Beverage brand whose first mascot was Willy the Hillbilly / TUE 4-13-21 / Coyote outfoxer in cartoons / Part of San Diego that's home to its zoo / 1945 meeting place for FDR Churchill and Stalin

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Constructor: Michael Lieberman

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: ROCKY START (59A: Bumpy beginning ... or a hint to 18-, 24-, 36- and 52-Across) — first words of themers can be preceded by "Rocky" in a familiar phrase or name:

Theme answers:
  • ROADRUNNER (18A: Coyote outfoxer, in cartoons)
  • HORROR FILM (24A: "Get Out," for one)
  • MOUNTAIN DEW (36A: Beverage brand whose first mascot was Willy the Hillbilly)
  • BALBOA PARK (52A: Part of San Diego that's home to its zoo)
Word of the Day: Martina Hingis (9A: Like Roger Federer and Martina Hingis = SWISS) —

Martina Hingis (German pronunciation: [marˈtiːna ˈhɪŋɡɪs]; born Martina Hingisová; 30 September 1980) is a Swiss former professional tennis player. She spent a total of 209 weeks as the singles world No. 1 and 90 weeks as doubles world No. 1, holding both No. 1 rankings simultaneously for 29 weeks. She won 5 Grand Slam singles titles, 13 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, winning a calendar-year doubles Grand Slam in 1998, and 7 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; for a combined total of 25 major titles. In addition, she won the season-ending WTA Finals two times in singles and three times in doubles, an Olympic silver medal, and a record 17 Tier I singles titles.

Hingis set a series of "youngest-ever" records during the 1990s, including youngest-ever Grand Slam champion and youngest-ever world No. 1. Before ligament injuries in both ankles forced her to withdraw temporarily from professional tennis in early 2003, at the age of 22, she had won 40 singles titles and 36 doubles titles and, according to Forbes, was the highest-paid female athlete in the world for five consecutive years, 1997 to 2001. [...] 

Widely considered an all-time tennis great, Hingis was ranked by Tennis magazine in 2005 as the 8th-greatest female player of the preceding 40 years. She was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by TIME in June 2011. In 2013, Hingis was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and was appointed two years later the organization's first ever Global Ambassador. (wikipedia)
• • •

First of all, Rocky Raccoon. Where is my RACCOON answer!? I realize that there aren't many good phrases beginning RACCOON, but, I dunno, make RACCOON TAIL work somehow. In fact, take out MOUNTAIN DEW, which is a fine answer but which works Horribly with the theme (a single Rocky Mountain?) and replace it with RACCOON TAIL (or Raccoon some-other-four-letter-word). Rocky in, single "Mountain" out, two birds, one stone. That would have given the theme a somewhat more elegant and amusing expression. But it wouldn't have improved things that much, because at its heart this is a pretty dull-ish 20-years-ago-ish first-words-type theme. Yes, those phrases all "start" with words that can be preceded by "Rocky." But only BALBOA PARK is all that interesting / original. You could do this again and have the phrases start with different things that are known as "rocks" (like, I dunno, ICE, DIAMOND, whatever); or words meaning "rock" (STONE, BOULDER) or whatever. Something that made the "Rocky" in ROCKY START more punny and wacky. This was just programmatic. It was also such a let-down when the first themer I got was HORROR FILM with Jordan PEELE on top ... and then the rest of the themers were not somehow also directors sitting on top of their movie's genres. I was like "Oooh, PEELE over HORROR FILM, I wonder what the theme revealer phrase is going to be, this should be good." And then it wasn't. Not so much.

Nothing much to see here. I really liked the clue on YODEL (8D: Communication during peak times?). This was the good mountain moment, to balance out MOUNTAIN DEW (which, again, is a fine answer, with an interesting clue ... it's just not great, theme-wise). I also liked the boldness of using WAKANDAN as an adjective (39D: Like most characters in "Black Panther"). Maybe this shouldn't have struck me as original, but it did. Not much else to like or dislike about this one. I do think B-SIDE > SIDE B and I don't like that the puzzle can just get away with either (35D: Lesser-played part of a record, usually). My only slow points came when I wrote in FORCE before FORTE (25D: Strength), which made MOUNTAIN DEW kind of hard to see, and then when I wrote in POSTAL (!) before PARCEL (46D: Part of UPS). POSTAL is part of USPS. My bad. Oh, and I wrote in SIESTA before SIERRA (12D: Letter after Romeo in the NATO alphabet), an error that probably says something about how sleepy I am right now. Good night. Oh, crud, it's morning. Good morning. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


bocamp 6:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JOHN X 6:19 AM  

I don’t drink soda pop but if Mountain Dew’s mascot was still “Willy the Hillbilly” I would drink the hell out of it.

Sioux Falls 6:22 AM  

Name of beverage is MTN DEW not MOUNTAIN DEW

OffTheGrid 6:41 AM  

@Rex. DAVY Crockett took your raccoon to make a hat.

Anonymous 6:43 AM  

I would have liked seeing (ROCKY) AND BULLWINKLE as a theme answer. That childhood favorite can still make me laugh.

Lewis 6:44 AM  

No rocky start here, and a sprint to the finish, but not without appreciating the references to a film I loved (“Get Out”) and the lovely words NIMBUS, FORTE, and VERTIGO. YODEL made me think of “Gödel” in yesterday’s STRANGE LOOP clue. Also, it was fun to see the palindromes REA and AER, the appropriate crossing of PAPERJAM and HORROR, and RISING abutting MOUNTAIN.

This was a tight tight theme. Maybe some of you can do better, but all I could think of as an alternate theme answer (and something in addition to @rex's RACCOON TAIL) was playing off Rocky Top, maybe TOP BANANA.

So, the solve may not have fought me, but it did please me for all the roses within to stop and smell. Thank you, Michael!

Flying Pediatrician 6:44 AM  

Great scene from Parks and Recreation talking about APPS, zerts, and TRAY-trays: LINK.

I think learning the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is a useful basic life skill that should be taught in an “Adulting” class in high school. Nothing worse than “H as in ... uh ... as in ... hammock?” Though I know @Rex hates the “adulting” term, it’d be a good class—I know I could’ve benefited from it greatly.)

bocamp 6:50 AM  

Thank you @Michael for a smooth Tues. puz; very much enjoyed! :)

Easy solve.

About as fast as I can zip thru a puzzle. On my wave-length all the way.

MOUNTAIN DEW: my fave beverage of yore.

My SWISS Moonlight Lullaby ~ Wilf Carter (Montana Slim)

Strolling along in the moonlight by a MOUNTAIN stream
High upon the MOUNTAIN lies my golden dream
There lives my sweetheart waiting day by day
Watching from a doorway, of her moonlight SWISS chalet

Roll along oh silvery moon, roll along on your way
While I sing my YODELing of my moonlight SWISS chalet

When I cross the valley and climb a MOUNTAIN high
I hear the echo YODELing of my SWISS moonlight lullaby

Love the people of Iran. Pray they'll someday be free. 🙏

Was in a Vancouver business establishment a few years ago and had occasion to use FORTE in the general (strength) sense of the word. The proprietor politely corrected my 'for-tay' to 'fort'. He sounded British, and since I live in British Columbia, I decided to go with the 'fort' pronunciation. Haven't really had occasion to use it that much, but no issues when I have. I've a British friend who indicates he's always said 'for-tay' and was never aware of anyone in Britain using 'fort' outside of the music application. So, it will be interesting to see what comes out of my mouth the next time I may have occasion to use the term. 🤔 Lexico / Webster

yd 0

"For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it."

~ Amanda Gorman

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Zwhatever 6:52 AM  

It’s time to do the Time Warp. Talk about your strange loops, well there you go.
Willy the Hillbilly and “there’s a bang in every bottle?” Alrighty then. Did the ad writers spend their entire lives chortling about slipping double entendres into their animated tv spots?

I liked the theme fine. I’m not sure a song from SIDE B of the White Album is all that much of an improvement over a single ROCKY MOUNTAIN. Still, it’s hard to argue against the idea that a single ROCKY MOUNTAIN is suboptimal. I’m also wondering how crossworthy BALBOA PARK is. It was fairly crossed and no problem here, I’m just not convinced sections of big cities are all that well known. Although I shouldn’t complain too much. I’m sure BALBOA PARK is as crossworthy as Edina, MN and Orem, UT.

PPP is a high 28 of 76, for 37%. We don’t normally get too many outhouse comments on Mondays or Tuesdays, but if it were going to happen today would be the day.
(PPP is Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. Anything over 33% is likely to cause some subset of solvers to have problems solving, often while a different subset finds the puzzle particularly easy)

smalltowndoc 6:54 AM  

Isn’t ROCKY HORROR a partial?

Zwhatever 7:02 AM  

@John X - That’s “gal-getting good ol’ MOUNTAIN DEW” with “a bang in every bottle.” When you get out of jail you might want to try some.

SouthsideJohnny 7:08 AM  

Innocent enough and pretty much Tuesday-appropriate. Personally, I was done in by the North-Central with its heavy foreign contingent (TORERO, RHO, ASAHI - crossing the loosely clued OH SO and crossing another PPP - PEELE). That whole section seems a touch eccentric for a Tuesday.

I was also done in by WAKANDAN (science fiction ?) crossing KEA - I can never keep the Hawaiian volcanos straight, even though I have been there and even watched the sun rise from atop a couple of them.

Note: At the time that Willy the Hillbilly was around, the name of the product was MOUNTAIN DEW - It may be marketed under a different moniker today, but that clue/answer combination is accurate, if a bit dated as well.

Anonymous 7:09 AM  

You need to do some research.

TTrimble 7:15 AM  

I'd forgotten Rocky Raccoon. It conjured up for me a very different Rocky: Rocky J. Squirrel of Bullwinkle fame.

I'm embarrassed to say how many viewings of the ROCKY HORROR Picture Show I've attended. I knew all the stupid things to call out, and I occasionally brought props like toilet paper rolls and squirt guns. I even bought the sound track album and played it over and over. I was such an idiot.

The theme just doesn't seem to be fertile material for an exciting puzzle, and indeed the puzzle seems a little plain, with WAKANDAN the standout entry. Funny though how recent conversations here are conjured: was it @JOHN X who brought up the smell of NAPALM? And @bocamp who recalled DAVY Crockett who wore a coonskin cap (not BEAVER HAT)? And Rex who mistakenly referred to the Pink Panther instead of Snagglepuss (well, they're both large pink felines).

MOUNTAIN DEW has got to be the vilest concoction in the carbonated beverage market. And that's saying something.

pabloinnh 7:21 AM  

Liked it fine, fast solve (one cup of coffee), had the OFL FORCE for FORTE as the only hiccup.

ROCKYMOUNTAIN High is practically my signature song at our hootenannies, good memories there.

Back to the virtually empty house to finish up the moving process, which I do not recommend.

Thanks for the diversion. Wish I could spend more time doing this.

Anonymoose 7:32 AM  

@Southside. Ditto on the north central.

Son Volt 7:41 AM  

Liked this one for the most part. Visit ROCKY Mountain National Park and discuss the plural with them. Haven’t had MOUNTAIN DEW since maybe the early 70s - it was always touted as highest caffeine content soda available. Agree with some that BALBOA PARK is the outlier here. The top center block was tricky for early week with TORERO and ASAHI. NAPALM is a downer.

Mostly enjoyable Tuesday solve.

kitshef 7:49 AM  

"Dennis the Menace", would work, although Rocky Dennis is not as well known now as he would have been in the 80s when Mask came out.

I'm definitely OK with the single Rocky Mountain. John Denver didn't sing about "Rocky Mountains High". The national park isn't "Rocky Mountains National Park".

Terribly clue for YODEL.

Barbara S. 8:16 AM  

Woo-Yoo. Personal record. I just powered through this one. I never watch HORROR MOVIEs (hi @Nancy), but Jordan PEELE and “Get Out” got so much press that I popped them in almost without thinking. Only write-over was “ayeS” for YEAS. I liked INNATE crossing ÊTRE. And I loved the mountain sub-theme: YODEL, SWISS, MOUNTAIN [DEW], RISING, SIERRA, VERTIGO, Mauna KEA.

Today I offer a passage by EUDORA WELTY, born Apr. 13, 1909.

“When Laurel was a child, in this room and in this bed where she lay now, she closed her eyes like this and the rhythmic, nighttime sound of the two beloved reading voices came rising in turn up the stairs every night to reach her. She could hardly fall asleep, she tried to keep awake, for pleasure. She cared for her own books, but she cared more for theirs, which meant their voices. In the lateness of the night, their two voices reading to each other where she could hear them, never letting a silence divide or interrupt them, combined into one unceasing voice and wrapped her around as she listened, as still as if she were asleep. She was sent to sleep under a velvety cloak of words, richly patterned and stitched with gold, straight out of a fairy tale, while they went reading on into her dreams.”
(From The Optimist's Daughter)

Carola 8:20 AM  

I thought it was very cute. I'd expected that @Rex might criticize the old-school sort of theme, but I thought this one was a creative and witty contribution to the type, bringing together ice-cream, geology, and a boxer. I didn't mind the singular mountain; besides @pabloinnh's song, there's also ROCKY MOUNTAIN National Park I had the same question about the HORROR partial as @smalltowndoc 6:54, but only after reading @Rex: it's probably why I failed to recognize it as a theme answer!

Visiting San Diego, I was astonished to discover that Balboa Park is the site of a spectacular outdoor organ pavilion, where there are free concerts every Sunday afternoon - a civic treasure and wonderful delight for fans of the King of Instruments. Here's a sample.

Karl Grouch 8:22 AM  

Totally the opposite of its theme, this puzzle was smooth, fast and clean if not a tad unexciting.

I stopped and stared at WAKANDAN for a while but the crosses confirmed it, so fair fare. The same goes for BALBOA PARK.

"A TONIC for the Troops" is a great album by the Boomtown Rats and their frontman Bob Geldof, co-creator of Live AID in 1985.
The concert featured a historic performance by Queen, all the more memorable given that Freddie Mercury learned he was HIV-positive only a few days before the event.

@pablo 7:21
You have all my sympathy, moving is such a drag! I RACK, I RAN.

@Albatross from yesterday
It's always nice to see that somebody appreciates my rumblings, thanks for sharing :)

Nancy 8:24 AM  

I don't have a lot to say -- well, actually anything much at all -- about this puzzle, which I found a professional but completely unexciting venture.

Axel 8:35 AM  

Did anyone else stumble over the term "odd lot?" While the answer is obvious, how often do you hear that phrase?

Joe Dipinto 8:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 8:54 AM  

i made an audible groan when i realized balboa park and rocky connection

Hungry Mother 9:00 AM  

I’ll never love proper names in a puzzle, but these were all gettable, if not known. Very fast solve.

Joe Dipinto 9:06 AM  

@smalltowndoc 6:54 – I thought that too. The name of the theatrical version is "Rocky Horror Show" and the movie is "Rocky Horror Picture Show". "Rocky Horror" is used as kind of shorthand. But apparently Rocky Horror is the full name of the reanimated Rocky character, at least in the play version (don't remember if it was in the movie). So in that sense it's not a partial. I still think the puzzle answer lands with a thud because "Rocky Horror Film" just sounds like someone's misremembering of the movie title.

TTrimble 9:28 AM  

Rocky Mountain High is a fantastic song. Love John Denver's voice.

mathgent 9:43 AM  

Rocky Road and Rocky Balboa, yes. Rocky Mountain and Rocky Horror, no. Literally a half-baked theme. Which would have OK if there had been some sparkle along the way.

As Nancy said, completely unexciting.

EdFromHackensack 9:51 AM  

PEaLE before PEELE and SWede before SWISS. Easy puzzle, went through it will no real hesitations. Half a cup of coffee. Thanks Michael Lieberman, I enjoyed it :)

RooMonster 9:51 AM  

Hey All !
Nice puz. Simple theme, easy to fill. A TuesPuz that Tueszes. (Or however you creative types spell that!)

@pablo & @TT
How about Grandma's Feather Bed? Another cool JD song. Or Thank God I'm A Country Boy. I was Big into JD in my younger years. Kind of cooled down since, but I do have every album up to (now I can't remember the last one!), including the first three, which are tough to find. Another band I liked is Yes.

Expanding on Rex's observation of PEELE on top of HORROR, we get close enough things related to the themers, ala RISING on top of MOUNTAIN, EMT on top of BALBOA (he needed one after some of those fights!), and MULE on top of ROCKY (ROCKIES.) See? Twist the ole brain. It works!

Martina Hingis. Always thought she was sexy! No 1 for a while. Great player. Easy on the eyes. 😁

MOUNTAIN DEW is yummy! Even the Diet. As is Dr Pepper. Mello Yellow. Cream Soda. Liked the Dr Pepper-ish Mr. Pibb even better! Sure, lots of sugar. But, you don't live forever, so screw it!

Two F's

bigsteve46 9:55 AM  

Re. 9 Across: Swiss joke -

Many thousands of years ago, the Swiss were a poor nomadic people barely surviving in their harsh mountains. One day their leader looked up to the sky and cried, "God, we are so poor and barely able to stay alive - Please help us!" God looked down on these miserable wretches and said, "Here are a male and female goat - the female will give you a rich milk which will feed you well." The leader said, "Oh, thank you God," and soon the Swiss had a nice herd of goats and plenty of fine, rich milk to sustain them.

But they soon got tired of just milk and asked God for some more help. He then showed them how, when a goat got too old to give milk, they could slay it and eat the meat. They again thanked God profusely and soon were enjoying lots of nutritious meat.

Once again, bored with this limited diet, the again asked God, "You know milk and meat are very satisfying but we are tired of only having these two things. Can you help us again?" Since God had begun to grow proud of these once poor peasants, he showed how to use some of the milk to make cheese. Again, they thanked God profusely and soon the Swiss were making lots of nutritious cheese.

One day God decided to check on the poor Swiss and see how they were doing. He was delighted to see how they had made this delicious looking cheese. So God asked their leader, "That cheese looks so good - may I have a taste?' Their leader said, "Why of course!" And cut God a big slab of Gruyere. God took a big bite and said, "Why, this is delicious - I'm very proud of you!"

The Swiss leader said, "Thank you - that will be 10 Francs please!"

Ethan Taliesin 9:57 AM  

I for one did NOT like WAKANDAN. I know it's popular crossword fare lately, but a race of people from a superhero movie still seems obscure for a Tuesday.

JD 10:09 AM  

The puzzle was a very easy and serviceable Tuesday offering, but I wish that the NYT would drop the theme requirement. Most of the puzzles would be so much better. How many times a year does anyone actually yell a genuine AHA!?

@TTrimble, You'd think that the vileness of Mountain Dew could only be exacerbated by its dumbed down logo-ed name and proliferation of spin-off products. Yet on its website are recipes using it as an ingredient. BTW, it's Rocket J. Squirrel.

Whatsername 10:14 AM  

A nice little Tuesday with a clever theme. I liked the consistency of each answer being a pop-culture proper noun. Sometimes that can be a HORROR, but today it worked. Only thing I’d wish for would be a Flying Squirrel or a Bullwinkle Moose in there somewhere.

With that, I give you the late great John Denver and his classic signature work, ROCKY MOUNTAIN High, as only he can sing it.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

I don't have a great batting average in predicting what will pique this blog's host, but I am surprised the product placements didn't do it.

There's Oreo (Nabisco), Mountain Dew (Pepsi), KitKat (Nestle), and Ragu (Mizkau, recently acquired from Unilever). That's in addition to the directly clued Wall Street Journal and UPS.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

“Yahoo...Mountain Dew!”

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

Nope! It’s the name of a character in the film.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

also @TT. If someone is forcing you to drink MD call the police.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

I've heard the urban legend that Mtn Dew contains scads more caffeine than anything on Earth, and I don't have much taste for caffeine, so I've always avoided it. Some innterTubes searching reveals that it's caffeine content is greater than Colas, but not so much as Starbucks, but
"The look wasn't the only controversy surrounding this release. Dewshine is also a nickname for Mountain Dew mixed with racing fuel, a mixture that has proven deadly. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned that racing fuel is almost entirely composed of methanol, and consuming just one tablespoon is deadly. It's not surprising that Mountain Dew eventually discontinued DEWshine."

So, it appears that the Willy folks will go to extremes. A bit.

Depends on where you shop.

jae 10:53 AM  

Easy. Smooth with a classic theme. Pretty good Tuesday, liked it.

Richard Stanford 10:53 AM  

It grossed over $1.4b worldwide and came out only a few years ago. As pop culture goes I don’t think that really counts as obscure even when compared to something like PEELE.

burtonkd 10:55 AM  

I was wondering how long it would be before the pronunciation of forte would be brought up.

Perfectly serviceable Tuesday theme. Some nice, varied answers that Lewis brought up and almost no junk. RHO, EMTS, ERAS, REA, KEA being the only brow raising suspects, and they are not bad company. I didn't even see most of them from crosses.

A 11:01 AM  

Happy Tried to Fill in the Puzzle TOO Fast Day!

Ha! This was so easy I was throwing in answers without thinking, with only a few exceptions. Then when I got stuck, the brain wouldn’t power up. I actually had to stop and stare at BALBOA__eRp (that’s due to errors WAleNDAN and YAp) and say to myself: “now, what would an area of a city be called?? Aha! PARK - bet it’s PARK!” Which it was, of course. That also fixed YAK but I still had WAlANDAN/lEA, until KEA peeped out from behind the NIMBUS. (Saw Black Panther but BLEARy on the details.) For a second felt like Rex: “Oh crud, it’s morning.”

Never a fan of ROCKY ROAD ice cream, ROCKY HORROR Picture Show, or ROCKY BALBOA flicks. Did occasionally drink the DEW, but not as a first choice. Wouldn’t mind visiting a ROCKY MOUNTAIN this summer.

MOUNTAIN DEW RISING sounds like a folk band.

I did not know the difference between a toreador and a TORERO, and it seems people often say the first when they mean the second. Frankly I could do without either, unless it’s a cartoon version, maybe ROADRUNNER.

Odd LOTs is a retail store chain, right? Part of whoever owns Big LOTs? I was just in BL - they have good prices on organic olive oil, and wild bird food. Sometimes smoked salmon, too.

King LEAR made two cameos, in BLEAR and LEARN, in the area of AER and REA.

Any puzzle with the SWISS god of tennis, Roger Federer, is on my good side. He is the whole PARCEL!

Thanks for the Tuesday OREO SNAP, Mr. Lieberman!

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

While you are correcting everyone, it's actually Rocket J. Squirrel.

kitshef 11:28 AM  

@Axel - I hesitated a long time over LOT but not because of 'odd LOT', which came to mind immediately, but because of 'job LOT', which wth?

Anonymous 11:28 AM  

Rocky BALBOA, NAPALM, and TORERO give the puzzle a tone of barbarism.

Alan 11:49 AM  


About 5 years ago I submitted a puzzle with this same theme: BALBOAPARK/ROADwarrior/MOUNTAINDEW/ROCKYSTART

This one is better executed than mine was, one more themer, fill is better...

Not gonna lie though, stings a bit.

GILL I. 11:55 AM  

ROCKY MOUTAIN HIGH.....COLORADO. Sung at the top of my lungs in my car, by myself, listening to John Denver; people telling me to put my window up.....happy as a SWISS Miss.
Well I knew ROAD RUNNER (Beep Beep) and BALBOA PARK (Hi @jae) but "Get Out" sounds like a command my husband tells me when I accidentally go into the bathroom while he's using it. Is that a HORROR FILM?
I've tried MOUNTAIN DEW exactly once. My running partner of many moons ago would drink it; it tastes like ....well, I'd rather share a "Willy the Hillbilly" with JOHN X.
What a strange little Tuesday puzzle. Why do I look at things like NAPALM, DOPE, SNEER and a SNAP SNOB and do a Holy enchilada without any cheese dance? At least you have DAVY and his dead raccoon hanging on his head. Best part was @Barbara S and her lovely Eudora Welty.
I will now remove my excess verbiage because my MOP TOP runneth over.

Doc John 12:26 PM  

As a San Diegan, I was thrilled to see BALBOA PARK in the puzzle. That said, I do realize that it's certainly not as well known as some of the other big city parks in the country, World Famous San Diego Zoo or not.
And I suppose that cluing it as the site of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition would be a little too esoteric. Fun fact- some remnants of the original zoo site are visible if you know where to look.

And what? No comment on the genocidal Balboa? You're slipping, Rex!
Here, I'll do it for you. Balboa

JOHN X 12:29 PM  


Music: FOR-TAY
Strength: FORT

"Proper pronunciation is not my FOR-TAY"

Frantic Sloth 12:41 PM  

First of all, let me apologize if this has all been said before. No time to read y'all yet.

Rocky MOUNTAIN high
Rocky MOUNTAIN fever
Rocky MOUNTAIN National Park

Just off the top of even my head, all kinds of singular Rocky MOUNTAIN things.
Sorry Rex, but Rocky Raccoon....what now?
Far be it from me to defend the swill that is MOUNTAINDEW, but I think it's a little more recognizable than your suggestion. Whatever.

I thought the theme was fairly clever and the fill...a tad more difficult than your standard Tuesdee, and I enjoyed that. But throwing the Mauna loA/KEA thing and words like ASAHI and WAKANDAN (maybe even if you have seen Black Panther) around might be a tad discouraging for new solvers. Just IMHO of course.

Doesn't Facebook "status" have more to do with one's relationship(s)? I suppose if you consider one person's status with another person as it pertains to Facebook, you could maybe-kinda-sorta-on-the-13th-of-month-under-a-blue-moon-with-Mercury-in-retrograde say that, but....nah.

I'm out for most of the day, so until tomorrow!


bocamp 1:00 PM  

@pabloinnh 7:21 AM

Would love to hear you sing it!

@TTrimble 9:28 AM

Without question my fave singer of the '70s.

I never owned a Davy Crockett coonskin cap, but I did have the Mickey Mouse ears, which I dutifully put on while watching 'The M.M. Club'. 🐭

@Whatsername 10:14 AM

Thx a mil for the Denver link! :)

MULE Skinner Blues ~ Dolly Parton

Blue Canadian ROCKies ~ Jim Reeves

"For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it."

~ Amanda Gorman

pg -3

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Teedmn 1:03 PM  

I had a smile on my face as I realized how the theme worked, so that's a successful puzzle in my book.

Today, I got tripped up by my over-exposure to crossword-ese. At 50A, I had _EA in place, read the clue, said to myself, "Thank goodness I don't have to wonder which it is today", and splatzed down lEA. And then wondered why WAlANDAN sounded more like a Flying Wallenda than the country in "Black Panther." Sheesh.

And then there's my misreading of 23A's clue as belonging to 20A. PEE_E and it sounds like its middle letter, wha? I got over to 23A, read the clue, thought, "Huh, there are two of these types of answers today; at least ARE makes sense!" And then read 20A's clue and did the old face PALM.

Michael Lieberman, thank you for the sweet Tuesday puzzle.

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

and then what ?

TTrimble 1:09 PM  

I'm aware of "Rocket". The Wikipedia article opens with 'Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel'. When I was a kid, they referred to as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and generally he's much better known to me as "Rocky".

I agree with you on Dr. Pepper (and Mr. Pibb -- recently I mentioned this product to my family and they had no idea what I was talking about; they laughed and hooted that it had to be some exclusively Southern thing). I don't remember Mello Yellow well enough to opine on that. (But Mountain Dew tastes gross to me. Just my opinion, obvi.)

Oh, and I'm a huge Yes fan, although it wouldn't usually occur to me to mention that band in the same breath as John Denver (both flourished in the 70's, I guess).

Zwhatever 1:18 PM  

While you all make a great point about phrases like ROCKY MOUNTAIN high, these examples don’t actually fit with the rest of the themers.

All singular noun phrases. In all your examples ROCKY MOUNTAIN serves as an adjectival phrase preceding a singular noun. You can also justify a singular ROCKY MOUNTAIN by adding a definitive article. Again, though, the other three don’t need an “a.”

To be clear, this is not a huge deal in my opinion, just slightly suboptimal. The plethora of PPP is a bigger demerit in my opinion.

@Alan - Hey, for all you know this puzzle had already been accepted. 🤣🤣

jberg 1:27 PM  

I thought they'd delivered the San Diego paper in place of the NYT this morning, but apparently everyone here got the same puzzle, with BALBOA PARK in it. I did get it from the crosses, but if every neighborhood in every big city is fair game, puzzles are gonna get a lot tougher.

In his signature song, Escamillo calls himself both a toreador and a TORERO, and he ought to know, so I think they mean the same thing.

@Carola, nifty organ, thanks for posting that link. I have to wonder, though, why YouTube calls the tune "God Save the Queen;" I'm pretty sure that in San Diego it's "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

I think I posted it once a few years ago, but it's too good to pass up -- take a look at the Asahi Beer Hall in Tokyo, cleverly built in the shape of a glass of beer with the foam blowing off. My son lived a few blocks past it, so I would see it a lot whenever I visited him.

albatross shell 1:32 PM  

So much good or interesting in this puzzle.
First INNATE hast two N's. OK, it does look right, but I was looking for a different word at first.
Second, BLEAR is a word? Adjective and a verb it seems.

Nice catch on the pair of Lears.

NAPALM a downer? Get Out a horror film? As I was doing the puzzle I was watching the movie version of The Painted Bird (2019). Those are screwball comedies by comparison. (I mean NAPALM, the word, not being burned to death).
Cinematography, settings, sets, acting, costumes, casting, make-up were mesmerizing and masterful. The horrors of wars made manifest in in the people and the landscapes. Doing the puzzle allowed me to glance away briefly. Apparently no Oscar nominations at all. I never even knew the book was made into a movie. Not gory in a horror movie way, but not for the squeamish.

I thought the theme answers were flashy enough. RACCOON Mask or tail would make me give up my MOUNTAINDEW. No, I don't drink it but I think it looks good in the center of the puzzle. (Besides that I had to figure out how to get a raccoon out of my crawl space. They are tough, fearless, and wily). The revealer perfectly produces 4 pretty good answers too.

YODEL cluing highlight and the yodeler was SWISS and looking over a Rocky MOUNTAIN. A mess of good fill words, a low number of plurals, one double. Everything I did not know had fair crosses.


I posted this late last night:

If all 3 players rolled against each other, player 1 and player 2 come out equal and ahead. Player 3 takes the losses. If you play long enough.
On the other hand, each player will end up with the same average roll of 5.
If you change the rules so that the winner wins from the other player the difference in points between the 2 rolls I suspect the margin of victory would change. In the 3 player game you could have only the high die collecting from both losers. Or you could have the second and third player both paying the highest player, and the the lowest player paying both higher players the difference in their rolls. If I get a round tuit some day, I might check how that would work out. But maybe someone else will.

This so-called strange loop is not so rare in the sports world. And of course, there is rock, paper,

SFR 1:44 PM  

OFL's racoon wish could have been fulfilled by a wider grid and "Job title with six double letters" (raccoonnookkeeper)

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

Hmm..No comment on napalm?

KnittyContessa 2:18 PM  

@smalltowndoc and @Joe Dipinto ROCKY HORROR is definitely an acceptable shorthand. I spend many a Saturday night at the 8th St Playhouse - home to the Rocky Horror Fan Club - and no one ever referred to it by its full name. I guess similar to Les Mis?

Masked and Anonymous 2:35 PM  

As @RP mentioned, this rodeo featured kinda a well-worn theme mcguffin. But, there's somethin about havin the revealer tack-on be an adjective like ROCKY that works real good for m&e.
I mean, shoot -- I sure wasn't tiein the likes of ROADRUNNER and HORRORFILM together, as per yer usual TuesPuz theme "deduce the reveal" gimmes. Got to enjoy the ahar moment. Liked.

staff weeject pick: HWY. Better clue: {Duck bro of DWY & LWY??}. See that, Shortzmeister? … ??-markers are like a goldmine, cluewise. U readin this, bro? Just sayin & askin.

fave puzgrid denizens: PAPERJAM. WAKANDAN. VERTIGO.

Thanx, Mr. Lieberman.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


JD 2:36 PM  

@TTrimble, Yep. He was always called Rocky. I think Rocket J. came up in one of those smoky college conversations of what was Rocky the Squirrel's real name and what was the name of Dudley's horse. In Rona desperation last year watched a few episodes. That, with Sherman and Fractured Fairytales was funnier than we knew it as kids.

kitshef 2:45 PM  

@albatross shell - which raises the question whether some other choice of dice would retain the intransitivity but also result in a 3-way tie if all are used simultaneously.

Anonymous 3:11 PM  


Douglas 3:36 PM  

There are endless businesses here in Denver named Rocky Mountain something or other, including my own Rocky Mountain Pediatric Cardiology.

Bill L. 4:57 PM  

Rocky Mountain High is a school in Fort Collins (Poudre School District). You just knew there had to be one, right?

Whatsername 5:22 PM  

@Flying Pediatrician (6:44) Good point about the NATO alphabet and I agree completely.

@bocamp (1:00) You are very welcome. And that Hill We Climb? I just reread the entire text yesterday. It and the author never fail to leave me feeling absolutely dazzled.

Barbara S. 6:12 PM  

Couldn't come through yesterday when a lot of QBs were happily swarming around, but -- yay! -- Buzz, Buzz.

bocamp 6:39 PM  

@Whatsername (5:22 PM) 👍

I use the NATO Alphabet on a daily basis (hi @Flying Pediatrician). I assign 'Siri Shortcuts' using it for various prompts, e.g., "hey Siri, top 10 Alfa" for my ten most played songs. I'm up to 'Quebec'; haven't memorized the remainder yet.

@Barbara S. (6:12 PM) 👍


"For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it."

~ Amanda Gorman

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Barbara S. 7:08 PM  

@bocamp (6:39 PM) 👍

Howie 7:38 PM  

ARE, REA, AER and ERAS. All that’s missing is an ear.

thefogman 10:24 AM  

Nothing horribly wrong and nothing horribly right about this one. Okay, but somewhat meh...

spacecraft 11:17 AM  

You gonna throw a WAKANDAN at me on a Tuesday?? Wow. Yes, Virginia, there are a few of us who haven't seen "Black Panther," and so wouldn't know a 39-down if we fell over him. That puppy was 100% crosses--and I still wondered...

But for that extreme outlier, this was easy, and comparatively well done (the comparison level of NYTXW has, unfortunately, slipped of late). Except for SIDEB the fill was clean, and the theme delivered as promised. @OFC, I can explain: Mr. Raccoon had gone back to his room. He was too busy reading his Gideon Bible to attend today's grid.

No direct DOD, but surely the star of MYRA Breckenridge, Raquel Welch (another "Raqui?") qualifies. So would Kim Novak of VERTIGO. Par.

Burma Shave 12:19 PM  


the SCREEN is OHSO filled with blood,
you'll LEARN that from START to END
even ROCKY can't be a STUD.


rondo 2:33 PM  

Anyone else notice the trend of Tuesdays getting better? And maybe swapped for Wednesday quality-wise?

BAYS in the corners.

leftcoaster 2:50 PM  

Easy-medium and OH SO nicely done.

Diana, LIW 6:51 PM  

I always forget the Hawaiian "KIA/LOA" twins, so I did have a one-letter, correct, guess. (Never saw Black Panther) Otherwise a typical Tuesday. Thanks!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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