Neurotic condition for short / TUE 3-23-21 / dye chemical coloring / Letter-shaped girder / Cosmetician Lauder / One side in a college football rivalry since 1890

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: No idea (co-solved it on Zoom in a pretty leisurely fashion)

THEME: EXTRA CHARGE (60A: Unwelcome sight on a bill ... or a clue to 16-, 34- and 41-Across) — themers are ordinary phrases that have had ION added to the end, creating wacky phrases, clued wackily (i.e. "?"-style):

Theme answers:
  • IRS AUDITION (16A: Job interview for a wannabe tax collector?)
  • BOARDING PASSION (34A: What the surfing enthusiast has?)
  • RUN OF THE MILLION (41A: Name for a huge marathon?)
Word of the Day: ION —
1an atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge as a result of having lost or gained one or more electrons
2a charged subatomic particle (such as a free electron) (
• • •

Quick write-up today because I'm unusually pressed for time and also there's a Zoom recording and if you really want to know my thoughts In Depth you can always watch that. Long story short: it's fine. Certainly the idea is ambitious, or well-meaning, or ... you know, it's trying, and there's definitely a cleverness there. The execution felt mildly clunky to me as I was solving, as it seemed like an add-a-sound puzzle (which is often depressing, and on the heels of Sunday, potentially Very depressing—too soon!). I thought "hmmm ... something about ... shunning." After getting the second themer, Rachel and I tried to guess what the revealer phrase would be, and I jokingly suggested IONIZING, which obviously doesn't fit, but which in the end was basically right, or in the ballpark of right. But EXTRA CHARGE is better. There's no charge to start with, so it doesn't Quite quite work, but there is an "extra" bunch of letters that spell out a thing that carries a "charge," so, fine. Didn't like that two of the sounds were "shun" and the third wasn't. Didn't like that two themers steered you way away from the meaning of the base phrase, but the IRS one didn't / couldn't (hard to have IRS in your answer and not have it be tax-related). But there is a solid concept here, consistently executed at the most elemental level (it doesn't promise to do anything more than add the letters "ION" and it delivers on that promise). So there you go. A Tuesday that isn't a terrible disappointment. You should always be happy to take that.

Fill-wise, it's just OK. The worst part by far was the Scrabble-f***ing in the SW. If you can put a "Z" (or "J" or "X" or whatever rarer letter you want) in a corner and have it come out clean, great, but AZO is not not Not clean (64A: ___ dye (chemical coloring)). It's absolute crosswordese, and makes your "Z" utterly unworth it. And in such a small corner, you could've done ... literally anything. You could probably get a "Q" and a "J" in there and still have it come out better than this current corner if you tried hard enough. Here:

Also, the clue on OCD is gross. "Neurotic" has strongly negative connotations. You'd never tell someone with OCD that they're "neurotic." Connotation matters and "neurotic" just doesn't work for what can be a genuinely debilitating condition. Also, re: TYE—are people really named that? With an "E"? OK. But re: the TYE clue (43D: Actor Sheridan who co-starred in "Ready Player One"): having been conned into reading "Ready Player One" the book, I have no interest in "Ready Player One" the movie or any future Ready Player incarnations. Apologies to all who are named TYE, but consider TY. It's nicer. Good day. Oh, right, here's the ZOOM solve. Peace!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:08 AM  

After reading @Rex's write-up I looked up the expression "Damning with faint praise." The OED* gave as an example, "A Tuesday that isn't a terrible disappointment."

*Not that multi-volume dictionary. The Ornery Elderly Dude. Me.

jae 12:11 AM  

Easy-medium. Pretty smooth with a great reveal. Liked it. Above average Tuesday.

...speaking of MALCOM X, I highly recommend the film version of the Kemp Powers play “One Night in Miami” currently streaming on Prime Video.

Azzurro 12:22 AM  

Glad to see Rex call out the clue for OCD, which is a debilitating condition, not a “neurotic” joke as frequently portrayed. Otherwise solid puzzle for a Tuesday.

Sad day in Boulder. This senseless gun violence has to end.

tkincher 1:11 AM  

I’m all in on the gripes with that SW corner, but Ready Player One was a Spielberg movie which feels like enough of a litmus test to be non-obscure. It’s a fun film, anyway.

Frantic Sloth 1:30 AM  

I love watching Rex and Rachel solve together - especially when she really likes something that he really doesn't.
"I like that."
"Whyyyyy???" "Look at you laughing! You're fired!"

Good stuff.

As far as the puzzle, I agree with Rachel that this one was well done and fun - and especially fitting for the Tuesdee.

If you have a little disagreement with someone about seating arrangements, is that a TWEE SIT SPAT?

That's enough outta me.


Tale Told By An Idiot 2:03 AM  

Whee! The early hour of Rex’s post allows me to enumerate ( or enunciate) the many long e sounds in this puzzle before tomorrow evening! (I am on the left coast and Rex’s blog is not usually posted before I go to sleep.

I don’t know if there is a frequency table for sounds in the English language, as there is for letters*, but I was struck by the number of words with a long e sound in this puzzle:

Beam, deals, eden, (the?), twee, teems, alien, miley, idiom, easel, iding (this is not about letting your emotions run wild but about identifying something) , Delhi, ocd, Siri, iliac, aw gee, teeny, Ali.
Some get the sound with 1 e, some with 2 and some with an i. Sometimes the letter following the one e makes it long. If there are rules, they are elaborate, like so many other language rules.

* mnemonic for 8 most frequent letters in English: “Eton airs”. Taught me by my mother, who met my father when they were cracking codes together in Washington DC during WWII.

chefwen 2:31 AM  

I want to go up to someone and comment “you’re puppy is so TWEE” and watch for a reaction. I’m predicting utter confusion.


Fun Tuesday.

albatross shell 2:36 AM  

ONUS. Well at least I'm not an aNUS or an Anonymous aNUS.

Lewis 6:31 AM  

At first, I noticed the double E’s (5)(Hi @tale!), but then I saw, even more impressive, the five palindromes – NUN, EWE, POP, ALA, and ADA. That is rare indeed. Then, as a bonus, there’s the BOY/BAND cross.

Adding to the fun was the touch of bite, which the NYT puzzle should have on Tuesdays, IMO, but doesn’t always have. Thus, a most satisfying early-weeker. Thank you, Dan!

BarbieBarbie 6:42 AM  

Couldn’t disagree more, with @OFL that is. The positive parts. An AZO dye is definitely a thing. An ION is not a charge. It’s a particle.

I can’t pass judgment on the construction, but the editor who let this through is, as usual, sloppy on science. If NYTX doesn’t want to hire anybody with STEM sense then Will should at least ask somebody.

Anonymous 6:42 AM  

I gather "neurotic condition" seems dismissive or insulting, but officially speaking, obsessive compulsive disorder is a neurotic condition, aka a neurosis, and has been since it was first identified. Google search "ocd AND neurosis" and see for yourself.

SouthsideJohnny 7:10 AM  

I suspect a fair number of us may not have enjoyed the TYE vs. TWEE cross, which is borderline awful - especially on a Tuesday. I agree that the OCD clue is, at the least, tone-deaf (It seems like the editorial staff should be much more competent at weeding that type of stuff out).

I see the lovely Miss Garr is back with us today - I’ll bet she’s the most popular PPP of 2021 so far (and it’s looking like it could be a landslide based on the early returns). As a matter of personal preference, I would love to see the constructors and editors shun entries lie “AW GEE” and other folksy words and phrases - the cluing just always seems so awkward, I’m guessing because the answer doesn’t really mean anything, lol. What does “Aw Gee” even mean - how do you clue something that doesn’t have a meaning (if it’s not PPP) ?

Son Volt 7:31 AM  

Theme was neat - solid revealer. Liked RUN OF THE MILLION best. Overall fill was clunky I thought - not a real smooth solve. Needed DOZE to get AZO and TWEE to get TYE. Those are rough any day of the week but even more so on a Tuesday. Teri GARR a frequent visitor lately. Typically get Ides with the 15th clue. Just too much IDING, XER stuff.

I liked the gimmick here - it’s the other stuff that was flat.

Guilherme Gama 7:32 AM  

The OCD clue rubbed me the wrong way too. Considering this and all the "going out for a bit?" clues for COMA, the NYTXW really needs to set up some rules for medical conditions.

I mean, just yesterday we had ADHD clued as "condition that affects concentration, for short", which is perfectly fine.

kitshef 7:32 AM  

Black Sabbath is a band. An okay band, with some decent music and some not so hot. Green Day, on the other hand, are Gods Who Walk Among Us. Although Paul Simon remains the Best Concert I’ve Ever Seen, Green Day are a contender for the title. Some other great concerts:
Pink Floyd
Garbage (as an opening act for Blondie)
Peter Frampton (as an opening act for Cheap Trick)
The B-52s
Elton John
Soul Asylum (with Cast as the opening act)
Woodstock ’94.

Seemed like an unusual number of ambiguous clues for a Tuesday (that’s a good thing).
sOn before BOY
pago (pago) before BORA (BORA)
gull before ONUS
DatE before DOZE
angEL before EASEL
nosh before BITE
yale before ARMY
non before ADA

All perfectly reasonable wrong guesses, except maybe YALE (vs. Harvard), which apparently dates to 1875, not 1890.

Mike G 7:51 AM  

Really didn't like this one at all. The revealer was telegraphed, which is OK I guess, but the grid was so balkanized that it made for a lot of really bad stuff. I've never heard of AZO and don't care if I ever do again. But AW GEE, please don't give me AW GEE next to TEENY. It's just clunky.

Carola 8:06 AM  

Cute, especially RUN OF THE MILLION. I liked the variety of IONs -TION, -LION, -SION - and the on-the-nose reveal.

@jae - Thank you for the recommendation.

Barbara S. 8:17 AM  

1) Inflamed foot deformity?
2) Contaminated food allowance?
3) Fortune paid for a huge herd of bison?
4) What to do when the SEAL Team gets bored?
5) Description of the truck used by the Fort Knox robbers?

This was pleasant, so like the Sunday puzzle in its gimmick, but somehow this one landed more successfully for me. I was completely distracted during the solve because technical difficulties wouldn’t let me get into the app, so I had to print out the puzzle and solve it on paper. A few weeks ago, @Nancy gave me a strong recommendation to do that anyway, but I haven’t (yet) followed her advice, so solving that way still feels weird. (And if you solve in the evening how do you know if you got it right?)

I’m so glad the name MIDGE has gone out of fashion. Who wants to be called after “a tiny fly”? Barbie Doll’s sister was named MIDGE and so was my friend’s puppy when we were in grade 5. (My friend and I were in grade 5, not the puppy.) I tried to talk her out of the name MIDGE, alas to no avail. Can’t remember if the puppy was TWEE (hi @chefwen).

My only mild spot of bother was in the NW. I had AsA instead of ALA for 4D and didn’t know the university in 5D, so I was trying to get DEAs_ to resolve into “starts hearts”, a tricky clue to begin with. Suddenly thought of ALA and all was well.


Today's quotation is from AHDAF SOUEIF, born Mar. 23, 1950.

“My brother is conducting in Sarajevo, in the ruins of the National Library. I have seen photographs of it: the high ceiling and all the central floors collapsed, the marble columns rising from the edge of the abyss to support the charred scalloped arches, the atmosphere dreamy with the smoke of one million Ottoman books gone up in flames. And now, in the midst of it all, I see my brother, intense and concentrated. The moon and the stars shine down on him and his orchestra. His arms are raised, the baton poised in his fingers. A flick, a spreading of the arms and the music soars up like a great voice from the heart of the earth.”
(From The Map of Love)

Birchbark 8:18 AM  

PUMPS GAS. I know there's a lag between puzzle submission and publication, but it's been about forty years since a "service station job" included someone else doing the work for you.

Except in our village at the Standard station, where Ken Ostlund came out, pumped gas and cleaned the windshield until he died about fifteen years ago. He was friendly and understood the weather -- if you paid with a credit card, he said "Now I'll need your John Hancock right there."

At one point, the St. Paul newspaper did an article about how old-fashioned and charming everything was -- which led to BP realizing there was still a "Standard" sign somewhere in its empire. About a month later the sign said "BP." I don't think Ken was still around at that point. Just as well.

If you ever watch the movie "Grumpy Old Men" (or the sequel), partly filmed on location here (though most of it is in Wabasha, about 90 minutes south) you can see that "Standard" sign in one of the shots where they're driving through town.

albatross shell 8:22 AM  

Rex's complaint about EXTRA CHARGE:
You probably bought a ticket to get a BOARDING PASS.
You probably paid a fee to
RUN in a marathon.
You probably paid some taxes to get an IRS AUDIT.
The EXTRA works. There is a charge to start with.

oceanjeremy 8:28 AM  

Fully agreed on the SW.

I fell asleep before doing the puzzle last night, then woke up ten minutes before my alarm. Decided that doing the crossword was a great way to get the brain moving and get myself out of bed. That meant there was a fair amount of brain fog, which contributed to me staring at the SW corner for several minutes. I wanted DatE for 54D's "Go out briefly?" with no idea for 59A's "Spout (off)." (Pa_?) Finally I got IPOD and still couldn't figure out "Go out briefly?" even with DO_E. Ran the alphabet (mentally) and then finally found my aha moment with DOZE. After mentally plugging in 25 other letters.

If only 64A had been clued "Urinary tract analgesic" I'd have finished this a solid four minutes earlier. tells me I should have known this. I see AZO has been clued as a type of dye 38 times in the Will Shortz era, six times in a Tuesday puzzle (and once on a Monday!), and I have solved several of those puzzles myself. A little digging and I see they were crossed with easy words at the Z: aZalea, Ziploc bag, etc. If only I had paid attention...

@Rex: I also struggled with the Gen Z actor's name! But it would appear that TYE Kayle Sheridan is his birth name. It's not a shortening of Tyler or Tyson. It's not a chosen name for Screen Actors Guild rules. That's "the handle his loving parents gave him," as they say. I feel very strongly that it is a basic human right for people to be called by the name they want, and to spell that name however they choose, so let's let him spell his name TYE. (At least it's not SanDeE★).

@chefwen: If you told me "Your puppy is so TWEE" I'd say, "Yes he is! He left his plaid cardigan at home today — but he has recorded backing vocals on several Belle and Sebastian songs."

pabloinnh 8:36 AM  

Well, @joaquin stole my comment almost exactly, except he phrased it much more elegantly than I was going to, so good on him. Imagine starting every puzzle with the thought that it's going to be a terrible disappointment. Not for me, thanks.

Was going too fast to separate the ION from the phrase or stop to think about it, so I was pleasantly surprised by the revealer. Only snag was OMENS for "rising sea levels" which gave me the plausible SITSOUT for "hangs tight", not a big deal and only interfered slightly with finishing up, which also led to the revealer, which was an "added bonus", to use one of the expressions that most annoys me.

Very nice Tuesday indeed, DS. I'll forgive you the AZO, because some crosswordese is acceptable in a crossword puzzle. I found this Delightfully Satisfying.

GILL I. 8:48 AM  

It was a TWEE and stormy night and @albatross is not an aNUS. Do I need to BITE my tongue?
I desperately need a DAY SPA.
I like that BOY APE NUN little corner.
POP goes the EASEL.

Richard Stanford 8:53 AM  

I grew up in England and know TWEE, but I’d see it as more of an insult in common use like affecting a kid lisp to seem more cute.

Tim Aurthur 9:05 AM  

@Tale My hunch for the most frequent sound in English would be a non-sound: the good old schwa.

Banya 9:08 AM  

Uzo Aduba is such a well known name now that it would work much better in a Tuesday than Azo. Learn her name. She's brilliant.


Much Better. Or Put/Ted.

Diane Joan 9:11 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, especially the theme, being a retired chemistry teacher. I agree with Rex about the lower quadrant of the southwest corner. I would quibble with the clue for "LED". A light emitting diode is not really a bulb, although it produces light. At least it's that the puzzle's done, take a nice walk outside everyone!

Tye Pride 9:19 AM  

After your mini-rant about OCD sufferers (which I agree with), you tell me my name sucks and I should change it? You ain't woke, you a joke.

kitshef 9:26 AM  

@Barbara S. 8:17 - HOT CROSS BUNION made my day

@Birchbark 8:18 - I think there is some kind of COVID exemption in place temporarily, but the law in New Jersey is that you can't pump your own gas - the station attendant has to do it for you.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Lively Tuesday -- with some playful and tricky cluing of the sort you usually have to wait until later in the week to enjoy. Very little here was popped in automatically on my part. Even BOY at 10A started out as SON. And the clue for DEALS is great.

I loved the theme and thought the revealer was inspired. And the theme answers are very well chosen -- with IRS AUDITION making me laugh out loud. I can actually imagine such a thing and thinking that the government might be looking to hire OGRES.

If only all Tuesdays could be this good! Nice job, Dan.

alicat 9:40 AM  

Happy to see one of my favorite funnies in the puz. The quotation today from POGO is as pertinent today as in the 50's when my high school boyfriend would read POGO to me every morning over the phone on the wall! I miss the old funnies.

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

Re Rex's confusion in the video-

Ileal refers to the third portion of the small intestine (ileum). Iliac refers to one of the bones of the hip (ilium). They have different root words.

bocamp 9:45 AM  

Thank you @Dan; fun puz, even with the EXTRA CHARGE. :)

Medium solve.

Solid start in the NW, and with IRSAUDITION, it was easy to spread out in all directions. No major holdups; slow, steady progress, finishing at the DAYSPA.

Yogi BERRA, one of my fave all-time baseball players, and a very funny guy, to boot. (Top 20 Yogi BERRA Quotes)

Dominique ~ The Singing NUN (1963 )

yd 0

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

Hungry Mother 9:46 AM  

Crunchy Tuesday. The SW corner almost did me in before it didn’t. We spent our 25th Anniversary on BORA BORA, circumnavigating the island on our bikes, spent $500 on a wall hanging from an artist’s tent, and snorkeled the reef.

oceanjeremy 9:49 AM  

Oh, one more complaint!

POGO / ARGO is a Natick. Well, it doesn't cross on a vowel. But I'm not familiar with either Proper Nouns, and just guessed Pogo because it seemed the most likely for both.

I guessed correctly, but the point is you shouldn't make your solvers guess like that. On a Tuesday.

Lewis 9:51 AM  

@BarbaraS -- great ones! Here's one more:

[Compressible auto model for tight parking spots]

Lewis 9:56 AM  

And, @Barbara S. , that was one divine quote today. Thank you!

Birchbark 10:06 AM  

@kitshef (9:26) -- Really interesting law. I kind of like it.

burtonkd 10:07 AM  

Was there ever a bunion that wasn't hot and/or cross?

kitshef - you beat me to it with the NJ gas rule. NY has stations with full or self-serve and are priced accordingly. Some stations are completely self-serve. I only use them if I'm dressed up or have some other reason not to get my hands dirty. It feels like an eternity waiting for someone to come over to the car, perhaps I'm neurotic on that. I used to smirk at NJ residents who complained about paying for self service since their gas was regularly WAY cheaper than NYC because of low/no taxes (until Chris Christie raised them close to NY rates). With a family GWB discount, I could go to NJ with kids in the back, fill the tank, pay the toll and come out well ahead. Ah, life in NY...I feel like we should get bonus degree-of-difficulty points for raising kids here.

@Nancy - I followed one of the links for women constructor usage rates, and there you were with a nice pic. Like people on radio, I subconsciously construct a mental image of people here, then am sometimes really surprised. You were pretty much a match other than the haircut in that pic:)

@Barbara S - I think MIDGE is a well-chosen name to depict the era for The Marvelous Ms Maisel.

We seem to be on a string of LEDs, speaking of which we have a string of Xmas tree lights that can change colors for seasonal fun.

burtonkd 10:10 AM  

With the cornstarch clue (and others like it), I have the experience of immediately seeing the shape of the container, the exact colors and lettering style, and where it sits on my shelf and that of the grocery store, but it takes a while for the word to emerge.

RooMonster 10:12 AM  

Hey All !
Well, JOHN didn't fit for the ___X clue, what a disappointment!

Agree SW corner can bite me. My DNF spot. Had DatE, not knowing how PaP or AtO fit their clues. Dang. Better clue? (Although "Go out briefly" is a nice clue, gets you to the misdirection), "___ guys (them, said in a NY accent?)"

So, ACHOO is now the correct way to spell it? No more AHCHOO. Or AHAHAHCHOO! Har.

Liked the Revealer tying it all together. ION as a CHARGE, and it's an EXTRA piece added on to a base phrase to get a (Rex) "wacky" answer.

Gist of the dissenting group?

One F

rose miller 10:21 AM  

OCD is well known back to the 90s to be neurological rather psychological in origin.
Constructor must be elderly.

sixtyni yogini 10:25 AM  

I appreciate Rex’s comments - rant or rave review, agree or disagree.
Call him a critical thinker (🎯imho) or a criticizer, he knows his stuff.
(As an art academic, I personally place a high value on an honest opinion/critique.)

Today’s crit was spot on IMHO.


I enjoyed the puzzle a lot.

Hooray for us all!

Z 10:27 AM  

I’m team Fay Bee. And the entire pronunciation discussion cracked me up. I spent my entire professional career as “Mr. Z” because a weird Dutch name with a GT in the middle is bastardized by just about everybody at first. Aside from the occasional TWEE “Zed,” nobody ever struggles with “Mr. Z.”
In Rex’s defense, “Tuezzdays are going to Tuezz” is pretty much a base assumption, so A Tuesday that isn't a terrible disappointment. You should always be happy to take that. is actually high praise.

@Joaquin - OED - πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

@Anon6:42 - True, but both terms are used so derisively so often that I understand the reaction.

@oceanjeremy - ... he has recorded backing vocals on several Belle and Sebastian songs. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

On a serious note, my son shops at that King Soopers. He answered my text immediately, so the dread was short-lived. When he is not in class he does the grocery shopping/delivery gig (just about the perfect flexible hours job when working on a Masters Degree) so is in that King Soopers several times a week.

Total Novice 10:30 AM  

I'm not sure what it is, but something about this puzzle just felt impossible; I gave up after 20 minutes.

Still a rather inexperienced solver, but normally I can get through M, Tues, and W (even if I sweat a little), and I've found I stand a decent shot at the rest of the week (loved last week's Thurs and Sat!).

I appreciate the theme and themers here, but it's really the fill and cluing all over that befuddle me, even beyond the SW. I can't recall the last time I've thought about IBEAMs, so that was an awful trip-up right at the start; but CARPORTS (?!), BORA, SIRI, POGO, ARMY, HAM, even PUMPSGAS and ARMY... and of course PPP like FAWCETT... This puzzle just feels like it hails from a different planet, or maybe a different wavelength, as I've seen some commenters express it.

Do even more experienced solvers feel this textural difference, or is this sense of a difference all just the illusion of growing pains?

Tom R 10:37 AM  

Sorry Rex,m OCD is a neurosis. Most people who have it are pretty mild and manage just fine, but it can be fully debilitating and in those cases I doubt if you would balk at calling them neurotic.

Joaquin 10:45 AM  

@Z - Even though your dread was short-lived, I imagine it was enough for a lifetime. Glad your son is ok.

I'm not sure what the answer to all this gun violence is, but I'm pretty sure it's not what some are advocating: More guns.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

These write-ups are just Rex Mood Detectors. Sunday’s puzzle was horrible because it was just adding and A sound but today’s additional ION is just fine.

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Anyone from the hippie-dippie 60s or 70s knows that AZO dyes are the most common. T-shirts and yarns, esp.

The wiki (for what it's worth, references and all) indicates that OCD presents like a neurosis, although not with that term. If you type 'obsessive compulsive neurosis' into your favorite search product, you'll find that such term is used. Let the argument begin.

Newboy 10:53 AM  

Addition suasion action version aversion kicking in today Mr. Schoenholz. That Z in 54d/64a almost did me in, but an EXTRA CHARGE a through the mental alphabet dropped the penny. Thanks for showing me that the crossword alphabet does NOT end at stu!

Thanks @Barbara S for adding a prompt that @Lewis couldn’t resist and that will allow many to mentally stew as the day unfolds. (& the quotes have been an added joy)

Bax'N'Nex 11:09 AM  

What happened to the hyper-political correctness, Mike? Criticizing someone's name??? "Consider Ty"??? You should try "Sharp"... It's "nicer".

What a d-bag you are.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

just to clear up a confusion: yes, an ION is a physical atom, but it exists because it has an EXTRA CHARGE, i.e. not neutral. there are positive and negative IONs. dissolve table salt in water, and it becomes Na+ and Cl-. you end up with that EXTRA CHARGE only if you add the ION to whatever. the ION exists due to an imbalance of protons and electrons in the atom, thus the ION is the charge, not the atom.

A 11:17 AM  

Happy OK Day!

Pretty OK puzzle for OK Day. BOARDING PASSION and RUN OF THE MILLION were much better than OK, but the electricity went out briefly at the IRS AUDITION. Just one of many slightly “off the mark” components that pulled down the overall quality. Is ORE actually “mined to keep”? ALI clued with “Woman’s name that drops “-son”.” OK.

I liked some of the longer non-themers. DRYSALTS, CARPORTS, FAWCETT (faucet?), and PUMPS GAS all have wet/dry connotations. In the NE we have a BOY BAND. A NUN looking over EDEN. An ARMY of TRU OGRES RUN ASTRAY. Comic strips POGO and OPUS. Between SPLIT and HAM there’s a P E A. The Marvelous MIDGE Maisel. OK!

Hand up for getting held up in the SW with DOZE and AZO. I did learn that a small number of AZO dyes can become carcinogenic, which is not OK.

O.K. was first used in print by editor Charles Gordon Greene in the Boston Morning Post on 3/23/18. It had become a vogue to use abbreviations such as R.T.B.S. (remains to be seen) and G.t.d.h.d. (Give the devil his due). Greene was taking a jab at rival newspaper, the Providence Journal, and used the misspelled abbreviation O.K. - all correct. OK lasted because it was adopted by Martin Van Buren, whose nickname was Old Kinderhook, for the slogan “OK is OK.” OK?

Thanks, Mr. Schenholz - your puzzle was OK by me!

Nancy 11:31 AM  

@burtonkd (10:07) -- Thanks. The photo was taken by our very own @Teedmn when she was here for a NYC puzzle tournament. She apologized in advance for not being as good a photographer as her husband is, then took one of the better photos of me that's been taken in a while.

As for the haircut (and your big typographic smile about it) -- well, my bangs were perhaps a bit shorter than I usually like to keep them -- bad Jennie, bad Jennie, just kidding, Jennie -- but other than that there was nothing out of the ordinary. You were perhaps expecting braids? A ponytail? A pageboy? A chignon? Spill. :)

egsforbreakfast 11:32 AM  

@BarbieBarbie 6:42 am. I think you’re being a bit too tough on the non-STEM crowd at the NYTXW. The revealer says ....Or a clue to 16-, 34 and 41 Across”. EXTRA CHARGE is indeed a good Tuesday clue to look for ION. It would be much weaker and less fun to say ... Or a characteristic of some particles that appear within 16-, 34 and 41 A.

Good snappy, easy Tuesday to me. Thanks, Dan Schoenholz.

Jakowaco 11:36 AM  

Did it quickly but super frustrating for a Teusday!! Ewe for she may give you her coat!? Sits pat?!! Doze!!??


Masked and Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Basic but fun theme mcguffin idea. Revealer sealed the deal.

Weird little NE & SW corners. The Scrabble-twerkin in em don't bother the M&A, and the weeject stacks are great, but what's with usin the cheater squares in there? Was it becuz there ain't any good ???SC words? Unless one's heart is set on preservin FAWCETT/TWEE, I'd say go with FARMERS/TREE. Might be hard to clean up SREY then, but surely somethin will come to its rescue … or not. Hey -- just clue SREY up as {Yers on back up??} and move on.

staff weeject pick: AZO's a real strong candidate. @RP's JIF would also be pretty good. Kinda groovin on @Banya's UZO, tho.

Thanx for the Tuesday chargin-up, Mr. Schoenholz dude. Kinda liked OPUS & ONUS, btw.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

mostly @Teedmn's fault:

Lewis 11:51 AM  

@total novice -- I plopped IBEAM in without thinking, but when I started solving, I wouldn't have had a chance at it. It's showed up enough to where crosswords has taught it tome and it's automatic. Having several of these in a puzzle makes a huge difference in the difficulty level of the solve. So, to answer your question, I'd say today's difficulty today falls under the category of "growing pains".

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

I agree. Ion has the same importance to science as Chaucer does to literature (specifically OFL's area of expertice!).

pmdm 11:54 AM  

As a former OSHA employee, I am quite familiar with the term AZO because for a while (as I remember) its carcinogenicity was an issues. AZO and POGO are entries that many older solvers should be quite familiar with but many youger solvers might be clueless about.

It's come up before, but I'll repeat (with somewhat different wording). Crosswords are not scientific treatises and the entries don't have to be 100% accurate. This certainly irritates me and those who demand total accuracy, but that's just the way it is. If ION is used a certain scientifically inaccurate manner but reflects common (if incorrect) usage, that's good enough for crosswords. You might disagree (as I might). But that's the way it is. Sign.

And that's why I rate this puzzle with a thumb's up.

Frantic Sloth 11:55 AM  

@Barbara S 817am Once again, another primo themo list...o. When are you gonna start constructioneering, missy?? I don't get the "GIVE IT A MISS" saying though. Could be me, but I "blame Canada". πŸ˜‰ P.S. @Lewis 951am Also brilliant...hint hint....!

@Birchbark 818am Unless it's been changed in the last few years, the state of New Jersey has never allowed self-pump gas stations. (High @kitshef!) I could look this up for more details, but that's @Z's or some condescending Anonymouse's job. Or, you know, @burtonkd 1007am. πŸ˜‰

@GILL 848am πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ What? TWEE and stormy don't walk into a bar?

@Z 1027am ❤️ What @Joaquin 1045am said. Relieved for you and your son. Whew! And thank Gof.

mathgent 12:00 PM  

I liked it. Neat theme executed well. A little bit of crunch. But too many threes (21), crowding out longs.

The H should be capitalized in "Starts hearts, say," the clue for DEALS.

I like to listen to music while I'm sitting in my comfortable chair mornings. I read the paper, drink coffee, have a cup of fruit, and chat with my wife. I also read this blog. The radio station I've been listening to has gotten too annoying lately. More commercials and more annoying. So I just got an internet speaker. Since I have Amazon Prime, I get Amazon Music for no additional charge. I started this morning saying "Alexa, play Sixties music." Right now, I'm listening to Simon and Garfunkle.

jb129 12:07 PM  

This was a much more fun Tuesday than usual

albatross shell 12:08 PM  

The clue does not specify if you the driver or you the employee is doing the job. So the clue works in NJ or elsewhere.

If you did not know AZO the Z is gettable, but the last letter is just a guess between A and O.

@Anonymous 1045am
I think Rex did complain about the theme. He also explains why he thought this one was better. But that might of only been because his solving partner talked him into it.

@Total Novice
Yes it seemed a bit off and I had to jump around more than the average Tuesday, but not a lot slower. You can view the Rex video which shows how easy it is for a "pro". Hang in there. SIT tight. Your instinct for answers will get better. You learn more from the ones that cause stumbles than the ones that don't.

My brother, world's biggest baseball fan, named his son Ty and his daughter Casey.

Glad your son is OK. Sad someone's isn't. Glad it didn't happen at any place where my loved ones were too.

Sorry if I caused you or anyone else a one letter DNF. If it was just a write over, no apology.

Frantic Sloth 12:19 PM  

@Total Novice 1030am Perhaps I'm not the best (or even good) person to answer you, but that's never stopped me, so... in response to your question, yes and yes. I don't know how long you've been solving, but I've been at it since the early 70s - and others here much longer than that. And still every stinkin' one of us has, does, and probably always will get that feeling of WTF from time to time. The fact that you've already fared well at the end of the week is a good sign that you're well on your way to a lifetime of delectable lunacy that can only be attained through crosswords. Cheers! πŸ‘
Or what @Lewis 1151am said. πŸ˜‰
(You're likely to get more and varied responses that basically add up to "it ain't you".)

@A 1117am Is that 1918? I only ask because I've been dead certain and wrong about "obvious" so many times before... πŸ˜‰

GILL I. 12:24 PM  

@Frantic....Just for you!

TWEE walks into a bar with a steering wheel coming out of the fly of his pants. The bartender takes a look at him, a look at the steering wheel, and says "Hey buddy, you know you have a steering wheel in your pants?"
Twee response: "Yup and it's driving me nuts!"

Feel free to get up and groan.

I told everyone I need a DAY SPA....or maybe a drink.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

Birchbark, kitshef,
Nope, there are no special Covid accommodations for pump jockeys in the Garden State, They're still at it, as usual.
One story that tickles me to this day relates to pumping gas. On a shoot not so a long ago a colleague of mine kept asking me to accompany him to fill up his rental car. I had no special interest in such a job so I kept putting him off. But he persisted. And persisted. So I finally caved and off we went. Turns out the guy was terrified at the prospect of filling car with gas. He had never done it and didn't think he could manage it. Mind you this was man in his 50's. He has a PhD. In fact, his nickname in the building was Doc. And of course like so many PhDs not all that bright. That's one small effect of no self-serve in the Garden State.

Nah. Your explanation is a pity not a defense. Error has no rights. Besides,why limit the plasticity of "close enough" to science? the treason is the culture of crosswords and the people who solve them. The crossword world is inhabited overwhelmingly by people from the world of letters and soft social sciences. People here would howl if Jane Austen were clued as a Victorian novelist, but when the puzzle says, for example, it's missing on an automatic and the answer is clutch, no one bats an eye. What's missing in this case is a clutch pedal. The other thing missing is the constructor and editor's understanding of machines. But no one cares here. They just shrug and say something vapid, like "close enough for a crossword puzzle.

albatross shell 12:39 PM  

Forgot a couple:

Thanks for those neat observations that add to the pleasure of the puzzle.

Here some observations that most folks probably have no interest in. Diagonals. Sometimes I look for words. Some puzzles have several 3-5 letter words in the diagonals. I don't think I ever noticed an eight letter word. The long NE to SW diagonal today is all consonants (and no black squares) except for 2 sometimes Ys. The 14 letter diagonal just south of that one has 9 consonants and 2 black squares. I am waiting for someone else to do a study on distribution of letters along diagonals in cwds. I have been looking for all vowel or all consonant diagonals. Longish vowel runs seem unusually common. File this under monkeys at typewriters or the Borges' Library.

Anoa Bob 12:43 PM  

Neurosis/neurotic hasn't been an official part of psychology or psychiatry for about forty years. I have a Ph.D. in psychology and taught college psychology course from the 70s into the 2000s. One was a graduate level course in Abnormal Psychology where we used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-IV (they are up to the DSM-V last I heard), and neurosis/neurotic was not an official diagnosis for any disorder. Those terms were already eliminated by the time the DSM-III was published in 1980.

As witnessed by above comments, it is still in use but its roots are in the late 19th century idea that a mental/emotional/behavioral problem is either caused by a disease of the mind "psychosis" or a disease of the nerves "neurosis". That idea developed during a time when it thought that some illnesses should be treated by blood-sucking leeches or that one's personality could be read by measuring bumps and indentations of the skull. All of those are of historical interest but no longer used in contemporary practice.

Z 12:49 PM  

@anon9:40 - Merriam-Webster says they both come from the Latin word for “groin.”

@rose miller - The rule of thumb is if it is the grid blame the constructor, if it is the cluing blame the editor. We’ve had many constructors share here the number of their original clues that get changed.

@oceanjeremy - Hmm... POGO is dated but there are basically two brands of cornstarch, ARGO and the store brand. If you have ever cooked with corn starch you very likely have a box of ARGO in the cupboards. I’d say not a full natick, but quite plausibly a generational natick.

@Total Novice - I think it is both a textual difference and growing pains. TYE and MILEY provide some balance, but many of the people in the puzzle would be comfortable in a 1980’s puzzle. So that’s the textual difference. But some other of the stuff here will firmly be the LFC (learnt from crosswords) category. Just to pick on Rex, I strongly suspect AZO and ILIAC/ILeum are not things he would know if he didn’t do crosswords. Not knowing that kind of thing is definitely just “growing pains.” I’d even add things like the EASEL clue and answer. “Studio” is meant to misdirect but at some point you will have seen this style of clue so often that EASEL goes in the grid almost before you realize you have thought about it.
The textual difference is why I howl about excessive PPP. There’s nothing particularly interesting about TYE or Farrah FAWCETT, it is just a matter of whether or not one happens to know that person.

“I didn’t suss out how the theme works” is not the same as “wrong” or “scientifically inaccurate.” An ION is an ION because the atoms’ electrons give the ION a charge. Since an ION is charged by definition adding ION to the base phrase means you are giving the base phrase a charge by “IONizing” it. To restate what @pmdm said, the key is not to ponder how a clue or conceit is wrong, but to suss out how it works. cf EASEL, there are many ways to think of “studio supporter” that don’t apply to EASEL (for example, an I-BEAM is also a “studio supporter”). That does not mean the clue is inaccurate or wrong.

@Joaquin & @Frantic Sloth - Thanks. There are lots of times when he doesn’t respond right away because of class, he’s driving, or he’s meditating, so the quick response was very much appreciated.
@Joaquin - It’s actually pretty simple.

Hartley70 12:53 PM  

I gnashed my teeth a bit on the O and Z in the lower left corner. I didn’t like POP and I preferred DaZE TO DOZE for that clue. I don’t usually meet much resistance on a Tuesday so I appreciated the ambiguity. The theme was fine and the clueing was clever at times, so I rate this as a pretty darn good Tuesday.

Sharonak 12:58 PM  

@Barbara S 8:17 You may never see this so many hours later but wanted to say thank you for your brilliant list of clues and answers. Fun, fun.

@Barbie...6:42 Methinks you were over thinking it. Adding a particle containing a charge does add a charge to each theme answer in a way suitable for crosswords. No reason to attack the NYT for being bad on science.

Anon 6:42 I was thinking that OCD was probably classified as a neuroses - and people who have been diagnosed with it have probably been told so, therefore the handwriting over negative connotations was over the top.

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

I was very happy to get the cute revealer EXTRA CHARGE. It made the rest just that much better. I was prepared to just have "add an -ion" as the full theme and I would have been happy with that but, bonus!

Rex talking about whether there was, strictly speaking, an EXTRA charge got me musing on the phrase, "I got a CHARGE out of it". I did a small amount of poking about but didn't find any source of when that phrase first emerged. After the discovery of electricity, I'm assuming. This then got me wondering when people first got static electricity charges. I'm thinking that cave people didn't get them unless too close to an electric storm. Maybe in the bronze age?

Dan Schoenholz, thanks!

@M&A, nice runt, I'll take that ONUS!

Barbara S. 1:17 PM  

@Lewis (9:51)
HAH! And what an immensely practical car to own.

@burtonkd (10:07)
Thanks for the enlightenment about MIDGE Maisel. I don't get that show so I haven't been exposed to a funny MIDGE who, I gather, might just change my opinion of the name. I'd be willing to keep an open mind.

@Frantic (11:55)
Really? Is the expression "to give [something] a miss" not universal? You know, when your BFF says, "Hey, let's try this ant egg soup!" and you say "No thanks, I think I'll give it a miss." Oh wow, I've just looked it up in Merriam-Webster and they call it "chiefly British, informal". Well, blimey. I mean, well, gosh. We Canadians are massively influenced by American idioms but I guess more British-isms creep into our speech than we even realize. Well, I'm gobsmacked -- I mean, amazed.

Joe Dipinto 1:18 PM  

There's a vendor at the NYC Greenmarket called the Tweefontein Herb Farm. They dispense little cups of something called Mint Rose Dream Tea. I imagine it's perfect to sip while listening to Belle & Sebastian. Or this.

A 1:25 PM  

@Z, wow, so glad your son is unharmed, and that you didn’t have to suffer long.

Everyone, for a delightful diversion today, check out the One Year Corona Horn Hangout - Live this afternoon at 4:00ET.

Berlin Philharmonic hornist Sarah Willis, in addition to being one of the GOAT of the horn, is a wonderful ambassador for all kinds of musicians. Her live-streamed Horn Hangouts are usually about horn players and horn music, but they are also about other things. A few samples of the ones you can still get on her website:
The Melodica Men
Horn and Tennis
The Cooking Horn Hangout
Roger Bobo (remember the tuba guy that inspired Ogen Nash?)
Arturo Sandoval

Today her horn GOAT colleague Stefan Dohr will be cooking what looks to be a delicious eggplant curry recipe. He is a very good chef and she is excellent at carrying on an entertaining conversation while he is working. Good stuff.

CreamyT 1:37 PM  

Isn't OCEAN a relatively modern concept (as a whole, not the parts) which is still in use?

Whatsername 1:44 PM  

@Birchbark (8:18) I love the Grumpy Old Men movies but always assumed Wabasha was a fictional name. I will be sure to look for that sign the next time I watch one of them. Coincidentally, I vaguely recall seeing something very recently about that gentleman who ran the station. Apparently he was pretty well known.

@Total Novice (10:30) I’d say your reaction today comes under growing pains, experience etc. This one just wasn’t in your wheelhouse as the word people here like to say. It probably happens to everyone now and then. Anyway it still happens to me after 20+ years. I just try to learn from it and move on to tomorrow. Or sometimes I wad it up and throw it against the wall. Either way works. πŸ˜„

A 2:05 PM  

@Frantic, thanks for asking - that was one of two typos I know of from that post. The year was 1839 - not sure how I left off the 39. Woof! Also, apologies to Mr. Shoenholz fro misspelling his name.

Frantic Sloth 2:06 PM  

OMG @GILL 1224pm You say "groan" and I say 🀣🀣🀣. I guess it was pretty stormy in dem pants, too. ¡Gracias, amiga!

@Barbara S. 🀣 Great. Now @Z will be bugging (insecting?) me for my Ant Egg Soup recipe for use at that dang pub. I am familiar with the "no, thanks, I think I'll give it a pass" variation, so guess I really could have sussed it out...or not. πŸ˜‰ P.S. I do have some familiarity with "blimey" and "gobsmacked". 🀣

Son Volt 2:09 PM  

@Joe D 1:18p - I like the props to Tweefontein - their farm is a super cool place west of New Paltz on the way to Minnewaska.

Don’t know how to insert links mobile - but if I did I would post the Simpsons episode that famously includes Jennifer Jupiter.

pmdm 2:29 PM  

Happy that Z seems to support what I said. Which reminded me I meant to share my thankfulness about his son. I can't be happy - after all, innocent people died many will experience grief as a result. But I am grateful that he was been spared the pain.I wish I could glibly state a solution, but I cant.

To add a little bit to what I said above. It is not I who has decided upon the convention. My comment derives from an email exchange I had with Shortz. The 2015 exchange involved the MLB rule change allow the award of a walk to the batter without the need to pitch a ball. Will wrote

"Thanks for your email. You are right about the 10/26 clue for RBI. I wouldn't call this an error, as crossword clues don't have to be true 100% of the time to be correct. But, yes, the word "usually" would have been better."

Another time I received a similar if a bit different explanation for a clue. A could see why some would just consider this a way of getting off the hook. But, if that's the approach an editor takes, that's the way it is. Were I the editor, I would do some things differently. But like them or not, he calls the shots.

A 2:30 PM  

Schoenholz! Schoenholz! Schoenholz!

Lewis 2:37 PM  

@Barbara S. -- I should say that the answer came from a previous puzzle that had the same theme, but it had a depressing clue about a car accident, so I came up with this one.

chance2travel 2:53 PM  

Overall enjoyable experience. The SW corner was the hardest for me as I had 2 wrong answers for 54D that both seemed plausible for the ambiguous "go out briefly". Started with DatE and then tried DinE. Finally got suspicious of PiP off at 59A and ran the vowels. POP off sounded better and opened me up to DOZE and the pavlovian happy music I so gloriously depend on.

Anonymous 3:36 PM  

There's no doubt Shortz agrees with your assessment. We have proof of it today with ion. But Will Shortz is the editor of the NY Times crossword puzzle. He is not the final arbiter on what is and what isn't correct, in a crossword or anything else.
Why on Earth do you think it's persuasive to find another example of Shortz knowing something is wrong but letting it go anyway? That's just an editorial decision he's made. It hardly makes it right. Or any less grating. I'll concede the point: Shortz lets errors go all the time. ( God only knows why he doesn't call the walk clue/answer an error). That these errors appear with his blessing does not make them any less erroneous.

albatross shell 3:49 PM  

@A 205pm

No need to apologize fro tehm.
@albatrosss, the typo guy.

bocamp 4:11 PM  

Got my first iPod (Scroll Wheel) in 2002

Getting my first vaccine Fri. I BEAM. :)

Spent two weeks in New DELHI. Such wonderful people!

The Spirit of India ~ Ravi Shankar (full album)

td pg -17 ~ tough SB day pour moi. :(

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

Newboy 4:58 PM  

Thanks @ A (1:25) for the link to the Corona Horn stream that I was able to drop into this afternoon. That opened up a real nostalgia experience for this former brass sextet guy; we did Giovanni for our adjudication piece in 1960! Wow what a resource and �� for dessert. I wanted to let you know that your contribution was appreciated, but since there wasn’t an email address in your profile I had to come back for this late post.

Frantic Sloth 5:21 PM  

@A 205pm LOL! See? It's worse than I thought - my assumption was still wrong! Thanks for clearing that up!
Just watched The Horn Hangout - what a delightful group of people! I especially enjoyed learning all the little tips and dos & don'ts someone of my ilk would never know. Thanks for the recommendation. Couldn't find the chat, but Lucky was a nice bonus! 😊

Nancy 6:25 PM  

@Barbara S and @Frantic -- FWIW, I've never said "give it a miss". I've never heard anyone else say it either. What I do say after someone recommends something that sounds quite terrible is: "Thanks, but I think I'll miss it." Or "Actually, I'm planning to miss it." Don't know if this is an Americanism or a Nancyism, but I do say it rather a lot.

Pete 6:27 PM  

@Anon 3:36 - For the most part, they are clues, not definitions in a crossword. There's a difference between a clue and a definition, and the editor is not wrong when the two don't perfectly coincide. Also, you might be aware that many terms have two definitions or interpretations - one in general usage, one that is hyper-specific and technical, and these two don't coincide. Yes, automatic transmissions do in fact have mechanisms which serve as, and are called in the business, clutches, but no one but a total prat would correct me if I were to say my car doesn't have a clutch. On, and I press on the clutch to shift in my manual transmission car, and no, I don't get out of the car, disassemble the drive train, and stomp on the clutch. I press the pedal, but I say I press the clutch. I also don't slosh around in the gas tank when I step on the gas, I press on the gas pedal. See how language works? Not everything is perfectly literal!?

Z 7:19 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 7:20 PM  

@Frantic Sloth - It’s been five hours and I still don’t see the recipe.

pmdm 7:37 PM  

I have seen some people here take Z to task complaining he never admits to an error,which is very untrue. What is true is that he tends he engage his brain before engaging his moth, which means normally whatever he says is not untrue. (talking about double negatives). As far as I am concerned, Pete says it well. As for me, I don't bother to get in an argument with anyone about what 2 + 2 equals. If a person wants to believe whatever they say is the gospel truth and can't understand how some others may feel different, there is a discussion which I prefer to walk away from. After all, we are in the Trump Era.

Time to eat and watch TV while we eat. Perhaps the Keystone Kips are in order.

Barbara S. 7:37 PM  

Interesting. I thought everybody gave things a miss. So that clue and answer of mine wouldn't work for a largely American community of solvers. It just goes to show the importance of good puzzle editing.

I hope you saw my additional suggestions for Froztys late last night.

Anonymous 8:52 PM  

No. Automatics have torque converters which are a mechanical device which acts as a clutch. Stomp on the clutch? What does that mean? You stomp,on the flywheel? The pressure plate(s)? I think you’ve misidentified the prat.
Also, regardless of how many definitions a word has, not all definitions are correct.
Sorry Pete. Good luck with... well, your life.

Z 12:20 AM  

@Barbara S - Sloe seems in keeping with the Placebo & Tentacle vibe, but Apple?... Maybe if it’s paired with something more crosswordy... say, Aloe or Vera? Or maybe Aloe Vera is a main Ant Egg Soup ingredient....

@pmdm - I also have this handy dandy super computer that’s connects to a deep well of human knowledge. Uncle google has saved me from saying something stupid more than once. What amazes me is people who say something stupid and then double down by saying something stupider. But that’s why they post anonymously I s’pose. I think it was going on about Tetris when I meant Tempest that reminded me that, with memory, trust but verify is a good way to proceed.

Barbara 5:36 PM  

For the record, Ready Player One is one of my favorite books of the last decade. I listened to it with Wil Wheaton reading it (long commute in those days). Read it again on Kindle a few years later when the movie came out, still loved it. I didn’t hate the movie, but I didn’t like the changes Spielberg made - over the top and changed many of the basic premises of the story.

thefogman 10:37 AM  

AWGEE. A DNF on a Tuesday. What are the ODDS? EWE know you’ve gone ASTRAY when you need different answers but can think of NUN. Had DinE, PiP, AnO in the SW corner. TRU story - ORE SAGA? Signed ANON.

spacecraft 10:56 AM  

All right, I'm going to do this One More Time. *Rant alert*

Hey you, 50-across: STAND UP, YOU LAZY BUM!! No one SITSPAT. NO ONE!! You STAND! STAND pat, get it? Outside of a crossword, you have NEVER HEARD ANYONE say "Sit pat." It is NOT a THING! Stand pat is a thing! STOP PUTTING SITPAT IN YOUR PUZZLES!!

As to the rest of it, this hardly belongs in a Tuesday slot. I had to guess at the entire SW corner, plus the TYE/TWEE thing. And IDING? Sounds like a Cockney trying to dodge the tax collector of 16-across.

The theme manages to hit the marks, but becomes a bit unwieldy when the constructor is asked to fill _I_I, _O_O and _N_N in successION. That is fill PERIL. We know Teri GARR (last name, for a change) can have DOD any time she wants it, but how can I pass up the opportunity to put the sash on Farrah FAWCETT?

At times, the cluing was less than helpful, which is another reason I double-checked my calendar to make sure this was in fact only Tuesday. Bogey.

Burma Shave 1:40 PM  


there's a MILLION TEENY things EWE saw,
so tip THE NUN who PUMPS my GAS.


DaffyDill Wpg 2:05 PM  

I live in a large city in Canada and we still have guys/girls pumping our gas for us and cleaning our windows. In fact there are a couple in my suburban neighbourhood and I know people who never pump their own, I’m not sure they even know how.

leftcoaster 2:55 PM  

A challenging Tuesday -- or, more aptly, an irksome Tuesday.

First, the theme: So the EXTRA CHARGE is an ION. Okay I guess, but that’s it? ION just off-handedly tacked on to the ends of three otherwise unrelated themers?

Second, the revealer. Okay. Ya got me. But not quite fair IMHO. See above.

Finally, the Naticky TYE/TWEE after misspelling Ms. FAWCETT’s name. That one is on me.


rondo 4:45 PM  

In many foreign countries, especially former SSRs to help along full employment, only a service station attendant PUMPSGAS. So for the price paid for that GAS, I suppose there is a built-in EXTRACHARGE.

I didn't own the classic poster but for that Ms. FAWCETT gets a yeah baby. MILEY gets one for the Wrecking Ball video.

Ay least this puz didn't BITE.

Diana, LIW 5:26 PM  

Only one letter I wasn't sure of, but I guessed it correctly. Then again, I got another one wrong. There's a W in Farrah's name. Oh well.

I did get Monday's puz, BTW.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 5:27 PM  

PS - But on either count, I did not know TWEE, and that was my downfall.

Lady Di

leftcoaster 8:23 PM  

In Oregon and New Jersey urban areas, a service station attendant PUMPS GAS. It’s the law.

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