1990 Fox dramedy with Charles S. Dutton / TUE 2-2-21 / Garden London district known for diamond trading / Jeanette billiards legend nicknamed Black Widow / Film technique used in old California Raisins ads / Responses of the unheard per Martin Luther King Jr

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Constructor: Adesina O. Koiki

Relative difficulty: Challenging (NW corner alone put me well over my normal Tuesday time) (I think ... clock wasn't on)

THEME: TENNIS COURT (56A: Playing area usually having one of the surfaces seen at the starts of 16-, 28- and 43-Across) — GRASS, HARD, and CLAY:

Theme answers:
  • GRASSHOPPER (16A: Insect with powerful hind legs)
  • HARD KNOCKS (28A: Difficulties in life)
  • CLAYMATION (43A: Film technique used in old California Raisins ads)
Word of the Day: HATTON Garden (1A: ___ Garden, London district known for diamond trading) —
Hatton Garden is a street and commercial area in the Holborn district of the London Borough of Camden, close to the boundary with the City of London. It takes its name from Sir Christopher Hatton, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, who established a mansion here and gained possession of the garden and orchard of Ely Place, the London seat of the Bishops of Ely. It remained in the Hatton family and was built up as a stylish residential development in the reign of King Charles II. [...] Hatton Garden is famous as London's jewellery quarter and the centre of diamond trade in the United Kingdom. This specialisation grew up in the early 19th century, spreading out from its more ancient centre in nearby Clerkenwell. Today there are nearly 300 businesses here in the jewellery industry and over 55 shops, representing the largest cluster of jewellery retailers in the UK. The largest of these businesses was De Beers, the international family of companies which dominated the international diamond trade. Their headquarters were in an office and warehouse complex just behind the main Hatton Garden shopping street. (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty straightforward stuff here, themewise. I have been in Queens, with today's constructor (at a Mets game), just before he was scheduled to cover the U.S. Open (Adesina is a sportswriter and broadcaster), so it was fun to solve this and finally discover the theme. It felt very ... him. (Sidenote: Adesina makes puzzles regular for the Vox crossword, so you'll want to check those out if you've somehow got time left in your solving schedule) My only issue with the theme is more an issue of colloquial usage, which is to say, players play on clay and they play on grass but you wouldn't say they "play on hard." I would call that third surface "hard court." The "court" just doesn't come off it in common speech the way it comes easily off "grass" and "clay" (which are definable substances, whereas "hard" is some kind of ... polymer ... something? What do I know? Read about it here. The brand name is Laykold. Please don't put that in a puzzle). My only stumble in theme territory came when I tried to make the California Raisins (commercial scourge of my California childhood) STOPMOTION instead of CLAYMATION (which, in my limited defense, is a *form* of "stop-motion" animation). So there you go, all the first words are surfaces, all the surface types are covered, bing bang boom.

The puzzle felt much more like a Wednesday than a Tuesday. I haven't struggled that hard to start a Tuesday puzzle in I don't know how long. 1-Across (HATTON) was totally unknown to me, and uninferrable, and that corner was so large that it was hard to get traction: few short toeholds, and one of those (OUSTS) was completely opaque to me. Should've noted the hyphen in "Red-cards," then maybe I would've realized the clue wanted a verb, and then maybe, Maybe, I would've realized that the verb that the clue wanted was OUSTS (not a word I associate with getting ejected from a soccer match). The bottom of that corner had another short answer I thought I could use to get started, but Jeanette LEE, yeah, no chance there (30A: Jeanette ___, billiards legend nicknamed the Black Widow). I know less about billiards than I do about golf. She seems a fantastic LEE clue, but for later in the week. Unless the general public is way way more billiards-savvy than I am, which is absolutely possible, as it would be hard to be less so. This is all to say that that corner took me as long as a typical Saturday corner. Once I got beyond my billiards and diamond ignorance, things settled down to normal Tuesday levels. 

KPS as a plural noun is not great (63A: Mil. mess personnel), and REE is one of those bottom-of-the-barrel answers I never like seeing (as clued) (20A: Riddle-me-___), but the fill seemed quite solid overall. I like that the clues are pointing (pointedly) to Black people and culture this week—makes Black constructor week (which we're in the middle of) something more than just a matter of constructor identity. Because of course the issue with how exclusionary the NYTXW has been (and in so many ways continues to be) is not only, or even primarily, a matter of who's making the puzzles; it's also a matter of who and what is included in the puzzle's cultural worldview. Every crossword is in some small way an assertion about what matters, about who "we" are. You make the puzzle more broadly inclusive not just by putting "new" names (and places and terms and events etc.) in the grid, but by expanding your way of cluing names (and places and terms and events etc.) that have been in the puzzle all along. You could easily clue RIOTS, NEON, ROC, and even BOP in completely different ways and drain the Blackness right out of the puzzle. Happens every day. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. happy Groundhog Day, and happy 80th birthday to my father :)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Hungry Mother 6:33 AM  

A bit of a Natick (buried in snow) with ROC. Harder than usual today with lots of names. Ugly.

Lewis 6:44 AM  

Not only tennis, but we have clues/answers from football, soccer, baseball, and basketball, not to mention billiards – and sure, there are a lot of sports lovers out there, why not throw a sports-accented puzzle out there every once in a while? And who better to make it than a sports journalist?

I guessed right at the corner of HATTON and HAG, learned BACNE and STANNIC, and smiled at the intersection of DEPENDS and a backward WETS.

Yesterday we had the three bee roles and today the three tennis court surfaces. They say things come in threes – I’m wondering what will tomorrow bring?

In any case, for me, this puzzle pulsed with energy and had a touch of HARD KNOCKS in the NW and SE to keep things fun and interesting. Thank you, Adesina!

Trockmn 6:48 AM  

STANNIC crossing NOH at 5:30 in the morning results in my second DNF in a week. I must be getting soft. Lots of fun clueing in any event.

RTWhite 6:55 AM  

-1A: Maybe "Rondo _______ Classic Horror Awards"?
-Was OK with HARD as a kind of court
-Like @Lewis, I also wonder about tomorrow (and to the end of the week), constructor-wise,,,,

Karl Grouch 6:58 AM  

Good morning everybody.

I will leave my HATTON for this.

Crossing AIRlines with AIRout is a foulin my book.

Same goes for clueing consistency.

( "winter falls" for SNOWS -major Plicky*!) and then BALTIC clued as a monopoly avenue.

As for near homonyms, please note for the record, that I prefer Janet Leigh.

* Icky Plural

OffTheGrid 7:01 AM  

The south central beat me.

Japanese drama-should know but don't
Mario dinosaur? You must be kidding.
90's TV?
Containing tin?

Like a busy 4-way stop intersection where no one does.
Otherwise liked it.

ChuckD 7:13 AM  

Theme was fine - definitely not challenging. Problem here was the fill. It’s cool as Rex notes that it slants black - but it’s all people and places and things. Feels like a TV Guide puzzle.

Liked GRASSHOPPER and HARD KNOCKS as themers and HOSERS is fun - you can keep the rest.

This one is on a MINUS slope - I’ll wait for tomorrow.

Z 7:14 AM  

What do you think? Was using Popeye to clue HAG an Adesina thing or a Will thing? Something about using Popeye to clue HAG just screams “another Tuesday in Rye” at me. I mean, on the list of Popeye villains the Sea HAG is third after Brutus and Bluto. And then OUSTS instead of eject confirmed we were on that damned roller coaster. OUSTS has a president/premier/CEO/Putin vibe to it while players get ejected from games. So, technically correct but strong side-eye snarl. Finally, HATTON Garden? Seems more like a place to find milliners rather than jewelers, but a full on WOE either way. The NW has a very Tuesdays are going to tuezz feeling.

No real complaints about the rest of the puzzle, but first impressions can sway an opinion, so this is probably my least favorite by Koiki. This is only his second NYTX, but I feel like I have seen his byline elsewhere. The best part of the puzzle was being reminded of this silliness.

kitshef 7:18 AM  

Absolutely awful - just crammed full of obscure PPP.

I have never resorted to the Nancy technique of throwing against the wall, but was mighty tempted today.

HATTON Garden – I lived in London for years. For much of that time I worked in Holborn. And have never heard of this.
ANA de Armas – Okay, I liked her in Knives Out, but could not have told you her name in a million years.
Jeanette LEE – Pretty sure there is not a single living billiard player appropriate for a Tuesday.
RONA Jaffe – Somehow dredged this out from a corner of my brain, but no idea how.
ROC – Willing to bet even the show’s producers do not remember this.
YOSHI – You basically used up the entirety of my video game knowledge with SEGA.

stopmoTION before CLAYMATION.

DAb before DAP. I’ll be honest; I don’t know what either of these are, but I know they appear in crosswords a lot.

Deep in Thought 7:25 AM  

Wow, per Rex - “ Every crossword is in some small way an assertion about what matters, about who "we" are.” Who knew ? I thought a crossword puzzle was just a temporary mental diversion while one is having their morning coffee or getting ready to start their day. I never knew that they had a deeper, more holistic (spiritual even) aura and inner voice and can offer assertions about “who we are” and “what matters”. Amazing - you learn something new every day.

I do have to confess to having some difficulty interpreting the inner meaning of STANNIC crossing NOH crossing YOSHI, for example (full disclosure - I still haven’t figured out if Hamlet had a tragic flaw or if he was just bat-shit crazy, so maybe I’m not the best one to decipher hidden meanings and the like).

Barney 7:30 AM  

@kitshef: agree completely.

A very unpleasant solve. The south-central is a mess. ROC/STANNIC and NOH/STANNIC/YOSHI seems like computer-generated laziness.

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

What OffTheGrid said. Yikes what a quartet.

Z 7:31 AM  

PPP is at 37%, so definitely heavy. Unnecessary PPP includes HAG, AIRLINES, TRAIN SET, LIST, RIOTS, NEON, STAR, and TAN. Reclue five of those eight would get us into typical range.

PPP is Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. Anything over 33% will give some solver problems, often while making a puzzle very easy for others, the wheelhouse/outhouse effect.

Nancy 7:48 AM  

A portmanteau of ACNE and what???? I had no bleeping idea!

So I went to ?ETTY and ran the alphabet for possible first names. BETTY, LETTY, HETTY? A close childhood friend had a mother whose nickname was "Zet" (for Rosetta), so I figured maybe there was a ZETTY as well?

In the end, I went with BETTY, the most familiar, the most normal. It's from a TV show, after all. And I was right.

But what on earth is BACNE, the portmanteau? ACNE on your back?

This was my most perplexing perplexity of the morning. (HATTON/HAG was a guess too -- on the H -- but an easier guess.)

Liked the theme, of course, though it's true that HARD can't stand alone as a surface. It's always HARD COURT. In the case of Central Park, the hard courts are Decoturf 2 -- the same surface that's used for the U.S. Open. At least that's what we've been told. It's got some sort of rubber-like under-surface that gives the court more "give" than asphalt and makes it easier on the joints. I love that surface!! The courts that are open in the winter are the four hardcourts; in the regular season it's the 26 Har-Tru courts, a type of CLAY. I was half a level better on hardcourts than on clay: a true bounce; no slipping and sliding (which I hate); much easier to put the ball away; much less of a running contest (a contest I generally tended to lose); and you can make some money on your serve, and I had a good one.)

Enjoyed this puzzle. It had a lot of sidespin for a Tuesday.

Anonymous 7:50 AM  

IA HATTON. The only garden I knew of in London, a city I don't know well, was Covent Garden--and was surprised to see it associated with diamonds as well as opera (Google tells me vegetables thrive there). When Covent fell apart, I knew I was in for a slog--but this was Tuesday, and all fell into place.

I blame the Lockdown for my taking up the other puzzles in my hard copy of the Times. "Two Not Touch" and KenKen I've grown to like. The Brain Tickler I find irritating but look at it anyway--it's the sort of puzzle Shortz no doubt finds riveting, or tickling. Yesterday's Brain Tickler: "What seven-letter word with S's in the fourth and fifth positions becomes its own synonym if you drop the S's?" I came up with *trussed* which morphs into *trued*. In the extremely unlikely event someone is still working on this, I won't give the "correct" answer, which certainly (no surprise) wasn't mine. The verbs *truss* and *true* are words I never use(and they are too esoteric for puzzles of this sort) but I think they both have something to do with making minor adjustments to bring things into conformity. About once a year in the crossword puzzle I see something that I insist is an "alternative" correct answer. Unless I am convinced otherwise, I'm adding this to the "alternative" pile.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Anon 8:01 AM  

Luckiy i knew YOSHI, but STANNIC/NOH/ROC combo is terrible.

Joaquin 8:03 AM  

I didn't see and I don't get the "blackness" of this puzzle.
The tennis theme I get. But ... other than the Williams sisters, how many black players come to mind? Zero for me.

Nor does anything else about the puzzle make it particularly Black to me. A mention of NEON Deion doesn't make it any more Black than the mention of BETTY of the Flintstones makes it White. SNOWS, BALTIC, and MILK seem pretty white to me, too.

So what difference does the constructor's race make? You either like the puzzle or you don't. I did.

mathgent 8:05 AM  

Blah. No sparkle, no crunch.

pabloinnh 8:07 AM  

After I (finally!) figured out 1A and then wished it had been clued as the Randy Newman song "You Can Leave Your Hat On", which of course didn't fit, but was way more fun.

Also I knew STANNIC, so good for me.

Had the same reaction to HARD as OFL, just didn't seem to fit the pattern.

At our summer resort in NH I was in charge of the CLAY tennis courts for years. That had been carved out of a natural clay bank with a bulldozer and faced E-W, not recommended as you spend lots of time looking into the sun. I would strongly recommend clay court maintenance for anyone who has lots and lots of free time, as it's very labor intensive. Spent lots of time weeding and rolling after rainstorms, just for starters. A father and son team decided they were a good place to practice roller blading once, and our pigs got loose and did some rooting another time, which was the worst, and the only time I have ever wished I owned a rifle.

Otherwise this was just fine, AOK, in fact, it was AOK. Thanks for the fun.

Mike G 8:07 AM  

Fine for a Tuesday, but crossing a proper noun with a made up word... bleah.

Jim Lemire 8:12 AM  

I had a hard time parsing 60A (“Rechewed food”), thinking it was some sort of cuisine or culinary technique I didn’t know. I actually complained aloud about what a ridiculously hard clue it was for a Tuesday puzzle!

Frantic Sloth 8:15 AM  

Hoping my internet connection is done having its tantrum...we shall see.

What a fun little Tuesdee puzzle! Cute, clean theme and fill better than basic, too.
There were a few things that gave me paws (and that made it difficult to type) and that is always a welcomed early-week challenge.

All the crosses were fair, so not a problem in the end. Or the middle. But, I wasn't familiar with HATTON Garden right there at the big, fat beginning. Being semi-stuck at 1A isn't exactly an ideal way to start. 🀷‍♀️

Couldn't remember if it was STANNIn or STANNIC, and then out of nowhere I recalled ROC, which is odd because I don't think I ever watched it.
This is the kind of unexpected "knowledge" that drives me crazy.
Why should such tidbits be at the ready when I can't remember where I'm going before I'm halfway there?

It's just not right. Can I get a refund?


Z 8:26 AM  

@Joaquin - Arthur Ashe? Anyway, I thought Rex summed it up quite nicely, Because of course the issue with how exclusionary the NYTXW has been (and in so many ways continues to be) is not only, or even primarily, a matter of who's making the puzzles; it's also a matter of who and what is included in the puzzle's cultural worldview. Martin Luther King, Jeannette LEE, Amy TAN, NEON Deion, ROC, Marvin Gaye, ANA De Armas, Spike Lee. Since we have to have PPP at least let it be balanced. This puzzle has (mostly) nice balance. Somewhat ironic that the most unbalanced PPP answer is the home of De Beers. But let’s not discuss blood diamonds.

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

First ever Tuesday DNF in forever. Lost in square 1, knowing neither obscure London neighborhoods nor Popeye's enemies.

mathgent 8:38 AM  

The US Open in Queens is played on a hard court made of acrylic. Ivan Lendl won there three straight years in the 80's. One year when he was preparing for the tournament, he learned that they were resurfacing the courts there. He hired the same company to put down the identical court at his home.

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

Re @Joaquin. Z just said it. Not only was Arthur Ashe a great tennis player, but he provided an immense amount of fill for crossword puzzles. Along with E. A. Poe, Ashe can be joined to those whom Richmond, Virginia, was once very embarrassed about but has since decided to call its own.

For black women tennis players, lets not forget the spectacular Althea Gibson. I grew up in the South in the 1950s and 1960s, and in a world where racial bigotry was everywhere, I never, ever, heard a single word of disrespect for Althea Gibson.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Barbara S. 8:47 AM  

I didn't know HATTON Garden either and had to get it through crosses in that challenging NW corner, but when it was finally filled in I thought "Wait a minute, I know something about this." And sure enough, I must have read about the HATTON Garden burglary in The Guardian. The noteworthy thing about it was that the robbers were all seasoned thieves in their sixties and seventies. It sounds like the plot of a heist movie, a sort of geriatric "Ocean's Eleven." It didn't work out for them, though: it seems they were all caught, and most of the loot is still out there somewhere. (Safely stashed until their release when they're nonag- and centenarians?)

Liked the puzzle. Knew both STANNIC and NOH, so that area was OK for me even thought I didn't know YOSHI. In fact, there was lots I didn't know: DAP, ESTES, LEE, RIOTS, ROC, but these answers were spread out all over the grid, so they didn't cause me any real grief.

Take off, you HOSERS!

Blue Stater 8:54 AM  

*Bad* Natick at 1A and 1D (HATTON and HAG). I lived in London for three years and never heard of Hatton Garden. Otherwise pretty good.

TTrimble 9:01 AM  

Judging from my time, I did not find this challenging, but I can see how others might.

The only London Garden place name I initially came up with was "Covent", whose wrongness was immediately apparent. So, as I do, I just ditched the NW and headed over to the first blank I saw (ESTES) and the accumulation of words grew nicely from that point. NEON was guessable from the rhyme with Deion.

ST as the chemical abbreviation for tin is attention-getting, so I knew STANNIC. That and HYENAS and ATOM made the -MATION ending clear enough, so I didn't fall into the "Stopmotion" trap. But in a bout of brain flatulence I did put down "Yugio" before the obviously correct YOSHI (I don't play video games myself, but my family does, so that should've been immediate). Anyway, overall the puzzle felt pretty straightforward. The very last letter to go in was where I hovered over the Naticky intersection of 1 Across and 1 Down: I'd never heard or didn't remember Sea HAG, and so that was a lucky guess. Happy music, and my time was 2/3 my historical average. I'll take it.

Thus I don't agree with many of the comments (e.g., @Barney 7:30 AM -- not at all a mess in my estimation!). @Deep in Thought made me chuckle however, and I'm inclined to agree. It's a puzzle, fer cryin' out loud!

(@bocamp: I'm yd pg -4, haven't quit yet)

Nancy 9:07 AM  

@Poggius (7:50) -- **"Brain Tickler" Alert** --

They seem to fall into two categories: the ones that are so easy you wonder why WS bothers to include them at all and the ones like yesterday's: absolutely impossible. I bet that in a room of 100 people, not one person would be able to solve it.

This is because the answer could have been absolutely anything. Anything at all. And there are many too many of these.

But thanks for reminding me how beset by curiosity I was yesterday. I didn't think I could last until today to find out the answer.

By today, though, both my curiosity and my memory of my curiosity had vanished. Though the answer was staring up at me from the left side of today's puzzle, if it hadn't been for you, @Poggius, I would have forgotten to look at it. Now that I look at it, I see I wouldn't have thought of it in a million years.

kitshef 9:11 AM  

@Joaquin - I'm gonna guess you are not much of a tennis fan, but:

Althea Gibson?
Evonne Goolagong?

Or more recently:
Coco Gauff?
2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens?

TTrimble 9:11 AM  

Re black tennis players: of course there was the great Arthur Ashe, and more recently there's Coco Gauff. (Looking this up) well before my time there was also Althea Gibson, who apparently was a trailblazer and a superlative athlete.

bocamp 9:16 AM  

Thx, @, Adesina, a most enjoyable Tues. puz! :)

Medium solve.

Had a dnf at "egotour"/ "gel"; the clue for 36D starts with "Trips…", so in went ego. How the mind does occasionally betray. "Gel" seemed ok for "Animators sheet" so, that was that. LOL

"Baltic" reminds me of how much I enjoy playing Monopoly with the grandkids.

Never will forget my "Lionel Train" set from Xmas '54. Had little pellets which created smoke when dropped into a small hole in the engine. This one's older than mine, but gets the idea across: 1946 Lionel original set- WITH SMOKE BULB!

1950's and early '60's Rock n' Roll Dance Demo For The Blue Jean "Bop"

SB stuff and possible spoilers for yesterday

yd npg -6 (4 d'ohs; 1 maybe; 1 nearly impossible) - Today's another day. 😊

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

RooMonster 9:17 AM  

Hey All !
Thought @Nancy would like the theme! She did. But agree with her on the fill... ouch.

Last to go in was TANNIC, then held my breath. Got the Congrats Happy Tune! Wow. ROC was nowhere in the ole brain as a TV show. NOH was actually in the recesses of my mind, thanks to previous puz appearances.

I liked when they broadcast Billiards matches on TV. Allison Fisher was my favorite. She was (is? Not sure if she still plays) a great player, Number One for a long time. She was always duking it out with Karen Corr, Jeanette LEE, and a few others for the top spot. (*Update* Just checked to find a name I'd forgotten, and found my girl Allison as Ranked #1 from 2019! She's still kicking ass!) [Side story: I met her once at the SEMA show out here in Las Vegas. It was awesome! Super nice, she was doing a promotion for something billiard related. You could tell she really wasn't all that into it, though! She was already married at the time, so missed out on asker her out! Har.]

Anyway, decent puz. Agree with the cluing as being rather tough for a TuesPuz. HOSERS got a chuckle, remembering, of course, Bob and Doug McKenzie.

Have two TRAIN SETs myself. An HO scale and an O scale. Just track laid down, I'm not good with scenery. One day (the infamous some day...) I'll get some scenery on them!

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil Did see his shadow today. Six more weeks, y'all. Went to Groundhog Day celebration in 2002. Neat one to be at, 02/02/02. Got a beer bottle from there with the date on it. Unopened. :-)

One F

Frantic Sloth 9:21 AM  

Happy Birthday to Rex's dad! And happy Groundhog Day to all. Can hardly wait to start celebrating. After Punxsutawney Phil gets his burrow plowed out, I wonder if he'll see his shadow. Seems anticlimactic to me.

Ah, the California Raisins. Emus of the 80s. Blech.

Can it possibly be spelled "jewellery" in HATTON Garden (like the wiki article in Rex's writeup)? Seems to lend itself to a certain pronunciation whose sole purpose in life is to make Mrs. Sloth's head explode...apparently. That and the way our national anthem is sung nowadays. But, I digress.

@Z 714am As a kid, I remember the Popeye Sea HAG(s) freaking me out - apparently to the point of searing them into my memory - so that was actually a gimme and I'm gonna go with Will as my final answer. What do I win?
And wow - you must've really hated the puzzle if those anthropomorphic shriveled grapes were the "best part". Yikes, dude.

How strange that the level of PPP (37%?!) didn't even stand out to me. Wheelhouse? Wavelength? Woefully unobservant? Guessing a heavy dose of the last with a hint of the first and a dollop of the second.

Hand up for Covent before HATTON because huh??

@TTrimble 901am I avoided "stopmotion" the same way you did. Are you following me??? BTW, I still "bee", but have as my new goal the GN4L (genius, no 4 letter words) challenge. Much easier.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Arthur Ashe

Megan Mcquown 9:27 AM  

I used to watch billiards on tv all the time. Didn’t have anything better to do. So Jeanette Lee was an immediate AHA moment. I agree with everyone else that Hatton was horrible. I got it with downs and then couldn’t think of hag until I had -ag. Roc and BACNE were uggh. But otherwise just over my bet Tuesday time and well under my average so pretty happy. Oh, and hated hosers

tea73 9:28 AM  

I know Sea HAG as an attack card in the game of Dominion. It's been in puzzles before which is the only reason I knew the Popeye reference. HATTON Garden, I've never heard of. I spent three weeks in London researching low cost housing for my senior thesis and several other vacations, but apparently I don't spend time in the diamond district. I do know where to go in NYC though!

Lots of names I never heard of ANA who, NEON who, LEE who, RONA who, ANDREA who, and a show called ROC. Luckily I was able to get their crosses.

Felt hard, but apparently under my Tuesday average.

LB 9:34 AM  

At my club (where I’ve been afraid to go for almost a year) you might hear “they are on hard.” We have six “clay” which are really a green clay-like substance which we call clay. I miss tracking that green stuff into my apartment. Sigh. Got the card, Michael. Looking forward to the Australian Open (delayed).

Unknown 9:40 AM  

@ nancy 7:48 While you and I would, I imagine, feel differently about most topics, I think we would both agree that the tennis courts in Central Park are an absolute jewel! I lived in the city my first year after college and purchased a season's pass for maybe $50 bucks, and it was one of the high points of that year. Perhaps we played on adjacent courts. I had a mean backhand, but a bit of a temper, sadly.

Confidently threw down COVENT garden for 1A but quickly saw my error. I thought the 1A/1D cross was a bit of a Natick, and never heard of ROC, so that became a challenge as well (STANNIS anyone?)

It wasn't the percentage of PPP, so much as they felt pretty arcane for a Tuesday. On the other hand:
1. No Star Wars references;
2. No Harry Potter;
3. No Brian ENO or Etta JAMES;
4. nothing to EKE out;
5. no OREO cookies . . . . I'm going with an overall thumb's up just for the freshness of the fill.

TTrimble 9:43 AM  

I hesitated over including Evonne Goolagong among black tennis players (which by the way would've been an SB answer yesterday were it not for its being a proper noun). She's an Australian Aborigine (Wiradjuri), so not of African descent.

Unknown 9:52 AM  

Enjoyed it. Loved the fresh take on clues - yes, more diversity of clue-making would be great!

Joshua 9:53 AM  

Unfortunately, not a fan of this one. RIOTS clue was inspired - that's the sort of PPP worth having. All this other trivia? I'm doing a crossword, not playing Jeopardy. Please stop this miserable cluing.

Gopman 10:00 AM  

SN is tin...

Unknown 10:04 AM  

Am I the only one to notice the "up" repeat (TOSSUP, LAIDUP)?

Thought Rex would mention that for sure.

bocamp 10:11 AM  

Naomi Osaka

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

mbr 10:14 AM  

@Barbara S: As you suggested....a movie about the Hatton Garden burglary came out in 2018 and was called "King of Thieves", starring Michael Caine (of course), Tom Courtenay, & Jim Broadbent.

Douglas 10:21 AM  

This seems to be a rare instance where Rex like the puzzle much more than most of the commentators. I suspect it will be that way most of the week. This was somewhat dull to me. No spark.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

@TTrimble. The chemical abbr. for tin is Sn, from Latin stannum.

FrostMo 10:34 AM  

SW was a huge mess for me. Had CDcAse which basically destroyed my chances down there. Natick’d at ORMAN/REE and STANNIC/NOH STANNIC/ROC. Very tough tuesday. Liked the theme well enough though, aha moment to get CLAYMATION.

GILL I. 10:39 AM  

I'll put this in the cool beans Tuesday category. But....I'll join others and do the HAT dance at HATTON and try to remember if I ever wanted to go shopping for diamonds in London. Nah....I was too poor.
So it's all about TENNIS and of course I think of @Nancy. I also think of myself and remember how lousy I was at it. I had a mean serve but I always hit the ball out of the COURT.
So I look at DEPENDS and wonder if that might've been clued as a diaper. I look at BETTY and think of what once was my dear next door neighbor and want to add a BOOP. YEN NOH and YOSHI perhaps sipping a GRASS HOPPER in a sushi bar. I have no idea what BACNE is but it sounds like something you can add to California Raisins.
I learned DAP from the Obama's; I look at BOP and want to add a BE and a Charlie Parker in front of it.
INSP needs a Clouseau and his Pink Panther series.....Amazing how the mind wanders.
Now I'm off to try and find where the hell I can get a COVID vaccine in this wondrous State called California. Maybe Walmart?

kitshef 10:40 AM  

@TTrimble 9:43 - I don't know about Evonne's views on it, but I do know that many Australian aboriginal people have adopted 'black' as their preferred term. And I'll use this as an excuse to plug the TV series Mystery Road - developed and directed by indigenous Australians. Enjoyable as simply a mystery, but especially notable for the frank treatment of aboriginal concerns.

Mr. Cheese 10:42 AM  

If it weren’t for dumb luck - out of frustration sticking an “H” in the first box - I would not have completed the puz.
As usual I finished before I noticed the theme. Just curious: are themes supposed to help one solve?

TTrimble 10:51 AM  

Oh for heaven's sake. You're absolutely right, @Anonymous 10:31 AM -- thanks.

Interesting Bee challenge! The 4-letters are what I try to bang out first, as fast as possible, because I find they are often the roots of longer words. So I might find that challenge tough in general.

Whatsername 10:54 AM  

Tuesdays can be a TOSSUP, either boringly easy or way more difficult than you would expect. This one lands squarely on the challenging side with some pretty arcane trivia which I think would be discouraging for a beginner.

The south center section gave me fits. STANNIC was a guess and had no idea on the TV show, the Japanese drama or the dinosaur. Haven’t read comments but hoping I wasn’t the only one stumped there.

Several other new-to-me answers: BACNE, DAP, HOSERS, CLAYMATION, STANNIC and NEON Deion which I loved. STEW crossing SNOW was very timely for those of you in the path of the latest Snowmaggedon. Hoping all the commentariat in that neck of the woods are safe and beginning to dig out. Spring is ON DECK in 45 days.

Carola 11:03 AM  

Nope. Name overload sank this one for me. And as far as TENNIS goes, I'll just go with Flanders and Swann's summing up: "They are bashing a ball with the gut of a cat."

Do-overs: Sea nAG, misspelled STANous. Help from previous puzzles: YOSHI. No idea: HATTON, ANA, LEE, ROC.

@kitshef 7:18 and @Deep in Thought 7:25 - Thank you for restoring my good humor.

EFB 11:10 AM  

KPS is totally wrong. The term is Kitchen Police. You can be "on KP" meaning that you are temporarily assigned to KP. But kitchen personnel such as cooks are not KP and they are not on KP. FYI, when you are assigned to clean an area you are told to "police up the area" which is where KP comes from.

Unless you like the term "polices" as a plural for police, this is way wrong..

JC66 11:11 AM  

Simple fix for the NW corner; change 1A from HATTON to BATTLE.

Masked and Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Feisty TuesPuz, at our house. No complaints there, tho.

Theme seemed ok … GRASS court, HARD court, CLAY court, MARGARET Court, TRAFFIC court, etc.

fave entry: ANDREA. M&A has a real good friend with that name.
Kinda partial to OKTHEN and HYENAS, too boot.

staff weeject pick: REE. Admire its scrabble-twerkless letter selection. And it sorta sounds like RENTFREE, for short.
Also: honorable mention to AIR crossin AIR, brazenly offered up right outta the chute, in the NW corner. Had to hold ON to my nanoseconds HATT, up there in that there gusty NW AIR.

Luved the puzgid art -- it was a real plus. U don't see many cases of black splatzed into the center square. Different. Like.

Thanx, Mr. Koiki.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Julie 11:18 AM  

wow..1st ever completing in normal Tues. time while you struggled... did that make me OLD??

burtonkd 11:18 AM  

Hands up for STOPMOTION.

I filled in AIROUT and GRASSHOPPER right away. Neighborhoods in London are like those in LA to me, in that those are such media centers, that I've usually heard the names of neighborhoods even if I don't know what or where they are. With a few letters, I can fill in the rest, but today: H for HAG, nope, A for AIRLINES, nope... all the way to NTH, nope. At least they were all easy crosses.

I think SEAHAG is a thing, not only in Popeye, so seems inferrable.

Sure Lionel is PPP, but try saying train set without putting that out front. Pretty close to KLEENEX, XEROX, or FRISBEE to my mind.

I hope to play on GRASS some day. Closest I've come was some super slick indoor surface where the ball just skidded under my racket. Clay is fun for the beauty of getting in the gorgeous arc of a topspin shot. Spent most of my time on HARDs - yep, doesn't really sound right.

Barbara S. 11:21 AM  

@mbr (10:14)
I didn't know that -- thanks for the intelligence. If ever a news story was begging to be made into a feature film I guess that was it. I see the movie starred the cream of British senior actors, but it sounds like it didn't really hit the mark. Did you see the film? What did you think?

On a different topic -- from yesterday: many people didn't like the answer US MILITARY DRONE. I found it fine, proving that everything depends on perspective. I'm sure I've heard our Canadian newscasters say US MILITARY DRONE a hundred times.

A 11:30 AM  

Happy Groundhog Day!

Hope all of you in the path of the storm are keeping warm and dry.

I'd have liked this one better if yesterday hadn't been such a grand slam, but I thought this was a fun, TENNIS centric Tuesday puzzle. It did have a few non Tuesday entries, which y'all have noted. I didn't mind some of the PPP as much as some: who doesn't love remembering Lionel TRAIN SETS? NEON Deion made me smile, and I liked the RIOTS clue, too. Cute to have naughty/NICE and Santa's LIST together.

My "only a number" was onE before AGE. Couldn't recall NOH so I looked it up (cheated) and learned a lot about Japanese plays. In NOH they use masks of Japanese cypress, and the way an actor tilts his head is a part of the technique of showing expression.

Good stuff - thanks, Mr. Koiki!

Tom R 11:31 AM  

For once I had a different experience with the NW. I never heard of HATTON before either, but all the crosses were easy. I popped in AIRLINES and TRAINSET and HAG right away, then NTH, AIROUT and GRASSHOPPER.... So no trouble there. A typical Tuesday for me.

sixtyni yogini 11:43 AM  

Went fast (for me) because the clueing was fair, neither overly obvious nor overly vague.
Good one. 🌹🧩🌹
And Rex’s crits always seem valid. πŸ€—πŸ™πŸ½πŸ€—.
DAPs to constructor and blog master! πŸ‘ŠπŸ½πŸ‘ŠπŸ½

egsforbreakfast 11:48 AM  

When I opened the puzzle, I thought “Aha, a plus sign smack dab in the middle! That will be a key to the theme.” As you know, it wasn’t. But I would give this one an overall “+”, partly because I like sports a lot, and partly because it made me work a bit harder than the average Tuesday. I guess that it’s more than mean, difficulty-wise.

Thanks for the fun, Adesina O. Koiki.

A 11:49 AM  

Did I hear someone ask for more on Black tennis stars? American James Blake got to #4 in the world, and US Open and Australian Open Champion Naomi Osaka is half Haitian, half Japanese. AP’s 2020 Female Athlete of the Year, she is a talented and determined player with a big heart. Osaka has also used her platform for social activism, speaking out against police brutality. She made the decision to withdraw from the 2020 Western and Southern Open after getting to the finals. It was unbelievable, and unprecedented (that I know of), but I was so impressed with her sincerity and bravery.

"As a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis.”

Her action prompted a supportive response from tennis officials. "As a sport, tennis is collectively taking a stance against racial inequality and social injustice that once again has been thrust to the forefront in the United States.” They suspended play for a day, after which Naomi played, and won, the final.

James Blake said at the time he “was especially impressed by what Naomi decided to do because it brought awareness to an international audience.” In 2015 Blake was thrown to the ground in front of his New York hotel, cuffed, and arrested by police who mistook him for a suspect.

I am grateful I can say I have never been thrown to the ground by police.

bocamp 11:52 AM  

@Barbara S. 8:47 AM / @mbr 10:14 AM

Thx for the reminder of the "Hatton" Garden heist. Got "King of Thieves" cued up on Prime Video. Always enjoy Michael Caine. :)

Speaking of movies, while searching Prime Video, a banner appeared, touting "One Night in Miami" – a nice tie-in to "Black History Month".

Peace Tolerance Kindness Togetherness πŸ•Š

Frantic Sloth 11:53 AM  

@Roo 917am Six more weeks, huh? Shocking.

@EFB 1110am I believe the correct term is "Keep Peeling" - if your source material is Beetle Bailey. πŸ˜‰

@Julie 1118am Yep. Wait - was that rhetorical? πŸ˜‰

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

@TTrimble 9:43
That doesn't stop Kamala from claiming she's black, her of Indian descent.

Frantic Sloth 12:05 PM  

*** Off-topic Scofflaw Report Alert ***

@TTrimble 1051am Forgot to mention that that approach does tend to result in forgetting the 4Ls when attempting to QB it.

Recommendation thanks to @kitshef, @Barbara S., and @mbr -- Both Mystery Road and King of Thieves are now in the queue. (Already have One Night in Miami on my list, but thanks for the reminder @bocamp!)

Jeff B. 12:06 PM  

Good puzzle. The trap for me was the ROC-STANNIC cross. Also YOSHI-NOH was a problem. Enjoyed CLAYMATION, KSTATE, HOSERS, and the whole tennis connection.

Cablanasian 12:11 PM  

Never heard of Hatton Garden either and Terrell Hatton is the 8th ranked golfer in the world, right behind Rory McIlroy. Easy fix. I wish the puzzle were more inclusive of golfers. πŸ˜‚

albatross shell 12:15 PM  

Themes may help you solve and may give a nice AHA and may be a pleasing poser to puzzle out. Seldom all 3, occasionally two out of 3, often just one. Sometimes none but be appreciated for consistency, appropriateness or originality. Often it depends on how you solve a puzzle and when you get to the reveal. This one was a "works nicely" for me. I am of the school if there is a clear way a theme works that is how it should be looked at, just like if there is a definition of a clue that makes the intended answer works, then that is the definition you use. CLAY, GRASS,and HARD COURT all work. I've heard artificial used for HARD. I've played on asphalt, cement and clay. I would like to have tried grass. I was a lousy player and any good player would trounce me unless you were a weekend player only decent with ground strokes and didn't get spins, lobs, drop shots. I was a good strategist, never giving you 2 shots the same speed or spin, and always trying to get you out of position and running. Being a lefty also helped. Did Booby beat COURT and lose to King?

I enjoyed solving this because of all the naitcks or near naitcks that made me pause and think. The NOH YOSHI cross got me. H was my second choice. S was my first choice cuz I thought they might go with something sounding like Nessie. Which maybe they did? NOH looks much more Japanese than NOs. Doh.

A lot of POC. RESODS the worst, but still better than RESODders would have been. AIR crossing itself. Maybe its Catholic? KPS AYN bits of ick. HARD KNOCKS the somewhat lonely sparkle.

Z 12:19 PM  

@Frantic - I understand your reaction, but the California Raisins singing I Heard it through the Grapevine hits an absurdist sweet spot for me. Maybe if that emu sang and danced I’d hate those insurance ads less.

I did not now the chemical symbol for tin and yet STANNIC was easy here. No idea why except maybe it’s crossword friendly letters means it’s an LFC for me.

Wikipedia says “KP" can be either the work or the personnel assigned to perform such work. In the latter sense it can be used for either military or civilian personnel assigned or hired for duties in the military dining facility excluding cooking. Still, some sort of rocket science “kilometers per second” clue would still be my KPS preference.

@Nancy - Not that you actually asked, but back acne.

t 12:23 PM  

Brutal for a Tuesday.

jae 12:50 PM  

Medium. Same WOEs as many of you...HATTON, LEE (as clued), ROC, ANA (as clued), but the crosses were fair.

Pretty good Tues., liked it, although KPS is not good.

Pete 12:55 PM  

Can we all stop going on about the TV Commercials we find annoying, if not simply because none of you have any sense whatever - the SimplySafe Burglar is the all time winner. Let's all agree to that and get back to discussing the color of hay, which is green when good, and degrades to brownish yellow is it ages and becomes less good.

BACNE is indeed acne on the back but is also a tell-tale sign of steroid usage, though Mike Piazza would disagree.

JD 12:57 PM  

Stannic/Roc. Not much trouble elsewhere. Puzzle had sort of a '90s feel. Could see the younger me solving on paper and yelling Hurry Up to the kids getting ready for school. Loved the theme.

jberg 1:04 PM  

I’ve probably spent ca. 200 days in London over the past 40 years, but never heard of HATTON Garden. Not much up on my Popeyes either, so I tried SEA doG, then changed it to SEA dAG, figuring that was some kind of accent. OTOH, I know what NOH is (but give me kabuki!), and STANNIC was a gimme when STANNous wouldn’t fit No idea about those two old TV programs. I ran the alphabet and saw you could be swatting for STAgs or STARS, and the latter seemed more plausible, so that was OK.

@Panlo, you ran a resort with a pig farm on it?? Tell us more!

Teedmn 1:04 PM  

Definitely a Wednesday solve for me and of course it was that NW that sucked up the time. HAG was my first entry but I erred in thinking "Ventilate thoroughly" could be Aerate. NTH let know I was wrong but didn't help in filling in AIR OUT.

ROC is a TV show? Never heard of it. Or Jeanette LEE. Or ANA de Armas. I haven't yet nailed YOSHI into the memory banks and SEGA is often a SEGA or SEGo guess though PARE made it less of a toss up today.

Thanks, Mr. Koiki and congrats on your sophomore NYTimes puzzle.

algiardello 1:16 PM  

Yes, bacne = back acne.

old timer 1:25 PM  

So much for my hope of a brilliant week of puzzles. It had some good points, and the theme is first-rate. There was just too much lameness. Not only the AIR/AIR cross, but OKTHEN and RESODS and a lot else just grated on me. And what in blazes is BACNE?

I knew COVENT Garden was wrong, and HATTON did come to mind. Probably because I stayed so often at a hotel on Southampton Row, and a regular pre- or after-breakfast walk was from there to the City, taking every back street available. So I have walked down HATTON Garden more than once.

My hotel ended up closing or rebranding. Too bad, as it was in walking distance to the theatres, and the City, and the Museum, and indeed my favorite London pub, which drew the perfect pint of Young's and had good food too.

burtonkd 1:53 PM  

@A - terrific post on black tennis players!

@Roo - total wavelength meld with you today. Chuckled at HOSERS. Plus, watching billiards may sound as exciting as watching (green) paint dry, but is actually fascinating. The execution of the strokes, plus the mastery of planning how the cue will lie 9 shots in advance. I try to guess what they will do, then inevitably they come up with something much more ingenious. Plus, where would xwords be without MASSE and CAROM?

Spyguy 1:55 PM  

Interestingly, both my sister and I had Tuesday PRs on this puzzle. There were some obscure proper names, but didn't even notice them with the crosses.

Tim Aurthur 2:15 PM  

To @Rex's point about "what matters," the NYT puzzles started during WWII with the Sunday and then in the 50s with the dailies. They were so topical that each puzzle was a mini-current events test, which is why they're hard to solve now, since so many references have faded into obscurity. The intent obviously was to help people keep up with the news, whereas now the puzzle is more to make us forget about the news, which is why during the last four years I've appreciated them so much.

chefwen 2:23 PM  

@Frantic 8:15 “There were a few things that gave me paws (and that makes it difficult to type)”. You always find a way to crack me up! That ones going to keep me chuckling all day.

Shoulda timed myself, must have been right in my COURT and I’m not a tennis player. Finished this one faster than Mondays. I didn’t know HATTON but did know the SEA HAG. Just got lucky with STANNIC/ROC.

Fun puzzle.

mbr 2:32 PM  

Barbara S. 11:21am: No, I never saw that movie, but I did remember being intrigued by the Hatton Garden burglary when the film came out. Will probably rent it just for the cast.

pabloinnh 2:55 PM  

@jberg-Well, I say "resort" for want of a better word. We appealed to people who just wanted the basics, about twenty cabins with no tv's or phones and fireplaces for heat. About half had kitchens but we also ran a three meal dining room, and some years we had a few pigs just to help with disposal of kitchen slops The pigs were kept far away from most things but fairly close to the tennis courts, which was definitely a homemade affair. I built the fences around it and set the net posts and did the maintenance, which as I said was considerable.

One year after closing (labor Day) three pigs escaped and wound up rooting in one end of the courts, which were soft after a rain. This did not please me.

Getting the pigs into a truck to take them away for processing was always nearly impossible, but that was one year I did it with a smile.

Another Anon 3:49 PM  

Never been to London, or even England, but HATTON was a gimme.

TTrimble 3:55 PM  

@Anonymous 11:58 AM
Surely you're not claiming she says she's black on account of Indian ancestry? Your sentence came out garbled, so I'm not sure what you're saying.

But no matter -- her mother is Indian, and her father is black and came from Jamaica. To the best of my knowledge she has never claimed otherwise.

Frantic Sloth 4:09 PM  

@chefwen 223pm Haha. Happy to oblige, and thank you for finding my silliness amusing, as I usually crack myself up more than anyone else. Doesn't say much for you, however. 😘

@pabloinnh 255pm That resort sounds utterly charming. I can only hope that when the pigs are taken away "for processing", it's not for something like this. But, I'm living in a fool's paradise. πŸ˜•

Newboy 5:26 PM  

Had a sporting chance of finishing today via crosses that were fair enough for inference. Appropriate that constructor is a sports writer. BACNE led me down the rabbit hole to this passage from Women’s Health (not among my usual reads): “ So...why TF is your back breaking out? “It has a higher density of glands that produce oil and sweat than other areas of the body, making it especially prone to acne,” says NoΓ«lle Sherber, M.D.” Apparently sports bras are the culprit, so once again Uncle Google saves my day! Apologies to @LMS for those errant quotes as I know better, but refuse to fight my iPad to correct them. And speaking of product placement, that iPad reminds me to thank the two posters for the recommendation of Evan Birnholz’s “That Makes No Sense” which finally did...after long moments of consternation, of course.

Hope the skies are clearing for EST solvers.

Our Climate Envoy Has a Private Jet 6:09 PM  

Never heard of Hatton Garden, Roc as clued, Lee as clued, dap, KPS ? The 2d clue was clever so there’s that. C-.

Anonymous 6:25 PM  

I just do not get Bacne or the clue. Even looking up definition of portmanteau! In case I missed something.

Z 6:49 PM  

@Anon6:25 - A portmanteau is the squishing of two or more words to get one word (think of how smoke and fog become smog). The skin problem is ACNE on one’s back, so back acne. Squeeze out the k and one of the duplicated AC’s and back acne becomes BACNE.

pabloinnh 6:54 PM  

@FraSlo-I bet that would be your kind of place. Also has a waterfront, boats and canoes, and live music twice a week (sometimes my singing partner and myself). We lived in an apartment in the very old barn in the summer and the new owners ripped it all out. One rainy evening I found myself entertaining guests from what used to be my living room.

I'm afraid our piggies met their appointed ends, and I'm always squeamish about such matters, but I find that bacon can excuse a lot of things.

albatross shell 7:38 PM  

Bowers played around here some, late 70's maybe. He sang that hog butchering song. Great little jingle. Typical musician, ran off with smartest, sexiest woman in town. Googled him. The gray hair was a shock. Can't imagine how that happened. Ha! He still has black locks in my memory. Mine are dark brown until I look in a mirror.

Unknown 7:47 PM  

It's so fun to power through a puzzle just about as fast as possible when Rex is challenged by it!

Eniale 8:21 PM  

My great-grandfather brought his family from London, where he'd been a jeweler in HATTON Garden, to South Africa right after the Boer War. And look, now half his descendants are Americans!

albatross shell 8:47 PM  

Bowers played around here some, late 70's maybe. He played that hog butchering song. Great little jingle that I had about forgotten. Typical musician. Ran off with the smartest, sexiest woman at the post performance party. Googled him. The gray hair was a shock. Can't imagine how that happened. Ha! He still has black locks in my memory. Mine are dark brown until I look in a mirror.

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

This country will never be united if the "blackness" of the NYT Tuesday X-Word puzzle is a legitimate topic for discussion. Period.

MikeB 10:29 PM  

I’m with you on HATTON Garden. I’ve been going to London on business several times a year for the past 30 years a(except 2020) and I have never heard of it either.

Photomatte 10:59 PM  

Riddle-me-ree? (23 Across) Who's ever heard of that??? Come on. Can we just throw three random words together, add a couple dashes, and call it a phrase?

Frantic Sloth 11:15 PM  

@pablo 654pm You're right. "Waterfront" is my magic word. I also have to agree about the bacon. 🀷‍♀️

@albie 847pm Never had the pleasure of seeing him in person. Back in the 80s a friend of mine made me a mix tape of some of her fave music and that song was on it. Quickly followed by the Scotsman song. πŸ˜‰

Maj. Walter Wingfield 12:03 AM  

Re: Black tennis players: unofficial list (may have egregiously left someone out - did this quickly) of active Black professional tennis players ranked above 300 as of 1 Feb 2021

Rank, Name, Country


11 Gael Monfils, France
21 Felix Auger-Aliassime, Canada
60 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
62 Frances Tiafoe, USA
177 Michael Mmoh, USA
236 Christopher Eubanks, USA
262 Ulises Blanch, USA
267 Dustin Brown, Germany
291 Darian King, Barbados


3 Naomi Osaka, Japan
11 Serena Williams, USA
16 Madison Keys, USA
40 Sloane Stephens, USA
48 Cori (Coco) Gauff, USA
80 Venus Williams, USA
91 Taylor Townsend, USA
160 Sachia Vickery, USA
199 Asia Muhammad, USA

Sources: ATP Tour (men); WTA Tour (women)

albatross shell 12:29 AM  

@photomatte 1059pm
Actually it has a long history going back to Mother Goose and before.
Google riddle-me-riddle-me-ree song for some modern takes. Then there is this:

Riddle me, riddle me, ree;

A little man in a tree;

A stick in his hand,

A stone in his throat,

If you tell me this riddle I'll give you a groat.

Answer: A Cherry.

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