANDIN' GROOM ONLY (23A: Nobody but the guy gettin' married on his feet?)
  • EVERLASTIN' GLOVE (38A: Winter item you'll be wearin' for years?)
  • FALLIN' GRAIN (58A: Danger when walkin' in a silo?)
  • PARKIN' GRAMP (69A: Drivin' around the lot with pop-pop?)
  • QUALIFYIN' ROUND (87A: Sayin' "Look, here's the thing about dry land ..."?)
  • FEAR OF MISSIN' GOUT (102A: What was causin' the doctor to check for joint pain?)
Word of the Day: ANN MEYERS (56D: Basketball Hall-of-Famer who was the first woman to sign an N.B.A. contract) —
Ann Meyers Drysdale (born Ann Elizabeth Meyers; March 26, 1955) is an American former basketball player and sportscaster. She was a standout player in high school, college, the Olympic Games, international tournaments, and the professional levels.
Meyers was the first player to be part of the U.S. national team while still in high school. She was the first woman to be signed to a four-year athletic scholarship for college, at UCLA.[1] She was also the second woman to sign a contract with a National Basketball Association team, the Indiana Pacers (1979). Her USA World Champion team member Lusia "Lucy" Harris-Stewart was the first woman to sign with an NBA team in 1977, the New Orleans Jazz. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't even know what to say. I don't understand who this puzzle is for. It feels like it's for 1996 or maybe 1985. The theme ... the "jokes" all seems so forced and corny. I mean, the clue on QUALIFYIN' GROUND, for instance, doesn't even make any real sense. "Dry land"? That is your GROUND? And you are imagining someone ... adding some kind of information about "dry land" ... as a form of qualification? It's just so head-shakingly sad, all of this. I'm all for simple and cute, but if this is simple (and I guess it is), the results were repeatedly groany, and not in a "good one!" kind of way. Also the puzzle is really hurt by its low word count. It wants to look impressive by having these big banks of long answers, but they are really costly. NERD ALERT and maybe PHONE SEX are the only answers that seem really nice. Meanwhile, in the "costly" department, we have primo junk like IIN (!?!?) and GOI and ENTO and ASET and AFOE (!?!?!?) and these names, my god, so many names that are clearly only here because they have so many favorable (i.e. RLSTNE) letters in them: ERVINE CABELLO ANNMEYERS NEY MEADE (really, *two* crosswordese military leaders?). GRAMP is not a thing (it's GRAMPS or GRAMPA). OUCHIES is 6000% not a thing. ENNUIS absolutely cannot be pluralized in any reasonable context, my goodness, come on (78D: Ho-hum feelings). Deep mothball smell coming off of this one. I don't know why making a delightful, joyful, or even just light and airy Sunday puzzle is so, so hard. NESPRESSO!? Nespress-no. AALARGE (?), USEALOT (!?!?!). It was a groan-out-loud solve, for sure. ENDE (ugh) of story.

I finished with an error that I absolutely could not find. This is because I had LIE IN instead of LIE ON (40D: Treat as a bed), because I lie in bed, not on bed, and also because ERIS is a goddess so I didn't really think twice about that answer. Now, if I'd read the clue closely ... it would've been a good idea to think twice about it, since the clue was actually asking for a *god* (52A: God who becomes a goddess when an "r" is removed) (EROS). I never bother with those "remove this letter and carry the eight to get another thing!"-type clues. It's a crossword, not a child's rebus puzzle in Highlights magazine. Just clue the answer. Sigh. Anyway, that's all clearly my fault, but since LIE IN is a very plausible answer, and ERIS is in the god/goddess family, you can see (I hope) how finding that particular mistake was well-nigh impossible. Do people call cop cars / squad cars / police cars "RADIO CARS" anymore??? (46A: Receiver of an all-points bulletin). Again, I wonder about what year this puzzle was made in / intended for. The name-y-ness of the puzzle was a little extreme. Count them. There are a lot, and especially a lot up top. TEIXEIRA JEN ERVINE CABELLO SNERT MEADE SHARPTON NEY are all very densely packed in that N/NE section. See also CARR JAYNE CAAN ANNMEYERS NESPRESSO, wow. Names always feel good when you know them and terrible when you don't. Name-dense puzzles are thus dangerous. Not sure EVITE and EBOOK belong in the same grid if you can avoid it. You can leave me the SQUISHY ZEBRAFISH and honestly take most of the rest of this and dispose of it. I just don't understand how this concept qualifies as acceptable fare for the "best puzzle in the country."

So Lollapuzzoola, one of the two crossword tournaments I think are worth going to, would normally be happening in NYC this month, but ... well, you know. Look around at the hellscape that your putrid national leadership hath wrought. Good news, though—the tournament is still happening, entirely on-line, in just under 2 weeks (Saturday, Aug. 15)! Here's organizer Brian Cimmet to tell you all about it:
It’s almost time for the greatest crossword tournament ever held on a Saturday in August – Lollapuzzoola 13 is taking place virtually on Saturday, August 15! There will be five tournament puzzles, extra (optional) games peppered throughout the event, and two skill divisions in which to vie for championship bragging rights. Visit bemoresmarter.com/lollapuzzoola for more information and to sign up today!
I expect they're going to break "attendance" records since everyone has equal access to the tourney, wherever they live, and people are understandably desperate for human community of a fun-loving nature. Anyway, you should do this. The in-person version of the tourney is always delightful, and I can't imagine the on-line version would be anything less.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Harryp 12:09 AM  

No problem with the Theme answers, and a pretty quick Sunday solve. Being born in Hawaii, I had no problem with TEIXEIRA, a common Portuguese name. The name I should have known was 62A! My sea doggerel goes: Even though she isn't plain, I always thought her name was JANE.

Pete 12:28 AM  

You think EVITA and EBOOK together is bad? What about IMS &EMS?

What is a parking ramp? A Parking garage with ramps?

Pamela 12:34 AM  

Didn’t hate it as much as Rex did, but c’mon- IMS and DMS in the same puzzle? Not to mention all the names, crosswordese and general pestilence that’s this one is stuffed with.

But the themers, groaners though they may be, were just ridiculous enough to be entertaining, and I admit to a chuckle over PARKIN GRAMPS. The FOMO one was cute, too.

We’ve been titillated three days in a row now. We’ve escalated from name-calling to solitary actions, and now we have a duo. I mean, PHONESEX does require two people. It just occurred to me that there could be more than two, couldn’t there? Who knows what could happen now that we have ZOOM.

I liked some of the misdirects, like Overhead expenses for HATS. There were quite a few of them, but it’s hard to find them all now.

So yes, plenty to CUSS about but some good stuff too. OK, I’ll take it.

Sam 12:42 AM  

Wait, am I reading correctly in that Ann Meyers Wikipedia insert that she was the second woman ever to sign an NBA contract? Meaning the clue is wrong? Pretty lazy oversight if so.

Joe Dipinto 1:37 AM  

Feeling ood was ood enough for me
Ood enough for me and Bobby McGee

It's Mealy-Mouthed Mike McDonald! Not sure why Rex chose that video. Because "Runnin'", with an apostrophe? Whatever. I have better songs lined up.

Rex, your wrong answer of LIE IN would have worked if the clue had been "Treat as a state". What I liked about this puzzle is a: it was remindin' me of @Masked And Anonymous; and b: the absence of smart-aleckiness that's so prevalent in the work of constructors that Rex adores. Yeah, the puns aren't sterling and at six total they're kind of meager. But I still enjoyed it. And I actually laughed at IIN. For the longest I was drawin' a blank on Mark Teixeira, I just kept thinkin' of the earlier Tino Martinez.

Here are our Puzzlin' Pick Hits:

Everlastin' Glove

Rhythm Of The (Fallin') Grain

There But For The Grace Of God Go I, Yi Yi Yi

jae 2:01 AM  

Easy-medium. This was mildly amusing, liked it a skosh more than @Rex did.

The main nanosecond consumer was triple checking the crosses for TEIXEIRA which could not be right until it was.

Anonymous 2:40 AM  

My biggest problem was the section in the east, where CAAN and JAYNE cross CARR, ANNMEYERS, and NESPRESSO. When you have a 4-letter and a 5-letter name, each of which crosses 3 other names, that is too many names. Give me a chance to get these answers from crossers!

chefwen 2:51 AM  

I’m so glad I’m easily pleased, I rather enjoyed this one. All the theme answers brought forth a smile and a few evoked a chuckle. FEAR OF MISSIN GOUT was my favorite. A little sophomoric perhaps, but fun nonetheless.

tkincher 3:06 AM  

Ended up solving it a bit NW to SE and as such got the two big revealers first and rather liked them. I thought, “this might even be a rare Sunday that Rex enjoys!” But then I got into some serious slog, Alas.

TTrimble 6:08 AM  

I found it pretty annoying. The theme didn't excite me greatly, and too much time was spent on PPP (ENDE, SHARPTON, AMOS, NEY, CABELLO, MEADE, JEN, SNERT, TEIXERA, CARR, CAAN, ANN MEYERS, NESPRESSO, LUISE...). And for the love of God -- ENNUIS? From what I can tell, most dictionaries simply do not carry the word. Thus, I was expecting a much more exasperated Rex when I came here (by the way, this is the first time I've seen him write "Average" rather than "Medium" for the difficulty level). But, I'm glad some of you liked it.

My time was well under my historical average for a Sunday, but then again that average is nothing to write home about.

I already did the Acrostic yesterday, so let's see what SB looks like today.

mmorgan 6:18 AM  

Loved this. 1985? Sure! I'll take it. Maybe even 1975. Reminded me of the good old days when a Sunday would have just this kind of groany themers and take days to do, including long distance phone calls (when they cost real money) to friends and relatives ("Hey I just got 53D!" or whatever), no email or Google, etc. As opposed to some weeks now when a Sunday takes 20 joyless minutes. This was great, thank you!

GRAMP is a thing and I have no idea why Rex objects to NESPRESSO.

Lewis 6:38 AM  

I laughed out loud at STANDINGROOMONLY and smiled big at FEAROFMISSINGOUT, and, between waiting for crosses to fill in answers for vague clues as well as names I didn't know, I had plenty of opportunity to do that sweet work I love to fill this grid in. 'Twas a lovely solve.

Yesterday I and others first wrote in TOES for the tough-to-sculpt part of some Roman statues, and had to replace that answer with TOGA, so there was a little extra satisfaction in writing in TOE today at 107D. Very notable to me, whose crossword NERD ALTERTness is on the high end, is the astonishing clue for ETA -- ["What's your ___?" (question to a guest en route)] -- it is a never-before brand-new clue for a word that has appeared more than 1,000 times in the NYT crossword.

Finally, I love learning new things, and today I learned that LUISE Rainer was the first actor to win multiple Oscars, is one of two actors to have won two Oscars by age 30, that her two Oscars were back-to-back, was once married to Clifford Odets, and she lived to 104.

So a satisfying solve complete with laughin' and learnin' -- thank you for this, David!

pmdm 6:54 AM  

There are plenty of people who like a theme like this one. I guess they might reply to Sharp that he is clueless. I would reply he knows exactly what he likes and is not exceedingly empathetic towards others who have different likes and dislikes. I would add that I have no idea how correct that assessment is, but the write-ups do at times seem to me to threaten to become more egocentric than is best.

How did I respond to this puzzle. I was very much put off by the PPP but I did enjoy the theme answers. So a very mized reaction to the puzzle. I'll accept that.

Now off to work.

Diver 6:56 AM  

Wow, Rex, this review certainly shows how much you are a part of a "human community of a fun-loving nature".

ChuckD 7:20 AM  

Didn’t mind the theme really - had some smiles with them. The fill is heavy with the people/place entries - they were mostly in my wheelhouse so that made for a generally smooth solve - but as Rex says if you aren’t familiar with them I could see a problem given the frequency. Liked the SW and NE sevens - especially SEA DOVE and CUPROUS. Never had NESPRESSO but I think it’s similar to Keurig so I’ll pass. ANTIPODE is a wonderful term. Don’t like any multi billionaire influencing social or political issues on either side so keep Koch and SOROS et al out of my puzzle.

Overall a decent Sunday. Wondering when we will see Esaias in the puzzle - hope everyone on the east coast stays safe.

Colin 7:27 AM  

The SW corner gave me some trouble, and I needed my wife's help. I agree there were a lot of names, but I enjoyed the theme. (But then, as a middle-age dad, I am OK with what are akin to those groaner "dad jokes.")

Yes, I lie in bed but can also lie in a bed, or lie on a bed. As for EROS/Eos: Rex, you screwed up but the way you write your review, you're pinning it on the constructor.. C'mon, stop QUALIFYING your mistakes. And as someone who takes care of children in a hospital, I can attest to the very real existence - and daily use - of "OUCHIES."

Happy Belated New Month, everyone!

BarbieBarbie 7:30 AM  

My NYT app messed up and gave me a time of just over four minutes. Unearned PR! Unearned PR!

Spatenau 7:40 AM  

GRAMP is indeed what grandfathers are called in my family. Grandmothers are called "Gram." Rex never remembers that there are regional differences in language.

amyyanni 7:43 AM  

Thought it ok, and the theme gave me a few Gs when I needed them. (e.g., blanked on GROVER at first) @Joe D, love that song. Janis is a gem. Agree FOMGout is funny. Out to brave the winds before the hurricane brushes the opposite coast.

Leslie 8:07 AM  

Liked it a lot! Cute!

Tawana B. 8:10 AM  

When the great Thomas Sowell wrote on Twitter last year : Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as “racists." Pretty sure “race hustlers “ referred to 8A among others.

ow a paper cut 8:24 AM  

I love Sunday NYT puzzles. I miss sitting with my parents while the three of us collaborated in the solutions. I started SB just now. Why is cline not acceptable?

MeemW 8:24 AM  

Thank you Rex. This one really got on my nerves.

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

I agree with you ... didn’t enjoy this one. It’s irritating when some of the answers seem like non-words. But I did like the theme concept.

Pamela 8:30 AM  

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

Here we go again... stuck at Genius, 4 to go. Seems impossible- time to stop for a while.

ow a paper cut 8:33 AM  

And bleb

Hungry Mother 8:37 AM  

DELFT did me in. I’ve just been doing a lot of messaging on Twitter, but didn’t realize they were DMS. I had pMS, but I guess that has another meaning.

ow a paper cut 8:59 AM  

I bet you do it : )

Z 9:06 AM  

I initially thought it was STAND IN GROOM and thought, “hey, that’s pretty good.” But it isn’t and it’s not. I’m all for sophomoric humor (cfYpsilanti Water Tower) but the cluing doesn’t get out of elementary school - it’s the “dad jokes” we tell the little ones, not even the ones we’d tell to HS sophomores. If you actually get solvers chuckling they won’t notice that REM is doing an IMS DMS RAG. But when you barely even get a groan than all the little flaws are magnified. Give me more snark and “smart-aleckiness.” More ZANY, please.

Speaking of, didn’t some EROS BOTs get a Korean Baseball club in trouble? Why yes they did.

Does it count as a finish if you have to look up an answer to confirm it is correct? CUPROUS Oxide doesn’t fit any naming pattern I’m aware of and I was wondering why I was being taken to the “copper oxide” wikipedia page. Oh, because they are the same thing. Crossing that with Crossworld River YSER seems a little unfair. The YSER is ese, so esey for veteran solvers, but the S could be literally any letter since it is a geographic name in a foreign language. Yuck. The only thing that keeps me from claiming natick is that so many of us have filled in YSER too many times already. That corner was tougher than the rest of the puzzle for me. I also had random H placement problems with Phnom PENH and put in TwIX for a few nanoseconds for my breakfast cereal. Now I’m expecting to see TRIX with TwIX in my breakfast aisle soon.

Hartley70 9:06 AM  

I was entertained by the themers, especially the first and last, and the longer the better on a Sunday. This grid did have a nostalgic feel and I enjoyed that too. I did my first Sunday puzzle lying on the beach in Southampton in 1971. The bikini was red. Those were the days and it’s fun to remember them! I have no complaints today, except to say to @Rex that you lie in bed if you’re under the covers and lie on a bed if you’re on top of the bedspread.

I always prefer a puzzle that teaches me something and today I was introduced to CUPROUS, ANN MEYERS, ERVINE and JEN. Nice to meet you.

EdFromHackensack 9:08 AM  

Rex complains: "I don't understand who this puzzle is for." Does it need to be "for" any group specifically?? A little of this, a little of that is fine by me even if everything doesn't fall in my wheelhouse. I had to Google LUISE. Something I rarely do - it just wouldn't fall. I enjoyed the puzzle, did not take too long

Anonymoose 9:09 AM  

@Tawana, You are free to be skeptical of the scope of racism if you wish. So is Sowell but shame on him.

Austin's mom 9:14 AM  

How you know this puzzle sat around for a while before being published is 54D "Longtime media columnist David" refers to late beloved media columnist David CARR who died in 2015. I have never seen "longtime" used to refer to someone no longer alive. I was/am really sad about his passing, so this misstated remembrance was a little jarring.

Nancy 9:21 AM  

What's not to love about a puzzle with the wonderfully playful FEAR OF MISSIN' GOUT? My personal favorite in a grid filled with real delights. STANDIN' GROOM ONLY and PARKIN' GRAMP elicited additional chuckles.

And there were some very nice touches in the non-themers too. It's never occurred to me to say NERD ALERT "when someone starts listing the digits of pi, say", but if anyone ever does that, I promise that I certainly will.

My biggest complaint is ENNUIS. Talk about your Plurals of Convenience. Maybe we should rewrite Cole Porter's verse to "I Get a Kick Out of You":

When I'm out in a lovely breeze
Fighting vainly the old ENNUIS...

But I don't let such considerations spoil what for me was an enjoyable, clever, and amusing puzzle.

Z 9:28 AM  

Rex did some editing on that Wiki Blurb. It looks like the clue is correct. Here is the whole paragraph from Wikipedia:

Meyers was the first player to be part of the U.S. national team while still in high school. She was the first woman to be signed to a four-year athletic scholarship for college, at UCLA.[1] She was also the first woman to sign a contract with a National Basketball Association team, the Indiana Pacers (1979), for $50,000. Her USA World Champion team member Lusia "Lucy" Harris-Stewart was technically the first and only woman to be drafted by an NBA team—the New Orleans Jazz's seventh round pick in 1977—though she never intended to attend tryouts. Denise Long, from Iowa, was the first woman to be drafted by an NBA team—the San Francisco Warriors's thirteenth round pick in 1969—but the NBA commissioner voided the pick because the Warriors had no intention of playing her alongside men. So Luisa is technically the one and only woman drafted by an NBA team and Meyers was the first to sign an NBA contract.
{emphasis added}

@Anonymoose - Either a troll, a racist, or both.

albatross shell 9:32 AM  

Hand up for knowing folks who use GRAMP. Though I now see spellchecker has doubt about it too.

I thought the theme clues and answers were suitably groan-y, ridiculous, and fun to solve. Some fine clues too: SIRENS SOROS TOE. I appreciated the over-technical clues for common crosswordese, EPEE.

Solved on the easy side for me. TEIXEIRA took me back to yesterday's name spelling exam. Did not know DELFT, but only the D was in doubt from the crosses.

Teedmn 9:36 AM  

This theme has a pretty good concept, but I don't think PARKIN' GRAMP works with the clue. On the other hand, I really liked EVERLASTIN' GLOVE and FEAR OF MISSIN' GOUT.

Lots of PPP I didn't know here but was able to maneuver around it. ferROUS OXIDE, OopsIES before OUCHIES (ouch!), aDage before IDIOM, wanting rENter before TENANT. I liked the clue for 1A's ICEBERG and 20As MATINEE. I did not know George SOROS was known as "The Palindrome". I wrote this before reading Jeff Chen's write-up but I see we're on a similar wavelength and I forgot about the great clue for SIRENS, 66A.

So DLW, thanks for the Sunday entertainment.

JD 9:46 AM  

If the NYT to going use Phone Sex and Groin Pull, instead of Treat As A Bed, clue it as 'e.g. Say it was the best you ever had.'

Names and Phone Sex killed me in the middle north. Otherwise, I had fun sticking with it and puzzling the thing out, which isn't my usual Sunday experience.

Nancy 9:51 AM  

Shouldn't have left Cole's new verse unfinished. Here it is in its entirety:

When I'm out in a lovely breeze,
Fighting vainly the old ENNUIS,
And I suddenly stops and sees
Your fabulous face!

OffTheGrid 10:01 AM  

Best Sunday in a while. Liked it a lot.
I liked JAYNE (Mansfield) crossing JIGGLES and SIRENS,
MARX and MARK TEIXEIRA, (I knew this but, like yesterday, the spelling had to wait)
Pangram today,
Clever cluing over all,
A few new words to learn,
Solid and amusing theme.

William of Ockham 10:09 AM  

Easy, but NYT says I have an error and the grid is 100%, assuming Rex has grid correct (IN/ON)

One more reason to hate 21x21

The GOUT answer is really stupid, ask any Orthopedist - they can diagnose it over the phone - by - wait for it - joint pain out of proportion to expectations

GILL I. 10:19 AM  

@Nancy...I love it when you're on a roll. I'm going to go around today and say "look at that breeze...it's full of ENNUIS...."
Ay Dios mio. Why do you take a silly, funny puny puzzle and hand me names up the wazoo? I don't like anything up my wazoo but especially RVTRIN OUCHIE CUPROUS and on and on and on. You really want me to remember a Yankee first baseman's name? So so many names and words that brought out the "what the hell is that?" in my virginous soul.
Phew, got that off my chest. So I got the conceit right away and I did a little happy feet jig. My fiddle partner was happy as well. Hey, this was cute in a "Mommy look, I stuck a bean up my nose" sorta way. It made me laugh at the OUCHIES. But I did ask myself "Why would you have FEAR OF MISSING GOUT?" Why would you want it? I had it when I was 7 months pregnant and it was horrible. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my TOE. You don't want to be missing out on that one.
If I were Camila, I'd change my last name. CABELLO means the hair on your head. Speaking of....has anyone heard from our friend @pabloinnh? I've been missing him. Hope he' OK.
There was some sparkle and some groaners here and I kinda liked it because I'm a sucker for silliness. Sometimes I'll take a little laugh whenever I can.
Hey, if you squint at the grid, it looks like a little NERDy face with crossed eyes.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

I thought the theme was fine. It's dumb, but dumb in an endearing, 'oh jeez ha ha' sort of way.

The inclusion of so many proper names in the puzzle is also dumb but not at all endearing. It's dumb in the 'what the $&^* is wrong with this constructor's head' sort of way. There is nothing clever about knowing who these people are, and cramming so many into this puzzle is just irritating. I could understand this puzzle being accepted by People, say, but not the NYT.

RooMonster 10:33 AM  

Hey All !
Got to puz late (in the day, for me in the Covid-stay-home reference) and to here layer, so posting before reading y'all.

I disagree with Rex today on the fun-ness scale of todays puz. I thought it was neato! The re-G-ing of the themers was fun to grok. Sure, there's sub-par fill, but that's in every puz, as y'all know. IIN is quite bad, though, but the clue makes it *that* much better.

Two letter DNF, ugh. Messed up my longest streak of puzs-correct I've had, 14 puzs. Granted, some of those I went back to find mistakes once I got the Almost There!, so if I was doing them on paper, there'd be no streak, but seeing it online, "14-day streak!" is fun. Happened at the one themer I couldn't figure out. Had PARKINGRAMs, because had NESspESSO (totally missing that I was missing an R), and kept asking myself how PARKING RAMs was a thing. Dang it. YEp for YER defensible. 😊

SW corner toughest for me. The shoulder blade name was hiding in the ole brain refusing to be found. (Apparently my brain has some great hiding spots). Also WOEs LUISE (Really wanted LUISa), DELFT, CUPROUS, and the fun-word-but-kinda-tough-to-get SQUISHY. Plus having LASTUP instead of UPLAST for a while adding to the confusion. But sorted all that out, and still missed the two-letters! Knew I wouldn't have found it, so took the DNF.

Lots of writeovers I don't want to remember (probably couldn't anyway!), but thought this puz fun and crunchy. Even though ANTIPODE should be ANTIPOlE. πŸ˜€

Four F's

Sixthstone 10:35 AM  

Overall this is a dud with a thud. The two highlight themers (standin' groom only and fear of missin' gout) are about the only winners here. The other themers are just phrases with "ing". How fun! Not.

The puzzle is also overwhelmed with names or persons, many of whom are not especially well-known, and several cross with each other (bad, bad form). Not counting other proper names (places, brands, and cartoon dogs), there are 19 people named in the grid.
1. Ende - famous book, not a famous author
2. Sharpton - ok, very well-known
3. Ney - no one should know this
4. Cabello - ok, very current and popular singer
5. Meade - OK, fairly well-known historical figure
6. Jen - OK, much-awarded contemporary author
7. Ervine - nobody knows this
8. Teixeira - OK I guess, not a hall-of-famer but it's the NYT so I guess longtime Yanks are allowed
9. Caan - OK, legendary actor
10. Jayne (Mansfield) - OK, legendary actor
11. Carr - not great, but it's the NYT so OK (although bad cross with Caan, another proper name)
12. Ann Meyers - OK, trailblazing basketball player and more
13. Soros - OK, I guess, billionaire philanthropist
14. Raisa - no, world leaders' wives who died 20 year ago, no--especially when crossed with Arp
15. Arp - OK, I guess, one of key Dadaists, but not when crossed with above
16. Marx - OK
17. Luise (Rainer) - no, sure she won 2 oscars (both 80+ years ago)
18. Longoria - ok, long-time popular actress
19. Enos - ok, classic Biblical crosswordese

I'm forgetting this puzzle now.

Kathy Smith 10:38 AM  

The clue adds Hall of Famer as a qualifier.

egsforbreakfast 10:40 AM  

It seems like some people are not appreciating that there is more to this theme than opening an old book of Dad jokes and picking your faves. While it’s not the most interesting or difficult theme ever, it works well enough. And finding common phrases that can be re-split to make a new phrase that can be clued in a meaningful, though ZANY, way is not that easy. Further, the sound should remain pretty much the same after the transformation. For instance, ZEROING IN, sounds completely different than ZEROIN’ GIN, so it would not be a good candidate. On the whole, I enjoyed the puzzle.

But some of the fill, most spectacularly ENNUIS, is weaker than weak.

Just wanted to throw in my two cents wort now, as I’m planning on spending the rest of the day LAYINGLOW with my FETCHINGLASS.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

Luise Rainer is old Hollywood, not Jayne Mansfield.

Barbara S. 11:00 AM  

Run away if you're continuing to work on SaturBEE.

SB Story-time. I thought there were so many great onomatopoeic words in yesterday's list that they were just crying out to be used. This tale contains all 29 words.

When I was fifteen, my parents thought I was a lunk because I never seemed interested in anything. “Alas and alack,” my (overly dramatic) mother used to say, “what are you gonna do with your life?” I’d just give her a look – what answer did she expect me to cook up? One day, leaving the mall, I got caught in a downpour – my rain cloak had a rip, just my luck. I ducked into the nearest store. Only, was it a store? It was dingy and dusty and there was every sort of clock you can imagine all over the walls and counters. All the kinds you’d expect (including cuckoo clocks), and also novelty clocks in the form of animals -- I remember a koala and a rooster -- “A cock clock??” I thought. I was just trying to recover from my own wit, when an old man walked in from the back. Yeah, he was as ancient and dusty as his shop; he looked like he needed some caulk to patch up the crevices in his face. Was he a kook? He had a lank lock of hair falling over one eye. Before we could speak – Armageddon! I can’t describe it: a clack, a clank, a clonk, a clunk, a knock, a cluck from the bloody rooster. And bells and whistles and what the hell? All the clocks were going off at once. Someone, just conk me on the head! I dove into a nook. The old man was laughing at me, pulling me up, saying, “Take it easy, uncloak. You’ll get used to the noise.” What? I wasn’t staying another frickin’ minute! But then he started showing me how things worked: gears, wheels, springs, pendula. God, he had a knack. Yeah, I came to visit him often. We fixed a lot of clocks together and we didn’t lack for conversation. He’d see me with a coke and tell me about the kola trees in Africa; he had his own theories about everything, including that day on the grassy knoll. Well, guess what -- I didn’t become a clockmaker when I grew up. But in my teenage years he was the only adult who made me uncock my hostility. And he managed to unlock a sense of wonder in my jaded adolescent self that has lasted to this day.

Escalator 11:07 AM  

Love 68A. Have never seen IIN as answer before πŸ‘

Joaquin 11:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
palomarPuzzler 11:16 AM  

Gilli, I think Pablo’s on vaycay, as I hope LMS is (miss her as well).

daveyhead 11:18 AM  

I guarantee if the author was listed as Merl Reagle (rip) Rex would have loved it.

As I did. I loved the corny theme answers and if Merl does the Sunday crossword up in Heaven, he is smiling too.

ow a paper cut 11:20 AM  


Carola 11:24 AM  

Worth it for FEAR OF MISSIN' GOUT and some very nice seven-letter entries. I liked the name-the-general cluster: NEY? NAY, MEADE.
I wonder if I'm the only Midwestern solver who cringed at the silo's FALLIN' GRAIN; a high-school classmate of mine succumbed to this danger.

@Pete 12:28, your question about "parking ramp" brought me up short, as in these parts that's what we've always called the free-standing, open-sided ones (i.e., not a parking garage beneath a building). A regional difference I wasn't aware of.

TJS 11:32 AM  

Ann Meyers DRYSDALE. Wow. Can't think of a marriage of two greater athletes than that one.

Halfway through this thing I decided to finish it out of sheer orneryness, because I sure wasn't getting any joy out of it. Upon reflection, though, there was a lot to like as well as a lot to hate. Themers pretty good, names,names,names bad. I'm changing my grade to better than the average Sunday.

Went up on my rooftop in the D.R. two days ago with the idea of enjoying my first tropical storm. Beer in hand, thought it would be a really cool experience. Lasted about two minutes. When that first big gust showed up and my Weber grill flew across the rooftop, that was it for me. No serious damage in my area, but I'm hearing the mountain regions took a beating. Be safe, Florida.

Chris 11:36 AM  

@SixthSense Thanks for that list, as it is reasonable, but also clearly identifies blindspots. For. ex, even though I work with college students all the time, I don't really keep up with popular music, so CABELLO was one of the last things to fall for me. OTOH, RAISA was a gimme. I would argue that most people should know NEY--a major figure in French history with a great, although complicated story. Third behind Napoleon and Wellington if you're telling the Battle of Waterloo.

Chris 11:38 AM  

@palomaPuzzler: LMS was here yesterday, as I cheered along with her Go Heels in response to 1A.

Ann Hedonia 11:38 AM  

Feels really old, like it was written long ago and maybe updated a tad. hated it.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Funny how any crossword that features NRA as an answer sends Rex into apoplexy, but the PLO, an actual terrorist group, garners nary a peep.

Joaquin 11:47 AM  

I have been reading, writing, and speaking English for well over 70 years and this is my first encounter with the word OUCHIES. God willing, it will be the last.

From yesterday’s Coach KRZYZEWSKI to today’s Mark TEIXEIRA it appears we have entered the Twilight Zone of unspellable names.

sixtyni yogini 11:51 AM  

Totally critical of everything about this puzz. Haha Rex didn’t do it his usual “justice” today.
SO did NOT enjoy. πŸ˜’πŸ˜‘πŸ™„πŸ˜‘πŸ˜’
(Shouldn’t read the blurbs about constructors bc then feel bad trashing their puzzle.)

Birchbark 11:54 AM  

Genius and dad-humor have so much in common that I strain to draw the distinction.

A generation ago in England, I had dinner with a pair of Oxonians. Today's themes were just the sort of word-play that devolved out of our learned conversation. I made a respectable showing but couldn't keep up -- they tossed the odd lines as quickly as one might describe the weather. One of them became a barrister, the other an economist who served with British Intelligence, wounded in Iraq when a bomb struck his hotel.

No such heroism for me today. The segmented grid and superabundance of proper nouns, especially SHARPTON, JEN, ERVINE and TEIXEIRA all crossed with "?"-clued 12D. A word like YSER is a true relief after such struggles.

Reckoning the balance of the day ahead, I now return to GROWING OLD.

Frantic Sloth 11:57 AM  

Sinces wes cans justs adds ans "Ss" tos anys words wes wants ins orders tos makes as POWTFs* (Yess, I'ms lookings ats yous ENNUIS), I'ms gonnas dos majors battles withs autocorrects ands follows suits.

Ohs - ands PPPs muchs??

*variations ons POCs. Yous cans figures its outs.


Frantic Sloth 12:08 PM  

Question for @Z Plural of ANTIPODE = ANTIPODEOPODES?

albatross shell 12:14 PM  

I'm sure some real chemist here would know the ins and outs more than me.

I remember CUPROUS and cupric from high school and college chem courses. Based on googling (and there are some contradictory answers out there) I conclude cupric oxide is CuO and is black. Cuprous oxide is Cu2O and is red. Copper oxide without a I or II after 'copper is CuO. Please ignore copper(III)oxide here.

@WofO 1009am
Your comment on GOUT seems to me to make the clue better not worse.

@Sixthstone 1035am
Thanks for the comprehensive analysis of the names. I liked the puzzle more than you. But you do give an OK or better to a high percentage of them. I do agree with the crossing problem. I got almost all of them without look up i did look up ENDE and appreciated that his work was so well known and his name was not. Got ERVINE from the crosses.

Newboy 12:17 PM  

Names and obcurata made this a meh moment for the most part, but some clever cluing brought an occasional smirk. 1A & 12D and neighbor 13D make my morning glow; TEIXEIRA is fair if you watch ESPN or SHARPTON should you waste your time with the yammering bloviators, but.....We cut the cable TV cord years ago, dusted off the Roku without any lasting damage. PBS streamed and BBC online get the basics covered just fine, but I digress—sorry. America may have talent, but I’d rather read a book than watch pop culture just to fill in a few squares. Unlike Rex, I’m a sucker for “Dad jokes” and enjoy “Grandpa puns” even more, so I found Mr. Wilk’s themers almost enough to overlook the dreck like “Row” as a verb clue to OAR—almostπŸ₯΄

Back up top now ; be safe out there!

Aphid Larue 12:25 PM  

Fun puzzle with cute themes. DNF because I was looking for some strange spelling of Shapiro for 8 across.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

@Z.; check the edit history for the Wikipedia entry on Ann Meyers. Someone changed/corrected the entry early this morning, probably after Rex copied it into his blog.

Malsdemare 12:43 PM  

@Frantic, that's hysterical. Especially POWTFs, a genuinely useful acronym.

I liked the puzzle. What can I say, I'm shallow.

David 12:54 PM  

Imagine how Rex would wail if instead of SHARPTON the answer were HANNITY.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

hereabouts we did/do call them RAMParages. no idea who coined same.

rjkennedy98 1:00 PM  

This was a tough puzzle for me and more difficult than Saturday's or even Friday's puzzle, and it was not particularly fun.
First, the theme was decent. I didn't hate it as much as Rex did. Sure, the clues weren't great - but I actually thought two of the longer answers were outstanding - Standing Room Only and Fear of Missing Out. Clued differently those would've been fantastic and relevant answers.
My main issue with this puzzle was the names and jargon that filled this puzzle. As Rex said, the names are fun when you get them, but really frustrating when you don't. In one section you had Jayne, Cann, and Carr all crossing each other - which was ridiculous.
In another section here was scapula crossing cuprous. I ended up using a lifeline and asking my doctor friend to help finish that corner. I count 4/8 main sections that had the either the first across or down answer - being a name or jargon. As we all know those are the most critical to solving.
In summary, I'm fine with learning things - but its not fun when it overwhelms the puzzle which is what happened here.

Masked and Anonymous 1:03 PM  

TAKIN GROOT? = {At soirees, what Rocket's "plus one" always involves?}.
Luv the theme mcguffin.
Solvequest went kinda slooow at our house, due to lotsa names that we didn't know. Hard to verify yer answers, when the name spellins are unknown. That's why M&A always resorts to research, durin the solvequest, in such cases, to verify names. Hey, shoot -- the constructioneer probably had to research some of them names, too. Fair's fair.

Every once in a while, somethin like AYEAYESIR or COMEHERE popped up, to keep m&e in the rodeo. Hope sprang eternal, for some of my precious nanoseconds that lived to fight another day.

staff weeject picks: GOI & IIN. Equally, beautifully, desperate. Honrable mention to YER.

Thanx for the Puzzlin', Mr. Wilk. [Otto Correct wanted to change U to Will … so beware.]

Masked & Anonym8Us


jberg 1:04 PM  

I enjoyed figuring out the theme answers from a few crosses, so that was good enough for me. FEAROFMISSINGOUT was the funniest, but STAND IN GROOM ONLY was neat. I also liked seeing EROS and ENOS in the same puzzle; too bad there was no ESOS.

Some parking garages are basically one big ramp--either a helical drive with angle parking along the side, of floors that slope up, leading to another floor sloping up in the other direction. But many people use the term generically. On my one and only visit to Australia, I was astounded when my friend who picked us up at the airport and drove us to the ANU campus rattled off the phrase "multistory car park" without batting an eye. I think the Brits say that, as well.

@Z, in case you haven't notice, look at @albatross shell for explanation of the cuprous/cupric distinction. Same naming convention as nitrous and nitric acid.

We seem to be seeing a lot of "old Hollywood" cluing lately; it's the same Hollywood as today, isn't it?

Hardest part, for me: changing ENdO to ENTO.

Pamela 1:23 PM  

@Z 9:06am -, I remember the foofaraw over the Korean Sex Doll fiasco. It made me laugh then, and again now.

@JD 9:46🀣

Also @Frantic 🀣

@Barbara S- Kudos- great story! Even has the ring of truth...

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

Hah! Got it- SB!

Speaking of which, next time a certain FOO word comes up, I’ll have it in my wheelhouse;/

JD 1:32 PM  

@Newboy, Yammering bloviators! Genius. We share a TV experience.

N 1:37 PM  

Once upon a time there were magical little beings called Trids. Every day one Trid would be tasked with collecting Tridberries from the Tridberry patch across the river from their village. (Tridberries provide an essential nutrient that Trids need — think cats and taurine.)
One day a Trid was walking over the bridge to collect some berries when a big troll leapt onto the bridge. “Not so fast, Trid,” he said, and kicked the Trid off the bridge into the river. The Trid made it home safely, if soaking wet. The village began to worry.
The same thing happened to another Trid the next day. [this is where I stretch the length of the joke out with lots of names and details. I’ll spare you, you’re welcome.]
After days without a Tridberry collection, one of the Trids had an idea. A Rabbi — Rabbi Danya was her name — lived near the Trid village, and had provided them with spiritual and practical advice in the past. They went to her for help. “Let me talk to this troll,“ she said.
She walked to the bridge and started to cross. The troll leapt up, as he had before. But he paused, looked at her, and backed away to make room for her to cross.
“Why didn’t you kick me, as you did those poor Trids?” Rabbi Danya asked.
The troll looked at her in puzzlement. Finally he said:


Goliath 2:06 PM  

Well, let's see, @David. Al Sharpton is a voice for human rights and Hannity is a voice for racism, bigotry of all types, white supremacy, a Trump supporter. Must stop, getting sick.

old timer 2:12 PM  

I finished without consulting Drs. Google and Wikipedia. Very enjoyable solve by and large, though for some reason I thought the SCAPULA was the maxilla. The end result was, I had the themers, all ending in n', and only after the solve did I notice that without the apostrophe, they were complete and indeed obvious phrases. So I was amused more in retrospect, you might say.

I felt like a total dolt, wanting to put in ferROUS oxide instead of CUPROUS. But then, until today, I never knew CUPROUS oxide existed. CUPRic I would have known.

I have exactly zero SB words so far. I try to start with the word that has all the letters. No doubt it will come to me.

I am old enough to remember JAYNE Mansfield and her boobs. There is a famous picture from the Oscars where they were practically popping out of her dress. Yet, somehow, she never attracted me as a boy. Marilyn Monroe did, for sure. A common joke in fifth grade: What is the name of the afternoon paper in L.A.? What is Perry Mason? What would you do if you saw Marilyn Monroe naked? (Examiner).

Birchbark 2:18 PM  

@TJS (11:32) -- Very sorry about the loss of your Weber grill.


Anonymous 2:38 PM  

Goliath said Al Sharpton is a voice for human rights...LOL good one

Z 3:00 PM  

@jberg - Well if I ever knew Cu stood for copper that would have helped. I got it from crosses and just looked at it for too many nanoseconds before deciding to look it up and see where I erred. Surprised to discover that I hadn’t.

@Frantic Sloth - Hmm, I’d have dropped that E for “antipodopodes.” Thus, it is a word that begs to be sung by noted POWTF expert Frank Sinatra.

@Birchbark - Genius and dad-humor have so much in common that I strain to draw the distinction. Har!

@anon12:33 - Yep. Looks like some other clean up was done, too, but I notice that the info is given without a source. The Luisia Harris article supports by inference that Harris never signed a contract. I’m going to guess that a “citation needed” tag gets added at some point. But, yeah, the editing wasn’t done by Rex.

MetroGnome 3:03 PM  

@Goliath --I agree with you 100% about Sharpton and Hannity. I admire Sharpton very much; I loathe Hannity. However, they are both newsworthy public figures, so either would be perfectly legitimate to include as an answer, regardless of your (or my, or anyone else's) opinion about their politics. This is a PUZZLE, not a pamphlet.

Georgia 3:03 PM  

Wow. What an ugly, ignorant comment.

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

On top of everything else, ENTO is outrageous crosswordese. Good luck thinking of a valid word with the prefix ento rather than endo.

Anonymous 3:24 PM  

I liked the puzzle but understand why some did not--and I did not find it to be a gem. It made me feel old. 63A JAYNE Mansfield as "old Hollywood"? For me old Hollywood is the 1920s and perhaps the 1930s. Then now, approaching mid-afternoon, without *one* reader complaining about this makes me feel very, very old.
109A, ANTIPODE. The Antipodes (pronounced *an TIP oh dees*) is an ancient notion that there were peoples at our (i.e. Europe's or the Mediterranean's) polar opposites not reachable by us, because a massive, boiling cauldron at the Equator made passage impossible--below this was an inhabitable temperate zone. Christian thinkers of the early ADs conceded the science but argued that no one actually lived there, since they could not have been saved by Christ. Dante cleverly put Purgatory there--there people were saved by Christ but not able to be in contact with us. All this fell apart as the Equator was crossed by Portuguese sailors in the early 15th century.

The clue refers to the North and Poles. But Antipodes normally refers simply to the "polar opposite." I think the English found some islands off Australia which were their exact polar opposite, and they named them the Antipodes, a name which has stuck to this day. There's a very funny play by one Richard Brome of about 1640 entitled *Antipodes*--Cromwell et al. shut down English theater for a few decades, and some think this may have been the last play before the shutdown. The play deals with a recently married Englishman so infatuated with travel that he has been unable to consummate his marriage. A playwright/factotum is called up, who drugs the husband and convinces him that he has traveled to the other end of the earth, the Antipodes. There, in a play within a play, all conventions are turned upside down: politicians want no power, servants order about their masters, lawyers are honest, beggars give away money.

This falls within a genre I mentioned a few weeks ago--where other cultures look upon ours and find utter nonsense. I mentioned this in relation to Gelli's *Circe*, where Ulysses attempts to convince his fellow Greeks to no longer be animals but to become again Greeks (my summary was wrong--I just reread it--those he confronts were not his own crew but other Greeks Circe had turned into animals)--and of course they refuse. One sees versions of this theme everywhere--the Encino man, an neanderthal, can't understand why modern humans are so stupid; aliens find Earthlings bewildering, and of course they focus on our weakest links.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Ken Freeland 3:32 PM  

Thanks Rex for panning this dog, and thanks Sixthsense for cataloging the PPP (I counted more than 19 but don't wish to quibble). Unlike Rex, I could have lived with the theme, par for the NUT course these days. And I would add that a clue that refers to Buffalo and wings without having to do with Buffalo wings is fetching.
But as Rex and so many others have noted, this puzzle was WAYYYYY over the top in people's names. I'd have to be glued to the boob tube 24/7 to answer half of these. Will Shortz owesit to readers to take a PPP count of puzzle submissions, and if it is too high (even ten is too high for my taste, bit might make a reasonable ceiling) then send them back to the drawing board, or refer them to People Magazine, where such puzzles are appropriate.

fiddleneck 3:39 PM  

@ Nancy: Truly loved your breeze ennuis.

Flannery 3:43 PM  

Sharpton is a con man like Trump. Glenn Loury, an African American professor at Brown wrote an op-Ed about him in the Times a year ago about him. I’d urge anyone who says they admire Rev. Sharpton to read it. 7/31/19 titled Why Are Democrats Defending Al Sharpton? Agree with MetroGnome that, like him or not, he’s certainly worthy of inclusion in the puzzle.

GILL I. 4:10 PM  

@palomarP. How lucky for @pablo to be on vacay. I think @Loren is with her mom and doesn't have a computer with her. I think she's been using her smart phone to pop in here once in a while.
Politics (AGAIN)...sigh.

Joe in Newfoundland 5:00 PM  

Sorry, ANTIPODE is illiterate, although I'm sure it's in a dictionary or two. The singular should be ANTIPUS, as in OCTOPUS or PLATYPUS. You could have the adjective ANTIPODAL. The Antipodes, as remarked above, are a particular group of islands, not just anything on the other side of the globe. This mistake has occurred before, with INDONESIA as the answer. No.

Anonymous 5:02 PM  

Fun Fact- Luise Rainer was married to the great (and crossword friendly) American playwright Clifford Odets. For the record, Luise has appeared in the NYT puzzle 20 times (first appearance 1949, 4 times in the Shortz era) Odets has appeared 219 times (first appearance 1947, 64 in the Shortz era).

Dave S 5:05 PM  

I actually loved the long answers (though definitely "gramp" is not a thing,) so I guess it was made for people like me. Didn't find much to like in the rest of the puzzle, though. And I just discovered I made the the same lie in/on mistake as Rex. Ah, well. Still give it a more than passing grade due to the cleverness of the long answers.

RooMonster 5:30 PM  

@Barbara S 11:00
Awesome story! It actually sounded believable! What a nice man!

@TJS 11:32
What about Andre Agassi & Steffi Graf? Also, sorry about your grill! Better than you getting blown away!

@Frantic 11:57 & 12:08

@Pamela 1:23
I'm sure you meant "Hah - Got it, QB!" To which I reply, Dang! QB much? How do you do it so often?

RooMonster Better Late Replies Than Never Guy πŸ˜‹

LenFuego 5:31 PM  

Rex sure likes to bitch about the lack of representation of women in crossword puzzles when it suits his purposes -- to criticize his nemesis, Will Shorts -- but then falls short of actually supporting women when he criticizes a puzzle because it includes one who is a genuine sports Hall of Famer who should be better known, rather than some man with better letters in his name. What is the common denominator? Criticizing ... he just cannot resist criticizing everything and everyone.

JD 5:42 PM  

@Pogius, Thanks. Really interesting.

Anonymous 5:50 PM  

I’ll nominate Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm (not necessarily in that order) for greatest athletes who married one another. Also Greg Norman and Chris Evert, though that one didn’t last.

Birchbark 5:58 PM  

@Anon/Poggius (3:24) -- You might be growing old, but equally growin' gold. I like yours today on ANTIPODES -- a word seen now and then, but glossed over as "quite a long ways away."

At the same time I've misfiled it, if push comes to shove. Shakespeare's "Richard II" says he was "wandering in the ANTIPODES," referring to his war in Ireland. Not a big line, but it stuck with me, and I filed it next to Hibernia as maybe an old term for the Emerald Isle. Turns out he was exaggerating -- it was only far enough away for him to lose the crown.

Now to work ANTIPODES into casual conversation. You worked it into a post about JAYNE Mansfield, so I believe it can be done. All I can think of so far is "These ANTIPODES are delicious!" -- so this part is obviously a work in progress.

Anonymous 6:18 PM  

Would someone be able to recommend to me a source of crossword puzzles that use few / no names?

Of the 20 people in this puzzle, I had only heard of four (Sharpton, Soros, Marx, Amos), the other 16 clues may as well have been blank. (Well, I only guessed anNMEYErS because the clue said it was a woman.) I was doing quite well with this puzzle (I usually DNF sundays) until I got to N/NE and just had to google most of the names and paste them in. I enjoy cross*word*s for *word*play, not for looking things up on google. No longer having a crossword buddy to help with names and then running into this puzzle makes me want to look for better options.

I did have fun with the theme, especially FEAROFMISSINGOUT.

Thanks for any suggestions!

thefogman 6:24 PM  

Rex is right.

TTrimble 6:43 PM  

@Joe 5:00 PM

"Sorry, ANTIPODE is illiterate, although I'm sure it's in a dictionary or two. The singular should be ANTIPUS, as in OCTOPUS or PLATYPUS. You could have the adjective ANTIPODAL. The Antipodes..."

This type of pronouncement reminds me of people who get upset by common words like "television" or "sociology", as hybrid Greek-Latin abominations.

From a more neutral linguistic perspective, "antipode" is described not as "illiterate" but as a back-formation (from "antipodes", naturally). Obviously the concept of antipode as polar opposite is very useful and convenient, in geometry for instance, and insofar as many people in need of a name for the concept were speaking English and not Greek, the back-formation process natural to English simply removed the English affix -s for plural forms to create the corresponding singular. One can snort derisively at how illiterate such people must have been, not to have learnt their Greek properly, but like it or not that's how living languages evolve.

The blog (harrumph, shouldn't that be weblog) Language Log, written by professional linguists, is highly recommended as a bracing tonic for those who, with regard to language use, sometimes suffer from prescriptivist tendencies, as I do myself on occasion. :-)

Pamela 6:45 PM  

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

@Roo - You’re right- I was so excited that I wrote SB instead of QB.

As for how I do it, I rally don’t know. Once the easy ones dry up, after a few minutes I often take a break for a while. When I come back, sometimes a few more come easily, sometimes not. Then I just play around. For the short ones I start putting 2 or 3. letter combos together, hoping for inspiration. Actually, that’s what I was doing when I got the last word today, which was the longest one of all. It just popped into my brain, for a big AHA!

But that doesn’t happen every day. Advanced scientific and mathematical terms are beyond me, and some of the accepted entries seem like non words altogether, so the whole thing’s a craps shoot. Two good days in a row now. I wonder about tomottow...

Anonymous 6:50 PM  

re Sharpton: yes he’s an acceptable crossword puzzle answer and yes he’s a racist, this isn’t difficult

Z 6:51 PM  

@anon6:18 - Nope. The best you can hope for is relatively few and crossed fairly.

@poggius - Hand up for finding yours an interesting post.

@LenFuego - So there’s no difference between complaining about “names” and complaining about the specific people?

Huh? A black man pointing our racism gets criticized because he points out racism.

TTrimble 6:52 PM  

Re my preceding comment: on reflection, might I have fallen victim to Poe's law? I think not, but one can never be too sure.

DigitalDan 6:54 PM  

Without a parkin' gramp, a two-story parkin' garage is not all that useful.

Anonymous 6:54 PM  

Technically right? What does that mean? Uundrafted fre agents earn a whole lot less than draft picks. ( And later when they sign a second or third contract).
I’ll nominate Kevin Durant and Monica Wright, JJ Watt and Kealia Ohai ( yeah they’re married, it’s not public)
Bastion Schweisteiger and Ana Ivanovic, Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reese.
Garciaparra and Hamm? Well below Agassi and Graf. Maybe even my college teammate and his girl.

Frantic Sloth 6:57 PM  

@N 237pm. Good one! I read the joke to my in-home coworker and she said, "Then what happened?!"

@Z 300pm I'm too stoopit to get the POWTF Sinatra reference, but I'd like to explain my decision to retain the "e". If you pronounce the plural correctly, yes, it's better to remove it; however, if you're in my head (which I'd recommend to noone) it comes out sounding like an-tih-poh-dee-oh-pohdz.
Tres Laverne & Shirley

Keisha 7:04 PM  

Anybody who lived in New York in the 80s and 90s knows what Rev. Al is about. He’s a race hustler who made his bones inciting riots in Crown Heights and defending obvious fake hate crime of Tawana Brawley. He still hasn’t apologized. Still an acceptable xword answer though, along with Che and Mao.

Anonymous 7:06 PM  


Anonymous 7:08 PM  

Wow. Why are you attacking Michael McDonald? Some of us had tickets for his tour with the Doobie Brothers this summer.

LorrieJJ 7:34 PM  

The best of blue eyed soul!

TTrimble 8:40 PM  

---[SB Alert]---

First off: congrats to @Pamela on today's QB! You seem to have a talent...

Alas, I at last threw in the towel, with just one word to go. Was mildly annoyed because although I'd not heard of it, its meaning is guessable and I was actually thinking along vaguely similar lines. But time is money and all that.

Another thing I ritually carry out is to make a note of words not there that I think ought to be. Obviously this is Americaphile so that "licence" is not acceptable. But I also see and make use of "inline", as for example in mathematical typography where one formula may be inline and another on a display line. That didn't even make the unofficial list.

Barbara S. 9:01 PM  

*** SB ***

Thanks to @Pamela & @RooMonster & anyone else who liked "The Clockmaker." The story was invented in its details, but what I tried to get right were the attitudes of adolescence and the alchemy of the right people finding each other.

Well, hmm, 2 words to go for QB. I'll keep at it for a bit. Clever you, @Pamela!

Michael Fleming 9:18 PM  

Parking ramp is the common term here in Minnesota for the structures others call multistory garages.

kitshef 10:33 PM  

Hand up for FEAR OF MISSIN GOUT being the star of this fun theme. Puzz kicked my patootie a bit in the SW

Richardf8 10:48 PM  


Anonymous 7:13 AM  

So many “allusions” I just didn’t get! Didn’t care either..

PatKS 8:12 AM  

Hey Rex,
I agree with your review of this puzzle. Didn't like any of the themes or all the little full.

Never heard of:

Gish Jen
St. John Greer Ervine (stupid name)
Michael Ende
Sea dove
Apia Samoa
David Carr
Ann Meyers
Cuprous Oxide

HATED ennuiS
Never heard the word strewed
Still don't understand Eros

Have a great week!

Jennifer K. 1:47 PM  

It doesn’t; it says Hall of Famer who was the first woman, not first woman Hall of Famer. And Luisa Harris is also a Hall of Famer.

Mitch 8:53 PM  

Would someone be kind enough to explain 90A to me? How is the answer to ‘to-dos’ ‘stirs’?

Z 9:05 PM  

@Mitch - It was a big to-do. It was a big stir. It was a big commotion. Those are all roughly equivalent.

SharonAK 9:21 PM  

I didn't see any comments on the design of the grid, so wanted to say that I thought it one of the most attractive ever. Found the puzzled fairly difficult, but enjoyed working at it because pleasurable to look at.

Anonymous 11:21 PM  

I enjoyed this one.
Thought it was clever, and does what a theme should do:
Give you a fun aha moment, then help you solve.
Well done.

Mitch 9:50 AM  

Got it; thank you!

pdplot 10:14 AM  

I'm a longtime birder and I never heard the term Seadove for an alcid (Auk). I assume he meant a Dovekie. Favorite food of Inuit. I'm always the last one in here so I don't know if anyone will read this...

spacecraft 12:54 PM  

Let me get this straight, OFC: the two "nice" entries were (1) NERDALERT--a pejorative if there ever was one--and (2) PHONESEX???? Just when I was in FEAROF becoming like you, you reassure me. Way to go, guy.

I do agree, though, about that gawd-awful fill...but if OUCHIE is not a thing, you never had kids.

The theme is pretty cool. Yeah, "GRAMP" is a stretch, but OK. The rest of it is fine. This is an uneven effort that hits the mark sometimes; woefully misses it other times. It's been a while since JANIS Joplin hit the xword page; she's DOD. What can I say, she had a little piece of my heart. Par.

Burma Shave 1:03 PM  


Those SIRENS SAID I'MGAY, that PHONESEX is queer,


rainforest 1:37 PM  

OK, a Sunday puzzle where it's hard to say that the theme was the star with the themers reaching so obviously. Sure, they were funny in a "snort behind your hand" sort of way: "I hope I don't miss gout as a cause of your joint pain". But I kind of enjoyed the rest of the puzzle - it kept the solve moving with some interesting stuff even if it took liberties at times.

I have a NESPRESSO machine, and if I just want a small coffee, it ain't bad. Took forever to remember Mark TEIXEIRA and CABELLO only came from crosses, but otherwise it kind of flowed. Mostly fun to do.

Anonymous 3:47 PM  

@Kathy Smith and @Jennifer K:
The clue says:the first to SIGN an NBA contract.
The answer is correct.

rondo 4:18 PM  

About as wacky as you'll get. And, OFL, this would not have been particularly wacky in the 1990s or 1980s; we were not *that* easily amused. OFL should have liked FEAROFMISSINGOUT (FOMO) because it is so post 2010: Rex liked PHONESEX?

There were awkward partials, like YESI see the 4 corners.

Let's see, there's JEN and JAYNE and JANIS and RAISA and LUISE and Mmes. AMOS, CABELLO, LONGORIA and ANNMEYERS. JANIS has been spoken for so the latest pop tart Camila CABELLO gets a yeah baby. Thanks to Rolling Stone.

Not great, but, well, Sundays.

Anonymous 9:01 PM  

ok - so I'm a left coaster. My local syndicated puzzle is August 2nd, and today for me is August 16. But Rex says the syndicated puzzle for Aug 16 is August 9, and in Seattle north of me the syndicated puzzle for Aug 16 is July 19. Go figure. I have no idea who is actually blogging today Aug 16.

For me a decent puzzle with a few ahas and groans. Didn't like though the clue for 1D because.... use it in a sentence: I like to IMs my friend ??? Just, NO. Clue should be ONLINE EXCHANGES ! And right - Camilla or Janis, Janis or Camilla ? Janis was an awesome talent, and Camilla is an awesome talent. Both gorgeous in their own way.

Diana, LIW 9:33 PM  

I would have enjoyed this more, and would have finished it, if it weren't such a trivia fest. Blech

Diana, LIW

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