Comic Fields on old Ed Sullivan shows / TUE 12-15-20 / Annual video game competition for short / Nickname of 1967 NFL Championship Game famously played at about -15

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Constructor: Adam Vincent

Relative difficulty: Easyish (untimed)


THEME: newspaper wackiness — familiar phrases are clued ("?"-style) as if they have something to do with famous U.S. newspapers:

Theme answers:
  • AROUND THE GLOBE (20A: Where one might find Boston news reporters?)
  • UNDER THE SUN (37A: Where a Baltimore news reader's desk might be found?)
  • BEHIND THE TIMES (56A: Beaten to a news scoop in Los Angeles?)
Word of the Day: EVO (55A: Annual video game competition, for short) —
The Evolution Championship Series, commonly known as Evo, is an annual esports event that focuses exclusively on fighting games. The tournaments are completely open and use the double elimination format.[1] As with Super Battle Opera, contestants travel from all over the world to participate, most notably from Japan. The first Evolution was originally held as a Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Street Fighter Alpha 2 tournament called the Battle by the Bay. It changed its name to Evo in 2002. Every successive tournament has seen an increase of attendees. It has been held at various venues across the Las Vegas Valley since 2005. (wikipedia)
• • •

Woof. Tuesday. This is the kind of Tuesday that gave Tuesday its reputation as Tuezday, the puzzle day that couldn't. It's just nowheresville—a thin and ill-conceived theme, plus fill that made me wince repeatedly, audibly, starting at 1A: All-encompassing (ATOZ). It's a little hard to explain, but sometimes you get a sense *right* away that something is going to be wrong, and ATOZ was the red flag. It's fine, we've all seen it before (way more in crosswords than in real life, but whatever). It's just you really want 1-Across to be snappy or solid or at least not shout "Crosswordese!" at you. I knew it was ATOZ right away, or thought so, and then when I confirmed it with (Speaking Of Crosswordese) ZEBU (!?), well, I was no longer on this puzzle's side at all, and I was all of two answers in. Unfair, you say? Of course it's unfair. That's why you keep solving. But then that really didn't help. TOTIE fields was one section over—again, fine, but in keeping with the Older Crosswordese vibe that the puzzle was quickly picking up, and for younger people, not even close to a Tuesday-level answer (15A: Comic Fields on old Ed Sullivan shows ... are there *new* Ed Sullivan shows???). Speaking of not Tuesday level, EVO (55A: Annual video game competition for short). This feels like a clue the editors changed to make the puzzle more current / harder. But it's def not Tuesday. EVO is three random letters (shout-out to everyone who, like me, assumed it was an acronym and tried to make the letters stand for something) (it's short for "Evolution," see Word of the Day, above). I'm sure it's a big-deal competition in the world of eSport fighting games, but for the bulk of crossword solvers, this is a Saturday clue, not a Tuesday, and (more importantly) EVO is just bad fill. If you had to make a list of Top 5 Answers In This Puzzle That I'd Throw Into The Sun If I Could, EVO would be on the list, no matter what the clue (sorry, EVO Morales).


But on to the theme: Got AROUND THE on the first themer but struggled to get GLOBE, largely because AROUND THE GLOBE ... yeah, I hear it, it's a phrase, but so are lots and lots of AROUND THE phrases. Anyway, when I got it, I thought, "so the Globe here is ... the building? ... that the reporters ... work ... in? Huh." Then I got UNDER THE SUN and honestly had no idea what the clue meant. Had to actually stop and think about what the clue wanted me to imagine. "A news reader's desk" is the least evocative image ever. Who is reading news at their desk? Scratch that—of course people *might* read news there, but it's not exactly an iconic image. Breakfast table is a more likely place. The "desk" thing made me think we were in a newspaper *building* again, but we aren't. It's just that when you read The Sun at your ... desk, was it? ... your desk is literally UNDER ... THE SUN :(  And here's the problem—if Globe is the news building in the first themer (AROUND THE GLOBE), Sun is the ... actual literal paper newspaper in the second themer (UNDER THE SUN)? And then Times in the last themer (BEHIND THE TIMES) is just the abstract *entity* / corporation. This theme execution is a complete mess. Also, POST seems conspicuously missing. FIRST PAST THE POST is a grid-spanning 15. If you're gonna do this theme (which actually seems OK, in theory) then maybe really open it up and go for a Sunday. I dunno. I just know this was painful.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

118 comments:

Anonymous 6:35 AM  

Anyone else get the sense that @Rex didn't grok the theme?

Lobster11 6:58 AM  

I thought the theme was fine (though not particularly exciting) if you don't overthink it. The newspapers are commonly referred to as "The Globe," "The Times," and "The Sun." Forget about corporate entities and physical buildings and whatnot and just leave it at that.

Anonymous 7:02 AM  

"The theme execution is a complete mess." Definitely a case of Rex waaaaaaaaaay over thinking this. I'm a middling solver at best and the newspaper clue popped out like a loud smack. How could you not get the newspaper reference when the first themer clue says NEWS REPORTERS?!?!?!?!?!?!

SMH

SouthsideJohnny 7:12 AM  

Interesting - I thought was a fine effort with a few spots where the editors tried to be too cute in order to establish some hipster cred (TRUE DAT and EVO, for example) and the foreign contingent and b-list celeb TOTIE Fields are just mildly annoying (which is about the best that you can hope for from the NYT).

I was wondering what Rex might unearth to dislike - and wow, it turned out to be pretty much everything, lol. I think it is a very serviceable, workmanlike Tuesday effort and he just tore it to shreds - I wonder today’s vitriol is due to a (a) he has a beef with the constructor, (b) just a routine component of his personal vendetta against Shortz, (c) the constructor has improper genitalia, or (d) all of the above.

kitshef 7:13 AM  

That’s a nice theme. Tuesdays can be hard to clue in an entertaining way, so coming up with a fun and different theme is the way to stand out.

Trying to think of the last time I hated an entry as much as EVO. Failing. I’m no constructor, but I feel like there has got to be way to fix that EVO/ADUE/IPAD area.

ChuckD 7:37 AM  

Liked it more then Rex - but not much. I’m not a newspaper guy so the theme was flat for me. Grid had a bunch of black squares across the middle that created the short gluey stuff. Liked ICE BOWL and TEA GARDEN and ORIOLE with UNDER THE SUN was a nice mesh. US OF A, A TO Z, GEO etc is rough stuff.

Overall it was quick, clean solve - but just flat and boring. Time to get ready for the snow.

Suzette 7:45 AM  

Exactly.

bocamp 7:47 AM  

Thank you, @Adam, for the "prepositional" puzzle. It was a dizzying, but fun trip.:)

Av. time; no major holdups.

Write-overs: none

New: "Oprah" (ac).

Hazy: "Totie"; "adue"; "zebu".

Fav clues/answers: "sport"; "around the Globe"; "under the Sun"; "behind the Times"; "mine"; "Oprah"; "oar"; "terror"; "zebu"; "rife with"; "tea garden"; "naked eye"; "Uncle Sam"; "Ice Bowl"; "schism"; "iPad".

WOTD: "Cro"

LOTD: "Turkish"

SOTD: "Around the World" - Bing Crosby

FOTD: "poi"

"Anne" Frank books

"zebu"
___

Re: "Raj": Enjoyed reading "The Jewel in the Crown"k and watching the series (purchased via Apple TV).

"No set of novels so richly recreates the last days of India under British rule--"two nations locked in an imperial embrace"--as Paul Scott's historical tour de force, 'The Raj Quartet.' 'The Jewel in the Crown' opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for independence." - GoodReads
___

y.d. p.g. -1

Peace 平和 Paz Maluhia Paix शांति Barış ειρήνη 🕊

TTrimble 7:48 AM  

The grid looks a little cramped to me: not enough Lebensraum for it to come into its own. (FWIW, I counted 38 blocks.) So we get slightly junky stuff like A TO Z, US OF A, OTOH, AS I + WAS, GEO. Even EVO raises a suspicion that the constructor was backed into a corner and relieved to find that EVO stands for something, although this is pure speculation.

(I see EVO and think "Are we not men? We are Devo!")

I think I've seen TRUE DAT before in the NYTXW, but I'm not a fan. I'm very old-fashioned, I guess. I would only ever utter it that way semi-ironically. Otherwise: "true, that". Enunciate!

How do others feel about TOTE and TOTIE close to each other like that?

So, not very exciting to me. I did learn one new word, ZEBU, which I think speaks more to my not especially deep experience with crosswords.

Joaquin 8:03 AM  

I don't get @Rex's complaint. Why is The Times less an actual newspaper than The Globe or The Sun?

Todd 8:04 AM  

The local rescue based animal farm which I help support has a minature Zebu and it is really cute. Like a waist high sized Brahma bull. And while I liked the 3 big answers, will have to agree with Rex the fill was not great.

Bruce 8:08 AM  

47A is Orpha, not Oprah

Joaquin 8:19 AM  

Perhaps a more Tuesday-ish clue for EVO could have been, "Nickname for discontinued model of Mitsubishi."

Irene 8:23 AM  

I finished this one and thought, "Charming." Wow. I guess Rex didn't agree with me. Totally amused by USOFA. But then I "skew older" in his non-charming phrase.

pabloinnh 8:23 AM  

Well for me, seeing a clue like "Indian ox" takes me back to the early days of crosswords, which in my foggy memory used to be full of things like this. It's why they published crossword dictionaries. Today's efforts are much less littered with such answers, but one here and there doesn't derail things. I really didn't remember ZEBU, the "ox" is usually an ANOA (hi Bob). And ATO_ is usually ATOP, which made no sense, and ATOZ always takes me too long to see.

Thought the GLOBE and NAKED and EYE and SUN stuff was possibly leading to an astronomical theme. Nope. Never heard of EVO, which I got from crosses, and assumed it was some form of "extra virgin oil" but not olive. Live and learn. See also crab POTS. Lobster POTS, of course, but crab POTS? Really?

Overall a nice smooth Tuesday which didn't deserve all the venom from OFL. Thanks for the fun AV. At least some of us appreciated the effort.

kitshef 8:27 AM  

@Bruce 8:08 - The bible character is Orpah, which is also Dr. Winfrey's first name. 'Oprah' is a nickname.

bocamp 8:33 AM  

Thank you, @Adam, for the "prepositional" puzzle. It was a dizzying, but fun trip.:)

Av. time; no major holdups.

Write-overs: none

New: "Oprah" (ac).

Hazy: "Totie"; "adue"; "zebu".

Fav clues/answers: "sport"; "around the Globe"; "under the Sun"; "behind the Times"; "mine"; "Oprah"; "oar"; "terror"; "zebu"; "rife with"; "tea garden"; "naked eye"; "Uncle Sam"; "Ice Bowl"; "schism"; "iPad".

WOTD: "Cro"

LOTD: "Turkish"

SOTD: "Around the World" - Bing Crosby

FOTD: "poi"

"Anne" Frank books

"zebu"
___

Re: "Raj": Enjoyed reading "The Jewel in the Crown"k and watching the series.

"No set of novels so richly recreates the last days of India under British rule--"two nations locked in an imperial embrace"--as Paul Scott's historical tour de force, 'The Raj Quartet.' 'The Jewel in the Crown' opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for independence." - GoodReads
___

y.d. p.g. -1


Peace 平和 Paz Maluhia Paix शांति Barış ειρήνη 🕊

Z 8:39 AM  

@Joaquin - Rex’s plaint is that the paper functions differently in each themer. AROUND THE GLOBE - Around the building (or the office), UNDER THE SUN - under the printed paper, BEHIND THE TIMES - behind the paper’s reporters.
For the record, I don’t think that the newspaper name being used differently in each themer is a problem, that is how we use the language. What we have is basically three examples of different forms of synecdoche, which seems like a fine theme idea to me. But that’s Rex’s complaint.

Agree with Rex about ATOZ. Ughliness at 1A should be avoided at all costs. EVO, though, strikes me as Tuesday appropriate. It’s huge, it’s aired on ESPN (gets considerably more viewers than my sport), and managed to have a sexual harassment scandal so right there with the NFL and NBA in 2020 cred. Having said that, Rex is right that it’s ugly fill, just not ughly fill. More Ono/Eno than ATOZ or RRN.*

This is two days in a row where the theme is PPP based. 👎🏽





*RRNs used to run rampant, destroying puzzles on a regular basis, but apparently a random roman numeral vaccine was discovered and we only occasionally see minor outbreaks these days.

JGriffith 8:40 AM  

The puzzle is fine if not great. Rex’s critique is ridiculous. Flew past the post ? LOL. No.

OffTheGrid 8:40 AM  

U SOFA Click HERE

Frantic Sloth 8:44 AM  

Easier than yesterday.

This one just puttered along the x-axis until 🥱😴 💤

Not that there's anything wrong or evil about that, but anything I could write would be equally exciting. So at least I can spare you all that.

🧠
🎉

Anonymoose 8:46 AM  

I bent down TOTIE my shoe.

thfenn 8:47 AM  

Thought this was a fine Tuesday, and the theme reminded me of days when I actually read printed newspapers dropped off at the front door (so I also don't mind these puzzles skewing 'old' from time to time, and would note the Post sort of made an appearance in POSTIT). And hey, UNCLESAM, USOFA, SCHISM, and REORDERS all ring current enough, let alone the news being RIFEWITH TERROR.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

@jgriffith...he wanted first past the post but that’s just as bad

GHarris 8:50 AM  

I have a vague recollection that a news reader’s desk is a position at a newspaper which,, if so, would make Rex’s diatribe unfounded. Anyone?

Smith 8:50 AM  

@Bruce 8:08
I said exactly the same thing, but have read before that that's the source of her name.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

@jgriffith: he wanted first past the post but that’s just as bad

albatross shell 8:55 AM  

I was with Rex until he got to the theme. Clues are all literally correct and a common phrase using the paper's name.

The Boston reporters are AROUND THE GLOBE's offices.
The desk is UNDER THE SUN newspaper. If the LA newspaper scoops you, you are BEHIND THE TIMES' reporting.
Moreover, the words after the phrase, would all be commonly left off.
I have to go downtown to meet at the Globe.
Where is my pen? It's on your desk under the Sun.
The Times sure was in front of everyone else on that story.

The only problem was Rex looking for a problem. But I guess that's his job.

EVO was pretty easy from the crosses. TOTIE I half remembered: Long O sound, long E sound, two syllables. But I was all fouled up with zEn Garden. Japan has TEA ceremonies. Do they have tea gardens with tea parties? I thought that was the English and Alice. I guess we have tea parties too.
Everything is AP now. Back when I was a kid... . PERE X ZEBU. Who said nothing is truly random?

Smith 8:57 AM  

Probably way off with this, but "news reader's desk" evoked a mental image of a newscaster sitting at a desk under a logo of the Sun. Maybe the Sun has a tv station?

bocamp 8:57 AM  

Thank you, @Adam, for the "prepositional" puzzle. It was a dizzying, but fun trip.:)

Av. time; no major holdups.

Write-overs: none

New: "Oprah" (ac).

Hazy: "Totie"; "adue"; "zebu".

Fav clues/answers: "sport"; "around the Globe"; "under the Sun"; "behind the Times"; "mine"; "Oprah"; "oar"; "terror"; "zebu"; "rife with"; "tea garden"; "naked eye"; "Uncle Sam"; "Ice Bowl"; "schism"; "iPad".

WOTD: "Cro"

LOTD: "Turkish"

SOTD: "Around the World" - Bing Crosby

FOTD: "poi"

"Anne" Frank books

"zebu"
___

Re: "Raj": Enjoyed reading "The Jewel in the Crown"k and watching the series.
___

y.d. p.g. -1

Peace 平和 Paz Maluhia Paix शांति Barış ειρήνη 🕊

RooMonster 8:58 AM  

Hey All !
Noticed a bunch of Abbrs. as I was solving, which put a negative vibe on the puz for me. But continued solving, and twixt the theme and some of the long Downs, the puz won me over. Ended up liking it.

Got the theme as "Newspaper related stuff", no reason to think about it further. "THE GLOBE", "THE SUN", "THE TIMES", all Newspapers, as related to the clues. *Mic drop*

Got a SE corner improvement:
OPTED
__AGE
_AMES
_RASP
_ALTO
_LEST

So a (to me) typical TuesPuz. InDEED. Har.

One F (not RIFE WITH 'em 😊)
RooMonster
DarrinV

Frayed Knot 8:58 AM  

I agree with @ pabloinnh. You catch lobsters and eels in pots. I used to watch The Deadliest Catch and don't remember ever hearing the word pot. Aren't those things just crab traps?

Joaquin 9:00 AM  

@Z - Thanks for the explanation, but I'm still stumped. It sounds like Rex is sending his meal back because the T-Bone steak he ordered is too "meaty".

RooMonster 9:03 AM  

"Things we're thankful for"

Mental therapy, which during this pandemic, and Christmas season, can really help and truly change one's life for the better, and keep a hard life from turning much worse. Seek help if you need it! There's absolutely no shame in asking for help.

RooMonster

Rex Banner 9:04 AM  

The three phases in the puzzle are iconic. Never heard of First past the post. That was the most ridiculous criticism ever.

Nancy 9:10 AM  

Being afforded a huge advantage in a puzzle this easy is sort of like being given a head start in a crawling race against an infant. Nevertheless, I did have a huge advantage -- based on my years freelancing as a paperback cover blurb writer in book publishing.

Because, boy, do I ever know my newspapers! Mention a city, any city -- go on, I dare you -- and out pops the name of its newspaper. Or its several newspapers, from back in the day when most cities had at least one morning and one evening paper.

The First Rule of Blurb Writing: Use favorable quotes from newspaper reviews whenever you can. Fill the entire back cover with them if you can. Less from you is actually more. Use the NYT or the LAT, sure, if they liked the book, but if they didn't, there's always the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cleveland Examiner, and the Sacramento Bee (apologies, GILL).

And the good news is that you were paid the same amount for the cover copy whether you needed to write two short paragraphs or whether you needed to write just one sentence, followed by a lot of positive quotes. Obviously perusing newspapers for quotes was a big part of the job.

So why do I still remember the names of all these newspapers when I can't remember the names of my friend's four grandchildren or the fact that I just poured myself a glass of water five minutes ago but never brought it into the living room? Beats me. Useless information that hasn't done me a lick of good in at least 20 years -- until today.

burtonkd 9:12 AM  

I had to smile that Z was the last letter I filled in.

I sincerely hope Rex gets it out of his system here and is not so capricious with his critiques of students who may also depend on him for grades and not have the distance we have here to smile at his often brilliant, often way out there process.

Z 9:18 AM  

@Joaquin9:00 - Hmm, I guess. Rex is fairly consistent on hammering inconsistencies, with which I’m usually in agreement. I just think “newspaper names used in different ways” is consistent enough, today.

thfenn 9:22 AM  

@pabloinnh and @frayed knot, I thought they were crab traps too, but here's a link that demonstrates otherwise: https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/promar-heavy-duty-crab-pot?ds_e=GOOGLE&ds_c=Shop%7CGeneric%7CAllProducts%7CHigh%7CSSCCatchAll&gclid=Cj0KCQiA2uH-BRCCARIsAEeef3mQ7lVPOLqBi-ABIcnBLgn7-fpU6aRoVzlwo6p0ZZtxlMiBm25uePwaAr14EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Forgot to mention ATOp crossing pEBU gave me a DNF til checking here, so agree the NW didn't offer a great start...

Ann Marie Manning 9:24 AM  

Which of these does not belong ?
Under the Sun
Behind the Times
Around the Globe
First past the Post

EdFromHackensack 9:38 AM  

Naticked at PERE/ZEBU

Nancy 9:41 AM  

@Albatross Shell from late yesterday: just saw your comment now.

Interesting you mention Clement Wood as the final arbiter of rhymes and that he says "cue" and "blue" rhyme. Because that's the rhyming dictionary that Sondheim uses and that he enthusiastically recommends. So of course, I use it, too (rhymes with blue).

And yet, and yet and yet...

Sondheim would never in a million years rhyme "cue" or "pew" or "few" with "blue" or "true" or "do". He just wouldn't!!! It's called having a poetic ear and it's pretty much born in you the way a musical ear or natural athleticism is. You know that a rhyme is off-kilter, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you don't use it. Period.

But with apologies to both you and Joe Dipinto (and possibly one or two others, I forget), I was wrong yesterday to include "you" in my "cue", "pew" grouping. The "Y" in "you" functions as its own consonant, so there's no hint of an extra syllable there. Yoo. Whereas in "cue", the sound is c'YOO, as opposed to blue, which is bloo. Clear?

So Dorothy wasn't wrong, Joe. Mea culpa.


Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Yes. It was a “got up in the wrong side of bed” review of a fine, normal puzzle.

Joe Dipinto 9:46 AM  

Mr. ATOZ was a character in an original "Star Trek" episode. Why don't they ever clue it that way, given their propensity for endless "Star Wars" cluage?

This is pretty weak tea, if you ASK ME. I think @Rex has a point about the newspaper names not being in sync in terms of how they function in each phrase. And the fill is kind of bland. With Totie Fields in there I'm surprised we didn't get a Jack Teagarden clue to take us back even more decades.

But as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, "It's always something!" Still working through the Puzzle Mania section from Sunday.

Z 9:57 AM  

***News Flash***
The OED has released an update. Besides updating the definition of "follow" (which should give every prescriptivist something to consider - the OED missed a definition that's been around since the 11th century!) Zhuzh and adulting are now officially words.

@burtonkd - The guy was given the Provost's Teaching Award, is one of the department's 7 advisors, and (if I'm remembering correctly) worked on their freshman retention program, so somebody there thinks he is pretty good with students. I say this while believing that he probably critiques papers in much the same way he critiques puzzles. I hear my best undergrad professors quite a bit when I read Rex. Getting a paper back dripping red ink was never all that pleasant, but that is what's needed to learn.

bigsteve46 9:58 AM  

Well, I still get my paper newspaper delivered to the door every morning, so the pace and nature of this puzzle was just fine for me. Actually, the splurge on that delivery is something that I cling to even as times get tougher: I have switched to Trader Joe English muffins at $1.49/box even though the Thomas ones at my local grocery at anywhere from $3.79 to $4.19 (!!) are a little better, for example. Frozen OJ over fresh squeezed works for me - and as my aging taste buds can't really distinguish as much as they used to, its no big deal. I do try to patronize local stores over big chains when I can and I'm fortunate to live in an area where I have those choices. But my daily printed NYT with its newsprint xword puzzle will be one of the last luxuries I will hold onto like those red-state wahoos hold onto their guns: you'll have to pry it out of my cold dead hands!

GILL I. 9:59 AM  

May I kindly ask what kind of name is TOTIE? Did she TOTE? Did she CREAK UNDER THE SUN? Just asking. I don't want to be rude. Wasn't EVO something Rachel Ray said when she'd make a little MAC and cheese?....like "this needs extra virgin oil while she trotted out her POTS and PANTs......
I rather liked this one. I used to read the newspapers. In San Francisco I just had to only because I needed my Herb Caen Chronicle every single day. I started drinking martinis because of him. Here in Sacramento I would also have a subscription because they had the best comic sections. Then I got busy as a BEE and bugged off.
The ZEBU is a cute little creature. Sorta like the CELOARCROEVO in the Serengeti.

Newboy 9:59 AM  

Natick at the Z for ZEBU...yah I know—should have been obvious, but some mornings are like that. OTOH, liked the shout out for an ailing industry more than Rex for a Tuesday theme. Even the NYT has become a digital gold mine as a survival strategy as papers fold (pun definitely intended) across the US OF A. I’m typing on an iPad where my Kindle app resides, so perhaps I should embrace the transition; OTOH I miss the feel and smell of an actual text, not the texting kind. Thanks Adam for ADDing a morning amusement that ADDed one more denizen to my lexical zoo.

Phillybear 10:01 AM  

Definitely crab POTS! As a west coast native, I never once saw a lobster POT but plenty for the crabs!

tea73 10:02 AM  

I've seen a few ATOZ books that had ZEBU instead of zebras. Did I remember my Indian Ox right away, no I did not. But I consider that a feature not a bug. Have lived in both Boston and LA and THE SUN is a common name for newspapers though I am more familiar with the British tabloid.

Is it just me, or have there been an awful lot of Monopoly clues lately?

TJS 10:11 AM  

Classic Rex. Inventing a problem where there is none. Who was the SNL character who would do the same, and then end with "What...oh...nevermind."

Classic @Z, explaining to us rubes what Rex actually meant.

I'm thankful for the neighbor who beat the crap out of Rand Paul.

sixtyni yogini 10:16 AM  

Liked the theme. It sped the puzz along.
As I get used to crosswordese A to Z and the like will not be such a stumpers.
🤗🧩🤗

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

No one ever uses OTOH in text speak. EVO, ACC, USOFA, ATOZ, ZEBU, PERE, ASI WAS, NEA, CRO, ADUE, NSA, OAR, ITD, TOTIE right next to TOTE, DJS, GEO, NHL, CEL... there was just so much terrible fill. Sure, UNCLE SAM, AEGEAN SEA, TEA GARDEN, and OIL BARON were nice, but I was so taken aback by the really rote collection of random three letter combinations that I really didn't enjoy them.

And can crossword constructors please please please never put TRUE DAT in a puzzle ever again? Add that in with OTOH.

I think I'm just cranky. The theme was well executed and easily solved. But ZEBU stumped me really hard just because I don't know French or oxen and I had ATO... for the longest time (atop? I wondered) with no way of knowing what that letter would be in ZEBU, and it soured me on the rest of the puzzle.

A Hamilton 10:23 AM  

Thankful for the electoral college.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

of course, 'The Boston Globe' is owned by the NYT, and is generally known as The Snowflake's News by the Trumpsters. anyway, we're heading for some amount of snowflakes soon. may be some, may be an elephant's poo. it takes real stones to live in New England. we get them out of the worst ground on the planet.

Whatsername 10:49 AM  

@Z from 9:12 last night: Thank you for the clarification. No harm, no foul, and you were absolutely right. I have mice who live in my outside storage shed, and my efforts to discourage them are futile. They just keep coming back, obliviously doing what mice do. So even though they can occasionally be annoying, there's really no point. I shall henceforth try harder to remember that.

burtonkd 10:51 AM  

@Z - I'm genuinely pleased to hear that, thanks. Someone handing back a paper with red ink is one thing; it is another when all the red ink is based on ones idiosyncrasies and not on a fair universal standard (if there is truly such a thing is another question).

@Nancy - I missed the discussion yesterday, and may be stepping in it here, but I have "you" rhyming with "few" in that their final 2-vowel combination is the same. You is sounded out with a quick "ee" followed by an "oo" (in IPA "iu). Y is not a consonant here. "You" is an outlier in your list in that the others all have a consonant before the final vowel combo, but they still rhyme.
I agree that "cue" and "blue" may technically rhyme since they have the same final vowel, but you have already strongly showed the inelegance of using such a rhyme.

KnittyContessa 10:52 AM  

An easy Tuesday. Kinda boring but I always appreciate an attempt at humor. I remember TOTIE Fields fondly but was shocked to she her on a Tuesday. Maybe she's there to balance out EVO.

@pabloinnh you reminded me of my early solving days. A friend and I decided we were going to do try doing the puzzle. This was in the 80s. Mondays were a challenge if you didn't know stuff like ZEBU so we bought a crossword dictionary. I remember the clerk in the bookstore shaking his head, saying we were cheating and my friend insisting we were learning. It was educational. Resource material. All these years later I still can't remember what a ZEBU is.

CDilly52 10:55 AM  

Hand up for being bothered by the TOTE/TOTIE proximity @TTrimble 7:48am. Being both a fan of The Ed Sullivan Show and NPR though, the were both gimmies (I actually have an NPR TOTE). That bothered me more than the theme, which I found fine Tuesday fare.

mathgent 11:11 AM  

I liked it. Not much digging yielded up eight little sparkly things. Good ratio.

Yesterday afternoon, before I did the puzzle last night, I played The Man That Got Away, sung by Judy Garland. On her Live From Carnegie Hall album. The song was written for the first REMAKE of A Star is Born. Great rendition of a great song. Music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ira Gershwin.

The man that won her
Has run off and undone her.
That great beginning
Has reached its final inning.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Dr. Winfrey.
Really?
Is it yesterday again???

TTrimble 11:16 AM  

Huh. I use OTOH. I don't text all that much, but I do it sometimes, and OTOH would be part of my arsenal. As crosswordese, though, I find it slightly junky, as I would most abbreviations.

@Gill I.
Without looking it up, TOTIE sounds Southern to me. Like Cokie Roberts. Cokie, Bubba, ... My grandmother went by Dickie because her maiden name was Dick. (Yes, I come from a family of Dicks.) That's what all her friends called her. We her grandchildren called her Granddickie, believe it or not.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

Z is apparently even more obsessed with Sharpe than we imagined. Creepy

Carola 11:26 AM  

Cute theme, if a little sketchy in the execution (right on the money with the phrases, but not quite there on the clues, I thought). And, like @Rex, I thought that with that NW corner the constructor let us down on the SEE IN front. Speaking of AROUND THE GLOBE, I liked the parallel AEGEAN SEA and the Japanese TEA GARDEN.

Paul & Kathy 11:41 AM  

Theme was fine. I figured it out immediately; not obvious to me how anyone wouldn't if they had any awareness at all of the major newspapers of the USA. SE corner was inscrutable. EVO didn't help.

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

I meant to chime in yesterday on the Jill Biden/Dr. issue. By the way, if we want to look at a degrading portrayal of women, we need to look no farther than 38D, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Here the ultimate horror for the woman protagonist was not marrying and becoming a librarian!! I can’t believe how much my otherwise enlightened friends enjoy this movie.

My first thought on reading the WSJ oped (or whatever) about Jill Biden was that the author was doing her a favor. She really should drop the title. On the other hand, putting this in the WSJ was ugly, if indeed he wanted to do her a favor (which is unlikely). I was in a prestigious secondary school (Andover) and then a less prestigious but decent college (Duke). At both the term “doctor” was used, at Andover I think because few high-school teachers had doctorates; at Duke because–I’m not sure, perhaps because they were old-fashioned, or perhaps because at one time many teachers at Duke had no doctorate. At Chicago, going for a Ph.D., no one, and I mean no one, ever used the term “doctor.” From that time, up til the present day, if anyone ever addresses me as “doctor” I thank them for the courtesy but then ask them to call me “mister,” or “professor.’

The fuss over titles made me think back to my first years of manuscript research in Italy. Any male carrying a briefcase would be addressed as “professore.” Hence I had that title, even when I had no advanced degree. I remember once (the 1970's), working in the Archivio di Stato in Florence (then housed where the Uffizi now is), a number of us went to the local bar for a morning coffee break. All of us men, mostly American, were addressed by the bartenders as “professori.” An Italian woman scholar with us was addressed as “signorina”. She then challenged the woman behind the bar– call me “professoressa”–I’ve got a much higher degree than these clowns have (i.e. us, the American men).” She was right. (Professoressa, by the way, is a little retro now, as a title in Italy.)

Anon. i.e. Poggius

egsforbreakfast 11:52 AM  

To someone familiar with idiomatic English and also familiar with the various ways that crossword themes can work, this puzzle was fine. I count myself in both of the previously mentioned classes. Not so sure about Rex. However, I do have one nit. The theme is: well-known phrases that contain a well-known newspaper name that is normally not used as a newspaper name when the phrase is used. If this is, indeed, the theme, then isn’t 6D, POSTIT, also a themer?

mbr 12:16 PM  

@TJS: I believe hat was Emily Latella

GILL I. 12:20 PM  

@TTrimble 11:16. You made me laugh out loud. Family of Dicks......
My little sister and my brother and their family have been living in Charleston SC for many years. Although they were born and raised in Argentina, they now are bona fide Southerners. My sister is fond of giving people nicknames. She calls her best friend peezee porkie. It turns out peeze porkies first name is Luise which was shortened to Looizee and she loved to eat pulled pork. Now how's that for a nickname.....

bocamp 12:22 PM  

@Rex - agree re: "atoz" not being worthy of the prime real estate.

@Z 8:39 AM - Rex's plaint nicely summed up. 👍

@RooMonster 9:03 AM - Amen to that. 👍

@Joe Dipinto 9:46 AM - Thx for the Mr. Atoz vid; I'll think of that every time "a to z" pops up in a puz. :)
___

Adam & Jeff comments at "XWord Info": here.

Amy Reynaldo comments at "Diary of a Crossword Fiend": here.

p.g. - 10

Peace 平和 Paz Maluhia Paix शांति Barış ειρήνη 🕊

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

They're called crab pots here on the Chesapeake Bay. Our blue crabs are smaller than those west coast monsters but make a stellar crabcake.

Masked and Anonymous 12:39 PM  

@RP: har. Well, good mornin SUN-shine. M&A liked the puztheme fine, once that mysterious UNDERTHESUN clue was explained to m&e by some of these real nice Comment Gallery folks. During the solvequest, 37-A definitely confused the M&A.

extra fun stuff: SCHISM. ICEBOWL. UNCLESAM. AEGEANSEA. PULP.

staff weeject pick: Gotta hafta be EVO. It was evon honored by @RP, as Word of the Day. honrable mention to the ASI-WAS pairin, tho.

FIRSTPASTTHEPOST. har
THROUGHTHEMIRROR? 16 long, but could go with THRU, if desperate … a Disney mousecartoon!
TOTHEOBSERVER?
Another paper with primo possibilities: The Toledo Blade.

Thanx for the multiple news sources, Mr. Vincent. Congratz on yer debut.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


**gruntz**

Frantic Sloth 12:45 PM  

Okay, I'll bite. "First Past the POST"... WTF is that??

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

No, it isn't.

Anonymous 1:04 PM  

I still believe that @Rex did not quite understand the theme.

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

This was a fine theme and I amused myself by trying out a few others, though without serious intent. Rex came up with a better Post example than I did, and I tittered at my Through Der Spiegel (which is a weekly magazine, not a newspaper, oops.)

@Z, thanks for the heads-up on the OED additions. I hadn't heard zhuzh before and looked it up. Merriam Webster went into a lengthy explanation but when it came to the pronunciation, it came up with \ZHOOZH, not exactly helpful in my opinion. But an audio pronunciation I found elsewhere has zh sounding like zs in Zsa Zsa, which was my original guess.

Congratulations, Adam Vincent, on your debut.

Jeff B. 1:20 PM  

The themers were fine and pretty easy. The snafus were ATOZ/ZEBU and EVO, both of which caused me to use the reveal function for the first time on a Tuesday. I'm old enough to vaguely remember the name of TOTIE Fields but it's a ridiculous name to use in 2020.

jae 1:24 PM  

Easy. I thought the theme was fine, but Jeff at Xwordinfo also had problems with it. Cute, liked it, but @Rex is right some of the fill.

Elizabeth Sandifer 1:30 PM  

Honestly that crosswordese intersection of ATOZ and ZEBU at the basically unguessable Z might as well have been a NATICK for me—neither one has shown up enough to stick in my head. I got down to my last square and then just punched my way through the letters until the puzzle told me I’d solved it.

Dr. Gene 1:44 PM  

No, it is Orpah,not Orpha, and definitely not Oprah.

okanaganer 2:12 PM  

The definition of FIRST PAST THE POST is basically "The candidate with the most votes in a riding / district wins a seat" in an assembly / parliament. Here in British Columbia we heard it quite a bit before a recent referendum on electoral reform (which failed).

Some countries have changed to different systems like Proportional Representation... if a party gets 25% of the vote, they get 25% of the seats. There are more complicated systems like Single Transferable Vote.

Unknown 2:14 PM  

The "Z" was a Natick for me, I had ATON, even though I knew that didn't fit.

Like many of you, I thought rex's complaining was a little off track, and tiring.
But that's rex.
Complaining is his thing, unless of course the puz is constructed by a friend of his.

Honestly, in a country where it took how many weeks to "settle" the election, and where we just got the S$%^ hacked out of us by Russia, I think there are more serious issues out there to kvetch about. But that's not the first time I've thought that. Maybe one of you who knows rex personally could slip him a message that his act is getting old.

LorrieJJ 2:25 PM  

Oprah herself has said on many occasions that her grandmother named her for the Bible character but didn't know how to spell it correctly so Oprah is Oprah.

jberg 2:27 PM  

My parents loved The Tonight Show, first with Jack Paar and then Johnny Carson. Totie Fields was a regular guest there -- only I never saw her name written out, and to my ears it sounded like Dodie. That kept me from seeing STUDS for a bit, OTOH it got fixed by crosses, so no long-term problem.

Once I saw the theme, I was really, really hoping for some chest-thumping braggadocio, like cluing 56A as "where all other newspapers rank." Instead, the NYT was generous but boring.

@Nancy, my home town, Sturgeon Bay WI was incorporated as a city, but I'll be even more impressed than usual if you know what its newspaper was. It only came out twice a week, though, so that's a bit unfair of me. The nearest daily was in Green Bay.

OK, First past the post. It seems common enough to me, but then I'm a political scientist, so maybe it's not more general; and it began as a Britishism. It's a kind of election, used for all members of the House of Commons, but for many (but not all) Congressional elections in the US. It just means that the candidate who receives the most votes is elected. Some states use a different method: a candidate must have a majority of the vote to win; if no one gets a majority, they have a run-off between the top two. (Except in Maine, too complicated to go into.) That's why Georgia will be electing two Senators in early January. I would have loved the answer, but I don't see how you'd clue it.

sanfranman59 2:29 PM  

Easy NYT Tuesday ... This is Adam Vincent's NYT debut and I got a double-dose of him since he also constructed today's LAT puzzle. I've done a dozen of his puzzles elsewhere and have averaged 13% above my median solve time, so I was a little surprised that I made it through this one as quickly as I did. Nonetheless, I didn't feel like I was particularly on his cluing wavelength.

I got off to a quick start with A TO Z {1A: All-encompassing}, which netted me the un-Tuesday-ish ZEBU {4D: Indian ox}, but I was slowed by entering 'abbE' in that section before realizing that it had to be PERE {14A: Parisian priest} (another un-Tuesday-ish answer, imho). RIFE WITH {8D: Permeated by} felt awkward. TRUE DAT {12D: "Yup, absolutely right"} seems like a pretty dated hipster term. A typo cost me valuable seconds in nailing down OIL BARON {11D: John D. Rockefeller, for one}. I had OILv____ when I got to that one. I hate when that happens! I didn't know the trivia about OPRAH's name {47A: Talk show queen named after a figure in Ruth}. EVO {55A: Annual video game competition, for short} is beyond my ken. I had another erasure at the end of my solve with 'hAm' before MAC {40D: Cheese go-with}.

"What's good for the goose" pet peeve time ... Something tells me that there won't be the same level of uproar on the crossword blogs about STUDS {5D: Male calendar figures} as there would be with an analogously clued 'cheesecakes' or 'babes'.

Maddiegail 2:48 PM  

As a (very) old Shore gal, who remembers seeing TOTIE Field on t.v. quite often, I have NEVER heard of crab POTS. You catch 'em with a net, (infrequently with string and bait) and take them home. Or, if they're "shedders" you put them in a wooden box (don't remember what we called them ... it was a LONG time ago!) and left them in the water until they turned into soft-shells.

Canon Chasuble 2:51 PM  

The Boston Globe is NOT owned by The NY Times, though it used to be.
No student takes AP Calc nor does anyone teach such a course.. it is either Calc AB or Calc BC

bertoray 3:53 PM  

Z last letter here too. ATON wouldn't stop whispering at me, sorta like an infectious song. When I came back at the end, ATOZ popped.
Your note on Rex has oft crossed my mind.

bertoray 3:54 PM  

Nice catch on Mr. ATOZ.

sanfranman59 4:09 PM  

[Before reading any of the blog comments ... I'm not at all surprised that many others made the same observations] ... @Rex ... I think you might be over-thinking the theme just a little. "First past the post"? Seriously? What the heck is that? I think it's time for you to move past whatever mortal sin Will Shortz committed against you and your family.

@Bruce (8:08am), kitshef (8:27am), Dr. Gene (1:44pm), LorrieJJ (2:25pm) ... thanks for the interesting additional background about OPRAH/Orpah/Orpha

@albatross shell (8:55am) ... re "The only problem was Rex looking for a problem. But I guess that's his job." ... he certainly chooses to view it that way most days. If you're ever in San Francisco be sure to visit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

@Nancy (9:10am) ... Cleveland Examiner? I know the Plain Dealer and the Press, but the Examiner is a new one on this NE Ohio native and (now) returned prodigal son (well, I didn't actually squander an inheritance). Or are we talking Columbus, Georgia here? Just curious.

@TTrimble (11:16am) ... I loved your granddickie tale!

Frantic Sloth 4:10 PM  

Thank you @okanaganer and @jberg. I guess it must be me because I've never heard of it and thought it might have something to do with horse racing. Like a quaint term for winning.

TTrimble 4:32 PM  

@Canon Chasuble
Couldn't you consider AP CALC as an umbrella term that covers both courses? It's not as if the term "AP CALC" is nonexistent; it's just slightly imprecise is all. The cluing isn't necessarily mandating much precision.

On a different front: so much for wondering whether TOTIE is a Southernism. I looked her up. TOTIE Fields was a stage name; her birth name was Sophie Feldman, and she was born in Connecticut. More Borscht Belt than Bible Belt, I'd reckon.

Nancy 4:49 PM  

@burton kd -- Joe put up lyrics yesterday ("Witchcraft") that rhymed "taboo", "to" and you". Then @kitshef mentioned "Roses are red..." that rhymes "blue" and "you". And I realized that you can get away with it if you want to*, whereas you can't ever get away with rhyming "blue" and "cue".

Also, my mea culpa was wrong. Posting a comment based on my memory of the previous day**, I told Joe that "Dorothy" was not wrong. As in Dorothy Fields. Whereas the lyricist in question was Carolyn Leigh. Oh well...

@sanfranman59 -- You're right. It's the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the San Francisco Examiner. Sorry. I wrote that based on my memories of 25 years ago.***

*I, personally, would never choose to.
** As you know, I don't have a memory.
*** See above.

Anonymoose 4:52 PM  

@Unknown. The election was settled November 7. The last few weeks have just been tantrums and bullshit.

Anonymous 4:57 PM  

With you on that last point. The hypocrisy shows up often in comments.

chinch 5:05 PM  

Fun post @Nancy 9.10 AM

Diane Joan 5:14 PM  

Does anyone know if this year's Supermega puzzle is available online for subscribers? I contacted the NY Times via chat and they said it was available for subscribers under the Crossword Archives but I didn't see it. I'm not sure that information was correct. I would pay for a paper copy but it is currently out of stock at the NY Times Store.
Thank you in advance.

Dave S 5:18 PM  

I liked the theme, and pretty much flew through the puzzle (well, by my standards anyway) but still had a big empty space with the first letter to 4 down (or last to 1A). As Rex says, standard crosswordese, but totally drawing a blank anyway. Had to run the alphabet to fill in (and then facepalm) which, in this case, meant completely running the alphabet. Urrgh.

chinch 5:26 PM  

My daughter has been killing AP Calc all Fall on zoom @Canon Chasuble 2.51 PM

pabloinnh 5:31 PM  

A crossword blog is for learning, I am constantly reminded.

"First past the post" is one I had not heard, and now I have, and know what it means. Thanks to those of you that knew that.

Crab pots exist, although they too were previously unknown to me, so thanks for that too. I think the that the term "lobstah pahts" is more memorable than "crab pots", just because of the internal rhyme, and therefore suggest that they always be called "crab traps", for the same reason. In fact, I think the "Baltimore Crab Trappers" would be an excellent team name. Their choice of a sport is of course up to them.

Z 6:01 PM  

@TJS - Yeah, it’s true. Someone mentions that they didn’t quite get something somebody wrote and I will try to explain if it hasn’t been explained yet.

@Wharsername - I noticed the mouse was back with their own “facts.”

@burtonkd - based on ones idiosyncrasies and not on a fair universal standard - Take out “universal” and I’m right with you. As long as a fair standard is used I’m willing to go along. There are times (today for example) where I think Rex misapplies his own standard, but his standards themselves are pretty widely accepted:
Pay attention to fill - it matters and bad fill can ruin the solving experience
Themes should be internally consistent
Entries should be “in the language” (however debatable what “in the language” means is)
There should be a cross section of culture entries including across time and across areas of interest
Stunt puzzles, feats of construction, should be avoided unless you’re good enough to make your feat interesting to solve, too.
If you have to use something obscure make sure the crossing entries are fair.
There are some others but those seem to me to be the biggies.

I would say all those are nearly universal (except maybe that stunt puzzle one - stunt puzzles seem to have a fan club). Even so, there is disagreement on how to weigh those standards against each other. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone completely reject any of them, though. For example, even Rex has written “the theme was so well done that the junk fill didn’t bother me.” Of course, some of Rex tastes and preferences elicit more debate, like the Lee standard.

@11:23 - Shockingly, in the 14 years of this blog the question has been raised before about what kind of instructor Rex might be. Equally shocking, there’s this thing called “google” that helps one find answers to such questions. If you’re really curious you can also find his various online ratings by his students. Last time I looked my take away is that good students really liked him, but woe (or maybe “whoa”) to the person who thought a class on comics was going to be easy.

re: OPRAH - I’m named after the god of war, but my name isn’t Mars. It happens, sometimes thousands of years ago, sometimes by our parents. (btw - with a C not a K - Why? Ask my mom)

@Canon Chasuble & @TTrimble - I’m not sure what the current stats are, but it used to be that relatively few high schools offered both AB and BC, so it was just called AP CALC. To be fair, BC is just AB plus two units, so as with many things related to naming math courses, the entire AB/BC thing is essentially arbitrary.

@Frantic Sloth 4:10 (plus @okanaganer & @jberg) - That’s because the electoral meaning comes from horse racing. For example, here is the finish line at Churchill Downs. I am surprised that nobody else seems to have heard it used except in reference to voting. I’m hardly a horse racing fan and it struck me as something I’ve heard before, almost surely in reference to the Triple Crown races.
@jberg - Except in Maine, too complicated to go into. I was going to disagree until I watched Maine’s explainer video explain it wrong. I thought maybe I didn’t understand the specifics in Maine, but no, the video just treats ballots as exhausted before the rules say to. If the official explainer elides over steps (I assume because it gets people confused) I can hardly argue that the process isn’t too complicated. Personally I think going to rank choice voting would be a good thing.

Frantic Sloth 6:57 PM  

@pabloinnh 531pm I dunno..."crabtraps" seems eerily reminiscent of an STD or something picked up from public toilet seats.

sanfranman59 7:35 PM  

@Z (6:01pm) ... re "Personally I think going to rank choice voting would be a good thing." ... I used to think so too until I was a poll inspector in San Francisco when they implemented it there. You wouldn't believe how confused people got about it, no matter how carefully I tried to explain it. I'm pretty sure that it's led to a lot more ballots being rejected because people just don't understand what they're doing. If memory serves (which it doesn't always, I'm afraid), at first they rejected ballots where the voter marked the same candidate for first, second and third choice. I think they relaxed that rule after the first ranked choice election.

Sanfranman's first rule of elections: Never overestimate voters' ability to understand how to fill out a ballot. Corollary to the first rule: Never underestimate voters' tendency to get confused over even the simplest of concepts.

jae 8:09 PM  

@sanfranman59 - Viva le Bell Curve!

albatross shell 8:39 PM  

@ sanfranciscoman
Actually after I posted I did some Google searching and saw some photos of the Sanfrancisco Japanese Tea Garden. Beautiful place. I love that stuff. Also found an article on a 1906 Japanese-American friendship birthday party for the Emperor. Some politics involved. But the party did seem to have some problems involving photographers chasing down sumo wrestlers.
More research suggested my inference might have been correct: In Japan Tea Gardens are devoted to Tea ceremonies. Maybe not exactly parties. This seems like it doesn't hold up in the American version. Maybe someone with more than Google knowledge may enlighten me.

@Nancy
I was wondering why no one challenged the Clement book. Quite odd that the Clement book and dictionaries seem to imply a rhyme where you cannot accept one. I can hear a difference and my tongue seems to be in a different position and it seems more natural to hold the sound with BLUE than CUE. And sometimes YOU seems to me to be halfway between them.
In this world of near rhymes and partial rhymes I am not sure this rhyme (shoe cue, say) would necessarily sound false or ruin anything. Might depend on the context and singer or the rapidity of words.

albatross shell 9:00 PM  

@Me 839pm
Said party with sumo wresters was at said Tea Garden.

Nancy 10:23 PM  

Thank you for your nice comment, @Chinch. I appreciate it.

jaymar 12:45 AM  

Tuesday had incorrect clue Book of Ruth woman wasORPAH not Oprah

Mr. Alarm 3:12 AM  

Totally agree with your review, Rex. Yeech!

Anonymous 8:55 AM  

Did you read any of the prior comments on this?

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thefogman 11:02 AM  

You know it’s a sad situation when the story of Roy Dimaggio’s small penis is more entertaining than the puzzle itself.

spacecraft 11:22 AM  

A symmetrical set: STUDS HITON RENEE. Can't blame them:

Don't walk away
RENEE;
Stay and be
My DOD.

I'll leave NAKED to @Burma. This was a choppy grid with lots of "weejects." But the theme works, and the fill ranges from wow (TRUEDAT) to uh-oh (APCALC et al.) For a debut, not bad. Can't give it more than a par, but there's a hint of promise here. Keep at it, Adam.

Diana, LIW 2:31 PM  

Tuesday was easier than Monday in my puzzledom. But at least we now know all about Roy. BUTMA might have something to say.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting - still in awe of all constructors!

leftcoaster 2:46 PM  

So let’s just keep things simple and neat, as with this theme. It works fine.

OTOH, there’s ZEBO and EVO. And aren’t repeated versions of movies like “A Star is Born" called REMAKEs, not REMADEs? That, even if the crossing ADUE sounds more likely than AkUE? Which is where I ended up.

Guess not.

Burma Shave 3:26 PM  

EYE ME MINE

THETIME I HITON RENEE
BEHINDTHE TEAGARDEN WAS fun,
fooling AROUNDTHE SPORTy way,
AS we were NAKED UNDERTHESUN.

--- SAM “MAC” ADUE

rondo 6:14 PM  

Sometimes I wish someone would stopthepress, as in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Today the 24a 25a clue was missing; foreign words with diacritics become a mishmash of letters/symbols. Grammatic, typo and format errors are common; no editors. Newspapers are truly dying.

RENEE Z, if you ASKME.

Even if, in someone's opinion, the puz WAS BEHINDTHETIMES, it WAS just fine.

BS2 6:40 PM  

AIRY TOTIE TOTE TOTE

THETIME I HITON ANNE and RENEE
BEHINDTHE TEAGARDEN WAS fun,
fooling AROUND AS THIRD in THE fray
WITH them NAKED UNDERTHESUN.

--- GEO. "STUDS" SWAN

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