Hit movie released as Vaselina in Mexico / SUN 3-28-21 / One feature of a perfect nanny in a Mary Poppins song / Candy featured in classic MythBusters episode / World of Warcraft spellcaster / Color effect in graphic design

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Constructor: Olivia Mitra Framke

Relative difficulty: Easy or Easy-Medium, depending on your moon knowledge (9:03 with a drink in me!)

THEME: "Over the Moon" — themers contain words meaning "elated" (i.e. "over the moon"); those words appear *directly over the name of a moon (of some other planet in our solar system)*:

Theme answers:
  • JOLLY RANCHER (21A: Brand of fruity hard candy) / ARIEL (24A: URANUS)
  • BLISSFUL IGNORANCE (40A: Comfort in not knowing, say) / GANYMEDE (50A: JUPITER)
  • "HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN" (66A: Song standard on "Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits") / TITAN (71A: SATURN)
  • CHEERY DISPOSITION (86A: One feature of a perfect nanny, in a "Marry Poppins" song) / DEIMOS (91A: MARS)
  • MERRY-GO-ROUND (113A: Classic carnival ride) / NAIAD (117A: NEPTUNE)
Word of the Day: PAI gow (Chinese domino game) (79D) —
Pai gow (Chineseη‰ŒδΉpinyinpΓ‘i jiΗ”Jyutpingpaai4 gau2) is a Chinese gambling game, played with a set of 32 Chinese dominoes. It is played in major casinos in China (including Macau); the United States (including Boston, MassachusettsLas Vegas, NevadaReno, NevadaConnecticutAtlantic City, New JerseyPennsylvaniaMississippi; and card rooms in California); Canada (including Edmonton, Alberta and Calgary, Alberta); Australia; and, New Zealand.
• • •

Well, what do you know? A good Sunday puzzle. Second of the year, by my count. Nice. This one actually got better as it rolled along. Not sure why that should be, but that's how it felt. Maybe it just took some time to sink in that I was actually kind of enjoying a Sunday, that I was finding very little to be irritated about, and that the themers were fun answers in their own right, as well as being part of a very interestingly executed concept. I don't think the full significance of the theme really dawned on me until I was done, because the puzzle was remarkably easy. I was just having fun slaloming through the grid, and then having a Lot of fun realizing exactly how many moon names I know. It was like all that crossword moon knowledge I'd picked up over years and years of solving finally paid off in one big moon rush. I found my fingers just typing out stuff like DEIMOS and TITAN without my brain really feeling like it was involved. My fingers were just like, "trust us." And they were right. I don't think I knew ARIEL and NAIAD were moons, but they filled themselves in easily enough through crosses. And the rest of the grid was overwhelmingly clean and even a little bouncy. There are "only" five themers, but actually there are ten, with the moons, and the immediate proximity of the moon names to the theme answers means that theme is actually quite dense in places; and yet the grid does not feel terribly compromised. The worst thing in the grid, FESTAL, comes at the most thematically dense part of the grid (it runs through three theme-related answers), so I can forgive it. That is how it should be—ugly fill should only appear where you are really boxed in. By that rationale, though, there should be no NFLER in this grid. There is no excuse for NFLER. There is never an excuse for NFLER. I was so mad at NFLER, I redid that portion of the grid (on the spot, no software help!):

Oh, I also really didn't like TYS, because I don't believe that abbr. has every been written out that way ever, ever. [Grateful sentiments] are THX, maybe, but not TYS ("thank-yous"??). Still, if that's all there is to complain about, then that's a Win for the puzzle. It's a bit on-the-nose, but yes, I was over the moon about this puzzle. 

Only a couple of mistakes today. Wrote in MANDMS (!?) instead of MENTOS (64D: Candy featured in a classic "MythBusters" episode). The word "classic" has meaning, and I am here to tell you that there is no such thing as a "classic" "MythBusters" episode. I barely know what that show is. Somehow MENTOS cause a Diet Coke geyser ??? Anyway, I thought maybe the show was going to bust the myth that green MANDMS make you horny (I would watch that). I also wrote in OUTSIDER instead of OUTCASTS, failing to pick up on the obvious (!) Latin plural in the clue (23A: Personae non gratae). I also just couldn't / wouldn't stop to figure out what the hell the clue on "ERAGON" thought it was doing (70D: 2003 best seller whose title is one letter different from a fantasy creature). That creature? The fabled 'EXAGON of 'ellenic 'istory (jk it's a "dragon"). I know "ERAGON" well, as my daughter went through a "read all the fantasy series esp. ones with dragons" phase circa 2010—she's got a signed photo of the "ERAGON" author in her room, no foolin'. But the whole "change this letter to a different letter and then scramble the letters and add salt to get a mythical creature"-type of cluing just makes my eyes blur, and so I inevitably move on and try to get the answer from crosses. 

Have a lovely Sunday. Good look booking your vaccine appointment (I'm in the long between-shot Moderna waiting period). Take care.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 12:01 AM  

This one flew by. Well, my version of "flew".

Clever title which was perfectly apt for the clever two-themes-in-one. I didn't know all the moons (looking at you, DEIMOS), but crosses helped, so not the problem they could have been.
Lots of themers usually equals lots of drecky fill, right? Did not get that impression at all here. Although, some of the PPP is bound to cause conniptions all over the place.

I can see it now:
DEVIL (as clued)
ROLEPLAY (as clued)

Sort of a WhoTF's who of the sci-fi-fantasy-video-gaming-woowoo universe.

I think the word "ploy" is kind of a powder-puffy euphemism for a felony, but whatever. ARSON, felony, crime, destruction, possibly death, overall mayhem, and....ploy. Yeah, that works.

I didn't know MOULIN ROUGE had an exclamation point in the title. Then again, if we're gonna talk about everything I don't know, we're gonna need a bigger boat.

Overall, the funnest Sundee in a long while, so I'm happy.


jae 12:20 AM  

Easy, clever, fun. Liked it a bunch!

@bocamp - I’m about half way through Croce’s Freestyle #596. About as accessible as the last one but still in Stumper territory.

EdFromHackensack 12:33 AM  

had an S at the cross of TAMALE and GUILE. TAMAsE and GUIsE. seemed reasonable to me. liked the puzzle. Full moon tonight, BTW

okanaganer 12:55 AM  

Per Rex: '...there is no such thing as a "classic" "MythBusters" episode'.


The Supersonic Ping Pong ball.

The Exploding Water Heater.

The Curved Rifle.

The surprising Bull in a China Shop.

chefwen 2:36 AM  

What an uplifting, CHEERY puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A tad bit on the easy side, but after Friday and Saturday’s puzzle it was welcomed. Had a little of thought involved with the moons, thank you crosses for helping me out.

Getting my second shot on Wednesday, SO HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN. Going to kiss that mask 😷 goodbye in two weeks.

JOLLY RANCHERS going on the shopping list, love ‘em.

albatross shell 2:45 AM  

I think this is the second time I've been fooled by the PAPAW tree, because it is the pawpaw tree. Accept no substitutes. Well, maybe next time.

Never made the connection to the planets, the moons and the theme because the title is not with the puzzle. I only go look for it when I need it to solve or get curious, and this was a fairly easy smooth solve. I enjoyed. The themers were solid but no joke, dad or otherwise, to them. So a bit on the boring side. Very much not a slog though. Did anybody check if the planets were in the correct order? I guess they were or Rex wudda hadda fit.

If Z. N. Hurston and N. deGrasse Tyson had a daughter would they have named her ZELDA NEALE?

MERRYGOROUND was a Wild Man Fisher song. I preferred Monkeys versus Donkeys.

Oh I see the planets weren't in order. Rex has been lowering his standards. Oh me oh my!

Conrad 5:54 AM  

Fun moon fact: DEIMOS and phobOS (the *other* Martian moon) have the same number of letters. Don't ask me how I know.

@Chefwen: Sorry, but the CDC recommends continuing to wear your mask indoors in public even after you're fully immunized. It's possible that a vaccinated person could transmit the virus to someone who isn't vaccinated. "Until more is known, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people ... when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households." (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html)

Lewis 6:28 AM  

Those five long theme answers, the ones starting with JOLLY, BLISSFUL, HAPPY, CHEERY, and MERRY (which ought to be five characters in a fairy tale) make me feel so good! When I read them in a row, for a moment – poof! – 2020 is gone! Try it!

That’s a gift enough from a puzzle, but then there’s FESTAL which makes me think of Festivus, which makes me think of Cosmo (Kramer), which makes me think of Brown (Helen Gurley), which makes me think of UPS, which has been in the puzzle three times since March 18, a lovely little crossword loop. FESTAL is a word I’ve never ever used in conversation, but, to me, it has such a nice ring. It now rests in my “try to use these” wordbox. Can a Christmas sweater be called a festal garment?

Then there’s a nifty new piece of learning. I liked having ZORBA in the grid because all the puzzle’s moons aside from ARIEL are from Greek mythology. In investigating ARIEL, I learned that most of Uranus’s 27 moons are named after characters from the works of Shakespeare’s and Alexander Pope. That’s a major “Who knew?” for me.

Puzzles are puzzles, yes, but when you keep looking at them, oftentimes, the pleasure expands. Olivia, your hard-to-make and lovely-themed offering today was packed with pleasure. Thank you for this!

bocamp 7:07 AM  

Thank you @Olivia for the rad Sun. puz; it was "far out", for sure! :)

Easy-med solve.

Another quick start in the NW, then slow and steady landings the rest of the way thru the solar system.

HAPPYDAYSARE on the way! πŸ™

The Perfect Nanny ~ Karen Dotrice & Matthew Garber

Wanted a nanny for two adorable children
If you want this choice position
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Play games, all sort
You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet and fairly pretty
Take us on outings, give us treats
Sing songs, bring sweets …

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Son Volt 7:21 AM  

Nope - not for me. I tried to like it - thought the theme was nice and well executed but when the overall fill is this bad in a Sunday grid it just a chore to finish. Love Zora Hurston and NAT Turner but then Facebook and Babs spanning the center and Mary Poppins?? Where was Rex’s usual SPEW about a puzzle being contemporary and topical. The two marquee answers here are a song from 1962 and movie from ‘64. Add ZORBA and we’re in the STONE AGE. I also didn’t like the Latin cover up for the PERSONAE plural.

Real drudgery today in a puzzle that should have sparkled.

Colin 7:21 AM  

"He likes it! Hey Mikey!!"

I'll add my positivity as well - I liked this puzzle a lot! Did this as we were driving along the NJ Turnpike to go visit with the in-laws (no, I was not driving!).

It took me a while to get the theme. I saw all the moons, but not until I had completed about the fourth "happy" themer did I make the over-under connection. This was a very clever construction, with good fill.

Vincent Collazo 7:23 AM  


Unknown 7:50 AM  

This puzzle was so ridiculously easy I couldn't wait to read your comments skewering it. Well, I got that wrong.

At this point I only do the NYT Sunday puzzles out of habit. I think they have deteriorated significantly and now are just boring.

P. Rozelle 7:55 AM  

A small nit, but referring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as "Tampa" is a bit like referring the New England Patriots as "Boston" or "Foxborough" or the Minnesota Vikings as "Minneapolis." Tampa Bay is a metropolitan region that, while it may include the city of Tampa(as well as other cities), is a distinct entity. And even though the stadium where the team plays is within the city limits of Tampa, the team, by choice of name, has deliberately identified itself with all municipalities in its region, not just one.

Barbara S. 8:00 AM  

Living with someone who works in the field of planetary science helped with this puzzle. Not that I asked him anything, but over the years I’ve learned a lot without ever actually studying any of it. Three of the moons were gimmes (GANYMEDE, TITAN and DEIMOS) and the other two were not much harder once I had a letter. I’m sure I must already have said how much I like looking through my husband’s TELESCOPE at all the cosmological wonders he shows me. One of my favorite sights is Jupiter with the four moons discovered by Galileo: GANYMEDE, Europa, Io and Callisto. Just stunning. I’m a bit cavalier about reading the titles of Sunday puzzles and I grasped “moon” without fully taking in the “over the” part. That meant that I didn’t understand the theme while solving and only figured it out afterward when looking over the completed grid. I liked the positive vibe from all the joy and delight in the themers. I briefly wondered about the vaguely theme-related answers outside the themers: TELESCOPE, GEMINI, UFOS(?), JOYS. I decided they were an enhancement rather than a bug.

I wonder if everyone knows the story behind the book ERAGON. It’s by Christopher Paolini, who was about 15 when he started it. His parents conveniently owned a publishing company and they published it when he was 18 or 19. Christopher did some promotion in schools and libraries and the book got a bit of distribution, and then the son of our old friend, Carl Hiaasen, came across it and thought it was great. Hiaasen showed it to his publisher, Knopf, who was so keen that they published it and its three sequels! The four books make up the “The Inheritance Cycle”. So, wow, boy-author makes good! I was in the book trade when ERAGON first came out from Knopf and it sold like hotcakes.

If I never do another XW-related thing, I’m going to memorize the name of that damned Nintendo dinosaur (YOSHI, YOSHI, YOSHI).

Today there’s a passage by MARIO VARGAS LLOSA, born Mar. 28, 1936.

“And on the horizon, along the Cordillera where rock and sky met, there was that strange color, somewhere between violet and purple, which he had seen reproduced on so many Indian skirts and shawls and on the woolen bags the campesinos hung from the ears of their llamas; for him it was the color of the Andes, of this mysterious, violent sierra.

Besides, thanks to these hills, Naccos* had an aura, a magic power. Danger always attracts us. Doesn’t it represent true life, life that’s worthwhile? But security is boredom, it’s stupidity, it’s death. These mountains are full of ancient tombs. Without those presences there wouldn’t be so many spirits in this part of the Andes.

In the old days people had the courage to face great troubles by making sacrifices. That’s how they maintained the balance. Life and death like a scale with two equal weights, like two rams of equal strength that lock horns and neither one can advance or retreat.”
(From Death in the Andes)

*In the novel, Naccos is a small Andean town.

mmorgan 8:10 AM  

Well... I was sure this was one Rex would hate hate hate. Guess not! I didn’t know any of the moons, but it didn’t matter since the puzzle was so extremely easy (at least for me) that they all got filled in magically through crosses. But I thought the theme was just moon names and didn’t even notice that all of the answers above them represented states of elation. Oh, now I get it! I just thought they were random long answers. Oops! Okay, I like it a little better now.

I don’t mind NFLER because I barely know what the NFL is so I’m always proud of myself when I get that even though it’s pretty common crosswordese.

Declanmcman 8:13 AM  

Two points:
Rex, you only have to change a letter to turn Eragon into Dragon, not scramble the letters.
Tampa iBay is the 2021 NFL champion, not Tampa.

Tom T 8:29 AM  

Three consecutive days of best time for me--on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I hope it's not connected to the fact that I gave up alcohol this year for Lent! :-)

I liked FESTAL, too; not to mention how well it compliments JOLLY, BLISSFUL, HAPPY, CHEERFUL, and MERRY.

I was BLISSFULly IGNORANT of all these moon names, so I'll say "TY" for crosses and for learning new stuff. Fun puzzle.

Mr. Cheese 8:31 AM  

I got a big charge out of 13D... I don’t know why!

Mary Sofia 8:39 AM  

I'm really bad with moon names, so that made this frustrating for me, BUT-- I did inadvertently come up with a mnemonic device for the moon of Jupiter in this puzzle. It was the first one I got, before I'd figured out the theme, and I looked at the fill and thought "Georgia, New York, Maine, Delaware? I don't know what those states have to do with each other, let alone with Jupiter." Then I looked at the title and felt stupid, but fortuitously so.

GILL I. 8:46 AM  

Now I want to sing "FLY ME TO THE MOON."
Did I know all of my moons? Why yes...I did. Cool beans
I liked FESTAL because it reminds me of the "Festival de San Fermin" in Spain. Crazy week of drinking, running with the bulls in Pamplona and remembering Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I suffered BLISSFUL IGNORANCE because I was young and enjoyed life without a mask in those days.
Nice Sunday that made for a MERRY CHEERY day. I like that WILD BIFF AREA.

Day three up-date on second dose of Moderna.....I had three naps. Yep....couldn't keep my eyes open. No sickness or feeling ill, just tired AND craving for food!!!! The day before, I made a tuna sandwich and yesterday I wanted a cheeseburger. I went to In-N-Out Burger and ordered one of those double-double things and damn if I didn't eat it all. I've been know to not even be able to finish a little White Castle burger ....but good gravy, I've got the cravings good. Last time I had them, I was pregnant and I sure as hell ain't pregnant now. Maybe some of you smart doctors can explain? Oh....I also dream in color......

Birchbark 8:47 AM  

TELESCOPE MAGE. According to my Farmer's Almanac, tonight (or to be precise, today at 12:48 CST) the moon is full.

All of these celestial names and positive adjectives are FESTAL in the finest sense of that fine word.

@Rex, if you had a garage sale that sold words, I would go to it. I would see FESTAL priced at 25 cents, keep a straight face at the point of sale, take it home and put it right in the middle of the living room. And the whole world would soon know, because you'd see my living room featured in Architectural Digest as one of "Ten Living Rooms to Watch."

Nancy 8:47 AM  

This theme was way over my head, both figuratively and literally speaking. It wasn't just that I couldn't identify the various moons of the various planets. Oh, no -- it was much worse than that!

I didn't even know that they were moons.

They all sounded like something else. One like a ballistic missile. One like a Disney heroine. One like a Greek nymph. One like the Greek word for God, maybe.

So already I've missed the theme -- even without the HAPPY words which appear over the moons.

And I certainly didn't notice any of them!

It seems that my knowledge of all things planetary is about as wide and deep as my knowledge of all things automotive. And always remember that I didn't have to tell you any of this. I could have gone to my grave letting you believe that I was the next Carl Sagan.

The rest of the puzzle was fine, if not exactly sparkling. But the hit movie released as "Vaselina" in Mexico is worth the price of admission.

Brian 8:55 AM  

Moderna starts with M and ends with RNA. Its stock symbol is MRNA.

kitshef 9:12 AM  

Things I seem to be unable to learn, no matter how often they appear in crosswords: ARI Melber, AVA DuVernay.

Things I did not know: JOSE Clemente Orozco, HENRY Golding.

(Funnily enough, none of those overlap with @Frantic Sloth's list)

Parsing issue: I had the DONE of 116a in fairly early, and later wondered what LOVE DONE meant.

I really dig the them, but the puzzle as a whole offered no challenge. It was like a really big Monday.

PS I’ll take NFLER over TAMARI any day.

burtonkd 9:14 AM  

I think this puzzle invented the "Zatick", PPP crossing at the initial Z.

Nice to see Rex in a positive spin cycle. OTH, for someone who complains about old skew, you'd think he'd be delighted by the current TY that I have seen in the wild. And the Mythbusters episode is 15 years old, so that is classic for a younger crowd.

Enjoyable Sunday with a lot of variety, wordplay and nothing that held me up for very long or arched an eyebrow. Under 2 Rexes is a day when the Happy Music is a Joyful tune.

Jolly Ranchers are some prime chemical engineering that must be designed with the specific shapes of taste bud cells in mind.

This puzzle has me thinking about a classic butterfly tattoo placement for some reason...

RooMonster 9:18 AM  

Hey All !
Dang Rex, denying your life of "Mythbusters"? You don't know what you missed. One of the best shows of all time. Clever, funny, scientific-y, learned a ton of neat stuff. And they blew up just about everything.

Other side of the neat coin, one-letter DNF. Argh! MOULaN. Dang. Maybe if I watched MSNBC, I'd've known ARI, not ARa.

As I was looking over theme, first reaction was double-letters over the italicized clues/themers, then saw they were all SYNs of JOY. Read them all, JOLLY ARIEL, etc., and still didn't get the theme. Joyful Gods? (Yes, thought they were Gods, not moons). Then read title. Aha, says I, Over the Moon. A double-wordplay that means Happy, with Happiness above the Moons. Neat. Also neat, the aforementioned double-letterness. @Lewis, is this a rare all (well, half, actually) themers have doubles thing?

Closed off W and E center sections, plus the block of cheaters in NW and SE corners, but very minor nits are those for clean fill. I'll take the clean fill every time. (And twice on Sunday) πŸ˜†

Some neat clues, nice fill, different type theme, makes this a very nice Sunpuz. I was LOVE DONE when finished.

Four F's

Eldreth 9:26 AM  

The Iphone NYT puzzle app doesn’t display the theme, so I only found out about it after the fact from Rex’s blog - a pleasant surprise! At last a decent NYT Sunday offering - very cheery indeed.

Raven Starkly 9:31 AM  

The iPhone app never seems to show me the puzzle titles...where do you find them?

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Really? With Zelda, Dungeons and Dragons, Chewbacca? With Back to the Future, 60th anniversary of Ebony, Ani DiFranco, Brian Eno, Ava Duvernay, Winnie the Pooh (whom I'd quibble is a literary character, or simply character) I think many decades of pop culture references are here.

Lewis 9:41 AM  

@roo -- I don't track double letters on Sundays, and in my regular tracking of the 15x15s, I don't remember thinking that theme answers either have a more or less double letter distribution than the rest of the puzzle unless it is theme related.

pmdm 9:44 AM  

Did not notice the synonyms over the moon names, which I knew in the context of non-astrological knowledge and which I got from the crosses. Even so, enjoyable enough Sunday. A bit surprised Sharp is as enthusiastic as he is, but good for him.

Robt 9:47 AM  

Tap the blinking i in a circle at the top of the screen to see the puzzle title and other info.

Z 9:51 AM  

A FESTAL bacchanalia with all sorts of Greek* deities and semi-deities prancing about while two DEVIL GEMINI sit over on the east coast glowering because they weren’t invited to the orgy. I see Greek Tragedy in this puzzle’s future. I assume it will involve TAMALE somehow.

That would be my only major complaint. All the salient theme material is in the west and so half the puzzle is filler and only filler.

*They are all Greek, aren’t they? And what is with Rex’s asterisk after his theme explanation?

Put me on Team okanaganer as far as Mythbusters goes. So many classic episodes and just about the finest laymen’s demonstration of the scientific method as you might find on TV.

MOULIN ROUGE! is strangely engrossing. Well, not that strangely. Nicole Kidman is almost always worth watching.

Anyone else ready to kvetch if 1A had ended up being dcon? Anyone wonder what bug killer is going to show up tomorrow?

@Barbara S late yesterday - I had heard that quote but didn’t remember that it was Charlotte Whitton (or wherever I saw it didn’t attribute it to her) who said it. She sounds like a great person to have had as mayor. I read the whole controversy part of the Wiki with some bemusement. The mayor of Dearborn when I started working there was a great friend to the Arab-American community. You couldn’t find an Arab-American leader who would say a bad word about him. Ten years earlier he had gotten elected on a platform that included “fixing the Arab problem.”

@A also last night - I have two theories as to why someone might not adjust for inflation. First, maybe they just don’t realize how much it matters or maybe even don’t realize it is something that can be done. Secondly, not adjusting for inflation makes your whatever look more successful, so it makes better copy.

Sixthstone 9:51 AM  

I didn't enjoy this as much as Rex, but I admit (like @mmorgan) that I completely missed the theme during the solve. I finished 8 seconds off my fastest Sunday and was like "moons" ok. Now that I see the theme, it is exceptionally well-executed, and I can appreciate that.

Lots of nice fill, and it was great to see long themers full of positivity. I mean, if it makes Rex happy, it must be cheery. I was a bit annoyed by so many 3-letter shorties (at least 30 by my count), but after a dry weekend at least I got an ALE.

bocamp 9:52 AM  

Side eye for TAMPA instead of Tampa Bay.

@jae (12:20 AM)

Thx; I'm on it!

Did Stella's "Tougher than Nails" yesterday (which, for me, was on a par with a typical NYT Friday). Tim's "Club 72 Freestyles" otoh usually take me days to complete.

@Conrad (5:54 AM)

Good reminder re: "CDC recommends".

@okanaganer 12:55 AM

That "bull in a china shop" is indeed a classic!

@Lewis 6:28 AM

Jewel of a post! Your powers of observation put into words are a "gift" within a "gift". 🎁

@Tom T 8:29 AM πŸ‘

@Mary Sofia 8:39 AM

Love mnemonics; seeing those states in GANYMEDE is a find and yes, if you can connect the states to Jupiter, you've got a good one. πŸ‘

p -39

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Teedmn 10:03 AM  

I had never heard of Neptune's moon, NAIAD, or ARIEL, of Uranus. Fun stuff.

It took me a moment, post-solve, to put the theme together. I had already looked at a couple of the moons and what was "over" them, but it didn't trigger the aha response while solving. I did finally parse "over the moon" as HAPPY and got it.

Somehow I can't picture Barbra Streisand singing "HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN." I only think of the Schlitz beer commercials when I hear that song, and I don't associate Barbra with Schlitz beer!

Nice job, Olivia.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

I too thought Rex was going to destroy this puzzle, both from a difficulty level and a theme perspective. It was so easy to fill that the "elated" synonyms truly went unnoticed. And if you don't know your planetary moons, which I assume most people do not, then the theme was even more irrelevant, as it came down to just getting the crosses. With all due respect to the constructor, there was little enjoyment in this one for me.

Johnny Mic 10:13 AM  

Also totally missed the theme, but I enjoyed this puzzle more than any in recent memory. WoW, Hyrule and Yoshi in the same puzzle?! That's for me. I do have one nit though, maybe someone can explain why it's not an issue. The 1A clue uses the word "product", but I think of RAID as a whole line of products. Like, a RAID brand ant TRAP is a product, RAID on its own is not. Someone tell me why I'm wrong so I can think this puzzle is pretty much perfect.

Z 10:15 AM  

The PPP didn’t strike me as skewing old either. You can’t get much more recent than the 2021 Super Bowl, and ARI Melber has a nightly show right now. Selma and Crazy Rich Asians are also from this decade. I don’t mind dated PPP, I mind when the PPP stops in 1993 or, worse, when it skews dead. This puzzle is very balanced so no complaints from me.

Ask someone from Southfield or Melvindale where they are from and they are likely to say “Detroit” because they know that everyone thinks “Detroit” encompasses the 5.5 million people in the metro area, not just the 700,000 residents in the city. TAMPA is fine as clued.

I realize iPhones are getting bigger and bigger but I cannot fathom solving on my phone. What happens on the phone when the grid has a visual element to it? Is that just lost? And a Sunday puzzle no less. What percentage of the puzzle appears on your screen? I am at once amazed that you solve on your phone while I pity you for solving on your phone.

Z 10:18 AM  

@Johnny Mic - If you go to the store and ask someone where the RAID is they know exactly what you want and it isn’t ant traps.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

I had SNOt instead of SNOW for "Cold shower?" :D which threw me off on the fruit answer for a few.

Carola 10:24 AM  

Very easy, nifty theme. I caught on with BLISSFUL GANYMEDE (was he really, after Zeus snatched him up?), went back and noted JOLLY ARIEL, and looked forward to finding the other elated moons. My favorite juxtaposition was the personality change of CHEERY DEIMOS (which means "panic"). Also liked the parallel TELESCOPE and space traveler CHEWBACCA.

@Conrad 5:54 - Me, too, for "Phobos or DEIMOS?" Checking the first cross, I "confirmed" DEIMOS with fDa :)

@Barbara 8:00 - Thank you for the ERAGON background. Some years ago, in a sort of reversal of the usual book-gift-giving order, my middle-school-age nephew surprised me with it for Christmas.- and with his knowing how much I'd like it.

Guilherme Gama 10:34 AM  

Same deal with INNIE and OUTIE. I just filled in the ___IE until I got enough crosses.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Thank you @declanmcman, @Bocamp, & @P. Rozelle. I knew the blog would not disappoint. I knew there would be "It's not TAMPA" posts.

Hungry Mother 10:38 AM  

Glided through this one without noticing the moons; ironic, because I knew all of the known moons of the planets while in grade school in the 40s. Way too many names fo be real fun, but I’ll take the W.

The Joker 10:41 AM  

So how come our moon doesn't have a cool name? I'm surprised Earth isn't just "the planet".

sixtyni yogini 10:53 AM  

What Rex said.
❤️🧩❤️ it and got “over the moons “ afterward.
Smooth sailing.

SouthsideJohnny 10:53 AM  

Hard to believe that Rex has never come across TY as an online abbreviation for Thank You.

Harder still to believe that the Times’ editorial staff could screw up the name of the team that won the Super Bowl like only two months ago - I wonder if they do that stuff on purpose as some sort of in-house running gag. If so, maybe we’ll see the team that won with Aaron Rogers as QB as the clue for GREEN.

Possession of Marijuana is unfortunately a federal crime, no matter which state the individual is located in - so the clue for 110A pretty much seems to me erroneous (which is not at all surprising or hard to believe).

Mary McCarty 10:55 AM  

kitshef: LOVE DONE: that time when you gotta have a cigarette...

Qpwoei 10:57 AM  


tkincher 11:02 AM  

"'Diet Coke and Mentos thing'? What's that?"

Rex, you're one of today's lucky 10,000! https://xkcd.com/1053/

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

I don't know my planetary moons, but I do have at least a passing familiarity with lots of different mythology, so guessing names here was not particularly difficult. Flew through this one as fast as I could write in the answers. A smoothly executed theme in retrospect, but not particularly exciting.

A few big (for me) nits to pick: The singular of TAMALES is TAMAL. In the same vein (and probably a tired one at this point, but it always bothers me), N and Γ‘ are different letters. Different sounds. Stop crossing them. I would be OVER THE MOON if I saw a puzzle that crossed NIΓ‘O with AΓ‘O for once.

P.S. Just because I haven't seen "Citizen Kane" and have only the barest familiarity with it doesn't mean I reject its status as a classic...

What? 11:11 AM  

Pretty good compared to recent Sunday’s (not a great compliment). At least I learned the names of many moons which I’ve completely forgot. πŸ₯΄

Nancy 11:22 AM  

@Teedmn -- You can't picture Barbra singing HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN? Here she is. Enjoy.

This was the first and only version of the song I knew for years and years. So I was gobsmacked to learn many years later that originally it had been the song for someone-or-other's political campaign (I forget now) and that it had originally been written to be sung about five times as fast as Barbra's version.

Nancy 11:26 AM  

@kitshef (9:12) -- LOVED ONE was a DOOK for me, too. In my case, I wanted LOVE DOvE. I didn't write it in, though, because I couldn't imagine origami in the shape of a CRAvE.

Bobblehead Doll 11:27 AM  

Can anyone explain the clue for LIE = Be on the level ?

G. Weissman 11:48 AM  

This puzzle is far too easy, and finding out after the fact about the theme words above the names of the moons does not increase my estimation of it. This was a too-easy blah.

Patricia Hughes 12:14 PM  

Use ty all the time as text shorthand. Enjoyed the puzzle - started from the bottom so I was at Titan before the brains kicked in on moons.

Masked and Anonymous 12:24 PM  

Luved the theme idea. And havin themer moons right over the happiness themers can really end up moonin U with desperate stuff, in certain blissful areas.

staff weeject picks: That there INE, SYL, SML weeject stack. These lil darlins all aligned, like little far-out orbs, due to puttin BLISSFUL smack on top of GANYMEDE. Wondrous Ow de Speration gamma rays immediately emanated. Good stuff.
Symmetric(al) ANI,MET,PAI obviously had to be distant runners-up, due to that perfectly-acceptable MET weeject splatzed in the middle. Good try, nonetheless.

Not real many longballs left over, after the smoke and mooners clear, but M&A really admired: CHEWBACCA. LOVE DONE. MOULIN + ROUGE. GEMINI (stars amongst the moons). STONEAGE. TELESCOPE (becuz of its moon-viewin potential). UFOS (nice weird clue -- The Australiens would be sooo proud).
Also liked startin right out with yer Scrabbly Z and J in the NW. Twerky.

fave ?-marker clue: {Piece de resistance?} = OHM. It's not often, that M&A falls for a French-tickler-style clue.

Thanx 21 times 21 times, for the fun TON, Ms. Framke darlin.

Masked & Anonym007Us


susan 12:32 PM  

Two questionable clues-I don’t think you wear a sarong to a luau nor is the Confucian path the Tao. In my opinion!

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

My knowledge of moons is minimal, at best, though I was able to guess and fill everything in correctly. Embarrassingly, I completed it without any mistakes, but didn’t get the “aha” moment other than “gee, we have a bunch of moons with something going on over them.” Am not sure how I could have missed that it was all “happiness.” Now that I know what they were doing, I like the puzzle a lot more!

burtonkd 12:48 PM  

@Bobblehead Doll - your asking just made me realize the full extent of the LIE clue.
Be on the level literally = LIE down horizontally
Be on the level figuratively = tell the truth, opposite of LIE

RooMonster 12:51 PM  

@Bobblehead Doll 11:27
I'm thinkin it mean when you lie (lay?)(where's LMS?) down, you're body is level. My assessment.

RooMonster Chucking A Moon Guy

CDilly52 12:54 PM  

What a fun Sunday offering today! My only “complaint” is that I blasted through this in Thursday-Friday-ish time just walking through at a very constant comfortable pace and it was done! No complaints, and thanks to my loving husband’s passion for all things mythical and astronomical, I knew every lunar and space-related clue without thinking. Got a first chuckle at GANYMEDE because he never could spell it. He wanted to name a cat GANYMEDE, and I told him I wouldn’t object if he could spell it in three tries. Our cats are named Peregrine and Meriadoc (Meri and Pip) as a result. Meri (a/k/a “OC” -orange cat) is the librarian in my avatar. She was “his” cat, but tolerates my affections now that I am her sole source of food.

Anyway, great puzz, great fun. I have nothing but praise today. Have a great week everyone. I’m having a knee replacement tomorrow-my second. Hoping for the same fabulous result as the first one, but I will be out of it for a while.

MichGirl 12:57 PM  

I'm in the minority this week, did not enjt this puzzle at all, maybe because I didn't cop to the theme until I was completely finished. I thought Rex rould bemoan its dated vibe but I guess old school D&D redeemed it for him. And either I'm getting better or the puzzles are getting easier, but I miss puzzles that took me all the way through at least one Sunday morning coffee.

johnk 1:00 PM  

I'm with you on TAMALE. I get so tired of that traditional ignorance. No agreement from me as to the tilde, however. In a puzzle grid, Ns is Ns.

Masked and Anonymous 1:04 PM  

First msg clean-up: "under", instead of "over". M&A has a tough problem with that there over/under concept, in outer space.

Plus, while I'm here …
Only minor disappointment in this whole superb rodeo was that sweet runty IO, which did after all bother to show up for the puz, didn't get somethin happy splatzed on top of it. At least a nice lil HAR-cap woulda been appropriate, but all IO got was the Attorney General on abbreveoids. [See 86-A positIOn.] Oh well, that's star biz…


JC66 1:05 PM  


Good luck tomorrow.

Leon 1:12 PM  

Having read The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in college certainly helped with 71a.

Maybe . . . 1:13 PM  

No, no, no, no, chefwen! Please do not kiss your mask goodbye, except indoors or outdoors with other also fully vaccinated close friends and family or outdoors not near others at all.
Keep it for normal encounters with the rest of the population going forward, at least until herd immunity.

johnk 1:18 PM  

The 2121 SB champs are the TAMPA BAY Buccaneers. They aren't the TAMPA Buccaneers any more than the 2011 champs are the Green Packers.
And although the puzzle has some likeable aspects, the theme is weak. Five moons don't shine. I would have liked to see some lunacy in the puzzle formation beyond five italicized planets.

Unknown 1:22 PM  

Yes, actually enjoyed--and completed--this one!

Z 1:43 PM  

re: TYS - I think people are missing Rex’s point. THx is the most common one I see, but TY is out there. What neither Rex nor I have ever seen is TYS. The clue is written to justify the answer but it is an ugly POC.

Let’s see, a Nahuatl word that’s been adapted into Spanish that has now been adapted to follow English pluralization words. Yep, I just cannot get worked up over the TAMALE issue. It does remind me of learning about Concha Cal and that in other Spanish-speaking countries “concha” is slang for vagina, which then became especially hilarious when Concha Cal got caught in a LIE (not on the level version) about his leisure activities.

Lewis 1:47 PM  

@cdilly -- Godspeed tomorrow and through recovery!

Frantic Sloth 1:55 PM  

@CDilly52 1254pm Thank you for introducing us to Meri and Pip. Always loved your avatar because of that OC face! Best of luck to you tomorrow and quick healing!

anon 1:58 PM  

There’s no excuse for “Tamari.” Th are is never an excuse for “Tamari.”

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

so, here are the number of candidates:
Uranus - 27
Jupiter - 79
Saturn - 82
Mars - 2
Neptune - 14

good luck.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

Kind of splitting hairs, while Tampa Bay exists, but it's just a body of water, not a terrestrial municipality; that would be Tampa. Green Bay, OTOH, is both. Any others?

Anonymous 2:10 PM  


- "In a puzzle grid, Ns is Ns."

Perhaps, but AΓ‘Os are definitely not ANOs. There's a very important distinction there (that I believe Rex has mentioned in the past).

It's all really just a pedantic pet peeve of mine, and I know nobody really cares, but I'm tired of ANO staring me in the face in my grid. NINO gave me that same eye twitch today, so I ended up putting FREIΓ‘D in my grid instead.

TTrimble 2:12 PM  

@susan 12:32 PM
Based on what I think I know, I have to agree with you on Confucius and the TAO. The spirits of Confucianism and Taoism seem very different, with much more emphasis in traditional Confucianism on ethics and society -- perhaps they could be seen as complementary in Chinese philosophy. Doesn't seem like a good clue though.

The SARONG thing elicited a shoulder shrug -- I put it in and moved on. Not that I thought it accurate -- that, I couldn't exactly say. The closest I might ever get directly to a sarong is to participate in a silly meme called "mathematicians proving theorems in sarongs". :-)

The Sunday puzzle seemed very smooth and easy: for me, hardly a moment of hesitation anywhere.

As others have noted, Rex's ignorance is on proud display in his remarks on Mythbusters. I wonder why he opines on things he admits knowing nothing about?

Anybody do the Acrostic? That also went down very smoothly. Not quite a PR on time, but pretty close.

APsychiatristWrites 2:29 PM  

No one entered into the aught vs. Naught vs. its contenders ought and nought. This homonymic accident of language needs to be mentioned. I guess since "ask" moved nicely into aught people just went on their way happy with the fill. Still, the linguistic accident is worth a comment

Martini Mike 2:32 PM  

GANYMEDE is the largest moon in the solar system, larger than Mercury and not quite as large as Mars. It would be a planet if not for the clutches of Saturn.

thefogman 2:33 PM  

What happened to Rex? This puzzle was nothing to rave about. Surely this has nothing to do with pot now being legal in New York....

Nancy 2:39 PM  

@CDilly -- Wishing you an uneventful surgery and a speedy recovery -- with the same "fabulous" results you had the first time. Good luck!

Crimson Devil 2:41 PM  

I thought the same, but obviously not with such authority: thanks Mr. Commish.

A 3:00 PM  

Happy Weed Appreciation Day! (No, not that kind of weed - the website was very clear about that. That weed has its own day.)

Odd coincidence that yesterday was the first day I worked in the yard. The weeds had taken over and I pulled up an entire garbage can full. Then today I find out I could have made chickweed and bacon pie! Eat the Weeds

I disagree with Rex about FESTAL - it’s a fine word - but I liked his redo to banish NFLER. I also thought of MandM’s first. But he’s wrong - “Mythbusters” is fun to watch, and that clue definitely had fizz.

Overall, I felt like I got up on the wrong side of the puzzle today. I have a very CHEERY DISPOSITION by default but this puzzle made me feel like a CYNIC. Glancing back over the grid it looks entertaining enough - OUTCASTS are engaging in GRADIENT ROLE PLAY with a JOLLY RANCHER! Not sure what GROUP ROUGE is but it sounds FESTAL. So does a MOULIN GREASE! mashup, featuring JOSE and the WILD TETRA. All this in a puzzle literally dedicated to delight, and yet….it’s as though all the glee was reserved for the answers, leaving the clues lifeless. POOH.

Out of the 57 Across clues, here are the only ones with any spark:
TELESCOPE/One taking the long view?
GEMINI/All star duo?
UFOS/Ships passing in the night?
GREASE/Hit movie released as ‘Vaselina’ in Mexico
SNOW/Cold shower?
STONEAGE/Time before computers, facetiously
STATE LAW/Determiner of cannabis legality

The other 50 were either neutral or actively drained the fun from their answers. “I’ll have the husk-wrapped dish, please.”

Oh well, at least I’m left humming HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN. C’mon, get happy!

I was very happy I got to view Jupiter’s moons in alignment during the 2020 solstice Conjunction through a Meade DS114 TeleStar TELESCOPE.

So thanks for the memories, and the lunar theme, Ms. Framke!

pabloinnh 3:06 PM  

Jeez, had to get all the way to @Leon to find some mention of The Sirens of Titan". We can't be the only Vonnegut fans around here.

@The Joker-I believe The B52's have the answer to your question:

"There's a moon in the sky
They call it The Moon".

Found this to be an entry-level Sunday, just kept filling stuff in and then I was done. Nice to see wo many synonyms for HAPPY all in the same place. Hope spring brings more of these feelings as things open up and we can decriminalize socialization, just not too soon.

Congrats to all who've had or are having your shots. A week to go to make Moderna #2 + two weeks, after which I expect to be immune to everything forever. That's how it works, right?

Thanks for a fun Sundecito, OMF. It was One of My Favorites.

okanaganer 3:06 PM  

@tkincher 11:02am, thanks for the xkcd link. Some of those comics are just great... science, irony, comedy... a lot like Mythbusters.

Teedmn 3:12 PM  

@Nancy, thanks for the Barbra link - I'd forgotten what a great voice she has. And as far as linking the song with Schlitz beer, well, I searched in numerous different ways, trying to find evidence of the commercial whose words I have memorized and I can't find anything. I even watched a 24 minute long YouTube of Schlitz commercials and, nada. (Though I was surprised to find that both Lee Marvin and The Who shilled for Schlitz, har.) I sang the commercial to my husband and he couldn't confirm hearing it. Am I the only person who remembers (or has made up) this ad?

bocamp 3:28 PM  

No prob with TAMPA; just a mild side-eye. Always use Tampa Bay or the Bucs. Same for TYS; use ty occasionally (not as much as thx), but've never used TYS (until now). Agree with @Z (1:43 PM), just a necessary POC, and not a very pretty one, at that. LOL

I Wonder how many TYS there've been in baseball? There's Ty Cobb and here's another one.

Got the Pfizer vaccine Fri.; 16 wks until the 2nd one. This strategy allows for more younger folks to get their 1st one before summer.

@CDilly52 (12:54 PM) πŸ™

pg -6

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

kitshef 4:03 PM  

@Anonymous 11:08am - go solve the June 1, 2016 puzzle from the archives and prepare to bliss out.

GILL I. 4:23 PM  

@CDilly: La mejor de las suertes to you.....

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

"The song is a standard that has been interpreted by various artists. It appeared in the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows and was the campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1932 presidential campaign. " the wiki

Joe 5:02 PM  

Be on the level: lie...what a horrible clue! But at least now I know one of the cards in a Tarot pack.

A 5:22 PM  

@albatross shell you tell ‘em - PAPAW is a person, not a tree!

@Masked and Anonymous, loved the “weeject picks” comments:.

@CDilly52, hope everything goes well and you’re up and running soon!

@TTrimble, I had no idea that “mathematicians proving theorems in sarongs” was a thing. Thanks for the eye opener!

@APsychiatristWrites, I wondered about naught, too, so I looked up its etymology:
naught (n.)
mid-14c., "evil, an evil act," also " a trifle," c. 1400, "nothingness;" early 15c., in arithmetic, "the number zero;" from noht, naht (pron.) "nothing" (late 12c.), from Old English nawiht "nothing," literally "no whit," from na "no" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + wiht "thing, creature, being"
Bottom line is the English are notorious spellers.

@pabloinnh, “decriminalize socialization, just not too soon” is exactly how I’m looking at it - we’re ever so close but we can’t let up now!

@Nancy and @Teedmn, I didn’t identify my “C’mon, get happy” link at 3:00. It’s Streisand in a duet with Judy Garland. Not sure it works as well as either of the songs individually but it’s awesome to see them together.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 5:37 PM  

Our moon does have a cool name. Selene.

jazzmanchgo 5:40 PM  

@Bocamp: There's been at least one other Ty in major league baseball -- Ty Cline:


Paul 6:25 PM  

I disagree with your love for this x-word. It was dull and easy. Shortz needs to be retire.

bocamp 6:25 PM  

@jazzmanchgo 5:40 PM

Well done! We've got two Major Leaguers and a Little League coach for a running total of 3 TYS. ⚾️⚾️⚾️

pg -4 (wheels spinning)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

albatross shell 7:52 PM  

@bo @jazzmacho
Cline is a Tyrone and not a Tyrus.
I mentioned recently that my brother named a son TY (and a daughter Casey). Ty was his official full first name.

Why thanks if you were serious. I was actually only semi-serious. PAPAW is used for the tree but not much in my experience. Garden catalogs and tree guides mostly use PAWPAW or else my mind adds a W. I was pissed because I did not know the clue's common names, so I spent some time trying all sorts of odd things before realizing it was a tree I knew quite well with a variant spelling. And with a great name like PAWPAW why would one need another one.
@A earlier
I have a wheelbarrow full of chickweed. with much more left to do. It's good in salads too. Dandelion greens will be ready soon. Dandelion and chickweed salad with bacon dressing should be pretty good. And as someone mentioned earlier the clue for DECODER was worth a chuckle at least.

I'm reading comments from the bottom up. I did not get the LIE answer. I curious if that gets explained. A good lie in golf might be on the level.

Pete 9:06 PM  

@Albra I'm usually horizontal (on the level) when I'm lying down

JC66 9:39 PM  

FYI, I'm watching the NCAA Men's Sweet Sixteen basketball. tournament and the UCLA point guard is Tyger Campbell.

bocamp 10:11 PM  

@jazzmacho (5:40 PM) / @albatross shell (7:52 PM) / @JC66 (9:39 PM)

Ty for all for the TYS! I'll add a former student of mine to bring the total to 6 TYS. 😊

pg -4 (and done in)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

albatross shell 11:22 PM  

Yes, I guess that works in a crossword sort of way. My head, back. and heels would be on the level. I guess I'm on the level when I'm standing too. My heels would be level with my toes. As a clue it's good enough.

We had the Confucious Tao discussion before. And yes the clue is accurate and Confucious does use the term. Lao Tzu uses it and is more famously connected to it these days. That he may be a created construct rather than a person is of no never mind. Someone who can read the language could give you a better explanation than me. I find Confucious boring, pedantic, and bland but only in comparison.

jae 11:41 PM  

....and there is also TY Pennington, the carpenter on the iconic TLC show Trading Spaces.

thisdaythatyear 1:52 AM  

Kinda annoyed at the use of tamale vs. either tamal (singular) or tamales (plural). Spanish is common enough in the US that I don't think I'm just being pedantic, but maybe I'm just being pedantic.

TTrimble 8:00 AM  

You have a point, but I think it's still slightly arguable. Yes, of course Confucius uses the term, but that doesn't mean the path of a Confucian is 'the Tao' (the Way) as understood in Taoism which is the primary meaning, so it could be slightly misleading. Clearly it's a pliable word.

C.S. Lewis also seriously discusses the term, but it would be a mighty stretch to clue TAO as "path of an acolyte of C.S. Lewis".

bocamp 9:22 AM  

@jae 11:41 PM

That would make it at least 7 TYS for the day. πŸ‘

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Amity ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

I have always wondered what a sunday-sized puzz would look like in an airline magazine. I saw that in this one. Part erudite gods, part cheap fill, and lots of hokey solutions. One in fact was egregious, 76A. To use an alternate spelling of pawpaw seemed like the essence of bailing on correctness to achieve a fill that could have been handled better.

OFL called out a couple of the clinkers (esp TYS) but I believe he also wrote the review under the influence of strong drink.

When everyone comments on how quickly they solved this one, it seems odd that they would then praise it, but then again maybe not. Let’s just say I finished this one much more quickly than a sunday puzz should take. By a factor of two or three.

There was some good clueing to be found, but they were moderated by the overuse of the (non-god) proper names.

No obvious Shortz cuts groaners (I’m still recovering from pesto/pasta) is worth something I guess

Purity of Essence

Burma Shave 1:33 PM  


and PROCEEDS with ZELDA to BEGIN his folly:
from this MERRY GROUP he just LOVEDONE.


Diana, LIW 4:12 PM  

Long (hey - it's Sunday) but JOLLY good. Less trivia that we've had recently. Yes!

Diana, LIW

spacecraft 8:20 PM  

Wow, I missed those "over" words completely! I thought it was just a list of moons--and so a very blah theme. Though I filled every square in correctly, this feels like more of a DNF than many I've had by one or two squares. And after coming here, I've gained ATON of respect for the constructrix. In fact, I think I'll make her my DOD. Eagle!

Congrats to Hidecki Matsuyama, the latest to don the iconic Green Jacket.

lodsf 4:42 PM  

Very late posting but . . . thought some here might like this Mythbuster explosion montage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msYHQOkrRHE

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