Midge Maisel's father on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel / WED 11-18-20 / Adkins for Adele / Betting game in which you could lose your shirt / Time away from the grind for short / 1974 pop hit with Spanish lyrics / Farm-share program, for short

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Constructor: Amanda Rafkin and Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium, maybe Medium+ because of the rebus element


THEME: TWO PEAS IN A POD (34A: Almost twins ... as suggested by this puzzle's circled squares?) — circled squares contain two "P"s:

Theme answers:
  • STRIPPOKER / COPPERTOP
  • WRAPPARTY / "I'M HAPPY"
  • VIP PASSES / WHOPPER, JR.
  • FLIPPHONES / APPLE
Word of the Day: "ERES TU" (48D: 1974 pop hit with Spanish lyrics) —

"Eres tú" (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈeɾes ˈtu]"It's You") is a popular Spanish language song written in 1973 by Juan Carlos Calderón and performed by the Spanish band Mocedades, with Amaya Uranga performing the lead vocal.

It was chosen as Spain's entry in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. After reaching second place in the contest, it was released as a single.

This song also has an English version entitled "Touch the Wind" with lyrics by Mike Hawker.

This song also has an Indonesian version entitled "Hatiku" ("My Heart") with gospel lyrics used in Catholic mass. (wikipedia)

• • •

The revealer is fine, but it turns out just putting two "PP"s into squares just isn't that fun. It's a one-note gimmick, and while some of the "PP"-containing answers, like FLIP PHONES, are interesting in their own right, for the most part solving this puzzle just involved a programmatic placement of "P"s in their proper positions.Once you get the trick, it's paint by numbers, fill-in-the-blanks. There's plenty of theme action, technically, but none of it really *feels* like theme action. So you get essentially nine "theme" answers (if you include the revealer), but not nearly that much theme impact. Which means that all that theme material severely undermines your ability to fill the grid well / smoothly, while delivering very little in the way of thematic payoff. Actually, considering how badly the theme material taxes the grid, it's surprising the fill is as smooth as it is. Aside from "ERES TU" (which ... honestly, feel free to delete that bit of ancient crosswordese from your word list annnnny time) and the nobody-wins dilemma of OVOID-or-OVATE at 21A: Shaped like grapes, there isn't too much irksome in the grid ***except*** in the NW, which is kind of a disaster (and, not coincidentally, where I had the most trouble). Let's start with this, because it's the most important issue:

3D: Sign in an apartment window (TO RENT)

No fooling, if you do a google image search of ["to rent" sign] you just get picture after picture of "FOR RENT" signs. TORENT looks like you misspelled "torrent." You have to respect the way language actually works, and not call your lawyer in to try to justify the way you want it to work. It makes everything bad when you do this. THE NETS also makes everything bad, the way most definite articles in sports teams names do (for more badness, see the unsayable and improbably singular NYJET). There is literally nothing to clue the "OH" part of "OH, THAT" (2D: Words following "Which thing?"), which makes that answer, oh, awful. 


You also probably shouldn't cross the exclamation "OH" with the exclamation "OHO!" Oh, no, you should not. I wanted ROT at 1A: Go bad, and I should've followed that feeling, but then I saw that DAISES / AHA worked at 1D: Platforms for speakers / 14A: "Well, looky here!," so I put those answers in and took ROT out, thus ruining three answers in one fell swoop, woo hoo! I can accept RANDR as an answer if you can accept that no one ever really likes to see it, so throwing it into this already heavily compromised corner feels punitive. OK, that's all. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

96 comments:

jae 12:04 AM  

Easy. Cute and fun, liked it. No erasures and the only nanosecond killer was having to go back and put the extra P in each circle and even then this was in the Tues. time zone.

Frantic Sloth 12:06 AM  

Kind of an overly simple theme, but at least the themers work in both directions. (I hate when that doesn't happen)

And I guess having the revealer in the middle of the grid is for helping those who had some difficulty grokking the theme...who are those people? I'd like to be friends so I can feel smart.

My initial reaction to the PP rebus was "oh, please don't be bathroom humor." Not entirely convinced that would have been worse.

It's a perfectly adequate puzzle, nothing offensive, nothing exciting and so it goes and goes and goes. *shrug*

🧠🧠
🎉🎉

Joaquin 12:06 AM  

You know what would've been fun? OK. I'll tell ya: If the answer for 52A had instead been the answer for (#)2D.

Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi 12:16 AM  

I know math isn't everyone's bailiwick, but 2 Ps going down plus 2 going going across equals how many Ps in that pod?

Richardf8 12:18 AM  

Saw the gimmick at 17A and then just went and filled them all in. PB for a Wednesday, and as is too often the case, I consider that less a mark of my skill than an indictment of the puzzle. I usually have more fun than Rex, but it wasn’t the case today. Very little wit in the cluing very forced fill, and zero variation in rebi. When I looked at the revealer (after having dilled in all the theme answers without it) I just thought “Oh, OK.”

thfenn 12:40 AM  

So what I erroneously tried to do yesterday (grow a pair, of letters, somehow) I had to do today. OHTHAT indeed. Agree TORENT and THENETS are awful, as is NYJET, which also didn't need 'for short' with A.F.C. in the clue. But flew threw this one before going to bed and thought it was fun.

JOHN X 1:23 AM  

First of all, I loved this puzzle. It was a Wednesday with a Tuesday vibe.

Beyond the gimmick, it's got MACHONE, OILER, EXLAX, EXFBI (crossing each other!) SEATAC, TAXIED. This puzzle was rich in everything that makes the world go 'round. Plus, I had my first slice of pumpkin pie tin this crazy year so that was pretty good too.

The best answer, though, was VAL, as in the actor VAL Kilmer. He's been in a few good movies and a few bad ones, and I've only heard stories but he has a reputation for being difficult on set, but he played Doc Holliday in the feature film Tombstone (1993) which absolves him of all his movie sins.

He also played the character "Iceman" opposite Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun (1986). Here's Quentin Tarantino describing what that movie was really all about:

Top Gun Explanation

okanaganer 1:26 AM  

Since the clues were so straightforward, I got the theme at the first circled square. In fact if the squares weren't circled, this could be a Thursday.

Re STRIP POKER... have to tell a story: once when my brother and I were in our late teens we went out to the family cabin by ourselves on a weekend. After dark, standing on the wharf we heard distant female voices out on the lake where a boat was floating. Oh yes! We shouted to them to come over, their speedboat came near. We spoke briefly and invited them to come by for a visit. (Note: pitch dark, can't see a thing, just voices.) After they left I commented "they sound kinda young?" My brother said, quite logically, "how young can they be if they're driving a speedboat after dark on Shuswap Lake?"...
So about ten minutes later we hear footsteps approaching on the beach; my brother says "It's them". Out of the darkness emerge... two 13 year old girls. We spent the next couple of hours trying not to be rude, which was difficult, as one of the girls was determined to play strip poker. Every 2 minutes she would suggest it. We fed them hot chocolate. Finally my brother shouted "we are not playing strip poker!". They eventually left, and we avoided possible prison sentences. Whew. Anyway,...

chefwen 1:37 AM  

Got it right away with 24A, backed up to fill in STRIppOKER, filled in my other pp’s and the rest was history. Way too easy for a Wednesday.

I have never heard anyone say OHO, I hear AHA all the time or OH, look at that, OHO sounds like someone summoning s lady of ill repute.

I carried a FLIppHONE for so long because it fit so nicely in a little pocket in my purse until my friends started making fun of me for living in the dark ages, I finally broke down and purchased one of them smart thingies. Couldn’t live without it now.

A little too easy, but fun.

Harryp 4:19 AM  

I didn't bother putting in the extra P, and when I finished filling all the blanks the extra P appeared. Okay Wednesday.

ChuckD 6:23 AM  

Liked the theme here - well crafted in two directions with all horizontals rebused between two words and all verticals within a word. I’ll take a rebus any day of the week. It was easy going though once I got the trick with STRIP POKER x COPPERTOP.

The problem with this puzzle is the general fill - it’s bad. Side eye to the crossword convenience of THE NETS, NY JETS, MACH ONE etc. Add to that the OHO x OH THAT cross, CREVE, LYCEES and GO NEAR?? I liked OILER and EXLAX.

Rare instance when the theme shines - but overall this was crapy.

Rich Glauber 6:23 AM  

One trick ppony

JOHN X 6:31 AM  

CORRECTION

It was a Wednesday with a Thursday vibe.

Hungry Mother 6:31 AM  

I didn’t treat it as a rebus and just put a P in each circle. I liked the theme which made the solve easier. I didn’t know that Adele had a last name, but I like her songs. I don’t listen to rap and don’t want to know rapper names.

Z 6:38 AM  

Normally I would have found the circles annoying, making the rebus placement too obvious. Today, though, their POD function makes them a necessary component so I’m fine with them. The theme was a little too easy to uncover, so the bottom half did feel a little perfunctory.

The fill had a little mustiness about it, but we’ve definitely seen worse. I agree with Rex on ERES TU. Why do we never see Oye Como Va in the puzzle? But the only clue/answer that got the arched eyebrow was the garage —> CAR pair. Srsly? That one felt a little more Highlights than NYTX to me. (Yes, they still publish Highlights - I googled it to be sure). Oh, wait, CRÈVE Coeur also got the arched eyebrow. Suburbs of less than 20,000 people don’t seem especially crossworthy to me. I’m a little surprised they couldn’t find some emo french ballad to clue this.

I have one teammate who still has a FLIPPHONE. We only mildly harass him. He’s one of our best players on offense and can still out party not just the old men on our team, but all the 20-somethings we sometimes have occasion to be at the same tournament with. I don’t know how old his phone is, but it always reminds me that we’ve gone from cell phones getting smaller and smaller to smart phones getting bigger and bigger.

@Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi - I know math isn't everyone's bailiwick - Obviously.

Lewis 6:43 AM  

I loved the peas-in-the-pod representations, the joyous “Hah!” at discovering the first one, the 20 double letters (unusually high, reports your resident alphadoppeltotter, but with an asterisk due to the theme), not to mention the joining of LAST NAME and MONETS, and COPPERTOP, which so sweetly rolls off the tongue.

Yesterday I mentioned that solving some puzzles feels like sledding down a hill, and today’s offering did just that for me. No hiccups anywhere. Low hanging fruit everywhere. Either a happy confluence – a mind meld with the constructors – or the cluing was too easy for Wednesday, but the comments may show otherwise.

I’m grateful for your creation, Ross and Amanda. Quick as it flew, it was fun all the way through!

bocamp 7:05 AM  

@Amanda / @Ross; thank you both for a fun Wed. puz! :)

Took some time to work out the NW, then pretty much sped thru the rest of the puz. Well under av. time.

Got the theme at 17A "stripoker", and, after "wraparty", went ahead and filled in the remaining two "p"s. iOS app didn't require the rebus double "pp"s.

New: "Creve"; "last name" (as clued); "Belle" (as clued); "alter ego" (as clued); "eres tu" (as clued); "Abe" (as clued); "Monets" (as clued); "gel" (as clued); "Nas" (as clued).

Fav. clues/answers: "stripoker"; "exlax"; "oh that"; "I'm hapy".

Hazy: "lycees"; "CSA"; "eres tu".

Sp: still have a problem w/ "weasels / "weasles".

"Eres Tú" - Mocedades

Mood "Indigo" - Tony Bennett


Peace शांति Paz Miers Pax Paix 🕊

kitshef 7:09 AM  

Very easy Wednesday – never even saw the clues for 46d 47d 48d.

Clue for ABE is pretty bad. I mean, it’s OK today, but in ten years it will be meaningless to most people. If you want your puzzles to have that timeless quality, eschew current pop culture clues.

On the other hand, about the only resistance came from ABE and LEGATO, so I guess there needs to be something non-Monday in there.

Joe Welling 7:22 AM  

@Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi

The same TWO Ps work for the down and the across, as is the nature of crosswords. That's why all the non-circled squares in the grid contain one letter, not two.

TTrimble 7:55 AM  

Let's see if I'm the first to point out that @Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi is where we get the word "algorithm" from. You can ask @mathgent how I know such things. ;-)

Also, the broken record will point out that you don't need to bother with the rebus function if you solve on the NYT website. Entering one P suffices.

Hand up for entering "daiSes" before ROSTRA, and OVoid before OVATE. OHO is a word I'm sure I've uttered, sort of in a context of "Look, see that? That's exactly as I was telling you!" I'll take Rex's word for TO RENT, since this time he looked it up (I applaud you, Rex!). EX-LAX -- eew, no thanks, don't need the attendant associations.

Fast for a Wednesday. I don't have a reading in Rex units today.

pabloinnh 7:56 AM  

OHO, I'm as smart as OFL (which title I use sarcastically, R&B reference), as I had exactly the same misguided start in the NW. Took a while to see what was going on.

Got the wrong battery company and was looking for something hoPPing down. More precious nanoseconds there.

Revealers should not be in the middle of puzzles. They just shouldn't.

ERESTU was a gimme, and a nice song too. "Eres tu" translates literally as "you are you" and idiomatically as "it's you". I found this out at the dinner table with my Spanish family in Madrid. Someone was kicking someone else under the table and that person looked at me and said "Pablo!", so in my effort to explain that it wasn't me, I came up with "No es mi!", which everyone found hilarious. "No soy yo!" they all explained at once, and I used it from then on, but reluctantly, since "no soy yo" would also mean "I'm not I". Correct grammar leading to existential speculation.

Fun puzzle, a little easy for a Wednesday. Thanks for the diversion AK and RT, and next time put your revealer in the bottom of the SE, where it belongs.

RooMonster 8:30 AM  

Hey All !
Feeling better today Re: YesterPost. 😂 Har.

Rebus WedsPuz. I only put one P in each circle, after first putting in TWO P's, but after getting Revealer, figured the theme only wanted one P in each circle, to get TWO Across and Down, ala @Muhammad ibn Musa-al. And figuring we wouldn't have a rebus in Wednesday.
(Previous sentence prime example of circular thinking!)

Pretty pleased at my posthaste pace of solving this primo puzzle. Some perfunctory puzzle fill, and probably placed accurately on Wednesday, even if putting PEAS in a rebus on a pre-planned non-rebus day. Pleasantly posed for puzzle people to get personal performances.

Do agree with the extraneous Abbr./initials. That seems to lately be starting to be my bugbear. Oh well. Life isn't complete without something to bitch about!

One F (where's the FF rebus?) 😊
RooMonster
DarrinV

chefbea 8:36 AM  

I used to live in Creve Coeur,Mo....a suburb of St. Louis. And my husband still has a flip phone

Cliff 8:40 AM  

Nice pleasingly positioned alliteration:, Rex ... "programmatic placement of "P"s in their proper positions".

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

I thought it was fairly easy, so I liked it, of course. It was nice to figure out a rebus so quickly. Had the same thoughts as Rex with less vehemence: to let, for rent, etc. Never heard of the song but got it from the crosses. Have to look it up - maybe I'll recognize it. I did try something different today - start in the SE corner and work my way up - it seemed to work better. In general, I think the NYTX people must be taking pity on us and trying to cheer us up during these tough times. Thanks! - newbie

Frosty Flake 8:45 AM  

Best part of the puzzle today is the @ John X clip.

Z 8:47 AM  

Reading that the NYTX app accepts a single P in the pod reinforces my contempt for online solving. I may just do the puzzle again in PuzzAzz to see if it allows cheaters to cheat, too. Or maybe the NYTX is as good at counting as @Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi.

burtonkd 8:48 AM  

@Z, curious what your tournament team game is? I don't recall your mentioning it.

Felt like just the right amount of rebus for Wednesday.

SouthsideJohnny 8:52 AM  

A couple of hiccups for me - I don’t know many actors names, and didn’t consider “etc.” a true “crossword clue abbreviation “, so I got stumped by DEV crossing VIP.

Unfortunately, the Times’s nasty habit of sort of just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks resurfaced once again today (stuff like OHO, DOH, CSA, AERIE, - which are barely even words, and TO RENT and TORI).

I agree with @Frantic - pretty much just a “shrug” today. I’m surprised that no one has complained about MACH ONE yet (it’s not really a measure of speed, it’s a ratio).

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

I don’t get it.

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

I call BS. What really is the difference between entering one P or two? The solver has to know it's 2 P's conceptually. Cheating?

Nancy 9:03 AM  

I wanted STRIP POKER immediately at the cleverly but easily clued 17A and it didn't fit. But there was a tiny little circle. Rebus! So I immediately jumped down to the revealer, where I got TWO PEAS IN A POD off just three letters -- the T, the I, and the 2nd A. And that was that. The rest was easy-PEASY, pun intended.

But it was fun and entertaining and I had a swell time. My only hiccup was COPPER TOP, where I had ?OPPER TOP and ran the alphabet, since I've never heard of CREVE Coeur. I always buy Duracell batteries, but if you've seen one battery, you've seen them all -- that's what I say. I had no idea Duracell's TOP was distinct from anyone else's TOP. I can't even figure out which end of a battery goes in which side. When I remove an old battery, I place it on the table in the same position it was in while inside the device and then I match the new battery to that position.

(When you're mechanically, electronically and technologically challenged as I am, you need to have a Plan. Or a Handyman.)



ow a paper cut 9:03 AM  

Fun puzzle to do during a meeting

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

Btw, the flip phone is back, folks! And it's cool again. - newbie

Seth 9:25 AM  

I agree wholeheartedly with Rex on the NW corner- OHO, THE NETS, RANDR, OH THAT, TO RENT, and the incredibly crosswordese ROSTRA (I have literally never heard this word before) made for a literally impossible solve for me. EXLAX was a cute clue, LAST NAME and MACH ONE were satisfying answers, and NY JET was awful.

TTrimble 9:29 AM  

What Anonymous 9:02 AM said. Anyway, the online puzzle puts the two P's in for you. It's silly to pretend it's cheating when you know it's two P's. Put differently: what's it to you?

mathgent 9:49 AM  

The gimmick was fun. TWOPEASINAPOD is also fun to say. But the rest was a typically dull Ross Trudeau. Actually junkier than usual (OHO, CREVE, CSA, OHTHAT).

As a movie fan, I was happy to see that excellent actor DEV Patel in the grid. VAL Kilmer is also a pretty good actor but I’m most impressed by the fact that he and Cher were a couple for two years. She picked him up when they were at a restaurant when he was 21 and she was in her thirties.

One of the things I learned from putting batteries into my kids’ toys. The spring pushes the flat end.

CS 9:58 AM  

a haPPY hoPPY Puzzle for humP day.....

Loved it!

-- CS

Wit 10:00 AM  

I enjoyed the solve more than Rex.

@Nancy "easy peasy" made me laugh out loud.

Personally, I found this easy, but not as much of a gimme as Sunday. And it had a cute theme. This would be a good intro to reubuses (rebi? - although that's a double pluralization of the latin).

Had risers before rostra, but I changed my ATTITUDE.

My only hiccup was in the south. I can't keep all the Disney princesses straight to save my life - beyond Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle I'm at sea. When we're at Disney, my wife always has to tell me who is whom so I can say the right thing to little girls.

OH crossing OH is a foul - at least a 5 yard penalty. THENETS isn't great.

Online took my double Ps. It is odd that it took the single, but I generally like that they've become more accommodating to multiple formats in the rebus or unusual character squares. Nothing chaps my hide more than a technical DNF because I couldn't devine the exact format they were looking for (e.g. leave the squares blank, or enter EMPTY"?).

MarthaCatherine 10:05 AM  

@JOHN X: That might be one of the funniest movie reviews I've ever seen. I will never think of TOP GUN the same way.

Jeff 10:08 AM  

I came here expecting to find more antagonism towards 'CREVE'. I've lived in St. Louis for over twenty years, and worked in Creve Coeur for over half that. There is absolutely nothing there that makes it puzzle-worthy, except MAYBE for the big Monsanto (now Bayer) campus. As a suburb, it's fine, just not notable.

TJS 10:11 AM  

Commnting prior to reading Rex or comments, in solidarity with @Nancy and others.
Interesting that I left the first PP square empty, put only one "P" in the others, and when I went back and typed a single "p"in 17 across, all the "p"s became doubles.

Unfortunately, that was the only thing I found interesting in this puzzle. Definitely not Wednesday difficulty level. IMO. Somewhere between a Monday and Tuesday. Once again, thank God for the archive.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

Save for the stupidity in the upper left, basically a Monday do.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

for all those arguing that 2 Ps is really 4 Ps, because their used both Acr. and Dwn. riddle me this: then that's true of every cross in every puzzle? so how many letters/squares are there in a puzzle?

Whatsername 10:26 AM  

A clever theme which made me smile and an overall good Wednesday experience. The NW corner was a bear and kind of a clumsy one too, tripping over the awkward crossing of OHO and OH THAT. Then I got stuck at TORI/EROTIC/CSA because I’m mathematically challenged and never heard of the farm acronym CSA. I probably have the deepest farming roots of anyone on this blog and was an employee of the Dept. of Agriculture for a time, but I was not familiar with Community Supported Agriculture. Sounds like a very successful program.

Add that to the list of new things a cantankerous oldie learned from doing a crossword puzzle this week. There’s a lot more to us than just constant harping about stuff we didn’t understand. And speaking of Boomers, ISAAC Hayes was a nice blast from the past this morning. A legend from our time but probably considered easy listening by those who prefer Lil NAS X.

GHarris 10:30 AM  

Never knew the word “tori “ so did not get the congratulatory fanfare until I changed “duh” to “doh”. Had I done this puzzle on paper would have had a dnf

pmdm 10:37 AM  

Whenever I see Ross's name I expect the grid to be filled with proper names, edgy stuff and slang. While not disappointed (Shortz even changed 34D from a name because he felt the grid was name heavy), I finished the puzzle easily enough. I guess for me the taste was a bit off but not terrible. So with a rebus appearing earlier in the week than normal, I am happy enough. If only ...

Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizm 10:39 AM  

@Z - I can see your questioning my English abilities, but why my math? You're making a rash assumption that there are in fact two pods in each square, one for the down answer, one for the across answer. Is it not the case that if this were explicitly, uniquely, absolutely true there would be as slash and two pods in the square? I'm sure I've seen this sort of thing done before, but I may be mistaken. Crossword puzzles are difficult in other than your original language, and especially when you've been dead for many hundreds of years, but I'm sure I've done them where non-standard theme elements have been identified as different for down and across entries. Absent this, the base assumption has to be that there is but one pod, containing across and down entries, making 4 Ps in a pod.

Z 10:40 AM  

@9:02 & @TTrimble - So you’re okay with getting credit for a correct solution even though you didn’t enter a correct solution? Hmmmmm, alrighty then. If you can sleep at night with such character flaws more power to you.*

@Southside Johnny - We already had this MACH ONE kerfuffle. Besides, aren’t all speeds/velocities ratios?

@burtonkd - 🤣🤣🤣 - If you really want I can add a long discourse on my favorite way to spend a weekend. 🤣🤣🤣

@Jeff - Maybe it’s that the crosses were so easy that CRÈVE didn’t slow anybody down. Personally, it almost makes me miss Edina.










*Seriously people? Even if I did care why would you care if I care? Shockingly, I don’t waste even one precious nanosecond wondering if anyone cheated while solving a crossword. I do waste many precious nanoseconds inveighing against crappy software.

TJS 10:41 AM  

The Top Gun clip has salvaged this whole day as far as I am concerned. Hilarious, but somehow convincing at the same time. Genius take by Tarantino.

@John X. You rule once again.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

LOL. Rex isn't in the production world. A wrap party can be VERY interesting. It might even include strip poker or any of its naughty cousins. Not surprising he 'take a pp on such a lovely puzzle.

jberg 10:53 AM  

This would have been a lot more fun without the circles; or if all the themes also worked with only one P, like VIP ASSES or WRAP ARTY (for gift-giving).

Not sure what I think of the trend to POCs in Latin (ROSTRA, TORI) where they make the answer shorter rather than longer.

I’m not sure about this, but I think the bookish sorts might be dorks, while NERDS are the socially awkward ones who know all about math.

Whatsername 11:03 AM  

@Joaquin (12:06) Took me a minute to digest the nitty gritty of EXLAX in #2 down. But now I see the bottom line.

@chefwen (1:37) Love your definition of OHO.

@GILL and @ROO: Big applause for your comments from late yesterday. 👏 And GILL, I love what you’ve done with your hair.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

the bookish sorts are Mensa.

jb129 11:05 AM  

I thought "a rebus on Wednesday? What will we do tomorrow?"

Fun puzzle, thanks guys!

KnittyContessa 11:06 AM  

This was easy but fun. I solved this on a Fire tablet and the autocorrect kept changing PP to P.O. Anyone else have to struggle with the autocorrect today?

Ellen C 11:17 AM  

I dunno. I consider myself a book nerd, just sayin'

Xcentric 11:21 AM  

My JHS self loved STRIPPOKER and EXLAX.
Learned a new place - Creve Couer. Have to ask Uncle G about it.
All in all a fast, cute puzzle.

What? 11:31 AM  

Easy and clever but ruined by OH THAT, THE NETS and the like.
Note there are two constructors. I’m guessing Rafkin thought of the theme and panicked when faced with actually making the puzzle (so many constraints including the all important symmetry) that she pleaded with Trudeau to take on the task. Not a bad way to go.

egsforbreakfast 11:32 AM  

Rex wasn’t happy
THE NETS left him snappy
TWO PEAS IN A POD made him vent.

OH THAT had him mad
But it truly got bad
When he spotted a sign saying TO RENT.

GILL I. 11:39 AM  

In Texas everyone plays POKER after laundry is done...they call it Texas Fold'em. HaHa...ooops
Easy peasy lemony squeaky. Did anyone else think pink rabbit energizer bunny for 4D? No?
MACHONE looks like something you'd call EYE candy Banderas. @pablito....that's what I love about Spanish. My favorite is "me cae mal." When my sisters and I get together we always say "he falls on me bad." We also called the LA airport EX LAX.
Hump day with rain....no fires but plenty of COVID. I'm making a Bete Noire.

Masked and Anonymous 11:46 AM  

Well, hell-o-ho! Only 72 words, and 8 (at least shortish, I'd grant) themers plus a 13-long revealer. Anyone worth their mask would anticipate some wonderful Ow de Sperations, in the thereby-taxed fillins.

That bein said, I don't quite see the NW corner as bein the disaster that @RP saw. M&A zipped thru that region pretty much unscathed by the nanosecond bandits. Didn't know nearby CREVE, tho.

Theme has The Circles *and* The Rebus. Unusual. IMHA(PP)Y-with-Unusual M&A was just vastly relieved that the revealer was PEA-related, as opposed to PEE-related. Coulda "gone" either way … but in the end, puz did not go PeePee. staff weeject pick still = PP, tho.

Fill has ATTITUDE. Also EXLAX. They almost make up for LYCEES & CREVE, IM&AO.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Amanda darlin & Ross Tru-dude. Liked how yer puz ended on a U-note. Primo mask, Ross.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


**gruntz**

Frantic Sloth 11:55 AM  

LOL @Whatsername 1103am You stole my line! 😜

Joaquin 12:19 PM  

"ISAAC Hayes ... probably considered easy listening by those who prefer Lil NAS X."

Good one, @Whatsername!

oldactor 12:27 PM  

@John X: PLEASE... What film was that clip from?

bocamp 12:32 PM  

@Barbara S. is temporarily away. She sends her regards to all.

@TTrimble 7:55 AM

Barbara S. will continue to monitor her email. If you should want to contact her, you'll have to go back to one of her previous posts, then to her profile.

Yes for "daises" and "ovoid".

@pabloinnh 7:56 AM

Yep; looking for the bunny. LOL

@mathgent 9:49 AM

Spring to the flat end. Have used that mini-mnemonic for ages.
___

p.g. -5

Peace शांति Paz Miers Pax Paix🕊

TTrimble 12:34 PM  

@Z
Well, I like the software for being considerate of the fact that I had a lecture to prepare and didn't have a lot of time available for wrestling with rebus software (on paper I would put two P's in the pods, no question). That I knew and it knew I knew it was two P's was our little secret. ;-) No harm, no foul.

Carola 12:41 PM  

@jae's (12:04) first seven words say it all for me.

Whatsername 12:44 PM  

@Frantic (11:55) There’s nothing like a little bathroom humor to really loosen things up.

Newboy 12:46 PM  

ERES TU o c’est Moi? Spanish, or English, or French — OH THAT? Liked it a good deal more than Rex, but I suspect that there’s a significant split among the commentariat today. A LEGATO solve at MACH ONE speed with the circles & crystal clear reveal smack dab in the center. I think the reveal in the middle was adequate for a Wednesday without the gimme circles & would have achieved an actual O HO! Still a great collaborative effort by a couple of constructors whose bylines I enjoy seeing. Interesting notes today on xwordinfo added to my morning. Now off to our Meals on Wheels delivery, so I will have to check out how others react after lunch...always worthy activities to look forward to 🤗

Joe Dipinto 12:48 PM  

Wow, I can't believe this song is 7 years old this week. (It's better than "Mr. Turnkey", I promise.)

Don't these two fuddy-duddy constructors know that, as Anon 9:15 observed, the FLIP PHONE is in style again? I may have to get one. When wielded by a pro, that flip motion can be not unlike some writing by Anaïs Nin...

So this was an unexciting theme. A bunch of pianissimi. I do like OH THAT as an answer. Leave it to @Joaquin to see that EX-LAX would have been funny in that spot. Although, where it is, VIP PASSES EX-LAX presents an amusing visual.

"May I offer you some ovate fruit?"

Tim Aurthur 1:05 PM  

Not only two peas, but split peas, since in all the across themers the Ps are split between two words.

Teedmn 1:09 PM  

I'll go with the easy rating, as it filled in a tad faster than yesterday's puzzle. I didn't have any problem with ROT but I did put RiSers in at 1D knowing full well that it was wrong but blanking on what it should be. I fixed it with ATTITUDE.

I can imagine a scene at a recent election polling place where, when certifying the count, someone points to an apparently uncounted bin of mail-in votes and says, "And what about that?" "What?" "That thing!!!". "OH, THAT." So I found that clue and answer pair fun, in a "Well I never. Who knew that big old rhinoceros was hiding there" kind of way.

I had a FLIP PHONE as recently as three years ago and I wouldn't have gotten rid of it but my cell coverage began to fail. Now I keep getting texts from my provider that my (new) phone will soon quit working and that I have to get a new one. I'm assuming that's some sort of scare tactic re: 5G and I'm ignoring them until the day it dies :-).

Thanks, Amanda and Ross, I liked your puzzle.

pabloinnh 1:17 PM  

Oye@GILL I-My favorite is still my friend's confused version of "just in case", which he wrote down as "por si hay casa". ( Literally, "for if there's (a) house).

Wanted to tell you last night in re our anonymous funnyman -- a palabras necias, oidos sordos.

GILL I. 2:24 PM  

@pablito....I could spend all days with these: Te dije que me gustan las peliculas viejas y buenas y tu me llevaste a una pelicula de viejas buenas. Gadzooks autocorrect practically spit at me.

@Whatsername....HAH! you're on a roll? As for my new look...imagine going to bed with that hair. Or worse, waking up to it!

Frantic Sloth 2:36 PM  

@Newboy 1246pm "Spanish, or English, or French — OH THAT?" Isn't that what the travelers to OZ chanted while walking through the forest?

@Whatsername 1244pm I agree, but no, not that (funny) line - the one about @GILL's hair (from late last night).

No matter - I'm just happy to know that Barbara S is okay, which I am going to assume by @bocamp's update -- thanks!

@Tim Arthur 105pm Good one!

Anonymous 2:42 PM  

A few posts mentioned a one-time residence at Cre've Coeur. I know a little French but didn't know the term *cre've*. My only French dictionary is the all-French Petit Larousse, which I love. It lists "cre've-coeur" as a disappointment of sorts, but I am curious about the what the term implies. Heart-breaker? Does it suggest what is sometimes called a "tease"? Why name a town that? Was the soil no good? I wonder if these former residents could weigh in on what that the locals described as the origins of the town's name.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

john towle 3:11 PM  

Por si las moscas = just in case.

Abrazos,

juanito

bocamp 3:15 PM  

@Frantic Sloth 2:36 PM 😊


Peace امن Paz 🕊

Whatsername 3:36 PM  

@bocamp (12:32) Thanks for reporting in on @Barbara S. I noticed that she had been MIA recently.

@GILL and @Frantic: By the time I got to the salon after the first Covid lockdown I wasn’t too far removed from that lady. 😳

pabloinnh 3:40 PM  

@GILL I y juanito-

See, I think "por si acaso"--"for if maybe"--is an elegant phrase and would work nicely in English.

I've seen Justin Case suggested as a name for an insurance salesman. (M&A har!)

GILL I. 3:46 PM  

@John 3:11. I WAS GOING TO USE THAT ONE. "For if the flies."

Frank Lynch 4:23 PM  

At least it wasn't Dutch, Te Koop

JOHN X 4:26 PM  

@ old actor 12:27 PM

The "Top Gun Explanation" clip was from Sleep With Me (1994).

Quentin Tarantino did not direct it and only has a cameo appearance as a party goer who likes talking about movies.

The clip I linked to has also been slightly edited and includes imagery from Top Gun.

bocamp 5:00 PM  

@Whatsername 3:36 PM 😊


Peace امن Paz 🕊

David 5:57 PM  

once again...

"non tonal" ≠ "atonal" in music, though neither will have key signatures (mostly)

glad I could clear that up for the billionth time

chinch 6:04 PM  

@ JOHN X 1.23am
Thanks for the clip. Hilarious.

RooMonster 6:29 PM  

C'mon @bocamp, save me from a -2!

Anyone notice YesterBee could've had VAN HALEN?

@Gill I, I don't think I've ever had that much hair! LOL at the Covid-cavewomen-hair comments by you and others!

RooMonster Fastly Getting To No Hair Guy

bocamp 7:18 PM  

@RooMonster 6:29 PM

You're saved!

0

V.H, yes, just for fun LOL


Peace امن Paz 🕊

Jeff 8:04 PM  

@Anonymous 2:42

There's a legend that a Native American woman fell in love with a French trapper when the area was first being explored by Europeans. When he didn't return her affections she killed herself. The city logo is a heart split almost completely in two.

Graham 8:09 PM  

The fact that “ASSES” - as part of 49A - was right next to EXLAX made me laugh. That’s is. That’s my review.

Unknown 9:47 PM  

I still don't get tori.

Unknown 9:57 PM  

Someone please explain tori .

JC66 10:06 PM  

@Unknown 9:57

TORI is the past tense of TORUS (3rd definition).

JC66 10:08 PM  

Plural, not past tense.

Emil 10:04 AM  

Did anyone notice the major error in 60A clue? "Disney princess with "a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book."" Belle is *not* a princess! She is "the non-conforming daughter of an inventor, who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure." Can we please stop assuming Disney female leads are all princesses?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Beauty_and_the_Beast

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